化学秘密
Chemical Secret


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    1 A new start
    1 A new start
    
    'Mr Duncan?Come in please.Mr Wilson will see you now.'
    'Thank you.'John Duncan stood up and walked nervously towards the door.He was a tall,thin man,about forty-five years old,in an old grey suit.It was his best suit,but it was ten years old now.He had grey hair and glasses.His face looked sad and tired.
    Inside the room,a man stood up to welcome him.Mr Duncan?Pleased to meet you.My name's David Wilson.This is one of our chemists,Mary Carter.'
    John Duncan shook hands with both of them,and sat down.It was a big office,with a thick carpet on the floor and beautiful pictures on the walls.David Wilson was a young man,in an expensive black suit.He had a big gold ring on one finger.He smiled at John.
    'I asked Miss Carter to come because she's one of our best Chemists.She discovered our wonderful new paint,in fact.When…I mean,if you come to work here, you will work with her.'
    'Oh,I see.'John looked at Mary.She was older than Wil-son—about thirty-five,perhaps—with short brown hair,and a pretty,friendly face.She was wearing a white coat with a lot of pens in the top pocket.She smiled at him kindly, but John felt miserable.
    I'll never get this job,he thought.I'm too old!Employers want younger people these days.
    David Wilson was looking at some papers.'Now,Mr Dun-can,'he said,'I see that you are a very good biologist.You worked at a university…and then for two very famous com-panies.But…you stopped working as a biologist nine years ago.Why was that?'
    'I've always had two interests in my life,'John said,'biol-ogy and boats.My wife was a famous sailor…Rachel Hors-ley…Perhaps you remember her.She sailed around the world alone in a small boat.'
    'Yes,'said David Wilson,'I remember her.'
    'So we started a business,'said John.'We made small boats together,and sold them.'
    'And did the business go well?'asked Wilson.
    'Very well at first.Then we wanted to build bigger,better boats.We borrowed too much money.And then my wife…'John stopped speaking.
    'Yes,the Sevens Race.I remember now,'said David Wil-son.
    Both men were silent for a moment.Wilson remembered the newspaper reports of the storm and the lives lost at sea.He looked at the man who sat sadly in front of him.
    'So,after my wife died,'continued John,' I closed the business.That was five years ago.'
    'I see,'said David Wilson.'It's a hard world,the world of business.'He looked at John's old grey suit.'So now you want a job as a biologist.Well,this is a chemical company,Mr Duncan.We make paint.But we need a biologist to make sure that everything in this factory is safe.We want someone to tell the government that it's safe to work here,and that it's safe to have a paint factory near the town.That's impor-tant to us.'
    'And if something's not safe,then of course we'll change it,'mary Carter said.David Wilson looked at her,but he didn't say anything.
    'Yes,I see,'John began nervously.'Well,I think I could do that.I mean,when I worked for Harper Chemicals in Lon-don I…'He talked for two or three minutes about his work.David Wilson listened,but he didn't say anything.Ihen he smiled.It was a cold,hard smile,and it made John feel un-comfortable.He remembered his old suit and grey hair,and he wished he hadn't come.
    'You really need this job,don't you,Mr Duncan?'david Wilson said.'You need it a lot.'
    'Yes,I do,'he said quietly.But he thought:I hate you,Wilson.You're enjoying this.You like making people feel small.I hate people like you.
    Wilson's smile grew bigger.He stood up, and held out his hand.'OK,'he said.'When can you start?'
    'What?'John was very surprised.'What did you say?'
    'I said,“When can you start?”,Mr Duncan.We need you in our factory as soon as possible.Will Monday be OK?'
    'You mean I've got the job?'
    'Of course.Congratulations!'Wilson shook John's hand.'My secretary will tell you about your pay.You'll have your own office,and a company car,of course.I'd like you to start work with Mary on Monday.Is that OK?'
    'I…Yes,yes,of course.That's fine.Thank you,thank you very much.'
    
    1 崭新的开始
    
    “邓肯先生吗?请进。威尔逊先生现在要见你。”
    “谢谢。”约翰·邓肯起身胆怯地往门口走。他瘦高个子,大约四十五岁,身着一套灰色旧西服。尽管这套西服已穿了10年,但仍是他最好的西服。他头发灰白,戴一副眼镜,面带忧郁和倦容。
    屋内,一个男人站起来欢迎他。“邓肯先生吗?很高兴见到你。我叫大卫·威尔逊。这是玛丽·卡特,我们其中的一位化学师。”
    约翰·邓肯与他俩握手后坐下。这是一间宽大的办公室,地上铺着厚地毯,墙上悬挂着美丽的画。大卫·威尔逊很年轻,身着一套昂贵的黑色西服,一只手指上戴着一个硕大的金戒指。他对着约翰微笑。
    “我让卡特小姐来是因为她是我们最好的化学师之一。事实上是她发现了我们最美妙的新油漆……我是说,如果你来这里工作,你将与她一起工作。”
    “噢,我明白了。”约翰望着玛丽。她比威尔逊岁数大——也许大约三十五岁,留着棕色短发,长着一副漂亮友善的面孔。她身穿一件白外套,上方的口袋里插着许多钢笔。她友善地对约翰微笑,但约翰却感到痛苦。
    他想:我永远不会得到这份工作。我太老了!雇主们现在想聘更年轻的人。
    大卫·威尔逊正在看一些文件。“我说,邓肯先生,我知道你是一个非常出色的生物学家。”他说道,“你曾在大学工作过,然后又在两家著名的公司干过。但是你作为一个生物学家9年前停止了工作,这是为什么?”
    “在我一生中我永远有两种兴趣,”约翰答道,“生物学和划船。我太太是一位有名的水手……雷切尔·霍斯利……也许你记得她。她独自乘小船环绕世界。”
    “是的,我记得她,”大卫·威尔逊说道。
    “所以我们开始做生意,”约翰说。“我们共同制造小船,并且出售。”
    “生意进展得好吗?”威尔逊问道。
    “一开始很好,然后我们就想造更大更好的船。我们借了太多钱。其后我的太太……”约翰停住了讲话。
    “是的,赛文斯比赛,我现在想起来了,”大卫·威尔逊说道。
    俩人都陷入片刻沉默。威尔逊记起报纸上报道的那场风暴和海上死亡事件。他望着忧伤地坐在他面前的这个人。
    “所以,我太太去世后,”约翰继续说,“我停止了生意,那是5年前的事了。”
    “我明白了,”大卫·威尔逊说,“生意界是很艰难的。”他望着约翰那灰色的旧西服。“这么说你想得到一份生物学家的工作。这是一家化学公司,邓肯先生。我们制造油漆。我们需要一名生物学家以保证工厂的一切都安全。我们需要有人告诉政府在这里工作是安全的,并且告诉他们城市附近有油漆厂也是安全的。这对我们很重要。”
    “如果有什么不安全的,我们当然要改变它,”玛丽·卡特说。大卫·威尔逊看着她,但没有说任何话。
    “是的,我知道。”约翰紧张地说,“我想我能够做。我的意思是,当我在伦敦为哈波化学公司工作时,我……”他谈了两三分钟关于他的工作的事。大卫·威尔逊听着,但没插话,然后他微笑着。那是一种冰冷、严酷的笑,它使约翰感到很不舒服。他想起他的旧西服和灰头发,他后悔来这里。
    “你真的很需要这份工作,是吧,邓肯先生?”大卫·威尔逊说,“你非常迫切地需要它。”
    “是的,”他轻声地回答。但是他想:我恨你,威尔逊。你喜欢看着我的这副样子。你喜欢使人感到渺小,我恨你这样的人。
    威尔逊的笑容变得更灿烂。他站起身,伸出手说:“好吧,你什么时候能开始?”
    “什么?”约翰很惊讶,“你说什么?”
    “我说'你什么时候能开始?'邓肯先生。我们需要你尽快到我们工厂,星期一行吗?”
    “你是说我已得到这份工作了?”
    “当然,祝贺你!”威尔逊握着约翰的手。“我的秘书将告诉你有关你的工资的事,你当然还有自己的办公室和公司配给你的车。我想让你星期一就开始与玛丽一起工作,那样行吗?”
    “我……行,当然可以。这很好,谢谢你,非常感谢。”
    

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