Unit Seven
第七课
It is often said that cats have nine lives,
通常说猫有九条命。
that they are lucky enough to escape from danger again and again.
他们能幸运的一次又一次的逃离危险。
Here is a science fiction tale about how one such lucky escape by a cat led to a discovery that was able to change the course of people's lives.
这里是一个科幻小说,是关于猫的幸运的。对于这的研究使得人们的生活过程发生了变化。
The problems stemming from the discovery also make interesting reading.
从这些发现中引出的问题也是能使读者感兴趣的。
ZERITSKY'S LAW
齐里茨基法
Ann Griffith
安?格里菲思
Somebody someday will make a study of the influence of animals on history.
总有一天会有人去研究动物对历史的影响。
Among them, Mrs.Graham's cat should certainly be included in any such study.
在这样的研究里,格雷厄姆太太的猫肯定会包括在其中。
It has now been definitely established that the experiences of this cat led to the idea of quick-frozen people,
现在已经确切地证实了,这只猫的经历使人萌发了快速冷冻人体这一想法,
which, in turn, led to the passage of Zeritsky's Law.
而这一想法转而又使齐里茨基法获得了通过。
We must go back to the files of the Los Angeles newspapers for 1950 to find the story.
我们还得回到了1950年,在洛杉矶报纸的合订本中去寻找这个故事。
In brief, a Mrs. Fred C. Graham missed her pet cat on the same day that she put a good deal of food down in her home deep-freeze unit.
简言之,有位弗雷德?C?格雷厄姆太太,把一大堆食品放进了家用冰柜,就在同一天,她的宠物猫失踪了。
She suspected no connection between the two events.
她从来没有认为这两件事之间会有联系。
The cat was not the be found until six days later,
猫直到六星期后才被发现
when its owner went to fetch something from the deep-freeze.
当它的主人去冰箱取东西时。
Much as she loved her pet,
虽然他很爱这宠物,
we may imagine that she was more horrified than grief-stricken at her discovery.
但我们可以想象,发现它时,她的恐惧胜于悲伤。
She lifted the little ice-encased body out of the deep-freeze and set it on the floor.
她把被冰裹着的小躯体拎出冰柜,放在地板上;
Then she managed to run as far as the next door neighbor's house before fainting.
然后,赶在晕倒之前跑到了邻居家。
Mrs. Graham became hysterical after she was revived,
格雷厄姆太太苏醒过来后变得底里;
and it was several hours before she could be quieted enough to persuade anybody that she hadn't made up the whole thing.
好几个小时过去了,她才完全平静下来,说服人们所有事情不是她撰的。
She prevailed upon her neighbor to go back to the house with her.
她劝邻居陪伴她回家。
In front of the deep-freeze they found a small pool of water,
他们在冰柜前发现了一小滩水,
and a wet cat, busily licking itself.
一只湿透的猫正忙忙碌碌舐着自己。
The neighbor subsequently told reporters that the cat was concentrating its licking on one of its hind legs,
邻居后来告诉记者,这只猫正舐着它的后腿。
where some ice still remained,so that she,
上面还有一些冰。
for one, believed the story.
对于他来说是相信这件事的。
A follow-up dispatch, published a week later,
一周以后发表了一篇跟踪报道。
reported that the cat was unharmed by the adventure.
报道说,那次冒险经历,未使猫受到伤害。
Further, Mrs. Graham was quoted as saying that the cat had had a large meal just before its disappearance;
报道进一步引用格雷厄姆太太的话说,这只猫在失踪之前曾大吃了一顿。
that as soon after its rescue as it had dried itself off,
它一得救,身上一干,
it took a long nap, precisely as it always did after a meal;
便睡了很大一会,跟它往常吃饭后的行为一模一样,
and that it was not hunger again until evening.
而且直到晚上它都没有再饿。
It was clear from the accounts that the life processes had been stopped dead in their tracks,
生命的进程突然完全中止,
and had, after defrosting, resumed at exactly the point where they left off.
而在解冻之后,生命正好在曾经中止的地方重新开始,这一点报道中作了明确的叙述。
Perhaps it is unfair to put all the responsibility on one luckless cat.
也许把所有的责任推给一只不幸的猫不公平。
Had such a thing happened anywhere else in the country,
这种事如果发生在国内其它任何地方,
it would have been talked about, believed by a few,
都会成为人们的谈资。只有少数人信,
disbelieved by most, and forgotten.
多数人不信,接着人们也就会将它遗忘。
But it happened in Los Angeles.
然而它却发生在洛杉矶。
There, and probably only there,the event was anything but forgotten;
在那个地方,可能也只有在那个地方,这件事根本没被人忘记。
the principles it revealed became the basis of a hugely successful business.
它所揭示的原理为一种极为成功的生意打下了基础。
How shall we regard the Zeritsky Brothers?
我们该怎样自待齐里茨基兄弟?
As archvillains or pioneers?
是罪魁祸首还是开拓者?
In support of the latter view,
如果赞成后一种看法,
it must be admitted that the spirit of inquiry and the willingness to risk the unknown were indisputably theirs.
我们就必须承认,他们无疑是具有探索精神和心甘情愿到未知领域去冒险的精神。
However, their pioneering if we agree to call it that
然而,他们的开拓精神??如果我们同意这样说的话??
was equally indisputably, bound up with the quest for a fast buck.
同样毫无疑问与寻找快速捞钞票的门道有紧密联系。
Some of their first clients paid as high as 15,000 for the initial freezing,
在他们的第一批顾客中,有的支付了高达一万五千美元的首次冷冻费
and the exorbitant rate of 1,000 per year as a storage charge.
和每年一千美元的昂贵的储存费。
The Zeritsky Brothers woned and managed one of the largest quick-freezing plants in the world,
齐氏兄弟拥有并经营的这家工厂,是全世界最大的快速冷冻厂之一。
and it was their claim that converting the freezing equipment and storage facilities to accommodate humans was extremely expensive,
他们宣称道,把冷冻设备改为储藏设备来装人,花费极高,
hence the high rates.
所以收费也随之而高。
When the early clients who paid these rates were defrosted years later,
那些付过这些高额费用的早期顾客们数年之后解冻了,
and found other clients receiving the same services for as little as $3,000,
当他们发现其他顾客只交三千美元就获得了同样的服务。
they threatened a row and the Zeritskys made substantial refunds.
他们扬言要公开抗议。齐里茨基兄弟为此支付了一笔巨额退款。
By that time they could easily afford it,
这时的齐氏兄弟已经能够轻而易举地付出这笔钱。
and since any publication about their enterprise was unwelcome to them,
而且,因为他们不欢迎对他们企业的任何宣传,
all refunds were made without a whimper.
所有的退款都是毫无怨言地付出的。
3,000 became the standard rate,
三千美元成了标准价,
with 100 per year the storage charge, and no charge for defrosting.
外加每年一百美元的储存费,解冻时不另收费。
The Zeritskys were businessmen, first and last.
齐里茨基兄弟是彻头彻尾的生意人。
Anyone who had the fee could put himself away for whatever period of time he wished,
只要付了钱,任何人都可以把自己冷藏起来,想多久就多久,
and no questions asked.
他们不会问任何问题。
The ironclad rule was that full payment had to be made in advance.
所有费用必须预先支付,这是铁的规定。
Criminals were the first to apply for quick-freezing,
罪犯是第一批申请快速冷冻的顾客。
and formed the mainstay of the Zeritskys' business through the years.
在过去的年月里,他们构成了齐里茨基兄弟主意的主体。
What more easy than to rob, hide the loot ( except for that all-important advance apyment ),
抢劫之后,把赃物藏起来(留出至关重要的那笔必须预先支付的款项),
present yourself to the Zeritskys and remain in their admirable chambers for five or ten years,
然后到齐里茨基兄弟那里,在他们美妙的冷藏室呆上五年或是十年。
emerge to find the hue and cry long since died down and the crime forgotten,
出来时发现当年追捕他们的叫喊声早已不复存在,他们的罪行已被遗忘。
recover your haul and live out your life in luxury?
他们取出赃物,奢侈地度过余生。
Due to the shady character of most of their patrons,
由于他们的顾客大多声名狼藉,
the Zeritskys kept all records by a system of numbers.
齐里茨基兄弟便用一套数字来记录所有的档案。
Names never appeared on the books, and anonymity was guaranteed.
姓名从不在登记册上出现,保证不让人知道。
Law enforcement agents, looking for fugitives from justice,
寻找逃犯的执法人员,
found no way to break down this system,
既想不出办法来破除这套体系,
nor any law which they could interpret as making it illegal to quick-freeze.
也找不到法律条文来证明快速冷冻为非法行为。
Perhaps the truth is that they did not search too diligently for a law that could be made to apply.
也许,事实是,他们并没有认真地去寻找可以适用的法律。
As long as the Zeritskys kept things quiet and did not advertise or attract public attention,
只要齐里茨基兄弟保持缄默,不做广告,也不引起公众的注意,
they could safely continue their bizarre business.
他们就可以安全地继续从事那种奇特的生意。
City officials of Los Angeles,
洛杉矶的市政官员,
and particularly members of the police force,
尤其是警察,
enjoyed a period of unparalleled prosperity.
享受了一段从未有过的好日子。
and retire forever from the arduous task of earning a living.
于是,他们便永远地告别那份谋生计的辛苦工作。
Even with a goodly part of the population of Los Angeles as permanent pensioners,
尽管洛杉矶有相当一部分人成为永久的补贴对象,
the Zeritsky fortune grew to incredible proportions.
齐里茨基兄弟的财产还是增长到令人难以置信的地步。
By the time the Zeritsky Brothers died and left the business to their sons,
到他们去世,把生意传给儿子们的时候,
it was a gold mine, and an inexhaustible one at that.
它已是一座金矿,而且是一座用之不竭的金矿。
Next to criminals, the majority of people who applied for quick-freeZing seem to have been husbands or wives caught in insupportable marital situations.
除罪犯之外,大多数申请快速冷冻的人似乎都是些陷于难以维持的婚姻困境中的丈夫或妻子。
Their experiences were subsequently written up in the confession magazines.
后来,他们的经历被详细地写进了忏悔杂志。
It was usually the husband who fled to Los Angeles and incarcerated himself for an appropriate number of years,
通常是丈夫逃到洛杉矶,自闭适当的时间,
at the end of which time his unamiable spouse wold have died or made other arrangements.
出来后,他那不温柔的妻子早已去世或另作了安排。
If we can believe the magazines, this scheme worked out very well in most cases.
如果我们相信这些杂志,那么这个计划在大多数情况下都会让人非常满意。
The sins of the fathers may be visited on the sons,
父辈们所犯下的罪孽可能会报应到子辈们身上,
but how often we see repeated the old familiar pattern of the sons destroying the lifework of the fathers!
但是我们常常看到的是子辈们断送了你辈们的毕生事业,这一古老而熟悉的模式不断反复着!
The Zeritsky Brothers were fanatically meticulous.
齐里茨基兄弟都是极为谨慎之人。
They supervised every detail of their operations,
他们监督操作程序中的每一个细节,
and kept their records with an elaborate system of checks and doublechecks.
并用一套反复核实的详尽系统记录档案。
They were shrewd enough to realize that complete dependability was essential to their business.
他们相当精明,深知自己的生意必须有绝对的可靠性。
A satisfied Zeritsky client was a silent client.
满意的齐氏顾客才会是沉默的顾客。
One dissatisfied client would be enough to blow the business apart.
一名不满意的顾客就足以毁掉他们的整个生意。
The sons, in their greed, over-expanded to the point where they could not,
齐里茨基兄弟的子辈们由于贪婪,过分扩张生意,
even among the four of them, personally supervise each and every detail.
以致他们四兄弟也无法亲自监督每一个细
 

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