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2003年05月15日09:11:15 中青在线 

  The boy was running home after school when he fell and skinned his knee. It was only a scratch--there wasn't even a torn place in his trousers--but by night the knee started to hurt. He thought it was nothing much. He was13and a boy of the frontier. Frontiermen didn't complain about such little things. Ignoring the pain, he got down on his knees to say his prayers. Then he climbed into bed in the room where he and his five brothers slept.


  His leg was painful the next morning, but he still did not tell anyone. The farm kept the whole family busy. Always he had to be up at six to do his chores before school. And he must do them well or he would be sent back to do them over again. In that house, you did what you were told todo. His parents were always fair, but they were also firm.


  Two mornings later his leg hurt too much for him to go out to the barn to do his chores. It was Sunday, and he stayed at home while the rest of the family drove to town. He rested until his brothers came home.


  Mother and Father did not come home with the boys because Sunday was parents'day off. The boys cooked Sunday dinner while Father and Mother stayed in town for the church service.


  By the time his parents come home, the boy had climbed into bed. The shoe had to be cut off his swollen leg and foot.″Why didn't he tellme?″his mother cried.″Go quickly and bring the doctor!″


  Mother wrapped the leg in wet cloth. She also put wet cloth on his hot forehead. But even with that swollen leg before her, she remained calm. Mother had nursed her boys through many cuts and illnesses.


  Old Dr.Conklin looked at the leg and shook his head.″Idon't think we can saveit.″


  The sick boy sat up in bed.″What does thatmean?″he asked.″It means,″explained the doctor gently,″if it gets worse we'll have to take itoff.″


  ″No!″shouted the boy.″Iwon't let you!I'd ratherdie!″

  “不!”男孩喊道:“我不同意!我宁愿去死!”″The longer we wait, the more we'll have to takeoff,″said the doctor.


  ″You won't take anyoff!″The boy's voice broke as a young boy's voice willdo, and his mother turned away to hide her tears. But there was nothing at all young in the boy's eyes as he looked straight at the doctor.


  Dr.Conklin left the room, nodding to the mother to follow him. As he stood outside the door explaining to both parents what probably would happen, they could hear the boy calling for his brother,″Ed!Ed!Come up here, willyou?″


  The brother hurriedin. Then they heard the sick boy's voice, loud and high with pain,″If I go out of my head,Ed, don't let them cut off my leg. Promiseme, Ed--promise!″


  In a moment Ed came out and ran to the kitchen. When he returned, his mother said,″Ed,what is your brother askingfor?″


  ″A fork--to bite on to keep from screaming!″


  Then Ed stood outside the bedroom door, with his arms folded across his chest. Quite clearly he was standing on guard.


  Ed looked straight at old Dr.Conklin.″Nobody is going to cut off thatleg!″he said.


  ″But, Ed--you'll be sorry,″gasped the doctor.


  ″Maybeso, Doctor. But I promisedhim.″


  If Ed had not remained firmly on guard, Father and Mother might have said″yes″.They were not yet sure that an amputation was necessary, but it mightbe. The surprising thing, though, was the way the sick boy and Ed were acting. Children of this family just didn't say″no″to their parents or to the family doctor. But there wasEd, standing before the bedroom door.


  ″I think we'll just wait and see how he looks tonight. All right, doctor?″said the father.


  For two days and nights Ed stayed there, sleeping on the floor in front of the door, not leaving even to eat. The fever rose higher, and the sick boy began to talk wildly--he was out of his head. But the older brother showed no weakening. Ed remained firm because he had given his promise.


  The parents knew that their sick son would never forgive an amputation. And Ed's attitude continued to decide the question, time after time, when the doctor returned. Finally, in helpless anger, Dr.Conklin shouted,″You're letting himdie!″and walked out of the house. Nothing but a miracle could save the boy now!Mother, Father and Ed all had the same thought as their eyes turned away from the door. Had they forgotten their faith in God?The sick boy's grandfather, a strong and inspiring old farmer, had always believed in healings that came through faith. Now, in this terrible hour, the three went down on their knees at the bedside.


  They prayed, first one and then another leading the prayer. Father, Mother--and at last Ed--would leave to do the chores and then return. During the second night the other four brothers took part in the prayers.


  The next morning, when the doctor stopped by again, he saw a change. The swelling was going down!Dr.Conklin closed his eyes and said a prayer of thanks. Even after the boy went to sleep, one member of the family watched and prayed.


  It was night again when the boy opened his eyes. The swelling was down now. In three weeks--thin and weak, but with eyes clear and strong--the boy could stand on his legs.


  And Dwight D.Eisenhower was ready to face life.


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