Английский текст для чтения – 20

Короткий английский текст для практики чтения и перевода.

Tom Sponson, at fifty-three, was a successful man. He had worked up a first-class business, married a charming wife, and built himself a good house in the London suburbs that was neither so modern nor conventional. He had good taste. His son, Bob, nineteen, was doing well at Oxford; his daughter, April, aged sixteen, who was at a good school, had no wish to use make-up, to wear low frocks, or to flirt. She still regarded herself as too young for these amusements. Yet she was gay, affectionate, and thoroughly enjoyed life. All the same, for some time Tom had been aware that he was working very hard for very little. His wife kissed him in the morning when he left for the office and, if she were not at a party, gave him a kiss in the evening when he came home. And it was obvious that her life was completely filled with the children, with her clothes, with keeping her figure slim, with keeping the house clean and smart, with her bridge, her tennis, her friends, and her parties.

The children were even busier – the boy with his own work and his own friends, the girl with hers. They were polite to Tom, but if he came into the room when they were entertaining a friend, there was at once a feeling of constraint. Even if they were alone together, he felt that when he came upon them they were slightly embarrassed, and changed the subject of their conversation, whatever it was. Yet they did not seem to do this when they were with their mother. He would find them all three, for instance, laughing and gaze at him as ifhe had shot up through the floor. lfhe asked what the joke was his wife would say, “You wouldn’t understand” or “Nothing” or “I’ll tell you later,” but she never did tell him later.

He said to himself, “It is only that they don’t need me. I’m in the way.”
One morning when he was just going to get into his car and his wife had come out to say good-bye, he suddenly made an excuse, saying, “Just a moment, I’ve left a letter” and went back to his desk, and then dashed out to the car and drove off, pretending to forget that goodbye had not been said.

After “The Breakout” by Joyce Cary