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不,我爱的人是你

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Edward Wellman bade good-bye to his family in the old country headed for a better life in America. Papa handed him the family's savings hidden in a leather satchel. "Times are desperate here," he said, hugging his son goodbye. "You are our hope."

 

Edward boarded the Atlantic freighter(货船) offering free transport to young men willing to shovel(铲) coal in return for the month-long journey. If Edward struck gold in the Colorado Rockies, the rest of the family could eventually join him.

 

For months, Edward worked his claim tirelessly, and the small vein of gold provided a moderate but steady income. Leaving Ingrid behind before he could officially court her had been his only regret in accepting this American adventure. He had secretly hoped to make Ingrid his wife. Finally, he wrote to Papa, asking him to help make this dream come true.

 

After nearly a year, a telegraph came with a plan to make his life complete. Mr. Henderson had agreed to send his daughter to Edward in America. Because she was a hardworking young woman with a good mind for business, she would work alongside Edward for a year to help the mining business grow. By then both families could afford to come to America for their wedding.

 

Edward's heart soared with joy as he spent the next month trying to make the cabin into a home. At last, the day he had been waiting for his whole life arrived. With a bouquet of fresh-picked daisies in hand, he left for the train depot(仓库,停车场). Steam billowed and wheels screeched as the train crawled to a stop.

 

His heart beat with eager anticipation, then stopped with a sinking thud. Not Ingrid, but her older sister Marta, stepped down from the train.

 

Edward only stared - dumbfounded. Then with shaking hands he offered Marta the bouquet. "Welcome," he whispered, his eyes burning. A smile etched across her plain face.

 

"I was pleased when Papa said you sent for me," Marta said, looking into his eyes briefly, before dropping her head again.

 

"I'll get your bags, "Edward said with a fake smile. Together they headed for the buggy(双轮单座轻马车).

 

Mr. Henderson and Papa were right. Marta did have a great grasp of business. Within 6 months, their assets doubled.

 

Her delicious meals and quiet smile graced the cabin with a wonderful woman's touch. But the wrong woman, Edward mourned as he collapsed onto his cot each night. Why did they send Marta? Would he ever see Ingrid again? Was his lifelong dream to have her as his wife forsaken?

 

For a year, Marta and Edward worked and played and laughed, but never loved. Once, Marta had kissed Edward on the cheek before retiring to her room. He only smiled awkwardly. From then on, she seemed content with their exhilarating hikes in the mountains and long talks on the porch after suppers.

 

One spring afternoon, torrential rains washed down the hillside, eroding the entrance to their mine. Furiously, Edward filled sand bags and stacked them in the water's path. Suddenly there was Marta at his side holding the next burlap bag open. Edward shoveled sand inside, then with the strength of any man, Marta hurled it onto the pile and opened another bag… For hours they worked, knee-deep in mud, until the rains diminished.

 

Hand in hand, they walked back to the cabin. Over warm soup Edward sighed, "I never could have saved the mine without you. Thank you, Marta."

 

"You're welcome," she answered with her usual smile, then went quietly to her room. A few days later, a telegraph came announcing the arrival of the Henderson and Wellman families next week. As much as he tried to stifle it, the thought of seeing Ingrid again started Edward's heart beating in the old familiar way.

 

Together, he and Marta went to the train station. They watched as their families exited the train at the far end of the platform. When Ingrid appeared, Marta turned to Edward. "Go to her," she said.

 

Astonished, Edward stammered, "What do you mean?"

 

"Edward, I have always known I was not the Henderson girl you intended to send for. I had watched you flirt with Ingrid at the church picnics. I know it is she, not me, you desire for your wife." "But ..."

 

Marta placed her fingers over his lips. "Shhh," she hushed him. "I do love you, Edward. I always have. And because of that, all I really want is your happiness. Go to her." As she gazed up at him, he saw for the first time how very beautiful she was. He recalled their walks in the meadows, their quiet evenings before the fire, her working beside him with the sandbags. It was then he realized what he had known for months. "No, Marta. It is you I want." Sweeping her into his arms, he kissed her with all the love bursting inside him. Their families gathered around them chorusing(合唱), "We are here for the wedding!"


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