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#128: Gold, Land Drive Settlers West

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Gold miners in California
Gold miners in California

FAITH LAPIDUS: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

Soon after the Civil War ended in eighteen sixty-five, thousands of Americans began to move west to settle the land. The great movement of settlers continued for almost forty years. The great empty West, in time, became fully settled. The discovery of gold had already started a great movement to California.

美国内战于1865年结束后不久,成千上万的美国人开始涌向西部,开发那里大片的土地。这一大规模的西部拓殖运动持续了将近四十年。原本广袤荒芜的西部没过多久就住满了移民。而在加利福尼亚发现的金矿也吸引很多人去淘金。

This week in our series, Robert Bostic and Leo Scully tell about the gold rush and the important part cowboys played in settling the West.

ROBERT BOSTIC: Men had rushed to the gold fields with hopes of becoming rich. A few found gold. The others found only hard work and high prices.

人们怀着发财梦涌向金矿,虽然少数人找到了金子,但等待大部分人的只有艰苦的工作和高昂的物价。

When their money was gone, they gave up the search for gold. But they stayed in California to become farmers or businessmen or laborers.

身上的钱都花光了之后,他们放弃了寻找黄金的梦。但他们留在了加州,成了当地的农民、生意人或劳工。

Some never gave up the search for riches. They moved back toward the east, searching for gold and silver in the wild country between California and the Mississippi river. Men found gold and silver in Nevada, and then in the Idaho and Montana territories. Other gold strikes were made in the Arizona territory, in Colorado and in the Dakota territory.

当然,也有一些人始终没有放弃发财梦,他们掉头向东,在加利福尼亚和密西西比河之间的荒野寻找黄金和白银。人们先在内华达、后来又在爱达荷和蒙塔那地区发现了金子和银子。还有人在亚利桑那、科罗拉多和达科他地区发现了黄金。

LEO SCULLY: Each new gold rush brought more people from the east. Mining camps quickly grew into towns with stores, hotels, even newspapers. Most of these towns, however, lived only as long as gold was easy to find. Then they began to die.

每一次新的淘金热出现,就会把大量的人从东部吸引到西部。采矿营地也迅速发展成了拥有商店、旅店甚至地区报纸的小城镇。不过,绝大多数这样的城镇只在淘金热旺盛期才存在,一旦金子变得不好找,这些城镇也就衰败了。

In some of the gold centers, big mining companies bought up all the land from those who first claimed it. These companies brought in mining machines that could dig out the gold from deep underground and separate it from the rock that held it.

在一些金矿区,大金矿公司把成片的土地从最早一批地主那里全部买下。这些公司带来了采矿机械,能够在地下很深的地方采掘,然后从金矿石中分离出金子。

These companies needed equipment and other supplies. Transportation companies were formed. They carried supplies to the mining camps in huge wagon trains pulled by slow-moving oxen. Roads were built, and in some places, railroads.

这些公司需要设备和其它供给,于是运输公司应运而生。它们靠牛拉大车,一点点地把矿业公司所需的供给缓慢地运来。人们随之修筑了道路,甚至在一些地方建起了铁路。

ROBERT BOSTIC: The great wealth taken from the gold and silver mines was usually invested in other businesses: shipping, railroads, factories, stores, land companies. More jobs were created in the West. And living conditions got better. More and more people decided to leave the crowded East for a new life in the West.

从金、银矿中获得大量的财富通常又被投资到其它行业中,如海运、铁路、工厂、商店和土地。这样,西部就出现了更多的就业机会,生活条件也有所改善。于是,越来越多的人决定离开拥挤的东部,到西部开始新生活。

But the big eastern cities continued to grow. New factories and industrial centers were built. People moved from the farms to find work in the cities.

东部的大城市也继续发展,出现了新的工厂和工业中心。人们离开农田,涌向城市找工作。

LEO SCULLY: The growth of these industrial centers created a big demand for food, especially meat. Chicago quickly became the heart of the meat industry. Railroads brought animals to Chicago, where packing companies killed them and prepared the meat for eastern markets.

这些工业中心的发展带来了对食品、特别是肉产品的大量需求。而芝加哥迅速成为了肉制品的加工中心。铁路把家禽家畜运到芝加哥,那里的包装公司将它们宰杀,做成肉制品,销售到东部市场。

Special railroad cars kept the meat cold, so it would remain fresh until sold. As the meat industry grew, the demand for fresh meat increased. More and more cattle were needed.

一些特殊的火车车厢能够使肉制品保持低温,这样,这些肉上市时仍然是新鲜的。随着肉品工业的发展,人们对鲜肉的需求也在增长,这就需要越来越多的牛。

ROBERT BOSTIC: There were millions of cattle in Texas, but no way to get them to the eastern markets. The closest point on the railroad was Sedalia, Missouri, more than one thousand kilometers away. Some cattlemen believed it might be possible to walk cattle to the railroad, letting them feed on the open grassland along the way.

在德克萨斯有数百万头牛,但人们没法把这些牛运到东部的市场。最近的火车站在密苏里州的锡代利亚,有一千多公里远。有些养牛户想,如果一路赶着牛,让牛在沿途的草地上吃草,这样走到火车站,也许可行。

Early in eighteen sixty-six, a group of Texas cattlemen decided to try this. They put together a huge herd of more than two hundred sixty-thousand cattle and set out for Sedalia.

于是,1866年初,一些德州养牛户决定一试。他们赶着26万多头牛,向锡代利亚出发。

LEO SCULLY: There were many problems on that first cattle drive. The country was rough; grass and water sometimes hard to find. Bandits and Indians followed the herd trying to steal cattle. Farmers had put up fences in some areas, blocking the way.

这初次尝试遇到了许多问题:农村很荒凉;草地和水有时很难找到;土匪和印第安人跟踪牛群,伺机偷牛;有些地方的农场主还把农场用栅栏围起来,阻挡了牛群的路。

Most of the great herd was lost along the way. But the cattlemen believed they had proved that cattle could be walked long distances to the railroad. They believed a better way to the railroad could be found, with plenty of grass and water.

这一大群牛大部分都在路上走丢了、死了。但养牛户们相信,他们已经证明,长途赶牛到火车站是行得通的。他们觉得,一定能找到一条更好的、有大量草地和水的道路,通往火车站。

Union Pacific Railroad officials have their picture taken in Nebraska Territory, 1866, during railway construction
Union Pacific Railroad officials have their picture taken in Nebraska Territory, 1866, during railway construction

ROBERT BOSTIC: The cattlemen got the Kansas Pacific Railroad to extend its line west to Abilene, Kansas. There was a good trail from Texas to Abilene. Cattlemen began moving their herds up this trail across the Oklahoma territory and into Kansas. At Abilene, the cattle were put on trains and carried to Chicago.

牛农们找到了堪萨斯太平洋铁路公司,让公司向西部加修铁路,一直延伸到了堪萨斯的阿比林。而从德州到阿比利尼有一条比较好走的小路,叫奇舍姆。于是,牛农们开始沿着这条路赶牛,经过俄克拉荷马进入堪萨斯。到了阿比林之后,牛农们把牛赶上火车,运到芝加哥。

In the next four years, more than one-and-a-half-million cattle were moved north over the Chisholm trail to Kansas. Other trails were found as the railroad moved farther west.

在后来的四年里,超过150万头牛经过奇舍姆小路北上进入堪萨斯。随着铁路线继续向西延伸,人们还发现了更多好走的运牛小路。

LEO SCULLY: Trail drives usually began with the spring "round-up."Cattlemen would send out cowboys to search the open grasslands for their animals.

这样的赶牛之旅一般都从春天开始。牛农们派牛仔帮他们寻找开阔的草场。

As the cattle were brought in, the young animals were branded -- marked to show who owned them. Then they were released with their mothers to spend another year in the open country.

等牛来到草场后,牛仔们在小牛身上打上烙印,表明它们的主人是谁。然后,牛仔们让这些小牛和它们的母亲一起,在广阔的草场呆上一年。

The other cattle were put together for the long drive to Kansas. Usually, they were moved in groups of twenty-five hundred to five thousand animals. Twelve to twenty cowboys took them up the trail.

其它牛则被集中起来,踏上通往堪萨斯的漫漫长路。通常,每个牛群有2500头至5000头牛,由12到20名牛仔负责赶牛。

ROBERT BOSTIC: The cowboys worked hard on a trail drive. They had to keep the herd together day and night and protect it from bad men and Indians. They had to keep the cattle from moving too fast or running away. If they moved too fast, they would lose weight, and their owner would not get as much money for them.

牛仔的工作非常辛苦,他们要不分昼夜地把牛赶在一起,还要时刻确保牛群不受坏人或印第安人的侵扰。他们不能让牛走得太快,不能让牛逃跑。因为如果牛走得太快,它们的体重就会下降,这样就卖不出好价钱了。

The cowboys would walk the cattle only twenty to thirty kilometers a day. The cattle could feed all night and part of the morning before starting each day. If the grass was good, and the herd moved slowly, the cattle would get heavier and bring more money.

牛仔们每天只能赶牛二、三十公里。每天出发前,要让牛整夜加大半个早晨埋头吃草。在水草丰美的地方,牛仔会让牛群慢慢走,这样可以把牛喂得更肥,多卖一些钱。

LEO SCULLY: In the early eighteen eighties, the price of cattle rose to fifty dollars each, and many cattlemen became rich. Business was so good that a five thousand dollar investment in the cattle industry could make forty-five thousand dollars in four years.

在十九世纪八十年代初,牛的价格上涨到每头五十美元,许多牛农发了财。养牛很赚钱,投入五千美元,在四年内就能挣到四万五千美元。

More and more people began raising cattle. And early cattlemen greatly increased the size of their herds. Within a few years, there was not enough grass for all the cattle, especially along the trails. There was so much meat that the price began to fall.

于是,越来越多的人开始养牛,而老牛农们大大增加了养牛的规模。在几年内,已经没有足够多的草地来养这些牛了,特别是在铁路沿线。市场上的牛肉过多,肉价开始下跌。

ROBERT BOSTIC: There were two severe winters that killed hundreds of thousands of cattle. An extremely dry summer killed the grass, and thousands more died of hunger. The cattle industry itself almost died.

后来,有两年的冬天异常寒冷,几十万头牛被冻死。随后又有一年夏天大旱,很多草干死,结果成千上万的牛又被饿死。整个养牛业几乎到了崩溃的边缘。

Cattlemen also had problems with farmers and sheepmen. Farmers coming west would claim grassland used by the cattle growers. They would put up fences and plow up the land to plant crops. Other settlers brought huge herds of sheep to compete with cattle for the grass, and the sheep always won. Cattle would not eat grass where sheep had eaten.

牛农还和农民及羊农产生了矛盾。来到西部的农民声称拥有土地所有权,而这些土地是牛农养牛用的。农民们在土地周围竖起栅栏,还耕作土地种庄稼。其他一些定居者则带来了很多羊,牛和羊争夺草地,通常赢的都是羊。因为在羊吃过草的地方,牛就不会吃了。

Violence broke out. Cattle growers fought the farmers and sheepmen for control of the land. The cattlemen finally had to settle land of their own, putting up fences and cutting the size of their herds. They no longer could let their cattle run free on public lands.

暴力也就随之发生。牛农为了控制土地而与农民和羊农发生争斗。结果,牛农不得不划定自己的土地,并用栅栏围起来,同时削减牛的数量。他们再也不能在公共土地上随意放牧了。

LEO SCULLY: By the late eighteen hundreds, the years of the cowboys were ending. But the story of the cowboy and his difficult life would not be forgotten. Even today, the cowboy lives in movies, on television, and in books.

到十九世纪后期,牛仔的时代行将结束。但牛仔们的故事和他们艰苦的生活却没有被人们遗忘。即使在今天,我们依然会在电影、电视和书本上看到他们的身影。

When one thinks of the "Wild West" of America, he does not think of the miners who opened the way to the West. Nor does he think of the men who struggled to build the first railroads across the wild land. And one does not think of the farmers who pushed slowly westward to fence, plow, and plant the land.

当一个人想到美国的"狂野西部"时,他可能不会想到打开通往西部之路的矿工,也可能不会想到修建第一条横贯美国的铁路的工人,也可能不会想到那些慢慢西进,围起土地,耕作种田的农民。

ROBERT BOSTIC: The words "Wild West" bring to mind just one character: the cowboy. His difficult fight to protect his cattle on the long trail was an exciting story. It has been told by many writers. Perhaps the best-known was a young easterner, Owen Wister. He worked as a cattleman for several years, then wrote about the heroic life of the cowboy in a book called "The Virginian."

"狂野西部"只意味着一个经典的形象,那就是牛仔。他们在漫长的道路上为保护牛群而艰苦战斗的故事总是让人们激动万分。许多作家都着笔描述牛仔的故事。也许其中最著名的是一位来自东部的年轻作家,他叫欧文·威斯特,他曾经养过几年牛,后来在《维吉尼亚人》这本书中描写了牛仔的英雄事迹。

Another easterner who came west to learn about the cowboy was the artist Frederick Remington. Remington was a cowboy for only two years. But he spent the rest of his life painting pictures of the west and writing about it. His exciting works made the west and the cowboy come to life for millions who never saw a real cowboy.

另一位从东岸来到西部了解牛仔生活的是画家弗雷德里克.雷明顿。雷明顿只当过两年牛仔,但他此后的一生都在创作以西部为题材的绘画和书籍。他那激动人心的作品使无数从没看到过真正牛仔的人领略到了美国的西部风情和牛仔文化。

LEO SCULLY: The cowboy has also lived in music. He had his own kind of songs that told of his problems, his hopes, and his feelings. That will be our story next week.

牛仔形象还活跃在音乐中。牛仔们有自己的歌曲,这些歌曲讲述他们的问题、希望和感受。

(MUSIC)

FAITH LAPIDUS: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Robert Bostic and Leo Scully. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, are at www.unsv.com. You can also follow us on Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #128

网友的学习评论(3条):
作者:雄雄
For now, the cowboy lives in movies,lives in music, and television, and in books. Stories of the cowboy and their difficult life would not be forgotten. Their difficult fight to protect their cattle on the long trail ,and their problems, and their hopes, and their feelings were the exciting stories, made the "Wild West" and the cowboy come to life for millions who never saw a real cowboy. I like it very much, like them very much!
作者:Ronald
Through tis artical,I knew a lot of the American history,for example, the gold rush and the importance rule cowboys played in the histoy of the west.
作者:郑烈波
WONDERFULL.LIVING IS HARD.LIFE IS GREAT.
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