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The Last Leaf – Part 3
Old Behrman was a painter who lived on the ground floor of the apartment building. Behrman was a failure in art. For years, he had always been planning to paint a work of art, but had never yet begun it. He earned a little money by serving as a model to artists who could not pay for a professional model. He was a fierce, little, old man who protected the two young women in the studio apartment above him.
Sue found Behrman in his room. In one area was a blank canvas that had been waiting twenty-five years for the first line of paint. Sue told him about Johnsy and how she feared that her friend would float away like a leaf.
Old Behrman was angered at such an idea. “Are there people in the world with the foolishness to die because leaves drop off a vine? Why do you let that silly business come in her brain?”
“She is very sick and weak,” said Sue, “and the disease has left her mind full of strange ideas.”
“This is not any place in which one so good as Miss Johnsy shall lie sick,” yelled Behrman. “Some day I will paint a masterpiece, and we shall all go away.”
Johnsy was sleeping when they went upstairs. Sue pulled the shade down to cover the window. She and Behrman went into the other room. They looked out a window fearfully at the ivy vine. Then they looked at each other without speaking. A cold rain was falling, mixed with snow. Behrman sat and posed as the miner.
The next morning, Sue awoke after an hour’s sleep. She found Johnsy with wide-open eyes staring at the covered window.
“Pull up the shade; I want to see,” she ordered, quietly.
After the beating rain and fierce wind that blew through the night, there yet stood against the wall one ivy leaf. It was the last one on the vine. It was still dark green at the center. But its edges were colored with the yellow. It hung bravely from the branch about seven meters above the ground.
(By O. Henry)
Begun (begin) شروع کردن
Protect حمایت کردن
Blank خالی و سفید
Canvas بوم نقاشی
Masterpiece کار استادانه, شاهکار
Obey اطاعت کردن