Wu Ting
How would you interpret these two lines? MR. RAVENNER (the counsel): They hired you to carry crates (of paintings) across the border into the United States. Where you have now remained nearly ten years. My documents say there were eight crates altogether, some of them too large for a man to lift by himself. MR. SHEPHERD (the defendant): That’s right. We used hand trucks to get them off the trains. MR. RAVENNER: Did you know precisely what you were transporting? Did you pack these crates yourself? MR. SHEPHERD: No. I had a roster with the names of the paintings. MR. RAVENNER: You smuggled large crates of unknown content into this country? From the headquarters of some of the most dangerous Communists in any country touching our borders. Is that correct? (The defendant conferred briefly with the identified friend, Arthur Gold.) MR. SHEPHERD: Congressmen, nothing exploded. MR. WOOD (the president of the hearing): What say? MR. SHEPHERD: I delivered artworks. You’re hinting at a crime that was not committed.How would you interpret these two lines: MR. SHEPHERD: Congressmen, nothing exploded. MR. WOOD: What say? Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.
Jul 12, 2015 3:13 AM
Answers · 2
MR. SHEPHERD: Congressmen, nothing exploded. Mr Shepherd is attempting to rebut the insinuation from Mr Ravener that he smuggled in dangerous goods. By saying 'nothing exploded' he is suggesting that there were no bombs or explosives in the crates - ie. nothing dangerous, just artworks. "What say" is just a shortened version of the query, "what did he/you say"? Shepherd's answer to the question was obviously a bit unexpected, and it seems the President either didn't hear him, or was so surprised by the answer that he wanted him to repeat it to be sure he heard correctly.
July 12, 2015
By mentioning 'large crates of unknown content...From..dangerous Communists', Ravenner is suggesting that the boxes could have contained all sorts of dangerous items, particularly weapons. By saying 'nothing exploded' - he is saying that they didn't contain explosives - they were not weapons, but artworks. "What say?" seems odd to me. It could either be 'What, for example?', or reversed way of saying 'Say what?' as in 'I don't understand, or please repeat'. My guess is the first. He is asking what didn't explode, again suggesting there may have been an explosive.
July 12, 2015
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Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English