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Frank R. Stockton

The Lady or
the Tiger?

(Part 2/2)


The day of the trial arrived. From far and near the people gathered in the arena and outside its walls. The king and his advisers were in their places, opposite the two doors. All was ready. The sign was given. The door under the king opened and the lover of the princess entered the arena.

outside its walls: fuera de sus muros; advisers: consejeros; the lover: el amante; entered: ingresó a;


Tall, beautiful and fair, his appearance was met with a sound of approval and tension. Half the people had not known so perfect a young man lived among them. No wonder the princess loved him!  What a terrible thing for him to be there!

was met with: fue recibida con; approval and tension: aprobación y tensión; half the people: la mitad del público; so perfect a young man: un joven tan perfecto; no wonder: no era ninguna sorpresa que;


As the young man entered the public arena, he turned to bend to the king. But he did not at all think of the great ruler. The young man's eyes instead were fixed on the princess, who sat to the right of her father.

to bend to the king: para inclinarse ante el rey; think of: pensar en; the great ruler: el gran soberano; instead: en cambio; were fixed: estaban fijos; who sat: que estaba sentada;


From the day it was decided that the sentence of her lover should be decided in the arena, she had thought of nothing but this event.

from the day it was decided: desde el día en que se decidió; the sentence: la condena; thought of nothing but: pensado en otra cosa que no fuera;


The princess had more power, influence and force of character than anyone who had ever before been interested in such a case. She had done what no other person had done. She had possessed herself of the secret of the doors. She knew behind which door stood the tiger, and behind which waited the lady. Gold, and the power of a woman's will, had brought the secret to the princess.

more power: más poder; influence: influencia; she had possessed herself of the secret of the doors: se había adueñado del secreto de las puertas; gold: el oro; a woman's will: la determinación de una mujer;


She also knew who the lady was. The lady was one of the loveliest in the kingdom. Now and then the princess had seen her looking at and talking to the young man.

who the lady was: quien era la mujer; the loveliest in the kingdom: las más encantadoras del reino; now and then: de vez en cuando;


The princess hated the woman behind that silent door. She hated her with all the intensity of the blood passed to her through long lines of cruel ancestors.

hated: odiaba a; silent door: puerta silenciosa; passed to her through long lines of cruel ancestors: heredada de generaciones y generaciones de ancestros crueles;


Her lover turned to look at the princess. His eye met hers as she sat there, paler and whiter than anyone in the large ocean of tense faces around her. He saw that she knew behind which door waited the tiger, and behind which stood the lady. He had expected her to know it.

his eye met hers: su mirada se cruzó con la de ella; paler and whiter than: más pálida y más blanca que; large ocean of tense faces: enorme océano de rostros tensos; around her: que la rodeaban; he had expected her to know it: él había supuesto que ella lo sabía;


The only hope for the young man was based on the success of the princess in discovering this mystery. When he looked at her, he saw that she had been successful, as he knew she would succeed.

the only hope for: la única esperanza de; was based on: radicaba en;


Then his quick and tense look asked the question: "Which?"  It was as clear to her as if he shouted it from where he stood. There was not time to be lost.

quick and tense look: rápida e intensa mirada; there was not time to be lost: no había tiempo que perder;


The princess raised her hand, and made a short, quick movement toward the right. No one but her lover saw it. Every eye but his was fixed on the man in the arena.

raised her hand: levantó su mano; toward the right: hacia la derecha; no one but her lover saw it: nadie excepto su amante lo notó;


He turned, and with a firm and quick step he walked across the empty space. Every heart stopped beating. Every breath was held. Every eye was fixed upon that man. He went to the door on the right and opened it.

every heart stopped beating: todos los corazones dejaron de latir; every breath was held: todos contuvieron el aliento; every eye was fixed upon that man: la vista de todos estaba clavada en ese hombre;


Now, the point of the story is this: Did the tiger come out of that door, or did the lady?

the point of the story: el asunto de la historia;


The more we think about this question, the harder it is to answer. It involves a study of the human heart. Think of it not as if the decision of the question depended upon yourself. But as if it depended upon that hot-blooded princess, her soul at a white heat under the fires of sadness and jealousy. She had lost him, but who should have him?

the more we think: cuanto más pensamos en; the harder it is: más difícil es; it involves: todo esto implica, supone; the human heart: la sensibilidad humana; think of it not as if: piensa en ella no como si; depended upon yourself: dependiese de ti mismo/a; hot-blooded princess: princesa apasionada; under the fires of sadness and jealousy: bajo los fuegos de la tristeza y los celos;


How often, in her waking hours and in her dreams, had she started in wild terror, and covered her face with her hands?  She thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the sharp teeth of the tiger!

how often: cuántas veces; in her waking hours: en sus horas de desvelo; in her dreams: en sus sueños; in wild terror: aterrorizada; the sharp teeth: los filosos dientes;


But how much oftener had she seen him open the other door?  How had she ground her teeth, and torn her hair, when she had seen his happy face as he opened the door of the lady!  How her soul had burned in pain when she had seen him run to meet that woman, with her look of victory. When she had seen the two of them get married. And when she had seen them walk away together upon their path of flowers, followed by the happy shouts of the crowd, in which her one sad cry was lost!

how much oftener: cuántas más veces; had she seen him open: lo había ella observado a él; ground her teeth: apretado sus dientes; torn her hair: arrancado sus cabellos; her soul: su alma; had burned in pain: se había quemado de dolor; her look of victory: su apariencia de vencedora; her one sad cry: su triste lamento;


Would it not be better for him to die quickly, and go to wait for her in that blessed place of the future?  And yet, that tiger, those cries, that blood!

would it not be better for him: no habría sido mejor para él; cries: lamentos; that blood: toda esa sangre;


Her decision had been shown quickly. But it had been made after days and nights of thought. She had known she would be asked. And she had decided what she would answer. And she had moved her hand to the right.

shown quickly: demostrado rápidamente; of thought: de mucho pensar; she would be asked: que sería consultada;


The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered. And it is not for me to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you:

lightly considered: analizado con ligereza; it is not for me to set myself up as the one person: y no pretendo ser la única persona; able to answer it: capaz de resolverlo.


Which came out of the open door – the lady, or the tiger?


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