After the funeral, Joe and Bert revealed a secret which they had kept for over fifty years. Eric had been the eldest son of the family. He had been obliged to join the army during the first World War. As he hated army life he decided to desert his regiment. When he learnt that he would be sent abroad, he returned to the farm and his farther hid him until the end of the war. Fearing the authorities, Eric remained in hiding after the war as well. His father told everybody that Eric had been killed in action. The only other people who knew the secret were Joe and Bert. They did not even tell their wives. When their father died, they thought it their duty to keep Eric in hiding. All these years, Eric had lived as a recluse. He used to sleep during the day and work at night, quite unaware of the fact that he had become the ghost of Endley. When he died, however, his brothers found it impossible to keep the secret any longer.
葬礼之后，乔和鲍勃透露了他们保守了长达 50 多年的秘密。埃里克是这家长子。年龄比他两个弟弟大很多，第二次世界大战期间被迫参军。他讨厌军旅生活，决定逃离所在部队。当他了解自己将被派遣出国时，他逃回农场，父亲把他藏了起来，直到战争结束。由于害怕当局，埃里克战后继续深藏不露。他的父亲告诉大家，埃里克在战争中被打死了。除此之外，只有乔与鲍知道这个秘密。但他俩连自己的妻子都没告诉。父亲死后，他们兄弟俩认为有责任继续把埃里克藏起来。这些年来，埃里克过着隐士生活，白天睡觉，夜里出来干活，一点不知道自己已成了恩得利家场的活鬼。他死后，他的弟弟们才觉得无法再保守这个秘密了。
be obliged to
join the army
desert his regiment
be sent abroad
American stockmarkets swiftly recovered from their drubbing on the first trading day of the year, their worst decline since October. Share indices had fallen amid the news about rapidly spreading virulent strains of COVID-19, but investors soon shrugged off those concerns. The s&p 500 index gained 16% over the whole of last year, and the nasdaq—bouyed by tech firms—44%. (The big losers were energy shares, which dropped by almost 40% in 2020.) China’s stockmarkets are also on a roll. The CSI300 index of shares listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen closed this week at its highest point since the global financial crisis in 2008.
on a roll