译吧论坛
您当前的位置:主页 > 翻译资讯 > 翻译丛书 > 宝岛(Treasure Island) 十九 驻守寨子的人们

宝岛(Treasure Island) 十九 驻守寨子的人们

时间:2010-07-16 10:05    来源:    作者: 点击:
每日一句:
 


AS soon as Benn Gunn saw the colours he came to a halt stopped me by the arm, and sat down.

`Now,' said he, `there's your friends, sure enough.'

`Far more likely it's the mutineers,' I answered.

`That!' he cried. `Why, in a place like this, where nobody puts in but gen'lemen of fortune, Silver would fly the Jolly Roger, you don't make no doubt of that. No; that's your friends. There's been blows, too, and I reckon your friends has had the best of it; and here they are ashore in the old stockade, as was made years and years ago by Flint. Ah, he was the man to have a headpiece, was Flint! Barring rum, his match were never seen. He were afraid of none, not he; on'y Silver - Silver was that genteel.'

`Well,' said I, `that may be so, and so be it; all the more reason that I should hurry on and join my friends.'

`Nay, mate,' returned Ben, `not you. you're a good boy or I'm mistook; but you're on'y a boy, all told. Now, Ben Gunn is fly. Rum wouldn't bring me there, where you're going - not rum wouldn't I, till I see your born gen'leman and gets it on his word of honour. And you won't forget my words: ``A precious sight (that's what you'll say), precious sight more confidence'' - and then nips him.'

And he pinched me the third time with the same air of cleverness.

`And when Ben Gunn is wanted, you know where to find him, Jim. Just wheer you found him to-day. And him that comes is to have a white thing in his hand: and he's to come alone. Oh! and you'll say this: ``Ben Gunn,'' says you, ``has reasons of his own.'''

`Well,' said I, `I believe I understand. You have something to propose, and you wish to see the squire or the doctor; ant you're to be found where I found you. Is that all?'

`And when? says you,' he added. `Why, from about noon observation to about six bells.'

`Good,' said I, `and now may I go?'

`You won't forget?' he inquired, anxiously. `Precious sight, and reasons of his own, says you. Reasons of his own; that's the mainstay; as between man and man. Well, then' - still holding me - `I reckon you can go, Jim. And, Jim, if you was to see Silver, you wouldn't go for to sell Ben Gunn? wild horses wouldn't draw it from you? No, says you. And if them pirates camp ashore, Jim, what would you say but there'd be widders in the morning?'

Here he was interrupted by a loud report, and a cannon-ball came tearing through the trees and pitched in the sand, not a hundred yards from where we two were talking. The next moment each of us had taken to his heels in a different direction.

For a good hour to come frequent reports shook the island, and balls kept crashing through the woods. I moved from hiding-place to hiding-place, always pursued, or so it seemed to me, by these terrifying missiles. But towards the end of the bombardment, though still I durst not venture in the direction of the stockade, where the balls fell oftenest, I had begun, in a manner, to pluck up my heart again; and after a long detour to the east, crept down among the shore-side trees.

The sun had just set, the sea breeze was rustling and tumbling in the woods, and ruffling the grey surface of the anchorage; the tide, too, was far out, and great tracts of sand lay uncovered; the air, after the heat of the day, chilled me through my jacket.

The Hispaniola still lay where she had anchored; but, sure enough, there was the Jolly Roger - the black flag of piracy - flying from her peak. Even as I looked, there came another red flash and another report, that sent the echoes clattering, and one more round-shot whistled through the air. It was the last of the cannonade.

I lay for some time, watching the bustle which succeeded the attack. Men were demolishing something with axes on the beach near the stockade; the poor jolly-boat, I afterwards discovered. Away, near the mouth of the river, a great fire was glowing among the trees, and between that point and the ship one of the gigs kept coming and going, the men, whom I had seen so gloomy, shouting at the oars like children. But there was a sound in their voices which suggested rum.

At length I thought I might return towards the stockade. I was pretty far down on the low, sandy spit that encloses the anchorage to the east, and is joined at half-water to Skeleton Island; and now, as I rose to my feet, I saw, some distance further down the spit, and rising from among low bushes, an isolated rock, pretty high, and peculiarly white in colour. It occurred to me that this might be the white rock of which Ben Gunn had spoken, and that some day or other a boat might be wanted, and I should know where to look for one.

Then I skirted among the woods until I had regained the rear, or shoreward side, of the stockade, and was soon warmly welcomed by the faithful party.

I had soon told my story, and began to look about me. The log-house was made of unsquared trunks of pine-roof, walls, and floor. The latter stood in several places as much as a foot or a foot and a half above the surface of the sand. There was a porch at the door, and under this porch the little spring welled up into an artificial basin of a rather odd kind - no other than a great ship's kettle of iron, with the bottom knocked out, and sunk `to her bearings,' as the captain said, among the sand.

Little had been left beside the framework of the house; but in one corner there was a stone slab laid down by way of hearth, and an old rusty iron basket to contain the fire.

The slopes of the knoll and all the inside of the stockade had been cleared of timber to build the house, and we could see by the stumps what a fine and lofty grove had been destroyed. Most of the soil had been washed away or buried in drift after the removal of the trees; only where the streamlet ran down from the kettle a thick bed of moss and some ferns and little creeping bushes were still green among the sand. Very close around the stockade - too close for defence, they said - the wood still flourished high and dense, all of fir on the land side, but towards the sea with a large admixture of live-oaks.

The cold evening breeze, of which I have spoken, whistled through every chink of the rude building, and sprinkled the floor with a continual rain of fine sand. There was sand in our eyes, sand in our teeth, sand in our suppers, sand dancing in the spring at the bottom of the kettle, for all the world like porridge beginning to boil. Our chimney was a square hole in the roof; it was but a little part of the smoke that found its way out, and the rest eddied about the house, and kept us coughing and piping the eye.

Add to this that Gray, the new man, had his face tied up in a bandage for a cut he had got in breaking away from the mutineers; and that poor old Tom Redruth, still unburied, lay along the wall, stiff and stark, under the Union Jack.

If we had been allowed to sit idle, we should all have fallen in the blues but Captain Smollett was never the man for that. All hands were called up before him, and he divided us into watches. The doctor, and Gray, and I, for one; the squire, Hunter, and Joyce, upon the other. Tired though we all were, two were sent out for firewood; two more were set to dig a grave for Redruth; the doctor was named cook; I was put sentry at the door; and the captain himself went from one to another, keeping up our spirits and lending a hand wherever it was wanted.

From time to time the doctor came to the door for a little air and to rest his eyes, which were almost smoked out of his head; and whenever he did so, he had a word for me.

`That man Smollett,' he said once, `is a better man than I am. And when I say that it means a deal, Jim.'

Another time he came and was silent for a while. Then he put his head on one side, and looked at me.

`Is this Ben Gunn a man?' he asked.

`I do not know, sir,' said I. `I am not very sure whether he's sane.'

`If there's any doubt about the matter, he is,' returned the doctor. `A man who has been three years biting his nails on a desert island, Jim, can't expect to appear as sane as you or me. It doesn't lie in human nature. Was it cheese you said he had a fancy for?'

`Yes, sir, cheese,' I answered.

`Well, Jim,' says he, `just see the good that comes of being dainty in your food. You've seen my snuff- box, haven't you? And you never saw me take snuff; the reason being that in my snuff-box I carry a piece of Parmesan cheese - a cheese made in Italy, very nutritious. Well, that's for Ben Gunn!'

Before supper was eaten we buried old Tom in the sand and stood round him for a while bareheaded in the breeze. A good deal of firewood had been got in, but not enough for the captain's fancy; and he shook his head over it, and told us we `must get back to this to-morrow rather livelier.' Then when we had eaten our pork, and each had a good stiff glass of brandy grog, the three chiefs got together in a corner to discuss our prospects.

It appears they were at their wits' end what to do, the store being so low that we must have been starved into surrender long before help came. But our best hope, it was decided, was to kill off the buccaneers until they either hauled down their flag or ran away with the Hispaniola. From nineteen they were already reduced to fifteen, two others were wounded, and one at least - the man shot beside the gun - severely wounded if he were not dead. Every time we had a crack at them, we were to take it, saving our own lives, with the extremest care. And, besides that, we had two able allies - rum and the climate.

As for the first, though we were about half a mile away, we could hear them roaring and singing late into the night; and as for the second, the doctor staked his wig that, camped where they were in the marsh, and unprovided with remedies, the half of them would be on their backs before a week.

`So,' he added, `if we are not all shot down first they'll be glad to be packing in the schooner. It's always a ship, and they can get to buccaneering again, I suppose.'

`First ship that ever I lost,' said Captain Smollett.

I was dead tired, as you may fancy; and when I got to sleep which was not till after a great deal of tossing, I slept like log of wood.

The rest had long been up, and had already breakfasted and increased the pile of firewood by about half as much again, when I was wakened by a bustle and the sound of voices.

`Flag of truce!' I heard someone say; and then, immediately after, with a cry of surprise, `Silver himself!'

And, at that, up I jumped, and, rubbing my eyes, ran to a loophole in the wall

本·葛恩一看到国旗就停下了脚步,还拉着我的胳膊叫我也停下来,并且还坐了下来。

“喂,”他说,“那边肯定是你的朋友们了。”

“更像是那些反叛分子。”我说。

“他们!”他叫道,“怎么会?在这么块除了幸运的大爷谁也不会来的地方,西尔弗一定会挂骷髅旗的,这一点毫无疑问。不,那是你的朋友们。刚刚发生过交锋,我敢肯定,你的朋友们占了上风,这会儿他们正在岸上那个老寨子里,那是很多很多年以前弗林特修建的。啊,弗林特他真是个有头脑的人物!除了好酗酒外,没谁能与之匹敌。他真是什么都不怕;只有西尔弗例外——西尔弗这个伪君子。”

“好吧,”我说,“可能是这样,而真是这样的话,我更得赶紧去跟我的朋友们会合了。”

“不,朋友,”本答道,“你先别忙着走。你是个好孩子,我不会看走眼的,但是你毕竟只是个孩子,听着,本·葛恩可不是个容易上当的人。郎姆酒也休想把我带到你去的那个地方——郎姆酒也休想,除非我亲自见到你们那个真正的绅士,并且得到了他的保证。你可不要忘了我跟你说的那些话!‘对真正的绅士绝对信任(记着说),绝对信任’——然后别忘了再捏他一下。”

说着,他仍带着那种俏皮的神情捏了我一下,这是第三下了。

“而当你用得着本·葛恩的时候,你知道到哪儿找他,就在今天你发现他的地方。来人手里要拿上一件自东西,而且他还得一个人来。噢!你还得说这个:‘本·葛恩’,你得说,‘这样要求自有他的道理。’”

“好吧,我说,”我想我明白。“你有些主意要提出来,而且你想面见乡绅或是医生;在我发现你的地方可以找到你。就这些吧?”

“什么时候呢?你说,”他又加上一句,“这样吧,就从正午时分到钟敲六下。”

“好的,”我说,“现在我可以走了吧?”

“你不会忘了吧?”他有些焦虑地询问道,“绝对信任,还有自有他的道理,你得说。自有他的道理,这句是主要的;就像男子汉对男子汉那样。嗯,好吧,”——他仍拉着我——“我肯定你可以走了,吉姆。但是,吉姆,要是你遇见西尔弗的话,该不会把本·葛恩给出卖了吧?就是野马拖着你也不会吧?你说决不呀。要是他们在岸上宿营,第二天早上他们的老婆就会变成寡妇,吉姆你信不信?”

正在这时,一声巨响打断了他的话,接着,一颗炮弹穿过丛林落到了沙地上,离我们谈话的地方还不到一百码远。我们俩立刻朝着不同的方向拔脚就跑。

整整一个钟头的工夫,频繁的炮声震撼着这个岛,炮弹接连不断地穿过丛林,这些炮弹就像长了眼睛似地跟踪着我,逼得我东躲西藏。在炮击临近结束的时候,我虽然还是不敢冒险向炮弹落得最密集的寨子的方向跑,但是我多少又重新鼓起了勇气,向东经过一段很长的迂回,向岸边的树林摸去。

太阳刚刚落下去,海风飒飒地掠过树林,吹动着锚地灰色的水面;潮水也远远地退下去了,露出了一大片沙滩;在白天的炎热消退之后,冷空气透过我的外衣侵袭着我的肌肤。

伊斯班袅拉号仍然泊在锚地,但是它的桅顶上果真飘着面骷髅旗——黑地子的海盗旗。就在我张望的时候,红光一闪,接着又是一声巨响,激起了四面回声,这是又一颗炮弹呼啸着从空中飞过。这是最后的一次炮击。

我在地上趴了一会儿,观望着炮击之后海盗们的忙碌。在离寨子不远的岸上,那些人正用斧子砍着什么东西——稍后我才发现,原来是那只可怜的划子。而在靠近河口的地方,在树林里正燃着一堆篝火,同时,在岸线上的小拐角与大海之间,他们的一只划于在来回往返,上面的那些人,上午我见他们还是脸色阴沉的样子,这会儿却高兴得像个孩子似的大吵大叫。但是从他们的声音可以听得出来,大概是郎姆酒起了作用。

最后,我想可以朝寨子的方向返回了。眼下我所处的地方是向东环抱锚地、伸入海中相当远的一个沙尖嘴,它半没人水中与骷髅岛相连。现在,当我起身的时候,我看到在沙尖嘴下面更远的地方矗立着一堵孤零零的岩壁,它位于低矮的灌木丛中,相当高,颜色特别自。我马上想到这可能就是本·葛恩谈到的那块白岩石,而说不定哪天真用得上那条小船,那我就知道到哪去找了。

后来我就沿着树林的边缘往回走,一直走到寨子的后方,也就是向着陆地的一面,于是很快便受到了那帮忠实的朋友的热烈欢迎。

很快我就讲完了我的经历,然后便开始打量起四周来。木屋是由未锯方的松树树干钉成的,包括屋顶、四壁以及地板。地板有几处高出沙地表面一英尺或一英尺半。门口有个门廊,门廊下,有一股细泉向上涌人一个相当古怪的人工蓄水池里——不是别的,而是只船用大铁锅,底儿被敲掉了,埋到沙地里,正如船长所说,“齐吃水线”。

这屋子除了构架外,里面几乎空空荡荡,但是在一个角落里,有一块石板,摆放成炉床的样子,还有只陈旧生锈的铁篓子,装柴禾生火用。

小丘的斜坡上和寨子里面的树全部被伐掉,用于修建木屋了,从残留下来的树桩我们可以看出,一片多么好、多么繁茂的林子被毁掉了。在树木被搬走以后,大部分土壤不是被雨水冲走就是埋成了堆,只在那细泉从锅中溢出后形成的细流边上,有一块厚密的苗床,上面长着些苔藓、羊齿植物和蔓延在地面上的小灌木丛,仍然在这沙地上摇曳着一片碧绿。紧紧环绕在寨子周围的那片树林——他们说作为防御工事是太近了——仍然长得高大茂盛,靠陆地这边全都是枞树,而朝向海滩的那边则是大片枞树与长生橡树的混生林。

我已经提到过的那凉飕飕的晚风,从这草草钉成的房子的每一个缝隙里钻进来,在地板上持续不断地喷洒着沙雨。我们的眼睛里是沙子,牙齿里是沙子,晚饭里是沙子,沙子还在锅底的泉水中跳着舞,整个就像快要烧开的麦片粥一样。我们的烟囱是屋顶的一个方洞,它只能让一小部分烟出去,而其余大部分烟还憋在屋子里,呛得我们一边咳嗽一边淌眼泪。

此外再说说这个葛雷,我们的新伙计,他的脸上缠着绷带,因为他在同反叛分子决裂时挨了一刀;而那个可怜的老汤姆·雷卓斯,还没有被埋掉,直挺挺地靠墙躺着,身上覆盖着那面国旗。

要是我们被允许闲坐着的话,我们早就会都唉声叹气的了,但是斯莫列特这个人决不会允许出现这种情况。所有的人手都被召集到了他面前,他分派我们轮流值班守卫。医生,葛雷,还有我,是一组;乡绅,亨特,还有乔埃斯,是另一组。我们全都累了,可还是两个被派出去砍柴,两个着手为雷卓斯挖墓,医生被安排做厨子,我在门口放哨,而船长他本人则从一处走到另一处,不停地给我们打气,哪里用得上就帮一把。

医生一次又一次地走到门口来换换空气,休息休息他的眼睛,因为他被烟熏得头昏脑胀的,而每次他过来的时候,总是跟我说句话。

“斯莫列特那个,人,”有一次他说,“比我强,而我这么说是有事实依据的,吉姆。”

又一次,他过来后沉默半晌,然后把头侧向一边看着我。

“本·葛恩算条汉子吧?”他问。

“我不知道,先生,”我说,“我不能肯定他是否精神正常。”

“要是你只是有点怀疑的话,那他就是正常的,”医生答道。“一个人在荒岛上呆了三年,除了啃指甲外无事可干,吉姆,我们不能指望他像你我一样清醒的。这不合乎人类的本性。你说他一心想吃干酪?”

“是的,先生,是干酪。”我答道。

“好吧,吉姆,”他说,“看看可口的食物给你带来的好处吧。你见过我的鼻烟盒,是不是?可是你从未见过我闻鼻烟,因为在那鼻烟盒里面,我放了块巴马干酪——一种意大利产的干酪,非常的滋补。好啦,它归本·葛恩啦!”

晚饭前,我们在沙地上埋葬了老汤姆,在风中,我们脱帽肃立在他周围片刻。柴禾已经砍了很多了,可是船长还嫌少,他还摇了摇头,然后对我们说“明天得加把劲多弄些回来。”然后,当我们吃了腌肉,又每个人来了杯上好的白兰地后,三个头头便聚在角落里商讨起我们的前景来。

看上去他们似乎一筹莫展了,储存的食品太少了,在接应船到来之前,我们就会饿死。但是我们最大的希望莫过于歼灭海盗,直到他们降下骷髅旗,或是驾着伊斯班袅拉号跑掉,这一点是可以肯定的。他们已从十九人减少到十五人,其中有两个受了伤,还有一个至少是重伤——在火炮旁边被打中的——要是还没死的话。我们每次同他们交锋,都得极其小心,顾及自身的安全。而且此外我们有两个得力的盟友——郎姆酒和气候。

说到前者,虽然离了有半英里远,我们也能听得见他们连叫带唱直到深夜。说到后者,医生敢拿他的假发打赌,他们在沼泽地里宿营,又缺医少药,不出一星期,他们就得有一半人病倒。

“所以,”他补充道,“只要我们不先被干掉,他们会乐于驾驶着帆船逃之夭夭的。它毕竟是条船,我猜想,他们还会回到海上重操旧业,当起海盗来的。”

“那是我丢的第一艘船。”斯莫列特船长说。

我死累死累的,你可以想像得到,在经历了这样一番折腾后,我一倒下便睡得像根木头了。

当我被一声枪响和说话声吵醒时,别人早就起来了,已经吃过了早饭,还抱了比昨天多了一半的柴禾回来。

“白旗!”我听见有人说。接着,很快又是一声惊叫,“西尔弗本人!”

听到这个,我一跃而起,使劲揉了揉眼睛,跑到了墙上的一个射击孔前




扩展阅读: ...[详情]