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宝岛(Treasure Island) 八 在挂“望远镜”招牌的酒

时间:2010-07-16 10:07    来源:    作者: 点击:
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WHEN I had done breakfasting the squire gave me a note addressed to John Silver, at the sign of the `Spy-glass,' and told me I should easily find the place by following the line of the docks, and keeping a bright look-out for a little tavern with a large brass telescope for sign. I set off, overjoyed at this opportunity to see some more of the ships and seamen, and picked my way among a great crowd of people and carts and bales, for the dock was now at its busiest, until I found the tavern in question.
It was a bright enough little place of entertainment. The sign was newly painted; the windows had neat red curtains; the floor was cleanly sanded. There was a street on each side, and an open door on both, which made the large, low room pretty clear to see in, in spite of clouds of tobacco smoke.

The customers were mostly seafaring men; and they talked so loudly that I hung at the door, almost afraid to enter.

As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room, and, at a glance, I was sure he must be Long John. His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham - plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling. Indeed, he seemed in the most cheerful spirits, whistling as he moved about among the tables, with a merry word or a slap on the shoulder for the more favoured of his guests.

Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first mention of Long John in Squire Trelawney's letter, I had taken a fear in my mind that he might prove to be the very one-legged sailor whom I had watched for so long at the old `Benbow.' But one look at the man before me was enough. I had seen the captain, and Black Dog, and the blind man Pew, and I thought I knew what a buccaneer was like - a very different creature, according to me, from this clean and pleasant-tempered landlord.

I plucked up courage at once, crossed the threshold, and walked right up to the man where he stood, propped on his crutch, talking to a customer.

`Mr Silver, sir?' I asked, holding out the note.

`Yes, my lad,' said he; `such is my name, to be sure. And who may you be?' And then as he saw the squire's letter, he seemed to me to give something almost like a start.

`Oh!' said he, quite loud, and offering his hand, `I see. You are our new cabin - boy; pleased I am to see you.'

And he took my hand in his large firm grasp.

Just then one of the customers at the far side rose suddenly and made for the door. It was close by him, and he was out in the street in a moment. But his hurry had attracted my notice, and I recognised him at a glance. It was the tallow-faced man, wanting two fingers, who had come first to the `Admiral Benbow.'

`Oh,' I cried, `stop him! it's Black Dog!'

`I don't care two coppers who he is,' cried Silver. `But he hasn't paid his score. Harry, run and catch him.'

One of the others who was nearest the door leaped up, and started in pursuit.

`If he were Admiral Hawke he shall pay his score,' cried Silver; and then, relinquishing my hand--'Who did you say he was?' he asked. `Black what?'

`Dog, sir,' said I. `Has Mr Trelawney not told you of the buccaneers? He was one of them.'

`So?' cried Silver. `In my house! Ben, run and help Harry. One of those swabs, was he? Was that you drinking with him, Morgan? Step up here.'

The man whom he called Morgan - an old, grey-haired, mahogany-faced sailor - came forward pretty sheepishly, rolling his quid.

`Now, Morgan,' said Long John, very sternly; `you never clapped your eyes on that Black - Black Dog before, did you, now?'

`Not I, sir,' said Morgan, with a salute.

`You didn't know his name, did you?'

`No, sir.'

`By the powers, Tom Morgan, it's as good for you!' exclaimed the landlord. `If you had been mixed up with the like of that, you would never have put another foot in my house, you may lay to that. And what was he saying to your?'

`I don't rightly know, sir,' answered Morgan.

`Do you call that a head on your shoulders, or a blessed dead-eye?' cried Long John. `Don't rightly know, don't you! Perhaps you don't happen to rightly know who you were speaking to, perhaps? Come, now, what was he jawing - v'yages, cap'ns, ships? Pipe up! What was it?'

`We was a-talkin' of keel-hauling,' answered Morgan `Keel-hauling, was you? and a mighty suitable thing, too and you may lay to that. Get back to your place for a lubber Tom.'

And then, as Morgan rolled back to his seat, Silver added to me in a confidential whisper, that was very flattering, as I thought:--

`He's quite an honest man, Tom Morgan, on'y stupid. An now,' he ran on again, aloud, `let's see - Black Dog? No, don't know the name, not I. Yet I kind of think I've - yes, I've seen the swab. He used to come here with a blind beggar he used.'

`That he did, you may be sure,' said I. `I knew that blind man, too. His name was Pew.'

`It was!' cried Silver, now quite excited. `Pew! That were his name for certain. Ah, he looked a shark, he did! If we run down this Black Dog, now, there'll be news for Captain Trelawney! Ben's a good runner; few seamen run better than Ben. He should run him down, hand over hand, by the powers! He talked o' keel- hauling, did he? I'll keel-haul him!'

All the time he was jerking out these phrases he was stumping up and down the tavern on his crutch, slapping tables with his hand, and giving such a show of excitement as would have convinced an Old Bailey judge or a Bow Street runner. My suspicions had been thoroughly re-awakened on finding Black Dog at the `Spy-glass,' and I watched the cook narrowly. But he was too deep, and too ready, and too clever for me, and by the time the two men had come back out of breath, and confessed that they had lost the track in a crowd, and been scolded like thieves, I would have gone bail for the innocence of Long John Silver.

`See here, now, Hawkins,' said he, `here's a blessed hard thing on a man like me, now, aint it? There's Cap'n Trelawney - what's he to think? Here I have this confounded son of a Dutchman sitting in my own house, drinking of my own rum! Here you comes and tells me of it plain; and here I let him give us all the slip before my blessed dead-lights! Now, Hawkins, you do me justice with the cap'n. You're a lad, you are, but you're as smart as paint. I see that when you first came in. Now, here it is: What could I do,

with this old timber I hobble on? When I was an A B master mariner I'd have come up alongside of him, hand over hand, and broached him to in a brace of old shakes, I would; but now--'

And then, all of a sudden, he stopped, and his jaw drooped as though he had remembered something.

`The score!' he burst out. `Three goes o' rum! Why, shiver my timbers, if I hadn't forgotten my score!'

And, falling on a bench, he laughed until the tears ran down his cheeks. I could not help joining; and we laughed together, peal after peal, until the tavern rang again.

`Why, what a precious old sea-calf I am!' he said, at last, wiping his cheeks. `You and me should get on well, Hawkins, for I'll take my davy I should be rated ship's boy. But, come, now, stand by to go about. This won't do. Dooty is dooty, messmates. I'll put on my old cocked hat, and step along of you to Cap'n Trelawney, and report this here affair. For, mind you, it's serious, young Hawkins; and neither you nor me's come out of it with what I should make so bold as to call credit. Nor you neither, says you; not smart - none of the pair of us smart. But dash my buttons! that was a good 'un about my score.'

And he began to laugh again, and that so heartily, that though I did not see the joke as he did, I was again obliged to join him in his mirth.

On our little walk along the quays, he made himself the most interesting companion, telling me about the differ ships that we passed by, their rig, tonnage, and nationality explaining the work that was going forward - how one was discharging, another taking in cargo, and a third making ready for sea; and every now and then telling me some lit anecdote of ships or seamen, or repeating a nautical phrase till I had learned it perfectly. I began to see that here was one of the best of possible shipmates.

When we got to the inn, the squire and Dr Livesey was seated together, finishing a quart of ale with a toast in it, before they should go aboard the schooner on a visit of inspection.

Long John told the story from first to last, with a great deal of spirit and the most perfect truth. `That was how it were now, weren't it, Hawkins?' he would say, now and again and I could always bear him entirely out.

The two gentlemen regretted that Black Dog had got away but we all agreed there was nothing to be done, and after I had been complimented, Long John took up his crutch and departed.

`All hands aboard by four this afternoon,' shouted the squire, after him.

`Ay, ay, sir,' cried the cook, in the passage.

`Well, squire,' said Dr Livesey, `I don't put much faith in your discoveries, as a general thing; but I will say this, John Silver suits me.'

`The man's a perfect trump,' declared the squire.

`And now,' added the doctor, `Jim may come on board with us, may he not?'

`To be sure he may,' says squire. `Take your hat, Hawkins, and we'll see the ship.'

在我吃过早饭后,乡绅给我一张写给约翰·西尔弗的便条,地址是挂“望远镜”招牌的地方,并且告诉我,顺着到船坞的路线走,会很容易找到那个地方,要特别留心挂着一个巨大的黄铜望远镜作招牌的小酒店。我出发了,为能有机会看到更多的船和船员而感到欣喜若狂。由于船坞现在是最忙的时候,我就在拥挤的人群。双轮马车和成捆的货物中间穿行,直到找到了所说的那个酒店。

那是个非常活跃的小娱乐场所。招牌是刚油漆过的,窗户上挂着整洁的红色窗帘,地面上铺着干净的细沙。酒店两面临街,两边各开了个门,这使得这间大而低的屋子可以一览无遗,尽管里面烟气腾腾的。

顾客差不多都是海员;他们说话的声音那么大,以至于我立在门边,几乎不敢进去。当我正呆站在那里的时候,一个人从旁边一间屋子里出来了,我一眼就看出,他肯定就是高个子约翰。他的左腿齐大腿根锯掉了,左腋下架着个拐杖,行动却灵巧得令人赞叹,像小鸟一样蹦来蹦去。他长得又高又壮,有一张大得像火腿的面孔——扁平而苍白,然而机智,带着微笑。说真的,他看上去有种极为活泼风趣的气质,他吹着口哨在各桌间周旋,不时冒出一句逗趣的话,或者拍一拍他比较亲近的顾客的肩膀。

现在,和你说实话,从乡绅特里罗尼的信里第一次提到高个子约翰的时候起,我心里就暗自生疑,他可能就是那个我在“本葆海军上将”旅店留心好久的“独腿水手”,但是只要看一眼我面前的这个人,就足以让我打消这个念头了。我已经看到过船长、“黑狗”,还有瞎子皮乌,我想我知道海盗该是个什么样子——凭我的感觉,那是和这个整洁、和气的店主大相径庭的人物。


我立刻鼓起了勇气,跨过门槛,径直奔他站着的地方走去,他架着拐杖,正在同一个顾客攀谈。

“阁下是西尔弗先生吗?”我问,手里攥着纸条。

“正是,我的孩子,”他说,“这是我的名字,一点不错。那么你是谁呀?”接着,当他看到乡绅的便条时,他似乎对我有些感到惊奇了。

“噢!”他大声地说,伸出了手,“我知道了。你是我们船上新来的侍应生,见到你真高兴。”

接着他把我的手拿在他那大而结实的手掌里紧紧地握了握。

正在这时,远远地坐在边上的一个顾客突然站起来,夺门而出。门离他很近,他一下子就窜到街上去了。但是他的紧张吸引了我的注意,我一眼便认出了他,他是脸上脂肪多、缺了两个手指的人,是他首先到“本葆海军上将”旅店来的。

“噢,”我叫道,“拦住他!他是‘黑狗’!”

“我不在乎他是谁,”西尔弗叫道,“可是他没付账,哈里,跑上去,抓住他!”
其他人中离门最近的那个跳了起来,拔腿去追。

“就算他是豪克上将,他也得付账。”西尔弗叫道,然后他松开了我的手——“你说他是谁来着?”他问道,“黑什么?”

“狗,先生,”我说,“难道特里罗尼先生没告诉你海盗的事?他是他们当中的一个。”
“是这样的?”西尔弗叫道,“在我的房子里!本恩,跑过去,帮哈里一把。他是那些无赖中的一个?摩根,你一直在同他喝酒吗?过来。”

被他叫做摩根的那个人——一个上了岁数的、灰白头发红脸膛的水手——相当顺从地走过来,一边嚼着烟草块。

“现在,摩根,”高个子约翰非常严厉地说道,“你以前从没见过这个黑——‘黑狗’,是不是,嗯?”

“从来没见过,先生。”摩根行了个礼,答道。

“你不知道他的名字,是不是?”

“是这样的,先生。”

“谢天谢地,汤姆·摩根,这对你太好了!”店主惊叫道,“要是你和那种人混在了一块儿,你就甭想踏进我的房子一步,你要明白这一点。他对你说了些什么?”

“我弄不太清楚,先生。”摩根答道。

“你肩膀上长的究竟是脑袋还是该死的三孔滑轮?”高个子约翰叫道,“‘弄不太清楚’,你弄不太清楚!也许你连和谁说话都弄不太清楚,是不是?过来,刚才他胡说了些什么——航行,船长,船?说!他说了些什么?”

“我们正在谈论拖龙骨①。”摩根答道。

  ①一种把罪犯从水中拖过船底的酷刑。——译者注


“拖龙骨?你们在谈拖龙骨?倒是个挺合适的话题,你要明白这一点。回到你的位子上去,你这个笨蛋,汤姆。”

当摩根退回到他的位子上时,西尔弗很机密地小声向我补充道:“他是个相当诚实的人,汤姆·摩根,只是有点迟钝。”他的口气在我听来很有股谄媚的味道。接着他又放大音量说道:“现在,让我们来看看——‘黑狗’?不,我不晓得这个名字,不晓得。不过我倒多少想起来点,我曾经——是的,我曾经见过这个无赖。他总是同一个瞎乞丐到这儿来,他总是这样。”

“那准是他,你可以肯定,”我说,“我也认得那个瞎子。他的名字叫皮乌。”

“正是!”西尔弗叫道,这会儿他已经相当激动了,“皮乌!那肯定就是他的名字。啊,他看上去像条鲨鱼,就是这样!如果我们追上了这个‘黑狗’,那么,我们就可以向特里罗尼船主报信了!本恩是个飞毛腿,很少能有哪个水手跑得过本恩。他会追上他的,十拿九稳,犹如神助!他说到拖龙骨,是不是?我要拖他的龙骨哩!”

在他急切地讲这一番话的时候,他一直架着拐杖在小酒馆里跳来跳去,用手拍着桌子,作出一副激动的表情,好像要说服一名伦敦中央刑事法庭的法官或是最高警署的警察一样。在“望远镜”酒店发现“黑狗”这件事,再次唤起了我整个的怀疑。我留心观察着这位厨子,但是他对我来说是太有城府、太有准备、也太聪明了。当那两个人上气不接下气地回来、承认他们在人群中失去了追踪目标时,他们像小偷般地挨了顿训斥,因此,我情愿为高个子约翰·西尔弗的清白作证。

“喂,霍金斯,你看,”他说,“现在有桩该死的头疼事儿落到像我这样的人头上来了,不是吗?特里罗尼船主——他该怎么想?这个讨厌的荷兰崽子坐到我的房子里来了,喝着我的酒!你来到这儿告诉了我事情的真相,而我却让他当着我们所有人的面、从我该死的眼皮底下溜掉了!嗯,霍金斯,你得在船长面前给我说句公道话。你还是个小孩子,是这样的,可是你那么的聪明伶俐,跟幅画儿似的,你刚一走进来,我就瞧出来了。好了,就是这样,我架着这根木头能做啥?当我还是个数一数二的精壮水手时,我肯定会追上去一下子抓住他,手到擒来,肯定会的;但是现在——”

然后他突然打住,他的下巴向下张开,就像他猛然想起了什么。

“结账!”他冲口而出,“三杯郎姆酒!哎呀,要是我忘了结账,我该摔烂我这根木头!”
说着,他跌坐到一条板凳上,直笑得眼泪都淌到腮上来,我也忍不住一起笑起来;
我们一起笑了一阵又一阵,直到小酒店重新又欢腾起来。

“哎呀,我真是只老掉牙的老海豹!”最后,他一面揩着腮上的眼泪儿,一面说道,“你和我会处得很好的,霍金斯,因为我发誓你会被定级为侍应生。但是,现在你过来,准备出发吧,这事暂搁一边。公事公办,伙计。我得戴上我的旧厨师帽子,跟着你上特里罗尼船主那儿,向他报告这事。因为,提个醒儿,这是个严重的事儿,小霍金斯;无论是你还是我,都无法拿出能使我大胆地要求被信赖的证据来。你说说看,你拿不出来吧;不漂亮——我们两个都干得不漂亮。但是,真可恶!说起我的酒账倒是个乐子。”然后他就又开始笑起来,笑得那么尽兴,以至于尽管我不懂他开的那个玩笑,也不得不跟着他一道笑起来。

当我们漫步在往码头去的路上时,他使自己成了个最有趣的同伴,向我讲述我们途经的不同的船只,它们帆具、索具的装备、吨位以及国别,解释正在进行的工作——怎样的一艘在卸货,另一艘正在装舱,而第三艘正准备出海;还不时地给我讲些关于船和水手的小趣闻,或是重复一个海上的俚语,直到我完全学会了它。我开始觉得他是这里最令人满意的一个船友。

当我们到达旅店的时候,乡绅和利弗西医生正坐在一起,刚刚互相劝饮,喝掉一夸脱啤酒,正准备到船上去检阅一番。

高个子约翰神气十足,极其准确地描绘了事情的经过,“事情就是这样,喂,霍金斯,是不是这样?”他不时地这么说道,而我总是证实他的话完全属实。

两位绅士为“黑狗”跑掉了而感到遗憾,但是我们一致认为这是没办法的事。在得到一番称赞之后,高个子约翰架着拐走了。

“所有的人手今天下午四点上船。”乡绅在他后面喊道。

“是,是,先生。”厨子在走廊里回答道。

“喂,乡绅,”利弗西医生说道,“我对你的发现信心不大,像通常一样;但是我想说,约翰·西尔弗很合我的意。”

“这是个完全可靠的人。”乡绅宣布道。

“现在,”医生补充说,“吉姆会跟我们一起上船吧,是不是?”

“毫无疑问,”乡绅说道,“拿上你的帽子,霍金斯,我们去看船。”




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