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宝岛(Treasure Island) 十 航行

时间:2010-07-16 10:07    来源:    作者: 点击:
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ALL that night we were in a great bustle getting things stowed in their place, and boatfuls of the squire's friends, Mr Blandly and the like, coming off to wish him a good voyage and a safe return. We never had a night at the `Admiral Benbow' when I had half the work; and I was dog-tired when a little before dawn, the boatswain sounded his pipe, and the crew began to man the capstan-bars. I might have been twice as weary, yet I would not have left the deck; all was so new and interesting to me - the brief commands, the shrill not of the whistle, the men bustling to their places in the glimmer of the ship's lanterns.
`Now, Barbecue, tip us a stave,' cried one voice.

`The old one,' cried another.

`Ay, ay, mates,' said Long John, who was standing by with his crutch under his arm, and at once broke out in the air and words I knew so well--

`Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--'
And then the whole crew bore chorus:--

`You - ho - ho, and a bottle of rum!'

And at the third `ho!' drove the bars before them with a will Even at that exciting moment it carried me back to the old `Admiral Benbow' in a second; and I seemed to hear the voice of the captain piping in the chorus. But soon the anchor was short up; soon it was hanging dripping at the bows; soon the sails began to draw, and the land and shipping to flit by on either side; and before I could lie down to snatch an hour of slumber the Hispaniola had begun her voyage to the Isle of Treasure.

I am not going to relate that voyage in detail. It was fairly prosperous. The ship proved to be a good ship, the crew were capable seamen, and the captain thoroughly understood his business. But before we came the length of Treasure Island, two or three things had happened which require to be known.

Mr Arrow, first of all, turned out even worse than the captain had feared. He had no command among the men, and people did what they pleased with him. But that was by no means the worst of it; for after a day or two at sea he began to appear on deck with hazy eye, red cheeks, stuttering tongue, and other marks of drunkenness. Time after time he was ordered below in disgrace. Sometimes he fell and cut himself; sometimes he lay all day long in his little bunk at one side of the companion; sometimes for a day or two he would be almost sober and attend to his work at least passably.

In the meantime, we could never make out where he got the drink. That was the ship's mystery. Watch him as we pleased, we could do nothing to solve it; and when we asked him to his face, he would only laugh, if he were drunk, and if he were sober, deny solemnly that he ever tasted anything but water.

He was not only useless as an officer, and a bad influence amongst the men, but it was plain that at this rate he must soon kill himself outright; so nobody was much surprised, nor very sorry, when one dark night, with a head sea, he disappeared entirely and was seen no more.

`Overboard!' said the captain. `Well, gentlemen, that saves the trouble of putting him in irons.'

But there we were, without a mate; and it was necessary, of course, to advance one of the men. The boatswain, Job Anderson, was the likeliest man aboard, and, though he kept his old title, he served in a way as mate. Mr Trelawney had followed the sea, and his knowledge made him very useful, for he often took a watch himself in easy weather. And the coxswain, Israel Hands, was a careful, wily, old, experienced seaman, who could be trusted at a pinch with almost anything.

He was a great confidant of Long John Silver, and so the mention of his name leads me on to speak of our ship's cook, Barbecue, as the men called him.

Aboard ship he carried his crutch by a lanyard round his neck to have both hands as free as possible. It was something to see him wedge the foot of the crutch against a bulkhead, and propped against it, yielding to every movement of the ship, get on with his cooking like someone safe ashore. Still more strange was it to see him in the heaviest of weather cross the deck. He had a line or two rigged up to help him across the widest spaces - Long John's earrings, they were called; and he would' hand himself from one place to another, now using the crutch now trailing it alongside by the lanyard, as quickly as another man could walk. Yet some of the men who had sailed with him before expressed their pity to see him so reduced.

`He's no common man, Barbecue,' said the coxswain to me. `He had good schooling in his young days, and can speak like a book when so minded; and brave - a lion's nothing alongside of Long John! I seen him grapple four, and knock their heads together - him unarmed.'

All the crew respected and even obeyed him. He had a way of talking to each, and doing everybody some particular service. To me he was unweariedly kind; and always glad to see me in the galley, which he kept as clean as a new pin the dishes hanging up burnished, and his parrot in a cage in one corner.

`Come away, Hawkins,' he would say; `come and have yarn with John. Nobody more welcome than yourself, my son Sit you down and hear the news. Here's Cap'n Flint - I call my parrot Cap'n Flint, after the famous buccaneer - here Cap'n Flint predicting success to our v'yage. Wasn't you cap'n?'

And the parrot would say, with great rapidity, `Pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!' till you wondered than it was not out of breath, or till John threw his handkerchief over the cage.

`Now, that bird,' he would say, `is, may be, two hundred years old, Hawkins - they lives for ever mostly; and if anybody's seen more wickedness, it must be the devil himself. She's sailed with England, the great Cap'n England, the pirate. She's been at Madagascar, and a Malabar, and Surinam, and Providence, and Portobello. She was at the fishing up of the wrecked plate ships. It's there she learned ``Pieces of eight,'' and little wonder; three hundred and fifty thousand of 'em, Hawkins! She was at the boarding of the Viceroy of the Indies out of Goa, she was; and to look at her you would think she was a babby. But you smelt powder - didn't you, cap'n?'

`Stand by to go about,' the parrot would scream.

`Ah, she's a handsome craft, she is,' the cook would say, and give her sugar from his pocket, and then the bird would peck at the bars and swear straight on, passing belief for wickedness. `There,' John would add, `you can't touch pitch and not be mucked, lad. Here's this poor old innocent bird o' mine swearing blue fire, and none the wiser, you may lay to that. She would swear the same, in a manner of speaking, before chaplain.' And John would touch his forelock with a solemn way he had, that made me think he was the best of men.

In the meantime, the squire and Captain Smollett were still on pretty distant terms with one another. The squire made no bones about the matter; he despised the captain. The captain, on his part, never spoke but when he was spoken to, and then sharp and short and dry, and not a word wasted. He owned, when driven into a corner, that he seemed to have been wrong about the crew, that some of them were as brisk as he wanted to see, and all had behaved fairly well. As for the ship, he had taken a downright fancy to her. `She'll lie a point nearer the wind than a man has a right to expect of his own married wife, sir. But,' he would add, `all I say is we're not home again, and I don't like the cruise.'

The squire, at this, would turn away and march up and down the deck, chin in air.

`A trifle more of that man,' he would say, `and I shall explode.'

We had some heavy weather, which only proved the qualities of the Hispaniola. Every man on board seemed well content, and they must have been hard to please if they had been otherwise; for it is my belief there was never a ship's company so spoiled since Noah put to sea. Double grog was going on the least excuse; there was duff on odd days, as, for instance, if the squire heard it was any man's birthday; and always a barrel of apples standing broached in the waist for anyone to help himself that had a fancy.

`Never knew good come of it yet,' the captain said to Dr Livesey. `Spoil foc's'le hands, make devils. That's my belief.'

But good did come of the apple barrel, as you shall hear for if it had not been for that, we should have had no note of warning, and might all have perished by the hand of treachery.

This was how it came about.

We had run up the trades to get the wind of the island we were after - I am not allowed to be more plain - and now we were running down for it with a bright look-out day and night. It was about the last day of our outward voyage, by the largest computation; some time that night, or, at latest, before noon of the morrow, we should sight the Treasure Island. We were heading S.S.W., and had a steady breeze abeam and a quiet sea. The Hispaniola rolled steadily, dipping her bowsprit nod and then with a whiff of spray. All was drawing alow and aloft everyone was in the bravest spirits, because we were now so near an end of the first part of our adventure.

Now, just after sundown, when all my work was over, and I was on my way to my berth, it occurred to me that I should like an apple. I ran on deck. The watch was all forward looking out for the island. The man at the helm was watching the luff of the sail, and whistling away gently to himself; and that was the only sound excepting the swish of the sea against the bow.' and around the sides of the ship.

In I got bodily into the apple barrel, and found there was scarce an apple left; but, sitting down there in the dark, what with the sound of the waters and the rocking movement of the ship, I had either fallen asleep, or was on the point of doing so, when a heavy man sat down with rather a clash close by The barrel shook as he leaned his shoulders against it, and I was just about to jump up when the man began to speak It was Silver's voice, and, before I had heard a dozen words. I would not have shown myself for all the world, but lay there, trembling and listening, in the extreme of fear and curiosity; for from these dozen words I understood that the lives of all the honest men aboard depended upon me alone

那晚,我们通宵奔忙着,将物品装舱归位。同时,乡绅的朋友们,像布兰德利他们,一划子一划子地到大船上来祝他一帆风顺,平安返航。我在“本葆海军上将”旅店一个晚上干的活儿,远不及在这个晚上干的一半多。将近黎明时分,当水手长吹响了他的哨子,全体船员都站在绞盘杠前整齐待命时,我已经疲惫不堪了。我原本是双倍的疲惫了,却还总是舍不得离开甲板;对我来说,简短的命令,尖利的哨声,以及人们在船上桅灯微弱的光下熙熙攘攘地上岗的情景——所有这一切都是那么的新鲜有趣。

“喂,‘大叉烧’,给我们起个头儿。”一个声音喊道。

“来个老调。”另一个喊道。

“是,是,伙计们。”高个子约翰应道,他正胳膊底下架着拐,站在一旁。然后他立刻冲天唱出对我来说是那么熟悉的歌来——

  十五个汉子扒上了死人胸——

接着,全体船员跟着合唱起来:

哟——嗬——嗬,再来郎姆酒一大瓶!

在第三声“嗬”出口时,他们一齐推动了面前的绞盘杠。

即使在那最激动人心的一刻,我也立刻回想起“本葆海军上将”旅店来;我似乎在那合唱里听到了船长的声音。但很快船就起锚了,挂在船头上滴着水;很快又开始张帆了,接着陆地和船舶从两边掠过;还没等我抓时间舒舒服服地躺下来睡一小时的觉,伊斯班袅拉号已经开始了她驶向宝岛的航程。

我不准备详细叙述这次航行了。那是相当的顺利,船被证明是艘好船,水手都是有能力的水手,而船长则完全精通他的业务。但是在我们到达宝岛之前,发生了两三件事,需要讲清楚。

首先是埃罗先生,他结果比船长早先担心的还要糟糕。他在人们中间没有威信,人们在他面前随心所欲。但那决不是最坏的;因为出海一两天后,他便开始带着迷糊的眼神、发红的面孔、结巴的舌头,以及其他酗酒的迹象出现在甲板上。一次又一次,他丢人地被喝令回到舱里去。有时他跌倒并划伤了自己,有时他整天躺在后甲板室他小小的铺位上;有时他差不多清醒过来时,也勉勉强强地干一两天。

与此同时,我们怎么也搞不懂他从哪儿弄来的酒。那是船上的一个谜。我们尽可能地监视他,还是揭不开这个谜;当我们当面质问他时,要是他喝了酒,就只是笑,要是他还清醒,就否认除了水外还喝过其他任何东西。

他不仅是个在船员们中间起不良影响的无用的官长,而且很显然,若按这个情形发展下去,他一定会很快结果掉自己的。因此,在一个漆黑的夜晚,当他一头栽到海里,完全消失、再也不见踪影时,没有人大惊讶或是格外难过。

“失足落水!”船长说,“好吧,先生们,那省下了给他上镣铐的麻烦。”

但是这样我们就没有了大副;当然,有必要从下边的人中提拔一个。水手长乔布·安德森是船上最有希望的人选,尽管他保持了原有的头衔,他却履行了大副的职责。特里罗尼先生是航过海的,他的知识使他成了个有用的人物,因为在好的天气里,他经常亲自值班。而舵手伊斯莱尔·汉兹,是个细心的、足智多谋的、老练的。经验丰富的水手,在紧要时刻,几乎任何事情都可以放心地交给他做。

他是高个子约翰·西尔弗的至交,因此一提到他的名字,就让我跟着说到我们船的厨子,“大叉烧”,人们那样称呼他。

在船上,他用一根短索将他的拐杖和脖子套到一起,以使双手尽可能地自由。这是很可一看的:他把拐杖的脚嵌人到舱壁的缝中,抵靠着它,以适应船的每一次颠簸,像人在岸上一样稳当地干着他的烹饪工作。更令人称奇的是看他在最恶劣的天气跨过甲板。他装配了一两根绳索来帮助他跨过那最宽的地方——它们被称作“高个子约翰的耳环”;他使自己从一个地方转到另一个地方,一会儿使用那根拐杖,一会儿拉着短索就到了舷侧,就像能行走的人一样迅速。然而,以前和他一起航行过的人看到他这个样子都表露出惋惜之情。

“‘大叉烧’,他是个不同寻常的人,”舵手对我说。“他在年轻的时候受过很好的,经心的时候能讲书上的字眼;而且他勇敢——一头狮子在高个子约翰身旁算不得什么!我看到他跟四个人格斗,把他们的头撞到一块儿——他赤手空拳。”

所有的船员都尊敬他,甚至服从他。他有办法和每个人都谈得来,并且能为每个人做特殊服务。他对我一向很好,总是很高兴在厨房里见到我,那个厨房被他收拾得非常的整洁;盘子被他擦得锃亮的悬挂起来,而他的鹦鹉则被关在角落里的一个笼子里。

“下来啦,霍金斯,”他会这样说,“来听约翰讲个故事吧。没人比你更受欢迎了,我的孩子。你坐下来,听听新闻。这是‘弗林特船长’——我管我的鹦鹉叫‘弗林特船长’,照那有名的海盗起的名字——你瞧,‘弗林特船长’正预告我们航行的成功哩。是不是,船长?”

而那只鹦鹉就会快嘴快舌地叫起来:“八个里亚尔!八个里亚尔!八个里亚尔!”让你为它的声嘶力竭而感到惊奇,直到约翰丢过去一方巾帕罩住笼子。

“现在这只鸟,”他会这样说,“可能有两百岁了,霍金斯——它们多半长生不老,要是有谁见到的伤天害理事比它们多,那一定是魔鬼自己了。它曾经跟着殷格兰——伟大的殷格兰船长,那个海盗——一起出过海。它到达过马达加斯加,还有马拉巴,还有苏里南、普罗维登斯、坡托伯罗。打捞失事了的沉船时它也在场。就是在那儿,它学会了‘八个里亚尔’,没啥稀奇的;那儿沉了三十五万英里,霍金斯!当‘印度总督号’在果阿被强攻时,它也在场,它确实在的;而看到它时,你还会以为它是个雏鸟哩。但是你闻过火药味了——是不是,船长?”

“准备转向。”鹦鹉会这样尖叫道。

“啊,它是个漂亮的尤物,确实是的,”厨子会这样说,从他的口袋里拿糖给它,接着那鸟就啄着笼栅,一直咒骂下去,说出些让人难以置信的恶毒话。“你看,”约翰会补充说,“你不去碰沥青才不会被弄脏,孩子。我这只可怜的、无辜的老鸟骂人的本领炉火纯青,没有比它更聪明的了,你要明白这一点。在随营牧师面前,可以说,它也会这样骂哩。”说着,约翰会以他特有的庄严的神情掠一掠他的额发,这使我觉得他是船员中最好的一个。

在此期间,乡绅和斯莫列特船长的关系仍然是相当的疏远。这一点,乡绅毫无顾忌地表露了出来,他鄙视船长。而船长这方面呢,除非乡绅跟他说话,否则他决不先张口,而答话也是尖锐、简短、生硬的,不浪费一个字眼。当他被逼问得无路可走时,他也可能承认他错怪了船员们,他们中一些人就像他想要看到的那样有于劲,而阻所有的人都表现得相当好。至于这艘船,他是彻底地爱上了她。“她定会圆满地完成任务的,比一个男人有权期待他的发妻所做的还要好,阁下。不过,”他又补充道,“我说来说去,我们还是再难回家了,我不喜欢此次航行。”

一听到这个,乡绅就会背过脸去,在甲板上走来走去,下巴翘上了天。

“那个人再来那么一点的话,”他会说,“我就要气炸了。”

我们遇到过些坏天气,而那只是证实了伊斯班袅拉号的质量。船上的每个人看来都很满足,否则他们一定就是不知足的人;因为,在我看来,自诺亚方舟下水以来,从未有哪只船的船员像他们那样被放纵。借点儿由子就要饮双倍的酒;不时地有肉馒头吃,比方乡绅听说那天是某人的生日;还有,总有一大桶苹果打开来放在船当腰的地方,谁爱吃就自己去拿。

“从没听说这么做会带来什么好处,”船长对利弗西医生说。“放纵手下,招致灾难。这是我的信条。”

但是那桶苹果确实带来了好处,就像你将要听到的那样:因为要是没有它,我们就不会得到警报,可能我们就会被叛逆之手统统于掉了。

事情是这样发生的。

我们赶到了贸易风①下,以便乘风抵达我们要去的岛——我不能说得更明白了——而我们现在正驶向它,由一个目力好的人日夜担任观望。照最长的估算,那大约是我们航程的最后一天;在那晚,或者说最迟在次日午时之前的某个时刻,我们就会看到宝岛了。我们的航向是西南,微风徐徐地吹着舷侧,海面平静无浪。伊斯班袅拉号翻卷着浪花稳定地推进着,不时升起又降下它的第一斜桅。所有的帆都鼓满了风;每个人都精神饱满,因为我们现在离探险第一阶段的末尾是那样地近了。

①由东南或东北方向向赤道吹袭的强风,很少改变方向,叫信风,也叫贸易风。——译者注

当时,日头刚刚落下,我干完了所有的工作,正在往我的铺位走的路上,我忽然想吃一个苹果。我跑上了甲板,观望者正全神贯注在向前注视着岛屿的出现,掌舵的人正在看风使舵,一边自个儿轻轻地吹着口哨;除了海水拍打船头和船舷的咻咻声外,那就是惟一的声音了。

我整个身子跳进了苹果桶,这才发现里面一个苹果也不剩了;但是,在黑暗中坐在里面,听着水声,伴着船身的上下起伏,我不觉打起盹来,或者说就快要睡着了,这时一个大个子扑通一声靠着桶坐下来。由于他的肩膀倚在桶上,桶摇晃起来,就在我想要跳起来的时候,这个人开始讲话了,是西尔弗的声音,还没等我听上几句,我就再不想暴露自己了,而只是蜷伏在里面,战战兢兢地听着,怀着极度的恐惧和好奇;就从这十来句话当中,我已明白,船上所有诚实的人的性命都系在我一人身上了




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