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宝岛(Treasure Island) 十一 我在苹果桶里听到了什

时间:2010-07-16 10:07    来源:    作者: 点击:

`NO, not I,' said Silver. `Flint was cap'n; I was quartermaster, along of my timber leg. The same broadside I lost my leg, old Pew lost his deadlights. It was a master surgeon, him that ampytated me - out of college and all - Latin by the bucket, and what not; but he was hanged like a dog, and sun - dried like the rest, at Corso Castle. That was Roberts' men, that was, and comed of changing names to their ships - Royal Fortune and so on. Now, what a ship was christened, so let her stay, I says. So it was with the Cassandra as brought us all safe home from Malabar, after England took the Viceroy of the Indies; so it was with the old Walrus, Flint's old ship, as I've seen amuck with the red blood and fit to sink with gold.'

`Ah!' cried another voice, that of the youngest hand on board, and evidently full of admiration, `he was the flower of the flock, was Flint!'

`Davis was a man, too, by all accounts,' said Silver. `I never sailed along of him; first with England, then with Flint, that's my story; and now here on my own account, in a manner of speaking. I laid by nine hundred safe, from England, and two thousand after Flint. That aint bad for a man before the mast - all safe in bank. 'Tain't earning now, it's saving does it, you may lay to that. Where's all England's men now? I dunno. Where's Flint's? Why, most on 'em aboard here, and glad to get the duff - been begging before that, some on 'em. Old Pew, as had lost his sight, and might have thought shame, spends twelve hundred pound in a year, like a lord in Parliament. Where is he now? Well, he's dead now and under hatches; but for two year before that, shiver my timbers! the man was starving. He begged, and he stole, and he cut throats, and starved at that, by the powers!'

`Well, it aint much use, after all,' said the young seaman.

`'Tain't much use for fools, you may lay to it - that, nor nothing,' cried Silver. `But now, you look here: you're young, you are, but you're as smart as paint. I see that when I set my eyes on you, and I'll talk to you like a man.'

You may imagine how I felt when I heard this abominable old rogue addressing another in the very same words of flattery as he had used to myself. I think, if I had been able, that would have killed him through the barrel. Meantime, he ran on, little supposing he was overheard.

`Here it is about gentlemen of fortune. They lives rough and they risk swinging, but they eat and drink like fighting cocks, and when a cruise is done, why, it's hundreds of pounds instead of hundreds of farthings in their pockets. Now, the most goes for rum and a good fling, and to sea again in their shirts. But that's not the course I lay. I puts it all away, some here, some there, and none too much anywheres, by reason of suspicion. I'm fifty, mark you; once back from this cruise I set up gentleman in earnest. Time enough, too, says you Ah, but I've lived easy in the meantime; never denied myself o nothing heart desires, and slep' soft and ate dainty all my days, but when at sea. And how did I begin? Before the mast like you!'

`Well,' said the other, `but all the other money's gone now aint it? You daren't show face in Bristol after this.'

`Why, where might you suppose it was?' asked Silver derisively.

`At Bristol, in banks and places,' answered his companion `It were,' said the cook; `it were when we weighed anchor But my old missis has it all by now. And the ``Spy-glass'' is sold, lease and good-will and rigging; and the old girl's of to meet me. I would tell you where, for I trust you; but it 'ud make jealousy among the mates.'

`And can you trust your missis?' asked the other.

`Gentlemen of fortune,' returned the cook, `usually trusts little among themselves, and right they are, you may lay to it. But I have a way with me, I have. When a mate brings a slip on his cable - one as knows me, I mean - it won't be in the same world with old John. There was some that was feared of Pew, and some that was feared of Flint; but Flint his own self was feared of me. Feared he was, and proud. They was the roughest crew afloat, was Flint's; the devil himself would have been feared to go to sea with them. Well, now, I tell you, I'm not a boasting man, and you seen yourself how easy I keep company; but when I was quartermaster, lambs wasn't the word for Flint's old buccaneers. Ah, you may be sure of yourself in old John's ship.'

`Well, I tell you now,' replied the lad, `I didn't half a quarter like the job till I had this talk with you, John; but there's my hand on it now.'

`And a brave lad you were, and smart, too,' answered Silver, shaking hands so heartily that all the barrel shook, `and a finer figure-head for a gentleman of fortune I never clapped my eyes on.'

By this time I had begun to understand the meaning of their terms. By a `gentleman of fortune' they plainly meant neither more nor less than a common pirate, and the little scene that I had overheard was the last act in the corruption of one of the honest hands - perhaps of the last one left aboard. But on this point I was soon to be relieved for Silver giving a little whistle, a third man strolled up and sat down by the party.

`Dick's square,' said Silver.

`Oh, I know'd Dick was square,' returned the voice of the coxswain, Israel Hands. `He's no fool, is Dick.' And he turned his quid and spat. `But, look here,' he went on, here's what I want to know, Barbecue: how long are we a-going to stand off and on like a blessed bumboat? I've had a' most enough o Cap'n Smollett; he's hazed me long enough, by thunder! I want to go into that cabin, I do. I want their pickles and wines, and that.'

`Israel,' said Silver, `your head aint much account, nor ever was. But you're able to hear, I reckon; leastways, your ears is big enough. Now, here's what I say: you'll berth forward, and you'll live hard, and you'll speak soft, and you'll keep sober, till I give the word; and you may lay to that, my son.'

`Well, I don't say no, do I?' growled the coxswain. `What I say is, when? That's what I say.'

`When! by the powers!' cried Silver. `Well, now, if you want to know, I'll tell you when. The last moment I can manage; and that's when. Here's a first-rate seaman, Cap'n Smollett, sails the blessed ship for us. Here's this squire and doctor with a map and such - I don't know where it is, do I? No more do you, says you. Well, then, I mean this squire and doctor shall find the stuff, and help us to get it aboard, by the powers. Then we'll see. If was sure of you all, sons of double Dutchmen, I'd have Cap'n Smollett navigate us half-way back again before struck.'

`Why, we're all seamen aboard here, I should think,' said the lad Dick.

`We're all foc's'le hands, you mean,' snapped Silver `We can steer a course, but who's to set one? That's what all you gentlemen split on, first and last. If I had my way I'd have Cap'n Smollett work us back into the trades a' least; then we'd have no blessed miscalculations and a spoonful of water a day. But I know the sort you are. I'll finish with 'em at the island, as soon's the blunt's on board and a pity it is. But you're never happy till you're drunk Split my sides, I've a sick heart to sail with the likes of you!

`Easy all, Long John,' cried Israel. `Who's a-crossing of you?'

`Why, how many tall ships, think ye, now, have I seen laid aboard? and how many brisk lads drying in the sun at Execution Dock?' cried Silver, `and all for this same hurry and hurry and hurry. You hear me? I seen a thing or two at sea, I have. If you would on'y lay your course and a p'int to windward, you would ride in carriages, you would. But not you! I know you. You'll have your mouthful of rum to- morrow, and go hang.'

`Everybody know'd you was a kind of a chapling, John; but there's others as could hand and steer as well as you,' said Israel. `They liked a bit o' fun, they did. They wasn't so high. and dry, nohow, but took their fling, like jolly companions every one.'

`So?' says Silver. `Well, and where are they now? Pew was that sort, and he died a beggar-man. Flint was, and he died of rum at Savannah. Ah, they was a sweet crew they was! on'y, where are they?'

`But,' asked Dick, `when we do lay 'em athwart, what are we to do with 'em, anyhow?'

`There's the man for me!' cried the cook, admiringly. `That's what I call business. Well, what would you think? Put 'em ashore like maroons? That would have been England's way. Or cut 'em down like that much pork? That would have been Flint's or Billy Bones's.'

`Billy was the man for that,' said Israel. ```Dead men don't bite,'' says he. Well, he's dead now himself; he knows the long and short on it now; and if ever a rough hand come to port, it was Billy.'

`Right you are,' said Silver, `rough and ready. But mark you here: I'm an easy man - I'm quite the gentleman, says you; but this time it's serious. Dooty is dooty, mates. I give my vote - death. When I'm in Parlyment, and riding in my coach, I don't want none of these sea - lawyers in the cabin a-coming home, unlooked for, like the devil at prayers. Wait is what I say; but when the time comes, why let her rip!'

`John,' cries the coxswain, `you're a man!'

`You'll say so, Israel, when you see,' said Silver. `Only one thing I claim - I claim Trelawney. I'll wring his calf's head off his body with these hands. Dick!' he added, breaking off, `you just jump up, like a sweet lad, and get me an apple, to wet my pipe like.'

You may fancy the terror I was in! I should have leaped out and run for it, if I had found the strength; but my limbs and heart alike misgave me. I heard Dick begin to rise, and then someone seemingly stopped him, and the voice of Hands exclaimed:--

`Oh, stow that! Don't you get sucking of that bilge, John. Let's have a go of the rum.'

`Dick,' said Silver, `I trust you. I've a gauge on the keg, mind. There's the key; you fill a pannikin and bring it up.'

Terrified as I was, I could not help thinking to myself that this must have been how Mr Arrow got the strong waters that destroyed him.

Dick was gone but a little while, and during his absence Israel spoke straight on in the cook's ear. It was but a word or two that I could catch, and yet I gathered some important news; for, besides other scraps that tended to the sam purpose, this whole clause was audible: `Not another man of them'll jine.' Hence there were still faithful men on board When Dick returned, one after another of the trio took the pannikin and drank - one `To luck'; another with a `Here's to old Flint'; and Silver himself saying, in a kind of song `Here's to ourselves, and hold your luff, plenty of prizes and plenty of duff.'

Just then a sort of brightness fell upon me in the barrel and looking up, I found the moon had risen, and was silvering, the mizzen-top and shining white on the luff of the fore-sail and almost at the same time the voice of the look-out shouted `Land ho!'

“不,不是我,”西尔弗说,“弗林特是船长;我因为有这根木腿,只是管掌舵。我失去这条腿,老皮乌失去了他的眼睛,是在同一次测舷受到炮击的时候。是一个技艺精湛的外科医生给我截的腿——那医生是从一个什么大学出来的,一肚子的拉丁词儿,还有别的什么;但是他被像条狗似的吊死在科尔索炮台,晒干了,像其他人一样。那是罗伯特的部下,他们的毛病是出在给船换了名字——‘皇运’等等——带来这个下场。 如今照我说,一条船被命名为什么,就让它一直叫那个名字好了。‘卡散德拉’号就是这样,在殷格兰拿下了‘印度总督号’,她把我们从马拉巴全部送回家;‘老瓦鲁斯’号,弗林特的那艘老帆船,也是这样,当时我见她被鲜血染得斑斑驳驳,被金子压得快 要沉了。”

“啊!”另一个声音叫道,那是船上最年轻的水手,声音里充满了赞美之情,“他 是人中俊杰哩,那个弗林特!”



“对傻瓜们来说是没太大用处,你要明白这一点——对他们来说,什么都没用,” 西尔弗叫道。“但是现在,你瞧:你还年轻,但你却聪明伶俐得跟幅画似的,我一见到你就看出来了,因此我把你当成个男子汉来谈话。”


“幸运的大爷们就是这样。他们艰难地生活着,冒着被绞死的危险,但是他们却像斗鸡般地吃喝着,而一旦一次航行结束了,他们口袋里成百的钢蹦儿就会换成成百上千的金铸。于是,大半花在喝酒和挥霍上,然后就再两手空空地出海。但那不是我的做法。 我把钱都存起来,这儿一些,那儿一些,哪儿都不太多,以免引起怀疑。我五十岁了,这点你要知道;一旦这次返航回去,我就郑重其事地做个绅士。连你也说,时间还富裕着哩。啊,但是那段时间我生活得很愉快,我从不拒绝无忧无虑、整天睡得甜、吃得香的生活,不过到了海上,情形就不同了。而我是怎样开始干起的呢?在桅杆前面,就像你!”






“幸运的大爷们,”厨子答道,“通常他们之间毫无信用可言,他们就是这样,你要明白这一点。不过我自有办法,我是这样的。一巳有哪个家伙算计我——我指和我相熟的人——那他就别想和老约翰活在同一个世界上。有些人怕皮乌,而有些人怕弗林特; 但是弗林特他本人怕我。他怕的,但是他又骄傲。他们是船上最粗野的水手,弗林特的部下都是;就连魔鬼自己也不敢到海上和他们呆在一起。好啦,现在,我跟你讲,我不是个自吹自擂的家伙,而你如今可以自己亲眼见到,我和同伴们相处得多么轻松;但当我还是舵手那会儿,‘绵羊’决不是用来形容弗林特手下的老海盗们的字眼。啊,你在老约翰的船上自己会证实这一点的。”





“哦,我晓得狄克是我们这边的,”舵手伊斯莱尔·汉兹的声音回答说。“他不笨, 狄克不笨。”说着他转动了下嘴里的烟草块,吐了口唾沫。“但是,你看,”他接着说 道,“我想知道的是这个,‘大叉烧’:还要多久我们才会离开这只该死的垃圾船?斯 莫列特船长快要让我受够了,他把我欺侮够了,这个挨雷劈的!我想进到那个特舱里去,我非要进去。我想要他们的泡菜和葡萄酒,什么都要。”

“伊斯莱尔,”西尔弗说道,“你的脑子不太好使,从来如此。但是我想你总还能听吧,至少你的耳朵长得还够大。听着,这就是我想说的:你还是要住在前舱,还是要 忍受煎熬过日子,还是要低声下气地说话,但是你要保持清醒,直到我发话;而你要明白这一点,我的孩子。”




“你的意思是我们都是水手舱里面的人手,”西尔弗不耐烦地打断了他的话。“我们能按照一条航线来行驶,但是由谁来确定这条航线呢?那就是你们这些大爷们全都傻 眼的地方。要是按我的意思来,我要让斯莫列特船长至少为我们工作到驶人贸易风带的时候,那么我们就不会有该死的计算错误,也不必每天只喝一匙淡水了。但是我知道你们是哪种人。等钱财一搬上船,我就在岛上解决了他们,真是可惜。你们都是些急功近利、短视的家伙。说来真是让我笑破肚皮,和你们这种人一道航行真让我恶心!”









“你说得对,”西尔弗说道,“差不多是这意思。但是现在你听着:我是个宽容的 人——你还可以说,我是个谦谦君子;但是这次事情严峻。公事公办,伙计。我发表我的意见——处死。当我日后进了国会、坐着四轮马车的时候,我可不想那个在特舱里耍嘴皮子的家伙意外地回家来、像魔鬼作祈祷似地令人大吃一惊。要等待时机,这是我说的;但是一旦时机成熟,就来它个斩尽杀绝!”


“你可以这么说,伊斯莱尔,当你眼见之时,”西尔弗说。“我只要求一件事—— 我要求把特里罗尼交给我。我要用这双手把他的肉脑袋从身子上拧掉。狄克!”他停了一下,加了一句,“你起来,可爱的孩子,给我拿个苹果,润润我的嗓子。”








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