译吧论坛
您当前的位置:主页 > 翻译资讯 > 翻译丛书 > 嘉莉妹妹-冬天的忠告:幸福使者来访

嘉莉妹妹-冬天的忠告:幸福使者来访

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


In the light of the world's attitude toward woman and her duties, the nature of Carrie's mental state deserves consideration. Actions such as hers are measured by an arbitrary scale. Society possesses a conventional standard whereby it judges all things. All men should be good, all women virtuous. Wherefore, villain, hast thou failed?

For all the liberal analysis of Spencer and our modern naturalistic philosophers, we have but an infantile perception of morals. There is more in the subject than mere conformity to a law of evolution. It is yet deeper than conformity to things of earth alone. It is more involved than we, as yet, perceive. Answer, first, why the heart thrills; explain wherefore some plaintive note goes wandering about the world, undying; make clear the rose's subtle alchemy evolving its ruddy lamp in light and rain. In the essence of these facts lie the first principles of morals.

"Oh," thought Drouet, "how delicious is my conquest."

"Ah," thought Carrie, with mournful misgivings, "what is it I have lost?"

Before this world-old proposition we stand, serious, interested, confused; endeavouring to evolve the true theory of morals-the true answer to what is right.

In the view of a certain stratum of society, Carrie was comfortably established--in the eyes of the starveling, beaten by every wind and gusty sheet of rain, she was safe in a halcyon harbour. Drouet had taken three rooms, furnished, in Ogden Place, facing Union Park, on the West Side. That was a little, green-carpeted breathing spot, than which, to-day, there is nothing more beautiful in Chicago. It afforded a vista pleasant to contemplate. The best room looked out upon the lawn of the park, now sear and brown, where a little lake lay sheltered. Over the bare limbs of the trees, which now swayed in the wintry wind, rose the steeple of the Union Park Congregational Church, and far off the towers of several others.

The rooms were comfortably enough furnished. There was a good Brussels carpet on the floor, rich in dull red and lemon shades, and representing large jardinieres filled with gorgeous, impossible flowers. There was a large pier-glass mirror between the two windows. A large, soft, green, plush-covered couch occupied one corner, and several rocking-chairs were set about. Some pictures, several rugs, a few small pieces of bric-a-brac, and the tale of contents is told.

In the bedroom, off the front room, was Carrie's trunk, bought by Drouet, and in the wardrobe built into the wall quite an array of clothing--more than she had ever possessed before, and of very becoming designs. There was a third room for possible use as a kitchen, where Drouet had Carrie establish a little portable gas stove for the preparation of small lunches, oysters, Welsh rarebits, and the like, of which he was exceedingly fond; and, lastly, a bath. The whole place was cosey, in that it was lighted by gas and heated by furnace registers, possessing also a small grate, set with an asbestos back, a method of cheerful warming which was then first coming into use. By her industry and natural love of order, which now developed, the place maintained an air pleasing in the extreme.

Here, then, was Carrie, established in a pleasant fashion, free of certain difficulties which most ominously confronted her, laden with many new ones which were of a mental order, and altogether so turned about in all of her earthly relationships that she might well have been a new and different individual. She looked into her glass and saw a prettier Carrie than she had seen before; she looked into her mind, a mirror prepared of her own and the world's opinions, and saw a worse. Between these two images she wavered, hesitating which to believe.

"My, but you're a little beauty," Drouet was wont to exclaim to her.

She would look at him with large, pleased eyes.

"You know it, don't you?" he would continue.

"Oh, I don't know," she would reply, feeling delight in the fact

that one should think so, hesitating to believe, though she really did, that she was vain enough to think so much of herself.

Her conscience, however, was not a Drouet, interested to praise. There she heard a different voice, with which she argued, pleaded, excused. It was no just and sapient counsellor, in its last analysis. It was only an average little conscience, a thing which represented the world, her past environment, habit, convention, in a confused way. With it, the voice of the people was truly the voice of God.

"Oh, thou failure!" said the voice.

"Why?" she questioned.

"Look at those about," came the whispered answer. "Look at those who are good. How would they scorn to do what you have done. Look at the good girls; how will they draw away from such as you when they know you have been weak. You had not tried before you failed."

It was when Carrie was alone, looking out across the park, that she would be listening to this. It would come infrequently-when something else did not interfere, when the pleasant side was not too apparent, when Drouet was not there. It was somewhat clear in utterance at first, but never wholly convincing. There was always an answer, always the December days threatened. She was alone; she was desireful; she was fearful of the whistling wind. The voice of want made answer for her.

Once the bright days of summer pass by, a city takes on that sombre garb of grey, wrapt in which it goes about its labours during the long winter. Its endless buildings look grey, its sky and its streets assume a sombre hue; the scattered, leafless trees and wind-blown dust and paper but add to the general solemnity of colour. There seems to be something in the chill breezes which scurry through the long, narrow thoroughfares productive of rueful thoughts. Not poets alone, nor artists, nor that superior order of mind which arrogates to itself all refinement, feel this, but dogs and all men. These feel as much as the poet, though they have not the same power of expression. The sparrow upon the wire, the cat in the doorway, the dray horse tugging his weary load, feel the long, keen breaths of winter. It strikes to the heart of all life, animate and inanimate. If it were not for the artificial fires of merriment, the rush of profit-seeking trade, and pleasure-selling amusements; if the various merchants failed to make the customary display within and without their establishments; if our streets were not strung with signs of gorgeous hues and thronged with hurrying purchasers, we would quickly discover how firmly the chill hand of winter lays upon the heart; how dispiriting are the days during which the sun withholds a portion of our allowance of light and warmth. We are more dependent upon these things than is often thought. We are insects produced by heat, and pass without it.

In the drag of such a grey day the secret voice would reassert itself, feebly and more feebly.

Such mental conflict was not always uppermost. Carrie was not by any means a gloomy soul. More, she had not the mind to get firm hold upon a definite truth. When she could not find her way out of the labyrinth of ill-logic which thought upon the subject created, she would turn away entirely.

Drouet, all the time, was conducting himself in a model way for one of his sort. He took her about a great deal, spent money upon her, and when he travelled took her with him. There were times when she would be alone for two or three days, while he made the shorter circuits of his business, but, as a rule, she saw a great deal of him.

"Say, Carrie," he said one morning, shortly after they had so established themselves, "I've invited my friend Hurstwood to come out some day and spend the evening with us."

"Who is he?" asked Carrie. doubtfully.

"Oh, he's a nice man. He's manager of Fitzgerald and Moy's."

"What's that?" said Carrie.

"The finest resort in town. It's a way-up, swell place."

Carrie puzzled a moment. She was wondering what Drouet had told him, what her attitude would be.

"That's all right," said Drouet, feeling her thought. "He doesn't know anything. You're Mrs. Drouet now."

There was something about this which struck Carrie as slightly inconsiderate. She could see that Drouet did not have the keenest sensibilities.

"Why don't we get married?" she inquired, thinking of the voluble promises he had made.

"Well, we will," he said, "just as soon as I get this little deal of mine closed up."

He was referring to some property which he said he had, and which required so much attention, adjustment, and what not, that somehow or other it interfered with his free moral, personal actions.

"Just as soon as I get back from my Denver trip in January we'll do it."

Carrie accepted this as basis for hope--it was a sort of salve to her conscience, a pleasant way out. Under the circumstances, things would be righted. Her actions would be justified. She really was not enamoured of Drouet. She was more clever than he. In a dim way, she was beginning to see where he lacked. If it had not been for this, if she had not been able to measure and judge him in a way, she would have been worse off than she was. She would have adored him. She would have been utterly wretched in her fear of not gaining his affection, of losing his interest, of being swept away and left without an anchorage. As it was, she wavered a little, slightly anxious, at first, to gain him completely, but later feeling at ease in waiting. She was not exactly sure what she thought of him--what she wanted to do.

When Hurstwood called, she met a man who was more clever than Drouet in a hundred ways. He paid that peculiar deference to women which every member of the sex appreciates. He was not overawed, he was not overbold. His great charm was attentiveness. Schooled in winning those birds of fine feather among his own sex, the merchants and professionals who visited his resort, he could use even greater tact when endeavouring to prove agreeable to some one who charmed him. In a pretty woman of any refinement of feeling whatsoever he found his greatest incentive. He was mild, placid, assured, giving the impression that he wished to be of service only--to do something which would make the lady more pleased.

Drouet had ability in this line himself when the game was worth the candle, but he was too much the egotist to reach the polish which Hurstwood possessed. He was too buoyant, too full of ruddy life, too assured. He succeeded with many who were not quite schooled in the art of love. He failed dismally where the woman was slightly experienced and possessed innate refinement. In the case of Carrie he found a woman who was all of the latter, but none of the former. He was lucky in the fact that opportunity tumbled into his lap, as it were. A few years later, with a little more experience, the slightest tide of success, and he had not been able to approach Carrie at all.

"You ought to have a piano here, Drouet," said Hurstwood, smiling at Carrie, on the evening in question, "so that your wife could play."

Drouet had not thought of that.

"So we ought," he observed readily.

"Oh, I don't play," ventured Carrie.

"It isn't very difficult," returned Hurstwood. "You could do very well in a few weeks."

He was in the best form for entertaining this evening. His clothes were particularly new and rich in appearance. The coat lapels stood out with that medium stiffness which excellent cloth possesses. The vest was of a rich Scotch plaid, set with a double row of round mother-of-pearl buttons. His cravat was a shiny combination of silken threads, not loud, not inconspicuous. What he wore did not strike the eye so forcibly as that which Drouet had on, but Carrie could see the elegance of the material. Hurstwood's shoes were of soft, black calf, polished only to a dull shine. Drouet wore patent leather but Carrie could not help feeling that there was a distinction in favour of the soft leather, where all else was so rich. She noticed these things almost unconsciously. They were things which would naturally flow from the situation. She was used to Drouet's appearance.

"Suppose we have a little game of euchre?" suggested Hurstwood, after a light round of conversation. He was rather dexterous in avoiding everything that would suggest that he knew anything of Carrie's past. He kept away from personalities altogether, and confined himself to those things which did not concern individuals at all. By his manner, he put Carrie at her ease, and by his deference and pleasantries he amused her. He pretended to be seriously interested in all she said.

"I don't know how to play," said Carrie.

"Charlie, you are neglecting a part of your duty," he observed to Drouet most affably. "Between us, though," he went on, "we can show you."

By his tact he made Drouet feel that he admired his choice. There was something in his manner that showed that he was pleased to be there. Drouet felt really closer to him than ever before. It gave him more respect for Carrie. Her appearance came into a new light, under Hurstwood's appreciation. The situation livened considerably.

"Now, let me see," said Hurstwood, looking over Carrie's shoulder very deferentially. "What have you?" He studied for a moment. "That's rather good," he said.

"You're lucky. Now, I'll show you how to trounce your husband. You take my advice."

"Here," said Drouet, "if you two are going to scheme together, I won't stand a ghost of a show. Hurstwood's a regular sharp."

"No, it's your wife. She brings me luck. Why shouldn't she win?"

Carrie looked gratefully at Hurstwood, and smiled at Drouet. The former took the air of a mere friend. He was simply there to enjoy himself. Anything that Carrie did was pleasing to him, nothing more.

"There," he said, holding back one of his own good cards, and giving Carrie a chance to take a trick. "I count that clever playing for a beginner."

The latter laughed gleefully as she saw the hand coming her way. It was as if she were invincible when Hurstwood helped her.

He did not look at her often. When he did, it was with a mild light in his eye. Not a shade was there of anything save geniality and kindness. He took back the shifty, clever gleam, and replaced it with one of innocence. Carrie could not guess but that it was pleasure with him in the immediate thing. She felt that he considered she was doing a great deal.

"It's unfair to let such playing go without earning something," he said after a time, slipping his finger into the little coin pocket of his coat. "Let's play for dimes."

"All right," said Drouet, fishing for bills.

Hurstwood was quicker. His fingers were full of new ten-cent pieces. "Here we are," he said, supplying each one with a little stack.

"Oh, this is gambling," smiled Carrie. "It's bad."

"No," said Drouet, "only fun. If you never play for more than that, you will go to Heaven."

"Don't you moralise," said Hurstwood to Carrie gently, "until you see what becomes of the money."

Drouet smiled.

"If your husband gets them, he'll tell you how bad it is."

Drouet laughed loud.

There was such an ingratiating tone about Hurstwood's voice, the insinuation was so perceptible that even Carrie got the humour of it.

"When do you leave?" said Hurstwood to Drouet.

"On Wednesday," he replied.

"It's rather hard to have your husband running about like that, isn't it?" said Hurstwood, addressing Carrie.

"She's going along with me this time," said Drouet.

"You must both go with me to the theatre before you go."

"Certainly," said Drouet. "Eh, Carrie?"

"I'd like it ever so much," she replied.

Hurstwood did his best to see that Carrie won the money. He rejoiced in her success, kept counting her winnings, and finally gathered and put them in her extended hand. They spread a little lunch, at which he served the wine, and afterwards he used fine tact in going.

"Now," he said, addressing first Carrie and then Drouet with his eyes, "you must be ready at 7.30. I'll come and get you."

They went with him to the door and there was his cab waiting, its red lamps gleaming cheerfully in the shadow.

"Now," he observed to Drouet, with a tone of good-fellowship, "when you leave your wife alone, you must let me show her around a little. It will break up her loneliness."

"Sure," said Drouet, quite pleased at the attention shown.

"You're so kind," observed Carrie.

"Not at all," said Hurstwood, "I would want your husband to do as much for me."

He smiled and went lightly away. Carrie was thoroughly impressed. She had never come in contact with such grace. As for Drouet, he was equally pleased.

"There's a nice man," he remarked to Carrie, as they returned to their cosey chamber. "A good friend of mine, too."

"He seems to be," said Carrie.

考虑到世人对女人及其责任的态度,嘉莉的心理状态值得我们的探讨。人们用人为武断的尺度衡量她的行为,社会拥有评判一切事物的传统标准:男人都应该做好人,女人都应该有贞操。因此我们要问:歹人,汝堕落为何?

尽管斯宾塞和现代自然哲学家们已经作了大量分析,我们对道德的理解仍很幼稚肤浅。道德问题不是单靠进化论就能解释的。单纯符合世上万物的规律是不够的,因为道德问题比这更深奥,也比我们迄今所理解更复杂。首先,谁能回答心灵为什么会颤动?又有谁能解释为什么有些哀伤的曲子在世上广为流传,经久不衰?最后又有谁能说清是什么炼丹术使得玫瑰不分阴晴,总是鲜花满树,像红灯高挂枝梢?这些事实的本质中蕴藏着道德的最基本原则。

“啊,”杜洛埃想,“我这次的胜利真是妙不可言埃”“唉,”嘉莉感到悲哀和担忧,“我失去的是什么?”我们面对着这个古老的问题认真思索,既感兴趣又觉困惑,努力想找出道德的真谛,寻求正确行为的真正答案。

照某些社会阶层的标准看,嘉莉现在的境遇是够舒服的了--在那些忍饥挨饿,饱受凄风冷雨之苦的人们眼里,她现在已进入风平浪静的安全港。杜洛埃在西区正对着联合公园的奥登广场租了三间带家俱的房间,那是个绿草如茵,空气清新的小地方,如今在芝加哥再没有这么美的地方了。从窗户看出去,景色美不胜收,令人心旷神怡。最好的那个房间俯瞰着公园的草坪。那里的青草已枯黄,草丛中露出一个小湖。光秃秃的树枝在寒风中摇摆,树梢后面耸立起联合公园公理会教堂的尖顶,再远处,还有好几个教堂的塔楼耸立着。

房间布置得舒舒服服。地上铺着漂亮的布鲁塞尔地毯,暗红配淡黄的鲜艳底色上织着插满奇花异卉的大花瓶图案。两扇窗子之间有一个大穿衣镜。房间的一个角落里摆着一张大而柔软的长沙发,上面蒙着绿厚绒面子,还有几把摇椅散放着。几张画,几块小地毯,还有几件小古玩,这些就是屋里的全部摆设了。

在前屋后面的卧室里,有嘉莉的一个大箱子,是杜洛埃给她买的。壁橱里挂着一长排衣服--她从未有过这么多衣服,而且款式和她那么相配。另外还有一个房间,打算作厨房,杜洛埃已经要嘉莉在那里装了一个简易活动煤气炉,以便烧些简单的便餐和杜洛埃爱吃的牡蛎、烤奶酪面包之类的食品。最后还有个洗澡间。整个房子很舒适,点着煤气灯,还有调温取暖设备,那种设备还带有一个衬着石棉的炉栅,是当时刚采用的,令人非常舒适愉快。由于嘉莉天生勤快爱干净,如今爱干净的脾气更有所发展,这地方收拾得非常舒适,令人愉快极了。

嘉莉就在这种惬意的地方安顿下来,摆脱了那些一直威胁着她的生活上的困顿,可是同时她又添上了许多心理上的负担。她的人际关系发生了如此大的改变,真可以把她看成是一个与旧日告别的新人。她从镜子里看到一个比以前漂亮的嘉莉,但是从她脑中的那面镜子里,她看到了一个比以前丑恶的嘉莉,那面镜子代表了她自己的看法和世俗的见解。她在这两个影象之间摇摆不定,不知道该相信哪个好。

“天哪,你真是个小美人!”杜洛埃喜欢常常对着她惊呼。

于是她就睁着大眼睛高兴地望着他。

“你知道你有多美,是不是?”他会接着说。

“嗯,我不知道,”她这么回答。因为有人认为她美,她心里不禁感到欣喜。尽管她相信自己很美,她还是不敢肯定,生怕自己太虚荣,自视过高。

可是她的良心可不会像杜洛埃那样奉承她。她从良心那里听到的是另一种声音。她在心里向这个声音辩白着,恳求着,为自己开脱着。归根结底,这良心也不是一个聪明正直的顾问。这只是世俗庸人那种渺小的良心,其中混杂着世人的见解,还有她过去的环境、习惯、风俗造成的影响。有了这良心,世人的声音就真的被当成上帝的声音。

“唉,你堕落了!”那声音说。

“为什么这么说呢?”她问道。

“看看你周围的那些人吧,”那声音在轻轻地说,“看看那些好人。他们不屑于做你做的事。看看那些好姑娘。要是让她们知道你那么经不住诱惑,她们会躲开你。你没有奋斗就放弃了努力。”嘉莉一个人在家,独自看着窗外的公园时,她会听到这个声音在对她说话。不过也不是常常听到--只有在没有旁的事情打岔时,在她对目前的舒适感觉不太强烈,而且杜洛埃又不在家里时,这个声音才会出现。这声音起初很清晰,不过嘉莉从来没有完全信服过,因为她总有话回答:12月严冬的威胁啦,她很孤单啦,她有需求啦,她怕呼啸的寒风啦等等。贫困的声音替她作了回答。

明媚的夏天一过去,城市披上了灰濛濛的外衣。整个长长的冬天,它穿着这件色调灰暗的外衣从事着各种活动。那无数的楼房,那天空,那街道,都蒙上了一层灰暗的色调。光秃秃的树木以及在风中飞舞的灰尘和废纸,更增添了阴沉严峻的气氛。寒风在长长窄窄的大街上扫过,风中似乎有什么东西引起人的惆怅。并非只有诗人、艺术家、或者感情细腻的上流人物才感受到了这种愁思。连狗和普通人都受了感染。他们的感受和诗人一样深刻,只是他们无法像诗人一样表达自己的感觉。停在电线上的麻雀,躲在门洞里的猫,还有负重跋涉的辕马,都感受到了悠长刺骨的冬的气息。世上万物,一切有生命的和没有生命的东西,都深切感受到这气息刺心入肺。要是没有那些欢乐的炉火,没有以营利为目的的商业活动,没有出售欢乐的游乐场所,要是没有那些在店堂内外照常展出的货物,没有街上那些花花绿绿的招牌,没有熙熙攘攘的顾客,我们会迅速感受到冰冷的冬之手沉重地压在我们心上。碰到阴雨天,太阳不肯赐予我们那一份应得的光和热,这种日子是多么让人沮丧埃我们对光和热的依赖,远远超出了常人的想象。我们只是一群由光和热孕育的昆虫,离开了光和热,我们就不复存在了。

在这种灰濛濛的漫漫寒冬,良心这隐秘的声音就越来越弱,越来越无力了。

这种思想斗争并非时时浮上心头。嘉莉并不是一个郁郁寡欢的人,她也没有不达真理誓不罢休的决心。她在这个问题上左思右想,陷入了逻辑混乱的迷宫,实在找不到一条出路,于是她就干脆不去再想。

杜洛埃在此期间的处事行为堪称他那一类人的楷模。他带着她到处玩,在她身上花钱,甚至出门做生意也带上她。他在近处做生意时,有时也会留她一个人在家过两三天。不过总的来说,他们经常在一起的。

他们这么安顿下来不久,有一天早上杜洛埃开口道:“听我说,嘉莉,我已请了我的朋友赫斯渥哪天晚到我们家来玩玩。”“他是谁?”嘉莉疑虑地问道。

“噢,他是费莫酒家的经理,人很不错。”“那酒家又是怎么一回事呢?”“是城里最好的酒家,是个高级豪华的地方。”好一会儿,嘉莉感到困惑。她想着杜洛埃的话,不知自己在这种情况下该如何自处。

“没关系的,”杜洛埃看出她的心思就说道:“他什么也不知道。你现在就算杜洛埃太太。”这话在嘉莉听来,有点轻率不体谅人。她看得出杜洛埃的情感不那么细腻。

“我们为什么不结婚呢?”想起他的海誓山盟,她不禁问道。

“嗯,我们当然要结婚的,”他说,“等我那笔小买卖一脱手我们就结婚。”他指的是某个产业。他曾经告诉她他有这份产业在手头,需要他操心和整顿一番,以及诸如比类的事。不知怎么一来,这事儿牵制了他,使他不能随心所欲,心安理得地解决个人问题了。

“等我一月份从丹佛做生意回来,我们就结婚。”嘉莉把这些话当作了希望的基础--这对她良心来说是一种安慰,一种愉快的解决办法。一旦他们结了婚,她的错误就纠正了,她的行为也就无可非议了。

事实上,她并不爱杜洛埃。她比他聪明,隐隐约约地,她已看出了他的缺点。如果不是这样的话,如果她不能对他有所评价和认识的话,她的境况还会糟糕一些,因为她会爱上他。她会害怕得不到他的爱,害怕失去他的欢心,害怕被抛弃而无所归依。她会被这些担忧弄得痛苦不堪。而现在,她的感情有点动摇不定。一开始她急于完全得到他,随后,就泰然处之,耐心等待了。她还不能确定,她究竟对他有什么看法,也不敢肯定自己到底想做些什么。

赫斯渥来访时,她发现他在各方面比杜洛埃聪明。他对她表示的那份恭维,是每个女人都会赏识的。他并不吓得唯唯诺诺,也不太放肆大胆。他的最大魅力是殷勤周到。他的职业使他训练有素,善于讨好那些春风得意的男性同胞,那些光顾他的酒店的商人和高等专业人员。那么,在遇到一个让他着迷的人物时,他当然会使出更高明的手段,博取好感。一个美貌女子,不管她有何种优美情感,总是激发他施展最大的魅力。他温和、宁静、自信,给人的印象是他只想为你效劳--能做些什么令女士更高兴。

在这种事情上,杜洛埃也是很有一套的,只要他认为值得下一番功夫。但是他太自高自大,缺乏赫斯渥那份温文尔雅。

他太轻浮快活,太爱寻欢作乐,又太自信了。他在勾引那些初出茅庐,缺乏爱情经验的姑娘时往往成功。但是碰到稍有经验,情感高雅的女子时,他就一筹莫展,不能得手了。在嘉莉身上,他看到的是后一类姑娘,而不是前者。事实上,机会自己送上门来,他太运气了。再过几年,筹嘉莉稍有一点阅历,生活上稍稍顺利一些,那他就别想接近她了。

“你这儿该置一架钢琴才对,杜洛埃。”那天晚上赫斯渥朝嘉莉微微一笑,说道,“这样你太太就可以弹弹琴了。”杜洛埃原来没有想到这一点。

“不错,我们该买一架,”他很乐意地说。

“我不会弹琴,”嘉莉鼓起勇气说。

“这一点不难学的,”赫斯渥回答道,“几星期下来你就能弹得很好了。”那天晚上,他保持着最佳精神状态来助兴逗趣。他穿着一身特别考究的新衣服,领子挺刮地翻下来,显然是用最高级的衣料做的。背心是用昂贵的苏格兰花呢做的,上面钉着两排珠母圆扣,他的领结是发光的丝织品,颜色既不花俏,也不太素净。他的衣服不像杜洛埃的那样引人注目,但是嘉莉可以看出料子的高雅。赫斯渥脚上穿了一双黑皮鞋,是用柔软的小牛皮做的,只擦得微微发亮。杜洛埃穿的是皮鞋。但是嘉莉感到,考究的衣服还是配软牛皮鞋好。她几乎是无意识地注意到这些细节。平常看惯了杜洛埃的穿着,在这种场合,这些细节自然而然地就显露了出来。

“我们来打尤卡朴克好吗?”谈了一会儿话以后赫斯渥提议说。他态度圆活,避开任何让人看出他知道嘉莉过去的话题。他的谈话完全不涉及个人,只说些和任何人无关的事情。

他的举动使嘉莉感到轻松自如了,他的殷勤和风趣又让她感到愉快。对她说的每一句话,他都装出一副很认真很感兴趣的神气。

“我不会打牌,”嘉莉说。

“查理,你可没有尽到你的责任啊,”他对杜洛埃非常和蔼可亲地说。“不过,”他又继续说,“我们俩可以一起教你。”他这么使手腕,使得杜洛埃感到他很佩服他的选择。他的一举一动都表示他很乐意和他们在一起。于是杜洛埃感到和他更亲近了,这也增加了他对嘉莉的尊重。由于赫斯渥的赏识,他对她的美貌有了新的认识。气氛大大地活跃起来。

“来,让我瞧瞧你的牌。”赫斯渥说着,彬彬有礼地从嘉莉背后看过去。“你有些什么牌?”他看了一会儿。“你的牌很不错,”他说。

“你的运气很好。来,我来教你怎么打败你丈夫。你听我的。”“喂,”杜洛埃说,“如果你们两个串通作弊,我就一点赢的希望也没有了。赫斯渥一贯是个打牌高手。”“不,是你太太。她给我带来好运。她为什么赢不了呢?”嘉莉感激地看着赫斯渥,又朝杜洛埃微笑。赫斯渥装出一副普通朋友的样子,好像他来这里只是为了愉快地消磨时间,嘉莉所做的只是让他愉快罢了。

“好,”他说,他不把自己手里的好牌打出去,存心让嘉莉能够赢一回,“我看初学打牌能打得这样,成绩不赖埃”嘉莉看到自己要赢这一盘了,开心地笑了。有赫斯渥帮她的忙,看来她是战无不胜的了。

他并不经常看她。即使看时,也只用温和的目光。他的眼神里只显出愉快与和气,看不出一丝邪意。他把他的狡黠和精明都收了起来,显出一脸的正气。嘉莉毫无疑心,以为他醉心于眼前打牌的乐趣里。她感觉得出,他认为她打得很不赖。

“打牌没有点彩头太不公平了,”过了一会儿,他把手指伸进上装放硬币的小口袋,说道:“我们来下1角钱的注吧。”“好。”杜洛埃说着去掏他的钱。

但是赫斯渥抢在他前面,已抓了满满一把1角的新硬币出来。“给,”他说着在每人面前堆了一小堆硬币。

“噢,这是赌博,”嘉莉笑着说,“这样可不好埃”“没关系,”杜洛埃说,“只是好玩而已。只要你只赌10美分,你还是可以上天堂的。”“你先不要和我们说道德吧,”赫斯渥温和地对嘉莉说,“等看谁赢了钱再说。”杜洛埃微微一笑。

“如果你丈夫赢了钱,他会告诉你赌钱有多不好的。”杜洛埃大声笑了起来。

赫斯渥说话时带着讨好的口气,他的意思那么明显,连嘉莉也听出了话中的诙谐意思。

“你什么时候出门?”赫斯渥问杜洛埃。

“星期三,”他回答。

“你丈夫经常出门,太不像话了,是不是?”赫斯渥对嘉莉说。

“她这次和我一起去,”杜洛埃说。

“你们走以前,一定要和我一起去看场戏。”“没问题,”杜洛埃说。“你说呢,嘉莉?”“我很愿意,”她回答。

赫斯渥尽量设法让嘉莉赢了这些钱。他为她赢了钱高兴,一遍遍数她赢的钱,最后把钱堆在一起,放在她伸出的手里。

接着他们一起吃了顿点心。吃饭时,他给大家斟上酒。饭后,他很识体地告辞了。

“对了,”他目光先注视着嘉莉,然后看着杜洛埃说道,“你们7点半准备好,我来接你们。”他们陪他走到门口。他的马车停在那里,黑暗中车上的红灯发出愉快的光芒。

“听我说,”他用老朋友的口气对杜洛埃说道,“下次你留你太太一个人在家时,你得让我带她出去玩玩,这样她不至于太寂寞。”“行啊,”杜洛埃说,对赫斯渥的好意感到高兴。

“你太客气了,”嘉莉说。

“这不算什么,”赫斯渥说。“换了我,我也会希望你丈夫这么关照我的。”他微笑着,轻快地走了,给嘉莉留下了深刻的印象。她从未与这样气度不凡的人有过交往。至于杜洛埃,他感到同样的愉快。

“真是个好人,”他们回到舒适的房间时,他对她说道,“而且和我很要好。”“好像是的,”嘉莉说。




扩展阅读: ...[详情]