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宝岛(Treasure Island) 十六 弃船的经过

双击单词可弹出解释框  时间:2010-07-16 21:14  作者:

IT was about half-past one - three bells in the sea phrase that the two boats went ashore from the Hispaniola. The captain, the squire, and I were talking matters over in the cabin. Had there been a breath of wind we should have fall' on the six mutineers who were left aboard with us, slipped our cable, and away to sea. But the wind was wanting; an to complete our helplessness, down came Hunter with the news that Jim Hawkins had slipped into a boat and go ashore with the rest.

It never occurred to us to doubt Jim Hawkins; but we were alarmed for his safety. With the men in the temper they we in, it seemed an even chance if we should see the lad again. We ran on deck. The pitch was bubbling in the seams; the nasty stench of the place turned me sick; if ever a man smelt fever and dysentery, it was in that abominable anchorage. The six scoundrels were sitting grumbling under a sail in the forecastle; ashore we could see the gigs made fast, and a man sitting in each, hard by where the river runs in. One of them was whistling `Lillibullero.'

Waiting was a strain; and it was decided that Hunter and I should go ashore with the jolly-boat, in quest of information. The gigs had leaned to their right; but Hunter and I pulled straight in, in the direction of the stockade upon the chart. The two who were left guarding their boats seemed in a bustle at our appearance; `Lillibullero' stopped off, and I could see the pair discussing what they ought to do. Had they gone an told Silver, all might have turned out differently; but they had their orders, I suppose and decided to sit quietly where they were and hark back again to `Lillibullero.'

There was a slight bend in the coast, and I steered so as to put it between us; even before we landed we had thus lost sight of the gigs. I jumped out, and came as near running as I durst, with a big silk handkerchief under my hat for coolness' sake, and a brace of pistols ready primed for safety.

I had not gone a hundred yards when I reached the stockade.

This was how it was: a spring of clear water rose almost at the top of a knoll. Well, on the knoll, and enclosing the spring, they had clapped a stout log-house, fit to hold two score of people on a pinch, and loop-holed for musketry on every side. All round this they had cleared a wide space, and then the thing was completed by a paling six feet high, without door or opening, too strong to pull down without time and labour, and too open to shelter the besiegers. The people in the log-house had them in every way; they stood quiet in shelter and shot the others like partridges. All they wanted was a good watch and food; for, short of a complete surprise, they might have held the place against a regiment.

What particularly took my fancy was the spring. For, though we had a good enough place of it in the cabin of the Hispaniola, with plenty of arms and ammunition, and things to eat, and excellent wines, there had been one thing overlooked - we had no water. I was thinking this over, when there came ringing over the island the cry of a man at the point of death. I was not new to violent death - I have served his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, and got a wound myself at Fontenoy - but I know my pulse went dot and carry one. `Jim Hawkins is gone' was my first thought.

It is something to have been an old soldier, but more still to have been a doctor. There is no time to dilly-dally in our work. And so now I made up my mind instantly, and with no time lost returned to the shore, and jumped on board the jolly-boat.

By good fortune Hunter pulled a good oar. We made the water fly; and the boat was soon alongside, and I aboard the schooner.

I found them all shaken, as was natural. The squire was sitting down, as white as a sheet, thinking of the harm he had led us to, the good soul! and one of the six forecastle hands was little better.

`There's a man,' says Captain Smollett, nodding towards him, `new to this work. He came nigh-hand fainting, doctor when he heard the cry. Another touch of the rudder and that man would join us.'

I told my plan to the captain, and between us we settle on the details of its accomplishment.

We put old Redruth in the gallery between the cabin and the forecastle, with three or four loaded muskets and mattress for protection. Hunter brought the boat round under the stern-port, and Joyce and I set to work loading her with powder tins, muskets, bags of biscuits, kegs of pork, a cask of cognac, and my invaluable medicine chest.

In the meantime, the squire and the captain stayed on deck and the latter hailed the coxswain, who was the principal man aboard.

`Mr Hands,' he said, `here are two of us with a brace of pistols each. If any one of you six make a signal of any description, that man's dead.'

They were a good deal taken aback; and, after a little consultation, one and all tumbled down the fore companion thinking, no doubt, to take us on the rear. But when they saw Redruth waiting for them in the sparred gallery, they went about ship at once, and a head popped out again on deck.

`Down, dog!' cries the captain.

And the head popped back again; and we heard no more, for the time, of these six very faint-hearted seamen.

By this time, tumbling things in as they came, we had the jolly-boat loaded as much as we dared. Joyce and I got out through the stern-port, and we made for shore again, as fast as oars could take us.

This second trip fairly aroused the watchers along shore. `Lillibullero' was dropped again; and just before we lost sight of them behind the little point, one of them whipped ashore and disappeared. I had half a mind to change my plan and destroy their boats, but I feared that Silver and the others might be close at hand, and all might very well be lost by trying for too much.

We had soon touched land in the same place as before, and set to provision the block house. All three made the first journey, heavily laden, and tossed our stores over the palisade. Then, leaving Joyce to guard them - one man, to be sure, but with half a dozen muskets - Hunter and I returned to the jolly- boat, and loaded ourselves once more. So we proceeded without pausing to take breath, till the whole cargo was bestowed, when the two servants took up their position in the block house, and I, with all my power, sculled back to the Hispaniola.

That we should have risked a second boat load seems more daring than it really was. They had the advantage of numbers, of course, but we had the advantage of arms. Not one of the men ashore had a musket, and before they could get within range for pistol shooting, we flattered ourselves we should be able to give a good account of a half-dozen at least.

The squire was waiting for me at the stern window, all his faintness gone from him. He caught the painter and made it fast, and we fell to loading the boat for our very lives. Pork, powder, and biscuit was the cargo, with only a musket and a cutlass apiece for the squire and me and Redruth and the captain. The rest of the arms and powder we dropped overboard in two fathoms and a half of water, so that we could see the bright steel shining far below us in the sun, on the clean, sandy bottom.

By this time the tide was beginning to ebb, and the ship was swinging round to her anchor. Voices were heard faintly halloaing in the direction of the two gigs; and though this reassured us for Joyce and Hunter, who were well to the eastward, it warned our party to be off.

Redruth retreated from his place in the gallery, and dropped into the boat, which we then brought round to the ship's counter, to be handier for Captain Smollett.

`Now men,' said he, `do you hear me?'

There was no answer from the forecastle.

`It's to you, Abraham Gray - it's to you, I am speaking.'

Still no reply.

`Gray,' resumed Mr Smollett, a little louder, `I am leaving this ship, and I order you to follow your captain. I know you are a good man at bottom, and I daresay not one of the lot of you's as bad as he makes out. I have my watch here in my hand; I give you thirty seconds to join me in.'

There was a pause.

`Come, my fine fellow,' continued the captain, `don't hang so long in stays. I'm risking my life, and the lives of these good gentlemen every second.'

There was a sudden scuffle, a sound of blows, and out burst Abraham Gray with a knife-cut on the side of the cheek, and came running to the captain, like a dog to the whistle.

`I'm with you, sir,' said he.

And the next moment he and the captain had dropped aboard of us, and we had shoved off and given way.

We were clear out of the ship; but not yet ashore in our stockade

那两只划于从伊斯班袅拉号出发上岸时大约是一点半钟——用海上的话说是钟敲三下①。船长、乡绅和我在特舱里商议对策,要是稍有一点风的话,我们就可以向留在船上的六个反叛分子突然发动袭击,然后起锚出海。但是没有风,并且更使我们绝望的是,亨特下来报告了一个消息:吉姆·霍金斯溜进了一只划子里和其余的人一起上岸了。

①船上报时,自十二点半敲一下起,以后每半小时增敲一下。——译者注

我们从未怀疑过吉姆·霍金斯,但是我们为他的安全担忧。跟一伙那种性情的人呆在一起,看来我们再难看到他了。我们跑上了甲板。沥青在船板缝里热得冒着泡;这地方的一股恶臭熏得我直要呕吐;要说有谁闻到过热病或痢疾的气味,那一定是在这个可恶的锚地了。那六个坏蛋正坐在帆下的水手舱里嘀嘀咕咕;我们可以看到两只划子系在岸边,靠近小河入海口,每只划子上都坐着个人。他们中的一个正用口哨吹着《利利布雷洛》的调子。

等待实在让人心烦,于是决定由亨特和我乘着划子上岸去侦察侦察。他们的划子是靠右停的,而我和亨特则朝着地图上标的寨子的方向径直划去。那两个留下来看划子的人一看到我们不由一阵慌乱,《利利布雷洛》停下不吹了,我看到这两个家伙正在交头接耳。要是他们跑去报告西尔弗,一切就大为不同了;但我想他们已有指示,故而决定仍静静地坐在原地,又吹起了那支《利利布雷洛》。

岸线上有一处小小的拐角,我划着划子,使这个拐角正介于我们和对方之间,这样,在登陆前他们便无法看到我们了。我在帽子下面压了块白色的绸巾以降暑,同时,为安全起见,还带了对手铣,然后我一跃而出,以接近奔跑的速度行进起来。

还没有走上一百码,我就来到了寨子前。

它是这个样子的:一股清泉几乎是从一个小丘的顶上涌出来,这样,在小丘上面,他们①围着泉水用圆木搭了座结实的木屋子,危急时刻,里面可以容纳四十人,四面都有射击孔。在木屋的周围,他们清出了一片开阔的空地,然后用六英尺高的栅栏圈起来,完成了这个工事。这圈栅栏未设门或出口,非常的牢固,进攻者若想拆毁它,正经得费些时间和力气,并且还开阔得无处藏身。木屋里的人在里面却可安然无恙,他们可以从各个方向,像打鹧鸪似地向进攻者开枪。他们需要的全部就是:一个好的岗哨和充足的食物。除非是偷袭,否则他们据守这个地点,可以挡住一个团的进攻。

①指弗林特他们。——译者注

特别令我高兴的是那股泉水。因为,虽然我们在伊斯班袅拉号的特舱里住得相当舒服,还备有充足的武器和弹药,还有吃有喝,但是我们忽略了一件事——我们没有淡水。我正在考虑这事的时候,这时从岛上传来了一个人临死前的惨叫。我对暴力致死并不陌生——我曾在坎布兰公爵麾下服役,而且我本人还在方特诺依负过伤——但是这回我的脉搏突然加快起来。“吉姆·霍金斯完了”,这是我反应出来的第一个念头。

当个老兵得有两下子,更何况我还是个医生,干我们这行可是从来没时间磨磨蹭蹭。因此我当机立断,毫不迟疑地向岸边返回,跳上了划子。

幸亏亨特是个好桨手。我们划得水花四溅,划子很快便靠到了大船旁边,我随即登上了大船。

我发现他们全都很震惊,这很自然。乡绅一屁股坐下来,脸苍白得像张纸,思量着他给我们带来的害处,这个好人!而那六个人中有一个也吓得不轻。

“那个人,”斯莫列特船长冲他点点头说,“是那行里的新手。当他听到那声惨叫时,他都快要晕过去了。医生。再使把劲,他就会加入到我们这边来。”

我向船长讲述了我的计划,于是我俩就研究起实施这个计划的细节来。

我们让老雷卓斯带上三四支实弹的火枪和一块打掩护的垫子,把守在特舱和水手舱之间的过道里。亨特把划子划到大船左侧的后舷窗下,乔埃斯和我则着手把火药桶、火枪、饼干袋、腌肉听和一桶白兰地,以及我那无价之宝的医药箱装到划子上去。

与此同时,乡绅和船长留在甲板上,后者还向舵手——这是船上那帮人的头头——打了招呼。

“汉兹先生,”他说,“我们俩每人带着一对手锍站在这里。要是你们六个中有谁向岸上发出信号的话,就要了他的狗命。”

他们着实吃惊不小,交头接耳了一会后,就一齐窜下前舱梯,无疑是想从后面包抄我们。但是他们一看到雷卓斯正在那过道里等着他们,于是就又立刻退了回去,接着,又有一个脑袋伸出了甲板张望着。

“下去,狗东西!”船长吼道。

那个脑袋便缩了回去。有一段时间,我们再没听到这六个吓昏了头的水手有什么动静。

这时,我们匆忙搬运的东西已经将划子装得满满的了。乔埃斯和我从后舷窗上了划子,我们又尽快地向岸上划去。

小划子的第二趟行程可大大惊动了岸上的守望者。《利利布雷洛》的调子再次中断了。而就在我们要绕过岸线上的小拐角、从他们的视线中消失的时候,他们中的一个拔腿向岸上跑去,一下子就没影了。我本想改变计划、毁掉他们的划子,但我担心西尔弗和其他人可能就在岸边附近,而贪多则可能会坏事。

我们迅速在上次那个地方上了岸,然后开始往木屋里搬运物资。第一趟我们三个都负荷很重,便把这些东西扔到了寨子的栅栏里。然后,把乔埃斯留下来守卫着它们——的确,只有一个人,但是带着半打火枪——亨特和我则又返回到划子上,再次负重前行。我们就这样不歇气地搬运着,直到把全部物资都安置妥当。两个仆人留守在木屋里,我拼尽全力划着双桨又返回了伊斯班袅拉号。

我们必须冒着危险再次把划子装满,事实上并没啥可怕的。当然,他们在人数上是占优势,但是,我们在武器上占了优势。岸上的那些人中没谁有枪,只要他们在手铳的射程之内,不是吹,我们至少能干掉他们半打人。

乡绅正在船尾的舷窗那里等候我,先前的沮丧之色一扫而光。他抓住并拉紧了缆绳,于是我们就开始拼命装船。这回装的是猪肉、火药和面包干,此外,只为乡绅、我、雷卓斯、以及船长每个人各带了一支火枪和一柄弯刀。其余的武器和弹药都被我们扔进了两寸半深的水中,扔下去后,我们可以看到,在下面清澈的沙底,明亮的铁器在阳光的照射下闪闪发光。

这时,潮水开始退了,大船在绕着锚打转儿。从那两只划子停靠的方向上隐约传来了一阵喧嚣,尽管我们对乔埃斯和亨特很是放心,因为他们恰好在东面离得远些的地方,但这也警告了我们这帮人,必须撤离了。

雷卓斯从过道上他把守的地方撤了下来,跳到了划子里,接着我们便把划子绕到了大船的另一侧去接斯莫列特船长。

“喂,你们那帮家伙,”他说,“你们听得到我的话吗?”

水手舱里没有回答。

“我对你说,亚伯拉罕·葛雷——我在同你讲话。”

还是没有回答。

“葛雷,”斯莫列特先生把声音抬高了一点,继续说道,“我就要离开大船了,而我命令你跟随你的船长一起走。我知道你本质上是个好人,而且我还敢说,你们这些人中没谁像他表面上看去的那么坏。我在这里看着我手里的表,我给你三十秒的时间到我们这边来。”

接着是一段沉寂。

“来吧,我的好小伙儿,”船长接着又说道,“不要再耽搁了。每一秒钟,我和这些好心的先生们都在冒着生命危险哩。”

突然传来了一阵扭打声,接着亚伯拉罕·葛雷一侧面颊上带着刀伤冲了出来,像一条狗听到哨声一般跑向了船长。

“我和你一起,先生。”他说。

接下来,他和船长都跳到了我们的划子里,我们当即撑开划子脱离了大船,向岸边划去。

我们是从大船上脱了身,但是我们还没到达岸上的寨子


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