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宝岛(Treasure Island) 三十四 尾声

双击单词可弹出解释框  时间:2010-07-16 21:14  作者:

THE next morning we fell early to work, for the transportation of this great mass of gold near a mile by land to the beach, and thence three miles by boat to the Hispaniola, was a considerable task for so small a number of workmen. The three fellows still abroad upon the island did not greatly trouble us; a single sentry on the shoulder of the hill was sufficient to insure us against any sudden onslaught, and we thought, besides, they had had more than enough of fighting.

Therefore the work was pushed on briskly. Gray and Ben Gunn came and went with the boat, while the rest during their absences, piled treasure on the beach. Two of the bars, slung in a rope's-end, made a good load for a grown man - one that he was glad to walk slowly with. For my part, as I was not much use at carrying, I was kept busy all day in the cave, packing the minted money into bread-bags.

It was a strange collection, like Billy Bones hoard for the diversity of coinage, but so much larger and so much more varied that I think I never had more pleasure than in sorting them. English, French, Spanish, Portugese, Georges, and Louises, doubloons and double guineas and moindores and sequins, the pictures of all the kings of Europe for the last hundred years, strange Oriental pieces stamped with what looked like wisps of string or bits of spider's web, round pieces and square pieces, and pieces bored through the middle, as if to wear them round your neck - nearly every variety of money in the world must, I thin, have found a place in that collection; and for number, I am sure they were like autumn leaves, so that my back ached with stooping and my fingers with sorting them out.

Day after day this work went on; by every evening a fortune had been stowed aboard, but there was another fortune waiting for the morrow; and all this time we heard nothing of the three surviving mutineers.

At last - I think it was on the third night - the doctor and I were strolling on the shoulder of the hill where it overlooks the lowlands of the isle, when, from out the thick darkness below, the wind brought us a noise between shrieking and singing. It was only a snatch that reached our ears, followed by the former silence.

`Heaven forgive them,' said the doctor; `'tis the mutineers!'

`All drunk, sir,' struck in the voice of Silver from behind us. Silver, I should say, was allowed his entire liberty, and, in spite of daily rebuffs, seemed to regard himself once more as quite a privileged and friendly dependant. Indeed, it was remarkable how well he bore these slights, and with what unwearying politeness he kept on trying to ingratiate himself with all. Yet, I think, none treated him better than a dog; unless it was Ben Gunn, who was still terribly afraid of his old quartermaster, or myself, who had really something to thank him for; although for that matter, I suppose, I had reason to think even worse of him than anybody else, for I had seen him meditating a fresh treachery upon the plateau. Accordingly, it was pretty gruffly that the doctor answered him.

`Drunk or raving,' said he.

`Right you were, sir,' replied Silver; `and precious little odds which, to you and me.'

`I suppose you would hardly ask me to call you a humane man,' returned the doctor, with a sneer, `and so my feelings may surprise you, Master Silver. But if I were sure they were raving - as I am morally certain one, at least, of them is down with fever - I should leave this camp, and, at whatever risk to my own carcase, take them the assistance of my skill.'

`Ask your pardon, sir, you would be very wrong,' quoth Silver. `You would lose your precious life, and you may lay to that. I'm on your side now, hand and glove; and I shouldn't wish for to see the party weakened, let alone yourself, seeing as I know what I owes you. But these men down there, they couldn't keep their word - no, not supposing they wished to; and what's more, they couldn't believe as you could.'

`No,' said the doctor. `You're the man to keep your word, we know that.'

Well, that was about the last news we had of the three pirates. Only once we heard a gunshot a great way off, and supposed them to be hunting. A council was held, and it was decided that we must desert them on the island - to the huge glee, I must say, of Ben Gunn, and with the strong approval of Gray. We left a good stock of powder and shot, the bulk of the salt goat, a few medicines, and some other necessaries, tools, clothing, a spare sail, a fathom or two of rope, and, by the particular desire of the doctor, a handsome present of tobacco.

That was about our last doing on the island. Before that, we had got the treasure stowed, and had shipped enough water and the remainder of the goat meat, in case of any distress; and at last, one fine morning, we weighed anchor, which was about all that we could manage, and stood out of North Inlet, the same colours flying that the captain had flown and fought under at the palisade.

The three fellows must have been watching us closer than we thought for, as we soon had proved. For, coming through the narrows, we had to lie very near the southern point, and there we saw all three of them kneeling together on a spit of sand, with their arms raised in supplication. It went to all our hearts, I think, to leave them in that wretched state; but we could not risk another mutiny; and to take them home for the gibbet would have been a cruel sort of kindness. The doctor hailed them and told them of the stores we had left, and where they were to find them. But they continued to call us by name, and appeal to us, for God's sake, to be merciful, and not leave them to die in such a place.

At last, seeing the ship still bore on her course, and was now swiftly drawing out of earshot, one of them - I know not which it was - leapt to his feet with a hoarse cry, whipped his musket to his shoulder, and sent a shot whistling over Silver's head and through the mainsail.

After that, we kept under cover of the bulwarks, and when next I looked out they had disappeared from the spit, and the spit itself had almost melted out of sight in the growing distance. That was, at least, the end of that; and before noon, to my inexpressible joy, the highest rock of Treasure Island had sunk into the blue round of sea.

We were so short of men, that everyone on board had to bear a hand - only the captain lying on a mattress in the stern and giving his orders; for, though greatly recovered he was still in want of quiet. We laid her head for the nearest port in Spanish America, for we could not risk the voyage home without fresh hands; and as it was, what with baffling winds and a couple of fresh gales, we were all worn out before we reached it.

It was just at sundown when we cast anchor in a most beautiful land-locked gulf, and were immediately surrounded by shore boats full of negroes, and Mexican Indians, and half-bloods, selling fruits and vegetables, and offering to dive for bits of money. The sight of so many good-humoured faces (especially the blacks), the taste of the tropical fruits, and above all, the lights that began to shine in the town, made a most charming contrast to our dark and bloody sojourn on the island; and the doctor and the squire, taking me along with them, went ashore to pass the early part of the night. Here they met the captain of an English man-of-war, fell in talk with him, went on board his ship, and, in short, had so agreeable a time, that day was breaking when we came alongside the Hispaniola.

Ben Gunn was on deck alone, and, as soon as we came on board, he began, with wonderful contortions, to make us a confession. Silver was gone. The maroon had connived at his escape in a shore boat some hours ago, and he now assured us he had only done so to preserve our lives, which would certainly have been forfeit if `that man with the one leg had stayed aboard.' But this was not all. The sea-cook had not gone empty handed. He had cut through a bulkhead unobserved, and had removed one of the sacks of coin, worth, perhaps, three or four hundred guineas, to help him on his further wanderings.

I think we were all pleased to be so cheaply quit of him. Well, to make a long story short, we got a few hands on board, made a good cruise home, and the Hispaniola reached Bristol just as Mr Blandly was beginning to think of fitting out her consort. Five men only of those who had sailed returned with her.

`Drink and the devil had done for the rest,' with a vengeance; although, to be sure, we were not quite in so bad a case as that other ship they sang about:


`With one man of her crew alive,
What put to sea with seventy-five.'

All of us had an ample share of the treasure, and used it wisely or foolishly, according to our natures. Captain Smollett is now retired from the sea. Gray not only saved his money, but, being suddenly smit with the desire to rise, also studied his profession; and he is now mate and part owner of a fine full-rigged ship; married besides, and the father of a family. As for Ben Gunn, he got a thousand pound-which he spent or lost in three weeks, or, to be more exact, in nineteen days, for he was back begging on the twentieth. Then he was given a lodge to keep, exactly as he had feared upon the island; and he still lives, a great favourite, though something of a butt, with the country boys, and a notable singer in church on Sundays and saints' days.

Of Silver we have heard no more. That formidable seafaring man with one leg has at last gone clean out of my life; but I daresay he met his old negress, and perhaps still lives in comfort with her and Captain Flint. It is to be hoped so, I suppose, for his chances of comfort in another world are very small.

The bar silver and the arms still lie, for all that I know, where Flint buried them; and certainly they shall lie there for me. Oxen and wain-ropes would not bring me back again to that accursed island; and the worst dreams that ever I have are when I hear the surf booming about its coasts, or start upright in bed, with the sharp voice of Captain Flint still ringing in my ears: `Pieces of eight! pieces of eight!'

第二天一大早,我们就开始干活,因为要把那么多财宝搬到岸边,在陆地上要走近一英里,再坐小船划三英里水路运到伊斯班袅拉号上去,这工作够我们忙的了,因为我们人太少。至今还在岛上的那几个人并不会让我们太担忧,只要在山顶上派一名岗哨,就可以确保我们不致于遭到他们的突袭。再说我们以为他们已尝够了厮杀的滋味。

因此工作进展很快,葛雷和本·葛恩划着小船来回于郎姆酒湾与伊斯班袅拉号之间,其余的人把财宝堆在岸边。两锭金条一前一后用绳子搭在肩上,就够一个大人走一趟,而且只能慢慢走。因为我力气小,扛不了什么,就被留在洞穴里,整天忙着把铸币装进面包袋。

这里收集的铸币跟比尔·彭斯箱子里的一样,五花八门包罗万象。不过面值要大得多,种类也多。我觉得整理这些钱币是一件莫大的乐事。其中有英国的金基尼、双基尼,法国的金路易,西班牙的杜布龙,葡萄牙的姆瓦多,威尼斯的塞肯,有最近一百年欧洲各国君主的头像,有古怪的东方货币,上面像是缕缕细绳、张张蛛网;有圆的有方的,有中间带孔的,好像可以串起来挂在脖子上。我估计差不多世界上每一种货币都被搜罗全了。至于数量,我相信大概跟秋天的落叶一样多,我总是弯着腰,手不断地整理着,一天下来弄得疲惫不堪。

就这样一天一天地干着,每天都有一大笔财产装上大船,而每天晚上洞穴里都有一大笔财产等待明天装载。在这段日子里,我们没有听到关于那三个幸存的反叛者的任何消息。

最后那几天,大概是第三天晚上,医生和我漫步登上一座小山顶。在山顶上可以看到岛上的低地。这时,从黑糊糊的山下吹来一阵风,传来的不知是尖叫还是歌声。送到我们耳边的只是一小段,接着又恢复了原来的沉寂。

“愿上帝宽恕他们,”医生说,“那是反叛分子!”

“他们都喝醉了,先生。”西尔弗在我们后面插了一句。

我可以说,西尔弗现在自由自在。尽管每天遭到冷眼,他还自认为是一个得到特殊待遇的朋友和随从。大家都瞧不起他,他却不在乎,始终低三下四地讨好每个人而毫不灰心,这种本领真是无人能比。然而,我估计没有谁对待他比对待一条狗客气些,只有本·葛恩除外,因为他对昔日的舵手至今仍怕得要命。此外还有我,我确实在某种程度上应该感谢他,尽管我也有更多的理由比任何人更根他,因为我曾目睹他在高地上策划新计谋,打算出卖我。由此可见,医生为什么那样不客气地回了他一句。

“喝醉?恐怕是在胡说八道。”医生说。

“没错,”西尔弗随声附和道,“鸡毛蒜皮的小事,反正跟你我无关。”

“西尔弗先生,你大概别指望我把你当人看,”医生冷笑着说,“所以我的想法也许会使你感到惊奇。我要是能肯定他们在说胡话——我敢说他们至少有一个人在发高烧,我一定要离开这儿,不管我自身会遇到多大的危险,也要尽我一个做医生的职责去看看他们。”

“恕我直言,先生,你这样做会酿成大祸的,”西尔弗说,“你将会失去你宝贵的生命,你可以相信我的话。如今我也与你们并肩而战,我不愿看到我方的力量被削弱,更不愿听到你遇到不测,要知道我对你可是感恩戴德呀。可是山下那帮家伙可是说话不算数的——就是他们想,也没有用了。再说,他们也不会相信你会讲信义的。”

“这倒是,”医生说,“你是个说话算数的人,我们可领教过了。”

关于那三个海盗,我们最后得知的消息便是这些。只有一次,我们听到老远一声枪响,估计他们是在打猎。我们经过商议决定只得把他们扔在这个岛上。这个决定得到本·葛恩和葛雷的坚决拥护。我们留下相当多的弹药,一大堆腌羊肉、一部分药品以及其他必需品、工具、衣服、一张多余的帆和十来英尺绳子。根据大夫特别提出的建议,我们还留下了相当多的烟草。

我们在岛上无需再做什么了,我们把财宝装上了船,贮备了足够的淡水,把剩余的山羊肉也带走了,以防万一。在某天早上,我们一切都准备妥当,终于起锚登程,把船驶出北汊。这面曾被船长升上屋顶且在其下同敌人作战的旗子又重新迎风飘扬在我们上空。

我们不久就发现那三个家伙比我们料想的更为密切地注意着我们的一举一动。船通过海峡时,我们曾离南面的岬岛非常近;我们看到他们三个人一起跪在那里的沙尖嘴上,举起双手做哀求状。我们每个人都不忍心把他们撇在这样可悲的境地。但是我们不能再冒险以防再发生叛乱。如果把他们带回国去再送上绞架,那也算不得仁慈。大夫向他们喊话,告诉他们我们留下了补给品给他们,并告诉他们上哪儿去找。可他们还是呼叫我们的名字,哀求我们看在上帝分上可怜可怜他们,不要让他们死在这个地方。

最后,他们看船还不停下来,而且愈走愈远,眼看着听不到喊声了。其中一个——我叫不准是哪一个——便大叫一声跳起来举起滑膛枪就放。一颗子弹嗖的一声从西尔弗头顶上飞过,把主帆打了个窟窿。

在这以后,我们不得不躲在舷墙后面。我再次探出头来时,沙尖嘴上已看不见他们的踪影,连沙尖嘴本身也变得愈来愈模糊了。那三个人的结局我知道的仅止于此。将近中午时分,藏宝岛最高的岩峰也沉到蔚蓝色的地平线下去了,这一切使我无比兴奋激动。

我们的人手实在少得很,船上的每一个人都得出把力。只有船长躺在船尾的一张垫子上下命令。他的伤势虽然大有好转,但还需要静养。我们把船头对着西属美洲最近的一个港口,因为我们如不补充水手,返航时恐怕会有危险。由于风向不停地转换,再加遇上两次大风浪,我们到达那个港口时都已累垮了。

当我们在一个陆地环抱、景色优美的海港里下错停船时,太阳已经落山。许多小船立即围住我们,船上的黑人、墨西哥人、印第安人和混血儿纷纷向我们兜销水果蔬菜,而且愿意表演潜下水去捡你扔下的钱币。那么多和颜悦色的面孔(尤其是黑人)、热带水果的风味,特别是华灯初上的小镇景象,简直太可爱了。同我们在岛上时那种杀机四伏、血雨腥风的气氛形成鲜明的对比。医生和乡绅带我上岸去准备玩一个晚上。在城里,他们碰到了一艘英国军舰的舰长,并同他聊了起来,还到他们的军舰上去了。总之,我们玩的很高兴。当我们回到伊斯班袅拉号上时,天都快亮了。

甲板上只有本·葛恩一个人。我们刚一登上大船,他就比比划划地急于向我们仟悔。西尔弗跑了。是这个放荒滩的水手在几个钟头以前放他坐驳船逃走的。本噶恩要我们相信,他这样做纯粹是为了保住我们的性命,要是“那个只有一条腿的人留在船上”,我们总有一天会死在他手上。但事情并未完。那个厨子不是空手走的。他乘人不备凿穿舱壁,偷走了一袋值三四百基尼的金币,这下子他今后的漂泊生涯可不用犯愁了。

我认为我们大家都为这么便宜就摆脱了他而感到高兴。

长话短说,我们补充了几名水手,一路平安回到英国。当伊斯班袅拉号抵达布里斯托尔时,布兰德利先生正开始考虑组织一支后援队前来接应,随伊斯班袅拉号出航的全体人员只有五个人归来。“余下的都死于酒桶旁,见了阎王。”——这话得到应验。当然我们的遭遇还没有像歌中唱到的另外一艘船那样悲惨。其中有两句是这样唱的:

  七十五个汉子驾船出海,只剩一人活着回来。

我们每个人都分得一份丰厚的财宝。至于这笔钱怎么个花法,明智不明智,那要依人而定。斯莫列特船长现已退休,不再航海了。葛雷不仅没有乱花他的钱,还用功钻研航海技术。这是出于一种想出人头地的强烈愿望,现在他是一艘装备优良的大商船的合股船主兼大副,他结了婚还做了父亲。至于本·葛恩分得一千磅后,在三个星期内就把这笔钱花光或丢掉了。还不到三星期,更确切地说,只有十九天,因为到第二十天,他回来时已变成一个乞丐了。于是他在岛上时最担心的局面出现了:乡绅给了他一份看门的差事。他至今还活着,乡下顽童非常喜欢他,但总拿他开心。每逢星期日和教会的节日,教堂里总少不了他的歌声。

关于西尔弗,我们再也没听到任何消息。我们总算彻底摆脱了这个可怕的瘸腿海盗。不过,我相信他一定找到了他的黑老婆,还带着“弗林特船长”,也许过得挺舒服。我看就让他舒服几年吧,因为他到另一个世界想过好日子,可不那么容易。

据我所知,银锭和武器至今仍在原来弗林特埋藏的地方。我当然宁愿让那些东西永远留在那里。就是用牛来拖,用绳来拉,都不能把我带回那个该死的岛上去。我在最可怕的恶梦中老是听到怒涛拍击海岸的轰鸣声。有时我会从床上猛然跳起来,而“弗林特船长”尖锐的叫声——“八个里亚尔、八个里亚尔”还在我耳边激荡着


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