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宝岛(Treasure Island) 二十七 八个里亚尔

双击单词可弹出解释框  时间:2010-07-16 21:14  作者:

OWING to the cant of the vessel, the masts hung far out over the water, and from my perch on the cross- trees I had nothing below me but the surface of the bay. Hands, who was not so far up, was, in consequence, nearer to the ship, and fell between me and the bulwarks. He rose once to the surface in a lather of foam and blood, and then sank again for good. As the water settled, I could see him lying huddled together on the clean, bright sand in the shadow of the vessel's sides. A fish or two whipped past his body. Sometimes, by the quivering of the water, he appeared to move a little, as if he were trying to rise. But he was dead enough, for all that, being both shot and drowned, and was food for fish in the very place where he had designed my slaughter.

I was no sooner certain of this than I began to feel sick, faint, and terrified. The hot blood was running over my back and chest. The dirk, where it had pinned my shoulder to the mast, seemed to burn like a hot iron; yet it was not so much these real sufferings that distressed me, for these, it seemed to me, I could bear without a murmur; it was the horror I had upon my mind of falling from the cross-trees into that still green water, beside the body of the coxswain.

I clung with both hands till my nails ached, and I shut my eyes as if to cover up the peril. Gradually my mind came back again, my pulses quieted down to a more natural time, and I was once more in possession of myself.

It was my first thought to pluck forth the dirk; but either it stuck too hard or my nerve failed me; and I desisted with a violent shudder. Oddly enough, that very shudder did the business. The knife, in fact, had come the nearest in the world to missing me altogether; it held me by a mere pinch of skin, and this the shudder tore away. The blood ran down the faster, to be sure; but I was my own master again, and only tacked to the mast by my coat and shirt.

These last I broke through with a sudden jerk, and then regained the deck by the starboard shrouds. For nothing in the world would I have again ventured, shaken as I was, upon the overhanging port shrouds, from which Israel had so lately fallen.

I went below, and did what I could for my wound; it pained me a good deal, and still bled freely; but it was neither deep nor dangerous, nor did it greatly gall me when I used my arm. Then I looked around me, and as the ship was now, in a sense, my own, I began to think of clearing it from its last passenger - the dead man, O'Brien.

He had pitched, as I have said, against the bulwarks, where he lay like some horrible, ungainly sort of puppet; life-sized, indeed, but how different from life's colour or life's comeliness! In that position, I could easily have my way with him; and as the habit of tragical adventures had worn off almost all my terror for the dead, I took him by the waist as if he had been a sack of bran, and, with one good heave, tumbled him overboard. He went in with a sounding plunge; the red cap came off, and remained floating on the surface; and as soon as the splash subsided, I could see him and Israel lying side by side, both wavering with the tremulous movement of the water. O'Brien, though still quite a young man, was very bald. There he lay, with that bald head across the knees of the man who had killed him, and the quick fishes steering to and fro over both.

I was now alone upon the ship; the tide had just turned. The sun was within so few degrees of setting that already the shadow of the pines upon the western shore began to reach right across the anchorage, and fall in patterns on the deck. The evening breeze had sprung up, and though it was well warded off by the hill with the two peaks upon the east, the cordage had begun to sing a little softly to itself and the idle sails to rattle to and fro.

I began to see a danger to the ship. The jibs I speedily doused and brought tumbling to the deck; but the mainsail was a harder matter. Of course, when the schooner canted over, the boom had swung out - board, and the cap of it and a foot or two of sail hung even under water. I thought this made it still more dangerous; yet the strain was so heavy that I half feared to meddle. At last, I got my knife and cut the halyards. The peak dropped instantly, a great belly of loose canvas floated broad upon the water; and since, pull as I liked, I could not budge the downhaul; that was the extent of what I could accomplish. For the rest, the Hispaniola must trust to luck, like myself.

By this time the whole anchorage had fallen into shadow - the last rays, I remember, falling through a glade of the wood, and shining bright as jewels, on the flowery mantle of the wreck. It began to be chill; the tide was rapidly fleeting seaward, the schooner settling more and more on her beam-ends.

I scrambled forward and looked over. It seemed shallow enough, and holding the cut hawser in both hands for a last security, I let myself drop softly overboard. The water scarcely reached my waist; the sand was firm and covered with ripple marks, and I waded ashore in great spirits, leaving the Hispaniola on her side, with her mainsail trailing wide upon the surface of the bay. About the same time the sun went fairly down, and the breeze whistled low in the dusk among the tossing pines.

At least, and at last, I was off the sea, nor had I returned thence empty-handed. There lay the schooner, clear at last from buccaneers and ready for our own men to board and get to sea again. I had nothing nearer my fancy than to get home to the stockade and boast of my achievements. Possibly I might be blamed a bit for my truantry, but the recapture of the Hispaniola was a clenching answer, and I hoped that even Captain Smollett would confess I had not lost my time.

So thinking, and in famous spirits, I began to set my face homeward for the block-house and my companions. I remembered that the most easterly of the rivers which drain into Captain Kidd's anchorage ran from the two-peaked hill upon my left; and I bent my course in that direction that I might pass the stream while it was small. The wood was pretty open, and keeping along the lower spurs, I had soon turned the corner of that hill, and not long after waded to the mid-calf across the water-course.

This brought me near to where I had encountered Ben Gunn, the maroon; and I walked more circumspectly, keeping an eye on every side. The dusk had come nigh hand completely, and, as I opened out the cleft between the two peaks, I became aware of a wavering glow against the sky where, as I judged, the man of the island was cooking his supper before a roaring fire. And yet I wondered, in my heart that he should show himself so careless. For if I could see this radiance, might it not reach the eyes of Silver himself where he camped upon the shore among the marshes?

Gradually the night fell blacker; it was all I could do to guide myself even roughly towards my destination; the double hill behind me and the Spy-glass on my right hand loomed faint and fainter; the stars were few and pale; and in the low ground where I wandered I kept tripping among bushes and rolling into sandy pits.

Suddenly a kind of brightness fell about me. I looked up; a pale glimmer of moonbeams had alighted on the summit of the Spy-glass, and soon after I saw something broad and silvery moving low down behind the trees, and knew the moon had risen.

With this to help me, I passed rapidly over what remained to me of my journey; and, sometimes walking, sometimes running, impatiently drew near to the stockade. Yet, as I began to thread the grove that lies before it, I was not so thoughtless but that I slacked my pace and went a trifle warily. It would have been a poor end of my adventures to get shot down by my own party in mistake.

The moon was climbing higher and higher; its light began to fall here and there in masses through the more open districts of the wood; and right in front of me a glow of a different colour appeared among the trees. It was red and hot, and now and again it was a little darkened - as it were the embers of a bonfire smouldering.

For the life of me, I could not think what it might be.

At last I came right down upon the borders of the clearing. The western end was already steeped in moonshine; the rest, and the block-house itself, still lay in a black shadow, chequered with long, silvery streaks of light. On the other side of the house an immense fire had burned itself into clear embers and shed a steady, red reverberation, contrasted strongly with the mellow paleness of the moon. There was not a soul stirring, nor a sound beside the noises of the breeze.

I stopped, with much wonder in my heart, and perhaps a little terror also. It had not been our way to build great fires; we were, indeed, by the captain's orders, somewhat niggardly of firewood; and I began to fear that something had gone wrong while I was absent.

I stole round by the eastern end, keeping close in shadow, and at a convenient place, where the darkness was thickest, crossed the palisade.

To make assurance surer, I got upon my hands and knees, and crawled, without a sound, towards the corner of the house. As I drew nearer, my heart was suddenly and greatly lightened. It is not a pleasant noise in itself, and I have often complained of it at other times; but just then it was like music to hear my friends snoring together so loud and peaceful in their sleep. The sea cry of the watch, that beautiful `All's well,' never fell more reassuringly on my ear.

In the meantime, there was no doubt of one thing; they kept an infamous bad watch. If it had been Silver and his lads that were now creeping in on them, not a soul would have seen daybreak. That was what it was thought I, to have the captain wounded; and again I blamed myself sharply for leaving them in that danger with so few to mount guard.

By this time I had got to the door and stood up. All was dark within, so that I could distinguish nothing by the eye. As for sounds, there was the steady drone of the snorers, and a small occasional noise, a flickering or pecking that I could in no way account for.

With my arms before me I walked steadily in. I should lie down in my own place (I thought, with a silent chuckle) and enjoy their faces when they found me in the morning.

My foot struck something yielding - it was a sleeper's leg; and he turned and groaned, but without awaking.

And then, all of a sudden, a shrill voice broke forth out of the darkness:

`Pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!' and so forth, without pause or change like the clacking of a tiny mill.

Silver's green parrot, Captain Flint! It was she whom I had heard pecking at a piece of bark; it was she, keeping better watch than any human being, who thus announced my arrival with her wearisome refrain.

I had no time left me to recover. At the sharp, clipping tone of the parrot, the sleepers awoke and sprang up; and with a mighty oath, the voice of Silver cried:--

`Who goes?'

I turned to run, struck violently against one person recoiled, and ran full into the arms of a second, who, for his part, closed upon and held me tight.

`Bring a torch, Dick,' said Silver, when my capture was thus assured.

And one of the men left the log-house, and presently returned with a lighted brand

由于船身的倾斜,桅杆都伸出水面上方很远。我坐在桅顶横桁上,下面只有一湾海水。汉兹刚才爬得不高,或是说离甲板不远,因此掉在我和舷墙之间的水里。他曾从鲜血染红的水沫中浮起一次,随后就又沉了下去,再也没浮上来。当水面恢复平静后,我看见他躺在船身侧影下,在澄净的沙底上缩成一团,有一两条鱼从他身旁游过。有时由于水微微颤动,他好像也稍稍动了几下,像是要站起来。但是他确实是死了,不管怎么说,他是被枪击中后又掉进水里淹个够呛。他本打算在这个地方把我干掉,没料到自己倒喂了鱼。

我刚肯定这一点,便开始感到恶心、头晕、恐慌。热血从背上胸前淌下来。把我钉在桅杆上的短剑像烙铁一般灼热难忍。然而,让我惊慌恐惧的倒不是这点皮肉之苦,老实说,这点痛苦我可以一声不哼地挺过去,我怕的是从桅顶横桁上掉进平静的碧水中,挨在副水手长的尸体旁。

我用双手死死抓住横桁,直弄得指甲疼痛。我闭上眼睛,不敢正视。渐渐地,我神志清醒过来,心跳恢复正常,又有了自制力。

我第一个念头就是把短剑拔出来,但也许它在桅杆上插得太深或是我力不从心,只好放弃这个念头。我猛地打了个寒战。说来也怪,正是这个寒战起了作用。那把短剑事实上差一点就伤不到我;它只擦着我一层皮,我这一哆嗦就把这层皮撕断了。血当然比先前淌得更厉害,但是我又自由了,只有上衣和衬衫还钉在桅杆上。

我猛地把衣服也从桅杆上扯了下来,然后从右舷软梯又回到甲板上,我已饱受惊吓,浑身颤抖,再也不敢从支在船外的软梯上下去,伊斯莱尔刚才就是从这里掉下水去的。

我下到船舱,想法子包扎伤口。肩膀疼得厉害,血还不停地淌。但伤口不深,没什么危险,也不太妨碍我活动胳膊。我向四周看了看,从某种意义上讲,这条船属于我的了,因此我开始考虑清除船上的最后一名乘客——奥布赖恩的尸体。

我刚才说过他已滑到舷墙边,躺在那里像个丑陋可怕的木偶,跟真人一样却没有一丝血色,也无活人的生气。处于这种状态的他很容易对付,我已习惯处于惊心动魄的悲惨境地,见了死人一点也不知道害怕,我拖住他的腰,像提一袋麦皮那样举起来用力扔出了船外。他扑通一声掉进了水里,红帽子掉下来,飘在水面上,等水面刚一平静下来,我就看到他跟伊斯莱尔肩并肩挨着,两人都在水的颤动下微微晃动。奥布赖恩虽然还很年轻,头却秃得厉害。他躺在那儿,光秃秃的脑袋枕在杀死他的那个人的膝盖上,一些鱼在他俩上方很快地游来游去。

船上只剩下我一个人,潮水刚开始转回,太阳只差几度就要落山,西海岸的松影开始向锚地渐移渐近,最终映在甲板上。晚风吹起来,虽然有东面的双峰山挡着,船上的索具开始嘤嘤轻唱,闲着的帆也来回晃得啪啦啪啦响。

我开始感到船面临着危险。我迅速放下三角帆扔到甲板上,但却难以对付主帆。船倾斜时,主帆的下桁当然斜到了船外,桅杆头连同两英尺左右的帆平垂在水下。我想这使得船更加危险。但是帆篷绷得那么紧,使我简直束手无策。后来,我终于掏出刀子割断升降索。桁端的帆角立即落下,松弛的帆挺着大肚子漂浮在水面上。我无论如何用力也拉不动帆索,我也只能做到这个程度了。除此以外,伊斯班袅拉号只好听天由命了,就像我一样。

这时整个锚地都笼罩在薄暮中,我记得夕阳的最后一丝余光穿过林间照在一片空隙开满鲜花的破船残骸上,像宝石样闪闪发光。我略感寒意,潮水很快地退回大海,大船愈来愈倾斜,眼看就要倒下去。

我爬到船头上向舷外看了一下。水已够浅了,我用两只手抓住断了的锚索以保安全,小心谨慎地翻到船外。水深仅及腰部,沙地坚实,有起伏的波浪。我神采奕奕地登上岸,撇下在海湾水面上张着主帆、歪倒向一旁的伊斯班袅拉号。差不多与此同时,日落西山,暮雹沉沉,在摇曳的松林间可以听到丝丝的风声。

至少,我总算从海上回到了陆地,而且不是空手回来的。船上反叛的海盗已被肃清。现在船横在那里,随时可以载着自己人重新回到海上去。我恨不得立即回到寨子里夸耀我的功劳。也许我会因为擅离职守而受到指责,但夺回伊斯班袅拉号则是最有力的答复。我希望就是斯莫列特船长也会承认我没有浪费时间。

我这样想着,心情好得不能再好。我开始朝木屋和我的同伴们所在的方向出发。我记得流入基德船长锚地的几条小河中最东的一条发源于我左边的双峰山。于是我就折回那座小山,打算在源头趟过小河。这里树木稀疏,我沿着较低的斜坡走,不久就绕过山脚。又过了一会儿,我趟着仅及小腿一半深的水过了小河。

这里已靠近我遇到放逐荒滩的本·葛恩的地方。现在我走得比较谨慎,眼睛留意着两边。天完全黑下来,当我通过双峰之间的裂谷时,我注意到天空有反射的光,我猜想是那个岛中人在烧得很旺的篝火前做饭。然而我心中暗暗纳闷,他太粗心了,我都能看到火光,难道住在岸边沼泽间的营地里的西尔弗就看不到吗?

夜色越来越深,我只能大致向我的目的地前进。我背后的双峰山和我右侧的望远镜山轮廓愈来愈模糊,星星稀少而又暗淡。我走在低地上,常被灌木绊倒,滚进沙坑里。

忽然间,我周围有了一些光亮。我抬头一看,苍白的月光照在望远镜山的山峰上。随后,只见银盘似的东西从树丛后很低的地方徐徐升起,是月亮出来了。

我借着月光想赶快走完余下的路,走一阵,跑一阵,急于靠近寨子。不过,当我走人栅栏外围的树丛时,则没敢冒冒失失的,而是放慢了脚步,加小心了些,心想万一被自己人误伤的话,那我的惊险历程的结局就太惨了。

月亮愈升愈高,在树林较为稀疏的地方,处处洒有清清月色。但在我正前方的树丛中,却出现与月光不同的亮光。这是一种炽热的红光,忽而又暗淡下来,像是篝火的余烬还在冒烟,弄得我百思不得其解。

我终于来到寨子所在的林中空地边上。空地的西缘已沐浴在月光下,其它包括木屋在内的部分,还笼罩在黑影中,但也被一道道银色月光穿透,像是黑白相间的棋盘。在木屋的另一面,一大堆火已经烧得只剩下透明的灰烬,反射出通红的光,与柔和恬淡的月光形成了强烈的对比。一个人影也没有,除了风声,一片寂静。

我停了下来,心中直纳闷,也许还有点害怕,这么大的火不可能是我们点的。按船长的命令,我们非常节约柴禾。我开始担心是否在我离开的这段时间里发生了什么事。

我偷偷地绕到东端,尽可能躲在阴暗处,选择一块最暗的地方翻过栅栏。

为了确保安全,我趴在地上,用双手和膝盖一声不响地爬向木屋的一角。当我挨近那儿的时候,我的心一下子放下来。打鼾声本不中听,在平时我常抱怨人家打呼噜,但现在听到我的同伴们熟睡中一齐发出这样安宁的响声,听起来简直像奏乐,航行时值夜人那动听的“平安无事”的喊声也没有这样令人放宽心。

不过,有一点是无需怀疑的,他们的岗哨放的太不像样了。要是西尔弗一伙人现在偷袭我们的话,肯定没有一个人能活到天亮。我认为这是船长负了伤的结果,于是我又一次责怪自己,不该在几乎派不出人放哨的时候撇下他们,使其面临这样的危险。

此时,我已经爬到门口站了起来。屋里漆黑一片,什么也看不清楚。除了能听到不断的呼嗜声外,还能听到一种不寻常的响动,像是什么东西在扑扇着翅膀或啄食,我无法解释明白。

我伸手摸索着移步走出木屋,打算躺到自己的位置上去,心中暗暗在笑,准备欣赏他们明天早晨发现我时脸上惊讶的表情。

我在什么软乎乎的东西上绊了一下,那是一个人的腿。他翻身嘟囔了一句,但没醒。

这时,忽然从黑暗中响起一个尖锐的声音。

“八个里亚尔!八个里亚尔!八个里亚尔!八个里亚尔!”

这声音一直持续下去,既不停,也不走调,像一架极小的风车转个没完。

这是弗林特船长——西尔弗的绿鹦鹉!我刚才听到的原来是它啄树皮的声音。原来是它在放哨,而且比任何人尽职尽责。原来是它用这样不断的重复来发出警报,暗示我的到来。

我根本来不及恢复镇定。睡着的人被鹦鹉刺耳叫声惊醒后一个一个跳起来,我听到西尔弗那可怕的咒骂声:

“什么人?”

我转身想跑,但猛地撞到一个人,刚退回来,又正好撞在另一个人怀里,那人立即紧紧抱住我。

“狄克,快拿火把来。”西尔弗吩咐道,看来我的被俘已成事实。

有人从木屋走出去,很快就带着一支火把回来了


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