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宝岛(Treasure Island) 二十二 我的海上奇遇的开始

双击单词可弹出解释框  时间:2010-07-16 21:14  作者:

THERE was no return of the mutineers - not so much as another shot out of the woods. They had `got their rations for that day,' as the captain put it, and we had the place to ourselves and a quiet time to overhaul the wounded and get dinner. Squire and I cooked outside in spite of the danger, and even outside we could hardly tell what we were at, for horror of the loud groans that reached us from the doctor's patients.

Out of the eight men who had fallen in the action, only three still breathed - that one of the pirates who had been shot at the loophole, Hunter, and Captain Smollett; and of these the first two were as good as dead; the mutineer, indeed, died under the doctor's knife, and Hunter, do what we could, never recovered consciousness in this world. He lingered all day, breathing loudly like the old buccaneer at home in his apoplectic fit; but the bones of his chest had been crushed by the blow and his skull fractured in falling, and some time in the following night, without sign or sound, he went to his Maker.

As for the captain, his wounds were grievous indeed, but not dangerous. No organ was fatally injured. Anderson's ball - for it was Job that shot him first - had broken his shoulder-blade and touched the lung, not badly; the second had only torn and displaced some muscles in the calf. He was sure to recover, the doctor said, but, in the meantime and for weeks to come, he must not walk nor move his arm, nor so much as speak when he could help it.

My own accidental cut across the knuckles was a flea-bite. Dr Livesey patched it up with plaster, and pulled my ears for me into the bargain.

After dinner the squire and the doctor sat by the captain's side a while in consultation; and when they had talked to their heart's content, it being then a little past noon, the doctor took up his hat and pistols, girt on a cutlass, put the chart in his pocket, and with a musket over his shoulder, crossed the palisade on the north side, and set off briskly through the trees.

Gray and I were sitting together at the far end of the block-house, to be out of earshot of our officers consulting; and Gray took his pipe out of his mouth and fairly forgot to put it back again, so thunderstruck he was at this occurrence.

`Why, in the name of Davy Jones,' said he, `is Dr Livesey mad?'

`Why, no,' says I. `He's about the last of this crew for that, I take it.'

`Well, shipmate,' said Gray, `mad he may not be; but if he's not, you mark my words, I am.'

`I take it,' replied I, `the doctor has his idea; and if I am right, he's going now to see Ben Gunn.'

I was right, as appeared later; but, in the meantime, the house being stifling hot, and the little patch of sand inside the palisade ablaze with midday sun, I began to get another thought into my head, which was not by any means so right. What I began to do was to envy the doctor, walking in the cool shadow of the woods, with the birds about him, and the pleasant smell of the pines, while I sat grilling, with my clothes stuck to the hot resin, and so much blood about me, and so many poor dead bodies lying all around, that I took a disgust of the place that was almost as strong as fear.

All the time I was washing out the block-house, and then washing up the things from dinner, this disgust and envy kept growing stronger and stronger, till at last, being near a bread-bag, and no one then observing me, I took the first step towards my escapade, and filled both pockets of my coat with biscuit.

I was a fool, if you like, and certainly I was going to do a foolish, over-bold act; but I was determined to do it with all the precautions in my power. These biscuits, should anything befall me, would keep me, at least, from starving till far on in the next day.

The next thing I laid hold of was a brace of pistols, and as I already had a powder-horn and bullets, I felt myself well supplied with arms.

As for the scheme I had in my head, it was not a bad one in itself. I was to go down the sandy spit that divides the anchorage on the east from the open sea, find the white rock I had observed last evening, and ascertain whether it was there or not that Ben Gunn had hidden his boat; a thing quite worth doing, as I still believe. But as I was certain I should not be allowed to leave the enclosure, my only plan was to take French leave, and slip out when nobody was watching; and that was so bad a way of doing it as made the thing itself wrong. But I was only a boy, and I had made my mind up.

Well, as things at last fell out, I found an admirable opportunity. The squire and Gray were busy helping the captain with his bandages; the coast was clear; I made a bolt for it over the stockade and into the thickest of the trees, and before my absence was observed I was out of cry of my companions.

This was my second folly, far worse than the first, as I left but two sound men to guard the house; but like the first, it was a help towards saving all of us.

I took my way straight for the east coast of the island, for I was determined to go down the sea side of the spit to avoid all chance of observation from the anchorage. It was already late in the afternoon, although still warm and sunny. As I continued to thread the tall woods I could hear from far before me not only the continuous thunder of the surf, but a certain tossing of foliage and grinding of boughs which showed me the sea breeze had set in higher than usual. Soon cool draughts of air began to reach me; and a few steps farther I came forth into the open borders of the grove, and saw the sea lying blue and sunny to the horizon, and the surf tumbling and tossing its foam along the beach.

I have never seen the sea quiet round Treasure Island. The sun might blaze overhead, the air be without a breath, the surface smooth and blue, but still these great rollers would be running along all the external coast, thundering and thundering by day and night; and I scarce believe there is one spot in the island where a man would be out of earshot of their noise.

I walked along beside the surf with great enjoyment, till, thinking I was now got far enough to the south, I took the cover of some thick bushes, and crept warily up to the ridge of the spit.

Behind me was the sea, in front the anchorage. The sea breeze, as though it had the sooner blown itself out by its unusual violence, was already at an end; it had been succeeded by light, variable airs from the south and south-east, carrying great banks of fog; and the anchorage, under lee of Skeleton Island, lay still and leaden as when first we entered it. The Hispaniola, in that unbroken mirror, was exactly portrayed from the truck to the water line, the Jolly Roger hanging from her peak.

Alongside lay one of the gigs, Silver in the stern-sheets - him I could always recognise - while a couple of men were leaning over the stern bulwarks, one of them with a red cap - the very rogue that I had seen some hours before stride-legs upon the palisade. Apparently they were talking and laughing, though at that distance - upwards of a mile - I could, of course, hear no word of what was said. All at once, there began the most horrid, unearthly screaming, which at first startled me badly, though I had soon remembered the voice of Captain Flint, and even thought I could make out the bird by her bright plumage as she sat perched upon her master's wrist.

Soon after the jolly-boat shoved off and pulled for shore, and the man with the red cap and his comrade went below by the cabin companion.

Just about the same time the sun had gone down behind the Spy-glass, and as the fog was collecting rapidly, it began to grow dark in earnest. I saw I must lose no time if I were to find the boat that evening.

The white rock, visible enough above the brush, was still some eighth of a mile further down the spit, and it took me a goodish while to get up with it, crawling, often on all-fours, among the scrub. Night had almost come when I laid my hand on its rough sides. Right below it there was an exceedingly small hollow of green turf, hidden by banks and a thick underwood about knee-deep, that grew there very plentifully; and in the centre of the dell, sure enough, a little tent of goatskins, like what the gipsies carry about with them in England.

I dropped into the hollow, lifted the side of the tent, and there was Ben Gunn's boat - home-made if ever anything was home-made: a rude, lop-sided framework of tough wood, and stretched upon that a covering of goat-skin, with the hair inside. The thing was extremely small, even for me, and I can hardly imagine that it could have floated with a full-sized man. There was one thwart set as low as possible, a kind of stretcher in the bows, and a double paddle for propulsion.

I had not then seen a coracle, such as the ancient Britons made, but I have seen one since, and I can give you no fairer idea of Ben Gunn's boat than by saying it was like the first and the worst coracle ever made by man. But the great advantage of the coracle it certainly possessed, for it was exceedingly light and portable.

Well, now that I had found the boat, you would have thought I had had enough of truantry for once; but, in the meantime, I had taken another notion, and became so obstinately fond of it, that I would have carried it out, I believe, in the teeth of Captain Smollett himself. This was to slip out under cover of the night, cut the Hispaniola adrift, and let her go ashore where she fancied. I had quite made up my mind that the mutineers, after their repulse of the morning, had nothing nearer their hearts than to up anchor and away to sea; this, I thought, it would be a fine thing to prevent, and now that I had seen how they left their watchmen unprovided with a boat, I thought it might be done with little risk.

Down I sat to wait for darkness, and made a hearty meal of biscuit. It was a night out of ten thousand for my purpose. The fog had now buried all heaven. As the last rays of daylight dwindled and disappeared, absolute blackness settled down on Treasure Island. And when, at last, I shouldered the coracle, and groped my way stumblingly out of the hollow where I had supped, there were but two points visible on the whole anchorage.

One was the great fire on shore, by which the defeated pirates lay carousing in the swamp. The other, a mere blur of light upon the darkness, indicated the position of the anchored ship. She had swung round to the ebb - her bow was now towards me - the only lights on board were in the cabin; and what I saw was merely a reflection on the fog of the strong rays that flowed from the stern window.

The ebb had already run some time, and I had to wade through a long belt of swampy sand, where I sank several times above the ankle, before I came to the edge of the retreating water, and wading a little way in, with some strength and dexterity, set my coracle, keel downwards, on the surface

反叛者们没有卷土重来,树林中再也没听到枪声。照船长的推测,他们已经“领到了当日的口粮”,我们有足够的时间来察看伤员,准备午饭。尽管外边很危险,我和乡绅还是宁愿到门外去做饭。即便如此,我们还是可以听到伤员痛苦的呼喊声和惨叫声,让人不忍人耳。

枪战中倒下的八个人中仅有三人还有微弱的呼吸——一名在枪眼旁中弹的海盗、亨特和斯莫列特船长。其中前两位已没有生存的可能了。那个海盗最终死于医生的刀下。尽管我们已经竭尽全力,亨特还是没能苏醒过来。他整整挣扎了一个白天,像住在我们店里的那位老海盗中了风似地大声喘息。但是由于他的肋骨被打断了,跌倒时颅骨又被撞碎,在夜里不知何时偷偷见上帝去了。

至于船长,伤口虽然很痛,但并未击中要害部位,所以没有生命危险。他先是中了乔布·安德森一枪,子弹穿透肩肿骨,触伤了肺部,但并不严重。第二颗子弹击中了小腿,仅有部分肌肉受到损伤。医生说他肯定可以复原,但今后这几个星期里,他不能走动,不能伤到胳膊,甚至于尽可能地少说话——如果他能控制住自己的话。

我的指关节偶然受的伤倒没什么。利弗西大夫给我贴上了膏药,还扯了扯我的耳朵来安慰我。

午饭后,乡绅和医生在船长身旁坐了下来,一同商讨军情。当他们商议够了,时间刚过正午,医生拿起帽子和手枪,腰上挂着弯刀,把地图放在口袋里,肩上扛着一支滑膛枪,翻过北边的栅栏,快速地消失在丛林中。

我和葛雷一同坐在木屋的另一头,听不到我们的头儿在商谈些什么。利弗西的举动使葛雷吃惊得竟然忘记了把衔着的烟斗拿下来后再放回嘴里。

“哦,我的龙王爷,”他说,“利弗西疯了不成?”

“不可能,”我说,“要是这伙人都疯了的话,也要最后才轮到他,我敢说。”

“也许吧!老伙计。”葛雷说,“他可能是没疯,要是那样的话,照你说,那就是我疯了。”

“我敢说,”我答道,“医生一定有他的打算,如果我猜对了的话,他现在要去见见本·葛恩。”

事后证明我猜中了。但目前,木屋里闷得要命,栅栏里边的一小块沙地被正午的炎炎烈日晒得像要冒出火来。我头脑中开始酝酿一个新念头,这个念头并不是那么合乎情理。我开始羡慕医生能够走在阴凉的树阴下,听着小鸟瞅嗽的叫声,闻着松树散发出的清香,而我则坐在这儿受着太阳的烘烤,身上的衣服汗遏退的。周围流了一地血,许多尸体横在地上,我对这鬼地方的厌恶几乎同恐惧一样强烈。

我一直在洗刷木屋里的血迹和午饭的餐具。我愈洗愈厌恶这个鬼地方,也就愈加羡慕医生。到了最后,在一个面包袋旁,趁没人注意到我,我做了逃走的第一步准备:往我的上衣口袋里塞满了干面包。

我承认我是个大傻瓜,当然会做出愚蠢可笑、鲁莽冒失的事来。但我下决心,尽全力小心谨慎地做。无论发生什么事,这些干面包至少两天内不至于使我挨饿。

然后我拿了两只手枪,因为我已有一筒火药和一些子弹,就觉得武装得够可以的了。

至于我头脑里的计划,我想不算太坏。我打算到把东面的锚地和海隔开的沙尖嘴上去,找到我昨天傍晚发现的那面白色岩壁,看看本噶恩的小艇是不是藏在那里,到现在我仍然认为这件事值得去试一试。但是我知道他们肯定不让我离开木屋。惟一可行的办法就是不辞而别,趁人不备时,偷偷溜出去。这使得本身是对的事情因做的方式不对也变成错的了。但是我只不过是个毛孩子,下定了决心就不再犹豫了。

最终正如事情发展的那样,天赐良机,乡绅和葛雷正忙于帮船长缠绑带,路就在前方。我一个箭步窜出去,翻身越过栅栏,钻进茂密的丛林中。在他们发觉前,我已逐渐远离木屋,听不到他们的呼喊声了。

这是我第二次做傻事,比前一次更草率,因为我仅撇下两个未受伤的人守卫木屋。然而同第一次一样,这次行动又一次救了我们大家的命。

我径直朝海岛的东海岸跑去,因为我决定沿着沙尖嘴靠海的一边下去,以避免被锚地里人的察觉到。此时已过下午了,太阳还未落山,天气仍很暖和。

我继续穿行于高大的树林中,不仅可以听到前方不远处海浪拍击岩石发出的持续不断的轰鸣声,还可以听到树叶和树枝发出的沙沙声——这表明海风比平日里更强些。很快凉风阵阵袭来,我又走了几步来到树林边的开阔地,见到蓝色的大海在阳光下伸展到地平线上,翻腾的浪花在海滩上滚出许多泡沫来。

我从未看到过藏宝岛附近的海域如此平静过。阳光直射下来,周围没有一丝儿风,蔚蓝的海面上波平如镜,但沿海岸边却仍是波涛滚滚,日夜喧嚷。我想整个岛上是无处听不到这种浪花飞溅的响声的。

我怀着愉快的心情,沿着岸边走去,直到我估计已远离了南岸,才在茂密的灌木丛的隐蔽下,警惕地攀上沙尖嘴的斜坡。

我背对着大海,前面是锚地。海风耗竭了淫威,很快地平静下来,紧跟着,轻柔的海风从南面、东南面飘拂而来,携来了大团大团的雾气。在骷髅岛的下风处,铅灰色的锚地像我们初次进来时一样平静。伊斯班袅拉号停在如镜的水面上,从桅顶到吃水线以及悬挂的海盗旗都倒映得清清楚楚。

大船旁停靠着一只划子,西尔弗坐在层座上,我一眼就认出是他,还有两个人斜靠在船墙上,其中一个戴着红色的帽子,正是我几个小时前看见的那个跨在栅栏上的坏蛋。他们显然在谈笑,由于隔得那么远——大约一英里的距离,他们谈些什么,我当然一句也听不清楚。突然,我听到一声极其恐怖的怪叫,简直难以相信世界上还有这种声音。最初把我吓坏了,但我很快就记起那是名叫“弗林特船长”的鹦鹉在叫。它正蹲坐在主人的手腕上,根据它那亮丽的羽毛,我可以辨认出它。

不久,划子撑离大船划向岸边,戴红帽的那个家伙和他的同伙从船舱升降口走了下去。

就在这时,太阳落到望远镜山后面。由于雾聚集得很快,天已经开始黑下来。我知道如果我想在今晚找到小艇,必须抓紧时间。

露出灌木丛的白色岩壁依旧在下面大约远离八分之一英里的沙尖嘴上。我花了好些时间才爬到那里,我往往手脚并用地在树丛中潜行。当我的手触到粗糙的岩壁时,夜幕几乎降下来。在岩壁的正下方有极小一块长有绿色草皮的洼地,被沙汀和高及膝部的茂密的矮树所掩盖。洼地中间果然有山羊皮做的小帐篷,有点像吉卜赛人在英国流浪时携带的帐篷。

我跳到洼地里,掀开帐篷的一角,看到了本·葛恩的小艇。这是一只再简陋不过的小艇,木料粗糙,斜底船架用毛朝里的山羊皮包起来。船小得可怜,以至于我坐在里边也很挤,真难以想像它如何能载得了一个大人。一块坐板装得极低,船头装有脚踏板,还有一支双叶划桨。

我从来没有见过这样的一支渔船,好像是我们的祖先不列颠人制造出来的,但我的确看到了本·葛恩的这条船。它让我难以形容,只能说这是我头一次看到的手工制作的最糟糕的一条船。但是这条小船有它本身的最大的优点,它轻巧、方便。

现在既然已找到了小艇,想想我擅自离守的时间也太久了,是该回去了。但此刻我又有了另一个主意,并且感到很得意,非把它实现不可,即使斯莫列特船长想阻挡也阻挡不了。那就是在夜幕的掩护下偷偷地把小艇划出去,靠近伊斯班袅拉号,砍断锚索,任它飘流到哪个岸边。我敢认定,反叛者们早晨遭到这样的痛击,定想及早出海。我想这样做要是可以阻止他们逃跑,该有多好哇。看到海盗们连一只小船也没留给守卫在大船上的人,我想这件事做起来没多大危险。

我坐下来等待天黑,用于面包饱餐了一顿。这个夜晚对于实施我的计划可以说是千载难逢的机会。浓雾已吞没了整个世界。当天空中最后一丝余光消失后,藏宝岛被黑夜吞噬了。终于我扛起那支小艇,跌跌撞撞地离开了我吃晚饭的回地,整个锚地只能看见两点光亮。一处是被击退的海盗们在海边洼地上升起的大火堆,另一处是隐约可见的微光,它指示着大船停泊的位置。

落潮时船头转了个方向,现在船头向着我,只有船舱里透出一点灯光;我看到的仅是从尾窗中射出的强光在雾中的反射而已。落潮已有一段时间了,我必须跋涉一段很长的沙滩(有好几次我的脚陷进了泥沙中),才走到了正在退下去的水边。在水中趟了几步后,我稍稍用力就麻利地把小船平放在水面上


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