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基督山伯爵(The Count of Monte Cristo)第一章 船到马赛

双击单词可弹出解释框  时间:2010-07-16 21:14  作者:

ON THE 24th of February, 1810, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.

As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island.

Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean were covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocée docks, and belongs to an owner of the city.

The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled Pomègue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and standing by the side of the pilot, who was steering the Pharaon towards the narrow entrance of the inner port, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the pilot.

The vague disquietude which prevailed among the spectators had so much affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of the vessel in harbor, but jumping into a small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside the Pharaon, which he reached as she rounded into La Rèserve basin.

When the young man on board saw this person approach, he left his station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over the ship's bulwarks.

He was a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven's wing; and his whole appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accustomed from their cradle to contend with danger.

"Ah, is it you, Dantès?" cried the man in the skiff. "What's the matter? and why have you such an air of sadness aboard?"

"A great misfortune, M. Morrel," replied the young man,--"a great misfortune, for me especially! Off Civita Vecchia we lost our brave Captain Leclere."

"And the cargo?" inquired the owner, eagerly.

"Is all safe, M. Morrel; and I think you will be satisfied on that head. But poor Captain Leclere--"

"What happened to him?" asked the owner, with an air of considerable resignation. "What happened to the worthy captain?"

"He died."

"Fell into the sea?"

"No, sir, he died of brain-fever in dreadful agony." Then turning to the crew, he said, "Bear a hand there, to take in sail!"

All hands obeyed, and at once the eight or ten seamen who composed the crew, sprang to their respective stations at the spanker brails and outhaul, topsail sheets and halyards, the jib downhaul, and the topsail clewlines and buntlines. The young sailor gave a look to see that his orders were promptly and accurately obeyed, and then turned again to the owner.

"And how did this misfortune occur?" inquired the latter, resuming the interrupted conversation.

"Alas, sir, in the most unexpected manner. After a long talk with the harbor-master, Captain Leclere left Naples greatly disturbed in mind. In twenty-four hours he was attacked by a fever, and died three days afterwards. We performed the usual burial service, and he is at his rest, sewn up in his hammock with a thirty-six pound shot at his head and his heels, off El Giglio island. We bring to his widow his sword and cross of honor. It was worth while, truly," added the young man with a melancholy smile, "to make war against the English for ten years, and to die in his bed at last, like everybody else."

"Why, you see, Edmond," replied the owner, who appeared more comforted at every moment, "we are all mortal, and the old must make way for the young. If not, why, there would be no promotion; and since you assure me that the cargo--"

"Is all safe and sound, M. Morrel, take my word for it; and I advise you not to take 25,000 francs for the profits of the voyage."

Then, as they were just passing the Round Tower, the young man shouted: "Stand by there to lower the topsails and jib; brail up the spanker!"

The order was executed as promptly as it would have been on board a man-of-war.

"Let go--and clue up!" At this last command all the sails were lowered, and the vessel moved almost imperceptibly onwards.

"Now, if you will come on board, M. Morrel," said Dantès, observing the owner's impatience, "here is your supercargo, M. Danglars, coming out of his cabin, who will furnish you with every particular. As for me, I must look after the anchoring, and dress the ship in mourning."

The owner did not wait for a second invitation. He seized a rope which Dantès flung to him, and with an activity that would have done credit to a sailor, climbed up the side of the ship, while the young man, going to his task, left the conversation to Danglars, who now came towards the owner. He was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, of unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to his subordinates; and this, in addition to his position as responsible agent on board, which is always obnoxious to the sailors, made him as much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantès was beloved by them.

"Well, M. Morrel," said Danglars, "you have heard of the misfortune that has befallen us?"

"Yes--yes: poor Captain Leclere! He was a brave and an honest man."

"And a first-rate seaman, one who had seen long and honorable service, as became a man charged with the interests of a house so important as that of Morrel & Son," replied Danglars.

"But," replied the owner, glancing after Dantès, who was watching the anchoring of his vessel, "it seems to me that a sailor needs not be so old as you say, Danglars, to understand his business, for our friend Edmond seems to understand it thoroughly, and not to require instruction from any one."

"Yes," said Danglars, darting at Edmond a look gleaming with hate. "Yes, he is young, and youth is invariably self-confident. Scarcely was the captain's breath out of his body when he assumed the command without consulting any one, and he caused us to lose a day and a half at the Island of Elba, instead of making for Marseilles direct."

"As to taking command of the vessel," replied Morrel, "that was his duty as captain's mate; as to losing a day and a half off the Island of Elba, he was wrong, unless the vessel needed repairs."

"The vessel was in as good condition as I am, and as, I hope you are, M. Morrel, and this day and a half was lost from pure whim, for the pleasure of going ashore, and nothing else."

"Dantès," said the shipowner, turning towards the young man, "come this way!"

"In a moment, sir," answered Dantès, "and I'm with you." Then calling to the crew, he said--"Let go!"

The anchor was instantly dropped, and the chain ran rattling through the port-hole. Dantès continued at his post in spite of the presence of the pilot, until this manoeuvre was completed, and then he added, "Half-mast the colors, and square the yards!"

"You see," said Danglars, "he fancies himself captain already, upon my word."

"And so, in fact, he is," said the owner.

"Except your signature and your partner's, M. Morrel."

"And why should he not have this?" asked the owner; "he is young, it is true, but he seems to me a thorough seaman, and of full experience."

A cloud passed over Danglars' brow. "Your pardon, M. Morrel," said Dantès, approaching, "the vessel now rides at anchor, and I am at your service. You hailed me, I think?"

Danglars retreated a step or two.

"I wished to inquire why you stopped at the Island of Elba?"

"I do not know, sir; it was to fulfil the last instructions of Captain Leclere, who, when dying, gave me a packet for Marshal Bertrand."

"Then did you see him, Edmond?"

"Who?"

"The marshal."

"Yes."

Morrel looked around him, and then, drawing Dantès on one side, he said suddenly--"And how is the emperor?"

"Very well, as far as I could judge from the sight of him."

"You saw the emperor, then?"

"He entered the marshal's apartment while I was there."

"And you spoke to him?"

"Why, it was he who spoke to me, sir," said Dantès, with a smile.

"And what did he say to you?"

"Asked me questions about the vessel, the time she left Marseilles, the course she had taken, and what was her cargo. I believe, if she had not been laden, and I had been her master, he would have bought her. But I told him I was only mate, and that she belonged to the firm of Morrel & Son. 'Ah, yes,' he said, 'I know them. The Morrels have been shipowners from father to son; and there was a Morrel who served in the same regiment with me when I was in garrison at Valence.'"

"Pardieu! and that is true!" cried the owner, greatly delighted. "And that was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who was afterwards a captain. Dantès, you must tell my uncle that the emperor remembered him, and you will see it will bring tears into the old soldier's eyes. Come, come," continued he, patting Edmond's shoulder kindly, "you did very right, Dantès, to follow Captain Leclere's instructions, and touch at Elba, although if it were known that you had conveyed a packet to the marshal, and had conversed with the emperor, it might bring you into trouble."

"How could that bring me into trouble, sir?" asked Dantès; "for I did not even know of what I was the bearer; and the emperor merely made such inquiries as he would of the first comer. But, pardon me, here are the health officers and the customs inspectors coming alongside." And the young man went to the gangway. As he departed, Danglars approached, and said,--

"Well, it appears that he has given you satisfactory reasons for his landing at Porto-Ferrajo?"

"Yes, most satisfactory, my dear Danglars."

"Well, so much the better," said the supercargo; "for it is not pleasant to think that a comrade has not done his duty."

"Dantès has done his," replied the owner, "and that is not saying much. It was Captain Leclere who gave orders for this delay."

"Talking of Captain Leclere, has not Dantès given you a letter from him?"

"To me?--no--was there one?"

"I believe that, besides the packet, Captain Leclere confided a letter to his care."

"Of what packet are you speaking, Danglars?"

"Why, that which Dantès left at Porto-Ferrajo."

"How do you know he had a packet to leave at Porto-Ferrajo?"

Danglars turned very red.

"I was passing close to the door of the captain's cabin, which was half open, and I saw him give the packet and letter to Dantès."

"He did not speak to me of it," replied the shipowner; "but if there be any letter he will give it to me."

Danglars reflected for a moment. "Then, M. Morrel, I beg of you," said he, "not to say a word to Dantès on the subject. I may have been mistaken."

At this moment the young man returned; Danglars withdrew.

"Well, my dear Dantès, are you now free?" inquired the owner.

"Yes, sir."

"You have not been long detained."

"No. I gave the custom-house officers a copy of our bill of lading; and as to the other papers, they sent a man off with the pilot, to whom I gave them."

"Then you have nothing more to do here?"

"No--everything is all right now."

"Then you can come and dine with me?"

"I really must ask you to excuse me, M. Morrel. My first visit is due to my father, though I am not the less grateful for the honor you have done me."

"Right, Dantès, quite right. I always knew you were a good son."

"And," inquired Dantès, with some hesitation, "do you know how my father is?"

"Well, I believe, my dear Edmond, though I have not seen him lately."

"Yes, he likes to keep himself shut up in his little room."

"That proves, at least, that he has wanted for nothing during your absence."

Dantès smiled. "My father is proud, sir, and if he had not a meal left, I doubt if he would have asked anything from anyone, except from Heaven."

"Well, then, after this first visit has been made we shall count on you."

"I must again excuse myself, M. Morrel, for after this first visit has been paid I have another which I am most anxious to pay." "True, Dantès, I forgot that there was at the Catalans some one who expects you no less impatiently than your father--the lovely Mercédès."

Dantès blushed.

"Ah, ha," said the shipowner, "I am not in the least surprised, for she has been to me three times, inquiring if there were any news of the Pharaon. Peste! Edmond, you have a very handsome mistress!"

"She is not my mistress," replied the young sailor, gravely; "she is my betrothed."

"Sometimes one and the same thing," said Morrel, with a smile.

"Not with us, sir," replied Dantès.

"Well, well, my dear Edmond," continued the owner, "don't let me detain you. You have managed my affairs so well that I ought to allow you all the time you require for your own. Do you want any money?"

"No, sir; I have all my pay to take--nearly three months' wages."

"You are a careful fellow, Edmond."

"Say I have a poor father, sir."

"Yes, yes, I know how good a son you are, so now hasten away to see your father. I have a son too, and I should be very wroth with those who detained him from me after a three months' voyage."

"Then I have your leave, sir?"

"Yes, if you have nothing more to say to me."

"Nothing."

"Captain Leclere did not, before he died, give you a letter for me?"

"He was unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I must ask your leave of absence for some days."

"To get married?"

"Yes, first, and then to go to Paris."

"Very good; have what time you require, Dantès. It will take quite six weeks to unload the cargo, and we cannot get you ready for sea until three months after that; only be back again in three months, for the Pharaon," added the owner, patting the young sailor on the back, "cannot sail without her captain."

"Without her captain!" cried Dantès, his eyes sparkling with animation; "pray mind what you say, for you are touching on the most secret wishes of my heart. Is it really your intention to make me captain of the Pharaon?"

"If I were sole owner we'd shake hands on it now, my dear Dantès, and call it settled; but I have a partner, and you know the Italian proverb--Chi ha compagno ha padrone--'He who has a partner has a master.' But the thing is at least half done, as you have one out of two votes. Rely on me to procure you the other; I will do my best."

"Ah, M. Morrel," exclaimed the young seaman, with tears in his eyes, and grasping the owner's hand, "M. Morrel, I thank you in the name of my father and of Mercédès."

"That's all right, Edmond. There's a providence that watches over the deserving. Go to your father: go and see Mercédès, and afterwards come to me."

"Shall I row you ashore?"

"No, thank you; I shall remain and look over the accounts with Danglars. Have you been satisfied with him this voyage?"

"That is according to the sense you attach to the question, sir. Do you mean is he a good comrade? No, for I think he never liked me since the day when I was silly enough, after a little quarrel we had, to propose to him to stop for ten minutes at the island of Monte Cristo to settle the dispute--a proposition which I was wrong to suggest, and he quite right to refuse. If you mean as responsible agent when you ask me the question, I believe there is nothing to say against him, and that you will be content with the way in which he has performed his duty."

"But tell me, Dantès, if you had command of the Pharaon should you be glad to see Danglars remain?"

"Captain or mate, M. Morrel, I shall always have the greatest respect for those who possess the owners' confidence."

"That's right, that's right, Dantès! I see you are a thoroughly good fellow, and will detain you no longer. Go, for I see how impatient you are."

"Then I have leave?"

"Go, I tell you."

"May I have the use of your skiff?"

"Certainly."

"Then, for the present, M. Morrel, farewell, and a thousand thanks!"

"I hope soon to see you again, my dear Edmond. Good luck to you."

The young sailor jumped into the skiff, and sat down in the stern sheets, with the order that he be put ashore at La Canebière. The two oarsmen bent to their work, and the little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the midst of the thousand vessels which choke up the narrow way which leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the harbor to the Quai d'Orleans.

The shipowner, smiling, followed him with his eyes until he saw him spring out on the quay and disappear in the midst of the throng, which from five o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at night, swarms in the famous street of La Canebière,--a street of which the modern Phocaeans are so proud that they say with all the gravity in the world, and with that accent which gives so much character to what is said, "If Paris had La Canebière, Paris would be a second Marseilles." On turning round the owner saw Danglars behind him, apparently awaiting orders, but in reality also watching the young sailor,--but there was a great difference in the expression of the two men who thus followed the movements of Edmond Dantès.

一八一五年二月二十四日,在避风堰了望塔上的了望员向人们发出了信号,告之三桅帆船法老号到了。它是从士麦拿出发经过的里雅斯特和那不勒斯来的。立刻一位领港员被派出去,绕过伊夫堡,在摩琴海岬和里翁岛之间登上了船。

圣·琪安海岛的平台上即刻挤满了看热闹的人。在马赛,一艘大船的进港终究是一件大事,尤其是象法老号这样的大船,船主是本地人,船又是在佛喜造船厂里建造装配的,因而就特别引人注目。

法老号渐渐驶近了,它已顺利通过了卡拉沙林岛和杰罗斯岛之间由几次火山爆发所造成的海峡,绕过波米琪岛,驶近了港口。尽管船上扯起了三张主桅帆,一张大三角帆和一张后桅帆,但它驶得非常缓慢,一副无精打采的样子,以致岸上那些看热闹的人本能地预感到有什么不幸的事发生了,于是互相探问船上究竟发生了什么不幸的事。不过那些航海行家们一眼就看出,假如的确发生了什么意外事情的话,那一定与船的本身无关。因为从各方面来看,它并无丝毫失去操纵的迹象。领港员正在驾驶着动作敏捷的法老号通过马赛港狭窄的甬道进口。在领港员的旁边,有一青年正在动作敏捷地打着手势,他那敏锐的眼光注视着船的每一个动作,并重复领港员的每一个命令。

岸上看热闹的人中弥漫着一种焦躁不安的情绪。其中有一位忍耐不住了,他等不及帆船入港就跳进了一只小艇迎着大船驶去,那只小艇在大船到里瑟夫湾对面的地方时便靠拢了法老号。

大船上的那个青年看见了来人,就摘下帽子,从领港员身旁离开并来到了船边。他是一个身材瘦长的青年,年龄约莫有十九岁左右的样子,有着一双黑色的眼睛和一头乌黑的头发;他的外表给人一种极其镇定和坚毅的感觉,那种镇定和坚毅的气质是只有从小就经过大风大浪,艰难险阻的人才具有的。

“啊!是你呀,唐太斯?”小艇的人喊道。“出了什么事?为什么你们船上显得这样丧气?”

“太不幸了,莫雷尔先生!”那个青年回答说,“太不幸了,尤其是对我!在契维塔韦基亚附近,我们失去了我们勇敢的莱克勒船长。”

“货呢?”船主焦急地问。

“货都安全,莫雷尔先生,那方面我想你是可以满意的。但可怜的莱克勒船长——”

“货物怎么样”?船主问道。

“货物未受任何损失,平安到达。不过,可怜的莱克勒船长他……”“他怎么了?出了什么事?”船主带着稍微放松一点的口气问。“那位可敬的船长怎么了?”

“他死了。”

“掉在海里了吗?”

“不,先生,他是得脑膜炎死的,临终时痛苦极了。”说完他便转身对船员喊到:“全体注意!准备抛锚!”

全体船员立刻按命令行动起来。船上一共有八个到十个海员,他们有的奔到大帆的索子那里,有的奔到三角帆和主帆的索子那里,有的则去控制转帆索和卷帆索。那青年水手四下环视了一下,看到他的命令已被迅速准确地执行,便又转过脸去对着船主。

“这件不幸的事是怎么发生的?”船主先等了一会儿便又重新拾起话题。

“唉,先生!完全是始料不到的事。在离开那不勒斯以前,莱克勒船长曾和那不勒斯港督交谈了很久。开船的时候,他就觉得头极不舒服。二十四个小时后,他就开始发烧,三天后就死了。我们按惯例海葬了他,想来他也可以安心长眠了。我们把他端端正正地缝裹在吊床里,头脚处放了两块各三十六磅重的铅块,就在艾尔及里奥岛外把他海葬了。我们把他的佩剑和十字荣誉勋章带了回来准备交给他的太太做纪念。船长这一生总算没虚度了。青年的脸上露出一个忧郁的微笑,又说,“他和英国人打仗打了十年,到头来仍能象常人那样死在床上。”

“爱德蒙,你知道,”船主说道,他显得越来越放心了,“我们都是凡人,都免不了一死,老年人终究要让位给青年人。不然,你看,青年人就无法得到升迁的机会,而且你已向我保证货物——”

“货物是完好无损的,莫雷尔先生,请相信我好了。我想这次航行你至少赚二万五千法郎呢。”

这时,船正在驶过圆塔,青年就喊道:“注意,准备收主帆,后帆和三角帆!”

他的命令立刻被执行了,犹如在一艘大战舰上一样。

“收帆!卷帆!”最后那个命令刚下达完,所有的帆就都收了下来,船在凭借惯性向前滑行,几乎觉不到是在向前移动了。

“现在请您上船来吧,莫雷尔先生,”唐太斯说,他看到船主已经有点着急便说道,“你的押运员腾格拉尔先生已走出船舱了,他会把详细情形告诉您的。我还得去照顾抛锚和给这只船挂丧的事。”

船主没再说什么便立即抓住了唐太斯抛给他的一条绳子,以水手般敏捷的动作爬上船边的弦梯,那青年去执行他的任务了,把船王和那个他称为腾格拉尔的人留在了一起。腾格拉尔现在正向船主走来。他约莫有二十五六岁,天生一副对上谄媚对下轻视无礼,不讨人喜欢的面孔。他在船上担任押运员,本来就惹水手们讨厌,他个人的一些作派也是惹人讨厌的一个因素,船员都憎恶他,却很爱戴爱德蒙·唐太斯。

“莫雷尔先生,”腾格拉尔说,“你听说我们所遭到的不幸了吧?”

“唉,是的!可怜的莱克勒船长!他的确是一个勇敢而又诚实的人!”

“而且也是一名一流的海员,是在大海与蓝天之间度过一生的——是负责莫雷尔父子公司这种重要的公司的最合适的人才。”腾格拉尔回答。

“可是,”船主一边说,一边把眼光盯在了正在指挥抛锚的唐太斯身上,“在我看来,腾格拉尔,一个水手要干得很内行,实在也不必象你所说的那样的老海员才行,因为你看,我们这位朋友爱德蒙,不需任何人的指示,似乎也干得很不错,完全可以称职了。”

“是的,”腾格拉尔向爱德蒙扫了一眼,露出仇恨的目光说,“是的,他很年轻,而年轻人总是自视甚高的,船长刚去世,他就跟谁也不商量一下,竟自作主张地独揽指挥权,对下面发号施令起来,而且还在厄尔巴岛耽搁了一天半,没有直航返回马赛。”

“说到他执掌这只船的指挥权,”莫雷尔说道,“他既然是船上大副,这就应该是他的职责。至于在厄尔巴岛耽搁了一天半的事儿,是他的错,除非这只船有什么故障。”

“这只船是象你我的身体一样,毫无毛病,莫雷尔先生,那一天半的时间完全是浪费——只是因为他要到岸上玩玩,别无他事。”

“唐太斯!”船主转过身去喊青年,“到这儿来!”

“等一下,先生,”唐太斯回答,“我就来。”然后他对船员喊道,“抛锚!”

锚立刻抛下去了,铁链哗啦啦一阵响声过去。虽有领港员在场,唐太斯仍然克尽职守,直到这项工作完成,才喊“降旗,把旗降在旗杆半中央。把公司的旗也降一半致哀,“看,”腾格拉尔说,“他简直已自命为船长啦。”

“嗯,事实上,他已经的确是了。”船主说。

“不错,就缺你和你的和伙人签字批准了,摩斯尔先生。”

“那倒不难。”船主说,“不错,他很年轻,但依我看,他似乎可以说已是一个经验丰富的海员了。”

腾格拉尔的眉际掠过一片阴云。

“对不起,莫雷尔先生,”唐太斯走过来说,“船现在已经停妥,我可以听的您吩咐了。刚才是您在叫我吗?”

腾格拉尔向后退了一两步。

“我想问问你为什么要在厄尔巴岛停泊耽搁了一天半时间。”

“究竟为什么我也不十分清楚,我只是在执行莱克勒船长最后的一个命令而已。他在临终的时候,要我送一包东西给贝特朗元帅。”

“你见到他了吗,爱德蒙?”

“谁?”

“元帅。”

“见到了。”

莫雷尔向四周张望了一下,把唐太斯拖到一边,急忙问道:“陛下他好吗?”

“看上去还不错。”

“这么说,你见到陛下了,是吗?”

“我在元帅房间里的时候,他进来了。”

“你和他讲了话吗?”

“是他先跟我讲话的,先生。”唐太斯微笑着说。

“他跟你都说了些什么?”

“问了我一些关于船的事——什么时候启航开回马赛,从哪儿来,船装了些什么货。我敢说,假如船上没有装货,而我又是船主的话,他会把船买下来的。但我告诉他,我只是大副,船是莫雷尔父子公司的。‘哦,哦!’他说,‘我了解他们!莫雷尔这个家族的人世世代代都当船主。当我驻守在瓦朗斯的时候,我那个团里面也有一个姓莫雷尔的人。”

“太对了!一点不错!”船主非常高兴地喊道。“那是我的叔叔波立卡·莫雷尔,他后来被提升到上尉。唐太斯,你一定要去告诉我叔叔,说陛下还记得他,你将看到那个老兵,被感动得掉眼泪的。好了,好了!”他慈爱地拍拍爱德蒙的肩膀继续说,“你做得很对,唐太斯,你是应该执行莱克勒船长的命令在厄尔巴岛靠一下岸的——但是如果你曾带一包东西给元帅,并还同陛下讲过话的事被人知道的话,那你就会受连累的。”

“我怎么会受连累呢?”唐太斯问。“我连带去的是什么东西根本都不知道,而陛下所问及的,又是一般的人所常问的那些普通问题。哦,对不起,海关关员和卫生部的检查员来了1”说完那青年人就向舷门那儿迎过去了。

他刚离开,腾格拉尔就凑了过来说道:

“哦,看来他已拿出充分的理由来向您解释他为什么在费拉约港靠岸的原因了,是吧?”

“是的,理由很充分,我亲爱的腾格拉尔。”

“哦,那就好,”押运员说,“看到一个同伴工作上不能尽责,心里总是很难受的。”

“唐太斯是尽了责的,”船主说道,“这件事不必多说了,这次耽搁是按莱克勒船长的吩咐做的。”

“说到莱克勒船长,唐太斯没有把一封他的信转给你吗?”

“给我的信?没有呀。有一封信吗?”

“我相信除了那包东西外,莱克勒船长还另有一封信托他转交的。”

“你说的是一包什么东西,腾格拉尔?”

“咦,就是唐太斯在费拉约港留下的那包东西呀。”

“你怎么知道他曾留了一包东西在费拉约港呢?”

经船主这样一问,腾格拉尔的脸顿时涨红了。“那天我经过船长室门口时,那门是半开着的,我便看见船长把那包东西和一封信交给了唐太斯。”

“他没有对我提到这件事,”船主说,“但是如果有信,他一定会交给我的。”

腾格拉尔想了一会儿。“这样的话,莫雷尔先生,请你,”他说,“有关这事,请你别再去问唐太斯了,或许是我弄错了。”

这时,那青年人回来了,腾格拉尔便乘机溜走了。

“喂,我亲爱的唐太斯,你现在没事了吗?”船主问。

“没事了,先生。”

“你回来的挺快呀。”

“是的。我拿了一份我们的进港证给了海关关员,其余的证件,我已交给了领港员,他们已派人和他同去了。”

“那么你在这儿的事都做完了是吗?”

唐太斯向四周看了一眼。

“没事了现在一切都安排妥了。”

“那么你愿意和我一起去共进晚餐吗?”

“请你原谅,莫雷尔先生。我得先去看看我父亲。但对你的盛情我还是非常感激的。”

“没错,唐太斯,真是这样,我早就知道你是一个好儿子。”

“嗯”唐太斯犹豫了一下问道:“你知道我父亲的近况吗?”

“我相信他很好,我亲爱的爱德蒙,不过最近我没见到他。”

“是啊,他老爱把自己关在他那个小屋里。”

“但那至少可以说明,当你不在的时候,他的日子还过得去。”

唐太斯微笑了一下。“我父亲是很要强的,很要面子,先生。即便是他饿肚子没饭吃了,恐怕除了上帝以外,他不会向任何人去乞讨的。”

“那么好吧,你先去看你的父亲吧,我们等着你。”

“我恐怕还得再请你原谅,莫雷尔先生,——因为我看过父亲以后,我还有另外一个地方要去一下。”

“真是的,唐太斯,我怎么给忘记了,在迦泰罗尼亚人那里,还有一个人也象你父亲一样在焦急地期待着你呢,——那可爱的美塞苔丝。”

唐太斯的脸红了。

“哈哈!”船主说,“难怪她到我这儿来了三次,打听法老号有什么消息没有呢。嘻嘻!爱德蒙,你的这位小情妇可真漂亮啊!”

“她不是我的情妇,”青年水手神色庄重严肃地说,“她是我的未婚妻。”

“有时两者是一回事。”莫雷尔微笑着说。

“我们俩可不是这样的,先生。”唐太斯回答。

“得了,得了,我亲爱的爱德蒙,”船主又说,“我不耽搁你了。我的事你办得很出色,我也应该让你有充分的时间去痛快地办一下自己的事了。你要钱用吗?”

“不,先生,我的报酬还都在这儿,——差不多有三个月的薪水呢。”

“你真是一个守规矩的小伙子,爱德蒙。”

“我还有一位可怜的父亲呢,先生。”

“不错,不错,我知道你是一个好儿子。那么去吧,去看你的父亲去吧。我自己也有个儿子,要是他航海三个月回来后,竟还有人阻扰他来看我,我会大大地发火的。”

“那么我可以走了吗,先生?”

“走吧,假如你再没有什么事要跟我说的话。”

“没有了。”

“莱克勒船长临终前,没有托你交一封信给我吗?”

“他当时已经根本不能动笔了,先生。不过,我倒想起了一件事,我还得向你请两星期的假。”

“是去结婚吗?”

“是的,先是去结婚,然后还得到巴黎去一次。”

“好,好。你就离开两个星期吧,唐太斯。反正船上卸货得花六个星期,卸完货以后,还得要过三个月以后才能再出海,你只要在三个月以内回来就行,——因为法老号,”船主拍拍青年水手的背,又说,“没有船长是不能出海的呀。”

 

 

“没有船长!”唐太斯眼睛里闪烁着兴奋的光芒,不禁说道,“你说什么呀,你好象窥视到了我心底最秘密的一线希望。你真要任命我做法老号的船长吗?”

“我亲爱的唐太斯,假如我是一人说了就算数的老板,我现在就可任命你,事情也就一言为定了,但你也知道,意大利有一句俗话——谁有了一个合伙人,谁就有了一个主人。但这事至少已成功一半了,因为在两张投票之中,你已经得到了一标。让我去把另外那一票也为你争取过来吧,我尽力办到。”

“啊,莫雷尔先生,”青年水手的眼睛里含着泪水,紧握住船主的手喊道——“莫雷尔先生,我代表我父亲和美塞苔丝谢谢你了。”

“好了,好了,爱德蒙,别提了,上天保佑好心人!快到你父亲那儿去吧,快去看看美塞苔丝吧,然后再到我这儿来。”

“我把您送上岸好吗?”

“不用了,谢谢你。我还得留下来和腾格拉尔核对一下帐目。你在这次航行里对他还满意吗?”

“那得看您这个问题是指哪一方面了,先生。假如您的意思是问,他是不是一个好伙计?那么我要说不是,因为自从那次我傻里傻气地和他吵了一次架以后,我曾向他提议在基督山岛上停留十分钟以消除不愉快,我想他从那以后开始讨厌我了——那次的事我本来就不该提那个建议,而他拒绝我也是很对的。假如你的问题是指他做押运员是否称职,那我就说他是无可挑剔的,对他的工作你会满意的。”

“但你要告诉我,唐太斯,假如由你来负责法老号,你愿意把腾格拉尔留在船上吗?”

“莫雷尔先生,”唐太斯回答道,“无论我做船长也好,做大副也好,凡是那些能获得我们船主信任的人,我对他们总是极尊重的。”

“好,好,唐太斯!我看你在各个方面都是好样的。别让我再耽误你了,快去吧,我看你已有些急不可耐啦。”

“那么我可以走了吗?”

“快走吧。我已经说过了。”

“我可以借用一下您的小艇吗?”

“当然可以。”

“那么,莫雷尔先生,再会吧。再一次多谢啦!”

“我希望不久能再看到你,我亲爱的爱德蒙。祝你好运!”

青年水手跳上了小艇,坐在船尾,吩咐朝卡纳比埃尔街划去。两个水手即刻划动起来,小船就飞快地在那从港口直到奥尔兰码头的千百只帆船中间穿梭过去。

船主微笑着目送着他,直到他上了岸,消失在卡纳比埃尔街上的人流里。这条街从清晨五点钟直到晚上九点钟都拥挤着川流不息的人群。卡纳比埃尔街是马赛最有名的街道,马赛的居民很以它为自豪,他们甚至煞有其事地庄重地宣称:“假如巴黎也有一条卡纳比埃尔街,那巴黎就可称为小马赛了。”

船主转过身来时,看见腾格拉尔正站在他背后。腾格拉尔表面上看似在等候他的吩咐,实际上却象他一样,在用目光遥送那青年水手。这两个人虽然都在注视着爱德蒙·唐太斯,但两个人目光里的神情和含义却大不相同。


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