《欧亨利短篇小说集》 作者:欧·亨利 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:麦琪的礼物 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 1块8毛7,就这么些钱,其中六毛是一分一分的铜板,一个子儿一个子儿在杂货店老板、菜贩子和肉店老板那儿硬赖来的,每次闹得脸发臊,深感这种掂斤播两的交易实在丢人现眼。德拉反复数了三次,还是一元八角七,而第二天就是圣诞节了。   除了扑倒在那破旧的小睡椅上哭嚎之外,显然别无他途。   德拉这样做了,可精神上的感慨油然而生,生活就是哭泣、抽噎和微笑,尤以抽噎占统治地位。   当这位家庭主妇逐渐平静下来之际,让我们看看这个家吧。一套带家具的公寓房子,每周房租八美元。尽管难以用笔墨形容,可它真正够得上乞丐帮这个词儿。   楼下的门道里有个信箱,可从来没有装过信,还有一个电钮,也从没有人的手指按响过电铃。而且,那儿还有一张名片,上写着“杰姆斯·狄林汉·杨先生”。   “迪林厄姆”这个名号是主人先前春风得意之际,一时兴起加上去的,那时候他每星期挣三十美元。现在,他的收入缩减到二十美元,“迪林厄姆”的字母也显得模糊不清,似乎它们正严肃地思忖着是否缩写成谦逊而又讲求实际的字母D。不过,每当杰姆斯·狄林汉·杨先生,回家上楼,走进楼上的房间时,杰姆斯·狄林汉·杨太太,就是刚介绍给诸位的德拉,总是把他称作“吉姆”,而且热烈地拥抱他。那当然是再好不过的了。是呀,吉姆是多好的运气呀 !   德拉哭完之后,往面颊上抹了抹粉,她站在窗前,痴痴地瞅着灰蒙蒙的后院里一只灰白色的猫正行走在灰白色的篱笆上。明天就是圣诞节,她只有一元八角七给吉姆买一份礼物。她花去好几个月的时间,用了最大的努力一分一分地攒积下来,才得了这样一个结果。一周二十美元实在经不起花,支出大于预算,总是如此。只有一元八角七给吉姆买礼物,她的吉姆啊。她花费了多少幸福的时日筹划着要送他一件可心的礼物,一件精致、珍奇、贵重的礼物——至少应有点儿配得上吉姆所有的东西才成啊。   房间的两扇窗子之间有一面壁镜。也许你见过每周房租八美元的公寓壁镜吧。一个非常瘦小而灵巧的人,从观察自己在一连串的纵条影象中,可能会对自己的容貌得到一个大致精确的概念。德拉身材苗条,已精通了这门子艺术。   突然,她从窗口旋风般地转过身来,站在壁镜前面。她两眼晶莹透亮,但二十秒钟之内她的面色失去了光彩。她急速地拆散头发,使之完全泼散开来。   现在,詹姆斯·迪林厄姆·杨夫妇俩各有一件特别引以自豪的东西。一件是吉姆的金表,是他祖父传给父亲,父亲又传给他的传家宝;另一件则是德拉的秀发。如果示巴女王①也住在天井对面的公寓里,总有一天德拉会把头发披散下来,露出窗外晾干,使那女王的珍珠宝贝黯然失色;如果地下室堆满金银财宝、所罗门王又是守门人的话,每当吉姆路过那儿,准会摸出金表,好让那所罗门王忌妒得吹胡子瞪眼睛。   此时此刻,德拉的秀发泼撒在她的周围,微波起伏,闪耀光芒,有如那褐色的瀑布。她的美发长及膝下,仿佛是她的一件长袍。接着,她又神经质地赶紧把头发梳好。踌躇了一分钟,一动不动地立在那儿,破旧的红地毯上溅落了一、两滴眼泪。   她穿上那件褐色的旧外衣,戴上褐色的旧帽子,眼睛里残留着晶莹的泪花,裙子一摆,便飘出房门,下楼来到街上。   她走到一块招牌前停下来,上写着:“索弗罗妮夫人——专营各式头发”。德拉奔上楼梯,气喘吁吁地定了定神。那位夫人身躯肥大,过于苍白,冷若冰霜,同“索弗罗妮”的雅号简直牛头不对马嘴。   “你要买我的头发吗?”德拉问。   “我买头发,”夫人说。“揭掉帽子,让我看看发样。”   那褐色的瀑布泼撒了下来。   “二十美元,”夫人一边说,一边内行似地抓起头发。   “快给我钱,”德拉说。   呵,接着而至的两个小时犹如长了翅膀,愉快地飞掠而过。请不用理会这胡诌的比喻。她正在彻底搜寻各家店铺,为吉姆买礼物。   她终于找到了,那准是专为吉姆特制的,决非为别人。她找遍了各家商店,哪儿也没有这样的东西,一条朴素的白金表链,镂刻着花纹。正如一切优质东西那样,它只以货色论长短,不以装潢来炫耀。而且它正配得上那只金表。她一见这条表链,就知道一定属于吉姆所有。它就像吉姆本人,文静而有价值——这一形容对两者都恰如其份。她花去二十一美元买下了,匆匆赶回家,只剩下八角七分钱。金表匹配这条链子,无论在任何场合,吉姆都可以毫无愧色地看时间了。   尽管这只表华丽珍贵,因为用的是旧皮带取代表链,他有时只偷偷地瞥上一眼。   德拉回家之后,她的狂喜有点儿变得审慎和理智了。她找出烫发铁钳,点燃煤气,着手修补因爱情加慷慨所造成的破坏,这永远是件极其艰巨的任务,亲爱的朋友们——简直是件了不起的任务呵。   不出四十分钟,她的头上布满了紧贴头皮的一绺绺小卷发,使她活像个逃学的小男孩。她在镜子里老盯着自己瞧,小心地、苛刻地照来照去。   “假如吉姆看我一眼不把我宰掉的话,”她自言自语,“他定会说我像个科尼岛上合唱队的卖唱姑娘。但是我能怎么办呢——唉,只有一元八角七,我能干什么呢?”   七点钟,她煮好了咖啡,把煎锅置于热炉上,随时都可做肉排。   吉姆一贯准时回家。德拉将表链对叠握在手心,坐在离他一贯进门最近的桌子角上。接着,她听见下面楼梯上响起了他的脚步声,她紧张得脸色失去了一会儿血色。她习惯于为了最简单的日常事物而默默祈祷,此刻,她悄声道:“求求上帝,让他觉得我还是漂亮的吧。”   门开了,吉姆步入,随手关上了门。他显得瘦削而又非常严肃。可怜的人儿,他才二十二岁,就挑起了家庭重担!他需要买件新大衣,连手套也没有呀。   吉姆站在屋里的门口边,纹丝不动地好像猎犬嗅到了鹌鹑的气味似的。他的两眼固定在德拉身上,其神情使她无法理解,令她毛骨悚然。既不是愤怒,也不是惊讶,又不是不满,更不是嫌恶,根本不是她所预料的任何一种神情。他仅仅是面带这种神情死死地盯着德拉。   德拉一扭腰,从桌上跳了下来,向他走过去。   “吉姆,亲爱的,”她喊道,“别那样盯着我。我把头发剪掉卖了,因为不送你一件礼物,我无法过圣诞节。头发会再长起来——你不会介意,是吗?我非这么做不可。我的头发长得快极了。说‘恭贺圣诞’吧!吉姆,让我们快快乐乐的。你肯定猜不着我给你买了一件多么好的——多么美丽精致的礼物啊!”   “你已经把头发剪掉了?”吉姆吃力地问道,似乎他绞尽脑汁也没弄明白这明摆着的事实。   “剪掉卖了,”德拉说。“不管怎么说,你不也同样喜欢我吗?没了长发,我还是我嘛,对吗?”   吉姆古怪地四下望望这房间。   “你说你的头发没有了吗?”他差不多是白痴似地问道。   “别找啦,”德拉说。“告诉你,我已经卖了——卖掉了,没有啦。这是圣诞前夜,好人儿。好好待我,这是为了你呀。也许我的头发数得清,”突然她特别温柔地接下去,“可谁也数不清我对你的恩爱啊。我做肉排吗,吉姆?”   吉姆好像从恍惚之中醒来,把德拉紧紧地搂在怀里。现在,别着急,先让我们花个十秒钟从另一角度审慎地思索一下某些无关紧要的事。房租每周八美元,或者一百万美元——那有什么差别呢?数学家或才子会给你错误的答案。麦琪②带来了宝贵的礼物,但就是缺少了那件东西。这句晦涩的话,下文将有所交待。   吉姆从大衣口袋里掏出一个小包,扔在桌上。   “别对我产生误会,德尔,”他说道,“无论剪发、修面,还是洗头,我以为世上没有什么东西能减低一点点对我妻子的爱情。不过,你只要打开那包东西,就会明白刚才为什么使我楞头楞脑了。”   白皙的手指灵巧地解开绳子,打开纸包。紧接着是欣喜若狂的尖叫,哎呀!突然变成了女性神经质的泪水和哭泣,急需男主人千方百计的慰藉。   还是因为摆在桌上的梳子——全套梳子,包括两鬓用的,后面的,样样俱全。那是很久以前德拉在百老汇的一个橱窗里见过并羡慕得要死的东西。这些美妙的发梳,纯玳瑁做的,边上镶着珠宝——其色彩正好同她失去的美发相匹配。她明白,这套梳子实在太昂贵,对此,她仅仅是羡慕渴望,但从未想到过据为己有。现在,这一切居然属于她了,可惜那有资格佩戴这垂涎已久的装饰品的美丽长发已无影无踪了。   不过,她依然把发梳搂在胸前,过了好一阵子才抬起泪水迷蒙的双眼,微笑着说:“我的头发长得飞快,吉姆!”   随后,德拉活像一只被烫伤的小猫跳了起来,叫道,“喔!喔!”   吉姆还没有瞧见他的美丽的礼物哩。她急不可耐地把手掌摊开,伸到他面前,那没有知觉的贵重金属似乎闪现着她的欢快和热忱。   “漂亮吗,吉姆?我搜遍了全城才找到了它。现在,你每天可以看一百次时间了。把表给我,我要看看它配在表上的样子。”   吉姆非但不按她的吩咐行事,反而倒在睡椅上,两手枕在头下,微微发笑。   “德拉,”他说,“让我们把圣诞礼物放在一边,保存一会儿吧。它们实在太好了,目前尚不宜用。我卖掉金表,换钱为你买了发梳。现在,你做肉排吧。”   正如诸位所知,麦琪是聪明人,聪明绝顶的人,他们把礼物带来送给出生在马槽里的耶稣。他们发明送圣诞礼物这玩艺儿。由于他们是聪明人,毫无疑问,他们的礼物也是聪明的礼物,如果碰上两样东西完全一样,可能还具有交换的权利。在这儿,我已经笨拙地给你们介绍了住公寓套间的两个傻孩子不足为奇的平淡故事,他们极不明智地为了对方而牺牲了他们家最最宝贵的东西。不过,让我们对现今的聪明人说最后一句话,在一切馈赠礼品的人当中,那两个人是最聪明的。在一切馈赠又接收礼品的人当中,像他们两个这样的人也是最聪明的。无论在任何地方,他们都是最聪明的人。   他们就是圣贤。.   ①示巴女王(QueeenofSheba):基督教《圣经》中朝觐所罗门王,以测其智慧的示巴女王,她以美貌著称。   ②麦琪(Magi,单数为Magus):指圣婴基督出生时来自东方送礼的三贤人,载于圣经马太福音第二章第一节和第七至第十三节 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:警察和赞美诗 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 索比急躁不安地躺在麦迪逊广场的长凳上,辗转反侧。每当雁群在夜空中引颈高歌,缺少海豹皮衣的女人对丈夫加倍的温存亲热,索比在街心公园的长凳上焦躁不安、翻来复去的时候,人们就明白,冬天已近在咫尺了。   一片枯叶落在索比的大腿上,那是杰克·弗洛斯特①的卡片。杰克对麦迪逊广场的常住居民非常客气,每年来临之先,总要打一声招呼。在十字街头,他把名片交给“户外大厦”的信使“北风”,好让住户们有个准备。   索比意识到,该是自己下决心的时候了,马上组织单人财务委员会,以便抵御即将临近的严寒,因此,他急躁不安地在长凳上辗转反侧。 《警察和赞美诗》索比越冬的抱负并不算最高,他不想在地中海巡游,也不想到南方去晒令人昏睡的太阳,更没想过到维苏威海湾漂泊。他梦寐以求的只要在岛上待三个月就足够了。整整三个月,有饭吃,有床睡,还有志趣相投的伙伴,而且不受“北风”和警察的侵扰。对索比而言,这就是日思夜想的最大愿望。   多年来,好客的布莱克韦尔岛②的监狱一直是索比冬天的寓所。正像福气比他好的纽约人每年冬天买票去棕榈滩③和里维埃拉④一样,索比也要为一年一度逃奔岛上作些必要的安排。现在又到时候了。昨天晚上,他睡在古老广场上喷水池旁的长凳上,用三张星期日的报纸分别垫在上衣里、包着脚踝、盖住大腿,也没能抵挡住严寒的袭击。因此,在他的脑袋里,岛子的影象又即时而鲜明地浮现出来。他诅咒那些以慈善名义对城镇穷苦人所设的布施。在索比眼里,法律比救济更为宽厚。他可以去的地方不少,有市政办的、救济机关办的各式各样的组织,他都可以去混吃、混住,勉强度日,但接受施舍,对索比这样一位灵魂高傲的人来讲,是一种不可忍受的折磨。从慈善机构的手里接受任何一点好处,钱固然不必付,但你必须遭受精神上的屈辱来作为回报。正如恺撒对待布鲁图一样⑤,凡事有利必有弊,要睡上慈善机构的床,先得让人押去洗个澡;要吃施舍的一片面包,得先交待清楚个人的来历和隐私。因此,倒不如当个法律的座上宾还好得多。虽然法律铁面无私、照章办事,但至少不会过分地干涉正人君子的私事。   一旦决定了去岛上,索比便立即着手将它变为现实。要兑现自己的意愿,有许多简捷的途径,其中最舒服的莫过于去某家豪华餐厅大吃一台,然后呢,承认自己身无分文,无力支付,这样便安安静静、毫不声张地被交给警察。其余的一切就该由通商量的治安推事来应付了。   索比离开长凳,踱出广场,跨过百老汇大街和第五大街的交汇处那片沥青铺就的平坦路面。他转向百老汇大街,在一家灯火辉煌的咖啡馆前停下脚步,在这里,每天晚上聚积着葡萄、蚕丝和原生质的最佳制品⑥。   索比对自己的马甲从最下一颗纽扣之上还颇有信心,他修过面,上衣也还够气派,他那整洁的黑领结是感恩节时一位教会的女士送给他的。只要他到餐桌之前不被人猜疑,成功就属于他了。他露在桌面的上半身绝不会让侍者生疑。索比想到,一只烤野鸭很对劲——再来一瓶夏布利酒⑦,然后是卡门贝干酪⑧,一小杯清咖啡和一只雪茄烟。一美元一只的雪茄就足够了。全部加起来的价钱不宜太高,以免遭到咖啡馆太过厉害的报复;然而,吃下这一餐会使他走向冬季避难所的行程中心满意足、无忧无虑了。   可是,索比的脚刚踏进门,领班侍者的眼睛便落在了他那旧裤子和破皮鞋上。强壮迅急的手掌推了他个转身,悄无声息地被押了出来,推上了人行道,拯救了那只险遭毒手的野鸭的可怜命运。   索比离开了百老汇大街。看起来,靠大吃一通走向垂涎三尺的岛上,这办法是行不通了。要进监狱,还得另打主意。   在第六大街的拐角处,灯火通明、陈设精巧的大玻璃橱窗内的商品尤其诱人注目。索比捡起一块鹅卵石,向玻璃窗砸去。人们从转弯处奔来,领头的就是一位巡警。索比一动不动地站在原地,两手插在裤袋里,对着黄铜纽扣微笑⑨。   “肇事的家伙跑哪儿去了?”警官气急败坏地问道。   “你不以为这事与我有关吗?”索比说,多少带点嘲讽语气,但很友好,如同他正交着桃花运呢。   警察根本没把索比看成作案对象。毁坏窗子的人绝对不会留在现场与法律的宠臣攀谈,早就溜之大吉啦。警察看到半条街外有个人正跑去赶一辆车,便挥舞着警棍追了上去。索比心里十分憎恶,只得拖着脚步,重新开始游荡。他再一次失算了。   对面街上,有一家不太招眼的餐厅,它可以填饱肚子,又花不了多少钱。它的碗具粗糙,空气混浊,汤菜淡如水,餐巾薄如绢。索比穿着那令人诅咒的鞋子和暴露身份的裤子跨进餐厅,上帝保佑、还没遭到白眼。他走到桌前坐下,吃了牛排,煎饼、炸面饼圈和馅饼。然后,他向侍者坦露真象:他和钱老爷从无交往。   “现在,快去叫警察,”索比说。“别让大爷久等。”   “用不着找警察,”侍者说,声音滑腻得如同奶油蛋糕,眼睛红得好似曼哈顿开胃酒中的樱桃。“喂,阿康!”   两个侍者干净利落地把他推倒在又冷又硬的人行道上,左耳着地。索比艰难地一点一点地从地上爬起来,好似木匠打开折尺一样,接着拍掉衣服上的尘土。被捕的愿望仅仅是美梦一个,那个岛子是太遥远了。相隔两个门面的药店前,站着一名警察,他笑了笑,便沿街走去。   索比走过五个街口之后,设法被捕的气又回来了。这一次出现的机会极为难得,他满以为十拿九稳哩。一位衣着简朴但讨人喜欢的年轻女人站在橱窗前,兴趣十足地瞪着陈列的修面杯和墨水瓶架入了迷。而两码之外,一位彪形大汉警察正靠在水龙头上,神情严肃。   索比的计划是装扮成一个下流、讨厌的“捣蛋鬼”。他的对象文雅娴静,又有一位忠于职守的警察近在眼前,这使他足以相信,警察的双手抓住他的手膀的滋味该是多么愉快呵,在岛上的小安乐窝里度过这个冬季就有了保证。   索比扶正了教会的女士送给他的领结,拉出缩进去的衬衣袖口,把帽子往后一掀,歪得几乎要落下来,侧身向那女人挨将过去。他对她送秋波,清嗓子,哼哼哈哈,嬉皮笑脸,把小流氓所干的一切卑鄙无耻的勾当表演得惟妙惟肖。他斜眼望去,看见那个警察正死死盯住他。年轻女人移开了几步,又沉醉于观赏那修面杯。索比跟过去,大胆地走近她,举了举帽子,说:“啊哈,比德莉亚,你不想去我的院子里玩玩吗?”   警察仍旧死死盯住。受人轻薄的年轻女人只需将手一招,就等于已经上路去岛上的安乐窝了。在想象中,他已经感觉到警察分局的舒适和温暖了。年轻女人转身面对着他,伸出一只手,捉住了索比的上衣袖口。   “当然罗,迈克,”她兴高采烈地说,“如果你肯破费给我买一杯啤酒的话。要不是那个警察老瞅住我,早就同你搭腔了。”   年轻女人像常青藤攀附着他这棵大橡树一样。索比从警察身边走过,心中懊丧不已。看来命中注定,他该自由。   一到拐弯处,他甩掉女伴,撒腿就跑。他一口气跑到老远的一个地方。这儿,整夜都是最明亮的灯光,最轻松的心情,最轻率的誓言和最轻快的歌剧。淑女们披着皮裘,绅士们身着大衣,在这凛冽的严寒中欢天喜地地走来走去。索比突然感到一阵恐惧,也许是某种可怕的魔法制住了他,使他免除了被捕。这念头令他心惊肉跳。但是,当他看见一个警察在灯火通明的剧院门前大模大样地巡逻时,他立刻捞到了“扰乱治安”这根救命稻草。   索比在人行道上扯开那破锣似的嗓子,像醉鬼一样胡闹。   他又跳,又吼,又叫,使尽各种伎俩来搅扰这苍穹。   警察旋转着他的警棍,扭身用背对着索比,向一位市民解释说:“这是个耶鲁小子在庆祝胜利,他们同哈特福德学院赛球,请人家吃了个大鹅蛋。声音是有点儿大,但不碍事。我们上峰有指示,让他们闹去吧。”   索比怏怏不乐地停止了白费力气的闹嚷。难道就永远没有警察对他下手吗?在他的幻梦中,那岛屿似乎成了可望而不可及的阿卡狄亚⑩了。他扣好单薄的上衣,以便抵挡刺骨的寒风。   索比看到雪茄烟店里有一位衣冠楚楚的人正对着火头点烟。那人进店时,把绸伞靠在门边。索比跨进店门,拿起绸伞,漫不经心地退了出来。点烟人匆匆追了出来。   “我的伞,”他厉声道。   “呵,是吗?”索比冷笑说;在小偷摸小摸之上,再加上一条侮辱罪吧。“好哇,那你为什么不叫警察呢?没错,我拿了。你的伞!为什么不叫巡警呢?拐角那儿就站着一个哩。”   绸伞的主人放慢了脚步,索比也跟着慢了下来。他有一种预感,命运会再一次同他作对。那位警察好奇地瞧着他们俩。   “当然罗,”绸伞主人说,“那是,噢,你知道有时会出现这类误会……我……要是这伞是你的,我希望你别见怪……我是今天早上在餐厅捡的……要是你认出是你的,那么……我希望你别……”   “当然是我的,”索比恶狠狠地说。   绸伞的前主人悻悻地退了开去。那位警察慌忙不迭地跑去搀扶一个身披夜礼服斗篷、头发金黄的高个子女人穿过横街,以免两条街之外驶来的街车会碰着她。   索比往东走,穿过一条因翻修弄得高低不平的街道。他怒气冲天地把绸伞猛地掷进一个坑里。他咕咕哝哝地抱怨那些头戴钢盔、手执警棍的家伙。因为他一心只想落入法网,而他们则偏偏把他当成永不出错的国王⑾。   最后,索比来到了通往东区的一条街上,这儿的灯光暗淡,嘈杂声也若有若无。他顺着街道向麦迪逊广场走去,即使他的家仅仅是公园里的一条长凳,但回家的本能还是把他带到了那儿。   可是,在一个异常幽静的转角处,索比停住了。这儿有一座古老的教堂,样子古雅,显得零乱,是带山墙的建筑。柔和的灯光透过淡紫色的玻璃窗映射出来,毫无疑问,是风琴师在练熟星期天的赞美诗。悦耳的乐声飘进索比的耳朵,吸引了他,把他粘在了螺旋形的铁栏杆上。   月亮挂在高高的夜空,光辉、静穆;行人和车辆寥寥无几;屋檐下的燕雀在睡梦中几声啁啾——这会儿有如乡村中教堂墓地的气氛。风琴师弹奏的赞美诗拨动了伏在铁栏杆上的索比的心弦,因为当他生活中拥有母爱、玫瑰、抱负、朋友以及纯洁无邪的思想和洁白的衣领时,他是非常熟悉赞美诗的。   索比的敏感心情同老教堂的潜移默化交融在一起,使他的灵魂猛然间出现了奇妙的变化。他立刻惊恐地醒悟到自己已经坠入了深渊,堕落的岁月,可耻的欲念,悲观失望,才穷智竭,动机卑鄙——这一切构成了他的全部生活。   顷刻间,这种新的思想境界令他激动万分。一股迅急而强烈的冲动鼓舞着他去迎战坎坷的人生。他要把自己拖出泥淖,他要征服那一度驾驭自己的恶魔。时间尚不晚,他还算年轻,他要再现当年的雄心壮志,并坚定不移地去实现它。管风琴的庄重而甜美音调已经在他的内心深处引起了一场革命。明天,他要去繁华的商业区找事干。有个皮货进口商一度让他当司机,明天找到他,接下这份差事。他愿意做个煊赫一时的人物。他要……   索比感到有只手按在他的胳膊上。他霍地扭过头来,只见一位警察的宽脸盘。   “你在这儿干什么呀?”警察问道。   “没干什么,”索比说。   “那就跟我来,”警察说。   第二天早晨,警察局法庭的法官宣判道:“布莱克韦尔岛,三个月。”   ①杰克·弗洛斯特(jack frost):“霜冻”的拟人化称呼。   ②布莱克韦尔岛(blackwell):在纽约东河上。岛上有监狱。   ③棕榈滩(palm beach):美国佛罗里达州东南部城镇,冬令游憩胜地。   ④里维埃拉(the riviera):南欧沿地中海一段地区,在法国的东南部和意大利的西北部,是假节日憩游胜地。   ⑤恺撒(julius caesar):(100—44bc)罗马统帅、政治家,罗马的独裁者,被共和派贵族刺杀。布鲁图(brutus):(85—42bc)罗马贵族派政治家,刺杀恺撒的主谋,后逃希腊,集结军队对抗安东尼和屋大维联军,因战败自杀。   ⑥作者诙谐的说法,指美酒、华丽衣物和上流人物。   ⑦夏布利酒(chablis):原产于法国的Chablis地方的一种无甜味的白葡萄酒。   ⑧卡门贝(carmembert)干酪(cheese):一种产于法国的软干酪。原为Fr.诺曼底一村庄,产此干酪而得名。   ⑨指警察,因警察上衣的纽扣是黄铜制的。   ⑩阿卡狄亚(Arcadia):原为古希腊一山区,现在伯罗奔尼撒半岛中部,以其居民过着田园牧歌式的淳朴生活而著称,现指“世外桃源”。   ⑾英语谚语:国王不可能犯错误(king can do no wrong.) 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:警察与赞美诗英文原文 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 英文原版  The Cop And The Anthem   O Henry   On his bench in Madison Square Soapy moved uneasily, and when Soapy moves uneasily on his bench in the park, you may know that winter is near.   A dead leaf fell in Soapy's lap. That was Jack Frost's card. Jack is kind to the regular residents of Madison Square, and gives them warning of his annual call.   Soapy realized the fact that the time had come for him to provide against the coming winter. And therefore he moved uneasily on his bench.   The winter ambitions of Soapy were not of the highest. In them there were no dreams of Mediterranean voyages, of blue Southern skies or the Vesuvian Bay. Three months on the Island was what his soul desired. Three months of assured board and bed and good company, safe from north winds and policemen, seemed to Soapy the most desirable thing.   For years the hospitable Blackwell prison had been his winter refuge. Just as the more fortunate New Yorkers had bought their tickets to Palm Beach and the Riviera each winter, so Soapy had made his arrangements for his annual journey to the island. And now the time had come. On the night before three Sunday newspapers, put under his coat, about his feet and over his lap, had not helped him against the cold as he slept on his bench near the fountain in the old square. There were many institutions of charity in New York where he might receive lodging and food, but to Soapy's proud spirit the gifts of charity were undesirable. You must pay in humiliation of spirit for everything received at the hands of philanthropy. So it was better to be a guest of the law.   Soapy, having decided to go to the Island, at once set about accomplishing his desire. There were many easy ways of doing this. The pleasantest was to dine at some good restaurant; and then, after declaring bankruptcy, be handed over to a policeman. A magistrate would do the rest.   Soapy left his bench and went out of the square and up Broadway. He stopped at the door of a glittering cafe. He was shaven and his coat was decent. If he could reach a table in the restaurant, the portion of him that would show above the table would raise no doubt in the waiter's mind. A roasted duck, thought Soapy, with a bottle of wine, and then some cheese, a cup of coffee and a cigar would be enough. Such a dinner would make him happy, for the journey to his winter refuge.   But as Soapy entered the restaurant door, the head waiter's eye fell upon his shabby trousers and old shoes. Strong hands turned him about and pushed him in silence and haste out into the street.   Soapy turned off Broadway. Some other way of entering the desirable refuge must be found.   At a corner of Sixth Avenue Soapy took a stone and sent it through the glass of a glittering shop window. People came running around the corner, a policeman at the head of them. Soapy stood still, with his hands in his pockets, and smiled at the sight of the policeman.    Where is the man that has done that? asked the policeman.    Don't you think that I have had something to do with it? said Soapy, not without sarcasm, but friendly.   The policeman paid no attention to Soapy. Men who break windows do not remain to speak with policemen. They run away. He saw a man running to catch a car and rushed after him with his stick in his hand. Soapy, with disgust in his heart, walked along, twice unsuccessful.   On the opposite side of the street was a little restaurant for people with large appetites and modest purses. Soapy entered this place without difficulty. He sat at a table and ate beefsteak and pie. And then he told the waiter that he had no money.    Now go and call a cop, said Soapy. And don't keep a gentleman waiting.    No cop for you, said the waiter. Hey!   In a moment Soapy found himself lying upon his left ear on the pavement. He arose with difficulty, and beat the dust from his clothes. Arrest seemed a rosy dream. The Island seemed very far away. A policeman who stood before a drug store two doors away laughed and walked down the street. Soapy seemed to liberty.   After another unsuccessful attempt to be arrested for persecution a young woman, Soapy went further toward the district of theatres.   When he came upon a policeman standing in front of a glittering theatre, he caught at the straw of disorderly conduct.   On the sidewalk Soapy began to sing drunken songs at the top of his voice. He danced, howled, and otherwise disturbed the peace.   The policeman turned his back to Soapy, and said to a citizen:    It is one of the Yale lads celebrating their football victory over the Hartford College. Noisy, but no harm. We have instructions not to arrest them.   Sadly, Soapy stopped his useless singing and dancing. A sudden fear seized him. Was he immune to arrest? Would never a policeman lay hands on him? The Island seemed an unattainable Arcadia. He buttoned his thin coat against the north wind.   In a cigar store he saw a well-dressed man lighting a cigar. He had set his silk umbrella by the door, Soapy entered the store, took the umbrella, and went out with it slowly. The man with the cigar followed hastily.    My umbrella, he said.    Oh, is it? said Soapy. Well, why don't you call a policeman? I took it. Your umbrella! Why don't you call a cop? There stands one on the corner.   The umbrella owner slowed his steps. Soapy did likewise. The policeman looked at them curiously.    Of course, said the umbrella man, that is - well, you know how these mistakes occur - I - if it's your umbrella I hope you'll excuse me - I picked it up this morning in a restaurant - if it is yours, why - I hope you'll -    Of course it's mine, said Soapy.   The ex-umbrella man retreated. The policeman hurried to help a well-dressed woman across the street.   Soapy walked eastward. He threw the umbrella angrily into a pit. He was angry with the men who wear helmets and carry clubs. Because he wanted to be arrested, they seemed to regard him as a king who could do no wrong.   At last Soapy reached one of the avenues to the east where it was not so noisy. He went towards Madison Square, for the home instinct remains even when the home is a park bench.   But on a quiet corner Soapy stopped before an old church. Through one window a soft light glowed, where, no doubt, the organist played a Sunday anthem. For there came to Soapy's ears sweet music that caught and held him at the iron fence.   The moon was shining; cars and pedestrians were few; birds twittered sleepily under the roof. And the anthem that the organist played cemented Soapy to the iron fence, for he had known it well in the days when his life contained such things as mothers and roses and ambitions and friends.   The influence of the music and the old church produced a sudden and wonderful change in Soapy's soul. He saw with horror the pit into which he had fallen. He thought of his degraded days, dead hopes and wrecked faculties.   And also in a moment a strong impulse moved him to battle with his desperate fate. He would pull himself out of this pit; he would make a man of himself again. There was time; he was young yet. Those sweet organ notes had set up a revolution in him. Tomorrow he would be somebody in the world. He would -   Soapy felt a hand on his arm. He looked quickly around into the broad face of a policeman.    What are you doing here? asked the policeman.    Nothing, said Soapy.    Then come along, said the policeman.    Three months on the Island, said the Magistrate in the Police Court the next morning. 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:带家具出租的房间 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com)   带家具出租的房间  欧·亨利(著 )   在纽约西区南部的红砖房那一带地方,绝大多数居民都如时光一样动荡不定、迁移不停、来去匆匆。正因为无家可归,他们也可以说有上百个家。他们不时从这间客房搬到另一间客房,永远都是那么变幻无常——在居家上如此,在情感和理智上也无二致。他们用爵士乐曲调唱着流行曲“家,甜美的家”;全部家当用硬纸盒一拎就走;缠缘于阔边帽上的装饰就是他们的葡萄藤;拐杖就是他们的无花果树。   这一带有成百上千这种住客,这一带的房子可以述说的故事自然也是成百上千。当然,它们大多干瘪乏味;不过,要说在这么多漂泊过客掀起的余波中找不出一两个鬼魂,那才是怪事哩。   一天傍晚擦黑以后,有个青年男子在这些崩塌失修的红砖大房中间转悠寻觅,挨门挨户按铃。在第十二家门前,他把空当当的手提行李放在台阶上,然后揩去帽沿和额头上的灰尘。门铃声很弱,好像传至遥远、空旷的房屋深处。   这是他按响的第十二家门铃。铃声响过,女房东应声出来开门。她的模样使他想起一只讨厌的、吃得过多的蛆虫。它已经把果仁吃得只剩空壳,现在正想寻找可以充饥的房客来填充空间。   年轻人问有没有房间出租。   “进来吧,”房东说。她的声音从喉头挤出,嘎声嘎气,好像喉咙上绷了层毛皮。“三楼还有个后间,空了一个星期。想看看吗?”   年轻人跟她上楼。不知从什么地方来的一线微光缓和了过道上的阴影。他们不声不响地走着,脚下的地毯破烂不堪,可能连造出它的织布机都要诅咒说这不是自己的产物。它好像已经植物化了,已经在这恶臭、阴暗的空气中退化成茂盛滋润的地衣或满地蔓延的苔藓,东一块西一块,一直长到楼梯上,踩在脚下像有机物一样粘糊糊的。楼梯转角处墙上都有空着的壁龛。它们里面也许曾放过花花草草。果真如此的话,那些花草已经在污浊肮脏的空气中死去。壁龛里面也许曾放过圣像,但是不难想象,黑暗之中大大小小的魔鬼早就把圣人拖出来,一直拖到下面某间客房那邪恶的深渊之中去了。   “就是这间,”房东说,还是那副毛皮嗓子。“房间很不错,难得有空的时候。今年夏天这儿还住过一些特别讲究的人哩——从不找麻烦,按时提前付房租。自来水在过道尽头。斯普罗尔斯和穆尼住了三个月。她们演过轻松喜剧。布雷塔·斯普罗尔斯小姐——也许你听说过她吧——喔,那只是艺名儿——就在那张梳妆台上边,原来还挂着她的结婚证书哩,镶了框的。煤气开关在这儿,瞧这壁橱也很宽敞。这房间人人见了都喜欢,从来没长时间空过。”   “你这儿住过很多演戏的?”年轻人问。   “他们这个来,那个去。我的房客中有很多人在演出界干事。对了,先生,这一带剧院集中,演戏的人从不在一个地方长住。到这儿来住过的也不少。他们这个来,那个去。”   他租下了房间,预付了一个星期的租金。他说他很累,想马上住下来。他点清了租金。她说房间早就准备规矩,连毛巾和水都是现成的。房东走开时,——他又——已经是第一千次了——把挂在舌尖的问题提了出来。   “有个姑娘——瓦西纳小姐——埃卢瓦丝·瓦西纳小姐——你记得房客中有过这人吗?她多半是在台上唱歌的。她皮肤白嫩,个子中等,身材苗条,金红色头发,左眼眉毛边长了颗黑痣。”   “不,我记不得这个名字。那些搞演出的,换名字跟换房间一样快,来来去去,谁也说不准。不,我想不起这个名字了。”   不。总是不。五个月不间断地打听询问,千篇一律地否定回答。已经花了好多时间,白天去找剧院经理、代理人、剧校和合唱团打听;晚上则夹在观众之中去寻找,名角儿会演的剧院去找过,下流污秽的音乐厅也去找过,甚至还害怕在那类地方找到他最想找的人。他对她独怀真情,一心要找到她。他确信,自她从家里失踪以来,这座水流环绕的大城市一定把她蒙在了某个角落。但这座城市就像一大团流沙,沙粒的位置变化不定,没有基础,今天还浮在上层的细粒到了明天就被淤泥和粘土覆盖在下面。   客房以假惺惺的热情迎接新至的客人,像个暗娼脸上堆起的假笑,红中透病、形容枯槁、马马虎虎。破旧的家具、破烂绸套的沙发、两把椅子、窗户间一码宽的廉价穿衣镜、一两个烫金像框、角落里的铜床架——所有这一切折射出一种似是而非的舒适之感。   房客懒洋洋地半躺在一把椅子上,客房则如巴比伦通天塔的一个套间,尽管稀里糊涂扯不清楚,仍然竭力把曾在这里留宿过的房客分门别类,向他细细讲来。   地上铺了一张杂色地毯,像一个艳花盛开的长方形热带小岛,四周是肮脏的垫子形成的波涛翻滚的大海。用灰白纸裱过的墙上,贴着紧随无家可归者四处漂流的图片——“胡格诺情人”,“第一次争吵”,“婚礼早餐”,“泉边美女”。壁炉炉额的样式典雅而庄重,外面却歪歪斜斜扯起条花哨的布帘,像舞剧里亚马逊女人用的腰带。炉额上残留着一些零碎物品,都是些困居客房的人在幸运的风帆把他们载到新码头时抛弃不要的东西——一两个廉价花瓶,女演员的画片,药瓶儿,残缺不全的扑克纸牌。   渐渐地,密码的笔形变得清晰可辨,前前后后居住过这间客房的人留下的细小痕迹所具有的意义也变得完整有形。   梳妆台前那片地毯已经磨得只剩麻纱,意味着成群的漂亮女人曾在上面迈步。墙上的小指纹表明小囚犯曾在此努力摸索通向阳光和空气之路。一团溅开的污迹,形如炸弹爆炸后的影子,是杯子或瓶子连同所盛之物一起被砸在墙上的见证。穿衣镜镜面上用玻璃钻刀歪歪扭扭地刻着名字“玛丽”。看来,客房留宿人——也许是受到客房那俗艳的冷漠之驱使吧——   曾先先后后在狂怒中辗转反侧,并把一腔愤懑倾泄在这个房间上。家具有凿痕和磨损;长沙发因凸起的弹簧而变形,看上去像一头在痛苦中扭曲的痉挛中被宰杀的恐怖怪物。另外某次威力更大的动荡砍去了大理石壁炉额的一大块。地板的每一块拼木各自构成一个斜面,并且好像由于互不干连、各自独有的哀怨而发出尖叫。令人难以置信的是,那些把所有这一切恶意和伤害施加于这个房间的人居然就是曾一度把它称之为他们的家的人;然而,也许正是这屡遭欺骗、仍然盲目保持的恋家本性以及对虚假的护家神的愤恨点燃了他们胸中的冲天怒火。一间茅草房——只要属于我们自己——我们都会打扫、装点和珍惜。   椅子上的年轻人任这些思绪缭绕心间,与此同时,楼中飘来有血有肉、活灵活现的声音和气味。他听见一个房间传来吃吃的窃笑和淫荡放纵的大笑;别的房间传来独自咒骂声,骰子的格格声,催眠曲和呜呜抽泣;楼上有人在兴致勃勃地弹班卓琴。不知什么地方的门砰砰嘭嘭地关上;架空电车不时隆隆驶过;后面篱墙上有只猫在哀叫。他呼吸到这座房子的气息。这不是什么气味儿,而是一种潮味儿,如同从地窖里的油布和朽木混在一起蒸发出的霉臭。   他就这样歇在那儿,突然,房间里充满木犀草浓烈的芬芳。它乘风而至,鲜明无误,香馥沁人,栩栩如生,活脱脱几乎如来访的佳宾。年轻人忍不住大叫:“什么?亲爱的?”好像有人在喊他似地。他然后一跃而起,四下张望。浓香扑鼻而来,把他包裹其中。他伸出手臂拥抱香气。刹那间,他的全部感觉都给搅混在一起。人怎么可能被香味断然唤起呢?唤起他的肯定是声音。难道这就是曾抚摸、安慰过他的声音?   “她在这个房间住过,”他大声说,扭身寻找起来,硬想搜出什么征迹,因为他确信能辨认出属于她的或是她触摸过的任何微小的东西。这沁人肺腑的木犀花香,她所喜爱、唯她独有的芬芳,究竟是从哪儿来的?   房间只马马虎虎收拾过。薄薄的梳妆台桌布上有稀稀拉拉五六个发夹——都是些女性朋友用的那类东西,悄声无息,具有女性特征,但不标明任何心境或时间。他没去仔细琢磨,因为这些东西显然缺乏个性。他把梳妆台抽屉搜了个底朝天,发现一条丢弃的破旧小手绢。他把它蒙在脸上,天芥菜花的怪味刺鼻而来。他顺手把手绢甩在地上。在另一个抽屉,他发现几颗零星纽扣,一张剧目表,一张当铺老板的名片,两颗吃剩的果汁软糖,一本梦释书。最后一个抽屉里有一个女人用的黑缎蝴蝶发结。他猛然一楞,悬在冰与火之间,处于兴奋与失望之间。但是黑缎蝴蝶发结也只是女性庄重端雅但不具个性特征的普通装饰,不能提供任何线索。   随后他在房间里四处搜寻,像一条猎狗东嗅西闻,扫视四壁,趴在地上仔细查看拱起的地毡角落,翻遍壁炉炉额和桌子、窗帘和门帘、角落里摇摇欲坠的酒柜,试图找到一个可见的、但他还未发现的迹象,以证明她就在房间里面,就在他旁边、周围、对面、心中、上面,紧紧地牵着他、追求他,并通过精微超常的感觉向他发出如此哀婉的呼唤,以至于连他愚钝的感觉都能领悟出这呼唤之声。他再次大声回答“我在这儿,亲爱的!”然后转过身子,目瞪口呆,一片漠然,因为他在木犀花香中还察觉不出形式、色彩、爱情和张开的双臂。唔,上帝啊,那芳香是从哪儿来的?从什么时候起香味开始具有呼唤之力?就这样他不停地四下摸索。   他把墙缝和墙角掏了一遍,找到一些瓶塞和烟蒂。对这些东西他不屑一顾。但有一次他在一折地毡里发现一支抽了半截的纸雪茄,铁青着脸使劲咒了一声,用脚后跟把它踩得稀烂。他把整个房间从一端到另一端筛了一遍,发现许许多多流客留下的无聊、可耻的记载。但是,有关可能曾住过这儿的、其幽灵好像仍然徘徊在这里的、他正在寻求的她,他却丝毫痕迹也未发现。   这时他记起了女房东。   他从幽灵萦绕的房间跑下楼,来到透出一缝光线的门前。   她应声开门出来。他竭尽全力,克制住激动之情。   “请告诉我,夫人,”他哀求道,“我来之前谁住过那个房间?”   “好的,先生。我可以再说一遍。以前住的是斯普罗尔斯和穆尼夫妇,我已经说过。布雷塔·斯普罗尔斯小姐,演戏的,后来成了穆尼夫人。我的房子从来声誉就好。他们的结婚证都是挂起的,还镶了框,挂在钉子上——”   “斯普罗尔斯小姐是哪种女人——我是说,她长相如何?”   “喔,先生,黑头发,矮小,肥胖,脸蛋儿笑嘻嘻的。他们一个星期前搬走,上星期二。”   “在他们以前谁住过?”   “嗨,有个单身男人,搞运输的。他还欠我一个星期的房租没付就走了。在他以前是克劳德夫人和她两个孩子,住了四个月;再以前是多伊尔老先生,房租是他儿子付的。他住了六个月。都是一年以前的事了,再往以前我就记不得了。”   他谢了她,慢腾腾地爬回房间。房间死气沉沉。曾为它注入生机的香气已经消失,木犀花香已经离去,代之而来的是发霉家具老朽、陈腐、凝滞的臭气。   希望破灭,他顿觉信心殆尽。他坐在那儿,呆呆地看着咝咝作响的煤气灯的黄光。稍许,他走到床边,把床单撕成长条,然后用刀刃把布条塞进门窗周围的每一条缝隙。一切收拾得严实紧扎以后,他关掉煤气灯,却又把煤气开足,最后感激不尽地躺在床上。   按照惯例,今晚轮到麦克库尔夫人拿罐子去打啤酒。她取酒回来,和珀迪夫人在一个地下幽会场所坐了下来。这是房东们聚会、蛆虫猖厥的地方。   “今晚我把三楼后间租了出去,”珀迪夫人说,杯中的酒泡圆圆的。“房客是个年轻人。两个钟头以前他就上床了。”   “嗬,真有你的,珀迪夫人,”麦克库尔夫人说,羡慕不已。“那种房子你都租得出去,可真是奇迹。那你给他说那件事没有呢?”她说这话时悄声细语,嘎声哑气,充满神秘。   “房间里安起家具嘛,”珀迪夫人用她最令人毛骨悚然的声音说,“就是为了租出去。我没给他说那事儿,麦克库尔夫人。”   “可不是嘛,我们就是靠出租房子过活。你的生意经没错,夫人。如果知道这个房间里有人自杀,死在床上,谁还来租这个房间呢。”   “当然嘛,我们总得活下去啊,”珀迪夫人说。   “对,夫人,这话不假。一个星期前我才帮你把三楼后间收拾规矩。那姑娘用煤气就把自己给弄死了——她那小脸蛋儿多甜啊,珀迪夫人。”   “可不是嘛,都说她长得俏,”珀迪夫人说,既表示同意又显得很挑剔。“只是她左眼眉毛边的痣长得不好看。再来一杯,麦克库尔夫人。” 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:带家具出租的房间英文原文 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 原文(英语):   The Furnished Room      Restless, shifting, fugacious as time itself is a certain vast bulk   of the population of the red brick district of the lower West Side.   Homeless, they have a hundred homes. They flit from furnished room   to furnished room, transients forever--transients in abode,   transients in heart and mind. They sing Home, Sweet Home in   ragtime; they carry their ~lares et penates~ in a bandbox; their vine   is entwined about a picture hat; a rubber plant is their fig tree.   Hence the houses of this district, having had a thousand dwellers,   should have a thousand tales to tell, mostly dull ones, no doubt; but   it would be strange if there could not be found a ghost or two in the   wake of all these vagrant guests.   One evening after dark a young man prowled among these crumbling red   mansions, ringing their bells. At the twelfth he rested his lean   hand-baggage upon the step and wiped the dust from his hatband and   forehead. The bell sounded faint and far away in some remote, hollow   depths.   To the door of this, the twelfth house whose bell he had rung, came   a housekeeper who made him think of an unwholesome, surfeited worm   that had eaten its nut to a hollow shell and now sought to fill the   vacancy with edible lodgers.   He asked if there was a room to let.    Come in, said the housekeeper. Her voice came from her throat; her   throat seemed lined with fur. I have the third floor back, vacant   since a week back. Should you wish to look at it?   The young man followed her up the stairs. A faint light from no   particular source mitigated the shadows of the halls. They trod   noiselessly upon a stair carpet that its own loom would have   forsworn. It seemed to have become vegetable; to have degenerated in   that rank, sunless air to lush lichen or spreading moss that grew in   patches to the staircase and was viscid under the foot like organic   matter. At each turn of the stairs were vacant niches in the wall.   Perhaps plants had once been set within them. If so they had died in   that foul and tainted air. It may be that statues of the saints had   stood there, but it was not difficult to conceive that imps and   devils had dragged them forth in the darkness and down to the unholy   depths of some furnished pit below.    This is the room, said the housekeeper, from her furry throat.    It's a nice room. It ain't often vacant. I had some most elegant   people in it last summer--no trouble at all, and paid in advance to   the minute. The water's at the end of the hall. Sprowls and Mooney   kept it three months. They done a vaudeville sketch. Miss B'retta   Sprowls--you may have heard of her--Oh, that was just the stage names   --right there over the dresser is where the marriage certificate   hung, framed. The gas is here, and you see there is plenty of closet   room. It's a room everybody likes. It never stays idle long.    Do you have many theatrical people rooming here? asked the young   man.    They comes and goes. A good proportion of my lodgers is connected   with the theatres. Yes, sir, this is the theatrical district. Actor   people never stays long anywhere. I get my share. Yes, they comes   and they goes.   He engaged the room, paying for a week in advance. He was tired, he   said, and would take possession at once. He counted out the money.   The room had been made ready, she said, even to towels and water. As   the housekeeper moved away he put, for the thousandth time, the   question that he carried at the end of his tongue.    A young girl--Miss Vashner--Miss Eloise Vashner--do you remember   such a one among your lodgers? She would be singing on the stage,   most likely. A fair girl, of medium height and slender, with   reddish, gold hair and a dark mole near her left eyebrow.    No, I don't remember the name. Them stage people has names they   change as often as their rooms. They comes and they goes. No, I   don't call that one to mind.   No. Always no. Five months of ceaseless interrogation and the   inevitable negative. So much time spent by day in questioning   managers, agents, schools and choruses; by night among the audiences   of theatres from all-star casts down to music halls so low that he   dreaded to find what he most hoped for. He who had loved her best   had tried to find her. He was sure that since her disappearance from   home this great, water-girt city held her somewhere, but it was like   a monstrous quicksand, shifting its particles constantly, with no   foundation, its upper granules of to-day buried to-morrow in ooze and   slime.   The furnished room received its latest guest with a first glow of   pseudo-hospitality, a hectic, haggard, perfunctory welcome like the   specious smile of a demirep. The sophistical comfort came in   reflected gleams from the decayed furniture, the raggcd brocade   upholstery of a couch and two chairs, a footwide cheap pier glass   between the two windows, from one or two gilt picture frames and a   brass bedstead in a corner.   The guest reclined, inert, upon a chair, while the room, confused in   speech as though it were an apartment in Babel, tried to discourse to   him of its divers tenantry.   A polychromatic rug like some brilliant-flowered rectangular,   tropical islet lay surrounded by a billowy sea of soiled matting.   Upon the gay-papered wall were those pictures that pursue the   homeless one from house to house--The Huguenot Lovers, The First   Quarrel, The Wedding Breakfast, Psyche at the Fountain. The mantel's   chastely severe outline was ingloriously veiled behind some pert   drapery drawn rakishly askew like the sashes of the Amazonian ballet.   Upon it was some desolate flotsam cast aside by the room's marooned   when a lucky sail had borne them to a fresh port--a trifling vase or   two, pictures of actresses, a medicine bottle, some stray cards out   of a deck.   One by one, as the characters of a cryptograph become explicit, the   little signs left by the furnished room's procession of guests   developed a significance. The threadbare space in the rug in front   of the dresser told that lovely woman had marched in the throng.   Tiny finger prints on the wall spoke of little prisoners trying to   feel their way to sun and air. A splattered stain, raying like the   shadow of a bursting bomb, witnessed where a hurled glass or bottle   had splintered with its contents against the wall. Across the pier   glass had been scrawled with a diamond in staggering letters the name    Marie. It seemed that the succession of dwellers in the furnished   room had turned in fury--perhaps tempted beyond forbearance by its   garish coldness--and wreaked upon it their passions. The furniture   was chipped and bruised; the couch, distorted by bursting springs,   seemed a horrible monster that had been slain during the stress of   some grotesque convulsion. Some more potent upheaval had cloven a   great slice from the marble mantel. Each plank in the floor owned   its particular cant and shriek as from a separate and individual   agony. It seemed incredible that all this malice and injury had been   wrought upon the room by those who had called it for a time their   home; and yet it may have been the cheated home instinct surviving   blindly, the resentful rage at false household gods that had kindled   their wrath. A hut that is our own we can sweep and adorn and   cherish.   The young tenant in the chair allowed these thoughts to file, soft-   shod, through his mind, while there drifted into the room furnished   sounds and furnished scents. He heard in one room a tittering and   incontinent, slack laughter; in others the monologue of a scold, the   rattling of dice, a lullaby, and one crying dully; above him a banjo   tinkled with spirit. Doors banged somewhere; the elevated trains   roared intermittently; a cat yowled miserably upon a back fence. And   he breathed the breath of the house--a dank savour rather than a smell   --a cold, musty effluvium as from underground vaults mingled with the   reeking exhalations of linoleum and mildewed and rotten woodwork.   Then, suddenly, as he rested there, the room was filled with the   strong, sweet odour of mignonette. It came as upon a single buffet   of wind with such sureness and fragrance and emphasis that it almost   seemed a living visitant. And the man cried aloud: What, dear? as   if he had been called, and sprang up and faced about. The rich odour   clung to him and wrapped him around. He reached out his arms for it,   all his senses for the time confused and commingled. How could one   be peremptorily called by an odour? Surely it must have been a   sound. But, was it not the sound that had touched, that had caressed   him?    She has been in this room, he cried, and he sprang to wrest from it   a token, for he knew he would recognize the smallest thing that had   belonged to her or that she had touched. This enveloping scent of   mignonette, the odour that she had loved and made her own--whence   came it?   The room had been but carelessly set in order. Scattered upon the   flimsy dresser scarf were half a dozen hairpins--those discreet,   indistinguishable friends of womankind, feminine of gender, infinite   of mood and uncommunicative of tense. These he ignored, conscious of   their triumphant lack of identity. Ransacking the drawers of the   dresser he came upon a discarded, tiny, ragged handkerchief. He   pressed it to his face. It was racy and insolent with heliotrope; he   hurled it to the floor. In another drawer he found odd buttons, a   theatre programme, a pawnbroker's card, two lost marshmallows, a book   on the divination of dreams. In the last was a woman's black satin   hair bow, which halted him, poised between ice and fire. But the   black satin hairbow also is femininity's demure, impersonal, common   ornament, and tells no tales.   And then he traversed the room like a hound on the scent, skimming   the walls, considering the corners of the bulging matting on his   hands and knees, rummaging mantel and tables, the curtains and   hangngs, the drunken cabinet in the corner, for a visible sign,   unable to perceive that she was there beside, around, against,   within, above him, clinging to him, wooing him, calling him so   poignantly through the finer senses that even his grosser ones became   cognisant of the call. Once again he answered loudly: Yes, dear!   and turned, wild-eyed, to gaze on vacancy, for he could not yet   discern form and colour and love and outstretched arms in the odour   of mnignonette. Oh, God! whence that odour, and since when have   odours had a voice to call? Thus he groped.   He burrowed in crevices and corners, and found corks and cigarettes.   These he passed in passive contempt. But once he found in a fold of   the matting a half-smoked cigar, and this he ground beneath his heel   with a green and trenchant oath. He sifted the room from end to end.   He found dreary and ignoble small records of many a peripatetic   tenant; but of her whom he sought, and who may have lodged there, and   whose spirit seemed to hover there, he found no trace.   And then he thought of the housekeeper.   He ran from the haunted room downstairs and to a door that showed a   crack of light. She came out to his knock. He smothered his   excitement as best he could.    Will you tell me, madam, he besought her, who occupied the room I   have before I came?    Yes, sir. I can tell you again. 'Twas Sprowls and Mooney, as I   said. Miss B'retta Sprowls it was in the theatres, but Missis Mooney   she was. My house is well known for respectability. The marriage   certificate hung, framed, on a nail over--    What kind of a lady was Miss Sprowls--in looks, I mean?   Why, black-haired, sir, short, and stout, with a comical face. They   left a week ago Tuesday.    And before they occupied it?    Why, there was a single gentleman connected with the draying   business. He left owing me a week. Before him was Missis Crowder   and her two children, that stayed four months; and back of them was   old Mr. Doyle, whose sons paid for him. He kept the room six months.   That goes back a year, sir, and further I do not remember.   He thanked her and crept back to his room. The room was dead. The   essence that had vivified it was gone. The perfume of mignonette had   departed. In its place was the old, stale odour of mouldy house   furniture, of atmosphere in storage.   The ebbing of his hope drained his faith. He sat staring at the   yellow, singing gaslight. Soon he walked to the bed and began to   tear the sheets into strips. With the blade of his knife he drove   them tightly into every crevice around windows and door. When all   was snug and taut he turned out the light, turned the gas full on   again and laid himself gratefully upon the bed.   * * * * * * *   It was Mrs. McCool's night to go with the can for beer. So she   fetched it and sat with Mrs. Purdy in one of those subterranean   retreats where house-keepers foregather and the worm dieth seldom.    I rented out my third floor, back, this evening, said Mrs. Purdy,   across a fine circle of foam. A young man took it. He went up to   bed two hours ago.    Now, did ye, Mrs. Purdy, ma'am? said Mrs. McCool, with intense   admiration. You do be a wonder for rentin' rooms of that kind. And   did ye tell him, then? she concluded in a husky whisper, laden with   mystery.    Rooms, said Mrs. Purdy, in her furriest tones, are furnished for   to rent. I did not tell him, Mrs. McCool.    'Tis right ye are, ma'am; 'tis by renting rooms we kape alive. Ye   have the rale sense for business, ma'am. There be many people will   rayjict the rentin' of a room if they be tould a suicide has been   after dyin' in the bed of it.    As you say, we has our living to be making, remarked Mrs. Purdy.    Yis, ma'am; 'tis true. 'Tis just one wake ago this day I helped ye   lay out the third floor, back. A pretty slip of a colleen she was to   be killin' herself wid the gas--a swate little face she had, Mrs.   Purdy, ma'am.    She'd a-been called handsome, as you say, said Mrs. Purdy,   assenting but critical, but for that mole she had a-growin' by her   left eyebrow. Do fill up your glass again, Mrs. McCool. 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:天窗室 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 首先,帕克太太会领你去看那双开间的客厅。当她在滔滔不绝地夸说屋子的优点以及那位住了八年的先生的好处时,你根本不敢打断她的话头。接着,你总算吞吞吐吐地说,你既不是大夫,也不是牙医。帕克太太听取这番话时的神气,准会使你对你的父母大起反感,嗔怪他们当初为什么没有把你培养成为适合帕克太太的客厅的人才。 然后,你走上一溜楼梯,去看看租金每周八块钱的二楼后房。她换了一副二楼的嘴脸,告诉你说,图森贝雷先生没有到佛罗里达去接管他兄弟在棕榈滩附近的柑橘种植园时,就住在这里。房租一直是十二块钱,绝不吃亏。又说住在双开间前房,有独用浴室的麦金太尔太太,每年冬天都要到那个棕榈滩去。你听了一阵之后,支支吾吾地说,你希望看看租金更便宜一点的房间。 如果你没有被帕克太太的鄙夷神情吓倒,你就会给领到三楼去看看斯基德先生的大房间。斯基德先生的房间并没有空出来。他整天呆在里面写剧本,抽香烟。可是每一个找房子的人总是给引到他的房间里去欣赏门窗的垂饰。每次参观之后,斯基德先生害怕有勒令搬家的可能,就会付一部分欠租。 接着——啊,接着——假如你仍旧局促不安地站着,滚烫的手插在口袋里,攥紧那三块汗渍渍的钱,嘶哑地说出了你那可耻可恶的贫困,帕克太太就不再替你当向导了。她拉开嗓门,叫一声“克拉拉”,便扭过头,迈开步子下楼去了。于是,那个黑人使女克拉拉会陪你爬上那代替四楼楼梯的、铺着毡毯的梯子,让你看天窗室。它位于房屋中央,有七英尺宽、八英尺长。两边都是黑魆魆的堆放杂物的贮藏室。 屋子里有一张小铁床、一个洗脸架和一把椅子。一个木头架子算是梳妆台。四堵空墙咄咄逼人,仿佛棺材的四壁似的,逼得你透不过气来。你的手不由自主地摸到了喉咙上,你喘着气,仿佛坐在井里似的抬头一望——总算恢复了呼吸。透过小天窗的玻璃望出去,你见到了一方蓝天。 “两块钱,先生。”克拉拉会带着半是轻蔑、半是特斯基吉式(注:美国南方阿拉巴马州的城市,黑人居民较多。)的温和说。 有一天,丽森小姐来找房子。她随身带着一台远不是她这样娇小的人所能带的打字机。她身材非常娇小,在停止发育后,眼睛和头发却长个不停。它们仿佛在说:“天哪!你为什么不跟着我们一块儿长啊?” 帕克太太领着丽森小姐去看双开间的客厅。“这个壁柜里,”她说,“可以放一架骨骼标本,或者麻醉剂,或者煤——” “我不是大夫,也不是牙医。”丽森小姐打了个寒战说。 帕克太太把她专门用来对付那些不够大夫和牙医资格的人的猜疑、怜悯、轻蔑和冰冷的眼色使了出来,瞪了丽森小姐一眼,然后领她去看二楼后房。 “八块钱吗?”丽森小姐说。“啊呀!我样子虽然年轻,可不是富家小姐。我只是一个穷苦的做工小姑娘。带我去看看位置高一点儿,租金低一点儿的房间吧。” 斯基德先生听到叩门声,连忙跳起来,把烟蒂撒了一地。 “对不起,斯基德先生。”帕克太太说,看到他大惊失色的模样,便露出一脸好笑。“我不知道你在家。我请这位小姐来看看你的门窗垂饰。” “这太美啦。”丽森小姐嫣然一笑说,她的笑容跟天使一般美。 她们走了之后,斯基德先生着实忙了一阵子,把他最近的(没有上演的)剧本里那个高身材、黑头发的女主角全部抹去,换上一个头发浓密光泽,容貌秀丽活泼,娇小顽皮的姑娘。 “安娜﹒赫尔德(注:当时美国著名演员。)准会争着扮演这个角色呐。”斯基德先生自言自语地说。他抬起双脚,踩在窗饰上,然后象一只空中的墨斗鱼一样,消失在香烟雾中了。 不久便响起了一声“克拉拉!”像警钟似地向全世界宣布了丽森小姐的经济情况。一个黑皮肤的小鬼抓住了她,带她爬上阴森森的梯子,把她推进一间顶上透着微光的拱形屋子,吐出了那几个带有威胁和神秘意味的字眼:“两块钱!” “我租下来!”丽森小姐嘘了一口气,接着便在那张吱嘎作响的铁床上坐了下去。 丽森小姐每天出去工作。晚上她带了一些有字迹的纸张回家,用她那架打字机誊清。逢到没有工作的晚上,她就跟别的房客一起坐在门口的高台阶上。上帝创造丽森小姐的时候,并没有打算让她住在天窗室里。她心胸豁朗,脑袋里满是微妙的、异想天开的念头。有一次,她甚至让斯基德先生把他那伟大的(没有出版的)喜剧《并非玩笑》(一名《地下铁道的继承人》)念了三幕给她听。 每逢丽森小姐有空在台阶上坐一两个钟头的时候,男房客们都乐开了。可是,那位在公立学校教书的,碰到什么便说“可不是吗!”的高个儿金发的朗纳克小姐,却坐在石阶顶级,嘿嘿冷笑着。那位在百货商店工作,每星期日在康奈岛打活动木鸭的多恩小姐,坐在石阶底级,也嘿嘿冷笑着。丽森小姐坐在石阶中级,男人们马上在她身边围了拢来。 尤其是斯基德先生,他虽然没有说出口,心里却早就把丽森小姐在他现实生活中的私人浪漫剧中派充了主角。还有胡佛先生,那位四十五岁,愣头愣脑,血气旺盛的大胖子。还有那位极年轻的埃文斯先生,他老是吭吭地干咳着,好让丽森小姐来劝他戒烟。男人们一致公认丽森小姐是“最有趣、最快活的人儿”,然而顶级和底级的冷笑却是难以与之妥协的。 我请求诸位允许戏文暂停片刻,让合唱队走到台前,为胡佛先生的肥胖洒一滴哀悼之泪。为哀悼脂肪的凄惨,臃肿的灾害和肥胖的祸殃而唱哀歌吧。情场的得意与否如果取决于油脂的多寡,那么福斯塔夫可能要远远胜过瘦骨棱棱的罗密欧(注:福斯塔夫和罗密欧都是莎士比亚剧本中的主角。福斯塔夫肥胖好色,爱吹牛,爱开玩笑。)。但是情人不妨叹息,可千万不能喘气。胖子是归莫墨斯(莫墨斯,希腊神话中喜欢嘲弄指摘的小神。)发落的。腰围五十二英寸的人,任你心脏跳得多么忠诚,到头来还是白搭。去你的吧,胡佛!四十五岁,愣头愣脑,血气旺盛的胡佛可能把海伦(海伦,希腊传说中斯巴达国王的妻子,艳丽绝伦,被特洛伊王子拐跑,引起特洛伊十年战争。)拐了逃跑;然而四十五岁,愣头愣脑,血气旺盛,脑满肠肥的胡佛,只是一具永不超生的臭皮囊罢了。胡佛,你是永远没有机会的。 一个夏天的傍晚,帕克太太的房客们这样闲坐着,丽森小姐忽然抬头看看天空,爽朗地笑了起来,嚷道: “哟,那不是比利﹒杰克逊吗!我在这儿楼下也能见到。” 大伙都抬起头——有的看摩天大楼的窗子,有的东张西望,寻找一艘杰克逊操纵的飞艇。 “那颗星星。”丽森小姐解释道,同时用一个纤细的指头指点着。“不是那颗一闪一闪的大星星,而是它旁边那颗不动的蓝星星。每天晚上我都可以从天窗里望到它。我管它叫比利﹒杰克逊。” “可不是吗!”朗纳克小姐说。“我倒不知道你是个天文学家呢,丽森小姐。” “是啊,”这个观星星象的小人儿说,“我跟任何一个天文学家一样,知道火星居民的秋季服装会是什么新式样。” “可不是吗!”朗纳克小姐说。“你指的那颗星是仙后座里的伽马。它的亮度几乎同二等星相当,它的子午线程是——” “哦,”非常年轻的埃文斯先生说,“我认为比利﹒杰克逊这个名字好得多。” “我也同意。”胡佛先生说,呼噜呼噜地喘着气,反对朗纳克小姐。“我认为那些占星的老头儿既然有权利给星星起名字,丽森小姐当然也有权利。” “可不是吗!”朗纳克小姐说。 “我不知道它是不是流星。”多恩小姐说。“星期日我在康奈岛的游乐场里打枪,十枪当中打中了九次鸭子,一次兔子。” “从这儿望去还不是顶清楚。”丽森小姐说。“你们应该在我的屋子里看。你们知道,如果坐在井底的话,即使白天也看得见星星。一到晚上,我的屋子就像是煤矿的竖井,比利﹒杰克逊就像是夜晚女神用来扣住她的睡衣的大钻石别针了。” 之后有一段时期,丽森小姐没有带那些冠冕堂皇的纸张回来打字。她早晨出门并不是去工作,而是挨家挨户地跑事务所,央求傲慢的工友通报,受尽了冷落和拒绝,弄得她垂头丧气。这种情形持续了很久。 有一晚,正是丽森小姐以往在饭店里吃了晚饭回家的时候,她精疲力竭地爬上了帕克太太的石阶。但她并没有吃过晚饭。 在她踏进门厅的当儿,胡佛先生遇到了她,看中了这个机会。他向她求婚,一身肥肉颤巍巍地挡在她面前,活像一座随时可以崩坍的雪山。丽森小姐闪开了,抓住了楼梯的扶手。他想去抓她的手,她却举起手来,有气没力地给了他一个耳光。她拉着扶手,一步一顿地挨上楼去。她经过斯基德先生的房门口,斯基德先生正在用红墨水修改他那(没有被接受的)喜剧中的舞台说明,指示女主角梅特尔﹒德洛姆(也就是丽森小姐)应该“从舞台左角一阵风似地跑向子爵身边”。最后,她爬上了铺着毡毯的梯子,打开了天窗室的门。 她没有气力去点灯和换衣服了。她倒在那张铁床上,她那纤弱的身体在老旧的弹簧垫上简直没有留下凹洼。在那个地府般幽暗的屋子里,她慢慢地抬起沉重的眼皮,微微笑了一下。 因为比利﹒杰克逊正透过天窗,在安详、明亮而不渝地照耀着她,她周围一片空虚。她仿佛坠入一个黑暗的深渊,顶上只是一方嵌着一颗星的、苍白的夜空。她给那颗星起了一个异想天开的名字,可起得并不恰当。朗纳克小姐准是对的:它原是仙后座的伽马星,不是什么比利﹒杰克逊。尽管如此,她还是不愿意称他为伽马。 她仰躺着,想抬起胳臂,可是抬了两次都没有成功。第三次,她总算把两只瘦削的手指举到了嘴唇上,从黑暗的深渊中朝比利﹒杰克逊飞了一吻。她的胳臂软绵绵地落了下来。 “再见啦,比利。”她微弱地咕哝着。“你远在几百万英里之外,甚至不肯眨一眨眼睛。可是当四周漆黑一片,什么也看不见的时候,你多半还待在我能看见的地方,是吗?……几百万英里……再见啦,比利﹒杰克逊。” 第二天上午十点钟,黑使女克拉拉发觉丽森小姐的房门还锁着,他们把它撞开。擦生醋,打手腕,给她嗅烧焦的羽毛都不见效,有人便跑去打电话叫救护车。 没多久,救护车铛啷铛啷地开到,倒退着停在门口。那位穿着白亚麻布罩衣的年轻干练的医生跳上了石阶,他的举止沉着、灵活、镇静,他那光洁的脸上显得又潇洒,又严肃。 “四十九号叫的救护车来了。”他简洁地说。“出了什么事?” “哦,不错,大夫。”帕克太太没好气地说,仿佛她屋子里出了什么事而引起的麻烦比什么都麻烦。“我不知道她是怎么搞的。我们用尽了各种办法,还是救不醒她。是个年轻的女人,一个叫做埃尔西——是的,埃尔西﹒丽森小姐。我这里从来没有出过——” “什么房间?”医生暴喊起来,帕克太太生平没有听到过这种询问房间的口气。 “天窗室。就在——” 救护车的随车医生显然很熟悉天窗室的位置。他四级一跨,已经上了楼。帕克太太唯恐有失尊严,便慢条斯理地跟了上去。 她刚走到第一个楼梯口,就看见医生抱着那个天文学家下来了。他站住后,那训练有素,象解剖刀一般锋利的舌头,就任性地把她数落了一顿,可声音却不高。帕克太太象是一件从钉子上滑落下来的浆硬的衣服,慢慢地皱缩起来。此后,她的身心上永远留下了皱纹。有时,她的好奇的房客们问她,医生究竟对她说了些什么。 “算了吧,”她会这样回答。“如果我听了那番话,就能得到宽恕,我就很满意了。” 救护车的随车医生抱着病人,大踏步穿过那群围在四周看热闹的人,甚至他们也羞愧地退到了人行道上,因为医生的神情象是抱着一个死去的亲人。 他们注意到,医生并没有把他抱着的人安顿在救护车里专用的担架上,他只是对司机说:“拼命快开吧,威尔逊。” 完了。难道这也算是一篇故事吗?第二天早晨,我在报纸上看到一小段消息,其中最后一句话可以帮助诸位(正如帮助了我一样)把一鳞半爪的情况联系起来。 它报道说,贝尔维尤医院收了一个住在东区某街四十九号,因饥饿而虚脱的年轻女人。结尾是这样的: “负责治疗的随车医生比利﹒杰克逊大夫声称,病人定能复元。” 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:刎颈之交 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 欧亨利 我狩猎归来,在新墨西哥州的洛斯比尼奥斯小镇等候南下的火车。火车误点,迟了一小时。我便坐在“顶点”客栈的阳台上,同客栈老板泰勒马格斯·希克斯闲聊,议论生活的意义。 我发现他的性情并不乖戾,不像是爱打架斗殴的人,便问他是哪种野兽伤残了他的左耳。程序逻辑猎人,我认为狩猎时很容易遭到这类不幸的事件。 “那只耳朵,”希克斯说,“是真挚友情的纪念。” “一件意外吗?”我追问道。 “友情怎么能说是意外呢?”泰勒马格斯反问道,这下子可把我问住了。 “我所知道的仅有的一对亲密无间,真心实意的朋友,”客栈老板接着说,“要算是一个康涅狄格州人和一只猴子了。猴子在巴兰基利亚爬椰子树,把椰子摘下来扔 给那个人。那个人把椰子锯成两片,做成水勺,每只卖两个雷阿尔,换了钱来沽酒。椰子汁归猴子喝。他们两个坐地分赃,各得其所,像兄弟一般,生活得非常和 睦。 [巴兰基利亚:哥伦比亚北部马格达莱纳河口的港市。] [雷阿尔:旧时西班牙和拉丁美洲某些国家用的辅币,有银质的,也有镍质的。] “换了人类,情况就不同了;友情变幻无常,随时可以宣告失效,不现另行通知。 “以前我有个朋友,名叫佩斯利·菲什,我认为我同他的交情是地久天长,牢不可破的。有七年了,我们一起挖矿,办牧场,兜销专利的搅乳器,放羊,摄影,打桩 拉铁丝网,摘水果当临时工,碰到什么就干什么。我想,我同佩斯利两人的感情是什么都离间不了的,不管它是凶杀,谄谀,财富,诡辩或者老酒。我们交情这深简 直使你难以想象。干事业的时候,我们是朋友;休息娱乐的时候,我们也让这种和睦相好的特色持续下去,给我们的生活增添了不少乐趣。不论白天黑夜,我们都难 舍难分,好比达蒙和派西斯。 [达蒙和派西斯:公元前四世纪锡拉丘兹的两个朋友。派西斯被暴君狄奥尼西斯判处死刑,要求回家料理后事,由达蒙代受监禁。执行死刑之日,派西斯及时赶回,狄奥尼西斯为他们崇高的友谊所感动,便赦免了他们。] “有一年夏天,我和佩斯利两人打扮得整整齐齐,骑马来到这圣安德烈斯山区,打算休养一个月,消遣消遣。我们到了这个洛斯比尼奥斯小镇,这里简直算得上是世 界的屋顶花园,是流炼乳和蜂蜜之地。这里空气新鲜,有一两条街道,有鸡可吃,有客栈可住;我们需要的也就是这些东西。 [流炼乳和蜂蜜之地:《旧约》记载:上帝遣摩西率以色列人出埃及,前往丰饶的迦南,即流奶与蜜之地。] “我们进镇时,天色已晚,便决定在铁路旁边的这家客栈里歇歇脚,尝尝它所能供应的任何东西。我们刚坐定,用刀把粘在红油布上的盘子撬起来,寡妇杰塞普就端着刚出炉的热面包和炸肝进来了。 “哎呀,这个女人叫鲣鱼看了都会动心。她长得不肥不瘦,不高不矮;一副和蔼的样子,使人觉得分外可亲。红润的脸颊是她喜爱烹调和为人热情的标志,她的微笑叫山茱萸在寒冬腊月都会开花。 “寡妇杰塞普谈风很健地同我们扯了起来,聊着天气,历史,丁尼生,梅干,以及不容易买到羊肉等等,最后才问我们是从哪儿来的。 [丁尼生(1809--1892):英国桂冠诗人。] “‘春谷。’我回答说。 “‘大春谷。’佩斯利嘴里塞满了土豆和火腿骨头,突然插进来说。 “我注意到,这件事的发生标志着我同佩斯利·菲什的忠诚友谊的结束。他明知我最恨多嘴的人,可还是冒冒失失地插了嘴,替我作了一些措辞上的修正和补充。地图上的名称固然是大春谷;然而佩斯利自己也管它叫春谷,我听了不下一千遍。 “我们也不多话,吃了晚饭便走出客栈,在铁轨上坐定。我们合伙的时间太长了,不可能不了解彼此的心情。 “‘我想你总该明白,’佩斯利说,‘我已经打定主意,要让那位寡妇太太永远成为我的不动产的主要部分,在家庭、社会、法律等等方面都是如此,到死为止。’ “‘当然啦,’我说,‘你虽然只说了一句话,我已经听到了弦外之音。不过我想你也该明白,’我说,‘我准备采取步骤,让那位寡妇改姓希克斯,我劝你还是等着写信给报纸的社会新闻栏,问问举行婚礼时,男傧相是不是在钮扣孔里插了山茶花,穿了无缝丝袜!’ “‘你的如意算盘打错了。’佩斯利嚼着一片铁路枕木屑说。‘遇到世俗的事情,’他说,‘我几乎任什么都可以让步,这件事可不行。女人的笑靥,’佩斯利继续 说,‘是海葱和含铁矿泉的漩涡,友谊之船虽然结实,碰上它也往往要撞碎沉没。我像以前一样,’佩斯利说,‘愿意同一头招惹你的狗熊拼命,替你的借据担保, 用肥皂樟脑搽剂替你擦脊梁;但是在这件事情上,我可不能讲客气。在同杰塞普太太打交道这件事上,我们只能各干各的了。我丑话说在前头,先跟你讲清楚。’ [“是海葱和含铁矿泉的漩涡”:原文是“the whirlpool of Squills and Chalybeates”。英文成语有“between Scylla and Charybdis”,意为危险之地。“Scylla”是意大利墨西那海峡的岩礁,读音与海葱的拉丁名“Scilla”相近;“Charybdis”是它 对面的大漩涡,读音与含水量铁矿泉“Chalybeate”相近,作者故意混淆了这两个字。] “于是,我暗自寻思一番,提出了下面的结论和附则: “‘男人与男人的友谊,’我说,‘是一种古老的,具有历史意义的美德。当男人们互相保护,共同对抗尾巴有八十英尺长的蜥蜴和会飞的海鳖时,这种美德就已经 制定了。他们把这种习惯一直保留到今天,一直在互相支持,直到旅馆侍者跑来告诉他们说,这种动物实际上不存在。我常听人说,’我说,‘女人牵涉进来之后, 男人之间的交情就破裂了。为什么要这样呢?我告诉你吧,佩斯利,杰塞普太太的出现和她的热面包,仿佛使我们两人的心都怦然跳动了。让我们中间更棒的一个赢 得她吧。我要跟你公平交易,决不搞不光明正大的小动作。我追求她的时候,一举一动都要当着你的面,那你的机会也就均等了。这样安排,无论哪一个得手,我想 我们的友谊大轮船决不至于翻在你所说的药水气味十足的漩涡里了。’ “‘这才够朋友!’佩斯利握握我的手说。‘我一定照样办事。’他说。‘我们齐头并进,同时追求那位太太,不让通常那种虚假和流血的事情发生,无论成败,我们仍是朋友。’ “杰塞普太太客栈旁的几侏树下有一条长凳,等南行火车上的乘客打过尖,离开之后,她就坐在那里乘凉。晚饭后,我和佩斯利在那里集合,分头向我们的意中人献殷勤。我们追求的方式很光明正大,瞻前顾后,如果一个先到,非得等另一个也来了之后才开始调情。 “杰塞普太太知道我们的安排后的第一晚,我比佩斯利先到了长凳那儿晚饭刚开过,杰塞普太太换了一套干净的粉红色的衣服在那儿乘凉,并且凉得几乎可以对付了。 “我在她身边坐下,稍稍发表了一些意见,谈到自然界通过近景和远景所表现出来的精神面貌。那晚确实是一个典型的环境。月亮升到空中应有的地方来应景凑趣, 树木根据科学原理和自然规律把影子洒在地上,灌木丛中的蚊母鸟、金莺、长耳兔和别的有羽毛的昆虫此起彼伏地发出一片喧嘈声。山间吹业的微风,掠过铁轨旁边 一堆旧蕃茄酱罐头,发出了小口琴似的声音。 “我觉得左边有什么东西在蠢蠢欲动——正如火炉旁边瓦罐里的面团在发酵。原来是杰塞普太太挨近了一些。 “‘哦,希克斯先生,’她说,‘一个举目无亲、孤独寂寞的人,在这样一个美丽的夜晚,是不是更会感情以凄凉?’ “我赶紧从长凳上站起来。 “‘对不起,夫人,’我说,‘对于这样一个富于诱导性的问题,我得等佩斯利来了以后,才能公开答复。’ “接着,我向她解释,我和佩斯利·菲什是老朋友,多年的甘苦与共、浪迹江湖和同谋关系,已经使我们的友谊牢不可破;如今我们正处在生活的缠绵阶段,我们商 妥决不乘一时感情冲动和近水楼台的机会互相钻空子。杰塞普太太仿佛郑重其事地把这件事考虑了一会儿,忽然哈哈大笑,周围的林子都响起了回声。 “没几分钟,佩斯利也来了,他头上抹了香柠檬油,在杰塞普太太的另一边坐下,开始讲一段悲惨的冒险事迹:一八九五年圣丽塔山谷连旱了九个月,牛群一批批地死去,他同扁脸拉姆利比赛剥牛皮,赌一只镶银的马鞍。 “那场追求一开头,我就比垮了佩斯利·菲什,弄得他束手无策。我们两人各有一套打动女人内心弱点的办法。佩斯利的办法是讲一些他亲身体验的,或是从通俗书 刊里看来的惊险事迹,吓唬女人。我猜想,他准是从莎士比亚的一出戏里学到那种慑服女人的主意的。那出戏叫‘奥赛罗’,我以前也看过,里面是说一个黑人,把 赖德·哈格德、卢·多克斯塔德和帕克赫斯特博士三个人的话语混杂起来,讲给一位公爵的女儿听,把她弄到了手。可是那种求爱方式下了舞台就不中用了。 [赖德·哈格德(1856--1925):英国小说家,作品多以南非蛮荒为背景;帕克赫斯特博士(1842--1933):美国长老会牧师,攻击纽约腐败的市政甚力,促使市长改选。] “现在,我告诉你,我自己是怎样迷住一个女人,使她落到改姓的地步的。你只要懂得怎么抓起她的手,把它握住,她就成了你的人。讲讲固然容易,做起来并不简 单。有的男人使劲拉住女人的手,仿佛要把脱臼的肩胛骨复位一样,简直叫你可以闻到山金车酊剂的气味,听到撕绷带的声音了。有的男人像拿一块烧烫的马蹄铁那 样握着女人的手,又像药剂师把阿魏酊往瓶里灌时那样,伸直手臂,隔得远远的。大多数男人握到了女人的手,便把它拉到她眼皮下面,像小孩在草里寻找棒球似 的,不让她忘掉她的手长在胳臂上。这种种方式都是错误的。 “我把正确的方式告诉你吧。你可曾见过一个人偷偷地溜进后院,捡起一块石头,想扔一只蹲在篱笆上盯着他直瞧的公猫?他假装手里没有东西,假装猫没有看见 他,他也没有看见猫。就是那么一回事。千万别把她的手拉到她自己注意得到的地方。你虽然清楚她知道你握着她的手,可是你得装出没事的样子,别露痕迹。那就 是我的策略。至于佩斯利用战争和灾祸的故事来博得她的欢心,正像把星期日的火车时刻表念给她听一样。那天的火车连新泽西州欧欣格罗夫之类的小地方也要停站 的。 [欧欣格罗夫:新泽西州的滨海小镇,当时人口只有三千左右。] “有一晚,我先到长凳那儿,比佩斯利早了一袋烟的工夫。我的友谊出了一会儿毛病,我竟然问杰塞普太太是不是认为‘希’字要比‘杰’字好写一点。她的头立刻压坏了我钮扣孔里的夹竹桃,我也凑了过去——可是我没有干。 “‘假如你不在意的话,’我站起来说,‘我们等佩斯利来了之后再完成这件事吧。到目前为止,我还没有干过对不起我们朋友交情的事,这样不很光明。’ “‘希克斯先生,’杰塞普太太说,她在黑暗里瞅着我,神情有点异样,‘如果不是另有原因的话,我早就请你走下山谷,永远别来见我啦。’ “‘请问是什么原因呢,夫人?’我问道。 “‘你既然是这样忠诚的朋友,当然也能成为忠诚的丈夫,’她说。 “五分钟之后,佩斯利也坐在杰塞普太太身边了。 “‘一八九八年夏天,’他开始说,‘我在锡尔弗城见到吉姆·巴塞洛缪在蓝光沙龙里咬掉了一个中国人的耳朵,起因只是一件横条花纹的平布衬衫——那是什么声音呀?’ “我跟杰塞普太太重新做起了刚才中断的事。 “‘杰塞普太太已经答应改性希克斯了。’我说。‘这只不过是再证实一下而已。’ “佩斯利把他的两条腿盘在长凳脚上,呻吟起来。 “‘勒姆,’他说,‘我们已经交了七年朋友。你能不能别跟杰塞普太太吻得这么响?以后我也保证不这么响。’ “‘好吧,’我说,‘轻一点也可以。’ “‘这个中国人,’佩斯利继续说,‘在一八九七年春天枪杀了一个名叫马林的人,那是——’ “佩斯利又打断了他自己的故事。 “‘勒姆,’他说,‘假如你真是个仗义的朋友,你就不该把杰塞普太太搂得那么紧。刚才我觉得整个长凳都在晃。你明白,你对我说过,只要还有机会,你总是同我平分秋色的。’ “‘你这个家伙,’杰塞普太太转身向佩斯利说,‘再过二十五年,假如你来参加我和希克斯先生的银婚纪念,你那个南瓜脑袋还认为你在这件事上有希望吗?只因为你是希克斯先生的朋友,我才忍了好久;不过我认为现在你该死了这条心,下山去啦。’ “‘杰塞普太太,’我说,不过我并没有丧失未婚夫的立场,‘佩斯利先生是我的朋友,只要有机会,我总是同他公平交易,利益均等的。’ “‘机会!’她说。‘好吧,让他自以为还有机会吧;今晚他在旁边看到了这一切,我希望他别自以为很有把握。’ “一个月之后,我和杰塞普太太在洛斯比尼奥的卫理公会教堂结婚了;全镇的人都跑来看结婚仪式。 “当我们并排站在最前面,牧师开始替我们主持婚礼的时候,我四下里扫了一眼,没找到佩斯利。我请牧师等一会儿。‘佩斯利尖这儿。’我说。‘我们非等佩斯得 河。交朋友要交到老——泰勒马格斯·希克斯就是这种人。’我说。杰塞普太太的眼睛里有点冒火;但是牧师根据我的吩咐,没立即育读经文。 “过了几分钟,佩斯利飞快地跑进过道,一边跑,一边还在安上一只硬袖口。他说镇上唯一的卖服装的铺关了门来看婚礼,他搞不到他所喜欢的上过浆的衬衫,只得 撬开铺子的后窗,自己取了一件。接着,他站到新娘的那一边去,婚礼在继续进行。我一直在琢磨,佩斯利还在等最后一个机会,盼望牧师万一搞错,替他同寡妇成 亲呢。 “婚礼结束后,我们吃了茶、羚羊肉干和罐头杏子,镇上的居民便纷纷散去。最后同我握手的是佩斯利,他说我为人光明磊落,同我交朋友脸上有光。 “牧师在街边有一幢专门出租的小房子;他让我和希克斯太太占用到第二天早晨十点四十分,那时候,我们就乘火车去埃尔帕索度蜜月旅行。牧师太太用蜀葵和毒藤把那幢房子打扮起来,看上去喜气洋洋的,并且有凉亭的风味。 “那晚十点钟左右,我在门口坐下,脱掉靴子凉快凉快,希克斯太太在屋里张罗。没有多久,里面的灯熄了;我还坐在那儿,回想以前的时光和情景。我听到希克斯太太招呼说:‘你就进来吗,勒姆?’ “‘哎,哎!’我仿佛惊醒似地说。‘我刚才在等老佩斯利——’ “可是这句话还没说完,”泰勒马格斯·希克斯结束他的故事说,“我觉得仿佛有人用四五口径的手枪把我这只左耳朵打掉了。后来我才知道,那只是希克斯太太用扫帚把揍了一下。” 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:刎颈之交英文原文 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 刎颈之交英文原文 Telemachus, Friend (O·Henry)   Returning from a hunting trip, I waited at the little town of Los Pinos, in New Mexico, for the south-bound train, which was one hour late. I sat on the porch of the Summit House and discussed the functions of life with Telemachus Hicks, the hotel proprietor.   Perceiving that personalities were not out of order, I asked him what species of beast had long ago twisted and mutilated his left ear. Being a hunter, I was concerned in the evils that may befall one in the pursuit of game.    That ear, says Hicks, is the relic of true friendship.    An accident? I persisted.    No friendship is an accident, said Telemachus; and I was silent.    The only perfect case of true friendship I ever knew, went on my host, was a cordial intent between a Connecticut man and a monkey. The monkey climbed palms in Barranquilla and threw down cocoanuts to the man. The man sawed them in two and made dippers, which he sold for two reales each and bought rum. The monkey drank the milk of the nuts. Through each being satisfied with his own share of the graft, they lived like brothers.    But in the case of human beings, friendship is a transitory art, subject to discontinuance without further notice.    I had a friend once, of the entitlement of Paisley Fish, that I imagined was sealed to me for an endless space of time. Side by side for seven years we had mined, ranched, sold patent churns, herded sheep, took photographs and other things, built wire fences, and picked prunes. Thinks I, neither homocide nor flattery nor riches nor sophistry nor drink can make trouble between me and Paisley Fish. We was friends an amount you could hardly guess at. We was friends in business, and we let our amicable qualities lap over and season our hours of recreation and folly. We certainly had days of Damon and nights of Pythias.    One summer me and Paisley gallops down into these San Andres mountains for the purpose of a month's surcease and levity, dressed in the natural store habiliments of man. We hit this town of Los Pinos, which certainly was a roof-garden spot of the world, and flowing with condensed milk and honey. It had a street or two, and air, and hens, and a eating-house; and that was enough for us.    We strikes the town after supper-time, and we concludes to sample whatever efficacy there is in this eating-house down by the railroad tracks. By the time we had set down and pried up our plates with a knife from the red oil-cloth, along intrudes Widow Jessup with the hot biscuit and the fried liver.    Now, there was a woman that would have tempted an anchovy to forget his vows. She was not so small as she was large; and a kind of welcome air seemed to mitigate her vicinity. The pink of her face was the in hoc signo of a culinary temper and a warm disposition, and her smile would have brought out the dogwood blossoms in December.    Widow Jessup talks to us a lot of garrulousness about the climate and history and Tennyson and prunes and the scarcity of mutton, and finally wants to know where we came from.    'Spring Valley,' says I.    'Big Spring Valley,' chips in Paisley, out of a lot of potatoes and knuckle-bone of ham in his mouth.    That was the first sign I noticed that the old fidus Diogenes business between me and Paisley Fish was ended forever. He knew how I hated a talkative person, and yet he stampedes into the conversation with his amendments and addendums of syntax. On the map it was Big Spring Valley; but I had heard Paisley himself call it Spring Valley a thousand times.    Without saying any more, we went out after supper and set on the railroad track. We had been pardners too long not to know what was going on in each other's mind.    'I reckon you understand,' says Paisley, 'that I've made up my mind to accrue that widow woman as part and parcel in and to my hereditaments forever, both domestic, sociable, legal, and otherwise, until death us do part.'    'Why, yes,' says I, 'I read it between the lines, though you only spoke one. And I suppose you are aware,' says I, 'that I have a movement on foot that leads up to the widow's changing her name to Hicks, and leaves you writing to the society column to inquire whether the best man wears a japonica or seamless socks at the wedding!'    'There'll be some hiatuses in your program,' says Paisley, chewing up a piece of a railroad tie. 'I'd give in to you,' says he, 'in 'most any respect if it was secular affairs, but this is not so. The smiles of woman,' goes on Paisley, 'is the whirlpool of Squills and Chalybeates, into which vortex the good ship Friendship is often drawn and dismembered. I'd assault a bear that was annoying you,' says Paisley, 'or I'd endorse your note, or rub the place between your shoulder-blades with opodeldoc the same as ever; but there my sense of etiquette ceases. In this fracas with Mrs. Jessup we play it alone. I've notified you fair.'    And then I collaborates with myself, and offers the following resolutions and by-laws:    'Friendship between man and man,' says I, 'is an ancient historical virtue enacted in the days when men had to protect each other against lizards with eighty-foot tails and flying turtles. And they've kept up the habit to this day, and stand by each other till the bellboy comes up and tells them the animals are not really there. I've often heard,' I says, 'about ladies stepping in and breaking up a friendship between men. Why should that be? I'll tell you, Paisley, the first sight and hot biscuit of Mrs. Jessup appears to have inserted a oscillation into each of our bosoms. Let the best man of us have her. I'll play you a square game, and won't do any underhanded work. I'll do all of my courting of her in your presence, so you will have an equal opportunity. With that arrangement I don't see why our steamboat of friendship should fall overboard in the medicinal whirlpools you speak of, whichever of us wins out.'    'Good old hoss!' says Paisley, shaking my hand. 'And I'll do the same,' says he. 'We'll court the lady synonymously, and without any of the prudery and bloodshed usual to such occasions. And we'll be friends still, win or lose.'    At one side of Mrs. Jessup's eating-house was a bench under some trees where she used to sit in the breeze after the south-bound had been fed and gone. And there me and Paisley used to congregate after supper and make partial payments on our respects to the lady of our choice. And we was so honorable and circuitous in our calls that if one of us got there first we waited for the other before beginning any gallivantery.    The first evening that Mrs. Jessup knew about our arrangement I got to the bench before Paisley did. Supper was just over, and Mrs. Jessup was out there with a fresh pink dress on, and almost cool enough to handle.    I sat down by her and made a few specifications about the moral surface of nature as set forth by the landscape and the contiguous perspective. That evening was surely a case in point. The moon was attending to business in the section of sky where it belonged, and the trees was making shadows on the ground according to science and nature, and there was a kind of conspicuous hullabaloo going on in the bushes between the bullbats and the orioles and the jack-rabbits and other feathered insects of the forest. And the wind out of the mountains was singing like a Jew's-harp in the pile of old tomato-cans by the railroad track.    I felt a kind of sensation in my left side--something like dough rising in a crock by the fire. Mrs. Jessup had moved up closer.    'Oh, Mr. Hicks,' says she, 'when one is alone in the world, don't they feel it more aggravated on a beautiful night like this?'    I rose up off the bench at once.    'Excuse me, ma'am,' says I, 'but I'll have to wait till Paisley comes before I can give a audible hearing to leading questions like that.'    And then I explained to her how we was friends cinctured by years of embarrassment and travel and complicity, and how we had agreed to take no advantage of each other in any of the more mushy walks of life, such as might be fomented by sentiment and proximity. Mrs. Jessup appears to think serious about the matter for a minute, and then she breaks into a species of laughter that makes the wildwood resound.    In a few minutes Paisley drops around, with oil of bergamot on his hair, and sits on the other side of Mrs. Jessup, and inaugurates a sad tale of adventure in which him and Pieface Lumley has a skinning-match of dead cows in '95 for a silver-mounted saddle in the Santa Rita valley during the nine months' drought.    Now, from the start of that courtship I had Paisley Fish hobbled and tied to a post. Each one of us had a different system of reaching out for the easy places in the female heart. Paisley's scheme was to petrify 'em with wonderful relations of events that he had either come across personally or in large print. I think he must have got his idea of subjugation from one of Shakespeare's shows I see once called 'Othello.' There is a coloured man in it who acquires a duke's daughter by disbursing to her a mixture of the talk turned out by Rider Haggard, Lew Dockstader, and Dr. Parkhurst. But that style of courting don't work well off the stage.    Now, I give you my own recipe for inveigling a woman into that state of affairs when she can be referred to as 'nee Jones.' Learn how to pick up her hand and hold it, and she's yours. It ain't so easy. Some men grab at it so much like they was going to set a dislocation of the shoulder that you can smell the arnica and hear 'em tearing off bandages. Some take it up like a hot horseshoe, and hold it off at arm's length like a druggist pouring tincture of asafoetida in a bottle. And most of 'em catch hold of it and drag it right out before the lady's eyes like a boy finding a baseball in the grass, without giving her a chance to forget that the hand is growing on the end of her arm. Them ways are all wrong.    I'll tell you the right way. Did you ever see a man sneak out in the back yard and pick up a rock to throw at a tomcat that was sitting on a fence looking at him? He pretends he hasn't got a thing in his hand, and that the cat don't see him, and that he don't see the cat. That's the idea. Never drag her hand out where she'll have to take notice of it. Don't let her know that you think she knows you have the least idea she is aware you are holding her hand. That was my rule of tactics; and as far as Paisley's serenade about hostilities and misadventure went, he might as well have been reading to her a time- table of the Sunday trains that stop at Ocean Grove, New Jersey.    One night when I beat Paisley to the bench by one pipeful, my friendship gets subsidised for a minute, and I asks Mrs. Jessup if she didn't think a 'H' was easier to write than a 'J.' In a second her head was mashing the oleander flower in my button-hole, and I leaned over and--but I didn't.    'If you don't mind,' says I, standing up, 'we'll wait for Paisley to come before finishing this. I've never done anything dishonourable yet to our friendship, and this won't be quite fair.'    'Mr. Hicks,' says Mrs. Jessup, looking at me peculiar in the dark, 'if it wasn't for but one thing, I'd ask you to hike yourself down the gulch and never disresume your visits to my house.'    'And what is that, ma'am?' I asks.    'You are too good a friend not to make a good husband,' says she.    In five minutes Paisley was on his side of Mrs. Jessup.    'In Silver City, in the summer of '98,' he begins, 'I see Jim Batholomew chew off a Chinaman's ear in the Blue Light Saloon on account of a crossbarred muslin shirt that--what was that noise?'    I had resumed matters again with Mrs. Jessup right where we had left off.    'Mrs. Jessup,' says I, 'has promised to make it Hicks. And this is another of the same sort.'    Paisley winds his feet round a leg of the bench and kind of groans.    'Lem,' says he, 'we been friends for seven years. Would you mind not kissing Mrs. Jessup quite so loud? I'd do the same for you.'    'All right,' says I. 'The other kind will do as well.'    'This Chinaman,' goes on Paisley, 'was the one that shot a man named Mullins in the spring of '97, and that was--'    Paisley interrupted himself again.    'Lem,' says he, 'if you was a true friend you wouldn't hug Mrs. Jessup quite so hard. I felt the bench shake all over just then. You know you told me you would give me an even chance as long as there was any.'    'Mr. Man,' says Mrs. Jessup, turning around to Paisley, 'if you was to drop in to the celebration of mine and Mr. Hicks's silver wedding, twenty-five years from now, do you think you could get it into that Hubbard squash you call your head that you are nix cum rous in this business? I've put up with you a long time because you was Mr. Hicks's friend; but it seems to me it's time for you to wear the willow and trot off down the hill.'    'Mrs. Jessup,' says I, without losing my grasp on the situation as fiance, 'Mr. Paisley is my friend, and I offered him a square deal and a equal opportunity as long as there was a chance.'    'A chance!' says she. 'Well, he may think he has a chance; but I hope he won't think he's got a cinch, after what he's been next to all the evening.'    Well, a month afterwards me and Mrs. Jessup was married in the Los Pinos Methodist Church; and the whole town closed up to see the performance.    When we lined up in front and the preacher was beginning to sing out his rituals and observances, I looks around and misses Paisley. I calls time on the preacher. 'Paisley ain't here,' says I. 'We've got to wait for Paisley. A friend once, a friend always--that's Telemachus Hicks,' says I. Mrs. Jessup's eyes snapped some; but the preacher holds up the incantations according to instructions.    In a few minutes Paisley gallops up the aisle, putting on a cuff as he comes. He explains that the only dry-goods store in town was closed for the wedding, and he couldn't get the kind of a boiled shirt that his taste called for until he had broke open the back window of the store and helped himself. Then he ranges up on the other side of the bride, and the wedding goes on. I always imagined that Paisley calculated as a last chance that the preacher might marry him to the widow by mistake.    After the proceedings was over we had tea and jerked antelope and canned apricots, and then the populace hiked itself away. Last of all Paisley shook me by the hand and told me I'd acted square and on the level with him and he was proud to call me a friend.    The preacher had a small house on the side of the street that he'd fixed up to rent; and he allowed me and Mrs. Hicks to occupy it till the ten-forty train the next morning, when we was going on a bridal tour to El Paso. His wife had decorated it all up with hollyhocks and poison ivy, and it looked real festal and bowery.    About ten o'clock that night I sets down in the front door and pulls off my boots a while in the cool breeze, while Mrs. Hicks was fixing around in the room. Right soon the light went out inside; and I sat there a while reverberating over old times and scenes. And then I heard Mrs. Hicks call out, 'Ain't you coming in soon, Lem?'    'Well, well!' says I, kind of rousing up. 'Durn me if I wasn't waiting for old Paisley to--'    But when I got that far, concluded Telemachus Hicks, I thought somebody had shot this left ear of mine off with a forty-five. But it turned out to be only a lick from a broomhandle in the hands of Mrs. Hicks. 《欧亨利短篇小说集》章节:婚姻手册 收集:名著小说网(http://myjandali.com) 《婚姻手册》 本篇作者桑德森·普拉特认为合众国的教育系统应该划归气象局管理。我这种提法有充分根据;你却没有理由不主张把我们的院校教授调到气象部门去。他们都读书识字,可以毫不费劲地看看晨报,然后打电报把气象预报通知总局。不过这是问题的另一方面了。我现在要告诉你的是,气象如何向我和艾达荷·格林提供了良好的教育。 我们在蒙塔纳一带勘探金矿,来到苦根山脉。沃拉沃拉城有一个长络腮胡子的人,已经把发现矿苗的希望当作超重行李,准备放弃了。他把自己的粮食配备转让给了我们;我们便在山脚下慢慢勘探,手头的粮食足够维持在和平谈判会议期间的一支军队。 一天,卡洛斯城来了一个骑马的邮递员。路过山地时他歇歇脚,吃了三个青梅罐头,给我们留下一份近期的报纸。报上有一栏气象预报,它替苦根山脉地区翻出来的底牌是:“晴朗转暖,有轻微西风。” 那晚上开始下雪,刮起了强烈的东风。我和艾达荷转移到山上比较高一点的地方去,住在一幢空着的旧木屋里,认为这场十一月的风雪只是暂时的。但是雪下了三英尺深还不见有停的迹象,我们才知道这下要被雪困住了。雪还不太深的时候,我们已经弄来了大量的柴火,我们的粮食又足以维持两个月,因此并不担心,让经刮风下雪,爱怎么封山就怎么封吧。 假如你想教唆杀人,只消把两个人在一间十八英尺宽、二十英尺长的小屋子里关上一个月就行了。人类的天性忍受不了这种情况。 初下雪时,我同艾达荷·格林两人说说笑话,互相逗趣,并且赞美我们从锅子里倒出来,管它叫面包的东西。到了第三个星期的末尾,艾达荷向我发表了如下公告。他说: “我从没听到酸牛奶从玻璃瓶里滴到铁皮锅底时的声音是什么样的,但是同你谈话器官里发出来的这种越来越没劲的滞涩的思想相比,滴酸奶的声音肯定可以算是仙乐了。你每天发出的这种叽哩咕噜的声音,叫我想起了牛的反刍。不同的只是牛比你知趣,不打扰别人,你却不然。” “格林先生,”我说道,“你一度是我的朋友,我有点儿不好意思向你声明,如果我可以随自己的心意在你和一条普通的三条腿的小黄狗之间选择一个伙伴,那么这间小屋子里眼下就有一个居民在摇尾巴了。” 我们这样过了两三天,然后根本不交谈了。我们分了烹饪用具,艾达荷在火炉一边做饭,我在另一边做。外面的雪已经积到窗口,我们整天生着火。 你明白,我和艾达荷除了识字和在石板上做过“约翰有三只苹果,詹姆斯有五只苹果”之类的玩意儿以外,没有受过别的教育。我们浪迹江湖的时候,逐渐获得了一种可以应急的真实本领,因此对大学学位也就不感到特别需要。可是在被大雪封在苦根山脉的那幢小屋里的时候,我们初次感到,如果我们以前研究过茶马的作品,希腊文,教学中的分数以及比较高深的学问,那我们在沉思默想方面也许就能应付自如了。我在西部各地看到东部大学里出来的小伙子在牧场营地干活,我注意到教育对于他们却成了意想不到的累赘。举个例子说吧,有一次在蛇河边,安德鲁·麦克威廉斯的坐骑得出马蝇幼虫寄生病,他派辆四轮马车把十英里外一个据说是植物学家的陌生人请来。但那匹马仍旧死了。 [马蝇幼虫病(botts)和植物学家(botanist)原文字首相同,安德鲁以为二者有关。] 一天早晨,艾达荷用木棍在一个小木架的顶上拨什么东西,那个架子高了些,手够不着。有两本书落到地上。我跳起来想去拿,但是看到了艾达荷的眼色。这一星期来,他还是第一次开口。 “不准碰。”他说,“尽管你只配做休眠的泥乌龟的伙伴,我还是跟你公平交易。你爹妈养了你这样一个响尾蛇脾气,冻萝卜睡相的东西,他们给你的恩惠都比不上我给你的大。我同你打一副七分纸牌,赢的人先挑一本,输的人拿剩下的一本。” 我们打了牌;赢的是艾达荷。他先挑了他要的书;我拿了我的。我们两人回到各自的地方,开始看书。 我看到那本书时比看到一块十盎司重的天然金矿石还要快活。艾达荷看他那本书的时候,也象小孩看到棒棒糖那样高兴。 我那本书有五英寸宽、六英寸长,书名是《赫基默氏必要知识手册》。我的看法也许不正确,不过我认为那本书伟大得空前绝后。今天这本书还在我手头。我把书里的东西搬一点儿出来,在五分钟之内就可以把你或者随便什么人难倒五十次。别提所罗门或《纽约论坛报》了!赫基默比他们两个都强。那个人准是花了五十年时间,走了一百万里路,才收集到这许多材料。里面有各个城市的人口数,判断女人年龄的方法,和骆驼的牙齿数目。他告诉你世界上哪一条隧道最长,天上有多少星星,水痘要潜伏几天之后才发出来,上流女人的脖子该有多么粗细,州长怎样行使否决权,罗马人的引水渠是什么时候铺设的,每天喝三杯啤酒可以顶几磅大米的营养,缅因州奥古斯塔城的年平均温度是多少,用条播机一英亩胡萝卜需要多少种子,各种中毒的解救法,一个金发女人有多少根头发,如何储存鲜蛋,全世界所有大山的高度,所有战争战役的年代,如何抢救溺毙的人,如何抢救中暑病人,一磅平头钉有几只,如何制造炸药,如何种花,如何铺床,医生尚未来到之前应如何救护病人——此外还有许许多多东西。赫基默也许有他所不知道的事情,不过我在那本书里却没有发现。 我坐着,把那本书一连看了四个小时。教育的全部奇迹全压缩在那本书里了。我忘了雪,忘了我同老艾达荷之间的别扭。他一动不动地坐在凳子上,看得出了神,他那黄褐色的胡子里透出一种半是温柔半是神秘的模样。 “艾达荷,”我说,“你那本是什么书啊?” 艾达荷一定也忘了我们的芥蒂,因为他回答的口气很客气,既不顶撞人,也没有恶意。 “唔,”他说,“这本书大概是一个叫荷马·伽·谟的人写的。” “荷马·伽·谟后面的姓是什么?”我问道。 [荷马·伽·谟:指波斯哲学家、天文学家、诗人欧玛尔·海亚姆(1048—1122),生前不以诗闻名。一八五九年英国诗人菲茨杰拉尔德把他的四行诗集译成英文出版,在欧美开始流传。一九二八年郭沫若从英文转译了该集,中译名为《鲁拜集》。这里艾达荷将“欧玛尔”误作“荷马”。] “唔,就只有荷马·伽·谟。”他说。 “你胡扯。”我说。我认为艾达荷在蒙人,不禁有点冒火。“写书的人哪有用缩写署名的。总得有个姓呀,不是荷马·伽·谟·斯庞彭戴克,就是荷马·伽·谟·麦克斯温尼,或者是荷马·伽·谟·琼斯。你干吗不学人样,偏要像小牛啃晾衣绳上挂着的衬衫下摆那样,把他姓名的下半截啃掉?” “我说的是实话,桑行。”艾达荷心平气和地说。“这是一本诗集,”他说,“荷马·伽·谟写的。起初我还看不出什么苗头,但是看下去却像找到了矿脉。即使拿两条红毯子来和我换这本书,我都不愿意。” “那你请便吧。”我说。“我需要的是可以让我动动脑筋的开门见山的事实。我抽到的这本书里好象就有这种玩意儿。” “你得到的只是统计数字,”艾达荷说,“世界上最起码的东西。它们会使你脑筋中草药毒。我喜欢老伽·谟的推测方式。他似乎是个酒类代理商。他干杯时的祝辞总是‘万般皆空’,他并且好象牢骚满腹,只不过他用酒把牢骚浇得那么滋润,即使他们抱怨得最厉害的时候,也像是在请人一起喝上一夸脱。总之,太有诗意了。”艾达荷说。“你看的那本胡说八道的书,想用尺寸衡量智慧,真叫我讨厌。凡是在用自然的艺术来解释哲理的时候,老伽·谟在任何一方面都打垮了你那个人——不论是条播机,一栏栏的数字,一段段的事实,胸围尺寸,或是年平均降雨量。” 我和艾达荷就这么混日子。不论白天黑夜,我们唯一的乐趣就是看书。那次雪封无疑使我们两人都长进了不少学问。到了融雪的时候,假如你突然走到我面前问我说:“桑德森·普拉特,用九块五毛钱一箱的铁皮来铺屋顶,铁皮的尺寸是二十乘二十八,每平方英尺要派到多少钱?”我便会飞快地回答你,正如闪电每秒钟能在铁铲把上走十九万两千英里那么快。世界上有多少人能这样?如果你在半夜里叫醒你所认识的任何一个人,让他马上回答,人的骨骼除了牙齿之外一共有几块,或者内布拉斯加州议会的投票要达到什么百分比才能推翻一顶否决,他能回答你吗?试试吧。 至于艾达荷从他那本诗集里得到了什么好处,那我可不清楚了。艾达荷一开口就替那个酒类代理商吹嘘;不过我认为他获益不多。 从艾达荷嘴里透露出来的那个荷马·伽·谟的诗歌看来,我觉得那家伙像是一条狗,把生活当作缚在尾巴上的铁皮罐子。它跑得半死之后,坐了下来,拖出舌头,看看酒罐说: “唔,好吧,我们既然甩不掉这只酒罐,不如到街角的酒店里去沽满它,大家为我干一杯吧。” 此外,他仿佛还是波斯人;我从没听说波斯有什么值得一提的名产,除了土耳其毡毯和马耳他猫。 那年春天,我和艾达荷找到了有利可图的矿苗。我们有个习惯,就是出手快,周转快。我们出让了矿权,每人分到八千元;然后漫无目的地来到萨蒙河畔的罗萨小城,打算休息一个时期,吃些人吃的东西,刮掉胡子。 罗萨不是矿镇。它座落在山谷里,正如乡间小城一样,没有喧嚣和疫病。近郊且条三英里长的电车线;我和艾达荷坐在咔哒咔哒直响的车厢里面兜了一个星期,每天到晚上才回夕照旅馆休息。如今我们见识多广,又读过书,自然就参加了罗萨城里最上流的社交活动,经常被邀请出席最隆重、最时髦的招待会。有一次,市政厅举行为消防队募捐的钢琴独奏会和吃鹌鹑比赛,我和艾达荷初次认识了罗萨社交界的皇后,德·奥蒙德·桑普森夫人。桑普森夫人是个寡妇,城里唯一的一幢二层楼房就是她的。房子漆成黄色,不管从哪一个方向望去都看得清清楚楚,正如星期五斋戒日爱尔兰人胡子上沾的蛋黄那样引人注目。除了我和艾达荷之外,罗萨城还有二十二个男人想把那幢黄房子归为己有。 乐谱和鹌鹑骨头扫出市政厅后,举行了舞会。二十三个人都拥上去请桑普森夫人跳舞。我避开了两步舞,请她允许我伴送她回家。在那一点上,我获得了成功。 在回家的路上,她说: “今晚的星星是不是又亮又美,普拉特先生?” “就拿你看到的这些亮光来说,”我说道,“它们已经卖足了力气。你看到的那颗大星离这儿有六百六十亿英里远。它的光线传到我们这儿要花三十六年。你用十八英尺长的望远镜可以看到四千三百万颗星,包括十三等星。假如有一颗十三等星现在殒灭了,在今后二千七百年内,你仍旧可以看到它的亮光。” “哎呀!”桑普森夫人说。“我以前从不知道这种事情,天气多热呀!我跳舞跳得太多了,浑身都湿透了。” “这个问题很容易解释,”我说,“要知道,你身上有两百万根汗腺在同时分泌汗液。每根汗腺有四分之一英寸长。假如把身上所有的汗腺首尾相接,全长就有七英里。” “天哪!”桑普森夫人说。“听你说的,人身上的汗腺简直像是灌溉水渠啦,普拉特先生。你怎么会懂得这许多事情?” “观察来的,桑普森夫人。”我对她说。“我周游世界的时候总是注意观察。” “普拉特先生,”她说,“我一向敬重有学问的人。在这个城里的傻瓜恶棍中有学问的人实在太缺啦。同一位有修养的先生谈话真是愉快。你高兴的话,随时请到我家来坐坐,我非常欢迎。” 这么一来,我就赢得了黄房子主人的好感。每星期二、五的晚上,我去她家,把赫基默发现、编制和引用的宇宙间的神秘讲给她听。艾达荷和城里其余主张寡妇再醮的人在尽量争取其余几天的每一分钟。 我从没想到艾达荷竟会把老伽·谟追求女人的方式应用到桑普森夫人身上;这是在一天下午,我提了一篮野李子给她送去时才发现的。我碰见那位太太走在一条通向她家的小径上。她眼睛直冒火,帽子斜遮在一只眼睛上,像是要打人吵架似的。 “普拉特先生,”她开口说,“我想那位格林先生大概是你的朋友吧。” “有九年交情啦。”我说。 “同他绝交。”她说。“他不是正派人!” “怎么啦,夫人,”我说,“他是个普通的山地人,具有浪子和骗子的粗暴和一般缺点,然而即使在最严重的关头,我也不忍心说他是不正派的人。拿服饰、傲慢和卖弄来说,艾达荷也许叫人看不顺眼,可是夫人,我知道他不会存心干出下流或出格的事情。我同艾达荷交了九年朋友,桑普森夫人,”我在结尾时说,“我不愿意说他的坏话,也不愿意听到人家说他的坏话。” “普拉特先生,”桑普森夫人说,“你这样维护朋友固然是好事;但是他对我打了非常可恨的主意,任何一位有身份的女人都会觉得这是受了侮辱,这个事实你抹煞不了。” “哎呀呀!”我说,“老艾达荷竟会干出这种事来!我怎么也想不到。我知道有一件事在他心里捣鬼;那是由于一场风雪的缘故。有一次,我们被雪封在山里,他被一种胡说八道的歪诗给迷住了,那也许就败坏了他的道德。” “准是那样。”桑普森夫人说。“我一认识他,他就老是念一些亵渎神明的诗句给我听。他说那是一个叫鲁碧·奥特的人写的,你从她的诗来判断,那个女人肯定不是好东西。” “那么说,艾达荷又弄到一本新书了,”我说,“据我所知,他那本是一个笔名叫伽·谟的男人写的。” “不管什么书,”桑普森夫人说,“他还是守住一本为好。今天他简直无法无天了。他送给我一束花,上面附着一张纸条。普拉特先生,你总能分辨出上流女人的;并且你也了解我在我在罗萨城的名声。请你想想看,我会不会带着一大壶酒,一个面包,跟着一个男人溜到外面树林子里,同他在树荫底下唱歌,跳来跳去的?我吃饭的时候固然也喝一点葡萄酒,但是我决不会像他说的那样,带上一大壶到树林里支胡闹一通的。当然啦,他还要带上他那卷诗章。他这么说来着。让他一个人去吃那种丢人现眼的野餐吧!不然的话,让他带了他的鲁碧·奥特一起去。我想她是不会反对的。除非带的面包太多而酒太少。你现在对你的规矩朋友有什么看法呢,普拉特先生?” “唔,夫人,”我说,“艾达荷的邀请也许只是诗情,并没有恶意。也许属于他们称之为比喻的诗。它们固然触犯法律和秩序,但还是允许邮递的,因为写的和想的不是一回事。如果你不见怪,我就代艾达荷表示感谢了,”我说,“现在让我们的心灵从低级的诗歌里解脱出来,到高级的事实和想象中去吧。像这样一个美丽的下午,桑普森夫人,”我接下去说,“我们的思想也应该与之相适应。这里虽然暖和,可我们应该知道,赤道上海拔一万五千英尺的地方还是终年积雪的。纬度四十到四十九度之间的地区,雪红就只有四千至九千英尺高了。” “哦,普拉特先生,”桑普森夫人说,“听了鲁碧·奥特那个疯丫头的叫人不痛快的诗以后,再听你讲这种美妙的事实可真开心!” “我们在路边这段木头上坐坐吧,”我说,“别去想诗人不近人情的撒野的话。只有在铁一般的事实和全法的度量衡的辉煌数字里,才能找到美妙的东西。在我们所坐的这段木头里,桑普森夫人,”我说,“就有比诗更神奇的统计数字。木头的年轮说明这棵树有六十岁。在两千英尺深的地底,经过三千年,它就会变成煤。世界上最深的煤矿在纽卡斯尔附近的基林沃斯。一只四英尺长、三英尺宽、二英尺八高的箱子可以装一吨煤。假如动脉割破了,要按住伤口的上方。人的腿有三十根骨头。伦敦塔一八四一年曾遭火灾。” [伦敦塔:伦敦东部俯临泰晤士河的堡垒,原是皇宫,曾改做监狱,办、囚禁过好几个国王、王后等著名人物,现是文物保存处。] “说下去,普拉特先生,”桑普森夫人说,“这种话真有创造性,听了真舒服。我想再没有什么比统计数字更可爱了。” 可是两星期后,我才得到了赫基默给我的全部好处。 有一夜,我被人们到处叫嚷“失火啦!”的声音惊醒。我跳下床,穿好衣服,跑出旅馆去看热闹。赶上我发现失火的正是桑普森夫人的房屋,我大叫一声,两分钟这内就赶到了现场。 那幢黄房子的底层全部着火了,罗萨城的每一个男性、女性和狗性都在那里号叫,碍消防队员的事。我见到艾达荷想从拽住他的六名消防队员手里挣脱出来。他们对他说,楼下一片火海,谁冲进去休想活着出来。 “桑普森夫人呢?”我问道。 “没见到她。”一个消防队员说。“她睡在楼上。我们想进去,可是不成,我们队里还没有云梯。” 我跑近大火旁边光亮的地方,从里面的口袋里掏出《手册》。我拿着这本书的时候差点没笑出来——我想大概是紧张过度,昏了头。 “赫基,老朋友,”我一面拼命翻,一面对书本说,“你还没有骗过我,你还没有使我失望过。告诉我该怎么办,老朋友,告诉我该怎么办!”我说。 我翻到一百一十七页,“遇到意外事件该怎么办。”我用手指顺着找下去,果然找到了。老赫基默真了不起,他从没有疏漏!书上说: 吸入烟气或煤气而而引起的窒息——用亚麻籽最佳。取数粒置外眼角内。 我把《手册》塞回口袋,抓住一个正跑过去的小孩。 “喂,”我给了他一些钱,说道,“赶快到药房里去买一块钱的亚麻籽。要快,另一块钱给你。喂,”我对人群嚷道,“我们救桑普森夫人呀!”接着,我脱掉了上衣和帽子。 消防队和老百姓中有四个人拖住了我。他们说,进去准会送命,因为楼板就要烧坍了。 “该死!”我嚷起来,有点像是在笑,可是笑不出来,“没有眼睛叫我把亚麻籽放到哪儿去呀?” 我用胳臂肘撞在两个消防队员的脸上,用脚踢破了一个老百姓的脚胫皮,又使一个绊子,把另一个摔倒在地。紧接着,我冲进屋里。假如我比你们先死,我一准写信告诉你们,地狱里是不是比那幢黄房子里更不受用;现在你们可别相信我的话。总之,我比饭馆里特别加快的烤鸡烤得更糊。烟和火把我熏倒了两次,几乎丢了赫基默的脸;幸好消防队员用他们的细水龙杀了一点火气,帮了我的忙,总算到了桑普森夫人的房间里。她已经被烟熏得失去了羞耻心,于是我用被单把她一裹,往肩上一扛。楼板并不像他们所说的那样糟,不然我也干不了——想都不用想。 我扛着她,一口气跑到离房子五十码远的地方,然后把她放在草地上。接着,另外二十二个追求这位夫人的原告当然也拿着铁皮水勺挤拢来,准备救她了。这时候,去买亚麻籽的小孩也跑来了。 我揭开包在桑普森夫人头上的被单。她睁开眼睛说: “是你吗,普拉特先生?” “嘘——嘘,”我说,“别出声,我先给你上药。” 我用胳臂轻轻托住她的脖子,扶起她的头,用另一只手扯破亚麻籽口袋,慢慢弯下身子,在她外眼角里放了三四粒亚麻籽。 这时,城里的医生也赶来了,他喷着鼻子,抓住桑普森太太的腕子试脉搏,并且问我这样胡搞是什么意思。 “嗯,老球根药喇叭和耶路撒冷橡树籽,”我说,“我不是正式医师,不过我可以给你看看我的根据。” 他们拿来了我的上衣,我掏了了《手册》。 “请看一百一十七页,”我说,“那上面就讲到如何解救因烟或煤气而引起的窒息。书上说,把亚麻籽的作用是解烟毒呢,还是促进复合胃神经的机能,不过赫基默是这样说的,并且先给请来诊治的是他。假如你要会诊,我也不反对。” 老医生拿起《手册》,戴上眼镜,凑着消防队员的灯笼看看。 “哎,普拉特先生,”他说,“你诊断的时候显然看串了行。解救窒息的办法是:‘尽快将病人移至新鲜空气中,置于卧位。’用亚麻籽的地方在上面一行,‘尘灰入眼’。不过,说到头——” “听我说,”桑普森太太插嘴说,“在这次会诊中,我想我也有话要说。那些亚麻籽给我的益处比我试过的任何东西都大。”她抬起头,又枕在我的手臂上,说道:“在另一个眼睛里也放一点,亲爱的桑德。” 因此,假如你明天或者随便哪一天在罗萨城歇歇脚的话,你会看到一幢新盖的精致的黄房子,有普拉特夫人——也就是以前的桑普森夫人——在收拾它,装点它。假如你走进屋子,你还会看到客厅当中大理石面的桌子上有一本《赫基默氏必要知识手册》,重新用红色摩洛哥皮装订过了,准备让人随时查考有关人类幸福和智慧的任何事物。