残烟的小屋



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残烟的小屋

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龙骨椅第一章11
作者:残烟一缕 提交日期:2008-6-13 19:32:00 正常 | 分类: | 访问量:5846

11
  An Unexpected Guest

 想不到的客人
 
  MIDDLING afternoon on the last day of Avrel, Simon was sunk in the stable's dark hayloft, comfortably adrift in a scratchy yellow sea, only his head above the dusty billows. The haydust sparkled down past the wide window as he listened to his own measured breath.

Avrel月最后一天下午的后半晌,Simon身子深陷地坐在马厩里黑色的干草棚里的草堆中,舒适地漂浮在这一片凌乱的黄色海洋上,在这满是灰尘的巨浪里,只露出了他的头。干草的灰尘闪着光飘出宽敞的窗户,而他倾听着自己起伏的呼吸。

  He had just come down from the shadowed gallery of the chapel, where the monks had been singing the noon rites. The clean, sculpted tones of their solemn prayers had touched him in a way that the chapel, and the dry doings within its tapestried walls, seldom did—each note so carefully held and then lovingly released, like a woodcarver putting delicate toy boats into a stream. The singing voices had wrapped his secret heart in a sweet, cold net of silver; the tender resignation of its strands still clutched him. It had been such a strange sensation: for a moment he had felt himself all feathers and racing heartbeat—a frightened bird cupped in the hands of God.

他刚从礼拜堂的阴暗走廊里出来,在那里,修道士们正在中午的仪式上吟唱着。他们庄严吟诵的祈祷声,清晰、有型触动了他,之前,教堂,和四周围绕的覆盖着挂毯的墙壁里面,这些干巴巴的活动,很少使他为之触动——每个音符都当心地收起喉中,再怀着深情释放开去,象一个木雕艺人,把精心雕刻的玩具船,一只只放进溪流中。那些吟唱的声音,用甜美的、冷冷的银色的网,把他隐秘的心包裹起来;那些柔弱的顺从的丝线到此刻,仍然紧紧抓住他。这真是一种奇怪的感觉:有那么一会儿,他觉得自己象羽毛一般轻盈,而心跳加促——如同被上帝双手捧住的一只受惊的鸟儿。

  He had run down the gallery steps, feeling suddenly unworthy of such solicitousness and delicacy—he was too clumsy, too foolish. It seemed that he might, with his chapped scullion's hands, somehow mishandle the beautiful music, as a child might unwittingly trample a butterfly.

他跑出了走廊,突然觉得自己不值得享有这种热诚和微妙的感觉——他太笨拙了,太傻了。看上去好象他会用自己有裂缝的洗碗的手,粗暴地对待这美好的音乐,象一个孩子可能会无情地踏死一只蝴蝶。

  Now, in the hayloft, his heart began to slow. He buried himself deep in the musty, whispering straw, and with his eyes closed listened to the gentle snorting of the horses in their stalls below. He thought he could feel the almost insensible touch of the dust motes as they drifted down onto his face in the still, drowsy darkness.

现在,在这干草棚里,他的心跳开始缓慢下来。他把自己深埋进这发霉的、悉悉索索作响的稻草中,闭着眼睛,倾听着下面马厩里马儿们的轻轻喷鼻息的声音。他想,他能感觉到,这宁静沉寂的黑暗中,那些尘埃飘落在他的脸上,那种几乎感觉不到的触碰。

  He might have dozed—he couldn't be sure—but the next thing Simon noticed was the sudden, sharp sound of voices below him. Rolling over, he swam through the tickling straw to the loft's edge, until he could see down to the stable below.

他可能打了一会儿瞌睡——他自己不能确定——但是下一刻,Simon注意到的事情,是从他下面发出的突然的、刺耳的声音。翻过身,他象游泳一样扒着这些让他发痒的稻草,来到了阁楼的边儿上,探出身子,直到他可以看到下面的马厩。

 There were three: Shem Horsegroom, Ruben the Bear, and a little man that Simon thought might be Towser, the old jester—he couldn't be sure because this one wore no motley, and had a hat that covered much of his face. They had all come in through the stable doors like a trio of comic fools; Ruben the Bear swung a jug from a fist as broad as a leg of spring lamb. All three were drunk as birds in a berry-bush, and Towser—if it was he—was singing an old tune:
  
下面有三个人:马夫Shem,熊Ruben,还有一个小个子,Simon想应该是Towser,上年纪的小丑——他不是太确定,因为这个人没有穿他平日穿的杂色的服装,而且他的脸被一顶帽子遮住了大半。他们三个人一同走进马厩的一扇扇门,象是三个滑稽剧里的傻瓜:熊Ruben的着手里,摇晃着一只象春天里的羊羔腿一般粗的酒壶。三个人都醉得象是浆果丛里的鸟儿,而Towser——如果那个人是他——在唱着一首老歌:

  "Jack take a maid
  Up on the cheery hill
  Sing a way-o, hey-o
  Half-a-crown day..."

“Jack把一个少女
带上了愉快的小山
一路唱着——哦,嗨——哦
半块钱一天……”
  
  Ruben handed the jug to the little man. The weight over-balanced him in midchorus so that he staggered a step and then tumbled over, his hat flying off. It was indeed Towser; as he rolled to a stop Simon could see his seamed, purse-mouthed face begin to wrinkle up at his eyes, as though he would cry like a baby. Instead he began to laugh helplessly, leaning against the wall with the jug between his knees. His two companions tromped unsteadily over to join him. They sat all in a row, like magpies on a fence.

Ruben把酒壶递给了这小个子。酒壶的重量使他失去了平衡,所以这首歌还没唱完他就中断了,脚步一乱,翻倒在地,他的帽子掉了下来。这确实是 Towser;他在地上转了个身,Simon看到他满是皱纹的、紧绷着嘴唇的脸,在他的眼睛周围皱了起来,仿佛他会象一个婴孩一般哭出来。相反,他却无助地大笑起来,靠在墙上,酒壶放在膝间。他的两个同伴不稳定地迈着沉重的脚步走到他旁边。三个人坐成一排,象是停在栅栏上的鹊儿。

  Simon was wondering if he should announce himself; he didn't know Towser well, but he had always been friendly with Shem and Ruben. After a moment's consideration he decided against it. It was more fun watching them unsuspected—perhaps he would be able to think of a trick to play! He made himself comfortable, secret and silent in the high loft.

Simon拿不定主意要不要说出自己也在这儿;他和Towser并不熟悉,不过他和Shem、Ruben相处得很好。考虑了一会儿,他决定还是不现身出来的好。这样偷偷地看着他们会很有趣——可能他会想出一招,跟他们开开玩笑!他把姿势调整得舒服一些,悄悄地,沉默地在这高高的阁楼上面往下看着。

  "By Saint Muirfath and the Archangel," Towser said with a sigh after a few sodden moments had passed, "I had sore need of this!" He ran his forefinger around the lip of the jug, then put the finger in his mouth.

“以圣 Muirfath和天使长的名义,”Towser过了一会儿,叹了口气说,“我太需要这个了!”他用食指在酒壶嘴儿上一抹,再把这指头放进嘴里。

  Shem Horsegroom reached to him across the smith's broad stomach and took the jug for a swallow. He wiped his lips with the back of a leathery hand. "Whur will ye go, then?" he asked the jester. Towser vented a sigh. The life suddenly seemed to drain out of the little drinking party; all stared glumly at the floor.

马夫Shem把手从铁匠宽阔的腹部上面伸过去,拿过酒壶喝了一口。用皮革似的手背擦擦嘴唇。“那你要上哪儿?”他问小丑。Towser叹息一声。象是生命突然从这矮小的喝醉了的人身上抽干了;三个人都忧郁地看着地面。

  "I have some kinfolk—distant kinfolk—in Grenefod, at the river's mouth. Mayhap I will go there, although I doubt they'll be too happy with another mouth to feed. Mayhap I will go north to Naglimund."

“我有一些亲属——远亲——在Grenefod河的河口。可能我会去那里,虽然我怀疑,再添了我这一张嘴吃饭,他们会不高兴。可能我会去北方的Naglimund。”

  "But Josua is gone," said Ruben, and belched.

“可是Josua不在那里,”Ruben说,打了个嗝。

  "Aye, goon away," added Shem.

“是啊,他已经走了,”Shem补充。

  Towser closed his eyes and bumped his head back against the rough wood of the paddock door. "But Josua's people still hold Naglimund, and they will have sympathies for someone chased out of his home by Elias' churls—even more sympathy now, when people say that Elias has murdered poor Prince Josua."

Towser闭上眼睛,把头向后一仰,敲在了这粗糙的木门上。“可Josua的人民还留在Naglimund领地,他们会对被Elias的手下驱逐出去的人抱有同情——现在甚至会抱有很深的同情,因为人们都在说,Elias谋害了可怜的Josua王子。”

  "But other'uns say that Joosua has turn traitor," Shem offered, rubbing his chin sleepily.

“可也有人说Josua成了叛国者,”Shem说,瞌睡地摸摸下颏。

  "Pfagh." The little jester spat. In the loft above, Simon, too, felt the warmth of the spring afternoon, the drowsy, dragging weight of it. It lent the conversation below an air of unimportance, of distance—murder and treachery seemed the names of faraway places.

“呸。”这小个子的小丑吐口吐沫。上面的阁楼里, Simon,也觉得这春天的下午很温暖,让人倦怠的睡眠也在这个下午蔓延。这样的下午,给下面的谈话注入了微不足道的、遥远的气氛——谋杀和叛国,似乎是发生在很远的地方。

  During the long pause which followed, Simon felt his eyelids creeping inexorably downward...

下面的交谈中止了很长时间,Simon觉得自己的眼皮一个劲儿地往下沉。

  "Mayhap it been not sich a wise thing t'do, brother Towser..."—Shem was speaking now, skinny old Shem, as gaunt and weathered as something hung in a smokehouse—"... baitin' the king, I mean. Did ye need to sing sich a goadin' song?"

“你这样做可能是不明智的, Towser老兄……”——现在说话的是Shem,精瘦的老Shem,象是挂在熏制室里的什么东西,又憔悴又干瘪——“……引国王上钩,我是说。你需要唱这种激刺他的歌吗?”

  "Hah!" Towser scratched his nose busily. "My western ancestors, they were true bards, not limping old tumblers like me. They would have sung him a song to curl his ears up rightly! They say that the poet Eoin-ec-Cluias once made an anger-song so mighty that all the golden bees of the Grianspog descended on the chieftain Gormlibata and stung him to death... that was a song!" The old jester leaned his head back once more against the stable wall. "The king!? God's teeth, I cannot stand even to call him such. I was with his sainted father man and boy—there was a king you could call a king! This one is no better than a brigand... not half the man that his... father John was... ."

“哈!”Towser用力揉揉鼻头。“我的西方的祖先,他们是真正的吟游诗人,不象我是这样又老又瘸的玩杂耍的。他们会给他唱一首歌,让他马上竖起耳朵!他们说,曾经,诗人Eoin-ec-Cluias,唱了一首愤怒的歌,这歌声的力量是那么的强大,使Grianspog地方的所有金黄色的蜜蜂,都飞到Gormlibata酋长身上,把他刺死了……那才称其为一首歌!”老小丑又把头向后撞上了马厩的墙上。“这个国王!上帝的牙呀,我忍受不了把他称为国王。我曾服侍过他德高望重的父亲,另外,小子——这才是能被你称为国王的那个人!而这个,比强盗好不了多少……还不如他父亲John的一半……。”

  Towser's voice wavered sleepily. Shem Horsegroom's head slowly fell forward onto his breast. Ruben's eyes were open, but it was as though he looked into the darkest spaces between the rafters. Beside him Towser stirred once more.

Towser的声音带着倦意颤抖着。马夫 Shem的头慢慢垂向他的胸口。Ruben的眼睛还在睁着,可好象他在看着房椽间那片黑暗的地方。在他旁边,Towser再次动了起来。

  "Did I tell you," the old man abruptly said, "did I tell you about the king's sword? King John's sword—Bright-Nail? He gave it to me, you know, saying: 'Towser, only you can pass this to my son Elias. Only you... !" A tear winked on the jester's furrowed cheek. " 'Take my son to the throne room and give him Bright-Nail,' he told me—and I did! I brought it to him the night his dear father died... put it in his hand just the way his father told me to... and he dropped it! Dropped it!" Towser's voice rose in anger. "The sword that his father carried into more battles than a brachet has fleas! I could scarce believe such clumsiness, such... disrespect! Are you listening, Shem? Ruben?" Beside him the smith grunted.

“我跟你们说了没有,”这老人突然说,“我跟你们说过国王的剑没有?John国王的剑——辉煌指甲之剑?他把这剑交给了我,你们知道,他说:‘Towser,只有你能把这把剑交给我的儿子 Elias。只有你……!’”小丑满是皱纹的脸上,一滴泪在闪烁。“‘把我的儿子带到王宫大殿,把辉煌指甲之剑交给他,’他告诉我——而我也照做了!我在他亲爱的父亲去世的那天晚上,把剑交给了他……按照他父亲所说的,把剑放在他的手中……而他却把剑扔在了地上!扔在了地上!”Towser抬高了声音,充满了愤怒。“那把剑,他的父亲曾无数次佩带到战场上,次数比一只猎犬身上的跳蚤还要多!我简直不能相信Elias那样的笨拙,那样的……不敬!你们两个听我说话没有,Shem? Ruben?”挨着他,smith嘴里咕哝着。

  "Hist! I was horrified, of course. I picked it up and wiped it with the linen wrappings and gave it to him; this time he took it with two hands. 'It twisted,' he said, like an idiot. Now as he held it again the strangest look passed over his face, like... like..." The jester trailed off. Simon was afraid he had fallen asleep, but apparently the little man was merely thinking, in a slow, wine-addled way.

“嘘!我很惊恐,当然。我把剑拾起来,用包着它的亚麻布擦干净,再把剑给他;这里,他用双手把剑接过去。‘这剑刚才自己动了,才会掉到地上,’他说,象是个傻瓜。现在,他又把剑举起来,他的脸上闪过一种奇怪的表情,就象……就象……”小丑的声音慢慢变弱了。 Simon担心他睡着了,可显然,这个小个儿只不过是慢慢地、在被酒混乱了的思绪中,进行考虑。

  "The look on his face," Towser resumed, "was like a child caught doing something very, very wicked—that was it exactly! Exactly! He turned pale, and his mouth went all slack—and he handed it back to me! 'Bury this with my father,' he said, 'It is his sword; he should have it with him.'—'But he wanted it given to you, my lord!' I said... but would he listen? Would he? No. "This is a new age, old man,' he told me, 'we do not need to dote on these relics of the past.' Can you imagine the thundering gall of such a man!?"

“他脸上的表情,”Towser接着说,“象个正在做非常,非常邪恶的坏事的小孩,被抓住了——确实如此!确实是!他的脸色变得苍白,他的嘴松驰下来——他把剑交还给了我!‘把这和我父亲埋在一起,’他说,‘这是他的剑;他应该把剑带走。’——‘可是他想把剑给你,陛下!’他说……可他会听吗?会吗?不。‘这是一个崭新的时代,老家伙,’他告诉我,‘我们不需要沉溺于过去的遗迹。’你能想象这样一个极度狠毒的人吗!”

  Towser searched around with his hand until he found the jug and lifted it up for a long drink. Both his companions now had closed their eyes and were breathing hoarsely, but the little old man paid no notice, lost in indignant reverie.

Towser伸手在四处摸索着,找到了酒壶,举起来,喝了一大口。他的两个同伴现在都闭起了眼睛,发出刺耳的呼吸,可是这小个儿的老人没有注意,只沉浸在自己的愤怒的回想中。

  "And then he would not even do his poor dead father the courtesy of... placing it in the grave himself. Wouldn't... wouldn't even touch it! Made his younger brother do it! Made Josua..." Towser's bald head nodded. "You'd have thought it burned him... to see him hand it back... so swift... damned puppy..." Towser's head bobbed once more, sank to his breast, and did not come up again.

“其后,他甚至不愿向他的可怜的死去的父亲表示他的谦恭……他不愿亲自把剑放进坟墓里。他甚至不……他甚至不去碰这把剑!他让他的弟弟去做这件事!让Made ……”Towser的光头点了点。“你会觉得是这把剑烫了他的手……看着他把剑递还给我的时候……动作那么快……这该死的东西……”Towser的头再次点了一点,垂到胸前,再也没抬起来。

  As Simon came quietly down the hayloft ladder, the three men were already snoring like old dogs before a fireplace. He crept past them on his toe-tips, kindly halting to stopper the jug lest one of them knock it over with a sleep-flung arm. He moved out into the slanting sunlight on the commons.

Simon蹑手蹑脚从干草棚的梯子上下来,这三个人已经象在壁炉前的老狗一样,打起了鼾。他踮着脚尖,从他们中间经过,好心地停下来,阻止酒壶滑动,以免他们其中,有人会在熟睡中伸出手臂,碰翻了酒壶。他出了马厩,来到阳光斜洒的院落。

  So many strange things have happened this year, he thought as he sat dropping pebbles into the well in the center of the commons yard. Drought and sickness, the prince disappeared, people burned and killed in Falshire... But somehow none of it seemed very serious.

这一年,发生了那么多奇怪的事情,他坐在院子里,把小圆石一个个投向院子中间的一口井里的时候,想。干旱、疾病,王子的失踪,Falshire地方的人们被烧死、杀掉……但是不知怎么回事,这些看起来都不是特别严重。

  Everything happens to someone else, Simon decided, half-glad, half-regretful. Everything happens to strangers.

每件事都是发生在别人的身上,Simon确定,半是高兴,半是惋惜。每件事都是发生在那些陌生人的身上。

She was curled up in the window seat, staring down through the delicately etched panes at something below. She did not look up when he entered, although the scuff of his boots on the flagstones announced him clearly; he stood for a moment in the doorway, arms folded across his breast, but still she did not turn. He strode forward and then stopped, looking over her shoulder.

她蜷缩在窗边的椅子上,透过雕刻优美的窗玻璃,凝望着下面。他进来的时候,她并没有抬头,虽然他的靴子在石板上磨擦的声音清楚地表明他的到来;他两臂交叠在胸前,在门口站了一会儿,而她始终没有回头。他大步上前,在她身后停下来,目光越过她的肩膀看看外面。

  There was nothing to see in the commons but a kitchen boy sitting on the rim of the stone cistern, a long-legged, shock-haired youth in a stained smock. The yard was otherwise empty of anything but sheep, dirty bundles of wool searching the dark ground for patches of new grass.

院子里,没有什么可看的,除了一个厨房里做事的男孩,坐在一个石糟的边儿上,两腿修长,头发篷乱,穿着有污渍的工作服。空空的院子里,除了他,就只剩下绵羊,打卷儿的毛上都是土,正在黑暗的院子里找新长出来的小小草丛。

  "What is wrong?" he asked, laying a broad hand on her shoulder. "Do you hate me now, that you should stalk away without a word?"

“怎么了?”他问,一只大手搭在她的肩上。“现在你恨我吗,不说一句话就悄悄溜走了?”

  She shook her head, briefly netting a stripe of sunlight in her hair. Her hand stole up to his and grasped it with cool fingers.

她摇摇头,发上的一缕阳光也随之舞动起来。她把手放进他的手心,冰凉的手指抓住了他的手。

  "No," she said, still staring at the deserted acre below. "But I hate the things I see around me." He leaned forward, but she quickly pulled her hand free and lifted it to her face, as if to shade it from the afternoon sun.

“不,”她说,仍然望着下面空旷的院子。“可我恨我周围的那些事。”他俯下身,而她飞快地放开他的手,举起手挡在脸前,仿佛是为了遮挡照在脸上的下午的阳光。

  "What things?" he asked, a measure of exasperation creeping into his voice. "Would you rather be back in Meremund, living in that drafty prison of a place my father gave me, with the smell of fish poisoning the air of even the highest balconies?" He reached down and cupped her chin, turning it with firm gentleness until he could see her angry, tearful eyes.

“什么事?”他问,声音里隐暗着一丝怒意。“你宁可回Meremund领地,住在那个我父亲给我的通风良好的监狱,呼吸着那些即使是最高处的阳台也飘浮着的鱼腥味儿?”他坐下来,托起她的下颏,温柔然而坚定地把她的脸转过来,直到他看到她愤怒的、满是泪水的眼睛。

  "Yes!" she said, and pushed his hand away, but now she held his gaze. "Yes, I would. You can smell the wind there, too, and you can see the ocean."

“是的!”她说,把他的手推到一边儿,但是现在她的目光和他对视着。“是的,我会的。你也能在那儿闻到风的气息,你也能看到大海。”

  "Oh, God, girl, the ocean? You are mistress of the known world and yet you cry because you can't see the damnable water? Look! Look there!" He pointed out past the Hayholt's walls. "What, then. is the Kynslagh?"

“哦,上帝,孩子,海?你是这整个世界的女主人,然而你却因为看不到那该死的海水而哭泣?看!看看那里!”他指着Hayholt城堡墙外的地方。“那,这Kynslagh湖里的又是什么?”

  She looked back with scom. "That is a bay, a king's bay, which waits passively for the king to boat on it, or swim in it. No king owns the sea."

她看了一眼,带着轻蔑把目光转回来。“那是海湾,国王的海湾,顺从地等着国王在里面滑船,或是游泳。国王不可能拥有大海。”

  "Ah." He dropped onto a hassock, his long legs splayed to either side. "And the thought behind this all, I suppose, is that you are prisoned here too, eh? What nonsense! I know why you are upset."

“啊。”他坐在一个垫子上,分开两条长腿。“在这些想法后面的,我想,是你也想被困在那里,啊?真是胡说!我知道你为什么这样心烦。”

  She turned fully away from the window, her eyes intent. "You do?" she asked, and beneath the scom fluttered a tiny breath of hope. "Tell me why, then. Father."

她从窗户旁边远远地走开,目光中充满专注。“你真知道吗?”她问,在这轻蔑之下,还怀有小小的希望。“那告诉我为什么,父亲。”

  Elias laughed. "Because you are about to be married. It is not surprising at all!" He slid nearer. "Ah, Miri, there's nothing to be afraid of. Fengbald is a swaggerer, but he's young and still foolish. With a woman's patient hand at work he'll learn manners soon enough. And if he doesn't—well, it would show him a fool indeed were he to mistreat the king's daughter."

Elias笑起来。“因为你要成婚了。这根本就不奇怪!”他把身子靠近了一点儿。“啊,Miri,这没有什么好怕的。Fengbald是一个自大狂,可他很年轻,也很愚蠢。在一个女人有耐心的指导下,他会很快学会礼貌的。而如果他学不会——嗯,那就要给他一个教训,让他明白错待了国王的女儿是多么愚蠢。”

  Miriamele's face hardened into a look of resignation. "You don't understand." Her tone was flat as a tax collector's. "Fengbald is of no more interest to me than a rock, or a shoe. It's you who I care about—and it's you who has something to fear. Why do you show off for them? Why do you mock and threaten old men?"

Miriamele的脸上现出放弃的表情。“你不明白。”她的语调象收税员一样的平直。“Fengbald对我的兴趣,不比他对一块石头,或是鞋子。是你在担心——是你在害怕一些什么。为什么你不能在他们面前炫耀?为什么你要嘲笑和威胁那些年老的人?”


  "Mock and threaten?!" For a moment Elias' broad face curled into an ugly snarl. "That old whoreson sings a song that as much as accuses me of doing away with my brother, and you say I mocked him?" The king stood up suddenly, giving the hassock an angry push with his foot that sent it spinning across the floor. "What do I have to fear?" he asked suddenly.

“嘲笑和威胁?!”有那么一会儿,Elias宽阔的脸扭曲成一个丑陋的纠结。“那个老私生子唱那首歌,是指责我除掉了我弟弟,而你说是我嘲笑了他?”国王突然站起身,生气地抬腿踢了一下垫子,那垫子旋转着飞到远处。“我要什么要怕的?”他突然问。

  "If you don't know, Father—you who spend so much time around that red snake Pryrates and his deviltry—if you can't feel what's happening..."

“如果你不知道,父亲——是你花了这么长的时候围着那条红蛇Pryrates转悠,而他的暴行——如果你感受不到发生了什么……”

  "What in Aedon's name are you saying?" the king demanded. "What do you know?" He struck his hand against his thigh with a crack. "Nothing! Pryrates is my able servant—he will do for me what no one else can."

“以Aedon的名义,你在说什么?”国王问。“你知道什么?”他伸手拍一下大腿。“什么也没有!Pryrates是我以干的仆人——他能给我做别人做不了的事情。”

  "He is a monster and a necromancer!" the princess shouted. "You are becoming his tool, Father! What has happened to you? You have changed!" Miriamele made an anguished sound, trying to bury her face in her long blue veil, then leaped up to dash past on velvet-slippered feet into her bedchamber. A moment later she had pushed the heavy door closed behind her.

“他是个怪物,是一个巫师!?”公主大叫着。“你成了他的工具,父亲!到底发生了什么?你变了!”Miriamele发出痛苦的声音,用她长长的蓝色面纱遮住脸,跳起来,穿着天鹅绒的拖鞋的脚飞跑进她的寝室。很快,她把这沉重的门在身后关了起来。

  "Damn all children!" Elias swore. "Girl!" he shouted, striding to the door, "you understand nothing! You know nothing about what the king is called on to do. And you have no right to be disobedient. I have no son! I have no heir! There are ambitious men all around me, and I need Pengbald. You will not thwart me!"


“这该死的孩子们!”Elias咒骂着。“女孩!”他叫着,大步走到门口。“你什么也不明白!你不知道国王义不容辞地要做什么事情。你也没有权利违抗我。我没有儿子!我没有继承者!在我周围有很多野心勃勃的人,而我需要Pengbald,你不能反对我!”

  He stood for a long moment, but there was no reply. He struck the heel of his hand against the door and the timbers shuddered.

他站了很长时间,但是听不到屋里的回答。他用手掌的根部敲着门,木门颤动着。

  "Miriamele! Open the door!" Only silence answered him. "Daughter," he said at last, leaning his head forward until it touched the unyielding wood, "only bear me a grandson, and I will give you Meremund. I will see that Fengbald does not hinder your going. You may spend the rest of your life staring at the ocean." He brought up his hand and wiped something from his face. "I do not like to look at the ocean myself... it makes me think of your mother."

“Miriamele!开门!”回答他的只有一片寂静。“女儿,”他最后说,额头抵住坚硬的木头。“只需要给我生个孩子,我就把Meremund领地给你。我不允许Fengbald阻碍你到Meremund去。你能在你的余生里,去注视大海。”他抬起手抹抹脸,擦去了脸上的什么东西。“我不喜欢看海……它总使我想起你的母亲。”

  One more time he struck the door. The echo bloomed and died. "I love you, Miri..." the king said softly.

再一次敲敲门。回声是门的隆隆声,随后静了下来。“我爱你,Miri……”国王柔和地说。

  The turret at the corner of the western wall had taken the first bite out of the afternoon sun. Another pebble rattled down the cistern, following a hundred of its fellows into oblivion.

下午的阳光,已经从塔楼西城的墙角开始推移了。又一只圆石吵闹地落进了蓄水池,随着它一百个伙伴们,掉进池水的深处。

  I’m hungry, Simon decided.

我饿了,Simon断言。

  It would not be a bad idea, he reflected, to wander over to the pantry and beg something to eat from Judith. The evening meal would not be served for at least an hour, and he was uncomfortably aware that he hadn't had a bite since early morning. The one problem was that Rachel and her crew were cleaning out the long refectory hallway and chambers alongside the dining hall, the latest battle in Rachel's strenuous spring campaign. It would certainly be better, if possible, to circumvent the Dragon and any words she might have to offer on the subject of begging food before supper.

这不是个坏主意,他想,游逛到餐具室,求Judith给点吃的。晚饭至少还需要再等一个小时,而他不开心地想到,自从上午到现在,他还一点儿东西都没吃。还有一个问题,就是Rachel和她的女仆们正在打扫餐厅长长的走廊,还有餐厅旁边那些房间。做得好一点儿的话,如果可能,智取这龙,想办法应对Rachel因为他在晚饭前要东西吃,而责骂他的那些话。

  After a moment's consideration, during which time he sent three more stones tick-tack-ticking down the well, Simon decided it would be safer to go under the Dragon than around her. The refectory hall took up the entire length of the upper story along the seawall of the castle's central keep; it would take a very long time to go all the way around by the Chancelry to come at the kitchens on the far side. No, the storage rooms were the only route.

考虑了一会儿,在此期间又扔了三个小石头,它们滴答地响着,掉进井里,Simon决定直接在龙的眼皮子底下做,这要比跟她搞迂回路线更安全。 餐厅沿着城堡中心要塞的防波堤,占了整整上面一层楼;如果从高坛附近,走到最远侧的厨房,需要花费很长时间。不,走贮藏室是他的唯一路线。

  He took a chance on a quick dash from the commons yard across the western portico of the refectory, and made it through unobserved. A whiff of soapy water and the distant slosh of mops hastened his steps as he ducked into the darkened lower floor, and the rooms of stored goods that took up most of the area below the dining halls.

他冒险飞快地从院子,穿过餐厅西面的门廊,没有被人发现的情况下,向前走。一阵肥皂水和远处的拖把溅水的声音,使他加快了脚步,冲击黑暗的下面一层楼层,在这餐厅下面,贮藏室站了大部分的区域。

  Since this floor was a good six or seven ells below the top of the Inner Bailey walls, only the faintest gleam of reflected light made its way in through the windows. The deep shadows reassured Simon. Because of many combustibles, torches were almost never brought down to these rooms—there was little chance he would be discovered.

这一楼层,距离城堡内层的墙的最高处,有270或315英寸,只有反射进来的微弱的光线,才能从窗户透进来。这深深的阴影对Simon来说很安全。因为这里有很多易燃物,所以几乎没有人从上面,把火把拿进这些房间——他被发现的机会很少。

  In the large central chamber great piles of iron-banded casks and butts were stacked to the ceiling, a murky landscape of rounded towers, and close-hemmed passages. Anything might be stored in these barrels: dried vegetables, cheeses, bolts of fabric from years long past, even suits of armor like shining fish in casks of midnight-dark oil. The temptation to open some and see what treasures lay hidden privily inside was very strong, but Simon had no prybar to unlid the heavy, tight-nailed barrels—neither did he dare make too much noise with the Dragon and her legions dusting and polishing away just above like the charwomen of the damned.

在这宽敞的中间的房间里,是大堆大堆的镶着铁箍的桶,和大酒桶,都堆到了天花板,就象是一个个黑色的圆塔,中间只有一条可过人的小路。任何东西都可能装在这些桶里:干蔬菜、干酪、很久以前的布匹,甚至有一套套的盔甲,浸泡在桶里午夜一般漆黑的油里,象是闪着光的鱼。想打开一些桶,看看里面暗中藏着的宝藏,对Simon来说极具诱惑力,可他没有撬棍能打开那些沉重的,钉得紧紧的桶——他也不敢发出太多的声音,因为龙和她的众多女仆们,正在他的头上打扫着,就象是那些该死的打扫卫生的女人们。

  Midway across the long, shadowed room, threading his way between barrel-towers that leaned like cathedral buttressess, Simon nearly fell down a hole into darkness.


穿过这又长又荫蔽的房间,小心地穿行在那些桶堆起的,象大教堂的扶柱一样倾斜的两个塔间,Simon几乎在黑暗里掉进一个洞里。

  Dancing back in heart-thumping surprise, he quickly saw that rather than a mere hole it was a hatchway that gaped in the floor before him, its door flung open and back. With care he could step around it, despite the narrowness of the path... but why was it open? Obviously, heavy hatch-doors did not swing open unaided. Doubtless one of the housekeepers had brought something up from a storeroom farther below, and been unable to both manage the burden and close the door.

由于惊奇,心急剧地跳着,他忙向后跳开了一步,很快地发现,那并不仅仅是一个洞,而是他前面的地板上,有一个通道口打开了,它的门被掀开了,向后面大敞着。尽管这条小路很窄,只要当心的话,他还是会绕过去的……可是,为什么这个门开着呢?显然,这沉重的通道口的门不可能自己打开。无疑,有一个女仆从这下面的贮藏室里取了什么东西上来,不能同时拿着手里的东西把门关上。

  With only an instant's hesitation, Simon scrambled down the ladder into the hatchway. Who could say what strange, exciting things might be hiding in the room below?

瞬间的犹豫之后,Simon爬下梯子,进了通道。谁知道会有什么奇怪的、让人兴奋的东西藏在这下面的房间里呢?

 The space beneath was darker than the room above, and at first he could see nothing at all. His groping foot encountered something below him; as he gingerly lowered his weight it took on the solidity of familiar board flooring. When he took the other foot off the ladder, however, it met no resistance at all—only his tight grip on the ladder-rung kept him from toppling off balance. There was still open space immediately below the ladder—another hatchway to a floor even further below. He maneuvered his swinging foot until it found the lip of the lower hatch, then moved off onto the security of this middle room's floor.

下面这空间,比上面的房间更黑,起初他根本不可能看见周围的情况。他用一只脚试探着碰碰下面的东西;小心翼翼地把身子下沉,脚踏上了这坚固的熟悉的木板地面。他又把另一只脚从梯子上移来,然而,这只脚根本没有碰到什么阻碍——仅靠他紧抓住梯子的横档,使他没有失去平衡。在这梯子正对着的下方,还是个打开的空间——另一个地板上的通风口,通向更远的下面。他这只脚摇摆着,试探着,踏上下面那个开口的边缘,再挪到旁边,踩上了这个位于中层的房间的地板。

  The hatch-door above him was a gray square in the wall of darkness. By its faint light he saw with disappointment that this area was little more than a closet: the roof was far lower than that of the upper room, and the walls extended back only a few arm's lengths from where he stood. This small room was crowded to the rafters with barrels and sacks, with only a small aisle that reached back to the far wall separating the leaning dry goods.

头上,通道口的门在这黑暗构成的墙上,呈一个灰色的正方形。透过这门射下来的微弱的光线,他失望地发现,这个地方只比一个壁橱大一点点:屋顶比上面一层房间的屋顶要低很多,从他站着的地方,到延伸的墙壁,只有几个手臂的距离。这个拥挤的小房间里,那些桶和袋子,直堆到了房椽,在这些倾斜的干燥的物品之间,只有一个小小的走道,通到远处的墙。

  As he surveyed the closet with disinterest a board creaked somewhere, and he heard the measured sound of footsteps in the blackness below him.

他不感兴趣地环视这个小壁橱,这时,不知从哪里,响起了一声木板的吱吱声,他听到下面的黑暗处,传来有节奏的脚步声。

  Oh, God's Pain, who's that?! And what have I done now?

哦,天哪,是谁?!我该怎么办?

  How stupid of him not to think that the hatchway might be open because someone was still down in the rooms below! He had done it again! Silently cursing himself for an idiot, he slid into the narrow aisle between the packed goods. The footfalls below approached the ladder. Simon wedged himself back off the aisle into a space between two musty plaincloth sacks that smelled and felt like they might be full of old linen. Realizing that he would still be visible to anyone who stepped away from the hatch and into the pathway, he sank into a half-crouch, resting his weight carefully on an oak-ribbed trunk. The steps halted, and the ladder began to creak as someone climbed up. He held his breath. He had no idea why he was suddenly so frightened; if he was caught it would only mean more punishment, more of Rachel's hard looks and peppery remarks—why then did he feel like a rabbit scented by hounds?

他真傻,竟没有想到,这个通道口开着,是因为有人还在下面的房间里!他又一次不经考虑就轻易行动了!默默地骂着自己是个笨蛋,他滑进了这堆着的货物间的小小过道。下面的脚步声走近了梯子,Simon倒退着,挤进了过道,来到两堆发霉的平纹织物的袋子间,从味道和触觉上看,里面应该装满了旧亚麻布。意识到他仍会被从下面的通道口上来,走到这房间小路上的人看到,他身子向下半蹲着,小心地把身子的重量放到一个有着棱纹的橡木箱子上。脚步声停止了,有人爬上了梯子,发出吱吱的响声。他屏住呼吸,他不知道自己为什么突然这么恐惧;如果他被抓住了,那只不过意味着他又会受到一次惩罚,最严重得不过是Rachel生气的表情,还有辛辣的责骂——那为什么他会觉得自己象一只被猎犬们嗅着的兔子?

  The sound of climbing continued, and for the moment it seemed that whoever it was would continue up to the large room above... until the steady creaking stopped. The silence sang in Simon's ears. There was a creak, then another—but he realized with a heavy feeling in his stomach that the noises were coming back down. A muffled bump as the unseen figure stepped off the ladder onto the floor of the closet, and again there was silence, but this time the very stillness seemed to throb. The slow tread moved closer down the slender aisle, until it halted directly across from Simon's hastily-chosen hiding place. In the dim light he could see pointed black boots, almost close enough to touch; above hung the black-trimmed hem of a scarlet robe. It was Pryrates.

爬梯子的声音还在继续,有一阵儿,象是不管爬梯子的人是谁,都会再继续爬到上面那个大屋子里……直到,那稳定的响声停止了。Simon听着这一片寂静。梯子响了一声咯吱声,又是一声……然而他胃里沉重地意识到,那个声音是顺着梯子下来的声音。当这个看不见的人影从通往上面一层的梯子上下来,来到了这个壁橱的地板上,随后又是一阵寂静,而这一次,这特别的沉静,象是在悸动。这缓慢的脚步,走近了这窄小的过道,直到走到Simon匆忙中选择的藏身之处的对面,脚步声停了下来。在这暗淡的光线里,他能看到那独特的一双黑靴子,近得几乎能碰到他;上方,是镶着黑边儿的猩红色袍子。这是Pryrates。

  Simon crouched back among the dry goods and prayed that Aedon would stop his heart, which seemed to be beating like thunder. He felt his gaze drawn upward against his will until he stared out between the sagging shoulders of the sacks that hid him. Through the narrow gap he could see the alchemist's bleak face; for a moment it seemed Pryrates looked right at him, and he nearly squealed in terror. An instant later he saw it was not so: the red priest's shadow-shrouded eyes were focused on the wall above Simon's head. He was listening.

Simon向后缩进了干货之间,祈祷Aedon止住他的心跳声,他的心跳听起来象是雷声。他觉得他的目光不被他的意志所左右,一直向上凝视着,直到他从藏身其后的松驰的袋子的肩部,可以看到外面。从这狭小的空隙里,他能看到这炼金术士的阴冷的脸;有一会儿,似乎 Pryrates直盯着他,他几乎要恐怖地尖叫起来。瞬间之后,他发现不是这样;这红袍神父阴影覆盖的眼睛,直盯着Simon头上的墙壁。他在倾听。

  Come out.

出来。

  Pryrates' lips had not moved, but Simon heard the voice as plainly as if it had whispered in his ear.

Pryrates的嘴唇没有动,但Simon能清楚地听到他的声音,就象是在他的耳边小声低语。

  Come out. Now.

出来。马上。

  The voice was firm but reasonable. Simon found himself ashamed at his conduct: there was nothing to fear; it was childish foolishness to crouch here in the dark when he could stand up and reveal himself, admit the little joke he had played... but still...

声音很强硬,但非常通情达理。Simon为自己的行为感到羞愧:没有什么可怕的;缩在这黑暗中是幼稚的愚蠢,当他完全可以站起来,使别的看到他,然后承认他刚刚是在开着小小的玩笑……可是仍旧……

  Where are you? Show yourself.

你在哪儿?出来吧。

  Just as the calm voice in his ear had finally convinced him that nothing would be simpler than to stand and speak—he was reaching for the sacks to help himself up—Pryrates' black eyes swept for a scant moment across the dark crack through which Simon peered, and the glancing touch killed any thought of rising as a sudden frost shrivels a rose blossom. Pryrates' gaze touched Simon's hidden eyes and a door opened in the boy's heart; the shadow of destruction filled that doorway.

就在这传入他耳中的平静地声音,使他最后确信,只要他简简单单站起来,说话,就什么事儿也没有了——他伸手搭在袋子上,想要借力站起来——Pryrates的黑色眼睛,从Simon凝视着他的黑暗的缝隙处扫视过去,这一瞥,就象是突然的霜冻,使一朵玫瑰花枯萎了,它杀死了Simon的所有想法。Pryrates的目光触碰到 Simon藏着的眼睛,这孩子的心里打开了一扇门;那毁灭的影子充满了那扇门的门口。

  This was death—Simon knew it. He felt the cold crumble of grave soil beneath his scraping fingers, the weight of dark, moist earth in his mouth and eyes. There were no more words now, no dispassionate voice in his head, only a pull—an untouchable something that was dragging him forward by fractions of inches. A worm of ice clasped itself around his heart as he fought—this was death waiting... his death. If he made a sound, the merest tremble or gasp, he would never see the sun again. He shut his eyes so tightly that his temples ached; he locked teeth and tongue against the straining need for breath. The silence hissed and pounded. The pull strengthened. Simon felt as though he were sinking slowly down into the crushing depths of the sea.

这是死亡——Simon明白。他觉得自己摸着袋子的手指下,触到了坟墓中的土壤那寒冷的碎屑,那沉重的黑暗,潮湿的泥土溢满了他的嘴巴和眼睛。现在没有一点儿声音了,他听不到那不带感谢的声音了,只有什么牵引着他——一个触摸不到的东西,正在一英寸一英寸地拖着他往前移动。他挣扎的时候,一团冰紧紧包裹着他的心——是死亡在等着……他的死亡。如果他发出一点声响,哪怕仅仅只是颤抖或是喘息,他将会再也见不到明天的太阳。他紧紧地闭上眼睛,闭得是那样地紧,太阳穴都在疼;他保持牙齿和舌头一动不动,抗拒着它们为了呼吸的需要而拉伸。四周的寂静象是发出嘶嘶声,和重击声。死亡的牵引力增强了。Simon觉得他好象慢慢沉进了挤压的深海中。

  A sudden yowl was followed by Pryrates' startled curse. The intangible, throttling grip was gone; Simon's eyes popped open in time to see a sleek gray shape skitter past, leap over Pryrates' boots and streak to the hatchway, where it bounded down into darkness. The priest's surprised laughter scraped out, echoing dully in the cluttered room.

突然传出一声号叫,随之,Pryrates发出了震惊的咒骂。难以名状的、令人窒息的感觉没有了;Simon睁开眼,看到一个圆滑的灰色形体飞掠而过,跳过Pryrates的靴子,飞跑出了通道口,跳进黑暗中。神父发出惊奇的笑声,在这混乱的房间模糊地回荡。

  "A cat..."

“一只猫……”

After a pause of half a dozen heartbeats, the-black boots turned away and moved back up the aisle. In a moment, Simon heard the ladder-thongs squeaking. He continued to sit rigidly, his breathing shallow, all of his senses alarmed. Chill sweat was running into his eyes, but he did not lift his hand to wipe it away—not yet.

接下来,是短暂的停顿,大约有六次心跳的时间,黑色的靴子走开了,从这小道退了出去。不一会儿,Simon就听到皮靴踏在梯子上的咯吱声。他仍然僵硬地坐在原处,呼吸很浅,所有的感官都充满了警惕。冷汗流进他的眼里,可他并没有抬手把它擦掉——现在还不行。

  At last, after many minutes had passed and the ladder-sounds had faded, Simon rose from the sheltering sacks, balancing on weak, trembling legs. Praise Usires and bless that little gray scattercat! But what to do? He had heard the upper hatchway close, and the sound of booted footfalls on the floor overhead, but that did not mean that Pryrates had gone very far. It would be a risk even to lift the heavy door and look; if the priest were still in the storeroom the chances were good that he would hear. How could he get out?

最后,很长时间过去了,梯子的声音消退了。Simon从遮挡他的袋子处站起来,试着用无力的颤抖的腿,在地上站稳。赞美Usires,也祝福那只小灰猫!可接下来怎么办?他听到上面的通道口关上了,头上那层地板上,响起靴子的脚步声,可这并不表示,Pryrates已经走了很远了。即使抬起那个深重的通道口的门向外看一眼,那也是个冒险;如果神父仍然留在贮藏室,那么他就会有很好的机会听到Simon的动静。他要怎么才能出去呢?

  He knew he should just stay where he was, waiting in the dark. Even if the alchemist were in the upper room now, eventually he must finish his business and depart. This seemed by far the safest plan—but part of Simon's nature rebelled. It was one thing to be frightened—and Pryrates frightened him witless—it was another thing to spend the whole evening locked in a dark closet, and suffer the attendant punishments, when the priest was almost certainly on his way back to his eyrie in Hjeldin's Tower.

他知道他只能呆在这里,在这黑暗中等候。即使是炼金术士现在在上面一层房间,他最终会做完自己的事情,而后离开。到目前为止这是看上去最安全的计划——但是Simon的天性的那部分开始造反了。感到恐惧是一件事——Pryrates确实把他吓傻了——而,整个晚上要被困在这黑暗的壁橱里,忍受这样的惩罚,却在同时几乎可以确信,神父已经离开这里,走在返回Hjeldin塔中、他的住处的路上了,这又是另外一件事了。

  Besides, I don't think he really could have made me come out... could he? Likely I was just scared nearly to death... .

另外,我想他当时不可能真有能耐引我出来,他能吗?可能刚才只是我快被吓死了……

  The memory of the broken-backed dog rose in his mind. He gagged and spent long moments breathing deeply.

他又回想起那只被Pryrates踏碎了脊背的狗。他有些作呕,用了很长时间保持深呼吸。

  And what of the cat who had saved him from being caught—caught: the image of Pryrates' pit-black eyes would not leave him: they were no fear-fantasy. Where had the cat gone? If it had jumped down to the lower floor it was doubtless trapped, and would never find its way back without Simon's assistance. That was a debt of honor.

刚才救他的那只猫,如果被抓住了怎么办——被抓住了:Pryrates黑如深渊的眼睛又在他眼前闪现:这眼睛带给人的恐惧,并不是想象出来的。那只猫跑哪儿了?如果它跳到了下面的一层房间,它肯定会被困在里面,如果没有Simon的援助,它永远找不到回来的路。Simon如果救出它,就可以作为他被这只猫所救的报答了。

  As he moved quietly forward he could see a dim glow from the doorway in the floor. Was there a torch lit down there? Or perhaps there was some other way out, a doorway opening into one of the lower baileys?

他静悄悄地向前移动,看到了地板上那个通道口的地方发出微弱的光。那下面有点燃的火把吗?或者可能是别的通往外面的路,也是一个通道口,通向低层的城堡外墙?

  After a few moments of listening silently at the open hatchway, making sure that no one would surprise him this time, Simon stepped cautiously onto the ladder and began to climb down. A breath of cold air ruffled his tunic and goosebumped his arms; he bit the inside of his lip and hesitated, then continued.

安静地听了一会儿这打开的通道口,确信这次下面不会有人突然出现,Simon当心地踏上梯子,向下爬去。一股冷风吹拂着他的外衣,手臂上起了一层鸡皮疙瘩;他咬了一下里面的嘴唇犹豫了一下,然后再接着往下爬。

  Instead of being halted by another landing directly below, Simon's careful descent continued for some moments. At first the only light rose from below him, as though he were climbing down some sort of bottleneck. At last the illumination became more general, and soon after that his downward-groping exploration met with resistance. He touched wood with his toes to one side of the ladder: he had found the floor. Stepping down he saw that there was no further passage-way below, that the bottom rung of the ladder rested here. The only source of light in the chamber—and with the topmost hatchway now closed, the only source of illumination at all—was a strange, glowing rectangle that shone against the far wall, a misty door painted on the wall in fitful yellowish light.

不象上次,没有走到梯子的尽头,他就停下来试探着去踩下面的地面了,这一次,Simon小心地多下了几级梯子。开始,只有亮光从他的正下方照上来,好象他是在爬下瓶颈一类的东西。最后,光亮更加扩散,不久,他向下面摸索着的探察就遇到阻力了。他一只脚在梯子的一侧触到了木头:他已经踩上了地板。下了梯子,他看到,在这一层下面,没有别的通道了,这里也就是整个梯子的底部。在这房间里,唯一的亮光——因为最上层的通道口现在关上了,也就是照在整个这第二层、第三层的光源——是在远处墙上闪光的、一个奇怪的矩形的发光体,是断断续续地黄色的光,在墙壁上描画出的一扇雾蒙蒙的门。

  Simon superstitiously made the sign of the Tree as he looked around. The rest of the room contained only a broken quintain and a few other pieces of discarded jousting furniture. Although the room's elongated shadows left many corners obscure, Simon could see nothing that would interest a man like Pryrates. He moved toward the gleaming design on the wall with hands extended, five-fingered silhouettes outlined in amber. The glowing rectangle flared suddenly, then quickly faded, dropping a shroud of absolute black over all.

Simon打量四周的时候,迷信地画了一个树的符号。这房间中的其他摆设,只有一个破了的枪靶,和另外几件丢弃了的马上枪术比赛用的装备。虽然这屋子里拉长的阴影,使很多角落都模糊不清,Simon找不到能让Pryrate这样的人感兴趣的东西。他伸出两手走向墙壁上的闪光处,手指的侧面轮廓被染成琥珀色。闪光的矩形突然向外展开,接着又飞快地消退,把完全的黑暗,笼罩在这整个房间。

  Simon was alone in darkness. There was no sound except for that of his own blood booming in his ears like a distant ocean. He took a cautious step forward; the sound of his shoe scraping the floor filled the emptiness for a moment. He took another step, and then one more: his outstretched fingers felt cold stone... and something else: strange, faint lines of warmth. He slumped to his knees beside the wall.

黑暗中,只有Simon自己一个人。周围没有任何声音,只有他耳中血液的冲击声,象是遥远起伏的海洋。他小心地向前踏了一步;这片刻,在这空寂中,只听到他鞋子摩擦着地板的声音。他又向前迈了一步,又一步:他伸出的手指触摸到了冰冷的石头……还有别的什么:奇怪的,微弱的温暖的轮廓。他靠着墙跪在地上。

  Now I know what's it's like to be at the bottom of a well. I only hope no one starts pitching stones down at me.

现在我知道这是什么了。这是在一个井底。我只希望没有人从上面扔石头下来。

  As he sat, pondering what he should do next, he heard a faint whisper of movement. Something struck him in the chest, and he gave a shout of surprise. At his cry the touch was gone, but it returned a moment later. Something was butting gently at his tunic... and purring.

他坐下来,考虑着下一步该做什么,他听到一个微弱的动静。有什么东西撞上他的胸口,他惊奇地叫了一声。听到他的叫声,他胸口的东西离开了,可过一会儿又回来了。有什么轻轻地撞着他的衣服……发出咕噜噜的声音。

  "Cat!" he whispered.

“猫!”他低声说。

  You saved me, you know. Simon rubbed at the invisible shape. Slow down, there. It's hard to tell which end is which when you squirm around so. That's right, you saved me, and I'm going to get you out of this hole you've gotten into.

你知道,你救了我。 Simon抚摸着这看不见的形体。不要动,呆在那儿。很难讲,你在这周围闲逛,会有什么结局。是的,你救了我,我要把你从你陷入的这个洞里弄出去。

  "Of course, I've gotten myself into the same hole," Simon said aloud. He picked the furry shape up and lifted it into his tunic. The cat's purring took a deeper note as it settled itself against his warm stomach. "I know what that glowing thing was," he whispered. "A door. A magic door."

“当然,我自己也在同一个洞里,”Simon大声说。他把这毛绒绒的小东西抓起来,放进衣服里。小猫舒服地把自己靠在他温暖的胸前,因满意而发出的咕噜声更加低沉。“我知道那个发光的东西是什么,”他小声说。“一扇门,一扇魔法门。”

  It was also Pryrates' magic door, and Morgenes would skin him for even going near it, but Simon felt a certain stubborn indignation: this was his castle too, after all, and the storage rooms did not belong to any upstart priest, no matter how fearsome. In any case, if he went back up the ladder and Pryrates was still there... well, even Simon's returning pride did not permit him to delude himself about what would happen then. So, it was sit at the bottom of a pitch-black well all evening, or...

这也是Pryrates的魔法门,而Simon即使是靠近这扇门,Morgenes也会剥去他一层皮,可Simon心里升起顽固的愤慨:毕竟,这里也是他的城堡,而这贮藏室,也不属于那个傲慢自负的神父,不管他有多么可怕。无论如何,如果他爬上了梯子,而Pryrates还在最上面那一层房间……好,即使Simon现在又恢复过来的骄傲,不允许他用可能会发生的事情来诱惑自己。那么,或者是他整个晚上就坐在这漆黑的井底,或者……

  He flattened his palm on the wall, sliding it across the chill stones until he found the streaks of warmth again. He traced them with his fingers and found they corresponded roughly with the rectangular shape he had first seen. Laying his hands flat in the middle he pushed, but met only the stolid resistance of unmortared stone. He pushed again, as hard as he could; the cat stirred uneasily beneath his shirt. Again nothing happened. As he leaned panting against the spot, he felt even the warm spots growing chill beneath his hands. A sudden vision of Pryrates—the priest waiting in the dark overhead like a spider, a grin stretching his bony face—sent Simon's heart a-pounding.

他把手掌平放在墙上,在这冰冷的石头上滑着,直到他再次找到那处温暖的地方。他用手指在墙上摸索,直到他找到,和他当初看到的那一处矩形相似的轮廓。双手平放在正中的位置,他用力推,可他的手碰到的,只是未用灰泥粘住的石头,纹丝不动的阻力。他又推了一次,用尽所有的力量;小猫在他衣服下面不安地动弹着。这次又是什么事也没发生。他斜靠在这个位置上,喘息着,觉得他手掌下那个温暖的部位,也开始变得越来越冷了。他突然想到了Pryrates——这个神父在上面的黑暗处等着他,象一个等着猎物的蜘蛛,颧骨突出的脸上,露齿一笑——这想象使得Simon心跳加速。

  "Oh, Elysia Mother of God, open!" he murmured hopelessly, fear-sweat making his palms slippery. "Open!"

“哦,神之母Elysia,开门!”他绝望地低声说,恐惧的汗使他的手掌滑溜溜的。“开门!”

  The stone became suddenly warm, then hot, forcing Simon to lean away. A thin golden line formed on the wall before him, running like a stream of molten metal along the horizontal until both ends dropped down and then ran back together. The door was there, shimmering, and Simon had only to lift his hand and touch it with a finger for the lines to grow brighter; actual cracks became visible, running the length of the silhouette. He placed his fingers carefully in one edge and pulled; a stone door swung silently outward, spilling light into the room.

石头突然变得温暖,既而火热,Simon不得不退到一旁。在他面前,墙上出现了一道纤细的金色光线,象一股熔化的金属的溪流,沿着水平线流动,直到两端垂直流向下方,接着再一同倒流回去。门,出现了,闪着光,Simon只抬起一只手,用一根手指触碰了一下,那些光线就更加明亮起来;现出了真实的裂缝,沿着这门的轮廊的周边不断扩大。他小心地把手放在门的一边,一拉;一扇石门无声地向外面打开了,把光线洒满了这个房间。

  It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the wash of brilliance. Behind the door a stone corridor sloped away and disappeared around a corner, carved directly into the rough rock of the castle. A torch bumed brightly in a sconce just inside; it was this that had dazzled him so. He climbed to his feet, the cat a comfortable weight inside his shirt.

过了一会儿,他的眼睛才能适应这遍洒的光亮。门后面,一个石头走廊斜斜地下去,在一个拐角处消失了,这个走廊是直接从城堡粗糙的岩石上切割出来的。一束火把在里面的壁式烛台上明亮地燃烧着;就是这火把的光亮刚才使他眼花了。他站起身,衣服里的小猫,没有让他觉得不舒服。

  Would Pryrates have left a torch burning if he didn't plan to return? And what was this strange passageway? Simon recalled Morgenes saying something of old Sithi ruins beneath the castle. This was certainly old stonework, but crude and raw, completely unlike the polished delicacy of Green Angel Tower. He resolved to make a quick inspection: if the corridor led nowhere, he would have to climb the ladder after all.

如果Pryrates不打算再回来了,他为什么没有把这火把熄灭?这个奇怪的小路又是做什么用的? Simon想起Morgenes说起过的,这座城堡下面,古老的Sithi种族的遗迹。这条小路看上去,确实是非常古老的石雕工艺,可这雕工非常粗糙,没有经过加工,完全不象那经过打磨的优美的绿色天使之塔的建筑工艺。他决定只过去看一眼:如果这走廊不再通往别处,他最后还是不得不从原来的梯子爬出去。

  The coarse stone walls of the tunnel were damp. As Simon padded down the walkway he could hear a dull booming sound through the very rock.

这个地道的粗糙的石墙非常潮湿。 Simon从走道经过的时候,能听到这些岩石发出沉闷的隆隆的声音。

  I must be below the level of the Kynslagh. No wonder the stones, even the air, everything is so damp. As if to punctuate this thought, he felt water coming in at the seams of his shoes.

我一定是到了Kynslagh湖的水平面的下面。并不奇怪,这些石头,即使是这里的空气,所有的这些都是那么的潮湿。就象是为了强调这些想法,他觉得有水进到了他的鞋缝里。

  Now the corridor turned again, continuing its downward slope. The dimming light from the entranceway torch was supplemented by some new source. As he turned one last corner he came onto a leveled, widened floor that ended some ten paces away in a wall of craggy granite. Another torch guttered in its bracket there.

现在,这条走廊再次转了个弯,仍然是通往下面的斜坡。从他进来的那个地方的火把发出的暗淡的光亮,此时又因为新的光源,而增强了。他转过最后一个拐角,来到了一个水平的、宽阔的地面,这地面延伸了大概十步远,就是一处陡峭的花岗岩的石墙。石墙上,另一只火把在壁架上流动着光亮。

  Two dark holes loomed in the wall at his left; at the end just beyond them was what looked to be another door, seated almost flush with the corridor's end. Water splashed near his shoe-tops as he moved forward.

在他左边的墙上,隐隐现出两个黑色的房间;过了这两个黑色房间,那处尽头,是另一扇门,这扇门几乎和这走廊的尽头平齐。他向前走的时候,水花在他的鞋尖附近飞溅着。

  The first two spaces seemed to have once been chambers of some kind—cells, most likely—but now splintered doors hung lazily off their hinges; the flickering torchlight revealed nothing inside but shadows. A damp odor of decay hung in these untenanted holes, and he quickly passed them by to stand before the door at the end. The hidden cat pricked him with gentle claws as he examined the blank, heavy timbers in the wavering light. What might lie beyond? Another rotting chamber, or a corridor leading still farther into the sea-bitten stone? Or was it perhaps Pryrates' secret treasure room, concealed from all spying eyes... well, most spying eyes...?

前面的两个房间看上去象是曾被作为——囚室,非常非常可能是囚室——而现在,碎裂的门已经懒散地脱离了它们的绞链;闪烁的火把的光亮下,那里面什么也没有,只有阴影。在这些空着的房间里,发出潮湿的腐朽的气味,他马上从这两个房间前走了过去,站在尽头的那扇门前。他在摇曳的光亮中,仔细打量这空白的沉重的木门,藏在他胸口的猫,轻轻用爪子挠挠他。这对面会有什么?另一个腐朽的囚室,还是另一个走廊,通往更深处的海水浸泡的石头?或者它可能是Pryrates秘密的藏宝室,瞒过了所有那些偷窥的眼睛……嗯,是瞒过了大部分偷窥的眼睛……?

  Midway up the door was fixed a plate of metal: Simon could not tell if it was a latch or a peephole cover. When he tried it the rusty metal did not budge, and he came away with red flecks covering his fingers. Casting about, he saw a bit of broken hinge lying beside the open doorway to his left. He picked it up and pried at the metal until, with a begrudging squeak, the plate tilted upward on a rust-and-salt-stiffened hinge. After a quick look up the corridor and a moment of silence listening for footfalls, he leaned forward and put his eye to the hole in the door.

这门的中间,固定着一个金属板:Simon不知道它是个插销,还是窥视孔的盖子。他试了一试,这生锈的金属板一动也不动,他走到一旁,手指上满上剥落的红色的锈斑。想着办法,他看见,他左边那个开着的门口旁,有一点断了的绞链。他拾了起来,试着去捅那个金属板,直到金属板抱怨着发出一声尖叫,被这生锈的带着咸味儿的僵硬的绞链挑着,向上斜斜翘起。他飞快地扫视了一下走廊的周围,停了一会儿静静地听着有没有脚步声音,随后,他向前探着身子,把一只眼睛对准这门上的洞。

  To his great surprise there was a handful of rushes burning in a wall bracket in the chamber, but any heady and terrifying thought of having found Pryrates1 secret hoard-room was quickly dashed by the dank, straw-covered floor and bare walls. There was something at the back of the chamber, though... some dark bundle of shadow.

使他非常惊奇的是,在这个房间里,墙上的壁架里,只有一小把燃烧的灯芯草,但是,任何关于发现Pryrates的秘密储藏室的猛烈的、可怕的想法,很快就消失了,因为他看到的是潮湿的、覆盖着稻草的地板,还有光秃秃的墙壁。虽然,在这房间的后面,有着什么东西……只是一团黑色的影子。

  A clanking noise pulled Simon around in surprise. Fear washed through him as he looked frantically about, expecting any moment to hear the thump of black boots in the corridor. The noise came again; Simon realized with astonishment that it sounded from the chamber beyond the door. Putting his eye cautiously back to the hole, he stared into the shadows.

Simon非常奇怪地听到一个叮叮当当的声音。恐惧席卷了他的身体,他狂乱地四下观望,期待着随时听到走廊里的黑色靴子落地的声音。这声音又响起来了;Simon惊奇地发现,它听起来是从这扇门里边的房间里传出来。他当心地又把眼睛移到洞口,注视着那团影子。

  Something was moving at the back wall, a dark shape, and as it slowly swayed to one side the harsh, metallic sound echoed again in the small space. The shadow-shape raised its head.

后面的墙,有什么东西在移动,一个黑色的形体,它慢慢地移向一边儿,在这小小的空间里,又响起刺耳的金属的声音。这个影子形的东西抬起了头。

  Choking, Simon jumped back from the spy-hole as though slapped across the face. In a whirling moment he felt the firm earth totter beneath him, felt that he had turned over something familiar to find crawling corruption beneath....

突然感觉到强烈的窒息,Simon向后跳离了这个窥视孔,仿佛脸上被打了一掌。在这头晕目眩中,他觉得脚下坚硬的土地摇摇晃动,觉得就象是他打翻了什么熟悉的东西,发现下面是蠕动着的腐败的东西……

  The chained thing that had stared out at him—the thing with the haunted eyes—was Prince Josua.

刚才凝视着他的那个绑着铁链的东西——那有着一双痛苦折磨的眼睛的东西——是Josua王子。
  
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#日志日期:2008-6-13 星期五(Friday) 晴 复制链接 举报



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