残烟的小屋



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残烟的小屋

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龙骨椅第一章15
作者:残烟一缕 提交日期:2008-7-10 9:41:00 正常 | 分类: | 访问量:4209

15
A Meeting at the Inn

酒馆中的不期而遇

THE FIRST thing Simon heard was a humming noise, a dull buzz that pushed insistently against his ear as he struggled toward wakefulness. Half-opening an eye, he found himself staring at a monstrosity—a dark, indistinct mass of squirming legs and glittering eyes. He sat up with a startled yelp and a great flailing of arms; the bumblebee that had been guilelessly exploring his nose leaped away in a whir of translucent wings to search for a less excitable perch.

Simon挣扎着醒来的时候,他最先听到的,是一个嗡嗡的响声,这响声,一直在他耳边不断地响着。半睁开眼睛,他发现自己面对着一个奇形怪状的东西——这个黑色的、模糊不清的大东西,有着颤动的腿,还有发光的眼睛。他惊叫了一声,坐了起来,奋力挥舞着双臂;这只刚才一直在他鼻子上爬着的大黄蜂,急速地飞走,扇动着半透明的翅膀,寻找一个不象Simon这样激动地赶它走的栖身之处。

He lifted a hand to shade his eyes, startled by the vibrant clarity of the world around him. The daylight was dazzling. The spring sun, as if on imperial procession, had scattered gold on all sides across the grassy downs; everywhere he looked the gentle slopes were rich with dandelions and long-stemmed marigolds. Bees hurried among them, nipping from flower to flower like little doctors discovering—much to their surprise—all their patients getting well at the same time.

他抬起一只手,遮着眼睛打量四周,惊异于周围的世界看上去异常清晰。耀眼的阳光照耀着大地。这春天的太阳,将金色的阳光,洒遍了这铺着青草的山丘上,就象它照耀着的是帝国的军队;每当他把目光洒向周围这些平缓的斜坡,都会看到,那里到处都生长着茂盛的蒲公英,和长茎的万寿菊。蜜蜂在这些花间忙碌地穿梭,钻进一朵又一朵花中,就象一些个儿小小的大夫,非常惊奇地发现,它们的所有病人们,在瞬间都已经痊愈了。

Simon slumped back down into the grass, clasping his hands behind his head. He had slept a long while: the rich sun was almost straight overhead. It made the hairs on his forearms glow like molten copper; the tips of his ragged shoes looked so far away he could almost imagine them the peaks of distant mountains.

Simon无力地倒在草丛中,两手交叠着枕在自己脑后。他已经睡了很长时间了:这骄阳几乎已经正挂在他头顶上的天空中。在这阳光的照射下,他前臂的寒毛闪着光,如同熔化了的铜;他破烂鞋尖,看上去那么的遥远,他几乎把这鞋尖想象成远方山峦的山顶。

A sudden cold sliver of memory pierced his drowsiness. How had he gotten here? What...?

突然,记忆中一道冰冷的回忆刺穿了他的睡意。他怎么会来到了这里?发生了什么……

A dark presence at his shoulder brought him quickly onto his knees; he turned to see the tree-mantled mass of Thisterborg looming behind him, not half a league away. Every detail was stunningly clear, a pattern of precise edges; but for the troubling throb of memory it might have seemed comfortable and cool, a placid hill rising through encircling trees, banded with shade and bright green leaves.

一个黑影落在他的肩头,他立刻跪了起来;他转身,看到自己身后,覆盖着茂密的树木的Thisterborg山,高高耸立,距离他不到半里格远。每一处细节,清晰地在他脑海中闪现,使他头晕目眩,那些记忆的片段,就象锋利的刀锋那样无比清楚;但是,相对于不断抽搐的记忆,这座山看起来却是那么的令人感觉到舒适而惬意,这是一座非常平静的山,它耸立在四周环绕的树林中,那些或阴暗或明亮的绿色树叶,围绕在它的周围。

Along its crest were the Anger Stones, faint gray points against the blue sky.

在山顶上,是那些愤怒之石,看上去,如同蓝色天空下,微弱的灰点。

The vivid spring day was now corrupted by a mist of dream—what had happened last night? He had fled the castle, of course—those moments, his last with Morgenes, were burned into his very heart—but after? What were these nightmarish memories? Endless tunnels? Elias? A fire, and white-haired demons?

如今,这生机勃勃的春日,被一层薄雾般的梦境笼罩着,破坏了它原有的美丽——昨晚发生了什么事?他逃出了城堡,这是当然的——他最后和 Morgenes在一起的那些时刻,如同烙在他的心里——可此后,又发生了什么呢?这些恶梦似的记忆里有什么呢?永无尽头的隧道?Elias?一堆火,还有白色头发的那些恶魔?

Dreams—idiot, bad dreams. Terror and tiredness and more terror. I ran through the graveyard at night, fell down at last, slept and dreamed.

那是梦——傻瓜,那是恶梦。让我感觉到恐怖和疲劳,而且非常非常恐惧。我昨晚穿过墓园,最后摔倒了,我睡着了,做了一场梦。

But the tunnels, and... a black casket? His head still hurt, but there was also an odd sense of numbness, as if ice had been laid on an injury. The dream had seemed so real. Now it was distant, slippery and meaningless—a dark pang of fear and pain that would drift away like smoke if he allowed it to—or, at least, he hoped it would. He pushed the memories down, burying them as deeply as he could, and closing his mind over them like the lid of a box.

可是那些隧道,还有……一个黑色的棺材盒子,这也是梦吗?他的头还是很疼,可他还感到有些奇怪的麻木,似乎在伤口上放了一块冰的感觉。这梦看起来也太真实了。现在,这场梦距离他已经很遥远了,他记不清了,也毫无意义——似乎是在他的授意下,这无比黑暗的恐惧和痛苦使他感到的悲痛,已经如烟般消散了——或者,至少是,在他的希望中,这悲痛已经消失了。他把这些记忆深埋下去,埋到非常非常深的地方,他把自己的思想封闭了,就象是关上盒盖一样,将这些记忆封闭在里面。

It's not as though I don't have enough things to worry about.... The bright sun of Belthainn Day had smoothed some of the kinks from his muscles, but he was still sore... and very hungry. He clambered stiffly to his feet and brushed the clinging grass from his tattered, mud-smeared clothes. He stole another look at Thisterborg. Did the ashes of a great fire still smolder among the stones there? Or had the shattering events of the day before pushed him for a while into madness? The hill stood, impassive; whatever secrets might lurk beneath the cloak of trees, or nestle in the crown of stones, Simon did not want to know. There were already too many hollows that needed filling.

就象是我有时间去担心这些事情似的……。Belthainn节日这一天明亮的太阳,使他的肌肉放松下来,但是他还是觉得身上很疼……而且他也很饿。他僵硬地爬起身来,从褴缕的、满是泥土的衣服上,将缠绕在上面的青草拂了下去。他再次悄悄看了看Thisterborg山。在那些石头中间,那堆篝火的灰烬,是不是还在散发着余热?还是,前一晚他已经记不清楚的经历,使他有那么一阵儿是疯了吗,那篝火只不过是他疯狂的幻想?山,冷漠地站在那里;不管那些覆盖着这座山的树林下,隐藏了什么秘密,或是这秘密,隐藏在那些山顶的石头中,Simon都不想去探个究竟了。现在,他身上已经有很多空出来的地方需要去填满了。

Turning his back on Thisterborg, he faced across the downs to the dark breakfront of the forest. Staring across the vast expanse of open land, he felt a deep sorrow welling up within him, and pity for himself. He was so alone! They had taken everything from him, and left him without a home or friends. He slapped his hands together in anger and felt the palms sting. Later! Later he would cry; now he had to be a man. But it was all so horribly unfair!

转身背向着Thisterborg山,他将目光从这一片小山丘穿过,面对着那一处突出的黑色森林。看着面前这一片辽阔的土地,他觉得自己心里非常非常悲伤,他非常可怜自己。他如今是多么的孤单!那些人将他一切都夺走了,剩下他一个人,没有家,也没有朋友。他生气地拍了一下双手,觉得手掌很疼。再晚一会儿!再晚一会儿他再哭吧;现在,他要象男子汉一样坚强。可这一切又是如此如此的不公平!

He breathed in and out deeply, and looked again to the distant woods. Somewhere near that thin line of shadow, he knew, ran the Old Forest Road. It rolled for miles along Aldheorte's southern perimeter, sometimes at a distance, sometimes sidling up close to the old trees like a teasing child. In other places it actually passed beneath the forest's eaves, winding through dark bowers and silent, sun-arrowed clearings. A few small villages and an occasional roadhouse nestled in the forest's shadow.

他深深地呼吸着,再次看看那个遥远的树林。他知道,在树林的那排阴影的边儿上,不远的地方,就是古老的Forest路。这条路沿着Aldheorte森林延伸一段距离,这条路,有的地段,离森林很远,有的地段,象个顽皮的孩子,紧贴着这些古老的树林。还有一些地段,这条路实际上在森林中的那些树枝下穿过,环绕着那些黑色的树荫,还有寂静的、透出很细的阳光的空地。在这森林的阴影处,散布着几处小小的村落,还有随意搭建的酒馆。

Perhaps I can find some work to do—even to earn a meal, anyway. I feel hungry as a bear... a just-woken bear, at that. Starved! I haven't eaten since before... before...

可能我能找到什么活儿干——即使是只挣一顿饭也行啊。我觉得自己饿得象头熊……偏偏还是一头刚刚醒来的熊。我还没有吃过一顿饭哩,自从……自从……

He bit his lip, hard. There was nothing else to do but start walking.

他用力咬咬嘴唇。除了立刻迈起脚步,他还是什么也别想,什么也别做了。


The touch of the sun felt like a benediction. As it warmed his sore body, it seemed also to cut a little way through the clinging, troubling pall of his thoughts. In a way he felt new-bom, like the colt Shem had brought him to see last spring, all shaky legs and curiosity. But the new strangeness of the world was not all innocent; something strange and secretive lurked behind the bright tapestry laid out before him; the colors were almost too bright, the scents and sounds over-sweet.

沐浴在这阳光下,如同沐浴在祝福中。阳光晒得他酸疼的身体暖洋洋的,似乎与此同时,也在他那混乱、厌倦的思绪中,冲出了细微的一条小道。他觉得自己仿佛得到了新生,就象去年春天,Shem带他去看的那只小马,四肢颤抖,充满了好奇。但是他以崭新的目光,所看到的这个奇怪世界,并不是完美无暇的;铺在他面前的遍洒的阳光的草地背后,潜伏着奇怪的、秘密的什么东西;这地上的阳光真是太亮了,发出的气味和声音,也太甜美了。

He was soon uncomfortably aware of Morgenes' manuscript tucked into his waistband, but after he had tried carrying the sheaf of parchment in his sweating palms for a few hundred paces he gave up and slipped it back under his belt. The old man had asked him to save the thing, and save it he would. He pushed his shirttail behind it to ease the rubbing.

很快,他觉得有些不太舒服,因为Morgenes的手稿塞在他的腰带里,顶得他难受,可当他用出汗的双手,将这一捆手稿拿着,走了几百步以后,他就放弃了,再次把手稿塞进腰带下。那个老人曾经嘱咐他,一定要保护好这手稿,他会尽全力保护好它的。他将衣服的下摆塞在这手稿下面,减少手稿对他身体的摩擦。

When he tired of searching patiently for places to ford the small streams that webbed the meadows he took off his shoes. The smell of the grasslands and the moist Maia air, untrustworthy indicators though they were, nevertheless went some way toward keeping his thoughts from straying toward the black, hurting places; the feel of mud between his toes helped, too.

他脱下鞋子,在这草地上蛛网状遍布的细小的溪流中跋涉,当心地寻找着可以下脚的地方。虽然,这草地的气息,潮湿的Maia月的空气,还有他脚下踩着的泥土,都未必完全可靠地标示着这些溪流的地点,他必须要精神高度集中,才能不至于踩到溪水中,如此以来,他的思绪就不会游离着,去回想脑海里那些黑暗的、刺痛的记忆。

Before long he reached the Old Forest Road. Instead of continuing along the road itself, which was wide and muddy and scored with the rain-filled ruts of wagon wheels, Simon turned west and accompanied its passage atop the high grass bank. Below him white asphodels and blue gillyflowers stood abashed and unprotected between the wheelmarks, as though surprised in the midst of a slow pilgrimage from one bank to the other. Puddles caught the sky's afternoon blue, and the humble mud seemed studded with shining glass.

不久以后,他就走近了古老的森林之路。这条很宽的道路上,充满泥泞,而且到处都是积着雨水的车轮印,于是,Simon并不是在这条森林之路上,继续向前走,而是转而向西,爬上了一片高高的草坡,而且顺着森林之路的方向,向前走去。在他的脚下,是白色的常春花,和蓝色的紫罗兰,在车轮印之间,显得不安,而没有任何防护,就象是奇怪,这个从一处草坡走向另一处草坡的朝圣者,从它们中间慢慢地跨过去,动作是那么的小心翼翼。水坑里,倒映着午后蔚蓝的天空,这些原本卑微的泥土上,象是嵌满了闪光的玻璃。

A furlong away across the road the trees of Aldheorte stood in endless formation hke an army asleep on its feet. Darknesses so complete that they might have been portals into the earth gaped between some of the trunks. In other places were things that must be woodcutter's huts, noticeably angular against the forest's graceful lines.

在这条森林之路的对面,一弗隆远的地方,就是Aldheorte森林,它的那些一望无际的树木,排列森然有序,就象是睡在森林脚边的一支军队。一些树木中间,那些漆黑的裂缝,就如同是可以钻入地底的入口。而这树木中的其他一些地方,有一些伐木者的小屋,在这片森林优美的线条里,呈现出非常突出的角度。

Walking, staring at the interminable forest porch, Simon tripped over a berry-bush and painfully scratched both his feet. As soon as he realized what he had stumbled over, he stopped cursing. Most of the berries were still green, but enough had ripened that his cheeks and chin were thoroughly stained with berry juice when he continued on some minutes later, chewing contentedly. The berries were not quite sweet yet, but still they seemed the first serious argument he had found in a long time for the benevolent ordering of Creation. When he finished, he wiped his hands on his ruined shirt.

Simon一边走路,一边盯着森林无边无际的外围,他绊倒在一片低矮的浆果丛中,双脚被树枝刮疼了。当他一弄清楚,自己是绊倒在了什么东西上面,他就不再咒骂了。这些浆果虽然很多尚未完全成熟,但也熟得可以吃了,他满足地大嚼了几分钟以后,他的脸颊和下颏,就全都沾满了浆果汁。虽然这些浆果不是很甜,但,这是他长时间里,所发现的造物主的第一次慷慨的赏赐,于是,他不再埋怨造物主的不公。当他吃得差不多了,就用破烂的、沾满浆果汁的衣服擦干了双手。

As the road, with Simon for company, began to mount a long track of rising ground, definite evidence of human habitation finally appeared. Here and there in the southerly distance the rough spines of split-wood fences pushed up from the high grass; beyond these weathered boundary wardens were indistinct figures moving in the slow rhythms of planting, putting down the spring peas. Somewhere nearby, others would be moving deliberately down the rows plying the weed hooks, doing their best to save the fruits of a bad year. The younger folk would be up on the cottage roofs, turning back the thatch, beating it down firmly with long sticks and pulling off the moss that had grown during the rains of Avril. He felt a strong urge to head out across the fields toward those calm, ordered farms. Someone would surely give him work, take him in... feed him.

Simon的旁边,这条路开始向上伸延到一片高出的地形,终于,出现了明显的人类的居住迹象。在南方的远处草地上,露出了一带粗糙的栅栏,每一道栅栏是用劈开的木条做成的,高高竖立在长长的青草中;在这栅栏所形成的、风吹日晒的边界线的那一边,有一些模糊不清的身影,慢慢地有节奏地犁地,种下春天的豌豆。附近,另一些人,则会挥着镰刀,奋力地清除一排排杂草,尽力使自己种下的果实,能有个良好的收成,即使遇到收成不好的年头,也会有足够的食物充饥。那些年少的人,则会爬上房顶,用长棍翻转上面的茅草,用力地将之打压结实,再拔掉屋顶上面,上个月,即Avrel月,由于连绵的雨水,而长出来的苔藓。他升起一种强烈的冲动,想直接穿过这片田野,走向那些平静的、整齐排列的农场。会有人雇他干活,领他进屋……给他饭吃。

How stupid can I be? he thought. Why don't I just walk back to the castle and stand shouting in the commons yard?! Country folk were notoriously suspicious of strangers—especially these days, with rumors of banditry and worse drifting down from the north. The Erkynguard would be looking for him, Simon felt sure. These isolated farms would be very likely to remember a red-haired young man who had recently passed by. Besides, he was in no hurry to speak to strangers, anyway—not so close to the Hayholt. Perhaps he would be better off in one of the inns that bordered the mysterious forest—if one would have him.

我怎么能这么傻呢?他想。为什么我不直接回到城堡,站在公共的大院里,直接大叫着我回来了?!乡下的人有一个坏名声,就是他们对陌生人心存疑虑——特别是在这些日子里,不断从北方传来谣言,说是有强盗出没,还有比强盗更糟的事情也在发生。另外,那些Erkynguard的卫兵正在追捕他,Simon确信这一点。这些过着隔绝生活的农场里的人,很有可能记得,最近路过了一个长着满头红发的小伙子。再说,无论如何,他自己也不想急急忙忙就跟这些陌生人搭话——至少不想同住在离Hayholt城堡这么近的人们交谈。也许,他最好是离开这里,到神秘的森林边儿上的一个酒馆去——就是说,如果有一个酒馆可以接纳他的话。

I do know something about working in kitchens, don't I? Someone will give me work... won't they?

我确实会干厨房里的活儿,不是吗?有人会给我一个工作的……不是吗?


Topping a rise, he saw the road before him intersected by a dark swath, a crease of wagon tracks that emerged from the forest and meandered south across the fields; a woodsman's road, perhaps, a route from the woodchopper's harvesting-place to the farmlands west of Erchester. Something dark stood, angular and erect, at the meeting point of the two roads. A brief twinge of fear passed through him before he realized that it was too tall an object to be someone waiting for him. He guessed it to be a scarecrow, or a roadside shrine to Elysia, the Mother of God—crossroads were infamously strange places, and the common folk often mounted a holy relic to keep away loitering ghosts.

爬上一处高坡,他看到在他面前的道路上,横穿着一条黑色的小道,这条小道,上面布了很多车辙印,从森林那边延伸过来,蜿蜒向南,穿过这片原野;可能是住在森林里的居民踩出来的一条路,从伐木工人砍树的地方,通到Erchester城镇西面的农田。在这两条路交界的地方,笔直地立着一个黑色的、有棱角的东西。他先是感到一阵恐慌,接下来,就看清楚了,这不是等着抓他的人,因为它比人的体形更加高大。他猜,那是一个稻草人,或者是上帝的母亲Elysia的一处路边的神庙——通常,在十字路口,总是会发生一些稀奇古怪的糟糕的事情,因此,平民们经常建起一处神圣的纪念物,使那些闲荡的鬼魂不至于接近。

As he neared the crossing he decided that he had been right about it being a scarecrow—the object seems to be hanging from a tree or pole, and swayed softly, breeze-blown. But as he came closer he saw it was no scarecrow. Soon he could no longer convince himself that it was anything other than what it was; the body of a man swinging from a crude gibbet.

他越是走近十字路口,就越是确信,自己没有看错,那确实是一个稻草人——这个东西看上去是悬挂在一棵树,或是一根木柱子上,被风一吹,就轻轻摇晃着。但当他走得更近的时候,他看出来,那并不是一个稻草人。很快,他就不再确信,那个东西是不是真的如自己现在所看到的;是一个悬挂在粗制的绞刑架上的尸体。

He reached the crossroad. The wind subsided; thin roadway dust hung about him in a brown cloud. He stopped to stare helplessly. The road grit settled, then leaped into swirling motion once more.

他来到了十字路口。风减弱了;小路上薄薄的灰尘在他眼前打着旋儿,就象是一片褐色的云。他不由自主停下脚步,凝神观看。被风刮起的砂砾掉落到了地上,随后,又一次迅速地飞旋起来。

The hanged man's feet, bare and swollen black, dangled at the height of Simon's shoulder. His head lolled to one side, like a puppy picked up by the neck-scruff; the birds had been at his eyes and face. A broken shingle of wood with the words "IN THE KINGS LAND" scratched upon it bumped gently against his chest; in the road below lay another piece. On it was scrawled: "POACHED FRO."

那个挂着的人的双脚,裸露着,肿成黑色,在Simon齐肩高的地方摆动着。他的头倾向一边,就象一只小狗,被人揪着脖子后面,提了起来;他的眼睛和脸,被鸟啄食了。一块破烂的木板,轻轻地抵在他的胸前,上面潦草地写着“擅入国王领地的”几个字;而在下面的路上,另一片木板掉落在那里。这块木板上凌乱地写着:“偷猎者的下场”。

Simon stepped back; an innocent breeze twisted the sagging body so that the face tipped away to stare sightlessly across the fields. He hurried across the lumber-road, tracing the four-pointed Tree on his chest as he passed through the thing's shadow. Normally such a sight would be fearful but fascinating, as dead things were, but now all he could feel was sick terror. He himself had stolen—or helped to steal—something far greater than this poor sneak thief could ever have dreamed of: he had stolen the king's brother from the king's own dungeon. How long would it be until they caught him, as they had caught this rook-eaten creature? What would his punishment be?

Simon踉跄后退;一阵单纯的微风,把这垂挂的尸体转了一个个儿,于是,它的脸倾斜到另一边,无神地看着远方的田野。Simon匆忙穿过伐木工人走的这条路,当他经过这个尸体的阴影的时候,手指在胸前打着神圣之树的手势。通常情况下,就象一般死了的东西,会使人感到害怕,但却有些着魔,然而这一刻,Simon只觉得极其恐怖。因为他自己偷了——或者说他参与偷窃了——远不是这小贼做梦所能想到的,极其重要的一个人:他从国王自己的地牢里,偷走了国王的亲弟弟。还会有多长时间,他们就会抓到他,就象他们抓住这个偷猎的人一样?等待他的,又会是什么样的惩罚呢?

He looked back once. The ruined face had swung again, as if to watch his retreat. He ran until a dip in the road had blocked the crossing from view.

他再次回头看了一眼。那张不成人形的脸再次摇摆起来,似乎是在注视着他逃离。他跑啊跑啊,直到这条路的一个倾斜的坡度,遮挡了这个十字路口,使他看不到了,他这才慢了下来。

It was late afternoon when he reached the tiny village of Flett. It was truthfully not much of a village, just an inn and a few houses crouching beside the road within a stone's-throw of the woods. No people were about except a thin woman standing in the doorway of one of the rude houses, and a pair of solemn, round-eyed children that peered out past her legs. There were, however, several horses—farm nags, mostly—tied to a log before the town's inn, the Dragon and Fisherman. As Simon walked slowly past the open door, looking cautiously all around, men's loud voices rolled out from the beery darkness, frightening him. He decided to wait and try his luck later, when there might be more customers stopping off the Old Forest Road for the night, and his dirty, tattered appearance would be less notable.

等他来到Flett这处小村镇,已经是后半晌了。这确实不能称作真正意义上的村镇,因为这里只有一个酒馆,几间房子,低矮地建在路旁,距离森林,也只有一箭之地。这里没有什么人,只有一个瘦瘦的女子,站在一个建造非常粗糙的房子的门口,两个神情严肃的、睁圆眼睛的孩子,从她的双腿后面,向外张望着。此外,这儿还有几匹马——大多是农场的驽马——拴在这个小酒馆前的一根圆木上,酒馆的名字叫:龙和渔夫。Simon慢慢从这酒馆敞开的门前走过,留神地向里面看着,从那酒馆里,如啤酒般黑暗的角落里,传来了男人们大声的喧哗声,使他有些害怕。他想等等再试试看,自己有没有好运气,等到晚上,有更多路过这古老的森林之路的人,停下来在酒馆里休息,那时,他再过来会更好一些,这样,他肮脏的、破烂的衣衫,就不会太引人注目了。

He followed the road a little farther. His stomach was rumbling, making him wish he had saved some of his berries. There were only a few more houses and a little one-room cottage-church, then the road swerved up and under the forest's eaves and Flett, such as it was, ended.

他沿着路再走远一些。他的胃在大声地叫着,他真希望,自己刚才留一些浆果就好了。这里,只有不多的几处房屋,还有一个小小的、只有一间农舍的教堂,在这里,路突然转向,在森林外层的树枝的遮掩下,起起伏伏,而Flett这个小村镇,在这里,则到了尽头。

Just past the edge of town he found a small stream gurgling along over the black, leafy soil. He knelt and drank. Ignoring the brambles and the dampness as best he could, he took his shoes back off again to use for a pillow and curled up at the base of a live oak, just out of sight of the road and the last house. He fell asleep quickly beneath the trees, a grateful guest in their cool hall.

他走过Flett村镇的边缘,发现一条小溪,汩汩流淌着,穿过黑色的、树木繁茂的土地。他跪了下来,喝了些溪水。尽力不去留意那些荆棘,和潮湿,他再次将鞋脱了下来,当作枕头,在一棵槲树下,睡了下来,而这里,刚好看不到那条路,也看不到村子的最后一处房子。他很快在这些树下睡着了,对于这些树所组成的凉爽的大厅,Simon这个来到这里的游客,心存感激。

Simon dreamed...

Simon进入了梦乡……

He found an apple lying on the ground at the foot of a great white tree, an apple so shiny and round and red that he hardly dared to bite it. But his hunger was strong, and soon he lifted it to his mouth and set his teeth in it. The taste was wonderful, all crunch and sweetness, but when he looked where he had bitten he saw the thin, slippery body of a worm coiled beneath the bright surface. He could not bear to throw the apple away, however—it was such a beautiful fruit, and he was famished. He turned it around and bit into the other side, but as his teeth met he pulled away and saw once more the sinuous body of the worm. Over and over he bit, each time in a different place, but each time the slithering thing lay beneath the skin. It seemed to have no head or tail, but only endless coils wounq around the core, spreading through the apple's cool, white flesh.

他看到,一棵巨大的白色的树的下面,靠*近树根的地方,有一只苹果,这苹果光泽耀眼,又圆又红,他甚至都不敢去咬一口。但是他太饿了,很快,他就把这只苹果举到嘴边,咬了上去。这味道太美了,嚼起来又脆又甜,但是,当他把目光落在刚才咬过的地方,他看到,有一只死去的、细小的、光滑的虫子,卷曲在这光滑的苹果皮的下面。然而,他却不忍心把这只苹果扔掉——因为这苹果太美了,而且他也太饿了。他把苹果转过去,在另一边咬了一口,但是当他的牙齿咬到苹果的时候,他马上松开了口,这次,他又看到了那个卷曲的虫子的尸体。每一次他去咬苹果的时候,都咬在苹果上不同的部位,但每次,他会看到,苹果皮下面,总会有这只光滑的虫子。这虫子似乎没有头,也没有尾巴,只是无休无止地缠绕着果核,从苹果凉凉的、白色的果肉间穿过。

Simon awoke beneath the trees with an aching head and a sour taste in his mouth. He went to the streamlet to drink, feeling faint and weak of spirit. When had anyone ever been so alone? The slanting afternoon light did not touch the sunken surface of the creek; as he kneeled for a moment staring down into the murmuring dark water, he felt he had been in a place like this before. As he wondered, the soft wind-speech of the trees was overwhelmed by a rising murmur of voices. For a moment he feared he was dreaming again, but as he turned he saw a crowd of people, a score at least, coming up the Old Forest Road toward Flett. Still in the shadow of the trees, he moved forward to watch them, drying his mouth with the arm of his shirt.

他在树下醒了过来,头疼欲裂,嘴里有着酸酸的味道。他跑到溪水边去喝水,觉得自己心里虚弱无力。有没有人曾经经历过同样的孤单?下午的阳光,向地平线倾斜过去,但是还没有照射到这条小溪凹陷的表面;他在那里跪了很长时间,垂头看着这黑色的潺潺流水,他觉得自己曾经来过这里。正在他困惑的时候,树林中吹拂的柔柔风声,被一阵越来越响的喃喃交谈声,压了下去。有一会儿,他担心自己又在做梦了,但是当他转过身子,他看到了一群人,至少有二十个人,走上了古老的森林之路,朝着Flett村镇走来。Simon抬起胳膊,用衣袖擦干嘴,他走近些,想好好看看这些人,而这时,他并没有离开树荫。


The marchers were peasant folk, dressed in the rough cotsman's cloth of the district, but with a festive air. The women had ribbons twined in their unpinned hair, blue and gold and green. Skirts twirled about bare ankles. Some who ran in front carried flower petals in their aprons which they cast fluttering to the ground. The men, some young and lightfooted, some limping gaffers, carried on their shoulders a felled tree. Its branches were as ribbon-festooned as the women, and the menfolk held it high, swinging it jauntily as they came up the road.

走过来的这些人,是一群农民,他们身穿当地简朴的农家衣服,但在装饰上颇带着些节日氛围。女人们散着的长发上,系着蓝色、金色、红色的缎带,裙边儿在裸*露的脚踝处旋转。那些跑在前面的女人们,用围裙兜着盛开的花瓣,一路行来,便将花瓣洒了一路。男人们中间,有步伐轻巧的年轻小伙儿,也有步履蹒跚的老人,他们的肩头,扛着一棵砍下来的树。这树的枝条上,也如同那些女人们一样,用彩色的缎带,打起许多花结,男人们将这棵树高高抬起,兴高彩烈地摇摆着,一路走来。

Simon smiled weakly. The Maia-tree! Of course. It was Belthainn Day today, and they were bringing the Maia-tree. He had often watched the tree go up in Erchester's Battle Square.

Simon无力地微笑着。这当然是Maia之树!今天是Belthainn节,他们扛着的是Maia之树。他过去经常在Erchester的战争广场上,看到这棵树竖在那儿。

Suddenly his smile felt too wide. He was lightheaded. He crouched lower among the concealing brush.

突然间,他觉得自己笑得有点太厉害了。他感到有些头晕目眩。于是,他俯下身来,蹲在一丛隐蔽的树丛后。

Now the women were singing, their sweet voices mixing unevenly as the throng danced and whirled.

这会儿,那些女人们唱起歌来,她们边跳舞,边旋转着,她们甜美的歌喉,由于这些动作而起伏不定。

"Come now to the Breredon,
Come to the Hill of Briars!
Put on your merry flower-crown!
Come dance beside my fire!"

“快快过来吧,来到 Breredon,
快快过来吧,来到这开满石南花的山上!
快快带上你美丽的花冠!
来到我的火堆旁,尽情舞蹈吧!”

The men replied, voices ragged and cheerful:

男人们应和着,唱起喧闹而欢乐的歌:

"I'll dance before your fire, lass,
Then, in the forest's shadow
We'll lay a bed of blossoms down
And put an end to sorrow!"

“我要在你的火堆前跳上一曲,我的爱人,
我要在森林的树荫下跳上一曲
我们要躺在鲜花盛开的山丘上
从此我们远离悲伤!”

Both together sang the refrain:

接下来,所有的人都合唱起来:

"So stand beneath this Yrmansol
Sing hey-up! Hey-yarrow!
Stand beneath the Maia-pole
Sing hey-up! God is growing!"

“我们站在Yrmanso下
我们唱着,嗨——来吧!嗨——美丽的蓍草!
我们站在这Maia月的树下
我们唱着,嗨——来吧!上帝在这棵树下成长!”

The women were beginning another verse, one about hollyhock and lily-leaves and the King of Flowers, as the noisy band drew abreast of Simon. Caught up for a moment in the high spirits, his dizzy head full of the exuberant music, he began to push forward. Not ten paces away on the sun-blotted road one of the men nearest him stumbled, a trailing ribbon coiled about his eyes. A companion helped him to disentangle himself, and as he pulled the gold streamer loose his whiskery face creased in a broad grin. For some reason the flash of laughing teeth held Simon a step short of leaving the concealment of the trees.

当这些引吭高歌的人们,从Simon身边走过的时候,女人们唱起了另一首歌,一首关于蜀葵、百合花,和花之王的歌谣。Simon被歌声引得兴高彩烈,这些动人的歌声,塞满了他晕晕的脑袋,于是,他也迈步走了过去。在离他不到十步远的地方,那阳光斑驳的路上,距他最近的一个人绊了一脚,因为一条长长的缎带扑到他的眼睛上,挡住了他的视线。他的一个同伴帮他一起将缎带从眼睛上移开,当他捏着这条金色的彩带,把它移到一边的时候,他那满是胡须的脸上,露出了灿烂的笑容。他大笑着露出的牙齿,不知怎么地,使Simon停下了脚步,而这时,他只需再跨前一步,就从遮挡他的树丛后出来了。

What am I doing!? he berated himself. The first sound of friendly voices and I go bounding out into the open? These people are merrymakers, but a hound will play with his master, too—and woe to the stranger that comes up unannounced.

我这是在干什么呀!?他责备着自己。头一回听到亲切的声音,我就什么也不顾地,要冲到他们面前?这些人只不过是在寻欢作乐,可就是一只猎狗,也会在它主人跟前撒欢儿呀——可一见到一个突然出现的陌生人,还是会咬上一口。

The man he had been watching shouted something to his companion which Simon could not hear over the din of the crowd, then turned and held up a ribbon, shouting to someone else. The tree jounced along, and when the procession's last stragglers had passed, Simon slipped out on to the road and followed—a thin, rag-wrapped figure, he might have been the tree's mournful spirit wistfully pursuing its stolen home.

他刚才一直在看着的那个人,向他的同伴叫嚷着什么,在这人群的喧闹声中,Simon听不清他叫的是什么,接着,这个人转过头,拿起一条缎带,又向另一个人叫嚷起来。那棵树在人们肩头颠簸着,随着人群向前移动,当这支队伍中,落在最后的一个人也走到前面以后,Simon悄悄从树丛后溜了出来,来到了路上,在这些人身后跟着——由于他身形消瘦,衣服破烂不堪,他就如同是这棵树的悲哀的灵魂,带着渴望,追寻着它失去的家园。


The lurching parade turned up a small hill behind the church. Across the broad fields the last splinter of sun was vanishing fast; the shadow of the church's rooftop Tree lay across the hillock like a long, curve-hilted knife. Not knowing what was planned, Simon hung well back of the group as they carried the tree up the slight rise, stumbling and catching on the new-sprung briars. At the to) the men gathered, sweaty and full of loud jests, and levered the trunk upright into a hole dug there. Then, while some held the swaying bulk steady, others shored up the base with stones. At last they stepped back. The Maia-tree tottered a bit, then tipped slightly to one side, drawing a gasp of apprehensive laughter from the crowd. It held, only slightly out of plumb; a great cheer went up. Simon, in the tree-shadows, gave voice himself to a small, happy noise, then had to retreat into hiding as his throat tightened. He coughed until blackness fluttered before his eyes: it had been nearly a full day since he had uttered a spoken word.

这些边走边跳、步态不稳的人们,来到了教堂后面,他们转而爬上了一座小山。洒落在这宽阔原野上的最后一道阳光,很快消散了;教堂屋顶上,神树状的架子,将影子投射在山丘上,就象一只长长的、弯柄的刀。Simon不知道这些人想要干什么,他便悄悄跟在这些人的身后,在他的前面,这些人抬着树,爬上这座小山,他们在刚刚盛开的石南花丛中,磕磕绊绊地走着。到了山顶以后,男人们聚在一起,浑身是汗,大声开着玩笑,将这棵树立在山顶上挖好的坑里。接下来,有些人将摇摆的树干扶稳,其他人则将石头堆在树旁,固定这棵树。他们将树固定好以后,退到一旁。Maia之树稍微晃了一下,轻微地向一方倾斜过去,人们一下子哄笑了起来。好在,树只是稍微倾斜了一点儿,整体上说还是比较垂直的,因此,人们又高兴地发出欢呼声。躲在树荫后的Simon,这时也兴奋地小声叫了起来,随后,他嗓子一紧,这声音又被堵回了喉咙里。他不住地咳嗽起来,等他停止咳嗽的时候,他的眼前,不停地闪烁起了一个个的小黑点:几乎有整整一天的时间,他都没有讲过话了,所以这会儿猛地发出声音,喉咙有些不能适应。

Eyes watering, he crept back out. A fire had been kindled at the hill's foot. With its highest point painted by the sunset, and the flames jigging down below, the tree seemed a torch fired at both ends. Irresistibly drawn by the scent of food, Simon moved near to the gaffers and gossips who were spreading cloths and laying supper by the stone wall behind the little church. He was surprised and disappointed to see how meager the stores were—slim rewards for a festival day, and, dreadful luck, an even slimmer chance of him making off with any unnoticed.

这阵剧烈的咳嗽,呛出了他的眼泪,他矮下身子,向后退去。山脚下,篝火已经点燃。这棵节日之树,高高的尖端被夕阳的余辉所浸染,而它的下面,冉冉的篝火,也将摇曳的火光送了上来,于是,看上去,似乎树梢和树根,都被通明的火把照亮了。不由自主地被食物的香味吸引着,Simon走近了老人们,和闲聊着的那些人中间,这些人,靠*近这小小教堂的石砌的后墙,铺起了布,摆出了晚餐。Simon又惊奇又失望地发现,这些吃的东西真是太少了——对于这个欢庆的节日来说,这么点儿食物可真是太微薄的酬劳了,再说,他的运气实在是太坏了,他根本就不可能在无人发现的情况下,偷出来一点儿吃的。

The younger men and women had begun to dance around the base of the Maia-tree, trying to make a ring. The circle, with drunken tumbling-down-the-hill and other impediments, never became completely joined; the spectators whooped to see the dancers vainly reaching for a hand to close on as they whirled giddily by. One by one the merrymakers reeled away from the dance, staggering, sometimes rolling down the low hill to lie at the bottom laughing helplessly. Simon ached to join them.

年轻的小伙儿和姑娘们,在Maia之树的四周,跳起了舞蹈。他们本想围成一个圆圈,但由于有些地方需要东倒西歪地连到山下,有些地方又满是无法越过的障碍,因此,这圆圈到最后也没有连接起来;眼看着跳舞的人们旋转交错的瞬间,伸出手想拉住对方,却还是徒劳而返,旁观者们大叫着叹息。这些欢快跳舞的人们,一个一个从舞蹈的队列中,步伐踉跄地被甩了开来,有时他们脚步趔趄,站立不稳,有时则直接滚到了这低矮的山下,躺在山脚情不自禁地大笑。Simon忍不住也想上前和他们一起跳起来。

Soon knots of people were sitting all about the grass and along the wall. The highest tip of the tree was a ruby spearhead, capturing the sun's final rays. One of the men at the base of the hill brought out a shinbone flute and began to play. A gradual silence descended as he piped, touched only by whispers and an occasional squeak of muffled laughter. At last the breathing blue darkness surrounded them all. The plaintive voice of the flute soared above, like the spirit of a melancholy bird, A young woman, black-haired and thin-faced, got to her feet, steadying herself on the shoulder of her young man. Swaying gently, like a slim birch tree in the wind's path, she began to sing; Simon felt the great hollowness inside himself open up to the song, to the evening, to the patient, contented smell of the grass and other growing things.

不久,人们三五成群地,或坐在草地上,或坐在石墙下。树梢,在落日的余辉里,象一个红宝石做的矛尖,闪着光彩。山脚下,一个男子拿出一枝骨制长笛,吹奏起来。乐曲声中,四周逐渐沉寂下来,偶尔,只有一些低语声,或是抑制着的笑声。最后,微蓝的夜色包围了他们。长笛的悲伤的乐曲,越拔越高,就象一只忧郁的鸟儿的灵魂,在空中越飞越高,一个黑色长发、削瘦面庞的年轻女孩,站了起来,倚在她年轻的爱人的肩头,轻轻摇动着身体,象一棵修长的白桦树,在起风的小路上摇摆着,她唱起歌来;Simon觉得,自己空着的腹部,似乎敞开着,去接纳这歌声,这夜晚,还有这青草、以及其他充满了生命活力的动植物,那抚慰的、安心的味道。

"O faithful friend, O Linden tree."

“哦,我忠实的朋友,哦,我的菩提树。”

she sang,

她唱道,

"That sheltered me when I was young,
O tell me of my faithless one
Befriend again to me.

“在我年少的时候,曾为我遮风挡雨的菩提树,
哦,如今它告诉我,我爱着的那个人,对我是何等的不忠
这棵树,再一次给了我朋友般的温暖。

The one who was my heart's desire
Who promised all for all in turn
Has left me lorn, my heart has spurned
And made of Love a liar.

我心爱的那个人
他保证过,要回报我全部的爱意
但他离开了我,留下我孤单无依,我的心也被他抛弃
他使我觉得,爱情,就是一个谎言

Where has he gone, O Linden tree?
Into the arms of what sweet friend?
What call will bring him back again?
O spy him out for me!

他去哪儿了,哦,我的菩提树?
他投入了哪个甜蜜爱人的臂弯?
我要怎样的呼唤,才能使他回转?
哦,我的菩提树,请为我监视他的行踪!

Ask me not that, my mistress fair
I'd fain not make answer to you.
For I could only answer true
And I would your feelings spare.

不要问我原因,我美丽的女神
因为我不愿,告诉你答案。
因为如果我开口,我不会将真相隐瞒
我也不想让你,体会我的伤心。

Deny me not. O Linden tall
Tell me who holds him close tonight!
What woman has o'erthrown my right?
Who keeps him from my call?

不要拒绝我的请求。哦,高高的菩提树
告诉我今晚,他躺入了谁的怀抱!
哪一个女子,拥有我失去的特权?
什么人,让他不再理睬我的呼唤?

O mistress fair, then truth HI tell
He'll not to you come anymore.
Tonight he walked the river shore
And stumbled there and fell.

哦,我美丽的女神,让我告诉你事实的真相
他不会再回到你的身边。
今晚,当他从河边走过的时候
他失了足,掉落进了水里面。

The river-woman now he holds
And she in turn holds fast to him.
But she will send him back again
All river-wet and cold.

现在,他抱着的水中的女神
作为回报,她也紧紧地将他拥抱。
但有一天,她会将他再次送回
那时,湿漉漉的河水浸满了他的全身,他的身体冰冷,没有气息。

Thus will he come from there again.
All river-wet and cold..."

有一天,他会再次回来
那时,湿漉漉的河水浸满了他的全身,他的身体冰冷,没有气息。”

As the black-haired girl sat down again the fire crackled and spat, as if in mockery of such a damp, tender song.

黑发的少女坐了下来,篝火发出噼啪的响声,似乎在嘲笑这首歌,是那么的忧郁、忧伤。

Simon hurried away from the fire, his eyes filling with tears. The woman's voice had awakened in him a fierce hunger for his home; for the joking voices of the scullions, the offhand kindnesses of the chambermaids, his bed, his moat, the long, sun-speckled expanse of Morgenes' chambers, even—he was chagrined to realize—the stern presence of Rachel the Dragon.

Simon匆忙离开了火堆,他的眼中充满了泪水。这女子的歌声唤醒了他内心的极度渴望,他渴望再次回到他的家里;他渴望再次听到,厨房里的仆人们,开着戏谑的玩笑,他渴望再次体验,女仆们突如其来的一阵关心,他渴望再次见到他的小床,他的护城河,还有Morgenes那长长的、遍洒阳光的居室,甚至——他非常懊恼地发现——自己还极度渴望见到,龙,Rachel,那严厉的面容。

The murmurs and laughter behind him filled the spring darkness like the whir of soft wings.

在他身后,低语声和欢笑声,就象是昆虫扇动着的柔软的翼,将声音洒满了这春天的夜晚。


A score or so of people were in the street before the church. Most of them, in knots of two or three or four, seemed headed through the settling darkness toward the Dragon and Fisherman. Firelight glowed within the door there, stippling the loiterers on the porch with yellow light. As Simon approached, still wiping at his eyes, the odors of meat and brown ale rolled over him like an ocean wave. He walked slowly, several paces behind the last group, wondering if he should ask for work right off, or just wait in the sociable warmth until later, when the innkeeper might have a moment to speak with him and see that he was a trustworthy lad. It made him fearful just to think about asking a stranger to take him in, but what else could he do? Sleep in the forest like a beast?

教堂前的街道上,大约走着二十多个人。其中的许多人,或三,或两,或四个一起,穿过黑夜,向龙和渔夫这个酒馆走去。酒馆的门里,散发出了火光,黄色的光,照亮了门廊上的闲逛的人们。Simon不停地擦着眼睛,走近酒馆,在他四周,肉味儿,还有褐色啤酒的味道,就象海浪一样席卷过来。他走得很慢,跟在最后几个人的身后面,距离他们几步之隔,他拿不定主意,自己是一进酒馆就去问能不能找到活干,还是先在这热闹温暖的酒馆里等等,等这酒馆的店主有机会跟他搭一会儿话,知道了他是一个信得过的小伙儿,再后再问能不能找到事做。哪怕他只是想找一个陌生人同意收留他,这个想法就让他非常不安,但他又能怎么样呢?总不能象个野兽那样,睡在森林里吧?

As he squirmed through a clump of drunken farmers arguing the merits of late-season shearing, he nearly tripped over a dark figure huddled against the wall beneath the inn's swinging sign. A round pink face with small dark eyes turned up to stare at him. Simon mumbled noises of apology, and was moving on when he remembered.

几个喝醉了的农民,正在争论着,春季下旬剪羊毛,都有什么好处,Simon从他们中间挤了过去,在这酒馆招展的酒幌下,一个黑色的身影,倚着墙壁蜷缩着,Simon差点儿给绊倒。这个身影抬起头,露出了他红润的圆脸,他那一双小小的黑色眼睛,看着Simon。Simon低声地道着歉,抬腿要走,却突然想了起来。

"I know you!" he said to the crouching figure; the dark eyes widened as if in alarm. "You're the friar I met in the Main Row! Brother... Brother Cadrach?"

“我认识你!”他对这蜷缩着的人说;那个人的黑眼睛大瞪了起来,似乎充满了警觉。“你是我在主街区碰到过的修道士!修道士……修道士Cadrach?”

Cadrach, who for a brief moment had looked as though he might scramble away on hands and knees, narrowed his eyes to stare in turn.

Cadrach,有那么一会儿,他看上去象是要手脚并用地爬到一边儿,这时眯起眼睛仔细看着Simon。

"Don't you remember me?" he said excitedly. The sight of a familiar face was as heady as wine. "My name is Simon." A couple of the farmers turned to look blearily and incuriously in their direction, and he felt a stab of fright, remembering that he was a fugitive. "My name is Simon," he repeated in a softer voice.

“你不记得我了?”他兴奋地说。看到一个熟悉的面孔,就象喝上一口烈酒一样让人激动。“我叫Simon。”几个农民转头,目光迷离、全无好奇地朝这边看看,这时,他突然升起一阵恐惧,记起来自己是个逃犯。“我叫Simon,”他低声重复。

A look of recognition, and something else, passed over the monk's plump face. "Simon! Ah, of course, boy! What brings you, then, up from the great Erchester to dismal little Flett?" With the aid of a long stick that had been leaning against the wall beside him, Cadrach climbed to his feet.

这修道士圆胖胖的脸上,现出了恍然大悟的神情,还有一些说不出的表情,也从他脸上掠过。“Simon!啊,我当然还记得,孩子!那么,你怎么来到了这里,从伟大的Erchester,来到了这不起眼儿的小小Flett?”Cadrach拿起靠*墙放着一根长棍,支撑着身子,站了起来。

"Well..." Simon was nonplussed.

“嗯……” Simon不知该怎么回答。

Yes, what have you been doing, you idiot, that you should strike up conversation with near-strangers. Think, stupid! Morgenes tried to tell you that this was no game.

真是的,你看你干了什么,你这傻瓜,这样一来,你就要跟这个不太熟悉的人,攀谈起来了。想想吧,傻瓜!Morgenes一直想让你明白,你所做的事情不仅仅是一场轻松的游戏。

"I have been on an errand... for some people at the castle..."

“他们差遣我到这里来的……城堡里的那些人差我来这儿做点儿事儿……”

"And you decided to take the small bit of money left to you and stop at the famous Dragon and Fisherman," Cadrach made a wry face, "and have a bit of something to eat," Before Simon could correct him, or decide if he wanted to, the monk continued. "What you should be after, then, is taking your supper with me, and let me pay your count—no, no, lad, I insist! It is only a fairness, after the kindly ways you showed to a stranger." Simon could not utter a word before Brother Cadrach had his arm, pulling him into the public room.

“于是,你就想拿着办完差事的那点儿余钱,来到这出了名的龙和渔夫酒馆,再也迈不开步子了,”Cadrach做了个鬼脸儿,“你还想在这儿吃点儿什么,”不等Simon纠正他的话,而Simon此时也拿不定主意要不要纠正他,这个修道士又继续说了下去。“那么接下来你该做什么的,那就是跟我一起吃晚饭,然后你的饭钱就让我来付吧——不,不,孩子,不要跟我争了!你当初对我这个陌生人曾经非常地友好,我替你付这顿饭钱也是应该的。”Simon还来不及说一个字,就被Cadrach修道士抓住他的胳膊,拉着他走进了酒馆的前厅。


A few faces turned as they entered, but no one's eyes lingered. The room was long and low-ceilinged, lined along both walls with tables and benches so wine-stained, hacked, and carved-upon that they seemed held together only by the dried gravy and suet with which they were so generously splattered. At the end nearest the door a roaring fire burned in a wide stone fireplace. A sooty, sweating peasant lad was turning a joint of beef on a spit; he winced as the dripping fat made the flames sizzle. To Simon it all suddenly looked and smelled like heaven.

他们进去的时候,有几个人转头看看他们,随即就把目光移开了。这个前厅很深,天花板很低,靠*着墙边儿的桌椅上,满是酒污,破旧不堪,斑斑点点,好象是那些大量泼洒在上面的干了的肉汁、牛油,将这些木板沾在了一起,凑成了这些桌椅。前厅的那头,靠*近门的地方,一处石制的宽大的壁炉,燃烧着很旺的火焰。一个被煤烟熏黑的、浑身是汗的乡下小伙儿,正将火上烧的一大块牛肉,在穿着它的铁签上,翻了个个儿;牛肉滴到火里的油,使这火焰咝咝作响,这小伙儿向后躲了一下。这里的一切,在Simon看起来,闻起来,简直是置身天堂。

Cadrach dragged him to a spot along the back wall; the tabletop was so cracked and pitted that it hurt to rest his skinned elbows on its surface. The monk took the seat across from him, leaning back against the wall and extending his legs down the length of the bench. Instead of the sandals that Simon would have expected, the friar wore ragged boots, splitting from weather and hard use.

Cadrach扯着他,来到了挨着里面这道墙的一处座位;这桌面上满是裂缝,还有划痕,当Simon将皮包骨头的双肘放上去的时候,这桌面难受得吱吱作响。修道士在他对面坐了下来。这修道士并非如Simon想象的那样,穿着凉鞋,而是穿着一对磨旧的靴子,一看就是穿了很长时间,风吹日晒地有了不少裂缝。

"Innkeeper! Where are you, worthy publican?!" Cadrach called. A pair of beetle-browed, blue-jawed locals that Simon would have sworn were twins looked over from the opposite table with annoyance written in every facial furrow. After a little wait the owner appeared, a barrel-chested, bearded man with a deep scar across his nose and upper lip.

“店主!你在哪儿啊,我们尊敬的酒馆老板?!”Cadrach大叫起来。对面桌子上,两个浓眉的、下颏发青的当地人向这边儿看了过来,Simon确信,那必定是一对双胞胎,这两个人面带皱纹的脸上,现出了厌恶的神情。过了一会儿,店主人出现了,他是一个胸部发达、长满胡须的人,从他的鼻梁到上嘴唇,有一道深深的疤痕。

"Ah, there you are," said Cadrach. "Bless you, my son, and bring us each a mug of your best ale. Then, will you be so good as to carve us off some of that joint—that, and two trenchers of bread to sop with. Thanks to you, laddie."

“啊,你在这儿啊,”Cadrach说。“上帝保佑你,我的孩子,把你最好的啤酒,给我们一人来上一杯。还有,你能不能好心地给我们切点儿烤牛肉——再来两盘面包,让我们沾着肉汁吃。麻烦你了,老弟。”

The owner frowned at Cadrach's words, but nodded his head curtly and walked away. As he left, Simon heard him grumble:

店主听着Cadrach的话,皱着眉,可他还是略微点了点头,走开了。Simon听到,他在离开的时候,嘴里嘟哝着:

"... Hernystiri buggerer..."

“……这个该死的Hernystiri人……”

The ale came soon, and then the meat, then more ale. At first Simon ate like a starving dog, but after easing his initial, desperate hunger, and looking about the room to make sure no one was paying them undue attention, he slowed his pace and began to attend to Brother Cadrach's meandering conversation.

啤酒很快就端了上来,接着,肉也上了过来,随后又上了啤酒。一开始,Simon就象只饿狗,狼吞虎咽地吃着,而,当他一开始要命的饥饿稍稍平息了之后,他就打量着四周,等他确定了没有人特别留意地观察他们以后,就放慢了吃饭的速度,开始去听Cadrach兄弟漫无边际地闲扯。

The Hernystirman was a wonderful storyteller, despite the burr of his accent that sometimes made him a little difficult to understand. Simon was vastly amused by the tale of the harper Ithineg and his long, long night, despite being a bit shocked to hear such a story told by a man of the cloth. He laughed so hard at the adventures of Red Hathrayhinn and the Sithi woman Finaju that he sprayed ale over his already stained shirt.

这个Hernystirman人真是个口才好的讲故事的人,虽然有时候,他的喉音使Simon不太能理解他的意思。那个关于竖琴师Ithineg、还有他度过的漫漫长夜的故事,使Simon听得入了迷,虽说听到这样一个故事竟然出自一个修道士之口,使他有些惊异,可他还是觉得这个故事很有趣。于是,当听修道士讲起,Red Hathrayhinn和Sithi精灵族的女子Finaju的冒险故事的时候,他捧腹大笑,结果把酒都喷到了他那已经满是污渍的衣服上了。

They had lingered a long while; the inn was half-empty when the bearded innkeeper finished filling their mugs for the fourth time. Cadrach, with broad gesticulation, was telling Simon of a fight he had once witnessed on the docks of Ansis Pelippe in Perdmin. Two monks, he explained, had cudgeled each other into near-unconsciousness during an argument about whether or not the Lord Usires had magically freed a man from a pig-spell on the island of Grenamman. Just at the most exciting point—brother Cadrach was waving his arms so enthusiastically in the description that Simon feared he would fall off the bench—the tavemkeeper thumped an ale jug loudly down in the middle of the table. Cadrach, caught in mid-exclamation, looked up -

他们在酒馆里坐了很长时间;等这满是胡须的店主,第四次斟满两人的酒杯的时候,酒馆里的人已经走了一半了。Cadrach,比划着夸张的手势,给Simon讲他曾经亲眼看到过的一场战争,那是发生在Perdmin地区的Ansis Pelippe那里的公爵们之间的战斗。他解释说,有两个修道士,在一场争论中,用棍棒彼此把对方打得几乎意识不清了,而这场争论,是关于Usires大人,是否曾经用魔法将一个人救了出来,那个人,被岛上的Grenamman人,用咒语变成了猪。正在他讲到最激动人心的时刻——Cadrach兄弟是那样用力地怀着激情,挥舞着双臂,全情投入地讲着故事,Simon担心他会从椅子上摔下来——这时,酒馆的店主砰地将一个啤酒的酒壶,重重砸在地桌子中间。Cadrach,他的惊叹声刚刚发出了一半儿,就被店主的这个举动生生截断,他抬头看看——

"Yes, my good sir?" he asked, cocking a bushy brow. "And how can we be helping you?"

“什么了,我可爱的先生?”他问,竖起一只浓眉。“有什么事吗?”

The innkeeper stood with arms folded, a look of suspicion pinching his face. "I've let you stand credit so far 'cause you're a man of the faith, father," he said, "but I must be closing up soon."

店主交叠起双臂站着,脸上带着猜疑。“因为你是个信仰上帝的人,所以我才一直没有赶你走,神父,”他对说,“可现在我要关门了。”

"Is that all that's afflicting you?" A smiled raced across Cadrach's round face. "We'll be right over to reckon up with you, good fellow, What was your name, then?"

“就是为了这么点儿小事儿,让你苦恼吗?” Cadrach圆圆的脸上,露出笑容。“好,我们马上给你结帐,那么,伙计,你叫什么名字?”

"Freawaru."

“Freawaru。”

"Well, never fear then, goodman Freawaru. Let the lad and me be finishing these noggins and then we'll let you get your sleep." Freawaru nodded in his beard, more or less satisfied, and stumped off to yell at the turnspit boy. Cadrach emptied his mug with a long and noisy swallow, then turned his grin on Simon.

“你不用担心,Freawaru先生。等这孩子和我喝完这口酒,然后,你就可以放心去睡觉了。”Freawaru点点头,他的胡子也随之移动着,多少有点满意了,接着,他用力地走到一边儿,冲着那个烤肉的男孩大声叫着。Cadrach大大咧咧,一口气喝完了杯中的酒,笑着转头看着Simon。

"Drink up, now, lad. We must not keep the man waiting. I am of the Granisian order, you know, and have a feeling for the poor fellow. Among other things, good Saint Granis is the patron of innkeepers and drunkards—a natural enough pairing!"

“来,把酒喝完吧,孩子。我们不能让店主再等着了。你知道,我是Granisian的神职人员,对这可怜的家伙很是同情。除了其他方面的原因,还有一点就是,我们传递的圣Granis,是那些酒店的老板,还有酒鬼们的守护神——这可真是够劲儿的一对儿!”

Simon chuckled and drained his cup, but as he put it down a finger of memory tugged at him. Hadn't Cadrach told him when they first met in Erchester that he was of some other order? Something with a "v"? Vilderivan?

Simon笑起来,喝完了杯中的酒,可当他把酒杯放下的时候,他记起来了一件事。当他们第一次在Erchester遇见的时候,Cadrach是不是告诉过他,自己是另外一个名字的什么神职人员?好象是字母“V”开头的什么?Vilderivan?

The monk was fishing about the pockets of his robe with a look of great concentration on his face, so Simon let the question pass. After a moment Cadrach pulled out a leather purse and dropped it on the table; it made no sound—no clink, no jingle. Cadrach's shining forehead wrinkled in a look of concern, and he held the purse up to his ear and slowly shook it. There was still no sound. Simon stared.

修道士在长袍里的那些衣袋里,到处翻着,一脸全神贯注的表情,所以Simon就不再用这个疑问来麻烦他了。过了一会儿,Cadrach掏出一只皮革的钱包,扔到了桌上;这钱包没有发出一点儿声响——没有叮叮当当的钱币声。Cadrach带着汗的前额皱了起来,满是担心,他把钱包拿起来举到耳边,慢慢摇一摇。里面还是没有声音。 Simon瞪大双眼。

"Ah, laddie, laddie," said the friar mournfully, "will you look at that now? I stopped to help a poor beggar-man today—carried him down to the water I did, and washed his bleeding feet—and look what he has done to repay my kindness." Cadrach turned the purse over so that Simon could see the gaping hole slit across the bottom. "Can you wonder why I sometimes fear for this wicked world, young Simon? I helped the man, and, why, he must have robbed me even as I was carrying him." The monk heaved a great sigh. "Well, lad, I'm afraid I'll have to prevail on your human kindness and Aedonite charity to lend me the money that we are owing here—I can soon pay you back, never fear. Teh, tch," he clucked, waving the slit wallet at the gape-eyed Simon, "oh, but this world is sick with sin."

“啊,孩子,孩子,”修道士哀伤地说,“你看到了没有?我今天停在半路,帮助一个可怜的乞丐——我把他扶到了水边儿,清洗他流血的双脚——结果看看,他是怎么报答我的仁慈的。”Cadrach把钱包翻过去,Simon看到,钱包底部,有一个划开的洞。“你是不是奇怪,为什么我有时候会害怕这邪恶的世界呢,年轻的Simon?我帮了那个人,而,为什么,我搀扶他的时候,他偏偏要把我洗劫一空呢。”修道士发出沉重的叹息。“哦,孩子,我怕,我是要靠*着你所怀有的仁慈,还有Aedonite的慈悲,借给我钱,好付今晚的饭钱——我很快就会把钱还给你的,不用担心。啧,啧,”他笑着,在睁大双眼的Simon面前,晃着这个被割开的钱包,“哦,可这个世道真是充满罪恶。”

Simon heard Cadrach's words only vaguely, a babble of sounds in his ale-muddled head. He was looking not at the hole, but at the seagull worked on the leather in heavy blue thread. The pleasant drunkenness of a minute before had turned heavy and sour. After a moment he raised his stare until his eyes met Brother Cadrach's. The ale and the warmth of the commons room had flushed Simon's cheeks and ears, but now he felt a tide of blood that was hotter still mounting up from his fast-beating heart.

Simon根本就没怎么听清Cadrach说了些什么,他那被啤酒弄得乱七八糟的脑袋,只听到那些话含糊不清、喋喋不休。他没有看那个钱包上的洞,而是看着这钱包的皮革上,蓝色的粗线绣着的海鸥。眨眼之间,刚才醉熏熏的兴奋劲儿,变得又沉重、又难受。他慢慢地抬起头,终于,他的目光迎上了Cadrach兄弟的双眼。这个酒馆的前厅,所散发的啤酒味,还有暖意,染红了Simon的双颊,和耳朵,但是,现在,他觉得潮汐般沸腾的热血,从他快速跳动的心房,急促上涌。

"That's... my... purse!" he said. Cadrach blinked like an undenned badger.

“那个是……我的……钱包!”他说道。Cadrach眨着眼睛,就象一只没有了洞穴可以躲藏的獾。


"What, lad?" he asked apprehensively, sliding slowly away from the wall to the middle of the bench. "I'm afraid I was not hearing you well."

“什么,孩子?”他担心地问,慢慢地从墙边儿,溜到了椅子中间。“我听不懂你说的什么。”

"That... purse... is mine." Simon felt all the hurt, all the frustration of losing it come welling up—Judith's disappointed face, Doctor Morgenes' sad surprise—and the shocked sickness of trust betrayed. All the red hairs on his neck stood up like boar's bristles.

“那个……钱包……是我的。”Simon丢了钱包时的那种伤心、挫败感,又涌了上来——Judith那失望的面容,Morgenes大夫难过惊奇的表情——还有这震惊的发现,对方对于自己的信任竟是如此的背*叛。他脖子上的红色寒毛全都竖了起来,就是野猪竖起的刚毛。

"Thief!" he shouted suddenly, and lunged, but Cadrach had seen it coming: the little monk was off the bench and skittering backward up the length of the inn toward the door.

“小偷!”他突然之间大叫起来,向前一冲,可Cadrach一见他有所举动,这个小个子的修道士就从椅子上逃开,后退着飞快地穿过整个酒馆,向门边跑去。

"Now wait, boy, it's a mistake you're making!" he shouted, but if he really thought so, he did not seem to have much faith in his ability to convince Simon. Without pausing for a moment he grabbed his stick and sprang out the doorway. Simon was after him at a sprint, but was barely through the doorjamb when he felt himself grappled around the waist by a pair of bearlike arms. A moment later he was up off the floor, breath pressed out, legs helplessly dangling.

“等等,孩子,你弄错了!”他叫着,但就算他真的认为Simon误会了,他的行为也不能使Simon相信他的话。不多一会儿,他就抓住自己的那根木棍,奔出门外。Simon飞跑着追了上来,他刚刚穿过门框,就觉得被一双熊一般结实的胳膊,揽住了腰。瞬间,他的双脚就被提起,离了地面,呼吸急促,双腿无力地摆动着。

"Now what do you think you're doing, hey?" Freawaru grunted in his ear. Turning in the doorway, he flipped Simon back into the fire-painted commons room. Simon landed on the wet floor and lay gasping for a moment.

“你想干什么,嗨?”Freawaru在他的耳边咕哝着。他转身进到门里,将Simon扔回了这满是火光的前厅。Simon摔倒在湿漉漉的地板上,躺在那儿,大声喘着气。

"It's the monk!" he groaned at last. "He stole my purse! Don't let him get away!"

“那个修道士!”他终于呻吟着说。“他偷过我的钱包!别放他走!”

Freawaru poked his head briefly outside the door. "Well, if that's true he's long gone, that one—but how do I know this isn't all pan of the plan, hey? How do I know that you two don't play this monk-and-catamite trick in every inn between here and Utanyeat?" A couple of late drinkers laughed behind him. "Get up, boy," he said, grasping Simon's arm and yanking him roughly onto his feet. "I'm going to see if Deorhelm or Godstan has heard of you pair before.

Freawaru匆匆把头伸出门外。“嗯,如果你说的是实话,那他已经走得不见了人影了——可我怎么知道,这不是你们事先串通好的,嗨?我怎么知道,你们是不是从这儿,到Utanyeat,沿路的每个酒馆都用这同样的诡计?”身后,两个醉鬼笑了起来。“起来,孩子,”他说着,抓住Simon的胳膊,粗暴地将他拉了起来。“我要问问, Deorhelm或是Godstan,过去有没有听说过你们这一对骗子。”

He hustled Simon out the door and around the side of the building, holding his arm prisoned in a firm grip. The moonlight picked out the stable's roof of pallid thatch, and the first tree-sentinels of the forest a stone-throw away.

他拉着Simon走出酒馆,绕到旁边的建筑物,他的手用力地抓住Simon的胳膊,使他无法挣脱。月光映照着马厩那苍白的茅草屋顶,一箭之远,就是森林最边缘的树木。

"I don't know why you didn't just ask for work, you donkey," Freawaru growled as he propelled the stumbling youth before him. "With my Heanfax just quit I could have used a good-sized young fellow like you. Bloody foolishness—and just you keep your mouth shut."

“我不懂,为什么你不直接问我有没有活干,你这傻驴子,”Freawaru一边推着他前面踉跄走着的Simon,一边说。“我店里的Heanfax刚刚辞工,我很需要象你这样体格高大的小伙子。你可真是傻透了——你闭嘴。”

Alongside the stable was a small cottage, standing out but still connected to the main body of the inn. Freawaru banged his fist on the door.

马厩的旁边,是一个小小的村舍,虽说是在酒馆的外围,可和酒馆的主体部分还是相连的。Freawaru伸出拳头用力地砸着门。

"Deorhelm!" he called. "Are you up? Come look at this lad and tell me if you've seen him before." The sound of footsteps could be heard within.

“Deorhelm!”他叫着。“是不是还没睡呀?过来看看这个小子,跟我说你过去见过他没有。”里面,传来了脚步声。

"S'bloody Tree, is that you, Freawaru?" a voice grumbled. "We have to be on the road at cockcrow." The door swung open. The room behind was lit by several candles.

“这该死的神圣之树,是不是你啊,Freawaru?”一个声音抱怨着。“天不亮我们还要去巡街呢。”门开了。这间屋子点着几支蜡烛。

"Lucky for you we were dicing, and not abed yet," said the man who'd opened the door. "What is it?"

“算你运气,我们正在玩骰子呢,还没去睡,”开门的那个人说。“什么事?”

Simon's eyes went wide, and his heart exploded into horrified pounding. This man, and the one polishing his sword on one of the bed sheets, wore the green livery of Elias' Erkynguard'

Simon的双眼张大了,他的心突然惊恐地狂跳起来。这个人,还有正在用床单擦着剑的那边那个人,穿着Elias手下Erkynguard卫兵的绿色制服。

"This young ruffian and thief of a..." Freawaru had just time to say, when Simon turned and butted his head into the innkeeper's stomach. The bearded man went down with a startled outrush of breath. Simon sprang over his kicking legs and headed for the shelter of the forest; in a few leaping steps he had disappeared. The two soldiers gazed after him in mute surprise. On the ground in front of the candlelit doorway Freawaru the tavernkeeper cursed and rolled and kicked and cursed.

“这个小流氓、小贼……”Freawaru刚开口,Simon就转过身把自己的头用力撞上这酒馆老板的腹部。这个满是胡须的人惊奇地叫了一声,摔倒在地上。Simon跨过他踢过来的双腿,直奔森森跑了过去;只冲了几步,他就不见了人影儿。后面,这两个卫兵默不作声地惊奇地朝他消失的地方望了过去。烛光照亮的门口,倒在地上的酒馆的店主Freawaru,咒骂着转身,一边踹着地,一边又骂了起来。

#日志日期:2008-7-10 星期四(Thursday) 晴 复制链接 举报



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