残烟的小屋



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残烟的小屋

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龙骨椅第一章16
作者:残烟一缕 提交日期:2008-7-13 11:12:00 正常 | 分类: | 访问量:7822

16

The White Arrow

白色之箭

"IT'S NOT FAIR!' Simon sobbed for perhaps the hundredth time, fisting the wet ground. Leaves stuck to his reddened knuckles; he did not feel the least bit warmer. "Not fair!" he murmured, curling back into a ball. The sun had been up for an hour, but the thin light brought no heat, Simon shivered and wept.

“这太不公平了!”这可能是Simon第一百次哭出来了,他的拳头擂着潮湿的地面,那些树叶,粘在他已经砸红了的指节上;这会儿,他还是觉得身上很冷。“太不公平了!”他嘀咕着,又象刚才那样将身子缩成一团。太阳已经升起一个小时了,可是那稀疏的阳光,没有一点儿暖意,Simon打着冷战啜泣着。

And it wasn't fair—it wasn't at all. What had he done that he should be lying damp, miserable and homeless in the Aldheorte forest while others were asleep in warm beds, or just risen to bread and milk and dry clothes? Why should he be hunted and chased like some filthy animal? He had tried to do what was right, to help his friend and the prince, and it had made of him a starveling outcast.

这真是不公平——这也太不公平了。他究竟做了什么,就落了这么个下场,躺在这Aldheorte森林里,衣服湿潮,悲苦不堪,无家可归,而别的那些人,就能在暖烘烘的床上睡他们的大觉,再不就是从床上起来,穿上晒干的衣服,吃着面包,喝着牛奶?为什么他就要象那些肮脏的动物,被追踪、猎捕?他并没有做错什么事,他只是帮助了他的朋友和王子,结果自己却成了快要饿死的逃犯。

But Morgenes got far worse, didn't he? a part of him pointed out contemptuously. The poor doctor would probably shift places with you gladly.

可Morgenes的下场更糟,不是吗?他的脑海里,有一部分想法轻蔑地这样说着。这可怜的大夫或许很乐意跟你互换一下位置呢。

Even that, though, was beside the point: Doctor Morgenes at least had possessed some idea of what was involved, of what might happen, He himself had been, he thought disgustedly, as innocent and stupid as a mouse who goes out of doors to play tag with the cat.

可即使那样想,也不能使他信服:Morgenes大夫至少很清楚,这件事到底牵扯了什么,至少很清楚,将来会发生什么事儿,而他自己呢,他非常厌恶地想,自己就象一只耗子一样,又无知,又愚蠢,竟然跑出一道又一道门,跟猫捉起了迷藏。

Why does God hate me so? Simon wondered, sniffling. How could Usires Aedon, who the priest said watched over everyone, have left him to suffer and die in the wilderness like this? He burst out in fresh weeping.

为什么上帝要对我这么怀恨在心呢?Simon奇怪着,抽抽鼻子。那个牧师所说的,守护着每一个人的Usires Aedon,怎能这样将他弃之不顾,让他象这样,痛苦着在这片荒野死去呢?他又大哭了起来。

Rubbing his eyes some time later, he wondered how long he had been lying there staring at nothing. He pulled himself up, moving away from the sheltering tree to shake the life back into his hands and feet. He returned to the tree long enough to empty his bladder, then stalked sullenly down to the tiny stream to drink. The merciless ache in his knees, back, and neck rebuked him with every step.

过了一会儿,他揉揉眼睛,不知道自己在这儿躺了多长时间,茫然出神。他站起身来,从遮挡着他的这棵树旁走到一边儿,抖动着双手双脚,使血液再次流通。他又走回到树旁,解了一个小手,然后,心情郁闷地慢慢顺着地势向下,走到那边的细流,喝了个饱。每走出一步,他双膝、后背、脖子上的剧痛,都使他难以忍受。

Damn everyone to Hell. And damn the bloody forest. And God, too, for that matter.

所有人都下地狱去吧。这该死的森林也下地狱去吧。还有上帝,也给我滚到地狱里去。

He looked up fearfully from his chill handful of water, but his silent blasphemy went unpunished.

手里捧着一捧冰冷的水,他害怕地抬头看了看,可他心里默默的亵渎之语,并没有受到什么惩罚。

When he had finished he moved upstream a short distance to a place where the stream eddied out into a pool, and the turbulent waters were smoothed. As he crouched, staring at his tear-rippled reflection, he felt a resistance at his waist that made it difficult to bend over without steadying himself with his hands.

他喝够了水,顺溪而上,走了不远的一段路,就来到了溪水打着旋、积成的一个小水坑,在这里,刚才那汹涌的溪水已经平静下来。他蹲下来,看着水里,波纹中散乱的他的倒影。他弯腰下去的时候,如果不是双手撑在地上,几乎就要摔倒了,那是因为他腰部有什么东西,对他的行动造成了阻碍。

The doctor's manuscript! he remembered.

是大夫的手稿!他想起来了。

He half-stood, pulling the warm, flexible mass out from between pants and shirt-front. His belt had smashed a crease the length of the whole bundle. He had carried them so long that the pages were molded to the curve of his belly like a piece of armor; in his hand they lay bowed like a wind-breasted sail. The top page was smeared and caked with dirt, but Simon recognized the doctor's small, intricate script: he had been wearing the thin armor ofMorgenes' words. He felt a sudden fierce pang like hunger, and put the papers gently aside, returning his gaze to the pool.

他半蹲半站着,从裤子和衣襟之间,把那一卷温暖的、柔软的羊皮纸拿了出来。他的皮带,已经被这一卷手稿顶出了一条裂缝。这羊皮纸在他腰里别的时间太长了,这纸上已经印上了他腹部的曲线,就象一片成型的装甲一样;这些纸在他的手里弯着,就象是被风鼓起的帆。最上面的一张纸上,到处都是土,可Simon还能辨认出,大夫那纤细、缠绕的笔迹:他曾将Morgenes的笔迹,作为薄薄的装甲,穿在身上。他心里突然升起一阵剧痛,就如同饿极了一样难受,他轻轻把纸卷放到一旁,转回目光注视着水坑。

It took a moment to separate his own reflection from the bands and blotches of shadow cast on the water's surface. The light was behind him; his image was largely silhouette, a dark figure with only the suggestion of features along the illuminated temple, cheek, and jaw. Twisting his head to catch the sun, he looked from the corner of his eye to see a hunted animal mirrored in the water, its ear tilted as though listening for pursuit, hair a tangled hedge of tufts, neck angled in a way that spoke not of civilization, but of watchfulness and fear. He quickly gathered up the manuscript and walked up the stream bank.

他过了好长一段时间,才从水面上,那些投射于其上、一道道、一块块的阴影里,找出了自己的倒影。他背对着阳光;他的倒影,被阳光粗略地勾勒了出来,那是一个黑色的身影,脸部,只能朦朦胧胧地看到,鬓角、脸颊、还有下颏。他扭了一下头,让阳光照在上面,他从眼角看过去,水里,倒映着一个被猎捕着的动物,它的耳朵斜斜翘起,就象是倾听着后面的追击,他的头发一丛一丛纠结着,脖子突出的那个样子,不能称其为温文而雅,只能称之为警觉和恐惧。他马上拿起手稿,离开了溪流的岸边。

I'm completely alone. No one will take care of me ever again. Not that anyone ever did. He thought he could feel his heart breaking within his chest.

我现在彻彻底底是一个人了。再也不会有人照顾我了。再也不会有人,象过去照顾过我的那些人一样,照料我了。他觉得,自己的心都碎了。

After searching for a few minutes he found a patch of sunlight, and settled down to dry his tears and think. It seemed obvious, as he listened to the echoing speech of birds in the otherwise soundless forest, that he must find warmer clothes if he was going to spend nights out of doors—and that he would certainly have to do until he got farther away from the Hayholt. He also needed to decide where he was going.

他找了一会儿,找到了一处阳光照射的地方,他坐了下来,擦干眼泪,仔细考虑着。森林里,一片寂静中,传来了鸟儿们应和着的鸣叫声,他听着这叫声,心想,不用说,如果他需要一直在野外过夜的话,就先要找到暖和的衣服穿——而他在远离Hayholt城堡以前,当然就只能在野外过夜了。而且,他还要想清楚,自己要到哪儿去。

He began to leaf absently through Morgenes' papers, each one dense with words. Words—how could anyone think of so many words at one time, let alone write them down? It made his brain hurt just thinking about it. And what good were they, he thought, his lip trembling with bitterness, when you were cold, and hungry… or when Pryrates was at your door? He pulled two pages apart. The bottom one tore, and he felt as though he had unwittingly insulted a friend. He stared at it for a moment, solemnly tracing the familiar calligraphy with a scratched finger, then held it up to catch the light, squinting his eyes to read.

他漫不经心地翻阅着Morgenes的手稿,每一面上面,都密密麻麻写满了字。这些文字——怎么会有人,曾经想出过这么多的文字,还不说,他还把这些文字给写了下来?仅仅是想到这个,他的脑仁就疼了起来。他想,写下这些有什么好处呢,他的嘴唇痛苦地颤抖着,当你又冷,又饿的时候……或者当Pryrates站在你门前的时候,写这些有什么用呢?他把沾在一起的两页纸扯开。最后一张被他扯烂了,他觉得,自己象是无意中,侮辱了一个好朋友。他盯着这一页看了一会儿,计策地用手指顺着这些熟悉的笔划划着,然后,他把羊皮卷举了起来,朝着阳光,眯着眼睛细读起来。

"... It is strange, then, to think how those who wrote the songs and stories that entertained John's glittering court made of him, in an effort to construct him larger than life. less than he truly was."

“这样的话,就太奇怪了,想想写下了这些歌曲和故事的那些人,用这种方式来娱乐于John那辉煌的宫廷,而这些歌谣和故事,写的就是John的经历,可他们怎么能够这么做呢,他们怎么能在这些歌谣和故事里,将John的事迹极端地夸大,他们所写的,根本不是一个真实的他。”

Reading it through the first time, puzzling it word by word, he could make nothing of it; but as he read it again the cadences of Morgenes' speech came out. He almost smiled, forgetting for a moment his horrible situation. It still made little sense to him, but he recognized the voice of his friend.

当他第一次读这些话的时候,迷惑于那一个又一个单词,看不懂这些话的含义;而当他再读一遍的时候,他就象是听到了Morgenes那抑扬顿挫的声音,这朗读着这些句子。他几乎要笑了起来,这一会儿,他忘掉了自己可怕的境况。可这些话他还是不怎么能看懂,可他朋友的声音,对他来说,是非常熟悉的。


"Consider for example," it continued, "his coming to Erkynland out of the island of Warinsten. The balladeers would have it that God summoned him to slay the dragon Shurakai; that he touched shore at Grenefod with his sword Bright-Nail in hand, his mind set only on this great task.

“比如这个,”下面接着写道,“他离开Warinsten的岛屿,前往Erkynland大陆的这件事。民谣歌手们说,那是上帝在召唤他前去,去杀死Shurakai龙;而他在Grenefod弃舟登岸的时候,手里举着辉煌指甲之剑,这时在他的心里,充满了铲除恶龙的宏大伟业。

"While it is possible that a benevolent God called him to free the land from the fearsome beast, it remains to be explained why God allowed said dragon to lay waste to the country for long years before raising up its nemesis. And of course, those who knew him in those days remembered that he left Warinsten a swordless farmer's son, and reached our shores in the same condition; nor did he even think on the Red Worm until he had the better part of a year in our Erkynland..."

“也许,确实是仁慈的上帝召唤了他,让他从这头令人恐惧的龙的手里,解救了这片土地,但这仍然无法解释,为什么上帝要允许这头龙,在这片土地上横行了这么长时间,这才让它得到了应有的报应。然而,自然,那些在那一岁月中,熟知他的人,都记得,他离开Warinsten的时候,还是个手无寸铁的农夫的儿子,在他弃舟登岸的时候,也是一样的手无寸铁;更不用说,他是在Erkynland生活了一年以后,境况渐渐好转的时候,他才想到了那头红龙……”

It was vastly comforting to hear Morgenes' voice again, even if it was only in his own head, but he was puzzled by the passage. Was Morgenes trying to say that Prester John had not killed the Red Dragon, or only that he had not been chosen by God to do so? If he hadn't been chosen by the Lord Usires in heaven, how had he killed the arch-beast? Didn't the people of Erkynland say he was the king anointed by God?

再次听到Morgenes的声音,是一个极大的安慰,即使这些声音只出现在他脑海里,但,他对大夫的这些叙述,感到十分迷惑。Morgenes是想说,长老John,并没有杀了红龙,还是只是表示,他杀这龙,并非是出于上帝的意志?如果他不是被天堂里的Usires大人所选中,那他是怎么杀了这头龙的?Erkynland的人们不是说,他是接受了上帝的洗礼,成为国王的?

As he sat thinking, a cold wind kited down through the trees and raised gooseflesh on his arms.

他坐在那里想着这些的时候,一阵冷风从树上刮了下来,在他胳膊上激起了一层鸡皮疙瘩。

Aedon curse it, I must find a cloak, or something warm to wear, he thought. And decide where I am going, instead of sitting here mooning like a half-wit over old writings.

Aedon诅咒这个,我一定要找一个斗篷,或者别的什么保暖的衣服穿,他想。而且我还要想清楚,自己要到哪里去,而不是坐在这儿,象傻瓜一样,对着这些陈旧的笔迹出神。

It seemed obvious now that his plan of the previous day—that of covering himself with a shallow layer of anonymity, becoming a turnspit or a scrubber at some rural hostel—was an impossible notion. Whether the two guardsmen he had escaped would have known him was not the issue: if they hadn't recognized him, someone eventually would. He felt sure that Elias' soldiers were already beating the countryside for him: he was not just a runaway servant, he was a criminal, a terrible criminal. Several deaths had already been paid out over the issue of Josua's escape; there would be no mercy for Simon if he fell into the hands of the Erkynguard.

现在看起来,很明显,他头一天的计划——就是在一些乡村的旅馆里,找一个烤肉的,或是洗碗的工作,以此来给自己罩上一层薄薄的伪装,隐藏自己的身份——这明显是不可能的了。不管没有抓住他的那两个卫兵,是不是已经认出了他,这一点都不重要了:因为即使他们还没有认出他来,那么终有一天,必定有别人也会认出他是谁。他已经确信,Elias的士兵们,已经在这些乡村搜查他了:他并不仅仅是一个逃跑的仆人,他是一个罪犯,一个犯了大罪的逃犯;如果,他有一天落在Erkynguard这些卫兵的手里,他不可能有什么好下场。

How could he escape? Where would he go? He felt the panic rising again, and tried to suppress it. Morgenes' dying wish had been that he follow Josua to Naglimund. It seemed now that was the only useful course. If the prince had made good his escape, surely he would welcome Simon. If not, then doubtless Josua's liegemen would trade sanctuary for news of their lord. Still, it was a dismally long way to Naglimund; Simon knew the route and distance only by repute, but no one would call it short. If he continued to follow the Old Forest Road west, eventually it would cross the Wealdhelm Road, which ran northward along the base of the hills from which it took its name. If he could find the Wealdhelm way, he would at least be headed in the right direction.

他怎么才能逃脱呢?他要到哪里去好呢?他心里又升起了慌恐之情,他努力把这慌恐压了下去。Morgenes的遗愿,是希望他能跟随Josua到Naglimund去。现在看起来,这条路是唯一的逃脱路线。如果王子已经成功脱身了,那么他毫无疑问地会欢迎Simon来到他的身边。如果王子没有逃脱,那么,无疑,由于他带去了Josua的消息,他的那些部下们,也会很乐意作为交换,将他收留下来。然而,要走到Naglimund,还需要经过漫漫长路;Simon只听说过,走哪条路线,哪个方向,可以到那里,但人们都说,那条路非常非常远。如果他一直随着古老的森林之路,向西走,最终,这条路会同Wealdhelm路相交叉,Wealdhelm路,沿着同名的那些山峦,向北方延伸。如果他能找到Wealdhelm路,他至少就会走对了方向。

With a strip torn from the hem of his shirt he bound the papers up, rolling them into a cylinder and wrapping the cloth around it, tying it with a careful twist of the ends. He noticed that he had neglected a page; it lay to one side, and as he picked it up he saw that it was the one his own sweat had smeared. In the blur of ruined letters one sentence had escaped; the words leaped out at him.

从衣裳边儿撕下一块布条,他将羊皮纸绑了起来,将这些纸卷成了圆柱体,包上了布条,仔细地将布条两端系了起来。他这时才发现,有一张纸被他遗漏了;这张纸放在一边儿,他拣了起来,发现,这张纸就是被他染上了汗渍的那一张。在那些已经弄得模糊不清的字句中,还有一句话完好无损;那些字迹跳动在他的眼前。

"... If he was touched by divinity, it was most evident in his nings and goings, in his finding the correct place to be at the most suitable time, and profiting thereby..."

“……如果他被神性所触动,那么这件事,在指导他为人处事方面,则极其重要,他也可以因之,在最适当的时机,找到最适当的位置,并因此而得利……”

It was not exactly a fortune-telling or a prophecy, but it strengthend him a little, and hardened his resolve. Northward it would be lorthward to Naglimund.

这句话并不是真正意义上,算命的说法,或是一则预言,但这句话使他更加坚强了一点儿,也更增强了他的决心。向北走,要去Naglimund,就要向北走。



A prickly, painful, miserable day's journey in the lee of the Old Forest Road was salvaged in part by a fortuitous discovery. As he "tilted through the brush, skirting the occasional cottage that crouched within hailing distance of the road, he caught a glimpse through the chink in the forest cover of a treasure beyond price: someone's untended washing. As he crept toward the tree, whose branches were festooned with damp clothes and one rank, sodden blanket, he kept his eye on the shabby, bramble-thatched cabin that stood a few paces away. His heart beat swiftly as he-pulled down a wool cloak so heavy with moisture that he staggered when it slid free into his arms. No alarm was raised from the cottage; in fact, no one seemed to be about anywhere. For some reason this made him feel even worse about the theft. As he scrambled back into the tan-trees with his burden, he saw again in his mind's eye a crude den sign bumping against an unbreathing chest.

这一天,他沿着古老的森林之路走着,周围的树荫遮蔽着他,如果不是遇到了偶然发生的一件事,稍稍改变了一点他的处境,那么,这天的旅程可真算得上是苦不堪言。路边不远,零星散落着一些低矮的小屋,他穿过矮树丛,绕着这些小屋走过去,这时,他一眼瞥见,森林的浓荫中,树叶的缝隙间,露处了一个无价之宝:那里晾着有人刚刚洗过的湿漉漉的衣服,而且旁边无人照管。他朝那棵树悄悄爬了过去,这棵树的枝条上,挂着几件潮湿的衣服,还有一个有臭味的、湿透的毛毯,他留神地注意着几步远的地方,那个破旧的、屋顶堆着荆棘的小屋。他的心狂跳着,扯下一个毛线斗篷,这斗篷由于潮湿而变得非常沉重,他把斗篷拉到怀里的时候,站都站不稳了。小屋那里没有传来什么警觉性的动静;事实上,这附近没有人看到他。而这么一来,却使他觉得自己偷人家的东西可真是糟糕的行为。他拿着这毯子,爬回被太阳照耀的树丛中,这时,他仿佛又一次看到,自己的心脏,在屏住呼吸的胸口狂跳不止。

The thing of it was, Simon quickly realized, living the outlaw life was nothing at all like the stories of Jack Mundwode the Bandit that Shem had told him. In his imaginings Aldheorte Forest had been a sort of endless high hall with a floor of smooth turf and tall tree-trunk pillars propping a distant ceiling of leaves and blue sky, an airy paviUion where knights like Sir Tallistro of Perdruin or the great Camaris rode prancing chargers and delivered ensorcelled ladies from hideous fates. Stranded in an uncompliant, almost malevolent reality, Simon found that the trees of the forest fringe huddled close together, branches intertwining like slip-knotted snakes. The undergrowth itself was an obstacle, an endless humped field of brambles and fallen trunks that lay nearly invisible beneath moss and moldering leaves.

Simon很快就发现,这种逃犯的生活,可真是跟Shem曾经讲给他听的、那个强盗Jack Mundwode的冒险故事,一点儿也不一样。 在他的想象中,Aldheorte森林,就象是一个一望无际的雄伟的大厅,以光滑的草皮为地板,以高大的树木为支柱,撑起遥远的上方、树叶和湛蓝的天空构成的天花板,这森林就是一个通风的大亭台,那些象Perdruin的Tallistro爵士、或是伟大的Camaris爵士这样的骑士们,在这里骑着欢跳的军马,将那些身遭不幸命运的、受了魔法诅咒的女士们,解救出来。而事实上却是,这森林一点儿也不安份,甚至称得上是心怀恶意,让Simon简直举步维艰,他发现,这森林边缘的那些树,挤作一团,枝条纠结着,就象打着花结的蛇。那大树下面生长的矮树丛,根本就是挡在他路上的障碍,根本就是一片怎么也走不完的原野,这原野的地表上,铺满了苔藓和腐败的树叶,而那些荆棘、还有倒下的树木,这儿一堆儿,那儿一块儿,总也没有个尽头。

In those first days, when he occasionally found himself in a clearing and could walk unencumbered for a short while, the sound of his own footfalls drumming on the loose-packed soil made him feel exposed. He caught himself hurrying across the dells in the slanting sunlight, praying for the security of the undergrowth again. This failure of nerve so infuriated him that he forced himself to cross these clearings slowly. Sometimes he even sang brave songs, listening to the echo as though the sound of his voice quailing and dying in the muffling trees was the most natural thing in the world, but once he had regained the brambles he could seldom remember what he had sung.

在头几天,偶尔之中,他走到了一处空旷的地方,这时,他可以不受一点阻碍地走上一会儿,虽然时间很短,但是他听到自己的脚步声,敲击在松散地堆积着的泥土上,使他觉得,自己的行藏暴*露*了。这时,他就会急匆匆穿过小山谷,来到斜斜倾洒的阳光下,祈求着自己能再遇到一片矮树丛,可以安全藏身。这样没有胆量的举动,使他对自己非常恼怒,于是,他强迫着自己,故意慢慢地穿过那些空地。有时,他甚至唱起了那些激起勇气的歌曲,他边唱边聆听着周围的回声,仿佛,他听着自己的歌声,在那些树木发出的悉悉索索的声音里,颤抖着,消失了,这,正是这世上再自然不过的事了,然而,一旦他再次遇到荆棘丛,躲藏进去,他就很少记起,自己唱过些什么了。

Although memories of his life at the Hayholt still filled his head, they had become wisps of remembrance that seemed increasingly distant and unreal, replaced by a growing fog of anger and bitterness and despair. His home and happiness had been stolen from him. Life at the Hayholt had been a grand and easeful thing: the people kind, the accommodations wonderfully comfortable. Now, he crashed through the tortuous forest hour after bleak hour, awash in misery and self-pity. He felt his old Simon-self vanishing away, and more and more of his waking thought revolving around only two things: moving forward and eating.

虽然,他总是会想起,自己在Hayholt城堡里的生活,然而,这些往事,都成了一缕缕的回忆,离他越来越遥远,也越来越虚幻,代之的,是越加浓郁的愤怒、痛苦,还有绝望。他的家,他的幸福,都被完全剥夺了。在Hayholt城堡的生活,曾经是非常美好的,也是非常舒适的:那里的人们,非常地亲切,那里的食宿,非常地舒适。而现在,他跌跌撞撞穿过这个曲折的森林,凄凉中,过了一个小时又一个小时,而他的思想,则越来越清晰地围着两件事打转:走路还有吃饭。

At first he had pondered long over whether he should take the open roadway for speed and risk discovery, or try and follow it from the safety of the forest. The last had seemed the better idea, but he quickly discovered that the two, road and forest fringe, diverged widely at certain points, and in the thick tangle of Oldheart it was often frighteningly difficult to find the road again. He also realized with painful embarrassment that he did not have the slightest idea of how to make a fire, something he had never thought about as he listened to Shem describing droll Mundwode and his bandit fellows feasting on roast venison at their woodland table. With no torch to light his way, it seemed that the only possible thing to do was to follow the road at night, when moonlight permitted it. He would then sleep by daylight, and use the remaining hours of sun to slog through the forest.

一开始,他考虑了很长时间,拿不定主意,如果直接在那条森林之路上走,那么由于道路开阔,这样就可以加快行路的速度,但同时也要冒着被发现的危险,而如果在森林里面走,那么他就会很安全,但这样一来,他就要尽量保持和这条路同一方向。后者看上去是个好主意,但他很快就发现,那条路,同森林的边儿,在一些地方,根本就不是同一个方向,而在这树木浓密、纠结杂乱的Aldheorte森林,也即是名为古老之心的森林里,再次找到那条路,经常是极其困难的。而且,他也非常苦恼地尴尬地意识到,自己一点儿也不知道,怎么才能生起一堆火,而,在他当初听Shem讲到,那个滑稽的强盗Mundwode,和他的手下们,在他们的林地中,烧烤着野味,在桌前,举行盛宴的时候,他可一点儿也没想到过生火这事儿。因为他没有火把照亮道路,这也就使得,只有在月光明亮的情况下,他才能在晚上,跟随那条森林之路的方向走。然后,他会在白天睡觉,睡醒后,他又在森林里艰难地穿行,直到几个小时以后,太阳落山。

No torch meant no cook-fire, and this was in some ways the hardest blow of all. From time to time he found clutches of speckled eggs deposited by the mother grouse in hiding-holes of matted grass. These provided some nourishment, but it was hard to suck out the sticky, cold yolks without thinking of the warm, scented glories of Judith's kitchen, and to reflect bitterly on the mornings when he had been in such a tearing hurry to see Morgenes or get out to the tourney field that he had left great chunks of butter and honey-smeared bread untouched on his plate. Now, suddenly, the thought of a buttered crust was a dream of riches.

没有火把,也就意味着没有办法生活做饭,对他来说,这是最为严重的打击。不时地,他会在纠缠的草里,那些隐藏的洞穴中,找到母松鸡下的一窝窝带着斑点的蛋。这些鸟蛋,确实给他提供了一些食物,但是,他在吸出那些粘糊糊的、凉凉的蛋黄的时候,如果不想象着那温暖的、散发着香味的Judith的厨房,实在就难以忍受,而且,他也痛苦的回想着,那些清晨,他那么急着要去见Morgenes,或是要跑到比武场去,结果,他在盘子里留下了那些大块大块的面包,上面涂着黄油,还有蜂蜜。而如今,突然之间,单是想想那一层黄油,就是可望而不可求的奢想啊。


Incapable of hunting, knowing little or nothing about what wild plants might be eaten without harm, Simon owed his survival to pilferage from the gardens of local cotsmen. Keeping a wary eye out for dogs or angry residents, he would swoop down from the shelter of the forest to rifle the pitifully sparse vegetable patches, scraping up carrots and onions or hurriedly plucking apples from lower branches—but even these meager goods were few and far between. Often as he walked, the hunger pains were so great that he would shout out in anger, kicking savagely at the tangling shrubbery. Once he kicked so hard and screamed so loudly that when he fell down on his face in the undergrowth he could not get up for a long time. He lay listening to the echoes of his cries disappear, and thought he would die.

由于他不会打猎,而且对于哪些野生植物可以食用、没有危害,所知不多,甚至可说是一无所知,因此,Simon就只能在那些当地人的园子里,偷东西吃。他一边警惕地留神着那些狗,还有住在那里的居民,一边从森林的隐蔽处直扑过来,抢夺那些稀疏可怜的蔬菜地,抢走些胡萝卜,还有洋葱,不然,就是从较低的树枝上,摘些苹果——但即使如此,这到手的食物也少得可怜。经常,他正在走路的时候,强烈的饥饿感,使他痛苦难忍,于是,他就会生气地大喊大叫,猛烈地踹着纠结的灌木丛。有一次,他踹得太猛了,叫得太响了,结果,他脸朝下倒在地上,很长时间爬不起来。他躺在那里,听着他的哭叫声慢慢平息,他想,自己快死了。

No, life in the forest was not a tenth so glorious as he had imagined it in those long-ago Hayholt afternoons, crouching in the stables smelling hay and tack leather, listening to Shem's stories. The mighty Oldheart was a dark and miserly host, jealous of doling comforts out to strangers. Hiding in thorny brush to sleep away the hours of sun, making his damp, shivering way through the darkness beneath the tree-netted moon, or scuttling furtively through the garden plots in his sagging, too-large cloak, Simon knew he was more rabbit than rogue.

不,这森林里的生活,跟他从前,在Hayholt城堡的那些个下午,蜷缩在马厩中,闻着干草的味道,闻着带着钉子的皮革的味道,听着Shem讲故事的时候,所想象的那样多姿多彩的森林生活比起来,连十分之一的精彩都不到。这巨大的古老之心森林,是一个黑色的、吝啬的主人,不肯给陌生人提供更多的舒适感。Simon在阳光下,藏在多刺的树丛后,几个小时几个小时睡觉的时候;在黑夜中,树影斑驳的月光下,颤抖地走在湿潮的树林中,艰难地赶路的时候;或是,他裹着那个松松垮垮的、实在太大的斗篷,偷偷摸摸地穿过那些菜园的时候,他明白,自己不象个无赖,而更象只野兔。

Although he carried the rolled pages of Morgenes' life of John wherever he went, clutching them like a baton of office or a priest's blessed Tree, less and less often as the days passed did he actually read them. At the thin end of the day, between a pathetic meal—if any—and the frightening, close-leaning darkness of the world out of doors, he would open the bundle and read a part of a page, but every day the sense of it seemed harder to grasp. One page, on which the names of John, Eahlstan the Fisher King, and the dragon Shurakai were prominent, caught his mayfly attention, but after he had read it through four times, struggling, he realized that it made no more sense to him than would the year-lines on a piece of timber. By his fifth afternoon in the forest he only sat, crying softly, with the pages spread on his lap. He absently stroked the smooth parchment, as he had once scratched the kitchen cat uncountable years ago, in a warm, bright room that smelled of onions and cinnamon....

虽然,不管到哪里,他都带着Morgenes写的John的一生的手稿,这一卷羊皮纸,被他紧紧攥在手里,就如同是军官拿着指挥棒,就如同是牧师拿着神圣之树,然而随着一天天的过去,他阅读这些羊皮纸的次数,越来越少。在一天中,黑夜降临以前的不多的时间里,在他吃着少得可怜的晚餐时——也就是说,如果能有东西吃的话——那吓人的、快要降临的黑暗,已经慢慢逼来了,而这时,他便会打开那卷羊皮纸,翻开一页,读上一点儿,可一天一天地过去,他越来越无法理解那字里行间的含义。有一页上面,John、渔民国王Eahlstan、龙Shurakai的名字,到处都是,他那如同蜉蝣这种昆虫的、漂浮不定的一点点可怜的注意力,被吸引了过去,可是,他在尽力读了四遍以后,他发现,对他来说,这些字眼儿他一点也看不懂,还不如一段木材上面的年轮那样容易看懂。他在森林里的第五天的午后,他只是坐在那里,低声啜泣着,这些羊皮纸摊开在他的腿上。他漫不经心地抚摸着这平滑的羊皮纸,就象是他曾经在无数年以前,抚摸着厨房里的一只猫一样,那时,他是在一个温暖、明亮的房间里,周围,飘散着洋葱还有肉桂的香味。

A week and a day out from the Dragon and Fisherman he passed within shouting distance of the village of Sistan, a settlement only slightly larger than Flett. The twin clay chimneys of Sistan's roadhouse were smoking, but the road was empty, the sun bright. Simon peered down a hillside from the clump of silvery birches and the memory of his last hot meal struck him like a physical blow, weakening his knees so that he almost fell. That long-lost evening, despite its conclusion, seemed almost like Doctor Morgenes' onetime description of the pagan paradise of the old Rimmersgarders; eternal drinking and storytelling; merrymaking without end.

从那个龙和渔民的小酒馆出来,已经八天了,他来到了Sistan这一处小乡镇的附近,这里,比起Flett乡镇,稍微大一点儿。Sistan乡镇道路旁的旅馆上方,两根土制的烟囱,正在冒着烟,但,这条路上却空无一人,而,太阳,此时发出耀眼的光芒。Simon正站在一处小山坡上,他越过一丛银色的树枝,向下望去,而这时,他想起了上次吃的那顿热乎乎的饭,这回忆,就如同身体上的打击,使他的双膝无力,差点儿摔倒。那一个已经过去了很久的夜晚,虽然结局让人气愤,但看上去,几乎象是Morgenes大夫从前跟他讲过的那些古老的、Rimmersgarders人的异教徒的天堂;有着喝不完的酒,讲不完的故事;人们无休无止地尽情欢乐。

He crept down the hill toward the quiet roadhouse, hands trembling, forming wild plans of stealing a meat pie from an unguarded windowsill, or slipping in a back door to pillage the kitchen. He was out of the trees and halfway down the slope when he suddenly realized what he was doing: walking out of the woods at unshadowed noon, a sickened, feverish animal that had lost its self-protective instincts. Feeling suddenly naked despite his bramble-studded wool cloak he froze in place, then whirled and scrambled away, back up to the swan-slim birch trees. Now even they seemed too exposed; cursing and sobbing, he clambered past to the thicker shadows, drawing Oldheart around him like a cloak.

他爬下山坡,走向那个安静的路旁旅馆,双手颤抖着,心里起着一个又一个疯狂的念头,想着,怎样才能从没有人防备的窗沿,偷到一个肉馅饼,或者是悄悄溜进后门,到厨房里抢一些吃的。这时,他已经走出了树丛,这斜坡已经下到了一半,突然,他意识到,自己在干什么:在没有树荫遮蔽的中午,走出树林,就象一个生病的、发烧的小动物,失去了自我保护的本能。此时,他突然感到自己完全暴*露*了行迹,因而,尽管他围着挂满了荆棘的毛线斗篷,却象是被冻在了原地,不能动弹,随后,他猛然转身,匆忙离开,再次爬上山顶,躲在天鹅般优雅细长的桦树丛中。如今,即使有这桦树林的遮挡,他还是觉得太显眼了;他咒骂着,啜泣着,从这片桦树林过去,一直走进古老之心森林那浓密的树荫中,将这森林如斗篷一样,裹在自己身上。

Five days west of Sistan the begrimed and famished youth found himself crouched on another slope, peering down into a forest dell at a rough split-log hut. He was sure—as sure as he could be with his thoughts so piteously scatted and fragmented—that another day without real food or another solitary night spent in the chill, uncaring forest would leave him really and finally deranged: he would become completely the beast he more and more frequently felt himself to be. His thoughts were turning foul and brutish: food, dark hiding-places, weary forest tramping, these were his all-consuming preoccupations. It was increasingly difficult to remember the castle—had it been warm there? Had people spoken to him?—and when a branch had lanced his tunic and scored his ribs the day before he had only been able to growl and flail at it—a beast!

过了Sistan乡镇,向西又走了五天,这满身泥土、饥饿难耐的少年,发现自己又蜷缩在另一处斜坡上,向森林的一处小山谷俯视着,那里,有一个小木屋,是用劈开的木材粗略建造起来的。他确信——此时,他那些可怜的思绪,已经分散开来,成了碎片,在这种情况下,他也能够确信——如果再过一天,还是象这样吃不到真正的食物;或是在这寒冷、得不到一丝关怀的森林里,再熬过一个孤独的夜晚,那么,他最终,将会真正变成一个疯子:因为,他已经越来越感觉到,自己象是一只野兽,因而,最终,他将会成为一只十足的野兽。他的那些想法,已经变得邪恶,而粗野:吃的、黑暗的藏身之处、令人厌倦的森林中的漂泊,这些,成为他所有当前需要考虑的当务之急。想要回忆城堡里的旧事,对他而言,越来越难了——那座城堡,是不是曾经让他感到很温暖呢?那些城堡里的人们,是不是曾经跟他说过话呢?——而在前一天,当一根树枝戳进他的束腰外衣,刮伤他的肋骨的时候,他所做的仅仅是吼叫着,向那个枝条不断地击打——这行动,真象一只野兽!

Somebody... somebody lives here...

此时,他想,有人……有人住在那儿……

The woodsman's cottage had a front path lined with tidy stones. A stack of halved timbers nestled beneath the eaves against the side wall. Surely, he reasoned, sniffling quietly, surely somebody here would take pity on him if he walked to the door and calmly asked for some food.

这个住在树林中的人建造的小屋前,有一条路,它的两边整齐地铺着石头。一堆切成同样长短的木头,倚着墙壁,堆放在屋檐下。他轻轻抽抽鼻子,确信,如果自己走到那扇门前,说话很和气地要些吃的,小屋里的人,会同情地施舍给他的。

I'm so hungry. It's not fair. It's not right! Somebody must feed me... somebody...

我太饿了。这真是太不公平了。这是不对的!一定要有人给我吃的……不管是什么人……

He went slowly down the hill on stiff legs, his mouth gaping open and closed. A flagging recollection of the social contract told him that he must not frighten these rustic people, these suspicious woodsfolk in their tree-tiered hollow. He held his empty palms before him as he walked, pale fingers thrust wide apart in a dumb show of harmlessness.

他迈着僵硬的双腿,慢慢走下山坡,他的嘴不住地一张一合。他脑海里模模糊糊地回忆起了一条社会契约,告诉他,对于这些乡下的居民,不必害怕,不必害怕这些住在树林里的多疑的居民。他一边走路,一边将什么也没拿的双手在胸前摊开,苍白的手指大大地分开着,示意着自己无意于伤害别人。

The cottage was empty, or else the inhabitants were simply not responding to his sore-knuckled knocking. He walked around the little hut, dragging his fingertips along the rough wood. The single window was shuttered with a wide plank. He rapped again, harder; only hollow echoes answered.

他在小屋的门上敲了很长时间,指节都敲疼了,可还是没有人回应,或者,这本来就是个空屋子,也或许是,住在这里的人只是不理会他的敲门声。他绕着这间小屋向后面走去,指尖顺着这木屋未加修饰的木头,一路滑了过来。这小屋只有一扇窗户,而且还用一个宽木板挡着。他再用力敲了敲窗户,屋里只传出空空的回声。

As he sank into a crouch beneath the boarded window, wondering desperately if he could batter it open with a piece of firewood, a rustling, snapping noise from the stand of trees before him brought him back upright so quickly that his vision momentarily narrowed to a core of light surrounded by blackness; he wavered, feeling sick. The tree-fence bulged outward as though struck by a huge hand, then sprang back with a quiver. A moment later the silence was skewered again, this time by a strange, staccato hiss. The noise was transmuted into a rapid stream of words—in no language that Simon knew, but words nonetheless. After a percussive instant the glade was quiet again.

他在这挡着木板的窗户下面,将身子缩成一团,绝望地想,自己是不是能用一片木柴,将这窗户砸开,这时,从他前面的树林中,传来了沙沙的、劈啪作响的声音,他飞快地站直身子,由于站立太猛了,他的眼前,即刻出现了一片黑暗,瞳孔收缩了起来;他的身体摇晃着,觉得非常难受。从他的视角看过去,这树林构成的篱笆,向外突出出去,就象是被一只大手一拳打了出去,随即,又颤抖着恢复了原状。过了一会儿,周围的寂静中,又传来了声音,这次响起的是奇怪的、断断续续的嘶嘶作响声。很快,这声音就转为了一串迅速的叫喊声——所用的语言Simon无法听懂,但,确实是一些词句。片刻之后,这片林间的空地又沉入了寂静之中。

Simon was stone-struck; he could not move. What should he do? Perhaps the cottager had been attacked by an animal on his way home... Simon could help him... then they would have to give him food. But how could he help? He could barely walk. And what if it was a beast, only a beast—what if he had only imagined hearing words in that abrupt spatter of sound?

Simon就象是被石头击中了;他无法移动;他要怎么做呢?也可能,住在这个小屋里的人,刚才在回家的路上,被一只野兽袭击了……Simon可以去帮他……然后,这些人就会给他东西吃了。但他怎么去帮忙呢?他身体虚弱得只有走路的力气了。而如果,那发出声响的仅仅是只野兽呢,如果仅仅是只野兽的话,他该怎么办呢——如果,他在那野兽突然发出的、断断续续的叫声中,所听见的那些话语,不过只是他的想象呢?

And what if it was something worse? The king's guardsmen with bright sharp swords, or a starvation-slender, white-haired witch? Perhaps it was the very Devil himself, with ember-red robes and nightshade eyes?

如果,那是更糟的东西,他又该怎么办呢?如果,那是国王拿着闪亮的利剑的卫兵们,或是一个面黄饥瘦的、满头白发的女巫呢?或许,那就是穿着红色的袍子,有着阴暗的双眼的那个魔鬼,他又该怎么办才好呢?

Where he found the courage, even the strength, to unbend his rigid knees and walk forward into the trees Simon could not say. If he had not felt so ill and so desperate he might not have... but he was ill, and starved, and as dirty and lonely as a Nascadu jackal. Wrapping his cloak tightly about his chest, holding the furl of Morgenes' writings before him, he limped toward the copse.

Simon不知道,他是从哪儿找到的勇气,找到的力量,使他僵直的膝盖可以弯曲,一直走进那片发出声响的树丛里去。如果,他不是这么难受,不是这么绝望,他就可以找不到这个力量……可他现在感觉很不舒服,非常饥饿,而且就象Nascadu的一只豺狗一样,又肮脏又孤单。他将斗篷紧紧裹在胸前,将Morgenes的那卷手稿举在自己胸口,步履艰难地走向那片树丛。

In the trees the sunlight fell unevenly, strained through a sieve of spring leaves, dotting the forest floor like a scatter of fithing pieces. The air seemed taut as held breath. For a moment he saw nothing but dark tree-shapes and slivers of lancing daylight. In one spot the shafts of light were jigging fitfully; he realized a moment later that they shone on a struggling figure. As he took a step forward, the leaves whispered beneath his foot, and with that sound the struggling ceased. The hanging thing—it dangled fully a yard off the spongy ground—lifted its head and stared at him. It had the face of a man, but the merciless topaz eyes of a cat.

那片树丛中,阳光深一层浅一层地照耀着,透过伸展的树叶织成的网,顷泻而下,斑斑驳驳地投射在森林的地上,象是一些散落的硬币。空气紧张不安,象是屏住的呼吸。有一会儿功夫,他看到的,那些黑乎乎的树的形体,还有透射下来的一缕缕阳光。后来,他发现,有一处地方,那些光线断断续续地跳动着;过了一会儿,他清楚了,这些光线照射在一个正在奋力挣扎着的身影上面。他向前迈了一点,在他的脚下,树叶发出沙沙的响声,一听到这个响声,那奋力挣扎着的动作平息了。那个悬挂在那里的东西——它离开铺着柔软的树叶的地面,有一码远的距离——抬起头,注视着Simon。那是一张人的面孔,可却有着猫一般的残酷的、犹如黄玉般的眼睛。


Simon leaped back, his heart tipping in his chest; he flung out his hands, fingers spread wide as though to block out the sight of this bizarre gallows bird. Whatever or whoever he was, he was not like any man Simon had seen. Still, there was something achingly familiar about him, as from a half-remembered dream—but so many of Simon's dreams were now bad ones. What a strange apparition! Although caught in a cruel trap, pinioned at waist and elbows by a noose of snaky black rope and hanging from a bobbing branch out of reach of the earth, still this prisoner looked fierce, unhumbled: a treed fox who would die with his teeth in a hound's throat.

Simon惊慌后退,心脏在胸口狂跳不止;他不停挥舞着双手,手指张开着,似乎想要遮挡住眼前,这如同悬挂在绞型架上的那个奇异的家伙。不管他是什么,不论他是谁,他都不同于Simon过去见到过的那些人们。然而,在这个人的身上,确实有一些让Simon觉得极其熟悉的地方,这些熟悉之处,似乎来自于他恍惚记得的一场梦——但是,Simon的那些梦,如今好多都已经成了噩梦了。这是一个多么离奇的鬼怪啊!虽然,他被一个残酷的陷阱逮住了,一条蛇一般的黑色的绳索,捆住了他的腰部,还有双肘,将他从地面上吊了起来,挂在一个不断抖动着的树枝上,然而,这个无力挣脱的人,看起来仍然是极其凶猛,不肯低头:就象一个被吊在架上的狐狸,他宁可死的时候,也要将利牙咬进猎犬的咽喉。

If he was a man, he was a very slender man. His high-cheeked, thin-boned face reminded Simon for a moment—a horrifyingly cold moment—of the black-robed creatures on Thisterborg, but where they had been pale, white-skinned as blindfish, this one was golden brown like polished oak.

如果他是个人的话,那么他就是个身材很修长的人。他高高隆起的双颊,还有骨骼突出的面容,让Simon有那么一会儿,想起来了——这一会儿的工夫,可真是个让他极度战栗的时刻——他想起了Thisterborg的山顶上,那几个裹着黑袍的人,但是,相比之下,那几个人显得苍白,他们的皮肤是白色的,就象乳白色的盲鱼一样,而眼前的这一个,肤色却是金褐色的,如同磨光的橡木发出的色泽。

Trying to get a better look in the dim light, Simon took a step forward; the prisoner narrowed his eyes, then skinned back his lips, baring his teeth in a feline hiss. Something in the way he did it, something inhuman about the way his quite-human face moved, told Simon in an instant that this was no man trapped here like a weasel... this was something different....

Simon想要在这暗淡的阳光下,好好看一看这个人,于是,他向前迈了一步;这个被困住的人眯起了眼睛,随后,张开嘴唇,露出牙齿,发出了猫一样的嘶嘶声。他的这一举动,表现出了一些不同于人类的特征,他那非常接近于人类的面部,在移动的时候,那种非人类的行为,立刻使Simon明白了,这个象只鼬鼠那样,被陷阱困住的,不是人……而是一种不同于人类的什么东西……

Simon had moved closer than was prudent, and as he stared into the flecked-amber eyes the prisoner lashed out, bringing cloth-booted feet up into the youth's ribcage. Simon, though he had seen the momentary backswing and anticipated the assault, still received a painful blow in the side, so swift was the prisoner's movement. He stumbled back, glowering at his attacker, who scowled horribly in return.

Simon已经非常不谨慎地走到离这个东西很近的地方了,他注视着那一双带着斑点的琥珀色的眼睛,这时,那个困在陷阱里的东西猛然向前一击,将穿着布靴的双脚,一下子踢到了这少年的胸廓上。Simon,虽然他已经看到了,对方双脚踢出前,这瞬间的姿势,他已经预料到了这一袭击,然而,即使这样,由于对方动作太迅速了,因此,他还是在身体一侧,挨了这挺疼的一脚。他踉跄后退,冲着他的这个袭击者怒目而视,后者,作为回应,也在向他怒目相视。

As he faced the stranger across the span of a man's height, Simon watched the somehow unnatural muscles draw the mouth open in a sneer, and the Sitha—for Simon had realized suddenly, as if someone had told him, that this hanging creature was exactly that—the Sitha spat out a single awkward word in Simon's Westerling tongue.

当Simon来到距离对方大约有一个人的身高的位置,站在那里,面对着这个奇怪的东西的时候,他看到,那个东西,张开嘴发出冷笑时,面部的肌肉拉伸到不自然的程度,并且,这个Sitha精灵——Simon突然明白了这一点,就如同有人在他耳边告诉了他,这个挂在那里的东西,无疑就是一个Sitha精灵——此时,这精灵用Simon的当地口语,也就是Westerling的地方语言,笨拙地吐出一个词。

"Coward!"

“胆小鬼!”

Simon was so angered by this that he nearly charged forward, starvation and fear and aching limbs notwithstanding... until he realized that this was just what the Sitha's oddly-accented jibe had been meant to accomplish. Simon pushed down the pain of his kicked ribs, folded his hands over his chest, and stared at the trapped Sitha-man; he had the grim satisfaction of seeing what he felt sure was a squirm of frustration.

Simon被对方惹恼了,尽管他自己又饿,又怕,四肢又疼痛难忍,但他还是差一点儿就扑了过去……其后,他意识到,自己如果扑过去了,那就真成了这Sitha精灵带着古怪口音的嘲笑所说的那样,是个胆小鬼了。于是,他压下了被踢中的肋骨上的疼痛,双手交叠在胸前,仔细看着这个陷阱中的Sitha精灵;看着对方挫败地挣扎了一下,他硬起心肠,觉得非常满意。

The Fair One, as Rachel had always superstitiously referred to the race, wore a strange, soft robe and pants of a slithery brown material only a shade darker than his skin. Belt and ornaments of shiny green stone contrasted most wonderfully with his hair—lavender-blue like mountain heather, pulled back close against his head by a bone ring, dangling in a horse-tail behind one ear. He seemed only slightly shorter, although much thinner, than Simon—but the youth had not seen himself recently in any reflection but murky forest pools; perhaps now he, too, looked this scrawny and wild. But even so, still there were differences, not-quite-definable things: birdlike motions of the head and neck, an odd fluidity in the pivoting of joints, an aura of power and control that was discernible even while its possessor hung like an animal in the crudest of traps. This Sitha, this dream-haunter, was unlike anything Simon had known. He was terrifying and thrilling... he was alien.

Rachel总是带着迷信色彩地,将这一种族称为精灵族,借用她的称呼来说,眼前的这个精灵,穿着奇特的、柔软的袍子,还有裤子,那是用比他的肤色稍微黑一些的褐色衣料做成的,这种衣料非常光滑。他的皮带,还有那些亮晶晶的绿色宝石的装饰,同他的头发,形成了极其惊人的对比——他的头发,颜色如薰衣草般淡蓝,就象是山上的石南花,用一条骨制的环,拢在他的头后一侧,如同一束马尾,垂在一只耳朵后面。看上去,他的个子只比Simon矮了一点儿,不过没有Simon那么强壮——但是,Simon最近都很少看到自己的倒影了,他只是在森林中那些黑暗的湖泊中见到过自己的影子;所以也许,他自己看上去也跟这个精灵一样,骨瘦如柴、野性十足。但即使这样,两相比较起来,在一些很难说清楚的方面,还是有些不同之处:那个精灵,在他的头、颈移动的时候,象是鸟儿一样敏捷,而且,他身上的各处关节转动的时候,带有一种奇特的流动性,而,即使象动物一样,被困在这粗糙的陷阱中,他的身上,依然非常明显地散发着权力,和掌控全局的气息。这个Sitha精灵,这个总是出现在Simon梦想中的精怪,同Simon所知的任何事情都不一样。他看上去非常可怕,令人战栗……他来自一个人类之外的种族。

"I don't... don't want to hurt you," Simon said at last, and realized he was speaking as though to a child. "I didn't set the trap." The Sitha continued to regard him with baleful crescent eyes.

“我并不……并不想伤害你,”Simon最后说道,觉得自己就象是跟个孩子在说话。“不是我设的这个陷阱。”Sitha精灵仍然用充满恶意的新月形的眼睛盯着他。

What terrible pain he must be hiding, Simon marveled. His arms are pulled up so far that... that I would be screaming... if it were me!

在他的外表之下,隐藏着多么深的痛苦啊,Simon很是惊奇。他的双臂被吊到这么高的位置……要我就会尖声叫喊了……如果换成是我的话!

Protruding above the prisoner's left shoulder was a quiver, empty but for two arrows. Several more arrows and a bow of slim, dark wood lay strewn on the turf beneath his dangling feet.

这个精灵的左肩上,挎着一个箭囊,里面只有两枝箭。另外几支箭,还有一个细长的黑木弓,散落在他摇摆着的脚下的草地上。


"If I try to help you, will you promise not to hurt me?" Simon asked, forming his words slowly. "I'm very hungry, myself," he lamely added. The Sitha said nothing, but as Simon took another step he coiled his legs up before him to kick; the youth retreated.

“如果我试着帮你,你会不会保证不伤害我?”Simon一字一字慢慢地问着。“我已经有很长时间没吃东西了,我是说我自己,”他又加了一句并不充分的理由。Sitha精灵什么也没说,但当Simon又上前迈出一步,他又将双腿蜷缩起来,向他踢去;Simon赶忙后退。

"Be damned!" Simon shouted. "I only want to help you!" But why did he? Why let the wolf out of the pit? "You must..." he began, but the rest of his words were snuffed out as a large dark form came swishing and crackling out of the trees toward them.

“真该死的!”Simon叫了起来。“我只是想帮你!”可是,为什么他要帮这个精灵呢?为什么他要把这头狼,从陷阱里放出来呢?“你必须……”他说道,但,这句话没有说完就被他咽了回去,因为,这时他看到,一个巨大的黑色身影,从树丛中向他们走来,带着一路的嗖嗖声,还有清脆的响声。

"Ah! Here it be, here it be...!" a deep voice said. A man, bearded and dirty, waded into the little clearing. His clothes were heavy and much mended: in his hand he swung an axe.

“啊!它在这儿呢,它在这儿呢……!”传来一个低沉的声音。一个长着胡须、身上肮脏的人,大步地来到了这小小的空地。他的衣服很笨重,上面有着许多补丁:手里,挥舞着一把斧头。

"Now then, you..." he stopped when he saw Simon huddled against a tree. "Here," he growled, "who be you? What are you about?"

“那么现在,你……”他看见Simon挨着一棵树,挤成一团,便住了口。“嗯,”他吼叫着,“你是谁?你在干什么?”

Simon looked down at the pitted axe-blade. "I'm... I'm just a traveler... I heard a noise here in the trees..." He waved his hand toward the odd tableau. "I found him here, in... in this trap."

Simon垂着头,看着这人手里的那把有着许多凹痕的斧刃。“我……我只是路过这里的人……我听到这边的树林里有声音……”他向那处陷阱挥挥手示意着。“我发现他在这儿,在……在陷阱里。”

"My trap!" the woodsman grinned. "My damned trap—and there he be, too." Turning his back on Simon the man looked the dangling Sitha over coolly. "I promised I'd stop their sneakin* and spyin' and sourin' the milk, that I did." He reached out a hand and pushed the prisoner's shoulder, swinging him helplessly back and forth in a slow arc. The Sitha hissed, but it was an impotent sound. The woodsman laughed.

“那是我的陷阱!”这个住在森林里的人笑起来。“这该死的是我设的陷阱——所以,他就被抓住了。”这个人转过身去,背对着Simon,冷酷无情地看着不住摆动着的Sitha精灵。“我保证过,我要让他们不再偷我的牛奶,不再偷看我的牛奶,不再把我的牛奶弄酸,我确实是做到了。”他伸出一只手,将精灵的肩头一推,后者无助地慢慢前后摇摆着,划出一道圆弧。精灵口中发出嘶嘶的响声,但这声音虚弱无力。这个林中居民大笑起来。

"By the Tree, they got fight in 'em they do. Got fight."

以神圣之树的名义,是他们自己卷入了这场争斗。这争斗确实是他们自找的。”

"What... what are you going to do with him?"

“那么……你想对他怎么样呢?”

"What do you think, boy? What do you think God'd have us do with sprites an' imps an' devils when we catch 'em? Send'em back to hell with my good chopper, that'll tell you."

“你怎么想呢,孩子?你想,如果我们抓住了小妖精们、小鬼们、魔鬼们,上帝会让我们怎么做呢?让我来告诉你吧,我要用我这把锋利的斧子,把它们送回地狱里去。”

The prisoner slowly stopped swinging, revolving in a lazy circle at the end of the black rope like a webbed fly. His eyes were downcast, his body limp.

精灵慢慢停止了摇摆,他在这黑色的绳索底端,缓慢地打着旋,就象一只缠在蛛网上的飞虫。他的双眼向下看着,身体软弱无力。

"Kill him?" Simon, ill and weak as he was, still felt a cold wash of shock. He tried to marshal his straggling thoughts. "You're going to... but you can't! You can't! He's... he's a..."

“杀了他?”Simon虽然自己的身体非常难受,非常虚弱,但他仍然感觉到,这震惊,就如同冰冷的水,向他席卷过来。他试图整理自己混乱的思路。“你想要……可你不能这么做!你决不能这么做!他是……他是个……”


"What he's not is no natural creature, that's sure! Get away from here, stranger. You're in my bit o' garden, as it were, an' you got no call to be. I know what these creatures are a-gettin' up to." The woodsman contemptuously turned his back on Simon and moved toward the Sitha, axe raised as though to split timber. This timber, though, suddenly heaved, became a struggling, kicking, snarling beast fighting for its life. The cotsman's first blow went awry, grazing the bony cheek and digging a jagged furrow down the arm of the strange, shiny garment. A ribbon of all too human-looking blood dribbled down the slender jaw and neck. The man advanced again.

“不管他是什么,都不是自然物种,这点是确信无疑的!你走开,你这个外乡人。你是在我的地盘上,因此,你没有权力要求我怎么做。我知道我要让这些动物变成什么。”这个这个住在树林中的人轻蔑地转身,背向Simon,朝Sitha精灵走去,他的斧头高举着,就象是去劈木材。然而,这块木材,却突然起伏着,变成了一个为了保命而战的野兽,挣扎着,踢打着,咆哮着。这个当地人的第一斧就砍歪了,擦伤了精灵颧骨突出的脸颊,落在他的手臂上,将他那奇异的、闪光的衣服袖子,划了一道参差不齐的口子。精灵脸上,流出了和人类一样的鲜红色的血,这一股鲜血,滴落在他清秀的下颏、脖子上。这个挥着斧子的人,又接着砍了下去。

Simon dropped down to his sore knees, looking for something to stop this ghastly struggle, to halt the man's grunting and cursing, and the scratchy snarl of the beleaguered prisoner that punished his ears. Groping, he found the bow, but it was even lighter than it had looked, as though strung on marsh reed. An instant later his hand closed on a half-buried rock. He heaved, and it broke free from the clinging soil. He held it over his head.

Simon弯着酸疼的双膝,跪在地上,看能不能找到什么东西,来制止这场骇人的搏斗,使那个当地人停止咕哝声、咒骂声,使那个被攻击的精灵,停止那些刺耳的吼叫声,这些声音对Simon而言,太难以忍受了。他摸索着,找到了那张弓,但这弓比它看上去更轻,就象是用沼泽中的芦苇做成的弓弦。很快,他就摸到了一块在土里埋着一半的岩石。他用力一拽,将石头从埋着它的土壤中抽了出来。他将石头举到自己头顶上。

"Stop!" he shouted. "Leave him be!" Neither combatant gave him even a flicker of notice. The woodsman now stood at arm's length, swiping at his swirling target, landing only glancing blows but continuing to draw blood. The Sitha's thin chest was heaving like a bellows; he was weakening quickly.

“停手!”他大叫着。“放开他!”这两个打成一团的人,一点也不理会他。这个这个住在树林中的人,如今站在离精灵一臂之远的地方,攻击着这个不停旋转的精灵,他的斧子没有砍出多严重的伤,但斧斧都能见血。Sitha精灵纤细的胸膛,就象一只风箱一样不断地起伏;他很快就虚弱了下来。

Simon could not stand the cruel spectacle any longer. Setting free the howl that had been coiling itself within him through all the interminable, terrifying days of his exile, he sprang forward, crossing the tiny clearing in a bound to bring the rock down on the back of the cotsman's head. A dull smack reverberated through the trees; the man seemed to go boneless in an instant. He pitched heavily forward onto his knees and then his face, a surge of red welling up through his matted hair. Staring down at the bloody wreckage, Simon felt his insides heave; he fell to his knees retching, bringing up nothing but a sour strand of spittle. He pressed his dizzy head against the damp ground and felt the forest sway and rock about him.

Simon对眼前这血腥的一幕,再也看不下去了。他大吼一声,将自己逃亡的这些日子里,所承受的那些无休止的、恐怖的情绪,一下子喷发了出来,他冲上前去,一跃就跳过了这片小小的空地,把石头砸向那个当地人的后脑勺。树林中,传出一声闷响;那个人的身子立刻就软了下去。他的身体沉重地斜向前方倒了下去,开始是双膝着地,然后是脸部着地,一股鲜红的血液,从他纠结的头发中汩汩涌出。Simon低下头看着这个流着血的可怜虫,他觉得自己很反胃;他跪了下来,呕吐着,但只吐出了很少的酸水。他将晕沉沉的头,压在潮湿的地上,感觉到森林在摇晃,石头也旋转起来。

When he was able, he stood and turned to the Sithi-man, who again dangled quietly in the noose. The snaky tunic was laced with streamers of blood, and the feral eyes were dimmed, as though some internal curtain had rolled down to block the light within. As haltingly as a sleepwalker, Simon picked up the fallen axe and traced the taut rope up from the prisoner to where it wrapped around a high limb of the tree—a limb too high to reach. Simon, too numb for fear, worked the nicked blade-edge against the knot behind the Sitha's back. The Fair One winced as the noose pulled tighter, but made no sound.

过了一会儿,他觉得自己好多了,就站起来,转身看着Sithi精灵,后者又在绳索上轻轻摇摆起来。他缠在身上的束腰外衣上,散落着一道道的血迹,那双目光凶猛的眼睛,暗淡失色,就象是那里面,放下了一层窗帘,将内部的光线遮挡住了。象是一个梦游的人一样,Simon恍恍惚惚地,拿起掉在地上的斧子,仔细看着精灵身上的绳索,这条紧绷的绳索,从捆绑着精灵的身体的地方,一直向上延伸着,最后缠绕在一根高高的树枝上——那个树枝太高了,他够不到。Simon,晕晕沉沉地,也不知道害怕了,他将斧刃顶在Sitha背部的那个绳结上,一点一点划着。他的动作,使精灵身上的绳索突然绷紧了,对此,这个精灵只是退缩了一下,没有发出任何响声。

After a long moment of scraping and rubbing, the slippery knot parted. The Sitha fell to the ground, legs buckling, and tumbled forward onto the motionless woodsman. He rolled away from the mute hulk immediately, as though burned, and began gathering up his scattered arrows. Holding them like a clutch of long-stemmed flowers, he picked up his bow in the other hand and paused to stare at Simon. His cold eyes glinted, stopping the words in Simon's mouth. For an instant the Sitha, injuries forgotten or ignored, stood poised and tense as a startled deer; then he was gone, a flash of brown and green that vanished into the trees, leaving Simon gape-jawed and deserted.

他用斧头又是划,又是磨地,弄了很长时间,才割开了这滑溜溜的绳结。Sitha精灵落在了地上,他双腿踉跄着,向前绊倒在那个一动不动的住在树林中的人的身上。他立刻从这一声不出的、笨重的人的身上,躲到了一旁,就象是被这人烫了一下, 随后,他逐一拾起自己散落在地上的箭矢。他将这些箭拿在手中,就如同握着一束长长花茎的花儿,他用另一只手拣起自己的弓,停下来,注视着Simon。他那冷酷的眼中,目光闪动,Simon刚想说话,就被他的目光制止了。瞬间,这个Sitha精灵,忘掉了、或是不顾自己身上的伤,安静而又紧张地站在那里,象是只受了惊吓的鹿;随后,他就离开了,如同是褐色和黑色的所交织成的一道闪光,消失在树丛中,这里,Simon,张大嘴巴吃惊地看着,又成了孤孤单单的一个人。

The spotted sunlight had not finished rippling on the leaves where he had passed when Simon heard a buzz like an angry insect and felt a shadow flit across his face. An arrow stood out from a tree trunk beside him, quivering gradually back into visibility less than an arm's length from his head. He stared at it dully, wondering when the next one would strike him. It was a white arrow, shaft and feathers alike bright as a gull's wing. He waited for its inevitable successor. None came. That stand of trees was silent and motionless.

在精灵消失的地方,树叶上斑斑点点的阳光,还没有停止波动,Simon就听到象是发怒的昆虫发出的一声嗡嗡的响声,随即,觉得有一个阴影从他面前飞掠而过。一枝箭,插上了他旁边的一棵树上,箭身的抖动渐渐平息,他可以清楚地看到,这把箭离他的头,不到一臂之远。他迷迷糊糊地看着这枝箭,惊讶着,下一枝箭什么时候会射向他呢。这是一枝纯然白色的箭,箭轴,和羽毛,都如同海欧的翅膀一样明亮。他等着必然会射来的第二枝箭。但是却没有。那些大树,悄无声息、一动不动。

After the strangest and most terrible fortnight of his life, and after a particularly bizarre day, it should not have surprised Simon to hear a new and unfamiliar voice speaking to him from the darkness beyond the trees, a voice that was not the Sitha's, and certainly did not come from the woodsman, who lay like a felled tree. "Go ahead to take it," the voice said. "The arrow. Take it. It is yours."

这时,他听到那些树后,远远的黑暗处,传来一个他从未听过,也一点也不熟悉的声音在对他讲话,这个声音,并不是Sitha精灵的声音,当然也不是那个住在林中的人的人声音,因为这个人此刻,还象一棵倒了的树那样,一动不动地躺在那里。“去把它拿下来,”这个声音说着。“那枝箭,拿着它。它是你的了。”按说,
在经历了如此奇特的,又是极其恐怖的两个星期之后,在经历了这异常怪异的一天以后,再也没有什么事情可以让Simon感到奇怪的了,然而,情况却远非如此。

Simon should not have been surprised, but he was. He dropped helplessly to the ground and began to cry—great choking sobs of exhaustion and confusion and total despair.

Simon本来不应该这么惊奇的,但是他确实是吃了一惊。他无力地倒在地上,哭了起来——由于筋疲力尽,由于极度困惑,也由于彻彻底底地悲观绝望,这痛哭声,呜呜咽咽,几乎要喘不过气来。

"Oh, Daughter of the Mountains," the strange new voice said. "This does not seem good."

“哦,山峦的女儿啊,”这个奇怪的声音说道。“这可太糟了。”


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#日志日期:2008-7-13 星期日(Sunday) 晴 复制链接 举报

评论人:夏楚鸥 评论日期:2008-7-28 9:51
抢个沙发,拜访一下!



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