第三章--The First of the Secrets(4-10)

上一篇 / 下一篇  2008-10-04 15:51:35 / 个人分类:小说翻译

4.
You must have guessed what was on those papers. I read the tales we had told each other that night in the coal cellar. I had forgotten every single one of them, including my own. The paper trembled in my hands when I held it, and the tears blurred my vision.I did not for a moment doubt the truth of them. Titans trapped in ice. Werewolves running through trees so tall their branches caught the stars. Magic dogs who sit by the door, and poets who sing tales of yore. A city in outer space, inhabited by creatures wiser than man, meant somehow to protect the world. A castle of light, where a throne sits on a magic glass where everything in every world can be seen.

4

你一定猜到了那些纸上写着什么.我读到了我们那天在煤窖里为彼此讲述的故事.我那时忘记了它们中的所有的故事,包括我自己的.当我拿这它时,纸张在我的手里颤抖,泪水模糊了我的视线.那一刻我没有怀疑它们的真实性.困在冰中的泰坦巨人.奔跑着穿越树林的狼人和那些树枝能触及星星的高大树木.坐在门旁边的魔力狗,吟唱着古老的传说的诗人.外太空的城市,居住着比人类智慧的生物,他们因为某种原因保卫着个世界.在光明城堡中,一个君王坐在能看到世间一切的魔法玻璃上.


One moment, it merely sounded familiar, like a dream you can half recall. The next moment I remembered the coal cellar, that night of terror. Victor had saved Quentin from freezing to death. He made a vow never to forget stories that were obviously already half-forgotten things, pages torn at random from lost diaries.

某一瞬间,仅仅是听上去感到熟悉,就像你能回忆起一半的一个梦.下一刻我就会记起煤窖和那个恐怖的夜晚.维克托把快要冻死的昆廷救活过来.他许下一个永不忘记这些故事的誓约,那些故事明显已经被忘了一半,不过是某本日记上胡乱撕下的几页.


But I did not remember the events captured in the Tale. I remember telling the others about my mother and father, but I did not remember my mother and father. Nothing. Not a face, not a sound of voice, not the feel of a hand holding mine.

但是我不记得故事中的事件发生过.我记得告诉过其他人关于我的母亲和父亲,但是我不记得他们.什么也不记的.没有容貌,没有声音,没有拥抱我的感觉.


I told Victor what I had found. He was as tall as a man at that time, but it was before the hair appeared on his lip, so perhaps this was a year or so before the experiment when he tried to measure the moon, and prove Einstein’s theory false.

我告诉维克托我找到了什么.他那个时候和一个成人一样高了,不过嘴上还没有长出胡须,所以可能是在他作测量月亮来证明爱因斯坦相对论是错误的那个实验之前的一年或更早的什么时候.


It shook him. I had never seen him actually so frightened before.He kept wiping his eyes, as if the fear was making him want to cry.

那东西震撼了他.我从来没有看到他以前有过如此害怕.他一直在擦眼睛,就像恐惧使他哭泣.


He said, “If they can erase our thoughts, if they can blot out our past, what chance do we have?”

他说,"如果他们可以抹去我们的思想,如果他们能抹去我们的过去,我们还有什么机会?"


I was more shaken by the fact that he was shaken than I was by the fact itself. “You believe it? All this stuff?”

他所畏惧的东西比故事本身给我的震撼还要大."你相信它吗?所有这些?"

He shook his head, but it was one of those head shakes where you don’t know if you mean yes or no. “I don’t see why not. It is no stranger than some of the things we learn in science. All this time, I was thinking we were from France, or maybe Asia, or, well, at least the planet Mars. Or . . .”

他摇了摇头,但是那种摇头让你看不出来是表示"是"或"不是"."为什么不信.它不比我们在科学课程上学的东西更奇怪.我始终认为我们来自法国,或者可能是亚洲,或者,恩,甚至是火星.或者..."


He took a deep breath, and calmed himself.

他深呼吸了一口气,使自己平静下来.


I said, “Let’s not tell the others.” I was thinking that if Victor,who was (in my mind) the paragon of self-control, was frightened by this, Quentin would go mad.

我说,"我们去告诉其他人吧."我想如果维克托(在我印象中)这样一个自制力的模范生都害怕这个,昆廷会发疯的.


Victor said curtly, “We keep no secrets from each other.”

维克托简单地说,"我们彼此没有秘密."

5.
Vanity did not faint; she was delighted. “My mother has red hair!” I remember how she used to whisper that to herself as she was falling asleep in the dormitory bed next to me, as if it were her own form of prayer.

瓦妮特没有吓晕;反而很高兴."我妈妈有红色的头发!"我记得她在宿舍里我旁边那张床上经常这样说梦话,就像那是她自己的祈祷方式.


We did not have many chances to speak together without being overheard. But, from time to time, Colin would create an opportunity, such as by pulling the fire alarm.

我们没有多少机会在不被偷听的情况下彼此交谈.但是,有的时候,科林会创造一个机会,比如按下火警按钮.


I told him the story in hurried whispers as the alarm was ringing and ringing in the hall, and slipped him the papers quickly. He had some questions for me, so there were fire alarms the next day, and the next.

当大厅里警铃大作的时候,我匆忙低声地把故事告诉了他,并把那些纸迅速塞到他怀里.他有一些问题要问我,所以第二天火警铃又响了,还有第三天.


Colin acted as if he did not believe it. “They might have faked your handwriting. Put those notes up to fool us, ruin our morale,” he said. But I overheard him asking Quentin a few weeks later, “People don’t really die from grief, right? That’s just a saying, right . . . ?”

科林装作不相信它."他们可能伪造了你的笔记.用那些笔记来愚弄我们,摧毁我们的士气,"他说.但是几周后我偷听到他问昆廷,"人不会真的死于悲伤,会吗?那只是说说,对吧...?"


Quentin’s reaction was the opposite, when he found out. He was not skeptical at all. I remember it was after he got the copy of the papers from Colin that he began, during our very rare trips into town, to ask the librarian, or the local fishermen, or the granny selling flowers on the street corner, about tales of Welsh witches, King Arthur, or the Great Gray Man of the Hill.

当昆廷得知这些故事的时候反应相反.他丝毫没有怀疑.我记得在他从科林那里得到了那些纸的手抄版以后,在我们极罕有的去镇里的旅行期间,他开始像图书馆理员,或当地渔民,或在街脚卖花的老奶奶,打听威尔士女巫,亚瑟王,和山里伟大的先知的传说.


He took in every little story he could find, and asked for extra homework, just to get the chance to spend more hours than normal in the library, leafing through Ovid’s Metamorphosis, or the Malleus Maleficarum.

他收集他能找到的每一个小故事,并要求额外的家庭作业,仅是为了能比平时多呆在图书馆里几个小时,快速地翻阅奥维德的"变形记",或者"达芬奇密码".


By that time, Colin had bored a hole through the locker room wall into the girls’ shower, with an awl he stole from Mr. Glum, so we could have longer conversations in private, so he said.

那个时候,科林用他从格罗姆先生那里偷来的锥子在衣帽间的墙上凿的一个到女浴室的洞,那样我们就可以有更多的时间私下交谈,他是这样说的.


Myself, I just got into the habit of squirting hairspray into any hole I saw in or near the shower. I never heard Victor’s voice suddenly cry out in pain from behind the wall, and Quentin’s only once.

而我产生则了一个兴趣,就是在浴室里或附近的任何洞里喷头发定型剂.我从来没有听到墙后面发出维克托的惨叫,昆廷也只有一次.


But nearly a month passed while that whisper hole was in place, and no teacher really minded if you spent a long time in the shower. And we supposed the sound of the water might hide our voices.

在那个"说悄悄话的洞"被钻出来大约一个月以后,我们没有老师真的在意你在浴室里呆了多长时间.我们也认为流水的声音应该能盖住我们的声音.


That was the summer Victor formalized our rules, and put them to quick votes which we registered in whispers, or by a quick knock on the wall.

那个夏天维克托指定了我们的规则,然后通过耳语或者敲墙来对其中的具体项进行了投票.


It was Quentin who insisted we all take once more the vow we had made, and forgotten, in the coal cellar. “Vows are powerful things,” he said. “They set things in motion.”

昆廷坚持我们再宣一次誓,就像我们在煤窖里做过、但已经忘记了的那次一样."宣誓是有力的事情"他说,"它让事情运作起来."


We could not all put our hands together through the tiny hole in the locker room, so Vanity and I held hands, while the boys (I assume) did their Three-Musketeers slogan.

我们没办法把我们的手伸过衣帽间的小洞叠在一起,所以瓦妮特和我牵着手,当男孩们也牵着手(我猜想)说出三个火枪手的口号时.


And Quentin added one personal codicil to the group oath.“Whatever has been hidden in darkness, I will discover. I will learn the secret, I will find the key, I will dare to turn it; I will pass through the door. The sleeper slumbers; he shall awaken.” Quentin was the one who discovered the secret. It was more than a year, but he kept his word.

昆廷在团体誓言的后面加了一份个人附录."无论黑暗中藏这什么,我都会揭示.我会发现秘密,我将找到答案,我敢于去扭转它;我将穿过那扇门;沉睡者应当被唤醒."昆廷是发现秘密的那个人.发生在一年以后,他作到了他的誓言.

6.
We had been told that the boundaries were bad for our health, that we would become ill if we passed too far beyond them. Victor dismissed this alarming news as a trick, something to keep us away from the estate boundaries, gathered in toward the center of the grounds. He defied this ban as often as he could, and the Headmaster could invent no reason to keep Victor from climbing among the rocks and slopes of the Eastern Downs, provided he stayed inside the bounds.

我们被告知那些边界以外的地方对我们健康有害,如果我们越过边界太远的距离就会生病.维克托认为这个警告根本就是一个骗局,不过是为了让我们不接近边界,把我们集中在这块土地中央.他一有机会就挑战这条禁令,如果只要他留在边界内,校长就不会反对他爬到竖石或者西边唐斯山脉的斜坡上去.


As I said, it was Quentin who discovered the first of the secrets.He had been among the barrows and ancient graves of the North, perhaps in some place told to him by a winged shape which flew at night, late in the year.

就像我提到过那样,是昆廷发现了头等的秘密.在那一年的冬天,在北边的那些坟堆和远古墓穴中,或者是其他什么地方,那天晚上飞走的翼形生物告诉了他.


It was an autumn day, then. It was cold for the time of year.Morning dew formed frost on the windowpanes. I remember how, in that season, the rising red-gold sun sent weakened beams to bring a mist rising from the North Lawn like steam from a cauldron. The trees to the South seemed to be afire, if fire could burn cold. We had icicles hanging from the rainspouts and the saints in the chapel, even before the leaves had
turned.

那是秋季的一天.一年中的那个时候天气已经凉了下来.晨露在玻璃窗上结成了霜.我记得,在那个季节里,初升的红日发出微弱的光,北面草地上升腾起薄雾,就像锅炉里升起水蒸气一样.


I remember it was not long after Quentin’s first experiment with shaving. He appeared at the breakfast table, dressed, as we all were, in formal morning clothes, but with daubs of cotton clinging to his cheek where he had nicked himself. I remember this was about nine months after Colin’s first attempt to grow the stringy mess he called a goatee, and almost two years after Victor’s lip began to show fuzz.

我记得发生在昆廷"刮胡子实验"后的不久.他出现在早餐桌上,和我们所有人一样,穿着正式的早礼服,但是在他脸上被自己刮破的地方胡乱贴着胶布.我记得差不多是在科林第一次尝试长出他叫做胡子的东西后的九个月,也差不多是在维克托唇上出现绒毛后的两年.


On that day, Quentin announced at the breakfast table that he had learned how to fly. He spoke in a very low voice, without moving his lips.

那天.昆廷在早餐上宣布他学会了飞翔.他说的声音非常小,连嘴唇都没有动.


Dr. Fell and Mrs. Wren, who normally sat at the great walnut table at breakfast, had been called away that morning to prepare for some important meeting of the Board of Visitors and Governors (who were due later that week). Only Mr. Glum was there to watch us, but he was not allowed to sit at the table as the teachers were. There was a window seat at the bay window, and the morning sun was sparkling off the diamond-shaped panes. Mr. Glum sat there, yawning and grumbling over his porridge.The sunlight glanced off his balding head, and he kept pushing
aside the drooping ferns Mrs. Wren had placed in the hanging pots before the bay window.

早餐时通常坐在那张大胡桃木桌上的费尔医生和瑞文女士早上被叫去准备监事会和地方长官(在那个周末任命的)的一个重要会议.只有格罗姆先生在那里看管我们,但是他不被允许坐在老师坐的那张桌子上.在凸窗那里有一个靠窗座位,早晨的阳光从钻石形的窗格中照进来.格罗姆先生坐在那里,边打哈欠边抱怨他的麦片粥.阳光照在他的秃头上,并不停把瑞文女士挂在凸窗上的吊盆植物垂下的叶子拨开.

He was too far away to hear us, and Quentin had given Colin the secret sign (asking for the butter twice) that told Colin to make a racket. Colin was asking Mr. Glum about the trees in the orchard, whether they moved at night, or spoke to each other in leaf-language when the wind blew, or if they felt pain when their branches were lopped off.

他离我们的距离很远,听不到我们谈话,昆廷给了科林一个暗号(要两次黄油)让科林大声喧哗.科林就问格罗姆先生果园里的树在晚上会不会走动,或者在风吹过的时候彼此以树叶语言交谈,或者当它们树枝被砍掉的时候会不会感到痛.

I held a piece of buttered toast before my lips and hissed to Quentin, “Where did you get an airplane? The nearest airfield is in Bristol.”

我拿起一块奶油土司挡在嘴前偷偷对昆廷说,"你从哪里弄到的飞机?最近的机场在布里斯托尔."


I remember feeling green with jealousy. But I do not remember doubting him, not for an instant.

我记得我感到一种幼稚的嫉妒.但是我不记得我有怀疑他,一瞬间的怀疑都没有.


“No plane. I don’t use a machine. I can make the wind dense.Its essence is to give way, but other essences obtain when the signs are right.”

"没有飞机.我不是用机械飞翔.我可以让气流变得稠密.它的特性是下落,但是当符文正确时能够得到其他特性."


I daubed my lip with a napkin. “You’re going to show me tonight.”

我用餐巾擦了擦嘴."今天晚上你要表演给我看."


Victor leaned across the table, teapot in hand as if to pour some tea into my (full and untouched) teacup. Victor whispered,“Not tonight. There are workmen and a cleaning crew going over the Great Hall. We’ll be locked in early. Tomorrow.Their guard will be relaxed.”

维克托从桌子对面探过身来,手里拿着茶壶假装要往我的茶杯里倒茶(满的,还没碰过).维克托小声说到,"今天晚上不行.工人和清洁工会检查大厅.我们会被早早地关起来.明天.他们的看守会松懈些."


He was right. We knew the Headmaster had ordered a large antique table, made of a single huge slab of green marble, to be moved into the Great Hall to prepare for the meeting. It was too large for the main doors. Workmen were tearing shingles off the roof and were going to lower the enormous table in on a crane. The table was resting in a temporary shed on the North Lawn, covered in rope and canvas.

他是对的.我们知道校长定购了一张大古董桌,是用一整块的绿色大理石做的,今天晚上会被搬到大厅里以准备会议.桌子比门还要大.工人们拆掉屋顶上的木瓦,然后用起重机把那个巨大的桌子放进去.桌子现在被放在北边草坪的一个临时搭建的棚子里,用绳子和帆布裹着.


We also knew the teachers kept a closer eye on us whenever there were outsiders around.

我们也知道只要我们在屋外,老师们就会紧紧盯着我们.


And yet it was Vanity who said, “Oh! I’ve an idea! Oh! Listen! Being locked up is better! No one searches for a locked-up person.”

然后是瓦妮特说到,"噢!我有一个办法!噢!听着!被关起来更好!没有人会找一个被关起来了的人."


Victor looked dubious.

维克托看上去有些犹豫.


Quentin rubbed his nose, so that his hand hid his mouth. He whispered in his soft, smooth voice, “Triune of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn tonight. Jupiter moderates between the warm violence of Mars and the leaden coolness of Saturn. Good time for transitions. Should be tonight.”

昆廷假装擦了擦他的鼻子,用手把嘴遮住.用他细小的声音偷偷说,"火星,木星,土星三星连珠.木星中和了火星强烈的炙热和土星沉暗的阴冷.是一个跃迁的好时机.就是今晚."


Vanity wiggled and whispered excitedly, “I can get us out of the girls’ dorm room. Secretly. It’s my Talent. If you can get out of the boys’, we’ll meet. Where?”

瓦妮特摇动着身子兴奋地小声说,"我可以把我们从女声宿舍里秘密地弄出去.这是我的本事.如果你们可以从男生宿舍里出来,我们就能碰头了.在哪里碰面?"


Quentin muttered, “Barrows. Midnight. Look out—!”

昆廷嘟哝道,"古坟堆.午夜.小心-!"

Mr. Glum straightened up from his porridge. Evidently Colin had not completely distracted him, or maybe he had been resting his eyes on Vanity, and had seen her lips move. She had also been louder than the rest of us.

格罗姆先生从他的麦片粥旁站起来.很明显科林没能转移他的注意,或这他在盯着瓦妮特,看到了她的嘴唇在动.她的声音也比我们的大.


Now Mr. Glum stood up. “What’s all this peeking and whispering,then? What plot are you lot hatching?”

现在格罗姆先生站起来."你们在偷偷说些什么?你们这群家伙在计划什么阴谋?"


Vanity half-rose from her seat, and leaned forward, palms on the table top, exclaiming in her cheerful, earnest voice: “But Mr. Glum! Dear, dear Mr. Glum! We were just talking! It cannot be wrong to talk: you did it just now, when you told us not to talk!”

瓦妮特从她位置上半站起来,前倾着身体,手掌撑着桌子,用她愉悦而热诚声音大声说道,"但是,格罗姆先生!尊贵的,亲爱的格罗姆先生!我们只是在交谈!交谈并没有错:你现在正在交谈,当你告诉我们不要说话的时候!"


Whether she intended it or not, her posture was such as to afford Mr. Glum a clear view down her shirt.

不知道她是否是故意的,她的姿势就像是要给格罗姆先生一个机会清楚地看到她的衬衣里头.


That same youthful electricity, which often I found annoying in her, adults (especially adult men) found fascinating. She was so fair skinned that she blushed at the slightest emotion;her eyes flashed like emeralds. Between her red lips, red eyebrows, and red hair, Vanity was an incandescent thing,glowing.

她身上发出朝气的电流,经常让我感到讨厌,却让成人(特别是成年男人)感到迷人.她的皮肤如此洁白光滑,即使在最小的情绪波动下都会泛起红晕;她的眼睛想绿宝石一样闪着光芒.在她的红唇,红色睫毛,红头发的衬托下,瓦妮特就像一团白色的炽热火焰.


Mr. Glum was not what could be called handsome in any part of him. His nails were grimed with dirt, always. I assumed the only woman who ever spoke to him was Mrs. Wren; I don’t think he ever saw any pretty young girls, except us. Usually he was out in the garden, weeding, and we were behind the windows of the classrooms, gazing outside with longing. I wondered in pity if perhaps he ever looked up and saw Vanity and me staring out,dreamy-eyed, and wished we were dreaming of him.

格罗姆先生身上任何部位都不能被称作英俊.他的指甲缝里经常充满了肮脏的污垢.我怀疑瑞文女士是唯一曾对他说过话的女人;我相信他从来没有见过漂亮的年轻女孩,尤其是像我们这样的.他通常待在外面的花园里除草,而我们在教室的窗户后面充满渴望地凝视着户外.我同情地想,他看到我和瓦妮特那凝视窗外的,充满幻想的眼睛时,会不会以为我们在幻想他.


Mr. Glum was confounded with lust for a moment. He could not take his eyes from where Vanity’s bosom strained against her starched white shirt.

格罗姆先生那一刻被欲望冲昏了头脑.他的视线无法离开瓦妮特那将白衬衫撑得紧紧的的胸脯.


But he gathered himself and barked at her, “Enough of your jaw! Impertinence! Rule of silence! You’ll eat your food as quiet as Jesuits, you will. Rule is on!”

但是他很快回过神来对她咆哮,"你们的闲谈可以结束了!无礼的!安静的规矩!你们吃东西的时候要教士一样安静,你们必须这样.这是规矩!"


Victor said stiffly, “But I didn’t talk back to you, sir. I wasn’t talking at all.”

瓦尼特顽固地说到,"但是,我不是在和你顶嘴,先生.我根本没有说话."


“Then you won’t notice any difference, will you? And you’ll have detention for talking when I just put the rule on! Rule is on for all of you! Any more back talk? Eh? No? And no passing notes nor making signs with your fingers, neither!”

"你会发现没有什么不同.只要我负责定规矩你就会被因为说话而关禁闭!规矩对你们所有人都有效!还有顶嘴的吗?恩?没有了?不要再传纸条也不要再用手指打暗号,永远!"

And so Victor had no chance to overrule our plan. Tonight was to be the night.

然后瓦妮特就没有了机会否决我们的计划了.就是今天晚上行动.

7.
As was her custom, Mrs. Wren had taken a nightcap or two before she came in for evening inspections. This evening, her breath, as usual, stank of sherry; her eyes were blurred.The routine was always the same: we would stand in the nude,usually on tiptoe because the floor was cold, with our hands out in front of us, either palm up or palm down depending on whether or not she was looking at our nails. She would hand one
of us a tape measure, and would have us measure the other one:neck, bust, waist, hips, inseam. Vanity always tried to tickle me or get me to break attention; I tried to pinch her when Mrs. Wren was not looking when it was my turn. Meanwhile, Mrs. Wren would jot down in an unsteady hand the numbers we called out.We had decided long ago always to call out the same numbers,no matter what the measurements were, or how different they were from night to night.

作为她的习惯,瑞文女士晚上来检查前会喝上一两杯.这天晚上,像往常一样,她的嘴里发出雪利酒的臭味,醉眼迷蒙.过程总是一样的:我们都光着身子站着,因为地板很冷经常是掂着脚,把手伸到前方,手掌向上或向下,取决于她是否在看我们的指甲.她会给我们中的一个一把卷尺,用它来量另一个的脖子,胸脯,腰,臀部和腿.瓦妮特总是设法挠我痒或是打断我的注意力;当轮到我时,我就会试图在瑞文女士不注意的时候掐她.其间,瑞文女士会用摇晃的手草草记下我们报出的数字.很早以前我们就决定不管测量结果是什么或这每个晚上它们有什么不同,我们都报出同样的数字.


Then she would have us stand at attention and she would peer at us while we were ordered to smile and show our teeth. I have no idea why she would stare at our teeth. When I was young, I thought it was to make sure we were brushing. But she stared and never said anything whether we brushed or did not.Then she would ask, “Any moles or skin discolorations today?Aches? Pains? Strains? Strange dreams?”

然后她会让我们立正,命令我们像微笑一像张开嘴露出牙齿,盯着我们看.我不知道她为什么要盯着我们的牙齿.当我小的时候,我认为是确定我们有刷过牙.但是她看完了从来不说任何话,无论我们有没有刷牙.然后她会问,"今天皮肤上有没有什么黑痔或皮肤变色?疼痛?疲劳?或奇怪的梦?"


Vanity would usually answer back: “I’ve got freckles! Does that count?”

瓦妮特经常会回答说:"我有雀斑!这个算吗?"


Mrs. Wren never seemed disturbed by back talk. She had a melancholy face, and eyes that always seemed to be staring somewhere else. There was no sign of gray in her hair, no wrinkles on her skin, and yet she never stood fully erect, and walked with a stoop-shouldered shuffle, as if weights were on her shoulders. Her hair was a mouse-colored bun, with wisps and unruly curls always escaping it; her eyes were half-hidden behind coke-bottle-glass spectacles. She always wore the same gray sweater, which had as many loose threads and escaping wisps as her hair.

瑞文女士从来不被顶嘴扰乱.她有一张忧郁的脸,眼睛看上去总是在盯着其他什么地方.她的头发没有一丝班白,皮肤上没有皱纹,可是她从来不完全挺直腰站着,总是弯着腰拖着脚走路,就像重量都压在了她的肩上一样.她有一头曲卷的深色头发,头发扎着,但总有不规则的卷发散开来;她的眼睛藏在瓶底厚的眼睛后面.她总是穿着一件同样的灰色羊毛衫,羊毛衫上有很多松散的线头,就像她的头发一样.


“Well, duckies,” she would answer, “don’t fret about a few spots. I am sure, in time, you will appear as howsoever fair or foul you wish to appear. In time, in time. All chickens come home to roost in time.”

"很好,好极了,"她会回答,"不要在乎那么少一些斑点.我可以肯定,总有一天,无论你像变得多么漂亮或丑陋,你都可以做到.总有一天,总有一天,总有一天小鸡们都会物归原主.


And she would sigh.

然后她会叹一口气.


Then she’d say: “Hold out your pretty fingers for the needle, my chicks, ’twill only prick a slight prick.”

她会说:"伸出你们可爱的指头来打针,我的小鸡们,只是很轻微的刺痛."


She would take a small blood sample from a forefinger or an elbow, and spend (what always seemed to me) several minutes fumbling with the self-adhesive label, onto which she had written the date in her wandering hand. No matter how long she muttered and fretted (and it always seemed long to me) the labels always went onto the little plastic sample bottles crookedly,or wrinkled, or with their sticky sides stuck to each other.

她会从食指或手肘取一点血样,然后要(经常是我)花几分种笨手笨脚地贴不干胶标签,在标签上有她用晃动着的手写下的日期.无论她焦虑地嘟囔多长时间(经常比我干的时间要长),标签经常被歪着贴到塑料样本瓶里,或者贴皱了,要么就是两片标签粘到了一块.


Finally we could don our nightgowns.

最后我们才能穿上我们的睡衣.


When we were younger, Mrs. Wren would watch us carefully while we took the little cup of medicine Dr. Fell left each night on our nightstands. And she would stand over us while we put our pillows on the cold floor, to kneel upon while we said our nighttime prayers. We had to pray aloud, in Latin, with Mrs. Wren standing by with a stopwatch, to make sure we got the cadence and the rhythm correct.

当我小的时候,瑞文女士会仔细地看着我们服下费尔医生每天晚上放在我们床头几上的一小瓶药.然后她会监督我们把枕头放在冰冷的地板上,跪在上面作晚祷告.我们必须大声地祷告,用拉丁文,瑞文女士拿着个秒表站在一旁,确定我们的语调和节奏正确.


But all that had stopped long ago. Perhaps she had lost her religion as she got older, perhaps she wanted to depart from our chill room as soon as the blood samples were gathered. These days, she would merely wave her hand in the direction of the cups and say, “Take your medicine, my poppets, and remember your prayers. Angels heed the young and sweet more closely than you know.”

但是这一切很就以前就终止了.大概随着她变老也丢失了信仰,也许是她想在收集到我们的血样后尽快离开我们寒冷的屋子.这些天她只是摇晃着手说道,"吃药,我的乖孩子,记得祷告.天使会比你想象得还要关怀年幼而甜美的孩子."


Recently she was in the habit of adding, as she turned to the door, “And say a good word to the Good Lord for poor old Jenny Wren. Ask on my behalf: your voices will carry farther than hers, I am sure.”

最近她增加了一个兴趣,就是转身面向门,说,"为可怜的老珍妮.瑞文向万能的上帝说句好话吧.为我祈祷:你们的声音会比她的传的更远,我可以肯定."


Then she would depart.

然后她才会离开

8.
Neither one of us took the medicine, of course. It was Victor’s most strict rule: no matter how sick we were, take nothing Dr.Fell gave out, if it could be avoided. Anything he made you take orally, hold in your mouth; if you absolutely had to swallow,vomit it up at the first opportunity. We poured our little cups into the chamber pot.

当然,我们一个都没有吃过那些药.这是维克托最严格的规矩:无论我们病得有多重,都不吃费尔医生开的药,即使它可以治病.他让你张开嘴放到你嘴里的任何东西;如果你完全不得不吞下,在第一时间呕吐出来.我们把小瓶里的东西倒进了夜壶里.


(Yes, we had a chamber pot. I remember once talking to a boy from the village, who envied us for living in such a fine manor house. I asked him if he was allowed to visit a bathroom with indoor plumbing when he had to go at night, or whether he was locked into his room. He stared at me, uncomprehending. I envied that incomprehension.)

(是的,我们有一个夜壶.我记得有一次和一个镇上的男孩说话,他嫉妒我们住在那样一个漂亮的庄园里.我问他,他在晚上不得不上厕所的时候是否被允许去使用浴室的抽水马桶,还是他被关在自己的屋里.他不解地看着我.我嫉妒那中不解.)


Vanity sometimes said prayers, sometimes not, depending on whether or not there was something she wanted for Christmas,or a birthday rumored to be in the works. She prayed in her ungrammatical Latin. I don’t know if that officially made her “Low Church.”

瓦妮特有时候祷告,有时候不,取决与她圣诞节她是否想要什么东西,或谣言中计划安排生日.她用她不合文法的拉丁文祷告.我不知道是不是这个让她正式成为"低教会派".


Me, I had stopped praying not long after I had read The Talisman, by Sir Walter Scott. I had fallen in love with the character of Saladin, and it occurred to me that the God of the Saracens, Allah, might be the real one after all. Judging by surface area, the Mohammedans had conquered more territory more quickly than the Christians; in fact, the Byzantines had lost ground every year since Constantine.

我,在我读了沃尔特.斯科特爵士的《魔符》之后就停止了祈祷。我爱上了书中的萨拉丁,我想起撒鲁迅人的上帝,阿拉,可能才是真正的神.从表面上判断,穆罕默德教徒比基督徒更快占领了更多的领土;实际上,自从康斯坦丁一世之后,拜占厅每年都在失去领土.


This thought had led to the fear that I might pick the wrong God to pray to. I thought that, because praying to the wrong God was expressly a sin, and because a merciful God might forgive me for forgetting to pray, it therefore followed that, even without knowing which one was the right one, my best chances lay in staying quiet and hoping for the best. That strategy worked in class when I didn’t know the answer, so I supposed it might work in the arena of theology, also.

这个想法导致我感到害怕,我可能选择了一个错误的上帝去祈祷.我想,向一个错误的上帝祈祷是一个明显的罪过,而一个仁慈的上帝可能会原谅我忘了祈祷,由于这个原因,甚至在我不知道哪个上帝是正确的时候,我最好的选择就是报着乐观的态度保持安静.这个策略在课堂上当我不知道答案的时候很有效,所以我认为它可能在在神学领域也会有效.


I do admit that sometimes, when I was particularly depressed, or sad, or hoping for some point or purpose to my life,I would pray to the Archangel Gabriel. Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans all believe in Gabriel, and apparently it is the selfsame Gabriel. Or Jibrael, as he is also called. I figured Gabriel, if anyone, would know what the situation was in Heaven, who was in authority there, and he could get the
prayers to the right God.

有时候我不承认,当我特别沮丧或悲伤的时候,或者期望生命中的一些东西的时候,我会向大天使长加百列祈祷.尤太人,基督徒,或者穆罕默德都信奉加百列,并且很明显是同一个加百列.或者,他也被叫做吉伯利.我认为如果有人知道天堂里的情况,那就是加百列,他掌管那里,他能向正确的上帝祈祷.


After prayers or the lack of prayers, as the case may be, we would go to bed. If it was cold, Vanity and I would have a brief argument about whether she should crawl into my bed or I should crawl into hers, depending on who had done it last time, who was colder, and other esoteric considerations. We would pile both sets of blankets on one bed and cuddle up with our arms around each other for warmth.

在祈祷之后,或不祈祷,看情况而定,我们就会上床了.如果天很冷,瓦妮特和我会关于是她爬到我被子里还是我爬到她被子里有一个小小的争吵,这取决于上次这样做的是谁,谁更冷,和其他一些深奥的考虑.我们把两套被子铺在一张床上,并互相抱着蜷缩起身体以获取温暖.

9.
One of our windows faces North. Last winter, when we had many very clear nights, Victor spent hours in our bedroom, using a compass and straightedge, and scarring the glass with a glass cutter to make a star dial for us. The position of the polestar was marked; the motions of the major stars in Ursa Minor and Ursa Major were plotted against the time of year. In effect,Alioth, Mizar, and Arcturus in Bootes became the hands of our clock, telling us the hour as they swung around the polestar.To hide our marked-up window, all we need do is raise one sash, lower the other, and keep the blind at half-mast.

9.

我们有一扇面北的窗户.上个冬天,很多天气特别晴朗的夜晚,维克托都会呆在我们卧室里几个小时,用指南针,尺子和玻璃刀在玻璃上为我们画出一个星晷.标记出北极星的方位;小熊星座和大熊星座的变换可以用来划分一年的时间.有用的是,牧夫座的北斗五,北斗六和大角星变成了我们时钟上的指针,它们绕着北极星旋转以告诉我们时间.为了藏起我们作了标记的窗户,我们得把一个窗格升得比其他低一些,来保持无法被看到.


I think Victor enjoyed standing in our room, late at night,night after night, with his back to us, meticulously scratching the glass, while we girls in our nightgowns peered at him over the top of our blankets. He worked with his nose almost touching the pane, and his breath fogged the glass.

我想维克托喜欢在我们屋子里,在一个有一个深夜,背对着我们小心翼翼地刻着玻璃,而我们女孩则穿着睡衣躺在毯子上面看着他.他工作的时候鼻子几乎贴着窗玻璃,他鼻子喷出的气息在窗上凝成了雾.


10.
Tonight, Vanity and I waited, our heads under the covers, arms around each other, her chattering in whispers, and me trying to take a nap until the appointed hour. Every now and again (after a brief debate as to whose turn it was) one of us would raise a nose above the covers like the periscope of a submarine, and look at the positions of the stars through our Northern window.

10

今天晚上,瓦妮特和我缩着头,抱在一起等着,她一直在小声唠叨,而我试图在指定的时间之前小睡一会儿.每过一会(在一次该轮到谁了的小争论之后)我们中的一个会把头像潜水艇一样探出被子,从我们背面的窗户上看星星的位置.

When finally Arcturus had reached the position marked XI (DEC), we slid, shivering, out from under the sheets.

当大角星终于到标记着XI(DEC)的位置时,我们颤抖着从被褥下溜出来.


I stepped over to the door, hopping a little from the icy touch of the floor stones on my feet. I have seen doors in modern houses; they are flimsy. If you want to see a solid piece of seasoned oak, bound with iron and riveted to huge hasps and hinges, visit a nice old-fashioned chamber in a manor house.

我们在冰冷的地板上踮着脚走到门口.我见过现代房屋的们;它们很容易坏.如果你想见到一扇用一整块老像木作的,并包着铁,用铆钉钉牢门环和铰链的门,你得去参观一座漂亮的老式城堡的房间.


Our door was massive and stern, heavy enough to keep any noise in or out. I yanked on the lock, just in case it had not been padlocked, for once. The door did not even tremble.

我们的门是坚固而厚实的,沉重地足够把里外的声音隔离.我用力拉了一下锁,以防万一它没有被关掉.门连动都没有动.


“What do they expect us to do if there is a fire?” I asked scornfully, hugging myself and hopping from one foot to another.

"如果这里着火了他们想让我们怎么办?"我轻蔑地问,抱着肩膀不停地换撑在地面的脚.


Vanity’s teeth chattered. She said mournfully: “Quentin says Mr. Glum should not have cut down the Great Escape Tree. He says there was a Dryad living there, who now wanders, houseless,among the winds.”

瓦妮特的牙齿在打颤.她悲伤地说:"昆廷说格罗姆先生不应该砍倒'大逃生树'.他说有一个森林女神住在那里,她现在没有了屋子,只有在风中流浪."


“And it was our only way down from the window. You don’t think Dryads exist, do you?”

"那是我们唯一从窗户下去的办法.你不认为森林女神离开了,是吗?"


“Well, that one doesn’t any more, obviously. Are you going to get dressed? Not there!” she added when I hopped over to the dresser. “Those will be ice-cold. I wrapped up things for us to wear in our pillows. They were under the sheets with us, nice and toasty.”

"好吧,那个办法现在明显行不通了.你想去穿衣服吗?不在那里!"当我跳着脚到梳妆台的时候她补充到."外面冰一样冷.我把我们要穿的东西藏在了枕头里.它们在我们的床单下面,有暖和又漂亮."


“Clever, clever!” I said. She also happened to pick out my favorite out-of-door outfit: jodhpurs and a heavy blouse, and high-waisted jacket of buff leather that went with it.

"聪明,聪明!"我说道.她也挑选了我最喜欢的户外装备:短马靴和大衣,和搭配的高腰牛皮夹克.


From the top shelf of the wardrobe I pulled my leather aviatrix cap and my goggles. I buckled the chin strap and slung the goggles around my neck. There was also a six-foot scarf which wound around my neck.

我从衣柜的最上面一层拿出了我的飞行员皮帽和护目镜.我扣上了帽子系在下巴的带子,把护目镜挂在脖子上.还在我的脖子上围了条六尺长的围巾.


Vanity was staring at me in disbelief. “We are not going to a fancy dress ball. Why are you putting on a . . . costume?”

瓦妮特怀疑地看着我."我们不是去参加化装舞会.你干嘛穿成....这样?"

“What? This? This is my lucky helmet,” I said, tucking strands of hair beneath the cap. “Besides, how are we going to end up going anywhere? Are you going to pick the locks without touching them, the way Victor does?”

"怎么?这个吗?这是我的幸运头盔,"我说,把一缕头发压在帽子下面."另外,我们到底怎么出去?你能像维克托一样不碰到锁就将它摘下来吗?


Vanity said, “I don’t think Victor actually can do that. Who has ever seen him?”

瓦妮特说,"我不认为维克托真的能作到那样.谁看到他做过?"


“The sun will come up in the West before Victor Triumph tells a lie!” I said. I was seated, pulling on my high-heeled boots.

"要是维克托.图兰夫会说谎太阳就从西边升起来了!"我说.我坐下来,套上我的高跟鞋.

But Vanity had pressed her cheek up to the stones along the East wall of the room.

瓦妮特没有说话,却把她的脸贴到房间东面的石墙上.


On the other two walls, the stones were covered with white plaster and wainscoting. This wall was irregular granite blocks, cemented together, for about ten feet. Above that were deep casements and small, barred windows looking East, surrounded by plaster and uncarved wooden frames. Below these frames were massive iron mountings, carved into gnome faces. What these mountings were originally supposed to hold, either
torches, or curtain rods, or other fixtures, I did not know.

在其他两堵墙上,石头被刷上了白灰并贴了壁板.这面墙是不规则的花岗岩石块,用水泥粘和在一起,大约有十尺高.上面是朝东的深窗扉和钉死的小窗,周围是石膏和没有雕刻的木框.在木框的下面是刻着矮人脸的厚重的铁底座.这些底座上面原来是什么?火炬?窗帘支架?我不知道.

P40


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