• 使用tcsh Shell配置文件选项

    2008-11-17 19:53:11

    * csh, 当你登陆普通用户时默认提示符是 % , 登陆超级用户时是 hostname#


  • 发挥默认Shell的最大威力

    2008-11-05 20:29:01

    * echo $shell,查看当前使用的shell

    * CTRL+A, 可以将光标跳转到命令第一个字符处.

    * CTRL+E, 可以将光标跳转的命令最后一个字符处.

    * CTRL+U, 可以将一整行命令删除

    * %cd 或 cd ~, 可以回到你的home目录

    * %cd -, 可以在两个目录中切换

    * !$, 可以得到上一条命令的最后一个参数

    * !A, 重复执行最近执行过的一条以A开头的命令

    * history 或 h, 可以查看历史命令, 得到数字列表后 !89 可以执行编号为89的历史命令

    * ctrl + d, 同exit, 退出shell











  • 第三章--The First of the Secrets(11-17)

    2008-10-04 15:57:24

    As a little girl, I had always been afraid of the faces, and was terrified to find them staring at me when I woke in the middle of the night. My fear was not alleviated when Primus (so he was called at the time) told me sternly that inanimate objects could not hurt anyone.


    It was little Quartinus (Colin) who saved me. One day when he was playing sick, he sneaked from the infirmary, and stole nail enamel from the boudoir of Miss Daw, who was our music teacher, a fair-haired woman of ethereal beauty with skin as clear as fine porcelain. He then went out to steal a ladder from Mr. Glum’s shed. Somehow he carried a ladder all the way up three flights of stairs in midday without being seen, and all the way to the girls’ dorm.


    There he was, balanced precariously eleven feet high, painting the noses red on the ugly metal faces, crossing their eyes, giving them moustaches and goatees, and he had managed to deface six out of the seven goblins when Mrs. Wren walked in and caught him.


    He was punished by being sent to his room without supper. I smuggled him part of the tuna fish casserole we had for dinner, wrapped up in my skirt. At that time, of course, the ash tree outside the North window gave me easy access to the ground. I tied the skirt in a bundle and threw it through the window of the boys’ dorm. Quartinus thanked me the next day, but he never returned the skirt.


    I asked him why he defaced the goblins. He told me: “Your fear gives them energy. When you see them as stupid-looking, though, you get energy from them.”


    Whatever the reason, it worked. They always looked silly to me after that; all except the one on the far end, whom little Quartinus had not gotten to.


    Vanity stood with her cheek pressed to the stones, her eyes closed, as if she were listening intently. She motioned with one hand, pointed to the long-handled candle snuffer which (we assumed) had been in the room since before the candelabra had been electrified.



    I handed her the pole, and she put the hook end (used for lighting candles) in the mouth of one of the gargoyle faces. It was the one at the far end. She tugged.


    With a sigh and a click, a section of stone moved forward and then swung out, revealing a secret passage beyond.


    “That’s impossible!” I said, flabbergasted.


    The door was small and square, no more than three feet by three. The stones, which had seemed so thick and sturdy, were merely an eighth-inch of shaved granite face affixed to a wooden door.


    The door was set to the frame with sets of hinges of a type I had not seen before: each hinge was riveted to a second and a third, to form a little metal W-shape. The triple hinges unfolded like an accordion when the door was opened, allowing the door to move directly out from the wall for a half-inch, before swinging to one side. This also allowed the door to swing outward, even though the hinges were on the inner side.


    The crawl space beyond had a floor of unpainted, unvarnished wood, and narrow walls of brick. The three-foot ceiling was curved in an arch. It looked like a chimney lying on its side.


    “When did you find this?” I asked Vanity. I was kneeling, with my head in the door, and she was peering over my shoulder.


    “During the summer, after Mr. Glum chopped down the Great Escape Tree. I would check for panels every night. I could only find it, for some reason, if it was the thirtieth or thirty-first of the month. Weird, huh? I bet it’s on a timer.”

    "夏天的时候, 当格罗姆先生砍倒大逃生树之后.我每个晚上都检查面板.由于一些原因,我只能在每个月的最后一天找到这个.不可思义,是吧?我打赌它是由一个记时器控制."

    I turned on my knees to look up at her. “Dr. Fell gives us our injections on the first of the month.”


    She blinked at me, her wide, emerald-green eyes brimming puzzlement. “What has that got to do with anything?”


    Now I knew how Victor felt about me when I asked a question about something he thought obvious.

    现在我知道维克托对我的感受了, 当我问一些他觉得很明显的事情的问题时.

    I nodded toward the dark hole: “Where does it go?”


    “I was never able to get a light in here. If you follow the lefthand wall through two turns, you come out near the clock in the Main Hall. There are two other ways I never explored.”


    “Left? You mean right, surely?”


    “Just go as I tell you.”


    We crawled in the pitch dark. My fingers felt occasional spiderwebs or splinters along the dusty wood floor. Once or twice I banged my head against the brick ceiling, and was glad for the humble protection of my aviatrix helmet.


    The stale air was warm and close, and I was grateful for the warmth on a cold night like this. Once or twice I heard a noise: it sounded like the rumble of breakers.


    “I hear the sea,” I whispered over my shoulder.


    Her voice sounded very close in the pitch darkness. “Some trick of the acoustics, I doubt not. Like a whispering gallery. Maybe there is a tunnel which leads down to the sea cliffs . . . ?”


    “Ow! I found where the wall ends. It goes left and right.” I was glad I had bundled my hair into a cushion under my cap. I took a moment to adjust my goggles so they rode atop my head. Another extra inch of leather and glass might mute the next skull impact.


    “Take the left-hand way.”


    We turned left, which was impossible. By my reckoning, that would take us further East than the East Wing.


    At the next fork, we turned left again. By my reckoning, this should have put us in the middle of the North Lawn.


    “But how on earth did you get the notion to look for it in the first place?”


    “Sometimes, in the night, I would get the feeling I was being watched,”Vanity explained. “So I figured there was a peephole.”


    I thought that if there was a peephole, Mr. Glum might be using it, to watch us when we doffed our clothes before bed. I didn’t say anything, for fear of frightening her.


    There came a tapping noise ahead, regular and rhythmic, like the noise of a sentry, in metal boots, pacing.


    “What’s that?” I hissed.


    Vanity ran into my bottom. “Oh, you! It’s the clock. Just keep on. We’d better hurry.”


    But the noise unnerved me, and I did not hurry. Instead, I put one cautious hand in front of another. And I was glad I did, for my forward hand suddenly felt nothing.


    Was I poised over a brink? I felt around in the air, and encountered a wooden step a few inches below, and another below that.


    We were at the top of a stairway. I squirmed around so that I could go down feet first and, keeping my other hand on the stone overhead, I found that the ceiling did not drop as the stairs did but drew away as the stair descended. The ticking now was very loud; it seemed to come from directly ahead.


    The stairway was only five stairs long, dropping just enough so that, by the last step, Vanity could stand upright, and I had to stoop.


    There was a surface before me. In the dark, I could not tell what material it was, except that it was smoother than stone. It could have been wood, but it was so cold it felt like metal.


    “Now what?” I whispered.


    “There’s a switch, I suppose,” she said.


    “You suppose? How did you get out this way before?”


    “I suppose I found a switch.” And she crowded up against me in that little space, tighter than a phone booth. I could hear the soft noise of her hand fumbling along the panel.


    “You don’t remember?”


    “I think I wasn’t exactly awake last time I did this. You have to be in the right state of mind. Sometimes it’s hard to remember nighttime thoughts during the day.”


    “You think? What do you mean you think you weren’t awake?”


    “Well, how else do you explain the fact that you never saw me searching for the panel with a ten-foot pole in my hand every night before we went to bed? Now, hush!”


    “This is ridiculous—!”


    “Just be quiet! Don’t think you are too old to be spanked!”


    “I’m taller and stronger than you, and I don’t fight like a girl.”


    “I’ll get Colin to do it. You’d like that.”


    I was so shocked that I actually did shut up. I was glad it was dark; I could feel my face burning.


    A crack of light appeared. Vanity pushed the panel aside.


    This was about four feet tall and a little over a foot wide. A metal blade, tipped with a weight, swung past, inches from our faces.



    I tried to shrink back, but Vanity and I were pressed up together too closely. She made an annoyed noise in her throat. I blinked and looked again. Blade? We were looking out at a pendulum, swinging back and forth, back and forth.


    Beyond that was a pane of dusty glass, blurred with age. On the other side of the glass, moonlight fell across carpet, heavy chairs, two mannequins in Norman helm and mail carrying pikes.


    This was the Main Hall. We were in the grandfather clock, looking out.


    Vanity whispered, very quietly, “The watchers will notice if the ticking stops. We have to slip past the pendulum without touching it, and get to the main doors and outside. Ready?”


    I would have pointed out to her that, as a matter of mathematics controlling such things as volumes, moving bodies, and areas swept out by pendulums, that two girls (four-and-a-half and five-and-a-half feet tall, respectively), cannot turn sideways, and climb out of a one-foot-wide box, open the inner latch of a rusted antique clock, and get clear in the time it takes for a three-foot pendulum to swing back and forth once. Not to mention that there were weights and chains hanging in front of us as well.


    But I did not get the chance. Vanity was already thrusting herself through the narrow opening. The pendulum jarred against her arm, of course, while she was yanking the latch free to open the glass panel of the clock.


    The ticking stopped. The silence was enormous.


    “Quick!” she hissed.


    But we were not quick. We had to move the now-still pendulum aside, squeeze her out, squeeze the somewhat taller me out, and fumble with the pendulum to see if we could get it into motion again . . .


    Tick tock. We could. The noise started up again. “Yeah!” cheered Vanity.


    I closed the cabinet door. “Quiet! We’re trying to be quiet!”


    “Well, you’re making all the noise saying ‘quiet’!”


    We both heard Mr. Glum’s voice, in the distance, querulous.And footsteps.


    There was a drapery that hung before the alcove of a window opposite, between the two mail-wearing mannequins. We scampered over to it, quick as mice. Inside, in the angle between three windows, was a little table holding one of Mrs.Wren’s potted plants. Vanity stood on the table. I put my heels on the window casement but the ledge was precarious, so I put my hands against the window opposite to support my weight.


    This required Vanity to crouch into a ball so that I could lean across her.


    There were actually two sets of men’s footsteps, and a clattering of dog’s nails on the floorboards.


    “Who’s there?” growled Mr. Glum. His boots made little creaking noises on the carpet and the floor boards. We could hear the deep, slow breathing of his great mastiff dog, the rattle of its neck chain. We saw the splash of light from an electric torch pass back and forth. There was an inch or two of clearance beneath the drapes; the light shone clear.


    The other set of footsteps was sharp and crisp. They clattered as if steel soles had been affixed to the bottom of the boots, click-clack, in time with the clockwork.


    “Eyah, ’tis you, Doctor. You give a body a fright, walking along without no light, in the dark. What would you be doing astirring at this hour, sir?”


    Dr. Fell’s precisely measured nasal tones answered him: “All things must be in order before the Visitors and Governors manifest tomorrow, Grendel. An Envoy from the Pretender will be in attendance, and no doubt the True Heir will force the Visitors to make a final disposition of our charges.”


    “I want the redhead. She were capering and flaunting at me today at the breakfas’ hour, and giving me the eye. Ever since she were twelve year old, I’ve set my cap for her. She’s to be mine. I have the skull of a preacher I kill’t set on a post at the bottom of my well, and he can do the service. I kill’t him clean, so that makes him still a holy man, right?”


    “The disposition of our charges is not a matter within our discretion, my dear Grendel. I, for one, can only operate within the latitude allowed by my maker’s instruction. Had I free will in the matter, certainly there are interesting experiments I would perform on all of them. It is a crime against science that such specimens will escape from the anatomy scalpel!”


    “Nonetheless, sir, the redhead were promised me. I heard a voice in the wood.”


    “Did you recognize this voice?”


    “Naw, not at all, sir.”


    “Then, on what grounds do you conclude that this person or persons had authority to treat with the matter, may I ask?”

    "那么,在什么基础上你推测这个或这些人有权利处理这个问题, 我可以问吗?"

    “A damn fine question, Doctor, and one where’s I got a set and goodly answer.”


    “Please share it, my dear Grendel.”


    “I figger that if’n it were someone trying to trick me, he would’f em-personated some voice what was known to me. As this were no voice known to me, then it were no one trying to trick me. Asides, I were dead drunk at the time, it being Sunday morning, when what’s I’m off duty.”


    “That is, perhaps, not the most reliable and cogent test of authenticity. Have you approached the Headmaster? He has given us all strict orders to communicate with him immediately if any of our original principals attempt to contact us.”


    “Brrr! I ain’t going no damn where near that one, if’n I can help it. You talk to the Headmaster. He respekt you, he does. You ain’t show no fear of his kind.”


    “It is not an emotion I have been instructed to suffer.”


    My arms were beginning to tell me I had not picked the most comfortable posture to support my weight. I am sure Vanity was having similar problems, folded in double above a leafy plant, which threatened to rattle at her least breath. We held our breaths and waited. It reminded me of those medieval tortures where witches were strapped into various positions and unable to move. And Vanity and I were in the role of the witches.


    “Well, if’n that’s all, Doctor . . .”


    “I do admit to a curiosity, Mr. Glum. I distinctly heard the clock operation suspend itself. If I may ask, were you the party who interrupted the movements of the clock, and, if so, for what purpose did you do this?”


    “Eyah? I were thinkin’ you did it.”


    “An unwarranted assumption. As your own finely honed senses no doubt imparted to you, I walked up from the Portrait Gallery while you were within view of the clock, and therefore could not have been at that spot at the time when it was meddled with, absent a certain amount of brisk jogging, which, I hope you will agree, is not in keeping with the dignity of my profession.”


    “Hoy. Hum. We should look around. Of course, we sat here jawing for minute atop minute, so the scamps may be well away by now.”


    “You have your suspicions, then?”


    “Doctor, you is a bright fellow, I know. Here on the grounds there are five of us, our servants and our creatures, and some human beings what teach some of the classes. Who do you s’pose would be sneaking and spying around in the wee hours?It’s Colin, I’ll warrant, maybe the priggish Victor, or the sly one what don’t talk much.”


    “May I suggest, then, my dear Grendel, that we have Lelaps scent around the base of the clock? He can tell us who passed by here. Meanwhile, I will check the reading of the hand against my pocket watch, which will enable us to deduce—if both timepieces had been in perfect synchronicity to begin with—how long the grandfather clock was interrupted in operation. The difference between the two times, you see . . .”


    “Your pardon, sir, but old Lelaps can’t talk no more. All these years in the sunlight have robbed the voice clean out of him. He misses the shadows of the Darker World. The trees there are a proper size, and blot up the sun; and he’s a bit bigger himself, deep in the wood. I don’t think he’s going to talk.”


    But there was a cough, and the breathing of the huge hound stopped, and then a breathy whisper came, hoarse, and sounding just as a dog would sound if dogs could talk.


    “Two walked here, light of foot, slim and fair. One has hair of sunlight-hue, one as red as flame. The first is a Prelapsarian, from time before the Fall of Man; the second is the Daughter of a King, Alcinuous his name. Neither bears scent of any crime to merit the fate Fates have assigned. Perhaps they are near; or yet perhaps far. Perhaps they will recall what Lelaps did, or did not do, when they have the ascending star.”


    “Up now, me bully!” said Mr. Glum. “If you have the scent, go find them! Go!”


    We heard the noise of the chain rattling, and a scuffling sound. Mr. Glum was no doubt booting the dog in the rear. The dog growled a bit, but nothing further happened.


    Dr. Fell said in a polite and distant voice: “I have a chemical in my office which may render the beast more pliant.”


    “Garn! (He just want the redhead for himself, don’t he?) Well, she’s not for you!”


    “I suppose the matter is moot, my dear Grendel. All we need do is inform Mrs. Wren that her charges are absent from their beds. This permits us to levy a punishment. Although, I must admit that antics of this type are the very things which, should they be discovered by the Board of Visitors and Governors,might lead to decapitation, defenestration, or crucifixion for all of us. This whole matter would have been more easily arranged if, from the first, we had pretended to be a hospital for the criminally insane, or a penitentiary, rather than an orphanage.”


    “Oh, to be sure, Doctor. To be sure. No one would cock an eye at a jailhouse full of babies and toddlers, no one at all. Har har. We should’ve just kept them in the pantry in my mother’s house far beneath the lake water, like what my folk wanted.”


    “Originally, we thought the imposture would be needed for a few months, perhaps a year at most. No one foresaw these unfortunate events. It is a shame we were not allowed to kill them once they reached puberty. We certainly do not have the facilities for dealing with fully matured Uranians.”


    “Aye, well, there’s no help for it. Even Lelaps is turning against us. Let’s go wake Mrs. Wren.”


    And they moved off down the corridor, loud footstomps and sharp staccato footfalls. We continued to hold our breath and hold our positions till the silence was complete.


    Then we both collapsed on top of the potted plant, and knocked over the little table. The drape was flung wide by the fall, and dirt from the pot was scattered in a fan across the carpet. Vanity was laying atop me, her face slack with fear at the huge echoes we had raised, and she said, “We must agree never to tell Victor about this.”


    The clatter and noise we had made was so loud, that we ran pell-mell to the front doors, yanked them open, closed them behind us, and threw ourselves headlong over the railing into the bushes to one side of the Main Hall’s stairs.


    We held silence for an endless time, while Mr. Glum’s electric torch came back, playing across windows of the Main Hall.


    He opened the door and peered out into the cold moonlight.


    His giant mastiff came bounding out, looked between the marble pilings of the rail, and cocked his head to one side. He seemed to grin. He was looking right at us.


    Vanity and I just stared back at him.


    The dog threw back his head, and gave tongue.


    Mr. Glum, stumping up from behind, said, “You scent ’em boy? You got ’em?”


    Howling, the dog now raced away across the lawn, going South, toward the blacksmith sheds.


    We crawled on all fours in the other direction, our hands slowly getting numb with the frost. Eventually we got to our feet and ran across the North Lawn to the nearest copse of trees.



    I turned to Vanity. My breath came in cold plumes. “Not tell Victor about what? About the talking dog? We have to tell about that.”


    “And I cannot believe his first name is Grendel. What kind of name is Grendel Glum?”


    “What kind of name is Vanity Fair?”


    “Better than Vanity Glum! I don’t want to have a severed head on a post do my wedding. No, we can certainly tell Victor all of that. We just can’t tell him how easily we were caught, knocking the plant over, stopping the clock, all that stuff. The official version is, we were cleverer than the Scarlet Pimpernel, agreed?”

    "比瓦妮特.格罗姆要好!我可不想让一个放在柱子上的头来主持我的婚礼.不,我们得告诉维克托所有那些.我们只是不能告诉他我们几乎被抓到,打翻了花盆,弄停了钟,所有这类的事.官方的版本是,要比Scarlet Pimpernel聪明,同意吗?"

    “We should go back. If we are found in bed when Mrs. Wren comes, then we might not be punished.”


    “It’s probably too late already, Amelia! Dr. Fell went to go get Mrs. Wren minutes and minutes ago!”


    “You know how long it takes to get her awake when she’s been drinking. Come on. We can make it. What other evidence do they have that it was us? I mean, it sounds like they’re pretty skeptical. They’ll think the talking dog was lying.”


    “Say that again.”


    “Say what again?”


    “They’re skeptical. They’ll think the talking dog was lying.”


    Vanity and I put all our faith in speed, and did not even try to be quiet. We ran back to the Main Hall. I arrived long before she did. As we agreed, I did not wait for her, but pushed aside the pendulum and stepped into the clock. The panel had not been slid shut (how had Glum missed seeing that?) so I was able to slide through without stopping the clock.



    I heard the noises of something crawling after me in the tunnels. I dared not call out to discover if it was Vanity, in case it was not. In the fear and stale air and utter darkness of the blind labyrinth, however, I said my prayers to the Archangel Gabriel, and told him that I wanted to meet him some day, but not yet.


    I could see, in the distance, the square of moonlight indicating that the little secret panel was open. I could see a bit of the girls’ dorm, and could hear someone at the door. The key was scraping in the lock.


    I won the world’s women’s championship for the hundredmeter crawl in the next two seconds, as well as the women’s across-the-bedroom broad jump. I yanked off my cap and pulled the covers up to my nose just as the door swung open, and an angle of lamplight fell across my bed.


    Here was Mrs. Wren, blinking and looking as irritable as her kindly face was capable of looking. I could see the thin, tall silhouette of Dr. Fell behind her. The lamplight caught his round,rimless spectacles, turning them opaque, and gleamed against the short brush of his white hair, against his pallid skin, so as to make him look like a thing made of metal, with lenses instead of eyes.


    I tried to impersonate a yawn, but it came out so fake and forced, that I was sure Mrs. Wren was going to break out laughing on the spot. I was sure that Dr. Fell was going to smile at how foolish my attempts to trick them were, and he would no doubt make a small gesture with his hand; then Mr. Glum would come in, and stave in my skull with a shovel, and have my bloody corpse stuffed in a bag and taken out with the morning rubbish.


    None of that happened. Instead, Mrs. Wren said, “Sorry to wake you, my ducklings.”


    I tried to impersonate a sleepy voice, and, again, failed miserably.


    “Wha—” (fake yawn) “—wha’sa’matter Mrrs. Wen?”


    Dr. Fell, whose night vision was apparently better than most, said, “I do not detect that Miss Fair is in her bed.”


    I said, “She’s curled up with me, on account of it is so cold.Her head is just under the cover. Should I wake her? It is so hard for us to fall asleep in this terrible cold. Can’t we have a fire in our room?”


    Mrs. Wren said in her bleary, unsteady voice, “Now, now. You just quiet down, my gosling. Dr. Fell just has a bit of constipation or something, and maybe is imagining too much.Come away, Doctor, we’ll wake up Cook and get something for your bowels, there’s a nice whippet!”


    Dr. Fell stepped forward with a stiff-legged stride. “I sense a magnetic anomaly in the chamber. If you will permit me to enter for an inspection . . . ?”


    He was at the doorway when Mrs. Wren said, “Halt! You may not pass my wards without permission!”


    I heard, very dimly, the notes of a violin in the distance. It was Miss Daw, the music teacher, in the conservatory. But why would she be playing now, at this hour of the night? The music was haunting and dim, as if it had come from very far away, and I could not shake the feeling that Mrs. Wren had summoned it.


    Dr. Fell now stood in the door, his face blank (well, blanker than usual, anyway), making tiny motions with his shoulders and knees. It was very odd, as if he were pinned in place against a glass wall across the door frame.


    Mrs. Wren said, “The care of the young girls was given to poor Mrs. Wren, long after my darling Robin never came for me again. Year by year, the Headmaster has taken my prerogatives from me, till little enough remains this day. Yet I still have this privilege; no man may step into the girls’ dormitory, not without my say.”


    “There is something odd in the room, my dear Jenny. Further investigation is warranted.”


    “My head is a whirl of aches, Doctor. Surely it will wait till morning.”


    “But if there is something amiss, it is our duty to examine . . .”


    “Those who set those duties on us are long gone, as you well know. Life is hard, and there is little enough joy in it for anyone, Dr. Fell. Let us let the wee children sleep and dream of fine things, true loves, handsome princes. It is a joy I no longer have, since I lost the key to my dreaming. Come away, come away.”


    And the door closed, and the lock turned.


    Vanity came out of the secret door a moment later and closed it silently behind her.


    We climbed back into bed together, and lay there discussing the night’s events.


    I said to her, “That secret passage made two left turns and dropped about six feet. It came out, however, at the Main Hall, in the West Wing, about three stories below us. How was that possible?”


    Vanity said, “The turns may not have been right angles; the floor may not be level. What if it sloped slightly all the way to the West?”


    “That wall is not thick enough to have that crawl space inside it. Look. There are windows above the gargoyle heads. Those casements are not six feet thick.”


    Vanity yawned; a real, sincere-sounding yawn, and said, “I think things like feet and measurement and all right angles being equal are not real unless you pay attention to them. If you don’t know for sure what shape the walls are, they could be any shape, couldn’t they?”


    “You are saying this mansion is multidimensional?”


    “I don’t even know what that word means,” she said.


    I lay in bed trying to calculate what degree of curvature in the fourth dimension a plane figure with two right angles would need to have in order to have lines built on those angles also be at right angles with each other. It occurred to me that two lines could be drawn on the surface of a sphere, intersecting at right angles at the North and South poles, and still be parallel at the equator. A third line following the equator also would intersect at right angles. If the mansion stood on a hypersphere slightly greater in diameter than the mansion grounds, a person could move from any point to any other with what, in three-space, would seem to be right angles.


    How many equal three-dimensional spaces would a hypersphere be cut into by hyperplanes at right angles to each other?


    A circle can be cut into four pie quadrants; a globe into eight round-bottomed pyramids . . . Was it sixteen . . . ?


    I was trying to visualize how to construct a tesseract around a four-dimensional sphere when I drifted away to sleep.



  • 第三章--The First of the Secrets(4-10)

    2008-10-04 15:51:35

    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.



    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


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


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


    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 . . .”


    He took a deep breath, and calmed himself.


    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.


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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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 . . . ?”


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.”


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.”


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


    “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.”


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


    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.”


    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.


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


    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.”


    Victor looked dubious.


    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.”


    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?”


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


    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.


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


    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!”


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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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!”


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


    “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!”


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


    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.


    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?”


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


    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.


    “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.”


    And she would sigh.


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


    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.


    Finally we could don our nightgowns.


    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.


    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.”


    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.”


    Then she would depart.


    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.


    (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.)


    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.”


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.



    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.


    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.



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


    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.


    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.


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


    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.”


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


    “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.”


    “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.


    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.


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


    “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?”


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


    “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.


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


    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.



  • 第三章--The First of the Secrets(1-3)

    2008-10-04 15:51:35

    How did we all start debating about boundaries? When did we become convinced we were all something other than human? Every starting point has an earlier starting point before it. Some of the roots of how it came about, I remember. Others have become misty and autumn-colored with time.



    If I had to choose a starting point, there were three I would select, not one. I remember when Victor made us all put our hands together and promise. I remember when Vanity found the notes, which had our lost tales in them. And then, many years later, Quentin discovered the secret.

    如果一定要让我选择一个开端的话, 我会有三个选择, 而不是一个. 我记得当维克托让我们所有人把手叠在一起发誓. 我记得当瓦妮特发现了记载着我们传说的笔记.还有,很多年以后,昆廷发现了秘密.

    I don’t know how old I was. Vanity (or Tertia, as she was called then) only came to my shoulder, and Quentin was small enough that Victor (Primus) could carry him in his arms. When he stood up, Quentin’s head only came to the level of Victor’s elbow. Quentin was too young for lessons; I remember being jealous when he was allowed to sit on the floor and play with a wooden horse on wheels while I had to practice penmanship, making rows and endless rows of slightly lopsided O’s and Q’s.

    As for me, the doorknob to the coal cellar was right below the level of my eye, because when Mr. Glum slapped me roughly on the back of my head (I was afraid to open the door to the cellar) the doorknob struck me on the cheek, and I had a bruise there for a week.



    那个时候, 煤窖的门把手的高度刚好到我的眼睛下方,由于格罗姆先生粗鲁地拍我的后脑勺(我害怕打开煤窖的门)门把手撞在了我的脸颊上,然后我的脸瘀了一个礼拜.

    I don’t remember why they were locking us in the coal cellar, but I do remember wishing and hoping that the Headmaster would come back from wherever he was, and set things to rights. He and Dr. Fell had dressed up in dark clothing, with black scarves fluttering from their top hats, looking grim and terrible. A funeral, I suppose. I remember the two stalking silently off into the freezing rain, wide black umbrellas overhead. The rest of the staff was particularly cruel to us that evening, or so it seemed to me. Mrs. Wren was raging up and down the corridors, howling like a banshee, toppling suits of armor on racks and pushing over floral vases that stood on the pillars next to the main doors. I think this was before she took up strong drink.

    我不记得他们为什么要把我们关在煤窖里,但是我清楚地记得十分期待和盼望校长回来,无论他在哪, 然后让一切事情都恢复正常.他和费尔医生出去时穿着黑色衣服,礼帽上飘动着黑色的丝巾,看上去严肃而可怕.是去参加葬礼,我猜想.我记得他们两个撑着黑伞,昂首阔步,安静地消失在冰冷的雨里.那天晚上其他人对我们特别严酷,或着是对我特别严酷.瑞文女士在走廊里暴怒,想女妖精一样嚎叫,推倒架子上的盔甲,掀翻大门旁边柱子上的花盆.而且这还是在她喝了烈酒之前做的.

    They locked us in the dark and cold. Whatever our crime had been, I did not know. It was dark and starless that night, the drafts smelled of snow, and the dirt floor was colder than ice. I was shivering and my teeth were chattering. I remember Vanity saying, “Quentin’s all cold. He stopped moving. Is he going to die?” her voice was as thin and high as a flute.


    Victor told us all to gather up in a huddle for warmth. His voice was high-pitched then, but it was very earnest, and just hearing it made me feel better. I could hear him rummaging around in the dark.


    “This is a coal cellar,” young Victor said. “There is wood and kindling in the wood box.” There was a tremble in his voice,too, but I could hear how he forced himself to speak calmly.Colin, or as he was called back then, Quartinus, said,“Boogers! There’s nothing to start a fire with! Mrs. Wren’s had a nightmare, and we’re all going to die for it.”


    In the pitch blackness, Quentin’s voice came up from the pile where we all lay together, “A ghost. She saw her husband’s ghost.” I was relieved to hear him, because I was so very afraid he had passed away. Certainly his skin felt like ice up against mine.


    Victor laid his coat over the pile of us. I wondered how he could stand the cold in his thin shirt, but he did not complain.Victor never complained. “I’ll start a fire. I’ll make something.Lend me your tie. I found a bent stick in the woodpile, and I can make a drill.”


    Minutes passed, and it grew colder. I could hear Victor sawing away at something, the hissing noise of wood on wood, but no fire came.


    “Boogers!” shouted Colin, who did not know any of the many foul words he was to learn later in life. “Do you think you are a Red Indian? Rubbing two bloody sticks together? We’re all going to die, and it will be your fault!”


    Victor said to me, “Secunda. Get them talking. Keep their mind off it, you know? We’ve all got to hang together.” My teeth wanted to chatter, but I made myself speak. “OK,attention, everyone! I know we are all cold and afraid. But we have something we have to do. We have to remember our Tales.”


    I do not remember a time when I had not been the unofficial Keeper of the Tales for our group. It had always been my task.Colin used to joke that I was to be the Tale Keeper because my memory was so good. (“Whenever I do something wrong, she always remembers to remind me, eh?” so he would say.)


    I spoke gently to young little Quentin. “The Tales are the only thing we know about our home. Our real home. Quentin, you start.”


    “I-I’m t-too cold.”


    “Quentin, you must start. We can’t lose our Tales. You have to tell.”


    But Quentin simply whimpered and did not answer.


    Colin said, “C’mon you great booger. Talk! You don’t want them to win, do you?”


    I felt Quentin’s cold body stir in my arms.


    He spoke in a voice so weak and thin that I could barely hear him, even though my ear was but inches from his mouth. “I remember my mum. Her hair is gray. She’s blind. I remember how I would run and she would spread her arms and say, ‘Where’s my little shadow? Where’s my little shadow?’ and I would run and jump into her arms, and mum would hug me, and give me a kiss, and she would say, ‘I know you, little one. I will always know you.’ And I would say, ‘How’d’ you know it’s me? How’d’ you know it’s me?’ and she would say, ‘My soul knows your soul,
    little one, my heart knows your heart.’ That’s what I remember.”

    I said, “Tell us more. Tell us about the giant. You’ve got to remember the whole of the Tale. It is your Tale.”

    他说话的声音非常微弱,即使我的耳朵只离他的嘴一英尺,也是能刚好听见他的声音."我记得我的妈妈.她的头发是灰色的.她蒙着眼.我记得我在一边跑,而她张开双臂说,'我的小尾巴在哪?我的小尾巴在哪?'然后我跑着跳进她的怀里,妈妈抱着我,吻我,她说,'我知道是你,小家伙.我知道总是你.'然后我说,'你怎么知道是我?你怎么知道是我?' 她回答说,'我的灵魂感到了你的灵魂,小家伙,我的心感到了你的心.'这就是我记得的."


    Quentin said, “My dad. He lives in a room with statues. Statues and chessmen and dolls. His beard is gray and comes to the floor, and his hair is gray, too. He has a harp that sits in his lap. And when he plays, the statues dance. Once upon a time, he took me and took his harp, and sat on the statue of a big crow, and he played, and the crow flew up in the air.”


    Vanity said, “That couldn’t really happen, could it?” Victor, from somewhere in the gloom, said, “Maybe it was an airplane. Only looked like a crow.”


    I said sternly, “Stop! You can’t talk back to the Tales. You can’t change them or make fun of them! That’s the rule! If you start changing the Tales, they might go away, and then we won’t have anything!”


    Victor said, “She’s right.”


    I said, “Go on, Quentin. Tell us about the giant.”
    Quentin was quiet, and then he spoke in a sad whisper. “I don’t know the rest.”



    “Sure you do! Your father took you to see the Shining Mountains! Instead of snow, the mountains all have light, silver light,all along the tops. Do you remember what he said? He told you,‘This is the place where the falling stars fall whenever stars fall down.’ ”


    Quentin said, “I don’t remember. I don’t. Leave me alone.”


    I said insistently, “In the dark valley between the mountains of light, your father the magician took you to see the giant, who was trapped up to his neck in the ice. There were dwarfs all digging and digging, chipping away at the ice, to get him out.”


    Quentin said, “It was cold. It was so cold. I saw his hand. It was a mile below me. Under the ice. The fingers. I thought it was five rivers coming to a lake, it was so big. So cold.”


    I said, “Yes! Yes! And the giant said—do you remember what the giant told you—once he was free, the bad people would be punished, and the good people would all live happily ever after? The Golden Age would come again. Do you remember?”


    “It was so cold.”


    “Quentin, maybe the giant has gotten out of the dark valley! Maybe he is coming to save us, right now!”


    Quentin sniffled and shivered, but did not answer.


    Vanity spoke up next: “I remember my Tale! Me next! Oh, pick me! Oh, me!”


    “OK. It is your turn, Tertia.”


    “My house is in fairyland,” Vanity said primly. “There is a gold dog who sits by my front door, and a silver dog, too. They come to life when you want them to, and fetch a stick or chase away someone making fun of you. When you don’t need them, they just sit still. There is a singer who sings to me, and he sits in the sunlight in his chair of ivory, and beats the ground with his stick when he sings. He sings of wars and ships and deeds of kings. There are bowls made of silver that hop on three legs like bugs. Hop! Hop! Hop! They walk around and give you fruit and candy. If you’re good. It is always springtime there. My mommy has red hair like me. My daddy is the king there, but Mommy is the one who actually runs the kingdom. My brothers play out in the green field, and throw spears and throw disks.And they run. Sometimes Daddy takes me sailing, and our boat is faster than the wind. Sometimes Mommy plays hide-andseek with me, and she pops out of the floor! Pop! And she puts her arms around me. She tells me to be good, because she loves me. That’s all.”


    I said, “There is another part. Something about being watched.”


    “Oh, that. It is not like here. Nothing pays you any mind here. The rocks and the wind and the grass. It’s all dead. Where I come from, they are all friends. They are all alive. You can feel them watching you, like a tingling all over your skin. It is like being at the recital, when everyone applauded. Like being on stage. Remember how nice that was? It tingled. It wasn’t lonely. I am always lonely here. I want to go home. I don’t want to be alone any more. When can we go home?”


    Victor said, “I will get you home. I promise. I will get us all home.”


    I said, “You next!”


    Victor said, “Let Quartinus go first.”


    Colin said, “My story is better than his. My turn. I climbed up the pole of my da’s longhouse, all the way to where it holds up the sky. That’s where he keeps his cloak, in the North Star. My brothers all sent me to get it, because I was the youngest and lightest, and the roof pole wouldn’t break under me. They said I would not get punished for stealing it, on account of I was too young.“I put on the cloak and told it to make me into a wolf. A big,ferocious, giant wolf. So I turned into a wolf, and jumped out the window, and I ran through the forest. The trees are so tall there that sometimes the stars get caught in them. The stars are these beautiful women with lanterns, and when their robes get caught in the branches, they sing, and the trees feel sorry for them, and let them go. Anyway, I remember I was running to this spot my brothers had told me about. This black cave where my uncle lived, guarded by this big three-headed dog. I figured I could take on the dog, seeing as I was a big wolf. Then a storm came, and the clouds fell down through the trees, and it was my ma. She took me around the throat and yanked da’s cloak clean off me. I thought she was going to be mad, but it was weird, because she just cried and cried and held on to me. Like she was afraid. And she pushed my hair back and she said, ‘If ever you go away from me, oh my beloved son, on that day sorrow surely will slay me.’ She took me home and fed me from this big pot we had over the fire in the middle of the house.


    “I sat in the middle of the pot and ate stew, and da beat the tar out of my brothers. I have three. One wears a mask. One wears an animal pelt. The third has leaves and twigs in his hair. And they were right. I didn’t get punished. They did. That’s all I remember about it. Cool, huh?”


    Colin was silent for a while, shivering in the cold. Then he said, “You don’t suppose my ma’s really dead, do you?”


    I said, “No, she is not dead. No one is dead. My father told me.”


    Victor said to me, “Your turn.”


    I said, “It is warm there. My home is filled with light. I am a princess and I live in a palace. My father is the king, and he knows everything. He sees everything. I remember once my mother, the queen, took me swimming in our pool. But the pool hangs like a ball in midair. It is bigger on the inside than on the outside. There are stars inside it. And planets. You can swim right up to them and look at them with your eye. I remember once I was swimming. I saw a dark world and it was filled with dead bodies. Mother folded her arms around me, and took me
    back up out of the pool. I remember how afraid I was that something from the Dark World would get me. My mother sang a song for me, ‘My little spark, my shining one, never fear, never fear. The darkness is so very small, and the world of light is endless, here.’


    “I remember she took me to the tower where she said she first saw my father. It was a palace that floated, and everything was rose-red marble. The windows were pink and the walls were scarlet. I remember he had a throne set in the very middle of a floor of glass, and the floor was one hundred miles wide. When you sat on the throne, you could look down at the world, and see everything in it. It was like a telescope, but bigger. Bigger than the moon. Father made me look at the Dark World again, even though I was scared and didn’t want to. I remember he held my hand, and said, ‘Shining daughter, do not be afraid to look into the darkness. There are no dead, no ghosts, no shadows. Look,
    look closely, and you will see the happy gardens made of light,into which all of those who have been hurt by Time are brought,once Time has no more power over them.’ I looked and I looked,but I did not find the happy place anywhere in the picture. That made him sad, and Mother was sad, too, and Father kissed me right here on the forehead, and said, ‘I have commanded all my people to love you, but there are those whom I cannot command.You will be taken from us for a time, brought into a cold,dark land. But you shall soon be free, and return to the land of
    light, and return to be with your mother and me.’ He promised. My father promised. He will come save me.”


    Victor said, “No one is coming to save us. No giants, no kings. We are going to save ourselves.”


    I shouted, “That’s not fair! You can’t talk back to the Tales! They are all we have!”


    Colin said, “It’s his turn. Tell us your dumb story about the worm, Prime.” By which he meant Victor.


    Victor said, “There’s not much to tell. I don’t remember any mother or father. We lived in a space station. Once I put my hand out the window into the rain. How there was rain in outer space, I don’t know, but that’s what I remember. The raindrops rolled together in my palm and made a puddle. I stuck my finger in the puddle and it thickened into clay. I rolled the clay between my palms and made a worm. Then the worm came to life, and started climbing up my arm. I thought it was gross, so I threw it out the window into outer space, where it fell forever. “They took me to see a man. I don’t remember who the man was, but I was scared of him. He was like a teacher or something.He had a lamp in his forehead like a miner’s torch. He said, ‘Life is a set of rules. If those rules break, life ends. Here is our first rule: Any life you create is yours, and must be cared for. No matter how humble or small, it is still yours, and you must answer for it. Do you understand?’


    “I remember I answered some smart answer back. I don’t know what it was, though.


    “The teacher said, ‘Your own death is nothing, because death is nothing but the disintegration of the atoms of your body. There is no pain and no sorrow afterwards. But to kill another living thing is wrong, and is forbidden by our law.’ “I said, ‘Human beings kill each other.’

    "那个老师说,'你自己的死亡什么也不是,因为死亡只是你身体原子能的瓦解.然后就会没有痛苦和悲伤.但是杀死另一个生命是错误的,在我们的法律中是被禁止的.' "我说,'人们总是互相残杀.'

    “The teacher said, ‘In every human being, there is a spark of divine fire, which makes them sacred. We have nothing like that in us. We are mightier, older, wiser than man, and we do not violate our laws; but Mankind is a finer thing than we are, and some day we will save them from the Demiurge, who made them merely to be playthings. He did not know what he made.’


    “I said, ‘If we are greater and stronger, why must we serve them?’


    “The teacher said, ‘The great must protect the weak. If this law is broken, those who are greater than us, those who made us, would destroy us. The same logic applies to all beings. I am putting this memory into your permanent storage, so that you will not be able to forget it, even after all else is lost.’ And a light came from his head.


    “That is all I remember,” Victor said.


    And he smiled, and I was able to see him smile, because a little spark had come to life where he was drilling a stick back and forth with a crude bow he had made. Gently, he breathed on the spark, and gently the darkness receded.


    One twig, one dry stick at a time, he fed the flame, until it was large enough to accept a lump of coal.


    That night, in the cold cellar, Victor told us all to put our hands together like the Three Musketeers.


    He said to me, “We must all promise not to forget. We have to remember our Tales. We must all remember Quentin’s giant, and Quartinus’ wolf cloak, and the golden dogs that sit outside the House of Tertia in Fairyland, and the palace of light where the father of Secunda is a king, and the city in the void where my Teacher lived, and told me what my duty was. We must all keep our Tales for each other, if one of us loses or changes or forgets them, the others will remind him. Everything in this world will try to convince us that these are nursery tales, or
    dreams, or that we’re mad, or that we’re just playing pretend.We must promise never to forget. We must promise never to give up. We must promise we will escape from this place, and find the mothers and fathers who love us, our friends, our kin, our real world. Promise!”


    And then he promised us that he would see to it that we would all get out of here together.


    Oh, and it was warm when he said that.


    I do not know how old I was when I found the notes, but I must have been quite young, because I remember that I had to stand on tiptoe to reach the handles of the cabinet where the cleaning things were kept. We had been told to scrub the floor of the dining hall, a task usually done by the servants, because of some prank Colin had pulled involving a bucket of fishheads. None of us was willing to turn Colin in, not even Vanity, even though (I am sure) everyone knew who had done it. This was back before we chose names, so it was Quartinus we were all mad at for getting us in trouble. I remember it was spring, and the great windows were wide open, and I could smell the new-mown grass of the playing field outside, and I remember how dearly I wanted to jump and run and play, rather than kneel and scrub.



    I was wearing a smock from the art room, and had my hair tucked into a kerchief. I remember there was a bucket of smelly stuff I was rubbing into the floor boards with a brush. I had taken the bigger bucket, because I thought Tertia (Vanity) was too small to carry it. I remember how proud I was when I picked up that bucket, because I felt like a grown-up girl; and I remember how terrible it was, once I had walked out to the
    spigot and filled it, that I could not carry it. I staggered and stumbled as I waddled up the steps (and the steps were taller back then) and there were tears in my eyes, because I was so afraid I would be punished if I spilled it.


    We had been studying astronomy in Lecture Hall that morning, and I remember thinking that if the five of us could build a rocket ship, we could fly to the moon, and be away from this place forever. And I remember my plan was to ask Tertia to stay aboard the ship once we landed, so I could be the first woman on the moon; and the moon people would be so grateful they would make me their princess; but I was going to let her be the first off the ship when we landed on the next planet, Mars or Venus, to make it up to her.

    那天早上我们在讲堂学习天文学, 我记得我在想如果我们五个能造一艘太空船,我们就能飞到月亮上去,永远地离开这个地方.我的计划是当我们降落时让特西娅留在飞船上,那样我就能成为第一个登上月球的女性;月亮上的人们很友善,他们会让我作他们的公主;但是当我们降落到下一个行星的时候,比如火星或者金星,我会让她先下飞船,以和她扯平.

    It was actually Tertia who found the notes, some sheets of foolscap paper folded and refolded and crammed into a little crack where the wainscoting had become separated from the wall. We were both kneeling and scrubbing, and we exchanged a quick glance at each other. By the look in her eye, I knew she knew (as I did) that we had found a great treasure, which must be kept away from the grown-ups at all costs.


    I pretended I had to go to the lavatory and made a fuss, while Vanity stole a fork from the silver drawer. Mrs. Wren, of course, did not let me go until chores were done. So we both diligently pretended to scrub the section of wainscoting where our treasure was, and Vanity would pluck at the papers with the tines of the fork when Mrs. Wren was idling near the liquor cabinet.


    Like a fluttering pale moth, the papers came free with a rustle of noise, and I quickly stuffed them down my shirtfront. We were let out for recess and exercise, but I was too cunning to take them out where someone might see, so I quickly folded them into my uniform shirt when I was changing into my field hockey gear, and then ripped a button from the shirt. Sadly, I displayed the torn shirt to Mr. ap Cymru, who was coach then, and I got permission to go put it in the hamper in the East Hall for the maid to repair, and told to get a new blouse from the dormitory,
    so that I would have something to change into after practice.


    Easy as pie. The notes were soon hidden in my room. I gazed at the handwriting, seeing the fine but strong feminine penmanship, and thinking how lovely it would be to have a hand as fine as that. Whoever wrote this (I remember thinking) would never have her knuckles rapped because her Q’s and O’s were lopsided.It was some sort of fairy tale, but one that made no sense, merely fragments; and I remember thinking that I was too old for fairy stories.


    This will seem strange, and impossible to explain, but I did not recognize the stories, the handwriting, any of it. I wrapped the sheaf of paper in a plastic bag and took it to a hidden spot, a dry deep hole in the bark of a tree on the back campus, deep enough so that rain could not reach. And left it.A year, perhaps two, went by before I was old enough not to be ashamed of my interest in children’s tales, and I thought to look at it again.


    By that time, I had learned my penmanship. My cursive letters flowed in a fair, clean hand from my pen, far better than the crooked scrawl I had been using even a year before.


    And here were these papers at least ten years old, or more.It was my handwriting.




  • 第二章 The Experiment

    2008-10-04 15:51:35

    I do not know how young I was when I performed the experiment that required me to conclude that something was wrong in my life.


    Victor—so I may call him, though he was still called Primus at the time—had grown a trace of down on his upper lip, finer than the fuzz of a peach. With even this small hint of manhood, he seemed more our leader than before, and there was a newfound glamour to him that touched my heart and troubled my dreams.


    We had crept by stealth from the orphanage grounds, and stood among the rocks and bald hills of the West. Below us and to the East, we could see the lights from the Main House, the servants’ quarters, the outbuildings, the stables.


    Dr. Fell had bought Victor the instrument he was using for his experiment from a scientific catalogue. At the time, I thought it normal and unexceptional. Now, I realize that such an instrument was fabulously expensive: a piece of precision machinery even an observatory would envy.


    The moon rose not long after sunset, and we pointed the lenses of the instrument to the East. Victor held his eye to the eyepiece and made minute adjustments to the vernier dials. He thumbed a red switch with a grimace of satisfaction.


    He said, “An internal computer will track the path of the moon as it rises, and send out periodic pulses. We want to gather a number of samples, to correct for the different cords of atmosphere the signal passes through. The return signal is received by the large dish on the tripod over there, whose motors are slaved to these wheels here. And voila!”

    他说,"一个内嵌的计算机将会在月亮升起时跟踪它的轨迹, 然后发出周期脉冲.我们可以收集一系列的样本,来校正大气中通过的不同信号束.返回的信号会被那里三角架上的大圆盘接收,它的马达供这些圆盘运转.看!"

    A numerical readout lit up. It was two point something something. 2.8955. Almost three seconds.


    I said, “What now?”
    He said, “And now we wait four hours.”
    “Did you bring anything to read?”
    He just looked at me oddly.
    “Or smoke?” I said.
    “You are too young to smoke. Besides, it’s bad for you.”
    “Quentin said you tried it. You experimented with it.”


    He shook his head. “It wasn’t me. Trying things common sense abundantly demonstrates are bad for you is not an experiment;such things show you nothing but what your own tastes are. That does not constitute knowledge. This is an experiment!”


    “Then who was it?”
    “Who was what?”
    “Quentin said he smelled smoke in the boys’ bathroom. Cigarette smoke.”
    He looked at me with scathing condescension, but said othing.
    “What?” I said.
    “Logic. If it wasn’t me, and it wasn’t Quentin, and it wasn’t a girl, who was it?”
    “Oh,” I said, feeling sheepish.


    Hours passed. I fidgeted. I paced. I complained about the cold. I sat on the ground, which made me colder. I asked him for his down jacket, which he doffed without a word and tossed to me. I rolled it up and used it as a pillow.
    I must have slept.


    I dreamed that I was on a boat. A man held me roughly in one arm, dangling me over the side. The boat pitched and tossed terribly; rain pelted my face and ran in icy ribbons down my flesh. The man held some sharp, horrible thing near my face: a knife, or something larger than a knife.


    In the dream, the water, which had been black and rolling,webbed with white foam and spray, suddenly grew clear as crystal. A figure that was so large as to make our ship seem the size of a lifeboat was gliding beneath the waves, parallel to our course. The figure had his hands back along his sides and his head down; he did not kick his feet. Instead, the water streamed past him, like wind streaming past a man falling effortlessly through the air.


    “Tell him to quell the storm,” said the voice of the doctor in my ear.


    The figure turned its head and regarded us both. Its eyes were lamps, eerie with a greenish light, and it had a third eye, made of metal, embedded in its forehead.


    Instead of being terrified that I was going to be pitched overboard or stabbed, I was overcome with a painful embarrassment to realize that the gigantic figure was utterly nude and that, as he kept turning, I would soon see a penis larger than the member of an elephant, rippling through the water like a periscope.What made it more embarrassing was that the figure had Victor’s features.


    The third eye, the metal one, seemed to be the only one with a soul in it. In the senseless way things are known in dreams, I knew that the mere fact that it could see me with this eye meant he could speak to me, despite all the water between us, and the noise and wrack of the storm. “I am embedding this message by means of cryptognosis into a preconsciousness level of your nervous system. The paradigms of Chaos have agreed only on this one point. We will wait for you . . .”


    “Tell him to make the clouds move.”
    “I said, I hope the clouds move. We need to get a clear reading when the moon reaches zenith.”
    I was awake again, with Victor, on the cold hillside. A knotted texture of charcoal-black and gleaming silver hung like a ship out of fairyland high above us. The cloud covered the moon, and limned the edges with swirls of argent.





    Victor was still standing.
    “How long have I been asleep?”
    “Two hours, fourteen minutes.”





    Then I said, “Why are you doing this? We could get caught.It’s not as if Michelson and Morley hadn’t done this experiment one hundred years ago.”



    He said, “One hundred eight. They’ve been saying untrue things to us. The teachers. The readings we got from the interferometer in lab class had been meddled with. When I did the experiment under controlled conditions, I got results consistent with the theory that light is conveyed via luminiferous aether.”


    I sat up. “Are you saying there’s no Einsteinian relativity?But there have been other experiments. The procession of the axis of Mercury. Cesium clocks in a fast-flying airplane. Light was seen to bend around the sun during an eclipse.”


    “We have only hearsay for that.”


    I was astonished. The sheer magnitude of his skepticism was beyond words. It was like an elephant I had seen once during a rare field trip to Swansea Zoo. As soon as you think you understand how big it is, you look again, and it is bigger.


    He said, “Picture this. According to relativity, objects compress in the direction of motion, right? And yet it also says that the same objects and events appear from each other’s ‘frames of reference’ to be symmetrical, right?”

    他说,"这样设想.依照相对论,物体在它运动的方向压缩,是吧?然而,它也说出现在彼此的'参照系'中的对象和事件是对称的, 是吧?"



    “Take a cup with a tight-fitting lid. The cup and lid fit together, correct? Now move the lid and cup away at right angles, the lid horizontally, the cup vertically. Got the picture?”
    “Got it.”
    “What happened when you bring the lid and cup back together at near light speed?”
    “Um . . . I am sure you are about to tell me . . .”





    “From the point of view of the lid, the cup is compressed in its direction of motion, horizontally. The cup is shorter, but still a cylinder. The lid, to itself, suffers no distortion, of course. When the two meet, the lid will fit on the cup. But from the point of view of the cup, the lid is foreshortened in its direction of motion, vertically. Which means the lid is now an oval. The cup still appears round to itself. When the two meet, the lid cannot fit on the cup. The same event has two different results from two different points of view.”


    I looked at him sidelong, wondering if he were kidding. For the first time, I wondered whether other people have more trouble visually picturing things in their imagination than I did. I mean, it is not as if I could look into their heads to see.


    I opened my mouth to say that both observers would see the motion vector as a diagonal, but then I closed it again. I did not like arguing with Victor.


    “What in particular happened?” I said.


    For a moment I thought he was going to ask me what I meant, but then he said, “You know Mrs. Lilac from the village, whom Mrs. Wren uses to carry burdens and packages when she has done too much shopping?”

    那时,我以为他会问我是什么意思,但是他说道,"我在村庄里认识了莱勒克夫人, 当她买了很多东西的时候, 经常让瑞文女士帮她拿包裹.

    “Sort of the way you do me,” I said archly. I had carried the equipment up the slope from the hedges behind the lab shed.
    “I don’t see the analogy.”



    “Go on with your story.”


    “Mrs. Lilac passed me in the hall. She said her daughter Lily was going to graduate from upper school soon and, seeing as how I had helped Lily learn her letters when she was in grammar school, would I care to attend the graduation ceremony? You know who Lily is, don’t you?”

    "莱勒克夫人在大厅里遇到我.她说她女儿莉丽就要从中学毕业了,因为我在她上小学的时候帮她学过字母, 问我是否愿意去参加她的毕业典礼?你知道莉丽是谁,对吧?"

    “Yes. I know who she is,” I said shortly.


    I was thinking that Victor had been to see Lily Lilac on every occasion that the Headmaster would allow. She was fairhaired and fine boned, with a breezy, insincere manner I found exasperating.


    Her father owned the fish cannery, and was counted as being one of the more influential people, among the working class, in town. Lily owned her own outboard motor, and she went boating on every possible occasion.


    From time to time I had seen Victor watching Lily Lilac from the sea cliff. He would stand among the rocks with a telescope, and watch her fly by, her boat bouncing along the waters of the bay, her blond hair bouncing in the wind. She was always with a different boy each time. She seemed to be able to do what she liked, and go where she liked, when she liked. I do not recall hating any other living being so fiercely.

    有时我看到维克托从海崖上看莉丽.莱勒克.他拿着望远镜站在石头上,看她经过,看她的船在海湾中飘荡,看她棕色的头发在风中飞扬.她每次都和一个不同的男孩在一起.她看上去可以作一切她想作的事, 去任何她想去的地方, 只要她喜欢.我从没有这么强烈地恨过其他人.

    “I know her,” I said with a sniff. “So you’ve been invited to a graduation. I doubt Headmaster will allow you off the grounds.”I remember I was being fiercely loyal to Headmaster Boggin in those days, and thought he could do no wrong.


    Victor favored me with another one of his withering glances.


    “What?” I said. “What?”


    “Logic. How young do you think a person has to be to not know her letters and numbers? And I must have been old enough to know mine. Let’s assume I was unduly precocious,and she was unduly slow.”

    "逻辑.你觉得一个人还不认识字母和数字的时候有多大?我肯定足够大,已经认识了.让我们假设我过度地早熟, 而她过度晚熟."

    “Yes, let’s do,” I said, perhaps with a note of venom in my voice.

    "好的, 就着样做,"我说,我的声音也许中带着怨毒的音符.

    “I could have been what, three? Have you ever heard a child know his letters at two? How late could she live and not know her letters? Let’s say five. She would be nineteen when she graduated. If she skipped a grade, eighteen. That makes me how old now?”

    "我那时多大, 三岁?你曾听说过有个孩子在两岁就认识字母了吗?她多大了还不认识字母?就算五岁吧.那她毕业的时候就是十九岁.如果她跳了一级,就是十八岁.那样的话我现在多大?"

    “But suppose the numbers were reversed. What if I had been around five when I taught a two- or three-year-old? How old does that make me?”


    I said, “If you were twenty-and-one, you’d be an adult. They would have let you out of here. They’d have let you out three years ago.”


    “Would they have?”
    “Why would they keep you?”
    “Perhaps they get money from the trust for my upkeep. Who knows?”
    “But how could they tell such a lie, and not get caught?”
    “Who is to catch them? The townspeople are afraid of the Headmaster.”




    "但是他们怎么能说这样一个谎话, 那样不会被捕吗?"


    The idea that anyone could be “afraid” of the kindly old headmaster, with his gentle smile and mild humor, was beyond belief. Had it been anyone other than Victor, I would have laughed aloud.


    But I didn’t laugh. “Someone would tell. They can’t just go on keeping us here forever.”


    “Who is to tell?” he said. “Who will question their statements?Suppose they say I am fifteen. Don’t I look it? Who questions them? Who doubts them? Who is skeptical enough to go to the trouble to check?”


    At that moment, a timer on the instrument bleeped.Victor leaned in and looked at the eyepiece. He clicked the red button with his thumb. A moment later the LED readout lit up. 3.3214 . . .

    就在这个时候,仪器上的一个记时器响了起来.维克托弯下腰对着目镜看.他用拇指按下了红色按钮.一会儿过后,LED显示屏亮了起来. 3.3214....

    He said grimly, “The difference between the reading now and the reading at dusk is merely the angular momentum of the turning of the Earth. Light shot forward, tangentially to the turn, has the velocity of the Earth added, and travels faster. Light shot at a right angle, away from the axis, has no velocity added, and is slower. If we wait till dawn, the component of Earth’s rotation will be subtracted, and the velocity will be slower yet.”


    “There must be a mistake,” I said slowly. “The instrument must be off.”


    “Is that the most reasonable explanation?”


    He turned and squinted. The light in the boys’ bathroom off the dormitory was flickering off and on, off and on. That was the signal that Mr. Glum had been seen leaving his little house on the back grounds, no doubt to pull a surprise inspection of the boys’ dorm.


    There was no light in the girls’ bathroom. Either Mrs. Wren had not stirred and the girls’ dorm was safe, or else Vanity had fallen asleep at her post.


    Victor stood. “I must run. Don’t let the equipment get damaged when you carry it back down the rocks.”
    “Yes, master,” I said sarcastically. But he did not hear me, because he was already jogging down-slope.
    Now I was alone, in the cold, with no one but the moon to look after me.



    Well, there was no need to delay. I started doing, in my mind,that trick I had learned that made all burdens seem lighter than they were when I hoisted them, and I put my hands out toward the instrument.


    I was thinking: it was impossible.


    The angular momentum of the Earth’s rotation was so small a fraction of the speed of light, I know, that no possible instrument could detect a difference; and surely not a difference of nearly half a second over the (relatively) short distance between Earth and Moon. To be a valid experiment, the second reading would have to be taken half a month later, not half a day later,so that the velocity component added would have been that of the Earth’s motion around the sun.


    So, instead of lifting the instrument just yet, I put my eye to the eyepiece, made sure the instrument was still centered on the same crater of the moon as it had been at dusk, reached, and hit the red switch.


    The dish hummed as a radar beam was sent out, bounced off the moon, came back.
    The LED readout lit up. 2.8955.



    I had little trouble getting the tripod folded and the instrument case packed up, and getting the whole thing hidden under the bushes, where Victor would sneak them back into the lab in the morning, while he had cleanup duty.


    But I had a great deal of trouble falling asleep that night.
    Surely it was just a quirky reading from a misaligned instrument,right?



    Either that, or the speed of light acted differently when I was watching it than it did when Victor was watching it. Which is impossible, isn’t it? That is not what the Theory of Relativity means. Our notions of reality can change as we learn more; but reality itself, the great unknown, cannot change.But if reality was unknown, how did I know it could not change?


    I had a dream about the ship again that night. The man holding me overboard, holding a sword to my throat, was Dr. Fell.


  • 混沌中的孤儿——第一章(5-9节)

    2008-10-04 15:51:35

    Vanity was of the opinion that if we did not know where the boundary was, it could not affect us.Her argument ran along these lines: we had been warned something bad would happen to us if we went over the boundaries, or tarried too long on the far side. But boundaries do not exist in the material world. A rock or a tree on one side or the other of an imaginary line is still a rock or a tree, is it not?


    Therefore the boundaries only exist, as Vanity put it, “in our fancy.”

    “Think of it this way,” she would say, between various ejaculations
    and digressions. “If everyone woke up tomorrow and agreed we should spell ‘dog’ C-A-T, why, dogs would be cats as far as we could tell. But the dogs would not care what we called them. If everyone woke up and said, ‘Vanity is the Queen of England!’ why, then, I’d be the Queen of England, provided the army and the tax gatherers were among the people who said it.If only half the army said it, we’d have a civil war.”



    The boundary to the South was no different. As one moved South there were trees upon the south lawn, a few, and then more, and then scattered copses, then thick copses. At some point, you would find yourself in a place with no grass underfoot,where no one had stepped before, and see trees which had never felt the bite of an axe. But where exactly was the dividing line?


    The trees were thick around the servants’ quarters, the stables,and the pump house. They were thicker beyond the old brick smithy. They were thicker still beyond the even older green mound connected with local King Arthur tales; but that mound was bare of trees itself, and one came from the shadows of silent leaves into a wide round area of surprising sunlight,where four standing stones held a tilted slab high above wild grass. The stones were gray, and no moss grew on them, and no sunlight ever seemed to warm them.


    Vanity said that Arthur’s Table clearly could not be in the forest,because there were no trees there. A forest, by definition(Vanity would exclaim) was a place full of trees, wasn’t it?So (she would conclude triumphantly), there was no Southern boundary, provided we all agreed that there was none.What other people said amongst themselves was their own affair.


    Colin would ask sarcastically, “And when they send Mr.Glum and his savage dog to hunt us down and maul us, does it then, at some point, become our affair?”Vanity would roll her eyes and say, “If the dog mauls us on this side of the boundary, we could still say he was on the other side, couldn’t we? Things like boundaries don’t exist if you don’t see them when you look for them, do they?”


    “And I guess dog fangs don’t exist if you don’t feel it when your arm gets ripped off, right?”
    “Exactly! Suppose the dog only thought he mauled us, but we did not see him nor feel him when he came to attack us!How do you know the dog hadn’t just dreamed or imagined he attacked us? We could agree he hadn’t done it, couldn’t we? We could even agree the dog had agreed not to hunt us!”



    Colin would respond with something like, “Why bother arguing with me? Why don’t you just agree that I agree, so that, in your world, I have?”
    Vanity would rejoin, “Because I prefer to agree that you argued and you lost, as anyone who heard the dumb things you say would agree.”
    Colin was not one to give up easily. “If you merely dreamed you had found a secret way out of here, that would not let you walk through a solid stone wall, would it?”


    瓦妮特则会辩论,"因为我认为你提出的观点是错的, 任何听到你蠢话的人都会同意这点."


    “Of course not. But no one knows which walls are solid and which are hollow because no one can see the inside of the solid ones, can they? The ones you can see inside aren’t hollow, are they? No one else has any proof one way or another.”


    Vanity’s argument was as incomprehensible as Quentin’s,and as brief (when pared down) as Victor’s. Apparently as long as she, Vanity, in her solipsistic purity, did not believe the Southern boundary existed, then, for all practical purposes, it would not.

    瓦妮特的观点和昆廷的一样不能让人理解,和维克多的一样简洁(总结过之后). 很明显,瓦妮特一直以来,在她的纯粹唯我主义观点中, 并不相信南边界存在, 然后,用实际的方法证明它不存在.

    Vanity was short, redheaded, with a dusting of freckles on her cheeks. Her eyes were the most enormous emerald, and they sparkled. She had a little upturned snub nose I always envied just a bit. She was fair skinned and always wore a straw skimmer to keep the sun off her face.


    With her lips so pale a rose color, and her eyebrows so light,I always thought she looked like a statue of fine brass, held in a furnace of flame so hot as to be invisible, so that she seemed to glow. Even when frowning, she seemed to be smiling.


    She was curvy and she took wry amusement at the fact that the boys, the male teachers, even Mr. Glum, could have their gazes magnetized by her when she walked by.


    I always thought Vanity was a little sweet on Colin, because she yelled at him and called him names. In the romances I read,that was a sure sign of growing affection.


    As I grew older, I noticed how carefully she noticed everything Quentin did, Quentin the quiet one, and I realized she doted on him. And I began to realize Vanity actually was annoyed and exasperated by Colin.


    That was when I realized, for the first time, that the five of us were not the tightly knit band of Three Musketeers Plus Two that Victor said we were, one for all and all for one, and all that.It was not until I was around an age which, in a human being,would be between sixteen or eighteen or so, when I had the thought that with two girls and three boys, one of the boys in our merry band would end up a bachelor, or married to a stranger.


    I remember where I was when this thought came to me. I was sitting on the lip of the Kissing Well, with my skirts flapping in the gusts coming from the bay, quite alone. I had just come from the infirmary, and was still seasick from Dr. Fell’s most recent round of vaccinations. We were usually allowed to skip lessons any afternoon when Dr. Fell worked on us, provided we made up the lessons later. The well was high on a hillside, and overlooked the water. Sea mews were crying, and the sad sound lingered in the air.


    It was spring, I remember, and two male birds were fighting.That was what prompted my thought.


    That was also when I started wondering what my future would be. I wanted to be a pilot, an explorer. A cowgirl with a pistol. Anything that got me away from here. The idea of being a housewife seemed intolerably dull and lacking in glamour.On the other hand, the idea of never having a child was like death.


    And then I said aloud to the well, “But what if they never let us go?”
    The voice in the well said back softly, “. . . never let us go . . . ?”



    My name is Amelia Armstrong Windrose. I should say, I call myself that; my real name was lost with my parents.


    We chose our own names when we were eight or ten or so.It was not until we started sneaking off the estate grounds that we realized that other children in the village were christened at birth, and kept anniversaries of their birthdays, and knew their ages.


    We knew about birthdays from various readings, of course.There were references to such things from histories, where boy kings had to be killed before they ascended the throne, or from gothic romances, where girl heirs had to be wedded before they came into their majority. We knew, in a general way, what a birthday party was.


    Mrs. Wren started holding them for us, with snappers and barkers and wrapped gifts, and candles on cake with icing, and toasts and games, when we complained. But her notion was to have them twice or three times a year, usually during months with no other holidays of note. And the number of candles she put on the cake could be anywhere from one to one score, depending on her mood, or the success of her shopping.

    当我们抱怨时,瑞文女士开始为我们举行生日宴会,宴会上有笛鲷鱼、杂耍和带包装的礼物, 糖衣蛋糕上的糖果, 还有面包和游戏.但是她的打算是一年举办两到三次,通常在没有重大节日的月份举办。她放在蛋糕上的糖果数目可能是一或二十之间的任何数,这取决于她的心情,或者她购物是否成功。

    The gifts we got from her did not seem odd at the time, for we had no other basis of comparison. Once I got a wrapped roast duck, which had turned cold in the cardboard box, and lay amid its own congealed grease. Another time, a box of nails.Colin got one of Mrs. Wren’s shoes at that same party; Vanity got a drawer from the kitchen with knives and spoons in it.And yet, other times, her gifts were things of wonder and pleasure:a wooden rocking horse, painted fine, brave colors; a toy train set with an electric motor and a cunning little chimney that puffed real smoke; a dress of breathtaking beauty, made of a soft scarlet fabric, perhaps satin; an orb of pale crystal that glowed like a firefly when you held it in your hand and thought warm thoughts; a walking stick with a carved jackal head with silver ears, which Quentin was convinced could find buried streams and fountains underground.

    那时我们不会觉得从她那里得到的礼物看上去很奇怪,因为我们也没有其他人可以比较,有一次我得到了一只包装好了的烤鸭,它已经在硬纸盒里变凉了,躺在它自己冻结了的油脂中.还有一次,是一盒图钉.在那次宴会中,科林得到了瑞文女士的一只鞋子;瓦妮特得到了厨房里的一个装着刀叉的橱柜.可是,其他时候,她的礼物倒是另人惊喜:一匹精心上了华丽颜色的摇摆木马;带有电动马达的玩具火车,上面还有可爱的会喷真烟的小烟囱;一套极漂亮的深红色衣服,有可能是丝绸织的;还有一个白色的水晶球,当你把它拿在手里,并想像温暖的感觉,它就会像萤火虫一样发光; 一个雕有银耳豺头的手杖,昆廷深信可以用它找到地下河和地下泉水.

    One birthday party, the Headmaster simply announced we were to choose names for ourselves, and put our baby-names behind us. Only Quentin refused to choose, and kept his original name. I, who had been Secunda, used the chance to name myself after my heroine, the American aviatrix, Amelia Earhart. My family name I took from that eight-pointed star which decorates maps and determines North.


    You see, I had always felt closed-in and trapped by the walls and boundaries of our estate. No matter how handsome and fine the grounds, it was still a cage to me. My dreams were for far, unguessed horizons, hidden springs of unknown rivers, unclimbed mountains shrouded in cloud. The edges of maps interested me more than the middles.


    Naturally, such dreams led me to admire that breed of men who sailed those horizons, found those springs, conquered those mountains. Roald Admussen was my idol, along with Hanno, Leif Erickson, and Sir Francis Drake. My favorite books from Edgar Rice Burroughs were those where the lost city of Ophir appeared.

    自然,这些梦想让我羡慕那些航行到地平线,找到河流的源头,征服山峰的人.罗纳德.爱德默森是我的偶像,还有哈诺, 李夫.艾里克森,以及弗朗西斯.德雷克爵士.我最喜欢的书是埃德加.赖斯.波偌夫斯写的那些关于消失的城市俄斐重新出现的故事.

    Amelia Earhart seemed so brave and gay, her smile so cheerful and fearless, in the one picture in the little encyclopedia entry I found of her, that only she could be my namesake.


    I told myself she had not been lost at sea, but had discovered some tropic island so fair and so like Eden, that she landed her plane at once, knowing no one else would ever be daring and cunning enough to find the route she had flown. All the years that had gone by, with her still not found, seemed to confirm my theory. My name, invented when I was perhaps a twelve-year-old,may seem silly now. But I console myself that young Tertia named herself after a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray,so that she could be called Miss Fair. We are lucky she did not
    end up called Miss Pride N. Prejudice.

    我告诉自己,她并没有在海上失踪,她只是发现了一些美丽的,像伊甸园般的热带岛屿,然后就立刻在上面降落了,她知道没有人会像她一样大胆和灵巧,能够发现和她同样的飞行路线.这么多年过去了,她仍然没有被找到,看上去证实了我的理论.在我十二岁的时候编出来的名字,现在看来有些蠢.但我安慰自己,年轻的特西娅(瓦妮特)以一本威廉.梅克皮斯.萨克雷的小说(Varnity Fair)给自己取了名字,所以她可以被叫做费尔小姐.很幸运她最后不用被叫作傲慢与偏见小姐(Miss Pride N. Prejudice).

    I cannot describe myself except to say that I am either very vain or very beautiful, and that I hope I am the latter, while suspecting I may be the former. My hair is blond, beyond shoulder length, and I liked to wear it queued up and out of the way. My complexion has been tanned by spending much time out of doors in the wind and weather.

    除了说要么我很自负,要么我很漂亮,否则我无法描述自己,我希望我是后者,有时候我猜想我可能是前者.我的头发是金色的, 我喜欢把它不合适宜地编成马尾辫留在脑后.我的肤色被晒成了褐色,因为我在户外的风和阳光中花费了很多时间.

    I always had the idea, when I was young, that if I stared in the mirror long enough at some feature, my lips or eyes, some sun freckles I did not care for, or a mole, I could somehow, by force of will, “stare” my face to a more perfect shape—clearer skin,higher cheekbones, eyes greener, or more long-lashed, perhaps slightly tilted and exotic.


    And because this does indeed describe me, then as now, I had always had the unspoken, haughty assumption that plain girls either lacked willpower, or lacked imagination. It is my least attractive feature, this prejudice against the unsightly, and it is based on a very wrong notion of what life is like for normal people. It gives me no pleasure to notice that many normal people have the selfsame prejudice against the plain, but with far less reason than I.


    I am tall. Rather, I should say, I am tall for a girl, but I hope you will understand me if I say I was taller when I was younger.Everyone but Primus, who became Victor Invictus Triumph,was smaller than me, and I could outrun and outwrestle my two younger brothers.


    I remember the day when Quartinus, who turned into Colin Iblis mac FirBolg, proved he could master me. There was some quarrel over who was to pluck apples from the tree, and I threw one at his head hard enough to raise a bruise. He grinned, as he did when he was angry, and chased me down. You see, I laughed because the last time we had raced, I had beaten him.Now he tackled me, rolled me on the ground, and took my hair
    in one hand to yank my head back—something he would never have done to a boy. Still, I grinned, because the last time we fought, I had toppled him downhill.


    And so I struck and I wrestled and I pushed and I kicked, but my blows seemed, by some magic, to have been robbed of their force. Just one year before, he had been a child, and I could bully him. Where had my strength gone?


    He pinned my wrists to the ground, and knelt on my legs to prevent me from kicking. Suddenly, the game turned into something serious, mysterious, and somehow horrible. I writhed and struggled in his grasp, and I somehow knew, knew beyond doubt, that I would never be stronger than a man again.Not ever.


    Colin smiled, and ordered me to apologize, and he bent his head forward to stare into my eyes. I wonder if he was trying to awe me with his frowning gaze, to hypnotize me with his luminous blue eyes.

    科林笑了,然后要求我道歉,把他的头倾向我,盯着我的眼睛.我怀疑他在试图用他皱眉的凝视来让我感到敬畏, 用他明亮的蓝色眼睛催眠我.

    If so, he succeeded beyond his dreams. This boy, whom I had never really liked, now seemed inexpressibly powerful to me:manly, potent, confident. I will not tell you all my wild thoughts at that moment. But I wanted him to kiss me. Worse yet, I wanted not to want it, and to have him steal a kiss from me nonetheless.


    I did not apologize, but snapped defiantly at him, “Do your worst!” And I tossed my head and yanked at my wrists in his grip. My fists seemed so little compared to his, and his grip seemed as strong as manacles. I felt entirely powerless, but the sensation seemed oddly intoxicating, rather than dreadful.


    He did not do his worst. Instead, baffled, he stood up suddenly,releasing me, and seemed suddenly a boy again, a child I could defeat.


    I remember we raced back toward the house, apples in our hands. We had just enough that we could throw one or two at each other, trying to bruise shins and legs.


    And I won that race, that time, but he grinned and tried to make me believe he had allowed me to win.


    Strangely enough, I knew he thought he was lying. And I knew he had not been.


  • 混沌中的孤儿-第一章The Boundaries

    2008-10-04 15:51:35

    The estate grounds were, at once, our home, our academy, and our prison. We were outnumbered by campus staff, and by the imposing old Georgian and Edwardian edifices. There were more mares in the stables than there were students in the classrooms.It was only the five of us.

    那里曾是我们的家,我们的学校,同时也是我们的监狱.我们的数量没有学校职工多, 也没有老乔治王和爱德华七世时代壮丽的建筑物多。甚至马厩里的母马都比我们教室里的学生更多.我们一共只有五个人.

    The estate was bound to the North by the Barrows, to the West by the sea cliff, to the East by the low, gray hills of the Downs. What bound us to the South is a matter of dispute.


    Colin claimed the forest was the only boundary to the South.His story was that the wood had no further side, but extended forever, with the trees growing ever taller, the shade ever darker, and beasts within it ever more dangerous, huge, and savage. He said that beyond the world’s end the trees were titanic,the darkness was from Tartarus, and the beasts were vast enough to swallow the sun and moon.


    When the two of us broke into the Headmaster’s library, I climbed up to wipe with my skirt the dust from the glasscovered map that stood above the volumes and antique folios of the oaken bookshelf. The map showed Wales to the North and Cornwall to the South. To the East were English towns famous from history and legend: Bristol and Bath, Hastings and Canterbury and Cambridge. There was London, queen of all cities.

    有一次我们两个溜进校长的图书馆, 我爬上装满卷籍和古老手稿的橡木书架, 撩起裙角擦去一张玻璃压着的地图上的灰尘, 地图上画着我们北边是威尔士,南面是康尔沃.东方是历史上和传说中著名的英国城镇:布里斯托尔和巴思, 黑斯廷斯、坎特伯雷和剑桥. 还有伦敦, 所有城市的女王.

    Beyond the White Cliffs of Dover was the Channel and Calais on the coast of France, gateway to the continent, to places rich and bright and beautiful and ever so far away.Colin rolled his eyes, which were large, startlingly blue, and very expressive. “And you believe our world is the one depicted on that map?” His voice dripped silky contempt.He ducked his head to peer up at my under-things, but scampered back when I aimed a kick at his head.

    多佛的白色悬崖对面是海峡和法国的海滨城市加来,通往大陆的要道, 通往遥远的,富有,光明,美丽的地方.科林转动着他灵动的蓝色大眼睛,"你相信我们的世界像地图上描绘的那样吗?"他声音中充满了轻蔑.同时,他正伸着头盯着我的裙下看,但在我对准他的头踢上一脚时逃了回去.

    Quentin, on the other hand, implied the Old Road (which ran through the forest) constituted the boundary to the South. He argued that the Straight Tracks were older than the Roman road built atop them; older than the standing stone we found among the gray hills of the Downs; older than the green mound on the South Lawn.


    He spoke of ley lines, and energy paths and mysterious connections between certain hilltops, standing stones, the crumbled ruins of the tower on a rock in the bay we all called the “lighthouse.”He had charts to show their alignments with various rising and setting stars on certain dates. He used an astrology chart from the back of one of Mrs. Wren’s magazines to show, with some plane geometry, why the Straight Tracks defined the transition point between different astral domains. The argument was incomprehensible, and that made it easier to believe.


    Where Colin was loud, Quentin was quiet, indrawn, unassuming.He never claimed to be a warlock, and therefore we all thought he was.Vanity and I saw him on the Manor House roof tiles one October midnight, talking to a winged shape too large to be a crow. It took flight, and we saw its outline against the moon.


    Victor was more logical. He argued that the Southern boundary was the new highway B-4247, which led from the coast to Oxwich Green. This new highway was on our side of the forest,and cut through it in places. Following the highway toward the bay led to the fishing village of Abertwyi, from which the island of Worm’s Head could be seen. Victor said the highway right-of-way followed the legal boundary as defined in the courthouse records for Shire of West Glamorgan, which listed the metes and bounds of the Estate.

    维克托更加严谨.他指出南边界是一条新的高速公路B-4247,它连通了海岸和奥克斯维奇.格林.这条新高速公路在森林的我们这边,并且它穿过森林,把它分为两块.沿着公路到海湾可以通向一个叫"阿伯特维夷"的鱼村, 在那里可以看到海堤.维克托说那条高速公路的通行权遵循西格拉摩根郡的法院档案中所规定的法律边界, 那份档案中还列出了土地的各条分界线.


    We knew Victor had disappeared when the group all went to Mass one Sunday in Abertwyi-town. We did not know how he got over the stone wall surrounding the churchyard and courthouse unseen, or picked the lock on the massive iron grate, forged into fanciful shapes of leaves and black roses, which blocked the courthouse doors. Victor just was able to do things like that.

    在一个星期天去了阿伯特维夷镇做弥撒之后,我们所认识的维克托消失了.我们不知道他是怎样翻过那些从未见过的墓地和教堂周围的石墙, 怎样取下那扇厚重的铁门的锁, 溜入刻着奇怪的叶子和黑色玫瑰的法院大门.维克托就是能做够到那样的事.

    We know what he had been looking for, though. We all knew:records of our parents.

    “I was naïve to expect our records to be there,” he confided in me curtly. “The adoption records and genealogies only apply to men.”



    I cocked an eyebrow at him, and gave him an arch look. “And what about women, then?”
    “The word refers to both sexes.”
    “Does it, really? You’ll never talk me into going with you to the Kissing Well, if you sit there and say I look to you like a man.”
    “Define your terms. We are certainly human. We are certainly not Homo sapiens.”




    And, after a moment, he said, “Actually, I do not recall asking you about going to the Kissing Well. Your comment seems to be based on a false assumption.”Victor was, in some ways, the smartest one of the five of us.In other ways, he was just so stupid.


    I should explain that, during that summer, the chapel attached to the estate had been undergoing repairs for water damage from the rains. When Mr. Glum, the groundskeeper,brought Victor, dragged by his ear, back to stand before the Headmaster, there was a consultation in the library among the Board of Trustees. The next Sunday we went to Mass in our own chapel, water-streaked walls behind the saints covered with tarp, scaffolding blocking the stained-glass windows, and everything.


    Further expeditions to Abertwyi were canceled.Victor’s argument was brief and solid. A boundary was a fiction defined by law; there were documents reciting the applicable law; and they named the new highway as the boundary. Q.E.D.(拉丁文缩写quod erat demonstrandum,既:这被证明了)

    更多去阿伯特维夷的旅行被取消了.维克托的结论简短可靠.边界是法律中的一个虚构定义; 有文件陈述适用的法律;并且他们指定那条新的高速公路为边界.Q.E.D.(拉丁文缩写quod erat demonstrandum,既:这被证明了)




  • 混沌中的孤儿-序

    2008-10-04 15:51:35

    To the memory of Harry Golding, a man of sterling moral character,generous wit and charm, endless patience, and titanic intellect; this tutor of St. John’s College in Annapolis had many students who admired him with a profound love, of whom this author’s is not the least.

    献给哈里.格罗丁,一个道德高尚、机智风趣、无比耐心、富有智慧的人;这位安那波里斯圣约翰学院的导师有很多深切爱戴他的学生, 本书作者对他的爱丝毫不亚于他的学生对他的爱.

    Let it be not imagined by any reader that the rather sinister educational institution depicted in this fantasy is meant to resemble the author’s alma mater, for the spirit of St. John’s is one in bitter enmity to tyranny; the task of St. John’s is to make free men out of youths by means of books and balanced judgment: Facio liberos ex liberis libris libraque.

    请任何读者都不要将这个玄幻故事中描述的,邪恶的教育机构想象成作者的母校,"痛恨专制"是圣约翰的灵魂;"用书籍和全面的见识将少年塑造成自由的人"是圣约翰的使命:Facio liberos ex liberis libris libraque.(拉丁文,圣约翰校训)

  • 第四章-伯金校长

    2008-10-04 15:51:35

    The next morning they were watching us like hawks.



    Dr. Fell sat at the head of the table, looking more severe and supercilious than usual. Mrs. Wren, for once, seemed not to have a hangover, and her hair was tied more neatly into her bun than was her wont. She was in a good humor, commenting happily on the flavor of the marmalade, the cool crispness of the air, the beauty of the weather. I found her cheer disquieting.

    费尔医生坐在桌子前端,看上去比平时更加严肃和傲慢.瑞文女士第一次看上去没有塑醉,她的头发也比平常更加整齐地扎在发髻里.她心情很好,一直在快乐地评价橘子酱的口味, 凉爽的气候和好天气.我感到她的愉快让我不安.

    It seemed even the smallest exercise of arbitrary authority could go to one’s head like wine. I told myself to remember this when I was older.


    Even Miss Daw, the music teacher, was there, wearing her dress of blue chiffon set with ribbons of white and pale pink.


    Miss Daw, as I have said, is graceful and delicate, a creature of impeccable manners, with a voice as soft as the coo of a dove.


    She sat at the chair which was reserved for her, but which she almost never used, between Victor and Colin, and both the boys had subdued manners in her presence. She was eating a cold French soup, using a silver spoon so small it might have come from the place setting for a doll. She wore gloves at breakfast.


    We were not allowed to speak, except when spoken to, or to ask someone to pass us something. I was burning to ask the boys what had happened last night.


    From Quentin’s subdued posture, and Colin’s expression, which was a mix of sleepy annoyance and an I-told-you-so smirk, I assumed failure surrounded last night’s expedition. But whether they had made it to the Barrows, or been caught along the way, was not something I could ask them with our simple pass-the-whathaveyou code.


    Also, the cream was not on the table, so I could not ask for the cream, which was our code to ask if we were facing a punishment. If all were well, you poured the cream for the person who asked; if not, you spilled a little bit.


    I was waiting for breakfast to end, thinking there would be a moment of confusion while we queued up for our first lessons, and I could exchange a whisper or two with Victor and discover what happened. But even that hope was frustrated. Before breakfast ended, there came commotion at the door, and the Headmaster appeared.


    The Headmaster was dressed, as he nearly always was, in his full academic regalia. Above his suit of charcoal gray, he wore his flowing academic robes of black, trimmed with white ermine and dark blue velvet. Around his neck he wore a chain of office, from which depended a jeweled starburst. Down his back draped that silly scarf academicians wear, which they call a hood. His mortarboard was trimmed with ermine.



    I do not know how many schools in England still have their professors dress in robes. Headmaster Boggin, in addition to whatever duties he had as Headmaster (heading things, I suppose),taught Astronomy, Philosophy, and Theology. For Astronomy, we were allowed to dress as normal. For the other two classes, we had to don black robes of our own before lecture, no doubt to impress us with the gravity of the subject.


    Headmaster Boggin was broad at the shoulder and thick through the chest, like a wrestler or a blacksmith might be. His face was dark and weathered and craggy. His overhanging brow gave him a frown of stern command; yet the lines around his eyes and hook nose showed grave good humor.


    His hair was red and, unlike every other man I had ever seen, he wore it long, though tied with a black ribbon in a ponytail flowing down his back, like a pirate or a Chinese mandarin. He was clean-shaven, and the tiny reddish stubble from his imperfectly shaven jaw seemed to give a rough blush to his cheeks, as if he were in high spirits, or red-faced from some passionate exertion.


    His jaw was large and strong. The ghost of a little smile seemed always to be fading in and out of existence on his lips. With him were his secretary, a thin and gray hollow-cheeked man named Mr. Sprat, and his rough-looking sidekick, Daffyd ap Cymru, who dressed in brown leather. We had to call him by his last name; the grown-ups called him Taffy. He was supposed to be some sort of groundskeeper or gamekeeper or something for the estate. None of us could ever remember seeing him do a lick of work.

    他的下巴很大.他的嘴角总是看上去呈现出若有若无的小小的微笑.和他在一起的是他的秘书,一个叫做斯普瑞特,瘦小阴沉,双颊凹陷的男人,还有他那看上去粗野的伴当,Daffyd ap Cymru,他穿着褐色的皮衣.我们只能叫他的姓;大人们叫他塔菲.他应该是类似这里的场地管理员或者猎场管理员或者其他什么.我们一个也不记得见过他作过一丁点的工作.

    When the Headmaster stepped suddenly through the door, with his two flunkies in tow, Dr. Fell rose to his feet and offered him his chair.


    “No need to stand on ceremony, Ananias,” said the Headmaster solemnly, while Mr. Sprat scuttled around to hold out the chair at the foot of the table for the Headmaster, and Mr. ap Cymru sauntered after, looking over the gathering as if trying to assess who might or might not be armed. When the Headmaster gathered his robes and sat, by some sleight of hand it seemed, he was now at the head of the table, and Dr. Fell was at the foot. Ap Cymru and Sprat took positions to either side of the Headmaster’s chair, like supporters on a coat of arms.

    "不用客气,亚拿尼亚,"当斯普瑞特先生急忙跑过去把校长在桌子底下的椅子拉出来的时候,校长严肃地说道,同时,ap Cymru先生检查着我们,好象试图估计谁可能拿了武器.当校长熟练地拢起长袍坐下,就成了他坐在桌子首席,而费尔医生在末席.Ap Cymru和斯普瑞特分别占了校长椅子两边的位置,像盾形纹章上的拥戴者一样.

    “Please don’t allow me to disturb your normal routine,” the Headmaster intoned in a genial voice. His voice was a deep basso profundo, like a thunderhead talking. “I am sure whatever your normal breakfast table conversation might be, is suitable for me. Think of me as your guest.”


    No order was ever disobeyed so blatantly. Dr. Fell stared at the Headmaster without expression, like a machine on standby, awaiting further input. Mrs. Wren’s good humor had evaporated. She looked like a wild-eyed rabbit, petrified, and nibbled her toast with tiny bites. Even the cool Miss Daw seemed subdued, although, with Miss Daw, such a thing was hard to tell.


    A few minutes crawled by in frozen silence. The Headmaster asked for nothing more than a cup of coffee with cream: but it required three members of the Cook’s staff to come scurrying out of the kitchen to make sure all was in order. The Headmaster sipped the coffee and thanked the Cook, who backed out of the room, bowing and smiling.


    Well, I saw a chance. I cleared my throat and said, “Please pass the cream?” For the Cook’s man had brought a silver creamer in on its own plate, surrounded by chips of ice, for the Headmaster.

    好的,我看到了机会.我清了清嗓子说到,"请把奶油递给我?",厨师拿来了盘子托着的银制奶油壶给校长, 奶油壶周围还有小冰块.

    Victor said, “Permit me . . .” and stood to reach for it. The Headmaster, however, picked up the creamer and, using his right hand to hold back the drapes of his left sleeve, leaned across the table toward me. He seemed to loom like an approaching thunderhead in my vision. I thought the distance too far, since there were two empty seats between us, but he leaned farther than I could guess, or the distance was less than I thought.


    “Ah, no; please permit me,” he said in a voice like a genial earthquake. “But, Miss Windrose, you seem to be drinking only orange juice this morning. This seems odd. For what particular purpose did you require the cream, Miss Windrose?”


    Every eye was now riveted on me. Time seemed to slow, get slower, and finally freeze, as everyone around the table—Mr. ap Cymru, Mr. Sprat, and the assistant Cook—all waited for me to say something.

    现在每个人都在盯着我.时间感觉过得越来越慢,然后停止了,就像围着桌子的人一样--ap Cymru先生,斯普瑞特先生,还有厨师助手--都在等着我说些什么.

    Across the table from me, a slow sneer of impatience was forming on Colin’s features. Evidently, he did not think it should be so terribly difficult to think of something clever to say. Impatience? Disgust, rather. He thought I was letting the group down.


    Whatever it was that was so obvious, I couldn’t think of it. Headmaster said, “Why did you want the cream again, Miss Windrose? Surely I am not to pour it over your kippers?”


    I sat in miserable silence.


    The Headmaster merely smiled, and said, “Here, well, why don’t you keep it near till your memory returns, then?” He set it down so abruptly on the tablecloth that a little cream slopped out onto the linen.


    “Oh dear,” he said, smiling, settling back into his chair like a mountain sinking into the sea. “It seems that did not go as planned. Well, fortunate for me that, as Headmaster, there is no one to punish me for my little slips, is there? Rank hath its privilege, as they say, what?” He looked around, as if expecting a polite laugh.


    No one laughed.


    “Very good,” he said, not one whit disturbed by this reception. He sipped his coffee, one sip, put it down in his saucer,and straightened up a little in his chair as if he were about to make an announcement.


    “Since we are all sharing breakfast together so comfortably,let me just say to all of you, staff and students alike, that this institution
    has a deep interest—I am tempted to say a crucial interest—in the upcoming meeting of the Board of Visitors and Governors. Fundamental changes are in the offing. Fundamental changes. There should be no real cause for alarm. We can go about our daily business as we always have done—one big, happy family, dedicated to learning and improvement.


    “However, I would like to emphasize that we must put our best foot forward. Our institution here, is, I dare say, unique, and some of what goes on here may be subject to misinterpretation by certain less generous souls. But is there a way to lessen, may I say, mute, this threat?


    “Well, ladies, gentlemen, children, we have all been on this Earth for some years now, and I trust that we all know how to act.We all have high spirits; some of us have very interesting hobbies.But let us all dedicate ourselves, yes, dedicate, in keeping those high spirits and those unusual habits in their proper orbit.


    “I am speaking as much to the staff here as to the student body, for how our charges behave, is, ultimately, a reflection on the care with which we have carried out our duty.


    “Oh, I realize what some of you must be thinking . . .”Mrs. Wren turned pale as a sheet of paper when he said this . . .

    "噢, 我想你们中的一些人必须想想...."在他说这些话的时候,瑞文女士的脸变得和纸一样苍白.

    “. . . and I know what is in your hearts. You think that the students have grown now to an age where we can be a little more relaxed in the discharge of our duties, that we can encourage the young birds to fly, so to speak.


    “And you youngsters are no doubt thinking that you are as old and wise as can be, and have no more need of our guidance and instruction.
    “Well, such thoughts must be held in check. This institution does not look favorably upon any act of insubordination or impertinence, no matter who the originator might be. Especially now, at this crucial time, when the situation here—in which we have all been so comfortable for so long—may be in danger of upset.



    “Dedication is the key. As long as we are all, as a group, I dare say, as a family, dedicated to preserving a proper appearance before each other, before society, and before the rather important guests we are about to receive, then all will be well. I assume I can count upon all of you. Remember that whichever link in the chain proves to be weakest is the one that shall be broken first. Broken. This is the significant word here.”

    He stood, told us to return to our breakfast, and sailed out, Mr. ap Cymru and Mr. Sprat trailing in his wake.

    Victor and Quentin were staring with grave disquiet at the little puddle of cream the Headmaster had made upon the tablecloth. It did not seem as if all would be well after all.


  • drupal开启clean link

    2008-09-25 15:43:36


    <Directory "D:/web/drupal/">
       RewriteEngine on
       RewriteBase /drupal
       RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
       RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
       RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?q=$1 [L,QSA]



  • 伪造referer

    2008-08-29 19:54:33


    $host = 'hitsw.sinajs.cn';
    $target = 'http://hitsw.sinajs.cn/hits?act=5&uid=509239de&sid=117092&var=_HitsW';
    $referer = 'http://photo.sina.com.cn/list/photo_b.php?uid=1351760350&ctg_id=117092&page=1'; //伪造HTTP_REFERER地址
    $fp = fsockopen($host, 80, $errno, $errstr, 30);
    if (!$fp){
    echo "$errstr($errno)<br />\n";
    $out = "
    GET $target HTTP/1.1
    Host: $host
    Referer: $referer
    Connection: Close\r\n\r\n";
    fwrite($fp, $out);
    while (!feof($fp)){
    echo fgets($fp,10240)."<br>";

  • 在windows下安装phpunit

    2008-08-19 10:14:59



    常见的安装方法是通过PEAR Install来安装。一般安装php后可能还没有安装pear,但有一个脚本会自行安装pear。在php5的安装目录下,运行go-pear。这样会有一个向导安装pear,一直回车吧。如果安装成功在php5的安装目录下面会有一个pear.bat文件,这样就可以继续安装PHPUnit了。

    pear channel-discover pear.phpunit.de

    pear install phpunit/PHPUnit



    否则以后你require_once 'PHPUnit/Framework.php'的时候会引用不到. 

  • 删除linux系统

    2008-08-15 09:42:06


    昨天被搞一晚上, 原来如此简单.

    控制面版-->管理工具-->计算机管理-->磁盘管理, 删除.

    dos引导盘启动, fdisk /mbr 搞定


  • 一篇关于REST的文章

    2008-08-14 09:17:47

  • 今天遇到个烂问题

    2008-07-25 22:25:18

    15.49那台机器不知道怎么搞的,启动到starting jail那一步就会自动重启, 按ctrl+c跳过后勉强进入系统.进去启动jail又重启………………



    发现原因了,居然是因为文件系统损坏....fsck -a修好了,居然启动的时候不报错,给我来重启....


    windows下的apache也凑热闹启不来,提示The requested operation has failed,看了一下netstat -ano 果然80端口被占用了, 占用的进程是个peer.exe。 又是fs2you的垃圾程序,很迅雷一样,没事用80干嘛?毛病深的。

  • php翻页函数

    2008-07-24 19:53:53









    这里做了个判断 如果总页数小于等于1,则返回false,这代表只有1页时,不会显示翻页列表






    function_exists()   //判断函数是否存在

    isset()          //判断变量是否存在

    intval()          //把字符串转换为值

    parse_url()        //解析URI到数组里

    ereg_replace()      //正则匹配替换

    str_replace()     //字符串替换

    ceil()          //进位取整小数

    min()           //取最小的数


  • PHP验证码生成类

    2008-07-23 16:32:47















    mt_srand()     //生成随机数种子

    mt_rand()      //生成随机数

    head()          //发送一行http头

    imagecreate()     //创建一张空白图片,返回图片资源变量

    imagecolorallocate()    //设置颜色

    imagesetpixel()          //以像素为单位在图片某坐标画点

    imagestring()            //在图片上写字

    imagerectangle()         //在图片上画矩形

    imagepng()             //保存图片

    imagedestroy()         //销毁图片资源变量


  • 一段安装程序php代码

    2008-07-22 14:56:40

    首先echo了一个页面头和尾(这里作成head.html和footer.html include进来更好.)













    error_reporting(E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE)  //显示错误信息,除了E_NOTICE

    eregi('WIN',PHP_OS) //忽略大小写的正则匹配

    date_default_timezone_set()  //设置默认时区,php5.1新特性

    echo  //打印字符串

    defined  //判断常量是否定义

    exit()  //退出程序

    file_exists()  //判断文件是否存在

    is_writable()  //判断文件是否可写

    chmod()   //修改文件权限

    fopen()   //打开文件

    isset()    //判断变量是否已定义

    strlen()   //计算字符串长度

    function_exists()   //判断函数是否可用(用这个来判断是否支持mysql扩展)

    mysql_get_server_info()   //获取服务器版本信息

    mysql_query()    //执行sql代码

    MYSQL_SELECT_DB()  //选中数据库

    mysql_error()    //输出mysql错误信息

    define()   //定义常量

    md5()      //计算

    ftruncate()   //截断文件(可以用来清空文件)

    fwrite()     //往文件写入内容

    mysql_errno()   //输入mysql错误编号

    gmdate()    //返回与时区无关的GMT时间

    count()     //算一个数组中有几个元素



    2008-07-12 23:03:20



    装完修改DocumentRoot以及对应的Directory, 在给DirectoryIndex加些index.htm index.php什么的.

    然后是PHP, PHP解压后放到比如D:\php, 然后重命名php.ini.dist为php.ini, 修改extension_dir=d:\php\ext,

    1.去掉;extension= php_mysql.dll前的分号,



    LoadModule php5_module D:/php/php5apache2_2.dll(因为我用的是apache2.2.4)

    PHPIniDir "D:/php"

    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php

    AddType application/x-httpd-php .html

    AddType application/x-httpd-php .htm


    mysql中间步骤有点多, 注意看一下, 大多是数据库资源占用的选项,自己用尽管往小的选吧.



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  • 更新时间: 2008-11-17


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