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第八卷作恶的穷人 第10章公营马车定价:每小时两个法郎

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CHAPTER X TARIFF OF LICENSED CABS: TWO FRANCS AN HOUR


Marius had lost nothing of this entire scene, and yet, in reality,had seen nothing. His eyes had remained fixed on the young girl,his heart had, so to speak, seized her and wholly enveloped her from the moment of her very first step in that garret. During her entire stay there, he had lived that life of ecstasy which suspends material perceptions and precipitates the whole soul on a single point.He contemplated, not that girl, but that light which wore a satin pelisse and a velvet bonnet. The star Sirius might have entered the room, and he would not have been any more dazzled. 

While the young girl was engaged in opening the packn;but, in his contemplation, it is doubtful whether he had heard this. 

As he was on the point of mounting the staircase, he perceived, on the other side of the boulevard, near the deserted wall skirting the Rue De la Barriere-des-Gobelins, Jondrette, wrapped in the "philanthropist's" great-coat, engaged in conversation with one of those men of disquieting aspect who have been dubbed by common consent, prowlers of the barriers; people of equivocal face, of suspicious monologues, who present the air of having evil minds, and who generally sleep in the daytime, which suggests the supposition that they work by night.  

These two men, standing there motionless and in conversation,in the snow which was falling in whirlwinds, formed a group that a policeman would surely have observed, but which Marius hardly noticed. 

Still, in spite of his />H灌departure, he had but one thought, to follow her,to cling to her trace, not to quit her until he learned where she lived,not to lose her again, at least, after having so miraculously re-discovered her. He leaped down from the commode and seized his hat. As he laid his hand on the lock of the door, and was on the point of opening it, a sudden reflection caused him to pause.The corridor was long, the staircase steep, Jondrette was talkative,M. Leblanc had, no doubt, not yet regained his carriage; if, on turning round in the corridor, or on the staircase, he were to catch sight of him, Marius, in that house, he would, evidently, take the alarm, and find means to escape from him again, and this time it would be final. What was he to do? Should he wait a little? But while he was waiting, the carriage might drive off. Marius was perplexed.At last he accepted the risk and quitted his room.

There was no one in the corridor. He hastened to the stairs. There was no one on the staircase. He descended in all haste,and reached the boulevard in time to see a fiacre turning the corner of the Rue du Petit-Banquier, on its way back to Paris. 

Marius rushed headlong in that direction. On arriving at the angle of the boulevard, he caught sight of the fiacre again, rapidly descending the Rue Mouffetard; the carriage was already a long way off, and there was no means of overtaking it; what! run after it? Impossible; and besides, the people in the carriage would assuredly notice an individual running at full speed in pursuit of a fiacre, and the father would recognize him. At that moment, wonderful and unprecedented good luck, Marius perceived an empty cab passing along the boulevard. There was but one thing to be done, to jump into this cab and follow the fiacre. That was sure, efficacious, and free from danger.  

Marius made the driver a sign to halt, and called to him:--

"By the hour?" 

Marius wore no cravat, he had on his working-coat, which was destitute of buttons, his shirt was torn along one of the plaits on the bosom.  

The driver halted, winked, and held out his left hand to Marius, rubbing his forefinger gently with his thumb. 

"What is it?" said Marius. 

"Pay in advance," said the coachman. 

Marius recollected that he had but sixteen sous about him. 

"How much?" he demanded. 

"Forty sous." 

"I will pay on my return." 

The driver's only reply was to whistle the air of La Palisse and to whip up his horse.

Marius stared at the retreating cabriolet with a bewildered air. For the lack of four and twenty sous, he was losing his joy,his happiness, his love! He had seen, and he was becoming blind again. He reflected bitterly, and it must be confessed, with profound regret, on the five francs which he had bestowed, that very morning, on that miserable girl. If he had had those five francs, he would have been saved, he would have been born again, he would have emerged from the limbo and darkness, he would have made his escape from isolation and spleen, from his widowed state; he might have re-knotted the black thread of his destiny to that beautiful golden thread, which had just floated before his eyes and had broken at the same instant, once more! He returned to his hovel in despair.  

He might have told himself that M. Leblanc had promised to return in the evening, and that all he had to do was to set about the matter more skilfully, so that he might follow him on that occasion;but, in his contemplation, it is doubtful whether he had heard this. 

As he was on the point of mounting the staircase, he perceived, on the other side of the boulevard, near the deserted wall skirting the Rue De la Barriere-des-Gobelins, Jondrette, wrapped in the "philanthropist's" great-coat, engaged in conversation with one of those men of disquieting aspect who have been dubbed by common consent, prowlers of the barriers; people of equivocal face, of suspicious monologues, who present the air of having evil minds, and who generally sleep in the daytime, which suggests the supposition that they work by night.  

These two men, standing there motionless and in conversation,in the snow which was falling in whirlwinds, formed a group that a policeman would surely have observed, but which Marius hardly noticed. 

Still, in spite of his mournful preoccupation, he could not refrain from saying to himself that this prowler of the barriers with whom Jondrette was talking resembled a certain Panchaud, alias Printanier, alias Bigrenaille, whom Courfeyrac had once pointed out to him as a very dangerous nocturnal roamer. This man's name the reader has learned in the preceding book. This Panchaud, alias Printanier, alias Bigrenaille, figured later on in many criminal trials, and became a notorious rascal. He was at that time only a famous rascal. To-day he exists in the state of tradition among ruffians and assassins. He was at the head of a school towards the end of the last reign. And in the evening, at nightfall, at the hour when groups form and talk in whispers, he was discussed at La Force in the Fosse-aux-Lions. One might even,in that prison, precisely at the spot where the sewer which served the unprecedented escape, in broad daylight, of thirty prisoners, in 1843, passes under the culvert, read his name, PANCHAUD, audaciously carved by his own hand on the wall of the sewer,during one of his attempts at flight. In 1832, the police already had their eye on him, but he had not as yet made a serious beginning.



十 公营马车定价:每小时两个法郎


这一切经过的全部细节都没有漏过马吕斯的眼睛,可是实际上他什么也没有看见。他的眼睛完全盯在那年轻姑娘的身上,他的心,从她第一步踏进这破屋子时起,便已经,可以这么说,把他整个抓住并裹住了。她留在那里的那一整段时间里,他过的是那种使感官知觉完全处于停顿状态并使整个灵魂专注在一点上的仰慕生活。他一心景仰着,不是那姑娘,而是那一团有缎斗篷和丝绒帽的光辉。天狼星进了这屋子,也不会那么使他感到耀眼。

当姑娘解开包裹展示了衣服和毛毯后,她和蔼地问母亲的病情,不胜怜惜地问小妹的伤势,他都随时窥察着她的每一个动作,并窃听她说话的声音。他已经认识她的眼睛、她的额头、她的容貌、她的身材、她走路的姿态,他还不认识她说话的声音。一次在卢森堡公园里,他仿佛捉到了她所说的几个字的音,但是他并没有完全听真切。他宁肯减少十年寿命也要听听她的声音,要在自己的灵魂里留下一点点这样的音乐。但是一切都消失在容德雷特一连串讨人厌的胡扯淡和他那象喇叭样的怪叫声中了。这在马吕斯狂喜的心中引起了真正的愤怒。他的眼睛一直盯着她。他不能想象的是,出现在这种丑恶的魔窟里这群邋遢的瘪三当中的竟真会是那个天女似的人儿。他好象在癞蛤蟆群里见到一只蜂鸟。

她走出去时,他唯一的想法是紧紧跟着她,不找到她的住处决不离开她,至少是在这样的一种巧遇之后不能又把她丢了。他从抽斗柜上跳下来,拿起他的帽子。当他的手触着门闩正要出去,这时另一考虑使他停了下来。那条过道很长,楼梯又陡,容德雷特的话又多,白先生一定还没有上车,万一他在过道里,或是楼梯上,或是大门口,回转头来看见他马吕斯在这房子里,他肯定会诧异的,并且会再想办法来避开他,这样就把事又搞糟了。怎么办?等一等吗?但在等的时候车子可能走了。马吕斯一时失了主意。最后,他决计冒一下险,从他屋子里出去了。

过道里已没有人,他冲到楼梯口。楼梯上也没有人。他急忙下去,赶到大路上,正好看见一辆马车转进小银行家街,回巴黎城区去了。

马吕斯朝那方向追去。到了大路转弯的地方,他又看见了那辆马车在穆夫达街上急往下走,马车已经走得很远,无法追上了,怎么办?跟着跑?没用,况且别人从车子里一定会看见有人在后面飞跑追来,那父亲会认出是他在追。正在这时,真是出人意料的大好机会,马吕斯看见一辆空的出租马车在大路上走过。只有一个办法,跳上这辆马车去赶那一辆。这办法是切实可行,没有危险的。

马吕斯做手势让那车夫停下来,喊道:

“照钟点算!”

马吕斯当时没有结领带,身上穿的是那件丢了几个钮扣的旧工作服,衬衫也在胸前一个褶子处撕破了。

车夫停下来,挤着一只眼,把左手伸向马吕斯,对他轻轻搓着大拇指和食指。

“怎么?”马吕斯说。

“先付钱。”那车夫说。

马吕斯这才想起他身上只有十六个苏。

“要多少?”他问。

“四十个苏。”

“我回头再付。”

那车夫用嘴唇吹着《拉·巴利斯》的曲调,作为唯一的回答,并对着他的马甩了一鞭。

马吕斯只得愣头愣脑望着那马车往前走。由于缺少二十四个苏,他丧失了他的欢乐、他的幸福、他的爱!他又落在黑暗中了!他已看见了她,现在又成了瞎子!他万分苦恼地想起,应当说,深深懊悔,早上不该把五法郎送给那穷丫头。假使他有那五个法郎,他便有救了,便能获得重生,脱离迷惘黑暗的境地,脱离孤独、忧郁、单身汉的生活了,他已把他命运的黑线系在那根在他眼前飘了一下的美丽金线上,可又一次断了。他垂头丧气地回到家来。

他原应想到白先生曾约定傍晚再来,这回好好准备跟踪便成了,但是他当时正在凝视,几乎没有听到这话。正要踏上楼梯,他忽然看见容德雷特,身上裹着“慈善家”的外套,在大路的那一边,沿着哥白兰便门街的那堵人迹少到的墙下,和一个那种形迹可疑、可以称为“便门贼”的人谈着话,这是一种面目可疑,语言暧昧,神气险恶的人,他们时常在白天睡觉,因而使人猜想他们在黑夜工作。

那两人站在飞旋的大雪下面,挤作一团在谈话,一动也不动,城区的警察见了肯定会注意,马吕斯对此警惕却不高。

但是,尽管他正想着心里的伤心事,却不能不对自己说,那个和容德雷特谈话的便门贼颇象某个叫邦灼,又叫春天,又叫比格纳耶的人,因为从前有一次,古费拉克曾把这人指给他看过,说他在黑夜里经常出没在这一带,是个相当危险的家伙。我们在前一卷里,已经见过这人的名字。这个又叫做春天或比格纳耶的邦灼,日后犯过好几起刑事案子,因而成了大名鼎鼎的恶棍。这时,他还只是个小有名的恶棍。到今天,他在盗窃犯和杀人犯中已成了一个历史人物。他在前朝末年曾创立一个学派。在拉弗尔斯监狱的狮子沟里,每到傍晚天正要黑下来时,是人们三五成群低声谈话时的题材。这监狱有一条粪便沟,它穿过围墙通到外面,墙头上是供巡逻队使用的路,发生在一八四三年那次空前大越狱案子里的三十名犯人便是从这条粪沟里逃出去的,也正是在这粪沟的石板上方,人们可以看见他的名字:邦灼,那是他在某次企图越狱时大胆刻在围墙上的。在一八三二年,警察已开始注意他,但是当时他还没有正式开业。
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