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posthumous/['pɔstjuməs]/ a. 遗腹的, 死后的 ...

第十四卷失望的伟大 第04章火药桶

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CHAPTER IV THE BARREL OF POWDER

Marius, still concealed in the turn of the Rue Mondetour, had witnessed, shuddering and irresolute, the first phase of the combat. But he had not long been able to resist that mysterious and sovereign vertigo which may be designated as the call of the abyss. In the presence of the imminence of the peril, in the presence of the death of M. Mabeuf, that melancholy enigma, in the presence of Bahorel killed, and Courfeyrac shouting: "Follow me!" of that child threatened, of his friends to succor or to avenge, all hesitation had vanished, and he had flung himself into the conflict, his two pistols in hand. With his first shot he had saved Gavroche, and with the second delivered Courfeyrac.

Amid the sound of the shots, amid the cries of the assaulted guards, the assailants had climbed the entrenchment, on whose summit Municipal Guards, soldiers of the line and National Guards from the suburbs could now be seen, gun in hand, rearing themselves to more than half the height of their bodies.

They already covered more than two-thirds of the barrier, but they did not leap into the enclosure, as though wavering in the fear of some trap. They gazed into the dark barricade as one would gaze into a lion's den. The light of the torch illuminated only their bayonets, their bear-skin caps, and the upper part of their uneasy and angry faces.

Marius had no longer any weapons; he had flung away his discharged pistols after firing them; but he had caught sight of the barrel of powder in the tap-room, near the door.

As he turned half round, gazing in that direction, a soldier took aim at him. At the moment when the soldier was sighting Marius, a hand was laid on the muzzle of the gun and obstructed it. This was done by some one who had darted forward,--the young workman in velvet trousers. The shot sped, traversed the hand and possibly, also, the workman, since he fell, but the ball did not strike Marius. All this, which was rather to be apprehended than seen through the smoke, Marius, who was entering the tap-room, hardly noticed. Still, he had, in a confused way, perceived that gun-barrel aimed at him, and the hand which had blocked it, and he had heard the discharge. But in moments like this, the things which one sees vacillate and are precipitated, and one pauses for nothing. One feels obscurely impelled towards more darkness still, and all is cloud.

The insurgents, surprised but not terrified, had rallied. Enjolras had shouted: "Wait! Don't fire at random!" In the first confusion, they might, in fact, wound each other. The majority of them had ascended to the window on the first story and to the attic windows, whence they commanded the assailants.

The most determined, with Enjolras, Courfeyrac, Jean Prouvaire, and Combeferre, had proudly placed themselves with their backs against the houses at the rear, unsheltered and facing the ranks of soldiers and guards who crowned the barricade.

All this was accomplished without haste, with that strange and threatening gravity which precedes engagements. They took aim, point blank, on both sides: they were so close that they could talk together without raising their voices.

When they had reached this point where the spark is on the brink of darting forth, an officer in a gorget extended his sword and said:--

"Lay down your arms!"

"Fire!" replied Enjolras.

The two discharges took place at the same moment, and all disappeared in smoke.

An acrid and stifling smoke in which dying and wounded lay with weak, dull groans. When the smoke cleared away, the combatants on both sides could be seen to be thinned out, but still in the same positions, reloading in silence. All at once, a thundering voice was heard, shouting:--

"Be off with you, or I'll blow up the barricade!"

All turned in the direction whence the voice proceeded.

Marius had entered the tap-room, and had seized the barrel of powder, then he had taken advantage of the smoke, and the sort of obscure mist which filled the entrenched enclosure, to glide along the barricade as far as that cage of paving-stones where the torch was fixed. To tear it from the torch, to replace it by the barrel of powder, to thrust the pile of stones under the barrel, which was instantly staved in, with a sort of horrible obedience,--all this had cost Marius but the time necessary to stoop and rise again; and now all, National Guards, Municipal Guards, officers, soldiers, huddled at the other extremity of the barricade, gazed stupidly at him, as he stood with his foot on the stones, his torch in his hand, his haughty face illuminated by a fatal resolution, drooping the flame of the torch towards that redoubtable pile where they could make out the broken barrel of powder, and giving vent to that startling cry:--

"Be off with you, or I'll blow up the barricade!"

Marius on that barricade after the octogenarian was the vision of the young revolution after the apparition of the old.

"Blow up the barricade!" said a sergeant, "and yourself with it!"

Marius retorted: "And myself also."

And he dropped the torch towards the barrel of powder.

But there was no longer any one on the barrier. The assailants, abandoning their dead and wounded, flowed back pell-mell and in disorder towards the extremity of the street, and there were again lost in the night. It was a headlong flight.

The barricade was free.



四 火药桶


马吕斯原来一直躲在蒙德都街的转角处,目击了初次交锋的情况,他心惊体颤,失了主张。但是,不用多久,他便已摆脱那种不妨称之为鬼使神差的没来由的强烈眩感,面对那一发千钧的危险处境,马白夫先生的谜一样的惨死,巴阿雷的牺牲,古费拉克的呼救,那孩子受到的威胁,以及亟待援救或为之报仇的许多朋友,他原有的疑虑完全消失了,他握着他的两支手枪投入了肉搏战。他第一枪救了伽弗洛什,第二枪帮了古费拉克。

听到连续的枪声、保安警察的号叫,那些进攻的军队齐向街垒攀登,这时街垒顶上已出现一大群握着步枪,露出大半截身体的保安警察、正规军、郊区的国民自卫军。他们已盖满垒壁的三分之二,但没有跳进街垒,他们仿佛还在踌躇,怕有什么暗算。他们象窥探一个狮子洞似的望着那黑暗的街垒。火炬的微光只照见他们的枪刺,羽毛高耸的军帽和惊慌激怒的上半部面庞。

马吕斯已没有武器。他丢掉那两支空手枪,但是他看见厅堂门旁的那桶火药。

正当他侧着脸朝这面望去时,一个兵士也正对着他瞄准。这时,有一个人蓦地跳上来,用手抓住那枪管,并堵在枪口上。这人便是那个穿灯芯绒裤子的少年工人。枪响了,子弹穿过那工人的手,也许还打在他身上,因为他倒下去了,却没有打中马吕斯。这一切都发生在烟雾中,看不大清楚。马吕斯正冲进那厅堂,几乎不知道有这一经过。他只隐隐约约见到那对准他的枪管和堵住枪口的那只手,也听到了枪声。但是在那样的时刻,人们所见到的事都是在瞬息万变之中,注意力不会停留在某一件事物上。人们只恍惚觉得自己的遭遇越来越黑暗,一切印象都是迷离不清的。

起义的人们吃惊不小,但并不害怕;他们聚集在一起。安灼拉大声说:“等一等!不要乱开枪!”确实如此,在那混乱开始时他们会伤着自己人。大部分人已经上楼,守在二楼和顶楼的窗口,居高临下,对着那些进攻的人。最坚决的几个都和安灼拉、古费拉克、让·勃鲁维尔、公白飞一道,雄赳赳地排列在街底那排房屋的墙跟前,毫无屏障,面对着立在街垒顶上那层层的大兵和部队。

这一切都是在不慌不忙的情况下,混战前少见的那种严肃态度和咄咄逼人的气势中完成的。两边都已枪口指向对方,瞄准待放,彼此间的距离又近到可以相互对话。正在这一触即发的时刻,一个高领阔肩章的军官举起军刀喊道:

“放下武器!”

“放!”安灼拉说。

两边的枪声同时爆发,硝烟弥漫,任何东西都看不见了。

在辛辣刺鼻令人窒息的烟雾中,人们听到一些即将死去和受了伤的人发出的微弱沙嗄的呻吟。

烟散了以后两边的战士都少了许多,但仍留在原处,一声不响地在重上枪弹。

突然有个人的声音猛吼道:

“你们滚开,要不我就炸掉这街垒!”

大家都向发出这声音的地方望去。

马吕斯先头冲进厅堂,抱起那桶火药,利用当时的硝烟和弥漫在那圈子里的那种昏暗的迷雾,顺着街垒,一直溜到那围着火炬的石块笼子旁边。他拔出那根火炬,把火药桶放在一叠石块上,往下一压,那桶底便立即通了,轻易到使人惊异,这一切都是在马吕斯一弯腰一起立的时间内完成的。这时,在街垒那头挤作一团的国民自卫军、保安警察、军官、士兵,全都骇然望着马吕斯,只见他一只脚踏在石块上,手握着火炬,豪壮的面庞在火光中显出一种表示必死之心的坚定意志,把火炬的烈焰伸向那通了底的火药桶旁边的一大堆可怕的东西,并发出这一骇人的叫嚷:

“你们滚开,要不我就炸掉这街垒!”

马吕斯继那八十岁老人之后,屹立在街垒上,这是继老革命而起的新生革命的形象。

“炸掉这街垒!”一个军士说,“你也活不了!”

马吕斯回答说:

“我当然活不了。”

同时他把火炬伸向那桶火药。

但那街垒上一个人也没有了。进犯的官兵丢下他们的伤员,乱七八糟一窝蜂似的,全向街的尽头逃走了,重行消失在黑夜中。一幅各自逃生的狼狈景象。

街垒解了围。
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