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第一卷四堵墙中间的战争 第18章秃鹫成为猎物

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CHAPTER XVIII THE VULTURE BECOME PREY


We must insist upon one psychological fact peculiar to barricades. Nothing which is characteristic of that surprising war of the streets should be omitted.

Whatever may have been the singular inward tranquillity which we have just mentioned, the barricade, for those who are inside it, remains, none the less, a vision.

There is something of the apocalypse in civil war, all the mists of the unknown are commingled with fierce flashes, revolutions are sphinxes, and any one who has passed through a barricade thinks he has traversed a dream.

The feelings to which one is subject in these places we have pointed out in the case of Marius, and we shall see the consequences; they are both more and less than life. On emerging from a barricade, one no longer knows what one has seen there. One has been terrible, but one knows it not. One has been surrounded with conflicting ideas which had human faces; one's head has been in the light of the future. There were corpses lying prone there, and phantoms standing erect. The hours were colossal and seemed hours of eternity. One has lived in death. Shadows have passed by. What were they?

One has beheld hands on which there was blood; there was a deafening horror; there was also a frightful silence; there were open mouths which shouted, and other open mouths which held their peace; one was in the midst of smoke, of night, perhaps. One fancied that one had touched the sinister ooze of unknown depths; one stares at something red on one's finger nails. One no longer remembers anything.

Let us return to the Rue de la Chanvrerie.

All at once, between two discharges, the distant sound of a clock striking the hour became audible.

"It is midday," said Combeferre.

The twelve strokes had not finished striking when Enjolras sprang to his feet, and from the summit of the barricade hurled this thundering shout:

"Carry stones up into the houses; line the windowsills and the roofs with them. Half the men to their guns, the other half to the paving-stones. There is not a minute to be lost."

A squad of sappers and miners, axe on shoulder, had just made their appearance in battle array at the end of the street.

This could only be the head of a column; and of what column? The attacking column, evidently; the sappers charged with the demolition of the barricade must always precede the soldiers who are to scale it.

They were, evidently, on the brink of that moment which M. Clermont-Tonnerre, in 1822, called "the tug of war."

Enjolras' order was executed with the correct haste which is peculiar to ships and barricades, the only two scenes of combat where escape is impossible. In less than a minute, two thirds of the stones which Enjolras had had piled up at the door of Corinthe had been carried up to the first floor and the attic, and before a second minute had elapsed, these stones, artistically set one upon the other, walled up the sash-window on the first floor and the windows in the roof to half their height. A few loop-holes carefully planned by Feuilly, the principal architect, allowed of the passage of the gun-barrels.This armament of the windows could be effected all the more easily since the firing of grape-shot had ceased. The two cannons were now discharging ball against the centre of the barrier in order to make a hole there, and, if possible, a breach for the assault.

When the stones destined to the final defence were in place, Enjolras had the bottles which he had set under the table where Mabeuf lay, carried to the first floor.

"Who is to drink that?" Bossuet asked him.

"They," replied Enjolras.

Then they barricaded the window below, and held in readiness the iron cross-bars which served to secure the door of the wine-shop at night.

The fortress was complete. The barricade was the rampart, the wine-shop was the dungeon. With the stones which remained they stopped up the outlet.

As the defenders of a barricade are always obliged to be sparing of their ammunition, and as the assailants know this, the assailants combine their arrangements with a sort of irritating leisure, expose themselves to fire prematurely, though in appearance more than in reality, and take their ease. The preparations for attack are always made with a certain methodical deliberation; after which,the lightning strikes.

This deliberation permitted Enjolras to take a review of everything and to perfect everything. He felt that, since such men were to die, their death ought to be a masterpiece.

He said to Marius: "We are the two leaders. I will give the last orders inside. Do you remain outside and observe."

Marius posted himself on the lookout upon the crest of the barricade.

Enjolras had the door of the kitchen, which was the ambulance, as the reader will remember, nailed up.

"No splashing of the wounded," he said.

He issued his final orders in the tap-room in a curt, but profoundly tranquil tone; Feuilly listened and replied in the name of all.

"On the first floor, hold your axes in readiness to cut the staircase. Have you them?"

"Yes," said Feuilly.

"How many?"

"Two axes and a pole-axe."

"That is good. There are now twenty-six combatants of us on foot. How many guns are there?"

"Thirty-four."

"Eight too many. Keep those eight guns loaded like the rest and at hand. Swords and pistols in your belts. Twenty men to the barricade. Six ambushed in the attic windows, and at the window on the first floor to fire on the assailants through the loop-holes in the stones. Let not a single worker remain inactive here. Presently, when the drum beats the assault, let the twenty below stairs rush to the barricade. The first to arrive will have the best places."

These arrangements made, he turned to Javert and said:

"I am not forgetting you."

And, laying a pistol on the table, he added:

"The last man to leave this room will smash the skull of this spy."

"Here?" inquired a voice.

"No, let us not mix their corpses with our own. The little barricade of the Mondetour lane can be scaled. It is only four feet high. The man is well pinioned. He shall be taken thither and put to death."

There was some one who was more impassive at that moment than Enjolras, it was Javert. Here Jean Valjean made his appearance. He had been lost among the group of insurgents. He stepped forth and said to Enjolras:

"You are the commander?"

"Yes."

"You thanked me a while ago."

"In the name of the Republic. The barricade has two saviors, Marius Pontmercy and yourself."

"Do you think that I deserve a recompense?"

"Certainly."

"Well, I request one."

"What is it?"

"That I may blow that man's brains out."

Javert raised his head, saw Jean Valjean, made an almost imperceptible movement, and said:

"That is just."

As for Enjolras, he had begun to re-load his rifle; he cut his eyes about him:

"No objections."

And he turned to Jean Valjean:

"Take the spy."

Jean Valjean did, in fact, take possession of Javert, by seating himself on the end of the table. He seized the pistol, and a faint click announced that he had cocked it.

Almost at the same moment, a blast of trumpets became audible.

"Take care!" shouted Marius from the top of the barricade.

Javert began to laugh with that noiseless laugh which was peculiar to him, and gazing intently at the insurgents, he said to them:

"You are in no better case than I am."

"All out!" shouted Enjolras.

The insurgents poured out tumultuously, and, as they went, received in the back,--may we be permitted the expression,-- this sally of Javert's:

"We shall meet again shortly!"



十八 秃鹫成为猎物


我们应该详述一下街垒里所特有的心理状态。一切和这次惊人的巷战有关的特征都不该遗漏。

不论我们提到的内部安谧有多么奇特,这街垒,对里面的人来说,仍然是一种幻影。

在内战中有一种启示,一切未知世界的烟雾混在这凶暴的烈火中,革命犹如斯芬克司,谁经历过一次街垒战,那就等于做了一个梦。

这些地方给人的感觉,我们已在述及马吕斯时指出了,我们还将看到它的后果,它超出了人的生活而又不象人的生活。一走出街垒,人们就不知道刚才在那里究竟见到过什么。当时人变得很可怕,但自己并不知道这一点。周围充满了人脸上表现出来的战斗思想,头脑中充满了未来的光明。那儿有躺着的尸体和站着的鬼魂。时间长极了,象永恒一样。人生活在死亡中。一些影子走过去了,这是什么?人们见到了带血的手;这里有一种可怕的震耳欲聋的声音,但也有一种骇人的沉默;有张口喊叫的,也有张口不出声的;人是在烟雾中,也许是在黑夜中。人似乎感到已经触到了不可知的深渊中险恶的淤泥;人看着自己指甲上某种红色的东西,其余一概回忆不起来了。

让我们再回到麻厂街。

突然在两次炮火齐射中,他们听见远处的钟声在报时。

“这是中午。”公白飞说。

十二响还未打完,安灼拉笔直站了起来,在街垒顶上发出雷鸣般的声音:

“把铺路石搬进楼房,沿着窗台和阁楼的窗户排齐。一半的人持枪,一半的人搬石头。时间已刻不容缓了。”

一组消防队员,扛着斧子,排成战斗队形在街的尽头出现了。

无疑的这是一个纵队的前列。什么纵队?肯定是突击纵队,消防队奉命摧毁这座街垒,因而总得行动在负责攀登的士兵之前。

他们显然要进行类似一八二二年克雷蒙-东纳先生称之为“大刀阔斧”的攻打。

安灼拉的命令被正确无误地飞速执行了,因为这样的迅速正确是街垒和轮船特别需要的,只有在这两个地方逃跑才成为不可能。不到一分钟,安灼拉命令把堆在科林斯门口三分之二的铺路石搬上了二楼和阁楼,第二分钟还没过完,这些铺路石已整齐地垒起来堵住二楼窗户和阁楼老虎窗的一半。几个孔隙,在主要的建筑者弗以伊的精心部署下,小枪筒已通出去。窗上的防卫很容易办到,因为霰弹已停止发射。那两门炮用实心炮弹瞄准墙的中部轰击,为了打开一个洞,只要能造成缺口,就发起突击。

当指定作最后防御物的铺路石安置好时,安灼拉命令把他放在马白夫停尸桌下的酒瓶搬上二楼。

“谁喝这些酒?”博须埃问。

“他们。”安灼拉回答。

接着大家堵住下面的窗户,并把那些晚上闩酒店大门的铁门闩放在手边备用。

这是一座不折不扣的堡垒,街垒是壁垒,而酒店是了望塔。

剩下的铺路石,他们用来堵塞街垒的缺口。

街垒保卫者必须节约弹药,围攻者对这一点是很清楚的,围攻者用那种令人生气的从容不迫在进行调动,不到时候就暴露在火力下,不过这是在表面上,事实上并不是这样,他们显得很自在。进攻的准备工作经常是有规律的缓慢,接着,就是雷电交加。

这种延缓使安灼拉能够再全部检阅一遍,并使一切更为完备。他感到这些人既然要去死,他们的死应该成为壮举。

他对马吕斯说:“我们两个是领队。我去里面交代最后的命令。你留在外面负责观察。”

马吕斯于是坐镇在街垒顶上警戒着。

安灼拉把厨房门钉死,我们还记得,这里是战地医院。

“不能让碎弹片打中伤员。”他说。

他在地下室简短地发出了最后的指示,语气十分镇静,弗以伊听着并代表大家回答。

“二楼,准备好斧子砍楼梯。有没有?”

“有。”弗以伊回答。

“有多少?”

“两把斧子和一把战斧。”

“好。我们是二十六个没倒下的战士。有多少支枪?”

“三十四。”

“多八支。这八支也装上子弹,放在手边。剑和手枪插在腰间。二十人待在街垒里,六个埋伏在阁楼和二楼,从石缝中射击进攻者。不要有一个人闲着。一会儿,当战鼓擂起进攻号时,下面二十人就奔进街垒。最先到达的岗位最好。”

布置完了,他转向沙威说:

“我没有忘了你。”

他把手枪放在桌上,又说:

“最后离开屋子的人把这个密探的脑浆打出来。”

“在这儿吗?”有一个声音问。

“不,不要把这死尸和我们的人混在一起。蒙德都巷子的小街垒很容易跨过去。它只有四尺高。那人绑得很结实,把他带去,在那儿干掉他。”

这时有个人比安灼拉更沉着,这就是沙威。

冉阿让在这时出现了。

他混在一群起义者中间,站出来,向安灼拉说:

“您是司令官吗?”

“是的。”

“您刚才谢了我。”

“代表共和国。这街垒有两个救护人:马吕斯·彭眉胥和您。”

“您认为我可以得到奖赏吗?”

“当然可以。”

“那我就向您要一次。”

“什么奖赏?”

“让我来处决这个人。”

沙威抬起头,看见冉阿让,他做了一个不易察觉的动作说:

“这是公正的。”

至于安灼拉,他在马枪里重新装上子弹,环视一下四周:

“没有不同意的吗?”

接着他转向冉阿让:

“把密探带走。”

冉阿让坐在桌子一端,的确已占有了沙威。他拿起手枪,轻轻的一声“喀哒”,说明子弹上了膛。

几乎在同时大家听到了号角声。

“注意!”马吕斯在街垒上面喊。

沙威以他那种独有的笑容无声地笑了笑,盯着起义者向他们说:

“你们的健康并不比我好多少。”

“大家都出来!”安灼拉喊道。

当起义者乱哄哄地冲出去时,让我们这样形容一下,沙威朝他们背后嚷了这样一句话:

“待会儿见!”
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