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quadrant/['kwɔdrənt]/ n. 四分之一圆, 象限, 象限仪 ...

第一卷四堵墙中间的战争 第24章俘虏

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CHAPTER XXIV PRISONER

Marius was, in fact, a prisoner.

The hand which had seized him from behind and whose grasp he had felt at the moment of his fall and his loss of consciousness was that of Jean Valjean.

Jean Valjean had taken no other part in the combat than to expose himself in it. Had it not been for him, no one, in that supreme phase of agony, would have thought of the wounded. Thanks to him, everywhere present in the carnage, like a providence, those who fell were picked up, transported to the tap-room, and cared for. In the intervals, he reappeared on the barricade. But nothing which could resemble a blow, an attack or even personal defence proceeded from his hands. He held his peace and lent succor. Moreover he had received only a few scratches. The bullets would have none of him. If suicide formed part of what he had meditated on coming to this sepulchre, to that spot, he had not succeeded. But we doubt whether he had thought of suicide, an irreligious act.

Jean Valjean, in the thick cloud of the combat, did not appear to see Marius; the truth is, that he never took his eyes from the latter. When a shot laid Marius low, Jean Valjean leaped forward with the agility of a tiger, fell upon him as on his prey, and bore him off.

The whirlwind of the attack was, at that moment, so violently concentrated upon Enjolras and upon the door of the wine-shop, that no one saw Jean Valjean sustaining the fainting Marius in his arms, traverse the unpaved field of the barricade and disappear behind the angle of the Corinthe building.

The reader will recall this angle which formed a sort of cape on the street; it afforded shelter from the bullets, the grape-shot, and all eyes, and a few square feet of space. There is sometimes a chamber which does not burn in the midst of a conflagration, and in the midst of raging seas, beyond a promontory or at the extremity of a blind alley of shoals, a tranquil nook. It was in this sort of fold in the interior trapezium of the barricade, that Eponine had breathed her last.

There Jean Valjean halted, let Marius slide to the ground, placed his back against the wall, and cast his eyes about him.

The situation was alarming.

For an instant, for two or three perhaps, this bit of wall was a shelter, but how was he to escape from this massacre? He recalled the anguish which he had suffered in the Rue Polonceau eight years before, and in what manner he had contrived to make his escape; it was difficult then, to-day it was impossible. He had before him that deaf and implacable house, six stories in height, which appeared to be inhabited only by a dead man leaning out of his window; he had on his right the rather low barricade, which shut off the Rue de la Petite Truanderie; to pass this obstacle seemed easy, but beyond the crest of the barrier a line of bayonets was visible. The troops of the line were posted on the watch behind that barricade. It was evident, that to pass the barricade was to go in quest of the fire of the platoon, and that any head which should run the risk of lifting itself above the top of that wall of stones would serve as a target for sixty shots. On his left he had the field of battle. Death lurked round the corner of that wall.

What was to be done?

Only a bird could have extricated itself from this predicament.

And it was necessary to decide on the instant, to devise some expedient, to come to some decision. Fighting was going on a few paces away; fortunately, all were raging around a single point, the door of the wine-shop; but if it should occur to one soldier, to one single soldier, to turn the corner of the house, or to attack him on the flank, all was over.

Jean Valjean gazed at the house facing him, he gazed at the barricade at one side of him, then he looked at the ground, with the violence of the last extremity, bewildered, and as though he would have liked to pierce a hole there with his eyes.

By dint of staring, something vaguely striking in such an agony began to assume form and outline at his feet, as though it had been a power of glance which made the thing desired unfold. A few paces distant he perceived, at the base of the small barrier so pitilessly guarded and watched on the exterior, beneath a disordered mass of paving-stones which partly concealed it, an iron grating, placed flat and on a level with the soil. This grating, made of stout, transverse bars, was about two feet square. The frame of paving-stones which supported it had been torn up, and it was, as it were, unfastened.

Through the bars a view could be had of a dark aperture, something like the flue of a chimney, or the pipe of a cistern. Jean Valjean darted forward. His old art of escape rose to his brain like an illumination. To thrust aside the stones, to raise the grating, to lift Marius, who was as inert as a dead body, upon his shoulders, to descend, with this burden on his loins, and with the aid of his elbows and knees into that sort of well, fortunately not very deep, to let the heavy trap, upon which the loosened stones rolled down afresh, fall into its place behind him, to gain his footing on a flagged surface three metres below the surface,--all this was executed like that which one does in dreams, with the strength of a giant and the rapidity of an eagle; this took only a few minutes.

Jean Valjean found himself with Marius, who was still unconscious, in a sort of long, subterranean corridor.

There reigned profound peace, absolute silence, night.

The impression which he had formerly experienced when falling from the wall into the convent recurred to him. Only, what he was carrying to-day was not Cosette; it was Marius. He could barely hear the formidable tumult in the wine-shop, taken by assault, like a vague murmur overhead.



二十四 俘 虏

马吕斯确实被俘了,他做了冉阿让的俘虏。

当他摔倒的时候,一只手从后面紧抱住他,虽已失去知觉,他仍能感到是被抓住了,这只手是冉阿让的。

冉阿让没有参加战斗,他只是冒着危险待在那儿。没有他,在这濒危的紧要关头,没有人会考虑到受伤者。幸而有他,屠杀时他好象神人一样无处不在,把倒下的人扶起来,送到地下室包扎好。间歇时,他修整街垒。但类似打人、攻击、或个人的自卫等决不会出自他的手。他默不作声地帮助人。再说,他只有少数擦伤的地方。子弹看不中他。如果自杀是他来到这座坟墓时的一个梦想,在这方面他可没有成功,但我们怀疑他会去考虑自杀这一违反宗教的行为。

冉阿让,在斗争的浓烟中,好象没看见马吕斯,其实他的目光一直没离开过他。当一枪把马吕斯打倒时,冉阿让如老虎般敏捷地一蹦,向他扑过去,象擒住一个猎物那样,把他带走了。

旋风式的攻打此刻非常猛烈地集中在酒店门口和安灼拉的身上,因此没有人看见冉阿让,他用双臂托着晕过去的马吕斯,走过了这失去铺路石的街垒战场,在科林斯房屋的拐角处消失了。

我们记得这拐角处形成了一个伸向大街的海岬,它形成一个几尺见方的能挡住枪弹和霰弹、也能挡住人的视线的地方。有时在火灾中也有一间没有烧着的房间,在最狂暴的海上,在岬角的另一边或暗礁的尽头,会有一个平静的小角落,就是在这种街垒内部的梯形隐蔽处爱潘妮断了气。

冉阿让在这儿止了步,把马吕斯轻轻地放在地上,他紧靠着墙并用目光四面扫视。

当时处境危急。

目前,可能在两三分钟以内,这堵墙还是一个掩体,但怎么能逃出这个屠杀场呢?他回想起八年前,他在波隆梭街时的焦虑,他是如何脱身的,这在当时是困难的,而在今日则是不可能的了。他面前是一所无情的七层聋屋,好象只住着那个俯首窗外的死人,他右边是堵塞小化子窝的相当低矮的街垒,跨过这障碍似乎容易,但在这障碍物的顶上可以见到一排刺刀尖,那是战斗队,防守在街垒外边,埋伏着。毫无疑问跨越这街垒,那就是引来排枪的射击,谁敢冒险在这铺路石堆的墙上探头,谁就要成为六十发枪弹的目标。他左边是战场,死亡就在这墙角的后面。

怎么办?

只有一只小鸟才能逃脱。

必须立刻作出决定,找到办法,打定主意。在他几步之外正在作战,幸亏所有的人都在激烈地争夺一个点,就是酒店的门;但是如果有一个士兵,只要有一个,想到绕过房屋,或从侧面去攻打,那就一切都完了。

冉阿让望望他前面的房屋,看看身旁的街垒,然后又带着陷入绝境的强烈感情望望地,心里十分混乱,想用眼睛在地上挖出一个窟窿。

由于专心注视,不知什么模糊然而可以捕捉的东西在这垂死挣扎的时刻显现出来并在他的脚旁形成了,好象是目光的威力使得心愿实现了似的。他看见几步以外,在那堵外面被无情地守卫着和窥伺着的矮墙脚下,有一扇被一堆塌下的铺路石盖住一部分的铁栅栏门,它是安在地上的。这铁门,用粗的横铁棍制成,大致有两平方尺。支撑它的铺路石框架已被掘掉,铁栅栏好象已被拆开。透过铁条可以看到一个阴暗的洞口,一个类似烟囱的管道或是贮水槽的总管子。冉阿让冲过去,他越狱的老本领好象一道亮光在脑中一闪。搬开铺路石,掀起铁栅栏,背起一动不动象尸体般的马吕斯,降下去;驮着这重负,用手肘和膝头使劲,下到这种幸而不深的井里,再让头上的重铁门再落下来;铺路石受震后又倒下来,有些落在门上,这时冉阿让脚踏在铺了石块的低于地面三米的地上;他象一个极度兴奋的人那样,用巨人的力气、雄鹰的敏捷完成了这些动作,为时不过几分钟。

冉阿让和昏迷的马吕斯进入到一种地下长廊里。

这儿,无比安全,极端寂静,是漆黑的夜。

过去他从大街上落进修女院时的印象又出现在眼前,但今天他背负的不是珂赛特,而是马吕斯。

此刻他只勉强听到在他上面,象一种模糊不清的窃窃私语一样,那攻占酒店时惊人的喧嚣声。
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