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失窃的孩子 The stolen Child CHAPTER 7

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These human children were altogether inferior. Sometimes at night, I wished I could be back prowling the forest, spooking sleeping birds from their roosts, stealing clothes from clotheslines, and making merry, rather than en-during page after page of homework and fretting about my peers. But for all its faults, the real world shone, and I set my mind to forgetting the past and becoming a real boy again. Intolerable as school was, my home life more than compensated. Mom would be waiting for me every afternoon, pretending to be dusting or cooking when I strode triumphantly through the front door.

这些人类的孩子都是差劲的。有时候在晚上,我盼望自己能回到森林中漫游,吓唬睡在窝里的鸟儿,从晾衣绳上偷衣服,找乐子,而不是一页一页地做家庭作业,为我的同学们烦心。尽管有着种种不是,真实的世界仍然闪闪发光,我决心要忘记过去,再次成为一个真正的男孩。学校生活让我忍无可忍,但我在家中却得到了大大的补偿。妈妈每天下午都等我回家,我意气风发地跨入大门时,她会假装在除尘或烹饪。

"Theres my boy," she would say, and whisk me to the kitchen for a snack of jam and bread and a cup of Ovaltine. "How was your day today, Henry?"

I would make up one or two pleasant lies for her benefit.

"Did you learn anything new?"

“我儿子回来了,”她会这么说,并催我去厨房吃一块果酱面包,喝一杯阿华田,“今天过得怎么样,亨利?”

为她着想,我会撒一两个好听的谎。

“你学了新东西吗?”

I would recite all that had been rehearsed on the way home. She seemed inordinately curious and pleased, but would leave me at last to the dreadful homework, which I usually managed to finish right before suppertime. In the few moments before my father came home from work, she would fix our meal, my company at tableside. In the background, the radio played her favorite ballads, and I learned them all upon first hearing and could sing along when the records were invariably repeated. By accident or ignorance, I mimicked the balladeers voices perfectly and could sing tone for tone, measure for measure, phrase for phrase, exactly like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney or Jo Stafford. Mom took my musical ability as a natural extension of my general wonderfulness, charm, and native intellect. She loved to hear me, often switching off the radio to beg me to sing it one more time.

我会把在回家路上练习过的东西背诵一遍。她看上去异常地好奇、欢喜,但最后还是会叫我去做讨厌的作业,我通常在晚饭前做完。父亲下班回家前的一段时间,她会准备好我们的晚餐,把我的同伴叫到餐桌旁。作为背景音乐,收录音里放着她最爱听的民歌,我听一遍就学会了,每当磁带分毫无差地重复播放时,我就能和着唱起来。不知是凑巧还是无心而成,我完美地模仿了民谣歌手的唱腔,而且唱得活灵活现,唱一段像一段,唱一句像一句,仿佛同宾?克罗斯贝、弗兰克?辛纳屈、罗丝玛莉?克鲁妮,或乔?斯塔夫再现 。妈妈把我的音乐才能看作是情理中事,就好比她眼中的我是那样出色、迷人,又天生聪慧。她喜欢听我唱歌,常常关掉收录机,央求我再唱一遍。

"Be a dear boy and give us Theres a Train Out for Dreamland again."

When my father first heard my act, he didnt respond as kindly. "Where did you pick that up? One day you cant carry a tune, now you sing like a lark."

"I dunno. Maybe I wasnt listening before."

“给我们再唱一首《开往梦乡的火车》,就是好孩子。”

父亲第一次听到我的表演,评价不佳,“你从哪里学来的?现在你唱得像百灵鸟,迟早有一天连调子都不会哼。”

“我不晓得。可能我以前没在听。”

"Youre kidding me? She has that racket on day and night with your Nat Cole King and all that jazz, and Can you take me dancin sometime? As if a mother of twins .. .What do you mean, you werent listening?"

“开玩笑吗?她白天黑夜都开着那个吵吵嚷嚷的东西,放你的纳特?金?科尔 和爵士乐,还有《何时你能带我跳舞?》,真好像你妈生了一对双胞胎……你说你没在听,是什么意思?”

"Concentrating, I mean."

"You should be concentrating on your homework and helping your mother with the chores."

“专心听,我是说。”

“你应该专心到你的家庭作业上去,专心帮你妈妈做家务。”

"If you pay attention and listen instead of merely hearing the song, you can pick up the tune in no time."

“如果你专心听,而不是只听歌词,很快就会学会调子了。”

He shook his head and lit another Camel. "Mind your elders, if you please, Caruso."

I took care not to be such a perfect mimic around my dad.

他摇摇头,点起一支骆驼香烟,“要听长辈的话,卡鲁索 ,如果你愿意的话。”

于是我留神不在爸爸身边做完美的模仿。

Mary and Elizabeth, on the other hand, were too young to know any better, and they accepted without question my budding talent for imperson-ation. Indeed, they begged for songs all the time, especially in their cribs, where Id trot out all the novelty tunes like "Mairzy Doats" or "Three Little Fishies." Without fail, however, they fell asleep as if knocked unconscious every time I sang "Over the Rainbow." I did a mean Judy Garland.

玛丽和伊丽莎白则相反,她们年纪尚小不懂事,不假思索地接受了我初露头角的模仿才能。事实上,她们一直要我唱歌,特别是还在摇篮里的时候,那时我就炫耀所有的新歌,如《麦瑞兹?多斯》和《三条小鱼》。但屡试不爽的是,每当我唱起《飞越彩虹》,她们就像被敲昏似的睡了过去。朱迪?加兰我唱不好 。

My days with the Days quickly fell into a comfortable routine, and as long as I stayed inside the house or inside the classroom, all went well. The weather suddenly grew cooler, and almost at once the leaves turned garish shades of yellow and red, so bold that the mere sight of trees hurt my eyes. I hated those bright reminders of life in the forest. October proved a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween. I knew that parties were involved, begging for nuts and candies, bonfires in the square, and playing tricks on the townsfolk. Believe me, we hobgoblins did our share of mischief—unhinging gates, smashing pumpkins, soaping the library windows with cartoon demons. What I had not experienced was the folderol among the children and the way that even the schools had gotten into the act. Two weeks before the big day, the nuns began planning a classroom party with entertainment and refreshments. They hung orange and black crepe paper along the tops of the chalkboards, pasted paper pumpkins and black cats on the walls. We dutifully cut out scary things from construction paper and glued together our own artistic efforts, pitiable though they were. Mothers were enlisted to bake cookies and brownies, make popcorn balls and candy apples. Costumes were allowed—indeed, expected. I remember exactly my conversa-tion on the matter with my mother.

我和戴家相处的日子很快就变得融洽安闲,只要我待在屋里或教室里,就一切顺利。天气突然转凉,转眼间,树叶变成一片绚丽的红黄色,色调如此鲜丽,以致我看到树木就觉得眼睛刺痛。我厌恨这些提醒丛林生活的明快的东西。十月使我的感官紊乱,万圣节前几周,这种晕眩达到高潮。我知道有一伙一伙的孩子讨要坚果和糖果,在广场点篝火,和镇民们玩弄恶作剧。相信我,我们妖怪也有恶作剧的份儿——把门拉开,把南瓜砸碎,用肥皂在图书馆窗玻璃上画卡通魔鬼。我没有经历过的是孩子们的胡闹,这甚至连学校也参与进去。离这个大日子还有两周的时候,修女们开始筹划班级派对,到处布置、装修。她们在黑板上沿挂上橙色和黑色的绉纸,在墙上贴纸裁的南瓜和黑猫。我们认真地用硬板纸裁出吓人的东西,把自己的艺术作品用胶水粘合起来,虽然它们着实不怎么样。母亲们赞助烘制饼干和坚果巧克力蛋糕,做爆米花和冰糖苹果。化装是允许的——实际上,是被期待的。我清楚地记得我和母亲谈到过这个话题。

"Were having a party for Halloween at school, and teacher says we come dressed in our trick-or-treat outfits instead of our uniforms. I want to be a hobgoblin."

"What was that?"

"You know, a hobgoblin."

"Im not sure what that is. Is it anything like a monster?"

"No."

"Or a ghost? Or a ghoul?"

"Not those."

"Perhaps a little vampire?"

"Im no bloodsucker, Mother."

"Perhaps its a fairy?"

“我们在学校有个万圣节派对,老师要我们穿‘捣蛋还是给糖’的装扮,不要穿校服。我想化装成换生灵。”

“那是什么?”

“你知道的,妖怪。”

“我不太清楚那是什么。是和魔鬼一样的东西吗?”

“不是。”

“是鬼怪?还是盗尸鬼?”

“都不是。”

“大概是个小吸血鬼?”

“我不吸血,妈妈。”

“也许是个仙灵?”

I howled. For the first time in nearly two months, I lost my temper and screamed in my natural wild voice. The sound startled her.

我号啕大哭。近两个月来,我第一次发脾气,用我本来的野性声音尖叫。这个声音吓倒了她。

"For the love of God, Henry. You scared the wits out of me, raising the dead and howling like a banshee. Therell be no Halloweenin for you."

“看在上帝的分上,亨利。你把我吓疯了,把死人都叫醒了,叫得跟女妖似的。不给你过万圣节了。”

Banshee keen, I wanted to tell her, they wail and weep, but they never howl. Instead, I turned on the tears, bawling like the twins. She drew me to her and hugged me against her stomach.

我想告诉她,女妖天性敏感,她们会流泪哭泣,但从不嚎叫。但我没说,而是打开了泪闸,哭得像双胞胎妹妹一样。她把我拉过去,拥在怀里。

"There now, I was only kidding." She lifted my chin and gazed into my eyes. "I just dont know what a hobgoblin is. Listen, how about going as a pirate, youd like that now, wouldnt you?"

“好了,我只不过开个玩笑。”她抬起我的下巴,看着我的眼睛,“我只是不知道妖怪是什么。听着,去当个海盗怎么样?你会喜欢的,是吗?”

And thats how I ended up dressed in pantaloons and a shirt with puffed sleeves, a scarf tied around my skull, and wearing an earring like Errol Flynn. On Halloween day, I stood before a class of ghosts, witches, and hoboes, the only pirate in the school, probably the whole county. Teacher had tapped me to sing "The Teddy Bears Picnic" as part of the scary entertainment for our party. My normal speaking voice was a squeak like Henry Days, but when I sang "If you go out in the woods tonight," I sounded exactly like the sonorous bass of Frank DeVol on the record. The imitation shocked nearly everybody. In a back corner, Caroline Hines sobbed in fear through the whole song. Most of the slack-jawed kids gaped through their masks and makeup, not quite knowing what to believe. I remember that Tess Wodehouse sat and stared without blinking, as if she realized a fundamental deception but could not unravel the trick. But the nuns knew better. At the end of the song, they whispered together in a conspiracy of penguins, then nodded in unison as they crossed themselves.

最后,我穿起了马裤和蓬袖衬衫,头上绑了条围巾,戴了一对埃尔罗?弗林 似的耳环。万圣节当天,整个教室里都是鬼怪、巫婆和流浪人,我是学校里惟一的海盗,说不定在全国也是独一无二的。老师打着拍子,让我唱《特迪熊的野餐》,这是我们派对的恐怖游戏之一。我正常的说话声是和亨利?戴一样的尖声尖气,但当我唱起“如果你今晚进入森林”,唱腔和录音带里弗兰克?德佛尔的低音一模一样。这种模仿使每个人为之震惊。整首歌中,卡塞琳娜?海妮丝躲在黑暗的角落里惊慌地抽泣。大多数孩子张口结舌,在面具和化妆下大口喘息,不知道该相信什么才好。我记得泰思?伍德郝斯坐在那里,两眼一眨不眨,好似意识到一个大骗局,但没法揭穿谜底。但修女们知道得更清楚。一曲终了,她们像企鹅一样交头接耳,然后一致点头,当胸划十字。

The actual trick-or-treating left much to be desired. My father drove me into town at dusk and waited for me as I walked the row of houses along Main Street, spying here and there another child in pathetic costume. No hobgoblin appeared, although a black cat did try to cross my path. I hissed at the creature in perfect cat, and it turned tail, running away in panic to hide beneath a hon-eysuckle bush. An evil grin crossed my face. It was good to know I had not yet lost all my tricks.

“捣蛋还是给糖”的活动还有许多值得期待的。傍晚,父亲开车把我送到镇上,他等着我,我则顺着大街走过一排排房屋,到处寻找其他穿着难看化装服的孩子。没有妖怪出现,只有一只黑猫企图横穿马路。我用十足的猫声嘶叫起来,它吓得掉转尾巴躲进一丛忍冬树里。邪恶的笑容闪过我的脸庞。我还没有失去所有的本事,这很好。
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