密码:
注册找密码我的浏览
设首页加收藏加书签 ______

首页每天学英语背单词语法词汇口语阅读写作翻译寓言四级六级名著绕口令笑话外语动态诗歌散文雅思商务

您所在的位置: 大耳朵首页 > 文章资料 > 轻松英语 >...> 经典名著 > 马丁·伊登 > 正文

站内搜索:

小提示:学单词背单词请到大耳朵免费在线背单词系统
canyon/[]/ n. 峡谷, 海底悬崖...

马丁·伊登(MARTIN EDEN)第二十五章

本文属阅读资料
Maria Silva was poor, and all the ways of poverty were clear to her. Poverty, to Ruth, was a word signifying a not-nice condition of existence. That was her total knowledge on the subject. She knew Martin was poor, and his condition she associated in her mind with the boyhood of Abraham Lincoln, of Mr. Butler, and of other men who had become successes. Also, while aware that poverty was anything but delectable, she had a comfortable middle-class feeling that poverty was salutary, that it was a sharp spur that urged on to success all men who were not degraded and hopeless drudges. So that her knowledge that Martin was so poor that he had pawned his watch and overcoat did not disturb her. She even considered it the hopeful side of the situation, believing that sooner or later it would arouse him and compel him to abandon his writing.

Ruth never read hunger in Martin's face, which had grown lean and had enlarged the slight hollows in the cheeks. In fact, she marked the change in his face with satisfaction. It seemed to refine him, to remove from him much of the dross of flesh and the too animal- like vigor that lured her while she detested it. Sometimes, when with her, she noted an unusual brightness in his eyes, and she admired it, for it made him appear more the poet and the scholar - the things he would have liked to be and which she would have liked him to be. But Maria Silva read a different tale in the hollow cheeks and the burning eyes, and she noted the changes in them from day to day, by them following the ebb and flow of his fortunes. She saw him leave the house with his overcoat and return without it, though the day was chill and raw, and promptly she saw his cheeks fill out slightly and the fire of hunger leave his eyes. In the same way she had seen his wheel and watch go, and after each event she had seen his vigor bloom again.

Likewise she watched his toils, and knew the measure of the midnight oil he burned. Work! She knew that he outdid her, though his work was of a different order. And she was surprised to behold that the less food he had, the harder he worked. On occasion, in a casual sort of way, when she thought hunger pinched hardest, she would send him in a loaf of new baking, awkwardly covering the act with banter to the effect that it was better than he could bake. And again, she would send one of her toddlers in to him with a great pitcher of hot soup, debating inwardly the while whether she was justified in taking it from the mouths of her own flesh and blood. Nor was Martin ungrateful, knowing as he did the lives of the poor, and that if ever in the world there was charity, this was it.

On a day when she had filled her brood with what was left in the house, Maria invested her last fifteen cents in a gallon of cheap wine. Martin, coming into her kitchen to fetch water, was invited to sit down and drink. He drank her very-good health, and in return she drank his. Then she drank to prosperity in his undertakings, and he drank to the hope that James Grant would show up and pay her for his washing. James Grant was a journeymen carpenter who did not always pay his bills and who owed Maria three dollars.

Both Maria and Martin drank the sour new wine on empty stomachs, and it went swiftly to their heads. Utterly differentiated creatures that they were, they were lonely in their misery, and though the misery was tacitly ignored, it was the bond that drew them together. Maria was amazed to learn that he had been in the Azores, where she had lived until she was eleven. She was doubly amazed that he had been in the Hawaiian Islands, whither she had migrated from the Azores with her people. But her amazement passed all bounds when he told her he had been on Maui, the particular island whereon she had attained womanhood and married. Kahului, where she had first met her husband, - he, Martin, had been there twice! Yes, she remembered the sugar steamers, and he had been on them - well, well, it was a small world. And Wailuku! That place, too! Did he know the head-luna of the plantation? Yes, and had had a couple of drinks with him.

And so they reminiscenced and drowned their hunger in the raw, sour wine. To Martin the future did not seem so dim. Success trembled just before him. He was on the verge of clasping it. Then he studied the deep-lined face of the toil-worn woman before him, remembered her soups and loaves of new baking, and felt spring up in him the warmest gratitude and philanthropy.

"Maria," he exclaimed suddenly. "What would you like to have?"

She looked at him, bepuzzled.

"What would you like to have now, right now, if you could get it?"

"Shoe alla da roun' for da childs - seven pairs da shoe."

"You shall have them," he announced, while she nodded her head gravely. "But I mean a big wish, something big that you want."

Her eyes sparkled good-naturedly. He was choosing to make fun with her, Maria, with whom few made fun these days.

"Think hard," he cautioned, just as she was opening her mouth to speak.

"Alla right," she answered. "I thinka da hard. I lika da house, dis house - all mine, no paya da rent, seven dollar da month."

"You shall have it," he granted, "and in a short time. Now wish the great wish. Make believe I am God, and I say to you anything you want you can have. Then you wish that thing, and I listen."

Maria considered solemnly for a space.

"You no 'fraid?" she asked warningly.

"No, no," he laughed, "I'm not afraid. Go ahead."

"Most verra big," she warned again.

"All right. Fire away."

"Well, den - " She drew a big breath like a child, as she voiced to the uttermost all she cared to demand of life. "I lika da have one milka ranch - good milka ranch. Plenty cow, plenty land, plenty grass. I lika da have near San Le-an; my sister liva dere. I sella da milk in Oakland. I maka da plentee mon. Joe an' Nick no runna da cow. Dey go-a to school. Bimeby maka da good engineer, worka da railroad. Yes, I lika da milka ranch."

She paused and regarded Martin with twinkling eyes.

"You shall have it," he answered promptly.

She nodded her head and touched her lips courteously to the wine- glass and to the giver of the gift she knew would never be given. His heart was right, and in her own heart she appreciated his intention as much as if the gift had gone with it.

"No, Maria," he went on; "Nick and Joe won't have to peddle milk, and all the kids can go to school and wear shoes the whole year round. It will be a first-class milk ranch - everything complete. There will be a house to live in and a stable for the horses, and cow-barns, of course. There will be chickens, pigs, vegetables, fruit trees, and everything like that; and there will be enough cows to pay for a hired man or two. Then you won't have anything to do but take care of the children. For that matter, if you find a good man, you can marry and take it easy while he runs the ranch."

And from such largess, dispensed from his future, Martin turned and took his one good suit of clothes to the pawnshop. His plight was desperate for him to do this, for it cut him off from Ruth. He had no second-best suit that was presentable, and though he could go to the butcher and the baker, and even on occasion to his sister's, it was beyond all daring to dream of entering the Morse home so disreputably apparelled.

He toiled on, miserable and well-nigh hopeless. It began to appear to him that the second battle was lost and that he would have to go to work. In doing this he would satisfy everybody - the grocer, his sister, Ruth, and even Maria, to whom he owed a month's room rent. He was two months behind with his type-writer, and the agency was clamoring for payment or for the return of the machine. In desperation, all but ready to surrender, to make a truce with fate until he could get a fresh start, he took the civil service examinations for the Railway Mail. To his surprise, he passed first. The job was assured, though when the call would come to enter upon his duties nobody knew.

It was at this time, at the lowest ebb, that the smooth-running editorial machine broke down. A cog must have slipped or an oil- cup run dry, for the postman brought him one morning a short, thin envelope. Martin glanced at the upper left-hand corner and read the name and address of the TRANSCONTINENTAL MONTHLY. His heart gave a great leap, and he suddenly felt faint, the sinking feeling accompanied by a strange trembling of the knees. He staggered into his room and sat down on the bed, the envelope still unopened, and in that moment came understanding to him how people suddenly fall dead upon receipt of extraordinarily good news.

Of course this was good news. There was no manuscript in that thin envelope, therefore it was an acceptance. He knew the story in the hands of the TRANSCONTINENTAL. It was "The Ring of Bells," one of his horror stories, and it was an even five thousand words. And, since first-class magazines always paid on acceptance, there was a check inside. Two cents a word - twenty dollars a thousand; the check must be a hundred dollars. One hundred dollars! As he tore the envelope open, every item of all his debts surged in his brain - $3.85 to the grocer; butcher $4.00 flat; baker, $2.00; fruit store, $5.00; total, $14.85. Then there was room rent, $2.50; another month in advance, $2.50; two months' type-writer, $8.00; a month in advance, $4.00; total, $31.85. And finally to be added, his pledges, plus interest, with the pawnbroker - watch, $5.50; overcoat, $5.50; wheel, $7.75; suit of clothes, $5.50 (60 % interest, but what did it matter?) - grand total, $56.10. He saw, as if visible in the air before him, in illuminated figures, the whole sum, and the subtraction that followed and that gave a remainder of $43.90. When he had squared every debt, redeemed every pledge, he would still have jingling in his pockets a princely $43.90. And on top of that he would have a month's rent paid in advance on the type-writer and on the room.

By this time he had drawn the single sheet of type-written letter out and spread it open. There was no check. He peered into the envelope, held it to the light, but could not trust his eyes, and in trembling haste tore the envelope apart. There was no check. He read the letter, skimming it line by line, dashing through the editor's praise of his story to the meat of the letter, the statement why the check had not been sent. He found no such statement, but he did find that which made him suddenly wilt. The letter slid from his hand. His eyes went lack-lustre, and he lay back on the pillow, pulling the blanket about him and up to his chin.

Five dollars for "The Ring of Bells" - five dollars for five thousand words! Instead of two cents a word, ten words for a cent! And the editor had praised it, too. And he would receive the check when the story was published. Then it was all poppycock, two cents a word for minimum rate and payment upon acceptance. It was a lie, and it had led him astray. He would never have attempted to write had he known that. He would have gone to work - to work for Ruth. He went back to the day he first attempted to write, and was appalled at the enormous waste of time - and all for ten words for a cent. And the other high rewards of writers, that he had read about, must be lies, too. His second-hand ideas of authorship were wrong, for here was the proof of it.

The TRANSCONTINENTAL sold for twenty-five cents, and its dignified and artistic cover proclaimed it as among the first-class magazines. It was a staid, respectable magazine, and it had been published continuously since long before he was born. Why, on the outside cover were printed every month the words of one of the world's great writers, words proclaiming the inspired mission of the TRANSCONTINENTAL by a star of literature whose first coruscations had appeared inside those self-same covers. And the high and lofty, heaven-inspired TRANSCONTINENTAL paid five dollars for five thousand words! The great writer had recently died in a foreign land - in dire poverty, Martin remembered, which was not to be wondered at, considering the magnificent pay authors receive.

Well, he had taken the bait, the newspaper lies about writers and their pay, and he had wasted two years over it. But he would disgorge the bait now. Not another line would he ever write. He would do what Ruth wanted him to do, what everybody wanted him to do - get a job. The thought of going to work reminded him of Joe - Joe, tramping through the land of nothing-to-do. Martin heaved a great sigh of envy. The reaction of nineteen hours a day for many days was strong upon him. But then, Joe was not in love, had none of the responsibilities of love, and he could afford to loaf through the land of nothing-to-do. He, Martin, had something to work for, and go to work he would. He would start out early next morning to hunt a job. And he would let Ruth know, too, that he had mended his ways and was willing to go into her father's office.

Five dollars for five thousand words, ten words for a cent, the market price for art. The disappointment of it, the lie of it, the infamy of it, were uppermost in his thoughts; and under his closed eyelids, in fiery figures, burned the "$3.85" he owed the grocer. He shivered, and was aware of an aching in his bones. The small of his back ached especially. His head ached, the top of it ached, the back of it ached, the brains inside of it ached and seemed to be swelling, while the ache over his brows was intolerable. And beneath the brows, planted under his lids, was the merciless "$3.85." He opened his eyes to escape it, but the white light of the room seemed to sear the balls and forced him to close his eyes, when the "$3.85" confronted him again.

Five dollars for five thousand words, ten words for a cent - that particular thought took up its residence in his brain, and he could no more escape it than he could the "$3.85" under his eyelids. A change seemed to come over the latter, and he watched curiously, till "$2.00" burned in its stead. Ah, he thought, that was the baker. The next sum that appeared was "$2.50." It puzzled him, and he pondered it as if life and death hung on the solution. He owed somebody two dollars and a half, that was certain, but who was it? To find it was the task set him by an imperious and malignant universe, and he wandered through the endless corridors of his mind, opening all manner of lumber rooms and chambers stored with odds and ends of memories and knowledge as he vainly sought the answer. After several centuries it came to him, easily, without effort, that it was Maria. With a great relief he turned his soul to the screen of torment under his lids. He had solved the problem; now he could rest. But no, the "$2.50" faded away, and in its place burned "$8.00." Who was that? He must go the dreary round of his mind again and find out.

How long he was gone on this quest he did not know, but after what seemed an enormous lapse of time, he was called back to himself by a knock at the door, and by Maria's asking if he was sick. He replied in a muffled voice he did not recognize, saying that he was merely taking a nap. He was surprised when he noted the darkness of night in the room. He had received the letter at two in the afternoon, and he realized that he was sick.

Then the "$8.00" began to smoulder under his lids again, and he returned himself to servitude. But he grew cunning. There was no need for him to wander through his mind. He had been a fool. He pulled a lever and made his mind revolve about him, a monstrous wheel of fortune, a merry-go-round of memory, a revolving sphere of wisdom. Faster and faster it revolved, until its vortex sucked him in and he was flung whirling through black chaos.

Quite naturally he found himself at a mangle, feeding starched cuffs. But as he fed he noticed figures printed in the cuffs. It was a new way of marking linen, he thought, until, looking closer, he saw "$3.85" on one of the cuffs. Then it came to him that it was the grocer's bill, and that these were his bills flying around on the drum of the mangle. A crafty idea came to him. He would throw the bills on the floor and so escape paying them. No sooner thought than done, and he crumpled the cuffs spitefully as he flung them upon an unusually dirty floor. Ever the heap grew, and though each bill was duplicated a thousand times, he found only one for two dollars and a half, which was what he owed Maria. That meant that Maria would not press for payment, and he resolved generously that it would be the only one he would pay; so he began searching through the cast-out heap for hers. He sought it desperately, for ages, and was still searching when the manager of the hotel entered, the fat Dutchman. His face blazed with wrath, and he shouted in stentorian tones that echoed down the universe, "I shall deduct the cost of those cuffs from your wages!" The pile of cuffs grew into a mountain, and Martin knew that he was doomed to toil for a thousand years to pay for them. Well, there was nothing left to do but kill the manager and burn down the laundry. But the big Dutchman frustrated him, seizing him by the nape of the neck and dancing him up and down. He danced him over the ironing tables, the stove, and the mangles, and out into the wash-room and over the wringer and washer. Martin was danced until his teeth rattled and his head ached, and he marvelled that the Dutchman was so strong.

And then he found himself before the mangle, this time receiving the cuffs an editor of a magazine was feeding from the other side. Each cuff was a check, and Martin went over them anxiously, in a fever of expectation, but they were all blanks. He stood there and received the blanks for a million years or so, never letting one go by for fear it might be filled out. At last he found it. With trembling fingers he held it to the light. It was for five dollars. "Ha! Ha!" laughed the editor across the mangle. "Well, then, I shall kill you," Martin said. He went out into the wash- room to get the axe, and found Joe starching manuscripts. He tried to make him desist, then swung the axe for him. But the weapon remained poised in mid-air, for Martin found himself back in the ironing room in the midst of a snow-storm. No, it was not snow that was falling, but checks of large denomination, the smallest not less than a thousand dollars. He began to collect them and sort them out, in packages of a hundred, tying each package securely with twine.

He looked up from his task and saw Joe standing before him juggling flat-irons, starched shirts, and manuscripts. Now and again he reached out and added a bundle of checks to the flying miscellany that soared through the roof and out of sight in a tremendous circle. Martin struck at him, but he seized the axe and added it to the flying circle. Then he plucked Martin and added him. Martin went up through the roof, clutching at manuscripts, so that by the time he came down he had a large armful. But no sooner down than up again, and a second and a third time and countless times he flew around the circle. From far off he could hear a childish treble singing: "Waltz me around again, Willie, around, around, around."

He recovered the axe in the midst of the Milky Way of checks, starched shirts, and manuscripts, and prepared, when he came down, to kill Joe. But he did not come down. Instead, at two in the morning, Maria, having heard his groans through the thin partition, came into his room, to put hot flat-irons against his body and damp cloths upon his aching eyes.

玛利亚·西尔伐很穷。她理解贫穷生活的种种艰辛。可对露丝说来贫穷只是不舒适的生活环境而且。她对贫穷的全部知识不过如此。她知道马丁穷,却把他的环境限亚伯拉罕·林肯、巴特勒先生和其他发了迹的人物的童年等量齐观。而且,她一方面意识到贫穷绝不轻松,一方面又有一种中产阶级泰然处之的感觉:认为贫穷是福。它对一切不肯堕落的人、不肯绝望的苦力都是一种强烈的激励,能促使他们去取得胜利。因此在她听说马丁穷得当掉了手表和外衣时,并不难受,甚至认为有了希望,它早晚会催他奋起,放弃写作的。

露丝从没有在马丁脸上读出饥饿。实际上她在见到他面颊消瘦、凹陷加深的时候反而感到满意。他好像变得清秀了。他脸上以前叫她嫌恶却也吸引过她的肌肉和带暴戾意味的活力大大减少了。他俩在一起时她还会偶然注意到他眼里闪出的不寻常的光,那也叫她崇拜,因为他更像个诗人或学者了——而那正是他想做而她也乐意他做的人。但是玛利亚·西尔伐从他那凹陷的双颊和燃烧的目光中读出的却是另外一种消息。她看到他每天的变化,并从中看出他命运的消涨。她看到他穿了外衣离家却没穿外衣回来,尽管天气又冷又阴沉。然后她便看到他的面颊略为丰满了一点,饥饿之火也离开了他的眼睛。同样,她又看到他的手表和自行车消失了,而每一次有东西消失,他都会洋溢出些活力。

她同样注意到了他的刻苦。她知道他晚上要熬夜到什么时候。那是在工作!她知道他比她还要辛苦,虽然他的工作是另一种性质。她还注意到他吃得越是少干得越是多。有时见他饿得厉害,她也仿佛偶然地给他送一大块刚出炉的面包去,并开玩笑说她烤的面包要比他做的好吃,作为一种拙劣的掩饰。有时她也叫她的小娃娃给他送一大罐热气腾腾的菜汤去,虽然心率也前咕着像这样从自己的亲骨肉口中夺食是否应该。马丁也并非不感谢,他明白穷人的苦,也知道世界上若有慈悲心肠,这就是慈悲心肠。

有一天她在用屋里剩下的东西喂饱了那群孩子之后,拿她最后的一毛五分钱买了一加仑便宜啤酒。正好马丁到她厨房取水,她便邀他坐下一起喝。他为她的健康于杯,她也为他的健康于杯,然后她又祝福地事业兴旺,而他则祝福她找到詹姆士·格兰特,收到地欠下的洗衣费。詹姆士·格兰特是个常常欠债的流浪木匠,欠着玛利亚三块钱没给。

玛利亚和马丁都是空肚子喝着新酿的酒,酒力立即进了脑袋。他们俩虽是完全不同的人,在痛苦中却同样孤独。尽管不声不响,没有当回事,孤独却成了联系他俩的纽带。玛利亚听说他到过亚速尔群岛大吃了一惊:她是在那儿长到十一岁的。她听说他到过夏威夷群岛时更是加倍吃惊了:她跟她一家人就是从亚速尔群岛迁到夏威夷群岛去的呢。而到他告诉她他曾去过毛伊岛时,她简直就惊讶得无以复加了。毛伊岛可是她长大成人遇见她丈夫井和他结婚的地方。而马丁意去过两次!是的,她还记得运糖的船,而他就在那上面干过活——哎呀,这世界可真小。还有瓦伊路库!他认识种植园的总管么?认识,还跟他喝过两杯呢。

他们俩就像这样怀着旧,用酸味的新啤酒淹没着饥饿。未来在马丁面前并不太暗淡。成功在他眼前颤抖,他差不多要抓住了。他审视着面前这个备受折磨的妇女郎满是皱纹的脸,想起了她的菜汤和新出炉的面包,一种最为温暖的感激和悲悯之情便在他心里油然而生。

“玛利亚,”他突然叫了起来,“你想要个什么东西?”

玛利亚莫名其妙地望着他。

“现在你想要个什么东西,现在,如果你能得到的话?”

“给孩子们每人一双鞋——七双。”

“我给你七双鞋,”他宣布,她郑重其事地点点头,“可我指的是大的愿望,你想要什么大东西。”

她的眼睛随和地闪着光。原来他是在跟她玛利亚开玩笑呀,现在已经很少人跟她开玩笑了。

“好好想想,”她正张开嘴要说话,他提醒她。

“那好,”她回答,“我好好想想,我想要房于,就是这房子吧。整幢都归我.不用付每月七块钱房租。”

“房子你准会有的,”他同意了,“不久就会有。现在要个大的吧。假定我是上帝,已经告诉你你想要什么便能得到什么。你就要那种东西吧,我听着。”

玛利亚郑重其事地想了一会儿。

“你不怕?”她警告他。

“不怕,不怕,”他笑了,“我不怕。说吧。”

“可大得了不得呢,”她又警告说。

“没问题。尽管讲。”

“那么——”她像个孩子一样吸了一口长气,鼓足了劲,提出了她对生活的最大愿望。“我想有个奶牛场——一个最好的奶牛场。有许多的牛,许多的土地,许多的草。我喜欢它靠近圣利安;我妹妹就住在那儿。我可以到奥克兰去卖牛奶,赚许多钱。乔和尼克不用放牛,可以去上学,以后当个好工程师,在铁路上工作。对。我想要个奶牛场。”

她住了口,眼里闪着光,望着马丁。

“你会有的。”他立即回答。

她点点头,恭恭敬敬用嘴唇碰了碰杯子,向送她礼物的人示意——虽然她知道那礼物她是永远也得不到的。他的心是好的,她打心眼里欣赏这番好意,仿佛礼物已随着许诺送到她手里。

“是的,玛利亚,”他继续说,“尼克和乔不用去卖牛奶了,孩子们全都上学,一年四季都有鞋穿。一个头等奶场——设备齐全。一幢房子住人,一个马厩喂马,当然还有奶牛场。有鸡,有猪,有菜,有果树,诸如此类。牛还要多,能养得起一两个雇工。那时候你就甭管别的,一心一意带孩子。说起来,你若是能找到一个合适的人,还可以结婚,让他管奶场,你自己过轻松日子。”

马丁赠送了这份将来才能兑现的礼物之后,转身便把他仅有的一套漂亮衣服送进了当铺。他这样做是出于无奈,因为处境太糟。而当掉了衣服他和露丝就不能见面了。他再也没有第二套漂亮衣服能够见客——尽管见卖肉的和烤面包的还可以,有时还可以去见他姐姐。但要叫他穿得那么寒酸踏进莫尔斯的住宅,他却是连梦也不敢做的。

他继续刻苦地干着,很难受,差不多已没了希望。他开始感到第二次战役也失败了,他已非去工作不可。他一去工作各方面都会满意的——杂货店老板,他姐姐,露丝,甚至玛利亚都会满意。他已经久了玛利亚一个月房租;打字机租金也欠了两个月,代理人已经叫喊若是再不付租金就得收回打字机。他已经穷途末路,差不多要投降了。他打算暂时跟命运休战,直到有新机会的时候。他去参加了铁道邮务署的文职人员考试。令他意外的是,竟然以第一名被录取了。工作是有把握了,尽管什么时候能通知他上班还没有人知道。

就在这个时候,在他山穷水尽的时候,那油滑运转的编辑机器偏偏出了故障。大概是一个齿轮打了滑,或是油杯没了油吧,总之有天早上邮递员给他送来了一个薄薄的短信封。马丁瞒了一眼左角,读到了《跨越大陆月刊》的名字和地址,他的心便猛地跳了一下。他突然感到一阵晕旋,双膝发起抖来,身子也往下沉。他歪歪倒倒进了屋子,在床上坐了下来。信还没有拆开,在那个瞬间他明白了一个道理:为什么有的人会因为突然得到不寻常的好消息而死去。

这当然是好消息,薄薄的信封里没有稿子,因此便是采用通知。他知道寄给《跨越大陆》的是什么故事,那是《钟声激越》,一篇恐怖小说,足足有五千字。既然第一流杂志都是一采用稿件便付稿酬的,里面便应该是支票。一个字两分钱——一千字二十元:支票一定是一百元!一百元!他撕开信封时,脑子里便门出了他所欠的每一笔帐——杂货店老板$3.85;肉店老板$4.00;面包店老板$2.00;水果店老板$5.00;总共$14.85。然后是房租$2.5O;再预付一个月$2.50;两个月打字机租金$8.00;预付一个月$4.OO;总共$31.85。最后是赎取典当的东西,加上当铺老板的利息:表$5.50;外衣$5.50;自行车$7.75;衣服$5.50(利息60%,那算得什么?)——几笔帐总计$56.10。他仿佛在他面前的空中看到了闪着光的数字:先是那个整数,然后是减去开支算出的余数,是$43.90。还清了帐目,赎回了东西,他口袋还会叮叮当当响着一笔阔绰的数字$43.90,而且已经预付了一个月房租和一个月打字机租金。

这时他已抽出那张用打字机打出的信,展开了。没有支票,他往信封里瞄了瞄,又把那信对着光线看了看。他不能相信他的眼睛。他颤抖着急忙撕开了信封:没有支票。他一行行地匆匆读去,掠过了编辑对他作品的赞美之词,要想找到主题:何以没有进支票,却没有找到。他终于找到了,可他却突然垮了。信从他手上落下,他的两眼失去了光泽。他躺回到枕头上,拉过毯子盖住身体,直盖到下巴。

《钟声激越》的稿费是五块钱——五块钱五千字!不是两分钱一个字,而是一分钱十个字!而编辑还赞美写得好。而且支票要到作品发表之后才能收到。原来这一切都是胡扯:什么最低稿费两分钱一个字呀,稿件一采用就付稿酬呀,统统是假话,骗得他上了当。他要是早知道是决不会作写作的打算的。他老早就会去工作了——为露丝去工作了。他回想起自己刚开始打算写作的时候,不禁为自己所浪费的那么多时间痛心疾首。最终落了个一分钱十个字!他所读到的关于别的作家的高稿酬的事看来也准是假话。他关于写作的第二手资料是错误的,这里便是证据。

《跨越大陆》每份定价二毛五。它那庄重高雅的封面表明它属于第一流杂志,是份郑重的值得尊敬的杂志。它在他出生之前就已经连续出版了多少年。你看,在每一期封面上都印有一个世界驰名的伟大作家的话,宣布了《跨越大陆》的天赋使命,而那位文坛巨星最初就是在这个杂志的篇幅里绽放异彩的。可是这份崇高、风雅。从上天获得灵感的杂志鹏越大陆》所付出的稿酬竟然是五块钱五千字!而那伟大的作家最近也在国外穷愁潦倒地死去了。此事马丁记得,也不以为奇,试看作家那堂皇的稿酬就明白了。

唉,他上了别人的钩了。报纸上关于作家和稿酬的瞎话使他浪费了两年时光。现在他要把嘴里的钩吐出来。他是一行也不会再写作的了。他要按露丝的要求去做——那也是每个人的要求——找一份工作。一想到工作他便想到乔——那个在游手好闲的天地里漂泊的乔。马丁长长地叹了一口气,心里很羡慕。那是每天十九小时连续多少日子的劳动对乔所产生的激烈后果。但是乔没有恋爱,没有爱情的责任,他可以在游手好闲的天地里漂泊。而他马丁却有奋斗的目标。他要去工作。明天一大早他就要去找工作,他还要让露丝知道他已经幡然悔悟,愿意进入她爸爸的办公室了。

五千字五块钱,十个字一分钱,这就是艺术在市场上的价格。那失望,那虚假,那无耻总浮动在他思想里。在他合拢的眼帘下燃烧着他欠杂货店的$3.85,是几个火一样的数字。他发起抖来,骨头里感到疼痛。腰尤其痛。头也在痛,头顶也在痛,后脑勺也在痛,脑袋里脑髓也在痛,而且似乎在膨胀,而前额则痛得无法忍受。额头下、眼皮里总是那个无情的数字:$3.85。他张开眼想躲避,屋里白亮的光似乎烧灼着眼球,逼得他闭上了眼。可一闭上眼那数字$3.85又逼到了他面前。

五千字五块钱,十个字一分钱——那特别的念头在他的脑子里扎下根来,再也摆脱不了,跟摆脱不了眼帘下那个$3.85一样。那数字似乎有了变化,他好奇地望了望,在那儿燃烧的已是$2.00了。啊,他想起来了,那是面包店的帐.接下来出现的数字是$2.5那.那数字叫他迷惑,他使劲地想,仿佛是个生死攸关的问题。他欠了别人两块五,肯定没错,可欠了谁的呢?这已是那威严的、恶意的宇宙给他的任务。他在他心灵的无尽的走廊里信步走着,打开了各式各样堆满破烂的房屋,其中满是七零八碎的知识和记忆,寻求着答案,却无结果。过了好多个世纪,那答案出来了,却并不费力,原来是玛利亚。他这才如释重负,让灵魂转到眼皮底下的痛苦的屏幕前。问题解决了;他现在可以休息了。可是不,那$2.50又淡了开去,出现了一个$8.00。那又是谁的帐呢?他还得在心灵的凄凉的路上重新走一遍,把它找出来。

他不知道自己找了多久,只是似乎在很久很久之后被敲门声惊醒了。玛利亚在问他是不是病了。他含含糊糊地说他山不清楚,他只是睡了个午觉。等他注意到屋里已经黑了下来,才吃了一惊。他接信时是下午两点。他明白自己病了。

然后$8.00又在他的眼帘下微微燃烧,他又被迫回去寻找。但是他狡猾起来了。他刚才太傻,他其实不必要在心灵里去转悠。他拉动一根杠杆,让心灵绕着自己转了起来。那是一个硕大无朋的命运之轮,一个记忆的旋转木马,一个智慧的滚动圆球。他越转越快,卷进了旋涡,被急旋着扔进了一片漆黑的混饨。

他飘飘然发现自己已在一个热轧滚筒旁,正在往滚筒里喂袖口。喂看喂着发现袖口上印着数字。他以为那是给衣服做记号的新办法,可仔细一看,却在一个袖口上认出了$3.85。这才想起那是杂货店的发票。见他的发票都在热轧滚筒上飞速地旋转,他产生了一个巧妙的念头:把发票全扔到地板上,便可以逃避计帐。刚这么一想地便干了起来。他把袖口轻蔑地揉成一团团,扔到极其肮脏的地位上。袖口越堆越高,虽然每一张发票都变成了一千份,他却只看到他欠玛利亚的那张。那就是说玛利亚无法催他还债了。于是他慷慨决定只还玛利亚的债。他到扔出的大堆袖日里去寻找玛利亚的发票。他拼命地找呀找呀,找了不知多少年,正在找时那荷兰胜经理送来了,脸上气得发出白炽的光,大喊大叫,叫得惊天动地。“我要从你们的工资里扣掉袖口钱!”这时袖口已经堆成了一座山。马丁明白他已注定要做一千年苦工才能还完债了。完了,没有办法了,只有杀了经理,放把火烧掉洗衣间。但是那肥胖的荷兰人却打败了他。那荷兰人一把抓住了他的脖颈,把他上上下下地晃动起来,让他在熨衣台上晃,在炉子上晃,在热轧滚筒上晃,晃到外面的洗衣间里,晃到绞干机和洗衣机上。直晃得他牙齿答答地响,脑袋生疼。他没想到那荷兰胖子竟有这么大的力气。

然后他发现自己来到了热轧滚筒面前。这一回是在接袖口,一个杂志编辑在另一面喂。每一张袖口都是一张支票,马丁怀着急切的希望检查着。可全是空白支票。他站在那儿收着空白支票,大约收了一百万年,一张也不让错过,怕漏掉签了字的。他终于找到了。他用颤抖的手指拿起那支票对着光。是五块钱的支票。“哈!哈!”编辑隔着热轧滚筒大笑起来。“哼,我要杀了你,”马丁叫道。他走了出去,到洗衣房去取斧头,却看见乔在给手稿上浆。他想叫他住手,挥起斧头向地砍去。可是那武器却在半空中停住动不了了,因为马丁已发现自己在一场暴风雪中回到了熨烫车间。不,那飘落的不是雪花,而是大额支票。最小的也不少于一千元。他开始收集支票整理起来,把一百张合成一扎,一扎扎用绳捆牢。

他捆着捆着抬头一看,看见乔站在他面前像玩杂技一样抛掷着熨今。上了浆的衬衫、和稿子,还不时伸手加一扎支票到飞旋的行列中去。那些东西穿出房顶,飞成一个极大的圆圈消失了。马丁向乔一斧砍去,却叫他夺走了斧头,也扔进了飞旋的行列。他又抓住马丁也扔了上去。马丁穿出房顶去抓稿件,落下时手里已拖了一大抱。可他刚一落下又飞了起来,然后便一次二次无数次地随着圆圈飞旋。他听见一个尖细的重声在歌唱:“带我跳华尔兹吧,威利,一圈一圈又一圈地跳呀。”

他在支票、熨好的衬衫和稿件的银河里找到了斧头,打算下去杀掉乔。可是他并没有下去。倒是玛利亚在凌晨两点隔着板壁听见了他的呻吟,走进了他的房间,用热熨斗在他身上做起了热敷,又用湿布贴在了他疼痛的眼睛上。
您是否对这篇资料想说点什么?欢迎评论或者纠错,或者提交填空题答案! 您也可以立即
马丁·伊登
高瞻远瞩
放眼全球
推荐资源
最新社区精华帖子更多>>
  • 走遍美国教学版
    走遍美国教学版
  • 哈利学前班[英语儿歌]
    哈利学前班[英语儿歌]
  • 海绵宝宝 英文版
    海绵宝宝 英文版
  • 风中的女王第1季
    风中的女王第1季
经典学习方法更多>>
文章资料目录导航
经典名著 四六级考试 IELTS雅思 听说读写能力 在线语法词典 行业英语一 行业英语二 生活英语 轻松英语 专题英语
双城记 宝岛
战争与和平
悲惨的世界
傲慢与偏见
读圣经学英语
八十天环游地球
考试动态
学习资料
历年真题
模拟试题
心得技巧
学习方法经验
考试动态
考试介绍
考试辅导
历年真题
模拟试题
心得技巧
英语听力
英语口语
英语阅读
英语写作
英语翻译
英语词汇
名词 冠词数词
动词 动名词
代词 形容词
情态 独立主格
倒装 主谓一致
连词 虚拟语气
职场英语
外贸英语
商务英语
银行英语
文化英语
体育英语
房地产英语
会计英语
金融证券
医疗英语
计算机英语
公务员英语
实用英语
电话英语
旅游英语
购物英语
市民英语
宾馆英语
好文共赏
英语文库
名人演说
小说寓言
谚语名言绕口令
笑话幽默 诗歌
笨霖笔记
CNN英语魏
实用九句
双语阅读
发音讲解
分类词汇

免责声明:本站只提供资源播放平台,如果站内部分资源侵犯您的权益,请您告知,我们会立即处理。
Copyright © 2010-2017 大耳朵英语  京ICP备10010568号 | 京公网安备 11010802020324号

微信扫一扫手机学英语 关闭
微博扫一扫手机学英语 关闭
QQ扫一扫手机学英语 关闭
0.167983s