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第024章 秘密洞窟

本文属阅读资料
The Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 24 The Secret Cave



THE SUN had nearly reached the meridian, and his scorching rays fell full on the rocks, which seemed themselves sensible of the heat. Thousands of grasshoppers, hidden in the bushes, chirped with a monotonous and dull note; the leaves of the myrtle and olive trees waved and rustled in the wind. At every step that Edmond took he disturbed the lizards glittering with the hues of the emerald; afar off he saw the wild goats bounding from crag to crag. In a word, the island was inhabited, yet Edmond felt himself alone, guided by the hand of God. He felt an indescribable sensation somewhat akin to dread--that dread of the daylight which even in the desert makes us fear we are watched and observed. This feeling was so strong that at the moment when Edmond was about to begin his labor, he stopped, laid down his pickaxe, seized his gun, mounted to the summit of the highest rock, and from thence gazed round in every direction.

But it was not upon Corsica, the very houses of which he could distinguish; or on Sardinia; or on the Island of Elba, with its historical associations; or upon the almost imperceptible line that to the experienced eye of a sailor alone revealed the coast of Genoa the proud, and Leghorn the commercial, that he gazed. It was at the brigantine that had left in the morning, and the tartan that had just set sail, that Edmond fixed his eyes. The first was just disappearing in the straits of Bonifacio; the other, following an opposite direction, was about to round the Island of Corsica. This sight reassured him. He then looked at the objects near him. He saw that he was on the highest point of the island,--a statue on this vast pedestal of granite, nothing human appearing in sight, while the blue ocean beat against the base of the island, and covered it with a fringe of foam. Then he descended with cautious and slow step, for he dreaded lest an accident similar to that he had so adroitly feigned should happen in reality.

Dantès, as we have said, had traced the marks along the rocks, and he had noticed that they led to a small creek. which was hidden like the bath of some ancient nymph. This creek was sufficiently wide at its mouth, and deep in the centre, to admit of the entrance of a small vessel of the lugger class, which would be perfectly concealed from observation.

Then following the clew that, in the hands of the Abbé Faria, had been so skilfully used to guide him through the Daedalian labyrinth of probabilities, he thought that the Cardinal Spada, anxious not to be watched, had entered the creek, concealed his little barque, followed the line marked by the notches in the rock, and at the end of it had buried his treasure. It was this idea that had brought Dantès back to the circular rock. One thing only perplexed Edmond, and destroyed his theory. How could this rock, which weighed several tons, have been lifted to this spot, without the aid of many men? Suddenly an idea flashed across his mind. Instead of raising it, thought he, they have lowered it. And he sprang from the rock in order to inspect the base on which it had formerly stood. He soon perceived that a slope had been formed, and the rock had slid along this until it stopped at the spot it now occupied. A large stone had served as a wedge; flints and pebbles had been inserted around it, so as to conceal the orifice; this species of masonry had been covered with earth, and grass and weeds had grown there, moss had clung to the stones, myrtle-bushes had taken root, and the old rock seemed fixed to the earth.

Dantès dug away the earth carefully, and detected, or fancied he detected, the ingenious artifice. He attacked this wall, cemented by the hand of time, with his pickaxe. After ten minutes' labor the wall gave way, and a hole large enough to insert the arm was opened. Dantès went and cut the strongest olive-tree he could find, stripped off its branches, inserted it in the hole, and used it as a lever. But the rock was too heavy, and too firmly wedged, to be moved by any one man, were he Hercules himself. Dantès saw that he must attack the wedge. But how? He cast his eyes around, and saw the horn full of powder which his friend Jacopo had left him. He smiled; the infernal invention would serve him for this purpose. With the aid of his pickaxe, Dantès, after the manner of a labor-saving pioneer, dug a mine between the upper rock and the one that supported it, filled it with powder, then made a match by rolling his handkerchief in saltpetre. He lighted it and retired. The explosion soon followed; the upper rock was lifted from its base by the terrific force of the powder; the lower one flew into pieces; thousands of insects escaped from the aperture Dantès had previously formed, and a huge snake, like the guardian demon of the treasure, rolled himself along in darkening coils, and disappeared.

Dantès approached the upper rock, which now, without any support, leaned towards the sea. The intrepid treasure-seeker walked round it, and, selecting the spot from whence it appeared most susceptible to attack, placed his lever in one of the crevices, and strained every nerve to move the mass. The rock, already shaken by the explosion, tottered on its base. Dantès redoubled his efforts; he seemed like one of the ancient Titans, who uprooted the mountains to hurl against the father of the gods. The rock yielded, rolled over, bounded from point to point, and finally disappeared in the ocean.

On the spot it had occupied was a circular space, exposing an iron ring let into a square flag-stone. Dantès uttered a cry of joy and surprise; never had a first attempt been crowned with more perfect success. He would fain have continued, but his knees trembled, and his heart beat so violently, and his sight became so dim, that he was forced to pause. This feeling lasted but for a moment. Edmond inserted his lever in the ring and exerted all his strength; the flag-stone yielded, and disclosed steps that descended until they were lost in the obscurity of a subterraneous grotto. Any one else would have rushed on with a cry of joy. Dantès turned pale, hesitated, and reflected. "Come," said he to himself, "be a man. I am accustomed to adversity. I must not be cast down by the discovery that I have been deceived. What, then, would be the use of all I have suffered? The heart breaks when, after having been elated by flattering hopes, it sees all its illusions destroyed. Faria has dreamed this; the Cardinal Spada buried no treasure here; perhaps he never came here, or if he did, C?sar Borgia, the intrepid adventurer, the stealthy and indefatigable plunderer, has followed him, discovered his traces, pursued them as I have done, raised the stone, and descending before me, has left me nothing." He remained motionless and pensive, his eyes fixed on the gloomy aperture that was open at his feet.

"Now that I expect nothing, now that I no longer entertain the slightest hopes, the end of this adventure becomes simply a matter of curiosity." And he remained again motionless and thoughtful.

"Yes, yes; this is an adventure worthy a place in the varied career of that royal bandit. This fabulous event formed but a link in a long chain of marvels. Yes, Borgia has been here, a torch in one band, a sword in the other, and within twenty paces, at the foot of this rock, perhaps two guards kept watch on land and sea, while their master descended, as I am about to descend, dispelling the darkness before his awe-inspiring progress."

"But what was the fate of the guards who thus possessed his secret?" asked Dantès of himself.

"The fate," replied he, smiling, "of those who buried Alaric."

"Yet, had he come," thought Dantès, "he would have found the treasure, and Borgia, he who compared Italy to an artichoke, which he could devour leaf by leaf, knew too well the value of time to waste it in replacing this rock. I will go down."

Then he descended, a smile on his lips, and murmuring that last word of human philosophy, "Perhaps!" But instead of the darkness, and the thick and mephitic atmosphere he had expected to find, Dantès saw a dim and bluish light, which, as well as the air, entered, not merely by the aperture he had just formed, but by the interstices and crevices of the rock which were visible from without, and through which he could distinguish the blue sky and the waving branches of the evergreen oaks, and the tendrils of the creepers that grew from the rocks. After having stood a few minutes in the cavern, the atmosphere of which was rather warm than damp, Dantès' eye, habituated as it was to darkness, could pierce even to the remotest angles of the cavern, which was of granite that sparkled like diamonds. "Alas," said Edmond, smiling, "these are the treasures the cardinal has left; and the good abbé, seeing in a dream these glittering walls, has indulged in fallacious hopes."

But he called to mind the words of the will, which he knew by heart. "In the farthest angle of the second opening," said the cardinal's will. He had only found the first grotto; he had now to seek the second. Dantès continued his search. He reflected that this second grotto must penetrate deeper into the island; he examined the stones, and sounded one part of the wall where he fancied the opening existed, masked for precaution's sake. The pickaxe struck for a moment with a dull sound that drew out of Dantès' forehead large drops of perspiration. At last it seemed to him that one part of the wall gave forth a more hollow and deeper echo; he eagerly advanced, and with the quickness of perception that no one but a prisoner possesses, saw that there, in all probability, the opening must be.

However, he, like C?sar Borgia, knew the value of time; and, in order to avoid fruitless toil, he sounded all the other walls with his pickaxe, struck the earth with the butt of his gun, and finding nothing that appeared suspicious, returned to that part of the wall whence issued the consoling sound he had before heard. He again struck it, and with greater force. Then a singular thing occurred. As he struck the wall, pieces of stucco similar to that used in the ground work of arabesques broke off, and fell to the ground in flakes, exposing a large white stone. The aperture of the rock had been closed with stones, then this stucco had been applied, and painted to imitate granite. Dantès struck with the sharp end of his pickaxe, which entered someway between the interstices. It was there he must dig. But by some strange play of emotion, in proportion as the proofs that Faria, had not been deceived became stronger, so did his heart give way, and a feeling of discouragement stole over him. This last proof, instead of giving him fresh strength, deprived him of it; the pickaxe descended, or rather fell; he placed it on the ground, passed his hand over his brow, and remounted the stairs, alleging to himself, as an excuse, a desire to be assured that no one was watching him, but in reality because he felt that he was about to faint. The island was deserted, and the sun seemed to cover it with its fiery glance; afar off, a few small fishing boats studded the bosom of the blue ocean.

Dantès had tasted nothing, but he thought not of hunger at such a moment; he hastily swallowed a few drops of rum, and again entered the cavern. The pickaxe that had seemed so heavy, was now like a feather in his grasp; he seized it, and attacked the wall. After several blows he perceived that the stones were not cemented, but had been merely placed one upon the other, and covered with stucco; he inserted the point of his pickaxe, and using the handle as a lever, with joy soon saw the stone turn as if on hinges, and fall at his feet. He had nothing more to do now, but with the iron tooth of the pickaxe to draw the stones towards him one by one. The aperture was already sufficiently large for him to enter, but by waiting, he could still cling to hope, and retard the certainty of deception. At last, after renewed hesitation, Dantès entered the second grotto. The second grotto was lower and more gloomy than the first; the air that could only enter by the newly formed opening had the mephitic smell Dantès was surprised not to find in the outer cavern. He waited in order to allow pure air to displace the foul atmosphere, and then went on. At the left of the opening was a dark and deep angle. But to Dantès' eye there was no darkness. He glanced around this second grotto; it was, like the first, empty.

The treasure, if it existed, was buried in this corner. The time had at length arrived; two feet of earth removed, and Dantès' fate would be decided. He advanced towards the angle, and summoning all his resolution, attacked the ground with the pickaxe. At the fifth or sixth blow the pickaxe struck against an iron substance. Never did funeral knell, never did alarm-bell, produce a greater effect on the hearer. Had Dantès found nothing he could not have become more ghastly pale. He again struck his pickaxe into the earth, and encountered the same resistance, but not the same sound. "It is a casket of wood bound with iron," thought he. At this moment a shadow passed rapidly before the opening; Dantès seized his gun, sprang through the opening, and mounted the stair. A wild goat had passed before the mouth of the cave, and was feeding at a little distance. This would have been a favorable occasion to secure his dinner; but Dantès feared lest the report of his gun should attract attention.

He thought a moment, cut a branch of a resinous tree, lighted it at the fire at which the smugglers had prepared their breakfast, and descended with this torch. He wished to see everything. He approached the hole he had dug. and now, with the aid of the torch, saw that his pickaxe had in reality struck against iron and wood. He planted his torch in the ground and resumed his labor. In an instant a space three feet long by two feet broad was cleared, and Dantès could see an oaken coffer, bound with cut steel; in the middle of the lid he saw engraved on a silver plate, which was still untarnished, the arms of the Spada family--viz., a sword, pale, on an oval shield, like all the Italian armorial bearings, and surmounted by a cardinal's hat; Dantès easily recognized them, Faria had so often drawn them for him. There was no longer any doubt: the treasure was there--no one would have been at such pains to conceal an empty casket. In an instant he had cleared every obstacle away, and he saw successively the lock, placed between two padlocks, and the two handles at each end, all carved as things were carved at that epoch, when art rendered the commonest metals precious. Dantès seized the handles, and strove to lift the coffer; it was impossible. He sought to open it; lock and padlock were fastened; these faithful guardians seemed unwilling to surrender their trust. Dantès inserted the sharp end of the pickaxe between the coffer and the lid, and pressing with all his force on the handle, burst open the fastenings. The hinges yielded in their turn and fell, still holding in their grasp fragments of the wood, and the chest was open.

Edmond was seized with vertigo; he cocked his gun and laid it beside him. He then closed his eyes as children do in order that they may see in the resplendent night of their own imagination more stars than are visible in the firmament; then he re-opened them, and stood motionless with amazement. Three compartments divided the coffer. In the first, blazed piles of golden coin; in the second, were ranged bars of unpolished gold, which possessed nothing attractive save their value; in the third, Edmond grasped handfuls of diamonds, pearls, and rubies, which, as they fell on one another, sounded like hail against glass. After having touched, felt, examined these treasures, Edmond rushed through the caverns like a man seized with frenzy; he leaped on a rock, from whence he could behold the sea. He was alone--alone with these countless, these unheard-of treasures! was he awake, or was it but a dream?

He would fain have gazed upon his gold, and yet he had not strength enough; for an instant he leaned his head in his hands as if to prevent his senses from leaving him, and then rushed madly about the rocks of Monte Cristo, terrifying the wild goats and scaring the sea-fowls with his wild cries and gestures; then he returned, and, still unable to believe the evidence of his senses, rushed into the grotto, and found himself before this mine of gold and jewels. This time he fell on his knees, and, clasping his hands convulsively, uttered a prayer intelligible to God alone. He soon became calmer and more happy, for only now did he begin to realize his felicity. He then set himself to work to count his fortune. There were a thousand ingots of gold, each weighing from two to three pounds; then he piled up twenty-five thousand crowns, each worth about eighty francs of our money, and bearing the effigies of Alexander VI. and his predecessors; and he saw that the complement was not half empty. And he measured ten double handfuls of pearls, diamonds, and other gems, many of which, mounted by the most famous workmen, were valuable beyond their intrinsic worth. Dantès saw the light gradually disappear, and fearing to be surprised in the cavern, left it, his gun in his hand. A piece of biscuit and a small quantity of rum formed his supper, and he snatched a few hours' sleep, lying over the mouth of the cave.

It was a night of joy and terror, such as this man of stupendous emotions had already experienced twice or thrice in his lifetime.



基督山伯爵

第二十四章 秘密洞窟



太阳差不多已升到半空了,它那灼人的光芒直射到岩石上,岩石似乎也受不了那样的热度。成千只知了躲在草丛里,吱呀吱呀地叫个不停,那叫声很单调。杏桃木和橄榄树的叶子在风中摆动,索索作响。爱德蒙每走一步,总要惊跑几只象绿宝石一样闪闪发光的蜥蜴。他看到野山羊在远处的岩上跳来跳去。总之,这个小岛上的确是有生灵居住的,可爱德蒙却觉得他自己是孤独的,只有上帝的手在引导着他。他有一种说不出感觉,有点近乎恐怖,那是一种在光天化日之下,即使在沙漠里我们也怕被人看到的恐怖。这种情绪是这样的强烈,以致于当爱德蒙快要开始工作的时候,又放下了他的鹤嘴锄,抓起了枪,爬到了最高的一块岩石顶上,从那儿向四下里观望了一下。

他所注视的地方,既不是那房屋隐约可辨的科西嘉岛,也不是撒丁岛,也不是那富有历史意义的厄尔巴岛,也不是延伸到无际的那一条隐隐约约的线条,只有水手老练的目光才能知道它是壮丽的热那亚和商业繁荣的里窝那。爱德蒙的眼睛所盯住的,是那艘清晨时动身的双桅船,和刚才开出去的那艘独桅船。前者刚刚消失在博尼法乔海峡里,后者所取的方向却正好相反,已快要经过科西嘉岛了。这一望使他放了心。他又望望自己附近的目标。看到自己正站在小岛的至高点上,就像这座巨大的花岗石台座上的一尊塑像,视野所及之处,渺无人迹,只有蓝色的天海拍击着小岛海岸,给小岛镶上了一圈白沫所组成的花边。他小心翼翼地慢步下来,深怕他假装出来的那种意外会真的发生。

我们上文说过,唐太斯曾从大岩石那个地方出发,顺着记号往回走的。他发现,这些记号通到一条小溪,而这条小溪隐蔽的通向一个小湾,它象古代神话里管山林水泽女神的浴池。

小湾的中部很深,开口处很宽,足以容纳一艘斯比罗娜[古代的一种简易平底小船]的小帆船藏在里面,外面望来是完全看不到的。

唐太斯根据法里亚神甫嘱咐他的方法认真推敲手中的线索,他想,红衣主教斯帕达,为了不让别人发现他的行动,曾到过这个小湾,把他的小帆船藏在里面,然后从山峡中循着留记号的这条小径走,在小径尽头的大岩石处埋下了他的宝藏。这样一想,唐太斯就又回到了那块圆形大岩石那儿。只有一件事与爱德蒙的推理不合,使他感到很迷惑。这块大石头重达数吨,假如没有许多人一起用力,怎么能把它抬到这个地方上去呢?突然间一个想法闪过了他的脑子。“不是抬上来的,”他想道,“是把它推下来的。”他连蹦带跳的离开岩石,想找出它原先所在的位置。他很快就发现了一道斜坡,岩石正是顺着这条斜坡滑下来,一直滚到它现在所在的位置。圆形的大岩石旁边,还有一块大石头,这块大石头以前一定是用来顶住大圆石的滚势而做垫石的,岩石四周塞了许多石片和鹅卵石来掩饰洞口,周围又盖上了些泥土,野草从泥土里长了出来,苔藓布满了石面,香桃木也在那里生了根,于是那块大石就象是根深蒂固地长在地面上的一样了。

唐太斯小心地扒开泥土,看出了或他自以为看出了这个巧妙的人间杰作。他用他的鹤嘴锄开始去刨这道被时间风化了的墙。在十分钟的劳动之后,这道墙屈服了,露出一个可以伸进一条手臂的洞口,唐太斯砍断了一棵他所能找到的最结实的橄榄树,削丫枝,插入洞里,把它当撬棒用。但那块岩石实在太重了,而且顶得非常结实,一个人的力量是无论如何也搬不动的。就是大力士赫拉克里斯来也是不行的。唐太斯知道他必须先想法搬开那块作为楔子的大石头。可怎么个搬法呢?

他向四周看了看,看到了他的朋友雅格布留给他的那—满满的山羊角火药。他笑了。这一魔鬼的发明可以助他达到目的了。唐太斯拿起鹤嘴锄,在大圆石和那块顶住它的大石头之间挖了一个如同工兵开路时想节省人力的坑沿,里面填满火药,然后用他的手帕卷了一点硝石作导火线,点燃导火线,赶快退开。爆炸声立刻随之而起。在圆石被火药的巨力一震,底部立刻松动了,下面的那块垫石碎成了片,四散乱飞,一大堆小昆虫从唐太斯先前所挖成的洞口里逃了出来,一条象是保护宝藏的大蛇,游动着窜了出来,一会儿就不见了。

这时唐太斯走近那块大圆石,它现在已失去了支撑物,斜临着大海。这位勇敢的探宝者绕着大石转了一圈,选了一处似乎最容易进攻的地方,把他的撬棒插入一道裂缝,用尽了全力来撬那块大石头。大石被火药震过以后,本来就已松动,这时更是摇摇欲坠。唐太斯加倍用力。他就象古代拔山抗山神的提旦的子孙。巨石终于让步,滚动了,连翻着跟斗,最后消失在大海里了。

在大石所呆的地方出现了一个圆形的空间,中间有一块四方形的石板,上面有一个铁环。唐太斯又惊又喜的大叫了一声,想不到第一次尝试就取得了这样圆满的成功。他很想继续干下去,但他的两条腿直发抖,他的心也跳得很厉害,他的眼睛也有些模糊了,因此他不得不暂时停下来,这种感觉只停留了一会儿。爱德蒙把他的撬棒插进铁环里,用尽全力一撬,大石板掀开了,露出了一个地下岩洞,洞口有象楼梯似的石级,一直向下延伸而去,直至消失在黑暗里。如果换了别人,此时一定会高兴地大喊一声,向洞里冲去的。但唐太斯却脸色苍白,站在洞口迟疑不决,现出深思的样子。“嗨,”他对自己说,“我是一个男子汉大丈夫。不走运对我来说已是常事,我绝对不能被失望所压倒。不然,我岂不是白吃了那么多的苦?法里亚只是做了一个梦。红衣主教斯帕达并没在这儿埋什么宝藏。

或许他根本就没到这儿来过。即使他来过,凯撒·布琪亚,那个大胆的冒险家,那个不知疲倦,心狠手辣的强盗,一定也曾跟踪来过这里,发现了他的踪迹,象我一样循着这些记号来到了这里,也象我一样的撬起了这块石头,然后跑下洞去,他在我之前就已来过了,所以什么也没留给我了。”他依旧木然地站着,眼睛盯住他脚下那个幽暗的洞口,又说道,“我现在不想得到任何东西,我已对自己说过,要是对这件事还抱有任何希望,那实在是太蠢了,这次冒险只是出于好奇而已。”他依旧一动不动地站着,露出沉思的样子。

“是的,是的,这样一次冒险是该在这位强盗国王一生的善恶大事中占有一席之地的。这件事看来尽管似乎荒诞无稽,但线索极多。是的,布琪亚曾来过这儿,一手举着火把,一手拿着剑,在二十步之内,或许就在这块岩石脚下,曾有两个卫兵守望着陆地和海上,而他们的主人就象我呆会儿要做的那样下到洞里,驱着黑暗冒险前进。”

“既然两个卫兵知道了他的秘密,他们的命运又怎样了呢?”唐太斯自问道。“他们的命运,”他微笑着说道,“就象那些埋藏阿拉列[阿拉列是古代西哥特人的国王。他死后,怕别人侵犯他的坟墓,所以把墓地设在河床下。]的人一样,同样被埋葬了。”

“可是,假若他来过的话,”唐太斯又想道,“他一定找到了那宝藏。而布琪亚,既然他把意大利比作一棵卷心菜,想一片一片地把它剥来吃掉,肯定对时间的价值是知道得很清楚的,他是不会再去费时间把这块大石重新安放在原处的,我还是下去吧。”

于是,他嘴角挂着半信半疑的微笑,走进了洞里,嘴里喃喃地说着人生哲学最后的两个字——“也许!”,唐太斯本来以为洞里一定很黑暗,空气中一定带着浓重的腐臭味,但到了里面,他却看到一片浅蓝色的昏暗的光线,这种光线,象空气一样,并非只是从他刚才挖开的洞口那儿射来的,是从岩石的裂缝里穿进来。这些在洞外是看不到的,但到了洞里,却可以透过它们看到那蔚蓝的天空,看到那些长在石缝里的常春藤,卷须蔓和野草的枝叶。唐太斯在洞里站了几分钟,里面的空气并不潮湿,反倒很温暖,他的眼睛早已适应了在黑暗中看东西,所以即使是岩洞里最深的角落他也可以看得到。岩洞是由花岗石构成的,四壁生辉,就象钻石构成的。“唉!”爱德蒙微笑着说,“这不就是红衣主教留下的宝藏嘛!那位善良的神甫在梦中见到了这些闪闪发光的墙壁,就异想天开地妄想起来。”

可他又想起了那遗嘱上的话,那些话他早已熟记在心里。

红衣主教在遗嘱中说:“在第二个洞口之最深角。”他只找到了第一个洞口。现在得把第二个也找出来。唐太斯开始他的搜寻。他心想,这第二个洞口自然应该在岛的纵深处,而且为了预防被人发觉,自然也是很隐蔽的。他仔细在石块间察看着,看到有一面洞壁象是洞口,就敲敲听一下声音。鹤嘴锄最初敲上去时只发出了一声沉重浑浊的声音,那种声音使唐太斯的前额挂满了大滴的冷汗。最后,他觉得有一处洞壁似乎发出了一种较空洞和较深沉的回声,就赶紧把目光盯上去,凭着一个囚犯所特有的那种敏捷的观察力,他看出洞口很可能就在这里。

但是,象布琪亚一样,他也知道时间的价值。为了避免做无用之功,他又用他的鹤嘴锄敲遍了其他各面的洞壁,用他的枪托敲遍了地面,直至发觉似乎没有什么可疑的地方了,才又回到了刚才他听到发出那种使人兴奋的声音的那一处洞壁前面。他又敲了一下,这一次用力较大。于是奇迹出现了。洞壁上掉下来一块象阿拉伯式雕刻衬底用的那种涂料,跌在地上碎成了片片,露出了一块白色的大石块来。这个洞口是用花岗石那样的石块封起来的。象在上面抹了一层色彩透明的涂料。

唐太斯用鹤嘴锄尖利的一头敲上去,尖头嵌入了石缝。他必须在这个地方挖进去。但由于人体机能上某种奇怪的现象,唐太斯越是看到眼前这些事实,证实了法里亚神甫的话,他越是不觉得定心,越来越感到无力、沮丧,几乎失去了勇气。这新的进展不但没有使他增加新的力量,而且把他原有的力量也削弱了。鹤嘴锄落下来的时候,几乎是从他的手里滑下来的。他把它放到地上,用手擦了擦额头,回身跑上石级,虽说是去看看有没有人在窥视他,但实际上是因为他觉得快要昏倒了需要呼吸点新鲜空气。小岛上空无一人,火一样的骄阳照射着全岛,远处有几艘小渔船点缀在蓝色的海面上。

唐太斯还没吃过一点东西,但此时,他并没觉得饿;他匆忙地喝了几口朗姆酒,便又回到了洞里。鹤嘴锄刚才似乎那样沉重,现在抓到他手里却已象一根鹅毛一般,他又拿它开始挖起来,几锄下去他发觉石块并没有砌死,只是一块一块的叠着,在外面抹上了一层涂料而已。他把鹤嘴锄的尖头插进去,用它的柄当撬棒用,不久就很高兴的看到那块石头开始转动了,并落在了他的脚下。现在他只要用鹤嘴锄的铁齿把石头一块一块的勾到身边来就得了。最初出现的洞口已足可容纳一个人进去但多等一会儿,他就可以多抱一会儿希望,迟一会儿证实自己是被欺骗了。终于,在略微迟疑了一下以后,唐太斯进入了第二个洞窟。这第二个洞窟的地势较第一个洞窟的低,光线也较阴暗,空气因为只能从新开的洞口进来,所以带有一股腐臭气味,这正是在第一洞窟中所没有而使唐太斯感到诧异的。他出来等了一会儿,让里面的空气换一下气,然后再进去。在洞口的左面,有一个又黑又深的角落。但对唐太斯的眼睛来说是没有黑暗可言的。他环视了一下这第二个洞窟,它象第一个一样,也是空空的一无所有。

宝藏如果的确存在的话,它一定是埋在那个黑暗的角落里。令人激动的时刻终于来到了,只要挖开两尺土,唐太斯的命运就可以决定了。他向那个角落走去好象突然下了一个很大的决心似的,用鹤嘴锄猛击地面。掘到第五下或是第六下时,鹤嘴锄碰到了一样铁东西。这一个声音在听者耳中所产生的效力,简直比丧钟或警钟更为厉害。假如唐太斯发掘的结果是一无所得,他的脸色恐怕也不会比现在更惨白。他再把鹤嘴锄敲下去遇到了同样的抗拒力,但却是不同的声音,他想:“这是一只包了铁皮的木箱子。”正在这时,一个影子掠过了洞口,唐太斯抓起枪,窜出洞口,奔上石级。原来是一只野山羊奔过了岩石,下在不远处吃草。他如果想得到一顿午餐,这本来是一个很好的机会的,但唐太斯深怕他的枪声会引起注意。

他想了一下,砍下一条多脂的树枝,在走私贩子们准备早餐的火堆上点燃了它,然后举着这支火把又下到洞里。他希望把一切都看清楚。他举着火把走近他刚才挖成的洞的前面,看到鹤嘴锄的确掘到了铁皮和木头。他把火把插在地上,重新开始了工作。一霎时,挖开了一块三尺长两尺宽的地面,唐太斯看到了一只橡木钱柜,外面包着一层已被挖破了的铁皮。在箱盖的中央,他看到镶着一块银片,尚未失去光泽,上面雕刻着斯帕达家族的武器,即一面椭圆形的盾牌,样子和意大利一般武器的式样差不多,上面插着一把宝剑,在剑和盾之上则是一顶红衣主教的帽子。唐太斯一眼就认出来了,因为法里亚以前曾常常画给他看。现在再没什么可怀疑的了,宝藏就在这儿,谁也不会这样费心费力的来埋藏一只空箱子的。一眨眼的功夫,他就清除了箱子上的杂物,看到在两把挂锁之间,稳稳地扣着一把大锁,箱子的两头各有一只提环,所有这些东西上面都有那个时代的雕刻。那个时代,艺术可以使最平凡的金属品变成宝物。唐太斯抓住两个提环,想用力把银柜提起来,但是提不动。他想打开它,但大锁和挂锁都扣得很紧,这些忠实的守卫者似乎不情愿交出它们的宝藏。唐太斯用鹤嘴锄尖利的一头插入箱盖缝里,用尽全力想把它们撬开。这一次只听箱盖一声响,木箱打开了,铁包皮也碎裂了,掉了下来,但仍紧紧地连在箱板上,木箱被完全打开了。

唐太斯顿觉一阵头晕目眩,他扣上枪机,把它放在身边。

起初他闭上眼睛,象小孩子一样,在星光皎洁的夜晚合目瞑想,想在他们自己的想象中看到比天上更多的星星,然后他又睁开眼睛,惊奇地站着。那只钱柜分成了三格。在每格里,闪耀着成堆的金币;在第二格里,排放着不曾磨光的金块,除了它们的价值以外,倒也没什么吸引人的地方;在第三格里,爱德蒙抓起成把的钻石,珍珠和红宝石,它们落下来的时候互相撞击着,发出象冰雹打在玻璃上那样的声音。他摸过,嗅过,详细察看过这些宝物以后,象一个突然发疯的人似的冲出洞外,跳到一块可以看到大海的岩石上。确实只有他一个人,只有他一个人伴随着这些连听都没听说过,数都数不清的宝物!他究竟是醒着呢,还是在做一场梦?

他本来很想老盯着他的金子,但他的精力支持不住了。他把头伏在手里,象是要防止失去理智似的。这样过了一会儿,他突然在基督山岛上的岩石间狂奔起来,他那种野性的喊叫声和疯狂的动作惊起了海鸟,吓坏了野山羊,然后他又返回来,心里仍然不敢相信自己刚才所看到的一切,他又再次冲进洞里,发觉自己的确是站在这些黄金和珠宝面前。这次,他跪了下来,作了一个只有上帝知道的祷告。一会儿他觉得自己平静了一些,也比较快乐了一些,因为直到现在他才开始相信自己的福分。于是他开始计算起他的财产来。金条共有一千块,每块重两磅至三磅,接着他堆起了二万五千个金艾居,每个艾居约值我们的钱八十法郎,上面刻有亚历山大六世和他以前的历代教皇的肖像,而他看到那一格只掏空了一半。然后他又捧了捧宝石,其中有许多是当时最有名的匠人镶嵌的,且不说其内在的价值,单是那种艺术化的嵌工就已非常名贵了。唐太斯看到光线渐渐幽暗了下来,担心继续留在洞里会被发现,就拿着枪走了出来。一片饼干和几口朗姆酒成了他的晚餐,他在洞口边上躺下来,睡了几小时。

这一夜是甜密的一夜,也是恐怖的一夜,正如这个感情强烈的人在过去的生活中已经经历过的那两三夜一样。
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