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admonitory/[əd'mɔnitəri]/ a. 警告的, 劝告的, 训诫的...

第042章 贝尔图乔先生

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 42 Monsieur Bertuccio



MEANWHILE the count had arrived at his house; it had taken him six minutes to perform the distance, but these six minutes were sufficient to induce twenty young men who knew the price of the equipage they had been unable to purchase themselves, to put their horses in a gallop in order to see the rich foreigner who could afford to give 20,000 francs apiece for his horses. The house Ali had chosen, and which was to serve as a town residence to Monte Cristo, was situated on the right hand as you ascend the Champs Elysées. A thick clump of trees and shrubs rose in the centre, and masked a portion of the front; around this shrubbery two alleys, like two arms, extended right and left, and formed a carriage-drive from the iron gates to a double portico, on every step of which stood a porcelain vase. filled with flowers. This house, isolated from the rest, had, besides the main entrance, another in the Rue Ponthieu. Even before the coachman had hailed the concièrge, the massy gates rolled on their hinges--they had seen the Count coming, and at Paris, as everywhere else, he was served with the rapidity of lightning. The coachman entered and traversed the half-circle without slackening his speed, and the gates were closed ere the wheels had ceased to sound on the gravel. The carriage stopped at the left side of the portico, two men presented themselves at the carriage-window; the one was Ali, who, smiling with an expression of the most sincere joy, seemed amply repaid by a mere look from Monte Cristo. The other bowed respectfully, and offered his arm to assist the count in descending. "Thanks, M. Bertuccio," said the count, springing lightly up the three steps of the portico; "and the notary?"

"He is in the small salon, excellency," returned Bertuccio.

"And the cards I ordered to be engraved as soon as you knew the number of the house?"

"Your excellency, it is done already. I have been myself to the best engraver of the Palais Royal, who did the plate in my presence. The first card struck off was taken, according to your orders, to the Baron Danglars, Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin, No. 7; the others are on the mantle-piece of your excellency's bedroom."

"Good; what o'clock is it?"

"Four o'clock." Monte Cristo gave his hat, cane, and gloves to the same French footman who had called his carriage at the Count of Morcerf's, and then he passed into the small salon, preceded by Bertuccio, who showed him the way. "These are but indifferent marbles in this ante-chamber," said Monte Cristo. "I trust all this will soon be taken away." Bertuccio bowed. As the steward had said, the notary awaited him in the small salon. He was a simple-looking lawyer's clerk, elevated to the extraordinary dignity of a provincial scrivener. "You are the notary empowered to sell the country house that I wish to purchase, monsieur?" asked Monte Cristo.

"Yes, count," returned the notary.

"Is the deed of sale ready?"

"Yes, count."

"Have you brought it?"

"Here it is."

"Very well; and where is this house that I purchase?" asked the count carelessly, addressing himself half to Bertuccio, half to the notary. The steward made a gesture that signified, "I do not know." The notary looked at the count with astonishment. "What!" said he, "does not the count know where the house he purchases is situated?"

"No," returned the count.

"The count does not know?"

"How should I know? I have arrived from Cadiz this morning. I have never before been at Paris, and it is the first time I have ever even set my foot in France."

"Ah, that is different; the house you purchase is at Auteuil." At these words Bertuccio turned pale. "And where is Auteuil?" asked the count.

"Close by here, monsieur," replied the notary--"a little beyond Passy; a charming situation, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne."

"So near as that?" said the Count; "but that is not in the country. What made you choose a house at the gates of Paris, M. Bertuccio?"

"I," cried the steward with a strange expression. "His excellency did not charge me to purchase this house. If his excellency will recollect--if he will think"--

"Ah, true," observed Monte Cristo; "I recollect now. I read the advertisement in one of the papers, and was tempted by the false title, 'a country house.'"

"It is not yet too late," cried Bertuccio, eagerly; "and if your excellency will intrust me with the commission, I will find you a better at Enghien, at Fontenay-aux-Roses, or at Bellevue."

"Oh, no," returned Monte Cristo negligently; "since I have this, I will keep it."

"And you are quite right," said the notary, who feared to lose his fee. "It is a charming place, well supplied with spring-water and fine trees; a comfortable habitation, although abandoned for a long time, without reckoning the furniture, which, although old, is yet valuable, now that old things are so much sought after. I suppose the count has the tastes of the day?"

"To be sure," returned Monte Cristo; "it is very convenient, then?"

"It is more--it is magnificent."

"Peste! let us not lose such an opportunity," returned Monte Cristo. "The deed, if you please, Mr. Notary." And he signed it rapidly, after having first run his eye over that part of the deed in which were specified the situation of the house and the names of the proprietors.

"Bertuccio," said he, "give fifty-five thousand francs to monsieur." The steward left the room with a faltering step, and returned with a bundle of bank-notes, which the notary counted like a man who never gives a receipt for money until after he is sure it is all there. "And now," demanded the count, "are all the forms complied with?"

"All, sir."

"Have you the keys?"

"They are in the hands of the concièrge, who takes care of the house, but here is the order I have given him to install the count in his new possessions."

"Very well;" and Monte Cristo made a sign with his hand to the notary, which said, "I have no further need of you; you may go."

"But," observed the honest notary, "the count is, I think, mistaken; it is only fifty thousand francs, everything included."

"And your fee?"

"Is included in this sum."

"But have you not come from Auteuil here?"

"Yes, certainly."

"Well, then, it is but fair that you should be paid for your loss of time and trouble," said the count; and he made a gesture of polite dismissal. The notary left the room backwards, and bowing down to the ground; it was the first time he had ever met a similar client. "See this gentleman out," said the count to Bertuccio. And the steward followed the notary out of the room. Scarcely was the count alone, when he drew from his pocket a book closed with a lock, and opened it with a key which he wore round his neck, and which never left him. After having sought for a few minutes, he stopped at a leaf which had several notes, and compared them with the deed of sale, which lay on the table. "'Auteuil, Rue de la Fontaine, No. 28;' it is indeed the same," said he; "and now, am I to rely upon an avowal extorted by religious or physical terror? However, in an hour I shall know all. Bertuccio!" cried he, striking a light hammer with a pliant handle on a small gong. "Bertuccio!" The steward appeared at the door. "Monsieur Bertuccio," said the count, "did you never tell me that you had travelled in France?"

"In some parts of France--yes, excellency."

"You know the environs of Paris, then?"

"No, excellency, no," returned the steward, with a sort of nervous trembling, which Monte Cristo, a connoisseur in all emotions, rightly attributed to great disquietude.

"It is unfortunate," returned he, "that you have never visited the environs, for I wish to see my new property this evening, and had you gone with me, you could have given me some useful information."

"To Auteuil!" cried Bertuccio, whose copper complexion became livid--"I go to Auteuil?"

"Well, what is there surprising in that? When I live at Auteuil, you must come there, as you belong to my service." Bertuccio hung down his head before the imperious look of his master, and remained motionless, without making any answer. "Why, what has happened to you?--are you going to make me ring a second time for the carriage?" asked Monte Cristo, in the same tone that Louis XIV pronounced the famous, "I have been almost obliged to wait." Bertuccio made but one bound to the ante-chamber, and cried in a hoarse voice--"His excellency's horses!" Monte Cristo wrote two or three notes, and, as he sealed the last, the steward appeared. "Your excellency's carriage is at the door," said he.

"Well, take your hat and gloves," returned Monte Cristo.

"Am I to accompany you, your excellency?" cried Bertuccio.

"Certainly, you must give the orders, for I intend residing at the house." It was unexampled for a servant of the count's to dare to dispute an order of his, so the steward, without saying a word, followed his master, who got into the carriage, and signed to him to follow, which he did, taking his place respectfully on the front seat.

基督山伯爵

第四十二章 贝尔图乔先生



这会儿,伯爵已经到家了。这一段路走了六分钟。但这六分钟时间已足够吸引不下二十个青年人放马疾驰追上来,来一睹这位有钱的外国人,因为他们都晓得这辆马车的价钱,他们自己没能力买,却很想看看究竟是谁能花得起一万法郎买一匹马。阿里所选中的这座房子座落在香榭丽舍大道的右边,这是基督山在城里日常生活的住宅。前院中央一丛茂密的树木,把房屋的正面给遮住了,在树木的两旁,有两条侧径,象两条手臂,一条在左,一条在右,从铁门入口处分手包抄到门廊前面,以便马车通过,门廓的每一级台阶上都摆放着一大瓷盆花。这座房子孤零零的周围没有邻居,除了大门之外,在邦修路上还有一个侧门。车夫还没等喊门房,那两扇笨重的大门就已经打开了,原来他们已看见了伯爵的马车,在巴黎,就象在其他地方一样,他们都是以闪电般的速度来侍奉伯爵。石子路上车轮的声音还没停下来,大门已经关上了。马车在门廊的左边停住,立刻有两个人到车窗前面来迎候。一个是阿里,脸上带着最真诚的愉快的笑容,似乎只要基督山对他看一眼,他就觉得十分满足了。另外那一个则毕恭毕敬地鞠了一躬,然后伸手扶伯爵下车。

“谢谢,贝尔图乔先生,”伯爵说着,一边轻快地跳上了门廊的三个台阶,“那个公证人呢?”

“他在小客厅里,大人。”贝尔图乔回答说。

“还有,我叫你把房子找好以后就马上去印名片。印了吗?”

“伯爵阁下,已经印好了。我亲自到王宫市场去找的那儿最好的刻工,亲自看着他刻版。印出来的第一张名片,就遵照您的吩咐,送到了安顿大马路七号腾格拉尔男爵阁下府上了,其余的都在大人卧室的壁炉架上。”

“很好。现在几点钟了?”

“四点钟。”

基督山把他的帽子,手杖和手套都交给了那个在马尔塞夫伯爵家里招呼马车的法国听差,然后由贝尔图乔在前领路,走进了小客厅里。

“这间前厅里的大理石像太普通了,”基督山说。“我希望不久就可以叫人全部搬走。”

贝尔图乔鞠了一躬。正如这位管家所说的,那个公证人正在小客厅里等候伯爵。他虽然只不过是一个平庸的律师事务所里的职员,但却故意装出一副乡下律师所特有的那种庄严的神气。

“先生,您就是受托把那座乡村别墅卖给我的公证人吗?”基督山问道。

“是的,伯爵阁下。”那公证人回答说。

“契约写好了吗?”

“写好了,伯爵阁下。”

“您把它带来了吗?”

“带来了。”

“好极了,我买的这座房子在什么地方?”伯爵随意地问道,这句话一半是对贝尔图乔说的,一半是对公证人说的。管家做了一个手势,表示“我不知道。”那公证人惊异地望着伯爵。“什么!”他说,“伯爵阁下难道不知道他买的房子在什么地方吗?”

“不知道。”伯爵回答说。

“伯爵阁下不知道?”

“我怎么会知道?我今天早晨才从卡迪斯来。我以前又没来过巴黎,这是生平第一次踏上法国领土!”

“啊!那就不同了,您买的那座房子在欧特伊村。”听到这句话,贝尔图乔的脸立刻变白了。

“欧特伊村在什么地方?”伯爵问道。

“离这里只有两步路,阁下,”那公证人答道,“出帕西门以后没有多远,很幽静,在布洛涅大道的中央。”

“这么近?”伯爵说道,“那岂不是不在乡下罗。你怎么会选中一所就在巴黎城门口的房子呢,贝尔图乔先生?”

“我!”管家带着一种诧异的表情大声叫道。“伯爵阁下没有叫我买这所房子呀,要是伯爵阁下可以回想一下”

“啊,不错,”基督山说道,“我想起来了。我在一家报纸上看到了一则广告,广告上说是‘一座乡村别墅’,我就被那个虚名迷住了。”

“现在还来得及,”贝尔图乔赶紧说道,“假如大人把这事托付给我,我可以给您在昂琴,写特奈或贝利维找到一座更好的。”

“噢,不用了,”基督山无所谓似地答道,“既然已经买下了,就算了吧。”

“您说得很对,”那公证人说道,他深恐得不到那笔佣金。

“那所房子的地点很幽静,有流水,有树木,虽然已荒废了很长时间,但仍是一个很舒适的住处。所以即使不把家具算在内,也是划算的,家具虽旧了,可还是很值钱的,很多人现在都想收集古董呢。我想伯爵阁下也有这种嗜好吧?”

“一点不错,”基督山答道,“旧家具用起来很方便,是不是?”不止方便,而且富丽堂皇。”

“真的,那我们不要错过这个机会,”基督山答道。“请您把契约拿来,公证人先生。”于是他匆匆地把契约上所写的房屋地点和房主姓名瞟了一眼,迅速签了字。“贝尔图乔,”他说,“拿五万五千法郎给这位先生。”管家摇摇晃晃地走了出去,不一会拿回来一叠钞票,于是那公证人就仔细地数起钞票来,似乎佣金不做一番清点,他是决不肯收条的。

“现在,”伯爵问道,“手续都全了吗?”

“都全了,伯爵阁下。”

“钥匙您带来了没有?”

“钥匙在门房手里,那所房子由他在照看着。这儿有我写给他的一张条子伯爵阁下可以查,拿了这张条子到新居去。”

“好极了。”基督山对那公证人做了一个手势,等于在说,“我现在不再需要你了,你可以走了。”

“但是,”那个诚实的公证人说道,“我想您大概是弄错了吧,伯爵阁下,一切包括在内,只要五万法郎就够了。”

“您的手续费呢?”

“已经包括在这笔钱里了。”

“但您不是从欧特伊来的吗?”

“当然是的。”

“哦,那么,即使您劳神,又使您费了不少时间,这个报酬也是很公道的了。”伯爵说道,并做了一个很客气的手势表示谢意。那个公证人倒退着走出了房间,然后深深地鞠了一躬,这是他生平第一次遇见这样的主顾。

“送这位先生出去。”伯爵对贝尔图乔说道。于是管家跟着那公证人走出了房间。

当房间里只剩下伯爵一个人的时候,他立刻从口袋里摸出了一个皮夹子,上面有一把锁,他的脖子上挂着一枚昼夜不离身的钥匙,他用钥匙打开皮夹子的锁。翻了一会,忽然在一页上停住了,这上面记着几行字,他把这几行记录和放在桌子上的契约比较了一下,又想了一下,“‘欧特伊村芳丹街二十八号。’的确一样,”他说,“现在,我要把他的口供吓出来,但究竟是用宗教的力量好呢还是用物质的力量好?不管怎样一个钟头之内,我一切都会知道的。贝尔图乔!”他一面喊,一面用一把软把的木槌,敲了一下铜锣。“贝尔图乔,”管家立刻在门口出现了。“贝尔图乔先生,”伯爵说,“你曾有一次告诉过我,说你在法国旅行过的吗?”

“是的,大人,走过几个地方。”

“那么你是熟悉巴黎近郊的罗?”

“不,大人,不。”管家回答说,他的全身神经质般的颤抖了一下,基督山对喜怒哀乐的洞察可谓行家,一见便知道他内心里非常不安。

“这就麻烦了,”他说道,“你竟从来没去近郊玩过,因为我今天傍晚想去看看我的新居,你陪我去的时候也许可以给我提供一点有用的情况呢。”

“到欧特伊去!”贝尔图乔大声叫道,他那紫铜色的皮肤立刻变成了青白色,’要我到欧特伊去?”

“哎,那有什么可大惊小怪的?你既然为我服务,我住在欧特伊的时候,你肯定要到那儿去的呀。”

贝尔图乔一看见他主人目光威严,就急忙低下了头,一动不动地站着,也不回答。

“咦,你怎么啦?你要我另外再叫人去吩咐备车吗?”基督山问道,他说这句话的语气,简直如同路易十四说的那句名言“这下又得叫我耐心等待了”一样。

贝尔图乔三步两步就进了前厅,用一种嘶哑的声音大喊道,“给大人备车!”

基督山写了两三封信,当他封上最后一封的时候,管家出现了。“大人的马车已在门口了。”他说道。

“嗯,去拿你的帽子和手套吧。”基督山回答说。

“我陪您去吗,伯爵阁下?”贝尔图乔大声问道。

“当然罗,你必须去告诉他们,因为我预备到那所房子里去住。”

伯爵的仆人中从来没人敢违背他的命令,所以那位管家不再多说一句话了,只是跟在他的主人后面,伯爵先上车,然后示意叫他跟上来,于是他也上了车,毕恭毕敬地坐在前座上。
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