第三卷完成他对死者的诺言 第03章人要喝酒,马要喝水
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-07-25 23:52:20  【打印
CHAPTER III MEN MUST HAVE WINE, AND HORSES MUST HAVE WATER







Four new travellers had arrived.



Cosette was meditating sadly; for, although she was only eight years old, she had already suffered so much that she reflected with the lugubrious air of an old woman. Her eye was black in consequence of a blow from Madame Thenardier's fist, which caused the latter to remark from time to time, "How ugly she is with her fist-blow on her eye!"



Cosette was thinking that it was dark, very dark, that the pitchers and caraffes in the chambers of the travellers who had arrived must have been filled and that there was no more water in the cistern.



She was somewhat reassured because no one in the Thenardier establishment drank much water. Thirsty people were never lacking there; but their thirst was of the sort which applies to the jug rather than to the pitcher. Any one who had asked for a glass of water among all those glasses of wine would have appeared a savage to all these men. But there came a moment when the child trembled; Madame Thenardier raised the cover of a stew-pan which was boiling on the stove, then seized a glass and briskly approached the cistern. She turned the faucet; the child had raised her head and was following all the woman's movements. A thin stream of water trickled from the faucet, and half filled the glass. "Well," said she, "there is no more water!" A momentary silence ensued. The child did not breathe.



"Bah!" resumed Madame Thenardier, examining the half-filled glass, "this will be enough."



Cosette applied herself to her work once more, but for a quarter of an hour she felt her heart leaping in her bosom like a big snow-flake.



She counted the minutes that passed in this manner, and wished it were the next morning.



From time to time one of the drinkers looked into the street, and exclaimed, "It's as black as an oven!" or, "One must needs be a cat to go about the streets without a lantern at this hour!" And Cosette trembled.



All at once one of the pedlers who lodged in the hostelry entered, and said in a harsh voice:--



"My horse has not been watered."



"Yes, it has," said Madame Thenardier.



"I tell you that it has not," retorted the pedler.



Cosette had emerged from under the table.



"Oh, yes, sir!" said she, "the horse has had a drink; he drank out of a bucket, a whole bucketful, and it was I who took the water to him, and I spoke to him."



It was not true; Cosette lied.



"There's a brat as big as my fist who tells lies as big as the house," exclaimed the pedler. "I tell you that he has not been watered, you little jade! He has a way of blowing when he has had no water, which I know well."



Cosette persisted, and added in a voice rendered hoarse with anguish, and which was hardly audible:--



"And he drank heartily."



"Come," said the pedler, in a rage, "this won't do at all, let my horse be watered, and let that be the end of it!"



Cosette crept under the table again.



"In truth, that is fair!" said Madame Thenardier, "if the beast has not been watered, it must be."



Then glancing about her:--



"Well, now! Where's that other beast?"



She bent down and discovered Cosette cowering at the other end of the table, almost under the drinkers' feet.



"Are you coming?" shrieked Madame Thenardier.



Cosette crawled out of the sort of hole in which she had hidden herself. The Thenardier resumed:--



"Mademoiselle Dog-lack-name, go and water that horse."



"But, Madame," said Cosette, feebly, "there is no water."



The Thenardier threw the street door wide open:--



"Well, go and get some, then!"



Cosette dropped her head, and went for an empty bucket which stood near the chimney-corner.



This bucket was bigger than she was, and the child could have set down in it at her ease.



The Thenardier returned to her stove, and tasted what was in the stewpan, with a wooden spoon, grumbling the while:--



"There's plenty in the spring. There never was such a malicious creature as that. I think I should have done better to strain my onions."



Then she rummaged in a drawer which contained sous, pepper, and shallots.



"See here, Mam'selle Toad," she added, "on your way back, you will get a big loaf from the baker. Here's a fifteen-sou piece."



Cosette had a little pocket on one side of her apron; she took the coin without saying a word, and put it in that pocket.



Then she stood motionless, bucket in hand, the open door before her. She seemed to be waiting for some one to come to her rescue.



"Get along with you!" screamed the Thenardier.



Cosette went out. The door closed behind her.











三 人要喝酒,马要喝水









新来了四个旅客。



珂赛特很发愁,因为,虽然她还只有八岁,但已受过那么多的苦,所以当她发愁时那副苦相已象个老太婆了。



她有个黑眼眶,那是德纳第大娘一拳打出来的伤痕,德纳第大娘还时常指着说:



“这丫头真难看,老瞎着一只眼。”



珂赛特当时想的是天已经黑了,已经漆黑了,却又突然来了四个客人,她得立即去把那些客人房间里的水罐和水瓶灌上水,但水槽里已没有水了。



幸而德纳第家的人不大喝水,她的心又稍稍安稳了些。口渴的人当然不少,但是那种渴,在他们看来,水解不如酒解。大家都喝着酒,要是有个人要喝水,所有那些人都会觉得他是个蛮子。可是那孩子还是发了一阵抖:炉上一口锅里的水开了,德纳第大娘揭开了锅盖,又拿起一只玻璃杯,急急忙忙走向那水槽。她旋开水龙头,那孩子早已抬起了头,注视着她的一举一动。一线细水从那龙头里流出来,注满了那杯子的一半。“哼,”她说,“水没了!”接着,她没有立即开口说什么。那孩子也屏住了气。



“就这样吧!”德纳第大娘一面望着那半满的杯子,一面说,“这样大概也够了。”



珂赛特照旧干她的活,可是在那一刻钟里,她觉得她的心就象一个皮球,在胸腔里直跳。



她一分一秒地数着时间的流逝,恨不得一下子便到了第二天的早晨。



不时有一个酒客望着街上大声说:“简直黑得象个洞!”或是说:“只有猫儿才能在这种时刻不带灯笼上街!”珂赛特听了好不心惊肉颤。



忽然有一个要在那客店里过夜的货郎走进来,厉声说:



“你们没有给我的马喝水。”



“给过了,早给过了。”德纳第大娘说。



“我说您没有给过,大娘。”那小贩说。



珂赛特从桌子底下钻出来。



“呵,先生,确是给过了,”她说,“那匹马喝过了,在桶里喝的,喝了一满桶,是我送去给它喝的,我还和它说了许多话。”



那不是真话,珂赛特在说谎。



“这小妞还只有一个拳头大却已会撒弥天大谎了,”那小贩说,“小妖精!我告诉你,它没有喝。它没有喝,吐气的样子就不一样,我一眼就看得出来。”



珂赛特继续强辩,她急了,嗓子僵了,语不成声,别人几乎听不清她在说什么:



“而且它喝得很足!”



“够了,”那小贩动了气,“没有的事,快拿水给我的马喝,不要罗嗦!”



珂赛特又回到桌子下面去了。



“的确,这话有理,”德纳第大娘说,“要是那牲口没有喝水,当然就得喝。”



接着,她四面找。



“怎么,那一个又不见了?”



她弯下腰去,发现珂赛特蜷做一团,缩到桌子的那一头去了,几乎到了酒客们的脚底下。



“你出来不出来?”德纳第大娘吼着说。



珂赛特从她那藏身洞里爬出来。德纳第大娘接着说:



“你这没有姓名的狗小姐,快拿水去喂马。”



“可是,太太,”珂赛特细声说,“水已经没有了。”



德纳第大娘敞开大门说:



“没有水?去取来!”



珂赛特低下了头,走到壁炉角上取了一只空桶。



那桶比她人还大,那孩子如果坐在里面,决不会嫌小。



德纳第大娘回到她的火炉边,拿起一只木勺,尝那锅里的汤,一面叽里咕噜说道:



“泉边就有水。这又不是什么了不起的事。我想不放葱还好些。”



随后她翻着一只放零钱、胡椒、葱蒜的抽屉。



“来,癞虾蟆小姐,”她又说,“你回来的时候,到面包店去带一个大面包来。钱在这儿,一枚值十五个苏的钱。”



珂赛特的围裙侧面有个小口袋,她一声不响,接了钱,塞在口袋里。



她提着桶,对着那扇敞开着的大门,立着不动。她好象是在指望有谁来搭救她。



“还不走!”德纳第大娘一声吼。



珂赛特走了。大门也关上了。

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