第三卷完成他对死者的诺言 第06章这也许可以证明蒲辣秃柳儿的聪明
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-08-05 23:02:21  【打印
CHAPTER VI WHICH POSSIBLY PROVES BOULATRUELLE'S INTELLIGENCE







On the afternoon of that same Christmas Day, 1823, a man had walked for rather a long time in the most deserted part of the Boulevard de l'Hopital in Paris. This man had the air of a person who is seeking lodgings, and he seemed to halt, by preference, at the most modest houses on that dilapidated border of the faubourg Saint-Marceau.



We shall see further on that this man had, in fact, hired a chamber in that isolated quarter.



This man, in his attire, as in all his person, realized the type of what may be called the well-bred mendicant,--extreme wretchedness combined with extreme cleanliness. This is a very rare mixture which inspires intelligent hearts with that double respect which one feels for the man who is very poor, and for the man who is very worthy. He wore a very old and very well brushed round hat; a coarse coat, worn perfectly threadbare, of an ochre yellow, a color that was not in the least eccentric at that epoch; a large waistcoat with pockets of a venerable cut; black breeches, worn gray at the knee, stockings of black worsted; and thick shoes with copper buckles. He would have been pronounced a preceptor in some good family, returned from the emigration. He would have been taken for more than sixty years of age, from his perfectly white hair, his wrinkled brow, his livid lips, and his countenance, where everything breathed depression and weariness of life. Judging from his firm tread, from the singular vigor which stamped all his movements, he would have hardly been thought fifty. The wrinkles on his brow were well placed, and would have disposed in his favor any one who observed him attentively. His lip contracted with a strange fold which seemed severe, and which was humble. There was in the depth of his glance an indescribable melancholy serenity. In his left hand he carried a little bundle tied up in a handkerchief; in his right he leaned on a sort of a cudgel, cut from some hedge. This stick had been carefully trimmed, and had an air that was not too threatening; the most had been made of its knots, and it had received a coral-like head, made from red wax: it was a cudgel, and it seemed to be a cane.



There are but few passers-by on that boulevard, particularly in the winter. The man seemed to avoid them rather than to seek them, but this without any affectation.



At that epoch, King Louis XVIII. went nearly every day to Choisy-le-Roi: it was one of his favorite excursions. Towards two o'clock, almost invariably, the royal carriage and cavalcade was seen to pass at full speed along the Boulevard de l'Hopital.



This served in lieu of a watch or clock to the poor women of the quarter who said, "It is two o'clock; there he is returning to the Tuileries."



And some rushed forward, and others drew up in line, for a passing king always creates a tumult; besides, the appearance and disappearance of Louis XVIII. produced a certain effect in the streets of Paris. It was rapid but majestic. This impotent king had a taste for a fast gallop; as he was not able to walk, he wished to run: that cripple would gladly have had himself drawn by the lightning. He passed, pacific and severe, in the midst of naked swords. His massive couch, all covered with gilding, with great branches of lilies painted on the panels, thundered noisily along. There was hardly time to cast a glance upon it. In the rear angle on the right there was visible on tufted cushions of white satin a large, firm, and ruddy face, a brow freshly powdered a l'oiseau royal, a proud, hard, crafty eye, the smile of an educated man, two great epaulets with bullion fringe floating over a bourgeois coat, the Golden Fleece, the cross of Saint Louis, the cross of the Legion of Honor, the silver plaque of the Saint-Esprit, a huge belly, and a wide blue ribbon: it was the king. Outside of Paris, he held his hat decked with white ostrich plumes on his knees enwrapped in high English gaiters; when he re-entered the city, he put on his hat and saluted rarely; he stared coldly at the people, and they returned it in kind. When he appeared for the first time in the Saint-Marceau quarter, the whole success which he produced is contained in this remark of an inhabitant of the faubourg to his comrade, "That big fellow yonder is the government."



This infallible passage of the king at the same hour was, therefore, the daily event of the Boulevard de l'Hopital.



The promenader in the yellow coat evidently did not belong in the quarter, and probably did not belong in Paris, for he was ignorant as to this detail. When, at two o'clock, the royal carriage, surrounded by a squadron of the body-guard all covered with silver lace, debouched on the boulevard, after having made the turn of the Salpetriere, he appeared surprised and almost alarmed. There was no one but himself in this cross-lane. He drew up hastily behind the corner of the wall of an enclosure, though this did not prevent M. le Duc de Havre from spying him out.



M. le Duc de Havre, as captain of the guard on duty that day, was seated in the carriage, opposite the king. He said to his Majesty, "Yonder is an evil-looking man." Members of the police, who were clearing the king's route, took equal note of him: one of them received an order to follow him. But the man plunged into the deserted little streets of the faubourg, and as twilight was beginning to fall, the agent lost trace of him, as is stated in a report addressed that same evening to M. le Comte d'Angles, Minister of State, Prefect of Police.



When the man in the yellow coat had thrown the agent off his track, he redoubled his pace, not without turning round many a time to assure himself that he was not being followed. At a quarter-past four, that is to say, when night was fully come, he passed in front of the theatre of the Porte Saint-Martin, where The Two Convicts was being played that day. This poster, illuminated by the theatre lanterns, struck him; for, although he was walking rapidly, he halted to read it. An instant later he was in the blind alley of La Planchette, and he entered the Plat d'Etain [the Pewter Platter], where the office of the coach for Lagny was then situated. This coach set out at half-past four. The horses were harnessed, and the travellers, summoned by the coachman, were hastily climbing the lofty iron ladder of the vehicle.



The man inquired:--



"Have you a place?"



"Only one--beside me on the box," said the coachman.



"I will take it."



"Climb up."



Nevertheless, before setting out, the coachman cast a glance at the traveller's shabby dress, at the diminutive size of his bundle, and made him pay his fare.



"Are you going as far as Lagny?" demanded the coachman.



"Yes," said the man.



The traveller paid to Lagny.



They started. When they had passed the barrier, the coachman tried to enter into conversation, but the traveller only replied in monosyllables. The coachman took to whistling and swearing at his horses.



The coachman wrapped himself up in his cloak. It was cold. The man did not appear to be thinking of that. Thus they passed Gournay and Neuilly-sur-Marne.



Towards six o'clock in the evening they reached Chelles. The coachman drew up in front of the carters' inn installed in the ancient buildings of the Royal Abbey, to give his horses a breathing spell.



"I get down here," said the man.



He took his bundle and his cudgel and jumped down from the vehicle.



An instant later he had disappeared.



He did not enter the inn.



When the coach set out for Lagny a few minutes later, it did not encounter him in the principal street of Chelles.



The coachman turned to the inside travellers.



"There," said he, "is a man who does not belong here, for I do not know him. He had not the air of owning a sou, but he does not consider money; he pays to Lagny, and he goes only as far as Chelles. It is night; all the houses are shut; he does not enter the inn, and he is not to be found. So he has dived through the earth."



The man had not plunged into the earth, but he had gone with great strides through the dark, down the principal street of Chelles, then he had turned to the right before reaching the church, into the cross-road leading to Montfermeil, like a person who was acquainted with the country and had been there before.



He followed this road rapidly. At the spot where it is intersected by the ancient tree-bordered road which runs from Gagny to Lagny, he heard people coming. He concealed himself precipitately in a ditch, and there waited until the passers-by were at a distance. The precaution was nearly superfluous, however; for, as we have already said, it was a very dark December night. Not more than two or three stars were visible in the sky.



It is at this point that the ascent of the hill begins. The man did not return to the road to Montfermeil; he struck across the fields to the right, and entered the forest with long strides.



Once in the forest he slackened his pace, and began a careful examination of all the trees, advancing, step by step, as though seeking and following a mysterious road known to himself alone. There came a moment when he appeared to lose himself, and he paused in indecision. At last he arrived, by dint of feeling his way inch by inch, at a clearing where there was a great heap of whitish stones. He stepped up briskly to these stones, and examined them attentively through the mists of night, as though he were passing them in review. A large tree, covered with those excrescences which are the warts of vegetation, stood a few paces distant from the pile of stones. He went up to this tree and passed his hand over the bark of the trunk, as though seeking to recognize and count all the warts.



Opposite this tree, which was an ash, there was a chestnut-tree, suffering from a peeling of the bark, to which a band of zinc had been nailed by way of dressing. He raised himself on tiptoe and touched this band of zinc.



Then he trod about for awhile on the ground comprised in the space between the tree and the heap of stones, like a person who is trying to assure himself that the soil has not recently been disturbed.



That done, he took his bearings, and resumed his march through the forest.



It was the man who had just met Cosette.



As he walked through the thicket in the direction of Montfermeil, he had espied that tiny shadow moving with a groan, depositing a burden on the ground, then taking it up and setting out again. He drew near, and perceived that it was a very young child, laden with an enormous bucket of water. Then he approached the child, and silently grasped the handle of the bucket.









六 这也许可以证明蒲辣秃柳儿的聪明









也就是在一八二三年圣诞节那天下午,有一个人在巴黎医院路最僻静的一带徘徊了好一阵。那个人好象是在寻一个住处,并且喜欢在圣马尔索郊区贫苦的边缘地带的那些最朴素的房屋面前停下来观望。



我们以后会知道,那人确在那荒僻地区租到了一间屋子。



那人,从他的服装和神气看去,是极其穷苦而又极其整洁的,可以说是体现了人们称为高等乞丐的那一种。那种稀有的混合形态能使有见识的人从心中产生一种双重的敬意,既敬其人之赤贫,又敬其人之端重。他戴一顶刷得极干净的旧圆帽,穿一身已经磨到经纬毕现的赭黄粗呢大衣(那种颜色在当时是一点也不奇怪的),一件带口袋的古式长背心,一条膝头上已变成灰色的黑裤,一双黑毛线袜和一双带铜扣襻的厚鞋。他很象一个侨居国外归国在大户人家当私塾老师的人。他满头白发,额上有皱纹,嘴唇灰白,饱尝愁苦劳顿的脸色,看去好象已是六十多的人了。可是从他那慢而稳健的步伐,从他动作中表现出来的那种饱满精神看去,我们又会觉得他还只是个五十不到的人。他额上的皱纹恰到好处,能使注意观察的人对他发生好感。他的嘴唇嘬起,有种奇特的线条,既严肃又谦卑。他的眼睛里显出一种忧郁恬静的神情。他左手提着一个手结的毛巾小包袱,右手拿着一根木棍,好象是从什么树丛里砍来的。那根棍是仔细加工过的,样子并不太难看;棍上的节都巧加利用,上端装了个珊瑚色的蜜蜡圆头,那是根棍棒,也象根手杖。



那条路上的行人一向少,尤其是在冬季。那个人好象是要避开那些行人,而不是想接近他们,但也没有露出故意回避的样子。



那时,国王路易十八几乎每天都要去舒瓦齐勒罗瓦。那是他爱去游息的地方。几乎每天将近两点时,国王的车子和仪仗队就会在医院路飞驰而过。



对那一带的穷婆来说,那便是她们的钟表了,她们常说:



“两点了,他已经回宫了。”



有跑来看热闹的人,有挤在路边的人,因为国王经过,总是一件惊扰大家的事。国王在巴黎的街道上忽来忽往,总不免引起人心一度紧张。他那队伍,转瞬即逝,却也威风。肢体残废的国王偏有奔腾驰骤的嗜好,他走还走不动,却一定要跑,人彘也想学雷电的奔驰。当时他正经过该地,神气平静庄严,雪亮的马刀簇拥着他。他那辆高大的轿式马车,全身金漆,镶板上都画着大枝百合花,在路上滚得忒楞楞直响。人们想看一眼也几乎来不及。在右边角落里一个白缎子的软垫上面,有张坚定绯红的宽脸,额头上顶着一个刚刚扑过粉的御鸟式假发罩,一双骄横锐利的眼睛,一脸文雅的笑容,一身绅士装,外加两块金穗累累的阔肩章,还有金羊毛骑士勋章、圣路易十字勋章、光荣骑士十字勋章、圣灵银牌、一个大肚子和一条宽的蓝佩带,那便是国王了。一出巴黎城,他便把他那顶白羽帽放在裹着英国绑腿的膝头上,进城时,他又把他那顶帽子戴在头上,不大理睬人。他冷眼望着人民,人民也报以冷眼。他初次在圣马尔索出现时,他所得到的唯一胜利,便是那郊区的一个居民对他伙伴说的这样一句话:“这胖子便是老总了。”



国王准时走过,对医院路而言这是件天天发生的大事。



那个穿黄大衣的步行者显然不是那一区的人,也很可能不是巴黎人,因为他不知道这一情况。当国王的车子在一中队穿银绦制服的侍卫骑兵的护卫下,从妇女救济院转进医院路时,他见了有些诧异,并且几乎吃了一惊。当时那巷子里只有他一人,他连忙避开,立在一堵围墙的墙角后面,但已被哈福雷公爵先生看见了。哈福雷公爵先生是那天值勤的卫队长,他和国王面对面坐在车子里。他向国王说:“那个人的嘴脸相当难看。”在国王走过的路线上沿途巡逻的一些警察也注意到他,有个警察奉命去跟踪他。但是那人已隐到僻静的小街曲巷里去了,后来天色渐黑,警察便没能跟上他。这一经过曾经列在国务大臣兼警署署长昂格勒斯伯爵当天的报告里。



那个穿黄大衣的人逃脱了警察的追踪以后便加快脚步,但仍随时往后望,看看是否还有人跟踪他。四点一刻,就是说天已黑了的时候,他走过圣马尔丹门的剧院门口,那天正好上演《两个苦役犯》。贴在剧院门口回光灯下的那张海报引起了他的注意,因为,他当时虽走得很快,但仍停下来看了一遍。一会儿过后,他便到了小板巷,走进锡盘公寓里的拉尼车行办事处。车子四点半开出。马全套好了,旅客们听到车夫的叫唤,都连忙爬上那辆阳雀车①的铁梯。



①阳雀车,两轮公共马车。



 那个人问道:



“还有位子没有?”



“只有一个了,在我旁边,车头上。”那车夫说。



“我要。”



“请上来。”



可是,起程之先,车夫对旅客望了一眼,看见他的衣服那样寒素,包袱又那么小,便要他付钱。



“您一直去拉尼吗?”车夫问。



“是的。”那人说。



旅客付了直到拉尼的车费。



车子走动了。走出便门以后,车夫想和他攀谈,但是旅客老只回答一两个字。于是车夫决计一心吹口哨,要不就骂他的牲口。



车夫裹上他的斗篷。天冷起来了。那人却好象没有感觉到。大家便那样走过了古尔内和马恩河畔讷伊。



将近六点时,车子到了谢尔。走到设在王家修道院老屋里那家客马店门前时车夫便停了车,让马休息。



“我在此地下去。”那人说。



他拿起他的包袱和棍子,跳下车。



过一会儿,他不见了。



他没有走进那客马店。



几分钟过后,车子继续向拉尼前进,又在谢尔的大街上遇见了他。



车夫转回头向那些坐在里面的客人说:



“那个人不是本地的,因为我不认识他。看他那样子,不见得有钱,可是花起钱来,却又不在乎,他付车费,付到拉尼,但只坐到谢尔。天都黑了,所有的人家都关了门,他却不进那客店,一下子人也不见了。难道他钻到土里去了?”



那个人没有钻到土里去,他还在谢尔的大街上,三步当两步摸黑往前走。接着还没有走到礼拜堂,他便向左转进了去孟费?的那条乡村公路,就象一个曾到过而且也熟悉这地方的人一样。



他沿着那条路快步往前走。从加尼去拉尼的那条栽了树的老路是和他走的那条路交叉的,他走到岔路口,听见前面有人来了。他连忙躲在沟里,等那些人走过。那种小心其实是不必要的,因为,我们已经说过,当时是在十二月的夜晚,天非常黑。天上只隐隐露出两三点星光。



山坡正是在那地点开始的。那人并不回到去孟费?的那条路上,他向右转,穿过田野,大步走向那树林。



走进树林后他放慢了脚步,开始仔细察看每一棵树,一步一步往前走,好象是在边走边找一条只有他知道的秘密路。有那么一会儿,他仿佛迷失了方向,停了下来,踌躇不决。继又摸一段,走一段,最后,他走到了一处树木稀疏、有一大堆灰白大石头的地方。他兴奋地走向那些石头,在黑夜的迷雾中,一一仔细察看,好象进行检阅似的。有株生满了树瘤的大树长在和那堆石头相距几步的地方。他走到那棵树下面,用手摸那树干的皮,好象他要认出并数清那些树瘤的数目。



他摸的那棵树是?j树,在那?j树对面,有棵害脱皮病的栗树,那上面钉了一块保护树皮的锌皮。他又踮起脚尖去摸那块锌皮。



之后,他在那棵大树和那堆石头之间的地上踏了一阵,仿佛要知道那地方新近是否有人来动过土。



踏过以后,他再辨明方向,重行穿越树林。



刚才遇见玛赛特的便是那个人。



他正从一片矮树林中向孟费?走来时,望见一个小黑影在一面走一面呻吟,把一件重东西卸在地上,继又拿起再走。他赶上去看,原来是一个提着大水桶的小孩。于是他走到那孩子身边,一声不响,抓起了那水桶的提梁。

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