第三卷完成他对死者的诺言 第07章珂赛特在黑暗中和那陌生人并排走
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-08-05 23:08:41  【打印
CHAPTER VII COSETTE SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE STRANGER IN THE DARK







Cosette, as we have said, was not frightened.



The man accosted her. He spoke in a voice that was grave and almost bass.



"My child, what you are carrying is very heavy for you."



Cosette raised her head and replied:--



"Yes, sir."



"Give it to me," said the man; "I will carry it for you."



Cosette let go of the bucket-handle. The man walked along beside her.



"It really is very heavy," he muttered between his teeth. Then he added:--



"How old are you, little one?"



"Eight, sir."



"And have you come from far like this?"



"From the spring in the forest."



"Are you going far?"



"A good quarter of an hour's walk from here."



The man said nothing for a moment; then he remarked abruptly:--



"So you have no mother."



"I don't know," answered the child.



Before the man had time to speak again, she added:--



"I don't think so. Other people have mothers. I have none."



And after a silence she went on:--



"I think that I never had any."



The man halted; he set the bucket on the ground, bent down and placed both hands on the child's shoulders, making an effort to look at her and to see her face in the dark.



Cosette's thin and sickly face was vaguely outlined by the livid light in the sky.



"What is your name?" said the man.



"Cosette."



The man seemed to have received an electric shock. He looked at her once more; then he removed his hands from Cosette's shoulders, seized the bucket, and set out again.



After a moment he inquired:--



"Where do you live, little one?"



"At Montfermeil, if you know where that is."



"That is where we are going?"



"Yes, sir."



He paused; then began again:--



"Who sent you at such an hour to get water in the forest?"



"It was Madame Thenardier."



The man resumed, in a voice which he strove to render indifferent, but in which there was, nevertheless, a singular tremor:--



"What does your Madame Thenardier do?"



"She is my mistress," said the child. "She keeps the inn."



"The inn?" said the man. "Well, I am going to lodge there to-night. Show me the way."



"We are on the way there," said the child.



The man walked tolerably fast. Cosette followed him without difficulty. She no longer felt any fatigue. From time to time she raised her eyes towards the man, with a sort of tranquillity and an indescribable confidence. She had never been taught to turn to Providence and to pray; nevertheless, she felt within her something which resembled hope and joy, and which mounted towards heaven.



Several minutes elapsed. The man resumed:--



"Is there no servant in Madame Thenardier's house?"



"No, sir."



"Are you alone there?"



"Yes, sir."



Another pause ensued. Cosette lifted up her voice:--



"That is to say, there are two little girls."



"What little girls?"



"Ponine and Zelma."



This was the way the child simplified the romantic names so dear to the female Thenardier.



"Who are Ponine and Zelma?"



"They are Madame Thenardier's young ladies; her daughters, as you would say."



"And what do those girls do?"



"Oh!" said the child, "they have beautiful dolls; things with gold in them, all full of affairs. They play; they amuse themselves."



"All day long?"



"Yes, sir."



"And you?"



"I? I work."



"All day long?"



The child raised her great eyes, in which hung a tear, which was not visible because of the darkness, and replied gently:--



"Yes, sir."



After an interval of silence she went on:--



"Sometimes, when I have finished my work and they let me, I amuse myself, too."



"How do you amuse yourself?"



"In the best way I can. They let me alone; but I have not many playthings. Ponine and Zelma will not let me play with their dolls. I have only a little lead sword, no longer than that."



The child held up her tiny finger.



"And it will not cut?"



"Yes, sir," said the child; "it cuts salad and the heads of flies."



They reached the village. Cosette guided the stranger through the streets. They passed the bakeshop, but Cosette did not think of the bread which she had been ordered to fetch. The man had ceased to ply her with questions, and now preserved a gloomy silence.



When they had left the church behind them, the man, on perceiving all the open-air booths, asked Cosette:--



"So there is a fair going on here?"



"No, sir; it is Christmas."



As they approached the tavern, Cosette timidly touched his arm:--



"Monsieur?"



"What, my child?"



"We are quite near the house."



"Well?"



"Will you let me take my bucket now?"



"Why?"



"If Madame sees that some one has carried it for me, she will beat me."



The man handed her the bucket. An instant later they were at the tavern door.









七 珂赛特在黑暗中和那陌生人并排走









我们说过,珂赛特没有害怕。



那个人和她谈话。他说话的声音是庄重的,几乎是低沉的。



“我的孩子,你提的这东西对你来说是太重了。”



珂赛特抬起头,回答说:



“是呀,先生。”



“给我,”那人接着说;“我来替你拿。”



珂赛特丢了那水桶。那人便陪着她一道走。



“确是很重。”他咬紧了牙说。



随后,他又说:



“孩子,你几岁了?”



“八岁,先生。”



“你是从远地方这样走来的吗?”



“从树林里泉水边来的。”



“你要去的地方还远吗?”



“从此地去,总得足足一刻钟。”



那人停了一会不曾开口,继又突然问道:



“难道你没有妈妈吗?”



“我不知道。”那孩子回答。



那人还没有来得及开口,她又补充一句:



“我想我没有妈。别人都有。我呢,我没有。”



静了一阵,她又说:



“我想我从来不曾有过妈。”



那人停下来,放下水桶,弯着腰,把他的两只手放在那孩子的肩上,想在黑暗中看清她的脸。



来自天空的一点暗淡的微光隐隐照出了珂赛特的瘦削的面貌。



“你叫什么名字?”那人说。



“珂赛特。”



那人好象触了电似的。他又仔细看了一阵,之后,他从珂赛特的肩上缩回了他的手,提起水桶,又走起来。



过了一阵,他问道:



“孩子,你住在什么地方?”



“我住在孟费?,您知道那地方吗?”



“我们现在是去那地方吗?”



“是的,先生。”



他又沉默了一下,继又问道:



“是谁要你这时到树林里来提水的?”



“是德纳第太太。”



那人想让自己说话的声音显得镇静,可是他的声音抖得出奇,他说:



“她是干什么的,你那德纳弟太太?”



“她是我的东家,”那孩子说,“她是开客店的。”



“客店吗?”那人说,“好的,我今晚就在那里过夜。你领我去。”



“我们正是去那里。”孩子说。



那人走得相当快。珂赛特也不难跟上他。她已不再感到累了。她不时抬起眼睛望着那个人,显出一种无可言喻的宁静和信赖的神情。从来不曾有人教她敬仰上帝和祈祷。可是她感到她心里有样东西,好象是飞向天空的希望和欢乐。



这样过了几分钟,那人又说:



“难道德纳第太太家里没有女用人吗?”



“没有,先生。”



“就你一个吗?”



“是的,先生。”



谈话又停顿了。珂赛特提高了嗓子说:



“应当说,还有两个小姑娘。”



“什么小姑娘?”



“潘妮和兹玛。”



孩子在回答中就那样简化了德纳第大娘心爱的那两个浪漫的名字。



“潘妮和兹玛是什么?”



“是德纳第太太的小姐,就是说,她的女儿。”



“她们两个又干些什么事呢?”



“噢!”那孩子说,“她们有挺漂亮的娃娃,有各色各样装了金的东西,花样多极了。她们做游戏,她们玩。”



“整天玩吗?”



“是的,先生。”



“你呢?”



“我,我工作。”



“整天工作吗?”



那孩子抬起一双大眼睛,一滴眼泪几乎掉下来,不过在黑暗中没有人看见,她细声回答:



“是的,先生。”



她静了一阵,又接着说:



“有时候,我做完了事,人家准许的话我也玩。”



“你怎样玩呢?”



“有什么玩什么。只要别人不来管我。但是我没有什么好玩的东西。潘妮和兹玛都不许我玩她们的娃娃。我只有一把小铅刀,这么长。”



那孩子伸出她的小指头来比。



“那种刀切不动吧?”



“切得动,先生,”孩子说,“切得动生菜和苍蝇脑袋。”



他们已到了村子里,珂赛特领着那陌生人在街上走。他们走过面包铺,可是珂赛特没有想到她应当买个面包带回去。那人没有再问她什么话,只是面带愁容,一声也不响。他们走过了礼拜堂,那人见了那些露天的铺面,便问珂赛特说:



“今天这儿赶集吗?”



“不是的,先生,是过圣诞节。”



他们快到那客店的时候,珂赛特轻轻地推着他的胳膊。



“先生?”



“什么事,我的孩子?”



“我们马上到家了。”



“到家又怎么样呢?”



“您现在让我来提水桶吧。”



“为什么?”



“因为,要是太太看见别人替我提水,她会打我的。”



那人把水桶交还给她。不大一会,他们已到了那客店的大门口。

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