第四卷戈尔博老屋 第04章二房东的发现
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-08-05 23:28:28  【打印
CHAPTER IV THE REMARKS OF THE PRINCIPAL TENANT







Jean Valjean was prudent enough never to go out by day. Every evening, at twilight, he walked for an hour or two, sometimes alone, often with Cosette, seeking the most deserted side alleys of the boulevard, and entering churches at nightfall. He liked to go to Saint-Medard, which is the nearest church. When he did not take Cosette with him, she remained with the old woman; but the child's delight was to go out with the good man. She preferred an hour with him to all her rapturous tete-a-tetes with Catherine. He held her hand as they walked, and said sweet things to her.



It turned out that Cosette was a very gay little person.



The old woman attended to the housekeeping and cooking and went to market.



They lived soberly, always having a little fire, but like people in very moderate circumstances. Jean Valjean had made no alterations in the furniture as it was the first day; he had merely had the glass door leading to Cosette's dressing-room replaced by a solid door.



He still wore his yellow coat, his black breeches, and his old hat. In the street, he was taken for a poor man. It sometimes happened that kind-hearted women turned back to bestow a sou on him. Jean Valjean accepted the sou with a deep bow. It also happened occasionally that he encountered some poor wretch asking alms; then he looked behind him to make sure that no one was observing him, stealthily approached the unfortunate man, put a piece of money into his hand, often a silver coin, and walked rapidly away. This had its disadvantages. He began to be known in the neighborhood under the name of the beggar who gives alms.



The old principal lodger, a cross-looking creature, who was thoroughly permeated, so far as her neighbors were concerned, with the inquisitiveness peculiar to envious persons, scrutinized Jean Valjean a great deal, without his suspecting the fact. She was a little deaf, which rendered her talkative. There remained to her from her past, two teeth,--one above, the other below,--which she was continually knocking against each other. She had questioned Cosette, who had not been able to tell her anything, since she knew nothing herself except that she had come from Montfermeil. One morning, this spy saw Jean Valjean, with an air which struck the old gossip as peculiar, entering one of the uninhabited compartments of the hovel. She followed him with the step of an old cat, and was able to observe him without being seen, through a crack in the door, which was directly opposite him. Jean Valjean had his back turned towards this door, by way of greater security, no doubt. The old woman saw him fumble in his pocket and draw thence a case, scissors, and thread; then he began to rip the lining of one of the skirts of his coat, and from the opening he took a bit of yellowish paper, which he unfolded. The old woman recognized, with terror, the fact that it was a bank-bill for a thousand francs. It was the second or third only that she had seen in the course of her existence. She fled in alarm.



A moment later, Jean Valjean accosted her, and asked her to go and get this thousand-franc bill changed for him, adding that it was his quarterly income, which he had received the day before. "Where?" thought the old woman. "He did not go out until six o'clock in the evening, and the government bank certainly is not open at that hour." The old woman went to get the bill changed, and mentioned her surmises. That thousand-franc note, commented on and multiplied, produced a vast amount of terrified discussion among the gossips of the Rue des Vignes Saint-Marcel.



A few days later, it chanced that Jean Valjean was sawing some wood, in his shirt-sleeves, in the corridor. The old woman was in the chamber, putting things in order. She was alone. Cosette was occupied in admiring the wood as it was sawed. The old woman caught sight of the coat hanging on a nail, and examined it. The lining had been sewed up again. The good woman felt of it carefully, and thought she observed in the skirts and revers thicknesses of paper. More thousand-franc bank-bills, no doubt!



She also noticed that there were all sorts of things in the pockets. Not only the needles, thread, and scissors which she had seen, but a big pocket-book, a very large knife, and--a suspicious circumstance-- several wigs of various colors. Each pocket of this coat had the air of being in a manner provided against unexpected accidents.



Thus the inhabitants of the house reached the last days of winter.









四 二房东的发现









冉阿让很谨慎,他白天从不出门。每天下午,到了黄昏时候,他才出去??一两个钟头,有时是独自一人,也常带着珂赛特一道,总是找大路旁那些最僻静的小胡同走,或是在天快黑时跨进礼拜堂。他经常去圣美达教堂,那是离家最近的礼拜堂。当他不带珂赛特出门时,珂赛特便待在老奶奶身边,但是这孩子最喜欢陪着老人出去玩。她感到即使是和卡特琳作伴也还不如和他待上个把钟头来得有趣。他牵着她的手,一面走一面和她谈些开心的事。



珂赛特有时玩得兴高采烈。



老奶奶料理家务,做饭菜,买东西。



他们过着节俭的生活,炉子里经常有一点火,但是总活得象个手头拮据的人家。第一天用的那些家具冉阿让从来不曾掉换过,不过珂赛特住的那个小间的玻璃门却换上了一扇木板门。



他的穿戴一直是那件黄大衣、黑短裤和旧帽子。街坊也都把他当作一个穷汉。有时,他会遇见一些软心肠的妇人转过身来给他一个苏。冉阿让收下这个苏,总深深地一鞠躬。有时,他也会遇见一些讨钱的化子,这时,他便回头望望是否有人看他,再偷偷地步向那穷人,拿个钱放在他手里,并且常常是个银币,又连忙走开。这种举动有它不妥的地方。附近一带的人开始称他为“给钱的化子”。



那年老的“二房东”是个心眼狭窄的人,逢人便想占些小便宜,对冉阿让她非常注意,而冉阿让却没有提防。她耳朵有点聋,因而爱多话。她一辈子只留下两颗牙,一颗在上,一颗在下,她老爱让这两个牙捉对儿相叩。她向珂赛特问过好多话,珂赛特什么也不知道,什么也答不上,她只说了她是从孟费?来的。有一天早晨,这个蓄意窥探的老婆子看见冉阿让走进这座破屋的一间没有人住的房里去了,觉得他的神气有些特别。她便象只老猫似的,踮着脚,跟上去,向虚掩着的门缝里张望,她能望见他却不会被他看见。冉阿让,一定也留了意,把背朝着门。老奶奶望见他从衣袋里摸出一只小针盒、一把剪子和一绺棉线,接着他把自己身上那件大衣一角的里子拆开一个小口,从里面抽出一张发黄的纸币,打开来看。老奶奶大吃一惊,是张一千法郎的钞票。这是她有生以来看见的第二张或是第三张。她吓得瞠目结舌,赶紧逃了。



一会儿过后,冉阿让走来找她,请她去替他换开那一千法郎的钞票,并说这是他昨天取来的这一季度的利息。“从哪儿取来的?”老奶奶心里想,“他是下午六点出去的,那时,国家银行不见得还开着门。”老奶奶走去换钞票,同时也在说长论短。这张一千法郎的钞票经过大家议论夸大以后,在圣马塞尔葡萄园街一带的三姑六婆中就引起一大堆骇人听闻的怪话。



几天过后,冉阿让偶然穿着短褂在过道里锯木头。老奶奶正在打扫他的屋子。她独自一人在里面,珂赛特看着锯着的木头正看得出神,老奶奶一眼看见大衣挂在钉子上,便走去偷看,大衣里子是重新缝好了的。老婆子细心捏了一阵,觉得在大衣的角上和腋下部分,里面都铺了一层层的纸。那一定全是一千法郎一张的钞票了!



此外,她还注意到衣袋里也装着各式各种的东西,不仅有针、线、剪子,这些东西都是她已见过的,并且还有一个大皮夹、一把很长的刀,还有一种可疑的东西:几顶颜色不同的假发套。大衣的每个口袋都装着一套应付各种不同意外事件的物品。



住在这栋破屋里的居民就这样到了冬末。 

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