Lesson Sixteen Through the Tunnel
钻 隧 洞
16-1 Going to the shore on the first morning of the holiday, the young English boy stopped at a turning of the path and looked down at a wild and rocky bay , and then over to the crowded beach he knew so well from other years.
His mother walked on in front of him, carrying a bright-striped bag鲜艳条纹的提包 in one hand.
Her other arm, swinging loose , was very white in the sun.
The boy watched that white, naked arm, and turned his eyes, which had a frown behind them, towards the bay and back again to his mother.
When she felt he was not with her, she swung round . "Oh, there you are,Jerry. "She said. She looked impatient, then smiled.
"Why, darling, would you rather not come with me? Would you rather..." She frowned, conscientiously worrying over what amusements(有趣的事情) he might secretly be longing for which she had been too busy or too careless to imagine.
He was very familiar with that anxious, apologetic smile. Contrition (悔悟)sent him running after her.
And yet , as he ran, he looked back over his shoulder at the wild bay(海灣), and all morning, as he played on the safe beach, he was thinking of it.
16-2 Next morning, when it was time for the routine of swimming and sunbathing, his mother said, "Are you tired of the usual beach , Jerry? Would you like to go somewhere else?"
16-3 "Oh, no!" he said quickly, smiling at her out of that unfailing impulse of contrition(悔悟) a sort of chivalry(騎士) . Yet, walking down the path with her, he blurted out (突然), "I'd like to go and have a look at those rocks down there."
16-4 She gave the idea her attention. It was a wild-looking place, and there was no one there, but she said, "Of course, Jerry. When you've had enough, come to the big beach. Or just go straight back to the villa, if you like."
She walked away, that bare arm, now slightly reddened from yesterday's sun, swinging.
And he almost ran after her again, feeling it unbearable that she should go by herself, but he did not.
16-5 She was thinking: Of course he's old enough to be safe without me. Have I been keeping him too close? He mustn't feel he ought to be with me. I must be careful.
16-6 He was an only child, eleven years old. She was a widow. She was determined to be neither possessive nor lacking in devotion . She went worrying off to her beach.
16-7 As for Jerry, once he saw that his mother had gained her beach , he began the steep descent to the bay .
From where he was, high up among red-brown rocks, it was a scoop of moving bluish green藍綠色 fringed(邊緣) with white.
As he went lower, he saw that it spread among small promontories (小岬)and inlets of rough, sharp rock, and the crisping(易碎的), lapping surface showed stains斑點 of purple and darker blue.
Finally, as he ran sliding and scraping down the last few yards, he saw an edge of white surf(海浪), and the shallow(淺淺的), luminous （亮亮地）movement of water over white sand, and, beyond that, a solid, heavy blue.
16-8 He ran straight into the water and began swimming.
He was a good swimmer. He went out fast over the gleaming(閃光) sand, over a middle region where rocks lay like discoloured monsters(褪了色的魔鬼) under the surface ,
and then he was in the real sea a warm sea where irregular cold currents from the deep water shocked his limbs(四肢).
16-9 When he was so far out that he could look back not only on the little bay but past the promontory (海岬)that was between it and the big beach,
he floated on the buoyant(浮力)surface and looked for his mother. There she was, a speck(斑點) of yellow under an umbrella that looked like a slice of orange-peel.
He swam back to shore, relieved(放心) at being sure she was there, but all at once very lonely.
16-10 On the edge of a small cape(小海角)that marked the side of the bay away from the promontory was a loose scatter of rocks .
Above them, some boys were stripping off their clothes.
They came running, naked(裸體的), down to the rocks.
The English boy swam towards them, and kept his distance at a stone's throw. (一箭之隔)
They were of that coast, all of them burned smooth dark brown, and speaking a language he did not understand.
To be with them, of them, was a craving (渴望)that filled his whole body. He swam a little closer; they turned and watched him with narrowed(眯著), alert dark eyes.
Then one smiled and waved. It was enough. In a minute he had swum in and was on the rocks beside them, smiling with a desperate(無望的), nervous supplication（緊張的請求）.
They shouted cheerful greetings at him, and then, as he preserved his nervous緊張, uncomprehending （不了解）smile , they understood that he was a foreigner strayed from(離開) his own beach, and they proceeded to forget him . But he was happy. He was with them.
16-11 They began diving (潛水)again and again from a high point into a well of blue sea between rough, pointed rocks.
After they had dived and come up, they swam round, hauled themselves up (爬上來), and waited their turn to dive again.
They were big boys men to Jerry.
He dived, and they watched him, and when he swam round to take his place, they made way for him .
He felt he was accepted, and he dived again, carefully, proud of himself.
16-12 Jerry dived, shot past the school of underwater swimmers , saw a black wall of rock looming at him , touched it, and bobbed up at once to the surface,
where the wall was a low barrier he could see across.
There was no one visible; under him, in the water, the dim shapes of the swimmers had disappeared.
Then one and then another of the boys came up on the far side of the barrier of rock, and he understood that they had swum through some gap or hole in it.
He plunged down again. He could see nothing through the stinging salt water but the blank rock.
When he came up, the boys were all on the diving rock, preparing to attempt the feat again.
And now, in a panic(驚慌) of failure, he yelled up , in English, "Look at me ! Look !" and he began splashing (拍)and kicking （踢）in the water like a foolish dog.
16-13 They looked down gravely, frowning. He knew the frown.
At moments of failure, when he clowned(小丑) to claim his mother's attention, it was with just this grave (嚴), embarrassed(困窘) inspection that she rewarded him.
Through his hot shame, feeling the pleading grin(懇求的笑容) on his face like a scar (傷疤)that he could never remove,
he looked up at the group of big brown boys on the rock and shouted "Bonjour! Merci! Au revoir! Monsieur, monsieur!" while he hooked his fingers round his ears and waggled them.
16-14 Water surged into his mouth; he choked, sank, came up.
The rock, lately weighted (離開)with boys, seemed to rear up out of the water as their weight was removed.
They were flying down past him, now, into the water; the air was full of falling bodies.
Then the rock was empty in the hot sunlight. He counted one, two, three...
16-15 At fifty he was terrified. They must all be drowning beneath him, in the watery caves of the rock!
At a hundred he stared around him at the empty hillside, wondering if he should yell for help.
He counted faster, faster, to hurry them up, to bring them to the surface quickly,
to drown them quickly anything rather than the terror of counting on and on into the blue emptiness of the morning.
And then, at a hundred and sixty, the water beyond the rock was full of boys blowing like brown whales. They swam back to the shore without a look at him.
16-16 He climbed back to the diving rock and sat down, feeling the hot roughness of it under his thighs.(屁股)，
The boys were gathering up their bits of clothing and running off along the shore to another promontory（海角）, They were leaving to get away from him.
He cried openly, fists in his eyes . There was no one to see him, and he cried himself out.
16-17 It seemed to him that a long time had passed, and he swam out to where he could see his mother.
Yes, she was still there, a yellow spot under an orange umbrella.
He swam back to the big rock, climbed up, and dived into the blue pool among the fanged (尖尖的)and angry（憤怒的） boulders 海岬
. Down he went, until he touched the wall of rock again. But the salt was so painful in his eyes that he could not see.
16-18 He came to the surface, swam to shore, and went back to the villa to wait for his mother.
Soon she walked slowly up the path, swinging her striped bag, the flushed, naked arm dangling beside her.
"I want some swimming goggles(潛水鏡), " he panted, defiant(挑戰) and beseeching(懇求).
16-19 She gave him a patient, inquisitive (詢問)look as she said casually, "Well of course, darling."
16-20 But now, now, now! He must have them this minute, and no other time.
He nagged(嘮叨)and pestered （糾纏）until she went with him to a shop.
As soon as she had bought the goggles, he grabbed them from her hand as if she were going to claim them for herself , and was off, running down the steep path to the bay.
16-21 Jerry swam out to the big barrier rock, adjusted the goggles, and dived. The impact of the water (水的壓力)broke the rubber-enclosed vacuum, and the goggles came loose.
He understood that he must swim down to the base of the rock from the surface of the water.
He fixed the goggles tight and firm, filled his lungs, and floated, face down, on the water.
Now he could see. It was as if he had eyes of a different kind fish-eyes that showed everything clear and delicate細小的 and wavering in the bright water.
16-22 Under him, six or seven feet down, was a floor of perfectly clean, shining white sand, rippled firm and hard by the tides(潮水).
Two greyish shapes steered there, like long, rounded pieces of wood or slate. They were fish.
He saw them nose towards each other, poise motionless(一動不動), make a dart forward, swerve off(突然轉向, and come round again.
It was like a water dance. A few inches above them, the water sparkled(閃光) as if sequins(光片) were dropping through it.
Fish again myriads(無數) of minute fish, the length of his finger-nail, were drifting through the water,
and in a moment he could feel the innumerable tiny touches of them against his limbs.
It was like swimming in flaked(薄薄的) silver.
The great rock the big boys had swum through rose sheer(徑直冒出來) out of the white sand, black, tufted lightly(輕輕捆住) with greenish weed.
He could see no gap in it. He swam down to its base.
16-23 Again and again he rose, took a big chestful of air, and went down.
Again and again he groped over the surface of the rock, feeling it, almost hugging it in the desperate need to find the entrance.
And then, once, while he was clinging (抓住)to the black wall, his knees came up and he shot his feet out forward and they met no obstacle(障礙). He had found the hole.
16-24 He gained the surface, clambered about the stones that littered the barrier rock until he found a big one ,
and, with this in his arms, let himself down over the side of the rock.
He dropped, with the weight, straight to the sandy floor.
Clinging tight to the anchor of stone, he lay on his side and looked in under the dark shelf at the place where his feet had gone. He could see the hole.
It was an irregular, dark gap, but he could not see deep into it. He let go of his anchor, clung with his hands to the edges of the hole, and tried to push himself in.
16-25 He got his head in, found his shoulders jammed, moved them in sidewise, and was inside as far as his waist.(腰部)
He could see nothing ahead.
Something soft and clammy(濕粘的) touched his mouth, he saw a dark frond(葉狀物) moving against the greyish rock, and panic filled him.
He thought of octopuses章鱼, of clinging weed(纏人的雜草). He pushed himself out backward and caught a glimpse, as he retreated, of a harmless tentacle of seaweed 海草須drifting in the mouth of the tunnel.
But it was enough. He reached the sunlight, swam to shore, and lay on the diving rock.
He looked down in the blue well of water. He knew he must find his way through that cave, or hole, or tunnel, and out the other side.
16-26 First, he thought, he must learn to control his breathing.
He let himself down into the water with another big stone in his arms, so that he could lie effortlessly (毫不費勁地)on the bottom of the sea.
He counted. One, two, three. He counted steadily. He could hear the movement of blood in his chest.
Fifty-one, fifty-two...His chest was hurting.
He let go of the rock and went up into the air. He saw that the sun was low.
He rushed to the villa and found his mother at her supper. She said only "Did you enjoy yourself?" and he said "Yes".
16-27 All night the boy dreamed of the water-filled cave in the rock, and as soon as breakfast was over he went to the bay.
16-28 That night his nose bled badly. For hours he had been underwater, learning to hold his breath, and now he felt weak and dizzy(頭昏眼花).
His mother said, "I shouldn't overdo things, darling, if I were you. "
16-29 That day and the next, Jerry exercised his lungs as if everything, the whole of his life, all that he would become, depended upon it .
And again his nose bled at night, and his mother insisted on his coming with her the next day.
It was a torment(痛苦) to him to waste a day of his careful self-training,
but he stayed with her on that other beach, which now seemed a place for small children, a place where his mother might lie safe in the sun. It was not his beach.
16-30 He did not ask for permission, on the following day, to go to his beach.
He went, before his mother could consider the complicated rights and wrongs of the matter.
A day's rest, he discovered, had improved his count by ten.
The big boys had made the passage while he counted a hundred and sixty. He had been counting fast, in his fright .
Probably now, if he tried, he could get through that long tunnel, but he was not going to try yet.
A curious(好奇的), most unchildlike(成熟的) persistence執著, a controlled impatience, made him wait
In the meantime, he lay underwater on the white sand,
littered now by stones he had brought down from the upper air, and studied the entrance to the tunnel.
He knew every jut(突出) and corner of it, as far as it was possible to see.
It was as if he already felt its sharpness about his shoulders