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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第4节

于是我们便踏入了夜色,朝海滨走去,那儿传来音乐声、喊叫声、酒后的赌咒声。一路上柯林斯一直在轻声谈论这谈论那,谈他曾爱上的一个男孩,谈那孩子的父母知晓后他如何费尽周折才摆脱困境。然后他又从这个话题绕回查露斯伯爵,接着又讲到逆河而上、后来失踪的库尔茨,这是他最喜欢的话题。我欣赏柯林斯这样不断借助文学背景的手法,这好像一位百万富翁从不走下他的罗尔斯一罗伊斯轿车。对于他,现实与理想之间并没有中间地带。我们进了伏尔泰堤上那家妓院,柯林斯一屁股坐在沙发上打铃要姑娘、要饮料,这时他仍在喋喋不休地谈他和库尔茨趟河弄水的经历呢。后来姑娘们上床睡在他身边,用一个个吻封住他的嘴,他这才不说这些离题的话了。这时他似乎猛地悟到自己在哪儿,于是转向开这所妓院的那位老妈妈,向她滔滔不绝地介绍他这两位专程从巴黎来看这个地方的朋友。屋里有六七个姑娘,全都光着屁股,而且我得说都蛮漂亮。她们像小鸟一样蹦来蹦去,这时我们三个仍在设法同那位老妈妈攀谈。最后老妈妈借故告辞了,叫我们随便些。我完全被她吸引住了,她那么和善可亲,那么温柔而又充满母性,而且举止又是那么文雅。若是她稍稍年轻一点儿,我便会向她求爱的,此刻你当然不会想到我们正在“罪窟”里,人们都这样称呼一所妓院。

And so we started out into the night, down towards the waterfront where there was the sound of music and shouts and drunken oaths, Collins talking quietly all the while about this and that, about a boy he had fallen in love with, and the devil's time he had to get out of the scrape when the parents got wise to it. From that he switched back to the Baron de Charlus and then to Kurtz who had gone up the river and got lost. His favorite theme. I liked the way Collins moved against this background of literature continuously; it was like a millionaire who never stepped out of his Rolls Royce. There was no intermediate realm for him between reality and ideas. When we entered the whorehouse on the Quai Voltaire, after he had flung himself on the divan and rung for girls and for drinks, he was still paddling up the river with Kurtz, and only when the girls had flopped on the bed beside him and stuffed his mouth with kisses did he cease his divagations. Then, as if he had suddenly realized where he was, he turned to the old mother who ran the place and gave her an eloquent spiel about his two friends who had come down from Paris expressly to see the joint. There were about half a dozen girls in the room, all naked and all beautiful to look at, I must say. They hopped about like birds while the three of us tried to maintain a conversation with the grandmother. Finally the latter excused herself and told us to make ourselves at Home. I was altogether taken in by her, so sweet and amiable she was, so thoroughly gentle and maternal. And what manners! If she had been a little younger I would have made overtures to her. Certainly you would not have thought that we were in a "den of vice," as it is called.


  总之,我们在那儿呆了大约个把钟头,只有我的状况还好,能享受这儿的优惠,柯林斯和菲尔莫则留在楼下同姑娘们聊天。

Anyway we stayed there an hour or so, and as I was the only one in condition to enjoy the privileges of the house, Collins and Fillmore remained downstairs chattering with the girls.


  等我回来,我看到他俩躺在床上,姑娘们在床边围成一个半圆,用最最甜美的嗓音合唱“皮卡迪的玫瑰”,离开这所房子时我们在情感上都有几分沮丧,尤其是菲尔莫。柯林斯很快带我们来到一个粗野的地方,这儿挤满了请假上岸的海员。我们坐在这儿欣赏了片刻同性恋大聚会,这时正处于高潮。出来时我们必须经过红灯区,这儿脖子里围着披中的老妈妈就更多了,她们坐在门口台阶上边扇扇子边笑容可掬地朝过路人点头致意。全是一些好看的好心人,像是正在守护一个托儿所。三三两两的水手摇摇晃晃地走过来,吵吵闹闹地闯进这些俗丽的地方,到处是性行为,它淹没了一切,像一小股潮水席卷了支撑这个城市的支柱。我们沿着这个水潭的边缘游荡,这儿一切都乱成一团,纠缠在一起,你会有这样一种印象:所有的大船、拖网渔船、游艇、帆船和驳船都被一场凶猛的风暴刮上了岸。

When I returned I found the two of them stretched out on the bed; the girls had formed a semicircle about the bed and were singing with the most angelic voices the chorus of Roses in Picardy. We were sentimentally depressed when we left the house – Fillmore particularly. Collins swiftly steered us to a rough joint which was packed with drunken sailors on shore leave and there we sat awhile enjoying the homosexual rout that was in full swing. When we sallied out we had to pass through the red‑light district where there were more grandmothers with shawls about their necks sitting on the doorsteps fanning themselves and nodding pleasantly to the passers‑by. All such good-looking, kindly souls, as if they were keeping guard over a nursery. Little groups of sailors came swinging along and pushed their way noisily inside the gaudy joints. Sex everywhere: it was slopping over, a neap tide that swept the props from under the city. We piddled along at the edge of the basin where everything was jumbled and tangled; you had the impression that all these ships, these trawlers and yachts and schooners and barges, had been blown ashore by a violent storm.


  在四十八小时内发生了这么多事情,好像我们已经在勒阿弗尔呆了一个月或更久。我们打算星期一一早就走,因为菲尔莫必须回去工作。我们整个星期天都在喝酒、狂欢,也顾不得什么淋病不淋病了。那天下午柯林斯向我们吐露他正考虑回到他在爱达荷的农场去,他有八年没有回家了,想在再去东方航行前回去看一眼家乡的群山。此刻我们正坐在一家妓院里等一个姑娘到来,柯林斯应允悄悄给她一点儿可卡因。他告诉我们勒阿弗尔已叫他生厌了,这儿围着他转的婊子太多,再说吉米的妻子又爱上了他。她醋劲大发,使他日子很不好过,几乎每天晚上都要大闹一通。自从我们到了以后她表现还不错,可是柯林斯告诉我们这长不了。她特别妒嫉一个俄国姑娘,这个姑娘喝醉酒后有时到酒吧里来,是个捣蛋鬼。除了这些女人,他还如醉如痴地爱着头一天对我们讲过的那个男孩。他说,“一个男孩子能叫你心碎,他是他妈的那么美!那么狠心!”听到这话我们笑了,这真是太反常了,可是柯林斯却是十分认真的。

In the space of forty‑eight hours so many things had happened that it seemed as if we had been in Le Havre a month or more. We were planning to leave early Monday morning, as Fillmore had to be back on the job. We spent Sunday drinking and carousing, clap or no clap. That afternoon Collins confided to us that he was thinking of returning to his ranch in Idaho; he hadn't been Home for eight years and he wanted to have a look at the mountains again before making another voyage East. We were sitting in a whorehouse at the time, waiting for a girl to appear; he had promised to slip her some cocaine. He was fed up with Le Havre, he told us. Too many vultures hanging around his neck. Besides, Jimmie's wife had fallen in love with him and she was making things hot for him with her jealous fits. There was a scene almost every night. She had been on her good behaviour since we arrived, but it wouldn't last, he promised us. She was particularly jealous of a Russian girl who came to the bar now and then when she got tight. A troublemaker. On top of it all he was desperately in love with this boy whom he had told us about the first day. "A boy can break your heart," he said. "He's so damned beautiful! And so cruel!" We had to laugh at this. It sounded preposterous. But Collins was in earnest.


  到了星期日午夜前后我和菲尔莫去睡了,人们给了我们一间在酒吧顶上的房间,这儿闷热极了,一点儿气也不透。透过打开的窗子我们能听到他们在楼下喊叫,留声机不停地在唱。突然暴风雨来临了—一场常见的大暴雨。在雷鸣声和打在窗玻璃上的风雨声中,楼下酒吧里爆发的另一场风暴也传进了我们耳朵。这声音近得吓人,十分不祥,女人们扯着嗓子拼命尖叫、酒瓶砸得粉碎、桌子被掀翻,还不时传来人的身体砰然摔倒在地板上发出的熟悉的、令人作呕的响声。

Around midnight Sunday Fillmore and I retired; we had been given a room upstairs over the bar. It was sultry as the devil, not a breath of air stirring. Through the open windows we could hear them shouting downstairs and the gramophone going continually. All of a sudden a storm broke – a regular cloudburst. And between the thunderclaps and the squalls that lashed the windowpanes there came to our ears the sound of another storm raging downstairs at the bar. It sounded frightfully close and sinister; the women were shrieking at the tops of their lungs, bottles were crashing, tables were upset and there was that familiar, nauseating thud that the human body makes when it crashes to the floor.


  大约到了六点柯林斯把头探进门来,他脸上敷满药膏,一只胳膊用吊带吊着,还咧着大嘴笑呢。

About six o'clock Collins stuck his head in the door. His face was all plastered and one arm was stuck in a sling. He had a big grin on his face.


  他说,“正如我所说的,昨天夜里她撒野了。我想你们听到吵闹了吧?”

"Just as I told you," he said. "She broke loose last night. Suppose you heard the racket?"


  我们很快穿好衣服下楼同吉米道别,这个酒店全被毁了,没有一只酒瓶还立着未倒,没有一把椅子没有砸烂,镜子橱窗也被砸成碎片。吉米正在给自己调一份鸡尾酒。

We got dressed quickly and went downstairs to say goodbye to Jimmie. The place was completely demolished, not a bottle left standing, not a chair that wasn't broken. The mirror and the show window were smashed to bits. Jimmie was making himself an eggnog.


  在去火车站的路上我们把事情串起来了。我们摇摇摆摆去睡觉后不久那个俄国姑娘进来了,伊蔽特立即侮辱了她,甚至连借口也不找一个。于是她俩开始互相揪头发,正揪得起劲,一个瑞典大汉走进来给俄国姑娘下巴上来了记清脆的耳光,目的是叫她清醒一下。这一下犹如火上浇油,柯林斯质问这个大块头究竟有什么权利卷入一场私人纠纷。作为答复,他的下巴上被那人捣了一下。这一下很有力,使他飞到酒店另一头去了。

On the way to the station we pieced the story together. The Russian girl had dropped in after we toddled off to bed and Yvette had insulted her promptly, without even waiting for an excuse. They had commenced to pull each other's hair and in the midst of it a big Swede had stepped in and given the Russian girl a sound slap in the jaw – to bring her to her senses. That started the fireworks. Collins wanted to know what right this big stiff had to interfere in a private quarrel. He got a poke in the jaw for an answer, a good one that sent him flying to the other end of the bar.


  “活该!”伊蔽特嚷道,一面利用这个好机会抄起一个酒瓶朝俄国姑娘头上抡去。正在这时候下起了大雷雨,一刹那间爆发了一场十足的大混战,女人们都发了歇斯底里,迫不急待地抓住这个机会报私仇。没有什么比得上酒馆里的一场漂亮械斗……当一个人躺在桌子底下时在他背上插把刀子或是用酒瓶子狠揍他是最容易不过的。可怜的瑞典人这才发现自己惹出了大乱子,在场的每个人都恨他,特别是和他在同一条船上的水手。他们都希望看到他被人干掉,于是他们锁上门,把桌子推到一边,在酒柜前空出一小块地方让他俩斗出个输赢来。他们果然决出了胜负!打完这一架后他们不得不把这可怜的恶鬼送到医院去。柯林斯还算相当幸运—只是扭伤了手腕,几根手指脱了节,鼻子流了血,眼睛也青了。用他自己的话说,只是被搔了几下而已。可是如果再遇见这个瑞典人他一定要宰了他,他告诉我们这件事还没有完。

"Serves you right!" screamed Yvette, taking advantage of the occasion to swing a bottle at the Russian girl's head. And at that moment the thunderstorm broke loose. For a while there was a regular pandemonium, the women all hysterical and hungry to seize the opportunity to pay off private grudges. Nothing like a nice barroom brawl… so easy to stick a knife in a man's back or club him with a bottle when he's lying under a table. The poor Swede found himself in a hornet's nest; everyone in the place hated him, particularly his shipmates. They wanted to see him done in. And so they locked the door and pushing the tables aside they made a little space in front of the bar where the two of them could have it out. And they had it out! They had to carry the poor devil to the hospital when it was over. Collins had come off rather lucky – nothing more than a sprained wrist and a couple of fingers out of joint, a bloody nose and a black eye. Just a few scratches, as he put it. But if he ever signed up with that Swede he was going to murder him. It wasn't finished yet. He promised us that.


  这场打斗也没有完,此后伊蔽特只得另找一家酒吧畅饮一番。她受到了侮辱,她打算了结这些事,于是她雇了一辆出租车,吩咐司机把车开到俯瞰大海的悬崖边上。她要自杀,她就是打算这么干,可是这时她醉得太厉害,一爬出车子便哭起来。  别人还来不及制止,她便开始脱起衣服来。司机把她半裸着载回家里,吉米看到她这副样子不禁勃然大怒,扬起磨剃须刀的皮带把她抽得屁滚尿流。她还喜欢挨揍,这个婊子。她跪在地上用双手搂住他的腿恳求道,“再来几下!”吉米却已打够了。

And that wasn't the end of the fracas either. After that Yvette had to go out and get liquored up at another bar. She had been insulted and she was going to put an end to things. And so she hires a taxi and orders the driver to ride out to the edge of the cliff overlooking the water. She was going to kill hersclf, that's what she was going to do. But then she was so drunk that when she tumbled out of the cab she began to weep and before any one could stop her she had begun to peel her clothes off. The driver brought her Home that way, half-naked, and when Jimmie saw the condition she was in he was so furious with her that he took his razor strop and he belted the piss out of her, and she liked it, the bitch that she was. "Do it some more!" she begged, down on her knees as she was and clutching him around the legs with her two arms. But Jimmie had enough of it.

 
  “你是一头者脏猪!”说着他一脚蹬在她肚子上,把她踢得没气了,也把她无聊的有关性的念头踢掉了一点儿。

"You're a dirty old sow!" he said and with his foot he gave her a shove in the guts that took the wind out of her – and a bit of her sexy nonsense too.


  我们早该走了,在清晨的光线下看这个城市又是另一番景象。站在那儿等火车驶出站时我们谈论的最后一个话题是爱达荷州,我们三个都是美国人,来自不同的地方,但我们却有共同之处,而且可以说有很多,我们变得多愁善感了,美国人在分手时常会这样。对于奶牛、羊、那个人能成其为人的广阔天地以及所有这些空谈,我们萌发了非常愚蠢的遐想,如果驶过来的是一条船而不是一列火车,我们准会跳上去告别这一切。可是柯林斯再也不会见到美国了,这是我后来听说的,然而菲尔莫……唉,菲尔莫也得受到惩罚,其方式是当时我们谁也没有料到的。最好还是让美国就这样,总在不可触及的地方,这有点儿像在身体虚弱时看一张绘有图画的明信片。那样你会想象它一直在等待你,没有变化,没有遭到破坏,一大片爱国者的广阔土地,那儿有牛、有羊,有情欲难禁的男人看见什么都奸,奸男人,奸女人,也奸牲口。美国并不存在,美国只是你给予一个抽象观念的名称……

It was high time we were leaving. The city looked different in the early morning light. The last thing we talked about, as we stood there waiting for the train to pull out, was Idaho. The three of us were Americans. We came from different places, each of us, but we had something in common – a whole lot, I might say. We were getting sentimental, as Americans do when it comes time to part. We were getting quite foolish about the cows and sheep and the big open spaces where men are men and all that crap. If a boat had swung along instead of the train we'd have hopped aboard and said good‑bye to it all. But Collins was never to see America again, as I learned later, and Fillmore… well, Fillmore has to take his punishment too, in a way that none of us could have suspected then. It's best to keep America just like that, always in the background, a sort of picture post card which you look at in a weak moment. Like that, you imagine it's always there waiting for you, unchanged, unspoiled, a big patriotic open space with cows and sheep and tenderhearted men ready to bugger everything in sight, man, woman or beast. It doesn't exist, America. It's a name you give to an abstract idea…

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