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Tropic of Cancer  北回归线-第十五章第四节

We're like a herd of wild horses with blinders over our eyes. On the rampage. Stampede. Over the precipice. Bango! Anything that nourishes violence and confusion. On! On! No matter where. And foaming at the lips all the while. Shouting Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Why? God knows. It's in the blood. It's the climate. It's a lot of things. It's the end, too. We're pulling the whole world down about our ears. We don't know why. It's our destiny. The rest is plain shit…

我们就像一群眼睛被蒙住的野马,我们狂奔、乱跑,呼的跃下了悬崖。前进!前进!向着助长暴力和迷惑的一切前进,不拘上哪儿。这时马的嘴角一直在冒白沫,口中喊着:“哈利路亚!哈利路亚!”为什么?上帝知道。这是由于血液,由于气候,由于许多因素,这也是终结。我们正在把整个世界拉倒,叫它压在我们头上,我们不知道为什么要这样干,这是命中注定的。其余的全是胡扯……

At the Palais Royal I suggested that we stop and have a drink. He hesitated a moment. I saw that he was worrying about her, about the lunch, about the bawling out he'd get.

到了王宫那儿,我提议停下喝一杯。菲尔莫犹豫了一下,我看出他在耽心吉乃特、耽心午饭、耽心会挨一顿臭骂。

"For Christ's sake," I said, "forget about her for a while. I'm going to order something to drink and I want you to drink it. Don't worry, I'm going to get you out of this fucking mess." I ordered two stiff whiskies.

我说,“看在基督的份上,暂时忘掉她吧。我要叫点儿喝的,而巨要叫你喝。别担心,我要把你从这个鬼圈套里弄出来。”我叫了两杯烈性威士忌。

When he saw the whiskies coming he smiled at me just like a child again.

看到威士忌端上来,他又像个孩子似的朝我笑了。

"Down it!" I said, "and let's have another. This is going to do you good. I don't care what the doctor says – this time it'll be all right. Come on, down with it!"

我说,“把它干了!咱们再喝一杯,酒会对你有好处的。我不管医生怎么说,现在总没有关系了。来,把它干了。”

He put it down all right and while the garçon disappeared to fetch another round he looked at me with brimming eyes, as though I were the last friend in the world. His lips were twitching a bit, too. There was something he wanted to say to me and he didn't quite know how to begin. I looked at him easily, as though ignoring the appeal and, shoving the saucers aside, I leaned over on my elbow and I said to him earnestly: "Look here, Fillmore, what is it you'd really like to do? Tell me!"

他干脆地把它喝完了,侍者走开去拿酒时他用泪汪汪的眼睛看着我,似乎我是他在这个世界上的最后一个朋友,他的嘴唇也在微微抽搐。他有话想对我说,可是又不知道如何启齿。我轻松地瞧着他,就像没有看到他乞求的目光一样。然后,我把茶托推到一边,用时撑着俯在桌上恳切地说,“我说,菲尔莫,你倒底想干什么?告诉我吧!”

With that the tears gushed up and he blurted out: "I'd like to be home with my people. I'd like to hear English spoken." The tears were streaming down his face. He made no effort to brush them away. He just let everything gush forth. Jesus, I thought to myself, that's fine to have a release like that. Fine to be a complete coward at least once in your life. To let go that way. Great! Great! It did me so much good to see him break down that way that I felt as though I could solve any problem. I felt courageous and resolute. I had a thousand ideas in my head at once.

听到这话泪水从他眼眶里涌出,他脱口便说,“我想回家跟家人呆在一起,我想听见人们说英语。”热泪从他脸上流下来,他并不去擦,只是叫一切都涌泻出来。老天,我暗想,这样发泄一下倒也不错。一辈子至少作一回彻头彻尾的懦夫倒也不错,可以这样痛痛快快地发泄一下。太棒了!太棒了!看见他垂头丧气对我大有益处,于是我觉得自己可以解决任何难题,我觉得勇气倍增、果断坚毅,脑子里立即有了一千条妙计。

"Listen," I said, bending still closer to him, "if you mean what you said why don't you do it… why don't you go? Do you know what I would do, if I were in your shoes? I'd go today. Yes, by Jesus, I mean it… I'd go right away, without even saying good bye to her. As a matter of fact that's the only way you can go – she'd never let you say good bye. You know that."

我又凑近些说,“听着,如果你真的心口如一,为什么不干……为什么不走呢?假如我处在你的处置上,你知道我会怎么办?我今天就走。是的。老天在上,我说的是真的……我会马上走掉,甚至不跟她道别。实际上,这是你唯一的一条出路,她是永远不会放你走的。这一点你明白。”

The garçon came with the whiskies. I saw him reach forward with a desperate eagerness and raise the glass to his lips. I saw a glint of hope in his eyes – far off, wild, desperate. He probably saw himself swimming across the Atlantic. To me it looked easy, simple as rolling off a log. The whole thing was working itself out rapidly in my mind. I knew just what each step would be. Clear as a bell, I was.

侍者端来了威士忌,我看到菲尔莫迫不急待地伸手接过酒杯送到唇边,我看到他眼睛里流露出一丝希望的光芒—遥远、狂暴、孤注一掷的光芒,也许他看到自己正在游过大西洋。在我看来这件事很容易,像滚动一根圆木那样简单。我脑子里很快便想出了这件事的计划,我知道每一步会怎样,我的脑子清楚极了。

"Whose money is that in the bank?" I asked. "Is it her father's or is it yours?"

我问他,“银行里的钱是准的?是她爹的还是你的?”

"It's mine!" he exclaimed. "My mother sent it to me. I don't want any of her goddamned money."

他嚷道,“是我的,是我妈寄给我的。我才不要她的一分臭钱呢。”

"That's swell!" I said. "Listen, suppose we hop a cab and go back there. Draw out every cent. Then we'll go to the British Consulate and get a visa. You're going to hop the train this afternoon for London. From London you'll take the first boat to America. I'm saying that because then you won't be worried about her trailing you. She'll never suspect that you went via London. If she goes searching for you she'll naturally go to Le Havre first, or Cherbourg… And here's another thing – you're not going back to get your things. You're going to leave everything here. Let her keep them. With that French mind of hers she'll never dream that you scooted off without bag or baggage. It's incredible. A Frenchman would never dream of doing a thing like that… unless he was as cracked as you are."

我说,“妙极了!好,现在咱们搭出租车回到那儿,把钱全取光。然后咱们就去英国领事馆弄一份签证,今天下午你就坐火车去伦敦,再从伦敦乘最早一班船回美国。我建议你这样走是因为那样一来你就不必再担心她追你了,她绝不会疑心你是经伦敦走的。若要去找你,她自然会先去勒阿弗尔或瑟堡……还有一件事,你不要回去取东西。你得把一切都留在这儿,让她留着吧。她的法国人脑瓜永远也不会料到你不带包或行李就溜之大吉了,这是令人难以置信的。一个法国人绝不会想到能这样做……除非他跟你一样疯癫。”

"You're right!" he exclaimed. "I never thought of that. Besides, you might send them to me later on – if she'll surrender them! But that doesn't matter now. Jesus, though, I haven't even got a hat!"

菲尔莫嚷道,“你说的对!我就从来没有想到这个。再说,以后你还可以把东西寄给我—如果她肯给你的话,不过现在这无关紧要,可是,天啊!我连顶帽子都没有!”

"What do you need a hat for? When you get to London you can buy everything you need. All you need now is to hurry. We've got to find out when the train leaves."

“你要帽子干什么?等到了伦敦,你可以买需要的一切。现在要紧的是要快,我们得了解清楚火车几点开。”

"Listen," he said, reaching for his wallet, "I'm going to leave everything to you. Here, take this and do whatever's necessary. I'm too weak… I'm dizzy."

他掏出钱包说,“喂,我把一切都交给你去办。拿着,拿着这个,该办什么就办吧。我太弱了……我头晕。”

I took the wallet and emptied it of the bills he had just drawn from the bank. A cab was standing at the curb. We hopped in. There was a train leaving the Gare du Nord at four o'clock, or thereabouts. I was figuring it our the bank, the Consulate, the American Express, the station. Fine! Just about make it.

我接过钱包,把他刚从银行取出的钞票全倒出来。一辆出租车正停在路边,我们便坐上去。大约四点钟有一趟火车驶离北方车站,我在计算时间—银行、英国领事馆、美国捷运公司、火车站。行!差不多还来得及。

"Now buck up!" I said, "and keep your shirt on! Shit! in a few hours you'll be crossing the Channel. Tonight you'll be walking around in London and you'll get a good bellyful of English. Tomorrow you'll be on the open sea – and then, by Jesus, you're a free man and you needn't give a fuck what happens. By the time you get to New York this'll be nothing more than a bad dream."

我说,“振奋起来!保持冷静!哼,再过几个小时你就渡过英吉利海峡了。今天晚上你就会在伦敦逛了,听英语听个够。明天你就到了大海上,那时候你就是自由的人了,不必再担心会发生什么事情。等你到达纽约,这一切不过只是一场恶梦而已。”

This got him so excited that his feet were moving convulsively, as if he were trying to run inside the cab. At the bank his hand was trembling so that he could hardly sign his name. That was one thing I couldn't do for him – sign his name. But I think, had it been necessary, I could have sat him on the toilet and wiped his ass. I was determined to ship him off, even if I had to fold him up and put him in a valise.

这番话使他大为激动,双脚来回蹬了几下,像是想在汽车里就撒腿跑起来。在银行里,他的手抖得厉害,几乎签不了名。签名这件事我无法代劳,可我想若是有必要,我可以把他按在马桶上,替他擦屁股。我决意把他送上船弄走,哪怕得把他折起来塞进一只箱子也罢。

It was lunch hour when we got to the British Consulate, and the place was closed. That meant waiting until two o'clock. I couldn't think of anything better to do, by way of killing time, than to eat. Fillmore, of course, wasn't hungry. He was for eating a sandwich. "Fuck that!" I said. "You're going to blow me to a good lunch. It's the last square meal you're going to have over here – maybe for a long while." I steered him to a cosy little restaurant and ordered a good spread. I ordered the best wine on the menu, regardless of price or taste. I had all his money in my pocket – oodles of it, it seemed to me. Certainly never before had I had so much in my fist at one time. It was a treat to break a thousand franc note. I held it up to the light first to look at the beautiful watermark. Beautiful money! One of the few things the French make on a grand scale. Artistically done, too, as if they cherished a deep affection even for the symbol.

赶到英国领事馆已是吃午饭的时间,那儿关门了。这意味着得等到两点钟,除了去吃饭,我想不出还有什么更好的消磨时间的方式。菲尔莫当然不饿,他主张吃一块三明治了事。我说,“去它的!你得请我吃一顿好饭,这是你在这儿吃的最后一顿丰盛的饭了,也许过很久才能再吃到呢。”我领他来到一家舒适的小餐馆,叫了一大桌菜。我叫了菜单上最好的甜酒,不管价钱多少,味道好坏。他的钱全在我的口袋里,我觉得钱很多。以前我当然从来没有一次装过这么多钱,破开一张一千法郎的大钞真是一种享受,我先把它举到亮处观察它漂亮的透明花纹。好漂亮的钱!这是法国人大规模制造的为数不多的东西之一,而且造得很精美,仿佛他们对这种象征物也怀着深深的爱。

The meal over, we went to a café. I ordered Chartreuse with the coffee. Why not? And I broke another bill – a five-hundred franc note this time. It was a clean, new, crisp bill. A pleasure to handle such money. The waiter handed me back a lot of dirty old bills that had been patched up with strips of gummed paper; I had a stack of five and ten franc notes and a bagful of chicken feed. Chinese money, with holes in it. I didn't know in which pocket to stuff the money any more. My trousers were bursting with coins and bills. It made me slightly uncomfortable also, hauling all that dough out in public. I was afraid we might be taken for a couple of crooks.

吃完饭后我们来到一家咖啡馆,我要咖啡时一起叫了查尔特勒酒。为什么不?我又破开了一张钞票,这一回是一张五百法郎的票子,是一张干干净净的新票子,又硬又脆,摆弄这样的钱真是一件令人愉快的事。侍者找给我一大堆肮脏的旧票子,是用一条条胶纸粘在一起的。我得到一大堆五法郎、十法郎的票子和一口袋零钱,像中间有孔的中国钱,我简直不知道该把钱装在哪一只衣袋里,我的裤袋里鼓鼓地塞满了硬币和钞票。在公共场所里掏出那么多钱来也略略使我有些不快,我怕我们会被人看作是两个贼。

When we got to the American Express there wasn't a devil of a lot of time left. The British, in their usual fumbling farting way, had kept us on pins and needles. Here everybody was sliding around on castors. They were so speedy that everything had to be done twice. After all the checks were signed and clipped in a neat little holder, it was discovered that he had signed in the wrong place. Nothing to do but start all over again. I stood over him, with one eye on the clock, and watched every stroke of the pen. It hurt to hand over the dough. Not all of it, thank God – but a good part of it. I had roughly about 2,500 francs in my pocket. Roughly, I say. I wasn't counting by francs any more. A hundred, or two hundred, more or less – it didn't mean a goddamned thing to me. As for him, he was going through the whole transaction in a daze. He didn't know how much money he had. All he knew was that he had to keep something aside for Ginette. He wasn't certain yet how much – we were going to figure that out on the way to the station.

等我们来到美国捷运公司时已经没有多少时间了,刚才英国人以他们一贯的笨手笨脚的混蛋方式叫我们等得心急如焚。而这儿人人脚下都像装了轮子似的在滑行,他们动作太快,结果每一道手续得过两遍。等所有的票据上都签了字、用一个小夹子整整齐齐夹好了,这才发现菲尔莫签名签的不是地方。没有别的法子,只好一切从头开始。我站着看他坐在那里一笔一笔地写,同时还盯着那只钟。把钱交出去真叫人不好受,谢天谢地,不用全交—可也交了一大笔。我口袋里大概装了两千五百法郎,我说的是大概,我已不再一法郎一法郎地数了,一百二百法郎左右的钱对我来说不算什么。至于菲尔莫,他昏昏沉沉办完了全部手续。他不知道自己有多少钱,只知道他得为吉乃特留一点儿。他也说不上留多少,去火车站的路上我们要算一算。

In the excitement we had forgotten to change all the money. We were already in the cab, however, and there wasn't any time to be lost. The thing was to find out how we stood. We emptied our pockets quickly and began to whack it up. Some of it was lying on the floor, some of it was on the seat. It was bewildering. There was French, American and English money. And all that chicken feed besides. I felt like picking up the coins and chucking them out of the window – just to simplify matters. Finally we sifted it all out; he held on to the English and American money, and I held on to the French money.

慌乱中我们竞忘了把所有的钱都兑换掉,现在已经上了出租车,再说也不能再耽搁时间了。现在要做的是看看究竟还有多少钱,我们很快掏空了衣袋,把钱分成几份。有些钱扔在地上,有些放在座位上,令人茫然不知所措。有法国钱、美国钱和英国钱,还有那些零钱。为了简单些,我极想拣起那些硬币扔到窗外去。最后我们把它全部清点了一遍,他拿着英国和美国钱,我拿着法国货币。

We had to decide quickly now what to do about Ginette – how much to give her, what to tell her, etc. He was trying to fix up a yarn for me to hand her – didn't want her to break her heart and so forth. I had to cut him short.

我们必须快点决定拿吉乃特怎么办—给她多少钱、对她怎么说,等等。他企图编好一个故事叫我讲给她听,说他不想伤她的心以及诸如此类的话,我只有打断他。

"Never mind what to tell her," I said. "Leave that to me. How much are you going to give her, that's the thing? Why give her anything?"

“别管怎么对她说,全交给我好了。问题是,你要给她多少钱?为什么还要给她钱?”

That was like setting a bomb under his ass. He burst into tears. Such tears! It was worse than before. I thought he was going to collapse on my hands. Without stopping to think, I said: "All right, let's give her all this French money. That ought to last her for a while."

这话像在他屁股底下放了一颗炸弹,他又哭开了。哭得这么凶!比刚才哭得还厉害,我以为他就要倒在我手上了。于是我不假思索他说,“好吧,把法国钱都给她好了。那可以叫她维持一阵子。”

"How much is it?" he asked feebly.

他无力地问,“有多少?”

"I don't know – about 2,000 francs or so. More than she deserves anyway."

“不知道—大约两千法郎上下,反正比她应得的要多。”

"Christ! Don't say that!" he begged. "After all, it's a rotten break I'm giving her. Her folks'll never take her back now. No, give it to her. Give her the whole damned business… I don't care what it is."

他乞求道,“老天!别这样说!不管怎么说,我这样一走就把她坑苦了,她家里人现在再也不会收留她了。不,给她吧,全部都给她……我不在乎多少。”

He pulled a handkerchief out to wipe the tears away. "I can't help it," he said. "It's too much for me." I said nothing. Suddenly he sprawled himself out full length – I thought he was taking a fit or something – and he said: "Jesus, I think I ought to go back. I ought to go back and face the music. If anything should happen to her I'd never forgive myself."

他扯出一条手帕来擦眼泪,他说,“我忍不住,这叫我太难受了。”什么也没说。突然他直挺挺地躺倒了,我以为他昏过去了还是怎么的。他却说,“老天,我想我该回去,我该回去听她破口大骂。她若有个好歹,我永远也不会原谅自己。”

That was a rude jolt for me. "Christ!" I shouted, "you can't do that! Not now. It's too late. You're going to take the train and I'm going to tend to her myself. I'll go see her just as soon as I leave you. Why, you poor boob, if she ever thought you had tried to run away from her she'd murder you, don't you realize that? You can't go back any more. It's settled."

这使我大吃一惊,“老天爷!你可不能这样做!现在不行,太迟了。你得去搭火车,我自己去对付她,我一离开你就去找她。唉,你这个可怜的傻瓜,一旦她猜到你曾经想甩下她逃走,她就会宰了你的。你想到这一层了吗?你再也回不去了,这事儿已经定了。”

Anyway, what could go wrong? I asked myself. Kill herself? Tant mieux.

再说,能有什么“好歹”呢?我自问。自杀?那样更好。

 

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