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《黎明踏浪号》第9章:声音岛

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AND now the winds which had so long been from the north-west began to blow from the west itself and every morning when the sun rose out of the sea the curved prow of the Dawn Treader stood up right across the middle of the sun. Some thought that the sun looked larger than it looked from Narnia, but others disagreed. And they sailed and sailed before a gentle yet steady breeze and saw neither fish nor gull- nor ship nor shore. And stores began to get low again, and it crept into their hearts that perhaps they might have come to a sea which went on for ever. But when the very last day on which they thought they could risk continuing their eastward voyage dawned, it showed, right ahead between them and the sunrise, a low land lying like a cloud.刮了好多天西北风,如今开始转西风了,每天早晨太阳升出海面,黎明踏浪号的雕花船头就恰好对着太阳正中昂然耸立。有人觉得太阳看上去比在纳尼亚看起来要大,可是也有人不同意。他们就这样航行,顺着轻风航行,风虽小,风向倒也不变,既看不见鱼,也看不见海鸥,又看不见船,也看不见海岸。贮藏又开始减少了,大家心里偷偷地想,也许他们开到一个永远到不了头的大海。谁知就在最后一天,他们认为还可以冒险继续东航的那一天,天刚破晓,就看见前面有一片云层似的低地,横亘在船和日出的地方之间。
They made harbour in a wide bay about the middle of the afternoon and landed. It was a very different country from any they had yet seen. For when they had crossed the sandy beach they found all silent and empty as if it were an uninhabited land, but before them there were level lawns in which the grass was as smooth and short as it used to be in the grounds of a great English house where ten gardeners were kept. The trees, of which there were many, all stood well apart from one another, and there were no broken branches and no leaves lying on the ground. Pigeons sometimes cooed but there was no other noise.下午三点左右,他们停泊在一个宽阔的海湾里,上了岸。这里跟他们见识过的地方都大不相同。因为当他们走过沙滩时,发现四下一片寂静,空空荡荡,似乎是个没人住的岛屿,可是在他们面前却是平坦的草地,上面的草又短又柔滑,恰如英国名门大户有十个园丁侍弄的园地一样。上面还有好多树木,一棵棵都距离匀称,地上不见断枝残叶。不时有鸽子咕咕叫,但听不到别的声音。
Presently they came to a long, straight, sanded path with not a weed growing on it and trees on either hand. Far off at the other end of this avenue they now caught sight of a house - very long and grey and quiet-looking in the afternoon sun.不一会儿他们来到一条又长又直的沙子铺的小路,路面上没长一棵野草,两边都栽着树。在这条小路远处的另一头,他们看见一座房子——长长一排,灰色的房子,在午后阳光下显得一派宁静。-
Almost as soon as they entered this path Lucy noticed that she had a little stone in her shoe. In that unknown place it might have been wiser for her to ask the others to wait while she took it out. But she didn't; she just dropped quietly behind and sat down to take off her shoe. Her lace had got into a knot.几乎就在他们走上这条小路时,露茜感觉到鞋里有颗小石头。在那种陌生地方,她原该叫别人等着她取出石头才是上策。可是她偏没有,只是悄悄落在后面,坐下来脱鞋。她的鞋带打结了。
Before she had undone the knot the others were a fair distance ahead. By the time she had got the stone out and was putting the shoe on again she could no longer hear them. But almost at once she heard something else. It was not coming from the direction of the house.她还没解开鞋带,别人己走到前面老远了。等她掏出石头,重新穿上鞋,她已经听不见他们的动静。不过她几乎立刻就听到了别的动静。这声音不是从房子那边传来的。,
What she heard was a thumping. It sounded as if dozens of strong workmen were hitting the ground as hard as they could with great wooden mallets. And it was very quickly coming nearer. She was already sitting with her back to a tree, and as the tree was not one she could climb, there was really nothing to do but to sit dead still and press herself against the tree and hope she wouldn't be seen.她听到的是一阵砰砰声。听上去像是十几个身强力壮的工人抡着大木槌拼命在捶打地面。很快就越来越近。这时她已经背靠一棵树坐着,因为爬不上树,她实在没办法,只能一动不动坐着,身子紧紧贴着树,但愿人家看不见她。
Thump, thump, thump . . . and whatever it was must be very close now for she could feel the ground shaking. But she could see nothing. She thought the thing - or things must be just behind her. But then there came a thump on the path right in front of her. She knew it was on the path not only by the sound but because she saw the sand scatter as if it had been struck a heavy blow. But she could see nothing that had struck it. Then all the thumping noises drew together about twenty feet away from her and suddenly ceased. Then came the Voice.砰,砰,砰……不管这是什么声音,反正这会儿很近了,她都感觉得到地面在震动了。可是她什么也看不见。她以为那东西——或那些东西——一定就在她身后。不料就在她面前的小路上传来砰的一声。她不仅听到那一下响声,而且还看见路面沙土飞扬,仿佛受到一下猛击似的,就知道那东西在小路上了。可是她看不见是什么东西猛击地面。接着所有的砰砰声都凑在一起,大约离她二十英尺远,突然一下子都停了。于是传来说话声。
It was really very dreadful because she could still see nobody at all. The whole of that park-like country still looked as quiet and empty as it had looked when they first landed. Nevertheless, only a few feet away from her, a voice spoke. And what it said was:这真是非常可怕,因为她根本一个人都看不见。那整个公园般的地方依然像他们刚才登陆时那样寂静空旷口尽管如此,离她三两步的地方却有一个声音在说话。说的是:
"Mates, now's our chance.""伙计们,我们的机会可来了。"
Instantly a whole chorus of other voices replied, "Hear him. Hear him. `Now 's our chance', he said. Well done, Chief. You never said a truer word."顿时,其他人齐声回答说"听哪,听哪,他说了,我们的机会可来了。说得好,头儿。你说得太对了。"
"What I say," continued the first voice, "is, get down to the shore between them and their boat, and let every mother's son look to his weapons. Catch 'em when they try to put to sea.""我说的是,"先前那声音继续说,"到岸边去,拦住他们,别让他们上小船,大家都拿好武器。他们想要到海上去的话就抓住他们。"
"Eh, that's the way," shouted all the other voices. "You never made a better plan, Chief. Keep it up, Chief. You couldn't have a better plan than that.""啊,这样做就对了,"其他声音一致嚷着说,"你这办法太妙了,头儿。说下去,头儿。你这办法想得再妙也没有了。".
"Lively, then, mates, lively," said the first voice. "Off we go."伙计们,那就赶紧加油吧,加油啊,"先前那声音说,"我们走吧。"
"Right again, Chief," said the others. "Couldn't have a better order. Just what we were going to say ourselves. Off we go.""对极了,头儿,"其他声音说,"这命令再好也没有了。
Immediately the thumping began again - very loud at first but soon fainter and fainter, till it died out in the direction of the sea.我们自己也正想这么说呢。我们走吧。"
Lucy knew there was no time to sit puzzling as to what these invisible creatures might be. As soon as the thumping noise had died away she got up and ran along the path after the others as quickly as her legs would carry her. They must at all costs be warned.砰砰声立刻又响起了——开头很响,不久就越来越弱,越来越弱,直到最后在靠海的那边消失了。
While this had been happening the others had reached the house. It was a low building - only two stories high made of a beautiful mellow stone, many-windowed, and partially covered with ivy. Everything was so still that Eustace said, "I think it's empty," but Caspian silently pointed to the column of smoke which rose from one chimney.露茜知道没工夫再坐着猜测这些看不见的怪物是些什么东西。那阵砰砰声刚消失,她就起身,沿着小路,撒开两腿,赶快奔去追大家。无论如何得警告他们一下。
They found a wide gateway open and passed through it into a paved courtyard. And it was here that they had their first indication that there was something odd about this island. In the middle of the courtyard stood a pump, and beneath the pump a bucket. There was nothing odd about that. But the pump handle was moving up and down, though there seemed to be no one moving it.就在发生这事的时刻,大家已走到那座房子。这是座矮房子——只有两层——用漂亮光滑的石块建造,有不少窗子,墙上常春藤半遮半掩。一切都那么宁静。尤斯塔斯就说:"我看这是空房。"可是凯斯宾一声不吭,指着烟囱里冒出来的烟。
"There's some magic at work here," said Caspian.他们看到大门洞开,就穿过大门,走进一个铺着石板地
"Machinery!" said Eustace. "I do believe we've come to a civilized country at last."面的院子。院子当中有个水泵,水泵下有个水桶。那倒也没什么希奇。希奇的是看上去没人在摇动水泵把手,把手竟在上下摇动。
At that moment Lucy, hot and breathless, rushed into the courtyard behind them. In a low voice she tried to make them understand what she had overheard. And when they had partly understood it even the bravest of them did not look very happy."这里有魔法在起作用。"凯斯宾说。
"Invisible enemies," muttered Caspian. "And cutting us off from the boat. This is an ugly furrow to plough.""机器!”尤斯塔斯说,"我相信我们终于到了一个文明国家。"
"You've no idea what sort of creatures they are, Lu?" asked Edmund.这时,露茜风风火火,气喘吁吁地随后奔进院子。她压低嗓门,向他们说明她听到的消息。等到他们听明白了几分,连最勇敢的人都脸色不妙了。
"How can I, Ed, when I couldn't see them?""看不见的敌人,"凯斯宾嘀咕说,"切断我们上船的去路。这一关可难闯了。"
"Did they sound like humans from their footsteps?""你不知道他们是哪一类怪物吗,露?”爱德蒙问。"爱德,我又看不见他们,怎么知道呢?”-
"I didn't hear any noise of feet - only voices and this frightful thudding and thumping - like a mallet.""听他们脚步声像人类吗?"
"I wonder," said Reepicheep, "do they become visible when you drive a sword into them?""我没听到脚步声——只听到这种咚咚咚、砰砰砰的吓人声音——就像木槌在捶打。"
"It looks as if we shall find out," said Caspian. "But let's get out of this gateway. There's one of these gentry at that pump listening to all we say.""我倒想知道,"雷佩契普说,"你拿把剑刺进他们身子,他们显不显原形?"
They came out and went back on to the path where the trees might possibly make them less conspicuous. "Not that it's any good really," said Eustace, "trying to hide from people you can't see. They may be all round us.""看来我们一定要弄明白,"凯斯宾说,"不过我们还是先走出这大门吧。那水泵旁有一个家伙在听我们说话呢。"
"Now, Drinian," said Caspian. "How would it be if we gave up the boat for lost, went down to another part of the bay, and signalled to the Dawn Treader to stand in and take us aboard?"他们出了大门,回进那条小路,路边有树可以隐蔽。
"Not depth for her, Sire," said Drinian."其实想躲开你看不见的人,一点也没用。他们可能就在我们周围呢。"尤斯塔斯说。
"We could swim," said Lucy.可每,德里宁,"凯斯宾说,"如果我们认定回小船没希望了,那就走到海湾的另一边,发信号叫黎明踏浪号开向海岸,接我们上船,你看怎么样?"
"Your Majesties all," said Reepicheep, "hear me. It is folly to think of avoiding an invisible enemy by any amount of creeping and skulking. If these creatures mean to bring us to battle, be sure they will succeed. And whatever comes of it I'd sooner meet them face to face than be caught by the tail.""吃水不够深,陛下。"德里宁说。"我们可以游过去。"露茜说。
"I really think Reep is in the right this time," said Edmund."三位王上听我说,"雷佩契普说,"企图偷偷摸摸,躲躲闪闪,避开看不见的敌人,那是妄想。假如这些怪物存心找我们打仗,准会得逞。不管结果怎么样,与其让他们揪住尾巴,还不如面对面交锋。"
"Surely," said Lucy, "if Rhince and the others on the Dawn Treader see us fighting on the shore they'll be able to do something.""我真认为雷普这回说得对。"爱德蒙说。
"But they won't see us fighting if they can't see any enemy," said Eustace miserably. "They'll think we're just swinging our swords in the air for fun.""一点不错,"露茜说,"如果赖因斯和黎明踏浪号上的其他人员看见我们在岸上打仗,他们就能采取某种行动。"
There was an uncomfortable pause."要是他们看不见任何敌人,就不会明白我们在打仗。"尤斯塔斯发愁说,"他们会以为我们只是对空舞剑呢。"
"Well," said Caspian at last, "let's get on with it. We must go and face them. Shake hands all round - arrow on the string, Lucy - swords out, everyone else - and now for it. Perhaps they'll parley."大家都不安地沉默半晌。
It was strange to see the lawns and the great trees looking so peaceful as they marched back to the beach. And when they arrived there, and saw the boat lying where they had left her, and the smooth sand with no one to be seen on it, more than one doubted whether Lucy had not merely imagined all she had told them. But before they reached the sand, a voice spoke out of the air."得了,"凯斯宾终于说,"我们索性豁出去了。我们必须去面对他们。大家互相握握手——露茜,箭上弦——其余人都剑出鞘——准备好。也许他们愿意会谈。"
"No further, masters, no further now," it said. "We've got to talk with you first. There's fifty of us and more here with weapons in our fists."说也奇怪,他们齐步前进回到海滩,竟看见草地和参天大树一派太平景象。他们到了海滩,只见小船还停在先前扔下那地方,光溜溜的沙地上一个人也看不见。不止一个人在怀疑露茜说给他们听的事是不是仅仅出于想象。不料他们还没走到沙地,半空中就有个声音说话了。
"Hear him, hear him," came the chorus. "That's our Chief. You can depend on what he says. He's telling you the truth, he is.""别再走了,爷们,别再走了,"这声音说,"我们先得跟他们谈谈。我们这儿有五十多人,手里都有武器。
"I do not see these fifty warriors," observed Reepicheep."听哪,听哪,"众人齐声说,"这是我们的头儿。他说的话完全靠得住。他跟你们说的是实话,真的。""我看不见这五十位勇士。"雷佩契普说。
"That's right, that's right," said the Chief Voice. "You don't see us. And why not? Because we're invisible.""不错,不错。"头儿的声音说。
"Keep it up, Chief, keep it up," said the Other Voices. "You're talking like a book. They couldn't ask for a better answer than that.""你看不见我们。为什么看不见呢?因为我们是隐身人。"
"Be quiet, Reep," said Caspian, and then added in a louder voice, "You invisible people, what do you want with us? And what have we done to earn your enmity?""说下去,头儿,说下去,"其他声音说,"你说得完全正确。这回答再好也没有了。"
"We want something that little girl can do for us," said the Chief Voice. (The others explained that this was just what they would have said themselves.)"别响,雷普,"凯斯宾说,接着又大声再说一句,"你们隐身人,要找我们干什么?我们干了哪些事得罪你们了?"
"Little girl!" said Reepicheep. "The lady is a queen.""我们要找你们办件事,这小姑娘能替我们办到。"头儿声音说。(其他人就说这话正是他们本人都要说的。
"We don't know about queens," said the Chief Voice."小姑娘!”雷佩契普说,"这位小姐是女王呢。"
("No more we do, no more we do," chimed in the others.) "But we want something she can do.""我们没听说过什么女王,"头儿声音说,(“我们没听说过,我们没听说过。"其他人随声附和说。)"不过我们要求的事她能办到。"
"What is it?" said Lucy."什么事啊?"露茜说。
"And if it is anything against her Majesty's honour or safety," added Reepicheep, "you will wonder to see how many we can kill before we die.""假如是什么对女王陛下荣誉或安全不利的事,"雷佩契普又说,"你们看到我们临死还可以杀掉多少人,准会感到奇怪。"
"Well," said the Chief Voice. "It's a long story. Suppose we all sit down?" ,"好吧,"头儿声音说,"说来话长,我们都坐下吧。"
The proposal was warmly approved by the other voices but the Narnians remained standing.其他声音都一致热情附和这个建议,可是纳尼亚人依然站着。
"Well," said the Chief Voice. "It's like this. This island has been the property of a great magician time out of mind. And we all are - or perhaps in a manner of speaking, I might say, we were - his servants. Well, to cut a long story short, this magician that I was speaking about, he told us to do something we didn't like. And why not? Because we didn't want to. Well, then, this same magician he fell into a great rage; for I ought to tell you he owned the island and he wasn't used to being crossed. He was terribly downright, you know. But let me see, where am I? Oh yes, this magician then, he goes upstairs (for you must know he kept all his magic things up there and we all lived down below), I say he goes upstairs and puts a spell on us. An uglifying spell. If you saw us now, which in my opinion you may thank your stars you can't, you wouldn't believe what we looked like before we were uglified. You wouldn't really. So there we all were so ugly we couldn't bear to look at one another. So then what did we do? Well, I'll tell you what we did. We waited till we thought this same magician would be asleep in the afternoon and we creep upstairs and go to his magic book, as bold as brass, to see if we can do anything about this uglification. But we were all of a sweat and a tremble, so I won't deceive you. But, believe me or believe me not, I do assure you that we couldn't find any thing in the way of a spell for taking off the ugliness. And what with time getting on and being afraid that the old gentleman might wake up any minute - I was all of a muck sweat, so I won't deceive you - well, to cut a long story short, whether we did right or whether we did wrong, in the end we see a spell for making people invisible. And we thought we'd rather be invisible than go on being as ugly as all that. And why? Because we'd like it better. So my little girl, who's just about your little girl's age, and a sweet child she was before she was uglified, though now - but least said soonest mended - I say, my little girl she says the spell, for it's got to be a little girl or else the magician himself, if you see my meaning, for otherwise it won't work. And why not? Because nothing happens. So my Clipsie says the spell, for I ought to have told you she reads beautifully, and there we all were as invisible as you could wish to see. And I do assure you it was a relief not to see one another's faces. At first, anyway. But the long and the short of it is we're mortal tired of being invisible. And there's another thing. We never reckoned on this magician (the one I was telling you about before) going invisible too. But we haven't ever seen him since. So we don't know if he's dead, or gone .away, or whether he's just sitting upstairs being invisible, and perhaps coming down and being invisible there. And, believe me, it's no manner of use listening because he always did go about with his bare feet on, making no more noise than a great big cat. And I'll tell all you gentlemen straight, it's getting more than what our nerves can stand.""说起来,"头儿声音说,"事情是这样的。不知多少年以前,这个岛原是一个魔法大师的地产。我们全是——或许不妨说,我们全是——他的奴仆。好吧,长话短说,我说起的这个魔法师,他叫我们干我们不喜欢的事。为什么不?因为我们不愿干。唉,这一来,这个魔法师就大发雷霆。因为我应当告诉你们,他是这个岛的主子,他不习惯人家跟他抬杠。你们要知道,他这人真直爽得不得了。可是让我看看,我说到哪儿了?啊,对了,说到这个魔法师,他上了楼,因为你们必须知道他把所有的魔法玩意儿全放在楼上,我们都住在楼下。我说,他上了楼,对我们施了魔法。一种丑化的魔法。依我看,你们看不见我们还真该谢天谢地,如果你们现在看见我们这模样,才不会相信我们变丑以前长得什么模样呢。你们真不会相信。我们竟丑得大家彼此见了都受不了。那我们怎么办呢?好吧,我告诉你,我们怎么办。我们等到这个魔法师大概睡午觉了,就厚着脸皮偷偷上楼去找他的魔法书,看看有什么办法破这个丑化的魔法。可是我们全都浑身大汗,直打哆嗦,我决不骗你。不过,信不信由你,我们的的确确找不到什么去除丑相的魔法。时间过得很快,生怕这位老先生随时都会醒来——我浑身臭汗,决不骗你——好吧,长话短说,不管我们做得对也好,做得错也好!临了我们看到一种隐身魔法。我们心想,与其这么一副丑相,不如隐身为妙。为什么呢?因为我们情愿这样。于是我的小姑娘,她跟你们的小姑娘年龄差不多,她没变丑以前是个可爱的孩子,虽然如今——啊,还是少说为妙——啊呀,我的小姑娘念了咒语,因为一定得由个小姑娘来念,或者魔法师本人,你们明白我意思吧,否则的话就不灵验。为什么不灵验呢?因为什么都变不了。于是我的小姑娘克莉普西念了咒语,我应当告诉你们,她念得真棒,咒语念好,我们就都遂了心愿,变成隐身人了。不骗你,大家彼此看不见脸倒真轻松了。不管怎样,开头是很轻松的。可是后来我们对隐身却大大厌烦了。
Such was the Chief Voice's story, but very much shortened, because I have left out what the Other Voices said. Actually he never got out more than six or seven words without being interrupted by their agreements and encouragements, which drove the Narnians nearly out of their minds with impatience. When it was over there was a very long silence.不过,还有一件事。我们决没料到这个魔法师,就是我先前跟你们说起的那个人,居然也成了隐身人。我们从此就没看见过他。所以我们不知他是死了呢,还是走掉了。或者是否就坐在楼上却看不见他,也许下楼来了,只是楼下看不见他。真的,听动静根本一点也听不出来,因为他老是光着脚走来走去,像只大猫一般无声无息。我对诸位直说了吧,这使我们的神经更受不了。"
"But," said Lucy at last, "what's all this got to do with us? I don't understand."以上就是头儿声音说的事情经过,不过已简化了,因为我把其他声音说的话都略去了。实际上他说不满六七句话,他们就少不了要插嘴,表示同意啊,怂恿他说下去啊,纳尼亚人听了真不耐烦,差点发疯。好容易说完了,大家都沉默了老半天。
"Why, bless me, if I haven't gone and left out the whole point," said the Chief Voice."不过,"露茜终于开口说,"这一切跟我们有什么关系呢?我不明白。"
"That you have, that you have," roared the Other Voices with great enthusiasm. "No one couldn't have left it out cleaner and better. Keep it up, Chief, keep it up.""哎呀,老天保佑,我没糊里糊涂把整个要点漏了说吧?”头儿声音说。
"Well, I needn't go over the whole story again," began the Chief Voice."你漏了,你漏了,"其他声音十分起劲地说,"谁都会说漏,说得越清楚,越明白越好。说下去,头儿,说下去。"
"No. Certainly not," said Caspian and Edmund."好吧,我用不着把全部事情经过再讲一遍。"头儿声音开腔说。"
"Well, then, to put it in a nutshell," said the Chief Voice, "we've been waiting for ever so long for a nice little girl from foreign parts, like it might be you, Missie - that would go upstairs and go to the magic book and find the spell that takes off the invisibleness, and say it. And we all swore that the first strangers as landed on this island (having a nice little girl with them, I mean, for if they hadn't it'd be another matter) we wouldn't let them go away alive unless they'd done the needful for us. And that's why, gentlemen, if your little girl doesn't come up to scratch, it will be our painful duty to cut all your throats. Merely in the way of business, as you might say, and no offence, I hope.""不,当然用不着口"凯斯宾和爱德蒙说。
"I don't see all your weapons," said Reepicheep. "Are they invisible too?" The words were scarcely out of his mouth before they heard a whizzing sound and next moment a spear had stuck, quivering, in one of the trees behind them."好吧,那就干脆干句并一句,"头儿声音说,"我们一直在等外边来个漂亮的小姑娘,等了好久好久,小姐,就像你这样的姑娘——愿意上楼去找那本魔法书,找到破除隐身法的咒语,念一遍。我们都发过誓,碰到踏上本岛的第一批生人,决不放他们生还,除非他们替我们办到这件该办的大事。我意思是说,如果他们有漂亮的小姑娘的话,如果没有,那就是另一码事了。诸位,正因为如此,所以如果你们的小姑娘干不成,我们就要忍痛把你们宰了。不妨说,仅仅是作为交易而已,希望别见怪。"
"That's a spear, that is," said the Chief Voice."我看不见你们所有的武器,"雷佩契普说,"那些武器也是看不见的吗?"它话音未落,大家就听见嗖的一声,转
"That it is, Chief, that it is," said the others. "You couldn't have put it better."眼工夫就见一枝长矛颤巍巍地刺进他们身后一棵树上。"对啦,那是枝长矛。"头儿声音说。
"And it came from my hand," the Chief Voice continued. "They get visible when they leave us.""对啦,头儿,对啦,"其他声音说,"你说得太对了。"
"But why do you want me to do this?" asked Lucy."这枝长矛是从我手里扔出去的,"头儿声音继续说,"一脱手就看得见了。"
"Why can't one of your own people? Haven't you got any girls?""可是你们为什么要我做这事呢?"露茜问,"为什么不能让你们自己的人去干?你们一个姑娘都没有吗?"
"We dursen't, we dursen't," said all the Voices. "We're not going upstairs again.""我们不干,我们不干,"众声一致说,"我们再也不上楼去了。"
"In other words," said Caspian, "you are asking this lady to face some danger which you daren't ask your own sisters and daughters to face!""换句话说,"凯斯宾说,"你们要这位小姐去面对危险,可你们就不敢要自己的姐妹女儿去面对这危险。"
"That's right, that's right," said all the Voices cheerfully. "You couldn't have said it better. Eh, you've had some education, you have. Anyone can see that.""说得对,说得对,"众声一齐欢呼说,"你说得太对了。啊,你受过些教育,不错。谁都看得出来。"
"Well, of all the outrageous - " began Edmund, but Lucy interrupted."嘿,竟然如此无法无天……"爱德蒙开口说,可是露茜打断了他。
"Would I have to go upstairs at night, or would it do in daylight?""我是晚上到楼上去呢?还是白天去?"
"Oh, daylight, daylight, to be sure," said the Chief Voice. "Not at night. No one's asking you to do that. Go upstairs in the dark? Ugh.""啊,当然是白天,白天,"头儿声音说,"不是晚上。谁也没叫你晚上去摸黑上楼?呃?"
"All right, then, I'll do it," said Lucy. "No," she said, turning to the others, "don't try to stop me. Can't you see it's no use? There are dozens of them there. We can't fight them. And the other way there is a chance.""那好吧,我来干,"露茜说,"不,"她转过身来对其他几个说,"别来阻拦我。难道你们不明白这没用吗?他们有几十个人。我们不能跟他们硬拼。相反,那倒是条生路。"
"But a magician!" said Caspian."可是有个魔法师。"凯斯宾说。
"I know," said Lucy. "But he mayn't be as bad as they make out. Don't you get the idea that these people are not very brave?""我知道,"露茜说,"不过他可能不像他们说的那么坏。难道你们不知道这些人并不是很勇敢吗?"
"They're certainly not very clever," said Eustace."他们肯定不是很聪明。"尤斯塔斯说。
"Look here, Lu," said Edmund. "We really can't let you do a thing like this. Ask Reep, I'm sure he'll say just the same.""喂,听我说,露,"爱德蒙说,"我们真的不能让你干这事。问问雷普,相信它也会说这话。"
"But it's to save my own life as well as yours," said Lucy. "I don't want to be cut to bits with invisible swords any more than anyone else.""可是这才救得了你们的命,又救了我自己的命,"露茜说,"我跟大家一样,不愿给看不见的刀剑剁成泥。"
"Her Majesty is in the right," said Reepicheep. "If we had any assurance of saving her by battle, our duty would be very-plain. It appears to me that we have none. And the service they ask of her is in no way contrary to her Majesty's honour, but a noble and heroical act. If the Queen's heart moves her to risk the magician, I will not speak against it.""女王陛下说得对,"雷佩契普说,"如果我们有一点把握能靠打仗救她,那我们的责任就非常清楚了。依我看来,我们一点也没有把握。而他们要求女王陛下办的事根本也不违背女王的尊严,倒是一个高尚英勇的行动。如果女王好心,愿意冒险见见魔法师,我决不会有二话。"4
As no one had ever known Reepicheep to be afraid of anything, he could say this without feeling at all awkward. But the boys, who had all been afraid quite often, grew very red. None the less, it was such obvious sense that they had to give in. Loud cheers broke from the invisible people when their decision was announced, and the Chief Voice (warmly supported by all the others) invited the Narnians to come to supper and spend the night. Eustace didn't want to accept, but Lucy said, "I'm sure they're not treacherous. They're not like that at all," and the others agreed. And so, accompanied by an enormous noise of thumpings (which became louder when they reached the flagged and echoing courtyard) they all went back to the house.大家都知道雷佩契普素来天不怕地不怕,这话它说得出口,一点都不感到尴尬,可是这些经常前怕狼后怕虎的小伙子却弄得脸色通红。但是,道理明摆着,他们也就只好让步了。隐身人听到宣布事情就这么定了,顿时大声欢呼,头儿就请纳尼亚人共进晚餐,玩上一夜,其他声音都一致热烈拥护。尤斯塔斯不愿接受,可是露茜说"我相信他们不是阴险的坏人。他们根本不像坏人。"别人听了都同意。就这样,他们在一大片砰砰砰的声音陪同下,回到那所房子里去。他们走到那个铺着石板,发出回声的院子时,这片声音更响了。

AND now the winds which had so long been from the north-west began to blow from the west itself and every morning when the sun rose out of the sea the curved prow of the Dawn Treader stood up right across the middle of the sun. Some thought that the sun looked larger than it looked from Narnia, but others disagreed. And they sailed and sailed before a gentle yet steady breeze and saw neither fish nor gull- nor ship nor shore. And stores began to get low again, and it crept into their hearts that perhaps they might have come to a sea which went on for ever. But when the very last day on which they thought they could risk continuing their eastward voyage dawned, it showed, right ahead between them and the sunrise, a low land lying like a cloud.

They made harbour in a wide bay about the middle of the afternoon and landed. It was a very different country from any they had yet seen. For when they had crossed the sandy beach they found all silent and empty as if it were an uninhabited land, but before them there were level lawns in which the grass was as smooth and short as it used to be in the grounds of a great English house where ten gardeners were kept. The trees, of which there were many, all stood well apart from one another, and there were no broken branches and no leaves lying on the ground. Pigeons sometimes cooed but there was no other noise.

Presently they came to a long, straight, sanded path with not a weed growing on it and trees on either hand. Far off at the other end of this avenue they now caught sight of a house - very long and grey and quiet-looking in the afternoon sun.

Almost as soon as they entered this path Lucy noticed that she had a little stone in her shoe. In that unknown place it might have been wiser for her to ask the others to wait while she took it out. But she didn't; she just dropped quietly behind and sat down to take off her shoe. Her lace had got into a knot.

Before she had undone the knot the others were a fair distance ahead. By the time she had got the stone out and was putting the shoe on again she could no longer hear them. But almost at once she heard something else. It was not coming from the direction of the house.

What she heard was a thumping. It sounded as if dozens of strong workmen were hitting the ground as hard as they could with great wooden mallets. And it was very quickly coming nearer. She was already sitting with her back to a tree, and as the tree was not one she could climb, there was really nothing to do but to sit dead still and press herself against the tree and hope she wouldn't be seen.

Thump, thump, thump . . . and whatever it was must be very close now for she could feel the ground shaking. But she could see nothing. She thought the thing - or things must be just behind her. But then there came a thump on the path right in front of her. She knew it was on the path not only by the sound but because she saw the sand scatter as if it had been struck a heavy blow. But she could see nothing that had struck it. Then all the thumping noises drew together about twenty feet away from her and suddenly ceased. Then came the Voice.

It was really very dreadful because she could still see nobody at all. The whole of that park-like country still looked as quiet and empty as it had looked when they first landed. Nevertheless, only a few feet away from her, a voice spoke. And what it said was:

"Mates, now's our chance."

Instantly a whole chorus of other voices replied, "Hear him. Hear him. `Now 's our chance', he said. Well done, Chief. You never said a truer word."

"What I say," continued the first voice, "is, get down to the shore between them and their boat, and let every mother's son look to his weapons. Catch 'em when they try to put to sea."

"Eh, that's the way," shouted all the other voices. "You never made a better plan, Chief. Keep it up, Chief. You couldn't have a better plan than that."

"Lively, then, mates, lively," said the first voice. "Off we go.

"Right again, Chief," said the others. "Couldn't have a better order. Just what we were going to say ourselves. Off we go."

Immediately the thumping began again - very loud at first but soon fainter and fainter, till it died out in the direction of the sea.

Lucy knew there was no time to sit puzzling as to what these invisible creatures might be. As soon as the thumping noise had died away she got up and ran along the path after the others as quickly as her legs would carry her. They must at all costs be warned.

While this had been happening the others had reached the house. It was a low building - only two stories high made of a beautiful mellow stone, many-windowed, and partially covered with ivy. Everything was so still that Eustace said, "I think it's empty," but Caspian silently pointed to the column of smoke which rose from one chimney.

They found a wide gateway open and passed through it into a paved courtyard. And it was here that they had their first indication that there was something odd about this island. In the middle of the courtyard stood a pump, and beneath the pump a bucket. There was nothing odd about that. But the pump handle was moving up and down, though there seemed to be no one moving it.

"There's some magic at work here," said Caspian.

"Machinery!" said Eustace. "I do believe we've come to a civilized country at last."

At that moment Lucy, hot and breathless, rushed into the courtyard behind them. In a low voice she tried to make them understand what she had overheard. And when they had partly understood it even the bravest of them did not look very happy.

"Invisible enemies," muttered Caspian. "And cutting us off from the boat. This is an ugly furrow to plough."

"You've no idea what sort of creatures they are, Lu?" asked Edmund.

"How can I, Ed, when I couldn't see them?"

"Did they sound like humans from their footsteps?"

"I didn't hear any noise of feet - only voices and this frightful thudding and thumping - like a mallet."

"I wonder," said Reepicheep, "do they become visible when you drive a sword into them?"

"It looks as if we shall find out," said Caspian. "But let's get out of this gateway. There's one of these gentry at that pump listening to all we say."

They came out and went back on to the path where the trees might possibly make them less conspicuous. "Not that it's any good really," said Eustace, "trying to hide from people you can't see. They may be all round us."

"Now, Drinian," said Caspian. "How would it be if we gave up the boat for lost, went down to another part of the bay, and signalled to the Dawn Treader to stand in and take us aboard?"

"Not depth for her, Sire," said Drinian.

"We could swim," said Lucy.

"Your Majesties all," said Reepicheep, "hear me. It is folly to think of avoiding an invisible enemy by any amount of creeping and skulking. If these creatures mean to bring us to battle, be sure they will succeed. And whatever comes of it I'd sooner meet them face to face than be caught by the tail."

"I really think Reep is in the right this time," said Edmund.

"Surely," said Lucy, "if Rhince and the others on the Dawn Treader see us fighting on the shore they'll be able to do something."

"But they won't see us fighting if they can't see any enemy," said Eustace miserably. "They'll think we're just swinging our swords in the air for fun."

There was an uncomfortable pause.

"Well," said Caspian at last, "let's get on with it. We must go and face them. Shake hands all round - arrow on the string, Lucy - swords out, everyone else - and now for it. Perhaps they'll parley."

It was strange to see the lawns and the great trees looking so peaceful as they marched back to the beach. And when they arrived there, and saw the boat lying where they had left her, and the smooth sand with no one to be seen on it, more than one doubted whether Lucy had not merely imagined all she had told them. But before they reached the sand, a voice spoke out of the air.

"No further, masters, no further now," it said. "We've got to talk with you first. There's fifty of us and more here with weapons in our fists."

"Hear him, hear him," came the chorus. "That's our Chief. You can depend on what he says. He's telling you the truth, he is."

"I do not see these fifty warriors," observed Reepicheep.

"That's right, that's right," said the Chief Voice. "You don't see us. And why not? Because we're invisible."

"Keep it up, Chief, keep it up," said the Other Voices. "You're talking like a book. They couldn't ask for a better answer than that."

"Be quiet, Reep," said Caspian, and then added in a louder voice, "You invisible people, what do you want with us? And what have we done to earn your enmity?"

"We want something that little girl can do for us," said the Chief Voice. (The others explained that this was just what they would have said themselves.)

"Little girl!" said Reepicheep. "The lady is a queen."

"We don't know about queens," said the Chief Voice.

("No more we do, no more we do," chimed in the others.) "But we want something she can do."

"What is it?" said Lucy.

"And if it is anything against her Majesty's honour or safety," added Reepicheep, "you will wonder to see how many we can kill before we die."

"Well," said the Chief Voice. "It's a long story. Suppose we all sit down?" ,

The proposal was warmly approved by the other voices but the Narnians remained standing.

"Well," said the Chief Voice. "It's like this. This island has been the property of a great magician time out of mind. And we all are - or perhaps in a manner of speaking, I might say, we were - his servants. Well, to cut a long story short, this magician that I was speaking about, he told us to do something we didn't like. And why not? Because we didn't want to. Well, then, this same magician he fell into a great rage; for I ought to tell you he owned the island and he wasn't used to being crossed. He was terribly downright, you know. But let me see, where am I? Oh yes, this magician then, he goes upstairs (for you must know he kept all his magic things up there and we all lived down below), I say he goes upstairs and puts a spell on us. An uglifying spell. If you saw us now, which in my opinion you may thank your stars you can't, you wouldn't believe what we looked like before we were uglified. You wouldn't really. So there we all were so ugly we couldn't bear to look at one another. So then what did we do? Well, I'll tell you what we did. We waited till we thought this same magician would be asleep in the afternoon and we creep upstairs and go to his magic book, as bold as brass, to see if we can do anything about this uglification. But we were all of a sweat and a tremble, so I won't deceive you. But, believe me or believe me not, I do assure you that we couldn't find any thing in the way of a spell for taking off the ugliness. And what with time getting on and being afraid that the old gentleman might wake up any minute - I was all of a muck sweat, so I won't deceive you - well, to cut a long story short, whether we did right or whether we did wrong, in the end we see a spell for making people invisible. And we thought we'd rather be invisible than go on being as ugly as all that. And why? Because we'd like it better. So my little girl, who's just about your little girl's age, and a sweet child she was before she was uglified, though now - but least said soonest mended - I say, my little girl she says the spell, for it's got to be a little girl or else the magician himself, if you see my meaning, for otherwise it won't work. And why not? Because nothing happens. So my Clipsie says the spell, for I ought to have told you she reads beautifully, and there we all were as invisible as you could wish to see. And I do assure you it was a relief not to see one another's faces. At first, anyway. But the long and the short of it is we're mortal tired of being invisible. And there's another thing. We never reckoned on this magician (the one I was telling you about before) going invisible too. But we haven't ever seen him since. So we don't know if he's dead, or gone .away, or whether he's just sitting upstairs being invisible, and perhaps coming down and being invisible there. And, believe me, it's no manner of use listening because he always did go about with his bare feet on, making no more noise than a great big cat. And I'll tell all you gentlemen straight, it's getting more than what our nerves can stand."

Such was the Chief Voice's story, but very much shortened, because I have left out what the Other Voices said. Actually he never got out more than six or seven words without being interrupted by their agreements and encouragements, which drove the Narnians nearly out of their minds with impatience. When it was over there was a very long silence.

"But," said Lucy at last, "what's all this got to do with us? I don't understand."

"Why, bless me, if I haven't gone and left out the whole point," said the Chief Voice.

"That you have, that you have," roared the Other Voices with great enthusiasm. "No one couldn't have left it out cleaner and better. Keep it up, Chief, keep it up."

"Well, I needn't go over the whole story again," began the Chief Voice.

"No. Certainly not," said Caspian and Edmund.

"Well, then, to put it in a nutshell," said the Chief Voice, "we've been waiting for ever so long for a nice little girl from foreign parts, like it might be you, Missie - that would go upstairs and go to the magic book and find the spell that takes off the invisibleness, and say it. And we all swore that the first strangers as landed on this island (having a nice little girl with them, I mean, for if they hadn't it'd be another matter) we wouldn't let them go away alive unless they'd done the needful for us. And that's why, gentlemen, if your little girl doesn't come up to scratch, it will be our painful duty to cut all your throats. Merely in the way of business, as you might say, and no offence, I hope."

"I don't see all your weapons," said Reepicheep. "Are they invisible too?" The words were scarcely out of his mouth before they heard a whizzing sound and next moment a spear had stuck, quivering, in one of the trees behind them.

"That's a spear, that is," said the Chief Voice.

"That it is, Chief, that it is," said the others. "You couldn't have put it better."

"And it came from my hand," the Chief Voice continued. "They get visible when they leave us."

"But why do you want me to do this?" asked Lucy.

"Why can't one of your own people? Haven't you got any girls?"

"We dursen't, we dursen't," said all the Voices. "We're not going upstairs again."

"In other words," said Caspian, "you are asking this lady to face some danger which you daren't ask your own sisters and daughters to face!"

"That's right, that's right," said all the Voices cheerfully. "You couldn't have said it better. Eh, you've had some education, you have. Anyone can see that."

"Well, of all the outrageous - " began Edmund, but Lucy interrupted.

"Would I have to go upstairs at night, or would it do in daylight?"

"Oh, daylight, daylight, to be sure," said the Chief Voice. "Not at night. No one's asking you to do that. Go upstairs in the dark? Ugh."

"All right, then, I'll do it," said Lucy. "No," she said, turning to the others, "don't try to stop me. Can't you see it's no use? There are dozens of them there. We can't fight them. And the other way there is a chance."

"But a magician!" said Caspian.

"I know," said Lucy. "But he mayn't be as bad as they make out. Don't you get the idea that these people are not very brave?"

"They're certainly not very clever," said Eustace.

"Look here, Lu," said Edmund. "We really can't let you do a thing like this. Ask Reep, I'm sure he'll say just the same."

"But it's to save my own life as well as yours," said Lucy. "I don't want to be cut to bits with invisible swords any more than anyone else."

"Her Majesty is in the right," said Reepicheep. "If we had any assurance of saving her by battle, our duty would be very-plain. It appears to me that we have none. And the service they ask of her is in no way contrary to her Majesty's honour, but a noble and heroical act. If the Queen's heart moves her to risk the magician, I will not speak against it."

As no one had ever known Reepicheep to be afraid of anything, he could say this without feeling at all awkward. But the boys, who had all been afraid quite often, grew very red. None the less, it was such obvious sense that they had to give in. Loud cheers broke from the invisible people when their decision was announced, and the Chief Voice (warmly supported by all the others) invited the Narnians to come to supper and spend the night. Eustace didn't want to accept, but Lucy said, "I'm sure they're not treacherous. They're not like that at all," and the others agreed. And so, accompanied by an enormous noise of thumpings (which became louder when they reached the flagged and echoing courtyard) they all went back to the house.

刮了好多天西北风,如今开始转西风了,每天早晨太阳升出海面,黎明踏浪号的雕花船头就恰好对着太阳正中昂然耸立。有人觉得太阳看上去比在纳尼亚看起来要大,可是也有人不同意。他们就这样航行,顺着轻风航行,风虽小,风向倒也不变,既看不见鱼,也看不见海鸥,又看不见船,也看不见海岸。贮藏又开始减少了,大家心里偷偷地想,也许他们开到一个永远到不了头的大海。谁知就在最后一天,他们认为还可以冒险继续东航的那一天,天刚破晓,就看见前面有一片云层似的低地,横亘在船和日出的地方之间。

下午三点左右,他们停泊在一个宽阔的海湾里,上了岸。这里跟他们见识过的地方都大不相同。因为当他们走过沙滩时,发现四下一片寂静,空空荡荡,似乎是个没人住的岛屿,可是在他们面前却是平坦的草地,上面的草又短又柔滑,恰如英国名门大户有十个园丁侍弄的园地一样。上面还有好多树木,一棵棵都距离匀称,地上不见断枝残叶。不时有鸽子咕咕叫,但听不到别的声音。

不一会儿他们来到一条又长又直的沙子铺的小路,路面上没长一棵野草,两边都栽着树。在这条小路远处的另一头,他们看见一座房子——长长一排,灰色的房子,在午后阳光下显得一派宁静。-

几乎就在他们走上这条小路时,露茜感觉到鞋里有颗小石头。在那种陌生地方,她原该叫别人等着她取出石头才是上策。可是她偏没有,只是悄悄落在后面,坐下来脱鞋。她的鞋带打结了。

她还没解开鞋带,别人己走到前面老远了。等她掏出石头,重新穿上鞋,她已经听不见他们的动静。不过她几乎立刻就听到了别的动静。这声音不是从房子那边传来的。,

她听到的是一阵砰砰声。听上去像是十几个身强力壮的工人抡着大木槌拼命在捶打地面。很快就越来越近。这时她已经背靠一棵树坐着,因为爬不上树,她实在没办法,只能一动不动坐着,身子紧紧贴着树,但愿人家看不见她。

砰,砰,砰……不管这是什么声音,反正这会儿很近了,她都感觉得到地面在震动了。可是她什么也看不见。她以为那东西——或那些东西——一定就在她身后。不料就在她面前的小路上传来砰的一声。她不仅听到那一下响声,而且还看见路面沙土飞扬,仿佛受到一下猛击似的,就知道那东西在小路上了。可是她看不见是什么东西猛击地面。接着所有的砰砰声都凑在一起,大约离她二十英尺远,突然一下子都停了。于是传来说话声。

这真是非常可怕,因为她根本一个人都看不见。那整个公园般的地方依然像他们刚才登陆时那样寂静空旷口尽管如此,离她三两步的地方却有一个声音在说话。说的是:

"伙计们,我们的机会可来了。"

顿时,其他人齐声回答说"听哪,听哪,他说了,我们的机会可来了。说得好,头儿。你说得太对了。"

"我说的是,"先前那声音继续说,"到岸边去,拦住他们,别让他们上小船,大家都拿好武器。他们想要到海上去的话就抓住他们。"

"啊,这样做就对了,"其他声音一致嚷着说,"你这办法太妙了,头儿。说下去,头儿。你这办法想得再妙也没有了。".

"伙计们,那就赶紧加油吧,加油啊,"先前那声音说,"我们走吧。"

"对极了,头儿,"其他声音说,"这命令再好也没有了。

我们自己也正想这么说呢。我们走吧。"

砰砰声立刻又响起了——开头很响,不久就越来越弱,越来越弱,直到最后在靠海的那边消失了。

露茜知道没工夫再坐着猜测这些看不见的怪物是些什么东西。那阵砰砰声刚消失,她就起身,沿着小路,撒开两腿,赶快奔去追大家。无论如何得警告他们一下。

就在发生这事的时刻,大家已走到那座房子。这是座矮房子——只有两层——用漂亮光滑的石块建造,有不少窗子,墙上常春藤半遮半掩。一切都那么宁静。尤斯塔斯就说:"我看这是空房。"可是凯斯宾一声不吭,指着烟囱里冒出来的烟。

他们看到大门洞开,就穿过大门,走进一个铺着石板地

面的院子。院子当中有个水泵,水泵下有个水桶。那倒也没什么希奇。希奇的是看上去没人在摇动水泵把手,把手竟在上下摇动。

"这里有魔法在起作用。"凯斯宾说。

"机器!”尤斯塔斯说,"我相信我们终于到了一个文明国家。"

这时,露茜风风火火,气喘吁吁地随后奔进院子。她压低嗓门,向他们说明她听到的消息。等到他们听明白了几分,连最勇敢的人都脸色不妙了。

"看不见的敌人,"凯斯宾嘀咕说,"切断我们上船的去路。这一关可难闯了。"

"你不知道他们是哪一类怪物吗,露?”爱德蒙问。"爱德,我又看不见他们,怎么知道呢?”-

"听他们脚步声像人类吗?"

"我没听到脚步声——只听到这种咚咚咚、砰砰砰的吓人声音——就像木槌在捶打。"

"我倒想知道,"雷佩契普说,"你拿把剑刺进他们身子,他们显不显原形?"

"看来我们一定要弄明白,"凯斯宾说,"不过我们还是先走出这大门吧。那水泵旁有一个家伙在听我们说话呢。"

他们出了大门,回进那条小路,路边有树可以隐蔽。

"其实想躲开你看不见的人,一点也没用。他们可能就在我们周围呢。"尤斯塔斯说。

可每,德里宁,"凯斯宾说,"如果我们认定回小船没希望了,那就走到海湾的另一边,发信号叫黎明踏浪号开向海岸,接我们上船,你看怎么样?"

"吃水不够深,陛下。"德里宁说。"我们可以游过去。"露茜说。

"三位王上听我说,"雷佩契普说,"企图偷偷摸摸,躲躲闪闪,避开看不见的敌人,那是妄想。假如这些怪物存心找我们打仗,准会得逞。不管结果怎么样,与其让他们揪住尾巴,还不如面对面交锋。"

"我真认为雷普这回说得对。"爱德蒙说。

"一点不错,"露茜说,"如果赖因斯和黎明踏浪号上的其他人员看见我们在岸上打仗,他们就能采取某种行动。"

"要是他们看不见任何敌人,就不会明白我们在打仗。"尤斯塔斯发愁说,"他们会以为我们只是对空舞剑呢。"

大家都不安地沉默半晌。

"得了,"凯斯宾终于说,"我们索性豁出去了。我们必须去面对他们。大家互相握握手——露茜,箭上弦——其余人都剑出鞘——准备好。也许他们愿意会谈。"

说也奇怪,他们齐步前进回到海滩,竟看见草地和参天大树一派太平景象。他们到了海滩,只见小船还停在先前扔下那地方,光溜溜的沙地上一个人也看不见。不止一个人在怀疑露茜说给他们听的事是不是仅仅出于想象。不料他们还没走到沙地,半空中就有个声音说话了。

"别再走了,爷们,别再走了,"这声音说,"我们先得跟他们谈谈。我们这儿有五十多人,手里都有武器。

"听哪,听哪,"众人齐声说,"这是我们的头儿。他说的话完全靠得住。他跟你们说的是实话,真的。""我看不见这五十位勇士。"雷佩契普说。

"不错,不错。"头儿的声音说。

"你看不见我们。为什么看不见呢?因为我们是隐身人。"

"说下去,头儿,说下去,"其他声音说,"你说得完全正确。这回答再好也没有了。"

"别响,雷普,"凯斯宾说,接着又大声再说一句,"你们隐身人,要找我们干什么?我们干了哪些事得罪你们了?"

"我们要找你们办件事,这小姑娘能替我们办到。"头儿声音说。(其他人就说这话正是他们本人都要说的。

"小姑娘!”雷佩契普说,"这位小姐是女王呢。"

"我们没听说过什么女王,"头儿声音说,(“我们没听说过,我们没听说过。"其他人随声附和说。)"不过我们要求的事她能办到。"

"什么事啊?"露茜说。

"假如是什么对女王陛下荣誉或安全不利的事,"雷佩契普又说,"你们看到我们临死还可以杀掉多少人,准会感到奇怪。"

"好吧,"头儿声音说,"说来话长,我们都坐下吧。"

其他声音都一致热情附和这个建议,可是纳尼亚人依然站着。

"说起来,"头儿声音说,"事情是这样的。不知多少年以前,这个岛原是一个魔法大师的地产。我们全是——或许不妨说,我们全是——他的奴仆。好吧,长话短说,我说起的这个魔法师,他叫我们干我们不喜欢的事。为什么不?因为我们不愿干。唉,这一来,这个魔法师就大发雷霆。因为我应当告诉你们,他是这个岛的主子,他不习惯人家跟他抬杠。你们要知道,他这人真直爽得不得了。可是让我看看,我说到哪儿了?啊,对了,说到这个魔法师,他上了楼,因为你们必须知道他把所有的魔法玩意儿全放在楼上,我们都住在楼下。我说,他上了楼,对我们施了魔法。一种丑化的魔法。依我看,你们看不见我们还真该谢天谢地,如果你们现在看见我们这模样,才不会相信我们变丑以前长得什么模样呢。你们真不会相信。我们竟丑得大家彼此见了都受不了。那我们怎么办呢?好吧,我告诉你,我们怎么办。我们等到这个魔法师大概睡午觉了,就厚着脸皮偷偷上楼去找他的魔法书,看看有什么办法破这个丑化的魔法。可是我们全都浑身大汗,直打哆嗦,我决不骗你。不过,信不信由你,我们的的确确找不到什么去除丑相的魔法。时间过得很快,生怕这位老先生随时都会醒来——我浑身臭汗,决不骗你——好吧,长话短说,不管我们做得对也好,做得错也好!临了我们看到一种隐身魔法。我们心想,与其这么一副丑相,不如隐身为妙。为什么呢?因为我们情愿这样。于是我的小姑娘,她跟你们的小姑娘年龄差不多,她没变丑以前是个可爱的孩子,虽然如今——啊,还是少说为妙——啊呀,我的小姑娘念了咒语,因为一定得由个小姑娘来念,或者魔法师本人,你们明白我意思吧,否则的话就不灵验。为什么不灵验呢?因为什么都变不了。于是我的小姑娘克莉普西念了咒语,我应当告诉你们,她念得真棒,咒语念好,我们就都遂了心愿,变成隐身人了。不骗你,大家彼此看不见脸倒真轻松了。不管怎样,开头是很轻松的。可是后来我们对隐身却大大厌烦了。

不过,还有一件事。我们决没料到这个魔法师,就是我先前跟你们说起的那个人,居然也成了隐身人。我们从此就没看见过他。所以我们不知他是死了呢,还是走掉了。或者是否就坐在楼上却看不见他,也许下楼来了,只是楼下看不见他。真的,听动静根本一点也听不出来,因为他老是光着脚走来走去,像只大猫一般无声无息。我对诸位直说了吧,这使我们的神经更受不了。"

以上就是头儿声音说的事情经过,不过已简化了,因为我把其他声音说的话都略去了。实际上他说不满六七句话,他们就少不了要插嘴,表示同意啊,怂恿他说下去啊,纳尼亚人听了真不耐烦,差点发疯。好容易说完了,大家都沉默了老半天。

"不过,"露茜终于开口说,"这一切跟我们有什么关系呢?我不明白。"

"哎呀,老天保佑,我没糊里糊涂把整个要点漏了说吧?”头儿声音说。

"你漏了,你漏了,"其他声音十分起劲地说,"谁都会说漏,说得越清楚,越明白越好。说下去,头儿,说下去。"

"好吧,我用不着把全部事情经过再讲一遍。"头儿声音开腔说。"

"不,当然用不着口"凯斯宾和爱德蒙说。

"好吧,那就干脆干句并一句,"头儿声音说,"我们一直在等外边来个漂亮的小姑娘,等了好久好久,小姐,就像你这样的姑娘——愿意上楼去找那本魔法书,找到破除隐身法的咒语,念一遍。我们都发过誓,碰到踏上本岛的第一批生人,决不放他们生还,除非他们替我们办到这件该办的大事。我意思是说,如果他们有漂亮的小姑娘的话,如果没有,那就是另一码事了。诸位,正因为如此,所以如果你们的小姑娘干不成,我们就要忍痛把你们宰了。不妨说,仅仅是作为交易而已,希望别见怪。"

"我看不见你们所有的武器,"雷佩契普说,"那些武器也是看不见的吗?"它话音未落,大家就听见嗖的一声,转

眼工夫就见一枝长矛颤巍巍地刺进他们身后一棵树上。"对啦,那是枝长矛。"头儿声音说。

"对啦,头儿,对啦,"其他声音说,"你说得太对了。"

"这枝长矛是从我手里扔出去的,"头儿声音继续说,"一脱手就看得见了。"

"可是你们为什么要我做这事呢?"露茜问,"为什么不能让你们自己的人去干?你们一个姑娘都没有吗?"

"我们不干,我们不干,"众声一致说,"我们再也不上楼去了。"

"换句话说,"凯斯宾说,"你们要这位小姐去面对危险,可你们就不敢要自己的姐妹女儿去面对这危险。"

"说得对,说得对,"众声一齐欢呼说,"你说得太对了。啊,你受过些教育,不错。谁都看得出来。"

"嘿,竟然如此无法无天……"爱德蒙开口说,可是露茜打断了他。

"我是晚上到楼上去呢?还是白天去?"

"啊,当然是白天,白天,"头儿声音说,"不是晚上。谁也没叫你晚上去摸黑上楼?呃?"

"那好吧,我来干,"露茜说,"不,"她转过身来对其他几个说,"别来阻拦我。难道你们不明白这没用吗?他们有几十个人。我们不能跟他们硬拼。相反,那倒是条生路。"

"可是有个魔法师。"凯斯宾说。

"我知道,"露茜说,"不过他可能不像他们说的那么坏。难道你们不知道这些人并不是很勇敢吗?"

"他们肯定不是很聪明。"尤斯塔斯说。

"喂,听我说,露,"爱德蒙说,"我们真的不能让你干这事。问问雷普,相信它也会说这话。"

"可是这才救得了你们的命,又救了我自己的命,"露茜说,"我跟大家一样,不愿给看不见的刀剑剁成泥。"

"女王陛下说得对,"雷佩契普说,"如果我们有一点把握能靠打仗救她,那我们的责任就非常清楚了。依我看来,我们一点也没有把握。而他们要求女王陛下办的事根本也不违背女王的尊严,倒是一个高尚英勇的行动。如果女王好心,愿意冒险见见魔法师,我决不会有二话。"4

大家都知道雷佩契普素来天不怕地不怕,这话它说得出口,一点都不感到尴尬,可是这些经常前怕狼后怕虎的小伙子却弄得脸色通红。但是,道理明摆着,他们也就只好让步了。隐身人听到宣布事情就这么定了,顿时大声欢呼,头儿就请纳尼亚人共进晚餐,玩上一夜,其他声音都一致热烈拥护。尤斯塔斯不愿接受,可是露茜说"我相信他们不是阴险的坏人。他们根本不像坏人。"别人听了都同意。就这样,他们在一大片砰砰砰的声音陪同下,回到那所房子里去。他们走到那个铺着石板,发出回声的院子时,这片声音更响了。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
awkward ['ɔ:kwəd]

想一想再看

adj. 笨拙的,尴尬的,(设计)别扭的

 
enmity ['enmiti]

想一想再看

n. 敌意,憎恨,不和

联想记忆
assure [ə'ʃuə]

想一想再看

vt. 使确信,使放心,确保

联想记忆
peaceful ['pi:sfəl]

想一想再看

adj. 安宁的,和平的

 
machinery [mə'ʃi:nəri]

想一想再看

n. (总称)机器,机械

 
proposal [prə'pəuzəl]

想一想再看

n. 求婚,提议,建议

联想记忆
deceive [di'si:v]

想一想再看

vt. 欺骗
vi. 行骗

联想记忆
chorus ['kɔ:rəs]

想一想再看

n. 合唱队,歌舞队,齐声说道,副歌部分,
v

联想记忆
partially ['pɑ:ʃəli]

想一想再看

adv. 部份地,一部份地,不公平地

 
furrow ['fʌrəu]

想一想再看

n. 犁沟,皱纹 v. 犁,耕,(使)起皱纹

 
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关键字: 黎明 踏浪

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