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《黎明踏浪号》第12章:黑暗岛

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AFTER this adventure they sailed on south and a little east for twelve days with a gentle wind, the skies being mostly clear and the air warm, and saw no bird or fish, except that once there were whales spouting a long way to starboard. Lucy and Reepicheep played a good deal of chess at this time. Then on the thirteenth day, Edmund, from the fighting top, sighted what looked like a great dark mountain rising out of the sea on their port bow.这番奇遇结束之后,他们顺着和风,向南和略为偏东的方向航行了十二天,天空基本晴朗,空气温暖,看不见鸟,也看不见鱼,只在右舷外远处出现过一次鲸鱼在喷水。这段时间露茜和雷佩契普下了不少回棋。到了第十三天,爱德蒙在桅顶观测台上看到左舷船头海面上矗立黑乎乎的一团,看上去像座大山。
They altered course and made for this land, mostly by oar, for the wind would not serve them to sail north-east. When evening fell they were still a long way from it and rowed all night. Next morning the weather was fair but a flat calm. The dark mass lay ahead, much nearer and larger, but still very dim, so that some thought it was still a long way off and others thought they were running into a mist.他们改变航向,开向这片陆地,主要是靠划桨,因为风力不足,不能向东北行驶。夜幕降临时,他们同那里还隔着老远一段,足足划了一整夜。第二天早晨,天气很好,只是海面上风平浪静。那座黑乎乎的庞然大物就横亘在他们前面,虽然近得多,大得多,不过还是非常模糊,有些人看了还以为它还离得老远呢,另一些人则以为他们闯进一团迷雾中了。
About nine that morning, very suddenly, it was so close that they could see that it was not land at all, nor even, in an ordinary sense, a mist. It was a Darkness. It is rather hard to describe, but you will see what it was like if you imagine yourself looking into the mouth of a railway tunnel - a tunnel either so long or so twisty that you cannot see the light at the far end. And you know what it would be like. For a few feet you would see the rails and sleepers and gravel in broad daylight; then there would come a place where they were in twilight; and then, pretty suddenly, but of course without a sharp dividing line, they would vanish altogether into smooth, solid blackness. It was just so here. For a few feet in front of their bows they could see the swell of the bright greenish-blue water. Beyond that, they could see the water looking pale and grey as it would look late in the evening. But beyond that again, utter blackness as if they had come to the edge of moonless and starless night.那天早晨九点光景,突然一下子,他们隔得很近才看出这根本不是陆地,甚至也不是通常意义上所说的迷雾。原来是一片黑暗。这种情况挺难描写,如果你能设想自己朝一条铁路隧道的入口望进去——一条很长很长或弯弯曲曲,望不到远处尽头光线的隧道——那就会明白是什么样子了。
Caspian shouted to the boatswain to keep her back, and all except the rowers rushed forward and gazed from the bows. But there was nothing to be seen by gazing. Behind them was the sea and the sun, before them the Darkness.你知道过隧道是怎么回事。先是在几英尺外看见大白天下的铁轨、枕木和碎石;然后就来到一个幽暗的地方;再后来,突然一下子,当然也没有一个明显的分界线,一切就都在浑然一体的黑暗中无影无踪。这里的情况正是如此。在船头前几英尺外,他们看得见碧绿的海水滔滔。再往外,只见海水变成灰蒙蒙的,像在傍晚时分看上去那样。可是再往远看,就只见一片乌漆墨黑,仿佛他们快来到无星无月的黑夜里。
"Do we go into this?" asked Caspian at length.凯斯宾大声对水手长下令把船往后划,船上人员除了划桨的之外,都奔上前来,从船头处往外眺望。可是看来看去看不出什么东西。他们后面是大海和太阳,前面是一片黑暗。
"Not by my advice," said Drinian.“我们开进去吗?”凯斯宾终于问道。
"The Captain's right," said several sailors.“依我之见还是不进去为妙。”德里宁说。
"I almost think he is," said Edmund.“船长说得对。”好几个水手说。
Lucy and Eustace didn't speak but they felt very glad inside at the turn things seemed to be taking. But all at once the clear voice of Reepicheep broke in upon the silence.“我几乎认为他说得很对。”爱德蒙说。
"And why not?" he said. "Will someone explain to me why not."露茜和尤斯塔斯虽然没说话,可是在事情似乎快定下来的关键时刻,他们心里都很高兴,不料雷佩契普清楚的嗓音马上打破沉默。
No one was anxious to explain, so Reepicheep continued:“为什么不进去?”它说,“有什么人愿意对我解释一下为什么吗?”
"If I were addressing peasants or slaves," he said, "I might suppose that this suggestion proceeded from cowardice. But I hope it will never be told in Narnia that a company of noble and royal persons in the flower of their age turned tail because they were afraid of the dark."没人急于解释,所以雷佩契普又说下去:
"But what manner of use would it be ploughing through that blackness?" asked Drinian.“假如我是在对庄稼人或奴隶讲话,”它说,“我可能认为这个建议是出于怯懦才提出的。可是我希望今后纳尼亚决不要有人传说一行高贵的王室人员,年富力强的,却因为怕黑暗而掉转屁股逃跑。”
"Use?" replied Reepicheep. "Use, Captain? If by use you mean filling our bellies or our purses, I confess it will be no use at all. So far as I know we did not set sail to look for things useful but to seek honour and adventure. And here is as great an adventure as ever I heard of, and here, if we turn back, no tittle impeachment of all our honours."“可是辛辛苦苦开进那片黑暗里到底有什么用处呢?”德里宁问。
Several of the sailors said things under their breath that sounded like "Honour be blowed", but Caspian said:“用处?”雷佩契普答,“用处吗,船长?如果你所说的用处是指填饱我们的肚子或腰包,我承认一点用处也没有。据我所知,我们扬帆远航并不是去找寻有用的东西,而是寻求荣誉和奇遇。眼看就有一场我闻所未闻的了不起的奇遇,如果我们往回走,那我们的荣誉就要受到不少指责。”
"Oh, bother you, Reepicheep. I almost wish we'd left you at home. All right! If you put it that way, I suppose we shall have to go on. Unless Lucy would rather not?"好几个水手压低嗓子说话,听上去像说:“屁个荣誉。”可是凯斯宾说:“啊呀,你真讨厌,雷佩契普。我真希望当初把你留在国内。得了!如果你那样说的话,那我看我们只好往前走了。除非露茜不愿意去吧?”
Lucy felt that she would very much rather not, but what she said out loud was, "I'm game."露茜原来感到很不愿意去,可是嘴里却大声说道:“我愿意去。”
"Your Majesty will at least order lights?" said Drinian.“陛下至少要下令点灯吧?”德里宁说。
"By all means," said Caspian. "See to it, Captain."
So the three lanterns, at the stern, and the prow and the masthead, were all lit, and Drinian ordered two torches amidships. Pale and feeble they looked in the sunshine. Then all the men except some who were left below at the oars were ordered on deck and fully armed and posted in their battle stations with swords drawn. Lucy and two archers were posted on the fighting top with bows bent and arrows on the string. Rynelf was in the bows with his line ready to take soundings. Reepicheep, Edmund, Eustace and Caspian, glittering in mail, were with him. Drinian took the tiller.“那还用说,”凯斯宾说,“千万要点上,船长。”
"And now, in Aslan's name, forward!" cried Caspian. "A slow, steady stroke. And let every man be silent and keep his ears open for orders."于是,船尾、船头、桅顶三处的灯都点亮了,德里宁还下令在船的中部点上两个火把。这些灯火在阳光下看上去暗淡无光。于是所有人员,除了几个在下面划桨的人之外,都奉命到甲板上去,全副武装,刀剑出鞘,守在战斗岗位上。露茜和两个弓箭手都奉派到桅顶观测台上,弓拉满,箭上弦。水手赖尼夫在船头,拿着测绳准备探测水深。雷佩契普、爱德蒙、尤斯塔斯和凯斯宾都披甲挂胄,身上亮闪闪的,陪着他。德里宁掌大舵。
With a creak and a groan the Dawn Treader started to creep forward as the men began to row. Lucy, up in the fighting top, had a wonderful view of the exact moment at which they entered the darkness. The bows had already disappeared before the sunlight had left the stern. She saw it go. At one minute the gilded stern, the blue sea, and the sky, were all in broad daylight: next minute the sea and sky had vanished, the stern lantern - which had been hardly noticeable before - was the only thing to show where the ship ended. In front of the lantern she could see the black shape of Drinian crouching at the tiller. Down below her the two torches made visible two small patches of deck and gleamed on swords and helmets, and forward there was another island of light on the forecastle. Apart from that, the fighting top, lit by the masthead light which was only just above her, seemed to be a little lighted world of its own floating in lonely darkness. And the lights themselves, as always happens with lights when you have to have them at the wrong time of day, looked lurid and unnatural. She also noticed that she was very cold.“好了,以阿斯兰的名义,前进,”凯斯宾喊道,“桨要划得慢而稳。大家都别出声,静心听候命令。”
How long this voyage into the darkness lasted, nobody knew. Except for the creak of the rowlocks and the splash of the oars there was nothing to show that they were moving at all. Edmund, peering from the bows, could see nothing except the reflection of the lantern in the water before him. It looked a greasy sort of reflection, and the ripple made by their advancing prow appeared to be heavy, small, and lifeless. As time went on everyone except the rowers began to shiver with cold.随着船员开始划桨,黎明踏浪号发出吱吱嘎嘎,嗯嗯啊啊的声音,悄悄前进了。就在这船开进那片黑暗中那会儿工夫,露茜在桅顶观测台上看到了那片刻的奇观。阳光还照着船尾,船头已经看不见影儿了。她看着它不见的。这会儿镀金的船尾,碧蓝的大海和天空,还都在光天化日之下,过一会儿海天都消失了,刚才还简直一点也看不出的船尾灯,竟成了船尾的惟一标记。她能看出灯前德里宁弯着腰在掌舵的黑影。她下面,那两支火把在甲板上照出两小块亮处,火光在刀剑和头盔上闪烁,往前看,船首楼上也有一块地方亮着。除此之外,恰好在她脑袋上方点着那盏桅顶灯照亮的观测台,似乎自成一个发亮的小天地,漂浮在沉寂的黑暗中。正如你在白天不该点灯的时间只好点灯一样,灯光看上去总是阴森森,不自然的,这些灯光就是这样。她还注意到自己很冷。
Suddenly, from somewhere - no one's sense of direction was very clear by now - there came a cry, either of some inhuman voice or else a voice of one in such extremity of terror that he had almost lost his humanity.这次到黑暗中去的航程要持续多久谁也不知道。除了桨架吱吱嘎嘎,桨板哗啦哗啦的声音之外,一点也看不出船身在行动。爱德蒙从船头上往外张望,除了身前水面上灯光的倒影之外,其他什么也看不见。这倒影看上去有点黏糊糊,船头前进时激起的涟漪看上去凝重、细小、没有生气。时间一分钟一分钟地过去,除了划桨的人之外,人人都冻得浑身哆嗦起来。
Caspian was still trying to speak - his mouth was too dry - when the shrill voice of Reepicheep, which sounded louder than usual in that silence, was heard.眼下谁也辨不大清方向,忽然间,不知从哪儿传来一声喊叫,听上去不是人类的声音,要不就是哪个吓破了胆,差点弄得不像人的家伙的声音。
"Who calls?" it piped. "If you are a foe we do not fear you, and if you are a friend your enemies shall be taught the fear of us."凯斯宾的嘴巴太干了,但他还是拼命想开口说话,这时只听见雷佩契普那尖厉的嗓音,在那片寂静中,这声音听上去格外响亮。
"Mercy!" cried the voice. "Mercy! Even if you are only one more dream, have merry. Take me on board. Take me, even if you strike me dead. But in the name of all mercies do not fade away and leave me in this horrible land."“谁在叫?”他尖声说,“假如你是敌人,我们可不怕你,假如你是朋友,你的仇敌就将领教我们的厉害。”
"Where are you?" shouted Caspian. "Come aboard and welcome."“行行好吧,”那声音叫道,“行行好吧!即使你们只不过又是一个梦,也请行行好吧。让我上船。收留我吧,哪怕你们把我打死也罢。可是,千万行行好,不要再消失,把我扔在这个可怕的鬼地方。”
There came another cry, whether of joy or terror, and then they knew that someone was swimming towards them.“你在哪儿?”凯斯宾大声叫道,“上船吧,欢迎!”
"Stand by to heave him up, men," said Caspian.又听得一声喊叫,不知这声叫是出于喜还是出于怕,于是他们知道有人正向他们游来。
"Aye, aye, your Majesty," said the sailors. Several crowded to the port bulwark with ropes and one, leaning far out over the side, held the torch. A wild, white face appeared in the blackness of the water, and then, after some scrambling and pulling, a dozen friendly hands had heaved the stranger on board.“伙计们,站在船边把他拉上来。”凯斯宾说。
Edmund thought he had never seen a wilder-looking man. Though he did not otherwise look very old, his hair was an untidy mop of white, his face was thin and drawn, and, for clothing, only a few wet rags hung about him. But what one mainly noticed were his eyes, which were so widely opened that he seemed to have no eyelids at all, and stared as if in an agony of pure fear. The moment his feet reached the deck he said:“是,是,陛下。”水手们说。几个人拿着缆绳,挤到左舷舷墙,一个人举着火把,身子远远探出舷侧外面。只见一张疯狂的白脸从漆黑的水里冒出来,经过一番攀登和拉扯,十几只友好的手总算把这陌生人拉上了船。
"Fly! Fly! About with your ship and fly! Row, row, row for your lives away from this accursed shore."爱德蒙觉得自己从没见过长相这么狂乱的人。虽然他看上去年纪并不很老,头发却乱蓬蓬,一团雪白,他的脸庞瘦削,紧紧绷着,身上衣着嘛,只有一些湿淋淋的破布条挂着。不过人家主要还是注意他的眼睛,张得很大,看来根本没有眼皮,死死盯着,吓得没命似的。他两脚刚踏上甲板就说:
"Compose yourself," said Reepicheep, "and tell us what the danger is. We are not used to flying."“飞啊!飞啊!连船带人快飞啊!划啊,划啊,拼命划啊,赶快离开这个倒霉的海岸。”
The stranger started horribly at the voice of the Mouse, which he had not noticed before.“镇静一下,”雷佩契普说,“告诉我们有什么危险,我们一向不飞的。”
"Nevertheless you will fly from here," he gasped. "This is the Island where Dreams come true."陌生人听到老鼠的嗓音吓坏了,他刚才没注意老鼠在那儿。
"That's the island I've been looking for this long time," said one of the sailors. "I reckoned I'd find I was married to Nancy if we landed here."“尽管如此,你们一定要从这里飞走,”他气喘吁吁说,“这里是梦假成真的岛。”
"And I'd find Tom alive again," said another.“这个岛正是我多年一直在寻求的。”一个水手说。
"Fools!" said the man, stamping his foot with rage. "That is the sort of talk that brought me here, and I'd better have been drowned or never born. Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams -dreams, do you understand, come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams."“我想,如果我们在这里上岸,我就可以发现自己跟南茜结婚了。”
There was about half a minute's silence and then, with a great clatter of armour, the whole crew were tumbling down the main hatch as quick as they could and flinging themselves on the oars to row as they had never rowed before; and Drinian was swinging round the tiller, and the boatswain was giving out the quickest stroke that had ever been heard at sea. For it had taken everyone just that halfminute to remember certain dreams they had had - dreams that make you afraid of going to sleep again - and to realize what it would mean to land on a country where dreams come true.“我就可以发现汤姆又活着了。”另一个水手说。
Only Reepicheep remained unmoved.“笨蛋!”那人怒气冲冲地顿脚说,“我正是听信这一派胡言才到这岛上来的,我真恨不得淹死,或是没出世的好。你们听见我说的话吗?这里是梦——你们明白吗,是梦——变成真的,变成现实的地方。不是白日梦,而是梦。”
"Your Majesty, your Majesty," he said, "are you going to tolerate this mutiny, this poltroonery? This is a panic, this is a rout."大家沉默了半分钟,于是只听得盔甲一片铿铿锵锵,全体船员赶快滚下主舱口,急急忙忙拿起桨就划,就像从没划过桨似的:德里宁把舵柄来个大转弯,水手长使出航海史上空前快速的划法。因为就在那半分钟里,人人都想起了自己做过的梦——使你吓得不敢再入睡的梦——明白一踏上那片梦假成真的地方有什么恶果。
"Row, row," bellowed Caspian. "Pull for all our lives. Is her head right, Drinian? You can say what you like, Reepicheep. There are some things no man can face."只有雷佩契普依然一动不动。
"It is, then, my good fortune not to be a man," replied Reepicheep with a very stiff bow.“陛下,陛下,”它说,“你打算容忍这种造反,这种临阵脱逃行为吗?这是惊慌失措,是溃不成军。”
Lucy from up aloft had heard it all. In an instant that one of her own dreams which she had tried hardest to forget came back to her as vividly as if she had only just woken from it. So that was what was behind them, on the island, in the darkness! For a second she wanted to go down to the deck and be with Edmund and Caspian. But what was the use? If dreams began coming true, Edmund and Caspian themselves might turn into something horrible just as she reached them. She gripped the rail of the fighting top and tried to steady herself. They were rowing back to the light as hard as they could: it would be all right in a few seconds. But oh, if only it could be all right now!“划啊,划啊,”凯斯宾大吼道,“拼命划啊。船头方向对吗,德里宁?你爱怎么说就怎么说,雷佩契普。有些事情是没人对付得了的。”
Though the rowing made a good deal of noise it did not quite conceal the total silence which surrounded the ship.“那么说来,幸亏我不是一个人了。”雷佩契普僵硬地鞠了一躬说。
Everyone knew it would be better not to listen, not to strain his ears for any sound from the darkness. But no one could help listening. And soon everyone was hearing things. Each one heard something different.露茜在桅杆高处听到了这一切对话。她自己竭尽全力想法忘掉的一个梦,顿时栩栩如生,重现在眼前,仿佛刚从那个梦中醒来似的。原来在他们后面,那岛上,黑暗中是那么回事!霎时间她想要下去,到甲板上跟爱德蒙和凯斯宾在一起。可是有什么用处呢?如果梦假成真的话,等她走到他们面前,他们自己也可能变成可怕的怪物的。她抓住观测台的栏杆,想法稳住身子。他们正竭尽全力,倒划到亮处:再过一小会儿就没事了。啊呀,只要现在没事就好了!
"Do you hear a noise like . . . like a huge pair of scissors opening and shutting .. . over there?" Eustace asked Rynelf.虽然划桨发出很大的声音,可是掩饰不了包围船身那片死寂。人人都知道最好别听,最好别竖起耳朵倾听黑暗中的任何动静:可是谁都情不自禁地听着。不久大家就听到动静了,每个人听见的都不一样。
"Hush!" said Rynelf. "I can hear them crawling up the sides of the ship."“你听到那儿有种声音像……像把大剪刀在喀嚓喀嚓响吗?”尤斯塔斯问赖因斯。
"It's just going to settle on the mast," said Caspian.“嘘!”赖因斯说,“我听得见他们爬上船身舷侧了。”
"Ugh!" said a sailor. "There are the gongs beginning. I knew they would."
Caspian, trying not to look at anything (especially not to keep looking behind him), went aft to Drinian.“就要歇落在桅杆上了。”凯斯宾说。
"Drinian," he said in a very low voice. "How long did we take rowing in? - I mean rowing to where we picked up . the stranger."“嘿!”一个水手说,“开始鸣锣了。我知道会鸣锣的。”
"Five minutes, perhaps," whispered Drinian. "Why?"凯斯宾竭力目不旁视,尤其是不回头看,径自朝船尾德里宁那儿走去。
"Because we've been more than that already trying to get out."“德里宁,”他把嗓音压得很低说,“我们刚才进去时划了多久——我意思是划到救起陌生人的地方。”
Drinian's hand shook on the tiller and a line of cold sweat ran down his face. The same idea was occurring to everyone on board. "We shall never get out, never get' out," moaned the rowers. "He's steering us wrong. We're going round and round in circles. We shall never get out." The stranger, who had been lying in a huddled heap on the deck, sat up and burst out into a horrible screaming laugh.“也许,五分钟吧,”德里宁悄声说,“干吗?”
"Never get out!" he yelled. "That's it. Of course. We shall never get out. What a fool I was to have thought they would let me go as easily as that. No, no, we shall never get out."“因为我们想法出来已经不止五分钟了。”
Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting top and whispered, "Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now." The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little - a very, very little - better. "After all, nothing has really happened to us yet," she thought.德里宁掌舵那只手哆嗦了,一行冷汗从脸上流下。船上的人个个都冒出同样的念头。“我们出不去了,我们出不去了,”划桨的人悲叹道,“他把我们领错航线了。我们尽在绕圈子呢。我们永远出不去了。”那陌生人本来一直蜷成一团躺在甲板上,现在坐起身,尖声怪气地发出一阵恐怖的大笑。
"Look!" cried Rynelf's voice hoarsely from the bows. There was a tiny speck of light ahead, and while they watched a broad beam of light fell from it upon the ship. It did not alter the surrounding darkness, but the whole ship was lit up as if by searchlight. Caspian blinked, stared round, saw the faces of his companions all with wild, fixed expressions. Everyone was staring in the same direction: behind everyone lay his black, sharply-edged shadow.“出不去了!”他大声喊道,“一点不错。当然啦。我们永远出不去了。我多蠢啊,竟然以为他们会那样轻易地让我走掉。不,不,我们永远出不去了。”
Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it. At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an aeroplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross. It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow. It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them. After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. Drinian steered after it not doubting that it offered good guidance. But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, "Courage, dear heart," and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.露茜把脑袋靠在观测台边上,悄声说:“阿斯兰啊,阿斯兰,如果你当真爱我们,马上来救救我们吧。”那片黑暗虽然并未减少丝毫,可是她开始感到有一点儿——很小很小的一点儿——好转了。“说到头来,我们还没真正出过什么事呢。”她暗暗想道。
In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been. They blinked their eyes and looked about them. The brightness of the ship herself astonished them: they had half expected to find that the darkness would cling to the white and the green and the gold in the form of some grime or scum. And then first one, and then another, began laughing.“瞧!”赖尼夫从船头那儿嘶哑地喊道。前头有一小点光,他们仔细看着,那一点光竟发出一大束光来照在船身上。虽然并没改变周围一片漆黑的环境,可是整条船就像给探照灯照亮似的。凯斯宾眨眨眼,朝四下盯着看,只见伙伴们脸上个个都带着狂热而专注的神情。大家都目不转晴地望着同一方向:每个人的身后都横着轮廓分明的黑影。"
"I reckon we've made pretty good fools of ourselves," said Rynelf.露茜顺着光束看去,不一会儿就看见光束里有什么东西。开头看上去像个十字架,后来看上去像架飞机,再后来看上去像个风筝,最后翅膀呼呼地旋转,就飞到头顶上空,原来是只信天翁。信天翁绕着桅杆飞了三圈,接着在船头金龙的颈脊上歇了片刻。它发出一串有力的悦耳声音,似乎在说什么,可没人听得懂。之后它就张开双翅飞了起来,开头在前面飞得很慢,稍微偏向右舷。德里宁对它的导航深信不疑,就跟着它驾驶。可是除了露茜,谁也不知道它绕着桅杆飞时悄悄对她说过:“放勇敢些,心肝儿。”她相信这是阿斯兰的声音,话音未落,还有一股美妙的香味散发到她脸上。
Lucy lost no time in coming down to the deck, where she found the others all gathered round the newcomer. For a long time he was too happy to speak, and could only gaze at the sea and the sun and feel the bulwarks and the ropes, as if to make sure he was really awake, while tears rolled down his cheeks.一会儿工夫,前面那片黑暗就变成一片灰暗,接着,他们心里几乎还不敢开始抱有希望,这条船就穿进阳光中,重新投入温暖的蓝色天地。正如有些时候,你光是躺在床上,看见日光泻进窗户,听到窗下早班邮差和送奶人的欢笑声,醒悟到这原来只不过是个梦,这不是真的,这种时刻真是妙不可言,为了体会到醒来的乐趣,做了噩梦也几乎非常值得。当他们冲出黑暗时,大家就都有这份体会。船身的鲜艳明亮使他们大为惊讶,他们原来还以为黑暗会缠住不放,在雪白、碧绿、金黄的船身上留下污垢和残渣呢。
"Thank you," he said at last. "You have saved me from . . . but I won't talk of that. And now let me know who you are. I am a Telmarine of Narnia, and when I was worth anything men called me the Lord Rhoop."露茜赶紧下来,走到甲板上,只见大家都围着那个陌生人。他高兴得久久说不出话来,只会眼望着大海和太阳,摸着舷墙和缆绳,仿佛要使自己相信他的确醒着,脸上泪水滚滚直流。
"And I," said Caspian, "am Caspian, King of Narnia, and I sail to find you and your companions who were my father's friends."“谢谢你们,”他终于说,“你们把我救出了……可是我不愿谈那事。现在我向你们说说自己是什么人吧。我是纳尼亚的一个台尔马人,当年我还有些身价时,人称罗普爵爷。”
Lord Rhoop fell on his knees and kissed the King's hand. "Sire," he said, "you are the man in all the world I most wished to see. Grant me a boon."“我就是纳尼亚国国王凯斯宾,”凯斯宾说,“我出海远航就是来找你和你的伙伴们,你们都是我父亲的朋友。”
"What is it?" asked Caspian.罗普爵爷当即跪下,吻着国王的手。“陛下,”他说,“您是世上我最希望见到的人。请陛下开恩。”
"Never to bring me back there," he said. He pointed astern. They all looked. But they saw only bright blue sea and bright blue sky. The Dark Island and the darkness had vanished for ever.“什么事?”凯斯宾问。
"Why!" cried Lord Rhoop. "You have destroyed it!"“千万别问我,也别让任何人问我这些年来在黑暗岛上的所见所闻。”
"I don't think it was us," said Lucy.“这容易,爵爷,”凯斯宾答,又打了个寒噤道,“我认为不该问你。我愿意拿出全部财宝,也决不愿听到这种事。”
"Sire," said Drinian, "this wind is fair for the southeast. Shall I have our poor fellows up and set sail? And after that, every man who can be spared, to his hammock."“陛下,”德里宁说,“这会儿朝东南去正是顺风。要不要我叫我们可怜的伙伴起来准备开船?开船后,每一个抽得出身的都去吊床睡觉。”
"Yes," said Caspian, "and let there be grog all round. Heigh-ho, I feel I could sleep the clock round myself."“不错,”凯斯宾说,“让大家痛饮一顿。嗨嗬,我觉得自己能整整睡上一天一夜呢。”
So all afternoon with great joy they sailed south-east with a fair wind. But nobody noticed when the albatross had disappeared.于是整个下午大家欢天喜地,顺风向东南行驶,船后那一团漆黑越来越小,越来越小。不过谁也没注意那信天翁几时不见的。

AFTER this adventure they sailed on south and a little east for twelve days with a gentle wind, the skies being mostly clear and the air warm, and saw no bird or fish, except that once there were whales spouting a long way to starboard. Lucy and Reepicheep played a good deal of chess at this time. Then on the thirteenth day, Edmund, from the fighting top, sighted what looked like a great dark mountain rising out of the sea on their port bow.

They altered course and made for this land, mostly by oar, for the wind would not serve them to sail north-east. When evening fell they were still a long way from it and rowed all night. Next morning the weather was fair but a flat calm. The dark mass lay ahead, much nearer and larger, but still very dim, so that some thought it was still a long way off and others thought they were running into a mist.

About nine that morning, very suddenly, it was so close that they could see that it was not land at all, nor even, in an ordinary sense, a mist. It was a Darkness. It is rather hard to describe, but you will see what it was like if you imagine yourself looking into the mouth of a railway tunnel - a tunnel either so long or so twisty that you cannot see the light at the far end. And you know what it would be like. For a few feet you would see the rails and sleepers and gravel in broad daylight; then there would come a place where they were in twilight; and then, pretty suddenly, but of course without a sharp dividing line, they would vanish altogether into smooth, solid blackness. It was just so here. For a few feet in front of their bows they could see the swell of the bright greenish-blue water. Beyond that, they could see the water looking pale and grey as it would look late in the evening. But beyond that again, utter blackness as if they had come to the edge of moonless and starless night.

Caspian shouted to the boatswain to keep her back, and all except the rowers rushed forward and gazed from the bows. But there was nothing to be seen by gazing. Behind them was the sea and the sun, before them the Darkness.

"Do we go into this?" asked Caspian at length.

"Not by my advice," said Drinian.

"The Captain's right," said several sailors.

"I almost think he is," said Edmund.

Lucy and Eustace didn't speak but they felt very glad inside at the turn things seemed to be taking. But all at once the clear voice of Reepicheep broke in upon the silence.

"And why not?" he said. "Will someone explain to me why not."

No one was anxious to explain, so Reepicheep continued:

"If I were addressing peasants or slaves," he said, "I might suppose that this suggestion proceeded from cowardice. But I hope it will never be told in Narnia that a company of noble and royal persons in the flower of their age turned tail because they were afraid of the dark."

"But what manner of use would it be ploughing through that blackness?" asked Drinian.

"Use?" replied Reepicheep. "Use, Captain? If by use you mean filling our bellies or our purses, I confess it will be no use at all. So far as I know we did not set sail to look for things useful but to seek honour and adventure. And here is as great an adventure as ever I heard of, and here, if we turn back, no tittle impeachment of all our honours."

Several of the sailors said things under their breath that sounded like "Honour be blowed", but Caspian said:

"Oh, bother you, Reepicheep. I almost wish we'd left you at home. All right! If you put it that way, I suppose we shall have to go on. Unless Lucy would rather not?"

Lucy felt that she would very much rather not, but what she said out loud was, "I'm game."

"Your Majesty will at least order lights?" said Drinian.

"By all means," said Caspian. "See to it, Captain."

So the three lanterns, at the stern, and the prow and the masthead, were all lit, and Drinian ordered two torches amidships. Pale and feeble they looked in the sunshine. Then all the men except some who were left below at the oars were ordered on deck and fully armed and posted in their battle stations with swords drawn. Lucy and two archers were posted on the fighting top with bows bent and arrows on the string. Rynelf was in the bows with his line ready to take soundings. Reepicheep, Edmund, Eustace and Caspian, glittering in mail, were with him. Drinian took the tiller.

"And now, in Aslan's name, forward!" cried Caspian. "A slow, steady stroke. And let every man be silent and keep his ears open for orders."

With a creak and a groan the Dawn Treader started to creep forward as the men began to row. Lucy, up in the fighting top, had a wonderful view of the exact moment at which they entered the darkness. The bows had already disappeared before the sunlight had left the stern. She saw it go. At one minute the gilded stern, the blue sea, and the sky, were all in broad daylight: next minute the sea and sky had vanished, the stern lantern - which had been hardly noticeable before - was the only thing to show where the ship ended. In front of the lantern she could see the black shape of Drinian crouching at the tiller. Down below her the two torches made visible two small patches of deck and gleamed on swords and helmets, and forward there was another island of light on the forecastle. Apart from that, the fighting top, lit by the masthead light which was only just above her, seemed to be a little lighted world of its own floating in lonely darkness. And the lights themselves, as always happens with lights when you have to have them at the wrong time of day, looked lurid and unnatural. She also noticed that she was very cold.

How long this voyage into the darkness lasted, nobody knew. Except for the creak of the rowlocks and the splash of the oars there was nothing to show that they were moving at all. Edmund, peering from the bows, could see nothing except the reflection of the lantern in the water before him. It looked a greasy sort of reflection, and the ripple made by their advancing prow appeared to be heavy, small, and lifeless. As time went on everyone except the rowers began to shiver with cold.

Suddenly, from somewhere - no one's sense of direction was very clear by now - there came a cry, either of some inhuman voice or else a voice of one in such extremity of terror that he had almost lost his humanity.

Caspian was still trying to speak - his mouth was too dry - when the shrill voice of Reepicheep, which sounded louder than usual in that silence, was heard.

"Who calls?" it piped. "If you are a foe we do not fear you, and if you are a friend your enemies shall be taught the fear of us."

"Mercy!" cried the voice. "Mercy! Even if you are only one more dream, have merry. Take me on board. Take me, even if you strike me dead. But in the name of all mercies do not fade away and leave me in this horrible land."

"Where are you?" shouted Caspian. "Come aboard and welcome."

There came another cry, whether of joy or terror, and then they knew that someone was swimming towards them.

"Stand by to heave him up, men," said Caspian.

"Aye, aye, your Majesty," said the sailors. Several crowded to the port bulwark with ropes and one, leaning far out over the side, held the torch. A wild, white face appeared in the blackness of the water, and then, after some scrambling and pulling, a dozen friendly hands had heaved the stranger on board.

Edmund thought he had never seen a wilder-looking man. Though he did not otherwise look very old, his hair was an untidy mop of white, his face was thin and drawn, and, for clothing, only a few wet rags hung about him. But what one mainly noticed were his eyes, which were so widely opened that he seemed to have no eyelids at all, and stared as if in an agony of pure fear. The moment his feet reached the deck he said:

"Fly! Fly! About with your ship and fly! Row, row, row for your lives away from this accursed shore."

"Compose yourself," said Reepicheep, "and tell us what the danger is. We are not used to flying."

The stranger started horribly at the voice of the Mouse, which he had not noticed before.

"Nevertheless you will fly from here," he gasped. "This is the Island where Dreams come true."

"That's the island I've been looking for this long time," said one of the sailors. "I reckoned I'd find I was married to Nancy if we landed here."

"And I'd find Tom alive again," said another.

"Fools!" said the man, stamping his foot with rage. "That is the sort of talk that brought me here, and I'd better have been drowned or never born. Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams -dreams, do you understand, come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams."

There was about half a minute's silence and then, with a great clatter of armour, the whole crew were tumbling down the main hatch as quick as they could and flinging themselves on the oars to row as they had never rowed before; and Drinian was swinging round the tiller, and the boatswain was giving out the quickest stroke that had ever been heard at sea. For it had taken everyone just that halfminute to remember certain dreams they had had - dreams that make you afraid of going to sleep again - and to realize what it would mean to land on a country where dreams come true.

Only Reepicheep remained unmoved.

"Your Majesty, your Majesty," he said, "are you going to tolerate this mutiny, this poltroonery? This is a panic, this is a rout."

"Row, row," bellowed Caspian. "Pull for all our lives. Is her head right, Drinian? You can say what you like, Reepicheep. There are some things no man can face."

"It is, then, my good fortune not to be a man," replied Reepicheep with a very stiff bow.

Lucy from up aloft had heard it all. In an instant that one of her own dreams which she had tried hardest to forget came back to her as vividly as if she had only just woken from it. So that was what was behind them, on the island, in the darkness! For a second she wanted to go down to the deck and be with Edmund and Caspian. But what was the use? If dreams began coming true, Edmund and Caspian themselves might turn into something horrible just as she reached them. She gripped the rail of the fighting top and tried to steady herself. They were rowing back to the light as hard as they could: it would be all right in a few seconds. But oh, if only it could be all right now!

Though the rowing made a good deal of noise it did not quite conceal the total silence which surrounded the ship.

Everyone knew it would be better not to listen, not to strain his ears for any sound from the darkness. But no one could help listening. And soon everyone was hearing things. Each one heard something different.

"Do you hear a noise like . . . like a huge pair of scissors opening and shutting .. . over there?" Eustace asked Rynelf.

"Hush!" said Rynelf. "I can hear them crawling up the sides of the ship."

"It's just going to settle on the mast," said Caspian.

"Ugh!" said a sailor. "There are the gongs beginning. I knew they would."

Caspian, trying not to look at anything (especially not to keep looking behind him), went aft to Drinian.

"Drinian," he said in a very low voice. "How long did we take rowing in? - I mean rowing to where we picked up . the stranger."

"Five minutes, perhaps," whispered Drinian. "Why?"

"Because we've been more than that already trying to get out."

Drinian's hand shook on the tiller and a line of cold sweat ran down his face. The same idea was occurring to everyone on board. "We shall never get out, never get' out," moaned the rowers. "He's steering us wrong. We're going round and round in circles. We shall never get out." The stranger, who had been lying in a huddled heap on the deck, sat up and burst out into a horrible screaming laugh.

"Never get out!" he yelled. "That's it. Of course. We shall never get out. What a fool I was to have thought they would let me go as easily as that. No, no, we shall never get out."

Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting top and whispered, "Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now." The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little - a very, very little - better. "After all, nothing has really happened to us yet," she thought.

"Look!" cried Rynelf's voice hoarsely from the bows. There was a tiny speck of light ahead, and while they watched a broad beam of light fell from it upon the ship. It did not alter the surrounding darkness, but the whole ship was lit up as if by searchlight. Caspian blinked, stared round, saw the faces of his companions all with wild, fixed expressions. Everyone was staring in the same direction: behind everyone lay his black, sharply-edged shadow.

Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it. At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an aeroplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross. It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow. It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them. After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. Drinian steered after it not doubting that it offered good guidance. But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, "Courage, dear heart," and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.

In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been. They blinked their eyes and looked about them. The brightness of the ship herself astonished them: they had half expected to find that the darkness would cling to the white and the green and the gold in the form of some grime or scum. And then first one, and then another, began laughing.

"I reckon we've made pretty good fools of ourselves," said Rynelf.

Lucy lost no time in coming down to the deck, where she found the others all gathered round the newcomer. For a long time he was too happy to speak, and could only gaze at the sea and the sun and feel the bulwarks and the ropes, as if to make sure he was really awake, while tears rolled down his cheeks.

"Thank you," he said at last. "You have saved me from . . . but I won't talk of that. And now let me know who you are. I am a Telmarine of Narnia, and when I was worth anything men called me the Lord Rhoop."

"And I," said Caspian, "am Caspian, King of Narnia, and I sail to find you and your companions who were my father's friends."

Lord Rhoop fell on his knees and kissed the King's hand. "Sire," he said, "you are the man in all the world I most wished to see. Grant me a boon."

"What is it?" asked Caspian.

"Never to bring me back there," he said. He pointed astern. They all looked. But they saw only bright blue sea and bright blue sky. The Dark Island and the darkness had vanished for ever.

"Why!" cried Lord Rhoop. "You have destroyed it!"

"I don't think it was us," said Lucy.

"Sire," said Drinian, "this wind is fair for the southeast. Shall I have our poor fellows up and set sail? And after that, every man who can be spared, to his hammock."

"Yes," said Caspian, "and let there be grog all round. Heigh-ho, I feel I could sleep the clock round myself."

So all afternoon with great joy they sailed south-east with a fair wind. But nobody noticed when the albatross had disappeared.

这番奇遇结束之后,他们顺着和风,向南和略为偏东的方向航行了十二天,天空基本晴朗,空气温暖,看不见鸟,也看不见鱼,只在右舷外远处出现过一次鲸鱼在喷水。这段时间露茜和雷佩契普下了不少回棋。到了第十三天,爱德蒙在桅顶观测台上看到左舷船头海面上矗立黑乎乎的一团,看上去像座大山。

他们改变航向,开向这片陆地,主要是靠划桨,因为风力不足,不能向东北行驶。夜幕降临时,他们同那里还隔着老远一段,足足划了一整夜。第二天早晨,天气很好,只是海面上风平浪静。那座黑乎乎的庞然大物就横亘在他们前面,虽然近得多,大得多,不过还是非常模糊,有些人看了还以为它还离得老远呢,另一些人则以为他们闯进一团迷雾中了。

那天早晨九点光景,突然一下子,他们隔得很近才看出这根本不是陆地,甚至也不是通常意义上所说的迷雾。原来是一片黑暗。这种情况挺难描写,如果你能设想自己朝一条铁路隧道的入口望进去——一条很长很长或弯弯曲曲,望不到远处尽头光线的隧道——那就会明白是什么样子了。

你知道过隧道是怎么回事。先是在几英尺外看见大白天下的铁轨、枕木和碎石;然后就来到一个幽暗的地方;再后来,突然一下子,当然也没有一个明显的分界线,一切就都在浑然一体的黑暗中无影无踪。这里的情况正是如此。在船头前几英尺外,他们看得见碧绿的海水滔滔。再往外,只见海水变成灰蒙蒙的,像在傍晚时分看上去那样。可是再往远看,就只见一片乌漆墨黑,仿佛他们快来到无星无月的黑夜里。

凯斯宾大声对水手长下令把船往后划,船上人员除了划桨的之外,都奔上前来,从船头处往外眺望。可是看来看去看不出什么东西。他们后面是大海和太阳,前面是一片黑暗。

“我们开进去吗?”凯斯宾终于问道。

“依我之见还是不进去为妙。”德里宁说。

“船长说得对。”好几个水手说。

“我几乎认为他说得很对。”爱德蒙说。

露茜和尤斯塔斯虽然没说话,可是在事情似乎快定下来的关键时刻,他们心里都很高兴,不料雷佩契普清楚的嗓音马上打破沉默。

“为什么不进去?”它说,“有什么人愿意对我解释一下为什么吗?”

没人急于解释,所以雷佩契普又说下去:

“假如我是在对庄稼人或奴隶讲话,”它说,“我可能认为这个建议是出于怯懦才提出的。可是我希望今后纳尼亚决不要有人传说一行高贵的王室人员,年富力强的,却因为怕黑暗而掉转屁股逃跑。”

“可是辛辛苦苦开进那片黑暗里到底有什么用处呢?”德里宁问。

“用处?”雷佩契普答,“用处吗,船长?如果你所说的用处是指填饱我们的肚子或腰包,我承认一点用处也没有。据我所知,我们扬帆远航并不是去找寻有用的东西,而是寻求荣誉和奇遇。眼看就有一场我闻所未闻的了不起的奇遇,如果我们往回走,那我们的荣誉就要受到不少指责。”

好几个水手压低嗓子说话,听上去像说:“屁个荣誉。”可是凯斯宾说:“啊呀,你真讨厌,雷佩契普。我真希望当初把你留在国内。得了!如果你那样说的话,那我看我们只好往前走了。除非露茜不愿意去吧?”

露茜原来感到很不愿意去,可是嘴里却大声说道:“我愿意去。”

“陛下至少要下令点灯吧?”德里宁说。



“那还用说,”凯斯宾说,“千万要点上,船长。”

于是,船尾、船头、桅顶三处的灯都点亮了,德里宁还下令在船的中部点上两个火把。这些灯火在阳光下看上去暗淡无光。于是所有人员,除了几个在下面划桨的人之外,都奉命到甲板上去,全副武装,刀剑出鞘,守在战斗岗位上。露茜和两个弓箭手都奉派到桅顶观测台上,弓拉满,箭上弦。水手赖尼夫在船头,拿着测绳准备探测水深。雷佩契普、爱德蒙、尤斯塔斯和凯斯宾都披甲挂胄,身上亮闪闪的,陪着他。德里宁掌大舵。

“好了,以阿斯兰的名义,前进,”凯斯宾喊道,“桨要划得慢而稳。大家都别出声,静心听候命令。”

随着船员开始划桨,黎明踏浪号发出吱吱嘎嘎,嗯嗯啊啊的声音,悄悄前进了。就在这船开进那片黑暗中那会儿工夫,露茜在桅顶观测台上看到了那片刻的奇观。阳光还照着船尾,船头已经看不见影儿了。她看着它不见的。这会儿镀金的船尾,碧蓝的大海和天空,还都在光天化日之下,过一会儿海天都消失了,刚才还简直一点也看不出的船尾灯,竟成了船尾的惟一标记。她能看出灯前德里宁弯着腰在掌舵的黑影。她下面,那两支火把在甲板上照出两小块亮处,火光在刀剑和头盔上闪烁,往前看,船首楼上也有一块地方亮着。除此之外,恰好在她脑袋上方点着那盏桅顶灯照亮的观测台,似乎自成一个发亮的小天地,漂浮在沉寂的黑暗中。正如你在白天不该点灯的时间只好点灯一样,灯光看上去总是阴森森,不自然的,这些灯光就是这样。她还注意到自己很冷。

这次到黑暗中去的航程要持续多久谁也不知道。除了桨架吱吱嘎嘎,桨板哗啦哗啦的声音之外,一点也看不出船身在行动。爱德蒙从船头上往外张望,除了身前水面上灯光的倒影之外,其他什么也看不见。这倒影看上去有点黏糊糊,船头前进时激起的涟漪看上去凝重、细小、没有生气。时间一分钟一分钟地过去,除了划桨的人之外,人人都冻得浑身哆嗦起来。

眼下谁也辨不大清方向,忽然间,不知从哪儿传来一声喊叫,听上去不是人类的声音,要不就是哪个吓破了胆,差点弄得不像人的家伙的声音。

凯斯宾的嘴巴太干了,但他还是拼命想开口说话,这时只听见雷佩契普那尖厉的嗓音,在那片寂静中,这声音听上去格外响亮。

“谁在叫?”他尖声说,“假如你是敌人,我们可不怕你,假如你是朋友,你的仇敌就将领教我们的厉害。”

“行行好吧,”那声音叫道,“行行好吧!即使你们只不过又是一个梦,也请行行好吧。让我上船。收留我吧,哪怕你们把我打死也罢。可是,千万行行好,不要再消失,把我扔在这个可怕的鬼地方。”

“你在哪儿?”凯斯宾大声叫道,“上船吧,欢迎!”

又听得一声喊叫,不知这声叫是出于喜还是出于怕,于是他们知道有人正向他们游来。

“伙计们,站在船边把他拉上来。”凯斯宾说。

“是,是,陛下。”水手们说。几个人拿着缆绳,挤到左舷舷墙,一个人举着火把,身子远远探出舷侧外面。只见一张疯狂的白脸从漆黑的水里冒出来,经过一番攀登和拉扯,十几只友好的手总算把这陌生人拉上了船。

爱德蒙觉得自己从没见过长相这么狂乱的人。虽然他看上去年纪并不很老,头发却乱蓬蓬,一团雪白,他的脸庞瘦削,紧紧绷着,身上衣着嘛,只有一些湿淋淋的破布条挂着。不过人家主要还是注意他的眼睛,张得很大,看来根本没有眼皮,死死盯着,吓得没命似的。他两脚刚踏上甲板就说:

“飞啊!飞啊!连船带人快飞啊!划啊,划啊,拼命划啊,赶快离开这个倒霉的海岸。”

“镇静一下,”雷佩契普说,“告诉我们有什么危险,我们一向不飞的。”

陌生人听到老鼠的嗓音吓坏了,他刚才没注意老鼠在那儿。

“尽管如此,你们一定要从这里飞走,”他气喘吁吁说,“这里是梦假成真的岛。”

“这个岛正是我多年一直在寻求的。”一个水手说。

“我想,如果我们在这里上岸,我就可以发现自己跟南茜结婚了。”

“我就可以发现汤姆又活着了。”另一个水手说。

“笨蛋!”那人怒气冲冲地顿脚说,“我正是听信这一派胡言才到这岛上来的,我真恨不得淹死,或是没出世的好。你们听见我说的话吗?这里是梦——你们明白吗,是梦——变成真的,变成现实的地方。不是白日梦,而是梦。”

大家沉默了半分钟,于是只听得盔甲一片铿铿锵锵,全体船员赶快滚下主舱口,急急忙忙拿起桨就划,就像从没划过桨似的:德里宁把舵柄来个大转弯,水手长使出航海史上空前快速的划法。因为就在那半分钟里,人人都想起了自己做过的梦——使你吓得不敢再入睡的梦——明白一踏上那片梦假成真的地方有什么恶果。

只有雷佩契普依然一动不动。

“陛下,陛下,”它说,“你打算容忍这种造反,这种临阵脱逃行为吗?这是惊慌失措,是溃不成军。”

“划啊,划啊,”凯斯宾大吼道,“拼命划啊。船头方向对吗,德里宁?你爱怎么说就怎么说,雷佩契普。有些事情是没人对付得了的。”

“那么说来,幸亏我不是一个人了。”雷佩契普僵硬地鞠了一躬说。

露茜在桅杆高处听到了这一切对话。她自己竭尽全力想法忘掉的一个梦,顿时栩栩如生,重现在眼前,仿佛刚从那个梦中醒来似的。原来在他们后面,那岛上,黑暗中是那么回事!霎时间她想要下去,到甲板上跟爱德蒙和凯斯宾在一起。可是有什么用处呢?如果梦假成真的话,等她走到他们面前,他们自己也可能变成可怕的怪物的。她抓住观测台的栏杆,想法稳住身子。他们正竭尽全力,倒划到亮处:再过一小会儿就没事了。啊呀,只要现在没事就好了!

虽然划桨发出很大的声音,可是掩饰不了包围船身那片死寂。人人都知道最好别听,最好别竖起耳朵倾听黑暗中的任何动静:可是谁都情不自禁地听着。不久大家就听到动静了,每个人听见的都不一样。

“你听到那儿有种声音像……像把大剪刀在喀嚓喀嚓响吗?”尤斯塔斯问赖因斯。

“嘘!”赖因斯说,“我听得见他们爬上船身舷侧了。”



“就要歇落在桅杆上了。”凯斯宾说。

“嘿!”一个水手说,“开始鸣锣了。我知道会鸣锣的。”

凯斯宾竭力目不旁视,尤其是不回头看,径自朝船尾德里宁那儿走去。

“德里宁,”他把嗓音压得很低说,“我们刚才进去时划了多久——我意思是划到救起陌生人的地方。”

“也许,五分钟吧,”德里宁悄声说,“干吗?”

“因为我们想法出来已经不止五分钟了。”

德里宁掌舵那只手哆嗦了,一行冷汗从脸上流下。船上的人个个都冒出同样的念头。“我们出不去了,我们出不去了,”划桨的人悲叹道,“他把我们领错航线了。我们尽在绕圈子呢。我们永远出不去了。”那陌生人本来一直蜷成一团躺在甲板上,现在坐起身,尖声怪气地发出一阵恐怖的大笑。

“出不去了!”他大声喊道,“一点不错。当然啦。我们永远出不去了。我多蠢啊,竟然以为他们会那样轻易地让我走掉。不,不,我们永远出不去了。”

露茜把脑袋靠在观测台边上,悄声说:“阿斯兰啊,阿斯兰,如果你当真爱我们,马上来救救我们吧。”那片黑暗虽然并未减少丝毫,可是她开始感到有一点儿——很小很小的一点儿——好转了。“说到头来,我们还没真正出过什么事呢。”她暗暗想道。

“瞧!”赖尼夫从船头那儿嘶哑地喊道。前头有一小点光,他们仔细看着,那一点光竟发出一大束光来照在船身上。虽然并没改变周围一片漆黑的环境,可是整条船就像给探照灯照亮似的。凯斯宾眨眨眼,朝四下盯着看,只见伙伴们脸上个个都带着狂热而专注的神情。大家都目不转晴地望着同一方向:每个人的身后都横着轮廓分明的黑影。"

露茜顺着光束看去,不一会儿就看见光束里有什么东西。开头看上去像个十字架,后来看上去像架飞机,再后来看上去像个风筝,最后翅膀呼呼地旋转,就飞到头顶上空,原来是只信天翁。信天翁绕着桅杆飞了三圈,接着在船头金龙的颈脊上歇了片刻。它发出一串有力的悦耳声音,似乎在说什么,可没人听得懂。之后它就张开双翅飞了起来,开头在前面飞得很慢,稍微偏向右舷。德里宁对它的导航深信不疑,就跟着它驾驶。可是除了露茜,谁也不知道它绕着桅杆飞时悄悄对她说过:“放勇敢些,心肝儿。”她相信这是阿斯兰的声音,话音未落,还有一股美妙的香味散发到她脸上。

一会儿工夫,前面那片黑暗就变成一片灰暗,接着,他们心里几乎还不敢开始抱有希望,这条船就穿进阳光中,重新投入温暖的蓝色天地。正如有些时候,你光是躺在床上,看见日光泻进窗户,听到窗下早班邮差和送奶人的欢笑声,醒悟到这原来只不过是个梦,这不是真的,这种时刻真是妙不可言,为了体会到醒来的乐趣,做了噩梦也几乎非常值得。当他们冲出黑暗时,大家就都有这份体会。船身的鲜艳明亮使他们大为惊讶,他们原来还以为黑暗会缠住不放,在雪白、碧绿、金黄的船身上留下污垢和残渣呢。

露茜赶紧下来,走到甲板上,只见大家都围着那个陌生人。他高兴得久久说不出话来,只会眼望着大海和太阳,摸着舷墙和缆绳,仿佛要使自己相信他的确醒着,脸上泪水滚滚直流。

“谢谢你们,”他终于说,“你们把我救出了……可是我不愿谈那事。现在我向你们说说自己是什么人吧。我是纳尼亚的一个台尔马人,当年我还有些身价时,人称罗普爵爷。”

“我就是纳尼亚国国王凯斯宾,”凯斯宾说,“我出海远航就是来找你和你的伙伴们,你们都是我父亲的朋友。”

罗普爵爷当即跪下,吻着国王的手。“陛下,”他说,“您是世上我最希望见到的人。请陛下开恩。”

“什么事?”凯斯宾问。

“千万别问我,也别让任何人问我这些年来在黑暗岛上的所见所闻。”

“这容易,爵爷,”凯斯宾答,又打了个寒噤道,“我认为不该问你。我愿意拿出全部财宝,也决不愿听到这种事。”

“陛下,”德里宁说,“这会儿朝东南去正是顺风。要不要我叫我们可怜的伙伴起来准备开船?开船后,每一个抽得出身的都去吊床睡觉。”

“不错,”凯斯宾说,“让大家痛饮一顿。嗨嗬,我觉得自己能整整睡上一天一夜呢。”

于是整个下午大家欢天喜地,顺风向东南行驶,船后那一团漆黑越来越小,越来越小。不过谁也没注意那信天翁几时不见的。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
mass [mæs]

想一想再看

n. 块,大量,众多
adj. 群众的,大规模

 
mercy ['mə:si]

想一想再看

n. 怜悯,宽恕,仁慈,恩惠
adj.

 
burst [bə:st]

想一想再看

n. 破裂,阵,爆发
v. 爆裂,迸发

 
gentle ['dʒentl]

想一想再看

adj. 温和的,轻柔的,文雅的,温顺的,出身名门的

 
sailor ['seilə]

想一想再看

n. 海员,水手,扁平的硬边草帽

 
certain ['sə:tn]

想一想再看

adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.

 
except [ik'sept]

想一想再看

vt. 除,除外
prep. & conj.

联想记忆
noticeable ['nəutisəbl]

想一想再看

adj. 显而易见的

 
grant [grɑ:nt]

想一想再看

n. 授予物,补助金; 同意,给予
n. 财产

 
swell [swel]

想一想再看

v. (使)膨胀,(使)鼓起,(使)增长
n.

联想记忆
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关键字: 踏浪 黎明

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