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《黎明踏浪号》第6章:尤斯塔斯的历险

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AT that very moment the others were washing hands and faces in the river and generally getting ready for dinner and a rest. The three best archers had gone up into the hills north of the bay and returned laden with a pair of wild goats which were now roasting over a fire. Caspian had ordered a cask of wine ashore, strong wine of Archenland which had to be mixed with water before you drank it, so there would be plenty for all. The work had gone well so far and it was a merry meal. Only after the second helping of goat did Edmund say, "Where's that blighter Eustace?"就在那时刻,其他人都在河里洗手洗脸,纷纷准备吃饭休息。三个最强的弓箭手到了海湾北面山里,扛回来一对野山羊,这时野山羊正架在火上烤呢。凯斯宾已下令搬一桶酒上岸,那是阿钦兰生产的烈酒,得掺上水才能喝,供大伙儿喝绰绰有余。到目前为止,工作进展顺利,大家吃得欢天喜地。再添一份羊肉以后,爱德蒙才说"尤斯塔斯那讨厌鬼上哪儿去了?"
Meanwhile Eustace stared round the unknown valley. It was so narrow and deep, and the precipices which surrounded it so sheer, that it was like a huge pit or trench. The floor was grassy though strewn with rocks, and here and there Eustace saw black burnt patches like those you see on the sides of a railway embankment in a dry summer.这时候,尤斯塔斯瞪着眼睛朝这陌生的山谷四下张望。"
About fifteen yards away from him was a pool of clear, smooth water. There was, at first, nothing else at all in the valley; not an animal, not a bird, not an insect. The sun beat down and grim peaks and horns of mountains peered over the valley's edge.山谷又狭又深,周围的悬崖十分陡峭,谷里就像个大坑或壕沟。底部虽然遍地岩石却长满了草,尤斯塔斯看见到处有烧焦的黑斑瘾,像干旱的夏天铁路路堤两边所见的焦痕一样。离他十五码以外,是个清澈平滑的水塘。开头,山谷里其他什么东西都没有;没有走兽,没有飞禽,没有昆虫。太阳直晒下来,狰狞的峰峦俯临谷边。
Eustace realized of course that in the fog he had come down the wrong side of the ridge, so he turned at once to see about getting back. But as soon as he had looked he shuddered. Apparently he had by amazing luck found the only possible way down - a long green spit of land, horribly steep and narrow, with precipices on either side. There was no other possible way of getting back. But could he do it, now that he saw what it was really like? His head swam at the very thought of it.尤斯塔斯当然明白自己原来是在雾中爬到山脊另一边去了。所以他马上回头看看回去的路。可是他一看便不禁浑身发抖。明摆着他是万分侥幸才摸到这惟——条下来的路的——长长一条绿色的暗道,陡峭狭窄,两岸悬崖耸峙。没有别的路好回去了。他既然看到了实际情况,还能不能上去呢?他一想到这念头,头也晕了。
He turned round again, thinking that at any rate he'd better have a good drink from the pool first. But as soon as he had turned and before he had taken a step forward into the valley he heard a noise behind him. It was only a small noise but it sounded loud in that immense silence. It froze him dead-still where he stood for a second. Then he slewed round his neck and looked.他再掉过头去,心想无论如何最好还是先在水塘里喝个痛快。谁知他刚掉过头,还没向山谷里迈前一步,就听见背后有声音。声音虽小,但是在那无比寂静中听上去也够响的。他吓得在原地僵立了一会儿,才回过头去看。
At the bottom of the cliff a little on his left hand was a low, dark hole - the entrance to a cave perhaps. And out of this two thin wisps of smoke were coming. And the loose stones just beneath the dark hollow were moving (that was the noise he had heard) just as if something were crawling in the dark behind them.在崖底,他左手不远的地方有个低矮的黑洞——也许是一个山洞的入口。洞口冒出两缕细烟。就在黑洞下面那堆松散的石块在动(他听见的就是这声音),恰如有什么东西在后面暗处爬着。
Something was crawling. Worse still, something was coming out. Edmund or Lucy or you would have recognized it at once, but Eustace had read none of the right books. The thing that came out of the cave was something he had never even imagined - along lead-coloured snout, dull red eyes, no feathers or fur, a long lithe body that trailed on the ground, legs whose elbows went up higher than its back like a spider's cruel claws, bat's wings that made a rasping noise on the stones, yards of tail. And the lines of smoke were coming from its two nostrils. He never said the word Dragon to himself. Nor would it have made things any better if he had.果然有什么东西在爬。更糟糕的是,竟然爬出来了。要是爱德蒙和露茜,一看准认得出,你也认得出,可是尤斯塔斯没看过一本对路的书。爬出来那东西他连想象都没想象到过——铅灰色的长鼻子,暗红色的眼睛,身上没羽毛,也没皮毛,长长一条柔软的身子,在地面上爬行,腿弯部分抬起来比背部还要高,像蜘蛛腿,凶残的爪子,蝙蝠翼在石头上发出刺耳的嘎嘎声,尾巴老长老长。那两道烟是从它两个鼻孔里冒出来的。他心里从来没想到龙这个词儿,就是想到了,事情也好不了多少。
But perhaps if he had known something about dragons he would have been a little surprised at this dragon's behaviour. It did not sit up and clap its wings, nor did it shoot out a stream of flame from its mouth. The smoke from its nostrils was like the smoke of a fire that will not last much longer. Nor did it seem to have noticed Eustace. It moved very slowly towards the pool - slowly and with many pauses. Even in his fear Eustace felt that it was an old, sad creature. He wondered if he dared make a dash for the ascent. But it might look round if he made any noise. It might come more to life. Perhaps it was only shamming. Anyway, what was the use of trying to escape by climbing from a creature that could fly?不过,他要是知道一些龙的知识,也许他对这条龙的举动就不会那么吃惊了。这条龙没有坐起来拍拍翅膀,也没从嘴里喷出一道火焰。它鼻孔里冒出来的烟就像火烟,没多久就消失了。它似乎没注意到尤斯塔斯,只顾很慢很慢地向水塘爬去,爬爬还歇了好多回。尤斯塔斯尽管心里害怕,也觉得这是个衰老凄惨的怪物。他不知自己是不是敢冲过去爬上坡。不过如果他弄出声音来,它就可能回过头来,也可能会苏醒过来。也许它只不过装装样子,不管怎样,想爬上去,从会飞的怪物身边逃走有什么用呢?
It reached the pool and slid its horrible scaly chin down over the gravel to drink: but before it had drunk there came from it a great croaking or clanging cry and after a few twitches and convulsions it rolled round on its side and lay perfectly still with one claw in the air. A little dark blood gushed from its wide-opened mouth. The smoke from its nostrils turned black for a moment and then floated away. No more came. this was the brute's trick, the way it lured travellers to their doom. But one couldn't wait for ever. He took a step nearer, then two steps, and halted again. The dragon remained motionless; he noticed too that the red fire had gone out of its eyes. At last he came up to it. He was quite sure now that it was dead. With a shudder he touched it; nothing happened.它爬到水塘,把长满可怕鳞甲的下巴滑到砂砾层上,但它还没喝上水,就发出嘎嘎一大声,像是飞鹤的尖戾,扭曲挣扎了几下后,它就翻了个身,侧身躺着,一动不动,一只爪子还翘在半空。张大的嘴里涌出一点乌黑的血。鼻孔里的烟一时也变黑了,接着又飘走了。就此再也没动静了。
The relief was so great that Eustace almost laughed out loud. He began to feel as if he had fought and killed the dragon instead of merely seeing it die. He stepped over it and went to the pool for his drink, for the heat was getting unbearable. He was not surprised when he heard a peal of thunder. Almost immediately afterwards the sun disappeared and before he had finished his drink big drops of rain were falling.尤斯塔斯好长时间不敢动弹。也许这是那怪物的诡计,诱骗外来人送死的花招。可是你也不能老等下去。他走近一步,再走两步又停下。那条龙还是一动也不动。他还注意到它眼睛里的红火也消失了。他终于走到它跟前。这回他绝对肯定它死了。他打了个寒喋,摸了它一下;什么事也没有。
The climate of this island was a very unpleasant one. In less than a minute Eustace was wet to the skin and half blinded with such rain as one never sees in Europe. There was no use trying to climb out of the valley as long as this lasted. He bolted for the only shelter in sight - the dragon's cave. There he lay down and tried to get his breath.这下可大大放心了,尤斯塔斯差点大声笑出来。他不由开始感到自己不是眼看这条龙死去,而是打了一仗,亲手把它杀死似的。他跨过龙身,走到水塘边喝水,因为这里热得受不了。他听到隆隆一阵雷声,倒也并不吃惊。雷声响过,顿时就不见太阳,他还没喝完,大滴大滴的雨点就下来了。
Most of us know what we should expect to find in a dragon's lair, but, as I said before, Eustace had read only the wrong books. They had a lot to say about exports and imports and governments and drains, but they were weak on dragons. That is why he was so puzzled at the surface on which he was lying. Parts of it were too prickly to be stones and too hard to be thorns, and there seemed to be a great many round, flat things, and it all clinked when he moved. There was light enough at the cave's mouth to examine it by. And of course Eustace found it to be what any of us could have told him in advance - treasure. There were crowns (those were the prickly things), coins, rings, bracelets, ingots, cups, plates and gems.这岛上的天气真是非常讨厌。转眼工夫尤斯塔斯就浑身湿透,眼睛也看不清,这么大的雨在欧洲可从没见过。只要这场大雨不停,想爬出山谷也没用。他冲进惟一看得见的龙洞去避雨。接着他就地躺下,拚命缓过气来。
Eustace (unlike most boys) had never thought much of treasure but he saw at once the use it would be in this new world which he had so foolishly stumbled into through the picture in Lucy's bedroom at home. "They don't have any tax here," he said, "And you don't have to give treasure to the government. With some of this stuff I could have quite a decent time here - perhaps in Calormen. It sounds the least phoney of these countries. I wonder how much I can carry? That bracelet now - those things in it are probably diamonds - I'll slip that on my own wrist. Too big, but not if I push it right up here above my elbow. Then fill my pockets with diamonds - that's easier than gold. I wonder when this infernal rain's going to let up?" He got into a less uncomfortable part of the pile, where it was mostly coins, and settled down to wait. But a bad fright, when once it is over, and especially a bad fright following a mountain walk, leaves you very tired. Eustace fell asleep.我们多半人都知道在龙洞里会看到什么,可是我上文已经说过,尤斯塔斯只看过些不相干的书,书上尽说些进口、出口啊、政府啊、耗费啊这一类词儿,就缺谈龙这方面的事。所以他对身子躺着的地面感到这么莫名其妙。有的地面太刺人但不像石头,而且太硬也不像荆棘,看来似乎有一大堆又圆又扁的东西,他一动这些东西就丁当响。洞口光线正好可以让他看个仔细。不消说,尤斯塔斯看到的正是我们任何人事先都可以告诉他的——财宝。有好些王冠(就是那刺人的东西),钱币、戒指、手镯、金锭、酒杯、餐盘和珍宝。
By the time he was sound asleep and snoring the others had finished dinner and became seriously alarmed about him. They shouted, "Eustace! Eustace! Coo-ee!" till they were hoarse and Caspian blew his horn.尤斯塔斯不像多半孩子那样,他对财富从来没看重过,可是他一看就明白,在他糊里糊涂一头从家里露茜卧房那幅画上闯进去的新天地中,这笔财宝会派多大用处。"这里什么捐税都不收,"他说,"你用不着把财宝交给政府。有了这些财宝,我在这儿——也许在卡乐门吧——可以过得逍遥自在了。这国名听上去一点不像假的。不知我带得了多少呢?马上拿那手锢——上面镶嵌的那些东西大概是钻石——我要把手镯戴在自己手腕上。太大了,但我要是把这一直撞到肘拐儿上面就不嫌大了。然后再在口袋里装满钻石——那比装金子容易。就不知这场该死的雨几时才停?"他坐到这堆财宝上一个比较舒服的地方安心等候,那地方大都是些钱币。不过,受了一场大惊,特别是走了山路再受一场大惊,惊魂才定,人就感到很疲倦。尤斯塔斯竟睡着了。
"He's nowhere near or he'd have heard that," said Lucy with a white face.在他进入梦乡,呼呼大睡的时候,其他人已经吃完饭,对他的下落当真着起急来。他们大声喊着,"尤斯塔斯!尤斯塔斯!喂,喂,喂!"喊得大家嗓子嘶哑,凯斯宾还吹起号角。
"Confound the fellow," said Edmund. "What on earth did he want to slink away like this for?""他不在附近,不然早听到了。"露茜急白了脸说。
"But we must do something," said Lucy. "He may have got lost, or fallen into a hole, or been captured by savages.""这家伙真该死,"爱德蒙说,"他这样偷偷摸摸地溜走,到底要干什么?"
"Or killed by wild beasts," said Drinian."可是我们必须想些办法,"露茜说,"他可能迷了路,或者掉进洞里,或者被野人抓去。"
"And a good riddance if he has, I say," muttered Rhince."或者碰上野兽送了命。"德里宁说。
"Master Rhince," said Reepicheep, "you never spoke a word that became you less. The creature is no friend of mine but he is of the Queen's blood, and while he is one of our fellowship it concerns our honour to find him and to avenge him if he is dead.""啊呀,假如真送了命倒好了。"赖因斯嘀咕说。
"Of course we've got to find him (if we can)," said Caspian wearily. "That's the nuisance of it. It means a search party and endless trouble. Bother Eustace.""赖因斯先生,"雷佩契普说,"你从没说过一句有失身份的话。这家伙虽然不是我朋友,可他是女王的亲属,只要他是我们一条船上的伙伴,那就要找到他,他死了就要为他报仇,这事关我们的荣誉。"
Meanwhile Eustace slept and slept - and slept. What woke him was a pain in his arm. The moon was shining in at the mouth of the cave, and the bed of treasures seemed to have grown much more comfortable: in fact he could hardly feel it at all. He was puzzled by the pain in his arm at first, but presently it occurred to him that the bracelet which he had shoved up above his elbow had become strangely tight. His arm must have swollen while he was asleep (it was his left arm)."我们当然得去找他(如果找得到的话),”凯斯宾有气无力地说,"讨厌就讨厌在这点上。这要组织一支搜山队,没完没了的麻烦。尤斯塔斯真讨厌!”
He moved his right arm in order to feel his left, but stopped before he had moved it an inch and bit his lip in terror. For just in front of him, and a little on his right, where the moonlight fell clear on the floor of the cave, he saw a hideous shape moving. He knew that shape: it was a dragon's claw. It had moved as he moved his hand and became still when he stopped moving his hand.这时候,尤斯塔斯正睡啊睡啊睡的,睡到手臂痛才醒来。月亮正照在洞口,满地财宝似乎也变得更加舒服了。其实他简直一点都没感到舒服。开头手臂痛得他莫名其妙,可是不久就想起,他刚才撸到肘拐儿上面的手锢竟变得出奇的紧。他睡着那会儿手臂一定是肿起来了(是他的左臂)。
"Oh, what a fool I've been," thought Eustace. "Of course, the brute had a mate and it's lying beside me."他挪动右臂,想去摸摸左臂,可是他还没挪动一英寸就住手了,吓得直咬嘴唇。因为就在他前面不远,稍稍偏右一点的地方,月光照在洞里一清二楚,他看见一个可怕的形状在移动。他知道那形状:是龙瓜。他挪动他的手,它也在动,他一住手,它也一动不动了。-
For several minutes he did not dare to move a muscle. He saw two thin columns of smoke going up before his eyes, black against the moonlight; just as there had been smoke coming from the other dragon's nose before it died. This was so alarming that he held his breath. The two columns of smoke vanished. When he could hold his breath no longer he let it out stealthily; instantly two jets of smoke appeared again. But even yet he had no idea of the truth."啊呀,我真是糊涂蛋,"尤斯塔斯心想,"那怪物当然有个伙伴,它就躺在我身边呢。"
Presently he decided that he would edge very cautiously to his left and try to creep out of the cave. Perhaps the creature was asleep - and anyway it was his only chance. But of course before he edged to the left he looked to the left. Oh horror! there was a dragon's claw on that side too.一时间他丝毫不敢动弹。他看见眼前冒起两缕细烟,衬着月光,烟是黑的;正如刚才那条龙临死前鼻子里喷出来的烟一样。这真令人惊慌,他不由屏住气。两缕烟就此消失了。他屏不住多久,一口气悄悄溜了出来;两道黑烟顿时又出现在眼前。不过事到如今,他还是不明真相。不久他决定小心翼翼地斜着身子摸到左边,想法偷偷溜出洞去。也许这怪物睡着了——不管怎样,这是他惟一的出路。可是他还没斜着身子摸到左边去以前,他当然免不了先朝左边看看。啊呀,真吓人!那边也有一只龙爪子。
No one will blame Eustace if at this moment he shed tears. He was surprised at the size of his own tears as he saw them splashing on to the treasure in front of him. They also seemed strangely hot; steam went up from them.假如这时有谁看见尤斯塔斯掉眼泪,决不会怪他。他看见自己的泪水竟在面前的财宝上溅了一大片,不由吃了一惊。这泪水似乎也烫得出奇;上面还直冒热气。
But there was no good crying. He must try to crawl out from between the two dragons. He began extending his right arm. The dragon's fore-leg and claw on his right went through exactly the same motion. Then he thought he would try his left. The dragon limb on that side moved too.但是哭也没用。他必须想法从两条龙中间爬出去才行。
Two dragons, one on each side, mimicking whatever he did! His nerve broke and he simply made a bolt for it.他开始伸展右臂。他右边那条龙的前肢和爪子的动作也完全一模一样。于是他心想,试试左臂吧口那边那条龙的前肢的动作竟也一模一样。
There was such a clatter and rasping, and clinking of gold, and grinding of stones, as he rushed out of the cave that he thought they were both following him. He daren't look back. He rushed to the pool. The twisted shape of the dead dragon lying in the moonlight would have been enough to frighten anyone but now he hardly noticed it. His idea was to get into the water.一边条,不管他做什么,两条龙都学着他做|他受不了啦,干脆赶快逃走。
But just as he reached the edge of the pool two things happened. First of all it came over him like a thunder-clap that he had been running on all fours - and why on earth had he been doing that? And secondly, as he bent towards the water, he thought for a second that yet another dragon was staring up at him out of the pool. But in an instant he realized the truth. The dragon face in the pool was his own reflection. There was no doubt of it. It moved as he moved: it opened and shut its mouth as he opened and shut his.他冲出洞口时,只听得丁丁当当,喀嚓喀嚓,金子铿铿锵锵,石头嘎吱嘎口支,他还以为两条龙都跟着他呢。他看也不敢回头看,冲到水塘边。那条躺在月光下的死龙扭曲的形状足以吓死任何人,可是这会儿他简直顾不上了。他一心只想走到水里。
He had turned into a dragon while he was asleep. Sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself.谁知正当他走到水塘边,发生了两件事。头一件,对他来说无异一个晴天霹雳,原来他一直是四肢着地在跑——他到底为什么一直这样干呢?第二件,他趴向水面时还以为水塘里又有一条龙在抬眼盯着他。不过他一下子就明白真相了。水塘里的龙脸原来是他自己的倒影。这是毫无疑问的。他动它也动,他张嘴它也张嘴,他闭嘴它也闭嘴。
That explained everything. There had been no two dragons beside him in the cave. The claws to right and left had been his own right and left claw. The two columns of smoke had been coming from his own nostrils. As for the pain in his left arm (or what had been his left arm) he could now see what had happened by squinting with his left eye. The bracelet which had fitted very nicely on the upper arm of a boy was far too small for the thick, stumpy foreleg of a dragon. It had sunk deeply into his scaly flesh and there was a throbbing bulge on each side of it. He tore at the place with his dragon's teeth but could not get it off.他睡着的时候竟变成了一条龙。睡在龙的宝窖里,心里怀着贪婪的龙一样的念头,他自己竟变成一条龙了。
In spite of the pain, his first feeling was one of relief. There was nothing to be afraid of any more. He was a terror himself and nothing in the world but a knight (and not all of those) would dare to attack him. He could get even with Caspian and Edmund now But the moment he thought this he realized that he didn't want to. He wanted to be friends. He wanted to get back among humans and talk and laugh and share things. He realized that he was a monster cut off from the whole human race. An appalling loneliness came over him. He began to see that the others had not really been fiends at all. He began to wonder if he himself had been such a nice person as he had always supposed. He longed for their voices. He would have been grateful for a kind word even from Reepicheep.那一来什么都清楚了。原来洞里他身边没有两条龙。左右两只爪子原来是他自己左右两只手。两缕烟原来是他自己鼻孔里冒出来的。至于他左臂(或者说他过去的左臂)的疼痛,现在他眯着左眼也看得出是怎么回事了。原来正好戴在孩子上臂的手锚,勒在龙那条粗短的前肢上未免太小太小了。手镯深深嵌在有鳞片的肉里,勒得两边肉都鼓起来,
When he thought of this the poor dragon that had been Eustace lifted up its voice and wept. A powerful dragon crying its eyes out under the moon in a deserted valley is a sight and a sound hardly to be imagined.卡卡直跳。他用龙牙去咬那地方,可咬不掉。
At last he decided he would try to find his way back to the shore. He realized now that Caspian would never have sailed away and left him. And he felt sure that somehow or other he would be able to make people understand who he was.尽管还痛,他头一个感觉倒是放下心来,现在没有什么可害怕的了。如今他自己就是令人恐怖的怪物,天底下除了骑士以外(而且也不是所有的骑士都如此),什么都不敢攻击他。如今他甚至可以跟凯斯宾和爱德蒙算账了……-
He took a long drink and then (I know this sounds shocking, but it isn't if you think it over) he ate nearly all the dead dragon. He was half-way through it before he realized what he was doing; for, you see, though his mind was the mind of Eustace, his tastes and his digestion were dragonish. And there is nothing a dragon likes so well as fresh dragon. That is why you so seldom find more than one dragon in the same county.可是他在想这件事的时候,心里倒明白自己并不想算账。他想要交朋友。他想要回到人类中间去,跟大家谈天说笑,分享一切。他明白自己成了同整个人类隔绝的怪物。一股可怕的孤独感涌上心头。他开始明白其他人根本不是什么恶魔。不由纳闷自己究竟是不是他一贯自以为的好人。他巴不得听到他们的声音。哪怕听到雷佩契普一句好话他都会感激不尽。
Then he turned to climb out of the valley. He began the climb with a jump and as soon as he jumped he found that he was flying. He had quite forgotten about his wings and it was a great surprise to him - the first pleasant surprise he had had for a long time. He rose high into the air and saw innumerable mountain-tops spread out beneath him in the moonlight. He could see the bay like a silver slab and the Dawn Treader lying at anchor and camp fires twinkling in the woods beside the beach. From a great height he launched himself down towards them in a single glide.这条前身是尤斯塔斯的可怜的龙,一想到这点竟放声痛哭了。一条强大的龙,竟在月下一个荒凉的山谷里哭得死去活来,这情景,这声音简直难以想象。
Lucy was sleeping very soundly for she had sat up till the return of the search party in hope of good news about Eustace. It had been led by Caspian and had come back late and weary. Their news was disquieting. They had found no trace of Eustace but had seen a dead dragon in a valley. They tried to make the best of it and everyone assured everyone else that there were not likely to he more dragons about, and that one which was dead at about three o'clock that afternoon (which was when they had seen it) would hardly have been killing people a very few hours before.最后他决定要想方设法寻找回到海岸去的路。他现在才明白凯斯宾决不会把船开走,扔下他不管。他深信自己总有办法让人们明白他是什么人。
"Unless it ate the little brat and died of him: he'd poison anything," said Rhince. But he said this under his breath and no one heard it.他痛痛快快喝了一通,然后把那条死龙几乎全吃下肚去。(我知道这听上去吓人,可是你仔细想想就不吓人了。)他吃了一半才明白自己在干什么;因为,不瞒你说,虽然他的头脑还是尤斯塔斯的头脑,可是他的口味和消化力却是龙的。而龙所喜欢的食物莫过于新鲜龙肉了。这就是你在同一地方难以找到第二条龙的缘故。
But later in the night Lucy was wakened, very softly, and found the whole company gathered close together and talking in whispers.于是他转身爬出山谷。他开始爬时身子一跳,谁知刚一跳就不觉飞起来了。他完全忘了自己的翅膀了,这对他是一大惊喜发现——他有好长时间没享受到惊喜了。他就此高飞上天,看见月光中身下铺展着无数山顶。他看得见像一块银板似的海湾,黎明踏浪号停泊着,海滩边林子里篝火闪闪发光。他从高处一个滑翔,朝他们直冲下去。
"What is it?" said Lucy.露茜正睡得很沉,因为她一直盼着搜山队带来好消息,等到他们回来才去睡。搜山队由凯斯宾亲自率领,很晚才回来,都累坏了。他们带来的消息令人不安。他们找不到尤斯塔斯的踪影,却在一个山谷里看见一条死龙。他们都尽了最大努力寻找,人人都向别人保证看来附近再也找不到别的龙了,那条龙是在那天下午三点钟左右死的(就是他们看见它的时候),看来不大会在短短几小时前刚吃过人。
"We must all show great constancy," Caspian was saying. "A dragon has just flown over the tree-tops and lighted on the beach. Yes, I am afraid it is between us and the ship. And arrows are no use against dragons. And they're not at all afraid of fire.""除非它是吃了那小鬼就此送了命的,他对什么都有毒。"赖因斯说。不过这话是压低嗓子说的,没人听见。
"With your Majesty's leave-" began Reepicheep.可是那天深夜露茜被人轻轻叫醒,看见全体人员都紧紧凑在一起,悄声说着话。
"No, Reepicheep," said the King very firmly, "you are not to attempt a single combat with it. And unless you promise to obey me in this matter I'll have you tied up. We must just keep close watch and, as soon as it is light, go down to the beach and give it battle. I will lead. King Edmund will be on my right and the Lord Drinian on my left. There are no other arrangements to be made. It will be light in a couple of hours. In an hour's time let a meal be served out and what is left of the wine. And let everything be done silently.""怎么回事?"露茜说。
"Perhaps it will go away," said Lucy."我们大家必须坚定不移,"凯斯宾正说着,"刚才一条龙飞过树梢,降落在海滩上。是啊,恐怕就停在我们和大船之间。用箭对付龙是没用的。龙根本不怕火。"
"It'll be worse if it does," said Edmund, "because then we shan't know where it is. If there's a wasp in the room I like to be able to see it.""陛下恩准的话一"雷佩契普开口说。
The rest of the night wa dreadful, and when the meal came, though they knew they ought to eat, many found that they had very poor appetites. And endless hours seemed to pass before the darkness thinned and birds began chirping here and there and the world got colder and wetter than it had been all night and Caspian said, "Now for it, friends.""不,雷佩契普,"国王非常坚决地说,"你决不能单独跟它决战。除非你答应这件事听从我,否则我就把你绑起来。我们只须密切监视它,等天一亮,就到海湾去跟它开战。我带头。爱德蒙国王在我右翼,德里宁爵爷在我左翼。没有其他部署。再过一两个小时天就要亮了。一小时内先开饭,剩下的酒也端来。还有,一切事情都得悄悄进行。"
They got up, all with swords drawn, and formed themselves into a solid mass with Lucy in the middle and Reepicheep on her shoulder. It was nicer than the waiting about and everyone felt fonder of everyone else than at ordinary times. A moment later they were marching. It grew lighter as they came to the edge of the wood. And there on the sand, like a giant lizard, or a flexible crocodile, or a serpent with legs, huge and horrible and humpy, lay the dragon."也许它会走开的。"露茜说。
But when it saw them, instead of rising up and blowing fire and smoke, the dragon retreated - you could almost say it waddled - back into the shallows of the bay."要是它走开那反而更糟,飞爱德蒙说,"因为那一来我们就不知道它在哪儿。假如屋子里有只黄蜂,我倒愿意看得见它。"
"What's it wagging its head like that for?" said Edmund.那天夜里余下的时间可难熬了,开饭时虽然大家都知道应当吃一点,可是很多人都发觉自己毫无胃口。时间过得似乎没完没了,好容易等到漆黑的天色渐渐亮起来,小鸟开始到处嘟嘟喳喳,四下反而比整个夜里更冷更湿,凯斯宾说"朋友们,好动手了。"'
"And now it's nodding," said Caspian.他们一拥而上,个个刀剑出鞠,紧紧挤成一团,露茜居中,雷佩契普在她肩头。这总比干等着要好些,人人都觉得旁人比平时更可亲。一会儿工夫他们就向前推进了。他们来到林子边上,天色又亮了些。在那儿沙地上就躺着那条龙,像条大蜻踢,又像一条柔韧的鳝鱼,又像一条四脚大蠕蛇,身体庞大,外形可怕,背部隆起。
"And there's something coming from its eyes," said Drinian.谁知那条龙看见他们不但没有抬起身,口喷火烟,反而
"Oh, can't you see," said Lucy. "It's crying. Those are tears."后退了——一几乎可以说是摇摇摆摆地缩回浅滩上去了。
"I shouldn't trust to that, Ma'am," said Drinian. "That's what crocodiles do, to put you off your guard.""它干吗那样摇头。"爱德蒙说。"这回它在点头了。"凯斯宾说。
"It wagged its head when you said that," remarked Edmund. "Just as if it meant No. Look, there it goes again.""它眼睛里淌出什么东西呢。"德里宁说。
"Do you think it understands what we're saying?" asked Lucy."啊呀,你们看不出来啊,"露茜说,"它在哭。那是眼泪呢。
The dragon nodded its head violently."我可决不轻信,女王陛下,"德里宁说,"鳝鱼就是那样的,想要消除你的戒心。"
Reepicheep slipped off Lucy's shoulder and stepped to the front."你说这话时它听了在摇头呢,"爱德蒙说,"意思好像在说不。瞧,它又摇头了。"
"Dragon," came his shrill voice, "can you understand speech?""你想,它懂得我们在说什么吗?"露茜问。
The dragon nodded.那条龙拼命点头。
"Can you speak?"雷佩契普溜下露茜肩头,站到前面去。
It shook its head."龙啊,"它尖声说,"你听得懂话吗?
"Then," said Reepicheep, "it is idle to ask you your business. But if you will swear friendship with us raise your left foreleg above your head."那条龙点点头。
It did so, but clumsily because that leg was sore and swollen with the golden bracelet"你会说话吗?"它摇摇头。
"Oh look," said Lucy, "there's something wrong with its leg. The poor thing - that's probably what it was crying about. Perhaps it came to us to be cured like in Androcles and the lion.""这么说,"雷佩契普说,"问你事情也是白费口舌。不过假如你愿意跟我们保证友好,就把左前腿高举头上。"
"Be careful, Lucy," said Caspian. "It's a very clever dragon but it may be a liar."那条龙照做了,可是举止笨拙,因为那腿上勒着金锢,又痛又肿。
Lucy had, however, already run forward, followed by Reepicheep, as fast as his short legs could carry him, and then of course the boys and Drinian came, too."啊呀,腿,"露茜说,"它腿出毛病了。可怜的东西——大概它是为了这个才哭吧。也许它来向我们求医,就像在安德罗格尔斯那回一样,还有那头狮子。"
"Show me your poor paw," said Lucy, "I might be able to cure it.""留神,露茜,"凯斯宾说,"这条龙非常聪明,不过也许它是在骗人。""
The dragon-that-had-been-Eustace held out its sore leg gladly enough, remembering how Lucy's cordial had cured him of sea-sickness before he became a dragon. But he was disappointed. The magic fluid reduced the swelling and eased the pain a little but it could not dissolve the gold.然而,露茜已经跑上前去了,雷佩契普赶快撒开两条短腿紧紧跟上,几个小伙子和德里宁当然也跟了上去。
Everyone had now crowded round to watch the treatment, and Caspian suddenly exclaimed, "Look!" He was staring at the bracelet."把可怜的爪子给我看看,"露茜说,"我兴许能治好。"

AT that very moment the others were washing hands and faces in the river and generally getting ready for dinner and a rest. The three best archers had gone up into the hills north of the bay and returned laden with a pair of wild goats which were now roasting over a fire. Caspian had ordered a cask of wine ashore, strong wine of Archenland which had to be mixed with water before you drank it, so there would be plenty for all. The work had gone well so far and it was a merry meal. Only after the second helping of goat did Edmund say, "Where's that blighter Eustace?"
Meanwhile Eustace stared round the unknown valley. It was so narrow and deep, and the precipices which surrounded it so sheer, that it was like a huge pit or trench. The floor was grassy though strewn with rocks, and here and there Eustace saw black burnt patches like those you see on the sides of a railway embankment in a dry summer.
About fifteen yards away from him was a pool of clear, smooth water. There was, at first, nothing else at all in the valley; not an animal, not a bird, not an insect. The sun beat down and grim peaks and horns of mountains peered over the valley's edge.
Eustace realized of course that in the fog he had come down the wrong side of the ridge, so he turned at once to see about getting back. But as soon as he had looked he shuddered. Apparently he had by amazing luck found the only possible way down - a long green spit of land, horribly steep and narrow, with precipices on either side. There was no other possible way of getting back. But could he do it, now that he saw what it was really like? His head swam at the very thought of it.
He turned round again, thinking that at any rate he'd better have a good drink from the pool first. But as soon as he had turned and before he had taken a step forward into the valley he heard a noise behind him. It was only a small noise but it sounded loud in that immense silence. It froze him dead-still where he stood for a second. Then he slewed round his neck and looked.
At the bottom of the cliff a little on his left hand was a low, dark hole - the entrance to a cave perhaps. And out of this two thin wisps of smoke were coming. And the loose stones just beneath the dark hollow were moving (that was the noise he had heard) just as if something were crawling in the dark behind them.
Something was crawling. Worse still, something was coming out. Edmund or Lucy or you would have recognized it at once, but Eustace had read none of the right books. The thing that came out of the cave was something he had never even imagined - along lead-coloured snout, dull red eyes, no feathers or fur, a long lithe body that trailed on the ground, legs whose elbows went up higher than its back like a spider's cruel claws, bat's wings that made a rasping noise on the stones, yards of tail. And the lines of smoke were coming from its two nostrils. He never said the word Dragon to himself. Nor would it have made things any better if he had.
But perhaps if he had known something about dragons he would have been a little surprised at this dragon's behaviour. It did not sit up and clap its wings, nor did it shoot out a stream of flame from its mouth. The smoke from its nostrils was like the smoke of a fire that will not last much longer. Nor did it seem to have noticed Eustace. It moved very slowly towards the pool - slowly and with many pauses. Even in his fear Eustace felt that it was an old, sad creature. He wondered if he dared make a dash for the ascent. But it might look round if he made any noise. It might come more to life. Perhaps it was only shamming. Anyway, what was the use of trying to escape by climbing from a creature that could fly?
It reached the pool and slid its horrible scaly chin down over the gravel to drink: but before it had drunk there came from it a great croaking or clanging cry and after a few twitches and convulsions it rolled round on its side and lay perfectly still with one claw in the air. A little dark blood gushed from its wide-opened mouth. The smoke from its nostrils turned black for a moment and then floated away. No more came. this was the brute's trick, the way it lured travellers to their doom. But one couldn't wait for ever. He took a step nearer, then two steps, and halted again. The dragon remained motionless; he noticed too that the red fire had gone out of its eyes. At last he came up to it. He was quite sure now that it was dead. With a shudder he touched it; nothing happened.
The relief was so great that Eustace almost laughed out loud. He began to feel as if he had fought and killed the dragon instead of merely seeing it die. He stepped over it and went to the pool for his drink, for the heat was getting unbearable. He was not surprised when he heard a peal of thunder. Almost immediately afterwards the sun disappeared and before he had finished his drink big drops of rain were falling.
The climate of this island was a very unpleasant one. In less than a minute Eustace was wet to the skin and half blinded with such rain as one never sees in Europe. There was no use trying to climb out of the valley as long as this lasted. He bolted for the only shelter in sight - the dragon's cave. There he lay down and tried to get his breath.
Most of us know what we should expect to find in a dragon's lair, but, as I said before, Eustace had read only the wrong books. They had a lot to say about exports and imports and governments and drains, but they were weak on dragons. That is why he was so puzzled at the surface on which he was lying. Parts of it were too prickly to be stones and too hard to be thorns, and there seemed to be a great many round, flat things, and it all clinked when he moved. There was light enough at the cave's mouth to examine it by. And of course Eustace found it to be what any of us could have told him in advance - treasure. There were crowns (those were the prickly things), coins, rings, bracelets, ingots, cups, plates and gems.
Eustace (unlike most boys) had never thought much of treasure but he saw at once the use it would be in this new world which he had so foolishly stumbled into through the picture in Lucy's bedroom at home. "They don't have any tax here," he said, "And you don't have to give treasure to the government. With some of this stuff I could have quite a decent time here - perhaps in Calormen. It sounds the least phoney of these countries. I wonder how much I can carry? That bracelet now - those things in it are probably diamonds - I'll slip that on my own wrist. Too big, but not if I push it right up here above my elbow. Then fill my pockets with diamonds - that's easier than gold. I wonder when this infernal rain's going to let up?" He got into a less uncomfortable part of the pile, where it was mostly coins, and settled down to wait. But a bad fright, when once it is over, and especially a bad fright following a mountain walk, leaves you very tired. Eustace fell asleep.
By the time he was sound asleep and snoring the others had finished dinner and became seriously alarmed about him. They shouted, "Eustace! Eustace! Coo-ee!" till they were hoarse and Caspian blew his horn.
"He's nowhere near or he'd have heard that," said Lucy with a white face.
"Confound the fellow," said Edmund. "What on earth did he want to slink away like this for?"
"But we must do something," said Lucy. "He may have got lost, or fallen into a hole, or been captured by savages."
"Or killed by wild beasts," said Drinian.
"And a good riddance if he has, I say," muttered Rhince.
"Master Rhince," said Reepicheep, "you never spoke a word that became you less. The creature is no friend of mine but he is of the Queen's blood, and while he is one of our fellowship it concerns our honour to find him and to avenge him if he is dead."
"Of course we've got to find him (if we can)," said Caspian wearily. "That's the nuisance of it. It means a search party and endless trouble. Bother Eustace."
Meanwhile Eustace slept and slept - and slept. What woke him was a pain in his arm. The moon was shining in at the mouth of the cave, and the bed of treasures seemed to have grown much more comfortable: in fact he could hardly feel it at all. He was puzzled by the pain in his arm at first, but presently it occurred to him that the bracelet which he had shoved up above his elbow had become strangely tight. His arm must have swollen while he was asleep (it was his left arm).
He moved his right arm in order to feel his left, but stopped before he had moved it an inch and bit his lip in terror. For just in front of him, and a little on his right, where the moonlight fell clear on the floor of the cave, he saw a hideous shape moving. He knew that shape: it was a dragon's claw. It had moved as he moved his hand and became still when he stopped moving his hand.
"Oh, what a fool I've been," thought Eustace. "Of course, the brute had a mate and it's lying beside me."
For several minutes he did not dare to move a muscle. He saw two thin columns of smoke going up before his eyes, black against the moonlight; just as there had been smoke coming from the other dragon's nose before it died. This was so alarming that he held his breath. The two columns of smoke vanished. When he could hold his breath no longer he let it out stealthily; instantly two jets of smoke appeared again. But even yet he had no idea of the truth.
Presently he decided that he would edge very cautiously to his left and try to creep out of the cave. Perhaps the creature was asleep - and anyway it was his only chance. But of course before he edged to the left he looked to the left. Oh horror! there was a dragon's claw on that side too.
No one will blame Eustace if at this moment he shed tears. He was surprised at the size of his own tears as he saw them splashing on to the treasure in front of him. They also seemed strangely hot; steam went up from them.
But there was no good crying. He must try to crawl out from between the two dragons. He began extending his right arm. The dragon's fore-leg and claw on his right went through exactly the same motion. Then he thought he would try his left. The dragon limb on that side moved too.
Two dragons, one on each side, mimicking whatever he did! His nerve broke and he simply made a bolt for it.
There was such a clatter and rasping, and clinking of gold, and grinding of stones, as he rushed out of the cave that he thought they were both following him. He daren't look back. He rushed to the pool. The twisted shape of the dead dragon lying in the moonlight would have been enough to frighten anyone but now he hardly noticed it. His idea was to get into the water.
But just as he reached the edge of the pool two things happened. First of all it came over him like a thunder-clap that he had been running on all fours - and why on earth had he been doing that? And secondly, as he bent towards the water, he thought for a second that yet another dragon was staring up at him out of the pool. But in an instant he realized the truth. The dragon face in the pool was his own reflection. There was no doubt of it. It moved as he moved: it opened and shut its mouth as he opened and shut his.
He had turned into a dragon while he was asleep. Sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself.
That explained everything. There had been no two dragons beside him in the cave. The claws to right and left had been his own right and left claw. The two columns of smoke had been coming from his own nostrils. As for the pain in his left arm (or what had been his left arm) he could now see what had happened by squinting with his left eye. The bracelet which had fitted very nicely on the upper arm of a boy was far too small for the thick, stumpy foreleg of a dragon. It had sunk deeply into his scaly flesh and there was a throbbing bulge on each side of it. He tore at the place with his dragon's teeth but could not get it off.
In spite of the pain, his first feeling was one of relief. There was nothing to be afraid of any more. He was a terror himself and nothing in the world but a knight (and not all of those) would dare to attack him. He could get even with Caspian and Edmund now But the moment he thought this he realized that he didn't want to. He wanted to be friends. He wanted to get back among humans and talk and laugh and share things. He realized that he was a monster cut off from the whole human race. An appalling loneliness came over him. He began to see that the others had not really been fiends at all. He began to wonder if he himself had been such a nice person as he had always supposed. He longed for their voices. He would have been grateful for a kind word even from Reepicheep.
When he thought of this the poor dragon that had been Eustace lifted up its voice and wept. A powerful dragon crying its eyes out under the moon in a deserted valley is a sight and a sound hardly to be imagined.
At last he decided he would try to find his way back to the shore. He realized now that Caspian would never have sailed away and left him. And he felt sure that somehow or other he would be able to make people understand who he was.
He took a long drink and then (I know this sounds shocking, but it isn't if you think it over) he ate nearly all the dead dragon. He was half-way through it before he realized what he was doing; for, you see, though his mind was the mind of Eustace, his tastes and his digestion were dragonish. And there is nothing a dragon likes so well as fresh dragon. That is why you so seldom find more than one dragon in the same county.
Then he turned to climb out of the valley. He began the climb with a jump and as soon as he jumped he found that he was flying. He had quite forgotten about his wings and it was a great surprise to him - the first pleasant surprise he had had for a long time. He rose high into the air and saw innumerable mountain-tops spread out beneath him in the moonlight. He could see the bay like a silver slab and the Dawn Treader lying at anchor and camp fires twinkling in the woods beside the beach. From a great height he launched himself down towards them in a single glide.
Lucy was sleeping very soundly for she had sat up till the return of the search party in hope of good news about Eustace. It had been led by Caspian and had come back late and weary. Their news was disquieting. They had found no trace of Eustace but had seen a dead dragon in a valley. They tried to make the best of it and everyone assured everyone else that there were not likely to he more dragons about, and that one which was dead at about three o'clock that afternoon (which was when they had seen it) would hardly have been killing people a very few hours before.
"Unless it ate the little brat and died of him: he'd poison anything," said Rhince. But he said this under his breath and no one heard it.
But later in the night Lucy was wakened, very softly, and found the whole company gathered close together and talking in whispers.
"What is it?" said Lucy.
"We must all show great constancy," Caspian was saying. "A dragon has just flown over the tree-tops and lighted on the beach. Yes, I am afraid it is between us and the ship. And arrows are no use against dragons. And they're not at all afraid of fire."
"With your Majesty's leave-" began Reepicheep.
"No, Reepicheep," said the King very firmly, "you are not to attempt a single combat with it. And unless you promise to obey me in this matter I'll have you tied up. We must just keep close watch and, as soon as it is light, go down to the beach and give it battle. I will lead. King Edmund will be on my right and the Lord Drinian on my left. There are no other arrangements to be made. It will be light in a couple of hours. In an hour's time let a meal be served out and what is left of the wine. And let everything be done silently."
"Perhaps it will go away," said Lucy.
"It'll be worse if it does," said Edmund, "because then we shan't know where it is. If there's a wasp in the room I like to be able to see it."
The rest of the night wa dreadful, and when the meal came, though they knew they ought to eat, many found that they had very poor appetites. And endless hours seemed to pass before the darkness thinned and birds began chirping here and there and the world got colder and wetter than it had been all night and Caspian said, "Now for it, friends."
They got up, all with swords drawn, and formed themselves into a solid mass with Lucy in the middle and Reepicheep on her shoulder. It was nicer than the waiting about and everyone felt fonder of everyone else than at ordinary times. A moment later they were marching. It grew lighter as they came to the edge of the wood. And there on the sand, like a giant lizard, or a flexible crocodile, or a serpent with legs, huge and horrible and humpy, lay the dragon.
But when it saw them, instead of rising up and blowing fire and smoke, the dragon retreated - you could almost say it waddled - back into the shallows of the bay.
"What's it wagging its head like that for?" said Edmund.
"And now it's nodding," said Caspian.
"And there's something coming from its eyes," said Drinian.
"Oh, can't you see," said Lucy. "It's crying. Those are tears."
"I shouldn't trust to that, Ma'am," said Drinian. "That's what crocodiles do, to put you off your guard."
"It wagged its head when you said that," remarked Edmund. "Just as if it meant No. Look, there it goes again."
"Do you think it understands what we're saying?" asked Lucy.
The dragon nodded its head violently.
Reepicheep slipped off Lucy's shoulder and stepped to the front.
"Dragon," came his shrill voice, "can you understand speech?"
The dragon nodded.
"Can you speak?"
It shook its head.
"Then," said Reepicheep, "it is idle to ask you your business. But if you will swear friendship with us raise your left foreleg above your head."
It did so, but clumsily because that leg was sore and swollen with the golden bracelet
"Oh look," said Lucy, "there's something wrong with its leg. The poor thing - that's probably what it was crying about. Perhaps it came to us to be cured like in Androcles and the lion."
"Be careful, Lucy," said Caspian. "It's a very clever dragon but it may be a liar."
Lucy had, however, already run forward, followed by Reepicheep, as fast as his short legs could carry him, and then of course the boys and Drinian came, too.
"Show me your poor paw," said Lucy, "I might be able to cure it."
The dragon-that-had-been-Eustace held out its sore leg gladly enough, remembering how Lucy's cordial had cured him of sea-sickness before he became a dragon. But he was disappointed. The magic fluid reduced the swelling and eased the pain a little but it could not dissolve the gold.
Everyone had now crowded round to watch the treatment, and Caspian suddenly exclaimed, "Look!" He was staring at the bracelet.

就在那时刻,其他人都在河里洗手洗脸,纷纷准备吃饭休息。三个最强的弓箭手到了海湾北面山里,扛回来一对野山羊,这时野山羊正架在火上烤呢。凯斯宾已下令搬一桶酒上岸,那是阿钦兰生产的烈酒,得掺上水才能喝,供大伙儿喝绰绰有余。到目前为止,工作进展顺利,大家吃得欢天喜地。再添一份羊肉以后,爱德蒙才说"尤斯塔斯那讨厌鬼上哪儿去了?"
这时候,尤斯塔斯瞪着眼睛朝这陌生的山谷四下张望。"
山谷又狭又深,周围的悬崖十分陡峭,谷里就像个大坑或壕沟。底部虽然遍地岩石却长满了草,尤斯塔斯看见到处有烧焦的黑斑瘾,像干旱的夏天铁路路堤两边所见的焦痕一样。离他十五码以外,是个清澈平滑的水塘。开头,山谷里其他什么东西都没有;没有走兽,没有飞禽,没有昆虫。太阳直晒下来,狰狞的峰峦俯临谷边。
尤斯塔斯当然明白自己原来是在雾中爬到山脊另一边去了。所以他马上回头看看回去的路。可是他一看便不禁浑身发抖。明摆着他是万分侥幸才摸到这惟——条下来的路的——长长一条绿色的暗道,陡峭狭窄,两岸悬崖耸峙。没有别的路好回去了。他既然看到了实际情况,还能不能上去呢?他一想到这念头,头也晕了。
他再掉过头去,心想无论如何最好还是先在水塘里喝个痛快。谁知他刚掉过头,还没向山谷里迈前一步,就听见背后有声音。声音虽小,但是在那无比寂静中听上去也够响的。他吓得在原地僵立了一会儿,才回过头去看。
在崖底,他左手不远的地方有个低矮的黑洞——也许是一个山洞的入口。洞口冒出两缕细烟。就在黑洞下面那堆松散的石块在动(他听见的就是这声音),恰如有什么东西在后面暗处爬着。
果然有什么东西在爬。更糟糕的是,竟然爬出来了。要是爱德蒙和露茜,一看准认得出,你也认得出,可是尤斯塔斯没看过一本对路的书。爬出来那东西他连想象都没想象到过——铅灰色的长鼻子,暗红色的眼睛,身上没羽毛,也没皮毛,长长一条柔软的身子,在地面上爬行,腿弯部分抬起来比背部还要高,像蜘蛛腿,凶残的爪子,蝙蝠翼在石头上发出刺耳的嘎嘎声,尾巴老长老长。那两道烟是从它两个鼻孔里冒出来的。他心里从来没想到龙这个词儿,就是想到了,事情也好不了多少。
不过,他要是知道一些龙的知识,也许他对这条龙的举动就不会那么吃惊了。这条龙没有坐起来拍拍翅膀,也没从嘴里喷出一道火焰。它鼻孔里冒出来的烟就像火烟,没多久就消失了。它似乎没注意到尤斯塔斯,只顾很慢很慢地向水塘爬去,爬爬还歇了好多回。尤斯塔斯尽管心里害怕,也觉得这是个衰老凄惨的怪物。他不知自己是不是敢冲过去爬上坡。不过如果他弄出声音来,它就可能回过头来,也可能会苏醒过来。也许它只不过装装样子,不管怎样,想爬上去,从会飞的怪物身边逃走有什么用呢?
它爬到水塘,把长满可怕鳞甲的下巴滑到砂砾层上,但它还没喝上水,就发出嘎嘎一大声,像是飞鹤的尖戾,扭曲挣扎了几下后,它就翻了个身,侧身躺着,一动不动,一只爪子还翘在半空。张大的嘴里涌出一点乌黑的血。鼻孔里的烟一时也变黑了,接着又飘走了。就此再也没动静了。
尤斯塔斯好长时间不敢动弹。也许这是那怪物的诡计,诱骗外来人送死的花招。可是你也不能老等下去。他走近一步,再走两步又停下。那条龙还是一动也不动。他还注意到它眼睛里的红火也消失了。他终于走到它跟前。这回他绝对肯定它死了。他打了个寒喋,摸了它一下;什么事也没有。
这下可大大放心了,尤斯塔斯差点大声笑出来。他不由开始感到自己不是眼看这条龙死去,而是打了一仗,亲手把它杀死似的。他跨过龙身,走到水塘边喝水,因为这里热得受不了。他听到隆隆一阵雷声,倒也并不吃惊。雷声响过,顿时就不见太阳,他还没喝完,大滴大滴的雨点就下来了。
这岛上的天气真是非常讨厌。转眼工夫尤斯塔斯就浑身湿透,眼睛也看不清,这么大的雨在欧洲可从没见过。只要这场大雨不停,想爬出山谷也没用。他冲进惟一看得见的龙洞去避雨。接着他就地躺下,拚命缓过气来。
我们多半人都知道在龙洞里会看到什么,可是我上文已经说过,尤斯塔斯只看过些不相干的书,书上尽说些进口、出口啊、政府啊、耗费啊这一类词儿,就缺谈龙这方面的事。所以他对身子躺着的地面感到这么莫名其妙。有的地面太刺人但不像石头,而且太硬也不像荆棘,看来似乎有一大堆又圆又扁的东西,他一动这些东西就丁当响。洞口光线正好可以让他看个仔细。不消说,尤斯塔斯看到的正是我们任何人事先都可以告诉他的——财宝。有好些王冠(就是那刺人的东西),钱币、戒指、手镯、金锭、酒杯、餐盘和珍宝。
尤斯塔斯不像多半孩子那样,他对财富从来没看重过,可是他一看就明白,在他糊里糊涂一头从家里露茜卧房那幅画上闯进去的新天地中,这笔财宝会派多大用处。"这里什么捐税都不收,"他说,"你用不着把财宝交给政府。有了这些财宝,我在这儿——也许在卡乐门吧——可以过得逍遥自在了。这国名听上去一点不像假的。不知我带得了多少呢?马上拿那手锢——上面镶嵌的那些东西大概是钻石——我要把手镯戴在自己手腕上。太大了,但我要是把这一直撞到肘拐儿上面就不嫌大了。然后再在口袋里装满钻石——那比装金子容易。就不知这场该死的雨几时才停?"他坐到这堆财宝上一个比较舒服的地方安心等候,那地方大都是些钱币。不过,受了一场大惊,特别是走了山路再受一场大惊,惊魂才定,人就感到很疲倦。尤斯塔斯竟睡着了。
在他进入梦乡,呼呼大睡的时候,其他人已经吃完饭,对他的下落当真着起急来。他们大声喊着,"尤斯塔斯!尤斯塔斯!喂,喂,喂!"喊得大家嗓子嘶哑,凯斯宾还吹起号角。
"他不在附近,不然早听到了。"露茜急白了脸说。
"这家伙真该死,"爱德蒙说,"他这样偷偷摸摸地溜走,到底要干什么?"
"可是我们必须想些办法,"露茜说,"他可能迷了路,或者掉进洞里,或者被野人抓去。"
"或者碰上野兽送了命。"德里宁说。
"啊呀,假如真送了命倒好了。"赖因斯嘀咕说。
"赖因斯先生,"雷佩契普说,"你从没说过一句有失身份的话。这家伙虽然不是我朋友,可他是女王的亲属,只要他是我们一条船上的伙伴,那就要找到他,他死了就要为他报仇,这事关我们的荣誉。"
"我们当然得去找他(如果找得到的话),”凯斯宾有气无力地说,"讨厌就讨厌在这点上。这要组织一支搜山队,没完没了的麻烦。尤斯塔斯真讨厌!”
这时候,尤斯塔斯正睡啊睡啊睡的,睡到手臂痛才醒来。月亮正照在洞口,满地财宝似乎也变得更加舒服了。其实他简直一点都没感到舒服。开头手臂痛得他莫名其妙,可是不久就想起,他刚才撸到肘拐儿上面的手锢竟变得出奇的紧。他睡着那会儿手臂一定是肿起来了(是他的左臂)。
他挪动右臂,想去摸摸左臂,可是他还没挪动一英寸就住手了,吓得直咬嘴唇。因为就在他前面不远,稍稍偏右一点的地方,月光照在洞里一清二楚,他看见一个可怕的形状在移动。他知道那形状:是龙瓜。他挪动他的手,它也在动,他一住手,它也一动不动了。-
"啊呀,我真是糊涂蛋,"尤斯塔斯心想,"那怪物当然有个伙伴,它就躺在我身边呢。"
一时间他丝毫不敢动弹。他看见眼前冒起两缕细烟,衬着月光,烟是黑的;正如刚才那条龙临死前鼻子里喷出来的烟一样。这真令人惊慌,他不由屏住气。两缕烟就此消失了。他屏不住多久,一口气悄悄溜了出来;两道黑烟顿时又出现在眼前。不过事到如今,他还是不明真相。不久他决定小心翼翼地斜着身子摸到左边,想法偷偷溜出洞去。也许这怪物睡着了——不管怎样,这是他惟一的出路。可是他还没斜着身子摸到左边去以前,他当然免不了先朝左边看看。啊呀,真吓人!那边也有一只龙爪子。
假如这时有谁看见尤斯塔斯掉眼泪,决不会怪他。他看见自己的泪水竟在面前的财宝上溅了一大片,不由吃了一惊。这泪水似乎也烫得出奇;上面还直冒热气。
但是哭也没用。他必须想法从两条龙中间爬出去才行。
他开始伸展右臂。他右边那条龙的前肢和爪子的动作也完全一模一样。于是他心想,试试左臂吧口那边那条龙的前肢的动作竟也一模一样。
一边条,不管他做什么,两条龙都学着他做|他受不了啦,干脆赶快逃走。
他冲出洞口时,只听得丁丁当当,喀嚓喀嚓,金子铿铿锵锵,石头嘎吱嘎口支,他还以为两条龙都跟着他呢。他看也不敢回头看,冲到水塘边。那条躺在月光下的死龙扭曲的形状足以吓死任何人,可是这会儿他简直顾不上了。他一心只想走到水里。
谁知正当他走到水塘边,发生了两件事。头一件,对他来说无异一个晴天霹雳,原来他一直是四肢着地在跑——他到底为什么一直这样干呢?第二件,他趴向水面时还以为水塘里又有一条龙在抬眼盯着他。不过他一下子就明白真相了。水塘里的龙脸原来是他自己的倒影。这是毫无疑问的。他动它也动,他张嘴它也张嘴,他闭嘴它也闭嘴。
他睡着的时候竟变成了一条龙。睡在龙的宝窖里,心里怀着贪婪的龙一样的念头,他自己竟变成一条龙了。
那一来什么都清楚了。原来洞里他身边没有两条龙。左右两只爪子原来是他自己左右两只手。两缕烟原来是他自己鼻孔里冒出来的。至于他左臂(或者说他过去的左臂)的疼痛,现在他眯着左眼也看得出是怎么回事了。原来正好戴在孩子上臂的手锚,勒在龙那条粗短的前肢上未免太小太小了。手镯深深嵌在有鳞片的肉里,勒得两边肉都鼓起来,
卡卡直跳。他用龙牙去咬那地方,可咬不掉。
尽管还痛,他头一个感觉倒是放下心来,现在没有什么可害怕的了。如今他自己就是令人恐怖的怪物,天底下除了骑士以外(而且也不是所有的骑士都如此),什么都不敢攻击他。如今他甚至可以跟凯斯宾和爱德蒙算账了……-
可是他在想这件事的时候,心里倒明白自己并不想算账。他想要交朋友。他想要回到人类中间去,跟大家谈天说笑,分享一切。他明白自己成了同整个人类隔绝的怪物。一股可怕的孤独感涌上心头。他开始明白其他人根本不是什么恶魔。不由纳闷自己究竟是不是他一贯自以为的好人。他巴不得听到他们的声音。哪怕听到雷佩契普一句好话他都会感激不尽。
这条前身是尤斯塔斯的可怜的龙,一想到这点竟放声痛哭了。一条强大的龙,竟在月下一个荒凉的山谷里哭得死去活来,这情景,这声音简直难以想象。
最后他决定要想方设法寻找回到海岸去的路。他现在才明白凯斯宾决不会把船开走,扔下他不管。他深信自己总有办法让人们明白他是什么人。
他痛痛快快喝了一通,然后把那条死龙几乎全吃下肚去。(我知道这听上去吓人,可是你仔细想想就不吓人了。)他吃了一半才明白自己在干什么;因为,不瞒你说,虽然他的头脑还是尤斯塔斯的头脑,可是他的口味和消化力却是龙的。而龙所喜欢的食物莫过于新鲜龙肉了。这就是你在同一地方难以找到第二条龙的缘故。
于是他转身爬出山谷。他开始爬时身子一跳,谁知刚一跳就不觉飞起来了。他完全忘了自己的翅膀了,这对他是一大惊喜发现——他有好长时间没享受到惊喜了。他就此高飞上天,看见月光中身下铺展着无数山顶。他看得见像一块银板似的海湾,黎明踏浪号停泊着,海滩边林子里篝火闪闪发光。他从高处一个滑翔,朝他们直冲下去。
露茜正睡得很沉,因为她一直盼着搜山队带来好消息,等到他们回来才去睡。搜山队由凯斯宾亲自率领,很晚才回来,都累坏了。他们带来的消息令人不安。他们找不到尤斯塔斯的踪影,却在一个山谷里看见一条死龙。他们都尽了最大努力寻找,人人都向别人保证看来附近再也找不到别的龙了,那条龙是在那天下午三点钟左右死的(就是他们看见它的时候),看来不大会在短短几小时前刚吃过人。
"除非它是吃了那小鬼就此送了命的,他对什么都有毒。"赖因斯说。不过这话是压低嗓子说的,没人听见。
可是那天深夜露茜被人轻轻叫醒,看见全体人员都紧紧凑在一起,悄声说着话。
"怎么回事?"露茜说。
"我们大家必须坚定不移,"凯斯宾正说着,"刚才一条龙飞过树梢,降落在海滩上。是啊,恐怕就停在我们和大船之间。用箭对付龙是没用的。龙根本不怕火。"
"陛下恩准的话一"雷佩契普开口说。
"不,雷佩契普,"国王非常坚决地说,"你决不能单独跟它决战。除非你答应这件事听从我,否则我就把你绑起来。我们只须密切监视它,等天一亮,就到海湾去跟它开战。我带头。爱德蒙国王在我右翼,德里宁爵爷在我左翼。没有其他部署。再过一两个小时天就要亮了。一小时内先开饭,剩下的酒也端来。还有,一切事情都得悄悄进行。"
"也许它会走开的。"露茜说。
"要是它走开那反而更糟,飞爱德蒙说,"因为那一来我们就不知道它在哪儿。假如屋子里有只黄蜂,我倒愿意看得见它。"
那天夜里余下的时间可难熬了,开饭时虽然大家都知道应当吃一点,可是很多人都发觉自己毫无胃口。时间过得似乎没完没了,好容易等到漆黑的天色渐渐亮起来,小鸟开始到处嘟嘟喳喳,四下反而比整个夜里更冷更湿,凯斯宾说"朋友们,好动手了。"'
他们一拥而上,个个刀剑出鞠,紧紧挤成一团,露茜居中,雷佩契普在她肩头。这总比干等着要好些,人人都觉得旁人比平时更可亲。一会儿工夫他们就向前推进了。他们来到林子边上,天色又亮了些。在那儿沙地上就躺着那条龙,像条大蜻踢,又像一条柔韧的鳝鱼,又像一条四脚大蠕蛇,身体庞大,外形可怕,背部隆起。
谁知那条龙看见他们不但没有抬起身,口喷火烟,反而
后退了——一几乎可以说是摇摇摆摆地缩回浅滩上去了。
"它干吗那样摇头。"爱德蒙说。"这回它在点头了。"凯斯宾说。
"它眼睛里淌出什么东西呢。"德里宁说。
"啊呀,你们看不出来啊,"露茜说,"它在哭。那是眼泪呢。
"我可决不轻信,女王陛下,"德里宁说,"鳝鱼就是那样的,想要消除你的戒心。"
"你说这话时它听了在摇头呢,"爱德蒙说,"意思好像在说不。瞧,它又摇头了。"
"你想,它懂得我们在说什么吗?"露茜问。
那条龙拼命点头。
雷佩契普溜下露茜肩头,站到前面去。
"龙啊,"它尖声说,"你听得懂话吗?
那条龙点点头。
"你会说话吗?"它摇摇头。
"这么说,"雷佩契普说,"问你事情也是白费口舌。不过假如你愿意跟我们保证友好,就把左前腿高举头上。"
那条龙照做了,可是举止笨拙,因为那腿上勒着金锢,又痛又肿。
"啊呀,腿,"露茜说,"它腿出毛病了。可怜的东西——大概它是为了这个才哭吧。也许它来向我们求医,就像在安德罗格尔斯那回一样,还有那头狮子。"
"留神,露茜,"凯斯宾说,"这条龙非常聪明,不过也许它是在骗人。""
然而,露茜已经跑上前去了,雷佩契普赶快撒开两条短腿紧紧跟上,几个小伙子和德里宁当然也跟了上去。
"把可怜的爪子给我看看,"露茜说,"我兴许能治好。"
那条前身是尤斯塔斯的龙喜不自胜地伸出了痛腿,心里还记得他没变成龙的时候,露茜好意治好他晕船的事。可是他失望了,魔药只是略为消肿止痛,却不能化掉金镯。
这时大家都围着看她治伤,凯斯宾突然失声叫道
"瞧!”他盯着那金镯。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
bolted [bəutid]

想一想再看

adj. 用螺栓固定的 动词bolt的过去式和过去分词

 
unpleasant [ʌn'pleznt]

想一想再看

adj. 使人不愉快的,讨厌的

 
fur [fə:]

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n. 毛皮,软毛,皮衣,毛皮制品
vt. 用毛

 
sheer [ʃiə]

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adj. 纯粹的,全然的,陡峭的
adv. 完

 
reflection [ri'flekʃən]

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n. 反映,映像,折射,沉思,影响

联想记忆
shed [ʃed]

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n. 车棚,小屋,脱落物
vt. 使 ...

联想记忆
twisted ['twistid]

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adj. 扭曲的 v. 扭动(twist的过去式)

 
silence ['sailəns]

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n. 沉默,寂静
vt. 使安静,使沉默

 
claw [klɔ:]

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n. 爪,钳,螯,爪状物
v. 抓,撕

 
steep [sti:p]

想一想再看

adj. 陡峭的,险峻的,(价格)过高的
n.

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关键字: 踏浪 黎明

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