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A Spell for Chameleon - Chapter 1 - Xanth - Page 3

(2006-12-05 16:31:15)
分类: 我的文章

  So the truth came out, in this moment of crisis. She didn't really believe he had a talent. "I've got muscle, though!" he yelled back. "You go for help."
  紧要关头,真话还是说出来了。甚至连她也不相信宾克有魔法天赋。“可是我有力气!”他回头喊道,“你去找人帮忙。”

  Justin screamed again as the blade struck a second time. It was an eerie wooden noise. There was laughter-the merry mirth of kids out on a lark, having no care at all what consequences their actions might have. Loco? This was mere insensitivity.
  砍第二下的时候,贾斯丁又大叫起来。声音透着一股恐惧的木头味儿。伴随而来的是一阵哄笑,那群幸灾乐祸的小子根本对后果不管不顾。疯了?这简直就是麻木无情。

  Then Bink was there. And-he was alone. Just when he was in the mood for a good fight. The malicious pranksters had scattered.
  宾克随后赶到,然而却扑了个空。尽管他做好了大打出手的准备,可那些蓄谋已久的捣蛋鬼早就一哄而散了。

  He could guess their identities-but he didn't have to. "Jama, Zink, and Potipher," Justin Tree said. "Oooo, my foot!"
  他能够猜出这几个人是谁——其实不用猜也知道。“贾马、津克、还有波第弗,”贾斯丁树说道,“哎哟,我的脚!”

  Bink squatted to inspect the cut. The white wood-wound was clearly visible in contrast to the shoelike bark of the base of the tree trunk. Driblets of reddish sap were forming, very much like blood. Not too serious for a tree this size, but surely extremely uncomfortable.
  宾克蹲下来检查伤口。树干根部的露出了白色的木茬,在黝黑色树皮的衬托下格外显眼。红色的树液一点点渗出来,宛如鲜血。对于一棵树,这点伤不算什么,但也肯定不好受。

  "I'll get some compresses for that," Bink said. "There's some coral sponge in the forest near here. Yell if anyone bothers you while I'm gone."
  “我去找一些敷伤口的东西来,”宾克说,“这附近的森林里有珊瑚海绵。我走后如果坏人又来了,就大声喊。”

  "I will," Justin said. "Hurry." Then, as an afterthought: "You're a great guy, Bink. Much better than some who-uh-"
  “我知道了,”贾斯丁说,“快去吧。”然后他又像想起什么似的补充道:“你是个好小伙子,宾克。比某些会……强多了,嗯——”

  "Than some who have magic," Bink finished for him. "Thanks for trying to spare my feelings." Justin meant well, but sometimes spoke before he thought. It came from having a wooden brain.
  “比某些会魔法的,”宾克替他把话说完,“谢谢你还安慰我。”贾斯丁是好意,就是有时候说话不经过大脑。可谁让他是个木头脑袋。

  "It isn't fair that louts like Jama are called citizens, while you-"
  “太不公平了,像贾马那样的坏蛋都被称作公民,你却——。”

  "Thanks," Bink said gruffly, moving off. He agreed completely, but what was the use talking about it? He watched out for anyone lurking in the bushes, waiting to bother Justin when the tree was unprotected, but saw nobody. They were really gone.
  “谢谢,”宾克声音沙哑地说,然后转身离开。他完全认同贾斯丁所说的话,但是现在讲这些有什么用?他留意了一下是否有人还埋伏在灌木丛中,趁他不在的时候伤害贾斯丁,可是一个人也没有。他们真的走了。

  Jama, Zink, and Potipher, he thought darkly-the village troublemakers. Jama's talent was the manifestation of a sword, and that was what had chopped Justin's trunk. Anyone who could imagine that such vandalism was funny-
  贾马、津克、还有波第弗,他闷闷不乐地想——这些村子里的捣蛋鬼。贾马会使用魔法剑,砍伤贾斯丁树干的正是这一招。如此有伤风化的做法怎么会有人觉得好玩——

  Bink remembered one of his own bitter experiences with that bunch, not so many years ago. Intoxicated by locoberries, the three had lurked in ambush along one of the paths beyond the village, just looking for mischief. Bink and a friend had walked into that trap, and been backed up against the cloud of poison gas that was Potipher's magic talent, while Zink made mirage-holes near their feet and Jama materialized flying swords for them to duck. Some sport!
  宾克想起几年前被那伙人捉拿的痛苦经历。三个人吃疯莓成瘾,他们埋伏在村外的一条小路旁,伺机捉弄行人取乐。宾克和一个朋友走到了陷阱里,被波第弗的魔法——毒气云阻住退路,而津克在他们脚下制造出一个个幻景坑,同时贾马的魔法剑上下翻飞,让他们疲于应付。好一个阴谋诡计!

  Bink's friend had used his magic to escape, animating a golem from a stick of wood that took his place. The golem had resembled him exactly, so that it fooled the pranksters. Bink had known the difference, of course, but he had covered for his friend. Unfortunately, though the golem was immune to poison gas, Bink was not. He had inhaled some of it, and lost consciousness even as help arrived. His friend had brought Bink's mother and father-
  宾克的朋友把一截树枝变成了一个和自己一模一样的傀儡,这一招蒙蔽了那些捣蛋鬼,他则趁机逃掉。宾克当然知道真假,但他得保护朋友。不幸的是,毒气对傀儡不会造成伤害,宾克可不行。他吸入了一些毒气,直到援兵赶到时还昏迷不醒。他的朋友跑回去找来了宾克的父母——

  Bink had found himself holding his breath again as the poison cloud enveloped him. He saw his mother tugging at his father's arm, pointing Bink's way. Bianca's talent was replay: she could jump time back five seconds in a small area. This was very limited but deviously powerful magic, for it enabled her to correct a just-made mistake. Such as Bink's breath of poison gas.
  宾克发现四周再次毒气弥漫,他也重新屏住呼吸。他看见母亲拽着父亲的胳膊,朝宾克这边指来指去。比安卡的魔法是回放术:她可以在一个很小的区域内让时间倒退五秒钟。时间虽然非常有限,但却是十分强大的魔法。回放术可以使她纠正刚刚犯下的错误,比如宾克吸入毒气这件事。

  Then his breath had whooshed out again, making Bianca's magic useless. She could keep replaying the scene indefinitely, but everything was replayed, including his breath. But Roland looked, piercingly-and Bink had frozen.
  接着他终于发出一声低沉的呼吸,这让比安卡的魔法失去了作用。她当然可以持续不断地回放,但是一切时间都会倒退,包括宾克呼出的这口气。这时罗兰狠狠地瞪了他一眼,宾克被定住了。

  Roland's talent was the stun gaze: one special glance and what he looked at was frozen in place, alive but immobile until released. In this manner Bink had been prevented from breathing the gas a second time, until his rigid body had been carried out.
  罗兰的魔法是凝视定身:只需一眼,被凝视的人就会被定在原地,还活着就是动弹不得,直到他解除魔法。这样宾克就避免了再次吸入毒气,直到他僵硬的躯体被抬了出来。

  As the stun abated, he had found himself in his mother's arms. "Oh my baby!" she cried, cradling his head against her bosom. "Did they hurt you?"
  定身魔法解除后,他发现自己正躺在母亲的怀里。“哦,我的宝贝!”她哭道,搂住宾克的头来回摇晃。“他们弄伤你了吗?”

  Bink came to an abrupt stop by the bed of sponge, his face flushing even now with the keen embarrassment of the memory. Had she had to do that? Certainly she had saved him from an early death-but he had been the laughingstock of the village for an interminable time thereafter. Everywhere he went, kids exclaimed "My baby!" in falsetto, and sniggered. He had his life-at the expense of his pride. Yet he knew he could not blame his parents.
  宾克在一片珊瑚海绵前停下脚步,即使现在想起这件极度尴尬的事情,他的脸都会臊得通红。母亲做的有错吗?母亲在他小时候救过他的命——但日后无休无止的日子里,他成为了村里人的笑柄。不管走到哪里,小孩子们都假声假气地喊他“我的宝贝!”,接着就在暗地里嘲笑。他捡回了一条命——代价是自己的尊严。然而他知道这不能责怪他的父母。

  He had blamed Jama and Zink and Potipher. Bink had no magic, but, perhaps for that reason, he was the huskiest boy in the village. He had had to fight as long as he could remember. He was not especially well coordinated, but he had a lot of raw power. He had gone after Jama privately and demonstrated convincingly that the fist was swifter than the magic sword. Then Zink, and finally Potipher; Bink had hurled him into his own gas cloud, forcing him to dissolve it very suddenly. Those three had not sniggered at Bink thereafter; in fact, they tended to avoid him-which was why they had scattered when he charged the tree. Together they could have overcome him: but they had been well conditioned by those separate encounters.
  这得怪贾马、津克和波第弗。宾克不会魔法,但也许正因为如此,他是全村最结实强壮的小伙子。自记事时起,他就不断打架。他的动作并不十分协调,但却有着一股子蛮力。他私下里找到贾马单挑,并向他证明了拳头要比魔法剑来得迅猛。然后是津克,最后是波第弗;宾克把他扔进了他自己的毒气云中,迫使他立即收住魔法。这三个人以后再也不敢嘲笑宾克了;事实上,他们总是避免和宾克正面接触——这就是为什么当宾克冲向贾斯丁的时候他们一哄而散的原因了。联起手来他们能够压倒宾克,但是如果单打独斗,他们可就处境不妙了。

  Bink smiled, his embarrassment replaced by grim pleasure. Perhaps his manner of dealing with the situation had been immature, but there had been a lot of satisfaction in it. Down underneath he knew it had been his irritation at his mother that motivated him, displaced to people like Jama-but he did not regret it. He did love his mother, after all.
  宾克笑了,坚定的笑容取代了尴尬的记忆。或许他这种处理事情的方法略显幼稚,但他却从中得到了极大的满足。他心里明白,令自己愤怒的根源在于他的母亲,他把这股怒火撒在贾马三个人身上,自己却并不后悔。不管怎么说,他非常爱他的母亲。

  But in the end his only chance to redeem himself had been to find his own magic talent, a good strong one like that of his father, Roland. So no one would dare to tease him or laugh at him or baby him: ever again. So that pure shame would not drive him from Xanth. And that had never happened. He was known contemptuously as the "Spell-less Wonder."
  但是最终,只有找到自己的魔法天赋才是挽回尊严的唯一办法,一种像他父亲罗兰凝视定身那样强大的魔法。那样,就没人再敢作弄他、取笑他、喊他宝贝了:再也不会。那样,这种单纯的羞辱也不会把他赶出赞斯。然而他始终也没有找到,自己则被人轻蔑地称为“不会魔法的怪人”。

  He stooped to gather several good, strong sponges. These would abate Justin Tree's discomfort, for that was their magic: they absorbed agony and spread a healing comfort. A number of plants and animals-he was not quite sure in which category the sponges fit-had similar properties. The advantage of the sponges was that they were mobile; plucking them would not kill them. They were tough; they had migrated from the water when the corals did, and now thrived on land. Probably their magic healing properties had been developed to facilitate their lives in the new medium. Or maybe before the migration, since coral was cutting stuff.
  他弯下腰,收集了一些新鲜强效的珊瑚海绵。海绵可以缓解贾斯丁的疼痛,因为这就是它们的魔法:它们吸收疼痛,带来治疗时产生的舒适感。一些动植物——他不能确定这些海绵属于哪个物种——有着相似的属性。珊瑚海绵的优点在于它们的适应性;把它们从土里拔出来也不会死掉。它们的生命力异常顽强,随着珊瑚从水中迁徙到了陆地,并且大量繁殖。也许是它们的魔法治疗属性让它们更加适应新的环境。也可能来到陆地之前就有了,因为珊瑚是一种锋利的生物。

  Talents tended to run in schools, with one overlapping another; thus many variants of each type of magic showed up in the plant and animal kingdoms. But among people, magic varied extremely widely. It seemed that individual personality had more to do with it than heredity, though the strongest magic tended to turn up in particular family lines. As if strength of magic was hereditary, while type of magic was environmental. Yet there were other factors-
  魔法分成很多种类,各类之间交错重叠;因此许多不同类型的魔法在动植物界中都有所表现。但是对于人类来说,彼此的魔法却存在着很大差异。在决定魔法类型上,一个人的个性比遗传因素更加重要,然而最强大的魔法往往出现在某些特定的家族中。似乎魔法的威力来自遗传,而类型则由环境决定。当然还有其他一些因素——

  Bink could fit a lot of reflection into a passing moment. If reflection were magic, he'd be a Magician. But right now he'd better concentrate on what he was doing, or he'd be in trouble.
  宾克可以在一瞬产生出许多念头。如果胡思乱想也是魔法,那他已经是一个魔法师了。但是现在他最好专注于眼前的事情,否则又会挨骂了。

  Dusk was intensifying. Dismal shapes were rising out of the forest, hovering as if seeking prey. Eyeless and formless, they nevertheless conducted themselves with a disquieting awareness, orienting on Bink-or seeming to. More magic was unexplained than was safely catalogued. A will-o'-the-wisp caught Bink's nervous eye. He started to follow the half-glimpsed light, then abruptly caught himself. The lure of the wisp was sheer mischief. It would lead him into the wilderness and lose him there, prey to the hostile magic of the unknown. One of Bink's childhood friends had followed the wisp and never returned. Warning enough!
  夜色渐浓。森林阴暗的角落里,鬼魂四处飘荡,搜寻猎物。它们无眼无形,找起猎物却出奇地准确。它们把目标锁定在宾克身上——看上去就是这样。大多数魔法无法解释,甚至难以分门别类。一股鬼火在宾克神色紧张的眼前滑过。他下意识地跟着忽明忽暗的光走去,然后又突然止住脚步。魅惑的鬼火纯粹是在恶作剧。它把宾克带到荒郊野外,把他一个人丢在那儿,然后任由不知名的邪恶魔法处置。宾克小时候的一个朋友就跟着鬼火,再也没有回来。可不能大意!

  Night transformed Xanth. Regions like this one that were innocent by day became horrors as the sun sneaked down. Specters and shades came out, questing for their ghastly satisfactions, and occasionally a zombie ripped free of its grave and marched clumsily about. No sensible person slept outdoors, and every house in the village had repulsion spells against the supernatural. Bink did not dare use the shortcut back to Justin Tree; he would have to go the long way, following the looping but magically protected trails. This was not timidity but necessity.
  黑夜笼罩了赞斯。白天这里是一块宁静祥和的场所,太阳落山后却变成了恐怖之地。鬼怪和幽灵纷纷显形,忙着它们阴险邪恶的勾当。有时僵尸会从坟墓里破土而出,摇摇晃晃地四处游荡。只要是有一点理智的人都不会睡在外面,村里的每一间房舍都被施了驱散魔法,用来对付那些妖魔鬼怪。宾克不敢抄近路回到贾斯丁那里;他只能绕远路走,那些小路虽然七绕八绕的,却有魔法保护。这不是胆怯而是迫不得已。

  He ran-not from fear, for there was no real danger on this charmed route, and he knew the paths too well to stray accidentally from them, but in order to reach Justin more swiftly. Justin's flesh was wood, but it hurt every bit as much as normal flesh. How anyone could be so crass as to chop at Justin Tree...
  他拔腿飞奔——并非因为恐惧,在这条有魔法庇护的小路上走,并没有真正的危险,而他对路线也了如指掌,不会走岔,他只是为了尽快赶到贾斯丁那里。虽说贾斯丁的肉是木头做的,但受伤时却和普通的人一样会疼。怎么会有人如此狠毒去砍贾斯丁树……

  Bink passed a field of sea oats, hearing the pleasant swish and gurgle of their oceanic tides. When harvested, they made excellent foamy broth, except that it tended to be rather salty. The bowls could only be filled half-way; otherwise the broth's continuing sea waves slopped over.
  宾克穿过一片海燕麦田,他听到燕麦发出欢快的窸窣声和汩汩的海潮声。丰收的时候,人们把燕麦做成泛着泡沫的肉汤,只是做的太咸了。每次盛的时候只能盛半碗,否则肉汤会像海浪一样溅出来。

  He' remembered the wild oats he had planted as an adolescent. Sea oats were restless, but their cousins the wild oats were hyperactive. They had fought him savagely, their stems slashing across his wrists as he tried to harvest a ripe ear. He had gotten it, but had been uncomfortably scratched and abraded before getting clear of the patch.
  他还记得自己小时候种植过野生燕麦。海燕麦很不安分,可它们的同类野生燕麦更加经历旺盛。他们之间激烈地争来斗去,当他试图去收成熟的麦穗时,它们的茎扫在他的手腕上。他拿到了麦穗,但不幸的是被刮到并受了擦伤。

  He had planted those few wild seeds in a secret plot behind his house, and watered them every day, the natural way. He had guarded the bad-tempered shoots from all harm, his anticipation growing. What an adventure for a teenaged male! Until his mother, Bianca had discovered the plot. Alas, she had recognized the species instantly.
  他在自己房子后面的一块秘密的地方种过一些野生种子,每天给它们浇水,以天然的方式培育着。他守护着这些坏脾气的嫩枝,尽管危害重重,他的期望越来越高。这对于一个十几岁的男孩来说简直就是冒险!直到他的母亲比安卡发现了这个地方。哎呀,她立刻认出了这个种类。

  There had been a prompt family hassle. "How could you?" Bianca demanded, her face flaming. But Roland had labored to suppress his admiring smile. "Sowing wild oats!" he murmured. "The lad's growing up."
  一家人展开了激烈的争吵。“你怎么能?”比安卡,她的脸红了。但是罗兰压制住了对他赞许的微笑。“种野生燕麦!”他低声说,“这小子长大了。”

  "Now, Roland, you know that-"
  “现在,罗兰,你知道——”

  "Dear, it isn't as if there's any real harm in it."
  “亲爱的,这件事看上去并没有什么害处。”

  "No harm!" she exclaimed indignantly.
  “没害处!”她愤怒地叫道。

  "It is a perfectly natural urge for a young man-" But her furious expression had halted Bink's father, who feared nothing in Xanth but was normally a peaceable man. Roland sighed and turned to Bink. "I gather you do know what you were doing, son?"
  “这完全是年轻人本能的冲动——”她愤怒地打断了宾克父亲的话,他父亲在赞斯天不怕地不怕,却是一个息事宁人的人。罗兰叹了口气,然后转向宾克说:“我觉得你一定知道自己在做什么,儿子?”

  Bink felt excruciatingly defensive. "Well-yes. The nymph of the oats-"
  宾克有了强烈的自卫感:“嗯——是的。燕麦仙女——”

  "Bink!" Bianca snapped warningly. He had never seen her so angry before.
  “宾克!
”比安卡带着警告的语气叫道。他从来没看见过母亲如此生气。

  Roland held up his hands, making peace. "Dear-why don't you let us work this out, man-to-man? The boy's got a right."
  罗兰举起他的双手,做和平状。“亲爱的——为什么不让我们解决问题,男人和男人之间?这孩子做的没错。”

  And so Roland had betrayed his own bias; when his man-to-man chat was with Bink, it was with a boy.
  然后罗兰~他和宾克之间的对话,只是和一个男孩。

  Without another word, Bianca had stalked out of the house.
  比安卡慢慢走出了房子,没有多说一句话。

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