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Bruce Holland Rogers Email Short Short Story --- Issue 6

(2006-11-02 19:43:00)
Bruce Holland Rogers Email Short Short Story --- Issue 6
原著 Bruce Holland Rogers
一叶金枫译
  卡尔登走回他自己林场的家之前喝了咖啡。喝了很多咖啡。他可以看出来帕尔马的老婆想要他走。她在炉子上挪着不用挪的东西。可是他太累了,要了一杯又一杯。他把咖啡壶都喝空了,然后又后悔,因为这意味着结束了。现在他真的得走了。
  帕尔马坐在他桌子对面,越过卡尔登的肩头凝视着窗外。望向栅栏。也许他正想着斯泰林,也许他只是往那个方向望去因为他累得没力气看其它地方。太阳在下沉,余晖照在帕尔马的脸上。
目光纹丝不动,帕尔马说, “你还要些吗?” 是说咖啡吧,卡尔登猜想。他说要一点也行,可是他们已经把它喝净了。帕尔马无言以对。他只是继续看着窗外。
  斯泰林从来没有显出一点累的迹象。它摔着他们就象跟早摔他们一样的劲儿。在卡尔登看来,这马可能没等他们把它给驯服它就会把他们给驯服了。也许那样挺好。也许,在你的一生中,能有一匹你发现不服驯的马也是好事。
  帕尔马可不愿这样想,当然。他是为斯泰林付了钱的。
  帕尔马太太过来收咖啡壶。她把它放到水池里,放上水。她把它丢在那里。然后又回去在厨房磨磨蹭蹭。
  一般来说,他们不到天黑得不能再走是不会歇脚的,可是那匹马拖得他们很乏。他们在还足足有一个半小时多的日头的时候就停了下来。
  卡尔登听说过有关某一种马的故事,那种马最终会垮掉但是在这之前会把一个人先干掉。在这些故事里,那马总是会有一些野性的东西在它的眼睛里,有些人一看就会察觉到的东西。
  这个斯泰林不像那样。它会让你摸它的颈项和两侧身子,让你骑上它。它的眼里没有一点点狂野,或恶意。它只是知道它不是被人骑的,它也不在乎要不然就会被制服。在它把你摔了之后,它就会看着你,好象很遗憾你怎么连这么简单的事都不能进到你脑子里。
  帕尔马的老婆烦透了,去了房子的另一边。帕尔马还是没动窝。
屋子黑下来了。回家要走好长的路,卡尔登想,而且也没有月亮。他实在该起身走了,他真的该走了。他坐在那儿时间越长,他越感到身上的每一块青紫伤痕,每一处入骨的疼痛。
  “我真该一枪崩了那该死的马,”帕尔马说。
  “卖了它。”
  “做不到。我有良心。”
  卡尔登没有搭话。有一瞬间,他要站起身。他会的。他会站起来舍弃坐在黑暗中的舒坦,疼痛着想着一匹驯不服的马。
  他会自己买下那匹马,可是那会是个浪费。那是花钱去抓住一个抓不住的东西。不合常理,不管怎样。.
  外边,蛐蛐们开唱了。“那么,”他说,准备着离开,当他推着桌子站起来时,帕尔马问他,“明天?”
  卡尔登站起来,走向门口。他听到斯泰林的嘶鸣声。“明天还一样,”他说,不管那几个字发出来成了什么腔调。
  然后他跨出门外大口吸着凉爽的充满马味的空气。
**************** 英文 *****************
Stallion
by Bruce Holland Rogers
  Before Calderon walked home to his own ranch, he drank coffee. A lot of coffee. He could tell Palmer's wife wanted him gone. She was moving things on the stove that didn't need moving. But he was tired and kept asking for another cup. He drank the pot dry, and then regretted it because that would be the end. Now he'd really have to go.
  Palmer sat across from him at the table, staring out the window past Calderon's shoulder. Toward the corrals. Maybe Palmer was thinking about the stallion, and maybe he was only looking that direction because he was too tired to look anywhere else. The sun was going down, shining in Palmer's face.
  Without shifting his gaze, Palmer said, "You want some more?" Meaning coffee, Calderon supposed. He said some more would be nice, but they had drunk the last. Palmer had no answer for that. He just kept looking out the window.
  The stallion had never shown any sign of tiring. It threw them just as hard in the afternoon as it had in the morning. The way things looked to Calderon, the horse might break them before they could break it. And maybe that was good. Maybe once in your life, it was good to find a horse you couldn't break.
  Palmer wouldn't feel that way, of course. He had paid money for the stallion.
Mrs. Palmer came to collect the coffee pot. She put it in the sink and filled it with water. She left it there. Then she went back to moving things around in the kitchen.
Ordinarily they wouldn't have quit until it was too dark to go on, but that horse had taken it out of them. They'd stopped when there was still a good hour and a half of light.
  Calderon had heard stories about a certain kind of horse, a horse that might break eventually but would kill a man first. In those stories, the horse always had something wild in its eyes, something that people remarked when they saw it.
  This stallion wasn't like that. He'd let you touch his neck and flanks, let you saddle him. There wasn't any madness in his eyes, or meanness. He just knew he wasn't for riding, and he didn't care to be convinced otherwise. After he'd throw you, he'd look at you like he was sorry that you couldn't get such a simple thing into your head.
  Palmer's wife got fed up and went to another part of the house. Palmer hadn't moved.
The room was getting dark. It would be a long walk home in the night, Calderon thought, and there would be no moon. He really ought to get up and go, he really should. The longer he sat here the more he felt every bruise, every ache in his bones.
  "I ought to shoot that damn horse," Palmer said.
  "Sell him."
  "Can't. I have a conscience."
  Calderon didn't answer. In a moment he would get up. He would. He would stand and walk away from the pleasure of sitting in the dark and aching and thinking of a horse that wouldn't be broken.
  He could buy the horse himself, but that would be a waste. It would be money spent to hold on to something that can't be held. Not in the ordinary sense, anyway.
Outside, the crickets were starting up. "Well," he said, taking his leave, and as he pushed back from the table, Palmer asked him, "Tomorrow?"
  Calderon stood up, went to the door. He heard the stallion nicker. The first stars burned. "Be just the same tomorrow," he said, letting the words take whichever shape they would.
  And he stepped outside to inhale the cooling, horse-scented air.

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