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Dark Angle(翻译连载十四)

(2010-03-09 08:31:05)
标签:

翻译

连载

小说

文化

分类: UNCLE赵&他国际事务部的同事们

He asked her first about her lessons-which was perhaps a mistake, because Charlotte was now at boarding school and she had already, during our walk, given me her opinion of girls who stayed at home for their education.

“Your mother teaches you? I thought you at least had a governess.”

“Well, I did. But she left.” I hesitated, because that was difficult territory. None of the governesses had stayed long; we now no longer had a parlormaid and the cooks were always giving warning. This was because of wages, and the boiler in the basement, which ate money, and the orphanages, which ate up even more.

“She takes you for everything?”

“She’s very clever. I do English and French and geography with her, and next year we shall begin on Latin. Mr.Birdsong comes over three times a week for mathematics.”

“Mr. Birdsong? But he’s the curate.”

Definitive scorn. I was instantly ashamed of Mr. Birdsong, a mild and patient man whom I had always liked. Sitting in the drawing room, I now began to wish that my father would change the subject. Charlotte was lecturing him on Roedean, and the small supercilious smile was still on her face.

他一开始就问她关于课程的问题,这或许是个错误,因为Charlotte现在在寄宿学校读书。我们谈话的过程中,她早就发表了她对女孩子留在家里接受教育的看法。

“你妈妈给你上课?我想至少你也有个女家庭老师吧。”

“以前有,但是她不再教我了。”我很犹豫,因为这是个很令人头疼的话题。几乎没有一个女家庭老师会在某个家庭呆很长时间,我们现在连长期女佣都没有,厨子们经常警告我们,因为工资的问题,地下室的水壶是吞噬钱的,孤儿院吞更多的钱。

“你妈妈教你所有科目?”

“她很聪明,我跟她学英语、法语和地理,下一年我们学拉丁语。Mr.Birdsong 一周给我上三次数学课。”

“Mr.Birdsong?但他是牧师助理。”

听起来真够讽刺,我立即因为Mr.Birdsong感到羞愧。我一直都很喜欢他,因为他是个性情温和且富有耐心的人。我坐在画室里,多么希望父亲能换个话题。Charlotte一直就Reodean给我父亲上课,脸上挂着高傲的微笑。

                                                                    --------罗丹

 

“And what about the summer holidays?” my father said, when that speech came to the end. He said it in his most polite and gentle way, but I could tell he didn’t like Charlotte at all. In fact, I think he found her funny, but no one would have known, because his manners were perfect.

“Oh, Mummy says we shan’t go to France next year. She says the Riviera is overrun. We may go to Italy. Or Germany. Daddy says Germany is on the up-and-up.” She paused and swung her foot and gave me a sly glance.

“And what about you, Vicky? You didn’t say.”

“Oh, we have great plans,” my father said in his easy way.

“Really?” Charlotte fixed upon him a small hard gaze.

“Yes. We shall stay here, you know. Just as we always do.”

“All summer?”

“Definitely. All summer---- shan’t we, darling?”

He turned to my mother, and I saw an amused glance pass between them.

My mother smiled. “I think so,” she said, in her quiet voice. “Winterscombe is so lovely in June and July, and besides, the boys come over---- you know, from the orphanage. We have to be here for that, you see, Charlotte. Now, would you like a sandwich? Perhaps a piece of cake?”

When tea was over, my parents left us. Charlotte and I sat by the fire and played cards. We played gin rummy for a while and then, in a desultory way, took turns at patience. Charlotte told me about the new Rolls, which would be coming to collect her, and why it was so much better than the Rolls of the preceding year. She told me about Roedean, and how many name tags her brown-uniformed nanny had sewn on her new uniform, and she made it quite clear that playing patience was not her idea of after-tea entertainment.

 

当二人的交谈快要结束时,我父亲问到“那么暑假是如何计划的呢?”尽管我能感觉到父亲根本不喜欢Charlotte,但他仍然以他最礼貌而绅士的口吻提问。我认为父亲事实上是觉得Charlotte很可笑,但因为他的行为举止表现得如此完美,没人会发现这一点。

“哦,我妈妈说明年就不要去法国了。她说Riviera已经被侵占了。我们可以去意大利,或者是德国。我爸爸说德国正在走向强大。”她顿了顿,一边摇晃着她的脚丫一边狡猾地盯向我看。

“你还没说你打算去哪儿呢,Vicky?”

“哦,我们的计划很棒。” 我父亲轻轻地说。

“真的吗?” Charlotte 一下子集中注意力注视着父亲。

“没错。我们就在这留守了,对吧,就像我们平时一样。”

“整个夏天吗?”

“当然。整个夏天----对吧,亲爱的?”

他转向母亲,我看到了他们之间有趣的眼神交流。

母亲笑了笑,“我也是这样想的”,她轻轻地说。Winterscombe的六、七月份很宜人,况且小伙子们会回来,会从孤儿院回来。Charlotte你看,我们需要为他们留在这里。这会儿你要不要来个三明治?或者来块蛋糕?”

下午茶时间结束后,我的父母就离开了房间。Charlotte和我坐在火炉旁玩扑克。我们玩了一会儿拉米牌戏,然后完全没有规律地轮流交换着。Charlotte告诉我关于新入学的事情,她将被入选,以及优于去年的原因。她还聊到了穿着棕色制服的保姆Roedean, 以及Roedean在她的新制服上缝了多少的名牌。然后她还明确的告诉我,她可不想将考验耐心这件事作为下午茶后的娱乐。

 

I was very humiliated, and very afraid that Charlotte might return to the question of summer holidays, to the fact that we never took holidays abroad. When it was my turn to lay out the cards I did it very slowly, trying to pluck up the courage to mention my mother’s diamonds. By that time I wanted to mention them very much indeed, because I could see that Charlotte thought my mother was plain and shabby, like the house. The thought of my mother’s disapproval held me back, though, and so I continued to lay out the cards and scan my memory: There must be something I could mention that would wipe that supercilious smile off Charlotte’s face-but it was hard to think of anything.

我感到很羞愧,非常担心Charlotte转到暑假的问题上,事实上我们从没有去国外渡过假。当轮到我出牌时,我便尽量慢地出牌,试图鼓起勇气去提及我母亲的钻石。那时我的确非常想说说它们,因为我可以看出Charlotte认为我母亲是一个平庸而且穷困的人,就像这个房子一样。但我母亲不赞成的想法让我没有这么做,我还是继续出牌同时在脑海里快速搜索着我的记忆:一定还有一些事我能够提出来从而抹掉Charlotte脸上的傲慢笑容——但是这的确有些难。

                                                          ——王旭

 

There were my two uncles, those other pillars of my life, and laying out the cards, I did consider them. Both my uncles were exotic in their ways: Uncle Freddie had had so many careers, including flying mail planes in South America, which must surely be glamorous. He had his enthusiasms, as my Aunt Maud called them, and the latest of these were two greyhounds, brought to Winterscombe the previous month and fed – to my mother’s horror – on beefsteak. These dogs were “go-ers,” Uncle Freddie said. They were going to win the Irish Greyhound Derby.

 

On the other hand, I was not too sure about these dogs, which spent most of the time, when not eating, asleep, and wouldn’t listen to the special commands Uncle Freddie had been given by their Irish trainer. Uncle Freddie’s enthusiasms had – as he would sadly put it – a way of “fizzling out.” Better not to mention the dogs, perhaps, or South America, which Uncle Freddie had left in clouded circumstances. Uncle Steenie, then?

 

Uncle Steenie was definitely glamorous. He was an exquisite dresser and an exquisite speaker. He had the blondest hair I had ever seen, and the most beautiful pink-and-white complexion. Uncle Steenie knew everyone-but-everyone, and he called everyone-but-everyone “Darling” in a very warm tone of voice. He also said “too” a great deal: The journey was too impossible; the wine was too squalid; the last hotel was too quaint. Uncle Steenie had a great many friends all over the world, and, since he did not work, he was always visiting them. He was very good about sending postcards, and I usually received one every week. Their messages were brief: Salut, Vicky! Here I am on Capri, he might write, and then he would draw one of his little lightning pictures underneath, of himself or a tree or a shell. Uncle Steenie drew very cleverly and wrote in violet ink. I had a great collection of these postcards: That year alone he had been in Capri, Tangier, Marseilles, Berlin, and a villa in Fiesole which was too marvelous, and which was owned by his best friend, Conrad Vickers, the famous photographer. Uncle Steenie had a great many famous friends: He knew film stars and painters and singers and writers. My godfather Wexton, who used to be his best friend, had dedicated a whole book of poems to my uncle Steenie, poems he had written in the Great War which were called shells.

 

还有我的两个叔叔也在玩牌,他们是我人生的另外两个支柱。他们都富有各自的传奇色彩:Freddie叔叔从事过非常多职业,其中包括非常迷人的经历——在南美洲驾驶邮政飞机。Maud阿姨说他对生活有一种狂热的激情,最近他又弄来了两条灵缇犬并在上个月带到Winterscombe来。我妈妈非常骄傲地用牛排喂养它们。Freddie叔叔说这两条狗是“行动派”,他们是要来赢得爱尔兰猎犬大赛的。

 

而我对于这两条狗就没有抱太大希望。它们不是在吃东西就是在睡觉,从来不听从我叔叔从爱尔兰教练那里学来的特殊口令。Freddie叔叔悲观地把他的激情称为“注定的失败”。最好不要再提他的狗了,也不要提南美洲。关于这点他已经遗弃在阴云密布的南美了。那我的Steenie叔叔呢?

 

Steenie叔叔就更具迷人魅力了。他衣着考究,言辞优雅。他长着一头我所见过的最金黄的秀发,还有漂亮的白里透红的肤色。他跟每个人都显得非常熟悉,他热情洋溢地统称每个人为“亲爱的”。他还经常把“太”字挂在嘴边:这个旅程太不可思议了;这酒太差劲了;最后那个旅馆太古怪了。Steenie叔叔在世界各地都有很多朋友,他不用工作,所以经常去探访他的老朋友们。他经常寄明信片,我几乎每星期就会收到一张。上面的留言都非常简短,他可能会写:VIcky,见好!我在卡普里。然后下面会画上他独创的速写画,有可能是他的自画像、一棵树或者一个贝壳。他画得非常聪明,字都是用紫色墨水写的。我收集了一堆他寄来的明信片,光那一年他就到了卡普里、丹吉尔、马赛、柏林,还有位于Fiesole的一座“太”令人惊叹的别墅,是属于他的好朋友——著名摄影师Conrad Vickers的。Steenie叔叔拥有很多出名的朋友:他认识电影明星、画家、歌星和作家。我的教父Wexton以前是他最好的朋友。Wexton曾经把一整本在第一次世界大战中写成的诗集《炮轰》题献给Steenie叔叔。

 

—— 吴昱宏    

 

Should I mention my uncle Steenie? He did not come to Winterscombe very often, it was true, and when he did, there were arguments about money: Uncle Steenie wanted to be the Best-Kept Boy in the world, and he used to remind people of this in a loud voice when he had finished all the wine at luncheon. I found this very odd, because although Uncle Steenie was undeniably well kept and had that beautiful complexion, he was not a boy and hadn’t been a boy for quite a long time. When he talked about being one, he made my father furiously angry.

 

“For god’s sake, Steenie,” I heard my father say once, when I passed them in the library and the door was open. “for God’s sake, you’re almost forty years old. This can’t go on. What happened to the last check I sent you?” Perhaps, on the whole, it was better not to mention my uncle Steenie, either. Charlotte would be sure to ask what he did-she always asked that; she even asked it about my father.

 

“But what does he do?” she said, after I had explained about the estate and my mother’s orphanages and the lake, which needed dredging, and the boiler and its inexhaustible appetite for pound notes.

 

“I suppose he has a private income?” She made it sound like a dreadful disease. “Daddy said he thought he must. He said you couldn’t possibly manage otherwise, not in this great barn of a place. Of course, there is the thitle…...” She wrinkled her nose. “But Daddy says titles don’t count these days. Not unless they’re very old-and yours isn’t very old, is it? Daddy says they can be useful, of course. He wouldn’t mind a title on his board, because there’s still some people they impress. It’s a pity he isn’t in the City, like Daddy, don’t you think? It must be horrid to be so poor.”

 

“I don’t think we’re poor. Not exactly poor.” I was red in the face. “Mummy says we’re very lucky.”

 

“Nonsense. You haven’t two halfpennies to rub together-Daddy said so. He made a big killing last week and he told Mummy then. He made more money on that one deal than your father makes in five years. It’s true! You ask him.”

 

No, better not to mention my uncle Steenie, who did not work, or my uncle Freddie and his reluctant greyhounds; better not to mention my aunt Maud, who had been famous as a hostess once but who was now vague and old and wrong about my possililities. Better, in fact, to stay off the subject of my family altogether.

 

I sneaked a look at the clock, hoping it would soon be time for Charlotte to go, and began to stack up my cards: black queen on red king; red knave on black queen: this patience (I could already tell) was not going to come out.

 

Charlotte sat opposite me,, watching the pack as if she expected me to cheat. She tapped her fingers on the green baize cloth. Queen of spades on king of hearts. Suddenly it came to me: the perfect candidate, the trump card.

 

可是我应该提到Steenie叔叔么?事实上他并不是经常来Winterscombe,但是每当他来到这里,关于“钱”的争论也总是随之而来:Steenie叔叔总想要成为世界上保养最好的男孩儿,而且每次他都是在午餐上消灭掉所有的酒之后用很大的声音来提醒在座的人。我总觉得他这样做很怪,因为毫无疑问,在皮肤保养问题上,Steenie叔叔做的很好,尤其是他那呈现出来的美丽的肤色,但是,他毕竟不是个男孩儿,而且,他不是个男孩儿已经很长时间了。所以每次当他说到这个问题,我父亲总是被他整的暴跳如雷。

 

有一次在图书馆,碰巧门是开着的,经过他们的时候,听到父亲说:“看在上帝的份上,Steenie,你已经差不多40岁了。你不能再这样下去了。 我上次寄给你的那张支票现在如何了?”或许,基本上,最好也就别提到Steenie叔叔。 Charlotte却是一定会问个清清楚楚的。她总是这样去问,有时候还找我父亲问个究竟。

 

当我向她解释了这个房产的情况,向她解释了母亲的孤儿院的情况,那个需要疏浚的湖的情况,那个锅炉的情况以及他对钞票无止尽的欲望的情况后,她说:“但是他都做了什么啊?”

 

“我觉得,莫非他自己有个保密的收入渠道不成?”她把这话说出来,让人听上去感觉像得了可怕的疾病。“父亲说她认为他这么做是必须的。他说,基本上你也不能通过其他办法搞定的,除非不在这个巨大的谷仓里面。当然,有个地契……”她挤了挤鼻子,“但是父亲说,这年头地契都不怎么管用了。除非他们非常老了——可是你们的又不是很老,对不对?父亲说他们可能会有用处的,当然,他不会介意再增加一处房产的,因为总有些人还是给他们留下了深刻的印象的。可惜他并不在城里面住,像父亲一样,你觉得呢?如果真变得这么穷一定很恐怖。”

 

“可我不觉得我们很穷,或者至少并不是那么穷啊。”我的脸涨得通红。“妈妈说我们很幸运的。”

 

“胡说八道,你还没有到了把一分钱掰成两半花的时候吧——父亲也是这么说的,上周他发了一笔大财,然后这样告诉妈妈的。他一次挣得钱比你父亲五年挣得钱加起来还多。这是真的,不信你问他。”

 

不,最好还是别提及Steenie叔叔了,也别再说Freddie叔叔和他不情愿的灵缇了;最好也别再提Maud姑姑了,这个曾经因为当过一次旅店的老板娘而红过一时,但是现在却比较茫然,既老又对我的情况一无所知。事实上,离我家远点儿也许是最好的选择。

 

我偷偷瞅了一眼钟,希望Charlotte离开的时间不会太久了,然后开始整理手上的扑克:黑桃皇后在红桃王上面;红桃J放在黑桃皇后上面:我这样的耐心(我已经说了多遍)再没法出现了。

 

Charlotte坐在我对面,盯着那摞牌好像认为我会出千。她用指尖轻轻敲击着桌上绿色的羊毛毡。黑桃皇后在红桃王上面,这样的牌突然出现在我的面前:完美的选手,必杀王牌!

 

——宋婷

 

“Oh, by the way,” I began—there was no time to be subtle—“I may go to America next year. Did I tell you?”

“America?”

“Yes. To stay in New York. My godmother lives there, and she wants me to stay with her.”

“Your godmother? You never mentioned an American godmother.”

“Well, I call her ‘aunt’. Aunt Constance. But she isn’t really my aunt.”

This was now more than a boast; it was a lie, since I called her no such thing, but I was launched, and scented victory. Charlotte’s eyes had grown small and concentrated.

“Constance?”

“Constance Shawcross,” I said.

I brought out the name with a flourish. I hoped, I suppose, that it would impress, for I know, in a vague way, that my godmother was celebrated. She must, however, have been far more celebrated that I had ever imagined, for Charlotte’s reaction exceeded my greatest hopes. She drew in her breath; her eyes rounded; her expression_r was of envy tinged with disbelief.

“No! The Constance ? Shawcross?”

“Of course,” I said firmly, although I was at once afraid there might be two and my godmother the wrong one.

“Heavens!” Charlotte looked at me with new respect. “Wait till I tell mummy.”

Such triumph! I was a little afraid it would be difficult to sustain, because I could tell that charlotte was about to press me with questions, to which my answers were sure to be wrong. But I was saved, there was a scrunch of tires on gravel, the blaring of a horn. Charlotte looked up. I took the opportunity to switch the order of my cards.

“Your father’s here,” I said. “Oh – and look – this patience is coming out, after all.”

 

“顺带说一句,”我觉得已经没时间继续迂回了,“我跟你说过我明年可能要去美国吗?”

“美国?”

“是的,去纽约,我的教母住那,她希望我去陪她。”

“你的教母?你从来没说过你有个教母在美国。”

“嗯,我管她叫阿姨。Constance阿姨,但事实上并不真是我的阿姨。”

这话在现在已经不只是吹牛了,其实就是个谎,我也从来没这么叫过她。不过我心里暗自地笑着,因为我嗅到了胜利的气息。Charlotte的瞳孔像受了刺激似的缩小,凝视着我。

“Constance?”

“对 Constance shawcross。”

我念出名字的同时故意用手引起对方的注意。这是我教母经常用于庆祝的姿势,我想这样更能让她印象深刻。Charlotte的反应远超过了我的期望,她深吸一口气,眼神回到了正常,但她的话仍然充满了羡慕和疑惑。

“不!你是说 Constance?shawcross?”

“不是她还能是谁?”我坚定地回答。尽管我还一度担心会不会有两个教母而我挑错了其中一个。

“天啊!”Charlotte重新审视我,“等等,我跟妈妈说。”

真是鼓舞人心,我还担心这局面持续不了很久,因为我明显觉得她还想再问下去,逼我露出破绽。她那些问题我肯定会答错。

不过,现在都省下来了。上面传来轮胎碾过沙石路面的声音,Charlotte循声望了过去。我趁机调整了牌的顺序。

“你爸爸回来了,”我说,“噢,耐心的等待终于换来了结果。”

 

——许越

 

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