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Dark Angle(翻译连载十五)

(2010-05-31 10:07:06)
标签:

翻译

连载

小说

文化

分类: UNCLE赵&他国际事务部的同事们

That was how the lie bagan; it was a lie that would have the most terrible consequences.

When I mentioned Constance’s name that afternoon at the card table, all I really knew was that it was a name likely to impress. I knew my godmother was famous, though for what I had no idea. I knew that my uncle Steenie adored her and pronounced her incomparable; I knew that, when he came to Winterscombe, he would sometimes produce magazines that charted my godmother’s social activites in breathless detail. I also knew that when he mentioned her name he was met with silence and the subject was quickly changed. The magazines, which Uncle Steenie would leave open upon tables, would be removed the instant he left the room. I know, in short, that there was a mystery.

When I was born(Jenna had told me this)Constance had attended my christening and, like a godmother in a fairy story, had bent over my cradle to bestow a kiss. She had held me in her arms outside the Winterscombe church and had given as a christening present a most extraordinary bracelet, in the shape of a coiling snake. This bracelet, described by Jenna as unsuitable, I had never seen; it lay lodged with my mother’s diamonds in the bank.

 

   谎言就是这样开始的,这是一个可能会带来严重后果的谎言。

   那天下午我在牌桌上提到Constance名字的时候,我真切地认识到这是个令人印象深刻的名字。我知道我的祖母很有名,虽然我不清楚出名的原因。我知道我的叔父Steenie崇拜她,宣称她是无可比拟的。当叔父到Winterscombe的时候,有时他会出版杂志,以一种细到令人窒息的程度描述祖母的社交活动。我也知道,当他提起祖母的名字的时候,他总是很沉默,并且迅速转移话题。他一旦离开房间,就会拿走他原本摊开放在桌子上的杂志。我知道,这其中有隐情。

   当我出生的时候(Jenna告诉过我),Constance参加了我的洗礼仪式,而且如童话故事中的祖母一般,俯身在摇篮上吻我的额头。她曾经在Winterscombe教堂外抱着我,并且送给我一个贵重的手镯当洗礼礼物,手镯呈盘蛇状。我从未见过那个手镯,在Jenna口中称为不合适的手镯,和我母亲的钻石一起存放在银行。

 

 

                                                           —潘玲

After the christening Constance must have fallen from favor, for she disappeared. More precisely, she was erased. There were numerous photographs of my christening, and Constance appeared in none of them. She was never invited to stay at the house, although I know she came to England, for Uncle Steenie would say no. the only reason I knew she was my godmother was that she told me so herself; each year at Christmas, and each year on my birthday, she would send a card, and inside them she would write: from your godmother, Constance. The handwriting was small, the strokes of the letters bold, and the ink black.

 

These cards of hers were arranged, with the others I received, on the nursery mantelpiece. When the birthday was over I was allowed to keep my cards, cutting them out and pasting them in scrapbooks –all the cards, that is, except those from my godmother. Her cards were always removed.

 

This tactic was designed, I expect, to make me forget my godmother. Since I was a child, it had the opposite effect. The less I was told, the more I wanted to know, but to discover more was extremely difficult. My parents were obdurate: Nothing could persuade either of them to mention Constance by name, and a direct question was met with visible displeasure. They confirmed that she was my godmother – that was all.

 

Jenna had been provoked, once or twice, into discussion of my christening and exotic bracelet, but after that I think she was warned off, for she too refused to discuss Constance again, Aunt Maud clearly hated her; on the one occasion, when I risked an inquiry there, Aunt Maud drew herself up, gazed down her imperious nose, and sniffed.

 

“Your godmother is quite beyond the pale, Victoria. I prefer you do not mention her to me. I cannot imagine that she would interest you.

 

在我的洗礼仪式之后,Constance开始不被大家喜欢,因为她消失了。更确切的说,他是被大家刻意抹去的。我的洗礼仪式上照了很多照片,可没有一张有Constance出现。我们从来没有邀请她来过家里,尽管我知道她来了英格兰,但是Steenie叔叔却说她没有来。能让我感觉到她是我教母的唯一一点,就是每年圣诞和我的生日, 她都会寄卡片给我,里面用黑色、又小有醒目的字体写道:你的教母,Constance。

 

Constance给我的卡片的和我收到的其他卡片都放在幼儿园的壁炉上。生日过后,我可以自己保存这些卡片,把它们剪贴到我的剪贴簿上,除了Constance的卡片,她给我的卡片总是被拿走。

 

我认为,他们这样做的目的就是让我忘记Constance。但这对于一个孩子来说是有反效果的。大人告诉我的越少,我就越想知道。只是想要探寻到更多的信息非常困难。我的父母很固执,他们从不提起Constance的名字,如果我直接问就会引起他们明显的不满。他们只证实Constance是我的教母——这就是他们告诉我的全部了。

 

Jenna曾经有一两次和我讨论起Constance给我那个特别的手镯,但是之后我觉得她好像被别人警告过了,因为她也不再和我谈起Constance。Maud阿姨明显很讨厌Constance,有一次在我冒险去打听Constance的时候,Maud阿姨绷紧身子对她嗤之以鼻。

“你的教母没什么好谈的,Victoria.。我不喜欢你和我提到她。我无法想像你会对她感兴趣。

 

                                                       ——张乐萌

 

 

 

 

“I just wondered… if she had…tempestuous eyes,” I persevered.

 

“Her eyes are like two small pieces of coal,” Aunt Maud replied, and that was the end of the subject.

 

William the butler claimed not to remember her. Uncle Freddie shifted his eyes about whenever I mentioned her name; trapped, alone on a walk in the woods, he once went so far as to admit that he and his brothers had known Constance as a child. She had, he said, frowning at the trees, been jolly good fun – in her way.

 

“Did Daddy like her then, Uncle Freddie? I don’t think he likes her now.”

 

“Maybe, maybe.” Uncle Freddie whistled. “I don’t remember. Now, where are those wretched dogs? You shout, Victoria. Oh, well done. Here they come. That’s the ticket.”

 

That left Uncle Steenie. I had high hopes of Uncle Steenie, particularly if I could waylay him after luncheon, or when he was in his own room, where he kept a silver hip flask for restorative nips on cold afternoons. Uncle Steenie might not come to Winterscombe very often but when he did, he became expansive after a few nips. “Sit down, Vitoria,” he would say. “Sit down and let’s have a huge gossip.”

 

And so, on one of his visits, I evaded Jenna and the regulation afternoon walk and crept along to Uncle Steenie’s room.

 

Uncle Steenie gave me a chocolate truffle from his secret bedroom supply, sat me by the fire, and told me all about Capri. When he paused for breath I asked my question. Uncle Steenie gave me one of his roguish looks.

 

“Constance? Your godmother?” He clicked his tongue. “Vicky darling, she is an absolute demon.”

 

“A demon? You mean she’s bad? Is that why no one will talk about her?”

 

“Bad?” Uncle Steenie seemed to find that idea interesting. He had another nip and considered it. “Well,” he said at last, in his most drawling voice, “I can never quite make up my mind. You know the little girl in the nursery rhyme, the one with the curl down the middle of her forehead? ‘When she was good she was very very good, and when she was bad she was horrid.’ Constance is like that, perhaps. Except, personally, I like her best when she was bad. The great thing about your godmother, Vicky, is that she is never dull.”

 

“我只是想知道…她是否…有很热烈的眼睛,” I persevered.

 

“她的双眼就像小两块煤炭,” Maud阿姨回答道,这个话题就此结束。

 

管家William声称他不想再记得她。Freddie叔叔每当我提起她的名字时就把视线飘开。有一次他在林中散步被困住时,他破天荒地承认他和他的兄弟从孩提时代就认识Constance。他皱着眉头看着树林说:她有着她自己开心的方式。

 

“那爸爸喜欢她吗Freddie叔叔?我觉得他应该不喜欢她。”

 

“或许,或许。”Freddie叔叔吹着口哨“我也记不得了。喂,我那几条可怜的狗呢?Victoria,你喊一喊。好样的,它们来了,这才对嘛!”

 

就剩下Steenie叔叔了。我对他抱了很大希望,特别是如果我能在他吃完午饭后堵住他;又或者等他在自己房间里,在寒冷的下午小口喝着他银质扁口瓶里的酒暖暖身子。Steenie叔叔不经常来Winterscombe,但是他每次来到,几口酒下肚,就变得豪爽起来了。“坐下Vitoria,”他会这样说,“坐下让我们好好八卦一下。”

 

就这样,当他再次来到Winterscombe,我避开了和Jenna的例行午后散步独自蹑手蹑脚地来到Steenie叔叔的房间。

 

Steenie叔叔从他的私人卧室存货里给了我一块巧克力糖,让我坐在火炉旁,跟我海侃了一番Capri。趁着他停下来喘口气,我问了我一直想问的问题。Steenie叔叔做了一个顽皮的鬼脸。

 

“Constance?你的教母?” 他弹了一个响舌。“Vicky我亲爱的,她可是不折不扣的恶魔。”

 

“恶魔?你是说她很坏?这就是所有人都不愿意谈论她的原因吗?”

 

“坏?”Steenie叔叔看起来觉得这个说法很有趣。他又喝了一小口酒,沉吟片刻“说实话,”终于他慢吞吞地说道,“我不是特别确定。你记得儿歌里面那个小女孩吗?就是前额中间有一小撮卷发那个。‘乖的时候特别乖,坏的时候特别坏。’Constance或许就是那样。但是,我个人倒是最喜欢她坏的时候。Vicky,你知道吗,你教母最棒的地方就是她永远不会沉闷。”

 

 

            吴昱宏

“Is she … pretty?”

 

“Darling, no. Nothing so bland. She’s….startling.” He took another nip. “She bowls people over. Men especially. Down they go, like skittles”

 

“Did she bowl you over, Uncle Steenie?”

 

“Well, not exactly, Vicky.” He paused. “She was probably too busy to try. I expect she had other fish to fry. She and I are almost the same age, you know, so we were always friends. We met for the fist time when we were – let me see- about six years old. Younger than you are now, anyway. We’re both the same age as the century, more or less, so that must have been 1906. Lord, I’m ancient! 1906! It feels like eons ago.”

 

“So she’s thirty-seven now?” I was disappointed, I think, for thirty-seven seemed very old. Uncle Steenie waved his hands in the air.

 

“Thirty-severn? Vicky darling, in Constance’s case, the years are immaterial. Age cannot wither her-though it does the rest of us, unfortunately. Do you know what I saw in the mirror this morning? A most terrible thing. A crow’s footprint, Vicky. In the corner of my eyes. ”

 

“It’s not very big footprint.”

 

“Darling, you reassure me.” Uncle Steenie sighed. “And the reason it’s small is my new cream. Have I shown you my new cream? It smells of violets, and it’s too heavenly--”

 

“Would it get rid of freckles, do you think, uncle steenie?”

 

“Darling, in a flash. There’s nothing it cannot do. It’s a perfect miracle, this cream, which is just as well because it costs a queen’s ransom.” He smiled mischievously. “Look, I’ll give you some if you like. Pat it in, Vicky, every evening.”

 

“她…好看吗?”

 

“不,亲爱的。她长得很普通,但是她总能给人出乎意料的感觉。” 他喝了一小口酒,“她令人神魂颠倒,特别是男人,她可以令他们撞到树桩上。”

 

“她有令你神魂颠倒吗?”

 

“没有,Vicky。”他停了一会,“可能她太忙了,都没有时间搭理我,我想她有太多的选择了,我并不在名单上。她和我岁数差不多,所以我们的关系主要是朋友。我们第一次见面的时候是…让我想想…大概是六岁的时候,比你现在还要小。我们年纪相当,大约是1906年的。我的天呀,我已经很老了,1906年,好像几千万年前一样。”

 

“那她现在37岁了?”我有点吃惊,我想三十七岁看上去已经挺老了。Steenie叔叔摆了摆手。

 

“三十七岁?我亲爱的Vicky,对于Constance来说,年龄是无关重要的。很遗憾的是,年龄不能让Constance像其他人那样老去。你知道我早上在镜子里看见什么吗?很恐怖的。Vicky,我在我眼角发现了皱纹。”

 

“不是很明显。”

 

“亲爱的,你提醒了我。”Steenie叹了口气。“皱纹不明显,是因为我用了新的霜。我给你看过那霜了吗?它带有紫罗兰香味,让人很平和,很舒服。”

 

“Steenie叔叔,你认为这霜可以去皱纹吗?”

 

“亲爱的,它很快就可以令皱纹消失。没有什么皱纹它除不掉的。这霜简直就是个奇迹,女皇都使用它。”他笑了笑,“来,我给你试试,Vicky,每天晚上都抹上它,然后轻轻拍打。”

 

                                                              -----罗丹

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