宝岛(Treasure Island) 十二 军事会议

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宝岛(Treasure Island) 十二 军事会议

THERE was a great rush of feet across the deck. I could hear people tumbling up from the cabin and the foc's'le; and, slipping in an instant outside my barrel, I dived behind the fore-sail, made a double towards the stern, and came out upon the open deck in time to join Hunter and Dr Livesey in the rush for the weather bow.

There all hands were already congregated. A belt of fog had lifted almost simultaneously with the appearance of the moon. Away to the south-west of us we saw two low hills, about a couple of miles apart, and rising behind one of them a third and higher hill, whose peak was still buried in the fog. All three seemed sharp and conical in figure.

So much I saw, almost in a dream, for I had not yet recovered from my horrid fear of a minute or two before. And then I heard the voice of Captain Smollett issuing orders. The Hispaniola was laid a couple of points nearer the wind, and now sailed a course that would just clear the island on the east.

`And now, men,' said the captain, when all was sheeted home, `has any one of you ever seen that land ahead?'

`I have, sir,' said Silver. `I've watered there with a trader I was cook in.'

`The anchorage is on the south, behind an islet, I fancy?' asked the captain.

`Yes, sir; Skeleton Island they calls it. It were a main place for pirates once, and a hand we had on board knowed all their names for it. That hill to the nor'ard they calls the Fore-mast Hill; there are three hills in a row running south'ard - fore, main, and mizzen, sir. But the main - that's the big 'un, with the cloud on it - they usually calls the Spy-glass, by reason of a look-out they kept when they was in the anchorage cleaning; for it's there they cleaned their ships, sir, asking your pardon.'

`I have a chart here,' says Captain Smollett. `See if that's the place.'

Long John's eyes burned in his head as he took the char but, by the fresh look of the paper, I knew he was doom to disappointment. This was not the map we found in Billy Bones's chest, but an accurate copy, complete in all things - names and heights and soundings - with the single except it of the red crosses and the written notes. Sharp as must have been his annoyance, Silver had the strength of mind to hide it.

`Yes, sir,' said he, `this is the spot to be sure; and very prettily drawed out. Who might have done that, I wonder The pirates were too ignorant, I reckon. Ay, here it is: ``Capt. Kidd's Anchorage'' - just the name my shipmate called it. There's a strong current runs along the south, and then away nor'ard up the west coast. Right you was, sir,' says he, haul your wind and keep the weather of the island. Leastways, if such was your intention as to enter and careen, and the ain't no better place for that in these waters.

`Thank you, my man,' says Captain Smollett. `I'll ask you later on, to give us a help. You may go.'

I was surprised at the coolness with which John avowed his knowledge of the island; and I own I was half-frighten' when I saw him drawing nearer to myself. He did not know to be sure, that I had overheard his council from the apple barrel, and yet I had, by this time, taken such a horror his cruelty, duplicity, and power, that I could scarce conceal a shudder when he laid his hand upon my arm.

`Ah,' says he, `this here is a sweet spot, this island - a sweet spot for a lad to get ashore on. You'll bathe, and you'll climb trees, and you'll hunt goats, you will; and you'll get aloft them hills like a goat yourself. Why, it makes me young again I was going to forget my timber leg, I was. It's a pleasant thing to be young, and have ten toes, and you may lay that. When you want to go a bit of exploring, you just an old John, and he'll put up a snack for you to take along.'

And clapping me in the friendliest way upon the shoulder he hobbled off forward and went below.

Captain Smollett, the squire, and Dr Livesey were talking together on the quarterdeck, and, anxious as I was to tell them my story, I durst not interrupt them openly. While I was still casting about in my thoughts to find some probable excuse, Dr Livesey called me to his side. He had left his pipe below, and being a slave to tobacco, had meant that I should fetch it; but as soon as I was near enough ta speak and not to be overheard, I broke out immediately: `Doctor, let me speak. Get the captain and squire down to the cabin, and then make some pretence to send for me. I have terrible news.'

The doctor changed countenance a little, but next moment he was master of himself.

`Thank you, Jim,' said he, quite loudly, `that was all I wanted to know,' as if he had asked me a question.

And with that he turned on his heel and rejoined the other two. They spoke together for a little, and though none of them started, or raised his voice, or so much as whistled, it was plain enough that Dr Livesey had communicated my request; for the next thing that I heard was the captain giving an order to Job Anderson, and all hands were piped on deck.

`My lads,' said Captain Smollett, `I've a word to say to you. This land that we have sighted is the place we have been sailing for. Mr Trelawney, being a very open-handed gentleman, as we all know, has just asked me a word or two, and as I was able to tell him that every man on board had done his duty, alow and aloft, as I never ask to see it done better, why, he and I and the doctor are going below to the cabin to drink your health and luck, and you'll have grog served out for you to drink our health and luck. I'll tell you what I think of this: I think it handsome. And if you think as I do, you'll give a good sea cheer for the gentleman that does it.'

The cheer followed - that was a matter of course; but it rang out so full and hearty, that I confess I could hardly believe these same men were plotting for our blood.

`One more cheer for Cap'n Smollett,' cried Long John, when the first had subsided.

And this also was given with a will.

On the top of that the three gentlemen went below, and not long after, word was sent forward that Jim Hawkins was wanted in the cabin.

I found them all three seated round the table, a bottle c Spanish wine and some raisins before them, and the doctor smoking away, with his wig on his lap, and that, I knew, was a sign that he was agitated. The stern window was open, for it was a warm night, and you could see the moon shining behind on the ship's wake.

`Now, Hawkins,' said the squire, `you have something say. Speak up.'

I did as I was bid, and as short as I could make it, to] the whole details of Silver's conversation. Nobody interrupted me till I was done, nor did any one of the three of them make so much as a movement, but they kept their eyes upon my face from first to last.

`Jim,' said Dr Livesey, `take a seat.'

And they made me sit down at table beside them, poured me out a glass of wine, filled my hands with raisins, and three, one after the other, and each with a bow, drank my good health, and their service to me, for my luck and courage.

`Now, captain,' said the squire, `you were right, and I was wrong. I own myself an ass, and I await your orders.'

`No more an ass than I, sir,' returned the captain. `I never heard of a crew that meant to mutiny but what showed signs before, for any man that had an eye in his head to see the mischief and take steps according. But this crew,' he added `beats me.'

`Captain,' said the doctor, `with your permission, that Silver. A very remarkable man.'

`He'd look remarkably well from a yard-arm, sir,' returned the captain. `But this is talk; this don't lead to anything. I see three or four points, and with Mr Trelawney's permission I'll name them.'

`You, sir, are the captain. It is for you to speak,' says Mr Trelawney, grandly.

`First point,' began Mr Smollett. `We must go on, because we can't turn back. If I gave the word to go about, they would rise at once. Second point, we have time before us - at least until this treasure's found. Third point, there are faithful hands. Now, sir, it's got to come to blows sooner or later and what I propose is, to take time by the forelock, as the saying is, and come to blows some fine day when they least expect it. We can count, I take it, on your own home servants, Mr Trelawney?'

`As upon myself,' declared the squire.

`Three,' reckoned the captain, `ourselves make seven, counting Hawkins, here. Now, about the honest hands?'

`Most likely Trelawney's own men,' said the doctor; `those he had picked up for himself, before he lit on Silver.'

`Nay,' replied the squire, `Hands was one of mine.'

`I did think I could have trusted Hands,' added the captain.

`And to think that they're all Englishmen!' broke out the squire. `Sir, I could find it in my heart to blow the ship up.'

`Well, gentlemen,' said the captain, `the best that I can say is not much. We must lay to, if you please, and keep a bright look out. It's trying on a man, I know. It would be pleasanter to come to blows. But there's no help for it till we know our men. Lay to, and whistle for a wind, that's my view.'

`Jim here,' said the doctor, `can help us more than anyone. The men are not shy with him, and Jim is a noticing lad.'

`Hawkins, I put prodigious faith in you,' added the squire. I began to feel pretty desperate at this, for I felt altogether helpless; and yet, by an odd train of circumstances, it was indeed through me that safety came. In the meantime, talk as we pleased, there were only seven out of the twenty-six on whom we knew we could rely; and out of these seven one was a boy, so that the grown men on our side were six to their nineteen

甲板上响起了一大阵脚步的奔跑声。我能听见人们跌跌撞撞地从特舱和水手舱里跑出来,于是我立即从苹果桶里溜了出来,钻到了前桅帆的下面,又转身到了船尾,及时地跑到了开阔的甲板上,和亨特、利弗西医生一道冲到了露天的船首。

所有的人员都聚集在那里。几乎与月出同时,一条雾带已渐渐散去了。在我们的西南方,我们看到了两座低矮的小山,两山离得大约有两英里远,而在它们中一座的后面又耸立着第三座高一些的山峰,峰顶仍有雾气线绕着。这三座山的外形全都是尖尖的圆锥形。

我看到这些的时候,仿佛人在梦中一般,因为我还没从一两分钟前那可怕的恐惧中缓过神来。然后我听到斯莫列特船长发布命令的声音。伊斯班袅拉号能够抢风行船的方位有两处,而眼下正沿着离岛东部近的航线行驶着。

“喂,伙计们,”船长说,这时所有的帆脚索都已扣紧,“你们中有谁曾经见过前面的这块陆地?”

“我见过,阁下,”西尔弗说,“当我在一艘商船上做厨师的时候,我在那儿汲过水。”

“下锚处在南边,一个小岛的后面,我猜想?”船长问道。

“是,阁下;他们叫它‘骷髅岛’。那曾是海盗出没的主要地点,我们船上有个人知道他们给它起的所有的名称。北边的那座小山他们叫做‘前桅山’;从那儿向南看, 并列的是三座山——前桅、主桅和后桅,阁下。但是主桅——就是大的、上面有云的那座——他们通常叫它‘望远镜山’,因为当他们在锚地洗船时,总派个人在那里担任观望;因为他们就是在那儿洗船,阁下。不当之处,请您见INO……”

“我这里有张图,”斯莫列特船长说,“看看是否与图上的地方吻合。”

当高个子约翰接过这张图时,他的眼睛在眼眶子里燃烧起来;但是,我一看到这担新的纸就知道,他肯定是要失望了。这不是我们在比尔·彭斯的胸膛上找到的那张地图,而是一张精确的复制品,所有的东西上面都有——名称、高度和水深——就只没有红色的十字记号和标注的说明。西尔弗一定恼怒到极点,但是他控制住了自己并将其隐藏了起来。

“是这样,阁下,”他说,“肯定就是这个地点;并且画得相当的精确。我奇怪那是谁画的呢?海盗们太无知,画不出来,我估计,啊,这就是了:‘凯特船长下锚处’ ——正是我的船友叫它的名称。这里有一道很强的水流从南边过来,然后沿西岸向北流去。你是对的,阁下,”他说,“至少,要是你想进港修整一下的话,要在这里收帆, 靠拢下风岸,再也没有比这一带水域更适宜的地方了。”

“谢谢你,兄弟,”斯莫列特船长说,“过后我还要问你,给我们帮帮忙。你可以走了。”

我对约翰公开承认他对这个岛的了解时所表现出来的冷静感到吃惊,并且我承认, 当我看到他走近我时,我都吓傻了。可以断定,他不知道我在苹果桶里偷听了他的作战会议,然而,直到这时,我对他的残忍、口蜜腹剑和威力仍是那样的恐惧,以致当他把手搭到我肩上时,我几乎不能遏制地战栗起来。

“啊,”他说,“这儿是个可爱的地方,这个岛——对于一个小伙子来说,上到那上面是真好啊。你可以洗海水浴,你可以爬树,你还可以打山羊,你真的可以;并且你自己还可以像头山羊似地爬到那些小山顶上哩。啊,它使我重又年轻起来啦。我快要忘掉我的木腿哩,我真的快要忘掉啦。年轻、有十个脚趾头,多好啊,你要明白这一点。 什么时候你想去寻幽探胜了,只要跟老约翰打个招呼,他就会为你配制一份快餐,让你随身带上。”

说完他友好地拍了拍我的肩膀,然后一瘸一拐地走开、下去了。

斯莫列特船长,乡绅,还有医生,正聚在后甲板上谈着话,尽管我是那么的急于把我的经历告诉给他们,但却不敢公开地打断他们。当我还在心里焦急地寻找着某种可能的理由时,利弗西医生把我叫到了他的身边。他把他的烟斗拉在下面了,而他又离不了烟,意思是让我给他取来;一旦我走到离他足够近、不致被旁人听到的地方,我就立刻把话说了出来:“医生,我有话要说。叫船长和乡绅到下面特舱里去,然后找个借口让我下去。我有可怕的消息。”

医生脸色略微一变,但他很快控制住了自己。

“谢谢你,吉姆,”他说,声音很大,“我想知道的就这些。”好像他问了我个问题似的。

说完,他就转过身去,重新和另外两个谈起话来。他们在一起商谈了一会儿,尽管他们谁都没流露出惊愕的表情,也没提高嗓音,或是嘘烯一番,但是显然医生已经传达了我的要求,因为接下来我就听到船长给乔布·安德森下了一道命令,之后全体船员都被哨子召集到了甲板上。

“弟兄们,”斯莫列特船长说道,“我有话要对你们说。我们已经看到的这块陆地, 正是我们一直航行所要到达的地方。特里罗尼先生,这位众所周知的、非常慷慨的绅士, 刚刚问了我一两句话,而我告诉他,船上的每一个人,从上到下,都尽到了他的职责, 比我要求的做得还要好,因此,他和我,以及医生,准备到下面的特舱去,为你们的健康和好运干杯,同时也为你们备了些水酒,来为我们的健康和好运干杯。我将告诉你们 我是怎样看待此事的:我认为这是慷慨之举。而如果你们也和我想得一样的话,你们就为办这件事的先生来一个痛快的水手式的欢呼吧!”

跟着就是欢呼——那是理所当然的事;但是这喊出来的声音是那样的饱满和热烈,以致于我承认我很难相信,正是这些人在密谋要放我们的血。

“再给斯莫列特船长来一个!”当第一个欢呼平息下来后,高个子约翰喊道。

于是这个欢呼也热烈地进行了。

三位先生在欢呼的高潮时刻退到下面去了,不一会工夫,有话传来,要吉姆·霍金斯到特舱去。

我发现他们三人围坐在桌旁,面前摆着瓶西班牙葡萄酒和一些葡萄干,而医生正不停地吸着烟,假发套放到了腿上,而我知道,那是他激动的迹象。因为这是个温暖的夜晚,后窗便开着,因而你可以看到月光在船尾留下的那道浪迹上闪耀。

“喂,霍金斯,”乡绅说,“你有话要说,那就快说吧。”

我照办了,并且尽可能简明扼要地讲述了西尔弗谈话的全部详情。直到我讲完,没有人来打断我,他们三人中也没有谁动一动,只是从始至终把眼睛盯在我身上。

“吉姆,”利弗西医生说道,“坐下来。”

接着他们让我挨着他们在桌边坐了下来,给我倒了杯葡萄酒,又往我手里塞满了葡萄干,而且他们三个,一个接一个地轮番向我颔首致谢,还为我的健康、好运和勇敢干杯。

“那么,船长,”乡绅说道,“你是对的,而我错了。我承认我是头蠢驴,现在我等待所从你的命令。”

“我也不比驴子聪明,先生,”船长答道,“我从未听说过有哪帮船员图谋叛变而事前不露迹象的哩,这样任何一个头上长眼的人都有可能看穿这鬼把戏,进而采取措施。但是这帮船员,”他又加了一句,“骗过了我。”

“船长,”医生说,“请允许我说,这全是那个西尔弗捣的鬼。真是个让人高看一眼的家伙啊!”

“把他吊在帆衍的顶端,那他才真让人高看一眼哩,先生,”船长答道。“但这都是说说而已,没有任何意义。我有三四点想法,要是特里罗尼先生允许的话,我可以讲出来。”

“你,阁下,是船长。你讲话便是。”特里罗尼先生庄严地说。

“第一点,”斯莫列特先生开口道,“我们必须继续行进,因为我们不能掉头。要是我下令掉头的话,他们会立刻起事的。第二点,我们眼下还有时间——至少,能到找到宝藏的时候。第三点,还有忠实可靠的人。这样,阁下,这就是个是迟些还是早些进行打击的问题。而我的建议是,正如俗语所说,把握时机,然后在某一天,出其不意,攻其不备。我估计,我们可以仰赖你家里的仆人吧,特里罗尼先生?”

“就如同我本人一样值得信赖。”乡绅断言。

“三个,”船长计算着,“加上我们是七个,包括霍金斯在内。现在,再来看看还有哪些可靠的船员?”

“大多是特里罗尼自己雇来的,”医生说,“那些人是他遇到西尔弗前自己挑选的。”

“也不尽然,”乡绅答道,“汉兹就是我自己挑选出来的人手中的一个。”

“我确曾认为可以信任汉兹哩。”船长也跟着说了一句。

“想想他们竟然全都是英国人!”乡绅咆哮道,“阁下,我真想把这艘船炸飞了!”

“好啦,先生们,”船长说,“我再没什么好说的了。我们一定要做出若无其事的样子来,同时,请保持高度的警惕。这是很折磨人的,我知道。立即打击会痛快些,但那无济于事,直到我们弄清谁是自己人。若无其事,同时伺机而动,这就是我的意见。”

“吉姆在这里,”医生说,“比任何人对我们都有用。那些人对他还不起什么怀疑, 而吉姆是个机灵的小家伙。”

“霍金斯,我对你寄予莫大的信任。”乡绅接着说道。

听了这话,我开始感到相当的绝望,因为我觉得全无办法可想;然而后来,由于机遇的古怪的安排,确实是通过我,才保住了我们的平安。在此期间,不管我们愿意与否,在二十六个人中,我们只知道有七个人可以信赖;而在这七个人中还有一个孩子,这样,我们这边就是六个成人,要对付他们十九个


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