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中英:月亮和六便士(37)

2006-08-22 21:35

    Chapter XXXVII

    The circumstances of Blanche Stroeve's death necessitated all manner of dreadful formalities, but at last we were allowed to bury her. Dirk and I alone followed the hearse to the cemetery. We went at a foot-pace, but on the way back we trotted, and there was something to my mind singularly horrible in the way the driver of the hearse whipped up his horses. It seemed to dismiss the dead with a shrug of the shoulders. Now and then I caught sight of the swaying hearse in front of us, and our own driver urged his pair so that we might not remain behind. I felt in myself, too, the desire to get the whole thing out of my mind. I was beginning to be bored with a tragedy that did not really concern me, and pretending to myself that I spoke in order to distract Stroeve, I turned with relief to other subjects.

    "Don't you think you'd better go away for a bit?" I said. "There can be no object in your staying in Paris now. "

    He did not answer, but I went on ruthlessly:

    "Have you made any plans for the immediate future?"

    "No. "

    "You must try and gather together the threads again. Why don't you go down to Italy and start working?"

    Again he made no reply, but the driver of our carriage came to my rescue. Slackening his pace for a moment, he leaned over and spoke. I could not hear what he said, so I put my head out of the window. he wanted to know where we wished to be set down. I told him to wait a minute.

    "You'd better come and have lunch with me, " I said to Dirk. "I'll tell him to drop us in the Place Pigalle. "

    "I'd rather not. I want to go to the studio. "

    I hesitated a moment.

    "Would you like me to come with you?" I asked then.

    "No; I should prefer to be alone. "

    "All right. "

    I gave the driver the necessary direction, and in renewed silence we drove on. Dirk had not been to the studio since the wretched morning on which they had taken Blanche to the hospital. I was glad he did not want me to accompany him, and when I left him at the door I walked away with relief. I took a new pleasure in the streets of Paris, and I looked with smiling eyes at the people who hurried to and fro. The day was fine and sunny, and I felt in myself a more acute delight in life. I could not help it; I put Stroeve and his sorrows out of my mind. I wanted to enjoy.

    勃朗什。施特略夫死后因为情况复杂需要一关一关地办理许多道手续,但是最后我们还是取得了殡葬的许可证。跟随柩车到墓地去送葬的只有我同戴尔克两个人。去的时候走得很慢,回来的路上马车却小跑起来,柩车的车夫不断挥鞭抽打辕马,在我心上引起一种奇怪的恐怖感,仿佛是马车夫耸耸肩膀想赶快把死亡甩在后面似的。我坐在后面一辆马车上不时地看到前边摇摇摆摆的柩车;我们的马车夫也不断加鞭,不让自己的车辆落后。我感到我自己也有一种赶快把这件事从心里甩掉的愿望。对这件实际上与我毫不相干的悲剧我已开始厌烦了,我找了另外一些话题同施特略夫谈起来;虽然我这样做是为了解除自己的烦闷,却骗自己说是为了给施特略夫分一分神。

    “你是不是觉得还是到别的地方去走一走的好?”我说,“现在再待在巴黎对你说毫无意义了。”

    他没有回答我,我却紧追不舍地问下去:

    “你对于今后这一段日子有什么安排吗?”

    “没有。”

    “你一定得重新振作起来。为什么不到意大利去重新开始画画儿呢?”

    他还是没有回答,这时我们的马车夫把我从窘境里解救了出来。他把速度降低了一些,俯过身来同我讲了一句什么。我听不清他说的是什么,只好把头伸出窗口去;他想知道我们在什么地方下车。我叫他稍微等一会儿。

    “你还是来同我一起吃午饭吧,”我对戴尔克说,“我告诉马车夫在皮卡尔广场停车好不好?”

    “我不想去了。我要回我的画室去。”

    我犹豫了一会儿。

    “你要我同你一起去吗?”我说。

    “不要。我还是愿意独自回去。”

    “好吧。”

    我告诉车夫应该走的方向,马车继续往前走,我们两人又重新沉默起来。戴尔克自从勃朗什被送进医院那个倒霉的早上起就再也没回画室去。我很高兴他没有叫我陪伴他,我在他的门口同他分了手,如释重负地独自走开。巴黎的街道给了我新的喜悦,我满心欢喜地看着街头匆忙来往的行人。这一天天气很好,阳光灿烂,我感到我的心头洋溢着对生活的欢悦,这种感情比以往任何时候都更加强烈。我一点也由不得自己;我把施特略夫同他的烦恼完全抛在脑后。我要享受生活。

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