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无期徒刑小说第三章

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convictism已经安全地到了下口,放在床上的政府津贴的十六英寸的空间每个人,切短了一点的船上的危险,Cuddy惯于通过一些不愉快的晚上。Vickers夫人既有诗意又有吉他,他也演奏音乐并为之歌唱。Blunt船长是一个快活的,粗的家伙;外科医生松有一个讲故事的狂热;而如果Vickers是枯燥,兄弟总是热情。此外,该表是很好的服务,这样的晚餐,烟草,惠斯特,音乐,和白兰地和水,闷热的晚上去世了一个快速的野兽的甲板,关在一个五平方英尺的泊位六没有概念。
在这个特别的晚上,但是Cuddy沉闷的。晚餐倒,谈话兴趣减弱。
“没有微风的迹象吗,贝斯特先生?”当第一个军官走进来坐下来时,他生硬地问。
“没有,先生。”
“这些,他,他!-可怕的平静,”Vickers夫人说。“一个星期,不是吗,Blunt船长?“
“十三天,妈妈,”咆哮着说。
“我记得,在科罗曼德尔海岸,“放在欢快的松树,“当我们有瘟疫在响尾蛇”
“Vickers船长,再来一杯酒吗?””钝声叫道,赶紧把这件事缩短了。
“谢谢你,没有了。我头痛。”
“头痛-嗯,不要惊讶,在那些家伙中间。他们拥挤这些船的方式是臭名昭著的。我们船上有二百多个灵魂,船上没有一半的人。
“二百个灵魂!当然不是,”Vickers说。“根据国王的规定-”
“一百八十个犯人,五十个士兵,三十个船员,总共多少人?”一、23 -七室。你做了多少?“
“这次我们只是有点拥挤,”最好的说。
“这是非常错误的,”Vickers说,而。“非常错误。根据国王的规定-“
但国王的法规主体较松的冗长的轶事到Cuddy更反感,Vickers太太赶紧改变话题。
“你是不是十分厌倦了这种可怕的生活,Frere先生?“
“嗯,这不正是我所希望的生活,”Frere说,擦雀斑交出他的倔强的红头发;“但是我必须做到最好。”
“是的,的确是这样,”这位女士以一种对一个众所周知的事故的评论的那种柔和的态度说,“你突然被剥夺了这么大的一笔财产,一定很震惊吧。”
不仅如此,我还发现在我叔叔死后的一周内,那只得到它的黑羊就向印度驶去了!Lady Devine接到了一封来自他葬礼那天说他在加尔各答的达斯佩斯把通道,并不会再回来!“
“Richard Devine爵士没有其他孩子吗?“
“不,只有这个神秘的迪克,我从来没见过他,但他一定恨我。”
“亲爱的,亲爱的!这些家庭争吵是可怕的事情。可怜的Lady Devine,在某一天,丈夫和儿子失去!“
“第二天早上,听说她表兄被杀了!你知道,我们与贝拉西斯家族。我姑姑的父亲娶了一个姐姐的第二主贝拉西斯。”
“事实上。那是一次可怕的谋杀。你认为前几天你指出的那个可怕的人是干什么的?“
“陪审团似乎不这么认为,”Frere先生说,笑着说;“但是我不知道其他人会有动机吧。不过,我要去甲板上抽烟。”
“我想知道是什么引起的,老帅哥一个造船厂试图切断了他唯一的儿子在一个初出茅庐的那种青睐,“外科医生松队长Vickers作为Maurice Frere先生的宽阔的后背消失了的同伴说。
“有些孩子气的蠢事外,我相信;自制的人总是不耐烦的奢侈。但它是很难在弗里尔。他不是一个坏人他所有粗糙的家伙,当一个年轻人发现意外事故使他失去了一个季度的一百万钱,让他没有一个便士超出他的委员会在推进兵团的罪犯流放地的命令下,他有理由抱怨命运。”
“那么,儿子到底是怎么进来拿钱的呢?”“
“为什么,似乎老迪瓦恩派他的律师改变他会回来时,他得到了一个符合中风,我想他的愤怒,结果,当他们打开他的房间的门在早上,他们发现他已经死了。”
Vickers先生说:“儿子就在海边某处,对他的好运一无所知。”。真是浪漫。”
“我很高兴,兄弟没拿到钱,”Pine说,顽固地坚持自己的偏见;“我很少见到一脸我喜欢的少,即使在我的黄色外套那边。”
“噢,亲爱的,Pine医生!你怎么能?“Vickers太太插嘴说。“'pon我灵魂,夫人,他们中的一些已经混合好

Convictism having been safely got under hatches, and put to bed in its Government allowance of sixteen inches of space per man, cut a little short by exigencies of shipboard, the cuddy was wont to pass some not unpleasant evenings. Mrs. Vickers, who was poetical and owned a guitar, was also musical and sang to it. Captain Blunt was a jovial, coarse fellow; Surgeon Pine had a mania for story-telling; while if Vickers was sometimes dull, Frere was always hearty. Moreover, the table was well served, and what with dinner, tobacco, whist, music, and brandy and water, the sultry evenings passed away with a rapidity of which the wild beasts ’tween decks, cooped by sixes in berths of a mere five feet square, had no conception .

On this particular evening, however, the cuddy was dull. Dinner fell flat, and conversation languished.

“No signs of a breeze, Mr. Best?” asked Blunt, as the first officer came in and took his seat.

“None, sir.”

“These — he, he!— awful calms,” says Mrs. Vickers. “A week, is it not, Captain Blunt?”

“Thirteen days, mum,” growled Blunt.

“I remember, off the Coromandel coast,” put in cheerful Pine, “when we had the plague in the Rattlesnake —”

“Captain Vickers, another glass of wine?” cried Blunt, hastening to cut the anecdote short.

“Thank you, no more. I have the headache.”

“Headache — um — don’t wonder at it, going down among those fellows. It is infamous the way they crowd these ships. Here we have over two hundred souls on board, and not boat room for half of ’em.”

“Two hundred souls! Surely not,” says Vickers. “By the King’s Regulations —”

“One hundred and eighty convicts, fifty soldiers, thirty in ship’s crew, all told, and — how many?— one, two three — seven in the cuddy. How many do you make that?”

“We are just a little crowded this time,” says Best.

“It is very wrong,” says Vickers, pompously. “Very wrong. By the King’s Regulations —”

But the subject of the King’s Regulations was even more distasteful to the cuddy than Pine’s interminable anecdotes, and Mrs. Vickers hastened to change the subject.

“Are you not heartily tired of this dreadful life, Mr. Frere?”

“Well, it is not exactly the life I had hoped to lead,” said Frere, rubbing a freckled hand over his stubborn red hair; “but I must make the best of it.”

“Yes, indeed,” said the lady, in that subdued manner with which one comments upon a well-known accident, “it must have been a great shock to you to be so suddenly deprived of so large a fortune.”

“Not only that, but to find that the black sheep who got it all sailed for India within a week of my uncle’s death! Lady Devine got a letter from him on the day of the funeral to say that he had taken his passage in the Hydaspes for Calcutta, and never meant to come back again!”

“Sir Richard Devine left no other children?”

“No, only this mysterious Dick, whom I never saw, but who must have hated me.”

“Dear, dear! These family quarrels are dreadful things. Poor Lady Devine, to lose in one day a husband and a son!”

“And the next morning to hear of the murder of her cousin! You know that we are connected with the Bellasis family. My aunt’s father married a sister of the second Lord Bellasis.”

“Indeed. That was a horrible murder. So you think that the dreadful man you pointed out the other day did it?”

“The jury seemed to think not,” said Mr. Frere, with a laugh; “but I don’t know anybody else who could have a motive for it. However, I’ll go on deck and have a smoke.”

“I wonder what induced that old hunks of a shipbuilder to try to cut off his only son in favour of a cub of that sort,” said Surgeon Pine to Captain Vickers as the broad back of Mr. Maurice Frere disappeared up the companion.

“Some boyish follies abroad, I believe; self-made men are always impatient of extravagance. But it is hard upon Frere. He is not a bad sort of fellow for all his roughness, and when a young man finds that an accident deprives him of a quarter of a million of money and leaves him without a sixpence beyond his commission in a marching regiment under orders for a convict settlement, he has some reason to rail against fate.”

“How was it that the son came in for the money after all, then?”

“Why, it seems that when old Devine returned from sending for his lawyer to alter his will, he got a fit of apoplexy, the result of his rage, I suppose, and when they opened his room door in the morning they found him dead.”

“And the son’s away on the sea somewhere,” said Mr. Vickers “and knows nothing of his good fortune. It is quite a romance.”

“I am glad that Frere did not get the money,” said Pine, grimly sticking to his prejudice; “I have seldom seen a face I liked less, even among my yellow jackets yonder.”

“Oh dear, Dr. Pine! How can you?” interjected Mrs. Vickers. “’Pon my soul, ma’am, some of them have mixed in good society, I can tell you. There’s pickpockets and swindlers down below who have lived in the best company.”

“Dreadful wretches!” cried Mrs. Vickers, shaking out her skirts. “John, I will go on deck.”

At the signal, the party rose.

“Ecod, Pine,” says Captain Blunt, as the two were left alone together, “you and I are always putting our foot into it!”

“Women are always in the way aboard ship,” returned Pine.

“Ah! Doctor, you don’t mean that, I know,” said a rich soft voice at his elbow.

It was Sarah Purfoy emerging from her cabin.

“Here is the wench!” cries Blunt. “We are talking of your eyes, my dear.” “Well, they’ll bear talking about, captain, won’t they?” asked she, turning them full upon him.

“By the Lord, they will!” says Blunt, smacking his hand on the table. “They’re the finest eyes I’ve seen in my life, and they’ve got the reddest lips under ’m that —”

“Let me pass, Captain Blunt, if you please. Thank you, doctor.”

And before the admiring commander could prevent her, she modestly swept out of the cuddy.

“She’s a fine piece of goods, eh?” asked Blunt, watching her. “A spice o’ the devil in her, too.”

Old Pine took a huge pinch of snuff.

“Devil! I tell you what it is, Blunt. I don’t know where Vickers picked her up, but I’d rather trust my life with the worst of those ruffians ’tween decks, than in her keeping, if I’d done her an injury.”

Blunt laughed.

“I don’t believe she’d think much of sticking a man, either!” he said, rising. “But I must go on deck, doctor.” Pine followed him more slowly. “I don’t pretend to know much about women,” he said to himself, “but that girl’s got a story of her own, or I’m much mistaken. What brings her on board this ship as lady’s -maid is more than I can fathom.” And as, sticking his pipe between his teeth, he walked down the now deserted deck to the main hatchway, and turned to watch the white figure gliding up and down the poop-deck, he saw it joined by another and a darker one, he muttered, “She’s after no good, I’ll swear.”

At that moment his arm was touched by a soldier in undress uniform, who had come up the hatchway. “What is it?”

The man drew himself up and saluted.

“If you please, doctor, one of the prisoners is taken sick, and as the dinner’s over, and he’s pretty bad, I ventured to disturb your honour.”

“You ass!” says Pine — who, like many gruff men, had a good heart under his rough shell —“why didn’t you tell me before?” and knocking the ashes out of his barely-lighted pipe, he stopped that implement with a twist of paper and followed his summoner down the hatchway.

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