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无期徒刑小说第四章

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In the meantime the woman who was the object of the grim old fellow’s suspicions was enjoying the comparative coolness of the night air. Her mistress and her mistress’s daughter had not yet come out of their cabin, and the men had not yet finished their evening’s tobacco. The awning had been removed, the stars were shining in the moonless sky, the poop guard had shifted itself to the quarter-deck, and Miss Sarah Purfoy was walking up and down the deserted poop, in close tête–à-tête with no less a person than Captain Blunt himself. She had passed and repassed him twice silently, and at the third turn the big fellow, peering into the twilight ahead somewhat uneasily, obeyed the glitter of her great eyes, and joined her.

“You weren’t put out, my wench,” he asked, “at what I said to you below?”

She affected surprise.

“What do you mean?”

“Why, at my — at what I— at my rudeness, there! For I was a bit rude, I admit.”

“I? Oh dear, no. You were not rude.”

“Glad you think so!” returned Phineas Blunt, a little ashamed at what looked like a confession of weakness on his part.

“You would have been — if I had let you.”

“How do you know?”

“I saw it in your face. Do you think a woman can’t see in a man’s face when he’s going to insult her?”

“Insult you, hey! Upon my word!”

“Yes, insult me. You’re old enough to be my father, Captain Blunt, but you’ve no right to kiss me, unless I ask you.”

“Haw, haw!” laughed Blunt. “I like that. Ask me! Egad, I wish you would, you black-eyed minx!”

“So would other people, I have no doubt.” “That soldier officer, for instance. Hey, Miss Modesty? I’ve seen him looking at you as though he’d like to try.”

The girl flashed at him with a quick side glance.

“You mean Lieutenant Frere, I suppose. Are you jealous of him?”

“Jealous! Why, damme, the lad was only breeched the other day. Jealous!”

“I think you are — and you’ve no need to be. He is a stupid booby, though he is Lieutenant Frere.”

“So he is. You are right there, by the Lord.”

Sarah Purfoy laughed a low, full-toned laugh, whose sound made Blunt’s pulse take a jump forward, and sent the blood tingling down to his fingers ends.

“Captain Blunt,” said she, “you’re going to do a very silly thing.”

He came close to her and tried to take her hand.

“What?”

She answered by another question.

“How old are you?”

“Forty-two, if you must know.”

“Oh! And you are going to fall in love with a girl of nineteen.”

“Who is that?”

“Myself!” she said, giving him her hand and smiling at him with her rich red lips.

The mizen hid them from the man at the wheel, and the twilight of tropical stars held the main-deck. Blunt felt the breath of this strange woman warm on his cheek, her eyes seemed to wax and wane, and the hard, small hand he held burnt like fire.

“I believe you are right,” he cried. “I am half in love with you already.”

She gazed at him with a contemptuous sinking of her heavily fringed eyelids, and withdrew her hand.

“Then don’t get to the other half, or you’ll regret it.”

“Shall I?” asked Blunt. “That’s my affair. Come, you little vixen, give me that kiss you said I was going to ask you for below,” and he caught her in his arms.

In an instant she had twisted herself free, and confronted him with flashing eyes.

“You dare!” she cried. “Kiss me by force! Pooh! you make love like a schoolboy. If you can make me like you, I’ll kiss you as often as you will. If you can’t, keep your distance, please.”

Blunt did not know whether to laugh or be angry at this rebuff. He was conscious that he was in rather a ridiculous position, and so decided to laugh.

“You’re a spitfire, too. What must I do to make you like me?”

She made him a curtsy.

“That is your affair,” she said; and as the head of Mr. Frere appeared above the companion, Blunt walked aft, feeling considerably bewildered, and yet not displeased.

“She’s a fine girl, by jingo,” he said, cocking his cap, “and I’m hanged if she ain’t sweet upon me.”

And then the old fellow began to whistle softly to himself as he paced the deck, and to glance towards the man who had taken his place with no friendly eyes. But a sort of shame held him as yet, and he kept aloof.

Maurice Frere’s greeting was short enough.

“Well, Sarah,” he said, “have you got out of your temper?”

She frowned.

“What did you strike the man for? He did you no harm.”

“He was out of his place. What business had he to come aft? One must keep these wretches down, my girl.”

“Or they will be too much for you, eh? Do you think one man could capture a ship, Mr. Maurice?”

“No, but one hundred might.”

“Nonsense! What could they do against the soldiers? There are fifty soldiers.”

“So there are, but —”

“But what?”

“Well, never mind. It’s against the rules, and I won’t have it.”

“‘Not according to the King’s Regulations,’ as Captain Vickers would say.”

Frere laughed at her imitation of his pompous captain.

“You are a strange girl; I can’t make you out. Come,” and he took her hand, “tell me what you are really.”

“Will you promise not to tell?”

“Of course.”

“Upon your word?”

“Upon my word.”

“Well, then — but you’ll tell?”

“Not I. Come, go on.”

“Lady’s -maid in the family of a gentleman going abroad.”

“Sarah, you can’t be serious?” “I am serious. That was the advertisement I answered.”

“But I mean what you have been. You were not a lady’s -maid all your life?”

She pulled her shawl closer round her and shivered.

“People are not born ladies’ maids, I suppose?”

“Well, who are you, then? Have you no friends? What have you been?”

She looked up into the young man’s face — a little less harsh at that moment than it was wont to be — and creeping closer to him, whispered —“Do you love me, Maurice?”

He raised one of the little hands that rested on the taffrail, and, under cover of the darkness, kissed it.

“You know I do,” he said. “You may be a lady’s -maid or what you like, but you are the loveliest woman I ever met.”

She smiled at his vehemence.

“Then, if you love me, what does it matter?” “If you loved me, you would tell me,” said he, with a quickness which surprised himself.

“But I have nothing to tell, and I don’t love you — yet.”

He let her hand fall with an impatient gesture; and at that moment Blunt — who could restrain himself no longer — came up.

“Fine night, Mr. Frere?”

“Yes, fine enough.”

“No signs of a breeze yet, though.”

“No, not yet.”

Just then, from out of the violet haze that hung over the horizon, a strange glow of light broke.

“Hallo,” cries Frere, “did you see that?”

All had seen it, but they looked for its repetition in vain. Blunt rubbed his eyes.

“I saw it,” he said, “distinctly. A flash of light.” They strained their eyes to pierce through the obscurity.

“Best saw something like it before dinner. There must be thunder in the air.”

At that instant a thin streak of light shot up and then sank again. There was no mistaking it this time, and a simultaneous exclamation burst from all on deck. From out the gloom which hung over the horizon rose a column of flame that lighted up the night for an instant, and then sunk, leaving a dull red spark upon the water.

与此同时,这个老家伙怀疑的对象是一个喜欢夜间空气相对凉爽的女人。她的情妇和女主人的女儿还没有从舱里出来,男人们还没吃完晚上的烟叶。棚已经拆了,星星在没有月亮的天空闪耀,尾楼后卫已经转移自己的甲板,和Sarah Purfoy小姐走来走去空无一人的船尾,在近êTE–à-没有一个人比队长Blunt自己不êTE。她过去了,他静静地等待两次,并在第三转的大家伙,有点不安地凝视前方的曙光,听从她的大眼睛闪闪发光,并加入了她。
“你没有放出来,我的姑娘,”他说,“我对你在说什么?“
她感到吃惊。
“你什么意思?“
“为什么,在我的身上,在我的身上,在我的粗鲁之下!我承认我有点粗鲁。”
“我?哦,天哪,不,你没那么粗鲁。”
“很高兴你这么想!Phineas Blunt回答说,有点惭愧,好像是他软弱的自白。
“如果我让你走了,你会去的。”
“你怎么知道的?“
“我从你脸上看到了。你认为一个女人在侮辱她时,是看不到男人的脸吗?“
侮辱你,嘿!听我的话!“
“是的,侮辱我。你已经长大了,可以当我的父亲了,Blunt船长,但你没有权利吻我,除非我问你。
“山楂,山楂!笑钝了。“我喜欢那个。问我!天哪,我希望你能,你的黑眼睛的疯丫头!“
“其他人也一样,我毫不怀疑。”。嘿,小姐?我见过他看着你,好像他想试试。”
那女孩迅速瞥了他一眼,向他瞥了一眼。
“你是说Lieutenant Frere,我想。你嫉妒他吗?“
“嫉妒!为什么说,孩子只是模仿了另一天。嫉妒!“
“我想你是-你没有必要。他是一个愚蠢的傻瓜,虽然他是Lieutenant Frere。”
“所以他是。你就在那里,靠着主。”
Sarah Purfoy笑了笑低,全色调,其声音使钝的脉冲以向前跳,并发出血刺痛了他的手指端。
“Blunt船长,”她说,“你要做一件非常愚蠢的事。”
他走近她,想抓住她的手。
“什么?“
她回答了另一个问题。
“你多大了?“
“四十二,如果你一定要知道的话。”
“哦!你会爱上一个十九岁的女孩。”
“那是谁?“
“我自己!她说,伸出他的手,用她那红红的嘴唇向他微笑。
后桅藏在车轮的人,和热带星星黄昏举行主甲板。钝觉得这个陌生女人的呼吸温暖在他的脸颊上,她的眼睛似乎在萎缩,他那坚硬的小手像火一样燃烧着。
“我相信你是对的,”他喊道。“我已经爱上你了。”
她轻蔑地垂下她那厚厚的流苏,注视着他,收回了她的手。
“那就别到另一半去,不然你会后悔的。”
“我可以吗?”钝问。“那是我的事。来吧,你的小狐狸,给我吻你说我是想问你下,”他把她抱在怀里。
一瞬间,她扭动着自己,用闪光的眼睛面对着他。
“你敢!“她哭了。用力量亲吻我!小熊维尼!你像个小学生一样做爱。如果你能让我喜欢你,我会经常吻你。如果你不能,请保持距离。
钝不知道笑或是生气的拒绝。他意识到自己处于相当可笑的境地,于是决定大笑起来。
“你是一个喷火,太。我该怎么做才能让你喜欢我?“
她为他做了一个屈膝礼。
“那是你的事,”她说;而Frere先生的头上出现了同伴,冲走后,感到相当困惑,但不满意。
“她是个好姑娘,哎呀,”他说,用他的帽子,“我挂了如果她不是甜在我身上。”
然后,当他在甲板上踱步时,老人开始轻轻地吹口哨,并朝那个不友好地走了他的地方的人瞥了一眼。但他至今仍有点羞愧,保持着超然的态度。
Maurice Frere的问候就足够短。
“嗯,莎拉,”他说,“你发脾气了吗?“
她皱了皱眉头。
“你为什么打那个人?他没有伤害你。”
“他离开了自己的位置。他有什么事要做?我们必须将这些可怜虫,我的女孩。”
“否则对你来说太贵了,是吗?毛里斯先生,你认为一个人能捕到一艘船吗?“
“不,但一百可能。”
“胡说!他们能对士兵做什么?有五十名士兵。”
“有,但-”
“但是什么?“
“好吧,没关系。这是违反规定的,我不会遵守的。”
“不是根据Kin
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