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书琴的客厅

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翻译:霍乱时期的爱情 2  

2008-06-06 13:50:39|  分类: 我的翻译 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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我就按照我的顺序标上页数了。

 

2

 

他给警察局长和实习医生的指示迅速而明确:没有必要做尸检,房间里的气味足以证明死亡是氰化物的挥发导致的。是显影盘里的摄影药剂激发了氰化物的挥发,而耶利米.德.圣特阿莫尔对这些太熟悉了,不可能是意外。警察局长显出些微踌躇,立刻被医生以他典型的方式打断了:“别忘了是我签署的死亡证明书。”年轻的实习医生很失望,他还从来没遇到过这种机会,可以通过尸体解剖研究氰化金的反应。乌尔比诺医生本来很惊讶以前没在医学院见过他,但年轻人的安第斯口音和他动不动就脸红的样子马上使他明白,他多半是刚到这个城市。“要不了多久准有某个为爱情发疯的家伙会给你这个机会的。”他说,也就在这时候他意识到,在他记忆中无数个自杀的人当中,这是第一个用氰化物但却不是为爱情的苦痛而死的人。他改了改腔调,对实习医生说:

“下次你有机会的时候,要仔细观察,在他们的心脏部位几乎都会出现结晶。”
然后他转向警察局长,仿佛对一个下属说话。他吩咐他绕过一切法定程序以便当天下午就能举行一个最慎重的葬礼。他说:“等一会我会去和市长说。”医生知道耶利米.德.圣特阿莫尔过着很原始简朴的生活,他靠技术挣的钱远远花不完,在房间的某个抽屉里准会有足够的钱支付葬礼的费用。
“不过要是你找不到,那也没关系,”医生说,“我会照管所有的事。”

尽管他觉得这事儿不会引起媒体的兴趣,他还是关照警察局长对媒体声称摄影师是自然死亡。他说:“如果必要,我去和主管人说。”警察局长,一个严肃而谦恭的人,他很知道医生的公民责任感曾激怒过他最亲近的朋友,而此刻就为了快一点举办葬礼,他却如此轻易地跳过一切法律手续,这不仅使他大为惊讶。而他唯一不情愿去做的是他得去和大主教谈谈以便让耶利米.德.圣特阿莫尔葬在圣地。警察局长为自己的无礼感到惊讶和抱歉:

“我能理解,他是个圣者。”他说。

“比那更稀罕”,乌尔比诺医生说,“一个无神论的圣者。不过那都由上帝去裁定。”

远处,从这座殖民城市的另一边,传来教堂大弥撒的钟声。乌尔比诺医生带上他镶金边的半圆眼镜,掏出他的表,表上系着优雅细长的表链,轻轻一触表盖就打开了:看来他要错过圣灵降临节的弥撒了。

客厅里摆着一架巨大的照相机,下面装有轮子,仿佛公共体育场用的那种,背景是用自制的颜料画的海上的黎明,墙上贴满了孩子们的各种纪念照片:第一次领圣餐,穿兔宝宝装的照片,以及快乐的生日照。年复一年,下午在这里下棋时,在思考棋局的间歇,乌尔比诺医生看着那些墙壁逐渐被贴满,他常常带着悲哀的颤栗想到:这些不经意的肖像照组成的画廊里孕育着未来的城市,那城市将被这些不知名的孩子们管理或者败坏,而他的荣耀将荡然无存。

桌子上,一个罐子里插着几根老水手的烟管,旁边是一盘没下完的棋。尽管又沮丧又着急要走,乌尔比诺医生还是忍不住去研究了一下。他知道这是前一天晚上的棋局,因为耶利米.德.圣特阿莫尔每天黄昏都会和至少三个对手下棋,而他总是下完每一盘棋,并且把棋盘和棋子收回盒子,把盒子放在桌子抽屉里。医生还知道他执白棋,这次,很明显白棋在四步以内将被毫不留情的将死。“如果是他杀,这可是一条好线索,”乌尔比诺医生对自己说,“我知道只有一个人能布下这个局。”如果这对耶利米.德.圣特阿莫尔性命攸关,那他以后就得弄明白,为什么一个不屈不挠的战士,一个已经习惯于战斗到底的人,会让他生命里最后一场战役不了了之。

早上六点,在做最后一次巡回时,守夜人看到朝街的门上钉着张纸条,上面写着“不用敲门,直接进来,通知警察。”过了一会儿警察局长就带着实习医生到了,他们俩已开始搜索房间,看看有什么证据和房间里明明白白的苦杏仁气味相悖。就在医生研究棋局的这短短几分钟内,警察局长在桌上的纸堆里发现了一个信封,写明是给乌尔比诺医生的。因为封蜡用得太多,不得不把信封扯碎才取出信来。医生拉开黑色的窗帘好让光线更明亮些,然后很快地浏览了一遍这封信。一共十一张信纸,两面全都细心地写满了,在读到开头的几段时医生就知道他肯定要错过圣灵降临节弥撒了。他一边读一边不安地喘息,有时翻回去几页以找到他失去的线索,等他读完,他看上去仿佛从很久远的地方回到了现实。尽管他尽力控制,他的颓丧还是很明显:他嘴唇发紫,把信折好放回背心口袋的时候手一直在颤抖。然后他想起来警察局长和实习医生,透过忧伤,他恍惚地微笑:“没什么特别的,”他说,“他最后的一些嘱托。”

这只是一半事实,但他们完全相信了。因为医生吩咐他们掀起地板上一块松动的瓷砖,那下面有一本旧账本,里面有保险箱的密码。钱没有他们想得那么多,但足够支付葬礼和其他一些花费了。
这时医生意识到他不可能在宣读福音书之前赶到教堂了。
“从我记事起这是第三次错过星期日的弥撒,”他说,“不过上帝会了解的。”

--------------------------------------------

 

2

 

His instructions to the inspector and the intern were precise and rapid. There was no need for an autopsy;the odor in the house was sufficient proof that the cause of death had been the cyanide vapors activated in the tray by some photographic acid, and Jeremiah de Saint-Amour knew too much about those matters for it to have been an accident. When the inspector showed some hesitation, he cut him off with the kind of remark that was typical of his manner:" Don't forget that I am the one who signs the death certificate."The young doctor was disappointed: he had never had the opportunity to study the effects of gold cyanide on a cadaver. Dr. Juvenal Urbino had been surprised that he had not seen him at the Medical School, but he understood in an instant from the young man's easy blush and Andean accent that he was probably a recent arrival to the city. He said:"There is bound to be someone driven mad by love who will give you the chance one of these days." And only after he said it did he realize that among the countless suicides he could remember, this was the first with cyanide that had not been caused by the sufferings of love. Then something changed in the tone of his voice.

 


" And when you do find one, observe with care," he said to the intern:"they almost always have crystals in their heart."

Then he spoke to the inspector as he would have to a subordinate.He ordered him to circumvent all the legal procedures so that the burial could take place that same afternoon and with the greatest discretion. He said:"I will speak to the Mayor later."He knew that Jeremiah de Saint-Amour lived in primitive austerity and that he earned much more with his art than he needed, so that in one of the drawers in the house there was bound to be more than enough money for the funeral expenses.

"But if you do not find it, it does not matter,"he said."I will take care of everything."

He ordered him to tell the press that the photographer had died of natural causes, although he thought the news would in no way interest them. He said:"If it is necessary, I will speak to the Governor." The inspector, a serious and humble civil servant, knew that the Doctor's sense of civic duty exasperated even his closest friends, and he was surprised at the ease with which he skipped over legal formalities in order to expedite the burial. The only thing he was not willing to do was speak to the Archbishop so that Jeremiah de Saint-Amour could be buried in holy ground. The inspector, astonished at his own impertinence, attempted to make excuses for him.


"I understood this man was a saint," he said.

"Something even rarer," said Dr.Urbino. "An atheistic saint. But those are matters for God to decide."

In the distance, on the other side of the colonial city, the bells of the Cathedral were ringing for High Mass. Dr. Urbino put on his half-moon glasses with the gold rims and consulted the watch on its chain, slim, elegant, with the cover that opened at a touch: he was about to miss Pentecost Mass.

In the parlor was a huge camera on wheels like the ones used in public parks, and the backdrop of a marine twilight, painted with homemade paints, and the walls papered with pictures of children at memorable moments:the first Communion, the bunny costume, the happy birthday. Year after year, during contemplative pauses on afternoons of chess, Dr. Urbino had seen the gradual covering over of the walls, and he had often thought with a shudder of sorrow that in the gallery of casual portraits lay the germ of the future city, governed and corrupted by those unknown children, where not even the ashes of his glory would remain.


On the desk, next to a jar that held several old sea dog's pipes, was the chessboard with an unfinished game. Despite his haste and his somber mood, Dr. Urbino could not resist the temptation to study it. He knew it was the previous night's game, for Jeremiah de Saint-Amour played at dusk every day of the week with at least three different opponents, but he always finished every game and then placed the board and chessmen in their box and stored the box in a desk drawer. The Doctor knew he played with the white pieces and that this time it was evident he was going to be defeated without mercy in four moves. "If there had been a crime, this would be a good clue,"Urbino said to himself. "I know only one man capable of devising this trap."If his life depended on it, he had to find out later why that indomitable soldier, accustomed to fighting to the last drop of blood, had left the final battle of his life unfinished.


At six that morning, as he was making his last rounds, the night watchman had seen the note nailed to street door: Come in without knocking and inform the police. A short while later the inspector arrived with the intern, and the two of them had searched the house for some evidence that might contradict the unmistakable breath of bitter almonds. But in the brief minutes the Doctor needed to study the unfinished game, the inspector discovered an envelope among the papers on the desk, addressed to Dr. Juvenal Urbino and sealed with so much sealing wax that it had to be ripped to pieces to get the letter out. The Doctor opened the black curtain over the window to have more light, gave a quick glance at the eleven sheets covered on both sides by a diligent handwriting,and when he had read the first paragraph he knew that he would miss Pentecost Communion. He read with agitated breath, turning back on several pages to find the thread he had lost, and when he finished he seemed to return from very far away and very long ago. His despondency was obvious despite his effort to control it: his lips were as blue as the corpse and he could not stop the trembling of his fingers as he refolded the letter and placed it in his vest pocket. Then he remembered the inspector and the young doctor, and he smiled at them through the mists of grief.
"Nothing in particular," he said. "His final instructions."


It was a half-truth, but they thought it complete because he ordered them to lift a loose tile from the floor, where they found a worn account book that contained the combination to the strongbox. There was not as much money as they expected, but it was more than enough for the funeral expenses and to meet other minor obligations. Then Dr. Urbino realized that he could not get to the Cathedral before the Gospel reading.
"It's the third time I've missed Sunday Mass since I've had the use of my reason,"he said, "But God understands."


 

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