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三十九级台阶
The Thirty-Nine Steps


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    2 The milkman starts his travels
    2 送奶员开始旅行
    
    
    I sat down in an armchair and felt very sick. After about five minutes I started shaking. The poor white face with its staring eyes was too much for me,so I got a tablecloth and covered it. Then I took the whisky bottle and drank several mouthfuls. I had seen men die violently before. I had killed a few myself in the Matabele war;but this was different. After a few more minutes I managed to calm myself down a little. I looked at my watch and saw that it was halfpast ten. I searched the flat carefully,but there was nobody there. Then I locked the doors and windows.
    我坐在扶手椅上,感到很恶心。五分钟后开始颤栗。我受不了那张可怜的、惨白的脸和直瞪蹬的眼睛,因此,拿了一块桌布把它盖起来。然后抄起威士忌酒瓶喝了几口。以前我见过暴死的,在麦特比尔战争中也亲手杀过几个人;但这回却有所不同。又过了几分钟我才使自己稍微平静一点。看了看表,是十点半。我仔细地把寓所搜查了一遍,没发现什么人。然后就把门窗都锁起来。
    By this time I was beginning to think more clearly. It looked bad for me-that was clear. It was now certain that Scudder's story was true-the proof was lying under the tablecloth. His enemies had found him and made sure of his silence. But he had been in my flat for four days,and they must think he had told his story to me. So I would be the next to die. It might be that night,or the next day,or the day after,but it was sure to happen.
    直到此刻我才开始比较冷静地思考。情况对我不利——这很显然。斯卡德尔所言肯定不虚——证据就在桌布下面躺着。他的敌人找到了他,使他彻底沉默了。然而他在我寓所呆了四天,他们肯定认为他把事情告诉了我。所以下一个大概就轮到我死了。可能在今天晚上,可能在明天,也可能在后天,但我是死定了。
    Then I thought of another problem. I could call the police now,or go to bed and wait for Paddock to discover the body and call them in the morning. But what would the police think?What story would I tell them about Scudder?I had lied to Paddock about him,and my story would be hard to believe. They would arrest me for murder,and I had no real friends in England to help me. Perhaps that was part of the plan. An English prison would be a safe place for me until the 15th of June.
    接着我考虑了另一个问题。我可以现在就报警,或者上床睡觉,等帕多克早晨来发现了尸体再报警。可是警察会怎么想呢?我该如何向警察讲斯卡德尔的事呢?关于斯卡德尔的事我已经对帕多克撒了谎,因此我的话很难令人相信。他们会以谋杀的罪名逮捕我,在英格兰我又没有好朋友帮忙。也许这正是他们计划的一部分。在英国监狱呆到六月十五日对我来说倒是最安全。
    Even if the police did believe my story,I would still be helping Scudder's enemies. Karolides would stay at home,which was what they wanted. Scudder's death had made me certain that his story was true;now I felt responsible for continuing his work. I hate to see a good man beaten,and if I carried on in Scudder's place,the murderers might not win.
    即使警察相信我的话,我仍然是帮了斯卡德尔敌人的忙。卡罗里德斯就会留在国内,这正中他们的下怀。斯卡德尔的死使我确信他的话不假;我觉得现在有责任把他的事做下去。看到好人被打败我心有不甘,而如果我代替斯卡德尔干下去,那些凶手也许就不能得手。
    I decided I must disappear,and remain hidden until just before the 15th of June. Then I must contact some government people and tell them Scudder's story. I wished he had told me more,and that I had listened more carefully to what he had told me. There was a risk that the government would not believe me,but it was my best chance. Perhaps more evidence would appear which would help me to make my story believable.
    我决定必须躲起来,一直藏到六月十五日前。然后我得找政府的人,把斯卡德尔的事告诉他们。我真希望当初他多说点,或者我对他的话听仔细点。如果政府的人不相信我就要冒险了,但我只有这个最佳机会。也许将来证据会多一些,使我的话叫人相信。
    It was now the 24th of May,so I had twenty days of hiding. Two groups of people would be looking for meScudder's enemies,who would want to kill me,and the police,who would want me for Scudder's murder. There was going to be a chase,and,surprisingly,I was almost happy about this. I did not want to sit in one place and wait. If I could move,the situation did not seem so bad.
    现在是五月二十四日,所以我要躲二十天。有两拨人要找我——一拨是斯卡德尔的敌人,他们找我想要杀我;另一拨是警察,他们找我是为斯卡德尔的谋杀案。追踪马上就要开始,不知怎么的,我反倒为此有点乐滋滋的。我不想坐等别人来抓。如果我有所行动,情况未必那么糟糕。
    I wondered if Scudder had any papers which would give me more information about his business. I lifted off the table-cloth and searched him. There were only a few coins in his trouser pockets. There was no sign of the little black notebook. I supposed his murderer had taken that.
    我想斯卡德尔有没有留下什么文件,使我能多了解一些他干的事。我揭开桌布把他搜查了一遍。他裤兜里只有几个硬币。那个小黑笔记本不见了。我猜是那些凶手拿走了。
    When I turned from the body,I noticed that all the cupboards were open. Scudder had been a very careful man,and always kept the place tidy. Someone had been searching for something,and perhaps for the notebook. I went round the flat and found that everything had been searched-the insides of books,cupboards,boxes,even the pockets of my clothes. There was no sign of the notebook,so Scudder's enemies had probably found it in the end.
    我扭过头去,发现所有的橱柜都打开了。斯卡德尔向来十分细心,总是把屋子保持得很整洁。肯定有人找过什么东西,多半是找那个小黑笔记本。我在各屋转了一圈,发现什么都被搜查了一遍——书本、橱柜、盒子、甚至我的衣服口袋。仍然不见那个小黑笔记本,可见斯卡德尔的敌人最后很可能找到了它。
    Then I got out a map of Britain. My plan was to find some wild country. I was used to Africa,and I would feel trapped in the city. I thought Scotland would probably be best,because my family came from Scotland and I could pretend to be a Scotsman easily. The other possibility was to be a German tourist;my father had worked with Germans and I had spoken German often as a boy. But it would probably be better to be a Scotsman in Scotland. I decided to go to Galloway,which,from the map,seemed to be the nearest wild part of Scotland.
    然后我拿出英国地图。我打算找一个人烟稀少的地方。我已经习惯了非洲的生活,在城市会觉得不自由。我想苏格兰也许最理想,因为我老家是苏格兰,我可以不费吹灰之力地冒充苏格兰人。另外一种可能是扮成德国旅游者;我父亲曾和德国人共过事,我还是个孩子的时候就经常讲德语。但在苏格兰装苏格兰人很可能要好一点。我决定去加洛韦,从地图上看那里是最近的苏格兰荒原。
    In the railway timetable I found a train from London at seven-ten in the morning,which would get me to Galloway in the late afternoon. The problem was getting to the station,as I was certain that Scudder's enemies were watching the building. I thought about this problem,had a good idea,went to bed,and slept for two hours.
    火车时刻表上,有一辆从伦敦来的火车早晨七点十分到站,坐上火车傍晚就可以到加洛韦。问题是如何到车站去,因为我肯定斯卡德尔的敌人在监视这座大楼。我把这件事斟酌了一番,想出个好办法,于是上床睡了两个小时。
    I got up at four o'clock. The first light of a summer morning was in the sky and the birds were starting to sing. I put on some old clothes which I used for country walking and some strong walking boots. I pushed another shirt and a toothbrush into my pockets. I had taken a lot of money out of the bank in case Scudder needed it,so I took that as well. Then I cut my long moustache as short as possible.
    我四点钟起床。夏日凌晨的第一缕晨光在天空闪烁,鸟儿也开始鸣啭。我穿上乡间散步时穿的旧衣服而且带着几双走路穿的结实靴子。在口袋里又塞进一件衬衣和一柄牙刷。当初,我从银行取出一大笔钱,以备斯卡德尔不时之需,也一块儿带上。然后我把自己的长胡子尽可能剪短。
    Paddock arrived every morning at seven-thirty. But at about twenty to seven I knew the milkman would come;the noise of the milk bottles usually woke me up. He was a young man with a very short moustache,and he wore a white coat. He was my only chance.
    帕多克每天早晨七点半到。我知道大约六点四十送奶员就会来;奶瓶的碰撞声常常把我吵醒。他是个年轻人,留着小胡子,穿一件白外套。他是我逃脱的唯一机会。
    I had a breakfast of biscuits and whisky and by the time I had finished it was about six o'clock. I got my pipe and started to fill it from my tobacco jar. As I put my fingers into the tobacco,I touched something hard,and pulled out Scudder's little black book.
    早饭我吃了点饼干,喝了点威士忌,吃完饭大约六点钟。我掏出烟斗,从烟罐里取出烟装满烟斗。我的手指刚摸到烟,感觉碰到什么硬东西,一拉拉出斯卡德尔的小黑笔记本。
    This seemed a good sign. I lifted the cloth and looked at Scudder's peaceful face. 'Goodbye,my friend,'I said;'I'm going to do my best for you. Wish me good luck. '
    看来这是个好征兆。我把桌布掀开,望着斯卡德尔安详的脸。“朋友,再见了,”我说,“为你的事我会尽最大努力。祝我好运吧。”
    Six-thirty passed,then six-forty,but still the milkman did not come. Why,oh why,was this the morning he had to be late?
    六点半过去了,六点四十又过去了,可是送奶员还没来。这是怎么回事,为什么他非得今天早晨迟到不可?
    At fourteen minutes to seven I heard him. I opened the door quickly,and he jumped a bit when he saw me.
    到六点四十六分他来了。我急忙把门打开,他看到我吓了一跳。
    'Come in a moment,'I said,and we went back into the hall. 'I can see you're a man who likes a bit of fun. Can you help me?Lend me your hat and coat for a minute and you can have this. '
    “请进来一下,”我说,我们回到大厅。“我看得出来您是个喜欢开点玩笑的人。您能帮我个忙吗?请把您的帽子和外衣借我一下,您可以穿我的。”
    He looked at the money in my hand and smiled. 'What do you want my clothes for?'he asked.
    他看着我手里的钱,笑了。“您借我的衣服干什么?”他问道。
    'It's a game,'I said. 'I haven't time to explain now,but to win I've got to be a milkman for ten minutes. You'll be a bit late,but you'll get the money for your time. '
    “玩个游戏,”我回答,“现在没时间解释,要赢我就非扮十分钟的送奶员不可。您会误点时间,这点钱给您作补偿吧。”
    'All right!'he said. 'I like a game myself. Here you are. '
    “好吧,”他说,“我自己也喜欢玩游戏。给您衣服。”
    I put on his blue hat and white coat,picked up the empty milk bottles,shut my door and went downstairs,whistling.
    我戴上他的蓝帽子,穿上他的白外衣,提起空奶瓶,关上门,吹着口哨走下楼去。
    At first I thought the street was empty. Then I saw a man walking slowly towards me. As he passed,he looked up at a window in the house opposite,and I saw a face look back at him.
    我原以为街上空无一人。后来看到有个人慢慢向我走来。他过去时,抬头望着对面房子的窗户,我看到窗口有一张脸也望着他。
    I crossed the street,still whistling,and then turned down a little side street. As I dropped the hat,coat and milk bottles behind a wall,I heard a church clock;it was seven o'clock.
    我仍然吹着口哨穿过那条街,然后拐进一条小道。把帽子,外衣和牛奶瓶扔在墙后,这时我听到教堂的钟声;正好七点。
    I ran to the station as fast as I could. It was just ten past seven when I reached the platform. I had no time to buy a ticket;the train was already moving. I jumped into the last carriage.
    我尽快奔到车站。赶到站台,恰好七点十分。火车已经开动;没有时间买票了。我一蹦跳上最后一节车厢。
    
    

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