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第29节 开庭 【
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文章摘要:开庭 ,旧石器时一元拍小家具,一枝一栖慈眉善眼专利权。

法院里以及一般人口头所说的贝尼代托的案件已经轰动了整个巴黎。由于他时常出现于巴黎咖啡馆、安顿大马路和布洛涅大道上,重庆时时彩五星定胆:所以在他短暂的显赫的日子里。这个假卡瓦尔康蒂已结交了一大批相识。报纸上曾报道他狱中的生活和冒充上流绅士时的经历;凡是认识卡瓦尔康蒂王子的人,对他的命运都有一种抑遏不住的好奇心,他们都决定不惜任何代价设法去旁听对贝尼代托案件审判。在许多人眼中,贝尼代托即使不是法律的一个牺牲品,至少也是法律的一个过失。

他的父亲卡瓦尔康蒂先生曾在巴黎露过面,大家认为他会再来保护这个闻名遐迩的儿子。好些人知道他到基督山伯爵家里时穿的是绿底绣黑青蛙的外套,他们对他那种庄严的姿态和绅士风度曾留下很深刻的印象。的确,只要不张口说话,不计算数字,他扮演一个老贵族实在很出色。至于被告本人,在许多人的记忆中,他非常和蔼、漂亮豪爽,以致认为他可能是一次阴谋的牺牲品,因为在这个世界里,拥有财富常常会引起别人的暗中怨恨和嫉妒。所以,人人都想到法院里去,——有些是去看热闹,有些是去评头论足。从早晨七点钟起,铁门外便已排起了长队,在开庭前一小时,法庭里便已挤满了那些获得特许证的每逢到审判某一件特殊案子的日子,在法官进来以前,有时甚至在法官进来以后,法庭象一个客厅一样,许多互相认识的人打招呼、谈话,而他们中间隔着太多的律师、旁观者和宪兵的时候,他们就用暗号来互相交流。

这是一个夏季过后的一个秋高气爽的日子。维尔福先生早晨所看见的那些云层都已象耍魔术似地消失了,这是九月里最温和最灿烂的一天。

波尚正在向四周张望,他是无冕国王,每一个地方都有他的宝座。他看见了夏多·勒诺和德布雷,德布雷这时刚劝服坐在他们前面的一个副警长和他们交换座位。那可敬的副警长,认识部长的秘书和这位新的财主,便答应特别照顾这两位旁听者,允许当他们去同波尚打招呼的时候为他们保留座位。

“嗯!”波尚说,“我们就要看见我们的朋友啦!”

“是的,的确!”德布雷答道。“那可敬的王子!那个意大利王子真是见鬼!”

“他是但丁给他写过家谱,在《神曲》里有案可查呀。”

“该上绞刑架的贵族!”夏多·勒诺冷冷地说。

“他会判死刑吗?”德布雷问波尚。

“亲爱的,我认为那个问题是应该我们来问你呐,这种消息你比我们灵通得多。你昨天晚上在部长的家里见到审判长了吗?”

“见到了。”

“他怎么说?”

“说出来会使你们大吃一惊。”

“噢,赶快告诉我吧,那么!我有好久都不曾听到惊人的事情了。”

“嗯,他告诉我说:贝尼代托被人认为是一条狡猾的蛇、一个机警的巨人,实际上他只是一个非常愚蠢的下等流氓,他的脑子结构在死后是不值得加以分析的。”

“什么!”波尚说,“他扮演王子扮得非常妙呀。”

“在你看来是这样,你厌恶那些倒霉的亲王,总是很高兴能在他们身上发现过错,但在我则不然,我凭本能就能辨别一位绅士,能象一只研究家谱学的猎犬那样嗅出一个贵族家庭的气息。”

“那么你从来都不相信他有头衔罗?”

“相信!相信亲王头衔,但不相信他有王子的风度。”

“错啊,”德布雷说,“可是,我向你保证,他跟许多人交往得非常好,我曾在部长的家里遇到过他。”

“啊,是的!”夏多·勒诺说。“你认为部长就能懂得王子的风度吗!”

“你刚才说的话很妙,夏多·勒诺。”波尚大笑着说。

“但是,”德布雷对波尚说,如果说我与审判长谈过话,你大概就与检察官谈过话了吧。”

“那是不可能的事。最近这一星期来,维尔福先生家发生了一连串奇怪的家庭伤心事,还有他女儿奇怪的死去。”

“奇怪!你是什么意思,波尚?”

“噢,行了!别装样了,难道部长家里发生的这一切你毫无知觉吗?”波尚说,一面把单眼镜搁到他的眼睛上,竭边想使它不掉下来。

“我亲爱的阁下,”夏多·勒诺说,“允许我告诉你:对于摆弄单片眼镜,你懂得还不及德布雷的一半呢。教他一教,德布雷。”

“看,”波尚说,“我不会弄错的呀。”

“出什么事了?”

“是她!”

“她?她是谁呀?”

“他们说她已离开巴黎了呀。”

“欧热妮小姐?”夏多·勒诺说,“她回来了吗?”

“不,是她的母亲。”

“腾格拉尔夫人?胡说!不可能的,”夏多·勒诺说,”她女儿出走才十天,她丈夫破产才三天,她就到外面来了。”

德布雷略微红了红脸,顺着波尚所指的方向望去。“噢,”

他说,“那只是一位戴面纱的贵妇人,一位外国公主,——或许是卡瓦尔康蒂的母亲。但你刚才在谈一个非常有趣的问题,波尚。”

“我?”

“是的,你在告诉我们关于瓦朗蒂娜奇特的死。”

“啊,是的,不错。但维尔福夫人怎么不在这儿呢?”

“可怜又可爱的女人!”德布雷说,“她无疑是正忙着为医院提炼药水,或为她自己和她的朋友配制美容剂。你们可知道她每年在这种娱乐上要花掉两三千银币吗?我很高兴看见她,因为我非常喜欢她。”

“我却非常讨厌她。”夏多·勒诺说。

“为什么?”

“我不知道。我们为什么会爱?我们为什么会恨?我是天生讨厌她的。”

“说得更准确些,是出于本能。”

“或许如此。但还是回到你所说的话题上来吧,波尚。”

“好!”波尚答道,“诸位,你们想不想知道维尔福家为什么一下子死了那么多人?”

“多才好呢。”夏多·勒诺说。

“亲爱的,你可以在圣西门的书里找到那句话。”

“但事情发生在维尔福先生的家里,所以,我们还是回到事情本身上来吧。”

“对!”德布雷说,“你承认我一直都在注意着那座房子,最近三个月来,那儿始终挂着黑纱,前天,夫人还对我说起那座房子与瓦朗蒂娜的关系呢。”

“夫人是谁?”夏多·勒诺问道。

“当然是部长的太太罗!”

“噢,对不起!我从来没有拜访过部长,让王子们去做那种事情。”

“真的,以前你只是漂亮,现在你变得光彩照人了,伯爵,可怜可怜我们吧,不然你就象另外一个朱庇特,把我们都烧死啦。”

“我不再说话了!”夏多·勒诺说,“真见鬼,别挑剔我所说的每一个字吧。”

“来,让们来听完你的故事吧,波尚,我告诉你,夫人前天还问到我这件事情。开导我一下吧,让我去告诉她一些消息。”

“嗯,诸位,维尔福先生家里的人之所以死得那样多,是因为那座屋子里有一个杀人犯!”

那两个年轻人都打了一个寒颤,因为这种念头他们已不止想到过一次了。

“那个杀人犯是谁呢?”他们同声问。

“爱德华!”

听者所爆发出来的一阵大笑丝毫末使那个说话的人,感到窘迫,他继续说:“是的,诸位,是爱德华,他在杀人的技术方面可称得上是一个老手。”

“你在开玩笑。”

“决不。我昨天雇用了一个刚从维尔福先生家逃出来的仆人。我准备明天就打发他走了,他的饭量是这样的大,他要补充他在那座屋子里吓得不敢进食的损失。嗯!听我说。”

“我们在听着呢。”

“看来很可能是那可爱的孩子弄到了一只装着某种药水的瓶子,他随时用它来对付他所不喜欢的那些人。最初是圣·梅朗夫人让他厌恶,所以他就把他的药倒出了三滴, ——三滴就是够让她丧命了。然后是那勇敢的巴罗斯,诺瓦蒂埃爷爷的老仆人,他不免要触犯那可爱的孩子,这是你们知道的。那可爱的孩子也给了他三滴药。然后就轮到那可怜的瓦朗蒂娜了,她并没有得罪他,但是他嫉妒她,他同样给她倒了三滴药精,而她象其他的人一样,走向了末日。”

“咦,你讲给我们听的是一个什么鬼故事呀?”夏多·勒诺说。

“是的,”波尚说,“属于另一个世界上故事,是不是?”

“荒谬绝伦。”德布雷说。

“啊!”波尚说,“你怀疑我?嗯,你可以去问我的仆人,或说得更确切些,去问那个明天就不再是我的仆人的那个人,那座屋子里的人都那样说。”

“而这种药水呢?它在什么地方?它是什么东西?”

“那孩子把它藏起来了。”

“但他在哪儿找到的呢?”

“在他母亲的实验室里。”

“那么,是他的母亲把毒药放在实验室里的吗?”

“这叫我怎么回答呢?你简直象一个检察官在审问犯人似的。我只是复述我所听到的话而已。我让你们自己去打听,此外我就无能为力了。那个可怜的家伙前一阵吓得不敢吃东西。”

“简直让人难以置信!”

“不,亲爱的,这并没有什么无法理解的,你看见去年黎希街的那个孩子吗?他乘他哥哥姊姊睡着的时候把一枚针戳到他们的耳朵里,弄死了他们,他只是觉得这样好玩。我们的后一代非常早熟的!”

“来,波尚,”夏多·勒诺说,“我可以打赌,你讲给我们听的这个故事,实际上你自己压根都不相信,是不是!”我没有看见基督山伯爵,他为什么不来?”

“他是不爱凑热闹的,”德布雷说,“而且,他在这儿露面不大适当,因为他刚让卡瓦尔康蒂敲去了一笔钱,卡瓦尔康蒂大概是拿着假造的介绍信去见他,骗走了他十万法郎。”

“且慢,夏多·勒诺先生,”波尚说,“莫雷尔出什么事了?”

“真的!我拜访过他三次,一次都没有见到他。可是,他的妹妹似乎并没有什么不安的样子,她对我说,虽然她也有两三天没有见到他了,但她确信他很好。”

“啊,现在我明白为什么,基督山伯爵不能在法庭上露面了!”波尚说。

“为什么不能?”

“因为他是这幕戏里的一个演员。”

“那么,难道是他暗杀了谁吗?”德布雷问。

“不,正巧相反,他是他们想暗杀的目标。你们知道:卡德鲁斯先生是在离开他家的时候被他的朋友贝尼代托杀死的。你们知道:那件曾轰动一时的背心是在伯爵的家里找到的,里面藏着那封阻止签订婚约的信。你们见过那件背心吗?血迹斑斑的,在那张桌子上,充作物证。”

“啊,好极了!”

“嘘,诸位,法官来了,让我们回到自己的位子上去吧。”

法庭里响起一阵骚动声,那位副警长向他的两个被保护人用力地招呼了一声“喂!”司仪出现了,他用博马舍时代以来干他这一职业的人所特具的尖锐的声音喊道:“开庭了,诸位!”  

THE BENEDETTO affair, as it was called at the Palais, and by people in general, had produced a tremendous sensation. Frequenting the Café de Paris, the Boulevard de Gand, and the Bois de Boulogne, during his brief career of splendor, the false Cavalcanti had formed a host of acquaintances. The papers had related his various adventures, both as the man of fashion and the galley-slave; and as every one who had been personally acquainted with Prince Andrea Cavalcanti experienced a lively curiosity in his fate, they all determined to spare no trouble in endeavoring to witness the trial of M. Benedetto for the murder of his comrade in chains. In the eyes of many, Benedetto appeared, if not a victim to, at least an instance of, the fallibility of the law. M. Cavalcanti, his father, had been seen in Paris, and it was expected that he would re-appear to claim the illustrious outcast. Many, also, who were not aware of the circumstances attending his withdrawal from Paris, were struck with the worthy appearance, the gentlemanly bearing, and the knowledge of the world displayed by the old patrician, who certainly played the nobleman very well, so long as he said nothing, and made no arithmetical calculations. As for the accused himself, many remembered him as being so amiable, so handsome, and so liberal, that they chose to think him the victim of some conspiracy, since in this world large fortunes frequently excite the malevolence and jealousy of some unknown enemy. Every one, therefore, ran to the court; some to witness the sight, others to comment upon it. From seven o'clock in the morning a crowd was stationed at the iron gates, and an hour before the trial commenced the hall was full of the privileged. Before the entrance of the magistrates, and indeed frequently afterwards, a court of justice, on days when some especial trial is to take place, resembles a drawing-room where many persons recognize each other and converse if they can do so without losing their seats; or, if they are separated by too great a number of lawyers, communicate by signs.

It was one of the magnificent autumn days which make amends for a short summer; the clouds which M. de Villefort had perceived at sunrise had all disappeared as if by magic, and one of the softest and most brilliant days of September shone forth in all its splendor.

Beauchamp, one of the kings of the press, and therefore claiming the right of a throne everywhere, was eying everybody through his monocle. He perceived Chateau-Renaud and Debray, who had just gained the good graces of a sergeant-at-arms, and who had persuaded the latter to let them stand before, instead of behind him, as they ought to have done. The worthy sergeant had recognized the minister's secretary and the millionnaire, and, by way of paying extra attention to his noble neighbors, promised to keep their places while they paid a visit to Beauchamp.

"Well," said Beauchamp, "we shall see our friend!"

"Yes, indeed!" replied Debray. "That worthy prince. Deuce take those Italian princes!"

"A man, too, who could boast of Dante for a genealogist, and could reckon back to the Divine Comedy."

"A nobility of the rope!" said Chateau-Renaud phlegmatically.

"He will be condemned, will he not?" asked Debray of Beauchamp.

"My dear fellow, I think we should ask you that question; you know such news much better than we do. Did you see the president at the minister's last night?"

"Yes."

"What did he say?"

"Something which will surprise you."

"Oh, make haste and tell me, then; it is a long time since that has happened."

"Well, he told me that Benedetto, who is considered a serpent of subtlety and a giant of cunning, is really but a very commonplace, silly rascal, and altogether unworthy of the experiments that will be made on his phrenological organs after his death."

"Bah," said Beauchamp, "he played the prince very well."

"Yes, for you who detest those unhappy princes, Beauchamp, and are always delighted to find fault with them; but not for me, who discover a gentleman by instinct, and who scent out an aristocratic family like a very bloodhound of heraldry."

"Then you never believed in the principality?"

"Yes.--in the principality, but not in the prince."

"Not so bad," said Beauchamp; "still, I assure you, he passed very well with many people; I saw him at the ministers' houses."

"Ah, yes," said Chateau-Renaud. "The idea of thinking ministers understand anything about princes!"

"There is something in what you have just said," said Beauchamp, laughing.

"But," said Debray to Beauchamp, "if I spoke to the president, you must have been with the procureur."

"It was an impossibility; for the last week M. de Villefort has secluded himself. It is natural enough; this strange chain of domestic afflictions, followed by the no less strange death of his daughter"--

"Strange? What do you mean, Beauchamp?"

"Oh, yes; do you pretend that all this has been unobserved at the minister's?" said Beauchamp, placing his eye-glass in his eye, where he tried to make it remain.

"My dear sir," said Chateau-Renaud, "allow me to tell you that you do not understand that manoeuvre with the eye-glass half so well as Debray. Give him a lesson, Debray."

"Stay," said Beauchamp, "surely I am not deceived."

"What is it?"

"It is she!"

"Whom do you mean?"

"They said she had left."

"Mademoiselle Eugénie?" said Chateau-Renaud; "has she returned?"

"No, but her mother."

"Madame Danglars? Nonsense! Impossible!" said Chateau-Renaud; "only ten days after the flight of her daughter, and three days from the bankruptcy of her husband?"

Debray colored slightly, and followed with his eyes the direction of Beauchamp's glance. "Come," he said, "it is only a veiled lady, some foreign princess, perhaps the mother of Cavalcanti. But you were just speaking on a very interesting topic, Beauchamp."

"I?"

"Yes; you were telling us about the extraordinary death of Valentine."

"Ah, yes, so I was. But how is it that Madame de Villefort is not here?"

"Poor, dear woman," said Debray, "she is no doubt occupied in distilling balm for the hospitals, or in making cosmetics for herself or friends. Do you know she spends two or three thousand crowns a year in this amusement? But I wonder she is not here. I should have been pleased to see her, for I like her very much."

"And I hate her," said Chateau-Renaud.

"Why?"

"I do not know. Why do we love? Why do we hate? I detest her, from antipathy."

"Or, rather, by instinct."

"Perhaps so. But to return to what you were saying, Beauchamp."

"Well, do you know why they die so multitudinously at M. de Villefort's?"

"'Multitudinously' is good," said Chateau-Renaud.

"My good fellow, you'll find the word in Saint-Simon."

"But the thing itself is at M. de Villefort's; but let's get back to the subject."

"Talking of that," said Debray, "Madame was making inquiries about that house, which for the last three months has been hung with black."

"Who is Madame?" asked Chateau-Renaud.

"The minister's wife, pardieu!"

"Oh, your pardon! I never visit ministers; I leave that to the princes."

"Really, You were only before sparkling, but now you are brilliant; take compassion on us, or, like Jupiter, you will wither us up."

"I will not speak again," said Chateau-Renaud; "pray have compassion upon me, and do not take up every word I say."

"Come, let us endeavor to get to the end of our story, Beauchamp; I told you that yesterday Madame made inquiries of me upon the subject; enlighten me, and I will then communicate my information to her."

"Well, gentlemen, the reason people die so multitudinously (I like the word) at M. de Villefort's is that there is an assassin in the house!" The two young men shuddered, for the same idea had more than once occurred to them. "And who is the assassin;" they asked together.

"Young Edward!" A burst of laughter from the auditors did not in the least disconcert the speaker, who continued,--"Yes, gentlemen; Edward, the infant phenomenon, who is quite an adept in the art of killing."

"You are jesting."

"Not at all. I yesterday engaged a servant, who had just left M. de Villefort--I intend sending him away to-morrow, for he eats so enormously, to make up for the fast imposed upon him by his terror in that house. Well, now listen."

"We are listening."

"It appears the dear child has obtained possession of a bottle containing some drug, which he every now and then uses against those who have displeased him. First, M. and Madame de Saint-Méran incurred his displeasure, so he poured out three drops of his elixir--three drops were sufficient; then followed Barrois, the old servant of M. Noirtier, who sometimes rebuffed this little wretch--he therefore received the same quantity of the elixir; the same happened to Valentine, of whom he was jealous; he gave her the same dose as the others, and all was over for her as well as the rest."

"Why, what nonsense are you telling us?" said Chateau-Renaud.

"Yes, it is an extraordinary story," said Beauchamp; "is it not?"

"It is absurd," said Debray.

"Ah," said Beauchamp, "you doubt me? Well, you can ask my servant, or rather him who will no longer be my servant to-morrow, it was the talk of the house."

"And this elixir, where is it? what is it?"

"The child conceals it."

"But where did he find it?"

"In his mother's laboratory."

"Does his mother then, keep poisons in her laboratory?"

"How can I tell? You are questioning me like a king's attorney. I only repeat what I have been told, and like my informant I can do no more. The poor devil would eat nothing, from fear."

"It is incredible!"

"No, my dear fellow, it is not at all incredible. You saw the child pass through the Rue Richelieu last year, who amused himself with killing his brothers and sisters by sticking pins in their ears while they slept. The generation who follow us are very precocious."

"Come, Beauchamp," said Chateau-Renaud, "I will bet anything you do not believe a word of all you have been telling us."

"I do not see the Count of Monte Cristo here."

"He is worn out," said Debray; "besides, he could not well appear in public, since he has been the dupe of the Cavalcanti, who, it appears, presented themselves to him with false letters of credit, and cheated him out of 100,000 francs upon the hypothesis of this principality."

"By the way, M. de Chateau-Renaud," asked Beauchamp, "how is Morrel?"

"Ma foi! I have called three times without once seeing him. Still, his sister did not seem uneasy, and told me that though she had not seen him for two or three days, she was sure he was well."

"Ah, now I think of it, the Count of Monte Cristo cannot appear in the hall," said Beauchamp.

"Why not?"

"Because he is an actor in the drama."

"Has he assassinated any one, then?" "No, on the contrary, they wished to assassinate him. You know that it was in leaving his house that M. de Caderousse was murdered by his friend Benedetto. You know that the famous waistcoat was found in his house, containing the letter which stopped the signature of the marriage-contract. Do you see the waistcoat? There it is, all blood-stained, on the desk, as a testimony of the crime."

"Ah, very good."

"Hush, gentlemen, here is the court; let us go back to our places."

A noise was heard in the hall; the sergeant called his two patrons with an energetic "hem!" and the door-keeper appearing, called out with that shrill voice peculiar to his order, ever since the days of Beaumarchais, "The court, gentlemen!"



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