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第4节 第四节 【
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本文地址:http://www.yeidj.com.cn/book/story.php?id=945
文章摘要:第四节 ,文文二来手推车,副议长驿路梅花踪迹。

“但愿那孩子在这儿,重庆时时彩五星定胆:并且我手边有点儿盐就好了,"他说出声来。

他把沉甸甸的钓索挪到左肩上,小心地跪下,在海水里洗手,把手在水里浸了一分多钟,注视着血液在水中漂开去,海水随着船的移动在他手上平稳地拍打着。

“它游得慢多了,"他说。

老人巴不得让他的手在这盐水中多浸一会儿,但害怕那鱼又陡地一歪,于是站起身,打叠起精神,举起那只手,朝着太阳。左不过被钓索勒了一下,割破了肉。然而正是手上最得用的地方。他知道需要这双手来干成这桩事,不喜欢还没动手就让手给割破。

“现在,"等手晒干了,他说,"我该吃小金枪鱼了。我可以用鱼钩把它钓过来,在这儿舒舒服服地吃。”

他跪下来,用鱼钩在船梢下找到了那条金枪鱼,小心不让它碰着那几卷钓索,把它钩到自己身边来。他又用左肩挎住了钓索,把左手和胳臂撑在座板上,从鱼钩上取下金枪鱼,再把鱼钩放回原处。他把一膝压在鱼身上,从它的脖颈竖割到尾部,割下一条条深红色的鱼肉。这些肉条的断面是楔形的,他从脊骨边开始割,直割到肚子边,他割下了六条,把它们摊在船头的木板上,在裤子上擦擦刀子,拎起鱼尾巴,把骨头扔在海里。

“我想我是吃不下一整条的,"他说,用刀子把一条鱼肉一切为二。他感到那钓索一直紧拉着,他的左手抽起筋来。这左手紧紧握住了粗钓索,他厌恶地朝它看着。

“这算什么手啊,"他说。"随你去抽筋吧。变成一只鸟爪吧。对你可不会有好处。”

快点,他想,望着斜向黑暗的深水里的钓索。快把它吃了,会使手有力气的。不能怪这只手不好,你跟这鱼已经打了好几个钟点的交道啦。不过你是能跟它周旋到底的。马上把金枪鱼吃了。

他拿起半条鱼肉,放在嘴里,慢慢地咀嚼。倒并不难吃。好好儿咀嚼,他想,把汁水都咽下去。如果加上一点儿酸橙或者柠檬或者盐,味道可不会坏。

“手啊,你感觉怎么样?"他问那只抽筋的手,它僵直得几乎跟死尸一般。"我为了你再吃一点儿。”他吃着他切成两段的那条鱼肉的另外一半。他细细地咀嚼,然后把鱼皮吐出来。

“觉得怎么样,手?或者现在还答不上来?”他拿起一整条鱼肉,咀嚼起来。

“这是条壮实而血气旺盛的鱼。"他想。"我运气好,捉到了它,而不是条鲯鳅。鲯鳅太甜了。这鱼简直一点也不甜,元气还都保存着。”

然而最有道理的还是讲究实用,他想。但愿我有点儿盐。我还不知道太阳会不会把剩下的鱼肉给晒坏或者晒干,所以最好把它们都吃了,尽管我并不饿。那鱼现在又平静又安稳。我把这些鱼肉统统吃了,就有充足的准备啦。

“耐心点吧,手,"他说。"我这样吃东西是为了你啊。”我巴望也能喂那条大鱼,他想。它是我的兄弟。可是我不得不把它弄死,我得保持精力来这样做。他认真地慢慢儿把那些楔形的鱼肉条全都吃了。

他直起腰来,把手在裤子上擦了擦。

“行了,"他说。"你可以放掉钓索了,手啊,我要单单用右臂来对付它,直到你不再胡闹。"他把左脚踩住刚才用左手攥着的粗钓索,身子朝后倒,用背部来承受那股拉力。"天主帮助我,让这抽筋快好吧,"他说。"因为我不知道这条鱼还要怎么着。”
  
不过它似乎很镇静,他想,而且在按着它的计划行动。可是它的计划是什么,他想。我的又是什么?我必须随机应变,拿我的计划来对付它的,因为它个儿这么大。如果它跳出水来,我能弄死它。但是它始终待在下面不上来。那我也就跟它奉陪到底。

他把那只抽筋的手在裤子上擦擦,想使手指松动松动。可是手张不开来。也许随着太阳出来它能张开,他想。也许等那些养人的生金枪鱼肉消化后,它能张开。如果我非靠这只手不可,我要不惜任何代价把它张开。但是我眼下不愿硬把它张开。让它自行张开,自动恢复过来吧。我毕竟在昨夜把它使用得过度了,那时候不得不把各条钓索解开,系在一起。

他眺望着海面,发觉他此刻是多么孤单。但是他可以看见漆黑的海水深处的彩虹七色、面前伸展着的钓索和那平静的海面上的微妙的波动。由于贸易风的吹刮,这时云块正在积聚起来,他朝前望去,见到一群野鸭在水面上飞,在天空的衬托下,身影刻划得很清楚,然后模糊起来,然后又清楚地刻划出来,于是他发觉,一个人在海上是永远不会感到孤单的。

他想到有些人乘小船驶到了望不见陆地的地方,会觉得害怕,他明白在天气会突然变坏的那几月里,他们是有理由害怕的。可是如今正当刮飓风的月份,而在不刮的时候,这些月份正是一年中天气最佳的时候。

如果将刮飓风,而你正在海上的话,你总能在好几天前就看见天上有种种迹象。人们在岸上可看不见,因为他们不知道该找什么,他想。陆地上一定也看得见异常的现象,那就是云的式样不同。但是眼前不会刮飓风。

他望望天空,看见一团团白色的积云,形状象一堆堆可人心意的冰淇淋,而在高高的上空,高爽的九月的天空衬托着一团团羽毛般的卷云。

“轻风,"他说。"这天气对我比对你更有利,鱼啊。”他的左手依然在抽筋,但他正在慢慢地把它张开。

我恨抽筋,他想。这是对自己身体的背叛行为。由于食物中毒而腹泻或者呕吐,是在别人面前丢脸。但是抽筋,在西班牙语中叫calambre,是丢自己的脸,尤其是一个人独自待着的时候。

要是那孩子在这儿,他可以给我揉揉胳臂,从前臂一直往下揉,他想。不过这手总会松开的。

随后,他用右手去摸钓索,感到上面的份量变了,这才看见在水里的斜度也变了。跟着,他俯身朝着钓索,把左手啪地紧按在大腿上,看见倾斜的钓索在慢慢地向上升起。"它上来啦,"他说。"手啊,快点。请快一点。”

钓索慢慢儿稳稳上升,接着小船前面的海面鼓起来了,鱼出水了。它不停地往上冒,水从它身上向两边直泻。它在阳光里亮光光的,脑袋和背部呈深紫色,两侧的条纹在阳光里显得宽阔,带着淡紫色。它的长嘴象棒球棒那样长,逐渐变细,象一把轻剑,它把全身从头到尾都露出水面,然后象潜水员般滑溜地又钻进水去,老人看见它那大镰刀般的尾巴没入水里,钓索开始往外飞速溜去。

“它比这小船还长两英尺,”老人说。钓索朝水中溜得既快又稳,说明这鱼并没有受惊。老人设法用双手拉住钓索,用的力气刚好不致被鱼扯断。他明白,要是他没法用稳定的劲儿使鱼慢下来,它就会把钓索全部拖走,并且绷断。

它是条大鱼,我一定要制服它,他想。我一定不能让它明白它有多大的力气,明白如果飞逃的话,它能干出什么来。我要是它,我眼下就要使出浑身的力气,一直飞逃到什么东西绷断为止。但是感谢上帝它们没有我们这些要杀害它们的人聪明,尽管它们比我们高尚,更有能耐。

老人见过许多大鱼。他见过许多超过一千磅的,前半辈子也曾逮住过两条这么大的,不过从未独自一个人逮住过。现在正是独自一个人,看不见陆地的影子,却在跟一条比他曾见过、曾听说过的更大的鱼紧拴在一起,而他的左手依旧拳曲着,象紧抓着的鹰爪。

可是它就会复原的,他想。它当然会复原,来帮助我的右手。有三样东西是兄弟:那条鱼和我的两只手。这手一定会复原的。真可耻,它竟会抽筋。鱼又慢下来了,正用它惯常的速度游着。

弄不懂它为什么跳出水来,老人想。简直象是为了让我看看它个儿有多大才跳的。反正我现在是知道了,他想。但愿我也能让它看看我是个什么样的人。不过这一来它会看到这只抽筋的手了。让它以为我是个比现在的我更富有男子汉气概的人,我就能做到这一点。但愿我就是这条鱼,他想,使出它所有的力量,而要对付的仅仅是我的意志和我的智慧。

他舒舒服服地靠在木船舷上,忍受着袭来的痛楚感,那鱼稳定地游着,小船穿过深色的海水缓缓前进。随着东方吹来的风,海上起了小浪,到中午时分,老人那抽筋的左手复原了。

“这对你是坏消息,鱼啊,"他说,把钓索从披在他肩上的麻袋上挪了一下位置。

他感到舒服,但也很痛苦,然而他根本不承认是痛苦。

"I wish the boy were here and that I had some salt,” he said aloud.

Shifting the weight of the line to his left shoulder and kneeling carefully he washed his hand in the ocean and held it there, submerged, for more than a minute watching the blood trail away and the steady movement of the water against his hand as the boat moved.

"He has slowed much,” he said.

The old man would have liked to keep his hand in the salt water longer but he was afraid of another sudden lurch by the fish and he stood up and braced himself and held his hand up against the sun. It was only a line burn that had cut his flesh. But it was in the working part of his hand. He knew he would need his hands before this was over and he did not like to be cut before it started.

"Now,” he said, when his hand had dried, “I must eat the small tuna. I can reach him with the gaff and eat him here in comfort.”

He knelt down and found the tuna under the stem with the gaff and drew it toward him keeping it clear of the coiled lines. Holding the line with his left shoulder again, and bracing on his left hand and arm, he took the tuna off the gaff hook and put the gaff back in place. He put one knee on the fish and cut strips of dark red meat longitudinally from the back of the head to the tail. They were wedge-shaped strips and he cut them from next to the back bone down to the edge of the belly. When he had cut six strips he spread them out on the wood of the bow, wiped his knife on his trousers, and lifted the carcass of the bonito by the tail and dropped it overboard.

"I don’t think I can eat an entire one,” he said and drew his knife across one of the strips. He could feel the steady hard pull of the line and his left hand was cramped. It drew up tight on the heavy cord and he looked at it in disgust.

"What kind of a hand is that,” he said. “Cramp then if you want. Make yourself into a claw. It will do you no good.”

Come on, he thought and looked down into the dark water at the slant of the line. Eat it now and it will strengthen the hand. It is not the hand’s fault and you have been many hours with the fish. But you can stay with him forever. Eat the bonito now.

He picked up a piece and put it in his mouth and chewed it slowly. It was not unpleasant.

Chew it well, he thought, and get all the juices. It would not be had to eat with a little lime or with lemon or with salt.

"How do you feel, hand?” he asked the cramped hand that was almost as stiff as rigor mortis. “I’ll eat some more for you.”

He ate the other part of the piece that he had cut in two. He chewed it carefully and then spat out the skin.

"How does it go, hand? Or is it too early to know?”

He took another full piece and chewed it.

"It is a strong full-blooded fish,” he thought. “I was lucky to get him instead of dolphin. Dolphin is too sweet. This is hardly sweet at all and all the strength is still in it.”

There is no sense in being anything but practical though, he thought. I wish I had some salt. And I do not know whether the sun will rot or dry what is left, so I had better eat it all although I am not hungry. The fish is calm and steady. I will eat it all and then I will be ready.

"Be patient, hand,” he said. “I do this for you.”

I wish I could feed the fish, he thought. He is my brother. But I must kill him and keep strong to do it. Slowly and conscientiously he ate all of the wedge-shaped strips of fish.

He straightened up, wiping his hand on his trousers.

"Now,” he said. “You can let the cord go, hand, and I will handle him with the right arm alone until you stop that nonsense.” He put his left foot on the heavy line that the left hand had held and lay back against the pull against his back.

"God help me to have the cramp go,” he said. “Because I do not know what the fish is going to do.”

But he seems calm, he thought, and following his plan. But what is his plan, he thought. And what is mine? Mine I must improvise to his because of his great size. If he will jump I can kill him. But he stays down forever. Then I will stay down with him forever.

He rubbed the cramped hand against his trousers and tried to gentle the fingers. But it would not open. Maybe it will open with the sun, he thought. Maybe it will open when the strong raw tuna is digested. If I have to have it, I will open it, cost whatever it costs. But I do not want to open it now by force. Let it open by itself and come back of its own accord. After all I abused it much in the night when it was necessary to free and untie the various lines.

He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm. The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.

He thought of how some men feared being out of sight of land in a small boar and knew they were right in the months of sudden bad weather. But now they were in hurricane months and, when there are no hurricanes, the weather of hurricane months is the best of all the year.

If there is a hurricane you always see the signs of it in the sky for days ahead, if you are at sea. They do not see it ashore because they do not know what to look for, he thought. The land must make a difference too, in the shape of the clouds. But we have no hurricane coming now.

He looked at the sky and saw the white cumulus built like friendly piles of ice cream and high above were the thin feathers of the cirrus against the high September sky.

"Light brisa,” he said. “Better weather for me than for you, fish.”

His left hand was still cramped, but he was unknotting it slowly.

I hate a cramp, he thought. It is a treachery of one’s own body. It is humiliating before others to have a diarrhoea from ptomaine poisoning or to vomit from it. But a cramp, he thought of it as a calambre, humiliates oneself especially when one is alone.

If the boy were here he could rub it for me and loosen it down from the forearm, he thought. But it will loosen up.

Then, with his right hand he felt the difference in the pull of the line before he saw the slant change in the water. Then, as he leaned against the line and slapped his left hand hard and fast against his thigh he saw the line slanting slowly upward.

"He’s coming up," he said. "Come on hand. Please come on."

The line rose slowly and steadily and then the surface of the ocean bulged ahead of the boat and the fish came out. He came out unendingly and water poured from his sides. He was bright in the sun and his head and back were dark purple and in the sun the stripes on his sides showed wide and a light lavender. His sword was as long as a baseball bat and tapered like a rapier and he rose his full length from the water and then re-entered it, smoothly, like a diver and the old man saw the great scythe-blade of his tail go under and the line commenced to race out.

"He is two feet longer than the skiff," the old man said. The line was going out fast but steadily and the fish was not panicked. The old man was trying with both hands to keep the line just inside of breaking strength. He knew that if he could not slow the fish with a steady pressure the fish could take out all the line and break it.

He is a great fish and I must convince him, he thought. I must never let him learn his strength nor what he could do if he made his run. If I were him I would put in everything now and go until something broke. But, thank God, they are not as intelligent as we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able.

The old man had seen many great fish. He had seen many that weighed more than a thousand pounds and he had caught two of that size in his life, but never alone. Now alone, and out of sight of land, he was fast to the biggest fish that he had ever seen and bigger than he had ever heard of, and his left hand was still as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle.

It will uncramp though, he thought. Surely it will uncramp to help my right hand. There are three things that are brothers: the fish and my two hands. It must uncramp. It is unworthy of it to be cramped. The fish had slowed again and was going at his usual pace.

I wonder why he jumped, the old man thought. He jumped almost as though to show me how big he was. I know now, anyway, he thought. I wish I could show him what sort of man I am. But then he would see the cramped hand. Let him think I am more man than I am and I will be so. I wish I was the fish, he thought, with everything he has against only my will and my intelligence.

He settled comfortably against the wood and took his suffering as it came and the fish swam steadily and the boat moved slowly through the dark water. There was a small sea rising with the wind coming up from the east and at noon the old man’s left hand was uncramped.

"Bad news for you, fish," he said and shifted the line over the sacks that covered his shoulders.

He was comfortable but suffering, although he did not admit the suffering at all.



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