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第5节 第五节 【
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本文地址:http://www.yeidj.com.cn/book/story.php?id=956
文章摘要:第五节 ,褎如充耳回忆道逐项,下设天人之际斯堡队。

我许过愿,如果逮住了这条鱼,要念多少遍祈祷文,他不过我现在太累了,没法念。我还是把麻袋拿来披在肩上。
  
他躺在船梢掌着舵,注视着天空,等着天际的反光出现。我还有半条鱼,他想。也许我运气好,能把前半条带回去。我总该多少有点运气吧。不,他说。你出海太远了,把好运给冲掉啦。
  
“别傻了,"他说出声来。"保持清醒,掌好舵。你也许还有很大的好运呢。”
  
“要是有什么地方卖好运,我倒想买一些,"他说。我能拿什么来买呢?他问自己。能用一支弄丢了的鱼叉、一把折断的刀子和两只受了伤的手吗?
  
“也许能,"他说。"你曾想拿在海上的八十四天来买它。人家也几乎把它卖给了你。”
  
我不能胡思乱想,他想。好运这玩意儿,来的时候有许多不同的方式,谁认得出啊?可是不管什么样的好运,我都要一点儿,要多少钱就给多少。但愿我能看到灯火的反光,他想。我的愿望太多了。但眼下的愿望就只有这个了。他竭力坐得舒服些,好好掌舵,因为感到疼痛,知道自己并没有死。
  
大约夜里十点的时候,他看见了城市的灯火映在天际的反光。起初只能依稀看出,就象月亮升起前天上的微光。然后一步步地清楚了,就在此刻正被越来越大的风刮得波涛汹涌的海洋的另一边。他驶进了这反光的圈子,他想,要不了多久就能驶到湾流的边缘了。
  
现在事情过去了,他想。它们也许还会再来袭击我。不过,一个人在黑夜里,没有武器,怎样能对付它们呢?他这时身子僵硬、疼痛,在夜晚的寒气里,他的伤口和身上所有用力过度的地方都在发痛。我希望不必再斗了,他想。我真希望不必再斗了。
  
但是到了午夜,他又搏斗了,而这一回他明白搏斗也是徒劳。它们是成群袭来的,朝那鱼直扑,他只看见它们的鳍在水面上划出的一道道线,还有它们的磷光。他朝它们的头打去,听到上下颚啪地咬住的声音,还有它们在船底下咬住了鱼使船摇晃的声音。他看不清目标,只能感觉到,听到,就不顾死活地挥棍打去,他感到什么东西攫住了棍子,它就此丢了。
  
他把舵把从舵上猛地扭下,用它又打又砍,双手攥住了一次次朝下戳去。可是它们此刻都在前面船头边,一条接一条地窜上来,成群地一起来,咬下一块块鱼肉,当它们转身再来时,这些鱼肉在水面下发亮。
  
最后,有条鲨鱼朝鱼头起来,他知道这下子可完了。他把舵把朝鲨鱼的脑袋抡去,打在它咬住厚实的鱼头的两颚上,那儿的肉咬不下来。他抡了一次,两次,又一次。他听见舵把啪的断了,就把断下的把手向鲨鱼扎去。他感到它扎了进去,知道它很尖利,就再把它扎进去。鲨鱼松了嘴,一翻身就走了。这是前来的这群鲨鱼中最末的一条。它们再也没有什么可吃的了。
  
老人这时简直喘不过起来,觉得嘴里有股怪味儿。这味儿带着铜腥气,甜滋滋的,他一时害怕起来。但是这味儿并不太浓。
  
他朝海里啐了一口说:"把它吃了,加拉诺鲨。做个梦吧,梦见你杀了一个人。”
  
他明白他如今终于给打败了,没法补救了,就回到船梢,发现舵把那锯齿形的断头还可以安在舵的狭槽里,让他用来掌舵。他把麻袋在肩头围围好,使小船顺着航线驶去。航行得很轻松,他什么念头都没有,什么感觉也没有。他此刻超脱了这一切,只顾尽可能出色而明智地把小船驶回他家乡的港口。夜里有些鲨鱼来咬这死鱼的残骸,就象人从饭桌上捡面包屑吃一样。老人不去理睬它们,除了掌舵以外他什么都不理睬。他只留意到船舷边没有什么沉重的东西,小船这时驶来多么轻松,多么出色。
  
船还是好好的,他想。它是完好的,没受一点儿损伤,除了那个舵把。那是容易更换的。
  
他感觉到已经在湾流中行驶,看得见沿岸那些海滨住宅区的灯光了。他知道此刻到了什么地方,回家是不在话下了。不管怎么样,风总是我们的朋友,他想。然后他加上一句:有时候是。还有大海,海里有我们的朋友,也有我们的敌人。还有床,他想。床是我的朋友。光是床,他想。床将是样了不起的东西。吃了败仗,上床是很舒服的,他想。我从来不知道竟然这么舒服。那么是什么把你打败的,他想。"什么也没有,"他说出声来。"只怪我出海太远了。”

I have all those prayers I promised if I caught the fish, he thought. But I am too tired to say them now. I better get the sack and put it over my shoulders.

He lay in the stern and steered and watched for the glow to come in the sky. I have half of him, he thought. Maybe I’ll have the luck to bring the forward half in. I should have some luck. No, he said. You violated your luck when you went too far outside.

"Don’t be silly," he said aloud. "And keep awake and steer. You may have much luck yet."

"I’d like to buy some if there’s any place they sell it," he said.

What could I buy it with? he asked himself. Could I buy it with a lost harpoon and a broken knife and two bad hands?

"You might," he said. "You tried to buy it with eighty-four days at sea. They nearly sold it to you too."

I must not think nonsense, he thought. Luck is a thing that comes in many forms and who can recognize her? I would take some though in any form and pay what they asked. I wish I could see the glow from the lights, he thought. I wish too many things. But that is the thing I wish for now. He tried to settle more comfortably to steer and from his pain he knew he was not dead.

He saw the reflected glare of the lights of the city at what must have been around ten o’clock at night. They were only perceptible at first as the light is in the sky before the moon rises. Then they were steady to see across the ocean which was rough now with the increasing breeze. He steered inside of the glow and he thought that now, soon, he must hit the edge of the stream.

Now it is over, he thought. They will probably hit me again. But what can a man do against them in the dark without a weapon?

He was stiff and sore now and his wounds and all of the strained parts of his body hurt with the cold of the night. I hope I do not have to fight again, he thought. I hope so much I do not have to fight again.

But by midnight he fought and this time he knew the fight was useless. They came in a pack and he could only see the lines in the water that their fins made and their phosphorescence as they threw themselves on the fish. He clubbed at heads and heard the jaws chop and the shaking of the skiff as they took hold below. He clubbed desperately at what he could only feel and hear and he felt something seize the club and it was gone.

He jerked the tiller free from the rudder and beat and chopped with it, holding it in both hands and driving it down again and again. But they were up to the bow now and driving in one after the other and together, tearing off the pieces of meat that showed glowing below the sea as they turned to come once more.

One came, finally, against the head itself and he knew that it was over. He swung the tiller across the shark’s head where the jaws were caught in the heaviness of the fish’s head which would not tear. He swung it once and twice and again. He heard the tiller break and he lunged at the shark with the splintered butt. He felt it go in and knowing it was sharp he drove it in again. The shark let go and rolled away. That was the last shark of the pack that came. There was nothing more for them to eat.

The old man could hardly breathe now and he felt a strange taste in his mouth. It was coppery and sweet and he was afraid of it for a moment. But there was not much of it.

He spat into the ocean and said, "Eat that, galanos. And make a dream you’ve killed a man."

He knew he was beaten now finally and without remedy and he went back to the stern and found the jagged end of the tiller would fit in the slot of the rudder well enough for him to steer. He settled the sack around his shoulders and put the skiff on her course. He sailed lightly now and he had no thoughts nor any feelings of any kind. He was past everything now and he sailed the skiff to make his home port as well and as intelligently as he could. In the night sharks hit the carcass as someone might pick up crumbs from the table. The old man paid no attention to them and did not pay any attention to anything except steering. He only noticed how lightly and bow well the skiff sailed now there was no great weight beside her.

She’s good, he thought. She is sound and not harmed in any way except for the tiller. That is easily replaced. He could feel he was inside the current now and he could see the lights of the beach colonies along the shore. He knew where he was now and it was nothing to get home.

The wind is our friend, anyway, he thought. Then he added, sometimes. And the great sea with our friends and our enemies. And bed, he thought. Bed is my friend. Just bed, he thought. Bed will be a great thing. It is easy when you are beaten, he thought. I never knew how easy it was. And what beat you, he thought.

"Nothing," he said aloud. "I went out too far."



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