The Deer And The Cauldron 17

0
210

The Deer And The Cauldron 17
第十七回 法门猛叩无方便 疑网重开有譬如

Chapter 13-In which Trinket acquires a Devoted Companioni deals with a Succession of Lamas and Bonzesi and makes his Wav with Several Adventures to the Wutai Mountains and Back

Doublet-Widow Zhuang-Secrets Exchanged-lamas
Trinket the Benefactor-Lamas on the Hill-The Hermitage-Slice, No Slice-Beyond the Dusty World-A Strong Bond-Dangerous Thoughts breed Danger-Fat Dhuta and the Eighteen Lohans of Shaolin- Turtle Stele

****************

Doublet

忽然间远处出现了一团亮光,缓缓移近,韦小宝大惊,心道:“鬼火,鬼火!”那团亮火越移越近,却是一盏灯笼,提着灯笼的是个白衣女鬼。韦小宝忙闭住双目。只听得脚步之声细碎,走到自己面前停住。
Suddenly a glow of light appeared some way off across the room. It seemed to be coming slowly closer. ‘Ghost fire!’ thought the panic-stricken Trinket. ‘Spooks!’ But as the light came closer still, he was able to distinguish it more clearly as a lantern. And carrying the lantern was a woman— another ghost, no doubt—dressed in white from head to foot. Trinket instantly closed his eyes. Light footsteps pattered towards him, and came to a halt right in front of him.

他吓得气不敢透,全身直抖,却听得一个少女的声音笑道:“你为什么闭着眼睛?”声音娇柔动听。韦小宝道:“你别吓我。我……我可不敢瞧你。”那女鬼笑道:“你怕我七孔流血,舌头伸出,是不是?你倒瞧一眼呢。”韦小宝颤声道:“我才不上你当,你披头散发,七孔流血,有甚么……甚么好看?”那女鬼格格一笑,向他面上吹了口气。
He was trembling with fear. Any moment he would choke. ‘Why are you closing your eyes?’ It was a girl’s voice. The sound was gentle, almost touching. ‘Don’t try scaring me!’ gasped Trinket. ‘I don’t dare look at you.’ The ghost gave a little laugh. ‘I suppose you think I’ve got blood oozing out of my eyes and ears, and my tongue is sticking out of my head. Go on, why not take one little look at me?’ ‘I’m not falling for that,’ stammered Trinket. ‘You’re just a horrible spook with tangled hair and blood all over your face, I know you are!’ The ghost laughed again, louder this time, and blew gently on Trinket’s face.

这口气吹上脸来,却微有暖气,带着一点淡淡幽香。韦小宝左眼微睁一线,依稀见到一张雪白的脸庞,眉弯嘴小,笑靥如花,当即双目都睁大些,但见眼前是张十分清秀的少女脸孔,大约十四五岁年纪,头挽双鬟,笑嘻嘻的望着自己。韦小宝心中大定,问道:“你真的不是鬼?”那少女微笑道:“我自然是鬼,是吊死鬼。”
Her breath was gentle and warm, and carried with it a delicate fragrance. Trinket opened his left eye a crack. He thought he could make out a pale face, curving eyebrows, a small delicate mouth, dimpled cheeks. Then he opened both eyes properly. He found himself looking into the face of a remarkably pretty girl, fourteen or fifteen years old, her tresses neatly plaited at both temples. She was gazing at him with a beaming smile. Greatly reassured by what he saw, Trinket asked her: ‘Are you sure you’re not a ghost?’ The girl smiled. ‘I am a ghost. The ghost of someone who died by hanging.’

韦小宝心中打了个突,惊疑不定。那少女笑道:“你杀恶人时这么大胆,怎地见到了吊死鬼,却又这么胆小?”韦小宝吁了口气,道:“我不怕人,只怕鬼。”那少女又是格格一笑,问道:“你给人点中了什么穴道?”韦小宝道:“我知道就好啦?”那少女在他肩膀后推拿了几下,又在他背上轻轻拍打三掌,韦小宝双手登时能动。他提起手臂,挥了两下,笑道:“你会解穴,那可妙得很。”
Trinket started. She laughed. ‘You were brave enough when it came to killing that great big brute Oboi. How come you’re so scared of a hanged ghost?’ Trinket drew in a sharp breath. ‘Living people don’t scare me. Only ghosts.’ The girl gave another little laugh. ‘Which of your Vital Points have been closed?’ ‘How should I know?’ She put the lantern down on the table and started rubbing his shoulders, and pummelling his back. Gradually the movement returned to his hands and he waved his arms a couple of times above his head. ‘Brilliant!’

那少女道:“我学会不久,今天才第一次在你身上试的。”又在他腋下、腰间推拿了几下,韦小宝跳起身来,笑道:“不行,不行,我怕痒。”就是这样,他双腿被封的穴道也已解了。他伸出双手,笑道:“你呵我痒,我得呵还你。”说着走前一步。那少女伸出舌头,扮个鬼脸。但这鬼脸只见其可爱,殊无半点可怖之意。韦小宝伸手去捏她舌头。那少女转头避开,格格娇笑,道:“你不怕吊死鬼了么?”韦小宝道:“你有影子,又有热气,是人,不是鬼。”那少女双目一睁,正色道:“我是僵尸,不是鬼!”
‘I’ve only just learned how to do it,’ she said. That was my first try.’ More rubbing and pummelling under his armpits and round his waist, and Trinket was soon wanting to walk. ‘Stop!’ he cried. That’s enough! I’m very ticklish!’ No sooner was he mobile again than he was on the offensive. ‘Now I’ll give you some of your own medicine!’ He took a step towards her, reaching out his hands to tickle her. She instantly stuck out her tongue and pulled a ghoulish face. But try as she might to scare him, there was still something very endearing about her. It was not in the least frightening. Trinket tried to pinch her tongue, but she ducked out of the way, with a peal of laughter. ‘Aren’t you afraid of hanged ghosts any more?’ ‘I can see your shadow,’ replied Trinket. ‘And you’re warm. You’re alive! You’re not a ghost at all!’ She fixed him with both eyes. ‘You’re quite right,’ she declared solemnly. ‘I’m not a ghost. I’m a corpse.!’

韦小宝一怔,灯火下见她脸色又红又白,笑道:“僵尸的脚不会弯的,也不会说话。”那少女又笑起来,道:“那我一定是狐狸精了。”韦小宝笑道:“我不怕狐狸精。”心中有些犯疑:“莫非她真是狐狸精。”转到她身后瞧了瞧。那少女笑道:“我是千年狐狸精,道行很深,没尾巴的。”韦小宝道:“像你这样美貌的狐狸精,给你迷死了也不在乎。”那少女脸上微微一红,伸手指刮脸羞他,说道:“也不怕羞,刚才还怕鬼怕得什么似的,这会儿却来说便宜话了。”
Trinket started for a second. But by the light of the lantern he could see the colour in her face. ‘No you’re not! Corpses are stiff, and they don’t talk!’ ‘Then I’m a fox-spirit!’ ‘I’m not scared of them]’ returned Trinket, secretly wondering if she really could be one. If so, perhaps she would seduce him and suck the life out of him. He walked round behind her and looked her up and down. ‘I’m a thousand-year-old fox!’ she said. ‘My magical powers are highly advanced. That’s why I no longer have a tail.’ ‘I wouldn’t mind being bewitched by a pretty little fox like you!’ The girl blushed. She stretched out a hand and scratched him playfully on the face. ‘You should be ashamed of yourself! Just now you were scared to death, and now here you are taking advantage of a poor defenceless girl.’

韦小宝第一怕僵尸,第二怕鬼,至于狐狸精倒不怎么怕,眼见这少女和蔼可亲,比之方怡、沐剑屏,尚多了几分令人亲近之意,何况她说的是一口江南口音,比之方沐二女的云南话又好听得多,笑道:“姑娘,你叫什么名字?”那少女道:“我叫双儿,一双的双。”韦小宝笑道:“那很好啊,就不知是一双香鞋,还是一双臭袜。”双儿笑道:“臭袜也好,香鞋也好,由你说罢。桂相公,你身上湿淋淋的,一定很不舒服,请到那边去换干衣服。就只一件事为难,你可别见怪。”韦小宝道:“甚么事为难?”双儿道:“我们这里没男人衣服。”韦小宝心中打一个突,登时脸上变色,心想:“这屋中都是女鬼。”双儿提起灯笼,道:“请这边来。”韦小宝迟疑不定。双儿已走到门口,回头等他,微笑道:“穿女人衣服,你怕不吉利,是不是?这样罢,你睡在床上,我赶着烫干你衣服。”
The fact of the matter was, on Trinket’s list of things to be feared, corpses came first, ghosts second, and fox-spirits didn’t feature at all. Besides, this girl seemed such a darling! She was even more adorable than Fang Yi and the Little Countess. And she had one very important thing in her favour: she spoke with a decidedly southern accent. It was so much softer on the ear than the outlandish Yunnanese spoken by the other two girls. Tell me, miss, what’s your name?’ He was starting to sound almost polite. ‘My name’s Doublet,’ was her reply. She went on: ‘Laurel Goong-goong, you’re soaked to the skin! Why don’t you go next door and change into something dry? But I’m afraid you’ll find that all the clothes here are women’s.’ Trinket’s heart missed a beat. ‘Yes,’ he thought to himself, ‘I know. That’s because all the ghosts here are women!’ ‘Follow me,’ said the girl called Doublet, picking up her lantern from the table. Trinket hesitated. She walked to the doorway, and turned back expectantly. ‘I know,’ she said with a smile. ‘You’re probably afraid that wearing women’s clothes will bring you bad luck. Why not get straight into bed and give me your wet things? I’ll iron them dry for you.’

韦小宝见她神色间温柔体贴,难以拒绝,只得跟着她走出房门,问道:“我那些同伴们呢,都到哪里去了?”双儿落后两步,和他并肩而行,低声道:“三少奶吩咐了,什么都不能对你多说,待会你用过点心后,三少奶自己会跟你说的。”
It was impossible to say no to this girl. She was so sweet, so kind and thoughtful. Trinket followed her meekly out of the room. ‘Where have all my companions gone?’ he asked. ‘My Lady says I’m not to say anything about that.’ Doublet had fallen in by his side. ‘You’re to eat something first, and then My Lady will come and explain things to you herself.’

韦小宝早已饿得厉害,听得有点心可吃,登时精神大振。双儿带着韦小宝走过一条黑沉沉的走廊,来到一间房中,点亮了桌上蜡烛。那房中只一桌一床,陈设简单,却十分干净,床上铺着被褥。双儿将棉被揭开一角,放下了帐子,道:“桂相公,你在床上除下衣衫,抛出来给我。”韦小宝依言跳入床中,除下了衣裤,钻入被窝,将衣裤抛到帐外。双儿接住了,走向门口,说道:“我去拿点心来。你爱吃甜粽,还是咸粽?”韦小宝笑道:“肚里饿得咕咕叫,就是泥沙粽子,也吃他三只。”
Trinket was extremely hungry, and the mere mention of food cheered him up no end. Doublet led the way down a pitch-black corridor, until they came to a room, where a candle burned on a table. The only other piece of furniture was a bed, simply made up with a padded quilt. Doublet drew back the quilt and let down the bed-curtains. ‘Laurel Goong-goong,’ she said, ‘why don’t you get into bed now, and pass out your wet things to me?’ Trinket climbed obediently into bed, stripped himself naked behind the curtains, and burrowed under the quilt, throwing the clothes out to Doublet. ‘I’ll fetch you some nice hot dumplings,’ she called from the doorway. ‘Do you fancy something sweet or savoury?’ ‘I’m so hungry I’d eat a dumpling stuffed with sand!’ was Trinket’s muffled reply from beneath the bedclothes.

双儿一笑出去。韦小宝见她一走,房里静悄悄地,瞧着烛火明灭,又害怕起来:“啊哟,不好,女鬼请人吃面吃馄饨,其实吃的都是蚯蚓毛虫,我可不能上当。”过了一会,韦小宝闻到一阵肉香和糖香。双儿双手端了木盘,用手臂掠开帐子。韦小宝见碟子中放着四只剥开了的粽子,心中大喜,实在饿得狠了,心想就算是蚯蚓毛虫,老子也吃了再说,提起筷子便吃,入口甘美,无与伦比。他两口吃了半只,说道:“双儿,这倒像是湖州粽子一般,味道真好。”
Doublet laughed and went on her way. When she returned a few minutes later, Trinket caught a whiff of something delicious! She parted the bed-curtains and Trinket saw that she was carrying a tray. And on the tray were four large steamed dumplings of the sort called zongzi, made with sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. She had already unwrapped them. Trinket was famished. He would have devoured whatever had been put in front of him, even dumplings stuffed with slugs and snails and caterpillars. … He picked up the chopsticks and tucked in. The first dumpling he attacked tasted indescribably delicious. ‘Doublet,’ he managed to say between mouthfuls, ‘this tastes wonderful! Just like a real Huzhou zongzil’

浙江湖州所产粽子,米软馅美,天下无双。扬州有湖州粽子店,丽春院中到了嫖客,常差韦小宝去买。粽子整只用粽箬裹住,韦小宝要偷吃原亦甚难,但他总在粽角之中挤些米粒出来,尝上一尝。自到北方后,这湖州粽子便吃不到了。双儿微感惊异,道:“你真识货,吃得出这是湖州粽子。”
Huzhou, in the southern province of Zhejiang, in addition to the silk and writing-brushes for which it was justly renowned, was famous for its sticky rice dumplings, spiced with all sorts of delicious flavours. There was even a Huzhou dumpling shop in Yangzhou, and the customers at Vernal Delights had been in the habit of constantly sending little Trinket off to fetch some. Then, the bamboo-leaf wrappers had made it hard for him to nibble any of the actual filling, but he’d always managed to squeeze a little bit out through one of the corners. This was the first time he had tasted one since journeying north. ‘How clever of you to know what they are!’ exclaimed Doublet, with a smile of admiration.

韦小宝口中咀嚼,一面含含糊糊的道:“这真是湖州粽子?这地方怎么买得到湖州粽子?”双儿笑道:“不是买的,是狐狸精……嘻嘻……狐狸精使法术变来的。”韦小宝赞道:“狐狸神通广大。”忽然想到章老三他们一伙人,加上一句:“寿与天齐!”
Trinket smacked his lips. ‘Yum!’ he purred. ‘How on earth did you get hold of real Huzhou zongzi in a godforsaken place like this?’ ‘We didn’t get hold of them. We . . . conjured them up by fox magic!’ She giggled. ‘Excellent magic! Excellent kungfu!’ exclaimed Trinket. Suddenly remembering his recent brush with the old man and the Mystic Dragons, he added for good measure: ‘Long Life and Great Blessings to the Fox Leader!’

双儿笑道:“你慢慢吃。我去给你烫衣服。”走了一步,问道:“你怕不怕?”韦小宝心中恐惧早消去了大半,但毕竟还是有些怕,道:“你快点回来。”双儿应道:“是!”过不多时,韦小宝听得嗤嗤声响,却是双儿拿了一只放着红炭的熨斗来,将他的衣裤摊在桌上,一面熨衫,一面相陪。四只粽子二咸二甜,韦小宝吃了三只,再也吃不下了,说道:“这粽子真好吃,是你裹的么?”
Doublet laughed. ‘You eat up! I’m going to iron your clothes now.’ She began to walk to the door, then halted: ‘Are you still afraid?’ Trinket’s fears had mostly evaporated by now, but none the less he begged her to return as quickly as possible. A few minutes later she was back with an iron filled with glowing embers. She proceeded to spread Trinket’s wet things on the table and iron them, thereby keeping him company at the same time. Trinket finished three of the four dumplings. They really are delicious. Did you make them yourself?’

双儿道:“是三少奶调味配料的,我帮着裹。”韦小宝听她说话是江南口音,心念一动,问道:“你们是湖州人吗?”双儿迟疑不答,道:“衣服就快熨好了。桂相公见到三少奶时,自己问她,好不好?”这话软语商量,说得甚是恭敬。韦小宝道:“好,有什么不好?”揭起帐子,瞧着她熨衣。双儿抬起头来,向他微微一笑,道:“你没穿衣服,小心着凉。”韦小宝忽然顽皮起来,身子一耸,叫道:“我跳出来啦,不穿衣服,也不会着凉。”双儿吃了一惊,却见他一溜之下,全身钻入被底,连脑袋也不外露,不由得吃吃笑了出来。
‘My Lady mixed the ingredients together. I helped her to wrap them.’ That lilting southern accent was music to Trinket’s ears. ‘Are you all from Huzhou, then?’ he asked. Doublet did not reply. ‘Your clothes will soon be dry. When you see My Lady, she’ll answer your questions for you.’ She chose her words carefully. She seemed such a gentle, thoughtful girl. Trinket wrapped himself in the quilt and sat up, lifting the bed-curtain, and peeping mischievously out at her as she finished the ironing. She looked up at him and smiled. ‘Careful you don’t catch cold. You’ve got nothing on.’ Trinket bared his chest. ‘I think I’ll get out and jump around a bit. That’ll keep me warm . . .’ Doublet gave a start. But instead of jumping out of bed, Trinket burrowed back under the covers until not even his head was visible. A muffled chuckling could be heard from the depths of the bed.

过了一顿饭时分,双儿将熨干了的衣裤递入帐中,韦小宝穿起了下床。双儿帮着他扣衣钮,又取出一只小木梳,替他梳了头发,编结辫子。韦小宝闻到她身上淡淡的幽香,心下大乐,说道:“原来狐狸精是这样的好人。”双儿抿嘴笑道:“什么狐狸精不狐狸精的,难听死了,我不是狐狸精。”韦小宝道:“啊,我知道了,要说‘大仙’,不能说狐狸精。”双儿笑道:“我也不是大仙,我是个小丫头。”韦小宝道:“我是小太监,你是小丫头,咱俩都是服侍人的,倒是一对儿。”双儿道:“你是服侍皇帝的,我怎么跟你比?一个在天,一个在地。”
A quarter of an hour or so later, Doublet passed the now neatly ironed and dry clothes through the bed-curtains. When Trinket had dressed himself, he climbed down from the bed. Doublet helped him do up his buttons, and, producing a little wooden comb, tithed his hair for him and plaited his pigtail. Trinket breathed in the subtle scent that emanated from her young body. He was in ecstasy. ‘I never knew fox-spirits were such nice people!’ Doublet pulled a face. ‘Stop all that horrid nonsense! Of course I’m not a fox-Spirit!’ ‘Oh, I know,’ quipped Trinket, ‘you’re a fairy!’ Doublet laughed. ‘No I’m not! I’m just an ordinary maidservant.’ ‘Well, I’m just an ordinary eunuch, so that makes two of us. We both wait on other people, so we are two of a kind!’ ‘But you wait on the Emperor,’ said Doublet. That makes you as far above me as the sky is above the ground!’

说话之间,结好了辫子。双儿道:“我不会结爷们的辫子,不知结得对不对?”韦小宝将辫子拿到胸前一看,道:“好极了。我最不爱结辫子,你天天能帮我结辫子就好了。”双儿道:“我可没这福气。你是大英雄。我今天给你结一次辫子,已经是前世修到的了。”韦小宝道:“啊哟,别客气啦,你这样一位俏佳人给我结辫子,我才是前世敲穿了十七八个大木鱼呢。”双儿脸上一红,低声道:“我说的是真心话,你却拿人家取笑。”韦小宝道:“没有,没有,我说的也是真心话。”双儿微微一笑,说道:“三少奶说,桂相公要是愿意,请你劳驾到后堂坐坐。”韦小宝道:“好,你三少爷不在家么?”双儿“嗯”了一声,轻轻的道:“故世啦!”韦小宝想到了许多间屋中的灵堂,心中一寒,不敢再问,跟着她来到后堂一间小小花厅之中,坐下来,双儿送上一碗热茶。韦小宝心中打鼓,不敢再跟她说笑。
She finished plaiting his pigtail. He tossed it over his shoulder and admired her handiwork. ‘My Lady says that if you like, you can go and see her now.’ ‘And where’s your master?’ inquired Trinket. ‘Isn’t he at home?’ ‘He’s dead!’ whispered Doublet. Trinket shuddered as he remembered that he was in a haunted house, full of strange shrines to the dead. He followed Doublet through the back quarters of the house until they came to a little reception room. There he sat down, and she fetched him a cup of hot tea. He was feeling very nervous, and had lost his appetite for chattering and joking. Widow Zhuang

过了一会,只听得步声轻缓,板壁后走出一个全身缟素的少妇,说道:“桂相公一路辛苦。”说着深深万福,礼数甚是恭谨。韦小宝急忙还礼,道:“不敢当。”那少妇道:“桂相公请上座。”韦小宝见这少妇约莫二十六七岁年纪,不施脂粉,脸色苍白,双眼红红地,显是刚哭泣过来,灯下见她赫然有影,虽然阴森森地,却多半不是鬼魅,心下忐忑不安,应道:“是,是!”侧身在椅上坐下,说道:“三少奶,多谢你的湖州粽子,真正好吃得很。”
Several minutes later he heard the sound of light footsteps, and from behind a wooden partition wall there emerged a young lady dressed in the plain white of mourning. ‘You must have had an exhausting journey, Laurel Goong-goong.’ She spoke very politely. Trinket hastened to rise to his feet and return her courtesies.
He judged her to be a woman in her late twenties. Her pale face bore no trace of make-up or rouge, and her eyes were red, evidently from recent weeping. The lantern cast its light on her, and he could see that she had an unmistakable shadow. There was certainly something eerie about her appearance, but she was no more of a ghost than Doublet had been—much to Trinket’s relief. She told him to be seated and he perched on the edge of his chair. Thank you very much, ma’am, for the delicious Huzhou zongzi!’

那少妇道:“亡夫姓庄,三少奶的称呼可不敢当。桂相公在宫里多年了?”韦小宝心想:“刚才黑暗之中,有个女人来问杀鳌拜之事,我认了是我杀的,他们就派了个小丫头送粽子给我吃。看来这一宝是押对了。”说道:“也不过一年多些。”庄夫人道:“桂相公手刃奸相鳌拜的经过,能跟小女子一说吗?”韦小宝听她把鳌拜叫作“奸相”,更是放心,好比手中已拿了一对至尊宝,不论别的两张是什么牌,翻出牌来,总之是有杀无赔,最多是和过。当下便将康熙如何下令擒拿、鳌拜如何反抗,众小监如何一拥而上,却给他杀死数人,自己如何用香炉灰迷了他眼睛这才擒住等情说了,只是康熙拔刀伤他,却说作是自己冷不防在鳌拜背上狠狠刺了一刀。
‘My late husband’s name was Zhuang,’ replied the woman. ‘You can just call me Widow Zhuang. Tell me, Laurel Goong-goong, how many years have you been in service in the Palace?’ She went on to ask Trinket for an account of how the ‘villain’ Oboi had met with his death. Realizing to his enormous relief that his luck was in and that he was in the hands of Oboi’s enemies (which accounted no doubt for the delicious dumplings), Trinket proceeded to give her a blow-by-blow account of the death of Oboi, from the very beginning to the very end, including how he had used the ashes to blind him, then smashed him on the head with the brazier, and trussed him up. He did not give Kang Xi any credit for the stabbing.

庄夫人不发一言,默默倾听,听到韦小宝如何撒香炉灰迷住鳌拜眼睛、刀刺其背、搬铜香炉砸头而将他擒住,不由得轻轻吁了口气。韦小宝听惯了说书先生说书,何处当顿,何处当扬,关窍拿捏得恰到好处,何况这事他亲身经历,种种细微曲折之处,说得甚是详尽,再加些油盐酱醋,听他说这故事,只怕比他当时擒拿鳌拜,还多了几分惊心动魄。庄夫人道:“原来是这样的。外边传闻,那也不尽不实得很,说什么桂相公武功了得,跟鳌拜大战三百回合,使了绝招将他制伏。想那鳌拜号称“满洲第一勇士”,桂相公武功再高,终究年纪还小。”
The Widow Zhuang listened to all of this recital in complete silence. At the climax (ashes and brazier) she heaved a deep sigh. Trinket was a seasoned storyteller. He knew exactly when to pause for effect, and when to let himself get carried away. And in this case, it was something he had lived through himself, so it was easy to make his story even more dramatic than the real thing. ‘So that’s how it happened!’ exclaimed Widow Zhuang. ‘It’squite different from what I thought. The way people always tell it, they make you out to be a great kungfu master!’

韦小宝笑道:“当真打架,就有一百个小桂子,也不是这奸贼的对手。”庄夫人道:“后来鳌拜却又是怎样死的?”韦小宝心想:“这三少奶十之八九不是女鬼,那么必是武林中人。不必扯谎之时,就不可扯谎,以免辛辛苦苦赢来的钱,一铺牌又输了出去。”于是据实将如何康熙派他去察看鳌拜、如何碰到天地会来攻打康亲王府、自己如何错认来人是鳌拜部属、如何奋身钻入囚室、杀了鳌拜等情一一说了,最后说道:“这些人原来是鳌拜的对头,是天地会青木堂的英雄好汉。他们见我杀了鳌拜,居然对我十分客气,说替他们报了大仇。”庄夫人点头道:“桂相公所以得蒙陈总舵主收为弟子,又当了天地会青木堂香主,原来都由于此。”
‘I’m afraid not. In a straight fight, one of him would have beaten a hundred of me!’ said Trinket, with unusual honesty. He decided to go on and tell her the rest of the story as truthfully as possible, including the final killing of Oboi in his cell, and his own subsequent encounter with the Triads. ‘The Triads were Oboi’s deadly enemies. So of course they hailed me like a hero. They said I’d avenged them.’ The lady nodded. ‘And that is how you came to be the Helmsman’s disciple, and Master of the Green Wood Lodge.’

韦小宝心想:“你都知道了,还问我干甚么?”说道:“我却是胡里胡涂,甚么也不懂的。做天地会青木堂香主,那也是有名无实得紧。”他不知庄夫人与天地会是友是敌,先来个模棱两可再说。庄夫人沉思半晌,说道:“桂相公当时在囚室中杀死鳌拜,用的是什么招数,可以使给我看看吗?”韦小宝见她眼神炯炯有光,心想:“这女子邪门得紧,我如胡说八道,大吹牛皮,多半要拆穿西洋镜,还是老老实实的为高。”当下站起身来,说道:“我又有什么屁招数了?”双手比划,说道:“当时我吓得魂不附体,乱七八糟,就是这么几下。”庄夫人点点头,说道:“桂相公请宽坐。”说着站起身来,又道:“双儿,咱们的桂花糖,怎么不去拿些来请桂相公尝尝?”说着向韦小宝万福为礼,走进内堂。
‘Wow!’ Trinket muttered silently to himself. ‘She knows the whole lot! I wonder why she even bothers asking questions!’ ‘I’m not a real Lodge Master,’ he protested, deciding to hedge his bets. He had no way of knowing if this lady was for or against the Triads. ‘I’m afraid I’m just a fake.’ She pondered this for a moment. ‘Can you show me how you finally killed Oboi in his cell? What kungfu moves did you use?’
There was a strange gleam in her eye as she said this. Trinket decided it might be dangerous to fool around with her. Best stick to the truth. He stood up. ‘Kungfu moves, my arse!’ He waved his hands around in the air. ‘I was scared shitless! I just thrashed around like this, and—’ Widow Zhuang nodded. ‘Please be seated, Laurel Goong-goong.’ She now rose to her feet. ‘Doublet, bring some of our laurel-flavoured candy for Laurel Goong-goong.’ She bowed deeply to Trinket, and retired to one of the inner apartments.

韦小宝心想:“她请我吃糖,自然没有歹意了。”终究有些不放心:“这三少奶虽然看来不像女鬼,也说不定她道行高,鬼气不露。”双儿走进内堂,捧了一只青花高脚瓷盘出来,盘中装了许多桂花糖、松子糖,微笑道:“桂相公,请吃糖。”将瓷盘放在桌上,回进内堂。韦小宝坐在花厅,吃了不少桂花糖、松子糖,只盼快些天亮。过了良久,忽听得衣衫簌簌之声,门后、窗边、屏风畔多了好多双眼睛,在偷偷向他窥看,似乎都是女子的眼睛,黑暗之中,难以分辨是人是鬼,只看得他心中发毛。
Trinket was a little uneasy. What was going on? This lady might not be quite what she seemed. Or perhaps his bad language had offended her? Doublet came in with a blue-and-white plate piled high with candy of various kinds. ‘Help yourself, Laurel Goong-goong,’ she said, depositing the plate on the table and then taking her leave.
Trinket sat there, crunching candy and waiting for the dawn. After what seemed like an age, he heard the rustling of silk, and became aware of many pairs of eyes peeping at him from all sides. He had the feeling they were women’s eyes, but whether they were the eyes of living beings or of ghosts, he could not tell. His heart trembled.

忽听得一个苍老的女子声音在长窗外说道:“桂相公,你杀了奸贼鳌拜,为我们众家报了血海深仇,大恩大德,不知何以报答。”长窗开处,窗外数十白衣女子罗拜于地。韦小宝吃了一惊,急忙答礼。只听得众女子在地下冬冬磕头,他也磕下头去,长窗忽地关了。那老妇说道:“恩公不必多礼,未亡人可不敢当。”但听得长窗外众女子呜咽哭泣之声大作。韦小宝毛骨悚然,过了一会,哭泣之声渐渐远去,这些女子便都散了。他如梦如幻,寻思:“到底是人还是鬼?看来……看来……”
An elderly woman’s voice finally spoke through the window. ‘Laurel Goong-goong, by killing that wicked villain Oboi, you have avenged a great wrong for us! How can we ever repay the great debt of gratitude that we owe you!’ Through the longest of the windows in the reception room, Trinket could now make out the figures of some twenty or thirty women, all dressed in white, and all bowing deeply towards him. Taken aback, he bowed to them in response. Then all of a sudden the window closed, and a sound of loud ululation began. The wailing sent a shiver down Trinket’s spine. Gradually the sound died away, and he could hear the throng of women dispersing. He wondered if he had been dreaming, or seeing things. Were these women alive, or were they ghosts?

过了一会,庄夫人从内堂出来,说道:“桂相公,请勿惊疑。这里所聚居的,都是被鳌拜所害忠臣义士的遗属,大家得知桂相公手刃鳌拜,为我们得报大仇,无不感恩。”韦小宝道:“那么庄三爷也……也是为鳌拜所害了?”庄夫人低头道:“正是。这里人人泣血痛心,日夜俟机复仇,想不到这奸贼恶贯满盈如此之快,竟然死在桂相公的手下。”韦小宝道:“我又有什么功劳了,也不过是刚刚碰巧罢了。”双儿将他那个包袱捧了出来,放在桌上。庄夫人道:“桂相公,你的大恩大德,实难报答,本当好好款待,才是道理。只是孀居之人,颇有不便,大家商议,想送些薄礼,聊表寸心,但桂相公行囊丰足,身携巨款,我们乡下地方,又有什么东西是桂相公看得上眼的?至于武功什么的,桂相公是天地会陈总舵主的及门弟子,远胜于我们的一些浅薄功夫,这可委实叫人为难了。”韦小宝听她说得文绉绉地,说道:“不用客气了。只是我想问问,我那几个同伴,都到哪里去了?”
After another pause, Widow Zhuang emerged again from an inner room. ‘Laurel Goong-goong, please set your mind at ease. These are all of them women whose menfolk, husbands or fathers, died at the hands of Oboi. They all feel a deep gratitude to you for having taken vengeance for them.’ ‘Was your husband one of the men killed by Oboi?’ asked Trinket. She lowered her head. ‘He was. I too am deeply in your debt’ ‘Please,’ insisted Trinket, with uncharacteristic modesty. ‘It was nothing. I just got lucky. But I would like to know one thing. Where have all my companions gone?’

庄夫人沉思半晌,道:“既承见问,本来不敢不答。但恩公知道之后,只怕有损无益。这几位是恩公的朋友,我们自当竭尽所能,不让他们有所损伤便是。他们日后自可再和恩公相会。”韦小宝料想再问也是无益,抬头向窗子瞧了瞧,心想:“怎地天还不亮?”
Widow Zhuang pondered this question for a moment. ‘Since they were your friends, we have done our utmost to protect them from harm. You will see them again soon.’ Trinket could tell there was nothing to be gained by pressing her any further. He glanced out of the window. ‘Why is it still so dark?’ he wondered to himself.

庄夫人似乎明白他心意,问道:“恩公明日要去哪里?”韦小宝心想:“我和那个章老三的对答,她想必都听到了,那也瞒她不过。”说道:“我要去山西五台山。”庄夫人道:“此去五台山,路程不近,只怕沿途尚有风波。我们想送恩公一件礼物,务请勿却是幸。”韦小宝笑道:“人家好意送我东西,倒是从来没有不收过。”
Widow Zhuang seemed to read his thoughts. ‘Where are you planning to set off to when it’s light?’ she asked. Trinket could see it was futile to try hoodwinking this all-knowing lady. She had probably overheard everything anyway. ‘I’m travelling to the Wutai Mountains.’ ‘That’s a long way from here,’ replied Widow Zhuang. ‘The journey could be a hard one. We should like to give you something to take with you. I hope you will accept it.’ ‘I never refuse presents,’ quipped Trinket.

庄夫人道:“那好极了。”指着双儿道:“这个小丫头双儿,跟随我多年,做事也还妥当,我们就送了给恩公,请你带去,此后服侍恩公。”
The present we have in mind is my maidservant Doublet,’ continued Widow Zhuang. ‘She has served me for several years, and is a thoroughly trustworthy girl. We would like her to wait on you.’

韦小宝又惊又喜,没想到她说送自己一件礼物,竟然是一个人,适才双儿服侍自己,熨衣结辫,省了不少力气,如有这样一个又美貌、又乖巧的小丫头伴在身边,确是快活得很,但此去五台山,未必太平无事,须得随机应变,带着个小丫头,却是十分不便,说道:“庄夫人送我这件重礼,那真是多谢之极。只不过……只不过……”要推却不要罢,一来人家送礼,岂可不收?二来这样一个好丫头,也真舍不得不要。只见双儿低了头,正在偷看自己,他眼光一射过去,她急忙转过了头,脸上一阵晕红。庄夫人道:“不知恩公有何难处?”韦小宝道:“我去五台山,所办的事多半很是……很是不容易,带着这位姑娘,恐怕不方便。”
Trinket was both surprised and delighted by this generous offer. Doublet certainly seemed a helpful and resourceful girl, and she was extraordinarily pretty into the bargain. It would be fun having her by his side. But then again, the journey might prove dangerous, and require some speedy responses. She might cramp his style. ‘It’s very kind of you, Widow Zhuang,’ he began, ‘but I wonder if. . .’ Then he had second thoughts. It seemed churlish to refuse such a gift. And Doublet was so sweet. . . . There she was, her head lowered, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. When his glance met hers, she turned coyly away, and a flush stole across her face. ‘I’m just afraid that this trip of mine to Wutai may be a bit dangerous for a girl.’

庄夫人道:“那倒不用担心,双儿年纪虽小,身手却也颇为灵便,不会成为恩公的累赘,尽管放心便是。”韦小宝又向双儿看了一眼,见她一双点漆般的眼中流露出热切的神色,笑问:“双儿,你愿不愿意跟我去?”双儿低下了头,细声道:“三少奶叫我服侍相公,自然……自然要听三少奶的吩咐。”韦小宝道:“那你自己愿不愿呢?只怕会遇到危险的。”双儿道:“我不怕危险。”韦小宝微笑道:“你答了我第二句话,没答第一句话。你不怕危险,只不过夫人将你送了给我,你心中却是不愿意了。”双儿道:“夫人待我恩德深重,相公对我庄家又有大恩,夫人叫我服侍相公,我一定尽心。相公待我好,是我命好,待我不好,是我……是我命苦罢啦。”韦小宝哈哈一笑,道:“你命很好,不会命苦的。”双儿嘴角边露出一丝浅笑。
‘You needn’t worry on her behalf. She is a very capable girl. I don’t think she will be a burden on you.’ Trinket glanced again at Doublet. There was such entreaty written on her face, such a pleading look darting from her jet-black eyes. Well Doublet,’ he said, ‘what about you? Do you want to go with me?’ She bowed her head. ‘If My Lady says so,’ she replied. ‘I’ll do whatever My Lady says.’ ‘That’s not what I asked,’ said Trinket. ‘What about you? Do you want to go? It may be dangerous.’ ‘I’m not afraid.’ ‘You still haven’t answered my first question. Do you want to go?’ ‘My Lady has always been good to me. You are My Lady’s benefactor. If My Lady wants to give me to you, that is my fate! For better or for worse!’ Trinket gave a little laugh.
‘I promise it’ll be for better!’ The faintest shadow of a smile crossed Doublet’s face.

庄夫人道:“双儿,你拜过相公,以后你就是桂相公的人了。”双儿抬起头来,忽然眼圈儿红了,先跪向庄夫人磕头,道:“三少奶,我……我……”说了两个“我”字,轻轻啜泣。庄夫人抚摸她头发,温言道:“桂相公少年英雄,年纪轻轻便已名扬天下,你好好服侍相公。他答应了待你好的。”双儿应道:“是。”转过身来,向韦小宝盈盈拜倒。韦小宝道:“别客气!”扶她起来,打开包袱,取出一串明珠,笑道:“这算是我的见面礼!”心想:“这串明珠,少说也值得三四千两银子,用来买丫鬟,几十个都买到了。可是几十个丫鬟加在一起,也及不上这双儿可爱。”双儿双手接过,道:“多谢相公。”挂在颈中,珠上宝光流动,映得她一张俏脸更增丽色。
‘There, that’s settled then!’ said Widow Zhuang. ‘You’re Laurel Goong-goong’s now!’ Doublet’s eyes reddened and she fell sobbing to the ground and knelt before Widow Zhuang, who stroked her head. ‘Laurel Goong-goong is a brave young hero,’ she said gently. ‘Serve him well, and he will be sure to treat you kindly.’ ‘Yes, ma’am.’ Doublet turned and bowed to her new master. Trinket rummaged in his bag and brought out a string of pearls. Take these,’ he said. They’re yours. Our First Meeting present.’ These pearls cost me three or four thousand taels of silver!’ he mused to himself. ‘Enough to buy twenty or thirty maids! But none as sweet as you!’ ‘Thank you very much,’ said Doublet, taking the necklace and putting it round her neck. The pearls added a charming touch to her pretty face.

庄夫人道:“恩公去五台山,不知是打算明查,还是暗访?”韦小宝道:“那自然是暗访的了。”庄夫人道:“五台山各丛林庙分青黄,尽有卧虎藏龙之士,恩公务请小心。”韦小宝道:“是,多谢吩咐。不过你叫我恩公,可不敢当了。你叫我小宝好啦。”庄夫人道:“那可不敢当。”站起身来,说道:“一路珍重,未亡人恕不远送了。”向双儿道:“双儿,你出此门后,便不是庄家的人了。此后你说什么话,做什么事,一概和旧主无涉,你如在外面胡闹,我庄家可不能庇护你。”说这句话,神色之间甚是郑重。双儿应了。庄夫人又向韦小宝行礼,走了进去。眼见窗纸上透光,天渐渐亮了。双儿进去拿了一个包袱出来,连韦小宝的包袱一起背在背上。韦小宝道:“咱们走罢!”
Widow Zhuang warned Trinket of the dangers that might lie ahead on the Wutai Mountains, and of the strange characters he might encounter lurking in some of the temples dotted around on the various slopes. She strictly enjoined Doublet to serve her new master well, and then took her leave. At last the dawn came, and light glimmered through the window. Doublet went in to fetch her own bag, and threw it together with Trinket’s over her shoulder. ‘Let’s go then!’ said Trinket. ‘Yes, let’s go!’

双儿道:“是!”低下了头,神色凄然,不住向后堂望去,显是和庄夫人分别,颇为恋恋不舍。她两眼红红的,适才定是哭过了。
Doublet took one last lingering look behind her. Her eyes were red. She had been crying again. Secrets Exchanged

韦小宝走出大门,双儿跟在身后。其时大雨已止,但山间溪水湍急,到处都是水声。韦小宝走出数十步,回首向那大屋望去,但见水气濛漫,笼罩在墙前屋角,再走出数十步,回头白濛濛地,什么都看不到了。
When Trinket and Doublet stepped out of the house, the torrential rain had stopped, but the hillside was still awash with water. They walked twenty or thirty yards, and Trinket turned and looked back. The haunted house was already swathed in mist. Another thirty yards and there was nothing to be seen but a white expanse.

他叹了口气,说道:“昨晚的事,真像是做梦一般。双儿,夫人最后跟你说那几句话,是什么意思?”双儿道:“三少奶说,我以后只服侍相公,不管说什么,做什么,都跟她庄家没有干系。”韦小宝道:“那么,我那些同伴到底到哪里去了,你可以跟我说啦!”双儿一怔,道:“是。相公那些同伴,本来都给我们救了出来,章老三跟他那些手下人也给我们逮住了,但后来神龙教中来了厉害人物,却一古脑儿的都抢了去。三少奶说,咱们都是女流之辈,不便跟那些野男人打斗动粗,再说,也未必斗得过,暂且由得他们,另行托人去救你那几位同伴。神龙教的人见我们退让,也就走了,临走时说了几句客气话。”韦小宝点点头,对方怡和沐剑屏的处境颇为担心。双儿道:“三少奶曾对神龙教的首领说,决不能伤害你那几位同伴的性命。那人亲口答允了的。”韦小宝叹道:“神龙教这些家伙,只怕说话如同放屁,唉,可也没有法子。”又问:“三少奶会武功么?”双儿道:“会的,不但会,而且很了得。”
‘Last night all seems like a dream,’ said Trinket with a sigh. He turned to Doublet. ‘Can you tell me what happened to my friends?’ Doublet began: ‘We saved them, and we captured the others. But then some more fierce Mystic Dragon people arrived, and made off with them all. My Lady said we were not to put up a fight, so we let them go.’ Trinket nodded. He was most concerned, needless to say, about Fang Yi and the Little Countess. ‘My Lady made the leader of the Mystic Dragons promise not to harm your friends.’ ‘Not that their promise is worth a donkey’s fart,’ commented Trinket with a sigh. Tell me, is your mistress a good fighter?’ The best!’ replied Doublet proudly.

韦小宝摇了摇头,道:“她这么风也吹得倒的人,怎么武功会很了得?她要是真的武功了得,三少爷又怎会给鳌拜杀死?”双儿道:“老太爷、三少爷他们遇害之时,几十家人没一个会武功,那时男的都给鳌拜捉到北京去杀了,女的要充军到宁古塔去,说什么给披甲人为奴,幸亏在路上遇到救星,杀死了解差,把我们几十家的女子救了出来,安顿在这里,又传了三少奶她们本事。”韦小宝渐渐明白。
Trinket shook his head in disbelief. ‘Such a delicate looking lady? If she’s so good at kungfu, how come she wasn’t able to save her own husband from death?’ ‘At that time, none of the Zhuang womenfolk knew anything about the Martial Arts,’ replied Doublet. That came later. The men were arrested on Oboi’s orders and taken to Peking to be executed, and the women were all exiled to the far north, to Ninguta. They would have ended up as slaves working for the soldiers on the frontier—but they were rescued on the way, and settled down here. The person who saved them also taught them Martial Arts.’

其时天已大亮,东方朝暾初上,一晚大雨,将山林间树木洗得青翠欲滴,韦小宝直到此刻,才半点也不再疑心昨晚见到的是女鬼,问道:“你们屋子里放了这许多灵堂,那都是给鳌拜害死的众位老爷、少爷?”
By now the sun had risen in a clear blue sky, and was shining down on a verdant landscape, fresh and brilliant after the previous night’s heavy rain. The bright weather helped to disperse Trinket’s doubts and fears, and he felt confident now that the house had indeed been inhabited by widows and bereaved mothers, not haunted by ghosts. ‘So all those shrines were in memory of their dead husbands and sons, killed by Oboi?’

双儿道:“正是。我们隐居在深山之中,从来不跟外边人来往。附近乡下人有好奇的过来探头探脑,我们总是装神扮鬼,吓走了他们。所以大家说这是间鬼屋,近一年来,谁也不敢过来了。想不到相公昨晚会来。三少奶说,我们大仇未报,一切必须十分隐秘才好。灵堂牌位上写得有遇难的老爷、少爷们的名字,要是外人见了,可大大的不便,相公昨晚问起,我不敢说。不过三少奶说道,从今以后,我只服侍相公,跟庄家没了干系,自然是什么都不能再瞒你了。”韦小宝喜道:“是啊。我跟你说,我的真姓名叫做韦小宝,桂公公什么的,却是假名。你是我韦家的人,不是桂家的人。”双儿甚喜,道:“相公连真名也跟我说了,我决不会泄露。”韦小宝笑道:“我这真名也不是什么大秘密,天地会中的兄弟,就有许多人知道。”
‘Yes. We lived apart from the world. If people ever became curious and poked their noses into our affairs, we would pretend to be ghosts and frighten them away. That’s why everyone thinks the house is haunted. For a year now no one has come near the place. Not till you came along. And since you turned out to be the one who avenged their deaths, we felt bound to tell you the truth.’ ‘And I must do likewise,’ declared Trinket, feeling a fit of honesty coming on. ‘My real name isn’t Laurel Goong-goong at all. It’s Trinket. Trinket Wei.’ ‘You can trust me,’ replied Doublet. ‘I won’t tell a soul.’ She seemed thrilled to have had such an important secret confided in her.

双儿道:“神龙教那些人跟你们一伙动手之时,三少奶她们在外边看热闹。见到他们会念咒,嘴里叽哩咕噜的念咒……”韦小宝笑道:“洪教主神通广大,寿与天齐。这种咒语,我也会念。”双儿道:“三少奶说,他们嘴里这么念咒,暗底里一定还在使什么别的法术,否则不会突然一念咒,手底下的功夫就增长了几倍。后来那个章老三跟你说话,三少奶在窗外听,别的人就弄熄了大厅上灯火,用渔网把一伙人都拿了。”韦小宝一拍大腿,叫道:“妙极!用渔网来捉人么?那好得很啊。”双儿道:“三少奶说,那章老三的武功也没什么了不起,就是妖法厉害,因此没跟他正面动手,一引他出来,就熄了灯火,渔网这样一罩……”韦小宝道:“捉到了一只老王八。”双儿嘻嘻一笑,道:“山背后有个湖,我们夜间常去打鱼。我们在湖州时,庄家大屋靠近太湖,那湖可就大了。那时候我们庄家渔船很多,租给渔人打鱼。三少奶她们见过渔人撒网捉鱼的法子。”韦小宝道:“你们果然是湖州人,怪不得湖州粽子裹得这么好吃。三少爷到底怎么给鳌拜害死的?”
She told Trinket that Widow Zhuang had been watching and listening during the fight with the Mystic Dragons. It was Widow Zhuang’s women who had put out the candles, and caught the Dragons in a fishing-net. ‘Clever move!’ cried Trinket. ‘You see, the Zhuang family used to live near Lake Tai Hu in the old days. They rented out their boats to the local fishermen, and often watched them at work with their nets.’ ‘Oh well, if you’re all from Huzhou, no wonder the zongzi were so delicious! But tell me, why did your master get into such trouble with Oboi in the first place?’

双儿道:“三少奶说,那叫做‘文字狱’。”韦小宝奇道:“蚊子肉?蚊子也有肉?”双儿道:“不是蚊子,是文字,写的字哪!我们大少爷是读书人,学问好得很,他瞎了眼睛之后,做了一部书,书里有骂满洲人的话……”韦小宝道:“啧啧啧,了不起,瞎了眼睛还会做书写文章。我眼睛不瞎,见了别人写的字还是不识,我这可叫做‘亮眼瞎子’了!”双儿道:“老太太常说,世道不对,还是不识字的好。我们住在一起的这几家人家,每一位遭难的老爷、少爷,个个都是学士才子,没一个的文章不是天下闻名的。就因为做文章,这才做出祸事来啦。不过三少奶说,满洲鞑子不许我们汉人读书做文章,我们偏偏要读,偏偏要做,才不让鞑子称心如意呢。”韦小宝道:“那你会不会做文章?”双儿嘻的一笑,道:“相公真爱说笑话,小丫头怎么会做文章?三少奶教我读书,也不过读了七八本。”韦小宝“哗”的一声,说道:“你读了七八本书!那比我行得多了。我只不过识得七八个字。”双儿笑道:“相公不爱读书,老太太一定喜欢你。她说一到清朝,败家子才读书。”

韦小宝道:“对!我瞧鳌拜那厮也不大识字,定是拍马屁的家伙说给他听的。”双儿道:“是啊。我们大少爷做的那部书,叫做什么《明史》,书里头有骂满清人的话。有个坏人名叫吴之荣,拿了书去向鳌拜告发。事情一闹大,害死了好几百人,连卖书的书店老板,买书来看的人,都给捉去杀了头。相公,你在北京城里,可见过这个吴之荣么?”

韦小宝道:“还没见过,慢慢的找,总找得着。双儿,我想拿你换一个人。”双儿吃了一惊,颤声道:“你……你要拿我去送给人?”韦小宝道:“不是送给别人,是换一个人。”双儿眼圈儿早已红了,急得要哭了出来,道:“什么……什么换一个人?”韦小宝道:“你三少奶将你送给了我,这样一份大礼,可不容易报答。我得想法子将吴之荣那厮捉了来,去送给你三少奶。那么这份礼物也差不多了。”双儿破涕为笑,右手轻轻拍胸,说道:“你吓了我一跳,我还道相公不要我啦。”

韦小宝大喜,道:“你怕我不要你,就急成这样。你放心,人家就是把金山、银山、珍珠山、宝石山堆在我面前,也换不了你去。”说话之间,两人已走到山脚下,但见晴空如洗,万里无尘,韦小宝回想昨晚大雨之中走向“鬼屋”避雨的狼狈情景,当真大不相同。只是徐天川、方怡、沐剑屏他们失陷被擒,不知能否脱险,凭着自己的本事,无论如何救他们不得,多想既然无用,不如不想。

Doublet explained to Trinket how young Master Zhuang had gone blind, and then told him the whole story of the Ming History and the terrible punishment inflicted on the entire Zhuang family. In the ensuing purge, many renowned scholars connected with the Zhuang family (and even innocent booksellers and book-buyers) had lost their lives as well. And it had all been because of a number of disrespectful references in the text to the Manchu rulers.*

* Note to Reader:
For details of the Ming History Inquisition, the reader is directed to the Prologue of the First Book. Lamas

行出数里,来到一个市集,两人找了家面店,进去打尖。韦小宝坐下后,双儿站在一旁侍候。韦小宝笑道:“这可别客气啦,坐下来一起吃罢。”双儿道:“不成,我怎么能跟相公一桌吃饭?太没规矩啦。”韦小宝道:“管他妈的什么规矩不规矩。我说行,就行。等我吃完了你再吃,多耽搁时候。”双儿道:“相公一吃完,咱们就走。我买些馒头,一面走一面吃就行了,不会耽搁的。”韦小宝叹道:“我有个怪脾气,一个人吃东西,肚子一定作怪,倘若没人陪着一块儿吃,待会儿肚子疼起来,那可有得受的了。”双儿嫣然一笑,只得拉张长凳,斜斜的坐在桌子角边。
After a few miles they came to a small country town and went into an inn for a meal. Trinket sat down at the table, and Doublet stood attentively at his side. ‘Come on!’ he said. ‘Don’t be so formal! Sit down and let’s have a bite to eat!’ ‘I couldn’t possibly eat with you. That would never do.’ Tamardy!’ cried an exasperated Trinket. ‘If I say it’ll do, then hot-poppin’ momma it’ll do! Think of the amount of time we’ll waste if you have to stand around waiting till I’ve finished every time, before tucking in yourself!’ ‘You just eat, and then we’ll leave,’ insisted Doublet. Til buy some steamed bread and eat it on the way.’ ‘You don’t seem to realize. I’m funny that way. If I eat on my own, I get a bellyache.’ Doublet let out a little peal of laughter and pulled a bench up to the table.

韦小宝一碗面还只吃得几筷,只见三个西藏喇嘛走进店来,靠街坐了,一叠连声的叫:“拿面来!拿面来!”一名喇嘛瞥眼见到双儿颈中那串明珠,左肘撞了撞同伴,努嘴示意。另外两人一见,登时喜容满脸,目不转睛的打量那串珠子。韦小宝心道:“不好,这三个家伙想拦路打劫。”取出一块碎银子,叫面店中一名店伴去雇一辆大车,匆匆吃完面,上了大车,吩咐车夫向西快跑。驰出数里,只听得车后马蹄声响,韦小宝向后张去,果见那三名喇嘛骑马追来,向双儿道:“那三个恶人要抢你的珠子,给了他们算了,回头我另买一串给你。”双儿道:“是!也不用买过。”
Trinket had hardly eaten more than two or three mouthfuls of noodles, when he saw three Tibetan lamas walk into the inn. They sat down at a table near the door and began yelling, in broken Chinese, for noodles. One of them looked suspiciously at Doublet’s necklace, and nudged his companions. Soon they were all ogling the pearls. Trinket took them for common thieves. He quickly finished his noodles, hired a cart, and set off again at once, ordering the driver to head west and make good speed. They had only progressed a mile or so when they heard the sound of galloping horses behind them. It was the three lamas from the inn. They’re after your pearls!’ Trinket cried to Doublet. ‘Why don’t we just hand them over? I can easily get you some more.’ ‘Of course!’ agreed Doublet. ‘But there’s no need to get me any more.’

只听得三名喇嘛叫道:“停车,停车!”车夫勒定骡子。三名喇嘛纵马上前,拦在车前。一人说道:“两个娃娃,下车来罢!”双儿将颈中那串明珠除了下来,递出车外,说道:“你们看中这串珠子,相公说给了你们,那就拿去罢。”一名胖大喇嘛伸出大手,却不接珠子,更向前探,抓住了双儿手腕,向外便拉。韦小宝急道:“要钱还有,不可动粗!”却见黄影闪动,那喇嘛飞身而起,跃入半空,向后纵了出去。韦小宝暗叫:“好功夫!”
‘Stop cart!’ yelled one of the lamas. The driver reined in his mule. The lamas urged their horses forward, and barred the way in front of the cart. ‘Out of cart, baby!’ cried another lama. Doublet untied her string of pearls and made to throw it down on the ground, crying: ‘My master says you can have the pearls!’ One of the lamas, a big fat fellow, reached out—but it was not the pearls he was reaching for, it was Doublet’s wrist. He yanked her down from the cart. ‘Don’t be rough with her!’ cried Trinket. ‘I’ve got plenty more money if that’s what you want.’ Even as he was saying this, he saw a flash of yellow go whizzing past him. It was the fat lama hurtling through the air. ‘Excellent kungfu!’ Trinket muttered to himself.

见他身子急落,却是头下脚上,波的一声响,一颗胖大脑袋冲向泥沼,直陷至胸,双足乱舞。韦小宝又惊又喜,不知这喇嘛显的一手是什么功夫。另外两个喇嘛哇哇乱叫,抢过去抓住他身子,将他从烂泥中拔了出来。那喇嘛满脸都是湿泥,狼狈无比。幸好昨晚一夜大雨,浸得路边一片软泥,这喇嘛才没受伤。韦小宝哈哈大笑,向车夫道:“还不快走!”双儿提着手中的珠子,问道:“相公,这珠子还给不给他们?”
The lama landed with a sickening thump, his feet pointing upwards, his big head in the soft mud. He sank in right up to his chest, and began thrashing his legs wildly in the air. Trinket found all this most bewildering, and not a little exciting. What weird style of kungfu was this lama into? The other two lamas were now shouting and tugging noisily at their companion’s legs, in an effort to extract him from the ground. When he finally emerged, his face was entirely covered in mud. He looked a dreadful sight. Luckily for him the ground had been greatly softened by the previous night’s rain, and he had not been unduly hurt by the fall. Trinket laughed aloud and ordered the driver to drive on without any further delay. Doublet still had the pearls in her hand. ‘Master, should I give them my necklace or not?’

韦小宝尚未回答,只见三名喇嘛各从腰间拔出钢刀,恶狠狠的扑将上来。双儿从车夫手中接过鞭子,向外甩出,卷住了一名喇嘛手中钢刀,鞭子回缩,左手将刀接住,右手又将鞭子甩了出去,一卷之下,将第二名喇嘛手中钢刀也夺了过来。第三名喇嘛叫声:“啊哟!”一呆停步。双儿手中鞭子又已甩出,这次却卷住了他头颈,顺势将他拉到车前,随手接过他手中钢刀。那喇嘛喉头被鞭子勒住,双眼翻白,伸出舌头,满脸登时没半点血色。余下两名喇嘛分从左右向双儿攻到,意欲相救同伴。双儿跃起身来,左足站在车辕,右足连踢,两名喇嘛头上穴道被点,晕倒在地。她挥手松开鞭子,那喇嘛已窒息良久,也即昏倒。
Before Trinket could reply, the lamas charged towards them with daggers drawn, but quick as a flash Doublet seized the driver’s whip and flicked it at one of them, coiling the tip around his dagger and bringing it spinning back into her left hand. She then repeated the process on a second lama. The third stopped dead in his tracks, muttering to himself in amazement. Doublet flicked the whip again. This time she coiled it round the third man’s neck and hauled him up close to the cart, where she relieved him of his dagger. The whip was still wound tightly around his neck. The whites of his eyes were showing and his tongue had shot out. Every drop of blood seemed to drain from his face. The two other lamas closed in on Doublet from both sides, with a view to rescuing their companion; but Doublet then leapt down and, placing her left foot on the cartwheel, lashed out with her right, kicking the two advancing lamas deftly on the head and closing their Vital Points. They fell to the ground in an instant swoon. She loosened the whip and the third lama collapsed unconscious before her.

韦小宝喜欢之极,跳起身来,叫道:“双儿,好双儿,原来你功夫这样了得。”双儿微微一笑,道:“那也没什么,是这三个恶人不中用。”韦小宝道:“早知这样,我也不用担这半天心事了。”跳下车来,在一名喇嘛身上踢了一脚,问道:“你们干甚么的?”那喇嘛兀自昏晕不醒。双儿在他腰间踢了一脚。那喇嘛一声呻吟,醒了过来。双儿道:“相公问你们是干甚么的?”那喇嘛道:“姑娘……姑娘是会……会仙法的么?”
Trinket was ecstatic. ‘Doublet!’ he cried. ‘I never dreamt your kungfu was so brilliant! Excellent!’ Doublet smiled. That was nothing. These stupid creatures were useless.’ Trinket gave one of the lamas a good kick and asked him: ‘What were you playing at?’ The lama said nothing. He was still unconscious. Doublet kicked him once in the small of the back, and he came to with a groan. ‘My master asked you a question!’ ‘You . . . fairy?’ groaned the man. ‘Or me … dream?’

双儿微笑道:“快说!你们是干甚么的?”那喇嘛道:“我们……我们是五台山菩萨顶……大文殊寺的喇嘛。”双儿皱眉道:“甚么喇嘛不喇嘛的,胡说八道,说这等粗话。”韦小宝道:“喇嘛是西藏的和尚。”双儿道:“原来你们是和尚。”在他身上轻轻踢了一脚,道:“是和尚又不剃光头?”那喇嘛道:“我们是喇嘛,不是和尚。”双儿道:“甚么?你还嘴硬?相公说你是和尚,就是和尚!”在他腰间“天豁穴”上又踢一脚,那喇嘛直痛到骨髓里去,忍不住大声呼叫,疼痛越来越厉害,叫声也越来越响。
‘Answer my master’s question! Hurry up!’ ‘Lamas . . . Wutai Mountains . . .’ he finally succeeded in saying. ‘Manjusn Monastery, Bodhisattva Peak.’ Doublet frowned. ‘Stop talking jibberish!’ These monks are lamas from Tibet,’ explained Trinket. They don’t speak very good Chinese.’ ‘So you’re a bonze are you!’ This was the common term for a Buddhist monk of any denomination.) Doublet gave him another kick. ‘Why haven’t you shaved your head then?’ ‘Me lama, not shave head ‘Rubbish!’ She kicked him again in the small of the back, this time on the Vital Point known as the Celestial Gully, causing him the most excruciating pain. He let out a piercing scream. The worse the pain grew, the louder he screamed.

另外两名喇嘛悠悠转醒,听到他杀猪般大叫,无不骇然,齐用藏语相询,那喇嘛说了,随即用汉语叫道:“我是和尚,我是和尚,姑娘说……说我是甚么,就……就是甚么,求求你……快快给我……解了穴道。”双儿笑道:“姑娘说的不算数,相公说的才算数。相公,你说他是什么?”韦小宝笑道:“我说他是尼姑!”
The other lamas had by now regained consciousness. They were greatly alarmed to hear their companion squealing like a pig in the slaughterhouse, and exchanged a few quick words in their own language. ‘Yes miss!’ cried the lama. ‘Me bonze, yes miss, please to stop pain!’ ‘It all depends on my master. What do you say, master? What is he?’ Trinket laughed. ‘A nun!’

那喇嘛实已忍耐不住,忙道:“我是尼姑,我是尼姑!”韦小宝和双儿一齐大笑。双儿左足在他颈下“气户穴”上轻轻一踢,那喇嘛剧痛立止,兀自不停的叫唤:“我是尼姑,我是尼姑!”韦小宝忍住了笑,问道:“你们是出家人,为甚么来抢我们财物?”那喇嘛道:“小人该死,下次再也不敢了。”韦小宝道:“你还想下次么?”那喇嘛道:“我说过不敢,就是不敢,再过一百年也不敢了。”韦小宝道:“你们不在庙里念经,下山来干甚么?”那喇嘛道:“是……是师父派我们下山来的。”韦小宝道:“你们师父派你们下山来抢金银珠宝?”那喇嘛道:“不……不是。我们要去北京……”
The poor lama was truly in agony. Trinket and Doublet both burst out laughing. Finally Doublet took pity on him. She tapped her foot lightly on the point known as the Gate of Corporeal Energy, situated just below his neck, and his pain ceased. But he kept on jabbering. ‘Me nun! Nun! Me! Nun! Me!’ Trinket could not stop himself from laughing. ‘If you really are monks,’ he asked, ‘why did you try to rob us?’ ‘Never do again!’ ‘What are you doing down here in the Erst place? Why aren’t you up in your temple chanting your Sutras and saying your prayers?’ ‘Guru . . . send us,’ was their somewhat gloomy response. To steal pearls?’ ‘No … go to Peking.’

刚说到这里,另一名胖大喇嘛咳嗽了一声。韦小宝斜眼瞧去,只见那喇嘛连使眼色,显是示意同伴不可吐露实情。韦小宝本想这些喇嘛见财起意,恃强抢劫,也没什么大不了。满洲人祟信喇嘛,皇宫中做法事,定是请喇嘛拜忏诵经。皇室如此,一般王公亲贵更加不必说了,是以颇有不守清规的喇嘛在京里横行不法。他本想作弄折磨他们一番,资为笑乐,就此将他们放了,但见这胖大喇嘛这等神情,似乎另有别情,说道:“这三个家伙捣鬼。双儿,你在他们三人身上每人踢一脚,让他们三人叫苦连天,咱们这就去罢!”双儿应道:“是!”她也瞧出那胖大喇嘛捣鬼,先在他“天豁穴”上踢了一脚。那喇嘛立时大声呼叫。双儿又走到先前那喇嘛身边,提起脚来,作势欲踢。
At this point one of the lamas (the fattest one) coughed loudly. Trinket saw him give his companion a meaningful look. He had assumed the three to be typical miscreant lamas on the rampage. Lamaist Buddhism enjoyed the patronage of the Manchu Court, and in Peking lamas seemed to think they possessed some kind of diplomatic immunity, and could get away with all manner of misbehaviour as a result. Trinket had intended to enjoy himself a little giving these three a hard time, and then let them go. But there was something in that fat lama’s look that alerted him to some deeper plot afoot. These three are up to no good,’ he muttered to Doublet. ‘Give them each a good kick, and let’s get out of here as quickly as possible.’ Doublet duly landed a foot on the fat one’s Celestial Gully and he too started screaming his head off. Then she went up to her previous victim.

那喇嘛吃过苦头,忙道:“别踢,我说就是。师父差我们上北京,送一封信。”韦小宝道:“信呢?”那喇嘛道:“这……这信是不能给你们看的,要是给人见到了,师……师父非杀我们不可。”韦小宝道:“拿出来!你不拿,我就踢你一脚。”说着走上一步。那喇嘛可不知他功夫有限,这一脚踢在身上,无关痛痒,一见他提脚,忙道:“不……不在我这里。”韦小宝道:“你去拿来!”
‘Please no kick!’ he begged her pitifully. ‘Me tell. Guru send us Peking, carry letter.’ ‘A letter?’ echoed Trinket. ‘No can see. You see letter. . . Guru . . . kill us!’ ‘You give me the letter,’ said Trinket, ‘or I’ll kick you!’ The lama assumed that whatever the maid could do, the master was bound to do better. He was taking no chances. ‘Me . . . not have . . . letter . . .’ ‘Give it to me!’

那喇嘛无奈,走到那胖大喇嘛身前,叽哩咕噜的说了几句藏语。那胖大喇嘛以藏语回答,他正在杀猪也似的大叫大嚷,再夹入断断续续的几句藏语,更加难听。韦小宝从他语气与神情之中,料想他定是不许这喇嘛取信,当即走过去在他脑门上狠狠踢了一脚,那胖大喇嘛登时晕去。另一名喇嘛从他怀中取出一个油布小包,战战兢兢的双手递过。韦小宝接了过来。双儿从怀里也取出一个小包,打了开来,拿出一把小小剪刀,剪开包裹,里而果是一封信,封皮上写的是两行藏文。韦小宝问道:“这信送去给谁?”那喇嘛道:“给我们师伯的。”韦小宝伸手一扯,嗤的一声,扯开了封皮。两个喇嘛连声叫苦。只见一道黄纸上了几行弯弯曲曲的藏文,下面又用朱砂画了一道符,希奇古怪,不知所云。这封信便是以汉文书写,韦小宝也是不识,当即递给双儿,问道:“里面写些什么?”
The lama stumbled over to his fat companion and the two of them started jibbering in Tibetan. The fat one had some difficulty talking, because he was still squealing with pain like a stuck pig. The resultant combination of noises was especially hideous. Something about the fat lama’s body language made Trinket feel sure that he was trying to prevent his companion from handing over the letter. Trinket walked up to him and booted him savagely in the head. He went out like a light. The other one now promptly extracted a little oilskin package from within his gown, and handed it over with trembling hands. Doublet produced a little knife and cut open the package. Sure enough, it contained a letter. On the envelope were two columns of Tibetan writing. ‘Who is this letter for?’ asked Trinket. He ripped it open with a finger. The two lamas howled in protest. Inside was a sheet of yellow paper, covered in squiggly Tibetan writing. The bottom of the page was stamped with a talis-manic charm in red ink—most peculiar and utterly indecipherable. ‘What does it say?’ asked Trinket.

双儿也不识得,向那喇嘛道:“相公问你信里写些什么,快说!如有半句假话,我踢了你的穴道,永不给你解开。哼,至少也得隔上三天三晚,才给你解开。”那喇嘛接过信去,看了一遍又一遍,嗫嚅道:“这个……这个……”韦小宝道:“甚么这个那个的?快说!”那喇嘛道:“是,是!那信中说道,师兄所问那个人……”刚说到这里,另一个喇嘛忽然咕噜咕噜的说起话来。双儿飞身过去,在他“天豁穴”上一脚踢去,这喇嘛的话声立时变成了呻吟和呼号。第一个喇嘛脸色大变,颤声道:“那信中说……说道要找的那个人,我们找来找去找不到,一定……一定不在五台山上。”
‘Come on,’ added Doublet. ‘You heard him. My master wants to know what it says. You’d better tell him, or I’ll kick you and close your points and never open them again. Well, not for three days anyway.’ The lama took hold of the letter. ‘Says . . . man . . . cannot. . . be . . .’ The other of the two conscious lamas suddenly started squawking loudly in Tibetan. Doublet landed him a quick kick to the Celestial Gully and his squawks were instantly transformed into pathetic moans. The original lama (the one still holding the letter) paled. He began shaking uncontrollably. ‘Says . . . man . . . cannot be found. Search everywhere. No find. Not on Wutai,’

韦小宝见他目光闪烁,说话吞吞叶吐,心想:“我虽不懂你们的鸡鸣狗叫,可是瞧你神气,定是在说假话,只不过你这家伙太笨,假话也说不像。”向双儿道:“这喇嘛又在撒谎骗我了。”双儿道:“他这样坏,那可饶他不得。”伸足再在他“天豁穴”上一踢。那喇嘛叫道:“你……杀了我罢。我师兄说……说的,倘若说了信中言语,我们……我们三个都活不成的……你……你快杀了我罢。”
Trinket studied the man. His eyes were glinting, his face was twitching, he was stammering so badly he could hardly get out two syllables in succession. ‘I may not have been able to understand all that cock-a-doodle-doo jibberish of yours,’ Trinket thought to himself, ‘but I can tell that you’re making it all up. And you’re lousy at it too!’ ‘He’s lying!’ he said out loud to Doublet. ‘Then we’ll have to give him the works!’ She raised her foot in the general direction of the lama’s Gully. ‘Please not!’ he yelped. ‘Please to kill. . . not to kick! Guru say . . . we tell letter . . . we dead. So … please to kill!’

韦小宝道:“别理他了,咱们走罢!”和双儿跃上大车。那车夫见他二人小小年纪,居然收拾得三个喇嘛死去活来,佩服得五体投地,赞不绝口。韦小宝低声道:“到得前面市镇之上,你可得改装,这串明珠也得收了起来。”双儿道:“是。我改甚么装?”韦小宝微笑道:“你改了男装罢。”
‘Forget him.’ said Trinket. ‘Let’s just go.’ He and Doublet climbed back onto the cart. The driver had watched in silent admiration as the two youngsters put paid to the three fully grown, and extremely aggressive, lamas. ‘When we get to the next town,’ Trinket whispered to Doublet, ‘you’d better change into something different. And put the pearls away somewhere safe.’ ‘Yes, master. How would you like me to dress?’
Trinket smiled. ‘Like a boy.’Trinket the Benefactor

车行三十余里后,到了一座大市镇。韦小宝遣去车夫,赴客店投宿,取出银子,命双儿去购买衣衫改装。双儿买了衣衫回店,穿着起来,扮作了一个俊俏的小书僮。
Ten miles further down the road, they came to a large town. There, Trinket dismissed the driver and took lodgings at an inn. He gave Doublet some money to go and spend on clothes. Presently she returned, looking for all the world like a handsome young page-boy.

这一改装,路上再不引人注目。双儿武功了得,人情世故却全然不懂,一路上全由韦小宝拿主意,但他的主意可也不大高明,往往有三分正经,却有七分胡闹。不一日来到直晋两省交界。自直隶省阜平县往西,过长城岭,便到龙家关。那龙家关是五台山的东门,石径崎岖,峰峦峻峭,入五台山后第一座寺院是涌泉寺。韦小宝问起清凉寺的所在,却原来五台山极大,清凉寺在南台顶与中台顶之间,自涌泉寺前去,路程着实不近。
They now made a much less conspicuous duo. Mr Trinket Wei and his page. They continued on their way, and in a day or two had arrived at the mountainous border between Hebei and Shanxi provinces. Travelling due west from the town of Fuping in Hebei, across the range of hills known as the Long Wall (because it follows an old southern spur of the Great Wall), they came to Dragon Pass, which forms the easternmost approach to the Wutai Mountains. Here they had to negotiate steep mountain paths, winding their way between precipitous peaks, until finally they reached the very first temple on the eastern slopes of Wutai, the Bubbling Spring Temple.

这晚韦小宝和双儿在涌泉寺畔的卢家庄投宿,吃了一碗羊肉泡馍,再吃糖果,心想日间在涌泉寺问路,庙里的和尚见自己年轻,神情冷冷的不大理睬,不答去清凉寺的路径,反问:“道路又远又不好走,你去清凉寺干什么?”一副讨厌模样,倒有七分便似扬州禅智寺中那些势利的贼秃,到清凉寺中去见顺治皇帝,只怕挺不容易,须得想个法子才好。他嘴里吃糖,心中寻思:“有钱能使鬼推磨,叫和尚推磨,多半也行罢。曾听说书先生说《水浒传》,鲁智深到五台山出家,一个甚么员外在庙里布施了不少银两,鲁智深在庙里乱闹一通,又喝酒又吃狗肉,老和尚也不生气。是了,我假装要做法事,到庙里大撒银子,再借些因头,赖着不走,慢慢的找寻老皇爷,老和尚总不能赶我走。”
That evening Trinket and Doublet put up at a little village inn near the temple. They had a good meal of lamb stew with dumplings, followed by some preserved fruits. Trinket reflected ruefully on the unhelpful, almost disrespectful, attitude of the monks when the two of them had looked in briefly at the temple. They reminded him strongly of the snobbish bonzes he had encountered in his boyhood in the temples of Yangzhou. One had to be a very important person indeed to get their attention at all. It was going to be tough for a young nobody like himself to find the Old Emperor at the Pure Coolness Monastery. He was going to need all the help he could get. Perhaps it might improve his chances if he flashed his money around a bit.

但入山之后,除了寺庙之外便没大市镇,一张五百两银子的银票也找兑不开,只得再出龙泉关,回到阜平,兑换银两,和双儿俩打扮得焕然一新,心想:“我要做法事,可是甚么也不懂,只怕一下子便露出马脚来,先得试演一番。”当下来到阜平县城内一座庙宇吉祥寺,向佛像磕了几个头。知客和尚取出缘簿笔砚。韦小宝挥手道:“布施便布施,写什么字?”取出一锭五十两的元宝,送了过去。那和尚大惊,心想这位小施主乐善好施,世间少有,当下连声称谢,迎入斋房,奉上斋菜素面。
With this in mind, he decided to go back to Fuping and break down one or two of his five-hundred tael notes. While they were there he and Doublet bought themselves some smarter clothes. But then Trinket reflected that if he was to pose as a wealthy Buddhist benefactor he would need some practice. A quick trip to the local Fuping temple, the Temple of the Goodly Auspices, and a bit of a dress rehearsal, would be just the ticket. In he went and kowtowed before the holy image of Buddha. As the Camerarius was producing the register of would-be benefactors, Trinket handed him a fifty-tael lump of silver. The monk was hugely impressed by this initial act of largesse, and promptly led Trinket off to sample the establishment’s vegetarian fare.

韦小宝吃面之时,方丈和尚坐在一旁相陪,大赞小檀越仁心虔敬,必蒙菩萨保佑,日后金榜题名,高中状元,子孙满堂,福泽无穷。韦小宝暗暗好笑,心想你拍我什么马屁都好,我瞎字不识,说我高中状元,那不是当面骂人吗?说道:“老和尚,我要到五台山去做一场大法事,只是我什么也不懂,要请你指教。”那方丈听到“大法事”三字,登时站起身来,说道:“施主,天下庙宇,供奉的佛祖、菩萨都是一般,你要做法事,就在小寺里办好了,包你一切周到妥贴,却不用辛辛苦苦的赶上五台山上去。”
At his meal Trinket was joined by the Abbot, who preached him a little sermon on the untold joys that devotion and generosity would bring him in later life, or indeed in later lives. ‘Holy Father,’ said Trinket (as ever a quick learner when it came to picking up the relevant lingo), ‘I am on my way to Wutai, on a sort of pilgrimage. I wish to pay for a Mass to be said for certain departed souls. I would greatly appreciate your guidance in this matter.’ Predictably the Abbot’s first instinct was to detain this well-heeled pilgrim on his own premises. ‘My son, why travel the mountain trails to Wutai, when you can just as easily show your devotion here? The Lord Buddha is present here too, you know.’

韦小宝摇头道:“不行,我这场法事,许下了心愿,一定要去五台山做的。”说着又取出五十两银子,说道:“这样罢,你给我雇一个人,陪我上五台山去做帮手。五十两银子是给他的。”老和尚大喜,道:“那容易,那容易!”他有个表弟,在庙里经管庙产,收租买物,全由他经手,却不是和尚,当下去叫了他来,和韦小宝相见。此人姓于,行八,一张嘴极是来得,却有个外号叫做“少一划”,原来“于”字加上一划,变成个“王”字,于八便成王八了。三言两语之间,韦小宝便和他十分投机。这等市井小人,韦小宝自幼便相处惯了的,这时忽然在阜平县遇上一个,大有他乡遇故知之感。韦小宝再向方丈请教做法事的诸般规矩,那方丈倒也知无不言,言无不尽。韦小宝心想:“和尚们的规矩倒也真多!”又多布施了二十两银子。韦小宝带了于八回到客店,取出银子,差他去购买一应物事。于八有银子在手,办事十分快捷,不多时诸般物品便已买齐,自己也穿得一身光鲜,说道:“韦相公,你是大财主,我做你亲随,也该穿着得有个谱儿,是不是?这套衣服鞋帽,不过花了三两五钱银子。”韦小宝心想不错,又叫他去衣铺替自己和双儿多买几套华贵衣衫。三人兴兴头头的过龙泉关,后面跟着八个挑夫,挑了八担斋僧礼佛之物,沿大路往南。
Trinket shook his head vigorously, insisting that he absolutely must proceed to Wutai. Then, producing another fifty taels of silver, he enquired of the Abbot if he could possibly hire the services of a companion. ‘Of course! The easiest thing in the world!’ exclaimed the Abbot. He already had someone in mind, needless to say—his own cousin, who though not in holy orders, had been put in charge of the temple estates and produce. The cousin’s nickname was Wurtle (on account of his similarity to a Turtle, so it was said). He was a plausible if somewhat scabrous sort of fellow, a bit of a scamp, and Trinket recognized him instantly as a kindred spirit of sorts. He sent him off to purchase whatever paraphernalia he considered necessary for the ‘offering’, and to buy himself some decent clothes. The three of them then set off back south on the main track across the hills towards Wutai, followed by eight bearers, each laden with gifts for the Lord Buddha. They crossed Dragon Pass once more, and entered the Wutai Mountains proper for the second time.

一入五台山,行不数里便是一座寺庙,过涌泉寺后,经台麓寺、石佛庙、普济寺、古佛寺、金刚库、白云寺、金灯寺而至灵境寺。当晚在灵境寺借宿一宵,次晨折回向北,到金阁寺后向西数里,便是清凉寺了。那清凉寺在清凉山之巅,和沿途所见寺庙相比,也不见得如何宏伟,山门破旧,显已年久失修。韦小宝微觉失望:“皇帝出家,一定拣一座最大的寺庙,只怕海老乌龟瞎说八道,老皇帝并不在这里做和尚。”
They passed by Bubbling Spring Temple again, then walked on past one monastic establishment after another, until finally they arrived at the Monastery of the Holy Precinct. Here they lodged for one night, and set off again the next morning in a northerly direction, reaching the Monastery of the Golden Pavilion, then veering off towards the west. A mile or two further on they came to their destination, Pure Coolness Monastery, which stood on the crest of a mountain of the same name. Despite its reputation, it was no more impressive than the other monasteries; in fact if anything it seemed more dilapidated. Trinket was rather disappointed. ‘Surely the Old Emperor could’ve chosen something a bit grander than this? Perhaps that stupid old Hai Dafu got his facts muddled up and he’s not here at all?’

于八进入山门,向知客僧告知,北京城有一位韦大官人要来大做法事,斋僧供佛。知客僧见这一行人衣饰华贵,又带着八挑物事,当即请进厢房奉茶,入内向方丈禀报。方丈澄光老和尚来到厢房,和韦小宝相见,问道:“不知施主要做甚么法事?”韦小宝见这澄光方丈身材甚高,但骨瘦如柴,双目微闭,一副没精打采的模样,更是失望,说道:“弟子要请大和尚做七日七夜法事,超渡弟子亡父,还有几位亡故了的朋友。”
Wurtle went ahead and spoke with the Camerarius, who, impressed by the evident wealth of the party and their obviously generous intentions, went in at once to report their arrival to the Abbot, Father Aureole. The Abbot came out immediately to welcome the guests. Trinket was even more disappointed by the Abbot’s appearance than he had been by the monastery’s. Father Aureole was a thin, scrawny monk, and had a generally down-at-heel and unprepossessing look about him. ‘Holy Father,’ Trinket began, ‘I have come here to request a seven-day Mass for the salvation of my deceased father’s soul, and for the souls of several of my deceased friends.’

澄光道:“北京城里大庙甚多,五台山也是庙宇众多,不知施主为甚么路远迢迢的,特地上五台山来,到小庙做法事?”韦小宝早知有此一问,事先已和于八商量过,便道:“我母亲上个月十五做了一梦,梦见我死去的爹爹,向她说道,他生前罪业甚大,必须到五台山清凉寺,请方丈大师拜七日七夜经忏,才消得他的血光之灾,免得我爹爹在地狱中受无穷苦恼。”他不知自己父亲是谁,更不知他是死是活,说这番话时,忍不住暗暗好笑,又想:“他妈的,你生下了老子,就此撒手不管,下地狱也是该的。老子给你碰巧做七日七夜法事,是你的天大运气。”澄光方丈道:“原来如此。小施主,俗语说得好:日有所思,夜有所梦。这梦幻之事,实在是当不得真的。”
The Abbot politely inquired why his guest had chosen his own humble establishment in preference to the many temples in Peking, or indeed on other parts of Wutai. Trinket had rehearsed his answer to this question on the way there. ‘My mother had a vision in a dream. My late father came to her and requested her to hold the Mass in this very place. No other place would do to save him from the endless torment of Hell!’ In actual fact, Trinket did not have the slightest idea who his own father was, or whether the individual responsible for conceiving him was living or dead. He found the whole idea highly entertaining. ‘Why, dad, you old bugger,’ he was silently joking to himself, ‘whoever you are—you never cared two hoots for old Trink! You never came anywhere near him! You deserve to rot in Hell anyway! You don’t know how lucky you are to have me, old Trink, paying for a Mass for your soul!’ ‘My son,’ came the Abbot’s somewhat fatuous response to Trinket’s brief tale, ‘dreams can be mere illusion!’

韦小宝道:“大和尚,俗语说得好:宁可信其有,不可信其无。就算我爹爹在梦里的言语未必是真,我们给他做一场法事,超渡亡魂,那也是一件功德。如果我爹爹真有此言,我们却不照他的话做,他在阴世给牛头马面、无常小鬼欺负折磨,那……那……我总有点儿不大好意思罢?再说,这是奉了我母亲之命。我母亲说五台山清凉寺的老方丈跟她有缘份,这场法事嘛,定是要在宝刹做的。”心想:“你跟我妈妈有缘份,这倒奇了,你到扬州丽春院去做过嫖客吗?”澄光方丈“嘿”的一声,说道:“施主有所不知,敝寺乃是禅宗,这等经忏法事,是净土宗的事,我们是不会做的。这五台山上,金阁寺、普济寺、大佛寺、延庆寺等等都是净土宗,施主还是移步到那些寺庙去做法事的为是。”
‘But Father,’ insisted Trinket, ‘even so, even if it is an illusion, my heart will never find peace until I pay for this Mass. It was my mother’s own wish. She said there was a karmic bond between herself and Your Reverence. ‘Nice one!’ he chuckled silently to himself. ‘Sort of implies that this bald-pated turtle-head of a bonze once sneaked off to Yangzhou and jumped on my mum!’ ‘But my son,’ continued Father Aureole, ‘what you may not have realized is that this monastery of ours is a Zen establishment. We devote ourselves mainly to silent meditation and the quest for wordless enlightenment. Of course, we can and do say Masses. But that is not really our main line. You’d be much better served if you went to one of the Pure Land temples on Wutai, like the Golden Pavilion.’

韦小宝心想在阜平县时,那方丈抢着要做法事,到了此处,这老和尚却推三阻四,将送上门来的银子双手推将出去,其中必有古怪。他求之再三,澄光只是不允,跟着站起身来,向知客僧道:“你指点施主去金阁寺的道路,老衲少陪。”韦小宝急了,忙道:“方丈既然执意不允,我带来施舍宝刹的僧衣、僧帽,以及银两,总是要请宝刹诸位大和尚赏收。”澄光合十道:“多谢了。”他眼见韦小宝带来八挑礼物,竟然毫不起劲。
Trinket was perplexed to get such an unenthusiastic reception from Father Aureole, when the old Abbot at Goodly Auspices had been falling over himself to hang onto him and his money. He repeated his request once more, but the Abbot was adamant and finally rose to his feet, instructing his Camerarius to see them out and show them the way to the Monastery of the Golden Pavilion. Trinket insisted on leaving large quantities of gifts behind, and the Abbot expressed his thanks—rather perfunctorily, given the scale of the donation. There were over three hundred items, Trinket explained, something for everyone, even the lowliest kitchen-boy or garden-hand. That is excessive,’ insisted the Abbot. There are only fifty of us here. I must ask you to take the greater part of your presents with you.’

韦小宝道:“我母亲说道,每一份礼物,要我亲手交给宝刹每一位大和尚,就算是火工道人、种菜的园子,也都有份。带来共有三百份礼物,倘若不够,我们再去采购。”澄光道:“够了,太多了。本寺只五十来人,请施主留下五十六份物品就是。”韦小宝道:“可否请方丈集合寺僧众,由我亲手施舍?这是我母亲的心愿,无论如何是要办到的。”澄光抬起头来,突然间目光如电,在韦小宝脸上一扫,说道:“好!我佛慈悲,就如施主所愿。”转身进内。
‘May I in turn ask a final favour of you, Father?’ said Trinket. ‘My mother most particularly asked me to hand over the gifts in person. Would it be possible to assemble all of your monks together? It was my mother’s wish.’ When he heard this a strange look came into the Abbot’s eyes. ‘Buddha is compassionate!’ he intoned. ‘Let it be according to your mother’s wish, my son.’ With these words he walked back into the inner precinct of the monastery.

瞧着他竹竿一般的背影走了进去,韦小宝心头说不出的别扭,讪讪的端起茶碗喝茶。于八站在他背后,低声道:“这等背时的老和尚,姓于的这一辈子可还真少见,怪不得偌大一座清凉寺,连菩萨金身也是破破烂烂的。”只听得庙里撞起钟来,知客僧道:“请檀越到西殿布施。”韦小宝到得西殿,见僧众络绎进来,他将施物一份一份发放,凝神注视每一名和尚,心想:“顺治皇帝我没见过,但他是小皇帝的爸爸,相貌总有些相像。只要见到是个大号小皇帝的和尚,那便是了。”可是五十多份施物发完,别说“大号小皇帝”没见到,连跟小皇帝相貌有一二分相似的和尚,也没一个。
Trinket watched uneasily as the Abbot’s spare frame disappeared. He picked up his teacup and awkwardly drank a sip. Wurtle, who was standing behind him, muttered a few uncomplimentary remarks, to the effect that ‘with an old fogey like that in charge, it was no wonder the place was falling apart’, and more along the same lines. A bell rang from within, and the Camerarius asked them to proceed to the western hall. There Trinket found all the monks assembled. He gave each of them a present, and as he did so studied their faces one by one. ‘I’ve never set eyes on the Old Emperor,’ he thought to himself, ‘but he’s the Emperor’s father, and there must be some kind of family resemblance. What I’m looking for is an older, bigger version of Misty.’ But not one of the monks answered this description.

韦小宝好生失望,突然想起:“他是做过皇帝之人,那是何等的身份,怎会来领我一份施舍的衣帽!我这计策可笨得很。”问知客僧道:“宝刹所有的僧人,全都来了?”知客僧道:“个个都领了,多谢檀越布施。”韦小宝道:“每一个都领了?恐怕不见得,只怕还有人不肯来取。”知客僧道:“檀越说笑话了,哪有此事?”韦小宝道:“出家人不打诳语,你如骗我,你死后要下拔舌地狱。”知客僧一听,登时变色。韦小宝道:“既然尚有僧人未来领取,大和尚去请他来领罢!”知客僧摇头道:“只有方丈大师未领,我看不必再要他老人家出来了。”
Then Trinket reflected that if the Old Emperor were living in this monastery, he would hardly be subject to the same regulations as the other monks. He had doubtless been excluded from the summons. But however hard he pestered the Camerarius with questions (and terrifying threats of having his tongue cut out in Hell if he lied), he was unable to extract any information from him. Lamas on the Hill

正在这时,一名僧人匆匆忙忙进来,说道:“师兄,外面有十几名喇嘛要见方丈。”跟着低声道:“他们身上都带着兵器,磨拳擦掌的,来意不善。”知客僧皱眉道:“五台山青庙黄庙,自来河水不犯井水,他们来干什么?你去禀报方丈,我出去瞧瞧。”说着向韦小宝说道:“少陪。”快步出去。
Just as Trinket was feeling most despondent, a monk came tearing into the room, crying to the Camerarius: ‘Brother, there are a dozen lamas outside wanting to see the Abbot!’ He added, sotto voce: They’re armed! And looking very unfriendly!’ The Camerarius frowned. We should always welcome fellow believers in the Dharma,’ he said, ‘even if they are followers of a different school. But what do these men want? You go in, and report to the Abbot. I’ll go out and take a closer look.’ He turned to Trinket. ‘Excuse me for a moment.’

韦小宝笑道:“这些臭喇嘛,只怕是冲着我们来的。”他想双儿武功高强,十几名喇嘛也不放在心上。忽听得山门外传来一阵喧哗之声,一群人冲进了大雄宝殿。韦小宝道:“瞧瞧热闹去。”拉着双儿的手,一齐出去。到得大殿,只见十几名黄衣喇嘛围住了知客僧,七嘴八舌的乱嚷:“非搜不可,有人亲眼见他来到清凉寺的。”“这是你们不对,干么把人藏了起来?”“乖乖的把人交了出来便罢,否则的话,哼哼!”
‘They’re probably after us,’ mused Trinket, reflecting that with a fighter like Doublet by his side, he would be more than a match for a dozen lamas. The next instant he heard a great tumult outside and the sound of a large crowd of people bursting noisily into the Great Buddha Hall, ‘Let’s go and see what’s happening!’ he cried, and dragged Doublet and Wurtle off with him in the direction of the noise. They arrived to find the unfortunate Camerarius surrounded by a dozen lamas in saffron robes, jabbering wildly at him: ‘Must search! Man . . . here … in Pure Coolness!’ ‘You . . . wicked! Why hide man?’ ‘Give man … or else . . .’

韦小宝走到殿边一站,双手扠腰,心道:“老子就在这里,你们放马过来罢。”岂知那些喇嘛对他全不理睬,正眼也不向他瞧。吵嚷声中,澄光方丈走了出来,缓缓的道:“甚么事?”知客僧道:“好教方丈得知,他们……”他“方丈”二字一出口,那些喇嘛便都围到澄光身畔,叫道:“你是方丈?那好极了!”“快把人交出来!要是不交,连你这寺院也一把火烧个干净。”“岂有此理,真正岂有此理!”“难道做了和尚,便可不讲理么?”澄光道:“请问众位师兄,是哪座庙里的?光临敝寺,为了何事?”
Trinket stood to one side, arms akimbo, thinking to himself: ‘Here’s your man! Here I am! Come and get me!’ But the lamas, although by now they could see Trinket quite plainly, were paying him no attention whatsoever. The Abbot now made a dignified entry. ‘What is all the excitement about?’ he asked. ‘Your Reverence,’ gasped the Camerarius, ‘these men—’ The moment they heard the word Reverence the lamas crowded round Father Aureole. ‘You . . . Abbot? Give man, or … burn monastery!’ ‘Brothers,’ replied the Abbot, ‘would you be so good as to tell me where you have come from? And what brings you here?’

一名黄衣上披着红色袈裟的喇嘛道:“我们打从西藏来,奉了活佛之命,到中原公干,岂知有一名随从的小喇嘛给一个贼和尚拐走了,在清凉寺中藏了起来。方丈和尚,你快快把我们这小喇嘛交出来,否则决计不能跟你甘休。”澄光道:“这倒奇了。我们这里是禅宗青庙,跟西藏密宗素来没有瓜葛。贵处走失了小喇嘛,何不到各处黄庙去问问?”那喇嘛怒道:“有人亲眼见到,那小喇嘛是在清凉寺中,这才前来相问,否则我们吃饱了饭没事干,来瞎闹么?你识趣的,快把小喇嘛交出来,我们也就不看僧面看佛面,不再追究了。”澄光摇头道:“倘若真有小喇嘛来到清凉寺,各位就算不问,老衲也不能让他容身。”几名喇嘛齐声叫道:“那么让我们搜一搜!”澄光仍是摇头,说道:“这是佛门清净之地,哪能容人说搜便搜。”那为首的喇嘛道:“倘若不是做贼心虚,为什么不让我们搜?可见这小喇嘛千真万确,定是在清凉寺中。”
‘Tibet!’ The lama who answered wore a red cassock over his saffron robe. ‘Dalai Lama send us to China,’ he continued. ‘Our lama . . . young one . . . kidnapped . . . hiding here. Abbot give man … or burn monastery!’ This is all very strange,’ replied Father Aureole, ‘and most irregular. This is a Zen cloister. We normally have very little to do with our Lamaist brethren. Should you not be looking instead in the other Lamaist monasteries on Wutai, of which there are quite a number?’ ‘Our man . . . here\ You give . . . we go!’ The Abbot shook his head. ‘I’m afraid we have no such person as you describe here.’ Then please to look!’ ‘This is holy ground!’

澄光刚摇了摇头,便有两名喇嘛同时伸手,扯住他衣领,大声喝道:“你让不让搜?”另一名喇嘛道:“大和尚庙里是不是窝藏了良家妇女,怕人知道?否则搜一搜打甚么紧?”这时清凉寺中也有十余名和尚出来,却给众喇嘛拦住了,走不到方丈身旁。双儿低声问道:“相公,要不要打发了他们?”韦小宝道:“且慢!”心想:“这些喇嘛摆明了是无理取闹,这庙里怎会窝藏什么小喇嘛?莫非他们的用意和我相同,也是要见顺治皇帝?”
The Abbot shook his head again. Two lamas seized hold of him by the collar of his gown. ‘Give … no give? Look … no look?’ ‘Monks . . . hide women! Sex! Bad secrets! Afraid of look-see!’ One of the other lamas was beginning to get carried away. By now a dozen Pure Coolness monks had come into the hall, but were prevented by the lamas from approaching their Abbot. ‘Master,’ whispered Doublet, ‘shall I deal with them?’ ‘Hold on,’ Trinket whispered back. It had finally begun to dawn on him what the lamas were up to. Like himself, they were searching for the Old Emperor.

只见白光一闪,两名喇嘛已拔尖刀在手,分抵澄光的前胸后心,厉声道:“不让搜就先杀了你。”澄光脸上毫无惧色,说道:“阿弥陀佛,大家是佛门弟子,怎地就动起粗来?”两名喇嘛将尖刀微微向前一送,喝道:“大和尚,我们这可要得罪了。”澄光身子略侧,就势一带,两名喇嘛的尖刀都向对方胸口刺去。两人急忙左手出掌相交,拍的一声,各自退出数步。余人叫了起来:“清凉寺方丈行凶打人哪!打死人了哪!”叫唤声中,大门口又抢进三四十人,有和尚、有喇嘛,还有几名身穿长袍的俗家人。一名黄袍白须的老喇嘛大声叫道:“清凉寺方丈行凶杀人吗?”
There was flash of steel, and two lamas drew their swords. One held the tip of his weapon against the Abbot’s chest, the other held his to the small of the Abbot’s back. ‘We kill!’ Father Aureole did not so much as twitch a muscle of his face. ‘Amida Buddha!’ he replied. ‘We are all believers in the same faith. There is surely no need for any of this!’ The two lamas pressed their swords closer towards Father Aureole, but he stepped nimbly to one side and they all but collided with one another. A cry went up, and a motley assortment of thirty or forty more men came bursting in through the main door of the hall, some of them dressed in ordinary Buddhist monks’ habits, some in lama garb. There were even one or two laymen in long gowns. Among them was one elderly, white-haired lama in saffron, who cried indignantly: ‘Abbot killing lamas!’

澄光合十道:“出家人慈悲为本,岂敢妄开杀戒?众位师兄、施主,从何而来?”向一个五十来岁的和尚道:“原来佛光寺心溪方丈大驾光临,有失远迎,得罪,得罪。”佛光寺是五台山上最古的大庙,建于元魏孝文帝之时,历时悠久。当地人有言:“先有佛光寺,后有五台山。”原来五台山原名清凉山,后来因发现五大高峰,才称五台山,其时佛光寺已经建成。五台山的名称,也至隋朝大业初才改。在佛教之中,佛光寺的地位远比清凉寺为高,方丈心溪,隐然是五台山诸青庙的首脑。
Father Aureole protested and addressed himself to another monk in his fifties, also one of the newly arrived: ‘Father Crystal, I am indeed honoured that you should have come all this way!’ The man he was addressing, Father Crystal, was the Abbot of Buddha Light Monastery, the oldest foundation on Wutai, dating back to the days of the Northern Wei dynasty in the fifth century. It antedated the very name Wutai Mountains. In fact, the mountains had at Erst been called the Mountains of Pure Coolness (it was beautifully cool up there during the summer months) and had only subsequendy (during the Sui dynasty, or sixth century) been called the Wutai Mountains, from the five (wit) terraces (tai), or terrace-shaped peaks, that formed the range. The Buddha Light foundation was ecclesiastically speaking far senior to the Pure Coolness Monastery, and its Abbot, Father Crystal, was tacidy acknowledged as the highest ranking cleric in the whole of Wutai.

这和尚生得肥头胖耳,满脸油光,笑嘻嘻的道:“澄光师兄,我给你引见两位朋友。”指着那老喇嘛道:“这位是刚从西藏拉萨来的大喇嘛巴颜法师,是活佛座下最得宠信、最有势力的大喇嘛。”澄光合十道:“有缘拜见大喇嘛。”巴颜点了点头,神气甚是倨傲。
He was, in actual fact, a fat, swartiiy individual, with a twittering way of speaking. With the arrival of all these newcomers, the atmosphere had calmed down sufficiently for conversation to take place. ‘Allow me to introduce two friends,’ began Father Crystal. He pointed to the elderly lama as he went on: This is Brother Bayen, from the great lamasery of Lhasa. He is a Great Lama and one of the Dalai Lama’s most trusted and influential advisers.’ ‘It is my most excellent karma to meet you, Brother Bayen,’ said Father Aureole. Brother Bayen nodded. He definitely looked the proud sort.

心溪指着一个身穿青布衫、三十来岁的文人,说道:“这位是川西大名士,皇甫阁皇甫先生。”皇甫阁拱手道:“久仰澄光大和尚武学通神,今日得见,当真三生有幸。”澄光合十道:“老僧年纪老了,小时候学过的一些微末功夫,早已忘得干干净净。皇甫居土文武兼资,可喜可贺。”韦小宝听这些人文绉绉的说客气话,心想这场架多半是打不成了,既没热闹瞧,又少了个混水摸鱼、找寻老皇帝的机会,心下暗暗失望。
‘And this gentleman,’ continued the Abbot of Buddha Light, indicating one of the laymen in long gowns, ‘is His Excellency Mr Huangfu, a civil official from the Western Marches of Sichuan Province.’ Huangfu made some reference to Father Aureole’s great Martial Arts fame, and Father Aureole greeted the layman courteously. Trinket was almost disappointed to see things calming down like this. He had been secredy hoping to watch the encounter escalate into a free-for-all fight, one which might even have offered him a chance of determining the Old Emperor’s whereabouts.

巴颜道:“大和尚,我从西藏带了个小徒儿出来,却给你们庙里扣住了。你冲着活佛的金面,放了他罢,大伙儿都承你的情。”澄光微微一笑,说道:“这几位师兄在敝寺吵闹,老衲也不跟他们一般见识。大师是通情达理之人,如何也听信人言?清凉寺开建以来,只怕今日才有喇嘛爷光临。说我们收了贵座弟子,那是从何说起?”巴颜双眼一翻,大声喝道:“难道是冤枉你了?你不要……不要罚酒不吃……吃敬酒。”他汉语不大流畅,“敬酒不吃吃罚酒”这话,却颠倒着说了。
Brother Bayen, the elderly Tibetan lama, now demanded that Father Aureole hand over their ‘little disciple’. When the Abbot politely but firmly insisted that he could not, since he did not have him there in the first place, Bayen rolled his eyes and burst into a torrent of barely intelligible broken Chinese, the general drift of which seemed to be: ‘Hand him over, or you’ll regret it!’.

心溪笑道:“两位休得伤了和气。依老衲之见,那小喇嘛是不是藏在清凉寺内,口说无凭,眼见是实。就由皇甫居士和贫僧做个见证,大伙儿在清凉寺各处随喜一番,见佛拜佛,遇僧点头,每一处地方、每一位和尚都见过了,倘若仍然找不到那小喇嘛,不是什么事都没有了?”说来说去,还是要在清凉寺中搜查。澄光脸上闪过一阵不愉之色,说道:“这几位喇嘛爷打从西藏来,不明白我们汉人的规矩,那也怪不得。心溪大师德高望重,怎地也说这等话?这个小喇嘛倘若真是在五台山上走失的,一座座寺院搜查过去,只怕得从佛光寺开头。”心溪嘻嘻一笑,说道:“在清凉寺瞧过之后,倘若仍然找不到人,这几位大喇嘛愿意到佛光寺瞧瞧,那是欢迎之至,欢迎之至。”巴颜道:“有人亲眼见到,这小家伙确是在清凉寺之中,我们才来查问,否则的话,也不敢……也不敢如此……如此昧冒。”他将“冒昧”二字又颠倒着说。澄光道:“不知是何人见到?”巴颜向皇甫阁一指道:“是这位皇甫先生见到的,他是大大有名之人,决计不会说谎。”
Father Crystal now offered to mediate. He proposed that the only foolproof way to establish the truth of the matter was for himself and Mr Huangfu to conduct a ‘guided tour’ (in other words, a search) of the monastery. Father Aureole did not look pleased. To hear such an outrageous suggestion from our Tibetan friends did not come as a surprise!’ he protested. ‘But from a distinguished fellow Chinese monk such as yourself? Would we not be better advised to search your monastery first. . .’ Father Crystal gave one of his twittering laughs. ‘Come, come! If we find no one here, I shall of course be more than happy to agree to such a request from our lama brothers . . .’ ‘Man . . . here!’ blurted out Bayen. ‘Someone . . . see him! Or we not dare pesstrass on your troperty . . .’ He was trying hard. ‘And who was it that saw him?’ asked Father Aureole. ‘Mr Huangfu see. Him very big famous person. Him not lie.’

韦小宝心想:“你们明明是一伙人,如何作得见证。”忍不住问道:“那个小喇嘛有多大年纪?”巴颜、心溪、皇甫阁众人一直没理会站在一旁的这两个小孩,忽听他相问,眼光都向他望去,见他衣饰华贵,帽镶美玉,襟钉明珠,是个富豪之家的公子,身畔那小小书僮也是穿绸着缎。心溪笑道:“那小喇嘛,跟公子年纪差不多年纪罢。”韦小宝转头道:“那就是了,刚才我们不是明明见到这小喇嘛么?他走进一座大庙。这庙前写的有字,不错,写的是‘佛光寺’三个大字。这小喇嘛是进了佛光寺啦。”
‘Of course not,’ thought Trinket silently to himself. ‘And him obviously happen to be part of your group . . .’ But what he said out loud was: ‘Tell me, how old was this little lost lama of yours?’ Bayen, Father Crystal, and Mr Huangfu had until now paid no attention to the two well-dressed boys standing to one side. Their eyes now focused on Trinket in all his finery, and his smartly attired, and very handsome, page-boy. ‘About the same age as yourself, as a matter of fact!’ twittered Father Crystal. ‘I thought so!’ declared Trinket. That sounds like the one we saw just now—going into the Buddha Light Monastery . . .’

他这么一说,巴颜等人登时脸上变色,澄光却暗暗欢喜。巴颜大声道:“胡说八道!胡说九道!”他以为多上一道,那是更加荒谬了。韦小宝笑道:“胡说十道,胡说一十道,十二道,十三道!”巴颜怒不可遏,伸手便往韦小宝胸口抓来。澄光右手微抬,大袖上一股劲风,向巴颜肘底扑去。巴颜左手探出,五指犹如鸡爪,抓向他衣袖。澄光手臂回缩,衣袖倒卷,这一抓就没抓到。巴颜叫道:“你窝藏了我们活佛座下小喇嘛,还想动手杀人吗?反了,反了!”皇甫阁朗声道:“大家有话好说,不可动粗。”他这“粗”字方停,庙外忽有大群人齐声叫道:“皇甫先生有令:大家有话好说,不可动粗。”
Brother Bayen and his friends pulled a face. Father Aureole secretly rejoiced. ‘Stuffings and nonsense!’ cried the irrepressible Brother Bayen, and made a lightning pass at Trinket. Father Aureole intercepted him with a flick of his right hand. Seeing that the two men were about to come to blows, Huangfu bellowed: ‘We must talk this through! There’s to be no rough play!’ His words were hardly out when they came echoing back in force from outside. ‘No rough play!’

听这声音,当有数百人之众,竟是将清凉寺团团围住了。这群人听得皇甫阁这么朗声一说,就即齐声呼应,显是意示威慑。饶是澄光方丈养气功夫甚深,乍闻这突如其来的一阵呼喝,方寸间也不由得大大一震。皇甫阁笑吟吟的道:“澄光方丈,你是武林中人的前辈高人,在这里韬光养晦,大家都是很晾景仰的。这位巴颜大喇嘛要在宝刹各处随喜,你就让他瞧瞧罢。大和尚行得下,踏得正,光风霁月,清凉寺中又没什么见不得人的事,大家何必失了武林中的和气?”澄光暗暗着急,他本人武功虽高,在清凉寺中却只坐禅说法,并未传授武功,清凉寺五十多僧人,极少有人是会武功的,刚才和巴颜交手这一招,察觉他左手这一抓的“鸡爪功”着实厉害,再听这皇甫阁适才朗说这一句话,内力深厚,也是非同小可,不用寺外数百人帮手,单是眼前这两名高手,就已不易抵挡了。
Judging from the strength of the chorus, there were several hundred men out there. The monastery was evidently surrounded. Father Aureole paused to reflect. ‘Your Reverence . . .’ Huangfu continued, smiling diplomatically. But what he went on to say contained nothing new. ‘If you have nothing to hide, what’s to be lost by permitting a civilized tour of inspection?’ Father Aureole could see that his men were outnumbered. He had once been a Martial Arts Master himself, but of late he had devoted more and more of his energies to Zen meditation, and few of his fellow monks were fighters of any kind. His recent observations warned him that Brother Bayen was a’fighter to be feared. His attempted left-handed Chicken Claw gouging attack on Trinket indicated mastery of an especially ferocious style of fighting. Huangfu was clearly not a man to be trifled with either, judging by the power of his voice! Not to mention the troops massed around the building.

皇甫阁见他沉吟不语,笑道:“就算清凉寺中真有几位美貌娘子,让大伙瞻仰瞻仰,那也是眼福不浅哪。”这两句话极是轻薄,对澄光已不留半点情面。心溪笑道:“方丈师兄,既是如此,就让这位大喇嘛到处瞧瞧罢。”说时嘴巴一努。巴颜当先大踏步向后殿走去。
‘It really doesn’t matter if we do find one or two nice-looking wenches on the premises,’ Huangfu put in, seeing Father Aureole pause. ‘What’s a bit of flesh between friends!’ This was definitely adding insult to injury. Father Crystal twittered. ‘Brother Abbot, why not let them in?’ But Bayen was not even waiting for the invitation. He was already leading the way.

澄光心想对方有备而来,就算阻得住巴颜和皇甫阁,也决阻不住他们带来的那伙人,混战一起,清凉寺要遭大劫,霎时间心乱如麻,长叹一声,眼睁睁的瞧着巴颜等数十人走向后殿,只得跟在后面。巴颜和心溪、皇甫阁三人低声商议,他们手下数十人已一间间殿堂,僧房搜了下去。清凉寺众僧见方未有号令,一个个只有怒目而视,并未阻拦。韦小宝和双儿跟在方丈之后,见他僧袍大袖不住颤动,显是心中恼怒已极。
Father Aureole was helpless to do anything but follow. Bayen, Father Crystal, and Huangfu whispered among themselves, and dispatched their men to search every room of the monastery. The monks watched them with stony hostility. Trinket and Doublet walked immediately behind Father Aureole. They could tell how angry he was from the way the sleeves of his gown were trembling.

忽听得西边僧房中有人大声叫道:“是他吗?”皇甫阁抢步过去,两名汉子已揪出一个中年僧人出来。这和尚四十岁左右年纪,相貌清癯,说道:“你抓住他干什么?”皇甫阁摇了摇头,那两名汉子笑道:“得罪!”放开那名和尚。韦小宝心下雪亮,这些人是来找顺治皇帝,那是更无疑问了。
Suddenly they heard voices coming from the western row of cells. ‘Is this him?’ Huangfu hurried over to see two men emerge from a cell, dragging with them an emaciated ascetic of middle years. ‘What do you mean by laying hands on me?’ he was protesting. Huangfu shook his head and the two men apologized and let the man go. Now Trinket knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had come to find the Old Emperor, and not some ‘little lost lama,’. Why else would they have seized such a man? The same thought had clearly occurred to Father Aureole.

澄光冷笑道:“本寺这和尚,是活佛座下的小喇嘛么?”皇甫不答,见手下又揪了一个中年和尚出来,他细看此僧相貌,摇了摇头。韦小宝心道:“原来你认得顺治皇帝。”又想:“如此搜下去,定会将顺治皇帝找出来,他是小皇帝的父亲,我可得设法保护。”但对方人多势众,如何保护,却一点法子也想不出来。数十人搜到东北方一座小僧院前,见院门紧闭,叫道:“开门,开门!”
‘Does that brother look like a young lama?’ he asked, with a quizzical smile. Huangfu’s men now produced another middle-aged monk. Their commander looked him up and down, and shook his head again. ‘So he obviously knows what the Old Emperor looks like!’ thought Trinket to himself. ‘Sooner or later they’re bound to find him. I must protect him! After all, he is the Emperor’s father, and the Emperor is my friend!’ But he could think of no way of dealing with this enemy. The search-party of twenty or thirty, led by Bayen and friends, and followed by Father Aureole, had now reached a small compound independently situated in the north-east corner of the monastery grounds. It was firmly locked. ‘Open up!’ they shouted.

澄光道:“这是本寺一位高僧坐关所,已历七年,众位不可坏了他的清修。”心溪笑道:“这是外人入内,并不是坐关的和尚熬为住而自行开关,打什么紧?”一名身材高大的喇嘛叫道:“干么不开门?多半是在这里了!”飞脚往门上踢去。
‘This is the personal retreat of a very distinguished monk,’ said Father Aureole. ‘He has been in seclusion in this hermitage for seven years. I must ask you not to intrude upon his meditations.’ ‘Come, come!’ twittered Father Crystal. ‘We will only interrupt his thoughts for a few minutes. It is not as if he himself were guilty of some lapse of concentration.’ ‘Break door!’ shouted one of the taller lamas. ‘Man here!’ He began kicking at the door.

澄光身影微晃,已挡在他身前。那喇嘛收势不及,右脚踢出,正中澄光小腹,喀喇一声响,那喇嘛腿骨折断,向后跌出。巴颜哇哇怪叫,左手上伸,右手反捞,都成鸡爪之势,向澄光抓来。澄光挡在门口,呼呼两掌,将巴颜逼开。
In a flash Father Aureole was standing between him and the door, and the lama’s foot made contact not with wood but with the Abbot’s stomach, which was tense as steel. The lama gave a cry of pain as his leg shattered and he was thrown backwards through the air. At the same time, Bayen uttered a series of guttural croaking noises and leapt once more into his classic Chicken Claw position, threatening to pounce on Father Aureole. But the Abbot stood firm before the door, and dealt the elderly lama two hefty blows with left and right.

皇甫阁叫道:“好‘般若掌’!”左手食指点出,一股劲风向澄光面门刺来,澄光向左闪开,拍的一声,劲风撞上木门。澄光使开般若掌,凝神接战。巴颜和皇甫分从左右进击。澄光招数甚慢,一掌一掌的拍出,似乎无甚力量,但风隐隐,显然劲道又颇凌历。巴颜和皇甫阁的手下数人呐喊吆喝,为二人助威。巴颜抢攻数次,都给澄光的掌力逼了回来。
‘Trajna Hand! Excellent kungfu!’ cried Huangfu, promptly extending the index finger of his left hand and aiming a pinpoint attack at the Abbot’s forehead. Father Aureole darted to the side, and Huangfu’s finger drove forcefully into the heavy wooden panel of the door. Once again Father Aureole had demonstrated his mastery in the art of Prajna Hand karate. Bayen and Huangfu now closed in on their adversary from both sides. Again and again they attacked, cheered on by their men; but each time the Abbot turned them back, using his precise, unostentatious, but deadly karate skill.

巴颜焦躁起来,快速抢攻,突然间闷哼一声,左手一扬,数十茎白须飘落,却是抓下了澄光一把胡子,但他右肩受了一掌,初时还不觉怎样,渐渐的右臂越来越重,右手难以提高。他猛地怒吼,向侧闪开,四名喇嘛手提钢刀,向澄光冲过去。
Bayen was growing angry and desperate. He threw himself once more into the attack. With a sudden grunt he raised his left hand and leapt through the air, his white hair fluttering in strands around him. All he succeeded in clutching hold of was the Abbot’s moustaches, while he himself received a blow on his right shoulder. The pain seemed nothing at first, but gradually his right arm grew heavier and heavier until he could no longer even lift it up. He staggered off to one side, bellowing savagely. Four of his subordinate lamas drew their swords and rushed into the attack.

澄光飞脚踢翻二人,左掌拍出,印在第三名喇嘛胸口。那喇嘛“啊”的一声大叫,向上跳起。便在这时,第四名喇嘛的钢刀也已砍至。澄光衣袖拂起,卷向他手腕。双见巴颜双手一上一下,扑将过来。澄光向右避让,突觉劲风袭体,暗叫:“不好!”顺手一掌拍出,但觉右颊奇痛,已被皇甫阁戳中一指。这一掌虽击中了皇甫阁下臂,却未能击断他臂骨。
Father Aureole now landed a couple of well-placed aerial kicks that put two of his new attackers out of action. A third he despatched with a blow to the chest, which sent the man reeling. The fourth and last was swinging his sword through the air when Aureole flicked his sleeve and caught him by the wrist. Even as he did this he saw Bayen move back into the fray, his hands weaving up and down through the air. Father Aureole ducked to the right, but not quickly enough to escape the massive force of the Tibetan’s assault. He aimed a counter-blow, but felt a strange pain on his right cheek. It was Huangfu’s finger.

双儿见澄光满颊鲜血,低声道:“要不要帮他?”韦小宝道:“等一等。”他旨在见到顺治皇帝,倘若双手出手将众人赶走,老皇帝还是见不到,何况对方人多势众,有刀有枪,双儿一个小小女孩,又怎打得过这许多大汉?清凉寺僧众见方丈受困,纷纷拿起棍棒火叉,上来助战。但这些和尚不会武功,一眄来便给打得头破血流。澄光叫道:“大家不可动手!”
Things were taking a nasty turn. Doublet took one look at the blood pouring down the Abbot’s cheek and whispered to Trinket: ‘Shouldn’t I help him now?’ Wait a little longer!’ Trinket’s prime concern was still to locate the Old Emperor. Supposing Doublet succeeded in routing the enemy (which was admittedly unlikely—one girl against a heavily armed army!), then they would have lost their chance of tracing Shun Zhi. Meanwhile, somewhat late in the day, the monks of the monastery had come to their Abbot’s aid, wielding as weapons whatever sticks or broken bits of furniture they could lay their hands on. From the start, they were outclassed, and as the blood began to pour from their wounds their Abbot cried out to them to desist.

巴颜怒吼:“大家放手杀人好了!“众喇嘛下手更不容情,顷刻间有四各清凉寺的和尚被砍笛身首异处。余下众僧见敌人行凶杀人,都站得远远的叫唤,不敢过来。澄光微一疏神,又中了皇甫阁的一指,这一指戳中他右胸。皇甫阁笑道:“少林派的般若掌也不过如此。大和尚还不投降么?”澄光道:“阿弥托佛,施主罪业不小。”蓦地里两名喇嘛挥刀着地滚来,斩他双足。澄光提足踢出,胸口一阵剧痛,眼前发黑,这一脚踢到中途便踢不下去,迷迷糊糊间左掌向下抹,正好抹中两名喇嘛头顶,两人登时昏晕过去。巴颜骂道:“死秃驴!”双手疾挺,十根手指都抓上了澄光左腿。澄光再也支持不住,倒在地来。皇甫阁接连数指,点了澄光的穴道。巴颜哈哈大笑,右足踢向木门,喀喇一声,那门直飞进去。巴颜笑道:“快出来罢,让大家瞧瞧是怎么一副模样。”僧房中黑黝黝地,寂无声息。巴颜道:“把人给我揪出来。”两名喇嘛齐声答应,抢了进去。
‘Kill all!’ bellowed Bayen. The lamas attacked more viciously than ever, and hacked the heads off four of the monks. The remaining monks had now lost their taste for the fight. Bayen and Huangfu closed in again on Father Aureole, and after a final struggle they had the Abbot lying powerless on the ground, his Vital Points closed, his left leg pinned m a ten-pronged Chicken Claw attack by the lama. Bayen now gave a mighty laugh, and kicked at the door with his right foot. There was a great crash as it flew open. ‘In … go!’ cried Bayen. ‘See . . . inside!’ It was pitch-black inside the little hermitage, and silent as the grave. ‘Tie up … and bring out!’ shouted Bayen. ‘Yes, master!’ cried two of the lamas, and went charging in.

Previous articleThe Deer And The Cauldron 18
Next articleThe Deer And The Cauldron 16
Discover the wonders of China through studying abroad - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand your horizons, immerse yourself in a rich and diverse culture, and gain a world-class education.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here