The Deer And The Cauldron 26

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The Deer And The Cauldron 26
第二十六回 草木连天人骨白 关山满眼夕阳红

Lamas at the Inn

次日三人向南进发,沿路寻访阿琪的下落。一路之上,韦小宝服侍二人十分周到,心中虽爱煞了阿珂,却不敢丝毫露出轻狂之态,心想倘若给白衣尼察觉,那就糟糕之极了。阿珂从来没对他有一句好言好语,往往乘白衣尼不见,便打他一拳、踢他一脚出气。韦小宝只要能陪伴着她,那就满心喜乐不禁,偶尔挨上几下,那也是拳来身受,脚来臀受,晚间睡在床上细细回味她踢打的情状,但觉乐也无尽。
In the days that followed, Trinket continued to concern himself with the welfare of his two charges. He loved the Green Girl dearly, but dared not show it in the White Nun’s presence. He never got a kind word out of her, and often when the White Nun wasn’t looking, she would slip a sly punch or a kick in his direction; but he did not seem to mind. In spite of the kicks and punches, it was happiness enough just to be near her.

这一日将到沧州,三人在一家小客店中歇宿。次日清晨,韦小宝到街上去买新鲜蔬菜,交给店伴给白衣尼做早饭。他兴匆匆的提了两斤白菜,半斤腐皮、二两口蘑从街上回来,见阿珂站在客店门口闲眺,当即笑吟吟的迎上去,从怀里掏出一包玫瑰松子糖,说道:“我在街上给你买了一包糖,想不到在这小镇上,也有这样好的糖果。”阿珂不接,向他白了一眼,说道:“你买的糖是臭的,我不爱吃。”韦小宝道:“你吃一粒试试,滋味可真不差。”他冷眼旁观,早知阿珂爱吃零食,只是白衣尼没什么钱给她零花,偶尔买一小包糖豆,也吃得津津有味,因此买了一包糖讨她欢喜。
One day in Cangzhou, where, the evening before, they had put up at a little inn, he had gone out in the early morning to buy food for a breakfast which he intended to ask the servant in the inn to cook for them. Returning in high spirits after making his purchases—two pounds of cabbage, half a pound of bean curd ‘skin’, and two ounces of koumo mushrooms—he found the Green Girl standing in the doorway. He felt in his bosom for a little packet and held it out to her, smiling broadly. ‘Here, I bought these for you,’ he said. ‘Sugared pine nuts. They were selling them on the street. They’re really tasty. I didn’t think you could get anything so good in a little town like this.’ The Green Girl tossed her head. ‘Anything you bought would be horrible. Anyway, I don’t fancy them.’ This was a lie. He knew she loved sweet things but wasn’t given enough pocket money by the White Nun to buy any. In the end she did accept the packet.

阿珂接了过来,说道:“师父在房里打坐。我气闷得紧。这里有什么风景优雅、僻静无人的所在,你陪我去玩玩。”韦小宝几乎不相信自己的耳朵,登时全身热血沸腾,一张脸胀得通红,道:“你……你这不是冤我?”阿珂道:“我冤你什么?你不肯陪我,我自己一个儿去好了。”说着向东边一条小路走去。韦小宝道:“去,去,为什么不去?姑娘就是叫我赴汤蹈火,我也不会皱一皱眉头。”忙跟在她身后。两人出得小镇,阿珂指着东南方数里外的一座小山,道:“到那边去玩玩倒也不错。”韦小宝心花怒放,忙道:“是,是。”
‘Shifu is meditating,’ she said. ‘I’m feeling bored. Is there anywhere nice round here we could go to—anywhere quiet where there aren’t any people about?’ Trinket could hardly believe that he was hearing this. Had she really relented at last? The blood was pounding in his ears. ‘Aren’t you still angry with me?’ he asked. ‘Why should I be? Are you coming for a walk, or do I have to go off on my own?’ She began walking away as she said this. ‘Of course I am,’ said Trinket, putting his purchases down inside the doorway and hurrying after her. When they reached the edge of the town, she paused to look around. ‘What about making for that hill?’ she said, pointing in the direction of a low, tree-covered hill a mile or so south-east of the town. ‘Yes, let’s go there,’ he said eagerly.

两人沿着山道,来到了山上。那小山上生满了密密的松树,确实僻静无人,风景却一无足观。但纵是天地间最丑最恶的山水,此刻在韦小宝眼中,也是胜景无极,何况景色好恶,他本来也不大分辨得出,当即大赞:“这里的风景真是美妙无比。”阿珂道:“有什么美?许多乱石树木挤在一起,难看死啦。”韦小宝道:“是,是。风景本是没什么好看。”阿珂道:“那你怎么说‘这里的风景真是美妙无比’?”韦小宝笑道:“原来的风景是不好看的,不过你的容貌一映上去,就美妙无比了。这山上没花儿,你的相貌,却比一万朵鲜花还要美丽。山上没有鸟雀,你的声音,可比一千头黄莺一齐唱歌还好听得多。”阿珂哼了一声,说道:“我叫你到这里,不是来听你胡言乱语,是叫你立刻给我走开,走得远远地,从今而后,再也不许见我的面。倘若再给我见到,定然挖出了你的眼珠子。”
There was no conversation on the way, and when they got there, there wasn’t really very much to look at. Just a lot of trees. But Trinket was anxious to please her. ‘It’s a beautiful spot,’ he said. ‘It isn’t,’ she said. ‘Just a few rocks and trees. I think it’s hideous.’ ‘Yes, I agree,’ he said. ‘Then why did you say it was beautiful?’ ‘I suppose it’s because, for me, you make anywhere seem beautiful.’ The Green Girl sniffed. ‘I didn’t bring you here to listen to you talking a lot of drivel. It was to get rid of you. I want you to go away. Just go away. I don’t ever want to see you again.’

韦小宝一颗心登时沉了下去,哭丧着脸道:“姑娘,以后我再也不敢得罪你啦。请你饶了我罢。”阿珂道:“我确是饶了你啦,今日不取你性命,便是饶你。”说着刷的一声,从腰间拔出柳叶刀来,又道:“你跟着我,心中老是存着坏念头,难道我不知道了?你如此羞辱于我,我……我宁可给师父责打一千次一万次,也非杀了你不可。”韦小宝见到刀光闪闪,想起她刚烈的性情,知道不是虚言,说道:“师太命我帮同找寻阿琪姑娘,找到之后,我就不再跟着你便是。”阿珂摇头道:“不成!没有你帮,我们也找得到。就算找不到,我师姊又不是三岁小孩,难道自己不会回来?”提刀在空中虚劈,呼呼生风,厉声道:“你再不走,可休怪我无情!”韦小宝笑道:“你本来对我就很无情,那也没什么。”阿珂大怒,喝道:“到了此刻,你还胆敢向我风言风语?”纵身而前,举刀向韦小宝头顶砍落。韦小宝大骇,急忙跃开闪避。阿珂喝道:“你走不走?”韦小宝道:“你就算将我碎尸万段,我变成了鬼,也是跟定了你。”阿珂怒极,提刀呼呼呼三刀。幸好这些招数,在少林寺般若堂中都已施展过,澄观和尚——想出了拆解之法。韦小宝受过指点,当下逐一避过。阿珂砍他不中,更是气恼,柳叶刀使得越加急了。再过数招,韦小宝已感难以躲闪,只得拔出匕首,当的一声,将她柳叶刀削为两截。阿珂惊怒交集,舞起半截断刀,向他没头没脑的剁去。韦小宝见她刀短,不敢再用匕首招架,自己武艺平庸,一个拿捏不准,如此锋利的匕首只消在她身上轻轻一带,便送了她性命,避了几下,只得发足奔逃下山。阿珂持着断刀追下,叫道:“你给我滚得远远地,便不杀你。”
His face crumpled, but he showed no sign of going. When she began threatening him and he still didn’t go, she took out the short-sword that she always carried with her and began slashing at him angrily. Though a very unsatisfactory pupil, Trinket had at least learned enough from Brother Simple to be able to stand up to her swordsmanship without getting hurt; but he could not go on dodging her sword indefinitely. In the end he took out the dagger from his boot and simply sheared off two-thirds of the blade. When she went for him with what remained of it, he could not retaliate with the dagger because he knew that the lightest blow from it might kill her, so he turned and took to his heels. ‘Just clear off!’ she shouted, as she pursued him down the hill. ‘Go away, and I won’t try to kill you any more.’

却见他向镇上奔去,心下大急:“这小坏人去向师父哭诉,那可不妥。”忙提气疾追,想将他迎头截住。但白衣尼只传了她一些武功招式,内功心法却从未传过,她的内功修为和韦小宝只是半斤八两,始终追他不上,眼见他奔进了客店,急得险些要哭,心想:“倘若师父责怪,只好将他从前调戏我的言语都说了出来。”收起断刀,慢慢走进客店。一步踏进店房,突觉一股力道奇大的劲风,从房门中激扑出来,将她一撞,登时立足不定,腾腾腾倒退三步,一交坐倒。阿珂只觉身下软绵绵地,却是坐在一人身上,忙想支撑着站起,右手反过去一撑,正按在那人脸上,狼狈之下,也不及细想,挺身站起,回过身来一看,见地下那人正是韦小宝。她吃了一惊,喝道:“你干什……”一言未毕,突觉双膝一软,再也站立不定,一交扑倒,向韦小宝摔将下来。这一次却是俯身而扑,惊叫:“不,不……”已摔在他的怀里,四只眼睛相对,相距不及数寸。阿珂大急,生怕这小恶人乘机来吻自己,拚命想快快站起,不知如何,竟然全身没了丝毫力气,只得转过了头,急道:“快扶我起来。”韦小宝道:“我也没了力气,这可如何是好。”身上伏着这个千娇百媚的美女,心中真快活得便欲疯了,暗道:“别说我没力气,这当儿就有一万斤力气,也不会扶你起来。是你自己扑在我身上的,又怎怪得我?”阿珂急道:“师父正在受敌人围攻,快想法子帮她。”原来刚才她一进门,只见白衣尼盘膝坐在地下,右手出掌,左手挥动衣袖,正在与敌人相抗。对方是些什么人,却没看清,只知非止一人,待要细看,已被房中的内力劲风逼了出来。韦小宝比她先到了几步,遭遇却是一模一样,也是一脚刚踏进门,立被劲风撞出,摔在地下,阿珂跟着赶到,便跌在他身上。虽然韦小宝既摔得屁股奇痛,阿珂从空中跌下,压得他胸口肚腹又是一阵疼痛,心里却欣喜无比,只盼这个小美人永远伏在自己怀中,再也不能站起来,至于白衣尼跟什么人相斗,可全不放在心上,料想她功力通神,再厉害的敌人也奈何她不得。
But then she saw, with dismay, that he was making back for the town. She wanted to head him off, but her inner training, like Trinket’s, was non-existent. The White Nun had taught her some swordsmanship, but not how to cultivate her Inner Force. In a trial of strength, long-distance running for example, she could not hope to beat him. With tears of vexation, after running and running, she saw him enter the inn doorway ahead of her. As she came panting in after him, still clutching her truncated sword, some invisible force from inside the inn caused her to stumble and fall. Her fall was broken by something soft. She turned her head and saw that she was sitting on top of Trinket. ‘Help me up!’ she said crossly. ‘I can’t,’ he said. ‘I can’t get up any more than you can.’ ‘You tripped me up deliberately,’ she said.

阿珂右手撑在韦小宝胸口,慢慢挺身,深深吸了口气,终于站起,嗔道:“你干么躺在这里,绊了我一交?”她明知韦小宝和自己遭际相同,身不由己,但刚才的情景实在太过羞人,忍不住要发作几句。韦小宝道:“是,是。早知你要摔在这地方,我该当向旁爬开三尺才是。不,三尺也还不够,若只爬开三尺,和你并头而卧,却也不大雅相。”阿珂啐了一口,挂念着师父,张目往房中望去。只见白衣尼坐在地下,发掌挥袖,迎击敌人。围攻她的敌人一眼见到共有五人,都是身穿红衣的喇嘛,每人迅速之极的出掌拍击,但被白衣尼的掌力所逼,均是背脊紧紧贴着房中的板壁,难以欺近。阿珂走上一步,想看除了这五人外是否另有敌人,但只跨出一步,便觉劲风压体,气也喘不过来,只得倒退了两步,踢了韦小宝一脚,道:“喂,还不站起来?你看敌人是什么来路?”
Pressing a hand down heavily on his body to raise herself, the Green Girl got slowly to her feet and peeped in at the open door. She saw the White Nun sitting on the floor, defending herself with her one hand and her long left sleeve against a group of red-robed lamas— five, as far as she could make out—ranged opposite her with their backs against the wooden partition-wall. Although five against one, they seemed afraid of her. Each time one of them darted forward to strike her, some mysterious force which seemed to radiate from her would drive him back against the wall. It was this same force which had caused Trinket to lose his balance. It now caused the Green Girl to step quickly back from the doorway. She gave Trinket a kick. ‘Aren’t you going to get up? Shifu is being attacked.’

韦小宝手扶身后墙壁,站起身来,见到房中情景,说道:“六个喇嘛都是坏人。”他站在阿珂之侧,多见到了一名喇嘛。阿珂道:“废话!自然是坏人,还用你说?”韦小宝笑道:“是不是坏人,也不一定的。好比我是好人,你偏偏说我是坏人。这六个喇嘛,胆敢向师太动手,可比我坏得多啦。”阿珂横了他一眼,道:“哼,我瞧你们是一伙。这六个喇嘛,是你引来的,想要来害师父。”韦小宝道:“我敬重师太,好比敬重菩萨一样;敬重姑娘,好比敬重仙女一样,哪有加害之理?”阿珂凝神瞧着房中情景,突然一声惊呼。韦小宝向房内望去,只见六个喇嘛均已手持戒刀,欲待上前砍杀,只是给白衣尼的袖力掌风逼住了,欺不近身。但白衣尼头顶已冒出丝丝白气,看来已是出尽了全力。她只一条臂膀,独力拚斗六个手执兵刃的喇嘛,再支持下去恐怕难以抵敌,韦小宝想上前相助,但自知武艺低微,连房门也走不进去,就算在地下爬了进去,白衣尼不免要分心照顾,反而是帮她倒忙,焦急之下,忽见墙角落里倚着一柄扫帚,当即过去拿起,身子缩在门边,伸出扫帚,向近门的一名喇嘛脸上乱拨,只盼他心神一乱,内力不纯,就可给白衣尼的掌力震死。扫帚刚伸出,便听得一声大喝,手中一轻,扫帚头已被那喇嘛一刀斩断,随着房中鼓荡的劲风直飞出来,擦过他脸畔,划出了几条血丝,好不疼痛。阿珂急道:“你这般胡闹,那……那不成的。”
Trinket pulled himself up by holding onto the door and peeped inside. He could see that the lama nearest the doorway was holding a short cutlass—the kind they call a ‘monk’s knife’; but much as he wanted to help, he knew it would be useless for him to go inside. In desperation he picked up a broom that was resting against the wall and poked it sideways through the doorway, hoping to put the lama with the cutlass off his stroke, or, with a bit of luck, knock him over. The instant result was that there was a little jolt, and the head of the broom came flying out through the doorway, scratching his face in its passage and leaving him clutching the broomstick without the broom. ‘You’re uselessl’ said the Green Girl. ‘Is that the best you can do?’

韦小宝身靠房门的板壁,只觉不住的震动,似乎店房四周的板壁都要被刀风掌力震坍一般,心念一动,看清了六名喇嘛所站的方位,走到那削断他扫帚的喇嘛身后,拔出匕首,隔着板壁刺了进去。匕首锋利无比,板壁不过一寸来厚,匕首刺去,如入豆腐,跟着插入了那喇嘛后心。那喇嘛大叫一声,身子软垂,靠着板壁慢慢坐倒。韦小宝听得叫声,知已得手,走到第二名喇嘛后,又是一匕首刺出。转眼之间,如此连杀了四人。匕首刃短,刺入后心之后并不从前胸穿出,每名喇嘛中剑坐倒,房中余人均不知他们如何身死。其余两名喇嘛大骇,夺门欲逃。白衣尼跃身发掌,击在一名喇嘛后心,登时震得他狂喷鲜血而死,左手衣袖一拂,阻住了另一名喇嘛去路,右手出指如风,点了他身上五处穴道。那喇嘛软瘫在地,动弹不得。
The wooden partition on either side of the doorway consisted of solid panels in the lower half but open lattice-work in the upper half. Whether from poverty, parsimony, or neglect, the openwork panels of the upper half had been left unpapered, so that it was possible to get a partial view of the lamas as they moved back and forth inside. Trinket got out his dagger and, crouching down so that he would be invisible from the room, waited until the lama with the cutlass had his back against the partition, then drove the dagger swiftly into the woodwork behind his back. The wood of the partition was less than an inch thick and the dagger, which could cut metal with ease, went through it like bean curd and drove several inches into the man’s body. There was a sort of gurgling grunt and he slid downwards onto the floor. Surprised and delighted by his success, Trinket crept along a little farther, still keeping his head down, and shortly found an opportunity to deal in the same way with a second lama. At his third success the two remaining lamas were so terrified by what they believed to be the White Nun’s magic powers that they made a run for the door. The White Nun leapt up and dealt the nearer of them a blow from behind. Instantly he began vomiting blood and sank dying to the floor. The second one, whom she could not reach with her hand, she brought down with a flick of her long sleeve, then, descending on him and quickly pressing five Vital Points on his body, she rendered him completely paralysed, so that he lay there as motionless as the other four.

白衣尼踢转四名喇嘛尸身,见到背上各有刀伤,又看到板壁上的洞孔,才明其理,向那喇嘛喝道:“你……你是何……”突然身子一晃坐倒,口中鲜血汩汩涌出。六名喇嘛都是好手,她以一敌六,内力几已耗竭,最后这一击一拂,更是全力施为,再也支持不住。阿珂和韦小宝大惊,抢上扶住。阿珂连叫:“师父,师父!”白衣尼呼吸细微,闭目不语。韦小宝和阿珂两人将她抬到炕上,她又吐出许多血来。阿珂慌了手脚,只是流泪。
She glanced at the three bodies lying side by side at the foot of the partition. From the wet patches on their red robes where the dagger had entered their backs and the holes in the wooden panels behind them .she guessed at once how they had been killed. Then she looked back at the lama lying paralysed at her feet. ‘You . . .’ she said sternly, ‘you . . . what do you . . . ?’ She began swaying on her feet. Trinket and the Green Girl rushed to catch her as she collapsed; but even as they caught her, a stream of bright blood came gushing from her mouth. Her prolonged resistance—one seated, unarmed woman against five men— had drained her of all her inner power and this final effort had proved just too much for her failing body. They carried her over to the long and laid her down gentry, supporting her head and shoulders so that she did not choke. Her eyes were tightly closed and her breathing barely perceptible. After a few moments she brought up a lot more blood. The Green Girl was terrified but could only cry helplessly, not knowing what she could do.

客店中掌柜与店小二等见有人斗殴,早就躲得远远地,这时听得声音渐息,过来探头探脑,见到满地鲜血,死尸狼藉,吓得都大叫起来。韦小宝双手各提一柄戒刀,喝道:“叫什么?快给我闭上了鸟嘴,否则一刀一个,都将你们杀了。”众人见到明晃晃的戒刀,吓得诺诺连声。韦小宝取出三锭银子,每锭都是五两,交给店伙,喝道:“快去雇两辆大车来。五两银子赏你的。”那店伙又惊又喜,飞奔而出,片刻间将大车雇到。
The innkeeper and his serving-man had removed themselves to a safe distance as soon as the fighting began. Now that it was quiet again, they came tiptoeing back and peeped inside the door. When they saw the pools of blood and bodies all over the floor they set up a great outcry and only stopped when Trinket, holding a lama’s cutlass in either hand, told them, in the coarsest possible language, that if they didn’t instantly shut up he would silence mem himself. When they had quietened down, he got out two silver ingots each weighing five taels from his Little store of treasure and handed mem to the serving-man. ‘We need a big covered cart to continue our journey. One of these should be enough for the hire. The other one is for you.’ The serving-man brightened, scarcely able to believe his luck, and ran off to hire a mule-cart.

韦小宝又取出四十两银子,交给掌柜,大声道:“这六个恶喇嘛自己打架,你杀我,我杀你,你们都亲眼瞧见了,是不是?”那掌柜如何敢说不是,只有点头。韦小宝道:“这四十两银子,算是房饭钱。”和阿珂合力抬起白衣尼放入大车,取过炕上棉被,盖在她身上,再命店伙将那被点了穴道的喇嘛抬入另一辆大车。韦小宝向阿珂道:“你陪师父,我陪他。”两人上了大车。韦小宝吩咐沿大路向南,心想:“师太身受重伤,再有喇嘛来攻,那可糟糕。得找个偏僻的地方,让师太养伤才好。”生怕那喇嘛解开了穴道,可不是他对手,取过一条绳子,将他手足牢牢缚住。
Trinket counted out forty taels. ‘Now,’ he said to the innkeeper, ‘I must setde for our lodgings. Bad men, those lamas, weren’t they, fighting each other like that? I expect you saw with your own eyes how they killed each other.’ The man looked at the money, several times what he would normally have charged, gulped, and nodded. There we are,’ said Trinket. ‘I think that should just about cover what we owe you.’ Presently the serving-man returned to announce that a large mule-cart and driver were waiting outside. Trinket took a quilt from the kang to wrap the White Nun in and he and the Green Girl carried her outside and laid her down gendy inside the covered cart, nearest the driver’s end. ‘You stay here and look after her,’ he told the Green Girl before going inside again. He got the serving-man to help him carry the immobilized lama and lay him in the back of the cart, not forgetting to first ask for a length of rope to tie him up with in case the paralysis wore off while they were travelling. Then, before himself getting in beside the lama, he told the mule-driver to follow the main road soudiwards until otherwise instructed.

行得十余里,阿珂忽然叫停,从车中跃出,奔到韦小宝车前,满脸惶急,说道:“师父的气息越来越弱,只怕……只怕……”韦小宝一惊,忙下车去看,见白衣尼已气若游丝。阿珂哭道:“有什么灵效伤药,那就好了。咱们快找大夫去。只是这地方……”韦小宝忽然想起,太后曾给自己三十颗丸药,叫什么“雪参玉蟾丸”,是高丽国国王进贡来的,说道服后强身健体,解毒疗伤,灵验非凡,其中廿二颗请自己转呈洪教主和夫人,当即从怀中取出那玉瓶,说道:“灵效伤药,我这里倒有。”倒了两颗出来,喂在白衣尼口中。阿珂取过水壶,喂着师父喝了两口。韦小宝乘机坐在白衣尼车中,与阿珂相对,说道:“师太服药之后,不知如何,我得时时刻刻守着她。”命两辆大车又行。过了一盏茶时分,白衣尼忽然长长吸了口气,缓缓睁眼。
After they had gone about three miles, the Green Girl called out to Trinket to tell the driver to stop. Trinket saw diat she was crying. ‘Shifu’s breadiing is getting fainter and fainter,’ she said. ‘I’m afraid—’ She was unable to finish. Trinket moved back to look. The White Nun was barely breathing. She seemed to be very close to death. ‘If only there was somediing we could give her,’ said the Green Girl tearfully. Trinket suddenly remembered that he was still carrying in his pocket the little bottle containing the thirty Body Strengthening Pills that the King of Korea had given to the fake Empress Dowager (and which she in turn had given to Trinket to take to the Leader and Madame Hong). He took it out and shook two of the pills on to his palm. These might help,’ he said. They’re supposed to work very fast.’ He somehow got them into the White Nun’s mouth and the Green Girl poured a little water from her water-bottle between her lips. The effect was miraculous. Within a matter of minutes she gave a little sigh and opened her eyes.

阿珂大喜,叫道:“师父,你好些了?”白衣尼点了点头。韦小宝忙又取出两颗丸药,道:“师太,丸药有效,你再服两颗。”白衣尼微微摇头,低声道:“今天……够了……我得运气化这药力……停……停下车子。”韦小宝道:“是,是。”吩咐停车。白衣尼命阿珂扶起身子,盘膝而坐,闭目运功。阿珂目不转睛的望着师父,韦小宝却目不转睛的瞧着阿珂。但见阿珂初时脸上深有忧色,渐渐的秀眉转舒,眼中露出光彩,又过一会,小嘴边露出了一丝笑意,韦小宝不用去看白衣尼,也知她运功疗伤,大有进境。再过一会,见阿珂喜色更浓,韦小宝心想:“倘若车中没有这位师太,就只我和小美人儿两个,而她脸色也是这般欢喜,那可真开心死我了。”突然间阿珂抬起头来,见到他呆呆的瞧着自己,登时双颊红晕,便欲叱责,生怕惊扰了师父行功,一句话到得口边,又即忍住,狠狠的白了他一眼。韦小宝向她一笑,顺着她眼光看白衣尼时,呼吸也已调匀。白衣尼呼了口气,睁开眼来,低声道:“可以走了。”韦小宝道:“再歇一会,也不打紧。”白衣尼道:“不用了。”韦小宝又取出五两银子分赏车夫,命他们赶车启程。当时雇一辆大车,一日只须一钱半银子,两名车夫见他出手豪阔,大喜过望,连声称谢。白衣尼缓缓的道:“小宝,你给我服的,是什么药?”韦小宝道:“那叫做‘雪参玉蟾丸’,是朝鲜国国王进贡给小皇帝的。”白衣尼脸上闪过一丝喜色,说道:“雪参和玉蟾二物,都是疗伤大补的圣药,几有起死回生之功,想不到竟教我碰上了,那也是命不该绝。”她重伤之余,这时说话竟然声调平稳,已无中气不足之象。阿珂喜道:“师父,你老人家好了?”白衣尼道:“死不了啦。”韦小宝道:“我这里还有二十八粒,请师太收用。”说着将玉瓶递过。白衣尼不接,道:“最多再服两三颗,也就够了,用不着这许多。”韦小宝本性慷慨,心想:“三十颗丸药就都给你吃了,又打什么紧?老婊子那里一定还有。”说道:“师太,你身子要紧,这丸药既然有用,下次我见到小皇帝,再向他讨些就是了。”将玉瓶放在她手里。白衣尼点了点头,但仍将玉瓶还了给他。
‘I’ve just given you two pills, Reverend Mother,’ said Trinket. They seem to have done you some good. Let me give you another two.’ The White Nun shook her head. ‘Enough—for today,’ she said, speaking very faintly. ‘Let me get out.’ Trinket rolled the trussed-up lama out of the way and they helped her down from the cart. She sat down cross-legged on the grass at the side of the road and closed her eyes. Realizing that she wanted to meditate in order to restore some of her inner strength, they sat, in respectful silence, at some distance away from her. The Green Girl watched her anxiously, not taking her eyes off her. Trinket for his part gazed at the Green Girl until, becoming aware of his gaze, she blushed and looked cross. After a while they noticed that the White Nun was breathing regularly. A few moments later she opened her eyes. ‘We can go now,’ she said, still speaking very faintly. !,:., ‘There’s no hurry,’ said Trinket. ‘Rest a bit longer.’ ‘No need,’,’she said. Trinket wanted to give her the little bottle with all the rest of the pills, but she refused to take it. When it became clear that no amount of persuasion would induce her to accept it, they helped her back into the cart and continued their journey.

又行一程,白衣尼道:“有什么僻静所在,停下车来,问问那个喇嘛。”韦小宝应道:“是。”命大车驶入一处山坳,叫车夫将那喇嘛抬在地下,然后牵骡子到山后吃草,说道:“不听我叫唤,不可过来。”两名车夫答应了,牵了骡子走开。白衣尼道:“你问他。”韦小宝拔出匕首,嗤的一声,割下一条树枝,随手批削,顷刻间将树枝削成一条木棍,问道:“老兄,你想不想变成一条人棍?”那喇嘛见那匕首如此锋利,早已心寒,颤声道:“请问小爷,什么叫做人棍?”韦小宝道:“把你两条臂膀削去,耳朵、鼻子也都削了,全身凸出来的东西,通统削平,那就是一条人棍。很好玩的,你要不要试试?”说着将匕首在他鼻子上擦了几擦。那喇嘛道:“不,不,小僧不要做人棍。”韦小宝道:“我不骗你,很好玩的,做一次也不妨。”那喇嘛道:“恐怕不好玩。”韦小宝道:“你又没做过,怎知不好玩?咱们试试再说。”说着将匕首在他肩头比了比。那喇嘛哀求道:“小爷饶命,小的大胆冒犯了师太,实是不该。”韦小宝道:“好,我问一句,你答一句,只消有半句虚言,就叫你做一条人棍。我将你种在这里,加些肥料,淋上些水,过得十天半月,说不定你又会长出两条臂膀和耳朵、鼻子来。”那喇嘛道:“不会的,不会的。小僧老实回答就是。”韦小宝道:“你叫什么名字?为什么来冒犯师太?”
After they had been travelling for another mile or two, the White Nun told Trinket that they should find some quiet, out-of-the-way place where they could stop and interrogate their prisoner. Trinket ordered the mule-driver to head towards a little fold in the hills, out of sight of the main road. When they were there, he got the man to help him lift the lama out of the cart and lay him on the grass at the foot of the slope, with his head a bit higher than his feet. Then he told him to unhitch the mule, take it round to the other side of the hill to graze, and not come back until he was called. Making sure that the lama could see what he was doing, he took out his dagger, cut a branch from a nearby thicket, and proceeded to trim off the twigs and branchlets until only a stout stick remained. ‘See?’ he said. ‘Trimmed. You want to be trimmed?’ The man’s eyes had followed each movement, bulging with terror. ‘Not want,’ he said. ‘All right,’ said Trinket. ‘You talk then, eh?’ Talk,’ said the lama. ‘What’s your name?’ said Trinket.

那喇嘛道:“小僧名叫呼巴音,是西藏的喇嘛,奉了大师兄桑结之命,想要生……生擒这位师太。”韦小宝心想桑结之名,在五台山上倒也听说过,问道:“这位师太好端端地,又没得罪了你那个臭师兄,你们为什么这等大胆妄为?”呼巴音道:“大师兄说,我们活佛有八部宝经,给这位师太偷……不,不,不是偷,是借了去,要请师太赐还。”韦小宝道:“什么宝经?”呼巴音道:“是差奄古吐乌经。”韦小宝道:“胡说八道,什么叽哩咕噜乌经?”呼巴音道:“是,是。这是我们西藏话,汉语就是《四十二章经》。”韦小宝道:“你的臭师兄,又怎知道师太取了《四十二章经》?”呼巴音道:“这个我就不知道了。”韦小宝道:“你不知道,留着舌头何用?把舌头伸出来。”说着把匕首一扬。呼巴音哪里肯伸?求道:“小僧真的不知道。”韦小宝道:“你臭师兄在西藏,哪有这么快便派了你们出来?”呼巴音道:“大师兄和我们几个,本来都是在北京,一路从北京追出来的。”韦小宝点点头,已明其理:“那自然是老婊子通了消息。”问道:“你们这一伙臭喇嘛,武功比你高的,跟你差不多的,还有几个?”呼巴音道:“我们同门师兄弟,一共是一十三人,给师太打死了五个,还有八个。”韦小宝暗暗心惊,喝道:“什么八个?你还算是人么?你早晚是一条人棍。”呼巴音道:“小爷答应过,不让小僧变人棍的。”韦小宝道:“余下那七条人棍,现今到了哪里?”呼巴音道:“我们大师兄本领高强得很,不会变人棍的。”韦小宝在他腰眼里重重踢了一脚,骂道:“你这臭贼,死到临头,还在胡吹大气。你那臭师兄本事再大,我也削成一条人棍给你瞧瞧。”呼巴音道:“是,是。”可是脸上神色,显是颇不以为然。韦小宝反来复去的又盘问良久,再也问不出什么,于是钻进大车,放下了车帷,低声将呼巴音的话说了,又道:“师太,还有七个喇嘛,如果一齐赶到,那可不容易对付。若在平日,师太自也不放在心上,此刻你身子不大舒服……”
‘Name.’ ‘Name Hubayin,’,’ said the lama. Hubayin was cooperative, but the information took a long time (and about a hundred questions) to extract. It appeared that they had set out from Peking, ten of them in all, to capture the White Nun and force her to hand over a copy she held of the Sutra in Forty-Two Sections. (It took a while to establish this, because Hubayin was more familiar with the Tibetan tide of the Sutra.) He didn’t seem to know what the special importance of this copy was. He said that their leader was the Grand Lama Sangge. Trinket remembered that this was the name of the lama he had been introduced to, along with the Mongol prince Galdan and Brigadier Ma from Yunnan, when he was a monk in the Shaolin Monastery. It was pretty obvious, though Hubayin didn’t know this, that Sangge must have been prompted to undertake this expedition by the false Empress Dowager, since only she would have known that the White Nun had taken a copy of the Sutra from the Palace. Hubayin knew nothing about the Blue Girl. Trinket calculated that Sangge and four other lamas must still be at large and probably not very far away. If, as seemed likely, they went to the inn to find out what had become of the other five, it was quite possible that they might soon be on their track. This was alarming. The White Nun was certainly in no condition to face an attack by another five lamas, and he and the Green Girl would be quite unable to defend her. He climbed inside the cart and told her what he had discovered.

白衣尼摇头道:“就算我安然无恙,以一敌六,也是难以取胜,何况再加上一个武功远远高出侪辈的大师兄。听说那桑结是西藏密宗的第一高手,大手印神功已练到登峰造极的境界。”韦小宝道:“我倒有一个计较,只是……只是太堕了师太的威风。”白衣尼叹道:“出家人有什么威风可言?你有什么计策?”韦小宝道:“我们去到偏僻的所在,找家农家躲了起来。请师太换上乡下女子的装束,睡在床上养伤。阿珂姑娘和我换上乡下姑娘和小子的衣衫,算是师太……师太的儿子女儿。”白衣尼摇了摇头。阿珂道:“你这人坏,想出来的计策也就坏。师父是当世高人,这么躲了起来,岂不是怕了人家?”白衣尼道:“计策可以行得。你两个算是我的侄儿侄女。”韦小宝喜道:“是,是。”心道:“最好算是你的侄儿跟侄儿媳妇。”阿珂白了他一眼,听得师父接纳他的计策,颇不乐意。韦小宝道:“留下这喇嘛的活口,只怕他泄露了风声,咱们将他活埋了就是,不露丝毫痕迹。”白衣尼道:“先前与人动手,是不得已,难以容情。这喇嘛已无抗拒之力,再要杀他,未免太过狠毒。只是……只是放了他却也不行,咱们暂且带着,再作打算。”韦小宝应了,叫过车夫,将呼巴音抬入车中,命车夫赶了大车又走。一路上却不见有什么农家,生怕桑结赶上,只待一见小路,便转道而行,只是沿途所见的岔道都太过窄小,行不得大车。
The White Nun shook her head sadly. ‘Even if I were better,’ she said, ‘I couldn’t take on the five of them. I’ve heard of Sangge. Of all the Tibetan Tantrics, he is known to be the most formidable,’ Somewhat diffidently, for he was afraid she might find it beneath her dignity, he unfolded a plan of escape. It was that they should buy some clothing at the first market town they came to, disguise themselves as peasants (the White Nun could be a widowed mother travelling with her son and daughter), and ask for lodgings at some farm where they could stay until she had fully recovered her strength. The Green Girl intensely disliked the idea of posing as Trinket’s sister, but the White Nun could see the sense of the plan, only insisting that, in adopting it, she should pass herself off not as a mother of children but as an aunt travelling with her nephew and niece. That decided, Trinket called back the mule-driver who re-harnessed his mule and helped him lift Hubayin back into the cart. Then, as soon as Trinket himself was in the back, they set off once more on their journey south.

On the Road with Sir Zheng

正行之间,忽听得身后马蹄声响,有数十骑马急驰追来。韦小宝暗暗叫苦:“糟了,糟了!臭喇嘛竟有数十名之多。”催大车快奔。两名车夫口催鞭打,急赶骡子。但追骑越奔越近,不多时已到大车之后。韦小宝从车厢板壁缝中一张,当即放心,透了口大气,原来这数十骑都是身穿青衣的汉子,并非喇嘛。顷刻之间,数十乘马都从车旁掠过,抢到了车前。阿珂突然叫道:“郑……郑公子!”
They had not been on the road again very long when they heard the sound of hooves in the distance. It sounded as if a sizeable company of horsemen was coming up behind them, riding at speed, because the sound was growing louder by the moment. ‘Damnation!’ thought Trinket. ‘It’s the lamas. It doesn’t sound like five, though: more like a dozen.’ But when the horsemen came in sight, he breathed a sigh of relief. These were not red-robed lamas but laymen in black: a person of some importance attended by twelve mounted companions. As they overtook the cart, he heard the Green Girl cry out excitedly. ‘Zheng! Sir Zheng!’

马上一名乘客立时勒住了马,向旁一让,待大车赶上时与车子并肩而驰,叫道:“是陈姑娘?”阿珂道:“是啊,是我。”声音中充满喜悦之意。马上乘客大声道:“想不到又再相见,你跟王姑娘在一起吗?”阿珂道:“不是,师姊不在这里。”那乘客道:“你也去河间府?咱们正好一路同行。”阿珂道:“不,我们不去河间府。”那乘客道:“河间府很热闹的,你也去罢。”他二人说话之时,车马仍继续前驰。
The leader of the company reined in his horse and waited for the cart to catch up with him. A slatted blind in the side of the mule-cart was rolled up and the dashing Sir Zheng, an extremely handsome young man of twenty-three or so, trotted along beside me cart and leaned down to talk to the girl inside. ‘Miss Chen! What a surprise! Is Miss Wang with you?’ ‘No.’ ‘Are you going to Hejianfu? If you are, we can travel together.’ ‘No, I’m afraid not.’ ‘Oh, you should. It will be lots of fun,’ ‘Why? What’s happening in Hejianfu?’ Trinket noticed with a pang that the Green Girl’s cheeks were flushed with excitement.

韦小宝见阿珂双颊晕红,眼中满是光彩,又是高兴,便如遇上了世上最亲近之人一般,霎时之间,他胸口便如给大锤子重重捶了一下,心想:“难道是她的意中人到了?”低声道:“咱们避难要紧,别跟不相干的人说话。”阿珂全没听见他的说话,问道:“河间府有什么热闹事?”那人道:“你不知道么?”车帷一掀,一张脸探了进来。那人面目俊美,约莫二十三四岁年纪,满脸欢容,说道:“河间府要开‘杀龟大会’,天下英雄好汉都去参与,好玩得很呢。”阿珂问道:“什么‘杀龟大会’,杀大乌龟么?那有什么好玩?”那人笑道:“是杀大乌龟,不过不是真的乌龟,是个大坏人。他名字中有个‘龟’字的。”阿珂笑道:“哪有人名字中有个‘龟’字的?你骗人。”那人笑道:“不是乌龟的龟,声音相同罢了,是桂花的‘桂’,你倒猜猜看,是什么人?”韦小宝吓了一跳,心道:“名字中有个桂花的‘桂’,那不是要杀我小桂子么?”却听阿珂拍手笑道:“我知道啦,是大汉奸吴三桂。”那人笑道:“正是,你真聪明,一猜就着。”阿珂道:“你们把吴三桂捉到了么?”那人道:“这可没有,大伙儿商量怎么去杀了这大汉奸。”韦小宝舒了口气,心道:“这就是了。想我小桂子是个小小孩童,他们不会要杀我的,就算要杀,也用不着开什么‘杀龟大会’。他妈的,老子假冒姓名,也算倒霉,冒得名字中有个‘桂’字。”只见那人笑吟吟的瞧着阿珂,蹄声车声一直不断。这人骑在马上,弯过身来瞧着车里,骑术极精。阿珂转头向白衣尼低声道:“师父,咱们要不要去?”
He had never seen her like this, so happy and so animated. It was clear that she had known this young Sir Zheng for quite some time and that he occupied a high place in her affections. ‘We can’t go to Hejianfu,’ Trinket muttered. ‘We’re trying to escape.’ Either his remark was inaudible or the other two ignored it. ‘It’s the big Rat Trap Congress,’ said Zheng. From the conversation that ensued, Trinket gathered that this was the code name for the meeting of all the different anti-Manchu groups to plan joint action against the Satrap Wu Sangui. As Master of the Green Wood Lodge, he had once heard the Helmsman discussing plans for the meeting with the other Masters. The Green Girl was eager to take part. ‘Shifu, may we go?’ she asked the White Nun pleadingly.

白衣尼武功虽高,却殊乏应变之才,武林豪杰共商诛杀吴三桂之策,自己亟愿与闻,但桑结等众喇嘛不久就会追赶前来,情势甚急,沉吟片刻,问韦小宝道:“你说呢?”韦小宝见到阿珂对待那青年神态语气,心中说不出的厌憎,决不愿让阿珂跟他在一起,忙道:“恶喇嘛一来,咱们对付不了,还是尽快躲避的为是。”那青年道:“什么恶喇嘛?”阿珂道:“郑公子,这位是我师父。我们途中遇到一群恶喇嘛,要害我师父。她老人家身受重伤,后面还有七名喇嘛追来。”那青年道:“是!”转头出去,几声呼啸,马队都停了下来,两辆大车也即停住。那青年跃下马背,卷起车帷,躬身说道:“晚辈郑克塽拜见前辈。”
Trinket didn’t wait for the reply. ‘If those lamas catch up with us, we’re done for,’ he said. ‘Our best plan is to hide,’ ‘What lamas are those?’ asked Zheng, pricking up his ears. ‘Sir Zheng, I want you to meet my Shifu,’ said the Green Girl. ‘She has been attacked by some lamas and is seriously hurt. The ones who were attacking her she killed or captured, but five of the group they belonged to are still around and they are out to get us.’ Zheng whistled to his companions to halt. The mule-driver stopped the cart and Zheng jumped off his horse and leant inside it to introduce himself.

白衣尼点了点头。郑克塽道:“谅七八名喇嘛,也不用挂心,晚辈代劳,打发了便是。”阿珂又惊又喜,又有些担心,说道:“那些恶喇嘛很厉害的。”郑克塽道:“我带的那些伴当,武艺都很了得,谅可料理得了。咱们就算不以多胜少,一个对一个,也不怕他七八个喇嘛。”阿珂转头瞧向师父,眼光中露出询问之意,其实祈求之意更多于询问。韦小宝道:“不行,师太这等高深的武功,还受了伤,你二十几个人,又有什么用?”阿珂怒道:“又不是问你,要你多啰唆什么?”韦小宝道:“我是关心师太的平安。”阿珂怒道:“你自己怕死,却说关心师父。你这小恶人,就只会做坏事,还安着好心了?”韦小宝道:“这姓郑的本事很大么?比师太还强么?”阿珂道:“他带着二十几人,个个武艺高强。难道二十几个人还怕了七个喇嘛?”韦小宝道:“你怎知道二十几人个个武艺高强?我看个个武艺低微。”阿珂道:“我自然知道,我见过他们出手,每个都抵得你一百个。”白衣尼沉吟不语,韦小宝要她扮作农妇,躲避喇嘛,事非得已,却实大违所愿,若只两个小孩子知道,那也罢了,要她当着二三十个江湖豪客之前去乔装避祸,那是宁死不为,缓缓的道:“这些喇嘛是冲着我一人而来,郑公子,多谢你的好意,你们请上路罢。”郑克塽道:“师太说哪里话来?路见不平,尚且要拔刀相助,何况……何况师太是陈姑娘的师父,晚辈稍效微劳,那是义不容辞。”阿珂脸上一红,低下头去,却显得十分得意。白衣尼点了点头,道:“好,那么咱们一起去河间府瞧瞧,不过你不必对旁人说起。我生性疏懒,不愿跟旁人相见。”郑克塽喜道:“是,是!自当谨遵前辈吩咐。”白衣尼道:“郑公子属何门派?尊师是哪一位?”问他门派师承,那是在考查他的武功了。郑克塽道:“晚辈承三位师父传过武艺。启蒙的业师姓施,是武夷派高手。第二位师父姓刘,是福建莆田少林寺的俗家高手。”白衣尼道:“嗯,这位刘师傅尊姓大名?”郑克塽道:“他叫刘国轩。”白衣尼听得他直呼师父的名字,并无恭敬之意,微觉奇怪,随即想起一人,道:“那不是跟台湾的刘大将军同名么?”郑克啰道:“那就是台湾延平郡王麾下中提督刘国轩刘大将军。”白衣尼道:“郑公子是延平郡王一家人?”郑克塽道:“晚辈是延平郡王次子。”
He was the grandson of Marshal Zheng, it seemed, that famous Coxinga who took Taiwan from the Dutch and held it for the Ming Court in exile. The Marshal, created Prince of Yanping by one of the Ming Pretenders, had died in the first year of Kang Xi’s reign. The present Prince of Yanping and ruler of Taiwan was the Marshal’s son Zheng Jing. Trinket’s Shifu, the Helmsman, was the Prince’s military adviser. This young Sir Zheng was the Prince’s second son and younger brother of his Heir Apparent. His full name was Zheng Keshuang.

白衣尼点了点头,道:“原来是忠良后代。”郑成功从荷兰人手中夺得台湾。桂王封郑为延平郡王,招讨大将军。永历十六年(即康熙元年)五月,郑成功逝世,其时世子郑经镇守金门、厦门,郑成功之弟郑袭在台湾接位。郑经率领大将周全斌、陈近南等回师台湾,攻破拥戴郑袭的部队,而接延平郡王之位。郑经长子克塽,次子克塽,自郑成功的父亲郑芝龙算起,郑克塽已是郑家的第四代了。其时延平郡王以一军力抗满清不屈,孤悬海外而奉大明正朔,天下仁人义士无不敬仰。郑克塽说出自己身份,只道这尼姑定当肃然起敬,哪知白衣尼只点点头,说了一句“原来是忠良后代”,更无其他表示。他不知白衣尼是崇祯皇帝的公主。他师父刘国轩是父亲部属,他对之便不如何恭敬,在白衣尼眼中,郑经也不过是一个忠良的臣子而已。韦小宝肚里已在骂个不休:“他妈的,好希罕么?延平郡王有什么了不起?”其实他知道延平郡王是了不起的,他师父陈近南就是延平郡王的部下,心下越来越觉不妙。眼看郑克塽的神情,对阿珂大为有意,他是坐拥雄兵、据地开府的郡王的堂堂公子,比之流落江湖的沐王府,又不可同日而语,何况这人相貌比自己俊雅十倍,谈吐高出百倍,年纪又比自己大得多。武功如何虽不知道,看来就算高不上十倍,七八倍总是有的。阿珂对他十分倾心,就是瞎子也瞧得出来。倘若师父知道自己跟郑公子争夺阿珂,不用郑公子下令,只怕先一掌将自己打死了。师太又在赞他是忠良后代,自己是什么后代了?只不过是婊子的后代而已。白衣尼眼望郑克塽,缓缓的道:“那么你第一个师父,就是投降满清鞑子的施琅么?”郑克塽道:“是。这人无耻忘义,晚辈早已不认他是师父,他日疆场相见,必当亲手杀了他。”
The White Nun was not nearly as impressed as the young man had hoped she would be when she heard who he was. She merely made some polite remark about his being ‘of loyal stock’. He could not know, of course, that she was an Emperor’s daughter, to whom his princely grandfather was merely one of her father’s generals. When she went on to ask him under what teacher he had trained, he told her that he had had not one teacher but three. She was a little shocked by the disrespectful way in which he referred to the first two of his teachers, but it transpired that one of them, an army officer called Shi Lang, had surrendered to the Manchus. ‘If I ever meet him again, I shall kill him,’ he said, looking even more dashing as he said it.

言下甚是慷慨激昂。韦小宝寻思:“原来你的师父投降了朝廷。这个施琅,下次见了面倒要留心。”郑克塽又道:“晚辈近十年来,一直跟冯师父学艺,他是昆仑派的第一高手,外号叫作‘一剑无血’,师太想必知道他的名字。”白衣尼道:“嗯,那是冯锡范冯师傅,只是不知他这外号的来历。”郑克塽道:“冯师父剑法固然极高,气功尤其出神入化。他用利剑的剑尖点人死穴,被杀之人皮肤不伤,决不见血。”白衣尼“哦”的一声,道:“气功练到这般由利返钝的境界,当世也没几人。冯师傅他有多大年纪了?”郑克塽十分得意,道:“今年冬天,晚辈就要给师父办五十寿筵。”白衣尼点了点头,道:“还不过五十岁,内力已如此精纯,很难得了。”顿了一顿,又道:“你带的那些随从,武功都还过得去罢?”郑克塽道:“师太放心,那都是晚辈王府中精选的高手卫士。”韦小宝忽道:“师太,天下的高手怎地这么多啊?这位郑公子的第一个师父是武夷派高手,第二个师父是福建少林派高手,第三个师父是昆仑派高手,所带的随从又个个是高手,想来他自己也必是高手了。”郑克塽听他出言尖刻,登时大怒,只是不知这孩童的来历,但见他和白衣尼、阿珂同坐一车,想必跟她们极有渊源,当下强自忍耐。阿珂道:“常言道,名师必出高徒,郑公子由三位名师调教出来,武功自然了得。”韦小宝道:“姑娘说得甚是。我没见识过郑公子的武功,因此随口问问。姑娘和郑公子相比,不知哪一位的武功强些?”阿珂向郑克塽瞧了一眼,道:“自然是他比我强得多。”郑克塽一笑,说道:“姑娘太谦了。”韦小宝点头道:“原来如此。你说名师必出高徒,原来你武功不高,只因为你师父是低手,是暗师,远远不及郑公子的三位高手名师。”说到言辞便给,阿珂如何是他的对手,只一句便给他捉住了把柄。阿珂一张小脸胀得通红,忙道:“我……我几时说过师父是低手、是暗师了?你自己在这里胡说八道。”白衣尼微微一笑,道:“阿珂,你跟小宝斗嘴,是斗不过的。咱们走罢。”
The third one, under whom he had already been training for ten years, was a professional called Feng, also known as the Bloodless Sword because of his superior swordsmanship which enabled him to kill an opponent without drawing blood. The White Nun had heard of this paragon. ‘You don’t need to worry about those lamas,’ he said. ‘We’re thirteen against their five; but even if we didn’t outnumber them, my men would be more than a match for them fighting just one to one. They are the pick of our fighting-men on Taiwan.’ The White Nun wasn’t so sure, but held her peace. She had already half made up her mind to travel with them. Disguise and concealment, enabling her to rest and recuperate, would no doubt have been the best course, but she was not going to dress up as an old peasant in the presence of this dashing young nobleman and his twelve companions. After a little hesitation she consented to travel in their company to Hejianfu. Trinket cursed inwardly. The insufferable Sir Zheng was older than him, taller than him, and more good-looking and well-spoken than him. And he was the son of a prince. (‘Loyal stock!’ he thought. ‘I haven’t got any stock at all!’) Worst of all, the Green Girl was fond of him. And if the White Nun knew that he, Trinket, was young Zheng’s rival for her hand, she would probably kill him on the spot for even daring to think about marrying her.

大车放下帷幕。一行车马折向西行。郑克塽骑马随在大车之侧。白衣尼低声问阿珂道:“这个郑公子,你怎么相识的?”阿珂脸一红,道:“我和师姊在河南开封府见到他的。那时候我们……我们穿了男装,他以为我们是男人,在酒楼上过来请我们喝酒。”白衣尼道:“你们胆子可不小哇,两个大姑娘家,到酒楼上去喝酒。”阿珂低下头去,道:“也不是真的喝酒,装模作样,好玩儿的。”韦小宝道:“阿珂姑娘,你相貌这样美,就算穿了男装,人人一看都知道你是个美貌姑娘。这郑公子哪,我瞧是不怀好意。”阿珂怒道:“你才不怀好意!我们扮了男人,他一点都认不出来。后来师姊跟他说了,他还连声道歉呢。人家是彬彬有礼的君子,哪像你……”一行人中午时分到了丰尔庄,那是冀西的一个大镇。众人到一家饭店中打尖。韦小宝下得车来,但见那郑克塽长身玉立,气宇轩昂,至少要高出自己一个半头,不由得更兴自惭形秽之感,又见他衣饰华贵,腰间所悬佩剑的剑鞘上镶了珠玉宝石,灿然生光。他手下二十余名随从,有的身材魁梧,有的精悍挺拔,身负刀剑,看来个个神气十足。来到饭店,阿珂抹着白衣尼在桌边坐下,她和郑克塽便打横相陪。韦小宝正要在白衣尼对面坐下,阿珂向他白了一眼,道:“那边座位很多,你别坐在这里行不行?我见到了你吃不下饭。”
Now that it was decided that they should travel together, the blind was lowered and they resumed their journey. Young Zheng continued to ride beside the mule-cart, but his companions divided themselves into two groups, six of them riding ahead of the cart, the other six bringing up the rear. They took a right turn at the next junction as they were journeying westwards now, in the direction of Hejianfu. About midday they arrived in Fengerzhuang, one of the larger market towns of West Hebei, and decided to look for somewhere to eat. When they had found a place and had all dismounted, Trinket saw just how much taller young Zheng was than himself and how magnificently dressed. His companions, too, were big, swaggering fellows, full of arrogant self-assurance. Inside the eating-house the Green Girl helped the White Nun to a small table and, when she had got her seated, sat down herself at one of the sides next to her. Young Sir Zheng sat at the side opposite the Green Girl. Trinket was about to sit down in the remaining seat, opposite the White Nun, when the Green Girl scowled at him and told him to sit elsewhere. There’s plenty of room over there,’ she said. ‘You can’t sit here. I shan’t be able to get my food down if I have to sit next to you.’

韦小宝大怒,一张脸登时胀得通红,心道:“这位郑公子陪着你,你就多吃几碗饭,他妈的,胀死了你这小娘皮。”白衣尼道:“阿珂,你怎地对小宝如此无礼?”阿珂道:“他是个无恶不作的坏人。师父吩咐不许杀他,否则……”说着向韦小宝狠狠横了一眼。韦小宝心中气苦,自行走到厅角的一张桌旁坐了,心想:“你是一心一意,要嫁这他妈的臭贼郑公子做老婆了,我韦小宝岂肯轻易罢休?你想杀我,可没那么容易。待老子用个计策,先杀了你心目中的老公,教你还没嫁成,先做了寡妇,终究还是非嫁老子不可。老子不算你是寡妇改嫁,便宜了你这小娘皮!”饭店中伙计送上饭菜,郑家众伴当即狼吞虎咽的吃了起来。韦小宝拿了七八个馒头,去给缚在大车中的呼巴音吃了,只觉这呼巴音比之郑家那些人倒还更可亲些。他回入座位,隔着几张桌子瞧去,只见阿珂容光焕发,和郑克塽言笑晏晏,神情甚是亲密,韦小宝气得几乎难以下咽,寻思:“要害死这郑公子,倒不容易,可不能让人瞧出半点痕迹,否则阿珂如知是我害的,定要谋杀亲夫,为奸夫报仇。”忽听得一阵马蹄声响,几个人乘马冲进镇来,下马入店,却是七个喇嘛。
Trinket blushed scarlet and, with rage in his heart, went to sit alone at a distant table. The White Nun was shocked. ‘Ah Kor,’ she said, ‘why are you always so rude to that boy?’ ‘He’s horrible, Shifu,’ said the Green Girl. ‘There’s nothing so bad that he wouldn’t do it. If it weren’t for you, I would kill him.’ Trinket heard all this from his table and entertained dark thoughts of waiting until Zheng and the Green Girl were married, then killing Zheng and magnanimously consenting to take the widowed Green Girl as his wife. When the food was served, Zheng’s companions, who were sitting all round him, fell on it like hungry wolves. Trinket was so disgusted that he took some of the steamed buns that had been served with the meal and went outside to feed Hubayin, who was still lying trussed up in the cart Hubayin’s company seemed preferable to that of Zheng’s bully-boys inside. After feeding him a few of the buns, he went in again and, from his distant table, gloomily contemplated the Green Girl and young Sir Zheng happily chattering and laughing together while the White Nun ate silently between them. While he was picking without much appetite at his food and trying to think of some way in which he might widow the future Lady Zheng without her finding out that it was he who had murdered her precious husband, his thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sounds of a party of horsemen arriving and dismounting outside. A moment later five red-robed lamas came into the eating-house.

Sa-sa-satisfaction!

韦小宝心中怦怦乱跳,但又有些幸灾乐祸,心想:“这郑公子刚才胡吹大气,什么跟三个高手师父学了武功。且让你们打场大架,老子袖手旁观,倒是妙极!”那七名喇嘛一见白衣尼,登时脸色大变,咕噜咕噜说起话来。其中一名身材高瘦的喇嘛吩咐了几句,七人在门口一张桌边坐下,叫了饭菜。各人目不转睛的瞧着白衣尼,神色甚是愤怒。白衣尼只作不见,自管自的缓缓吃饭,过了一会,一名喇嘛站起身来,走到白衣尼桌前,大声道:“兀那尼姑,我们的几个同伴,都是你害死的么?”
The tallest and thinnest of them he thought he recognized as the Grand Lama Sangge whom he had last seen in the Shaolin Monastery in the company of Galdan and the Brigadier. As soon as they caught sight of the White Nun, they began talking excitedly to each other in their foreign language. The one whom Trinket had identified as Sangge gave an order and the five of them sat down at a table near the door and ordered a meal. From time to time, while they were waiting, they would glance round in the direction of the White Nun with angry looks. Presently one of them got up and marched towards her table. ‘Hey, you! Nun!’ he said in a voice loud enough for everyone in the eating-house to hear. ‘It is you kill my friends?’ Young Sir Zheng leapt to his feet.

郑克塽站起身来,朗声道:“你们干什么的?在这里大呼小叫,如此无礼?”那喇嘛怒道:“你是什么东西?我们自跟这尼姑说话,关你什么事?滚开!”只听得呼呼几声,郑克塽手下四名伴当跃了过来,齐向那喇嘛抓去。那喇嘛右手一格,挡开了两人,飞出一腿,将一名伴当踢得向饭店外摔了出去,跟着迎面一拳,正中另一名伴当的鼻梁,将他打得晕倒在地。其余众伴当大叫:“并肩子上啊!”抽出兵刃,向那喇嘛杀去。那边五名喇嘛也各抽戒刀,杀将过来,只那高瘦喇嘛坐着不动。顷刻之间,饭堂中乒乒乓乓,打得十分热闹。店伴和吃饭的闲人见有人打大架,纷向店外逃出。郑克塽和阿珂都拔出长剑,守在白衣尼身前,店堂中碗盏纷飞,桌椅乱掷,每一名喇嘛都抵挡四五名郑府伴当。忽听得呼的一声响,一柄单刀向上飞去,砍在屋梁之上,韦小宝抬头看去,白光闪动,又有两把刀飞了上来,砍在梁上。跟着又有三四柄长剑飞上,几名郑府伴当连声惊呼,空手跃开,呼呼声接连不断,一柄柄兵刃向上飞去,都是钉在横梁或是椽子之上,再不落下。有些钢鞭、铁锏等沉重兵器,却是穿破了屋顶,掉上瓦面。不到半炷香时分,郑府二十余名伴当手中都没了兵刃。韦小宝又惊又喜,喜欢却比惊讶更多了几分。几名喇嘛纷纷喝道:“快跪下投降,迟得一步,把你们脑袋瓜儿一个个都砍了下来。”
‘What do you mean by it, shouting at people like that? Have you no manners at all?’ ‘You are who? said the lama angrily. ‘I talk with nun. This not your business. You <****> off!’ In a trice four of Zheng’s followers leapt up and rushed on the lama to seize him, but they were quickly disposed of. Two of them he swept aside with his right arm, one he sent flying with a mighty kick, and the fourth he smashed on the nose with his fist, so hard that the man sank bleeding and unconscious to the floor. ‘Right! Get in formation!’ shouted one of Zheng’s eight remaining men, and all eight of them jumped up, drew out their swords, and stood shoulder to shoulder for a fight. The lamas, too, drew out their monk’s knives, all except Sangge, who continued to sit at his table looking on. He and his lamas, and Trinket and the White Nun’s party were now the only diners left, the others having all retreated at the earliest sign of an affray. A small melee now took place in the middle of the eating-house, in which, amidst the sounds of tables being overturned, crockery being smashed, and the clash of weapons, it was for a time hard to tell what was going on. Then quite suddenly there was a cry and one of the men’s swords went flying upwards and lodged itself in the ceiling. This was followed by another sword and then another. Trinket watched in astonishment as, one by one, each of young Zheng’s followers was disarmed in this novel manner. ‘On knees!’ shouted one of the lamas. ‘Surrender, or cut off heads!’

郑府众伴当兵刃虽失,并无怯意,或空手使拳,或提起长凳,又向六喇嘛扑来。六名喇嘛一声吆喝,挥刀掷出,扑的一声响,六柄戒刀都插在那高瘦喇嘛所坐的桌上,整整齐齐的围成了一个圆圈,跟着六人跃入人群,但听得哎唷、啊哟,呼声此起彼落,混杂着喀喇、喀喇之声不绝,片刻之间,二十余名伴当个个都被折断了大腿骨,在店堂中摔满了一地。韦小宝这时心中惊骇已远远胜过欢喜之情,只是叫苦,心道:“他们就要去为难师太和我的小美人儿了,那可如何是好?”六名喇嘛双手合十,叽哩咕噜的似乎念了一会经,坐回桌旁,拔下桌上的戒刀,挂在身旁。
But the men had courage enough to continue. Some of them put up their fists and some of them picked up benches to defend themselves with. The four lamas went back to where Sangge was sitting and flung down their knives so that they stuck quivering in the table. Then they moved in a slow and deliberate manner towards the men. Presently there were shrieks and cries and Trinket realized with horror that the lamas were systematically breaking the men’s legs. Soon all of them lay groaning and helpless on the floor amidst the overturned tables and the broken crockery. To begin with Trinket had felt rather pleased to see Zheng and his companions being humbled, but now he was really frightened and wondered whose turn it would be next. The lamas went back to their own table, however, pulled out and resheathed their knives, and sat down as if nothing had happened.

那高瘦喇嘛叫道:“拿酒来,拿饭菜来!”喝了几声,店伴远远瞧着,哪敢过来?一名喇嘛骂道:“他妈的,不拿酒饭来,咱们放火烧了这家黑店。”掌柜的一听要烧店,忙道:“是,是!这就拿酒饭来,快快,快拿酒饭给众位佛爷。”韦小宝眼望白衣尼,瞧她有何对策,但见她右手拿着茶杯缓缓啜茶,衣袖纹丝不动,脸上神色漠然。阿珂却脸色惨白,眼光中满是惧意。郑克塽脸上青一阵、白一阵,手按剑柄,手臂不住颤动,一时拿不定主意,不知是否该当上前厮杀。那高瘦喇嘛一声冷笑,起身走到郑克塽面前。郑克塽向旁跃开,剑尖指着那喇嘛,喝道:“你……你……你待怎地?”声音又是嘶哑,又是发颤。那喇嘛道:“我们只找这尼姑有事,跟旁人不相干。你是她的弟子?”
‘Waiter!’ Sangge shouted towards the kitchen. ‘Let’s have some wine! What’s happened to our dinner?’ (Unlike the lesser lamas accompanying him, Sangge spoke fluent Chinese.) He called several times, but there was no response. ‘Holy yak butter!’ shouted one of the lamas. ‘Not bring dinner, we burn house down!’ This threat brought the proprietor to the kitchen door. ‘Yes, yes, Your Reverence, immediately,’ he said, and turned to address the trembling waiter inside. ‘Quickly, boy, quickly! Take the wine and the dishes to Their Reverences!’ Trinket looked to see how the White Nun was reacting to this sudden change of fortune. She was slowly sipping tea from her cup and appeared to be totally unaware of what was going on around her The Green Girl, on the other hand, was ashen-faced and there Was terror in her eyes. Young Sir Zheng’s hue was changing from blue to white by turns. He was standing with his hand on his sword, but the hand was trembling. Though honour told him that he should fight, it seemed uncertain whether honour or fear would prevail. The sinister Sangge observed this with a mocking laugh and, getting up from his table, went over to confront him. Young Zheng jumped back a pace and held up his sword in front of him. ‘Wha-wha-wha-what do you want?’ His voice was husky with fear. ‘What I want has to do with this nun here and nobody else,’ said Sangge. ‘Who are you? Are you her disciple?’

郑克塽道:“不是。”那喇嘛道:“好!识相的,快快滚罢。”郑克塽道:“尊驾……尊驾是谁,请留下万儿来,日后……日后也好……”那喇嘛仰头长笑,韦小宝耳中嗡嗡作响,登时头晕脑胀。阿珂站立不定,坐倒在凳,伏在桌上。那喇嘛笑道:“我法名桑结,是西藏达赖喇嘛活佛座下的大护法。你日后怎么样?想来找我报仇是不是?”郑克塽硬起了头皮,颤声道:“正……正是!”桑结哈哈一笑,左手衣袖往他脸上拂去。郑克塽举剑挡架。桑结右手中指弹出,铮的一声响,长剑飞起,插到屋顶梁上,跟着左手一探,已抓住了他后领,将他提了起来,重重往板凳一放,笑道:“坐下罢!”郑克塽给他抓住了后颈“大椎穴”,那是手足三阳督脉之会,登时全身动弹不得。桑结嘿嘿冷笑,回去自己桌旁坐下。韦小宝心想:“他们在等甚么?怎地不向师太动手?难道还有帮手来么?”四下一望,饭堂四边都是砖墙,已不能故技重施,用匕首隔着板壁刺敌,忽地想起大车中那个呼巴音,暗道:“糟糕,他们将呼巴音一救出,立时便知我跟师太是一伙,说不定还会知道那四个喇嘛是我杀的。那时候韦小宝不去阴世跟四个大喇嘛聚聚,只怕也难得很了。最怕他们先将我削成一根人棍,这可是我的法子。”想到即以其人之匕首,还削其人为人棍,不禁全身寒毛直竖,转头向桑结瞧去,只见他神情肃然,脸上竟微有惴惴不安之意,登时明白:“是了,他不知师太已负重伤,忌惮师太武功了得,正自拿不定主意,不知如何出手才好。”这时店伙送上酒菜,一壶酒在每个喇嘛面前斟得半碗,便即空了。
‘No,’ said Zheng. ‘In that case, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep your nose out of this,’ said Sangge. ‘I mu-must ask you for your name,’ Zheng stammered. ‘I shall be requiring sa-sa-sa-, sa-sa-sa—’ ‘What will you be requiring? Satisfaction?’ ‘Ye-yes.’ Sangge threw his head back and roared with laughter. When he had finished laughing, he flicked the sleeve of his robe in young Zheng’s face. Zheng made a feeble pass at him with his sword, whereupon Sangge, with the greatest of ease, knocked the sword flying from his hand, seized him by the collar, and forced him down on to a bench. Then he pressed a point on the back of his neck so that he could no longer move. ‘Now sit there like a good boy!’ he said, and returned, laughing, to his own table to rejoin the other lamas. The lamas had now incapacitated Zheng and all twelve of his followers, yet still not laid a finger on the White Nun. Trinket couldn’t understand what they were waiting for. The fact is they were scared of her. They believed she was solely responsible for the deaths of all five of their fellows in the Cangzhou hostelry, and having caught up with her at last, were simply observing her, not quite sure what they would do next. Now that things had finally quietened down a bit, the waiter came in with some plates of food and a jug of wine. The wine-cups were quite large ones and by the time the waiter had half-filled all of them, the jug was empty.

一个喇嘛拍桌骂道:“这一点儿酒,给佛爷独个儿喝也还不够。”店伙早就全身发抖,更加怕得厉害,转身又去取酒。韦小宝灵机一动,跟进厨房。他是个小小孩童,谁也没加留意。只见那店伙拿了酒提,从坛中提了酒倒入壶中,双手发颤,只溅得地下、桌上、坛边、壶旁到处都是酒水。韦小宝取出一锭小银子,交给了他,说道:“不用怕。这是我的饭钱,多下的是赏钱。我来帮你倒酒。”说着接过了酒提。那店伙大喜过望,想不到世上竟有这样的好人。韦小宝道:“这些喇嘛凶得很,你去瞧瞧,他们在干什么?”店伙应了,到厨房门口向店堂张望。
One of the lamas banged on the table angrily. ‘This all wine we get? This not enough!’ The waiter, who had been trembling to start with, hurried back to the kitchen, now almost fainting with terror. Trinket had a sudden inspiration and slipped in after him. The lamas seemed scarcely to notice his departure. Even Sangge, who had met Trinket once before at the Shaolin Monastery when he had been posing as a monk, paid no attention to this little rich boy. In the kitchen Trinket found the waiter trying to pour wine from a wine-jar into the jug, but his hands were shaking so badly that very little was going inside it. Trinket took out a small ingot of silver and held it out to him. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘Look, you can take what I owe for my meal from this. The rest is for you. Let me give you a hand with that wine.’ He reached for the wine-jar, which the waiter yielded up gladly, scarcely believing that the world could contain so kind a benefactor. Tricky bastards, those lamas!’ said Trinket. ‘You never know what they’ll do next. Better go and see what they’re up to.’ The waiter obediently went to the kitchen door to look.

韦小宝从怀中取出蒙汗药,打开纸包,尽数抖入酒壶,又倒了几提酒,用力晃动。那店伙转身道:“他们在喝酒,没……没干什么!”韦小宝将酒壶交给他,说道:“快拿去,他们发起脾气来,别真的把店烧了。”那店伙谢不绝口,双手捧了酒壶出去,口中兀自喃喃的说:“多谢,多谢,唉,真是好人,菩萨保佑。”众喇嘛抢过酒壶,各人斟了半碗,喝道:“不够,再去打酒。”
While he had his back turned, Trinket took from his inside pocket a paper packet containing some of the strong opiate that he always carried with him for emergencies, and emptied the entire contents into the jug. He had just finished swishing it round to dissolve the powder when the waiter came trotting back. They don’t seem to be doing anything,’ he said. ‘Just drinking.’ ‘Here you are, then,’ said Trinket. ‘Better hurry. Don’t want them getting angry again and burning the place down!’ The waiter went off with the wine-jug, invoking blessings on this kind young gentleman. One of the lamas snatched the jug from him and poured out another round. ‘Not enough,’ he said. ‘Go get more!’

韦小宝见七名喇嘛毫不疑心,将碗中药酒喝得精光,心中大喜,暗道:“臭喇嘛枉自武功高强,连这一点粗浅之极的江湖上道儿,也不提防,当真可笑。”殊不知桑结等一干人眼见五个同门死于非命,其中一人更是被掌力震得全身前后肋骨齐断,敌人武功之高,世所罕见,桑结自忖若和此人动手,只怕还是输面居多。在饭店中见白衣尼始终神色自若,的是大高手的风范,七人全神贯注,尽在注视她的动静,又怎会提防一位武功已臻登峰造极之境的大高手,竟会去使用蒙汗药这等下三滥的勾当?他们口中喝酒,其实全然饮而不知其味,想到五名师兄弟惨死的情状,心中一直在栗栗自惧。倘若饭店中并无白衣尼安坐座头,那么这一壶下了大量蒙汗药的药酒饮入口中,未必就察觉不出。一名胖胖的喇嘛是个好色之徒,见到阿珂容色艳丽,早就想上前摸手摸脚,只是忌惮白衣尼了得,不敢无礼,待得半碗酒一下肚,已自按捺不住,过得片刻,药性发作,脑中昏昏沉沉,登时什么都不在乎了,站起身来,笑嘻嘻的道:“小姑娘,有了婆家没有?”伸出大手,在阿珂脸蛋上摸了一把。阿珂吓得全身发抖,道:“你……你……”挥刀砍去。那喇嘛伸手抓住她手腕,一扭之下,阿珂手中钢刀落地。那喇嘛哈哈大笑,将她抱在怀中。阿珂高声尖叫,拚命挣扎,但那喇嘛一双粗大的手臂犹如一个大铁圆相似,紧紧箍住,却哪里挣扎得脱?白衣尼本来镇静自若,这一来却也脸上变色,心想:“这些恶喇嘛倘若出手杀了我,倒不打紧,如此当众无礼,我便立时死了,也不闭眼。”郑克塽双手撑桌,站起身来,叫道:“你……你……”那胖大喇嘛左手一拳直挺,砰的一声,将他打得在地上连翻了两个滚。
Trinket watched from the kitchen as they drained their cups. ‘Donkeys!’ he thought. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Anyone on River and Lake could have told them to watch out for drugged wine.’ One of the lamas, a big, fat fellow, had a weakness for girls. He had been itching to get his hands on the beautiful Green Girl from the moment he set eyes on her and it was only fear of the White Nun that had held him back. Already half-drunk before imbibing the drugged wine, he now, under the influence of the drug, completely forgot about his fear and went lurching over to accost her. ‘Not married, girlie?’ he said with a leer and reached his fat hand out to touch the smooth skin of her cheek. The Green Girl was trembling all over but managed to get out her sword. Before she could use it, however, he had seized and twisted her wrist. The sword dropped to the ground. The lama gave a great laugh and threw his arms around her. She screamed and struggled, but he only tightened his embrace. During these last few moments young Zheng had begun to feel the sensation returning to his limbs. Now, desperate to help the Green Girl, he clung to the edge of the nearest table and attempted to raise himself to his feet; but the fat lama saw him. Still holding the struggling girl in his right arm, he lashed out with his left fist and sent young Zheng rolling on the floor.

韦小宝见心上人受辱,十分焦急:“怎地蒙汗药还不发作,难道臭喇嘛另有古怪功夫,不怕迷药?”眼见那喇嘛伸嘴去阿珂脸上乱吻乱嗅,再也顾不得凶险,袖中暗藏匕首,笑嘻嘻的走过去,笑道:“大和尚,你在干什么啊?”右手碰到他左边背心,手腕一翻,匕首从衣袖中戳了出来,插入那喇嘛心脏,笑道:“大和尚,你在玩什么把戏?”急速向左一闪,防他反击。匕首锋锐无匹,入肉无声,刺入时又是对准了心脏,这喇嘛心跳立停,就此僵立不动,但双手仍抱住了阿珂不放。
Trinket knew that the drug would soon take effect—in fact, he couldn’t understand why it had not done so already—but seeing the fat lama kissing and nuzzling the Green Girl’s cheek, he could bear to wait no longer. While the other lamas’ attention was fixed on their lecherous colleague, he extracted the dagger from his boot and hid it in the long sleeve of his jacket, then, ambling over with a big grin on his face, as if to show that he found the girl’s plight a joke, he jovially accosted her tormentor. ‘Hey, Brother,’ he said, stretching out an arm towards him and delivering what any onlooker would take to be a playful dig in the back, ‘what’s your game, eh?’ The incomparably sharp blade slipped through his sleeve and through the fat lama’s ribs, transfixing his heart. Trinket withdrew it, chuckling, and stepped aside. What’s the big idea, Brother? Aren’t you afraid of what my Shifu’s going to do to you?’ The fat lama crashed to the floor, still clutching the Green Girl in his arms.

阿珂不知他已死,吓得只是尖声大叫。韦小宝走上前去,扳开那喇嘛的手臂,在他胸口一撞,低声道:“阿珂,快跟我走。”一手拉着她手,一手扶了白衣尼,向店堂外走出。那胖大喇嘛一离阿珂的身子,慢慢软倒。余下几名喇嘛大惊,纷纷抢上。韦小宝叫道:“站住!我师父神功奇妙,这喇嘛无礼,已把他治死了。谁要踏上一步,一个个叫他立刻便死。”众喇嘛一呆之际,砰砰两声,两人摔倒在地,过得一会,又有两人摔倒。桑结内力深湛,蒙汗药一时迷他不倒,却也觉头脑晕眩,身子摇摇晃晃,脚下飘浮,只道白衣尼真有古怪法术,心慌意乱,神智迷糊,哪想得到是中了蒙汗药?
When Trinket knelt down to release her from his embrace, he somehow contrived to slip the dagger back inside his boot without any of the others noticing what he was doing. Then he prised open the arms of the dead or dying lama and helped the Green Girl to her feet. ‘Ah Kor,’ he said (it was the first time he had ever spoken her name), ‘quickly! Come with me!’ He took the White Nun’s arm with his other hand and, accompanied by the two of them, one on either side of him, made for the door, stopping only to shout at the other lamas as they lurched towards him: ‘Stand where you are! My Shifu has the power to strike each one of you dead. You see what she’s already done to your fat friend?’ The lamas stopped uncertainly, swaying slightly. At that very moment there was a thump, followed, moments later, by another thump. The drug had finally taken effect and two of the lamas had fallen unconscious to the floor. By the time Trinket and his womenfolk had reached the door, there had been two more thumps as two more lamas hit the ground. This left only Sangge. He tried to stop them, but his legs seemed out of his control and his head was swimming. Before he could reach the door, he collapsed on top of a table, so hard that it gave way beneath him.

阿珂叫道:“郑公子,快跟我们走。”郑克塽道:“是。”爬起身来,抢先出外。韦小宝扶了白衣尼出店。桑结追得两步,身子一晃,摔在一张桌上,喀喇一声响,登时将桌子压垮。韦小宝见车夫已不知逃到了何处,不及等待,扶着白衣尼上车,见车中那呼巴音赫然在内,生怕桑结等喇嘛追出,见阿珂和郑克塽都上了车,跳上车夫座位,扬鞭赶车。
‘Sir Zheng, Sir Zheng!’ cried the Green Girl as they made their way outside. ‘Come with us, quick!’ ‘I’m coming,’ croaked Zheng and, struggling with some difficulty to his feet, he staggered after them. Outside the eating-house there was only Hubayin in the cart, looking thoroughly scared: the mule-driver was nowhere to be seen. Trinket helped the White Nun inside, and the Green Girl and Zheng got in after her. There was no time to look for the mule-driver, so Trinket got up on the driver’s seat at the front, took up the reins, and cracked the whip. The mule started without a second bidding, and off they went, making for the open road.

In the Sorghum Field

一口气奔出十余里,骡子脚程已疲,这才放慢了行走,便在此时,只听得马蹄声隐隐响起,数乘马追将上来。郑克塽道:“唉,可惜没骑马,否则我们的骏马奔跑迅速,恶喇嘛定然追赶不上。”韦小宝道:“师太怎么能骑马?我又没请你上车。”说着口中吆喝,挥鞭赶骡。郑克塽自知失言,他是王府公子,向来给人奉承惯了的,给抢白了两句,登时满脸怒色。但听得马蹄声越来越近,韦小宝道:“师太,我们下车躲一躲。”
After they had been bowling along at speed for about three miles, the mule began to tire and they were forced to slacken the pace. As ill luck would have it, it was just at that moment that they began to hear, still faint in the distance, the sound of pursuing horsemen. ‘Pity we didn’t take the horses,’ said Zheng. ‘The lamas would never have caught up with us then.’ ‘The Reverend Mother can’t ride,’ said Trinket. ‘And anyway, who invited you to come with us in the cart?’ No one had ever spoken to the young nobleman like this before, but as things were, there was nothing he could do but swallow his indignation. ‘Reverend Mother,’ said Trinket, ‘we’ll have to get out and hide.’

一眼望出去,并无房屋,只右首田中有几个大麦草堆,说道:“好,我们去躲在麦草堆里。”说着勒定骡子。郑克塽怒道:“藏身草堆之中,倘若给人知道了,岂不堕了我延平王府的威风。”韦小宝道:“对!我们三个去躲在草堆里,请公子继续赶车急奔,好将追兵引开。”当下扶着白衣尼下车。阿珂一时拿不定主意。白衣尼道:“阿珂,你来!”阿珂向郑克塽招了招手,道:“你也躲起来罢。”郑克塽见三人钻入了麦草堆,略一迟疑,跟着钻进草堆。
He looked around. They were in the open country now, not a house or a barn in sight. To the right, however, there was a field of newly-harvested sorghum. All over the field, at intervals of ten yards or so, the tall sorghum plants, none less than eight feet high, had been laid together in tent-like stocks to dry. ‘We could hide in one of those,’ said Trinket. ‘How can I do that?’ said Zheng. ‘If my people got to hear of it, I should be a laughing-stock.’ ‘You can stay in the cart and drive on, to draw the lamas off the scent,’ said Trinket. While he was saying this, he was helping the White Nun down from the cart. He began making his way across the field with her leaning on his arm. The Green Girl stood wavering, torn between the White Nun and Sir Zheng. ‘Come on, Ah Kor!’ said the White Nun. The Green Girl followed, calling to Zheng as she went ‘Come and hide with us, please!’ Zheng followed the other three and crouched down with them inside one of the stocks.

韦小宝忽然想起一事,忙从草堆中钻出,走进大车,拔出匕首将呼巴音一刀戳死,心念一动,将他右手齐腕割下,又在骡子臀上刺了一刀。骡子吃痛,拉着大车狂奔而去。
But no sooner had they done so than Trinket remembered the cart and went running back. It was useless to hide so near Hubayin and the cart. Both, in different ways, must be disposed of. There was nothing else for it. He took out his dagger and looked into the back of the cart, intending to dispatch the lama with one swift blow. Unfortunately, since Trinket last looked at him, Hubayin’s paralysis had worn off and he had succeeded in freeing one of his arms. When Trinket bent over him with the ger, the lama clutched his sleeve in terror. ‘No good,’ said Trinket. ‘Sorry!’ and he forced the blade down into his chest. After one or two convulsions the lama was still, but the hand continued to clutch Trinket’s sleeve. Now every second counted. There was no time for remorse. Swiftly withdrawing the dagger from the lama’s chest, Trinket sliced off the hand with it, severing it neatly at the wrist; then, dashing forward to the front of the cart, he poked the dagger into the mule’s backside. The wretched animal kicked up its hind legs and went dashing forwards, clattering along the road at a tremendous pace with Hubayin in the cart behind it.

只听得追骑渐近,忙又钻入草堆。他将匕首插入靴筒,右手拿了那只死人手掌,想去吓阿珂一吓,左手摸出去,碰到的是一条辫子,知是郑克塽,又伸手过去摸索,这次摸到一条纤细柔软的腰肢,那自是阿珂了,心中大喜,用力捏了几把,叫道:“郑公子,你干什么摸我屁股?”郑克塽道:“我没有。”韦小宝道:“哼,你以为我是阿珂姑娘,是不是?动手动脚,好生无礼。”郑克塽骂道:“胡说。”韦小宝左手在阿珂胸口用力一捏,立即缩手,大叫:“喂,郑公子,你还在多手!”跟着将呼巴音的手掌放在阿珂脸上,来回抚摸,跟着向下去摸她胸脯。先前他摸阿珂的腰肢和胸口,口中大呼小叫,阿珂还道真是郑克塽在草堆中乘机无礼,不禁又羞又急,接着又是一只冷冰冰的大手摸到自己脸上,心想韦小宝的手掌决没这么大,自然是郑克塽无疑,待要叫嚷,又觉给师父和韦小宝听到了不雅,忙转头相避,那只大手又摸到了自己胸口,心想:“这郑公子如此无赖。”不由得暗暗恼怒,身子向右一让。
Trinket raced across the field, still holding the severed hand, and plunged into the stook where the other three were hiding. He wasn’t quite sure what to do with the hand. Perhaps he could use it later, he thought, to play some trick on Zheng. Crouching with the others in the darkness, he got out a large handkerchief, wrapped the hand in it and stuffed it inside his gown. Inside the rick they were huddled close together. Trinket quickly discovered that young Zheng was the person next to him and that the Green Girl was on Zheng’s farther side. Determined, even in this emergency, to have some fun at his rival’s expense, he suddenly let out a high-pitched squeal and claimed that Zheng had been fondling his person. ‘Do you mind, Sir Zheng! That’s me you’ve got hold of. Keep your dirty hands to yourself!’ Then he reached behind him and fondled the Green Girl’s waist. ‘Sir ZhengY the Green Girl exclaimed in a very shocked voice. When this little pantomime was repeated a few moments later, Zheng, while protesting his innocence, endeavoured to move away a little and in doing so exposed one of his legs outside the rick.

韦小宝反过左手,拍的一声,重重打了郑克塽一个耳光,叫道:“阿珂姑娘,打得好,这郑公子是个好色之徒,啊哟,郑公子,你又来摸我,摸错人了。”郑克塽只道这一记耳光是阿珂打的,怒道:“是你去摸人,却害我……害我……”阿珂心想:“这明明是只大手,决不会是小恶人。”韦小宝持着呼巴音的手掌,又去摸阿珂的后颈。便在此时,马蹄声奔到了近处。原来桑结见白衣尼等出店,待欲追赶,却是全身无力。他内功深湛,饮了蒙汗药酒,竟不昏倒,提了两口气,内息畅通无阻,只是头晕眼花,登时明白,叫道:“取冷水来,快取冷水来!”店伙取了一碗冷水过来,桑结叫道:“倒在我头上。”那店伙如何敢倒,迟疑不动。桑结还道这迷药是这家饭店所下,双手抬不起来,深深吸了口气,将脑袋往那碗冷水撞去,一碗水都泼在他头上,头脑略觉清醒,叫道:“冷水,越多越好,快,快。”店伙又去倒了两碗水,桑结倒在自己头上,命店伙提了一大桶水来,救醒了众喇嘛,那胖大喇嘛却说什么也不醒。待见他背心有血,检视伤口,才知已死。六名喇嘛来不及放火烧店,骑上马匹,大呼追来。阿珂觉到那大手又摸到颈中,再也忍耐不住,叫道:“不要!”韦小宝反手一掌。郑克塽身在草堆之中,眼不见物,难以闪避,又吃了一记耳光,叫道:“不是我!”这两声一叫,踪迹立被发觉,桑结叫道:“在这里了!”一名喇嘛跃下马来,奔到草堆旁,见到郑克塽一只脚露在外面,抓住他足踝,将他拉出草堆,怕他反击,随手一甩,将他摔出数丈之外。
Trinket had chosen a bad moment for his horseplay because it coincided with the arrival in the vicinity of one of their pursuers. Sangge had never entirely succumbed to the opiate. He realized that they had been drugged and had retained sufficient presence of mind to call for the help of the waiter. After several dowsings of cold water, he had sufficiently recovered to attend to the resuscitation of his followers. All of them revived after three or four buckets had been emptied over them, all, that is, except the fat lama, on whom they continued to pour water until it became obvious that he was dead. Sangge and these three survivors, not waiting to burn down the eating-house as they had promised, threw themselves on their horses and galloped off westwards down the road that the others had taken. One of them, who had far outstripped the others, was passing the field of sorghum, looking about him as he rode, when his eye chanced to light on what looked like a human foot at the base of one of the stocks. The lama reined in his horse and dismounted. Keeping his eye on the foot—he was sure that it had moved a little—he walked stealthily across the field until he was within reach of it. He thought he could hear voices in the stook. Then a pounce, a tug, and out came Sir Zheng, a little rumpled and still protesting his innocence, in all his finery. ‘Nun in there?’ said the lama, dragging Zheng to his feet.

那喇嘛又伸手入草堆掏摸。韦小宝蜷缩成一团,这时草堆已被那喇嘛掀开,但见一只大手伸进来乱抓,情急之下,将呼巴音的手掌塞入他手里。那喇嘛摸到一只手掌,当即使力向外一拉,只待将这人拉出草堆,跟着也是随手一甩,哪料到这一拉竟拉了个空。他使劲极大,只拉到一只断手,登时一交坐倒。待看得清楚是一只死人手掌时,只觉胸口气血翻涌,说不出的难受。他所使的这一股力道,本拟从草堆中拉出一个人来,用力甩了出去。郑克塽有一百二三十斤,那喇嘛预拟第二个人重量相若,这一拉之力少说也有二百余斤。何况这一次拉到的不是足踝,而是手掌,生怕使力不够,反被对方拉入草堆,是以使劲更是刚猛。哪知这一股大力竟用来拉一只只有几两重的手掌,自是尽数回到了自身,直和受了二百余斤的掌力重重一击无异。韦小宝见他坐倒,大喜之下,将一大捆麦草抛到他脸上。那喇嘛伸手掠开,突然间胸口一痛,身子扭曲了几下,便即不动了,却是韦小宝乘着他目光为麦草所遮,急跃上前,挺匕首刺入了他心口。他刚拔出匕首,只听得身周有几人以西藏话大声呼喝,不禁暗暗叫苦,料想无路可逃,只得将匕首藏入衣袖,慢慢站起身来,一抬头,便见桑结和余下四名喇嘛站在麦田之中,离开草堆却有三丈之遥。那喇嘛尸首上堆满了麦杆,如何死法,桑结等并不知道,料想又是白衣尼施展神功,将他击死,当下都离得远远地,不敢过来。桑结叫道:“小尼姑,你连杀我八名师弟,我跟你仇深似海。躲在草堆之中不敢出来,算是什么英雄?”韦小宝心道:“怎么已杀了他八名师弟?”一算果然是八个,其中只有一名是白衣尼杀的,眼见桑结说出了这句话后,又向后退了两步,显是颇有惧意,忍不住大声道:“我师父武功出神入化,天下更没第二个比得上,不过她老人家慈悲为怀,有好生之德,不想再杀人了。你们五个喇嘛,她老人家说饶了性命,快快给我去罢。”
‘This is bad,’ thought Trinket. ‘He’ll have us all out in a minute.’ The lama was holding the front of Zheng’s jacket in both his hands and shaking him. Trinket saw in a flash that this was his only chance of saving them. Dagger in hand, he leapt out of the stook and struck. The lama felt an intense pain in his back and went down without ever knowing what had hit him. ‘Now,’ said Trinket to Zheng, ‘we’ve got to hide him. Give us a hand! We haven’t got much time.’ He began throwing sorghum-stalks on the fallen lama and Zheng, after a moment’s hesitation, followed his example. But it was too late. Sangge and the other two lamas were already visible on the road, and from their shouts and gestures it was evident that they had already seen them. There was nothing for it but to stand where they were and try to think of a ruse. Soon the lamas were striding towards them across the field. They stopped at some distance away from them, however. At first Trinket wondered why, but then it dawned on him. It was the lama’s body they had just noticed, half concealed beneath the straw. Even the crafty Sangge must believe that the White Nun had supernatural powers. Already she had eliminated seven of their number—or so it would seem to Sangge—the last two without even raising a finger. ‘You see what my Shifu’s powers are like?’ he called to Sangge. ‘She’s really very merciful, though. She’s willing to forgive you and not harm you if you will only go away and leave her in peace.’

桑结道:“哪有这么容易?小尼姑,你把那部《四十二章经》乖乖的交出来,佛爷放你们走路。否则便逃到天涯海角,佛爷也决不罢休。”韦小宝道:“你们要《四十二章经》?这经书到处寺庙里都有,有什么希罕?”桑结道:“我们便是要小尼姑身上的那一部。”韦小宝一指郑克塽,道:“这一部经书,我师父早就送了给他,你们问他要便是。”这时郑克塽刚从地下爬起,还没站稳,一名喇嘛扑过抓住他双臂,另一名喇嘛便扯他衣衫,嗤嗤声响,外衫内衣立时撕破,衣袋中的金银珠宝掉了一地,却哪里有什么经书?韦小宝叫道:“郑公子,你这部经书藏到哪里去啦?跟他们说了罢,那又不是什么贵重东西。”郑克塽怒极,大声道:“我没有!”一名喇嘛拍的一掌,打得他险些晕去,喝道:“你说不说?”跟着又是一掌。韦小宝见他两边脸颊登时肿起,心中说不出的痛快,叫道:“郑公子,你带这几位佛爷去拿经书罢。我见你在那边客店中地下挖洞,是不是埋藏经书?”桑结喜道:“是了,小孩子说的,必是真话,押他回店去取。”那喇嘛应道:“是!”又打了郑克塽一个耳光。
‘She knows perfectly well what she must do if she wants to be left alone,’ said Sangge. ‘She must hand over her copy of the Sutra in Forty-Two Sections.’ ‘Oh, thai*.’ said Trinket. ‘She’s given it to him to look after.’ He pointed to young Zheng. ‘No, she didn’t,’ said Zheng. ‘I haven’t got it.’ Sangge’s two subordinates seized hold of Zheng and began feeling him all over. Then they began tearing off his clothes, ripping each garment apart to make sure that there was nothing in the linings, until he was stark naked. ‘I told you, I haven’t got it,’ he said and began pulling his now tattered garments back on again. ‘Where have you hidden it, then?’ said Trinket. ‘I know she gave it to you. What have you done with it?’ One of the lamas grabbed Zheng by the arm and dealt him a hefty slap on the face. ‘Where it is? You tell!’ ‘I’ve told you already,’ said Zheng. ‘I haven’t got it. I’ve never had it. I don’t know where it is.’ The lama hit him again, even harder, on the other side of the face. Tell!’ ‘Didn’t I see you burying something behind that eating-place?’ said Trinket. ‘Was that it? Why don’t you tell them?’ ‘I think the boy is telling the truth,’ said Sangge. We had better take this man back to the town.’ ‘Yes, better,’ said the lama, and planted another hard slap on Zheng’s already swollen face.

阿珂再也忍不住,从草堆中钻了出来,叫道:“这小孩子专门说谎,你们别信他的。这位郑公子从没见过什么经书。”韦小宝回头低声道:“我是要救师太和你,让郑公子引开他们。”阿珂道:“我不要你救。你冤枉郑公子,要害得他送了性命。”韦小宝道:“师太和你的性命,比郑公子要紧万倍。”桑结向抓住郑克塽的喇嘛叫道:“别打死了他。”转头道:“小尼姑,你出来,还有两个娃娃,跟我们一起去取经书。”阿珂怒道:“你自己怕死,却说救师父。你有种,就去跟这些喇嘛打上一架。”韦小宝心头热血上涌,心想:“你这样瞧不起我,我就给这些恶喇嘛打死了,又算得了什么?”说道:“打就打。我死了也没什么,只是救不了你和师太。倘若我赢了呢?”阿珂道:“哼,你转世投胎,也赢不了。你打得赢一个喇嘛,我永远服了你。”韦小宝道:“什么打得赢一个?我不是已杀了七个喇嘛?”阿珂道:“你使鬼计杀的,那不算。”韦小宝道:“我打赢一个喇嘛,你就嫁给我做老婆。”阿珂怒道:“胡说!你是小和尚,又是小太监,怎么……怎么……”韦小宝道:“小和尚可以还俗,小太监可以不做太监,总而言之,我非娶你做老婆不可。”阿珂急道:“师父,你听,在这当口,他还在不干不净的瞎说。”白衣尼叹了口气,心想当真形势危急,只好自绝经脉而死,免得受喇嘛的凌辱,低声道:“小宝,你伸手到草堆中来。”韦小宝道:“是。”左手反手伸入草堆,只觉手掌中多了一个小纸包,听得白衣尼低声道:“这是经书中所藏的地图,你不必管我,自行逃命。将来如能得到另外七部经书,我大汉山河说不定便有光复之望。那可比我一人的生命要紧得多了。”韦小宝见她对自己如此看重,这件要物不交给徒儿,反而交给自己,登时精神一振,突然间心中有了主意,当下不及细想,便大声道:“我师父是当世高人,不愿跟你们动手。你们派一个人出来,先跟我比划比划,倘若打得赢我,我师姊才会出手。哼,哼!料你们也不敢,识相的,还是快快挟了尾巴逃走罢。”说着将那纸包揣入怀中。
This was more than the Green Girl could bear. On hands and knees she pushed her way out of the stock and began shouting distractedly as she clambered to her feet. ‘Don’t listen to that boy! He tells nothing but lies. Sir Zheng has never seen that Sutra. He knows nothing about it.’ ‘I was trying to save you both,’ Trinket muttered. ‘Don’t you care about your Shifu?’ Sangge motioned to the lama who was holding Zheng to stop hitting him. He wanted him in one piece. ‘I think we should all go back to look,’ he said. ‘We’ll take the children, too.’ He addressed the stock: ‘You, too, nun, you had better come with us.’ Trinket noticed that he didn’t go any nearer the stock, although he had guessed that she was inside it. ‘Let me go in and tell her,’ he said. Sangge made no objection. When Trinket crawled in, the White Nun was waiting with outstretched hand. Take this,’ she whispered. She was holding a little bag. Trinket recognized it as the bag in which she had put the cut-up pieces of map extracted from the Sutra’s binding. Judging that her situation was now hopeless, she had resolved to die; but before she died, she wanted to leave the precious fragments with someone she could trust. Trinket felt immensely proud that she was giving them to him and not to her own disciple. Tell them I won’t come out,’ she said. ‘If I can, I shall try to think of some way of saving you all. But I won’t come out. I won’t show myself to those lamas.’ Trinket put the bag inside his gown and crawled out again. ‘She won’t come out,’ said Trinket. ‘She says she refuses to go with you.’

五名喇嘛纵声大笑。他们对白衣尼虽然颇为忌惮,这小孩子却哪里放在心上?一名喇嘛笑道:“我只须一掌,便打得你翻出十七八个筋斗,比划个屁!”韦小宝踏上一步,朗声道:“好,就是你跟我来比。”回头向阿珂道:“我打赢之后,你就是我老婆了,可不能抵赖。”阿珂道:“你打不赢的,说什么也不会赢。”韦小宝道:“一夫拚命,万夫莫当。为了要娶你做老婆,只好拚命了。”那喇嘛走上几步,笑道:“你真的要跟我比?”韦小宝道:“那还有假的?咱二人一对一的比,你放心,我师父决不出手。你那四个师兄弟,会不会帮你?”桑结哈哈大笑,说道:“我们自然不帮。”韦小宝道:“倘若我一拳打死了他,你们是否一拥而上,想倚多为胜?咱们话说在前头,倘若你们一起来,我可敌不过,我师父也只好出手了。”桑结也真怕白衣尼出手,心想几名师弟都死得不明不白,不知这尼姑使的是什么武功,让一名师弟先和这小孩单打独斗,看明白这尼姑的武功家数,实是大大有利,便道:“你们二人单打独斗便是,双方谁也不许相帮。”韦小宝道:“有人帮了,便是乌龟儿子王八蛋。”桑结道:“不错,有人相帮,便是乌龟女儿王八蛋。”桑结武功既高,又十分机灵,眼见白衣尼和阿珂都是女子,是以将“乌龟儿子王八蛋”说成了“乌龟女儿王八蛋”,以免对方反正做不成乌龟儿子,就此出手相助。韦小宝笑道:“很好,你大喇嘛非常精明,在下佩服之至。”桑结道:“你再走上几步。”他见韦小宝距草堆仍近,生怕白衣尼贴住他背心,暗传功力,师弟便抵敌不住。韦小宝道:“我们汉人光明正大,赢要赢得光彩,输要输得漂亮,岂有作弊之理?”白衣尼低声道:“小宝,你赢不了的,假意比武,快抢了马逃走罢。”韦小宝道:“是。”走上三步,距草堆已有丈许。桑结见白衣尼再也无法暗中相助,便点了点头。那喇嘛也走上数步,和他相对而立,笑问:“怎样比法?”韦小宝道:“文比也可以,武比也可以。”那喇嘛笑道:“文比是怎样?武比又是怎样?”韦小宝道:“文比是我打你一拳,你又打我一拳。我再打你一拳,你又打我一拳。打上七八十拳,直到有人跌倒为止。你打我的时候,我不能躲闪退让,也不能出手招架,只能直挺挺的站着,运起内功,硬受你一拳。我打你的时候,你也一样。如是武比,那么比兵刃也罢,比拳脚也罢,自然可以闪避招架,奔跑跳跃。”桑结心想:“这顽童身子灵便,倘若跳来跳去,只怕师弟一时打他不到。他有恃无恐,必有鬼计,多半他会跳到草堆之旁,引得师弟追过去,那尼姑便在草堆中突施暗算。如是文比,他这小小拳头,就在师弟身上打上七八十拳,也只当是搔痒。”用藏语叫道:“跟他文比,可别打伤了他。跟他打得越久越好,以便看明他的武功家数。”韦小宝道:“你师兄害怕了,怕你打我不过,教你投降,是不是?”那喇嘛笑道:“小鬼头胡说八道。师哥见你可怜,叫我别一拳便打死了你。谅你小小年纪,兵刃拳脚的功夫有限,我也不占这个便宜,咱们便文比罢。”韦小宝道:“好!”挺起胸膛,双手负在背后,道:“你先打我一拳。我如躲闪招架,不算英雄好汉。”那喇嘛笑道:“你是小孩,自然是你先打。”说着学他的样,也是双手负在背后,挺出了胸膛。他比韦小宝足足高了一个头有余,脸上笑嘻嘻地,全不以这小顽童为意。韦小宝左手拳头伸出,刚好及到他的小腹,比了一比。

五名喇嘛见了他的小拳头,都哈哈大笑起来。韦小宝道:“好!我打了!”那喇嘛倒也不敢太过大意,生怕他得异人传授,内力有独到之处,当下将一股内力,都运上了小腹。韦小宝右手衣袖突然拂出,拳头藏在袖中,无声无息的在他左边胸口打了一拳。桑结等见这一拳如此无力,又都大笑。笑声未歇,却见那喇嘛身子晃了一晃,韦小宝道:“现下你打我了。”那喇嘛突然一交扑倒,伏在地下,就此不动。桑结等人大惊,一齐奔出。韦小宝退向草堆,叫道:“站住,谁过来就是乌龟喇嘛王八蛋。”四名喇嘛登时停步,只见那喇嘛仍是不动,不是闭气重伤,便已死去。四人张大了嘴,惊骇无已,都说不出话来。韦小宝双手拳头高举过顶,说道:“我师父教我的这门功夫,叫做‘隔山打牛神拳’,大牯牛也一拳打死了,何况一个小小喇嘛?哪一个不服,再来尝尝滋味!”低声道:“阿珂老婆,你赖不了罢?”阿珂见他这等轻描淡写的一拳,居然便将这武功高强、身材魁梧的喇嘛打得伏地不起,不知死活,也是讶异之极,听了他的话,竟然忘了斥责。韦小宝笑道:“哈哈,你答应了,乖老婆。”阿珂怒道:“没有。”韦小宝道:“你又耍赖,不是英雄好汉。”阿珂道:“不是就不是,又怎样了?”白衣尼却看到韦小宝在那喇嘛心中打了一拳之后,那喇嘛胸前便渗出鲜血,摇晃几下,便即伏倒,一凝思间,已知韦小宝袖中暗藏匕首,其实并不是打了一拳,而是对准了对方心脏戳了一剑。这匕首锋利绝伦,别说戳在人身,便是钢铁,也戳了进去。韦小宝先用左手拳头比一比,让人瞧见他使用拳头,使了匕首后立即藏起,双拳高举,旁人更是绝无怀疑。

桑结叫了那喇嘛几声,不闻回音,一时惊疑难决。一名身材瘦削的喇嘛拔出戒刀,叫道:“小鬼头,就算你拳法高明,却又怎地?佛爷来跟你比比刀法。”心想这小孩得到高明传授,内功拳劲果然是非同小可,但跟他用兵刃相斗,他的拳劲便无用处。韦小宝道:“比刀法也可以,过来罢!”那喇嘛不敢走近,喝道:“有种的便过来。”韦小宝道:“你有种,你过来!”那喇嘛道:“一、二、三!大家走上三步。”韦小宝道:“好!一、二、三!”走上了三步。那喇嘛也走上了三步,戒刀舞成一团白光,护住上盘,只怕他忽然使出“隔山打牛神拳”。韦小宝笑道:“你不用害怕,我不使神拳打你便是。”那喇嘛哪里肯信,仍是将戒刀舞得呼呼风响,叫道:“快拔刀!”韦小宝笑道:“我已练成了‘金顶门’的护头神功,你在我头顶砍一刀试试,包管你这柄大刀反弹转来,砍下了你自己的光头。我先跟你说明白了,免得你上当。”那喇嘛将信将疑,眼见他随手一拳便打死了师兄,武功果然深不可测,一时不敢贸然上前,更不敢举刀往他头上砍去。韦小宝道:“你武功太低,我决不还手就是。不过你只能砍我的头,可不能斩我胸口。我年纪小,胸口的护体神功还没练成,你一刀斩在我胸口,非杀了我不可。”

那喇嘛斜眼看他,问道:“你脑袋当真不怕刀砍?”韦小宝摘下帽子,道:“你瞧,我的辫子已经练断了,头发越练越短,头顶和头颈中的神功已经练成。等到头发练得一根都没有了,你就是砍在我胸口也不怕了。”他在少林寺、清凉寺出家,头发剃得精光,这时长起还不过一寸多长。当时除了和尚和天生秃头之外,男子人人都留辫子,似他这般头上只长一寸头发,确是世间所无。至于头发越练越短云云,是他记起了当日在康亲王府中,见到吴应熊那些“金顶门”随从的情景。那喇嘛看了,更信了几分,又知武林中确有个“金顶门”,铁头功夫十分厉害,说道:“我不信你脑袋经得起我刀砍。”韦小宝道:“我劝你还是别试的好,这一刀反弹过来,你的吃饭家伙就不保了。”那喇嘛道:“我不信!站着别动,我要砍你!”说着举起了戒刀。韦小宝见到刀光闪闪,实是说不出的害怕,心想倘若他当真一刀砍在自己头上,别说脑袋一分为二,连身子也非给剖成两爿不可。只是一来不能真的跟这喇嘛动手,除了使诈,别无脱身之法;二来他好赌成性,赌这喇嘛听了自己一番恐吓之后,不敢砍自己脑袋和项颈,这场赌,赌注是自己性命。

这时自己的生死,只在这喇嘛一念之间,然而是输是赢,也不过和掷骰子一般无异,何况这一场大赌是非赌不可的,倘若不赌,这喇嘛提刀乱砍,自己和白衣尼、阿珂三人终究还是会给他砍死,更何况阿珂这小美人正在目不转睛的瞧着自己,想到这里,忍不住向躺在地下的郑克塽瞧了一眼,心道:“你是王府公子,跟我这婊子儿子相比,又是谁英雄些?他妈的,你敢不敢站在这里,让人家在脑袋上砍一刀?”桑结用藏语叫道:“这小鬼甚是邪门,别砍他脑袋颈项。”韦小宝道:“他说什么?他叫你不可砍我的头,是不是?你们阴险狡猾,说过了话不算数,那可不行。”那喇嘛道:“不是,不是!大师兄叫我别信你吹牛,一刀把你的脑袋砍成两半。”这“半”字一出口,一刀从半空中砍将下来。韦小宝只吓得魂飞天外,满腔英雄气概,霎时间不知去向,急忙缩头,暗叫:“我命休矣!”不料这一刀砍到离他头顶三尺之处,已然变招,戒刀转了半个圈子,化成一招“怀中抱月”,回刀自外向内,扑的一声,砍在他背上。这一刀劲力极大,韦小宝背上剧痛,立足不定,跌入那喇嘛怀中,右手匕首立即在他胸口连戳三下,低头在他胯下爬了出来,叫道:“啊哟,啊哟,你说话不算数!”那喇嘛口中荷荷而叫,戒刀反将过来,正好砍在自己脸上,蜷缩成一团,扭了几下,便不动了。

韦小宝本盼他这一刀砍在自己胸口,自己有宝衣护身,不会丧命,便可将四名喇嘛吓得逃走,哪知他不砍胸而砍背,将自己推入他怀中,正好乘机用匕首戳他几剑,只是在对方胯下爬出,未免太过狼狈,临危逃命,也顾不得英雄还是狗熊了。他大叫大嚷:“师父,我背上的神功也练成啦,你瞧,咳,咳……这一刀反弹过去,杀死了他,妙极,妙极!”其实戒刀反弹,那喇嘛脸上受伤甚轻,匕首所戳的三下才是致命之伤。但桑结等三人哪知其中关窍,只道真是戒刀反弹杀人,只吓得纵出数丈之外,高声叫唤那喇嘛的名字。韦小宝穿有护身宝衣,白衣尼是知道的,阿珂曾两次砍他不伤,这一次倒也不以为奇,但他竟敢用脑袋试刀,不禁都佩服他的胆气。只是韦小宝刚才这一下只吓得尿水长流,裤裆中淋淋漓漓,除他自己之外,却是谁也不知道了。那喇嘛这一刀劲力甚重,撞得他背上肋骨几乎断折,靠在草堆之上,忍不住呻吟。

白衣尼道:“快给他服‘雪参玉蟾丸’。”阿珂向韦小宝道:“药丸呢?”韦小宝道:“在我怀里,我可活不了啦。”阿珂从他怀中取出玉瓶,拔开塞子,取出一颗丸药,塞上塞子,将玉瓶放回他怀中,说道:“快吃了罢!”韦小宝伸手去接,却假装提不起手来。阿珂无奈,只得送入他嘴里。韦小宝见到她雪白粉嫩的小手,药丸一入口,立即伸嘴去吻。阿珂急忙缩手,却已给他手背上吻了一下,“啊”的一声叫了出来。韦小宝大声道:“师父,这些喇嘛说话如同放狗屁。讲好砍我的头,却砍我背心。现下还剩下三个,弟子就用‘隔山打牛神拳’,将他们都打死了罢!”桑结等听了,又退了几步。三名喇嘛商议了几句,取出火折,点燃几束麦杆,向草堆掷将过来。起初三束草落在空处,桑结又点了一束,奔前数丈,使劲掷出,双掌虚拍护身,以防韦小宝使“神拳”袭击,随即飞身退回。草堆一遇着火,立即便烧了起来。
‘We’ll see about that,’ said Sangge. He beckoned to the other two lamas to come closer, still keeping Zheng as their prisoner, and join him in a little huddle. Trinket and the Green Girl were left standing by the stock in which the White Nun was hidden, while the lamas squatted by another stook about ten or fifteen yards away, jabbering to each other in Tibetan. Puzzled, Trinket saw them get up, tear several sheaves of dried sorghum from it, and then squat down again. He didn’t remain puzzled for very long, however. Soon Sangge had produced a little flame with a tinder-box he was carrying and was lighting the end of a sheaf. He hurled it as far as he could, but it fell short of the stook in which the White Nun was hiding. It lay on the ground blazing harmlessly, though making a great deal of smoke.

韦小宝拉白衣尼从草堆中爬出,四下一望,见西首山石间似有一洞,当下不及细看,道:“阿珂,你快扶师父到那边山洞去躲避,我挡住这些喇嘛。”向桑结走上两步,叫道:“你们好大胆子,居然不怕小爷的‘隔山打牛神拳’、‘护头金顶神功’。桑结,你是头脑,快上来吃小爷两拳。”桑结甚是持重,一时倒也真的不敢过来,但想到经书要紧,而十名师弟俱都丧命,倘若就此罢手,一世英名,更有何剩?眼见白衣尼步履缓慢,要那小姑娘扶着行走,若非受伤,便是患病,那正是良机,难道连眼前这一个小孩子也斗不过?只是他武功怪异,中人立毙,一时迟疑不决。韦小宝一转头,见白衣尼和阿珂已走近山洞,回过头来,叫道:“你不敢跟我比武,老子要过来杀人了,你们还不逃走?”这句话可露了马脚,桑结心想:“你真有本事杀我,何不就此冲过来?叫我逃走,便是心中怕了我。”一阵狞笑,双手伸出,全身骨骼格格作响,走上两步。韦小宝暗叫:“糟糕。这一次却用什么诡计杀他?”这时身后草堆已烧得极旺,即将烧到身上,寻思:“老子先躲到山洞之中,慢慢再想法子。”想到躲入山洞,心中便是一喜,山洞中倘若暗不见物,又好向阿珂动手动脚了。一弯腰,从死喇嘛手中将呼巴音的那只手掌拿了过来,放入怀中,见桑结又走上了几步,便大声叫道:“这里太热,老子神功使不出,你有种的,就到那边去比比。”说着转身奔向山洞,钻了进去。
‘We must get her out of here,’ said Trinket to the Green Girl. ‘You will have to help me.’ The far side of the field was bounded by a low cliff in which there was a little cave. With a bit of luck and sufficient smoke to obscure their getaway, they might get the White Nun out of the stook before it caught fire and run with her towards this cave. He dived inside the stook. ‘Reverend Mother,’ he said, ‘I’ve found a better hiding-place.’ He half-dragged her through the far side of the stook to where the Green Girl was waiting. She took the nun’s other arm, and between them they began hurrying her across the field. It was a near thing. The second sheaf of burning sorghum landed right at the foot of the stook and soon flames were shooting up from it twenty feet into the air. Fortunately, as well as flames, there was so much smoke, and the breeze blew the smoke about so capriciously, that the three of them were halfway to the cave before the lamas could see that they had got away.

只见白衣尼和阿珂已坐在地下,这山洞其实只是山壁上凹进去的一块,并无可资躲避之处,洞中也不黑暗,阿珂靠着白衣尼而坐,要想摸手摸脚,绝无可能,不由得微感失望。桑结和两名喇嘛慢慢走到洞前,隔着三丈站定。桑结叫道:“你们已走上了绝路,无路可逃。拿火把来。”两名喇嘛捡起一束束麦杆,交在他手中。韦小宝道:“很好,你快将火把丢过来,且看烧不烧死我们。那部《四十二章经》,烧起来倒只怕快得很。”桑结高举火束,正要投掷入洞,听他这么说,觉得此话不错,要烧死三人,那部经书却也毁了。便掷下火把,叫道:“快把经书交出来,佛爷慈悲为怀,放你们一条生路。”韦小宝道:“你向我师父磕十八个响头,我师父慈悲为怀,放你们一条生路。”桑结大怒,拾起火束,投到洞前。一阵浓烟随风卷入洞中,韦小宝和阿珂都给薰得双目流泪,大咳起来。白衣尼呼吸细微缓慢,却不受呛。另外两名喇嘛纷纷投掷火束。韦小宝道:“师太,那部经书已没有用了,便给了他们,先来缓……缓将之计。”阿珂道:“缓兵之计。”韦小宝道:“他们又不是兵。”阿珂连声咳嗽,无法跟他争辩。白衣尼道:“也好。”将经书交了给他。
But when they reached the cave, they were not much better off than they had been before. This was for two reasons. The first was that the cave turned out to be a very shallow one, little more than a deep hollow in the side of the cliff, so that even when they were inside it, they were fully visible to anyone in the field, and far from affording them protection, it merely cut off their retreat. The second was that, although their flight across the field had been largely obscured by the smoke, the lamas had seen enough to guess that the White Nun was either ill or wounded, since she seemed to move with some difficulty and to need support. She therefore no longer appeared to them as an invulnerable enemy possessed of supernatural powers but as a weak woman whom they could fairly easily overcome. They hurried across the field to the mouth of the cave. Yet some residual fear of her still remained, for they did not venture in to lay hands on her, but piled up some sorghum stalks and prepared to smoke her out. ‘Reverend Mother,’ said Trinket, ‘I think we’re going to have to give them the Sutra. After all, it’s no use to anyone without the pieces of map.’ ‘You are right,’ said the White Nun, handing it over to him. ‘Do with it as you think best.’

韦小宝大声道:“经书这里倒有一部,我抛出来了。抛在火里烧了,可不关我事。”桑结听他答应交出经书,心中大喜,生怕经书落在火中烧了,当即拾起几块大石,抛在火束上。他劲力既大,投掷又准,火束登时便给大石压熄。韦小宝见他投掷大石的劲力,不由得吃惊,心想:“倘若他将大石向山洞中投来,我们三人都给他砸死了,经书却砸不坏。这主意可不能让他想到。”桑结叫道:“快将经书抛出来。”韦小宝道:“很好,很好!我师父说,你们想读经书,是佛门的好弟子,吩咐我不可伤害你们……”
Trinket knelt down with his back to the others, laid the Sutra on the ground in front of him, and got out the severed hand, glancing over his shoulder from time to time to see how far the lamas had got in their preparations. When he had unwrapped the hand, he took out his dagger and cut some strips of flesh from it whrch he laid carefully on the Sutra. By this time the lamas had lit the sorghum and it was beginning to blaze. Smoke drifted towards the cave making their eyes water and causing them to cough. ‘Hey!’ he called out over his shoulder. ‘I’ve got the Sutra here. If you don’t put that out, I’ll throw it in the fire.’

一面说,一面抽出匕首,将呼巴音的手掌切成数块,放在经书上,从怀中取出那瓶“化尸粉”,在断掌的血肉中撒下一些粉末。他身子遮住了白衣尼和阿珂的眼光,不让她们见到,大声道:“我师父说,这部《四十二章经》,是从北京皇宫里取出来的,十分宝贵。听说其中藏有重大秘密,参详出来之后,便可昌盛佛教,使得普天下人人都信菩萨,男的都做和尚,女的都做尼姑,小孩子便做小和尚、小尼姑,老头儿……”他说话之时,断掌渐渐化为黄水,渗入经书。
That will keep them busy for a while,’ he thought, taking out the little phial of Decomposing Powder. He didn’t know if the powder would take effect on living bodies, but he thought it was worth a try. He remembered that there had to be blood for it to start working, which is why he now shook some of it on the flesh he had sliced from the hand. He glanced out at the lamas, who were throwing flat stones and earth on the burning sorghum and stamping out the flames, then back at his handiwork. The flesh strips were sizzling slightly and oozing yellow droplets. So far so good, but he needed a little time. He got to his feet and stood with the other two to face the lamas. Throw out that Sutra nowl’ shouted Sangge, when the fire was thoroughly extinguished. ‘My Shifu will let you have it if you’ll promise to use it properly,’ Trinket called back. ‘It’s very precious. It comes from the Palace. There’s a secret locked up inside it, and anyone who can unlock it will have the power to convert the whole world to the Buddhist faith.’ He glanced down behind him at the Sutra. The strips of flesh were fast dissolving in a pool of yellow liquid.

桑结听得这部经书果然是从皇宫得来,其中又藏有重大秘密,登时心花怒放,知道“昌盛佛法”云云,显非实情,生怕他不肯交出经书,口中便胡乱敷衍,说道:“昌盛佛法,光大本教,那好得很啊。”韦小宝道:“我师父读了以后,想不出其中秘密,现下把这经书给你,请你好好想想。倘若发见了其中秘密,你务必要遍告普天下和尚庙、尼姑庵,可不许自私,只兴旺你们的喇嘛教。你答允不答允?”桑结笑道:“自然答允,请你师父放心好啦。”韦小宝道:“你如想不出,就交到少林寺去。少林寺的和尚想不出,请他们交到五台山清凉寺。清凉寺的和尚想不出,就交到扬州的禅智寺去。一个交一个,总之要找到经书中的秘密为止。”桑结道:“好啦,我必定办到。”心道:“这尼姑只道经书中的秘密和佛法有关,幸亏她不明真相,否则怎肯轻易交出?哼,得了经书之后,再慢慢想法子治死你们。”韦小宝又道:“我师父说,你念完这部《四十二章经》后,如果心慕佛法,还想再念,你可以再来找她老人家,我们还有金刚经、法华经、心经、大般若经、小般若经、长阿含经、短阿含经、不长不短中阿含经、老阿含经、少阿含经……”一连串说了十几部佛经的名字,都是他在少林寺清凉寺出家时听来的,其中自不免说错了不少。桑结不耐烦起来,却又不敢径自过去强抢,既怕白衣尼的神拳,又怕他们将经书毁了,只得随口敷衍,说道:“是了,我念完这部经后,再向你师父借就是了。”
Sangge knew that the secret contained in the Sutra had nothing to do with the propagation of the faith; but he also knew that the copy he had already sacrificed so much to obtain had in fact been taken from the Palace, and he was sure this was the one. He was trembling with excitement to think that it was now almost within his grasp. Tell your Shifu, the conversion of the world is very dear to my heart,’ he said. ‘My Shifu read through this copy of the Sutra, but she couldn’t discover the secret,’ said Trinket. ‘She says that if you are able to discover it, you must promise to share it with monks and nuns everywhere, not just be selfish and keep it to yourselves.’ ‘Of course,’ said Sangge. Tell her she can set her mind at rest. I am perfectly willing to give that undertaking.’ ‘If you can’t work out what the secret is,’ said Trinket, ‘she says you are to hand it over to the Shaolin Monastery. And if the monks of the Shaolin Monastery can’t make it out, they are to hand it over to the Pure Coolness Monastery on Wutai. And if the monks on Wutai can’t make it out, they are to hand it over to the Zen Wisdom Monastery in Yangzhou.’ ‘Certainly,’ said Sangge. ‘I promise to abide by all of these conditions.’ It seemed obvious to him from all this that the White Nun had no inkling of the Sutra’s real value. They could make what conditions they liked! Once he had the Sutra, he would dispose of the lot of them.

韦小宝见断掌血肉已然化尽,所化的黄水浸湿了经书内外,当即除下鞋子套在手上,拿起经书抛了出去,叫道:“《四十二章经》来了。”桑结大喜,纵身而前,伸手欲取,忽然心想:“这经书十分宝贵,哪有如此轻易便得到了,莫非其中有诈?只怕他乘我去拿经书,便即发射暗器。”一迟疑间,两名喇嘛已将经书拾起,说道:“师兄,是不是这部经书?”桑结道:“到那边细看,别要上当,弄到一部假经。”两名喇嘛道:“是。师兄想得周到,可别让他们蒙骗过去。”三人退出数丈,忙不迭的打开书函,翻阅起来。
Trinket glanced down once more and was delighted to see that the flesh had entirely dissolved and the yellow liquid had been absorbed into the cover of the book. He doubled up the cloth in which the hand had been wrapped to protect his own hands with while he picked it up. ‘Here it comes, then—your precious Sutra!’ He lobbed it for Sangge to catch, then hurriedly threw away the cloth. But Sangge suspected a trap and allowed it to fall to the ground. It was the other two lamas who picked it up, pouncing on it, and fighting each other to hold it and have a look. ‘Hey, you guys!’ Trinket shouted. ‘Look at you! You’ve got centipedes on your faces!’ The lamas instinctively brushed at their faces with their hands but could feel nothing there. Stupid brat, they thought. They took the book over to Sangge. ‘Look, Father,’ (they were speaking Tibetan now), ‘is this the book we have been looking for?’ ‘Let’s take it over there,’ said Sangge. ‘We need to have a good look to make sure they haven’t given us a fake.’ They sat down with it at some distance from the cave.

桑结道:“经书湿了,慢慢的翻,别弄破了纸页。瞧样子倒不像是假,跟那人所说果然是一模一样。”一名喇嘛叫道:“是了,大师兄,正是这部经书。”韦小宝听到他们大声说话,虽然不懂藏语,但语气中欣喜异常的心情,却也听得出来,叫道:“喂喂,你们脸上怎么有蜈蚣?”两名喇嘛一惊,伸手在脸上摸了几下,没什么蜈蚣昆虫,骂道:“小顽童就爱胡说。”桑结修为甚深,颇有定力,听得韦小宝叫嚷时不觉脸上有虫豸爬动,便不上他当,只是凝神翻阅经书。韦小宝又叫:“啊哟,啊哟,十几只蝎子钻进他们衣领去了。”这一次两名喇嘛再不上当。一人道:“这顽童见我们得到经书,心有不甘,说些怪话来骗人。这小贼杀了咱们两个师弟,可不能就此饶他性命。”另一人却似颈中有些麻痒,伸手去搔了几把,只搔得几下,突觉十根手指都痒不可当,当下在手臂上擦了几擦。这时桑结和另一名喇嘛也觉手指发痒,一时也不在意,过得半晌,竟然痒得难以忍耐,提起一看,只见十根指尖都渗出黄水。三人齐声叫道:“奇怪,那是什么东西?”两名喇嘛只觉脸上也大痒起来,当即伸指用力搔抓,越搔越痒,又过片刻,脸上也渗出黄水来。
‘It’s wet,’ said Sangge. ‘We’ll have to be extra careful we don’t tear the pages.’ He began turning them over carefully, using only the tips of his fingers. While they were all looking at the book, one of the lamas unconsciously scratched his neck and suddenly became aware that his fingers were itching. Sangge and the other lama, too, felt their fingers itching, but at first paid no attention. The itching grew more insistent, however, and when they looked, they noticed that the tips of their fingers were wet with some yellow liquid. ‘Strange!’ they said. ‘Where’s this coming from? Surely it’s not from the book?’ At that point the cheeks of Sangge’s two companions started itching unbearably and they began furiously scratching themselves. When Sangge looked up from the book, he saw that there were bloody scratch-marks on both men’s cheeks. The itching of his own fingers was now intolerable. Then he realized what the cause was and dropped the book in horror.

桑结突然省悟,叫道:“啊哟,不好,经书上有毒!”使力将经书抛在地下,只见自己手指上一粒粒黄水,犹如汗珠般渗将出来,大惊之下,忙在地下泥土擦了几擦,但见两名师弟使劲在脸上搔抓,一条条都是血痕。韦小宝从海大富处得来的这瓶化尸粉最是厉害不过,倘若沾在完好肌肤之上,那是绝无害处,但只须碰到一滴血液,血液便化成黄水,腐蚀性极强,化烂血肉,又成为黄色毒水,越化越多,便似火石上爆出的一星火花,可以将一个大草料场烧成飞灰一般。这化尸粉遇血而成毒,可说是天下第一毒药,最初传自西域,据传为宋代武林怪杰西毒欧阳锋所创,系以十余种毒蛇、毒虫的毒液合成。母毒既成,此后便不必再制,只须将血肉化成的黄色毒水晒干,便成化尸毒粉了。两名喇嘛搔脸见血,顷刻间脸上黄水淋漓,登时大声号叫,又痛又痒,摔倒在地,不住打滚。桑结侥幸没在脸上搔那一搔,但十根手指也是奇痒入骨,当即脱下外衣,裹起经书,挟在胁下,飞奔而去,急欲找水来洗去指上毒药。
‘Aiyo!’ he cried. The book is poisoned!’ The yellow liquid was dripping like blood or sweat from his fingers. He wiped them frantically on the ground. The scratch-marks on the faces of the other two were now deep red furrows. Their cheeks not only itched now but hurt as well. When they saw blood on their finger-ends and drops of greasy yellow liquid dripping from their chins, they began to howl and scream and presently threw themselves to the ground, clutching their heads and writhing in agony. In Sangge’s case it was only his fingers that were affected, but finding that the tips were no better for all his dabbing and wiping and that they continued to ooze yellow liquid, he tore off his robe, wrapped the poisoned book in it, and rushed off with it under his arm to look for water.

两名喇嘛痒得神智迷糊,举头在岩石上乱撞,撞得几下,便双双晕去。白衣尼和阿珂见了这等神情,都是惊讶无已。韦小宝只见过化尸粉能化去尸体,不知用在活人身上是否生效,危急之际,只好一试,居然一举成功,也幸好有了呼巴音那只断掌作为引子,倘若将化尸粉撒在经书之上,却一无用处了。他本来只想拿断掌再去抚摸阿珂,岂知竟成此大功。他见桑结远去,两名喇嘛晕倒,忙从山洞中奔出,拔出匕首,想在每人身上戳上两剑。奔到临近,只见两名喇嘛脸上已然腐烂见骨,不用自己动手,不多时便会化成两滩黄水。当下走到郑克塽身边,笑道:“郑公子,我这门妖法倒很灵验,你要不要尝尝滋味?”郑克塽见到两名喇嘛的可怖情状,听韦小宝这么说,大吃一惊,向后急纵,握拳护身,叫道:“你……你别过来!”阿珂从山洞中出来,对韦小宝怒喝:“你……你想干什么?”韦小宝笑道:“我吓吓他的,要你担什么心?”阿珂怒道:“不许你吓人!”韦小宝道:“你怕吓坏了他么?”阿珂道:“好端端的干什么吓人?”韦小宝招招手道:“你过来看。”阿珂道:“我不看。”嘴里这样说,还是好奇心起,慢慢走近,低眼一看,不由得吓了一跳,尖声叫了出来,只见两名喇嘛脸上肌肉、鼻子、嘴唇都已烂去,只剩下满脸白骨,四个窟窿,但头发、耳朵和项颈以下的肌肉却尚未烂去。
Trinket was relieved to see Sangge run off into the distance, but the sufferings of the other two were more than he had bargained for. A quick thrust through the ribs with his dagger would, he thought, be doing them a kindness; but just as he was about to act on this merciful impulse, the men jumped up, mad with pain, and began running round in circles. Then, as if acting on the same impulse, they rushed to the cliff and began banging their heads against it. They banged and banged until both of them were unconscious. It was then that Trinket ran over to finish them off. But the ight that met his eyes was so terrible that for a while he stood ;azing down in horror, trembling too violently to carry out his purpose. The men’s faces had been completely eaten away: eyes, lips, cheeks, nose were gone, leaving only traces of red scum and a few sinews on the white bones.

世上自有生人以来,只怕从未有过如此两张可怖的脸孔。阿珂一阵晕眩,向后便倒。韦小宝忙伸手扶住,叫道:“别怕,别怕!”阿珂又是一声尖叫,逃回了山洞,喘气道:“师父,师父,他……他把两个喇嘛弄成了……弄成了妖怪。”白衣尼缓缓站起,阿珂扶着她走到那两名喇嘛身旁,自己却闭住了眼不敢再看。白衣尼见到这两个白骨骷髅,不禁打一个突,再见到远处又有三名喇嘛的尸体,不禁长叹,抬起头来。此刻太阳西沉,映得半边天色血也似红,心想这夕阳所照之处,千关万山,尽属胡虏,若要复国,不知又将杀伤多少人命,堆下多少白骨,到底该是不该?
Presently Zheng, who had been lurking at some distance behind the lamas, came over to look at them and was promptly sick. Then the Green Girl came to join Zheng and, though warned not to look, did so out of curiosity and screamed. Even the White Nun, who seldom betrayed any emotion, gave a shudder at what she saw. She looked from the faceless bodies of the two lamas to the body of the other dead lama across the field, now charred and blackened, beside the burnt-out stock. She thought of Hubayin and those other ones who had died in the hostelry. How many more thousands or tens of thousands must die, some of them as terribly as this, before the Ming dynasty could be restored? She wondered if that was really what she wanted.

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