The Deer And The Cauldron 30

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The Deer And The Cauldron 30
第三十回 镇将南朝偏跋扈 部兵西楚最轻剽

The Satrap

韦小宝和公主只盼到云南这条路永远走不到尽头,但路途虽遥,行得虽慢,终于也有到达的一日。贵州省是吴三桂的辖地,在贵州罗甸驻有重兵。建宁公主一行刚入贵州省境,吴三桂便已派出兵马,前来迎接。
They crossed the border of Guizhou Province and were entering the Satrap’s territory. A detachment from the garrison at Luodian was waiting for them there and escorted them all the way to the Yunnan frontier. There they were met by Wu Yingxiong, who, since protocol forbade him to see or even address his future bride, addressed himself solely to Trinket, thanking him effusively for his services as Marriage Envoy and thenceforth riding with him when they were on the march. Wu Yingxiong’s arrival was the occasion of the first quarrel between Trinket and the Princess since they had become lovers. She sulked and stormed and threatened to accuse him to the Satrap of having raped her if he didn’t soon think of some way of procuring her betrothed’s premature demise. In the end Trinket lost patience with her and dealt her a resounding slap on the face. This produced nothing more than a giggle, but at least had the effect of restoring her good humour.

将到云南时,吴应熊出省来迎,见到韦小宝时称谢不绝。按照朝礼,在成亲之前,他与公主不能相见。其时公主正和韦小宝好得如胶似漆,听到吴应熊到来,登时柳眉倒竖,大发脾气。当晚公主对韦小宝说,怎生想个法子,把吴应熊送去见阎王,便可和他做长久夫妻。韦小宝吓了一跳,心想假驸马不妨在晚上偷偷摸摸的做做,真驸马却万万做不得。公主见他皱眉沉吟,怒道:“怎么不作声了?要送吴应熊这小子去见阎王,是你自己说的,又不是我想出来的主意。”韦小宝道:“送是一定要送的,只不过咱们得等个机会,这才下手,可不能让人起了疑心。”公主道:“好,暂且听你的。总而言之,我是跟定了你,我决不跟这小子同床。你如不送他去见阎王,咱们什么事都抖了出来。我跟吴三桂说,你强奸我。就算皇帝哥哥再宠你,只怕吴三桂也会将你斩成了十七廿八块。你就先见到了阎王老子,算是替吴应熊做先行官罢!”韦小宝大怒,挥手便是一记耳光,喝道:“胡说八道,我几时强奸你了?”公主嘻嘻笑笑,伸臂搂住了他,柔声道:“你这狠心短命的小冤家,下手这么重,也不怕人家痛吗?”

这一日将到昆明,只听得队中吹起号角,一名军官报道:“平西王来迎公主鸾驾。”韦小宝纵马上前,只见一队队士兵铠甲鲜明,骑着高头大马,驰到眼前,一齐下马,排列两旁。丝竹声中,数百名身穿红袍的少年童子手执旌旗,引着一名将军来到军前。一名赞礼官高声叫道:“奴才平西亲王吴三桂,参见建宁公主殿下。”韦小宝仔细打量吴三桂,见他身躯雄伟,一张紫膛脸,须发白多黑少,年纪虽老,仍是步履矫健,高视阔步的走来。
On the outskirts of Kunming, the Satrap’s capital, they were greeted with the sound of trumpets while an officer rode up to them and announced that ‘the Emperor’s humble servant, Wu Sangui, Satrap of the West,’ was approaching to ‘pay his respects to her Royal Highness the Princess Ning’. Troop upon troop of cavalry in shining armour and glittering accoutrements now rode up, dismounted from their horses, which were of a tall, Western breed, and formed themselves into two facing ranks at some considerable distance apart. Through this human avenue, while the sound of trumpets was replaced by the gentler music of pipes and strings, two or three hundred boys made their way, dressed all in red and carrying silken banners, after whom, with slow, ponderous steps, strode a general who, Trinket at once guessed, must be the notorious Wu Sangui. He was a big, heavy man with a somewhat purplish complexion. In spite of his grey hairs, he still held himself very upright and looked about him with a proud, imperious air.

韦小宝心道:“普天下人人都提到这老乌龟的名头,却原来是这等模样。”韦小宝见他走到公主车前,跪倒磕头,站在一旁,心中先道:“老乌龟吴三桂免礼。”待他叩拜已毕,才道:“平西亲王免礼。”吴三桂站起身来,走到韦小宝身边笑道:“这位便是勇擒鳌拜、天下扬名的韦爵爷?”韦小宝请了个安,说道:“不敢。卑职韦小宝,参见王爷。”吴三桂哈哈大笑,握住他手,说道:“韦爵爷大仁大义,小王久仰英名,快免了这些虚礼俗套。小王父子,今后全仗韦爵爷维持。如蒙不弃,咱们一切就像自己家人一般便是。”
Trinket deliberately allowed him to kneel and make his kowtow before pronouncing, on behalf of the invisible Princess, the formula that absolved a person of his age and rank from making an obeisance. Rising to his feet again, the Satrap appeared to have been in no way put out by this incivility. ‘So this is the famous Lord Wei who arrested Oboi!’ he said, laughing jovially. ‘My son and I are both very much beholden to you. We hope you will make yourself at home here. We’d like you to behave as if you were one of the family.’

韦小宝听他说话中带着扬州口音,倒有三分欢喜,心道:“辣块妈妈,你跟我可是老乡哪。”说道:“这个却不敢当,卑职岂敢高攀?”话中也加了几分扬州口音。吴三桂笑道:“韦爵爷是扬州人吗?”韦小宝道:“正是。”吴三桂笑道:“那就更加好了。小王寄籍辽东,原籍扬州高邮。咱们真正是一家人哪。”韦小宝心道:“辣块妈妈,原来你是高邮咸鸭蛋。扬州出了你这个大汉奸,老子可倒足了大霉啦。”
Trinket was struck by the strong Yangzhou accent in which these words were spoken. He exaggerated his own accent in replying. ‘Your Highness is very kind.’ ‘So you’re from Yangzhou” said Wu Sangui. ‘I’m from Yangzhou too, you know. I spent much of my life in Liaodong, north of the Wall, but I was born and bred in Yangzhou-the Gaoyou district of Yangzhou. Even more reason for you to feel one of the family!’ ‘So you’re a Gaoyou pickled egg, are you” thought Trinket. ‘Rotten luck for Yangzhou, producing a turtle-head traitor like you!’

吴三桂和韦小宝并辔而行,在前开道,导引公主进城。昆明城中百姓听得公主下嫁平西王世子,街道旁早就挤得人山人海,竞来瞧热闹。城中挂灯结彩,到处都是牌楼、喜幛,一路上锣鼓鞭炮震天价响。韦小宝和吴三桂并骑进城,见人人躬身迎接,大为得意。但转念又想:“这样如花似玉的公主,又骚又嗲,平白地给了吴应熊这小子做老婆,老子还千里迢迢的给他送亲,臭小子的艳福也忒好了些。”又感愤愤不平。吴三桂迎导公主到昆明城西安阜园。那是明朝黔国公沐家的故居,本就崇楼高阁,极尽园亭之胜,吴三桂得到公主下嫁的讯息后,更大兴土木,修建得焕然一新。吴三桂父子隔着帘帷向公主请安之后,这才陪同韦小宝来到平西王府。那平西王府在五华山,原是明永历帝的故宫,广袤数里,吴三桂入居之后,连年来不断增添楼台馆阁。这时巍阁雕墙,红亭碧沼,和皇宫内院也已相差无几。
They rode side by side into the city, where excited crowds lined the streets to watch the Imperial Princess go by. Everywhere there were flags and lanterns and decorated arches. The deafening sound of drums and cymbals was punctuated by the crackle of exploding firecrackers. It was not in the city, however, that the Princess and her escort were to be lodged, but in a complex of buildings in the An Fu Gardens a little to the west of it. Before the Manchu conquest this had been the residence of the ducal Mu Family to which the Little Countess belonged. Wu Sangui’s own residence, where he conducted Trinket after installing the Princess in the An Fu Gardens, was also outside the city. The buildings, set amidst acres of garden on the slopes of Mount Wu Hua, had been the Imperial seat of the unfortunate Yong Li, the Ming Prince who, with the support of the Mu Family had set himself up as Emperor after the suicide of the last Ming Emperor in Peking. They were of great magnificence, having been constantly improved and augmented by Wu Sangui since the beginning of his satrapy.

厅上早已摆设盛筵,平西王麾下文武百官俱来相陪。钦差大臣韦小宝自然坐了首席。酒过三巡,韦小宝笑道:“王爷,在北京时,常听人说你要造反……”吴三桂立时面色铁青,百官也均变色,只听他续道:“……今日来到王府,才知那些人都是胡说八道。”吴三桂神色稍宁,道:“韦爵爷明鉴,卑鄙小人妒忌诬陷,决不可信。”韦小宝道:“是啊,我想你要造反,也不过是想做皇帝。可是皇上的宫殿没你华丽,衣服没你漂亮。皇上的饭食向来是我一手经办,惭愧得紧,也没你王府的美味。你做平西王可比皇上舒服得多哪,又何必去做皇帝?待我回到北京,就跟皇上说,平西王是决计不反的,就是请你做皇帝,您老人家也万万不干。”
A banquet had been prepared in Trinket’s honour to which almost all the persons of consequence in Kunming, both soldiers and civilians, had been invited. Trinket, of course, sat next to Wu Sangui in the place of honour. After the third round of drinks, Trinket turned beamingly to his host and addressed him in a voice which must have been audible to a great many of the guests. ‘You know, Highness, when I was in Peking people were always saying that you were planning to rebel-‘ The Satrap choked and his face underwent several changes of colour. The generals and high-ranking mandarins to left and right of him turned pale. ‘-But I can see now that it was all nonsense,’ Trinket continued. The Satrap regained a little of his composure. ‘Your lordship is too intelligent to believe all the lies that envious people tell about me,’ he said. ‘No, I don’t believe them,’ said Trinket. ‘I say to myself’ What would the Satrap want to rebel for’ The only reason he could possibly have for rebelling would be if he wanted to become Emperor. But why should you want to become Emperor when you’re so much better off here’ Everything here, the buildings, the gardens, the furniture, the way people dress, the food-I know about that because I used to be in charge of the Palace catering’is better than in Peking. Why should you want to change it for something worse?’

一时之间,大厅上一片寂静,百官停杯不饮,怔怔的听着他不伦不类的一番说话,心下都怦怦乱跳。吴三桂更是脸上一阵红,一阵白,不知如何回答才是,寻思:“听他这么说,皇帝果然早已疑我心有反意。”只得哈哈的干笑几声,说道:“皇上英明仁孝,励精图治,实是自古贤皇所不及。”韦小宝道:“是啊,鸟生鱼汤,甘拜下风。”吴三桂又是一怔,隔了一会,才明白他说的是“尧舜禹汤”,说道:“微臣仰慕皇上俭德,本来也不敢起居奢华,只不过圣恩荡浩,公主来归,我们不敢简慢,只好尽心竭力,事奉公主和韦爵爷。待得婚事一过,那便要大大节省了。”心想这小子回去北京,跟皇帝说我这里穷奢极欲,皇帝定然生气,总得设法塞住他的嘴巴才好。哪知韦小宝摇头道:“还是花差花差、乱花一气的开心。你做到王爷,有钱不使,又做什么王爷?你倘若嫌金银太多,担心一时花不完,我跟你帮忙使使,有何不可?哈哈!”
A total silence had descended on the hall. Conversation, eating and drinking had all ceased. The diners sat staring, open-mouthed, wondering what this appalling boy, who had somehow become the Emperor’s favourite, would say next. The Satrap interpreted the words he had just spoken as an implied criticism of his extravagance. ‘I know the importance His Majesty attaches to thrift,’ he said, ‘and I greatly admire him for it. But you must understand that we do not always live as luxuriously as this. It is in honour of the Princess that we have put on this show. Once the wedding is over, we shall be making big economies.’ ‘Oh, I don’t think you should,’ said Trinket. ‘What’s the use of being a Satrap if you can’t lash out a bit? If you’ve got too much money, I could always help you spend it!’

他这句话一说,吴三桂登时大喜,心头一块大石便即落地,心想你肯收钱,那还不容易?文武百官听他在筵席之上公然开口要钱,人人笑逐颜开,均想这小孩子毕竟容易对付。各人一面饮酒,一面便心中筹划如何送礼行贿。席间原来的尴尬惶恐一扫而空,各人歌颂功德,吹牛拍马,尽欢而散。吴应熊亲送韦小宝回到安阜园,来到大厅坐定。吴应熊双手奉上一只锦盒,说道:“这里一些零碎银子,请韦爵爷将就着在手边零花。待得大驾北归,父王另有心意,以酬韦爵爷的辛劳。”韦小宝笑道:“那倒不用客气。我出京之时,皇上吩咐我说:‘小桂子,大家说吴三桂是奸臣,你给我亲眼去瞧瞧,到底是忠臣还是奸臣。你可得给我瞧得仔细些,别走了眼。’我说:‘皇上万安,奴才睁大了眼睛,从头至尾的瞧个明白。’哈哈,小王爷,是忠是奸,还不是凭一张嘴巴说么?”吴应熊不禁暗自生气:“你大清的江山,都是我爹爹一手给你打下的。大事已定之后,却忘恩负义,来查问我父子是忠是奸,这样看来,公主下嫁,也未必安着什么好心。”说道:“我父子忠心耿耿,为皇上办事,做狗做马,也报答不了皇上的恩德。”韦小宝架起了腿,说道:“是啊,我也知道你是最忠心不过的。皇上倘若信不过你,也不会招你做妹夫了。小王爷,你一做皇帝的妹夫,连升八级,可真快得很哪。”吴应熊道:“那是皇上天恩浩荡。韦爵爷维持周旋,我也感激不尽。”韦小宝心道:“我给一只小乌龟你做做,不知你是不是也感激不尽?”
The assembled diners heaved a great sigh of relief. So that’s what all this was about! He wanted to be bribed! The tension resolved itself in smiles, the buzz of conversation rose again, eating and drinking continued, and when the banquet ended, the guests went off in great good humour, calculating how much they should After the banquet it was the Satrap’s son, Wu Yingxiong, who saw Trinket back to the An Fu Gardens. Before taking leave of Trinket, he handed him a brocade-covered box. This is a little money to be getting on with if you have any minor expenses while you are here. Before you leave my father will, of course, think of a more fitting way of thanking you for your trouble.’

送了吴应熊出去,打开锦盒一看,里面是十扎银票,每扎四十张,每张五百两,共是二十万两银子。韦小宝又惊又喜,心想:“他出手可阔绰得很哪,二十万两银子,只是给零星花用。老子倘若要大笔花用,岂不是要一百万、二百万?”
Trinket opened the box as soon as he had gone. It contained ten wads of forty five-hundred-tael banknotes each ‘ two hundred thousand taels in all. ‘If this is just for pocket money,’ he thought, ‘I wonder what I could screw them for if I needed a lot. Two million?’

次日吴应熊来请钦差大臣赐婚使赴校场阅兵。韦小宝和吴三桂并肩站在阅兵台上。平西王属下的两名都统率领数十名佐领,顶盔披甲,下马在台前行礼。随即一队队兵马在台下操演。藩兵过尽后,是新编的五营忠勇兵、五营义勇兵,每一营由一名总兵统带,排阵操演,果然是兵强马壮,训练精熟。韦小宝虽全然不懂军事,但见兵将雄壮,一队队的老是过不完,向吴三桂道:“王爷,今日我可真服了你啦。我是骁骑营的都统,我们骁骑营是皇上的亲军,说来惭愧,倘若跟你部下的忠勇营、义勇营交手,骁骑营非大败亏输,落荒而逃不可。”吴三桂甚是得意,笑道:“韦爵爷夸奖,愧不敢当。小王是行伍出身,训练士卒,原是本份的事儿。”只听得号炮响声,众兵将齐声呐喊,声震四野,韦小宝吃了一惊,双膝一软,一屁股坐倒椅中,登时面如土色。吴三桂心下暗笑:“你只不过是皇上身边的一个小弄臣,仗着花言巧语,哄得小皇帝的欢心,除此之外,又有什么屁用?一个乳臭未干的黄口小儿,居然晋封子爵,做到骁骑营都统,钦差大臣,可见小皇帝莫名其妙,只会任用亲信。”他本来就没把康熙瞧在眼里,这时见了韦小宝这等脓包模样,更是暗暗欢喜,料想朝廷无人,不足为虑。
Next day there was a military review at which Trinket stood side by side with the Satrap on the reviewing stand while regiment after regiment paraded in front of them and executed various manoeuvres. Trinket knew next to nothing about military matters but took it on himself to remark that the picked troops of the Emperor’s own regiment, the Valiants, of which he himself was Colonel, were no match for these. At that moment a cannon was fired and he disgraced himself by turning pale and falling back into a chair. The Satrap was beginning to view this Imperial Envoy- and consequently the Imperial Master he represented-with contempt.

阅兵已毕,韦小宝取出皇帝的圣谕,交给吴三桂,说道:“这是皇上的圣谕,王爷给大伙儿读读罢。”吴三桂跪下接过,说道:“是皇上的圣谕,还是请钦差宣读。”韦小宝笑道:“他认得我,我可不认得他。我瞎字不识,怎生读法?”吴三桂一笑,捧着圣谕,向着众兵将大声宣读。他声音清朗,中气充沛,一句句远远传了出去。广场上数万兵将屈膝跪倒,鸦雀无声的聆听。圣谕中嘉奖平西亲王功高勋重,勤劳王事,镇守边陲,抚定蛮夷,属下诸将士卒,俱有辛绩,各升职一级,赏赐有差。待圣谕读完,吴三桂向北磕头,叫道:“恭谢皇上恩典,万岁万岁万万岁!”众兵将一齐叫道:“恭谢皇上恩典,万岁万岁万万岁!”这一次韦小宝事先有备,没有吃惊,但数万兵将如此惊天动地的喊了出来,却也令他心旌摇动,站立不稳。回到平西王府,吴三桂便跟他商量公主的吉期。韦小宝皱起眉头,甚是不快。吴三桂道:“下月初四是黄道吉日,婚嫁喜事,大吉大利。韦爵爷瞧这日子可好?”韦小宝心想:“公主一嫁了给吴应熊,我这假驸马便做不成了。”说道:“这似乎太局促些了罢?公主下嫁,非同小可,王爷,你可得一切预备周到才是。不瞒你说,这位公主很得太后和皇上宠幸,有什么事马虎了,咱们做奴才的可不大方便。”吴三桂一凛,心想:“你故意刁难,还不是在勒索贿赂?”笑道:“是,是。全仗韦爵爷照顾,有什么不到之处,请你吩咐指点,我们自当尽力办理。初四倘若太急促,那么下月十六也是极好的日子,跟公主和小儿的八字全不冲克,百无禁忌。”韦小宝道:“好罢!我去请示公主,瞧她怎么说。”
When the reviewing was over, Trinket produced the Edict he had brought with him from Kang Xi. The Satrap found that he had to read it himself, since Trinket was unable to. He did so in a fine parade-ground voice while the soldiers knelt to hear it. The Edict praised the Satrap in flowery language and concluded by awarding promotion to all the officers and men of his army. After facing northwards to kowtow, he led the troops in giving three cheers for the Emperor. The disciplined roar that went up from the ranks below nearly caused Trinket to disgrace himself again. This time, fortunately, he managed to stay on his feet. From the parade-ground they went to the Satrap’s palace to discuss the date of the wedding. The Satrap suggested the fourth of the following month as an auspicious day, but Trinket objected that it was too soon. Though the Satrap thought he was fishing for more bribes, his real reason for objecting was that once the Princess was married, his nights as Prince Laurie would be over. After some discussion, they settled for the sixteenth.

News from the Black Hole

回到安阜园,已有云南的许多官员等候传见,韦小宝收了礼物,随口敷衍几句,打发他们走了。想起来到云南之后,结义兄长杨溢之却未见过,便差人去告知吴应熊,请杨溢之过来一见。杨溢之没来,吴应熊却亲自来见,说道:“韦爵爷,父王派了杨溢之出外公干未回,不能来伺候爵爷。”
Back at the An Fu Gardens a small crowd of Yunnanese officers and mandarins were waiting for Trinket with their ‘presents’. Having thanked them somewhat perfunctorily and seen them off, he began to wonder why so far he had seen nothing of the one person in Yunnan he had been looking forward to meeting’ his old friend Yang Yizhi. Since Trinket and Yang Yizhi had first got to know each other when Yang was a member of the bodyguard that accompanied Wu Yingxiong to Peking, it was to Wu Yingxiong that Trinket now sent, requesting him to arrange for Yang to pay him a visit. Instead of Yang Yizhi, however, it was Wu himself who turned up. ‘Unfortunately,’ he said, ‘Yang was away on business. ‘

韦小宝好生失望,问道:“不知他去了何处?几时可以回来?”吴应熊脸色微变,说道:“他……他去了西藏,路途遥远,这一次……韦爵爷恐怕见他不着了。”韦小宝见他似有支吾之意,心想:“他说话不尽不实,在捣什么鬼?”问道:“不知杨兄去西藏办什么要事?去了多久?”吴应熊道:“也不是什么要紧大事,西藏的喇嘛差人送了礼来,父王便命杨溢之送回礼去。还是前几天走的。”韦小宝道:“这可不巧得很了。”送走吴应熊后,越想越觉这件事中间有些古怪,他们明知自己跟杨溢之交情甚好,自己来到云南,正好派杨溢之陪伴接待,怎么迟不走,早不走,自己刚到云南,吴三桂便派了杨溢之出门,倒似是故意不让他跟自己相见。当下叫了赵齐贤和张康年二人来,命他们去和吴三桂父子的侍卫喝酒赌钱,设法打探杨溢之的消息。
When pressed for details, he answered evasively. ‘When had Yang left?’ ‘Recently. ‘ ‘When would he be back?’ ‘Not for a long time. ‘ ‘Where had he gone to? ‘ ‘Er, er, to Tibet.’ ‘What important business had taken him to Tibet?’ ‘Oh, nothing special.’ Trinket felt sure that the Satrap and his son knew of his friendship with Yang. It seemed extraordinary that they should have sent him away just before he was due to arrive. Sensing something fishy, he summoned his officer friends, Zhao Qixian and Zhang Kangnian, as soon as Wu had gone and asked them to find out what they could about Yang Yizhi by fraternizing with their counterparts in the Satrap’s bodyguard.

这晚他和公主相见,说起完婚之期已定了下月十六。公主道:“我限你在婚期之前,送吴应熊这小子去见阎王,否则的话,我在拜堂之时大叫大嚷,说什么也不嫁他。”韦小宝心情本已不佳,听她这么说,更是怒火上冲,一跺脚便出了房门。公主抢上拉住他手,被他重重一甩,出房去了。公主大哭大叫,他只当没听见。坐下半晌,甚感无聊,叫了十几名侍卫来掷骰赌钱,这才心情畅快。赌到半夜,赵齐贤和张康年走进房来。韦小宝拿起一把骰子,还没掷下去,见到二人,笑道:“现下是霉庄,要下注乘早。”赵齐贤道:“副总管吩咐的事,属下查到了些消息。”韦小宝道:“好!”骰子掷下,翻牌吃了天门,赔了上门下门,拉了二人的手来到厢房,问道:“怎么?”赵齐贤道:“回副总管的话:那杨溢之果然没去西藏,原来是犯了事,给平西王关起来了。”韦小宝皱眉道:“犯了什么事?”赵齐贤道:“属下跟王府的卫士喝酒,说起识得这个姓杨的,想请他来一起喝酒赌钱。一名卫士说:‘找杨溢之吗?得去黑坎子。’我问他黑坎子在哪里。旁的卫士骂他胡说八道,爱说笑话,叫我别信他的。”韦小宝沉吟道:“黑坎子?”赵齐贤道:“我们知道其中必有古怪,跟他们喝了一会子酒,就分了手。回到这里,向人一问,原来黑坎子是大监的所在,才知杨溢之是给平西王关了。到底犯了什么事,我怕引起疑心,没敢多问。”韦小宝问:“黑坎子在什么地方?”赵齐贤道:“在五华宫西南约莫五里地。”韦小宝点头道:“是了,两位大哥辛苦,你们到外面玩玩去罢,代我做庄。”赵张二人大喜,径去赌钱。二人知道代他做庄,输了算他的,赢了有红分,那是大大有好处的差使。韦小宝闷闷不乐,寻思:“杨大哥定是犯了大事,否则吴应熊不会骗我,说派他去了西藏。若非大罪,他爷儿俩定会冲着我的面子,放了他出来。吴应熊已经撒了谎,我若再去说情,他们一定死赖到底,多半还会立刻杀了他,毁尸灭迹,从此死无对证。要救他出来,只有硬干。吴三桂就算生气,老子也不怕他,谅他也不敢跟我翻脸。”当下把李力世、风际中、马彦超、钱老本、玄贞道人、徐天川等天地会群雄请来,告知此事,筹商如何救人。
That night, when Zhao and Zhang came back to report their findings, he was playing dice with some of their fellow-officers, having walked out on the Princess after another quarrel. (Its cause was her discovery that the wedding-date had been fixed.) Excusing himself, he retired with them to another room, where they told him that, while drinking and gambling with the Satrap’s officers, they had learned that Yang had not in fact gone to Tibet but had been arrested and thrown into prison for some offence. One of the officers had volunteered that he was being held in the Black Hole, a notorious prison some two miles south-west of the Satrap’s palace, but the others had said no, that was nonsense, the man was drunk. At that point they had thought it best to ask no more questions for fear of exciting suspicion. Trinket thanked them, and, leaving them to take his place at the gaming-table, went off to confer with the Triads.

李力世道:“韦香主,这件事咱们干了!能救得出这位杨大哥,那是最好。就算救不出,吴三桂知道你向他动手,定然以为你是奉了皇帝之命。不是将他吓个半死,便逼得他早日造反。”韦小宝道:“正是如此,就怕他立刻造反,咱们一古脑儿给他抓了起来,大伙儿在黑坎子大监狱里赌钱,那可不妙了。”玄贞道人道:“一见情势不对,大家快马加鞭就是。”韦小宝道:“你们去设法救人,我把吴应熊这小子请了来,扣在这里,做个抵押,教吴三桂不敢胡来。”钱老本道:“韦香主这着棋极是高明。咱们明天先去察看了黑坎子的地势,然后扮着吴三桂的手下亲随,冲进监狱去提人。”
The Triads welcomed what they saw as an opportunity for some action. ‘Leave it to us, Master!’ said Brother Li. ‘We’ll rescue your friend Yang for you! Even if we don’t succeed, the Old Traitor will think we are acting on the Emperor’s wishes, and either he’ll be too scared to do anything or he’ll rebel, which is what we want him to do.’ Trinket didn’t see how they could get back to Peking alive if the two provinces they had first to get through on their way back were in rebellion; however, he thought it best to say nothing, leaving that problem to be faced when it arose. After discussion it was decided that they would set off first thing next morning for the Black Hole, wearing uniforms of the Satrap’s own guards as disguise, while the Master entertained the Little Traitor, both to keep him occupied and so that he could be held as a hostage in the event of things going wrong.

次日午后,韦小宝命人去请吴应熊来赴宴,商议婚事。安阜园大厅中丝竹齐奏、酒肉纷呈之际,天地会群雄已穿起平西王府亲随的服色,闯入了黑坎子大监。韦小宝吩咐骁骑营军士和御前侍卫前后严密把守,监视吴应熊带来的卫队。他和吴应熊一面饮酒,一面观赏戏班子做戏。这时所演的是一出昆曲《钟馗嫁妹》五个小鬼翻筋斗、钻台子,演出诸般武功,甚是热闹。韦小宝看得连连叫好,吩咐赏银子。正热闹间,有人走到他身后,悄悄拉了拉他衣袖。韦小宝回头一看,却是马彦超,见他缓缓点头,知已得手,心中大喜,向吴应熊道:“小王爷,你请宽坐,我要去撒一泡尿。”
Trinket waited until noon next day before inviting Wu Yingxiong. The invitation was ostensibly to discuss the wedding, but when Wu arrived with his bodyguard at the An Fu Gardens, a splendid reception was waiting for him. Instead of discussing business, he and Trinket sat feasting and watching plays, while Trinket’s soldiers kept an eye on his bodyguard. At one point, when they were watching a noisy ‘military’ piece and the frenzy of action on the stage had reached its height, Trinket felt someone plucking at his sleeve. When he turned to look, it was Brother Gao, dressed as one of the Satrap’s guards. As if in response to Trinket’s unspoken question, he nodded and then quietly slipped away. Trinket rose to his feet. ‘Just go on watching, Your Grace,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to go outside a minute to have a piss.’

吴应熊心道:“这小流氓,说话如此粗俗。”笑道:“爵爷请便。”韦小宝来到后堂,见天地会群雄一个不少,喜道:“很好,很好,众兄弟都没损伤,人救出来了吗?”见各人脸色郑重,料想另有别情。马彦超恨恨的道:“吴三桂这奸贼下手好毒!”
Take your time, my lord, I shall be all right on my own,’ said Wu Yingxiong; but what he was thinking as he smiled politely was’ ‘Crude little guttersnipe!’ Trinket hurried to a room behind the hall where the Triads were waiting for him. ‘Excellent!’ he said. ‘I hope no one got hurt. Did you manage to rescue him?’ The men remained grimly silent. He looked round at their faces. Something must be wrong. That Wu Sangui is a savage!’ said Brother Gao passionately.

韦小宝道:“怎么?”马彦超和徐天川转身出去,抬进毡毯裹着的一个人来。但见毡毯上尽是鲜血,韦小宝一惊之下,抢上前去,见毡毯中裹着的正是杨溢之。但见他双目紧闭,脸上更无半分血色,韦小宝叫道:“杨大哥,是我兄弟救你来了。”杨溢之微微点头,也不知是否听见。韦小宝道:“大哥,你受了伤么?”徐天川轻轻揭开毡毯。韦小宝一声惊呼,退后两步,身子一晃,险些摔倒,钱老本伸手扶住。原来杨溢之双手已被齐腕斩去,双脚齐膝斩去。徐天川低声道:“他舌头也被割去了,眼睛也挖出了。”
He and Brother Xu went out and presently returned carrying a bloodstained carpet between them in which lay a man. They set him down gently on the floor and opened out the carpet. The body was covered, leaving only the head exposed. It was Yang Yizhi. His face was completely drained of colour and his eyes were tightly closed. Trinket approached and bent over him. ‘Yang, my friend! Brother!’ he said. ‘You’ll be all right now. We’ve rescued you.’ The head moved, almost imperceptibly. It was impossible to tell whether or not he had heard. Very gently Brother Xu drew back the cover. What Trinket then saw made him recoil in horror. If Butcher Qian hadn’t caught him, he would have fallen to the floor. Yang’s hands had been severed at the wrist and his legs cut off at the knee. They cut out his tongue, too,’ said Brother Xu, ‘and put out both his eyes.’

眼前这般惨状,韦小宝从所未见,心情激动,登时放声大哭。他和杨溢之本来并没多大交情,只不过言谈投机,但既拜了把子,便存了有福共享、有难同当之心,见到他四肢俱斩的模样,不禁悲愤难当,伸手拔出匕首,叫道:“我去把吴应熊的手脚也都斩了。”风际中拉住他手臂,说道:“从长计议。”
Trinket began crying. Suddenly his grief turned to anger. He took out his dagger. ‘Monster!’ he cried. ‘Cruel <****>ing monster! I’ll cut him up into pieces!’ He would have rushed back into the hall if Brother Feng had not restrained him. ‘Easy now!’ said that man of few words. ‘Think before you act!’

此人说话不多,但言必有中,韦小宝向来对他忌惮三分,当即定了定神,点头道:“风大哥说得对。”徐天川盖上毡毯,说道:“这件事果然跟咱们有关。吴三桂怪杨大哥跟韦香主相交,又拜了把子,说他背叛旧主,贪图富贵,投靠朝廷,因此整治得他死不死,活不活,好让他手下的将领,没一个敢起反叛之心。”韦小宝垂泪道:“吴三桂他祖宗十八代都是死乌龟!杨大哥跟我拜把子,又没背叛他。这大汉奸自己存心不良,瞎起疑心。杨大哥这等模样,便是这大汉奸造反的明证。就算杨大哥真的投靠朝廷,又有什么不对了?”钱老本道:“正是。韦香主把杨大哥带去北京,向小皇帝告上一状。”韦小宝问徐天川:“吴三桂下这毒手,是为了怪杨大哥跟我结交,徐大哥怎么得知?”徐天川转身出外,提进一个人来,重重往地下一掷。这人身穿七品官服色,白白胖胖,爬在地下,一动不动。徐天川道:“韦香主,这个家伙,你是久闻大名了,却从没见过,他便是卢一峰。”韦小宝冷笑道:“啊哈,原来是卢老兄,你在北京城里大胆放肆,后来给吴应熊打断了狗腿,怎么又在这里了?”卢一峰吓得只说:“是,是,小人不敢!”徐天川道:“当真是冤家路窄,这家伙原来是黑坎子大监的典狱官。他便是变了灰,老子也认他得出,我们扮了吴三桂的亲随去监狱提人,这家伙神气活现,又说要公事,又说要平西王的手谕。他妈的,他自己这条狗命,便是平西王的手谕。”韦小宝点头道:“那倒巧得很,遇上这家伙,救人便容易了。”料想群雄将刀子架在他头颈里,兵不血刃,便提了人出来,“八臂猿猴”反正手臂多,顺手牵羊,将他也抓了来。徐天川道:“杨大哥得罪吴三桂的事,就是他老兄向我告的密。”卢一峰听到“告密”二字,忙道:“是……是你老人家……你老人家逼我说的,我……我可万万不敢泄漏平西亲王的机密。”
Trinket calmed down a little, though still crying bitterly. Why did he do this to him?’ he said. ‘It can’t just be because he and I are friends.’ We’ve brought someone along with us who might know the answer to that,’ said Brother Xu. He went out and came back a few moments later, dragging a pale, fat man dressed in the robes of a seventh-grade mandarin and dumped him down on the floor, where he remained, cowering abjectly on all fours. This, Master, is someone you’ve heard of but not met. This is Lu Yifeng.’ ‘Ah, Mr Lu,’ said Trinket, ‘I heard about the fuss you made in Peking and how your master the Satrap’s Heir rewarded you by breaking both your legs. What on earth are you doing here?’

韦小宝一脚踢去,登时踢下了他三颗门牙,说道:“我去稳住吴应熊,防他起疑,各位仔细盘问这家伙,他如不说,也把他两只手、两只脚割下来便是。”卢一峰满口鲜血,忙道:“我说,我说。”
He kicked him in the mouth by way of encouragement, dislodging three of his teeth. ‘He’s Governor of the Black Hole prison now,’ said Brother Xu. ‘Just fancy! Making things a bit difficult for us he was. Said he wanted to see something in writing before he would hand over his prisoner. We thought it would be easiest to bring him along with us.’ ‘I’ve got to go back now, or the Little Traitor will get suspicious,’ said Trinket. ‘See if you can make him talk. If he gives you any trouble, just cut his hands and feet off!’ I’ll talk, I’ll talk,’ said the wretched man, spitting out blood and teeth.

他知这伙人行事无法无天,想起杨溢之的惨状,险些便欲晕去。韦小宝走到杨溢之身前,又叫:“杨大哥!”杨溢之听到叫声,想要坐起,上身一抬,终于又向后摔倒。群雄见到他的惨状,都感愤慨。此人为汉奸作走狗,本来也不值得如何可惜,然而吴三桂父子对自己忠心部属竟也下此毒手,心肠之狠毒,可想而知。韦小宝拭干了眼泪,定了定神,回到厅上,哈哈大笑,说道:“当真有趣。”只见席前的戏子站着呆呆的不动,一见韦小宝到来,锣鼓响起,扮演《钟馗嫁妹》的众戏子又都演了起来。原来他一进内,吴应熊就吩咐停演,直等他回来,这才接演下去,好让他中间不致漏看一段。韦小宝向吴应熊致歉,说道公主听说额驸在此饮酒,叫了他进去,细问额驸平日爱穿什么衣服,爱吃什么食物,问了许久,累得他在厅上久候。吴应熊大喜,连说不妨。
Trinket dried his eyes and tried to compose himself a bit before going back to the hall. To his surprise he found it in total silence, the actors he had last seen performing acrobatics standing motionless and mute upon the stage. Wu Yingxiong had made them wait for Lord Wei’s return. ‘Sorry I was so long,’ said Trinket. The Princess called me in to see her. She’d heard that I was entertaining you and she wanted to hear all about you-your taste in clothes, what you like to eat, that type of stuff. It was quite hard to get away from her.’ Young Wu was delighted. ‘Oh, that’s all right,’ he said. ‘It was worth the wait!’

吴应熊辞去后,韦小宝回到厢房中,不见天地会群雄,一问之下,原来又都出去了,心下奇怪,不知他们又去干什么。直等到深夜,群雄才归,却又捉了一个人来。原来徐天川逼问卢一峰,得知吴三桂所以如此折磨杨溢之,一来固是疑心他和韦小宝拜了把子,有背叛吴藩之意,二来却还和蒙古王子葛尔丹有关。这葛尔丹和吴三桂近年来交往甚是亲热,不断来来去去的互送礼物,最近他又派了使者,携带礼物到昆明来。这使者名叫罕帖摩,跟吴三桂长谈了数日,不知如何,竟给杨溢之得悉了内情,似乎向吴三桂进言,致触其怒。卢一峰官职卑小,不知其详,只是从吴三桂卫士的口中听得了几句,在天地会群雄拷打之下,不敢隐瞒,尽其所知的都说了出来。群雄一商议,一不做,二不休,索性再假扮吴三桂的亲随,又去将那蒙古使者罕帖摩捉了来。
When the interrupted play had ended he took his leave. As soon as he had gone, Trinket hurried back to rejoin the Triads, but they were nowhere to be seen. It was not till late that night that they turned up again, this time with another prisoner. Brother Xu explained. During the working-over they had subjected him to, Lu Yifeng had indeed revealed the reason why Yang had fallen foul of the Satrap. For some time now the Satrap had been in frequent contact with the Mongol Prince Galdan. Messages and gifts were constantly being exchanged between them and recently a Mongol envoy by the name of Hatiemo had arrived in Kunming and had talks with the Satrap lasting several days. Lu genuinely seemed not to know what they were about, but Yang evidently did and had infuriated the Satrap by remonstrating with him. The Satrap had no doubt been afraid that Yang, through his friendship with Trinket, might leak the information to the Emperor and had punished him in this ghastly way as a warning to his fellow-officers.

韦小宝在少林寺中曾见过葛尔丹,这人骄傲横蛮,曾令部属向他施发金镖,若不是有宝衣护身,早已命丧镖下,心想他的使者也决非好人,眼见那罕帖摩约莫五十多岁年纪,颏下一部淡黄胡子,目光闪烁不定,显然颇为狡狯。
Trinket remembered Galdan from his visit to the Shaolin Monastery in the company of the sinister Grand Lama Sangge and the Blue Girl in her ridiculous disguise. He went to take a peep at this prisoner who was Galdan’s envoy–a crafty-looking man with shifty eyes and a brownish beard.

韦小宝道:“领他去瞧瞧杨大哥。”马彦超答应了,推着他去邻房。只听得罕帖摩一声大叫,语音中充满了恐惧,自是见到杨溢之的模样后吓得魂不附体。马彦超带了他回来,但见他脸上已无血色,身子不断的发抖。韦小宝道:“刚才那人你见到了?罕帖摩点点头。韦小宝道:“我有话问那人,他回答时不尽不实,说了几句谎话。我向来有个规矩,有谁跟我说一句谎,我割他一条腿,说两句谎,割两条腿,这人说了几句谎啊?”马彦超道:“说了七句。”韦小宝摇头道:“唉,这人说谎太多,只好将他两只手、两颗眼珠子、一条舌头,一古脑儿都报销啦。”拔了匕首出来,俯身轻轻一划,已将一条木凳腿儿割了下来,拿在手中玩弄,笑道:“我这把刀割人手腿,一点也不拖泥带水,你要不要试试?”罕帖摩本是蒙古勇士,但见到杨溢之的惨状,却也吓得魂飞魄散,结结巴巴的道:“大人……大人有什么要问,小的……小的……不敢有半句隐……隐瞒。”韦小宝道:“很好。平西亲王要我问你,你跟王爷说的话,到底是真是假,有什么虚言?”罕帖摩道:“大人明鉴,小的……小的怎敢瞒骗王爷?的的确确并无虚言。”韦小宝摇头道:“王爷可不相信,他说你们蒙古人狡狯得很,说过的话,常常不算数,最爱赖帐。”罕帖摩脸上出现又骄傲又愤怒之色,说道:“我们是成吉斯汗的子孙,向来说一是一,说二是二……”
‘Take him to have a look at my friend Yang,’ he said. Two of them led him off between them. When they brought him back a couple of minutes later, he was pale and shaking. ‘I don’t like lies,’ said Trinket. That man you’ve just seen told too many lies. I had to punish him, every time he lied. How many lies do you think he told? How many bits and pieces is he missing?’ ‘Seven,’ said the man huskily after a little silence. The Satrap doesn’t like lies either,’ said Trinket. ‘He always says that the best way to find out if a person has been lying is to wait a while and then ask him to repeat what he told you. If it’s different the second time round, you know he’s lying. He’s got this idea that Mongols are fibbers, so he’s asked me to try the test on you.’ Hatiemo’s face assumed an expression of injured pride. The sons of Genghiz Khan are honest men,’ he said angrily. ‘We tell no lies.’

韦小宝点头道:“不错,说三是三,说四是四。”罕帖摩一怔,他汉话虽说得十分流利,但各种土话成语,却所知有限,不知韦小宝这两句话乃是贫嘴贫舌的取笑,只道另有所指,一时无从答起。韦小宝脸一沉,问道:“你可知道我是什么人?”罕帖摩道:“小的不知。”韦小宝道:“你猜猜看。”罕帖摩见这安阜园建构宏丽,他自己是平西王府亲随带来的,见韦小宝年纪轻轻,但身穿一品武官服色,黄马褂,头带红宝石顶子、双眼孔雀翎,乃是朝中的显贵大官,赐穿黄马褂,更是特异的尊荣。这罕帖摩心思甚是灵活,寻思:“你小小年纪,做到这样的大官,自是靠了父亲的福荫。昆明城中,除了平西亲王之外,谁能有这般声势?平西王属下的亲随又对你如此恭谨,是了,定是如此。”
‘I’m glad to hear it,’ said Trinket. ‘Now, do you know who I am?’ The crafty expression returned. Hatiemo looked about him. He was in a sort of palace. The Triads, who appeared to be in Trinket’s service, were dressed in the Satrap’s uniforms. Trinket himself was wearing the hat with a ruby button and a peacock’s feather in it that distinguished an officer of the First Grade, and the yellow jacket normally only awarded to persons in high standing at Court. Such high rank in one so young could only be due to the status of his father. Undoubtedly this must be a younger son of the Satrap. He bowed respectfully.

当下恭恭敬敬的道:“小的有眼无珠,原来大人是平西王的小公子。”他见过吴应熊,眼见韦小宝的服色和吴应熊差不多,便猜到了这条路上去。韦小宝一愕,骂道:“他妈的,你说什么?”心道:“你说我是大汉奸老乌龟的儿子,老子不成了小汉奸小乌龟?”随即哈哈一笑,说道:“你果然聪明,难怪葛尔丹王子派你来干这等大事。你们王子,跟我交情也是挺不错的。”说了葛尔丹的相貌服饰,又道:“那日我和你家王子讲论武功,他使的这几下招式,当真了得。”于是便将葛尔丹在少林寺中所使的招式,比划了几下。罕帖摩大喜,当即请了个安,说道:“小王爷跟我家王子是至交好友,大家原来是一家人。”韦小宝道:“你家王子安好?他近来可和昌齐喇嘛在一起吗?”罕帖摩道:“昌齐喇嘛刻下正在我们王府里作客。”韦小宝点头道:“这就是了。”
‘Forgive me, my lord, for not recognizing a son of His Highness.’ ‘Oh, that’s all right,’ said Trinket. ‘It’s clever of you to have guessed. I’m not surprised Prince Galdan chose you for his envoy. How is the Prince, by the way? It’s quite a long time now since I last saw him. The Mongol brightened. ‘You know His Highness, then?’ ‘He’s a very good friend of mine,’ said Trinket.

问道:“有一位爱穿蓝色衫裙的汉人姑娘,名叫阿琪,也在你们王府吗?”罕帖摩睁大了眼睛,满脸又惊又喜之色,说道:“原来……原来小王爷连这……这件事也知道了,果然……果然了……了不起。”韦小宝随口一猜,居然猜中,十分得意,哈哈大笑,道:“你家王子什么也不瞒我,阿琪姑娘是你家王子的相好,他的师妹阿珂姑娘,就是我的相好。咱们还不算是一家人吗?哈哈,哈哈!”两人相对大笑,更无隔阂。
‘Does he still see much of the Reverend Sangge? And that young lady who always dresses in blue-what’s her name now-Ah Ki?’ ‘You know about them, too?’ Hatiemo was now totally convinced that he was speaking to a younger brother of the Little Traitor., He became quite expansive.

韦小宝道:“父王派我来好好问你,到底你跟父王所说的那番话,是否当真诚心诚意,别无其他阴谋?”罕帖摩道:“小王爷,你跟我家王子这等交情,怎么还会疑心?”韦小宝道:“父王言道,一个人倘若说谎,第一次说的跟第二次再说,总有一些儿不同。这件事情实在牵涉重大,一个不小心,大家全闹得灰头土脸,狼狈之至,因此要你从头至尾再跟我说一遍,且看两番言语之中,有什么不接榫的地方。罕帖摩老兄,我不是信不过你家王子,不过跟你却是初会,不明白你的为人,因此非得仔细盘问不可,得罪莫怪。”罕帖摩道:“那是应当的。这件事倘若泄漏了风声,立时便有杀身之祸。平西王做事把细,在理之至。请小王爷回禀王爷,咱们四家结盟之后,一起出兵,四分天下。中原江山,准定由王爷独得,其余三家决不眼红,另生变卦。”韦小宝大吃一惊,心道:“四分天下!却不知是哪四家?但如问他,显得我一无所知,不免泄了底。”笑吟吟的道:“这件事我跟你家王子也商量过几次。只是事成之后,这天下如何分法,谈来谈去总是说不拢。这一次你家王子又怎么说?”

罕帖摩道:“我家王子言道,他决不是有心要多占便宜,不过联络罗刹国出兵,却是他殿下……”韦小宝一听到“罗刹国出兵”五字,心中一凛,只听罕帖摩续道:“……是他殿下费了千辛万苦,才说成的。罗刹国火器厉害无比,枪炮轰了出来,清兵万难抵挡。只要罗刹国出兵,大事必成。平西王做了中国大皇帝,小王爷就是亲王了。”罗刹国就是俄罗斯,该国国人黄发碧眼,形貌特异,中国人视之若鬼,“罗刹”是佛经中恶鬼之意,因此当时称之罗刹国。顺治年间,罗刹国的哥萨克骑兵曾和清兵数度交锋,虽每次均为清兵击退,清兵却也损伤甚重。韦小宝不懂国家大事,然在皇宫之中,却也听说过罗刹国兵将残暴凶悍,火器凌厉难当,心想:“乖乖不得了,吴三桂卖国成性,又要去勾结罗刹国了,可得赶紧奏知小皇帝,想法子抵挡罗刹国的枪炮火器。”罕帖摩见他沉吟不语,脸有不愉之色,问道:“不知小王爷有什么指教?”韦小宝嗯了几声,念头电转,如何再套他口风,突然想起郑克塽和他哥哥争位,派冯锡范来杀师父陈近南的事,当即站起,满腔愤慨的道:“他妈的,我能有什么指教?父王做了皇帝,将来我哥哥继承皇位,我只做个亲王,又有什么好了?”

罕帖摩恍然大悟,走近他身边,低声道:“我家王子既和小王爷交好,小人回去跟王子说明小王爷这番意思,成了大事之后,我们蒙古和罗刹国,再加上西藏的活佛,三家力保小王爷。那么……那么……小王爷又何必担心?”韦小宝心道:“原来四家起兵的四家,是蒙古、西藏、罗刹国,再加上吴三桂。”当下脸现喜容,说道:“倘若你们三家真的出力,我大权在手,自然重重报答,决计忘不了你老兄的好处。”随手从身边抽出四张五百两银子的银票,交了给他,说道:“这个你先拿去零花罢。”罕帖摩见他出手如此豪阔,大喜过望,当即拜谢,心中本来就有一分半分怀疑的,此刻也消除得干干净净了,料定这位小王爷是要跟他哥哥吴应熊争皇帝做,主子葛尔丹王子和自己正好从中上下其手,大占好处。
when Trinket insisted on pressing four five-hundred-tael banknotes on him, ‘to have a little fun before you leave Kunming’ as Trinket put it. ‘You mustn’t mind being grilled,’ he told Hatiemo. ‘My father’s a bit peculiar in this way. In any case, this is a very important business and he wants to get everything crystal clear.’ ‘I don’t mind at all,’ said Hatiemo. ‘He is right to be careful.’

韦小宝道:“你家王子说事成之后,天下如何分法?”罕帖摩道:“中原的花花江山,自然都是你吴家的。四川归西藏活佛。天山南北路和内蒙东四盟、西二盟、察哈尔、热河、绥远城都归我们蒙古。”韦小宝道:“这地面可大得很哪。”他本不知这些地方的大小,但听罕帖摩说了许多地名,料想决计不小。罕帖摩微微一笑,道:“我们蒙古为王爷出的力气,可也大得紧哪。”韦小宝点点头,问道:“那么罗刹国呢?”罕帖摩道:“罗刹国大皇帝说,罗刹国和王爷的辖地,以山海关为界,他们决不踏进关内一步。山海关之外,本来都是满洲鞑子的地界,罗刹国只占满洲人的,决不占中国的一寸土地。”韦小宝点头道:“如此说来,倒也算公平。你家王子预定几时起事?”罕帖摩道:“这件大事王爷是主,其余三家只是呼应夹攻,自然一切全凭王爷的主意。”韦小宝道:“父王要的的确确知道,我们出兵之后,你们三家如何呼应?”罕帖摩道:“这一节请王爷不必担心。王爷大军一出云贵,我们蒙古精兵就从西而东,罗刹国的哥萨克精骑自北而南,两路夹攻北京,西藏活佛的藏兵立刻攻掠川边,而神龙教的奇兵……”

韦小宝“啊”的一声,一拍大腿,说道:“神龙教的事,你……你们也知道了?洪教主他……他怎么说?”听到神龙教竟也和这项大阴谋有关,心下震荡,说话声音也发颤了。罕帖摩见他神色有异,问道:“神龙教的事,王爷跟小王爷说过吗?”韦小宝哈哈一笑,说道:“怎么没说过?我跟洪教主、洪夫人长谈过两次,教中的五龙使我也都见到了。我只道你们王子不知这件事。”罕帖摩微微一笑,说道:“神龙教洪教主既受罗刹国大皇帝的敕封,罗刹国一出兵,神龙教自然非响应不可。将来中国所有沿海岛屿,包括台湾和海南岛,那都是神龙教的辖地。再加上福建耿精忠、广东尚可喜、广西孔四贞,大家都会响应的。只须王爷登高一呼,东南西北一齐动手,这满清的天下还不是王爷的吗?”

It was in this way that Trinket managed, step by step, to extract every detail of Wu Sangui’s plans while pretending that he knew about them already. There was to be a rising of the Three Satraps– Wu Sangui in the West, Geng Jingzhong and Shang Kexi in the East. In return for large territorial concessions, three foreign powers, Mongolia, Tibet, and Russia, would simultaneously invade China in support of the rebels. At sea they would be supported by the Leader of the Mystic Dragon Sect, who (it transpired) was in Russian pay. Hatiemo called the Russians ‘Losha’, the name that the Chinese gave to the man-eating demons of Buddhist mythology. It was calculated that the Manchu bowmen and pikemen would be helpless against the Russians’ firearms. After the Manchus had been defeated, the Living Buddha of Tibet would take over Sichuan; Inner Mongolia, Suiyuan, Chahar, and Jehol would go to the Mongols; everything north of Shanhaiguan (most of Manchuria) would be occupied by the Russians; and the Leader of the Mystic Dragon Sect would get the offshore islands, including Taiwan and Hainan. Wu Sangui would become Emperor of all China except for Sichuan and the above-mentioned outlying parts of the Empire, while the other two Satraps, having served their purpose, would be quietly eliminated.

韦小宝哈哈大笑,说道:“妙极,妙极!”心中却在暗叫:“糟糕,糟糕!”他毕竟年纪幼小,寻常事情撒几句谎,半点不露破绽,一遇上这国家大事,不禁为小皇帝暗暗担忧,这“妙极,妙极”四字,说来殊无欢愉之意。罕帖摩甚是精明,瞧出他另有心事,说道:“小王爷跟我家王子交情大非寻常,对小人又这等厚待,小人实是粉身难报。小王爷有什么为难之处,不妨明白指点。小人若有得能效劳之处,万死不辞。”韦小宝道:“我是在想,大家东分一块,西分一块,将来我如做成了皇帝,所管的土地七零八落,那可差劲之至了。”罕帖摩心想:“原来你担心这个,倒也有理。”低声道:“小王爷明鉴,待得大功告成之后,耿精忠、尚可喜、孔四贞他们一伙人,一个个除掉就是。那时候如要我们蒙古出兵相助,自然也义不容辞。”
Trinket’s knowledge of geography was minimal, but he understood enough of what he was being told to feel sorry for the Young Emperor. What worried him most was the thought of the Russian firearms. His heart still quaked when he remembered the man-made thunder of the cannon they had fired at the military review. Though he said ‘Excellent, excellent!’ he must have looked unhappy, for Hatiemo sensed that something about these plans must be worrying him and begged him to say what it was. Did he think too much territory was being conceded? Trinket didn’t know how to answer this, but then he remembered what Father Obscurus had said about the struggle for succession between Zheng Keshuang and his brothers that was going on in Taiwan.

韦小宝喜道:“多谢,多谢。这一句话,可得给我带到你们王子耳中。你是葛尔丹王子的心腹亲信,你答应过的话,就跟他王子殿下亲口答应一般无异。”罕帖摩微感为难,但想那是将来之事,眼前不妨胡乱答应,于是一拍胸膛,说道:“小人定为小王爷尽心竭力,决不有负。”韦小宝又再盘问良久,实在问不出什么了,便道:“你在这里休息,我去回报父王。”低声道:“咱们的说话,你如泄漏了半句,我哥哥非下毒手害死我不可,只怕连父王也救我不得。”蒙古部族中兄弟争位,自相残杀之事,罕帖摩见得多了,知道此事非同小可,当即屈膝跪倒,指天立誓。
‘What does it matter to me how much land my father has,’ he said bitterly. ‘When the time comes, it will all go to my brother.’ Hatiemo was familiar with succession struggles among the Mongol princes. ‘Don’t be so sure of that, sir,’ he said with a smile. ‘You have Prince Galdan’s friendship, and I promise my own humble support. Who knows what the future may bring?’ ‘One of these days,’ said Trinket, ‘when I’m powerful, I’ll remember to reward you. Look, I’ve got to go now and report all this to my father. Just make yourself comfortable here until I come back.’ He lowered his voice. ‘Don’t, whatever you do, let anyone else know about our talk. If my brother got to hear of it he’d kill me,’

韦小宝走出房来,吩咐风际中和徐天川严密看守罕帖摩,然后去看望杨溢之。推开房门,不禁大吃一惊,只见杨溢之半截身子已滚在地下,忙抢上前去,见他圆睁双眼,一动不动,已然死去,床上的白被单上写着几个大血字。韦小宝只识得一个“三”字,一个“桂”字,转头问道:“是什么字?”马彦超道:“是‘吴三桂造反卖国’七字。”韦小宝叹了口气,道:“杨大哥临死时用断臂写的。”马彦超黯然道:“正是。”韦小宝召集天地会群雄,将罕帖摩的话说了。群雄无不愤慨,痛骂吴三桂做了一次汉奸之后,又想做第二次。玄贞道人咬牙切齿,突然解开衣襟,说道:“各位请看!”
Rejoining the Triads, he told two of them, Brother Feng and Brother Xu, to keep a strict watch on Hatiemo and stop him straying while he went with the rest of them to look at Yang. Yang’s body had moved since they left him. It now lay obliquely, half off the carpet. There were some bloody marks beside it that looked like writing. Brother Gao thought they were the characters for ‘Wu’ and ‘rebel’. When they touched him they found that he was dead? before he died, he must have made this supreme effort to warn his friends by writing the characters in blood with one of his stumps. Although from the Triads’ point of view he was a devoted servant of their most hated enemy, they knew him for a brave man and a trusty friend. Several of them were in tears, and one of them observed bitterly that this was how the Great Traitor rewarded those who were loyal to him. Their feelings against the Satrap became even more embittered when they learned about his grandiose plans. ‘Selling his country to foreigners is getting to be a habit,’ said Father Obscurus. ‘If those Russians with their firearms come here, we are all of us done for.’ ‘Firearms are terrible things,’ agreed Brother Li. ‘We shall have to find a kungfu that will enable us to stand up to them.’ ‘Not possible,’ said Father Obscurus. ‘Here, look at this!’

只见他胸口有个海碗大的疤痕,皮皱骨凸,极是可怖,左肩上又有一道一尺多长的刀伤。众人和他相交日久,均不知他曾负此重伤,一见之下,无不骇然。玄贞道人道:“这便是罗刹国鬼子的火枪所伤。”韦小宝道:“道长曾和罗刹人交过手?”玄贞道人神色惨然,说道:“我父亲、伯叔、兄长九人,尽数死于罗刹人之手,贫道出家,也是为此。”当下略述经过。
He bared his torso for them to see. There was a dreadful round, puckered scar the size of a teacup on one side of his chest and a ten-inch-long, seam-like scar over his left shoulder. Then he told Trinket the story of how he had got them.

原来他家祖传做皮货生意,在张家口开设皮货行,是家百年老店。这一年他伯父和父亲带同兄弟子侄,同往塞外收购银狐、紫貂等贵重皮货,途中遇上了罗刹人,觎觊他们的金银货物,出手抢劫。他家皮货行本雇有三名镳师随同保护,但罗刹人火器厉害,开枪轰击,三名镳师登时殒命,父兄伯叔也均死于火枪和刀马之下,玄贞肩头中刀,胸口被火药炸伤,晕倒在血泊之中。罗刹人以为他已死,抢了金银货物便去。玄贞醒转后在山林中挣扎了几个月,这才伤愈。经此一场大祸,家业荡然,皮货行也即倒闭,他心灰意冷之下,出家做了道人。国变后入了天地会,但想起罗刹人火器的凌厉,虽然事隔二十余年,半夜里仍是时时突发噩梦,大呼惊醒。李力世道:“罗刹人最厉害的是火器,只要能想法子破了,便不怕他们。”玄贞摇头道:“火器一发,当真如雷轰电闪一般,任你武功再高,那也是闪避不及,抵挡不了。”徐天川道:“罗刹人要跟吴三桂联手,抢夺鞑子的天下,咱们正好袖手旁观,让他们打个天翻地覆。咱们渔翁得利,乘机便可规复大明的江山。”玄贞道:“就怕前门拒虎,后门进狼。罗刹人比满洲鞑子更凶狠十倍,他们打垮了满清之后,决不能以山海关为界,定要进关来占我天下。”徐天川道:“难道咱们反去帮满洲鞑子?”
His family had been frontiersmen who traded in furs-mostly in sables and silver fox. Once when he was a lad he had gone out with his father and uncle and cousins on one of their expeditions to buy furs. Returning with their purchases, they had encountered a party of Russians armed with guns. The Russians had shot them all, including their three-man escort, and taken their furs and money. He alone had escaped, though badly wounded, by feigning dead. Finding himself, when he finally made his way back to civilization, with neither family nor livelihood, he had become a Taoist. Twenty years later he still had nightmares about the Russians.

群雄议论纷纷。韦小宝自然决意相助康熙,却也不敢公然说出口来,说道:“这件事现下不忙决定。咱们劫了杨大哥,捉了罕帖摩和卢一峰,转眼便会给吴三桂知道,那便如何应付?”众人沉吟筹思,有的说立刻跟他翻脸动手,有的说不如连夜逃走。韦小宝道:“这老乌龟手下兵马众多,打是打他不过的。云贵地方这样大,十天半月之间,也逃不出他的手掌。嗯,这样罢,各位把卢一峰这狗官,连同杨大哥的尸体,立刻送回黑坎子大监去。”群雄一怔,都道:“送回去?”韦小宝道:“正是。咱们只消吓一吓卢一峰这狗贼,我看他多半不敢声张。他如禀报上去,自己脱不了干系。杨大哥反正死了,留着他尸体也是无用。”群雄江湖上的阅历虽富,对做官人的心性,却远不及韦小宝所知的透彻,均觉这一着棋太过行险,这等劫狱擒官的大事,卢一峰岂有不向上司禀报之理?李力世踌躇道:“我瞧卢一峰这狗官胆小之极,只怕……只怕这件大事,不敢不报。”韦小宝笑道:“倒不是怕他胆小,却怕他愚蠢无用,不会做官。官场之中,有道是‘瞒上不瞒下’,天大的事情,只消遮掩得过去,谁也不会故意把黑锅儿拉到自己头上来。你们把这狗官带来,待我点醒他几句。”马彦超转身出去,把卢一峰提了来,放在地下。他又挨打,又受惊,早已面无人色。
Trinket’s main concern now was to warn the Emperor, but he could hardly say this to the Triads. In any case, there was the even more pressing problem of the one dead man and two live prisoners who had somehow to be disposed of before the Satrap discovered what had been going on. To the Triads’ astonishment, he proposed to solve two-thirds of the problem by sending Yang’s body and Lu Yifeng back to the prison. Somewhat reluctantly Brother Gao went to fetch Lu Yifeng. Once more the wretched man, now much the worse for wear, was dumped on the floor in front of Trinket.

韦小宝道:“卢老哥,你可辛苦了。”卢一峰道:“不……不敢。”韦小宝道:“卢老哥很够朋友,把平西王的机密大事,一五一十的都跟我们说了,丝毫没有隐瞒。好罢,交情还交情,我们就放你回去。老哥泄漏了平西王机密的事,我们也决不跟人提起。江湖上好汉子,说话一是一,二是二。你老哥倘若自己喜欢张扬出去,要公然跟平西王作对,那是你自己的事了,哈哈,哈哈。”卢一峰全身发抖,道:“小……小人便有天……天大的胆子,也……也是不敢。”韦小宝道:“很好,众位兄弟,你们护送卢大人回衙门办事。那个囚犯的尸身,也给送回去,免得上头查问起来,卢大人难以交代。”群雄齐声答应。卢一峰又惊又喜,又是胡涂,给群雄拥了出去。此后数日,天地会群雄提心吊胆,唯恐卢一峰向吴三桂禀报,平西王麾下的大队人马向安阜园杀将进来,但居然一无动静,也不知吴三桂老奸巨猾,要待谋定而后动,还是韦香主所料不错,卢一峰果然不敢举报。
‘Ah, our old friend Mr Lu!’ said Trinket brightly. ‘I’m afraid we’ve given you rather a bad time!’ ‘No,’ Lu Yifeng mumbled fearfully. ‘Not at all.’ ‘Now, Mr Lu,’ said Trinket, ‘you’ve done us an excellent turn by telling us the Satrap’s secrets, and as one good turn deserves another, I give you my word of honour that we won’t tell him or anyone else that you’ve been so helpful. Of course-ha ha ha!-if you want to tell him yourself, that’s up to you.’ ‘I wouldn’t dare,’ said Lu Yifeng, speaking with difficulty through his broken teeth, ‘I swear I wouldn’t.’ ‘Good. Then see Mr Lu back to the prison, will you?’ said Trinket to the Triads. ‘And take the dead prisoner back too. We don’t want Mr Lu getting into trouble because his prisoner’s missing.’ The Triads were unhappy about this and obeyed him reluctantly. Trinket for his part felt sure that Lu was too scared to report his kidnapping.

The Satrap’s Study

群雄心下均感不安,连日众议。韦小宝道:“这样罢,我去拜访吴三桂,探探他口风。”徐天川道:“就怕他扣留了韦香主,不放你回来,那就糟了。”韦小宝笑道:“咱们都在他掌握之中,老乌龟如要捉我,我就算不去见他,那也逃不了。”点了骁骑营官兵和御前侍卫,到平西王府来。吴三桂亲自出迎,笑吟吟的携着韦小宝的手,和他一起走进府里,说道:“韦爵爷有什么意思,传了小儿去吩咐,不就成了?怎敢劳动你大驾?”韦小宝道:“啊哟,王爷可说得太客气了。小将官卑职小,跟额驸差着老大一截。王爷这么说,可折杀小将了。”吴三桂笑道:“韦爵爷是皇上身边最宠幸的爱将,前程远大,无可限量,将来就算到这王府中来做王爷,那也是毫不希奇的。”
A week later, when they were still nervously expecting a reaction from the Satrap, Trinket told them that, to set their minds at rest, he would go in person to the Satrap and sound him out to see if he knew about it. ‘Suppose he detains you,’ said Brother Xu. ‘What do we do then?’ We’re all in his power here,’ said Trinket. ‘He could lock the lot of us up if he felt like it. It won’t make any difference if I go or not.’ He prepared for a formal visit, selecting members both of the Valiants and of the Palace Guards for his escort. The Satrap, warned of his coming, was waiting for him outside the gate of his palace. He received the young Envoy with jovial affability, taking him by the hand to lead him inside. ‘My dear Lord Wei, you don’t need to call on me,’ he said. ‘Just send for my son if there’s anything you want. Make use of him!’ ‘I can’t possibly do that,’ said Trinket. ‘I’m far too junior.’ ‘Junior?’ said the Satrap, laughing. ‘Why, one of these days you might be my successor.’

韦小宝吓了一跳,不由得脸上变色,停步说道:“王爷这句话可不大对了。”吴三桂笑道:“怎么不对?韦爵爷只不过十五六岁年纪,已贵为骁骑营都统、御前侍卫副总管、钦差大使,爵位封到子爵。从子爵到伯爵、侯爵、公爵、王爵,再到亲王,也不过是十几二十年的事而已,哈哈,哈哈。”韦小宝摇头道:“王爷,小将这次出京,皇上曾说:‘你叫吴三桂好好做官,将来这个平西亲王,就是我妹婿吴应熊的;吴应熊死后,这亲王就是我外甥的;外甥死了,就是我外甥的儿子的。总而言之,这平西亲王,让吴家一直做下去罢。’王爷,皇上这番话,可说得恳切之至哪。”
Trinket looked startled. What, he wondered, was the old fox playing at? ‘I think Your Highness is joking.’ ‘Not at all,’ said the Satrap. ‘The Emperor thinks highly of you. Anything is possible. How old are you now-fifteen? sixteen? Already you are a Colonel in the Palace Guards, an Imperial Envoy, a Viscount. A few years from now you’ll be an Earl, then a Marquess, then a Duke. The next step after that makes you a Highness. You could easily be Satrap here in twenty years- time.’ ‘No, no,’ said Trinket. ‘I know you’re definitely wrong there. You see, before I left Peking the Emperor said, “Trinket, I want to be quite sure of the Satrap’s loyalty. I’m marrying my sister to his son, and if I can be quite certain of their loyalty, I’m thinking of giving the Satrapy to the family in per . . . per . . .”‘ ‘Perpetuity?’ That’s it.’

吴三桂心中一喜,道:“皇上真的这样说了?”韦小宝道:“那还能骗你么?不过皇上吩咐,这番话可不忙跟你说,要我仔细瞧瞧,倘若王爷果然是位大大的忠臣呢,这番话就跟你说了,否则的话,嘿嘿,岂不是变成万岁爷说话不算数?那个一言既出,死马能追?”吴三桂哼了一声,道:“韦爵爷今日跟我说这番话,那么当我是忠臣了?”韦小宝道:“可不是么?王爷若不是忠臣,天下也就没谁是忠臣了。所以哪,倘若韦小宝将来真有那一天,能如王爷金口,也封到什么征东王、扫北王、定南王,可是在这里云南的平西王府,哈哈,我一辈子是客人,永远挨不到做主人的份儿。”两人一面说话,一面向内走去。吴三桂给他一番言语说得很是高兴,拉着他手,说道:“来,来,到我内书房坐坐。”穿过两处园庭,来到内书房中。这间屋子虽说是书房,房中却挂满了刀枪剑戟,并没什么书架书本,居中一张太师椅,上铺虎皮。寻常虎皮必是黄章黑纹,这一张虎皮却是白章黑纹,甚是奇特。韦小宝道:“啊哟,王爷,这张白老虎皮,那可名贵得紧了。小将在皇宫之中,可也从来没见过,今日是大开眼界了。”吴三桂大是得意,说道:“这是当年我镇守山海关,在宁远附近打猎打到的。这种白老虎,叫做‘驺虞’,极是少见,得到的大吉大利。”韦小宝道:“王爷天天在这白老虎皮上坐一坐,升官发财,永远没尽头,啧啧啧,真了不起。”
The Satrap beamed. ‘Did he really say that? So do you think I am loyal to the Emperor?’ ‘If you aren’t, I can’t think who is,’ said Trinket. ‘Come with me,’ said the Satrap. ‘Let me show you my study.’ The ‘study’ was conspicuously devoid of books. It was more like an armoury, its walls hung everywhere with weapons, including a number of firearms-mementoes, presumably, of the Satrap’s numerous campaigns. There was one book, however. On the corner of a table that served the Satrap as a desk Trinket’s sharp eyes discerned a copy of the familiar Sutra in Forty-Two Sections, this one with a plain blue cover. His busy brain at once set to work to think of a plan for getting his hands on it. To play for time while he was thinking, he began asking questions about the furnishings of the room. There was, for example, an armchair covered with a black and white striped fur. It was the skin of a rare white tiger, shot with his own hands by the Satrap in the course of his campaigns north of the Wall. This supplied conversation for several minutes. The carved pictures on a large screen proved an even more fertile topic.

只见虎皮椅旁有两座大理石屏风,都有五六尺高,石上山水木石,便如是画出来一般。一座屏风上有一山峰,山峰上似乎有只黄莺,水边则有一虎,顾盼生姿。韦小宝赞道:“这两座屏风,那也是大大的宝物了。我在皇宫之中,可也没见过。王爷,我听人说,老天爷生就这种图画,落在谁的手里,这是有兆头的。”吴三桂微笑道:“这两座屏风,不知有什么兆头?”韦小宝道:“依小将看哪,这高高在上的是只小黄莺儿,只会叽叽喳喳的叫,没什么用,下面却是一只大老虎,威风凛凛,厉害得很。这只大老虎,自然是王爷了。”吴三桂心中一乐,随即心道:“他说这只小黄莺儿站在高处,只会叽叽喳喳的叫,不管什么用,说的岂不就是小皇帝?他这几句话,是试我来么?”问道;“这只小黄莺儿,不知指的又是什么?”韦小宝笑道:“王爷以为是什么?”吴三桂摇头道:“我不知道,要请韦爵爷指教。”韦小宝微微一笑,指着另一座屏风,道:“这里有山有水,那是万里江山了,哈哈,好兆头,好兆头!”吴三桂心中怦怦乱跳,待要相问,终究不敢,一时之间,只觉唇干舌燥。

韦小宝一瞥眼间,忽见书桌上放着一部经书,正是他见之已熟的《四十二章经》,不过是蓝绸封皮,登时心中怦的一跳,寻思:“这第八部经书,果然是在老乌龟这里,妙极,妙极!”当下眼角儿再也不向经书瞥去,瞧着墙上的刀枪,笑道:“王爷,你真是大英雄,大豪杰,书房中也摆满了兵器。不瞒你说,小将一字不识,一听到‘书房’两字,头就大了,想不到你这书房却这等高明,当真佩服之至。”吴三桂哈哈大笑,说道:“这些兵器,每一件都有来历。小王挂在这里,也只是念旧之意。”韦小宝道:“原来如此。王爷当年东扫西荡,南征北战,立下天大汗马功劳,这些兵器,想来都是王爷阵上用过的?”吴三桂微笑道:“正是。本藩一生大小数百战,出生入死,这个王位,那是拚命拚得来的。”言下之意,似是说可不像你这小娃娃,只不过得到皇帝宠幸,就能升官封爵。韦小宝点头称是,说道:“当年王爷镇守山海关,不知用的是哪一件兵器?立的是哪一件大功?”

吴三桂倏地变色,镇守山海关,乃是与满洲人打仗,立的功劳越大,杀的满洲人越多,韦小宝问这一句话,那显是讥刺他做了汉奸,一时之间,双手微微发抖,忍不住便要发作。韦小宝又道:“听说明朝的永历皇帝,给王爷从云南一直追到缅甸,终于捉到,给王爷用弓弦绞死……”说着指着墙上的一张长弓,问道:“不知用的是不是这张弓?”吴三桂当年害死明室永历皇帝,是为了显得决意效忠清朝,更无贰心,内心毕竟深以为耻,此事在王府中谁也不敢提起,不料韦小宝竟然当面直揭他的疮疤,一时胸中狂怒不可抑制,厉声道:“韦爵爷今日一再出言讥刺,不知是什么用意?”韦小宝愕然道:“没有啊!小将怎敢讥刺王爷?小将在北京之时,听得宫中朝中大家都说,王爷连明朝的皇帝也绞死了,对我大清可忠心得紧哪。听说王爷绞死永历皇帝之时,是亲自下的手,弓弦吱吱吱的绞紧,永历皇帝唉唉唉的呻吟,王爷就哈哈大笑。很好,很好,忠心得很哪!”吴三桂霍地站起,握紧了拳头,随即转念:“谅这小小孩童,能有多大胆子,竟敢冲撞于我,定是小昏君授意于他,命他试我;又或是朝中的对头,有意指使他出言相激,好抓住我的把柄。”他老奸巨猾,立即收起怒色,笑吟吟的道:“本藩汗马功劳什么的,都是不值一提,倒是对皇上忠心耿耿,那才算是我的一点长处。小兄弟,你想做征东王,扫北王,可得学一学老哥哥这一份对皇上的忠心。”

韦小宝道:“是,是!那是非学不可的!就可惜小将晚生了几十年,明朝的皇帝都给王爷杀光了,倒叫小将没下手的地方。”吴三桂肚里暗骂:“总有一日,教你落在我手中,将你千刀万剐!”笑道:“韦爵爷要立功,何愁没有机会。”韦小宝笑道:“倘若有人造反,那就好了!”吴三桂心中一凛,问道:“那为什么?”韦小宝道:“有人造反,皇上派我出征,小将就学王爷一般,拚命厮杀一番,拿住反贼,就可裂土封疆了。”吴三桂正色道:“韦兄弟,这种言语,是乱说不得的。方今圣天子在位,海内归心,人人拥戴,又有谁会造反?”韦小宝道:“依王爷说,是没有人造反的?”吴三桂又是一怔,说道:“若说一定没有人造反,自然也未必尽然。前明余逆,或是各地不轨之徒,妄自作乱,只怕也是有的。”韦小宝道:“倘若有人造反,那就不是圣天子在位了?”吴三桂强抑怒气,嘿嘿嘿的干笑了几声,说道:“小兄弟说话有趣得紧。”原来韦小宝见到书案上的四十二章经后,便不断以言语激怒吴三桂,盼他大怒之下,拂袖而出,自己便可乘机盗经。不料吴三桂城府甚深,虽然发作了一下,但随即忍住,竟不中他计。

韦小宝眼见吴三桂竟不受激,这部经书伸手即可拿到,却始终没机会伸手,当下便即改口,尽说些吴三桂听了十分受用的言语。他嘴里大拍马屁,心下却在急转念头,如何能将经书盗了出去,寻思:“倘若我假传圣旨,说道皇上要这部经书,谅来老乌龟也不敢不献。何况皇上确是要得经书,曾吩咐我来云南时乘机寻访,我要老乌龟缴书,也不算是假传圣旨。就怕老乌龟一口答应,却暗做手脚,就像康亲王那样,另外假造一部西贝货来敷衍皇帝,书中的碎皮就拿不到了。”

一想到假造经书,登时便有了主意,突然低声道:“王爷,皇上有一道密旨。”吴三桂一惊,立即站起,道:“臣吴三桂恭聆圣旨。”韦小宝拉住他手,说道:“不忙,不忙,我先把这前因后果说给你听。”吴三桂道:“是,是。”却不坐下。韦小宝道:“皇上明知你是大清忠臣,却一再吩咐我来查明你是忠是奸,王爷可知是什么用意?”吴三桂搔了搔头,道:“这个我可就不明白了。”韦小宝道:“原来皇上有一件大事,要差你去办,只是有些放心不下,不知你肯不肯尽力。将建宁公主下嫁给你世子,原是有……有那个……”吴三桂道:“有勉励之意?”韦小宝道:“是了,皇上说过有勉励之意,我学问太差,这句话说不上来了。”吴三桂道:“皇上有何差遣,老臣自当尽心竭力,效犬马之劳。但不知皇上吩咐老臣去办什么事。”韦小宝道:“这件事哪,关涉大得很。明天这时候,请王爷在府中等候,小将再来传皇上密旨。”吴三桂道:“是,是。皇上有旨,臣到安阜园来恭接便是。”韦小宝低声道:“安阜园中耳目众多,还是这里比较稳妥。”说着便即告辞。吴三桂不知他故弄什么玄虚,恭恭敬敬的将他送了出去。
Just as the Satrap, wondering what the purpose of this visit could be, was beginning to grow impatient, Trinket thought of a plan. ‘Your Highness,’ he said, speaking in a low voice and looking very solemn, ‘I have a Secret Instruction for you from the Emperor.’ The Satrap jumped to his feet and stood respectfully to attention. ‘Perhaps I shouldn’t tell you today,’ said Trinket, as if having second thoughts. ‘It’s a very, very important matter. It’s something the Emperor wants you to do, but he said he wasn’t sure he could trust you with it. He said I was to sound you out first and make absolutely certain of your loyalty before I told you what it was. I think I’d better leave it till tomorrow,’ I’ll wait on you at the An Fu Gardens tomorrow, then,’ said the Satrap. ‘No,’ said Trinket, ‘there are too many ears there. It had better be here. I’ll come here tomorrow. At the same time,’ The Satrap despised the youthful Emperor as a hare-brained boy and wondered what the nature of this ‘important’ task could be that he wanted him to perform. He had an even greater contempt for this young Envoy whom he now showed out of the palace with every show of deference. At the same time he felt rather pleased. It was clear that they trusted him.

Outfoxing the Fox

次日韦小宝依时又来,两人再到内书房中。韦小宝道:“王爷,我说的这件事,关连可大得很,你却千万不能漏了风声,便是上给皇上的奏章之中,也不能提及一字半句。”吴三桂应道:“是,是,那自然不敢泄漏机密。”韦小宝低声道:“皇上得到密报,尚可喜和耿精忠要造反!”
When Trinket arrived at the appointed time next day, the Satrap showed him straight into his study. Trinket came to the point at once. ‘This Secret Instruction thing I’ve got to tell you about,’ he said, ‘. . . it’s so important and so secret, the Emperor says it’s best you don’t mention it even in your most secret documents,’ ‘I understand,’ said the Satrap. ‘It will go no further than this room,’ Trinket leant over and whispered in his ear. ‘Shang Kexi and Geng Jingzhong are planning to rebel,’

吴三桂一听,登时脸色大变。平南王尚可喜镇守广东、靖南王耿精忠镇守福建,和吴三桂合称三藩。三藩共荣共辱,休戚相关。吴三桂阴蓄谋反,原是想和尚耿二藩共谋大举,一听得皇帝说尚耿二藩要造反,自不免十分惊慌,颤声道:“那……那是真的么?”韦小宝昨日捏造有一道密旨,想吓得吴三桂惊慌失措,以便乘机偷书,但他毕竟年幼,于军国大事所知有限,心想倘若胡言乱语一番,一来吴三桂未必肯信,二来日后揭穿,说不定干系重大,受到康熙责怪;是以决定先回安阜园,和群雄商议之后,次日再来假传圣旨。祁清彪献议诬陷尚耿二藩谋反,好吓吴三桂一大跳,更促成他的谋反。此刻说了出来,果然惊得他手足无措。韦小宝道:“本来嘛,说三藩要造反的话,皇上日日都听到,全是生安白造,就像沐家后人的诬陷那样,皇上从来不信。”吴三桂道:“是,是。皇上圣明,皇上圣明。”韦小宝道:“不过这次尚耿二藩的逆谋,皇上却是拿到了真凭实据。皇上说道:他二藩反谋未显,暂且不可打草惊蛇,不过要吴藩调集重兵,防守广东、广西的边界。一等他二藩起事,要吴藩立刻派兵去广东、福建,将这两名反贼拿了,送到北京,那是一件大大的功劳。”吴三桂躬身道:“谨领圣旨。尚耿二藩若有不轨异动,老臣立即出兵,擒获二人,献到北京。”韦小宝道:“皇上说道,尚可喜昏庸胡涂,耿精忠是个无用小子,决计不是吴藩的对手,只须吴藩肯发兵,不用朝廷出一兵一卒,就能手到擒来。”吴三桂微微一笑,说道:“请万岁爷望安。老臣在这里操练兵马,不敢稍有怠忽,专候皇上调用。老臣麾下所辖的兵将,每一个都如上三旗亲兵一般,对皇上誓死效忠。”韦小宝道:“我把王爷这番话照实回奏,皇上听了,一定十分欢喜。”吴三桂心下暗喜:“这么一来,我调兵遣将,小昏君就是知道了,也不会有什么疑心。”
The Satrap changed colour. ‘Surely not? Can this be true?’ His voice was shaking. ‘Afraid so,’ said Trinket. ‘At first the Emperor didn’t want to believe it, but the evidence is so strong he’s had no choice. They haven’t actually rebelled yet, so he doesn’t want to begin moving Imperial troops against them in case it puts them on their guard. What he wants you to do is to move your troops towards the Guangxi-Guangdong border-you could do this without their suspecting anything-and then you can strike quickly as soon as there’s any sign of a rising. He says Shang’s an old fool and Geng’s a young idiot. With your experience and the crack troops under your command you could probably capture the two of them and deliver them to the Court in chains without a single Imperial soldier having to be moved,’ The Satrap smiled. This Secret Instruction would enable him to move troops in preparation for the rising he himself was planning without the scatterbrained boy-Emperor suspecting anything. ‘As guardians of the frontier, my armies are as well equipped and well trained as the Imperial forces,’ he said. ‘You can assure His Majesty that we will discharge our duty with unswerving devotion as soon as he gives the word,’ The idea of a Secret Instruction was Trinket’s, but he was incapable of inventing one on his own. He had had to consult the Triads about it the night before. It was Tertius, the most intelligent member of the Green Wood Lodge, who had suggested getting Wu Sangui to move troops against his fellow satraps. The troop movements would be interpreted by the Emperor to mean that Wu Sangui was rebelling. For once the old fox was being outfoxed.

韦小宝指着墙上所挂的一柄火枪,说道:“王爷,这是西洋人的火器么?”吴三桂道:“正是,这是罗刹国的火枪。当年我大清和罗刹兵在关外开仗时缴获来的,实是十分犀利的兵器。”韦小宝道:“我从来没放过火枪,借给我开一枪,成不成?”吴三桂微笑道:“自然成!这种火枪是战阵上所用,虽能及远,但携带不便。罗刹人另有一种短铳火枪。”走到一只木柜之前,拉开抽屉,捧了一只红木盒子出来。
Having dealt with the Secret Instruction, Trinket turned his attention to more important matters. He pointed to one of the firearms on the wall. ‘Highness,’ he said, ‘is that what they call a firearm?’ ‘Yes,’ said the Satrap, ‘it’s a Russian musket-a souvenir of one of my campaigns on the North-East Frontier. A very fine weapon.’ ‘Highness,’ said Trinket, ‘I’ve never fired a firearm. Do you think I could have a go?’ ‘Of course you can,’ said the Satrap, smiling indulgently. ‘But that musket is a field weapon for use in battle-a bit clumsy for you to begin with. Let me find you something a bit more handy.’ He went to a cupboard that stood against the wall, pulled out a drawer in it and took out a redwood case containing a brace of pistols, each about a foot long.

韦小宝本就站在书桌之旁,一见他转身,也即转身,掀开身上所穿黄马褂,取出马褂内口袋中的一部四十二章经,放在书桌上,将桌上原来那部经书放入马褂袋中。这一调包,手法极是迅捷,别说吴三桂正在转身取枪,便是眼睁睁的瞧着他,也被他背脊遮住了难以发觉。八部经书形状一模一样,所别者只是书函颜色不同,韦小宝昨晚将一部镶蓝旗的经书封皮拆去了所镶红边,掉了这部正蓝旗的经书。
While he had his back turned, Trinket, who was standing at one end of the Satrap’s desk, abstracted a copy of the Sutra in Forty-Two Sections from the capacious inside pocket of his yellow jacket and exchanged it for the copy on the desk. This manoeuvre was executed with such speed and finesse that he had the Satrap’s copy in his pocket and his jacket buttoned up again several seconds before the Satrap turned towards him holding the case of pistols. The copy he had substituted for the one on the Satrap’s desk was the bordered blue one he had taken from the false Empress Dowager’s closet. The night before this visit he had removed the red border from it so that it exactly resembled the Satrap’s plain blue one.

只见吴三桂揭开木盒,取出两把长约一尺的短枪来,从枪口中塞入火药,用铁条桩实火药,再放入三颗铁弹,取火刀火石点燃纸媒,将短枪和纸媒都交给韦小宝,说道:“一点药线,铁弹便射了出去。”韦小宝接了过来,枪口对准窗外的一座假山,吹着纸媒,点燃药线。只听得轰的一声大响,一股热气扑面,手臂猛烈一震,火枪掉在地下,眼前烟雾#?漫,不由得退了两步。吴三桂哈哈大笑,说道:“这火枪的力道十分厉害,是不是?”
The Satrap took out one of the pistols, rammed some black powder and three little iron bullets down the muzzle with a little ramrod, lit the fuselike match with fire from a tinder box, and handed the weapon to Trinket. Propelling him towards an open window, he instructed him how to aim the pistol and fire. Trinket took aim at a rockery in the garden outside and pulled the trigger. There was a deafening bang and a burst of hot air seemed to sear his face. The jolt to his arm caused him to drop the pistol and stagger backwards, his head enveloped in a cloud of acrid smoke. The Satrap roared with laughter. ‘Powerful things, firearms, aren’t they!’

韦小宝手臂震得发麻,骂道:“他妈的,西洋人的玩意当真邪门。”吴三桂笑道:“你瞧那假山!”韦小宝凝目看去,只见假山已被轰去了小小一角,地下尽是石屑,不由得伸了伸舌头,半晌缩不回来,说道:“这一枪倘若轰在身上,凭你铜筋铁骨,那也抵挡不住。”俯身拾起短枪,放回盒中。王府卫士听见枪声,都来窗外张望,见王爷安然无恙,在和韦小宝说话,这才放心。
‘Tamardy!’ said Trinket. These Western things are diabolical!’ ‘Look!’ said the Satrap, pointing to the rockery. A substantial piece had been blown off the corner of it. ‘If it had been a man, it’d be a goner,’ said Trinket, stooping to pick up the pistol and replacing it beside its fellow in the case. Just at that moment one of the Satrap’s guards came running in and had to be reassured that nothing untoward had happened.

吴三桂捧起木盒,笑道:“这两把家伙,请韦兄弟拿去玩罢。”韦小宝摇头道:“这是防身利器,王爷厚赐,可不敢当。”吴三桂将盒子塞在他手里,笑道:“咱们自己兄弟,何分彼此?我的就是你的。”韦小宝道:“这是罗刹人的宝物,今后未必再能得到,小将万万不可收受。”心中却道:“你和罗刹人勾结,这种火器你要多少有多少,自然毫不希罕。”吴三桂笑道:“就是因为难得,才敢送给兄弟。寻常的物事,韦兄弟也不放在眼里。哈哈!”韦小宝当即谢过收了,笑道:“以后倘若撞到有人想来害我,我取出火枪,砰的就是一枪,轰得他粉身碎骨。小将这条性命,就是王爷所赐的了。”
The Satrap took up the case of pistols and held it out to Trinket. ‘Here, take these little fellows to amuse yourself with!’ ‘Oh no, I couldn’t,’ said Trinket. ‘You’ll be needing these for your own defence.’ The Satrap pushed the box into his hands. ‘Come on, you’re a friend of the family now. What’s mine is yours.’ ‘But these are valuable foreign things,’ said Trinket. ‘You may not be able to replace them.’ (‘Bet you will though,’ he thought.) ‘I wouldn’t offer them to you if they weren’t hard to get,’ said the Satrap. ‘Go on, take them!’ Trinket thanked him profusely. ‘You may have saved my life,’ he said. ‘In future, if anyone goes for me, I shall shoot him with one of these.’

吴三桂拍拍他肩头,笑道:“那也不用说得这么客气。火枪的确是很厉害的,只不过装火药、上铁弹、打火石、点药线,手续挺麻烦,不像咱们的弓箭,连珠箭发,前后不断。”韦小宝道:“是啊。倘若洋人的火枪也像弓箭一样,拿起来就能放,咱们中国人还有命吗?大清的花花江山也难保了。”说到这里,嘻嘻一笑,说道:“不过那倒也有一桩好处,我有了这两把枪,武功也不用练了,什么武学高手大宗师,全都不是我的对手。”说了些闲话,韦小宝告辞出府。
‘I don’t know about that,’ said the Satrap. ‘These foreign firearms are very powerful things, but they take a long time to fire. A good archer can shoot half a dozen arrows in the time it takes to fire a musket. If the foreign devils could make a firearm that shot as fast as a bowman, that would be another matter.’ Trinket thanked him some more before taking his leave.

Disposing of a Corpse

回到安阜园中,关上了房门,将那部经书的封皮拆开,果然也有许多碎羊皮在内,心想:“八部经书中所藏的地图碎片已全部到手,老子只须花点心思,慢慢拼凑起来,鞑子的宝藏龙脉,全都在老子手中了。”

不过要他花些心思,将这几千片碎羊皮拼成一张图形,想起来就觉头痛,心道:“这件事也不忙干,咱们有的是时候。”当下缝好了封皮,将碎羊皮与其余碎皮包在一起,贴身藏了,想起大功告成,不禁怡然自得:“小皇帝、老婊子、老乌龟、洪教主、大汉奸,还有我的师父不老不小中尼姑,人人都想得这八部经书,终究还是让我韦小宝得了。哈哈,他们倘若知道了,一个拉我手,一个拉我脚,四下里一扯,非把我五马分尸不可。”这件事想来十分有趣,只可惜跟谁也不能说,无法夸耀一番,未免美中不足。他架起了腿,哼着扬州妓院中的小曲:
When he got back to his lodging in the An Fu Gardens, Trinket locked himself in his room, took out the Satrap’s copy of the Sutra and unstitched the cover. He shook out the cut’up pieces of parchment from inside the cover, then fetched the bag containing the cut’up pieces from the seven other copies of the Sutra, and emptied it on top of them. Here now in this little pile was the Tartars’ great secret! It made his head ache to think of the time and effort it would take to piece them all together to make the map; still, just to have them all in one pile at last was a triumph. It would have been even better if there had been someone else there he could share his triumph with and show off a bit to; all the same, he could not help feeling pleased. Leaning back in the chair and cocking a leg over his knee he began singing softly to himself-one of his favourites from those far’off days in the brothel.

“一杯酒,慢慢斟,我问情哥哥,是哪里人。扬州,那个地方,二十四条桥,每一条桥头,有个美人,情哥哥……”
A cup of wine I’ve poured you here, Now tell me where you’re from, my dear.
Yangzhou.
There’s four and twenty bridges there. And on the bridges girls beyond compare.
Tell me . . .

正唱得高兴,忽听得有人轻敲房门,敲三下,停一停,敲了两下,又敲三下,正是天地会的暗号。韦小宝起身开门,进来的是徐天川和马彦超。他见两人神色郑重,问道:“出了什么事吗?”徐天川道:“听得侍卫们说,王府的卫士东查西问,要寻一个蒙古人,那自是在查罕帖摩了。听口气似乎对咱们很有些怀疑,就只不敢明查而已。韦香主瞧怎么办?”
His singing was interrupted by three knocks on the door. This was followed, after a little pause, by two more knocks, then by another three the Triads’ code. Quickly sweeping the parchment pieces into the bag and stowing it away, he went to open the door. Brother Xu and Brother Gao were standing there looking grim. They followed him inside. ‘Is something the matter” he asked. ‘We’ve just been told that the Traitor’s guards are looking everywhere for a Mongol. Obviously it’s Hatiemo. From what we can make out, they suspect us of holding him. What are we to do, Master?’

韦小宝道:“去把这家伙提来,绑住了藏在我床底下,谅吴三桂的手下,也不敢来搜查我屋子。”徐天川道:“就怕韦香主出去之时,大汉奸手下的卫士借个什么因头,硬要进来查看。”韦小宝道:“说什么也不让他们进来,当真说僵了,便跟他们动手,难道他们还敢行凶杀人?”徐天川、马彦超点头称是。忽然钱老本匆匆进来,说道:“大汉奸要放火。”三人都是一惊,齐问:“什么?”钱老本道:“这几天我在安阜园前后察看,防大汉奸捣鬼。刚才见到西边树林子中有人鬼鬼祟祟,悄悄过去一查,原来有十几个人躲着,带了不少火油硝磺等引火物事。”韦小宝骂道:“他妈的,大汉奸好大胆子,想烧死公主吗?”
Tie him up and hide him under my bed,’ said Trinket. ‘They wouldn’t dare to search my room.’ ‘Not when you’re here,’ said Brother Xu. ‘But they might when you’re off somewhere else.’ ‘Not if you tell them they can’t,’ said Trinket. ‘They’re not going to fight you about it.’ Just at that moment Butcher Qian burst in. The Traitor’s going to set this place on fire!’ ‘What?’ cried the other three in unison. ‘I’ve been going round these Gardens lately keeping an eye on things in case the Old Traitor tries any funny business. Today I noticed a lot of movement in that little wood on the west side of the Gardens, and I got suspicious. When I went to look I found they’d been stacking a whole lot of kerosene and saltpetre and sulphur there. Just the sort of things you’d need for starting a big fire.’ Tamardy!’ said Trinket. ‘He’s not planning to burn the Princess, surely?’

钱老本道:“那倒不是。他们疑心罕帖摩给咱们捉了来,又不敢进园来搜,一起火,大批人马来救火,就可乘机搜查了。”韦小宝点头道:“不错,定是这道鬼计。三位大哥有何高见?”徐天川挥手作个砍头的姿势,道:“杀人灭口,毁尸灭迹!” 韦小宝一听到“毁尸灭迹”四字,便想:“那是我的拿手好戏,再也容易不过,管教这蒙古大胡子片刻之间便化成一滩黄水。只是这家伙熟知大汉奸跟罗刹国勾结的内情,须得送去让小皇帝亲自审问才好。”说道:“大汉奸造反,这蒙古大胡子是最大的证据。咱们只须将他送到北京,大汉奸就算不反,也要反了。这个罕帖什么的,乃是要沐王府听命于我天地会的法宝。”如何抢先逼得吴三桂造反,好令沐王府归属奉令,正是群雄心中念念不忘的大事,三人一听此言,悚然动容,齐声称是。徐天川道:“若不是韦香主提醒,我们险些误了大事。”心中对这个油腔滑调的少年越来越是佩服。
‘I doubt it,’ said Butcher Qian. ‘Much more likely he suspects we’ve got Hatiemo here. He can’t very well ask to search the place or accuse us of kidnapping him, so he’s planning to start a fire. Then he can send a horde of his people in here to put it out. That will give them the excuse to hunt anywhere they like.’ That sounds like the sort of thing the old fox would think of,’ said Trinket. ‘So what shall we do about it” Butcher Qian drew a finger across his throat. ‘Kill the man they’re looking for and get rid of his corpse.’ ‘Hm,’ said Trinket. The trouble is, this Hatty guy is the best proof we have that the Old Traitor is planning to rebel. If we can, we ought to smuggle him back to Peking so that the Young Emperor can question him.’

钱老本道:“眼前之事,是怎生应付大汉奸的手下放火搜查,又怎样设法将这罕帖摩运出大汉奸的辖地。云贵两省各地关口盘查很紧,离开昆明更加不易。”韦小宝笑道:“钱老板,你一口口花雕茯苓猪也运进皇宫去了,再运一口大肥猪出昆明,岂不成了?”钱老本笑道:“运肥猪出城,只怕混不过关,不过咱们可以想别的法子。当死尸装在棺材里,这法儿太旧,恐怕也难以瞒过。”
Well, there are two things, then, that we’ve got to work out,’ said Butcher Qian. The first is, what are we going to do about this fire. The second is, how are we going to get Hatiemo out of the Traitor’s territory, bearing in mind that Yunnan and Guizhou provinces are going to be full of people looking out for him. Even getting him out of Kunming isn’t going to be all that easy.’

韦小宝笑道:“装死人不好,那就让他扮活人。钱老板,你去剃了他的大胡子,给他脸上涂些面粉石膏什么的,改一改相貌,给他穿上骁骑营官兵的衣帽。我点一小队骁骑营军士回北京去,说是公主给皇上请安,将成婚的吉期禀告皇太后和皇上。让这个没了大胡子的大胡子,混在骁骑营队伍之中,点了他的哑穴,使他叫嚷不得。吴三桂的部下,难道还能叫皇上的亲兵一个个自报姓名,才放过关?”三人一起鼓掌称善,连说妙计。韦小宝忽然问道:“昆明地方也有妓院罢?”钱老本等三人相互瞧了一眼,均想:“韦香主要去嫖院?”钱老本笑道:“那自然有的。”
‘What about one of your China’root pigs?’ said Trinket, ‘Might do to get him out of Kunming,’ said Butcher Qian, ‘but I doubt you’d get him over the frontier that way. Smuggling him out in a coffin wouldn’t do, either. That old trick’s been played so many times, they’d be sure to catch on.’ ‘All right,’ said Trinket, ‘here’s another way to do it. Shave his beard off, rub a bit of flour or something on his face, and dress him up as a guard. I’ll choose a little detachment of the guards to go back to Peking with a whatyoucallit from the Princess to the Emperor and the Empress Dowager reporting the date of her wedding. We can stick old Hatty in the middle-after you’ve closed his dumb points to stop him using his voice-and make him march with the rest. The Traitor’s men at the border aren’t going to ask members of the Palace Guards to answer a roll’call-they wouldn’t have the nerve.’ This plan met with the admiring approval of the other three. Trinket thought for a bit. There must be whore’houses in Kunming.’ ‘Of course there are,’ said Butcher Qian. ‘Plenty of them.’

韦小宝笑道:“咱们请玄贞道长去妓院逛逛,他肯不肯去呀?”钱老本摇头道:“道长是出家人,妓院是不肯去的。韦香主倘若有兴致,属下倒可奉陪。”韦小宝道:“你当然要去。不过玄贞道长高大魁梧,咱们兄弟之中,只有他跟那大胡子身材差不多。”三人一听,这才明白是要玄贞道人扮那罕帖摩。马彦超笑道:“为了本会的大事,玄贞道长也只有奉命嫖院了。”四人一齐哈哈大笑。
‘Do you think we could get Father Obscurus to go to a whore’house’ Butcher Qian shook his head. ‘No way, Taoists aren’t allowed to. I’ll go with you if you fancy a visit.’ ‘I’m sure you would,’ said Trinket, ‘but you don’t look right. Father Obscurus is just about the same shape and height as Hatty.’ ‘I’m sure Father Obscurus would be willing to go if he knew it was in the interests of the Society,’ said Brother Gao. This made them all laugh.

韦小宝道:“你们请道长穿上大胡子的衣服,带齐大胡子的物事,下巴上粘了从大胡子脸上剃下来的、货真价实的黄胡子,其余各位兄弟,仍然穿了平西王府家将的服色,拣一间大妓院去喝酒胡闹,大家抢夺美貌粉头,打起架来,钱老板一刀就将道长杀了……”钱老本吃了一惊,但随即领会,自然并非真的杀人,笑道:“韦香主此计大妙。玄贞道长跟我争风吃醋之时,还得叽哩咕噜,大说蒙古话……不过须得另行预备好一具尸体。”
‘Get him to dress up in Hatty’s clothing,’ said Trinket. ‘And he mustn’t forget his bits and pieces-the things in his pockets and so on. The rest of you dress up as officers of the Satrap. Choose a big, smart whore’house to visit and act very drunk and disorderly. Quarrel over the girls. In the rumpus you, Brother Qian, most unfortunately, will stab Father Obscurus to death.’ For a moment Butcher Qian looked startled, then realizing that Trinket was planning to fake Hatiemo’s death, he entered into the spirit of the thing. ‘I wonder if Father Obscurus knows a few words of Mongol. I can do a good imitation Mongol if we’ve got to quarrel. You’ll need a body to put in his place, of course.’

韦小宝点头道:“不错。你们出去找找,昆明城里有什么身材跟大胡子差不多的坏人,随便捉一个来杀了,把尸首藏在妓院之旁。钱老板一杀了道长之后,将众妓女轰了出去。道长翻身复活,把大胡子的衣服穿在那尸首之上。”马彦超笑道:“这具尸首的脸可得剁个稀烂,再将剃下来的那丛黄胡子丢在床底下,好让吴三桂的手下搜了出来,只道是杀人凶手有意隐瞒死者罕帖摩的真相。”韦小宝笑道:“马大哥想得比我周到。大伙儿拿些银子去,这就逛窑子去罢!这件事好玩得紧,可惜我不能跟大伙儿一起去。”
That’s another job for you,’ said Trinket. ‘Somewhere in Kunming you’ve got to find a corpse about the same size as Hatty and have it ready somewhere outside the whorehouse. So when you’ve “killed” Father Obscurus, you chase all the whores out of the whore’house-if they haven’t run out already-and Father Obscurus comes to life again and changes clothes with the corpse.’ ‘Yes,’ said Brother Gao eagerly, ‘and we’ll have to mess up the corpse’s face a bit so that it’s not recognizable. And put Hatiemo’s beard that we’ve cut off under the bed where we leave the corpse, so that when they find it they’ll think that the murderer was trying to make Hatiemo unrecognizable.’ ‘Brilliant!’ said Trinket. ‘Brother Gao always thinks of everything.’ He laughed. This is going to be great fun,’ he said. ‘I wish I could go with you! Excellent kungfu!’

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