The Deer And The Cauldron 35

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The Deer And The Cauldron 35
第三十五回 曾随东西南北路 独结冰霜雨雪缘

Chapter 22-In which Trinket falls once more into Mystic Dragon Hands; travels North with Doublet, and crosses the Ice to Albazin; meets a Beautiful Princess and travels to Moscow; and finally Returns

Unfamiliar Valiants-An Artful Customer-Through Ice and Snow-Deer-Mountains and Rivers-Cossacks, and the Fort-The Secret Passage-Princess Sophia-High Diplomacy, High Stakes-To Moscow-Russian Affairs of State-Trinket gives Counsel-Mutiny-Trinket has another Cunning Plan-Trinket Returns

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Unfamiliar Valiants

又过了一个多时辰,天色向晚,亲兵来报,有数艘小船押了俘虏,正向通吃岛而来。韦小宝大喜,跳起身来,奔到海边,果见五艘小船驶近岛来。韦小宝命亲兵喝问:“拿到了些甚么人?”小船上喊话过来:“这一批都是娘们,男的在后面。”韦小宝大喜:“施琅果然办事稳当。”凝目眺望,只盼见到方怡的倩影。当然最好还能活捉到老婊子,如再将那千娇百媚的洪夫人拿到,在船上每天瞧她几眼,更是妙不可言。
An hour or so later one of his guards reported that five boatloads of prisoners had been sighted making their way towards Potluck Island. Trinket jumped up excitedly and rushed down to the shore. Though they were barely within hailing distance, he told the guard to find out what kind of prisoners the boats were carrying and, from the exchange of shouts that followed, learned that this batch were all female prisoners; the males were coming up behind. ‘Good for Shi Lang!’ he thought. ‘He’s been as good as his word.’ Already he saw himself reunited with the lovely Fang Yi. It would be nice if the Old Whore was among the prisoners as well. And the seductive Madame Hong’ he wouldn’t mind having her on board as his captive, just to look at her from time to time.

等了良久,五艘船才靠岸,骁骑营官兵大声呟喝,押上来二百多名女子。韦小宝一个个瞧去,只见都是赤龙门下的少女,人人垂头丧气,有的衣服破烂,有的身上带伤,直瞧到最后,始终不见方怡,韦小宝好生失望,问道:“还有女的没有?”一名佐领道:“禀报都统大人:后面还有,正有三队人在岛上搜索,就是毒蛇太多,搜起来就慢了些。”韦小宝道:“那神龙教的教主捉到了没有?这场仗是怎样打的?”那佐领道:“启禀都统大人:今儿一清早,三十艘战船就逼近岸边,一齐发炮。大家遵从大人的吩咐,发三炮,停一停,打的只是岛上空地。等到岛上有人出来抵敌,那就排炮轰了出去。都统大人料事如神,用这法子只轰得三次,就轰死了教匪四五百余人。后来有一大队少年不怕死的冲锋,口中大叫甚么‘洪教主百战百胜,寿比南山’……”
But when finally the boats were pulled ashore, all of the two hundred or so dejected young women who disembarked, many of them wounded or with their clothing in tatters, were members of the Red Dragon Branch; and though he scrutinized the face of each girl as she stepped ashore, none of them turned out to be Fang Yi. Both disappointed and anxious, he asked an officer if there were more female prisoners to follow.The officer answered that probably there were’ the present batch were the survivors of a futile attempt to board the warships made by thousands of young fanatics who had rowed out in little boats after the first bombardment of the island. Most of them had been blown out of the water, drowning with a war cry on their lips’ ‘Victory to the Leader!’ or something of the sort.

韦小宝摇头道:“错了。洪教主仙福永享,寿与天齐。”那佐领道:“是,是。都统大人原来对教匪早就了如指掌,无怪大军一出,势如破竹。教匪所叫的,的确是‘寿与天齐’,卑职说错了。”韦小宝微笑道:“后来怎样?”那佐领道:“这些少年好像疯子一样,冲到海边,上了小船,想上我们大船夺炮。我们也不理会,等几十艘小船一齐驶到了海中,这才发炮,砰嘭砰嘭,三十几艘小船一只只沉在海中,三千多名孩儿教匪个个葬身大海之中。这些小匪临死之时,还在大叫洪教主寿与天齐。”韦小宝心想:“你也来谎报军情了。神龙的少年教徒,最多也不过八九百人,那有三千多名之理?好在杀敌越多,功劳越大。就算报他四千、五千,又有何妨?”那佐领道:“孩儿教匪打光之后,就有一大群人奔到岛西,上船逃走。咱们各战船遵照都统大人的方策,随后追去。卑职率队上岛搜索,男的女的,一共已捉了三四百人。施大人吩咐,先将这批女教匪送到通吃岛来,好让都统大人盘查。”
‘Victory to Our Great Leader!’ Trinket corrected him. The officer looked at him in surprise. His young commander appeared to be remarkably well informed.’ Just so. After that’ he went on, ‘the rest of them made a dash for the west side of the island. We put three companies ashore to flush them out, but it was a very slow business, because of the snakes.’

韦小宝点了点头,这一仗虽然打胜了,但见不到方怡,总是极不放心,不知轰炮之时会不会轰死了她,转过身来,再去看那批女子。突然之间,见到一个圆圆脸蛋的少女,登时想起,那日教主集众聚会,这少女曾说自己是胖头陀的私生儿子,又曾在自己脸颊上捏了一把,屁股上踢了一脚。
Trinket looked at the prisoners again. He saw the sorry state they were in and wondered if Fang Yi had survived the bombardment. Looking at them this second time, it suddenly struck him that one of them had a face he had seen before. Then he remembered: it was the Red Dragon girl who had pinched his cheek and teasingly inquired if he was the ‘love child’ of Fat Dhuta that time nearly two years ago when he was himself a captive on Snake Island waiting to be taken to the Leader.

一想到这事,恶作剧之心登起,走到她身边,伸手在她脸上重重捏了一把。那姑娘尖声大叫起来,骂道:“狗鞑子,你……你……”韦小宝笑嘻嘻的道:“妈,你不记得儿子了吗?”那姑娘大奇,瞪眼瞧他,依稀觉得有些面善,但说甚么也想不起这清兵大官,就是本教的白龙使。韦小宝问道:“你叫甚么名字?”那姑娘道:“快杀了我。你要问甚么,我一句也不答。”韦小宝道:“好,你不答,来人哪!”数十名亲兵一齐答应:“喳!”韦小宝道:“把这小妞儿带下去,全身衣裳裤子剥得干干净净,打她一百板屁股。”众亲兵又是齐声应道:“喳!”上来便要拖拉。那少女吓得脸无人色,忙道:“不,不要!我说。”韦小宝挥手止住众亲兵,微笑道:“那你叫甚么名字?”那少女惊惶已极,这时才流下泪来,说道:“我……我叫云素梅。”韦小宝道:“你是赤龙门门下的,是不是?”云素梅点点头,低声道:“是。”韦小宝道:“你赤龙门中,有个方怡方姑娘,后来调去了白龙门,你认不认得?”云素梅道:“认得。她到了白龙门后,已升作了小队长。”韦小宝道:“好啊,升了官啦。她在哪里?”云素梅道:“今天上午,你们……你们开炮的时候,我还见到过方姊姊的,后来……后来一乱,就没再见到了。”韦小宝听说方怡今日还在岛上,稍觉放心,心想那日你在我屁股上踢过一脚,这一脚,今日你的私生子可要踢还了,走到她身后,提起脚来,正要往她臀部踢去,帐外亲兵报道:“启禀都统大人:又捉了一批俘虏来啦。”
He now got some of his own back by subjecting her to a gruelling interrogation, from which it emerged that Fang Yi, now a platoon leader in the White Dragon Branch, had been seen on Snake Island alive and well after the bombardment. Trinket was about to conclude the interrogation with a kick when the approach of another batch of prisoners was announced and he dashed off again down to the shore.

韦小宝心中一喜,这一脚就不踢了,奔到海边,果见有艘小战船扬帆而来。命亲兵喊话过去:“俘虏是女的,还是男的?”初时相距尚远,对方听不到。过了一会,战船驶近。船头一名军官叫道:“有男的,也有女的。”又过一会,韦小宝看清楚船头站着三四名女子,其中一人依稀便是方怡。他大喜之下,直奔下海滩,海水直浸至膝弯,凝目望去,那战船又驶近了数丈,果然这女子便是方怡。他这一下欢喜,当真非同小可,叫道:“快,快,快驶过来。”忽然之间,那艘战船晃了几晃,竟打了个圈子,船上几名水手大叫起来:“啊哟,撞到了浅滩,搁浅啦。”忽听得方怡的声音叫道:“小宝,小宝,是你吗?”韦小宝这时哪里还顾得甚么都统大人的身份,叫道:“好姊姊,是我,小宝在这里。”方怡叫道:“小宝,你快来救我。他们绑住了我,小宝,小宝,你快来!”韦小宝道:“不用担心,我来救你。”
This time, a small war-junk was sailing towards the island. Presently he could make out three or four young women standing in the bows, one of whom he felt sure was Fang Yi. From another shouted exchange, he learned that this was a mixed batch of male and female prisoners. As the junk sailed closer, there was no longer any doubt’ the figure in the bows really was Fang Yi. She suddenly recognized him and called out’Trinket, Trinket! Is that you?”Fang Yi! My darling!’ he shouted back rapturously. ‘Yes, I’m here!’Just then one of the sailors on board cried out that they were running aground, and the junk began slowly turning about.Trinket, save me!’ Fang Yi called out piteously, as the junk began to pull out to sea again. ‘Don’t worry!’ Trinket shouted back. ‘You’ll be all right, my darling. I’m coming to you.’

纵身跳上一艘传递军情的小艇,吩咐水手:“快划,快划过去。”小艇上的四名水手提起桨来,便即划动。忽然岸上一人纵身一跃,上了小艇,正是双儿,说道:“相公,我跟你过去瞧瞧。”韦小宝心花怒放,说道:“双儿,你道那人是谁?”双儿微笑道:“我知道。你说是你的少奶奶,那日我‘少奶奶’也叫过啦。不过……不过这位少奶奶不肯答应。”韦小宝笑道:“她那时怕羞。这次你再叫,非要她答应不可。”那战船仍在缓缓打转,小艇迅速划近。方怡叫道:“小宝,果真是你。”声音中充满了喜悦之情。韦小宝叫道:“是我。”向她身旁的军官喝道:“快松了这位姑娘的绑。”那军官道:“是。”俯身解开了方怡手上的绳索。方怡张开手臂,等候韦小宝过去。两船靠近,战船上的军官说道:“都统大人小心。”韦小宝跃起身来,那军官伸手扯了他一把。韦小宝一上船头,便扑在方怡的怀里,说道:“好姊姊,可想死我啦。”两人紧紧的搂在一起。韦小宝抱着方怡柔软的身子,闻到她身上的芬芳的气息,已浑不知身在何处。
He jumped into one of the skiffs that was waiting at the water’s edge and told the four sailors manning it to row as fast as they could towards the junk. As the men started to row, Doublet came running, seemingly out of nowhere, and jumped in after him. By the time the junk had turned fully about, the four sailors, by rowing with all their might, had brought the skiff alongside and Trinket called to the soldiers on board the junk to release Fang Yi from her bonds. Standing in the stern of the skiff, he waited for it to be manoeuvred round until only a few feet of water separated him from where Fang Yi was standing; then, he took an almighty leap and landed in her arms.

上次他随方怡来神龙岛,其时情窦初开,还不大明白男女之事,其后在前赴云南道上,和建宁公主胡天胡帝,这次再将方怡抱在怀里,不禁面红耳赤。突然之间,忽然船身晃动,韦小宝也不暇细想,只是抱住了方怡,便想去吻她嘴唇,忽觉后颈一紧,被人一把揪住。
Last time he had been on board a ship with Fang Yi, Trinket had still, in physical terms, been a mere boy. He had experienced much since then, and now, pressed against her soft body and inhaling its delicious perfume, he clung to her with an adult passion. The long, blissful moment of that embrace was interrupted for Trinket, first by a choking sensation as someone gripped his collar from behind, and then by a sharp pain in the middle of his back.

一个娇媚异常的声音说道:“白龙使,你好啊,这次你带人攻破神龙岛,功劳当真不小啊。”韦小宝一听得是洪夫人的声音,不由得魂飞天外,知道大事不妙,用力挣扎,却被方怡抱住了动弹不得,跟着腰间一痛,己给人点住了穴道。这变故猝然而来,韦小宝一时之间如在梦中,心中只有一个念头:“糟糕,糟糕,方怡这小婊子又骗了我。”张嘴大叫:“来人哪,来人哪,快来救我!”方怡轻轻放开了他,退在一旁。韦小宝穴道被点,站立不定,颓然坐倒。但见坐船扯起了风帆,正在向北疾驶,自己坐来的那艘小艇已在十余丈之外,隐隐听得岸上官兵在大声呼叫喝问。他暗暗祷祝:“谢天谢地,施琅和黄总兵快快派船截拦,不过千万不可开炮。”但听得通吃岛上众官兵的呼叫声渐渐远去,终于再也听不到了。放眼四望,大海茫茫,竟无一艘船只。他所统带的战船虽多,但都派了出去攻打神龙岛,有的则在通吃岛和神龙岛之间截拦,别说这时不知主帅已经被俘,就算得知,海上相隔数十里之遥,又怎追得赶上?
Simultaneously a saccharine voice was cooing in his ear: ‘White Dragon Marshal, how nice of you to come! And how clever of you to have brought all those people with you to destroy our island!’ Trinket recognized the voice of Madame Hong. ‘Damn!’ he thought. ‘Idiot! Idiot! That little whore Fang Yi has tricked me once again!’ Fang Yi let go of him then and stepped aside. As she did so, his legs gave way beneath him and he found himself sitting on the deck. She had closed his points. He called for help, but none was forthcoming. Above him he could see that the sailors were running up another sail. The skiff with its oarsmen was already thirty yards behind. As the junk sailed briskly northwards, the voices on the shore were gradually growing fainter. Soon they would be on the open sea where none of the main fleet, who did not yet know that he was missing, would be able to overtake them.

他坐在舱板,缓缓抬起头来,只见几名骁骑营军官向着他冷笑。他头脑中一阵晕眩,定了定神,这才一个个的看清楚,一张丑陋的胖圆脸是瘦头陀,一张清癯的瘦脸是陆高轩,一张拉得极长的马脸是胖头陀。他心中一团迷惘:“矮东瓜给绑在中军帐后,定是给陆高轩和胖头陀救了出来,可是这两人明明是在北京,怎地到了这里?”再转过头去,一张秀丽娇美的脸蛋,那便是洪夫人了。她笑吟吟瞧着韦小宝,伸手在他脸颊上捏了一把,笑道:“都统大人,你小小年纪,可厉害得很哪。”韦小宝道:“教主与夫人仙福永享,寿与天齐。属下这次办事不妥,没甚么功劳。”
He looked about him in bewilderment. Several officers of the Valiants stood round him grinning, but he was feeling dizzy and it took some effort to bring their faces into focus. Finally he could make them out’ the round, chinless face of Thin Dhuta, the cadaverous, horse’like face of Fat Dhuta, and the ascetic, lean face of Doctor Lu. He saw that Madame Hong, too, was dressed as an officer of the Valiants.’Well, little man,’ she said, ‘quite a dangerous fellow aren’t you, for one so young!’Trinket was totally confused. Thin Dhuta must have been released by the other two, but what were they doing here’ They were supposed to be waiting for him in Peking. What on earth could he do to save himself now”Long Life to the Leader and His Wife!’ he said weakly. ‘Blessings be on Them!’

洪夫人笑道:“妥当得很啊,没甚么不妥。教主他老人家大大的称赞你哪,说你带领清兵,炮轰神龙岛,轰得岛上的树木房屋,尽成灰烬。他老人家向来料事如神,这一次却料错了,他佩服你得很呢。”韦小宝到此地步,料知命悬人手,哀求也是无用,眼前只有胡诌,再随机应变,笑道:“教主他老人家福体安康,我真想念他得紧。属下这些日子来,时时想起夫人,日日祷祝你越来越年轻美貌,好让教主他老人家伴着你时,仙福永享!”洪夫人格格而笑,说道:“你这小猴子,到这时候还是不知死活,仍在跟我油嘴滑舌。你说我是不是越来越年轻美丽呢?”韦小宝叹了口气,说道:“夫人,你骗得我好苦。”洪夫人笑问:“我甚么事骗你了?”韦小宝道:“刚才清兵捉来了一批岛上的姊妹,都是赤龙门的年轻姑娘,后来说又有一船姊妹到来。我站在海边张望,见到了夫人,一时认不出来,心中只说:‘啊哟,赤龙门中几时新来了一个这样年轻貌美的小姑娘哪?是教主夫人的小妹子罢?这样的美人儿,可得快些过去瞧瞧。’夫人,我心慌意乱,抢上船来瞧瞧这美貌小妞儿,哪知道竟便是夫人你自己。” 洪夫人听得直笑,身子乱颤。她虽穿着骁骑营军官的服色,仍掩不住身段的风流婀娜。瘦头陀不耐烦了,喝道:“你这好色的小鬼,在夫人之前也胆敢这么胡说八道,瞧我不抽你的筋,剥你的皮!”
Desperately, for he could think of nothing else, he fell back on flattery. After inquiring solicitously about the Leader’s health, he congratulated Madame Hong on looking younger than ever; and he proceeded to enlarge on this with even grosser flatteries, eliciting a complacent giggle from Madame Hong but so enraging Thin Dhuta that in the end he burst out angrily’ ‘How dare this impudent little lecher utter such impertinencies in the presence of the Leader’s wife?’

韦小宝道:“你这人胡涂透顶,我也不想跟你多说废话。”瘦头陀怒道:“我怎地胡涂了?你自己才胡涂透顶。我浮在海里假装浮尸,你也瞧不出来,居然把我救了上来,打听神龙岛的事情。我遵照教主吩咐,跟你胡说八道一番,你却句句信以为真。”
Trinket told him that he was too stupid to be worth replying to; to which Thin Dhuta retorted that he was not so stupid as Trinket, who had failed to see that his imitation of a floating corpse was an effect achieved by kungfu, and that the story of civil war on the island was a fabrication. Both had been part of a plot which the Leader himself had devised to ensnare Trinket and into which Trinket had blindly walked, like the gullible ninny he was.

韦小宝肚里暗骂:“胡涂,胡涂!韦小宝你这家伙,当真该死,怎不想到瘦头陀内功深湛,要假装浮尸,那是容易得紧,我居然对他的话深信不疑,以为神龙岛上当真起了内讧,一切再也不防。”
Again Trinket cursed himself for his own idiocy in not having seen through Thin Dhuta’s corpse act. He had, after all, witnessed in the past some of the bizarre kungfu feats Meatball was capable of.

说道:“我中了教主和夫人的计,那不是我胡涂。”瘦头陀道:“哼,你不胡涂,难道你还聪明了?”韦小宝道:“我自然十分聪明。不过我跟你说,就算是天下最聪明的人,只要在教主和夫人手下,也就谁都讨不了好去。这是教主和夫人神机妙算,算无遗策,势如破竹,大功告成……”他一说到“大功告成”四字,不禁向洪夫人红如樱桃、微微颤动的小嘴望了一眼。洪夫人又是一笑,露出一排洁白的细齿,说道:“白龙使,你毕竟比瘦头陀高明得多,他是说不过你的。你怎么说他胡涂了?”韦小宝道:“夫人,这瘦头陀已见过了夫人这样仙女一般的小姑娘,本来嘛,不论是谁只要见上了夫人一眼,那里还会再去看第二个女人?我说他胡涂,因为我知道他心中念念不忘,还记挂着第二个女子。瘦头陀,这女人是谁,要不要我说出来?”瘦头陀一声大吼,喝道:“不能说!”韦小宝笑道:“不说就不说。你师弟就比你高明得多。他自从见了夫人之后,就说从今而后,再也没兴致瞧第二个女子了。”

胖头陀一张马脸一红,低声道:“胡说,哪有此事?”韦小宝奇道:“没有?难道你见了夫人之后,还想再看第二个女人?”胖头陀低下头,说道:“老衲是出家人,六根清净,四大皆空,心中早已无男女之事。”韦小宝道:“啧啧啧!老和尚念经,有口无心。你师哥跟你一般,也是头陀,又怎么天天想着他的相好?”心中不住思索:“我明明吩咐他跟陆先生留在北京等我,怎地他二人会跟夫人在一起,当真奇哉怪也。”胖头陀道:“师哥是师哥,我是我,二人不能一概而论。”韦小宝道:“我瞧你二人也差不多。你师哥为人虽然胡涂,可比你还老实些。不过你师兄弟二人,都坏了教主和夫人的大事,实在罪大恶极。”胖瘦二头陀齐声道:“胡说!我们怎地坏了教主和夫人的大事?”韦小宝冷笑不答。他在一时之间,也说不出一番话来诬赖二人,不过先伏下一个因头,待得明白胖陆二人如何从北京来到神龙岛,再来捏造些言语,好让洪夫人起疑。他回头向海上望去,大海茫茫,竟无一艘船追来,偶尔隐隐听到远处几下炮声,想是施琅和黄总兵兀自率领战船,在围歼神龙教的逃船。陆高轩见他目光闪烁,说道:“夫人,这人是本教大罪人,咱们禀告教主,就将他投入海中,喂了海龙罢。”韦小宝大吃一惊,心想:“我这小白龙是西贝货,假白龙入海,那可没命了。”洪夫人道:“教主还有话问他。”
But Trinket was never very long at a loss for words and, after insisting that it was by no means stupid to fall in with the plans of the all’wise, all’seeing Leader, he returned to the safer subject of the miraculous youthfulness of Madame Hong. This developed into a wrangle with the two Dhutas, in the midst of which there was the distant sound of cannon. Doctor Lu, noticing a sudden gleam of hope in Trinket’s eyes, put a stop to the discussion by suggesting that they should forthwith throw him into the sea.’No’ said Madame Hong. The Leader has something to say to him.’

陆高轩应道:“是。”在韦小宝背上一推,道:“参见教主去!”韦小宝暗暗叫苦:“在夫人前面还可花言巧语,哄得她喜欢。原来教主也在船中,今日小白龙倘若不入龙宫,真正伤天害理之至了。”侧头向方怡瞧了她一眼,只见她神色木然,全无喜怒之色,心中大骂:“臭婊子,小娘皮!”说道:“方姑娘,恭喜你啊。”方怡道:“恭喜我甚么?”韦小宝笑道:“你为本教立了大功,教主还不升你的职么?”方怡哼了一声,并不答话。洪夫人道:“大家都进来。”陆高轩抓住韦小宝后领,将他提入船舱。
To be forced to see the Leader would be worse than drowning. Trinket looked round him wildly, catching sight as he did so of Fang Yi’s face, stony and unmoved. ‘Congratulations!’ he said bitterly. ‘The Leader really ought to promote you for this!’ ‘Come!’ said Madame Hong, and Doctor Lu grabbed hold of Trinket from behind and carried him, head down and feet in the air, towards the entrance of the cabin, the others following.

An Artful Customer

只见洪教主赫然坐在舱中。韦小宝身在半空,便抢着道:“教主和夫人仙福永享,寿与天齐。属下白龙使参见教主和夫人。”陆高轩将他放下,方怡等一齐躬身,说道:“教主仙福永享,寿与天齐。”他们虽然也想讨好洪夫人,但这一句话向来说惯了的,毕竟老不起脸皮,加上“和夫人”三字。韦小宝见洪教主双眼望着舱外大海,恍若不闻,又见他身旁站着四人,却是赤龙使无根道人、黄龙使殷锦、青龙使许雪亭、黑龙使张淡月。韦小宝心念一动,转头对瘦头陀喝道:“你这家伙瞎造谣言,说甚么教主和夫人身遭危难。我不顾一切,赶来救驾,那知教主和夫人一点没事,几位掌门使又那里造反了?”
Inside the cabin the Leader was sitting in state with the Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black Dragon Marshals standing stiffly on either side of him. Still suspended, Trinket began singing out, almost as soon as his head “was in the doorway, ‘Long Life to the Leader and His Wife! Blessings be on Them!’ Doctor Lu dropped him on the floor and he and the two Dhutas intoned the same words, though without the bit about ‘His Wife’. The Leader gazed through the cabin window at the sea, giving no indication that he had heard. Trinket’s mind was moving rapidly. Attack is the best form of defence’ begin with an attack-The Art of War again. He turned to Thin Dhuta with a convincing show of anger and surprise’ ‘What a liar you are! I thought you said that the Marshals had started a rebellion. You told me that the Leader and his wife were in terrible danger. That’s why I threw up everything else, hoping I’d be in time to save them. But now it turns out that nothing you told me was true.’

洪教主冷冷的道:“你说甚么?”韦小宝道:“属下奉教主和夫人之命,混进皇宫,得了两部经书,后来到云南吴三桂平西王府,又得了三部经书。”洪教主双眉微微一扬,问道:“你得了五部?经书呢?”韦小宝道:“皇宫中所得那两部,属下已派陆高轩呈上教主和夫人了,教主和夫人说属下办事稳当,叫陆高轩赐了仙药。”洪教主点了点头。韦小宝道:“云南所得的那三部,属下放在北京一个十分稳妥的所在,命胖头陀和陆高轩看守……”胖头陀和陆高轩登时脸色大变,忙道:“没……没有,哪有此事?教主你老人家别听这小子胡说八道。”
The Leader shifted his gaze languidly from the horizon. ‘You were saying something?’ he inquired icily. ‘I faithfully carried out your orders,’ said Trinket. ‘I infiltrated the Palace; and I managed to get hold of five of the Eight Sutras you wanted.’ ‘Five?’ The Leader’s slightly raised eyebrows seemed to indicate a measure of curiosity. The two that I’ve already sent you, which you praised me for getting, and three more that I brought back from Satrap Wu’s place in Yunnan. I’ve hidden those in a very safe place in Peking. I had a pretty good idea how I could lay my hands on the remaining three, so I thought I would go off and get them first and then let you have all six of them together. I told Fat Dhuta and Doctor Lu to guard them safely while I was away. I told them they were under no circumstances to leave the place where I had hidden them!’ ‘You never said a word about guarding sutras,’ the two men protested indignantly.

韦小宝道:“经书一共有八部,属下得到了线索,另外三部多半也能拿得到手,预备取到之后,一并呈上神龙岛来。已经得到了那三部经书,属下惟恐给人偷去,因此砌在墙里。我吩咐陆高轩和胖头陀寸步不离。陆高轩、胖头陀,我叫你们在屋里看守,不可外出,怎么你二人到这里来了?要是失了宝经,误了教主和夫人的大事,这干系谁来担当?”胖陆二人面面相觑,无言可对。过了一会,陆高轩才道:“你又没说墙里砌有宝经,我们怎么知道?”韦小宝道:“教主和夫人吩咐下来的事,越是机密越好,多一个人知道,就多一分泄漏的危险。我对你们两个,老实说也不怎么信任。我每天早晨起身,一定要大声念诵:‘教主和夫人仙福永享,寿与天齐。’每次吃饭,每天睡觉,又必念上一遍。可是你二人离了神龙岛之后,没称赞过教主一句神通广大,鸟生鱼汤。”他不知“尧舜禹汤”只有对皇帝歌功颂德才用得着,这时说了出来,众人也不知“鸟生鱼汤”是甚么意思。陆高轩和胖头陀两人脸上青一阵、白一阵,暗暗吃惊,离了神龙岛之后,他二人的确没念过“教主仙福永享,寿与天齐”的话,没料想给这小子抓住了把柄,可是这小子几时又念过了?陆高轩道:“你自己犯了滔天大罪,这时花言巧语,想讨好教主和夫人,饶你一命。哼,咱们岛上老少兄弟这次伤亡惨重,教主几十年辛苦经营的基业,尽数毁在你手里,你想活命,真是休想。”韦小宝道:“你这话大大错了。我们投在教主和夫人属下,这条性命,早就不是自己的了。教主和夫人差我们去办甚么事,人人应该忠字当头,万死不辞。教主和夫人要我们死,大家就死;要我们活,大家就活。你想自己作主,那就是对教主和夫人不够死心塌地,不够尽忠报国。”
‘Don’t lie’ said Trinket. ‘You saw me hide them inside the wall.”We did not.!’How can you trust these men?’ said Trinket, turning from them contemptuously and addressing the Leader. ‘Every day, first thing when I got up in the morning and last thing before I went to bed at night, I would pray for your good health. “Long Life to Our Leader” was always on my lips. I never once heard these men say those words, all the time we were away. They don’t know the meaning of loyalty.”He’s just lying to save his skin,’ Doctor Lu protested. ‘He’s responsible for the deaths of hundreds of our young Comrades and for wrecking the work that it took our Leader decades to achieve. How can such a criminal be believed?”We are to obey the Leader whether he tells us to live or die’ said Trinket. ‘It’s not for us to question his plans. How do you know that this wasn’t all part of a much greater plan than anythingyou can imagine?’

洪教主听他这么说,伸手捋捋胡子,缓缓点头,对胖陆二人道:“你们说白龙使统率水师,要对本教不利,到底是怎么一回事?”陆高轩听教主言语中略有不悦之意,忙道:“启禀教主:我二人奉命监视白龙使,对他的一举一动,时时留神,不敢有一刻疏忽。这天皇帝升了他官职,水师提督施琅前来拜访,属下二人将他们的说话听得仔细,已启禀了教主。过不多天,白龙使便带了施琅出差,却要他扮成骁骑营的一名小官儿,又不许属下和胖头陀随行,属下心中就极为犯疑。”韦小宝心道:“好啊,原来教主派了你二人来监视我的。”又听陆高轩禀报:“早得几日,属下搜查白龙使房里字纸篓中倒出来的物事,发现了许多碎纸片,一经拼凑,原来是用满汉文字写的辽东地名。白龙使又不识字,更加不识满文,这些地名,自然是皇帝写给他的了。后来又打听到,他这次出行,还带了许多门大炮。属下二人商议,都想白龙使奉了皇帝之命,前来辽东一带,既有水师将领,又有大炮,自然是意欲不利于本教。因此一等白龙使离京,属下二人便骑了快马,日夜不休的赶回神龙岛来禀报。夫人还说白龙使耿耿忠心,决不会这样的。哪知道知人知面不知心,这白龙使狼心狗肺,辜负了教主的信任。”
The Leader stroked his beard contemplatively. The idea of the young Marshal praying for his health night and morning in faraway Peking had been a pleasing one; but he made no reference to Trinket’s remark and addressed himself rather coldly to Doctor Lu. ‘What exactly were your grounds for saying that an attack on our Sect was, from the start, the object of the White Dragon Marshal’s commission?’ From Doctor Lu’s reply Trinket learned what he ought long ago to have guessed that the Doctor and Fat Dhuta had received instructions to spy on his every movement and report on them to the Leader. They had noted his meetings with Shi Lang, the ex’admiral from Taiwan, and had eavesdropped on some of their conversations. When Trinket set off with Shi Lang and insisted that the Doctor and Fat Dhuta should stay behind, they had examined the contents of his waste’paper basket and found tom’up scraps of paper with Chinese and Manchu writing on them. They pieced the scraps together and made out the names of several places in Liaodong. Snake Island was off the coast of the Liaodong peninsula. When they heard that the ships were carrying cannon on board, it seemed obvious that the purpose of the naval expedition must be an attack on the Mystic Dragon Sect. ‘Madame Hong has spoken of the White Dragon Marshal’s loyalty’ Doctor Lu said in conclusion, ‘but I’m afraid his loyalty is a sham. He is a black-hearted villain, a traitor who intends nothing but harm to our Sect.’

韦小宝叹了口气,摇了摇头,说道:“陆先生,你自以为聪明能干,却哪里及得了教主和夫人的万一?我跟你说,你错了,只有教主和夫人才永远是对的。”陆高轩怒道:“你胡……”这两字一出口,登时知道不妙,虽然立即把下面的话煞住,但人人都知,“你胡”二字之下,定然跟的是个“说”字。韦小宝道:“你说我胡说?我说你错了,只有教主和夫人才永远是对的,你不服气?难道教主和夫人永远不对,只有你陆先生才永远是对的?”陆高轩涨红了脸道:“我不是这个意思。那是你说的,我可没说过。”韦小宝道:“教主和夫人说我白龙使忠心耿耿,决不会叛变。他二位老人家料事如神,怎会有错?我跟你说,皇帝派我带了水师大炮,前赴辽东,说的是去长白山祭天,其实……其实是……哼,你又知道甚么?”心中乱转念头:“该说皇帝派我去干甚么?”洪教主道:“你且说来,皇帝派你去干甚么。”韦小宝道:“这件事本来万分机密,无论是如何不能说的,一有泄漏,皇帝定要杀我的头。不过教主既然问起,在属下心中,教主和夫人比之皇帝高出百倍,他是万岁,你是百万岁。他是万万岁,你是百万万岁。教主要我说,自然不能隐瞒。”寻思:“怎样说法,才骗得教主和夫人相信?”洪教主听韦小宝谀词潮涌,丝毫不以为嫌,捻须微笑,怡然自得,缓缓点头。
‘You think you are wiser than the Leader and Madame Hong’ said Trinket. ‘They both know that I am loyal, but you think you know better. As a matter of fact, the official purpose of the expedition was to sacrifice to the sacred mountain of the Manchus in Liaodong, but the real purpose was a secret which the Emperor said I was to keep strictly to myself.’ ‘And what was that?’ asked the Leader. ‘Up to this moment I haven’t breathed a word of this to anyone’ said Trinket, racking his brains to think of something plausible to say, ‘but the Leader is a hundred times more important than the Emperor. If the Leader asks me to unseal my lips, my lips are unsealed.’ The Leader nodded and stroked his beard. Trinket’s flattery did not strike him as excessive.

韦小宝道:“启禀教主和夫人得知:皇帝身边,有两个红毛外国人,这两人一个叫汤若望,一个叫南怀仁,封了钦天监监正的官。”洪教主道:“汤若望此人的名字,我倒也听见过,听说他懂得天文地理、阴阳历数之学。”韦小宝赞道:“啧,啧,啧!教主不出门,能知天下事。这汤若望算来算去,算到北方有个罗刹国,要对大清不利。”洪教主双眉一轩,问道:“那便如何?”韦小宝曾听那大胡子蒙古人罕帖摩说过,吴三桂与罗刹国、神龙教勾结。吴三桂远在云南,拉扯不到他身上,罗刹国却便在辽东之侧,果然一提“罗刹国”三字,洪教主当即神情有异。韦小宝知道这话题对上了榫头,心中大喜,说道:“小皇帝一听之下,便小心眼儿发愁,就问汤若望计将安出,快快献来。汤若望奏道:‘待臣回去夜观天文,日算阴阳,仔细推算。’过得几天,他向皇帝奏道,罗刹国的龙脉,是在辽东,有座叫做甚么呼他妈的山,有条叫做甚么阿妈儿的河。”
‘The Emperor has two red-haired foreigners at his Court. One of them, Father Tang’ (Trinket was referring to the Jesuit priest Adam Schall) ‘has an important post on the Board of Astronomy. ‘I have heard of this Tang Ruowang’ said the Leader. ‘He is a man of many sciences, a great astrologer.’ The Leader knows everything!’ Trinket made tutting noises expressive of amazement. ‘Well, Father Tang discovered from his calculations that a great country to the north of Liaodong called “Losha” is likely to do great damage to our Empire.’ Trinket noticed, with great satisfaction, that the Leader seemed to prick his ears up at the mention of ‘Losha’ (which was how Russia was known in Chinese at that time). The Mongol Hatiemo whom they kidnapped in Yunnan had spoken of an alliance between the Satrap, the Mystic Dragon Sect, and Russia. He was beginning to feel that he was almost home and dry. The Emperor was very worried. When he asked Father Tang what he could do to prevent this, Tang did a lot more calculations and told the Emperor that he had worked out that the Dragon Line controlling Losha’s fate ended in Liaodong itself, between a mountain called Ham’and’Eggs and a river called Armoury, or something like that. I can’t pronounce them, but the Emperor wrote them down for me afterwards in Manchu and Chinese writing.’

洪安通久在辽东,于当地山川甚是熟悉,听韦小宝这么说,向洪夫人笑道:“夫人,你听这孩子说得岂不可笑?将呼玛尔窝集山说成了呼他妈的山,把阿穆尔河又说成阿妈儿的河,哈哈,哈哈!”洪夫人也是格格娇笑。韦小宝道:“是,是,教主无所不知,无所不晓,属下真是佩服得紧。那外国红毛鬼说了好几遍,属下总是记不住,小皇帝便用满汉文字写了下来,交了给我。可是属下不识字,这呼他妈的甚么山,阿妈儿的甚么河,总是记不住。”洪教主呵呵大笑,转过头来,向陆高轩横了一眼,目光极是严厉。陆高轩和胖头陀心中不住叫苦。韦小宝道:“那汤若望说道,须得赶造十门红毛大炮,从海道运往辽东,对准了这些甚么山、甚么河连轰两百炮,打坏了罗刹国的龙脉,今后二百年大清国就太平无事,叫做一炮保一年平安。小皇帝说道:“那么连轰一千炮,岂不是保得千年平安?汤若望道:轰得太多,反而不灵,又说甚么天机不可泄漏,黄道黑道,叽哩咕噜说了半天,属下半句也不懂,听得好生气闷。”洪教主点头道:“这汤若望编得有部《大清时宪历》,确是只有二百年。看来满清的气运,最多也不过二百年而已。”韦小宝说谎有个诀窍,一切细节不厌求详,而且全部真实无误。只有在重要关头却胡说一番,这是他从妓院里学来的法门。恰好洪安通甚是渊博,知道汤若望这部《大清时宪历》的内容,韦小宝这番谎话,竟是全然合缝合榫。洪夫人道:“这样说来,是小皇帝派你去辽东开大炮么?”

韦小宝假作惊异道:“咦,夫人你怎么又知道了?”洪夫人笑道:“我瞧你这番话还是不尽不实。小皇帝派你去辽东,你怎么又上神龙岛来了?”韦小宝道:“那外国人说道:罗刹人的龙脉,是条海龙,因此这十门大炮要从海上运去,对准了那条龙的龙口,算好了时辰,等它正要向海中取水之时,立即轰炮,这条龙身受重伤,那就动不了啦。若是从陆地上炮轰,这条龙吃得一炮,立刻就飞天腾走了。一炮只保得一年平安,明年又要来轰过,实是麻烦之极。他说,我们的大炮从海上运去,还得远兜圈子,免得惊动了龙脉。”自来风水堪舆之说,“龙脉”原是十分注重的,但只说地形似龙,并非真的有一条龙,甚么龙脉会惊动了逃走云云,全是韦小宝的胡说八道。洪安通听在耳里,不由得有些将信将疑。韦小宝鉴貌辨色,知他不大相信,忙道:“那外国鬼子是会说中国话的,他画了好几张图画给小皇帝看,用了几把尺量来量去,这里画一个圈,那里画一条线,说明白为甚么这条龙脉会逃。属下太笨,半点儿也不懂,小皇帝倒听得津津有味。”洪安通点了点头,心想外国人看风水,必定另有一套本事,自比中国风水更加厉害。韦小宝见他认可了此节,心中一宽,寻思:“这关一过,以后的法螺便是呜嘟嘟,不会破了!”
The Leader and Madame Hong knew the geography of the area and exchanged amused smiles to hear Trinket’s distortion of familiar names.’Father Tang said that if the Emperor sent ships with cannon on board to bombard the dragon with at a certain time and in a certain way when it came down to the sea to drink, they could prevent Losha from doing us any harm for the next two hundred years. He couldn’t promise any more than that.’ Trinket’s ideas about fengshui were extremely vague and what he was saying would have made little sense to a Chinese expert; but the Leader reflected that Western fengshui must be quite different from the Chinese science; and the bit about two hundred years sounded very plausible, because it was common knowledge that Tang Ruowang had narrowly escaped Death by a Thousand Cuts (Lingering Death) because his reformed calendar had only been designed for the next two hundred years, whereas everyone knew that Great Qing was due to last for ten thousand. The cannon and warships were made ready.’

说道:“那一天小皇帝叫钦天监选了个黄道吉日,下圣旨派我去长白山祭天。有一个福建水师提督施琅,是从台湾投降过来的,说郑成功也曾在他手下吃过败仗,这人善于在船上开炮,小皇帝派他跟我同去。千万叮嘱,务须严守机密,如果泄漏了,这件大事可就坏了,说不定罗刹国会派海船阻拦。我们去到天津出海,远兜圈子,要悄悄上辽东去。哪知昨天下午,在海里见到了许多浮尸,其中有真有假,假的一具,就是这瘦头陀了。我好心把他救了起来。他说乖乖不得了,神龙岛上打得天翻地覆,洪教主派人杀了青龙使许雪亭。”
Trinket continued, ‘the Emperor appointed a defector from Taiwan called Shi Lang who was experienced in the use of cannon at sea to share the command with me, Father Tang chose a lucky day, and we set sail from Tianjin with instructions to take a roundabout route and slip up to the coast of Liaodong unseen. We were still on our way when we ran into a lot of floating corpses. Well, not all of them turned out to be corpses’ one of them was this fat fellow here. I had him picked up out of the kindness of my heart, but in return he told me a pack of the most dreadful lies. He said he was from the Mystic Dragon Sect on Snake Island which was now in a complete shambles. He said the Leader had had the Blue Dragon Marshal killed-‘

瘦头陀大叫:“假的!我没有说教主杀了青龙使!”洪夫人妙目向他瞪了一眼,说道:“瘦头陀,在教主跟前,不得大呼小叫。”瘦头陀道:“是。”韦小宝道:“你说青龙使给人杀了,是不是?”瘦头陀说:“是,是教主吩咐要我这般骗你的。”韦小宝道:“教主叫你跟我开个玩笑,也是有的。可是你说教主为了报仇,杀了青龙使和赤龙使。教主大公无私,大仁大义,决不会对属下记恨!”他说一句,瘦头陀便叫一句“假的!”韦小宝道:“你说教主为了报仇,杀了青龙使和赤龙使!”瘦陀头道:“假的,我没说。”韦小宝道:“教主大公无私。”瘦头陀道:“假的!”韦小宝道:“大仁大义!”瘦头陀叫道:“假的!”韦小宝道:“决不会对属下记恨报仇。”瘦头陀道:“假的!”
‘I didn’t’ said Thin Dhuta. ‘Don’t interrupt when someone is speaking to the Leader’,’ said Madame Hong.’Did you or didn’t you say that the Blue Dragon Marshal had been killed?’ said Trinket.’Yes, the Leader told me to.”I suppose the Leader might have said something like that as a joke’ said Trinket, ‘but the Leader is kind’hearted and always fair. He would never do some of the things you told me. For instance, you told me that he’d had the Blue Dragon Marshal and the Red Dragon Marshal killed out of sheer spite, to get his own back.’ ‘Lies’ said Thin Dhuta. That the Leader is kind’hearted and always fair?’ ‘Lies, lies, lies,’ said Thin Dhuta mechanically. ‘And would do nothing out of spite?’ ‘Lies, lies.’

陆高轩知道瘦头陀暴躁老实,早已踏进了韦小宝的圈套,他不住大叫“假的”,每多叫一句,教主的脸色便难看了一分。陆高轩只怕瘦头陀再叫下去,教主一发脾气,那就不可收拾,于是扯了扯瘦头陀的衣袖,说道:“听他启禀教主,别打断他话头。”瘦头陀道:“这小子满口胡柴,难道也由得他说个不休?”陆高轩道:“教主聪明智慧,无所不知,无所不晓。不用你着急,教主自然明白。”瘦头陀道:“哼!只怕未必……”这一出口,突然张大了嘴,更无声息,满脸惶恐之色。韦小宝双目瞪视着他,突然扮个鬼脸。两人身材都矮,瘦头陀更矮,韦小宝低下头扮鬼脸,旁人瞧不到,瘦头陀却看得清清楚楚,当时便欲发作,却生怕激怒了教主,只有强自忍住,神色尴尬。一时之间,船舱中寂静无声,只听得瘦头陀呼呼喘气。
As well as being more hot-tempered than his two companions, Meatball was also much less intelligent. Doctor Lu feared that his repeated interruptions would provoke the Leader’s wrath and quietly did his best to restrain him. There was a brief silence during which Thin Dhuta’s heavy breathing was distinctly audible.

过了好一会,洪教主问韦小宝道:“他又说了些甚么?”韦小宝道:“启禀教主:他又说教主播弄是非,挑拨赤龙门去打青龙门……”瘦头陀叫道:“我没说。”洪教主向他怒目而视,喝道:“给我闭上了鸟嘴,你再怪叫一声,我把你这矮冬瓜劈成了他妈的两段。”瘦头陀满脸紫胀,陆高轩和胖头陀也是骇然失色。众人均知洪教主城府甚深,平日喜怒不形于色,极少如此出言粗鲁,大发脾气,这般喝骂瘦头陀,定是愤怒已极。
‘Well’ said the Leader, ‘and what else did he say?’ ‘He said that you deliberately stirred up trouble between the Red Dragon and Blue Dragon Branches and set them fighting each other.’ ‘I didn’t.’ ‘Will you shut your <****>ing mouth’ said the Leader. ‘If you interrupt once more I shall slice you in two.’ No one present had ever heard him use such language before, or even betray that he was angry. There was a terrified silence and Thin Dhuta’s face became purple from the effort of keeping quiet.

韦小宝大喜,心想瘦头陀既不能开口说话,自己不管如何瞎说,他总是难以反驳,便道:“请教主息怒。这瘦头陀倒也没说甚么侮辱教主的言语,只是说教主为人小气。上次大家谋反不成,给属下一个小孩子坏了大事,人人心中气愤,教主却要乘机报仇。他说教主派了一个名叫何盛的去干事,这人是无根道人的大弟子,弟子却不知本教有没有这个人。”洪夫人道:“何盛是有的,那又怎样?”韦小宝心念一动:“这何盛是无根道人的弟子,必是个年轻小伙子。”说道:“瘦头陀说,这何盛见到夫人美貌,这几年来跟夫人一直如何如何,怎样怎样,说了很多不中听的话。弟子大怒,恼他背后对夫人不敬,命人打他的嘴巴。那时他还给牛皮索绑住了,反抗不得,打了十几下,他才不敢说了。”洪夫人气得脸色铁青,恨恨的道:“怎地将我拉扯上了?”瘦头陀道:“我……我没有说。”韦小宝道:“教主不许你开口,你就不要说话。我问你,你说过有个叫做何盛的人没有?是就点头,不是就摇头。”瘦头陀点了点头。
Trinket was now free to embroider as much as he liked. Thin Dhuta had told him that He Sheng, the disciple of Father Rootless the Taoist, the Red Dragon Marshal, had been named as the assassin of Xu Xueting, the Blue Dragon Marshal. Calculating that, as the Taoist’s favourite disciple, he must be young and probably quite good’looking, he added that Thin Dhuta had told him that prior to the assassination He Sheng had for some years been the secret lover of Madame Hong. Shocking. Trinket said he understood Madame Hong’s outrage at hearing this’ he had himself been unable to resist several times striking the mouth that could utter such obscenities. As Thin Dhuta wasn’t at liberty to speak, Trinket generously suggested that he should nod or shake his head. Had he or hadn’t he said these things’ The unfortunate Meatball didn’t know whether to nod or shake.

韦小宝道:“是啊,你说何盛跟许雪亭争风喝醋,争着要讨好夫人,于是这何盛就把许雪亭杀了,夫人很是喜欢,又说教主给蒙在鼓里,甚么也不知道。你说青龙使给何盛杀了,房里地下有一把刀,那把刀是何盛的,是不是?你说过没有?”瘦头陀点了点头,道:“不过前面……”韦小宝道:“你既已说过,也就是了。”其实瘦头陀说过的,只是后半截,前半截却是韦小宝加上去的。瘦头陀这一点头,倒似整篇话都是他说的了。韦小宝道:“你说青龙门、赤龙门、黄龙门、黑龙门,还有我的白龙门,大家打得一塌胡涂,教主已然失了权柄,毫无办法镇压,是不是?”瘦头陀点点头。韦小宝道:“你说神龙岛上众人造反,教主和夫人给捉了起来,夫人全身衣服给脱得精光,在岛上游行示众。教主的胡子给人拔光了,给倒吊着挂在树上,已有三天三夜没喝水,没吃饭。这些说话,你现今当然不肯认了,是不是?”对这句问话,点头也不是,摇头也不是,瘦头陀满脸通红,皮肤中如要渗出血来。韦小宝道:“现下你当然要赖,不肯承认说过这些话,是不是?”瘦头陀怒道:“我没说过。”韦小宝道:“你说你跟教主动上了手,你踢了教主两脚,打了教主三下耳光,不过教主武功比你高,你打不过,于是给教主绑起来投入大海,是不是?你说本教已闹得天翻地覆,一塌胡涂。一大半人都已给教主绑了投入大海。余下的你杀我,我杀你。教主和夫人已经糟糕之极,就算眼下还没死,那也活不长久了,是不是?”

瘦头陀道:“我……我……我……”他给韦小宝弄得头晕脑胀,不知如何回答才是。他确是说过他打不过教主,给教主绑起来投入大海,也说过神龙岛上五龙门自相残杀,一塌胡涂,但跟韦小宝的话却又颇不相同。韦小宝道:“启禀教主:属下本要率领水师船只,前赴辽东,去轰罗刹国的龙脉,不过船只驶到这里,属下记挂着教主和夫人,还有那个方姑娘,属下本想……本想娶她为妻的,也想瞧瞧她,最好能求得教主和夫人准我将她带了去。于是吩咐海船缓缓驶近,就算远远向岛上望上几眼,也是好的。要是能见到教主和夫人一眼……”洪夫人微笑道:“还有那个方姑娘。”韦小宝道:“是,这是属下存了自私之心,没有一心一意对教主和夫人尽忠,实在该死。”洪教主点了点头,道:“你再说下去。”

韦小宝道:“哪知道在海中救起了瘦头陀,不知他存了甚么心眼,竟满口咒诅教主和夫人。属下也是胡涂得紧,一听之下,登时慌了手脚,恨不得插翅飞上神龙岛来,站在教主和夫人身畔,和众叛徒一决死战。属下当时破口大骂,说道当日教主郑重吩咐过的,过去的事不能再算倒帐,连提也不能再提,怎可怀恨在心,又来反叛教主?属下只记挂着教主和夫人的危险,心想教主给叛徒倒吊了起来,夫人给他们脱光了衣衫,那是一刻也挨不得的。我真胡涂该死,全没想教主神通广大,若是有人犯上作乱,教主伸出几根手指,就把他们像蚂蚁一般捏死了,哪有会给叛徒欺辱之理?不过属下心中焦急,立即命所有战船一起出海,攻打神龙岛。我吩咐他们说:岛上的好人都已给坏人拿住了,如果有人出来抵抗,你们开炮轰击便是。一上了岸,快快查看,有没有一位威风凛凛、相貌堂堂、又像玉皇大帝、又像神仙菩萨的一位老人家,那就是神龙教洪教主,大家要听他指挥。属下又说,岛上所有女子,一概不可得罪,尤其那位如花似玉、相貌美丽、好像天仙下凡的年轻姑娘,那是洪夫人,大家更须恭恭敬敬。”洪夫人格格一笑,说道:“照你说来,你派兵攻打神龙岛,倒全是对教主的一番忠心?你不但无过,反而有功?”韦小宝道:“属下功劳是一点也没有的,只不过见到教主和夫人平平安安的,几个掌门使仍是忠心耿耿,好好的服侍教主和夫人,心中就高兴得很。属下第一盼望的,是教主和夫人仙福永享,寿与天齐。第二件事是要本教人人尽忠报国,教主说甚么,大家就去干甚么。第三件……第三件……”洪夫人笑道:“第三件是要方姑娘给你做老婆。”韦小宝道:“这是一件小事,属下心中早就打定了主意,只要尽力办事,讨得教主和夫人的欢心,教主和夫人自然也不会亏待部下。”
This ploy could be made use of indefinitely. For example, Thin Dhuta had said that the Leader had engineered dissension among the different Branches so that all of them, Blue, Red, Yellow, Black, and White, had ended up fighting each other; but he had not said that in the course of this civil strife the Leader’s beard had been torn out and that he had been suspended upside-down from a tree, or that Madame Hong had been stripped of all her clothes and publicly humiliated. Trinket described these horrors in vivid detail. It was on account of the horrors, he explained, that he had ordered the flotilla to sail towards the island and bombard it, hoping against hope that the beloved Leader and his wife could yet be rescued alive. It was an inexpressible relief to arrive and find that they were perfectly safe and well and that the whole story had been a pack of lies.The Leader appeared to be turning this over in his mind. Trinket wondered if he hadn’t perhaps overdone it a bit.’I was so upset at the time and so worried that I could only think of rushing to support the Leader and Madame as quickly as possible. Looking back, I realize now that I ought to have known that the Leader, with his great wisdom and foresight, would never have allowed such a state of affairs to develop in the first place; and even if some people had been foolish enough to rebel, he would have crushed them like ants.’

洪安通点点头,说道:“你这张嘴确是能说会道,可是你说挂念我和夫人,为甚么自己却不带兵上神龙岛来?为甚么只派人开炮乱轰,自己却远远的躲在后面?”这一句话却问中了要害,韦小宝张口结舌,一时无话回答,知道这句话只要答得不尽不实,洪教主一起疑心,先前的大篇谎话固然全部拆穿,连小命也必不保,情急之下,只得说道:“属下罪该万死,实在是对教主和夫人不够忠心。我听瘦头陀说起岛上众人如何凶狠,连教主和夫人也捉了,属下害怕得很。上次……上次他们背叛教主,都是属下坏了他们的大事,倘若给他们再拿到,非抽我的筋,剥我的皮不可。属下怕死,因此远远躲在后面,只是差了手下的兵将来救教主和夫人,这个……这个……实在是该死之至。”
The Leader nodded pensively.’You are very ready with your explanations’ he said, ‘and what you say sounds plausible enough. But what I don’t understand is, if you were so concerned about my and Madame Hong’s safety, why instead of leading an assault on the island yourself did you send your ships to blast it indiscriminately with their cannon while you were lurking safely in the background?’This seemingly unanswerable question was the one that Trinket had been dreading. The whole ingenious edifice he had been labouring to construct, part truth part falsehood, now showed signs of collapsing; and if it did collapse he was as good as dead. For a short while he seemed at a loss for words, then a tearful expression appeared on his face.’I deserve to die,’ he said. ‘I’m not really loyal at all. The fact is, I was just frightened. When I listened to Thin Dhuta describing all those horrible things they were doing to people on the island, I remembered how some of them had threatened me after I sabotaged that plot against the Leader and Madame Hong two years ago. If they ever got the chance, they said, they’d tear me apart with their bare hands. I was just scared, that’s why I had the island bombarded and sent others in to rescue you while ‘ stayed out of harm’s way in the rear. I’m so sorry, so sorry. I really deserve to die.’

洪教主和夫人对望了一眼,缓缓点头,均想这孩子自承怕死,可见说话非虚。洪教主道:“你这番话是真是假,我要慢慢查问。倘若得知你是说谎,哼哼,你自己明白。”韦小宝道:“是!教主和夫人要如何处罚,属下心甘情愿,可是千万不能将属下交在胖头陀、瘦头陀、陆高轩他们手里。这一次……这一次他们安排巧计,骗得清兵炮轰神龙岛,害死了不少兄弟姊妹,定有重大阴谋。属下看来,这陆高轩定是想做陆教主。他在云南时说:我也不要甚么仙福永享,寿与天齐,只要享他五十年福,也就够得很了……”陆高轩怒叫:“你,你……”挥掌便向韦小宝后心拍来。无根道人抢上一步,伸掌拍出,砰的一声,陆高轩被震得退后两步。无根道人却只身子一晃,喝道:“陆高轩,你在教主座前,怎敢行凶伤人?”陆高轩脸色惨白,躬身道:“教主恕罪,属下听这小子捏造谎言,按捺不住,多有失礼。”
The Leader and Madame Hong exchanged a long glance and nodded to each other. The boy was probably telling the truth if he admitted to being a coward. ‘I’m not sure whether you’re telling the truth or not,’ the Leader said finally. ‘We shall have to investigate. You know what will happen to you if we find out that you aren’t.’ ‘Oh yes’ said Trinket. ‘Oh yes. I’d deserve anything you decided to do to me if that were the case. But in the meantime, don’t, I beg of you, put Thin Dhuta or Fat Dhuta or Doctor Lu in charge of me. They hate me. It was through their trickery that I bombarded the island. And I know that Doctor Lu has grand ideas of his own. He wants to be Leader himself. He was joking about it when we were in Yunnan.’ Speechless with fury, Doctor Lu was only prevented from striking Trinket by Rootless the Red Dragon Marshal, who parried the blow and sent him staggering backwards. ‘Not in the Leader’s presence, Doctor!’ Doctor Lu’s face was deathly pale. ‘Forgive me, Leader, for being so lacking in respect,’ he said in a shaking voice, ‘but this boy’s lies are really more than I can bear.’

洪教主哼了一声,对韦小宝道:“你且下去。”对无根道人道:“你亲自看管他,不许旁人伤害,可也不能让他到处乱走。你别跟他说话。这小孩儿鬼计多端,须得加意留神。”无根道人躬身答应。此后数日,韦小宝日夜都和无根道人住在一间舱房,眼见每天早晨太阳从右舷伸起,晚间在左舷落下,坐船迳向北行。起初一两天,他还盼望施琅和黄甫的水师能赶了上来,搭救自己,到得后来,也不存这指望了,心想:“我一番胡说八道,教主和夫人已信了九成,只不过我带兵把神龙岛轰得一塌胡涂,就算出于好心,总也不免有罪。幸亏那矮冬瓜扮了浮尸来骗我,是教主自己想出来的计策,否则他一怒之下,多半会将矮冬瓜和我两个一起杀了,煮他一锅小宝冬瓜汤。”又想:“这船向北驶去,难道是往辽东么?”向无根道人问了几次,无报道人总是答道:“不知道。”韦小宝逗他说话,无根道人道:“教主吩咐,不可跟你说话。”又不许他走出舱房一步。韦小宝好生无聊,又想:“方怡这死妞明明在这船里,却又不来陪伴老子散心解闷。”想起这次被神龙教擒获,又是为方怡所诱,心道:“老子这次若能脱险,以后再向方怡这小娘皮瞧上一眼,老子就不姓韦。上过两次当,怎么再上第三次当?”但想到方怡容颜娇艳,神态柔媚,心头不禁怦然而动,转念便想:“不姓韦就不姓韦,老子的爹爹是谁也不知道,又知道我姓甚么?”
The Leader merely grunted and turned to Trinket’ ‘Get below, now! And you,’ he said to Father Rootless, ‘go with him and keep an eye on him. Don’t let anyone hurt him, but don’t let him wander about. And don’t speak to him. You’d better be careful, he’s a very artful customer.’ Through Ice and Snow For several days after this Trinket was incarcerated in a cabin below deck with only Father Rootless for company and nothing to look at but the sun shining through a starboard window in the morning and a port’side one in the evening, from which he deduced that they were sailing steadily northwards. If he asked Rootless where they were heading, Rootless said he didn’t know, and his attempts at starting a conversation were frustrated by Rootless reminding him that he was on orders not to speak. For a day or two he had some hopes that Shi Lang might rescue him, but these hopes soon vanished, and he began to feel very despondent and bored.

战船不停北驶,天气越来越冷。无根道人内力深厚,倒不觉得怎样,韦小宝却冷得不住发抖,牙齿相击,格格作响。又行几日,北风怒号,天空阴沉沉地,忽然下起大雪来。韦小宝叫道:“这一下可冻死我也。”心想:“索额图大哥送了我一件貂皮袍子,可惜留在大营,没带出来。唉,早知方怡这小娘皮要骗我上当,我就该着了貂皮袍子去抱她,也免得冻死在船中。冰冻白龙使,乖乖不得了。”船行到半夜,忽听得叮咚声不绝,韦小宝仔细听去,才知是海中碎冰相撞,大吃一惊,叫道:“啊哟,不好!这只船要是冻在大海之中,岂不糟糕?”无根道人道:“大海里海水不会结冰,咱们这就要靠岸了。”韦小宝道:“到了辽东么?”无根道人哼了一声,不再答话。
Meanwhile the temperature was gradually falling. Father Rootless had cultivated his own Inner Force and seemed not to notice it, but Trinket was soon shivering with cold and his teeth continually chattered in his head. Waking up one night he heard the chink of ice against the ship’s sides and cried out in alarm”What if it freezes solid and we’re stuck in the middle of the sea?”It doesn’t freeze on the open sea’ said Rootless, breaking his silence. ‘We must be near the coast.”Is this Liaodong, then?’ asked Trinket, but got no reply.

次日清晨,推开船舱窗子向外张望,只见白茫茫地,满海都是浮冰,冰上积了白雪,远远已可望到陆地。这天晚上,战船驶到了岸边抛锚,看来第二日一早便要乘小艇登陆。这一晚韦小宝思潮起伏,洪教主到底要如何处置自己,实在不易猜想,他似乎信了自己的说话,似乎又是不信,来到这冰天雪地,又不知甚么用意。想了一会,也就睡着了。睡梦中忽见方怡坐在自己身边,他伸出手去,一把搂住,迷迷糊糊间只听得她说:“别胡闹!”
First thing next morning he opened the cabin window and looked out. Ice floes covered with a thick layer of snow floated everywhere on the surface of the sea. Beyond he could just make out the line of snow’covered coast. Throughout the day the junk made slow progress. That evening they cast anchor, so it seemed likely that they would be going ashore in the morning. Trinket began wondering what his fate would be when they did. How much of his story had the Leader really believed’ He was still mulling over this question when he fell asleep and dreamed that Fang Yi was sitting beside him and shaking him. He reached out to embrace her, but she pushed him away and told him not to fool about.

韦小宝道:“死老婆,我偏要胡闹。”只觉方怡在怀中扭了几扭,他似睡似醒,听得怀中那人低声道:“相公,咱们快走!”似乎是双儿的声音。韦小宝吃了一惊,登时清醒,觉得怀中确是抱着一个柔软的身子,黑暗之中,却瞧不见是谁,心想:“是方怡?是洪夫人?”这战船之上,便只两个女子,心想:“管他是方怡还是洪夫人,亲个嘴再说,先落得便宜!”将怀中人儿板过身来,往她嘴上吻去。那人轻轻一笑,转头避开。这一下笑声虽轻,却听得明明白白,正是双儿。韦小宝又惊又喜,在她耳边低声问道:“双儿,你怎么来了?”双儿道:“咱们快走,慢慢再跟你说。”韦小宝笑道:“我冻得要死,你快钻进我被窝来,热呼热呼。”双儿道:“唉,好相公,你就是爱闹,也不想想这是甚么时候。”韦小宝紧紧搂住了她,问道:“逃到哪里去?”双儿道:“咱们溜到船尾,划了小艇上岸,他们就算发觉了,也追不上。”
‘But I want to fool about.’ he said. The shaking grew more persistent. ‘Master, we’ve no time for this. We must hurry.’ He woke now with a start. It was Doublet. ‘How did you get here?’ ‘I can’t tell you now. We’ve got to go at once. We’ve got to get away.’ ‘Oh, it’s freezing!’ said Trinket. ‘Get inside the covers and warm up a bit.’ ‘Master’ said Doublet in an anguished voice, though she was speaking in whispers, ‘please be serious. We’ve got to escape.’ ‘But where to?’ said Trinket. ‘If we can get through to the stern, we can row off in the ship’s boat. Without the boat they won’t be able to pursue us.’

韦小宝大喜,低声叫道:“妙计,妙计!啊哟,那个道士呢?”双儿道:“我偷偷摸进船舱,已点了他穴道。”两人悄悄溜出船舱。一阵冷风扑面,韦小宝全身几要冻僵,忙转身入舱,剥下无根道人身上道袍,裹在自己身上。其时铅云满天,星月无光,大雪仍下个不止。两人溜到后梢,耳听得四下无声,船已下锚,连掌舵的舵手也都入舱睡了。双儿拉着韦小宝的手,一步步走到船尾,低声道:“我先跳下去,你再下来!”提一口气,轻轻跃入系在船尾的小艇。韦小宝向下一望,黑沉沉地有些害怕,当即闭住眼睛,涌身跳下。双儿提起双掌,托住他背心后臀,在艇中转了个圈子,卸去了落下的力道,这才将他放下。忽听得船舱中有人喝问:“甚么人?”正是洪教主的声音。
‘Brilliant’ said Trinket. ‘But what about the Taoist?’ ‘I’ve already closed his points. He can’t move or speak.’ A blast of cold air struck him as she opened the cabin door. He turned back and felt his way to where Rootless was lying. While Doublet waited, he stripped the Taoist habit off the recumbent figure and wrapped it round himself; then, hand in hand, they made their way stealthily to the far end of the junk, where the skiff which served as landing’craft was floating somewhere below, fastened to the stem with a painter. As they were at anchor, everyone on board the junk including the helmsman was sleeping. So far so good, thought Trinket. ‘I’ll go first,’ said Doublet. ‘You must jump in after me, when I’m in the boat.’ She jumped down lightly into the skiff. Looking down fearfully into the blackness he couldn’t see her, but he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped. She was waiting for him with arms outstretched and broke his fall. Suddenly a voice called out in the night’ ‘Who’s there?’ It was the Leader, who had just been woken from his sleep.

韦小宝和双儿都大吃一惊,伏在艇底,不敢作声。忽听得嗒的一声,舱房窗子中透出了火光,双儿知道洪教主已听见声息,点火来查,忙提起艇中木桨,入水扳动。只扳得两下,洪教主已在大声呼喝:“是谁?不许动!”
Startled, the two of them crouched down in the bottom of the skiff, scarcely daring to breathe. There was the sound of a flint being struck and light streamed from the shutters of a cabin window. He must have got up to investigate. ‘Who’s that?’ he called out again. ‘Whoever it is, don’t move!’

跟着小艇一晃,却不前进,原来心慌意乱之下,竟忘了解开系艇的绳索。韦小宝急忙伸手去解,触手冰冷,却是一条铁链系着小艇,只听大船中好几人都叫了起来:“白龙使不见了!”“这小子逃走了!”“逃到哪里去了?快追,快追!”韦小宝从靴筒中拔出匕首,用力挥去,刷的一声,斩断铁链,小艇登时冲了出去。这一声响过,洪教主、洪夫人、胖瘦二头陀、陆高轩等先后奔向船尾。冰雪光芒反映之下,见到小艇离大船已有数丈。洪教主一伸手,在船边上抓下一块木头,使劲向小艇掷去。他内力虽强,但木头终究太轻,飞到离小艇两尺之处,拍的一声,掉入了海中。初时陆高轩、胖头陀等不知教主用意,不敢擅发暗器,只怕伤了白龙使,反而受责,待见教主随手抓下船舷上的木块掷击,才明白他心思,身边带有暗器的便即取出发射。只是这么缓得片刻,小艇又向前划了两丈,寻常细小暗器都难以及远,遍生弓箭、钢镖、飞蝗石等物又不就手,众人发出的袖箭、毒针等物,纷纷都跌入了海中。瘦头陀说道:“这小子狡猾得紧,我早知他不是好人,早就该一刀杀了。留着他自找麻烦。”
Doublet grabbed at the oars and began to row, but the skiff didn’t move. In her panic she had forgotten to release the painter; but when Trinket stood up and reached for it, his hand touched freezing metal. It was a chain. Sounds of running and shouts could be heard from the junk. Already they had discovered that the White Dragon Marshal was missing. Ah, the dagger! It was still there in his boot. He drew it out and slashed at the chain, which parted with a loud swish. Doublet could begin rowing now to some purpose, but the noise all this made had betrayed them. The Leader stood looking out from the open casement with the two Dhutas and Doctor Lu standing behind. By the faint glow that the lights on board made on the ice and snow he was able to see where they were and took aim at them with a length of batten hastily wrenched from the side of the junk; but the wood was too light and fell just short of the swiftly’retreating skiff. ‘He’s such a slippery little devil. I always said we ought to have finished him off when we had the chance,’ said Thin Dhuta.

洪教主本已怒极,瘦头陀这几句风凉话,显是讥刺自己见事不明,左手伸出,抓住他后颈,叫道:“快去给我捉他回来。”左手一举,将瘦头陀提在空中,右手抓住了他后臀,喝道:“快去!”双臂一缩,全身内力都运到了臂上,往前送出。瘦头陀一个肉球般的身子飞了出去,直向小艇冲来。双儿拚力划桨。韦小宝大叫:“啊哟,不好!人肉炮弹打来了!”叫声未毕,扑通一声,瘦头陀已掉入海中。他落海之处与小艇只相差数尺,瘦头陀一涌身,左手已抓住了艇边。双儿举起木桨,用力击下,正中他脑袋。瘦头陀忍痛,哼了一声,右手又已抓住艇边。双儿大急,用力再击了下去,拍的一声大响,木桨断为两截,小艇登时在海中打横。瘦头陀头脑一阵昏晕,摇了摇头。韦小宝匕首划出,瘦头陀右手四根手指齐断,剧痛之下,再也支持不住,右手松开,身子在海中一探一沉,大叫大骂。
This was tantamount to criticism of the Leader, and not to be endured. ‘You go and catch him then!’ the Leader said, seizing him with both hands and hurling him with immense force through the cabin window. He sailed like a human cannon’ball through the air and fell with a great splash into the freezing water only a few feet from the skiff. After bobbing up again he struggled towards it and managed to get hold of the gunwale with his left hand. Doublet raised one of the oars and hit him squarely on the head with it. It must have hurt, but he only grunted and got his right hand too on the gunwale. Panic-stricken, Doublet stood up and, holding the oar with both hands, hit him with it again, this time using all her strength. The oar broke in two, the skiff spun round at a right angle, and the fat man shook his head dizzily from side to side; but still he clung on. Only when Trinket slashed his right hand with the dagger and cut off four of his fingers, did he let go, threshing about in the water and yelling and cursing with pain.

双儿拿起剩下的一柄桨,用力扳动,小艇又向岸边驶去。驶得一会,离大船已远,眼见是追不上了。大船上只有一艘小艇,洪教主等人武功再高,在这寒冷彻骨的天时,却也不敢跳入水中游水追来,何况人在水中游泳,再快也追不上船艇。韦小宝拿起艇底一块木板帮着划水,隐隐听得大船上众人怒声叫骂,又过一会,北风终于掩没了众人的声息。韦小宝吁了口气,说道:“谢天谢地,终于逃出来了。”两人划了小半个时辰,这才靠岸。
Doublet took up the remaining oar and used it as a paddle, and Trinket found a piece of board on the floor of the skiff and paddled with it on the other side. Between them they managed to work up quite a speed and Thin Dhuta’s yells and the cries from the junk faded away on the wind. But it took them the better part of half an hour to reach the shore.

Deer

双儿跳入水中,海水只浸到膝盖,拉住艇头的半截铁链,将小艇扯到岸旁,说道:“行了!”韦小宝涌身一跳,便上了岸,叫道:“大功告成!”双儿嘻嘻一笑,退开几步,笑道:“相公,你别胡闹。咱们可得快走,别让洪教主他们追了上来。”韦小宝吃了一惊,皱起眉头,问道:“这是甚么鬼地方?”四下张望,但见白雪皑皑的平原无边无际,黑夜之中,也瞧不见别的东西。双儿道:“真不知这是甚么地方,相公。你说咱们逃去哪里才好?”韦小宝冷得只索索发抖,脑子似乎也冻僵了,竟想不出半条计策,骂道:“他奶奶的,都是方怡这死小娘皮不好,害得我们冻死在这雪地里。”双儿道:“咱们走罢,走动一会,身子便暖和些。”
Doublet jumped out of the skiff into the water, which came up to her knees, and pulled it by what remained of the chain on to the beach.There,’ she said, ‘we’ve made it!’Trinket jumped out. ‘Oh, clever Doublet! This deserves-‘He wanted to start kissing and cuddling her to show his gratitude, but she reminded him that, even without the skiff, the Leader would find a way of pursuing them and that they must still make haste to get away. He looked about him and frowned. Everywhere, as far as he could see in the darkness, was the same flat expanse of snow. What god’forsaken country was this”Which way shall we go, Master?’ she asked.He was shivering with cold. Even his brain seemed frozen. All he could do was curse’ ‘Damn Fang Yi! Thanks to her we’ll just freeze to death in this snow.”Well, it doesn’t matter which way we go, let’s just start running,’ said Doublet. ‘It’ll warm us up a bit.’

两人携着手,便向雪地中走去。雪已积了一尺来厚,一步踏下去,整条小腿都淹没了,拔脚跨步,甚是艰难。韦小宝走得虽然辛苦,但想洪教主神通广大,定有法子追上岸来。这雪地中脚印如此之深,又逃得到哪里去?就算逃出了几天,多半还是会给追到,因此上片刻也不敢停留,不住赶路,随即问起双儿怎么会在船里。原来那日韦小宝一见到方怡,便失魂落魄的赶过去叙话,双儿跟随在艇中。待得他失手遭擒,人人都注目于他,双儿十分机警,立即在后梢躲了起来。这艘战船是洪教主等从清兵手里夺过来的,舵师水手都是清兵,她穿的本是骁骑营官兵服色,混在官兵之中,谁也没发觉。直到战船驶到岸边,她才半夜里出来相救。韦小宝大赞她聪明机灵,说道:“方怡这死妞老是骗我、害我,双儿这乖宝贝总是救我的命。我不要她做老婆了,要你做老婆。”双儿忙放开了手,躲开几步,说道:“我是你的小丫头,自然一心一意服侍你。”韦小宝道:“我有了你这个小丫头,定是前世敲穿了四七二十八个大木鱼,翻烂了三七二十一部四十二章经,今生才有这样好福气。”双儿格格娇笑,说道:“相公总是有话说的。”
So, holding hands, running and stumbling, they hurried forward as best they could. It was heavy going, because at each step they took their feet sank deep in the snow. Fear of the Leader kept them going, but each had the same heavy feeling’ that he was sure to find a means of getting ashore and sooner or later would catch up with them As they plodded on through the night, Doublet explained how she had contrived to be present through all those days aboard the junk. Back at Potluck Island, he had been too engrossed with Fang Yi to notice her in the skiff behind him, and the others had been so intent on his capture that she had been able to slip on board unseen and stow away in the stern. Then after a bit she observed that the ship had been one of their own, and that many of those who manned her were dressed in the uniform of the Valiants, which she herself was wearing. After that she had occasionally shown herself, and had managed to get by without being challenged until the junk began to draw near the coast and she realized that the time had come for them to try and make their escape.

走到天明,离海边已远,回头一望,雪地里两排清清楚楚的脚印,远远伸展出去。再向前望,平原似乎无穷无尽。洪教主等人虽没追来,看来也不过是迟早之间而已。韦小宝心中发愁,说道:“咱们就算再走十天十晚,还是会给他们追上了。”双儿指着右侧,说道:“那边好像有些树林,咱们走进了林中,洪教主他们就不易找了。”韦小宝道:“如果是树林就好了,不过看起来不大像。”两人对准了那一团高起的雪丘,奋力快步走去,走了一个时辰,已经看得清楚,只不过是大平原上高起的一座小丘,并非树林。韦小宝道:“到了小丘之后瞧瞧,或许有地方可以躲藏。”他走到这时,已气喘吁吁,十分吃力。又走了半个时辰,来到小丘之后,只见仍是白茫茫的一片,就如是白雪铺成的大海,更无可以躲藏之处。韦小宝又疲又饿,在雪地上躺倒,说道:“好双儿,你如不给我抱抱,亲个嘴儿,我再也没力气走路了。”双儿红了脸,欲待答应,又觉此事十分不妥,正迟疑间,忽听得身后忽喇一响。两人回过头来,见七八只大鹿从小丘后面转将出来。韦小宝喜道:“肚子饿死啦!你有没法子捉只鹿来,杀了烤鹿肉吃?”双儿道:“我试试看。”
By dawn they were already a long way from the sea and turned back to look. Behind them their twin tracks showed up very clearly in the snow, while ahead an infinite waste of snow stretched out on every hand. ‘If we ran for ten days and nights in this, he’d still track us down,’ said Trinket despondently. ‘Look, Master!’ said Doublet, pointing to a distant elevation in the snowy landscape. ‘That could be a wood. If we could get in there, we’d be much harder to find among the trees.’ ‘It doesn’t look much like a wood,’ said Trinket. ‘Still, we could try.’ Walking with what speed they could towards the elevation, it took them more than an hour to reach the foot of it; but long before they arrived they could see that it was not a wood but a low, flat hill. ‘If we walk round to the back of this, we might find some cover on the other side,’ said Trinket. They were already out of breath, but after walking for another half’hour to the back of the hill and finding that beyond was only more of the same endless, snow’covered plain, Trinket collapsed, exhausted, and lay on his back in the snow. ‘Dear Doublet,’ he said. ‘I’m done for. I think I need a kiss to revive me!’ Doublet blushed. She was about to remonstrate, when a strange animal cry was heard from quite near them and a group of seven or eight large deer emerged from a bend in the hill.’I’m starving,’ said Trinket. ‘Do you think you could manage to catch one’ Then we could have venison for lunch. That would be yummy!”I’ll try,’ said Doublet.

突然飞身扑出,向几头大鹿冲去。那知梅花鹿四腿极长,奔跃如飞,一转身便奔出了数十丈,再也追赶不上。双儿摇了摇头,说道:“追不上的。”这些梅花鹿却并不畏人,见双儿止步,又回过头来。韦小宝道:“咱们躺在地下装死,瞧鹿儿过不过来。”双儿笑道:“好,我就试试看。”说着便横身躺在雪地里。韦小宝道:“我已经死了,我的老婆好双儿也已经死了。我们两个都已经埋在坟里,再也动不了啦。我跟好双儿生了八个儿子,九个女儿。他们都在坟前大哭,大叫我的爹啊,我的妈啊……”双儿噗哧一笑,一张小脸羞得飞红,说道:“谁跟你生这么多儿子女儿!”韦小宝道:“好!八个儿子、九个女儿太多,那么各生三个罢!”双儿笑道:“不……”
She waited a few moments, then darted forwards to seize the nearest of the deer. Almost as she did so the whole group jumped up in the air like a single animal and, turning as they jumped, bounded off at a speed that no human foot could equal.’It’s no good. I could never catch one,’ said Doublet.But these were deer without experience of Man and therefore without fear of humans. They had only been alarmed by her rapid movement. They had halted after running a little distance and now that she was not moving they turned round and looked towards her inquisitively.’If you lie down and we both pretend to be dead, perhaps they’ll come up to us,’ said Trinket.’All right,’ said Doublet, and lay a few feet from his side.’I’m dead and buried and my old wife Doublet is dead and buried too,’ Trinket intoned as he lay on his back in the snow. ‘Our eight sons and nine daughters have come to the graveside to mourn for us.’Doublet giggled and told him not to be ridiculous.

几头梅花鹿慢慢走到两人身边,似乎十分好奇。动物之中,鹿的智慧甚低,远不及犬马狐狸,因此成语中有“蠢如鹿豕”的话。几头梅花鹿低下头来,到韦小宝和双儿的脸上擦擦嗅嗅,叫了几声。韦小宝叫道:“翻身上马,狄青降龙!”弹身跃起,坐上了鹿背,举手紧紧抓住鹿角。双儿轻轻巧巧的也跃上了一头梅花鹿之背。群鹿受惊,撒蹄奔跃。双儿叫道:“你用匕首杀鹿啊。”韦小宝道:“不忙杀,骑鹿逃命,洪教主便追不上了。”双儿道:“是,对极。不过可别失散了。”她担心两头鹿一往东窜,一向西奔,那可糟糕。幸好梅花鹿性喜合群,八头大鹿聚在一起奔跑,奔得一会,又有七八头大鹿过来合在一起。梅花鹿身高腿长,奔跑起来不输于骏马,只是骑在鹿背,颠簸极烈。群鹿向着西北一口气冲出数里,这才缓了下来,背上骑了人的两头鹿用力跳跃,想将二人抛下,但韦小宝和双儿紧紧抓住了鹿角,说甚么也抛不下来。韦小宝叫道:“一下鹿背,再上去可就难了,咱们逃得越远越好。这叫做大丈夫一言既出,活鹿难追。”这一日两人虽然饿得头晕眼花,仍是紧紧抱住鹿颈,抓住鹿角,任由鹿群在茫茫无际的雪原中奔驰。两人知道鹿群多奔得一刻,便离洪教主等远了一些,同时雪地中也没了二人的足印。傍晚时分,鹿群奔进了一座森林。
The deer is not a very intelligent animal, but these deer were very curious. A couple of them walked over slowly, bent down over the recumbent couple, and began snuffling at their faces.To horse! To horse!’ cried Trinket jumping up and bestriding the deer that was sniffing him. To prevent himself falling off, he clung to its antlers. Doublet had been quick to follow his example and for a few minutes the two of them hung on for all they were worth while the deer made unsuccessful attempts to throw them off.’Kill it with your dagger!’ said Doublet. ‘No, not yet,’ said Trinket. ‘Let’s stay on their backs as long as we can. That way, we shan’t leave any footprints and the Leader won’t be able to find us.’And so they did. At first they greatly feared that they might become separated and lose each other; but deer are gregarious creatures, and the two who were carrying them stayed with each other and followed the rest of the group. In fact this group was part of another group which they presently joined, so that Trinket and Doublet found themselves riding in a herd of between fifteen and twenty animals. It was dreadfully bumpy riding and they were dizzy with hunger, having had nothing to eat since the day before, but they managed to hold out until the early evening, when the herd entered the outskirts of a forest.

韦小宝道:“好啦,下来罢!”拔出匕首,割断了胯下雄鹿的喉头。那头鹿奔得几步,摔倒在地。双儿道:“一头鹿够吃的了。饶了我那头鹿罢。”从鹿背上跃了下来。韦小宝筋疲力尽,全身骨骼便如要尽数散开,躺在地下只是喘气,过了一会,爬在雄鹿颈边,嘴巴对住了创口,骨嘟骨嘟的喝了十几口热血,叫道:“双儿,你来喝。”大量鹿血入肚,精神为之一振,身上也慢慢感到了暖意。双儿喝过鹿血,用匕首割了一条鹿腿,拾了些枯枝,生火烧烤,说道:“鹿啊鹿,你救了我们性命,我们反而将你杀来吃了,实在对不住得很。”
‘Time to get down now’ said Trinket, reaching with one hand for his dagger. Still clinging to the antlers with the other, he drew it across the deer’s throat. The deer took a few more steps, stumbled forward, and fell down dead in the snow. Trinket himself collapsed and lay in the snow for a while, too weak with fatigue and hunger to move; then getting up painfully on his hands and knees, he crawled over to where the deer was lying, applied his lips to the gaping wound in its neck and began sucking. As the hot blood reached his stomach, he could feel warmth spreading round inside him, thawing his frozen body and revitalizing his spirits. ‘Doublet, come and drink some too!’ he called. Resourceful Doublet, when she was sufficiently restored by drinking the blood, borrowed Trinket’s dagger and cut a haunch from the dead deer. After skinning it, she hunted around for some sticks and some dry lichen and, using the flint lighter that she always carried with her, she managed after a few attempts to start a fire. Trinket helped her feed it for a while, and when it was hot enough, she set about roasting the haunch. Even if still half’done when they ate it, they were so famished that it seemed delicious; but when they had finished eating, Doublet began grieving for the deer. ‘Poor deer!’ she said. ‘You saved our lives, and all we do in return is to kill and eat you!’

两人吃过烤鹿腿,更是兴高采烈。韦小宝道:“好双儿,我跟你在这树林中做一对猎人公、猎人婆,再也不回北京去啦。”双儿低下了头,说道:“相公到哪里,我总是跟着服侍你。你回到北京做大官也好,在这里做猎人也好,我总是你的小丫头。”韦小宝眼见火光照射在她脸上,红扑扑地娇艳可爱,笑道:“那么咱们是不是大功告成了呢?”双儿“啊”的一声,一跃上了头顶松树,笑道:“没有,没有。”两人蜷缩在火堆之旁,睡了一夜。次日醒来,双儿又烧烤鹿肉,两人饱餐一顿。韦小宝的帽子昨日骑在鹿背上奔驰之时掉了,双儿剥下鹿皮,给他做了一顶。韦小宝道:“昨日奔了一天,洪教主他们不容易寻到我们了,不过还是有些危险。最好骑了梅花鹿再向北奔得三四天,那么我韦教主跟你双儿夫人就仙福永享、寿与天齐了。”双儿笑道:“甚么双儿夫人的,可多难听?再要骑鹿,那也不难,这不是鹿群过来了吗?”果然见到二十余头大鹿小鹿自东边踏雪而来,伸高头颈,嚼吃树上的嫩叶。这森林中人迹罕至,群鹿见了二人竟毫不害怕。双儿道:“鹿儿和善得很,最好别多伤他们性命。昨天这头大鹿,已够我们吃得十几天了。”在死鹿身上斩下几大块鹿肉,用鹿皮索儿绑了起来,与韦小宝分别负在背上,慢慢向群鹿走去。
But Trinket took a more robust view. ‘Why don’t we stay here, Doublet?’ he said. ‘We could become hunters and live in the forest as husband and wife.’ Doublet blushed, as she always did when he said such things. ‘I’m your servant,’ she said. ‘Whether you’re a great man in Peking or a huntsman in the forest, it makes no difference.’ That night they curled up beside their fire and in the morning they ate some more of the venison. When they had eaten their fill, Doublet removed the rest of the deer’s skin and, to replace the hat that Trinket had lost the day before in their ride, she made him a crude cap out or two pieces?’edges with the dagger and using thin strips of it to lace them together with. As provisions for the journey that lay ahead, they cut some more flesh from the carcass and attached as much of it as each of them thought they could carry by wrapping it in large pieces of deerskin and tying it to their backs with more thin strips of the skin. The herd they had travelled with the day before had run off when Trinket slaughtered their fellow, but they had not walked very far that morning when they saw another herd of twenty or more deer among the trees ahead, all of them with heads upraised, nibbling at the shoots on the lower branches.

韦小宝伸手抚摸一头大鹿,那鹿转过头来,舐舐他脸,毫无惊惶之意。韦小宝叫道:“啊哟,这鹿儿跟我大功告成。”双儿格的一笑,说道:“你先骑上去罢。”两人纵身上了鹿背,两头鹿才吃惊纵跳,向前疾奔。群鹿始终在森林之中奔跑。两人抓住鹿角,控制方向,只须向北而行,便和洪教主越离越远。韦小宝这时已知骑鹿不难,骑了两个多时辰,便和双儿跳下地来,任由群鹿自去。如此接连十余日在密林中骑鹿而行。有时遇不上鹿群,便缓缓步行,饿了便吃烤鹿肉。两人身上原来的衣衫,早在林中给荆棘勾得破烂不堪,都已换上了双儿新做的鹿皮衣裤,连鞋子也是鹿皮做的。这一日出了大树林,忽听得水声轰隆,走了一会,便到了一条大江之畔,只见江中水势汹涌,流得甚急。两人在密林中耽了十几日,陡然见到这条大江,胸襟为之大爽。
‘Let’s see if we can get a lift again,’ said Trinket, and walking step by step towards them, he slowly reached out his hand and began stroking one gently on the back. The deer, showing no sign at all of fear or surprise, looked round and began licking his face. ‘I think this one fancies me,’ he said. ‘Try getting on it,’ said Doublet, and next moment each of them was astride a deer again, and the whole herd, startled by the sudden movement, began running, including, of course, the two deer they had mounted. In this way, sometimes riding on deer and sometimes walking, stopping towards the end of each day to make a fire and cook some venison, and sucking the pure snow when they felt thirsty, they travelled through what seemed endless forest for more than a fortnight. It was a relief when they heard the sound of water ahead and emerged from the trees to see in front of them a turbulent and swiftly moving river. They resolved to walk northwards, following the flow of the river.

Mountains and Rivers

沿江向北走了几个时辰,忽然见到三名身穿兽皮的汉子,手持锄头铁叉,看模样似是猎人。韦小宝好久没见生人,心中大喜,忙迎上去,问道:“三位大哥,你们上哪里去?”一名四十来岁的汉子道:“我们去牡丹江赶集,你们又去哪里?”口音甚是怪异。韦小宝道:“啊哟,牡丹江是向那边去吗?我们走错了,跟着三位大哥去,那再好不过了。”当下和三人并排而行,有一搭没一搭的撩他们说话。原来三人是通古斯人,以打猎挖参为生,常到牡丹江赶集,跟汉人做生意,因此会说一些汉话。
They had already been walking along the bank for more than an hour when they saw three fur’clad men ahead of them, each carrying one of those long’handled tridents that huntsmen favour. Trinket felt a great happiness to come upon other humans after so many days in the wilderness and hurried forward to greet them. ‘Where are you bound for, brothers?’ he asked them. ‘We go to Peony River. Where you go?’ The one who answered was a man of forty or so and spoke Chinese with a very peculiar accent ‘Oh’ said Trinket. ‘Which way’s that then’ We seem to be lost. Do you mind if we join you gentlemen until we get there?’ The men seemed willing, so Trinket and Doublet travelled in their company. Along the way they conversed in snatches, but it was quite hard to understand what they said. The men belonged to the Tungus people, who were closely related to the Manchus. They were trappers and ginseng’gatherers and made their living by selling their ginseng and pelts at the big market on Peony River, which is where they had picked up their Chinese. ‘Peony River’ (or Mudan’jiang in Chinese) was the name of the river they had been following, but also the name that had been given to the market on its banks where the native Tunguses came to do business with the Chinese settlers.

到得牡丹江,却是好大一个市集。韦小宝身边那大叠银票一直带着不失,邀那三个通古斯人去酒铺喝酒。正饮之间,忽听得邻桌有人说道:“你这条棒槌儿,当然也是好得很了,上个月有人从呼玛尔窝集山那边下来……”韦小宝和双儿听到“呼玛尔窝集山”,心中都是一凛,对望了一眼,齐向说话之人瞧去,见是两个老汉,正在把玩一条带叶的新挖人参。韦小宝取出一锭银子,交给酒保,吩咐多取酒肉,再切一大盘熟牛肉,打两斤白酒,送去邻桌。两名老参客大为奇怪,不知这小猎人何以如此好客,当下连声道谢。韦小宝过去敬了几杯酒,以他口才,三言两语之间,便打听到了呼玛尔窝集山的所在,原来此去向北,尚有两三千里,那两个参客也从来没去过。韦小宝把双儿叫过去,要她说了些地图上其余山川的名字。两名老参客一一指点,方位远近,果与地图上所载丝毫无错。
It turned out, when they got there, to be quite a large settlement, with shops and taverns as well as the very large open market. Trinket still had a big wad of banknotes on him and invited the three Tunguses to a tavern to have a drink. While the five of them were sitting there drinking, Trinket and Doublet both overheard someone at the next table mention a familiar name’ ‘. . . You should have seen the one that a fellow brought back last month from Mount Khumarsk . . .’ Trinket and Doublet exchanged glances’ it was definitely one of the places marked on the map. Glancing over his shoulder he saw that the speaker was one of two old ginseng’gatherers discussing their finds. He called the waiter over, slipped him a piece of silver, and told him to fetch a large plate of sliced cold beef and two pints of baigar spirit and serve it to the gentlemen at the next table with his compliments. The two old men were a little mystified that the young huntsman in the fur cap at the next table should want to treat them, but delighted nevertheless, and in the ensuing civilities, in the course of which they were soon all sitting together, it was easy for Trinket to bring the conversation round to Mount Khumarsk, which the old men hadn’t been to but knew the whereabouts of. It was, they said, many hundreds of miles north of Peony River. And when, at Trinket’s bidding, Doublet mentioned other place’names she had memorized from the map, they knew them all-in some cases had even visited them-and were able to say exactly where they were.

酒醉饭饱之后,与通古斯人及参客别过,韦小宝寻思:“那鹿鼎山原来离此地还有好几千里,反正闲着也是闲着,不妨就去将宝贝掘了来。”其实掘不掘宝,他倒并不怎么在乎,内心深处,实在是害怕跟洪教主、瘦头陀一伙人遇上。洪教主等人在南,倘若再往北两三千里,洪教主是无论如何找不到自己了,又想:“我跟双儿在荒山野岭里等他十年八年,洪教主非死不可,难道他真的还能他妈的寿与天齐?”
When the company had eaten their fill and had considerably more than enough to drink, Trinket took a warm leave of his new friends and went out with Doublet to plan what they should do next. Cossacks, and the FortThe first thing was to get some new clothes. The remnants of military apparel they were wearing were not only conspicuous and quite inadequate for the climate, but in a pitiful state after their journey through the forest. What they needed was fur.While they were looking for a furrier’s, Trinket was trying to think of some way in which he could keep permanently out of the clutches of the evil Leader. The eight little coloured circles on the map which had marked the place where the Manchu treasure was buried were near the meeting of two big rivers and Mount Luding (The Deer and Cauldron Mountain)-one of the names Doublet had remembered which the old men had heard of. It must, like the other places, be hundreds of miles to the north, too far for even the Leader to reach. If they could get there and dig up just a little of that treasure, he and Doublet could live in comfort somewhere in the area and wait for the old wretch to die. He was an old man and couldn’t last for ever, in spite of all the ‘Long Life’ chants and suchlike flattery. He decided that that was what they would do.’We’ll go to that Deer and Cauldron Mountain and dig up some of the treasure,’ he told Doublet. This was the first she had heard of any treasure, but she accepted what he told her without comment.

当下去皮铺买了两件上好的貂皮袄,和双儿分别穿了,生怕给洪教主追上,貂皮袄外仍是罩上粗陋鹿皮衣,用煤灰涂黑了脸,就算追上了,也盼望他认不出来。雇了一辆大车,一路向北。在大车之中,跟双儿谈谈说说,偶尔“大功告成”,其乐融融。坐了二十余日大车,越是向北,越加寒冷,道上冰封雪积,大车已不能通行。两人改乘马匹,到得后来,连马也不能走了,便在密林雪原中徒步而行。好在韦小宝寻宝为名,避难是实,眼见穷山恶水,四野无人,心中越觉平安。双儿记心甚好,依循地图上所绘方位,慢慢向北寻去,遇到猎人参客,便打听地名,与图上所载印证。
They found a furrier’s shop and Trinket bought an expensive sable’lined gown for each of them, which they changed into immediately. Then he bought a large wagon and pair of horses and, after more shopping, when their preparations were finally completed, they set off.The journey north was to take them several weeks. When the roads became impossible and finally gave out altogether, they were forced to abandon the wagon and advance on horseback. And finally, when even the horses could carry them no further, they continued on foot. Doublet was able to recall every detail of the map, and by enquiring about the places named in it whenever they met a trapper or a ginseng’gatherer, was able to make sure that they were moving in the right direction.

地图上有八个四色小圈,便是鹿鼎山的所在,地当两条大江合流之处,这一日算来相距该已不远。两人在一座大松林中正携手而行,突然间东北角上砰的一声大响,却是火器射击之声。韦小宝惊道:“啊哟,不好,洪教主追来了。”忙拉着双儿,躲入树后长草丛中,接着听得十余人呼喝号叫,奔将过来,跟着又有马蹄声音。韦小宝所怕的只是洪教主追来,将他擒住,抽筋剥皮,这时听声音似与洪教主无关,稍觉放心,从草丛中向外望去,只见十余名通古斯猎人狂呼急奔。忽听得砰砰砰之声不绝,数名猎人摔倒在地,滚了几滚,便即死去,身上渗出鲜血。韦小宝握住双儿的手,心想:“这是外国鬼子的火枪。”马蹄声响,七八骑马冲将过来,马上所乘果然都是黄须碧眼的外国官兵,一个个身材魁梧,神情凶恶,有的拿着火枪,有的提了弯刀乱砍,片刻之间,便将余下的通古斯猎人尽数砍死。外国官兵哈哈大笑,跳下马来,搜检猎人身上的物事,取去了几张貂皮、六七只银狐,叽哩咕噜的说了一阵,上马而去。韦小宝和双儿耳听得马蹄声远去,才慢慢从草丛中出来,看众猎人时,已没一个活口。两人面面相觑,从对方眼睛之中,都看到了恐惧之极的神色。
They were, by their calculations, not very far from their destination and were walking, hand in hand, through a small pine wood, when they heard what was unmistakably the report of a firearm. Trinket’s instant reaction was to think that the Leader or his agents had caught up with him and to dart for cover inside a clump of bushes, dragging Doublet after him. But the shouts and cries they could now hear were not made by Chinese voices, as he could see when he peeped out through the bushes. They came from a group of ten or so Tungus huntsmen who were now running frantically across the clearing as if pursued. Several more shots followed in quick succession, and three of the huntsmen rolled over and lay still, their blood spreading out rapidly beneath them. This was instantly followed by a sound of hooves, and seven or eight foreign horsemen in military uniform, tall, fierce’looking fellows with blue eyes and fair hair, came galloping through the trees, some of them carrying muskets and some wielding sabres, slashing and running down the wretched huntsmen until every one of them was dead. Dismounting with shouts of laughter, they proceeded to gather up the sable and silver’fox pelts and anything else of value that the Tunguses had been carrying, all the time chattering away in some incomprehensible language; and having secured this loot to their saddles, they mounted their horses again and galloped away.

韦小宝低声道:“这些外国鬼子是强盗。”双儿道:“比强盗还凶狠,抢了东西,还杀人。”韦小宝突然想起一事,说道:“怎么会有外国强盗?难道吴三桂已经造反了吗?”他知吴三桂和罗刹国有约,云南一发兵,罗刹国就从北进攻,此刻突然见到许多外国兵,莫非数十日来不闻外事,吴三桂已经动手了?想到吴三桂手下兵马众多,不禁为小玄子担忧,望着地下一具具尸体,只是发愁。双儿叹道:“这些猎人真可怜,他们家里的父母妻子,这时候正在等他们回去呢。”韦小宝唔了一声,突然道:“我要见小皇帝去。”双儿大为奇怪,问道:“见小皇帝?”韦小宝道:“不错。吴三桂起兵造反,小皇帝定有许多话要跟我商量,就算我想不出甚么主意,跟他说话解解闷也是好的。咱们这就回北京去。”双儿道:“鹿鼎山不去了?”韦小宝道:“这次不去了,下次再去。”他虽贪财,但积下的金银财宝说甚么也已花不完,想到鹿鼎山与小玄子的龙脉有关,实在不想去真的发掘,只怕一掘之下,就此害了小玄子的性命。他找出八部四十二章经中的碎羊皮,将之拼凑成图,查知图上山川的名字,一直很是热心,但真的来到鹿鼎山,忽然害怕起来,只盼找个甚么借口,离得越远越好。若说全是为了顾全对康熙的义气,却也未必,只是“鹿鼎山掘宝”这件事实在太大,他身边只双儿一人,事到临头,不免胆怯,倘若带着数千名骁骑营官兵,说不定已经大叫:“他奶奶的,兵发鹿鼎山去者!”双儿没甚么主意,自然唯命是从。韦小宝道:“咱们回北京,可别跟外国强盗撞上了,还是沿着江边走,瞧有没有船。”
‘Foreign soldiers’ said Trinket. ‘They’re no better than bandits.’ ‘Worse’ said Doublet. ‘Bandits wouldn’t be so cruel. Think of the wives and children of those poor huntsmen, waiting for them to come home.’ But Trinket was thinking about his friend Misty, the Emperor. What would become of him if an army of these thugs armed with invincible weapons joined Satrap Wu when he rebelled’ ‘We must go back to Peking,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to see the Emperor.’ To Doublet this sudden change of plan when they were so near their destination seemed utterly incomprehensible. ‘What about Deer and Cauldron Mountain?’ she said weakly. ‘It must “wait for another time.’ Doublet was obliged to accept this, though she did not understand. ‘We don’t want to run into any more of these foreign bandits’ said Trinket. ‘We’d better find where the river is and look for a boat.’

当下穿出树林,折向东行。走到下午,到了一条大江之畔,远远望见有座城寨。韦小宝大喜,心想:“到了城中,雇船也好,乘马也好,有钱就行。”当下快步走去。行出数里,又见到一条大江,自西北蜿蜒而来,与这条波涛汹涌的大江会合。双儿忽道:“相公,这便是阿穆尔河跟黑龙江了,那……那……那里便是鹿鼎山啊。”说着伸手指着那座城寨。
Emerging from the wood onto the open steppe, they walked in an easterly direction for the rest of the morning and arrived in the afternoon at the bank of a violent, foaming river from which, somewhere in the distance, they could see a fort.’I’ve still got plenty of money’ thought Trinket. ‘If we can get there I should be able to hire horses or a boat.’They hurried on, hoping to reach the fort before nightfall; but after they had gone a couple of miles or so, the turbulent river they were following flowed into a much larger, more slowly moving one which was snaking its way from the north’west across the plain. They could see now that the fort was situated on a slight eminence above this larger river. And just behind it was a much bigger hill. For an hour or so they walked beside the river towards the fort, then suddenly Doublet stopped and cried out excitedly”Master, this is the Meeting of the Waters! These must be the two rivers on the map-the Argun and the Amur. Look’ she pointed to beyond the fort, ‘that must be the Deer and Cauldron Mountain!’

韦小宝道:“你没记错么?这可巧得很了。”双儿道:“地图上的的确确是这样画的,不过图上只是八个颜色圈儿,却没说有座城寨。”韦小宝道:“鹿鼎山上有座城寨,真是古怪得紧。我看这座城子不大靠得住,咱们还是别去。”双儿道:“甚么不大靠得住?”韦小宝道:“你瞧,城头上有朵妖云,看来城中有个大大的妖怪。”双儿吓了一跳,忙道:“啊哟!我是最怕妖怪的了,相公,咱们快走。”便在此时,只听得马蹄声响,数十骑马沿着大江,自南而来。四周都是平原,无处可以躲藏,韦小宝一拉双儿,两人从江岸滚了下去,缩在江边的大石之后,过不多时,便见一队马队疾驰而过,骑在马上的都是外国官兵。韦小宝伸了伸舌头,眼望着这队外国兵走进城寨去了,说道:“可不是吗?我说这座城子不大靠得住,果然不错。原来这不是妖云,是外国番云。”双儿道:“咱们好容易找到了鹿鼎山,哪知道这座山却教外国强盗占了。”韦小宝“啊哟”一声,跳起身来,叫道:“糟糕,糟糕!”双儿见他脸色大变,忙问:“怎么?”韦小宝道:“外国强盗一定知道了地图中的秘密,否则怎么会找到这里?这批宝藏和龙脉可都不保了。”双儿从没听他说过宝藏和龙脉之事,但那幅地图砌得如此艰难,也早想到鹿鼎山必定事关重大,眼见他眉头深皱,劝道:“相公,既然给外国兵先找到了,那也没法子啦。外国强盗有火器,凶恶得紧,咱两个斗他们不过的。”韦小宝叹了口气,说道:“这可奇怪了,咱们的地图拼成之后,过不了几天就烧了,怎会泄漏了机密?这些外国强盗是不是已掘了宝藏,破了小皇帝的龙脉,非得查个明明白白不可。”想到适才外国兵在树林中杀人的凶狠残忍模样,不由得打个寒噤,沉吟道:“我想去鹿鼎山探查清楚,就是太过危险,得想个法儿才好。好双儿,咱们等到天黑才去,那就不容易给鬼子发觉。”
‘Are you sure?’ said Trinket. The map only showed eight little circles. It didn’t have anything about a fort.’Just then they heard distant hoofbeats behind them and saw a troop of thirty or forty foreign cavalry come riding in from the south. Soon they were trotting along the river’bank; they were likely to spot Trinket and Doublet at any moment. In desperation, for this was open country with no cover whatsoever to be seen, they rolled down the river’bank and crouched behind a boulder out of sight. The cavalrymen passed and disappeared eventually into the fort.’Aiyo!’ cried Trinket, jumping up. ‘Damn! Damn! Damn!”What is it?’ asked Doublet. She had never seen him look so distressed.Those foreigners must have found out the secret of the Dragon Lines and the treasure’ said Trinket. ‘But how could they build a fort so quickly’ And how on earth did they get to know about it’ We burned the map soon after you pieced it all together. I must get to the bottom of this. There’s something very weird about this fortress.”We can’t do much about it’ said Doublet. These foreigners are ruthless people and they’ve got those terrible weapons.’Trinket thought of what they had witnessed earlier in the woods and shivered.’We must wait until it’s dark and they can’t see us’ he said.

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