The Deer And The Cauldron 46

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The Deer And The Cauldron 46
第四十六回 千里帆樯来域外 九霄风雨过城头

Chapter 27-In which Trinket travels to Taiwan; and is sent as 434 Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Russians, with Instructions to capture fort Albazin and negotiate the Treaty of Nerchinsk

The Fall of Taiwan-Trinket in Taiwan-Boots Aloft- Trinket in Favour Again- Arrangements for Revenge-The Supreme Commander-Heads You Lose!-Human Shashlik- Winter sets In-Piss Attack-Wobbleski and Chillingoff-A Loyal Servant-More Russian Blarney- Nerchinsk-Conspiracy in the Tent-Not by Halves-An Object for a Cult

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The Fall of Taiwan

抬头向海上看时,只见十来艘艨艟巨舰,张帆乘风,正向岛上疾驶而来,韦小宝见势头不对,一扯之下,没能将鱼钩扯脱,反而钩得后颈好不疼痛,当即拔步飞奔,让那钓鱼杆拖在身后,心想定是郑克塽这小子带兵还债来了,还债本来甚好,可是欠债的上门,先开上几炮,来势汹汹,必非好兆。他还没奔到屋前,彭参将已气急败坏的奔到,道:“韦……韦爵爷……大……大事不好,台湾兵船打过来了。”韦小宝问道:“你怎知是台湾兵船?”彭参将道:“卑职刚……刚才用千里镜照过了,船……尾巴……不,不,船头上漆着一个太阳,一个月亮,那是台湾郑……郑逆的徽号,一艘船要是装五百名兵将,两艘一千,十三艘那就有七八千……”韦小宝接过他手中千里镜,对来船望去,一数之下,共有十三艘大船,再细看船头,果然依稀画得有太阳和月亮的徽记,喝道:“快去带兵登防,守在岸边,敌人坐小艇登陆,这就放箭!”彭参将连声答应,飞奔而去。
The boom that woke Trinket from his noonday dream of underwater gambling was the firing of a cannon out at sea. It appeared to have come from a small squadron of ships, which were making at some speed towards the island, with the wind full in their sails. As he hurried towards the cabins to tell his wives, he was met by the commandant of the island’s garrison, who came running towards him excitedly to tell him that the ships, which he had been observing through his telescope, were flying the sun and moon flag of Taiwan. It looked very much as if Zheng Keshuang was coming back for his revenge. Trinket told the commandant to put the garrison on the alert and continued on his way to the cabins.

苏荃等都闻声出来,只听得来船又砰砰砰的放炮。公主道:“阿珂妹子,你去台湾时,带不带虎头同去?”阿珂顿足怒道:“你……你开甚么玩笑?”韦小宝更加恼怒,骂道:“让公主这臭皮带了她的双双去台湾……”苏荃忽道:“咦,怎地炮弹落海,没溅起水柱?”只听得砰砰两响,炮口烟雾瀰漫,却没炮打上岸来,也没落入海中。韦小宝一怔,哈哈大笑,道:“这是礼炮,不是来跟咱们为难的。”公主道:“先礼后兵!”韦小宝怒道:“双双小丫头呢?快过来,老子要打她屁股。”公主嗔道:“好端端的为甚么打女儿?”韦小宝道:“谁教她的娘这么讨厌!”来船渐近,从千里镜中看得清楚,船上升起的竟是大清黄龙旗,并非台湾日月旗,韦小宝又惊又喜,将千里镜交给苏荃道:“你瞧瞧,这可奇了。”
The womenfolk had already come outside to look and had seen the flags. Princess Ning rather acidly asked Green Girl if she would be taking her Tiger boy with her to Taiwan. But in spite of some banter, everyone was nervous and apprehensive until Su Quan cleverly pointed out that the cannon’fire, which was continuing at regular intervals, was producing no visible effect but smoke. ‘Of course!’ said Trinket, laughing. ‘They’re not bombarding. It’s a salute.’ ‘Salute first, bombardment to follow,’ said the Princess, who was sure that this must be Sir Zheng making a comeback. But the commandant now came back to report that this appeared after all to be a Manchu squadron’ a few minutes earlier, as if those on board had suddenly become aware of an oversight, the sun and moon flags had been struck and the Qing colours run up in their stead.

苏荃看了一会,微笑道:“这是大清水师,不是台湾的。”韦小宝接过来又看,笑道:“对啦!果真是大清水师。哎啊,干甚么?他妈的好痛!”回过头来,原来抱在阿珂怀中的韦虎头抓住了钓杆,用力拉扯,鱼钩还钩在韦小宝颈中,自然扯得他好生疼痛。阿珂忍住了笑,忙轻轻替他把鱼钩取下,笑道:“对不住,别生气。”韦小宝笑道:“乖儿子,年纪小小,就有姜太公的手段,了不起!”公主哼了一声,骂道:“偏心鬼!”只见彭参将快速奔来,叫道:“韦爵爷,船上打的是大清旗号,只怕有诈。”韦小宝道:“不错!只许一艘小艇载人上岛,问明白了再说。”彭参将接令而去。公主道:“定是郑克塽这小子假打大清旗号,这些明明是台湾船嘛!”韦小宝道:“很好,很好。公主,你近来相貌美得很啊。”公主一怔,听丈夫称赞自己,却也忍不住喜欢,微笑道:“还不是一样,有甚么美了?”韦小宝道:“你唇红面白,眉毛弯弯,好像月里嫦娥下凡,郑克塽见了一定喜爱得紧。”公主呸的一声。不多时来船驶近,下锚停泊,六七名水兵划了一艘小艇,驶向岸边,彭参将指挥士兵,弯弓搭箭,对住了小艇。小艇驶到近处,艇中有人拿起话筒放在口边,叫道:“圣旨到!水师提督施军门向韦爵爷传旨。”韦小宝大喜,骂道:“他妈的,施琅这家伙搞甚么古怪,却坐了台湾的战船来传旨。”苏荃道:“想是他在海上遇到了台湾水师,打了胜仗,将台湾的战船捉了过来。”韦小宝道:“定是如此。荃姊姊料事如神。”公主兀自不服气,嘀咕道:“我猜是施琅投降了台湾,郑克塽派他假传圣旨。”韦小宝心中一欢喜,也就不再斥骂,在她屁股上扭了一把,拍了一记,兴匆匆地赶到沙滩土去接旨。小艇中上来的果然是施琅。他在沙滩上一站,大声宣旨。
Su Quan suggested that they must be captured Taiwanese vessels recently taken by the Manchu forces in a naval engagement. This seemed the likeliest explanation of their strange behaviour; but Trinket was still a little suspicious and told the commandant that, until the identity and purpose of the squadron had been established, he should allow only a small party from one of the ships to land. The ships had now dropped anchor and a small boat manned by six or seven sailors rowed out from one of them towards the shore. A man stood up in their midst and shouted through a megaphone that Admiral Shi Lang was coming ashore to deliver an Imperial Edict to Lord Wei of Potluck Island. Trinket hurried down to the shore, and by the time Shi Lang had landed and was standing there to deliver it, he was already on his knees to hear it read.

原来康熙派施琅攻打台湾,澎湖一战,郑军水师大败,施琅乘胜入台。明延平郡王郑克塽不战而降,台湾就此归于大清版图。康熙论功行赏,以施琅当年闲居北京不用,得韦小宝保荐而立此大功,特升韦小宝为二等通吃侯,加太子太保衔,长子韦虎头荫一等轻车都尉。
It seemed that the Manchu fleet under Shi Lang’s command had defeated the Taiwanese fleet near the Pescadores. Shi Lang had gone on to invade the island and Zheng Keshuang, the last ruler of Taiwan, had surrendered without a fight. Taiwan and the Pescadores were now part of the Chinese Empire. In recognition of the contribution Trinket had made towards this great victory by first recommending Shi Lang to his notice, the Emperor was advancing his ennoblement by one degree. He would now, instead of Earl, be Marquis of Potluck Island Second Class and an Honorary Grand Guardian to the Heir Apparent, and his baby son, Baronet Tiger, was to become a Baron.

韦小宝谢恩已毕,茫然若失,想不到台湾居然已给施琅平了。他和郑克塽一见面就结怨,师父陈近南为其所害,更是恨之切骨,但台湾一平,大明天下从此更无寸土,也不禁有些惆怅。他年纪幼小,从未读书,甚么满汉之分,国族之仇,向来不放在心上,只是在天地会日久,平日听会中兄弟们说得多了,自然而然也觉满洲人占我汉人江山十分不该。这时听说施琅将郑克塽抓了去北京,并不觉得喜欢。又想师父一生竭尽心力,只盼恢复大明天下,就算这件大事做不成功,也要保住海外大明这一片土,哪知师父被害不久,郑克塽便即投降,师父在阴世得知,也必痛哭流涕。韦小宝想到那日师父被害,也是因和施琅力战之后,神困力疲,才会被郑克塽在背后施了暗算,眼见施琅一副得意洋洋的神气,不由得一肚子都是气,说道:“施大人立此大功,想来定是封了大官啦。”施琅微笑道:“蒙皇上恩典,赐封卑职为三等靖海侯。”韦小宝道:“恭喜,恭喜。”心想:“我本来是一等通吃伯,升一级是三等通吃侯,小皇帝却连升我两级,原来要我盖过了施琅,免得大家都做三等候,滋味不太好。”但想到施琅大战平台,何等热闹风光,自己却在这荒岛上发闷,既妒且恼,不由得更对他恨得牙痒痒地。施琅请了个安,恭恭敬敬的道:“皇上召见卑职,温言有加,着实勉励了一番,最后说道:‘施琅你这次出师立功,可知是得了谁的栽培提拔?从前你在北京,谁都不来睬你,是谁保荐你的?’卑职回道:‘回皇上:那是韦爵爷的保奏提拔,皇上加恩。皇上说道:‘你不忘本,这就是了。你即去通吃岛向韦小宝宣旨,加恩晋爵,奖他有知人之明,为朝廷立功。’是以卑职专程赶来。”韦小宝叹了口气,心想:“我提拔的人个个立功,就只我自己,却给监禁在这荒岛上寸步难行。小皇帝不住加我官爵,其实我就算封了通吃王,又有甚么希罕了?”
When Trinket had kowtowed his thanks and was on his feet again, Shi Lang told him that when he had gone back to Peking to report on his victory to the Emperor and hand over Zheng and the other state prisoners whose immunity had been guaranteed in the surrender terms, Kang Xi had reminded him of the debt he owed to Trinket. It was Trinket’s recommendation, when he was still living in obscurity, that had led to his attaining the position in which so great an achievement had become possible. And it was Kang Xi’s own idea that Shi Lang should be the one to deliver the Edict to Trinket on his island, before returning to Taiwan to supervise the take-over. Trinket listened to Shi Lang without enthusiasm. His feelings at this moment were, in fact, very mixed. These repeated promotions that the Emperor kept awarding him were meaningless. The island’s garrison were supposed to be there for his protection, but he knew full well they were really there to stop him running away. Even if he was made Prince of Potluck Island he would still be a prisoner.

He had always hated Sir Zheng, but if Taiwan was taken, it meant that the whole Ming cause that his beloved Helmsman had fought all his life to uphold had been finally defeated. The difference between Chinese and Manchu had originally meant nothing to him, but long association with Chinese patriots like his friends in the Triads had kindled an awareness in him that he belonged to a nation which had been taken over by a foreign race. And when he thought of Shi Lang, free and active and covering himself with glory in a big campaign, while he was stuck on this wretched island and bored out of his mind, he felt a pang of jealousy. Still, he had to say something and made a slight effort to be polite. ‘Surely you must have had an award for this great achievement?’ Shi Lang tried hard to suppress a smirk of satisfaction. ‘His Majesty has graciously awarded me a Marquisate Third Class.’ ‘Congratulations!’ said Trinket.

His own promotion was to a Marquisate Second Class. It occurred to him that the Emperor must have deliberately made him a grade higher than Shi Lang. Decent of Misty to have been so considerate he thought, and felt rather pleased. But then he (缺) for the Helmsman’s tragic death. The Helmsman had been weakened by fighting and was pleading with Shi Lang to return to his old loyalty at the very moment when he was treacherously struck down. Shi Lang would never have taken Taiwan so easily if the Helmsman had still been alive. And Shi Lang was so confident and so pleased with himself. Trinket was almost beginning to hate him. He decided to take him down a peg or two.

说道:“施大人,你坐了这些台湾的战船到来,倒吓了我一跳,还道是台湾的水师打过来了呢,那想得到是你来耀武扬威。”施琅忙请安谢罪,说道:“不敢,不敢。卑职奉了圣旨,急着要见爵爷,台湾战船打造得好,行驶起来快得多,因此乘了台湾船来。”韦小宝道:“原来台湾战船行驶得快,是为了船上漆得有太阳月亮的徽号。我先前心中嘀咕,只道施大人自己想在台湾自立为王,可着实有些担心呢。”施琅大吃一惊,忙道:“卑职胡涂得紧,大人指点得是。卑职办事疏忽,没将台湾战船的徽号去了。”其实这倒不是他的疏忽,只是他打平台湾,得意万分,坐了俘获的台湾战船北上天津,又南来通吃岛,故意不铲去船头台湾的徽号,好让人见了指指点点,讲述战船的来历,那是炫耀战功之意。不料韦小宝却说疑心他意欲在台湾自立为王,这是最大的犯忌事,不由得满背都是冷汗;心想小皇帝对这少年始终十分恩宠,自己血战而平台湾,他舒舒服服的在岛上闲居,功劳竟然还是他大,他封了二等侯,自己却不过是三等侯。倘若他回到北京,在皇上面前说几句闲话,自己这可大大糟糕了。
‘Those sun and moon flags you were flying gave me quite a turn, Admiral’ he said. ‘I thought at first we were being invaded by the Taiwanese navy. Now I see you were just showing off your prizes.’ Shi Lang was a brave and honest man, but it was true that he had been showing off a bit. Now he felt humbled and ashamed and hastened to excuse his conduct. ‘I wouldn’t presume to do that, Lord Wei,’ he said. ‘It’s just that I was in such a hurry to get here and the Taiwanese ships are so much faster than the Qing ones.’ ‘Oh, that explains it,’ said Trinket. ‘I wondered at first if you had been thinking of taking over from the Zhengs and setting up as an independent ruler of Taiwan yourself.’ Shi Lang was appalled and also a little shaken. Because of his former loyalty to the Ming, there would always be a slight shadow of suspicion over him (there is always the thought that those who have changed sides once are capable of doing so again). A mere word in the Emperor’s ear from this odious little favourite (who knew all there was to be known about changing sides) would be enough to spell his ruin. His cheerful self’confidence deserted him and he at once became abject. ‘No, no. It was a stupid oversight-unforgivably careless of me. You were quite right to point it out.’

施琅心中这一惶恐,登时收起初上岸时那副趾高气扬的神气,命随同前来属官上前拜见。其中一人却是韦小宝素识,是当年跟着陈近南而在柳州见过的地堂门好手林兴珠。韦小宝心中一怔:“他是台湾的将领,怎么会在施琅手下?”听他自报职衔是水师都司。林兴珠自上岸来见到韦小宝后,早就惊疑不定:“他是陈军师的小徒弟,怎么做了朝廷大官,连施提督见了他都那么恭敬?”
To change the subject, he proceeded to introduce the officers who had sailed with him. One of these was a former Taiwanese officer called Lin Xingzhu whom Trinket remembered having met once on a boat in the river at Liuzhou when he was travelling through Guangxi Province on the journey back from Kunming. It was night’time, they were all a little drunk, and the Beggar General Wu Liuqi, although he couldn’t swim, had insisted on going out in this boat in a storm into the middle of the river. Apart from the boatmen, just two of them had gone with him’ Trinket, then acting in his capacity as Triad Lodge Master-he couldn’t swim either- and a local Lodge Master from Guangxi called Ma. The Helmsman had boarded the boat to join them when he’d heard Wu singing, and had introduced this man Lin as a former disciple of Coxinga’s trained in the Ditang School of kungfu who had been able to use Ditang methods against the musket fire of the Dutch. Trinket’s surprise at seeing him here amongst Shi Lang’s officers was as nothing compared with Lin Xingzhu’s astonishment at finding that Trinket, who on that earlier occasion had been introduced to him as a young disciple of the Helmsman, was a great Manchu nobleman to whom even Shi Lang deferred.

施琅指着林兴珠,以及一个名叫洪朝的水师守备,说道:“林都司和洪守备本来都在台湾军中,随着郑克塽爵爷和刘国轩大人归降朝廷的。他二人熟悉海事,因此卑职这次带同前来,让他两人照料台湾的船只。”韦小宝“哦”了一声,道:“原来如此。”见林兴珠和洪朝都低下了头,脸有愧色。台湾自郑成功开府后,和日本、吕宋、暹罗、安南各地通商,甚为殷富。施琅平台,取得外洋珍宝异物甚多,自己一介不取,尽数呈缴朝廷。康熙命他带了一些来赐给韦小宝。此外施琅自己也有礼物,却是些台湾土产,竹箱、草席之类,均是粗陋物事。韦小宝一见,更增气恼,心道:“张大哥、赵二哥、王三哥、孙四哥打平吴三桂,送给我的礼物何等丰厚,你却送些叫化子的破烂东西给我,可还把我放在眼里吗?”当晚韦小宝设宴款待,自是请施琅坐了首席,此外是四名水师高级武官,以及林兴珠及洪朝二人。
That evening Trinket gave a dinner for Shi Lang to which five of his officers were also invited’ four of them, two naval and two military, were the most senior Manchu officers on his staff; the other one was Lin Xingzhu. Before the dinner Shi Lang presented his gifts. Taiwan is a fertile and productive island. Under Coxinga and his heirs it had developed commercial relations with Japan, the Philippines, Siam, and Annam and had grown rich and prosperous from foreign trade. Trinket assumed that Shi Lang would have exploited his victory over Taiwan to enrich himself, just as, in a like situation, he and his Manchu friends would have done. But Shi Lang, whatever his faults, was a scrupulously honest man and hated corruption, and his gifts on this occasion were not the gold and silver treasures that Trinket was expecting but samples of typical Taiwanese products-more in the nature of souvenirs, in fact. Trinket was disgusted by what he thought was Shi Lang’s stinginess and felt that he had been insulted. More and more he was beginning to look on him as an enemy.

酒过三巡,韦小宝问道:“林都司,台湾延平郡王本来是郑经郑王爷,怎么变成郑克塽这小子了?听说他是郑王爷的第二个儿子,该轮不到他做王爷啊?”
When the wine had gone round a few times and conversation had begun to liven up a bit, Trinket asked Lin Xingzhu, who was sitting next to him, to explain something in the Edict that had been puzzling him. Tell me, Captain Lin’ he said, ‘why was Zheng Keshuang named as the person who surrendered Taiwan’ I always thought Zheng Jing-the one they used to call Prince of Yanping-was running Taiwan. How did a rotten little fart like Keshuang come to be the ruler’ He was the younger of the two sons anyway, wasn’t he?’

林兴珠道:“是。回爵爷:郑王爷于今年正月廿八去世,遗命大公子克塽接位。大公子英明刚毅,台湾军民向来敬服。可是太夫人董国太却不喜欢他,派冯锡范行刺,将他杀了,立二公子克塽接位。大公子的陈夫人去见董国太,说大公子无罪。董国太大怒,叫人赶了出来,陈夫人抱着大公子的尸体哭了一场,就上吊死了。那位陈夫人,便是陈……陈军师的大小姐。这件事台湾上下人心都很不服。”韦小宝听说师父的女儿给人逼死,想起师父,心下酸痛,一拍桌子,骂道:“他妈的,郑克塽这小子昏庸胡涂,会做甚么屁王爷了?”林兴珠道:“是。二公子接位后,封他岳父冯锡范为左提督,一应政事都归他处理。这人处事不公,很有私心。有人大胆说几句公道话,都给他杀了,因此文武百官都是敢怒不敢言。大公子和陈夫人的鬼魂又常常显灵,到四月间,董国太就给鬼魂吓死了。”
The Prince of Yanping-Zheng Jing, that is-died early this year, my lord,’ said Lin Xingzhu. ‘He had two sons, Kezang and Keshuang. Kezang was a very intelligent, dependable young man. Everyone loved him and looked forward to his taking over when his father died. By rights he should have done, but his grandmother, the Lady Dong, hated him and got Feng Xifan, the Bloodless Sword, to assassinate him, so that her favourite, Keshuang, could inherit. Feng Xifan is Keshuang’s father’in’law, you see, and when Keshuang became ruler he made Feng Xifan his Prime Minister. The two of them did some terrible things between them, killing off all the friends and supporters of Chen Jinnan.’ (Lin Xingzhu couldn’t very well say ‘the Helmsman’ in present company.) ‘Chen Jinnan’s daughter had been married to Kezang. She went to Lady Dong to protest when her husband was murdered, but Lady Dong just threw her out, and the poor girl, after she’d wept over her husband’s corpse, went off and hanged herself. Still, Lady Dong didn’t come to a very good end herself. They say she was haunted by the young couple’s ghosts and died of fright.’

韦小宝道:“痛快,痛快!这董国太到了阴间,国姓爷可不能放过了她。”林兴珠道:“谁说不是呢。董国太给鬼魂吓死的事一传出来,人心大快,全台湾从北到南,大家连放了三天爆竹,说的是赶鬼,其实是庆祝这老虔婆死得好!”韦小宝连说:“有趣,有趣!”施琅道:“鬼魂的事也未必真有。想来董国太杀了大孙儿、逼死大孙媳后,心中不安,老年人疑心生暗鬼,就日夜见鬼了。”韦小宝正色道:“恶鬼是当真有的,尤其是冤死屈死之人,变了鬼后,定要讨命报仇。施大人,你这次平台杀人很多,这些台湾战船中,恶鬼必定不少,施大人还是小心为妙。”
Shi Lang interposed at this point to say that the story of the hauntings was based on a popular rumour and not necessarily true. ‘We can’t be sure that ghosts really exist’ he said. ‘Lady Dong was a very wicked old woman and she had all those deaths on her conscience. It was probably hallucinations made by her own guilty imagination that brought on her death.’ There you’re wrong, Admiral,’ said Trinket. The ghosts of people who die violently, especially if they have a grievance, definitely do come back for revenge. Think of all those Taiwanese ghosts you must have made in the naval battle. You want to be careful.’

施琅微微变色,随即笑道:“上阵打战,免不了要杀人。倘若敌人阵亡的兵将都变了鬼来讨命,做武将的个个不得好死了。”韦小宝摇头道:“那倒不然。施大人本来是台湾国姓爷部下的大将,回过头来打死台湾的兵将,死了的冤鬼自然心中不服。这可跟别的将军不同。”施琅默语,心下甚是恚怒。他是福建晋江人,台湾郑王的部属十之八九也都是福建人,尤以闽南人为多。他打平台湾后,曾听到不少风言风语,骂他是汉奸、闽奸,更有人匿名写了文章,做了诗来斥骂他讽刺他的。他本就内心有愧,只是如此当面公然讥刺,韦小宝却是第一人。他对韦小宝无可奈何,登时便迁怒于林兴珠,向他瞪了一眼,心道:“一离此岛,老子要你的好看。”韦小宝说道:“施大人,你运气也真好,倘若陈军师没有被害,在台湾保护郑克塽,董国太、郑克塽他们就不篡位了。陈军师统率军民把守,台湾上下一心,你未必就能成功。”施琅默然,心想自己才能确是远不如陈近南,此人倘若不死,局面自然大不相同。洪朝忽然插口:“韦爵爷说得是。台湾的兵将百姓也都这么说。人人怨恨郑克塽杀害忠良,自坏长城,真是国姓爷的不肖子孙。”施琅怒道:“洪守备,你既降了大清,怎敢再说这等大逆不道的言语?”洪朝急忙站起,说道:“卑职胡涂,大人包涵。”

韦小宝道:“洪老兄,你说的是老实话,就算皇上亲耳听到了,也不能怪罪。坐下喝酒罢。”洪朝道:“是。”战战兢兢的坐下,捧起酒杯,双手不住的发抖,将酒泼出了大半杯。韦小宝道:“陈军师被郑克塽害死,台湾人都知道了,是不是?”洪朝道:“是。郑克塽回到台湾后,他……他说陈军师……是……是……”向施琅瞧了一眼,不敢再说下去了。韦小宝道:“只要你说的是实话,谁也不会怪你。”洪朝道:“是,是。郑克塽和冯锡范二人带着几名卫士,坐了小艇在大海里飘流,遇到渔船,将他们救回台湾。郑克塽说,陈军师是给施将军杀死的。郑王爷得知之后,痛哭了好几天。后来郑克塽篡了位,自己才当众说出来,说陈军师是他杀的,还大吹自己武功了不起。陈军师的部下许多人不服,去质问他陈军师犯了甚么罪,都给冯锡范派人抓起来杀了。”韦小宝将酒杯在桌上重重一放,骂道:“操他奶奶的!”忽然哈哈大笑,说道:“咱们平日骂人奶奶,这人的奶奶实在有些冤枉。只有操郑克塽的奶奶,那才叫天造地设,丁三配二四,再配也没有了。”这几句话施琅听在耳里,却也十分受用。他所以得罪郑成功,全家被杀,都因董国太而起,说道:“韦爵爷这话对极,咱们操他奶奶的。国姓爷英雄豪杰,甚么都好,就是娶错了一个老婆。”

韦小宝摇头道:“旁人都好操郑克塽的奶奶,天下就是施将军一个人操不得。施将军的功名富贵,都是从这老虔婆身上而来。你父母妻儿虽然都让她杀了,可是换了个水师提督,三等靖海侯,这笔生意还是做得过啊。”施琅登时满脸通红,心中怒骂:“老子操你韦小宝的奶奶。”强自抑制怒气,端起酒杯来大大喝了一口,可是气息不顺,酒一入喉,猛地里剧烈咳嗽起来。韦小宝心道:“瞧你脸色,心中自然在大操我的奶奶,可是我连爹爹是谁也不知道,奶奶是谁更加不知道,你想操我奶奶,非操错了人不可。你心中多半还想做我老子,那么我奶奶便是你妈,你操我奶奶,岂不是你跟自己老娘乱七八糟,一塌胡涂?”笑吟吟的瞧着他。

座上一名姓路的水师副将生怕他二人闹将起来,说道:“韦爵爷,施军门这次平台,那是全凭血成拚出来的功劳。施军门奉了圣旨,于六月初四率领战船六百余号,军士六万余人征台,在海上遇到逆风,行了十一天才到澎湖,十六就和刘国轩率领的台湾兵大战,这一仗当真打的昏天黑地,日月无光,连施军门自己也挂了彩……”韦小宝见林兴珠和洪朝都低下了头,脸有怒色,料想他两人也曾参与澎湖之役,心想这一仗当然是施琅打了胜仗,不想听路副将说他的得意事迹,问道:“施将军,当日国姓爷取台湾,也是从澎湖攻过去的吗?”施琅道:“正是。”韦小宝道:“那时你在国姓爷部下,不知是当时打澎湖是怎么打的?”施琅道:“红毛鬼子没派兵守澎湖。”

韦小宝问林兴珠:“当年国姓爷跨海东征,听说林大哥带领藤牌兵斩鬼脚,不知怎样斩法?”林兴珠心想:“藤牌兵斩鬼脚的事,我早说给你听过了。这时你又来问,自然是不想听施琅平台的臭史,要我讲国姓爷和陈军师的英雄事迹。我自己的事是不能多说的,施琅心中一怀恨,定要对付我,还是捧捧他为妙。”说道:“施军门两次攻台湾,功劳实在大得很。当年国姓爷会集诸将,商议要不要跨海东征,很多将官都说台湾天险难攻,海中风浪既大,红毛鬼又炮火厉害,这件事实在危险。但陈军师和施将军极力赞成,终于立了大功。”施琅听他这么说,脸有得色。林兴珠又道:“那是永历十五年二月……”施琅道:“林都司,前明的年号,不能再提了,那是大清顺治十八年。”林兴珠道:“是,是。这年二月,国姓爷大营移驻金门城。

三月初一全军誓师祭海。初十那天,国姓爷和陈军师统带亲军右武卫、左右虎卫、骁骑镇、左先锋、中冲、后卫镇、宣毅前后镇、援剿后镇各路船舰,齐集料罗湾候风。那时军心惶惶,很多人都怕出洋,国姓爷和陈军师、施将军分到各镇去激励军心。一直等到廿三中午,天才放晴,风浪止息,于是大军开出,廿四下午就到了澎湖。但到了澎湖之后,大风又起,海上风浪作大,好几天不能开船。澎湖各岛没粮食,军中缺粮,大家只好吃蕃薯度日,军心又慌乱起来。等到三十,实在不能再等了,国姓爷下令出发,不管大风大浪,都要出征。这天半夜一更后,国姓爷的中军舰上竖起帅字大旗,发炮三声,金鼓齐鸣,战船张帆向东。当时乌云满天,海上波涛就像一座座小山般扑上船头,风大雨大,人人身上都湿透了。国姓爷站在船头,手执长剑,大叫:‘尽忠报国,不怕风浪!’数万兵将跟着齐声大叫:‘尽忠报国,不怕风浪!’喊声几乎把狂风巨浪的声音也压下去了。”韦小宝向施琅道:“那时施将军自然也这般大叫了?”施琅道:“那一次卑职奉命驻守厦门,没去台湾。”韦小宝道:“原来如此,可惜,可惜!”

路副将道:“郑王爷到澎湖,遇到的不过是大风大浪,可是施军门在澎湖这场血战,那才惊心动魄。刘国轩统带的水师在澎湖牛心湾、鸡笼屿布防,沿岸二十里都筑了土垒,每隔一垒便有一门大炮。大清水师开到时,岸上大炮齐发,又有火箭、喷筒,乖乖不得了……”韦小宝笑道:“路副将,我瞧你的胆子跟我差不多。”路副将道:“不敢,卑职怎及得上爵爷?”韦小宝问道:“你不及我?”路副将道:“自然不及。”韦小宝道:“这倒奇了。我以为我胆小如鼠,算得是差劲之至了,原来你比我还要没用,哈哈,奇怪,奇怪。”路副将胀红了脸,不敢作声。韦小宝问林兴珠:“国姓爷统带大军出海之后,那又怎样?”林兴珠道:“战船在大风浪中驶了两个更次,到三更时分,忽然风平浪静,乌云消散,又过一会,更转为顺风,众军欢声雷动,都说老天保,此去必胜。初一早晨,战船到了鹿耳门外,用竹篙测水,不料沙高水浅,无法前驶。国姓爷甚是焦急,摆下香案,向天祷祝,过不多时,忽然潮水大涨,各战船一齐涌进鹿耳门。岸上的红毛兵开大炮轰击。红毛鬼在那里筑了两座城池,一座叫做热兰遮城,一座叫做普罗民遮城……”韦小宝笑道:“鬼子的地方名字也起得古里古怪,甚么热来遮,冷来遮,南无波罗密多观世音菩萨遮。”

林兴珠微笑道:“当时国姓爷用千里镜察看,见红毛鬼有主力大舰两艘,巡洋舰两艘,还有夹舰和小艇等数百艘,于是传下将令,命宣毅前镇镇督陈泽率领船队,在鹿耳门岛登陆,扼守住北汕尾,以防另有红毛舰队来援;派黄昭带领铣手五百名,连环炮二十门,分为三队,参到鲲身尾列阵,堵住敌军南下;派卑职带藤牌手五百名,从鬼仔埔后绕过鲲身之左截杀;又派萧拱宸带快哨二十艘,一见红毛舰队过七鲲身攻来,便假装登陆攻城,大声呐喊,以为牵制。众将得令,分头出发,船上大炮也开炮还击。那一边陈军师率领水师,围住了红毛鬼的两艘主力大舰猛打。杀声大作,海上满是硝烟火焰,打了一个多对辰,轰隆一声大响,红毛鬼一艘主力舰给我军击沉了,后来才知那是贝克德亚号,是红毛鬼水师的精锐。另一艘马利亚号受了重伤,向东边大海中逃得不知去向。两艘红毛巡洋舰也退了回去。那时陈泽所带的兄弟遇上了红毛鬼陆军,个个争先,红毛鬼枪械虽然厉害,但见我军冲杀勇敢,吓得没了斗志,败退回城。我军登陆赤嵌,直捣普罗民遮城。”(按:郑成功自澎湖攻台,从今日的台南附近登陆,当时荷兰重兵也都驻扎在台南一带。)

韦小宝斟了一杯酒,双手捧给林兴珠道:“林大哥,打得好,我敬你一杯。”林兴珠站起来接了,谢过饮尽,续道:“我军在赤嵌登陆后,当地的中国人纷纷奔来欢迎,许多人都欢喜得哭了起来,都说:‘这一下我们的救星可到了。’韦爵爷,国姓爷的老太爷郑太师,本来是在海上做没本钱买卖的,台湾是他老人家的老巢。后来他老人家带了手下弟兄回到中原,台湾就分别给荷兰鬼和西班牙鬼派兵占据。荷兰鬼在南,西班牙鬼在北。两鬼相争,西班牙鬼打了败战,台湾全境都给荷兰鬼占了。岛上我们中国人惨受荷兰红毛鬼的虐杀。郑太师的旧部有位弟兄,叫做郭怀一,是个好汉。他留在岛上不走,眼见中国人给红毛鬼实在欺侮得狠了,暗中约集弟兄,通知各地中国人,定八月十五中秋一齐起事,杀光全岛红毛鬼。不料有个汉奸,名叫普仔,竟去向红毛鬼告密……”韦小宝拍桌骂道:“他奶奶的,中国人的事,就是让汉奸坏了。”

林兴珠道:“是啊。郭怀一大哥一见普仔逃走,知道事情要糟,立即率领一万六千多名中国人攻进普罗民遮城,把红毛鬼的官署和店铺都放火绕了。红毛鬼调集大军反攻,炮火厉害。我们中国人除了有几枝火龙枪外,都是用大刀、铁枪、锄头、木棍当武器,在赤嵌一直打了十五天,郭怀一大哥不幸给红毛鬼大炮轰死……”韦小宝叫道:“哎啊,那可糟了。”林兴珠道:“正是。郭大哥一死,蛇无头不行,中国人就败出城来,在大湖边血战了七天七夜,中国人在大湖边被打死的共有四千多人,妇女孩子也宁死不屈,给杀了五百多人。凡是给红毛鬼捉去了的,女的被迫做营妓,男的不是五马分尸,就是用烙铁慢慢的烙死……”韦小宝大怒,叫道:“红毛鬼这般残忍,比大清兵在我们扬州屠城还要狠毒!”施琅和路副将面面相觑,唯有苦笑,均想:“这少年说话当真不知轻重。”

林兴珠道:“那是永历六年,八月里的事……”洪朝屈指数道:“永历六年,就是大清顺治七……八……九……顺治九年。”林兴珠道:“是罢?自从这一场大残杀之后,台湾的中国人和红毛鬼势不两立,红毛鬼一有小小的因头,便乱杀中国人。因此大家一见国姓爷大军,那真是救命皇菩萨到了,男女老幼,纷纷向我们诉苦。就在这天晚上,红毛鬼的太守揆一大败之后,迁怒中国人,将住在一鲲身的中国人,不论老幼捉来通统杀了,一共杀了五百多人。次日国姓爷派兵攻普罗民遮城。陈军师定下计策,练了藤牌兵着地滚过去斩鬼子兵的脚,就此将普罗民遮城攻了下来。”

韦小宝道:“这是老兄的功劳了。”林兴珠道:“那全是陈军师的妙计,卑职没甚么功劳。”又道:“国姓爷跟着挥兵进攻红毛太守揆一所驻的热来遮城。城上炮火猛烈,我军伤亡很重。但马信将军和刘国轩将军还是奋勇攻下了一鲲身。国姓爷见兄弟们阵亡的太多,于是在热来遮城外堆土筑起长围,在围上架起了大炮向城里猛轰。不久我军第二路水师左冲、前冲、智武、英兵、游兵、殿兵各镇的船舰也都开到,声势更是大振。国姓爷一面派兵开垦种田,一面加紧围城。围到五月间,忽然红毛鬼的援兵从巴达维亚来到,城中红毛鬼出来夹攻。水陆大战,我军奋勇冲杀,海水都被鲜血染得红了。”韦小宝拍桌赞叹:“厉害,厉害!”向施琅道:“可惜施将军那时在厦门,不然的话,能赶上这几场大战,杀得他妈的几百名红毛鬼,那才算是真正的英雄好汉。”施琅默然。

韦小宝问洪朝:“洪大哥,那时你打的是哪一路?”洪朝道:“卑职那时是在刘国轩刘将军的麾下,和陈泽陈将军统领的水师合兵围攻红毛援兵,在北汕尾一带大战。红毛鬼兵舰很大,枪炮犀利,我们枪炮的子弹打到红毛大舰上,都给铁甲弹了下来,伤他不得。宣毅前阵的林进绅林将军眼见支持不住,亲身率领二百名敢死队,身上带了火药包,冒死跳上红毛鬼大舰,炸坏了舰上大炮。红毛鬼见我们如此不怕死的猛攻,都乱了起来,我们打死红毛鬼一名舰长,俘获两艘主力舰,红毛鬼水师溃不成军。陆上陈军师带兵大战,也大获全胜,后来陈军师身上一共挖出了七颗红毛铅弹。”

韦小宝道:“嘿,我师父不死在红毛鬼的枪炮之下,却死在他奶奶的郑克塽这小子的剑下,施将军,男子汉大丈夫,总要打外国鬼子才了不起。中国人杀中国人,杀得再多,也不算好汉。你说是不是?”施琅哼了一声,并不作答。林兴珠道:“红毛鬼接连打了几个败仗,就想来烧我军粮食,可是每次都给陈军师识破了,总是偷鸡不到蚀把米。红毛太守揆一困守孤城,束手无策,便派人渡海,去和大清闽浙总督李率泰联络,请他派兵来救。那李大人倒也有趣,复信请红毛鬼先去福建,扫平国姓爷在金门、厦门一带的驻军,大清兵就到台湾来内外夹攻。那时候红毛鬼自身难保,像乌龟般缩在热来遮城里,说甚么派兵去打金门、厦门?”韦小宝道:“红毛鬼说话如同放屁,他们始终没来攻打金门、厦门,是不是?我们大清说过的话,却总是算数的,后来可不是派兵攻台湾了吗?只不过迟了这么二三十年,那也不打紧啊!施将军领兵打到台湾之时,不知有没有红毛鬼里应外合?”

施琅再也忍耐不住,霍地站起,怒道:“韦爵爷,兄弟跟你一殿为臣,做的都是大清的官,为甚么你冷言冷语,总是讽刺兄弟?”韦小宝奇道:“咦!这可奇了,我几时敢讽刺施将军了?施将军没里通外国,那好得很啊。但如要里通外国,我看也还来得及。施将军手握重兵,红毛鬼、西班牙鬼、葡萄牙鬼、罗刹鬼都会喜欢跟你结交。”施琅心中一凛:“不好,这小鬼要是向皇上告我一状,诬陷我里通外国,我这一生可就毁在他手里了。”适才一时冒火,出口无礼,不由得大是懊悔,忙陪笑道:“兄弟喝多了几杯,多少冲撞,还请韦爵爷恕罪。”

韦小宝见他发怒,本来倒也有些害怕,待见他改颜赔礼,知他忌惮自己,便笑道:“施将军倘若当真想在台湾自立为王,还是先把兄弟杀了灭口的好,免得我向皇上告密。如果只不过是大声嚷嚷,发发脾气,兄弟胆子虽小,倒也是不怕的。”施琅脸色惨白,离座深深一揖,说道:“韦爵爷,大人不记小人过,卑职荒唐,甘领责罚。不过自立为王、里通外国甚么的,卑职决无此意。卑职一心一意的为皇上出力,忠字当头,决无二心。”

韦小宝笑道:“请坐,请坐。咱们走着瞧罢。”转头向林兴珠道:“你说的比说书先生还好听,这一回‘国姓爷血战台湾,红毛鬼屁滚尿流’后来怎样?”林兴珠道:“这时候,国姓爷率领大军打到台湾的消息传到了内地,黄梧黄大人就向朝廷献议,提出了所谓‘坚壁清野平海五策’。”韦小宝道:“那黄梧是谁?”林兴珠向施琅瞧了一眼,咳嗽几声,却不立时便答。施琅道:“这位黄大人,本来也是国姓爷麾下的,职居总兵,他归顺朝廷后,官运亨通,逝世之时,已封到一等海澄公。”韦小宝道:“嘿,原来也是个大汉……”最后一个“奸”字,终于硬生生咽住了。施琅脸上一红,心想:“你骂我汉奸,我瞧你这满洲人也是假冒的,大家还不是彼此彼此。”韦小宝道:“这黄梧有甚么拍皇上马屁的妙策,一下子就封到公爵?本事可不小哇!这法儿咱们可得琢磨琢磨,好生学学。”

林兴珠道:“这黄梧,当年国姓爷派他防守海澄,他却将海澄拿去投了朝廷,不肯归降的将士都给他杀了。当时朝廷正拿国姓爷没法子,忽然有对方这样一员大将率领军队,连同城市一起归降,朝廷十分喜欢,因此封赏特别从优。”韦小宝道:“原来如此。他献的又是甚么计策?”林兴珠叹了口气,说道:“这位黄大人,害苦的百姓当真多得很了。他这平海五策,第一条是将沿海所有百姓一概迁入内地,那么金门、厦门和台湾就得不到接济。第二条是将沿海所有船只一概烧毁,今后一寸木板也不许下海。第三条是杀了国姓爷的父亲郑太师。第四条是挖掘国姓爷祖宗的坟墓,坏了他的风水。第五条是将国姓爷旧部投诚的官兵,一概迁往内地各省垦荒,以免又生后患。”韦小宝道:“嘿,这家伙的计策当真毒得很哪。”

林兴珠道:“可不是吗?那时顺治皇爷刚驾崩,皇上接位,年纪幼小,鳌拜大权独揽。鳌拜这奸贼见到黄梧的平海五策,以为十分有理,下令从辽东经直隶、江苏、浙江、福建、以及广东,沿海三十里内不准有人居住,所有船只尽数烧毁。那时沿海千千万万百姓,无不流离失所,过不了日子。”施琅抓头道:“黄梧这条计策,也实在太过份了些。直到今上亲政,韦大人拿了鳌拜,禁海令方才取消。可是沿海七省的百姓,已然受尽荼毒。当时朝廷严令,凡是犯界的百姓,捉到了立刻斩首。许多贫民过不了日子,到海边捉鱼,不知被杀了多少。郑太师也是那时被杀的。鳌拜特地派遣兵部尚书苏纳海,到福建泉州南安县,去挖了郑家的祖坟。”韦小宝道:“鳌拜自称是勇士,这样干法可无聊得很。有本事的,就跟国姓爷真刀真枪的打一仗。将沿海百姓迁入内地,不是摆明怕了人家么?皇上爱惜百姓,黄梧的计策倘若呈到了皇上手里,非砍了他脑袋不可。”施琅道:“正是。黄梧死得早,算是他运气。”

林兴珠道:“郑太师去世的消息传到台湾,国姓爷怕动摇军心,说道这是谎言,不得轻信,可是据亲兵说,国姓爷常常半夜里痛哭。国姓爷又对陈军师和几位大将说,黄梧这几条计策果真毒辣厉害,幸好是东征台湾,否则十余万大军终究不能在金门、厦门立足。那时我们围攻已久,红毛兵几次想突围,都给打了回去。于是国姓爷传令下去,过年之前定要攻下热来遮城。”转头问洪朝:“是十一月廿三日那天总攻,是不是?”洪朝道:“是,那天大风大雨,我军各处土垒的大炮一齐猛轰,打坏了城墙一角,城东城西的碉堡也被打破了。红毛鬼拚命冲出,死了几百人后还是退了回去。于是红毛太守揆一竖起白旗投降。那时台湾的中国人都要报仇,要将红毛鬼杀得干干净净。国姓爷向众百姓开导,我们中国是礼仪之邦,敌人投降了就不能再杀,准许红毛太守签署降书一十四款,率领残兵败将上船离台,逃去巴达维亚。红毛鬼自明朝天启四年占据台湾,一共占了三十八年,到这一年永历十五年……也就是大清顺治十八年十一月廿九,台湾重回中国版图。”

林兴珠道:“国姓爷下了将令,不许杀投降了的红毛兵,但中国百姓实在气不过,纷纷向他们唾口沫,投石子。小孩子还编了歌儿来唱。红毛兵个个断手断脚,垂头丧气,一句鬼话也不敢说了。他们兵船开走的时候,升起了旗又降下,再放礼炮,说是向国姓爷拜谢不杀之恩。”韦小宝道:“好!我们中国人真是大大的威风。红毛鬼炮火这么厉害,打下台湾,那实在不容易,不容易!”洪朝道:“那热来遮城,国姓爷改名为安平镇,普罗民遮城改名为承天府,自此永为台湾的重镇。”路副将军插嘴道:”施军门取台湾,走的也是当年国姓爷的老路,从鹿耳门进去……”韦小宝挥手拦住他的话头,打了个大大呵欠,说道:”中国人打得红毛鬼落海而逃,那才听得过瘾,自己人打自己人嘛,左右也不过是这么一回事。施将军,咱们酒也喝得差不多了,这就散了罢。”施琅站了起来,说道:“是。多谢爵爷赐饭,卑职告辞。”韦小宝回入内堂,说起如何拦住施琅的话头,总之是不让他自夸取台的战功,六位夫人听了都感好笑。只有阿珂默默无言,心想当年若是嫁了郑克塽,势须随他一同被俘,去了北京,亡国妾妇,难免大受屈辱。当日见郑克塽乘小艇离开通吃岛,于他生死存亡就已浑不关心,此时听到他失国降敌,更不在意下,回忆前尘,自己竟能如此为他风采容貌所迷,明知此人是个没骨头、没出息的纨绔子弟,自己偏生就如瞎了眼睛一般,对他一往情深,此刻想来,兀自深感羞惭。公主道:“皇帝哥哥待人太也宽厚,郑克塽这家伙投降了,居然还封他个一等公,爵位还在小宝之上,可教人好生不服气。”韦小宝摇手道:“不打紧,不打紧。国姓爷是位大大的英雄好汉,皇上瞧在国姓爷的面上,才封他孙子做个一等公。单凭郑克塽自己的本事,只好封个一等毛毛虫罢了。”
Shi Lang looked rather unhappy, but forced a laugh. ‘You can’t fight a battle without killing people’ he said. ‘If all those killed in battle came back as ghosts to get revenge, no general who fought a battle would ever come to a good end.’ That’s as may be’ said Trinket, ‘but in your case it’s different. You were once on Coxinga’s staff before you changed sides. A lot of those killed in the naval battle were once Coxinga’s men and your fellow officers.’ Shi Lang was angered by this quite gratuitous attack but managed to keep silent. Trinket continued to needle Shi Lang throughout the rest of the evening. He encouraged Lin Xingzhu to reminisce about the heroic campaign in which Coxinga had taken Taiwan from the Dutch, interrupting him from time to time with unflattering references to Shi Lang; and when one of the Manchu officers, sensing that his commander was in danger of exploding under these repeated provocations, tried to put in a word about Shi Lang’s own by no means negligible achievements, Trinket snubbed Shi Lang yet again by saying that he found stories of Chinese triumphs against the foreigners interesting but had no stomach for stories about the victories of Chinese over fellow-Chinese. This was a bit rich coming from a young Chinese who had grown rich and powerful by working for the Manchus, and Shi Lang, feeling that he had taken about as much as he could bear, excused himself on the grounds that he was feeling tired and went off to bed.

次日中午,韦小宝单请林兴珠、洪朝二人小宴,问起施琅取台的经过。原来清军台军在澎湖牛心湾、鸡笼屿血战数日,施琅第一天打了败战,后来清军水师援兵开到,又再大战,台湾船只被焚大败,将士死伤万余人,战舰或沉或焚,损失三百余艘。刘国轩率残兵退回台湾。施琅率水师攻台,鹿耳门水浅,战船不能驶入,在海中泊了十二日,正自无计可施,忽然大雾瀰天,潮水大涨,清军战船一起涌入。台湾上下无不大惊,都说:“当年国姓爷因鹿耳门潮涨而得台,现今鹿耳门潮水又涨,天险已失,这是天意使然,再打也没用了。”郑克塽得知清军舟师开进鹿耳门,早吓得慌了手脚,冯锡范劝他投降,自然一口答应,只是生怕施琅要报私仇,为难郑氏子孙,好生踌躇。当下刘国轩致书施琅,说道投降可以,但国姓爷的子孙必须保全,否则全台军民感念国姓爷的恩义,宁可战至最后一人。施琅立即答复,保证决不计较旧怨,否则天人共弃,绝子绝孙。于是郑克塽、冯锡范、刘国轩率领台湾文武百官投降。明朝宗室宁靖王朱术桂自杀殉国,妾五人同殉死节,明祀至此而绝。

韦小宝心想:“这位明朝皇帝的末代子孙自杀殉国,有五个老婆跟着他一起死。我韦小宝如果自杀,我那七个老婆中不知有几个相陪?双儿是一定陪的,公主是一定恕不奉陪的。其余五个,多半要掷掷骰子,再定死活了。方怡掷骰子时定要作弊,叫我这死人做羊牯。”林兴珠又说,施琅带兵登陆后,倒也守信,并不为难郑氏子孙,还亲自到郑成功的延平郡王庙去致祭,痛哭了一场。洪朝道:“他祭文中有几句话说:‘自同安侯入台,台地始有居人。逮赐信启土,始为岩疆,莫敢谁何?今琅赖天子威灵,将帅之力,克有兹土,不辞灭国之诛,所以忠朝廷而报父兄之职分也。独琅起卒伍,与赐姓有鱼水之欢,中间微嫌,酿成大戾。琅与赐姓翦为仇雠,情犹臣主。芦中穷士,义不所为。公义私恩,如此而已。’这几句话倒也传诵一时。”韦小宝问:“他叽哩咕噜的说些甚么?”
Next day Trinket invited Lin Xingzhu to a private lunch, hoping to hear more about recent events in Taiwan. He learned that the former ruler of Taiwan and his chief minister-that is, Sir Zheng and Feng the Bloodless Sword-had been given grandiose titles as a reward for their prompt surrender and were now living comfortably in Peking. Lin also told him a few things about Shi Lang’s behaviour in Taiwan. Apparently one of the first things he had done after the surrender was to make an offering at the tomb of his old chief Coxinga, for whom, in spite of everything, he still felt a very great respect. This had been a highly emotional occasion at which Shi Lang had read out a memorial address composed for him by a well’known writer. Lin could remember a few phrases from it which he recited for Trinket’s benefit’ Even though enmity grew up between us, The memory of happier times remains. Not for me, then, to exact the vengeance Of him who hid in the rushes by the river. ‘What in heaven’s name does that mean?’ said Trinket, for whom this might as well have been in a foreign language.

洪朝道:“‘芦中穷士’就是伍子胥,当年伍子胥灭了楚国,将楚平王的尸体从坟里掘出来,鞭尸三百,以报杀父杀兄之仇。施琅说他决不干这种事。”韦小宝冷笑道:“哼,他敢么?国姓爷虽已死了,他还是怕得要命。他败了郑家基业,只怕国姓爷的英魂找他为难,于是去国姓爷庙里磕头求情。这人奸猾得很,你们别上了他的当。”林洪二人齐声称是。韦小宝道:“伍子胥的故事,我倒在戏文里看过的,有一出戏伍子胥过昭关,一夜之间把头发吓得白了,是不是?”
The man “who hid in the rushes” was Wu Zixu,’ said Lin Xingzhu. ‘It’s an old story. It happened thousands of years ago. He was running away from the King of Chu who’d already killed his father and brother, and when the fisherman who’d just ferried him over the river went off to fetch him some food, he hid himself in the rushes because he was afraid the man was going to give him away and set the soldiers on him. Afterwards, when he’d escaped to the neighbouring state of Wu, he became one of the King of Wu’s chief advisers, and when the Wu army invaded Chu, Wu Zixu went with them, hoping to get his revenge. By that time, however, the king who’d killed his father and brother was dead, so Wu Zixu had his corpse dug up and gave it three hundred lashes with a whip. What Admiral Shi was saying in those lines I just recited was that though he’d gone over to the other side when Coxinga had all his family put to death and, just like Wu Zixu, was now coming back with a victorious army when the man who’d had them killed was in his grave, he wasn’t going to behave like Wu Zixu and take it out on the corpse.’ ‘He wouldn’t dare-he’d be too scared of what Coxinga’s ghost might do to him,’ said Trinket, who was convinced that everyone else shared his unshakeable belief in the malignant powers of the dead. ‘I remember that story now. I once saw a play about Wu Zixu escaping through the pass. By the time it was morning, his hair had gone completely white.’

洪朝道:“是,是。爵爷记性真好。”韦小宝很久没听人说故事了,当下问起伍子胥的前后事迹。难得这洪朝当年考过秀才,虽然没考上,肚子里却着实有些墨水,于是一五一十的详细说了。韦小宝听得津津有味,说道:“我在这荒岛上,实在无聊得紧,幸亏两位前来给我说故事解闷。最好你们多住几天,不忙便去。”林兴珠道:“我们是台湾降将,昨天说话中可得罪了施将军。施将军要对付我们,便如捏死两只蚂蚁,只须随便加一个心怀反复、图谋不轨的罪名,立刻便可先斩后奏。就算斩了不奏,也不会有人追问。韦大人,请你跟施将军说说,就留了我们两人服侍你罢。”韦小宝大喜,问道:“洪大哥你以为如何?”洪朝道:“昨儿晚上卑职和林大哥仔细商量,若不得韦大人救命,我二人势必死无葬身之地。”韦小宝道:“二人跟了我,一切可得听我的。”林洪二人一齐躬身,说道:“韦大人无论吩咐甚么,卑职唯命是从。”韦小宝甚喜,心想:“有了这两个好帮手,就有法子离开这鬼地方了。”康熙派那彭参将带兵守卫通吃岛,事先曾有严旨,决不能让韦小宝及其家人离岛一步。彭参将脑筋并不甚灵,也无多大本事,但对皇上的圣旨,却是连杀他十七八次头也不敢有丝毫违背。康熙要他牢牢的看守,他便牢牢的看守。韦小宝要取他性命,只是一举手之劳,但是就算将这五百零一名看守的兵将杀得干干净净,没有船只,终究不能离岛。洪林二人是水师宿将,弄船航行,必有本事。当晚又宴请施琅,这次只邀林兴珠、洪朝两人作陪。说了一些闲话,韦小宝道:“施将军,你在这里总还得住上一两个月罢?”施琅道:“卑职原想多住些日子,好常常听大人教诲。不过台湾初定,不能离开太久,明天就要向大人告辞了。”韦小宝道:“你说想多些日子跟我在一起,好常常听我教诲,不知是真话呢,还是说来讨我欢喜的?”施琅道:“自然千真万确,是卑职打从心坎里说出来的话。当年卑职追随大人,兵驻通吃岛,炮轰神龙教,每日里恭聆大人教导,跟着大人一起喝酒赌钱说笑话,那样的日子,可开心得很了。”
Lin Xingzhu nodded. The conversation turned to the dinner party of the previous evening. Lin was worried that Shi Lang seemed to hold him partly responsible for the unpleasantness caused by Trinket’s needling and, as a captured officer and very vulnerable, he feared the consequences. Could Trinket do anything to help him, he asked. ‘Leave it to me,’ said Trinket; and when Lin Xingzhu had gone, he began to concoct a plan. When it was fully formed in his mind, he proceeded to put it into practice straight away by inviting Shi Lang to dinner again that very evening. This time Lin Xingzhu was the only other guest.Trinket began by asking Shi Lang how long his stay on Potluck Island would be. ‘I assume you’ll be staying a month or two,’ he said. ‘I’d like to very much, my lord,’ said Shi Lang. I’d like to have stayed at least a few more days, so that I could profit from your conversation, but with Taiwan only just taken over, there’s so much to do there, I really ought to be getting back. I’m afraid I shall have to take my leave of you tomorrow.’ ‘Do you really want to profit from my conversation?’ said Trinket. ‘I think you’re just saying that to be polite.’ ‘No, no, I mean it,’ said Shi Lang. ‘I look back on those evenings we spent together on this island, when I was your second in command in the campaign against the Mystic Dragon people, drinking and gambling and having laughs, as a very happy time.’

韦小宝笑道:“如果能再过那样的日子,你开不开心?”施琅道:“那自然开心啊。日后皇上派了大人军国重任的大差使,卑职还是要讨令跟随大人的。”韦小宝点头道:“那很容易,你要追随我,听我说笑话,半点儿也不难。咱们明天就一起去台湾罢。”施琅大吃一惊,站起身来,颤声道:“这……这……这件事未奉皇上圣旨,卑职不敢奉命。还请……还请大人原谅。”韦小宝笑道:“我又不是去台湾想干甚么,只是听你们说得热闹,国姓爷在台南、台北开疆辟土,新造了一个花花世界,我想亲眼去瞧瞧。到了台湾,你不是可以常常听到我的教诲么?这话是你自己亲口说的。我不过看你为人很好,从前又跟过我,咱们是老上司、老部下,交情非同寻常,这才勉强想个法子,来答应你的请求。我去台湾玩玩,一两个月就回来了,神不知鬼不觉的,只要你不说、我不说,皇上也不会知道。”施琅神色极是尴尬,躬身道:“韦大人,这件事实在难为得很了。大人有命,卑职本当遵奉,只是倘若皇上怪罪下来,实有大大的不便。卑职如果不奏告,那是犯了欺君大罪,卑职是万万不敢的。”韦小宝笑道:“请坐,请坐,施将军,你既不肯,那也是小事一桩,不用再说了。”
‘You could have that happy time again if you wanted to’ said Trinket. ‘Ah, but how?’ ‘Easy’ said Trinket. ‘Take me with you when you leave for Taiwan tomorrow!’ Shi Lang jumped to his feet, aghast. ‘B’b’but, Lord Wei’ he said in a shaking voice, ‘I couldn’t possibly take you without authorization from His Majesty. It would be more than my life is worth.’ ‘I wouldn’t want to do anything there’ said Trinket. ‘After hearing so much about the place, I just wanted to see what it was like. And I wouldn’t want to stay very long. Just a month or so, then I could slip back here again. Just a little holiday. The Emperor needn’t know if you don’t tell him. ‘ never told him lots of things.’ ‘You are fortunate in enjoying the Emperor’s favour, my lord’ said Shi Lang. ‘I don’t enjoy that privilege. I am deeply sorry not to oblige you, but I really don’t dare do what you ask.’ ‘Sit down, sit down, Admiral!1 said Trinket. ‘It was only an idea. Think no more about it!’

施琅如释重负,连声称是,坐回席中。韦小宝笑道:“说到欺君之罪,不瞒你说,我欺瞒皇上的事倒也作过几桩,不过皇上宽洪大量,知道之后也不过骂上几句,没甚么大不了的。”施琅道:“是,是。大家都说,皇上对待韦大人深恩厚泽,真是异数。君臣如此投缘,实是旷古未有。但像卑职这种没福份的小将外臣,那是万万不敢跟韦大人学的。”韦小宝微笑道:“施将军嘴里说得好像十分胆小,其实我瞧啊,你的胆子倒是很大的。听说施将军攻下台湾后,做了一篇祭文去祭国姓爷,可是有的?”施琅道:“回大人:‘国姓爷’三字,是说不得的了,现下的国姓是爱新觉罗。咱们提到郑成功时,要是说得客气些,只能说是‘前明赐姓’。因此卑职的那篇祭文中,只说‘赐姓’二字,决计不敢大胆犯忌。”他料知不答应带同韦小宝去台湾,这小鬼必定鸡蛋里找骨头,硬要寻自己的岔子。“国姓爷”三字是大家都说惯了的,可是郑成功得明朝赐姓为朱,他的国姓是明朝的国姓,不是清朝的国姓,韦小宝倘若扣住这三个字大作文章,说他念念不忘姓朱是国姓,申报朝廷,这件事可大可小,说不定会酿成大祸,因此上抢先辩白。

其实韦小宝没半点学问,这些字眼上的关节,他说甚么也想不到,经施琅一辩,反而抓到了把柄,说道:“施将军曾受明朝的爵禄,念念不忘前朝的赐姓,那也怪不得。倘若真是忠于我大清,应当称郑成功为‘逆姓’、‘伪姓’、‘匪姓’、‘狗姓’才是。”施琅低头不语,心中虽十二分的不以为然,但觉不宜就此事和他多辩论,称郑成功为“赐姓”,果然还是不免有不忘前朝之意。韦小宝道:“施将军那篇祭文,定是做得十分好的了,念给我听听成不成?”施琅只会带兵打战,哪里会甚么祭文,这篇祭文是他幕僚中一名师爷所做的。这师爷颇有才情,这篇祭文做得情文并茂,辞意恳切,施琅曾听不少人赞扬,心中得意,将其中许多句子熟记在胸,向人炫耀,当下便道:“卑职胡诌了几句,倒教韦大人见笑了。”于是将祭文中的几段要紧文字背了出来。

韦小宝听他背完了“独琅起卒伍,与赐姓有鱼水之欢,中间微嫌,酿成大戾。琅与赐姓翦为仇雠,情犹臣主,芦中穷士,义所不为。公义私恩,如此而已。”那一段,点头赞道:“好文章,好文章。这篇文章,别说杀了我头也做不出来,就是人家做好了要我背上一背,只怕也得读他十天八天。施将军文武全才,记性极好,佩服,佩服。”施琅脸上微微一红,心道:“你明知我做不出,是别人做的,我读熟了背出来的。这般讥讽于我,那也不必跟你多说。”韦小宝道:“其中‘芦中穷士,义所不为’这个字,是甚么意思?我学问差劲得很,这可不懂了。”施琅道:“芦中穷士,说的是伍子胥。当年他从楚国逃难去吴国,来到江边,一个渔翁渡他过江,去拿饭给他吃,伍子胥怕追兵来捉拿,躲在江边的芦苇丛里。渔翁回来,见芦中躲有得人,便叫道:‘芦中人,芦中人,岂非穷士乎?’后来伍子胥带领吴兵,攻破楚国,将楚平王的尸首从坟墓里掘了出来,鞭尸三百,以报杀他父兄之仇。赐姓……郑成功曾杀我父兄妻儿,台湾人怕我破台之后,也会掘尸报仇。卑职这篇祭文中说,这种事我是决计不做的,郑成功在天之灵可以放心,台湾军民也不必顾虑。”韦小宝道:“原来如此,施将军是在自比伍子胥。”施琅道:“伍子胥是大英雄、大豪杰,卑职如何敢比?只不过伍子胥全家遭难,他孤身一人逃了出去,终于带兵回来,报了大仇。这一节,跟卑职的遭遇也差不多罢了。”韦小宝点头道:“但愿施将军将来的结局,和伍子胥大大不同,否则可真正不妙了。”
Shi Lang bowed and sat down again, greatly relieved. ‘Funny though’ said Trinket musingly, ‘you say you wouldn’t dare, but it was quite daring of you to pay your respects at Coxinga’s grave when you were in Taiwan. I’d like to have been there to hear it’ they say you made a very fine speech. Can you still remember what you said?’ ‘I can remember a few bits’ said Shi Lang, who had actually learned to recite the whole address by heart. He now proceeded to recite some choice lines from it, including the ones comparing himself to Wu Zixu. ‘Excellent!’ said Trinket. ‘I couldn’t do that to save my life. What does that stuff about the man hiding in the rushes mean?’ Shi Lang explained it to him. ‘Hm, I see’ said Trinket. ‘I hope the Emperor doesn’t get to hear about it.’ ‘Oh?’ said Shi Lang, clearly rather worried. ‘Why do you say that?’ ‘Didn’t Wu Zixu later on get overconfident with his success and offend the King of Wu?’ said Trinket.

施琅登时想到,伍子胥在吴国立了大功,后来却为吴王所杀,不由得脸色大变,握着酒杯的一只手不由得也颤抖起来。韦小宝摇头道:“听说伍子胥立了大功,便骄傲起来,对吴王很不恭敬。施将军,你自比伍子胥,实在是非常不妥当的。你那篇祭文,当然早已传到了北京城里,皇上也必已见到了,要是没人跟你向皇上分说分说,我瞧,嘿嘿,唉,可惜,可惜,一场大功只怕要付诸于流水……”施琅忙道:“大人明鉴:卑职说的是不做伍子胥,可不敢说要做伍子胥,这……中间是完……完全不同的。”韦小宝道:“你这篇祭文到处流传,施将军自比伍子胥,那是天下皆知的了。”施琅站起身来,颤声道:“皇上圣明,恩德如山,有功的臣子尽得保全。卑职服侍了一位好主子,比之伍子胥,运气是好得多了。”韦小宝道:“话是不错的。伍子胥到底怎样居心,我是不大明白。不过我看过戏文,吴王杀他之时,伍子胥说,将我的眼睛挖出来嵌在城门上,好让我见到越兵打进京城来,见到吴国灭亡,后来好像吴国果然是给灭了。施将军文武全才,必定知道这故事,是不是啊?”

施琅不由得一股凉意从背脊骨上直透下去,他起初只想到伍子胥立大功后为吴王所杀的不详史事,已然大为不安,还没想到伍子胥临死对的那几句话。自己那篇祭文说“芦中穷士,义所不为”,虽说是不做伍子胥之事,但自比伍子胥之意,却是昭昭在人耳目,祭文中提到伍子胥,说的只是“鞭尸报仇”,那料到韦小宝竟会拉扯到“诅咒亡国”这件事上去,如此大大犯忌的罪名,一给人加到了自己头上,当真糟不可言。韦小宝这番言语,只要传进了皇帝耳里,就算皇上圣明,并不加罪,心里一定不痛快,自己再盼加官晋爵,从此再也休想了。要是皇帝的亲信如韦小宝之流再火上加油、挑拨一番,说自己心存怨望,讥刺朝廷诛杀功臣,项颈上这一颗人头,可实在难保之极。

一时思如潮涌,自恨千不该、万不该,不该去祭郑成功,更不该叫师爷做这篇祭文,以致给这精灵古怪的小鬼抓住了痛脚。他呆呆的站着发呆,不知说甚么话来分辩才好。韦小宝道:“施将军,皇上亲政之后,所做的第一件大事是甚么?”施琅道:“是诛杀奸臣鳌拜。”韦小宝道:“是啊。鳌拜固然是奸臣,可是他是顾命大臣,当年攻城破敌,于我大清大大有功。皇上曾说:‘我杀了鳌拜,只怕有人说我不体恤功臣,说甚么鸟、甚么弓的。’那是甚么话啊?我可说不上来了。”施琅道:“是鸟尽弓藏。”韦小宝道:“对了,连你也这么说……”施琅忙道:“不,不,我不是说皇上,说的是一句成语。”韦小宝道:“你是说一句成语,来形容皇上杀鳌拜。”施琅急道:“大人问我是一句甚么成语,卑职不过回答大人的问话,可万万不敢……不敢讪谤皇上。”韦小宝双目凝视看他,只瞧得施琅心慌意乱。自古以来,做臣子的倘若自以为功大赏薄,皇帝必定甚是痛恨,臣子不必出口怨言,只要“心存怨望”四字,就是杀头的罪名。施琅心意徬徨之际,给韦小宝诱得说出了“鸟尽弓藏”四字,话一出口,立知不妙,可是已经收不回了,何况除韦小宝外,尚有林兴珠、洪朝二人在侧,要想抵赖,也无从赖起。
‘From what I can remember of the story, the King of Wu had him executed, but before he was executed Wu Zixu asked them to take his eyes out after he was dead and stick them on top of the city gate looking outwards so that he could see the King of Wu’s enemies when they marched into the city and overthrew his kingdom. If Wu Zixu stands for you, the Emperor might begin to wonder if he’s meant to be the King of Wu and grow suspicious. Especially if he got to hear about your flying the sun and moon flags on your ships. Besides, you know what they say about victorious generals when they’re no longer useful’ “When the birds are something or other . . .”” ‘You mean, “When the birds are all shot, the bow is forgot”” said Shi Lang. ‘Yes. When the Emperor hears you’ve been saying “When the birds are all shot, the bow is forgot”, he’s bound to get very suspicious.’ ‘But I’ve never said that’ said Shi Lang. ‘You said it just now’ said Trinket. ‘Captain Lin heard you.’

韦小宝道:“施将军说‘鸟尽弓藏’,这句话是不是讪谤皇上,我是不懂的。朝廷里有学问的大学士、尚书、翰林很多,咱们不妨请他们去评评。不过我跟着皇上的日子不少,好像皇上爱听人说他是鸟生鱼汤,却不爱听人说他是鸟尽弓藏。同是两只鸟,这中间恐怕大不相同,一只是好鸟,一只是恶鸟。是不是啊?”施琅又惊又怒,心想一不做,二不休,你如此诬陷于我,索性将你三人尽数杀了,也免得留下了祸根;言念及此,不由得眼中露出凶光。韦小宝见他突然面目狰狞,心中不禁一寒,强笑道:“施将军一言既出,死马难追。你眼前有两条路可走。第一条,立即将我跟林洪二人杀了,再将我众夫人和儿子都杀了,然后兵发台湾,自立为王。只是你所带的都是大清官兵,不见得肯跟随你一起造反,台湾的军民也未必服你。”

施琅心中正在盘算这件事,听得他一语道破,凶焰立敛,忙道:“卑职绝无此意,大人不可多疑,加重卑职的罪名。但不知大人所说的第二条路是甚么,还请大人开恩指点。”韦小宝听他口气软了,登时心中一宽,架起了脚摇上几摇,说道:“第二条路,那就须得兄弟和林洪二位帮个忙才成。刚才施将军说到皇上之时,确是说了个‘鸟’字,恭颂皇上鸟生鱼汤,那好得很啊。兄弟日后见到皇上,定说施将军忠字当头,念念不忘皇恩浩荡,闲谈之中,常说伍子胥忘恩负义,吴王发兵帮他报了杀父之仇,以后差他不论干甚么,自该火里火里去,水里水里去,如何可以口出怨言,心怀不满?当年施将军倘若做了伍子胥,不但保得吴王江山万万年,别说西施这样的美人能保住,连东施、南施、北施、中施,也一古脑儿都抢了来献给吴王。伍子胥念念不忘的只是自己,施将军念念不忘的,却是我大清圣明天子。好心有好报,皇上论功行赏,施将军自然也是公侯万代了。”这一番话只把施琅听得心花怒放,急忙深深一揖,说道:“若得大人在皇上跟前如此美言,卑职永远不敢忘了大人的恩德。”韦小宝起身还礼,微笑道:“这些话说来惠而不费,要是我心情好,自然也会奏知皇上的。”施琅心想:“若不让你去台湾走一遭,你这小子的心情怎会好得起来?”坐回椅中,说道:“台湾初平,人心未定。卑职想奏明皇上,差遣一位位尊望重的大员,前去宣示圣上的德音,安抚百姓。这一位大员,自然以韦大人最为适宜。卑职立刻拜表,奏请皇上降旨,委派大人前去台湾安抚。”

韦小宝摇头道:“你拜表上京,待得皇上旨意下来,这么一来一往,几个月的时候拖了下来,只怕传入皇上耳中的闲言闲语,没有一千句,也有八百句了。这种事情,是差不得一时三刻的。最好施将军立刻请一位皇上亲信的大员,同去台湾彻查,方能证明你绝无在台湾自立为王的用心。外边传说你连名号也定下了,叫作甚么‘大明台湾靖海王’,是不是?”施琅听到“大明台湾靖海王”七字,不由得吓了一跳,心想你在荒岛之上,听得到甚么流言,自然是你信口编出来的,但这话一传到北京,朝廷定是宁可信其有,不会信其无,自己这可死无葬身之地了,忙道:“这是谣言,大人万万不可听信。”韦小宝淡淡的道:“是啊。我和你相识已久,自然是不信的。不过施将军平台,杀的人多,冤家一定结了不少。你的仇人要中伤你,我看也是防不胜防,难以辩白。常言道得好:朝里无人莫做官,不知朝里大老,哪一位是肯拚了身家性命,全力来维护施将军的?”

施琅心中更是打了个突,自己在朝中并无有力之人撑腰,否则当年也不会在北京投闲置散,到处钻营而无门路可走,真能给自己说得了话的,也只有眼前这位韦大人,当下咬了咬牙,说道:“大人指点,卑职感激不尽。既然事势紧迫,卑职斗胆请大人明日起程,前赴台湾查明真相。”韦小宝大喜,但想是你来求我,不妨刁难刁难,说道:“凭着咱哥儿俩的交情,为了替施将军辩冤,辛苦一趟也没甚么。就是在我岛上住得久了,再出海只怕会晕船。同时我的妻子儿女天天都在身边,也不舍得跟他们分离。”施琅肚里暗骂:“你不知出过多少次海了,也从没见你晕过他妈的甚么船!”陪笑道:“大人的众位夫人、公子和小姐,自然陪同一起前往。卑职挑选最大的海船请大人乘坐,这些日子海上并无风浪,大人尽可放心。”韦小宝皱眉道:“既然如此,兄弟也只好勉为其难,为施将军走一遭了。”施琅连连称谢。次日韦小宝带同七位夫人,两个儿子虎头、铜锤,一个女儿双双,上了施琅的旗舰。彭参将待要阻拦,施琅当即下令,将他绑在一棵大树之上。众船启碇开行。
‘You little rat!’ thought Shi Lang. ‘I expect you’d be quite capable of putting Lin up to telling the Emperor too, if it suited you.’ He was beginning to feel trapped, and a murderous look flashed for a moment from his eyes-which Trinket was quick to observe. ‘I think you’ve got two choices’ said Trinket. ‘What two choices?’ said Shi Lang. The first is to kill me and Captain Lin and the others on this island, fly the sun and moon flags, sail back to Taiwan, and set up as an independent king.’ That’s ridiculous’ said Shi Lang. ‘I’m the Emperor’s loyal servant. What’s the other choice?’ Take me with you to Taiwan’ said Trinket, ‘and leave me to take care of Captain Lin.’ Shi Lang caved in completely. He had no friends at the Imperial Court and knew he was completely at the mercy of this horrible youth who seemed able to do anything he liked with the Emperor. Trinket sensed that he had the upper hand. He pointed out that if he went to Taiwan as an observer, he would be in a position to assure the Emperor of Shi Lang’s irreproachable behaviour as the Emperor’s representative on the newly conquered island. Instead of making difficulties, Shi Lang was now begging him to go, so that Trinket was even able to make conditions. He’d need to take his wives and children with him, he said, for his peace of mind. Shi Lang agreed to everything. He set aside the largest vessel in the squadron for the use of Trinket and his dependents, and the very next day, after a night’time of frantic preparations, they all set sail for Taiwan.

韦小宝望着居住数年的通吃岛,笑道:“庄家已经离岛,这里不能再叫通吃岛了,汉光武有严子陵钓鱼,凡是圣明天子,必有个忠臣钓鱼。皇上派了我在这里钓鱼,咱们得改个名才成。”施琅道:“正是。大人请看改个甚么名字最好?”韦小宝想了想,说道:“皇上曾派人来传旨,说周文王有姜太公钓鱼,咱们就叫它为‘钓鱼岛’罢。”施琅鼓掌称善,说道:“大人这名字取得再好也没有了,一来恭颂皇上好比周文王、汉光武,二来显得大人既如姜太公这般文武全才,又如严子陵这般清风高雅。对,对,咱们以后就叫它为钓鱼岛。”韦小宝笑道:“只不过我这通吃侯要改为钓鱼侯了,日后再晋升官进爵,叫作甚么钓鱼公,口采就不怎么好了。”施琅笑道:“渔翁得利,大有所获,口采好得很啊。”韦小宝点头道:“皇上封了我做通吃伯、通吃侯,我觉得倒也好听,我的几位夫人却不大乐意。日后奏请皇上改名为钓鱼侯,说不定大家都高兴了。”施琅肚里暗暗好笑,心想:“甚么通吃伯、通吃侯,都是皇上跟你寻开心的,只当你是个弄臣,全无尊重之意。就算改为钓鱼候,又有甚么好听了?”口中却道:“自古道渔樵耕读,渔翁排名第一,读书人排在第四。钓鱼公、钓鱼王的封号,可比状元翰林尊贵得多。”至于这钓鱼岛是否就是后世的钓鱼台岛,可惜史籍无从稽考。若能在岛上找得韦小宝的遗迹,当知在康熙初年,该岛即曾由国人长期居住,且曾派兵五百驻扎。

Trinket in Taiwan

不一日,韦小宝乘坐施琅的旗舰,来到台湾,在安平府上岸。沿途林兴珠和洪朝指点当年郑成功如何进兵,如何大破红毛兵,韦小宝听得津津有味。施琅既带了他来台湾,他言语之中也就不再讥讽了。施琅在将军府中大张筵席,隆重款待。饮酒之际,忽报京中有谕旨到来。施琅忙出去接旨,回来脸色有异,说道:“韦大人,上谕要弃守台湾,这可糟了。”韦小宝道:“那为甚么?”
After a voyage of several days, they arrived at Anping, the port for the main city of Taiwan (the Dutch had called the place Fort Zeelandia). They disembarked and completed their journey by land. At Trinket’s special request, Lin Xingzhu went with him to act as a guide and entertained him as they rode together with vivid accounts of Coxinga’s campaign against the Dutch. Trinket’s needling of Shi Lang had ceased, now that he had got his own way, and relations between them were cordial. As soon as they were settled at his headquarters in the city, Shi Lang gave a splendid dinner to which everyone was invited. The party had reached a high level of joviality when the arrival of an Imperial Edict was announced and Shi Lang excused himself and went out to receive it. When he came back some time later, he had a worried expression on his face. ‘Bad news,’ he said. ‘Taiwan is to be evacuated.’ ‘What does that mean?’ Trinket asked him. ‘It means, my lord, that the entire population will be deported to the mainland, the garrison will be withdrawn, and my command here will terminate.’ ‘But why?’ said Trinket.

施琅道:“上谕令卑职筹备弃守台湾事宜,将全台军民尽数迁入内地,不许留下一家一口。卑职向传旨的使臣请问,原来朝中大臣建议,台湾孤悬海外,易成盗贼渊薮,朝廷控制不易,若派大军驻守,又多费粮饷,因此决意不要了。”韦小宝沉吟半晌,问道:“施将军可知朝中诸位大老真正的用意是甚么?”施琅一惊,颤声道:“难道……难道伍子胥甚么的话,已传到了北京?”韦小宝微笑道:“常言有道:好事不出门,恶事传千里。朝廷担心将军真要做甚么‘大明台湾靖海王’,那也是有的。”施琅道:“那……那怎么办?台湾百姓数十万人,在这里安居乐业已有数十年,一古脑儿迁去内地,叫他们如何过日子?倘若勒逼迁移,必生大变。何况大清官兵一走,红毛兵跟着又占了,咱们中国人辛辛苦苦经营的基业,拱手送给红毛鬼,怎叫人甘心?”韦小宝沉吟半晌,说道:“这件事儿,我瞧也不是全无挽回的法子。皇上最体恤百姓的,将军只须为百姓请命,说不定皇上就准许了。”施琅略觉宽心,说道:“不过倘若朝廷里已有了甚么风言风语,卑职这般向皇上请陈,似乎不肯离台,显得……显得忠诚之心有点儿不大够。”韦小宝道:“这当儿你只有立即前赴北京,将这番情由面奏皇上。你既到了北京,甚么意图在台湾自立为王的谣言,自然再也没人相信了。”
‘I asked the emissary who brought the Edict’ said Shi Lang. ‘He said there’s a party at Court who’ve persuaded the Emperor that Taiwan is too costly to defend. They say there’s always a danger of it falling into the wrong hands and proving a drain on our resources.’ ‘But if we move out, the red’haired foreign devils will move in again,’ said Trinket. (He was referring to the Dutch, who had ruled Taiwan, or Formosa, the ‘Beautiful’ island, for nearly forty years, before being ejected by Coxinga.) ‘Exactly,’ said Shi Lang. ‘Do you think the people at Court suspect me, because of-you know, the “man in the reeds” and so on?’ ‘It’s possible’ said Trinket. ‘These things have a way of getting out. Listen, I’ll tell you what you ought to do. Go to Peking straight away and see the Emperor yourself. Tell him the people of Taiwan are happy here and what a terrible thing it would be for them to have to move. His Majesty is a kind person, I know he cares about the good of the people and all that stuff. If you send a reply back from here appealing against this what’d’you’call’it, he might suspect you; but if you’re in Peking telling him this yourself, he’ll know you’re not plotting against him.’

施琅一拍大腿,说道:“对,对!大人指教得是,卑职明天就动身。”突然灵机一动,说道:“台湾的文武官员,就请大人暂且统带。皇上对大人是最信任不过的,只要是大人坐镇台湾,朝中大臣谁也不敢有半句闲话。”韦小宝大喜,心想在台湾过过官瘾,滋味着实不错,笑道:“你不得圣旨,擅自将兵马大权交了给我,皇上怪罪起来,却又如何?”施琅一听,又大为踌躇,寻思:“他是陈近南的弟子,反逆天地会的同党。皇上虽对他宠幸,这些年来却一直将他流放在通吃岛上,不给他掌权办事。他一得兵马大权,要是联同天地会造反作乱,我……我这可又死罪了。”
Shi Lang at once saw the point of this and thanked Trinket warmly for his counsel. ‘I’ll take your advice, Lord Wei’ he said. ‘But someone will have to be in charge here while I’m away. As you’re the most senior in rank here, I must ask you if you would be willing to do it.’ Trinket was immensely pleased with the idea, but wondered what Kang Xi would think about it. After all, he wasn’t supposed to be in Taiwan at all, let alone in charge of it. ‘I’d be glad to help, Admiral’ he said, ‘but His Majesty won’t be too happy if you hand over to someone else without first waiting for an Edict.’ It was Shi Lang’s turn to feel apprehensive. ‘This man is a disciple of Chen Jinnan and a friend of the Triads,’ he thought. ‘He’s still in great favour with the Emperor, but he’s not employed by him any more, and he’s supposed to be living in exile on Potluck Island. If I do hand over power to him, and he and his Triad friends treat it as a golden opportunity to make a rising, I’ll be guilty of a capital offence.’

转念一想,已有了计较:“我只须将全部的水师带去,他就不敢动弹。他如大胆妄为,竟敢造反,水师回过头来,立即将他平了。”当即笑道:“兵马大权交给别人,说不定皇上会怪责,交给大人,那是百无禁忌的。”当下酒筵草草而终。施琅连夜传令,将台湾文武大员召来参见韦小宝,由他全权指挥,便宜行事;又请师爷为韦小宝写一道奏章,说是忧心国事,特来台湾暂为坐镇,俾朝廷无东顾之虑,请赦擅专之罪;又说台湾百姓安居已久,以臣在台亲眼所见,似以不撤为宜。
But then he had an idea. I’ll take the fleet with me’ he thought. ‘He can’t do anything without ships. If he and his friends did try any funny business, it would be easy to sail back and deal with them.’ Having made up his mind, he told Trinket that he would take the risk. Bringing the banquet to a rather hasty conclusion, he convened an emergency meeting of the Taiwanese administration and told the officials that he was temporarily handing over full powers to Lord Wei. Then he got an experienced secretary to compose a memorial to the Emperor in Trinket’s name. Trinket was made to say that he had, with great temerity-for which he craved the Emperor’s forgiveness- and acting purely out of concern for His Majesty’s peace of mind, assumed temporary control of the island after travelling there to make a survey and satisfying himself that the people, most of whom had lived on Taiwan for generations, were peaceable and obedient and could more suitably be left to go on living there undisturbed as His Majesty’s loyal subjects than moving with much distress and inconvenience to another place.

诸事办毕,已是次日清晨,施琅便要上船。韦小宝问道:“有一件大事,你预备好了没有?”施琅道:“不知是甚么大事?”韦小宝笑道:“花差花差!”施琅不解,问道:“花差花差?”韦小宝道:“是啊。你这次平台功劳不小,朝中诸位大臣,每一个送了多少礼啊?”施琅一怔,道:“这是仗着天子威德,将士用命,才平了台湾,朝中大臣可没出甚么力。”韦小宝摇头道:“老施啊,你一得意,老毛病又发作了。你打平台湾,人人都道你金山银山,一个儿独吞,发了大财。朝里作官的,哪一个不眼红?”施琅急道:“大人明鉴,施琅要是私自取了台湾一两银子,这次教我上北京给皇上千刀万剐,凌迟处死。”韦小宝道:“你自己要做清官,可不能人人跟着你做清官啊。你越清廉,人家越容易说你坏话,说你在台湾收买人心,意图不轨。这么说来,你这次去北京,又是两手空空,甚么礼物也不带了?”施琅道:“台湾的土产,好比木雕、竹篮、草席、皮箱,那是带了一些的。”韦小宝哈哈大笑,只笑得施琅先是面红耳赤,继而恍然大悟,终于决心补过,当下向韦小宝深深一揖,说道:“多谢大人指点。卑职这次险些儿又闯了大祸。”韦小宝召集文武官员,说道:“施将军这次上京,是为众百姓请命,假如不成功,大伙儿都要家破人亡。这请命费,难道要施将军一个人垫出来不成?各位老兄,大家赶紧去筹措筹措、摊派摊派罢!”施琅居官清廉,到台后不曾向民间取过金银。此刻韦小宝接手,第一道命令却便是大征“请命费”。台湾百姓听到内迁的消息后,正自人心惶惶,得知施琅依了韦爵爷之计,上京为百姓请命,求不内迁,这笔“请命费”倒是谁都出得心甘情愿。好在台湾民间富贵,只半天功夫,已筹到三十余万两银子。韦小宝命官库垫款六十余万,凑成一百万两,又指点他何人必须多送,何人不妨少送。施琅感激不尽,到当晚初更时分,这才开船。
After spending a great part of the night in preparation, Shi Lang was ready to leave first thing next morning; but Trinket feared that, being an honest, simple soul (far too honest, in fact), he was ill’prepared to face the officials at the Imperial Court who, on meeting a colleague who had just completed the conquest of a notably rich island, would be looking for a share of the spoils. When Trinket, in his inimitable way, tried to explain this, Shi Lang did not at first understand what he was getting at; but when he did, and begged Trinket to help him do whatever was necessary, Trinket summoned another meeting of the Taiwanese officials and told them that the Admiral was going to Peking to plead with the Emperor on behalf of the people of Taiwan. This was, of course, going to cost money; and as they stood to lose everything if he didn’t succeed, he was sure they would help out in this emergency and come up with something pretty quickly. There were a lot of very rich people in Taiwan and the rumour of deportation had seriously frightened them. In just a few hours the officials collected well over three hundred thousand taels. Trinket found that there was over six hundred thousand in the treasury and, adding the two amounts together, was able to hand over one million taels for Shi Lang to take with him when he sailed at about seven o’clock that evening.

次日韦小宝升堂,向众官员道:“昨晚施将军启程赴京,这请命费算来算去,总是还差了一百多万。兄弟为了全台百姓着想,只好将历年私蓄,还有七位夫人的珠宝首饰,一古脑儿又凑了一百万两银子,交施将军带去使用打点。唉,在台湾做官,可真不容易,兄弟只不过暂且署理,第一天便亏空了一百万。我这可是倾家荡产,全军覆没了。”台湾府知府躬身说道:“大人爱护百姓,为民父母,真是万家生佛。除了公库垫款六十多万要还之外,韦大人这一百万两银子,自然也是要全台百姓奉还的。”韦小宝点头道:“你们每个人也都垫了银子,个个都弄得两袖清风甚么的,这个我也不是不知道。你们官大的垫了成万两,官小的也垫了数千两、数百两不等,大家齐心合力,为来为去,都是为了众百姓。这些垫款,自然也是要地方上归还的。咱们做父母官的,也不能向老百姓算利息,大家吃亏些,拿回本钱,也就算了,这叫做爱民如子。”众官大喜,一齐称谢,均觉得这位韦大人体贴下情,有财大家发,果然是一位好上司。韦小宝第一天署官,便刮了一百万两银子,此后财源滚滚,花巧多端,不必细表。
The day after Shi Lang’s departure Trinket called the Taiwanese officials together again. In speaking to them the day before, he had referred to the amount collected as the ‘Save Taiwan Fund’. ‘I’m afraid the “Save Taiwan Fund” we collected for Admiral Shi yesterday was short of what was needed by a million taels,’ he told them. ‘I managed to make it up with what I’d saved of my own money over the years and what I could raise on the jewellery of my seven wives. I was glad to do it for the people’s sake, but it’s left me and my family completely broke.’ The chief official bowed low in gratitude. ‘Your Lordship is like a father and mother to us. Be assured’ apart from making good the six hundred thousand taken from the treasury, the people of Taiwan will see to it that Your Lordship’s million taels are reimbursed to the last penny.’ Trinket went on to suggest a way of assessing contributions that spread the burden fairly and, having made a cool million for himself after his first day governing Taiwan, was hailed by one and all as a benefactor.

Boots Aloft

过得数日,韦小宝吩咐备下祭品,到郑成功祠堂去上祭,要瞧瞧这位名震天下的国姓爷到底是怎么一副模样。来到祠中,抬头看时,只见郑成功的塑像端坐椅中,脸形椭圆,上唇、下唇及下颚均有短短黑须,双耳甚大,但眼睛细小,眉毛弯弯,颇有慈祥之意,并无威猛豪迈的英雄气概,韦小宝颇为失望,问从官道:“国姓爷的相貌,当真就是这样吗?”林兴珠道:“这塑像和国姓爷本人是挺像的。国姓爷是读书人出身,虽然是大英雄大豪杰,相貌却文雅得很。”韦小宝道:“原来如此。”见塑像两侧各有一座较小塑像,左女右男,问道:“那两个是甚么人?”林兴珠道:“女的是董太妃,男的是嗣王爷。”韦小宝道:“甚么嗣王爷?”林兴珠道:“就是国姓爷的公子,继任为王爷的。”韦小宝点头道:“啊,就是郑经了,跟郑克塽这小子倒也有些相像。我师父陈军师的橡呢?”林兴珠道:“陈军师没有像。”韦小宝道:“这董太妃坏得很,快把她拉下来,赶紧叫人去塑陈军师的像,放在这里陪伴国姓爷。”
A few days after this Trinket thought that, having heard so much about the famous Coxinga, he would like to see what he looked like and ordered the gear to be got ready for making an offering at his shrine; but when they got to the little temple, he was rather disappointed with what he saw. The statue, seated in between two smaller standing figures, was that of a mild, smooth’faced man with a little wispy beard and moustaches, quite unlike the fierce, heroic’looking warrior he had been expecting. ‘Was he really like that?’ he asked. ‘Actually, it’s a very good likeness’ said Lin Xingzhu, who was standing beside him. ‘You have to remember, the Marshal started life as a scholar; it was only later on that he became a great soldier.’ ‘Who are those two, the ones standing on either side of him?’ ‘That one is his son, Zheng Jing, who was Prince of Yanping after him,’ said Lin Xingzhu. ‘What about the other one?’ said Trinket. ‘Is that supposed to be my Shifu?’ ‘That’s the Marshal’s wife, the Lady Dong’ said Lin. ‘That old whore?’ said Trinket indignantly. ‘She shouldn’t be here. Take her out and get a statue of the Helmsman to put in her place!’

林兴珠大喜,亲自爬入神龛,将董太妃的塑像搬了下来。韦小宝向郑成功的神像跪下,磕了几个头,说道:“国姓爷,你是英雄豪杰,我向你磕头,想来你也受得起。这老虔婆坏了你的大事,每天陪着你,你必定生气,我帮你赶走,让我师父陈军师来陪你。”想到师父惨亡,不禁流下泪来。全台百姓对董太妃恨之入骨,而陈永华屯田办学、兴利除弊,有遗爱于民,百姓称他为“台湾诸葛亮”。郑克塽当国之时,谁都不敢说董太妃一句坏话,不敢说陈永华一句好话。此时韦小宝下了“除董塑陈”的命令,人心大快,又听说他在国姓爷像前磕头流泪,众百姓更是感激。虽然这位韦大人要钱未免厉害了些,但一来他是陈军师的弟子,台湾军民不免推爱,二来施琅带领清兵取台,灭了大明留存在海外的一片江山,因此上虽然“施清韦贪”,众百姓反觉这位韦大人和蔼可亲,宁可他镇守台湾,最好施琅永远不要回来。
Lin Xingzhu climbed over the altar rail and heaved the statue off its plinth, while Trinket dropped to his knees and kowtowed to the seated figure of Coxinga. ‘Lord Marshal,’ he said, ‘this wicked old woman caused so much trouble for you when you were alive, I’m sure it must make you angry to have her beside you now. I’m having her taken away for you and putting the Helmsman in her place. I’m sure both of you will be glad to be together again.’ He was remembering the Helmsman’s cruel death as he said this, and the thought of it made him cry. When he got up again his face was wet with tears. The people of Taiwan had hated Lady Dong, but cherished the memory of Chen the Helmsman who had done so much for them-land reforms, education, a host of other things. And yet during the brief reign of Zheng Keshuang (Trinket’s Sir Insufferable), no one was allowed to speak ill of Lady Dong or any good of Chen. The ‘Dong out, Chen in’ story circulated rapidly and was much appreciated; and when they heard that Trinket had shed real tears while kneeling before the image of their national hero, the Taiwanese people were touched and grateful. It’s true, they admitted, the new young ruler was a bit demanding when it came to money, but they preferred him to the honest, incorruptible Shi Lang and rather hoped that Shi Lang would be unable to return and the young one stay on permanently as Governor.

可是事与愿违,过得一个多月,施琅带了水师又回到台湾。韦小宝在岸边相迎,只见施琅陪同一位身穿一品大员服色的大官从船中出来。那大官还在跳板之上,便大声叫道:“韦兄弟,你好吗?这可想煞做哥哥的了。”原来是索额图。韦小宝大喜,抢上前去。两人在跳板上拉住了手,哈哈大笑。索额图笑道:“兄弟,大喜,大喜。皇上降旨,要你上北京。”韦小宝心中一喜一忧,寻思:“我如肯去北京,早就去了。小皇帝很是固执,他决不会向我投降的。我不答应打天地会,他就不会见我的面。”施琅笑嘻嘻道:“皇恩浩荡,真是没得说的,皇上已答允撤消台民内迁的旨意。”台湾众军民这一个多月来,日日夜夜都在担忧,生怕皇帝坚持要弃台湾,大家都说,皇帝的口是“金口”,说过了的话,决无反悔之理。施琅这句话一出口,岸上众官员听到了,忍不住大声欢呼,一齐叫了起来:“万岁,万岁,万万岁。”消息不胫而走,到处是欢呼之声,跟着劈劈啪啪的大放爆竹,比之过年还热闹得多。
But it was not to be. Little more than a month later the Taiwanese fleet was at anchorage again in the harbour, the flagship was docked, and Shi Lang was stepping from it to the shore. Behind him followed a high’ranking civilian official who began smiling and waving at Trinket when he was only halfway down the gangway. ‘Trinket, my dear boy! How I’ve missed you!’ It was Songgotu. Trinket ran up the gangway to meet him and the two clasped hands and laughed excitedly. ‘Good news!’ said Songgotu. The Emperor’s summoning you to Peking.’ Shi Lang had good news, too, for the people of Taiwan, which he announced as he stepped ashore. No deportation. The Emperor had relented. The crowd, who had gathered as soon as the first ships were sighted and had been waiting anxiously to hear their fate, suddenly erupted in wave after wave of cheering. The good news spread like wildfire and soon there was a sound of exploding firecrackers in every street and an air of festivity everywhere that would have made you think it was New Year.

索额图传下旨意,对韦小宝颇有奖勉,命他克日赴京,另有任用。韦小宝谢恩毕,两人到内堂摒众密谈。索额图道:“兄弟,你这一次面子可实在不小,皇上怕你尚有顾虑,因此钦命我前来促驾。你可知皇上要派你个甚么差使?”韦小宝摇头道:“皇上的神机妙算,咱们做奴才的可万万猜不透了。”索额图将嘴巴凑到他耳边,低声说道:“打罗刹鬼!”

注:据史籍所载,当时清廷决心弃台,已有成议,全仗施琅力争,大学士李雷又从中斡旋,这才决定设立官府,派置驻军。在当时似是小事,于后世却有莫大影响。当年施琅若不力争,清廷平服郑氏后即放弃台湾,将全台军民尽数迁入内地,则荷兰人势必重来,台湾从此不属于中国版图。因此其时虽有人指施琅为汉奸,但于中华民族而言,其力排弃台之议,保全此一大片土地于中国版图,功劳也可说极大。施琅曾奏减台湾地租田赋,康熙从其议,颇有惠于全台百姓。施琅次子施世纶,居官清廉,平民百姓和官员缙绅争执,施世纶必袒护平民,因此民间称为“施青天”,即后世说部《施公案》的主角。施琅第六子施世骠,为福建水师提督,康熙六十年驻台,史称“八月十三,怪风暴雨相逼为灾,兵民多死。世骠终夜露立,遂病,九月,卒于军中,下旨悼恤,赠太子太保。”此人在飓风袭台时通宵在外指挥救灾,因而病死,也可说是个爱民好官。

韦小宝一怔之下,跳起身来,大叫:“妙极!”索额图道:“皇上说你得知之后,一定十分喜欢,果然不错。兄弟,罗刹鬼自顺治年间起,就占我黑龙江一带,势道十分猖獗。先帝和皇上宽洪大量,不予计较。那知罗刹鬼得寸进尺,占地越来越多。辽东是我大清的根本所在,如何能容鬼子威逼?现在三藩叛逆和台湾郑氏都已荡平,天下无事,皇上就决意对罗刹用兵了。”韦小宝在通吃岛闲居数年,闷得便如推牌九连抓十副别十,这时听得这消息,开心得合不拢嘴来。索额图又道:“皇上为了息事宁人,曾向罗刹国大汗下了几道谕旨,对方却始终没有答复。后来荷兰国使臣转告,说罗刹国虽大,却是蛮夷之邦,通国无一人懂得中华上国文字,接到皇上的谕旨,全然莫名其妙,因此只好不答。可是罗刹兵东来占地,始终不止。皇上说道,我中华上国讲究仁义,不能对蛮夷不教而诛,总是要先令他们知错,有个幡然悔改的机会,要是训谕之后,仍然强项不服教化,那时便只有加以诛戮了。朝中大臣,精通罗刹国言语的,却只有韦兄弟一人。”

(按:当时中俄交涉,互相言语文字不通,确为事实。史载俄国沙皇致书康熙,有云:“皇帝在昔所赐之书,下国无通解者,未循其故。”)

韦小宝心想:“原来为了我懂得罗刹鬼话,小皇帝才向我投降。”不禁手舞足蹈,大为得意。索额图笑道:“兄弟精通罗刹话,固然十分了不起,可是还有一桩大本事,更是人所莫及。听说罗刹国的摄政女王,是大汗的姊姊,这位女王乃是兄弟的老相好,是不是啊?”韦小宝哈哈大笑,说道:“罗刹女人全身都是金毛,这个苏菲亚摄政女王相貌倒挺不错,她身上的皮肤,摸上去却粗糙得很。”索额图笑道:“皇上就是要兄弟出马,勉为其难,再去摸她几摸。”韦小宝笑着摇头,说道:“没胃口,没胃口。”索额图道:“兄弟一摸之下,两国交好,从此免了刀兵之灾,这是安邦定国的一桩奇功啊。”韦小宝笑道:“原来皇上不是派我去带兵打仗,是要我施展‘十八摸神功’,哈哈!”嘴里唱了起来:“一呀摸,二呀摸,摸到罗刹国女王的头发边。女王的头发象黄金,索大哥和韦小宝花差花差哉!”两人相对大笑。韦小宝问起罗刹国侵占黑龙江的详情,索额图细加述说。
Meanwhile Songgotu was quietly reassuring a pleased but worried Trinket that the Emperor would not, as formerly, be expecting him to betray his Triad friends. The situation had changed. He wanted him back again for a special mission’ a Russian campaign. Now that Satrap Wu and the Mystic Dragon Sect and the heirs of Coxinga on Taiwan had all been (缺) his attention to the problems of the north’eastern frontier. Russian colonists had been pressing eastwards through Siberia for half a century and, particularly since the building of the forts of Nerchinsk and Albazin, clashes were continually occurring between the Russians and Chinese along the Amur River. ‘You seem to be the only one of us ‘who has been there and can speak the language,’ said Songgotu. ‘And besides, the Emperor has heard that you were a great favourite of the Russian Regent, who is, I believe, a princess. He has hopes that you can use this to our advantage.’ ‘Give her the Eighteen Touches?’ Trinket suggested. ‘She is said to be very beautiful,’ said Songgotu. ‘Apart from being covered with little gold hairs, I suppose she is quite pretty’ said Trinket. He didn’t sound very enthusiastic.

原来在明朝万历年间,罗刹人便决意东侵。(罗刹即俄罗斯,《清史稿•郎坦等传》云:“俄罗斯之为罗刹,译言缓急异耳。”缓读为俄罗斯,急读为罗刹。以俄语本音读之,罗刹更为相近。)先后在西伯利亚的托木斯克、叶尼塞斯克、雅库次克、鄂霍次克等地筑城。顺治六年,罗刹人在鹿鼎山筑城,称阿尔巴青(中国则称为雅克萨城),同时顺流东下,沿途剽掠。顺治九年,满清宁古塔都统海色率兵两千,在黑龙江岸将罗刹兵击退。后来又在松花江口交兵,满清都统明安达哩奋勇作战,大破罗刹军。罗刹兵西退,在尼布楚筑城,并遣使往莫斯科乞援。使者沿途散布流言,说黑龙江一带金银遍地,牛马成群,居民房屋皆镶嵌黄金。罗刹人梦想大发洋财,结队东来,沿路劫掠,残害百姓,哥萨克骑兵尤为残暴。满清宁古塔都统沙尔呼达、宁古塔将军巴海率兵御敌,于顺治十六年、十七年间连胜数仗,打死了罗刹兵的统军大将,将哥萨克骑兵斩杀过半。于是罗刹人不敢再到黑龙江畔。

到康熙初年,罗刹军民又大举东来,以雅克萨城为根据地。康熙年纪渐长后,知道罗刹人野心极大,严加防守,并移吉林水师到黑龙江驻防。罗刹军也不断增兵,将雅克萨城建筑得十分牢固,同时在通往罗刹国本部的交通要道沿途设站,决意将黑龙江一带广大土地席卷而有之。那时康熙正在全力对付吴三桂,无力分兵抗御罗刹的侵略,直到三藩削平,台湾郑氏归降,更无后顾之忧,这才专心应付。想起韦小宝曾去过莫斯科,不但熟悉彼邦情势,且和罗刹国掌握大权的摄政女王关系不同寻常,曾献计助她脱困夺权,受过她的封爵,这是手中的一着厉害棋子,如何不用?得知他到了台湾,当即命索额图前往宣召。

韦小宝带妻子儿女,命伕役抬了在台湾所发的“请命财”,两袖金风,上船北行。临行时向施琅要了原来台湾郑氏的将领何佑、林兴珠、洪朝,以及五百名藤牌兵。施琅知他这次赴京,定得重用,自己在朝廷里正要他鼎力维持,自然没口子的答应,对他和索额图又都送了一份重礼。台湾百姓知道朝廷所以撤消举台内迁旨意,这位少年韦大人厥功甚伟,人人感激,万民伞、护民旗等送了无数。韦小宝上船之际,两名耆老脱下他的靴子,高高捧起,说是留为去思。这“脱靴”之礼,本是地方官清正,百姓爱戴,才有此仪节。韦小宝这“赃官”居然也享此殊荣,非但前无古人,恐怕也是后无来者了。欢送的鞭炮大放特放,更不在话下。
But he was very excited by the idea of being in the thick of things once more, and soon, with his wives and children and the rest of his large household, he was embarking with Songgotu for the voyage north. At Trinket’s request and with Shi Lang’s readily granted permission, Captain Lin and his special force of wicker’shield’carrying troops were to accompany them. As Trinket was about to embark, two aged Taiwanese approached him and removed his boots, which they then held aloft and displayed to the cheering crowd. This quaint little ceremony was normally reserved for the departure of an exceptionally benevolent and incorruptible governor and symbolized their wish that he could remain. This must have been the one and only time the ceremony was ever performed for one who, in a stay of little more than a month, had extorted from the people under his charge a sum of nearly two million taels.

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