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警察和赞美诗·The Cop and the Anthem(O Henry 欧·亨利)·中英双语

The Cop and the Anthem

by O Henry


OAPY MOVED RESTLESSLY ON HIS SEAT in Madison Square. There are certain signs to show that winter is coming. Birds begin to fly south. Women who want nice new warm coats become very kind to their husbands. And Soapy moves restlessly on his seat in the park. When you see these signs, you know that winter is near.

A dead leaf fell at Soapy’s feet. That was a special sign for him that winter was coming. It was time for all who lived in Madison Square to prepare.

Soapy’s mind now realized the fact. The time had come. He had to find some way to take care of himself during the cold weather. And therefore he moved restlessly on his seat.

Soapy’s hopes for the winter were not very high. He was not thinking of sailing away on a ship. He was not thinking of southern skies, or of the Bay of Naples. Three months in the prison on Blackwell’s Island was what he wanted. Three months of food every day and a bed every night, three months safe from the cold north wind and safe from cops. This seemed to Soapy the most desirable thing in the world.

For years Blackwell’s Island had been his winter home. Richer New Yorkers made their large plans to go to Florida or to the shore of the Mediterranean Sea each winter. Soapy made his small plans for going to the Island.

And now the time had come. Three big newspapers, some under his coat and some over his legs, had not kept him warm during the night in the park. So Soapy was thinking of the Island.

There were places in the city where he could go and ask for food and a bed. These would be given to him. He could move from one building to another, and he would be taken care of through the winter. But he liked Blackwell’s Island better.

Soapy’s spirit was proud. If he went to any of these places, there were certain things he had to do. In one way or another, he would have to pay for what they gave him. They would not ask him for money. But they would make him wash his whole body. They would make him answer questions; they would want to know everything about his life.

No. Prison was better than that. The prison had rules that he would have to follow. But in prison a gentleman’s own life was still his own life.

Soapy, having decided to go to the Island, at once began to move toward his desire.

There were many easy ways of doing this. The most pleasant way was to go and have a good dinner at some fine restaurant. Then he would say that he had no money to pay. And then a cop would be called. It would all be done very quietly. The cop would arrest him. He would be taken to a judge. The judge would do the rest.

Soapy left his seat and walked out of Madison Square to the place where the great street called Broadway and Fifth Avenue meet. He went across this wide space and started north on Broadway. He stopped at a large and brightly lighted restaurant. This was where the best food and the best people in the best clothes appeared every evening.

Soapy believed that above his legs he looked all right. His face was clean. His coat was good enough. If he could get to a table, he believed that success would be his. The part of him that would be seen above the table would look all right. The waiter would bring him what he asked for.

He began thinking of what he would like to eat. In his mind he could see the whole dinner. The cost would not be too high. He did not want the restaurant people to feel any real anger. But the dinner would leave him filled and happy for the journey to his winter home.

But as Soapy put his foot inside the restaurant door, the head waiter saw his broken old shoes and the torn clothes that covered his legs. Strong and ready hands turned Soapy around and moved him quietly and quickly outside again.

Soapy turned off Broadway. It seemed that this easy, this most desirable way to the Island was not to be his. He must think of some other way to getting there.

At a corner of Sixth Avenue was a shop with a wide glass window, bright with electric lights. Soapy picked up a big stone and threw it through the glass. People came running around the corner. A cop was the first among them. Soapy stood still, and he smiled when he saw the cop.

“Where’s the man that did that?” asked the cop.

“Don’t you think that I might have done it?” said Soapy. He was friendly and happy. What he wanted was coming toward him.

But the cop’s mind would not consider Soapy. Men who break windows do not stop there to talk to cops. They run away as fast as they can. The cop saw a man further along the street, running. He ran after him. And Soapy, sick at heart, walked slowly away. He had failed two times.

Across the street was another restaurant. It was not so fine as the one on Broadway. The people who went there were not so rich. Its food was not so good. Into this, Soapy took his old shoes and his torn clothes, and no one stopped him. He sat down at a table and was soon eating a big dinner. When he had finished, he said that he and money were strangers.

“Get busy and call a cop,” said Soapy. “And don’t keep a gentleman waiting.”

“No cop for you,” said the waiter. He called another waiter.

The two waiters threw Soapy upon his left ear on the hard street outside. He stood up slowly, one part at a time, and beat the dust from his clothes. Prison seemed only a happy dream. The Island seemed very far away. A cop who was standing near laughed and walked away.

Soapy traveled almost half a mile before he tried again. This time he felt very certain that he would be successful. A nice-looking young woman was standing before a shop window, looking at the objects inside.

Very near stood a large cop.

Soapy’s plan was to speak to the young woman. She seemed to be a very nice young lady, who would not want a strange man to speak to her. She would ask the cop for help. And then Soapy would be happy to feel the cop’s hand on his arm. He would be on his way to the Island.

He went near her. He could see that the cop was already watching him. The young woman moved away a few steps. Soapy followed. Standing beside her he said:

“Good evening, Bedelia! Don’t you want to come and play with me?”

The cop was still looking. The young woman had only to move her hand, and Soapy would be on his way to the place where he wanted to go. He was already thinking how warm he would be.

The young woman turned to him. Putting out her hand, she took his arm.

“Sure, Mike,” she said joyfully, “if you’ll buy me something to drink. I would have spoken to you sooner, but the cop was watching.”

With the young woman holding his arm, Soapy walked past the

cop. He was filled with sadness. He was still free. Was he going to remain free forever?

At the next corner he pulled his arm away, and ran.

When he stopped, he was near several theaters. In this part of the city, streets are brighter and hearts are more joyful than in other parts.

Women and men in rich, warm coats moved happily in the winter air.

A sudden fear caught Soapy. No cop was going to arrest him.

Then he came to another cop standing in front of a big theater.

He thought of something else to try.

He began to shout as if he had had too much to drink. His voice was as loud as he could make it. He danced, he cried out.

And the cop turned his back to Soapy, and said to a man standing near him, “It’s one of those college boys. He won’t hurt anything. We had orders to let them shout.”

Soapy was quiet. Was no cop going to touch him? He began to think of the Island as if it were as far away as heaven. He pulled his thin coat around him. The wind was very cold.

Then he saw a man in the shop buying a newspaper. The man’s umbrella stood beside the door. Soapy stepped inside the shop, took the umbrella, and walked slowly away. The man followed him quickly.

“My umbrella,” he said.

“Oh, is it?” said Soapy. “Why don’t you call a cop? I took it. Your umbrella! Why don’t you call a cop? There’s one standing at the corner.”

The man walked more slowly, Soapy did the same. But he had a feeling that he was going to fail again. The cop looked at the two men.

“I—” said the umbrella man— “that is—you know how these things happen—I—if that’s your umbrella I’m very sorry—I found it this morning in a restaurant—if you say it’s yours—I hope you’ll—” “It’s mine!” cried Soapy with anger in his voice.

The umbrella man hurried away. The cop helped a lady across the street. Soapy walked east. He threw the umbrella as far as he could throw it. He talked to himself about cops and what he thought of them. Because he wished to be arrested, they seemed to believe he was like a king, who could do no wrong.

At last Soapy came to one of the quiet streets on the east side of the city. He turned here and began to walk south toward Madison Square. He was going home, although home was only a seat in a park.

But on a very quiet corner Soapy stopped. Here was an old, old church. Through one colored-glass window came a soft light. Sweet music came to Soapy’s ears and seemed to hold him there.

The moon was above, peaceful and bright. There were few people passing. He could hear birds high above him.

And the anthem that came from the church held Soapy there, for he had known it well long ago. In those days his life contained such things as mothers and flowers and high hopes and friends and clean thoughts and clean clothes.

Soapy’s mind was ready for something like this. He had come to the old church at the right time. There was a sudden and wonderful change in his soul. He saw with sick fear how he had fallen. He saw his worthless days, his wrong desires, his dead hopes, the lost power of his mind.

And also in a moment his heart answered this change in his soul. He would fight to change his life. He would pull himself up, out of the mud. He would make a man of himself again.

There was time. He was young enough. He would find his old purpose in life, and follow it. That sweet music had changed him. Tomorrow he would find work. A man had once offered him a job. He would find that man tomorrow. He would be somebody in the world. He would—

Soapy felt a hand on his arm. He looked quickly around into the broad face of a cop.

“What are you doing hanging around here?” asked the cop.

“Nothing,” said Soapy.

“You think I believe that?” said the cop.

Full of his new strength, Soapy began to argue. And it is not wise to argue with a New York cop.

“Come along,” said the cop.

“Three months on the Island,” said the Judge to Soapy the next morning.

 

中文译文

苏比躺在麦迪逊广场的那条长凳上,辗转反侧。每当雁群在夜空引吭高鸣,每当没有海豹皮大衣的女人跟丈夫亲热起来,每当苏比躺在街心公园长凳上辗转反侧,这时候,你就知道冬天迫在眉睫了。

一张枯叶飘落在苏比的膝头。这是杰克·弗洛斯特的名片。杰克对麦迪逊广场的老住户很客气,每年光临之前,总要先打个招呼。他在十字街头把名片递给“露天公寓”的门公佬“北风”,好让房客们有所准备。

苏比明白,为了抵御寒冬,由他亲自出马组织一个单人财务委员会的时候到了。为此,他在长凳上辗转反侧,不能入寐。

苏比的冬居计划并不过奢。他没打算去地中海游弋,也不想去晒南方令人昏昏欲睡的太阳,更没考虑到维苏威湾去漂流。他衷心企求的仅仅是去岛上度过三个月。整整三个月不愁食宿,伙伴们意气相投,再没有“北风”老儿和警察老爷来纠缠不清,在苏比看来,人生的乐趣也莫过于此了。

多年来,好客的布莱克威尔岛监狱一直是他的冬季寓所。正如福气比他好的纽约人每年冬天要买票去棕榈滩和里维埃拉一样,苏比也不免要为一年一度的“冬狩”作些最必要的安排。现在,时候到了。昨天晚上,他躺在古老的广场喷泉和近的长凳上,把三份星期天的厚报纸塞在上衣里,盖在脚踝和膝头上,都没有能挡住寒气。这就使苏比的脑海里迅速而鲜明地浮现出岛子的影子。他瞧不起慈善事业名下对地方上穷人所作的布施。在苏比眼里,法律比救济仁慈得多。他可去的地方多的是,有市政府办的,有救济机关办的,在那些地方他都能混吃混住。当然,生活不能算是奢侈。可是对苏比这样一个灵魂高傲的人来说,施舍的办法是行不通的。从慈善机构手里每得到一点点好处,钱固然不必花,却得付出精神上的屈辱来回报。正如恺撒对待布鲁图一样,真是凡事有利必有弊,要睡慈善单位的床铺,先得让人押去洗上一个澡;要吃他一块面包,还得先一五一十交代清个人的历史。因此,还是当法律的客人来得强。法律虽然铁面无私,照章办事,至少没那么不知趣,会去干涉一位大爷的私事。

既然已经打定主意去岛上,苏比立刻准备实现自己的计划。省事的办法倒也不少。最舒服的莫过于在哪家豪华的餐馆里美美地吃上一顿,然后声明自己不名一钱,这就可以悄悄地、安安静静地交到警察手里。其余的事,自有一位识相的推事来料理。

苏比离开长凳,踱出广场,穿过百老汇路和五马路汇合处那处平坦的柏油路面。他拐到百老汇路,在一家灯火辉煌的餐馆门前停了下来,每天晚上,这里汇集着葡萄、蚕丝与原生质的最佳制品。

苏比对自己西服背心最低一颗纽扣以上的部分很有信心。他刮过脸,他的上装还算过得去,他那条干干净净的活结领带是感恩节那天一位教会里的女士送给他的。只要他能走到餐桌边不引人生疑,那就是胜券在握了。他露出桌面的上半身还不至于让侍者起怀疑。一只烤野鸭,苏比寻思,那就差不离——再来一瓶夏白立酒然后是一份卡门贝干酪,一小杯浓咖啡,再来一支雪茄烟。一块钱一支的那种也就凑合了。总数既不会大得让饭店柜上发狠报复,这顿牙祭又能让他去冬宫的旅途上无牵无挂,心满意足。

可是苏比刚迈进饭店的门,侍者领班的眼光就落到他的旧裤子和破皮鞋上。粗壮利落的手把他推了个转身,悄悄而迅速地把他打发到人行道上,那只险遭暗算的野鸭的不体面命运也从而得以扭转。

苏比离开了百老汇路。看来靠打牙祭去那个日思夜想的岛是不成的了。要进地狱,还是想想别的办法。

在六马路拐角上有一家铺子,灯光通明,陈设别致,大玻璃橱窗很惹眼。苏比捡起块鹅卵石往大玻璃上砸去。人们从拐角上跑来,领头的是个巡警。苏比站定了不动,两手插在口袋里,对着铜纽扣直笑。

“肇事的家伙在哪儿?”警察气急败坏地问。

“你难道看不出我也许跟这事有点牵连吗?”苏比说,口气虽然带点嘲讽,却很友善,仿佛好运在等着他。

在警察的脑子里苏比连个旁证都算不上。砸橱窗的人没有谁会留下来和法律的差役打交道。他们总是一溜烟似地跑。警察看见半条街外有个人跑着去赶搭车子。他抽出警棍,去追那个倒霉的人。苏比心里窝火极了,他拖着步子走了开去。两次了,都砸了锅。

街对面有家不怎么起眼的饭馆。它投合胃口大钱包小的吃客。它那儿的盘盏和气氛都粗里粗气,它那儿的菜汤和餐巾都稀得透光。苏比挪动他那双暴露身份的皮鞋和泄露真相的裤子跨进饭馆时倒没遭到白眼。他在桌子旁坐下来,消受了一块牛排、

一份煎饼、一份油炸糖圈,以及一份馅儿饼。吃完后他向侍者坦白:他无缘结识钱大爷,钱大爷也与他素昧平生。

“手脚麻利些,去请个警察来,”苏比说,“别让大爷久等。”

“用不着惊动警察老爷,”侍者说,嗓音油腻得像奶油蛋糕,眼睛红得像鸡尾酒里浸泡的樱桃,“喂,阿康!”

两个侍者干净利落地把苏比往外一叉,正好让他左耳贴地摔在铁硬的人行道上。他一节一节地撑了起来,像木匠在打开一把折尺,然后又掸去衣服上的尘土。被捕仿佛只是一个绊色的梦。那个岛远在天边。两个门面之外一家药铺前就站着个警察,他光是笑了笑,顺着街走开去了。

苏比一直过了五个街口,才再次鼓起勇气去追求被捕。这一回机会好极了,他还满以为十拿九稳,万无一失呢。一个衣着简朴颇为讨人喜欢的年轻女子站在橱窗前,兴味十足地盯着陈列的剃须缸与墨水台。而离店两码远,就有一位彪形大汉——警察,表情严峻地靠在救火龙头上。

苏比的计划是扮演一个下流的、讨厌的小流氓。他的对象文雅娴静,又有一位忠于职守的巡警近在咫尺,使他很有理由相信,警察那双可爱的手很快就会落到他身上,使他在岛上冬蛰的小安乐窝里吃喝不愁。

苏比把教会女士送的活结领带拉挺,把缩进袖口的衬衫袖子拉出来,把帽子往后一推,歪得马上要掉下来,向那女子挨将过去。他厚着面皮把小流氓该干的那一套恶心勾当一段段表演下去。苏比把眼光斜扫过去,只见那警察在盯住他。年轻女人挪动了几步,又专心致志地看起剃须缸来。苏比跟了过去,大胆地挨到她的身边,把帽子举了一举,说:
“啊哈,我说,贝蒂丽亚!你不是说要到我院子里去玩儿吗?”

警察还在盯着。那受人轻薄的女子只消将手指一招,苏比就等于进安乐岛了。他想象中已经感到了巡捕房的舒适和温暖。年轻的女士转过脸来,伸出一只手,抓住苏比的袖子。

“可不是吗,迈克,”她兴致勃勃地说,“不过你先得破费给我买杯猫尿。要不是那巡警老盯着,我早就要跟你搭腔了。”

那娘们像常春藤一样紧紧攀住苏比这棵橡树,苏比好不懊丧地在警察身边走了过去。看来他的自由是命中注定的了。

一拐弯,他甩掉女伴撒腿就走。他一口气来到一个地方,一到晚上,最轻佻的灯光,最轻松的心灵,最轻率的盟誓,最轻快的歌剧,都在这里荟萃。身穿轻裘大氅的淑女绅士在寒冷的空气里兴高采烈地走动。苏比突然感到一阵恐惧,会不会有什么可怕的魔法镇住了他,使他永远也不会被捕呢?这个念头使他有点发慌,但是当他遇见一个警察大模大样在灯火通明的剧院门前巡逻时,他马上就捞起“扰乱治安”这根稻草来。

苏比在人行道上扯直他那破锣似的嗓子,像醉鬼那样乱嚷嚷。他又是跳,又是吼,又是骂,用尽了办法大吵大闹。

警察让警棍打着旋,身子转过去背对苏比,向一个市民解释道:

“这是个耶鲁的小伙子在庆祝胜利,他们跟哈德福学院赛球,请人家吃了鸭蛋。够吵的,可是不碍事。我们有指示,让他们只管闹去。”

苏比怏怏地停止了白费气力的吵闹。难道就没有一个警察来抓他了吗?在他的幻想中。那岛已成为可望不可即的阿卡狄亚⑩了。他扣好单薄的上衣以抵挡刺骨的寒风。

他看见雪茄烟店里一个衣冠楚楚的人对着摇曳的火头在点烟。那人进店时,将一把绸伞靠在门边。苏比跨进店门,拿起绸伞,慢吞吞地退了出去。对火的人赶紧追出来。

“我的伞。”他厉声说道。

“噢,是吗?”苏比冷笑说;在小偷小摸的罪名上又加上侮辱这一条。“好,那你干吗不叫警察?不错,是我拿的。你的伞!你怎么不叫巡警?那边拐角上就有一个。”

伞主人放慢了脚步,苏比也放慢脚步。他有一种预感:他又一次背运了。那警察好奇地瞅着这两个人。

“当然,”伞主人说,“嗯……是啊,你知道有时候会发生误会……我……要是这伞是你的我希望你别见怪……我是今天早上在一家饭店里捡的……要是你认出来这是你的,那么……我希望你别……”

“当然是我的。”苏比恶狠狠地说。

伞的前任主人退了下去。好警察急匆匆地跑去搀一位穿晚礼服的金发高个儿女士过马路,免得她被在两条街以外往这边驶来的电车撞着。

苏比往东走,穿过一条因为翻修而高低不平的马路。他忿忿地把伞扔进一个坑。他嘟嘟哝哝咒骂起那些头戴钢盔,手拿警棍的家伙来。因为他想落入法网,而他们偏偏认为他是个永远不会犯错误的国王。

最后,苏比来到通往东区的一条马路上,这儿灯光暗了下来,嘈杂声传来也是隐隐约约的。他顺着街往麦迪逊广场走去,因为即使他的家仅仅是公园里的一条长凳,他仍然有夜深知归的本能。

可是,在一个异常幽静的地段,苏比停住了脚步。这时有一座古老的教堂,建筑古雅,不很规整,是有山墙的那种房子。柔和的灯光透过淡紫色花玻璃窗子映射出来,风琴师为了练熟星期天的赞美诗,在键盘上按过来按过去。动人的乐音飘进苏比的耳朵,吸引了他,把他胶着在螺旋形的铁栏杆上。

明月悬在中天,光辉、静穆;车辆与行人都很稀少;檐下的冻雀睡梦中啁啾了几声——这境界一时之间使人想起乡村教堂边上的墓地。风琴师奏出的赞美诗使铁栏杆前的苏比入定了,因为当他在生活中有母爱、玫瑰、雄心、朋友以及洁白无瑕的思想与衣领时,赞美诗对他来说是很熟悉的。

苏比这时敏感的心情和老教堂的潜移默化会合在一起,使他灵魂里突然起了奇妙的变化。他猛然对他所落入的泥坑感到憎厌。那堕落的时光,低俗的欲望,心灰意懒,才能衰退,动机不良——这一切现在都构成了他的生活内容。

一刹那间,新的意境醍醐灌顶似地激荡着他。一股强烈迅速的冲动激励着他去向坎坷的命运奋斗。他要把自己拉出泥坑,他要重新做一个好样儿的人。他要征服那已经控制了他的罪恶。时间还不晚,他还算年轻,他要重新振作当年的雄心壮志,坚定不移地把它实现。管风琴庄严而甜美的音调使他内心起了一场革命。明天他要到熙熙攘攘的商业区去找事做。有个皮货进口商曾经让他去赶车。他明天就去找那商人,把这差使接下来。他要做个烜赫一时的人。他要——

苏比觉得有一只手按在他胳膊上。他霍地扭过头,只见是警察的一张胖脸。

“你在这儿干什么?”那警察问。

“没干什么。”苏比回答。

“那你跟我来。”警察说,“你因为闲荡的罪名被捕了。”

第二天早上,警察局法庭上的推事宣判道:“布莱克威尔岛,三个月。”

(12)

本文由 橙叶博客 作者:ChengYe 发表,转载请注明来源!

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