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《凱斯賓王子》第7章:危險籠罩着古老的納尼亞

來源:可可英語 編輯:beck   可可英語APP下載 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet
THE place where they had met the Fauns was, of course, Dancing Lawn itself, and here Caspian and his friends remained till the night of the great Council. To sleep under the stars, to drink nothing but well water and to live chiefly on nuts and wild fruit, was a strange experience for Caspian after his bed with silken sheets in a tapestried chamber at the castle, with meals laid out on gold and silver dishes in the anteroom, and attendants ready at his call. But he had never enjoyed himself more. Never had sleep been more refreshing nor food tasted more savoury, and he began already to harden and his face wore a kinglier look.他們遇見羊怪的草坪,正是著名的跳舞場。經過商量,凱斯賓和他的朋友們決定留下,等待那盛大集會的來臨。他們唱井水止渴,吃野果充飢,晚上就露宿在滿天星斗之下口這一切對凱斯賓來説真是新鮮極了。雖然早已習慣了掛滿壁毯的卧室,温暖柔軟的被褥,以及山珍海昧、奴僕成羣的王宮生活,王子從來沒有像現在這樣快活,晚上從來不曾睡得這麼香甜,胃口也從來沒有這麼好。他已經變得堅強起來,不論氣質還是儀表都儼然是一國之君的樣子。
When the great night came, and his various strange subjects came stealing into the lawn by ones and twos and threes or by sixes and sevens - the moon then shining almost at her full - his heart swelled as he saw their numbers and heard their greetings. All whom he had met were there: Bulgy Bears and Red Dwarfs and Black Dwarfs, Moles and Badgers, Hares and Hedgehogs, and others whom he had not yet seen - five Satyrs as red as foxes, the whole contingent of Talking Mice, armed to the teeth and following a shrill trumpet, some Owls, the Old Raven of Ravenscaur. Last of all (and this took Caspian's breath away), with the Centaurs came a small but genuine Giant, Wimbleweather of Deadman's Hill, carrying on his back a basketful of rather sea-sick Dwarfs who had accepted his offer of a lift and were now wishing they had walked instead.那輝煌的夜晚終於來臨了。明月當空,灑下一片皎潔的光芒,凱斯賓的那些形形色色、奇形怪狀的臣民們三五成羣地陸續來到跳舞場。看到這麼多朋友,聽着他們的歡歌笑語,凱斯賓不禁心花怒放。與他見過面的朋友全都來了,大棕熊、紅小矮人和黑小矮人,還有腰鼠、灌、兔子和刺猜,另外還有一些沒見過面的朋友,如五個毛髮火紅的大猩猩,貓頭鷹,甚至還有一羣渡鴉。老鼠大軍全副武裝,踏着尖厲的喇叭聲列隊走來,真是威風凜凜。走在最後面的是和人頭馬一道來的巨人韋姆布威熱。他巨大的身材使凱斯賓驚得目瞪口呆。巨人身後揹着滿滿一筐子易暈船的小矮人,他們接受了他好心的提議,由他背了來。可是現在,他們一個個被顛得暈頭轉向,都後悔説,這一路還不如自己走的好。
The Bulgy Bears were very anxious to have the feast first and leave the council till afterwards: perhaps till tomorrow. Reepicheep and his Mice said that councils and feasts could both wait, and proposed storming Miraz in his own castle that very night. Pattertwig and the other Squirrels said they could talk and eat at the same time, so why not have the council and feast all at once? The Moles proposed throwing up entrenchments round the Lawn before they did anything else. The Fauns thought it would be better to begin with a solemn dance. The Old Raven, while agreeing with the Bears that it would take too long to have a full council before supper, begged to be allowed to give a brief address to the whole company. But Caspian and the Centaurs and the Dwarfs overruled all these suggestions and insisted on holding a real council of war at once.大狗熊們最關心的是舉行宴會,它們提出把政務會延遲一兩天:雷佩契普和它的老鼠大軍則建議暫緩舉行盛宴和會議,當天夜裏就直搗城堡,襲擊彌若茲,打他個猝不及防,以佩蒂威格為首的松鼠們説,邊吃邊談最省時間,為什麼不能同時開始?眼鼠們鄭重提議先在跳舞場四周挖出一道防禦嚎溝,以防不測,然後再做其他事情,羊怪們認為最好先隆重地跳一次集體舞:老渡鴉卻表示同意狗熊們的意見,説要把整個會議開完了再吃飯(忙亂中它把程序説反了!),同時它還請求允許它先向全體朋友簡短致辭。可是凱斯賓、人頭馬來口小矮人們不同意所有這些提議,堅持立即召開一次關於戰爭的會議。)
When all the other creatures had been persuaded to sit down quietly in a great circle, and when (with more difficulty) they had got Pattertwig to stop running to and fro and saying "Silence! Silence, everyone, for the King's speech", Caspian, feeling a little nervous, got up. "Narnians!" he began, but he never got any further, for at that very moment Camillo the Hare said, "Hush! There's a Man somewhere near."大家終於被他們説服,圍成一圈坐了下來。然後他們又費了好大勁兒,才使佩蒂威格閉上嘴——它來固不停地奔跑,嘴裏叫着"靜一靜,靜一靜!請諸位安靜,國王要演説了。"凱斯賓站起身來,心裏有點兒緊張。"納尼亞的臣民們!"他開始講話了。可是當他剛要往下説時,兔子卡梅羅突然豎起耳朵,警覺地做了個手勢"噓|有人來了!"
They were all creatures of the wild, accustomed to being hunted, and they all became still as statues. The beasts all turned their noses in the direction which Camillo had indicated.這些樹林裏的動物早已習慣了獵人的追捕,所以,它們立即都把鼻子轉向卡梅羅示意的那個方向,一個個像雕塑一樣,一動也不動。
"Smells like Man and yet not quite like Man," whispered Trufflehunter."聞起來好像是個人,可又不像是純種的人類。"特魯佛漢特悄聲説。
"It's getting steadily nearer," said Camillo."他走過來了。"卡梅羅撒腿就想跑,被身邊的小矮人及時拉住了。
"Two badgers and you three Dwarfs, with your bows at the - ready, go softly off to meet it," said Caspian."兩隻猩和你們三個小矮人把弓箭準備好,輕輕地走過去,看看究竟是什麼人。"凱斯賓果斷地命令道。
"We'll settle 'un," said a Black Dwarf grimly, fitting a shaft to his bowstring."我們去把他幹掉!"黑小矮人説着,把一支利箭搭上。
"Don't shoot if it is alone," said Caspian. "Catch it.""如果只有一個,就不要射他,"凱斯賓説,"抓活的。""為什麼?"小矮人問。
"Why?" asked the Dwarf."執行命令。"格蘭斯托姆瞪了他一眼。
"Do as you're told," said Glenstorm the Centaur.三個小矮人和兩隻灌貓着腰,快步向跳舞場西北部的那片樹林走去,其他人則靜靜地等候在草坪上。沒多久,那邊響起了小矮人尖聲的叫喊"站住,不許動!"接着是一陣急步。過了一會兒,傳來一個凱斯賓很熟悉的聲音"別!別那麼兇!我沒帶武器。你咬住我的手腕好了,可敬的猩老弟。不過別把我的手咬破啦。我要和國王説話。"
Everyone waited in silence while the three Dwarfs and two Badgers trotted stealthily across to the trees on the northwest side of the Lawn. Then came a sharp dwarfish cry, "Stop! Who goes there?" and a sudden spring. A moment later a voice, which Caspian knew well, could he heard saying, "All right, all right, I'm unarmed. Take my wrists if you like, worthy Badgers, but don't bite right through them. I want to speak to the King.""克奈爾斯博士!"凱斯賓高興地叫了起來。他快步迎上前去,抱住他那上了歲數的老師,大家把他們團團圍了起來。
"Doctor Cornelius!" cried Caspian with joy, and rushed forward to greet his old tutor. Everyone else crowded round."旺!"尼克布瑞克説,"一個變節的小矮人,四分之一的血統!要不要我一劍刺穿他的喉嚨?"
"Pah!" said Nikabrik. "A renegade Dwarf. A half-and-halfer! Shall I pass my sword through its throat?""別多嘴,尼克布瑞克,"杜魯普金説,"沒有誰能選擇自己的血統。"
"Be quiet, Nikabrik," said Trumpkin. "The creature can't help its ancestry.""這是我最忠實的朋友,也是我的救命恩人,"凱斯賓鄭重地説,"誰要是不喜歡他,那麼,就請離開我的部隊,馬上離開。"説完又轉向老師。"最親愛的博士,我真高興又見到你。你是怎麼找來的?"
"This is my greatest friend and the saviour of my life," said Caspian. "And anyone who doesn't like his company may leave my army: at once. Dearest doctor, I am glad to see you again. How ever did you find us out?""不過施了一點小小的法術,陪下。"博士説。由於走得太快,他現在還日子哧呼哧地喘個不停。"可是,現在沒空説這個啦,你們得馬上離開這裏,有人出賣了你們,彌若茲已經率領大軍撲過來了,午夜之前這裏就會被包圍的。"
"By a little use of simple magic, your Majesty," said the Doctor, who was still puffing and blowing from having walked so fast. "But there's no time to go into that now. We must all fly from this place at once. You are already betrayed and Miraz is on the move. Before midday tomorrow you will be surrounded.""出賣?"凱斯賓説,"是誰出賣了我們?"
"Betrayed!" said Caspian. "And by whom?""準又是一個變節的小矮人,沒錯。"尼克布瑞克對混血博士仍然耿耿於懷,馬上插嘴説。
"Another renegade Dwarf, no doubt," said Nikabrik."是你的馬,"克奈爾斯博士説,"那可憐的畜生別無選擇。在你被摔下來之後,它只好回到城堡中自己的馬底裏去了。後來,你逃走的消息傳了出去。我當然不想被彌若茲抓住,於是也逃了出來。我觀察星相,算出你們大致的方位。可是,就在這時我看到彌若茲的搜索大隊正從城堡出發,進入了森林。昨天,我又聽説他的軍隊也出動了。我發現你的部下,那些……嗯……那些純種小矮人,沒有多少森林知識,到處都留下了痕跡,太粗心大意了!就是那些痕跡使彌若茲發現,古老的納尼亞並沒有像他所希望的那樣徹底滅亡。於是,他開始行動了。"
"By your horse Destrier," said Doctor Cornelius. "The poor brute knew no better. When you were knocked off, of course, he went dawdling back to his stable in the castle. Then the secret of your flight was known. I made myself scarce, having no wish to be questioned about it in Miraz's torture chamber. I had a pretty good guess from my crystal as to where I should find you. But all day - that was the day before yesterday - I saw Miraz's tracking parties out in the woods. Yesterday I learned that his army is out. I don't think some of your - um - pure-blooded Dwarfs have as much woodcraft as might be expected. You've left tracks all over the place. Great carelessness. At any rate something has warned Miraz that Old Narnia is not so dead as he had hoped, and he is on the move.""哼!"一個尖細的聲音在博士腳邊響起來,"讓他們來好了。我請求國王把我和我的勇士們派到前線去!”
"Hurrah!" said a very shrill and small voice from somewhere at the Doctor's feet. "Let them come! All I ask is that the King will put me and my people in the front.""這是誰的聲音?"克奈爾斯博士問道,"隆下怎麼把螞蚱——要不就是蚊子——也收編到你的隊伍裏來了?"説着,他彎下腰,透過眼鏡,仔細地端詳了一會兒,然後哈哈大笑起來。
"What on earth?" said Doctor Cornelius. "Has your Majesty got grasshoppers - or mosquitoes - in your army?" Then after stooping down and peering carefully through his spectacles, he broke into a laugh."憑阿斯蘭的名義起誓,"他發誓説,"這肯定是隻老鼠。老鼠先生,我希望能和你交個朋友,我很榮幸遇到你這樣一位英勇俠義的朋友。"
"By the Lion," he swore, "it's a mouse. Signior Mouse, I desire your better acquaintance. I am honoured by meeting so valiant a beast.""我們會成為朋友的,博士先生。"聽到這樣的稱讚,雷佩契普十分滿意,立即尖聲答道,"今後,在我們的隊伍裏,如果有誰膽敢對你不禮貌,我就用這把劍來教訓他。"
"My friendship you shall have, learned Man," piped Reepicheep. "And any Dwarf - or Giant - in the army who does not give you good language shall have my sword to reckon with.""還有時間説這些蠢話嗎?"尼克布瑞克説,"我們打算怎麼辦?戰鬥,還是各自逃命去?"
"Is there time for this foolery?" asked Nikabrik. "What are our plans? Battle or flight?""如果有必要,那就戰鬥。"杜魯普金説,"可我們現在還沒有做好戰鬥的準備,而且這裏的地形對我們也不利。"
"Battle if need be," said Trumpkin. "But we are hardly ready for it yet, and this is no very defensible place.""我不同意逃跑的主張。"凱斯賓説。
"I don't like the idea of running away," said Caspian."不同意,堅決不同意!"三隻大狗熊齊聲響應,"不管怎樣,我們不能跑,尤其是在吃飯之前,剛吃完飯也不行。"
"Hear him! Hear him!" said the Bulgy Bears. "Whatever we do, don't let's have any running. Especially not before supper; and not too soon after it neither.""主動撤離和逃跑,完全是兩碼事。"人頭馬説,"為什麼我們不主動選擇地形和時機呢?我們一定要爭取主動,伺機與敵人決一死戰,陸下以為如何?"
"Those who run first do not always run last," said the Centaur. "And why should we let the enemy choose our position instead of choosing it ourselves? Let us find a strong place.""這是明智的,陛下。"特魯佛漢特立即表示支持。"可是我們到哪兒去呢?"幾個聲音同時間道。
"That's wise, your Majesty, that's wise," said Trufflehunter."隆下,"克奈爾斯博士説,"還有各位朋友,我認為我們必須向東轉移,沿着河流往下游走,到那大森林裏去,台爾馬人最仇恨那個地區,他們一向害怕大海,害怕大海對面的那塊土地。因此,他們讓那樹林成長起來,作為一道屏障,自以為這樣就安全一些。那個地區有許多朋友,對我們非常有利。更重要的是阿斯蘭堡壘就在那裏。""
"But where are we to go?" asked several voices."阿斯蘭堡壘?"幾個聲音一齊問,"什麼是阿斯蘭堡壘?"
"Your Majesty," said Doctor Cornelius, "and all you variety of creatures, I think we must fly east and down the river to the great woods. The Telmarines hate that region. They have always been afraid of the sea and of something that may come over the sea. That is why they have let the great woods grow up. If traditions speak true, the ancient Cair Paravel was at the river-mouth. All that part is friendly to us and hateful to our enemies. We must go to Aslan's How.""在大森林邊緣一個神祕的地方,有一個大土丘,大土丘上曾經有一塊被稱為大石桌的巨石。後來,我們的祖先在那土丘上挖了許多南道和洞穴,那塊巨石就放在土丘中心那個洞穴裏,那兒足以容納我們所有的人員與儲備。我們當中那些最需要隱蔽和習慣於地下生活的夥伴,都可以住進去,其他人則可以住在森林裏。在緊要關頭,我們全體(除了巨人閣下)都可以撒到土丘裏面去,在那裏只要有充足的糧食儲備,我們就算擺脱了所有的危險。"5
"Aslan's How?" said several voices. "We do not know what it is.""有這麼一個博學的人在我們中間,這真好。"特魯佛漢特滿意地説。可它聽見杜魯普金私下嘟噥着"鬼老頭兒!我希望大夥兒少去想這些老婆婆的故事,多想想糧食和武器方面的問題。"最後商議的結果是,克奈爾斯的建議被採納了。半小時後,他們就出發了。日出之前,他們全部來到了阿斯蘭堡壘。4
"It lies within the skirts of the Great Woods and it is a huge mound which Narnians raised in very ancient times over a very magical place, where there stood - and perhaps still stands - a very magical Stone. The Mound is all hollowed out within into galleries and caves, and the Stone is in the central cave of all. There is room in the mound for all our stores, and those of us who have most need of cover and are most accustomed to underground life can be lodged in the caves. The rest of us can lie in the wood. At a pinch all of us (except this worthy Giant) could retreat into the Mound itself, and there we should be beyond the reach of every danger except famine."這是個僻靜的地方,一個饅頭狀的綠色土丘,坐落在小山頂上。在大樹的濃陰下,有一條蜿蜒的小道,直通土丘的中心。堡壘裏面結構複雜,對不熟悉它的人來説,簡直是個迷宮。裏面四壁全是用光滑的石頭砌起來的。藉着昏暗的光線,凱斯賓看到石壁上刻着一些奇形怪狀的文字和蛇形花紋,還有許多有關獅子的圖畫。這一切都在向他表明那個古老而又神祕的納尼亞確實存在着。
"It is a good thing we have a learned man among us," said Trufflehunter; but Trumpkin muttered under his breath, "Soup and celery! I wish our leaders would think less about these old wives' tales and more about victuals and arms." But all approved of Cornelius's proposal and that very night, half an hour later, they were on the march. Before sunrise they arrived at Aslan's How.他們在堡壘安頓了下來,沒想到彌若茲的探子很快就發現了他們的蹤跡。於是,大批軍隊跟蹤而來。敵人的兵力比他們估計的要強得多,看到敵軍一隊接着一隊開過來,凱斯賓的心直往下沉。儘管彌若茲的士兵懼怕這大森林,但他們更怕彌若茲的淫威。在他的指揮下,士兵們開進森林深處作戰,有時甚至打到堡壘的大門前。凱斯賓和他的部將們也曾向平原發動了幾次反攻,但被動挨打的時候較多。戰鬥多半是在白天,有時晚上也打。總的形勢對凱斯賓一方很不利。,
It was certainly an awesome place, a round green hill on top of another hill, long since grown over with trees, and one little, low doorway leading into it. The tunnels inside were a perfect maze till you got to know them, and they were lined and roofed with smooth stones, and on the stones, peering in the twilight, Caspian saw strange characters and snaky patterns, and pictures in which the form of a Lion was repeated again and again. It all seemed to belong to an even older Narnia than the Narnia of which his nurse had told him.大雨下了整整一天,傍晚時分總算停了下來,但氣温驟降,寒冷襲擊着每一個人。次日清晨,凱斯賓部署了最猛烈的一次攻擊,他把所有希望都寄託在這場戰鬥上了。他率領大部分小矮人在黎明時分撲向彌若茲的右翼,當右翼陣地上雙方殊死拼殺的時候,巨人韋姆布威熱、人頭馬和一部分#
It was after they had taken up their quarters in and around the How that fortune began to turn against them. King Miraz's scouts soon found their new lair, and he and his army arrived on the edge of the woods. And as so often happens, the enemy turned out stronger than they had reckoned. Caspian's heart sank as he saw company after company arriving. And though Miraz's men may have been afraid of going into the wood, they were even more afraid of Miraz, and with him in command they carried battle deeply into it and sometimes almost to the How itself. Caspian and other captains of course made many sorties into the open country. Thus there was fighting on most days and sometimes by night as well; but Caspian's party had on the whole the worst of it.最兇猛的動物從隱蔽的地方衝殺出來,奮力切斷敵人的增援部隊。可是這一仗又打敗了。凱斯賓不知道巨人秉性憨厚,卻並不聰明。儘管可憐的韋姆布威熱像獅子一般勇猛(在這一點上他不愧是一個真正的巨人),可因為他進攻的時機、地點都不合適,結果使得他的隊伍乃至凱斯賓的隊伍都吃了敗仗,而敵人卻沒有受到什麼損失。最有戰鬥力的一隻熊掛了彩,人頭馬傷勢嚴重,凱斯賓的部下大多數都受了傷。戰鬥結束時已是黃昏時分,他們擠在大樹下面,分食那少得可憐的晚餐。冰涼的雨水穿過濃密的樹葉滴在身上。飢寒交迫的戰士們一個個垂頭喪氣,士氣低沉。)
At last there came a night when everything had gone as badly as possible, and the rain which had been falling heavily all day had ceased at nightfall only to give place to raw cold. That morning Caspian had arranged what was his biggest battle yet, and all had hung their hopes on it. He, with most of the Dwarfs, was to have fallen on the King's right wing at daybreak, and then, when they were heavily engaged, Giant Wimbleweather, with the Centaurs and some of the fiercest beasts, was to have broken out from another place and endeavoured to cut the King's right off from the rest of the army. But it had all failed. No one had warned Caspian (because no one in these later days of最傷心的是巨人韋姆布威熱,他知道這都怪自己粗心大意,考慮不周。他一聲不響地坐在那裏,大滴大滴的眼淚匯聚在鼻子尖上,然後濺落在老鼠們的營地上——它們剛剛覺得暖和一點,正在昏昏欲睡。老鼠們一下子全都跳了起來,一邊抖掉身上的水,使勁擰乾它們的小毯子,一邊用尖鋭而憤怒的語調質問巨人"你還嫌我們濕得不夠,是不是?”它們的叫喊聲把別人都給吵醒了,紛紛責備鼠勇士們"你們到軍隊裏來是當偵察兵的,不是來當合唱隊的!"並強烈要求它們立即安靜下來。韋姆布威熱攝手攝腳地離開大家,想去找一個能夠安安靜靜獨自悲傷反省的地方。可是它不留神又踩着了誰的尾巴,惹得那傢伙轉身咬了它一口,原來那是隻狐狸。結果,又是一陣爭吵,大家都發脾氣了。$
Narnia remembered) that Giants are not at all clever. Poor Wimbleweather, though as brave as a lion, was a true Giant in that respect. He had broken out at the wrong time and from the wrong place, and both his party and Caspian's had suffered badly and done the enemy little harm. The best of the Bears had been hurt, a Centaur terribly wounded, and there were few in Caspian's party who had not lost blood. It was a gloomy company that huddled under the dripping trees to eat their scanty supper.這時,在堡壘中心那個最為隱蔽而又富有傳奇色彩的洞穴裏,國王凱斯賓、克奈爾斯、灌、尼克布瑞克和杜魯普金正在開會。幾根年代久遠的大柱子支撐着洞穴的屋頂,屋子正中央擺着那塊石頭——一張石桌。石桌從中間斷為兩截,上面刻滿了誰也不認識的文字。在那石桌被搬進洞穴之前,由於長年的風吹雨淋,上面的字跡都已模糊不清,難以辨認了。他們沒有在那石桌旁開會,因為他們認為這張石桌是個神聖的物品,不可隨便使用。他們坐在離石桌不遠的木頭上,圍着一張粗糙的木製桌子,桌上放着一盞簡陋的泥燈,燈光照着他們蒼白的臉,並在牆壁上留下了他們長長的身影。
The gloomiest of all was Giant Wimbleweather. He knew it was all his fault. He sat in silence shedding big tears which collected on the end of his nose and then fell off with a huge splash on the whole bivouac of the Mice, who had just been beginning to get warm and drowsy. They all jumped up, shaking the water out of their ears and wringing their little blankets, and asked the Giant in shrill but forcible voices whether he thought they weren't wet enough without this sort of thing. And then other people woke up and told the Mice they had been enrolled as scouts and not as a concert party, and asked why they couldn't keep quiet. And Wimbleweather tiptoed away to find some place where he could be miserable in peace and stepped on somebody's tail and somebody (they said afterwards it was a fox) bit him. And so everyone was out of temper."假如陸下想要使用那隻神奇的號,"特魯佛漢特説,"我想應該是時候了。"凱斯賓幾天以前曾向他們講起這個寶貝,所以大家對它都寄予很大的希望。
But in the secret and magical chamber at the heart of the How, King Caspian, with Cornelius and the Badger and Nikabrik and Trumpkin, were at council. Thick pillars of ancient workmanship supported the roof. In the centre was the Stone itself - a stone table, split right down the centre, and covered with what had once been writing of some kind: but ages of wind and rain and snow had almost worn them away in old times when the Stone Table had stood on the hilltop, and the Mound had not yet been built above it. They were not using the Table nor sitting round it: it was too magic a thing for any common use. They sat on logs a little way from it, and between them was a rough wooden table, on which stood a rude clay lamp lighting up their pale faces and throwing big shadows on the walls."我們的確非常需要援助,"凱斯賓説,"可是很難確定我們是不是已到了最困難的關頭。假如還有更糟的情況出現,而我們已經用過了那號,又該怎麼辦呢?"
"If your Majesty is ever to use the Horn," said Trufflehunter, "I think the time has now come." Caspian had of course told them of his treasure several days ago."要是這麼説,"尼克布瑞克説,"陛下,那就一直別用它,直到形勢壞得不可收拾時再用。"
"We are certainly in great need," answered Caspian. "But it is hard to be sure we are at our greatest. Supposing there came an even worse need and we had already used it?""我同意這個想法。"克奈爾斯博士説。"你怎麼想,杜魯普金。"凱斯賓問。
"By that argument," said Nikabrik, "your Majesty will never use it until it is too late.""噢,要讓我説,"紅小矮人一直以一種漠不關心的神情聽着,"陸下知道,我認為那號角和那塊斷裂了的大石頭,還有你們偉大的先王彼得,以及所謂的雄獅阿斯蘭,全是海市屋樓,或者是水裏的月亮——看得見,摸不着,是些頂靠不住的東西。陸下什麼時候吹那號,我都無所謂,因為我覺得吹不吹都一樣。我只請求陸下對我們的部隊不要講起這件事情,免得大家對那些虛幻的東西抱有希望,結果卻大失所望,這樣一點兒好處都沒有。"
"I agree with that," said Doctor Cornelius."那麼,以阿斯蘭的名義,我們就吹響蘇珊女王的號角,看看會發生什麼奇蹟。"凱斯賓説。
"And what do you think, Trumpkin?" asked Caspian."有一件事情,陛下,"克奈爾斯博士説,"或許應該先辦。我們誰都不清楚號聲將給我們帶來什麼樣的援助,也許那號角聲能喚來海外的阿斯蘭,可是我以為,更可能的是喚來納尼亞的先王彼得和他的鼎力相助。然而,無論是哪種情況,我想我們都不能指望這援助會直接降臨到我們的眼前。"-
"Oh, as for me," said the Red Dwarf, who had been listening with complete indifference, "your Majesty knows I think the Horn - and that bit of broken stone over there and your great King Peter - and your Lion Aslan - are all eggs in moonshine. It's all one to me when your Majesty blows the Horn. All I insist on is that the army is told nothing about it. There's no good raising hopes of magical help which (as I think) are sure to be disappointed.""這才是句實在話。"杜魯普金插嘴説。
"Then in the name of Aslan we will wind Queen Susan's Horn," said Caspian."我以為,"這位知識淵博的人繼續説,"他們有可能先回到納尼亞某個聖地,比如説,咱們腳下的這個地方便是其中之,而且最富魔力。所以我想,那援助有可能會在這兒出現。可是還有其他兩處地方。一個是燈柱野林,在河的上游,海狸大壩的西邊。據傳説,王室的孩子們就是從那兒來到納尼亞國土上的。另一個聖地在下游,河的出口處,是當年王宮凱爾帕拉維爾城堡的所在地。假如阿斯蘭親自來,那是迎接它的最好地方。因為根據傳説,它是偉大的海外皇帝,它將橫渡大海而來。我提議向這兩個地方——燈柱野林和河口——派出使臣去迎接我們的救星。"
"There is one thing, Sire," said Doctor Cornelius, "that should perhaps be done first. We do not know what form the help will take. It might call Aslan himself from oversea. But I think it is more likely to call Peter the High King and his mighty consorts down from the high past. But in either case, I do not think we can be sure that the help will come to this very spot -""我以為,"杜魯普金嘟噥説,"這愚蠢的行為不僅不會給我們帶來任何好處,反而會使我們失掉兩個戰士。"
"You never said a truer word," put in Trumpkin."你打算派誰去,克奈爾斯博士?"凱斯賓問。
"I think," went on the learned man, "that they - or he will come back to one or other of the Ancient Places of Narnia. This, where we now sit, is the most ancient and most deeply magical of all, and here, I think, the answer is likeliest to come. But there are two others. One Lantern Waste, up-river, west of Beaversdam, where the Royal Children first appeared in Narnia, as the records tell The other is down at the river-mouth, where their castle of Cair Paravel once stood. And if Aslan himself comes, that would be the best place for meeting him too, for every story says that he is the son of the great Emperor-over-the-Sea, and over the sea he will pass. I should like very much to send messengers to both places, to Lantern Waste and the river-mouth, to receive them - or him or it.""要穿過敵人的封鎖區,又不會被擒,松鼠最合適不過了。"特魯佛漢特説。
"Just as I thought," muttered Trumpkin. "The first result of all this foolery is not to bring us help but to lose us two fighters.""我們的這些松鼠(雖然為數並不很多),”尼克布瑞克説,"大多十分輕浮,多嘴多舌。我以為,此次行動關係重大,我們惟一可以信託的是佩蒂威格。"
"Who would you think of sending, Doctor Cornelius?" asked Caspian."那麼就派佩蒂威格去,"國王凱斯賓説,"可誰來做我們的第二個使臣呢?我知道你會去的,特魯佛漢特,可是你的速度不夠快。你也不行,克奈爾斯博士。"
"Squirrels are best for getting through enemy country without being caught," said Trufflehunter."我可不去,"尼克布瑞克説,"有這麼多人和動物在這裏,我要留下來,保護其他的小矮人不受欺侮。"
"All our squirrels (and we haven't many)," said Nikabrik, "are rather flighty. The only one I'd trust on a job like that would be Pattertwig.""混賬東西!"杜魯普金勃然大怒,"你就這麼對國王講話嗎?派我去吧,陛下,我去!"
"Let it be Pattertwig, then," said King Caspian. "And who for our other messenger? I know you'd go, Trufflehunter, but you haven't the speed. Nor you, Doctor Cornelius.""你不是不相信那號嗎,杜魯普金?”凱斯賓説。
"I won't go," said Nikabrik. "With all these Humans and beasts about, there must be a Dwarf here to see that the Dwarfs are fairly treated.""我現在也不相信,陛下。可那有什麼關係?死在徒勞無益的行動中和死在這裏,結果是一樣的。你是我們的國王,提出忠告是我的本分,而執行命令卻是我義不容辭的責任。你已經聽到了我的忠告,現在該是我執行命令的時候了。"
"Thimbles and thunderstorms!" cried Trumpkin in a rage. "Is that how you speak to the King? Send me, Sire, I'll go.""我將永遠忘不了你的這番話,好杜魯普金。"凱斯賓感動地説,"那麼,我們什麼時候吹號?"
"But I thought you didn't believe in the Horn, Trumpkin," said Caspian."我主張等到黎明,隆下,"克奈爾斯博士説,"這是號角發生效力的最佳時刻。"
"No more I do, your Majesty. But what's that got to do with it? I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. I know the difference between giving advice and taking orders. You've had my advice, and now it's the time for orders."幾分鐘之後,佩蒂威格應召而來。凱斯賓簡單扼要地給它佈置了任務。佩蒂威格一如既往,渾身充滿了勇氣和活力,國王的話音未落,它就急於出發了。凱斯賓派它去燈柱野林,而杜魯普金的旅程近一些,到河口去。兩個隨身帶了點吃的,還帶着朋友們的感謝、祝福和期望,同時上路了。
"I will never forget this, Trumpkin," said Caspian. "Send for Pattertwig, one of you. And when shall I blow the Horn?"
"I would wait for sunrise, your Majesty," said Doctor Cornelius. "That sometimes has an effect in operations of White Magic."
A few minutes later Pattertwig arrived and had his task explained to him. As he was, like many squirrels, full of courage and dash and energy and excitement and mischief (not to say conceit), he no sooner heard it than he was eager to be off. It was arranged that he should run for Lantern Waste while Trumpkin made the shorter journey to the river-mouth. After a hasty meal they both set off with the fervent thanks and good wishes of the King, the Badger, and Cornelius.

THE place where they had met the Fauns was, of course, Dancing Lawn itself, and here Caspian and his friends remained till the night of the great Council. To sleep under the stars, to drink nothing but well water and to live chiefly on nuts and wild fruit, was a strange experience for Caspian after his bed with silken sheets in a tapestried chamber at the castle, with meals laid out on gold and silver dishes in the anteroom, and attendants ready at his call. But he had never enjoyed himself more. Never had sleep been more refreshing nor food tasted more savoury, and he began already to harden and his face wore a kinglier look.
When the great night came, and his various strange subjects came stealing into the lawn by ones and twos and threes or by sixes and sevens - the moon then shining almost at her full - his heart swelled as he saw their numbers and heard their greetings. All whom he had met were there: Bulgy Bears and Red Dwarfs and Black Dwarfs, Moles and Badgers, Hares and Hedgehogs, and others whom he had not yet seen - five Satyrs as red as foxes, the whole contingent of Talking Mice, armed to the teeth and following a shrill trumpet, some Owls, the Old Raven of Ravenscaur. Last of all (and this took Caspian's breath away), with the Centaurs came a small but genuine Giant, Wimbleweather of Deadman's Hill, carrying on his back a basketful of rather sea-sick Dwarfs who had accepted his offer of a lift and were now wishing they had walked instead.
The Bulgy Bears were very anxious to have the feast first and leave the council till afterwards: perhaps till tomorrow. Reepicheep and his Mice said that councils and feasts could both wait, and proposed storming Miraz in his own castle that very night. Pattertwig and the other Squirrels said they could talk and eat at the same time, so why not have the council and feast all at once? The Moles proposed throwing up entrenchments round the Lawn before they did anything else. The Fauns thought it would be better to begin with a solemn dance. The Old Raven, while agreeing with the Bears that it would take too long to have a full council before supper, begged to be allowed to give a brief address to the whole company. But Caspian and the Centaurs and the Dwarfs overruled all these suggestions and insisted on holding a real council of war at once.
When all the other creatures had been persuaded to sit down quietly in a great circle, and when (with more difficulty) they had got Pattertwig to stop running to and fro and saying "Silence! Silence, everyone, for the King's speech", Caspian, feeling a little nervous, got up. "Narnians!" he began, but he never got any further, for at that very moment Camillo the Hare said, "Hush! There's a Man somewhere near."
They were all creatures of the wild, accustomed to being hunted, and they all became still as statues. The beasts all turned their noses in the direction which Camillo had indicated.
"Smells like Man and yet not quite like Man," whispered Trufflehunter.
"It's getting steadily nearer," said Camillo.
"Two badgers and you three Dwarfs, with your bows at the - ready, go softly off to meet it," said Caspian.
"We'll settle 'un," said a Black Dwarf grimly, fitting a shaft to his bowstring.
"Don't shoot if it is alone," said Caspian. "Catch it."
"Why?" asked the Dwarf.
"Do as you're told," said Glenstorm the Centaur.
Everyone waited in silence while the three Dwarfs and two Badgers trotted stealthily across to the trees on the northwest side of the Lawn. Then came a sharp dwarfish cry, "Stop! Who goes there?" and a sudden spring. A moment later a voice, which Caspian knew well, could he heard saying, "All right, all right, I'm unarmed. Take my wrists if you like, worthy Badgers, but don't bite right through them. I want to speak to the King."
"Doctor Cornelius!" cried Caspian with joy, and rushed forward to greet his old tutor. Everyone else crowded round.
"Pah!" said Nikabrik. "A renegade Dwarf. A half-and-halfer! Shall I pass my sword through its throat?"
"Be quiet, Nikabrik," said Trumpkin. "The creature can't help its ancestry."
"This is my greatest friend and the saviour of my life," said Caspian. "And anyone who doesn't like his company may leave my army: at once. Dearest doctor, I am glad to see you again. How ever did you find us out?"
"By a little use of simple magic, your Majesty," said the Doctor, who was still puffing and blowing from having walked so fast. "But there's no time to go into that now. We must all fly from this place at once. You are already betrayed and Miraz is on the move. Before midday tomorrow you will be surrounded."
"Betrayed!" said Caspian. "And by whom?"
"Another renegade Dwarf, no doubt," said Nikabrik.
"By your horse Destrier," said Doctor Cornelius. "The poor brute knew no better. When you were knocked off, of course, he went dawdling back to his stable in the castle. Then the secret of your flight was known. I made myself scarce, having no wish to be questioned about it in Miraz's torture chamber. I had a pretty good guess from my crystal as to where I should find you. But all day - that was the day before yesterday - I saw Miraz's tracking parties out in the woods. Yesterday I learned that his army is out. I don't think some of your - um - pure-blooded Dwarfs have as much woodcraft as might be expected. You've left tracks all over the place. Great carelessness. At any rate something has warned Miraz that Old Narnia is not so dead as he had hoped, and he is on the move."
"Hurrah!" said a very shrill and small voice from somewhere at the Doctor's feet. "Let them come! All I ask is that the King will put me and my people in the front."
"What on earth?" said Doctor Cornelius. "Has your Majesty got grasshoppers - or mosquitoes - in your army?" Then after stooping down and peering carefully through his spectacles, he broke into a laugh.
"By the Lion," he swore, "it's a mouse. Signior Mouse, I desire your better acquaintance. I am honoured by meeting so valiant a beast."
"My friendship you shall have, learned Man," piped Reepicheep. "And any Dwarf - or Giant - in the army who does not give you good language shall have my sword to reckon with."
"Is there time for this foolery?" asked Nikabrik. "What are our plans? Battle or flight?"
"Battle if need be," said Trumpkin. "But we are hardly ready for it yet, and this is no very defensible place."
"I don't like the idea of running away," said Caspian.
"Hear him! Hear him!" said the Bulgy Bears. "Whatever we do, don't let's have any running. Especially not before supper; and not too soon after it neither."
"Those who run first do not always run last," said the Centaur. "And why should we let the enemy choose our position instead of choosing it ourselves? Let us find a strong place."
"That's wise, your Majesty, that's wise," said Trufflehunter.
"But where are we to go?" asked several voices.
"Your Majesty," said Doctor Cornelius, "and all you variety of creatures, I think we must fly east and down the river to the great woods. The Telmarines hate that region. They have always been afraid of the sea and of something that may come over the sea. That is why they have let the great woods grow up. If traditions speak true, the ancient Cair Paravel was at the river-mouth. All that part is friendly to us and hateful to our enemies. We must go to Aslan's How."
"Aslan's How?" said several voices. "We do not know what it is."
"It lies within the skirts of the Great Woods and it is a huge mound which Narnians raised in very ancient times over a very magical place, where there stood - and perhaps still stands - a very magical Stone. The Mound is all hollowed out within into galleries and caves, and the Stone is in the central cave of all. There is room in the mound for all our stores, and those of us who have most need of cover and are most accustomed to underground life can be lodged in the caves. The rest of us can lie in the wood. At a pinch all of us (except this worthy Giant) could retreat into the Mound itself, and there we should be beyond the reach of every danger except famine."
"It is a good thing we have a learned man among us," said Trufflehunter; but Trumpkin muttered under his breath, "Soup and celery! I wish our leaders would think less about these old wives' tales and more about victuals and arms." But all approved of Cornelius's proposal and that very night, half an hour later, they were on the march. Before sunrise they arrived at Aslan's How.
It was certainly an awesome place, a round green hill on top of another hill, long since grown over with trees, and one little, low doorway leading into it. The tunnels inside were a perfect maze till you got to know them, and they were lined and roofed with smooth stones, and on the stones, peering in the twilight, Caspian saw strange characters and snaky patterns, and pictures in which the form of a Lion was repeated again and again. It all seemed to belong to an even older Narnia than the Narnia of which his nurse had told him.
It was after they had taken up their quarters in and around the How that fortune began to turn against them. King Miraz's scouts soon found their new lair, and he and his army arrived on the edge of the woods. And as so often happens, the enemy turned out stronger than they had reckoned. Caspian's heart sank as he saw company after company arriving. And though Miraz's men may have been afraid of going into the wood, they were even more afraid of Miraz, and with him in command they carried battle deeply into it and sometimes almost to the How itself. Caspian and other captains of course made many sorties into the open country. Thus there was fighting on most days and sometimes by night as well; but Caspian's party had on the whole the worst of it.
At last there came a night when everything had gone as badly as possible, and the rain which had been falling heavily all day had ceased at nightfall only to give place to raw cold. That morning Caspian had arranged what was his biggest battle yet, and all had hung their hopes on it. He, with most of the Dwarfs, was to have fallen on the King's right wing at daybreak, and then, when they were heavily engaged, Giant Wimbleweather, with the Centaurs and some of the fiercest beasts, was to have broken out from another place and endeavoured to cut the King's right off from the rest of the army. But it had all failed. No one had warned Caspian (because no one in these later days of
Narnia remembered) that Giants are not at all clever. Poor Wimbleweather, though as brave as a lion, was a true Giant in that respect. He had broken out at the wrong time and from the wrong place, and both his party and Caspian's had suffered badly and done the enemy little harm. The best of the Bears had been hurt, a Centaur terribly wounded, and there were few in Caspian's party who had not lost blood. It was a gloomy company that huddled under the dripping trees to eat their scanty supper.
The gloomiest of all was Giant Wimbleweather. He knew it was all his fault. He sat in silence shedding big tears which collected on the end of his nose and then fell off with a huge splash on the whole bivouac of the Mice, who had just been beginning to get warm and drowsy. They all jumped up, shaking the water out of their ears and wringing their little blankets, and asked the Giant in shrill but forcible voices whether he thought they weren't wet enough without this sort of thing. And then other people woke up and told the Mice they had been enrolled as scouts and not as a concert party, and asked why they couldn't keep quiet. And Wimbleweather tiptoed away to find some place where he could be miserable in peace and stepped on somebody's tail and somebody (they said afterwards it was a fox) bit him. And so everyone was out of temper.
But in the secret and magical chamber at the heart of the How, King Caspian, with Cornelius and the Badger and Nikabrik and Trumpkin, were at council. Thick pillars of ancient workmanship supported the roof. In the centre was the Stone itself - a stone table, split right down the centre, and covered with what had once been writing of some kind: but ages of wind and rain and snow had almost worn them away in old times when the Stone Table had stood on the hilltop, and the Mound had not yet been built above it. They were not using the Table nor sitting round it: it was too magic a thing for any common use. They sat on logs a little way from it, and between them was a rough wooden table, on which stood a rude clay lamp lighting up their pale faces and throwing big shadows on the walls.
"If your Majesty is ever to use the Horn," said Trufflehunter, "I think the time has now come." Caspian had of course told them of his treasure several days ago.
"We are certainly in great need," answered Caspian. "But it is hard to be sure we are at our greatest. Supposing there came an even worse need and we had already used it?"
"By that argument," said Nikabrik, "your Majesty will never use it until it is too late."
"I agree with that," said Doctor Cornelius.
"And what do you think, Trumpkin?" asked Caspian.
"Oh, as for me," said the Red Dwarf, who had been listening with complete indifference, "your Majesty knows I think the Horn - and that bit of broken stone over there and your great King Peter - and your Lion Aslan - are all eggs in moonshine. It's all one to me when your Majesty blows the Horn. All I insist on is that the army is told nothing about it. There's no good raising hopes of magical help which (as I think) are sure to be disappointed."
"Then in the name of Aslan we will wind Queen Susan's Horn," said Caspian.
"There is one thing, Sire," said Doctor Cornelius, "that should perhaps be done first. We do not know what form the help will take. It might call Aslan himself from oversea. But I think it is more likely to call Peter the High King and his mighty consorts down from the high past. But in either case, I do not think we can be sure that the help will come to this very spot -"
"You never said a truer word," put in Trumpkin.
"I think," went on the learned man, "that they - or he will come back to one or other of the Ancient Places of Narnia. This, where we now sit, is the most ancient and most deeply magical of all, and here, I think, the answer is likeliest to come. But there are two others. One Lantern Waste, up-river, west of Beaversdam, where the Royal Children first appeared in Narnia, as the records tell The other is down at the river-mouth, where their castle of Cair Paravel once stood. And if Aslan himself comes, that would be the best place for meeting him too, for every story says that he is the son of the great Emperor-over-the-Sea, and over the sea he will pass. I should like very much to send messengers to both places, to Lantern Waste and the river-mouth, to receive them - or him or it."
"Just as I thought," muttered Trumpkin. "The first result of all this foolery is not to bring us help but to lose us two fighters."
"Who would you think of sending, Doctor Cornelius?" asked Caspian.
"Squirrels are best for getting through enemy country without being caught," said Trufflehunter.
"All our squirrels (and we haven't many)," said Nikabrik, "are rather flighty. The only one I'd trust on a job like that would be Pattertwig."
"Let it be Pattertwig, then," said King Caspian. "And who for our other messenger? I know you'd go, Trufflehunter, but you haven't the speed. Nor you, Doctor Cornelius."
"I won't go," said Nikabrik. "With all these Humans and beasts about, there must be a Dwarf here to see that the Dwarfs are fairly treated."
"Thimbles and thunderstorms!" cried Trumpkin in a rage. "Is that how you speak to the King? Send me, Sire, I'll go."
"But I thought you didn't believe in the Horn, Trumpkin," said Caspian.
"No more I do, your Majesty. But what's that got to do with it? I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. I know the difference between giving advice and taking orders. You've had my advice, and now it's the time for orders."
"I will never forget this, Trumpkin," said Caspian. "Send for Pattertwig, one of you. And when shall I blow the Horn?"
"I would wait for sunrise, your Majesty," said Doctor Cornelius. "That sometimes has an effect in operations of White Magic."
A few minutes later Pattertwig arrived and had his task explained to him. As he was, like many squirrels, full of courage and dash and energy and excitement and mischief (not to say conceit), he no sooner heard it than he was eager to be off. It was arranged that he should run for Lantern Waste while Trumpkin made the shorter journey to the river-mouth. After a hasty meal they both set off with the fervent thanks and good wishes of the King, the Badger, and Cornelius.

他們遇見羊怪的草坪,正是著名的跳舞場。經過商量,凱斯賓和他的朋友們決定留下,等待那盛大集會的來臨。他們唱井水止渴,吃野果充飢,晚上就露宿在滿天星斗之下口這一切對凱斯賓來説真是新鮮極了。雖然早已習慣了掛滿壁毯的卧室,温暖柔軟的被褥,以及山珍海昧、奴僕成羣的王宮生活,王子從來沒有像現在這樣快活,晚上從來不曾睡得這麼香甜,胃口也從來沒有這麼好。他已經變得堅強起來,不論氣質還是儀表都儼然是一國之君的樣子。
那輝煌的夜晚終於來臨了。明月當空,灑下一片皎潔的光芒,凱斯賓的那些形形色色、奇形怪狀的臣民們三五成羣地陸續來到跳舞場。看到這麼多朋友,聽着他們的歡歌笑語,凱斯賓不禁心花怒放。與他見過面的朋友全都來了,大棕熊、紅小矮人和黑小矮人,還有腰鼠、灌、兔子和刺猜,另外還有一些沒見過面的朋友,如五個毛髮火紅的大猩猩,貓頭鷹,甚至還有一羣渡鴉。老鼠大軍全副武裝,踏着尖厲的喇叭聲列隊走來,真是威風凜凜。走在最後面的是和人頭馬一道來的巨人韋姆布威熱。他巨大的身材使凱斯賓驚得目瞪口呆。巨人身後揹着滿滿一筐子易暈船的小矮人,他們接受了他好心的提議,由他背了來。可是現在,他們一個個被顛得暈頭轉向,都後悔説,這一路還不如自己走的好。
大狗熊們最關心的是舉行宴會,它們提出把政務會延遲一兩天:雷佩契普和它的老鼠大軍則建議暫緩舉行盛宴和會議,當天夜裏就直搗城堡,襲擊彌若茲,打他個猝不及防,以佩蒂威格為首的松鼠們説,邊吃邊談最省時間,為什麼不能同時開始?眼鼠們鄭重提議先在跳舞場四周挖出一道防禦嚎溝,以防不測,然後再做其他事情,羊怪們認為最好先隆重地跳一次集體舞:老渡鴉卻表示同意狗熊們的意見,説要把整個會議開完了再吃飯(忙亂中它把程序説反了!),同時它還請求允許它先向全體朋友簡短致辭。可是凱斯賓、人頭馬來口小矮人們不同意所有這些提議,堅持立即召開一次關於戰爭的會議。)
大家終於被他們説服,圍成一圈坐了下來。然後他們又費了好大勁兒,才使佩蒂威格閉上嘴——它來固不停地奔跑,嘴裏叫着"靜一靜,靜一靜!請諸位安靜,國王要演説了。"凱斯賓站起身來,心裏有點兒緊張。"納尼亞的臣民們!"他開始講話了。可是當他剛要往下説時,兔子卡梅羅突然豎起耳朵,警覺地做了個手勢"噓|有人來了!"
這些樹林裏的動物早已習慣了獵人的追捕,所以,它們立即都把鼻子轉向卡梅羅示意的那個方向,一個個像雕塑一樣,一動也不動。
"聞起來好像是個人,可又不像是純種的人類。"特魯佛漢特悄聲説。
"他走過來了。"卡梅羅撒腿就想跑,被身邊的小矮人及時拉住了。
"兩隻猩和你們三個小矮人把弓箭準備好,輕輕地走過去,看看究竟是什麼人。"凱斯賓果斷地命令道。
"我們去把他幹掉!"黑小矮人説着,把一支利箭搭上。
"如果只有一個,就不要射他,"凱斯賓説,"抓活的。""為什麼?"小矮人問。
"執行命令。"格蘭斯托姆瞪了他一眼。
三個小矮人和兩隻灌貓着腰,快步向跳舞場西北部的那片樹林走去,其他人則靜靜地等候在草坪上。沒多久,那邊響起了小矮人尖聲的叫喊"站住,不許動!"接着是一陣急步。過了一會兒,傳來一個凱斯賓很熟悉的聲音"別!別那麼兇!我沒帶武器。你咬住我的手腕好了,可敬的猩老弟。不過別把我的手咬破啦。我要和國王説話。"
"克奈爾斯博士!"凱斯賓高興地叫了起來。他快步迎上前去,抱住他那上了歲數的老師,大家把他們團團圍了起來。
"旺!"尼克布瑞克説,"一個變節的小矮人,四分之一的血統!要不要我一劍刺穿他的喉嚨?"
"別多嘴,尼克布瑞克,"杜魯普金説,"沒有誰能選擇自己的血統。"
"這是我最忠實的朋友,也是我的救命恩人,"凱斯賓鄭重地説,"誰要是不喜歡他,那麼,就請離開我的部隊,馬上離開。"説完又轉向老師。"最親愛的博士,我真高興又見到你。你是怎麼找來的?"
"不過施了一點小小的法術,陪下。"博士説。由於走得太快,他現在還日子哧呼哧地喘個不停。"可是,現在沒空説這個啦,你們得馬上離開這裏,有人出賣了你們,彌若茲已經率領大軍撲過來了,午夜之前這裏就會被包圍的。"
"出賣?"凱斯賓説,"是誰出賣了我們?"
"準又是一個變節的小矮人,沒錯。"尼克布瑞克對混血博士仍然耿耿於懷,馬上插嘴説。
"是你的馬,"克奈爾斯博士説,"那可憐的畜生別無選擇。在你被摔下來之後,它只好回到城堡中自己的馬底裏去了。後來,你逃走的消息傳了出去。我當然不想被彌若茲抓住,於是也逃了出來。我觀察星相,算出你們大致的方位。可是,就在這時我看到彌若茲的搜索大隊正從城堡出發,進入了森林。昨天,我又聽説他的軍隊也出動了。我發現你的部下,那些……嗯……那些純種小矮人,沒有多少森林知識,到處都留下了痕跡,太粗心大意了!就是那些痕跡使彌若茲發現,古老的納尼亞並沒有像他所希望的那樣徹底滅亡。於是,他開始行動了。"
"哼!"一個尖細的聲音在博士腳邊響起來,"讓他們來好了。我請求國王把我和我的勇士們派到前線去!”
"這是誰的聲音?"克奈爾斯博士問道,"隆下怎麼把螞蚱——要不就是蚊子——也收編到你的隊伍裏來了?"説着,他彎下腰,透過眼鏡,仔細地端詳了一會兒,然後哈哈大笑起來。
"憑阿斯蘭的名義起誓,"他發誓説,"這肯定是隻老鼠。老鼠先生,我希望能和你交個朋友,我很榮幸遇到你這樣一位英勇俠義的朋友。"
"我們會成為朋友的,博士先生。"聽到這樣的稱讚,雷佩契普十分滿意,立即尖聲答道,"今後,在我們的隊伍裏,如果有誰膽敢對你不禮貌,我就用這把劍來教訓他。"
"還有時間説這些蠢話嗎?"尼克布瑞克説,"我們打算怎麼辦?戰鬥,還是各自逃命去?"
"如果有必要,那就戰鬥。"杜魯普金説,"可我們現在還沒有做好戰鬥的準備,而且這裏的地形對我們也不利。"
"我不同意逃跑的主張。"凱斯賓説。
"不同意,堅決不同意!"三隻大狗熊齊聲響應,"不管怎樣,我們不能跑,尤其是在吃飯之前,剛吃完飯也不行。"
"主動撤離和逃跑,完全是兩碼事。"人頭馬説,"為什麼我們不主動選擇地形和時機呢?我們一定要爭取主動,伺機與敵人決一死戰,陸下以為如何?"
"這是明智的,陛下。"特魯佛漢特立即表示支持。"可是我們到哪兒去呢?"幾個聲音同時間道。
"隆下,"克奈爾斯博士説,"還有各位朋友,我認為我們必須向東轉移,沿着河流往下游走,到那大森林裏去,台爾馬人最仇恨那個地區,他們一向害怕大海,害怕大海對面的那塊土地。因此,他們讓那樹林成長起來,作為一道屏障,自以為這樣就安全一些。那個地區有許多朋友,對我們非常有利。更重要的是阿斯蘭堡壘就在那裏。""
"阿斯蘭堡壘?"幾個聲音一齊問,"什麼是阿斯蘭堡壘?"
"在大森林邊緣一個神祕的地方,有一個大土丘,大土丘上曾經有一塊被稱為大石桌的巨石。後來,我們的祖先在那土丘上挖了許多南道和洞穴,那塊巨石就放在土丘中心那個洞穴裏,那兒足以容納我們所有的人員與儲備。我們當中那些最需要隱蔽和習慣於地下生活的夥伴,都可以住進去,其他人則可以住在森林裏。在緊要關頭,我們全體(除了巨人閣下)都可以撒到土丘裏面去,在那裏只要有充足的糧食儲備,我們就算擺脱了所有的危險。"5
"有這麼一個博學的人在我們中間,這真好。"特魯佛漢特滿意地説。可它聽見杜魯普金私下嘟噥着"鬼老頭兒!我希望大夥兒少去想這些老婆婆的故事,多想想糧食和武器方面的問題。"最後商議的結果是,克奈爾斯的建議被採納了。半小時後,他們就出發了。日出之前,他們全部來到了阿斯蘭堡壘。4
這是個僻靜的地方,一個饅頭狀的綠色土丘,坐落在小山頂上。在大樹的濃陰下,有一條蜿蜒的小道,直通土丘的中心。堡壘裏面結構複雜,對不熟悉它的人來説,簡直是個迷宮。裏面四壁全是用光滑的石頭砌起來的。藉着昏暗的光線,凱斯賓看到石壁上刻着一些奇形怪狀的文字和蛇形花紋,還有許多有關獅子的圖畫。這一切都在向他表明那個古老而又神祕的納尼亞確實存在着。
他們在堡壘安頓了下來,沒想到彌若茲的探子很快就發現了他們的蹤跡。於是,大批軍隊跟蹤而來。敵人的兵力比他們估計的要強得多,看到敵軍一隊接着一隊開過來,凱斯賓的心直往下沉。儘管彌若茲的士兵懼怕這大森林,但他們更怕彌若茲的淫威。在他的指揮下,士兵們開進森林深處作戰,有時甚至打到堡壘的大門前。凱斯賓和他的部將們也曾向平原發動了幾次反攻,但被動挨打的時候較多。戰鬥多半是在白天,有時晚上也打。總的形勢對凱斯賓一方很不利。,
大雨下了整整一天,傍晚時分總算停了下來,但氣温驟降,寒冷襲擊着每一個人。次日清晨,凱斯賓部署了最猛烈的一次攻擊,他把所有希望都寄託在這場戰鬥上了。他率領大部分小矮人在黎明時分撲向彌若茲的右翼,當右翼陣地上雙方殊死拼殺的時候,巨人韋姆布威熱、人頭馬和一部分#
最兇猛的動物從隱蔽的地方衝殺出來,奮力切斷敵人的增援部隊。可是這一仗又打敗了。凱斯賓不知道巨人秉性憨厚,卻並不聰明。儘管可憐的韋姆布威熱像獅子一般勇猛(在這一點上他不愧是一個真正的巨人),可因為他進攻的時機、地點都不合適,結果使得他的隊伍乃至凱斯賓的隊伍都吃了敗仗,而敵人卻沒有受到什麼損失。最有戰鬥力的一隻熊掛了彩,人頭馬傷勢嚴重,凱斯賓的部下大多數都受了傷。戰鬥結束時已是黃昏時分,他們擠在大樹下面,分食那少得可憐的晚餐。冰涼的雨水穿過濃密的樹葉滴在身上。飢寒交迫的戰士們一個個垂頭喪氣,士氣低沉。)
最傷心的是巨人韋姆布威熱,他知道這都怪自己粗心大意,考慮不周。他一聲不響地坐在那裏,大滴大滴的眼淚匯聚在鼻子尖上,然後濺落在老鼠們的營地上——它們剛剛覺得暖和一點,正在昏昏欲睡。老鼠們一下子全都跳了起來,一邊抖掉身上的水,使勁擰乾它們的小毯子,一邊用尖鋭而憤怒的語調質問巨人"你還嫌我們濕得不夠,是不是?”它們的叫喊聲把別人都給吵醒了,紛紛責備鼠勇士們"你們到軍隊裏來是當偵察兵的,不是來當合唱隊的!"並強烈要求它們立即安靜下來。韋姆布威熱攝手攝腳地離開大家,想去找一個能夠安安靜靜獨自悲傷反省的地方。可是它不留神又踩着了誰的尾巴,惹得那傢伙轉身咬了它一口,原來那是隻狐狸。結果,又是一陣爭吵,大家都發脾氣了。$
這時,在堡壘中心那個最為隱蔽而又富有傳奇色彩的洞穴裏,國王凱斯賓、克奈爾斯、灌、尼克布瑞克和杜魯普金正在開會。幾根年代久遠的大柱子支撐着洞穴的屋頂,屋子正中央擺着那塊石頭——一張石桌。石桌從中間斷為兩截,上面刻滿了誰也不認識的文字。在那石桌被搬進洞穴之前,由於長年的風吹雨淋,上面的字跡都已模糊不清,難以辨認了。他們沒有在那石桌旁開會,因為他們認為這張石桌是個神聖的物品,不可隨便使用。他們坐在離石桌不遠的木頭上,圍着一張粗糙的木製桌子,桌上放着一盞簡陋的泥燈,燈光照着他們蒼白的臉,並在牆壁上留下了他們長長的身影。
"假如陸下想要使用那隻神奇的號,"特魯佛漢特説,"我想應該是時候了。"凱斯賓幾天以前曾向他們講起這個寶貝,所以大家對它都寄予很大的希望。
"我們的確非常需要援助,"凱斯賓説,"可是很難確定我們是不是已到了最困難的關頭。假如還有更糟的情況出現,而我們已經用過了那號,又該怎麼辦呢?"
"要是這麼説,"尼克布瑞克説,"陛下,那就一直別用它,直到形勢壞得不可收拾時再用。"
"我同意這個想法。"克奈爾斯博士説。"你怎麼想,杜魯普金。"凱斯賓問。
"噢,要讓我説,"紅小矮人一直以一種漠不關心的神情聽着,"陸下知道,我認為那號角和那塊斷裂了的大石頭,還有你們偉大的先王彼得,以及所謂的雄獅阿斯蘭,全是海市屋樓,或者是水裏的月亮——看得見,摸不着,是些頂靠不住的東西。陸下什麼時候吹那號,我都無所謂,因為我覺得吹不吹都一樣。我只請求陸下對我們的部隊不要講起這件事情,免得大家對那些虛幻的東西抱有希望,結果卻大失所望,這樣一點兒好處都沒有。"
"那麼,以阿斯蘭的名義,我們就吹響蘇珊女王的號角,看看會發生什麼奇蹟。"凱斯賓説。
"有一件事情,陛下,"克奈爾斯博士説,"或許應該先辦。我們誰都不清楚號聲將給我們帶來什麼樣的援助,也許那號角聲能喚來海外的阿斯蘭,可是我以為,更可能的是喚來納尼亞的先王彼得和他的鼎力相助。然而,無論是哪種情況,我想我們都不能指望這援助會直接降臨到我們的眼前。"-
"這才是句實在話。"杜魯普金插嘴説。
"我以為,"這位知識淵博的人繼續説,"他們有可能先回到納尼亞某個聖地,比如説,咱們腳下的這個地方便是其中之,而且最富魔力。所以我想,那援助有可能會在這兒出現。可是還有其他兩處地方。一個是燈柱野林,在河的上游,海狸大壩的西邊。據傳説,王室的孩子們就是從那兒來到納尼亞國土上的。另一個聖地在下游,河的出口處,是當年王宮凱爾帕拉維爾城堡的所在地。假如阿斯蘭親自來,那是迎接它的最好地方。因為根據傳説,它是偉大的海外皇帝,它將橫渡大海而來。我提議向這兩個地方——燈柱野林和河口——派出使臣去迎接我們的救星。"
"我以為,"杜魯普金嘟噥説,"這愚蠢的行為不僅不會給我們帶來任何好處,反而會使我們失掉兩個戰士。"
"你打算派誰去,克奈爾斯博士?"凱斯賓問。
"要穿過敵人的封鎖區,又不會被擒,松鼠最合適不過了。"特魯佛漢特説。
"我們的這些松鼠(雖然為數並不很多),”尼克布瑞克説,"大多十分輕浮,多嘴多舌。我以為,此次行動關係重大,我們惟一可以信託的是佩蒂威格。"
"那麼就派佩蒂威格去,"國王凱斯賓説,"可誰來做我們的第二個使臣呢?我知道你會去的,特魯佛漢特,可是你的速度不夠快。你也不行,克奈爾斯博士。"
"我可不去,"尼克布瑞克説,"有這麼多人和動物在這裏,我要留下來,保護其他的小矮人不受欺侮。"
"混賬東西!"杜魯普金勃然大怒,"你就這麼對國王講話嗎?派我去吧,陛下,我去!"
"你不是不相信那號嗎,杜魯普金?”凱斯賓説。
"我現在也不相信,陛下。可那有什麼關係?死在徒勞無益的行動中和死在這裏,結果是一樣的。你是我們的國王,提出忠告是我的本分,而執行命令卻是我義不容辭的責任。你已經聽到了我的忠告,現在該是我執行命令的時候了。"
"我將永遠忘不了你的這番話,好杜魯普金。"凱斯賓感動地説,"那麼,我們什麼時候吹號?"
"我主張等到黎明,隆下,"克奈爾斯博士説,"這是號角發生效力的最佳時刻。"
幾分鐘之後,佩蒂威格應召而來。凱斯賓簡單扼要地給它佈置了任務。佩蒂威格一如既往,渾身充滿了勇氣和活力,國王的話音未落,它就急於出發了。凱斯賓派它去燈柱野林,而杜魯普金的旅程近一些,到河口去。兩個隨身帶了點吃的,還帶着朋友們的感謝、祝福和期望,同時上路了。

重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
concert ['kɔnsət]

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n. 音樂會,一致,和諧
vt. 制定計劃,通

 
valiant ['væljənt]

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adj. 勇敢的,英勇的
n. 勇士,勇敢的人

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famine ['fæmin]

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n. 饑荒,極度缺乏

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tutor ['tju:tə]

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n. 家庭教師,導師
v. 當家庭教師,當導師

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rude [ru:d]

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adj. 粗魯的,無禮的
adj. 粗糙

 
crystal ['kristl]

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n. 水晶,晶體
adj. 晶體的,透明的

 
hasty ['heisti]

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adj. 匆匆的,輕率的,急忙的

 
messenger ['mesindʒə]

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n. 報信者,先驅

 
accustomed [ə'kʌstəmd]

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adj. 習慣了的,通常的

 
doorway ['dɔ:wei]

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n. 門口

 


關鍵字: 納尼亞 王子

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