時間︰2014-07-14 23:46 作者︰未知 點擊︰

Integrity

正直

-From A Mother in Mannville

——節選自《媽媽住在曼菲爾》

M.K.Rawlings

M.K.羅林茲

The Orphanage is high in the Carolina mountains. Sometimes in winter the snowdrifts are so deep that the institution is cut off from the village below,from all the world. Fog hides the mountain peaks, the snow swirls down the valleys, and a wind blows so bitterly that the orphanage boys who take the milk twice daily to the baby cottage reach the door with fingers stiff in anagony of numbness.

在卡羅來納的山地里,有一座孤兒院坐落在高處。隆冬時節,風雪交加,有時候積雪堆得老高,將孤兒院與山下的村莊乃至整個外界完全隔斷。雲霧遮蔽了重重峰巒,雪花飛旋著沖人山谷。在呼嘯的寒風中,孤兒院的男孩們將一份份牛奶端到育嬰房去,一天得跑兩趟呢。當他們走到育嬰房門口的時候,手指凍得僵硬,一點兒都不听使喚了。

I was there in the autumn. I wanted quiet, isolation, to do some troublesome writing. I wanted mountain air to blow out the malaria from too long a time in the subtropics. I was homesick, too, for the flaming of maples in October,and for corn shocks and pumpkins and black-walnut trees and the lift of hills. I found them all, living in a cabin that belonged to the orphanage, half a mile beyond the orphanage farm. When I took the cabin, I asked for a boyor man to come and chop wood for the fireplace. The first few days were warm, I found what wood I needed about the cabin, no one came, and Iforgot the order.

我秋天就到了那里。我需要安靜,與世隔絕,好從事艱辛的創作。我需要山里的清風,把久居亞熱帶地區染上的瘧疾吹散。我還想起家來,老惦著那十月間的楓葉似火,那一垛垛玉米秫秸,南瓜成堆,黑胡桃林子,還有隆起的山丘。我住在孤兒院的一間小屋里,距院農場有半英里,這一切盡收眼底。我住進去的時候,要求派個男孩或者男人幫我劈柴燒壁爐。頭幾天還算暖和,我在小屋的四周撿了點木柴,沒見人來,也就把這話給忘了。

I looked up from my typewriter one late afternoon, a little startled. A boystood at the door, and my pointer dog, my companion, was at his side and had not barked to warn me. The boy was probably twelve years old, but undersized. He wore overalls and a torn shirt, and was barefooted.

一天傍晚,我正在打字,猛抬頭不禁吃了一驚︰有個男孩站在房門口,而跟我做伴的獵狗竟在他身邊默默呆著,連個招呼也沒跟我打一聲。這孩子大概有12歲,不過個子沒那麼大,他穿著一條工裝褲,一件破舊的襯衣,光著兩腳。

He said, "I can chop some wood today."

他說︰“我今天可以劈點兒木柴。”

I said, "But I have a boy coming from the orphanage."

我說︰“可我請了孤兒院的孩子來劈。”

"I'm the boy."

“我就是。”

"You? But you're small."

“是你?可你還小呢。”

"Size don't matter, chopping wood," he said. "Some of the big boys don't chop good. I've been chopping wood at the orphanage a long time."

“劈柴火可不論個頭兒,”他說,“有的大孩子還劈不好呢。我在孤兒院劈了好長一陣了。”

I visualized mangled and inadequate branches for my fires. I was well into my work and not inclined to conversation. I was a little blunt."Very well. There's the ax. Go ahead and see what you can do."

我想象中出現了砍得亂七八糟的樹枝子,供不上壁爐燒的。我一心在寫作,沒有心思搭理他,話也說得有點生硬︰“好了好了,去拿斧子吧。先劈劈再看吧。”

I went back to work,closing the door. At first the sound of the boy dragging brush annoyed me. Then he began to chop. The blows were rhythmic and steady, and shortly I had forgotten him, the sound no more of an interruption than a consistent rain. I suppose an hour and a half passed, for when I stopped and stretched, and heard the boy's steps on the cabin stoop, the sun was dropping behind the farthest mountain, and the valleys were purplewith something deeper than the asters.

我關上門,繼續寫作。起先听他拽木頭,鬧得我心煩。後來他動手劈柴了。他劈得錯落有致,不緊不慢,我很快就把他忘了,那斧聲就跟一場綿綿細雨似的對我全無干擾。我估計他劈了有一個半小時吧,因為這時我歇下來舒展一下身子,听見他正走上門口的台階,夕陽已漸漸沉沒在遠山的背後,壑谷間一片紫靄,顏色比翠菊還濃。

The boy said, "I have to go to supper now. I can come again tomorrow evening."

這孩子說道︰“我得去吃晚飯了。我明晚再來。”

I said, "I'll pay you now for what you've done," thinking I should probably have to insist on an older boy. "Ten cents an hour'?"

我說︰“我這就把你的工錢結了吧,”心想恐怕還得換個大孩子來,“一小時算一毛?”

"Anything is all right."

“怎麼都行。”

We went together back of the cabin. An astonishing amount of solid wood had been cut. There were cherry logs and heavy roots of rhododendron, and blocks from the waste pine and oak left from the building of the cabin.

我們一起來到屋後。只見滿地都是劈好了的結結實實的木柴,簡直令人咂舌。其中有櫻桃樹的圓木干和杜鵑灌木的粗根,就連蓋小屋剩下的廢松木和廢櫟木,也都劈成了大塊的木柴。

"But you've done as much as a man," I said. "This is a splendid pile."

“你可是跟大人劈得一樣多了,”我說,“瞧這麼大一堆,太好了。”

I looked at him, actually, for the first time. His hair was the color of the corn shocks, and his eyes, very direct, were like the mountain sky when rain is pending-gray, with a shadowing of that miraculous blue. As I spoke a light came over him, as though the setting sun had touched him with the same suffused glory with which it touched the mountains. I gave him a quarter.

我端詳著他,說真的,這還是頭一回。他的頭發呈玉米秫秸的顏色,兩眼里一片率真,像是山雨欲來的天空——灰暗中透出那奇異的天藍。我正說著,忽見他周身一片光亮,仿佛落日那灑滿群山的余輝也灑到了他身上。我給了他一枚兩角五分的硬幣。

"You may come tomorrow," I said, "and thank you very much."He looked at me, and at the coin, and seemed to want to speak, but could not, and turned away.

“你明天來吧,”我說,“多謝你了。”他看看我,又看看硬幣,好像要說什麼,可又說不出來,就轉身離去。

"I'll split kindling tomorrow," he said over his thin ragged shoulder. "You'llneed kindling and medium wood and logs and backlogs."

“明天我劈引火柴,”他回過頭來又說,襯衣的肩部都磨薄磨破了,“點火柴,引火柴,原木,墊底的,你都用得著。”

At daylight I was half wakened by the sound of chopping. Again it was so even in texture that I went back to sleep. When I left my bed in the cool morning, the boy had come and gone, and a stack of kindling was neat against the cabin wall. He came again after school in the afternoon and worked until time to return to the orphanage. His name was Jerry; he was twelve years old, and he had been at the orphanage since he was four. I could picture him at four, with the same grave gray-blue eyes and the same-independence? No, the word that comes to me is "integrity."

第二天黎明時分,一陣劈柴聲攪得我似醒非醒。那拍子依然不緊不慢,又把我帶回夢鄉。我早上起床,天很涼,這孩子來過又走了,只見一堆引火柴整整齊齊碼在牆邊。他下午放學後又來了,一口氣干到該回孤兒院了才歇手。他叫杰里,12歲了,從四歲起就呆在孤兒院。我可以想象他四歲的樣子,也是這雙鄭重其事的灰藍色眼楮,也是這份自立?不,我想到的詞兒是“正直”。

The word means something very special to me, and the quality for which I use it is a rare one. My father had it-there is another of whom I am almost sure-but almost no man of my acquaintance possesses it with the clarity,the purity, the simplicity of a mountain stream. But the boy Jerry had it. It is bedded-on courage, but it is more than brave. It is honest, but it is more than honesty. The ax handle broke one day. Jerry said the woodshop at the orphanage would repair it. I brought money to pay for the job and he refused it.

這個詞對我有特殊的含義,我用它來說明一種難得的品格。我父親就有這種品格——我相信還有別人,但是在我的相識中幾乎沒有一個人像一泓山泉那般清澈、純潔和樸素地具備這種品格。然而杰里這孩子就有。他的正直植根于勇氣,但又超出勇敢。它是誠實,但又超出誠實。有一天,斧把斷了。杰里說孤兒院的木工房給修。我掏出修理費,他不肯收。

"I'll pay for it," he said. "I broke it. I brought the ax down careless."

“這錢該我出,”他說,“我弄斷的。我砍得不小心。”

"But no one hits accurately every time," I told him. "The fault was in the wood of the handle. I'll see the man from whom I bought it.

“可誰都有個閃失的時候,”我對他說,“都怪木把不結實。我找賣斧子的去。”

"It was only then that he would take the money. He was standing back of his own carelessness . He was a free-will agent and he chose to do careful work, and if he failed, he took the responsibility without subterfuge.

他這才肯把錢收下。他對自己的疏忽毫不遮掩。他是個自有主意的人,干活就要認真干好,沒干好,他就承擔責任,決不借故推諉。

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