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【英文原版】甲壳虫(The Beetle) / Richard Marsh [复制链接]

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只看该作者 10楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man B oC5E#;G  
Chapter X. Rejected Bh;7C@dq  
It was after our second waltz I did it. In the usual quiet corner.--which, that time, was in the shadow of a palm in the hall. Before I had got into my stride she checked me,--touching my sleeve with her fan, turning towards me with startled eyes. o]; [R  
'Stop, please!' @@8J6*y  
&8]d }-e  
But I was not to be stopped. Cliff Challoner passed, with Gerty Cazell. I fancy that, as he passed, he nodded. I did not care. I was wound up to go, and I went it. No man knows how he can talk till he does talk,--to the girl he wants to marry. It is my impression that I gave her recollections of the Restoration poets. She seemed surprised,--not having previously detected in me the poetic strain, and insisted on cutting in. 6bBB/yd  
'Mr Atherton, I am so sorry.' ~R &;v3  
$pFo Rv  
Then I did let fly. Ko/ I#)  
'Sorry that I love you!--why? Why should you be sorry that you have become the one thing needful in any man's eyes,--even in mine? The one thing precious,--the one thing to be altogether esteemed! Is it so common for a woman to come across a man who would be willing to lay down his life for her that she should be sorry when she finds him?' K&U7H:  
-#Z bR  
'I did not know that you felt like this, though I confess that I have had my--my doubts.' W.1As{  
'Doubts!--I thank you.' gXH[$guf  
'You are quite aware, Mr Atherton, that I like you very much.' Kwhdu<6  
=_[Z W  
'Like me!--Bah!' M3zDtN  
:Au /2  
'I cannot help liking you,--though it may be "bah."' (RXS~8  
' eO/PnYW  
'I don't want you to like me,--I want you to love me.' >kdM:MK  
U  5`y  
'Precisely,--that is your mistake.' Bt>}LLBS2  
'My mistake!--in wanting you to love me!--when I love you--' onzA7Gre  
'Then you shouldn't,--though I can't help thinking that you are mistaken even there.' K|~AA"I;  
'Mistaken!--in supposing that I love you!--when I assert and reassert it with the whole force of my being! What do you want me to do to prove I love you,--take you in my arms and crush you to my bosom, and make a spectacle of you before every creature in the place?' @_uFX!;  
'I'd rather you wouldn't, and perhaps you wouldn't mind not talking quite so loud. Mr Challoner seems to be wondering what you're shouting about.' s!=!A  
8Q +TE;  
'You shouldn't torture me.' `~sf}S :  
^D0/H N   
She opened and shut her fan,--as she looked down at it I am disposed to suspect that she smiled. |J @|  
'I am glad we have had this little explanation, because, of course, you are my friend.' AF07KA#  
'I am not your friend.' N:sECGS,  
'Pardon me, you are.' J 6d n~nPK  
'I say I'm not,--if I can't be something else, I'll be no friend.' c75vAKZ2  
She went on,--calmly ignoring me,--playing with her fan. r.G/f{=<@  
'As it happens, I am, just now, in rather a delicate position, in which a friend is welcome.' }AfPBfgC1z  
'What's the matter? Who's been worrying you,--your father?' w% -!dbmb%  
'Well,--he has not,--as yet; but he may be soon.' /VZU3p<~  
'(>N gd[  
'What's in the wind?' UG$i5PV%i  
'Mr Lessingham.' y.OUn'^d4  
She dropped her voice,--and her eyes. For the moment I did not catch her meaning. {Gy_QRsp,  
'What?' (s~hh  
'Your friend, Mr Lessingham.' QH;aJ(>$  
'Excuse me, Miss Lindon, but I am by no means sure that anyone is entitled to call Mr Lessingham a friend of mine.' 3B,nHU  
~j UK-E  
'What!--Not when I am going to be his wife?'  -"<eq0  
That took me aback. I had had my suspicions that Paul Lessingham was more with Marjorie than he had any right to be, but I had never supposed that she could see anything desirable in a stick of a man like that. Not to speak of a hundred and one other considerations,--Lessingham on one side of the House, and her father on the other; and old Lindon girding at him anywhere and everywhere--with his high-dried Tory notions of his family importance,--to say nothing of his fortune. MECR0S9  
5FzG_ w  
I don't know if I looked what I felt,--if I did, I looked uncommonly blank. xOP\ +(  
'You have chosen an appropriate moment, Miss Lindon, to make to me such a communication.' :'#B U:  
7 -bU9{5  
She chose to disregard my irony. (~,Q-w"  
'9H]S Ew  
'I am glad you think so, because now you will understand what a difficult position I am in.' _K8ob8)m  
k g0Z(T:&8  
'I offer you my hearty congratulations.' iw12x:  
'And I thank you for them, Mr Atherton, in the spirit in which they are offered, because from you I know they mean so much.' > 't=r  
I bit my lip,--for the life of me I could not tell how she wished me to read her words. 0C#1/o)o  
'Do I understand that this announcement has been made to me as one of the public?' ?dP3tLR  
'You do not. It is made to you, in confidence, as my friend,--as my greatest friend; because a husband is something more than friend.' My pulses tingled. 'You will be on my side?' kFZw"5hb  
She had paused,--and I stayed silent. Cy-q9uTm  
'On your side,--or Mr Lessingham's?' Hf!o6 o  
'His side is my side, and my side is his side;--you will be on our side?' oe,I vnt  
'I am not sure that I altogether follow you.' LV|ZZ.d h  
'You are the first I have told. When papa hears it is possible that there will be trouble,--as you know. He thinks so much of you and of your opinion; when that trouble comes I want you to be on our side,--on my side.' ]D(!ua5|x`  
'Why should I?--what does it matter? You are stronger than your father,--it is just possible that Lessingham is stronger than you; together, from your father's point of view, you will be invincible.' tA#7Xr+  
'You are my friend,--are you not my friend?' <*D{uMw  
'In effect, you offer me an Apple of Sodom.' FG-v71!h#  
1 _A B; ^  
'Thank you;--I did not think you so unkind.' bn$('  
'And you,--are you kind? I make you an avowal of my love, and, straightway, you ask me to act as chorus to the love of another.' q <, b  
Z[ NO`!<  
'How could I tell you loved me,--as you say! I had no notion. You have known me all your life, yet you have not breathed a word of it till now.' 1BjMVMH  
$_ BoG  
'If I had spoken before?' ~pC\"LU`  
I imagine that there was a slight movement of her shoulders,-- almost amounting to a shrug. \3WQ<t)W  
'I do not know that it would have made any difference.--I do not pretend that it would. But I do know this, I believe that you yourself have only discovered the state of your own mind within the last half-hour.' g2%fla7r  
If she had slapped my face she could not have startled me more. I had no notion if her words were uttered at random, but they came so near the truth they held me breathless. It was a fact that only during the last few minutes had I really realised how things were with me,--only since the end of that first waltz that the flame had burst out in my soul which was now consuming me. She had read me by what seemed so like a flash of inspiration that I hardly knew what to say to her. I tried to be stinging. 0fog/c#q(  
'You flatter me, Miss Lindon, you flatter me at every point. Had you only discovered to me the state of your mind a little sooner I should not have discovered to you the state of mine at all.' .dsB\ C  
'We will consider it terra incognita.' 7c!#e=W@B  
ZK h4:D  
'Since you wish it.' Her provoking calmness stung me,--and the suspicion that she was laughing at me in her sleeve. I gave her a glimpse of the cloven hoof. 'But, at the same time, since you assert that you have so long been innocent, I beg that you will continue so no more. At least, your innocence shall be without excuse. For I wish you to understand that I love you, that I have loved you, that I shall love you. Any understanding you may have with Mr Lessingham will not make the slightest difference. I warn you, Miss Lindon, that, until death, you will have to write me down your lover.' U6.hH%\}@  
She looked at me, with wide open eyes,--as if I almost frightened her. To be frank, that was what I wished to do. [930=rF*  
'Mr Atherton!' B`||4*  
'Miss Lindon?' q[+ h ~)  
'That is not like you at all.' _ker,;{9C  
'We seem to be making each other's acquaintance for the first time.' ya5HAs  
She continued to gaze at me with her big eyes,--which, to be candid, I found it difficult to meet. On a sudden her face was lighted by a smile,--which I resented. isy[RAP<  
'Not after all these years,--not after all these years! I know you, and though I daresay you're not flawless, I fancy you'll be found to ring pretty true.' .iP>?9$f"  
Her manner was almost sisterly,--elder-sisterly. I could have shaken her. Hartridge coming to claim his dance gave me an opportunity to escape with such remnants of dignity as I could gather about me. He dawdled up,--his thumbs, as usual, in his waistcoat pockets. 8 $H\b &u  
W!kF(O NA  
'I believe, Miss Lindon, this is our dance.' vO"E4s  
She acknowledged it with a bow, and rose to take his arm. I got up, and left her, without a word. ntL%&wY  
As I crossed the hall I chanced on Percy Woodville. He was in his familiar state of fluster, and was gaping about him as if he had mislaid the Koh-i-noor, and wondered where in thunder it had got to. When he saw it was I he caught me by the arm. I;P!   
'I say, Atherton, have you seen Miss Lindon?' ]k.YG!$  
'I have.' sRGIHT#  
'No!--Have you?--By Jove!--Where? I've been looking for her all over the place, except in the cellars and the attics,--and I was just going to commence on them. This is our dance.' g6<D 1r  
'In that case, she's shunted you.' }h_= n>  
'No!--Impossible!' His mouth went like an O,--and his eyes ditto, his eyeglass clattering down on to his shirt front. 'I expect the mistake's mine. Fact is, I've made a mess of my programme. It's either the last dance, or this dance, or the next, that I've booked with her, but I'm hanged if I know which. Just take a squint at it, there's a good chap, and tell me which one you think it is.' 7`Bwo*Y  
I 'took a squint'--since he held the thing within an inch of my nose I could hardly help it; one 'squint,' and that was enough-- and more. Some men's ball programmes are studies in impressionism, Percy's seemed to me to be a study in madness. It was covered with hieroglyphics, but what they meant, or what they did there anyhow, it was absurd to suppose that I could tell,--I never put them there!--Proverbially, the man's a champion hasher. /Jci1o  
r 2L=gI  
'I regret, my dear Percy, that I am not an expert in cuneiform writing. If you have any doubt as to which dance is yours, you'd better ask the lady,--she'll feel flattered.' ~NtAr1  
op%?V :  
Leaving him to do his own addling I went to find my coat,--I panted to get into the open air; as for dancing I felt that I loathed it. Just as I neared the cloak-room someone stopped me. It was Dora Grayling. H}$hk  
'Have you forgotten that this is our dance?' M]>JI'8  
I had forgotten,--clean. And I was not obliged by her remembering. Though as I looked at her sweet, grey eyes, and at the soft contours of her gentle face, I felt that I deserved well kicking. She is an angel,--one of the best!--but I was in no mood for angels. Not for a very great deal would I have gone through that dance just then, nor, with Dora Grayling, of all women in the world, would I have sat it out.--So I was a brute and blundered. ``kKi3TWJ  
'You must forgive me, Miss Grayling, but--I am not feeling very well, and--I don't think I'm up to any more dancing.--Good-night.' vfhip"1  
kd \G>  
fQx 4/4j  

只看该作者 11楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man k@yh+v5  
Chapter XI. A Midnight Episode )n>+m|IqY(  
  The weather out of doors was in tune with my frame of mind,--I was in a deuce of a temper, and it was a deuce of a night. A keen north-east wind, warranted to take the skin right off you, was playing catch-who-catch-can with intermittent gusts of blinding rain. Since it was not fit for a dog to walk, none of your cabs for me,--nothing would serve but pedestrian exercise. Y]Vq\]m\  
Rko M~`CT  
So I had it. ?6"{!s{v  
f-SuM% S_  
I went down Park Lane,--and the wind and rain went with me,--also, thoughts of Dora Grayling. What a bounder I had been,--and was! If there is anything in worse taste than to book a lady for a dance, and then to leave her in the lurch, I should like to know what that thing is,--when found it ought to be made a note of. If any man of my acquaintance allowed himself to be guilty of such a felony in the first degree, I should cut him. I wished someone would try to cut me,--I should like to see him at it. %$5H!!~o  
It was all Marjorie's fault,--everything! past, present, and to come. I had known that girl when she was in long frocks--I had, at that period of our acquaintance, pretty recently got out of them; when she was advanced to short ones; and when, once more, she returned to long. And all that time,--well, I was nearly persuaded that the whole of the time I had loved her. If I had not mentioned it, it was because I had suffered my affection, 'like the worm, to lie hidden in the bud,'--or whatever it is the fellow says. Q[F}r`  
At any rate, I was perfectly positive that if I had had the faintest nation that she would ever seriously consider such a man as Lessingham I should have loved her long ago. Lessingham! Why, he was old enough to be her father,--at least he was a good many years older than I was. And a wretched Radical! It is true that on certain points I, also, am what some people would call a Radical, --but not a Radical of the kind he is. Thank Heaven, no! No doubt I have admired traits in his character, until I learnt this thing of him. I am even prepared to admit that he is a man of ability,--in his way! which is, emphatically, not mine. But to think of him in connection with such a girl as Marjorie Lindon,--preposterous! Why, the man's as dry as a stick,--drier! And cold as an iceberg. Nothing but a politician, absolutely. He a lover!--how I could fancy such a stroke of humour setting all the benches in a roar. Both by education, and by nature, he was incapable of even playing such a part; as for being the thing,--absurd! If you were to sink a shaft from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, you would find inside him nothing but the dry bones of parties and of politics. |waIpB(  
!aO` AC=5u  
What my Marjorie--if everyone had his own, she is mine, and, in that sense, she always will be mine--what my Marjorie could see in such a dry-as-dust out of which even to construct the rudiments of a husband was beyond my fathoming. C4TE-OM8  
Suchlike agreeable reflections were fit company for the wind and the wet, so they bore me company all down the lane. I crossed at the corner, going round the hospital towards the square. This brought me to the abiding-place of Paul the Apostle. Like the idiot I was, I went out into the middle of the street, and stood awhile in the mud to curse him and his house,--on the whole, when one considers that that is the kind of man I can be, it is, perhaps, not surprising that Marjorie disdained me. 8By|@LO  
'May your following,' I cried,--it is an absolute fact that the words were shouted!--'both in the House and out of it, no longer regard you as a leader! May your party follow after other gods! May your political aspirations wither, and your speeches be listened to by empty benches! May the Speaker persistently and strenuously refuse to allow you to catch his eye, and, at the next election, may your constituency reject you!--Jehoram!--what's that?' [sW3l:^  
B8}Nvz /  
I might well ask. Until that moment I had appeared to be the only lunatic at large, either outside the house or in it, but, on a sudden, a second lunatic came on the scene, and that with a vengeance. A window was crashed open from within,--the one over the front door, and someone came plunging through it on to the top of the portico. That it was a case of intended suicide I made sure,--and I began to be in hopes that I was about to witness the suicide of Paul. But I was not so assured of the intention when the individual in question began to scramble down the pillar of the porch in the most extraordinary fashion I ever witnessed,--I was not even convinced of a suicidal purpose when he came tumbling down, and lay sprawling in the mud at my feet. `9BROZnq  
I fancy, if I had performed that portion of the act I should have lain quiet for a second or two, to consider whereabouts I was, and which end of me was uppermost. But there was no nonsense of that sort about that singularly agile stranger,--if he was not made of india-rubber he ought to have been. So to speak, before he was down he was up,--it was all I could do to grab at him before he was off like a rocket. =4FXBPoQK  
Such a figure as he presented is seldom seen,--at least, in the streets of London. What he had done with the rest of his apparel I am not in a position to say,--all that was left of it was a long, dark cloak which he strove to wrap round him. Save for that,--and mud!--he was bare as the palm of my hand, Yet it was his face that held me. In my time I have seen strange expressions on men's faces, but never before one such as I saw on his. He looked like a man might look who, after living a life of undiluted crime, at last finds himself face to face with the devil. It was not the look of a madman,--far from it; it was something worse. n\*!CXc  
It was the expression on the man's countenance, as much as anything else, which made me behave as I did. I said something to him,--some nonsense, I know not what. He regarded me with a silence which was supernatural. I spoke to him again;--not a word issued from those rigid lips; there was not a tremor of those awful eyes,--eyes which I was tolerably convinced saw something which I had never seen, or ever should. Then I took my hand from off his shoulder, and let him go. I know not why,--I did. lr>oYS0  
He had remained as motionless, as a statue while I held him,-- indeed, for any evidence of life he gave, he might have been a statue; but, when my grasp was loosed, how he ran! He had turned the corner and was out of sight before I could say, 'How do!' [Dk=? +  
It was only then,--when he had gone, and I had realised the extra- double-express-flash-of-lightning rate at which he had taken his departure--that it occurred to me of what an extremely sensible act I had been guilty in letting him go at all. Here was an individual who had been committing burglary, or something very like it, in the house of a budding cabinet minister, and who had tumbled plump into my arms, so that all I had to do was to call a policeman and get him quodded,--and all that I had done was something of a totally different kind. HG^B#yX  
'You're a nice type of an ideal citizen!' I was addressing myself, 'A first chop specimen of a low-down idiot,--to connive at the escape of the robber who's been robbing Paul. Since you've let the villain go, the least you can do is to leave a card on the Apostle, and inquire how he's feeling.' *@Lp`thq  
I went to Lessingham's front door and knocked,--I knocked once, I knocked twice, I knocked thrice, and the third time, I give you my word, I made the echoes ring,--but still there was not a soul that answered. Mmxlp .l  
'If this is a case of a seven or seventy-fold murder, and the gentleman in the cloak has made a fair clearance of every living creature the house contains, perhaps it's just as well I've chanced upon the scene,--still I do think that one of the corpses might get up to answer the door. If it is possible to make noise enough to waken the dead, you bet I'm on to it.' 9{(.Il J>  
And I was,--I punished that knocker! until I warrant the pounding I gave it was audible on the other side of Green Park. And, at last, I woke the dead,--or, rather, I roused Matthews to a consciousness that something was going on Opening the door about six inches, through the interstice he protruded his ancient nose. 55tKTpV  
'Who's there?' } ud0&Oe{  
w2 a1mU/  
'Nothing, my dear sir, nothing and no one. It must have been your vigorous imagination which induced you to suppose that there was, --you let it run away with you.' K_RjX>q%N  
Then he knew me,--and opened the door about two feet. {]%0lf:  
'Oh, it's you, Mr Atherton. I beg your pardon, sir,--I thought it might have been the police.' ?~hHGf\^b6  
'What then? Do you stand in terror of the minions of the law,--at last?' * +"9%&?  
A OISs4  
A most discreet servant, Matthews,--just the fellow for a budding cabinet minister. He glanced over his shoulder,--I had suspected the presence of a colleague at his back, now I was assured. He put his hand up to his mouth,--and I thought how exceedingly discreet he looked, in his trousers and his stockinged feet, and with his hair all rumpled, and his braces dangling behind, and his nightshirt creased. * w?N{.  
Nl^;A> <u  
'Well, sir, I have received instructions not to admit the police.' /|tJ6T1LrB  
'The deuce you have!--From whom?' gG0!C))8  
Coughing behind his hand, leaning forward, he addressed me with an air which was flatteringly confidential. Ro\8ZXUQa  
'From Mr Lessingham, sir.' ^X=ar TE  
'Possibly Mr Lessingham is not aware that a robbery has been committed on his premises, that the burglar has just come out of his drawing-room window with a hop, skip, and a jump, bounded out of the window like a tennis-ball, flashed round the corner like a rocket,' .8@$\ZRP  
Again Matthews glanced over his shoulder, as if not clear which way discretion lay, whether fore or aft. iIvc43YV%  
'Thank you, sir. I believe that Mr Lessingham is aware of something of the kind.' He seemed to come to a sudden resolution, dropping his voice to a whisper. 'The fact is, sir, that I fancy Mr Lessingham's a good deal upset.' )YYf1o[+  
'Upset?' I stared at him. There was something in his manner I did not understand. 'What do you mean by upset? Has the scoundrel attempted violence?' teOe#*  
'Who's there?' @M<|:Z %.@  
The voice was Lessingham's, calling to Matthews from the staircase, though, for an instant, I hardly recognised it, it was so curiously petulant. Pushing past Matthews, I stepped into the hall. A young man, I suppose a footman, in the same undress as Matthews, was holding a candle,--it seemed the only light about the place. By its glimmer I perceived Lessingham standing half-way up the stairs. He was in full war paint,--as he is not the sort of man who dresses for the House, I took it that he had been mixing pleasure with business. 1pQn8[sc@  
'It's I, Lessingham,--Atherton. Do you know that a fellow has jumped out of your drawing-room window?' PiYY6i0  
It was a second or two before he answered. When he did, his voice had lost its petulance. ]e >RK'  
. 7zK@6i  
'Has he escaped?' ng:kA%! Q  
'Clean,--he's a mile away by now.' ?s\ OUr  
It seemed to me that in his tone, when he spoke again, there was a note of relief. "VkTY|a  
P&j (,7  
'I wondered if he had. Poor fellow! more sinned against than sinning! Take my advice, Atherton, and keep out of politics. They bring you into contact with all the lunatics at large. Good night! I am much obliged to you for knocking us up. Matthews, shut the door.' '"<6.,Ae  
Tolerably cool, on my honour,--a man who brings news big with the fate of Rome does not expect to receive such treatment. He expects to be listened to with deference, and to hear all that there is to hear, and not to be sent to the right-about before he has had a chance of really opening his lips. Before I knew it--almost!--the door was shut, and I was on the doorstep. Confound the Apostle's impudence! next time he might have his house burnt down--and him in it!--before I took the trouble to touch his dirty knocker. HQUeWCN  
What did he mean by his allusion to lunatics in politics,--did he think to fool me? There was more in the business than met the eye,--and a good deal more than he wished to meet mine,--hence his insolence. The creature. d\H&dkpH  
What Marjorie Lindon could see in such an opusculum surpassed my comprehension; especially when there was a man of my sort walking about, who adored the very ground she trod upon. R#n%cXc|  

只看该作者 12楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man IQk#  
Chapter XII. A Morning Visitor ].<sAmL^  
"{ry 9?z  
  All through the night, waking and sleeping, and in my dreams, I wondered what Marjorie could see in him! In those same dreams I satisfied myself that she could, and did, see nothing in him, but everything in me,--oh the comfort! The misfortune was that when I awoke I knew it was the other way round,--so that it was a sad awakening. An awakening to thoughts of murder. |jaY[_ .@  
So, swallowing a mouthful and a peg, I went into my laboratory to plan murder--legalised murder--on the biggest scale it ever has been planned. I was on the track of a weapon which would make war not only an affair of a single campaign, but of a single half- hour. It would not want an army to work it either. Once let an individual, or two or three at most, in possession of my weapon- that-was-to-be, get within a mile or so of even the largest body of disciplined troops that ever yet a nation put into the field, and--pouf!--in about the time it takes you to say that they would be all dead men. If weapons of precision, which may be relied upon to slay, are preservers of the peace--and the man is a fool who says that they are not!--then I was within reach of the finest preserver of the peace imagination ever yet conceived. ^n45N&916  
What a sublime thought to think that in the hollow of your own hand lies the life and death of nations,--and it was almost in mine. z3jz pmz  
I had in front of me some of the finest destructive agents you could wish to light upon--carbon-monoxide, chlorine-trioxide, mercuric-oxide, conine, potassamide, potassium-carboxide, cyanogen--when Edwards entered. I was wearing a mask of my own invention, a thing that covered ears and head and everything, something like a diver's helmet--I was dealing with gases a sniff of which meant death; only a few days before, unmasked, I had been doing some fool's trick with a couple of acids--sulphuric and cyanide of potassium--when, somehow, my hand slipped, and, before I knew it, minute portions of them combined. By the mercy of Providence I fell backwards instead of forwards;--sequel, about an hour afterwards Edwards found me on the floor, and it took the remainder of that day, and most of the doctors in town, to bring me back to life again. Mh.eAM8_  
Edwards announced his presence by touching me on the shoulder,-- when I am wearing that mask it isn't always easy to make me hear. 2^ZPO4|  
|M>k &p,B-  
'Someone wishes to see you, sir.' FOG+[v  
'Then tell someone that I don't wish to see him.' c6)zx b  
:C6r N}_k  
Well-trained servant, Edwards,--he walked off with the message as decorously as you please. And then I thought there was an end,-- but there wasn't. 5xUPqW%3  
I was regulating the valve of a cylinder in which I was fusing some oxides when, once more, someone touched me on the shoulder. Without turning I took it for granted it was Edwards back again. }3lF;k(2g  
'I have only to give a tiny twist to this tap, my good fellow, and you will be in the land where the bogies bloom. Why will you come where you're not wanted?' Then I looked round. 'Who the devil are you?' k$!&3Rh  
For it was not Edwards at all, but quite a different class of character. {w++)N2sh  
I found myself confronting an individual who might almost have sat for one of the bogies I had just alluded to. His costume was reminiscent of the 'Algerians' whom one finds all over France, and who are the most persistent, insolent and amusing of pedlars. I remember one who used to haunt the repetitions at the Alcazar at Tours,--but there! This individual was like the originals, yet unlike,--he was less gaudy, and a good deal dingier, than his Gallic prototypes are apt to be. Then he wore a burnoose,--the yellow, grimy-looking article of the Arab of the Soudan, not the spick and span Arab of the boulevard. Chief difference of all, his face was clean shaven,--and whoever saw an Algerian of Paris whose chiefest glory was not his well-trimmed moustache and beard? ,J~dER\%  
I expected that he would address me in the lingo which these gentlemen call French,--but he didn't. (:1 j-  
'You are Mr Atherton?' /mb| %U]~  
'And you are Mr--Who?--how did you come here? Where's my servant?' mBNa;6w?{*  
Sh"} c2  
The fellow held up his hand. As he did so, as if in accordance with a pre-arranged signal, Edwards came into the room looking excessively startled. I turned to him. 5!?><{k=%  
'Is this the person who wished to see me?' W$,c]/u|  
'Yes, sir.' AWGeK-^  
'Didn't I tell you to say that I didn't wish to see him?' I%;xMt Y1o  
'Yes, sir.' +.NopI3:  
'Then why didn't you do as I told you?' Yw vX SA  
'I did, sir.' T \5 5uQ  
.H {  
'Then how comes he here?' X YO09#>&  
{_t i*#  
'Really, sir,'--Edwards put his hand up to his head as if be was half asleep--'I don't quite know.' iTJSW  
'What do you mean by you don't know? Why didn't you stop him?' kNqSBzg  
'I think, sir, that I must have had a touch of sudden faintness, because I tried to put out my hand to stop him, and--I couldn't.' ANB@cK_  
'You're an idiot.--Go!' And he went. I turned to the stranger. 'Pray, sir, are you a magician?' JNhHQvi\  
He replied to my question with another. BR8W8nRb  
'You, Mr Atherton,--are you also a magician?' RG(m:N  
6 bL+q`3>  
He was staring at my mask with an evident lack of comprehension. G?-27Jk8  
'I wear this because, in this place, death lurks in so many subtle forms, that, without it, I dare not breathe,' He inclined his head.--though I doubt if he understood. 'Be so good as to tell me, briefly, what it is you wish with me.' SdUtAC2  
He slipped his hand into the folds of his burnoose, and, taking out a slip of paper, laid it on the shelf by which we were standing. I glanced at it, expecting to find on it a petition, or a testimonial, or a true statement of his sad case; instead it contained two words only,--'Marjorie Lindon.' The unlooked-for sight of that well-loved name brought the blood into my cheeks. _1*EMq6  
'You come from Miss Lindon?' He narrowed his shoulders, brought his finger-tips together, inclined his head, in a fashion which was peculiarly Oriental, but not particularly explanatory,--so I repeated my question. ;: Hfkyy]  
'Do you wish me to understand that you do come from Miss Lindon?' M6 AQ8~z  
E(8!VY ^  
Again he slipped his hand into his burnoose, again he produced a slip of paper, again he laid it on the shelf, again I glanced at it, again nothing was written on it but a name,--'Paul Lessingham.' L4.yrA-]C%  
}kL% l  
'Well?--I see,--Paul Lessingham.--What then?' ~ D3'-,n[  
'She is good,--he is bad,--is it not so?' Wt8;S$!=R  
He touched first one scrap of paper, then the other. I stared. !(SaE'  
'Pray how do you happen to know?' 1RcaE!\p  
'He shall never have her,--eh?' pV>/ "K  
;J?!D x  
'What on earth do you mean?' 1>|p1YZ"  
'Ah!--what do I mean!' $]%k <|X  
'Precisely, what do you mean? And also, and at the same time, who the devil are you?' iF`E> %#  
'It is as a friend I come to you.' PRf2@0ZV  
'Then in that case you may go; I happen to be over-stocked in that line just now.' 9g " ?`_  
'Not with the kind of friend I am!' =j }]-!  
'The saints forefend!' 0zdH6 &  
'You love her,--you love Miss Lindon! Can you bear to think of him in her arms?' 7_ZfV? .  
I took off my mask,--feeling that the occasion required it As I did so he brushed aside the hanging folds of the hood of his burnoose, so that I saw more of his face. I was immediately conscious that in his eyes there was, in an especial degree, what, for want of a better term, one may call the mesmeric quality. That his was one of those morbid organisations which are oftener found, thank goodness, in the east than in the west, and which are apt to exercise an uncanny influence over the weak and the foolish folk with whom they come in contact,--the kind of creature for whom it is always just as well to keep a seasoned rope close handy. I was, also, conscious that he was taking advantage of the removal of my mask to try his strength on me,--than which he could not have found a tougher job. The sensitive something which is found in the hypnotic subject happens, in me, to be wholly absent. :Fm;0R@/k  
'I see you are a mesmerist.' BGh1hyJ8d  
h mC. 5mY  
He started. I.As{0cc  
'I am nothing,--a shadow!' LGu K@^  
'And I'm a scientist. I should like, with your permission--or without it!--to try an experiment or two on you.' MuI>ZoNF  
He moved further back. There came a gleam into his eyes which suggested that he possessed his hideous power to an unusual degree,--that, in the estimation of his own people, he was qualified to take his standing as a regular devil-doctor. 2oBT _o%/J  
v w  
'We will try experiments together, you and I,--on Paul Lessingham.' P$7i>(?(  
'Why on him?' EGMIw?%Y`-  
'You do not know?' 5< $8.a#  
8G )O,F7z  
'I do not.' ~J![Nx/  
qM18 Ji*  
'Why do you lie to me?' {X10,  
'I don't lie to you,--I haven't the faintest notion what is the nature of your interest in Mr Lessingham.' T"3:dkQw  
'My interest?--that is another thing; it is your interest of which we are speaking.' A;k#8&;  
'Pardon me,--it is yours.' jZH4]^De  
$KhD>4^ jL  
'Listen! you love her,--and he! But at a word from you he shall not have her,--never! It is I who say it,--I!' f@q.kD21  
'And, once more, sir, who are you?' @4KKm@(p85  
2 E?]!9T~|  
'I am of the children of Isis!' kFT*So`'  
'Is that so?--It occurs to me that you have made a slight mistake,--this is London, not a dog-hole in the desert.' O\@0o|NM  
<4;L& 3  
'Do I not know?--what does it matter?--you shall see! There will come a time when you will want me,--you will find that you cannot bear to think of him in her arms,--her whom you love! You will call to me, and I shall come, and of Paul Lessingham there shall be an end.' A2`Xh#o  
While I was wondering whether he was really as mad as he sounded, or whether he was some impudent charlatan who had an axe of his own to grind, and thought that he had found in me a grindstone, he had vanished from the room. I moved after him. 9t&m\J >8;  
'Hang it all!--stop!' I cried. GbBz;ZV%z,  
He must have made pretty good travelling, because, before I had a foot in the hall, I heard the front door slam, and, when I reached the street, intent on calling him back, neither to the right nor to the left was there a sign of him to be seen. `:fh$V5J>  
$/$ 5{<  

只看该作者 13楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man ub+XgNO  
Chapter XIII. The Picture T21?~jS  
  'I wonder what that nice-looking beggar really means, and who he happens to be?' That was what I said to myself when I returned to the laboratory. 'If it is true that, now and again, Providence does write a man's character on his face, then there can't be the slightest shred of a doubt that a curious one's been written on his. I wonder what his connection has been with the Apostle,--or if it's only part of his game of bluff.' `U>2H4P  
I strode up and down,--for the moment my interest in the experiments I was conducting had waned. _{eA8J(A<  
'If it was all bluff I never saw a better piece of acting,--and yet what sort of finger can such a precisian as St Paul have in such a pie? The fellow seemed to squirm at the mere mention of the rising-hope-of-the-Radicals' name. Can the objection be political? Let me consider,--what has Lessingham done which could offend the religious or patriotic susceptibilities of the most fanatical of Orientals? Politically, I can recall nothing. Foreign affairs, as a rule, he has carefully eschewed. If he has offended--and if he hasn't the seeming was uncommonly good!--the cause will have to be sought upon some other track. But, then, what track?' i*A_Po  
The more I strove to puzzle it out, the greater the puzzlement grew. U%;E:|  
'Absurd!--The rascal has had no more connection with St Paul than St Peter. The probability is that he's a crackpot; and if he isn't, he has some little game on foot--in close association with the hunt of the oof-bird!--which he tried to work off on me, but couldn't. As for--for Marjorie--my Marjorie!--only she isn't mine, confound it!--if I had had my senses about me, I should have broken his head in several places for daring to allow her name to pass his lips,--the unbaptised Mohammedan!--Now to return to the chase of splendid murder!' fGe"1MfU  
I snatched up my mask--one of the most ingenious inventions, by the way, of recent years; if the armies of the future wear my mask they will defy my weapon!--and was about to re-adjust it in its place, when someone knocked at the door. !d[]Qt%mA  
'Who's there?--Come in!' GW%!?mJ  
It was Edwards. He looked round him as if surprised. x'%vL",%  
'I beg your pardon, sir,--I thought you were engaged. I didn't know that--that gentleman had gone.' i}))6   
8PG&/ " K  
'He went up the chimney, as all that kind of gentlemen do.--Why the deuce did you let him in when I told you not to?' 'Really, sir, I don't know. I gave him your message, and--he looked at me, and--that is all I remember till I found myself standing in this room.' yv> 6u7  
Had it not been Edwards I might have suspected him of having had his palm well greased,--but, in his case, I knew better. It was as I thought,--my visitor was a mesmerist of the first class; he had actually played some of his tricks, in broad daylight, on my servant, at my own front door,--a man worth studying. Edwards continued. m khp@^5  
'There is someone else, sir, who wishes to see you,--Mr Lessingham.' F\+!\b*lP  
'Mr Lessingham!' At that moment the juxtaposition seemed odd, though I daresay it was so rather in appearance than in reality. 'Show him in.' OH vV_  
Presently in came Paul. vA0f4W 8+  
5@{~8 30  
I am free to confess,--I have owned it before!--that, in a sense, I admire that man,--so long as he does not presume to thrust himself into a certain position. He possesses physical qualities which please my eye--speaking as a mere biologist like the suggestion conveyed by his every pose, his every movement, of a tenacious hold on life,--of reserve force, of a repository of bone and gristle on which he can fall back at pleasure. The fellow's lithe and active; not hasty, yet agile; clean built, well hung,-- the sort of man who might be relied upon to make a good recovery. You might beat him in a sprint,--mental or physical--though to do that you would have to be spry!--but in a staying race he would see you out. I do not know that he is exactly the kind of man whom I would trust,--unless I knew that he was on the job,--which knowledge, in his case, would be uncommonly hard to attain. He is too calm; too self-contained; with the knack of looking all round him even in moments of extremest peril,--and for whatever he does he has a good excuse. He has the reputation, both in the House and out of it, of being a man of iron nerve,--and with some reason; yet I am not so sure. Unless I read him wrongly his is one of those individualities which, confronted by certain eventualities, collapse,--to rise, the moment of trial having passed, like Phoenix from her ashes. However it might be with his adherents, he would show no trace of his disaster. {$)pkhJ  
Pxe7 \e  
And this was the man whom Marjorie loved. Well, she could show some cause. He was a man of position,--destined, probably, to rise much higher; a man of parts,--with capacity to make the most of them; not ill-looking; with agreeable manners,--when he chose; and he came within the lady's definition of a gentleman, 'he always did the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.' And yet--! Well, I take it that we are all cads, and that we most of us are prigs; for mercy's sake do not let us all give ourselves away. qM:*!Aq 0g  
He was dressed as a gentleman should be dressed,--black frock coat, black vest, dark grey trousers, stand-up collar, smartly- tied bow, gloves of the proper shade, neatly brushed hair, and a smile, which if was not childlike, at any rate was bland. p#tbN5i[{7  
'I am not disturbing you?' J#*R]LU|  
'Not at all.'  H= (Zx  
'Sure?--I never enter a place like this, where a man is matching himself with nature, to wrest from her her secrets, without feeling that I am crossing the threshold of the unknown. The last time I was in this room was just after you had taken out the final patents for your System of Telegraphy at Sea, which the Admiralty purchased,--wisely--What is it, now?' e]@R'oM?#`  
'Death.' [ %:%C]4  
'No?--really?--what do you mean?' x !QA* M  
'If you are a member of the next government, you will possibly learn; I may offer them the refusal of a new wrinkle in the art of murder.' f+W8Gszi  
'I see,--a new projectile.--How long is this race to continue between attack and defence?' -y5Z c?e  
'Until the sun grows cold.' VG+WVk  
'And then?' =P.m5e<  
'There'll be no defence,--nothing to defend.' lbtVQW0V;o  
He looked at me with his calm, grave eyes. D9;2w7v  
'The theory of the Age of Ice towards which we are advancing is not a cheerful one.' He began to finger a glass retort which lay upon a table. 'By the way, it was very good of you to give me a look in last night. I am afraid you thought me peremptory,--I have come to apologise.' CfguL@tR.  
'I don't know that I thought you peremptory; I thought you-- queer.' t6GL/M4  
'Yes.' He glanced at me with that expressionless look upon his face which he could summon at will, and which is at the bottom of the superstition about his iron nerve. 'I was worried, and not well. Besides, one doesn't care to be burgled, even by a maniac.' )HHG3cvU  
'Was he a maniac?' =<,>dBs}\  
$ z4JUr!m  
'Did you see him?' ;iol 2  
'Very clearly.' B=?m_4\$m  
'Where?' k<Y}BvAYB  
'In the street.' 6)]zt  
'How close were you to him?' X(npgkVP\  
'Closer than I am to you.' l_i&8*=Px  
'Indeed. I didn't know you were so close to him as that. Did you try to stop him?' 7qL B9r  
'Easier said than done,--he was off at such a rate.' gTk*v0WBm  
'Did you see how he was dressed,--or, rather, undressed?'  g^))  
'I did.' Nc*z?0wP  
'In nothing but a cloak on such a night. Who but a fanatic would have attempted burglary in such a costume?' X{P=2h#g  
'Did he take anything?' F87c?Vh)K  
f'O cW* t  
'Absolutely nothing.' D(#6H~QN%  
'It seems to have been a curious episode.' 0](V@F"~  
He moved his eyebrows,--according to members of the House the only gesture in which he has been known to indulge. M\r=i>(cu  
'We become accustomed to curious episodes. Oblige me by not mentioning it to anyone,--to anyone.' He repeated the last two words, as if to give them emphasis. I wondered if he was thinking of Marjorie. 'I am communicating with the police. Until they move I don't want it to get into the papers,--or to be talked about. It's a worry,--you understand?' +HoCG;C{  
I nodded. He changed the theme. `]5t'Ps  
'This that you're engaged upon,--is it a projectile or a weapon?' .]ZMxDZ  
zUz j F  
'If you are a member of the next government you will possibly know; if you aren't you possibly won't.' f|&, SI?  
'I suppose you have to keep this sort of thing secret?' K# BZ Jcb  
'I do. It seems that matters of much less moment you wish to keep secret.' QUz_2rN^  
15"[MX A  
'You mean that business of last night? If a trifle of that sort gets into the papers, or gets talked about,--which is the same thing!--you have no notion how we are pestered. It becomes an almost unbearable nuisance. Jones the Unknown can commit murder with less inconvenience to himself than Jones the Notorious can have his pocket picked,--there is not so much exaggeration in that as there sounds.--Good-bye,--thanks for your promise.' I had given him no promise, but that was by the way. He turned as to go,--then stopped. 'There's another thing,--I believe you're a specialist on questions of ancient superstitions and extinct religions.' |k=5`WG  
'I am interested in such subjects, but I am not a specialist.' A?Gk8  
%y R~dt'  
'Can you tell me what were the exact tenets of the worshippers of Isis?' ;Ak 6*Sr  
7;H P_oAu  
'Neither I nor any man,--with scientific certainty. As you know, she had a brother; the cult of Osiris and Isis was one and the same. What, precisely, were its dogmas, or its practices, or anything about it, none, now, can tell. The Papyri, hieroglyphics, and so on, which remain are very far from being exhaustive, and our knowledge of those which do remain, is still less so.' "xY]&  
'I suppose that the marvels which are told of it are purely legendary?' > ;zQ.2*  
'To what marvels do you particularly refer?' [j^c&}0  
cf ~TVa)M  
'Weren't supernatural powers attributed to the priests of Isis?' yC<[LH  
'Broadly speaking, at that time, supernatural powers were attributed to all the priests of all the creeds.' D^%DYp  
'I see.' Presently he continued. 'I presume that her cult is long since extinct,--that none of the worshippers of Isis exist to- day.' 5U3 b&0  
I hesitated,--I was wondering why he had hit on such a subject; if he really had a reason, or if he was merely asking questions as a cover for something else,--you see, I knew my Paul. dIUg e`O9  
'That is not so sure.' &D|wc4+  
He looked at me with that passionless, yet searching glance of his. oWZbfR9R  
'You think that she still is worshipped? g|W|>`>  
'I think it possible, even probable, that, here and there, in Africa--Africa is a large order!--homage is paid to Isis, quite in the good old way.' /7$3RV(  
o}XbFL n  
'Do you know that as a fact?' ,Db+c3  
'Excuse me, but do you know it as a fact?--Are you aware that you are treating me as if I was on the witness stand?--Have you any special purpose in making these inquiries?' %;UEyj  
He smiled. @&;y0N1xo  
'In a kind of a way I have. I have recently come across rather a curious story; I am trying to get to the bottom of it.' L_uliBn  
'What is the story?' :M(%sv</  
'I am afraid that at present I am not at liberty to tell it you; when I am I will. You will find it interesting,--as an instance of a singular survival.--Didn't the followers of Isis believe in transmigration?' O#fGHI<43[  
'Some of them,--no doubt.' sI/Jhw)  
'What did they understand by transmigration?'  2bwf(  
'Transmigration.' 1 i # .h$  
7kJ =C  
'Yes,--but of the soul or of the body?' 5{ ?J5  
'How do you mean?--transmigration is transmigration. Are you driving at something in particular? If you'll tell me fairly and squarely what it is I'll do my best to give you the information you require; as it is, your questions are a bit perplexing.' ?Ybgzb  
'Oh, it doesn't matter,--as you say, "transmigration is transmigration."' I was eyeing him keenly; I seemed to detect in his manner an odd reluctance to enlarge on the subject he himself had started. He continued to trifle with the retort upon the table. 'Hadn't the followers of Isis a--what shall I say?--a sacred emblem?' X9ua&T2(l  
.K I6<k/  
'How?' {0~ Sj%Ze  
'Hadn't they an especial regard for some sort of a--wasn't it some sort of a--beetle?' 7IEG%FY T  
'You mean Scarabaeus sacer,--according to Latreille, Scarabaeus Egyptiorum? Undoubtedly,--the scarab was venerated throughout Egypt,--indeed, speaking generally, most things that had life, for instance, cats; as you know, Orisis continued among men in the figure of Apis, the bull.' " A4.2  
'Weren't the priests of Isis--or some of them--supposed to assume, after death, the form of a--scarabaeus?' $XZC8L#  
GN=ugP 9  
'I never heard of it.' /=i+7^  
'Are you sure?--think!' n]< >$  
'I shouldn't like to answer such a question positively, offhand, but I don't, on the spur of the moment, recall any supposition of the kind.' =*'K'e>P3  
'Don't laugh at me--I'm not a lunatic!--but I understand that recent researches have shown that even in some of the most astounding of the ancient legends there was a substratum of fact. Is it absolutely certain that there could be no shred of truth in such a belief?' |9x H9@^f  
'In what belief?' _X"G(  
'In the belief that a priest of Isis--or anyone--assumed after death the form of a scarabaeus?' o{I]c#W  
'It seems to me, Lessingham, that you have lately come across some uncommonly interesting data, of a kind, too, which it is your bounden duty to give to the world,--or, at any rate, to that portion of the world which is represented by me. Come,--tell us all about it!--what are you afraid of?' j8 |N;;MN  
'I am afraid of nothing,--and some day you shall be told,--but not now. At present, answer my question.' w0(1o_F7.  
'Then repeat your question,--clearly.' @eOD+h'  
'Is it absolutely certain that there could be no foundation of truth in the belief that a priest of Isis--or anyone--assumed after death the form of a beetle?' m]Gxep0%  
'I know no more than the man in the moon,--how the dickens should I? Such a belief may have been symbolical. Christians believe that after death the body takes the shape of worms--and so, in a sense, it does,--and, sometimes, eels.' XDQ5qfE|  
'That is not what I mean.' iu.v8I ;<  
'Then what do you mean?' Dbu>rESz  
'Listen. If a person, of whose veracity there could not be a vestige of a doubt, assured you that he had seen such a transformation actually take place, could it conceivably be explained on natural grounds?' 0`V;;w8  
6 2#@Y-5  
'Seen a priest of Isis assume the form of a beetle?' 0V?7'Em  
'Or a follower of Isis?' R13V }yL  
E62_k 0q  
'Before, or after death?' .s?^y+e_  
3[m2F O,Z  
He hesitated. I had seldom seen him wear such an appearance of interest,--to be frank, I was keenly interested too!--but, on a sudden there came into his eyes a glint of something that was almost terror. When he spoke, it was with the most unwonted awkwardness. u#`51Hr$  
'In--in the very act of dying.' _ b</ ::Tp  
'In the very act of dying?' \hb$v  
'If--he had seen a follower of Isis in--the very act of dying, assume--the form of a--a beetle, on any conceivable grounds would such a transformation be susceptible of a natural explanation?' qV,x)y:V  
>Rb jdM5K4  
I stared,--as who would not? Such an extraordinary question was rendered more extraordinary by coming from such a man,--yet I was almost beginning to suspect that there was something behind it more extraordinary still. y&\t72C$Fi  
}g|9P SbJ  
'Look here, Lessingham, I can see you've a capital tale to tell,-- so tell it, man! Unless I'm mistaken, it's not the kind of tale in which ordinary scruples can have any part or parcel,--anyhow, it's hardly fair of you to set my curiosity all agog, and then to leave it unappeased.' qw)Ou]L=  
L}_VT J  
He eyed me steadily, the appearance of interest fading more and more, until, presently, his face assumed its wonted expressionless mask,--somehow I was conscious that what he had seen in my face was not altogether to his liking. His voice was once more bland and self-contained. oL!C(\ERh  
'I perceive you are of opinion that I have been told a taradiddle. I suppose I have.' UA4MtTp`  
'But what is the taradiddle?--don't you see I'm burning?' oTTE<Ct [  
#TB 3|=  
'Unfortunately, Atherton, I am on my honour. Until I have permission to unloose it, my tongue is tied.' He picked up his hat and umbrella from where he had placed them on the table. Holding them in his left hand, he advanced to me with his right outstretched. 'It is very good of you to suffer my continued interruption; I know, to my sorrow, what such interruptions mean, --believe me, I am not ungrateful. What is this?' Bt(nm> Ng  
On the shelf, within a foot or so of where I stood, was a sheet of paper,--the size and shape of half a sheet of post note. At this he stooped to glance. As he did so, something surprising occurred. On the instant a look came on to his face which, literally, transfigured him. His hat and umbrella fell from his grasp on to the floor. He retreated, gibbering, his hands held out as if to ward something off from him, until he reached the wall on the other side of the room. A more amazing spectacle than he presented I never saw. }q,dJE  
I ^[[*Bh*C  
'Lessingham!' I exclaimed. 'What's wrong with you?' ]Qe"S>,?`  
My first impression was that he was struck by a fit of epilepsy,-- though anyone less like an epileptic subject it would be hard to find. In my bewilderment I looked round to see what could be the immediate cause. My eye fell upon the sheet of paper, I stared at it with considerable surprise. I had not noticed it there previously I had not put it there,--where had it come from? The curious thing was that, on it, produced apparently by some process of photogravure, was an illustration of a species of beetle with which I felt that I ought to be acquainted, and yet was not. It was of a dull golden green; the colour was so well brought out,-- even to the extent of seeming to scintillate, and the whole thing was so dexterously done that the creature seemed alive. The semblance of reality was, indeed, so vivid that it needed a second glance to be assured that it was a mere trick of the reproducer. Its presence there was odd,--after what we had been talking about it might seem to need explanation; but it was absurd to suppose that that alone could have had such an effect on a man like Lessingham. Y~?Z'uR  
With the thing in my hand, I crossed to where he was,--pressing his back against the wall, he had shrunk lower inch by inch till he was actually crouching on his haunches. _ {6l}  
'Lessingham!--come, man, what's wrong with you?' upX@8WxR  
Taking him by the shoulder, I shook him with some vigour. My touch had on him the effect of seeming to wake him out of a dream, of restoring him to consciousness as against the nightmare horrors with which he was struggling. He gazed up at me with that look of cunning on his face which one associates with abject terror. o)]O  
'Atherton?--Is it you?--It's all right,--quite right.--I'm well,-- very well.' 6EO@ Xf7,  
Xo] 2iQy  
As he spoke, he slowly drew himself up, till he was standing erect. f1+  
'Then, in that case, all I can say is that you have a queer way of being very well.' 'SoBB:  
He put his hand up to his mouth, as if to hide the trembling of his lips. U5H%wA['m  
h]t v+\0  
'It's the pressure of overwork,--I've had one or two attacks like this,--but it's nothing, only--a local lesion.' aK;OzB)  
I observed him keenly; to my thinking there was something about him which was very odd indeed. |TM n  
'Only a local lesion!--If you take my strongly-urged advice you'll get a medical opinion without delay,--if you haven't been wise enough to have done so already.' VED~v#.c  
'I'll go to-day;--at once; but I know it's only mental overstrain.' J~WT;s  
'You're sure it's nothing to do with this?' &t8,326;  
I held out in front of him the photogravure of the beetle. As I did so he backed away from me, shrieking, trembling as with palsy. CtN\-E-  
&_:9.I 1  
'Take it away! take it away!' he screamed. 9O&gR46.  
.u ikte  
I stared at him, for some seconds, astonished into speechlessness. Then I found my tongue. tH0x|  
'Lessingham!--It's only a picture!--Are you stark mad?' a.UYBRP/l  
He persisted in his ejaculations. (  -q0!]E  
'Take it away! take it away!--Tear it up!--Burn it!' 6&~Z3|<e  
His agitation was so unnatural,--from whatever cause it arose!-- that, fearing the recurrence of the attack from which he had just recovered, I did as he bade me. I tore the sheet of paper into quarters, and, striking a match, set fire to each separate piece. He watched the process of incineration as if fascinated. When it was concluded, and nothing but ashes remained, he gave a gasp of relief. ,B x0  
'Lessingham,' I said, 'you're either mad already, or you're going mad,--which is it?' _S &6XNV  
'I think it's neither. I believe I am as sane as you. It's--it's that story of which I was speaking; it--it seems curious, but I'll tell you all about it--some day. As I observed, I think you will find it an interesting instance of a singular survival.' He made an obvious effort to become more like his usual self. 'It is extremely unfortunate, Atherton, that I should have troubled you with such a display of weakness,--especially as I am able to offer you so scant an explanation. One thing I would ask of you,--to observe strict confidence. What has taken place has been between ourselves. I am in your hands, but you are my friend, I know I can rely on you not to speak of it to anyone,--and, in particular, not to breathe a hint of it to Miss Lindon.' 3Dh{#"88  
'Why, in particular, not to Miss Lindon?' w-wJhc|  
'Can you not guess?' ;q2e[y  
I hunched my shoulder. Y/n],(t)  
%3 $EV}dp  
'If what I guess is what you mean is not that a cause the more why silence would be unfair to her?' 6 VuMx7W1  
'It is for me to speak, if for anyone. I shall not fail to do what should be done.--Give me your promise that you will not hint a word to her of what you have so unfortunately seen?' 5]yby"Z?}  
I gave him the promise he required. 'WQ?%da  
38l 8n.  
       .       .       .       .       .       .       .There was no more work for me that day. The Apostle, his divagations, his example of the coleoptera, his Arabian friend,-- these things were as microbes which, acting on a system already predisposed for their reception, produced high fever; I was in a fever,--of unrest. Brain in a whirl!--Marjorie, Paul, Isis, beetle, mesmerism, in delirious jumble. Love's upsetting!--in itself a sufficiently severe disease; but when complications intervene, suggestive of mystery and novelties, so that you do not know if you are moving in an atmosphere of dreams or of frozen facts,--if, then, your temperature does not rise, like that rocket of M. Verne's,--which reached the moon, then you are a freak of an entirely genuine kind, and if the surgeons do not preserve you, and place you on view, in pickle, they ought to, for the sake of historical doubters, for no one will believe that there ever was a man like you, unless you yourself are somewhere around to prove them Thomases. FH7h?!|t  
Myself,--I am not that kind of man. When I get warm I grow heated, and when I am heated there is likely to be a variety show of a gaudy kind. When Paul had gone I tried to think things out, and if I had kept on trying something would have happened--so I went on the river instead. <@H`5[R  

只看该作者 14楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man =&k[qqxg  
Chapter XIV. The Duchess' Ball N<4 nb  
  That night was the Duchess of Datchet's ball--the first person I saw as I entered the dancing-room was Dora Grayling. yDZm)|<.  
I went straight up to her. -nHkO&&R  
'Miss Grayling, I behaved very badly to you last night, I have come to make to you my apologies,--to sue for your forgiveness!' |=,jom  
'My forgiveness?' Her head went back,--she has a pretty bird-like trick of cocking it a little on one side. 'You were not well. Are you better?' mDbTOtD  
v;;3 K*c>  
'Quite.--You forgive me? Then grant me plenary absolution by giving me a dance for the one I lost last night.' g\.$4N  
U 887@-!3  
She rose. A man came up,--a stranger to me; she's one of the best hunted women in England,--there's a million with her. y||RK` H  
'This is my dance, Miss Grayling.' Yn= "vpM1  
( uD^_N]3  
She looked at him. BK%B[f*[OA  
B0Wf$ s^7t  
'You must excuse me. I am afraid I have made a mistake. I had forgotten that I was already engaged.' C][hH?.  
I had not thought her capable of it. She took my arm, and away we went, and left him staring. l.pxDMY  
G)< B7-72;  
'It's he who's the sufferer now,' I whispered, as we went round,-- she can waltz! e5bXgmyil  
'You think so? It was I last night,--I did not mean, if I could help it, to suffer again. To me a dance with you means something.' She went all red,--adding, as an afterthought, 'Nowadays so few men really dance. I expect it's because you dance so well.' }w4OCN\1  
'Thank you.' E'4Psx9: =  
We danced the waltz right through, then we went to an impromptu shelter which had been rigged up on a balcony. And we talked. There's something sympathetic about Miss Grayling which leads one to talk about one's self,--before I was half aware of it I was telling her of all my plans and projects,--actually telling her of my latest notion which, ultimately, was to result in the destruction of whole armies as by a flash of lightning. She took an amount of interest in it which was surprising. {E%c%zzQ  
'What really stands in the way of things of this sort is not theory but practice,--one can prove one's facts on paper, or on a small scale in a room; what is wanted is proof on a large scale, by actual experiment. If, for instance, I could take my plant to one of the forests of South America, where there is plenty of animal life but no human, I could demonstrate the soundness of my position then and there.' py7Zh%k  
3 .#L  
'Why don't you?' l(rm0_  
'Think of the money it would cost.' zUJXA:L9  
'I thought I was a friend of yours.' BeRs;^r+  
'I had hoped you were.' oKSW:A  
'Then why don't you let me help you?' W#b++}S  
'Help me?--How?' iN`L*h  
'By letting you have the money for your South American experiment;--it would be an investment on which I should expect to receive good interest.' qm}7w3I^  
I fidgeted. 4Y/!V[  
'It is very good of you, Miss Grayling, to talk like that.' 5astv:p,P  
She became quite frigid. 0.5_,an3  
'Please don't be absurd!--I perceive quite clearly that you are snubbing me, and that you are trying to do it as delicately as you know how.' '9gI=/29D  
'Miss Grayling!' ? h%+2  
'I understand that it was an impertinence on my part to volunteer assistance which was unasked; you have made that sufficiently plain.' 1.uQ(>n  
'I assure you--' d/rz0L  
B Rj KV  
'Pray don't. Of course, if it had been Miss Lindon it would have been different; she would at least have received a civil answer. But we are not all Miss Lindon.' .eB"la|d  
/M*\t.[ 46  
I was aghast. The outburst was so uncalled for,--I had not the faintest notion what I had said or done to cause it; she was in such a surprising passion--and it suited her!--I thought I had never seen her look prettier,--I could do nothing else but stare. So she went on,--with just as little reason. c0Ro3j\p  
'Here is someone coming to claim this dance,--I can't throw all my partners over. Have I offended you so irremediably that it will be impossible for you to dance with me again?' SAE '?_  
'Miss Grayling!--I shall be only too delighted.' She handed me her card. 'Which may I have?' ,+f0cv4  
ZP6 3Alt  
'For your own sake you had better place it as far off as you possibly can.' # +QWi0B  
}ED nLou  
'They all seem taken.' s,$Z ("B  
'That doesn't matter; strike off any name you please, anywhere and put your own instead.' :H!(?(Pie  
It was giving me an almost embarrassingly free hand. I booked myself for the next waltz but two--who it was who would have to give way to me I did not trouble to inquire. H+4=|mkQ  
'Mr Atherton!--is that you?' 2HcsQ*H] G  
It was,--it was also she. It was Marjorie! And so soon as I saw her I knew that there was only one woman in the world for me,--the mere sight of her sent the blood tingling through my veins. Turning to her attendant cavalier, she dismissed him with a bow. )))2f skZ  
'Is there an empty chair?' 3c b[RQf  
She seated herself in the one Miss Grayling had just vacated. I sat down beside her. She glanced at me, laughter in her eyes. I was all in a stupid tremblement. N+NK`  
'You remember that last night I told you that I might require your friendly services in diplomatic intervention?' I nodded,--I felt that the allusion was unfair. 'Well, the occasion's come,--or, at least, it's very near.' She was still,--and I said nothing to help her. 'You know how unreasonable papa can be.' 0~]QIdu{AR  
I did,--never a more pig-headed man in England than Geoffrey Lindon,--or, in a sense, a duller. But, just then, I was not prepared to admit it to his child. rz.IoQo  
'You know what an absurd objection he has to--Paul.' j"hASBTgp  
There was an appreciative hesitation before she uttered the fellow's Christian name,--when it came it was with an accent of tenderness which stung me like a gadfly. To speak to me--of all men,--of the fellow in such a tone was--like a woman. A[H;WKn0  
gs`> C(  
'Has Mr Lindon no notion of how things stand between you?' [ /ohk&  
'Except what he suspects. That is just where you are to come in, papa thinks so much of you--I want you to sound Paul's praises in his ear--to prepare him for what must come.' Was ever rejected lover burdened with such a task? Its enormity kept me still. 'Sydney, you have always been my friend,--my truest, dearest friend. When I was a little girl you used to come between papa and me, to shield me from his wrath. Now that I am a big girl I want you to be on my side once more, and to shield me still.' \!H{Ks{#R.  
d 4O   
Her voice softened. She laid her hand upon my arm. How, under her touch, I burned. ZBc|438[  
'But I don't understand what cause there has been for secrecy,-- why should there have been any secrecy from the first?' A=`* r*  
'It was Paul's wish that papa should not be told.' dlD}Ub  
'Is Mr Lessingham ashamed of you?' iz`jDa Q|1  
'Sydney!' xOIg|2^8  
'Or does he fear your father?' !KDr`CV&  
ITc `]K  
'You are unkind. You know perfectly well that papa has been prejudiced against him all along, you know that his political position is just now one of the greatest difficulty, that every nerve and muscle is kept on the continual strain, that it is in the highest degree essential that further complications of every and any sort should be avoided. He is quite aware that his suit will not be approved of by papa, and he simply wishes that nothing shall be said about it till the end of the session,--that is all' %,;gP.dh7  
'I see! Mr Lessingham is cautious even in love-making,--politician first, and lover afterwards.' WP!il(Gr  
'Well!--why not?--would you have him injure the cause he has at heart for want of a little patience?' Ta^.$O=F  
'It depends what cause it is he has at heart.' y{?Kao7Ij  
'What is the matter with you?--why do you speak to me like that?-- it is not like you at all.' She looked at me shrewdly, with flashing eyes. 'Is it possible that you are--jealous?--that you were in earnest in what you said last night?--I thought that was the sort of thing you said to every girl.' mqubXS;J|P  
I would have given a great deal to take her in my arms, and press her to my bosom then and there,--to think that she should taunt me with having said to her the sort of thing I said to every girl. -?[O"D"c  
'What do you know of Mr Lessingham?' >hHJ:5y  
'What all the world knows,--that history will be made by him.' e[d7UV[Knn  
'There are kinds of history in the making of which one would not desire to be associated. What do you know of his private life,--it was to that that I was referring.' ZuF4N=;  
'Really,--you go too far. I know that he is one of the best, just as he is one of the greatest, of men; for me, that is sufficient.' ul z\x2[Pf  
'If you do know that, it is sufficient.' _A~~L6C  
'I do know it,--all the world knows it. Everyone with whom he comes in contact is aware--must be aware, that he is incapable of a dishonourable thought or action.' OL ]T+6X  
'Take my advice, don't appreciate any man too highly. In the book of every man's life there is a page which he would wish to keep turned down.' ^p-e  
'There is no such page in Paul's,--there may be in yours; I think that probable.' ]E8<;t)#  
'Thank you. I fear it is more than probable. I fear that, in my case, the page may extend to several. There is nothing Apostolic about me,--not even the name.' #|_UA}Y  
'Sydney!--you are unendurable!--It is the more strange to hear you talk like this since Paul regards you as his friend.' 2CgIY89O  
'He flatters me.' V+~{a:8[pq  
'Are you not his friend?' C\@YH]  
'Is it not sufficient to be yours?' NVZNQ{  
'No,--who is against Paul is against me.' S^=/}PT'  
'That is hard.'  /t P  
'How is it hard? Who is against the husband can hardly be for the wife,--when the husband and the wife are one.' e&nw&9vo  
'But as yet you are not one.--Is my cause so hopeless?' ;?9~^,l  
'What do you call your cause?--are you thinking of that nonsense you were talking about last night?' -rfO"D>  
She laughed! PHoW|K_e  
'You call it nonsense.--You ask for sympathy, and give--so much!' _K8-O>I "  
'I will give you all the sympathy you stand in need of,--I promise it! My poor, dear Sydney!--don't be so absurd! Do you think that I don't know you? You're the best of friends, and the worst of lovers,--as the one, so true; so fickle as the other. To my certain knowledge, with how many girls have you been in love,--and out again. It is true that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, you have never been in love with me before,--but that's the merest accident. Believe me, my dear, dear Sydney, you'll be in love with someone else tomorrow,--if you're not half-way there to night. I confess, quite frankly, that, in that direction, all the experience I have had of you has in nowise strengthened my prophetic instinct. Cheer up!--one never knows!--Who is this that's coming?' RvVnVcn^#  
It was Dora Grayling who was coming,--I went off with her without a word,--we were half-way through the dance before she spoke to me. @#sQ7eMoy  
'I am sorry that I was cross to you just now, and--disagreeable. Somehow I always seem destined to show to you my most unpleasant side.' |rsu+0Mtz  
'The blame was mine,--what sort of side do I show you? You are far kinder to me than I deserve,--now, and always. 'That is what you say.' v"\Q/5p  
'Pardon me, it's true,--else how comes it that, at this time of day, I'm without a friend in all the world?' d%\en&:la  
'You!--without a friend!--I never knew a man who had so many!--I never knew a person of whom so many men and women join in speaking well!' 2*ZB[5_V  
'Miss Grayling!' vc0'x4  
t2Q40' `  
'As for never having done anything worth doing, think of what you have done. Think of your discoveries, think of your inventions, think of--but never mind! The world knows you have done great things, and it confidently looks to you to do still greater. You talk of being friendless, and yet when I ask, as a favour--as a great favour!--to be allowed to do something to show my friendship, you--well, you snub me.' TY6 D.ikA  
DlIy'@ .  
'I snub you!' \@6P A  
&aD ]_+b  
'You know you snubbed me.' _c| aRRW  
7k beAJ+{  
'Do you really mean that you take an interest in--in my work?' $'M:H_T  
'You know I mean it.' Rb_HD  
She turned to me, her face all glowing,--and I did know it. .^s%Nh2jM  
'Will you come to my laboratory to-morrow morning?' }#@P+T:b  
'Will I!--won't I!' 3 Yl[J;i  
'With your aunt?' (B]Vw+/  
'Yes, with my aunt.' )IZ$R*Y{  
'I'll show you round, and tell you all there is to be told, and then if you still think there's anything in it, I'll accept your offer about that South American experiment,--that is, if it still holds good.' %_tL}m{?  
bJ. ((1$  
'Of course it still holds good.' m5d;lrk@&/  
@&M $`b ^  
'And we'll be partners.' 9U;) [R Mb  
'Partners?--Yes,--we will be partners. =n#xnZ3  
'It will cost a terrific sum. ixU1v~T  
t/y0gr tm6  
'There are some things which never can cost too much.' eP;lH~!.0  
edbzg #wy  
'That's not my experience,' Pq !\6s@  
[N.4 i" Cd  
'I hope it will be mine.' FAo\`x  
'It's a bargain?' P XKEqcQR  
'On my side, I promise you that it's a bargain.' Znr@-=xZO*  
When I got outside the room I found that Percy Woodville was at my side. His round face was, in a manner of speaking as long as my arm. He took his glass out of his eye, and rubbed it with his handkerchief,-and directly he put it back he took it out and rubbed it again, I believe that I never saw him in such a state of fluster,-and, when one speaks of Woodville, that means something. H2H`7 +I,  
'Atherton, I am in a devil of a stew.' He looked it. 'All of a heap!--I've had a blow which I shall never get over!' s3HVX'   
'Then get under.' e"ehH#i  
Woodville is one of those fellows who will insist on telling me their most private matters,--even to what they owe their washerwomen for the ruination of their shirts. Why, goodness alone can tell,--heaven knows I am not sympathetic. qI+2,6 sGI  
'Don't be an idiot!--you don't know what I'm suffering!--I'm as nearly as possible stark mad.'  c0oHE8@  
'That's all right, old chap,--I've seen you that way more than once before.' Lc*>sOm9  
'Don't talk like that,--you're not a perfect brute!' hAGHb+:  
'I bet you a shilling that I am.' yI0bSu<j-  
'Don't torture me,--you're not. Atherton!' He seized me by the lapels of my coat, seeming half beside himself,--fortunately he had drawn me into a recess, so that we were noticed by few observers. 'What do you think has happened?' FG?Mc'r&  
'My dear chap, how on earth am I to know?' QX,$JM3  
'She's refused me!' 6BE,L  
'Has she!--Well I never!--Buck up,--try some other address,--there are quite as good fish in the sea as ever cams out of it.' r6<;bO(  
'Atherton, you're a blackguard.' J,$xQ?,wE  
He had crumpled his handkerchief into a ball, and was actually bobbing at his eyes with it,--the idea of Percy Woodville being dissolved in tears was excruciatingly funny,--but, just then, I could hardly tell him so. XtCIUC{r,  
'There's not a doubt of it,--it's my way of being sympathetic. Don't be so down, man,--try her again!' 2ZxhV4\  
aOvqk ^  
'It's not the slightest use--I know it isn't--from the way she treated me.' MK3h~`is  
LZ wCe$1  
'Don't be so sure--women often say what they mean least. Who's the lady?' /"J 6``MV  
'Who?--Is there more women in the world than one for me, or has there ever been? You ask me who! What does the word mean to me but Marjorie Lindon!' LAc60^t1  
'Marjorie Lindon?' J1(SL~e],  
I fancy that my jaw dropped open,--that, to use his own vernacular, I was 'all of a heap.' I felt like it. =@O&$&  
@ukL! AV?Y  
I strode away--leaving him mazed--and all but ran into Marjorie's arms. MsIaMW_  
'I'm just leaving. Will you see me to the carriage, Mr Atherton?' I saw her to the carriage. 'Are you off?--can I give you a lift?' u1'l4VgT  
nYC S %\"  
'Thank you,--I am not thinking of being off.' PM:u~D$Jd  
'I'm going to the House of Commons,--won't you come?' Hg(nC*#/Q  
'What are you going there for?' Ymcc|u6$"  
Jy#2 1  
Directly she spoke of it I knew why she was going,--and she knew that I knew, as her words showed. _dw6 C2]P  
'You are quite well aware of what the magnet is. You are not so ignorant as not to know that the Agricultural Amendment Act is on to-night, and that Paul is to speak. I always try to be there when Paul is to speak, and I mean to always keep on trying.' E6y ?DXW H  
'He is a fortunate man.' } h pTS_  
'Indeed,--and again indeed. A man with such gifts as his is inadequately described as fortunate.--But I must be off. He expected to be up before, but I heard from him a few minutes ago that there has been a delay, but that he will be up within half- an-hour.--Till our next meeting.' M4:}`p=  
As I returned into the house, in the hall I met Percy Woodville. He had his hat on. n^Qt !~  
'Where are you off to?' ,h'q}5  
'I'm off to the House.' w !N; Y0  
'To hear Paul Lessingham?' &C eG4_Mi  
'Damn Paul Lessingham!' ~{,U%B  
'With all my heart!' nJJ9>#<g$  
Yqs N#E3pf  
'There's a division expected,--I've got to go.' K~"J<798{  
'Someone else has gone to hear Paul Lessingham,--Marjorie Lindon.' J(*q OGBD  
,]?Xf >  
'No!--you don't say so!--by Jove!--I say, Atherton, I wish I could make a speech,--I never can. When I'm electioneering I have to have my speeches written for me, and then I have to read 'em. But, by Jove, if I knew Miss Lindon was in the gallery, and if I knew anything about the thing, or could get someone to tell me something, hang me if I wouldn't speak,--I'd show her I'm not the fool she thinks I am!' 3R(GO.n=]  
'Speak, Percy, speak!--you'd knock 'em silly, sir!--I tell you what I'll do,--I'll come with you! I'll to the House as well!-- Paul Lessingham shall have an audience of three.' 0$)CWah  

只看该作者 15楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man mD|Q+~=|e  
Chapter XV. Mr Lessingham Speaks [=tIgMmz  
  The House was full. Percy and I went upstairs,--to the gallery which is theoretically supposed to be reserved for what are called 'distinguished strangers,'--those curious animals. Trumperton was up, hammering out those sentences which smell, not so much of the lamp as of the dunderhead. Nobody was listening,--except the men in the Press Gallery; where is the brain of the House, and ninety per cent, of its wisdom. qJ<l$Ig  
v(=0hY9 O  
It was not till Trumperton had finished that I discovered Lessingham. The tedious ancient resumed his seat amidst a murmur of sounds which, I have no doubt, some of the press-men interpreted next day as 'loud and continued applause.' There was movement in the House, possibly expressive of relief; a hum of voices; men came flocking in. Then, from the Opposition benches, there rose a sound which was applause,-and I perceived that, on a cross bench close to the gangway, Paul Lessingham was standing up bareheaded. x8~*+ j  
I eyed him critically,--as a collector might eye a valuable specimen, or a pathologist a curious subject. During the last four and twenty hours my interest in him had grown apace. Just then, to me, he was the most interesting man the world contained. qDz[=6BF  
When I remembered how I had seen him that same morning, a nerveless, terror-stricken wretch, grovelling, like some craven cur, upon the floor, frightened, to the verge of imbecility, by a shadow, and less than a shadow, I was confronted by two hypotheses. Either I had exaggerated his condition then, or I exaggerated his condition now. So far as appearance went, it was incredible that this man could be that one. w^YXnLLJG  
I confess that my feeling rapidly became one of admiration. I love the fighter. I quickly recognised that here we had him in perfection. There was no seeming about him then,--the man was to the manner born. To his finger-tips a fighting man. I had never realised it so clearly before. He was coolness itself. He had all his faculties under complete command. While never, for a moment, really exposing himself, he would be swift in perceiving the slightest weakness in his opponents' defence, and, so soon as he saw it, like lightning, he would slip in a telling blow. Though defeated, he would hardly be disgraced; and one might easily believe that their very victories would be so expensive to his assailants, that, in the end, they would actually conduce to his own triumph. Gl45HyY_  
4e; le&  
'Hang me!' I told myself, 'if, after all, I am surprised if Marjorie does see something in him.' For I perceived how a clever and imaginative young woman, seeing him at his best, holding his own, like a gallant knight, against overwhelming odds, in the lists in which he was so much at home, might come to think of him as if he were always and only there, ignoring altogether the kind of man he was when the joust was finished. q D=b+\F  
l 6aD3?8LN  
It did me good to hear him, I do know that,--and I could easily imagine the effect he had on one particular auditor who was in the Ladies' Cage. It was very far from being an 'oration' in the American sense; it had little or nothing of the fire and fury of the French Tribune; it was marked neither by the ponderosity nor the sentiment of the eloquent German; yet it was as satisfying as are the efforts of either of the three, producing, without doubt, precisely the effect which the speaker intended. His voice was clear and calm, not exactly musical, yet distinctly pleasant, and it was so managed that each word he uttered was as audible to every person present as if it had been addressed particularly to him. His sentences were short and crisp; the words which he used were not big ones, but they came from him with an agreeable ease; and he spoke just fast enough to keep one's interest alert without invoking a strain on the attention. US9@/V*2  
He commenced by making, in the quietest and most courteous manner, sarcastic comments on the speeches and methods of Trumperton and his friends which tickled the House amazingly. But he did not make the mistake of pushing his personalities too far. To a speaker of a certain sort nothing is easier than to sting to madness. If he likes, his every word is barbed. Wounds so given fester; they are not easily forgiven;--it is essential to a politician that he should have his firmest friends among the fools; or his climbing days will soon be over. Soon his sarcasms were at an end. He began to exchange them for sweet-sounding phrases. He actually began to say pleasant things to his opponents; apparently to mean them. To put them in a good conceit with themselves. He pointed out how much truth there was in what they said; and then, as if by accident, with what ease and at how little cost, amendments might be made. He found their arguments, and took them for his own, and flattered them, whether they would or would not, by showing how firmly they were founded upon fact; and grafted other arguments upon them, which seemed their natural sequelae; and transformed them, and drove them hither and thither; and brought them--their own arguments!--to a round, irrefragable conclusion, which was diametrically the reverse of that to which they themselves had brought them. And he did it all with an aptness, a readiness, a grace, which was incontestable. So that, when he sat down, he had performed that most difficult of all feats, he had delivered what, in a House of Commons' sense, was a practical, statesmanlike speech, and yet one which left his hearers in an excellent humour. <dBz]W  
It was a great success,-an immense success. A parliamentary triumph of almost the highest order. Paul Lessingham had been coming on by leaps and bounds. When he resumed his seat, amidst applause which, this time, really was applause, there were, probably, few who doubted that he was destined to go still farther. How much farther it is true that time alone could tell; but, so far as appearances went, all the prizes, which are as the crown and climax of a statesman's career, were well within his reach. XZ(<Mo\v  
For my part, I was delighted. I had enjoyed an intellectual exercise,--a species of enjoyment not so common as it might be. The Apostle had almost persuaded me that the political game was one worth playing, and that its triumphs were things to be desired. It is something, after all, to be able to appeal successfully to the passions and aspirations of your peers; to gain their plaudits; to prove your skill at the game you yourself have chosen; to be looked up to and admired. And when a woman's eyes look down on you, and her ears drink in your every word, and her heart beats time with yours,--each man to his own temperament, but when that woman is the woman whom you love, to know that your triumph means her glory, and her gladness, to me that would be the best part of it all. zP c54 >f  
In that hour,--the Apostle's hour!--I almost wished that I were a politician too! z38Pi  
The division was over. The business of the night was practically done. I was back again in the lobby! The theme of conversation was the Apostle's speech,--on every side they talked of it. Scmew  
Suddenly Marjorie was at my side. Her face was glowing. I never saw her look more beautiful,--or happier. She seemed to be alone. jRW@$ <mG  
'So you have come, after all!--Wasn't it splendid?--wasn't it magnificent? Isn't it grand to have such great gifts, and to use them to such good purpose?--Speak, Sydney! Don't feign a coolness which is foreign to your nature!' 6DC+8I<  
| vxmgX)  
I saw that she was hungry for me to praise the man whom she delighted to honour. But, somehow, her enthusiasm cooled mine. :kd]n$]  
'It was not a bad speech, of a kind.' SnM^T(gtS3  
'Of a kind!' How her eyes flashed fire! With what disdain she treated me! 'What do you mean by "of a kind?" My dear Sydney, are you not aware that it is an attribute of small minds to attempt to belittle those which are greater? Even if you are conscious of inferiority, it's unwise to show it. Mr Lessingham's was a great speech, of any kind; your incapacity to recognise the fact simply reveals your lack of the critical faculty.' ?-8DS5  
~ H/ZiBL@  
'It is fortunate for Mr Lessingham that there is at least one person in whom the critical faculty is so bountifully developed. Apparently, in your judgment, he who discriminates is lost.' S\!vDtD@  
I thought she was going to burst into passion. But, instead, laughing, she placed her hand upon my shoulder. q-uzu!  
'Poor Sydney!--I understand!--It is so sad!--Do you know you are like a little boy who, when he is beaten, declares that the victor has cheated him. Never mind! as you grow older, you will learn better.' ,|>>z#Rr(n  
She stung me almost beyond bearing,--I cared not what I said. ~ss6yQ$  
'You, unless I am mistaken, will learn better before you are older.' (PGw{_  
'What do you mean?' \OFmd!Cz  
Before I could have told her--if I had meant to tell; which I did not--Lessingham came up. dG5jhkPX  
'I hope I have not kept you waiting; I have been delayed longer than I expected.' 1[Yl8W%pj  
'Not at all,--though I am quite ready to get away; it's a little tiresome waiting here.' :3Q:pKg  
7_s+7x =  
This with a mischievous glance towards me,--a glance which compelled Lessingham to notice me. tP! %(+V  
'You do not often favour us.' hL/u5h%$  
'I don't. I find better employment for my time.' '/UT0{2;rS  
'You are wrong. It's the cant of the day to underrate the House of Commons, and the work which it performs; don't you suffer yourself to join in the chorus of the simpletons. Your time cannot be better employed than in endeavouring to improve the body politic.' ;0kAm Vy  
'I am obliged to you.--I hope you are feeling better than when I saw you last.' p@Os  
6@# =z  
A gleam came into his eyes, fading as quickly as it came. He showed no other sign of comprehension, surprise, or resentment.  7Tr '<(A  
'Thank you.--I am very well.' G^<m0ew|  
)<'2 vpz  
Marjorie perceived that I meant more than met the eye, and that what I meant was meant unpleasantly. F DGzh/  
'Come,--let us be off. It is Mr Atherton to-night who is not well.' Zwtz )ZII  
She had just slipped her arm through Lessingham's when her father approached. Old Lindon stared at her on the Apostle's arm, as if he could hardly believe that it was she. {I$zmVG  
f F9=zrW  
'I thought that you were at the Duchess'?' ZlL]AD@  
'So I have been, papa; and now I'm here.' -j}zr yG-  
'Here!' Old Lindon began to stutter and stammer, and to grow red in the face, as is his wont when at all excited. 'W--what do you mean by here?--wh--where's the carriage?' ]R]%c*tA  
'Where should it be, except waiting for me outside,--unless the horses have run away.' e# z#bz2<  
E{{Kz r2$  
'I--I--I'll take you down to it. I--I don't approve of y--your w-- w--waiting in a place like this.' J1@skj4#\~  
'Thank you, papa, but Mr Lessingham is going to take me down.--I shall see you afterwards.--Good bye.' B0D  
Anything cooler than the way in which she walked off I do not think I ever saw. This is the age of feminine advancement. Young women think nothing of twisting their mothers round their fingers, let alone their fathers; but the fashion in which that young woman walked off, on the Apostle's arm, and left her father standing there, was, in its way, a study. (C0Wty  
9 !$&1|,*  
Lindon seemed scarcely able to realise that the pair of them had gone. Even after they had disappeared in the crowd he stood staring after them, growing redder and redder, till the veins stood out upon his face, and I thought that an apoplectic seizure threatened. Then, with a gasp, he turned to me. ~RLWr.pK  
'Damned scoundrel!' I took it for granted that he alluded to the gentleman,--even though his following words hardly suggested it. 'Only this morning I forbade her to have anything to do with him, and n--now he's w--walked off with her! C--confounded adventurer! That's what he is, an adventurer, and before many hours have passed I'll take the liberty to tell him so!' %a FZbLK  
Jamming his fists into his pockets, and puffing like a grampus in distress, he took himself away,--and it was time he did, for his words were as audible as they were pointed, and already people were wondering what the matter was. Woodville came up as Lindon was going,--just as sorely distressed as ever. ?zQW9e  
'She went away with Lessingham,--did you see her?' (X-( WMsqQ  
'Of course I saw her. When a man makes a speech like Lessingham's any girl would go away with him,--and be proud to. When you are endowed with such great powers as he is, and use them for such lofty purposes, she'll walk away with you,--but, till then, never.' JP0a Nu  
He was at his old trick of polishing his eyeglass. x1`(Z|RJ  
'It's bitter hard. When I knew that she was there, I'd half a mind to make a speech myself, upon my word I had, only I didn't know what to speak about, and I can't speak anyhow,--how can a fellow speak when he's shoved into the gallery?' 4IB`7QJq  
'As you say, how can he?--he can't stand on the railing and shout,--even with a friend holding him behind.' =? q&/ cru  
'I know I shall speak one day,--bound to; and then she won't be there.' flBJO.2  
'It'll be better for you if she isn't.' ?* dfIc  
'Think so?--Perhaps you're right. I'd be safe to make a mess of it, and then, if she were to see me at it, it'd be the devil! 'Pon my word, I've been wishing, lately, I was clever.' YH!` uU(Lh  
He rubbed his nose with the rim of his eyeglass, looking the most comically disconsolate figure. nF| m*_DW  
'Put black care behind you, Percy!--buck up, my boy! The division's over--you are free--now we'll go "on the fly."' ^Q4m1? 40  
And we did 'go on the fly.' pOip$Z  
{j E}mzi  

只看该作者 16楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man %"3tGi:/  
Chapter XVI. Atherton's Magic Vapour )<L?3Jjt5  
m6 a @Y<  
  I bore him off to supper at the Helicon. All the way in the cab he was trying to tell me the story of how he proposed to Marjorie,-- and he was very far from being through with it when we reached the club. There was the usual crowd of supperites, but we got a little table to ourselves, in a corner of the room, and before anything was brought for us to eat he was at it again. A good many of the people were pretty near to shouting, and as they seemed to be all speaking at once, and the band was playing, and as the Helicon supper band is not piano, Percy did not have it quite all to himself, but, considering the delicacy of his subject, he talked as loudly as was decent,--getting more so as he went on. But Percy is peculiar. -MeO|HWm  
f<( ysl1[  
'I don't know how many times I've tried to tell her,--over and over again.' G |vG5$Nf  
'Have you now?' Do5)ilt  
'Yes, pretty near every time I met her,--but I never seemed to get quite to it, don't you know.' @H^Yf  
'How was that?' W h^9 Aq  
vjcG F'-  
'Why, just as I was going to say, "Miss Lindon, may I offer you the gift of my affection---"' 'Olp2g8=  
'Was that how you invariably intended to begin?' raWs6b4Q  
*>lh2ssl L  
'Well, not always--one time like that, another time another way. Fact is, I got off a little speech by heart, but I never got a chance to reel it off, so I made up my mind to just say anything.' MI: rH  
'And what did you say?' ?/M:  
~ u)} /  
'Well, nothing,--you see, I never got there. Just as I was feeling my way, she'd ask me if I preferred big sleeves to little ones, or top hats to billycocks, or some nonsense of the kind.' @%'1Jd7-Wp  
'Would she now?' 9Q.@RO$%C  
'Yes,--of course I had to answer, and by the time I'd answered the chance was lost.' Percy was polishing his eye-glass. 'I tried to get there so many times, and she choked me off so often, that I can't help thinking that she suspected what it was that I was after.' b/w5K2  
O I0N(V  
'You think she did?' #~m 8zG  
'She must have done. Once I followed her down Piccadilly, and chivied her into a glove shop in the Burlington Arcade. I meant to propose to her in there,--I hadn't had a wink of sleep all night through dreaming of her, and I was just about desperate.' BNF*1JO  
'And did you propose?' ce#Iu#qT  
'The girl behind the counter made me buy a dozen pairs of gloves instead. They turned out to be three sizes too large for me when they came home. I believe she thought I'd gone to spoon the glove girl,--she went out and left me there. That girl loaded me with all sorts of things when she was gone,--I couldn't get away. She held me with her blessed eye. I believe it was a glass one.' |pv$],&&:  
'Miss Linden's?--or the glove girl's?' W90!*1  
'The glove girl's. She sent me home a whole cartload of green ties, and declared I'd ordered them. I shall never forget that day. I've never been up the Arcade since, and never mean to.' jzJTV4&zjs  
'You gave Miss Lindon a wrong impression.' =?.oH|&\h  
?=M ?v;8  
'I don't know. I was always giving her wrong impressions. Once she said that she knew I was not a marrying man, that I was the sort of chap who never would marry, because she saw it in my face.' H/*ol^X7  
'Under the circumstances, that was trying.' tf~B,?  
c}o 6Rm50  
'Bitter hard.' Percy sighed again. 'I shouldn't mind if I wasn't so gone. I'm not a fellow who does get gone, but when I do get gone, I get so beastly gone.' crM5&L9zF  
'I tell you what, Percy,--have a drink!' p&<Ssc  
'I'm a teetotaler,--you know I am.' )(}[S:`  
w 3t,S3!  
'You talk of your heart being broken, and of your being a teetotaler in the same breath,--if your heart were really broken you'd throw teetotalism to the winds.' MP%#)O6  
pzF_g- B  
'Do you think so,--why?' TegdB|y7O  
'Because you would,--men whose hearts are broken always do,--you'd swallow a magnum at the least.' )<x9t@$  
Percy groaned. [n9l[dN  
'When I drink I'm always ill,--but I'll have a try.' ]MCH]/  
) `{jPK*`  
He had a try,--making a good beginning by emptying at a draught the glass which the waiter had just now filled. Then he relapsed into melancholy. }^I36$\  
'Tell me, Percy,--honest Indian!--do you really love her?' L'Iw9RAJ  
'Love her?' His eyes grew round as saucers. 'Don't I tell you that I love her?' 1mHS -oI9J  
c ?<)!9:  
'I know you tell me, but that sort of thing is easy telling. What does it make you feel like, this love you talk so much about?' k$5l kP.  
f tl$P[T  
'Feel like?--Just anyhow,--and nohow. You should look inside me, and then you'd know.' x'?p?u~[  
'I see.--It's like that, is it?--Suppose she loved another man, what sort of feeling would you feel towards him?' J2 )h":2  
PCL ;Z  
'Does she love another man?' O9>$(`@I  
_ {wP:dI "  
'I say, suppose.' yj_> G  
'I dare say she does. I expect that's it.--What an idiot I am not to have thought of that before.' He sighed,--and refilled his glass. 'He's a lucky chap, whoever he is. I'd--I'd like to tell him so.' $+7uB-KsU  
'You'd like to tell him so?' DpgTm&}-  
'He's such a jolly lucky chap, you know.' x)~i`$  
'Possibly,--but his jolly good luck is your jolly bad luck. Would you be willing to resign her to him without a word?' N*o{BboK;  
'If she loves him.' nkW})LyB\  
'But you say you love her.' 1Bj.MQ^  
i,6OMB $  
'Of course I do.' %'Cj~An  
'Well then?' 1&w%TRC2x  
'You don't suppose that, because I love her, I shouldn't like to see her happy?--I'm not such a beast!--I'd sooner see her happy than anything else in all the world.' #-L0.z(  
'I see,--Even happy with another?--I'm afraid that my philosophy is not like yours. If I loved Miss Lindon, and she loved, say, Jones, I'm afraid I shouldn't feel like that towards Jones at all.' +`d92Tz  
'What would you feel like?' `:&RB4Z  
%oiF} >  
'Murder.--Percy, you come home with me,--we've begun the night together, let's end it together,--and I'll show you one of the finest notions for committing murder on a scale of real magnificence you ever dreamed of. I should like to make use of it to show my feelings towards the supposititious Jones,--he'd know what I felt for him when once he had been introduced to it.' sqhMnDn[  
Percy went with me without a word. He had not had much to drink, but it had been too much for him, and he was in a condition of maundering sentimentality. I got him into a cab. We dashed along Piccadilly. aNry> 2:  
P, ZQ*Ju  
He was silent, and sat looking in front of him with an air of vacuous sullenness which ill-became his cast of countenance. I bade the cabman pass though Lowndes Square. As we passed the Apostle's I pulled him up. I pointed out the place to Woodville. 1<~n2}   
!^Ay !  
'You see, Percy, that's Lessingham's house!--that's the house of the man who went away with Marjorie!' |:SV=T:  
'Yes.' Words came from him slowly, with a quite unnecessary stress on each. 'Because he made a speech.--I'd like to make a speech.-- One day I'll make a speech.' 3#""`]9H  
'Because he made a speech,--only that, and nothing more! When a man speaks with an Apostle's tongue, he can witch any woman in the land.--Hallo, who's that?--Lessingham, is that you?' vGH]7jht  
I saw, or thought I saw, someone, or something, glide up the steps, and withdraw into the shadow of the doorway, as if unwilling to be seen. When I hailed no one answered. I called again. A|mE3q=  
|<8g 2A{X  
'Don't be shy, my friend!' N9H qFp  
I sprang out of the cab, ran across the pavement, and up the steps. To my surprise, there was no one in the doorway. It seemed incredible, but the place was empty. I felt about me with my hands, as if I had been playing at blind man's buff, and grasped at vacancy. I came down a step or two. I\82_t8  
'Ostensibly, there's a vacuum,--which nature abhors.--I say, driver, didn't you see someone come up the steps?' f:A1j\A?  
'I thought I did, sir,--I could have sworn I did.' yUFT9bD  
'So could I.--It's very odd.' `"qSr%|  
'Perhaps whoever it was has gone into the 'ouse, sir.'  MON]rj7  
'I don't see how. We should have heard the door open, if we hadn't seen it,--and we should have seen it, it's not so dark as that.-- I've half a mind to ring the bell and inquire.' 5V@c~1\  
'I shouldn't do that if I was you, sir,--you jump in, and I'll get along. This is Mr Lessingham's,--the great Mr Lessingham's.' B"?ivxM:U  
/odDJxJ k  
I believe the cabman thought that I was drunk,--and not respectable enough to claim acquaintance with the great Mr Lessingham. 7zq@T]  
'Wake up, Woodville! Do you know I believe there's some mystery about this place,--I feel assured of it. I feel as if I were in the presence of something uncanny,--something which I can neither see, nor touch, nor hear.' "+E\os72|  
The cabman bent down from his seat, wheedling me. xHMFYt+0$G  
'Jump in, sir, and we'll be getting along.' S'5Zy} +x  
I jumped in, and we got along,--but not far. Before we had gone a dozen yards, I was out again, without troubling the driver to stop. He pulled up, aggrieved. tKeTHj;jO  
'Well, sir, what's the matter now? You'll be damaging yourself before you've done, and then you'll be blaming me.' 1(Ta*"(0Ip  
I had caught sight of a cat crouching in the shadow of the railings,--a black one. That cat was my quarry. Either the creature was unusually sleepy, or slow, or stupid, or it had lost its wits--which a cat seldom does lose!--anyhow, without making an attempt to escape it allowed me to grab it by the nape of the neck. ~,b^f{7`!  
So soon as we were inside my laboratory, I put the cat into my glass box. Percy stared.  `Vb  
'What have you put it there for?' KA5)]UF`l  
'That, my dear Percy, is what you are shortly about to see. You are about to be the witness of an experiment which, to a legislator--such as you are!--ought to be of the greatest possible interest. I am going to demonstrate, on a small scale, the action of the force which, on a large scale, I propose to employ on behalf of my native land.' $*yYmF  
l& :EKh  
He showed no signs of being interested. Sinking into a chair, he recommenced his wearisome reiteration. JzyCeM =  
 q6 CrUn  
'I hate cats!--Do let it go!--I'm always miserable when there's a cat in the room.' /x VHd  
v 6~9)\!j  
'Nonsense,--that's your fancy! What you want's a taste of whisky-- you'll be as chirpy as a cricket.' /{T&l*'  
'I don't want anything more to drink!--I've had too much already!' x:SjdT  
I paid no heed to what he said. I poured two stiff doses into a couple of tumblers. Without seeming to be aware of what it was that he was doing he disposed of the better half of the one I gave him at a draught. Putting his glass upon the table, he dropped his head upon his hands, and groaned. &4Z8df!  
'What would Marjorie think of me if she saw me now?' s}zR@ !`  
'Think?--nothing. Why should she think of a man like you, when she has so much better fish to fry?' u<j;+-]8h  
'I'm feeling frightfully ill!--I'll be drunk before I've done!' Z71_D  
;nlJ D#  
'Then be drunk!--only, for gracious sake, be lively drunk, not deadly doleful.--Cheer up, Percy!' I clapped him on the shoulder, --almost knocking him off his seat on to the floor. 'I am now going to show you that little experiment of which I was speaking!--You see that cat?' : xg J2  
'Of course I see it!--the beast!--I wish you'd let it go!' Ce//; Op  
'Why should I let it go?--Do you know whose cat that is? That cat's Paul Lessingham's.' dr8Q>(ZY  
'Paul Lessingham's?' X#W6;?Z\  
'Yes, Paul Lessingham's,--the man who made the speech,--the man whom Marjorie went away with.' %u?A>$Jn  
'How do you know it's his?' KpKZiUQm  
'I don't know it is, but I believe it is,--I choose to believe it is!--I intend to believe it is!--It was outside his house, therefore it's his cat,--that's how I argue. I can't get Lessingham inside that box, so I get his cat instead.' FQB6` M  
'Whatever for?' Wo/LrCg  
'You shall see.--You observe how happy it is?' ??? ;H  
'It don't seem happy.' 9 az{j 1  
'We've all our ways of seeming happy,--that's its way,' wJu,N(U  
The creature was behaving like a cat gone mad, dashing itself against the sides of its glass prison, leaping to and fro, and from side to side, squealing with rage, or with terror, or with both. Perhaps it foresaw what was coming,--there is no fathoming the intelligence of what we call the lower animals. :XaBCF*  
'It's a funny way.' ?{rpzrc!*  
'We some of us have funny ways, beside cats. Now, attention! Observe this little toy,--you've seen something of its kind before. It's a spring gun; you pull the spring-drop the charge into the barrel--release the spring--and the charge is fired. I'll unlock this safe, which is built into the wall. It's a letter lock, the combination just now, is "whisky,"--you see, that's a hint to you. You'll notice the safe is strongly made,--it's air- tight, fire-proof, the outer casing is of triple-plated drill- proof steel,--the contents are valuable--to me!--and devilish dangerous,--I'd pity the thief who, in his innocent ignorance, broke in to steal. Look inside--you see it's full of balls,--glass balls, each in its own little separate nest; light as feathers; transparent,--you can see right through them. Here are a couple, like tiny pills. They contain neither dynamite, nor cordite, nor anything of the kind, yet, given a fair field and no favour, they'll work more mischief than all the explosives man has fashioned. Take hold of one--you say your heart is broken!-- squeeze this under your nose--it wants but a gentle pressure--and in less time than no time you'll be in the land where they say there are no broken hearts.' @RXkj-,eC#  
> PK 6CR  
He shrunk back. Y49&EQ  
'I don't know what you're talking about.--I don't want the thing. --Take it away.' 9yz@hdG  
bYO['ORr @  
'Think twice,--the chance may not recur.' .yDGwLry  
'I tell you I don't want it.' ?J,,RK.  
'Sure?--Consider!' #UhH  
'Of course I'm sure!' vXRY/Zzj1  
'Then the cat shall have it.' 8>,w8(Nt  
'Let the poor brute go!' TXmS$q   
vTO9XHc E  
'The poor brute's going,--to the land which is so near, and yet so far. Once more, if you please, attention. Notice what I do with this toy gun. I pull back the spring; I insert this small glass pellet; I thrust the muzzle of the gun through the opening in the glass box which contains the Apostle's cat,--you'll observe it fits quite close, which, on the whole, is perhaps as well for us. --I am about to release the spring.--Close attention, please.-- Notice the effect.' `Npa/Q  
'Atherton, let the brute go!' =6[.||9  
%} `` :  
'The brute's gone! I've released the spring--the pellet has been discharged--it has struck against the roof of the glass box--it has been broken by the contact,--and, hey presto! the cat lies dead,--and that in face of its nine lives. You perceive how still it is,--how still! Let's hope that, now, it's really happy. The cat which I choose to believe is Paul Lessingham's has received its quietus; in the morning I'll send it back to him, with my respectful compliments. He'll miss it if I don't.--Reflect! think of a huge bomb, filled with what we'll call Atherton's Magic Vapour, fired, say, from a hundred and twenty ton gun, bursting at a given elevation over the heads of an opposing force. Properly managed, in less than an instant of time, a hundred thousand men, --quite possibly more!--would drop down dead, as if smitten by the lightning of the skies. Isn't that something like a weapon, sir?' " ]S  
'I'm not well!--I want to get away!--I wish I'd never come!' *dw.=a9  
That was all Woodville had to say. `Lr], >aG  
'Rubbish!--You're adding to your stock of information every second, and, in these days, when a member of Parliament is supposed to know all about everything, information's the one thing wanted. Empty your glass, man,--that's the time of day for you!' Sm'Tz&!  
I handed him his tumbler. He drained what was left of its contents, then, in a fit of tipsy, childish temper he flung the tumbler from him. I had placed--carelessly enough--the second pellet within a foot of the edge of the table. The shock of the heavy beaker striking the board close to it, set it rolling. I was at the other side. I started forward to stop its motion, but I was too late. Before I could reach the crystal globule, it had fallen off the edge of the table on to the floor at Woodville's feet, and smashed in falling. As it smashed, he was looking down, wondering, no doubt, in his stupidity, what the pother was about,--for I was shouting, and making something of a clatter in my efforts to prevent the catastrophe which I saw was coming. On the instant, as the vapour secreted in the broken pellet gained access to the air, he fell forward on to his face. Rushing to him, I snatched his senseless body from the ground, and dragged it, staggeringly, towards the door which opened on to the yard. Flinging the door open, I got him into the open air. <h#*wy:o2  
tMl y*E  
As I did so, I found myself confronted by someone who stood outside. It was Lessingham's mysterious Egypto-Arabian friend,--my morning's visitor. 65LtCQ }  

只看该作者 17楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man d#$Pf=}  
Chapter XVII. Magic?--or Miracle? 0T#z"l<L  
  The passage into the yard from the electrically lit laboratory was a passage from brilliancy to gloom. The shrouded figure, standing in the shadow, was like some object in a dream. My own senses reeled. It was only because I had resolutely held my breath, and kept my face averted that I had not succumbed to the fate which had overtaken Woodville. Had I been a moment longer in gaining the open air, it would have been too late. As it was, in placing Woodville on the ground, I stumbled over him. My senses left me. Even as they went I was conscious of exclaiming,--remembering the saying about the engineer being hoist by his own petard, >hq{:m  
'Atherton's Magic Vapour!' aUc#,t;Qd  
My sensations on returning to consciousness were curious. I found myself being supported in someone's arms, a stranger's face was bending over me, and the most extraordinary pair of eyes I had ever seen were looking into mine. i`];xNR'  
e 6>j gy  
'Who the deuce are you?' I asked. E?KPez  
Then, understanding that it was my uninvited visitor, with scant ceremony I drew myself away from him. By the light which was streaming through the laboratory door I saw that Woodville was lying close beside me,--stark and still. t?Q bi)T=z  
a8ouk7 G  
'Is he dead?' I cried. 'Percy.--speak, man!--it's not so bad with you as that!' [{GN#W|AGP  
But it was pretty bad,--so bad that, as I bent down and looked at him, my heart beat uncomfortably fast lest it was as bad as it could be. His heart seemed still,--the vapour took effect directly on the cardiac centres. To revive their action and that instantly, was indispensable. Yet my brain was in such a whirl that I could not even think of how to set about beginning. Had I been alone, it is more than probable Woodville would have died. As I stared at him, senselessly, aimlessly, the stranger, passing his arms beneath his body, extended himself at full length upon his motionless form. Putting his lips to Percy's, he seemed to be pumping life from his own body into the unconscious man's. As I gazed bewildered, surprised, presently there came a movement of Percy's body. His limbs twitched, as if he was in pain. By degrees, the motions became convulsive,--till on a sudden he bestirred himself to such effect that the stranger was rolled right off him. I bent down,--to find that the young gentleman's condition still seemed very far from satisfactory. There was a rigidity about the muscles of his face, a clamminess about his skin, a disagreeable suggestiveness about the way in which his teeth and the whites of his eyes were exposed, which was uncomfortable to contemplate. }79jyS-e  
The stranger must have seen what was passing through my mind,--not a very difficult thing to see. Pointing to the recumbent Percy, he said, with that queer foreign twang of his, which, whatever it had seemed like in the morning, sounded musical enough just then. %cUC~, g_(  
'All will be well with him.' *C+[I  
'I am not so sure.' .*oL@iX  
The stranger did not deign to answer. He was kneeling on one side of the victim of modern science, I on the other. Passing his hand to and fro in front of the unconscious countenance, as if by magic all semblance of discomfort vanished from Percy's features, and, to all appearances, he was placidly asleep. mSu$1m8  
'Have you hypnotised him?' Bv3B|D&+  
'What does it matter?' eUR+j?5I  
If it was a case of hypnotism, it was very neatly done. The conditions were both unusual and trying, the effect produced seemed all that could be desired,--the change brought about in half a dozen seconds was quite remarkable. I began to be aware of a feeling of quasi-respect for Paul Lessingham's friend. His morals might be peculiar, and manners he might have none, but in this case, at any rate, the end seemed to have justified the means. He went on. hV) `e"r\s  
'He sleeps. When he awakes he will remember nothing that has been. Leave him,--the night is warm,--all will be well.' -2 8bJ,  
a <F2]H=J  
As he said, the night was warm,--and it was dry. Percy would come to little harm by being allowed to enjoy, for a while, the pleasant breezes. So I acted on the stranger's advice, and left him lying in the yard, while I had a little interview with the impromptu physician. ?*7Mn`  

只看该作者 18楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man huv|l6   
Chapter XVIII. The Apotheosis of the Beetle qDG x (d  
  The laboratory door was closed. The stranger was standing a foot or two away from it. I was further within the room, and was subjecting him to as keen a scrutiny as circumstances permitted. Beyond doubt he was conscious of my observation, yet he bore himself with an air of indifference, which was suggestive of perfect unconcern. The fellow was oriental to the finger-tips,-- that much was certain; yet in spite of a pretty wide personal knowledge of oriental people I could not make up my mind as to the exact part of the east from which he came. He was hardly an Arab, he was not a fellah,--he was not, unless I erred, a Mohammedan at all. There was something about him which was distinctly not Mussulmanic. So far as looks were concerned, he was not a flattering example of his race, whatever his race might be. The portentous size of his beak-like nose would have been, in itself, sufficient to damn him in any court of beauty. His lips were thick and shapeless,--and this, joined to another peculiarity in his appearance, seemed to suggest that, in his veins there ran more than a streak of negro blood. The peculiarity alluded to was his semblance of great age. As one eyed him one was reminded of the legends told of people who have been supposed to have retained something of their pristine vigour after having lived for centuries. As, however, one continued to gaze, one began to wonder if he really was so old as he seemed,--if, indeed, he was exceptionally old at all. Negroes, and especially negresses, are apt to age with extreme rapidity. Among coloured folk' one sometimes encounters women whose faces seem to have been lined by the passage of centuries, yet whose actual tale of years would entitle them to regard themselves, here in England, as in the prime of life. The senility of the fellow's countenance, besides, was contradicted by the juvenescence of his eyes. No really old man could have had eyes like that. They were curiously shaped, reminding me of the elongated, faceted eyes of some queer creature, with whose appearance I was familiar, although I could not, at the instant, recall its name. They glowed not only with the force and fire, but, also, with the frenzy of youth. More uncanny-looking eyes I had never encountered,--their possessor could not be, in any sense of the word, a clubable person. Owing, probably, to some peculiar formation of the optic-nerve one felt, as one met his gaze, that he was looking right through you. More obvious danger signals never yet were placed in a creature's head. The individual who, having once caught sight of him, still sought to cultivate their owner's acquaintance, had only himself to thank if the very worst results of frequenting evil company promptly ensued. oSYJXs  
It happens that I am myself endowed with an unusual tenacity of vision. I could, for instance, easily outstare any man I ever met. Yet, as I continued to stare at this man, I was conscious that it was only by an effort of will that I was able to resist a baleful something which seemed to be passing from his eyes to mine. It might have been imagination, but, in that sense, I am not an imaginative man; and, if it was, it was imagination of an unpleasantly vivid kind. I could understand how, in the case of a nervous, or a sensitive temperament, the fellow might exercise, by means of the peculiar quality of his glance alone, an influence of a most disastrous sort, which given an appropriate subject in the manifestation of its power might approach almost to the supernatural. If ever man was endowed with the traditional evil eye, in which Italians, among modern nations, are such profound believers, it was he. h{]0 H'g  
When we had stared at each other for, I daresay, quite five minutes, I began to think I had had about enough of it So, by way of breaking the ice, I put to him a question. =6'D/| 3  
'May I ask how you found your way into my back yard?' =H^^AG\}  
He did not reply in words, but, raising his hands he lowered them, palms downward, with a gesture which was peculiarly oriental. $30lNZK1m8  
'Indeed?--Is that so?--Your meaning may be lucidity itself to you, but, for my benefit, perhaps you would not mind translating it into words. Once more I ask, how did you find your way into my back yard?' 0 /JusQ  
Again nothing but the gesture. iWZrZ5l  
'Possibly you are not sufficiently acquainted with English manners and customs to be aware that you have placed yourself within reach of the pains and penalties of the law. Were I to call in the police you would find yourself in an awkward situation,--and, unless you are presently more explanatory, called in they will be.' ,=tPh4>  
By way of answer he indulged in a distortion of the countenance which might have been meant for a smile,--and which seemed to suggest that he regarded the police with a contempt which was too great for words. 5J^S-K^r  
'Why do you laugh--do you think that being threatened with the police is a joke? You are not likely to find it so.--Have you suddenly been bereft of the use of your tongue?' F<K;tt  
He proved that he had not by using it '3BBTr%aZ  
'I have still the use of my tongue.' #mT\B[4h  
xG_LEk( zD  
'That, at least, is something. Perhaps, since the subject of how you got into my back yard seems to be a delicate one, you will tell me why you got there.' aB_~V h  
'You know why I have come.' 9^?2{aP%  
og?L 9  
'Pardon me if I appear to flatly contradict you, but that is precisely what I do not know.' XI '.L ~  
'kSm}} y  
'You do know.' $WiU oS  
6"9(ce KX  
'Do I?--Then, in that case, I presume that you are here for the reason which appears upon the surface,--to commit a felony.' jItVAmC=i  
'You call me thief?' EgRuB@lw76  
'What else are you?' >+%p }l:<\  
'I am no thief.--You know why I have come.' }S9uh-j6l  
:LB< z#M  
He raised his head a little. A look came into his eyes which I felt that I ought to understand, yet to the meaning of which I seemed, for the instant, to have mislaid the key. I shrugged my shoulders. MM Nz2DEy[  
!& xc.39  
'I have come because you wanted me.' -\=kd {*B  
kzb1iBe 6m  
'Because I wanted you!--On my word!--That's sublime!' u.sn"G-c  
$?u ^hMU=  
'All night you have wanted me,--do I not know? When she talked to you of him, and the blood boiled in your veins; when he spoke, and all the people listened, and you hated him, because he had honour in her eyes.' +}@HtjM  
I was startled. Either he meant what it appeared incredible that he could mean, or--there was confusion somewhere. Z?5kO-[  
'Take my advice, my friend, and don't try to come the bunco- steerer over me,--I'm a bit in that line myself, you know.' /}Y>_8 7  
#{GUu ',?&  
This time the score was mine,--he was puzzled. bh?Vufd%)  
'I know not what you talk of.' b/'fC%o,  
X\hD 4r"  
'In that case, we're equal,--I know not what you talk of either.' ;Mc\>i/  
His manner, for him, was childlike and bland. &8_]omuNV  
'What is it you do not know? This morning did I not say,--if you want me, then I come?' % obR2%  
'I fancy I have some faint recollection of your being so good as to say something of the kind, but--where's the application?' oW(lQ'"  
'Do you not feel for him the same as I?' qX{"R.d  
'Who's the him?' <"A|Xv'Q  
'Paul Lessingham.' L%](C  
It was spoken quietly, but with a degree of--to put it gently-- spitefulness which showed that at least the will to do the Apostle harm would not be lacking. .C^1.)  
'And, pray, what is the common feeling which we have for him?' `-zdjc d  
'Hate.' BqZ^I eC$  
,2S <#p!  
Plainly, with this gentleman, hate meant hate,--in the solid oriental sense. I should hardly have been surprised if the mere utterance of the words had seared his lips. )6)|PzMQ'  
etf ft8  
'I am by no means prepared to admit that I have this feeling which you attribute to me, but, even granting that I have, what then?' :w_F<2d0 0  
'Those who hate are kin.' }#!o^B8  
} Q1$v~  
'That, also, I should be slow to admit; but--to go a step farther --what has all this to do with your presence on my premises at this hour of the night?' >qtB27jV  
^|\ *i  
'You love her.' This time I did not ask him to supply the name,-- being unwilling that it should be soiled by the traffic of his lips. 'She loves him,--that is not well. If you choose, she shall love you,--that will be well.' 8(3vNuyP  
'Indeed.--And pray how is this consummation which is so devoutly to be desired to be brought about?' W{-N,?z  
'Put your hand into mine. Say that you wish it. It shall be done.' 3i s .c)  
}XXE hOO  
Moving a step forward, he stretched out his hand towards me. I hesitated. There was that in the fellow's manner which, for the moment, had for me an unwholesome fascination. Memories flashed through my mind of stupid stories which have been told of compacts made with the devil. I almost felt as if I was standing in the actual presence of one of the powers of evil. I thought of my love for Marjorie,--which had revealed itself after all these years; of the delight of holding her in my arms, of feeling the pressure of her lips to mine. As my gaze met his, the lower side of what the conquest of this fair lady would mean, burned in my brain; fierce imaginings blazed before my eyes. To win her,--only to win her! 1i>)@{P&BN  
6g.@I!j E  
What nonsense he was talking! What empty brag it was! Suppose, just for the sake of the joke, I did put my hand in his, and did wish, right out, what it was plain he knew. If I wished, what harm would it do! It would be the purest jest. Out of his own mouth he would be confounded, for it was certain that nothing would come of it. Why should I not do it then? ZU@V]+ww  
I would act on his suggestion,--I would carry the thing right through. Already I was advancing towards him, when--I stopped. I don't know why. On the instant, my thoughts went off at a tangent. iKK=A.g  
What sort of a blackguard did I call myself that I should take a woman's name in vain for the sake of playing fool's tricks with such scum of the earth as the hideous vagabond in front of me,-- and that the name of the woman whom I loved? Rage took hold of me. =#u2Rx%V  
'You hound!' I cried. J.&q[  
In my sudden passage from one mood to another, I was filled with the desire to shake the life half out of him. But so soon as I moved a step in his direction, intending war instead of peace, he altered the position of his hand, holding it out towards me as if forbidding my approach. Directly he did so, quite involuntarily, I pulled up dead,--as if my progress had been stayed by bars of iron and walls of steel. $O>@(K  
For the moment, I was astonished to the verge of stupefaction. The sensation was peculiar. I was as incapable of advancing another inch in his direction as if I had lost the use of my limbs,--I was even incapable of attempting to attempt to advance. At first I could only stare and gape. Presently I began to have an inkling of what had happened. 0%F.]+6[O4  
:\J bWj_j  
The scoundrel had almost succeeded in hypnotising me. .4W>9 8  
That was a nice thing to happen to a man of my sort at my time of life. A shiver went down my back,--what might have occurred if I had not pulled up in time! What pranks might a creature of that character not have been disposed to play. It was the old story of the peril of playing with edged tools; I had made the dangerous mistake of underrating the enemy's strength. Evidently, in his own line, the fellow was altogether something out of the usual way. ,(27p6!  
I believe that even as it was he thought he had me. As I turned away, and leaned against the table at my back, I fancy that he shivered,--as if this proof of my being still my own master was unexpected. I was silent,--it took some seconds to enable me to recover from the shock of the discovery of the peril in which I had been standing. Then I resolved that I would endeavour to do something which should make me equal to this gentleman of many talents. <%>n@A  
'Take my advice, my friend, and don't attempt to play that hankey pankey off on to me again.' ]]uzl0LH  
'I don't know what you talk of.' =!?[]>Dh  
smfG, TI  
'Don't lie to me,--or I'll burn you into ashes.' :DtZ8$I`]C  
Behind me was an electrical machine, giving an eighteen inch spark. It was set in motion by a lever fitted into the table, which I could easily reach from where I sat. As I spoke the visitor was treated to a little exhibition of electricity. The change in his bearing was amusing. He shook with terror. He salaamed down to the ground. F(Lb8\to\M  
v1 LKU  
'My lord!--my lord!--have mercy, oh my lord!' {DU"]c/S  
'Then you be careful, that's all. You may suppose yourself to be something of a magician, but it happens, unfortunately for you, that I can do a bit in that line myself,--perhaps I'm a trifle better at the game than you are. Especially as you have ventured into my stronghold, which contains magic enough to make a show of a hundred thousand such as you.' d^PD#&"g  
Taking down a bottle from a shelf, I sprinkled a drop or two of its contents on the floor. Immediately flames arose, accompanied by a blinding vapour. It was a sufficiently simple illustration of one of the qualities of phosphorous-bromide, but its effect upon my visitor was as startling as it was unexpected. If I could believe the evidence of my own eyesight, in the very act of giving utterance to a scream of terror he disappeared, how, or why, or whither, there was nothing to show,--in his place, where he had been standing, there seemed to be a dim object of some sort in a state of frenzied agitation on the floor. The phosphorescent vapour was confusing; the lights appeared to be suddenly burning low; before I had sense enough to go and see if there was anything there, and, if so, what, the flames had vanished, the man himself had reappeared, and, prostrated on his knees, was salaaming in a condition of abject terror. s.VA!@F5  
'My lord! my lord!' he whined. 'I entreat you, my lord, to use me as your slave!' a[sKE?  
'I'll use you as my slave!' Whether he or I was the more agitated it would have been difficult to say,--but, at least, it would not have done to betray my feelings as he did his. 'c %S!$P  
'Stand up!' ]Oeh=gq  
J G$Z.s  
He stood up. I eyed him as he did with an interest which, so far as I was concerned, was of a distinctly new and original sort. Whether or not I had been the victim of an ocular delusion I could not be sure. It was incredible to suppose that he could have disappeared as he had seemed to disappear,--it was also incredible that I could have imagined his disappearance. If the thing had been a trick, I had not the faintest notion how it had been worked; and, if it was not a trick, then what was it? Was it something new in scientific marvels? Could he give me as much instruction in the qualities of unknown forces as I could him? kz} R[7  
}H> ^o9  
In the meanwhile he stood in an attitude of complete submission, with downcast eyes, and hands crossed upon his breast. I started to cross-examine him. mHc>"^R  
'I am going to ask you some questions. So long as you answer them promptly, truthfully, you will be safe. Otherwise you had best beware.' tGvG  
#} ~qqJ G2  
'Ask, oh my lord.' z%MW!x  
'What is the nature of your objection to Mr Lessingham?' GpZ c5c  
'Revenge.' rn<PR*  
G "73=8d  
'What has he done to you that you should wish to be revenged on him?' br|;'i%(  
JU4q zi  
'It is the feud of the innocent blood.' y~FV2$  
Y*UA, <-  
'What do you mean by that?'  Y*14v~\'  
'On his hands is the blood of my kin. It cries aloud for vengeance.' sn)3Z A  
'Who has he killed?' G{6;>8h  
'That, my lord, is for me,--and for him.' (adyZ/j  
1$p2}Bf {n  
'I see.--Am I to understand that you do not choose to answer me, and that I am again to use my--magic?' [YUv7|\  
I saw that he quivered. 8>WC5%f*  
q gL aa  
'My lord, he has spilled the blood of her who has lain upon his breast.' GJtZ&H  
I hesitated. What he meant appeared clear enough. Perhaps it would be as well not to press for further details. The words pointed to what it might be courteous to call an Eastern Romance,--though it was hard to conceive of the Apostle figuring as the hero of such a theme. It was the old tale retold, that to the life of every man there is a background,--that it is precisely in the unlikeliest cases that the background's darkest. What would that penny-plain- and-twopence-coloured bogey, the Nonconformist Conscience, make of such a story if it were blazoned through the land. Would Paul not come down with a run? p%R  
NwG= <U*  
'"Spilling blood" is a figure of speech; pretty, perhaps, but vague. If you mean that Mr Lessingham has been killing someone, your surest and most effectual revenge would be gained by an appeal to the law.' _oUHJ~&,  
'What has the Englishman's law to do with me?' y?a Acn$  
'If you can prove that he has been guilty of murder it would have a great deal to do with you. I assure you that at any rate, in that sense, the Englishman's law is no respecter of persons. Show him to be guilty, and it would hang Paul Lessingham as indifferently, and as cheerfully, as it would hang Bill Brown.' LK, bO|  
H N.3  
'Is that so?' ;IVDr:  
'It is so, as, if you choose, you will be easily able to prove to your own entire satisfaction.' +\|Iu;w  
He had raised his head, and was looking at something which he seemed to see in front of him with a maleficent glare in his sensitive eyes which it was not nice to see. ]_8qn'7  
'He would be shamed?' =Me5ft w  
[ G e=kFB  
'Indeed he would be shamed.' g!`3{ /4  
'i8 U  
'Before all men?' ]O TH"*j  
'Before all men,--and, I take it, before all women too.' 3I|3wQ&#(  
'And he would hang?' 'FzN[% K"  
'If shown to have been guilty of wilful murder,--yes.' sIm#_+Y  
wk 02[  
His hideous face was lighted up by a sort of diabolical exultation which made it, if that were possible, more hideous still. I had apparently given him a wrinkle which pleased him most consummately. wO"GtVd  
'Perhaps I will do that in the end,--in the end!' He opened his eyes to their widest limits, then shut them tight,--as if to gloat on the picture which his fancy painted. Then reopened them. 'In the meantime I will have vengeance in my own fashion. He knows already that the avenger is upon him,--he has good reason to know it. And through the days and the nights the knowledge shall be with him still, and it shall be to him as the bitterness of death,--aye, of many deaths. For he will know that escape there is none, and that for him there shall be no more sun in the sky, and that the terror shall be with him by night and by day, at his rising up and at his lying down, wherever his eyes shall turn it shall be there,--yet, behold, the sap and the juice of my vengeance is in this, in that though he shall be very sure that the days that are, are as the days of his death, yet shall he know that THE DEATH, THE GREAT DEATH, is coming--coming--and shall be on him--when I will!' e}Q>\t45  
The fellow spoke like an inspired maniac. If he meant half what he said,--and if he did not then his looks and his tones belied him! --then a promising future bade fair to be in store for Mr Lessingham,--and, also, circumstances being as they were, for Marjorie. It was this latter reflection which gave me pause. Either this imprecatory fanatic would have to be disposed of, by Lessingham himself, or by someone acting on his behalf, and, so far as their power of doing mischief went, his big words proved empty windbags, or Marjorie would have to be warned that there was at least one passage in her suitor's life, into which, ere it was too late, it was advisable that inquiry should be made. To allow Marjorie to irrevocably link her fate with the Apostle's, without being first of all made aware that he was, to all intents and purposes, a haunted man--that was not to be thought of. RH=$h! 5  
'You employ large phrases.' k)i"tpw  
My words cooled the other's heated blood. Once more his eyes were cast down, his hands crossed upon his breast &:q[-K@!  
^J0zXe -d  
'I crave my lord's pardon. My wound is ever new.' `(!W s\:  
Xm%iPrl D  
'By the way, what was the secret history, this morning, of that little incident of the cockroach?' HE*7\"9  
@bc[ eas  
He glanced up quickly. z\e>DdS  
'Cockroach?--I know not what you say.' [LJ705t  
Ul '~opf  
'Well,--was it beetle, then?' aDm-X r  
'Beetle!' {ED(O -W  
He seemed, all at once, to have lost his voice,--the word was gasped. <B ]i80.  
'After you went we found, upon a sheet of paper, a capitally executed drawing of a beetle, which, I fancy, you must have left behind you,--Scaraboeus sacer, wasn't it?' -CU7u=*b  
T}w*K[z $  
'I know not what you talk of.' (. quX@w"m  
'Its discovery seemed to have quite a singular effect on Mr Lessingham. Now, why was that?' Z|Lh^G  
'I know nothing.' [^(R1K  
'Oh yes you do,--and, before you go, I mean to know something too.' :{N3o:  
The man was trembling, looking this way and that, showing signs of marked discomfiture. That there was something about that ancient scarab, which figures so largely in the still unravelled tangles of the Egyptian mythologies, and the effect which the mere sight of its cartouch--for the drawing had resembled something of the kind--had had on such a seasoned vessel as Paul Lessingham, which might be well worth my finding out, I felt convinced,--the man's demeanour, on my recurring to the matter, told its own plain tale. I made up my mind, if possible, to probe the business to the bottom, then and there. v/ 00L R  
'Listen to me, my friend. I am a plain man, and I use plain speech,--it's a kind of hobby I have. You will give me the information I require, and that at once, or I will pit my magic against yours,--in which case I think it extremely probable that you will come off worst from the encounter.' )%@WoBRj  
I reached out for the lever, and the exhibition of electricity recommenced. Immediately his tremors were redoubled. 3pjYY$'  
=X5&au o  
'My lord, I know not of what you talk.' s@[t5R  
'None of your lies for me.--Tell me why, at the sight of the thing on that sheet of paper, Paul Lessingham went green and yellow.' m$qC 8z]  
'Ask him, my lord.' 7lPk~0  
'Probably, later on, that is what I shall do. In the meantime, I am asking you. Answer,--or look out for squalls.' ' qS!n  
^- Ji]5~  
The electrical exhibition was going on. He was glaring at it as if he wished that it would stop. As if ashamed of his cowardice, plainly, on a sudden, he made a desperate effort to get the better of his fears,--and succeeded better than I had expected or desired. He drew himself up with what, in him, amounted to an air of dignity. <sOB j'  
'I am a child of Isis!' "H@AT$Ny(  
It struck me that he made this remark, not so much to impress me, as with a view of elevating his own low spirits, SZEr  
'Are you?--Then, in that case, I regret that I am unable to congratulate the lady on her offspring.' R?k1)n   
When I said that, a ring came into his voice which I had not heard before. +r '  
JprZ6 >  
'Silence!--You know not of what you speak!--I warn you, as I warned Paul Lessingham, be careful not to go too far. Be not like him,--heed my warning.' &iuc4"'  
'What is it I am being warned against,--the beetle?' I'C{=?  
'Yes,--the beetle!' ~c+0SuJ  
e!Y:UB2 7u  
Were I upon oath, and this statement being made, in the presence of witnesses, say, in a solicitor's office, I standing in fear of pains and penalties, I think that, at this point, I should leave the paper blank. No man likes to own himself a fool, or that he ever was a fool,--and ever since I have been wondering whether, on that occasion, that 'child of Isis' did, or did not, play the fool with me. His performance was realistic enough at the time, heaven knows. But, as it gets farther and farther away, I ask myself, more and more confidently, as time effluxes, whether, after all, it was not clever juggling,--superhumanly clever juggling, if you will; that, and nothing more. If it was something more, then, with a vengeance! there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in our philosophy. The mere possibility opens vistas which the sane mind fears to contemplate. Z25^+)uf*U  
+ v{<<  
Since, then, I am not on oath, and, should I fall short of verbal accuracy, I do not need to fear the engines of the law, what seemed to happen was this. 1$]4g/":o  
He was standing within about ten feet of where I leaned against the edge of the table. The light was full on, so that it was difficult to suppose that I could make a mistake as to what took place in front of me. As he replied to my mocking allusion to the beetle by echoing my own words, he vanished,--or, rather, I saw him taking a different shape before my eyes. His loose draperies all fell off him, and, as they were in the very act of falling, there issued, or there seemed to issue out of them, a monstrous creature of the beetle type,--the man himself was gone. On the point of size I wish to make myself clear. My impression, when I saw it first, was that it was as large as the man had been, and that it was, in some way, standing up on end, the legs towards me. But, the moment it came in view, it began to dwindle, and that so rapidly that, in a couple of seconds at most, a little heap of drapery was lying on the floor, on which was a truly astonishing example of the coleoptera. It appeared to be a beetle. It was, perhaps, six or seven inches high, and about a foot in length. Its scales were of a vivid golden green. I could distinctly see where the wings were sheathed along the back, and, as they seemed to be slightly agitated, I looked, every moment, to see them opened, and the thing take wing. GSj04-T"  
I was so astonished,--as who would not have been?--that for an appreciable space of time I was practically in a state of stupefaction. I could do nothing but stare. I was acquainted with the legendary transmigrations of Isis, and with the story of the beetle which issues from the woman's womb through all eternity, and with the other pretty tales, but this, of which I was an actual spectator, was something new, even in legends, If the man, with whom I had just been speaking, was gone, where had he gone to? If this glittering creature was there, in his stead, whence had it come? !l-^JPb  
I do protest this much, that, after the first shock of surprise had passed, I retained my presence of mind. I felt as an investigator might feel, who has stumbled, haphazard, on some astounding, some epoch-making, discovery. I was conscious that I should have to make the best use of my mental faculties if I was to take full advantage of so astonishing an accident. I kept my glance riveted on the creature, with the idea of photographing it on my brain. I believe that if it were possible to take a retinal print--which it someday will be--you would have a perfect picture of what it was I saw, Beyond doubt it was a lamellicorn, one of the copridae. With the one exception of its monstrous size, there were the characteristics in plain view;--the convex body, the large head, the projecting clypeus. More, its smooth head and throat seemed to suggest that it was a female. Equally beyond a doubt, apart from its size, there were unusual features present too. The eyes were not only unwontedly conspicuous, they gleamed as if they were lighted by internal flames,--in some indescribable fashion they reminded me of my vanished visitor. The colouring was superb, and the creature appeared to have the chameleon-like faculty of lightening and darkening the shades at will. Its not least curious feature was its restlessness. It was in a state of continual agitation; and, as if it resented my inspection, the more I looked at it the more its agitation grew. As I have said, I expected every moment to see it take wing and circle through the air. rK 9  
All the while I was casting about in my mind as to what means I could use to effect its capture. I did think of killing it, and, on the whole, I rather wish that I had at any rate attempted slaughter,--there were dozens of things, lying ready to my hand, any one of which would have severely tried its constitution;--but, on the spur of the moment, the only method of taking it alive which occurred to me, was to pop over it a big tin canister which had contained soda-lime. This canister was on the floor to my left. I moved towards it, as nonchalantly as I could, keeping an eye on that shining wonder all the time. Directly I moved, its agitation perceptibly increased,--it was, so to speak, all one whirr of tremblement; it scintillated, as if its coloured scales had been so many prisms; it began to unsheath its wings, as if it had finally decided that it would make use of them. Picking up the tin, disembarrassing it of its lid, I sprang towards my intended victim. Its wings opened wide; obviously it was about to rise; but it was too late. Before it had cleared the ground, the tin was over it. A0Z<1|6r*  
It remained over it, however, for an instant only. I had stumbled, in my haste, and, in my effort to save myself from falling face foremost on to the floor, I was compelled to remove my hands from the tin. Before I was able to replace them, the tin was sent flying, and, while I was still partially recumbent, within eighteen inches of me, that beetle swelled and swelled, until it had assumed its former portentous dimensions, when, as it seemed, it was enveloped by a human shape, and in less time than no time, there stood in front of me, naked from top to toe, my truly versatile oriental friend. One startling fact nudity revealed,-- that I had been egregiously mistaken on the question of sex. My visitor was not a man, but a woman, and, judging from the brief glimpse which I had of her body, by no means old or ill-shaped either. `>M;f%s  
If that transformation was not a bewildering one, then two and two make five. The most level-headed scientist would temporarily have lost his mental equipoise on witnessing such a quick change as that within a span or two of his own nose I was not only witless, I was breathless too,--I could only gape. And, while I gaped, the woman, stooping down, picking up her draperies, began to huddle them on her anyhow,--and, also, to skeddadle towards the door which led into the yard. When I observed this last manoeuvre, to some extent I did rise to the requirements of the situation. Leaping up, I rushed to stay her flight. a%3V< "f  
'Stop!' I shouted. z$'_ =9yZ  
But she was too quick for me. Ere I could reach her, she had opened the door, and was through it,--and, what was more, she had slammed it in my face. In my excitement, I did some fumbling with the handle. When, in my turn, I was in the yard, she was out of sight. I did fancy I saw a dim form disappearing over the wall at the further side, and I made for it as fast as I knew how. I clambered on to the wall, looking this way and that, but there was nothing and no one to be seen. I listened for the sound of retreating footsteps, but all was still. Apparently I had the entire neighbourhood to my own sweet self. My visitor had vanished. Time devoted to pursuit I felt would be time ill-spent. =F>@z4[P-  
As I returned across the yard, Woodville, who still was taking his rest under the open canopy of heaven, sat up. Seemingly my approach had roused him out of slumber. At sight of me he rubbed his eyes, and yawned, and blinked. AF5$U8jf  
= ;sEi:HC  
'I say,' he remarked, not at all unreasonably, 'where am I?' nBs%k!RR  
'You're on holy--or on haunted ground,--hang me if I quite know which!--but that's where you are, my boy.' V>}@--$c-r  
'By Jove!--I am feeling queer!--I have got a headache, don't you know.' *z4n2"<l  
'I shouldn't be in the least surprised at anything you have, or haven't,--I'm beyond surprise. It's a drop of whisky you are wanting,--and what I'm wanting too,--only, for goodness sake, drop me none of your drops! Mine is a case for a bottle at the least.' Izq]nR  
I put my arm through his, and went with him into the laboratory. And, when we were in, I shut, and locked, and barred the door. NL&(/72V  

只看该作者 19楼 发表于: 2012-07-12
Book II. The Haunted Man *eUL1m8Y  
Chapter XIX. The Lady Rages o<V-gS  
@M,KA {e  
  Dora Grayling stood in the doorway. ]^ RgzK  
'I told your servant he need not trouble to show me in,--and I've come without my aunt. I hope I'm not intruding.' ):.]4n{L  
She was--confoundedly; and it was on the tip of my tongue to tell her so. She came into the room, with twinkling eyes, looking radiantly happy,--that sort of look which makes even a plain young woman prepossessing. T> 1E  
Va !HcG1^:  
'Am I intruding?--I believe I am.' OcIJT1  
f? ko%c_p  
She held out her hand, while she was still a dozen feet away, and when I did not at once dash forward to make a clutch at it, she shook her head and made a little mouth at me. GyT{p#l  
'What's the matter with you?--Aren't you well?' ;|}6\=(  
mp !6MOQ  
I was not well,--I was very far from well. I was as unwell as I could be without being positively ill, and any person of common discernment would have perceived it at a glance. At the same time I was not going to admit anything of the kind to her. `ag>4?7?  
'Thank you,--I am perfectly well.' ^|-xmUC  
L:%; Fx2  
'Then, if I were you, I would endeavour to become imperfectly well; a little imperfection in that direction might make you appear to more advantage.' Xc"S"a^\%  
'I am afraid that that I am not one of those persons who ever do appear to much advantage,--did I not tell you so last night?' v%VCFJ  
'I believe you did say something of the kind,--it's very good of you to remember. Have you forgotten something else which you said to me last night?' Q>cLGdzO  
'You can hardly expect me to keep fresh in my memory all the follies of which my tongue is guilty.' >j{phZ  
'Thank you.--That is quite enough.--Good-day.' ZC'(^liAp  
She turned as if to go. q$7WZ+Y\  
Vi[* a  
'Miss Grayling!' gZF-zhnC  
'Mr Atherton?' %>u (UmFO  
'What's the matter?--What have I been saying now?' 5qZebD2a  
'Last night you invited me to come and see you this morning,--is that one of the follies of which your tongue was guilty?' 5D9n>K4|  
The engagement had escaped my recollection--it is a fact--and my face betrayed me. C0O$iWs=  
'You had forgotten?' Her cheeks flamed; her eyes sparkled. 'You must pardon my stupidity for not having understood that the imitation was of that general kind which is never meant to be acted on.' uUIjntSF(  
fD* ?JzVY  
She was half way to the door before I stopped her,--I had to take her by the shoulder to do it. ~a ]R7X7  
'Miss Grayling!--You are hard on me.' )uK Tf=;  
'I suppose I am.--Is anything harder than to be intruded on by an undesired, and unexpected, guest?' &Tn7  
'Now you are harder still.--If you knew what I have gone through since our conversation of last night, in your strength you would be merciful.' VsR`y]"g  
'Indeed?--What have you gone through?' ;r XhK$  
I hesitated. What I actually had gone through I certainly did not propose to tell her. Other reasons apart I did not desire to seem madder than I admittedly am,--and I lacked sufficient plausibility to enable me to concoct, on the spur of the moment, a plain tale of the doings of my midnight visitor which would have suggested that the narrator was perfectly sane. So I fenced,--or tried to. +/Lf4??JV  
'For one thing,--I have had no sleep.' o/fq  
I had not,--not one single wink. When I did get between the sheets, 'all night I lay in agony,' I suffered from that worst form of nightmare,--the nightmare of the man who is wide awake. There was continually before my fevered eyes the strange figure of that Nameless Thing. I had often smiled at tales of haunted folk, --here was I one of them. My feelings were not rendered more agreeable by a strengthening conviction that if I had only retained the normal attitude of a scientific observer I should, in all probability, have solved the mystery of my oriental friend, and that his example of the genus of copridae might have been pinned,--by a very large pin!--on a piece--a monstrous piece!--of cork. It was, galling to reflect that he and I had played together a game of bluff,--a game at which civilisation was once more proved to be a failure. =I/J !}.  
She could not have seen all this in my face; but she saw something--because her own look softened. >M:5yk@  
'You do look tired.' She seemed to be casting about in her own mind for a cause. 'You have been worrying.' She glanced round the big laboratory. 'Have you been spending the night in this-- wizard's cave?' ,+X8?9v  
'Pretty well' R*[ACpxr  
b]Y,& 8}[+  
'Oh!' 9qW,I|G  
The monosyllable, as she uttered it, was big with meaning. Uninvited, she seated herself in an arm-chair, a huge old thing, of shagreen leather, which would have held half a dozen of her. Demure in it she looked, like an agreeable reminiscence, alive, and a little up-to-date, of the women of long ago. Her dove grey eyes seemed to perceive so much more than they cared to show. pE< ' '`  
'How is it that you have forgotten that you asked me to come?-- didn't you mean it?' |$t0cd  
'Of course I meant it.' co3 ,8\N0  
'Then how is it you've forgotten?' )6&\WNL-x  
'I didn't forget.' LGROEn<*d  
'Don't tell fibs.--Something is the matter,--tell me what it is.-- Is it that I am too early?' 8U<.16+5Q  
im \ YL<  
'Nothing of the sort,--you couldn't be too early.' R!/,E  
'Thank you.--When you pay a compliment, even so neat an one as that, sometimes, you should look as if you meant it.--It is early,--I know it's early, but afterwards I want you to come to lunch. I told aunt that I would bring you back with me.' '#McY'.D T  
'You are much better to me than I deserve.' EaM"=g  
'Perhaps.' A tone came into her voice which was almost pathetic. 'I think that to some men women are almost better than they deserve. I don't know why. I suppose it pleases them. It is odd.' There was a different intonation,--a dryness. 'Have you forgotten what I came for?' *tTP8ZCQ[  
'Not a bit of it,--I am not quite the brute I seem. You came to see an illustration of that pleasant little fancy of mine for slaughtering my fellows. The fact is, I'm hardly in a mood for that just now,--I've been illustrating it too much already.' \ &eY)^vw  
'What do you mean?' z7'n, [  
Eem 2qKj  
'Well, for one thing it's been murdering Lessingham's cat.' b2a'KczV  
, yTN$K%M  
'Mr Lessingham's cat?' G?>qd}]y0L  
'Then it almost murdered Percy Woodville.' M\I_{Q?_  
'Mr Atherton!--I wish you wouldn't talk like that.' 8*vFdoE_oO  
'It's a fact. It was a question of a little matter in a wrong place, and, if it hadn't been for something very like a miracle, he'd be dead.' L -YNz0A  
'I wish you wouldn't have anything to do with such things--I hate them.' sSz%V[X WL  
I stared. 5y040 N-  
BKX 9 SL]  
'Hate them?--I thought you'd come to see an illustration.' @iRO7 6m  
'And pray what was your notion of an illustration?' (A uPZ  
vhpvO >Q  
'Well, another cat would have had to be killed, at least.' mW +tV1XjG  
'And do you suppose that I would have sat still while a cat was being killed for my--edification?' ?(D}5`Nfu  
'It needn't necessarily have been a cat, but something would have had to be killed,--how are you going to illustrate the death- dealing propensities of a weapon of that sort without it?' (OqHfv  
'Is it possible that you imagine that I came here to see something killed?' )!a$#"'  
'Then for what did you come?' ~bGnq, .$  
I do not know what there was about the question which was startling, but as soon as it was out, she went a fiery red. w%rg\E  
uOFnCy 4  
'Because I was a fool.' 5}7ISNP;f  
I was bewildered. Either she had got out of the wrong side of bed, or I had,--or we both had. Here she was, assailing me, hammer and tongs, so far as I could see, for absolutely nothing. V pH|R  
'You are pleased to be satirical at my expense.' Bqp&2zg)@  
'I should not dare. Your detection of me would be so painfully rapid.' &`m~o/  
I was in no mood for jangling. I turned a little away from her. Immediately she was at my elbow. $+iu\MuX  
'Mr Atherton?' $:xF)E  
tn(f rccy  
'Miss Grayling.' > u'/$ k  
'Are you cross with me?' ="'rH.n #  
'Why should I be? If it pleases you to laugh at my stupidity you are completely justified.' &y+PSa%n  
'But you are not stupid.' NdXy% Q  
,P; a/{U  
'No?--Nor you satirical.' ym,Ot1  
'You are not stupid,--you know you are not stupid; it was only stupidity on my part to pretend that you were.' B+q+)O+  
vJj j+:  
'It is very good of you to say so.--But I fear that I am an indifferent host. Although you would not care for an illustration, there may be other things which you might find amusing.' q@"4Rbu6  
= Ow&UI  
'Why do you keep on snubbing me?' }Ml z\'{  
'I keep on snubbing you!' O g~"+IGp  
'You are always snubbing me,--you know you are. Some times I feel as if I hated you.' <b40\Z{+  
/L Tyiiz6  
'Miss Grayling!' @jeV[N,0  
= ByW`  
'I do! I do! I do!' NKrk*I"G  
'After all, it is only natural.' }$ der  
'That is how you talk,--as if I were a child, and you were,--oh I don't know what.--Well, Mr Atherton, I am sorry to be obliged to leave you. I have enjoyed my visit very much. I only hope I have not seemed too intrusive.' \c)XN<HH  
She flounced--'flounce' was the only appropriate word!--out of the room before I could stop her. I caught her in the passage. F]&9Lp} "  
'Miss Grayling, I entreat you--' !"wIb.j }0  
'Pray do not entreat me, Mr Atherton.' Standing still she turned to me. 'I would rather show myself to the door as I showed myself in, but, if that is impossible, might I ask you not to speak to me between this and the street?' ^*ZO@GNL  
kw!! 5U;7  
The hint was broad enough, even for me. I escorted her through the hall without a word,--in perfect silence she shook the dust of my abode from off her feet. |_Vlw&qu+  
I had made a pretty mess of things. I felt it as I stood on the top of the steps and watched her going,--she was walking off at four miles an hour; I had not even ventured to ask to be allowed to call a hansom. y%f'7YZ4  
It was beginning to occur to me that this was a case in which another blow upon the river might be, to say the least of it, advisable--and I was just returning into the house with the intention of putting myself into my flannels, when a cab drew up, and old Lindon got out of it. ,Tjc\;~%  
j"1#n? 0  
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