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双语对照 | 书虫二级《莫尔格街凶杀案》:5.声音和窗户之谜

所属教程: 牛津书虫系列 莫尔格街凶杀案

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2019年04月15日

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5.The mysteries of the voice and the window

5.声音和窗户之谜

I took the guns, but I didn't really understand why, or who we were waiting for. So I was pleased when Dupin began to explain his thoughts to me.

我拿了手枪,却实在不明白为什么要这样做,还有我们到底在等谁。所以我很高兴听到杜邦向我解释他的想法。

'Now, let's think,' he said, 'about those angry voices heard by the neighbours running up the stairs. Think about the newspaper reports of what the witnesses said. Do you remember anything peculiar in what they said?'

“现在让我们想想,”他说,“关于那些正往楼上跑的邻居们听见的愤怒声音。想想报纸对证人证词的报道。你记得他们提到有什么异常的事情吗?”

'Well,' I replied, 'all the witnesses agreed that the deep voice was that of a Frenchman. But none of them agreed about the other voice, the shrill one—they all thought something different.'

“嗯,”我答道,“所有证人都认为那个低沉的声音是一个法国男人的。但他们对另外一个声音,就是那个尖利的声音,说法不一——他们的想法各不相同。”

'Yes, that was what they said, but you haven't understood what's peculiar about it,' said Dupin. 'The peculiar thing is—not that they disagreed—but that they all thought it was the voice of a foreigner. Each witness thought the voice spoke a language that they didn't know. Look at this list.' He showed me a piece of paper.

“是的,报道中确实是这么说的,但你还没看出这里面的异常,”杜邦说,“异常的事情——并非是他们意见相左——而是他们都认为那是一个外国人的声音。每个证人都认为这个声音说的是一种他们不懂的语言。看看这张单子。”他递给我一张纸。

· One Frenchman thought the voice spoke in Spanish, but he didn't hear any words.

* 一个法国人认为那声音说的是西班牙语,可他一个字也没听清。

· A second Frenchman thought the voice spoke in Italian, because of the sound of the words, but he didn't know Italian himself.

* 另外一个法国人因为字词的发音而认为那声音说的是意大利语,但他并不懂意大利语。

· A Dutchman thought the voice spoke in French, but he himself didn't speak French.

* 一个荷兰人认为那声音说的是法语,可他并不会讲法语。

· An Englishman thought the voice spoke in German, but he didn't understand German.

* 一个英国人认为那声音说的是德语,可他不懂德语。

· A Spaniard thought the voice spoke in English—he couldn't speak English but he knew what it sounded like.

* 一个西班牙人认为那声音说的是英语——虽不懂英语,可他知道英语听起来是什么样子的。

· And last, an Italian thought the voice spoke in Russian, but this man has never spoken to a Russian person.

* 最后,一个意大利人认为那声音说的是俄语,可这个人从未与俄国人说过话。

'So! What a strangely unusual voice this was!' said Dupin. 'Speakers of five European languages did not hear one word—not one word—that they knew. It was also a strangely shrill voice, and was it a man's voice or a woman's? No one could tell.'

“看!这声音多么超乎寻常啊!”杜邦说,“这些人说五门欧洲语言,却连一个字也没听懂——一个他们知道的字也没听出来。这个声音异常尖利,是男人的还是女人的呢?没人说得清。”

'But perhaps the voice was speaking an African language,' I said. 'Or an Asian one.'

“或许那声音说的是一种非洲语言啊,”我说,“或是一种亚洲语言。”

'That is always possible,' Dupin agreed, 'but do you begin to see what question we must ask next?'

“不能排除这种可能,”杜邦表示赞同,“你知道我们下一步该问什么问题了吧?”

Puzzled, I shook my head.

我疑惑地摇了摇头。

'Well, we will come back to the voice later,' said Dupin. 'But for me, my thoughts about the voice already told me what to ask next. So, let us close our eyes and remember that room on the fourth floor of the house in the Rue Morgue. What do we want to find out first? The way the murderer got out of the room. Let's think about all the possible ways. First, the door to the passage was locked, with the key on the inside. We cannot argue with a key in a locked door. There were no secret doors—the police have looked at every centimetre of the floor, the ceiling, and the walls. And I also looked very carefully. So, no secret doors. What about the chimney? It is wide enough for a body for three metres, but higher up it is much narrower. Not even a cat could climb through it to the top. So what is left?'

“好,我们待会儿再说那声音,”杜邦说,“但是对于我来说,在我琢磨那个声音时我已经知道下一步要问的问题了。那么,让我们闭上眼睛,想想莫尔格街那所房子五楼的房间吧。我们最想知道什么呢?凶手是如何逃出房间的。想想所有可能的路径。首先,通往走廊的门是从里面锁住的。这就没什么好争论的了。警方已经把地板、天花板和墙壁都搜过了——没发现暗门。我也仔细瞧过了。的确没有暗门。那烟囱呢?三米之内人还可以钻过去,可再往高处去就越来越窄了。连只猫都钻不到头。还有什么呢?”

'The two windows,' I said. 'But they were fastened on the inside, weren't they?'

“那两扇窗户,”我说道,“但它们从里面锁住了,不是吗?”

'Yes, and no,' said Dupin. 'Let me explain. We can see all of the window on the left, you remember, but only the top half of the window on the right, because the head of the bed is pushed up next to the window. The police tried to open the window on the left, but found a very strong nail in the wood, which stopped the window opening. Another big nail was found in the other window. And the police stopped there. No one could get out of these windows, they thought, because of the nails and because both windows were fastened on the inside. So they did not try to take out the nails and open the windows.

“是,也不是,”杜邦说,“听我解释。我们可以看到左边的整扇窗户,记得吧,可因为有床头挡着,只能看见右边窗户的上半部分。警方试图把左边的窗户打开,却发现一枚很硬的钉子楔在窗户里,使得窗户无法打开。另一扇窗户上也有一枚大钉子。警方就此停住了。在他们看来,有这些钉子,并且窗户均由内上锁,没有人可以从窗户逃出去。因此他们也就没有想着拔出钉子打开窗户看看。

'But I went on thinking. The windows were the only possible way, so the murderer did escape from one of these windows. But they were fastened on the inside, and how did the murderer fasten the window again—from the outside? There was only one answer. The window could fasten itself. I took out the nail from the window on the left, but the window still would not open. So I was sure there was a hidden spring somewhere, and after a while I found it. I pressed it, arid then I could open the window.

“可是我想到了。窗户是惟一可能的逃脱路径,凶手一定是从其中的一扇窗户逃走的。但是窗户又是从里面上锁的,凶手怎么可能把它重新锁住——从外面把它锁上呢?答案只有一个,窗户可以自动关闭。我拔下了左边窗户上的钉子,但窗户依旧打不开。所以我确信什么地方一定有一个隐秘的弹簧,不一会儿我就找到了它。我按了一下,窗户就可以打开了。”

'I put the nail back into its hole, and thought some more. The murderer gets out through the window, then the window drops down again behind him, and fastens itself by its hidden spring. But the nail—how could anybody put back the nail from the outside? I went to the other window and stood on the bed, looking down behind the bed head at the bottom half of the window. The nail in this window looked the same, but ... There must be something wrong with this nail, I said to myself. I touched it—and the head of the nail came off in my fingers. The rest of the nail stayed in the wood. I carefully put back the broken nail head, pressed the hidden spring, and lifted the window a few centimetres. The nail head went up and came down with the window, but still looked like a real nail.'

“我把钉子重新放回去,又想了一下。凶手从这扇窗户逃出去,之后窗户又在他身后关上了,靠着隐秘的弹簧自动锁住。但是这枚钉子——谁能够从外面把钉子放回去呢?”我走到另一扇窗户前,站在床上向下看被床头挡住的下半部分窗户。窗户上的钉子似乎是一样的,但是……我对自己说,这枚钉子一定有问题。我碰了碰它——钉子帽儿竟然掉到了手里。余下的那截钉子仍然嵌在木头里。我小心翼翼地把掉下来的钉子帽儿重新安上去,按了一下隐秘的弹簧,窗户就可以向上推几厘米。钉子帽儿随窗户上下活动,但看起来和一个真正的钉子没什么区别。”

'So,' I said, 'we know it was possible to escape throught the window behind the bed head. But the room was on the fourth floor ...'

“这样,”我说,“我们就知道从床头后的窗户逃走是可能的。可是那个房间在五楼……”

'Ah,' said Dupin, 'that was the next question. You remember, don't you, how we walked around the building? And you saw, didn't you, the lightning-rod that went up the back wall of the building? And the unusual shutters on the windows on the fourth floor?'

“哦,”杜邦说,“这就是下一个该问的问题。你一定还记得我们怎样绕着房子走吧?你一定也看到了竖立在房子后墙上的避雷针?还有五楼窗户上与众不同的窗板?”

'Yes,' I said, 'they were like doors, but the top half was latticed, which is unusual in Paris.'

“对,”我答道,“它们很像门,但是上半部分却做成格状,这在巴黎倒不常见。”

'Yes,' Dupin said, 'and very easy for a hand to get hold of. Now, let me describe a possible picture to you. The lightning-rod on the wall is less than two metres from the window by the head of the bed. The latticed shutter is more than a metre wide, and when it is open and against the wall, it is only about half a metre away from the lightning-rod. It is possible to climb up the lightning-rod to the fourth floor. Then, a strong and agile—very agile—person could take hold of the latticed shutter with both hands, push his feet against the wall, and swing himself and the shutter across the window. And if the window is open and this person is very agile indeed, he could swing himself into the room.'

“是的,”杜邦说,“并且很容易被手扒住。现在,让我给你描述一个可能的画面。墙上的避雷针距离床头边的窗户不到两米远。格状的窗板有一米多宽,当窗板打开并紧贴墙壁时,它离避雷针就只有大约半米远。顺着避雷针爬到五楼是有可能的。这样,一个身强力壮并且动作敏捷——极其敏捷——的人就可以用双手抓住格状的窗板,双脚一蹬墙,身体就可以随窗板荡到窗户跟前。如果窗户恰巧是开着的而且这个人又确实身手敏捷,他就可以荡进房间里。”

Dupin saw the surprise in my face. 'Remember,' he said, 'that I am talking about somebody who is very strong and agile—agile in a very unusual way, perhaps. Remember also the voice, that peculiar, shrill voice, which spoke in a language that nobody knew.'

杜邦注意到了我脸上惊讶的表情。“记住,”他说,“我说的是一个身体非常强壮、动作极为敏捷的人——他可能敏捷得超乎寻常。还要记住那个声音,那个古怪尖利的声音,说着一种无人知晓的语言。”

At these words I felt I almost understood what Dupin was saying. But I wasn't sure, so I said nothing and waited for him to go on explaining.

听到这些我感觉差不多已经明白了杜邦在说什么。但我还不敢肯定,于是默不作声,等着他继续解释。

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