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书虫二级《阿利格拉之谜》:夜盗

所属教程:书虫二级 五镇故事

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2019年06月27日

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The Burglary
夜盗

Lady Dain said: 'Jee, if that portrait stays there much longer, I shall go mad. I can't eat any more with it up there!' She looked up at the big portrait on the wall opposite the breakfast table.

戴恩夫人说:“杰,如果那画像继续挂在那儿,我会发疯的。它在那儿,我就再也吃不下去了。”她抬起头看了一眼餐桌对面墙上的大幅画像。

Sir Jehoshaphat said nothing.

杰霍沙法特先生没说话。

Lady Dain did not like the portrait. Nobody in the Five Towns liked the portrait. But the portrait was by Cressage, the finest portrait painter in England, and a portrait by Cressage cost a thousand pounds or more.

戴恩夫人不喜欢这幅画像。五镇上没人喜欢。但这是克雷塞奇的画,他是英格兰最好的肖像画家。一幅克雷塞奇的肖像画至少值1000英镑。

Sir Jehoshaphat Dain was perhaps the cleverest and most successful businessman in the Five Towns. His business, called Dain Brothers, had one of the biggest pottery factories in England, and their cups and plates went all over the world. Sir Jehoshaphat was rich, because he sold his pottery very cheaply, and paid his workers very little. But Sir Jee liked to be important, so he used some of his money to pay for schools and hospitals for the people of the Five Towns.

杰霍沙法特·戴恩先生也许是五镇最精明、最成功的商人了,他的企业——戴恩兄弟公司,拥有英格兰最大的陶瓷工厂之一,生产的杯盘行销世界。杰霍沙法特很富有,因为他的陶瓷价格低廉,而且他付给工人的工资很少。然而杰先生喜欢出风头,于是他拿出一部分钱资助五镇的学校和医院。

The people of the Five Towns often laughed at Sir Jee, but they also wanted to say thank you for the schools and hospitals. They decided to give him a portrait for a present. So Cressage painted the portrait and many people in London thought it was very good. 'A wonderfully clever portrait of a successful businessman from a small town; a little man who has made a lot of money and who thinks he is very important,' said one newspaper.

五镇人经常嘲笑杰先生,但他们也想为那些学校和医院而感谢他。五镇人决定送给他一幅肖像作礼物,于是克雷塞奇画了这幅肖像。许多伦敦人觉得这幅画很不错。“对来自小镇的成功商人的绝妙刻画;一个自以为是的暴发户。”一家报纸如此评论。

It was not a kind portrait and many of the people of the Five Towns laughed when they saw it. But Sir Jehoshaphat had to take his present, and to say thank you for it. Now it was on his wall in his home, Sneyd Castle, and after sixteen months Lady Dain was tired of looking at it.

画里的人一副奸诈嘴脸,许多五镇的人看到画的时候都笑了出来。然而杰霍沙法特先生必须接受这个礼物,还不得不表示感谢。现在这幅画挂在他的家——斯尼德城堡的墙上,16个月以后,戴恩夫人实在是看够了这幅画。

Don't be stupid, wife,' said Sir Jee. 'I'm not taking that portrait down, or selling it — not even for ten thousand pounds. I want to keep it.'

“别傻了,夫人,”杰先生说,“我不会把这幅画取下来或者卖掉的——给我一万英镑我也不卖。我想留着它。”

But that wasn't true. Sir Jee hated the portrait more than his wife did. And he was thinking of a secret plan to get rid of it.

但事实并非如此。杰先生比他的妻子更讨厌这幅画。他在策划一个秘密计划来摆脱它。

Are you going into town this morning?' asked his wife.

“今早你要去镇上吗?”他的妻子问道。

Yes,' he answered. 'I'm in court today.'

“是的,”他回答,“我今天要上庭。”

He was one of the town magistrates. While he travelled into town, he thought about his plan for the portrait. It was a wild and dangerous plan, but he thought it was just possible.

他是镇上的地方法官之一。在去镇上的途中,他思索着关于肖像的计划。这个计划疯狂而危险,不过他认为行得通。

*   *   *

*   *   *

That morning, the police were very angry with Sir Jee. A man was in court, and the police said he was a burglar. They wanted him to go to prison for five years or more. But Sir Jee did not agree. He said there was no proof that William Smith was a burglar. The other magistrate was very surprised at this and the police were very cross, but William Smith left the court a free man. Before he left, Sir Jee asked to see him in his office.

那天早上,警察对杰先生很是恼火。一个男人在接受审判,警察认定他是个夜贼,想把他送进监狱,判五年甚至更多,但杰先生不同意,他说没有证据表明威廉·史密斯是个夜贼。另一位法官很是惊讶,警察也很生气,但是威廉·史密斯被无罪释放了。他离开前,杰先生要他到自己的办公室来。

Smith,' said Sir Jee, looking at him carefully, 'you were a lucky man this morning, you know.'

“史密斯,”杰先生边说边认真地打量着他,“今早你很走运,知道吗?”

Smith was a small, thin man, with untidy hair and dirty clothes.

史密斯又矮又瘦,头发凌乱,衣着邋遢。

Yes, I was lucky,' he answered. 'And what do you want from me?'

“是,我很走运,”他答道,“你想让我做什么?”

I hope I can help you,' said Sir Jee.

“我希望能帮助你。”杰先生说。

I don't know if I want help, but I never say no to money.'

“我不知道我是否需要帮助,不过我对钱从不拒绝。”

Sit down,' said Sir Jee.

“坐下吧。”杰先生说。

William Smith sat down at Sir Jee's desk. 'Well?' he asked.

威廉·史密斯在杰先生的桌子旁坐下来。“什么事?”他问道。

I want you to steal something from my house. But it won't be a crime.'

“我想让你从我家偷点儿东西,但这不会成为一项罪行。”

What?' Smith was very surprised.

“什么?”史密斯很是惊讶。

In my house, Sneyd Castle, there is a portrait of myself. I want someone to steal it.'

“在我的家里,就是斯尼德城堡里,有一幅我的画像。我想让人把它偷走。”

Steal it?'

“把它偷走?”

Yes.'

“没错。”

How much will you pay me for doing it?'

“你打算付我多少钱?”

Pay you?' said Sir Jee. 'It's a Cressage! You'll get two thousand pounds for it in America.'

“付钱?”杰先生说,“那是克雷塞奇的画!在美国能卖2000英镑。”

And Sir Jee told Smith the story of the portrait and why he wanted to get rid of it. Smith thought for a minute and then said:

杰先生告诉史密斯那幅肖像的事以及为什么想摆脱它。史密斯想了想,然后说:

All right, I'll do it, just to help you.'

“好吧,我会去,为了帮你。”

When can you do it? Tonight?'

“你什么时候动手?今晚?”

No,' said Smith. 'I'm busy tonight.'

“不行,”史密斯说,“我今晚很忙。”

Well, tomorrow night.'

“那就明晚。”

I'm busy tomorrow, too.'

“我明天也忙。”

You're a busy man,' said Sir Jee.

“你还真是个忙人啊。”杰先生说。

Well, business is business, you know,' said Smith. 'I can do it the day after tomorrow.'

“哦,生意就是生意,你知道。”史密斯说,“我后天来。”

But that's Christmas Eve.'

“可那天是圣诞前夜。”

Well, it's either that or Christmas Day. I'm busy again after that.'

“哦,要么是那天,要么就是圣诞节那天。我之后又要忙了。”

Not in the Five Towns, I hope,' said Sir Jee.

“不是在五镇忙吧,我希望。”杰先生说。

No. There's nothing left in the Five Towns.'

“不是,五镇没剩什么可偷的了。”

So they agreed on Christmas Eve.

于是他们商定在圣诞前夜动手。

Now,' said Sir Jee, 'I'll describe the rooms in Sneyd Castle to you. Then you'll know where —'

“现在,”杰先生说,“我来告诉你斯尼德城堡的房间布局。这样你就知道哪里——”

William Smith looked at him and laughed loudly. 'Describe the rooms to me? Do you think I'm stupid? I'm a businessman — I know Sneyd Castle better than you do.'

威廉·史密斯看着他大笑起来。“告诉我房间布局?你觉得我是傻子吗?我是个生意人——我比你更了解斯尼德城堡。”

*   *   *

*   *   *

On the afternoon of 24th December, when Sir Jehoshaphat came home to Sneyd Castle, his wife was packing suitcases. The Dains were going to their son's house for Christmas. Their son John had a new wife and a new baby, and he wanted to spend Christmas in his new home with all the family.

12月24日下午,杰霍沙法特先生回到斯尼德城堡的时候,他的妻子正在收拾行李。戴恩夫妇要去他们儿子的家里过圣诞节。他们的儿子约翰刚刚结婚生子,所以想在新家和家人共度圣诞。

Sir Jee said nothing to his wife immediately. He watched her for a while and then later, during tea, he said suddenly: 'I can't come to John's house this afternoon.'

杰先生没有马上对妻子说什么。他看了妻子一会儿,到了喝茶的时候,他突然说:“我下午不能去约翰家了。”

Oh, Jee!' she cried. 'You are difficult. Why didn't you tell me before?'

“哦,杰!”她喊道,“你真让人扫兴。为什么不早点儿告诉我?”

He didn't answer the question. 'I'll come over tomorrow morning — perhaps in time for church.'

他没回答这个问题。“我明天早上过去——或许赶得上去教堂。”

There's no food in the house. And the servants are all going away on holiday. There's nobody to cook for you. I'll stay with you if you like.'

“家里没吃的了,佣人们也都放假了,家里没人给你做饭。如果你愿意,我留下来陪你吧。”

No, I'll be all right.'

“不必了,我能行。”

Lady Dain went to her son's, leaving some cold food for Sir Jee.

戴恩夫人去了儿子家,给杰先生留了些冷的饭菜。

Sir Jee had a cold, silent meal, in front of his portrait. He was alone in the castle and that was a good thing, he decided. There were no servants to wake up and hear William Smith at work. Sir Jee was a little afraid; perhaps it was dangerous to bring a burglar into the house. He looked again at the portrait in its big gold frame. 'Will he take the frame?' he asked himself. 'I hope he doesn't. It's very heavy. I don't think one man could carry that.' But perhaps Smith had someone to help him.

杰先生对着他的肖像吃了一顿寂寞的冷餐。城堡里只有他自己,他觉得这很好。佣人们不会醒来听到威廉·史密斯偷东西的声音。杰先生有点儿害怕:引贼入室也许还是有危险的。他又看了看嵌在巨大金画框里的画像。“他会拿走画框吗?”他问自己,“希望他不会,这很沉。一个人恐怕拿不了。”但也许史密斯有帮手。

Goodbye!' he said to his portrait, opened one of the windows for William Smith, and went to bed.

“再见!”他对自己的画像说。他为威廉·史密斯打开一扇窗户,然后就去睡了。

He did not sleep. He listened. At about two o'clock there were a few noises. They stopped, then started again. Smith was at work. Sir Jee got out of bed quietly, went to the window and looked out carefully. Two men were carrying something large and square across the garden. So Smith had a friend, and he was taking the portrait and the frame.

他没有睡着,而是一直在听。两点左右有些动静,停了一会儿,又继续响起来。史密斯在干活儿了。杰先生悄悄起床,走到窗前,小心地朝窗外看去。有两个人正搬着件又大又方的东西穿过花园。原来史密斯还带了个同伙,而且他把画和画框一起偷走了。

Sir Jee went back to bed. He slept for a few hours and then went downstairs.

杰先生躺回床上。他又睡了几个小时,然后下了楼。

The portrait was on the floor with some writing across it in big white letters: 'This is no good to me.' It was the big gold frame that was missing.

画像放在地板上,上面写着几个白色大字:“这个对我没用。”而那个大大的金画框不见了。

And that wasn't all. Plates, knives, forks, spoons, cups — everything made of silver was also missing. There was not a single silver spoon left in the castle.

丢的还不只这个,盘子、刀叉、勺子、杯子——所有的银器都不见了,城堡里连一把银勺子也没剩下。

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