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Chapter 14

THE worst of being wanted by the police in a town like Barcelona is that everything opens so late. When you sleep out of doors you always wake about dawn, and none of the Barcelona cafes opens much before nine. It was hours before I could get a cup of coffee or a shave. It seemed queer, in the barber's shop, to see the Anarchist notice still on the wall, explaining that tips were prohibited. 'The Revolution has struck off our chains,' the notice said. I felt like telling the barbers that their chains would soon be back again if they didn't look out.

I wandered back to the centre of the town. Over the P.O.U.M. buildings the red flags had been torn down, Republican flags were floating in their place, and knots of armed Civil Guards were lounging in the doorways. At the Red Aid centre on the corner of the Plaza de Gataluna the police had amused themselves by smashing most of the windows. The P.O.U.M. book-stalls had been emptied of books and the notice-board farther down the Ramblas had been plastered with an anti-P.O.U.M. cartoon--the one representing the mask and the Fascist face beneath. Down at the bottom of the Ramblas, near the quay, I came upon a queer sight; a row of militiamen, still ragged and muddy from the front, sprawling exhaustedly on the chairs placed there for the bootblacks. I knew who they were --indeed, I recognized one of them. They were P.O.U.M. militiamen who had come down the line on the previous day to find that the P.O.U.M. had been suppressed, and had had to spend the night in the streets because their homes had been raided. Any P.O.U.M. militiaman who returned to Barcelona at this time had the choice of going straight into hiding or into jail--not a pleasant reception after three or four months in the line.

It was a queer situation that we were in. At night one was a hunted fugitive, but in the daytime one could live an almost normal life. Every house known to harbour P.O.U.M. supporters was--or at any rate was likely to be--under observation, and it was impossible to go to a hotel or boarding-house, because it had been decreed that on the arrival of a stranger the hotel-keeper must inform the police immediately. Practically this meant spending the night out of doors. In the daytime, on the other hand, in a town the size of Barcelona, you were fairly safe. The streets were thronged by Civil Guards, Assault Guards, Carabineros, and ordinary police, besides God knows how many spies in plain clothes; still, they could not stop everyone who passed, and if you looked normal you might escape notice. The thing to do was to avoid hanging round P.O.U.M. buildings and going to cafes and restaurants where the waiters knew you by sight. I spent a long time that day, and the next, in having a bath at one of the public baths. This struck me as a good way of putting in the time and keeping out of sight. Unfortunately the same idea occurred to a lot of people, and a few days later--after I left Barcelona--the police raided one of the public baths and arrested a number of 'Trotskyists' in a state of nature.

Half-way up the Ramblas I ran into one of the wounded men from the Sanatorium Maurin. We exchanged the sort of invisible wink that people were exchanging at that time, and managed in an unobtrusive way to meet in a cafe farther up the street. He had escaped arrest when the Maurin was raided, but, like the others, had been driven into the street. He was in shirt-sleeves--had had to flee without his jacket--and had no money. He described to me how one of the Civil Guards had torn the large coloured portrait of Maurin from the wall and kicked it to pieces. Maurin (one of the founders of the P.O.U.M.) was a prisoner in the hands of the Fascists and at that time was believed to have been shot by them.

I met my wife at the British Consulate at ten o'clock. McNair and Cottman turned up shortly afterwards. The first thing they told me was that Bob Smillie was dead. He had died in prison at Valencia--of what, nobody knew for certain. He had been buried immediately, and the I.L.P. representative on the spot, David Murray, had been refused permission to see his body.

Of course I assumed at once that Smillie had been shot. It was what everyone believed at the time, but I have since thought that I may have been wrong. Later the cause of his death was given out as appendicitis, and we heard afterwards from another prisoner who had been released that Smillie had certainly been ill in prison. So perhaps the appendicitis story was true. The refusal to let Murray see his body may have been due to pure spite. I must say this, however. Bob Smillie was only twenty-two years old and physically he was one of the toughest people I have met. He was, I think, the only person I knew, English or Spanish, who went three months in the trenches without a day's illness. People so tough as that do not usually die of appendicitis if they are properly looked after. But when you saw what the Spanish jails were like--the makeshift jails used for political prisoners--you realized how much chance there was of a sick man getting proper attention. The jails were places that could only be described as dungeons. In England you would have to go back to the eighteenth century to find anything comparable. People were penned together in small rooms where there was barely space for them to lie down, and often they were kept in cellars and other dark places. This was not as a temporary measure--there were cases of people being kept four and five months almost without sight of daylight. And they were fed on a filthy and insufficient diet of two plates of soup and two pieces of bread a day. (Some months later, however, the food seems to have improved a little.) I am not exaggerating; ask any political suspect who was imprisoned in Spain. I have had accounts of the Spanish jails from a number of separate sources, and they agree with one another too well to be disbelieved; besides, I had a few glimpses into one Spanish jail myself. Another English friend who was imprisoned later writes that his experiences in jail 'make Smillie's case easier to understand'. Smillie's death is not a thing I can easily forgive. Here was this brave and gifted boy, who had thrown up his career at Glasgow University in order to come and fight against Fascism, and who, as I saw for myself, had done his job at the front with faultless courage and willingness; and all they could find to do with him was to fling him into jail and let him die like a neglected animal. I know that in the middle of a huge and bloody war it is no use making too much fuss over an individual death. One aeroplane bomb in a crowded street causes more suffering than quite a lot of political persecution. But what angers one about a death like this is its utter pointlessness. To be killed in battle-- yes, that is what one expects; but to be flung into jail, not even for any imaginary offence, but simply owing to dull blind spite, and then left to die in solitude--that is a different matter. I fail to see how this kind of thing-- and it is not as though Smillie's case were exceptional--brought victory any nearer.

My wife and I visited Kopp that afternoon. You were allowed to visit prisoners who were not incommunicado, though it was not safe to do so more than once or twice. The police watched the people who came and went, and if you visited the jails too often you stamped yourself as a friend of 'Trotskyists' and probably ended in jail yourself. This had already happened to a number of people.

Kopp was not incommunicado and we got a permit to see him without difficulty. As they led us through the steel doors into the jail, a Spanish militiaman whom I had known at the front was being led out between two Civil Guards. His eye met mine; again the ghostly wink. And the first person we saw inside was an American militiaman who had left for home a few days earlier; his papers were in good order, but they had arrested him at the frontier all the same, probably because he was still wearing corduroy breeches and was therefore identifiable as a militiaman. We walked past one another as though we had been total strangers. That was dreadful. I had known him. for months, had shared a dug-out with him, he had helped to carry me down the line when I was wounded; but it was the only thing one could do. The blue--clad guards were snooping everywhere. It would be fatal to recognize too many people.

The so-called jail was really the ground floor of a shop. Into two rooms each measuring about twenty feet square, close on a hundred people were penned. The place had the real eighteenth-century Newgate Calendar appearance, with its frowsy dirt, its huddle of human bodies, its lack of furniture--just the bare stone floor, one bench, and a few ragged blankets--and its murky light, for the corrugated steel shutters had been drawn over the windows. On the grimy walls revolutionary slogans--'Visca P.O.U.M.!' 'Viva la Revolucion!' and so forth-- had been scrawled. The place had been used as a dump for political prisoners for months past. There was a deafening racket of voices. This was the visiting hour, and the place was so packed with people that it was difficult to move. Nearly all of them were of the poorest of the working-class population. You saw women undoing pitiful packets of food which they had brought for their imprisoned men-folk. There were several of the wounded men from the Sanatorium Maurin among the prisoners. Two of them had amputated legs; one of them had been brought to prison without his crutch and was hopping about on one foot. There was also a boy of not more than twelve; they were even arresting children, apparently. The place had the beastly stench that you always get when crowds of people are penned together without proper sanitary arrangements.

Kopp elbowed his way through the crowd to meet us. His plump fresh--coloured face looked much as usual, and in that filthy place he had kept his uniform neat and had even contrived to shave. There was another officer in the uniform of the Popular Army among the prisoners. He and Kopp saluted as they struggled past one another; the gesture was pathetic, somehow. Kopp seemed in excellent spirits. 'Well, I suppose we shall all be shot,' he said cheerfully. The word 'shot' gave me a sort of inward shudder. A bullet had entered my own body recently and the feeling of it was fresh in my memory; it is not nice to think of that happening to anyone you know well. At that time I took it for granted that all the principal people in the P.O.U.M., and Kopp among them, would be shot. The first rumour of Nin's death had just filtered through, and we knew that the P.O.U.M. were being accused of treachery and espionage. Everything pointed to a huge frame-up trial followed by a massacre of leading 'Trotskyists.' It is a terrible thing to see your friend in jail and to know yourself impotent to help him. For there was nothing that one could do; useless even to appeal to the Belgian authorities, for Kopp had broken the law of his own country by coming here. I had to leave most of the talking to my wife; with my squeaking voice I could not make myself heard in the din. Kopp was telling us about the friends he had made among the other prisoners, about the guards, some of whom were good fellows, but some of whom abused and beat the more timid prisoners, and about the food, which was 'pig-wash'. Fortunately we had thought to bring a packet of food, also cigarettes. Then Kopp began telling us about the papers that had been taken from him when he was arrested. Among them was his letter from the Ministry of War, addressed to the colonel commanding engineering operations in the Army of the East. The police had seized it and refused to give it back; it was said to be lying in the Chief of Police's office. It might make a very great difference if it were recovered.

I saw instantly how important this might be. An official letter of that kind, bearing the recommendation of the Ministry of War and of General Pozas, would establish Kopp's bona fides. But the trouble was to prove that the letter existed; if it were opened in the Chief of Police's office one could be sure that some nark or other would destroy it. There was only one person who might possibly be able to get it back, and that was the officer to whom it was addressed. Kopp had already thought of this, and he had written a letter which he wanted me to smuggle out of the jail and post. But it was obviously quicker and surer to go in person. I left my wife with Kopp, rushed out, and, after a long search, found a taxi. I knew that time was everything. It was now about half past five, the colonel would probably leave his office at six, and by tomorrow the letter might be God knew where--destroyed, perhaps, or lost somewhere in the chaos of documents that was presumably piling up as suspect after suspect was arrested. The colonel's office was at the War Department down by the quay. As I hurried up the steps the Assault Guard on duty at the door barred the way with his long bayonet and demanded 'papers'. I waved my discharge ticket at him; evidently he could not read, and he let me pass, impressed by the vague mystery of' papers'. Inside, the place was a huge complicated warren running round a central courtyard, with hundreds of offices on each floor; and, as this was Spain, nobody had the vaguest idea where the office I was looking for was. I kept repeating: 'El coronet--, jefe de ingenieros, Ejercito de Este!' People smiled and shrugged their shoulders gracefully. Everyone who had an opinion sent me in a different direction; up these stairs, down those, along interminable passages which turned out to be blind alleys. And time was slipping away. I had the strangest sensation of being in a nightmare: the rushing up and down flights of stairs, the mysterious people coming and going, the glimpses through open doors of chaotic offices with papers strewn everywhere and typewriters clicking; and time slipping away and a life perhaps in the balance.

However, I got there in time, and slightly to my surprise I was granted a hearing. I did not see Colonel--, but his aide-de-camp or secretary, a little slip of an officer in smart uniform, with large and squinting eyes, came out to interview me in the ante-room. I began to pour forth my story. I had come on behalf of my superior officer. Major Jorge Kopp, who was on an urgent mission to the front and had been arrested by mistake. The letter to Colonel--was of a confidential nature and should be recovered without delay. I had served with Kopp for months, he was an officer of the highest character, obviously his arrest was a mistake, the police had confused him with someone else, etc., etc., etc. I kept piling it on about the urgency of Kopp's mission to the front, knowing that this was the strongest point. But it must have sounded a strange tale, in my villainous Spanish which elapsed into French at every crisis. The worst was that my voice gave out almost at once and it was only by violent straining that I could produce a sort of croak. I was in dread that it would disappear altogether and the little officer would grow tired of trying to listen to me. I have often wondered what he thought was wrong with my Voice--whether he thought I was drunk or merely suffering from a guilty conscience.

However, he heard me patiently, nodded his head a great number of times, and gave a guarded assent to what I said. Yes, it sounded as though there might have been a mistake. Clearly the matter should be looked into. Manana--I protested. Not manana! The matter was urgent; Kopp was due at the front already. Again the officer seemed to agree. Then came the question I was dreading:

'This Major Kopp--what force was he serving in?'

The terrible word had to come out: 'In the P.O.U.M. militia.'

'P.O.U.M.!'

I wish I could convey to you the shocked alarm in his voice. You have got to remember how the P.O.U.M. was regarded at that moment. The spy--scare was at its height; probably all good Republicans did believe for a day or two that the P.O.U.M. was a huge spying organization in German pay. To have to say such a thing to an officer in the Popular Army was like going into the Cavalry Club immediately after the Red Letter scare and announcing yourself a Communist. His dark eyes moved obliquely across my face. Another long pause, then he said slowly:

'And you say you were with him at the front. Then you were serving in the P.O.U.M. militia yourself?'

'Yes.'

He turned and dived into the colonel's room. I could hear an agitated conversation. 'It's all up,' I thought. We should never get Kopp's letter back. Moreover I had had to confess that I was in the P.O.U.M. myself, and no doubt they would ring up the police and get me arrested, just to add another Trotskyist to the bag. Presently, however, the officer reappeared, fitting on his cap, and sternly signed to me to follow. We were going to the Chief of Police's office. It was a long way, twenty minutes' walk. The little officer marched stiffly in front with a military step. We did not exchange a single word the whole way. When we got to the Chief of Police's office a crowd of the most dreadful-looking scoundrels, obviously police narks, informers, and spies of every kind, were hanging about outside the door. The little officer went in; there was a long, heated conversation. You could hear voices furiously raised; you pictured violent gestures, shrugging of the shoulders, hangings on the table. Evidently the police were refusing to give the letter up. At last, however, the officer emerged, flushed, but carrying a large official envelope. It was Kopp's letter. We had won a tiny victory--which, as it turned out, made not the slightest difference. The letter was duly delivered, but Kopp's military superiors were quite unable to get him out of jail.

The officer promised me that the letter should be delivered. But what about Kopp? I said. Could we not get him released? He shrugged his shoulders. That was another matter. They did not know what Kopp had been arrested for. He would only tell me that the proper inquiries would be made. There was no more to be said; it was time to part. Both of us bowed slightly. And then there happened a strange and moving thing. The little officer hesitated a moment, then stepped across, and shook hands with me.

I do not know if I can bring home to you how deeply that action touched me. It sounds a small thing, but it was not. You have got to realize what was the feeling of the time--the horrible atmosphere of suspicion and hatred, the lies and rumours circulating everywhere, the posters screaming from the hoardings that I and everyone like me was a Fascist spy. And you have got to remember that we were standing outside the Chief of Police's office, in front of that filthy gang of tale-bearers and agents provocateurs, any one of whom might know that I was 'wanted' by the police. It was like publicly shaking hands with a German during the Great War. I suppose he had decided in some way that I was not really a Fascist spy; still, it was good of him to shake hands.

I record this, trivial though it may sound, because it is somehow typical of Spain--of the flashes of magnanimity that you get from Spaniards in the worst of circumstances. I have the most evil memories of Spain, but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards. I only twice remember even being seriously angry with a Spaniard, and on each occasion, when I look back, I believe I was in the wrong myself. They have, there is no doubt, a generosity, a species of nobility, that do not really belong to the twentieth century. It is this that makes one hope that in Spain even Fascism may take a comparatively loose and bearable form. Few Spaniards possess the damnable efficiency and consistency that a modern totalitarian state needs. There had been a queer little illustration of this fact a few nights earlier, when the police had searched my wife's room. As a matter of fact that search was a very interesting business, and I wish I had seen it, though perhaps it is as well that I did not, for I might not have kept my temper.

The police conducted the search in the recognized Ogpu or Gestapo style. In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room, obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. They impounded all papers, including the contents of the waste-paper basket, and all our books into the bargain. They were thrown into ecstasies of suspicion by finding that we possessed a French translation of Hitler's Mein Kampf. If that had been the only book they found our doom would have been sealed. It is obvious that a person who reads Mein Kampf must be a Fascist. The next moment, however, they came upon a copy of Stalin's pamphlet. Ways of Liquidating Trotskyists and other Double Dealers, which reassured them somewhat. In one drawer there was a number of packets of cigarette papers. They picked each packet to pieces and examined each paper separately, in case there should be messages written on them. Altogether they were on the job for nearly two hours. Yet all this time they never searched the bed. My wife was lying in bed all the while; obviously there might have been half a dozen sub--machine-guns under the mattress, not to mention a library of Trotskyist documents under the pillow. Yet the detectives made no move to touch the bed, never even looked underneath it. I cannot believe that this is a regular feature of the Ogpu routine. One must remember that the police were almost entirely under Communist control, and these men were probably Communist Party members themselves. But they were also Spaniards, and to turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently dropped, making the whole search meaningless.

That night McNair, Cottman, and I slept in some long grass at the edge of a derelict building-lot. It was a cold night for the time of year and no one slept much. I remember the long dismal hours of loitering about before one could get a cup of coffee. For the first time since I had been in Barcelona I went to have a look at the cathedral--a modern cathedral, and one of the most hideous buildings in the world. It has four crenellated spires exactly the shape of hock bottles. Unlike most of the churches in Barcelona it was not damaged during the revolution--it was spared because of its 'artistic value', people said. I think the Anarchists showed bad taste in not blowing it up when they had the chance, though they did hang a red and black banner between its spires. That afternoon my wife and I went to see Kopp for the last time. There was nothing that we could do for him, absolutely nothing, except to say good-bye and leave money with Spanish friends who would take him food and cigarettes. A little while later, however, after we had left Barcelona, he was placed incommunicado and not even food could be sent to him. That night, walking down the Ramblas, we passed the Cafe Moka, which the Civil Guards were still holding in force. On an impulse I went in and spoke to two of them who were leaning against the counter with their rifles slung over their shoulders. I asked them if they knew which of their comrades had been on duty here at the time of the May fighting. They did not know, and, with the usual Spanish vagueness, did not know how one could find out. I said that my friend Jorge Kopp was in prison and would perhaps be put on trial for something in connexion with the May fighting; that the men who were on duty here would know that he had stopped the fighting and saved some of their lives; they ought to come forward and give evidence to that effect. One of the men I was talking to was a dull, heavy-looking man who kept shaking his head because he could not hear my voice in the din of the traffic. But the other was different. He said he had heard of Kopp's action from some of his comrades; Kopp was buen chico (a good fellow). But even at the time I knew that it was all useless. If Kopp were ever tried, it would be, as in all such trials, with faked evidence. If he has been shot (and I am afraid it is quite likely), that will be his epitaph: the buen chico of the poor Civil Guard who was part of a dirty system but had remained enough of a human being to know a decent action when he saw one.

It was an extraordinary, insane existence that we were leading. By night we were criminals, but by day we were prosperous English visitors--that was our pose, anyway. Even after a night in the open, a shave, a bath, and a shoe-shine do wonders with your appearance. The safest thing at present was to look as bourgeois as possible. We frequented the fashionable residential quarter of the town, where our faces were not known, went to expensive restaurants, and were very English with the waiters. For the first time in my life I took to writing things on walls. The passage-ways of several smart restaurants had 'Visca P.O.U.M.!' scrawled on them as large as I could write it. All the while, though I was technically in hiding, I could not feel myself in danger. The whole thing seemed too absurd. I had the ineradicable English belief that' they' cannot arrest you unless you have broken the law. It is a most dangerous belief to have during a political pogrom. There was a warrant out for McNair's arrest, and the chances were that the rest of us were on the list as well. The arrests, raids, searchings were continuing without pause; practically everyone we knew, except those who were still at the front, was in jail by this time. The police were even boarding the French ships that periodically took off refugees and seizing suspected 'Trotskyists'.

Thanks to the kindness of the British consul, who must have had a very trying time during that week, we had managed to get our passports into order. The sooner we left the better. There was a train that was due to leave for Port Bou at half past seven in the evening and might normally be expected to leave at about half past eight. We arranged that my wife should order a taxi beforehand and then pack her bags, pay her bill, and leave the hotel at the last possible moment. If she gave the hotel people too much notice they would be sure to send for the police. I got down to the station at about seven to find that the train had already gone--it had left at ten to seven. The engine--driver had changed his mind, as usual. Fortunately we managed to warn my wife in time. There was another train early the following morning. McNair, Cottman, and I had dinner at a little restaurant near the station and by cautious questioning discovered that the restaurant--keeper was a C.N.T. member and friendly. He let us a three-bedded room and forgot to warn the police. It was the first time in five nights that I had been able to sleep with my clothes off.

Next morning my wife slipped out of the hotel successfully. The train was about an hour late in starting. I filled in the time by writing a long letter to the Ministry of War, telling them about Kopp's case--that without a doubt he had been arrested by mistake, that he was urgently needed at the front, that countless people would testify that he was innocent of any offence, etc., etc., etc. I wonder if anyone read that letter, written on pages torn out of a note-book in wobbly handwriting (my fingers were still partly paralysed) and still more wobbly Spanish. At any rate, neither this letter nor anything else took effect. As I write, six months after the event, Kopp (if he has not been shot) is still in jail, untried and uncharged. At the beginning we had two or three letters from him, smuggled out by released prisoners and posted in France. They all told the same story--imprisonment in filthy dark dens, bad and insufficient food, serious illness due to the conditions of imprisonment, and refusal of medical attention. I have had all this confirmed from several other sources, English and French. More recently he disappeared into one of the 'secret prisons' with which it seems impossible to make any kind of communication. His case is the case of scores or hundreds of foreigners and no one knows how many thousands of Spaniards.

In the end we crossed the frontier without incident. The train had a first class and a dining-car, the first I had seen in Spain. Until recently there had been only one class on the trains in Catalonia. Two detectives came round the train taking the names of foreigners, but when they saw us in the dining-car they seemed satisfied that we were respectable. It was queer how everything had changed. Only six months ago, when the Anarchists still reigned, it was looking like a proletarian that made you respectable. On the way down from Perpignan to Cerberes a French commercial traveller in my carriage had said to me in all solemnity: 'You mustn't go into Spain looking like that. Take off that collar and tie. They'll tear them off you in Barcelona.' He was exaggerating, but it showed how Catalonia was regarded. And at the frontier the Anarchist guards had turned back a smartly dressed Frenchman and his wife, solely--I think--because they looked too bourgeois. Now it was the other way about; to look bourgeois was the one salvation. At the passport office they looked us up in the card--index of suspects, but thanks to the inefficiency of the police our names were not listed, not even McNair's. We were searched from head to foot, but we possessed nothing incriminating, except my discharge--papers, and the carabineros who searched me did not know that the 29th Division was the P.O.U.M. So we slipped through the barrier, and after just six months I was on French soil again. My only souvenirs of Spain were a goatskin water-bottle and one of those tiny iron lamps in which the Aragon peasants bum olive oil--lamps almost exactly the shape of the terra-cotta lamps that the Romans used two thousand years ago-- which I had picked up in some ruined hut, and which had somehow got stuck in my luggage.

After all, it turned out that we had come away none too soon. The very first newspaper we saw announced McNair's arrest for espionage. The Spanish authorities had been a little premature in announcing this. Fortunately, 'Trotskyism'is not extraditable.

I wonder what is the appropriate first action when you come from a country at war and set foot on peaceful soil. Mine was to rush to the tobacco-kiosk and buy as many cigars and cigarettes as I could stuff into my pockets. Then we all went to the buffet and had a cup of tea, the first tea with fresh milk in it that we had had for many months. It was several days before I could get used to the idea that you could buy cigarettes whenever you wanted them. I always half-expected to see the tobacconists' doors barred and the forbidding notice 'No hay tabaco' in the window.

McNair and Cottman were going on to Paris. My wife and I got off the train at Banyuls, the first station up the line, feeling that we would like a rest. We were not too well received in Banyuls when they discovered that we had come from Barcelona. Quite a number of times I was involved in the same conversation: 'You come from Spain? Which side were you fighting on? The Government? Oh!'--and then a marked coolness. The little town seemed solidly pro-Franco, no doubt because of the various Spanish Fascist refugees who had arrived there from time to time. The waiter at the cafe I frequented was a pro-Franco Spaniard and used to give me lowering glances as he served me with an aperitif. It was otherwise in Perpignan, which was stiff with Government partisans and where all the different factions were caballing against one another almost as in Barcelona. There was one cafe where the word 'P.O.U.M.' immediately procured you French friends and smiles from the waiter.

I think we stayed three days in Banyuls. It was a strangely restless time. In this quiet fishing-town, remote from bombs, machine-guns, food-queues, propaganda, and intrigue, we ought to have felt profoundly relieved and thankful. We felt nothing of the kind. The things we had seen in Spain did not recede and fall into proportion now that we were away from them; instead they rushed back upon us and were far more vivid than before. We thought, talked, dreamed incessantly of Spain. For months past we had been telling ourselves that 'when we get out of Spain' we would go somewhere beside the Mediterranean and be quiet for a little while and perhaps do a little fishing, but now that we were here it was merely a bore and a disappointment. It was chilly weather, a persistent wind blew off the sea, the water was dull and choppy, round the harbour's edge a scum of ashes, corks, and fish-guts bobbed against the stones. It sounds like lunacy, but the thing that both of us wanted was to be back in Spain. Though it could have done no good to anybody, might indeed have done serious harm, both of us wished that we had stayed to be imprisoned along with the others. I suppose I have failed to convey more than a little of what those months in Spain meant to me. I have recorded some of the outward events, but I cannot record the feeling they have left me with. It is all mixed up with sights, smells, and sounds that cannot be conveyed in writing: the smell of the trenches, the mountain dawns stretching away into inconceivable distances, the frosty crackle of bullets, the roar and glare of bombs; the clear cold light of the Barcelona mornings, and the stamp of boots in the barrack yard, back in December when people still believed in the revolution; and the food-queues and the red and black flags and the faces of Spanish militiamen; above all the faces of militiamen--men whom I knew in the line and who are now scattered Lord knows where, some killed in battle, some maimed, some in prison--most of them, I hope, still safe and sound. Good luck to them all; I hope they win their war and drive all the foreigners out of Spain, Germans, Russians, and Italians alike. This war, in which I played so ineffectual a part, has left me with memories that are mostly evil, and yet I do not wish that I had missed it. When you have had a glimpse of such a disaster as this--and however it ends the Spanish war will turn out to have been an appalling disaster, quite apart from the slaughter and physical suffering--the result is not necessarily disillusionment and cynicism. Curiously enough the whole experience has left me with not less but more belief in the decency of human beings. And I hope the account I have given is not too misleading. I believe that on such an issue as this no one is or can be completely truthful. It is difficult to be certain about anything except what you have seen with your own eyes, and consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan. In case I have not said this somewhere earlier in the book I will say it now: beware of my partisanship, my mistakes of fact, and the distortion inevitably caused by my having seen only one corner of events. And beware of exactly the same things when you read any other book on this period of the Spanish war.

Because of the feeling that we ought to be doing something, though actually there was nothing we could do, we left Banyuls earlier than we had intended. With every mile that you went northward France grew greener and softer. Away from the mountain and the vine, back to the meadow and the elm. When I had passed through Paris on my way to Spain it had seemed to me decayed and gloomy, very different from the Paris I had known eight years earlier, when living was cheap and Hitler was not heard of. Half the cafes I used to know were shut for lack of custom, and everyone was obsessed with the high cost of living and the fear of war. Now, after poor Spain, even Paris seemed gay and prosperous. And the Exhibition was in full swing, though we managed to avoid visiting it.

And then England--southern England, probably the sleekest landscape in the world. It is difficult when you pass that way, especially when you are peacefully recovering from sea-sickness with the plush cushions of a boat-train carriage under your bum, to believe that anything is really happening anywhere. Earthquakes in Japan, famines in China, revolutions in Mexico? Don't worry, the milk will be on the doorstep tomorrow morning, the New Statesman will come out on Friday. The industrial towns were far away, a smudge of smoke and misery hidden by the curve of the earth's surface. Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the cottage gardens; and then the huge peaceful wilderness of outer London, the barges on the miry river, the familiar streets, the posters telling of cricket matches and Royal weddings, the men in bowler hats, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, the red buses, the blue policemen--all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.

在巴塞罗那这样的城市里,横遭警察的追捕和通缉,最糟糕的事情莫过于所有的店铺开门都非常迟。在户外睡觉的时候,黎明的光芒总是能够按时把你唤醒,可巴塞罗那咖啡馆的大门却依然紧闭,没有一家会在九点以前开门营业。你得耐心地等上好几个小时才能喝到一杯咖啡,或刮一次胡须。令人感到奇怪的是,在理发店的墙上,依然可以看到无政府主义者的公告,明令禁止索要小费。公告上说:“革命已经砸开了强加在我们身上的锁链。”我很想告诉理发师,如不小心堤防的话,锁链也许很快就会重新落到他们的身上。

我信步来到市中心。在那些曾经属于马统工党的建筑物的顶上,红旗已经被扯下,取而代之的共和国旗帜迎风飘扬;大楼门口则有成群的国民自卫队士兵,怀里抱着武器,懒洋洋地斜靠在门前的墙壁上。位于加泰罗尼亚广场一角的红色援助中心,那里的大部分窗户玻璃已被砸得粉碎,无事可做的警察乐此不疲。马统工党的书摊内已见不到一本书。远处拉姆拉斯大街的公告栏中张贴着一副法西斯分子的丑恶嘴脸。在拉姆拉斯大街的尽头,离码头不远的地方,我碰巧看到了一幕奇特的景象:一群从前线归来的浑身泥污、衣衫破烂的民兵,正仰面朝天地躺在擦鞋匠的椅子上,神情疲惫不堪。我知道他们是什么人——真的,我认出了其中的一位。他们是马统工党的民兵。他们前一天才从前线返回,并发现马统工党已遭镇压,他们的家庭也遭受牵连而被洗劫一空,因此,他们不得不露宿街头。任何这个时候从前线回来的马统工党的民兵,只有两种选择:要么立即躲藏起来,要么马上被投入监狱。——对于那些在前线浴血奋战三四个月之久的战士来说,接受这般礼遇绝不是一件令人愉快的事。

我们正处在一种极为奇特的境遇之中。人们在晚上是被通缉的逃犯,而在白天却可以过着普通人的正常生活。每个藏匿马统工党及其支持者的人家,只要这样做过的——或者有可能会这样做的,都已被监视起来;旅馆或公寓里也丝毫没有例外,老板们已被要求一旦有陌生人来到,就必须马上报告警察。实际上,这就意味着任何陌生人只能在户外过夜。另一方面,在巴塞罗那这样规模的城市里,白天倒还相对安全一些。尽管国民自卫队士兵、突袭队员、马枪骑兵和普通警察满街都是,另外还有只有上帝才知道的无数身桌便衣的警察密探,然而,他们不可能拦截盘查每一个过路行人,如果你看起来并非与众不同,那就不至于引起他们的特别注意。最重要的是,必须尽量避免在马统工党的建筑物附近逗留,绝对不要进入侍者认识你的那些咖啡馆和饭店。那天和第二天,我都在一家公共浴室里泡了很长时间的澡。我感到这是一种既可以打发时间又不惹人注意的好办法。遗憾的是,许多人都是这样去做的。结果没过几天——在我离开巴塞罗那之后——警察突袭了一家公共浴室,在浴池里逮捕了许多赤裸裸的“托洛茨基分子”。

我沿着拉姆拉斯大街往前走,中途遇到一个来自莫兰疗养院的伤员。我们相互交换了一种他人难以察觉的眼神,这是人们在那种特殊艰难时刻所使用的一种心照不宣的眼神,然后悄悄地溜进一家远离大街的咖啡馆里碰面。在莫林疗养院遭到突袭时,他侥幸躲过抓捕,但和其他人一样被驱赶到大街上。他只穿了一件衬衫——紧急逃跑来不及穿上夹克,——而且身无分文。他向我描述了一个国民自卫队士兵如何从墙上扯下莫林的大幅彩色画像,然后再用皮靴将其践踏成碎片。莫林(马统工党的创始人之一)落入了法西斯分子之手,人们认为,他在那个时候已经遭到枪杀。

上午十点,我在英国领事馆门前见到我妻子。没过多久,麦克奈尔和科特曼也来了。他们告诉我的第一件事情就是鲍勃?斯迈利死了。他死在巴伦西亚的监狱中,死因不详。他的尸体当即被掩埋,在场的英国独立工党代表大卫?默里曾请求看一下他的遗容,但遭到拒绝。

我当即认为斯迈利是被枪杀的。那时每个人都是这么认为的。但此后我认为自己可能弄错了。后来,他被正式公布的死因是阑尾炎。我们后来从另一个获释的囚犯那里得知,斯迈利在入狱后不久就病倒了。如此看来,阑尾炎致死的说法是可信的。他们拒绝让默里看斯迈利的尸体,可能只是出于对死者的恶意报复。然而,我必须指出,鲍勃?斯迈利只有22岁,是我所见过的最强壮的人之一。我认为,在我所认识的人中,无论英国人,还是西班牙人,唯有他可以在战壕中连续待上三个月而不生病。像鲍勃?斯迈利这样强壮的人,如果得到适当的照料,理应不会被阑尾炎夺去生命。但是,当你目睹了西班牙监狱——包括用于关押政治犯的临时场所——中的生活之后,你就能够意识到,一个生病囚犯得到适当照顾的几率会是多么微不足道。这些监狱只能被称作地牢。在英国,只有退回到18世纪,才能见到诸如此类的场景。人们被囚禁在狭小的牢房里,只能勉强容身;人们甚至被关进地窖或其他更为黑暗潮湿的地方。这并非暂时为之,而是长期如此:人们常常被关押在那种地方长达四五个月之久,从来见不到一线光明。他们全天的食物只有污秽不堪、少得可怜的汤和一两片面包。(几个月后他们的食物似乎稍稍有所改善。)我这绝不是夸大其词,任何一位曾在西班牙遭到拘禁的政治嫌疑犯都能加以证实。我已经从许多消息提供者那里分别得到了他们对西班牙监狱状况的描述;他们都证实了彼此的说法,几乎没有丝毫出入。此外,我自己也亲眼见过一所西班牙监狱。我的一位被囚禁的英国朋友对我说,他的狱中经历,“完全能够让人们更容易地理解斯迈利的遭遇”。我对斯迈利的死难以释怀。为了投身反法西斯的战斗,这个勇敢聪颖的大男孩,毅然放弃了自己在格拉斯哥大学的学业。在我看来,斯迈利在前线以无可挑剔的勇气和奋不顾身的精神完成了自己的使命。而那些人所做的,却是将他投入监狱,并让他像个无人关注的动物那样死去。我明白,仅仅为某一个在这场规模如此巨大的血腥战争中牺牲的人大加宣扬,也许无事于补。与许多的政治迫害相比,在拥挤的街道上空落下来的炸弹所造成的死亡可能会更大。但让人忿忿不平的是这种死亡毫无意义。在战场上战死——也许无怨无悔,那是死得其所;但被投入监狱,甚至没有任何可以罗列的过错,而只是以莫须有的罪名让人孤独地死去——这就必须另当别论了。我看不出这种事情——尽管斯迈利的事情有些特殊,并非普遍现象——将会如何有助于战争更接近胜利。

那天下午我和妻子探看了柯普。人们在获得批准的情况下可以看望没有被单独监禁的囚犯,但去多了并不安全。警察密切监视着来来往往的人,如果你频繁探监,那就等于给自己贴上了“托洛茨基分子”朋友的标签,从而被捕甚至死于监狱。这种事情已经在许多人身上发生了。

柯普并没有被单独监禁,因此我们没费多少周折就被允许探望。在狱警领我们进入监狱的钢筋混凝土大门时,恰巧碰上了我以前在前线认识的一位西班牙民兵,他正被两个国民自卫队队员一左一右地夹在中间押出监狱。我们短暂地相互对视了一下,马上假装互不相识。我们在监狱里看到的第一个人是来自美国的民兵,他在多天前就已办好了离开西班牙回国的手续。尽管他证件齐全,但在出境检查时仍然被捕,也许只是因为他当时穿着灯心绒马裤而被当作民兵抓起来的。我们擦肩而过,有如从不相识。这真是太可怕了。其实,我们已经认识好几个月了,我们曾经在同一条战壕里同甘共苦,在我负伤的时候是他把我背下阵地,当然,在那种情况下,任何人都会那样做的。由于身穿蓝制服的卫兵正在虎视每一个角落,与太多的熟人打招呼只会惹来杀身之祸。

这座所谓监狱原是一家商店的底楼。总共两个房间,每间不足20平方英尺,却密密麻麻地囚禁了100多号人。这里所呈现的是典型的十八世纪Newgate*的翻版,肮脏不堪,人们挤成一团,没有家具,只有光秃冰凉的石地坪、一条长凳、一些破烂毛毯,紧闭的钢质百叶窗只漏进了些许灰暗的光。灰蒙蒙的墙壁上涂满了革命口号——“马统工党永存!”、“革命万岁!”等等。在过去的几个月中,这里一直被用作政治犯临时关押地点。刺耳的嘈杂声到处响起。现在正是探监时间,处处人满为患,举步维艰。被囚禁的犯人几乎都是最贫困的工人无产者。你可以看到妇女们正在打开包裹取出少得可怜的食物,那是为自己被监禁的丈夫送来的。监狱中的有些受伤的民兵囚犯来自莫兰疗养院。他们中有两个人腿部截肢,其中一个人显然在突击抓捕时没来得及带上拐杖,只能靠剩下的那条腿跳跃行走。这里还有一个不到12岁的孩子,非常明显,他们甚至连孩子也不放过。一大群人被关押在这么一丁点大的地方,又没有任何卫生措施,以致你处处都能闻到一种刺鼻的恶臭。

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*纽盖特监狱,伦敦的一所著名监狱,1902年被拆毁。——译者

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柯普用胳膊推开拥挤的人群迎接我们。他那胖乎乎的圆脸仍与往常一样,看起来气色还算不错。在这种肮脏龌龊的环境中,他依然把制服弄得很整洁,甚至还把胡须也刮得精光。囚犯中还有一个身穿人民军制服的军官。他在拥挤的人群中与柯普相遇时,两个人几乎同时立正相互敬礼,在某种意义上,那种场景实在令人心酸。柯普的精神状态似乎非常好。“哦,我想我们都会被枪毙。”他高兴地说。“枪毙”这个词在我的心里引起了一阵战栗。不久前子弹穿过我的肉体时的那种感觉,我仍记忆犹新。一想到那种事将发生在你所熟悉的某个人的身上,绝不是一件好受的事情。当时,我的确想当然地认为,所有马统工党的领导人,包括柯普在内,都将被枪毙。前一个谣言——关于宁的死亡——刚刚消散,人们都知道了马统工党正被指控犯有叛国罪和间谍罪。当局正在千方百计地罗织罪名,策划一场规模巨大的阴谋陷害式的审判,接下来就要对主要的“托洛茨基分子”大开杀戒。眼看自己的朋友身陷囹圄,却又明知自己无力相救,这真是一件非常痛苦的事情。谁都无能为力,即使吁请比利时政府施援也不可能,因为柯普来到西班牙已经违反了自己国家的法律。我发音低促微弱,在一片嘈杂声中我自己也无法听到自己的声音,我不得不把大部分谈话时间让给我妻子。柯普跟我们谈起了他在监狱中新结识的许多囚犯朋友,他也谈到了看守,说有些看守其实是好人,但也有些看守专门欺负、殴打那些胆小怕事的囚犯;至于食物,他说那简直就是“猪食”。幸好我们早已想到给他带来了一些食物和香烟。接着,柯普跟我们谈起了被捕时从他身上搜走的那些文件。其中有作战部致东线军队中主管工程作业的一位上校的军情函件。警察收缴后拒绝归还。据说函件被放在警察总局的办公室里,如果物归其主的话,柯普的处境将会完全不同。

我当即意识到这封函件多么至关重要。一封这样的军事公函,其中有作战部和波萨斯将军对柯普的推荐内容,这将足以证明柯普的清白。但麻烦的是如何证明这封公函的存在。在警察总局办公室里的函件万一被打开,无疑会被密探或其他什么人销毁。也许只有一个人能将函件要回来,那就是作战部签发函件的那位上校。柯普已经想到了这一点并写好了一封信,希望我能偷偷地带出监狱并邮寄出去。显然,我亲自办理会更快捷、安全一些。我让妻子和柯普先待在这里,然后冲了出去。等了好久总算等到了一辆出租车。我知道时间就是一切。现在是下午5:30,上校也许会在六点离开办公室,而如果等到第二天那就只有上帝才知道那封函件会弄到哪儿去了——或者已被销毁,或者已被丢进乱七八糟、堆积如山的文件堆里,那时又会有更多的嫌疑犯被逮捕。上校的办公室在码头北面的作战部内。当我急急冲冲地走近楼梯时,值勤的突击队员用长长的刺刀拦住了我,要求出示“证明”,我冲着他挥了一下我的遣散证明。很显然,他不识字,他放我上楼去,他大概也对我那一挥而过的“证明”留下了神秘的印象。作战部大楼是一个庞大的建筑物,结构布局十分复杂,环绕中心庭院的每一层楼面都有上百个办公室。这里是西班牙,没有人稍稍知道一点我正寻找的办公室究竟在哪里。我不断地重复:“Elcoronel——,jefedeingenieros,EjercitodeEste!”*人们冲着我微笑,还优雅地耸耸肩。那些自以为知道一点的人给我指示的方向截然相反,他们指示我上楼,下楼,上楼,下楼,沿着长长的楼道跑,结果都是碰壁而回。时间正在悄然逝去,我有一种非常奇特的感觉,仿佛置身噩梦一般:我在楼梯上不停地上下奔跑,诡秘的人们你来我网,透过敞开的办公室大门可以瞥见,杂乱无章的文件遍地都是,打字机噼啪作响,时间飞逝,一条无辜的生命也许危在旦夕。

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*大意:管事的人,军队主管,这个军队!——译者

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幸好,我总算找到了上校的办公室,让我稍稍有点感到意外的是他允许我诉述他来意。我没有见到上校。接见我的是上校的副官或秘书,一个身着崭新制服有些瘦长的军官,眼睛大大的略有一点斜视,在办公室的外间接待了我。我开始诉说我的故事。我是受我的上级军官的委托来这里的。陆军少校乔治?柯普身负紧急使命赶往前线,却被错误地逮捕了。那封给前线的上校的函件——包含重要军情机密,应该立刻归还。几个月来,我一直和柯普一起服役,他是一个品质崇高的军官,逮捕他显然是一个错误,警察把他和别人弄混淆了,等等。我一个劲地反复强调柯普所执行的任务对于前线的紧迫性,因为我知道这才是函件中最重要的核心问题。但这些听起来一定像个离奇的故事,我的蹩脚的西班牙语发音,每到情绪激动、强调关键问题时,就不知怎么的又会变成法语发音了。更糟糕的是,我几乎已经声嘶力竭,只有竭尽全力才能发出一点点嘶哑的声音。我很担心连这么点声音也可能发不出来,以至于让这年轻军官不再有耐心听下去。我后来时常回想:他一定会诧异我的声音出了什么毛病——或者喝醉了,或者良心受到谴责,等等。

然而,这位军官不仅耐心地听我讲述,而且频频点头,表示谨慎赞同。是的,他也认为这可能是个错误,显然应予调查。明天——我抗议——该呢吧没有明天!军令如山倒,柯普原本早该将函件送至前线。青年军官颇为赞同我的说法。接下来,他终于问了令我感到惊恐不安的问题。

“这位名叫柯普的陆军少校,在哪个部队服役?”

最令人恐惧忌讳的名字却不得不说出来:“马统工党的民兵部队。”

“马统工党!”

我希望我能够告诉你他那声音中的格外震惊。你得知道那时马统工党是被如何看待的。人们对间谍的恐惧到达了最高峰。也许所有的共和派人士在那时都确信马统工党是一个德国资助的庞大的间谍组织。对一位人民军军官提到此事,简直就像在红色恐怖之后闯进骑兵俱乐部*宣称自己是一名共产党人一样令人惊异。他用深邃的目光扫了我一眼。经过长时间的沉默,他慢吞吞地说:

“你说你在前线同他在一起,那么你自己也是在马统工党的民兵中服役?”

“是的。”

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*是西班牙贵族军官的传统社交场所。——译者

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青年军官站起来,转身走进了上校的办公间。我能隐约听见他们焦急不安的对话。我想,“这下全完了。”也许,我们本来就不该试图把那个函件要回来。况且,我已经坦承自己是马统工党的人员,说不定他们马上就会打电话给警察,将我抓起来,把我当成又一个自投罗网的托洛茨基分子。不过,那位军官很快又露面了,一边整理军帽,一边严肃示意我跟他走。我们将去警察总长办公室。这段路很长,至少需要步行20分钟。军官卖着僵硬的正步,走在我的前面。在路上,我们一句话也没说。我们来到警察总长办公室时,一群看起来非常可怕的无赖正在门外游荡。他们显然是便衣警探、告密者和各种间谍。军官走进那间办公室,接下来进行了长时间的、情绪激动的对话。只听得双方的嗓门一阵高过一阵,大概还伴有摊手、耸肩、捶桌子之类的激烈动作。警察方面显然不愿交出那封函件。最后,那个满脸涨得通红的青年军官手拿一封硕大的公文函件走出来。这正是从柯普身上搜走的那封函件。我们赢得了一个小小的胜利——事后表明这绝非无关紧要。函件被及时送出,但柯普的上司却根本无法让他出狱。

军官当场向我保证函件将被马上递送。“可是,柯普怎么办?”我问道,“我们无法把他从监狱中释放出来吗?”他无可奈何地耸了耸肩,说道:“那可又是另外一件事了。”他们并不清楚柯普究竟为何被捕。他只是告诉我,他们将对此进行调查。不再有多少可说的话了,该是分手的时候了。我们俩相互略微欠身致意。可接下来又发生了一件令我非常吃惊而且极为感动的事。那位人民军军官稍稍犹豫了一会,突然伸出手来,与我紧紧地握手。

我不知道我是否能够使你明白他的这一举动是多么深深地打动了我。这看起来似乎只是一桩微不足道的小事,其实并非完全如此。你应该注意到当时的情景——令人恐怖的怀疑和仇恨气氛,恶毒的谎言和莫须有的传闻漫天飞扬,贴在布告栏中的海报公开地诋毁我,以及所有类似我的人都是法西斯间谍。你要知道,当时我们正停留在警察总长办公室的门外,外面还游荡着一帮无事生非、到处找茬的政治无赖,其中也许会有人知道我正被警察“通缉”。这就有如一个人在第一次世界大战期间公开与一个德国人握手同样危险。我猜想,这位军官在很大程度上已经认定我并不是所谓法西斯间谍,而且这样与我握手也表明了他具有非常美好的人品。

尽管看起来微不足道,但我仍然乐意把这件事情记录下来,因为这是相当典型的西班牙人品德——在许多恶劣的境遇之中,你会经常从西班牙人身上见到类似的崇高品德的闪光点。我对西班牙这个国家印象极差,但对西班牙人却没有坏印象。我记得,我仅对一位西班牙人发过两次火,而每当忆及此事,我都认为全是自己的错。毫无疑问,他们宽宏大量,品行高尚,但这些品质都并不真正属于二十世纪。正是因为如此,人们才会指望在西班牙,即使法西斯主义也会采取一种相对宽松、能够让人接受得了的统治形式。在西班牙几乎没有什么人具备现代极权国家所需要的那种素质:可怕的高效率和高度的一致性。几天前的那个晚上,警察在搜查我妻子住的客房时所发生的小插曲,就充分说明了这一事实。实际上,当时的搜查非常滑稽有趣。我真的希望我能亲眼目睹,可是幸亏我没在现场,否则我会忍不住放声大笑起来的。

警察用众所周知的苏联人民委员会国家政治保安总局肃反委员会或盖世太保的风格进行了那场搜查。午夜过后,随着一阵猛烈的敲门声,六名警察闯进了我妻子的客房;他们打开灯,迅速控制了客房的各个重要位置,显然是事先早有预谋。接着,他们以常人无法想象的手段彻底搜查客房中的全部两个房间(有一个附设的卫浴间)。他们击听墙壁,摸捏椅垫,敲击地板,掀抖窗帘,拍打浴缸和暖气片,同时翻箱倒柜,把所有衣物鞋帽都翻了个遍,还要再拿到灯光下仔细检视。他们收缴了室内包括丢进废纸篓里的所有报刊和纸张,还有我们的所有书籍。当发现我们有一本法文版希特勒的《我的奋斗》时,他们马上喜形于色,自以为抓到了一个最重要的把柄。如果这是他们发现的唯一的一本敏感禁书的话,那么我们的末日也就临头了。非常明显,在他们看来读《我的奋斗》的人必然是个法西斯分子。但是,紧接着他们又找出了一本斯大林写的小册子,名叫《论彻底清算托洛茨基分子和其他两面派的方法》,这多多少少让他们暂时松了一口气。抽屉里的几包卷烟纸也被翻出来。他们把其中每一包都拆开来,逐张检查,以防漏掉可能记录在那上面的任何信息。他们差不多检查了将近两个小时。然而,他们却没有去搜查床上。我妻子一直躺在床上,床垫下面也许暗藏半打轻机枪,况且枕头下面也能藏着很多托洛茨基分子的文件。可是,这些警察没有碰一下床,更不用说检查床底了。我不敢相信这回是苏联人民委员会国家政治保安总局肃反委员会的通常办事风格。但是,人们必须注意到,现在警察已经几乎完全处在共产党人的控制之下这些警察说不定自己就是共产党员。不过,这些人同时也是西班牙人,对于他们来说,把一个弱女子从床上赶下来,实在是太难为情了。于是,这一方面的搜查工作被大家心照不宣地免除了。当然,这也使得全部搜查变得毫无意义。

那天晚上,我和麦克奈尔、科特曼睡在一处建筑荒地的草丛中。这是一个很冷的夜晚,我们都么怎么睡着。我记得,我到处找了几个小时才喝到一杯咖啡。自来到巴塞罗那,我还是第一次去看看教堂——那是一座现代教堂,也是世界上最丑陋的建筑之一。教堂顶部的四个尖塔有如酒瓶一般。与巴塞罗那大部分教堂的命运不同,这座教堂在革命期间没有遭到破坏——据说,它之所以幸存下来是因为极具“艺术价值”。我想,无政府主义者本来可以毁掉它,却没有那么做,这只能显示他们品位粗俗,尽管他们确曾将红黑相间的旗帜悬挂在踏尖上。那天下午,我和妻子最后一次前去探望柯普,我们和他道别,并交给西班牙朋友一些钱,摆脱他们给柯普买些食品和香烟。除此而外,我们无法为他做任何事情,没有任何一件事能够做到。在我们离开巴塞罗那以后不久,柯普被单独监禁,甚至不让外面的人给他送食物。那天晚上,我们去拉姆拉斯大街,路过摩卡咖啡馆时,看到那里仍有国民自卫队士兵在把守。我一时兴起,走进咖啡馆,并和两个肩挂步枪、斜倚柜台的士兵闲聊起来。我问他们是否知道他们的哪位同志在五月战斗时曾在这儿执勤。他们说不知道,就像许多西班牙人的惯常回答一样,他们也不知道该如何去弄清这件事。我说,我的朋友乔治?柯普被捕入狱,受五月战斗牵连将被审判,当时在这里执勤的人都知道,是他阻止了这里的战斗,从而挽救了许多人的生命。我希望他们能够站出来,为这件事提供证据。有一个与我谈话的士兵,面部表情呆板,不停地摇头,可能是因为交通嘈杂听不清我的话。另一个士兵则截然相反,他说,曾从战友那里听到过关于柯普的英勇行为,柯普是buenchico(一个好伙计)。我知道他们所说的这些都于事无补。如果柯普被审判,当局就会像所有类似审判一样,使用伪造的假证据。如果他一旦被枪杀(我担心这极有可能发生),他的墓志铭将应该是:他是可怜的国民自卫队士兵眼中的好伙计,身为丑恶制度的一部分,却保留了足够的人性,当他看到一项正当的行动时,就知道它是正当的。

我们过着一种非常生活。夜晚我们是罪犯,而白天我们是富有的英国游客——这是我们迫不得已假扮出来的。尽管夜晚只能睡在荒郊野外,但只要刮刮胡子,洗洗澡,擦擦皮鞋,仍会使你显得有些冠冕堂皇。目前,最安全的做法是,尽可能地把自己打扮得看起来像个资产阶级的模样。我们频繁出入时尚生活区,在那里我们只是些陌生人。我们光顾高档餐馆,以标准的英国方式对待服务生。我生平第一次在墙壁上题字。在一些时髦餐馆的墙上,我尽可能而歪斜地写上:“马统工党永垂不朽!”虽然我一直想方设法地隐藏自己,但我并没感到自己处于危险之中。整个事件似乎过于荒诞不经。英国式信念在我身上根深蒂固:“他们”不可能逮捕你,除非你触犯了法律。其实,在政治大屠杀中,抱有这种信念极度危险。有一个要求全力抓捕麦克奈尔等人的命令,我和其他许多人也都名列其中。逮捕、突袭、搜查一刻也没有停止过。实际上,我们认识的许多人都已被关进监狱,只有那些仍在前线的人暂时幸免。警察甚至擅自登上定期运送难民的法国船只,抓捕疑似托洛茨基分子的人。

多亏英国领事馆的倾力交涉,我们才总算办好护照签证等手续。领事在那个星期里肯定被此事弄得心烦意乱。我们应该尽早离开这里,越快越好。晚上七点半有一趟开往布港镇*的列车,但通常迟至八点半才开出。按照我们的事先安排,我妻子预定了一辆出租车,然后打点行李,结算帐单,尽量在最后一刻才离开旅馆。她只有这样做才能避免别人注意,否则旅馆的人肯定会去报告警察。我在七点左右来到火车站,却发现列车已经开出——6:50就开走了。火车司机大概和往常一样临时改变了主意。幸好我们及时通知了我妻子。第二天早晨还有一趟开往布港镇的列车。我和麦克奈尔、科特曼在火车站附近的一家小餐馆里吃了晚餐,经过谨慎打听,我们发现这家餐馆的老板是个全国劳工联盟的成员,为人相当和善。他给我们开了一个三人房间,当然没有报告警察。这是五个夜晚以来我第一次没有和衣而眠。

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*PortBou,西班牙边境小镇,靠近法国。——译者

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第二天早晨,我的妻子成功地从旅馆里溜了出来。火车晚点出发近一个小时。我利用这段时间给作战部写了一封长信,对他们讲了柯普的案件——柯普无疑是被错捕的,前线急切地需要他,无数人将会证明他没有任何过错,等等。信写在撕下的笔记簿的纸上,字迹原本歪斜(我的手指仍然有点麻木),写西班牙文那就更加歪歪斜斜的了,我担心他们是否能够读得懂这封信。无论如何,这封信和其他努力一样都没起作用。虽然我写了信,但此后六个月里,柯普(如果他至今未被杀害的话)依然关在监狱里,既没有受到审判,也没有被释放。起初我们收到过他的两三封来信。这些信是他托被释放的囚犯偷带出监狱,然后在法国寄出的。信里说的反复就是这些内容——被监禁在肮脏阴暗的窄小牢房里,食物既肮脏又少得可怜,由于卫生条件差而生了重病,而监狱拒绝给予任何医疗护理。我已经通过英国和法国的许多渠道证实了这一切。最近柯普被投入一个“秘密监狱”,已经无法再与他保持联系了。柯普只是数百个遭受迫害的外国人之一,没有人知道再杂遭受类似迫害的西班牙人究竟有多少。

终于,我们平安无事地通过了边境线。我们乘坐的列车挂有一节头等车厢和餐车,这是我来西班牙后第一次看到的。直到最近加泰罗尼亚的列车也只有普通车厢。有两个侦探在我们的列车上四处悠转,随时记下外国人的名字;当他们转到餐车看到我们正在用餐时,他们似乎很高兴看到我们这些地位高贵的人。世事变化无常,真是奇怪极了。仅仅在六个月之前,无政府主义者仍在掌握权力时期,无产阶级的衣着打扮备受人们的尊敬。在从佩皮尼昂到塞贝尔的路上,一个和我同车的法国商务旅行者严肃认真地告诉我:“你不能穿戴成这个样子去西班牙。赶快收起高衬领和领带,否则到了巴塞罗那人们会从你身上扯下来的。”他说的似乎有点夸大其词,不过这也至少表明人们是如何看待加泰罗尼亚所发生的变化的。进入西班牙边境后,果然有一个无政府主义卫兵盯上了一个穿戴考究的法国人及其妻子,我想大概仅仅是因为他们看起来资产阶级味道太浓厚了。然而,如今又是另外一回事了,资产阶级的衣装打扮成为一种逃避灾难的最好办法。在签证办公室,官员们在一荦卡片上——嫌疑犯索引上仔细查找我们的名字,幸亏警察的效率低下,我们的名字尚未被列上去,甚至也没有麦克奈尔的名字。我们从头到脚都被搜查过了,但没找出什么犯罪证据,除了我的遣散证明。而搜查我的士兵也不知道我所在的29师就是原来的马统工党的民兵。我们总算逃过了这一关。整整六个月之后,我再次来到了法国的土地上。我仅有的西班牙纪念品是一只山羊皮水袋和一盏小铁油灯,阿拉贡的农民用这种灯来点橄榄油。这种小油灯的形状和两千多年前罗马人使用的赤陶灯几乎一模一样——这是我从一个被毁坏的小屋里拣到的,无意中装进了行李袋。

事实证明,我们逃跑得非常及时。我们所看到的首份报纸上就刊登了政府以间谍罪缉拿麦克奈尔的消息。西班牙当局宣布这一消息显然有点操之过急。要知道,托洛茨基分子是不可以被引渡的*。

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*在西方国家,政治犯不在引渡之列。——译者

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当离开一个战火纷飞的国家,踏上另一片和平安宁的土地时,我不知道应该先干哪件事。结果我所做的第一件事就是飞奔到烟草店,尽量多买些雪茄和香烟,直到衣袋塞不下为止。然后我们到自助餐厅要了杯茶,这是几个月以来我所喝到的第一杯加鲜牛奶的茶。几天以前我就经常在想,到了法国无论你什么时候想要香烟,都可以买到。可我同时又有点期待见到烟草店大门紧闭,窗口挂着“烟草售罄”告示的那种情景。

麦克奈尔和科特曼准备到巴黎去。我和妻子则在巴纽尔车站——这条铁路线上的第一站——下了火车,我们感到非常疲劳,必须休息一下。在知道我们来自巴塞罗那后,巴纽尔的人们并没有友好地接待我们。人们一次又一次地问我们:“你来自西班牙?战争中你站在哪一边?站在政府一边?哦!”——接下来就是明显的冷落。这个小镇上的人似乎坚定地支持佛朗哥,毫无疑问,这是因为有许多支持法西斯的西班牙难民经常来这里并散布影响。我常去的那家咖啡馆有个侍应生就是一个坚决支持佛朗哥的西班牙人。每次给我上饮料时,他都要对我非常轻蔑地扫上一眼。然而,到了佩皮尼昂以后,情况就大不相同了。这里的人对西班牙政府的党派很不友好,但同时所有不同政治派别的人也在进行有如巴塞罗那那样的相互倾轧和斗争。在一些咖啡馆里,只要你提到“马统工党”几个字,你就能够马上交到法国朋友,连侍应生都会对你笑脸相迎。

我和妻子在巴纽尔停留了三天。奇怪的是,这段时间里我们心神不宁。这是一个远离手榴弹、机关枪、购买食物的长队、宣传和密谋的偏僻宁静的海滨小城,照理说我们应该深感宽慰和满怀感恩之心。可是,我们丝毫也没有这种感觉。我们在西班牙的所见所闻并没因远离而在脑海中消失。相反,那一切好象仍在我们的身边,而且比以前更加栩栩如生。我们不断地回忆、交谈,甚至梦回西班牙。在过去的几个月里,我们经常自我安慰地设想,“等我们离开了西班牙”,我们将到地中海岸的某地过上一段安静日子,也许还会去海边钓钓鱼。但是,当我们真的来到了这样的地方,心里却又产生了某种厌烦和失望。天气很冷,一阵阵大风吹过海面,黯淡的海面上波涛汹涌。漂浮在海面上的包裹着杂物、软木塞和鱼内脏的团团泡沫不停地拍打着岩石。说出来别人也许会以为我们有些精神错乱,我们俩现在最想做的事就是回西班牙。虽然这样做可能对谁也没有好处,甚至会遭遇杀身之祸,但我们还是希望能够跟其他人关在一起。我感到几个月来的西班牙经历对于我的特殊意义真是一言难尽。我只记录了一些事件的大致概况,但我无法记录这段经历给我留下的全部感受。视觉的、嗅觉的、听觉的东西全都混杂在一起,简直无法用恰当的语言来加以表述:战壕里的气味、山中的曙光延伸至无限的远方、子弹无情的啸叫声、炸弹爆炸的刺眼光芒和震耳回响、巴塞罗那清新寒冷的黎明、兵营里军靴踩踏的印迹、十二月人们仍然信仰革命、购买食品的长队、红黑相间的旗帜,以及西班牙民兵的面容。这些民兵——我和他们在前线相识,如今大家天各一方,只有上帝才知道他们如今在哪里,有的死在战场上,有的受伤残废,有的被关进监狱——我希望他们大部分人平安、健康、好运连连;我希望他们能够赢得战争的胜利,将所有不怀好意的德国、俄国和意大利外来者赶出西班牙。我个人在这场战争中所扮演的角色无足轻重,战争只给我留下了最不愉快的回忆,可我还是不想与这场战争擦肩而过。你已经看到了这样一场灾难——虽然西班牙战争已经结束,但这场战争最终将被证明是一场骇人听闻的灾难,它所带来的远远超出了一般意义上的屠杀和肉体上的痛苦——这场战争不一定会导致理想破灭或玩世不恭。奇怪的是,整个经历却让我更加坚信人类的高尚品质。我希望我的描述不会让人们产生太多的误解。我相信没有一个人能够将这场战争完全真实地描述出来。除非亲眼目睹,你很难弄清任何事情,人人都有可能会有意无意地像一个宗派主义者那样去描写。如果我在本书此前各章没有提及这些,那么我现在就来做个补充:请注意我的派别身份,请注意我在事实描述方面存在的错误,以及由于我仅目睹了其中部分事实难免以偏概全。当你从其他书上看到有关西班牙这场战争的任何记述时,也请你同样地注意。

尽管事实上我们无事可作,但我们还是觉得应该做点什么,我们提前离开了巴纽尔。随着列车向北行进,法国大地也变得越来越葱绿,越来越柔媚了。我们远离了处处都是山岗和葡萄园的地方,再次来到了处处都是绿地和榆树的国度。我去年底前往西班牙途经巴黎时,巴黎给我的印象是没落阴郁,完全不同于我八年前所见到的巴黎,那时生活费用低廉,人们对希特勒全然不知。而现在,早先我所熟悉的咖啡馆约有一半因为没有顾客而关门,每个人都在遭受高昂生活费用和战争恐惧的困扰,可是由于我们刚刚从贫穷的西班牙来到这里,即使巴黎给我们的印象也似乎颇为生气勃勃、繁荣昌盛。有一个大型展览会正高xdx潮迭起,可我们却打不起精神前往参观。

英国——特别是英国南部,也许拥有世界上最和谐的风光。在经历了漫长旅程,特别是当你从晕船中逐渐缓过来以后,突然发现自己坐在列车专用丝绒坐垫上,你很难相信在哪里真的在发生什么事情。日本发生地震、中国发生饥荒、墨西哥发生革命?无须担心,明天早上牛奶还会放在门前的台阶上,《新政治家报》也会照常出版。工业都市离这儿非常遥远,烟雾和穷困被掩藏在地平线下面。这里依然是我童年就已熟悉的英国:被铁路分割的大地上满是野花,站在草地上的马静静地吃草,缓缓流淌的溪水,溪边的柳树,榆树上的榆钱,农舍旁的草丛,伦敦郊外寂静的原野,肮脏河面上漂浮的船只,熟识的街道,海报栏上板球赛和王室婚礼的公告,男式圆顶高礼帽,特拉法加广场的鸽子,红色的巴士,身着蓝制服的警察——所有这一切都睡着了。英国睡意朦胧,我有时担心我们永远不会醒来,直到被炸弹的轰鸣惊醒*。

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*作者此处的一段话,意在对于当时英国政府面对德、意法西斯猖狂侵略,仍然继续推行孤立主义和绥靖主义的政策提出警告。——译者