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Turkish Delight

"BUT what are you?" said the Queen again. "Are you a great overgrown dwarf that has cut off its beard?"

"No, your Majesty," said Edmund, "I never had a beard, I'm a boy."

"A boy!" said she. "Do you mean you are a Son of Adam?"

Edmund stood still, saying nothing. He was too confused by this time to understand what the question meant.

"I see you are an idiot, whatever else you may be," said the Queen. "Answer me, once and for all, or I shall lose my patience. Are you human?"

"Yes, your Majesty," said Edmund.

"And how, pray, did you come to enter my dominions?"

"Please, your Majesty, I came in through a wardrobe."

"A wardrobe? What do you mean?"

"I - I opened a door and just found myself here, your Majesty," said Edmund.

"Ha!" said the Queen, speaking more to herself than to him. "A door. A door from the world of men! I have heard of such things. This may wreck all. But he is only one, and he is easily dealt with." As she spoke these words she rose from her seat and looked Edmund full in the face, her eyes flaming; at the same moment she raised her wand. Edmund felt sure that she was going to do something dreadful but he seemed unable to move. Then, just as he gave himself up for lost, she appeared to change her mind.

"My poor child," she said in quite a different voice, "how cold you look! Come and sit with me here on the sledge and I will put my mantle round you and we will talk."

Edmund did not like this arrangement at all but he dared not disobey; he stepped on to the sledge and sat at her feet, and she put a fold of her fur mantle round him and tucked it well in.

"Perhaps something hot to drink?" said the Queen. "Should you like that?"

"Yes please, your Majesty," said Edmund, whose teeth were chattering.

The Queen took from somewhere among her wrappings a very small bottle which looked as if it were made of copper. Then, holding out her arm, she let one drop fall from it on the snow beside the sledge. Edmund saw the drop for a second in mid-air, shining like a diamond. But the moment it touched the snow there was a hissing sound and there stood a jewelled cup full of something that steamed. The dwarf immediately took this and handed it to Edmund with a bow and a smile; not a very nice smile. Edmund felt much better as he began to sip the hot drink. It was something he had never tasted before, very sweet and foamy and creamy, and it warmed him right down to his toes.

"It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating," said the Queen presently. "What would you like best to eat?"

"Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty," said Edmund.

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.

While he was eating the Queen kept asking him questions. At first Edmund tried to remember that it is rude to speak with one's mouth full, but soon he forgot about this and thought only of trying to shovel down as much Turkish Delight as he could, and the more he ate the more he wanted to eat, and he never asked himself why the Queen should be so inquisitive. She got him to tell her that he had one brother and two sisters, and that one of his sisters had already been in Narnia and had met a Faun there, and that no one except himself and his brother and his sisters knew anything about Narnia. She seemed especially interested in the fact that there were four of them, and kept on coming back to it. "You are sure there are just four of you?" she asked. "Two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve, neither more nor less?" and Edmund, with his mouth full of Turkish Delight, kept on saying, "Yes, I told you that before," and forgetting to call her "Your Majesty", but she didn't seem to mind now.

At last the Turkish Delight was all finished and Edmund was looking very hard at the empty box and wishing that she would ask him whether he would like some more. Probably the Queen knew quite well what he was thinking; for she knew, though Edmund did not, that this was enchanted Turkish Delight and that anyone who had once tasted it would want more and more of it, and would even, if they were allowed, go on eating it till they killed themselves. But she did not offer him any more. Instead, she said to him,

"Son of Adam, I should so much like to see your brother and your two sisters. Will you bring them to see me?"

"I'll try," said Edmund, still looking at the empty box.

"Because, if you did come again - bringing them with you of course - I'd be able to give you some more Turkish Delight. I can't do it now, the magic will only work once. In my own house it would be another matter."

"Why can't we go to your house now?" said Edmund. When he had first got on to the sledge he had been afraid that she might drive away with him to some unknown place from which he would not be able to get back; but he had forgotten about that fear now.

"It is a lovely place, my house," said the Queen. "I am sure you would like it. There are whole rooms full of Turkish Delight, and what's more, I have no children of my own. I want a nice boy whom I could bring up as a Prince and who would be King of Narnia when I am gone. While he was Prince he would wear a gold crown and eat Turkish Delight all day long; and you are much the cleverest and handsomest young man I've ever met. I think I would like to make you the Prince - some day, when you bring the others to visit me."

"Why not now?" said Edmund. His face had become very red and his mouth and fingers were sticky. He did not look either clever or handsome, whatever the Queen might say.

"Oh, but if I took you there now," said she, "I shouldn't see your brother and your sisters. I very much want to know your charming relations. You are to be the Prince and - later on - the King; that is understood. But you must have courtiers and nobles. I will make your brother a Duke and your sisters Duchesses."

"There's nothing special about them," said Edmund, "and, anyway, I could always bring them some other time."

"Ah, but once you were in my house," said the Queen, "you might forget all about thern. You would be enjoying yourself so much that you wouldn't want the bother of going to fetch them. No. You must go back to your own country now and come to me another day, with them, you understand. It is no good coming without them."

"But I don't even know the way back to my own country," pleaded Edmund. "That's easy," answered the Queen. "Do you see that lamp?" She pointed with her wand and Edmund turned and saw the same lamp-post under which Lucy had met the Faun. "Straight on, beyond that, is the way to the World of Men. And now look the other way'- here she pointed in the opposite direction - "and tell me if you can see two little hills rising above the trees."

"I think I can," said Edmund.

"Well, my house is between those two hills. So next time you come you have only to find the lamp-post and look for those two hills and walk through the wood till you reach my house. But remember - you must bring the others with you. I might have to be very angry with you if you came alone."

"I'll do my best," said Edmund.

"And, by the way," said the Queen, "you needn't tell them about me. It would be fun to keep it a secret between us two, wouldn't it? Make it a surprise for them. Just bring them along to the two hills - a clever boy like you will easily think of some excuse for doing that - and when you come to my house you could just say "Let's see who lives here" or something like that. I am sure that would be best. If your sister has met one of the Fauns, she may have heard strange stories about me - nasty stories that might make her afraid to come to me. Fauns will say anything, you know, and now -"

"Please, please," said Edmund suddenly, "please couldn't I have just one piece of Turkish Delight to eat on the way home?"

"No, no," said the Queen with a laugh, "you must wait till next time." While she spoke, she signalled to the dwarf to drive on, but as the sledge swept away out of sight, the Queen waved to Edmund, calling out, "Next time! Next time! Don't forget. Come soon."

Edmund was still staring after the sledge when he heard someone calling his own name, and looking round he saw Lucy coming towards him from another part of the wood.

"Oh, Edmund!" she cried. "So you've got in too! Isn't it wonderful, and now-"

"All right," said Edmund, "I see you were right and it is a magic wardrobe after all. I'll say I'm sorry if you like. But where on earth have you been all this time? I've been looking for you everywhere."

"If I'd known you had got in I'd have waited for you," said Lucy, who was too happy and excited to notice how snappishly Edmund spoke or how flushed and strange his face was. "I've been having lunch with dear Mr Tumnus, the Faun, and he's very well and the White Witch has done nothing to him for letting me go, so he thinks she can't have found out and perhaps everything is going to be all right after all."

"The White Witch?" said Edmund; "who's she?"

"She is a perfectly terrible person," said Lucy. "She calls herself the Queen of Narnia though she has no right to be queen at all, and all the Fauns and Dryads and Naiads and Dwarfs and Animals - at least all the good ones - simply hate her. And she can turn people into stone and do all kinds of horrible things. And she has made a magic so that it is always winter in Narnia - always winter, but it never gets to Christmas. And she drives about on a sledge, drawn by reindeer, with her wand in her hand and a crown on her head."

Edmund was already feeling uncomfortable from having eaten too many sweets, and when he heard that the Lady he had made friends with was a dangerous witch he felt even more uncomfortable. But he still wanted to taste that Turkish Delight again more than he wanted anything else.

"Who told you all that stuff about the White Witch?" he asked.

"Mr Tumnus, the Faun," said Lucy.

"You can't always believe what Fauns say," said Edmund, trying to sound as if he knew far more about them than Lucy.

"Who said so?" asked Lucy.

"Everyone knows it," said Edmund; "ask anybody you like. But it's pretty poor sport standing here in the snow. Let's go home."

"Yes, let's," said Lucy. "Oh, Edmund, I am glad you've got in too. The others will have to believe in Narnia now that both of us have been there. What fun it will be!"

But Edmund secretly thought that it would not be as good fun for him as for her. He would have to admit that Lucy had been right, before all the others, and he felt sure the others would all be on the side of the Fauns and the animals; but he was already more than half on the side of the Witch. He did not know what he would say, or how he would keep his secret once they were all talking about Narnia.

By this time they had walked a good way. Then suddenly they felt coats around them instead of branches and next moment they were both standing outside the wardrobe in the empty room.

"I say," said Lucy, "you do look awful, Edmund. Don't you feel well?"

"I'm all right," said Edmund, but this was not true. He was feeling very sick.

"Come on then," said Lucy, "let's find the others. What a lot we shall have to tell them! And what wonderful adventures we shall have now that we're all in it together."

第四章 土耳其软糖

“但你究竟是干什么的?”那女人又问,“你是个剃掉了胡子,长得特别高大的小妖吗?”

“不,陛下,”爱德蒙说,“我还没有长胡子呢,我是个男孩。”

“一个男孩!”她说,“你是说你是亚当的儿子?”

爱德蒙一愣,没有开口。他被问的莫名其妙,一点也不懂这句话的意思。

“我看,不管你是干什么的,你都像个白痴,”女王说,“回答我的问题,就这么一次了,别惹我发怒,你是人吗?”

“是的,陛下。”爱德蒙说。

“那么,我问你,你是怎么来到我统治的这个地方的?”

“陛下,对不起,我是从一个衣橱进来的。”

“一个衣橱?这是怎么一回事?”

“陛下,我,我开了橱门,一跑到里面,就发现我在这儿了。”爱德蒙回答说。 +

“哈哈!”女王像是在自言自语,“一扇门,一扇通向人类世界的门!以前我也听说过这样的事。这下可糟糕了。不过,他只有一个人,还容易对付。”她一边说,一边从她的座位上站起来,死死的盯着爱德蒙的脸,眼里射出恶狠狠的光焰。她挥起手中的棍子。爱德蒙想,她一定要干什么可怕的事情了。他似乎觉得自己已动弹不得。正当他感到自己快要死的时候,那女王又好像改变了主意。

“我可怜的孩子,”她说话的腔调变得不同了,“瞧,你被冻得这个样子!坐到我雪橇上来吧,我给你裹上披风,好一起谈谈心。”

爱德蒙内心不愿意,但又不敢违抗,他只好跨上雪橇,坐在她脚旁。她把毛皮披风的一角披在他身上,将他裹的紧紧的。

“你想喝点什么热的东西吗?”女王问。

“谢谢,陛下。”爱德蒙说,他的牙齿在不停地打战。

女王从身边掏出一个很小的瓶子,它看上去是铜做的。然后,她伸出手臂,从瓶里倒出一滴东西滴在雪橇旁边的雪地上。爱德蒙看到,这一滴东西在落地前像宝石一样闪闪发光,但它一碰到雪,便发出一阵咝咝的响声,顿时就变成了一个宝石杯,杯子里盛满了饮料,还直冒热气。那个小妖马上拿起杯子,递给爱德蒙,皮笑肉不笑地向他鞠了一个躬。爱德蒙呷了一口,感到舒服多了。这是他从没尝到过的奶油饮料,非常甜,泡沫很多,他喝下以后,一直暖到脚跟。

“亚当的儿子,只饮不吃是傻瓜,”女王过了一会儿说,“你最喜欢吃什么东西呀?”

“土耳其软糖,陛下。”爱德蒙说。

于是,女王又从瓶子里倒出一滴东西滴到雪地上,地上立即出现了一个圆盒子,用绿丝带扎着,把它一打开,里面装着好几磅最好的土耳其软糖。每一块又甜又软,爱德蒙从没有吃过比它还要好吃的东西。他现在感到非常暖和,非常舒适。

在他吃软糖的时候,女王接二连三地问了他许多问题。开始,爱德蒙竭力让自己记住,嘴里塞满了东西讲话是不礼貌的,但没有多久他就忘得干干净净,只顾狼吞虎咽地吃软糖。他吃得越多,就越是想吃,一点儿也没想到为什么女王要问他这么多问题。最后,他把一切情况都告诉了她:他有一个哥哥,一个姐姐和一个妹妹,他的妹妹也曾到过那尼亚,还遇见了一个农牧之神,除了他们兄妹四人以外,没有谁知道那尼亚的情况。女王听到他们有兄妹四人,似乎感到特别有兴趣,她反反复复地问:“你能肯定你们正好是四个人吗?亚当的两个儿子和夏娃的两个女儿,不多也不少?”爱德蒙嘴里塞满了软糖,一遍又一遍地回答:“是的,我已经告诉过你了。”现在他都忘了称她“陛下”,但她好像并不在乎。

最后,土耳其软糖全吃完了,爱德蒙的眼睛滴溜溜地看着那个空盒子,巴不得她再问他一声是不是还想吃。女王很可能知道他此时的思想活动。因为,爱德蒙虽然没有说出口,但她却十分清楚,这种土耳其软糖是一种施了妖法的迷魂糖,不管哪个吃了以后,都会越吃越想吃,只要有得吃,他就不会住口,一直吃到被毒死为止。女王并没有再给他吃,只是说:

“亚当的儿子,我多么希望能够看到你的哥哥和姐妹啊!请你把他们带到我这儿来好吗?”

“我一定照办。”爱德蒙说,两只眼睛依旧盯住那只空盒子。

“如果你再来的话——当然要把他们一起带来——我就会给你更多的土耳其软糖吃。但现在不能给你,因为这种魔法只能使用一次。当然,到了我的家,情况就不同了。”

“那么我们现在就到你家里去好吗?”爱德蒙试探着问道。他刚坐上雪橇时,担心她会把他带到一个非常陌生的地方去,他将永远回不来了,可是现在,他的这种担心已被抛到了九霄云外。

“我家是个很舒适的地方。”女王说,“我肯定你会喜欢,那里有好些房间是专门放土耳其软糖的。再说,我自己没有孩子,我很想领一个漂亮的男孩当王子。你哪一天把另外三个人带到我家来,我就哪一天让你当王子。”

“为什么不让我现在就去呢?”爱德蒙说,他脸色变得通红,嘴和手指上面都黏糊糊的。不管女王怎么夸奖她,他乍看起来既不聪明又不漂亮。

“哦,假如我现在就把你带回家去,”她说,“我就见不到你的哥哥、姐姐和妹妹了。我很想认识他们。你将成为王子,以后还要做国王,但你还必须有大臣和贵族。我将封你的哥哥当公爵,封你的姐姐和妹妹当作女公爵。”

“他们没有什么值得你特别器重的,”爱德蒙说,“而且,我可以随便在哪一天把他们带来。”

“不错,但是如果你现在到了我的家里,”女王说,“你就会把他们忘得干干净净,你就会只顾自己玩乐,而不想再去找他们了。不行!你现在必须回到你自己的国家去,过几天和他们一起到我这儿来,不和他们一起来是不行的。”

“但我不认得回去的路。”爱德蒙恳求说。

“这容易。”女王回答说,“你看见那盏灯吗?”她用手中的棍子指了指,爱德蒙转过身去,看见了露茜曾在那儿碰见了农牧之神的那个灯柱。“一直往前走,到灯柱那边,就能找到通向人世间的路,嗯,现在请你看另外一条路,”她指着相反的方向问,“顺着树梢的上头看过去,你看到有两座小山吗?”

“看到了。”爱德蒙回答。

“好哇,我住的地方就在那两座小山之间。你下次来的时候,只要找到灯柱,朝着那两座小山的方向,穿过这座森林,就可以到我住的地方。你要让这条河流一直紧靠在你的右边。但必须记住,你得带着你的哥哥、姐姐和妹妹一起来。如果只来你一个人,可别怪我发怒。”

“我将尽我最大努力。”爱德蒙回答说。

“嗯,顺便说一句,”女王说,“你不必把我的情况告诉他们。我们两人必须严守秘密,这将是非常有趣的事情,你说是不是?要让他们来了以后大吃一惊。你只要想办法把他们带进那两座小山就行了——一个像你这样聪明的孩子要找个这样的借口还不容易——你到了我家以后,只消说一声,‘让我们看看谁住在这儿’或别的这一类的话就行了。据我看来,这是再好不过的办法。如果你的妹妹见到过一个农牧之神,她或许听到过关于我的什么坏话。她可能怕到我这儿来。那些农牧之神最会瞎说一通,现在……”

“陛下,”爱德蒙插嘴问道,“请你再给我一块土耳其软糖,让我在回家的路上吃吃好吗?”

“不行,不行,”女王大笑着说,“一定要等到下一次,”她一边说,一边向小妖打了一个继续赶路的手势,于是雪橇便疾驶而去,女王朝爱德蒙挥手喊道,“等到下一次,等到下一次。别忘了,过几天就到我家里来。”

正当爱德蒙凝视着远去的雪橇的时候,他忽然听见有人在喊他的名字。他掉转头来,看见露茜正从树林的另一个方向朝他走了过来。

“噢,爱德蒙!”她惊喜地喊了起来,“你也进来了!还好玩吗?”

“是啊,”爱德蒙说,“你看,你以前说的事是真的,这真的是个神秘的衣橱。我必须向你道歉,可是你刚才究竟在哪里?我到处找你呢。”

“要是我知道你也进来了,我一定会等你。”露茜说,她高兴极了,一点也没注意到爱德蒙说话时是多么急躁;他的脸色是多么红,多么奇怪。“我和亲爱的农牧之神图姆纳斯先生一起吃过饭,他平安无事,上次他把我放走了,白女巫没有对他怎么样,他说这件事女巫没有发觉,他大概不会遇到什么麻烦了。”

“白女巫?”爱德蒙问,“她是谁呀?”

“她是个十分可怕的女巫。”露茜说,“她自称是那尼亚的女王,可是她根本没有资格作女王。所有的农牧之神、水神、树神小妖和动物,凡是心肠好的,都对她恨之入骨。她能把人变成石头,她能做出各种各样恐怖的事来。她施行一种妖术,使那尼亚一年到头都是冬天,始终过不上圣诞节。她手持魔杖,头戴王冠,坐在驯鹿拉的雪橇里,到处跑着。”

爱德蒙软糖吃得太多,早已感到不很舒服,现在听说和他交朋友的那个女人原来是个危险的女巫,他就感到更不舒服了。虽然如此,与别的东西相比,他还是喜欢吃土耳其软糖。

“所有这些情况,是谁告诉你的?”他问。

“农牧之神图姆纳斯先生。”露茜说。“你不要总是相信农牧之神的话。”爱德蒙说,装出一副比露茜更加了解农牧之神的样子。

“这话是谁说的?”露茜问。

“大家都知道,”爱德蒙说,“随你问哪一个都行。但是,冒雪站在这儿有什么好玩的,我们还是回去吧。”

“也好,”露茜说,“哦,爱德蒙,你也来了,我感到很高兴。我们两人都到过那尼亚,别人一定会相信我们了。那该多有趣呀!”

爱德蒙却暗自认为,对他来说,那尼亚并不像露茜说的那样有趣,但是他不得不在大家面前承认露茜是对的。他敢肯定,别人都会站在农牧之神和别的动物一边,而他却站在女巫这一边。如果大家都知道那尼亚的情况,那他就有口难辨了,也无法保守他的秘密了。

不知不觉,他们已经走了好远,忽然他们发现,他们周围已不再是树枝而是衣服了,转瞬间,两人已站在衣橱的空屋里了。

“哎呦,”露茜说,“你的脸色多么难看啊,爱德蒙,你不舒服吗?”

“我很好。”爱德蒙回答,但这并不是真话,他感到很不舒服。

“那么走吧,”露茜说,“我们找他们去,我们有许多话要告诉他们!如果我们四个人全到了里边,我们将会遇到很多奇异的事情!”