字体设置:

Peter's First Battle

WHILE the dwarf and the White Witch were saying this, miles away the Beavers and the children were walking on hour after hour into what seemed a delicious dream. Long ago they had left the coats behind them. And by now they had even stopped saying to one another, "Look! there's a kingfisher," or "I say, bluebells!" or "What was that lovely smell?" or "Just listen to that thrush!" They walked on in silence drinking it all in, passing through patches of warm sunlight into cool, green thickets and out again into wide mossy glades where tall elms raised the leafy roof far overhead, and then into dense masses of flowering currant and among hawthorn bushes where the sweet smell was almost overpowering.

They had been just as surprised as Edmund when they saw the winter vanishing and the whole wood passing in a few hours or so from January to May. They hadn't even known for certain (as the Witch did) that this was what would happen when Aslan came to Narnia. But they all knew that it was her spells which had produced the endless winter; and therefore they all knew when this magic spring began that something had gone wrong, and badly wrong, with the Witch's schemes. And after the thaw had been going on for some time they all realized that the Witch would no longer be able to use her sledge. After that they didn't hurry so much and they allowed themselves more rests and longer ones. They were pretty tired by now of course; but not what I'd call bitterly tired - only slow and feeling very dreamy and quiet inside as one does when one is coming to the end of a long day in the open. Susan had a slight blister on one heel.

They had left the course of the big river some time ago; for one had to turn a little to the right (that meant a little to the south) to reach the place of the Stone Table. Even if this had not been their way they couldn't have kept to the river valley once the thaw began, for with all that melting snow the river was soon in flood - a wonderful, roaring, thundering yellow flood - and their path would have been under water.

And now the sun got low and the light got redder and the shadows got longer and the flowers began to think about closing.

"Not long now," said Mr Beaver, and began leading them uphill across some very deep, springy moss (it felt nice under their tired feet) in a place where only tall trees grew, very wide apart. The climb, coming at the end of the long day, made them all pant and blow. And just as Lucy was wondering whether she could really get to the top without another long rest, suddenly they were at the top. And this is what they saw.

They were on a green open space from which you could look down on the forest spreading as far as one could see in every direction - except right ahead. There, far to the East, was something twinkling and moving. "By gum!" whispered Peter to Susan, "the sea!" In the very middle of this open hill-top was the Stone Table. It was a great grim slab of grey stone supported on four upright stones. It looked very old; and it was cut all over with strange lines and figures that might be the letters of an unknown language. They gave you a curious feeling when you looked at them. The next thing they saw was a pavilion pitched on one side of the open place. A wonderful pavilion it was - and especially now when the light of the setting sun fell upon it - with sides of what looked like yellow silk and cords of crimson and tent-pegs of ivory; and high above it on a pole a banner which bore a red rampant lion fluttering in the breeze which was blowing in their faces from the far-off sea. While they were looking at this they heard a sound of music on their right; and turning in that direction they saw what they had come to see.

Aslan stood in the centre of a crowd of creatures who had grouped themselves round him in the shape of a half-moon. There were Tree-Women there and Well-Women (Dryads and Naiads as they used to be called in our world) who had stringed instruments; it was they who had made the music. There were four great centaurs. The horse part of them was like huge English farm horses, and the man part was like stern but beautiful giants. There was also a unicorn, and a bull with the head of a man, and a pelican, and an eagle, and a great Dog. And next to Aslan stood two leopards of whom one carried his crown and the other his standard.

But as for Aslan himself, the Beavers and the children didn't know what to do or say when they saw him. People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time. If the children had ever thought so, they were cured of it now. For when they tried to look at Aslan's face they just caught a glimpse of the golden mane and the great, royal, solemn, overwhelming eyes; and then they found they couldn't look at him and went all trembly.

"Go on," whispered Mr Beaver.

"No," whispered Peter, "you first."

"No, Sons of Adam before animals," whispered Mr Beaver back again.

"Susan," whispered Peter, "What about you? Ladies first."

"No, you're the eldest," whispered Susan. And of course the longer they went on doing this the more awkward they felt. Then at last Peter realized that it was up to him. He drew his sword and raised it to the salute and hastily saying to the others "Come on. Pull yourselves together," he advanced to the Lion and said:

"We have come - Aslan."

"Welcome, Peter, Son of Adam," said Aslan. "Welcome, Susan and Lucy, Daughters of Eve. Welcome He-Beaver and She-Beaver."

His voice was deep and rich and somehow took the fidgets out of them. They now felt glad and quiet and it didn't seem awkward to them to stand and say nothing.

"But where is the fourth?" asked Aslan.

"He has tried to betray them and joined the White Witch, O Aslan," said Mr Beaver. And then something made Peter say,

"That was partly my fault, Aslan. I was angry with him and I think that helped him to go wrong."

And Aslan said nothing either to excuse Peter or to blame him but merely stood looking at him with his great unchanging eyes. And it seemed to all of them that there was nothing to be said.

"Please - Aslan," said Lucy, "can anything be done to save Edmund?"

"All shall be done," said Aslan. "But it may be harder than you think." And then he was silent again for some time. Up to that moment Lucy had been thinking how royal and strong and peaceful his face looked; now it suddenly came into her head that he looked sad as well. But next minute that expression was quite gone. The Lion shook his mane and clapped his paws together ("Terrible paws," thought Lucy, "if he didn't know how to velvet them!") and said,

"Meanwhile, let the feast be prepared. Ladies, take these Daughters of Eve to the pavilion and minister to them."

When the girls had gone Aslan laid his paw - and though it was velveted it was very heavy - on Peter's shoulder and said, "Come, Son of Adam, and I will show you a far-off sight of the castle where you are to be King."

And Peter with his sword still drawn in his hand went with the Lion to the eastern edge of the hilltop. There a beautiful sight met their eyes. The sun was setting behind their backs. That meant that the whole country below them lay in the evening light - forest and hills and valleys and, winding away like a silver snake, the lower part of the great river. And beyond all this, miles away, was the sea, and beyond the sea the sky, full of clouds which were just turning rose colour with the reflection of the sunset. But just where the land of Narnia met the sea - in fact, at the mouth of the great river - there was something on a little hill, shining. It was shining because it was a castle and of course the sunlight was reflected from all the windows which looked towards Peter and the sunset; but to Peter it looked like a great star resting on the seashore.

"That, O Man," said Aslan, "is Cair Paravel of the four thrones, in one of which you must sit as King. I show it to you because you are the first-born and you will be High King over all the rest."

And once more Peter said nothing, for at that moment a strange noise woke the silence suddenly. It was like a bugle, but richer.

"It is your sister's horn," said Aslan to Peter in a low voice; so low as to be almost a purr, if it is not disrespectful to think of a Lion purring.

For a moment Peter did not understand. Then, when he saw all the other creatures start forward and heard Aslan say with a wave of his paw, "Back! Let the Prince win his spurs," he did understand, and set off running as hard as he could to the pavilion. And there he saw a dreadful sight.

The Naiads and Dryads were scattering in every direction. Lucy was running towards him as fast as her short legs would carry her and her face was as white as paper. Then he saw Susan make a dash for a tree, and swing herself up, followed by a huge grey beast. At first Peter thought it was a bear. Then he saw that it looked like an Alsatian, though it was far too big to be a dog. Then he realized that it was a wolf - a wolf standing on its hind legs, with its front paws against the tree-trunk, snapping and snarling. All the hair on its back stood up on end. Susan had not been able to get higher than the second big branch. One of her legs hung down so that her foot was only an inch or two above the snapping teeth. Peter wondered why she did not get higher or at least take a better grip; then he realized that she was just going to faint and that if she fainted she would fall off.

Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do. He rushed straight up to the monster and aimed a slash of his sword at its side. That stroke never reached the Wolf. Quick as lightning it turned round, its eyes flaming, and its mouth wide open in a howl of anger. If it had not been so angry that it simply had to howl it would have got him by the throat at once. As it was - though all this happened too quickly for Peter to think at all - he had just time to duck down and plunge his sword, as hard as he could, between the brute's forelegs into its heart. Then came a horrible, confused moment like something in a nightmare. He was tugging and pulling and the Wolf seemed neither alive nor dead, and its bared teeth knocked against his forehead, and everything was blood and heat and hair. A moment later he found that the monster lay dead and he had drawn his sword out of it and was straightening his back and rubbing the sweat off his face and out of his eyes. He felt tired all over.

Then, after a bit, Susan came down the tree. She and Peter felt pretty shaky when they met and I won't say there wasn't kissing and crying on both sides. But in Narnia no one thinks any the worse of you for that.

"Quick! Quick!" shouted the voice of Aslan. "Centaurs! Eagles! I see another wolf in the thickets. There - behind you. He has just darted away. After him, all of you. He will be going to his mistress. Now is your chance to find the Witch and rescue the fourth Son of Adam." And instantly with a thunder of hoofs and beating of wings a dozen or so of the swiftest creatures disappeared into the gathering darkness.

Peter, still out of breath, turned and saw Aslan close at hand.

"You have forgotten to clean your sword," said Aslan.

It was true. Peter blushed when he looked at the bright blade and saw it all smeared with the Wolf's hair and blood. He stooped down and wiped it quite clean on the grass, and then wiped it quite dry on his coat.

"Hand it to me and kneel, Son of Adam," said Aslan. And when Peter had done so he struck him with the flat of the blade and said, "Rise up, Sir Peter Wolf's-Bane. And, whatever happens, never forget to wipe your sword."

Now we must get back to Edmund. When he had been made to walk far further than he had ever known that anybody could walk, the Witch at last halted in a dark valley all overshadowed with fir trees and yew trees. Edmund simply sank down and lay on his face doing nothing at all and not even caring what was going to happen next provided they would let him lie still. He was too tired even to notice how hungry and thirsty he was. The Witch and the dwarf were talking close beside him in low tones.

"No," said the dwarf, "it is no use now, O Queen. They must have reached the Stone Table by now."

"Perhaps the Wolf will smell us out and bring us news," said the Witch.

"It cannot be good news if he does," said the dwarf.

"Four thrones in Cair Paravel," said the Witch. "How if only three were filled? That would not fulfil the prophecy."

"What difference would that make now that He is here?" said the dwarf. He did not dare, even now, to mention the name of Aslan to his mistress.

"He may not stay long. And then - we would fall upon the three at Cair."

"Yet it might be better," said the dwarf, "to keep this one" (here he kicked Edmund) "for bargaining with."

第十二章 彼得初战告捷

小矮人和妖婆正在说这些话时,好几英里之外的海狸和孩子们正在走啊走的,恍如进入一个美妙的梦境。他们早就把大衣扔下了。如今他们相互间不再说什么“瞧,有只翠鸟!”或“嗨,风信子!”也不再说“那股可爱的香味是什么?”

或“听听那只画眉!”他们默默走着,深深陶醉其中,从暖和的太阳地里走进阴凉、碧绿的灌木丛中、又走到宽阔、长满苔藓的林间空地,空地上高高的榆树当头搭起枝叶茂密的绿荫,然后他们又走进密密麻麻一大片开着花的红醋栗中,走到山楂丛中,那儿的香味几乎能醉倒人。

他们眼看冬天消失,整个森林在几小时内就从一月到了五月,也跟爱德蒙一样感到惊奇。他们甚至没有像妖婆那样肯定这是阿斯兰到了纳尼亚才会出现的事,但他们都知道是妖婆的咒语变出了没完没了的冬天;因此他们全知道这个不可思议的春天一开始,妖婆的阴谋诡计就失败了,而且大大失败了。融雪持续了一段时间,他们大家都明白妖婆再也不能用雪橇了。此后他们就不再匆匆忙忙赶路,也容许自己多休息几回,休息时间更长一些。他们眼下当然很疲劳;但不是那种所谓筋疲力尽——只是没精打采,觉得恍恍惚惚的,而且心里很平静,就像在户外待了漫长一天,终于到头时的感觉。苏珊一只脚后跟磨起了一个小水疱。

他们早就离开了那条大河的河道,因为必需稍稍往右转(就是说稍稍向南)才能到达石桌那儿。即使这条路不是他们该走的路,一旦融雪开始,他们也不能老沿着河谷走,因为有了那么多融雪,河里很快就发大水了——一股来势惊人、咆哮轰鸣的黄浊洪水——他们走的小路就会淹在水里了。

这会儿太阳快下山了,天色更红,影子也拉长了,花儿也开始要收拢了。

“现在不远了。”海狸先生说着开始带领他们上山,穿过一段深深的、松软的青苔(他们疲劳的双脚踩在上面倒觉得很舒服),那地方只稀稀拉拉长着一些高大的树木。在漫长的白天结束时爬山,大家都喘不过气来。露茜心里正在想,不好好休息一阵子,自己能不能爬上山顶;但突然间,他们就到山顶上了。

他们站在一片绿油油的空地上,在那儿你可以俯瞰森林,除了正前方,目光所及都是绵延不绝的森林。东边远处,有什么东西闪闪发亮,还在晃动。“天哪!”彼得悄声对苏珊说,“大海!”山顶这块空地的正中就是石桌。那是一块很大的灰色石板,下面撑着四块笔直的石头。石桌看上去年代悠久,上面刻满了奇怪的线条和符号,可能是一种无名语言的字母吧。你看着这些符号.一种好奇的感觉就会油然而生。他们看到的第二件东西是空地一边搭起的一个帐篷,那是一个奇妙的帐篷——尤其是这会儿落日的余晖正照在帐篷上——帐篷面子看上去像杏黄缎子,深红的绳索,象牙色的帐篷桩;帐篷的支柱上,高高挂着一面绣着一只腾跃的红色狮子的旗子,正迎风飘扬,这阵从远处海面吹来的微风也轻拂着他们的脸。他们正看着这帐篷,只听见右面传来一阵音乐,便不由向那边转过身去,这才看见了他们特地来看的东西。

阿斯兰站在一群生物中间,它们围着它形成一个半月形。有树精和水精(在我们的世界里称为森林女神和水仙女),她们都有弦乐器;音乐就是她们演奏的。有四只巨大的人头马,身体像英国饲养场里的骏马,头部像严厉而俊美的巨人。还有一匹独角兽,一匹人头牛,一只鹈鹕,一只鹰和一条大狗。阿斯兰身边站着两头豹,一头拿着它的王冠,另一头举着它的旗帜。

说到阿斯兰,海狸夫妇和孩子们都不知道看见它时该怎么办、怎么说。没有到过纳尼亚的人往往认为决不会有好人让人见了害怕的。如果孩子们以前这么认为,眼下他们已经纠正了这种想法。因为当他们想看看阿斯兰的脸时,只看了一眼金色的鬃毛和那双威武、高贵、庄严、慑人的眼睛,他们就觉得自己不能正眼看它了,大家都不禁在发抖。

“去吧。”海狸先生悄声说。

“不,”彼得悄声说,“你先走。”

“不,亚当的儿子走在动物前面。”海狸先生又悄悄回了他一句。

“苏珊,”彼得悄声说,“你怎么样?女土先走嘛。”

“不,你年龄最大。”苏珊悄声说。当然他们这样拖得越长,就越感到尴尬。后来彼得才终于明白这事全靠他了。他抽出剑来,举敛致敬,匆匆对其他几个说:“快来吧,你们定下神来。”他向狮王走去,说道:

“我们来了——阿斯兰。”

“欢迎,彼得,亚当的儿子,”阿斯兰说,“欢迎,苏珊和露茜,夏娃的女儿。欢迎,公海狸和母海狸。”

它的声音深沉、圆润,不知怎么竟消除了他们的不安。他们如今只觉得又高兴又平静,站在那儿不说话也不觉得尴尬了。

“可是第四个在哪儿呢?”阿斯兰问。

“他想要出卖他们,投靠白妖婆,哦,阿斯兰。”海狸先生说。于是彼得只好说:

“这事多少得怪我,阿斯兰。我对他发脾气,我想那反而促使他变坏了。”

阿斯兰不吭声,既没说原谅彼得,也没责怪他,只是站在那儿,金色的大眼睛直望着他。大伙觉得似乎没什么可说的了。

“请问——阿斯兰,”露茜说,“有什么办法救救爱德蒙吗?”

“要想尽办法,”阿斯兰说,“不过这事可能比你们想象的更困难。”接着它又沉默了一会。直到那一刻,露茜还始终认为它的脸看上去多么高贵、刚毅、宁静;如今她突然发觉它看上去也很忧伤。不过这种神情一会儿就过去了。狮王摇摇鬃毛,两只爪子一拍(露茜想,“要是它不知道刚中带柔,这对爪子可吓人呢。”),开口说道:

“现在准备好宴席,女士们,把夏娃的女儿带到帐篷里去,照顾好她们。”

女孩子走了以后,阿斯兰伸出一只爪子搁在彼得肩膀上——虽然动作轻柔,却十分有力——说道,“来吧,亚当的儿子,我将指给你看你将来当国王的那座城堡的远景。”

彼得仍然一手握剑,跟着狮王一起来到山顶的东边。一幅美景出现在他们眼前。太阳已经落在他们背后。他们下面的整个国土都笼罩在暮色中——森林和小山,山谷,以及像条银蛇般蜿蜒流过的大河的下游。那边几英里以外是大海,大海以外是天空,落日映照下满是玫瑰色的云层。但就在纳尼亚国土近海的地方——其实就是那条大河的入海口——

有什么东西屹立在一座小山上闪闪发光。因为这是一座城堡,朝彼得这边的窗户当然都映出落日的余辉;不过彼得觉得城堡就像海岸上的一颗大星星。 # ]# ,

“男子汉啊,”阿斯兰说,“那就是有四个宝座的凯尔帕拉维尔,你必须以国王的身分坐上其中一个宝座。我指给你看是因为你是老大,你要当个地位高于其他人的至尊王。”

彼得又一次什么也没说,因为这时一种奇怪的声音突然打破了这片沉默。像一只军号,不过声音更圆润。

“这是你妹妹的号角,”阿斯兰低声对彼得说,如果说狮子咕噜咕噜叫不算大不敬的话,那么这声音低得简直就是咕噜咕噜的。

彼得一时不明白。后来,他看见所有的生物都拥上前来,只听得阿斯兰挥挥爪子说:“退下!让王子立个头功吧。”

他才明白,于是他飞快地奔向帐篷。在那儿,他看见了一幕可怕的情景。

水仙女和森林女神正四下奔逃。露茜脸色苍白,撒开两条短腿朝他跑来。接着他看见苏珊向一棵树冲去,纵身爬上了树,后面有一头灰色的巨兽在追她。开头彼得以为那是一只熊。后来他看出这头野兽很像一条德国狼狗,然而又比狗大多了。后来他才想到这是一匹狼——一匹狼后腿站着,前爪扑在树干上又咬又吼,背上的毛根根竖起。苏珊只攀上第二根大树枝,再也没法爬高。她一条腿吊在下面,这只脚离开乱咬的狼牙只有一两英寸。彼得不知道她为什么不爬得高一点,至少也要抓牢些嘛;后来他才明白她快晕过去了,如果她晕过去,那就会摔下来。

彼得并不觉得自己十分勇敢;说真的,他感到自己快要呕吐了。不过这并不影响他的使命,他笔直冲向那头猛兽,瞄准它肋间猛刺一剑。这一下子并没刺中那匹狼。它闪电般转过身来,眼睛凶焰灼人,嘴巴张得老大,狂嚎一阵。要不是它怒气冲冲,非得嚎叫一通才痛快,它就会立刻咬住彼得的喉咙了。事实上——尽管这一切都太快,彼得根本来不及想——他只来得及弯下身子,使尽浑身力气,把剑刺进那猛兽前腿之间,刺中了心脏。接下来一段工夫又可怕又混乱,就像恶梦中的情景。他用力拖啊,拉啊,那匹狼既不像死了,也不像活着,露出一口利牙磕在他的额头上,一切都沾满了血、热气和皮毛。又过了一会,他才发现那头巨兽已经倒地死去。他拔出剑,挺直腰板,擦去满头满脸的开。他觉得累坏了。过了一会儿,苏珊才从树上下来。她见到彼得时两人都觉得有点摇摇晃晃。不用说,双方见了不免又是亲吻又是哭泣。不过在纳尼亚,没人会为这事而把你往坏处想的。

“快!快!”只听得阿斯兰的声音在大声喊叫,“人头马!雄鹰!我看见灌木丛中还有一匹狼。瞧——在你们后面!它要到它的女主人那儿去了。现在正是你们找到妖婆和救出第四个亚当的儿子的好机会。”话音刚落,顿时响起一阵雷鸣般的马蹄声和翅膀扑棱声,约有十几只动作最迅速的动物消失在暮色中。

彼得还没喘过气来,转过身,看见阿斯兰就在他身边。

你忘了把剑擦干净。”阿斯兰说。

这话不错,彼得看到那把光亮的剑已经被狼的毛和血弄污了,不由涨红了脸。他弯下腰,在草地上把剑擦干净,再在自己衣服上把剑擦干。

“把剑递给我,跪下,亚当的儿子。”阿斯兰说。彼得遵命跪下以后,它用剑的平面拍了他一下,说道,“起来吧,彼得·

芬瑞斯—贝思阁下。不管出了什么事,永远别忘记擦干净你的剑。”