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It was eight o'clock when we landed; we walked for a short timeon the shore enjoying the transitory light, and then retiredto the inn and contemplated the lovely scene of waters, woods,and mountains, obscured in darkness, yet still displaying theirblack outlines.

The wind, which had fallen in the south, now rose with greatviolence in the west. The moon had reached her summit in theheavens and was beginning to descend; the clouds swept acrossit swifter than the flight of the vulture and dimmed her rays,while the lake reflected the scene of the busy heavens,rendered still busier by the restless waves that were beginningto rise. Suddenly a heavy storm of rain descended.

I had been calm during the day; but so soon as night obscuredthe shapes of objects, a thousand fears arose in my mind. I was anxious and watchful, while my right hand grasped a pistolwhich was hidden in my bosom; every sound terrified me; but Iresolved that I would sell my life dearly, and not shrink fromthe conflict until my own life, or that of my adversary, wasextinguished.

Elizabeth observed my agitation for some time in timid andfearful silence; but there was something in my glance whichcommunicated terror to her, and trembling she asked, "What isit that agitates you, my dear Victor? What is it you fear?"

"Oh! peace, peace, my love," replied I; "this night and allwill be safe: but this night is dreadful, very dreadful."

I passed an hour in this state of mind, when suddenly Ireflected how fearful the combat which I momentarily expectedwould be to my wife, and I earnestly entreated her to retire,resolving not to join her until I had obtained some knowledgeas to the situation of my enemy.

She left me, and I continued some time walking up and down thepassages of the house, and inspecting every corner that mightafford a retreat to my adversary. But I discovered no trace ofhim, and was beginning to conjecture that some fortunate chancehad intervened to prevent the execution of his menaces, whensuddenly I heard a shrill and dreadful scream. It came fromthe room into which Elizabeth had retired. As I heard it, thewhole truth rushed into my mind, my arms dropped, the motion ofevery muscle and fibre was suspended; I could feel the bloodtrickling in my veins and tingling in the extremities of mylimbs. This state lasted but for an instant; the scream wasrepeated, and I rushed into the room.

Great God! why did I not then expire! Why am I here to relatethe destruction of the best hope and the purest creature ofearth? She was there, lifeless and inanimate, thrown across thebed, her head hanging down, and her pale and distorted featureshalf covered by her hair. Everywhere I turn I see the samefigure--her bloodless arms and relaxed form flung by themurderer on its bridal bier. Could I behold this and live?Alas! life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated. For a moment only did I lose recollection; I fell senselesson the ground.

When I recovered, I found myself surrounded by the people ofthe inn; their countenances expressed a breathless terror: butthe horror of others appeared only as a mockery, a shadow ofthe feelings that oppressed me. I escaped from them to theroom where lay the body of Elizabeth, my love, my wife, solately living, so dear, so worthy. She had been moved from theposture in which I had first beheld her; and now, as she lay,her head upon her arm, and a handkerchief thrown across herface and neck, I might have supposed her asleep. I rushedtowards her, and embraced her with ardour; but the deadlylanguor and coldness of the limbs told me that what I now heldin my arms had ceased to be the Elizabeth whom I had loved andcherished. The murderous mark of the fiend's grasp was on herneck, and the breath had ceased to issue from her lips.

While I still hung over her in the agony of despair, I happenedto look up. The windows of the room had before been darkened,and I felt a kind of panic on seeing the pale yellow light ofthe moon illuminate the chamber. The shutters had been thrownback; and, with a sensation of horror not to be described, Isaw at the open window a figure the most hideous and abhorred. A grin was on the face of the monster; he seemed to jeer aswith his fiendish finger he pointed towards the corpse of mywife. I rushed towards the window and, drawing a pistol frommy bosom, fired; but he eluded me, leaped from his station, and,running with the swiftness of lightning, plunged into the lake.

The report of the pistol brought a crowd into the room. I pointed to the spot where he had disappeared, and wefollowed the track with boats; nets were cast, but in vain. After passing several hours, we returned hopeless, most ofmy companions believing it to have been a form conjured upby my fancy. After having landed, they proceeded to searchthe country, parties going in different directions among thewoods and vines.

I attempted to accompany them, and proceeded a short distancefrom the house; but my head whirled round, my steps were likethose of a drunken man, I fell at last in a state of utterexhaustion; a film covered my eyes, and my skin was parchedwith the heat of fever. In this state I was carried back andplaced on a bed, hardly conscious of what had happened; my eyeswandered round the room as if to seek something that I had lost.

After an interval I arose and, as if by instinct, crawled intothe room where the corpse of my beloved lay. There were womenweeping around--I hung over it, and joined my sad tears totheirs--all this time no distinct idea presented itself to mymind; but my thoughts rambled to various subjects, reflectingconfusedly on my misfortunes and their cause. I was bewilderedin a cloud of wonder and horror. The death of William, theexecution of Justine, the murder of Clerval, and lastly of mywife; even at that moment I knew not that my only remainingfriends were safe from the malignity of the fiend; my fathereven now might be writhing under his grasp, and Ernest might bedead at his feet. This idea made me shudder and recalled me toaction. I started up and resolved to return to Geneva with allpossible speed.

There were no horses to be procured, and I must return by thelake; but the wind was unfavourable and the rain fell intorrents. However, it was hardly morning, and I mightreasonably hope to arrive by night. I hired men to row, andtook an oar myself; for I had always experienced relief frommental torment in bodily exercise. But the overflowing miseryI now felt, and the excess of agitation that I endured,rendered me incapable of any exertion. I threw down the oar,and leaning my head upon my hands gave way to every gloomy ideathat arose. If I looked up, I saw the scenes which werefamiliar to me in my happier time, and which I had contemplatedbut the day before in the company of her who was now but ashadow and a recollection. Tears streamed from my eyes. The rain had ceased for a moment, and I saw the fish play in thewaters as they had done a few hours before; they had then beenobserved by Elizabeth. Nothing is so painful to the human mindas a great and sudden change. The sun might shine or theclouds might lower: but nothing could appear to me as it haddone the day before. A fiend had snatched from me every hopeof future happiness: no creature had ever been so miserable asI was; so frightful an event is single in the history of man.

But why should I dwell upon the incidents that followed thislast overwhelming event? Mine has been a tale of horrors; Ihave reached their _acme_, and what I must now relate can but betedious to you. Know that, one by one, my friends were snatchedaway; I was left desolate. My own strength is exhausted; andI must tell, in a few words, what remains of my hideous narration.

I arrived at Geneva. My father and Ernest yet lived; but theformer sunk under the tidings that I bore. I see him now,excellent and venerable old man! his eyes wandered in vacancy,for they had lost their charm and their delight--his Elizabeth,his more than daughter, whom he doated on with all thataffection which a man feels, who in the decline of life, havingfew affections, clings more earnestly to those that remain. Cursed, cursed be the fiend that brought misery on his greyhairs, and doomed him to waste in wretchedness! He could notlive under the horrors that were accumulated around him; thesprings of existence suddenly gave way: he was unable to risefrom his bed, and in a few days he died in my arms.

What then became of me? I know not. I lost sensation, andchains and darkness were the only objects that pressed upon me. Sometimes, indeed, I dreamt that I wandered in flowery meadowsand pleasant vales with the friends of my youth; but I awoke,and found myself in a dungeon. Melancholy followed, but bydegrees I gained a clear conception of my miseries andsituation, and was then released from my prison. For they hadcalled me mad; and during many months, as I understood, asolitary cell had been my habitation.

Liberty, however, had been an useless gift to me had I not, asI awakened to reason, at the same time awakened to revenge. As the memory of past misfortunes pressed upon me, I began toreflect on their cause--the monster whom I had created, themiserable daemon whom I had sent abroad into the world formy destruction. I was possessed by a maddening rage when Ithought of him, and desired and ardently prayed that I mighthave him within my grasp to wreak a great and signal revenge onhis cursed head.

Nor did my hate long confine itself to useless wishes; I beganto reflect on the best means of securing him; and for thispurpose, about a month after my release, I repaired to acriminal judge in the town, and told him that I had anaccusation to make; that I knew the destroyer of my family; andthat I required him to exert his whole authority for theapprehension of the murderer.

The magistrate listened to me with attention and kindness:--"Be assured, sir," said he, "no pains or exertions on my partshall be spared to discover the villain."

"I thank you," replied I; "listen, therefore, to the depositionthat I have to make. It is indeed a tale so strange that Ishould fear you would not credit it were there not something intruth which, however wonderful, forces conviction. The storyis too connected to be mistaken for a dream, and I have nomotive for falsehood." My manner, as I thus addressed him, wasimpressive but calm; I had formed in my own heart a resolutionto pursue my destroyer to death; and this purpose quieted myagony, and for an interval reconciled me to life. I nowrelated my history, briefly, but with firmness and precision,marking the dates with accuracy, and never deviating intoinvective or exclamation.

The magistrate appeared at first perfectly incredulous, but asI continued he became more attentive and interested; I saw himsometimes shudder with horror, at others a lively surprise,unmingled with disbelief, was painted on his countenance.

When I had concluded my narration, I said, "This is the beingwhom I accuse, and for whose seizure and punishment I call uponyou to exert your whole power. It is your duty as a magistrate,and I believe and hope that your feelings as a man will notrevolt from the execution of those functions on this occasion.

This address caused a considerable change in the physiognomy ofmy own auditor. He had heard my story with that half kind ofbelief that is given to a tale of spirits and supernaturalevents; but when he was called upon to act officially inconsequence, the whole tide of his incredulity returned. He, however, answered mildly, "I would willingly afford you everyaid in your pursuit; but the creature of whom you speak appearsto have powers which would put all my exertions to defiance. Who can follow an animal which can traverse the sea of ice, andinhabit caves and dens where no man would venture to intrude?Besides, some months have elapsed since the commission of hiscrimes, and no one can conjecture to what place he haswandered, or what region he may now inhabit."

"I do not doubt that he hovers near the spot which I inhabit;and if he has indeed taken refuge in the Alps, he may be huntedlike the chamois, and destroyed as a beast of prey. But Iperceive your thoughts: you do not credit my narrative, and donot intend to pursue my enemy with the punishment which ishis desert."

As I spoke, rage sparkled in my eyes; the magistrate wasintimidated:--"You are mistaken," said he, "I will exertmyself; and if it is in my power to seize the monster, beassured that he shall suffer punishment proportionate to hiscrimes. But I fear, from what you have yourself described tobe his properties, that this will prove impracticable; andthus, while every proper measure is pursued, you should make upyour mind to disappointment."

"That cannot be; but all that I can say will be of little avail. My revenge is of no moment to you; yet, while I allow it tobe a vice, I confess that it is the devouring and onlypassion of my soul. My rage is unspeakable when I reflect thatthe murderer, whom I have turned loose upon society, still exists. You refuse my just demand: I have but one resource; and I devotemyself, either in my life or death, to his destruction."

I trembled with excess of agitation as I said this; there wasa frenzy in my manner and something, I doubt not, of thathaughty fierceness which the martyrs of old are said to havepossessed. But to a Genevan magistrate, whose mind wasoccupied by far other ideas than those of devotion and heroism,this elevation of mind had much the appearance of madness. He endeavoured to soothe me as a nurse does a child, and revertedto my tale as the effects of delirium.

"Man," I cried, "how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!Cease; you know not what it is you say."

I broke from the house angry and disturbed, and retired tomeditate on some other mode of action.

我们上岸时,已经八点了。我们在湖畔散了一会儿步,欣赏了一番夕阳残照,暮霭沉沉。然后我们来到旅店,透过窗子眺望着那片美丽的湖光山色。郁郁葱葱的树林和重重叠叠的山峦逐渐在夜幕中隐去,只显出一条若隐若现的黑黝黝的轮廓线。

南风渐平,西风骤起。此时月亮已升至中天,开始朝西倾斜。片片浮云快速地在天际穿梭而过,时不时遮挡住月亮的光辉,并在湖面上透下瞬息万变的天光云影。这时,湖水开始上涨,湖面被风吹得跌宕起伏,波涛翻滚。突然,一场大暴雨自穹宇倾泄而下。

白天,我心里一直很平静,但是当夜色使自然万物变得一片模糊之后,我的内心不禁忐忑不安起来。我焦躁不安,右手紧紧握住藏在胸前的手枪,四下张望着,任何响动都会让我心头一紧。不过我早已打定主意,决不轻易放弃生机,要是不和我的死对头拼个你死我活,决不轻易退缩。

伊丽莎白已经注意到了我内心的紧张情绪,在一边默不作声地看着我好一会儿了。我的眼神里可能流露出了什么,她感觉到了其中恐怖的意味。她战栗着问我:"亲爱的维克多,什么事让你忐忑不安?你究竟害怕什么呢?"

"噢!没事,没事,亲爱的。"我答道,"只要过了今晚,就万事大吉了。不过今晚是可怕的,非常可怕。"

我处在这种精神状态度过了有一个小时。突然,我意识到,我时刻等候着的这场搏斗对我妻子来说将是多么可怕啊!所以我迫切地恳求她去休息,而我打算等到我对敌人的情况有个了解之后,再回到她身边去。

伊丽莎白离开我回卧室去了。而我把这座旅店里的各个走道都上上下下巡视了一遍,另外还检查了敌人有可能藏身的每一个角落,但是都没有发现他的任何踪迹。我正心怀侥幸地揣测,可能是什么偶然事件阻止了那个魔鬼前来执行他的诺言。突然,我猛听到一声凄厉刺耳的惨叫。这惨叫声正是从伊丽莎白的卧房里传来的。我一听到这叫声,双臂顿时发软垂了下来,身上的每块肌肉和神经都不能动弹了——我刹那间明白了那个魔鬼的用意。我甚至可以感觉到我浑身的血液如何在血管中流动,我的脚趾和手指尖都是麻酥酥的,但这种状态仅仅持续了一刹那的时间。尖叫声不断传来,我立刻冲进屋子。

我的天啊!我干脆当场死掉算了!我为什么还要活到现在,在这里讲述我最美好的希望、以及地球上最纯洁的生命是如何被毁灭的呢?

伊丽莎白一动不动地横卧在床上,呼吸已经停止了。她的头垂在在床沿上,脸色煞白,五官已经变了形,头发披散着,遮住了半张脸。

现在,无论我的头转向哪里,眼前都总是浮现出同一幅画面——那双毫无血色的手臂,和被杀害后丢弃在床上的软绵绵的身体。目睹这种惨状,我怎么居然还能活到现在啊!天啊,最痛恨自己生命的人却偏偏活得最长,想死都死不了。我只是在一瞬间,丧失了记忆力而已——我昏倒在地,失去了知觉。

当我苏醒过来时,发现身边围满了旅店的客人。他们的表情一个个都惊恐万分,仿佛连气也透不过来似的。但他们所表现出来的恐惧,对我来说都只是蜻蜓点水罢了,哪及得上我内心感受的万分之一啊!

我拨开他们,跑回到伊丽莎白的房间——我的爱,我的妻子,不久前还是生机勃勃,那么亲切,对我来说贵如珍宝。

她的遗体已经被移动过了,并不是我刚才看到的那个姿势。现在,她躺在那儿,头枕在手臂上,要不是一块方巾盖住了她的脸和脖子,我可能真的会以为她只是在熟睡中呢。我扑向她,热切地把她搂在怀里。但她那僵硬、冰冷的身体却提醒我,此刻我怀中抱着的已不再是我原来深爱着,视如珍宝的那个伊丽莎白了。她的脖子上留着那个魔鬼掐过的痕迹,她的口鼻也再也没有任何呼吸了。

正当我痛苦绝望地依偎在伊丽莎白身边的时候,我蓦然之间抬了一下头——这房间的窗子原先是关着的,现在却看到苍白昏黄的月光从窗口照了进来,我不觉心中一凛。原来窗格已经被拉开了,而且透过大开的窗子,我看到那个最狰狞、最令人憎恶的身影。那一眼所产生的恐怖感觉实在无法言表。

那个魔鬼的脸上露出狰狞的笑容,他用邪恶的手指指了指我妻子的尸体,似乎是在嘲讽我。我冲向窗口,从怀里掏出手枪向他射击,但他一闪而过,避开了子弹,旋即以闪电般的速度向远处逃跑,最后跃入湖中。

一大群人听到枪声都赶到这间屋子里来。我把那个魔鬼跳下水的地点指给他们看,然后我们便坐船寻找他的踪迹。我们往湖里撒了网试图逮到他,但是一无所获。几小时之后,我们放弃了希望,回到了旅店。大部分同行的人都认为是我产生了幻觉,看走眼了。上了岸之后,他们兵分几路,继续在附近山区里的树林和草丛中按不同的路线搜索。

我原本打算和他们一起去,但刚走出屋子没多远,就觉得头晕目眩,步子踉跄,好像喝醉了酒一般。最后我瘫倒在地,完全筋疲力尽了。我的眼前好像蒙了一层雾,浑身发着高烧,皮肤也灼热发干。我就这被人抬了回去,放在床上。我几乎意识不到周围发生的事情,只是双眼无神地在屋子里游移,仿佛是在寻找丢失的东西。

躺了一会儿,我又从床上起来。本能地,我蹒跚着走进陈放着我爱妻遗体的房间。有几个女人正围在那儿低声抽弃。我坐在床边俯下身,与那些女人一起痛哭起来。

在我哭泣的时候,脑子里没有任何明确的想法,只是杂乱无章地把各种思绪交织在一起,我昏昏沉沉地回忆着我的种种不幸遭遇及其根源。我被这一切弄得头昏脑涨,脑子里尽是惊愕和恐怖的感觉。威廉被害死了,贾丝汀被处死了,克莱瓦尔给谋害了,最后是我的妻子。即使在当时,我都不知道我剩下的亲人能否逃脱那个妖怪的魔爪,此刻,我的父亲说不定正在那个恶鬼的魔爪中挣扎着,欧内斯特可能已死在魔鬼的脚下。想到这些,我不禁浑身一抖,我立刻意识到要采取行动。我猛地站起来,决定尽快赶回日内瓦。

但是一时半会儿却雇不到马车,我只得坐船回去。但是风是逆风,而且当时正大雨如注,不过,已经快到拂晓了,我还有希望赶在天黑前到达日内瓦。

我雇了几个船夫,自己也拿了枝桨。我过去一直用劳其筋骨的方法来排解精神上的痛苦,但是我受到的打击实在太大,人又处于极度痛苦和焦虑之中,所以我根本使不出一点劲儿来。我丢下桨,把头枕在胳膊上,任凭各种悲伤的思绪在脑海中翻腾。

只要我一抬起头,就能看到那一幅幅熟悉的山水景色。就在前一天,我还处在幸福的时光中,我的妻子陪伴在我的左右,但此时此刻,物是人非,她已成为一幅幻影,和一段记忆。

想到这里,我泪如泉涌。雨已经停了一会儿了,我看见鱼儿仍然在水中嬉戏,就像几个小时之前一模一样。那个时候,伊丽莎白还在观赏着这些鱼儿呢。对人的情感来说,没有什么比这中突然的重大变故更让人痛苦的了!

天空会云开雾散,阳光会再次普照大地,但是对我来说,一切都不会和一天以前一样了。那恶魔已经从我身边把我所有对未来幸福的憧憬都扼杀了,从古至今,没有人像我这样悲惨了,在人类历史上,如此恐怖的事件也是绝无仅有的吧!

在那件彻底打垮我的惨剧发生之后,我又何必再向你喋喋不休此后发生的事情呢?我的故事充满了恐怖,而且其恐怖的程度已经达到了顶点,我现在所说的事情,只会使你感到厌烦。你已经知道,我的挚爱亲朋一个接一个相继遇害,只留下我孤苦伶仃,孑然一身。我现在已经精疲力竭了,至于我那个可怕故事剩下的那部分内容,我只能三言两语简单说说了。

我回到了日内瓦,父亲和欧内斯特倒还活着,但是父亲一听到我带回来的噩耗,他的身体立刻崩溃了。现在我的眼前都能浮现出他的样子,我最慈祥、最可敬的父亲啊!他的双眼恍惚空洞,再也没有了往日的光彩和快乐的神色,因为他失去了伊丽莎白,一个比女儿还亲的人,在她身上,父亲倾注了一个老人全部的宠爱之情。因为人到垂暮之年,所牵挂的人寥寥无几,所以对剩下的人就更为疼爱依恋。

但是这个应该被千刀万剐的魔鬼,他给头发花白的父亲带来了巨大的悲哀,使他注定要在悲凉晚境中度过余生。发生在他周围的恐怖的事情,一件件堆积起来,叫他如何面对这些再活下去呢?父亲的生命源泉就此突然枯竭了,他一病不起,再也没能爬起来。几天以后,父亲就在我的怀里告别了这个尘世。

我当时是什么情形,我现在也无从而知了。我当时完全没有了感觉,我唯一能够感受到的就是压在心头的沉重的锁链和无边的黑暗。真的,我有时还会梦见自己又和少年时代的好友在落英缤纷的草地上,和幽静的山谷中漫步。但是醒来之后,却发觉自己待在地牢里。此后我便陷入无尽的忧郁,但是,我终于一点点地意识到了自己的苦难和处境,于是我被从囚禁的状态中释放出来。因为人们都说我当时疯了,后来我才明白,好几个月来,我一直被关在一间单人密室里。

如果在我恢复理性的同时,却没有燃起复仇的怒火,那么自由对我来说,只是无用的礼物。当对往昔不幸事件的回忆,沉重地压在我心头,我开始思考这一切不幸的根源——就是那个我亲手造出来的怪物,那个我亲手送到人间来毁灭我自己的恶魔。一想到他,我简直怒不可遏,心头疯狂地燃烧起仇恨的火焰。我强烈地盼望——并为此乞求上苍——我能抓获他,并亲手把他那颗该诅咒的头颅砸个稀烂,才能泄我心头大恨。

我的仇恨并没有单单局限在无用的期盼上面,我开始考虑逮住这个恶魔的最有效的办法。为此,我在恢复自由后大约一个月,便去找了本城的治安官。我对他说我要提出指控,我知道是谁把我们一家给毁了的,所以我要求他行使全部的权力,缉拿凶手归案。

治安官和善、专注地听我说着。"请放心,先生,"他说,"我将不遗余力地去搜捕这个恶棍。"

"谢谢,"我答道,"那么,请您听取我的证词。这的确是个非常离奇的故事,以至于我都要担心你会怀疑这件事的真实性,可是这确实千真万确,没有半点虚言。而且,这件事前后连贯,有头有尾,不可能被误认为是梦境,而我也没有必要编造谎言。"

我就这样开始向他讲述我的故事。我陈述时的语气非常感人,但是又相当平静。我已暗暗下了决心,誓死也要追踪到我的仇敌,而这个目标渐渐平息了我心中极度的痛楚,使我暂时有了活下去的动力。

我后来向他简单陈述了自己的经历,但是细节十分精确,我准确地提供了各个重大事件发生的具体日期,而且从不偏离正题,或者感情用事的大声咒骂。

一开始,治安官显得非常怀疑我说的话,但随着我的叙述,他渐渐听入了神,而且越来越感兴趣。我看到他有时会吓得直打哆嗦,有时又露出满脸的惊诧,而且脸上并没有不相信的神色。

当我陈述完毕之后,我对治安官说:"这就是我要控告的家伙,我请求阁下尽你的全力将其绳之以法,这是阁下作为执法官的责任。我相信、也希望阁下的情感不会影响您在这件案子上正确履行您的义务。"

我说的这几句话使对方的脸部表情起了明显的变化。他对我说的故事本来就半信半疑,就像是在听什么神话传说,或超自然的奇闻怪谈一样。但是当他被正式要求采取行动时,他内心原有的怀疑一下子便全涌了出来。

然而,他还是和气地对我说:"我很乐意协助您去缉拿凶手,但是你所说的这个家伙似乎威力无比,我就算再怎么努力也恐怕无济于事。谁能够追踪一个善于穿越冰川,以洞穴和冰窟窿为家的动物呢?这些地方都是人类不敢涉足的地方啊。此外,他行凶之后已经过去好几个月了,没人能估计到他的行踪,和目前的下落啊?"

"我毫不怀疑他就在我的住处附近转悠。即便他果真躲进阿尔卑斯山里,我们也可以像捕猎小羚羊那样将他逮住,像杀死凶禽猛兽一样将他消灭。不过我看穿了阁下的心思,您并不相信我讲的故事,所以也不想去追捕我的仇敌,让他得到应有的惩罚。"

我说话的时候,眼里迸出愤怒的火花。治安官被吓着了。"您误会了,"他说道,"我愿意尽全力,如果我真能抓到这怪物,请你放心,他一定会受到应有的惩罚。但是,根据您对他的描述,我恐怕我的努力最后也不会有什么效果。这样的话,尽管我将采取一切适当的措施,但是您得做好失望的准备。"

"这不可能!但是不管我说什么,也是白费唇舌;我的复仇对您来说并不重要,虽然我同意复仇可能是一种恶念,但我可以坦言,这是我的灵魂唯一剩下的感情了。只要我一想到那个我放到人间来的杀人狂,我的愤怒就无以言表。您拒绝了我的正当要求,那我只剩下一个办法,无论我拼死拼活,都要把他铲除掉!"

当我说这些话的时候,浑身都因过度激动而颤抖起来。我的举止有点疯狂,而且,毫无疑问,其中还带着几分凶狠,据说古代殉道者就拥有这股气势。但对一个日内瓦治安官来说,他脑子里整天想的事情决非献身精神或英雄主义。这种高尚的情操对他来说就与疯狂颇有几分相似之处了。于是,他就像奶妈哄孩子那样,竭力地想让我平静下来,并且认为我的故事是患热病时的副作用。

"你这个人啊!"我大声叫道,"你自作聪明,其实你却是那么无知!你算了吧,你根本不明白你在说些什么。"

我愤怒地摔门而出,心中愤愤不平。然后,我又冷静下来,考虑是否可以采取其他行动。