ANY reasonable observer might have thought Bill Millin was unarmed as he jumped off the landing ramp at Sword Beach, in Normandy, on June 6th 1944. Unlike his colleagues, the pale 21-year-old held no rifle in his hands. Of course, in full Highland rig as he was, he had his trusty skean dhu, his little dirk, tucked in his right sock. But that was soon under three feet of water as he waded ashore, a weary soldier still smelling his own vomit from a night in a close boat on a choppy sea, and whose kilt in the freezing water was floating prettily round him like a ballerina’s skirt.

1944年6月6日(世称D日—译者注),当比尔•米林(Bill Millin)随军向法国诺曼底登陆战场上的剑滩斜坡攻击时,任何理性观者都会认为米林没有带武器。与他的战友们不同的是,面显苍白的21岁米林确实手中无枪。当然,米林一如往昔,身着全式苏格兰装束,他带有一把深得其喜爱的小佩剑(苏格兰高地人特有的——译者注),也就是一把插在他那右边的袜筒里的小匕首。不过,当他涉水上岸时,这身装束很快没入三尺海水中,他成了一位因在汹涌大海上、拥挤不堪的舰船里一夜折腾,嗅着自己呕吐物疲惫不前的士兵。米林身着的苏格兰短裙(即小沈阳在《不差钱》中穿错的那家什—译者注)就像芭蕾舞女演员的裙子,在寒冷的海面上绕着米林优美漂荡。

But Mr Millin was not unarmed; far from it. He held his pipes, high over his head at first to keep them from the wet , then cradled in his arms to play. And bagpipes, by long tradition, counted as instruments of war. An English judge had said so after the Scots’ great defeat at Culloden in 1746; a piper was a fighter like the rest, and his music was his weapon. The whining skirl of the pipes had struck dread into the Germans on the Somme, who had called the kilted pipers “Ladies from Hell”. And it raised the hearts and minds of the home side, so much so that when Mr Millin played on June 5th, as the troops left for France past the Isle of Wight and he was standing on the bowsprit just about keeping his balance above the waves getting rougher, the wild cheers of the crowd drowned out the sound of his pipes even to himself.

然而,米林先生不是没有武器,而是带着胜于武器的东西。他带着风笛,他先是把风笛举过头顶以防弄湿,随后将风笛置于臂湾吹奏起来。根据久已形成的传统,风笛成为了战争乐器。1746年英格兰人取得卡洛登大捷后,一位英国法官裁定风笛是战争乐器。风笛吹奏者像其他士兵一样,也是战士,他奏出的乐曲就是他的武器。风笛发出的哀声使法国索姆河畔的德国佬陷入绝望,他们把身着苏格兰短裙的风笛手叫作“来自地狱的女人”。而且,风笛声也激励起已方士气,它甚至可以达到如许程度——6月5日,当部队经过怀特岛向法国进发时,米林站在船首撑杆旁吹奏风笛,海浪越来越汹涌,他只能勉强保持平衡,兵们发出的强烈欢呼声淹没了他的风笛声。

His playing had been planned as part of the operation. On commando training near Fort William he had struck up a friendship with Lord Lovat, the officer in charge of the 1st Special Service Brigade. Not that they had much in common. Mr Millin was short, with a broad cheeky face, the son of a Glasgow policeman; his sharpest childhood memory was of being one of the “poor”, sleeping on deck, on the family’s return in 1925 from Canada to Scotland. Lovat was tall, lanky, outrageously handsome and romantic, with a castle towering above the river at Beauly, near Inverness. He had asked Mr Millin to be his personal piper: not a feudal but a military arrangement. The War Office in London now forbade pipers to play in battle, but Mr Millin and Lord Lovat, as Scots, plotted rebellion. In this “greatest invasion in history”, Lovat wanted pipes to lead the way.

米林吹奏风笛是战斗计划的一部分。在威廉堡附近的特攻队训练时,他与英军第一突击旅指挥官洛瓦特(Lovat)勋爵建立起了友谊。在很大程度上,他俩并没有多少共同点。米林身材五短、面庞宽大冷漠,是一位格拉斯哥警察的儿子;他最刻骨铭心的童年记忆就是“贫穷”,1925年随家人从加拿大回苏格兰时,穷得睡在甲板上。而洛瓦特身材颀长,英俊无比且富于浪漫情怀;他有一座耸立于因弗内斯附近比尤利河岸之上的城堡。他要米林先生作他的私人风笛手:不是个人需要而是出于军事安排。伦敦陆军部当时禁止风笛手在战斗中吹奏。但同为苏格兰人的米林先生和洛瓦特勋爵密谋不受陆军部禁令约束。在这场“历史上最伟大的登陆战”中,洛瓦特要让风笛声为胜利指明方向。

He was ordering now, as they waded up Sword Beach, in that drawly voice of his: “Give us a tune, piper.” Mr Millin thought him a mad bastard. The man beside him, on the point of jumping off, had taken a bullet in the face and gone under. But there was Lovat, strolling through fire quite calmly in his aristocratic way, allegedly wearing a monogrammed white pullover under his jacket and carrying an ancient Winchester rifle, so if he was mad Mr Millin thought he might as well be ridiculous too, and struck up “Hielan’ Laddie”. Lovat approved it with a thumbs-up, and asked for “The Road to the Isles”. Mr Millin inquired, half-joking, whether he should walk up and down in the traditional way of pipers. “Oh, yes. That would be lovely.”

当战士们下舰向剑滩蹚去时,洛瓦特正以他惯有的缓慢悠长的声音下命令:“风笛手,给——我们——整一曲!”。米林先生认为洛瓦特是一个疯狂的混蛋。在即将发起攻击的时刻,在洛瓦特身旁的一位战士被子弹击中面部倒下。但洛瓦特仍以他的贵族气派相当冷静地穿行于战火之中(据说,在他的夹克下穿着一件有字母组合的白色套头衫,手持一杆古老的温彻斯特步枪),因此,如果洛瓦特真是疯狂的混蛋的话,那么米林先生认为自己最好还是也成为疯狂的混蛋,于是米林随即奏起《嗨,热情的少年》曲。洛瓦特翘起拇指赞同,随后又要求米林吹奏曲子《通往小島之路》。米林半开玩笑地问,他是否应该以风笛手的传统方式,在吹奏时上下行走。洛瓦特回应道“好,那样好极了”!

Three times therefore he walked up and down at the edge of the sea. He remembered the sand shaking under his feet from mortar fire and the dead bodies rolling in the surf, against his legs. For the rest of the day, whenever required, he played. He piped the advancing troops along the raised road by the Caen canal, seeing the flashes from the rifle of a sniper about 100 yards ahead, noticing only after a minute or so that everyone behind him had hit the deck in the dust. When Lovat had dispatched the sniper, he struck up again. He led the company down the main street of Bénouville playing “Blue Bonnets over the Border”, refusing to run when the commander of 6 Commando urged him to; pipers walked as they played.

因此,他在剑滩海边上下行走了三次。他深深记得:炮火中,剑滩在他脚下颤抖;海涛里,尸体撞击他的双腿。在抢滩后其它时间,每当指挥官发出命令,他就吹起风笛。他吹起风笛激励攻击部队沿着卡昂运河(Caen Canal)凸路冲锋,眼见在他前面约100码处一敌方阻击手的来福枪伸出火舌,在不到一分钟的时间里,他身后的每个战士都卧倒在已成残骸的甲板上。当洛瓦特旅长消灭了狙击手后,他又一次把风笛吹响。当英军第六空降师突击队指挥官催促躲避战火时,他予以拒绝,吹起《苏格兰狂想曲》把战友们引向Bénouville大街;风笛手们的吹奏会显灵。 

He took them across two bridges, one (later renamed the Pegasus Bridge) ringing and banging as shrapnel hit the metal sides, one merely with railings which bullets whistled through: “the longest bridge I ever piped across.” Those two crossings marked their successful rendezvous with the troops who had preceded them. All the way, he learned later, German snipers had had him in their sights but, out of pity for this madman, had not fired. That was their story. Mr Millin himself knew he wasn’t going to die. Piping was too enjoyable, as he had discovered in the Boys’ Brigade band and all through his short army career. And piping protected him.

他带领战友们横跨二座桥梁。一座后来叫飞马桥,榴弹打在桥两边的金属构件上,清脆猛烈;一座只有木栏杆,子弹呼啸而过:“那是我曾经吹笛走过的最长的桥”。这两次跨桥行动使他们与先期到达的部队胜利会师。他后来了解到,在整个冲锋途中,德军阻击手们的瞄准具已把他标定,但是,出于可怜他这个精神失常者,没有射杀他。 这个故事是[被俘] 德军讲的。米林认为他不会死。从他结识Boys’ Brigade 乐团到短暂军旅生涯的始终,吹笛送军前行太令人愉快了。吹笛也保佑着他。 

The Nut-Brown Maiden  更多信息请访问:http://www.24en.com/
《棕色姑娘》

The pipes themselves were less lucky, injured by shrapnel as he dived into a ditch. He could still play them, but four days later they took a direct hit on the chanter and the drone when he had laid them down in the grass, and that was that. The last tune they had piped on D-Day was “The Nut-Brown Maiden”, played for a small red-haired French girl who, with her folks cowering behind her, had asked him for music as he passed their farm.

而风笛管就不太走运了,当米林向战壕冲进时,笛管被炮弹损伤。虽然他尚可用笛管吹奏,但四天后,当米林将笛管放在草丛中时,风笛的舒音管和低音管被彻底击坏,吹笛使命就此终结。在D日吹出的最后一支曲子是《棕色姑娘》,那是米林从一法国红发小姑娘家人的农场经过时,应小姑娘的要求吹奏的,当时,小姑娘的父母在她身后抖缩不安。

He gave the pipes later to the museum at the Pegasus Bridge, which he often revisited, and sometimes piped across, during his long and quiet post-war career as a mental nurse at Dawlish in Devon. On one such visit, in full Highland rig with his pipes in his arms, he was approached by a smartly dressed woman of a certain age, with faded red hair, who planted a joyous kiss of remembrance on his cheek.

他后来把风笛赠给了飞马桥博物馆。战后,他在德文郡的道利什作一名心理护理员,在整个漫长而平静的职业生涯里,飞马桥是他常常故地重游的地方。有时,他还重温吹笛过桥。 在一次重温时,他身着全式苏格兰装束,将风笛置于臂湾,一位满头褪色红发、身着整洁连衣裙的不再年轻的女士向他走来,在他脸颊上留下追忆的欣吻。