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第6节 第三十章 【
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第三十章
   
我曾去过山庄一次,但是自从她离去以后我就没有看到过她;当我去问候她时,约瑟夫用手把着门,不许我进去。他说林惇夫人“完蛋啦”,主人不在家。齐拉告诉过我他们过日子的一些情况,不然我简直不知道谁死了,谁活着。她认为凯瑟琳太傲慢,她也不喜欢她,我从她的话里猜得出来。我的小姐初去时曾要她帮点忙;可是希刺克厉夫叫她只管自己的事,让他儿媳妇自己照料自己;齐拉本是一个心窄的、自私自利的女人,就挺愿意地服从了。凯瑟琳对于这种怠慢表示出了孩子气的恼怒;用轻蔑来相报,如此就把我这个通风报信的人也列入她的敌人之列,记下了仇,好像她做了天大的对不起她的事似的。大约六星期以前,就在你来之前不久,我曾和齐拉长谈,那天我们在旷野上遇见了;以下就是她告诉我的。

“林惇夫人所作的第一件事,”她说,“在她一到山庄时,就是跑上楼,连对我和约瑟夫都没打个招呼,说声晚上好;她把自己关在林惇的屋子里,一直待到早上。后来,在主人和恩萧早餐时,她到大厅里来,全身哆嗦地问道可不可以请个医生来?她的表弟病得很重。

“‘我们知道!’希刺克厉夫回答,‘可是他的生命一文不值,我也不要在他身上再花一个铜子儿啦!’

“‘可我不知道怎么办,’她说,‘要是没人帮帮我,他就要死了!’

“‘走出这间屋子,’主人叫道,‘永远别让我再听见关于他的一个字。这儿没有人关心他怎么样。你要是关心,就去作看护吧。要是你不,就把他锁在里面,离开他。’

“然后她开始来缠我,我说我对这烦人的东西已经够累了;我们个个都有自己的事,她的事就是侍候林惇:是希刺克厉夫叫我把那份工作交给她的。

“他们怎么过的,我也说不出来,我猜想他总是发脾气,而且日夜地哭嚎,她难得有点休息;从她那发白的脸和迷迷瞪瞪的眼睛可以猜得出,她有时到厨房里来,样子很狼狈,好像是想求人帮忙,但是我可不打算违背主人:我从来不敢违背他,丁太太,虽然我也觉得不请肯尼兹大夫来不对,可那跟我没关系,也不必由我来劝或者抱怨;我一向不愿多管闲事。有一两回,我们都上床睡了,我偶尔又开开我的屋门,就看见她坐在楼梯顶上哭;我就马上关上门,生怕我被感动得去干预。那时我的确可怜她;可你知道,我还是不愿意丢掉我的饭碗呀。

“最后,一天夜里她鼓足勇气来到我的屋子,她说的话把我都吓糊涂了。‘告诉希刺克厉夫先生他的儿子要死了——这次我确定他是要死了。马上起来,告诉他。’

“说完这话,她又不见了。我又躺了一刻钟,一边静听,一边发抖。没有动静——这所房子没声音。

“‘她搞错了,’我自言自语。‘他病好啦。我用不着打扰他们。’我就瞌睡起来。可是我的睡眠第二次被尖锐的铃声打断了——这是我们唯一的铃,特意给林惇装置的;主人叫我去看看怎么回事,叫我通知他们他不要再听见那个声音。

“我传达了凯瑟琳的话。他自言自语地咒骂着,几分钟后他拿着一根点着的蜡烛出来,向他们的屋子走去。我也跟着。希刺克厉夫夫人坐在床边,手抱着膝。她公公走上前,用烛光照照林惇的脸,望望他,又摸摸他;然后他转身向她。

“‘现在——凯瑟琳,’他说,‘你觉得怎么样?’

“她不吭声。

“‘你觉得怎么样,凯瑟琳?’他又说。

“‘他是平安了,我是自由了,’她回答,‘我应该觉得好过——可是,’她接着说,带着一种她无法隐藏的悲苦,‘你们丢下我一个人跟死亡挣扎这么久,我感到的和看见的只有死亡!我觉得就像死了一样!’

“她看上去也像是死了似的!我给她一点酒。哈里顿和约瑟夫被铃声和脚步声吵醒了,在外面听见我们说话,现在进来了。我相信约瑟夫挺高兴这个孩子去世;哈里顿仿佛有点不安:不过他盯住凯瑟琳比想念林惇的时间还多些。但是主人叫他再睡去:我们不要他帮忙。然后他叫约瑟夫把遗体搬到他房间去,也叫我回屋,留下希刺克厉夫夫人一个人。

“早上,他叫我去对她说务必要下楼吃早餐:她已经脱了衣服,好像要睡觉了,说她不舒服;对于这个我简直不奇怪。我告诉了希刺克厉夫先生,他答道:‘好吧,由她去,到出殡后再说;常常去看看她需要什么给她拿去;等她见好些就告诉我。’”

据齐拉说,凯蒂在楼上待了两个星期;齐拉一天去看她两次,本想对她好些,可是尽管齐拉打算对她友好一些,却被她傲慢而且干脆地拒绝了。

希刺克厉夫上楼去过一次,给她看林惇的遗嘱。他把他所有的以及曾经是她的动产全遗赠给他父亲:这可怜的东西是在他舅舅去世,凯瑟琳离开一个星期的那段时期受到威胁,或是诱骗,写成那份遗嘱的。至于田地,由于他未成年,他不过问。无论如何,希刺克厉夫先生也根据他妻子的权利,以及他的权利把它拿过来了;我想是合法的;毕竟,凯瑟琳无钱无势,是不能干预他的产权的。

“始终没有人走近她的房门,”齐拉说,“除了那一次。只有我,也没有人问过她。她第一次下楼到大厅里来是在一个星期日的下午。在我给她送饭的时候,她喊叫说她再待在这冷地方可受不了啦;我告诉她说主人要去画眉田庄了,恩萧和我用不着拦住她下楼;她一听见希刺克厉夫的马奔驰而去,她就出现了,穿着黑衣服,她的黄卷发梳在耳后,朴素得像个教友派教徒:她没法把它梳通。

“约瑟夫和我经常在星期日到礼拜堂去。”(你知道,现在教堂没有牧师了,丁太太解释着;他们把吉默吞的美以美会或是浸礼会的地方,我说不出是哪一个,叫作礼拜堂。)“约瑟夫已经走了,”她接着说,“但是我想我还是留在家里合适些。年轻人有个年纪大的守着总要好多了;哈里顿,虽然非常羞怯,却不是品行端正的榜样。我让他知道他表妹大概要和我们一道坐着,她总是守安息日的;所以当她待在那儿的时候,他最好别搞他的枪,也别做屋里的零碎事。他听到这消息就脸红了,还看看他的手和衣服。一下工夫鲸油和枪弹药全收起来了。我看他有意要陪她;我根据他的作法猜想,他想使自己体面些;所以,我笑起来,主人在旁我是不敢笑的,我说要是他愿意,我可以帮他忙,而且嘲笑他的慌张。他又不高兴了,开始咒骂起来。

“现在,丁太太,”齐拉接着说,看出我对她的态度不以为然,“你也许以为你的小姐太好,哈里顿先生配不上;也许你是对的:可是我承认我很想把她的傲气压一下。现在她所有的学问和她的文雅对她又有什么用呢?她和你或我一样的贫穷:更穷,我敢说,你是在攒钱,我也在那条路上尽我的小小努力。”

哈里顿允许齐拉帮他忙,她把他奉承得性子变温和了,所以,当凯瑟琳进来时,据那管家说,他把她以前的侮蔑也忘了一半,努力使自己彬彬有礼。

“夫人走进来了,”她说,“跟个冰柱似的,冷冰冰的,又像个公主似的高不可攀。我起身把我坐的扶手椅让给她。不,她翘起鼻子对待我的殷勤。恩萧也站起来了,请她坐在高背椅上,坐在炉火旁边:他说她一定是饿了。

“‘我饿了一个多月了,’她回答。尽力轻蔑地念那个‘饿’字。

“她自己搬了张椅子,摆在离我们两个都相当远的地方。等到她坐暖和了,她开始向四周望着,发现柜子上有些书;她马上站起来,想够到它,可是它太高了。她的表哥望着她试了一会,最后鼓起勇气去帮她;她兜起她的衣服,他一本一本拿下来装满了一兜。

“这对于那个男孩子已是一大进步了。她没有谢他;可是他觉得很感激,因为她接受了他的帮助,在她翻看这些书时,他还大胆地站在后面,甚至还弯身指点引起他的兴趣的书中某些古老的插面;他也没有因她把书页从他手指中猛地一扯的那种无礼态度而受到挫折:他挺乐意地走开些;望着她,而不去看书。她继续看书,或者找些什么可看的。他的注意力渐渐集中在研究她那又厚又亮的卷发上:他看不见她的脸,她也看不见他。也许,他自己也不清楚他作了什么,只是像个孩子被一根蜡烛所吸引一样,终于他从死盯着,后来却开始碰它了,他伸出他的手摸摸一绺卷发,轻轻的,仿佛那是一只鸟儿。就像他在她的脖子上捅进一把小刀似的,她猛然转过身来。

‘马上滚开!你怎么敢碰我?你呆在这儿干吗?’她以一种厌恶的声调大叫,‘我受不了你!要是你走近我,我又要上楼了。’

“哈里顿先生向后退,显得要多蠢就有多蠢;他很安静地坐在长椅上,她继续翻她的书,又过了半个钟头;最后,恩萧走过来,跟我小声说:

“‘你能请她念给我们听吗,齐拉?我都闲腻了:我真喜欢——我会喜欢听她念的!别说我要求她,就说你自己请她念。’

“‘哈里顿先生想让你给我们念一下,太太,’我马上说。‘他会很高兴——他会非常感激的。’

“她皱起眉头,抬起头来,回答说:

“‘哈里顿先生,还有你们这一帮人,请放明白点:我拒绝你们所表示的一切假仁假义!我看不起你们,对你们任何一个人我都没话可说!当我宁愿舍了命想听到一个温和的字眼,甚至想看看你们中间一个人的脸的时候,你们都躲开了。可是我并不要对你们诉苦!我是被寒冷赶到这儿来的;不是来给你们开心或是跟你们作伴的。’

“‘我作了什么错事啦?’恩萧开口了。‘干吗怪我呢?’

“‘啊!你是个例外,’希刺克厉夫夫人回答,‘我从来也不在乎你关不关心我。’

“‘但是我不止一次提过,也请求过,’他说,被她的无礼激怒了,‘我求过希刺克厉夫先生让我代你守夜——’

“‘住口吧!我宁可走出门外,或者去任何地方,也比听你那讨厌的声音在我耳边响好!’我的夫人说。

“哈里顿咕噜着说,在他看来,她还是下地狱去的好!他拿下他的枪,不再约束自己不干他的礼拜天的事了。现在他说话了,挺随便;她立刻看出还是回去守着她的孤寂合适些:但已开始下霜了,她虽然骄傲,也被迫渐渐地和我们接近了。无论如何,我也当心不愿再让她讥讽我对她的好意。打那以后,我和她一样板着脸,在我们中间没有爱她的或喜欢她的人,她也不配有;因为,谁对她说一个字,她就缩起来,对任何人都不尊敬。甚至她对主人也会开火,并且也不怕他打她;她越挨打,她就变得越狠毒。”

起初,听了齐拉这一段话,我就决定离开我的住所,找间茅舍,叫凯瑟琳跟我一块住:可是要希刺克厉夫先生答应,就像要他给哈里顿一所单独住的房子一样;在目前我看不出补救方法来,除非她再嫁,而筹划这件事我又无能为力。

丁太太的故事就这样结束了。尽管有医生的预言,我还是很快地恢复了体力;虽然这不过是元月的第二个星期,可是我打算一两天内骑马到呼啸山庄,去通知我的房东我将在伦敦住上半年,而且,若是他愿意的话,他可以在十月后另找房客来住。我可是无论如何也不要再在这里过一个冬天的了。
 


Chapter 30

I have paid a visit to the Heights, but I have not seen her since she left: Joseph held the door in his hand when I called to ask after her, and wouldn't let me pass. He said Mrs Linton was `thrang', and the master was not in. Zillah has told me something of the way they go on, otherwise I should hardly know who was dead and who living. She thinks Catherine haughty, and does not like her, I can guess by her talk. My young lady asked some aid of her when she first came; but Mr Heathcliff told her to follow her own business, and let his daughter-in-law look after herself; and Zillah willingly acquiesced, being a narrow-minded, selfish woman. Catherine evinced a child's annoyance at this neglect; repaid it with contempt, and thus enlisted my informant among her enemies, as securely as if she had done her some great wrong. I had a long talk with Zillah about six weeks ago, a little before you came, one day when we foregathered on the moor; and this is what she told me.

`The first thing Mrs Linton did', she said, `on her arrival at the Heights, was to run upstairs, without even wishing good evening to me and Joseph; she shut herself into Linton's room, and remained till morning. Then, while the master and Earnshaw were at breakfast, she entered the house, and asked all in a quiver if the doctor might be sent for? her cousin was very ill.

`"We know that!" answered Heathcliff; "but his life is not worth a farthing, and I won't spend a farthing on him."

`"But I cannot tell how to do," she said; "and if nobody will help me, he'll die!"

`"Walk out of the room," cried the master, "and let me never hear a word more about him! None here care what becomes of him; if you do, act the nurse; if you do not, lock him up and leave him."

`Then she began to bother me, and I said I'd had enough plague with the tiresome thing; we each had our tasks, and hers was to wait on Linton, Mr Heathcliff bid me leave that labour to her.

`How they managed together, I can't tell. I fancy he fretted a great deal, and moaned hisseln night and day; and she had precious little rest: one could guess by her white face and heavy eyes. She sometimes came into the kitchen all wildered like, and looked as if she would fain beg assistance; but I was not going to disobey the master: I never dare disobey him, Mrs Dean; and, though I thought it wrong that Kenneth should not be sent for, it was no concern of mine either to advise or complain, and I always refused to meddle. Once or twice, after we had gone to bed, I've happened to open my door again and seen her sitting crying on the stairs' top; and then I've shut myself in quick, for fear of being moved to interfere. I did pity her then, I'm sure: still I didn't wish to lose my place, you know.

`At last, one night she came boldly into my chamber, and frightened me out of my wits, by saying:

`"Tell Mr Heathcliff that his son is dying--I'm sure he is, this time. Get up, instantly, and tell him."

`Having uttered this speech, she vanished again. I lay a quarter of an hour listening and trembling. Nothing stirred--the house was quiet.

`She's mistaken, I said to myself. He's got over it. I needn't disturb them; and I began to doze. But my sleep was marred a second time by a sharp ringing of the bell--the only bell we have, put up on purpose for Linton; and the master called to me to see what was the matter, and inform them that he wouldn't have that noise repeated.

`I delivered Catherine's message. He cursed to himself, and in a few minutes came out with a lighted candle, and proceeded to their room. I followed. Mrs Heathcliff was seated by the bedside, with her hands folded on her knees. Her father-in-law went up, held the light to Linton's face, looked at him, and touched him; afterwards he turned to her.

`"Now--Catherine," he said, "how do you feel?" `She was dumb. `"How do you feel, Catherine?" he repeated.

`"He's safe, and I'm free," she answered: "I should feel well--but", she continued, with a bitterness she couldn't conceal, "you have left me so long to struggle against death alone, that I feel and see only death! I feel like death!"

`And she looked like it, too! I gave her a little wine. Hareton and Joseph, who had been wakened by the ringing and the sound of feet, and heard our talk from outside, now entered. Joseph was fain, I believe, of the lad's removal; Hareton seemed a thought bothered: though he was more taken up with staring at Catherine than thinking of Linton. But the master bid him get off to bed again: we didn't want his help. He afterwards made Joseph remove the body to his chamber, and told me to return to mine, and Mrs Heathcliff remained by herself.

`In the morning, he sent me to tell her she must come down to breakfast: she had undressed, and appeared going to sleep, and said she was ill; at which I hardly wondered. I informed Mr Heathcliff, and he replied:

`"Well, let her be till after the funeral; and go up now and then to get her what is needful; and, as soon as she seems better, tell me."'

Cathy stayed upstairs a fortnight, according to Zillah; who visited her twice a day, and would have been rather more friendly, but her attempts at increasing kindness were proudly and promptly repelled.

Heathcliff went up once, to show her Linton's will. He had bequeathed the whole of his, and what had been her, movable property to his father: the poor creature was threatened, or coaxed, into that act during her week's absence, when his uncle died. The lands, being a minor, he could not meddle with. However, Mr Heathcliff has claimed and kept them in his wife's right and his also: I suppose legally: at any rate, Catherine, destitute of cash and friends, cannot disturb his possession.

`Nobody', said Zillah, `ever approached her door, except that once, but I; and nobody asked anything about her. The first occasion of her coming down into the house was on a Sunday afternoon. She had cried out, when I carried up her dinner, that she couldn't bear any longer being in the cold: and I told her the master was going to Thrushcross Grange, and Earnshaw and I needn't hinder her from descending; so, as soon as she heard Heathcliff's horse trot off, she made her appearance donned in black, and her yellow curls combed back behind her ears as plain as a Quaker: she couldn't comb them out.

`Joseph and I generally go to chapel on Sundays'; the kirk, you know, has no minister now, explained Mrs Dean; and they call the Methodists' or Baptists' place (I can't say which it is), at Gimmerton, a chapel. `Joseph had gone,' she continued, `but I thought proper to bide at home. Young folks are always the better for an elder's overlooking; and Hareton, with all his bashfulness, isn't a model of nice behaviour. I let him know that his cousin would very likely sit with us, and she had been always used to see the Sabbath respected; so he had as good leave his guns and bits of indoor work alone, while she stayed. He coloured up at the news, and cast his eyes over his hands and clothes. The train-oil and gunpowder were shoved out of sight in a minute. I saw he meant to give her his company; and I guessed, by his way, he wanted to be presentable; so, laughing, as I durst not laugh when the master is by, I offered to help him, if he would, and joked at his confusion. He grew sullen, and began to swear.

`Now, Mrs Dean,' Zillah went on, seeing me not pleased by her manner, `you happen think your young lady too fine for Mr Hareton; and happen you're right: but I own I should love well to bring her pride a peg lower. And what will all her learning and her daintiness do for her, now? She's as poor as you or I: poorer I'll be bound: you're saving, and I'm doing my little all that road.'? Hareton allowed Zillah to give him her aid; and she flattered him into a good humour: so, when Catherine came, half forgetting her former insults, he tried to make himself agreeable, by the housekeeper's account.

`Missis walked in', she said, `as chill as an icicle, and as high as a princess. I got up and offered her my seat in the armchair. No, she turned up her nose at my civility. Earnshaw rose, too, and bid her come to the settle, and sit close by the fire: he was sure she was starved.

`"I've been starved a month and more," she answered, resting on the word as scornful as she could.

`And she got a chair for herself, and placed it at a distance from both of us. Having sat till she was warm, she began to look round, and discovered a number of books in the dresser; she was instantly upon her feet again, stretching to reach them: but they were too high up. Her cousin, after watching her endeavours a while, at last summoned courage to help her; she held her frock, and he filled it with the first that came to hand.

`That was a great advance for the lad. She didn't thank him; still, he felt gratified that she had accepted his assistance, and ventured to stand behind as she examined them, and even to stoop and point out what struck his fancy in certain old pictures which they contained; nor was he daunted by the saucy style in which she jerked the page from his finger: he contented himself with going a bit farther back, and looking at her instead of the book. She continued reading, or seeking for something to read. His attention became, by degrees, quite centred in the study of her thick, silky curls: her face he couldn't see, and she couldn't see him. And, perhaps, not quite awake to what he did, but attracted like a child to a candle, at last he proceeded from staring to touching; he put out his hand and stroked one curl, as gently as if it were a bird. He might have stuck a knife into her neck, she started round in such a taking.

`"Get away, this moment! How dare you touch me? Why are you stopping there?" she cried, in a tone of disgust. "I can't endure you! I'll go upstairs again, if you come near me."

`Mr Hareton recoiled, looking as foolish as he could do: he sat down in the settle very quiet, and she continued turning over her volumes another half-hour; finally, Earnshaw crossed over, and whispered to me:

`"Will you ask her to read to us, Zillah? I'm stalled of doing naught; and I do like--I could like to hear her! Dunnot say I wanted it, but ask of yourseln."

`"Mr Hareton wishes you would read to us, ma'am," I said immediately. "He'd take it very kind--he'd be much obliged."

`She frowned; and looking up, answered:

`"Mr Hareton, and the whole set of you, will be good enough to understand that I reject any pretence at kindness you have the hypocrisy to offer! I despise you, and will have nothing to say to any of you! When I would have given my life for one kind word, even to see one of your faces, you all kept off. But I won't complain to you! I'm driven down here by the cold; not either to amuse you or enjoy your society."

`"What could I ha' done?" began Earnshaw. "How was I to blame?"

`"Oh! you are an exception," answered Mrs Heathcliff. "I never missed such a concern as you."

`"But I offered more than once, and asked," he said, kindling up at her pertness, "I asked Mr Heathcliff to let me wake for you ?`"Be silent! I'll go out of doors, or anywhere, rather than have your disagreeable voice in my ear!" said my lady.

`Hareton muttered she might go to hell, for him! and unslinging his gun, restrained himself from his Sunday occupations no longer. He talked now, freely enough; and she presently saw fit to retreat to her solitude: but the frost had set in, and, in spite of her pride, she was forced to condescend to our company, more and more. However, I took care there should be no further scorning at my good nature: ever since, I've been as stiff as herself; and she has no lover or liker among us: and she does not deserve one; for, let them say the least word to her, and she'll curl back without respect of anyone! She'll snap at the master himself, and as good as dares him to thrash her; and the more hurt she gets, the more venomous she grows.'

At first, on hearing this account from Zillah, I determined to leave my situation, take a cottage, and get Catherine to come and live with me: but Mr Heathcliff would as soon permit that as he would set up Hareton in an independent house; and I can see no remedy, at present, unless she could marry again: and that scheme it does not come within my province to arrange.

Thus ended Mrs Dean's story. Notwithstanding the doctor's prophecy, I am rapidly recovering strength; and though it be only the second week in January, I propose getting out on horseback in a day or two, and riding over to Wuthering Heights, to inform my landlord that I shall spend the next six months in London; and, if he likes, he may look out for another tenant to take the place after October. I would not pass another winter here for much.