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Chapter 7 Ⅱ Caving

Hunger Interlude 勒.克萊喬 18712Words 2023-02-05
It was because of Senia that Eddie knew about it.They haven't seen each other much these days.They grew strange, for no particular reason.Perhaps it was because they were tired, and both of them were tired, but Edel thought it was caused by Xenia intentionally or unintentionally.Difficulties in life are also a problem.When school started, Senia didn't come.Adie'er sent her a text message and sent it to No. 127, Ojiha Street, but there was no reply.In the summer before the start of school, Chi Yanyan, Adele first tasted the fun of party outings in Brittany, and some girls and young people on vacation in Pehou︱Juheq, wandering around on bicycles, in the sea The baths linger until nine at night, dances, vague flirtations on the dunes, a pretty boy named Stephen with brown hair and green eyes, card games at seaside cafes.We agreed to meet again and exchanged addresses.Back in Paris, Eddie felt a heavy feeling again, as if she couldn't breathe freely.Alexander's and Justine's voices, bursting out over little things that used to make Atelier's heart beat faster, when she would pounce on her, little figure standing between her parents and say: Daddy, Mom, stop fighting, I beg you!To calm herself down, she played hard on the piano, the loudest tunes, Debussy's "The Gait of the Black Doll," the Machoka, or put on a record on the old phonograph, Turn the volume up to crack.Luo Hong.Field brought her from London a few records that no one knew in France, Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", Dimitri.Tojin, and dizziness.Gillisby, Count Basie, Eddie.Condon, Bix.Bedbeck.This was no doubt Rohon's response, for Alexandre and his guests would complain endlessly about niggers and gringos invading France and saying they would turn Notre-Dame into a synagogue or a mosque.

Later, a few days before Christmas, Eddie meets Shania as she walks out of school.She was taken aback by Senia's change.She is already a woman, wearing a dark blue suit and a small hat, her eyebrows have been drawn with an eyebrow pencil, her cheeks are painted with pink blush, and her beautiful blonde hair is tied into a bun. She is no longer charming Her curly hair was mixed with ribbons.They walked the streets aimlessly, just like in the past.At some point, Senia said: Now, we won't go to your uncle's garden anymore.Adie looked at her suspiciously, so she continued: Don't you know?The house has already started to be built.Eddie felt the memory come back, something very distant, yet less than two years old.I have no idea.Senia looked at her sternly: Didn't your parents tell you?They were building a building and the work had started before the summer.Hearing these words, Adele felt a shudder.Memories carry the bad news with them.As if time had ripened this betrayal, behind her back, everything was ready for the inevitability.She felt a slight dizziness, and she was actually surprised that she wasn't startled by the betrayal.She blinked her eyes, and answered Shania firmly: Why didn't you say it? Of course I knew about it. My father told me about it when I signed the power of attorney, but, you know, I don't really want to look over.Senia said: Yes, I understand.Her eyes were indifferent.Maybe she thinks it's about rich people, they're getting richer, and she and her loved ones, who are strapped for money, worry all day about how to balance their weekly expenses.

After walking in the Luxembourg Gardens as they had done not so long ago, watching the children play with their ridiculous sailboats in a stagnant pool, they parted.It was very cold and all the leaves on the trees had fallen.Shania said: Well, well, I'm going from there. Ai Die'er was also in a hurry to leave.Me, I have to hurry back, I have piano lessons.Then Senia remembered that they had had a long talk about this last spring.Ah, by the way, are you still preparing for the game?In the garden on Ahmoshik Street, under the arbor, they thought about performing together, Eddie playing the piano and Shania singing.Like a recital.They even rehearsed a ballad by Debord Valmer [Note 1], set to a piece of music by Massenet [Note 2].It all seemed so far away, after the summer, after the drums of conversation in the salons of Rue Cotentin, after winter, after family quarrels.And now, out of the ruins of their dreams, this building is about to emerge, this betrayal.They kissed each other quickly and said goodbye.Eddie noticed Senia's new perfume, or should I put it that way, she mentally corrected it, it was the smell on her face, it was a bit pungent, it was the powder on her cheeks, or it was coming out of her hair Peppermint Shampoo.A taste of the poor, a bitter taste, a smell of necessity came out.This was what she was thinking as she walked quickly along Oujiha Street. The moment this obvious thing popped into her mind, it was confirmed. The feel of the corset, she felt tears in her eyes, tears of shame or resentment, whatever they were, bitter tears.

[Annotation] Debord︱Walmore (1786︱1859): French avant-garde poetess, pioneer of modern French poetry.After the French Revolution, his family moved to Guadeloupe, a French colony, and returned to France after his mother's death. [Annotation] Massenet (1842︱1912): French composer, whose works are mainly operas. His representative works include "Manon", "Werther", "Don Quixote" and so on. She couldn't wait, so she didn't take the Montparnasse-bound bus, and strode, weaving through crowds, dodging obstacles, weaving through the stalled traffic, as in Brittany. Sometimes, she walks on large black rocks at low tide, counting every jump, every crossing, all senses on alert.She doesn't listen to the gags of delivery guys or the honking of cranky drivers.

She didn't know where to go.It was as if she had given up the purple house and gardens on Ahmoshik Street for months, if not years.She counted the passing time in her heart, autumn, winter.Sitting on the bug-eaten bench with Senia, chatting.Red vines cling to the wall at the back of the garden, and the big tarp is covered in rain and slugs.Senia, with a very pale face and gray hair wrapped under a headscarf, looks like a Russian village woman, slipping every word into the rain, mixed with emotion and words.Senia's hand was in hers, slender and cold.One day, Senia said to her: Your wrist is as strong as a boy, you know that?It's because of the piano. Playing the piano will make the wrist muscles very developed.Eddie said so.She has a little low self-esteem about her big hands.In winter, it was very cold in the garden, and her hands were red with cold, like the hands of a washerwoman.It was a very tender time, although there was rain and the sky was gray.The two big trees planted by Mr. Soliman in the past were steaming with blue water vapor, as if protecting them.It went on like this for several hours.As if, time no longer exists.

She stopped at the intersection.Everything was as usual, peaceful and silent.Monsieur Soliman had called her attention to the silence: I really don't understand how this country place survived in Paris.In the evening, he let her listen to the nightingale on the paulownia tree. While you live here, he said, I'll wake you up at night to hear it sing.There will be an open-air inner courtyard, and a pool, all for this.I will plant a couple of cherry trees for it, the birds love them.The tall rust-colored stone wall stretched like a fence to the bottom of the street.After that, there are some workshops and warehouses.The railway was less than a hundred meters away, in a large, smoky ditch.From time to time, the sharp noise of a railway switch can be heard.Mr. Soliman liked the sound of trains.Perhaps it was because he was nostalgic for long journeys.And he said that the surrounding area of ​​the railway station is the antithesis of the bourgeois rulers, the most suitable place for artists and exiled politicians.He once said that before the war, before the revolution, he played chess with a guy named Ilyich in a cafe near the station, and later when he became more famous, he used the name Lenin.

It was only when Ai Die got closer that she understood.The facade of the cafe opposite has no enthusiasm.The boss just hung a Christmas wreath of holly leaves on the glass window and added a misspelled Happy Holidays for the reunion dinner on Christmas Eve. The stone wall was knocked away about ten meters.The small wooden door next to it was still there, but the heavy blow from the demolition wall had caused the door beam to collapse and jam the door piece.Different thorns, or honeysuckle, hang there.Instead of the fence, a board made of wooden boards became the fortification of this gap.The notice above the board was a building permit, but Atel hadn't bothered to read it.Through the gaps in the planks, Adie looked inside.A large black hole filled the entire garden, down to its very depths.The rainwater filled the hole with dirty water, and here and there exposed white stones covered with pores, like bones.She stayed there for a while, her forehead pressed against the railing.The black hole entered her body, digging a void inside her.With a kind of childish desperation, Atel tried to push the planks further and further apart to peer into the depths of the garden, where the black tarpaulin covered the posts and siding of the purple house.She thought coldly, the land had been stripped bare, and the thorns had been cleared away, making it look small and shriveled.Even the trees are gone.The only thing left there was the paulownia planted by Mr. Soliman for the nightingale, which seemed to have been pushed farther into the garden, leaning against the wall, hunched over, its broad leaves eaten away by the iron embroidery .Oddly enough, Atie wasn't angry at all.However, before this catastrophic scene, she suddenly understood what had happened behind her back.Those plots, the quarrels between father and mother, the slamming of doors, those vague threats.Scene in the office of the notary Mr. Bondy, the signature of the Power of Attorney.Did she miss something?Or does she really not want to understand or listen?Fragments of sentences returned to her mind, the name of an architect, Paul.Bang Wan, the neighbor complained in vain. Until now, she had always thought that the neighbor's dissatisfaction with her uncle was still in effect. A wooden house would bring danger to the entire block, and, more seriously, to The threat posed by the most native tree species in the area!It all revolved around her, circling in her head until she felt uncomfortable.She leans her back against the board.Near the intersection, the Sandwich Café across the street with its Christmas decorations seemed to invite her, to mock her.She didn't think much about it, her legs took her by itself, and Adie left the field, walked up to the building of the cafe, and pushed the door open.She had never seen the inside of the cafe, only glimpsed out of the corner of her eye when Shania passed by, the dark wood paneling smelled of absinthe and fennel.She thought that the boss would have a flushed face, but it was a woman who came to greet her. She was relieved that this woman was no uglier or more vulgar than other women, and she walked quietly to her desk .A glass of glog.Adie ordered a drink.The female boss hesitated.Yes, yes, no problem, I'm used to drinking this.Adie said.She hadn't had a drink since Mr. Soliman's death.This is their little secret, a finger-high rum, poured with hot lemonade and sugar, and she stirs it with him, listening to the little music they play with spoons.Then she lit a cigarette, the pack of Virginia's weekend cigarettes that was always in the pouch when she went to find Shania.

For weeks, after that day, for months, Atie carried this hole in her heart.It is a pain, a void.Sometimes, she loses her balance.The ground rose toward her, and in the street, or during recess, she had to find a wall to lean against, a tree, a post, whatever.One morning, when she got up to go to school, the floor of the bedroom shook to the left, like the deck of a ship when it capsized.The mother ran to rescue her, followed by the father.They called Dr. Guzman.It's no big deal, miss, it's called vertigo.There's a little mechanical lapse in your inner ear.At your age, it's not a big deal, you just need to get some rest.He prescribed a few drops of laudanum, and Ida, the maid, went to make ginger tea to raise her blood pressure a little.Later, everything returned to normal order, but the hole was always there.For several nights, Ai Dier dreamed that she was in front of her uncle's grave.Standing on the edge of the tomb, at the bottom of the muddy tomb, she saw his figure emerge, very tall and pale, but his beard and hair were long and black, as if he were forty years old.

Then, gradually, a state of balance was restored.It was the end of winter and construction had begun in earnest.With a determination that might have been used to stop the plan, Atel now wanted to know everything, to figure everything out.She went alone to Bonwan's office, Boulevard Montparnasse, and asked him to show her the plans.She examines the blueprints of the building on a large piece of transparent tracing paper, seven floors, and extremely mediocre.You see, miss.The architect pointed to the decorations below the balcony railings and on the sides of the gates.He held his head high and his chest up, like a fat dove puffing out the feathers around his neck.Your father thinks that you would like a more, er, more dreamy facade, and you would like something younger.In a design book, Bang Wan drew several round badges. On the door beam, he drew some fern-like plants wrapped around a woman's face. Obviously, that was Justine's profile.It's ridiculous.With cold malice in her heart, Adie said: Because you think this is dreamy?Do you think this one is younger?The man looked at her in astonishment.But it was Father Adel who interrupted him: These horrible things were not painted by my father.We don't want decoration at all, we want a bare facade.Please keep this in mind.She turned and walked away, not wanting anyone to discover the anger that had invaded her heart.The thought of someone who could turn beauty into something like this and grow tall in the garden on Ahmoshik Street made her want to vomit.

She was there almost every day, either to the architect's office, or to the joint carpenters who were in charge of construction, or to Pickup and Etter, who signed the civil engineering contract.She discusses project budgets with them, corrects mistakes, corrects exaggerations.Don’t make inlaid tile paintings in the downstairs hall, don’t use wrought iron elevator shafts for elevators, don’t install stained glass on the walls of the stairs, don’t use crystal balls for the railing heads of the stairs, don’t make oblate windows, and don’t use imitation marble building materials. Do not use the Hungarian paste method at a forty-five-degree angle on the wooden floor, do not use carved patterns on the doors in the house, do not have fireplaces with statues on both sides, do not use copper doorknobs, do not use those curves, do not use arched windows in the living room, do not use algae wells on the ceiling, do not A stove with a warming plate, no servants' stairs, no ivory knobs, no letter boxes made of noble wood, no red carpet on the stairs, and even the name the architect gave the whole building. No, this name is as precious and pretentious as this building. It is called a secluded residence, so Ai Dier ridiculed him: Why not call it Atlantis, since you are there?Instead, she secured a larger space and installed heating for the future concierge.

Then she began to check the accounts.She re-checked all the quotes, she didn't use No. 30 flat bricks for the walls, she used terrazzo gritstone instead, she didn't want 8cm wall panels, she changed them to 15cm, she changed the dotted paint on the exterior walls to smooth Yes, she also negotiated every inch of detail with United Carpenters, Pickup, and Etter, trying to minimize the civil engineering costs of earthworks, foundations, and plumbing for each floor.After coming down several times, she talked about the price of the project at 857.14 francs per square meter, excluding fine work, a total of 1,542,850 francs for the seven floors.The elevator and the workmanship are extra, plus about seventy thousand francs.After the price was negotiated, she accompanied her father to the bank to apply for a loan for fifteen years, and paid 200,000 francs in cash. They had to repay the bank 99,000 francs a year for the first five years, and from the sixth year, 96,000 francs. Francs, beginning in the eleventh year, eighty-eight thousand five hundred and seventy francs. She did all this with fever, with a kind of impatience, as if eager to obliterate Mr. Soliman's old garden with this hideous and expensive building which, according to her father, The benefits can make her carefree until the end of this life, and even the next life. But she could see very clearly that things did not develop as her father expected, and as the months passed, more and more problems arose, and the project was cursed with bad luck.The foundation was never finished.Every moment there are reports coming in that the foundations are unstable, the limestone is potholed, the water level is rising, not to mention the intimidation and threats from Mr. Kong Na next door complaining about cracking, shaking noises, stench, Talk like blast mining or drilling for natural gas.As a result, the building license was suspended several times and almost revoked.Architect Bang Wan intervened to ease the matter temporarily, but it could only be solved by giving red envelopes and modifying the design of the foundation.It used to be a simple foundation, but now several wells have to be drilled in the limestone, and concrete is poured in to make pillars. Week after week, the dug deeper and deeper, first six meters, then twelve meters, then ten meters. Eight meters.Dig through caverns in the ground, perhaps through ancient cemeteries.Adie imagined that in such a deep hole, the shadow of my uncle would come back, as if he had been living in this underground world, opposed to the construction of this building, opposed to the deprivation of his little niece’s property, and opposed to the destruction of his Indian dream. smashed.When the construction was just started, Adele went to the construction site for the first time. She asked the foreman of the joint carpenter: Where did the materials in the deepest part of the garden go?The man was puzzled for a while, and then replied: Ah, you mean the pile of old rotting boards?It was all sent to the dump, and nothing usable could be picked up there.Ai Dier was not reconciled, and wanted to know more, the man shrugged his shoulders, with a look of indifference: I assure you, miss, there is nothing to use, everything under the tarpaulin is rotten, rotten and raw Rusted, even the condition of those stones is bad.Ai Die'er seemed unwilling, but in fact she was relieved, because nothing related to the purple house was left behind, nothing at all, not even a single trinket used to decorate the facade of the suburban house . Lunchtime in the Rue Cotentin dragged on longer and longer, but the atmosphere was not quite what it used to be.Although the guests were cautious, rumors of disaster still spread like wildfire.The news, of course, leaked from the family, the aunts, the cousins, who had lived the fantasy that the Bouhans' house was booming, who were beginning to see worrying signs, hear cracks, see cracks .Not so long ago, Aunt Pauline, Aunt Milou, Aunt Wilhelmina, even that parasite Talon, when they needed a hundred or a thousand francs in an emergency, they had only to ask Justine to tell her husband Well, now, they have to go directly to Alexander. They persisted and gave a bunch of reasons, but finally they were rejected: This is really not the time, sorry, but the situation is very complicated. Let's see how it goes next month.They start saving money.Food money, wine money, going out expenses, and even cigarettes.As for lunch, it was curry and lentils at best, with very little meat and very little wine. The conversation still revolved around the same theme, but there was a sense that there was less freedom.Adie'er's observation is that in the past, no matter how tit-for-tat, no matter how endless quarrels, they all ended in laughter.Aunt Pauline and Aunt Milou are real Mauritians, they will gnash their teeth in anger, they will laugh at people, and they are also very used to coming out of angry themes.Now, their one-liners no longer elicit the same laughter.As for Justine, she is straight.Before the coffee was served in cups (which was always something Alexander insisted on doing), she left the table, excused herself from migraines, dizziness, and weakness, and went back to shutting herself in her room. Eddie is still there.She left the empty seat next to her father and went to sit at the back of the dining room, where it was easier to slip away by the window.That's what Alexander said about her, made fun of her.While saying this, he looked at her out of the corner of his eye.He wanted Atelier's approval, he longed for a smile, whenever he could utter a joke or deliver a tirade.Perhaps sometimes, it was this kind of thing that made her feel more uncomfortable. He didn't say anything, as if caught in a daydream, his empty eyes turned to Adie, gray-blue eyes, erratic, with a hint of sadness.She really wanted to say something to make him feel at ease. eighteen years old.She had never experienced anything, knew nothing, but it was she who knew everything and understood everything, while Alexander and Justine were like children.Like a selfish and willful teenager.Their passion, their jealousy, their ridiculous pettiness and pettiness, these words that slip under the door, these undertones, these mean words, petty vengeances, petty tricks. One day, when I walked out of school, it was the last year, and after that, the door of the unknown world was opened, and the girls were free to talk about marriage.One of them, a fair-looking girl named Florence, announced the date of marriage in public, talking about the preparations, the wedding dress, the gift from the groom, the ring God knows what else she said.Ai Die'er couldn't help laughing: What you said is more like a bidding auction.She continued, as if challenging: Me, I will never get married.What's the use of getting married?She knew it would make everyone talk, so she didn't care.Boy, that's not what we need, I don't want to get married and live with someone else.What about the child?Hearing this, Adie happily continued to plunder: really?Are you married for children?Then someone threatens you to take the child away, and use this to tie you up?Who gave birth to the child?Not a man, as far as I know! Since they were talking about marriage, it happened that at this moment, the news came.The time is a little earlier than the summer vacation, June day.The weather is pleasant, with a few clouds floating in the light sky.Ai Dier is waiting for a letter from England, Luo Hong.Field has finished his studies, he wants to come over, they are going to take a walk in the Vincent forest, and then they plan to leave Paris, go to Brittany, Rohon, always want to rent a bicycle in the port of Quimper, and go around, Sleep in the barn at night and visit the chapel during the day. The result is a post.Justine didn't open it, but she knew it at a glance, and she knew it when she saw the childish handwriting. Before Eddie read the content, she took the envelope and compared it with the letters that Shania had sent her before.It was her, it was her address and post, and Atie recognized the way she drew the horizontal line above the t, and how she made the capital A look like a star.There was no address on the envelope, only: Ai Dieer.Miss Buhang She just put on makeup and dressed up a little bit, but this little thing made Adele feel very uncomfortable, as if she announced her engagement to this Mr. Donny named Daniel, and these mixed addresses were not enough, Via Ogija, her house, Villa Soferino, his house.Pretentious. Eddie shrugged.For the next few days, she wanted to forget.The construction site on Ahmoshik Street grabbed her attention.She even went there three times a day to see the foundation that was finally completed, and to watch the walls begin to rise section by section from the ground.For months, work here resumed with a sort of frenzy, in defiance of strikes and the threat of revolution.Ai Die'er felt very satisfied, she looked at the wall next door, Mr. Kong Na was obscured by the dustproof tarpaulin.The double-registered letters reproaching Mr. Soliman came to her mind.From my observation, between ten o'clock in the morning and three o'clock in the afternoon, the shadow of your tree covered my fruit tree, as if you hadn't been in a week Now, with every pile of ground, every creak of twisted metal poles Every burst of cement smoke and dust has become a way of revenge. Her uncle's nemesis, the guy who once obstructed the construction of the purple house, is currently being bitten by his weak and fearful flesh.It came too late, but it was a win anyway. Then, after a while, everything went back to the way it was.Dizzy, hollow.Adie was resting on the bed, didn't put on pajamas, didn't eat dinner, opened her eyes and looked at the square window frame, the skylight painted small trees on it, a square scene.She wasn't really sad, but the tears were still running down her cheeks, soaking the pillow like it was overflowing from a pool full of water.She thought to herself that the hole that pierced her would disappear automatically tomorrow, and she fell asleep thinking about it, but when she woke up, she found that the two sides of the split wound were still the same distance. It's the most amazing thing about being able to live with a wound.Can come and go, take care of errands, go shopping, take piano lessons, meet friends, go to aunt's for tea, make that blue dress on the sewing machine for the polytechnic end-of-year dance, talk, talk, eat well Less, secretly drinking (a bottle of Scotch whiskey in a wooden box tied with a leather cord, a private gift from Luo Hong), can also read newspapers, be interested in politics, and listen to the German Chancellor’s speech on the radio , celebrating the Harvest Festival in Bickenberg, his voice vibrated passionately among the treble, manic, pathetic, absurd, and dangerous, he said: Freedom, let Germany become a beautiful garden! But none of this can fill the void, it can't heal the wound, it can't fill the hollowed out things, which have been dissipated in the air year after year. Justine tried to do something.One night she came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed.She shouldn't have done this in years.Ever since Eddie was a child, every time Justine and Alexander had a heated argument, they were always filled with malice, sneering, and not insulting each other, but Alexander was still furious, while Justine was sarcastic.Even if other people's families are fighting each other with fists, or books and dishes are flying all over the sky, their words are just as cruel and hurtful.Atelier froze in her armchair, her heart was beating so hard, her hands were shaking.She couldn't say anything, except once or twice when she cried: Enough!Justine would go into her room and sit on the edge of the bed, like this night, and say nothing, and maybe then she'd cry in the dark.Now, it's all over.They stopped quarreling, but the void widened, digging a hole between them that could never be filled.Shania, now that she had betrayed Eddie, left and was engaged to a worthless boy who was not good enough for her. One has to leave childhood and become an adult.start living.What is all this for?To stop pretending, huh?In order to be someone, to become someone.To harden the heart, to forget.She finally calmed down.Her eyes are dry.She listened to Justine's breathing, right next to her, and the regular rhythm made her fall asleep. When the avalanche started, no one really realized it.However, Adie was mentally prepared.She knows things can happen.Even Mr. Soliman had prophesied to her long ago.He mentioned it a few times, but only half said it.You'll have to be very careful with yourself while I'm away.At that time, Adie was eleven years old, or twelve years old, did she understand?She said: You will always be here, Grandpa.Why do you say such things?He looked serious, even a little worried.I very much hope that you will be carefree in the future, and I hope that you will lack nothing.He made a decision, he would write a will, he was going to leave her everything, the land, the apartment on the Avenue Montparnasse, whatever happened, he was sure she could get that guarantee.He doesn't hate his niece and son-in-law, but he doesn't trust him.Alexander.Buhang is profligate by nature, daydreaming all day long, built a spaceship model, and experimented with screw propellers. What's more, he showed his talent in the speculators on the exchange, the guys who made fake investments and the real scammers, There are also those quacks, all of whom are confidants.Your father told you what he was doing?He talked about his plan to open a canal in America, and his plan to dig a gold mine in Gulala-Tuva, Algeria. Did he say all of these?But he can't seem to be secretly investigating others, so he immediately changed his words: Forget about all this, even if someone talks about it, you don't have to pay attention to it.It's all stupid stuff, you don't need to get involved. Now Atel could make a list of the follies.She doesn't need to stick to the door to eavesdrop.In the conversation at Sharon, this happened over and over again, without interruption.At first it sounded like a weird litany, with place names, company names and descriptions.Tokyo [Note 1] Development Company in Vietnam, Pretoria in South Africa [Note 2] Diamond dealers, real estate investment in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Cameroon and Orinoco Precious Timber Company [Note 3], Port Said [Note 4], Buenos Aires, and port construction projects in the bends of the Niger River [Note 5].She wanted to ask questions, not out of interest, but out of curiosity.Alexander spoke passionately, and when he mentioned these names, it seemed as if they were the keys to unlock his dreams, as if they had nothing to do with reality.He believed he was at the beginning of a great adventure, and he believed in the promise of progress, science, and economic prosperity.He found the French timid, selfish, and inflexible.He regretted spending his whole life in Paris after finishing his studies.Mauritius was not where he wanted to be.While on the island, he felt suffocated.Like Mr. Soliman, he feels that the country is small and the people are small.He wanted to find a bigger stage for his event.South America, savannah.Or, the western United States, the frozen forests of northern Canada.His hero is John.Li De [Note 6], Jack.London, Stanley [Note 7].But Jialu cannot be mentioned in front of him.Fugao 【Note 8】.A spy for the French army, a schemer, a poser.General Le Mercier's wife jumped up, but Mauritius' aunts let him talk. 【Annotation 1】Tokyo (Tonkin): The old name of Hanoi.When France colonized Vietnam, the northern part of Vietnam was called Tonkin. [Annotation 2] Pretoria: The administrative capital of South Africa. 【Annotation 3】Cameroon: Located in West Africa; the Orinoco River is the main river in South America. 【Annotation 4】Port Said: A port near the Suez Canal on the Mediterranean coast in northwest Egypt. [Annotation 5] Niger River: The main river in West Africa. 【Annotation 6】John.Li De: The author here should be the author of "Ten Days That Shocked the World" and the American leftist journalist John.Li De (1887︱1920), went to Russia to witness the October Revolution in 1917, and wrote this book afterwards. [Annotation 7] Stanley: This refers to Sir Stanley (1841︱1904): He worked as a foreign correspondent in Asia Minor and Ethiopia, and later became a professional explorer. The writing is famous. 【Annotation 8】Jialu.Fugao (1858︱1916): He joined the army when he was young, and later converted to God and learned the way of life of Jesus. Since 1901, he has lived in seclusion in an oasis village in the Sahara Desert. During this period of time, he gave, borrowed, and lost a lot of money everywhere.His business, or famous investment, is only for those speculators to profit from it, and it is getting more and more excessive.Atel could recite litany of the names of these dubious advisors and false friends.They will all come to the party in the Rue Cotentin.They would bring boxes of cigars, cognac, and flowers for Justine.They had Alexander sign the document.There were piles of papers, each representing a small fortune.Bohei, Sailiye, Peilei, Xialongdong, Foheishi, Kongnieya【Note】.They appear one by one and they all disappear.When Adele asked about their news, Alexander always hesitated.Him?It's true I haven't seen him for a while.If Justine asked too quickly, he would get angry: Damn, you'll only blame me!If you like meddling business so much, I'll hand over all the papers to you! 【譯註】伯黑(Beuret)和酒醉(beurre)同音;賽利爺(Sellier)字義為鞍具商;配雷(Pellet)聽起來像是鏟子(pelle)的衍生字;夏龍東(Chalandon)像是平底駁船、老顧客(chaland)的衍生字;空聶雅(Cognard)像是撞(cogner)的衍生字;佛黑司提爺(Forestier)字義為森林管理員。 提起舍芒,他就垂頭喪氣。舍芒東窗事發已經有一陣子了,他在交易所的買賣進出全都是造假、虛構的。那些文件關於阿爾及利亞的古拉拉︱圖瓦的金礦、突尼西亞的斯法克斯的油田、橫越撒哈拉沙漠的鐵路全是假的。被舍芒詐騙的人組成了一個受害者協會,要將他扭送法辦並且求償。茱絲汀堅持要亞歷山大也提出告訴,還為此大發雷霆,後來,經過無數的爭吵、猶豫、無謂的憤怒,亞歷山大終於同意加入訴訟的行列。 這讓他很不快樂。有一天,艾蝶兒跟他談起這件事,當然是用影射的方式,因為照理說她不應該知道這事。她弄清楚了父親難過的原因,她很驚訝,他不是因為被朋友背叛、坑錢而難過,而是因為這個人從此不會再出現在星期天的聚會上了。爸爸,你到底知不知道他是怎麼害我們的!因為他的錯,我們說不定會破產! 亞歷山大還是不服氣。 破產,妳也太誇張了吧!這個可憐的傢伙失去的,會比我們還多很多!一陣靜默之後,他莊嚴地補上這句話:他可能會失去他的榮譽!艾蝶兒的回應是:他的榮譽!是你讓他有很多榮譽的,這個大馬路上的土匪【註】!亞歷山大走去躲進他的吸菸室:我不想聽到妳說這種話。 【譯註】這個大馬路上的土匪原文為ce bandit de grand chemin。舍芒(Chemin)的字義為馬路,此句法文聽來也像是偉大的舍芒這個土匪。 夏天過後,審判終於在法院假期之後展開,預審的過程已經拖了將近一年。證人們陸續登台,可是亞歷山大拒絕開口。在家人的壓力下,他還是把他的簽名和那些原告並列,但是他說,他只要求判處他道德性的懲罰。舍芒親自出庭。他以激動的聲音宣讀了一份冗長的公開信,他在信裡對親愛的朋友們表達他卑微的歉意,並且向他們保證他的動機是誠懇的,他唯一承認的罪,是不夠謹慎,而且相信人性。他正在努力賠償每一個人的損失,他說就算得賠上我的性命,我的家庭,我個人的幸福。艾蝶兒用眼角餘光盯著她的父親。開場白奏效了,因為這一刻,亞歷山大取下眼鏡,不好意思地抹著鏡片上的水汽。判決宣告時,法庭陷入一片喝采聲中,法官為了讓一切清楚無虞,只得重新宣讀一次判決書:尚︱菲立普.舍芒先生,居住地巴黎市阿薩斯街,判處六個月徒刑,緩期執行,並須支付被害人相當之賠償金及訴訟費用。他破產了,但他的臉上沒有流露明顯的絕望或懊悔的神情。亞歷山大在門口等他。在嘈雜的人群裡,他緊緊握著他的雙手說:舍芒先生,我衷心相信您!艾蝶兒看著這一景,彷彿自己參加了一齣俗濫的犯罪舞台劇的演出。片刻之後,人群堵住了舍芒,其他受害者也湧上來向他道賀,以他們的友情撫慰他。他對你做了那些事,你還這樣!艾蝶兒說。一陣狂怒襲上她的心頭,淹沒了她對父親所有的同情和愛。或許,他其實是罪有應得。 這一切的必然後果,就是破產。僻隱居沒有完工,一年都找不到買主。至於當初要將這些公寓出租的計畫,也成了不可能的事。延後調漲房租的法令恰巧就在此時頒布。就算賠錢租出去,也得承擔房子有人住不能賣的風險。亞歷山大已經不再對人民陣線、罷工和示威的群眾大聲咆哮了。他現在只會怪罪運氣不好。他太太的嫁妝、他在模里西斯繼承的財產,全都混在一起,全都被那棟樓和他貪心犯下的錯給吞噬了。艾蝶兒後來才發現崩塌的規模有多大:舍芒先生並非單獨行動。幾十個聽他指揮的證券業務員,絡繹不絕地出現在科唐坦街的沙龍裡。艾蝶兒想起來曾經瞥見幾位穿黑衣戴氈帽的先生,她還以為自己看到的是殯儀館的禮儀師。他們的皮製文件夾、他們的資料。他們來招攬買空賣空的生意。日本紙、維吉尼亞的菸草、造船廠、油井、採礦、機場、馬來西亞的橡膠、巴西的咖啡豆。 這一年,艾蝶兒沒有把心思放在準備文科的高中畢業會考,卻在一頁頁地翻看那些文件。舍芒的案子宣判後,亞歷山大放棄了他的拒絕戰術。他不只讓艾蝶兒進他放檔案的地方,甚至還建議她這麼做:妳也該接下這一切了,我啊,我已經沒辦法平心靜氣地處理這些事了,我已經被壓得喘不過氣了,事情就是這樣。可是我們會找到出路的,妳會看到的。我們會面對,一起面對,像一個真正的家庭。and so on. 安撫的話,艾蝶兒心想。回溯這段故事的發展,她很清楚,這裡已經沒有出路了。買股票、放款,這一切的回報一文不值。獲利的人都在世界的另一頭,在一些想像出來的地方。這些證券都用精美的紙張印刷應該是日本紙上頭飾著各種俗麗的圖案和渦紋,加上公司負責人的跨頁畫押和正式簽名,看起來像是從另一個時代跑出來的東西,諸如俄羅斯鐵路的股票,或是巴拿馬運河的股票,塞滿了茱絲汀的五斗櫃抽屜。這些證券有時還真是出人意料,看著這些東西,艾蝶兒覺得自己陷入某種飄然的夢幻、暈眩之中。 其中有一份厚重的文件,舍芒對此毫無貢獻,檔案名稱是:科隆迪克寶藏探勘公司,新發現,模里西斯島。這是一則老故事。艾蝶兒還坐在父親膝上的時候,就已經不只一次聽到科隆迪克的名字了。科隆迪克又這樣,科隆迪克又那樣了。除了父親,沒有其他人對科隆迪克有興趣,可是聽到亞歷山大用他低沉的嗓音,用他的口音,用他的顫音談這件事,談得激動異常,艾蝶兒幾乎要相信這件事了。有一天,她問了他:科隆迪克是什麼?她不知道這個名字該如何正確發音,她在第一個音節卡了一下:克︱隆︱迪克。He lowered his voice.他神情激動。他談起圍繞在這個地方的祕密。模里西斯島的北部海岸,一個與世隔絕之地,海浪日夜拍打,海風不停吹襲,草葉島、貓島、琥珀島。一艘遇難擱淺的船,最後一艘海盜船,在亞眠和約【註一】的年代。有人找到了戈爾孔達【註二】之王奧朗則布【註三】的寶物,那是他為女兒付出的贖金,黃金,好多黃金,堆積如山的黃金,琳瑯滿目的寶石,紅寶石、黃玉、綠寶石。就在那裡,在一個小灣的深處,在一堆堆的熔岩石底下,在地底下。我們怎麼會知道那底下有東西?艾蝶兒苦苦等不到答案。也或許她根本不敢提出這個問題。答案可以扯到那個擺錘的故事、謝弗勒爾【註四】的轉盤、勒赫爾【註五】的能量檢測器。那個該死的海盜在九泉底下還會說話。一天晚上,蕾歐妮達在島上的馬波村顯了靈。蕾歐妮達是誰?艾蝶兒想像她有點像是仙女,也有點像巫婆。蕾歐妮達. B,亞歷山大這麼說。彷彿她的姓氏是必須保守的祕密。她讓轉盤轉了起來,茱絲汀一邊說著一邊冷笑。不是,不是這樣。蕾歐妮達在神靈的指示下開始寫字。艾蝶兒仔細地翻看這份文件,她發現了這一頁,真正的天書。筆尖塞住了,紙上墨漬點點。這些字的線條很細,扭扭纏纏,有些字黏在一起,有些字被劃掉,或是劃上底線。一些讓人無法理解的字,她原先猜想是德文,後來又覺得不是,應該是荷蘭文吧。荷蘭海盜,橫越模里西斯外海的最後一個海盜。 Oxmuldeeran,ananper,diesteehalmaarich,sarem,sarem.可笑啊,可恥到荒謬的地步了,這是她讀過最最愚蠢的東西了,但是在她費勁要讀懂這些字的同時,她感到一絲輕顫,因為恐怖,或者因為某種快意,她繼續埋頭讀著那張皺巴巴的舊文件,她忍不住要相信這就是開啟他們厄運的鑰匙,是他們的災星,是把壞運氣帶給他們的符咒。蕾歐妮達,坐在桌前,鉤子般的手指放在紙上,兩眼翻白,正在寫字,海風吹打在緊閉的護窗板上,風在馬波樹的枝葉間呼嘯著,風把那艘荷蘭的大船拍碎在模里西斯的黑色岩石上,那些石堆標誌著被詛咒的寶物埋藏之地。然後是科隆迪克這個名字,這些音節,她小時候覺得很神奇,在一個虛構的語言裡的這幾個字,其實沒有任何意義,這些字說的只是一陣煙、一片煙炱、一場不幸。科隆迪克,這個地方並不存在,從來不曾存在。 【譯註一】亞眠和約:拿破崙戰爭期間,英法兩國於一八〇二年簽訂的休戰條約。這個年代和以下兩個註解中的王朝年代、皇帝在世的年代完全沒有重疊。 【譯註二】戈爾孔達:印度古城,位於海德拉巴西邊,戈爾孔達古王朝(一三六四︱一五一二)的首府。 【譯註三】奧朗則布(一六一八︱一七〇七):印度莫臥兒帝國的皇帝,他在世的時間和戈爾孔達王朝的年代相去百餘年。 【譯註四】謝弗勒爾(一七八六︱一八八九):法國化學家,曾著書《關於占卜棒、轉盤》駁斥當時盛行的靈術。 【譯註五】勒赫爾(一八五六︱一九二六):奧地利物理學家,曾發明能量檢測器。 賣掉,勢必如此了。茱絲汀沒有抱怨的習慣。她不會說什麼。她會輕歎:哎呀,人生真是不容易。她只會說:人生是一個非常沉重的袋子。這袋子裡裝了什麼?艾蝶兒從小就知道了,她認得裝進袋子裡的每一塊石頭。牟德小姐,沒完沒了的關係,讓亞歷山大和茱絲汀之間產生某種裂痕,沒有任何東西可以修復。但是到頭來,他們終究還是在一起。謊言抹不去,傷痕也抹不去,可是婚姻的木筏繼續艾蝶兒很驚訝,自己竟然會像榭妮亞那樣咒罵。去死吧!去死吧木筏,去死吧白頭偕老,去死吧善體人意。They are all old.亞歷山大自從在走廊的地磚上跌了一跤,動作就變得很慢,白天晚上都躺在床上打呼,唉聲嘆氣,他的臉色太白,鬍子長了滿臉,像一張死人的臉。 這些背叛。這些得過且過的事。滿手的錢往窗口扔出去。賣掉嫁妝的錢,賣掉阿爾瑪、婁內、富水的製糖廠的錢。艾蝶兒從小聽到大的這些名字。在這些了不起的文件裡,她找到這張畫: (參見附圖一) 她看得笑了出來,儘管笑裡充滿苦澀。阿爾瑪,這個傳奇的媽媽餵養著貪婪且毫不遲疑的繼承者,而秤盤則陷在虧損裡,被阿爾瑪的一大坨脹氣壓了下去,這是亞歷山大以復仇之筆畫下的諷刺漫畫他從模里西斯繼承的財富,從此就只剩下這個了! 有誰安然無恙地度過了這個年代?所有人都破產了,很多人在拮据的生活中死去。年老的姑姑們什麼也沒有。尤其是米露姑媽,她沒結婚,一輩子都靠她哥哥和姊姊們的好心過活。其他的姑姑也沒好到哪裡去。她們也是輸家,在賭局中,在婚姻裡,她們滿懷著幸福,滿懷著渴望,讓人詐騙! 那時距離夏天還有一小段時間。艾蝶兒想起來,那時的天氣有一種不正常的倦怠感,整個城市似乎都睡著了。亞歷山大差不多已經從他的意外恢復過來,重新開始他的外出活動了。他戴著帽子,穿著他輝煌時期的三件式灰西裝,他的穿著毫無瑕疵,他的鬍子用剪刀修過,黑色的頭髮也梳得服服貼貼,他要去談生意。 他到底還想幹嘛?找到新的財運嗎?艾蝶兒發出了批評。說話不要這個樣子,茱絲汀應了她一句:妳爸爸急著要把所有東西統統賣掉。艾蝶兒看不慣茱絲汀的逆來順受。他是很急沒錯!問題是他要做什麼?With whom?而我們,我們會變成什麼樣子?我們要往哪兒去?我們要靠什麼生活?她忍不住說了出來。這些問題湧上她的喉頭,她感覺得到它們擠來擠去,就在那兒,在她胸口深處,彷彿壓迫著橫隔膜。七月之前的巴黎,懶散的空氣沉沉地壓著她,讓她想吐。這黯淡的太陽像顆阿斯匹靈,這骯髒的河水。天空像個蓋子緊緊箍著她的太陽穴。她在記事本上寫下這行齜牙咧嘴的詩句:丟下這顆藥丸到塞納河裡,讓巴黎的頭痛痊癒。 榭妮亞,她在哪裡?幾個月來,她都沒有捎來消息。她和丹尼爾沒有結婚。這點她很確定。未來的夫家有所遲疑。他們的兒子價值不菲,一定要門當戶對才是。那麼丹尼爾是否渴望這樁婚事?他知道榭妮亞多麼獨特,多麼了不起嗎?他知道自己永遠配不上她嗎?就算只是幫她繫鞋帶,就算只是得到她藍灰色目光的片刻凝望。 她的腦中一片昏亂。她抓起茱絲汀的手。let's go!我們得走一趟!我們不能袖手旁觀!我們要戰鬥! 她覺得自己像個上戰場的英勇小兵,沒有經驗,只憑著一身年輕人的活力和自信。茱絲汀並不贊同,但她最後還是讓步了,她戴上帽簷有短面紗的帽子(去參加索里曼先生葬禮戴的那一頂),她讓女兒挽著她的手臂,然而卻是艾蝶兒牽著她走。她們走進邦第先生的事務所。看見她失去遺產的舞台背景,艾蝶兒感到一股冰冷的狂怒。難道,公證人不是和亞歷山大一樣,都得為這些事情負責嗎? 夫人,小姐?他還是那個德行,一副厭煩的模樣,面色蒼白如紙。亞歷山大怎麼會信任這樣的人呢?艾蝶兒不等母親開口就先說了:您很清楚我們的情況,不是嗎?您知道我父親已經失去了一切。他只剩下我們現在住的公寓,那一小塊地,還有我們租給德庫小姐的工作室。您有什麼建議? 邦第假裝要查閱資料。他用手順著染成紅棕色的仁丹鬍,鬍子裡還雜著鼻孔冒出來的灰色鼻毛。您說您的爸爸失去了一切,他可不是這麼跟我說的。他正在該說是我們正在和一個重要的買家議價,我可以向您保證 不,不是,我要您做的不是這個。艾蝶兒的心跳得太快,但她勉強讓自己冷靜地把話說完。他要的不是承諾。他要的是當所有帳目都付清,當一切問題都解決之後,他確定可以在科唐坦街的公寓繼續住下去。 邦第先生嚇了一跳。打從執業以來,他應該還沒遇過十九歲的年輕女孩跑來要求自己的權益吧。無疑的,他覺得法律會保護他,畢竟他也沒因為貪念而在執行業務時犯下任何錯。那份文件讓亞歷山大得以全權處理索里曼先生的遺產,一切都是合法的。然而現實就在眼前,在茱絲汀憔悴沮喪的臉上,在艾蝶兒聰明冷酷的目光中,他讀到了現實。破產,對未來的憂心,亞歷山大的病,這兩個女人想要擺脫的無力感。他把檔案夾闔上。或許他被打動了,或許他感到羞愧。 布杭小姐,我會看看我能做什麼。希望還來得及和銀行協議,但是您別對我有太多期待,我可以給您的爸爸一些建議,但是我沒辦法改變他已經做過的事。 就算他的健康狀況讓他無法做出正確的決定,事情也不會改變嗎? 邦第先生比茱絲汀先聽懂了。 是啊,是啊,我們隨時都可以向法院聲請對您的爸爸進行無行為能力的宣告,由妳們代管他的財產,依他現在的情況來看是沒有問題。這樣得要一份醫師證明,證明他 Absolutely not!茱絲汀的聲音裡壓抑著喊叫的衝動。不可以,我絕對不會讓他受到這種侮辱。 她們離開了。這一次,艾蝶兒不再挽著母親的手臂。她快步走著,鞋跟用力地敲在人行道上。蒙帕納斯大道壅塞、喧囂。咖啡館的露天座已經坐滿了人,男人、女人坐在那兒喝啤酒,汽車和小貨車塞在緬因大街的十字路口。艾蝶兒繼續走,沒有慢下腳步,她聽見後頭傳來母親疾走的細碎聲音,有點令人同情,她的呼吸短促,每一次吸氣,帽子上的短面紗應該都會黏上她的鼻頭吧。這裡所有的人,她心想。這裡所有冷漠無情的人,每個人都關在自己的泡泡裡,關在自己的甲殼裡。這些人在閒晃,其他人則在裝忙。嚴肅的人、輕佻的人、藝術家。大街上的滑稽劇。沒有人是真心在為別人擔心。在這個城市裡,我們有可能迷失自己,在這裡,如果我們失去某人的消息,如果我們在跑步的時候把她甩掉,就像高中的體育課那樣,我們很有可能永遠無法和她重逢! 她突然想起榭妮亞。她的形象霎時浮現,分開幾個月,彷彿讓她變得更不可或缺。榭妮亞,在巴黎的某個地方,在她自己那兒過著她的生活。查維洛夫一家人搬走了,沒留下新地址。艾蝶兒也想過要去傑歐弗賀伊︱馬希街的裁縫店看看,但是她沒有勇氣回去那裡。她其實可以想個辦法,找一家咖啡館,躲在裡頭窺伺榭妮亞或者她姊姊瑪莉娜出入的行蹤,但是一想到咖啡館老闆嘲弄的目光,或是來這個壞街區找女孩子搭訕的男人在那兒頻送秋波,她就覺得恐怖。榭妮亞是她的朋友。她唯一的朋友.她最親近的朋友,在她的生命中影響了她。而且,走在擁擠的人行道上,鞋跟用力敲打著水泥地,快步前進,她模仿的就是榭妮亞。榭妮亞做出決定。樹妮亞為了生活戰鬥。榭妮亞笑看一切,嘲笑所有人。榭妮亞來自遠方,她決定要擁有成功的人生。 這是一股幸福的暖流,一種陶醉。艾蝶兒放慢腳步,甚至在人行道的邊上駐足片刻,像是在找路。茱絲汀跟了上來,有點喘不過氣,她勾住艾蝶兒的手臂。妳走得太快了,我跟不上。她很輕,不比一隻小鳥重。 艾蝶兒明白了。她望著母親。她說的是榭妮亞,在城市另一頭的榭妮亞。我們無法選擇自己的故事。故事自己會來,不勞你去找它,你不應該,也不可以拒絕它。 當然,這一切都是徒勞。命運彷彿已經打好了結,一條無形的線繫著茱絲汀和亞歷山大,牽引他們走向厄運,走向深淵。公證人邦第先生第二天撥了電話過來。他順利中止了拍賣,有個買家願意接手那些債務,唯一的條件是拿那塊地和還沒完工的樓房作為抵押。亞歷山大還是保有科唐坦街的公寓和那個雕塑工作室的使用權和收益權,這簡直像是抹去了一場惡夢。茱絲汀等著丈夫回家,她換上一套漂亮的連衫裙,梳整頭髮,撲了粉,灑了香水。她準備了茶和玉米餅,艾蝶兒幫她鋪了桌巾,擺上餐具。這場面有點誇張,艾蝶兒心想,像尤利西斯回到故鄉伊塔卡。不管怎麼說,還是有點裝模作樣。傍晚,亞歷山大回來了,一副精疲力竭的樣子。外頭的暑熱耗盡了他的氣力,他整個人癱在扶手椅上,甚至沒看茶壺一眼。辦好了。他說:全都說好了,我們已經沒有債務了,我們就要開始過新生活了。艾蝶兒望著母親。茱絲汀一時還沒意會過來。她問了幾個問題,聲音越來越大。現在,場面變得滑稽,像一齣歌劇,或者該說是輕歌劇。艾蝶兒想像著配樂,某種輕盈的東西,有點破碎,一段間奏曲。Why?Why?還有亞歷山大低沉的聲音,拖得長長的模里西斯口音說著還能怎樣? .就像他在沙龍談話時常說的:還嘞咂樣?因為暑熱,他的臉變成了茶色。自從出事以來,他就沒再染過鬍子了,幾莖白絲出現在兩側臉頰的下方。 新生活!亞歷山大賣掉了一切,包括公寓和工作室,賣給巴黎的一家汽車公司城市,公司登記地址是都鉈街二十九號,如果可以的話,他其實想把家具、鋼琴也賣掉,還有那幅醜陋的約瑟被他的兄弟賣掉【註一】,說是弗隆德罕【註二】的作品。他一整天就是在做這個,在文件上簽名畫押,亞歷山大這個輝煌的名字在每頁結束之處被俗麗的渦紋圍繞,這每一份毫無價值的文件都說著同一件事:什麼都沒有了,什麼都不剩了,只剩下茱絲汀的眼睛在流淚。 【譯註一】約瑟是《舊約聖經.創世紀》的主要人物,其兄長因嫉妒父親偏愛他而將他賣至埃及為奴,後因展現解夢的能力,成為法老王的左右手。 【譯註二】弗隆德罕(一八〇九︱一八六四):法國畫家,最著名的畫作為海濱少年。 艾蝶兒忍不住嘲諷了兩句:科隆迪克寶藏探勘公司被一家出租汽車公司買走,這個故事裡應該有什麼寓意吧!亞歷山大不聽她們的叫喊、她們的抗議。他一下子就找回了他的傲慢。鬍子亂翹,兩眼炯炯有神,他頑抗著。 後來,他去關在自己的小房間裡抽菸。自從他發病之後,醫生就不准他抽菸了,然而此刻,這已經沒有意義了。他需要抽菸。煙為他築起一道遮蔽現實的屏障。他還有多少時間可活已經不重要了。再過不久,他就得離開,或者死去,差別不是太大。 艾蝶兒知道他轉身走回過去,走向遠方,走向他童年的島嶼,走向阿爾瑪神奇的莊園,那兒的一切似乎都是永恆的。她和茱絲汀都不曾進入這個夢境。或許,這正是科隆迪克寶藏的祕密,一個其他人都無法進入的地方。
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