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  外语解密学习法 逆读法(Reverse Reading Method)   解读法(Decode-Reading Method)训练范文 ——                 

解密目标语言:英语                                解密辅助语言:汉语
              Language to be decoded:  Engish            Auxiliary Language :  Chinese  

  
         
解密文本:《一场政变》  [法国] 莫泊桑 原著          
 
 Un Coup d’État
 par  Guy de Maupassant

 

               A Coup d’État           
                                                                         by  Guy de Maupassant     
                                                                

           法汉对照(French & Chinese)                             法英对照(French & English)                           英汉对照(English & Chinese)


  

 

Paris had just heard of the disaster of Sedan. The Republic was proclaimed. All France was panting from a madness that lasted until the time of the commonwealth. Everybody was playing at soldier from one end of the country to the other.

Capmakers became colonels, assuming the duties of generals; revolvers and daggers were displayed on large rotund bodies enveloped in red sashes; common citizens turned warriors, commanding battalions of noisy volunteers and swearing like troopers to emphasize their importance.

The very fact of bearing arms and handling guns with a system excited a people who hitherto had only handled scales and measures and made them formidable to the first comer, without reason. They even executed a few innocent people to prove that they knew how to kill, and in roaming through virgin fields still belonging to the Prussians they shot stray dogs, cows chewing the cud in peace or sick horses put out to pasture. Each believed himself called upon to play a great role in military affairs. The cafes of the smallest villages, full of tradesmen in uniform, resembled barracks or field hospitals.

Now the town of Canneville did not yet know the exciting news of the army and the capital. It had, however, been greatly agitated for a month over an encounter between the rival political parties. The mayor, Viscount de Varnetot, a small thin man, already old, remained true to the Empire, especially since he saw rising up against him a powerful adversary in the great, sanguine form of Dr Massarel, head of the Republican party in the district, venerable chief of the Masonic lodge, president of the Society of Agriculture and the Fire Department and organizer of the rural militia designed to save the country.

In two weeks he had induced sixty-three men to volunteer in defense of their country--married men, fathers of families, prudent farmers and merchants of the town. These he drilled every morning in front of the mayor's window.

Whenever the mayor happened to appear Commander Massarel, covered with pistols, passing proudly up and down in front of his troops, would make them shout, "Long live our country!" And this, they noticed, disturbed the little viscount, who no doubt heard in it menace and defiance and perhaps some odious recollection of the great Revolution.

On the morning of the fifth of September, in uniform, his revolver on the table, the doctor gave consultation to an old peasant couple. The husband had suffered with a varicose vein for seven years but had waited until his wife had one too, so that they might go and hunt up a physician together, guided by the postman when he should come with the newspaper.

Dr Massarel opened the door, grew pale, straightened himself abruptly and, raising his arms to heaven in a gesture of exaltation, cried out with all his might, in the face of the amazed rustics:

"Long live the Republic! Long live the Republic! Long live the Republic!"

Then he dropped into his armchair weak with emotion.

When the peasant explained that this sickness commenced with a feeling as if ants were running up and down his legs the doctor exclaimed: "Hold your peace. I have spent too much time with you stupid people. The Republic is proclaimed! The Emperor is a prisoner! France is saved! Long live the Republic!" And, running to the door, he bellowed: "Celeste! Quick! Celeste!"

The frightened maid hastened in. He stuttered, so rapidly did he try to speak" "My boots, my saber--my cartridge box--and--the Spanish dagger which is on my night table. Hurry now!"

The obstinate peasant, taking advantage of the moment's silence, began again: "This seemed like some cysts that hurt me when I walked."

The exasperated physician shouted: "Hold your peace! For heaven's sake! If you had washed your feet oftener, it would not have happened." Then, seizing him by the neck, he hissed in his face: "Can you not comprehend that we are living in a republic, stupid;"

But the professional sentiment calmed him suddenly, and he let the astonished old couple out of the house, repeating all the time:

"Return tomorrow, return tomorrow, my friends; I have no more time today."

While equipping himself from head to foot he gave another series of urgent orders to the maid:

"Run to Lieutenant Picard's and to Sublieutenant Pommel's and say to them that I want them here immediately. Send Torcheboeuf to me too, with his drum. Quick now! Quick!" And when Celeste was gone he collected his thoughts and prepared to surmount the difficulties of the situation.

The three men arrived together. They were in their working clothes. The commander, who had expected to see them in uniform, had a fit of surprise.

"You know nothing, then? The Emperor has been taken prisoner. A republic is proclaimed. My position is delicate, not to say perilous."

He reflected for some minutes before the astonished faces of his subordinates and then continued:

"It is necessary to act, not to hesitate. Minutes now are worth hours at other times. Everything depends upon promptness of decision. You, Picard, go and find the curate and get him to ring the bell to bring the people together, while I get ahead of them. You, Torcheboeuf, beat the call to assemble the militia in arms, in the square, from even as far as the hamlets of Gerisaie and Salmare. You, Pommel, put on your uniform at once, that is, the jacket and cap. We, together, are going to take possession of the mairie and summon Monsieur de Varnetot to transfer his authority to me. Do you understand?"

"Yes."

"Act, then, and promptly. I will accompany you to your house, Pommel, Since we are to work together."

Five minutes later the commander and his subaltern, armed to the teeth, appeared in the square just at the moment when the little Viscount de Varnetot, with hunting gaiters on and his rifle on his shoulder, appeared by another street, walking rapidly and followed by three guards in green jackets, each carrying a knife at his side and a gun over his shoulder.

While the doctor slapped, half stupefied, the four men entered the mayor's house and the door closed behind them.

"We are forestalled," murmured the doctor; "it will be necessary now to wait for reinforcements; nothing can be done for a quarter of an hour."

Here Lieutenant Picard appeared. "The curate refuses to obey," said he; "he has even shut himself up in the church with the beadle and the porter."

On the other side of the square, opposite the white closed front of the mairie, the church, mute and black, showed its great oak door with the wrought-iron trimmings.

Then, as the puzzled inhabitants put their noses out of the windows or came out upon the steps of their houses, the rolling of a drum was heard, and Torcheboeuf suddenly appeared, beating with fury the three quick strokes of the call to arms. He crossed the square with disciplined step and then disappeared on a road leading to the country.

The commander drew his sword, advanced alone to the middle distance between the two buildings where the enemy was barricaded and, waving his weapon above his head, roared at the top of his lungs: "Long live the Republic! Death to traitors!" Then he fell back where his officers were. The butcher, the baker and the apothecary, feeling a little uncertain, put up their shutters and closed their shops. The grocery alone remained open.

Meanwhile the men of the militia were arriving little by little, variously clothed but all wearing caps, the cap constituting the whole uniform of the corps. They were armed with their old rusty guns, guns that had hung on chimney pieces in kitchens for thirty years, and looked quite like a detachment of country soldiers.

When there were about thirty around him the commander explained in a few words the state of affairs. Then, turning toward his major, he said: "Now we must act."

While the inhabitants collected, talked over and discussed the matter the doctor quickly formed his plan of campaign.

"Lieutenant Picard, you advance to the windows of the mayor's house and order Monsieur de Varnetot to turn over the town hall to me in the name of the Republic."

But the lieutenant was a master mason and refused.

"You are a scamp, you are. Trying to make a target of me! Those fellows in there are good shots, you know that. No, thanks! Execute your commissions yourself!"

The commander turned red. "I order you to go in the name of discipline," said he.

"I am not spoiling my features without knowing why," the lieutenant returned.

Men of influence, in a group near by, were heard laughing. One of them called out: "You are right, Picard, it is not the proper time." The doctor, under his breath, muttered: "Cowards! " And placing his sword and his revolver in the hands of a soldier, he advanced with measured step, his eye fixed on the windows as if he expected to see a gun or a cannon pointed at him.

When he was within a few steps of the building the doors at the two extremities, affording an entrance to two schools, opened, and a flood of little creatures, boys on one side, girls on the other, poured out and began playing in the open space, chattering around the doctor like a flock of birds. He scarcely knew what to make of it.

As soon as the last were out the doors closed. The greater part of the little monkeys finally scattered, and then the commander called out in a loud voice:

"Monsieur de Varnetot?" A window in the first story opened and M. de Varnetot appeared.

The commander began: "Monsieur, you are aware of the great events which have changed the system of government. The party you represent no longer exists. The side I represent now comes into power. Under these sad but decisive circumstances I come to demand you, in the name of the Republic, to put in my hand the authority vested in you by the outgoing power."

M. de Varnetot replied: "Doctor Massarel, I am mayor of Canneville, so placed by the proper authorities, and mayor of Canneville I shall remain until the title is revoked and replaced by an order from my superiors. As mayor, I am at home in the mairie, and there I shall stay. Furthermore, just try to put me out." And he closed the window.

The commander returned to his troops. But before explaining anything, measuring Lieutenant Picard from head to foot, he said:

"You are a numskull, you are--a goose, the disgrace of the army. I shall degrade you."

The lieutenant replied: "I'll attend to that myself." And he went over to a group of muttering civilians.

Then the doctor hesitated. What should he do? Make an assault? Would his men obey him? And then was he surely in the right? An idea burst upon him. He ran to the telegraph office on the other side of the square and hurriedly sent three dispatches: "To the Members of the Republican Government at Paris"; "To the New Republican Prefect of the Lower Seine at Rouen"; "To the New Republican Subprefect of Dieppe."

He exposed the situation fully; told of the danger run by the commonwealth from remaining in the hands of the monarchistic mayor, offered his devout services, asked for orders and signed his name, following it up with all his titles. Then he returned to his army corps and, drawing ten francs out of his pocket, said:

"Now, my friends, go and eat and drink a little something. Only leave here a detachment of ten men, so that no one leaves the mayor's house."

Ex-Lieutenant Picard, chatting with the watchmaker, overheard this. With a sneer he remarked: "Pardon me, but if they go out, there will be an opportunity for you to go in. Otherwise I can't see how you are to get in there!"

The doctor made no reply but went away to luncheon. In the afternoon he disposed of offices all about town, having the air of knowing of an impending surprise. Many times he passed before the doors of the mairie and of the church without noticing anything suspicious; one could have believed the two buildings empty.

The butcher, the baker and the apothecary reopened their shops and stood gossiping on the steps. If the Emperor had been taken prisoner, there must be a traitor somewhere. They did not feel sure of the revenue of a new republic.

Night came on. Toward nine o'clock the doctor returned quietly and alone to the mayor's residence, persuaded that his adversary had retired. And as he was trying to force an entrance with a few blows of a pickax the loud voice of a guard demanded suddenly: "Who goes there?" M. Massarel beat a retreat at the top of his speed.

Another day dawned without any change in the situation. The militia in arms occupied the square. The inhabitants stood around awaiting the solution. People from neighboring villages came to look on. Finally the doctor, realizing that his reputation was at stake, resolved to settle the thing in one way or another. He had just decided that it must be something energetic when the door of the telegraph office opened and the little servant of the directress appeared, holding in her hand two papers.

She went directly to the commander and gave him one of the dispatches; then, crossing the square, intimidated by so many eyes fixed upon her, with lowered head and mincing steps, she rapped gently at the door of the barricaded house as if ignorant that a part of the army was concealed there.

The door opened slightly; the hand of a man received the message, and the girl returned, blushing and ready to weep from being stared at.

The doctor demanded with stirring voice: "A little silence, if you please." And after the populace became quiet he continued proudly:

Here is a communication which I have received from the government." And, raising the dispatch, he read:

"Old mayor deposed. Advise us what is most necessary. Instructions later.

"For the Subprefect,

"SAPIN, Counselor."

He had triumphed. His heart was beating with joy. His hand trembled, when Picard, his old subaltern, cried out to him from the neighboring group:

"That's all right; but if the others in there won't go out, your paper hasn't a leg to stand on." The doctor grew a little pale. If they would not go out--in fact, he must go ahead now. It was not only his right but his duty. And he looked anxiously at the house of the mayoralty, hoping that he might see the door open and his adversary show himself. But the door remained closed. What was to be done? The crowd was increasing, surrounding the militia. Some laughed.

One thought, especially, tortured the doctor. If he should make an assault, he must march at the head of his men; and as with him dead all contest would cease, it would be at him and at him alone that M. de Varnetot and the three guards would aim. And their aim was good, very good! Picard had reminded him of that.

But an idea shone in upon him, and turning to Pommel, he said: "Go, quickly, and ask the apothecary to send me a napkin and a pole."

The lieutenant hurried off. The doctor was going to make a political banner, a white one, that would, perhaps, rejoice the heart of that old legitimist, the mayor.

Pommel returned with the required linen and a broom handle. With some pieces of string they improvised a standard, which Massarel seized in both hands. Again he advanced toward the house of mayoralty, bearing the standard before him. When in front of the door, he called out: "Monsieur de Varnetot!"

The door opened suddenly, and M. de Varnetot and the three guards appeared on the threshold. The doctor recoiled instinctively. Then he saluted his enemy courteously and announced, almost strangled by emotion: "I have come, sir, to communicate to you the instructions I have just received."

That gentleman, without any salutation whatever, replied: "I am going to withdraw, sir, but you must understand that it is not because of fear or in obedience to an odious government that has usurped the power." And, biting off each word, he declared: "I do not wish to have the appearance of serving the Republic for a single day. That is all."

Massarel, amazed, made no reply; and M. de Varnetot, walking off at a rapid pace, disappeared around the corner, followed closely by his escort Then the doctor, slightly dismayed, returned to the crowd. When he was near enough to be heard he cried: "Hurrah! Hurrah! The Republic triumphs all along the line!"

But no emotion was manifested. The doctor tried again. "The people are free! You are free and independent! Do you understand? Be proud of it!"

The listless villagers looked at him with eyes unlit by glory. In his turn he looked at them, indignant at their indifference, seeking for some wore that could make a grand impression, electrify this placid country and make good his mission. The inspiration came, and turning to Pommel, he said "Lieutenant, go and gee the bust of the ex-emperor, which is in the Council Hall, and bring it to me with a chair."

And soon the man reappears, carrying on his right shoulder Napoleon II in plaster and holding in his left hand a straw-bottomed chair.

Massarel met him, took the chair, placed it on the ground, put the white image upon it, fell back a few steps and called out in sonorous voice:

"Tyrant! Tyrant! Here do you fall! Fall in the dust and in the mire. expiring country groans under your feet Destiny has called you the Avenge, Defeat and shame cling to you. You fall conquered, a prisoner to the Prussians, and upon the ruins of the crumbling Empire the young and radian Republic arises, picking up your broken sword."

He awaited applause. But there was no voice, no sound. The bewildered peasants remained silent. And the bust, with its pointed mustaches extending beyond the cheeks on each side, the bust, so motionless and well groomed as to be fit for a hairdresser's sign, seemed to be looking at M. Massarel with a plaster smile, a smile ineffaceable and mocking.

They remained thus face to face, Napoleon on the chair, the doctor i front of him about three steps away. Suddenly the commander grew angry.

What was to be done? What was there that would move this people and bring about a definite victory in opinion? His hand happened to rest on his hip and to come in contact there with the butt end of his revolver under his red sash. No inspiration, no further word would come. But he drew his pistol, advanced two steps and, taking aim, fired at the late monarch. The ball entered the forehead, leaving a little black hole like a spot, nothing more. There was no effect. Then he fired a second shot, which made a second hole, then a third; and then, without stopping, he emptied his revolver. The brow of Napoleon disappeared in white powder, but the eyes, the nose and the fine points of the mustaches remained intact. Then, exasperated, the doctor overturned the chair with a blow of his fist and, resting a foot on the remainder of the bust in a position of triumph, he shouted: "So let all tyrants perish!"

Still no enthusiasm was manifest, and as the spectators seemed to be in a kind of stupor from astonishment the commander called to the militiamen:

You may now go to your homes." And he went toward his own house with great strides, as if he were pursued.

His maid, when he appeared, told him that some patients had been waiting in his office for three hours. He hastened in. There were the two varicose-vein patients, who had returned at daybreak, obstinate but patient.

The old man immediately began his explanation: "This began by a feeling like ants running up and down the legs."

 

 

巴黎才听到色当的败绩,共和国政府就立时宣布成立了。从这一乱糟糟的搞法开始一直到公社以后,整个儿法国都忙得喘不过气来。全国从头到尾都在玩当兵的把戏。
  有些帽子店的老板成了上校,而起着将军的作用。在围着红布的富泰大肚子上,绕周插上了手枪和匕首。一些小商人靠偶然的机遇成了军人,指挥着成营吵吵嚷嚷的志愿兵,像车夫一样地咒骂以显示威风。
  单是拿到了枪、按制式端着武器这一件事,就足以使这些迄今只拿过秤杆子的人发疯了,并且毫无理由地使第一个碰到他的人倒霉。为了证实会杀人而去杀死一些无辜的人,并且在还没有遭到普鲁士人光临蹂躏的乡村里溜达时,用枪打死一些游荡的狗、安安静静在反刍的牛和在草场上放牧的病马。
  人人都认为受到号召来在军事上演个重大角色。连很小的村庄里的咖啡馆都像是兵营或者急救站,挤满了穿上军服的商人。
  加纳镇这个小镇还不知道那些有关军队和首都的令人糊涂的消息,但是一个月来已经被搅和得极端动荡,因为敌对的派别已经处于对峙状态。镇长是子爵华纳多先生,他是个瘦小上了年纪的男人,由于野心而在不久前归顺帝国的正统派,他发现突然冒出来了一个死敌马沙烈医生,这是个脸红红的胖子,他是这个区域的共和派首领,一县的共济会头目,农业协会会长,救火协作队主席,应当保卫地方的民团组织人。
  花了半个月的时间,他找到了办法使36个有妻室子女的谨慎农民和镇上的商人决心保卫乡土,他每天在乡政府前的广场上操练他们。
  当镇长偶尔到镇公所所在的房子来的时候,这位司令官马沙烈腰夸手枪,手持军刀,傲然地走过他的队伍前面,对他的这些人拉起架势叫道:“祖国万岁!”大家都知道这一声吆喝使得那个小个子子爵冒火,他无疑把这看作一种示威,一种挑战,也是对大革命的令人受不了的纪念。
  9月5日的早晨,这位医生穿上了制服,手枪放在桌子上面,正在为一对乡下老夫妇看病。那位丈夫得静脉曲张已经7年了,一直等着,到他的妻子也得病才来找医生。正在这时信差送报纸来了。
  马沙烈先生打开来一看脸色一下子变白了,猛然站了起来,用兴奋之极的姿势,朝天举起了双手,在这两个吓呆了的乡下人面前,放开了嗓门叫道:
  “共和国万岁!共和国万岁!共和国万岁!”
  而后一屁股坐进了围椅里,激动得快晕倒了。当这个乡下人接着往下说:“开始时,像一些蚂蚁沿着我的腿爬……”这位医生叫道:“让我安静会儿,我哪有时间来听您的傻话。共和国已经宣布成立,皇帝已经被俘,法兰西得救了。共和国万岁!”于是他跑到门口,大声吆喝道:“西莱斯特,快,西莱斯特。”
  吃惊的女仆跑来了,他说得越快就越口齿不清地说:“我的靴子,我的军刀,我的子弹袋,还有我的西班牙匕首,它在我的床头柜上,你赶快。”
  当那个乡下人乘短促的安静时刻,固执地又接着说:
  “……它已经变成了一个个鼓包,使我走路时很疼。”
  惹火了的医生吼道:
  “让我安静一会,真见鬼,要是您常洗脚的话,就不会得上这种病。”
  而后抓住了他的领口,冲着他的脸叫道:
  “你竟没有体会到我们转变成了共和国吗?大傻瓜!”
  可是他的职业感觉很快使他平静下来,他把惊愕中的这家子推出去,一面反复说:
  “明天再来,明天再来,朋友。今天我没有时间了!”
  在一面紧张地将自己武装起来时,他一边重给他的女仆下了一整套命令:
  “快跑到中尉彼卡特和少尉波梅家去,告诉他们,我在这儿等着他们快来。也叫杜区布把鼓带来!快!快!”
  西莱斯特出去了之后,他凝神打算如何应付形势中的困难。
  这3个人穿着工作服来了。期待着他们穿着制服来的这位司令官吃了一惊。
  “你们竟然什么也不知道,老天爷!皇帝被俘囚起来了,共和国已经宣布成立。该行动的时候来了。我的地位很微妙,我甚至可以说十分危险。”
  在他这些下属的惊愕面孔前面他考虑了几秒钟,而后又说:
  “应该行动,不能犹豫,在关键时刻几分钟能顶上好几个小时,一切决定于迅速果断。彼卡特您去找神甫并责令他打钟召集群众,我要去通知他们。您,杜区布到村子里去敲鼓集合队伍,一直敲到吉利赛和沙儿马的庄子上。让民团到广场上去。您波梅,赶快去穿上军服,只要军衣军帽就行了。我们要去占领镇公所,还要责令华纳多先生向我们交权,这都懂了吧?”
  “是。”
  “立即执行。我陪着您到您家去,波梅。而后我们一同去执行。”
  五分钟后,这位司令官和他的下属武装到了牙齿,来到了广场上,也正是这时候,小个儿子爵华纳多像去打猎似的上了绑腿,肩上是福勒寿式的猎枪,从另外一条路走过来,后面跟着3个穿着绿军服的保卫,屁股上挂着刀,斜挎着枪。
  在那个医生停下来发愣的时候,这四个人走进了镇公所,那扇门在他们后面关上了,这医生嘟嘟囔囔地说:
  “我们让人抢先了,现在得待援。这一刻钟里什么也干不了。”
  中尉彼卡特出现了,他说:
  “神甫拒绝服从,他把自己、杂役和看门人一起关到了教堂里。”
  在广场另一边,面对着关着门的镇公所白色房子的就是沉寂的黑色教堂,它露出了镶着铁条的橡木大门。
  这时,当勾起了好奇心的居民们在窗户后面贴着鼻子或者站到了房前门槛上的时候,突然响起了鼓声。这时杜区布使劲敲着三快点的集合鼓点出现了。他用操练的步伐穿过广场而后消失到了田间小路上。
  这位司令官拔出了他的军刀独自走到大致位置在两幢房子的中间地方,这两幢房子都是被敌对的人盘踞着的。他在头上挥舞着军刀,使尽了肺部的力量吼叫着说:
  “共和国万岁!叛逆者死!”
  而后他朝着他的军官们所在撤回来。
  那些不放心的肉店老板、面包店老板和药剂师都上好了他们的排门,关上了店。只有杂货店还开着。
  这时民团的人员慢慢到了,穿着各式各样衣服,但都戴着顶有红道的军帽,这军帽形成了全团统一的制服。他们是用自己的老锈枪武装起来的,这些老枪30年以来一直挂在厨房的壁炉上,他们真是像一队乡下看林人。
  等到他周围有了约莫30来人时,这位司令用几句话给他们交待了事变情况,而后回过头来对他的参谋部说:“现在行动。”
  居民们聚集在一旁,一面看一面议论。
  这位医生很快就确定了他的作战计划:
  “中尉彼卡特,您前进到乡政府的窗户下面,以共和国的名义要求华纳多先生先将镇里的那栋房子交给我。”
  可是这位原是泥水师傅的中尉不干,他说:
  “您仍旧是个滑头,您。要让我去挨一枪,对不起。里边那些人的枪法很好,这您清楚。您自己去完成这使命吧。”
  司令官的脸红了:
  “我以军纪的名义命令你去。”
  这中尉十分气愤地说:
  “我可不会为干那种莫明其妙的事去送命。”
  围在一旁的那些有身份的人笑起来了,其中有一个嚷道:
  “你有道理,彼卡特,这不是时机!”
  这位医生叽叽咕咕说声:
  “一群胆小鬼!”
  他于是把军刀和手枪交给一个士兵,慢慢往前跨步,一边提防会看见从里面伸出枪来瞄准他。眼睛盯着那些窗户。当走到离开房子不过几步远的时候,两边两张学校的大门打开了,一大群小把戏涌了出来,这儿是男孩,那儿是女孩,聚在广阔的空场子上游戏吵闹不休,好像是一大群鹅围在医生周围。没有人能听见他在说什么。
  等到那些学生都出来之后,那两扇门就立刻关上了。
  大部分孩子终于都散开了以后,这位司令官于是鼓足了劲喊道:
  “华纳多先生?”
  二层楼的一扇窗开了,华纳多先生出现了。
  这位司令官开腔道:
  “先生,您知道适才发生了政府变革体制的重大事件。您所代表的政府已经不存在了。我所代表的已经掌权。在这决定性的艰难时刻,我以新共和国的名义要求您,请您向我交出以前的权力机构授予您的职权。”
  华纳多先生回答道:
  “医生先生,我是加纳镇的镇长,由合格的权威任命的,一直到我接到被我的上级撤职并被取代的命令之前,我将仍然是加纳镇的镇长。作为镇长,镇政府是我所应在的地方,我将继续呆下去。否则您试试赶我走吧。”
  于是他关上了窗。
  这位司令官回到了他的队伍里,但是在向大家说明情况之前,先从上到下打量了彼卡多一番之后说:
  “您白长了个脑袋。您,您是只道地的兔子,全军的耻辱,我要降您的级。”
  这位中尉回答说:
  “我对这不太在乎。”
  于是他走出去混到了在交头接耳的老百姓堆里。
  这时这位医生打不定主意了。干什么?发动进攻?可是这些人愿意干吗?还有,他有这权力吗?
  他想出了一个主意,跑到在镇政府对面广场另一边的电报局去,发出了三份电报。
  一件致在巴黎的共和国政府诸公:
  一件致在鲁昂的下塞纳州的共和国新任州长。
  一件致迪耶普新共和国新任的县长。
  他说明了形势,说当前的危险是这个镇还掌握在老的贵族镇长手里,还说愿意贡献他的忠诚服务,请求给予任命,并且在签名后加上了他所有的头衔。
  此后他就回到了他的队伍里,并且从口袋里掏出了十个法郎,说:“拿着吧,去吃点儿并喝上一杯,这儿只要留下十个人的一小队,以防止任何人从镇政府出来。”
  可是在和钟表商聊天的少尉彼卡特发话嘲笑道:“老天爷,要是他们出来那才是进去的好机会。要不是那样,我不会有机会看到您在里面,我!”
  这医生没有答理,迳自吃饭去了。
  到得下午,他绕镇布下了岗唯,好像这镇子会有遭到意外袭击的危险。
  他好几次走过了那幢镇政府房子和教堂的门前,丝毫没有发现有什么可疑现象,几乎可以认为这两幢房子里没有人。肉店、面包店和药店又重新开了门。
  大家在家里议论纷纷。如果皇帝成了阶下囚,那就是下面发生了变节。大家也说不准回来的是什么共和政体。天色变黑了。
  快到9点钟的时候,这位医生独自不声不响地走近了公共建筑的进口,认为他的对手已经走开去睡觉了,当他安排好用十字镐砸开门攻击时,立刻有一个像是卫兵的很粗的声音问道:
  “谁在哪儿?”
  马沙烈先生于是撒开腿就尽量大步往回撤。
  天亮了,形势仍就没有一点变化。
  武装民团占据了广场,所有的老百姓围在这个队伍周围想看个究竟,邻村的也跑来参观。
  医生这时明白他正在以他的荣誉赌博,下了决心采取措施来结束这一局面。正当他要采取任何确实有力的措施时,电报局的门开了,那位局长的小女用人走出来,手里拿着两张纸。
  她先走到这位司令官跟前递给他一张电报,而后穿过那空荡荡没有人的广场,被到处盯着她的那些眼睛吓坏了,低着头用碎步小跑过去,轻轻地敲那扇闭着的门,好像她并不知道里面藏着一支军队。
  门呀地开了一点点,一只手接住了那张电报,那个女孩子因为被全镇子的人这样盯着看而满脸通红,回来时几乎要哭了。
  这位医生嗓门发抖地要求道:
  “请大家安静点儿。”
  于是所有的群众都静下来了,他得意扬扬地接着说:
  “这是我从政府接到的通知。”接着举起了电报读道:
  “原来的镇长免职。请告须立即办理的事,后续指示即到。代理县长沙班参议员”
  他胜利了,高兴得心里蹦蹦跳,双手发抖。可是他的旧下属从旁边的一群人中间叫道:
  “真妙,一切如意,可是要是那些人不出来,这张纸带给您的全是空欢喜!”
  马沙烈的脸色这时发白了。确实,要是那些人不出来,他就该进攻,这不仅是他的权利也是他的义务。
  他心焦地看着乡政府,盼着那扇门会打开,他的对手撤出去。
  可那扇门仍然闭着。怎么办?人群越聚越多,团团围住了民团。大家在看笑话。
  有一种考虑使医生尤其为难。假使他进攻,他就得走在他的队伍前面:如果他死了,那么所有的较量就算完了。而华纳多先生和他的三个卫兵要是开枪,那就是对着他的,对着他一个人的。而他们的射击很出色,很准;彼卡特刚才还对他重新提起过。可是忽然灵机一动,他转过身向波梅说:“快去要求那位药剂师借给我一块餐巾和一根棍子。”
  这中尉赶快跑过去。
  他打算做一面谈判旗帜,做一面白旗,看到白旗也许会使那位旧镇长的正统派心理觉得快活。
  波梅带了所要的布和一根扫帚柄回来。用些绳子就组成了一面由马沙烈先生双手持着的旗子。当他走到门前时,他还叫着:“华纳多先生!”那张门忽然打开了,于是华纳多先生和他的三个卫兵出现在门口。
  这位医生由于本能动作,退了一步,然后彬彬有礼的向他的对手敬了一个礼,于是开始致辞。他因为激动而声音有些发哽地说:“先生,我到这儿来是为了向您传达我所接到的指示。”
  这位绅士没有对他还礼,对他回答说:“我引退,先生,但要请您了解这不是因为害怕,也不是为了服从篡权的这个丑恶政府。”他一字一顿地着重说:“我不愿让人以为我像是愿为共和国服务,哪怕一天也不愿意,就是我的动机。”
  吃惊的马沙烈什么也没有回答,而华纳多先生就快步走开了,他的随从一直跟着他,到广场的那个角落里就消失了。
  这时这位医生得意忘形地朝那群人走过去,一走到可以让大家听见他的声音的地方,他就叫道:“呜啦!呜啦!共和国全线胜利了!”
  可是谁也没有表示态度。
  这位医生接着叫道:“人民自由了,你们自由了,独立了,挺起胸膛来!”
  镇上的人麻木地看着他,眼睛里没有闪起一点光荣的火花。
  这回轮到他来端详他们了。对他们的麻木不仁感到愤慨,搜索一些可以说的,可以起到猛击一掌作用的话,刺激一下这太平地方,完成他的鼓动任务。
  可是他得到了一个灵感,于是他转过去对波梅说:“中尉,去把那一个下了台的皇帝的胸像找来,它在市议员的议事室里,用一张椅子把它抬到这儿来。”
  这一位很快就在右肩上扛来了那个石膏拿破仑,而左手则提着一张革垫椅子。
  马沙烈先生走到他前面,拿起椅子放到了地上,在上面放上了白胸像。然后退回几步用响亮的声音吆喝道:
  “暴君,暴君,你现在倒台了,倒到了臭泥巴里面,倒到了烂泥浆里。祖国曾在你的皮靴下喘息呻吟,而今复仇的命运之神把你打倒了。失败和受耻辱的是你,普鲁士人的俘虏,你被战败倒台了,并且在你那崩溃中的帝国废墟上,年轻光辉的共和国站起来了,拾起你被折断了的剑……”
  他等待着喝采。可是没有一点呼声,没有一点鼓掌的声音出现。惊惶的那些乡下人一语不发,而那座胡须两边翘得老高,超过了两鬓,头发梳得像理发店广告一样不动的胸像却凝视着马沙烈先生,它脸上石膏抹成的微笑像是一种无法抹杀的讥笑。
  他们俩就是这样一动不动地面面相觑,拿破仑在他的椅子上,医生站在离开它三步远的地方。一阵忿怒攫住了医生。他怎么办?他该干些什么来鼓动这些人并赢得这场公众舆论的断然胜利呢?
  他的手在不留意中搁到了肚皮上,这时他碰到了他扣在红腰带上的手枪枪柄。
  在再也找不到什么新的灵感,新的辞汇的情况下,他拔出了武器,朝前跨两步逼近地轰了旧君主一枪。
  那颗子弹在这个脑袋上钻了一个小小的黑洞,一个几乎看不见的黑点。没有见到效果,于是马沙烈先生又开了一枪,又打了一个眼,接着是第三枪,而后连续地射出了所余的三颗子弹。拿破仑的前额上白灰飞扬,可是那双眼睛、那鼻子和胡子的两个尖角仍然是完整无损。
  这时,这位气急了的医生,一拳打翻了椅子,一脚踩到倒在地上的胸像上;以一个胜利者的姿态转过身向惊呆了的群众嚷道:“将所有的卖国贼都照这个样子消灭掉!”
  可是这些观众好像吓呆了,仍然没有任何激奋了的表现,因此这位司令官只好对民兵们叫道:“你们现在可以回家了。”他自己则迈开大步像逃走似地往家里走。
  等他一到家,他的女仆告诉他,有些病人在他的房间里等他,已经3个小时还多了。他跑过去,原来是那两位既耐心又固执的看静脉瘤的乡下人,他们天一亮就来了。
  于是,那个老头儿立刻又开始他的陈述:“开始时,就像一些蚂蚁沿着我的腿爬……”

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