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疑难问题-巴斯克维尔猎犬-英文名著

作者:网络 | 来源:哈尔滨师范大学郑德杨官方网站 ☆ 郑德杨·小逗丁 欢迎您 | 时间:2008-12-02 | 阅读权限:游客身份 |
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4  疑难问题  The Problem I felt a moment of fear as Mortimer spoke these words.Holmes sat forward in his excitement,and his eyes showed he was very interested indeed.

'Why did nobody else see these footprints?'he asked.

'The footprints were about twenty metres from the body,and nobody thought of looking so far away,'Mortimer replied.

'Are there many sheep dogs on the moor?'asked Holmes.

'Yes,but this was no sheep dog.The footprints were very large indeed—enormous,'Mortimer answered.

'But it had not gone near the body?'

'No.'

'What kind of night was it?'Holmes asked.

'It was wet and cold,though it wasn't actually raining.'

'Describe the Alley to me.'

'The Alley is a path between two long yew hedges.The hedges are small trees that were planted very close together.They are about four metres high.The distance between the two yew hedges is about seven metres.Down the middle is a path of small stones.The path is about three metres wide,with grass on each side of it.'

'I understand there is a gate through the hedge in one place,'said Holmes.

'Yes,there is a small gate,which leads to the moor.'

'Is there any other opening through the hedge?'

'No.'

'So you can enter or leave the Yew Alley only from the Hall,or through the moor gate?'asked Holmes.

'There is a way out through a summer house at the far end.'

'Had Sir Charles reached the summer house?'

'No.He lay about fifty metres from it,'said Mortimer.

'Now,Dr Mortimer,this is important.You say that the footprints you saw were on the path and not on the grass?'

'No footprints could show on the grass,'said Mortimer.

'Were they on the same side of the path as the moor gate?'

'Yes.They were.'

'I find that very interesting indeed.Another question:was the moor gate closed?'

'Yes.It was closed and locked.'

'How high is it?'asked Holmes.

'It is just over a metre high.'

'Then anyone could climb over it?'

'Yes.'

'What prints did you see by the moor gate?'

'Sir Charles seems to have stood there for five or ten min utes,'said Mortimer.'I know that because his cigar had burned down and the ash had dropped twice off the end of it.'

'Excellent,'said Holmes.'This man is a very good detective,Watson.'

'Sir Charles had left his footprints all over that little bit of the path where he was standing.I couldn't see any other prints.'

Sherlock Holmes hit his knee with his hand angrily.

'I like to look closely at these things myself,'he said.'Oh,Dr Mortimer,why didn't you call me immediately?'

'Mr Holmes,the best detective in the world can't help with some things,'said Mortimer.

'You mean things that are outside the laws of nature—su pernatural things?'asked Holmes.

'I didn't say so exactly,'replied Mortimer.'But since Sir Charles died,I have heard about a number of things that seem to be supernatural.Several people have seen an animal on the moor that looks like an enormous hound.They all agree that it was a huge creature,which shone with a strange light like a ghost.I have questioned these people carefully.They are all sensible people.They all tell the same story.Although they have only seen the creature far away,it is exactly like the hell hound of the Baskerville story.The people are very frightened,and only the bravest man will cross the moor at night.'

'And you,a man of science,believe that the creature is supernatural—something from another world?'asked Holmes.

'I don't know what to believe,'said Dr Mortimer.

'But you must agree that the footprints were made by a liv ing creature,not a ghost?'

'When the hound first appeared two hundred and fifty years ago,it was real enough to tear out Sir Hugo's throat…but it was a supernatural hellhound,'said Dr Mortimer.

'If you think that Sir Charles' death was caused by some thing supernatural,my detective work can't help you,'said Holmes,rather coldly.

'Perhaps,'said Mortimer.'But you can help me by advis ing me what to do for Sir Henry Baskerville.He arrives in Lon don by train in exactly,'Dr Mortimer looked at his watch,'one hour and a quarter.'

'Sir Henry is now head of the Baskerville family?'asked Holmes.

'Yes,'said Dr Mortimer.'He is the last of the Baskervilles.The family lawyers contacted him in the USA.He has come to England immediately by ship.He landed this morning.Now,Mr Holmes,what do you advise me to do with him?'

'Why should he not go to the family home?'asked Holmes.

'Because so many Baskervilles who go there die horrible deaths.But Sir Charles'good work must go on.If it doesn't,all the people on the Baskerville lands will be much poorer.If the Baskerville family leaves the Hall,that is what will happen.I don't know what to do.That is why I came to you for advice.'

Holmes though for a little while.Then he said:'You think it is too dangerous for any Baskerville to live at the Hall because of this supernatural hellhound.Well,I think you should go and meet Sir Henry Baskerville.Say nothing to him about this.I shall give you my advice in twentyfour hours.At ten o'clock tomorrow morning,Dr Mortimer,I would like you to bring Sir Henry Baskerville here.'

Dr Mortimer got up from his chair.As he was leaving the room,Holmes said:'One more question,Dr Mortimer.You said that before Sir Charles'death several people saw this strange creature on the moor?'

'Three people did,'said Mortimer.

'Did anyone see it after the death?'

'I haven't heard of anyone.'

'Thank you,Dr Mortimer.Good morning.'

After Mortimer had left us,Holmes sat down in his chair.He looked pleased.He always looked pleased when a case interest ed him.

I knew that he needed to be alone to think about all that he had heard.I went out for the day,and came back to find the room full of thick smoke from Holmes'pipe.

'What do you think of this case?'I asked him.

'It is hard to say.Take,for example,the change in the foot prints.Did Sir Charles walk on his toes down the Alley?Only a stupid person is likely to believe that.The truth is he was run ning—running for his life.He ran until his heart stopped and he fell dead.'

'What was he running from?'I asked.

'That is the difficult question,'said Holmes.'I think he was mad with fear before he began to run.He didn't know what he was doing.That explains why he ran away from the house instead of towards it.He was running away from help.The next question:who was he waiting for that night?And why was he waiting in the Yew Alley and not in the house?'

'You think he was waiting for someone?'

'Sir Charles was old and unwell.We can understand why he took a walk each evening.But why did he stand in the cold,on wet ground,for five or ten minutes?Dr Mortimer cleverly noted the cigar ash,so we know how long Sir Charles stood there.We know that he kept away from the moor,so it's un likely that he waited at the moor gate every evening.I am be ginning to understand some things,Watson.But I'll think no more about it until we meet Dr Mortimer and Sir Henry Baskerville in the morning.Please give me my violin.'

And Holmes began to play his violin.He had done all the thinking he could.Now he needed more details of the case to help him.
 摩梯末说出这些话时我感到一阵恐惧。福尔摩斯惊异地向前探着身子坐着,他的两眼也表明他对这件事真的很感兴趣。

“为什么没有别人看到这些爪印呢?”他问道。

“这些爪印距尸体约二十米之远,也没有人想到要查看这么远的地方,”摩梯末回答道。

“沼地里有许多牧羊犬吗?”福尔摩斯问道。

“有,但是这绝不是牧羊犬。爪印的确很大——极大。”摩梯末回答道。

“但是它并没有接近过尸体吧?”

“没有。”

“那是个什么样的夜晚?”福尔摩斯问道。

“又潮又冷,尽管并没真正下雨。”

“把那个小道描述给我听听。”

“那个小道是位于两排长长的水松树篱之间的一条小路。树篱是种得很密的矮小的树种。它们大约有四米高。两排水松树篱之间的距离大约为七米。在树篱中间是一条由小石子铺就的小道。这条小道大约为三米宽,两旁都种着草。”

“我想树篱的某处有一个栅门通道吧,”福尔摩斯说道。

“是的,有一个小门,它通向沼地。”

“树篱之中还有其他的通道吗?”

“没有。”

“因此,要想从水松小道里进出就只能经由庄园或是由开向沼地的栅门啰?”福尔摩斯问道。

“穿过远处另一头的凉亭还有一个出口。”

“查尔斯爵士走到那里了吗?”

“没有。他倒下的地方距那里约五十米,”摩梯末说道。

“我说,摩梯末医生,这点是很重要的。您说您所看到爪印是在小道上而不是在草地上吧?”

“草地上看不到爪印,”摩梯末道。

“是在与开向沼地的栅门同一路边上吗?”

“是的。是在与栅门同一路边上。”

“我发现这确实有趣。还有一个问题:栅门是关着的吗?”

“是的。它关着,还锁上了。”

“门有多高?”福尔摩斯问道。

“刚一米出头高。”

“那么说,任何人都能爬过去啰?”

“是的。”

“你在栅门处看到了什么痕迹?”

“查尔斯爵士似乎在那里站了五至十分钟,”摩梯末说道。“我之所以知道这个,是因为他抽的那支雪茄是点着的,烟蒂处还曾两次掉下烟灰。”

“太妙了,”福尔摩斯道。“此人是位好侦探,华生。”

“查尔斯爵士在他所站的那一小片路面上到处都留下了自己的脚印。我看不出其他痕迹。”

歇洛克·福尔摩斯生气地用手敲了敲自己的膝盖。

“我想亲自去仔细查看一番这些事情,”他说道。“唉,摩梯末医生,你为何当时不马上叫我去呢?”

“福尔摩斯先生,连世上最好的侦探对有些事情也是无能为力的。”摩梯末说道。

“您是指那些超乎自然规律——超自然的事情啰?”福尔摩斯问道。

“我并不完全是这个意思,”摩梯末回答道。“可是,自从查尔斯爵士死后,我就听到了一些似乎超自然的事情。有人曾在沼地上看到一个类似一条硕大的猎犬的动物。他们都认为那是一只大家伙,它像幽灵似地发着一种奇怪的光。我曾仔细地询问过那些人。他们都很明智。他们都讲了同一个故事。虽然他们都只是从远处见过那个畜生,但它的样子的确像巴斯克维尔故事中的那只地狱之犬。人们现在都非常害怕,只有最大胆的人才敢在夜间走过沼地。”

“那么您,一位从事科学工作的人,相信这个东西是超乎自然的——是从另一个世界而来的家伙吗?”福尔摩斯问道。

“我也不知道应该相信什么,”摩梯末医生道。

“但是您总得承认那些爪印是活生生的东西而不是鬼怪留下的吧?”

“那条猎犬在250年前最初出现时,它撕断了雨果爵士的喉咙,这真有其事……但是它是一条超乎自然的恶犬,”摩梯末医生说道。

“要是您认为查尔斯爵士的死是某种超自然因素造成的话,那我的侦探工作可帮不了您什么忙,”福尔摩斯相当冷淡地说道。

“也许吧,”摩梯末道。“可是您能帮助我,建议我该为亨利·巴斯克维尔爵尔做些什么。他将正好在,”摩梯末看了看他的表,“1小时15分钟之后乘火车抵达伦敦。”

“亨利爵士现在是巴斯克维尔家族的主人吗?”福尔摩斯问道。

“对了,”摩梯末道。“他是巴斯克维尔家族的最后一位成员。家族的律师们与他在美国联系上了。他已立即乘船前来英格兰。他是今早靠岸的。现在,福尔摩斯先生,您建议我对他做些什么呢?”

“为什么他不应该到他祖祖辈辈居住的家里去呢?”福尔摩斯问道。

“因为巴斯克维尔家族里去了那儿的这么多人都令人恐怖地死去了。可是查尔斯爵士的慈善工作必须继续下去。否则的话,巴斯克维尔家族所拥有的土地上的人们将要穷困得多。要是巴斯克维尔家族离开园的话,那将是即将发生的事实。我不知道该怎么办。这便是我前来向您讨教的原因。”

福尔摩斯考虑了一小会儿。然后他说:“您认为由于那条神秘的恶犬因而巴斯克维尔家的人住在那个庄园里都不安全。唔,我认为您该去接亨利·巴斯克维尔爵士。对他只字不提这些。24小时之后我将给您提供我的建议。明天早上10点钟时,摩梯末医生,我希望您能偕亨利·巴斯克维尔爵士同来此处。”

摩梯末医生从椅子上站起身来。在他即将离开之时,福尔摩斯说道:“再问您一个问题,摩梯末医生。您曾经说过,在查尔斯爵士死去之前曾有几个人在沼地上看到那个奇怪的动物吧?”

“有三个人看到过,”摩梯末道。

“在他死去之后有人看到过吗?”

“我还没有听说过。”

“谢谢您,摩梯末医生。早安。”

摩梯末从我们这儿走之后,福尔摩斯在他的座位上坐了下来。他显得很高兴。每当有案件让他感兴趣时他总是露出高兴的样子。

我知道他需要独自一人思考一下他所听到的东西。整个白天我就出去了,回来时发现满屋都是福尔摩斯的烟斗里冒出来的浓烟。

“对这个案子你是怎么想的?”我问他。

“很难说。就拿脚印的变化来说吧。查尔斯爵士是踮着脚沿小路走的吗?只有傻爪才可能相信这种说法。事情的真相是,他当时在奔跑——为了逃命。他一直跑到心脏停止跳动并倒地而死为止。”

“他是为了逃避什么才跑的呢?”我问道。

“那就是难题所在。”福尔摩斯道,“我认为他在开始跑之前已被吓得神魂颠倒了。他并不知道自己当时的举动。这就解释了他为何不朝房子而朝相反的方向跑着的原因。他这么跑就离(能得到)帮助(的地方)越来越远。下一个问题是:当晚他在等谁呢?还有,他为什么要在水松小道而不在房子里等人呢?”

“你认为他是在等人吗?”

“查尔斯爵士年事已高,身体又虚弱。我们可以理解他为什么会在每个傍晚出去散步。可是,他为何要在寒冷的夜里在潮湿的地面上站上五至十分钟呢?摩梯末医生很机敏地注意到了雪茄落下的烟灰,因此我们知晓了查尔斯爵士在那儿站立了多长时间。我们知道他是一向躲避沼地的。因此他不大可能每晚都在通向沼地的栅门前伫立等候着。我现在开始明白某些事情了,华生。可是,等明早见到摩梯末医生和亨利·巴斯克维尔爵士后我再考虑这件事吧。请你把我的小提琴拿给我。”

福尔摩斯于是开始拉起了他的小提琴。凡是能考虑到的他都已考虑过了。现在他需要与该案件有关的更多的细节来帮助他侦探这个案子。
 

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