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沼地上的一起死亡事件-巴斯克维尔猎犬

时间:2014-03-31 18:54 作者:网络文章 阅读:

巴斯克维尔猎犬目录
14  沼地上的一起死亡事件 Death on the Moor

Holmes started running over the moor,and I followed him.From somewhere in front of us came one more hopeless scream.It was followed by the sound of something falling heavily.We stopped and listened.

I saw Holmes put his hand to his head.' He has won,Watson.We' re too late.I was mad not to act sooner.And you,Watson,look what happens when you leave the man I asked you to guard.But if the worst has happened,we shall see that Stapleton doesn't go free.'

We ran through the dark towards the place where the cries had come from.We reached a rocky edge from which a steep side fell away.Below us we saw the body of a man.He was lying with his face down on the ground.He had fallen on his head,which was bent under him,and his neck was broken.Holmes lit a match.We saw with horror the blood running out onto the ground from his head.

We both remembered clearly the suit the man was wearing.It was a thick,redbrown country suit.It was the suit Sir Henry had been wearing on the morning when we first met him in Baker Street.We saw it for a moment and then the match went out.Our hearts turned sick and cold inside us.

'The devil!The murderer!I shall never forgive myself for leaving Sir Henry alone,'I whispered angrily.

'It's more my fault than yours,'said Holmes.'I have let this good man die because I was busy with the last details of my case.It is the greatest mistake I have ever made.But why did he come out onto the moor?I told him it would lead to his death.Now both Sir Henry and his uncle have been murdered.By heavens,clever as he is,I shall trap Stapleton before another day is past.'

With heavy hearts we stood on either side of the broken body.Then Holmes bent over the body and began to move it.All of a sudden he began to laugh and jump up and down.

'Look at the face!'he shouted,hitting me on the back.'It is not Sir Henry.It's Selden,the escaped prisoner.'

We turned the body over.There was no doubt about it.I had seen the face before,on the night Sir Henry and I had chased Selden over the moor.Then I suddenly remembered,and everything became clear.Sir Henry had told me how he gave his old clothes to Barrymore.I realized that this suit had been among the clothes Barrymore had left for Selden,and I told Holmes.

'Then the clothes have caused the death of the poor man.The hound had been given something of Sir Henry's to smell so that it would pick up his scent and follow him.I think that is why the shoe was taken from the hotel in London.So the hound followed the scent and bunted this man.But there is one thing I don't understand.How did Selden know that the hound was following him? We know he ran a long way.He was screaming for a long time before he fell,and we could hear that he was running as he screamed.So the hound was a long way behind him when he began to run.How could he see it in the dark? How did he know it was there,until it was close be hind him?'

'I cannot answer that,'I said,' but there is something else I don' t understand.Why was the hound out on the moor tonight?Stapleton would not let it go out unless he thought Sir Henry was there.'

'We may know the answer to that question very soon,'said Holmes.'Here comes Stapleton.'

His sharp eyes had seen a figure moving in the darkness in front of us,and

s the man came closer,I could see that it was indeed Stapleton.

'We must be very careful not to show that we suspect him,'Holmes warned me.

Stapleton stopped when he saw us,and then walked forward again.'Dr Watson,is that you?I didn't expect to see you on the moor at this time of night But,dear me,what's this? Somebody hurt? Not—don't tell me that it's our friend Sir Henry!'

He went past me and bent over the dead man.I heard him breathe in quickly.

'Who…who is this?' he asked,his voice shaking.

'It's Selden,the escaped prisoner.'

Stapleton quickly managed to hide the look of surprise and disappointment on his face as he turned towards us.He looked sharply from Holmes to me.'Dear me! How terrible! How did he die?'

'We think he broke his neck by falling over the edge of these rocks,'I said.

'I heard a cry,and that is why I came out.I was worried about Sir Henry,'Stapleton said.

'Why were you worried about Sir Henry?'I asked.

'Because I had invited him to my house.When he did not come I was surprised.Then,when I heard cries on the moor,I began to worry about him.I wonder'—his eyes went quickly from my face to Holmes'—' did you hear anything else at all?'

'No,'said Holmes.'Did you?'

'No,'said Stapleton.

'What do you mean,then?'

'Oh,you know the stories about the supernatural hound.I wondered if it had been here tonight.'

'We heard nothing of that kind,'I said.

'How do you think this poor man fell to his death?'Staple ton asked.

'I think cold and hunger,and his fear that the police would catch him,drove him mad.He ran round the moor in his mad ness,and fell over this edge,'I said.

'Do you agree,Mr Sherlock Holmes?'asked Stapleton.

'You're quick to guess who I am,'said Holmes.

'We're been expecting you ever since Dr Watson arrived.'

'I have no doubt my friend is right about the way Selden died,'said Holmes.'It' s a sad death,but it will not prevent me from returning to London tomorrow.'

'Before you return,will you be able to explain the mysteries that we've experienced here?'

'I am not always as successful as I hope.I need facts,not stories of the supernatural.This hasn' t been a good case for me.

Stapleton looked hard at him,but Holmes had spoken very seriously and his words sounded true.

We covered the body.Then Stapleton turned to go home,and Holmes and I walked towards Baskerville Hall.

'He's a very clever man,and a dangerous enemy,who will be difficult to trap,' said Holmes.' Look how he controlled his disappointment when he found that the dead man was not Sir Henry.'

'I'm sorry that he has seen you,'I said.

'So am I,but there was nothing we could do about it.Now he knows I am here he may be more careful,or he may act more quickly than he planned.'

'Why can't we give him to the police at once?'

'Because we can't prove anything against him.Sir Charles was found dead because his heart failed.Again,tonight we could not prove that there was a hound.Selden died from a fall.We have no case at present.We shall see Mrs Lyons to morrow,and she may help us.But whatever happens,I have my own plan.There will be some danger,but by the end of tomorrow I hope to have won this battle.'

He would say nothing else.

'Are you coming to the Hall?'I asked.

'Yes,'he replied.'There is no reason for me to hide any longer.But one last word,Watson Say nothing of the hound to Sir Henry.Let him think that Selden died from a fall.If he knows about the hound,he will find it harder to face the dan gers of tomorrow.I think you told me in your last letter that he is having dinner with the Stapletons tomorrow evening.'

'And they have invited me,too,'I reminded him.

'Then you must excuse yourself,and he must go alone.That can easily be arranged And now I think we are both ready for some food.'

福尔摩斯开始在沼地上跑了起来,我跟在他的后面。从我们前面的某处又发出了一声绝望的尖叫,然后就是一个东西重重地栽在地上时的那么一声。我们站住了并倾听着。

我看到福尔摩斯把手按在头上。“他已经赢了,华生。我们来得太晚了。我真是发疯了,竟不及早采取行动。而你呢,华生,看到离开我让你保护的那个人会有什么后果了吧。可是,要是最不幸的事情已然发生了的话,那么我们就不能叫斯台普顿给逃脱了。”

我们在黑暗之中朝发出喊叫声的那个地方跑去。我们到了一条岩脊边上,那儿有个很陡的悬崖伸展下去。我们由那里向下看到了一个人。他脸朝下躺在地上。他是头向下摔倒的,头在身体下面窝着,脖子也给折断了。福尔摩斯点着了一根火柴。我们惊恐地看到了一滩血正从他的头颅里冒出来汩汩地流到地上。

我们俩都清楚地记得那个人的衣着。那是一件厚厚的、棕红色的、带有土风色彩的外套。就是亨利爵士在我们第一次在贝克街见到他的那个早上穿着的那一件。我们只看了一眼,那根火柴接着就灭了。我们感到深为悲伤、深为恐怖。

“这个恶棍!这个凶手!我永远也不能原谅自己,我竟离开了他的身旁,让他独自一人呆着,”我愤怒地低声说道。

“我的罪过比你还要深重,”福尔摩斯说道。“因为我正忙于做好破案之前的工作,我竟任这位好人去死。这是我一生中所犯的最大的错误。可是,他为何要从屋里溜到沼地上来呢?我告诉过他,这会要他的命的。现在,亨利爵士及其伯父都已被人谋杀了。苍天在上,过不了另一天我就要诱捕他,虽然他很狡猾。”

我们心情沉重地站在这具血肉模糊的尸体的两侧。接着,福尔摩斯在尸体旁边弯着腰,并且开始动弹它。突然之间,他开始又笑又跳起来。

“看看这张面孔!”他喊叫道,在我后背上击了一下。“此人并非亨利爵士。是塞尔登,那个逃犯。”

我们把死尸翻了过来。无疑是这么一回事。在我与亨利爵士在沼地上追赶塞尔登的那个晚上我曾见过这张脸。然后,我忽然记起了什么,一切都清楚明白了。亨利爵士曾告诉我他如何把自己的旧衣物送给了白瑞摩。我意识到这件外套就是白瑞摩留给塞尔登的那些衣物中的一件,于是便把事情的来由告诉了福尔摩斯。

“那么说,这身衣服导致了这个可怜的人的死。那个猎犬曾让闻过亨利爵士的某件东西,以便它能嗅出他的气味并追踪他。我认为这就是那只鞋子在伦敦的那个旅馆里被偷的原因所在了。如此一来猎犬就循着气味搜寻这个人。可是,有一件事情我不大明白。塞尔登如何知道那猎犬跟在他后面呢?我们知道他跑了很长的一段路。他在摔倒在地之前已尖叫了很长一段时间,我们也能听出他尖叫时正在跑着。因此,他开始跑时那个猎犬还在他的身后很远之处。他是怎么在黑暗之中看到猎犬的呢?在猎犬紧跟他之前他是怎么知道它就在那儿的呢?”

“我回答不上来,”我说道。“但是,还有一事我不大理解。为什么猎犬单单在今晚被放出来在沼地上活动呢?除非是斯台普顿觉得亨利爵士会到那里去,否则他是不会把它放出来的。”

“我们可能很快就能知道问题的答案了,”福尔摩斯讲道。“斯台普顿来了。”

他那敏锐的眼睛已经看到了黑暗之中在我们的前面移动的一个轮廓,而且在这个人走近时,我可以看出正是斯台普顿。

“我们必须谨慎行事,不要表现出怀疑他的样子,”福尔摩斯警告我说。

斯台普顿看到我们时停下了脚步,然后又向前走了起来。“华生医生,是您吗?我没想到会在晚上的这个时候在沼地上看到您。可是,天哪,这是怎么回事?有人受伤了吗?不——不要告诉我这就是咱们的朋友亨利爵士!”

他由我们身旁走过,并在那个死人的身旁弯下腰来。我听到他的呼吸急促。

“这是谁……谁呀?”他问道,声音颤抖着。

“是塞尔登,那个逃犯。”

斯台普顿向我们转过身来时迅速地、设法掩饰着惊慌和失望的表情。他两眼死盯着福尔摩斯,又转向我。“天哪!多么可怕啊!他是怎么死的?”

“我们认为他从岩脊边上掉下来便摔断了脖子,”我说道。

“我听到了一声叫喊,那便是我跑了出来的原因。我很替亨利爵士担心,”斯台普顿说道。

“您为何要替亨利爵士担心呢?”我问道。

“因为我已邀请他到我家来。他没有来时我感到很惊讶。接着,当我听到沼地上的叫喊声时,我就开始为他担忧了。我想知道”——他的眼神从我的脸上忽地转向了福尔摩斯的脸——“您还听到了什么声音没有?”

“没有,”福尔摩斯说道。“您呢?”

“没有,”斯台普顿说道。

“那么,您这是什么意思?”

“噢,您知道关于那只鬼怪似的猎犬的种种故事的。当时我正在纳闷它今晚是否就在此地。”

“我们没有听到过那一类声音,”我说道。

“你们怎么以为这个可怜的家伙是摔死的呢?”斯台普顿问道。

“我认为饥寒交迫和怕被警方抓获的恐惧之情已经攫住了他,把他逼得发疯了。他一定曾在沼地里疯狂地奔跑,又摔下了岩脊,”我说道。

“您同意这种看法吗,歇洛克·福尔摩斯先生?”斯台普顿问道。

“您猜人猜得真快,”福尔摩斯说道。

“自从华生医生到达之后,我们一直在期待着您的光临。”

“我确信我的朋友有关塞尔登死去的方式的说法是正确无误的,”福尔摩斯说道。“死得很惨,可是这也不能阻止我明天就回到伦敦去。”

“在您离去之前,您能解释得了我们在此经历的种种神秘事件吗?”

“我不像自己希望的那样总能取得成功。我需要事实,而不是有关鬼怪的种种故事。对我来说这个案子办得并不好。”

斯台普顿死盯着他,但是福尔摩斯说话时很一本正经,他的话语听上去也像真的。

我们把尸体遮盖起来。然后,斯台普顿就转身回家了,我和福尔摩斯朝巴斯克维尔庄园走去。

“他是个聪明人,同时也是个危险的对手,很难被诱捕的,”福尔摩斯讲道。“看看,当他发现那个死去的家伙不是亨利爵士时,他是多么镇定地克制自己的失望之情啊。”

“我感到很遗憾,他竟看到了你,”我说道。

“我也这么觉得,可是我们当时对此毫无办法。他现在已经知道了我在这里,可能会变得更加谨慎起来,或许会比他事先预谋好的更快地采取行动。”

“咱们为什么不马上把他交给警方处理呢?”

“因为我们没有与他作对的证据。查尔斯爵士被发现是因为心脏不负重荷才死去的。我们今晚也证明不了这儿曾有过一只猎犬。塞尔登是摔死的。我们目前没有别的案子要办。我们明天去见一趟莱昂丝太太,她或许可以帮助我们。但是,不论发生什么,我都有自己的计划。也许会有些危险,但是我希望明天结束之前就能赢得这场战斗。”

别的话语他就不肯讲了。

“你打算来庄园吗?”我问道。

“是的,”他回答道。“我再没有什么躲起来的原因了。可是,还有最后一句话,华生。可别对亨利爵士谈起那只猎犬的事来。就让他认为塞尔登是摔死的吧。如果他知道了猎犬的事情,他就会发现很难面对明天必须经受的种种危险了。我想,你曾经在最后一封信里告诉过我他在明晚要到斯台普顿家里吃晚饭的吧。”

“还有,他们也邀请了我,”我提醒他道。

“那么你一定得借口谢绝,他必须单身前往。那很容易安排。现在我想咱们俩人都已准备就绪,可以去吃些东西了。”

巴斯 维尔 地上 死亡 事件 一起

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