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  • 基督山伯爵(The Count of Monte Cristo)第一一一章 抵罪

    NOTWITHSTANDING the density of the crowd, M. de Villefort saw it open before him. There is something so awe-inspiring in great afflictions that even in the worst times the first emotion of a crowd has generally been to sympathize with the sufferer in a great catastrophe. Many people have been assassinated in a tumult, but even criminals have rarely been insulted during trial. Thus Villefort passed through the mass of spectators and officers of the Palais, and withdrew. Though he had acknowledged his guilt, he was protected by his grief. There are some situations which men understand by instinct, but which reason is powerless to explain; in such cases the greatest poet is he who gives utterance to the most natural and vehement outburst of sorrow. Those who hear the bitter cry are as much impressed as if they listened to an entire poem, and when the sufferer is sincere they are right in regarding his outburst as sublime.

    It would be difficult to describe the state of stupor in which Villefort left the Palais. Every pulse beat with feverish excitement, every nerve was strained, every vein swollen, and every part of his body seemed to suffer distinctly from the rest, thus multiplying his agony a thousand-fold. He made his way along the corridors through force of habit; he threw aside his magisterial robe, not out of deference to etiquette, but because it was an unbearable burden, a veritable garb of Nessus, insatiate in torture. Having staggered as far as the Rue Dauphiné, he perceived his carriage, awoke his sleeping coachman by opening the door himself, threw himself on the cushions, and pointed towards the Faubourg Saint-Honoré; the carriage drove on. The weight of his fallen fortunes seemed suddenly to crush him; he could not foresee the consequences; he could not contemplate the future with the indifference of the hardened criminal who merely faces a contingency already familiar. God was still in his heart. "God," he murmured, not knowing what he said,--"God--God!" Behind the event that had overwhelmed him he saw the hand of God. The carriage rolled rapidly onward. Villefort, while turning restlessly on the cushions, felt something press against him. He put out his hand to remove the object; it was a fan which Madame de Villefort had left in the carriage; this fan awakened a recollection which darted through his mind like lightning. He thought of his wife.

    "Oh!" he exclaimed, as though a redhot iron were piercing his heart. During the last hour his own crime had alone been presented to his mind; now another object, not less terrible, suddenly presented itself. His wife! He had just acted the inexorable judge with her, he had condemned her to death, and she, crushed by remorse, struck with terror, covered with the shame inspired by the eloquence of his irreproachable virtue,--she, a poor, weak woman, without help or the power of defending herself against his absolute and supreme will,--she might at that very moment, perhaps, be preparing to die! An hour had elapsed since her condemnation; at that moment, doubtless, she was recalling all her crimes to her memory; she was asking pardon for her sins; perhaps she was even writing a letter imploring forgiveness from her virtuous husband--a forgiveness she was purchasing with her death! Villefort again groaned with anguish and despair. "Ah," he exclaimed, "that woman became criminal only from associating with me! I carried the infection of crime with me, and she has caught it as she would the typhus fever, the cholera, the plague! And yet I have punished her--I have dared to tell her--I have--'Repent and die!' But no, she must not die; she shall live, and with me. We will flee from Paris and go as far as the earth reaches. I told her of the scaffold; oh, heavens, I forgot that it awaits me also! How could I pronounce that word? Yes, we will fly; I will confess all to her,--I will tell her daily that I also have committed a crime!--Oh, what an alliance--the tiger and the serpent; worthy wife of such as I am! She must live that my infamy may diminish hers." And Villefort dashed open the window in front of the carriage.

    "Faster, faster!" he cried, in a tone which electrified the coachman. The horses, impelled by fear, flew towards the house.

    "Yes, yes," repeated Villefort, as he approached his home--"yes, that woman must live; she must repent, and educate my son, the sole survivor, with the exception of the indestructible old man, of the wreck of my house. She loves him; it was for his sake she has committed these crimes. We ought never to despair of softening the heart of a mother who loves her child. She will repent, and no one will know that she has been guilty. The events which have taken place in my house, though they now occupy the public mind, will be forgotten in time, or if, indeed, a few enemies should persist in remembering them, why then I will add them to my list of crimes. What will it signify if one, two, or three more are added? My wife and child shall escape from this gulf, carrying treasures with them; she will live and may yet be happy, since her child, in whom all her love is centred, will be with her. I shall have performed a good action, and my heart will be lighter." And the procureur breathed more freely than he had done for some time.

    The carriage stopped at the door of the house. Villefort leaped out of the carriage, and saw that his servants were surprised at his early return; he could read no other expression on their features. Neither of them spoke to him; they merely stood aside to let him pass by, as usual, nothing more. As he passed by M. Noirtier's room, he perceived two figures through the half-open door; but he experienced no curiosity to know who was visiting his father: anxiety carried him on further.

    "Come," he said, as he ascended the stairs leading to his wife's room, "nothing is changed here." He then closed the door of the landing. "No one must disturb us," he said; "I must speak freely to her, accuse myself, and say"--he approached the door, touched the crystal handle, which yielded to his hand. "Not locked," he cried; "that is well." And he entered the little room in which Edward slept; for though the child went to school during the day, his mother could not allow him to be separated from her at night. With a single glance Villefort's eye ran through the room. "Not here," he said; "doubtless she is in her bedroom." He rushed towards the door, found it bolted, and stopped, shuddering. "Hélo?se!" he cried. He fancied he heard the sound of a piece of furniture being removed. "Hélo?se!" he repeated.

    "Who is there?" answered the voice of her he sought. He thought that voice more feeble than usual.

    "Open the door!" cried Villefort. "Open; it is I." But notwithstanding this request, notwithstanding the tone of anguish in which it was uttered, the door remained closed. Villefort burst it open with a violent blow. At the entrance of the room which led to her boudoir, Madame de Villefort was standing erect, pale, her features contracted, and her eyes glaring horribly. "Hélo?se, Hélo?se!" he said, "what is the matter? Speak!" The young woman extended her stiff white hands towards him. "It is done, monsieur," she said with a rattling noise which seemed to tear her throat. "What more do you want?" and she fell full length on the floor. Villefort ran to her and seized her hand, which convulsively clasped a crystal bottle with a golden stopper. Madame de Villefort was dead. Villefort, maddened with horror, stepped back to the threshhold of the door, fixing his eyes on the corpse: "My son!" he exclaimed suddenly, "where is my son?--Edward, Edward!" and he rushed out of the room, still crying, "Edward, Edward!" The name was pronounced in such a tone of anguish that the servants ran up.

    "Where is my son?" asked Villefort; "let him be removed from the house, that he may not see"--

    "Master Edward is not down-stairs, sir," replied the valet.

    "Then he must be playing in the garden; go and see."

    "No, sir; Madame de Villefort sent for him half an hour ago; he went into her room, and has not been down-stairs since." A cold perspiration burst out on Villefort's brow; his legs trembled, and his thoughts flew about madly in his brain like the wheels of a disordered watch. "In Madame de Villefort's room?" he murmured and slowly returned, with one hand wiping his forehead, and with the other supporting himself against the wall. To enter the room he must again see the body of his unfortunate wife. To call Edward he must reawaken the echo of that room which now appeared like a sepulchre; to speak seemed like violating the silence of the tomb. His tongue was paralyzed in his mouth.

    "Edward!" he stammered--"Edward!" The child did not answer. Where, then, could he be, if he had entered his mother's room and not since returned? He stepped forward. The corpse of Madame de Villefort was stretched across the doorway leading to the room in which Edward must be; those glaring eyes seemed to watch over the threshold, and the lips bore the stamp of a terrible and mysterious irony. Through the open door was visible a portion of the boudoir, containing an upright piano and a blue satin couch. Villefort stepped forward two or three paces, and beheld his child lying--no doubt asleep--on the sofa. The unhappy man uttered an exclamation of joy; a ray of light seemed to penetrate the abyss of despair and darkness. He had only to step over the corpse, enter the boudoir, take the child in his arms, and flee far, far away.

    Villefort was no longer the civilized man; he was a tiger hurt unto death, gnashing his teeth in his wound. He no longer feared realities, but phantoms. He leaped over the corpse as if it had been a burning brazier. He took the child in his arms, embraced him, shook him, called him, but the child made no response. He pressed his burning lips to the cheeks, but they were icy cold and pale; he felt the stiffened limbs; he pressed his hand upon the heart, but it no longer beat,--the child was dead. A folded paper fell from Edward's breast. Villefort, thunderstruck, fell upon his knees; the child dropped from his arms, and rolled on the floor by the side of its mother. He picked up the paper, and, recognizing his wife's writing, ran his eyes rapidly over its contents; it ran as follows:--

    "You know that I was a good mother, since it was for my son's sake I became criminal. A good mother cannot depart without her son."

    Villefort could not believe his eyes,--he could not believe his reason; he dragged himself towards the child's body, and examined it as a lioness contemplates its dead cub. Then a piercing cry escaped from his breast, and he cried, "Still the hand of God." The presence of the two victims alarmed him; he could not bear solitude shared only by two corpses. Until then he had been sustained by rage, by his strength of mind, by despair, by the supreme agony which led the Titans to scale the heavens, and Ajax to defy the gods. He now arose, his head bowed beneath the weight of grief, and, shaking his damp, dishevelled hair, he who had never felt compassion for any one determined to seek his father, that he might have some one to whom he could relate his misfortunes,--some one by whose side he might weep. He descended the little staircase with which we are acquainted, and entered Noirtier's room. The old man appeared to be listening attentively and as affectionately as his infirmities would allow to the Abbé Busoni, who looked cold and calm, as usual. Villefort, perceiving the abbé, passed his hand across his brow. He recollected the call he had made upon him after the dinner at Auteuil, and then the visit the abbé had himself paid to his house on the day of Valentine's death. "You here, sir!" he exclaimed; "do you, then, never appear but to act as an escort to death?"

    Busoni turned around, and, perceiving the excitement depicted on the magistrate's face, the savage lustre of his eyes, he understood that the revelation had been made at the assizes; but beyond this he was ignorant. "I came to pray over the body of your daughter."

    "And now why are you here?"

    "I come to tell you that you have sufficiently repaid your debt, and that from this moment I will pray to God to forgive you, as I do."

    "Good heavens!" exclaimed Villefort, stepping back fearfully, "surely that is not the voice of the Abbé Busoni!"

    "No!" The abbé threw off his wig, shook his head, and his hair, no longer confined, fell in black masses around his manly face.

    "It is the face of the Count of Monte Cristo!" exclaimed the procureur, with a haggard expression.

    "You are not exactly right, M. Procureur; you must go farther back."

    "That voice, that voice!--where did I first hear it?"

    "You heard it for the first time at Marseilles, twenty-three years ago, the day of your marriage with Mademoiselle de Saint-Méran. Refer to your papers."

    "You are not Busoni?--you are not Monte Cristo? Oh, heavens--you are, then, some secret, implacable, and mortal enemy! I must have wronged you in some way at Marseilles. Oh, woe to me!"

    "Yes; you are now on the right path," said the count, crossing his arms over his broad chest; "search--search!"

    "But what have I done to you?" exclaimed Villefort, whose mind was balancing between reason and insanity, in that cloud which is neither a dream nor reality; "what have I done to you? Tell me, then! Speak!"

    "You condemned me to a horrible, tedious death; you killed my father; you deprived me of liberty, of love, and happiness."

    "Who are you, then? Who are you?"

    "I am the spectre of a wretch you buried in the dungeons of the Chateau d'If. God gave that spectre the form of the Count of Monte Cristo when he at length issued from his tomb, enriched him with gold and diamonds, and led him to you!"

    "Ah, I recognize you--I recognize you!" exclaimed the king's attorney; "you are"--

    "I am Edmond Dantès!"

    "You are Edmond Dantès," cried Villefort, seizing the count by the wrist; "then come here!" And up the stairs he dragged Monte Cristo; who, ignorant of what had happened, followed him in astonishment, foreseeing some new catastrophe. "There, Edmond Dantès!" he said, pointing to the bodies of his wife and child, "see, are you well avenged?" Monte Cristo became pale at this horrible sight; he felt that he had passed beyond the bounds of vengeance, and that he could no longer say, "God is for and with me." With an expression of indescribable anguish he threw himself upon the body of the child, reopened its eyes, felt its pulse, and then rushed with him into Valentine's room, of which he double-locked the door. "My child," cried Villefort, "he carries away the body of my child! Oh, curses, woe, death to you!" and he tried to follow Monte Cristo; but as though in a dream he was transfixed to the spot,--his eyes glared as though they were starting through the sockets; he griped the flesh on his chest until his nails were stained with blood; the veins of his temples swelled and boiled as though they would burst their narrow boundary, and deluge his brain with living fire. This lasted several minutes, until the frightful overturn of reason was accomplished; then uttering a loud cry followed by a burst of laughter, he rushed down the stairs.

    A quarter of an hour afterwards the door of Valentine's room opened, and Monte Cristo reappeared. Pale, with a dull eye and heavy heart, all the noble features of that face, usually so calm and serene, were overcast by grief. In his arms he held the child, whom no skill had been able to recall to life. Bending on one knee, he placed it reverently by the side of its mother, with its head upon her breast. Then, rising, he went out, and meeting a servant on the stairs, he asked, "Where is M. de Villefort?"

    The servant, instead of answering, pointed to the garden. Monte Cristo ran down the steps, and advancing towards the spot designated beheld Villefort, encircled by his servants, with a spade in his hand, and digging the earth with fury. "It is not here!" he cried. "It is not here!" And then he moved farther on, and began again to dig.

    Monte Cristo approached him, and said in a low voice, with an expression almost humble, "Sir, you have indeed lost a son; but"--

    Villefort interrupted him; he had neither listened nor heard. "Oh, I will find it," he cried; "you may pretend he is not here, but I will find him, though I dig forever!" Monte Cristo drew back in horror. "Oh," he said, "he is mad!" And as though he feared that the walls of the accursed house would crumble around him, he rushed into the street, for the first time doubting whether he had the right to do as he had done. "Oh, enough of this,--enough of this," he cried; "let me save the last." On entering his house, he met Morrel, who wandered about like a ghost awaiting the heavenly mandate for return to the tomb. "Prepare yourself, Maximilian," he said with a smile; "we leave Paris to-morrow."

    "Have you nothing more to do there?" asked Morrel.

    "No," replied Monte Cristo; "God grant I may not have done too much already."

    The next day they indeed left, accompanied only by Baptistin. Haidée had taken away Ali, and Bertuccio remained with Noirtier.

    维尔福先生看见稠密的人群在他的前面闪开着一条路。

    极度的惨痛会使别人产生一种敬畏,即使在历史中最不幸的时期,群众第一个反应总是对一场大难中的受苦者表示同情。

    有许多人会在一场动乱中被杀死,但罪犯在接受审判时,却极少受到侮辱。所以维尔福安全地从法院里的旁听者和军警面前走过。他虽然已认罪,有他的悲哀作保护。在这种情况下,人们不是用理智来判断,而是凭本能行事;在这样的情况下,最伟大的人就是那种最富有感情和最自然的人。大家把他们的表情当作一种完美的语言,而且有理由以此为满足,尤其是当那种语言符合实际情况的时候。维尔福离开法院时的那种恍惚迷离的状态是难于形容的。一种极度的亢奋,每一条神经都紧张,每一条血管都鼓起来,他身体的每一部分似乎都受着痛苦的宰割,这使他的痛苦增加了一千倍。他凭着习惯走出法庭,他抛开他法官的长袍,——并不是因为理应如此,而是因为他的肩膀不胜重压,象是披着一件饱含痛苦的尼苏斯的衬衫一样[尼苏斯是希腊神话中半人半马的怪物,因诱拐大力士赫克里斯之妻被赫克里斯以毒箭射死。赫之妻遵尼苏斯的遗言,把丈夫的衬衣用这怪物的血浸过,赫克里斯穿上后因此中毒,苦恼不堪,卒致自杀。——译注]。他踉踉跄跄地走到道宾路,看见他的马车,停在那里,亲自打开车门,摇醒那瞌睡的车夫,然后摔倒在车座上,停在那里,他向圣·奥诺路指了一指,马车便开始行驶了。他这场灾祸好象全部重量似乎都压在他的头上。那种重量把他压垮了。他并没有看到后果,也没有考虑,他只能直觉地感到它们的重压。他不能象一个惯于杀人的冷酷的凶手那样理智地分析他的处境。他灵魂的深处想到了上帝,——“上帝呀!”他呆呆地说,其实他并不清楚自己在说些什么,“上帝呀!上帝呀!”在这将临的灾祸后面,他看见上帝。马车急速地行驶着。在车垫上不停地晃动着的维尔福觉察背后有一样东西顶住他。他伸手去拿开那样东西,那原来是维尔福夫人在车子里的一把扇子。这把扇子象黑暗中的闪电那样唤起他的回忆,——他想起了他的妻子。

    “噢!”他喊道,象是一块烧红的铁在烙他的心一样。在过去这一小时内,他只想到他自己的罪恶。现在,另一个可怕的东西突然呈现在头脑里。他的妻子!他曾以一个铁面无私的法官的身份对待她,他曾宣判她死刑,而她,受着悔恨恐怖的煎熬,受着他义正词严的雄辩所激起的羞耻心的煎熬。

    她,一个无力抵抗法律的可怜的弱女子,——她这时也许正在那儿准备死!自从她被宣判有罪以来,已过去一个钟头了。

    在这个时候,她无疑地正在回忆她所犯的种种罪行,她也许正在要求饶恕她的罪行,或许她在写信给他丈夫,求她那道德高尚的丈夫饶恕她,维尔福又惨痛和绝望地呻吟了一声。

    “啊!”他叹道,“那个女人只是因为跟我结合才会变成罪犯!我身上带着犯罪的细菌,她只是受了传染,象传染到伤寒、霍乱和瘟疫一样!可是,我却惩罚她!我竟敢对她说:‘忏悔吧,死吧!’噢,不!不!她可以活下去。她可以跟我。我们可以逃走,离开法国,逃到世界的尽头。我对她提到断头台!万能的上帝!我怎么竟敢对她说那句话!噢,断头台也在等着我呢!是的,我们将远走高飞,我将向她承认一切,我将天天告诉她,我也犯罪!噢,真是老虎和赤练蛇的结合!噢,真配做我的妻子!她一定不能死,我的耻辱也许会减轻她的内疚。”于是维尔福猛力打开车厢前面的窗口。“快点!快点!”

    他喊道,他喊叫时的口吻使那车夫感到象触了电一样。马被赶得惊恐万分,飞一般地跑回家去。

    “是的,是的,”在途中,维尔福反复念叨,“是的,那个女人不能死,应该让她忏悔,抚养我的儿子,我那可怜的孩子,在我不幸的家里,除了那生命力特别顽强的老人以外,就只剩下他一个人了。她爱这孩子,她是为他才变成一个罪人的。一个母亲只要还爱她的孩子,她的心就不会坏到无可挽回的地步。她会忏悔的。谁都不会知道她犯过罪,那些罪恶是在我的家里发生的,虽然现在大家已经怀疑,但过些时候就会忘记,如果还有仇人记得,唉,上帝来惩罚我吧!我再多加两三重罪也没什么关系?我的妻子可以带着孩子和珠宝逃走。她可以活下去,也许还可以活得很幸福,因为她把爱都倾注在孩子身上,我的心就可以好受一些了。”于是检察官觉得他的呼吸也比较畅通了。

    马车在宅邸院子里停住。维尔福从车子里出来,他看出仆人们都很惊奇他回来得这样早。除此之外他在他们的脸上再看不出别的表情。没有人跟他说话,象往常一样他们站在一边让他过去。当他经过诺瓦蒂埃先生房间时,他从那半开着的门里看见了两个人影,但他不想知道是谁在拜访他的父亲,他匆匆地继续向前走。

    “啊,没事”,当他走上通向妻子房间去的楼梯时,他说,“没事一切都是老样子。”他随手关拢楼梯口的门。“不能让人来打扰我们,”他想,“我必须毫不顾忌地告诉她,在她面前认罪,把一切都告诉她”。他走到门口,握住那水晶门柄,门却自行打开了。“门没关!”他自言自语地说,“很好。”他走进爱德华睡觉的那个小房间,孩子白天到学校去上学,晚上和母亲住在一起。他忙向房间里看了看。“不在这儿,”他说,“她在自己的房间里。”他冲到门口,门关着。他站在那儿浑身打哆嗦。“爱萝绮丝!”他喊道。他好象听到家具移动的声音。“爱萝绮丝!”他再喊。

    “是谁?”他要找的女人问道。他觉得那个声音比往常微弱得多。

    “开门!”维尔福喊道,“开门,是我。”

    不管他的怎样请求,不管他的口气让人听上去多么痛苦,门却依旧关着。维尔福一脚把门踹开。在门口里面,维尔福夫人直挺挺地站着,她的脸色苍白,五官收缩。恐怖地望着他。“爱萝绮丝!爱萝绮丝!”他说,“你怎么啦?说呀!”

    那年轻女子向他伸出一只僵硬而苍白的手。我按你的要求做了,阁下!”她声音嘶哑,喉咙好象随时都可能被撕裂。

    “你还要怎样呢?”说着她摔倒在地板上。

    维尔福奔过去抓住她的手,痉挛的那只手里握着一只金盖子的水晶瓶。维尔福夫人自杀了。维尔福吓疯了,他退回到门口,两眼盯住那尸体。“我的儿子呢!”他突然喊道,“我的儿子在哪儿?爱德华!爱德华!”他冲出房间,疯狂地喊着,“爱德华!爱德华!”他的声音不胜悲恸,仆人们听到喊声都跑了上来。

    “我的儿子在哪儿?”维尔福问道,“带他离开这座房子,不要让他看见——”

    “爱德华少爷不在楼下,先生。”仆人答道。

    “那么他可能在花园里玩,去看看。”

    “不,先生,夫人在半小时前派人来找他,他到夫人的房间里去了,以后就没有下楼来过。”

    维尔福的额头上直冒冷汗,他的双腿发抖,各种不祥的念头在他的脑子里乱转。“在维尔福夫人的房间里?”他喃喃地说,妻子的房间,在里面他不能来看不幸的妻子的尸体。要喊爱德华,他一定会在那变成坟墓的房间里造成回音。似乎不应该说话打破坟墓的宁静。维尔福觉得自己的舌头已经麻木了。“爱德华!”他口吃地说,“爱德华!”没有回音。如果他到母亲的房间里没有再出来,他又会可能在哪儿呢?他踮着脚走过去。维尔福夫人的尸体横躺在门口,爱德华一定在房间里面。那个尸体似乎在看守房门,眼睛瞪着,脸上分明带着一种可怕的、神秘的、讥讽的微笑。从那打开着的门向里过去,可以看见一架直立钢琴和一张蓝缎的睡榻。维尔福向前走了两三步,看见他的孩子躺在沙发上,睡着了。他发出一声欢喜的喊叫,好象透入那绝望黑暗的深渊。他只要跨过那尸体,走进房间,抱起他的孩子,带他远走高飞就行了。

    维尔福已不再是那个精明近于深谋远虑的上层人物了,现在他是一只受伤将死的老虎,他的牙齿已被最后的痛苦磨碎了。他不怕现实,他只怕鬼。他跨过尸体,好象那是能把他吞噬的一只火炉。他把那孩子抱在自己的怀里,搂着他,摇他,喊他,但那孩子并不回答。他嘴唇去亲那孩子的脸颊,孩子是冰冷惨白的。他感到他的四肢僵硬,他把手放在他的胸膛上,心脏已不再跳动了,孩子死了。一张叠着的纸从爱德华的胸口上落下来。维尔福如同五雷轰顶,双腿一软跪下来,孩子从他麻木的手上滑下来,滚到他母亲的身边。维尔福拾起那张纸,那是妻子的笔迹,他迫不急待地看了起来。

    “你知道我是一个好母亲,为了我儿子不惜让自己变成一个罪人。一个好母亲是不能和她的儿子分离的。”

    维尔福无法相信他的眼睛,无法相信他的理智。他向孩子的尸体爬过去,象一只母狮看着它死掉的小狮子一样。悲痛欲绝地喊道,“上帝啊!”他说,“上帝永在啊!”那两具死尸吓坏了他,他不能忍受两具尸体来填充寂静。直到那时,他被一中绝望和悲痛支持着。悲痛力大无比,而绝望使他产生了一种异乎寻常的勇气。现在,他站起来,但他的头低着,悲哀压得他抬不起头来。他甩了甩那被冷汗润湿的头发,决定去找他的父亲,他从没对任何人表示过怜悯,但现在他要找一个人来听他诉苦,他要找一个来听他哭泣。他走下楼梯,走进诺瓦蒂埃的房间。那老人正用他所能够表现出的最亲热的表情在倾听布沙尼神甫说话,布沙尼神甫仍象往常一样冷淡平静。维尔福一看见那长老,便把手按在前额上。他记得他曾在阿都尔那次晚宴后去拜访过他,也记得长老曾在瓦朗蒂娜去世的那天到这座房子里来过。“你在这儿,阁下!”他叹道,“你怎么总是伴随死神一起来呢?”

    布沙尼转过身来,看着检察官变了形的脸和他眼睛里那种野蛮的凶光,他知道开庭的那出戏已经收场了,但他当然不知道发生了别的事情。“我以前曾来为你的女儿祈祷过。”他答道。

    “但你今天来做什么?”

    “我来告诉你:你的债已经偿还得够了,从此刻起,我将祈祷上帝象我一样的宽恕你。”

    “上帝呀!”维尔福神情慌张的喊道,“你不是布沙尼神甫!”

    “是的,我不是,”长老拉掉他的头发,摇一遥头,他的黑发披散到他那英俊的面孔两旁。

    “你是基督山伯爵!”检察官带着惊呆的神情喊道。

    “你说得并不全对,检察官阁下,再仔细想一想。”

    “你是在马赛第一次听到我的声音的,在二十三年以前,你与圣·梅朗小姐举行婚礼的那一天。好好想一想吧。”

    “你不是布沙尼?你不是基督山?你就是那个躲在幕后与我不共戴天的死对头!我在马赛的时候一定得罪过你。哦,该我倒霉!”

    “是的,你说得对,”伯爵把双手交叉在宽阔的胸前,说,“想想吧,仔细想想吧!”

    “但我怎样得罪了你?”维尔福喊道,他的脑子正在那既非幻梦也非现实的境地徘徊在理智和疯狂之间,——“我怎样得罪了你?告诉我吧!说呀!”

    “你是谁,那么你是谁?”

    “我是被你埋在伊夫堡黑牢里的一个可怜的人的阴魂。那个阴魂终于已从他的坟墓里爬了出来,上帝赐他一个基督山的面具,给他许多金珠宝贝,使你直到今天才能认出他。”

    “啊!我认出你了!我认出你了!”检察官喊道,“你是——”

    “我是爱德蒙·唐太斯!”

    “你是爱德蒙·唐太斯!”维尔福抓住伯爵的手腕喊道,“那么到这儿来。”于是他拉着基督山往楼上走。伯爵不知道发生了什么事情,只是他的心里也料到发生了某种新的灾难。

    “看吧,爱德蒙·唐太斯!”他指着他妻子和孩子的尸体说,“看!你的仇报了吗?”

    基督山看到这令人毛骨悚然的情景,他的脸色变得苍白;他把报复的权利用得过了头,他已没有权利说“上帝助我,上帝与我同在。那句话了。他带着一种无法形容的悲哀的表情扑到那孩子的尸体上,拨开他的眼睛,摸一摸他的脉搏,然后抱着他冲进瓦朗蒂娜的房间,把门关上了。

    “我的孩子!”维尔福喊道,“他抢走了我的孩子!噢,你这坏蛋,你不得好死!”他想去追基督山,但象是在做梦一样,他的脚一步也动不得。他拚命睁大眼睛,眼珠象是要从眼眶里突出来似的。指甲扎进了胸膛上,被血染红了;他太阳穴上的血管胀得象要爆裂开来似的,他头脑发热。几分钟,他已经没有了理智,接着,他大叫一声,爆发出一阵大笑,冲下楼梯去了。

    一刻钟以后,瓦朗蒂娜的房间门开了,基督山走出来。他的眼光迟钝,脸上毫无血色,他那表情一向宁静高贵的脸由于悲哀而神色大变,他的臂弯里抱着那个已经无法起死回生的孩子。他单腿跪下,虔敬地把他放在他母亲的旁边,然后他走出房间在楼梯上遇到一个仆人,“维尔福先生在哪儿?”他问仆人。

    那个仆人没吭声,指了指花园。基督山走下楼梯,向仆人所指的那个方向走过去,看见维尔福被他的仆人围在中间,他的手里拿着一把铲子,正在疯狂地挖着泥土。“这儿没有!”

    他喊道。于是他再向前面走几步,重新再挖。

    基督山走到他的身边,低声说:“阁下,你的确失去了一个儿子,但是——”

    维尔福打断他的话,他听不懂,也根本听不到。“噢,我会找到他的!”他喊道,“你们都哄我,说他不在这儿,我会找到他的,一定得找下去!”

    基督山恐慌地往后退去。“噢!”他说,“他疯啦!”象是怕那座受天诅咒的房子的墙壁会突然倒塌似的,他跑到街上,第一次他开始怀疑自己究竟有没有权利做他所做的那些事情。“噢,够啦,——够啦,”他喊道,“快去把最后的一个救出来吧。”

    一回到家,他就遇到莫雷尔正象一个幽灵似的在他的客厅里来回徘徊。“准备一下吧,马西米兰。”伯爵带着微笑说,“我们明天离开巴黎。”

    “你在这儿没有别的事要干?”莫雷尔问。

    “没有了,”基督山答道,“上帝宽恕我,也许我已经做得太过分了!”  

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