野性的呼唤
The Call of the Wild


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    1 To the north
    1 To the north
     
    Buck did not read the newspapers. He did not know that trouble was coming for every big dog in California. Men had found gold in the Yukon, and these men wanted big, strong dogs to work in the cold and snow of the north.
    Buck lived in Mr Miller's big house in the sunny Santa Clara valley There were large gardens and fields of fruit trees around the house, and a river nearby. In a big place like this,of course, there were many dogs There were house dogs and farm dogs, but they were not important.Buck was chief dog;he was born here, and this was his place .He was four years old and weighed sixty kilos .He went swimming with Mr Miller's sons,and walking with his daughters .He carried the grandchildren on his back, and he sat at Mr Miller's feet in front of the fire in winter.
    But this was 1897, and Buck did not know that men and dogs were hurrying to north-west Canada to look for gold.And he did not know that Manuel, one of Mr Miller's garden-ers, needed money for his large family. One day,when Mr Miller was out, Manuel and Buck left the garden together.It was just an evening walk, Buck thought.No one saw them go, and only one man saw them arrive at the railway station.This man talked to Manuel, and gave him some money .Then he tied a piece of rope around Buck's neck.
    Buck growled, and was surprised when the rope was pulled hard around his neck.He jumped at the man.The man caught him and suddenly Buck was on his back with his tongue out of his mouth. For a few moments he was unable to move, and it was easy for the two men to put him into the train.
    When Buck woke up, the train was still moving. The man was sitting and watching him, but Buck was too quick for him and he bit the man's hand hard.Then the rope was pulled again and Buck had to let go.
    That evening, the man took Buck to the back room of a bar in San Francisco. The barman looked at the man's hand and trousers covered in blood.
    ‘How much are they paying you for this?’he asked.
    ‘I only get fifty dollars.’
    ‘And the man who stole him—how much did he get?’ asked the barman.
    ‘A hundred. He wouldn't take less.’
    ‘That makes a hundred and fifty. It's a good price for a dog like him .Here, help me to get him into this.’
    They took off Buck's rope and pushed him into a wooden box. He spent the night in the box in the back room of the bar. His neck still ached with pain from the rope, and he could not understand what it all meant . What did they want with him, these strange men? And where was Mr Miller?
    The next day Buck was carried in the box to the railway station and put on a train to the north.
    For two days and nights the train travelled north, and for two days and nights Buck neither ate nor drank. Men on the train laughed at him and pushed sticks at him through the holes in the box. For two days and nights Buck got angrier and hungrier and thirsti-er. His eyes grew red and he bit anything that moved.
    In Seattle four men took Buck to a small, high-walled back garden, where a fat man in an old red coat was waiting. Buck was now very angry indeed and hejumped and bit at the sides of his box. The fat man smiled and went to get an axe and a club.
    ‘Are you going to take him out now?’ asked one of the men. ‘Of course,’ answered the fat man, and he began to break the box with his axe.
    Immediately the four other men climbed up onto the wall to watch from a safe place.
    As the fat man hit the box with his axe, Buck jumped at the sides, growling and biting, pulling with his teeth at the pieces of broken wood. After a few minutes there was a hole big enough for Buck to get out. ‘ Now, come here, red eyes,’ said the fat man, dropping his axe and taking the club in his right hand.
    Buck jumped at the man, sixty kilos of anger, his mouth wide open ready to bite the man's neck. Just before his teeth touched the skin, the man hit him with the club. Buck fell to the ground. It was the first time anyone had hit him with a club and he did not understand. He stood up, and jumped again. Again the club hit him and he crashed to the ground.Ten times he jumped at the man, and ten times the club hit him. Slowly he got to his feet, now only just able to stand.There was blood on his nose and mouth and ears. Then the fat man walked up and hit him again, very hard, on the nose.The pain was terrible. Again, Buck jumped at the man and again he was hit to the ground.A last time he jumped, and this time, when the man knocked him down, Buck did not move.
    ‘He knows how to teach a dog a lesson,’ said one of the men on the wall. Then the four men jumped down and went back to the station.
    ‘His name is Buck,’said the fat man to himself, reading the letter that had come with the box.‘Well, Buck, my by,’he said in a friendly voice,‘we've argued a little, and I think the best thing to do now is to stop. Be a good dog and we'll be friends. But if you're a bad dog, I'll have to use my club again.Understand?’
    As he spoke, he touched Buck’ s head, and although Buck was angry inside, he did not move. When the man brought him water and meat, Buck drank and then ate the meat, piece by piece, from the man's hand.
    Buck was beaten(he knew that) but he was not broken. He had learnt that a man with a club was stronger than him.Every day he saw more dogs arrive, and each dog was beaten by the fat man. Buck understood that a man with a club must be obeyed, although he did not have to be a friend.
    Men came to see the fat man and to look at the dogs. Some-times they paid money and left with one or more of the dogs.One day a short, dark man came and looked at Buck.
    ‘That's a good dog!’ he cried.‘How much do you want for him?’
    ‘Three hundred dollars. It's a good price, Perrault,’said the fat man.
    Perrault smiled and agreed that it was a good price. He knew dogs, and he knew that Buck was an excellent dog.
    ‘One in ten thousand,’ Perrault said to himself.
    Buck saw money put into the fat man’ s hand, and he was not surprised when he and another dog called Curly were taken away by Perrault. He took them to a ship, and later that day Buck and Curly stood and watched the coast get further and further away.They had seen the warm south for the last time.
    Perrault took Buck and Curly down to the bottom of the ship. There they met another man, Francois. Perrault was a French-Canadian, but Francois was half-Indian,tall and dark.Buck learnt quickly that Perrault and Francois were fair men,calm and honest. And they knew everything about dogs.
    There were two other dogs on the ship.One was a big dog called Spitz, as white as snow. He was friendly to Buck at first, always smiling. He was smiling when he tried to steal Buck’ s food at the first meal. Francois was quick and hit Spitz before Buck had time to move. Buck decided that this was fair, and began to like Francois a little.
    Dave, the other dog, was not friendly. He wanted to be alone all the time. He ate and slept and was interested in nothing.
    One day was very like another, but Buck noticed that the weather was getting colder. One morning, the ship's engines stopped, and there was a feeling of excitement in the ship.Francois leashed the dogs and took them outside. At the first step Buck's feet went into something soft and white. He jumped back in surprise. The soft, white thing was also falling through the air, and it fell onto him. He tried to smell it, and then caught some on his tongue. It bit like fire, and then dis appeared. He tried again and the same thing happened. People were watching him and laughing, and Buck felt ashamed,although he did not know why. It was his first snow.
    
    1 北部之旅
    
    巴克不曾读过报纸,他不知道人们需要高大强壮能够在北方的严寒和冰雪中工作的狗。人们在育空河发现了金矿,因此对加利福尼亚的每一条大狗来说都在劫难逃。
    在阳光明媚的桑塔·克拉拉山谷中,巴克的家就在米勒先生的大房子里。房子的周围是开阔的庄园和种满了果树的田野。一条小河从附近流过。这样一个辽阔的地方,是狗的乐园。诸如看门狗和牧羊犬,但他们是无足轻重的。真正的狗的首领是巴克;他生于斯长于斯,这儿简直就是他的天下。他4岁,体重60公斤。他同米勒先生的儿子一起游泳,也陪着他的女儿们一起去散步,有时他还会给米勒先生的孙儿们当马骑。冬天到了,他就偎着炉火蹲坐在米勒先生的脚边。
    然而到了1897年,巴克不知道这一年人们都带着狗蜂涌到加拿大西北部寻找金矿。他更不知道,米勒先生的一个园丁曼纽埃勒需要钱养活他的一大家子。有一天,米勒先生出去了,曼纽埃勒带着巴克离开了庄园。对于巴克来说,他还以为这只是傍晚的散步。没有人看到他们,只有一个人看见他们到了火车站。这个人同曼纽埃勒说了什么,然后塞给他一些钱,随后他将一条绳子系到巴克的脖子上。
    巴克咆哮起来,却吃惊地发现脖子上的绳索勒得紧紧的。他跳起来直扑向那个人。那人一把抓住了巴克,突然巴克就被仰面朝天摔在地上,舌头也被拽了出来。过了好一会儿他都动弹不得,于是两个人轻而易举地把他送上了火车。
    当巴克醒过来的时候,火车仍然在开。那人坐在那儿注视着他,然而巴克却更加迅疾,狠狠地咬住了那人的手。但脖子上的绳索又一次勒住了他,巴克不得不松了口。
    那天晚上,那个人把巴克带到旧金山一间酒吧的后屋里。酒吧老板看了看那人血迹斑斑的手和长裤。
    “他们付你多少钱?”他问。
    “我只挣50美元。”
    “那么那个偷狗的人——他又赚多少?”酒吧老板问道。
    “100美元。他不肯少一个子儿。”
    “也就是说150美元。对于这样一条狗可真是个好价钱。这边来,帮我把他弄到这里去。”
    他们解开巴克的绳索然后把他推进一只木箱。他在酒吧的后屋里在那个木箱中过了一夜。他的脖子仍然因为绳子勒过而疼痛不已,而且他对于所有的一切都如坠五里云中。这些陌生人他们想让他做什么呢?米勒先生又在哪里呢?
    第二天巴克被关在木箱里运到火车站,送上了北去的列车。
    火车向北开了两天两夜。这两天两夜,巴克忍饥挨饿,滴水未进。火车上的人们嘲笑他,把木棍从箱子上的洞中伸进去捅他。这两天两夜,巴克越来越怒火中烧,也越来越饥渴难忍。他红着眼睛,撕咬所有移动的东西。
    在西雅图,四个人把巴克抬进一座小小的但却有高高院墙的庄园里。一个身着旧红外套的肥胖男人等在那里。这当口儿巴克已经愤怒到了极点。他跳着,咬着木箱的边缘。那胖子微微一笑,拿来一把斧子和一根木棍。
    “你打算现在就把他放出来吗?”其中一人问道。“当然。”胖子说。他开始用斧子劈开木箱。
    立即,另外4个人爬到院墙上去,从安全的地方观望着。
    当那个胖子用斧头劈开木箱时巴克在边缘处跳着,咆哮着、撕咬着,用牙齿扯着碎木片。一会儿,就有一个洞,大到足可以让巴克钻出来。“现在,过来,你这急红了眼的。”那胖子说着扔下斧头,右手抄起木棍。
    巴克60公斤的愤怒之躯扑向那人,他大张着嘴准备一口咬住那人的脖子。就在他的牙齿刚刚碰到皮肤的时候,那人用棍子给了他一下,巴克摔倒在地。这还是头一次有人用棍子打他,他不知所措。他站起来,再次猛扑过去,木棍再次击中了他使他瘫倒在地。他扑了10次,木棍就打他10次。他慢慢地站起来,现在他仅能勉强站住。鲜血从他的口鼻和耳朵中涌出来。然后那人走上前又打了他,狠狠地击中了他的鼻子。剧痛袭来,巴克再一次扑向那人,但他又被打倒在地。最后一次他扑上去,而这一次,当那人把他打倒时,巴克再也没有动弹一下。
    “他可知道如何把狗制得服服帖帖的,”墙上的一个人说。然后这4个人跳下来,回车站去了。
    “他的名字叫巴克。”那胖子自言自语道,读着写在木箱上的字母。“咳,巴克,我的孩子,”他用友好的语气说道。“我们有个小小的争斗,现在我想我们最好停战。做一只好狗,我们会成为朋友的。但是你若使坏,我就不得不用棍子对付你了,明白吗?”
    他一边说,一边抚摸着巴克的头。虽然巴克愤恨难平,他却没有再反抗。当那人给他拿来水和肉时,巴克喝了水,又从那人的手上一片又一片地吃着肉。
    巴克挨了打(他现在知道怎么回事了),但他并未就此垮掉。他知道那个拿棍子的男人比他强大。每一天他都看见许多狗被送进来。每条狗都被那胖子痛打过。巴克明白他虽然不必成为那人的朋友,却必须听从他。
    人们来找胖子看狗。有时他们付了钱牵走一只或更多的狗。一天一个黑矮的人来了,他看见了巴克。
    “那可是条好狗!”他叫道。“你卖多少钱?”
    “300美元。这是个好价钱,佩诺特,”那胖子说。
    佩诺特笑了,他知道这价钱合适。他是狗的行家里手,他明白巴克是一条优秀的狗。
    “千里挑一”,佩诺特心里说。
    巴克看见那胖子收了钱,并且当他和另一条叫科莉的狗被佩诺特带走时他对此已经不足为奇了。他把他们带上船,那天不久巴克和科莉站在那儿看着越来越远的海岸,这是他们最后一次看见温暖的南方了。
    佩诺特把巴克和科莉带到船尾,在那里他们见到另一个人,弗朗索瓦斯。佩诺特是法国与加拿大的混血儿,弗朗索瓦斯则有一半印第安人的血统,又黑又高。巴克很快就了解佩诺特和费朗索瓦斯为人不错,沉稳可靠。他们对于狗的习性可谓了如指掌。
    船上还有两只别的狗。其中有一只大狗叫斯皮兹,浑身雪白。他起初对巴克倒挺友好,时时冲他微笑致意。但吃第一顿饭时,他就企图偷吃巴克的食物,而脸上居然微笑着。在巴克还来不及采取任何行动之前,弗朗索瓦斯就迅速给了斯皮兹一下。巴克觉得这事处理得挺公道,他对弗朗索瓦斯有了一点儿好感。
    另一只狗戴夫并不友善。他喜欢独自呆着。他除了吃就是睡,对一切都漠不关心。
    有一天一切如常,但巴克留意到天气渐渐地在变冷。一个早晨,船的马达终于停止了,船上有一种令人兴奋的气氛。弗朗索瓦斯用绳子拴出狗,把他们带出船舱。巴克一迈脚就陷进一种轻软洁白的东西里,他惊恐地跳了回去。那轻软洁白的东西也正从空中飘下来,落在他的身上。他尝试着嗅嗅它,然后又用舌头舔舔它,那东西嚼起来像火一样灼烧,但转瞬就无影无踪了。他又试了试,还是同样的结果。人们看着他笑了起来。虽然巴克不知道为什么,但他害了羞。这毕竟是他第一次接触到雪。
    

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