嘉莉妹妹 作者:西奥多·德莱塞
Sister Carrie 嘉莉妹妹(英文)


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    Chapter 1 THE MAGNET ATTRACTING--A WAIF AMID FORCES
    Chapter 1 THE MAGNET ATTRACTING--A WAIF AMID FORCES
    
    When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister's address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in money. It was in August, 1889. She was eighteen years of age, bright, timid, and full of the illusions of ignorance and youth. Whatever touch of regret at parting characterised her thoughts, it was certainly not for advantages now being given up. A gush of tears at her mother's farewell kiss, a touch in her throat when the cars clacked by the flour mill where her father worked by the day, a pathetic sigh as the familiar green environs of the village passed in review, and the threads which bound her so lightly to girlhood and home were irretrievably broken.
    To be sure there was always the next station, where one might descend and return. There was the great city, bound more closely by these very trains which came up daily. Columbia City was not so very far away, even once she was in Chicago. What, pray, is a few hours--a few hundred miles? She looked at the little slip bearing her sister's address and wondered. She gazed at the green landscape, now passing in swift review, until her swifter thoughts replaced its impression with vague conjectures of what Chicago might be.
    When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse. Of an intermediate balance, under the circumstances, there is no possibility. The city has its cunning wiles, no less than the infinitely smaller and more human tempter. There are large forces which allure with all the soulfulness of expression possible in the most cultured human. The gleam of a thousand lights is often as effective as the persuasive light in a wooing and fascinating eye. Half the undoing of the unsophisticated and natural mind is accomplished by forces wholly superhuman. A blare of sound, a roar of life, a vast array of human hives, appeal to the astonished senses in equivocal terms. Without a counsellor at hand to whisper cautious interpretations, what falsehoods may not these things breathe into the unguarded ear! Unrecognised for what they are, their beauty, like music, too often relaxes, then weakens, then perverts the simpler human perceptions.
    Caroline, or Sister Carrie, as she had been half affectionately termed by the family, was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis.
    Self-interest with her was high, but not strong. It was, nevertheless, her guiding characteristic. Warm with the fancies of youth, pretty with the insipid prettiness of the formative period, possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence, she was a fair example of the middle American class--two generations removed from the emigrant. Books were beyond her interest--knowledge a sealed book. In the intuitive graces she was still crude. She could scarcely toss her head gracefully. Her hands were almost ineffectual. The feet, though small, were set flatly.
    And yet she was interested in her charms, quick to understand the keener pleasures of life, ambitious to gain in material things. A half-equipped little knight she was, venturing to reconnoitre the mysterious city and dreaming wild dreams of some vague, far-off supremacy, which should make it prey and subject--the proper penitent, groveling at a woman's slipper.
    "That," said a voice in her ear, "is one of the prettiest little resorts in Wisconsin."
    "Is it?" she answered nervously.
    The train was just pulling out of Waukesha. For some time she had been conscious of a man behind. She felt him observing her mass of hair. He had been fidgetting, and with natural intuition she felt a certain interest growing in that quarter. Her maidenly reserve, and a certain sense of what was conventional under the circumstances, called her to forestall and deny this familiarity, but the daring and magnetism of the individual, born of past experiences and triumphs, prevailed. She answered.
    He leaned forward to put his elbows upon the back of her seat and proceeded to make himself volubly agreeable.
    "Yes, that is a great resort for Chicago people. The hotels are swell. You are not familiar with this part of the country, are you?" "Oh, yes, I am," answered Carrie. "That is, I live at Columbia City. I have never been through here, though." "And so this is your first visit to Chicago," he observed.
    All the time she was conscious of certain features out of the side of her eye. Flush, colourful cheeks, a light moustache, a grey fedora hat. She now turned and looked upon him in full, the instincts of self-protection and coquetry mingling confusedly in her brain.
    "I didn't say that," she said.
    "Oh," he answered, in a very pleasing way and with an assumed air of mistake, "I thought you did."
    Here was a type of the travelling canvasser for a manufacturing house--a class which at that time was first being dubbed by the slang of the day "drummers." He came within the meaning of a still newer term, which had sprung into general use among Americans in 1880, and which concisely expressed the thought of one whose dress or manners are calculated to elicit the admiration of susceptible young women--a "masher." His suit was of a striped and crossed pattern of brown wool, new at that time, but since become familiar as a business suit. The low crotch of the vest revealed a stiff shirt bosom of white and pink stripes. From his coat sleeves protruded a pair of linen cuffs of the same pattern, fastened with large, gold plate buttons, set with the common yellow agates known as "cat's-eyes." His fingers bore several rings--one, the ever-enduring heavy seal--and from his vest dangled a neat gold watch chain, from which was suspended the secret insignia of the Order of Elks. The whole suit was rather tight-fitting, and was finished off with heavy-soled tan shoes, highly polished, and the grey fedora hat. He was, for the order of intellect represented, attractive, and whatever he had to recommend him, you may be sure was not lost upon Carrie, in this, her first glance.
    Lest this order of individual should permanently pass, let me put down some of the most striking characteristics of his most successful manner and method. Good clothes, of course, were the first essential, the things without which he was nothing. A strong physical nature, actuated by a keen desire for the feminine, was the next. A mind free of any consideration of the problems or forces of the world and actuated not by greed, but an insatiable love of variable pleasure. His method was always simple. Its principal element was daring, backed, of course, by an intense desire and admiration for the sex. Let him meet with a young woman once and he would approach her with an air of kindly familiarity, not unmixed with pleading, which would result in most cases in a tolerant acceptance. If she showed any tendency to coquetry he would be apt to straighten her tie, or if she "took up" with him at all, to call her by her first name. If he visited a department store it was to lounge familiarly over the counter and ask some leading questions. In more exclusive circles, on the train or in waiting stations, he went slower.
    If some seemingly vulnerable object appeared he was all attention--to pass the compliments of the day, to lead the way to the parlor car, carrying her grip, or, failing that, to take a seat next her with the hope of being able to court her to her destination. Pillows, books, a footstool, the shade lowered; all these figured in the things which he could do.
    If, when she reached her destination he did not alight and attend her baggage for her, it was because, in his own estimation, he had signally failed.
    A woman should some day write the complete philosophy of clothes. No matter how young, it is one of the things she wholly comprehends. There is an indescribably faint line in the matter of man's apparel which somehow divides for her those who are worth glancing at and those who are not. Once an individual has passed this faint line on the way downward he will get no glance from her. There is another line at which the dress of a man will cause her to study her own. This line the individual at her elbow now marked for Carrie.
    She became conscious of an inequality. Her own plain blue dress, with its black cotton tape trimmings, now seemed to her shabby. She felt the worn state of her shoes.
    "Let's see," he went on, "I know quite a number of people in your town.
    Morgenroth the clothier and Gibson the dry goods man." "Oh, do you?" she interrupted, aroused by memories of longings their show windows had cost her.
    At last he had a clew to her interest, and followed it deftly. In a few minutes he had come about into her seat. He talked of sales of clothing, his travels, Chicago, and the amusements of that city.
    "If you are going there, you will enjoy it immensely. Have you relatives?" "I am going to visit my sister," she explained.
    "You want to see Lincoln Park," he said, "and Michigan Boulevard. They are putting up great buildings there. It's a second New York--great. So much to see--theatres, crowds, fine houses--oh, you'll like that." There was a little ache in her fancy of all he described. Her insignificance in the presence of so much magnificence faintly affected her. She realised that hers was not to be a round of pleasure, and yet there was something promising in all the material prospect he set forth. There was something satisfactory in the attention of this individual with his good clothes. She could not help smiling as he told her of some popular actress of whom she reminded him. She was not silly, and yet attention of this sort had its weight.
    "You will be in Chicago some little time, won't you?" he observed at one turn of the now easy conversation.
    "I don't know," said Carrie vaguely--a flash vision of the possibility of her not securing employment rising in her mind.
    "Several weeks, anyhow," he said, looking steadily into her eyes.
    There was much more passing now than the mere words indicated. He recognised the indescribable thing that made up for fascination and beauty in her. She realised that she was of interest to him from the one standpoint which a woman both delights in and fears.
    Her manner was simple, though for the very reason that she had not yet learned the many little affectations with which women conceal their true feelings. Some things she did appeared bold. A clever companion--had she ever had one--would have warned her never to look a man in the eyes so steadily.
    "Why do you ask?" she said.
    "Well, I'm going to be there several weeks. I'm going to study stock at our place and get new samples. I might show you 'round." "I don't know whether you can or not. I mean I don't know whether I can. I shall be living with my sister, and----""Well, if she minds, we'll fix that." He took out his pencil and a little pocket note-book as if it were all settled. "What is your address there?" She fumbled her purse which contained the address slip.
    He reached down in his hip pocket and took out a fat purse. It was filled with slips of paper, some mileage books, a roll of greenbacks. It impressed her deeply. Such a purse had never been carried by any one attentive to her. Indeed, an experienced traveller, a brisk man of the world, had never come within such close range before. The purse, the shiny tan shoes, the smart new suit, and the air with which he did things, built up for her a dim world of fortune, of which he was the centre. It disposed her pleasantly toward all he might do.
    He took out a neat business card, on which was engraved Bartlett, Caryoe & Company, and down in the left-hand corner, Chas. H. Drouet.
    "That's me," he said, putting the card in her hand and touching his name.
    "It's pronounced Drew-eh. Our family was French, on my father's side." She looked at it while he put up his purse. Then he got out a letter from a bunch in his coat pocket. "This is the house I travel for," he went on, pointing to a picture on it, "corner of State and Lake." There was pride in his voice. He felt that it was something to be connected with such a place, and he made her feel that way.
    "What is your address?" he began again, fixing his pencil to write.
    She looked at his hand.
    "Carrie Meeber," she said slowly. "Three hundred and fifty-four West Van Buren Street, care S. C. Hanson." He wrote it carefully down and got out the purse again. "You'll be at home if I come around Monday night?" he said.
    "I think so," she answered.
    How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes. Here were these two, bandying little phrases, drawing purses, looking at cards, and both unconscious of how inarticulate all their real feelings were. Neither was wise enough to be sure of the working of the mind of the other. He could not tell how his luring succeeded.
    She could not realise that she was drifting, until he secured her address. Now she felt that she had yielded something--he, that he had gained a victory. Already they felt that they were somehow associated. Already he took control in directing the conversation. His words were easy. Her manner was relaxed.
    They were nearing Chicago. Signs were everywhere numerous. Trains flashed by them.
    Across wide stretches of flat, open prairie they could see lines of telegraph poles stalking across the fields toward the great city. Far away were indications of suburban towns, some big smokestacks towering high in the air.
    Frequently there were two-story frame houses standing out in the open fields, without fence or trees, lone outposts of the approaching army of homes.
    To the child, the genius with imagination, or the wholly untravelled, the approach to a great city for the first time is a wonderful thing. Particularly if it be evening--that mystic period between the glare and gloom of the world when life is changing from one sphere or condition to another. Ah, the promise of the night. What does it not hold for the weary! What old illusion of hope is not here forever repeated! Says the soul of the toiler to itself, "I shall soon be free. I shall be in the ways and the hosts of the merry. The streets, the lamps, the lighted chamber set for dining, are for me. The theatre, the halls, the parties, the ways of rest and the paths of song-these are mine in the night." Though all humanity be still enclosed in the shops, the thrill runs abroad. It is in the air. The dullest feel something which they may not always express or describe. It is the lifting of the burden of toil.
    Sister Carrie gazed out of the window. Her companion, affected by her wonder, so contagious are all things, felt anew some interest in the city and pointed out its marvels.
    "This is Northwest Chicago," said Drouet. "This is the Chicago River," and he pointed to a little muddy creek, crowded with the huge masted wanderers from far-off waters nosing the black-posted banks. With a puff, a clang, and a clatter of rails it was gone. "Chicago is getting to be a great town," he went on. "It's a wonder. You'll find lots to see here." She did not hear this very well. Her heart was troubled by a kind of terror. The fact that she was alone, away from home, rushing into a great sea of life and endeavour, began to tell. She could not help but feel a little choked for breath--a little sick as her heart beat so fast. She half closed her eyes and tried to think it was nothing, that Columbia City was only a little way off.
    "Chicago! Chicago!" called the brakeman, slamming open the door. They were rushing into a more crowded yard, alive with the clatter and clang of life. She began to gather up her poor little grip and closed her hand firmly upon her purse. Drouet arose, kicked his legs to straighten his trousers, and seized his clean yellow grip.
    "I suppose your people will be here to meet you?" he said. "Let me carry your grip." "Oh, no," she said. "I'd rather you wouldn't. I'd rather you wouldn't be with me when I meet my sister." "All right," he said in all kindness. "I'll be near, though, in case she isn't here, and take you out there safely." "You're so kind," said Carrie, feeling the goodness of such attention in her strange situation.
    "Chicago!" called the brakeman, drawing the word out long. They were under a great shadowy train shed, where the lamps were already beginning to shine out, with passenger cars all about and the train moving at a snail's pace. The people in the car were all up and crowding about the door.
    "Well, here we are," said Drouet, leading the way to the door.
    "Good-bye, till I see you Monday." "Good-bye," she answered, taking his proffered hand.
    "Remember, I'll be looking till you find your sister." She smiled into his eyes.
    They filed out, and he affected to take no notice of her. A lean-faced, rather commonplace woman recognised Carrie on the platform and hurried forward.
    "Why, Sister Carrie!" she began, and there was embrace of welcome.
    Carrie realised the change of affectional atmosphere at once. Amid all the maze, uproar, and novelty she felt cold reality taking her by the hand. No world of light and merriment. No round of amusement. Her sister carried with her most of the grimness of shift and toil.
    "Why, how are all the folks at home?" she began; "how is father, and mother?" Carrie answered, but was looking away. Down the aisle, toward the gate leading into the waiting-room and the street, stood Drouet. He was looking back. When he saw that she saw him and was safe with her sister he turned to go, sending back the shadow of a smile. Only Carrie saw it. She felt something lost to her when he moved away. When he disappeared she felt his absence thoroughly. With her sister she was much alone, a lone figure in a tossing, thoughtless sea.
    
    第一章 磁性相吸:各种力的摆布
    
    当嘉洛林·米贝登上下午开往芝加哥的火车时,她的全部行装包括一个小箱子,一个廉价的仿鳄鱼皮挎包,一小纸盒午餐和一个黄皮弹簧钱包,里面装着她的车票,一张写有她姐姐在凡·布仑街地址的小纸条,还有四块现钱。那是1889年8月。她才18岁,聪明,胆怯,由于无知和年轻,充满着种种幻想。尽管她在离家时依依不舍,家乡可没有什么好处让她难以割舍。母亲和她吻别时,她不禁热泪盈眶;火车喀嚓喀嚓驶过她父亲上白班的面粉厂,她喉头又一阵哽咽;而当她熟悉的绿色村庄在车窗外向后退去时,她发出了一声叹息。不过,那些把她和故乡和少女时代联系在一起缕缕细丝却是永久地割断了。
    当然了,前面总有站头,只要她想回家,随时可以下车往回走。芝加哥就在前面,眼下她乘坐的火车每天往返,把芝加哥和她家乡紧密地联结在一起。她家乡哥伦比亚城离得不算远。她甚至还去过一趟芝加哥。真的,几小时的火车,几百里路,那又算得了什么呢?她看着上面有她姐姐地址的小纸片,心里问着自己。她把目光转向窗外,看着绿色的田野飞快地向后退去。随后她的思路变得活跃了一些,开始模模糊糊地想象芝加哥的生活会是什么样的。
    一个18岁的女孩离家出走,结局不外两种。也许她会遇到好人相助,变得更好;也许她会很快接受大都市的道德标准,而变坏了--二者必具其一。在这种情况下,要想不好不坏,保持中不溜的状态,是根本做不到的。大城市具有自身种种诱人的花招,并不亚于那些教人学坏的男男女女,当然人比社会微小得多,也更富于人情味。社会具有巨大的影响力,能像最老于世故的人才可能想到的甜言蜜语一样乱人情怀。都市的万点灯火比起情人脉脉含情的迷人眼神来,那魅力是不差分毫的呢。可以说,有一半涉世未深的纯洁心灵是被非人为的影响力带坏的。城市里喧闹的人声和热闹的生活,加上鳞次栉比的楼房建筑,在令人惊愕的同时,又令人怦然心动,教给人们模棱两可的生活意义。这种时候,如果没有人在她们身边轻声告诫和解说,又有什么谎言和谬误不会灌入这些不加提防的耳朵里去呢?头脑简单的年轻人看不清生活中的那些虚假外表,而为它们的美所倾倒,就像音乐一样,它们先令人陶醉松弛,继而令人意志薄弱,最后诱人走上岐路。
    嘉洛林在家时,家里人带着几分疼她,已具有初步的观察力和分析能力。她有利己心,不过不很强烈,这是她的主要特点。她充满着年轻人的热烈幻想。虽然漂亮,她还只是一个正在发育阶段的美人胎子。不过从她的身段已经可以看出将来发育成熟时的美妙体态了。她的眼睛里透着天生的聪明。她是一个典型的美国中产阶级少女--她们家已是移民的第三代了。她对书本不感兴趣,书本知识和她无缘。她还不太懂如何举手投足,显示本能的优雅举止。她扬起头的姿态还不够优美。她的手也几乎没有用。她的脚虽然长得小巧,却只会频频地放在地上。然而她对于自己的魅力已极感兴趣,对生活的更强烈的乐趣感知很快,并渴望获得种种物质的享受。她还只是一个装备不全的小骑士,正冒险出发去侦察神秘的大城市,梦想着某个遥远的将来她将征服这新世界,让那大城市俯首称臣,诚惶诚恐,跪倒在她的脚下。
    “瞧”,有人在她耳边说,“那就是威斯康辛州最美的度假胜地之一。”“是吗?“她惴惴不安地回答。
    火车才开出华克夏。不过她已有好一会儿感到背后有个男人。她感觉得到那人在打量她的浓密的头发。他一直在那里坐立不安,因此凭着女性的直觉,她感到背后那人对她越来越感兴趣。少女的矜持和在此种情况下传统的礼仪都告诉她不能答腔,不能允许男人这样随便接近她。不过那个男人是个情场老手,他的大胆和磁性般的魅力占了上风,所以她竟然答了腔。他往前倾着身子,把他的胳膊搭在她的椅背上,开始讨人喜欢地聊了起来。
    “真的,那是芝加哥人最喜欢的度假地。那里的旅馆可棒了。这地方你不熟悉吧?”“哎,不对,这一带我很熟的。”嘉莉回答。“你知道,我就住在哥伦比亚城。不过这里我倒从来没有来过。”“这么说,你是第一次到芝加哥去了。”他猜测说。
    他们这么交谈着时,她从眼角隐隐瞧见了一些那人的相貌:红润生动的脸,淡淡的一抹小胡子,一顶灰色的软呢帽。现在她转过身来,面对着他,脑子里自卫的意识和女性调情的本能乱哄哄地混杂在一起。
    “我没有这么说,”她回答。
    “噢,我以为你是这个意思呢,”他讨人喜欢地装着认错说。
    这人是为生产厂家推销产品的旅行推销员,当时刚刚流行把这类人称作“皮包客。”不过他还可以用一个1880年开始在美国流行的新词来形容:“小白脸。“这种人从穿着打扮到一举一动都旨在博取年轻心软的姑娘好感。这人穿着一套条纹格子的棕色毛料西装,这种西装当时很新潮,不过现在已经成了人们熟悉的商人服装。西装背心的低领里露出浆得笔挺的白底粉红条纹衬衫的前胸。外套的袖口露出同一布料的衬衫袖口,上面的扣子是一粒大大的镀金扣,嵌着称为“猫儿眼”的普通黄色玛瑙。他手指上戴着好几个戒指,其中有一枚是沉甸甸的图章戒指,这枚戒指是始终不离身的。从他的西装背心上垂下一条精致的金表链,表链那一头垂挂着兄弟会的秘密徽章。整套服装裁剪合度,再配上一双擦得发光的厚跟皮鞋和灰色软呢帽,他的装束就齐备了。就他所代表的那类人而言,他很有吸引力。嘉莉第一眼看他,已经把他所有的优点都看在眼里,这一点是可以肯定的。
    我要记下一些这类人成功的举止和方法中最显著的特点,以防他们永久消失了。当然,服饰漂亮是第一要素,要是没有了服饰这类东西,他就算不得什么人物了。第二要素是身强力壮,性欲旺盛。他天性无忧无虑,既不费心去考虑任何问题,也不去管世间的种种势力或影响,支配他的生活动力不是对财富的贪婪,而是对声色之乐的贪得无厌。他的方法一贯很简单,主要是胆大,当然是出于对异性的渴望和仰慕。年轻姑娘只要让他见上一面,他就会用一种温和熟识的态度去套热乎,语其中带有几分恳求,结果那些姑娘往往宽容接纳了他。如果那女子露出点卖弄风情的品性,他就会上前去帮她理理领带。
    如果她‘吃’他那一套献殷勤的手段,他马上开始用小名称呼她了。他上百货大楼时,总喜欢靠在柜台上和女店员像老熟人一样聊聊,问些套近乎的问题。如果是在人少的场合,譬如在火车上或者候车室,他追人的速度要放慢一些。如果他发现一个看来可以下手的对象,他就使出浑身的解数来--打招呼问好,带路去客厅车厢,帮助拎手提箱。如果拎不成箱子,那就在她旁边找个位子坐下来,满心希望在到达目的地以前可以向她献献殷勤:拿枕头啦,送书啦,摆脚凳啦,放遮帘啦。他能做的主要就是这一些。如果她到了目的地,他却没有下车帮她照看行李,那是因为照他估计他的追求显然失败了。
    女人有一天该写出一本完整的衣服经。不管多年轻,这种事她是完全懂的。男人服饰中有那么一种难以言传的微妙界线,她凭这条界线可以区别哪些男人值得看一眼,哪些男人不值得一顾。一个男人一旦属于这条界线之下,他别指望获得女人的青睐。男人衣服中还有一条界线,会令女人转而注意起自己的服装来。现在嘉莉从身旁这个男人身上就看到了这条界线,于是不禁感到相形见绌。她感到自己身上穿的那套镶黑边的朴素蓝衣裙太寒酸了,脚上的鞋子也太旧了。
    “你知道,”他在继续往下说,“你们城里我认识不少人呢。 ”
    有服装店老板摩根洛,还有绸缎庄老板吉勃生。”“喔,真的?”想到那些曾令她留连忘返的橱窗,她不禁感兴趣地插了一句。
    这一下终于让他发现了她的兴趣所在,于是他熟练地继续谈这个话题。几分钟后,他已经过来,坐在她的身边。他谈衣服的销售,谈他的旅行,谈芝加哥和芝加哥的各种娱乐。
    “你到了那里,会玩得很痛快的。你在那里有亲戚吗?”“我是去看我姐姐,“她解释说。
    “你一定要逛逛林肯公园,”他说。“还要去密歇根大道看看。他们正在那里兴建高楼大厦。这是又一个纽约,真了不起。”
    有那么多可以看的东西--戏院,人流,漂亮的房子--真的,你会喜欢这一切的。她想象着他所描绘的一切,心里不禁有些刺痛。都市是如此壮观伟大,而她却如此渺小,这不能不使她产生出感慨。她意识到自己的生活不会是由一连串的欢乐构成的。不过从他描绘的物质世界里,她还是看到了希望之光。有这么一个衣着体面的人向她献殷勤,总是令人惬意的。他说她长得像某个女明星,她听了不禁嫣然一笑。她并不蠢,但这一类的吹捧总有点作用的。
    “你会在芝加哥住一段日子吧。”在轻松随便地聊了一阵以后,他转了话题问道。
    “我不知道,”嘉莉没有把握地回答,脑子里突然闪过了万一找不到工作的念头。
    “不管怎样,总要住几周吧。”他这么说时,目光久久地凝视着她的眼睛。
    现在他们已经不是单纯地用语言交流感情了。他在她身上看到了那些构成美丽和魅力的难以描绘的气质。而她看出这男人对自己感兴趣,这种兴趣使一个女子又喜又怕。她很单纯,还没学会女人用以掩饰情感的那些小小的装腔作势。在有些事情上,她确实显得大胆了点。她需要有一个聪明的同伴提醒她,女人是不可以这么久久地注视男人的眼睛的。
    “你为什么要问这问题?”她问道。
    “你知道,我将在芝加哥逗留几星期。我要去我们商号看看货色,弄些新样品。也许我可以带你到处看看。”“我不知道你能不能这么做。我的意思是说我不知道我自己能不能。我得住在我姐姐家,而且”“嗯,如果她不许的话,我们可以想些办法对付的。”他掏出一支铅笔和一个小笔记本,好像一切都已说定了。“你的地址是哪里?”她摸索着装有地址的钱包。
    他伸手到后面的裤袋里掏出一个厚厚的皮夹,里面装着些单据,旅行里程记录本和一卷钞票。这给她留下了深刻的印象:以前向她献殷勤的男人中没有一个掏得出这么一个皮夹。
    真的,她还从来没有和一个跑过大码头,见过大世面,见多识广性格活跃的人打过交道。他的皮夹子,发光的皮鞋,漂亮的新西装,和他行事那种气派,这一切为她隐隐约约地描绘出一个以他为中心的花花世界。她不由得对他想做的一切抱着好感。
    他拿出一张精美的名片,上面印着“巴莱·卡留公司”,左下角印着“查利·赫·杜洛埃。”他把名片放在她手上,然后指着上面的名字说:“这是我的名字。这字要念成杜--埃。我们家从我父亲那面说是法国人。”他把皮夹收起来时,她的目光还盯着手上的名片。然后他从外套口袋掏出一札信,从中抽出一封来。“这是那家我为他们推销货物的商号,”他一边说一边指着信封上的图片。“在斯台特街和湖滨大道的转弯处。”他的声音里流露出自豪。他感到跟这样一个地方有联系是很了不起的,他让她也有了这种感觉。
    “你的地址呢?”他又问道,手里拿着笔准备记下来。
    她瞧着他的手。
    “嘉莉·米贝,”她一字一字地说道,“西凡布仑街三百五十四号,S·C·汉生转。”他仔细记下来,然后又掏出了皮夹。“如果我星期一晚上来看你,你会在家吗?”他问道。
    “我想会的。”她回答。
    话语只是我们内心情感的一个影子,这话真是不假。它们只是一些可以为人听见的小小链子,把大量听不见的情感和意图串联起来。眼前这两个人就是如此。他们只是短短地交谈了几句,掏了一下皮夹,看了一下名片。双方都没意识到他们的真实感情是多么难以表达,双方都不够聪明,瞧不透对方的心思。他吃不准他的调情成功了没有。而她一直没意识到自己在让人牵着鼻子走。一直到他从她口里掏出了她的地址,才明白过来自己已经输了一着,而他却赢了一局。他们已经感觉到他们之间有了某种联系。他现在在谈话中占了主导地位,因此轻松地随便聊着,她的拘束也消失了。
    他们快到芝加哥了。前面就是芝加哥的迹象到处可见。这些迹象在窗外一掠而过。火车驶过开阔平坦的大草原,他们看见一排排的电线杆穿过田野通向芝加哥。隔了老远就可以看到芝加哥城郊那些高耸入云的大烟囱。
    开阔的田野中间不时耸立起两层楼的木造房屋,孤零零的,既没篱笆也没树木遮蔽,好像是即将到来的房屋大军派出的前哨。
    对于孩子,对于想象力丰富的人,或者对于从未出过远门的人来说,第一次接近一个大城市真是奇妙的经历。特别是在傍晚,光明与夜色交替的神秘时刻,生活正从一种境界或状态向另一种境界过渡。啊,那即将来临的夜色,给予劳累一天的人们多少希望和允诺!一切旧的希望总是日复一日在这个时刻复苏。那些辛劳一天的人们在对自己说:“总算可以歇口气了。我可以好好地乐一乐了。街道和灯火,大放光明的饭堂和摆放弃整的晚餐,这一切都在等着我。还有戏院,舞厅,聚会,各种休息场所和娱乐手段,在夜里统统属于我了。”虽然身子还被关在车间和店铺,一种激动的气氛早已冲到外面,弥漫在空气中。即使那些最迟钝的人也会有所感觉,尽管他们不善表达或描述。这是一种重担终于卸肩时的感觉视着窗外,她的同伴感染到了她的惊奇。一切事物都具有传染力,所以他不禁对这城市重新发生了兴趣,向嘉莉指点着芝加哥的种种名胜和景观。
    “这是芝加哥西北区,”杜洛埃说道。“那是芝加哥河。”他指着一条浑浊的小河,河里充塞着来自远方的帆船。这些船桅杆耸立,船头碰擦着竖有黑色木杆的河岸。火车喷发出一股浓烟,切嚓切嚓,铁轨发出一声撞击声,那小河就被抛在后面了。
    “芝加哥会是个大都市,”他继续说着。“真是个奇迹。你会发现有许多东西值得一看。”她并没有专心听他说话。她的心里有一种担心在困扰着她。想到自己孤身一人,远离家乡,闯进这一片生活和奋斗的海洋,情绪不能不受影响。她不禁感到气透不过来。有一点不舒服--因为她的心跳得太快了。她半闭上眼睛,竭力告诉自己这算不得什么,老家哥伦比亚城离这里并不远。
    “芝加哥到了!”司闸喊道,呼一声打开了车门。火车正驶入一个拥挤的车场,站台上响彻着生活的嘈杂和热闹。她开始收拾自己可怜的小提箱,手里紧紧捏着钱包。杜洛埃站起身来,踢了踢腿,弄直裤子,然后抓起了他的干净的黄提箱。
    “你家里有人会来接你吧,”他说,“让我帮你拎箱子。”
    “别,”她回答,“我不想让你提。我和姐姐见面时不想让她看见你和我在一起。”“好吧,”他和和气气地说,“不过我会在附近的。万一她不来接你,我可以护送你安全回家的。”“你真好,”嘉莉说道。身处目前这种陌生的场合,她倍感这种关心的可贵。
    “芝加哥!”司闸拖长声音喊道。他们现在到了一个巨大的车棚底下,昏暗的车棚里已点起灯火。到处都是客车。火车像蜗牛一般缓缓移动。车厢里的人都站了起来,拥向门口。
    “嘿,我们到了。”杜洛埃说着领先向门口走去。“再见,星期一见。”“再见,“她答道,握住了他伸出的手。
    “记住,我会在旁边看着,一直到你找到你姐姐。”她对他的目光报以微笑。
    他们鱼贯而下,他假装不注意她。站台上一个脸颊瘦削,模样普通的妇女认出嘉莉,急忙迎上前来。
    “她喊道。”随后是例行的拥抱,表示欢迎。
    嘉莉立刻感觉到气氛的变化。眼前虽然仍是一片纷乱喧闹和新奇的世界,她感觉到冰冷的现实抓住了她的手。她的世界里并没有光明和欢乐,没有一个接着一个的娱乐和消遣。她姐姐身上还带着艰辛操劳的痕迹。
    “家里人还好吗?”她姐姐开始问道,“爸妈怎么样?”嘉莉一一作了回答,目光却在看别处。在过道那头,杜洛埃正站在通向候车室和大街的门边,回头朝嘉莉那边看。当他看到她看见了他,看到她已平安地和姐姐团聚,他朝她留下一个笑影,便转身离去。只有嘉莉看到了他的微笑。他走了,嘉莉感到怅然若失。等他完全消失不见了,她充分感到了他的离去给她带来的孤独。和她姐姐在一起,她感到自己就像无情的汹涌大海里的一叶孤舟,孤苦无依。
    

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