高级英语 | Blackmail 讹诈

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Arthur Hailey
阿瑟·黑利

The chief house officer, Ogilvie, who had declared he would appear at the Croydons suite an hour after his cryptic telephone call actually took twice that time. As a result the nerves of both the Duke and Duchess were excessively frayed when the muted buzzer of the outer door eventually sounded.
负责饭店保安工作的欧吉维探长打了那个神秘的电话,本来说好一个小时后光临克罗伊敦夫妇所住的套房的,可实际上却过了两个小时才到。结果,当外间门上的电铃终于发出沉闷的嗡嗡声时,公爵夫妇的神经都紧张到了极点。

The Duchess went to the door herself. Earlier she had dispatched her maid on an invented errand and, cruelly, instructed the moon-faced male secretary-who was terrified of dogs-to exercise the Bedlington terriersn. . Her own tension was not lessened by the knowledge that both might return at any moment.
公爵夫人亲自去开门。此前她早已借故把女仆支开,并且狠心地给那位脸儿圆圆的、见到狗就怕得要死的男秘书派了一个要命的差事,让他牵着贝德林顿狼犬出去散步。想到这两个人随时都会回来,她自己的紧张情绪怎么也松弛不下来。

A wave of cigar smoke accompanied Ogilvie in. When he had followed her to the living room, the Duchess looked pointedly at the half-burned cigar in the fat man's mouth. “My husband and I find strong smoke offensive. Would you kindly put that out."
随着欧吉维进屋的是一团雪茄烟雾。当他随着她走进起居室时,公爵夫人目光直射着这个大肥佬嘴里叼着的那烧了半截的雪茄。"我丈夫和我都讨厌浓烈的烟味,您行行好把它灭了吧!"

The house detective's piggy eyes surveyed her sardonically from his gross jowled face. His gaze moved on to sweep the spacious, well-appointed room, encompassingthe Duke who faced them uncertainly, his back to a window.
探长那双夹在面部隆起的肉堆中的猪眼睛轻蔑地将她上下打量了一番。接着,他便移动目光,对这个宽敞豪华、设备齐全的房间扫视了一周,看到了那位正背朝窗户、神色茫然地望着他们的公爵夫人。

"Pretty neat set-up you folks got.” Taking his time, Ogilvie removed the offending cigar, knocked off the ash and flipped the butt toward an ornamental fireplace on his right. He missed, and the butt fell upon the carpet where he ignored it.
"你们这套房间布置得倒挺讲究的呢。"欧吉维慢条斯理地从口中拿下雪茄,敲掉烟灰,然后将烟蒂扔向靠右边的一个装饰性壁炉,但他失了准头,烟蒂掉到地毯上,他也不去管它。

The Duchess's lips tightened. She said sharply, imagine you did not come here to discuss decor.The obese body shook in an appreciative chuckle.No, ma'am, can't say I did. I like nice things, though. He lowered the level of his incongruous falsetto voice. Like that car of yours. The one you keep here in the hotel. Jaguar, ain't it?
公爵夫人的嘴唇绷得紧紧的。她没好气地说道,我想你该不是为谈论房间布置到这儿来的吧。他乐得咯咯直笑,肥胖的身子也跟着抖动起来。不是的,夫人,怎么会呢!不过,我确实喜爱高雅的东西。他压低了他那极端刺耳的尖嗓音接着说,比如像你们那辆小轿车,就是停在饭店的那辆,美洲虎牌,是的吧?

Aah! It was not a spoken word, but an emission of breath from the Duke of Croydon. His wife shot him a swift, warning glance.
噢!这声音不像是从口中说出来的,倒像是从克罗伊敦公爵鼻子中呼出来的。他的夫人马上瞪了他一眼,以示警告。

In what conceivable way does our car concern you?
我们的车子与你有什么相干呢?

As if the question from the Duchess had been a signal, the house detective's manner changed. He inquired abruptly, Who else is in this place?
公爵夫人的这句问话似乎是个信号,一听到这个信号,探长的态度马上就变了。他猝然问道,这儿还有别的人么?

It was the Duke who answered, No one. We sent them out.
公爵回答道,没有。我们早把他们都打发出去了。

There's things it pays to check. Moving with surprising speed, the fat man walked around the suite, opening doors and inspecting the space behind them. Obviously he knew the room arrangement well. After reopening and closing the outer door, he returned, apparently satisfied, to the living room.
还是检查一下的好。这个大胖子以敏捷得出奇的动作对整个套房前前后后地巡查了一遍,凡是有门的地方就打开往里看看。显然,他对整套房间布局是极为熟悉的。他再次打开外间的房门并重新关上之后,面带满意的神色回到了起居室。

The Duchess had seated herself in a straight-backed Ogilvie remained standing.
公爵夫人已端坐在一张直背靠椅上,欧吉维还是站立着。

Now then, he said. You two was in the hit-'n-run .
我说,他开口了,你俩怎么撞了人就开车逃跑呢?!

She met his eyes directly.What are you talking about?
她直视着他的眼睛。你在胡扯些什么呀?

Don't play games, lady. This is for real. He took out a fresh cigar and bit off the end, You saw the papers. There's been plenty on radio, too.
别做戏了,夫人。这可不是闹着玩儿的。他又掏出一支新雪茄,把烟头咬掉。你们该看过报纸吧,电台里也广播得不少哩。

Two high points of color appeared in the paleness of the Duchess of Croydon's cheeks. What you are suggesting is the most disgusting, ridiculous...
克罗伊敦公爵夫人那本来很苍白的双颊上泛起了两团红晕。你那些含含糊糊的话真是太令人恶心,太荒唐可笑了…

I told you-Cut it out! The words spat forth with sudden savagery,all pretense of blandnessgone. Ignoring the Duke, Ogilvie waved the unlighted cigar under his adversary 's adversary 's nose. You listen to me, your high-an'-mightiness. This city's burnin' mad-cops, mayor, everybody else. When they find who done that last night, who killed that kid an' its mother, then high-tailed it, they'll throw the book, and never mind who it hits, or whether they got fancy titles neither. Now I know what I know, and if I do what by rights I should, there'll be a squad of cops in here so fast you'll hardly see 'em. But I come to you first, in fairness, so's you could tell your side of it to me. The piggy eyes blinked, then hardened. 'f you want it the other way, just say so.
我要你一闭嘴!这些话从探长口中像炸雷似地吐了出来,他此时凶相毕露,先前装出的那副温和劲儿荡然无存。欧吉维全然没把公爵放在眼里,竞把那支没点燃的雪茄在他的对手鼻子底下晃了一晃。你给我听着,尊敬的殿下。这会儿全城上下都闹翻了--警察,市长,所有的人。一旦他们查出昨夜的事是谁干的,是谁撞死了那小孩和她的母亲,然后却逃之天天,他们一定会对肇事者严加惩处,不管那肇事者是谁,也不管他们有着多么显赫的爵衔。现在我知道了真相,假如我照章办事的话,没等你眨眼,便会有一队警察开到这儿来。但是我要讲讲公道,所以先到你们这儿来,想听听你们自己的说法。他那猪一般的小眼睛眨巴了几下,随即变得凶狠起来。要是你们想另寻出路,不妨就直说了吧。

The Duchess of Croydon-three centuries and a half of inbred arrogancebehind her-did not yield easily. Springing to her feet, her face wrathful, gray-green eyes blazing, she faced the grossness of the house detective squarely. Her tone would have withered anyone who knew her well. You unspeakable blackguard!How dare you!
克罗伊敦公爵夫人--依仗着三个半世纪祖传下来的狂傲天性--并没有轻易就范。她猛地一下跳了起来,怒容满面,灰绿色的眼睛里喷射出火光,直直地逼视着肥肉成堆的探长。她说话的声调简直可以把熟悉她的任何人都吓得矮掉半截。你这下流的恶棍,竟敢撒野,真是狗胆包天!

Even the self-assurance of Ogilvie flickered for an instant. But it was the Duke of Croydon who interjected, It's no go, old girl. I'm afraid. It was a good try. Facing Ogilvie, he said, What you accuse us of is true. I am to blame. I was driving the car and killed the little girl.
欧吉维虽有那股自信劲儿,也不禁为之一震。但在这时克罗伊敦公爵插话了:这恐怕也不是个办法,老婆子。不过这样试试也好。他面向欧吉维说道:你对我们的指控属实,肇事者是我,是我开车撞死那小姑娘的。

That's more like it, Ogilvie said. He lit the fresh cigar. Now we're getting somewhere.
这还有点像话,欧吉维说着点燃了那支新掏出的雪茄。豌在我们总算是谈到点子上了。

Wearily, in a gesture of surrender, the Duchess of Croydon sank back into her chair. Clasping her hands to conceal their trembling, she asked. What is it you know?
克罗伊敦公爵夫人疲乏地做了一个认输的手势后,颓然坐回到椅子上。她双手对握着,以掩饰自己的手在颤抖,嘴里发话问道:你都知道些什么?

Well now, I'll spell it out. The house detective took his time, leisurely putting a cloud of blue cigar smoke, his eyes sardonically on the Duchess as if challenging her objection. But beyond wrinkling her nose in distaste, she made no comment. Ogilvie pointed to the Duke. Last night, early on, you went to Lindy's Place in Irish Bayou. You drove there in your fancy Jaguar, and you took a lady friend. Leastways, I guess you'd call her that if you're not too fussy.
好吧,我就全说出来。探长要紧不慢,悠然自得地喷吐出一团青色的雪茄烟雾,同时还把那一双眼睛带着嘲弄意味地瞟向公爵夫人,仿佛有意要逗她表示反感似的。但公爵夫人一言未发,只是厌恶地皱了皱鼻子。欧吉维手指着公爵说:昨晚,入夜不久;你去了爱尔兰牛轭湖的林迪娱乐城。你是开着你们那辆豪华的美洲虎去的,并且还带着一个女朋友。至少,你若不过份挑字眼的话,我想你是会这么称呼她的。

As Ogilvie glanced, grinning, at the Duchess, the Duke said sharply, Get on with it!
说到这儿,欧吉维目光瞥向公爵夫人,一边还咧着嘴笑。见此情形,公爵厉声吼道:接着说下去!

Well-the smug fat face swung back-the way I hear it, you won a hundred at the tables, then lost it at the bar. You were into a second hundred-with a real swinging party-when your wife here got there in a taxi.
好哇,那张得意洋洋的胖脸又转了回来--据我所知,你先在赌桌上赢了一百,跟着又在酒吧里全花掉了。正当你准备--同一些有头有脸的人物--赌上第二个一百时,你的夫人乘坐出租车赶到了那儿。

How do you know all this?
你是怎么得知这一切的?

I'll tell you, Duke-I've been in this town and this hotel a long time. I got friends all over. I oblige them; they do the same for me, like letting me know what gives, an'where. There ain't much, out of the way, which people who stay in this hotel do, I don't get to hear about. Most of'em never know I know, or know me. They think they got their little secret tucked away , and so they have-except like now.
告诉你吧,公爵--我在这个城市和这个旅馆呆的时间都很久了。到处都有我的朋友。我时常为他们帮忙,他们也同样帮我的忙,比如说告诉我哪儿发生了些什么事儿,住在这个旅馆的人们做了些什么事情,凡是有点儿出格的,那就很少能瞒得过我。他们多半都不知道我会知道,而且也不认识我。他们以为自己的那些小秘密被隐瞒住了-也的确有瞒住的时候-可是这一回却瞒不住了。

The Duke said coldly, I see.
公爵冷冷地说,原来如此。

One thing I'd like to know. I got a curious nature, ma'am. How'd you figure where he was?
有一件事我想弄明白。我生性好奇,夫人。你是如何猜到他的去处的呢?

The Duchess said, You know so much...I suppose it doesn't matter. My husband has a habit of making notes while he is telephoning. Afterward he often forgets to destroy them.
公爵夫人说道,你知道得这么多…说给你听也无所谓了。我丈夫打电话时有做记录的习惯,而打完电话后又总是忘了毁掉这些记录。

The house detective clucked his tongue reprovingly . A little careless habit like that, Duke-look at the mess it gets you in. Well, here's what I figure about the rest. You an' your wife took off home, you drivin', though the way things turned out it might have been better if she'd have drove.
探长连啧舌头,表示责备。就这么一个小小的粗心大意的习愤,公爵--你看它为你带来多大的麻烦。对啦,接下来的情况我猜是这样的。你和你的夫人一起回家了。是你开的车,尽管后来的结果表明,若是换了她来开车,那情形也许会好些。

My wife doesn't drive.
我夫人不会开车。

Ogilvie nodded understandingly. Explains that one. Anyway, I reckon you were lickered up, but good...
欧吉维点了点头,表示理解。这个是清楚了。反正,我估计你当时是已经醉酒了,但是好…

The Duchess interrupted. Then you don't know! You don't know anything for sure! You can't possibly prove...
公爵夫人打断了他的话:这么说你并不知道!你并没有掌握什么真实情况,你拿不出任何真凭实据…

Lady, I can prove all I need to.
夫人,凡是需要证实的,我都能证实。

The Duke cautioned, Better let him finish, old girl.
公爵规劝她说,老婆子,还是让他把话说完吧。

That's right, Ogilvie said. Just sit an' listen. Last night I seen you come in-through the basement, so's not to use the lobby. Looked right shaken, too, the pair of you.
这就对了,欧吉维说道。好好坐着听我讲。昨天夜里,我看见你们进来的-为了不穿过门厅,你们走的是地下室,而且看起来还是一副惊魂未定的样子,你们两人都是。

Just come in myself, an' I got to wondering why. Like I said, I got a curious nature.
我本人也恰在那时进屋,一看那情形就觉得奇怪,想探个究竟。我刚才说过,我这人生性好奇。

The Duchess breathed, Go on.
公爵夫人轻声道,说下去。

Late last night the word was out about the hit-'n-run. On a hunch I went over the garage and took a quiet look-see at your car. You maybe don't know-it's away in a corner, behind a pillar where the jockeys don't see it when they're comin' by.
昨晚深夜,汽车撞人的消息传开了。我觉得有点儿不对劲,就去车库里悄悄地查看了一下你们的汽车。你们大概没注意到吧一它刚好停在一个角落里,又隐在一个柱子背后,使得那些开车经过的人都无法看见。

The Duke licked his lips. I suppose that doesn't matter now.
公爵舔了舔嘴唇。我想现在那已经没什么要紧了。

You might have something there, Ogilvie conceded.Anyway, what I found made me do some scouting-across at police headquarters where they know me too. He paused to puff again at the cigar as his listeners waited silently.When the cigar tip was glowing he inspected it, then continued. Over there they got three things to go on. They got a headlight trim ring which musta come off when the kid an'the woman was hit. They got some headlight glass, and lookin'at the kid's clothin', they reckon there'll be a brush trace.
不过,你也有可能会在那儿留下一点什么蛛丝马迹,欧吉维欲擒故纵地说。不管怎么说,我的发现促使我去侦察了一番-去警察局打听了一下,那儿的人也都和我相熟。他停下来吸了口雪茄,他的听众则静静地等候着。雪茄烟头发出红光时,他对它细看了一眼,又接着说下去。他们那儿掌握了三件可供追查的东西。他们找到了一个车前灯框圈,那一定是撞倒那孩子和女人时从车上掉下来的;他们找到了一些车前灯玻璃的碎片;查验那小孩的衣服时,他们判断一定有一种摩擦印痕。

A what?
一种什么?

You rub clothes against something hard, Duchess, specially if it's shiny like a car fender, say, an' it leaves a mark the same way as finger prints. The police lab kin pick it up like they do prints-dust it, an'it shows.
公爵夫人,假如你把衣服擦在硬物上,尤其是像汽车防护板这种光滑的硬物上时,那上面会留下类似指纹的印痕。警察局的化验室有办法像提取指纹一样处理这种印痕--涂上药粉、印痕便显现出来了。

That's interesting, the Duke said, as if speaking of something unconnected with himself. I didn't know that.
这倒挺新鲜的,公爵说起话来就好像是在谈论什么与己无关的事情似的。我以前可从来没有听说过。

Not many do. In this case, though, I reckon it don't make a lot o' difference. On your car you got a busted headlight, and the trim ring's gone. Ain't any doubt they'd match up, even without the brush trace an’ the blood. 0h yeah, I should a told you. There's plenty of blood, though it don't show too much on the black paint.
听说过的人本就不多。不过,在这件案子上,我想那也没多大差别。你们车上有一只前灯破了,框圈也掉了。毫无疑问,他们会核查无误的,即使没有发现擦痕和血迹也能查出来的。哦,我还忘了告诉你们,车上有许多血迹,不过在黑漆面上不大显眼。

Oh, my God! A hand to her face, the Duchess turned away.
哦,天哪!公爵夫人一手捂着脸,转过面去。

Her husband asked, What do you propose to do?
她的丈夫问道,依你看该怎么办?

The fat man rubbed his hands together, looking down at his thick, fleshy fingers. Like I said, I come to hear you, side of it.
大胖子搓着双手,低下头看着自己那粗大多肉的手指。我方才已经说过,我是来先听你们的说法的。

The Duke said despairingly , what can I possibly say? You know what happened. He made an attempt to square his shoulders which did not succeed. You'd better call the police and get it over.
公爵绝望地说,我还能说什么呢?发生的一切你都知道了。他作势想挺起胸来,可就是挺不起来。你还是通知警方来处理此事吧。

Well now, there's no call for being hasty . The incongruous falsetto voice took on a musing note. What's done's been done. Rushing any place ain't gonna bring back the kid nor its mother neither. Besides, what they'd do to you across at the headquarters, Duke, you wouldn't like. No sir, you wouldn't like it at all.The other two slowly raised their eyes.
依我说呢,这事也不用着急。他那刺耳的尖嗓音此时带着一种沉思的声调。事已至此,急也无益,再急也不能让那小孩和她的母亲复生。况且,到了警察局.他们用来处置你的办法,公爵,你是不会喜欢的。真的,阁下,你绝不会喜欢的。那两位听完这话后慢慢拾起了眼睛。

I was hoping, Ogilvie said, that you folks could suggest something.
我倒是希望,欧吉维说,你们俩能想出点儿什么办法来。

The Duke said uncertainly, I don't understand. I understand, the Duchess of Croydon said. You want money, don't you? You came here to blackmail us.
公爵狐疑地说:我听不明白。我听明白了,克罗伊敦公爵夫人说。你想要钱,是不是?你是来这儿敲诈我们的。

If she expected her words to shock, they did not succeed. The house detective shrugged. Whatever names you call things, ma'am, don't matter to me.
假如她是想以这话来产生震慑效果的话,那她的期望就落空了。探长只耸了耸肩。你说得再难听,夫人,我也不会在乎的。

All I come for was to help you people out of trouble. But I got to live too.
我来这儿的目的只是为了帮助你们摆脱困境,但我也要吃饭呀。

You'd accept money to keep silent about what you know?
你得了钱便对你所知道的事守口如瓶吗?

I reckon I might.
我想可能是这样。

But from what you say, the Duchess pointed out, her poise for the moment recovered, it would do no good. The car would be discovered in any case.
但照你所讲的情况看来,此刻已恢复了往日镇定自若的神态的公爵夫人指出,那根本没用,反正车子迟早会被人发现的。

I guess you'd have to take that chance. But there's some reasons it might not be. Something I ain't told you yet. Tell us now, please.
我看你们也只能去碰碰运气了。不过车子也不一定会被发现,有些情况我还没对你们讲呢。那就请快讲吧。

Ogilvie said, I ain't figured this out myself completely. But when you hit that kid you was going away from town, not to it.
欧吉维说,有些事情我自己也还没有完全弄清楚。撞死那小孩时,你们的车子是往城外开,而不是往城里开。

We'd made a mistake in the route, the Duchess said. Somehow we'd become turned around.
我们走错了方向,公爵夫人说道。也不知怎么搞的,我们走反了方向。

It's easily done in New Orleans, with the street winding as they do. Afterward, using side streets, we went back.
新奥尔良的街道弯弯曲曲.是很容易走错方向的。后来我们是通过走小路才找了回来的。

I thought it might be that, Ogilvie nodded understandingly. But the police ain't figured it that way.
我想恐怕是这样的,欧吉维点了点头表示理解。但警方却没想到这种情况。

They're looking for somebody who was headed out. That's why, right now, they're workin' on the suburbs and the outside towns.
他们正在搜查往城外跑的人。所以,他们这会儿只在郊区和城外小镇里进行搜索。

They may get around to searchin' downtown, but it won't be yet.
他们也可能会回头搜索市区,但眼下还不会来。

How long before they do?
那能有多久才会来呢?

Maybe three, four days. They got a lot of other places to look first.
大约要等三四天吧。他们有很多地方要先去搜索。

How could that help us the delay?
那对我们又有什么帮助呢--几天的拖延?

It might, Ogilvie said. Providin' nobody twigs the car-an' seein' where it is, you might be lucky there. An' if you can get it away.
也许会有帮助,欧吉维说。只要没人注意到你们的车子--没有发现它所停的地方,你们就可能会有这样的好运气。只要你能把它弄走。

You mean out of the state?
你是说弄出这个州去?

I mean out o'the South.
我的意思是离开南方。

That wouldn't be easy?
那恐怕不容易吧?

No, ma'am. Every state around-Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, all the rest'll be watching for a car damaged the way yours is.
是不容易,夫人。邻近各州--得克萨斯、阿肯色、密西西比、亚拉巴马以及其余各州都会密切注意搜寻一辆损坏得像你们那辆一样的汽车。

The Duchess considered. Is there any possibility of having repairs made first? If the work were done discreetly we could pay well.
公爵夫人沉思起来。有没有可能先修理一下呢?如果能把车子悄悄修理一下,我们会出大价钱。

The house detective shook his head emphatically. You try that, you might as well walk over to headquarters right now an' give up.
探长使劲摇着头。那样的话,还不如现在就去警察局投案自首。

Every repair shop in Louisiana's been told to holler 'cops' the minute a car needing fixin' like yours comes in. They'd do it, too. You people are hot.
路易斯安那州境内的每一家修车铺都已接到通知,一旦发现像你们那样需要修理的汽车送来修理,立即向警方报告。他们也都会照办的,你们的事谁都知道。

The Duchess of Croydon kept firm, tight rein on her racing mind. It was essential, she knew, that her thinking remain calm and reasoned.
克罗伊敦公爵夫人极力控制自己那如脱缰野马般的思绪。她知道保持自己头脑的冷静和理智是至关重要的。

In the last few minutes the conversation had become as seemingly casual as if the discussion were of some minor domestic matter and not survival itself.
方才那最后几分钟的谈话似乎变得非常随便,仿佛他们所讨论的只是一些无关紧要的家常琐事,而不是人命关天的大事。

She intended to keep it that way. Once more, she was aware, the role of leadership had fallen to her, her husband now a tense but passive spectator of the exchange between the evil tat man and herself.
她有意要使谈话照这样进行。她意识到,唱主角的责任又一次地落到了自己的肩上。此时此刻,在她与这个存心恶毒的肥佬之间的激烈交锋中,她的丈夫只当了一名紧张而被动的旁观者。

No matter. What was inevitable must be accepted. The important thing was to consider all eventualities.
没关系,既然躲不过,就只好去面对它了。要紧的是对各种可能发生的意外变故预作考虑。

A thought occurred to her.
她突然想出了一个主意。

The piece from our car which you say the police have. What is it called?
你说警方拿到了我们车上掉下来的一件东西,它叫什么来着?

A trim ring.
框圈。

Is it traceable?
它会成为追查的线索吗?

Ogilvie nodded affirmatively. They can figure what kind o' car it's from-make, model, an' maybe the year, or close to it. Same thing with the glass. But with your car being foreign, it'll likely take a few days.
欧吉维肯定地点了点头。他们能查出它是从什么样的汽车上掉下来的--生产厂家,车型,也许还能查出出厂年份,或者是大致的出厂时间。那车灯玻璃碎片也可以起到同样作用。但由于你们的车子是外国的,查起来可能得花几天的工夫。

But after that, she persisted, the police will know they're looking for a Jaguar?
几天过后,她追问道,警方就会知道他们要找的是一辆美洲虎吗?

I reckon that's so.
我想是这样。

Today was Tuesday. From all that this man said, they had until Friday or Saturday at best. With calculated coolness the Duchess reasoned: the situation came down to one essential. Assuming the hotel man was bought off, their only chance -- a slim one -- lay in removing the car quickly, If it could be got north, to one of the big cities where the New Orleans tragedy and search would be unknown, repairs could be made quietly, the incriminating evidence removed. Then, even if suspicion settled on the Croydons later, nothing could be proved. But how to get the car away?
今天是星期二。从这家伙所讲的情况看来,他们最多只能拖到星期五或星期六。公爵夫人冷静地盘算了一番:现在需要解决的是一个关键的问题。假使买通了这个旅馆侦探,他们唯一的一个机会--一个渺茫的机会--就在于迅速将汽车弄走。若能弄到北方某个大城市里去,那儿人们不知道新奥尔良发生的这起车祸和警方的搜查行动,车子可以在那里悄悄修好,这样罪证也就消灭了。那么,即使以后再怀疑到克罗伊敦夫妇头上,也找不到什么真凭实据。但车子如何才能弄走呢?

Undoubtedly what this oafish detective said was true: As well as Louisiana, the other states through which the car would have to pass would be alert and watchful. Every highway patrol would be on the lookout for a damaged head-light with a missing trim ring. There would probably be road-blocks. It would be hard not to fall victim to some sharpeyed policeman.
毫无疑问,这个粗俗愚笨的侦探说的是真话:要想把车子开到北方,沿途所要经过的各州都会像路易斯安那州一样警惕和注意的,所有的公路巡警都会留心注意一辆前灯撞破、框圈掉落的车子,也许还会设有路障。要想不被某个目光锐利的警察抓到,谈何容易。

But it might be done. If the car could be driven at night and concealed by day.
但这还是有可能做得到的,只要能够趁着黑夜行车,而白天里将汽车隐藏起来。

There were plenty of places to pull off the highway and be unobserved. It would be hazardous, but no more than waiting here for certain detection. There would be back roads.
有许多偏僻地方远离公路,不会受人注意。这样做可能要冒风险,但总比在这里坐等受擒要强些。也许有些乡间小路可走,

They could choose an unlikely route to avoid attention.
为掩人耳目,他们可以选择一条不大会有人走的路线。

But there would be other complications ... and now was the time to consider them. Traveling by secondary roads would be difficult unless knowing the terrain.
但还存在其他的一些复杂问题…现在该对那些问题加以考虑了。走偏僻小路必须要熟悉地形才行,

The Croydons did not. Nor was either of them adept at using maps.
克罗伊敦夫妇可不熟悉地形,

And when they stopped for petrol, as they would have to, their speech and manner would betray them, making them conspicuous.
而且他们俩对地图都不怎么在行。另外,行车途中不能不停车加油,停车加油时他们的言谈举止都有可能暴露自己的身分而引起别人注意。

And yet...these were risks which had to be taken.
不过……这些险是非冒不可的。

Or had they?
真的非冒不可吗?

The Duchess faced Ogilvie. How much do you want?
公爵夫人面对着欧吉维。你要多少钱?

The abruptness took him by surprise. Well...I figure you people are pretty well fixed.
这突如其来的问话把他吓了一跳。唔…我想你们家是非常有钱的。

She said coldly, I asked how much.
她冷冷地说:我只问你要多少。

The piggy eyes blinked. Ten thousand dollars.
那对猪眼睛眨巴了一下。一万美元。

Though it was twice what she had expected, her expression did not change. Assuming we paid this grotesque amount, what would we receive in return?
尽管这数目比她所预料的多了一倍,她却不动声色。倘若我们真付了这样一笔巨款,我们能得到什么样的回报呢?

The fat man seemed puzzled. Like I said, I keep quiet about what I know.
大胖子似乎被这话问糊涂了。我已经说过,我可以对自己知道的一切守口如瓶。

And the alternative?
我们若是不付钱呢?

He shrugged. I go down the lobby. I pick up a phone.
他耸了耸肩。我就下楼到门厅里去,拿起电话。

No, The statement was unequivocal. We will not pay, you.
不,话说得斩钉截铁。我们不会付钱给你。

As the Duke of Croydon shifted uneasily, the house detective's bulbous countenance reddened, Now listen, lady Peremptorily she cut him oft.
克罗伊敦公爵不安地移动着身子,探长那圆滚滚的肉脸涨得通红。你听着,夫人…

I will not listen. Instead, you will listen to me. Her eyes were riveted on his face, her handsome, high cheek boned features set in their most imperious mold.
她蛮横地打断他的话。我不要听你的,你给我听着。她目光紧紧盯住他的脸,同时她那漂亮、高颧骨的俏脸上展出一副霸道的神态。

We would achieve nothing by paying you, except possibly a few days' respite . You have made that abundantly clear. That's a chance you gotta...
我们即使付钱给你也得不到什么好处,顶多也只是拖延几天时间罢了。你把这一点已经讲得很清楚了。这对你们可是一个难得的机会…

Silence! Her voice was a whiplash. Eyes bored into him. Swallowing, sullenly , he complied.
住口!她眼睛死死地盯住他,厉声呵斥道。他忍气吞声,满脸不高兴地住口了。

What came next, the Duchess of Croydon knew, could be the most significant thing she had ever done.
克罗伊敦公爵夫人知道,接下来的行动也许会是她一生中所作出的最重大的决定。

There must be no mistake, no vacillation or dallying because of her own smallness of mind.
决不能因自己的见识有限而出半点差错,决不能优柔寡断或举棋不定。

When you were playing for the highest stakes, you made the highest bid.
要想赢大钱,就得下大注。

She intended to gamble on the fat man's greed. She must do so in such a way as to place the outcome beyond any doubt.
她想利用这大肥佬的贪心大赌一场,而且恰到好处,使结果能保证万元一失。

She declared decisively, We will not pay you ten thousand dollars. But we will pay you twenty-five thousand dollars. The house detective's eyes bulged.
她果断地宣布,我们不会付给你一万美元,但我们会付给你二万五千美元。探长的眼珠子都鼓起来了。

In return for that, she continued evenly, You will drive our car north.
作为回报,她不动声色地继续说道,你得将我们的汽车开到北方。

Ogilvie continued to stare.
欧吉维依然是一副目瞪口呆的样子。

Twenty-five thousand dollars, she repeated.Ten thousand now. Fifteen thousand more when you meet us in Chicago.
二万五千美元,她重复道。现在先付一万,等你到芝加哥与我们碰面时再付一万五。

Still without speaking, the fat man licked his lips. His beadyeyes, as if unbelieving, were focused upon her own. The silence hung.
大胖子舔了舔自己的嘴唇,依然一言未发,那双圆圆的小眼睛似乎不相信似的直盯住她的双眼。一阵沉默。

Then, as she watched intently, he gave the slightest of nods.
后来,在她目不转睛的逼视下,他微微点了一下头。

The silence remained. At length Ogilvie spoke. This cigar bother in' you, Duchess?
场面还是一片寂静。最后还是欧吉维开了腔:这支雪茄让您讨厌了吧,公爵夫人?

As she nodded, he put it out.
她点了点头,他随即将它掐灭了。

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