The call of the wild 野性的呼唤 - 7

The call of the wild 野性的呼唤 - 7

7 The call of the wild

 

  In five minutes Buck had made fourteen hundred dollars for Thornton and his friends.The money made it possi ble for them to travel east,where they wanted to look for a lost gold mine.Men said that this mine had more gold than any other mine in the north. Many had looked for it,and some had died looking for it.The only men who knew where it was were now dead.

  Thornton,Pete and Hans,with Buck and six other dogs,started off to the east in the spring.They travelled up the Stewart River and crossed the Mackenzie Mountains.They did not move quickly;the weather was good,and!the men shot animals for food when they needed it.Sometimes they travelled for a week,and sometimes they stopped for a week and searched for gold in the ground.Sometimes they were hungry,and sometimes they had lots of food.They spent all the summer in the mountains,carrying everything they needed on their backs,sometimes making boats to go down rivers or across lakes.

  In the autumn they came to a strange,flat country,with many lakes.They travelled on through the winter and met nobody,but once they found an old wooden house,with an old gun in it.

  When the spring came,they found,not the lost mine,but a lake in a wide valley.Through the shallow water the gold showed like yellow butter, and here their search ended.There was gold worth thousands of dollars in the lake,and they worked every day,filling bag after bag with gold.

  The dogs had nothing to do except watch the men and eat the food which the men shot for them.Buck spent many evenings sitting by the fire.

  As he sat,he saw again his dream world,where the strange hairy man sat next to him.He also heard something calling him into the forest.Sometimes,in the middle of the day,he lifted his head and listened,and then ran off into the forest.

  One night he woke up and heard the call again,a long howl.He ran into the forest,following the sound,and came to an open place in the trees.And there, his nose pointing to the sky,sat a wolf.

  The wolf stopped howling and Buck walked slowly towards him.The wolf ran, and Buck followed.After a time,the wolf stopped and waited,watching Buck,ready to attack.But Buck did not want to fight,and soon the wolf realized this,and the two animals became friendly.Then the wolf started to run again,and he clearly wanted Buck to follow him.They ran for hours through the forest,and Buck remembered again his dream world where he,and others like him,had run through a much older forest.

  Then they stopped to drink,and Buck remembered John Thornton.He turned and started to run back.The wolf followed him,then stopped and howled, but Buck ran on and did not turn.

  Thornton was eating dinner when Buck returned.Buck jumped all over him,and for two days never left his side.He followed him every where,watching him while he ate and while he slept.But after two days the call of the wild came again,and he remembered the forest and the wolf who had run beside him.

  He started to sleep out in the forest at night,sometimes staying out for three or four days.Once he was away for a week,fishing and killing animals for food.He ate well,and he grew stronger and quicker and more alive.His golden brown coat shone with health as he ran through the forest,learning its every secret,every smell,and every sound.

  ‘He's the finest dog that I've ever seen,’said Thornton to his friends one day as they watched Buck walking out of camp.

  ‘There’11 never be another dog like him,’said Pete.

  They saw him walking out of camp but they didn't see the change that happened when he was inside the forest.At once he became a thing of the wild,stepping softly and silently,a passing shadow among the trees.

  In the autumn,Buck started to see moose in the forest.One day he met a group of about twenty.The largest was two me tres tall,and his antlers were more than two metres across.When he saw Buck, he got very angry. For hours Buck fol lowed the moose;he wanted the big one,but he wanted him alone.By the evening Buck had driven the big old moose away from the others,and then he began his attack.The animal weighed six hundred and fifty kilos—he was big enough and strong enough to kill Buck in seconds.Patiently,Buck fol lowed him for four days,attacking and then jumping away.He gave him no peace,no time to eat or drink or rest, and slowly the moose became weaker.At the end of the fourth day Buck pulled the moose down and killed him.He stayed by the dead animal for a day and a half,eating,and then turned towards camp and John Thornton.

  Five kilometres from the camp,he smelt something strange.Something was wrong.He started to run.After a few hundred metres he found the dead body of Blackie,with an arrow through his side.Then he found another sledge-dog,dying,with an arrow in his neck.

  Buck was near the camp now,and he could hear voices singing.Then he saw the body of Hans,lying on his face,with ten or fifteen arrows in his back.Buck was suddenly filled with a wild,burning anger.

  The yeehats were dancing around the camp,when they heard a deep and terrible growling.Buck came out of the trees faster than the north wind,and threw himself on the Yeehats like a mad dog He jumped at the first man,and tore out his throat,killing him at once.He jumped onto a second,then a third man,going each time for the throat.The Yeehats could neither escape nor use their arrows.Buck moved like a storm among them,tearing,biting,destroying,in a madness that he had never known before.Nothing could stop him,and soon the Yeehats were running,wild with fear,back to the forest Buck followed for some time,then returned to the camp.

  He found Pete,killed in his bed. He followed Thornton's smell to a deep pool,and found Skeet lying dead by the edge.Thornton's body was somewhere under the water.

  All day Buck stayed by the pool or walked restlessly round the camp. But when the evening came, he heard new sounds from the forest;the wolves had come south for the winter,and were moving into Buck's valley.They came into the camp in the moonlight,and Buck stood silently,waiting for them.Suddenly,the bravest wolf jumped at Buck.In a second,Buck had bitten,and then stood still again.The wolf was dead behind him.Three more wolves jumped at him,and were killed.

  Then the pack attacked in a crowd all at once.But not one of them could bring Buck down;he was too quick,too strong,too clever for them all.After half an hour the pack stopped attacking and moved away.Then one wolf moved forward slowly, in a friendly way;it was the wolf that Buck had met before in the forest.They touched noses.Then another wolf came forward to make friends,and another.Soon the pack was all around Buck,and the call of the wild was loud in Buck's ears.And when the wolves moved on, back into the forest,Buck ran with them,side by side

  That is perhaps the end of Buck's story.But after a few years,the Yeehats noticed that some of the wolves had golden brown in their grey coats.They also talked of a Ghost Dog that ran at the head of the pack.

  And sometimes men were found dead,killed by the teeth of a terrible animal.And each autumn,when the Yeehats follow the moose,there is one valley that they will not go into.

In the summers there is one visitor to that valley: a large,golden-brown wolf,larger than any other wolf.He walks alone round the lake where the yellow gold shines in the water, and howls.But he is not always alone.In the long winter nights,he runs at the head of the wolf pack through the moonlight,calling into the night with them,singing a song from a younger world.

7 野性的呼唤

 

  不过5分钟,巴克就为桑顿和他的朋友们赚了1400美元。他们有足够的钱去东部旅行,他们想在那里寻找一座下落不明的金矿。人们传说那座金矿比任何一座北方的金矿都富足。许多人都在寻找它,有一些人为了寻找它而命丧黄泉。那唯一知道金矿下落的人已经死了。

  桑顿,皮特和汉斯,带着巴克和另外6条狗,在春天向东方启程了。他们渡过了斯塔沃特河,翻过了麦肯瑟山脉。他们走的并不快。天气很不错。有时人们就打点野味来充饥。有时他们连续走一星期,有时他们会逗留一星期在地下寻找金矿。有时他们忍饥挨饿,有时又食物丰足。他们在山区里度过了夏天,背着所有必需品,有时他们制造小船沿河漂流或者横渡湖泊。

  秋天的时候他们来到一个奇特而平坦的国度,有许多湖泊。他们跋涉了整整一个冬天,没有碰到一个人。但是他们曾经发现过一座古式的木屋,还有屋内一杆旧枪。

  当春天又来临的时候,他们发现的不是那座下落不明的金矿,而是一个位于宽阔峡谷中的湖泊。透过浅浅的湖水,金子就像黄澄澄的奶油一样。他们的搜寻到此结束了。湖中的金子价值连城,他们每天都工作,装满了一袋又一袋的金子。

  狗无所事事,只好看人们工作和吃人们打来的野味。巴克总是坐在火边消磨着夜晚的时光。

  当他蹲坐在那里时,他又一次看到了他梦中的世界,那个奇怪的毛发浓密的人坐在他的旁边。他依然感受到那来自丛林的呼唤。有时正值正午,他就抬头聆听着,然后就会蹿进森林里。

  一天晚上他从睡梦中醒来,又听到那呼唤,长长的嗥叫。他跑进森林,追随着那呼声,来到了林子间的一片空地上。在那儿,蹲坐着一头狼,仰首望天。

  狼停止了嗥叫,巴克慢慢向他走过去。狼跑开了,巴克紧追不舍。过了一段时间,狼停住步子等待着,打量着巴克,准备着一场恶斗。但是巴克无意开战,很快狼就意识到了这点。两头动物变得友好起来。然后狼又开始了奔跑,很明显他希望巴克跟着他。他们在森林中跑了数个小时,巴克又想起了他梦中的世界,在那里他和他的同类,穿过一座古老的森林。

  当他们停下来喝水的时候,巴克想起了约翰·桑顿。他掉头向回跑去。狼跟着他,然后停下来嗥叫着,但是巴克头也不回继续奔跑回去。

  巴克回来的时候,桑顿正在吃晚饭。巴克扑在他的身上,有两天不肯离开他的左右,到哪儿都跟着他,即使睡觉和吃饭也不肯把目光挪开。但是两天之后,那野性的呼唤又响了起来,他又想起了森林和那头同他并驾齐驱的狼。

  他开始在夜晚露宿在森林里,有时一呆就是三四天。有一次他跑出去了一个星期,捕鱼猎兽觅食吃。他吃的很好,变得越发健壮敏捷,也更有生气。在他奔跑在森林里的时候,他的金褐色的皮毛闪着健康的光泽。他探索着森林中每一处的神秘,每一种气味,每一声声响。

  “他是我见过的最出色的狗,”桑顿有一天对他的朋友们说,他们正看着巴克跑出营地。

  “绝无仅有”。皮特说。

  他们只看见他跑出了营地,但是他们无从知晓他在森林中发生的本质的变化。他会立刻变成一头野兽,步子轻捷无声,像一道阴影擦过森林。

  在秋天,巴克开始在森林中发现驼鹿。有一天他碰上了大约有20头的一群驼鹿。最大的一头有两米高,两只鹿角甚至有两米多宽。他看见巴克的时候,十分生气。巴克追随了这只驼鹿数个小时;他想要头大个儿的,并单独捕杀他。到傍晚时分,巴克把那头大个儿的老驼鹿赶到了鹿群之外,然后发动了进攻。那动物重达650公斤——他高大强壮到足以在数秒中杀死巴克。巴克耐心地追随了他4天,进攻一下就又跳开,他让他不得安宁,没有时间进食喝水,也无法休息。渐渐地那驼鹿衰弱下去。到第4天结束的当口儿,巴克扑倒了那头驼鹿杀死了他。他在死兽旁呆了一天半的光景,吃食,然后返回到营地和约翰·桑顿那里去。

  离营地5公里远,他嗅到了异味,出事了。他开始奔跑。几百米之后他发现了布莱吉的尸体,一支羽箭插在他身体的一侧。然后他又发现了另一只雪撬狗,脖子上插着一支羽箭,奄奄待毙。

  现在巴克已经接近营地了,他听到歌声传来。之后他看到了汉斯的尸体,脸向下俯在地上,大约有10到15支羽箭插在他的后背上。巴克突然心中燃烧起了狂野的怒火。

  印第安人正围绕着营地跳舞,他们听到一声低沉可怕的咆哮。巴克比北风还要迅捷,从树丛中蹿了出来,他像一条疯狗一样直扑到印第安人身上去。他扑向第一个人,撕开了他的喉咙,令他当场毙命。然后他又扑向第二个人,然后又是第三个人,每一次都瞄准咽喉。印第安人既不能逃走也不能用他们的箭。巴克像暴风雪一样掠过他们,撕扯,啃啮,破坏,他陷入过去从未有过的疯狂。没有任何人能制止他,于是很快印第安人就在恐惧的狂乱中逃进了森林。巴克追赶了一阵,就返回了营地。

  他发现皮特被杀死在床上。他嗅着桑顿的气味找到了一个深水潭,发现斯开特倒毙在潭边。桑顿的尸体可能在水下的某个地方。

  整整一天巴克呆在水潭边,闻或围着营地不停地奔走。但是当夜暮降临的时候,他听到森林中传出新的声响;狼群来到南方过冬了,他们正朝着巴克的山谷而来。他们在月光下来到了营地。巴克静静地仁立着等待着他们。突然,一只最勇敢的狼扑向巴克。仅仅一秒钟,巴克就咬住了他,然后重新站直。狼死在他的身后。另3条狼又扑了上来,也死掉了。

  然后狼群集体一起出击了。但是没有一头狼能扑倒巴克;他对他们整个来说,太过迅捷,太强壮,也太聪明了。半小时之后狼群停止了进攻,开始撤退。有一头狼缓缓地走上前来,做出友好的姿态;这就是巴克以前在森林中遇到的那只狼。他们互相碰碰鼻子致意。然后另外一只狼也走上来交朋友,然后又是一只。很快巴克就被狼群围在了中心。野性的呼唤在巴克耳边响彻。狼群前进了,他们返回森林,巴克和他们一起并肩奔跑。

  这也许就是关于巴克的故事的尾声了。但是几年之后,印第安人注意到灰色的狼群中有一些有金褐色的皮毛。他们还谈论着跑在狼群前的一只幽灵一样的狗。

  有时有一些人被发现被一个可怕动物用牙齿咬死了。每年秋天,当印第安人追赶驼鹿的时候,有一个山谷他们从来不进去。

  在夏天的时候,山谷里只有一个探访者:一头高大金褐色的狼,比任何一头狼都高大。他沿着湖边走着,嗥叫着,水底的黄金闪烁着光芒。但他也不总是独自一个的。在漫长的冬夜,他带领狼群在月光下跑过,同他们一起在夜晚呼喊着,在一个更有生气的世界里唱着歌。