Lonesome Dove 孤鸽镇

杰瑞发布于09 Feb 16:39

Bestselling winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize,Lonesome Dove is an American classic c. First publish ed in 1985, Larry McMurtry' epic novel combined flawless writing with a storyline and setting that gripped the popular imagination, and ultimately resulted in a series of four novels and an Emmy-winning television miniseries. 《孤鸽镇》是1986年普利策奖的畅销书得主,是一部美国经典小说。拉里·麦默特里(Larry McMurtry)的史诗小说于1985年首次出版,将完美的写作与吸引大众想象力的故事情节和背景相结合,最终创作了一系列四部小说和一部艾美奖电视迷你剧。

“Captain, they’re going blind;” he said.
Call looked grim. “It ain’t real blindness,” he said. “They get that way when they’re real thirsty. They’ll try to go back to the last water.” He told the men to forget the weaker cattle and try to keep the stronger ones moving.
“We ought to make the water by night,” he said.
“If we make night,” Augustus said.
“We can’t just stop and die,” Call said.
“I don’t intend to,” Augustus said. “But some of the men might. That Irishman is delirious. He ain’t used to such dry country.” Indeed the terrible heat had driven Allen O’Brien out of his head. Now and then he would try to sing, though his tongue was swollen and his lips cracked.
“You don’t need to sing,” Call said.
Allen O’Brien looked at him angrily. “I need to cry, but I’ve got no tears,” he said. “This goddamn country has burned up my tears.” Call had been awake for over three days, and he began to feel confused himself. He knew water couldn’t be much farther, but, all the same, fatigue made him doubtful. Perhaps it had been a hundred miles rather than eighty. They would never make it, if so. He tried to remember, searching his mind for details that would suggest how far the river might be, butthere were precious few landmarks on the dry plain, and the harder he concentrated the more his mind seemed to slip.
He was riding the Hell Bitch, but for long moments he imagined he was riding old Ben again—a mule he had relied on frequently during his campaigning on the llano. Ben had had an infallible sense of direction and a fine nose for water. He wasn’t fast but he was sure. At the time, some men had scoffed at him for riding a mule, but Call ignored them. The stakes were life or death, and Ben was the most reliable animal he had ever seen, if far from the prettiest.
The men had had the last of Po Campo’s water that morning, barely enough to wet their tongues. Po Campo doled it out with severity, careful to see that no one got more than his share. Though the old man had walked the whole distance, using his ax-handle cane, he seemed not particularly tired.
Call, though, was so tired he felt his mind slipping. Try as he might, he couldn’t stay awake. Once he slept for a few steps, then jerked awake, convinced he was fighting again the battle of Fort Phantom Hill. He looked around for Indians, but saw only the thirst-blinded cattle, their long tongues hanging out, their breath rasping. His mind slipped again, and when he awoke next it was dark. The Hell Bitch was trotting. When he opened his eyes he saw the Texas bull trot past him. He reached for his reins, but they were not there. His hands were empty. Then, to his amazement, he saw that Deets had taken his reins and was leading the Hell Bitch.
No one had ever led his horse before. Call felt embarrassed. “Here, I’m awake,” he said, his voice just a whisper.
Deets stopped and gave him his reins. “Didn’t want you to fall and get left, Captain,” he said. “The water ain’t far now.” That was evident from the quickened pace of the cattle, from the way the horses began to prick their ears. Call tried to shake the sleep off, but it was as if he were stuck in it. He could see, but it took a great effort to move, and he wasn’t immediately able to resume command.
Augustus loped up, seemingly fresh. “We better get everybody to the front,” he said. “We’ll need to try and spread them when they hit the water. Otherwise they’ll all pile into the first mudhole and tromple themselves.” Most of the cattle were too weak to run, but they broke into a trot. Call finally shook the sleep off and helped Dish and Deets and Augustus split the herd. They were only partially successful. The cattle were moving like a blind army, the scent of water in their nostrils. Fortunately they hit the river above where Call had hit it, and there was more water. The cattle spread of their own accord.
Call had not recovered from his embarrassment at having been led. Yet he knew Deets had done the right thing. He had still been dreaming of Ben and that hot day at Phantom Hill, and if he had slipped off his horse he might just have laid there and slept. But it was the first time in his life he had not been able to last through a task in command of his wits, and it bothered him.
All during the night and the next day, cattle straggled into the river, some of them cattle Call had supposed would merely become carcasses, rotting on the trail. Yet a day on the water worked wonders for them. Augustus and Dish made counts, once the stragglers stopped coming, and it appeared they had only lost six head.
The Irishman spent most of the day sitting in a puddle in Salt Creek, recovering from his delirium. He could not remember having been delirious and grew angry when the others kidded him about it. Newt, who had planned to drink all day once he got to water, soon found that he couldn’t drink any more. He devoted his leisure to complicated games of mumblety- peg with the Rainey boys.
Deets went on a scout and reported that the country to the west didn’t improve—grass was as scarce as water in that direction. Far to the north they could see the outlines of mountains, and there was much talk about which mountains they were.
“Why, the Rocky Mountains,” Augustus said.
“Will we have to climb them?” Jasper asked. He had survived rivers and drought, but did not look forward to climbing mountains.
“No,” Call said. “We’ll go north, up the Powder River, right into Montana.” “How many days will it take now?” Newt asked. He had almost forgotten that Montana was a real place that they might get to someday.
“I expect three weeks or a little more and we might hit the Yellowstone,” Call said.
“The Yellowstone already?” Dish Boggett said. It was the last river—or at least the last river anyone knew much about. At mention of it the whole camp fell silent, looking at the mountains.THEY RESTED ON the Salt for two days, giving the animals and men plenty of time to recover. The men spent much of their time speculating about what lay on beyond the mountains, and how long it would take to get there.
Call slept a distance out of camp, as was his habit. He knew the men were in a good mood, for he could hear them singing most of the night. Now that he had the leisure to sleep, he found he couldn’t, much. He had always thought his energies equal to any situation, but he had begun to have doubts. A tiredness clung to his bones, but not a tiredness that produced sleep. He felt played out, and wished they were already in Montana. There were only a few hundred miles left, but it seemed farther to him than all the distance they had come.
Trotting back into camp one morning he saw there was excitement around the cook fire. Several of the men were holding rifles. The sight surprised him, for it had seemed a peaceful night.