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。

Indeed, the Hat Creek outfit was in disarray, the wagon and the remuda still fleeing south, half the hands thrown and the other half fighting their horses. The cattle hadn’t run yet, but they were nervous. Newt had been thrown sky-high off the sorrel Clara had given him and had landed painfully on his tailbone. He started to limp back to the wagon, only to discover that the wagon was gone. All that was left of it was Po Campo, who looked puzzled. He was too short to see over the cattle and had no idea there was a bear around.
“Is it Indians?” Newt asked. He had not yet seen the bear either.
“I don’t know what it is,” Po Campo said. “But it’s something mules don’t like.” Only the two pigs were relatively undisturbed. A sack of potatoes had bounced out of the fleeing wagon and the pigs were calmly eating them, grunting now and then with satisfaction.
The Texas bull was the only animal directly facing the bear. The bull let out a challenging bellow and began to paw the earth. He took a few steps forward and pawed the earth again, throwing clouds of dust above his back.
“You don’t think that little bull is fool enough to charge that bear, do you?” Augustus asked. “Charging Needle Nelson is one thing. That bear’ll turn him wrong side out.” “Well, if you want to go rope that bull and lead him to the barn, help yourself,” Call said. “I can’t do nothing with this horse.” The bull trotted forward another few steps and stopped again. He was no more than thirty or forty yards from the bear.
The bear dropped on all fours, watching the bull. He growled a rough, throaty growl that caused a hundred or so cattle to scatter and run back a short distance. They stopped again to watch. The bull bellowed and slung a string of slobber over his back. He was hot and angry. He pawed the earth again, then lowered his head and charged the bear.
To the amazement of all who saw it, the bear batted the Texas bull aside. He rose on his hind legs again, dealt the bull a swipe with his forepaw that knocked the bull off its feet. The bull was up in a second and charged the bear again—this time it seemed the bear almost skinned him. He hit the bull on the shoulder and ripped a capelike piece of skin loose on his back, but despite that, the bull managed to drive into the bear and thrust a horn into his flank. The bear roared and dug his teeth into the bull’s neck, but the bull was still moving, and soon bear and bull were rolling over and over in the dust, the bull’s bellows and the bear’s roar so loud that the cattle did panic and begin to run. The Hell Bitch danced backward, and Augustus’s horse began to pitch again and threw him, though Augustus held the rein and managed to get his rifle out of the scabbard before the horse broke free and fled. Then Call found himself thrown too; the Hell Bitch, catlike, had simply doubled out from under him.
It came at an inopportune moment too, for the bull and the bear, twisting like cats, had left the creek bank and were moving in the direction of the herd, although the dust the battle raised was so thick no one could see who had the advantage. It seemed to Call, when he looked, that the bull was being ripped to pieces by the bear’s teeth and claws, but at least once the bull knocked the bear backward and got a horn into him again.
“Reckon we ought to shoot?” Augustus said. “Hell, this outfit will run clean back to the Red River if this keeps up.” “If you shoot, you might hit the bull,” Call said. “Then we’d have to fight the bear ourselves, and I ain’t sure we can stop him. That’s a pretty mad bear.” Po Campo came up, holding his shotgun, Newt a few steps behind him. Most of the men had been thrown and were watching the battle tensely, clutching their guns.
The sounds the two animals made were so frightening that they made the men want to run. Jasper Fant wanted badly to run—he just didn’t want to run alone. Now and then he would see the bear’s head, teeth bared, or his great claws slashing; now and then he would see the bull seem to turn to bunched muscle as he tried to force the bear backward.
Both were bleeding, and in the heat the blood smell was so strong that Newt almost gagged.
Then it stopped. Everyone expected to see the bull down—but the bull wasn’t down. Neither was the bear. They broke apart, circling one another in the dust. Everyone prepared to pour bullets into the bear if he should charge their way, but the bear didn’t charge. He snarled at the bull, the bull answering with a slobbery bellow. The bull turned back toward the herd, then stopped and faced the bear. The bear rose on his hind legs again, still snarling—one side was soaked with blood. To the men, the bear seemed to tower over them, although fifty yards away. In a minute he dropped back on all fours, roared once more at the bull, and disappeared into the brush along the creek.
“Captain, can we go after him?” Soupy Jones said, clutching his rifle.
“Go after him on what?” Augustus asked. “Have you gone daft, Soupy? You want to chase a grizzly bear on foot, after what you’ve seen? You wouldn’t even make one good bite for that bear.” The bear had crossed the stream and was ambling along lazily across the open plain.Despite Augustus’s cautions, as soon as the men could catch their horses, five of them, including Dish Boggett, Soupy, Bert, the Irishman and Needle Nelson, raced after the bear, still visible though a mile or more away. They began to fire long before they were in range, and the bear loped toward the mountains. An hour later the men returned, their horses run down, but with no bear trophies.
“We hit him but he was faster than we thought,” Soupy explained. “He got in some trees up toward the hills.” “We’ll get the next one,” Bert predicted.
“Hell, if he was in the trees, you should have gone in and tapped him with your pistol butt,” Augustus said. “That would probably have tamed him.” “Well, the horses wouldn’t go in them trees,” Soupy explained.
“I didn’t want to either,” Allen O’Brien admitted. “If we had gone in the trees we might not have come out.” The mules had run three miles before stopping, but because the plain was fairly smooth, the wagon was undamaged. The same could not be said for Lippy, who had bounced so hard at one point that he had bitten his tongue nearly in two. The tongue bled for hours, little streams of blood spilling over his long lip. The remuda was eventually rounded up, as well as the cattle.
When the Texas bull calmed down enough so that it was possible to approach him, his wounds seemed so extensive that Call at first considered shooting him. He had only one eye, the other having been raked out, and the skin had been ripped off his neck and hung like a blanket over one shoulder. There was a deep gash in his flank and a claw wound running almost the whole length of his back. One horn had been broken off at the skull as if with a sledgehammer. Yet the bull still pawed the earth and bellowed when the cowboys rode too close.
“It seems a pity to shoot him,” Augustus said. “He fought a draw with a grizzly. Not many critters can say that.” “He can’t walk to Montana with half his skin hanging off his shoulders,” Call pointed out. “The flies will get on that wound and he’ll die anyway.” Po Campo walked to within fifty feet of the bull and looked at him.
“I can sew him up,” he said. “He might live. Somebody catch him for me.” “Yes, rope him, Dish,” Augustus said. “It’s your job. You’re our top hand.” Dish had to do it or be embarrassed by his failure for the rest of the trip. His horse didn’t want to go near the bull, and he missed two throws from nervousness and expected to be killed himself if he did catch the animal. But he finally got a rope over the bull’s head and slowed him until four more ropes could be thrown on him.
Even then, it was all they could do to throw the bull, and it took Po Campo over two hours to sew the huge flap of skin back in place. When it was necessary to turn the bull from one side to another, it took virtually the whole crew, plus five horses and ropes, to keep him from getting up again. Then, when the bull did roll, he nearly rolled on Needle Nelson, who hated him anyway and didn’t approve of all the doctoring. When the bull nearly rolled on him Needle retreated to the wagon and refused to come near him again. “I was rooting for the bear,” he said. “A bull like that is going to get somebody sooner or later, and it might be me.” The next day the bull was so sore he could barely hobble, and Call feared the doctoring had been in vain. The bull fell so far behind the herd that they decided to leave him. He fell several miles behind in the course of the day. Call kept looking back, expecting to see buzzards in the sky—if the bull finally dropped, they would feast.
But he saw no buzzards, and a week after the fight the bull was in the herd again. No one had seen him return, but one morning he was there. He had only one horn and one eye, and Po Campo’s sewing job was somewhat uneven, the folds of skin having separated in two or three places—but the bull was ornery as ever, bellowing at the cowboys when they came too close. He resumed his habit of keeping well to the front of the herd. His wounds only made him more irascible; the hands gave him a wide berth.
As a result of the battle, night herding became even more unpopular. Where there was one grizzly bear, there could be others. The men who had been worrying constantly about Indians began to worry about bears. Those who had chased the wounded bear horseback could not stop talking about how fast he had moved. Though he had only seemed to be loping along, he had easily run off and left them. “There ain’t a horse in this outfit that bear couldn’t catch, if he wanted to,” Dish contended.
The observation worried Jasper Fant so much that he lost his appetite and his ability to sleep. He lay awake in his blankets for three nights, clutching his gun—and when he couldn’t avoid night herding he felt such anxiety that he usually threw up whatever he ate. He would have quit the outfit, but that would only mean crossing hundreds of miles of bear-infested prairie alone, a prospect he couldn’t face. He decided if he ever got to a town where there was a railroad, he would take a train, no matter where it was going.Pea Eye, too, found the prospect of bears disturbing. “If we strike any more, let’s all shoot at once,” he suggested to the men repeatedly. “I guess if enough of us hit one it’d fall,” he always added. But no one seemed convinced, and no one bothered to reply.WHEN SALLY AND BETSEY asked her questions about her past, Lorena was perplexed. They were just girls—she couldn’t tell them the truth. They both idolized her and made much of her adventure in crossing the prairies. Betsey had a lively curiosity and could ask about a hundred questions an hour. Sally was more reserved and often chided her sister for prying into Lorena’s affairs.
“She don’t have to tell you about her whole life,” Sally would protest. “Maybe she can’t remember. I can only remember back to when I was three.” “What happened when you was three?” Lorena asked.