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。

Everyone in the Territory wanted to see Blue Duck hanged, it seemed. The little town was full of cowhands, with women and children sleeping in wagons. There was much argument, most of it in favor of hanging Blue Duck instantly lest he escape. Parties were constantly forming to present petitions to the sheriff, or else storm the jail, but the latter were unenthusiastic. Blue Duck had ranged the llano for so long, and butchered and raped and stolen so often, that superstitions had formed around him. Some, particularly women, felt he couldn’t die, and that their lives would never be safe.
Call took the opportunity to have a blacksmith completely rebuild the buggy. The blacksmith had lots of wagons to work on and took three days to get around to the buggy, but he let Call store the coffin in his back room, since it was attracting attention.
The only thing to do in town besides drink was to admire the new courthouse, three stories high and with a gallows at the top, from which Blue Duck would be hung. The courthouse had fine glass windows and polished floors.
Two days before the hanging was to take place, Call decided to go see the prisoner. He had already met the deputy who had crippled Blue Duck’s horse. The man, whose name was Decker, was fat and stone drunk, leading Call to suspect that Goodnight had been right—the shot had been lucky. But every man in the Territory had insisted on buying the deputy a drink since then; perhaps he had been capable of sobriety before he became a hero. He was easily moved to sobs at the memory of his exploit, which he had recounted so many times that he was hoarse.
The sheriff, a balding man named Owensby, had of course heard of Call and was eager to show him the prisoner. The jail had only three cells, and Blue Duck was in the middle one, which had no window. The others had been cleared, minor culprits having simply been turned loose in order to lessen the chances that Blue Duck might somehow contrive an escape.
The minute Call saw the man he knew it was unlikely. Blue Duck had been shot in the shoulder and leg, and had a greasy rag wound around his forehead, covering another wound. Call had never seen a man so draped in chains. He was handcuffed; each leg was heavily chained; and the chains draped around his torso were bolted to the wall. Two deputies with Winchesters kept constant watch. Despite the chains and bars, Call judged that both were scared to death.
Blue Duck himself seemed indifferent to the furor outside. He was leaning back against the wall, his eyes half closed, when Call came in.
“What’s he doing?” Sheriff Owensby asked. Despite all the precautions, he was so nervous that he had not been able to keep food down since the prisoner was brought in.
“Ain’t doin’ much,” one deputy said. “What can he do?” “Well, it’s been said he can escape from any jail,” the sheriff reminded them. “We got to watch him close.” “Only way to watch him closer is to go in with him, and I’ll quit before I’ll do that,” the other deputy said.
Blue Duck opened his slumbrous eyes a fraction wider and looked at Call.
“I hear you brought your stinkin’ old friend to my hanging,” Blue Duck said, his low, heavy voice startling the deputies and the sheriff too.
“Just luck,” Call said.
“I should have caught him and cooked him when I had the chance,” Blue Duck said.“He would have killed you,” Call said; annoyed by the man’s insolent tone. “Or I would have, if need be.” Blue Duck smiled. “I raped women and stole children and burned houses and shot men and run off horses and killed cattle and robbed who I pleased, all over your territory, ever since you been a law,” he said. “And you never even had a good look at me until today. I don’t reckon you would have killed me.” Sheriff Owensby reddened, embarrassed that the man would insult a famous Ranger, but there was little he could do about it. Call knew there was truth in what Blue Duck said, and merely stood looking at the man, who was larger than he had supposed. His head was huge and his eyes cold as snake’s eyes.
“I despise all you fine-haired sons of bitches,” Blue Duck said. “You Rangers. I expect I’ll kill a passel of you yet.” “I doubt it,” Call said. “Not unless you can fly.” Blue Duck smiled a cold smile. “I can fly,” he said. “An old woman taught me. And if you care to wait, you’ll see me.” “I’ll wait,” Call said.
On the day of the hanging the square in front of the courthouse was packed with spectators. Call had to tie his animals over a hundred yards away—he wanted to get started as soon as the hanging was over. He worked his way to the front of the crowd and watched as Blue Duck was moved from the jail to the courthouse in a small wagon under heavy escort. Call thought it likely somebody would be killed accidentally before it was over, since all the deputies were so scared they had their rifles on cock. Blue Duck was as heavily chained as ever and still had the greasy rag tied around his head wound. He was led into the courthouse and up the stairs. The hangman was making last-minute improvements on the hangrope and Call was looking off, thinking he saw a man who had once served under him in the crowd, when he heard a scream and a sudden shattering of glass. He looked up and the hair on his neck rose, for Blue Duck was flying through the air in his chains. It seemed to Call the man’s cold smile was fixed on him as he fell: he had managed to dive through one of the long glass windows on the third floor—and not alone, either. He had grabbed Deputy Decker with his handcuffed hands and pulled him out too. Both fell to the stony ground right in front of the courthouse. Blue Duck hit right on his head, while the Deputy had fallen backwards, like a man pushed out of a hayloft. Blue Duck didn’t move after he hit, but the deputy squirmed and cried. Tinkling glass fell about the two men.
The crowd was too stunned to move. Sheriff Owensby stood high above them, looking out the window, mortified that he had allowed hundreds of people to be cheated of a hanging.
Call walked out alone and knelt by the two men. Finally a few others joined him. Blue Duck was stone dead, his eyes wide open, the cruel smile still on his lips. Decker was broken to bits and spitting blood already—he wouldn’t last long.
“I guess that old woman didn’t teach you well enough,” Call said to the outlaw.
Owensby ran down the stairs and insisted that they carry Blue Duck up and string him from the gallows. “By God, I said he’d hang, and he’ll hang,” he said. Many of the spectators were so afraid of the outlaw that they wouldn’t touch him, even dead. Six men who were too drunk to be spooked finally carried him up and left him dangling above the crowd.
Call thought it a silly waste of work, though he supposed the sheriff had politics to think of.
He himself could not forget that Blue Duck had smiled at him in the moment that he flew. As he walked through the crowd he heard a woman say she had seen Blue Duck’s eyes move as he lay on the ground. Even with the man hanging from a gallows, the people were priming themselves to believe he hadn’t died. Probably half the crimes committed on the llano in the next ten years would be laid to Blue Duck.
As Call was getting into his wagon, a newspaperman ran up, a red-headed boy scarcely twenty years old, white with excitement at what he had just seen.
“Captain Call?” he asked. “I write for the Denver paper. They pointed you out to me. Can I speak to you for a minute?” Call mounted the dun and caught the mule’s lead rope. “I have to ride,” he said. “It’s still a ways to Texas.” He started to go, but the boy would not give up. He strode beside the dun, talking, much as Clara had, except that the boy was merely excited. Call thought it strange that two people on one trip would follow him off.
“But, Captain,” the boy said. “They say you were the most famous Ranger. They say you’ve carried Captain McCrae three thousand miles just to bury him. They say you started the first ranch in Montana. My boss will fire me if I don’t talk to you. They say you’re a man of vision.” “Yes, a hell of a vision,” Call said. He was forced to put spurs to the dun to get away from the boy, who stood scribbling on a pad.
It was a dry year, the grass of the llano brown, the long plain shimmering with mirages. Call followed the Pecos, down through Bosque Redondo and south through New Mexico. He knew it was dangerous—in such a year, Indians might follow the river too. But he feared the drought worse. At night lightning flickered high above the plains; thunder rumbledbut no rain fell. The days were dull and hot, and he saw no one—just an occasional antelope. His animals were tiring, and so was he. He tried driving at night but had to give it up—too often he would nod off, and once came within an ace of smashing a buggy wheel. The coffin was sprung from so much bouncing and began to leak a fine trail of salt.