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The Furnished Room (O·Henry)  

2011-06-19 09:18:35|  分类: English |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The Furnished Room (O·Henry)

___________________________________________

Restless, shifting, fugacious as time itself is a certain vast bulk of the population of the red brick district of the lower West Side. Homeless, they have a hundred homes. They flit from furnished room to furnished room, transients forever--transients in abode, transients in heart and mind. They sing "Home, Sweet Home" in ragtime; they carry their lares et penates in a bandbox; their vine is entwined about a picture hat; a rubber plant is their fig tree.

Hence the houses of this district, having had a thousand dwellers, should have a thousand tales to tell, mostly dull ones, no doubt; but it would be strange if there could not be found a ghost or two in the wake of all these vagrant guests.

One evening after dark a young man prowled among these crumbling red mansions, ringing their bells. At the twelfth he rested his lean hand-baggage upon the step and wiped the dust from his hatband and forehead. The bell sounded faint and far away in some remote, hollow depths.

To the door of this, the twelfth house whose bell he had rung, came a housekeeper who made him think of an unwholesome, surfeited worm that had eaten its nut to a hollow shell and now sought to fill the vacancy with edible lodgers.

He asked if there was a room to let.

"Come in," said the housekeeper. Her voice came from her throat; her throat seemed lined with fur. "I have the third floor back, vacant since a week back. Should you wish to look at it?"

The young man followed her up the stairs. A faint light from no particular source mitigated the shadows of the halls. They trod noiselessly upon a stair carpet that its own loom would have forsworn. It seemed to have become vegetable; to have degenerated in that rank, sunless air to lush lichen or spreading moss that grew in patches to the staircase and was viscid under the foot like organic matter. At each turn of the stairs were vacant niches in the wall. Perhaps plants had once been set within them. If so they had died in that foul and tainted air. It may be that statues of the saints had stood there, but it was not difficult to conceive that imps and devils had dragged them forth in the darkness and down to the unholy depths of some furnished pit below.

"This is the room," said the housekeeper, from her furry throat. "It's a nice room. It ain't often vacant. I had some most elegant people in it last summer--no trouble at all, and paid in advance to the minute. The water's at the end of the hall. Sprowls and Mooney kept it three months. They done a vaudeville sketch. Miss B'retta Sprowls--you may have heard of her--Oh, that was just the stage names --right there over the dresser is where the marriage certificate hung, framed. The gas is here, and you see there is plenty of closet room. It's a room everybody likes. It never stays idle long."

"Do you have many theatrical people rooming here?" asked the young man.

"They comes and goes. A good proportion of my lodgers is connected with the theatres. Yes, sir, this is the theatrical district. Actor people never stays long anywhere. I get my share. Yes, they comes and they goes."

He engaged the room, paying for a week in advance. He was tired, he said, and would take possession at once. He counted out the money. The room had been made ready, she said, even to towels and water. As the housekeeper moved away he put, for the thousandth time, the question that he carried at the end of his tongue.

"A young girl--Miss Vashner--Miss Eloise Vashner--do you remember such a one among your lodgers? She would be singing on the stage, most likely. A fair girl, of medium height and slender, with reddish, gold hair and a dark mole near her left eyebrow."

"No, I don't remember the name. Them stage people has names they change as often as their rooms. They comes and they goes. No, I don't call that one to mind."

No. Always no. Five months of ceaseless interrogation and the inevitable negative. So much time spent by day in questioning managers, agents, schools and choruses; by night among the audiences of theatres from all-star casts down to music halls so low that he dreaded to find what he most hoped for. He who had loved her best had tried to find her. He was sure that since her disappearance from home this great, water-girt city held her somewhere, but it was like a monstrous quicksand, shifting its particles constantly, with no foundation, its upper granules of to-day buried to-morrow in ooze and slime.

The furnished room received its latest guest with a first glow of pseudo-hospitality, a hectic, haggard, perfunctory welcome like the specious smile of a demirep. The sophistical comfort came in reflected gleams from the decayed furniture, the raggcd brocade upholstery of a couch and two chairs, a footwide cheap pier glass between the two windows, from one or two gilt picture frames and a brass bedstead in a corner.

The guest reclined, inert, upon a chair, while the room, confused in speech as though it were an apartment in Babel, tried to discourse to him of its divers tenantry.

A polychromatic rug like some brilliant-flowered rectangular, tropical islet lay surrounded by a billowy sea of soiled matting. Upon the gay-papered wall were those pictures that pursue the homeless one from house to house--The Huguenot Lovers, The First Quarrel, The Wedding Breakfast, Psyche at the Fountain. The mantel's chastely severe outline was ingloriously veiled behind some pert drapery drawn rakishly askew like the sashes of the Amazonian ballet. Upon it was some desolate flotsam cast aside by the room's marooned when a lucky sail had borne them to a fresh port--a trifling vase or two, pictures of actresses, a medicine bottle, some stray cards out of a deck.

One by one, as the characters of a cryptograph become explicit, the little signs left by the furnished room's procession of guests developed a significance. The threadbare space in the rug in front of the dresser told that lovely woman had marched in the throng. Tiny finger prints on the wall spoke of little prisoners trying to feel their way to sun and air. A splattered stain, raying like the shadow of a bursting bomb, witnessed where a hurled glass or bottle had splintered with its contents against the wall. Across the pier glass had been scrawled with a diamond in staggering letters the name "Marie." It seemed that the succession of dwellers in the furnished room had turned in fury--perhaps tempted beyond forbearance by its garish coldness--and wreaked upon it their passions. The furniture was chipped and bruised; the couch, distorted by bursting springs, seemed a horrible monster that had been slain during the stress of some grotesque convulsion. Some more potent upheaval had cloven a great slice from the marble mantel. Each plank in the floor owned its particular cant and shriek as from a separate and individual agony. It seemed incredible that all this malice and injury had been wrought upon the room by those who had called it for a time their home; and yet it may have been the cheated home instinct surviving blindly, the resentful rage at false household gods that had kindled their wrath. A hut that is our own we can sweep and adorn and cherish.

The young tenant in the chair allowed these thoughts to file, soft- shod, through his mind, while there drifted into the room furnished sounds and furnished scents. He heard in one room a tittering and incontinent, slack laughter; in others the monologue of a scold, the rattling of dice, a lullaby, and one crying dully; above him a banjo tinkled with spirit. Doors banged somewhere; the elevated trains roared intermittently; a cat yowled miserably upon a back fence. And he breathed the breath of the house--a dank savour rather than a smell --a cold, musty effluvium as from underground vaults mingled with the reeking exhalations of linoleum and mildewed and rotten woodwork.

Then, suddenly, as he rested there, the room was filled with the strong, sweet odour of mignonette. It came as upon a single buffet of wind with such sureness and fragrance and emphasis that it almost seemed a living visitant. And the man cried aloud: "What, dear?" as if he had been called, and sprang up and faced about. The rich odour clung to him and wrapped him around. He reached out his arms for it, all his senses for the time confused and commingled. How could one be peremptorily called by an odour? Surely it must have been a sound. But, was it not the sound that had touched, that had caressed him?

"She has been in this room," he cried, and he sprang to wrest from it a token, for he knew he would recognize the smallest thing that had belonged to her or that she had touched. This enveloping scent of mignonette, the odour that she had loved and made her own--whence came it?

The room had been but carelessly set in order. Scattered upon the flimsy dresser scarf were half a dozen hairpins--those discreet, indistinguishable friends of womankind, feminine of gender, infinite of mood and uncommunicative of tense. These he ignored, conscious of their triumphant lack of identity. Ransacking the drawers of the dresser he came upon a discarded, tiny, ragged handkerchief. He pressed it to his face. It was racy and insolent with heliotrope; he hurled it to the floor. In another drawer he found odd buttons, a theatre programme, a pawnbroker's card, two lost marshmallows, a book on the divination of dreams. In the last was a woman's black satin hair bow, which halted him, poised between ice and fire. But the black satin hairbow also is femininity's demure, impersonal, common ornament, and tells no tales.

And then he traversed the room like a hound on the scent, skimming the walls, considering the corners of the bulging matting on his hands and knees, rummaging mantel and tables, the curtains and hangngs, the drunken cabinet in the corner, for a visible sign, unable to perceive that she was there beside, around, against, within, above him, clinging to him, wooing him, calling him so poignantly through the finer senses that even his grosser ones became cognisant of the call. Once again he answered loudly: "Yes, dear!" and turned, wild-eyed, to gaze on vacancy, for he could not yet discern form and colour and love and outstretched arms in the odour of mnignonette. Oh, God! whence that odour, and since when have odours had a voice to call? Thus he groped.

He burrowed in crevices and corners, and found corks and cigarettes. These he passed in passive contempt. But once he found in a fold of the matting a half-smoked cigar, and this he ground beneath his heel with a green and trenchant oath. He sifted the room from end to end. He found dreary and ignoble small records of many a peripatetic tenant; but of her whom he sought, and who may have lodged there, and whose spirit seemed to hover there, he found no trace.

And then he thought of the housekeeper.

He ran from the haunted room downstairs and to a door that showed a crack of light. She came out to his knock. He smothered his excitement as best he could.

"Will you tell me, madam," he besought her, "who occupied the room I have before I came?"

"Yes, sir. I can tell you again. 'Twas Sprowls and Mooney, as I said. Miss B'retta Sprowls it was in the theatres, but Missis Mooney she was. My house is well known for respectability. The marriage certificate hung, framed, on a nail over--"

"What kind of a lady was Miss Sprowls--in looks, I mean?"

Why, black-haired, sir, short, and stout, with a comical face. They left a week ago Tuesday."

"And before they occupied it?"

"Why, there was a single gentleman connected with the draying business. He left owing me a week. Before him was Missis Crowder and her two children, that stayed four months; and back of them was old Mr. Doyle, whose sons paid for him. He kept the room six months. That goes back a year, sir, and further I do not remember."

He thanked her and crept back to his room. The room was dead. The essence that had vivified it was gone. The perfume of mignonette had departed. In its place was the old, stale odour of mouldy house furniture, of atmosphere in storage.

The ebbing of his hope drained his faith. He sat staring at the yellow, singing gaslight. Soon he walked to the bed and began to tear the sheets into strips. With the blade of his knife he drove them tightly into every crevice around windows and door. When all was snug and taut he turned out the light, turned the gas full on again and laid himself gratefully upon the bed.

* * * * * * *

It was Mrs. McCool's night to go with the can for beer. So she fetched it and sat with Mrs. Purdy in one of those subterranean retreats where house-keepers foregather and the worm dieth seldom.

"I rented out my third floor, back, this evening," said Mrs. Purdy, across a fine circle of foam. "A young man took it. He went up to bed two hours ago."

"Now, did ye, Mrs. Purdy, ma'am?" said Mrs. McCool, with intense admiration. "You do be a wonder for rentin' rooms of that kind. And did ye tell him, then?" she concluded in a husky whisper, laden with mystery.

"Rooms," said Mrs. Purdy, in her furriest tones, "are furnished for to rent. I did not tell him, Mrs. McCool."

"'Tis right ye are, ma'am; 'tis by renting rooms we kape alive. Ye have the rale sense for business, ma'am. There be many people will rayjict the rentin' of a room if they be tould a suicide has been after dyin' in the bed of it."

"As you say, we has our living to be making," remarked Mrs. Purdy.

"Yis, ma'am; 'tis true. 'Tis just one wake ago this day I helped ye lay out the third floor, back. A pretty slip of a colleen she was to be killin' herself wid the gas--a swate little face she had, Mrs. Purdy, ma'am."

"She'd a-been called handsome, as you say," said Mrs. Purdy, assenting but critical, "but for that mole she had a-growin' by her left eyebrow. Do fill up your glass again, Mrs. McCool."

带家具出租的房间 (欧·亨利)

___________________________________________

    在纽约西区南部的红砖房那一带地方,绝大多数居民都如时光一样动荡不定、迁移不停、来去匆匆。正因为无家可归,他们也可以说有上百个家。他们不时从这间客房搬到另一间客房,永远都是那么变幻无常——在居家上如此,在情感和理智上也无二致。他们用爵士乐曲调唱着流行曲“家,甜美的家”;全部家当用硬纸盒一拎就走;缠缘于阔边帽上的装饰就是他们的葡萄藤;拐杖就是他们的无花果树。

  这一带有成百上千这种住客,这一带的房子可以述说的故事自然也是成百上千。当然,它们大多干瘪乏味;不过,要说在这么多漂泊过客掀起的余波中找不出一两个鬼魂,那才是怪事哩。

  一天傍晚擦黑以后,有个青年男子在这些崩塌失修的红砖大房中间转悠寻觅,挨门挨户按铃。在第十二家门前,他把空当当的手提行李放在台阶上,然后揩去帽沿和额头上的灰尘。门铃声很弱,好像传至遥远、空旷的房屋深处。

  这是他按响的第十二家门铃。铃声响过,女房东应声出来开门。她的模样使他想起一只讨厌的、吃得过多的蛆虫。它已经把果仁吃得只剩空壳,现在正想寻找可以充饥的房客来填充空间。

  年轻人问有没有房间出租。

  “进来吧,”房东说。她的声音从喉头挤出,嘎声嘎气,好像喉咙上绷了层毛皮。“三楼还有个后间,空了一个星期。想看看吗?”

  年轻人跟她上楼。不知从什么地方来的一线微光缓和了过道上的阴影。他们不声不响地走着,脚下的地毯破烂不堪,可能连造出它的织布机都要诅咒说这不是自己的产物。它好像已经植物化了,已经在这恶臭、阴暗的空气中退化成茂盛滋润的地衣或满地蔓延的苔藓,东一块西一块,一直长到楼梯上,踩在脚下像有机物一样粘糊糊的。楼梯转角处墙上都有空着的壁龛。它们里面也许曾放过花花草草。果真如此的话,那些花草已经在污浊肮脏的空气中死去。壁龛里面也许曾放过圣像,但是不难想象,黑暗之中大大小小的魔鬼早就把圣人拖出来,一直拖到下面某间客房那邪恶的深渊之中去了。

  “就是这间,”房东说,还是那副毛皮嗓子。“房间很不错,难得有空的时候。今年夏天这儿还住过一些特别讲究的人哩——从不找麻烦,按时提前付房租。自来水在过道尽头。斯普罗尔斯和穆尼住了三个月。她们演过轻松喜剧。布雷塔·斯普罗尔斯小姐——也许你听说过她吧——喔,那只是艺名儿——就在那张梳妆台上边,原来还挂着她的结婚证书哩,镶了框的。煤气开关在这儿,瞧这壁橱也很宽敞。这房间人人见了都喜欢,从来没长时间空过。”

  “你这儿住过很多演戏的?”年轻人问。

  “他们这个来,那个去。我的房客中有很多人在演出界干事。对了,先生,这一带剧院集中,演戏的人从不在一个地方长住。到这儿来住过的也不少。他们这个来,那个去。”

  他租下了房间,预付了一个星期的租金。他说他很累,想马上住下来。他点清了租金。她说房间早就准备规矩,连毛巾和水都是现成的。房东走开时,——他又——已经是第一千次了——把挂在舌尖的问题提了出来。

  “有个姑娘——瓦西纳小姐——埃卢瓦丝·瓦西纳小姐——你记得房客中有过这人吗?她多半是在台上唱歌的。她皮肤白嫩,个子中等,身材苗条,金红色头发,左眼眉毛边长了颗黑痣。”

  “不,我记不得这个名字。那些搞演出的,换名字跟换房间一样快,来来去去,谁也说不准。不,我想不起这个名字了。”

  不。总是不。五个月不间断地打听询问,千篇一律地否定回答。已经花了好多时间,白天去找剧院经理、代理人、剧校和合唱团打听;晚上则夹在观众之中去寻找,名角儿会演的剧院去找过,下流污秽的音乐厅也去找过,甚至还害怕在那类地方找到他最想找的人。他对她独怀真情,一心要找到她。他确信,自她从家里失踪以来,这座水流环绕的大城市一定把她蒙在了某个角落。但这座城市就像一大团流沙,沙粒的位置变化不定,没有基础,今天还浮在上层的细粒到了明天就被淤泥和粘土覆盖在下面。

  客房以假惺惺的热情迎接新至的客人,像个暗娼脸上堆起的假笑,红中透病、形容枯槁、马马虎虎。破旧的家具、破烂绸套的沙发、两把椅子、窗户间一码宽的廉价穿衣镜、一两个烫金像框、角落里的铜床架——所有这一切折射出一种似是而非的舒适之感。

  房客懒洋洋地半躺在一把椅子上,客房则如巴比伦通天塔的一个套间,尽管稀里糊涂扯不清楚,仍然竭力把曾在这里留宿过的房客分门别类,向他细细讲来。

  地上铺了一张杂色地毯,像一个艳花盛开的长方形热带小岛,四周是肮脏的垫子形成的波涛翻滚的大海。用灰白纸裱过的墙上,贴着紧随无家可归者四处漂流的图片——“胡格诺情人”,“第一次争吵”,“婚礼早餐”,“泉边美女”。壁炉炉额的样式典雅而庄重,外面却歪歪斜斜扯起条花哨的布帘,像舞剧里亚马逊女人用的腰带。炉额上残留着一些零碎物品,都是些困居客房的人在幸运的风帆把他们载到新码头时抛弃不要的东西——一两个廉价花瓶,女演员的画片,药瓶儿,残缺不全的扑克纸牌。

  渐渐地,密码的笔形变得清晰可辨,前前后后居住过这间客房的人留下的细小痕迹所具有的意义也变得完整有形。

  梳妆台前那片地毯已经磨得只剩麻纱,意味着成群的漂亮女人曾在上面迈步。墙上的小指纹表明小囚犯曾在此努力摸索通向阳光和空气之路。一团溅开的污迹,形如炸弹爆炸后的影子,是杯子或瓶子连同所盛之物一起被砸在墙上的见证。穿衣镜镜面上用玻璃钻刀歪歪扭扭地刻着名字“玛丽”。看来,客房留宿人——也许是受到客房那俗艳的冷漠之驱使吧——

  曾先先后后在狂怒中辗转反侧,并把一腔愤懑倾泄在这个房间上。家具有凿痕和磨损;长沙发因凸起的弹簧而变形,看上去像一头在痛苦中扭曲的痉挛中被宰杀的可怖怪物。另外某次威力更大的动荡砍去了大理石壁炉额的一大块。地板的每一块拼木各自构成一个斜面,并且好像由于互不干连、各自独有的哀怨而发出尖叫。令人难以置信的是,那些把所有这一切恶意和伤害施加于这个房间的人居然就是曾一度把它称之为他们的家的人;然而,也许正是这屡遭欺骗、仍然盲目保持的恋家本性以及对虚假的护家神的愤恨点燃了他们胸中的冲天怒火。一间茅草房——只要属于我们自己——我们都会打扫、装点和珍惜。

  椅子上的年轻人任这些思绪缭绕心间,与此同时,楼中飘来有血有肉、活灵活现的声音和气味。他听见一个房间传来吃吃的窃笑和淫荡放纵的大笑;别的房间传来独自咒骂声,骰子的格格声,催眠曲和呜呜抽泣;楼上有人在兴致勃勃地弹班卓琴。不知什么地方的门砰砰嘭嘭地关上;架空电车不时隆隆驶过;后面篱墙上有只猫在哀叫。他呼吸到这座房子的气息。这不是什么气味儿,而是一种潮味儿,如同从地窖里的油布和朽木混在一起蒸发出的霉臭。

  他就这样歇在那儿,突然,房间里充满木犀草浓烈的芬芳。它乘风而至,鲜明无误,香馥沁人,栩栩如生,活脱脱几乎如来访的佳宾。年轻人忍不住大叫:“什么?亲爱的?”好像有人在喊他似地。他然后一跃而起,四下张望。浓香扑鼻而来,把他包裹其中。他伸出手臂拥抱香气。刹那间,他的全部感觉都给搅混在一起。人怎么可能被香味断然唤起呢?唤起他的肯定是声音。难道这就是曾抚摸、安慰过他的声音?

  “她在这个房间住过,”他大声说,扭身寻找起来,硬想搜出什么征迹,因为他确信能辨认出属于她的或是她触摸过的任何微小的东西。这沁人肺腑的木犀花香,她所喜爱、唯她独有的芬芳,究竟是从哪儿来的?

  房间只马马虎虎收拾过。薄薄的梳妆台桌布上有稀稀拉拉五六个发夹——都是些女性朋友用的那类东西,悄声无息,具有女性特征,但不标明任何心境或时间。他没去仔细琢磨,因为这些东西显然缺乏个性。他把梳妆台抽屉搜了个底朝天,发现一条丢弃的破旧小手绢。他把它蒙在脸上,天芥菜花的怪味刺鼻而来。他顺手把手绢甩在地上。在另一个抽屉,他发现几颗零星纽扣,一张剧目表,一张当铺老板的名片,两颗吃剩的果汁软糖,一本梦释书。最后一个抽屉里有一个女人用的黑缎蝴蝶发结。他猛然一楞,悬在冰与火之间,处于兴奋与失望之间。但是黑缎蝴蝶发结也只是女性庄重端雅但不具个性特征的普通装饰,不能提供任何线索。

  随后他在房间里四处搜寻,像一条猎狗东嗅西闻,扫视四壁,趴在地上仔细查看拱起的地毡角落,翻遍壁炉炉额和桌子、窗帘和门帘、角落里摇摇欲坠的酒柜,试图找到一个可见的、但他还未发现的迹象,以证明她就在房间里面,就在他旁边、周围、对面、心中、上面,紧紧地牵着他、追求他,并通过精微超常的感觉向他发出如此哀婉的呼唤,以至于连他愚钝的感觉都能领悟出这呼唤之声。

他再次大声回答:“我在这儿,亲爱的!”然后转过身子,目瞪口呆,一片漠然,因为他在木犀花香中还察觉不出形式、色彩、爱情和张开的双臂。唔,上帝啊,那芳香是从哪儿来的?从什么时候起香味开始具有呼唤之力?就这样他不停地四下摸索。

  他把墙缝和墙角掏了一遍,找到一些瓶塞和烟蒂。对这些东西他不屑一顾。但有一次他在一折地毡里发现一支抽了半截的纸雪茄,铁青着脸使劲咒了一声,用脚后跟把它踩得稀烂。他把整个房间从一端到另一端筛了一遍,发现许许多多流客留下的无聊、可耻的记载。但是,有关可能曾住过这儿的、其幽灵好像仍然徘徊在这里的、他正在寻求的她,他却丝毫痕迹也未发现。

  这时他记起了女房东。

  他从幽灵萦绕的房间跑下楼,来到透出一缝光线的门前。

  她应声开门出来。他竭尽全力,克制住激动之情。

  “请告诉我,夫人,”他哀求道,“我来之前谁住过那个房间?”

  “好的,先生。我可以再说一遍。以前住的是斯普罗尔斯和穆尼夫妇,我已经说过。布雷塔·斯普罗尔斯小姐,演戏的,后来成了穆尼夫人。我的房子从来声誉就好。他们的结婚证都是挂起的,还镶了框,挂在钉子上——”

  “斯普罗尔斯小姐是哪种女人——我是说,她长相如何?”

  “喔,先生,黑头发,矮小,肥胖,脸蛋儿笑嘻嘻的。他们一个星期前搬走,上星期二。”

  “在他们以前谁住过?”

  “嗨,有个单身男人,搞运输的。他还欠我一个星期的房租没付就走了。在他以前是克劳德夫人和她两个孩子,住了四个月;再以前是多伊尔老先生,房租是他儿子付的。他住了六个月。都是一年以前的事了,再往以前我就记不得了。”

  他谢了她,慢腾腾地爬回房间。房间死气沉沉。曾为它注入生机的香气已经消失,木犀花香已经离去,代之而来的是发霉家具老朽、陈腐、凝滞的臭气。

  希望破灭,他顿觉信心殆尽。他坐在那儿,呆呆地看着咝咝作响的煤气灯的黄光。稍许,他走到床边,把床单撕成长条,然后用刀刃把布条塞进门窗周围的每一条缝隙。一切收拾得严实紧扎以后,他关掉煤气灯,却又把煤气开足,最后感激不尽地躺在床上。

  按照惯例,今晚轮到麦克库尔夫人拿罐子去打啤酒。她取酒回来,和珀迪夫人在一个地下幽会场所坐了下来。这是房东们聚会、蛆虫猖厥的地方。

  “今晚我把三楼后间租了出去,”珀迪夫人说,杯中的酒泡圆圆的。“房客是个年轻人。两个钟头以前他就上床了。”

  “嗬,真有你的,珀迪夫人,”麦克库尔夫人说,羡慕不已。“那种房子你都租得出去,可真是奇迹。那你给他说那件事没有呢?”她说这话时悄声细语,嘎声哑气,充满神秘。

  “房间里安起家具嘛,”珀迪夫人用她最令人毛骨悚然的声音说,“就是为了租出去。我没给他说那事儿,麦克库尔夫人。”

  “可不是嘛,我们就是靠出租房子过活。你的生意经没错,夫人。如果知道这个房间里有人自杀,死在床上,谁还来租这个房间呢。”

  “当然嘛,我们总得活下去啊,”珀迪夫人说。

  “对,夫人,这话不假。一个星期前我才帮你把三楼后间收拾规矩。那姑娘用煤气就把自己给弄死了——她那小脸蛋儿多甜啊,珀迪夫人。”

  “可不是嘛,都说她长得俏,”珀迪夫人说,既表示同意又显得很挑剔。“只是她左眼眉毛边的痣长得不好看。再来一杯,麦克库尔夫人。”  

 
2009-01-23 04:49
网易博友
讲的是一个男子苦苦寻找自己所爱的人,五个月之后终于丧失希望,在一家旅馆放开煤气自杀,而一个星期以前,正是在那间房子里,他的爱人用同样的方式自杀了。

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