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霍比特人: 热情的欢迎 A Warm Welcome

所属教程:霍比特人

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2017年09月20日

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A WARM WELCOME

热情的欢迎

The day grew lighter and warmer as they floated along. After a while the river rounded a steep shoulder of land that came down upon their left. Under its rocky feet like an inland cliff the deepest stream had flowed lapping and bubbling. Suddenly the cliff fell away. The shores sank. The trees ended. Then Bilbo saw a sight:

一路漂去,天色越来越亮,天气也越来越暖和。过了一阵子之后,在他们的左侧出现了一个陡峭的山肩,在它那如同内陆悬崖一般的岩脚下,那里的河水最深,不停打着旋,冒出白色的泡沫。然后突然间,山崖就消失了,河岸向下沉去,树木也不见了。这时,比尔博看到了这样一幅景象:

The lands opened wide about him, filled with the waters of the river which broke up and wandered in a hundred winding courses, or halted in marshes and pools dotted with isles on every side; but still a strong water flowed on steadily through the midst. And far away, its dark head in a torn cloud, there loomed the Mountain! Its nearest neighbours to the North-East and the tumbled land that joined it to them could not be seen. All alone it rose and looked across the marshes to the forest. The Lonely Mountain! Bilbo had come far and through many adventures to see it, and now he did not like the look of it in the least.

地势变得一片开阔,河流的水向四周散开,沿着百多条蜿蜒的路径流向旁边的陆地,在有些地方蓄积成了沼泽与池塘,小小的岛屿在其间星罗棋布。不过在正中的地方,依旧有条粗壮的主流持续地往下奔流。在遥远的地方,河水黑黑的尽头直插进云堆中的地方,隐隐现出了那座山的身影!它的西北方向与其毗邻的地区,以及将大山与这一地区连接起来的低地你都无法看见。它孤傲地矗立着,隔着沼泽远望着黑森林。那就是孤山!比尔博走过了迢迢长路,经历了重重艰险才见到了它,但他却一点儿也不喜欢它的样子。

As he listened to the talk of the raftmen and pieced together the scraps of information they let fall, he soon realized that he was very fortunate ever to have seen it at all, even from this distance. Dreary as had been his imprisonment and unpleasant as was his position (to say nothing of the poor dwarves underneath him) still, he had been more lucky than he had guessed. The talk was all of the trade that came and went on the waterways and the growth of the traffic on the river, as the roads out of the East towards Mirkwood vanished or fell into disuse; and of the bickerings of the Lake-men and the Wood-elves about the upkeep of the Forest River and the care of the banks. Those lands had changed much since the days when dwarves dwelt in the Mountain, days which most people now remembered only as a very shadowy tradition. They had changed even in recent years, and since the last news that Gandalf had had of them. Great floods and rains had swollen the waters that flowed east; and there had been an earthquake or two (which some were inclined to attribute to the dragon—alluding to him chiefly with a curse and an ominous nod in the direction of the Mountain). The marshes and bogs had spread wider and wider on either side. Paths had vanished, and many a rider and wanderer too, if they had tried to find the lost ways across. The elf-road through the wood which the dwarves had followed on the advice of Beorn now came to a doubtful and little used end at the eastern edge of the forest; only the river offered any longer a safe way from the skirts of Mirkwood in the North to the mountain-shadowed plains beyond, and the river was guarded by the Wood-elves’ king.

他倾听着驾木筏的精灵们的谈话,把从他们那儿听来的只言片语拼凑起来,他很快就明白了,他能够看到孤山的全貌是多么幸运,即便是从这么远的距离。尽管困在精灵洞穴中令他身心疲惫,而他此刻所处的位置也不太舒服(位于他脚下的矮人们就更别提了),但他其实要比自己所认为的幸运得多。对方谈论的都是在水路上往来的贸易,以及这条河上日益增加的交通,因为从东方通往黑森林的道路早已荒废,不复使用了;他们还谈到了长湖上的人类和森林精灵们对密林河和两岸的维护。自从矮人离开孤山之后,这一片地区已经有了很大的变动,那个年代对于目前的人们来说只是一个非常模糊的传说。即便在最近这些年里,从甘道夫上次听到这片地区的消息以来,这里也已经有了变化。洪水和大雨让往东的河流变得更加汹涌,其间还有一两次地震(有些人会将此归咎于恶龙——他们在提到它的时候往往以一句骂人话来指代,或者对着孤山的方向不怀好意地点点头)。河道两旁的沼泽和泥塘不停地扩张,道路就这样消失了,路上的骑马者和漫步者也少了很多,如今几乎没多少人想要来寻找消失的路径了。贝奥恩之前所建议的那条精灵道路,到了森林东边也很少有人走了,通不通都很成问题。如今想从北边的黑森林边缘到达孤山脚下的平原,就只有这条河流还算是一条安全的通路,由森林精灵的国王派人守卫着。

So you see Bilbo had come in the end by the only road that was any good. It might have been some comfort to Mr. Baggins shivering on the barrels, if he had known that news of this had reached Gandalf far away and given him great anxiety, and that he was in fact finishing his other business (which does not come into this tale) and getting ready to come in search of Thorin’s company. But Bilbo did not know it.

因此,大家看到了,比尔博最后踏上的其实是惟一可行的道路。关于道路荒废与变动的消息已经传到了甘道夫耳朵里,他听了之后很是不安。他此刻正在忙着办完其他的工作(具体内容与本故事无关),然后就准备来寻找索林和伙伴们。对于躲在桶子上浑身发抖的巴金斯先生来说,这或许能给他带来一些安慰,但可惜的是,他当时并不知道这一点。

All he knew was that the river seemed to go on and on and on for ever, and he was hungry, and had a nasty cold in the nose, and did not like the way the Mountain seemed to frown at him and threaten him as it drew ever nearer. After a while, however, the river took a more southerly course and the Mountain receded again, and at last, late in the day the shores grew rocky, the river gathered all its wandering waters together into a deep and rapid flood, and they swept along at great speed.

他只知道这条河似乎不停地向前延伸,永远没个头。他很饿,鼻子因为受凉被堵住了,而且他越靠近孤山,就越觉得那座山脉似乎在对他皱眉,威胁着他。不过,过了一阵子之后,河水略往南边偏转,孤山又朝后退了下去。到了那天稍晚些时候,河岸渐渐变成了岩石,大河也把它漫流向四周的河水给收了回来,变成了一股又深又急的洪流,令他们朝着目标高速航行。

The sun had set when turning with another sweep towards the East the forest-river rushed into the Long Lake. There it had a wide mouth with stony clifflike gates at either side whose feet were piled with shingles. The Long Lake! Bilbo had never imagined that any water that was not the sea could look so big. It was so wide that the opposite shores looked small and far, but it was so long that its northerly end, which pointed towards the Mountain, could not be seen at all. Only from the map did Bilbo know that away up there, where the stars of the Wain were already twinkling, the Running River came down into the lake from Dale and with the Forest River filled with deep waters what must once have been a great deep rocky valley. At the southern end the doubled waters poured out again over high waterfalls and ran away hurriedly to unknown lands. In the still evening air the noise of the falls could be heard like a distant roar.

当密林河又往东急弯,流入长湖的时候,太阳已经落山了。那里有一个宽阔的湖口,两边有着像石崖一样的大门,大门脚下堆满了鹅卵石。这就是长湖啊!比尔博之前从来没想到过,除了大海之外,还会有这么壮阔的水。湖面如此开阔,令对岸看上去又小又遥远,但它又是如此的长,其指向孤山方向的最北端甚至根本看不见。比尔博只是从地图上才知道,在那里,星光已经在闪烁,奔流河从山谷中流下,和密林河一起把水灌注进了这个以前必定是深邃山谷的地方。在湖的南端,两河汇流之后又流溢而出,构成高高落下的瀑布,奔流向未知的土地。在寂静的夜晚中,瀑布的响声如同遥远的低吼传进人们的耳朵中来。

Not far from the mouth of the Forest River was the strange town he heard the elves speak of in the king’s cellars. It was not built on the shore, though there were a few huts and buildings there, but right out on the surface of the lake, protected from the swirl of the entering river by a promontory of rock which formed a calm bay. A great bridge made of wood ran out to where on huge piles made of forest trees was built a busy wooden town, not a town of elves but of Men, who still dared to dwell here under the shadow of the distant dragon-mountain. They still throve on the trade that came up the great river from the South and was carted past the falls to their town; but in the great days of old, when Dale in the North was rich and prosperous, they had been wealthy and powerful, and there had been fleets of boats on the waters, and some were filled with gold and some with warriors in armour, and there had been wars and deeds which were now only a legend. The rotting piles of a greater town could still be seen along the shores when the waters sank in a drought.

距离密林河入湖口不远的地方,就是比尔博听精灵们在国王的酒窖里提到过的那个奇怪城镇。虽然岸边确有几栋小屋之类的建筑,但镇子却并不是建在岸上,而是坐落于湖面上。在一块巨岩的保护之下,湖中央形成了一个平静无波的小湾。一座木制的大桥通往湖心,一座繁华的城镇就建造在从森林里砍下来的大树构成的木桩之上。这里居住的不是精灵而是人类,虽然处于远方恶龙盘踞的孤山的阴影之下,他们却依然勇敢地居住在这里。这些人依旧靠着从南方河流逆流而上,再用大车经过瀑布抵达他们小镇的贸易来维持生活。不过,在古代,当北方的河谷城依旧繁荣兴盛的时候,他们曾经非常富有、非常强大。当时河面上有无数船只往来,有些装载着黄金,有些则运送着全副武装的战士。当年的战争和英雄的事迹,现在只剩下了传说。当干旱来临湖面下降的时候,人们依旧可以从朽烂的木桩窥见古镇当年更大的规模。

But men remembered little of all that, though some still sang old songs of the dwarf-kings of the Mountain, Thror and Thrain of the race of Durin, and of the coming of the Dragon, and the fall of the lords of Dale. Some sang too that Thror and Thrain would come back one day and gold would flow in rivers, through the mountain-gates, and all that land would be filled with new song and new laughter. But this pleasant legend did not much affect their daily business.

但人们对此已经不大记得了,虽然有些人还在唱着有关山中矮人之王,有关瑟罗尔、瑟莱因以及都林的子民,有关恶龙的到来以及河谷城如何灭亡的歌摇。有些人还在歌曲中唱到,瑟罗尔和瑟莱因有天将会重回此地,黄金将会越过山门,从山中源源流出,大地又将重新充满新的歌声与新的欢笑。不过这个美好的传说对他们每日的营生并没有产生多少影响。

As soon as the raft of barrels came in sight boats rowed out from the piles of the town, and voices hailed the raft-steerers. Then ropes were cast and oars were pulled, and soon the raft was drawn out of the current of the Forest River and towed away round the high shoulder of rock into the little bay of Lake-town. There it was moored not far from the shoreward head of the great bridge. Soon men would come up from the South and take some of the casks away, and others they would fill with goods they had brought to be taken back up the stream to the Wood-elves’ home. In the meanwhile the barrels were left afloat while the elves of the raft and the boatmen went to feast in Lake-town.

木桶做成的筏子刚一进入人们的视野,镇子里就划出了许多的小船,来人向划木筏的人们打招呼。然后,他们抛出绳索,努力划桨,把木筏拉离了密林河的水流,绕过高高的岩肩,拖进了长湖镇的小港湾中。它就停靠在大桥通往岸上的那一头附近。很快,南方的人们将会过来,把有些木桶拿走,其余的则将装上货物,再送回到森林精灵的家乡去。这会儿,木桶被暂时扔在了那里,划木筏的精灵和划船的人到镇上饮酒作乐去了。

They would have been surprised, if they could have seen what happened down by the shore, after they had gone and the shades of night had fallen. First of all a barrel was cut loose by Bilbo and pushed to the shore and opened. Groans came from inside, and out crept a most unhappy dwarf. Wet straw was in his draggled beard; he was so sore and stiff, so bruised and buffeted he could hardly stand or stumble through the shallow water to lie groaning on the shore. He had a famished and a savage look like a dog that has been chained and forgotten in a kennel for a week. It was Thorin, but you could only have told it by his golden chain, and by the colour of his now dirty and tattered sky-blue hood with its tarnished silver tassel. It was some time before he would be even polite to the hobbit.

如果他们见到了在他们离开并且黑夜降临之后,岸边所发生的事情,他们一定会感到惊讶无比。比尔博先将一个木桶从筏子上割下来,将它推到岸上打开。木桶里传来一阵呻吟,然后从里面慢慢爬出一个满脸不高兴的矮人。他的胡子里挂着稻草,又湿又脏,人则浑身酸痛,动作僵硬,满是瘀青,好不容易才站起身来,蹒跚着涉过浅水,走到岸边躺下,嘴里不停地哼哼着。他的样子一看就像是饿了好久的野人,又好像是被拴上了链子,然后关在狗窝里一个星期忘了喂的狗。此人就是索林,但你只能从他的黄金项链,从满是污迹、破破烂烂的天蓝色兜帽和失去了光泽的银流苏中猜出来。过了好一阵子,他才勉强用比较礼貌的态度来对待霍比特人。

“Well, are you alive or are you dead?” asked Bilbo quite crossly. Perhaps he had forgotten that he had had at least one good meal more than the dwarves, and also the use of his arms and legs, not to speak of a greater allowance of air. “Are you still in prison, or are you free? If you want food, and if you want to go on with this silly adventure—it’s yours after all and not mine—you had better slap your arms and rub your legs and try and help me get the others out while there is a chance!”

“我说,你究竟是活着还是死了?”比尔博相当不客气地问道。他可能已经忘记了,自己至少比矮人们多吃了一顿,舒展过了胳膊腿儿,更不用说还呼吸到了更多更好的空气。“你是还在监狱里呢,还是已经获得了自由?如果你想要吃东西,如果你想要继续这场愚蠢的冒险——这毕竞是你的冒险,不是我的——!就请你甩甩胳膊揉揉腿,趁着还有机会,帮我把其他人都给放出来!”

Thorin of course saw the sense of this, so after a few more groans he got up and helped the hobbit as well as he could. In the darkness floundering in the cold water they had a difficult and very nasty job finding which were the right barrels. Knocking outside and calling only discovered about six dwarves that could answer. These were unpacked and helped ashore where they sat or lay muttering and moaning; they were so soaked and bruised and cramped that they could hardly yet realize their release or be properly thankful for it.

索林当然知道事情的紧迫性,因此,在又哼哼了几声之后,他爬了起来,尽可能地给霍比特人帮手。天色已是一片黑暗,要想在冰冷的湖水里摸索出哪些是装着人的木桶的确是非常困难的工作。他们在木桶外面又敲又喊的,最后只找到了六个还有力气回应的矮人。这些矮人被救了出来,弄到岸上,他们同样坐在那里哀嚎抱怨起来。他们浑身湿透,身上到处是擦伤和瘀青,所以一时间还没有意识到自己已经重获了自由,要对此心存感激。

Dwalin and Balin were two of the most unhappy, and it was no good asking them to help. Bifur and Bofur were less knocked about and drier, but they lay down and would do nothing. Fili and Kili, however, who were young (for dwarves) and had also been packed more neatly with plenty of straw into smaller casks, came out more or less smiling, with only a bruise or two and a stiffness that soon wore off.

杜瓦林和巴林是怨气最大的,请他们俩帮忙肯定要讨没趣。比弗和波弗受到的撞击少一点,身上也更干一些,但他们躺在地上耍赖,什么也不愿干。至于奇力和菲力,他们年纪比较轻(相对矮人而言的),又被塞在比较小的、稻草比较多的桶里面,因此出来时脸上还或多或少地挂着笑容,身上只有一两道瘀青,僵麻的四肢也很快恢复了。

“I hope I never smell the smell of apples again!” said Fili. “My tub was full of it. To smell apples everlastingly when you can scarcely move and are cold and sick with hunger is maddening. I could eat anything in the wide world now, for hours on end—but not an apple!”

“希望我这辈子再也不要闻到苹果的味道了!”菲力说,“我的桶里面全是那股味道。人不能动弹,又冷又难过,肚子饿得发慌,在这种情况下一直闻苹果的味道简直要让人发疯!现在在这个广阔天地里我什么都吃得下去,而且能一口气吃上几个小时——就是苹果例外!”

With the willing help of Fili and Kili, Thorin and Bilbo at last discovered the remainder of the company and got them out. Poor fat Bombur was asleep or senseless; Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin and Gloin were waterlogged and seemed only half alive; they all had to be carried one by one and laid helpless on the shore.

在菲力和奇力自愿的帮助之下,索林和比尔博终于找到了其余的同伴,将他们救了出来。可怜的胖邦伯不是睡着了,就是失去了知觉;多瑞、诺瑞、欧瑞、欧因和格罗因都被水泡着,看起来半死不活的。他们只能被一个一个地抱上岸,上来之后就无力地躺倒在地上一动不动。

“Well! Here we are!” said Thorin. “And I suppose we ought to thank our stars and Mr. Baggins. I am sure he has a right to expect it, though I wish he could have arranged a more comfortable journey. Still—all very much at your service once more, Mr. Baggins. No doubt we shall feel properly grateful, when we are fed and recovered. In the meanwhile what next?”

“哇!终于到了!”索林说,“我想我们该感谢主宰我们命运的星座和巴金斯先生。我想他有权期待得到我们的感谢,尽管我希望他要是能把我们的旅程安排得更舒服一点就好了。即便如此,巴金斯先生,我们又欠你个大人情了。等我们吃饱喝足之后,我们肯定会感到由衷感激的。不过这会儿,我们接下来该怎么办?”

“I suggest Lake-town,” said Bilbo. “What else is there?”

“我建议去长湖镇,”比尔博说,“不然还能去哪儿?”

Nothing else could, of course, be suggested; so leaving the others Thorin and Fili and Kili and the hobbit went along the shore to the great bridge. There were guards at the head of it, but they were not keeping very careful watch, for it was so long since there had been any real need. Except for occasional squabbles about river-tolls they were friends with the Wood-elves. Other folk were far away; and some of the younger people in the town openly doubted the existence of any dragon in the mountain, and laughed at the greybeards and gammers who said that they had seen him flying in the sky in their young days. That being so it is not surprising that the guards were drinking and laughing by a fire in their hut, and did not hear the noise of the unpacking of the dwarves or the footsteps of the four scouts. Their astonishment was enormous when Thorin Oakenshield stepped in through the door.

的确,除此之外也没有别的选择了。于是,索林、菲力、奇力和比尔博就把其他人先放在一边,沿着河岸来到大桥边。桥头上有守卫,但他们的看守十分松懈,因为已经有好一段时间他们的看守都没派上过什么用场了。除了偶尔为了河上的通行费有些小争议外,他们和森林精灵其实是不错的朋友。其他的人类都居住在很远的地方,镇上有些年轻人根本不相信山中有恶龙,甚至会嘲笑那些声称在自己年轻时见过恶龙在空中飞翔的老头儿老太太。因为如此,所以守卫们会忙着在小屋内围着火堆喝酒谈笑,根本没听见矮人们从桶里出来的响动以及四人侦察小分队的脚步声,就不足为奇了。当索林·橡木盾从门口走进来的时候,守卫们个个都感到了震惊。

“Who are you and what do you want?” they shouted leaping to their feet and groping for weapons.

“你是谁,想干什么?”他们一边喊着,一边跳起来,伸手去摸武器。

“Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the Mountain!” said the dwarf in a loud voice, and he looked it, in spite of his torn clothes and draggled hood. The gold gleamed on his neck and waist; his eyes were dark and deep. “I have come back. I wish to see the Master of your town!”

“我是索林,孤山下的瑟罗尔王之孙,瑟莱因王之子!”矮人朗声说道。虽然他衣着破烂,兜帽湿答答的,但他看上去的确有国王子孙的气派。他的脖子上和腰间都挂着闪耀的黄金,双眼幽黑而深邃。“我回来了。我想见你们的镇长!”

Then there was tremendous excitement. Some of the more foolish ran out of the hut as if they expected the Mountain to go golden in the night and all the waters of the lake turn yellow right away. The captain of the guard came forward.

一时间众人都变得非常兴奋,有些比较笨的家伙立刻跑出屋外,似乎以为大山会在夜里就变成黄金,所有的湖水也会立刻变成金黄色。守卫的队长走上前来。

“And who are these?” he asked, pointing to Fili and Kili and Bilbo.

“这几位是?”他指着菲力、奇力和比尔博问道。

“The sons of my father’s daughter,” answered Thorin, “Fili and Kili of the race of Durin, and Mr. Baggins who has travelled with us out of the West.”

“他们都是我的外甥,”索林回答,“菲力和奇力都是都林一族的,巴金斯先生是和我们一起从西方来的伙伴。”

“If you come in peace lay down your arms!” said the captain.

“如果你们为了和平的目的而来,就请放下武器!”队长说。

“We have none,” said Thorin, and it was true enough: their knives had been taken from them by the wood-elves, and the great sword Orcrist too. Bilbo had his short sword, hidden as usual, but he said nothing about that. “We have no need of weapons, who return at last to our own as spoken of old. Nor could we fight against so many. Take us to your master!”

“我们根本没有武器,”索林回答,这话一点不假,他们的小刀都被森林精灵收走了,连那把奥克锐斯特剑也不例外。比尔博的短剑在身上,像平常一样是藏起来的,但他什么也没多说。“我们不需要武器,我们就像老话预言的那样,终于回到了我们的故土。而且我们也没办法与这么多人为敌。带我们去见你们的镇长吧!

“He is at feast,” said the captain.

“他正在参加宴会呢。”队长说。

“Then all the more reason for taking us to him,” burst in Fili, who was getting impatient at these solemnities. “We are worn and famished after our long road and we have sick comrades. Now make haste and let us have no more words, or your master may have something to say to you.”

“那就更要带我们去见他了。”菲力突然插嘴道,他对这些客套早就已经觉得不耐烦了,“我们赶了很长的路,又累又饿,还有伙伴生了病。赶快带我们过去,不要再让我们费口舌了,否则你们的首领怪罪下来,你就要负全责。”

“Follow me then,” said the captain, and with six men about them he led them over the bridge through the gates and into the market-place of the town. This was a wide circle of quiet water surrounded by the tall piles on which were built the greater houses, and by long wooden quays with many steps and ladders going down to the surface of the lake. From one great hall shone many lights and there came the sound of many voices. They passed its doors and stood blinking in the light looking at long tables filled with folk.

“那就跟我来吧”,队长带着六名部下,护送着他们走过大桥,穿过镇门,来到市集所在的地方。这是很大一圈宁静的水面,周围被高大的木桩所包围,镇上大一些的房子都是建在这圈木桩上的,然后有长长的木头码头通过许多台阶和梯子可以下到水面。其中一栋大屋内透出许多光亮和鼎沸的人声。他们通过大门,在刺目的亮光中眨了一会儿眼睛,看着坐满了人的长桌。

“I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the Mountain! I return!” cried Thorin in a loud voice from the door, before the captain could say anything.

“我是索林,孤山下的瑟罗尔王之孙,瑟莱因王之子!我回来了!”还不等队长来得及开口介绍,索林就在门边用响亮的声音喊了起来。

All leaped to their feet. The Master of the town sprang from his great chair. But none rose in greater surprise than the raft-men of the elves who were sitting at the lower end of the hall. Pressing forward before the Master’s table they cried:

所有的人都跳了起来,镇长也从他的大椅子里弹了起来。但是,最惊讶的还得数那些划木筏过来的精灵们,他们坐在大厅比较低的那头。他们挤到镇长的桌边叫道:

“These are prisoners of our king that have escaped, wandering vagabond dwarves that could not give any good account of themselves, sneaking through the woods and molesting our people!”

“这些是从我们国王手中逃出来的犯人,这些矮人四处游荡,讲不清楚自己的来历,在森林里面鬼鬼祟祟,还骚扰我们的同胞!”

“Is this true?” asked the Master. As a matter of fact he thought it far more likely than the return of the King under the Mountain, if any such person had ever existed.

“这是真的吗?”镇长问道。事实上,镇长自己也觉得这个说法比较像回事,至少比什么孤山下的国王回归要靠谱,他连有没有这么一号人物都吃不准。

“It is true that we were wrongfully waylaid by the Elvenking and imprisoned without cause as we journeyed back to our own land,” answered Thorin. “But lock nor bar may hinder the homecoming spoken of old. Nor is this town in the Wood-elves’ realm. I speak to the Master of the town of the Men of the Lake, not to the raft-men of the king.”

“在我们回乡的路上,的确是遭到了精灵国王的无端阻拦和拘禁。”索林回答,“但是,无论是锁链还是铁栏都无法阻止回乡的预言。况且,这座城镇也不在森林精灵的疆域之内,我是在跟长湖镇的人类镇长说话,而不是在跟精灵国王手下的木筏精灵说话。”

Then the Master hesitated and looked from one to the other. The Elvenking was very powerful in those parts and the Master wished for no enmity with him, nor did he think much of old songs, giving his mind to trade and tolls, to cargoes and gold, to which habit he owed his position. Others were of different mind, however, and quickly the matter was settled without him. The news had spread from the doors of the hall like fire through all the town. People were shouting inside the hall and outside it. The quays were thronged with hurrying feet. Some began to sing snatches of old songs concerning the return of the King under the Mountain; that it was Thror’s grandson not Thror himself that had come back did not bother them at all. Others took up the song and it rolled loud and high over the lake.

镇长犹豫了,目光从一方又转到另一方身上。精灵国王在这一带拥有相当的势力,镇长不想与他为敌,而且他是颇不以那些古老的歌谣为然的,因为他脑子里整天想的都是贸易和通行费,货物和金子,而他也是因为想法实际的习惯才爬上镇长这个位子的。然而其他人思考问题的方式都与他不同,所以这件事最后跳过他而决定了下来。消息很快就出了大门,如同野火一般传遍了整个镇子,人们在大屋内外兴奋地叫喊着,码头上到处都是快步跑来跑去的脚。有些人开始唱起了山下之王回归歌的零星片断,至于回来的是瑟罗尔的孙子而非瑟罗尔本人则对他们来说毫不重要。其他人渐渐也应和着唱了起来,歌声越来越响,高高地飘荡在湖面上。

The King beneath the mountains,

大山之下的国王,

The King of carven stone,

雕刻岩石的国王,

The lord of silver fountains

银色喷泉的君王,

Shall come into his own!

将回到他的故乡!

His crown shall be upholden,

他的王冠将得到万人拥戴,

His harp shall be restrung,

他的竖琴重新响起清音嘹亮,

His halls shall echo golden

往昔的歌曲再度唱起,

To songs of yore re-sung.

在他的大厅中激起金色回响。

The woods shall wave on mountains

山上树木将迎风摆舞,

And grass beneath the sun;

绿草将沐浴阳光;

His wealth shall flow in fountains

他的财富在山中奔流

And the rivers golden run.

将河水染成金黄。

The streams shall run in gladness,

山泉欢乐地流淌,

The lakes shall shine and burn,

湖光闪烁粼粼波光,

All sorrow fail and sadness

别了,所有的痛苦与哀伤,

At the Mountain-king’s return!

山下之王已回到故乡!

So they sang, or very like that, only there was a great deal more of it, and there was much shouting as well as the music of harps and of fiddles mixed up with it. Indeed such excitement had not been known in the town in the memory of the oldest grandfather. The Wood-elves themselves began to wonder greatly and even to be afraid. They did not know of course how Thorin had escaped, and they began to think their king might have made a serious mistake. As for the Master he saw there was nothing else for it but to obey the general clamour, for the moment at any rate, and to pretend to believe that Thorin was what he said. So he gave up to him his own great chair and set Fili and Kili beside him in places of honour. Even Bilbo was given a seat at the high table, and no explanation of where he came in—no songs had alluded to him even in the obscurest way—was asked for in the general bustle.

他们就是这样唱的,内容应该八九不离十吧,只是歌曲的数量比这要多得多,不仅有人们吼得响亮的歌声,其中也混杂着竖琴和小提琴的乐声。事实上,就连镇中最老的老爷爷,在其一生的记忆中都没见到过这样的狂欢场面。森林精灵心中也开始大大动摇起来,甚至感到了害怕。他们当然不知道索林是怎么逃出来的,开始担心国王也许犯了个大错。至于镇长,看到除了遵照民意别无选择,至少眼前如此,便假装相信了索林的说法。于是,他把自己的大座椅让给了索林,把菲力和奇力让在了自己旁边的贵宾席。就连比尔博也问都没问他的来历便在主桌上给他安排了一个座位。由于没有哪首歌哪怕以最曲折间接的方式提到过他,所以人们都七嘴八舌地探问着他的来头。

Soon afterwards the other dwarves were brought into the town amid scenes of astonishing enthusiasm. They were all doctored and fed and housed and pampered in the most delightful and satisfactory fashion. A large house was given up to Thorin and his company; boats and rowers were put at their service; and crowds sat outside and sang songs all day, or cheered if any dwarf showed so much as his nose.

很快,其他的矮人也在一片令人吃惊的热情欢迎场面中被带进了镇子。他们都以最令人愉快和满意的方式得到了医治和款待。索林和伙伴们被请进一所大房子居住,船只和桨手被安排在门外随时听候差遣。人们坐在他们门外整日唱着歌,只要有哪个矮人哪怕仅仅在窗口露出鼻子,就会招来阵阵的欢呼。

Some of the songs were old ones; but some of them were quite new and spoke confidently of the sudden death of the dragon and of cargoes of rich presents coming down the river to Lake-town. These were inspired largely by the Master and they did not particularly please the dwarves, but in the meantime they were well contented and they quickly grew fat and strong again. Indeed within a week they were quite recovered, fitted out in fine cloth of their proper colours, with beards combed and trimmed, and proud steps. Thorin looked and walked as if his kingdom was already regained and Smaug chopped up into little pieces.

在人们所唱的歌中,有些是老歌,不过有些则是新编的,里面信心十足地预言了恶龙的突然死亡,以及一批批的宝物顺河而下流到长湖镇。这些歌曲很大部分都是在镇长的授意下编出来的,矮人们听了不是很高兴,但这段时间他们的生活还是相当令人满意,众人很快就恢复了之前的体重和精力。的确,在一个星期之内,他们就完全康复,穿上了颜色合适的好布做的衣服,胡子经过了梳理与修剪,步履中开始透露出自豪。索林的外表和他走路的样子看起来似乎他已经收复了他的王国,恶龙斯毛格也早已被剁成了碎片。

Then, as he had said, the dwarves’ good feeling towards the little hobbit grew stronger every day. There were no more groans or grumbles. They drank his health, and they patted him on the back, and they made a great fuss of him; which was just as well, for he was not feeling particularly cheerful. He had not forgotten the look of the Mountain, nor the thought of the dragon, and he had besides a shocking cold. For three days he sneezed and coughed, and he could not go out, and even after that his speeches at banquets were limited to “Thag you very buch.”

然后,就像他说过的那样,矮人们对于霍比特人的好感与日俱增。他们不再抱怨和嘀咕,每次喝酒都会向他敬酒祝他健康,他们会亲热地拍拍他的后背,每次见了他都要和他说上好些话。这一点倒是很有用处,因为比尔博这阵的心情并不是很好。他并没有忘记孤山那狰狞的样子,脑子里也一刻没有把恶龙放下过,而且他还经历了一场十分严重的感冒。整整三天他又是打喷嚏又是咳嗽的,哪里都去不了,即便是三天之后,他在宴会上也只能跟别人瓮声瓮气地说上一句“谢谢,谢谢。”

In the meanwhile the Wood-elves had gone back up the Forest River with their cargoes, and there was great excitement in the king’s palace. I have never heard what happened to the chief of the guards and the butler. Nothing of course was ever said about keys or barrels while the dwarves stayed in Lake-town, and Bilbo was careful never to become invisible. Still, I daresay, more was guessed than was known, though doubtless Mr. Baggins remained a bit of a mystery. In any case the king knew now the dwarves’ errand, or thought he did, and he said to himself:

这时,森林精灵们已经带着货物沿密林河而上,踏上归途了,而国王的宫殿里也乱翻了天。再也没有人听说过守卫队长和总管后来到底怎样了。矮人们逗留在长湖镇期间,当然一句话也没有提到过钥匙或是木桶的事情,而比尔博也十分小心,从来没有用过隐身的本事。不过,虽然巴金斯先生在外人眼中无疑还是相当神秘的,但我想人们多多少少还是能猜到一点的。至少,国王就已经知道了矮人们的使命,或者说他自以为已经知道了。因此,他对自己说:

“Very well! We’ll see! No treasure will come back through Mirkwood without my having something to say in the matter. But I expect they will all come to a bad end, and serve them right!” He at any rate did not believe in dwarves fighting and killing dragons like Smaug, and he strongly suspected attempted burglary or something like it—which shows he was a wise elf and wiser than the men of the town, though not quite right, as we shall see in the end. He sent out his spies about the shores of the lake and as far northward towards the Mountain as they would go, and waited.

“好极了!我们走着瞧!这事儿要是没我的份,他们休想经过黑森林把宝物运出去。反正我估计他们也不会有什么好下场,那就算他们活该!”他无论如何都不相信矮人们可以通过正面的战斗杀了斯毛格这样的恶龙,他估计他们充其量也只能从恶龙那里偷走点什么——这表明他是个相当聪明的精灵,比镇上的人类要聪明得多。其实他也没完全猜对,这一点我们到最后就知道了。他派出了探子前往湖畔地区,甚至命令他们尽可能往北靠近孤山,静观事态的变化。

At the end of a fortnight Thorin began to think of departure. While the enthusiasm still lasted in the town was the time to get help. It would not do to let everything cool down with delay. So he spoke to the Master and his councillors and said that soon he and his company must go on towards the Mountain.

两周之后,索林开始考虑要离开这里了。趁镇中的狂热还在持续,正是获得帮助的好时候。如果再拖下去,等人们的热情冷却下来,就一切都来不及了。于是他找镇长和他的参议们面谈,说他和同伴们不久之后就必须重新上路前往孤山了。

Then for the first time the Master was surprised and a little frightened; and he wondered if Thorin was after all really a descendant of the old kings. He had never thought that the dwarves would actually dare to approach Smaug, but believed they were frauds who would sooner or later be discovered and be turned out. He was wrong. Thorin, of course, was really the grandson of the King under the Mountain, and there is no knowing what a dwarf will not dare and do for revenge or the recovery of his own.

镇长第一次感到吃惊,甚至有了一点点害怕。他不由得开始怀疑索林别真的是古代国王的后裔。他之前从来没想过矮人们会真的冒险去接近斯毛格,心里只当他们是一帮骗吃骗喝的家伙,早晚会露馅儿,然后被赶出去。可他错了。索林真的是山下之王的后代,而对于真正的矮人来说,还从来没听说过有哪个会不敢复仇和夺回属于自己的东西。

But the Master was not sorry at all to let them go. They were expensive to keep, and their arrival had turned things into a long holiday in which business was at a standstill. “Let them go and bother Smaug, and see how he welcomes them!” he thought. “Certainly, O Thorin Thrain’s son Thror’s son!” was what he said. “You must claim your own. The hour is at hand, spoken of old. What help we can offer shall be yours, and we trust to your gratitude when your kingdom is regained.”

但是对于让他们走,镇长一点也不感到有什么愧疚。养这么一大帮人是很花钱的,而自他们来后,镇上仿佛进入了长长的假期,所有的生意都停顿了下来。“就让他们去叨扰斯毛格吧,且看他会怎样款待他们!”他心中暗想道。“当然了,伟大的瑟罗尔之孙,瑟莱因之子索林!”这是他说出来的话,“你们必须拿回属于你们的东西,古老预言中提到的时刻已经来到,我们会尽力给予你们帮助,相信你们在夺回王国之后,一定会知恩图报。”

So one day, although autumn was now getting far on, and winds were cold, and leaves were falling fast, three large boats left Lake-town, laden with rowers, dwarves, Mr. Baggins, and many provisions. Horses and ponies had been sent round by circuitous paths to meet them at their appointed landing-place. The Master and his councillors bade them farewell from the great steps of the town-hall that went down to the lake. People sang on the quays and out of windows. The white oars dipped and splashed, and off they went north up the lake on the last stage of their long journey. The only person thoroughly unhappy was Bilbo.

于是某一天,尽管秋意已渐浓,冷风阵阵,落叶飘零,三艘大船还是离开了长湖镇,船上除了桨手外,还有矮人、巴金斯先生和许多的给养。马匹和小马会有人沿着环湖的道路提前帮他们送到指定的会合处。镇长和他的参议们站在从镇上的大屋通往湖而的宽大阶梯上向他们道別。人们或站在码头上,或从窗户中探出头来唱歌欢送他们。白色的大桨落入水中溅起水花,他们沿着大湖北上而去,踏上了漫长旅程的最后一段。只有一个人一点儿都不高兴,那就是比尔博。


A WARM WELCOME

The day grew lighter and warmer as they floated along. After a while the river rounded a steep shoulder of land that came down upon their left. Under its rocky feet like an inland cliff the deepest stream had flowed lapping and bubbling. Suddenly the cliff fell away. The shores sank. The trees ended. Then Bilbo saw a sight:

The lands opened wide about him, filled with the waters of the river which broke up and wandered in a hundred winding courses, or halted in marshes and pools dotted with isles on every side; but still a strong water flowed on steadily through the midst. And far away, its dark head in a torn cloud, there loomed the Mountain! Its nearest neighbours to the North-East and the tumbled land that joined it to them could not be seen. All alone it rose and looked across the marshes to the forest. The Lonely Mountain! Bilbo had come far and through many adventures to see it, and now he did not like the look of it in the least.

As he listened to the talk of the raftmen and pieced together the scraps of information they let fall, he soon realized that he was very fortunate ever to have seen it at all, even from this distance. Dreary as had been his imprisonment and unpleasant as was his position (to say nothing of the poor dwarves underneath him) still, he had been more lucky than he had guessed. The talk was all of the trade that came and went on the waterways and the growth of the traffic on the river, as the roads out of the East towards Mirkwood vanished or fell into disuse; and of the bickerings of the Lake-men and the Wood-elves about the upkeep of the Forest River and the care of the banks. Those lands had changed much since the days when dwarves dwelt in the Mountain, days which most people now remembered only as a very shadowy tradition. They had changed even in recent years, and since the last news that Gandalf had had of them. Great floods and rains had swollen the waters that flowed east; and there had been an earthquake or two (which some were inclined to attribute to the dragon—alluding to him chiefly with a curse and an ominous nod in the direction of the Mountain). The marshes and bogs had spread wider and wider on either side. Paths had vanished, and many a rider and wanderer too, if they had tried to find the lost ways across. The elf-road through the wood which the dwarves had followed on the advice of Beorn now came to a doubtful and little used end at the eastern edge of the forest; only the river offered any longer a safe way from the skirts of Mirkwood in the North to the mountain-shadowed plains beyond, and the river was guarded by the Wood-elves’ king.

So you see Bilbo had come in the end by the only road that was any good. It might have been some comfort to Mr. Baggins shivering on the barrels, if he had known that news of this had reached Gandalf far away and given him great anxiety, and that he was in fact finishing his other business (which does not come into this tale) and getting ready to come in search of Thorin’s company. But Bilbo did not know it.

All he knew was that the river seemed to go on and on and on for ever, and he was hungry, and had a nasty cold in the nose, and did not like the way the Mountain seemed to frown at him and threaten him as it drew ever nearer. After a while, however, the river took a more southerly course and the Mountain receded again, and at last, late in the day the shores grew rocky, the river gathered all its wandering waters together into a deep and rapid flood, and they swept along at great speed.

The sun had set when turning with another sweep towards the East the forest-river rushed into the Long Lake. There it had a wide mouth with stony clifflike gates at either side whose feet were piled with shingles. The Long Lake! Bilbo had never imagined that any water that was not the sea could look so big. It was so wide that the opposite shores looked small and far, but it was so long that its northerly end, which pointed towards the Mountain, could not be seen at all. Only from the map did Bilbo know that away up there, where the stars of the Wain were already twinkling, the Running River came down into the lake from Dale and with the Forest River filled with deep waters what must once have been a great deep rocky valley. At the southern end the doubled waters poured out again over high waterfalls and ran away hurriedly to unknown lands. In the still evening air the noise of the falls could be heard like a distant roar.

Not far from the mouth of the Forest River was the strange town he heard the elves speak of in the king’s cellars. It was not built on the shore, though there were a few huts and buildings there, but right out on the surface of the lake, protected from the swirl of the entering river by a promontory of rock which formed a calm bay. A great bridge made of wood ran out to where on huge piles made of forest trees was built a busy wooden town, not a town of elves but of Men, who still dared to dwell here under the shadow of the distant dragon-mountain. They still throve on the trade that came up the great river from the South and was carted past the falls to their town; but in the great days of old, when Dale in the North was rich and prosperous, they had been wealthy and powerful, and there had been fleets of boats on the waters, and some were filled with gold and some with warriors in armour, and there had been wars and deeds which were now only a legend. The rotting piles of a greater town could still be seen along the shores when the waters sank in a drought.

But men remembered little of all that, though some still sang old songs of the dwarf-kings of the Mountain, Thror and Thrain of the race of Durin, and of the coming of the Dragon, and the fall of the lords of Dale. Some sang too that Thror and Thrain would come back one day and gold would flow in rivers, through the mountain-gates, and all that land would be filled with new song and new laughter. But this pleasant legend did not much affect their daily business.

As soon as the raft of barrels came in sight boats rowed out from the piles of the town, and voices hailed the raft-steerers. Then ropes were cast and oars were pulled, and soon the raft was drawn out of the current of the Forest River and towed away round the high shoulder of rock into the little bay of Lake-town. There it was moored not far from the shoreward head of the great bridge. Soon men would come up from the South and take some of the casks away, and others they would fill with goods they had brought to be taken back up the stream to the Wood-elves’ home. In the meanwhile the barrels were left afloat while the elves of the raft and the boatmen went to feast in Lake-town.

They would have been surprised, if they could have seen what happened down by the shore, after they had gone and the shades of night had fallen. First of all a barrel was cut loose by Bilbo and pushed to the shore and opened. Groans came from inside, and out crept a most unhappy dwarf. Wet straw was in his draggled beard; he was so sore and stiff, so bruised and buffeted he could hardly stand or stumble through the shallow water to lie groaning on the shore. He had a famished and a savage look like a dog that has been chained and forgotten in a kennel for a week. It was Thorin, but you could only have told it by his golden chain, and by the colour of his now dirty and tattered sky-blue hood with its tarnished silver tassel. It was some time before he would be even polite to the hobbit.

“Well, are you alive or are you dead?” asked Bilbo quite crossly. Perhaps he had forgotten that he had had at least one good meal more than the dwarves, and also the use of his arms and legs, not to speak of a greater allowance of air. “Are you still in prison, or are you free? If you want food, and if you want to go on with this silly adventure—it’s yours after all and not mine—you had better slap your arms and rub your legs and try and help me get the others out while there is a chance!”

Thorin of course saw the sense of this, so after a few more groans he got up and helped the hobbit as well as he could. In the darkness floundering in the cold water they had a difficult and very nasty job finding which were the right barrels. Knocking outside and calling only discovered about six dwarves that could answer. These were unpacked and helped ashore where they sat or lay muttering and moaning; they were so soaked and bruised and cramped that they could hardly yet realize their release or be properly thankful for it.

Dwalin and Balin were two of the most unhappy, and it was no good asking them to help. Bifur and Bofur were less knocked about and drier, but they lay down and would do nothing. Fili and Kili, however, who were young (for dwarves) and had also been packed more neatly with plenty of straw into smaller casks, came out more or less smiling, with only a bruise or two and a stiffness that soon wore off.

“I hope I never smell the smell of apples again!” said Fili. “My tub was full of it. To smell apples everlastingly when you can scarcely move and are cold and sick with hunger is maddening. I could eat anything in the wide world now, for hours on end—but not an apple!”

With the willing help of Fili and Kili, Thorin and Bilbo at last discovered the remainder of the company and got them out. Poor fat Bombur was asleep or senseless; Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin and Gloin were waterlogged and seemed only half alive; they all had to be carried one by one and laid helpless on the shore.

“Well! Here we are!” said Thorin. “And I suppose we ought to thank our stars and Mr. Baggins. I am sure he has a right to expect it, though I wish he could have arranged a more comfortable journey. Still—all very much at your service once more, Mr. Baggins. No doubt we shall feel properly grateful, when we are fed and recovered. In the meanwhile what next?”

“I suggest Lake-town,” said Bilbo. “What else is there?”

Nothing else could, of course, be suggested; so leaving the others Thorin and Fili and Kili and the hobbit went along the shore to the great bridge. There were guards at the head of it, but they were not keeping very careful watch, for it was so long since there had been any real need. Except for occasional squabbles about river-tolls they were friends with the Wood-elves. Other folk were far away; and some of the younger people in the town openly doubted the existence of any dragon in the mountain, and laughed at the greybeards and gammers who said that they had seen him flying in the sky in their young days. That being so it is not surprising that the guards were drinking and laughing by a fire in their hut, and did not hear the noise of the unpacking of the dwarves or the footsteps of the four scouts. Their astonishment was enormous when Thorin Oakenshield stepped in through the door.

“Who are you and what do you want?” they shouted leaping to their feet and groping for weapons.

“Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the Mountain!” said the dwarf in a loud voice, and he looked it, in spite of his torn clothes and draggled hood. The gold gleamed on his neck and waist; his eyes were dark and deep. “I have come back. I wish to see the Master of your town!”

Then there was tremendous excitement. Some of the more foolish ran out of the hut as if they expected the Mountain to go golden in the night and all the waters of the lake turn yellow right away. The captain of the guard came forward.

“And who are these?” he asked, pointing to Fili and Kili and Bilbo.

“The sons of my father’s daughter,” answered Thorin, “Fili and Kili of the race of Durin, and Mr. Baggins who has travelled with us out of the West.”

“If you come in peace lay down your arms!” said the captain.

“We have none,” said Thorin, and it was true enough: their knives had been taken from them by the wood-elves, and the great sword Orcrist too. Bilbo had his short sword, hidden as usual, but he said nothing about that. “We have no need of weapons, who return at last to our own as spoken of old. Nor could we fight against so many. Take us to your master!”

“He is at feast,” said the captain.

“Then all the more reason for taking us to him,” burst in Fili, who was getting impatient at these solemnities. “We are worn and famished after our long road and we have sick comrades. Now make haste and let us have no more words, or your master may have something to say to you.”

“Follow me then,” said the captain, and with six men about them he led them over the bridge through the gates and into the market-place of the town. This was a wide circle of quiet water surrounded by the tall piles on which were built the greater houses, and by long wooden quays with many steps and ladders going down to the surface of the lake. From one great hall shone many lights and there came the sound of many voices. They passed its doors and stood blinking in the light looking at long tables filled with folk.

“I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the Mountain! I return!” cried Thorin in a loud voice from the door, before the captain could say anything.

All leaped to their feet. The Master of the town sprang from his great chair. But none rose in greater surprise than the raft-men of the elves who were sitting at the lower end of the hall. Pressing forward before the Master’s table they cried:

“These are prisoners of our king that have escaped, wandering vagabond dwarves that could not give any good account of themselves, sneaking through the woods and molesting our people!”

“Is this true?” asked the Master. As a matter of fact he thought it far more likely than the return of the King under the Mountain, if any such person had ever existed.

“It is true that we were wrongfully waylaid by the Elvenking and imprisoned without cause as we journeyed back to our own land,” answered Thorin. “But lock nor bar may hinder the homecoming spoken of old. Nor is this town in the Wood-elves’ realm. I speak to the Master of the town of the Men of the Lake, not to the raft-men of the king.”

Then the Master hesitated and looked from one to the other. The Elvenking was very powerful in those parts and the Master wished for no enmity with him, nor did he think much of old songs, giving his mind to trade and tolls, to cargoes and gold, to which habit he owed his position. Others were of different mind, however, and quickly the matter was settled without him. The news had spread from the doors of the hall like fire through all the town. People were shouting inside the hall and outside it. The quays were thronged with hurrying feet. Some began to sing snatches of old songs concerning the return of the King under the Mountain; that it was Thror’s grandson not Thror himself that had come back did not bother them at all. Others took up the song and it rolled loud and high over the lake.

The King beneath the mountains,

The King of carven stone,

The lord of silver fountains

Shall come into his own!

His crown shall be upholden,

His harp shall be restrung,

His halls shall echo golden

To songs of yore re-sung.

The woods shall wave on mountains

And grass beneath the sun;

His wealth shall flow in fountains

And the rivers golden run.

The streams shall run in gladness,

The lakes shall shine and burn,

All sorrow fail and sadness

At the Mountain-king’s return!

So they sang, or very like that, only there was a great deal more of it, and there was much shouting as well as the music of harps and of fiddles mixed up with it. Indeed such excitement had not been known in the town in the memory of the oldest grandfather. The Wood-elves themselves began to wonder greatly and even to be afraid. They did not know of course how Thorin had escaped, and they began to think their king might have made a serious mistake. As for the Master he saw there was nothing else for it but to obey the general clamour, for the moment at any rate, and to pretend to believe that Thorin was what he said. So he gave up to him his own great chair and set Fili and Kili beside him in places of honour. Even Bilbo was given a seat at the high table, and no explanation of where he came in—no songs had alluded to him even in the obscurest way—was asked for in the general bustle.

Soon afterwards the other dwarves were brought into the town amid scenes of astonishing enthusiasm. They were all doctored and fed and housed and pampered in the most delightful and satisfactory fashion. A large house was given up to Thorin and his company; boats and rowers were put at their service; and crowds sat outside and sang songs all day, or cheered if any dwarf showed so much as his nose.

Some of the songs were old ones; but some of them were quite new and spoke confidently of the sudden death of the dragon and of cargoes of rich presents coming down the river to Lake-town. These were inspired largely by the Master and they did not particularly please the dwarves, but in the meantime they were well contented and they quickly grew fat and strong again. Indeed within a week they were quite recovered, fitted out in fine cloth of their proper colours, with beards combed and trimmed, and proud steps. Thorin looked and walked as if his kingdom was already regained and Smaug chopped up into little pieces.

Then, as he had said, the dwarves’ good feeling towards the little hobbit grew stronger every day. There were no more groans or grumbles. They drank his health, and they patted him on the back, and they made a great fuss of him; which was just as well, for he was not feeling particularly cheerful. He had not forgotten the look of the Mountain, nor the thought of the dragon, and he had besides a shocking cold. For three days he sneezed and coughed, and he could not go out, and even after that his speeches at banquets were limited to “Thag you very buch.”

In the meanwhile the Wood-elves had gone back up the Forest River with their cargoes, and there was great excitement in the king’s palace. I have never heard what happened to the chief of the guards and the butler. Nothing of course was ever said about keys or barrels while the dwarves stayed in Lake-town, and Bilbo was careful never to become invisible. Still, I daresay, more was guessed than was known, though doubtless Mr. Baggins remained a bit of a mystery. In any case the king knew now the dwarves’ errand, or thought he did, and he said to himself:

“Very well! We’ll see! No treasure will come back through Mirkwood without my having something to say in the matter. But I expect they will all come to a bad end, and serve them right!” He at any rate did not believe in dwarves fighting and killing dragons like Smaug, and he strongly suspected attempted burglary or something like it—which shows he was a wise elf and wiser than the men of the town, though not quite right, as we shall see in the end. He sent out his spies about the shores of the lake and as far northward towards the Mountain as they would go, and waited.

At the end of a fortnight Thorin began to think of departure. While the enthusiasm still lasted in the town was the time to get help. It would not do to let everything cool down with delay. So he spoke to the Master and his councillors and said that soon he and his company must go on towards the Mountain.

Then for the first time the Master was surprised and a little frightened; and he wondered if Thorin was after all really a descendant of the old kings. He had never thought that the dwarves would actually dare to approach Smaug, but believed they were frauds who would sooner or later be discovered and be turned out. He was wrong. Thorin, of course, was really the grandson of the King under the Mountain, and there is no knowing what a dwarf will not dare and do for revenge or the recovery of his own.

But the Master was not sorry at all to let them go. They were expensive to keep, and their arrival had turned things into a long holiday in which business was at a standstill. “Let them go and bother Smaug, and see how he welcomes them!” he thought. “Certainly, O Thorin Thrain’s son Thror’s son!” was what he said. “You must claim your own. The hour is at hand, spoken of old. What help we can offer shall be yours, and we trust to your gratitude when your kingdom is regained.”

So one day, although autumn was now getting far on, and winds were cold, and leaves were falling fast, three large boats left Lake-town, laden with rowers, dwarves, Mr. Baggins, and many provisions. Horses and ponies had been sent round by circuitous paths to meet them at their appointed landing-place. The Master and his councillors bade them farewell from the great steps of the town-hall that went down to the lake. People sang on the quays and out of windows. The white oars dipped and splashed, and off they went north up the lake on the last stage of their long journey. The only person thoroughly unhappy was Bilbo.


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一路漂去,天色越来越亮,天气也越来越暖和。过了一阵子之后,在他们的左侧出现了一个陡峭的山肩,在它那如同内陆悬崖一般的岩脚下,那里的河水最深,不停打着旋,冒出白色的泡沫。然后突然间,山崖就消失了,河岸向下沉去,树木也不见了。这时,比尔博看到了这样一幅景象:

地势变得一片开阔,河流的水向四周散开,沿着百多条蜿蜒的路径流向旁边的陆地,在有些地方蓄积成了沼泽与池塘,小小的岛屿在其间星罗棋布。不过在正中的地方,依旧有条粗壮的主流持续地往下奔流。在遥远的地方,河水黑黑的尽头直插进云堆中的地方,隐隐现出了那座山的身影!它的西北方向与其毗邻的地区,以及将大山与这一地区连接起来的低地你都无法看见。它孤傲地矗立着,隔着沼泽远望着黑森林。那就是孤山!比尔博走过了迢迢长路,经历了重重艰险才见到了它,但他却一点儿也不喜欢它的样子。

他倾听着驾木筏的精灵们的谈话,把从他们那儿听来的只言片语拼凑起来,他很快就明白了,他能够看到孤山的全貌是多么幸运,即便是从这么远的距离。尽管困在精灵洞穴中令他身心疲惫,而他此刻所处的位置也不太舒服(位于他脚下的矮人们就更别提了),但他其实要比自己所认为的幸运得多。对方谈论的都是在水路上往来的贸易,以及这条河上日益增加的交通,因为从东方通往黑森林的道路早已荒废,不复使用了;他们还谈到了长湖上的人类和森林精灵们对密林河和两岸的维护。自从矮人离开孤山之后,这一片地区已经有了很大的变动,那个年代对于目前的人们来说只是一个非常模糊的传说。即便在最近这些年里,从甘道夫上次听到这片地区的消息以来,这里也已经有了变化。洪水和大雨让往东的河流变得更加汹涌,其间还有一两次地震(有些人会将此归咎于恶龙——他们在提到它的时候往往以一句骂人话来指代,或者对着孤山的方向不怀好意地点点头)。河道两旁的沼泽和泥塘不停地扩张,道路就这样消失了,路上的骑马者和漫步者也少了很多,如今几乎没多少人想要来寻找消失的路径了。贝奥恩之前所建议的那条精灵道路,到了森林东边也很少有人走了,通不通都很成问题。如今想从北边的黑森林边缘到达孤山脚下的平原,就只有这条河流还算是一条安全的通路,由森林精灵的国王派人守卫着。

因此,大家看到了,比尔博最后踏上的其实是惟一可行的道路。关于道路荒废与变动的消息已经传到了甘道夫耳朵里,他听了之后很是不安。他此刻正在忙着办完其他的工作(具体内容与本故事无关),然后就准备来寻找索林和伙伴们。对于躲在桶子上浑身发抖的巴金斯先生来说,这或许能给他带来一些安慰,但可惜的是,他当时并不知道这一点。

他只知道这条河似乎不停地向前延伸,永远没个头。他很饿,鼻子因为受凉被堵住了,而且他越靠近孤山,就越觉得那座山脉似乎在对他皱眉,威胁着他。不过,过了一阵子之后,河水略往南边偏转,孤山又朝后退了下去。到了那天稍晚些时候,河岸渐渐变成了岩石,大河也把它漫流向四周的河水给收了回来,变成了一股又深又急的洪流,令他们朝着目标高速航行。

当密林河又往东急弯,流入长湖的时候,太阳已经落山了。那里有一个宽阔的湖口,两边有着像石崖一样的大门,大门脚下堆满了鹅卵石。这就是长湖啊!比尔博之前从来没想到过,除了大海之外,还会有这么壮阔的水。湖面如此开阔,令对岸看上去又小又遥远,但它又是如此的长,其指向孤山方向的最北端甚至根本看不见。比尔博只是从地图上才知道,在那里,星光已经在闪烁,奔流河从山谷中流下,和密林河一起把水灌注进了这个以前必定是深邃山谷的地方。在湖的南端,两河汇流之后又流溢而出,构成高高落下的瀑布,奔流向未知的土地。在寂静的夜晚中,瀑布的响声如同遥远的低吼传进人们的耳朵中来。

距离密林河入湖口不远的地方,就是比尔博听精灵们在国王的酒窖里提到过的那个奇怪城镇。虽然岸边确有几栋小屋之类的建筑,但镇子却并不是建在岸上,而是坐落于湖面上。在一块巨岩的保护之下,湖中央形成了一个平静无波的小湾。一座木制的大桥通往湖心,一座繁华的城镇就建造在从森林里砍下来的大树构成的木桩之上。这里居住的不是精灵而是人类,虽然处于远方恶龙盘踞的孤山的阴影之下,他们却依然勇敢地居住在这里。这些人依旧靠着从南方河流逆流而上,再用大车经过瀑布抵达他们小镇的贸易来维持生活。不过,在古代,当北方的河谷城依旧繁荣兴盛的时候,他们曾经非常富有、非常强大。当时河面上有无数船只往来,有些装载着黄金,有些则运送着全副武装的战士。当年的战争和英雄的事迹,现在只剩下了传说。当干旱来临湖面下降的时候,人们依旧可以从朽烂的木桩窥见古镇当年更大的规模。

但人们对此已经不大记得了,虽然有些人还在唱着有关山中矮人之王,有关瑟罗尔、瑟莱因以及都林的子民,有关恶龙的到来以及河谷城如何灭亡的歌摇。有些人还在歌曲中唱到,瑟罗尔和瑟莱因有天将会重回此地,黄金将会越过山门,从山中源源流出,大地又将重新充满新的歌声与新的欢笑。不过这个美好的传说对他们每日的营生并没有产生多少影响。

木桶做成的筏子刚一进入人们的视野,镇子里就划出了许多的小船,来人向划木筏的人们打招呼。然后,他们抛出绳索,努力划桨,把木筏拉离了密林河的水流,绕过高高的岩肩,拖进了长湖镇的小港湾中。它就停靠在大桥通往岸上的那一头附近。很快,南方的人们将会过来,把有些木桶拿走,其余的则将装上货物,再送回到森林精灵的家乡去。这会儿,木桶被暂时扔在了那里,划木筏的精灵和划船的人到镇上饮酒作乐去了。

如果他们见到了在他们离开并且黑夜降临之后,岸边所发生的事情,他们一定会感到惊讶无比。比尔博先将一个木桶从筏子上割下来,将它推到岸上打开。木桶里传来一阵呻吟,然后从里面慢慢爬出一个满脸不高兴的矮人。他的胡子里挂着稻草,又湿又脏,人则浑身酸痛,动作僵硬,满是瘀青,好不容易才站起身来,蹒跚着涉过浅水,走到岸边躺下,嘴里不停地哼哼着。他的样子一看就像是饿了好久的野人,又好像是被拴上了链子,然后关在狗窝里一个星期忘了喂的狗。此人就是索林,但你只能从他的黄金项链,从满是污迹、破破烂烂的天蓝色兜帽和失去了光泽的银流苏中猜出来。过了好一阵子,他才勉强用比较礼貌的态度来对待霍比特人。

“我说,你究竟是活着还是死了?”比尔博相当不客气地问道。他可能已经忘记了,自己至少比矮人们多吃了一顿,舒展过了胳膊腿儿,更不用说还呼吸到了更多更好的空气。“你是还在监狱里呢,还是已经获得了自由?如果你想要吃东西,如果你想要继续这场愚蠢的冒险——这毕竞是你的冒险,不是我的——!就请你甩甩胳膊揉揉腿,趁着还有机会,帮我把其他人都给放出来!”

索林当然知道事情的紧迫性,因此,在又哼哼了几声之后,他爬了起来,尽可能地给霍比特人帮手。天色已是一片黑暗,要想在冰冷的湖水里摸索出哪些是装着人的木桶的确是非常困难的工作。他们在木桶外面又敲又喊的,最后只找到了六个还有力气回应的矮人。这些矮人被救了出来,弄到岸上,他们同样坐在那里哀嚎抱怨起来。他们浑身湿透,身上到处是擦伤和瘀青,所以一时间还没有意识到自己已经重获了自由,要对此心存感激。

杜瓦林和巴林是怨气最大的,请他们俩帮忙肯定要讨没趣。比弗和波弗受到的撞击少一点,身上也更干一些,但他们躺在地上耍赖,什么也不愿干。至于奇力和菲力,他们年纪比较轻(相对矮人而言的),又被塞在比较小的、稻草比较多的桶里面,因此出来时脸上还或多或少地挂着笑容,身上只有一两道瘀青,僵麻的四肢也很快恢复了。

“希望我这辈子再也不要闻到苹果的味道了!”菲力说,“我的桶里面全是那股味道。人不能动弹,又冷又难过,肚子饿得发慌,在这种情况下一直闻苹果的味道简直要让人发疯!现在在这个广阔天地里我什么都吃得下去,而且能一口气吃上几个小时——就是苹果例外!”

在菲力和奇力自愿的帮助之下,索林和比尔博终于找到了其余的同伴,将他们救了出来。可怜的胖邦伯不是睡着了,就是失去了知觉;多瑞、诺瑞、欧瑞、欧因和格罗因都被水泡着,看起来半死不活的。他们只能被一个一个地抱上岸,上来之后就无力地躺倒在地上一动不动。

“哇!终于到了!”索林说,“我想我们该感谢主宰我们命运的星座和巴金斯先生。我想他有权期待得到我们的感谢,尽管我希望他要是能把我们的旅程安排得更舒服一点就好了。即便如此,巴金斯先生,我们又欠你个大人情了。等我们吃饱喝足之后,我们肯定会感到由衷感激的。不过这会儿,我们接下来该怎么办?”

“我建议去长湖镇,”比尔博说,“不然还能去哪儿?”

的确,除此之外也没有别的选择了。于是,索林、菲力、奇力和比尔博就把其他人先放在一边,沿着河岸来到大桥边。桥头上有守卫,但他们的看守十分松懈,因为已经有好一段时间他们的看守都没派上过什么用场了。除了偶尔为了河上的通行费有些小争议外,他们和森林精灵其实是不错的朋友。其他的人类都居住在很远的地方,镇上有些年轻人根本不相信山中有恶龙,甚至会嘲笑那些声称在自己年轻时见过恶龙在空中飞翔的老头儿老太太。因为如此,所以守卫们会忙着在小屋内围着火堆喝酒谈笑,根本没听见矮人们从桶里出来的响动以及四人侦察小分队的脚步声,就不足为奇了。当索林·橡木盾从门口走进来的时候,守卫们个个都感到了震惊。

“你是谁,想干什么?”他们一边喊着,一边跳起来,伸手去摸武器。

“我是索林,孤山下的瑟罗尔王之孙,瑟莱因王之子!”矮人朗声说道。虽然他衣着破烂,兜帽湿答答的,但他看上去的确有国王子孙的气派。他的脖子上和腰间都挂着闪耀的黄金,双眼幽黑而深邃。“我回来了。我想见你们的镇长!”

一时间众人都变得非常兴奋,有些比较笨的家伙立刻跑出屋外,似乎以为大山会在夜里就变成黄金,所有的湖水也会立刻变成金黄色。守卫的队长走上前来。

“这几位是?”他指着菲力、奇力和比尔博问道。

“他们都是我的外甥,”索林回答,“菲力和奇力都是都林一族的,巴金斯先生是和我们一起从西方来的伙伴。”

“如果你们为了和平的目的而来,就请放下武器!”队长说。

“我们根本没有武器,”索林回答,这话一点不假,他们的小刀都被森林精灵收走了,连那把奥克锐斯特剑也不例外。比尔博的短剑在身上,像平常一样是藏起来的,但他什么也没多说。“我们不需要武器,我们就像老话预言的那样,终于回到了我们的故土。而且我们也没办法与这么多人为敌。带我们去见你们的镇长吧!

“他正在参加宴会呢。”队长说。

“那就更要带我们去见他了。”菲力突然插嘴道,他对这些客套早就已经觉得不耐烦了,“我们赶了很长的路,又累又饿,还有伙伴生了病。赶快带我们过去,不要再让我们费口舌了,否则你们的首领怪罪下来,你就要负全责。”

“那就跟我来吧”,队长带着六名部下,护送着他们走过大桥,穿过镇门,来到市集所在的地方。这是很大一圈宁静的水面,周围被高大的木桩所包围,镇上大一些的房子都是建在这圈木桩上的,然后有长长的木头码头通过许多台阶和梯子可以下到水面。其中一栋大屋内透出许多光亮和鼎沸的人声。他们通过大门,在刺目的亮光中眨了一会儿眼睛,看着坐满了人的长桌。

“我是索林,孤山下的瑟罗尔王之孙,瑟莱因王之子!我回来了!”还不等队长来得及开口介绍,索林就在门边用响亮的声音喊了起来。

所有的人都跳了起来,镇长也从他的大椅子里弹了起来。但是,最惊讶的还得数那些划木筏过来的精灵们,他们坐在大厅比较低的那头。他们挤到镇长的桌边叫道:

“这些是从我们国王手中逃出来的犯人,这些矮人四处游荡,讲不清楚自己的来历,在森林里面鬼鬼祟祟,还骚扰我们的同胞!”

“这是真的吗?”镇长问道。事实上,镇长自己也觉得这个说法比较像回事,至少比什么孤山下的国王回归要靠谱,他连有没有这么一号人物都吃不准。

“在我们回乡的路上,的确是遭到了精灵国王的无端阻拦和拘禁。”索林回答,“但是,无论是锁链还是铁栏都无法阻止回乡的预言。况且,这座城镇也不在森林精灵的疆域之内,我是在跟长湖镇的人类镇长说话,而不是在跟精灵国王手下的木筏精灵说话。”

镇长犹豫了,目光从一方又转到另一方身上。精灵国王在这一带拥有相当的势力,镇长不想与他为敌,而且他是颇不以那些古老的歌谣为然的,因为他脑子里整天想的都是贸易和通行费,货物和金子,而他也是因为想法实际的习惯才爬上镇长这个位子的。然而其他人思考问题的方式都与他不同,所以这件事最后跳过他而决定了下来。消息很快就出了大门,如同野火一般传遍了整个镇子,人们在大屋内外兴奋地叫喊着,码头上到处都是快步跑来跑去的脚。有些人开始唱起了山下之王回归歌的零星片断,至于回来的是瑟罗尔的孙子而非瑟罗尔本人则对他们来说毫不重要。其他人渐渐也应和着唱了起来,歌声越来越响,高高地飘荡在湖面上。

大山之下的国王,

雕刻岩石的国王,

银色喷泉的君王,

将回到他的故乡!

他的王冠将得到万人拥戴,

他的竖琴重新响起清音嘹亮,

往昔的歌曲再度唱起,

在他的大厅中激起金色回响。

山上树木将迎风摆舞,

绿草将沐浴阳光;

他的财富在山中奔流

将河水染成金黄。

山泉欢乐地流淌,

湖光闪烁粼粼波光,

别了,所有的痛苦与哀伤,

山下之王已回到故乡!

他们就是这样唱的,内容应该八九不离十吧,只是歌曲的数量比这要多得多,不仅有人们吼得响亮的歌声,其中也混杂着竖琴和小提琴的乐声。事实上,就连镇中最老的老爷爷,在其一生的记忆中都没见到过这样的狂欢场面。森林精灵心中也开始大大动摇起来,甚至感到了害怕。他们当然不知道索林是怎么逃出来的,开始担心国王也许犯了个大错。至于镇长,看到除了遵照民意别无选择,至少眼前如此,便假装相信了索林的说法。于是,他把自己的大座椅让给了索林,把菲力和奇力让在了自己旁边的贵宾席。就连比尔博也问都没问他的来历便在主桌上给他安排了一个座位。由于没有哪首歌哪怕以最曲折间接的方式提到过他,所以人们都七嘴八舌地探问着他的来头。

很快,其他的矮人也在一片令人吃惊的热情欢迎场面中被带进了镇子。他们都以最令人愉快和满意的方式得到了医治和款待。索林和伙伴们被请进一所大房子居住,船只和桨手被安排在门外随时听候差遣。人们坐在他们门外整日唱着歌,只要有哪个矮人哪怕仅仅在窗口露出鼻子,就会招来阵阵的欢呼。

在人们所唱的歌中,有些是老歌,不过有些则是新编的,里面信心十足地预言了恶龙的突然死亡,以及一批批的宝物顺河而下流到长湖镇。这些歌曲很大部分都是在镇长的授意下编出来的,矮人们听了不是很高兴,但这段时间他们的生活还是相当令人满意,众人很快就恢复了之前的体重和精力。的确,在一个星期之内,他们就完全康复,穿上了颜色合适的好布做的衣服,胡子经过了梳理与修剪,步履中开始透露出自豪。索林的外表和他走路的样子看起来似乎他已经收复了他的王国,恶龙斯毛格也早已被剁成了碎片。

然后,就像他说过的那样,矮人们对于霍比特人的好感与日俱增。他们不再抱怨和嘀咕,每次喝酒都会向他敬酒祝他健康,他们会亲热地拍拍他的后背,每次见了他都要和他说上好些话。这一点倒是很有用处,因为比尔博这阵的心情并不是很好。他并没有忘记孤山那狰狞的样子,脑子里也一刻没有把恶龙放下过,而且他还经历了一场十分严重的感冒。整整三天他又是打喷嚏又是咳嗽的,哪里都去不了,即便是三天之后,他在宴会上也只能跟别人瓮声瓮气地说上一句“谢谢,谢谢。”

这时,森林精灵们已经带着货物沿密林河而上,踏上归途了,而国王的宫殿里也乱翻了天。再也没有人听说过守卫队长和总管后来到底怎样了。矮人们逗留在长湖镇期间,当然一句话也没有提到过钥匙或是木桶的事情,而比尔博也十分小心,从来没有用过隐身的本事。不过,虽然巴金斯先生在外人眼中无疑还是相当神秘的,但我想人们多多少少还是能猜到一点的。至少,国王就已经知道了矮人们的使命,或者说他自以为已经知道了。因此,他对自己说:

“好极了!我们走着瞧!这事儿要是没我的份,他们休想经过黑森林把宝物运出去。反正我估计他们也不会有什么好下场,那就算他们活该!”他无论如何都不相信矮人们可以通过正面的战斗杀了斯毛格这样的恶龙,他估计他们充其量也只能从恶龙那里偷走点什么——这表明他是个相当聪明的精灵,比镇上的人类要聪明得多。其实他也没完全猜对,这一点我们到最后就知道了。他派出了探子前往湖畔地区,甚至命令他们尽可能往北靠近孤山,静观事态的变化。

两周之后,索林开始考虑要离开这里了。趁镇中的狂热还在持续,正是获得帮助的好时候。如果再拖下去,等人们的热情冷却下来,就一切都来不及了。于是他找镇长和他的参议们面谈,说他和同伴们不久之后就必须重新上路前往孤山了。

镇长第一次感到吃惊,甚至有了一点点害怕。他不由得开始怀疑索林别真的是古代国王的后裔。他之前从来没想过矮人们会真的冒险去接近斯毛格,心里只当他们是一帮骗吃骗喝的家伙,早晚会露馅儿,然后被赶出去。可他错了。索林真的是山下之王的后代,而对于真正的矮人来说,还从来没听说过有哪个会不敢复仇和夺回属于自己的东西。

但是对于让他们走,镇长一点也不感到有什么愧疚。养这么一大帮人是很花钱的,而自他们来后,镇上仿佛进入了长长的假期,所有的生意都停顿了下来。“就让他们去叨扰斯毛格吧,且看他会怎样款待他们!”他心中暗想道。“当然了,伟大的瑟罗尔之孙,瑟莱因之子索林!”这是他说出来的话,“你们必须拿回属于你们的东西,古老预言中提到的时刻已经来到,我们会尽力给予你们帮助,相信你们在夺回王国之后,一定会知恩图报。”

于是某一天,尽管秋意已渐浓,冷风阵阵,落叶飘零,三艘大船还是离开了长湖镇,船上除了桨手外,还有矮人、巴金斯先生和许多的给养。马匹和小马会有人沿着环湖的道路提前帮他们送到指定的会合处。镇长和他的参议们站在从镇上的大屋通往湖而的宽大阶梯上向他们道別。人们或站在码头上,或从窗户中探出头来唱歌欢送他们。白色的大桨落入水中溅起水花,他们沿着大湖北上而去,踏上了漫长旅程的最后一段。只有一个人一点儿都不高兴,那就是比尔博。

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