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马克吐温 百万英镑 15

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The 1,000,000 Bank-Note          Mark Twain


     "Tell me how. Speak out, my boy."
     "Give me a million and my passage home for my 'option'! Don't, don't refuse!"

  “告诉我能帮你干什么。照直说,伙计。”
  “给我一百万,外加回家的路费,换我的‘代理权’!别,你可别拒绝!”

     I was in a kind of agony. I was right on the point of coming out with the words, "Lloyd, I'm a pauper myself - absolutely penniless, and in debt!" But a white-hot idea came flaming through my head, and I gripped my jaws together, and calmed myself down till I was as cold as a capitalist. Then I said, in a commercial and self-possessed way:

  我有苦说不出。一句话已经到了嘴边:“劳埃德,我自己也是个要饭的——连一个小钱也没有,还欠着债。”可是,这时我脑子里电光石火般闪出一个念头来,我咬紧牙关,极力让自己冷静下来,直到冷静得像一个资本家。我用生意人沉着镇定的口气说:

     "I will save you, Lloyd--"
     "Then I'm already saved! God be merciful to you forever! If ever I--"

  “劳埃德,我拉你一把——”
  “那我就已经有救了!上帝永远保佑你!有朝一日——”

     "Let me finish, Lloyd. I will save you, but not in that way; for that would not be fair to you, after your hard work, and the risks you've run. I don't need to buy mines; I can keep my capital moving, in a commercial center like London, without that; it's what I'm at, all the time; but here is what I'll do. I know all about that mine, of course; I know its immense value, and can swear to it if anybody wishes it. You shall sell out inside of the fortnight for three millions cash, using my name freely, and we'll divide, share and share alike."

  “劳埃德,让我说完。我要拉你一把,可不是那样拉;你吃了这么多苦,冒了这么多风险,那样办对你来说不公平。我用不着买矿山;在伦敦这样的商务中心,我用不着那样做也能赚钱;过去、现在我都不干这样的生意;不过我有一个办法。我对那座矿山的事情自然了如指掌;我知道那座矿山很有价值,为了它,谁让我赌咒发誓都成。你可以随意用我的名义去推销,在两三个星期里头就能卖得三百万现款,我们来对半分好了。”

     Do you know, he would have danced the furniture to kindling-wood in his insane joy, and broken everything on the place, if I hadn't tripped him up and tied him.

  你不知道,当时要不是我下了个绊,再把他绑起来的话,他定会在那阵狂喜中把我的家具都踩成劈柴,把坛坛罐罐全都打个稀巴烂。

     Then he lay there, perfectly happy, saying:
     "I may use your name! Your name - think of it! Man, they'll flock in droves, these rich Londoners; they'll fight for that stock! I'm a made man, I'm a made man forever, and I'll never forget you as long as I live!"

  后来,他说:
  “我可以用你的名义!你的名义——那还了得!嘿,这些伦敦阔佬准会成群结队地往这儿赶,为了认购股份非打起来不可!我赚了,我发了,今生今世我永远忘不了你!”

     In less than twenty-four hours London was abuzz! I hadn't anything to do, day after day, but sit at home, and say to all comers:
     "Yes; I told him to refer to me. I know the man, and I know the mine. His character is above reproach, and the mine is worth far more than he asks for it."

  没过二十四小时,伦敦城就开了锅!我每天不干别的事,只是坐在屋里对来打听的人说:
  “没错,是我对他说的,有人问就来找我。我知道这个人,也知道这座矿山。他的人品无可挑剔,那矿山比他要的价值钱多啦。”

     Meantime I spent all my evenings at the minister's with Portia. I didn't say a word to her about the mine; I saved it for a surprise. We talked salary; never anything but salary and love; sometimes love, sometimes salary, sometimes love and salary together. And my! the interest the minister's wife and daughter took in our little affair, and the endless ingenuities they invented to save us from interruption, and to keep the minister in the dark and unsuspicious - well, it was just lovely of them!

  与此同时,我每天晚上都在公使府上陪着波蒂娅。矿山的事我对她只字未提;我留着这事给她一个惊喜。我们谈那笔薪水;除了薪水和爱情一切免谈;有时谈谈爱情,有时谈谈薪水,有时候两者兼谈。啊!那公使夫人和公使千金对我们的体贴无微不至,总是想方设法不让我们受打扰,只瞒着公使一个人,让他毫不疑心——你瞧,她们有多可爱呀!

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