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驻外军人与父亲的家书(2)

August 25 1915

1915年8月25

Dear old man –

亲爱的儿子

As I leave tomorrow at a perfectly ungodly hour in order that there may be time at the railway station to examine the passports, I write my little daily letter to you now. I hope to be in Folkestone by 6 o’clock tomorrow evening but this is a deceitful world and there have been several delays in the Channel boats. I expect the submarines are on the rampage again. Yesterday’s train went off crowded to the lee-scuppers (if that is the right word) on account of no boat going the day before.

明天,为了赶时间到火车站检查护照,我必须得在一个极不适宜的时间离开,所以我现在给你写下一封短笺(这已成为每日习惯)。希望明晚6点前能到达福克斯通,但这个世界充满了欺骗,而且英吉利海峡的船只也多次晚点。我猜,肯定是潜艇又在横冲直撞了。由于前天没有船,所以昨天的火车满载着旅客驶向了lee-scuppers(是这么说的吧)。

I have been working all day at my accounts of my travels and saying pretty things about the French Army. I really think that they are excellent and I expect as time goes on, you will be of that opinion too. Really, there isn’t much difference between the way in which the officers of the English and French armies look at things. I was talking the other night “Somewhere in France” with a delightful old General. We were some miles from a town and the German and French searchlights were playing all around us. I asked him if he knew who was his opposite number on the Hun side. “Quite well,” he said. “I’ve known him for months.” (He told me his name.) “He’s an old man and I think he has gout. Every now and again I keep him awake all night with my big guns. He always loses his temper. He gets excited and begins to fire away all round the landscape. I should say he cost Germany a lot in ammunition.” Now isn’t that very much as an English officer would talk.

一整天我都在忙着记录这次旅行,对法国军队赞不绝口。说真的,我认为他们很优秀,我期待随着时间的推移,你也会慢慢认同我的观点。其实,英法两军军官看待事物的方式并没有太大区别。记得有天晚上,我在“法国某个地放”与一位令人愉快的老将军攀谈。我们离小镇大概几英里远,德国和法国的探照灯在我们周围来回扫射。我问他是否了解德军那边的对手。“非常了解”他说。“我俩认识几个月了。(他跟我说了他的名字)“他上了年纪了,我觉得他得了痛风。”我时不时地用枪支对着他,让他整夜无法入睡。他总是发脾气。他一旦兴奋起来,就会冲着四周疯狂扫射。我应该这么说,他浪费了德国很多弹药。“这貌似不太像一位英国军官会说的话。

11 p.m. Just back from an idiotic cinema theatre at the Ambassadeurs. There were lots of faked pictures of the war and the only funny turn was about a kid who was spanked for throwing stones into a river where a man was fishing. So he went back to his father’s caravan (he was a gipsy), got a crocodile’s skin and fastened it over his dog. Well, as you can imagine the sight of a sky-blue crocodile on four legs running at him like Hell rather upset the fisherman and then the dog-crocodile got loose all over the country and the usual upsets and panics followed.

晚上11点。刚从大使剧院的一个“无脑”的电影院回来。那里有很多关于战争的虚假照片,唯一有趣的故事是,一个小孩因为往河里扔石头被河边钓鱼的人打了一顿。于是他回到父亲的商队(他是吉普赛人),拿了一块鳄鱼皮绑在他的恶犬身上。嗯,你可以想象一下,一只四条腿的天蓝色鳄鱼朝钓鱼者猛扑过去的场面,钓鱼者被吓得屁滚尿流,后来那条“鳄鱼犬”又在全国各地到处乱窜,所到之处引起各种恐慌和不安。

Thursday morn 9 a.m. Just off for Boulogne and have just received copy of your letter of 20th describing your billet with the Mayor and the maid Marcelle and the immoral luck of Grayson and local Gaby. I’m sorry about the food but Bateman’s will do its best to supplement. You ought to get a whole lot of letters from me when you arrive as I’ve written you regularly. Now for the Gare du Nord and a hell of a crush at the station.

周四上午9点。刚要去布伦,就收到了你20日的来信,信中描述了你与村长和少女马塞勒所在的驻军地点,以及格雷森和法国“加比”的艳遇一事。至于当地的食物,我也很遗憾,不过贝特曼会尽力提供补给的。等你回来的时候应该会收到我的很多信件,因为我经常给你写信。现在到巴黎北站了,我陷入了对它疯狂的迷恋。

Ever,

永远爱你的

Dad

父亲

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《驻外军人与父亲的家书(2)》

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