少年派的奇幻漂流 Chapter 54
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Chapter 54
It rained all night. I had a horrible, sleepless1 time of it. It was noisy. On the rain catcher the rain made a drumming sound, and around me, coming from the darkness beyond, it made a hissing2 sound, as if I were at the centre of a great nest of angry snakes. Shifts in the wind changed the direction of the rain so that parts of me that were beginning to feel warm were soaked anew. I shifted the rain catcher, only to be unpleasantly surprised a few minutes later when the wind changed once more. I tried to keep a small part of me dry and warm, around my chest, where I had placed the survival manual, but the wetness spread with perverse3 determination. I spent the whole night shivering with cold. I worried constantly that the raft would come apart, that the knots holding me to the lifeboat would become loose, that a shark would attack. With my hands I checked the knots and lashings incessantly4, trying to read them the way a blind man would read Braille.
The rain grew stronger and the sea rougher as the night progressed. The rope to the lifeboat tautened with a jerk rather than with a tug5, and the rocking of the raft became more pronounced and erratic6. It continued to float, rising above every wave, but there was no freeboard and the surf of every breaking wave rode clear across it, washing around me like a river washing around a boulder7. The sea was warmer than the rain, but it meant that not the smallest part of me stayed dry that night.
At least I drank. I wasn't really thirsty, but I forced myself to drink. The rain catcher looked like an inverted8 umbrella, an umbrella blown open by the wind. The rain flowed to its centre, where there was a hole. The hole was connected by a rubber tube to a catchment pouch9 made of thick, transparent10 plastic. At first the water had a rubbery taste, but quickly the rain rinsed11 the catcher and the water tasted fine.
During those long, cold, dark hours, as the pattering of the invisible rain got to be deafening12, and the sea hissed13 and coiled and tossed me about, I held on to one thought: Richard Parker. I hatched several plans to get rid of him so that the lifeboat might be mine.
Plan Number One: Push Him off the Lifeboat. What good would that do? Even if I did manage to shove 450 pounds of living, fierce animal off the lifeboat, tigers are accomplished14 swimmers. In the Sundarbans they have been known to swim five miles in open, choppy waters. If he found himself unexpectedly overboard, Richard Parker would simply tread water, climb back aboard and make me pay the price for my treachery.
Plan Number Two: Kill Him with the Six Morphine Syringes. But I had no idea what effect they would have on him. Would they be enough to kill him? And how exactly was I supposed to get the morphine into his system? I could remotely conceive surprising him once, for an instant, the way his mother had been when she was captured-but to surprise him long enough to give him six consecutive15 injections? Impossible. All I would do by pricking16 him with a needle would be to get a cuff17 in return that would take my head off.
Plan Number Three: Attack Him with All Available Weaponry. Ludicrous. I wasn't Tarzan. I was a puny18, feeble, vegetarian19 life form. In India it took riding atop great big elephants and shooting with powerful rifles to kill tigers. What was I supposed to do here? Fire off a rocket flare20 in his face? Go at him with a hatchet21 in each hand and a knife between my teeth? Finish him off with straight and curving sewing needles? If I managed to nick him, it would be a feat22. In return he would tear me apart limb by limb, organ by organ. For if there's one thing more dangerous than a healthy animal, it's an injured animal.
Plan Number Four: Choke Him. I had rope. If I stayed at the bow and got the rope to go around the stern and a noose23 to go around his neck, I could pull on the rope while he pulled to get at me. And so, in the very act of reaching for me, he would choke himself. A clever, suicidal plan.
Plan Number Five: Poison Him, Set Him on Fire, Electrocute Him. How? With what?
Plan Number Six: Wage a War of Attrition. All I had to do was let the unforgiving laws of nature run their course and I would be saved. Waiting for him to waste away and die would require no effort on my part. I had supplies for months to come. What did he have? Just a few dead animals that would soon go bad. What would he eat after that? Better still: where would he get water? He might last for weeks without food, but no animal, however mighty24, can do without water for any extended period of time.
A modest glow of hope flickered25 to life within me, like a candle in the night. I had a plan and it was a good one. I only needed to survive to put it into effect.



1 sleepless oiBzGN     
  • The situation gave her many sleepless nights.这种情况害她一连好多天睡不好觉。
  • One evening I heard a tale that rendered me sleepless for nights.一天晚上,我听说了一个传闻,把我搞得一连几夜都不能入睡。
2 hissing hissing     
n. 发嘶嘶声, 蔑视 动词hiss的现在分词形式
  • The steam escaped with a loud hissing noise. 蒸汽大声地嘶嘶冒了出来。
  • His ears were still hissing with the rustle of the leaves. 他耳朵里还听得萨萨萨的声音和屑索屑索的怪声。 来自汉英文学 - 春蚕
3 perverse 53mzI     
  • It would be perverse to stop this healthy trend.阻止这种健康发展的趋势是没有道理的。
  • She gets a perverse satisfaction from making other people embarrassed.她有一种不正常的心态,以使别人难堪来取乐。
4 incessantly AqLzav     
  • The machines roar incessantly during the hours of daylight. 机器在白天隆隆地响个不停。
  • It rained incessantly for the whole two weeks. 雨不间断地下了整整两个星期。
5 tug 5KBzo     
  • We need to tug the car round to the front.我们需要把那辆车拉到前面。
  • The tug is towing three barges.那只拖船正拖着三只驳船。
6 erratic ainzj     
  • The old man had always been cranky and erratic.那老头儿性情古怪,反复无常。
  • The erratic fluctuation of market prices is in consequence of unstable economy.经济波动致使市场物价忽起忽落。
7 boulder BNbzS     
  • We all heaved together and removed the boulder.大家一齐用劲,把大石头搬开了。
  • He stepped clear of the boulder.他从大石头后面走了出来。
8 inverted 184401f335d6b8661e04dfea47b9dcd5     
adj.反向的,倒转的v.使倒置,使反转( invert的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Only direct speech should go inside inverted commas. 只有直接引语应放在引号内。
  • Inverted flight is an acrobatic manoeuvre of the plane. 倒飞是飞机的一种特技动作。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 pouch Oi1y1     
  • He was going to make a tobacco pouch out of them. 他要用它们缝制一个烟草袋。
  • The old man is always carrying a tobacco pouch with him.这老汉总是随身带着烟袋。
10 transparent Smhwx     
  • The water is so transparent that we can see the fishes swimming.水清澈透明,可以看到鱼儿游来游去。
  • The window glass is transparent.窗玻璃是透明的。
11 rinsed 637d6ed17a5c20097c9dbfb69621fd20     
v.漂洗( rinse的过去式和过去分词 );冲洗;用清水漂洗掉(肥皂泡等);(用清水)冲掉
  • She rinsed out the sea water from her swimming-costume. 她把游泳衣里的海水冲洗掉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The clothes have been rinsed three times. 衣服已经洗了三和。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
12 deafening deafening     
adj. 振耳欲聋的, 极喧闹的 动词deafen的现在分词形式
  • The noise of the siren was deafening her. 汽笛声震得她耳朵都快聋了。
  • The noise of the machine was deafening. 机器的轰鸣声震耳欲聋。
13 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
  • Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  • The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
14 accomplished UzwztZ     
  • Thanks to your help,we accomplished the task ahead of schedule.亏得你们帮忙,我们才提前完成了任务。
  • Removal of excess heat is accomplished by means of a radiator.通过散热器完成多余热量的排出。
15 consecutive DpPz0     
  • It has rained for four consecutive days.已连续下了四天雨。
  • The policy of our Party is consecutive.我党的政策始终如一。
16 pricking b0668ae926d80960b702acc7a89c84d6     
  • She felt a pricking on her scalp. 她感到头皮上被扎了一下。
  • Intercostal neuralgia causes paroxysmal burning pain or pricking pain. 肋间神经痛呈阵发性的灼痛或刺痛。
17 cuff 4YUzL     
  • She hoped they wouldn't cuff her hands behind her back.她希望他们不要把她反铐起来。
  • Would you please draw together the snag in my cuff?请你把我袖口上的裂口缝上好吗?
18 puny Bt5y6     
  • The resources at the central banks' disposal are simply too puny.中央银行掌握的资金实在太少了。
  • Antonio was a puny lad,and not strong enough to work.安东尼奥是个瘦小的小家伙,身体还不壮,还不能干活。
19 vegetarian 7KGzY     
  • She got used gradually to the vegetarian diet.她逐渐习惯吃素食。
  • I didn't realize you were a vegetarian.我不知道你是个素食者。
20 flare LgQz9     
  • The match gave a flare.火柴发出闪光。
  • You need not flare up merely because I mentioned your work.你大可不必因为我提到你的工作就动怒。
21 hatchet Dd0zr     
  • I shall have to take a hatchet to that stump.我得用一把短柄斧来劈这树桩。
  • Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet.别用斧头拍打朋友额头上的苍蝇。
22 feat 5kzxp     
  • Man's first landing on the moon was a feat of great daring.人类首次登月是一个勇敢的壮举。
  • He received a medal for his heroic feat.他因其英雄业绩而获得一枚勋章。
23 noose 65Zzd     
  • They tied a noose round her neck.他们在她脖子上系了一个活扣。
  • A hangman's noose had already been placed around his neck.一个绞刑的绳圈已经套在他的脖子上。
24 mighty YDWxl     
  • A mighty force was about to break loose.一股巨大的力量即将迸发而出。
  • The mighty iceberg came into view.巨大的冰山出现在眼前。
25 flickered 93ec527d68268e88777d6ca26683cc82     
(通常指灯光)闪烁,摇曳( flicker的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The lights flickered and went out. 灯光闪了闪就熄了。
  • These lights flickered continuously like traffic lights which have gone mad. 这些灯象发狂的交通灯一样不停地闪动着。
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