少年派的奇幻漂流 Chapter 55
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Chapter 55
Dawn came and matters were worse for it. Because now, emerging from the darkness, I could see what before I had only felt, the great curtains of rain crashing down on me from towering heights and the waves that threw a path over me and trod me underfoot one after another.
Dull-eyed, shaking and numb1, one hand gripping the rain catcher, the other clinging to the raft, I continued to wait.
Sometime later, with a suddenness emphasized by the silence that followed, the rain stopped. The sky cleared and the waves seemed to flee with the clouds. The change was as quick and radical2 as changing countries on land. I was now in a different ocean. Soon the sun was alone in the sky, and the ocean was a smooth skin reflecting the light with a million mirrors.
I was stiff, sore and exhausted3, barely grateful to be still alive. The words "Plan Number Six, Plan Number Six, Plan Number Six" repeated themselves in my mind like a mantra and brought me a small measure of comfort, though I couldn't recall for the life of me what Plan Number Six was. Warmth started coming to my bones. I closed the rain catcher. I wrapped myself with the blanket and curled up on my side in such a way that no part of me touched the water. I fell asleep. I don't know how long I slept. It was mid-morning when I awoke, and hot. The blanket was nearly dry. It had been a brief bout4 of deep sleep. I lifted myself onto an elbow.
All about me was flatness and infinity5, an endless panorama6 of blue. There was nothing to block my view. The vastness hit me like a punch in the stomach. I fell back, winded. This raft was a joke. It was nothing but a few sticks and a little cork7 held together by string. Water came through every crack. The depth beneath would make a bird dizzy. I caught sight of the lifeboat. It was no better than half a walnut8 shell. It held on to the surface of the water like fingers gripping the edge of a cliff. It was only a matter of time before gravity pulled it down.
My fellow castaway came into view. He raised himself onto the gunnel and looked my way. The sudden appearance of a tiger is arresting in any environment, but it was all the more so here. The weird9 contrast between the bright, striped, living orange of his coat and the inert10 white of the boat's hull11 was incredibly compelling.
My overwrought senses screeched12 to a halt. Vast as the Pacific was around us, suddenly, between us, it seemed a very narrow moat, with no bars or walls.
"Plan Number Six, Plan Number Six, Plan Number Six," my mind whispered urgently. But what was Plan Number Six? Ah yes. The war of attrition. The waiting game. Passivity. Letting things happen. The unforgiving laws of nature. The relentless13 march of time and the hoarding14 of resources. That was Plan Number Six.
A thought rang in my mind like an angry shout: "You fool and idiot! You dimwit! You brainless baboon15! Plan Number Six is the worst plan of all! Richard Parker is afraid of the sea right now. It was nearly his grave. But crazed with thirst and hunger he will surmount16 his fear, and he will do whatever is necessary to appease17 his need. He will turn this moat into a bridge. He will swim as far as he has to, to catch the drifting raft and the food upon it. As for water, have you forgotten that tigers from the Sundarbans are known to drink saline water? Do you really think you can outlast18 his kidneys? I tell you, if you wage a war of attrition, you will lose it! You will die! Is that clear?"



1 numb 0RIzK     
  • His fingers were numb with cold.他的手冻得发麻。
  • Numb with cold,we urged the weary horses forward.我们冻得发僵,催着疲惫的马继续往前走。
2 radical hA8zu     
  • The patient got a radical cure in the hospital.病人在医院得到了根治。
  • She is radical in her demands.她的要求十分偏激。
3 exhausted 7taz4r     
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
4 bout Asbzz     
  • I was suffering with a bout of nerves.我感到一阵紧张。
  • That bout of pneumonia enfeebled her.那次肺炎的发作使她虚弱了。
5 infinity o7QxG     
  • It is impossible to count up to infinity.不可能数到无穷大。
  • Theoretically,a line can extend into infinity.从理论上来说直线可以无限地延伸。
6 panorama D4wzE     
  • A vast panorama of the valley lay before us.山谷的广阔全景展现在我们面前。
  • A flourishing and prosperous panorama spread out before our eyes.一派欣欣向荣的景象展现在我们的眼前。
7 cork VoPzp     
  • We heard the pop of a cork.我们听见瓶塞砰的一声打开。
  • Cork is a very buoyant material.软木是极易浮起的材料。
8 walnut wpTyQ     
  • Walnut is a local specialty here.核桃是此地的土特产。
  • The stool comes in several sizes in walnut or mahogany.凳子有几种尺寸,材质分胡桃木和红木两种。
9 weird bghw8     
  • From his weird behaviour,he seems a bit of an oddity.从他不寻常的行为看来,他好像有点怪。
  • His weird clothes really gas me.他的怪衣裳简直笑死人。
10 inert JbXzh     
  • Inert gas studies are providing valuable information about other planets,too.对惰性气体的研究,也提供了有关其它行星的有价值的资料。
  • Elemental nitrogen is a very unreactive and inert material.元素氮是一个十分不活跃的惰性物质。
11 hull 8c8xO     
  • The outer surface of ship's hull is very hard.船体的外表面非常坚硬。
  • The boat's hull has been staved in by the tremendous seas.小船壳让巨浪打穿了。
12 screeched 975e59058e1a37cd28bce7afac3d562c     
v.发出尖叫声( screech的过去式和过去分词 );发出粗而刺耳的声音;高叫
  • She screeched her disapproval. 她尖叫着不同意。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The car screeched to a stop. 汽车嚓的一声停住了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
13 relentless VBjzv     
  • The traffic noise is relentless.交通车辆的噪音一刻也不停止。
  • Their training has to be relentless.他们的训练必须是无情的。
14 hoarding wdwzA     
n.贮藏;积蓄;临时围墙;囤积v.积蓄并储藏(某物)( hoard的现在分词 )
  • After the war, they were shot for hoarding. 战后他们因囤积而被枪决。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Actually he had two unused ones which he was hoarding up. 其实他还藏了两片没有用呢。 来自英汉文学
15 baboon NuNzc     
  • A baboon is a large monkey that lives in Africa.狒狒是一种生活在非洲的大猴子。
  • As long as the baboon holds on to what it wants,it's trapped.只要狒狒紧抓住想要的东西不放手,它就会被牢牢困住。
16 surmount Lrqwh     
  • We have many problems to surmount before we can start the project.我们得克服许多困难才能著手做这项工作。
  • We are fully confident that we can surmount these difficulties.我们完全相信我们能够克服这些困难。
17 appease uVhzM     
  • He tried to appease the crying child by giving him candy.他试图给那个啼哭的孩子糖果使他不哭。
  • The government tried to appease discontented workers.政府试图安抚不满的工人们。
18 outlast dmfz8P     
  • The great use of life is to spend it doing something that will outlast it.人生的充分利用就是为争取比人生更长久的东西而度过一生。
  • These naturally dried flowers will outlast a bouquet of fresh blooms.这些自然风干的花会比一束鲜花更加持久。
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