خواب شراب سرخ میبیند
خواب شراب سرخ میبیند
خودم را سانسور کردم.
تو را حذف به قرینه لفظی.
اصغر صدایم کنید امروز لطفا.
The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennes- see and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind. Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy. He was sitting on the edge of his chair at the table, bent over the orange sports section of the Journal. «Now look here, Bailey,» she said, «see here, read this,» and she stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head. «Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did.»
Bailey didn’t look up from his reading so she wheeled around then and faced the children’s mother, a young woman in slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like rabbit’s ears. She was sitting on the sofa, feeding the baby his apricots out of a jar. «The children have been to Florida before,» the old lady said. «You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They never have been to east Tennessee.»
The children’s mother didn’t seem to hear her but the eight-year-old boy, John Wesley, a stocky child with glasses, said, «If you don’t want to go to Florida, why dontcha stay at home?» He and the little girl, June Star, were reading the funny papers on the floor.
«She wouldn’t stay at home to be queen for a day,» June Star said without raising her yellow head.
«Yes and what would you do if this fellow, The Misfit, caught you?» the grandmother asked.
«I’d smack his face,» John Wesley said.
«She wouldn’t stay at home for a million bucks,» June Star said. «Afraid she’d miss something. She has to go everywhere we go.»
«All right, Miss,» the grandmother said. «Just re- member that the next time you want me to curl your hair.»
June Star said her hair was naturally curly.
The next morning the grandmother was the first one in the car, ready to go. She had her big black valise that looked like the head of a hippopotamus in one corner, and underneath it she was hiding a basket with Pitty Sing, the cat, in it. She didn’t intend for the cat to be left alone in the house for three days because he would miss her too much and she was afraid he might brush against one of her gas burners and accidentally asphyxiate himself. Her son, Bailey, didn’t like to arrive at a motel with a cat.
She sat in the middle of the back seat with John Wesley and June Star on either side of her. Bailey and the children’s mother and the baby sat in front and they left Atlanta at eight forty-five with the mileage on the car at 55890. The grandmother wrote this down because she thought it would be interesting to say how many miles they had been when they got back. It took them twenty minutes to reach the outskirts of the city.
The old lady settled herself comfortably, removing her white cotton gloves and putting them up with her purse on the shelf in front of the back window. The children’s mother still had on slacks and still had her head tied up in a green kerchief, but the grandmother had on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print. Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.
She said she thought it was going to be a good day for driving, neither too hot nor too cold, and she cautioned Bailey that the speed limit was fifty-five miles an hour and that the patrolmen hid themselves behind billboards and small clumps of trees and sped out after you before you had a chance to slow down. She pointed out interesting details of the scenery: Stone Mountain; the blue granite that in some places came up to both sides of the highway; the brilliant red clay banks slightly streaked with purple; and the various crops that made rows of green lace-work on the ground. The trees were full of silver-white sunlight and the meanest of them sparkled. The children were reading comic magazines and their mother and gone back to sleep.
«Let’s go through Georgia fast so we won’t have to look at it much,» John Wesley said.
«If I were a little boy,» said the grandmother, «I wouldn’t talk about my native state that way. Tennessee has the mountains and Georgia has the hills.»
«Tennessee is just a hillbilly dumping ground,» John Wesley said, «and Georgia is a lousy state too.»
«You said it,» June Star said.
«In my time,» said the grandmother, folding her thin veined fingers, «children were more respectful of their native states and their parents and everything else. People did right then. Oh look at the cute little pickaninny!» she said and pointed to a Negro child standing in the door of a shack. «Wouldn’t that make a picture, now?» she asked and they all turned and looked at the little Negro out of the back window. He waved
«He didn’t have any britches on,» June Star said.
«He probably didn’t have any,» the grandmother explained. «Little riggers in the country don’t have things like we do. If I could paint, I’d paint that picture,» she said.
The children exchanged comic books.
The grandmother offered to hold the baby and the children’s mother passed him over the front seat to her. She set him on her knee and bounced him and told him about the things they were passing. She rolled her eyes and screwed up her mouth and stuck her leathery thin face into his smooth bland one. Occasionally he gave her a faraway smile. They passed a large cotton field with five or fix graves fenced in the middle of it, like a small island. «Look at the graveyard!» the grandmother said, pointing it out. «That was the old family burying ground. That belonged to the plantation.»
«Where’s the plantation?» John Wesley asked.
«Gone With the Wind» said the grandmother. «Ha. Ha.»
When the children finished all the comic books they had brought, they opened the lunch and ate it. The grandmother ate a peanut butter sandwich and an olive and would not let the children throw the box and the paper napkins out the window. When there was nothing else to do they played a game by choosing a cloud and making the other two guess what shape it suggested. John Wesley took one the shape of a cow and June Star guessed a cow and John Wesley said, no, an automobile, and June Star said he didn’t play fair, and they began to slap each other over the grandmother.
The grandmother said she would tell them a story if they would keep quiet. When she told a story, she rolled her eyes and waved her head and was very dramatic. She said once when she was a maiden lady she had been courted by a Mr. Edgar Atkins Teagarden from Jasper, Georgia. She said he was a very good-looking man and a gentleman and that he brought her a watermelon every Saturday afternoon with his initials cut in it, E. A. T. Well, one Saturday, she said, Mr. Teagarden brought the watermelon and there was nobody at home and he left it on the front porch and returned in his buggy to Jasper, but she never got the watermelon, she said, because a nigger boy ate it when he saw the initials, E. A. T. ! This story tickled John Wesley’s funny bone and he giggled and giggled but June Star didn’t think it was any good. She said she wouldn’t marry a man that just brought her a watermelon on Saturday. The grandmother said she would have done well to marry Mr. Teagarden because he was a gentle man and had bought Coca-Cola stock when it first came out and that he had died only a few years ago, a very wealthy man.
They stopped at The Tower for barbecued sand- wiches. The Tower was a part stucco and part wood filling station and dance hall set in a clearing outside of Timothy. A fat man named Red Sammy Butts ran it and there were signs stuck here and there on the building and for miles up and down the highway saying, TRY RED SAMMY’S FAMOUS BARBECUE. NONE LIKE FAMOUS RED SAMMY’S! RED SAM! THE FAT BOY WITH THE HAPPY LAUGH. A VETERAN! RED SAMMY’S YOUR MAN!
Red Sammy was lying on the bare ground outside The Tower with his head under a truck while a gray monkey about a foot high, chained to a small chinaberry tree, chattered nearby. The monkey sprang back into the tree and got on the highest limb as soon as he saw the children jump out of the car and run toward him.
Inside, The Tower was a long dark room with a counter at one end and tables at the other and dancing space in the middle. They all sat down at a board table next to the nickelodeon and Red Sam’s wife, a tall burnt-brown woman with hair and eyes lighter than her skin, came and took their order. The children’s mother put a dime in the machine and played «The Tennessee Waltz,» and the grandmother said that tune always made her want to dance. She asked Bailey if he would like to dance but he only glared at her. He didn’t have a naturally sunny disposition like she did and trips made him nervous. The grandmother’s brown eyes were very bright. She swayed her head from side to side and pretended she was dancing in her chair. June Star said play something she could tap to so the children’s mother put in another dime and played a fast number and June Star stepped out onto the dance floor and did her tap routine.
«Ain’t she cute?» Red Sam’s wife said, leaning over the counter. «Would you like to come be my little girl?»
«No I certainly wouldn’t,» June Star said. «I wouldn’t live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks!» and she ran back to the table.
«Ain’t she cute?» the woman repeated, stretching her mouth politely.
«Arn’t you ashamed?» hissed the grandmother.
Red Sam came in and told his wife to quit lounging on the counter and hurry up with these people’s order. His khaki trousers reached just to his hip bones and his stomach hung over them like a sack of meal swaying under his shirt. He came over and sat down at a table nearby and let out a combination sigh and yodel. «You can’t win,» he said. «You can’t win,» and he wiped his sweating red face off with a gray handkerchief. «These days you don’t know who to trust,» he said. «Ain’t that the truth?»
«People are certainly not nice like they used to be,» said the grandmother.
«Two fellers come in here last week,» Red Sammy said, «driving a Chrysler. It was a old beat-up car but it was a good one and these boys looked all right to me. Said they worked at the mill and you know I let them fellers charge the gas they bought? Now why did I do that?»
«Because you’re a good man!» the grandmother said at once.
«Yes’m, I suppose so,» Red Sam said as if he were struck with this answer.
His wife brought the orders, carrying the five plates all at once without a tray, two in each hand and one balanced on her arm. «It isn’t a soul in this green world of God’s that you can trust,» she said. «And I don’t count nobody out of that, not nobody,» she repeated, looking at Red Sammy.
«Did you read about that criminal, The Misfit, that’s escaped?» asked the grandmother.
«I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he didn’t attack this place right here,» said the woman. «If he hears about it being here, I wouldn’t be none surprised to see him. If he hears it’s two cent in the cash register, I wouldn’t be a tall surprised if he . . .»
«That’ll do,» Red Sam said. «Go bring these people their Co’-Colas,» and the woman went off to get the rest of the order.
«A good man is hard to find,» Red Sammy said. «Everything is getting terrible. I remember the day you could go off and leave your screen door unlatched. Not no more.»
He and the grandmother discussed better times. The old lady said that in her opinion Europe was entirely to blame for the way things were now. She said the way Europe acted you would think we were made of money and Red Sam said it was no use talking about it, she was exactly right. The children ran outside into the white sunlight and looked at the monkey in the lacy chinaberry tree. He was busy catching fleas on himself and biting each one carefully between his teeth as if it were a delicacy.
They drove off again into the hot afternoon. The grandmother took cat naps and woke up every few minutes with her own snoring. Outside of Toombsboro she woke up and recalled an old plantation that she had visited in this neighborhood once when she was a young lady. She said the house had six white columns across the front and that there was an avenue of oaks leading up to it and two little wooden trellis arbors on either side in front where you sat down with your suitor after a stroll in the garden. She recalled exactly which road to turn off to get to it. She knew that Bailey would not be willing to lose any time looking at an old house, but the more she talked about it, the more she wanted to see it once again and find out if the little twin arbors were still standing. «There was a secret:-panel in this house,» she said craftily, not telling the truth but wishing that she were, «and the story went that all the family silver was hidden in it when Sherman came through but it was never found . . .»
«Hey!» John Wesley said. «Let’s go see it! We’ll find it! We’ll poke all the woodwork and find it! Who lives there? Where do you turn off at? Hey Pop, can’t we turn off there?»
«We never have seen a house with a secret panel!» June Star shrieked. «Let’s go to the house with the secret panel! Hey Pop, can’t we go see the house with the secret panel!»
«It’s not far from here, I know,» the grandmother said. «It wouldn’t take over twenty minutes.»
Bailey was looking straight ahead. His jaw was as rigid as a horseshoe. «No,» he said.
The children began to yell and scream that they wanted to see the house with the secret panel. John Wesley kicked the back of the front seat and June Star hung over her mother’s shoulder and whined desperately into her ear that they never had any fun even on their vacation, that they could never do what THEY wanted to do. The baby began to scream and John Wesley kicked the back of the seat so hard that his father could feel the blows in his kidney.
«All right!» he shouted and drew the car to a stop at the side of the road. «Will you all shut up? Will you all just shut up for one second? If you don’t shut up, we won’t go anywhere.»
«It would be very educational for them,» the grandmother murmured.
«All right,» Bailey said, «but get this: this is the only time we’re going to stop for anything like this. This is the one and only time.»
«The dirt road that you have to turn down is about a mile back,» the grandmother directed. «I marked it when we passed.»
«A dirt road,» Bailey groaned.
After they had turned around and were headed toward the dirt road, the grandmother recalled other points about the house, the beautiful glass over the front doorway and the candle-lamp in the hall. John Wesley said that the secret panel was probably in the fireplace.
«You can’t go inside this house,» Bailey said. «You don’t know who lives there.»
«While you all talk to the people in front, I’ll run around behind and get in a window,» John Wesley suggested.
«We’ll all stay in the car,» his mother said.
They turned onto the dirt road and the car raced roughly along in a swirl of pink dust. The grandmother recalled the times when there were no paved roads and thirty miles was a day’s journey. The dirt road was hilly and there were sudden washes in it and sharp curves on dangerous embankments. All at once they would be on a hill, looking down over the blue tops of trees for miles around, then the next minute, they would be in a red depression with the dust-coated trees looking down on them.
«This place had better turn up in a minute,» Bailey said, «or I’m going to turn around.»
The road looked as if no one had traveled on it in months.
«It’s not much farther,» the grandmother said and just as she said it, a horrible thought came to her. The thought was so embarrassing that she turned red in the face and her eyes dilated and her feet jumped up, upsetting her valise in the corner. The instant the valise moved, the newspaper top she had over the basket under it rose with a snarl and Pitty Sing, the cat, sprang onto Bailey’s shoulder.
The children were thrown to the floor and their mother, clutching the baby, was thrown out the door onto the ground; the old lady was thrown into the front seat. The car turned over once and landed right-side-up in a gulch off the side of the road. Bailey remained in the driver’s seat with the cat gray-striped with a broad white face and an orange nose clinging to his neck like a caterpillar.
As soon as the children saw they could move their arms and legs, they scrambled out of the car, shouting, «We’ve had an ACCIDENT!» The grandmother was curled up under the dashboard, hoping she was injured so that Bailey’s wrath would not come down on her all at once. The horrible thought she had had before the accident was that the house she had remembered so vividly was not in Georgia but in Tennessee.
Bailey removed the cat from his neck with both hands and flung it out the window against the side of a pine tree. Then he got out of the car and started looking for the children’s mother. She was sitting against the side of the red gutted ditch, holding the screaming baby, but she only had a cut down her face and a broken shoulder. «We’ve had an ACCIDENT!» the children screamed in a frenzy of delight.
«But nobody’s killed,» June Star said with disappointment as the grandmother limped out of the car, her hat still pinned to her head but the broken front brim standing up at a jaunty angle and the violet spray hanging off the side. They all sat down in the ditch, except the children, to recover from the shock. They were all shaking.
«Maybe a car will come along,» said the children’s mother hoarsely.
«I believe I have injured an organ,» said the grandmother, pressing her side, but no one answered her. Bailey’s teeth were clattering. He had on a yellow sport shirt with bright blue parrots designed in it and his face was as yellow as the shirt. The grandmother decided that she would not mention that the house was in Tennessee.
The road was about ten feet above and they could see only the tops of the trees on the other side of it. Behind the ditch they were sitting in there were more woods, tall and dark and deep. In a few minutes they saw a car some distance away on top of a hill, coming slowly as if the occupants were watching them. The grandmother stood up and waved both arms dramatically to attract their attention. The car continued to come on slowly, disappeared around a bend and appeared again, moving even slower, on top of the hill they had gone over. It was a big black battered hearselike automobile. There were three men in it.
It came to a stop just over them and for some minutes, the driver looked down with a steady expressionless gaze to where they were sitting, and didn’t speak. Then he turned his head and muttered something to the other two and they got out. One was a fat boy in black trousers and a red sweat shirt with a silver stallion embossed on the front of it. He moved around on the right side of them and stood staring, his mouth partly open in a kind of loose grin. The other had on khaki pants and a blue striped coat and a gray hat pulled down very low, hiding most of his face. He came around slowly on the left side. Neither spoke.
The driver got out of the car and stood by the side of it, looking down at them. He was an older man than the other two. His hair was just beginning to gray and he wore silver-rimmed spectacles that gave him a scholarly look. He had a long creased face and didn’t have on any shirt or undershirt. He had on blue jeans that were too tight for him and was holding a black hat and a gun. The two boys also had guns.
«We’ve had an ACCIDENT!» the children screamed.
The grandmother had the peculiar feeling that the bespectacled man was someone she knew. His face was as familiar to her as if she had known him all her life but she could not recall who he was. He moved away from the car and began to come down the embankment, placing his feet carefully so that he wouldn’t slip. He had on tan and white shoes and no socks, and his ankles were red and thin. «Good afternoon,» he said. «I see you all had you a little spill.»
«We turned over twice!» said the grandmother.
«Once», he corrected. «We seen it happen. Try their car and see will it run, Hiram,» he said quietly to the boy with the gray hat.
«What you got that gun for?» John Wesley asked. «Whatcha gonna do with that gun?»
«Lady,» the man said to the children’s mother, «would you mind calling them children to sit down by you? Children make me nervous. I want all you all to sit down right together there where you’re at.»
«What are you telling US what to do for?» June Star asked.
Behind them the line of woods gaped like a dark open mouth. «Come here,» said their mother.
«Look here now,» Bailey began suddenly, «we’re in a predicament! We’re in . . .»
The grandmother shrieked. She scrambled to her feet and stood staring. «You’re The Misfit!» she said. «I recognized you at once!»
«Yes’m,» the man said, smiling slightly as if he were pleased in spite of himself to be known, «but it would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn’t of reckernized me.»
Bailey turned his head sharply and said something to his mother that shocked even the children. The old lady began to cry and The Misfit reddened.
«Lady,» he said, «don’t you get upset. Sometimes a man says things he don’t mean. I don’t reckon he meant to talk to you thataway.»
«You wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?» the grandmother said and removed a clean handkerchief from her cuff and began to slap at her eyes with it.
The Misfit pointed the toe of his shoe into the ground and made a little hole and then covered it up again. «I would hate to have to,» he said.
«Listen,» the grandmother almost screamed, «I know you’re a good man. You don’t look a bit like you have common blood. I know you must come from nice people!»
«Yes mam,» he said, «finest people in the world.» When he smiled he showed a row of strong white teeth. «God never made a finer woman than my mother and my daddy’s heart was pure gold,» he said. The boy with the red sweat shirt had come around behind them and was standing with his gun at his hip. The Misfit squatted down on the ground. «Watch them children, Bobby Lee,» he said. «You know they make me nervous.» He looked at the six of them huddled together in front of him and he seemed to be embarrassed as if he couldn’t think of anything to say. «Ain’t a cloud in the sky,» he remarked, looking up at it. «Don’t see no sun but don’t see no cloud neither.»
«Yes, it’s a beautiful day,» said the grandmother. «Listen,» she said, «you shouldn’t call yourself The Misfit because I know you’re a good man at heart. I can just look at you and tell.»
«Hush!» Bailey yelled. «Hush! Everybody shut up and let me handle this!» He was squatting in the position of a runner about to sprint forward but he didn’t move.
«I pre-chate that, lady,» The Misfit said and drew a little circle in the ground with the butt of his gun.
«It’ll take a half a hour to fix this here car,» Hiram called, looking over the raised hood of it.
«Well, first you and Bobby Lee get him and that little boy to step over yonder with you,» The Misfit said, pointing to Bailey and John Wesley. «The boys want to ast you something,» he said to Bailey. «Would you mind stepping back in them woods there with them?»
«Listen,» Bailey began, «we’re in a terrible predicament! Nobody realizes what this is,» and his voice cracked. His eyes were as blue and intense as the parrots in his shirt and he remained perfectly still.
The grandmother reached up to adjust her hat brim as if she were going to the woods with him but it came off in her hand. She stood staring at it and after a second she let it fall on the ground. Hiram pulled Bailey up by the arm as if he were assisting an old man. John Wesley caught hold of his father’s hand and Bobby I,ee followed. They went off toward the woods and just as they reached the dark edge, Bailey turned and supporting himself against a gray naked pine trunk, he shouted, «I’ll be back in a minute, Mamma, wait on me!»
«Come back this instant!» his mother shrilled but they all disappeared into the woods.
«Bailey Boy!» the grandmother called in a tragic voice but she found she was looking at The Misfit squatting on the ground in front of her. «I just know you’re a good man,» she said desperately. «You’re not a bit common!»
«Nome, I ain’t a good man,» The Misfit said after a second ah if he had considered her statement carefully, «but I ain’t the worst in the world neither. My daddy said I was a different breed of dog from my brothers and sisters. ‹You know,› Daddy said, ‹it’s some that can live their whole life out without asking about it and it’s others has to know why it is, and this boy is one of the latters. He’s going to be into everything!»‹ He put on his black hat and looked up suddenly and then away deep into the woods as if he were embarrassed again. «I’m sorry I don’t have on a shirt before you ladies,» he said, hunching his shoulders slightly. «We buried our clothes that we had on when we escaped and we’re just making do until we can get better. We borrowed these from some folks we met,» he explained.
«That’s perfectly all right,» the grandmother said. «Maybe Bailey has an extra shirt in his suitcase.»
«I’ll look and see terrectly,» The Misfit said.
«Where are they taking him?» the children’s mother screamed.
«Daddy was a card himself,» The Misfit said. «You couldn’t put anything over on him. He never got in trouble with the Authorities though. Just had the knack of handling them.»
«You could be honest too if you’d only try,» said the grandmother. «Think how wonderful it would be to settle down and live a comfortable life and not have to think about somebody chasing you all the time.»
The Misfit kept scratching in the ground with the butt of his gun as if he were thinking about it. «Yestm, somebody is always after you,» he murmured.
The grandmother noticed how thin his shoulder blades were just behind his hat because she was standing up looking down on him. «Do you every pray?» she asked.
He shook his head. All she saw was the black hat wiggle between his shoulder blades. «Nome,» he said.
There was a pistol shot from the woods, followed closely by another. Then silence. The old lady’s head jerked around. She could hear the wind move through the tree tops like a long satisfied insuck of breath. «Bailey Boy!» she called.
«I was a gospel singer for a while,» The Misfit said. «I been most everything. Been in the arm service both land and sea, at home and abroad, been twict married, been an undertaker, been with the railroads, plowed Mother Earth, been in a tornado, seen a man burnt alive oncet,» and he looked up at the children’s mother and the little girl who were sitting close together, their faces white and their eyes glassy; «I even seen a woman flogged,» he said.
«Pray, pray,» the grandmother began, «pray, pray . . .»
I never was a bad boy that I remember of,» The Misfit said in an almost dreamy voice, «but somewheres along the line I done something wrong and got sent to the penitentiary. I was buried alive,» and he looked up and held her attention to him by a steady stare.
«That’s when you should have started to pray,» she said. «What did you do to get sent to the penitentiary that first time?»
«Turn to the right, it was a wall,» The Misfit said, looking up again at the cloudless sky. «Turn to the left, it was a wall. Look up it was a ceiling, look down it was a floor. I forget what I done, lady. I set there and set there, trying to remember what it was I done and I ain’t recalled it to this day. Oncet in a while, I would think it was coming to me, but it never come.»
«Maybe they put you in by mistake,» the old lady said vaguely.
«Nome,» he said. «It wasn’t no mistake. They had the papers on me.»
«You must have stolen something,» she said.
The Misfit sneered slightly. «Nobody had nothing I wanted,» he said. «It was a head-doctor at the penitentiary said what I had done was kill my daddy but I known that for a lie. My daddy died in nineteen ought nineteen of the epidemic flu and I never had a thing to do with it. He was buried in the Mount Hopewell Baptist churchyard and you can go there and see for yourself.»
«If you would pray,» the old lady said, «Jesus would help you.»
«That’s right,» The Misfit said.
«Well then, why don’t you pray?» she asked trembling with delight suddenly.
«I don’t want no hep,» he said. «I’m doing all right by myself.»
Bobby Lee and Hiram came ambling back from the woods. Bobby Lee was dragging a yellow shirt with bright blue parrots in it.
«Thow me that shirt, Bobby Lee,» The Misfit said. The shirt came flying at him and landed on his shoulder and he put it on. The grandmother couldn’t name what the shirt reminded her of. «No, lady,» The Misfit said while he was buttoning it up, «I found out the crime don’t matter. You can do one thing or you can do another, kill a man or take a tire off his car, because sooner or later you’re going to forget what it was you done and just be punished for it.»
The children’s mother had begun to make heaving noises as if she couldn’t get her breath. «Lady,» he asked, «would you and that little girl like to step off yonder with Bobby Lee and Hiram and join your husband?»
«Yes, thank you,» the mother said faintly. Her left arm dangled helplessly and she was holding the baby, who had gone to sleep, in the other. «Hep that lady up, Hiram,» The Misfit said as she struggled to climb out of the ditch, «and Bobby Lee, you hold onto that little girl’s hand.»
«I don’t want to hold hands with him,» June Star said. «He reminds me of a pig.»
The fat boy blushed and laughed and caught her by the arm and pulled her off into the woods after Hiram and her mother.
Alone with The Misfit, the grandmother found that she had lost her voice. There was not a cloud in the sky nor any sun. There was nothing around her but woods. She wanted to tell him that he must pray. She opened and closed her mouth several times before anything came out. Finally she found herself saying, «Jesus. Jesus,» meaning, Jesus will help you, but the way she was saying it, it sounded as if she might be cursing.
«Yes’m, The Misfit said as if he agreed. «Jesus shown everything off balance. It was the same case with Him as with me except He hadn’t committed any crime and they could prove I had committed one because they had the papers on me. Of course,» he said, «they never shown me my papers. That’s why I sign myself now. I said long ago, you get you a signature and sign everything you do and keep a copy of it. Then you’ll know what you done and you can hold up the crime to the punishment and see do they match and in the end you’ll have something to prove you ain’t been treated right. I call myself The Misfit,» he said, «because I can’t make what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment.»
There was a piercing scream from the woods, followed closely by a pistol report. «Does it seem right to you, lady, that one is punished a heap and another ain’t punished at all?»
«Jesus!» the old lady cried. «You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!»
«Lady,» The Misfit said, looking beyond her far into the woods, «there never was a body that give the undertaker a tip.»
There were two more pistol reports and the grandmother raised her head like a parched old turkey hen crying for water and called, «Bailey Boy, Bailey Boy!» as if her heart would break.
«Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead,» The Misfit continued, «and He shouldn’t have done it. He shown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but thow away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness,» he said and his voice had become almost a snarl.
«Maybe He didn’t raise the dead,» the old lady mumbled, not knowing what she was saying and feeling so dizzy that she sank down in the ditch with her legs twisted under her.
«I wasn’t there so I can’t say He didn’t,» The Misfit said. «I wisht I had of been there,» he said, hitting the ground with his fist. «It ain’t right I wasn’t there because if I had of been there I would of known. Listen lady,» he said in a high voice, «if I had of been there I would of known and I wouldn’t be like I am now.» His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmother’s head cleared for an instant. She saw the man’s face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, «Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children !» She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. The Misfit sprang back as if a snake had bitten him and shot her three times through the chest. Then he put his gun down on the ground and took off his glasses and began to clean them.
Hiram and Bobby Lee returned from the woods and stood over the ditch, looking down at the grandmother who half sat and half lay in a puddle of blood with her legs crossed under her like a child’s and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky.
Without his glasses, The Misfit’s eyes were red-rimmed and pale and defenseless-looking. «Take her off and thow her where you thown the others,» he said, picking up the cat that was rubbing itself against his leg.
«She was a talker, wasn’t she?» Bobby Lee said, sliding down the ditch with a yodel.
«She would of been a good woman,» The Misfit said, «if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.»
«Some fun!» Bobby Lee said.
«Shut up, Bobby Lee,» The Misfit said. «It’s no real pleasure in life.»
تنها دو آمريکايي در هتل بودند. هيچکدام از آدمهايي را که توي پلکان، در سر راه خود به اتاقشان يا موقع برگشتن از آن، ميديدند نميشناختند. اتاقشان در طبقۀ دوم رو به دريا بود. اتاق در عين حال رو به باغ ملي و بناي يادبود جنگ قرار داشت. توي باغ ملي نخلهاي بلند و نيمکتهاي سبز ديده ميشد. هوا که خوب بود هميشه يک با سهپايهاش در آنجا حضور داشت. نقاشها از نحوهاي که نخلها قد کشيده بودند و از رنگهاي براق هتلهاي رو به باغ ملي و دريا خوششان ميآمد. ايتالياييها از راه دور ميآمدند تا بناي يادبود جنگ را ببينند. بناي يادبود از برنز ساخته شده بود و زير باران برق ميزد. باران ميباريد. آب باران از نخلها چکچک ميريخت. آب توي چالههاي جادههاي شني جمع شده بود. دريا زير باران به صورت خطي طويل به ساحل ميخورد و ميشکست و، روي ساحل، لغزان به عقب بر ميگشت تا باز به صورت خطي طويل بشکند. اتومبيلها از ميدان کنار بناي يادبود جنگ رفته بودند. در طرف ديگر ميدان، در آستانۀ در کافه، پيشخدمتي ايستاده بود و به ميدان خالي نگاه ميکرد.
خانم امريکايي پشت پنجره ايستاده بود و بيرون را نگاه ميکرد. بيرون، درست زير پنجرۀ اتاق آنها، گربهاي زير يکي از ميزهاي سبز آبچکان قوز کرده بود. گربه سعي ميکرد خودش را جمع کند تا آب رويش نريزد.
زن امريکايي گفت: «ميرم پايين اون بچه گربه رو بيارم.»
شوهرش، از روي تخت، از روي تعارف گفت: «من اين کارو ميکنم.»
«نه، من ميآرمش. بچه گربۀ بيچاره اون بيرون داره سعي ميکنه زير ميز خيس نشه.»
شوهر به مطالعه ادامه داد، دراز کشيده بود و روي دو بالشي که در پاي تخت قرار داشت لم داده بود.
گفت: «خيس نشي.»
زن از پلکان پايين رفت و صاحب هتل بلند شد ايستاد و جلو زن که از دفتر بيرون ميرفت تعظيم کرد. ميزش در انتهاي دفتر قرار داشت. پيرمرد بود و قد بلندي داشت.
زن گفت: «بارون ميآد.» از صاحب هتل خوشش ميآمد.
«آره، آره، خانوم. هوا بده. هواي خيلي بدييه.»
مرد پشت ميزش در انتهاي اتاق کمنور ايستاده بود. زن از او خوشش ميآمد. از رفتار بسيار جدي او در مقابل هر شکايتي خوشش ميآمد. از وقارش خوشش ميآمد. از شيوهاي که به او خدمت ميکرد خوشش ميآمد. از احساسي که او در مقام صاحب هتل بودن داشت خوشش ميآمد. از چهرۀ سالخورده و جدي او و از دستهاي بزرگش خوشش ميآمد.
زن، با احساس علاقه به صاحب هتل، در را باز کرد و بيرون را نگاه کرد. باران تندتر ميباريد. مردي با شنل لاستيکي از توي ميدان خالي به طرف کافه ميرفت. گربه ميبايست جايي طرف راست باشد. شايد بهتر بود از زير لبۀ پيش آمدۀ بامها حرکت ميکرد. همانطور که توي آستانۀ در ايستاده بود چتري پشت سرش باز شد. خدمتکاري بود که اتاقشان را تميز ميکرد.
خدمتکار لبخند زد و به ايتاليايي گفت: «نبايد خيس بشين.» البته صاحب هتل او را فرستاده بود.
زن همراه خدمتکار که چتر را بالاي سرش گرفته بود توي راه شنريزي شده پيش رفت تا زير پنجرۀ اتاقشان رسيد. ميز همان جا بود و رنگ سبز براقش با آب باران شسته شده بود اما گربه رفته بود. زن ناگهان دلش شکست. خدمتکار سر بالا برد و به زن نگاه کرد.
«چيزي گم کردهين، خانوم؟»
زن امريکايي گفت: «اينجا يه گربه بود.»
خدمتکار خنديد: «يه گربه؟ يه گربه زير بارون؟»
زن گفت: «آره، زير اين ميز.» و بعد گفت: «واي، خيلي ميخواستمش. دلم يه بچه گربه ميخواست.»
وقتي زن به انگليسي حرف زد چهرة خدمتکار در هم رفت.
گفت: «بيايين برين، خانوم. بايد برگرديم تو. شما خيس ميشين.»
زن امريکايي گفت: «گمونم درست ميگين.»
از راه شنريزي شده برگشتند و از در گذشتند. خدمتکار بيرون ايستاد تا چتر را ببندد. خانم امريکايي که از دفتر ميگذشت صاحب هتل از پشت ميزش تعظيم کرد. زن در گوشۀ دلش احساس کوچکي و سرافکندگي کرد. صاحب هتل سبب شد که او خودش را کوچک و در عين حال مهم احساس کند. از پلکان بالا رفت. در اتاق را باز کرد. جورج روي تخت بود، مطالعه ميکرد.
مرد کتاب را زمين گذاشت، گفت: «گربه رو گرفتي؟»
مرد که خستگي چشمانش را در ميکرد، گفت: «عجيبه، کجا رفته؟»
زن روي تخت نشست.
گفت: «خيلي ميخواستمش. نميدونم چرا انقدر ميخواستمش. من اون بچه گربۀ بيچاره رو ميخواستم. شوخي نيست که آدم يه بچه گربۀ بيچاره زير بارون باشه.»
جورج باز مطالعه ميکرد.
زن پيش رفت، جلو آينۀ ميز آرايش نشست و توي آينۀ دستي به خودش نگاه کرد. نيمرخش را بررسي کرد، البته از يک طرف و بعد از طرف ديگر. سپس پشت سر و گردنش را برانداز کرد.
زن باز به نيمرخش نگاه کرد و گفت: «به نظر تو اين فکر خوبي نست که بذارم موهام بلند بشه؟»
جورج سر بالا کرد و پشت گردن زن را ديد که مثل پسرها کوتاه شده بود.
«من همين طور که هست دوست دارم.»
زن گفت: «من که ازش خسته شدهم. از اينکه شکل پسرها شدهم. خسته شدهم.»
جورج توي تخت جابهجا شد. از وقتي زن شروع به صحبت کرده بود چشم از او برنداشته بود.
گفت: «همين طوري خيلي قشنگي.»
زن آينه را روي ميز آرايش گذاشت و پشت پنجره رفت، بيرون را نگاه کرد. داشت تاريک ميشد.
زن گفت: «دلم ميخواد موهامو محکم و صاف بکشم و يه گره بزرگ پشت سرم کنم و حسش کنم. دلم ميخواد يه بچه گربه داشتم روي دامنم مينشوندم و وقتي نازش ميکردم خرخر ميکرد.»
جورج از روي تخت گفت: «اهه؟»
«و دلم ميخواد پشت يه ميز بشينم و توي ظرف نقرۀ خودم غذا بخورم و دلم ميخواد شمع هم سر ميز روشن باشه. و دلم ميخواد بهار بشه و دلم ميخواد موهامو جلو آينه بروس بزنم و دلم يه بچه گربه ميخواد و دلم يه لباس نو ميخواد.»
جورج گفت: «در دهن تو بذار برو يه چيزي بخون.» و باز مشغول مطالعه شد.
زن از پنجره بيرون را نگاه ميکرد. در اين وقت هوا کاملا تاريک شده بود و هنوز روي درختان باران ميباريد.
زن گفت: «چه کار کنم، دلم گربه ميخواد. دلم گربه ميخواد. دلم گربه ميخواد. حالا که موهام بلند نيست و هيچ تفريحي ندارم يه گربه که ميتونم داشته باشم.»
جورج گوش نميداد. کتابش را مطالعه ميکرد. زن از پنجره بيرون را نگاه ميکرد، چراغهاي ميدان روشن شده بود.
يک نفر در زد.
جورج سرش را بلند کرد، گفت: «بيايين تو.»
خدمتکار توي درگاه ايستاده بود. يک گربۀ گلباقالي بزرگ را محکم به بدنش گرفته بود، گربه در راستاي تنش آويزان بود.
گفت: «معذرت ميخوام. صاحب هتل از من خواهش کرد اين گربه رو براي خانوم بيارم.»
There were only two Americans stopping at the hotel. They did not know any of the people they passed on the stairs on their way to and from their room. Their room was on the second floor facing the sea. It also faced the public garden and the war monument. There were big palms and green benches in the public garden. In the good weather there was always an artist with his easel. Artists liked the way the palms grew and the bright colors of the hotels facing the gardens and the sea. Italians came from a long way off to look up at the war monument. It was made of bronze and glistened in the rain. It was raining. The rain dripped from the palm trees. Water stood in pools on the gravel paths. The sea broke in a long line in the rain and slipped back down the beach to come up and break again in a long line in the rain. The motor cars were gone from the square by the war monument. Across the square in the doorway of the cafe a waiter stood looking out at the empty square.
The American wife stood at the window looking out. Outside right under their window a cat was crouched under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be dripped on.
«I’m going down and get that kitty,» the American wife said.
«I’ll do it,» her husband offered from the bed.
«No, I’ll get it. The poor kitty out trying to keep dry under a table.»
The husband went on reading, lying propped up with the two pillows at the foot of the bed.
«Don’t get wet,» he said.
The wife went downstairs and the hotel owner stood up and bowed to her as she passed the office. His desk was at the far end of the office. He was an old man and very tall.
«Il piove,» the wife said. She liked the hotelkeeper.
«Si, si, Signora, brutto tempo. It is very bad weather.»
He stood behind his desk in the far end of the dim room. The wife liked him. She liked the deadly serious way he received any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her. She liked the way he felt about being a hotel-keeper. She liked his old, heavy face and big hands.
Liking him she opened the door and looked out. It was raining harder. A man in a rubber cape was crossing the empty square to the cafe. The cat would be around to the right. Perhaps she could go along under the eaves. As she stood in the doorway an umbrella opened behind her. It was the maid who looked after their room.
«You must not get wet,» she smiled, speaking Italian. Of course, the hotel-keeper had sent her. With the maid holding the umbrella over her, she walked along the gravel path until she was under their window. The table was there, washed bright green in the rain, but the cat was gone. She was suddenly disappointed. The maid looked up at her. «Ha perduto qualque cosa, Signora?» «There was a cat,» said the American girl. «A cat?» «Si, il gatto.» «A cat?» the maid laughed. «A cat in the rain?» «Yes,» she said, «under the table.» Then, «Oh, I wanted it so much. I wanted a kitty.» When she talked English the maid’s face tightened. «Come, Signora,» she said. «We must get back inside. You will be wet.» «I suppose so,» said the American girl. They went back along the gravel path and passed in the door. The maid stayed outside to close the umbrella. As the American girl passed the office, the padrone bowed from his desk. Something felt very small and tight inside the girl. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time really important. She had a momentary feeling of being of supreme importance. She went on up the stairs. She opened the door of the room. George was on the bed, reading.
«Did you get the cat?» he asked, putting the book down. «It was gone.» «Wonder where it went to,» he said, resting his eyes from reading. She sat down on the bed. «I wanted it so much,» she said. «I don’t know why I wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty.
It isn’t any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain.» George was reading again. She went over and sat in front of the mirror of the dressing table looking at herself with the hand glass. She studied her profile, first one side and then the other. Then she studied the back of her head and her neck.
«Don’t you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out?» she asked, looking at her profile again. George looked up and saw the back of her neck, clipped close like a boy’s. «I like it the way it is.» «I get so tired of it,» she said. «I get so tired of looking like a boy.» George shifted his position in the bed. He hadn’t looked away from her since she started to speak.
«You look pretty darn nice,» he said. She laid the mirror down on the dresser and went over to the window and looked out. It was getting dark.
«I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel,» she said. «I want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.»
«Yeah?» George said from the bed. «And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles. And I want it to be spring and I want to brush my hair out in front of a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some new clothes.»
«Oh, shut up and get something to read,» George said. He was reading again. His wife was looking out of the window. It was quite dark now and still raining in the palm trees. «Anyway, I want a cat,» she said, «I want a cat. I want a cat now. If I can’t have long hair or any fun, I can have a cat.»
George was not listening. He was reading his book. His wife looked out of the window where the light had come on in the square. Someone knocked at the door. «Avanti,» George said. He looked up from his book. In the doorway stood the maid. She held a big tortoise-shell cat pressed tight against her and swung down against her body. «Excuse me,» she said, «the padrone asked me to bring this for the Signora.»
Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth- bank, where a dim and little-travelled trail led eastward through the fat spruce timberland. It was a steep bank, and he paused for breath at the top, excusing the act to himself by looking at his watch. It was nine o’clock. There was no sun nor hint of sun, though there was not a cloud in the sky. It was a clear day, and yet there seemed an intangible pall over the face of things, a subtle gloom that made the day dark, and that was due to the absence of sun. This fact did not worry the man. He was used to the lack of sun. It had been days since he had seen the sun, and he knew that a few more days must pass before that cheerful orb, due south, would just peep above the sky- line and dip immediately from view.
The man flung a look back along the way he had come. The Yukon lay a mile wide and hidden under three feet of ice. On top of this ice were as many feet of snow. It was all pure white, rolling in gentle undulations where the ice-jams of the freeze-up had formed. North and south, as far as his eye could see, it was unbroken white, save for a dark hair-line that curved and twisted from around the spruce- covered island to the south, and that curved and twisted away into the north, where it disappeared behind another spruce-covered island. This dark hair-line was the trail–the main trail–that led south five hundred miles to the Chilcoot Pass, Dyea, and salt water; and that led north seventy miles to Dawson, and still on to the north a thousand miles to Nulato, and finally to St. Michael on Bering Sea, a thousand miles and half a thousand more.
But all this–the mysterious, far-reaching hairline trail, the absence of sun from the sky, the tremendous cold, and the strangeness and weirdness of it all–made no impression on the man. It was not because he was long used to it. He was a new-comer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter. The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances. Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty odd degrees of frost. Such fact impressed him as being cold and uncomfortable, and that was all. It did not lead him to meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man’s frailty in general, able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold; and from there on it did not lead him to the conjectural field of immortality and man’s place in the universe. Fifty degrees below zero stood for a bite of frost that hurt and that must be guarded against by the use of mittens, ear-flaps, warm moccasins, and thick socks. Fifty degrees below zero was to him just precisely fifty degrees below zero. That there should be anything more to it than that was a thought that never entered his head.
As he turned to go on, he spat speculatively. There was a sharp, explosive crackle that startled him. He spat again. And again, in the air, before it could fall to the snow, the spittle crackled. He knew that at fifty below spittle crackled on the snow, but this spittle had crackled in the air. Undoubtedly it was colder than fifty below–how much colder he did not know. But the temperature did not matter. He was bound for the old claim on the left fork of Henderson Creek, where the boys were already. They had come over across the divide from the Indian Creek country, while he had come the roundabout way to take a look at the possibilities of getting out logs in the spring from the islands in the Yukon. He would be in to camp by six o’clock; a bit after dark, it was true, but the boys would be there, a fire would be going, and a hot supper would be ready. As for lunch, he pressed his hand against the protruding bundle under his jacket. It was also under his shirt, wrapped up in a handkerchief and lying against the naked skin. It was the only way to keep the biscuits from freezing. He smiled agreeably to himself as he thought of those biscuits, each cut open and sopped in bacon grease, and each enclosing a generous slice of fried bacon.
He plunged in among the big spruce trees. The trail was faint. A foot of snow had fallen since the last sled had passed over, and he was glad he was without a sled, travelling light. In fact, he carried nothing but the lunch wrapped in the handkerchief. He was surprised, however, at the cold. It certainly was cold, he concluded, as he rubbed his numbed nose and cheek-bones with his mittened hand. He was a warm-whiskered man, but the hair on his face did not protect the high cheek-bones and the eager nose that thrust itself aggressively into the frosty air.
At the man’s heels trotted a dog, a big native husky, the proper wolf-dog, grey-coated and without any visible or temperamental difference from its brother, the wild wolf. The animal was depressed by the tremendous cold. It knew that it was no time for travelling. Its instinct told it a truer tale than was told to the man by the man’s judgment. In reality, it was not merely colder than fifty below zero; it was colder than sixty below, than seventy below. It was seventy-five below zero. Since the freezing-point is thirty-two above zero, it meant that one hundred and seven degrees of frost obtained. The dog did not know anything about thermometers. Possibly in its brain there was no sharp consciousness of a condition of very cold such as was in the man’s brain. But the brute had its instinct. It experienced a vague but menacing apprehension that subdued it and made it slink along at the man’s heels, and that made it question eagerly every unwonted movement of the man as if expecting him to go into camp or to seek shelter somewhere and build a fire. The dog had learned fire, and it wanted fire, or else to burrow under the snow and cuddle its warmth away from the air.
The frozen moisture of its breathing had settled on its fur in a fine powder of frost, and especially were its jowls, muzzle, and eyelashes whitened by its crystalled breath. The man’s red beard and moustache were likewise frosted, but more solidly, the deposit taking the form of ice and increasing with every warm, moist breath he exhaled. Also, the man was chewing tobacco, and the muzzle of ice held his lips so rigidly that he was unable to clear his chin when he expelled the juice. The result was that a crystal beard of the colour and solidity of amber was increasing its length on his chin. If he fell down it would shatter itself, like glass, into brittle fragments. But he did not mind the appendage. It was the penalty all tobacco- chewers paid in that country, and he had been out before in two cold snaps. They had not been so cold as this, he knew, but by the spirit thermometer at Sixty Mile he knew they had been registered at fifty below and at fifty-five.
He held on through the level stretch of woods for several miles, crossed a wide flat of nigger-heads, and dropped down a bank to the frozen bed of a small stream. This was Henderson Creek, and he knew he was ten miles from the forks. He looked at his watch. It was ten o’clock. He was making four miles an hour, and he calculated that he would arrive at the forks at half-past twelve. He decided to celebrate that event by eating his lunch there.
The dog dropped in again at his heels, with a tail drooping discouragement, as the man swung along the creek-bed. The furrow of the old sled-trail was plainly visible, but a dozen inches of snow covered the marks of the last runners. In a month no man had come up or down that silent creek. The man held steadily on. He was not much given to thinking, and just then particularly he had nothing to think about save that he would eat lunch at the forks and that at six o’clock he would be in camp with the boys. There was nobody to talk to and, had there been, speech would have been impossible because of the ice-muzzle on his mouth. So he continued monotonously to chew tobacco and to increase the length of his amber beard.
Once in a while the thought reiterated itself that it was very cold and that he had never experienced such cold. As he walked along he rubbed his cheek-bones and nose with the back of his mittened hand. He did this automatically, now and again changing hands. But rub as he would, the instant he stopped his cheek-bones went numb, and the following instant the end of his nose went numb. He was sure to frost his cheeks; he knew that, and experienced a pang of regret that he had not devised a nose-strap of the sort Bud wore in cold snaps. Such a strap passed across the cheeks, as well, and saved them. But it didn’t matter much, after all. What were frosted cheeks? A bit painful, that was all; they were never serious.
Empty as the man’s mind was of thoughts, he was keenly observant, and he noticed the changes in the creek, the curves and bends and timber- jams, and always he sharply noted where he placed his feet. Once, coming around a bend, he shied abruptly, like a startled horse, curved away from the place where he had been walking, and retreated several paces back along the trail. The creek he knew was frozen clear to the bottom–no creek could contain water in that arctic winter–but he knew also that there were springs that bubbled out from the hillsides and ran along under the snow and on top the ice of the creek. He knew that the coldest snaps never froze these springs, and he knew likewise their danger. They were traps. They hid pools of water under the snow that might be three inches deep, or three feet. Sometimes a skin of ice half an inch thick covered them, and in turn was covered by the snow. Sometimes there were alternate layers of water and ice-skin, so that when one broke through he kept on breaking through for a while, sometimes wetting himself to the waist.
That was why he had shied in such panic. He had felt the give under his feet and heard the crackle of a snow-hidden ice-skin. And to get his feet wet in such a temperature meant trouble and danger. At the very least it meant delay, for he would be forced to stop and build a fire, and under its protection to bare his feet while he dried his socks and moccasins. He stood and studied the creek-bed and its banks, and decided that the flow of water came from the right. He reflected awhile, rubbing his nose and cheeks, then skirted to the left, stepping gingerly and testing the footing for each step. Once clear of the danger, he took a fresh chew of tobacco and swung along at his four-mile gait.
In the course of the next two hours he came upon several similar traps. Usually the snow above the hidden pools had a sunken, candied appearance that advertised the danger. Once again, however, he had a close call; and once, suspecting danger, he compelled the dog to go on in front. The dog did not want to go. It hung back until the man shoved it forward, and then it went quickly across the white, unbroken surface. Suddenly it broke through, floundered to one side, and got away to firmer footing. It had wet its forefeet and legs, and almost immediately the water that clung to it turned to ice. It made quick efforts to lick the ice off its legs, then dropped down in the snow and began to bite out the ice that had formed between the toes. This was a matter of instinct. To permit the ice to remain would mean sore feet. It did not know this. It merely obeyed the mysterious prompting that arose from the deep crypts of its being. But the man knew, having achieved a judgment on the subject, and he removed the mitten from his right hand and helped tear out the ice- particles. He did not expose his fingers more than a minute, and was astonished at the swift numbness that smote them. It certainly was cold. He pulled on the mitten hastily, and beat the hand savagely across his chest.
At twelve o’clock the day was at its brightest. Yet the sun was too far south on its winter journey to clear the horizon. The bulge of the earth intervened between it and Henderson Creek, where the man walked under a clear sky at noon and cast no shadow. At half-past twelve, to the minute, he arrived at the forks of the creek. He was pleased at the speed he had made. If he kept it up, he would certainly be with the boys by six. He unbuttoned his jacket and shirt and drew forth his lunch. The action consumed no more than a quarter of a minute, yet in that brief moment the numbness laid hold of the exposed fingers. He did not put the mitten on, but, instead, struck the fingers a dozen sharp smashes against his leg. Then he sat down on a snow-covered log to eat. The sting that followed upon the striking of his fingers against his leg ceased so quickly that he was startled, he had had no chance to take a bite of biscuit. He struck the fingers repeatedly and returned them to the mitten, baring the other hand for the purpose of eating. He tried to take a mouthful, but the ice-muzzle prevented. He had forgotten to build a fire and thaw out. He chuckled at his foolishness, and as he chuckled he noted the numbness creeping into the exposed fingers. Also, he noted that the stinging which had first come to his toes when he sat down was already passing away. He wondered whether the toes were warm or numbed. He moved them inside the moccasins and decided that they were numbed.
He pulled the mitten on hurriedly and stood up. He was a bit frightened. He stamped up and down until the stinging returned into the feet. It certainly was cold, was his thought. That man from Sulphur Creek had spoken the truth when telling how cold it sometimes got in the country. And he had laughed at him at the time! That showed one must not be too sure of things. There was no mistake about it, it was cold. He strode up and down, stamping his feet and threshing his arms, until reassured by the returning warmth. Then he got out matches and proceeded to make a fire. From the undergrowth, where high water of the previous spring had lodged a supply of seasoned twigs, he got his firewood. Working carefully from a small beginning, he soon had a roaring fire, over which he thawed the ice from his face and in the protection of which he ate his biscuits. For the moment the cold of space was outwitted. The dog took satisfaction in the fire, stretching out close enough for warmth and far enough away to escape being singed.
When the man had finished, he filled his pipe and took his comfortable time over a smoke. Then he pulled on his mittens, settled the ear-flaps of his cap firmly about his ears, and took the creek trail up the left fork. The dog was disappointed and yearned back toward the fire. This man did not know cold. Possibly all the generations of his ancestry had been ignorant of cold, of real cold, of cold one hundred and seven degrees below freezing-point. But the dog knew; all its ancestry knew, and it had inherited the knowledge. And it knew that it was not good to walk abroad in such fearful cold. It was the time to lie snug in a hole in the snow and wait for a curtain of cloud to be drawn across the face of outer space whence this cold came. On the other hand, there was keen intimacy between the dog and the man. The one was the toil-slave of the other, and the only caresses it had ever received were the caresses of the whip- lash and of harsh and menacing throat-sounds that threatened the whip-lash. So the dog made no effort to communicate its apprehension to the man. It was not concerned in the welfare of the man; it was for its own sake that it yearned back toward the fire. But the man whistled, and spoke to it with the sound of whip-lashes, and the dog swung in at the man’s heels and followed after.
The man took a chew of tobacco and proceeded to start a new amber beard. Also, his moist breath quickly powdered with white his moustache, eyebrows, and lashes. There did not seem to be so many springs on the left fork of the Henderson, and for half an hour the man saw no signs of any. And then it happened. At a place where there were no signs, where the soft, unbroken snow seemed to advertise solidity beneath, the man broke through. It was not deep. He wetted himself half-way to the knees before he floundered out to the firm crust.
He was angry, and cursed his luck aloud. He had hoped to get into camp with the boys at six o’clock, and this would delay him an hour, for he would have to build a fire and dry out his foot-gear. This was imperative at that low temperature–he knew that much; and he turned aside to the bank, which he climbed. On top, tangled in the underbrush about the trunks of several small spruce trees, was a high-water deposit of dry firewood–sticks and twigs principally, but also larger portions of seasoned branches and fine, dry, last-year’s grasses. He threw down several large pieces on top of the snow. This served for a foundation and prevented the young flame from drowning itself in the snow it otherwise would melt. The flame he got by touching a match to a small shred of birch-bark that he took from his pocket. This burned even more readily than paper. Placing it on the foundation, he fed the young flame with wisps of dry grass and with the tiniest dry twigs.
He worked slowly and carefully, keenly aware of his danger. Gradually, as the flame grew stronger, he increased the size of the twigs with which he fed it. He squatted in the snow, pulling the twigs out from their entanglement in the brush and feeding directly to the flame. He knew there must be no failure. When it is seventy- five below zero, a man must not fail in his first attempt to build a fire–that is, if his feet are wet. If his feet are dry, and he fails, he can run along the trail for half a mile and restore his circulation. But the circulation of wet and freezing feet cannot be restored by running when it is seventy-five below. No matter how fast he runs, the wet feet will freeze the harder.
All this the man knew. The old-timer on Sulphur Creek had told him about it the previous fall, and now he was appreciating the advice. Already all sensation had gone out of his feet. To build the fire he had been forced to remove his mittens, and the fingers had quickly gone numb. His pace of four miles an hour had kept his heart pumping blood to the surface of his body and to all the extremities. But the instant he stopped, the action of the pump eased down. The cold of space smote the unprotected tip of the planet, and he, being on that unprotected tip, received the full force of the blow. The blood of his body recoiled before it. The blood was alive, like the dog, and like the dog it wanted to hide away and cover itself up from the fearful cold. So long as he walked four miles an hour, he pumped that blood, willy-nilly, to the surface; but now it ebbed away and sank down into the recesses of his body. The extremities were the first to feel its absence. His wet feet froze the faster, and his exposed fingers numbed the faster, though they had not yet begun to freeze. Nose and cheeks were already freezing, while the skin of all his body chilled as it lost its blood.
But he was safe. Toes and nose and cheeks would be only touched by the frost, for the fire was beginning to burn with strength. He was feeding it with twigs the size of his finger. In another minute he would be able to feed it with branches the size of his wrist, and then he could remove his wet foot-gear, and, while it dried, he could keep his naked feet warm by the fire, rubbing them at first, of course, with snow. The fire was a success. He was safe. He remembered the advice of the old-timer on Sulphur Creek, and smiled. The old-timer had been very serious in laying down the law that no man must travel alone in the Klondike after fifty below. Well, here he was; he had had the accident; he was alone; and he had saved himself. Those old-timers were rather womanish, some of them, he thought. All a man had to do was to keep his head, and he was all right. Any man who was a man could travel alone. But it was surprising, the rapidity with which his cheeks and nose were freezing. And he had not thought his fingers could go lifeless in so short a time. Lifeless they were, for he could scarcely make them move together to grip a twig, and they seemed remote from his body and from him. When he touched a twig, he had to look and see whether or not he had hold of it. The wires were pretty well down between him and his finger-ends.
All of which counted for little. There was the fire, snapping and crackling and promising life with every dancing flame. He started to untie his moccasins. They were coated with ice; the thick German socks were like sheaths of iron half-way to the knees; and the mocassin strings were like rods of steel all twisted and knotted as by some conflagration. For a moment he tugged with his numbed fingers, then, realizing the folly of it, he drew his sheath-knife.
But before he could cut the strings, it happened. It was his own fault or, rather, his mistake. He should not have built the fire under the spruce tree. He should have built it in the open. But it had been easier to pull the twigs from the brush and drop them directly on the fire. Now the tree under which he had done this carried a weight of snow on its boughs. No wind had blown for weeks, and each bough was fully freighted. Each time he had pulled a twig he had communicated a slight agitation to the tree–an imperceptible agitation, so far as he was concerned, but an agitation sufficient to bring about the disaster. High up in the tree one bough capsized its load of snow. This fell on the boughs beneath, capsizing them. This process continued, spreading out and involving the whole tree. It grew like an avalanche, and it descended without warning upon the man and the fire, and the fire was blotted out! Where it had burned was a mantle of fresh and disordered snow.
The man was shocked. It was as though he had just heard his own sentence of death. For a moment he sat and stared at the spot where the fire had been. Then he grew very calm. Perhaps the old-timer on Sulphur Creek was right. If he had only had a trail-mate he would have been in no danger now. The trail-mate could have built the fire. Well, it was up to him to build the fire over again, and this second time there must be no failure. Even if he succeeded, he would most likely lose some toes. His feet must be badly frozen by now, and there would be some time before the second fire was ready.
Such were his thoughts, but he did not sit and think them. He was busy all the time they were passing through his mind, he made a new foundation for a fire, this time in the open; where no treacherous tree could blot it out. Next, he gathered dry grasses and tiny twigs from the high-water flotsam. He could not bring his fingers together to pull them out, but he was able to gather them by the handful. In this way he got many rotten twigs and bits of green moss that were undesirable, but it was the best he could do. He worked methodically, even collecting an armful of the larger branches to be used later when the fire gathered strength. And all the while the dog sat and watched him, a certain yearning wistfulness in its eyes, for it looked upon him as the fire-provider, and the fire was slow in coming.
When all was ready, the man reached in his pocket for a second piece of birch-bark. He knew the bark was there, and, though he could not feel it with his fingers, he could hear its crisp rustling as he fumbled for it. Try as he would, he could not clutch hold of it. And all the time, in his consciousness, was the knowledge that each instant his feet were freezing. This thought tended to put him in a panic, but he fought against it and kept calm. He pulled on his mittens with his teeth, and threshed his arms back and forth, beating his hands with all his might against his sides. He did this sitting down, and he stood up to do it; and all the while the dog sat in the snow, its wolf-brush of a tail curled around warmly over its forefeet, its sharp wolf-ears pricked forward intently as it watched the man. And the man as he beat and threshed with his arms and hands, felt a great surge of envy as he regarded the creature that was warm and secure in its natural covering.
After a time he was aware of the first far-away signals of sensation in his beaten fingers. The faint tingling grew stronger till it evolved into a stinging ache that was excruciating, but which the man hailed with satisfaction. He stripped the mitten from his right hand and fetched forth the birch-bark. The exposed fingers were quickly going numb again. Next he brought out his bunch of sulphur matches. But the tremendous cold had already driven the life out of his fingers. In his effort to separate one match from the others, the whole bunch fell in the snow. He tried to pick it out of the snow, but failed. The dead fingers could neither touch nor clutch. He was very careful. He drove the thought of his freezing feet; and nose, and cheeks, out of his mind, devoting his whole soul to the matches. He watched, using the sense of vision in place of that of touch, and when he saw his fingers on each side the bunch, he closed them–that is, he willed to close them, for the wires were drawn, and the fingers did not obey. He pulled the mitten on the right hand, and beat it fiercely against his knee. Then, with both mittened hands, he scooped the bunch of matches, along with much snow, into his lap. Yet he was no better off.
After some manipulation he managed to get the bunch between the heels of his mittened hands. In this fashion he carried it to his mouth. The ice crackled and snapped when by a violent effort he opened his mouth. He drew the lower jaw in, curled the upper lip out of the way, and scraped the bunch with his upper teeth in order to separate a match. He succeeded in getting one, which he dropped on his lap. He was no better off. He could not pick it up. Then he devised a way. He picked it up in his teeth and scratched it on his leg. Twenty times he scratched before he succeeded in lighting it. As it flamed he held it with his teeth to the birch-bark. But the burning brimstone went up his nostrils and into his lungs, causing him to cough spasmodically. The match fell into the snow and went out.
The old-timer on Sulphur Creek was right, he thought in the moment of controlled despair that ensued: after fifty below, a man should travel with a partner. He beat his hands, but failed in exciting any sensation. Suddenly he bared both hands, removing the mittens with his teeth. He caught the whole bunch between the heels of his hands. His arm-muscles not being frozen enabled him to press the hand-heels tightly against the matches. Then he scratched the bunch along his leg. It flared into flame, seventy sulphur matches at once! There was no wind to blow them out. He kept his head to one side to escape the strangling fumes, and held the blazing bunch to the birch-bark. As he so held it, he became aware of sensation in his hand. His flesh was burning. He could smell it. Deep down below the surface he could feel it. The sensation developed into pain that grew acute. And still he endured it, holding the flame of the matches clumsily to the bark that would not light readily because his own burning hands were in the way, absorbing most of the flame.
At last, when he could endure no more, he jerked his hands apart. The blazing matches fell sizzling into the snow, but the birch-bark was alight. He began laying dry grasses and the tiniest twigs on the flame. He could not pick and choose, for he had to lift the fuel between the heels of his hands. Small pieces of rotten wood and green moss clung to the twigs, and he bit them off as well as he could with his teeth. He cherished the flame carefully and awkwardly. It meant life, and it must not perish. The withdrawal of blood from the surface of his body now made him begin to shiver, and he grew more awkward. A large piece of green moss fell squarely on the little fire. He tried to poke it out with his fingers, but his shivering frame made him poke too far, and he disrupted the nucleus of the little fire, the burning grasses and tiny twigs separating and scattering. He tried to poke them together again, but in spite of the tenseness of the effort, his shivering got away with him, and the twigs were hopelessly scattered. Each twig gushed a puff of smoke and went out. The fire-provider had failed. As he looked apathetically about him, his eyes chanced on the dog, sitting across the ruins of the fire from him, in the snow, making restless, hunching movements, slightly lifting one forefoot and then the other, shifting its weight back and forth on them with wistful eagerness.
The sight of the dog put a wild idea into his head. He remembered the tale of the man, caught in a blizzard, who killed a steer and crawled inside the carcass, and so was saved. He would kill the dog and bury his hands in the warm body until the numbness went out of them. Then he could build another fire. He spoke to the dog, calling it to him; but in his voice was a strange note of fear that frightened the animal, who had never known the man to speak in such way before. Something was the matter, and its suspicious nature sensed danger,–it knew not what danger but somewhere, somehow, in its brain arose an apprehension of the man. It flattened its ears down at the sound of the man’s voice, and its restless, hunching movements and the liftings and shiftings of its forefeet became more pronounced but it would not come to the man. He got on his hands and knees and crawled toward the dog. This unusual posture again excited suspicion, and the animal sidled mincingly away.
The man sat up in the snow for a moment and struggled for calmness. Then he pulled on his mittens, by means of his teeth, and got upon his feet. He glanced down at first in order to assure himself that he was really standing up, for the absence of sensation in his feet left him unrelated to the earth. His erect position in itself started to drive the webs of suspicion from the dog’s mind; and when he spoke peremptorily, with the sound of whip-lashes in his voice, the dog rendered its customary allegiance and came to him. As it came within reaching distance, the man lost his control. His arms flashed out to the dog, and he experienced genuine surprise when he discovered that his hands could not clutch, that there was neither bend nor feeling in the lingers. He had forgotten for the moment that they were frozen and that they were freezing more and more. All this happened quickly, and before the animal could get away, he encircled its body with his arms. He sat down in the snow, and in this fashion held the dog, while it snarled and whined and struggled.
But it was all he could do, hold its body encircled in his arms and sit there. He realized that he could not kill the dog. There was no way to do it. With his helpless hands he could neither draw nor hold his sheath-knife nor throttle the animal. He released it, and it plunged wildly away, with tail between its legs, and still snarling. It halted forty feet away and surveyed him curiously, with ears sharply pricked forward. The man looked down at his hands in order to locate them, and found them hanging on the ends of his arms. It struck him as curious that one should have to use his eyes in order to find out where his hands were. He began threshing his arms back and forth, beating the mittened hands against his sides. He did this for five minutes, violently, and his heart pumped enough blood up to the surface to put a stop to his shivering. But no sensation was aroused in the hands. He had an impression that they hung like weights on the ends of his arms, but when he tried to run the impression down, he could not find it.
A certain fear of death, dull and oppressive, came to him. This fear quickly became poignant as he realized that it was no longer a mere matter of freezing his fingers and toes, or of losing his hands and feet, but that it was a matter of life and death with the chances against him. This threw him into a panic, and he turned and ran up the creek-bed along the old, dim trail. The dog joined in behind and kept up with him. He ran blindly, without intention, in fear such as he had never known in his life. Slowly, as he ploughed and floundered through the snow, he began to see things again–the banks of the creek, the old timber-jams, the leafless aspens, and the sky. The running made him feel better. He did not shiver. Maybe, if he ran on, his feet would thaw out; and, anyway, if he ran far enough, he would reach camp and the boys. Without doubt he would lose some fingers and toes and some of his face; but the boys would take care of him, and save the rest of him when he got there. And at the same time there was another thought in his mind that said he would never get to the camp and the boys; that it was too many miles away, that the freezing had too great a start on him, and that he would soon be stiff and dead. This thought he kept in the background and refused to consider. Sometimes it pushed itself forward and demanded to be heard, but he thrust it back and strove to think of other things.
It struck him as curious that he could run at all on feet so frozen that he could not feel them when they struck the earth and took the weight of his body. He seemed to himself to skim along above the surface and to have no connection with the earth. Somewhere he had once seen a winged Mercury, and he wondered if Mercury felt as he felt when skimming over the earth.
His theory of running until he reached camp and the boys had one flaw in it: he lacked the endurance. Several times he stumbled, and finally he tottered, crumpled up, and fell. When he tried to rise, he failed. He must sit and rest, he decided, and next time he would merely walk and keep on going. As he sat and regained his breath, he noted that he was feeling quite warm and comfortable. He was not shivering, and it even seemed that a warm glow had come to his chest and trunk. And yet, when he touched his nose or cheeks, there was no sensation. Running would not thaw them out. Nor would it thaw out his hands and feet. Then the thought came to him that the frozen portions of his body must be extending. He tried to keep this thought down, to forget it, to think of something else; he was aware of the panicky feeling that it caused, and he was afraid of the panic. But the thought asserted itself, and persisted, until it produced a vision of his body totally frozen. This was too much, and he made another wild run along the trail. Once he slowed down to a walk, but the thought of the freezing extending itself made him run again.
And all the time the dog ran with him, at his heels. When he fell down a second time, it curled its tail over its forefeet and sat in front of him facing him curiously eager and intent. The warmth and security of the animal angered him, and he cursed it till it flattened down its ears appeasingly. This time the shivering came more quickly upon the man. He was losing in his battle with the frost. It was creeping into his body from all sides. The thought of it drove him on, but he ran no more than a hundred feet, when he staggered and pitched headlong. It was his last panic. When he had recovered his breath and control, he sat up and entertained in his mind the conception of meeting death with dignity. However, the conception did not come to him in such terms. His idea of it was that he had been making a fool of himself, running around like a chicken with its head cut off–such was the simile that occurred to him. Well, he was bound to freeze anyway, and he might as well take it decently. With this new-found peace of mind came the first glimmerings of drowsiness. A good idea, he thought, to sleep off to death. It was like taking an anaesthetic. Freezing was not so bad as people thought. There were lots worse ways to die.
He pictured the boys finding his body next day. Suddenly he found himself with them, coming along the trail and looking for himself. And, still with them, he came around a turn in the trail and found himself lying in the snow. He did not belong with himself any more, for even then he was out of himself, standing with the boys and looking at himself in the snow. It certainly was cold, was his thought. When he got back to the States he could tell the folks what real cold was. He drifted on from this to a vision of the old-timer on Sulphur Creek. He could see him quite clearly, warm and comfortable, and smoking a pipe.
«You were right, old hoss; you were right,» the man mumbled to the old-timer of Sulphur Creek.
Then the man drowsed off into what seemed to him the most comfortable and satisfying sleep he had ever known. The dog sat facing him and waiting. The brief day drew to a close in a long, slow twilight. There were no signs of a fire to be made, and, besides, never in the dog’s experience had it known a man to sit like that in the snow and make no fire. As the twilight drew on, its eager yearning for the fire mastered it, and with a great lifting and shifting of forefeet, it whined softly, then flattened its ears down in anticipation of being chidden by the man. But the man remained silent. Later, the dog whined loudly. And still later it crept close to the man and caught the scent of death. This made the animal bristle and back away. A little longer it delayed, howling under the stars that leaped and danced and shone brightly in the cold sky. Then it turned and trotted up the trail in the direction of the camp it knew, where were the other food-providers and fire-providers.
1- هرگز رهایم مكن – كازوئو ایشیگورو (ققنوس)
19- ماجرای عجیب سگی در شب – مایك هادون (افق)
50- سور بز – ماریو وارگاس یوسا (علم)
52- شیطان و دوشیزه پریم – پائولو كوئیلو (كاروان)
57- بیخبری – میلان كوندرا (روشنگران)
63- آدمكش كور – مارگارت آتوود (ققنوس)
70- تیمبوكتو – پل استر (افق)
89- ساعتها – مایكل كانینگهام (كاروان)
90- ورونیكا تصمیم میگیرد بمیرد – پائولو كوئیلو (كاروان)
92- خدای چیزهای كوچك – آرونداتی روی (علم)
93- خاطرات یك گیشا – آرتور گلدن (سخن)
145- عروس فریبكار – مارگارت اتوود (ققنوس)
155- جاز – تونی موریسون (آفرینه)
189- بیلی بتگیت – ای.ال. دكتروف (طرحنو)
190- بازمانده روز – كازوئو ایشیگورو (كارنامه)
194- تاریخ محاصره لیسبون – خوزه ساراماگو (علم)
195- مثل آب برای شكلات – لورا اسكوئیل (روشنگران)
215- كبوتر – پاتریك زوسكیند (مركز)
219- سه گانه نیویورك – پل استر (افق)
223- دلبند – تونی موریسون (روشنگران و چشمه)
236- عشق در زمان (سالهای) وبا – گابریل گارسیا ماركز (ققنوس)
242- سرگذشت ندیمه – مارگارت اتوود (ققنوس)
251- سال مرگ ریكاردو ریش – خوزه ساراماگو (هاشمی)
252- عاشق – مارگاریت دوراس (نیلوفر)
253- امپراطوری خورشید – جی.جی. بالارد (چشمه)
256- بار هستی – میلان كوندرا (گفتار / قطره)
261- شرم – سلمان رشدی (تندر)
266- زندگی و زمانه مایكل ك – جی.ام. كوتسیا (فرهنگ نشر نو)
274- منظره پریده رنگ تپهها – كازوئو ایشی گورو (نیلا)
276- خانه ارواح – ایزابل آلنده (قطره)
286- آوریل شكسته – اسماعیل كاداره (مركز)
287- در انتظار بربرها – جی.ام. كوتسیا (پلك)
288- بچههای نیمهشب – سلمان رشدی (تندر)
294- نام گل سرخ – اومبرتو اكو (شباویز)
294- كتاب خنده و فراموشی – میلان كوندرا (روشنگران)
300- اگر شبی از شبهای زمستان مسافری – ایتالو كالوینو (آگاه)
322- آماتورها – ریچارد بارتلمی (كلاغ سفید)
331- برج – جی.جی. بالارد (چشمه)
335- رگتایم – ای. ال دكتروف (خوارزمی)
324- پاییز پدرسالار – گابریل گارسیا ماركز (حكایتی دیگر)
338- آبروی از دست رفته كاترینا بلوم – هاینریش بل (نیلوفر)
346- مامور معتمد – گراهام گرین (نیلوفر)
349- سولا – تونی موریسون (قله)
350- شهرهای نامرئی – ایتالو كالوینو (باغ نو / پاپیروس)
359- سیمای زنی در میان جمع – هاینریش بول (آگاه)
365- آبیترین چشم – تونی موریسون (ویستار)
366- ترس دروازهبان از ضربه پنالتی – پتر هاندكه (فصل سبز)
375- سلاخخانه شماره 5 – كورت ونهگات (روشنگران و مطالعات زنان)
389- 2001، یك ادیسه فضایی – آرتور سی. كلارك (نقطه)
390- آیا آدم مصنوعیها خواب گوسفند برقی میبینند؟ – فیلیپ ك. دیك (روشنگران)
393- در قند هندوانه – ریچارد براتیگان (چشمه)
399- صد سال تنهایی – گابریل گارسیا ماركز (امیركبیر)
400- مرشد و مارگاریتا – میخائیل بولگاكف (فرهنگ نشر نو)
402- شوخی – میلان كوندرا (روشنگران)
410- نایب كنسول – مارگاریت دوراس (نیلوفر)
424- شیدائی لول و. اشتاین – مارگاریت دوراس (نیلوفر)
427- گهواره گربه – كورت ونهگات (افق)
433- حباب شیشه – سیلویا پلات (نشر باغ)
436- پرواز بر فراز آشیانه فاخته – كن كیسی (هاشمی)
439- منطقه مصیبتزده شهر – جی.جی. بالارد (جوانه رشد)
441- هزارتوهای بورخس – خورخه لوئیس بورخس (كتاب زمان)
445- فرنی و زوئی – جی.دی. سالینجر (نیلا)
448- سولاریس – استانسیلاو لم (فاریاب)
449- موش و گربه – گونتر گراس (فرزان روز)
462- طبل حلبی – گونتر گراس (نیلوفر)
466- بیلیارد در ساعت نه و نیم – هاینریش بل (سروش)
468- یوزپلنگ- جوزپه تومازی دی لامپه دوزا (ققنوس)
472- همه چیز فرو میپاشد – چینوا آچیه (جوانه رشد / سروش / آستان قدس رضوی)
485- پنین – ولادیمیر ناباكوف (شوقستان)
486- دكتر ژیواگو – بوریس پاسترناك (ساحل)
494- ارباب حلقهها – جی. آر. آر. تالكین (نگاه)
495- معمای آقای ریپلی – پاتریشیا های اسمیت (طرح نو)
499- آمریكایی آرام – گراهام گرین (خوارزمی)
500- آخرین وسوسه مسیح – نیكوس كازانتزاكیس (نیلوفر)
503- سلام بر غم – فرانسواز ساگان (هرم)
508- سالار مگسها – ویلیام گلدینگ (رهنما)
511- خداحافظی طولانی – ریموند چندلر (روزنهكار)
519- قاضی و جلادش – فردریش دورنمات (ماهی)
521- مرد پیر و دریا – ارنست همینگوی (نگاه)
522- شهود – فلنری اوكانر (نشر نو)
525- مالون میمیرد – ساموئل بكت (پژوهه)
527- امپراطوری كهشكشانها (سه كتاب) – ایزاك آسیموف (شقایق)
529- ناطوردشت – جی.دی. سالینجر (نیلا)
530- انسان طاقی – آلبر كامو (قطره)
535- مرد سوم – گراهام گرین (برگ / نی)
539- من، روبوت – ایزاك آسیموف (پاسارگاد)
547- 1984 – جورج اورول (نیلوفر)
559- طاعون – آلبر كامو (نیلوفر)
564- قلعه (مزرعه) حیوانات – جورج اورول (جامی)
551- جان كلام – گراهام گرین (نیلوفر)
569- مسیح هرگز به اینجا نرسید – كارلو لوی (هرمس)
570- لبه تیغ – ویلیام سامرست موام (فرزان روز)
579- بیگانه – آلبر كامو (نیلوفر)
589- جلال و قدرت – گراهام گرین (وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی)
592- خوشههای خشم – جان استاینبك (امیركبیر)
574- شازده كوچولو – آنتوان دو سنت اگزوپری (امیركبیر)
576- بازی مهره شیشهای – هرمان هسه (فردوس)
578- برخیز ای موسی – ویلیام فاكنر (نیلوفر)
587- زنگها برای كه به صدا در میآیند – ارنست همینگوی (صفی علیشاه)
599- خواب گران – ریموند چندلر (كتاب ایران)
602- تهوع – ژان پل سارتر (نیلوفر)
603- ربهكا – دافنه دو موریه (جامی / جاویدان)
605- صخره برایتون – گراهام گرین (ثالث)
606- ینگه دنیا – جان دسپس (هاشمی)
608- موشها و آدمها – جان استاینبك (اساطیر)
610- هابیت – جی. آر. آر. تالكین (پنجره)
611- سالها – ویرجینیا وولف (امیركبیر)
615- داشتن و نداشتن – ارنست همینگوی (امیركبیر)
619- بر باد رفته – مارگارت میچل (نگاه)
622- ابشالوم، ابشالوم – ویلیام فاكنر (نیلوفر)
628- آنها به اسبها شلیك میكنند – هوراس مكوی (باغ نو / نشر نو)
643- اتوبیوگرافی آلیس بی. تكلاس – گرترود استاین (آگاه)
648- سفر به انتهای شب – لوئی فردینان سلین (جامی)
649- دنیای قشنگ نو – آلدوس هاكسلی (نیلوفر)
654- امواج – ویرجینیا وولف (مهیا)
655- كلید شیشهی – داشیل همت (روزنهكار)
663- وداع با اسلحه – ارنست همینگوی (نیلوفر)
664- خرمن سرخ – داشیل همت (روزنهكار)
667- در غرب خبری نیست – اریك ماریا رمارك (جویا / ناهید)
671- خشم و هیاهو – ویلیام فاكنر (نگاه)
675- ارلاندو – ویرجینیا وولف (امیركبیر)
683- نادیا – آندره برتون (افق)
684- گرگ بیابان – هرمان هسه (اساطیر)
685- در جستجوی زمان از دست رفته – مارسل پروست (مركز)
686- به سوی فانوس دریایی – ویرجینیا وولف (نیلوفر)
688- آمریكا – فرانتس كافكا (هاشمی)
691- قصر – فرانتس كافكا (نیلوفر)
692- شوایك – یاروسلاو هاشك (چشمه)
698- خانم دالو ری – ویرجینیا وولف (رواق زمان نو)
699- گتسبی بزرگ – اف. اسكات فیتز جرالد (نیلوفر)
701- محاكمه – فرانتس كافكا (نیلوفر)
704- بیلی باد ملوان – هرمان ملویل (فردا)
706- كوه جادو – توماس نان (نگاه)
707- ما – یوگنی زامیاتین (نشر دیگر)
714- گاردن پارتی – كاترین منسفیلد (خانه آفتاب)
717- سیذارتا – هرمان هسه (اساطیر)
722- ببیت – سینكلر لوییس (نیلوفر چشمه)
724- روباه – دی.اچ.لارنس (باغ نو)
726- عصر بیگناهی – ادیت وارتون (جار / فاخته)
736- چهره مرد هنرمند در جوانی – جیمز جویس (نیلوفر)
741- پایبندیهای انسانی – ویلیام سامرست موام (چشمه)
746- روزالده – هرمان هسه (دبیر)
750- مرگ در ونیز – توماس مان (نگاه)
757- مارتین ایدن – جك لندن (تندر)
762- پاشنه آهنین – جك لندن (نشر خیزاب)
765- مادر – ماكسیم گوركی (هیرمند)
766- مامور سری – جوزف كنراد (بزرگمهر)
780- دل تاریكی – جوزف كنراد (نیلوفر)
781- درنده باسكرویل – سر آرتور كونان دویل (هرمس)
782- بودنبروكها (زوال یك خاندان) – توماس مان (ماهی)
785- لرد جیم – جوزف كنراد (نیلوفر)
795- كجا میروی – هنریك سینكویچ (سمیر)
797- ماشین زمان – هربرت جورج ولز (انتشارت علمی و فرهنگی)
799- جود گمنام – تامس هاردی (گل مریم / شقایق)
808- تس – تامس هاردی (دنیای نو)
809- تصویر دوریان گری – اسكار وایلد (دبیر / كمانگیر)
813- گرسنه – كنوت هامسون (نگاه)
824- ژرمینال – امیل زولا (نیلوفر)
825- ماجراهای هاكلبری فین – مارك تواین (خوارزمی)
826- بل آمی – گی دو موپوسان (مجید)
829- مرگ ایوان ایلیچ – لئون تولستوی (نیلوفر)
831- جزیره گنج – رابرت لوئی استیونسون (هرمس)
837- برادران كارامازوف – فئودور داستایوسكی (ناهید)
839- بازگشت بومی – تامس هاردی (نشر نو)
840- آنا كارنینا – لئون تولستوی (نیلوفر)
842- خاك بكر – ایوانسرگییویچ تورگنیف (امیركبیر)
844- دست تكیده – تامس هاردی (تجربه)
846- بدور از مردم شوریده – تامس هاردی (نشر نو)
848- دور دنیا در هشتاد روز – ژول ورن (دنیای كتاب)
853- مدیل مارچ – جورج الیوت (دنیای نو)
857- جنگ و صلح – لئون تولستوی (نیلوفر)
858- تربیت احساسات – گوستاو فلوبر (مركز)
861- ابله – فئودور داستایوسكی (چشمه)
862- ماهسنگ (سنگ ماه) – ویلكی كالینز (سنبله / مجرد)
863- زنان كوچك – لوئییز می آلكوت (قدیانی)
866- سفر به مركز زمین – ژول ورن (دنیای كتاب)
867- جنایت و مكافات – فئودور داستایوسكی (خوارزمی)
868- آلیس در سرزمین عجایب – لوئیس كارول (مركز)
871- یادداشتهای زیرزمینی – فئودور داستایوسكی (علمی و فرهنگی)
873- بینوایان – ویكتور هوگو (جاویدان / امیركبیر / توسن)
874- پدران و پسران – تورگنیف (علمی و فرهنگی)
875- سیلاس ماینر – جورج الیوت (دنیای نو)
876- آرزوهای بزرگ – چارلز دیكنز (علمی و فرهنگی)
879- آسیاب كنار فلوس (آسیاب رودخانه فلاس) – جورج الیوت (نگاه / واژه)
883- داستان دو شهر – چارلز دیكنز (فرزان روز)
884- ابلوموف – ایوان گنچاروف (امیركبیر)
886- مادام بواری – گوستاو فلوبر (مجید)
891- ویلت – شارلوت برونته (پیمان)
893- كلبه عمو توم – هریت بیچر استو (امیركبیر)
896- موبیدیك – هرمان ملویل (امیركبیر)
898- دیوید كاپرفیلد – چارلز دیكنز (امیركبیر)
902- بلندیهای بادگیر – امیلی برونته (نگاه)
903- آگنس گری – آن برونته (آفرینگان)
904- جین ایر – شارلوت برونته (جامی)
906- كنت مونت كریستو – الكساندر دوما (هرمس)
908- سه تفنگدار – الكساندر دوما (هرمس / زرین، گوتنبرگ)
912- آرزوهای بر باد رفته – انوره دو بالزاك (امیركبیر)
918- اولیور تویست – چارلز دیكنز (مركز)
920- بابا گوریو – اونوره دو بالزاك (ققنوس)
921- اوژنی گرانده – اونوره دو بالزاك (جاده ابریشم / سپیده)
922- گوژپشت نوتردام – ویكتور هوگو (جاودان خرد)
923- سرخ و سیاه – استاندال (نیلوفر)
930- آیوانهو – سر والتر اسكات (توسن)
933- وسوسه – جین اوستین (اكباتان)
936- اما – جین اوستین (فكر روز)
937- پارك منسفیلد – جین اوستین (كوشش)
938- غرور و تعصب – جین اوستین (نشر نی)
940- عقل و احساس – جین اوستین (نشر نی)
953- زندگانی و عقاید آقای تریسترام شندی – لارنس اشترن (تجربه)
955- اعترافات – ژان ژاك روسو (نیلوفر)
959- رنجهای ورتر جوان – یوهان ولفگانگ فون گوته (موسسه نشر تیر)
966- امیل: رسالهای در باب آموزش و پرورش – ژان ژاك روسو (ناهید)
967- برادرزاده رامو – دنیس دیدرو (البرز)
970- كاندید – ولتر (جوانه توس / دستان / بهنود)
975- سرگذشت تام جونز: كودك سر راهی – هنری فیلدینگ (نیلوفر)
983- سفرهای گالیور – جوناتان سویفت (انتشارات علمی و فرهنگی)
987- رابینسون كروزوئه – دانیل دفو (جامی)
992- دن كیشوت – سر وانتس (روایت + نیل)
996- هزار و یكشب – عبداللطیف تسوجی تبریزی (هرمس)
1001- حكایتهای ازوپ – ازوپ (هرمس)