The Adventures of Tom Sawyer



   Tom comparegué davant la tia Polly, que estava asseguda vora una finestra oberta, en una plaent cambra del darrera, que era alcova, menjador i biblioteca, tot plegat. L'aire balsàmic de l'istiu, la calma reposadora, la flaire de les flors, i la somnolent bonior de les abelles, havia fet el seu efecte, i ella estava pesant figues sobre la mitja que tenia entre mans, mancada de tota companyia que no fos la del gat, el qual també se li havia adormit a la falda. Les seves ulleres havien estat encimbellades damunt sa testa gris, com a precaució de seguretat. Ella havia cregut que, naturalment, ja faria d'allò més temps que Tom s'hauria escapat, i la meravellava de veure que comparegués dins el seu poder altra vegada d'aquesta intrèpida manera. Digué ell:

    -No puc anar a jugar, ara, tia?

   TOM presented himself before Aunt Polly, who was sitting by an open window in a pleasant rearward apartment, which was bedroom, breakfast-room, dining-room, and library, combined. The balmy summer air, the restful quiet, the odor of the flowers, and the drowsing murmur of the bees had had their effect, and she was nodding over her knitting--for she had no company but the cat, and it was asleep in her lap. Her spectacles were propped up on her gray head for safety. She had thought that of course Tom had deserted long ago, and she wondered at seeing him place himself in her power again in this intrepid way. He said: "Mayn't I go and play now, aunt?"

   -Còm s'entén? Ara ja? Quanta de feina heu fet?

   "What, a'ready? How much have you done?"

   -Ja tota és acabada, tia.

   "It's all done, aunt."

   -Tom, no em digueu mentides. No ho puc sofrir.

   "Tom, don't lie to me--I can't bear it."

   -No és mentida, tia: ja està tot llest.

   "I ain't, aunt; it is all done."

   La tia Polly no es refià gaire d'aquesta declaració. Eixí a fora a veure-ho per sí mateixa; i hauria estat prou contenta de trobar que fos veritat un vint per cent de l'afirmació de Tom. Quan trobà tot el clos emblanquinat, i àdhuc emblanquinat amb força gruix, i àdhuc amb una faixa afegida a terra, el seu astorament fou gairebé inexpressable. I va fer:

   Aunt Polly placed small trust in such evidence. She went out to see for herself; and she would have been content to find twenty per cent. of Tom's statement true. When she found the entire fence white-washed, and not only whitewashed but elaborately coated and recoated, and even a streak added to the ground, her astonishment was almost unspeakable. She said:

   -Mai ho hauria dit! No cal dar-hi voltes; podeu treballar quan en teniu ganes, Tom.- I després aigualí el compliment, tot afegint: -Però que poques, repoques vegades en teniu ganes, la veritat! Bé, aneu-vos-en i jugueu: però mireu de tornar abans que passi la setmana: altrament, hi haurà pallissa.

   "Well, I never! There's no getting round it, you can work when you're a mind to, Tom." And then she diluted the compliment by adding, "But it's powerful seldom you're a mind to, I'm bound to say. Well, go 'long and play; but mind you get back some time in a week, or I'll tan you."

   Tan retuda estava per l'esplendor d'aquella feta, que se l'emportà al recambró i escollí una poma de les millors, i la hi donà, mentre li feia una lliçó edificant sobre el preu i delectança majors de qualsevol gust, quan venia sense pecat i després d'un virtuós treball. I, mentre ella acabava amb una venturosa filigrana de textos bíblics, ell va pispar un bunyol.

   She was so overcome by the splendor of his achievement that she took him into the closet and selected a choice apple and delivered it to him, along with an improving lecture upon the added value and flavor a treat took to itself when it came without sin through virtuous effort. And while she closed with a happy Scriptural flourish, he "hooked" a doughnut.

   Després sortí tot saltant; i veié Sid, que tot just començava a pujar l'escala descoberta que menava a les cambres posteriors del segon pis. Hi havia grumolls de terra a l'abast, i l'aire se n'omplí en un dir Jesús. Els grumolls es precipitaren enfurits al volt de Sid com una pedregada, i abans que la tia Polly pogués reconcentrar les seves corpreses facultats i comparèixer a son ajut, sis o set havien encertat, i Tom havia fet un bot damunt el clos i era fora. Hi havia una porta, però en general el temps li curtejava massa per a fer-ne us. La seva ànima romangué en pau, ara que havia dat a Sid el tracte que mereixia per haver cridat l'atenció sobre son fil negre i haver-li creat un mal de cap.

   Then he skipped out, and saw Sid just starting up the outside stairway that led to the back rooms on the second floor. Clods were handy and the air was full of them in a twinkling. They raged around Sid like a hail-storm; and before Aunt Polly could collect her surprised faculties and sally to the rescue, six or seven clods had taken personal effect, and Tom was over the fence and gone. There was a gate, but as a general thing he was too crowded for time to make use of it. His soul was at peace, now that he had settled with Sid for calling attention to his black thread and getting him into trouble.

   Tom vorejà l'illa edificada i passà per una via fangosa que avançava pel darrera de l'estable de vaques de sa tia. No trigà a trobar-se en tota seguretat, més enllà de l'abast de la captura i el càstig; i s'adreçà envers la plaça del poblet, on dues colles militants de minyons s'havien trobat per a la lluita, segons un previ assenyalament. Tom era general d'un d'aquests exèrcits i Joe Harper (un amic del cor) era general de l'altre. Aquests dos grans capitans no es dignaven lluitar personalment (cosa més escaiguda als peixi-minuti), sinó que seien plegats damunt una eminència i dirigien les operacions de la campanya per ordes que trametien els ajudants de camp. L'exèrcit de Tom guanyà una gran victòria, després d'una llarga batalla, d'allò més aspra. En acabat, hom comptà els difunts, hi hagué canvi de presoners, es fixaren els termes de la pròxima ruptura i s'assenyalà el dia per a la necessària batalla; després de la qual cosa els exèrcits es posaren en rengles i partiren, i Tom se n'anà cap a casa tot sol.

   Tom skirted the block, and came round into a muddy alley that led by the back of his aunt's cow-stable. He presently got safely beyond the reach of capture and punishment, and hastened toward the public square of the village, where two "military" companies of boys had met for conflict, according to previous appointment. Tom was General of one of these armies, Joe Harper (a bosom friend) General of the other. These two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person--that being better suited to the still smaller fry--but sat together on an eminence and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through aides-de-camp. Tom's army won a great victory, after a long and hard-fought battle. Then the dead were counted, prisoners exchanged, the terms of the next disagreement agreed upon, and the day for the necessary battle appointed; after which the armies fell into line and marched away, and Tom turned homeward alone.

   Mentre passava vora la casa on vivia Jeff Thatcher, veié una noia nova en el jardí, una exquisida criatura d'ulls blaus i cabell daurat, aconduït en dues llargues trenes, que duia una blanca túnica estival i uns pantalonets brodats. L'heroi de tan recent triomf esdevingué retut, sense que hom disparés un tret. Una certa Amy Lawrence s'esvaí del seu cor, sense deixar memòria al seu darrera. Ell havia cregut que l'estimava fins a la follia i son daler li havia semblat una adoració, i ara veia que no era sinó una pobra i mesquina parcialitat fugidora. Havia passat mesos conquerint-la, ella l'havia acceptat, feia amb prou feines una setmana; ell havia estat el minyó més feliç, més altívol del món només durant la curtesa de set dies, i aquí, en un instant, ella havia sortit de son cor com un estranger vingut per atzar, la visita del qual és acabada.

   As he was passing by the house where Jeff Thatcher lived, he saw a new girl in the garden--a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair plaited into two long-tails, white summer frock and embroidered pan-talettes. The fresh-crowned hero fell without firing a shot. A certain Amy Lawrence vanished out of his heart and left not even a memory of herself behind. He had thought he loved her to distraction; he had regarded his passion as adoration; and behold it was only a poor little evanescent partiality. He had been months winning her; she had confessed hardly a week ago; he had been the happiest and the proudest boy in the world only seven short days, and here in one instant of time she had gone out of his heart like a casual stranger whose visit is done.

   Adorà aquest nou àngel amb esguard furtiu, fins que veié que ella l'havia descobert: aleshores va fer veure que no sabia que ella fos present, i començà de «fer-se veure» en tota mena d'absurdes faisons infantívoles, per guanyar-se la seva admiració. Romangué en aquesta grotesca ximpleria per algun temps; però de tant en tant, en mig d'algunes perilloses performances gimnàstiques, mirà de cua d'ull, i veié que la noieta s'adreçava cap a la casa. Tom se n'anà al clos, i es decantà damunt ell, tot planyívol, i esperant que ella voldria aturar-se una mica més. Ella s'aturà una mica damunt els graons, i després avançà cap a la porta. Tom exhalà un gran sospir quan ella posà el peu en el llindar; però son rostre s'il·luminà, i amb motiu, perquè ella tirà un pensament damunt el clos, un moment abans de desaparèixer.

   He worshipped this new angel with furtive eye, till he saw that she had discovered him; then he pretended he did not know she was present, and began to "show off" in all sorts of absurd boyish ways, in order to win her admiration. He kept up this grotesque foolishness for some time; but by-and-by, while he was in the midst of some dangerous gymnastic performances, he glanced aside and saw that the little girl was wending her way toward the house. Tom came up to the fence and leaned on it, grieving, and hoping she would tarry yet awhile longer. She halted a moment on the steps and then moved toward the door. Tom heaved a great sigh as she put her foot on the threshold. But his face lit up, right away, for she tossed a pansy over the fence a moment before she disappeared.

   El minyó es posà a córrer i s'aturà no gaire lluny de la flor, i després es protegí els ulls amb la mà, i començà de mirar carrer avall, com si hagués descobert quelcom d'interessant que anés en aquella direcció. Al cap de poc arreplegà una palla i provà de gronxar-la damunt son nas, amb el cap decantat molt endarrera; i, mentre es movia d'una banda a l'altra en sos esforços, vorejava més i més el pensament: finalment son peu nu reposà damunt ell, els dits plegadissos del peu es clogueren damunt ell, i el noi partí fent gambades amb el seu tresor i desaparegué per la cantonada. Però només fou que per un minut: només el temps de posar-se la flor al trau de la jaqueta, vora el cor, o potser vora l'estòmac, perquè no era gaire assabentat d'anatomia, i en cap manera hipercrític.

   The boy ran around and stopped within a foot or two of the flower, and then shaded his eyes with his hand and began to look down street as if he had discovered something of interest going on in that direction. Presently he picked up a straw and began trying to balance it on his nose, with his head tilted far back; and as he moved from side to side, in his efforts, he edged nearer and nearer toward the pansy; finally his bare foot rested upon it, his pliant toes closed upon it, and he hopped away with the treasure and disappeared round the corner. But only for a minute--only while he could button the flower inside his jacket, next his heart--or next his stomach, possibly, for he was not much posted in anatomy, and not hypercritical, anyway.

   Tornà en acabat, i s'estigué vora el clos fins a la caiguda de la nit, «fent-se veure» com abans; però la noia no tornà a mostrar-se, encara que Tom es reconfortés una mica amb l'esperança que ella, mentrestant, devia estar vora alguna finestra, adonant-se de les seves atencions. Finalment, tornà amb repugnància a casa seva, plena de visions sa pobra testa.

   He returned, now, and hung about the fence till nightfall, "showing off," as before; but the girl never exhibited herself again, though Tom comforted himself a little with the hope that she had been near some window, meantime, and been aware of his attentions. Finally he strode home reluctantly, with his poor head full of visions.

   Durant tot el sopar estigué tan alegre, que la seva tia es preguntà «quín esperit se li havia ficat al cos». Fou objecte d'un bon reny per haver tirat grumolls a Sid, i no semblà preocupar-se'n gota. Provà de robar sucre sota el mateix nas de la seva tia, i li tustaren els nusos dels dits. Ell digué:

   All through supper his spirits were so high that his aunt wondered "what had got into the child." He took a good scolding about clodding Sid, and did not seem to mind it in the least. He tried to steal sugar under his aunt's very nose, and got his knuckles rapped for it. He said:

   -Tia, a Sid no el tusteu pas quan n'agafa.

   "Aunt, you don't whack Sid when he takes it."

   -Bé, Sid no aturmenta un hom, com vós feu. Sempre estaríeu de cap al sucre, si no us vigilava.

   "Well, Sid don't torment a body the way you do. You'd be always into that sugar if I warn't watching you."

   Ella se n'anà aviat cap a la cuina, i Sid, feliç amb la seva immunitat, abastà la sucrera amb una mena de glorieig en front de Tom, que era gairebé insuportable. Però els dits del minyó lliscaren, i la sucrera caigué i es trencà. Tom estava extasiat, i en tanta de manera, que fins i tot dominà sa llengua i romangué en silenci. Pensà que ell no diria una paraula, fins i tot quan la seva tia entrés, sinó que seuria perfectament quiet fins que ella demanés qui havia fet la trencadissa; i aleshores parlaria, i fóra la més bella cosa de tot el món el veure al manyac model atrapant una sumanta. Estava tan sadoll de gaubança, que amb prou feines pogué contenir-se quan la vella senyora tornà, i s'aturà damunt el desastre, descarregant llampecs d'ira damunt les ulleres. Ell es digué a sí mateix:

    -Ara ve allò!-, I al següent instant rodava per terra! La mà potent enlairava per colpir de bell nou, quan Tom cridà:

   Presently she stepped into the kitchen, and Sid, happy in his immunity, reached for the sugar-bowl--a sort of glorying over Tom which was wellnigh unbearable. But Sid's fingers slipped and the bowl dropped and broke. Tom was in ecstasies. In such ecstasies that he even controlled his tongue and was silent. He said to himself that he would not speak a word, even when his aunt came in, but would sit perfectly still till she asked who did the mischief; and then he would tell, and there would be nothing so good in the world as to see that pet model "catch it." He was so brimful of exultation that he could hardly hold himself when the old lady came back and stood above the wreck discharging lightnings of wrath from over her spectacles. He said to himself, "Now it's coming!" And the next instant he was sprawling on the floor! The potent palm was uplifted to strike again when Tom cried out:

   -Atureu-vos: per què m'escometeu a mi? És Sid qui l'ha trencada!

   "Hold on, now, what 'er you belting me for?--Sid broke it!"

   La tia Polly s'aturà perplexa; i Tom mirà, en cerca de guaridora pietat. Però ella, en recobrar la veu, digué només:

   Aunt Polly paused, perplexed, and Tom looked for healing pity. But when she got her tongue again, she only said:

   -Uf! Bé, ça com lla la pallissa, em penso, no ha estat indeguda. Ben segur que deveu haver fet alguna altra descarada dolenteria quan jo no era present.

   "Umf! Well, you didn't get a lick amiss, I reckon. You been into some other audacious mischief when I wasn't around, like enough."

   Després, ella sentí el retret de la seva consciència, i es delia per dir quelcom de bo i amorós; però judicà que això seria interpretat com a confessió d'una errada seva, i la disciplina prohibia semblant cosa. Així és que servà silenci i se n'anà a les seves tasques amb el cor contorbat. Tom feia el bot en un recó, i exagerava sos sofriments. Coneixia que, cor endins, la seva tia s'agenollava davant seu, i es sentia acerbament satisfet d'aquesta comprensió. Ell no arboraria cap senyal, ni s'adonaria de cap. Sabia que una llambregada afanyosa queia al seu damunt, ara i adés, a través d'un tel de llàgrimes; però ell refusava de fer-ne esment. Es representava a sí mateix en son llit, malalt de mort, amb la seva tia decantant-se-li al damunt, tot implorant una parauleta de perdó; però ell girava la cara envers la paret i moria sense dir aquella paraula. Ah! Què passaria per dintre d'ella, aleshores? I es representava a sí mateix portat a casa, del riu estant, mort, amb sos rulls amarats, i ses pobres mans quietes per sempre i son cor ferit en repòs. Còm ella es tiraria al damunt seu i còm caurien les llàgrimes a dolls, i pregarien sos llavis a Déu que li retornés el seu minyó, tot dient que ella no l'ofendria mai més, mai més! Però ell jauria allí blanc i enfredorit, sense cap moviment: pobra petita víctima, les dolors de la qual havien trobat la fi. Tant estimulà sos sentiments amb l'aire patètic d'aquest somni, que hagué de vetllar per seguir empassant-se la saliva, perquè estava arran d'escanyar-se; i sos ulls nedaren en un enterboliment aquós, que el parpelleig féu sobreeixir, i davallà i gotejà per l'extrem de son nas. I tanta de voluptat trobava en aquest afalac de sos dols, que no podia comportar que cap alegria mundana, cap ressonant delectança, hi fes intrusió: així és que al cap de poc, quan sa cosina Maria entrà ballant, tota alegre del goig de veure la casa de bell nou, després d'una interminable excursió d'una setmana al camp, ell s'aixecà i avançà entre núvols i foscúria cap a una porta, mentre ella portava sol i cantúries per l'altra.

   Then her conscience reproached her, and she yearned to say something kind and loving; but she judged that this would be construed into a confession that she had been in the wrong, and discipline forbade that. So she kept silence, and went about her affairs with a troubled heart. Tom sulked in a corner and exalted his woes. He knew that in her heart his aunt was on her knees to him, and he was morosely gratified by the consciousness of it. He would hang out no signals, he would take notice of none. He knew that a yearning glance fell upon him, now and then, through a film of tears, but he refused recognition of it. He pictured himself lying sick unto death and his aunt bending over him beseeching one little forgiving word, but he would turn his face to the wall, and die with that word unsaid. Ah, how would she feel then? And he pictured himself brought home from the river, dead, with his curls all wet, and his sore heart at rest. How she would throw herself upon him, and how her tears would fall like rain, and her lips pray God to give her back her boy and she would never, never abuse him any more! But he would lie there cold and white and make no sign--a poor little sufferer, whose griefs were at an end. He so worked upon his feelings with the pathos of these dreams, that he had to keep swallowing, he was so like to choke; and his eyes swam in a blur of water, which overflowed when he winked, and ran down and trickled from the end of his nose. And such a luxury to him was this petting of his sorrows, that he could not bear to have any worldly cheeriness or any grating delight intrude upon it; it was too sacred for such contact; and so, presently, when his cousin Mary danced in, all alive with the joy of seeing home again after an age-long visit of one week to the country, he got up and moved in clouds and darkness out at one door as she brought song and sunshine in at the other.

   Anà esmaperdut, ben lluny dels indrets on solien trobar-se els nois, i en cercà de desolats, que fossin en harmonia amb son esperit. Un rai d'estaques que hi havia al riu l'invitava, i ell s'assegué en son caire d'enfora, i contemplà l'ombrívola extensió del corrent, no desitjant aleshores sinó d'ofegar-se de cop i volta, i sense ataleiar-se'n, sense sofrir l'inconfortable tràmit enginyat per la natura. Aleshores es recordà de la seva flor. La tragué, tota arrugada i marcida, i ella augmentà poderosament la seva tètrica felicitat. Es preguntà si ella s'apiadaria d'ell en saber-ho. Quí sap si ploraria, i desitjaria de tenir el dret de posar-li els braços al voltant del coll i reconfortar-lo? O bé giraria el cap fredament, com tot el món, ple de buidor? Aquesta imatge li causà una tal agonia de delectable sofriment, que l'anà regirant i regirant pel seu magí, i l'anà considerant sota noves i variades llums, fins que esdevingué ben gastada. A la fi s'aixecà, tot sospirant, i se n'anà entre la fosca.

   He wandered far from the accustomed haunts of boys, and sought desolate places that were in harmony with his spirit. A log raft in the river invited him, and he seated himself on its outer edge and contemplated the dreary vastness of the stream, wishing, the while, that he could only be drowned, all at once and unconsciously, without undergoing the uncomfortable routine devised by nature. Then he thought of his flower. He got it out, rumpled and wilted, and it mightily increased his dismal felicity. He wondered if she would pity him if she knew? Would she cry, and wish that she had a right to put her arms around his neck and comfort him? Or would she turn coldly away like all the hollow world? This picture brought such an agony of pleasurable suffering that he worked it over and over again in his mind and set it up in new and varied lights, till he wore it threadbare. At last he rose up sighing and departed in the darkness.

   Cap a dos quarts de deu o les deu passà pel carrer abandonat on vivia l'adorada inconeguda; s'hi aturà un moment; cap so no caigué damunt sa orella parada; una candela expandia una claredat opaca damunt la cortina d'una finestra del segon pis. Era allí la presència sagrada? S'enfilà al clos, i passà llisquívolament entre les plantes, fins a romandre sota aquella finestra; mirà en l'aire, envers ella, per llarga estona, i amb emoció; després s'ajagué en terra sota d'ella, cara en l'aire, amb les mans estretes damunt el pit, i servant la pobra flor marcida. I així hauria volgut morir: a la serena, en la fredor del món, sense aixopluc damunt sa testa, mancada de fogar, sense que una mà amistosa eixugués la suor mortal de son front ni cap rostre amorós es decantés compassivament al damunt seu quan vingués la gran agonia. I així el trobaria ella quan mirés cap enfora, en l'alegre matí... i, oh!, qui sap si deixaria caure una llàgrima damunt sa pobra figura sens vida, qui sap si exhalaria un petit sospir, en veure una vida jove i brillant tan rudement desfeta, tan immaturament dallada?

   About half-past nine or ten o'clock he came along the deserted street to where the Adored Unknown lived; he paused a moment; no sound fell upon his listening ear; a candle was casting a dull glow upon the curtain of a second-story window. Was the sacred presence there? He climbed the fence, threaded his stealthy way through the plants, till he stood under that window; he looked up at it long, and with emotion; then he laid him down on the ground under it, disposing himself upon his back, with his hands clasped upon his breast and holding his poor wilted flower. And thus he would die--out in the cold world, with no shelter over his homeless head, no friendly hand to wipe the death-damps from his brow, no loving face to bend pityingly over him when the great agony came. And thus she would see him when she looked out upon the glad morning, and oh! would she drop one little tear upon his poor, lifeless form, would she heave one little sigh to see a bright young life so rudely blighted, so untimely cut down?

   La finestra s'obrí; la veu discordant d'una criada profanà la santa calma, i un diluvi d'aigua amarà les romanalles del màrtir atuït.

   The window went up, a maid-servant's discordant voice profaned the holy calm, and a deluge of water drenched the prone martyr's remains!

   L'heroi ofegat saltà amb un esbufec d'alleujament; hi hagué un zumzeig com de projectil en els aires, mesclat al murmuri d'una maledicció; un so com de vidres petats es féu sentir, i una petita forma vaga passà damunt el clos i es disparà en la fosca.

   The strangling hero sprang up with a relieving snort. There was a whiz as of a missile in the air, mingled with the murmur of a curse, a sound as of shivering glass followed, and a small, vague form went over the fence and shot away in the gloom.

   No gaire temps després, quan Tom, despullat per ficar-se al llit, examinava sos vestits amarats a la llum d'una candela de sèu, Sid es despertà; però si per acàs li vingué alguna tèrbola idea de fer provatures d'al·lusions, s'hi repensà, i servà quietud, perquè llucà el perill en la mirada de Tom.

   Not long after, as Tom, all undressed for bed, was surveying his drenched garments by the light of a tallow dip, Sid woke up; but if he had any dim idea of making any "references to allusions," he thought better of it and held his peace, for there was danger in Tom's eye.

   Tom es ficà al llit deixant de banda la tirallonga de les pregàries, i Sid prengué nota, mentalment, de l'omissió.

   Tom turned in without the added vexation of prayers, and Sid made mental note of the omission.