Moonbeam Alley 《月光巷》好句摘录

Stormy weather had delayed the ship, so that the evening was far advanced before she came to port on the French coast.

How could I best while away the time, marooned as I was in this unknown coast-town?

In the dining-room of the third-rate hotel where we put up, the air was thick with the smell of burned fat and tobacco smoke.

Besides, it was an ill-kept and dirty place, its filthiness rendered all the more intolerable since for many days now I had enjoyed the pure ocean breezes and felt the salt, sweet taste of sea-spume upon my lips.

It was pleasant to allow oneself to be carried gently along by the stream of idlers who, having done their work for the day, were taking the air after a wash and brush-up followed by a cozy meal at a provincial fireside.

I breathed my fill of the stillness, which was almost uncanny, seeing that behind it lurked a universe of mystery, sensuousness, and peril.

Strange to hear one’s own tongue in so out-of-the-way a corner; and friendly, homely, at the same time.

All doors were shut, and yet invitation to enter was to be deciphered on every brick and lintel.

Straining my ears against house after house, I reached one where there was a glimmer in one of the windows, and the shadow of a hand silhouetted against the blind.

My good evening fell flat and was not echoed back to me for a considerable time.

Yet, since there did not seem to be adequate reason for absconding, I took a place at the table and resigned myself to the inevitable.

A beautiful face still, with regular features; but it had grown like a mask, since the inner fires were quenched.

Here undubitably was a fellow-mortal who was weary unto death, and who only continued having out of long-established habit.

But my limbs were like lead and I sat on inert, chained by disgust and curiosity, for, to speak frankly, this indifference stirred me strangely.

I turned first to the speaker whose mouth seemed to be spewing forth fire, and then to the door. Slinking in was the individual who had scuttled away on my entry.

He was a pitiable object, devoid of strength and yet not wholly lacking in a kind of vicious courage.

She pressed up against me with assumed ardor, and I knew at once that she was playing a game in order to torment the man, for she kept on glancing in his direction out of the corner of her eyes.

Why should I worry my head about this repulsive harlot, this weak-minded wench, this sewer of beer and cheap scent and tobacco-smoke?

The wickedness still glinted in her eyes but it was misty now as if shining from behind a veil of tears. My gorge rose as I looked at her, so that I could find no compassion in my heart.

Please don’t run away with the idea that she is naturally of such a disposition as you witnessed this evening.

Oh, fool that I was! I pretended to be vexed when she asked for a hat, or any other trifle she took a fancy for; while all the time I was in the seventh heaven of delight at being given an opportunity to gratify her—and at the same time to make her eat humble-pie.

Well, so great was my impatience that I got there three days too soon.

I seemed to feel presences rather than see them.

During the daytime they wear cold, gray masks, and it is only those who know them well who are able to recognize one from another.

At the corner I turned for another look. As my eyes fell upon the poor devil he sprang up and made for the entry. He pushed the door open, and a piece of metal shone in his hand. Was it money or a knife-blade that glittered so treacherously in the moon beams?