作者: 阮一峰

日期: 2007年10月22日




* 文章必须有创意。
* 不超过750字。
* 文中必须正确使用下面10个单词。
* fifth-column
* gazpacho
* agog
* horripilation
* simian
* fug
* opus
* salad days
* abscond
* Kew Gardens



The Shrieking of the Monkeys


作者:John Andreini


Savannah. August. A midsummer fug envelops the usual early afternoon crowd of reprobates taking up space in the Shark Tooth Bar. The air is stale, unhealthy. I'm here recovering from a two-day salted nut roll binge, the sugar still coursing through my veins, sitting alone at my usual table. Actually, this is my office. My name is Brock Holberman, private investigator.

地点,佐治亚州的Savannah。时间,八月。像往常一样,午后的Shark Tooth酒吧中空气混浊,挤满了顾客。到处都充满了一种不健康的难闻的气味。我还在恢复中,过去二天中,我参加了令人精疲力竭的美食节狂欢,糖水至今还在血管中流淌。我独自一人,坐在平时的座位上。实际上,这里就是我的办公室。我的名字是Brock Holberman,我是一个私人侦探。

A beautiful but nervous doll nearby keeps glancing my way. She has trouble written all over her, and a number of other odd tattoos, but I ignore her, stirring my gazpacho.


Then the raven-haired tomato sashays over to my table like she's walking down a fashion show runway.


"What's the matter? Don't you like gazpacho?" she asks.


"I'm waiting for it to cool."


She leans down. I smell lavender and tuna salad. "It's supposed to be cold," she whispers.


"Do we know each other?"


"I know you by reputation, Mr. Holberman. The Opus murders?"


"I got lucky. The tenor sang."


"But you were the star of the show." She sits sans invitation. "Claire Robin. I have a case, if you have the time."

"但是,您是这出歌剧里的明星。"她径自坐了下来。"我的名字是Claire Robin,我有一个案子,您有没有时间?"

I knock my cup of coffee into my lap and stifle a scream. " I'm listening."


"My late husband William Robin was the Duke of Hemmels-on-Taddemshire. We were living in Britain two years ago when he was brutally murdered at Kew Gardens by a man known only as The Simian."

"我的前夫William Robin是Hemmels-on-Taddemshire公爵。我们住在英国。二年前,他在皇家植物园被残忍地杀害了,只知道凶手的绰号是'猿人'。"

"The Simian."I helped put that big ape in the Big House.


"He's out and he's here in Savannah. I need you to get the goods on him." She scribbles on a piece of paper. "He's living in a trailer down by the river. Here's the address."


I suddenly have a bad case of horripilation. Was I being set up?


"Is this on the level?" I ask.


"What do you think?"


"I think recycling is a good idea."


She slips me an envelope and stands. "Your retainer. Finish your gazpacho before it gets warm."


I thumb through the contents of the envelope: five hundred bucks and two tickets to Sesame Street on Ice. Not bad.


I find The Simian's trailer and it reminds me of my own salad days living out of an Airstream making money hand over fist as a freelance sheepherder.


It doesn't take long for The Simian to make an appearance. He slips out of his trailer at 10:05 a.m. wearing a banana suit. Strange, I think. Why 10:05? I follow my bright yellow suspect to the city zoo where he spends the next hour taunting the spider monkeys. That pervert's going down, I promise myself.


I head back to his trailer for a little snoop work. The place is a mess and smells of wet fur. Books are strewn about. One catches my eye. The Fifth Column: And Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War by Ernest Hemmingway. Funny. "Hemmingway" doesn't sound like a Spanish name.


Then I hit pay dirt. In an envelope taped under a table, I find photos of The Simian, dressed in his banana suit, holding hands with Lady Robin, who's wearing a Mr. Peanut costume. Then it all falls into place.


I abscond with the photos and head back to the Shark Tooth. Fortunately, Claire is at the bar enjoying a glass of Ovaltine. After ordering my regular, I pounce.

我带着照片偷偷离开,重新返回Shark Tooth酒吧。很凑巧,Robin夫人正在那里品尝甜牛奶。我要了一份自己的饮料,突然问道。

"Mrs. Robin. Or should I say, Mrs. Peanut?"


"I don't know what you're talking about."


I slam the photos down on the bar. "That's what I'm talking about." The bartender is agog at the images, but I quickly get rid of him with an order for Yak milk. "You didn't think I'd find out about your...appetites."


Claire squirmed. "So I like to dress up like a peanut. That doesn't prove anything."


I hold up a piece of paper. "Ah, but this does. It's a letter written and mailed by your husband only hours before his death. It names names"


Several of Savannah's finest enter and join us at the bar. The ice woman finally cracks.


"That lousy.... He was going to expose us. Humiliate us in front of the entire world. All I wanted to do was hear the monkeys shriek."


"And once banana boy was out of the picture, keep all the inheritance for yourself." The cops cuff her. "Now you're going to find out what it's like on the other side of the bars, Peanut Butter. Take her away. My gazpacho's getting cold."



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