Six soldiers of fortune



There was once a man who was a Jack-of-all-trades; he had served in the war, and had been brave and bold, but at the end of it he was sent about his business, with three farthings and his discharge. "I am not going to stand this," said he; "wait till I find the right man to help me, and the king shall give me all the treasures of his kingdom before he has done with me." Then, full of wrath, he went into the forest, and he saw one standing there by six trees which he had rooted up as if they had been stalks of corn. And he said to him, "Will you be my man, and come along with me?" - "All right," answered he; "I must just take this bit of wood home to my father and mother." And taking one of the trees, he bound it round the other five, and putting the faggot on his shoulder, he carried it off; then soon coming back, he went along with his leader, who said, "Two such as we can stand against the whole world."
从前有一个人,他有各种各样的技能,在战争中也表现得非常勇敢忠实。 战争结束后,他被遣散回家,走时只给了他三个克鲁兹路费。 他说:"等着瞧吧!我是不会满足于这么一点钱的。如果我能找到合适的搭档,我要国王把全国的财产都拿出来给我。"

于是他气冲冲地走进一座森林,看见有个人在那里像拔麦子一样轻松地拔起六棵树,便对拔树的人说:"你愿意做我的仆人跟我走吗?"那人回答:"愿意。但我现在得把这些柴火背回去给我母亲。"他拿起一棵树把另外五棵捆在一起,然后将整捆柴往肩上一背就走了。 不一会儿他就回来了,跟着退役士兵一起朝前走。 退役士兵对他说:"我们两个在一起,一定能够幸运地走遍天下。"

And when they had gone on a little while, they came to a huntsman who was kneeling on one knee and taking careful aim with his rifle. "Huntsman," said the leader, "what are you aiming at?" - "Two miles from here," answered he, "there sits a fly on the bough of an oak-tree, I mean to put a bullet into its left eye." - "Oh, come along with me," said the leader; "three of us together can stand against the world." The huntsman was quite willing to go with him, and so they went on till they came to seven windmills, whose sails were going round briskly, and yet there was no wind blowing from any quarter, and not a leaf stirred. "Well," said the leader, "I cannot think what ails the windmills, turning without wind," and he went on with his followers about two miles farther, and then they came to a man sitting up in a tree, holding one nostril and blowing with the other. "Now then," said the leader, "what are you doing up there?" - "Two miles from here," answered he, "there are seven windmills; I am blowing, and they are going round." - "Oh, go with me," cried the leader, "four of us together can stand against the world."
他们走了没多久,看见一个猎人跪在那儿瞄准。 退役士兵问他:"猎手,你在打什么?"猎手回答说:"离这儿两英里的地方有棵橡树,树上停着一只苍蝇。我要打它的左眼。"退役士兵说:"好极了!请你跟我们一道走吧,我们三个在一起准能幸运地走遍天下。"猎人很乐意地跟着他们走了。 他们来到七座风车旁,只见风车在飞快地转,可左右却没有风,连小树叶都一动不动。 退役士兵说:"我真不知道是什么在让风车转动,这会儿一丝风都没有呢!"说着又和同伴们继续前进。

他们又走了两英里左右,看到有个人坐在树上,一个鼻孔塞上了,另一个鼻孔在出气。 退役士兵问他:"天哪,你在那上面干什么呀?"那人回答说:"两英里外有七部风车 ,你们看,我一出气,它们就转动了。 ""太好了! 请你跟我们走吧,我们四人在一起,准能幸运地走遍天下。 "吹气的人于是爬下树,跟着他们一起走。

So the blower got down and went with them, and after a time they came to a man standing on one leg, and the other had been taken off and was lying near him. "You seem to have got a handy way of resting yourself," said the leader to the man. "I am a runner," answered he, "and in order to keep myself from going too fast I have taken off a leg, for when I run with both, I go faster than a bird can fly." - "Oh, go with me," cried the leader, "five of us together may well stand against the world."
走了一段时间,他们遇到一个人只用一条腿站在那里,将另一条腿卸了下来放在一边。 退役士兵问:"你这样可以休息得很舒服吧?"那人回答:"我是个赛跑家,为了不跑得太快,只好把一条腿拿下来。如果我两条腿同时跑,那就比飞还快了。""好极了!请你跟我们走吧,我们五人在一起,准能幸运地走遍天下。"于是他们一起走了。

走了不一会儿,他们又碰到一个人。 那人戴着一顶小帽子,可他只将帽子挂在一只耳朵上。 退役士兵说:"把帽子戴正,别挂在耳朵上。要不别人会以为你是个傻子。"那人回答说:"我不能把帽子戴正,否则寒冷就会降临,天上的飞鸟都会被冻死掉到地上来的。""原来是这样。请你跟我们走吧,我们六人在一起,准能让世界在我们面前折服。"

So he went with them all together, and it was not long before they met a man with a little hat on, and he wore it just over one ear. "Manners! manners!" said the leader; "with your hat like that, you look like a jack-fool." - "I dare not put it straight," answered the other; "if I did, there would be such a terrible frost that the very birds would be frozen and fall dead from the sky to the ground." - "Oh, come with me," said the leader; "we six together may well stand against the whole world."
他们来到一座城市,那里的国王正好在宣布:谁要是和他女儿比赛跑赢了,就可以做她丈夫;输了的一律砍头。 这时,退役士兵报名说:"我愿意让我朋友替我比赛。"国王回答说:"那你必须把他的生命也作为抵押,你的头和他的头都要承担失败的后果。"互相讲清条件后退役士兵给赛跑家装上了另一条腿 ,对他说:"快快跑,帮我们取得胜利。"

比赛规定谁要是先从一口很远的井里取了水回来,谁就赢了。 赛跑家和公主各拿了一个水罐同时开始起跑。 公主跑了才一小段距离,赛跑家就跑没影了。 他跑得像风一样迅速,很快来到那口指定的井边,装满一罐水就往回跑。 但跑到半道,他觉得有点累,于是放下水罐躺下睡觉了。 他从地上顺手拿起一块马头骨当枕头,因为他想在硬骨头上睡觉不舒服,一会儿就会醒来的。 公主虽然只能说是个普通的赛手,但确实也算是擅长跑步的了。 她跑到了井边,装了满满一罐水就又往回跑了。 当她看到赛跑家在打盹时,高兴地对自己说:"这下对手可要落在我后头了。"他将赛跑家的水罐倒空,继续往回跑。 要不是千里眼猎人站在宫殿顶上看到了所发生的一切,他们准得输。 猎人说:"国王的女儿别想赢我们!"说着赶紧往猎枪里装了一颗子弹,巧妙地一枪打中了赛跑家枕头用的马头骨,却没有伤赛跑家一根毫毛。 赛跑家猛然跳起来,发现水罐空了,公主也远远地跑到前头去了。 他并没有因此泄气,又跑到井边装满水罐往回跑,结果比国王的女儿还是先到了十分钟。 他说:"你们看,我这会儿才用上两条腿,以前根本不能算赛跑。"

So the six went on until they came to a town where the king had caused it to be made known that whoever would run a race with his daughter and win it might become her husband, but that whoever lost must lose his head into the bargain. And the leader came forward and said one of his men should run for him. "Then," said the king, "his life too must be put in pledge, and if he fails, his head and yours too must fall." When this was quite settled and agreed upon, the leader called the runner, and strapped his second leg on to him. "Now, look out," said he, "and take care that we win." It had been agreed that the one who should bring water first from a far distant brook should be accounted winner. Now the king's daughter and the runner each took a pitcher, and they started both at the same time; but in one moment, when the king's daughter had gone but a very little way, the runner was out of sight, for his running was as if the wind rushed by. In a short time he reached the brook, filled his pitcher full of water, and turned back again. About half-way home, however, he was overcome with weariness, and setting down his pitcher, he lay down on the ground to sleep. But in order to awaken soon again by not lying too soft he had taken a horse's skull which lay near and placed it under his head for a pillow. In the meanwhile the king's daughter, who really was a good runner, good enough to beat an ordinary man, had reached the brook, and filled her pitcher, and was hastening with it back again, when she saw the runner lying asleep. "The day is mine," said she with much joy, and she emptied his pitcher and hastened on. And now all had been lost but for the huntsman who was standing on the castle wall, and with his keen eyes saw all that happened. "We must not be outdone by the king's daughter," said he, and he loaded his rifle and took so good an aim that he shot the horse's skull from under the runner's head without doing him any harm. And the runner awoke and jumped up, and saw his pitcher standing empty and the king's daughter far on her way home. But, not losing courage, he ran swiftly to the brook, filled it again with water, and for all that, he got home ten minutes before the king's daughter. "Look you," said he; "this is the first time I have really stretched my legs; before it was not worth the name of running." The king was vexed, and his daughter yet more so, that she should be beaten by a discharged common soldier; and they took counsel together how they might rid themselves of him and of his companions at the same time. "I have a plan," said the king; "do not fear but that we shall be quit of them for ever." Then he went out to the men and bade them to feast and be merry and eat and drink; and he led them into a room, which had a floor of iron, and the doors were iron, the windows had iron frames and bolts; in the room was a table set out with costly food. "Now, go in there and make yourselves comfortable," said the king. And when they had gone in, he had the door locked and bolted. Then he called the cook, and told him to make a big fire underneath the room, so that the iron floor of it should be red hot. And the cook did so, and the six men began to feel the room growing very warm, by reason, as they thought at first, of the good dinner; but as the heat grew greater and greater, and they found the doors and windows fastened, they began to think it was an evil plan of the king's to suffocate them. "He shall not succeed, however," said the man with the little hat; "I will bring on a frost that shall make the fire feel ashamed of itself, and creep out of the way." So he set his hat straight on his head, and immediately there came such a frost that all the heat passed away and the food froze in the dishes. After an hour or two had passed, and the king thought they must have all perished in the heat, he caused the door to be opened, and went himself to see how they fared. And when the door flew back, there they were all six quite safe and sound, and they said they were quite ready to come out, so that they might warm themselves, for the great cold of that room had caused the food to freeze in the dishes. Full of wrath, the king went to the cook and scolded him, and asked why he had not done as he was ordered. "It is hot enough there: you may see for yourself," answered the cook. And the king looked and saw an immense fire burning underneath the room of iron, and he began to think that the six men were not to be got rid of in that way.
国王十分生气,公主更是因为要被这么一个普通的退役士兵娶走而懊丧不已。 于是他们一起商量如何摆脱这个退役士兵和他的伙伴。 国王对公主说:"你不必害怕,我想了个办法让他们再也不会回来了。"他转而对退役士兵说:"你们现在该好好吃一顿,乐一乐。"说着将他们领进一间房间,那里的地板是铁的,门也是铁的,窗上安了铁栏杆,屋里摆了一桌精美的宴席。 国王说:"进来吧,好好吃一顿。"接着他命令厨师在铁地板下面生火,把铁板烤得通红。 厨师在下面烧火,上面的六个人开始觉得热乎乎的。 起先他们还以为是饭菜的缘故,可后来越来越热,便想出来凉快凉快,没想门被反锁了,于是明白国王不怀好意,是想让他们在里面闷死。 "他不会得逞的。"戴帽子的那人说,"我来降一层寒霜,让火在它面前羞愧地溜走。"他刚把帽子戴正,寒霜就降临了,热气一下子全被驱散,连桌上的菜也开始冻结了。

过了几小时,国王以为他们肯定被热气闷死了,于是亲自来开门查看。 可他打开门一看,六个人好端端地站在那儿,生气勃勃。 他们说想出来暖和暖和 ,里面实在太冷了,食物很快都冻结了。 国王怒气冲冲地将厨师训斥了一番,质问他为什么不按命令行事,厨师回复说:"火烧得够旺了,不信你自己去看看。"国王一看,铁房间下面果然燃着熊熊大火,他这才明白用这法子是治不死这六个人的。

And he thought of a new plan by which it might be managed, so he sent for the leader and said to him, "If you will give up your right to my daughter, and take gold instead, you may have as much as you like." - "Certainly, my lord king," answered the man; "let me have as much gold as my servant can carry, and I give up all claim to your daughter." And the king agreed that he should come again in a fortnight to fetch the gold. The man then called together all the tailors in the kingdom, and set them to work to make a sack, and it took them a fortnight. And when it was ready, the strong man who had been found rooting up trees took it on his shoulder, and went to the king. "Who is this immense fellow carrying on his shoulder a bundle of stuff as big as a house?" cried the king, terrified to think how much gold he would carry off. And a ton of gold was dragged in by sixteen strong men, but he put it all into the sack with one hand, saying, "Why don't you bring some more? this hardly covers the bottom!" So the king bade them fetch by degrees the whole of his treasure, and even then the sack was not half full. "Bring more!" cried the man; "these few scraps go no way at all!" Then at last seven thousand waggons laden with gold collected through the whole kingdom were driven up; and he threw them in his sack, oxen and all. "I will not look too closely," said he, "but take what 1 can get, so long as the sack is full." And when all was put in there was still plenty of room. "I must make an end of this," he said; "if it is not full, it is so much the easier to tie up." And he hoisted it on his back, and went off with his comrades. When the king saw all the wealth of his realm carried off by a single man he was full of wrath, and he bade his cavalry mount, and follow after the six men, and take the sack away from the strong man. Two regiments were soon up to them, and called them to consider themselves prisoners, and to deliver up the sack, or be cut in pieces. "Prisoners, say you?" said the man who could blow, "suppose you first have a little dance together in the air," and holding one nostril, and blowing through the other, he sent the regiments flying head over heels, over the hills and far away. But a sergeant who had nine wounds and was a brave fellow, begged not to be put to so much shame. And the blower let him down easily, so that he came to no harm, and he bade him go to the king and tell him that whatever regiments he liked to send more should be blown away just the same. And the king, when he got the message, said, "Let the fellows be; they have some right on their side."
国王不断琢磨着怎样才能赶走这些不受欢迎的客人,后来他把领头的找来,对他说:"如果你肯要金子而不要我女儿的话,你要多少就可以拿多少。""好的,国王陛下,"他回答说,"我仆人能拿多少你就得给多少,那样我就可以不要你女儿了。"国王这下满意了,退役士兵接着对他说:"我十四天以后来取金子。"紧接着他招集了全国的裁缝,要他们在十四天内缝出一个大口袋。 缝好后,他要那个能拔起树的人扛上口袋和他一起来到国王那里。 国王问:"那个扛着像房子一样大麻袋的大力士是谁呀?"他突然一惊,说:"他能扛走多少金子啊!"他命人搬来一吨金子,是十六个最强壮的人搬来的,可大力士一把抓起来放进口袋,说:"一次怎么不多搬点,这点金子连口袋底都盖不住!"国王只好让人把他的全部财宝一点一点都拿了出来,大力士把它们往袋子里一扔,连一半都没装满,便说:"再多运些来,这么一点根本不够装的。"国王只好用七千辆车将全国的金子都运来给他,大力士连金子带套着车辕子的牛都一把扫进了口袋,还说:"我就不细看了,拿来什么我装什么,只要把袋子装满就行了。"等全部装完,袋子里还有很多空地方,大力士说:"算了吧,尽管口袋没装满,我还是扎起来扛走算了。"说完将口袋往肩上一扛就和同伴们走了。 国王一看自己的全部财产被这么一个人夺走了,心里十分生气。 他命令骑兵们上马追赶那六个人,把大力士手里的包夺回来。

不久,两个骑兵团赶上了那六个人,他们喊道:"你们被捕了!快放下那只装金子的口袋,否则你们会粉身碎骨的!"那个用鼻孔吹气的人问:"你们说什么?我们被俘虏了?我这就让你们上天跳舞去!"说着就捏住一个鼻孔,用另一个鼻孔吹气,结果把两个骑兵团吹得乱成一团,有的被吹到了天上,有的被吹过了高山,这里一个那里一个的,摔得满地都是。 有一个中士,本来是个勇士,不该受这种侮辱,可此时他不得不请求饶命,因为他已经伤了九处。 吹气的人停下来,让那中士慢慢落下来,没再受伤。 他对中士说:"现在你回去报告国王,要他再多派些骑兵来,我好把他们全吹到天上去。"国王一听报告,只好说:"让这帮流氓走吧,他们有魔法呢。"

So the six comrades carried home their treasure, divided it among them, and lived contented till they died.

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