“证人”橡树 The Oak Tree

The Oak Tree

Ever so long ago, two young men, Edmund and Oswald, appeared in court.
很久很久以前,两个年轻人埃德蒙和奥斯瓦尔德上了法庭。

Edmund said to the judge, “Three years ago, when I left home I gave Oswald, who I thought was my best friend, a costly gold ring set with precious stones, and I asked him to keep it till I returned home. Now he says that he knows nothing about it.”
埃德蒙对法官说:“三年前我离开家时,我认为奥斯瓦尔德是我最好的朋友,就交给他一枚镶嵌了贵重宝石的十分值钱的金戒指,请他帮我保管,等我回家时再还给我。但是现在,他说他压根不知道有这么回事。”

Placing his hand on his heart, Oswald said, “I declare on my honor1) that I know nothing about the ring. I am afraid that my good friend Edmund has been affected2) in his mental powers since he went away.”
奥斯瓦尔德将手放在心口,说道:“我以我的名誉担保,我对那枚戒指一无所知。恐怕是我的好朋友埃德蒙离开家后脑子出了什么问题吧。”

1  The judge said, “Edmund, were there any witnesses who could testify that you gave the ring to Oswald?”
法官说:“埃德蒙,当时有证人在场可以证明你把戒指交给了奥斯瓦尔德吗?”

Edmund replied, “Unfortunately in the field where we were at the time there was nobody. We were talking beneath an old oak tree and there we were alone.”
埃德蒙答道:“很不幸,当时我们待的那块地里没有别人。我们当时在一棵老橡树下说话,那儿只有我们俩。”

Oswald said, “I am ready to3) swear that I know as little of the oak tree as I do of the ring.”
奥斯瓦尔德说:“我可以发誓,我对这什么老橡树就像对那枚戒指一样一无所知。”

The judge said, “Edmund, go to that field again and bring back a branch of that oak tree. I wish to see it. Oswald, you wait here in the meantime, until Edmund comes back.”
法官说:“埃德蒙,去那块地里折一根那棵橡树的枝条回来,我想看一下。奥斯瓦尔德,这段时间你就在这儿等着,直到埃德蒙回来。”

So Edmund left. After some time the judge said to Oswald, “How is it that Edmund is taking so long to return? Go to the window and see if you can see him returning along the road.”
于是埃德蒙出发了。过了一会儿,法官对奥斯瓦尔德说:“埃德蒙怎么这么久还没回来?你去窗户边瞧瞧,看他是不是正在回来的路上呢。”

Oswald said, “Oh, my lord judge, he wouldn’t have even reached the tree yet—the tree is over an hour’s walk from here.”
奥斯瓦尔德说:“哎,法官大人,他可能还没走到那棵树那儿呢——从这儿走到那棵树要一个多小时呢。”

When the judge heard this, he was very angry. “You know as much about the tree as you do about the ring. For the next year while you are in prison you will have time to think about the necessity of always telling the truth.”
法官听闻勃然大怒。“你很了解那棵树,正如你深知那枚戒指的下落一样。往后这一年你在监狱里,将有的是时间去想想始终说真话是多么必要。”

1. on one’s honor: 以名誉担保
2. affect [əˈfekt] vt. (疾病)侵袭
3. be ready to: 愿意,乐意