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神秘血案引导下游览北京老使馆区

更新时间:2014/5/12 11:12:28 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Mystery Endures in Beijing’s Old Legation Quarter
神秘血案引导下游览北京老使馆区

On a freezing January morning in 1937, the mutilated body of a beautiful 19-year-old British woman was found lying at the base of Fox Tower along old Peking’s Ming dynasty protective wall. Her heart had been ripped out, her face slashed with a knife. Her head lay to the west, her feet to the east. Strangely, there was little blood.

1937年1月一个寒冷的早晨,有人在老北京明代城墙的东便门角楼下发现了一个美丽的19岁英国女孩被肢解的尸体。她的心脏被挖了出来,脸被刀划破了。她的头在西边,脚在东边。奇怪的是,几乎没有看到血迹。

The Fox Tower, now known as the Dongbianmen, where Pamela Werner's body was found in 1937.
1937年,帕梅拉·维尔纳的尸体是在东便门角楼发现的。

The murder of Pamela Werner, the adopted daughter of a retired British diplomat, shook the high-living expatriates and the seedy gangs of Peking, as Beijing was then known, in the era before World War II. Although the murder was never definitively solved, her father believed that it was the work of a prominent American expatriate who traveled in the circles of Beijing’s high society and its underworld, too.

死者名叫帕梅拉·维尔纳(Pamela Werner),是一位退休的英国外交官收养的女儿。她的死震惊了“二战”前夕北平(北京当时的名称)生活奢靡的外国侨民和黑帮。虽然这起谋杀案最终也没有破案,但受害者的父亲认为凶手是一个混迹于北京上层社会和黑社会的著名美国侨民。

For those of us who live in Beijing, and for visitors curious about the city’s past, the mystery of Pamela’s death conjures the jittery period just before the Japanese invasion, when the Communists were a band of guerrillas in faraway mountains, and the foreigners indulged in a fin de siècle existence of booze-infused parties and squadrons of servants.

对我们这些住在北京的人,以及对这座城市的历史感到好奇的游客来说,帕梅拉的死亡之谜让我们想起了日军入侵前夕的那段战战兢兢的岁月,当时共产党还是遥远大山里的一帮游击队,外国人过着放纵颓废的生活,花天酒地,仆役成群。

About 700 Americans lived in the city, including the journalist Edgar Snow who introduced Mao Zedong to the world with his 1937 book, “Red Star Over China,” and his wife, Helen, also a writer. In her 1984 autobiography, “My China Years,” Ms. Snow wrote: “Peking is the last stronghold of the good old tradition of entertaining on the least provocation.” She described “a paradise for foreigners,” taking special notice of the European women, with their elaborate evening dresses and ermine fur stoles worn to formal dinners.

当时这座城市里居住着大约700个美国人,包括记者埃德加·斯诺(Edgar Snow)和妻子海伦(Helen)。斯诺1937年出版的《红星照耀中国》(Red Star Over China)把毛泽东介绍给了西方社会,他的妻子也是一位作家。斯诺夫人在1984年出版的自传《我的中国岁月》(My China Years)中写道:“北京是不以刺激为乐这一美好传统的最后要塞。”她说北京是“外国人的天堂”,特别提到了那些欧洲女人,她们参加正式宴会的时候会穿上精致的晚礼服和貂皮披肩。

The Snows were neighbors of E.T.C. Werner and his adopted daughter, Pamela. Both families lived on a narrow street not far from the 15th-century Fox Tower, in Chinese-style houses just outside the sterile Legation Quarter, where imposing gates kept the Chinese out, and the privileged foreigners in. In those days it was an easy walk, or bike ride, between the neighborhood of the Snows and the Werners, and the diplomatic quarter.

斯诺夫妇是E·T·C·维尔纳(E.T.C. Werner)及其养女帕梅拉的邻居。两家人住在离15世纪的东便门角楼不远一条狭窄街道上的中式庭院里,位于死气沉沉的使馆区外,使馆区威风的大门把中国人隔离在外,把享有特权的外国人容纳在内。那时候,从斯诺夫妇和维尔纳父女居住的地段走路或骑车到使馆区十分便利。

Now, even amid the relentless rebuilding of Beijing, you can take a leisurely 90 minutes to peer into the two worlds of Pamela, who unlike most European residents spoke fluent Mandarin and glided seamlessly between the Chinese and the Europeans.

如今,即使在北京从不间断的重建中,你也能悠闲地花上90分钟一窥帕梅拉生活的两个世界。跟当时的大部分欧洲侨民不同,她能讲流利的中文,能在中国人和欧洲人之间随意游走。

An excellent account of the crime, the places and the characters is at the center of “Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China” (Penguin Books, 2012), by the British writer Paul French. He has also recorded an audio tour in which he delivers a rollicking commentary that dives back 400 years to the origins of the walls of Peking, fast-forwards to the 1930s and, for context, gives some barbed insights into the current state of affairs in Beijing.

对那起谋杀案、那些地方以及那些人物的精彩描述是英国作家保罗·法兰奇(Paul French)的《午夜北平:英国外交官女儿喋血北平的梦魇》(Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China,企鹅图书,2012年)的主要内容。他还录制了一个语音导览,滔滔不绝地追溯400年前北京城墙的起源,又快速跳跃到20世纪30年代,并对北京的现状发表了一些不无讽刺的见解。

Surprisingly, many of the landmarks of Pamela’s life, including the house she lived in, still exist. The Fox Tower, an imposing fortress with upturned eaves, still stands. Its interior has been remodeled, the original pillars brushed with dark red paint. Some of Pamela’s favorite haunts are now tucked behind high walls. But with imagination, and Mr. French’s voice in your ear, you can re-create Beijing before the glass and steel towers.

令人意外的是,帕梅拉生活中的很多地标留存了下来,包括她住过的房子。东便门角楼也还存在,它是个带有飞檐的壮观的堡垒。它的内部改造过了,原来的柱子刷上了暗红色的漆。帕梅拉最喜欢去的一些地方如今挤在高墙后面。但是凭借你的想像力和耳边法兰奇的声音,你能重现没有玻璃钢筋大楼之前的北京。

I was lucky enough to enjoy the author’s enthusiasm during a personal tour in the summer. But Mr. French says he is no longer a guide, so as winter approached I retraced our steps with a Chinese friend, using the audio tour. The walk is prettier in summer with trees in full green, but more authentic in the steely gray of winter, the season when Pamela died.

在夏天的一次个人旅行中,我很幸运地得到了作者的热情引导。但是法兰奇说他不再做向导了,所以冬天快到的时候,我和一位中国朋友依靠语音向导又游览了一遍。夏天到处是绿树,在这一带漫步景色更美,但是肃杀阴暗的冬天更有真实感,那是帕梅拉遇害的季节。

The directions on the audio are immensely helpful in sorting out Beijing’s confusing street names. But be warned: Beijing changes so fast that from my first walk with Mr. French to my second, a building central to Pamela’s last hours had been knocked down. And one of Beijing’s best restaurants, Maison Boulud, housed in the old American Embassy in the Legation Quarter, was our destination in the summer. It closed in December. More on that later.

语音导览对弄清北京令人费解的街道名称极有帮助。但是要注意:北京变化太快了,我第一次和法兰奇去那里漫步时,与帕梅拉临终前的几个小时关系最大的一个建筑尚在,第二次去时,它已经被拆除了。我们夏季漫步的终点是北京最好的餐厅之一布鲁宫法餐厅,它位于使馆区美国大使馆的旧址。我12月份再去的时候,它已经关门了。我后面再详谈这一点。

Here are some high points from the audio and the book:

下面我谈一下语音导览和那本书里的一些亮点:

After following Mr. French’s directions from the Beijing Rail Station to the narrow street called Armor Factory Alley, you will come across the red-painted door of No. 1, where Pamela and her father lived. The number of the house stands out on a chipped iron sign above the entryway. The door is imposing, although the grandeur of the house is difficult to judge. A recent, roughshod one-room addition juts onto the street, a perfect example of the haphazard planning in what is left of Beijing’s old alleyways, commonly known as hutongs. On the other side of the street, the Snows lived at No. 6 (although in her book, Ms. Snow says their house was No. 13). Here, too, it is difficult to gauge the vast scale of their home; according to Ms. Snow’s account, Edgar sat in the study near the gate for six months and wrote “Red Star Over China.”

按照法兰奇的指引,从北京火车站走到盔甲厂胡同,你会看到1号院的红漆大门,帕梅拉和父亲就曾住在这里。入口上方碎裂的铁牌子上醒目地标示出门牌号。院子的大门很威风,不过房子是否雄伟就很难判断了。新盖的一个房间蛮横地伸到胡同里,充分反映出北京存留下来的这些老胡同随意的规划。斯诺夫妇住在对面的6号院(虽然斯诺夫人在书中说他们住在13号院)。他们家的规模也很难估量。据斯诺夫人说,埃德加在靠近大门的书房里写了六个月才完成《红星照耀中国》。

About a 10-minute walk from Armor Factory Alley — down a set of stairs and under a bridge — the base of the Fox Tower, now known as the Dongbianmen, a mammoth gray brick wall with a watchtower on top, looms in front of you. This is where Pamela’s body was found in the early morning of Jan. 8, 1937, by an old man walking his songbird. The ditch where she was dumped is now near one of the city’s main ring roads.

从盔甲厂胡同走大约十分钟——下台阶,穿过一座桥——你就能隐约看到东便门角楼。它是宏伟的灰色砖墙上的一个岗楼。1937年1月8日清晨,一个遛鸟的老人就是在这里发现了帕梅拉的尸体。她的尸体被抛弃在一个沟渠里,离现在的二环路很近。

The Red Gate Gallery, which opened in 1991, occupies the first floor of the tower. It is worth visiting for the contemporary Chinese art, and the Ming dynasty interior. Brian Wallace, the Australian founder, and one of the most knowledgeable art experts in the city, is often on hand.

角楼的一层是1991年开设的红门画廊。里面有中国当代艺术品和明代的室内装饰,值得一看。你经常能在这里见到该画廊的澳大利亚创始人布莱恩·华莱士(Brian Wallace),他是北京最博学的艺术品鉴赏家之一。

From there, it is a short stroll into the ramshackle area, known in the 1930s as the Badlands, where Pamela was murdered. You must cross a busy intersection into today’s Chuanban Hutong; you know you are in the right spot when you see a food shop at the entrance of the street with sacks of flour on the floor, bamboo containers of steaming fresh buns, and a smiling woman offering her goodies for less than a dollar apiece.

从这里走一会儿你就能进入那个破败的地区,在20世纪30年代它被称为破落之地,帕梅拉就是在这里遇害的。你必须穿过一个交通繁忙的十字路口才能进入今天的船板胡同。如果你在胡同口看到一个食品店,地上堆着一袋袋面粉,竹笼里蒸着热气腾腾的馒头,一个微笑的女人在叫卖,每个馒头还不到1美元,那你就没走错。

About 200 yards down the street, past a barber and the National Red Noodle Shop, stands No. 28 where Mr. French writes that Pamela was murdered. At the time, the place was a flophouse run by White Russian madams. Mr. French tells us that Pamela had been lured to the front room on the right by a longtime resident of the Legation Quarter, an American dentist named Wentworth Prentice, and some male companions. She was attacked with a wooden instrument and, based on an investigation conducted by Pamela’s father, the author concludes that her body was drained of blood and then taken by rickshaw to the base of the Fox Tower, where it was dismembered. Descendants of Mr. Prentice dispute Mr. French’s account, and have opened a website. They claim that archival evidence contradicts the conclusion of “Midnight in Peking,” and also question Mr. Werner’s capacity to conduct the investigation.

沿着胡同走大约200码,经过一个理发店和国红面条店,你会看到28号院,法兰奇在书中说帕梅拉就是在这里被杀害的。当时,这里是白俄鸨母经营的廉价旅馆。法兰奇告诉我们,帕梅拉是被长期居住在使馆区的一位名叫温特沃斯·普伦蒂斯(Wentworth Prentice)的美国牙医引诱到这里的右前厅的,一同前来的还有几个男伴。作者根据帕梅拉父亲的调查得出的结论是,她遭到木制凶器袭击,血流干后,被人用黄包车拉到了东便门角楼下,在那里被肢解。普伦蒂斯的后人对法兰奇的描述提出质疑,为此开了个网站。他们称,档案证据与《午夜北平》的结论相抵触,而且认为维尔纳没有能力进行那样的调查。

Last summer, No. 28 existed in more or less its original form. The grimy, low-slung building opened into a series of single-room apartments. Old bicycles leaned against the walls of a passageway strung with laundry. By December, the building had been demolished, replaced by modern apartments.

去年夏天,28号院还多少保持着原貌。那个肮脏、低矮的建筑被改建成很多单间公寓。走廊停靠着旧自行车,上方晾着衣服。到12月份,这个建筑被拆除了,原址上建起了现代公寓。

From the scene of the murder, walk to the end of the alley and cross six-lane Chongwenmen Nei Street and, keeping Tongren Hospital on your left, take the first right into Dongjiaomin Alley (previously Legation Street). You are entering the Legation Quarter. Toward the end of the street on the left stands a European-designed red brick gabled apartment complex with dormer windows and “Romeo and Juliet” balconies. This was the home of Dr. Prentice; it is now a Chinese government building hidden behind a high wall.

从谋杀现场走到胡同尽头,横穿过有六个车道的崇文门内大街,向南走(同仁医院在你右侧),在第一个路口右转到东交民巷(从前的使馆街),你就进入了使馆区。快到小巷尽头时,你看到左边伫立着一个欧洲人设计的红砖三角墙公寓大楼,有着屋顶窗和《罗密欧与朱丽叶》式的露台。这里曾是普伦蒂斯医生的家,现在高墙后面藏着中国政府的一个办公大楼。

At the corner stands the pretty Gothic-style St. Michael’s Church, built by French missionaries at the beginning of the 20th century. The stained-glass windows and handmade pipe organ were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. The church was partially restored and reopened in 1989.

街角是漂亮的哥特式圣米厄尔教堂,它是法国传教士在20世纪初修建的。彩色玻璃窗和手工制造的管风琴在20世纪60年代的“文革”中被毁。该教堂后经部分重建,于1989年重新开放。

Around the corner, down the main street to the right, lies the old British Embassy, where the European Community holed up during the 55-day siege of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900.

转过街角,沿着主路右侧走,你能看到英国大使馆的旧址,1900年义和团围攻北京55天期间,欧洲侨民就藏在这里。

The French embassy, where Pamela used the skating rink hours before her murder, is a little friendlier. The neo-Classical entrance gates with a pair of lions at either side of an open archway give way to gardens with graceful trees. It is fun to imagine Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia, the stalwart friend of China, during his long stay here at the end of his life in 2012.

法国大使馆更友好一点。帕梅拉被害前几小时曾在这里的滑冰场玩乐。新古典主义大门敞开的拱门两侧有一对石狮子,里面的花园里树木秀丽。中国忠诚的朋友、柬埔寨西哈努克亲王于2012年去世之前曾在此常住,想想就饶有趣味。

Beyond the French Embassy lies the grand edifice of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, built in 1919. It appears to be in fine shape though no longer operates as a bank. A wide public stairway beside the bank takes you down to one of Beijing’s main thoroughfares, and when you turn left past a row of shops selling shoes and cheap airline tickets, you come across a large sign — Chi’enmen 23 — carved into a stone wall. Walk behind the wall and before you stands the handsome chancery of the first American Embassy in Beijing, built in 1903. Most recently, it was the home of Maison Boulud, the China anchor of the chef Daniel Boulud’s empire. Sadly, the restaurant closed in December, the victim of a dispute between Mr. Boulud and his Chinese partners.

法国大使馆前面是建于1919年的印度、澳大利亚和中国渣打银行的宏伟大厦。它看起来维护得挺好,只是不再营业。银行旁边宽阔的公共台阶把你引到北京的一条主要干道上。向左转,经过一排卖鞋子和廉价机票的店铺,你能看见一面石墙上刻着一个巨大的标牌——敕恩门23号。沿着墙后走,你能看到1903年在北京修建的第一个美国大使馆漂亮的办公处。前不久,这里还是布鲁宫法餐厅——大厨丹尼尔·布鲁(Daniel Boulud)的餐饮帝国在中国的分舵。不幸的是,这家餐馆12月份关门了,因为布鲁和他的中国合伙人出现了分歧。

By now, Pamela Werner no longer figures in the walk. But continue to the American Embassy because it stands out as a piece of Washington architecture transported to the Chinese capital in 1903, when the Legation Quarter was rebuilt in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion.

到此为止,帕梅拉·维尔纳不再和漫步有关。但是请继续走到美国大使馆,因为它十分醒目,像是1903年把华盛顿的一个建筑搬到了中国首都,当时使馆区在义和团运动之后开始重建。

George Kates, an American living in Peking during the 1930s, wrote “the buildings of each Legation ... looked as if lifted bodily from their own country to be set down here in China.” The American Embassy was “of a stately colonial-renaissance style” constructed from lumber imported from the United States. The bricks were made in Beijing under the supervision of the United States government architect Sidney H. Nealy, who designed the building.

20世纪30年代在北京居住的美国人乔治·凯茨(George Kates)写道,“每个使馆的建筑……看起来都像是从自己的国家整个搬到了中国。”美国大使馆是“宏伟的殖民主义复兴风格”,所用的木材是从美国进口的。砖石是在这幢大楼的设计师、美国政府建筑师西德尼·H·尼利(Sidney H. Nealy)的监督下在北京制造的。

To compensate for the demise of Maison Boulud, a delicious meal awaits at Lost Heaven, a restaurant with the light cuisine from Yunnan Province, in a building adjacent to the old American Embassy.

为了弥补不能在布鲁宫法餐厅用餐的遗憾,你可以在美国大使馆旧址旁边的花马天堂云南餐厅享用一顿美味、清淡的云南美食。

At times a visitor yearns for the street vendors, rickshaw pullers, White Russian gangsters, the intrepid Snows, the opinionated missionaries, the Peking of Pamela’s time. But wandering the small streets where neighbors play board games, and along the boulevards of the old Legation Quarter, more than a whiff of the old period — and of the continuing mystery of Pamela’s murder — endures.

有时游客们会怀念帕梅拉生活的那个时代的北平——街边小贩、人力车夫、白俄黑帮、勇敢的斯诺夫妇和固执己见的传教士。但是在如今的胡同里闲逛,看着街坊邻居们下象棋;在老使馆区的林荫大道上漫步,你似乎还能从中感受到旧时代的一丝气息。帕梅拉被害案的谜团也还在继续。

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