en-es  The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G.Wells-Chapter VIII Medium
Capítulo 8: El llanto del puma.
Montgomery interrumpió mi maraña de mistificación y sospecha alrededor de la una. y su grotesco asistente lo siguió con una bandeja que contenía pan, algunos condimentos y otros comestibles, una botella de whisky, una jarra de agua y tres vasos y cuchillos. Miré de reojo a esta extraña criatura, y la encontré observándome con sus extraños e inquietos ojos. Montgomery dijo que almorzaría conmigo, pero que Moreau estaba demasiado absorto con el trabajo, para venir.
"¡Moreau!", dije yo. "Conozco ese nombre".
"Qué diablos!", dijo. "¡Qué asno fui para decírselo! Podría haberlo pensado. De todos modos, le dará una idea de nuestros... misterios. ¿Whisky?".
"No, gracias; soy abstemio".
"Ojalá lo hubiera sido yo". Pero no sirve de nada cerrar la puerta después de que se robaron el corcel. Fueron esas cosas infernales las que me hicieron venir aquí, eso, y una noche de neblina. En ese momento pensé que tenía suerte, cuando Moreau me ofreció sacarme. Es extraño ... ". " Montgomery," dije, de repente, cuando la puerta exterior se cerró, "¿por qué su hombre tiene las orejas puntiagudas?".
"¡Maldición!", dijo, con la boca llena con su primer bocado de comida. Me miró por un momento, y luego repitió: "¿Orejas puntiagudas?".
"¿Pequeños puntos en ellas, " dije, tan tranquilamente como pude, reteniendo el aliento; "y un fino vello oscuro en los bordes?".
Se sirvió whisky y agua con gran meticulosidad. "Tenía la impresión de que el cabello le cubría las orejas".
"Las vi cuando se detuvo junto a mí para poner sobre la mesa el café que usted me envió. Y sus ojos brillan en la oscuridad".
Para entonces, Montgomery se había recuperado de la sorpresa provocada por mi pregunta. "Siempre pensé", dijo deliberadamente, con cierta acentuación de su modo de ceceo, "que había algún asunto con sus orejas, por la forma en que las cubría. ¿Cómo eran?".
Yo estaba persuadido por su actitud de que esta ignorancia era una simulación. Aún así, no podía decirle al hombre que lo consideraba un mentiroso. "Puntiagudas", dije; "bastante pequeñas y peludas... marcadamente peludas. Pero el hombre entero es uno de los seres más extraños que he visto".
El llanto de un animal, agudo y ronco, vino del recinto detrás de nosotros. Su profundidad y volumen señalaron al puma. Miré a Montgomery hacer una mueca.
''¿Sí?'' dijo.
''¿Dónde encontró a la criatura?".
''San Francisco. Es un bruto feo, lo admito. Estúpido, sabe. No me acuerdo de dónde vino. Pero estoy acostumbrado a verle, sabe. Los dos lo estamos. ¿Cómo lo ve?"
''No es natural'', dije. ''Hay algo acerca de él...no piense que estoy imaginativo, pero me da una pequeña sensación desagradable, se me contraen los músculos, cuando se acerca a mí. De hecho,es un toque...del diablo''.
Montgomery había parado de comer mientras le decía esto. ''¡Bueno! dijo. ''No puedo verlo''. Continuó con su comida. "No tenía ni idea de eso", dijo, y siguió masticando. "La tripulación de la goleta debe haber sentido lo mismo. Atacaron al pobre diablo. ¿Vio al capitán?
De repente, el puma rugió de nuevo, esta vez en forma más exasperante. Montgomery maldijo por lo bajo. Pensaba en preguntarle acerca de los hombres en la playa. Después, la pobre bestia, adentro, largó una serie de rugidos cortos y agudos.
"Sus hombres en la playa", dije; "¿de qué raza son?"
"Muchachos muy buenos, ¿verdad?" dijo, sin pensar, arrugando la frente mientras el animal gritaba bruscamente.
Dije nada más. Había otro grito, peor que el primero. Me miró con sus opacos ojos grises y luego tomó un poco más de whisky. Trató de llevarme a una discusión sobre el alcohol, diciendo que con eso había salvado mi vida. Parecía ansioso por enfatizar el hecho de que le debía la vida a él. Le contesté distraídamente..
Muy pronto nuestra comida llegó a su fin; el monstruo deformado con las orejas puntiagudas quitó los restos, y Montgomery me dejó otra vez solo en el cuarto. Todo el tiempo había estado en una condición de mal disimulada molestia por el aullido del puma disecado. Me había hablado de su extraña falta de valor, dejándome que yo interpretara lo obvio.
Yo mismo me di cuenta de que los gritos eran particularmente irritantes, y crecían en profundidad e intensidad a medida que avanzaba la tarde. Eran dolorosos al principio, pero su constante resurgimiento al final trastornó por completo mi equilibrio. Arrojé a un lado una copia de Horacio que había estado leyendo, y comencé a apretar los puños, a morderme los labios y a pasear por la habitación. En ese momento tuve que taparme los oídos con los dedos.
El llamado emocional de esos gritos crecía constantemente, creció al fin en tan exquisita expresión de sufrimiento que no pude soportarlo más en esa habitación cerrada. Salí por la puerta hacia el calor adormecedor de la tarde, y cuando pasé por la entrada principal, otra vez cerrada, noté, doblé la esquina de la muralla.
Los lloros parecían aun más fuertes fuera. Era como si todo el dolor del mundo hubiera encontrado una voz. Sin embargo, si hubiera sabido que ese dolor estaba en la habitación contigua, y hubiera sido mudo, creo -lo he pensado desde entonces-, podría haberlo soportado bastante bien. Es cuando el sufrimiento encuentra una voz y nos pone nerviosos, que esta compasión nos molesta. Pero a pesar de la brillante luz del sol y los verdes abanicos de los árboles ondeando en la suave brisa marina, el mundo era una confusión, con borrosos fantasmas negros y rojos sin rumbo, hasta que estuve fuera del alcance de los ruidos de la casa con el muro en damero.
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Chapter 8: The Crying Of The Puma.
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MONTGOMERY interrupted my tangle of mystification and suspicion about one o'clock,.
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Montgomery said he would lunch with me, but that Moreau was too preoccupied with some work to come.
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"Moreau!"
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said I.
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"I know that name."
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"The devil you do!"
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said he.
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"What an ass I was to mention it to you!
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I might have thought.
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Anyhow, it will give you an inkling of our—mysteries.
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Whiskey?"
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"No, thanks; I'm an abstainer."
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"I wish I'd been.
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But it's no use locking the door after the steed is stolen.
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It was that infernal stuff which led to my coming here,—that, and a foggy night.
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I thought myself in luck at the time, when Moreau offered to get me off.
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"Damn!"
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he said, over his first mouthful of food.
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He stared at me for a moment, and then repeated, "Pointed ears?"
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"Little points to them," said I, as calmly as possible, with a catch in my breath;.
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"and a fine black fur at the edges?"
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He helped himself to whiskey and water with great deliberation.
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"I was under the impression—that his hair covered his ears."
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"I saw them as he stooped by me to put that coffee you sent to me on the table.
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And his eyes shine in the dark."
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By this time Montgomery had recovered from the surprise of my question.
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"I always thought," he said deliberately, with a certain accentuation of his flavouring of lisp,.
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"that there was something the matter with his ears, from the way he covered them.
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What were they like?"
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I was persuaded from his manner that this ignorance was a pretence.
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Still, I could hardly tell the man that I thought him a liar.
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"Pointed," I said; "rather small and furry,—distinctly furry.
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But the whole man is one of the strangest beings I ever set eyes on."
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A sharp, hoarse cry of animal pain came from the enclosure behind us.
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Its depth and volume testified to the puma.
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I saw Montgomery wince.
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"Yes?"
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he said.
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"Where did you pick up the creature?"
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"San Francisco.
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He's an ugly brute, I admit.
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Half-witted, you know.
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Can't remember where he came from.
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But I'm used to him, you know.
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We both are.
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How does he strike you?"
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"He's unnatural," I said.
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It's a touch—of the diabolical, in fact."
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Montgomery had stopped eating while I told him this.
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"Rum!"
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he said.
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"I can't see it."
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He resumed his meal.
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"I had no idea of it," he said, and masticated.
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"The crew of the schooner must have felt it the same.
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Made a dead set at the poor devil.
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You saw the captain?"
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Suddenly the puma howled again, this time more painfully.
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Montgomery swore under his breath.
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I had half a mind to attack him about the men on the beach.
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Then the poor brute within gave vent to a series of short, sharp cries.
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"Your men on the beach," said I; "what race are they?"
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"Excellent fellows, aren't they?"
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said he, absentmindedly, knitting his brows as the animal yelled out sharply.
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I said no more.
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There was another outcry worse than the former.
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He looked at me with his dull grey eyes, and then took some more whiskey.
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He seemed anxious to lay stress on the fact that I owed my life to him.
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I answered him distractedly.
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Presently our meal came to an end;.
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He had spoken of his odd want of nerve, and left me to the obvious application.
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Presently I got to stopping my ears with my fingers.
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The crying sounded even louder out of doors.
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It was as if all the pain in the world had found a voice.
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Chapter 8: The Crying Of The Puma.
MONTGOMERY interrupted my tangle of mystification and suspicion about one o'clock,. and his grotesque attendant followed him with a tray bearing bread, some herbs and other eatables, a flask of whiskey, a jug of water, and three glasses and knives. I glanced askance at this strange creature, and found him watching me with his queer, restless eyes. Montgomery said he would lunch with me, but that Moreau was too preoccupied with some work to come.
"Moreau!" said I. "I know that name."
"The devil you do!" said he. "What an ass I was to mention it to you! I might have thought. Anyhow, it will give you an inkling of our—mysteries. Whiskey?"
"No, thanks; I'm an abstainer."
"I wish I'd been. But it's no use locking the door after the steed is stolen. It was that infernal stuff which led to my coming here,—that, and a foggy night. I thought myself in luck at the time, when Moreau offered to get me off. It's queer—"
"Montgomery," said I, suddenly, as the outer door closed, "why has your man pointed ears?"
"Damn!" he said, over his first mouthful of food. He stared at me for a moment, and then repeated, "Pointed ears?"
"Little points to them," said I, as calmly as possible, with a catch in my breath;. "and a fine black fur at the edges?"
He helped himself to whiskey and water with great deliberation. "I was under the impression—that his hair covered his ears."
"I saw them as he stooped by me to put that coffee you sent to me on the table. And his eyes shine in the dark."
By this time Montgomery had recovered from the surprise of my question. "I always thought," he said deliberately, with a certain accentuation of his flavouring of lisp,. "that there was something the matter with his ears, from the way he covered them. What were they like?"
I was persuaded from his manner that this ignorance was a pretence. Still, I could hardly tell the man that I thought him a liar. "Pointed," I said; "rather small and furry,—distinctly furry. But the whole man is one of the strangest beings I ever set eyes on."
A sharp, hoarse cry of animal pain came from the enclosure behind us. Its depth and volume testified to the puma. I saw Montgomery wince.
"Yes?" he said.
"Where did you pick up the creature?"
"San Francisco. He's an ugly brute, I admit. Half-witted, you know. Can't remember where he came from. But I'm used to him, you know. We both are. How does he strike you?"
"He's unnatural," I said. "There's something about him—don't think me fanciful, but it gives me a nasty little sensation, a tightening of my muscles, when he comes near me. It's a touch—of the diabolical, in fact."
Montgomery had stopped eating while I told him this. "Rum!" he said. "I can't see it." He resumed his meal. "I had no idea of it," he said, and masticated. "The crew of the schooner must have felt it the same. Made a dead set at the poor devil. You saw the captain?"
Suddenly the puma howled again, this time more painfully. Montgomery swore under his breath. I had half a mind to attack him about the men on the beach. Then the poor brute within gave vent to a series of short, sharp cries.
"Your men on the beach," said I; "what race are they?"
"Excellent fellows, aren't they?" said he, absentmindedly, knitting his brows as the animal yelled out sharply.
I said no more. There was another outcry worse than the former. He looked at me with his dull grey eyes, and then took some more whiskey. He tried to draw me into a discussion about alcohol, professing to have saved my life with it. He seemed anxious to lay stress on the fact that I owed my life to him. I answered him distractedly.
Presently our meal came to an end;. the misshapen monster with the pointed ears cleared the remains away, and Montgomery left me alone in the room again. All the time he had been in a state of ill-concealed irritation at the noise of the vivisected puma. He had spoken of his odd want of nerve, and left me to the obvious application.
I found myself that the cries were singularly irritating, and they grew in depth and intensity as the afternoon wore on. They were painful at first, but their constant resurgence at last altogether upset my balance. I flung aside a crib of Horace I had been reading, and began to clench my fists, to bite my lips, and to pace the room. Presently I got to stopping my ears with my fingers.
The emotional appeal of those yells grew upon me steadily, grew at last to such an exquisite expression of suffering that I could stand it in that confined room no longer. I stepped out of the door into the slumberous heat of the late afternoon, and walking past the main entrance—locked again, I noticed—turned the corner of the wall.
The crying sounded even louder out of doors. It was as if all the pain in the world had found a voice. Yet had I known such pain was in the next room, and had it been dumb, I believe—I have thought since—I could have stood it well enough. It is when suffering finds a voice and sets our nerves quivering that this pity comes troubling us. But in spite of the brilliant sunlight and the green fans of the trees waving in the soothing sea-breeze,. the world was a confusion, blurred with drifting black and red phantasms, until I was out of earshot of the house in the chequered wall.