Two men came in with guns in their hands. One of the guns dug sharply into Mallory's ribs, and the man who was holding it said urgently: "Back up, and make it snappy. This is one of those stick-ups you read about!" He was dark and good-looking and cheerful. His face was as clear as a cameo, almost without hardness. He smiled.
Перевод очень плохой. Собственно, название рассказа по-русски можно передать как "Хитрожопое убийство" (хотя, конечно, стоит найти более литературный вариант в данном случае) — "Чистая работа" означает как раз полную противоположность того, что говорит название в оригинале. А когда этот самый "smart-aleck kill" используется несколько раз в тексте рассказа, переводчик не сохраняет даже свою "чистую работу", а подставляет что-то другое.
Finger Man ("Свидетель"). В следующем отрывке wheel означает колесо рулетки.
"It's a laugh, in a way. Canales bought a new wheel — from some grafters in the sheriff's office. I know Pina, Canales' head croupier, pretty well. The wheel is one they took away from me. It's got bugs — and I know the bugs."
Мне понравился этот отрывок — я раньше не знал, что "компьютерное" значение bug=баг существовало в языке и до компьютеров, и означало механические поломки/неполадки в машинах, приборах итп. У меня засела в голове прочитанная когда-то в Jargon File история о настоящем таракане в одном из ранних компьютеров — хотя, как я вижу теперь, в этой статье Jargon File тоже упоминается тот факт, что это значение bug восходит к концу 19-го века (как я проверил и в OED теперь). Сама идея трещин в колесе рулетки, позволяющих выигрывать по "системе", напомнила мне, конечно, "Малыш видит сны" из лондоновского "Смока Белью".
The small automatic with the black tube on it made two flat dull sounds.
A puff of dust jumped from the front of Kuvalick's coat. His hands jerked sharply away from the sides and his small eyes snapped very wide open, like seeds bursting from a pod. He fell heavily on his side against the wall, lay quite still on his left side, with his eyes half open and his back against the wall. His toupee was tipped over rakishly.
De Ruse looked at him swiftly, looked back at Dial. No emotion showed in his face, not even excitement.
He said: "You're a crazy fool, Dial. That kills your last chance. You could have bluffed it out. But that's not your only mistake."
Dial said calmly: "No. I see that now. I shouldn't have sent the boys after you. I did that just for the hell of it. That comes of not being a professional." [...] There was a rustle behind Dial and a tall dark woman in a gray fur coat slid into the room. A small hat was balanced on dark hair knotted on the nape of her neck. She was pretty, in a thin, haggard sort of way. The lip rouge on her mouth was as black as soot; there was no color in her cheeks.
She had a cool lazy voice that didn't match with her taut expression. "Who is Francy?" she asked coldly.
De Ruse opened his eyes wide and his body got stiff in the chair and his right hand began to slide up towards his chest.
"Francy is my girl friend," he said. "Mister Dial has been trying to get her away from me. But that's all right. He's a handsome lad and ought to be able to pick lots."
The tall woman's face suddenly became dark and wild and furious. She grabbed fiercely at Dial's arm, the one that held the gun.
De Ruse snatched for his shoulder holster, got his .38 loose. But it wasn't his gun that went off. It wasn't the silenced automatic in Dial's hand. It was a huge frontier Colt with an eight-inch barrel and a boom like an exploding bomb. It went off from the floor, from beside Kuvalick's right hip, where Kuvalick's plump hand held it.
It went off just once. Dial was thrown back against the wall as if by a giant hand. His head crashed against the wall and instantly his darkly handsome face was a mask of blood.
He fell laxly down the wall and the little automatic with the black tube on it fell in front of him. The dark woman dived for it, down on her hands and knees in front of Dial's sprawled body.
She got it, began to bring it up. Her face was convulsed, her lips were drawn back over thin wolfish teeth that shimmered.
Kuvalick's voice said: "I'm a tough guy. I used to be a Wells Fargo dick."
His great cannon slammed again. A shrill scream was torn from the woman's lips. Her body was flung against Dial's. Her eyes opened and shut, opened and shut. Her face got white and vacant.
"Shoulder shot. She's okay," Kuvalick said, and got up on his feet. He jerked open his coat and patted his chest.
"Bullet-proof vest," he said proudly. "But I thought I'd better lie quiet for a while or he'd popped me in the face."
Перевод тоже не очень. Переводчик иногда не задумывается о значении сленга Чандлера и явно переводит "наугад". Например, в сцене около рулетки герой намеренно оскорбляет крупье, называя всё это заведение clip joint, крупье оскорбляется и зовёт вышибалу. В переводе это оказывается "притоном", хотя на самом деле clip joint — это такое небрежно-сленговое название парикмахерской, т.е. герой намекает, что в этом месте клиентов "стригут", отбирают у них деньги путём мошенничества с рулеткой.
А процитированном выше отрывке "I used to be a Wells Fargo dick" превратилось в бессмысленное "Я служил в агентстве Уелса Фарго". (Wells Fargo — это такой огромный банк, один из самых больших и известных в Америке).
Spanish Blood (не нашёл перевода). Тоже хороший рассказ (вообще, качество рассказов заметно улучшается со временем — они расположены в хронологическом порядке).
Delaguerra said quietly: "In that case I guess you'll want my badge."
McKim nodded, silent. Drew said: "You're a little quick on the trigger. Just a shade fast on the snap-up."
Delaguerra took his badge out, rubbed it on his sleeve, looked at it, pushed it across the smooth wood of the desk.
"Okey, Chief," he said very softly. "My blood is Spanish, pure Spanish. Not nigger-Mex and not Yaqui-Mex. My grandfather would have handled a situation like this with fewer words and more powder smoke, but that doesn't mean I think it's funny. I've been deliberately framed into this spot because I was a close friend of Donegan Marr once. You know and I know that never counted for anything on the job. The Commissioner and his political backers may not feel so sure."
Drew stood up suddenly. "By God, you'll not talk like that to me," he yelped.
Delaguerra smiled slowly. He said nothing, didn't look towards Drew at all.
He went out. Drew watched the door close shut with a faint whoosh, a dry click. His face was stiff with rage. His pink skin had turned a doughy gray. His hand shook furiously, holding the amber holder, and ash fell on the knee of his immaculate knife-edged trousers.
"By God," he said rigidly, in the silence, "you may be a damn-smooth Spaniard. You may be smooth as plate glass-- but you're a hell of a lot easier to poke a hole through!"
He rose, awkward with anger, brushed the ashes from his trousers carefully and reached a hand out for hat and cane. The manicured fingers of the hand were trembling.
The blond dick waited for Jean Adrian to pass in front of him. He swung the door, snarled back at Malvern:
"As for you--nuts!"
Malvern said softly: "I like them. It's the squirrel in me, copper."
She leaped to her feet, spun around. Her voice was low, tense and angry.
"There's something horrible about you! Something — satanic. You come here and tell me another man has been killed — and then you kiss me. It isn't real."
Malvern said dully: "There's something horrible about any man that goes suddenly gaga over another man's woman."
"I'm not his woman!" she snapped. "I don't even like him--and I don't like you."
Malvern shrugged. They stared at each other with bleak hostile eyes.
Pick-Up on Noon Street (перевод не найден).
Waltz reached his right hand into his overcoat pocket, took out Rufe's gun and held it down in the cloth of his overcoat. He walked to the sedan soundlessly, went around to the righthand door, opened it to get in.
Two huge hands came out of the car and took hold of his throat. Hard hands, hands with enormous strength in them. Waltz made a faint gurgling sound before his head was bent back and his almost blind eyes were groping at the sky.
Then his right hand moved, moved like a hand that had nothing to do with his stiff, straining body, his tortured neck, his bulging blind eyes. It moved forward cautiously, delicately, until the muzzle of the gun it held pressed against something soft. It explored the something soft carefully, without haste, seemed to be making sure just what it was.
Trimmer Waltz didn't see, he hardly felt. He didn't breathe. But his hand obeyed his brain like a detached force beyond the reach of Rufe's terrible hands. Waltz's finger squeezed the trigger.
The hands fell slack on his throat, dropped away. He staggered back, almost fell across the alley, hit the far wall with his shoulder. He straightened slowly, gasping deep down in his tortured lungs. He began to shake.
He hardly noticed the big gorilla's body fall out of the car and slam the concrete at his feet. It lay at his feet, limp, enormous, but no longer menacing. No longer important.
Waltz dropped the gun on the sprawled body. He rubbed his throat gently for a little while. His breathing was deep, racking, noisy. He searched the inside of his mouth with his tongue, tasted blood. His eyes looked up wearily at the indigo slit of the night sky above the alley.
After a while he said husklly, "I thought of that, Rufe... You see, I thought of that."