I did not see Akira for the next few days. Then one afternoon he came to our back door, asking Mei Li for me as usual. I was in the middle of something, but dropped it all and went out to my friend. He greeted me smilingly, and as he led me away to his garden, patted me affectionately on the back. I was of course anxious to discover just what had transpired over the Ling Tien matter, but being even more keen not to re-open wounds, resisted the urge to ask anything about it.
We went to the back of his garden – to the thick shrubs we called our ‘jungle’ – and soon became immersed in one of our dramatic narratives. I have a feeling we acted out scenes from Ivanhoe, which I was reading at that time – or perhaps it was one of Akira’s Japanese samurai adventures. In any case, after an hour or so, my friend suddenly stopped and looked oddly at me. Then he said;
‘If you like, we play new game.’
‘A new game?’
‘New game. About Christopher father. If you like.’
I was taken aback and I do not recall what I said next. He came a few steps closer in the long grass and I saw he was looking at me almost tenderly.
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘If you like, we play detective. We search for father. We rescue father.’
I then realized that it was hearing the news about my father – which no doubt had started to do the rounds of the neighbourhood – that had brought Akira back to my door. I understood too that this present proposal was his way of showing his concern and wish to help, and I felt affection for him welling up. But in the end, I said quite nonchalantly:
‘All right. If you want to play that, we can.’
And that was how it began, what today in my memory feels like an entire era – though in truth it could only have been a period of two months or less – when day after day we invented and played out endless variations on the theme of my father’s rescue.


註釈:

I did not see Akira for the next few days.

Then one afternoon he came to our back door, asking Mei Li for me as usual.
「ask … for …」は「・・・に・・・を呉れと言う」⇒この場面では「・・・に・・・を呼んで呉れと言う」の意。

I was in the middle of something, but dropped it all and went out to my friend.
「drop」はここでは「(していること)を中止する」。

He greeted me smilingly, and as he led me away to his garden, patted me affectionately on the back.
「smilingly」は「ほほえみながら」。「affectionately」は「やさしく、親しみを込めて」。

I was of course anxious to discover just what had transpired over the Ling Tien matter, but being even more keen not to re-open wounds, resisted the urge to ask anything about it.
「urge」は「衝動」。

We went to the back of his garden – to the thick shrubs we called our ‘jungle’ – and soon became immersed in one of our dramatic narratives.
「shrub」は「低木、灌木」。「immersed」は「夢中になって」。「narrative」は「物語」。

I have a feeling we acted out scenes from Ivanhoe, which I was reading at that time – or perhaps it was one of Akira’s Japanese samurai adventures.

In any case, after an hour or so, my friend suddenly stopped and looked oddly at me.
「in any case」は「とにかく」。「oddly」はここでは「奇妙な格好で」。

Then he said;
‘If you like, we play new game.’
‘A new game?’
‘New game. About Christopher father. If you like.’

I was taken aback and I do not recall what I said next.
「take … aback」で「・・・を非常に驚かす」。「recall」は「を思い出す」。

He came a few steps closer in the long grass and I saw he was looking at me almost tenderly.
「tenderly」は「優しく」。

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘If you like, we play detective. We search for father. We rescue father.’
「play detective」は「探偵ごっこをする」。

I then realized that it was hearing the news about my father – which no doubt had started to do the rounds of the neighbourhood – that had brought Akira back to my door.
「do the rounds」は「(うわさなどが)(町などに)広がる」。

I understood too that this present proposal was his way of showing his concern and wish to help, and I felt affection for him welling up.
「affection」は「愛情、好意」。「well up」は「こみ上げてくる」。

But in the end, I said quite nonchalantly:
「in the end」はここでは「(いちいち考えて)結局は」。「nonchalantly」は「無頓着に」。

‘All right. If you want to play that, we can.’
And that was how it began, what today in my memory feels like an entire era – though in truth it could only have been a period of two months or less – when day after day we invented and played out endless variations on the theme of my father’s rescue.
「theme」は「主題、テーマ」。


『今日のイデイオム』


「ask … for …」
「・・・に・・・を呉れと言う」

「in any case」
「とにかく」

「take … aback」
「・・・を非常に驚かす」

「do the rounds」
「(うわさなどが)(町などに)広がる」

「in the end」
「(いちいち考えて)結局は」