I had been kept waiting for several minutes in the little lounge on the second floor of the consulate building. The secretary finally came to inform me MacDonald was ready, and I had crossed the marbled landing and was standing before the lift doors when Grayson came hurrying down the stairs, calling to me.
‘Good morning, Mr Banks! I’m sorry, perhaps this isn’t the best time.’
‘Good morning, Mr Grayson. As a matter of fact, it isn’t ideal. I was just on my way up to see our friend Mr Macdonald.’
‘Oh well then, I won’t keep you. It’s just that here I was in the building and I heard you were here too.’ His cheerful laugh echoed around the walls.
‘It’s splendid to see you again, Mr Grayson. But just now …’
‘I won’t keep you a second, sir. But if I may, you see, you’ve been a little difficult to track down recently.’
‘Well, Mr Grayson, if it can be dealt with very briefly.’
‘Oh very briefly. You see, sir. I realise this may seem like jumping ahead, but a certain amount of forward planning is required in these matters. If things aren’t up to scratch at such an important event, if things look even a little shoddy or amateurish …’
‘Mr Grayson …’
‘I’m so sorry. I just wished to have your thought on a few details concerning the welcome reception. We’ve now settled on Jessfield Park as the venue. We shall erect a marquee with a stage and public address system … I’m sorry, I’ll come to the point. Mr Banks, I really wished to discuss with you your own role in the proceedings. Our feeling is that the ceremony should be kept simple. What I had in mind was that perhaps you would say a few words concerning how you went about solving the case. Which vital clues finally led you to your parents, that sort of thing. Just a few words, the crowd would be so delighted. And then at the end of your speech, I thought they might care to come on to the stage.’


註釈:

I had been kept waiting for several minutes in the little lounge on the second floor of the consulate building.
「consulate」は「領事館」。

The secretary finally came to inform me MacDonald was ready, and I had crossed the marbled landing and was standing before the lift doors when Grayson came hurrying down the stairs, calling to me.
「marbled」は「大理石の」。

‘Good morning, Mr Banks! I’m sorry, perhaps this isn’t the best time.’
‘Good morning, Mr Grayson.

As a matter of fact, it isn’t ideal.
「as a matter of fact」は「実は、実を言うと、実際のところ、何を隠そう」。

I was just on my way up to see our friend Mr Macdonald.’
この「up」は「接近(問題の場所の方へ)」の意。

‘Oh well then, I won’t keep you. It’s just that here I was in the building and I heard you were here too.’ His cheerful laugh echoed around the walls.
‘It’s splendid to see you again, Mr Grayson. But just now …’
‘I won’t keep you a second, sir.

But if I may, you see, you’ve been a little difficult to track down recently.’
「if I may」は「もしよろしければ.そうさせていただけるのであれば.言わせていただけるのであれば」等の日本語が対応する丁寧な言い方。ジーニアス英和大辞典(電子辞書)には「if I mayは文尾に付ける」と書いてありますが,このように文頭に付ける場合もあります。「track down」はここでは「をやっと見つけ出す」の意。

‘Well, Mr Grayson, if it can be dealt with very briefly.’
‘Oh very briefly. You see, sir.

I realise this may seem like jumping ahead, but a certain amount of forward planning is required in these matters.
「forward planning」は「将来を見越した計画立案」。

If things aren’t up to scratch at such an important event, if things look even a little shoddy or amateurish …’
「up to scratch」の「scratch」は「ハンデイキャップのない選手の出発点」のイメージを利用して「一定の基準に達して」の意。「shoddy」はここでは「みすぼらしい」。「amateurish」は「しろうと臭い」。

‘Mr Grayson …’
‘I’m so sorry. I just wished to have your thought on a few details concerning the welcome reception.

We’ve now settled on Jessfield Park as the venue.
「settle on …」はここでは「・・・に決める」。「venue」はここでは「開催地」。

We shall erect a marquee with a stage and public address system … I’m sorry, I’ll come to the point.
「marquee」は「大天幕」。「public address system」は「拡声装置」。

Mr Banks, I really wished to discuss with you your own role in the proceedings. Our feeling is that the ceremony should be kept simple.

What I had in mind was that perhaps you would say a few words concerning how you went about solving the case.
「go about …」で「・・・をする」。

Which vital clues finally led you to your parents, that sort of thing.
「vital」はここでは「極めて重要な」。「clue」は「手がかり」。

Just a few words, the crowd would be so delighted. And then at the end of your speech, I thought they might care to come on to the stage.’


『今日のイデイオム』

「as a matter of fact」
「実は、実を言うと、実際のところ、何を隠そう」

「if I may」
「もしよろしければ.そうさせていただけるのであれば.言わせていただけるのであれば」

「track down」
「をやっと見つけ出す」

「up to scratch」
「一定の基準に達して」

「settle on …」
「・・・に決める」

「go about …」
「・・・をする」