‘I see.’ He fell silent for a time, digesting this colossal idea.
‘There’s no question of negligence on your part,’ I said. ‘Let me say again, I read the reports with great admiration. Your men didn’t get to the house because they were obstructed by persons in the higher echelons of the police force. People we now know were in the pay of criminal organizations.’
The coughing had started up again. Inspector Kung remained silent for a moment longer, then looked up at me again and said slowly: ‘You’ve come to ask me. You’ve come to me to ask if I can help you find this house.’
‘Unfortunately, the archives are in chaos. It’s a disgrace how things have been run in this city. Papers have been misfiled, others lost altogether. In the end, I decided I’d do better if I came here to you. To ask you, unlikely though it is, if you remember. Something, anything about that house.’
‘That house. Let me try to remember.’ The old man closed his eyes in concentration, but then after a time, he shook his head. ‘The Wu Cheng shooting. It is over twenty years ago. I am sorry. I can remember nothing about this house.’
‘Please try and remember something, sir. Do you recall even which district it was in? Whether for instance it was in the International Settlement?’
He thought for another moment, then he shook his head again. ‘It’s a long time ago. And my head, it doesn’t work in a normal way. Sometimes I remember nothing, not even of the day before. But I shall try and remember. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the next day, I shall wake up and remember something. Mr Banks, I am so sorry. But just now, no, I remember nothing.’


註釈:

‘I see.’ He fell silent for a time, digesting this colossal idea.
「digest」はここでは「を消化する」。「colossal」は「とてつもなく大きな」。

‘There’s no question of negligence on your part,’ I said. ‘Let me say again, I read the reports with great admiration.

Your men didn’t get to the house because they were obstructed by persons in the higher echelons of the police force.
「obstruct」は「を妨害する」。「echelon」はここでは「(組織の)段階、階層」。

People we now know ere in the pay of criminal organizations.’

The coughing had started up again.
「start up」はここでは「起る、始まる」。

Inspector Kung remained silent for a moment longer, then looked up at me again and said slowly: ‘You’ve come to ask me. You’ve come to me to ask if I can help you find this house.’
「Inspector Kung」は「Kung警部」。

‘Unfortunately, the archives are in chaos.
「archive」は「公文書保管所」。

It’s a disgrace how things have been run in this city.
「disgrace」は「不名誉となる事」。

Papers have been misfiled, others lost altogether.

In the end, I decided I’d do better if I came here to you.
「in the end」は「結局」。「decide」はここでは「・・・と考える」。

To ask you, unlikely though it is, if you remember. Something, anything about that house.’
‘That house. Let me try to remember.’ The old man closed his eyes in concentration, but then after a time, he shook his head. ‘The Wu Cheng shooting. It is over twenty years ago. I am sorry. I can remember nothing about this house.’
‘Please try and remember something, sir.

Do you recall even which district it was in?
「even」はその後の語句(ここではwhich district it was in)を強調します。ここではInspector Kungが「その家のことは何も覚えていない」と言ったことを受けての発言ですから「その家がどの地域にあったかだけでも思い出しませんか?」の意。

Whether for instance it was in the International Settlement?’
「the International Settlement」は「フランスを除く国々の上海租界地」を指します。

He thought for another moment, then he shook his head again. ‘It’s a long time ago. And my head, it doesn’t work in a normal way. Sometimes I remember nothing, not even of the day before. But I shall try and remember.

Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the next day, I shall wake up and remember something.
この「shall」は単純未来を意味しています。

Mr Banks, I am so sorry. But just now, no, I remember nothing.’


『今日のイデイオム』

「start up」
「起る、始まる」

「in the end」
「結局」