It was evening by the time I returned to the International Settlement. I believe I spent an hour or so in my room, going through my notes once again, trying to put behind me the disappointment of my meeting with the old inspector. I did not go down to supper until after eight, when I took my usual corner table in that splendid dining room. I remember I did not have much of an appetite that evening, and was about to abandon my main course and return to my work when the waiter brought in Sarah’s note. I have it here now. It is no more than a scribble on unlined paper, the upper edge torn off. It is doubtful whether she gave the words much thought; it simply asks me to meet her at once on the half-landing between the third and fourth floors of the hotel. Looking at it again now, its connection with that small incident at Mr Tony Keswick’s house a week previously seems all too obvious; that is to say, Sarah probably would not have written the note at all had it not been for what took place between us then. Oddly enough, though, when the waiter first presented it to me, I failed to make any such association, and I sat there for some moments, quite mystified as to why she should summon me in such a way.
I should say here that by this point I had run into her a further three times since the night at Lucky Chance House. On two of these occasions, we had seen each other only fleetingly in the presence of others, and little had passed between us. On the third occasion too – the night of the dinner at the home of Mr Keswick, the chairman of Jardine Matheson – I suppose we were again in public place, and exchanged barely a word; yet, with hindsight, our encounter there could well be viewed as some sort of important turning point.
I had turned up a little late that evening, and by the time I was shown into Mr Keswick’s vast conservatory, upwards of sixty guests were already taking their places at the several tables situated among the foliage and trailing vines. I spotted Sarah on the far side of the room – Sir Cecil was not present – but I could see she too was searching her seat, and so made no attempt to approach her.


註釈:

It was evening by the time I returned to the International Settlement.
「by the time」はここでは接続詞的に「・・・する時までには」。「the International Settlement」は「フランスを除く国々の上海租界地」を指します。「上海租界地に戻った頃には夕方だった」。

I believe I spent an hour or so in my room, going through my notes once again, trying to put behind me the disappointment of my meeting with the old inspector.
「go through」はここでは「をくまなく読む」の意。「note」はここでは「メモ」。日本語の「ノート」は「notebook」。「inspector」はここでは「警部」。

I did not go down to supper until after eight, when I took my usual corner table in that splendid dining room.
「splendid」はここでは「豪華な」。

I remember I did not have much of an appetite that evening, and was about to abandon my main course and return to my work when the waiter brought in Sarah’s note.
「appetite」は「食欲」。「abandon」はここでは「を中途であきらめる」。「bring in」はここでは「持ち込む」。

I have it here now. It is no more than a scribble on unlined paper, the upper edge torn off.
「scribble」は「走り書き」。「unlined」はここでは「線の引かれていない」。「tear off」はここでは「引きちぎる」。

It is doubtful whether she gave the words much thought; it simply asks me to meet her at once on the half-landing between the third and fourth floors of the hotel.
「half-landing」は「階段の踊り場」。

Looking at it again now, its connection with that small incident at Mr Tony Keswick’s house a week previously seems all too obvious;
「previously」は「以前に」。

that is to say, Sarah probably would not have written the note at all had it not been for what took place between us then.
「had it not been for …」は「もし・・・がなかったなら」。「take place」は「起る」。

Oddly enough, though, when the waiter first presented it to me, I failed to make any such association, and I sat there for some moments, quite mystified as to why she should summon me in such a way.
「association」はここでは「連想」。「mystified」は「当惑して」。「summon」は「を呼びだす」。

I should say here that by this point I had run into her a further three times since the night at Lucky Chance House.
「run into …」は「・・・に偶然出くわす」。

On two of these occasions, we had seen each other only fleetingly in the presence of others, and little had passed between us.
「fleetingly」は「すばやく、はかなく」。

On the third occasion too – the night of the dinner at the home of Mr Keswick, the chairman of Jardine Matheson – I suppose we were again in public place, and exchanged barely a word; yet, with hindsight, our encounter there could well be viewed as some sort of important turning point.
「Jardine Matheson」は「香港にヘッドオフィスを置くイギリス系企業グループの持株会社」。「hindsight」は「あと知恵」。

I had turned up a little late that evening, and by the time I was shown into Mr Keswick’s vast conservatory, upwards of sixty guests were already taking their places at the several tables situated among the foliage and trailing vines.
「turn up」はここでは「到着する」。「conservatory」は「家に付いた温室」。「upwards of sixty guests」は「60人以上の客」。「situate」は「を置く」。「the foliage and trailing vines」は「葉と長い匍匐性の茎を持つブドウ」

I spotted Sarah on the far side of the room – Sir Cecil was not present – but I could see she too was searching her seat, and so made no attempt to approach her.
「spot」は「を見つける」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「by the time」
「・・・する時までには」

「go through」
「をくまなく読む」

「bring in」
「持ち込む」

「had it not been for …」
「もし・・・がなかったなら」

「take place」
「起る」

「run into …」
「・・・に偶然出くわす」

「turn up」
「到着する」