The red-faced man’s performance had been going for perhaps five minutes – during which time the level of hilarity seemed only to rise – when he delivered a particularly effective volley of three or four lines which set the room virtually howling. It was at this point that I happened to glance over once more to Sarah. At first the scene appeared much as it had before: there was Sarah, laughing helplessly amidst her companions. If I went on watching her for several more seconds, it was simply because I was rather surprised that after barely a year, she was already so intimate with Shanghai society to the extent that these obscure jokes could reduce her to such a state. And it was then, as I was gazing at her, pondering this point, that I suddenly realized she was not laughing at all; that she was not, as I had supposed, wiping away tears of laughter, but was in fact weeping. For a moment I went on staring at her, unable quite to credit my eyes. Then, as the uproar continued, I rose quietly and moved through the crowd. After a little manoeuvring, I found myself standing behind her, and now there was no further doubt. Amidst all the gaiety, Sarah was crying uncontrollably.
I had approached from behind, so that when I offered her my handkerchief, she gave a start. Then looking up at me, she fixed me – for perhaps as long as four or five seconds – with a searching gaze in which gratitude was mixed with something like a question. I inclined my head to read better her look, but then she had taken my handkerchief and turned back towards the red-faced man. And when the next burst of laughter seized the room, Sarah, too, with an impressive show of will, let out a laugh, even as she pressed the handkerchief to her eyes.
Conscious that I might draw unwanted attention to her, I then made my way back to my seat, and indeed, did not go near her again that evening other than to exchange rather formal goodnights with her in the entrance hall alongside the many other guests taking their leave of one another.


註釈:

The red-faced man’s performance had been going for perhaps five minutes – during which time the level of hilarity seemed only to rise – when he delivered a particularly effective volley of three or four lines which set the room virtually howling.
「hilarity」はここでは「陽気、愉快、浮かれ騒ぎ」。「volley」は「連発」。「howling」はここでは「笑い声を響かせる」⇒「部屋が爆笑の渦に包まれた」。

It was at this point that I happened to glance over once more to Sarah.

At first the scene appeared much as it had before: there was Sarah, laughing helplessly amidst her companions.
「much as …」は「とほぼ同じ」の意。「helplessly」はここでは「どうしようもなく」。

If I went on watching her for several more seconds, it was simply because I was rather surprised that after barely a year, she was already so intimate with Shanghai society to the extent that these obscure jokes could reduce her to such a state.
「obscure」は「あいまいな」。「reduce」はここでは「(ある形に)変える」。

And it was then, as I was gazing at her, pondering this point, that I suddenly realized she was not laughing at all; that she was not, as I had supposed, wiping away tears of laughter, but was in fact weeping.

For a moment I went on staring at her, unable quite to credit my eyes.
「credit」はここでは「を信じる」。

Then, as the uproar continued, I rose quietly and moved through the crowd.
「uproar」はここでは「喧騒」。

After a little manoeuvring, I found myself standing behind her, and now there was no further doubt.
「manoeuvre」は「作戦的に行動する」。

Amidst all the gaiety, Sarah was crying uncontrollably.
「gaiety」は「陽気」

I had approached from behind, so that when I offered her my handkerchief, she gave a start.
「give a start」は「驚く」。

Then looking up at me, she fixed me – for perhaps as long as four or five seconds – with a searching gaze in which gratitude was mixed with something like a question.
「fix」は「を見据える」。

I inclined my head to read better her look, but then she had taken my handkerchief and turned back towards the red-faced man.

And when the next burst of laughter seized the room, Sarah, too, with an impressive show of will, let out a laugh, even as she pressed the handkerchief to her eyes.
「let out a laugh」は「声を上げて笑う」。

Conscious that I might draw unwanted attention to her, I then made my way back to my seat, and indeed, did not go near her again that evening other than to exchange rather formal goodnights with her in the entrance hall alongside the many other guests taking their leave of one another.
「alongside」は「・・・と一緒に」。 「one another」は代名詞で「お互い」の意。


『今日のイデイオム』

「much as …」
「とほぼ同じ」

「give a start」
「驚く」

「let out a laugh」
「声を上げて笑う」