‘Are you sure? Now look, this is most important. Are you sure this is the blind Yeh Chen, and that he’s been living there for a long time?’
‘I told you, sir. He there when I was small boy. My guess, he live there many, many years.’
I straightened, took a deep breath and thought about the full implications of what I had just heard. Then I leant down again and said: ‘I think you should take me there. In the car, I mean. We have to approach this carefully. I’d like you to take me there, but to stop the car a little way away. Somewhere where we can see clearly the house opposite Yeh Chen’s house. Do you understand?’
I got into the car and the young man started the engine. He turned the vehicle a full circle, then we took another narrow side-street. As we did so, many thoughts crowded into my mind at once. I wondered if I should tell the young man the significance of the journey we were making, and even considered asking if he was carrying a gun in the car – though in the end I decided such an enquiry might only panic him.
We turned a corner into an alley even narrower than the one before. Then we turned again and came to a halt. I thought for a second we had reached our destination, but then realised what had made us stop. In the alleyway before us was a crowd of young boys trying to control a bewildered water-buffalo. There was some sort of altercation going between the boys, and as I watched, one of them gave the buffalo a clout on the nose with his stick. I felt a wave of alarm, remembering my mother’s warning throughout my childhood that these animals were as dangerous as any bull when riled. The creature did nothing, however, and the boys continued to argue. The young man sounded the horn several times to no avail, and finally, with a sigh, he began to reverse the vehicle back the way we had come.


註釈:

  ‘Are you sure? Now look, this is most important.
「look」はここでは命令形です。この場合は「いらだち」を示しています。「ほら、いいかい」。この「this」は「これから言うことは」のニュアンスになります。

Are you sure this is the blind Yeh Chen, and that he’s been living there for a long time?’
Are you sureの後に「that」が省かれています。しかし、あとの「that」は省くことができません。省いてしまうと「そして彼はそこに長い間住んでいます(?)」の意味になってしまいます。この「this」は「今話題にしているのは」のニュアンス。

‘I told you, sir. He there when I was small boy. My guess, he live there many, many years.’

I straightened, took a deep breath and thought about the full implications of what I had just heard.
「straighten」はここでは「背筋を伸ばして立つ」。「implication」はここでは「暗示するもの」。

Then I leant down again and said: ‘I think you should take me there.
この「should」はこの青年が「歩いても行けるし、希望するなら車で連れて行ってあげるよ」と言ったことを受けています。「あなたが私を(神がそう望むのであれば)そこに連れて行くべきと思う」⇒「連れて行って欲しい」。

In the car, I mean.

We have to approach this carefully.
「approach」はここでは「に取り組む」。

I’d like you to take me there, but to stop the car a little way away. Somewhere where we can see clearly the house opposite Yeh Chen’s house. Do you understand?’
I got into the car and the young man started the engine. He turned the vehicle a full circle, then we took another narrow side-street.

As we did so, many thoughts crowded into my mind at once.
「as」は「when」とほぼ同じですが「同時性」を表します。「crowd」はここでは「押し寄せる」。「at once」はここでは「ただちに」ではなく「同時に」。

I wondered if I should tell the young man the significance of the journey we were making, and even considered asking if he was carrying a gun in the car – though in the end I decided such an enquiry might only panic him.
「significance」はここでは「意義、意味」。「in the end」は「最終的には」。「decide」はここでは「と判断する、と考える」。「enquiry」はここでは「質問」。

We turned a corner into an alley even narrower than the one before. Then we turned again and came to a halt.
「alley」は「狭い通り」。「come to a halt」は「停止する」。

I thought for a second we had reached our destination, but then realised what had made us stop.

In the alleyway before us was a crowd of young boys trying to control a bewildered water-buffalo.
「alleyway」は「狭い通り」。「bewildered」はここでは「道に迷った」。「water-buffalo」は「水牛」。

There was some sort of altercation going between the boys, and as I watched, one of them gave the buffalo a clout on the nose with his stick.
「altercation」は「口論」。「clout」は「コツンとたたくこと」。

I felt a wave of alarm, remembering my mother’s warning throughout my childhood that these animals were as dangerous as any bull when riled.
「rile」は「を怒らせる」。

The creature did nothing, however, and the boys continued to argue.

The young man sounded the horn several times to no avail, and finally, with a sigh, he began to reverse the vehicle back the way we had come.
「avail」はここでは「効用」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「in the end」
「最終的には」

「come to a halt」
「停止する」