‘Now look, why don’t you stop and ask the way?’
‘Be patient, sir.’
‘Be patient? But you’ve no more idea where we’re going than I have.’
‘We get there soon, sir.’
‘What nonsense. Why do you persist in this charade? It’s typical of you Chinese. You’re lost, but you won’t admit it. We’ve been driving now for … well, it seems like an eternity.’
He said nothing, and brought us out on to a mud road that climbed steeply between large heaps of factory refuse. Then came another thunderous crash somewhere alarmingly near, and the young man dropped his speed to a crawl.
‘Sir. I think we go back now.’
‘Go back? Go back where?’
‘Fighting very near. Not safe here.’
‘What do you mean, the fighting’s near? Then an idea dawned on me. ‘Are we anywhere near Chapei?’
‘Sir. We in Chapei. We in Chapei some time.’
‘What? You mean we’ve left the Settlement?’
‘We in Chapei now.’
‘But … Good God! We’re actually outside the Settlement? In Chapei? Look here, you’re a fool, you know that? A fool! You told me the house was very near. Now we’re lost. We’re possibly dangerous close to the war zone. And we’ve left the Settlement! You’re what I call a proper fool. Do you know why? I’ll tell you. You pretend to know far more than you do. You’re too proud to admit to your shortcomings. That’s my definition of a fool exactly. A right fool! Do you hear me? A right and proper fool!’
He stopped the car. Then he opened his door and without glancing back, walked off.
It took me a moment to calm myself and assess the situation. We were most of the way up a hill, and the car was now in an isolated spot on a mud track surrounded by mounds of broken masonry, twisted wire and what looked like the mangled remains of old bicycle wheels. I could see the young man’s figure marching up a footpath over the rim of the hill.
I got out and ran after him. He must have heard me coming, but he neither quickened his pace nor looked back. I caught up and stopped him grasping his shoulder.


註釈:

‘Now look, why don’t you stop and ask the way?’
「why don’t you …?」は「・・・したらどうですか」。

‘Be patient, sir.’
‘Be patient? But you’ve no more idea where we’re going than I have.’
「you’ve no more idea where we’re going than I have」は正式には「you’ve no more idea as to where we’re going than I have」ですが「idea」に「wh-節」が続く場合には前置詞はしばしば省略されます。

‘We get there soon, sir.’

‘What nonsense. Why do you persist in this charade?
「persist in …」は「・・・に固執する」。「charade」はここでは「見え透いた言い訳」。

It’s typical of you Chinese. You’re lost, but you won’t admit it. We’ve been driving now for … well, it seems like an eternity.’

He said nothing, and brought us out on to a mud road that climbed steeply between large heaps of factory refuse.
「heap」は「(寄せ集めて重なった物の)山」。「refuse」はここでは名詞で「がらくた」の意。

Then came another thunderous crash somewhere alarmingly near, and the young man dropped his speed to a crawl.
「thunderous」はここでは「雷鳴のような」。「crash」はここでは「すさましい音」。「crawl」はここでは「はうこと」。

‘Sir. I think we go back now.’
‘Go back? Go back where?’
‘Fighting very near. Not safe here.’
‘What do you mean, the fighting’s near?

Then an idea dawned on me. ‘Are we anywhere near Chapei?’
「dawn on …」で「・・・にわかり始める」。「Chapei」は「上海の隣接地」で当時戦闘の行われていた地域に極めて近い。

‘Sir. We in Chapei. We in Chapei some time.’

‘What? You mean we’ve left the Settlement?’
「the Settlement」は「上海の租界地」。

‘We in Chapei now.’
‘But … Good God! We’re actually outside the Settlement? In Chapei? Look here, you’re a fool, you know that? A fool! You told me the house was very near. Now we’re lost. We’re possibly dangerous close to the war zone. And we’ve left the Settlement! You’re what I call a proper fool. Do you know why? I’ll tell you. You pretend to know far more than you do.

You’re too proud to admit to your shortcomings.
「shortcoming」は「欠点」。

That’s my definition of a fool exactly. A right fool! Do you hear me? A right and proper fool!’
He stopped the car. Then he opened his door and without glancing back, walked off.
It took me a moment to calm myself and assess the situation.

We were most of the way up a hill, and the car was now in an isolated spot on a mud track surrounded by mounds of broken masonry, twisted wire and what looked like the mangled remains of old bicycle wheels.
「mound」は「塚」。「masonry」は「石造建築」。「mangled」は「押しつぶされた」。

I could see the young man’s figure marching up a footpath over the rim of the hill.
「footpath」は「小道」。「rim」は「縁」。

I got out and ran after him. He must have heard me coming, but he neither quickened his pace nor looked back.

I caught up and stopped him grasping his shoulder.
「catch up」は「追いつく」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「why don’t you …?」
「・・・したらどうですか」

「persist in …」
「・・・に固執する」

「dawn on …」
「・・・にわかり始める」

「catch up」
「追いつく」