She looked up, smiled much as before, then turned back to her cards. I had assumed she was playing solitaire, but as I watched, saw she was following some odd system of her own. At one pont the breeze lifted a few cards off the table, but she appeared not to care. When I collected the cards from the grass and brought them back to her, she smiled, saying:
‘Thank you so much. But there’s no need to do that, you know. Myself, I like to leave it until many more cards have accumulated on the lawn. Only then do I go to gather them, all in one go, you see. After all, they can’t fly away off the hill altogether, can they?’
For the next few moments I continued to watch her. Then my mother began to sing. She sang quietly to herself, almost under her breath, as her hands went on picking up and placing down the cards. The voice was faint – I could not make out the song she was singing – but it was effortlessly melodious. And as I went on watching and listening, a fragment of memory came back to me: of a windy summer’s day in our garden, my mother on the swing, laughing and singing at the top of her voice, and me jumping up and down before her, telling her to stop.
I reached forward and gently touched her hand. Instantly she pulled it away and stared at me furiously.
‘Keep your hands to yourself, sir! She said in a shocked whisper. ‘Keep them right to yourself!’
‘I’m sorry.’ I moved back a little to reassure her. She returned to her cards and when she next glanced up, she gave a smile as though nothing had happened.
‘Mother,’ I said slowly, ‘it’s me. I’ve come from England. I’m really very sorry it’s taken so long. I realise I’ve let you down nadly. Very badly. I tried my utmost, but you see, in the end, it proved beyond me. I realise this is hopelessly late.’
I must have started to cry, because my mother looked up and stared at me. Then she said:
‘Do you have toothache, my man? If so, you’d better talk to Sister Agnes.’
‘No, I’m fine. But I wonder if you’ve understood what I saying? It’s me. Christopher.’
She nodded and said: ‘No use delaying it, my man. Sister Agnes will fill in your form.’


註釈:

She looked up, smiled much as before, then turned back to her cards. I had assumed she was playing solitaire, but as I watched, saw she was following some odd system of her own.
「solitaire」は「(トランプの)1人遊び」。

At one pont the breeze lifted a few cards off the table, but she appeared not to care. When I collected the cards from the grass and brought them back to her, she smiled, saying:
‘Thank you so much. But there’s no need to do that, you know.

Myself, I like to leave it until many more cards have accumulated on the lawn.
「accumulate」は「積る、集まる、増える」。

Only then do I go to gather them, all in one go, you see. After all, they can’t fly away off the hill altogether, can they?’
For the next few moments I continued to watch her. Then my mother began to sing.

She sang quietly to herself, almost under her breath, as her hands went on picking up and placing down the cards.
「under one’s breath」は「小声で、息をひそめて」

The voice was faint – I could not make out the song she was singing – but it was effortlessly melodious.
「make out」はここでは「を聞き分ける」。「effortlessly」は「すいすいと」。「melodious」は「耳に心地よい」。

And as I went on watching and listening, a fragment of memory came back to me: of a windy summer’s day in our garden, my mother on the swing, laughing and singing at the top of her voice, and me jumping up and down before her, telling her to stop.
「fragment」は「かけら、少量」。「me jumping up and down」は「私がjump up and down」の意になります。

I reached forward and gently touched her hand. Instantly she pulled it away and stared at me furiously.
「furiously」は「荒れ狂って」。

‘Keep your hands to yourself, sir! She said in a shocked whisper. ‘Keep them right to yourself!’
‘I’m sorry.’ I moved back a little to reassure her.
「reassure」は「を安心させる」。

She returned to her cards and when she next glanced up, she gave a smile as though nothing had happened.
‘Mother,’ I said slowly, ‘it’s me. I’ve come from England. I’m really very sorry it’s taken so long. I realise I’ve let you down nadly. Very badly. I tried my utmost, but you see, in the end, it proved beyond me. I realise this is hopelessly late.’
I must have started to cry, because my mother looked up and stared at me. Then she said:
‘Do you have toothache, my man? If so, you’d better talk to Sister Agnes.’
‘No, I’m fine. But I wonder if you’ve understood what I saying? It’s me. Christopher.’
She nodded and said: ‘No use delaying it, my man. Sister Agnes will fill in your form.’


『今日のイデイオム』

「make out」
「を聞き分ける」