The Bridges of Madison County(マディソン郡の橋)―(19)

夫 が死んで8年。Francescaは67歳の誕生日を迎えました。昔からのド田舎の家に今も1人で住んでいます。子供たち2人は今年も母の誕生日に帰ってきませんでした。誕生日をお祝いするために来てくれた友達たちも帰って行きました。そして夕方Francescaは1人でブランデイを飲みながら、毎年の儀式になったRobert Kincaidから来た手紙を読み返したところです。そして彼を思い出しています。

Francesca (7)

Robert had asked her to arch her back ever so slightly, and he had whispered then, “Yes, yes, that’s it, stay there.” That was when he had taken the photograph at which she now stared. The light was perfect, that’s what he had said – “cloudy bright” was his name for it – and the shutter clicked steadily as he moved around her.
He was lithe, that was the word she had thought of while watching him. At fifty-two his body was all lean muscle, muscle that moved with the kind of intensity and power that comes only to men who work hard and take care of themselves. He told her he had been a combat photographer in the Pacific, and Francesca could imagine him coming up smoke-drenched beaches with the marines, cameras banging against him, one to his eye, the shutter almost on fire with the speed of his picture taking.
She looked at the picture again, studied it. I did look good, she thought, smiling to herself at the mild self-admiration. “I never looked that good before or after. It was him.” And she took another sip of brandy while the rain climbed up and rode hard on the back of November wind.
Robert Kincaid was a magician of sorts, who lived within himself in strange, almost threatening places. Francesca had sensed as much immediately on a hot, dry Monday in August 1965, when he stepped out of his truck onto her driveway. Richard and the children were at the Illinois State Fair, exhibiting the prize steer that received more attention than she did, and she had the week to herself.


解説:

Robert had asked her to arch her back ever so slightly, and he had whispered then, “Yes, yes, that’s it, stay there.”
■ever so slightly:「ほんの少しだけ」。「ever」は、ここでは「強調」を表します。
■that’s it:ここでは「ああそれだ」。必要なことが分かったり、手に入った時などに用います。

That was when he had taken the photograph at which she now stared.

The light was perfect, that’s what he had said – “cloudy bright” was his name for it – and the shutter clicked(カチッと音がする) steadily(ずっと、絶えず) as he moved around her.
■as:「同時性」を表します。

He was lithe(敏捷な), that was the word she had thought of while watching him. At fifty-two his body was all lean(やせた⇒褒め言葉) muscle, muscle that moved with the kind of intensity(強烈さ) and power that comes only to men who work hard and take care of themselves.

He told her he had been a combat photographer in the Pacific, and Francesca could imagine him coming up smoke-drenched(煙が一杯の) beaches with the marines, cameras banging(打ちつける) against him, one to his eye, the shutter almost on fire with the speed of his picture taking.
■a combat photographer in the Pacific:主人公は第二次世界大戦の時の戦闘が行われた太平洋での戦闘について行きました。
■on fire:(意図せず)燃えている

She looked at the picture again, studied(を注意深く観察する) it.
I did look good, she thought, smiling to herself at the mild self-admiration(自己賞賛).
■I did look good:本当は“ I did look good,”とすべきところですが、文脈から誤解は与えないということで間接話法にしたのでしょう。学校で習う英文法が必ずしも守られていない例です。

“I never looked that good before or after. It was him.”
■that good:「そんなに良く」
■It was him:「よく写っているのは彼のせいだった」。

And she took another sip of brandy while the rain climbed up and rode hard(しっかりと) on the back of November wind.
■climbed up:「上昇した」。結局「雨は通り過ぎた」ということです。

Robert Kincaid was a magician of sorts, who lived within himself in strange, almost threatening(危なっかしく感じるような) places.
■of sorts:一種の、いわば

Francesca had sensed as much immediately on a hot, dry Monday in August 1965, when he stepped out of his truck onto her driveway.
■sensed:目的語が省略されていますが、「Robert Kincaid was a magician of sorts, who lived within himself in strange, almost threatening places. 」であることを感じた。
■as much immediately:「直ぐに」。

Richard and the children were at the Illinois State Fair, exhibiting the prize (入賞の)steer(雄の子牛) that received more attention than she did, and she had the week to herself.
■the Illinois State Fair:毎年夏に農業をテーマにしたイベントが11日間開催されます。
■she had the week to herself:「その週は自分だけで使えた」