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。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。そして彼とのことを思い出しています。この小説の舞台となった屋根付き橋に案内し到着したところです。

Francesca (14)

Francesca watched him walk up the country road, taking a camera from the knapsack and then slinging the bag over his shoulder. He had done that thousands of times, that exact movement. She could tell by the fluidity of it. As he walked, his head never stopped moving, looking from side to side, then at the bridge, then at the trees behind the bridge. Once he turned and looked back at her, his face serious.
In contrast with the local folks, who fed on gravy and potatoes and red meat, three times a day for some of them, Robert Kincaid looked as if he ate nothing but fruit and nuts and vegetables. Hard, she thought. He looks hard, physically. She noticed how small his rear was in his tight jeans – she could see the outlines of his billfold in the left pocket and bandana in the right one – and how he seemed to move over the ground with unwasted motion.
It was quiet. A redwing blackbird sat on fence wire and looked at her. A meadowlark called from the roadside grass. Nothing else moved in the white sun of August.
Just short of the bridge, Robert Kincaid stopped there for a moment, then squatted down, looking through the camera. He walked to the other side of the road and did the same thing. Then he moved into the cover of the bridge and studied the beams and floor planks, looked at the stream below through a hole in the side.
Francesca snuffed out her cigarette in the ashtray, swung open the door, and put her boots on the gravel. She glanced around to make sure none of her neighbors’ cars were coming and walked towards the bridge. The sun was a hammer in late afternoon, and it looked cooler inside the bridge. She could see his silhouette at the other end until he disappeared down the incline toward the stream.

解説:

Francesca watched him walk up the country road, taking a camera from the knapsack and then slinging(掛ける) the bag over his shoulder.

He had done that thousands of times, that exact movement.
■thousands of times:「何千回も」。「hundred」「thousand」が複数形になるのは、この表現の時に限られます。one thousand, two thousand …。

She could tell by the fluidity(変りやすいこと) of it. As he walked, his head never stopped moving, looking from side to side, then at the bridge, then at the trees behind the bridge. Once he turned and looked back at her, his face serious.

In contrast with the local folks(生活様式をともにする人々), who fed on(を常食とする) gravy(グレイビー) and potatoes and red meat, three times a day for some of them, Robert Kincaid looked as if he ate nothing but fruit and nuts and vegetables.
■In contrast with …:・・・と比べて

Hard, she thought. He looks hard(かたい), physically. She noticed how small his rear(尻) was in his tight jeans – she could see the outlines of his billfold(札入れ) in the left pocket and bandana in the right one – and how he seemed to move over the ground with unwasted(浪費されていない) motion.
It was quiet. A redwing blackbird(ハゴロモガラス) sat on fence wire and looked at her. A meadowlark(マキバドリ) called from the roadside grass. Nothing else moved in the white sun of August.
Just short of the bridge, Robert Kincaid stopped there for a moment, then squatted down(うずくまる), looking through the camera. He walked to the other side of the road and did the same thing. Then he moved into the cover of the bridge and studied the beams(梁) and floor planks(板材), looked at the stream below through a hole in the side.
Francesca snuffed(鼻から吸い込む) out her cigarette in the ashtray, swung open the door, and put her boots on the gravel(砂利). She glanced around to make sure none of her neighbors’ cars were coming and walked towards the bridge. The sun was a hammer in late afternoon, and it looked cooler inside the bridge. She could see his silhouette at the other end until he disappeared down the incline(傾斜、坂) toward the stream.