Francesca JohnsonとRobert Kincaidは、Francescaの家族が留守にしている間に出会って、2日目の夜には恋に落ちました。2人は精神的にも肉体的にも完全に結ばれます。しかし、Robert KincaidはFrancescaの家族が帰ってくる日に去って行きました。そして夫も死に、Robert Kincaidの行き先も分からなくなり、Francescaは隠遁し、思い出の橋によく姿を現すようになりました。そんなある日、荷物が届きます。Robert Kincaidの遺品や思い出の写真、そして手紙が同封されていました。

A letter from Francesca (1)

Francesca Johnson died in January of 1989. She was sixty-nine years old at the time of her death. Robert Kincaid would have been seventy-six that year. The cause of death was listed as “natural.” “She just died,” the doctor told Michael and Carolyn. “Actually, we’re a little perplexed. We can find no specific cause for her death. A neighbor found her slumped over the kitchen table.”
In a 1982 letter to her attorney, she had requested her remains be cremated and her ashes scattered at Roseman Bridge. Cremation was an uncommon practice in Madison County – viewed as slightly radical in some undefined way – and her wish generated considerable discussion at the cafe, the Texaco station, and the implement dealership. The disposition of her ashes was not made public.
Following the memorial service, Michael and Carolyn drove slowly to Roseman Bridge and carried out Francesca’s instructions. Though it was nearby, the bridge had never been special, and wondered again, why their rather sensible mother would behave in such an enigmatic way and why she had not asked to be buried by their father, as customary.


解説:

Francesca Johnson died in January of 1989.
■January of 1989:1989年の1月。

She was sixty-nine years old at the time of her death.

Robert Kincaid would have been seventy-six that year.
■would have been seventy-six that year:もし生きていたならば、その年76歳になっていただろう。

The cause of death was listed(考える) as “natural.”
■cause of death:死因。

“She just died,” the doctor told Michael and Carolyn.
■Michael and Carolyn:彼女の息子と娘の名前

“Actually, we’re a little perplexed(当惑した). We can find no specific cause for her death. A neighbor found her slumped(ぐったりともたれて) over the kitchen table.”

In a 1982 letter to her attorney(弁護士), she had requested her remains(死体) be cremated(火葬にする) and her ashes scattered at Roseman Bridge.
■Roseman Bridge:彼女が Robert Kincaid を最初に案内した屋根付き橋(思い出の橋です)

Cremation(火葬) was an uncommon practice in Madison County – viewed as slightly radical(急進的な) in some undefined way – and her wish generated(発生させる) considerable(かなりの) discussion at the cafe, the Texaco station, and the implement(道具、用具、器具) dealership(特約販売店). The disposition(処分) of her ashes was not made public.
■the Texaco station:Texacoはシェブロンの燃料ブランド名。stationはここではガソリンスタンドの意。theが付いているのはstationが可算名詞であり、且つ「Texacoのガソリンスタンド」が地元には1軒しかなく、どのTexacoのガソリンスタンドかという共通した認識があるからである。

Following the memorial service(葬儀), Michael and Carolyn drove slowly to Roseman Bridge and carried out Francesca’s instructions(指示).
■carry out:遂行する

Though it was nearby, the bridge had never been special, and wondered again, why their rather sensible(分別のある) mother would behave in such an enigmatic(なぞめいた) way and why she had not asked to be buried by their father, as customary(習慣的な).