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。

Robert Kincaidが亡くなり、やがてFrancesca Johnson も69歳でなくなりました。2人とも、遺言により、思い出の Roseman Bridgeで散骨されます。そしてFrancescaの息子と娘が遺品整理をしていてRobert Kincaidと母親の関係を知ることとなります。今、母親から子供たちに宛てた手紙を読み始めました。

A letter from Francesca (4)

It’s hard for me to write this to my own children, but I must. There’s something here that’s too strong, too beautiful, to die with me. And if you are to know who your mother was, all the goods and bads, you need to know what I’m about to say. Brace yourself.
As you’ve already discovered, his name was Robert Kincaid. His middle initial was “L,” but I never knew what the L represented. He was a photographer, and he was here in 1965 photographing the covered bridges.
Remember how excited the town was when the pictures appeared in National Geographic. You may also recall that I began receiving the magazine about that time. Now you know the reason for my sudden interest in it. By the way, I was with him (carrying one of his camera knapsacks) when the photo of Cedar Bridge was taken.
Understand, I loved your father in a quiet fashion. I knew it then, I know it now. He was good to me and gave the two of you, who I treasure. Don’t forget that.
But Robert Kincaid was something quite different, like nobody I’ve ever seen or heard or red about through my entire life. To make you understand him completely is impossible. First of all, you are not me. Second, you would have had to have been around him, to watch him move, to hear him talk about being on a dead-end branch of evolution. Maybe the notebooks and magazine clippings will help, but even those will not be enough.
In a way, he was not of this earth. That’s about as clear as I can say it. I’ve always thought of him as a leopardlike creature who rode in on the tail of a comet. He moved that way, his body was like that. He somehow coupled enormous intensity with warmth and kindness, and there was a vague sense of tragedy about him. He felt he was becoming obsolete in a world of computers and robots and organized living in general. He saw himself as one of the last cowboys, as he put it, and called himself old-fangled.


解説:

It’s hard for me to write this to my own children, but I must.
■日本語では「これを私自身の子供たちに書くのはつらい」と「誰が」書くのかを明示しなくても済みますが、英語では原則として表示する必要があります。「これを私自身の子供たちに私が書くのはつらい」と表現します。不定詞であれ動名詞であれ動詞を使った表現をする時はこのことに留意して下さい。

There’s something here that’s too strong, too beautiful, to die with me.
■to die with me:私と一緒に死ぬには。所謂「too … to …」構文です。

And if you are to know who your mother was, all the goods and bads, you need to know what I’m about to say. Brace yourself.
■all the goods and bads:よい事も悪い事も全て
■Brace yourself:腹をすえていろ。

As you’ve already discovered, his name was Robert Kincaid. His middle initial was “L,” but I never knew what the L represented(表す). He was a photographer, and he was here in 1965 photographing the covered bridges.
Remember how excited the town was when the pictures appeared in National Geographic. You may also recall that I began receiving the magazine about that time. Now you know the reason for my sudden interest in it. By the way, I was with him (carrying one of his camera knapsacks) when the photo of Cedar Bridge was taken.
Understand, I loved your father in a quiet fashion. I knew it then, I know it now. He was good to me and gave the two of you, who I treasure(大事にする). Don’t forget that.
But Robert Kincaid was something quite different, like nobody I’ve ever seen or heard or red about through my entire life. To make you understand him completely is impossible. First of all, you are not me. Second, you would have had to have been around him, to watch him move, to hear him talk about being on a dead-end(行き止まり) branch of evolution(進化). Maybe the notebooks and magazine clippings will help, but even those will not be enough.
In a way, he was not of this earth.

That’s about as clear as I can say it.
■文字通りの意味は「それは私がそれを言うことが出来るのと大体同じくらいはハッキリしている」。

I’ve always thought of him as a leopardlike(ヒョウのような) creature(生き物) who rode in on the tail of a comet(彗星). He moved that way, his body was like that. He somehow coupled(結び付ける) enormous(すごい) intensity(強烈さ) with warmth and kindness, and there was a vague sense of tragedy(悲劇) about him.

He felt he was becoming obsolete(すたれた) in a world of computers and robots and organized living in general.
■in general.:ここでは「一般の」。organized livingを修飾。

He saw himself as one of the last cowboys, as he put it, and called himself old-fangled(時代遅れの).
■as he put it:彼がそう表現したように