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E-Books (english-e-reader), An Adventure at Brownville (1)

An Adventure at Brownville (1)

There was only one school in Brownville and I was the only teacher. Brownville was a small town and had few young people, but many visitors stayed there in the summer.

Brownville has some of the finest views in the state of California. The town lies between hills that are covered in beautiful, colorful trees. In the hills, the air is fresh and clear. Many visitors came to Brownville to improve their health. They walked on the hills and breathed the good, clean air.

I saw many of these visitors because I lived in a boarding house. In summer, the house was full of guests and I talked to most of them. I ate breakfast and supper in the boarding house and spent the rest of the day at the school.

The school was not far away. It was on the other side of a hill. The distance by road was about one and a half miles, but I knew a shorter way. I could walk over the top of the hill in fifteen minutes. There was a path that ran through the forest on the hill.

I came back along this forest path late one evening. It was the last day of term. Tomorrow, the students' vacations would begin. I had stayed late at the school because I had been writing reports about the students.

The sun was going down in the sky. Its golden light shone through the trees and made long dark shadows. I was tired. I sat down on an old, fallen tree and looked at the sun setting in the darkening sky. It was calm and peaceful in the forest. Suddenly I heard voices. One was a woman's voice, and she sounded angry. The second voice belonged to a man. It was a deep and musical voice-the voice of a singer. I could not see who was speaking, but I could hear the words clearly.

"Don't threaten me!" the man said. "You can do nothing. Don't try to change anything, or you'll both suffer."

"What do you mean?" said the woman's voice angrily. It was a cultivated voice-she spoke clearly and well. "Do you mean that you'll murder us?"

The man did not reply. I wanted to get to the boarding house. It was supper time, and I was hungry. But I did not want to pass the man and woman. I looked around and saw no one. I stood up quickly and walked on.

It was almost dark now, but suddenly I saw the two people among the trees. They were standing on the path. The man was tall and slim. He seemed to be wearing black clothes. But there were too many shadows and I could not see clearly. The woman wore a pale gray dress. They did not see me.

As I watched, the woman knelt on the ground in front of the man. She held her hands together in front of her face. Was she begging for the man's help? Or was she praying that he would not hurt her? I did not like this scene. There was trouble here. I stepped behind a large tree.

When I looked at the path again, the man and woman had disappeared. I walked on until I saw the light of the lamps shining from the windows of the boarding house. The scene of the man and the woman in the forest stayed in my mind. It had made me feel unhappy and uncomfortable.

I saw some new guests at breakfast the next morning. A young woman sat at a table opposite mine, but she was not the woman who I had seen last night.

Then a younger lady entered the dining-room. The two young women looked very similar. And they were both extremely pretty.

When the second young lady spoke, I recognized her voice immediately. I had heard it in the forest. The two ladies were sisters. I guessed that they were about eighteen and twenty years old.

I finished my coffee and left the dining-room quickly. We were the only people in the room and I did not want to listen to their private conversation. That would be rude. And I did not want them to notice me.

I did not see the tall, slim man, hut I heard him. He was in the garden of the boarding house. As I had guessed, he was a singer. He was practicing his singing. He was singing "La donna e mobile"-a song from Verdi's opera, Rigoletto.

The singer had a very good, strong voice. Maybe it was too good. Why was he in a simple boarding house in Brownville and singing in this way? This was strange. Did he want the guests to admire his voice? I walked away quickly.

When I returned to the boarding house later, I saw the elder sister. She was standing in the garden with the singer. He was dressed in black clothes. His back was turned toward me, so I could not see his face.

Brownville was a small town and it had no theaters or restaurants. So when the people of Brownville finished their work, they enjoyed gossiping. I enjoyed gossiping too. Who were these unusual visitors, and what was their story?

The singer was talking easily to the younger woman. I guessed that they knew each other well. When I came into the garden, he stopped talking and turned around. He looked straight at my face.

The man was not young. I guessed that he was about fifty years old. His face was extremely handsome. His hair was thick and black-as black as the clothes that he wore. And the clothes were very fine. They were smart, fashionable and well-made. They looked expensive. He could not have bought clothes like these in Brownville. I had seen pictures of opera houses in the fashionable cities of Europe. This man reminded me of the men in those pictures.

The man looked at me as if he knew the thoughts in my head. Did he know what I was thinking? The expression on his face was not angry or frightening. But I suddenly felt afraid. Why? I could not explain it. I only knew that I was afraid of this dark and handsome man. He was dangerous. I did not like him.

He put his hand on the young woman's arm and turned her away. Then they stepped inside the boarding house and disappeared. Neither of them spoke to me.

The landlady of the boarding house always liked to gossip. She always had the latest news and was happy to talk about it. So I asked her about the new guests.

"The two girls are Pauline and Eva Maynard and they've come from San Francisco," the landlady said. "Pauline is the older sister. The man's name is Richard Benning. He is their guardian. He has taken care of the girls since their father died. Soon, when the girls are twenty one, they'll have their father's money. Meanwhile, Eva isn't well. Mr Benning believes that the good air of Brownville will improve her health."

"Mr Benning takes very good care of the two girls," the landlady went on. "He spends a lot of money on them, and on himself. But maybe he's spending their father's money."

It was now my summer vacation. I did not have to go back to the school for several weeks. I walked on the hills and enjoyed the views and the fresh air. I often met Richard Benning and the two girls walking on the hills too. They seemed to be very happy together. Then I remembered the strange words that I had heard one of the sisters say. "Do you mean that you'll murder us?" Why had Eva Maynard said this?

For a short time, I forgot those frightening words. Then one morning, the people of Brownville were all talking about a tragedy. Something terrible had happened in their town. Pauline Maynard, the elder sister, had died. Many people came to the boarding house to say a few kind words.

I went into the sitting-room. Eva Maynard was standing beside the body of her dead sister and she was weeping. Pauline Maynard was lying in a wooden coffin. I Her face was extremely pale. She looked as if she were asleep. A crowd of people stood in the doorway of the sitting-room and stared at the scene.

Suddenly, Richard Benning pushed his way through the crowd and entered the room. He tried to hold Eva's hand, but she pulled it away. She stood up and cried out.

"It's you!" she shouted. "You've done this. You-you-YOU!"

"She doesn't know what she's saying," Richard Benning said in a soft voice. "She's had a terrible shock. She's upset."

Benning moved toward Eva, hut she stepped away from him. He did not try to touch her hand again. Instead, he moved his hand in front of her face-slowly-once. Immediately Eva's eyes closed and she stood still. Then Benning held her hand and put his other arm around her shoulders. Suddenly she began to weep again. Then Benning gently led the young woman out of the room.

A few days later, there was an inquest in Brownville. The coroner listened to the words of Benning, a doctor, and several people in the boarding house. Then he wrote these words on Pauline's death certificate: Cause of death-heart disease. They thought that Pauline had died suddenly because her heart was weak.

Benning sent for an undertaker from San Francisco. The undertaker took Pauline's body back to the city and she was buried. Neither Benning nor Eva went to the dead girl's funeral. Many of the people of Brownville thought that this was wrong and strange.

"Poor Eva," the landlady said to me. "Her health is not good. Mr Benning is worried. He doesn't want to take her back to San Francisco. Her health might become worse if she goes to the city. It's better for her to stay here, in Brownville."

A week passed. One evening, I finished my supper and went into the garden. I saw Richard Benning and Eva Maynard standing beneath a tree. They were holding each other's hands and looking into each other's eyes. It was a very gentle and romantic scene, but it was wrong. They looked like lovers. Benning was a fifty-year-old man and Eva was not yet twenty. Also, he was her guardian. Benning should be like a father to the young woman-not a lover.

I stood in the shadows and they did not sec me. I did not move, but I listened.

"You will kill me," said Eva, "I know that you killed Pauline. I beg you to kill me quickly. Let me go. Let me be at peace."

Richard Benning did not reply. He released Eva's hand and walked away. He walked up the hill to the forest where I had first seen him. As he walked, he sang. His fine voice sounded beautiful and wild. Eva stared at her guardian. As she listened, she put her hands together. She held her hands in front of her body as if she was praying.

I walked out of the shadows. Eva turned and stared at me. Maybe I had frightened her.

"Miss Maynard," I said, "I'm sorry. I came into the garden and I heard what you said. I believe that you're in danger."

"You can do nothing," she said. Her voice was soft and she had a strange expression on her face. Her eyes were large and bright. Was she ill? Or maybe she was dreaming?

I gently held Eva's hand. "You seem to be asleep," I said. "You must wake up. You said that Benning killed your sister. You said that he'll kill you too. Will you tell me about it? I'll try to help you."

"You can't help me," said Eva. "We'll be here for only a day or two more. Then we'll go away-far away. I ask you to be silent. You mustn't talk about anything that you've seen or heard here."


An Adventure at Brownville (1)

There was only one school in Brownville and I was the only teacher. Brownville was a small town and had few young people, but many visitors stayed there in the summer.

Brownville has some of the finest views in the state of California. The town lies between hills that are covered in beautiful, colorful trees. 町は美しく色とりどりの木々に覆われた丘の間にあります。 In the hills, the air is fresh and clear. Many visitors came to Brownville to improve their health. 多くの訪問者が彼らの健康を改善するためにブラウンビルに来ました。 They walked on the hills and breathed the good, clean air. 彼らは丘の上を歩き、きれいな空気を吸いました。

I saw many of these visitors because I lived in a boarding house. 私は下宿に住んでいたので、これらの訪問者の多くを見ました。 In summer, the house was full of guests and I talked to most of them. 夏になると、家は客でいっぱいになり、ほとんどの人と話をしました。 I ate breakfast and supper in the boarding house and spent the rest of the day at the school. 私は寄宿舎で朝食と夕食を食べ、残りの日は学校で過ごしました。

The school was not far away. It was on the other side of a hill. それは丘の向こう側にありました。 The distance by road was about one and a half miles, but I knew a shorter way. 道路での距離は約1.5マイルでしたが、私はもっと短い道を知っていました。 I could walk over the top of the hill in fifteen minutes. 私は15分で丘の頂上を歩くことができました。 There was a path that ran through the forest on the hill. 丘の上の森を通る小道がありました。

I came back along this forest path late one evening. ある晩遅く、この森の小道に沿って戻ってきました。 It was the last day of term. 任期の最終日でした。 Tomorrow, the students' vacations would begin. 明日、学生の休暇が始まります。 I had stayed late at the school because I had been writing reports about the students. 生徒たちのレポートを書いていたので、私は学校に遅くまで滞在していました。

The sun was going down in the sky. Its golden light shone through the trees and made long dark shadows. その金色の光が木々の間を照らし、長く暗い影を作りました。 I was tired. 私は疲れていた。 I sat down on an old, fallen tree and looked at the sun setting in the darkening sky. It was calm and peaceful in the forest. Suddenly I heard voices. 突然声が聞こえた。 One was a woman's voice, and she sounded angry. 一つは女性の声で、彼女は怒ったように聞こえました。 The second voice belonged to a man. 2番目の声は男性のものでした。 It was a deep and musical voice-the voice of a singer. それは深くて音楽的な声、つまり歌手の声でした。 I could not see who was speaking, but I could hear the words clearly. 誰が話しているのかはわかりませんでしたが、はっきりと聞こえました。

"Don't threaten me!" 「私を脅かさないでください!」 the man said. "You can do nothing. 「あなたは何もできません。 Don't try to change anything, or you'll both suffer." 何も変えようとしないでください。そうしないと、両方が苦しむことになります。」

"What do you mean?" said the woman's voice angrily. It was a cultivated voice-she spoke clearly and well. それは培われた声でした-彼女ははっきりとよく話しました。 "Do you mean that you'll murder us?" 「あなたが私たちを殺害するという意味ですか?」

The man did not reply. 男は返事をしなかった。 I wanted to get to the boarding house. 下宿に行きたかった。 It was supper time, and I was hungry. But I did not want to pass the man and woman. しかし、私は男と女を追い越したくありませんでした。 I looked around and saw no one. 周りを見回しても誰も見えませんでした。 I stood up quickly and walked on. 私はすぐに立ち上がって歩きました。

It was almost dark now, but suddenly I saw the two people among the trees. They were standing on the path. The man was tall and slim. He seemed to be wearing black clothes. But there were too many shadows and I could not see clearly. でも影が多すぎてはっきり見えませんでした。 The woman wore a pale gray dress. 女性は淡い灰色のドレスを着ていた。 They did not see me.

As I watched, the woman knelt on the ground in front of the man. 私が見ていると、女性は男性の前の地面にひざまずきました。 She held her hands together in front of her face. 彼女は顔の前で両手を合わせた。 Was she begging for the man's help? 彼女は男の助けを懇願していましたか? Or was she praying that he would not hurt her? それとも、彼が彼女を傷つけないように祈っていたのでしょうか? I did not like this scene. There was trouble here. I stepped behind a large tree.

When I looked at the path again, the man and woman had disappeared. I walked on until I saw the light of the lamps shining from the windows of the boarding house. 寄宿舎の窓からランプの光が差し込むのが見えるまで歩きました。 The scene of the man and the woman in the forest stayed in my mind. It had made me feel unhappy and uncomfortable.

I saw some new guests at breakfast the next morning. 翌朝の朝食で何人かの新しいゲストに会いました。 A young woman sat at a table opposite mine, but she was not the woman who I had seen last night. 若い女性が私の向かいのテーブルに座っていましたが、彼女は私が昨夜見た女性ではありませんでした。

Then a younger lady entered the dining-room. それから若い女性が食堂に入った。 The two young women looked very similar. 2人の若い女性は非常に似ていました。 And they were both extremely pretty. そして、それらは両方とも非常にきれいでした。

When the second young lady spoke, I recognized her voice immediately. 二番目の若い女性が話したとき、私はすぐに彼女の声を認識しました。 I had heard it in the forest. The two ladies were sisters. I guessed that they were about eighteen and twenty years old.

I finished my coffee and left the dining-room quickly. We were the only people in the room and I did not want to listen to their private conversation. That would be rude. And I did not want them to notice me. そして、私は彼らに私に気づいてほしくありませんでした。

I did not see the tall, slim man, hut I heard him. 私は背が高くてスリムな男を見ませんでした、小屋私は彼を聞きました。 He was in the garden of the boarding house. 彼は寄宿舎の庭にいました。 As I had guessed, he was a singer. 私が推測したように、彼は歌手でした。 He was practicing his singing. 彼は歌を練習していた。 He was singing "La donna e mobile"-a song from Verdi's opera, Rigoletto. 彼は「ラ・ドナ・エ・モービル」を歌っていました。これはヴェルディのオペラ、リゴレットの曲です。

The singer had a very good, strong voice. Maybe it was too good. Why was he in a simple boarding house in Brownville and singing in this way? なぜ彼はブラウンビルのシンプルな下宿にいて、このように歌っていたのですか? This was strange. Did he want the guests to admire his voice? 彼はゲストに彼の声を賞賛してほしかったのですか? I walked away quickly.

When I returned to the boarding house later, I saw the elder sister. 後で下宿に戻ると、姉に会いました。 She was standing in the garden with the singer. He was dressed in black clothes. His back was turned toward me, so I could not see his face. 彼の背中が私に向いていたので、私は彼の顔を見ることができませんでした。

Brownville was a small town and it had no theaters or restaurants. So when the people of Brownville finished their work, they enjoyed gossiping. I enjoyed gossiping too. Who were these unusual visitors, and what was their story? これらの珍しい訪問者は誰でしたか、そして彼らの話は何でしたか?

The singer was talking easily to the younger woman. 歌手は若い女性と簡単に話していました。 I guessed that they knew each other well. When I came into the garden, he stopped talking and turned around. 私が庭に入ると、彼は話すのをやめて振り返った。 He looked straight at my face.

The man was not young. I guessed that he was about fifty years old. His face was extremely handsome. His hair was thick and black-as black as the clothes that he wore. 彼の髪は太くて黒い-彼が着ていた服と同じくらい黒い。 And the clothes were very fine. そして服はとてもきれいでした。 They were smart, fashionable and well-made. They looked expensive. He could not have bought clothes like these in Brownville. 彼はブラウンビルでこのような服を買うことができなかったでしょう。 I had seen pictures of opera houses in the fashionable cities of Europe. ヨーロッパのファッショナブルな都市でオペラハウスの写真を見たことがあります。 This man reminded me of the men in those pictures. この男は私にそれらの写真の男たちを思い出させた。

The man looked at me as if he knew the thoughts in my head. 男は私の頭の中の考えを知っているかのように私を見ました。 Did he know what I was thinking? 彼は私が何を考えていたか知っていましたか? The expression on his face was not angry or frightening. But I suddenly felt afraid. しかし、私は突然恐れを感じました。 Why? I could not explain it. I only knew that I was afraid of this dark and handsome man. 私はこの暗くてハンサムな男を恐れていることだけを知っていました。 He was dangerous. I did not like him.

He put his hand on the young woman's arm and turned her away. 彼は若い女性の腕に手を置き、彼女を背けた。 Then they stepped inside the boarding house and disappeared. Neither of them spoke to me. どちらも私に話しかけませんでした。

The landlady of the boarding house always liked to gossip. 下宿の女将はいつもゴシップが好きだった。 She always had the latest news and was happy to talk about it. So I asked her about the new guests.

"The two girls are Pauline and Eva Maynard and they've come from San Francisco," the landlady said. "Pauline is the older sister. The man's name is Richard Benning. He is their guardian. He has taken care of the girls since their father died. Soon, when the girls are twenty one, they'll have their father's money. Meanwhile, Eva isn't well. その間、エヴァはよくありません。 Mr Benning believes that the good air of Brownville will improve her health."

"Mr Benning takes very good care of the two girls," the landlady went on. "He spends a lot of money on them, and on himself. But maybe he's spending their father's money."

It was now my summer vacation. 今は私の夏休みでした。 I did not have to go back to the school for several weeks. I walked on the hills and enjoyed the views and the fresh air. I often met Richard Benning and the two girls walking on the hills too. They seemed to be very happy together. 彼らは一緒にとても幸せそうだった。 Then I remembered the strange words that I had heard one of the sisters say. "Do you mean that you'll murder us?" Why had Eva Maynard said this?

For a short time, I forgot those frightening words. 少しの間、私はそれらの恐ろしい言葉を忘れました。 Then one morning, the people of Brownville were all talking about a tragedy. それからある朝、ブラウンビルの人々は皆悲劇について話していました。 Something terrible had happened in their town. 彼らの町で何かひどいことが起こった。 Pauline Maynard, the elder sister, had died. Many people came to the boarding house to say a few kind words. たくさんの人が下宿にやさしい言葉を言って来ました。

I went into the sitting-room. 私は居間に入った。 Eva Maynard was standing beside the body of her dead sister and she was weeping. Pauline Maynard was lying in a wooden coffin. ポーリン・メイナードは木製の棺に横たわっていた。 I Her face was extremely pale. 私は彼女の顔が非常に青ざめていました。 She looked as if she were asleep. 彼女はまるで眠っているように見えた。 A crowd of people stood in the doorway of the sitting-room and stared at the scene.

Suddenly, Richard Benning pushed his way through the crowd and entered the room. He tried to hold Eva's hand, but she pulled it away. 彼はエヴァの手を握ろうとしたが、彼女はそれを引き離した。 She stood up and cried out. 彼女は立ち上がって叫んだ。

"It's you!" she shouted. "You've done this. 「あなたはこれをしました。 You-you-YOU!"

"She doesn't know what she's saying," Richard Benning said in a soft voice. 「彼女は自分が何を言っているのかわからない」とリチャード・ベニングは穏やかな声で言った。 "She's had a terrible shock. 「彼女はひどいショックを受けました。 She's upset."

Benning moved toward Eva, hut she stepped away from him. ベニングはエヴァに向かって移動しました、小屋彼女は彼から離れました。 He did not try to touch her hand again. 彼は二度と彼女の手に触れようとはしなかった。 Instead, he moved his hand in front of her face-slowly-once. 代わりに、彼は手を彼女の顔の前にゆっくりと一度動かしました。 Immediately Eva's eyes closed and she stood still. すぐにエヴァの目は閉じ、彼女はじっと立っていました。 Then Benning held her hand and put his other arm around her shoulders. それからベニングは彼女の手を握り、もう一方の腕を彼女の肩にかけました。 Suddenly she began to weep again. 突然、彼女は再び泣き始めました。 Then Benning gently led the young woman out of the room. それからベニングは若い女性をそっと部屋から連れ出しました。

A few days later, there was an inquest in Brownville. 数日後、ブラウンビルで死因審問がありました。 The coroner listened to the words of Benning, a doctor, and several people in the boarding house. Then he wrote these words on Pauline's death certificate: Cause of death-heart disease. それから彼はポーリンの死亡診断書にこれらの言葉を書いた:死因-心臓病。 They thought that Pauline had died suddenly because her heart was weak.

Benning sent for an undertaker from San Francisco. ベニングはサンフランシスコから葬儀屋を派遣しました。 The undertaker took Pauline's body back to the city and she was buried. Neither Benning nor Eva went to the dead girl's funeral. ベニングもエヴァも死んだ女の子の葬式に行きませんでした。 Many of the people of Brownville thought that this was wrong and strange.

"Poor Eva," the landlady said to me. "Her health is not good. Mr Benning is worried. He doesn't want to take her back to San Francisco. Her health might become worse if she goes to the city. 彼女が街に行くと彼女の健康は悪化するかもしれない。 It's better for her to stay here, in Brownville."

A week passed. One evening, I finished my supper and went into the garden. I saw Richard Benning and Eva Maynard standing beneath a tree. リチャード・ベニングとエヴァ・メイナードが木の下に立っているのを見ました。 They were holding each other's hands and looking into each other's eyes. It was a very gentle and romantic scene, but it was wrong. とても優しくてロマンチックなシーンでしたが、それは間違っていました。 They looked like lovers. Benning was a fifty-year-old man and Eva was not yet twenty. Also, he was her guardian. Benning should be like a father to the young woman-not a lover.

I stood in the shadows and they did not sec me. I did not move, but I listened.

"You will kill me," said Eva, "I know that you killed Pauline. I beg you to kill me quickly. 早く殺してくれとお願いします。 Let me go. Let me be at peace." 安心させてください。」

Richard Benning did not reply. He released Eva's hand and walked away. He walked up the hill to the forest where I had first seen him. As he walked, he sang. His fine voice sounded beautiful and wild. Eva stared at her guardian. As she listened, she put her hands together. She held her hands in front of her body as if she was praying. 彼女はまるで祈っているように手を体の前に持っていた。

I walked out of the shadows. Eva turned and stared at me. Maybe I had frightened her. 多分私は彼女を怖がらせていた。

"Miss Maynard," I said, "I'm sorry. I came into the garden and I heard what you said. I believe that you're in danger."

"You can do nothing," she said. 「あなたは何もできない」と彼女は言った。 Her voice was soft and she had a strange expression on her face. 彼女の声は柔らかく、彼女の顔には奇妙な表情がありました。 Her eyes were large and bright. Was she ill? Or maybe she was dreaming? それとも彼女は夢を見ていましたか?

I gently held Eva's hand. "You seem to be asleep," I said. 「あなたは眠っているようだ」と私は言った。 "You must wake up. You said that Benning killed your sister. You said that he'll kill you too. Will you tell me about it? I'll try to help you."

"You can't help me," said Eva. "We'll be here for only a day or two more. 「私たちはあと1日か2日だけここにいます。 Then we'll go away-far away. I ask you to be silent. You mustn't talk about anything that you've seen or heard here." ここで見たり聞いたりしたことについて話してはいけません。」