×

We use cookies to help make LingQ better. By visiting the site, you agree to our cookie policy.


image

E-Books (english-e-reader), Man from the South (1)

Man from the South (1)

It was almost six o'clock, so I thought I'd buy a beer and go out and sit by the swimming pool and have a little evening sun.

I went to the bar and got the beer and carried it outside and wandered down the garden. It was a fine garden and there were plenty of chairs around the pool. There were white tables and huge brightly coloured umbrellas and sunburned men and women sitting around in bathing suits. In the pool itself there were three or four girls and about a dozen boys, all splashing about and making a lot of noise and throwing a large rubber ball at one another.

I stood watching them. The girls were English girls from the hotel. I didn't know about the boys, but they sounded American, and I thought they were probably young sailors from the American ship which had arrived in harbour that morning.

I went over and sat down under a yellow umbrella where there were four empty seats, and I poured my beer and settled back comfortably with a cigarette. It was pleasant to sit and watch the bathers splashing about in the green water.

The American sailors were getting on nicely with the English girls. They'd reached the point where they were diving under the water and pulling the girls up by their legs.

Just then I noticed a small old man walking quickly around the edge of the pool. He was beautifully dressed in a white suit and a cream-coloured hat, and as he walked he was looking at the people and the chairs.

He stopped beside me and smiled. I smiled back.

'Excuse me please, but may I sit here?'

'Certainly,' I said. 'Go ahead.'

He inspected the back of the chair for safety, then he sat down and crossed his legs.

'A fine evening,' he said. 'They are all fine evenings here in Jamaica.' I couldn't tell if his accent was Italian or Spanish, but I felt sure he was some sort of a South American. He was old, too, when you looked at him closely. Probably around sixty-eight or seventy.

'Yes,' I said. 'It's wonderful here, isn't it?'

'And who are all these? These are not hotel people.' He was pointing at the bathers in the pool.

'I think they're American sailors,' I told him.

'Of course they are Americans. Who else in the world is going to make as much noise as that? You are not American, no?'

'No,' I said. 'I am not.'

Suddenly one of the young sailors was standing in front of us. He was still wet from the pool and one of the English girls was standing there with him.

'Are these chairs free?' he said.

'Yes,' I answered.

'Mind if I sit down?'

'Go ahead.'

'Thanks,' he said. He had a towel in his hand, and when he sat down he unrolled it and produced a packet of cigarettes and a lighter. He offered the cigarettes to the girl but she refused; then he offered them to me and I took one. The old man said, 'Thank you, no, but I think I will have a cigar.' He took a cigar out of his pocket, then he produced a knife and cut the end off it.

'Here, let me give you a light.' The American boy held up his lighter.

'That will not work in this wind.'

'Sure it'll work. It always works.'

The old man removed the cigar from his mouth, moved his head to one side and looked at the boy.

'Always?' he said slowly.

'Sure, it never fails. Not with me anyway.'

'Well, well. So you say this famous lighter never fails. Is that what you say?'

'Sure,' the boy said. 'That's right.' He was about nineteen or twenty, with pale skin and a rather sharp nose. He was holding the lighter in his hand, ready to turn the little wheel. He said, 'I promise you it never fails.'

'One moment, please.' The hand that held the cigar came up high, as if it were stopping traffic. 'Now just one moment.' He had a curiously soft voice and kept looking at the boy all the time. He smiled. 'Shall we not make a little bet on whether your lighter lights?'

'Sure, I'll bet,' the boy said. 'Why not?'

'You like to bet?'

'Sure, I'll always bet.'

The man paused and examined his cigar, and I must say I didn't much like the way he was behaving. It seemed he was trying to embarrass the boy, and at the same time I had the feeling he was enjoying a private little secret.

He looked up again at the boy and said slowly, 'I like to bet, too. Why don't we have a bet on this thing? A big bet.'

'Now wait a minute,' the boy said. 'I can't do that. But I'll bet you a dollar. I'll even bet you ten, or whatever the money is over here.' The old man waved his hand again. 'Listen to me. Let's have some fun. We make a bet. Then we go up to my room here in the hotel where there's no wind, and I bet you cannot light this famous lighter of yours ten times one after another without missing once.'

'I'll bet I can,' the boy said.

'All right. Good. We make a bet, yes?'

'Sure, I'll bet you ten dollars.'

'No, no. I am a rich man and I am a sporting man also. Listen to me. Outside the hotel is my car. It's a very fine car. An American car from your country. Cadillac-'

'Now, wait a minute.' The boy leaned back and laughed. 'I can't offer you anything like that. This is crazy.'

'It's not crazy at all. You strike the lighter successfully ten times and the Cadillac is yours. You'd like to have this Cadillac, yes?' 'Sure, I'd like to have a Cadillac.' The boy was still smiling.

'All right. Fine. We make a bet and I offer my Cadillac.'

'What do I offer?'

The old man said, 'I never ask you, my friend, to bet something that you cannot afford. You understand?'

'So what do I bet?'

'I'll make it easy for you, yes?'

'OK. You make it easy.'

'Some small thing you can afford to give away, and if you did lose it you would not feel too bad. Right?'

'Like what?'

'Like, perhaps, the little finger on your left hand.'

'My what?' The boy stopped smiling.

'Yes. Why not? You win, you take the car. You lose, I take the finger.'

'I don't understand. How do you mean, you take the finger?'

'I chop it off'

'That's crazy. I think I'll just bet ten dollars.'

'Well, well, well,' the old man said. 'I do not understand. You say it lights but you will not bet. Then we forget it, yes?'

The boy sat quite still, staring at the bathers in the pool. Then he remembered that he hadn't lit his cigarette. He put it between his lips, opened the lighter and turned the wheel. It lit and burned with a small, steady, yellow flame, and the way he held his hands meant that the wind didn't get to it at all.

'Could I have a light, too?' I said.

'God, I'm sorry, I forgot you didn't have one.'

He stood up and came over to light my cigarette. There was a silence then, and I could see that the old man had succeeded in disturbing the boy with his ridiculous suggestion. He was sitting there very still, obviously tense. Then he started moving about in his seat, and rubbing his chest and stroking the back of his neck. Finally he placed both hands on his knees and began tapping his fingers against them. Soon he was tapping with one of his feet, too.

'Now just let me check I understand,' he said at last. 'You say we go up to your room and if I make this lighter light ten times one time after another I win a Cadillac. If it misses just once then I lose the little finger of my left hand. Is that right?'

'Certainly. That is the bet. But I think you are afraid.'

'What do we do if I lose? Do I have to hold my finger out while you chop it off?'

'Oh, no! That would not be good. And you might refuse to hold it out. What I would do is tie one of your hands to the table before we started, and I would stand there with a knife ready to chop the moment your lighter missed.'

'How old is the Cadillac?'

'How old? It is last year's. Quite a new car. But I see you are not a betting man. Americans never are.'

The boy paused for a moment and he glanced first at the English girl, then at me. 'Yes,' he said suddenly. 'I'll bet you.'

'Good!' The old man clapped his hands together. 'Fine,' he said. 'We will do it now. And you, sir.' He turned to me. 'You would perhaps be good enough to, what do you call it, to - to referee.'

'Well,' I said, 'I think it's a crazy bet. I don't like it very much.'

'Neither do I,' said the English girl. It was the first time she'd spoken. 'I think it's a stupid, ridiculous bet.'

'Are you serious about cutting off this boy's finger if he loses?' I said.

'Certainly I am. Also about giving him my Cadillac if he wins. Come now. We will go to my room. Would you like to put on some clothes first?' he said to the boy.

'No,' the boy answered. 'I'll come like this.' Then he turned to me. 'I'd consider it a favour if you'd come along as a referee.'

'All right,' I said. 'I'll come along but I don't like the bet.'

'You come, too,' he said to the girl. 'You come and watch.'

The old man led the way back through the garden to the hotel. He was excited now and that seemed to make him walk with more energy. 'Would you like to see the car first? It's just here.' He took us to a pale-green Cadillac.

'There it is. The green one. You like?'

'That's a nice car,' the boy said.

'All right. Now we will go up and see if you can win her.'

We all went up the stairs and into a large pleasant double bedroom. There was a woman's dress lying across the bottom of one of the beds.

'First,' he said, 'let's have a little drink.'

The drinks were on a small table in the far corner, all ready to be poured, and there was ice and plenty of glasses. He began to pour the drinks, and then he rang the bell and a little later there was a knock at the door and a maid came in.

'Ah!' he said, putting down the bottle and giving her a pound note. 'You will do something for me now please. We are going to play a little game in here and I want you to go off and find for me two - no, three things. I want some nails, I want a hammer, and I want a big knife, a butcher's knife which you can borrow from the kitchen. You can get these, yes?'

'A butcher's knife!' The maid opened her eyes wide. 'You mean a real butcher's knife?'

'Yes, of course. Come on now, please. You can find those things surely for me.'

'Yes, sir, I'll try. I'll try to get them.' And she went.

The old man handed round the drinks. We stood there drinking: the boy; the English girl, who watched the boy over the top of her glass all the time; the little old man with the colourless eyes standing there in his elegant white suit, drinking and looking at the girl. I didn't know what to think about it all. The man seemed serious about the bet and he seemed serious about the business of cutting off the finger. But what would we do if the boy lost? Then we'd have to rush him to hospital in the Cadillac that he hadn't won. It would all be a stupid, unnecessary thing in my opinion.


Man from the South (1) 南から来た男(1)

It was almost six o'clock, so I thought I'd buy a beer and go out and sit by the swimming pool and have a little evening sun. 六時近くだったので、ビールを買って外に出てプールのそばに座って、少し夕陽を浴びようと思いました。

I went to the bar and got the beer and carried it outside and wandered down the garden. 私はバーに行ってビールを手に入れ、それを外に運び、庭をさまよった。 It was a fine garden and there were plenty of chairs around the pool. それは素晴らしい庭で、プールの周りにはたくさんの椅子がありました。 There were white tables and huge brightly coloured umbrellas and sunburned men and women sitting around in bathing suits. 白いテーブルと鮮やかな色の巨大な傘、そして日焼けした男性と女性が水着を着て座っていました。 In the pool itself there were three or four girls and about a dozen boys, all splashing about and making a lot of noise and throwing a large rubber ball at one another. プール自体には、3人か4人の女の子と、約12人の男の子がいて、全員が水しぶきを上げて大きな音を立て、大きなゴム製のボールを互いに投げ合っていました。

I stood watching them. The girls were English girls from the hotel. I didn't know about the boys, but they sounded American, and I thought they were probably young sailors from the American ship which had arrived in harbour that morning.

I went over and sat down under a yellow umbrella where there were four empty seats, and I poured my beer and settled back comfortably with a cigarette. 空いている席が4つある黄色い傘の下に腰を下ろし、ビールを注いでたばこで気持ちよく落ち着きました。 It was pleasant to sit and watch the bathers splashing about in the green water. 座って、入浴者が緑の水に飛び散るのを見るのは楽しかったです。

The American sailors were getting on nicely with the English girls. アメリカ人の船員はイギリス人の女の子とうまくやっていた。 They'd reached the point where they were diving under the water and pulling the girls up by their legs. 彼らは水中に潜り、女の子を足で引き上げるところまで来ていました。

Just then I noticed a small old man walking quickly around the edge of the pool. ちょうどその時、私は小さな老人がプールの端を素早く歩いているのに気づきました。 He was beautifully dressed in a white suit and a cream-coloured hat, and as he walked he was looking at the people and the chairs. 彼は白いスーツとクリーム色の帽子を身に着けていて、歩いていると人と椅子を見ていました。

He stopped beside me and smiled. I smiled back.

'Excuse me please, but may I sit here?' 「すみませんが、ここに座ってもよろしいですか?」

'Certainly,' I said. 'Go ahead.'

He inspected the back of the chair for safety, then he sat down and crossed his legs. 彼は安全のために椅子の背もたれを点検し、それから座って足を組んだ。

'A fine evening,' he said. 「いい夜だ」と彼は言った。 'They are all fine evenings here in Jamaica.' 「ここジャマイカでは、みんな晴れた夜です。」 I couldn't tell if his accent was Italian or Spanish, but I felt sure he was some sort of a South American. 彼の訛りがイタリア語なのかスペイン語なのかはわかりませんでしたが、彼はある種の南米人だと確信していました。 He was old, too, when you looked at him closely. あなたが彼をよく見ると、彼も年をとっていました。 Probably around sixty-eight or seventy. おそらく約68または70。

'Yes,' I said. 'It's wonderful here, isn't it?' 「ここは素晴らしいですね」

'And who are all these? 'そして、これらすべては誰ですか? These are not hotel people.' これらはホテルの人ではありません。 He was pointing at the bathers in the pool. 彼はプールの海水浴客を指さしていた。

'I think they're American sailors,' I told him.

'Of course they are Americans. Who else in the world is going to make as much noise as that? 世界の他の誰がそれと同じくらい騒ぐつもりですか? You are not American, no?' あなたはアメリカ人ではありませんね」

'No,' I said. 「いいえ」と私は言いました。 'I am not.' 「私はそうではありません。」

Suddenly one of the young sailors was standing in front of us. 突然、若い船乗りの一人が私たちの前に立っていました。 He was still wet from the pool and one of the English girls was standing there with him. 彼はまだプールで濡れていて、イギリス人の女の子の一人が彼と一緒に立っていました。

'Are these chairs free?' 「これらの椅子は無料ですか?」 he said.

'Yes,' I answered.

'Mind if I sit down?' 「座ってもいいですか?」

'Go ahead.'

'Thanks,' he said. He had a towel in his hand, and when he sat down he unrolled it and produced a packet of cigarettes and a lighter. 彼は手にタオルを持っていて、座ったときにそれを広げて、タバコとライターのパケットを作りました。 He offered the cigarettes to the girl but she refused; then he offered them to me and I took one. 彼は少女にタバコを差し出したが、彼女は拒否した。それから彼は私にそれらを提供し、私はそれを取りました。 The old man said, 'Thank you, no, but I think I will have a cigar.' 老人は言った、「ありがとう、いや、でも私は葉巻を持っていると思う」。 He took a cigar out of his pocket, then he produced a knife and cut the end off it. 彼はポケットから葉巻を取り出し、それからナイフを作り、それの端を切り落としました。

'Here, let me give you a light.' 「ここで、私はあなたに光を与えましょう。」 The American boy held up his lighter. アメリカ人の少年はライターを持ち上げた。

'That will not work in this wind.' 「それはこの風ではうまくいきません。」

'Sure it'll work. 「確かにそれはうまくいくでしょう。 It always works.'

The old man removed the cigar from his mouth, moved his head to one side and looked at the boy. 老人は葉巻を口から外し、頭を片側に動かして男の子を見ました。

'Always?' he said slowly.

'Sure, it never fails. 「確かに、それは決して失敗しません。 Not with me anyway.' とにかく私と一緒ではありません。」

'Well, well. So you say this famous lighter never fails. だからあなたはこの有名なライターは決して失敗しないと言います。 Is that what you say?' それはあなたの言うことですか?」

'Sure,' the boy said. 'That's right.' He was about nineteen or twenty, with pale skin and a rather sharp nose. 彼は約19歳か20歳で、肌は青白く、鼻はかなり鋭い。 He was holding the lighter in his hand, ready to turn the little wheel. 彼はライターを手に持っていて、小さなホイールを回す準備ができていました。 He said, 'I promise you it never fails.' 彼は言った、「私はあなたにそれが決して失敗しないことを約束します。」

'One moment, please.' 'ちょっと待ってください。' The hand that held the cigar came up high, as if it were stopping traffic. 葉巻を持っていた手が、まるで交通を止めているかのように高く上がった。 'Now just one moment.' 「ちょっと待って」 He had a curiously soft voice and kept looking at the boy all the time. 彼は不思議なほど柔らかな声で、ずっと男の子を見つめていました。 He smiled. 彼は微笑みました。 'Shall we not make a little bet on whether your lighter lights?' 「ライターが点灯するかどうかに少し賭けてみませんか?」

'Sure, I'll bet,' the boy said. 'Why not?' 'なぜだめですか?'

'You like to bet?' 「あなたは賭けるのが好きですか?」

'Sure, I'll always bet.'

The man paused and examined his cigar, and I must say I didn't much like the way he was behaving. 男は立ち止まって葉巻を調べました、そして私は彼の振る舞いがあまり好きではなかったと言わなければなりません。 It seemed he was trying to embarrass the boy, and at the same time I had the feeling he was enjoying a private little secret. 彼はその少年を困らせようとしているようで、同時に私は彼が私的な小さな秘密を楽しんでいるように感じました。

He looked up again at the boy and said slowly, 'I like to bet, too. Why don't we have a bet on this thing? これに賭けてみませんか? A big bet.' 大きな賭けです。

'Now wait a minute,' the boy said. 'I can't do that. '私はそれを行うことはできません。 But I'll bet you a dollar. しかし、私はあなたにドルを賭けます。 I'll even bet you ten, or whatever the money is over here.' 私はあなたに10、またはここにあるお金が何であれ賭けます。」 The old man waved his hand again. 'Listen to me. Let's have some fun. We make a bet. Then we go up to my room here in the hotel where there's no wind, and I bet you cannot light this famous lighter of yours ten times one after another without missing once.' それから風のないこのホテルの私の部屋に行って、あなたのこの有名なライターに 10 回続けて 1 回も火をつけられないに違いないわ」

'I'll bet I can,' the boy said.

'All right. Good. We make a bet, yes?'

'Sure, I'll bet you ten dollars.' 「もちろん、10ドル賭けるよ」

'No, no. I am a rich man and I am a sporting man also. 私は金持ちで、スポーツマンでもあります。 Listen to me. Outside the hotel is my car. It's a very fine car. An American car from your country. Cadillac-'

'Now, wait a minute.' The boy leaned back and laughed. その少年は身を乗り出して笑った。 'I can't offer you anything like that. 「私はあなたにそのようなものを提供することはできません。 This is crazy.'

'It's not crazy at all. 「それはまったくクレイジーではありません。 You strike the lighter successfully ten times and the Cadillac is yours. ライターを 10 回たたくと、キャデラックはあなたのものです。 You'd like to have this Cadillac, yes?' このキャデラックが欲しいですよね?」 'Sure, I'd like to have a Cadillac.' The boy was still smiling.

'All right. Fine. We make a bet and I offer my Cadillac.'

'What do I offer?'

The old man said, 'I never ask you, my friend, to bet something that you cannot afford. 老人は言った、「私の友人、あなたに、あなたが買う余裕のない何かを賭けるように頼むことは決してありません。 You understand?'

'So what do I bet?'

'I'll make it easy for you, yes?' 「私はあなたのためにそれを簡単にします、そうですか?」

'OK. You make it easy.' あなたはそれを簡単にします。

'Some small thing you can afford to give away, and if you did lose it you would not feel too bad. 「あなたが与えることができるいくつかの小さなもの、そしてあなたがそれを失ったとしてもあなたはそれほど悪く感じることはないでしょう。 Right?'

'Like what?' 'どのような?'

'Like, perhaps, the little finger on your left hand.' 「おそらく、左手の小指のように。」

'My what?' '私の何?' The boy stopped smiling.

'Yes. Why not? You win, you take the car. You lose, I take the finger.'

'I don't understand. How do you mean, you take the finger?' どういう意味ですか、あなたは指を取りますか?」

'I chop it off' 「私はそれを切り落とす」

'That's crazy. I think I'll just bet ten dollars.' 10 ドルだけ賭けてみようと思います。

'Well, well, well,' the old man said. 'I do not understand. You say it lights but you will not bet. あなたはそれが点灯すると言いますが、あなたは賭けません。 Then we forget it, yes?' それなら忘れますね」

The boy sat quite still, staring at the bathers in the pool. 少年はじっと座って、プールの入浴者を見つめていました。 Then he remembered that he hadn't lit his cigarette. それから彼は自分のタバコに火をつけていなかったことを思い出した。 He put it between his lips, opened the lighter and turned the wheel. It lit and burned with a small, steady, yellow flame, and the way he held his hands meant that the wind didn't get to it at all. それは小さくて安定した黄色い炎で点灯して燃えました、そして彼が彼の手を握った方法は風がまったくそれに到達しなかったことを意味しました。

'Could I have a light, too?' 「私もライトを頂けますか?」 I said.

'God, I'm sorry, I forgot you didn't have one.' 「神様、ごめんなさい、あなたが持っていなかったことを忘れました。」

He stood up and came over to light my cigarette. There was a silence then, and I could see that the old man had succeeded in disturbing the boy with his ridiculous suggestion. その時は沈黙があり、その老人は彼のばかげた提案で少年を邪魔することに成功したことがわかりました。 He was sitting there very still, obviously tense. 彼は非常に静かに、明らかに緊張してそこに座っていました。 Then he started moving about in his seat, and rubbing his chest and stroking the back of his neck. それから彼は自分の席で動き始め、胸をこすり、首の後ろをなでました。 Finally he placed both hands on his knees and began tapping his fingers against them. 最後に、彼は両手を膝の上に置き、指を膝に叩き始めました。 Soon he was tapping with one of his feet, too. すぐに彼も片方の足で叩きました。

'Now just let me check I understand,' he said at last. 「今、私が理解していることを確認させてください」と彼はついに言った。 'You say we go up to your room and if I make this lighter light ten times one time after another I win a Cadillac. 「あなたは私たちがあなたの部屋に上がると言います、そして私がこれを次々に10回軽くするならば、私はキャデラックに勝ちます。 If it misses just once then I lose the little finger of my left hand. Is that right?'

'Certainly. That is the bet. それが賭けです。 But I think you are afraid.' しかし、私はあなたが恐れていると思います。

'What do we do if I lose? 「負けたらどうしよう。 Do I have to hold my finger out while you chop it off?' あなたがそれを切り落とす間、私は指を出さなければなりませんか?」

'Oh, no! That would not be good. それは良くないでしょう。 And you might refuse to hold it out. そして、あなたはそれを保持することを拒否するかもしれません. What I would do is tie one of your hands to the table before we started, and I would stand there with a knife ready to chop the moment your lighter missed.'

'How old is the Cadillac?'

'How old? It is last year's. Quite a new car. But I see you are not a betting man. しかし、あなたは賭け屋ではないようです。 Americans never are.'

The boy paused for a moment and he glanced first at the English girl, then at me. 'Yes,' he said suddenly. 'I'll bet you.'

'Good!' The old man clapped his hands together. 'Fine,' he said. 'We will do it now. And you, sir.' He turned to me. 'You would perhaps be good enough to, what do you call it, to - to referee.' 「あなたはおそらく、それを何と呼んでいるのか、審判をするのに十分だろう.」

'Well,' I said, 'I think it's a crazy bet. I don't like it very much.'

'Neither do I,' said the English girl. 「私もね」とイギリス人の女の子は言いました。 It was the first time she'd spoken. 'I think it's a stupid, ridiculous bet.'

'Are you serious about cutting off this boy's finger if he loses?' I said.

'Certainly I am. Also about giving him my Cadillac if he wins. Come now. We will go to my room. Would you like to put on some clothes first?' 最初に服を着ますか? he said to the boy.

'No,' the boy answered. 'I'll come like this.' 「こうやって来ます」 Then he turned to me. 'I'd consider it a favour if you'd come along as a referee.' 「レフリーとして来てくれたら、ありがたいと思います。」

'All right,' I said. 'I'll come along but I don't like the bet.' 「一緒に行くけど、賭けは好きじゃない」

'You come, too,' he said to the girl. 'You come and watch.'

The old man led the way back through the garden to the hotel. He was excited now and that seemed to make him walk with more energy. 'Would you like to see the car first? It's just here.' He took us to a pale-green Cadillac.

'There it is. The green one. You like?'

'That's a nice car,' the boy said.

'All right. Now we will go up and see if you can win her.' さあ、あなたが彼女を勝ち取ることができるかどうか見てみましょう。

We all went up the stairs and into a large pleasant double bedroom. 私たちは皆、階段を上って大きく快適なダブルベッドルームに入りました。 There was a woman's dress lying across the bottom of one of the beds.

'First,' he said, 'let's have a little drink.'

The drinks were on a small table in the far corner, all ready to be poured, and there was ice and plenty of glasses. He began to pour the drinks, and then he rang the bell and a little later there was a knock at the door and a maid came in.

'Ah!' he said, putting down the bottle and giving her a pound note. 彼はそう言って、ボトルを置き、彼女にポンド札を渡しました。 'You will do something for me now please. 「今、私のために何かしてください。 We are going to play a little game in here and I want you to go off and find for me two - no, three things. 私たちはここでちょっとしたゲームをするつもりです。そこから出て行って、私のために 2 つ、いや、3 つのことを見つけてほしいのです。 I want some nails, I want a hammer, and I want a big knife, a butcher's knife which you can borrow from the kitchen. You can get these, yes?'

'A butcher's knife!' The maid opened her eyes wide. 'You mean a real butcher's knife?'

'Yes, of course. Come on now, please. You can find those things surely for me.'

'Yes, sir, I'll try. I'll try to get them.' And she went.

The old man handed round the drinks. 老人は飲み物を回した。 We stood there drinking: the boy; the English girl, who watched the boy over the top of her glass all the time; the little old man with the colourless eyes standing there in his elegant white suit, drinking and looking at the girl. 私たちはそこに立って飲んでいました。いつもグラス越しに男の子を見守っていたイギリス人の女の子。色のない目をした小柄な老人がエレガントな白いスーツを着て立ち、酒を飲みながら少女を見つめていた。 I didn't know what to think about it all. 私はそれについて何を考えるべきかわかりませんでした。 The man seemed serious about the bet and he seemed serious about the business of cutting off the finger. But what would we do if the boy lost? Then we'd have to rush him to hospital in the Cadillac that he hadn't won. It would all be a stupid, unnecessary thing in my opinion. 私の意見では、それはすべてばかげた、不必要なことです。