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E-Books (english-e-reader), Man from the South (2)

Man from the South (2)

'Before we begin,' the old man said, 'I will present to the - to the referee the key of the car.' He produced the key from his pocket and gave it to me. 'The papers,' he said, 'and the insurance are in the pocket of the car.'

Then the maid came in again. In one hand she carried a butcher's knife, and in the other a hammer and a bag of nails.

'Good! You got them all. Thank you, thank you. Now you can go.' He waited until she had gone, then he put the things on one of the beds and said, 'Now we will prepare ourselves, yes?' The old man moved the little hotel writing-desk away from the wall and removed the writing things. 'And now,' he said, 'a chair.' He picked up a chair and placed it beside the table. 'And now the nails. I must put in the nails.' He fetched the nails and began to hammer them into the top of the table.

We stood there, the boy, the girl and I, watching the man at work. We watched him hammer two nails into the table, about fifteen centimeters apart, allowing a small part of each one to stick up. Then he tested that they were firm with his fingers.

Anyone would think that he had done this before, I told myself. He never hesitated. Table, nails, hammer, knife. He knows exactly what he needs and how to arrange it.

'And now,' he said, 'all we want is some string.' He found some string. 'All right, at last we are ready. Will you please sit here at the table?' he said to the boy.

The boy sat down.

'Now place the left hand between these two nails. The nails are only so that I can tie your hand in place. All right, good. Now I tie your hand securely to the table - like that.'

He tied the string around the boy's wrist, then several times around the wide part of the hand, then he tied it tightly to the nails. When he finished it was impossible for the boy to pull his hand away. But he could move his fingers.

'Now please, make a fist, all except for the little finger. You must leave the little finger sticking out, lying on the table. Excellent! Excellent! Now we are ready. With your right hand you light the lighter. But one moment, please.'

He hurried over to the bed and picked up the knife. He came back and stood beside the table with the knife in his hand.

'We are all ready?' he said. 'Mr Referee, you must say when to begin.'

'Are you ready?' I asked the boy.

'I'm ready.'

'And you?' to the old man.

'Quite ready,' he said and he lifted the knife up in the air and held it there about sixty centimeters above the boy's finger, ready to cut. The boy watched it, but he didn't react and his mouth didn't move at all. He only raised his eyebrows and frowned.

'All right,' I said. 'Go ahead.'

The boy said, 'Will you please count aloud the number of times I light it.'

'Yes,' I said. 'I'll do that.'

With his thumb he raised the top of his lighter, and again with his thumb he turned the wheel sharply. There appeared a small yellow flame.

'One!' I called.

He didn't blow the flame out; he closed the top of the lighter on it and waited for perhaps five seconds before opening it again. He turned the wheel very strongly and once more there was a small flame.

'Two!'

No one else said anything. The boy kept his eyes on the lighter. The man held the knife up in the air and he, too, was watching the lighter.

'Three!'

'Four!'

'Five!'

'Six!'

'Seven!' Obviously it was one of those lighters that worked. I watched the thumb closing the top down on to the flame. Then a pause. Then the thumb raising the top once more. The thumb did everything. I took a breath, ready to say eight. The thumb turned the wheel. The little flame appeared.

'Eight!' I said, and as I said it the door opened. We all turned and we saw a woman standing in the doorway, a small black haired woman, rather old, who stood there for about two seconds then rushed forward, shouting, 'Carlos! Carlos!' She grabbed his wrist, took the knife from him, threw it on the bed, took hold of the man by his jacket and began shaking him with great strength, talking to him fast and loud and fiercely all the time in some Spanish-sounding language. She pulled the old man across the room and pushed him backwards on to one of the beds.

'I am sorry,' the woman said. 'I am so terribly sorry that this should happen.' She spoke almost perfect English. 'It is too bad,' she went on. 'I suppose it is really my fault. For ten minutes I left him alone to go and have my hair washed and I come back and he is doing it again.'

The boy was untying his hand from the table. The English girl and I stood there and said nothing.

'He is a danger to others,' the woman said. 'Where we live at home, he has taken altogether forty-seven fingers from different people, and he has lost eleven cars. In the end they threatened to put him away somewhere. That's why I brought him up here.'

'We were only having a little bet,' whispered the old man.

'I suppose he bet you a car,' the woman said.

'Yes,' the boy answered. 'A Cadillac.'

'He has no car. It's mine. And that makes it worse,' she said. 'He has bet you when he has nothing to bet with. I am ashamed and very sorry about it all.' She seemed a very nice woman.

'Well,' I said, 'then here's the key to your car.' I put it on the table.

'We were only having a little bet,' whispered the old man again.

'He hasn't anything left to bet with,' the woman said. 'He hasn't a thing in the world. Not a thing. In fact I myself won it all from him a long time ago. It was hard work, but I won it all in the end.' She looked up at the boy and she smiled, a slow, sad smile, and she came over and put out a hand to take the key from the table.

I can see it now, that hand of hers; it had only one finger on it, and a thumb.

- THE END -


Man from the South (2)

'Before we begin,' the old man said, 'I will present to the - to the referee the key of the car.' He produced the key from his pocket and gave it to me. 'The papers,' he said, 'and the insurance are in the pocket of the car.'

Then the maid came in again. In one hand she carried a butcher's knife, and in the other a hammer and a bag of nails.

'Good! You got them all. Thank you, thank you. Now you can go.' He waited until she had gone, then he put the things on one of the beds and said, 'Now we will prepare ourselves, yes?' The old man moved the little hotel writing-desk away from the wall and removed the writing things. 'And now,' he said, 'a chair.' He picked up a chair and placed it beside the table. 'And now the nails. I must put in the nails.' He fetched the nails and began to hammer them into the top of the table.

We stood there, the boy, the girl and I, watching the man at work. We watched him hammer two nails into the table, about fifteen centimeters apart, allowing a small part of each one to stick up. 私たちは、彼が約 15 センチの間隔で 2 本の釘をテーブルに打ち込み、それぞれの小さな部分が突き出るのを見ました。 Then he tested that they were firm with his fingers. それから彼は、それらがしっかりしていることを指でテストしました。

Anyone would think that he had done this before, I told myself. 誰もが彼が以前にこれをやったと思うだろう、と私は自分に言い聞かせた。 He never hesitated. 彼は決して躊躇しませんでした。 Table, nails, hammer, knife. He knows exactly what he needs and how to arrange it.

'And now,' he said, 'all we want is some string.' He found some string. 'All right, at last we are ready. Will you please sit here at the table?' he said to the boy.

The boy sat down.

'Now place the left hand between these two nails. The nails are only so that I can tie your hand in place. 釘は手を繋ぐためだけのものです。 All right, good. Now I tie your hand securely to the table - like that.' 今、私はあなたの手をしっかりとテーブルに結びつけます-そのように.

He tied the string around the boy's wrist, then several times around the wide part of the hand, then he tied it tightly to the nails. 彼はその紐を男の子の手首に巻き付け、それから手の広い部分に数回巻き付け、それから爪にしっかりと結び付けました。 When he finished it was impossible for the boy to pull his hand away. But he could move his fingers.

'Now please, make a fist, all except for the little finger. You must leave the little finger sticking out, lying on the table. テーブルの上に横たわって、小指を突き出しておく必要があります。 Excellent! Excellent! Now we are ready. With your right hand you light the lighter. But one moment, please.'

He hurried over to the bed and picked up the knife. He came back and stood beside the table with the knife in his hand.

'We are all ready?' he said. 'Mr Referee, you must say when to begin.'

'Are you ready?' I asked the boy.

'I'm ready.'

'And you?' to the old man.

'Quite ready,' he said and he lifted the knife up in the air and held it there about sixty centimeters above the boy's finger, ready to cut. The boy watched it, but he didn't react and his mouth didn't move at all. He only raised his eyebrows and frowned.

'All right,' I said. 'Go ahead.'

The boy said, 'Will you please count aloud the number of times I light it.'

'Yes,' I said. 'I'll do that.'

With his thumb he raised the top of his lighter, and again with his thumb he turned the wheel sharply. 彼は親指でライターの上部を持ち上げ、再び親指でホイールを鋭く回した。 There appeared a small yellow flame.

'One!' I called.

He didn't blow the flame out; he closed the top of the lighter on it and waited for perhaps five seconds before opening it again. 彼は炎を吹き消さなかった。彼はライターの上部を閉じ、5 秒ほど待ってから再び開けました。 He turned the wheel very strongly and once more there was a small flame. 彼は非常に力強くハンドルを回すと、もう一度小さな炎が出ました。

'Two!'

No one else said anything. The boy kept his eyes on the lighter. The man held the knife up in the air and he, too, was watching the lighter.

'Three!'

'Four!'

'Five!'

'Six!'

'Seven!' Obviously it was one of those lighters that worked. 明らかに、それは機能したライターの1つでした。 I watched the thumb closing the top down on to the flame. 私は親指が上を下にして炎に向かって閉じているのを見ました。 Then a pause. Then the thumb raising the top once more. The thumb did everything. I took a breath, ready to say eight. The thumb turned the wheel. The little flame appeared.

'Eight!' I said, and as I said it the door opened. We all turned and we saw a woman standing in the doorway, a small black haired woman, rather old, who stood there for about two seconds then rushed forward, shouting, 'Carlos! Carlos!' She grabbed his wrist, took the knife from him, threw it on the bed, took hold of the man by his jacket and began shaking him with great strength, talking to him fast and loud and fiercely all the time in some Spanish-sounding language. She pulled the old man across the room and pushed him backwards on to one of the beds.

'I am sorry,' the woman said. 'I am so terribly sorry that this should happen.' 「こんなことになってしまい、本当に申し訳ありません。」 She spoke almost perfect English. 'It is too bad,' she went on. 'I suppose it is really my fault. 「本当に私のせいだと思います。 For ten minutes I left him alone to go and have my hair washed and I come back and he is doing it again.' 10分間、私は彼を放っておいて、髪を洗ってもらいました。私が戻ってくると、彼はまた同じことをしています.」

The boy was untying his hand from the table. The English girl and I stood there and said nothing.

'He is a danger to others,' the woman said. 'Where we live at home, he has taken altogether forty-seven fingers from different people, and he has lost eleven cars. 「私たちが住んでいる家では、彼はさまざまな人から全部で 47 本の指を奪い、11 台の車を失いました。 In the end they threatened to put him away somewhere. 結局、彼らは彼をどこかに置くと脅した. That's why I brought him up here.'

'We were only having a little bet,' whispered the old man. 「ちょっとした賭けだったんだ」と老人はささやいた。

'I suppose he bet you a car,' the woman said.

'Yes,' the boy answered. 'A Cadillac.'

'He has no car. It's mine. And that makes it worse,' she said. そして、それはそれを悪化させます」と彼女は言いました. 'He has bet you when he has nothing to bet with. 「彼は賭けるものが何もないのにあなたに賭けた. I am ashamed and very sorry about it all.' She seemed a very nice woman.

'Well,' I said, 'then here's the key to your car.' I put it on the table.

'We were only having a little bet,' whispered the old man again.

'He hasn't anything left to bet with,' the woman said. 'He hasn't a thing in the world. — У него нет ничего на свете. Not a thing. Ничего. In fact I myself won it all from him a long time ago. На самом деле я сам давно уже все это у него выиграл. It was hard work, but I won it all in the end.' Это была тяжелая работа, но в конце концов я выиграл все». She looked up at the boy and she smiled, a slow, sad smile, and she came over and put out a hand to take the key from the table. 彼女はその少年を見上げ、ゆっくりと悲しげな笑みを浮かべ、近づいてきてテーブルから鍵を取ろうと手を差し伸べた。 Она посмотрела на мальчика и улыбнулась медленной печальной улыбкой, подошла и протянула руку, чтобы взять ключ со стола.

I can see it now, that hand of hers; it had only one finger on it, and a thumb. 私は今それを見ることができます、彼女の手;指は1本と親指しかありませんでした。 Теперь я вижу это, эту ее руку; на нем был только один палец и большой палец.

- THE END -