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E-Books (english-e-reader), The Book of Houghts (1)

The Book of Houghts (1)

Chester was feeling more tired than usual after a hard day at the office. He had joined the company only two years before. He had come straight from university then, but now he was a junior manager in one of the biggest companies in Singapore. It was an important position to have and meant lots of extra work.

He could understand the jealousy that some of the other workers might feel against the 'new boy', as they still called him. He had risen quickly in the company. Many of them, however, had been there for years doing the same jobs. He could understand how bad feeling towards him might lie hidden behind their smiles.

But it didn't make life any easier.

He needed people whose advice he could trust when he had to make difficult decisions. He had to be sure that the bad feelings of the other workers didn't get in the way of the important business decisions he had to make. He knew he would never become a manager unless he could be sure of people.

Then there was Dorothy.

Chester was fairly sure of his own good looks. He was dark and slim and dressed smartly, but with an eye to fashion. He was a confident speaker and believed himself to be a sociable and effective junior manager.

But when it came to Dorothy his judgement disappeared. Dorothy was a bright girl who had just joined the company, straight from university. He was attracted at once by her intelligent eyes, her shy, pretty face and her soft, round figure.

Ah, Dorothy!

Take today, for example. He had been given some new figures to check and he had asked Dorothy to read some of the details to him while he took notes. It was not until she had left that he realised that he had not written notes at all. Instead he had written Dorothy's name several times. He was too embarrassed to ask Dorothy for the details again, so he had to look them up in the office of old Mr Shaw.

Mr Shaw was known for always being in a bad mood and he was no different this time. He didn't like having to stay late to check figures for some junior manager. He didn't like it at all.

Chester hated it when he made mistakes. It didn't look good. But it didn't happen often.

He decided he would walk home instead of taking the train. It was late in the evening but he felt he needed the walk to clear his thoughts after a busy day. Anyway, it would be a little punishment for being so stupid earlier on. He decided that he would eat at the shopping centre near his home. He liked the Chinese food there.

As he walked towards his favourite Chinese restaurant, he saw that the lights were still on in an old antique shop. He had often thought of looking into this shop because he liked shops that sold old things. He stopped and looked. There were boxes full of old books piled outside the shop. On the shop window was a notice. It read: Sorry, shop closed today. Open again tomorrow.

He bent down to look at the books. He saw all the usual old books: school books, cookery books and other books with dirty, yellowing pages that were of no value to him. There was one small, old book, however, that he noticed at once. It looked much older than the rest of the books. He picked it up.

'Take it!' said a voice behind him. Chester turned to see a man of about eighty years old. The man had opened the shop door anekwas carrying another box full of old books. 'These have all been around for years. My nephew is taking over the business and I don't want to leave him with all this rubbish. Nobody wants to buy any of it, so take what you want - go on, help yourself!'

'Thanks,' said Chester as he put the old book into his jacket pocket and went on to the Chinese restaurant.

Chester sat at his table drinking a beer. He had been looking forward to his chicken and rice. When it arrived, he found that the chicken had not been cooked properly. It was pink inside. He decided to complain and called the waiter.

'Sir?' asked the waiter.

Chester noticed that the waiter was new to the place.

'I'm not eating this,' Chester told him. 'The chicken is pink inside - it hasn't been cooked properly.'

'It's rare chicken, sir,' the waiter said. 'Many of our customers prefer its finer taste.'

Chester looked straight at the waiter. He thought the waiter was not showing him enough respect.

'Really?' answered Chester.

'It's very popular, sir,' said the waiter.

'And I suppose the illness they caught from eating undercooked chicken was popular with them too, eh?' said Chester. Other people in the restaurant could hear. He was annoyed.

The waiter said nothing but his face turned red.

'Please take this chicken back,' Chester told the waiter, 'and give me a piece that has been cooked all the way through.'

'Certainly, sir,' said the waiter as he took the food and went back to the kitchen.

While Chester was waiting for his meal to return he remembered the little book in his pocket. He thought he would have a look at it while he was waiting. He took it out of his pocket and examined it.

It was small enough to fit easily into his pocket and was covered with old, fine leather. He had to clean off some of the dirt in order to read the title on the cover. At first the title seemed to be in another language with strange letters and shapes, but as he looked they seemed to change into English. He closed his eyes tightly and opened them again. He was mistaken, of course. He must have been. When he looked again the title of the book was there. It was still dirty but it was clearly written in English. It read: The Book of Thoughts.

It didn't say who wrote the book.

Chester thought it must be one of those old books which offered advice about life. He felt disappointed.

He tried to open the book but it had an old metal lock which stopped him. Then suddenly the book seemed to open quite naturally at the middle pages. It was almost as if it wanted him to read it.

What he saw when he looked surprised him. The pages had nothing written on them and they were clean and white, not at all like the yellowed pages one would expect to find in a book this old. Did all the pages have no writing on them?

Just then the waiter returned with Chester's chicken and rice and placed it before him.

'Thank you,' said^lhester.

'My pleasure, sir,' answered the waiter with a smile.

Chester happened to look at the opened book. It now had writing on the pages which only a moment before had been clean and white. The writing said:

He wouldn 't look so pleased with himself if he knew what I had put on to his chicken while I was in the kitchen. That will teach him to make me look silly.

'Chester couldn't believe what he saw. Was this what the waiter was thinking?

'Anything else, sir?' asked the waiter politely.

'Er... no, thank you,' said Chester.

As the waiter walked off the writing disappeared. Chester looked at his meal. He didn't feel hungry anymore. And he could hardly complain to the manager about the waiter. Not without telling them about the book. Who would believe him?

Chester left the chicken and rice alone, paid his bill and went. He did not leave the waiter a tip.

*

When Chester got home he felt exhausted. He took out the book and looked inside it once more. The pages were now all white and clear again. Perhaps it had all been a result of his tiredness. He had been thinking too much about work - and about Dorothy. That must be it. There was no other possible explanation: he was simply too tired to think straight.

He went to bed and slept almost at once.

*

The train was less crowded than usual the following morning. He was lucky enough to find a seat for his short journey. He liked to watch people as they all sat or stood with faces that gave no sign of what they were thinking. Everybody avoided looking at another person in the eye -that might cause trouble.

Chester relaxed in his seat. He had decided that the experience of the night before was best forgotten. Who ever heard of a book that read thoughts? The whole idea was crazy!

Then he remembered that he still had the book in his pocket. He ought to throw it away in the next rubbish bin. Yes, that's what he would do. Get rid of the stupid thing.

He noticed that the woman who sat opposite was an attractive, smartly dressed middle-aged lady. Her eyes looked down and her face showed nothing of her thoughts. Chester wondered what she was thinking.

Should he look at the book?

Perhaps just a little look would be fun. Where was the harm in it?

He reached for the book in his pocket. He took it out.

'Go on,' he said to himself, 'you might as well try out the book. Just for a laugh. Do it!'

He opened the book and almost at once words in clear black letters appeared on the white pages. The words read:

I've given the best years of my life to him. Bank managers have married their secretaries before now. He must decide today - leave that awful wife and marry me or I'll shoot him and myself dead.

Chester saw that the woman's soft handbag had something in it that looked hard. Could it be a gun? He quickly shut the book and looked away.

Next he saw a tough-looking man wearing a T-shirt, showing his powerful arms, what was he thinking?

Chester opened the book. It read:

I like chicken better than pork. Fried chicken is the best. Followed by chocolate ice cream - my favourite. Mum's a great cook - I love you, Mum.

Chester couldn't help smiling at the man. The man saw him and gave him a dangerous look. Just then the train reached Chester's station.

Time to get off the train.

He closed die book and put it back into his pocket. As he walked the short distance to his office his mind turned from the book to Dorothy. He had been thinking of asking her out to dinner.

'I'll do it today,' he thought. 'But what if she hasn't thought about me in that way? Maybe she isn't as attracted to me as I am to her?'

For a moment his heart felt heavy.

'Hey, come on, Chester - she's not blind. She's sure to be interested - after all, you're a good-looking guy and you are a junior manager.'

Chester walked into his office. His secretary was already busy typing.

'Any messages, Miss Han?' he asked her.

'Yes, sir,' said Miss Han, 'from the Manager. He says he can't go to the meeting today about the Eastern business. He wants you to take over right away.'

Yes!

This was the kind of opportunity he'd been waiting for. yHe would show them all just how good he was. This was an important piece of business. If he could make sure that everything went well he would get noticed. He would be an obvious choice for the next manager's job. If he became a manager he would be the youngest manager in the business!

And Dorothy would like that, wouldn't she? What woman wouldn't?

He thought of her soft figure in his arms. Her voice was whispering his name softly, Oh, Chester... Chester...


The Book of Houghts (1) ホーツの本(1)

Chester was feeling more tired than usual after a hard day at the office. チェスターは、オフィスで忙しい一日を過ごした後、いつもより疲れを感じていました。 He had joined the company only two years before. 彼はたった2年前に入社した。 He had come straight from university then, but now he was a junior manager in one of the biggest companies in Singapore. 彼は当時大学を卒業していましたが、現在はシンガポール最大の企業の1つでジュニアマネージャーを務めています。 It was an important position to have and meant lots of extra work. それは重要な立場であり、多くの余分な仕事を意味しました。

He could understand the jealousy that some of the other workers might feel against the 'new boy', as they still called him. 彼は、他の労働者の何人かがまだ彼を呼んでいるので、「新しい男の子」に対して感じるかもしれない嫉妬を理解することができました。 He had risen quickly in the company. 彼は会社で急いで立ち上がった。 Many of them, however, had been there for years doing the same jobs. しかし、彼らの多くは同じ仕事をして何年もそこにいました。 He could understand how bad feeling towards him might lie hidden behind their smiles. 彼は彼に対する悪い感情が彼らの笑顔の後ろに隠されているかもしれないことを理解することができました。

But it didn't make life any easier. しかし、それは人生を楽にするものではありませんでした。

He needed people whose advice he could trust when he had to make difficult decisions. 彼は難しい決断をしなければならないときに彼が信頼できるアドバイスを持っている人々を必要としていました。 He had to be sure that the bad feelings of the other workers didn't get in the way of the important business decisions he had to make. 彼は、他の労働者の悪い感情が彼がしなければならない重要なビジネス上の決定の邪魔にならないことを確認しなければなりませんでした。 He knew he would never become a manager unless he could be sure of people. 彼は、人々を確信できなければ、マネージャーになることは決してないだろうと知っていました。

Then there was Dorothy. それからドロシーがいました。

Chester was fairly sure of his own good looks. チェスターは彼自身の美貌をかなり確信していた。 He was dark and slim and dressed smartly, but with an eye to fashion. 彼は暗くてスリムで、おしゃれな服を着ていましたが、ファッションに目を向けていました。 He was a confident speaker and believed himself to be a sociable and effective junior manager. 彼は自信を持って話をし、社交的で効果的なジュニアマネージャーであると信じていました。

But when it came to Dorothy his judgement disappeared. しかし、ドロシーになると、彼の判断は消えました。 Dorothy was a bright girl who had just joined the company, straight from university. ドロシーは大学から直接入社したばかりの明るい女の子でした。 He was attracted at once by her intelligent eyes, her shy, pretty face and her soft, round figure. 彼は彼女の知的な目、恥ずかしがり屋でかわいらしい顔、そして柔らかく丸い姿にすぐに魅了されました。

Ah, Dorothy!

Take today, for example. 今日を例にとってみましょう。 He had been given some new figures to check and he had asked Dorothy to read some of the details to him while he took notes. 彼はチェックするためにいくつかの新しい数字を与えられ、ドロシーにメモを取りながら詳細のいくつかを読むように頼んだ. It was not until she had left that he realised that he had not written notes at all. 彼女が去って初めて、彼は自分がまったくメモを書いていないことに気づきました。 Instead he had written Dorothy's name several times. 代わりに、彼はドロシーの名前を何度か書いていました。 He was too embarrassed to ask Dorothy for the details again, so he had to look them up in the office of old Mr Shaw. 彼は恥ずかしすぎてドロシーに詳細をもう一度尋ねることができなかったので、年老いたショー氏のオフィスでそれらを調べなければなりませんでした。

Mr Shaw was known for always being in a bad mood and he was no different this time. ショー氏はいつも機嫌が悪いことで知られていましたが、今回も例外ではありませんでした。 He didn't like having to stay late to check figures for some junior manager. 彼は、下級マネージャーの数字をチェックするために遅くまで残らなければならないのが好きではなかった. He didn't like it at all. 彼はそれがまったく好きではありませんでした。

Chester hated it when he made mistakes. チェスターはミスをするのが嫌いだった。 It didn't look good. よく見えませんでした。 But it didn't happen often. しかし、それは頻繁には起こりませんでした。

He decided he would walk home instead of taking the train. 彼は電車に乗らずに歩いて帰ることにした。 It was late in the evening but he felt he needed the walk to clear his thoughts after a busy day. Anyway, it would be a little punishment for being so stupid earlier on. とにかく、これまで愚かだったことへのちょっとした罰だろう。 He decided that he would eat at the shopping centre near his home. 彼は家の近くのショッピングセンターで食事をすることにしました。 He liked the Chinese food there.

As he walked towards his favourite Chinese restaurant, he saw that the lights were still on in an old antique shop. お気に入りの中華料理店に向かって歩いていると、古い骨董品店の明かりがまだ灯っているのに気づきました。 He had often thought of looking into this shop because he liked shops that sold old things. 古いものを売る店が好きだった彼は、この店を調べてみようと何度も思っていた。 He stopped and looked. There were boxes full of old books piled outside the shop. 店の外には古い本が詰まった箱が積み上げられていました。 On the shop window was a notice. It read: Sorry, shop closed today. Open again tomorrow.

He bent down to look at the books. He saw all the usual old books: school books, cookery books and other books with dirty, yellowing pages that were of no value to him. 彼はいつもの古い本をすべて見た: 学校の本、料理本、その他の汚れた、黄ばんだページがあり、彼にとって価値のない本。 There was one small, old book, however, that he noticed at once. しかし、彼がすぐに気づいた小さな古い本が 1 冊ありました。 It looked much older than the rest of the books. それは他の本よりもずっと古いように見えました。 He picked it up.

'Take it!' 「それを取る!」 said a voice behind him. 後ろから声がした。 Chester turned to see a man of about eighty years old. The man had opened the shop door anekwas carrying another box full of old books. 男は古書でいっぱいの別の箱を持って店のドアを開けた。 'These have all been around for years. これらはすべて何年も前から存在しています。 My nephew is taking over the business and I don't want to leave him with all this rubbish. 私の甥が事業を引き継いでいるのですが、私は彼にこのゴミを残したくないのです。 Nobody wants to buy any of it, so take what you want - go on, help yourself!' 誰もそれを買いたがらないから、好きなものを手に入れて - 続けて、自分を助けて!」

'Thanks,' said Chester as he put the old book into his jacket pocket and went on to the Chinese restaurant.

Chester sat at his table drinking a beer. He had been looking forward to his chicken and rice. 彼はチキンとライスを楽しみにしていました。 When it arrived, he found that the chicken had not been cooked properly. それが到着したとき、彼は鶏肉が適切に調理されていないことに気づきました。 It was pink inside. He decided to complain and called the waiter.

'Sir?' asked the waiter.

Chester noticed that the waiter was new to the place. チェスターは、ウェイターがその場所に慣れていないことに気づきました。

'I'm not eating this,' Chester told him. 「私はこれを食べていません」とチェスターは彼に言いました. 'The chicken is pink inside - it hasn't been cooked properly.' 「鶏肉は中がピンク色です - 適切に調理されていません。」

'It's rare chicken, sir,' the waiter said. 'Many of our customers prefer its finer taste.' 「お客様の多くは、より上品な味わいを好みます。」

Chester looked straight at the waiter. He thought the waiter was not showing him enough respect. 彼はウェイターが彼に十分な敬意を示していないと思った。

'Really?' answered Chester.

'It's very popular, sir,' said the waiter.

'And I suppose the illness they caught from eating undercooked chicken was popular with them too, eh?' 「それと、加熱が不十分な鶏肉を食べて病気になったのも、彼らに人気があったと思いますよね?」 said Chester. Other people in the restaurant could hear. He was annoyed.

The waiter said nothing but his face turned red.

'Please take this chicken back,' Chester told the waiter, 'and give me a piece that has been cooked all the way through.' 「この鶏肉を持って帰ってください」とチェスターはウェイターに言いました。

'Certainly, sir,' said the waiter as he took the food and went back to the kitchen.

While Chester was waiting for his meal to return he remembered the little book in his pocket. He thought he would have a look at it while he was waiting. 彼は待っている間にそれを見てみようと思った。 He took it out of his pocket and examined it.

It was small enough to fit easily into his pocket and was covered with old, fine leather. He had to clean off some of the dirt in order to read the title on the cover. 彼は表紙のタイトルを読むために、いくつかの汚れを落とさなければなりませんでした。 At first the title seemed to be in another language with strange letters and shapes, but as he looked they seemed to change into English. 最初はタイトルが変な文字や形で別の言語のように見えたが、見ているうちに英語に変わったようだった。 He closed his eyes tightly and opened them again. He was mistaken, of course. もちろん、彼は間違っていた。 He must have been. 彼はそうだったに違いない。 When he looked again the title of the book was there. It was still dirty but it was clearly written in English. It read: The Book of Thoughts. それは読んだ:思考の本。

It didn't say who wrote the book. 誰がその本を書いたかは言わなかった。

Chester thought it must be one of those old books which offered advice about life. チェスターは、それは人生についてのアドバイスを提供する古い本の 1 つに違いないと考えました。 He felt disappointed.

He tried to open the book but it had an old metal lock which stopped him. 彼は本を開こうとしましたが、古い金属製の鍵がかかっていて、それが彼を止めました。 Then suddenly the book seemed to open quite naturally at the middle pages. すると突然、本の真ん中のページが自然に開いたように見えました。 It was almost as if it wanted him to read it. まるで彼にそれを読んでもらいたいかのようでした。

What he saw when he looked surprised him. 彼が見たものは彼を驚かせた。 The pages had nothing written on them and they were clean and white, not at all like the yellowed pages one would expect to find in a book this old. ページには何も書かれておらず、きれいで白く、この古い本に見られるような黄ばんだページとはまったく異なりました。 Did all the pages have no writing on them? すべてのページに書き込みがありませんでしたか?

Just then the waiter returned with Chester's chicken and rice and placed it before him.

'Thank you,' said^lhester.

'My pleasure, sir,' answered the waiter with a smile. 「よろしくお願いします」ウェイターは笑顔で答えた。

Chester happened to look at the opened book. It now had writing on the pages which only a moment before had been clean and white. ほんの少し前までは真っ白だったページに、今では文字が書かれている。 The writing said:

He wouldn 't look so pleased with himself if he knew what I had put on to his chicken while I was in the kitchen. 私が台所にいる間に彼の鶏肉に何をつけたかを彼が知っていたら、彼は自分自身にそれほど満足していないように見える. That will teach him to make me look silly. それは彼に私をばかげているように見せることを教えます.

'Chester couldn't believe what he saw. 「チェスターは自分が見たものを信じることができませんでした. Was this what the waiter was thinking? これはウェイターが考えていたことでしたか?

'Anything else, sir?' 「他に何かありますか?」 asked the waiter politely.

'Er... no, thank you,' said Chester.

As the waiter walked off the writing disappeared. Chester looked at his meal. He didn't feel hungry anymore. And he could hardly complain to the manager about the waiter. Not without telling them about the book. その本について彼らに話さないわけではありません。 Who would believe him?

Chester left the chicken and rice alone, paid his bill and went. He did not leave the waiter a tip.

***

When Chester got home he felt exhausted. チェスターが家に帰ったとき、彼は疲れ果てていました。 He took out the book and looked inside it once more. The pages were now all white and clear again. Perhaps it had all been a result of his tiredness. おそらくそれはすべて彼の疲れの結果だったのでしょう。 He had been thinking too much about work - and about Dorothy. 彼は仕事のこと、そしてドロシーのことを考えすぎていました。 That must be it. それはそれをする必要があります。 There was no other possible explanation: he was simply too tired to think straight. 他に考えられる説明はありませんでした.彼は単に疲れすぎてまともに考えることができませんでした.

He went to bed and slept almost at once.

***

The train was less crowded than usual the following morning. 翌朝の電車はいつもより空いていた。 He was lucky enough to find a seat for his short journey. 彼は幸運にも短い旅の席を見つけることができました. He liked to watch people as they all sat or stood with faces that gave no sign of what they were thinking. 彼は人々が何を考えているか分からない顔で座ったり立ったりするのを見るのが好きでした。 Everybody avoided looking at another person in the eye -that might cause trouble.

Chester relaxed in his seat. He had decided that the experience of the night before was best forgotten. 彼は前夜の経験は忘れるのが一番だと判断した. Who ever heard of a book that read thoughts? 考えを読む本について聞いたことがありますか? The whole idea was crazy!

Then he remembered that he still had the book in his pocket. He ought to throw it away in the next rubbish bin. 彼はそれを次のゴミ箱に捨てるべきだ。 Yes, that's what he would do. はい、それは彼がすることです。 Get rid of the stupid thing. 愚かなことを取り除きます。

He noticed that the woman who sat opposite was an attractive, smartly dressed middle-aged lady. Her eyes looked down and her face showed nothing of her thoughts. Chester wondered what she was thinking.

Should he look at the book?

Perhaps just a little look would be fun. ちょっと見てるだけでも楽しいかも。 Where was the harm in it? それのどこに害がありましたか?

He reached for the book in his pocket. He took it out.

'Go on,' he said to himself, 'you might as well try out the book. 「続けてみよう」と彼は独り言を言った。 Just for a laugh. 笑いのために。 Do it!'

He opened the book and almost at once words in clear black letters appeared on the white pages. The words read:

I've given the best years of my life to him. 私は彼に私の人生の最高の年を与えました。 Bank managers have married their secretaries before now. 銀行のマネージャーは、これまでに秘書と結婚したことがあります。 He must decide today - leave that awful wife and marry me or I'll shoot him and myself dead. 彼は今日決断しなければなりません - そのひどい妻を残して私と結婚するか、私は彼と私を撃ち殺します.

Chester saw that the woman's soft handbag had something in it that looked hard. チェスターは、その女性の柔らかなハンドバッグの中に何か固いものが入っているのを見た. Could it be a gun? それは銃でしょうか? He quickly shut the book and looked away.

Next he saw a tough-looking man wearing a T-shirt, showing his powerful arms, what was he thinking?

Chester opened the book. It read:

I like chicken better than pork. 私は豚肉より鶏肉が好きです。 Fried chicken is the best. Followed by chocolate ice cream - my favourite. 私のお気に入りのチョコレートアイスクリームが続きます。 Mum's a great cook - I love you, Mum.

Chester couldn't help smiling at the man. The man saw him and gave him a dangerous look. Just then the train reached Chester's station.

Time to get off the train.

He closed die book and put it back into his pocket. As he walked the short distance to his office his mind turned from the book to Dorothy. 彼がオフィスまで少し歩いたとき、彼の心は本からドロシーに変わった。 He had been thinking of asking her out to dinner. 彼は彼女を夕食に誘うことを考えていた.

'I'll do it today,' he thought. 'But what if she hasn't thought about me in that way? 「でも、もし彼女が私のことをそのように考えていなかったら? Maybe she isn't as attracted to me as I am to her?' もしかしたら、彼女は私ほど私に惹かれていないのでは?」

For a moment his heart felt heavy.

'Hey, come on, Chester - she's not blind. 「ねえ、チェスター、彼女は盲目じゃないよ。 She's sure to be interested - after all, you're a good-looking guy and you are a junior manager.'

Chester walked into his office. His secretary was already busy typing.

'Any messages, Miss Han?' 「メッセージはありますか、ミス・ハン?」 he asked her.

'Yes, sir,' said Miss Han, 'from the Manager. He says he can't go to the meeting today about the Eastern business. 彼は、今日の東方事業についての会議には行けないと言っています。 He wants you to take over right away.' 彼はあなたがすぐに引き継ぐことを望んでいます。

Yes!

This was the kind of opportunity he'd been waiting for. 彼が待ち望んでいたのは、まさにこのような機会でした。 yHe would show them all just how good he was. 彼は自分がどれだけ優れているかを皆に示しました。 This was an important piece of business. これは重要な事業でした。 If he could make sure that everything went well he would get noticed. 彼がすべてがうまくいくことを確認できれば、彼は注目されるでしょう. He would be an obvious choice for the next manager's job. 彼は次のマネージャーの職に当然選ばれるだろう. If he became a manager he would be the youngest manager in the business!

And Dorothy would like that, wouldn't she? ドロシーもそれを望んでいるでしょう? What woman wouldn't? どの女性がしないでしょうか?

He thought of her soft figure in his arms. Her voice was whispering his name softly, Oh, Chester... Chester...