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English E-reader (Graded readers), The Truly Married Woman (1)

The Truly Married Woman (1)

People who live together get used to each other. They have daily routines, and the usual patterns of life go on without much change.

Ajayi and Ayo have been together for twelve years. They are not married; Ajayi had meant to marry Ayo but somehow the right moment never came. He is quite comfortable with things as they are, maybe a little too comfortable...

Ajayi sat up and looked at the cheap alarm clock on the chair by his bedside. It was six fifteen, and light outside already; the African town was slowly waking to life. The night watchmen, hurriedly shaking themselves out of sleep, were busily banging the locks of shops and houses, to prove to their employers that they were at work. Village women were walking through the streets to the market place, arguing and gossiping.

Ajayi tasted his cup of morning tea. It was as he liked it, weak and sugary, without milk. He got up and walked to the window, and took six deep breaths. Doing this daily, he believed, would prevent diseases of the chest. Then he took a quick bath, taking water from a bucket with a metal cup.

By then Ayo had laid out his breakfast. Ayo was his wife. Not really a wife, he would explain to close friends, but a mistress. A good one. She had given him three children and was now pregnant with another. They had been together for twelve years. She was a patient, handsome woman, very dark with very white teeth and open honest eyes. Her hair was always neat and tidy. When she first came to him - against her parents' wishes - he had truly meant to marry her as soon as she had had their first child, but he had never quite found time to do it. In the first year or so she would tell him in detail about the marriages of her friends, looking at him with hopeful eyes, but he would attack her friends' wild spending and the huge cost of the ceremony, and soon she stopped.

Ajayi and Ayo went to church regularly, and two or three times a year the priest would speak out violently against unmarried couples living together. Then their friends would feel sorry for them, and the men would say that the church should keep out of people's private lives. Ajayi would stay away from church for a few weeks, but would go back after a while because he liked the singing and he knew secretly that the priest was right.

Ayo was a good mistress. Her father had hoped she would marry a high-school teacher at least, but instead she had chosen a government clerk. But Ayo loved Ajayi, and was happy in her own slow, private way. She cooked his meals and bore him children. In what free time she had she did a little buying and selling, or visited friends, or gossiped with Omo, the woman next door.

With his towel round his waist, Ajayi marched back to the bedroom, dried himself and dressed quickly in his pink silk suit. He got down the new bottle of medicine which one of his friends had suggested to him. Ajayi believed that to keep healthy, a man must regularly take medicine. On the bottle were listed about twenty very different diseases and illnesses. All of these conditions would disappear if the patient took this medicine daily. Ajayi believed that he had, or was about to have, at least six of these diseases. It also said on the bottle that a teaspoonful of the medicine should be taken three times a day. But Ajayi only remembered to take it in the morning, so he took a big drink from the bottle. The medicine had a bitter taste, and Ajayi was pleased - that obviously meant that it was good strong medicine.

He went in to breakfast. When he had finished, he beat his eldest son, a ten-year-old boy, for wetting his sleeping-mat in the night. Ayo came in after the boy had run screaming out of the door.

Ajayi, you beat Oju too much,' she said.

'He should stop wetting the sleeping-mat, he is a big boy,' he replied. 'Anyway, no one is going to tell me how to bring up my son.'

'He is mine too,' Ayo said. She did not often disagree with him unless she felt strongly about something. 'He has not stopped wetting although you beat him every time he does. In fact, he is doing it more and more now. Perhaps if you stopped beating him, he would get better.'

'Did I beat him to begin doing it?' Ajayi asked.

'No.'

'Well, if I stop beating him, how will that stop him doing it?' Ajayi said, pleased with his own cleverness.

'You may have your own opinion,' Ayo said, 'but our own countrywoman Bimbola, who has studied nursing in England and America, told us in a women's group meeting that it was wrong to punish children for such things.'

'All right, I'll see,' he said, reaching for his sun hat.

All that day at the office he thought about this. So Ayo had been attending women's meetings. That was a surprise. Always looking so quiet, and then telling him about the modern ideas of overseas doctors. He smiled. Yes, Ayo was certainly a woman to be proud of. Perhaps it was wrong to beat the boy. He decided not to do so again.

Towards closing time the chief clerk sent for him. Wondering what trouble he was in, he hurried along to the office. There were three white men sitting on chairs by the chief clerk, who was an older African man dressed very correctly. Ajayi's heart started to beat loudly. The police, he thought; oh God, what have I done?

'Mr Ajayi, these gentlemen have asked for you,' the chief clerk said.

'Pleased to meet you, Mr Ajayi,' the tallest said, with a smile. 'We belong to the World Gospel Crusading Alliance from Minnesota in the USA. My name is Jonathan Olsen.' Ajayi shook hands and the other two men were introduced.

'You expressed an interest in our work a year ago and we have not forgotten. We are on our way to India and we thought we would come and see you personally.'

The boat on which the men were travelling had stopped for a few hours near Ajayi's town. The chief clerk looked at Ajayi with new respect. Ajayi tried desperately to remember any contact with WGCA (as Olsen now called it) while he made polite conversation with them. Then suddenly he remembered. Some time ago a friend who worked at the United States Information Service had given him a magazine which contained an invitation to join the WGCA. He had written to the WGCA asking for information, but really hoping that they would send free Bibles which he could give away or sell. He hoped at least for large religious pictures which he could put up on his bedroom wall. But nothing had happened and he had forgotten about it. Now here was WGCA in person. Three persons. At once he invited all three and the chief clerk to come to his house for a cold drink. They all agreed.

Olsen suggested a taxi, but Ajayi quickly told him that the roads were too bad. He had already whispered to another clerk to hurry home on a bicycle and warn Ayo. 'Tell her I'm coming in half an hour with white men, and she should clean up and get fruit drinks.'

Ayo was confused by this message, as she believed all white men drank only whisky and iced beer. But the messenger said the visitors were friendly, religious-looking men, and he suspected that perhaps they were missionaries. Also, they were walking instead of being in a car.

That explained everything to Ayo, and she started work at once. Oju was sent with a basket on his head to buy fruit drinks. Quickly she took down the calendars with pictures of lightly clothed women, and put up the family photographs instead. She removed the magazines and put out religious books, and hid the wine glasses under the sofa. She just had time to change to her Sunday dress and borrow a wedding ring from her neighbour when Ajayi and the visitors arrived.

The chief clerk was rather surprised at the change in the room - which he had visited before - and in Ayo's dress and ring. But he hid his feelings. Ayo was introduced and made a little conversation in English. This pleased Ajayi greatly. The children too had been changed into Sunday suits, faces washed and hair brushed. Olsen was delighted and took photographs for the WGCA magazine. Ayo served drinks and then left the room, leaving the men to discuss serious matters. Olsen began to talk enthusiastically about Ajayi's future as a missionary.

The visit went well and soon the missionaries left to catch their boat. Ajayi had been saved from a life as a missionary by the chief clerk, who explained that it was against the rules for government workers. Ajayi could even be sent to prison, he said. The missionaries were saddened but not surprised by this news.

The next day Ajayi took the chief clerk a carefully wrapped bottle of beer as a present for his help with the visitors. They discussed happily the friendliness and interest the white men had shown.

This visit, and Ayo's protest about the beating, made Ajayi very thoughtful for a week. He decided to marry Ayo. Another reason was the photo that Olsen had taken for his magazine. In some strange way Ajayi felt he and Ayo should marry, as millions of Americans would see their picture as 'one god-loving and happy African family'. He told Ayo about his marriage intentions one evening after a particularly good meal. Ayo at once became worried about him. Was he ill? she asked. Was there anything wrong at the office? No, he answered, there was nothing wrong with wanting to get married, was there? Or was she thinking of marrying somebody else? Ayo laughed. 'As you like,' she said; 'let us get married, but do not say I made you do it.'

They discussed the wedding that night. Ajayi wanted Ayo to have a traditional white wedding dress, with a veil, and flowers, but Ayo decided, sadly, that it was not right for a mother of three to wear white at her wedding. They agreed on grey. Ayo particularly wanted a corset because she did not want to look too huge; Ajayi gave in on this. But there would be no holiday after the wedding; he said they could not afford it, and one bed was as good as another. Ayo gave in on that. But they agreed on a church wedding.

That evening Ajayi, excited by the idea and the talk about the wedding, pulled Ayo to him as they lay in bed.

'No,' said Ayo shyly, pushing him back gently, 'you mustn't. Wait until after the marriage.'

'Why?' said Ajayi, rather surprised, but obedient. 'Because it will not be right,' Ayo replied seriously.

When Ayo's father heard of the coming marriage, he made Ayo move herself and everything she owned back to his house. The children were sent to Ayo's married sister. Most of Ajayi's family welcomed the idea, except his sister, who was worried that Ayo would become more important in the family than she was. She advised Ajayi to ask a soothsayer to look into the future. As Ayo heard about this from friends in the market, she saw the soothsayer first and fixed things. When Ajayi and his sister called at night to see him, the soothsayer looked into Ajayi's future and saw a happy marriage, but avoided the sister's eye. She smiled bitterly and accepted defeat.

The only other problem was Ayo's neighbour Omo, who had always lent Ayo her wedding ring when Ayo needed one in a hurry. She had suddenly turned cold, particularly when Ayo showed her the wedding presents Ajayi was going to give her. Omo's face was both jealous and angry as she touched the silky, see-through material.


The Truly Married Woman (1) Die wahrhaft verheiratete Frau (1) 真の人妻(1) Истинно замужняя женщина (1)

People who live together get used to each other. Menschen, die zusammenleben, gewöhnen sich aneinander. 一緒に暮らす人々はお互いに慣れます。 They have daily routines, and the usual patterns of life go on without much change. Sie haben tägliche Routinen, und die üblichen Lebensmuster gehen ohne große Veränderungen weiter. They have daily routines, and the usual patterns of life go on without much change. 彼らは日常生活を送っており、通常の生活パターンはほとんど変わらずに続いています。

Ajayi and Ayo have been together for twelve years. Ajayi und Ayo sind seit zwölf Jahren zusammen. アジャイとアヨは12年間一緒にいました。 They are not married; Ajayi had meant to marry Ayo but somehow the right moment never came. Sie sind nicht verheiratet; Ajayi hatte vorgehabt, Ayo zu heiraten, aber irgendwie kam nie der richtige Moment. 彼らは結婚していません。アジャイはアヨと結婚するつもりだったが、どういうわけか正しい瞬間は来なかった。 He is quite comfortable with things as they are, maybe a little too comfortable... Er fühlt sich mit den Dingen, wie sie sind, ziemlich wohl, vielleicht ein bisschen zu bequem ... 彼は現状のままで非常に快適です、多分少し快適すぎます...

Ajayi sat up and looked at the cheap alarm clock on the chair by his bedside. Ajayi setzte sich auf und sah auf den billigen Wecker auf dem Stuhl neben seinem Bett. アジャイは起き上がって、ベッドサイドの椅子にある安い目覚まし時計を見ました。 It was six fifteen, and light outside already; the African town was slowly waking to life. Es war sechs Uhr fünfzehn und draußen schon hell; Die afrikanische Stadt erwachte langsam zum Leben. それは六十五で、すでに外は明るい。アフリカの町はゆっくりと目覚めていました。 The night watchmen, hurriedly shaking themselves out of sleep, were busily banging the locks of shops and houses, to prove to their employers that they were at work. Die Nachtwächter, die sich hastig aus dem Schlaf rüttelten, schlugen eifrig die Schlösser von Geschäften und Häusern, um ihren Arbeitgebern zu beweisen, dass sie bei der Arbeit waren. 夜警は急いで眠りから身を震わせ、店や家の鍵を忙しく叩いて、彼らが働いていることを雇用主に証明した。 Village women were walking through the streets to the market place, arguing and gossiping. 村の女性たちは通りを歩いて市場に行き、口論し、うわさ話をしていました。

Ajayi tasted his cup of morning tea. アジャイは朝のお茶を味わった。 It was as he liked it, weak and sugary, without milk. それは彼が好きだったように、ミルクなしで、弱くて甘いものでした。 He got up and walked to the window, and took six deep breaths. 彼は起き上がって窓まで歩いて行き、6回深呼吸した。 Doing this daily, he believed, would prevent diseases of the chest. これを毎日行うことで、胸の病気を防ぐことができると彼は信じていました。 Then he took a quick bath, taking water from a bucket with a metal cup. それから彼は金属製のコップでバケツから水を取りながら、さっと入浴しました。

By then Ayo had laid out his breakfast. その時までに、アヨは朝食を用意していた。 Ayo was his wife. アヨは彼の妻でした。 Not really a wife, he would explain to close friends, but a mistress. Eigentlich keine Ehefrau, erklärte er engen Freunden, sondern eine Geliebte. 彼は実際には妻ではなく、親しい友人に説明しましたが、愛人です。 A good one. いいもの。 She had given him three children and was now pregnant with another. 彼女は彼に3人の子供を与え、今はもう1人の子供を妊娠していました。 They had been together for twelve years. 彼らは12年間一緒にいました。 She was a patient, handsome woman, very dark with very white teeth and open honest eyes. 彼女は忍耐強く、ハンサムな女性で、非常に暗く、非常に白い歯を持ち、正直な目を開いていました。 Her hair was always neat and tidy. 彼女の髪はいつもきちんと整頓されていた。 When she first came to him - against her parents' wishes - he had truly meant to marry her as soon as she had had their first child, but he had never quite found time to do it. 彼女が最初に彼のところに来たとき、両親の希望に反して、彼は彼女が最初の子供をもうけたらすぐに彼女と結婚するつもりでしたが、彼はそれをする時間がまったくありませんでした。 In the first year or so she would tell him in detail about the marriages of her friends, looking at him with hopeful eyes, but he would attack her friends' wild spending and the huge cost of the ceremony, and soon she stopped. 初年度かそこらで、彼女は友人の結婚について詳細に話し、希望に満ちた目で彼を見ましたが、彼は彼女の友人の莫大な支出と式典の莫大な費用を攻撃し、すぐに彼女は立ち止まりました。

Ajayi and Ayo went to church regularly, and two or three times a year the priest would speak out violently against unmarried couples living together. アジャイとアヨは定期的に教会に行き、年に2、3回、僧侶は同棲している未婚の夫婦に対して激しく声を上げていました。 Then their friends would feel sorry for them, and the men would say that the church should keep out of people's private lives. それから彼らの友人は彼らを気の毒に思うでしょう、そして男性は教会が人々の私生活から遠ざけるべきであると言うでしょう。 Ajayi would stay away from church for a few weeks, but would go back after a while because he liked the singing and he knew secretly that the priest was right. アジャイは数週間教会から離れていましたが、歌が好きで、司祭が正しいことを密かに知っていたので、しばらくすると戻ってきました。

Ayo was a good mistress. Her father had hoped she would marry a high-school teacher at least, but instead she had chosen a government clerk. 彼女の父親は、少なくとも高校の先生と結婚することを望んでいたが、代わりに政府の事務員を選んだ。 But Ayo loved Ajayi, and was happy in her own slow, private way. しかし、アヨはアジャイを愛し、彼女自身のゆっくりとしたプライベートな方法で幸せでした。 She cooked his meals and bore him children. 彼女は彼の食事を作り、彼に子供を産んだ。 In what free time she had she did a little buying and selling, or visited friends, or gossiped with Omo, the woman next door. 余暇には、ちょっとした売買をしたり、友達を訪ねたり、隣の女性のオモとうわさ話をしたりしました。

With his towel round his waist, Ajayi marched back to the bedroom, dried himself and dressed quickly in his pink silk suit. タオルを腰に巻いて、アジャイは寝室に戻り、体を乾かし、ピンクのシルクのスーツを着た。 He got down the new bottle of medicine which one of his friends had suggested to him. Ajayi believed that to keep healthy, a man must regularly take medicine. アジャイは、健康を維持するために、男性は定期的に薬を服用しなければならないと信じていました。 On the bottle were listed about twenty very different diseases and illnesses. ボトルには、約20の非常に異なる病気や病気が記載されていました。 All of these conditions would disappear if the patient took this medicine daily. 患者がこの薬を毎日服用すると、これらの状態はすべて消えます。 Ajayi believed that he had, or was about to have, at least six of these diseases. アジャイは、これらの病気のうち少なくとも6つがあった、またはこれから起こると信じていました。 It also said on the bottle that a teaspoonful of the medicine should be taken three times a day. また、ボトルには小さじ1杯の薬を1日3回服用する必要があると書かれていました。 But Ajayi only remembered to take it in the morning, so he took a big drink from the bottle. しかし、アジャイは朝に飲むことを覚えていたので、ボトルから大きな飲み物を飲みました。 The medicine had a bitter taste, and Ajayi was pleased - that obviously meant that it was good strong medicine. 薬は苦味があり、アジャイは喜んでいました-それは明らかにそれが良い強い薬であることを意味しました。

He went in to breakfast. When he had finished, he beat his eldest son, a ten-year-old boy, for wetting his sleeping-mat in the night. 終わったとき、彼は夜に彼の寝床を濡らしたために彼の長男、10歳の少年を殴りました。 Ayo came in after the boy had run screaming out of the door. 少年がドアから叫び声を上げて走った後、アヨがやって来た。

Ajayi, you beat Oju too much,' she said. アジャイ、あなたはオジュを打ち負かしすぎた」と彼女は言った。

'He should stop wetting the sleeping-mat, he is a big boy,' he replied. 'Anyway, no one is going to tell me how to bring up my son.' 「とにかく、息子を育てる方法を誰も教えてくれません。」

'He is mine too,' Ayo said. 「彼も私のものです」とアヨは言った。 She did not often disagree with him unless she felt strongly about something. 彼女は何かについて強く感じない限り、彼にしばしば反対しませんでした。 'He has not stopped wetting although you beat him every time he does. 「あなたが彼を殴るたびに彼を殴りましたが、彼は濡れをやめませんでした。 In fact, he is doing it more and more now. 実際、彼は今ますますそれをやっています。 Perhaps if you stopped beating him, he would get better.' おそらく、あなたが彼を殴るのをやめれば、彼は良くなるでしょう。」

'Did I beat him to begin doing it?' 「私はそれを始めるために彼を殴りましたか?」 Ajayi asked.

'No.'

'Well, if I stop beating him, how will that stop him doing it?' 「まあ、私が彼を殴るのをやめたら、どうして彼はそれをやめますか?」 Ajayi said, pleased with his own cleverness. アジャイは彼自身の賢さに満足して言った。

'You may have your own opinion,' Ayo said, 'but our own countrywoman Bimbola, who has studied nursing in England and America, told us in a women's group meeting that it was wrong to punish children for such things.' 「あなたはあなた自身の意見を持っているかもしれません」とアヨは言いました。

'All right, I'll see,' he said, reaching for his sun hat. 「わかった、なるほど」と彼は日よけ帽をかぶって言った。

All that day at the office he thought about this. その日中、彼はオフィスでこれについて考えました。 So Ayo had been attending women's meetings. それで、アヨは女性の会合に出席していました。 That was a surprise. それは驚きでした。 Always looking so quiet, and then telling him about the modern ideas of overseas doctors. いつもとても静かに見えて、それから彼に海外の医者の現代の考えについて話します。 He smiled. 彼は微笑みました。 Yes, Ayo was certainly a woman to be proud of. はい、アヨは確かに誇りに思う女性でした。 Perhaps it was wrong to beat the boy. たぶん、その少年を倒すのは間違っていたのだろう。 He decided not to do so again. 彼は二度とそうしないことに決めました。

Towards closing time the chief clerk sent for him. 閉店時間に向けて、店員長が彼に送った。 Wondering what trouble he was in, he hurried along to the office. 彼はどんな問題を抱えているのかと思い、急いで事務所に向かった。 There were three white men sitting on chairs by the chief clerk, who was an older African man dressed very correctly. 非常に正しく服を着た年上のアフリカ人である主任書記官によって椅子に座っている3人の白人男性がいました。 Ajayi's heart started to beat loudly. アジャイの心臓は大声で鼓動し始めました。 The police, he thought; oh God, what have I done? 警察は思った。何てことをしてしまったのか?

'Mr Ajayi, these gentlemen have asked for you,' the chief clerk said. 「アジャイさん、これらの紳士はあなたを求めてきました」と事務局長は言いました。

'Pleased to meet you, Mr Ajayi,' the tallest said, with a smile. 「はじめまして、アジャイさん」と一番背が高く、笑顔で言った。 'We belong to the World Gospel Crusading Alliance from Minnesota in the USA. 「私たちは、米国ミネソタ州のWorld GospelCrusadingAllianceに所属しています。 My name is Jonathan Olsen.' 私の名前はジョナサン・オルセンです。」 Ajayi shook hands and the other two men were introduced. アジャイは握手し、他の2人の男性が紹介されました。

'You expressed an interest in our work a year ago and we have not forgotten. 「あなたは一年前に私たちの仕事に興味を示しました、そして私たちは忘れていません。 We are on our way to India and we thought we would come and see you personally.' 私たちはインドに向かう途中で、私たちはあなたに直接会いに来ると思っていました。

The boat on which the men were travelling had stopped for a few hours near Ajayi's town. 男たちが乗っていた船は、アジャイの町の近くで数時間止まっていた。 The chief clerk looked at Ajayi with new respect. 店員はアジャイを新しい敬意を持って見ました。 Ajayi tried desperately to remember any contact with WGCA (as Olsen now called it) while he made polite conversation with them. アジャイは、WGCAとの丁寧な会話をしながら、(オルセンが現在それと呼んでいるように)WGCAとの接触を必死に思い出そうとしました。 Then suddenly he remembered. それから突然彼は思い出した。 Some time ago a friend who worked at the United States Information Service had given him a magazine which contained an invitation to join the WGCA. 少し前に、米国情報サービスで働いていた友人が、WGCAに参加するための招待状を含む雑誌を彼に与えました。 He had written to the WGCA asking for information, but really hoping that they would send free Bibles which he could give away or sell. 彼はWGCAに情報を求めて手紙を書いていましたが、彼らが彼が配ったり売ったりできる無料の聖書を送ってくれることを本当に望んでいました。 He hoped at least for large religious pictures which he could put up on his bedroom wall. 彼は少なくとも寝室の壁に貼ることができる大きな宗教的な写真を望んでいました。 But nothing had happened and he had forgotten about it. しかし、何も起こらず、彼はそれを忘れていました。 Now here was WGCA in person. さて、ここにWGCAが直接いました。 Three persons. At once he invited all three and the chief clerk to come to his house for a cold drink. すぐに彼は3人全員と主任書記官を冷たい飲み物のために彼の家に来るように誘った。 They all agreed. 彼らは皆同意した。

Olsen suggested a taxi, but Ajayi quickly told him that the roads were too bad. オルセンはタクシーを提案したが、アジャイはすぐに道路が悪すぎると彼に言った。 He had already whispered to another clerk to hurry home on a bicycle and warn Ayo. 彼はすでに別の店員にささやいて自転車で急いで家に帰り、アヨに警告した。 'Tell her I'm coming in half an hour with white men, and she should clean up and get fruit drinks.' 「私は白人男性と30分で来ると彼女に言ってください、そして彼女は片付けて果物の飲み物を手に入れるべきです。」

Ayo was confused by this message, as she believed all white men drank only whisky and iced beer. アヨは、すべての白人男性がウイスキーとアイスビールだけを飲んだと信じていたので、このメッセージに混乱しました。 But the messenger said the visitors were friendly, religious-looking men, and he suspected that perhaps they were missionaries. しかし、メッセンジャーは、訪問者は友好的で宗教的な見た目の男性であり、おそらく彼らは宣教師であると疑っていたと述べました。 Also, they were walking instead of being in a car. また、彼らは車に乗る代わりに歩いていました。

That explained everything to Ayo, and she started work at once. それがすべてをアヨに説明し、彼女はすぐに仕事を始めました。 Oju was sent with a basket on his head to buy fruit drinks. おじゅうは、フルーツドリンクを買うためにかごを頭に乗せて送られました。 Quickly she took down the calendars with pictures of lightly clothed women, and put up the family photographs instead. すぐに彼女は薄着の女性の写真でカレンダーを降ろし、代わりに家族の写真を載せました。 She removed the magazines and put out religious books, and hid the wine glasses under the sofa. She just had time to change to her Sunday dress and borrow a wedding ring from her neighbour when Ajayi and the visitors arrived. アジャイと訪問者が到着したとき、彼女はちょうど彼女の日曜日のドレスに着替えて、隣人から結婚指輪を借りる時間がありました。

The chief clerk was rather surprised at the change in the room - which he had visited before - and in Ayo's dress and ring. 店員長は、以前訪れた部屋の変更や、アヨのドレスと指輪の変更にかなり驚いた。 But he hid his feelings. しかし、彼は自分の気持ちを隠しました。 Ayo was introduced and made a little conversation in English. アヨが紹介され、英語で少し会話をしました。 This pleased Ajayi greatly. これはアジャイを大いに喜ばせた。 The children too had been changed into Sunday suits, faces washed and hair brushed. 子供たちも日曜のスーツに着替え、顔を洗い、髪をブラッシングしていました。 Olsen was delighted and took photographs for the WGCA magazine. オルセンは喜んでWGCAマガジンの写真を撮りました。 Ayo served drinks and then left the room, leaving the men to discuss serious matters. アヨは飲み物を出し、部屋を出て、男性たちに深刻な問題について話し合った。 Olsen began to talk enthusiastically about Ajayi's future as a missionary. オルセンは宣教師としてのアジャイの将来について熱心に話し始めました。

The visit went well and soon the missionaries left to catch their boat. 訪問はうまくいき、すぐに宣教師たちはボートを捕まえるために出発しました。 Ajayi had been saved from a life as a missionary by the chief clerk, who explained that it was against the rules for government workers. アジャイは、公務員の規則に違反していると説明した主任書記官によって宣教師としての生活から救われました。 Ajayi could even be sent to prison, he said. アジャイは刑務所に送られることさえあると彼は言った。 The missionaries were saddened but not surprised by this news. 宣教師たちは悲しみましたが、このニュースには驚かされませんでした。

The next day Ajayi took the chief clerk a carefully wrapped bottle of beer as a present for his help with the visitors. 翌日、アジャイは訪問者を助けるために、店長に注意深く包まれたビールのボトルをプレゼントとして持っていきました。 They discussed happily the friendliness and interest the white men had shown. 彼らは白人男性が示した親しみやすさと興味について楽しく話し合った。

This visit, and Ayo's protest about the beating, made Ajayi very thoughtful for a week. 今回の訪問と、殴打に対するアヨの抗議は、アジャイを一週間非常に思慮深くさせた。 He decided to marry Ayo. 彼はアヨと結婚することを決心した。 Another reason was the photo that Olsen had taken for his magazine. もう一つの理由は、オルセンが彼の雑誌のために撮った写真でした。 In some strange way Ajayi felt he and Ayo should marry, as millions of Americans would see their picture as 'one god-loving and happy African family'. 奇妙なことに、アジャイは彼とアヨが結婚すべきだと感じました。何百万人ものアメリカ人が彼らの写真を「神を愛し、幸せなアフリカの家族」と見なすからです。 He told Ayo about his marriage intentions one evening after a particularly good meal. 彼は、特においしい食事の後のある晩、彼の結婚の意図についてアヨに話しました。 Ayo at once became worried about him. アヨはすぐに彼のことを心配しました。 Was he ill? she asked. Was there anything wrong at the office? No, he answered, there was nothing wrong with wanting to get married, was there? いいえ、彼は答えました、結婚したいのは何も悪いことではありませんでしたね? Or was she thinking of marrying somebody else? それとも彼女は他の誰かと結婚することを考えていましたか? Ayo laughed. アヨは笑った。 'As you like,' she said; 'let us get married, but do not say I made you do it.' 「あなたが好きなように」と彼女は言った。 「私たちは結婚しましょう、しかし私があなたにそれをさせたとは言わないでください。」

They discussed the wedding that night. 彼らはその夜の結婚式について話し合った。 Ajayi wanted Ayo to have a traditional white wedding dress, with a veil, and flowers, but Ayo decided, sadly, that it was not right for a mother of three to wear white at her wedding. アジャイはアヨにベールと花のある伝統的な白いウェディングドレスを欲しがっていましたが、悲しいことに、アヨは3人の母親が結婚式で白を着るのは正しくないと判断しました。 They agreed on grey. 彼らは灰色に同意した。 Ayo particularly wanted a corset because she did not want to look too huge; Ajayi gave in on this. アヨは、あまり大きく見えたくなかったので、特にコルセットが欲しかった。アジャイはこれに屈した。 But there would be no holiday after the wedding; he said they could not afford it, and one bed was as good as another. しかし、結婚式の後は休日はありません。彼は彼らがそれを買う余裕がなかったと言いました、そして1つのベッドは別のものと同じくらい良かったです。 Ayo gave in on that. アヨはそれをあきらめた。 But they agreed on a church wedding. しかし、彼らは教会の結婚式に同意しました。

That evening Ajayi, excited by the idea and the talk about the wedding, pulled Ayo to him as they lay in bed. その夜、アジャイは結婚式のアイデアと話に興奮し、ベッドに横になっているアヨを引き寄せました。

'No,' said Ayo shyly, pushing him back gently, 'you mustn't. 「いいえ」とアヨは恥ずかしそうに言って、彼をそっと押し戻しました。 Wait until after the marriage.' 結婚が終わるまで待ってください。」

'Why?' said Ajayi, rather surprised, but obedient. said Ajayi, rather surprised, but obedient. アジャイは言った、かなり驚いたが従順だった。 'Because it will not be right,' Ayo replied seriously. 「それは正しくないので」アヨは真剣に答えた。

When Ayo's father heard of the coming marriage, he made Ayo move herself and everything she owned back to his house. アヨの父親は、結婚の到来を聞いたとき、アヨに自分自身と彼女が所有するすべてのものを彼の家に戻させました。 The children were sent to Ayo's married sister. 子供たちはアヨの結婚した妹に送られました。 Most of Ajayi's family welcomed the idea, except his sister, who was worried that Ayo would become more important in the family than she was. アヨが家族の中で彼女よりも重要になるのではないかと心配していた妹を除いて、アジャイの家族のほとんどはこの考えを歓迎しました。 She advised Ajayi to ask a soothsayer to look into the future. 彼女はアジャイに将来を見据えて占い師に頼むように忠告した。 As Ayo heard about this from friends in the market, she saw the soothsayer first and fixed things. アヨは市場の友人からこれについて聞いたので、彼女は最初に占い師を見て、物事を修正しました。 When Ajayi and his sister called at night to see him, the soothsayer looked into Ajayi's future and saw a happy marriage, but avoided the sister's eye. アジャイと彼の妹が夜に彼に会うために電話をしたとき、占い師はアジャイの未来を見て、幸せな結婚を見ましたが、妹の目を避けました。 She smiled bitterly and accepted defeat. 彼女は苦笑いし、敗北を受け入れた。

The only other problem was Ayo's neighbour Omo, who had always lent Ayo her wedding ring when Ayo needed one in a hurry. 他の唯一の問題は、アヨが急いで結婚指輪を必要としたときにいつもアヨに結婚指輪を貸していたアヨの隣人のオモでした。 She had suddenly turned cold, particularly when Ayo showed her the wedding presents Ajayi was going to give her. 特にアヨがアジャイが彼女に贈ろうとしていた結婚式のプレゼントを彼女に見せたとき、彼女は突然寒くなった。 Omo's face was both jealous and angry as she touched the silky, see-through material. 絹のようなシースルーの素材に触れたオモの顔は、嫉妬と怒りの両方でした。