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アンブローズ・ビアスのアウルクリーク橋の出来事の原文と注解

アメリカの英語の小説、の小説のアウルクリーク橋の出来事を日本語に翻訳しながら分からない単語や熟語を調べたので、英語の学習用に原文に沿って段落毎に掲載する。

取り上げる言葉の語彙力としてはおよそ日本の高校を卒業した水準以上、すなわち英検二級かTOEIC730点くらいを越えるものを想定することにする。

なので高校生、中学生、小学生にとっては取り上げられずに分からない単語や熟語も増えるかも知れない。

アンブローズ・ビアスのアウルクリーク橋の出来事で学習される英語の難易度

総合的に捉えて五点評価を行うならば四点(★★★★☆)と難しく感じる。

  • 特有の描写による空間の把握
  • 戦争や軍隊に纏わる言葉遣い

原文で読むのは日本人の多くには難儀で英語の中級者から上級者向けといえそうだ。

アンブローズ・ビアスのアウルクリーク橋の出来事の英語の原文と注解の和訳

アンブローズ・ビアスの『アウルクリーク橋の出来事』を含む小説集の薄い黄色の表紙

I

A MAN stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the sleepers supporting the metals of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners—two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff. At a short remove upon the same temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain. A sentinel at each end of the bridge stood with his rifle in the position known as "support," that is to say, vertical in front of the left shoulder, the hammer resting on the forearm thrown straight across the chest—a formal and unnatural position, enforcing an erect carriage of the body. It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the centre of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it.

railroad bridge:鉄道橋。Alabama:アラバマ(アメリカの州名)。swift:迅速な。twenty feet:20フィート(長さ)。bound with:~で縛られた。cord:紐。encircled:取り囲んだ。attached to:~に取り付けられた。stout:頑丈な。cross-timber:横木(渡しの材木)。slack:弛み。sleepers:枕木(アメリカ英語)。metals:軌条(レール)。footing:足場。executioners:死刑執行人。private soldiers:兵卒。Federal army:北(アメリカ南北戦争の合衆国側)軍。sergeant:軍曹(アメリカ陸空軍)。deputy sheriff:保安官代理。at a short remove:少し離れて。temporary:仮の。officer:将校。armed:武装した。captain:大尉(アメリカ陸空軍)。sentinel:哨兵。that is to say:いい換えると。hammer:撃鉄。resting on:~に向ける。forearm:前腕。formal:形式的な。enforcing:強いる。erect carriage of the body:直立の姿勢。merely:単に~だけだ。blockaded:封鎖した。planking:板張り。traversed:横切った。

Beyond one of the sentinels nobody was in sight; the railroad ran straight away into a forest for a hundred yards, then, curving, was lost to view. Doubtless there was an outpost farther along. The other bank of the stream was open ground—a gentle acclivity topped with a stockade of vertical tree trunks, loop-holed for rifles, with a single embrasure through which protruded the muzzle of a brass cannon commanding the bridge. Midway of the slope between bridge and fort were the spectators—a single company of infantry in line, at "parade rest," the butts of the rifles on the ground, the barrels inclining slightly backward against the right shoulder, the hands crossed upon the stock. A lieutenant stood at the right of the line, the point of his sword upon the ground, his left hand resting upon his right. Excepting the group of four at the centre of the bridge, not a man moved. The company faced the bridge, staring stonily, motionless. The sentinels, facing the banks of the stream, might have been statues to adorn the bridge. The captain stood with folded arms, silent, observing the work of his subordinates, but making no sign. Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.

a hundred yards:100ヤード(長さ)。lost to view:視界から消えた。outpost:前哨部隊。open ground:空き地。gentle acclivity:緩い上り坂。topped with:~で頂上が覆われた。stockade:防御柵。trunks:幹。loop-holed:輪が空けられた。embrasure:銃眼。protruded:突き出た。muzzle of a brass cannon:真鍮の大砲の砲口。commanding:見渡す。midway:中程。fort:砦。spectators:見物人。single company of infantry in line:列を成した歩兵の単一中隊。parade rest:整列休め(休めの姿勢)。butts:(小銃)の台尻。barrels:銃身。inclining:傾く。slightly:僅かに。stock:銃床。lieutenant:副官(中尉か少尉)。group of four:四人の集まり。at the centre of:~の中央に(centreの綴りは主にイギリス)。staring:凝視する。stonily:石のように(冷淡に)。statues:彫像。adorn:装飾する。with folded arms:腕を組んで。observing:監視する。subordinates:部下。making no sign:身振りせず。dignitary:高位の人。manifestations:表明。in the code of military etiquette:軍事作法の規定。silence and fixity:無言と不動。forms of deference:服従の形式。

The man who was engaged in being hanged was apparently about thirty-five years of age. He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit, which was that of a planter. His features were good—a straight nose, firm mouth, broad forehead, from which his long, dark hair was combed straight back, falling behind his ears to the collar of his well-fitting frock-coat. He wore a mustache and pointed beard, but no whiskers; his eyes were large and dark gray, and had a kindly expression which one would hardly have expected in one whose neck was in the hemp. Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded.

engaged in being hanged:絞首刑に処されることになる。apparently:見たところ。civilian:民間人。judge from his habit:彼の(職業などの)衣服から判断する。planter:農園主。features:顔立ち。combed:梳られる。well-fitting:(身体に)良く合った。frock-coat:フロックコート(昼間の男性用礼服の膝丈の外套)。mustache:口髭。pointed beard:尖った顎髭。whiskers頬髭。in the hemp:麻(縄)に。vulgar:俗悪な。assassin:殺人者。liberal:惜しみない。makes provision for:備える。excluded:除外される。

The preparations being complete, the two private soldiers stepped aside and each drew away the plank upon which he had been standing. The sergeant turned to the captain, saluted and placed himself immediately behind that officer, who in turn moved apart one pace. These movements left the condemned man and the sergeant standing on the two ends of the same plank, which spanned three of the cross-ties of the bridge. The end upon which the civilian stood almost, but not quite, reached a fourth. This plank had been held in place by the weight of the captain; it was now held by that of the sergeant. At a signal from the former the latter would step aside, the plank would tilt and the condemned man go down between two ties. The arrangement commended itself to his judgment as simple and effective. His face had not been covered nor his eyes bandaged. He looked a moment at his "unsteadfast footing," then let his gaze wander to the swirling water of the stream racing madly beneath his feet. A piece of dancing driftwood caught his attention and his eyes followed it down the current. How slowly it appeared to move! What a sluggish stream!

drew away:引っ込めた。plank:板。saluted:敬礼した。placed himself (behind):(彼が)~の後ろに入った。in turn:次いで。apart one pace:一歩離れて。condemned man:死刑囚(死刑を宣告された者)。spanned:掛かる。cross-ties:横繋ぎ(枕木)。not quite:もう少し。in place:適所に。at a signal:合図で。tilt:傾く。arrangement:配置。commended itself to:~にそれ自体が委ねられた。bandaged:目隠しされた。unsteadfast:固定してない。gaze:目線。wander:彷徨う。swirling:渦巻く。racing madly:狂ったように急ぐ。driftwood:流木。current:流れ。sluggish:鈍い。

He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children. The water, touched to gold by the early sun, the brooding mists under the banks at some distance down the stream, the fort, the soldiers, the piece of drift—all had distracted him. And now he became conscious of a new disturbance. Striking through the thought of his dear ones was a sound which he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the stroke of a blacksmith's hammer upon the anvil; it had the same ringing quality. He wondered what it was, and whether immeasurably distant or near by—it seemed both. Its recurrence was regular, but as slow as the tolling of a death knell. He awaited each stroke with impatience and he knew not why—apprehension. The intervals of silence grew progressively longer; the delays became maddening. With their greater infrequency the sounds increased in strength and sharpness. They hurt his ear like the thrust of a knife; he feared he would shriek. What he heard was the ticking of his watch.

fix (upon):~に留める。touched to gold:金色に達して。brooding:気味の悪い。the piece of drift:漂流物の欠片。had distracted:取り乱させた。disturbance:動揺。striking through:取り消す。distinct:明瞭な。percussion:衝突。stroke of a blacksmith's hammer:鍛冶屋の金槌の一打。anvil:鉄床。ringing quality:鳴り響く特徴。immeasurably:計り知れないほどに。near by:近くに。recurrence:再発。regular:規則的な。tolling:(鐘を)撞く。death knell:弔鐘。apprehension:不安。progressively:次第に。maddening:気を狂わせるような。infrequency:希少性。the thrust of a knife:ナイフの一突き。shriek:悲鳴(金切り声)を上げる。ticking:(時計の)カチカチという(針を刻む)音。

He unclosed his eyes and saw again the water below him. "If I could free my hands," he thought, "I might throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, reach the bank, take to the woods and get away home. My home, thank God, is as yet outside their lines; my wife and little ones are still beyond the invader's farthest advance."

throw off:振り解く。the noose:首吊り縄。evade:避ける。vigorously:精力的に。take to:(避難所へ)行く。thank God:有り難い。as yet:依然として。outside their lines:彼らの戦線の外側。

As these thoughts, which have here to be set down in words, were flashed into the doomed man's brain rather than evolved from it the captain nodded to the sergeant. The sergeant stepped aside.

set down in words:言葉に書き留められる。doomed:運の尽きた。evolved:展開された。

II

Peyton Farquhar was a well-to-do planter, of an old and highly respected Alabama family. Being a slave owner and like other slave owners a politician he was naturally an original secessionist and ardently devoted to the Southern cause. Circumstances of an imperious nature, which it is unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with the gallant army that had fought the disastrous campaigns ending with the fall of Corinth, and he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for distinction. That opportunity, he felt, would come, as it comes to all in war time. Meanwhile he did what he could. No service was too humble for him to perform in aid of the South, no adventure too perilous for him to undertake if consistent with the character of a civilian who was at heart a soldier, and who in good faith and without too much qualification assented to at least a part of the frankly villainous dictum that all is fair in love and war.

Peyton Farquhar:ペイトン・ファーカー(人名)。well-to-do:裕福な。slave owner:奴隷所有者。secessionist:(アメリカ南北戦争時代の)連邦脱退論者。ardently devoted to:熱烈に~に打ち込んだ。Southern cause:南部の大義。circumstances of imperious nature:緊急の種類の事情。relate:話す。taking service:出征する。gallant:勇敢な。disastrous campaigns:惨憺たる戦闘。the fall of Corinth:コリンス(アメリカのミシシッピ州の町)の陥落。chafed:苛立った。inglorious restraint:不面目な抑制。distinction:殊勲。meanwhile:その間。service:兵役。humble:詰まらない。in aid of:~を助けるために。perilous:危険な。undertake:引き受ける。consistent with:~と一致する。at heart:心から。in good faith:誠意を持って。without too much qualification:大した条件なしに。assented to:~に同意した。villainous dictum:悪党の格言。all is fair in love and war:恋と戦は道を選ばず。

One evening while Farquhar and his wife were sitting on a rustic bench near the entrance to his grounds, a gray-clad soldier rode up to the gate and asked for a drink of water. Mrs. Farquhar was only too happy to serve him with her own white hands. While she was fetching the water her husband approached the dusty horseman and inquired eagerly for news from the front.

rustic:丸太造りの。grounds:構内。gray-clad:灰色の着衣の。rode:馬に乗った。up to:~まで。only too happy to:~してとても嬉しい。fetching:取って来る。horseman:乗馬者。inquired:尋ねた。the front:最前線。

"The Yanks are repairing the railroads," said the man, "and are getting ready for another advance. They have reached the Owl Creek bridge, put it in order and built a stockade on the north bank. The commandant has issued an order, which is posted everywhere, declaring that any civilian caught interfering with the railroad, its bridges, tunnels or trains will be summarily hanged. I saw the order."

Yanks:(アメリカ南北戦争の)北軍兵(Yankeesの口語体)。Owl Creek bridge:梟川の橋。(have) put it in order:整理した。commandant:司令官。has issued an order:指令を発布した。declaring:布告する。interfering:妨害して。summarily:即座に。

"How far is it to the Owl Creek bridge?" Farquhar asked.

"About thirty miles."

thirty miles:30マイル(距離)。

"Is there no force on this side the creek?"

force:部隊。on this side the creek:小川のこちらに。

"Only a picket post half a mile out, on the railroad, and a single sentinel at this end of the bridge."

picket post:少哨の持ち場(警戒区域)。

"Suppose a man—a civilian and student of hanging—should elude the picket post and perhaps get the better of the sentinel," said Farquhar, smiling, "what could he accomplish?"

student of hanging:絞首刑の学徒。elude:逃れる。get the better of:~よりも優勢になる。

The soldier reflected. "I was there a month ago," he replied. "I observed that the flood of last winter had lodged a great quantity of driftwood against the wooden pier at this end of the bridge. It is now dry and would burn like tow."

reflected:思案した。observed:目撃した。had lodged:刺した。pier:橋脚。tow:(縄などの)麻屑。

The lady had now brought the water, which the soldier drank. He thanked her ceremoniously, bowed to her husband and rode away. An hour later, after nightfall, he repassed the plantation, going northward in the direction from which he had come. He was a Federal scout.

ceremoniously:仰々しく。nightfall:夕暮れ。repassed:再び通過した。plantation:農園。Federal scout:北(アメリカ南北戦争の合衆国側)の偵察兵。

III

As Peyton Farquhar fell straight downward through the bridge he lost consciousness and was as one already dead. From this state he was awakened—ages later, it seemed to him—by the pain of a sharp pressure upon his throat, followed by a sense of suffocation. Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward through every fibre of his body and limbs. These pains appeared to flash along well-defined lines of ramification and to beat with an inconceivably rapid periodicity. They seemed like streams of pulsating fire heating him to an intolerable temperature. As to his head, he was conscious of nothing but a feeling of fulness—of congestion. These sensations were unaccompanied by thought. The intellectual part of his nature was already effaced; he had power only to feel, and feeling was torment. He was conscious of motion. Encompassed in a luminous cloud, of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance, he swung through unthinkable arcs of oscillation, like a vast pendulum. Then all at once, with terrible suddenness, the light about him shot upward with the noise of a loud plash; a frightful roaring was in his ears, and all was cold and dark. The power of thought was restored; he knew that the rope had broken and he had fallen into the stream. There was no additional strangulation; the noose about his neck was already suffocating him and kept the water from his lungs. To die of hanging at the bottom of a river!—the idea seemed to him ludicrous. He opened his eyes in the darkness and saw above him a gleam of light, but how distant, how inaccessible! He was still sinking, for the light became fainter and fainter until it was a mere glimmer. Then it began to grow and brighten, and he knew that he was rising toward the surface—knew it with reluctance, for he was now very comfortable. "To be hanged and drowned," he thought, "that is not so bad; but I do not wish to be shot. No; I will not be shot; that is not fair."

lost consciousness:意識を失った。suffocation:窒息。keen, poignant agonies:強烈な、痛切な苦悶。every fibre of his body and limbs:彼の胴部と四肢のあらゆる線維(fibreの綴りは主にイギリス)。well-defined:はっきりとした。ramification:分岐。inconceivably:思いも寄らないほどに。periodicity:周期性。pulsating:脈動。intolerable:堪らない。as to:~に関して。fulness:充満(fulnessの綴りは主にイギリス)。congestion:鬱血。unaccompanied by:~に伴われない。his nature:彼の本性。effaced:消される。torment:激痛。encompassed:取り囲まれて。luminous:発光する。fiery:燃え立つような。material substance:肉体的な実体。unthinkable arcs of oscillation:考えられない振幅の弧。pendulum:振り子。all at once:忽ち。with terrible suddenness:酷く突然に。plash:ポチャン(擬音)。roaring:轟き。restored:取り戻される。additional strangulation:追加の絞殺。kept the water from his lungs:水が彼の肺に入らないようにした。ludicrous:滑稽な。a gleam of light:輝く光。inaccessible:到達し難い。fainter and fainter:どんどん弱く。glimmer:微光。surface:水面。with reluctance:不本意ながら。drowned:溺死する。that is not fair:それは卑怯だ(正当ではない)。

He was not conscious of an effort, but a sharp pain in his wrist apprised him that he was trying to free his hands. He gave the struggle his attention, as an idler might observe the feat of a juggler, without interest in the outcome. What splendid effort!—what magnificent, what superhuman strength! Ah, that was a fine endeavor! Bravo! The cord fell away; his arms parted and floated upward, the hands dimly seen on each side in the growing light. He watched them with a new interest as first one and then the other pounced upon the noose at his neck. They tore it away and thrust it fiercely aside, its undulations resembling those of a water-snake. "Put it back, put it back!" He thought he shouted these words to his hands, for the undoing of the noose had been succeeded by the direst pang that he had yet experienced. His neck ached horribly; his brain was on fire; his heart, which had been fluttering faintly, gave a great leap, trying to force itself out at his mouth. His whole body was racked and wrenched with an insupportable anguish! But his disobedient hands gave no heed to the command. They beat the water vigorously with quick, downward strokes, forcing him to the surface. He felt his head emerge; his eyes were blinded by the sunlight; his chest expanded convulsively, and with a supreme and crowning agony his lungs engulfed a great draught of air, which instantly he expelled in a shriek!

gave the struggle his attention:(彼が)注意力に苦心した。idler:怠け者。observe:観察する。feat:芸当。juggler:曲芸師。outcome:結果。splendid:天晴れな。magnificent:並外れた。superhuman:超人的な。endeavor:試行。bravo:お見事(イタリア語)。fell away:外れ落ちた。dimly:微かに。pounced:急に飛びかかる。tore it away:それを引き剥がした。thrust it fiercely aside:それを荒々しく押し放した。undulations:うねり。water-snake:水蛇(動物の一種)。put it back:それを戻せ。undoing:解き。the direst pang:最も悲惨な激痛。yet:(最上級に伴って)今まで。fluttering:(心臓が)動機する。faintly:力なく。gave a great leap:大きく跳び上がる。force itself out:無理にそれ自体を出す。racked and whenched:悩ませては悲しませる(拷問されながらぐいと捻られる)。insupportable:我慢できない。anguish:苦痛。disobedient:いうことを聞かない。gave no heed to:~を気に留めなかった。downward strokes:下に掻く。emerge:出て来た。blinded:見えなくなる。convulsively:発作的に。supreme and crowning agony:至高無上の悶え苦しみ。engulfed:吸い込んだ。a great draught of air:大きな一息の空気。instantly:瞬時に。expelled:吐き出した。

He was now in full possession of his physical senses. They were, indeed, preternaturally keen and alert. Something in the awful disturbance of his organic system had so exalted and refined them that they made record of things never before perceived. He felt the ripples upon his face and heard their separate sounds as they struck. He looked at the forest on the bank of the stream, saw the individual trees, the leaves and the veining of each leaf—saw the very insects upon them: the locusts, the brilliant-bodied flies, the gray spiders stretching their webs from twig to twig. He noted the prismatic colors in all the dewdrops upon a million blades of grass. The humming of the gnats that danced above the eddies of the stream, the beating of the dragon-flies' wings, the strokes of the water-spiders' legs, like oars which had lifted their boat—all these made audible music. A fish slid along beneath his eyes and he heard the rush of its body parting the water.

in full possession of:~を十分に所有した。physical senses:身体感覚。preternaturally:不可思議に。keen and alert:鋭敏で機敏で。awful disturbance:物凄い動揺。organic system:有機的な組織。exalted and refined:高めて磨きをかけた。perceived:知覚された。ripples:漣。individual trees:個々の木。veining of each leaf:それぞれの葉脈。locusts:蝉(アメリカ英語)。spiders:蜘蛛。web:蜘蛛の巣。from twig to twig:細枝から細枝へ。noted:気付いた。prismatic:多彩な(プリズムの)。dewdrops:露の滴。a million blades of grass:数多(百万)の草の葉。humming:唸り(ブンブンという音)。gnats:蚋(昆虫の一種)。eddies of the stream:川の小さな渦。beating of the dragon-flies' wings:蜻蛉の羽搏き。strokes of the water-spiders' legs:水蜘蛛(蜘蛛の一種)の足掻き。oars:オール。had lifted their boat:それらの船を運んだ。audible music:聞こえる音楽。

He had come to the surface facing down the stream; in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly round, himself the pivotal point, and he saw the bridge, the fort, the soldiers upon the bridge, the captain, the sergeant, the two privates, his executioners. They were in silhouette against the blue sky. They shouted and gesticulated, pointing at him. The captain had drawn his pistol, but did not fire; the others were unarmed. Their movements were grotesque and horrible, their forms gigantic.

wheel slowly round:ゆっくり回転する(イギリス英語)。pivotal point:回転軸(要)。privates:兵。in silhouette:影となった。gesticulated:手真似した。unarmed:武装してなかった。grotesque:異様な 。their forms:彼らの姿。gigantic:巨大な。

Suddenly he heard a sharp report and something struck the water smartly within a few inches of his head, spattering his face with spray. He heard a second report, and saw one of the sentinels with his rifle at his shoulder, a light cloud of blue smoke rising from the muzzle. The man in the water saw the eye of the man on the bridge gazing into his own through the sights of the rifle. He observed that it was a gray eye and remembered having read that gray eyes were keenest, and that all famous markmen had them. Nevertheless, this one had missed.

sharp report:鋭い銃声。smartly:強か。few inches:数インチ(長さ)。spattering his face with spray:彼の顔に飛沫を浴びせる。muzzle:銃口。gazing into:~を覗き込む。sights of the rifle:ライフルの照準。observed that:~と認めた。all famous markmen:全ての第一級の狙撃兵。

A counter-swirl had caught Farquhar and turned him half round; he was again looking into the forest on the bank opposite the fort. The sound of a clear, high voice in a monotonous singsong now rang out behind him and came across the water with a distinctness that pierced and subdued all other sounds, even the beating of the ripples in his ears. Although no soldier, he had frequented camps enough to know the dread significance of that deliberate, drawling, aspirated chant; the lieutenant on shore was taking a part in the morning's work. How coldly and pitilessly—with what an even, calm intonation, presaging, and enforcing tranquillity in the men—with what accurately measured intervals fell those cruel words:

counter-swirl:逆の渦巻き。(had) turn (round):回した。in a monotonous singsong:一本調子で抑揚のない。came across:渡った。distinctness:明瞭さ。pierced and subdued:(音を)劈いて抑えた。frequented:多く通った。camps:野営地。dread significance:恐るべき意義。deliberate, drawling, aspirated chant:あの意図的な間延びした有気音の連呼。morning's work:朝の任務。coldly and pitilessly:冷酷無情に。calm intonation:穏やかな語調。presaging:予示する。tranquillity:落ち着き(tranquillityの綴りは主にイギリス)。accurately measured:正確に計られた。(how) fell those cruel words:如何にもそれらの残酷な言葉が来した。

"Attention, company! . . . Shoulder arms! . . . Ready! . . . Aim! . . . Fire!"

attention, company:気を付け、中隊(軍の号令)。shoulder arms:担え銃(軍の号令)。ready:構え(軍の号令)。aim:狙え(軍の号令)。fire:撃て(軍の号令)。

Farquhar dived—dived as deeply as he could. The water roared in his ears like the voice of Niagara, yet he heard the dulled thunder of the volley and, rising again toward the surface, met shining bits of metal, singularly flattened, oscillating slowly downward. Some of them touched him on the face and hands, then fell away, continuing their descent. One lodged between his collar and neck; it was uncomfortably warm and he snatched it out.

roared:唸った。Niagara:ナイアガラ(アメリカとカナダの国境にある川か滝の名前)。dulled thunder of the volley:一斉射撃の鈍い轟音。bits of:~の破片。singularly flattened:奇異に拉げて。oscillating:振動して。descent:下降。snatched it out:それをさっと取り除いた。

As he rose to the surface, gasping for breath, he saw that he had been a long time under water; he was perceptibly farther down stream—nearer to safety. The soldiers had almost finished reloading; the metal ramrods flashed all at once in the sunshine as they were drawn from the barrels, turned in the air, and thrust into their sockets. The two sentinels fired again, independently and ineffectually.

gasping for breath:息を切らして。perceptibly:可成。reloading:再装填。ramrods:かるか(ライフルの銃口から銃弾を詰める道具)。all at once:一斉に。thrust into their sockets:それらの穴へと突っ込まれた。independently and ineffectually:単独に無駄に。

The hunted man saw all this over his shoulder; he was now swimming vigorously with the current. His brain was as energetic as his arms and legs; he thought with the rapidity of lightning.

hunted man:追われ人。(swimming) with the current:勢いに乗じる。energetic:活気に満ちた。with the rapidity of lightning:雷の速さで。

"The officer," he reasoned, "will not make that martinet's error a second time. It is as easy to dodge a volley as a single shot. He has probably already given the command to fire at will. God help me, I cannot dodge them all!"

reasoned:推論した。martinet's error:規律屋の誤り(martinetは規律に喧しいフランスの軍人のMartinet/マーティネットに由来する)。dodge:躱す。God help me:お助けを(情けないことに)。at will:意のままに。

An appalling splash within two yards of him was followed by a loud, rushing sound, diminuendo, which seemed to travel back through the air to the fort and died in an explosion which stirred the very river to its deeps! A rising sheet of water curved over him, fell down upon him, blinded him, strangled him! The cannon had taken a hand in the game. As he shook his head free from the commotion of the smitten water he heard the deflected shot humming through the air ahead, and in an instant it was cracking and smashing the branches in the forest beyond.

appalling splash:凄まじい跳ねかけ(ザブンという音)。diminuendo:ディミヌエンド(だんだん弱くというイタリア語)。travel back:(音が)戻る。died in an explosion:爆発に消えた。stirred the very river to its deeps:正しく川深くまで掻き混ぜた。curved over:~の上に曲がった。strangled:押さえ付けた。had taken a hand in the game:勝負に一役を買った。commotion:激動。smitten:強打された。deflected shot:逸れ弾。humming:ブーンと鳴る。in an instant:一瞬で。cracking and smashing:木っ端微塵にする。

"They will not do that again," he thought; "the next time they will use a charge of grape. I must keep my eye upon the gun; the smoke will apprise me—the report arrives too late; it lags behind the missile. That is a good gun."

a charge of grape:葡萄弾薬(大砲用の散弾)。keep my eye upon:~から目を離さずにおく。gun:火砲。apprise:知らせる。report:砲声。lags behind:~よりも遅れる。missile:弾(飛び道具)。

Suddenly he felt himself whirled round and round—spinning like a top. The water, the banks, the forests, the now distant bridge, fort and men—all were commingled and blurred. Objects were represented by their colors only; circular horizontal streaks of color—that was all he saw. He had been caught in a vortex and was being whirled on with a velocity of advance and gyration that made him giddy and sick. In a few moments he was flung upon the gravel at the foot of the left bank of the stream—the southern bank—and behind a projecting point which concealed him from his enemies. The sudden arrest of his motion, the abrasion of one of his hands on the gravel, restored him, and he wept with delight. He dug his fingers into the sand, threw it over himself in handfuls and audibly blessed it. It looked like diamonds, rubies, emeralds; he could think of nothing beautiful which it did not resemble. The trees upon the bank were giant garden plants; he noted a definite order in their arrangement, inhaled the fragrance of their blooms. A strange, roseate light shone through the spaces among their trunks and the wind made in their branches the music of aeolian harps. He had no wish to perfect his escape—was content to remain in that enchanting spot until re-taken.

whirled round and round:何度もぐるぐる回った。top:独楽。commingled and blurred:混ぜ合わされてぼんやりした。circular horizontal streaks of color:色の環状の水平層。vortex:渦巻き。whirled on:ぐるぐる回り続けた。with a velocity of advance and gyration:前進と旋回の速度で。giddy:眩暈を起こす。flung upon:~に放り出された。gravel:砂利。projecting point:突き出た地点。sudden arrest:突然の停止。abrasion:擦り傷。restored:回復した。wept:泣いた。in handfuls:両手一杯に。audibly blessed it:聞こえるようにそれを祝福した。giant garden plants:大柄な園芸植物。definite order:明確な秩序。inhaled:吸い込まれた。fragrance of their blooms:それらの花々の香。roseate:薔薇色の。aeolian harps:風鳴琴(エオリアンハープ:風が吹くと鳴る楽器)。perfect:完遂する。enchanting spot:魅惑的な所。until re-taken:又襲われるまで。

A whiz and rattle of grapeshot among the branches high above his head roused him from his dream. The baffled cannoneer had fired him a random farewell. He sprang to his feet, rushed up the sloping bank, and plunged into the forest.

whiz and rattle of grapeshot:葡萄弾のヒューンガタガタと鳴る音。roused:目覚めさせた。baffled cannoneer:まご付いた砲兵。random farewell:手当たり次第のお別れ。sloping:傾斜する。plunged into:~へと飛び込んだ。

All that day he traveled, laying his course by the rounding sun. The forest seemed interminable; nowhere did he discover a break in it, not even a woodman's road. He had not known that he lived in so wild a region. There was something uncanny in the revelation.

traveled:進んだ。laying his course:彼の行程を取って。rounding sun:巡る太陽。interminable:際限がない。discover a break:途切れを見出だす。woodman's road:樵夫の道。uncanny:不気味な。revelation:意外な新事実。

By nightfall he was fatigued, footsore, famishing. The thought of his wife and children urged him on. At last he found a road which led him in what he knew to be the right direction. It was as wide and straight as a city street, yet it seemed untraveled. No fields bordered it, no dwelling anywhere. Not so much as the barking of a dog suggested human habitation. The black bodies of the trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the horizon in a point, like a diagram in a lesson in perspective. Overhead, as he looked up through this rift in the wood, shone great golden stars looking unfamiliar and grouped in strange constellations. He was sure they were arranged in some order which had a secret and malign significance. The wood on either side was full of singular noises, among which—once, twice, and again—he distinctly heard whispers in an unknown tongue.

fatigued:疲れた。footsore:足が痛い。famishing:腹が減った。urged him on:彼を衝き動かした。untraveled:人が余り訪れない。fields:田畑。bordered:隣接した。dwelling:住まい。habitation:居住。not so much as:~すらもない。bodies of the trees:樹体。terminating on the horizon in a point:一点に兆しが見えて終結する。diagram in a lesson in perspective:遠近法の学課の図解。rift:切れ目。grouped in strange constellations:不思議な星座に寄り集まって。malign:悪意ある意義。distinctly:明瞭に。in an unknown tongue:知らない言葉で。

His neck was in pain and lifting his hand to it he found it horribly swollen. He knew that it had a circle of black where the rope had bruised it. His eyes felt congested; he could no longer close them. His tongue was swollen with thirst; he relieved its fever by thrusting it forward from between his teeth into the cold air. How softly the turf had carpeted the untraveled avenue—he could no longer feel the roadway beneath his feet!

swollen:膨れた。had bruised:打ち身した。congested:充血した。thrusting (forward):押し出し。turf:芝生。had carpeted:一面に覆った。avenue:並木道。roadway:道路。

Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene—perhaps he has merely recovered from a delirium. He stands at the gate of his own home. All is as he left it, and all bright and beautiful in the morning sunshine. He must have traveled the entire night. As he pushes open the gate and passes up the wide white walk, he sees a flutter of female garments; his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the veranda to meet him. At the bottom of the steps she stands waiting, with a smile of ineffable joy, an attitude of matchless grace and dignity. Ah, how beautiful she is! He springs forward with extended arms. As he is about to clasp her he feels a stunning blow upon the back of the neck; a blinding white light blazes all about him with a sound like the shock of a cannon—then all is darkness and silence!

delirium:譫妄。entire night:夜通し。wide white walk:広い白い小道。flutter of female garments:女らしい衣服のはためき。veranda:ヴェランダ。steps:段。ineffable:いうにいえない。an attitude of matchless grace and dignity:比べるもののない優美さと品良さの態度。clasp:抱き締める。a stunning blow:気絶させる一撃。blinding:目が眩むような。blazes:(燃えるように)煌めく。all about:~の周り(に関する)全てに。

Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge.

原文の出典:The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce/Volume 2/An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

単語や熟語の意味は文意に相応しいものを一つだけ選んだ。作品の趣向に合うかどうか、つまり訳語として充分かどうかはさほど考慮しない。英語で理解するための最低限の意味が分かるように努めた。

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