今回は「警官と賛美歌」The Cop the Anthem
O. Henry の作品です。
The Cop and the Anthem Act One
On his bench in Madison Square Soapy moved uneasily. When wild geese honk high of nights, and when women without sealskin coats grow kind to their husbands, and when Soapy moves uneasily on his bench in the park, you may know that winter is near at hand.
A dead leaf fell in Soapy’s lap. That was Jack Frost’s card. Jack is kind to the regular denizens of Madison Square, and gives fair warning of his annual call.
Soapy’s mind became cognizant of the fact that the time had come for him to resolve himself into a singular Committee of Ways and Means to provide against the coming rigor. And therefore he moved uneasily on his bench.
The hibernatorial ambitions of Soapy were not of the highest. In them there were no considerations of Mediterranean cruises, of soporific Southern skies drifting in the Vesuvian Bay. Three months on the Island was what his soul craved.
For years the hospitable Blackwell’s had been his winter quarters. Just as his more fortunate fellow New Yorkers had bought their tickets to Palm Beach and the Riviera each winter, so Soapy had made his humble arrangements for his annual hegira to the Island. And now the time was come. He scorned the provisions made in the name of charity for the city’s dependents. In Soapy’s opinion the Law was more benign than Philanthropy. As Caesar had his Brutus, every bed of charity must have its toll of a bath, every loaf of bread its compensation of a private and personal inquisition. Wherefore it is better to be a guest of the law, which though conducted by rules, does not meddle unduly with a gentleman’s private affairs.
Soapy, having decided to go to the Island, at once set about accomplishing his desire. There were many easy ways of doing this. The pleasantest was to dine luxuriously at some expensive restaurant; and then, after declaring insolvency, be handed over quietly and without uproar to a policeman. An accommodating magistrate would do the rest.
Soapy left his bench and strolled out of the square and across the level sea of asphalt, where Broadway and Fifth Avenue flow together. Up Broadway he turned, and halted at a glittering cafe, where are gathered together nightly the choicest products of the grape, the silkworm and the protoplasm.
Words & Expressions
○ Madison Square NY市にある広場
○ honk 鳴く ［雁・車など］
○ sealskin アザラシ（の毛）皮
○ in one’s lap 膝の上に
○ Jack Frost 冬将軍
○ denizen 住人
○ give fair warning of … …を余裕を持って警告する
○ cognizant of … …を認識して
○ resolve oneself into … 自分を…に変身させる
○ Committee of Ways and Means 議会の歳入委員会
○ rigor 試練
○ soporific 眠気を起こさせるような
○ the Island あの島［刑務所のあったBlackwell’s Islandのこと］
○ winter quarters 冬の住まい
○ hegira 大移住 ［イスラム教のヘジラ（聖遷）より］
○ Time was come. 時来りぬ ［古い完了用法］
○ scorn 忌み嫌う、軽蔑する
○ provision 供給物
○ toll 代価
○ compensation 償い
○ meddle unduly with … …に必要以上に干渉する
○ set about …ing …することに取りかかる
○ insolvency 支払不能、破産
○ accommodating 世話好きの、親切な
○ magistrate 治安判事
○ the level sea of asphalt 平坦なアスファルトの海
○ flow together 合流する
○ halt 立ち止まる
○ glittering きらびやかな
○ products of the grape, the silkworm and the protoplasm ワイン・絹・人間