I am a Cat (Chapter 8 a) Section 244 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

かき出来でき翌日よくじつから、垣の出来できまえ同様どうよう彼等かれら北側きたがわ空地あきちへぽかりぽかりとただ座敷ざしき正面しょうめんまでは深入ふかいりをしない。もしけられたらげるのに、少々しょうしょうひまがいるから、あらかじ逃げる時間じかん勘定かんじょうれてとらえらるる危険きけんのないところ遊弋ゆうよくをしている。彼等がなにをしているかひがしはなにいる主人しゅじんには無論むろんらない。北側の空地に彼等が遊弋している状態じょうたいは、木戸きどをあけて反対はんたい方角ほうがくからかぎまがってか、または後架こうかまどから垣根かきねしにながめるよりほかに仕方しかたがない。窓から眺めるときはどこに何がいるか、一目いちもく明瞭めいりょう見渡みわたこと出来できが、よしやてき幾人いくたり見出みいだしたからとってとらえるわけにはかぬ。ただ窓の格子こうなかからしかりつけるばかりである。もし木戸から迂回うかいして敵地てきちこうとすれば、足音あしおときつけて、ぽかりぽかりとつらまる前にむこがわりてしまう。膃肭臍おっとせいひなたぼっこをしているところへ密猟船みつりょうせんむかったようなものだ。主人は無論後架でばんをしている訳ではない。と云って木戸をひらいておとがしたら用意よういもない。もしそんな事をやるには教師きょうし辞職じしょくして、そのほう専門せんもんにならなければっつかない。主人がた不利ふりを云うと書斎しょさいからは敵のこえだけ聞えて姿すがたが見えないのと、窓からは姿が見えるだけでせない事である。この不利を看破かんぱしたる敵はこんな軍略ぐんりゃくこうじた。主人が書斎にこもっていると探偵たんていした時には、なるべくおおきな声をしてわあわあ云う。その中には主人をひやかすような事をこえよがしべる。しかもその声の出所でどころきわめて不分明ふぶんめいにする。ちょっと聞くと垣のうちさわいでいるのか、あるいは向う側であばれているのか判定はんていしにくいようにする。もし主人が出懸でかけてたらか、またははじめから向う側にいてらんかおをする。また主人が後架へ――吾輩わがはい最前さいぜんからしきりに後架後架ときたない使用しようするのを別段べつだん光栄こうえいともおもっておらんじつ迷惑めいわく千万せんばんであるが、この戦争せんそう記述きじゅつするうえにおいて必要ひつようであるからやむをない。――すなわ主人が後架へまかりしたときは、かならきり附近ふきん徘徊はいかいしてわざと主人のにつくようにする。主人がもし後架から四隣しりんひび大音だいおんげて怒鳴どなりつければ敵は周章あわてる気色けしきもなく悠然ゆうぜん根拠地こんきょちきあげる。この軍略をもちいられると主人ははなはだ困却こんきゃくする。たしかに這入はいっているなと思ってステッキって出懸けると寂然せきぜんとしてだれいない。いないかと思って窓からのぞくと必ず一二人いちににん這入っている。主人はうらまわって見たり、後架からのぞいて見たり、後架から覗いて見たり、裏へ廻って見たり、何度なんどっておな事だが、何度云っても同じ事をかえしている。奔命ほんめいつかれるとはこの事である。教師が職業しょくぎょうであるか、戦争が本務ほんむであるかちょっとわからないくらい逆上ぎゃくじょうして。この逆上の頂点ちょうてんたっした時にしも事件じけんおこったのである。

Rough translation

The day after the fence was built, they came dropping into the north-side lot, just as they'd done before. However, they no longer encroached on the living room. If pursued, their escape time was greater now, and they took this into account, limiting their incursions to a safe distance. The master, of course, could not see them from the east wing of the house. To gage their movements on the north side, he had to either open the wicket gate and circle round the house or go to the toilet window and peer across the hedge. From the toilet window he could spot any intruders at a glance but was powerless to act. All he could do was rant and rave from within. If he went out through the gate and circled round, they'd flee at the sound of his steps, dropping back to their own side before he came near. They were just like seals, sunning themselves till the hunter drifts near and then slipping into the water. The master couldn't spend his days on the toilet staking them out. And he wasn't about to leave the gate open and dash out at every slightest sound. If it came to that, it would command all his time, and his teaching days would be done. The master found himself at a severe disadvantage. Working in his study, he could hear their voices but couldn't see them. From the toilet window, he could see them but take no action. Realizing his predicament, the student made the most of it. When they sensed the master was holed up in his study, they raised up their voices. One could catch in their chatter, on occasion, what seemed to be gibes at the master. To make matters worse, the source of the sounds was not at all clear. Should the master go out, they would quickly retreat. Or, as the case may be, they'd been on their own side from the start and hence showed no concern. Then again, when the master was in the toilet -- Let me apologize here for all this toilet talk. I don't relish dwelling on the toilet, and I'm sorry if the reader finds it unsavory, but in describing this conflict it can't be helped. -- At any rate, when the master was in the toilet they were sure to be loitering among the paulownias, deliberately drawing his attention. If the master called them out, raising his voice so all the world could hear, they simply sauntered back, at full leisure, to their own property. These tactics had the master at his wit's end. Sensing their presence, he'd grab his walking stick and rush out, only to find no one there. Thinking they were gone, he'd peek through the toilet window, always to find one or two intruding. He'd go round back, then peek through the toilet window. He'd peek through the toilet window, then go round back. I could go on, but it's all the same. Over and over, again and again. It became, in the end, a war of attrition. The master's duties as combatant were no less demanding than his duties as instructor. His world was descending into disarray, and at the height of it all, an altercation occurred, which I'll proceed to describe.

Vocabulary

かき fence; hedge出来できた was completed; was finished翌日よくじつ next day出来できまえ before (it) was completed同様どうように in the same manner彼等かれら they; them北側きたがわ north side空地あきち vacant land; empty lotむ jump inただし however座敷ざしき living room; parlor正面しょうめん frontage; front-facing (area)深入ふかいりをしない not enter deeply; not go so farけられたら be chased; be pursuedげる escape; flee少々しょうしょう somewhat; to some degreeひま time it takes to do somethingあらかじめ in advance; beforehand時間じかん time勘定かんじょう calculation; reckoningれて put into; factor intoとらえらるる be seized; be caught (= とらえられる)危険きけん danger; riskところ places; locations遊弋ゆうよくをして move about; patrol; make one's roundsなに whatひがし east; east sideはなれ wing; section (of a house)主人しゅじん master無論むろん of course; naturallyらない be out of sight; be hidden from view状態じょうたい situation; case木戸きど wicket gate反対はんたいの opposite方角ほうがく directionかぎ right-angled (like a hook)まがってる try going around後架こうか toilet; outhouse; privyまど window垣根かきねしに across the hedgeながめる look out; survey仕方しかた way; method; meansとき time; moment一目いちもく明瞭めいりょう taking in at one glance見渡みわたす look across; surveyこと出来できる is able to ...; can ...よしや supposing that; even ifてき adversary; foe幾人いくたり a number of (people)見出みいだした discoveredからとって given that ...; having ...とらえる capture; seize; catch hold ofわけにはかぬ one cannot ...格子こう window bars; latticeなか inside; withinしかりつける scold vehemently; rebuke loudly迂回うかいして go around; circle round敵地てきち enemy campこう attack; storm足音あしおと sound of footstepsきつけて hear; catch (a sound)つらまる capture; seizeむこがわ the other side; the far sideりて descend (into)膃肭臍おっとせい fur sealひなたぼっこ basking in the sun密猟船みつりょうせん poaching vesselむかった turned toward; headed towardもの case; situationばん watch duty; lookoutひらいて openおと sound; noiseぐ at once; without delayす fly out; dash out用意ようい preparation; readiness day; time教師きょうし teacher; instructor辞職じしょくして resign (from one's post)ほう way; side; part専門せんもん specialty; concentration; area of expertiseっつかない not keep upがた side不利ふり disadvantage; handicap書斎しょさい study; den; reading roomこえ voice; voices姿すがた shape; formせない can't reach; can't get hold of; can't act against看破かんぱしたる get a read on; fathom軍略ぐんりゃく strategy; tacticsこうじた took measures toward; put into practiceこもって shut oneself in; holed up in探偵たんていした sniffed out; detected; surveilledおおきな big; loud (voice)して put forthこえよがし bad-mouthing someone so as to be deliberately overheardべる state; mention; express出所でどころ origin; sourceきわめて extremely; exceedingly不分明ふぶんめい unclear; obscure; vagueうち inside; withinさわいで clamor; make noise; stir up a fuss判定はんていしにくい hard to discern; hard to tell出懸でかけてたら come outす run off; make one's escapeはじめから from the startらんかお feigned ignorance; air of unconcern吾輩わがはい I; me; myself最前さいぜんから for some time now word; term使用しようする use; apply別段べつだんの particular光栄こうえい honor; privilegeおもっておらん do not think of; do not see (as)じつは actually; in fact迷惑めいわく千万せんばん most troubling; of great annoyance戦争せんそう war; battle; engagement記述きじゅつする describe; make an account ofうえにおいて in order to ...必要ひつよう necessary; essentialやむをない can't be helpedすなわち specificallyまかりした went to; visitedる perceive; grasp (a situation)かならず invariably; without failきり pawlonia trees附近ふきん neighborhood; vicinity徘徊はいかいして loiter in; roam about; wander through eyes; field of vision四隣しりん all aroundひびく resound; reverberate大音だいおんげて make a great noise怒鳴どなりつければ shout at; yell at周章あわてる be rushed; be panicked気色けしき signs; indications悠然ゆうぜんと calmly; with complete composure根拠地こんきょち base of operationsきあげる withdraw; retreat (to)もちいられる have applied (to); have used (on)困却こんきゃくする be at a loss; be hamstrung這入はいって enter; intrudeステッキ stick; cane; staffって hold; grasp; carry寂然せきぜんとして lonely; desertedだれも (no) one一二人いちににん a couple; several (people)うら back side; out backまわって circle round (to)のぞいて peak; spy何度なんど however many timesって say; stateおなじ the sameかえして do again; repeat奔命ほんめいつかれる drive oneself to exhaustion; wear oneself down職業しょくぎょう occupation; profession本務ほんむ duty; regular businessわからない can't tell; can't say逆上ぎゃくじょうしてた has all become muddled; is all in a whirl頂点ちょうてん top; height; extremeたっした reachedしもの the following事件じけん incident; affair; altercationおこった happened; took place