I am a Cat (Chapter 10 a) Section 317 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

ぼうは――当人とうにんは坊やとはわない。いつでもぼうと云う――元禄げんろくれたのを「元どこがべたい」と云ってした。元禄がつめたくて大変たいへんだから、御三おさん台所だいどころからして雑巾ぞうきん取上とりあげて着物きものいてやる。この騒動そうどうちゅう比較的ひかくてきしずであったのは、次女じじょすんじょうである。すん子嬢はむこうむきになってたなうえからころがりちた白粉しろいびんをあけて、しきりに御化粧おけしょうほどこしている。第一だいいちんだゆびをもってはなあたまをキューとでたからたて一本いっぽんしろすじとおって、鼻のありかがいささか分明ぶんみょうになって来た。つぎりつけた指をてんじてほうの上を摩擦まさつしたから、そこへもってきて、これまた白いかたまりが出来上できあがった。これだけ装飾そうしょくがととのったところへ、下女げじょがはいって来て坊ばの着物を拭いたついでに、すん子のかおもふいてしまった。すん子は少々しょうしょう不満ふまんていに見えた。

吾輩わがはいはこの光景こうけいよこ見て、ちゃから主人しゅじん寝室しんしつまで来てもうきたかとひそかに様子ようすをうかがって見ると、主人の頭がどこにも見えない。そのかわ十文半ともんはんこうたかあしが、夜具やぐすそから一本している。頭がていては起こされるとき迷惑めいわくしただとおもって、かくもぐりんだのであろう。かめのようなおとこである。ところへ書斎しょさい掃除そうじをしてしまった妻君さいくんがまたほうきはたきかついでやってくる。最前さいぜんのようにふすま入口いりぐちから

「まだお起きにならないのですか」とこえをかけたまま、しばらくってくびの出ない夜具を見つめていた。今度こんど返事へんじがない。細君さいくんは入口から二歩ふたあしばかりすすんで、箒をとんときながら「まだなんですか、あなた」とかさねて返事をうけたまわる。この時主人はすでにめている。覚めているから、細君の襲撃しゅうげきそなうるため、あらかじめ夜具のなかに首もろともこもったのである。首さえさなければ見逃みのがしてくれることもあろうかと、まらない事をたのにしていたところ、なかなかゆるしそうもない。しかし第一回だいいっかいの声は敷居しきいの上で、すくなくとも一間いっけん間隔かんかくがあったから、まず安心あんしんはらのうちで思っていると、とんと突いた箒がなんでも三尺さんじゃくくらいの距離きょりっていたにはちょっとおどろいたのみならず第二だいに「まだなんですか、あなた」が距離においても音量おんりょうにおいてもまえよりもばい以上いじょういきおいもっ夜具のなかまできこえたから、こいつは駄目だめだと覚悟かくごをしてちいさな声でうんと返事をした。

Rough translation

Little gal -- who incidentally refers to herself not as Little gal but as Lil gal -- takes note of her wet genroku and cries out, "Gendoko wet!" Fearing the child will catch cold, Osan rushes out from the kitchen, snatches the cleaning rag, and wipes her dry. Throughout all this, the one who's been relatively quiet is Miss Sunko, the second daughter. Miss Sunko is turned away and occupied with a jar of white face powder that's rolled off an upper shelf. She's opened the jar and proceeded to make herself up. Her first move was to take her finger, whitened with powder, and run it down her nose to the tip. This nose, normally nondescript, now stands out in relief. The next stop for her whitened fingers was her cheekbones, which were daubed into white circles. At this point, the maidservant enters the scene, and after wiping Lil gal's dress clean turns her rag on Sunko's face. Sunko's a bit put out.

I take these scenes in in passing, making my way to the living room and then on to the room where the master sleeps. Thinking to see if he's awake, I quietly peek in. The master's head is nowhere to be seen. All I can see is one large, arched foot protruding from under the edge of the bedding. Apparently concerned that his exposed head might be subject to another wake-up call, he's turtled in and hid himself under the quilt. As he lies there concealed, the wife, who has finished cleaning the study and is still shouldering her broom and duster, reappears. From the threshold, she calls out as before.

"Still not up?" Having called out, she stands there for a moment, surveying the headless mass of bedding. Again receiving no answer, she advances several steps and gives the mat a firm thrust with her broom. "Don't you think you'd best be up?" She's determined to have an answer. The master is, in fact, awake. It's because he's awake that he's steeled himself against the wife's assault by burying himself, head and all, in his bedding. He's fostering some foolish misconception that if he simply lies low, head out of sight, the wife will let him be. The course of events, however, is proving otherwise. Her first call to him was from the threshold, some half a room away, which had given him a sense of assurance. The thrust of the broom was closer, only half again as far, which had put some fear in him. Her second call was louder and closer, penetrating the covers with double or more the force. Realizing his ruse is up, he reluctantly responds with a feeble grunt.

Vocabulary

ぼうや little gal当人とうにん the person in questionわない not sayぼうば lil gal元禄げんろく kimono of brightly-patterned clothれた is wetて look at; seeした burst out cryingつめたくて be cold大変たいへん problematic; cause for concern御三おさん Osan (the maidservant)台所だいどころ kitchenしてて come running雑巾ぞうきん (cleaning) rag; cloth取上とりあげて pick up; take up着物きもの clothingいて wipe騒動そうどうちゅう amidst the commotion比較的ひかくてき relativelyしずか quiet次女じじょ second daughterすん Sunko (name)じょう Miss ...むこうむき facing the other way; turned awayたな shelfうえ top ofころがりちた rolled off (of)白粉しろい white face powderびん jar御化粧おけしょう makeup; cosmeticsほどこして apply第一だいいちに first off; to begin withんだ thrust intoゆび fingerはなあたま tip of the noseでた brushed; rubbed; strokedたてに vertically一本いっぽん one (line)しろい whiteすじ line; stripe; streakとおって pass through; traverseありか location; whereabouts分明ぶんみょう clear; evidentつぎに nextりつけた daubed; plastered; smearedてんじて turn; shiftほう cheeks摩擦まさつした rubbed; worked出来上できあがった was formed装飾そうしょく decoration; adornment下女げじょ maidservantかお face少々しょうしょう somewhat; to some extent不満ふまん discontentment; displeasureてい appearance; condition; state 吾輩わがはい I; me; myself光景こうけい scene; sightよこに from the side; in passingちゃ living room主人しゅじん master寝室しんしつ sleeping roomきた woke up; is awake様子ようす situation; state of affairsそのかわり in exchange; at the same time十文半ともんはん 10.5 mon (about 25 cm; about 10 inchesこう top side of the footたかい is large; is highあし foot夜具やぐ bedding; bedclothesすそ bottom part; bottom edgeして protrude; stick outていて be out; be visibleとき time; occasion迷惑めいわくした (would be an) inconvenience; impositionおもって think; figure; reasonもぐりんだ slipped into; crawled intoかめ (young) turtleおとこ man; fellow書斎しょさい study; den; reading room掃除そうじ cleaning妻君さいくん wifeほうき broomはたき (feather) dusterかついで shoulder最前さいぜん short time ago; just nowふすま fusuma (sliding screen)入口いりぐち entrance こえをかけた called out toって stand thereくび head今度こんど this time返事へんじ reply; response細君さいくん the wife二歩ふたあし two stepsすすんで advance; proceedきながら thrust; hit; strikeかさねて once moreうけたまわる press for; expect (to hear)めている is awake襲撃しゅうげき attack; assaultそなうる prepare for (= そなえる)なか inside; withinもろとも in entiretyこもった barricaded oneself; holed upさなければ not put out; not present見逃みのがして overlook; fail to noticeこと situation; caseまらない absurd; foolishたのみ dependence; trust; hopeて sleep; restゆるしそうもない not be about to let off第一回だいいっかい first time敷居しきい threshold; sillすくなくとも at least一間いっけん 1 ken (about 2 meters; about 6 feet)間隔かんかく space; interval安心あんしん comfort; assuranceはらのうちで to oneself; inwardlyなんでも anyhow; as it would seem三尺さんじゃく 3 shaku (about 1 meter; about 3 feet)距離きょり distanceっていた had come for; was in pursuitおどろいた was surprised; was caught off guardのみならず furthermore; moreover第二だいにの second音量おんりょう volume; loudnessまえ beforeばい double以上いじょう more than; in excess ofいきおい energy; impetus; vigorもって with; by means ofきこえた could be heard; carried駄目だめ no good; hopeless; in vain覚悟かくごをして be resigned (to)ちいさな small; low (voice)