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絵3

 

 

私の側には、講談倶楽部や子供雑誌や彩色刷の浮世絵などを並べた古本屋があり、その隣りにはトウモロコシ屋のお婆さんが、箱の上に座り込んで、前に置いた台の上に七輪をのせ、ぱたぱたと団扇をはたいてトウモロコシを焼いていた.

 

There was a used-book vendor next to me. He sold Kodankurabu magazines, children's magazines, color woodcuts and so on.

 

And there was a corn vendor next to the used-book vendor. The corn vendor was an old woman. Sitting on a box, she grilled ears of corn with the charcoal stove on the base in front. She was fanning the stove with a fan.


絵4

 

 

私と向かい合った往来の向かい側には、古着屋が店を開いており、その隣りには袴を穿いて口髭をはやした、大分もう年を取った一人の男が、オットセイの黒焼きだとか、蘇鉄の果だとか称している、得体の知れないものを台の上にのせて、演説口調で何か能書きを並べ立てていた.

 

それからずっと、丁字型の縦の線に沿うては、万年筆屋だの植木屋だの、玩具屋だのといった色々の商売人が店をひろげていた.

 

There was a second-hand clothing vendor in front of me across the street.

 

And there was an elderly man next to the second-hand clothing vendor. The elderly man wore mustache and his pleated pants. There were strange things on his stand. He called them Roasted Seal, Cycad Fruit, or others. And he was giving a talk on their benefits or something.

 

In additon, there were various vendors such as a fountain pen vendor, a garden plant vendor and a toy vendor all along the vertical roadway of T-intersection.


絵5

 

 

私はまず向かいの古着屋さんと隣の古本屋さんとに仲間入りの挨拶をした.古着屋さんは見るからにズルそうな男であったが、古本屋さんは人の良さそうな爺さんであった.

 

「お前さんがかね、へえ、何売るんだね!」と、お爺さんは、口もとに微笑を浮かべながら怪訝そうに私を眺めた.

 

First, I introduced myself for friendship to the second-hand clothing vendor in front and to the used-book vendor next to me.

 

The second-hand clothing vender looked like a sly man. But the used-book vender was a good-natured old man.

 

"Hey, you! What are you going to sell?" the old man said with a smile on his lips and dubiously gazed at me.


絵6

 

 

「粉石鹸を持って来ました」

 

「ほおう、シャボン屋さんだね、まあしっかりやりなされ」

 

こう言ってお爺さんは、珍しそうに私が店をひろげるのを見ていたが、不案内な私の所作がもどかしいといった風に、私の側に寄って来て、かれこれと並べ方を教えたり、商売についての注意を与えてくれたりなどした.

 

"I'm going to sell soap powder."

 

"Oh, Soap Vender. Earn much money!" said the old man.

 

He curiously watched me preparing for the opening. But he seemed to be irritated with my clumsy movement. He came close to me. He told me how to place the goods and gave me some advices about vending.


絵7

 

 

夜店で暮らしている人達である.だから、無論楽な人達ではあるまい.けれど兎に角そうした人たちの店はそれ相当の構えをしていた.

 

ところが私の店と来たらどうだろう.

 

私の店には第一、品物を並べる台がなかった.地べたに新聞紙を4、5枚敷いたその上に商品が載せらているのであった.しかも、商品といったところで、例の粉石鹸の袋が30足らずあるっきりで、その間に小さな暗いランプが申し訳のように灯されているのだった.

 

何という貧弱な店であろう.

 

余りに目立った貧弱さである.

 

商品の後ろの方に、これもやはり新聞紙を敷いてその上に私は、膝に広げたリーダーを置いたままションボリと座って客を待っているのである.

 

They earned a living on night stalls. So, they must have suffered financial hardship. But anyway, their stalls each had a good appearance.

 

However, my workplace couldn't compare with theirs.

 

First, I had no display stand for my goods. Four or five sheets of newspaper were spread out on the ground. And my goods were placed there. Further, the goods were nearly 30 bags of that soap powder. The small lamp was slightly emitting dim light among them.

 

What a poor stall!

 

My workplace was markedly poor.

 

Newspapers were also spread on the ground behind the goods. And I was dispiritedly sitting there. I opened my reader on my legs and was waiting for shoppers.

(つづく)



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