例題 １（初級練習問題 １１７）
In Okinawa Prefecture, the number of seniors that have been fraudulently cheated out of money is increasing. Thieves are posing as friends of friends of the seniors’ grand children. From April to October this year, a total of ten cases involving 2.6 million dollars were reported to the police.
George: “Hello Makoto, where are you going?”
Makoto: “Hello George, I am going to see my parents.”
George: “I haven’t seen them for a while. How are they?”
Makoto: “They are fine. Thank you. But they are living alone and I am a little concerned with them regarding something I’ve read in the newspaper recently.”
George: “Oh? What is it?”
Makoto: “Do you know that there are some people who cheat old people and get a large sum of money?”
Makoto: “Well, some people pretend that they are friends of old people’s grand children. They phone the old people and tell them that their grand children are in a big trouble, such as a car accident or threatened by yakuza. They say their grand children cannot contact the old people directly and have asked them to phone the old people. Then, they tell the old people that unless the old people get money for their grand children, their grand children will be in great danger. They tell the old people to pay in money to a special account and get away with the money.”
George: “That’s awful. But can the old people see that something wrong with such a story?”
Makoto: “Well, sometimes they can. But sometimes they feel so concerned with their grand children that they pay in money before they can check around if the story is true.”
George: “I see. What are you going to tell your parents?”
Makoto: “I am thinking to tell them that for anything that involves a large sum of money, they should first contact me or my brothers before they decide anything.”
George: “That’s a good idea.”
George: “Hi, Makoto. Anything new today?”
Makoto: “Not really, George. But I can tell you an interesting story I’ve heard the other day.”
George: “You are a good story teller. Please tell me the story.”
Makoto: “This is a story my Japanese friend told me. He was working in Australia for a Japanese company. One day, he received a phone call from his friends in Japan. Say, Ken and Nobu for the sake of the story. They loved kangaroos.
Makoto: “Yes, kangaroos. They often went to a zoo to see kangaroos. But they wanted to see real kangaroos in the natural environment. So they wanted to come to Australia. Anyway, they arrived at Melbourne and rented a car. They drove out of the city. They saw a sign on the highway, “Watch for kangaroos.” They were excited. Now they could see kangaroos anytime. The highway was not so good. So they had to concentrate on driving. All of a sudden, a large kangaroos jumped onto the highway. They braked hard but could stop the car first enough and hit the kangaroo. The kangaroo fell down and didn’t move at all.
George: “That’s too bad. They must have been shocked.”
Makoto: “Yes, they have. They came out of the car and looked down the kangaroo. They felt so sorry for the kangaroo. Then, Ken said, “What can we do now? At least, we can take his picture.” Nobu said, “Yes, we can take his picture. But the picture will not look good if the kangaroo lies down on the highway. Ken, can you hold him up?” Ken tried hard to pull up the kangaroo and finally managed to hold him up.” “How does he look like, Nobu?” “Not bad. But can you put your hat on his head.” “OK, now is this better?” “Yes, but if you can put your jacket on him, he will look much better.”
So, Ken dropped the kangaroo and they both worked to put Ken’s jacket on the kangaroo. Then, Ken pulled up the kangaroo again. “How does he look like now?” “Looks great. Hold him still, Ken.” Nobu clicked the camera. Then, the kangaroo woke up and jumped away. It appeared the kangaroo got just fainted. He wasn’t dead. They were so surprised and just looked at the kangaroo jumping away into the field. Ken said, “Nobu, hurry, take his picture.” Nobu took a couple of pictures of the kangaroo happily jumping away. They were so relived and happy that the kangaroo was alive and well. Then, Ken said, “Oh my jacket!” Yes, the kangaroo was running away with his jacket and hat on.
George: “I can’t believe it. But what a story.”
Makoto: “This isn’t the end of the story yet. You see, Ken realized that his passport and airline tickets were in the jacket.
George: “Is that right? What did they do?”
Makoto: “Well, they kept on driving and saw a lot of kangaroos. When they came back to Melbourne, they went to the office of the Consulate-General of Japan and explained how they lost Ken’s passport. But they couldn’t convince the Consulate-General. Then, this was the time my friend working in Melbourne got a phone call from Ken. My friend went to the Consulate-General of Japan to see Ken and Nobu. They tried hard to think how they could convince the Consulate-General. And my friend came up with the ideas of the pictures Nobu had taken. They rushed to a photo shop to get the pictures developed. Sure enough, the pictures showed the kangaroo running away with Ken’s hat and jacket.
George: “A good story. Can I tell the story to my friends?”
Makoto: “Off course, you can. But watch out.”
George: “What do I watch out for?”
Makoto: “Well, the other day, one of my friends said to me, ‘Makoto, I heard about your trouble in Australia. You lost your passport in the strangest way I could imagine.”