It gets dramatic!
士隐听 了,也只得罢了.真是闲处光阴易过,倏忽又是元霄佳节矣.士隐命家人霍启抱了英莲 去看社火花灯,半夜中,霍启因要小解,便将英莲放在一家门槛上坐着.待他小解完了 来抱时,那有英莲的踪影?急得霍启直寻了半夜,至天明不见,那霍启也就不敢回来见 主人, 便逃往他乡去了.
士隐 heard this but could not do something about it. He idled and time passed quickly, then soon come the moon festival. 士隐 ordered the servant 霍启 to take (his daughter) 英莲 and go look for the festival. At midnight [霍启] heard nature calling (No. 1), and left 英莲 at the doorstep. By the time he finished his “business”, 英莲 was gone. Nervously 霍启 looked for her all night long – until after dawn. Then 霍启 did not dare to come back to his master and fled to another town.
士隐 heard this (得罢了) but could do nothing about it
(真是) Actually (闲处) idled and (光阴) time (易过) passed quickly
Then (倏忽) soon the (元霄佳节) moon festival came
士隐 ordered his servant 霍启 to hold (his daughter) 英莲 and go look for the (社火花灯) festival (performance and decoration)
社火 --> traditional art performance
花灯 --> decoration with flowers
霍启 because he wanted to (小解 = 小便 = No. 1) get some relief
Therefore left 英莲 at (门槛) the doorstep
By the time he finished his “business”
Where is英莲? (where are traces of 英莲)
Nervously 霍启 looked for her all night long (half the night).
Until (天明) dawn was not seen --> until dawn was over
Then 霍启 also did not dare to come back to his master
And fled to (他乡) another town
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