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to go up in smoke (添削後)

to go up in smoke ... to come to no practical result



....................................中途半端な英語力 の続きです。


I mustered up all my courage to accost her and said, "I can speak English a little. Is there anything I can do for you?" She turned toward me, sighed with relief and started explaining how she'd gotten into trouble.
I was supposed to handle her grievances on the spot. The affair was supposed to be settled down soon. I hate to mention this, however, I had no way but ending up being in a quandary. I managed to pin down the cause of the trouble and listen to both sides to translate their points into plain languages, but that was all. I totally failed to find an acceptable solution, and in the end, the Chinese woman walked away with her family, looking deeply disappointed.
At that time I had trouble, actually, dealing with the word "a physically handicapped person." When I found out that her husband has a physical disability, I was a bit stunned. "Disability" was the only word which popped up in my mind, but I didn't have a clue whether the word was appropriate to use in this situation. "What if the word makes her upset?" I was thinking too much for fear of having an indiscretion.
Volunteer spirit is always virtue, but sometimes it happens to cause a misleading outcome. With no aptitude to help others in need, I might have evaded responsibility meddling in things. I had scruple about being good-for-nothing. How long have I studied English? What's it for and how much have I got out of it? I hate to see my efforts go up in smoke any more, so what can I do?

1) had no way to deal with it and ending up
2) phrase
3) being indiscreet
4) virtuous
5) fears


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