A Hōntd Hǎs │ Vjińa Wŭlf

tvr aur y woc ɖr wz a dor śutñ. Fṛm rūm t rūm ɖe wnt, hand in hand, liftñ hir, oṗnñ ɖr, mcñ śr—a gostli cupl.

“Hir w left it,” ś sd. N h add, “Ǒ, bt hir tù!” “It’s upsterz,” ś mrmrd. “N in ɖ gardn,” h ẃisprd “Qaytli,” ɖe sd, “or w śl wec ɖm.”

Bt it wz’nt ɖt y woc s. Ǒ, no. “Ɖ’r lcñ fr it; ɖ’r drw̃ ɖ crtn,” wn mt se, n so rīd on a pej or tū. “Nǎ ɖ’v faund it,” wn wd b srtn, stopñ ɖ pensl on ɖ marjin. N ɖen, tîrd v rīdñ, wn mt rîz n si fr wnslf, ɖ hǎs ol emti, ɖ dorz standñ opn, onli ɖ wŭdpijnz bublñ wɖ cntnt n ɖ hum v ɖ ʈreśñmśīn sǎndñ fṛm ɖ farm. “Ẃt dd I cm in hir fr? Ẃt dd I wont t fînd?” Mî handz wr emti. “Phps it’s upsterz ɖen?” Ɖ aplz wr in ɖ loft. N so dǎn agn, ɖ gardn stil az evr, onli ɖ bc hd slipt intu ɖ gras.

Bt ɖe hd faund it in ɖ drw̃rūm. Nt ɖt wn cd evr si ɖm. Ɖ windopeinz rflectd aplz, rflectd rozz; ol ɖ līvz wr grīn in ɖ glas. F ɖe muvd in ɖ drw̃rūm, ɖ apl onli trnd its yelo sîd. Yt, ɖ momnt aftr, f ɖ dor wz opnd, spred abt ɖ flor, huñ upn ɖ wōlz, pndnt fṛm ɖ sīlñ—ẃt? Mî handz wr emti. Ɖ śado v a ʈruś crost ɖ carpit; fṛm ɖ dīpist wlz v sîḷns ɖ wŭdpijn drù its bubl v sǎnd. “Sef, sef, sef,” ɖ puls v ɖ hǎs bìt softli. “Ɖ treźr berid; ɖ rūm . . . ” ɖ puls stopt śort. Ǒ, wz ɖt ɖ berid treźr?

A momnt lêtr ɖ lît hd fedd. Ǎt in ɖ gardn ɖen? Bt ɖ triz spun darcnis fr a wonḍrñ bīm v sún. So fîn, so rer, cūli sunc bnʈ ɖ srfis ɖ bīm I sòt olwz brnt bhnd ɖ glas. Deʈ wz ɖ glas; deʈ wz btwn s; cmñ t ɖ wmn frst, hundṛdz v yirz ago, līvñ ɖ hǎs, sìlñ ol ɖ windoz; ɖ rūmz wr darcnd. H left it, left hr, wnt Norʈ, wnt Īst, sw ɖ starz trnd in ɖ Suɖn scî; sòt ɖ hǎs, faund it dropt bnʈ ɖ Dǎnz. “Sef, sef, sef,” ɖ puls v ɖ hǎs bìt gladli. “Ɖ Treźr yrz.”

Ɖ wind rorz p ɖ aṿny. Triz stūp n bnd ɖs we n ɖt. Mūnbīmz splaś n spil wîldli in ɖ ren. Bt ɖ bīm v ɖ lamp fōlz stret fṛm ɖ windo. Ɖ candl brnz stif n stil. Wonḍrñ ʈru ɖ hǎs, oṗnñ ɖ windoz, ẃisṗrñ nt t wec s, ɖ gostli cupl sīc ɖer jô.

“Hir w slept,” ś sz. N h adz, “Cisz wɖǎt numbr.” “Wecñ in ɖ mornñ—” “Silvr btwn ɖ triz—” “Upsterz—” “In ɖ gardn—” “Ẃn sumr cem—” “In wintr snôtîm—” Ɖ dorz g śutñ far in ɖ distns, jntli nocñ lîc ɖ puls v a hart.

Nirr ɖe cm; sīs at ɖ dorwê. Ɖ wind fōlz, ɖ ren slîdz silvr dǎn ɖ glas. Ǎr îz darcn; w hír no steps bsd s; w si no ledi spred hr gostli clǒc. Hiz handz śīld ɖ lantn. “Lc,” h briɖz. “Sǎnd aslip. Luv upn ɖer lips.”

Stūpñ, holdñ ɖer silvr lamp abv s, loñ ɖe lc n dīpli. Loñ ɖe pōz. Ɖ wind drîvz stretli; ɖ flem stūps slîtli. Wîld bīmz v mūnlît cros bʈ flor n wōl, n, mītñ, sten ɖ fesz bnt; ɖ fesz ponḍrñ; ɖ fesz ɖt srć ɖ slīprz n sīc ɖer hidn jô.

“Sef, sef, sef,” ɖ hart v ɖ hǎs bìts prǎdli. “Loñ yirz—” h saiz. “Agn y faund m.” “Hir,” ś mrmrz, “slīpñ; in ɖ gardn rīdñ; lafñ, rolñ aplz in ɖ loft. Hir w left ǎr treźr—” Stūpñ, ɖer lît lifts ɖ lidz upn mî îz. “Sef! sef! sef!” ɖ puls v ɖ hǎs bìts wîldli. Wecñ, I crî “Ǒ, z ɖs yr berid treźr? Ɖ lît in ɖ hart.”

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