Đ Bōrdñhǎs, bî Jemz Jôs

Msz Mūni wz a bćr’z dōtr. Ś wz a wmn hu wz qt ebl t cīp ʈñz t hrslf: a dtrmind wmn. Ś hd marid hr faɖr’z fōrmn n opnd a bćr’z śop nir Sprñ Gardnz. Bt az sn az hiz faɖr-in-lw wz ded, Mr. Mūni bgan t g t ɖ devl. H dranc, plundrd ɖ til, ran hedloñ intu dét. It wz no ys mcñ him tec ɖ plej: h wz śr t brec ǎt agn a fy dez aftr. Bî fîtñ hiz wîf in ɖ prezns v custmrz n bî bayñ bad mìt h ruind hiz biznis. Wn nît h wnt fr hiz wîf wɖ ɖ clīvr n ś hd t slīp in a nebr’z hǎs.

Aftr ɖt ɖe livd apart. Ś wnt t ɖ prīst n got a seṗreśn fṛm him wɖ cer v ɖ ćildṛn. Ś wd gv him nɖr muni nr fūd nr hǎsrūm; n so h wz oblîjd t inlist himslf az a śerif’s man. H wz a śabi stūpt litl drunc̣d wɖ a ẃît fes n a ẃît mstaś n ẃît îbrǎz, pnsld abv hiz litl îz, ẃć wr pnc-veind n rw; n ol de loñ h sat in ɖ beilif’s rūm, wêtñ t b pt on a job. Msz Mūni, hu hd tecn ẃt rmend v hr muni ǎt v ɖ bćrbiznis n set p a bōrdñhǎs in Hardwic Strīt, wz a big impozñ wmn. Hr hǎs hd a flotñ popyleśn md p v turists fṛm Liṿpul n ɖ Îl v Man n, oceźṇli, artīsts fṛm ɖ ḿzichōlz. Its rezidnt popyleśn wz md p v clarcs fṛm ɖ siti. Ś guvnd hr hǎs cunñli n frmli, ń ẃn t gv credit, ẃn t b strn n ẃn t let ʈñz pas. Ol ɖ rezidnt yuñ men spouc v hr az Ɖ Madm.

Msz Mūni’z yuñ men peid fiftīn śilñz a wīc fr bord n lojñz (bir or stǎt at dinr xcludd). Ɖe śerd in comn tests n okpeśnz n fr ɖs rīzn ɖe wr vri ćumi wɖ wn anɖr. Ɖe dscust wɖ wn anɖr ɖ ćansz v feṿrits n ǎtsîdrz. Jac Mūni, ɖ Madm’z sun, hu wz clarc t a cmiśn-ejnt in Flīt Strīt, hd ɖ repyteśn v biyñ a hard ces. H wz fond v yzñ soljrz’ obseṇtiz: yẓ́li h cem hom in ɖ smōl aurz. Ẃn h met hiz frendz h hd olwz a gd wn t tel ɖm n h wz olwz śr t b on t a gd ʈñ—ɖt z t se, a lîcli hors or a lîcli artīst. H wz olso handi wɖ ɖ mits n sañ comic soñz. On Súnde nîts ɖr wd ofn b a riyńn in Msz Mūni’z frunt drw̃rūm. Ɖ ḿzichōl artīsts wd oblîj; n Śeridn pleid wōltsz n polcas n vamt acumpnimnts. Poli Mūni, ɖ Madm’z dōtr, wd olso sñ. Ś sañ:

              I’m a … nōti grl.

             Y nīd’nt śam:

             Y nǒ I am.

Poli wz a slim grl v nîntīn; ś hd lît soft her n a smōl fl mǎʈ. Hr îz, ẃć wr gre wɖ a śêd v grīn ʈru ɖm, hd a habit v glansñ upwdz ẃn ś spouc wɖ enwn, ẃć md hr lc lîc a litl pvrs mdona. Msz Mūni hd frst snt hr dōtr t b a tîpist in a cornfactr’z ofis bt, az a dsrepytbl śerif’s man yst t cm evri uɖr de t ɖ ofis, ascñ t b alaud t se a wrd t hiz dōtr, ś hd tecn hr dōtr hom agn n set hr t d hǎswrc. Az Poli wz vri lîvli ɖ intnśn wz t gv hr ɖ run v ɖ yuñ men. Bsdz, yuñ men lîc t fīl ɖt ɖr z a yuñ wmn nt vri far awe. Poli, v cors, flrtd wɖ ɖ yuñ men bt Msz Mūni, hu wz a śrūd juj, ń ɖt ɖ yuñ men wr onli pasñ ɖ tîm awe: nn v ɖm mnt biznis. Ʈñz wnt on so fr a loñ tîm n Msz Mūni bgan t ʈnc v sndñ Poli bac t tîpraitñ ẃn ś notist ɖt smʈñ wz gwñ on btwn Poli n wn v ɖ yuñ men. Ś woćt ɖ per n cept hr ǒn cǎnsl.

Poli ń ɖt ś wz biyñ woćt, bt stl hr muɖr’z psistnt sîḷns cd nt b misunḍstd. Ɖr hd bn no opn cmpliṣti btwn muɖr n dōtr, no opn unḍstandñ bt, ɖo ppl in ɖ hǎs bgan t tōc v ɖ afer, stl Msz Mūni dd nt inṭvin. Poli bgan t gro a litl strenj in hr manr n ɖ yuñ man wz evidntli ptrbd. At last, ẃn ś jujd it t b ɖ rît momnt, Msz Mūni inṭvind. Ś dlt wɖ moṛl probḷmz az a clīvr dīlz wɖ mìt: n in ɖs ces ś hd md p hr mînd.

It wz a brît Súnde mornñ v rli sumr, proṃsñ hīt, bt wɖ a freś brīz blowñ. Ol ɖ windoz v ɖ bōrdñhǎs wr opn n ɖ lês crtnz b’lūnd jntli twdz ɖ strīt bnʈ ɖ rezd saśz. Ɖ belfri v Jorj’z Ćrć snt ǎt constnt pìlz n wrśiprz, sngli or in grūps, tṛvrst ɖ litl src̣s bfr ɖ ćrć, rvilñ ɖer prṗs bî ɖer slf-cntend dminr no les ɖn bî ɖ litl volymz in ɖer gluvd handz. Brecfst wz ovr in ɖ bōrdñhǎs n ɖ tebl v ɖ brecfstrūm wz cuvrd wɖ plets on ẃć le yelo strīcs v egz wɖ morslz v bêcnfat n bêcnrînd. Msz Mūni sat in ɖ strw armćer n woćt ɖ srvnt Mẹri rmuv ɖ brecfstʈñz. Ś md Mẹri c’lect ɖ crusts n pìsz v brocn bred t hlp t mc Tyzde’z bred-pŭdñ. Ẃn ɖ tebl wz clird, ɖ brocn bred c’lectd, ɖ śŭgr n butr sef undr loc n ci, ś bgan t rīcnstruct ɖ inṭvy ẃć ś hd hd ɖ nît bfr wɖ Poli. Ʈñz wr az ś hd sspctd: ś hd bn franc in hr qsćnz n Poli hd bn franc in hr ansrz. Bʈ hd bn smẃt ōcẉd, v cors. Ś hd bn md ōcẉd bî hr nt wśñ t rsiv ɖ nyz in tù caṿlir a faśn or t sīm t hv cnîvd n Poli hd bn md ōcẉd nt mirli bcz aluźnz v ɖt cnd olwz md hr ōcẉd bt olso bcz ś dd nt wś it t b ʈt ɖt in hr wîz iṇsns ś hd dvînd ɖ intnśn bhnd hr muɖr’z tolṛns.

Msz Mūni glanst instñtivli at ɖ litl gílt cloc on ɖ mantlpìs az sn az ś hd bcm awer ʈru hr reṿri ɖt ɖ belz v Jorj’z Ćrć hd stopt rññ. It wz sevntīn minits past ilevn: ś wd hv lots v tîm t hv ɖ matr ǎt wɖ Mr. Doṛn n ɖen cać śort twelv at Marlḅra Strīt. Ś wz śr ś wd win. T bgin wɖ ś hd ol ɖ weit v sośl opińn on hr sîd: ś wz an ǎtrejd muɖr. Ś hd alaud him t liv bnʈ hr rūf, asymñ ɖt h wz a man v onr, n h hd simpli abyzd hr hosṗtaḷti. H wz ʈrti-for or ʈrti-fîv yirz v ej, so ɖt yʈ cd nt b plīdd az hiz xks; nr cd ignṛns b hiz xks sins h wz a man hu hd sìn smʈñ v ɖ wrld. H hd simpli tecn advantij v Poli’z yʈ n inxpirịns: ɖt wz evidnt. Ɖ qsćn wz: Ẃt reṗreśn wd h mc?

Ɖr mst b reṗreśn md in sć cesz. It z ol vri wel fr ɖ man: h cn g hiz wez az f nʈñ hd hapnd, hvñ hd hiz momnt v pleźr, bt ɖ grl hz t ber ɖ brunt. Sm muɖrz wd b cntnt t pać p sć an afer fr a sum v muni; ś hd noun cesz v it. Bt ś wd nt d so. Fr hr onli wn reṗreśn cd mc p fr ɖ los v hr dōtr’z onr: marij.

Ś cǎntd ol hr cardz agn bfr sndñ Mẹri p t Mr. Doṛn’z rūm t se ɖt ś wśt t spīc wɖ him. Ś flt śr ś wd win. H wz a sirịs yuñ man, nt rêciś or lǎd-vôst lîc ɖ uɖrz. F it hd bn Mr. Śeridn or Mr. Mìd or Bantm Láynz hr tasc wd hv bn mć hardr. Ś dd nt ʈnc h wd fes pbliṣti. Ol ɖ lojrz in ɖ hǎs ń smʈñ v ɖ afer; dītelz hd bn invntd bî sm. Bsdz, h hd bn imploid fr ʈrtīn yirz in a gret Caʈlic wînmrćnt’s ofis n pbliṣti wd mīn fr him, phps, ɖ los v hiz job. Ẃr-az f h agrìd ol mt b wel. Ś ń h hd a gd scru fr wn ʈñ n ś sspctd h hd a bit v stuf pt bî.

Nirli ɖ haf-aur! Ś std p n sveid hrslf in ɖ pírglas. Ɖ dsîsiv xpreśn v hr gret florid fes saṭsfaid hr n ś ʈt v sm muɖrz ś ń hu cd nt gt ɖer dōtrz of ɖer handz.

Mr. Doṛn wz vri añśs indd ɖs Súnde mornñ. H hd md tū atmts t śev bt hiz hand hd bn so unstedi ɖt h hd bn oblîjd t dzist. Ʈri dez’ rediś bird frinjd hiz jwz n evri tū or ʈri minits a mist gaɖrd on hiz glasz so ɖt h hd t tec ɖm of n poliś ɖm wɖ hiz pocit-hanc̣ćif. Ɖ rec̣lex́n v hiz cnfeśn v ɖ nît bfr wz a cōz v akt pen t him; ɖ prīst hd drwn ǎt evri r’dikyḷs dītel v ɖ afer n in ɖ end hd so magṇfaid hiz sin ɖt h wz olmst ʈancfl at biyñ afordd a lūphoul v reṗreśn. Ɖ harm wz dn. Ẃt cd h d nǎ bt mari hr or run awe? H cd nt brezn it ǎt. Ɖ afer wd b śr t b tōct v n hiz imployr wd b srtn t hír v it. Dublin z sć a smōl siti: evrwn nz evrwn els’z biznis. H flt hiz hart līp wormli in hiz ʈrot az h hŕd in hiz xîtd imaɉneśn old Mr. Leṇd cōlñ ǎt in hiz raspñ vôs: “Snd Mr. Doṛn hir, plīz.”

Ol hiz loñ yirz v srvis gn fr nʈñ! Ol hiz inḍstri n dilijns ʈroun awe! Az a yuñ man h hd sóun hiz wîld ots, v cors; h hd bostd v hiz fri-ʈncñ n dnaid ɖ xistns v God t hiz cmpańnz in publichǎzz. Bt ɖt wz ol pást n dn wɖ … nirli. H stl bòt a copi v Renldz’z Nyzpepr evri wīc bt h atndd t hiz rlijs dytiz n fr nîn-tnʈs v ɖ yir livd a reğlr lîf. H hd muni inuf t setl dǎn on; it wz nt ɖt. Bt ɖ faṃli wd lc dǎn on hr. Frst v ol ɖr wz hr dsrepytbl faɖr n ɖen hr muɖr’z bōrdñhǎs wz bginñ t gt a srtn fem. H hd a nośn ɖt h wz biyñ hd. H cd imajn hiz frendz tōcñ v ɖ afer n lafñ. Ś wz a litl vulgr; smtmz ś sd “I sìn” n “F I hd’v noun.” Bt ẃt wd gramr matr f h riyli luvd hr? H cd nt mc p hiz mînd ẃɖr t lîc hr or dspîz hr fr ẃt ś hd dn. V cors h hd dn it tù. Hiz instñt rjd him t rmen fri, nt t mari. Wns y r marid y r dn fr, it sd.

Ẃl h wz sitñ hlplisli on ɖ sîd v ɖ bed in śrt n trǎzrz ś tapt lîtli at hiz dor n entrd. Ś tld him ol, ɖt ś hd md a clīn brest v it t hr muɖr n ɖt hr muɖr wd spīc wɖ him ɖt mornñ. Ś craid n ʈrù hr armz rnd hiz nec, seyñ:

“O Bob! Bob! Ẃt am I t d? Ẃt am I t d at ol?”

Ś wd pt an end t hrslf, ś sd.

H cumf̣td hr fībli, telñ hr nt t crî, ɖt it wd b ol rît, nvr fir. H flt agnst hiz śrt ɖ ajteśn v hr bŭzm.

It wz nt oltgɖr hiz fōlt ɖt it hd hapnd. H rmembrd wel, wɖ ɖ krịs peśnt meṃri v ɖ seliḅt, ɖ frst caźl c’resz hr dres, hr breʈ, hr fngrz hd gvn him. Ɖen lêt wn nît az h wz undresñ fr bed ś hd tapt at hiz dor, timidli. Ś wontd t rīlît hr candl at hiz fr hrz hd bn bloun ǎt bî a gust. It wz hr baʈnît. Ś wòr a lūs opn comñjacit v printd flanl. Hr ẃît instep śon in ɖ oṗnñ v hr fŕi sliprz n ɖ blud gloud wormli bhnd hr prfymd scin. Fṛm hr handz n rists tù az ś lit n stedid hr candl a fent prfym arouz.

On nîts ẃn h cem in vri lêt it wz ś hu wormd p hiz dinr. H scersli ń ẃt h wz ītñ, fīlñ hr bsd him alon, at nît, in ɖ slīpñ hǎs. N hr ʈtflnis! F ɖ nît wz enwe cold or wet or windi ɖr wz śr t b a litl tumblr v punć redi fr him. Phps ɖe cd b hapi tgɖr…

Ɖe yst t g upsterz tgɖr on tipto, ć wɖ a candl, n on ɖ ʈrd landñ xćenj rluctnt gdnîts. Ɖe yst t cis. H rmembrd wel hr îz, ɖ tuć v hr hand n hiz dlirịm…

Bt dlirịm pasz. H ecoud hr frêz, aplayñ it t himslf: “Ẃt am I t d?” Ɖ instñt v ɖ seliḅt wornd him t hold bac. Bt ɖ sin wz ɖr; īvn hiz sns v onr tld him ɖt reṗreśn mst b md fr sć a sin.

Ẃl h wz sitñ wɖ hr on ɖ sîd v ɖ bed Mẹri cem t ɖ dor n sd ɖt ɖ mis wontd t si him in ɖ parlr. H std p t pt on hiz cot n weistcot, mor hlplis ɖn evr. Ẃn h wz drest h wnt ovr t hr t cumf̣t hr. It wd b ol rît, nvr fir. H left hr crayñ on ɖ bed n monñ softli: “O mî God!”

Gwñ dǎn ɖ sterz hiz glasz bcem so dimd wɖ môsćr ɖt h hd t tec ɖm of n poliś ɖm. H loñd t asnd ʈru ɖ rūf n flî awe t anɖr cuntri ẃr h wd nvr hír agn v hiz trubl, n yt a fors pśt him dǎnsterz step bî step. Ɖ implacbl fesz v hiz imployr n v ɖ Madm stérd upn hiz dscumfićr. On ɖ last flît v sterz h pást Jac Mūni hu wz cmñ p fṛm ɖ pantri nrsñ tū botlz v Bas. Ɖe s’lūtd coldli; n ɖ luvr’z îz restd fr a secnd or tū on a ʈic bldog fes n a per v ʈic śort armz. Ẃn h rīćt ɖ ft v ɖ sterces h glanst p n sw Jac rgardñ him fṛm ɖ dor v ɖ rtrnrūm.

Sudnli h rmembrd ɖ nît ẃn wn v ɖ ḿzichōl artīsts, a litl blond Lundnr, hd md a rɖr fri aluźn t Poli. Ɖ riyńn hd bn olmst brocn p on acǎnt v Jac’s vayḷns. Evrwn traid t qayt him. Ɖ ḿzichōl artīst, a litl pelr ɖn yźl, cept smîlñ n seyñ ɖt ɖr wz no harm mnt: bt Jac cept śǎtñ at him ɖt f eni felo traid ɖt sort v a gem on wɖ hiz sistr h’d bludi wel pt hiz tīʈ dǎn hiz ʈrot, so h wd.

Poli sat fr a litl tîm on ɖ sîd v ɖ bed, crayñ. Ɖen ś draid hr îz n wnt ovr t ɖ lcñglas. Ś dipt ɖ end v ɖ tǎl in ɖ wōtrjug n rfreśt hr îz wɖ ɖ cūl wōtr. Ś lct at hrslf in profîl n ri’justd a herpin abv hr ir. Ɖen ś wnt bac t ɖ bed agn n sat at ɖ ft. Ś rgardd ɖ piloz fr a loñ tîm n ɖ sît v ɖm awecnd in hr mînd sīcrit emịbl meṃriz. Ś restd ɖ nep v hr nec agnst ɖ cūl ayn bedrel n fél intu a reṿri. Ɖr wz no longr eni prtbeśn viẓbl on hr fes.

Ś wêtd on peśntli, olmst ćirf̣li, wɖt alarm, hr meṃriz graɉli gvñ ples t hops n viźnz v ɖ fyćr. Hr hops n viźnz wr so intric̣t ɖt ś no longr sw ɖ ẃît piloz on ẃć hr gêz wz fixt or rmembrd ɖt ś wz wêtñ fr enʈñ.

At last ś hŕd hr muɖr cōlñ. Ś startd t hr fīt n ran t ɖ banistrz.

“Poli! Poli!”

“Yes, m’mā?”

“Cm dǎn, dir. Mr. Doṛn wonts t spīc t y.”

Ɖen ś rmembrd ẃt ś hd bn wêtñ fr.

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