A Litl Clǎd, bî Jemz Jôs

Et yirz bfr h hd sìn hiz frend of at ɖ Norʈ Wōl n wśt him godspīd. Gaḷhr hd got on. Y cd tel ɖt at wns bî hiz travld er, hiz wel-cut twīd sūt, n firlis axnt. Fy feloz hd taḷnts lîc hiz n fywr stl cd rmen unspôld bî sć s’xes. Gaḷhr’z hart wz in ɖ rît ples n h hd dzrvd t win. It wz smʈñ t hv a frend lîc ɖt.

Litl Ćandlr’z ʈts evr sins lunćtîm hd bn v hiz mītñ wɖ Gaḷhr, v Gaḷhr’z invteśn n v ɖ gret siti Lundn ẃr Gaḷhr livd. H wz cōld Litl Ćandlr bcz, ɖo h wz bt slîtli undr ɖ aṿrij staćr, h gev wn ɖ îdīa v biyñ a litl man. Hiz handz wr ẃît n smōl, hiz frem wz frajîl, hiz vôs wz qayt n hiz manrz wr rfînd. H tc ɖ gretist cer v hiz fer silcn her n mstaś n yzd prfym dscritli on hiz hanc̣ćif. Ɖ haf-mūnz v hiz nêlz wr prfict n ẃn h smîld y còt a glims v a ro v ćîldiś ẃît tīʈ.

Az h sat at hiz desc in ɖ Cñ’z Ínz h ʈt ẃt ćenjz ɖoz et yirz hd bròt. Ɖ frend hūm h hd noun undr a śabi n nsesiṭs gîz hd bcm a briłnt figr on ɖ Lundn Pres. H trnd ofn fṛm hiz tîrsm raitñ t gêz ǎt v ɖ ofiswindo. Ɖ glo v a lêt ōtm súnset cuvrd ɖ gras plots n wōcs. It cast a śǎr v cîndli goldn dust on ɖ untîdi nrsz n dcrepit old men hu drǎzd on ɖ benćz; it flicrd upn ol ɖ muvñ figrz—on ɖ ćildṛn hu ran scrīmñ alñ ɖ gravl paɖz n on evrwn hu pást ʈru ɖ gardnz. H woćt ɖ sīn n ʈt v lîf; n (az olwz hapnd ẃn h ʈt v lîf) h bcem sad. A jntl meḷnc̣li tc pześn v him. H flt hǎ yslis it wz t strugl agnst fortyn, ɖs biyñ ɖ brdn v wizdm ẃć ɖ ejz hd bqiɖd t him.

H rmembrd ɖ bcs v powtri upn hiz ślvz at hom. H hd bòt ɖm in hiz bać̣lrdez n mni an īvnñ, az h sat in ɖ litl rūm of ɖ hōl, h hd bn tmtd t tec wn dǎn fṛm ɖ bcślf n rīd ǎt smʈñ t hiz wîf. Bt śînis hd olwz hld him bac; n so ɖ bcs hd rmend on ɖer ślvz. At tîmz h rpitd lînz t himslf n ɖs cnsold him.

Ẃn hiz aur hd struc h std p n tc līv v hiz desc n v hiz feloclarcs puñtiłsli. H imrjd fṛm undr ɖ fydl arć v ɖ Cñ’z Ínz, a nīt modist figr, n wōct swiftli dǎn Hnrieta Strīt. Ɖ goldn súnset wz wenñ n ɖ er hd groun śarp. A hord v grîmi ćildṛn popyletd ɖ strīt. Ɖe std or ran in ɖ rodwe or crōld p ɖ steps bfr ɖ gepñ dorz or sqotd lîc mîs upn ɖ ʈreśholdz. Litl Ćandlr gev ɖm no ʈt. H pict hiz we deftli ʈru ol ɖt mîńt vrmin-lîc lîf n undr ɖ śado v ɖ gōnt spectṛl manśnz in ẃć ɖ old nbiḷti v Dublin hd rôstrd. No meṃri v ɖ past tućt him, fr hiz mînd wz fl v a preznt jô.

H hd nvr bn in Corlis’z bt h ń ɖ valy v ɖ nem. H ń ɖt ppl wnt ɖr aftr ɖ ʈiytr t īt ôstrz n drinc licŕz; n h hd hŕd ɖt ɖ wêtrz ɖr spouc Frenć n Jrmn. Wōcñ swiftli bî at nît h hd sìn cabz drwn p bfr ɖ dor n rićli drest lediz, iscortd bî caṿlirz, alît n entr qcli. Ɖe wòr nôzi dresz n mni ráps. Ɖer fesz wr pǎdrd n ɖe còt p ɖer dresz, ẃn ɖe tućt rʈ, lîc alarmd Aṭlantaz. H hd olwz pást wɖt trnñ hiz hed t lc. It wz hiz habit t wōc swiftli in ɖ strīt īvn bî de n ẃnvr h faund himslf in ɖ siti lêt at nît h hurid on hiz we aprihnsivli n xîtidli. Smtmz, hvr, h cortd ɖ cōzz v hiz fir. H ćouz ɖ darcist n narǒist strīts n, az h wōct boldli fwd, ɖ sîḷns ɖt wz spred abt hiz ftsteps trubld him, ɖ wonḍrñ sîḷnt figrz trubld him; n at tîmz a sǎnd v lo fyɉtiv laftr md him trembl lîc a līf.

H trnd t ɖ rît twdz Cepl Strīt. Igneśs Gaḷhr on ɖ Lundn Pres! Hu wd hv ʈt it poṣbl et yirz bfr? Stl, nǎ ɖt h rvyd ɖ past, Litl Ćandlr cd rmembr mni sînz v fyćr gretnis in hiz frend. Ppl yst t se ɖt Igneśs Gaḷhr wz wîld. V cors, h dd mix wɖ a rêciś set v feloz at ɖt tîm, dranc frīli n boroud muni on ol sîdz. In ɖ end h hd got mixt p in sm śêdi afer, sm muni-trnzax́n: at līst, ɖt wz wn vrśn v hiz flît. Bt nbdi dnaid him taḷnt. Ɖr wz olwz a srtn … smʈñ in Igneśs Gaḷhr ɖt imprest y in spît v yrslf. Īvn ẃn h wz ǎt at elboz n at hiz wits’ end fr muni h cept p a bold fes. Litl Ćandlr rmembrd (n ɖ rmembṛns bròt a slît fluś v prîd t hiz ćīc) wn v Igneśs Gaḷhr’z seyñz ẃn h wz in a tît cornr:

“Haf tîm nǎ, bôz,” h yst t se lît-hartidli. “Ẃr’z mî cnsiḍrñ cap?”

Ɖt wz Igneśs Gaḷhr ol ǎt; n, dám it, y cd’nt bt admîr him fr it.

Litl Ćandlr qcnd hiz pes. Fr ɖ frst tîm in hiz lîf h flt himslf s’pirịr t ɖ ppl h pást. Fr ɖ frst tîm hiz soul rvoltd agnst ɖ dul ineligns v Cepl Strīt. Ɖr wz no dǎt abt it: f y wontd t s’xid y hd t g awe. Y cd d nʈñ in Dublin. Az h crost Gratn Brij h lct dǎn ɖ rivr twdz ɖ lowr cìz n pitid ɖ pur stuntd hǎzz. Ɖe sīmd t him a band v tramps, hudld tgɖr alñ ɖ rivrbancs, ɖer old cots cuvrd wɖ dust n st, styṗfaid bî ɖ paṇrama v súnset n wêtñ fr ɖ frst ćil v nît bid ɖm arîz, śec ɖmslvz n bgon. H wundrd ẃɖr h cd rait a powm t xpres hiz îdīa. Phps Gaḷhr mt b ebl t gt it intu sm Lundn pepr fr him. Cd h rait smʈñ orijinl? H wz nt śr ẃt îdīa h wśt t xpres bt ɖ ʈt ɖt a poetic momnt hd tućt him tc lîf wɖn him lîc an infiṇt hop. H stept onẉd brevli.

Evri step bròt him nirr t Lundn, farɖr fṛm hiz ǒn sobr inartistic lîf. A lît bgan t trembl on ɖ hrîzn v hiz mînd. H wz nt so old—ʈrti-tū. Hiz tmpṛmnt mt b sd t b jst at ɖ pônt v mtyṛti. Ɖr wr so mni difṛnt mūdz n impreśnz ɖt h wśt t xpres in vrs. H flt ɖm wɖn him. H traid t wei hiz soul t si f it wz a powt’s soul. Meḷnc̣li wz ɖ dominnt not v hiz tmpṛmnt, h ʈt, bt it wz a meḷnc̣li tmprd bî rcuṛnsz v feʈ n reẓgneśn n simpl jô. F h cd gv xpreśn t it in a bc v powmz phps men wd lisn. H wd nvr b popylr: h sw ɖt. H cd nt swe ɖ crǎd bt h mt apil t a litl srcl v cindṛd mîndz. Ɖ Ñgliś critics, phps, wd rec̣gnîz him az wn v ɖ Celtic scūl bî rīzn v ɖ meḷnc̣li ton v hiz powmz; bsdz ɖt, h wd pt in aluźnz. H bgan t invnt sntnsz n frezz fṛm ɖ notis ẃć hiz bc wd gt. “Mr. Ćandlr hz ɖ gift v īzi n gresfl vrs.” … “A wistfl sadnis pvedz ɖz powmz.” … “Ɖ Celtic not.” It wz a piti hiz nem wz nt mor Îriś-lcñ. Phps it wd b betr t insrt hiz muɖr’z nem bfr ɖ srnem: Toṃs Mlon Ćandlr, or betr stl: T. Mlon Ćandlr. H wd spīc t Gaḷhr abt it.

H psyd hiz reṿri so ardntli ɖt h pást hiz strīt n hd t trn bac. Az h cem nir Corlis’z hiz formr ajteśn bgan t oṿmastr him n h hōltd bfr ɖ dor in indisiźn. Fîṇli h opnd ɖ dor n entrd.

Ɖ lît n nôz v ɖ bar hld him at ɖ dorwez fr a fy momnts. H lct abt him, bt hiz sît wz cnfyzd bî ɖ śînñ v mni red n grīn wînglasz. Ɖ bar sīmd t him t b fl v ppl n h flt ɖt ɖ ppl wr obzrvñ him krịsli. H glanst qcli t rît n left (frǎnñ slîtli t mc hiz eṛnd apir sirịs), bt ẃn hiz sît clird a litl h sw ɖt nbdi hd trnd t lc at him: n ɖr, śr inuf, wz Igneśs Gaḷhr līnñ wɖ hiz bac agnst ɖ cǎntr n hiz fīt plantd far apart.

“Hlo, Tomi, old hiro, hir y r! Ẃt z it t b? Ẃt wl y hv? I’m tecñ ẃisci: betr stuf ɖn w gt acrs ɖ wōtr. Soda? Liʈia? No minṛl? I’m ɖ sem. Spôlz ɖ flevr… Hir, garçon, brñ s tū havz v mōlt ẃisci, lîc a gd felo… Wel, n hǎ hv y bn pŭlñ alñ sins I sw y last? Dir God, hǎ old w’r gtñ! D y si eni sînz v ejñ in m—ê, ẃt? A litl gre n ʈin on ɖ top—ẃt?”

Igneśs Gaḷhr tc of hiz hat n dspleid a larj closli cropt hed. Hiz fes wz hevi, pel n clīn-śevn. Hiz îz, ẃć wr v bluiś-slet culr, rlivd hiz unhelʈi palr n śon ǎt plenli abv ɖ vivid orinj tî h wòr. Btwn ɖz rîvl fīćrz ɖ lips apird vri loñ n śeplis n culrlis. H bnt hiz hed n flt wɖ tū simṗʈetic fngrz ɖ ʈin her at ɖ crǎn. Litl Ćandlr śc hiz hed az a dnayl. Igneśs Gaḷhr pt on hiz hat agn.

“It plz y dǎn,” h sd. “Preslîf. Olwz huri n scuri, lcñ fr copi n smtmz nt fîndñ it: n ɖen, olwz t hv smʈñ ny in yr stuf. Dám prūfs n printrz, I se, fr a fy dez. I’m dyst glad, I cn tel y, t gt bac t ɖ old cuntri. Dz a felo gd, a bit v a hoḷde. I fīl a tun betr sins I landd agn in dir drti Dublin… Hir y r, Tomi. Wōtr? Se ẃn.”

Litl Ćandlr alaud hiz ẃisci t b vri mć dlūtd.

“Y d’nt nǒ ẃt’s gd fr y, mî bô,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr. “I drinc mîn nīt.”

“I drinc vri litl az a rūl,” sd Litl Ćandlr moḍstli. “An od haf-wn or so ẃn I mīt eni v ɖ old crǎd: ɖt’s ol.”

“Ā, wel,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, ćirf̣li, “hir’z t s n t old tîmz n old aqentns.”

Ɖe clinct glasz n dranc ɖ tost.

“I met sm v ɖ old gañ tde,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr. “O’Hara sīmz t b in a bad we. Ẃt’s h dwñ?”

“Nʈñ,” sd Litl Ćandlr. “H’z gn t ɖ dogz.”

“Bt Hogn hz a gd sit, hz’nt h?”

“Yes; h’z in ɖ Land Cmiśn.”

“I met him wn nît in Lundn n h sīmd t b vri fluś… Pur O’Hara! Būz, I s’poz?”

“Uɖr ʈñz, tù,” sd Litl Ćandlr śortli.

Igneśs Gaḷhr laft.

“Tomi,” h sd, “I si y hv’nt ćenjd an atm. Y’r ɖ vri sem sirịs prsn ɖt yst t lecćr m on Súnde mornñz ẃn I hd a sor hed n a fŕ on mî tuñ. Y’d wont t noc abt a bit in ɖ wrld. Hv y nvr bn enẃr īvn fr a trip?”

“I’v bn t ɖ Îl v Man,” sd Litl Ćandlr.

Igneśs Gaḷhr laft.

“Ɖ Îl v Man!” h sd. “G t Lundn or Paris: Paris, fr ćôs. Ɖt’d d y gd.”

“Hv y sìn Paris?”

“I śd ʈnc I hv! I’v noct abt ɖr a litl.”

“N z it riyli so bytifl az ɖe se?” asct Litl Ćandlr.

H sipt a litl v hiz drinc ẃl Igneśs Gaḷhr finiśt hiz boldli.

“Bytifl?” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, pōzñ on ɖ wrd n on ɖ flevr v hiz drinc. “It’s nt so bytifl, y nǒ. V cors, it z bytifl… Bt it’s ɖ lîf v Paris; ɖt’s ɖ ʈñ. Ā, ɖr’z no siti lîc Paris fr geyti, muvmnt, xîtmnt…”

Litl Ćandlr finiśt hiz ẃisci n, aftr sm trubl, s’xidd in caćñ ɖ barmn’z î. H ordrd ɖ sem agn.

“I’v bn t ɖ Moulin Rouge,” Igneśs Gaḷhr cntinyd ẃn ɖ barmn hd rmuvd ɖer glasz, “n I’v bn t ol ɖ Bhīmịn cafez. Hot stuf! Nt fr a pays ćap lîc y, Tomi.”

Litl Ćandlr sd nʈñ untl ɖ barmn rtrnd wɖ tū glasz: ɖen h tućt hiz frend’z glas lîtli n rsipṛcetd ɖ formr tost. H wz bginñ t fīl smẃt disiluźnd. Gaḷhr’z axnt n we v xpresñ himslf dd nt plīz him. Ɖr wz smʈñ vulgr in hiz frend ẃć h hd nt obzrvd bfr. Bt phps it wz onli ɖ rzult v livñ in Lundn amd ɖ busl n comṗtiśn v ɖ Pres. Ɖ old prsnl ćarm wz stl ɖr undr ɖs ny gōdi manr. N, aftr ol, Gaḷhr hd livd, h hd sìn ɖ wrld. Litl Ćandlr lct at hiz frend envịsli.

“Evrʈñ in Paris z ge,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr. “Ɖe b’liv in injoyñ lîf—n d’nt y ʈnc ɖ’r rît? F y wont t injô yrslf proprli y mst g t Paris. N, mînd y, ɖ’v a gret fīlñ fr ɖ Îriś ɖr. Ẃn ɖe hŕd I wz fṛm Îrḷnd ɖe wr redi t īt m, man.”

Litl Ćandlr tc for or fîv sips fṛm hiz glas.

“Tel m,” h sd, “z it tru ɖt Paris z so … imoṛl az ɖe se?”

Igneśs Gaḷhr md a caʈ̇lic jsćr wɖ hiz rît arm.

“Evri ples z imoṛl,” h sd. “V cors y d fînd spîsi bits in Paris. G t wn v ɖ stydnts’ bōlz, fr instns. Ɖt’s lîvli, f y lîc, ẃn ɖ cocottes bgin t let ɖmslvz lūs. Y nǒ ẃt ɖe r, I s’poz?”

“I’v hŕd v ɖm,” sd Litl Ćandlr.

Igneśs Gaḷhr dranc of hiz ẃisci n śc hiz hed.

“Ā,” h sd, “y me se ẃt y lîc. Ɖr’z no wmn lîc ɖ P’rizien—fr stîl, fr go.”

“Ɖen it z an imoṛl siti,” sd Litl Ćandlr, wɖ timid insistns—“I mīn, cmperd wɖ Lundn or Dublin?”

“Lundn!” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr. “It’s six v wn n haf-a-duzn v ɖ uɖr. Y asc Hogn, mî bô. I śoud him a bit abt Lundn ẃn h wz ovr ɖr. H’d opn yr î… I se, Tomi, d’nt mc punć v ɖt ẃisci: lícr p.”

“No, riyli…”

“O, cm on, anɖr wn w’nt d y eni harm. Ẃt z it? Ɖ sem agn, I s’poz?”

“Wel … ol rît.”

François, ɖ sem agn… Wl y smoc, Tomi?”

Igneśs Gaḷhr pṛdyst hiz sgarces. Ɖ tū frendz lit ɖer sgarz n puft at ɖm in sîḷns untl ɖer drincs wr srvd.

“I’l tel y mî opińn,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, imrjñ aftr sm tîm fṛm ɖ clǎdz v smoc in ẃć h hd tecn refyj, “it’s a rum wrld. Tōc v iṃraḷti! I’v hŕd v cesz—ẃt am I seyñ?—I’v noun ɖm: cesz v … iṃraḷti…”

Igneśs Gaḷhr puft ʈtf̣li at hiz sgar n ɖen, in a cām historịn’z ton, h pṛsidd t sceć fr hiz frend sm picćrz v ɖ c’rupśn ẃć wz rîf abrōd. H súṃrîzd ɖ vîsz v mni capitlz n sīmd inclînd t aword ɖ pām t Brlin. Sm ʈñz h cd nt vǎć fr (hiz frendz hd tld him), bt v uɖrz h hd hd prsnl xpirịns. H sperd nɖr ranc nr cást. H rvild mni v ɖ sīcrits v rlijs hǎzz on ɖ Continnt n dscrîbd sm v ɖ pracṭsz ẃć wr faśṇbl in hî ssayti n endd bî telñ, wɖ dītelz, a stori abt an Ñgliś dućis—a stori ẃć h ń t b tru. Litl Ćandlr wz astoniśt.

“Ā, wel,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, “hir w r in old jog-alñ Dublin ẃr nʈñ z noun v sć ʈñz.”

“Hǎ dul y mst fînd it,” sd Litl Ćandlr, “aftr ol ɖ uɖr plesz y’v sìn!”

“Wel,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, “it’s a rīlaxeśn t cm ovr hir, y nǒ. N, aftr ol, it’s ɖ old cuntri, az ɖe se, z’nt it? Y c’nt hlp hvñ a srtn fīlñ fr it. Ɖt’s hymn nećr… Bt tel m smʈñ abt yrslf. Hogn tld m y hd … testd ɖ jôz v cńbịl blis. Tū yirz ago, wz’nt it?”

Litl Ćandlr bluśt n smîld.

“Yes,” h sd. “I wz marid last Me twelv munʈs.”

“I hop it’s nt tù lêt in ɖ de t ofr mî bst wśz,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr. “I dd’nt nǒ yr adres or I’d hv dn so at ɖ tîm.”

H xtndd hiz hand, ẃć Litl Ćandlr tc.

“Wel, Tomi,” h sd, “I wś y n yrz evri jô in lîf, old ćap, n tunz v muni, n me y nvr dî tl I śūt y. N ɖt’s ɖ wś v a s’nsir frend, an old frend. Y nǒ ɖt?”

“I nǒ ɖt,” sd Litl Ćandlr.

“Eni yuñstrz?” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr.

Litl Ćandlr bluśt agn.

“W hv wn ćîld,” h sd.

“Sun or dōtr?”

“A litl bô.”

Igneśs Gaḷhr slapt hiz frend sonṛsli on ɖ bac.

“Brāvo,” h sd, “I wd’nt dǎt y, Tomi.”

Litl Ćandlr smîld, lct cnfyzidli at hiz glas n bit hiz lowr lip wɖ ʈri ćîldiśli ẃît frunt tīʈ.

“I hop y’l spend an īvnñ wɖ s,” h sd, “bfr y g bac. Mî wîf wl b dlîtd t mīt y. W cn hv a litl ḿzic n——”

“Ʈancs ōf̣li, old ćap,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, “I’m sori w dd’nt mīt rlịr. Bt I mst līv tmro nît.”

“Tnît, phps…?”

“I’m ōf̣li sori, old man. Y si I’m ovr hir wɖ anɖr felo, clevr yuñ ćap h z tù, n w arenjd t g t a litl cardparti. Onli fr ɖt…”

“O, in ɖt ces…”

“Bt hu nz?” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr cnsidṛtli. “Nxt yir I me tec a litl scip ovr hir nǎ ɖt I’v brocn ɖ îs. It’s onli a pleźr dfŕd.”

“Vri wel,” sd Litl Ćandlr, “ɖ nxt tîm y cm w mst hv an īvnñ tgɖr. Ɖt’s agrìd nǎ, z’nt it?”

“Yes, ɖt’s agrìd,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr. “Nxt yir f I cm, parole d’honneur.”

“N t clinć ɖ bargin,” sd Litl Ćandlr, “w’l jst hv wn mor nǎ.”

Igneśs Gaḷhr tc ǎt a larj gold woć n lct at it.

“Z it t b ɖ last?” h sd. “Bcz y nǒ, I hv an a.p.”

“O, yes, poztivli,” sd Litl Ćandlr.

“Vri wel, ɖen,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, “let s hv anɖr wn az a deoc an doruis—ɖt’s gd vnaklr fr a smōl ẃisci, I b’liv.”

Litl Ćandlr ordrd ɖ drincs. Ɖ bluś ẃć hd rizn t hiz fes a fy momnts bfr wz istabliśñ itslf. A trîfl md him bluś at eni tîm: n nǎ h flt worm n xîtd. Ʈri smōl ẃisciz hd gn t hiz hed n Gaḷhr’z stroñ sgar hd cnfyzd hiz mînd, fr h wz a delic̣t n absṭnnt prsn. Ɖ advnćr v mītñ Gaḷhr aftr et yirz, v fîndñ himslf wɖ Gaḷhr in Corlis’z srǎndd bî lîts n nôz, v liṣnñ t Gaḷhr’z storiz n v śẹrñ fr a brīf spes Gaḷhr’z vegṛnt n trîumfnt lîf, upset ɖ eqipôz v hiz snṣtiv nećr. H flt aktli ɖ contrast btwn hiz ǒn lîf n hiz frend’z n it sīmd t him unjust. Gaḷhr wz hiz infirịr in brʈ n edyceśn. H wz śr ɖt h cd d smʈñ betr ɖn hiz frend hd evr dn, or cd evr d, smʈñ hayr ɖn mir tōdri jrṇlizm f h onli got ɖ ćans. Ẃt wz it ɖt std in hiz we? Hiz unforćṇt tmidti! H wśt t vinḍcet himslf in sm we, t asrt hiz manhd. H sw bhnd Gaḷhr’z rfyzl v hiz invteśn. Gaḷhr wz onli patṛnîzñ him bî hiz frendlinis jst az h wz patṛnîzñ Îrḷnd bî hiz vizit.

Ɖ barmn bròt ɖer drincs. Litl Ćandlr pśt wn glas twdz hiz frend n tc p ɖ uɖr boldli.

“Hu nz?” h sd, az ɖe liftd ɖer glasz. “Ẃn y cm nxt yir I me hv ɖ pleźr v wśñ loñ lîf n hapinis t Mr. n Msz Igneśs Gaḷhr.”

Igneśs Gaḷhr in ɖ act v drincñ clozd wn î xpresivli ovr ɖ rim v hiz glas. Ẃn h hd drunc h smact hiz lips dsîsivli, set dǎn hiz glas n sd:

“No blūmñ fir v ɖt, mî bô. I’m gwñ t hv mî flñ frst n si a bit v lîf n ɖ wrld bfr I pt mî hed in ɖ sác—f I evr d.”

“Sm de y wl,” sd Litl Ćandlr cāmli.

Igneśs Gaḷhr trnd hiz orinj tî n slet-blu îz fl upn hiz frend.

“Y ʈnc so?” h sd.

“Y’l pt yr hed in ɖ sác,” rpitd Litl Ćandlr stǎtli, “lîc evrwn els f y cn fînd ɖ grl.”

H hd slîtli emf̣sîzd hiz ton n h wz awer ɖt h hd btreid himslf; bt, ɖo ɖ culr hd hîtnd in hiz ćīc, h dd nt flinć fṛm hiz frend’z gêz. Igneśs Gaḷhr woćt him fr a fy momnts n ɖen sd:

“F evr it ocŕz, y me bet yr botm dolr ɖr’l b no mùnñ n spūnñ abt it. I mīn t mari muni. Ś’l hv a gd fat acǎnt at ɖ banc or ś w’nt d fr m.”

Litl Ćandlr śc hiz hed.

“Ẃ, man alîv,” sd Igneśs Gaḷhr, viyṃntli, “d y nǒ ẃt it z? I’v onli t se ɖ wrd n tmro I cn hv ɖ wmn n ɖ caś. Y d’nt b’liv it? Wel, I nǒ it. Ɖr r hundṛdz—ẃt am I seyñ?—ʈǎzndz v rić Jrmnz n Juz, rotn wɖ muni, ɖt’d onli b tù glad… Y wêt a ẃl mî bô. Si f I d’nt ple mî cardz proprli. Ẃn I g abt a ʈñ I mīn biznis, I tel y. Y jst wêt.”

H tóst hiz glas t hiz mǎʈ, finiśt hiz drinc n laft lǎdli. Ɖen h lct ʈtf̣li bfr him n sd in a cāmr ton:

“Bt I’m in no huri. Ɖe cn wêt. I d’nt fansi tayñ mslf p t wn wmn, y nǒ.”

H iṃtetd wɖ hiz mǎʈ ɖ act v testñ n md a rai fes.

“Mst gt a bit stel, I śd ʈnc,” h sd.

Litl Ćandlr sat in ɖ rūm of ɖ hōl, holdñ a ćîld in hiz armz. T sev muni ɖe cept no srvnt bt Ani’z yuñ sistr Monica cem fr an aur or so in ɖ mornñ n an aur or so in ɖ īvnñ t hlp. Bt Monica hd gn hom loñ ago. It wz a qortr t nîn. Litl Ćandlr hd cm hom lêt fr ti n, morovr, h hd fgotn t brñ Ani hom ɖ parsl v cofi fṛm Byli’z. V cors ś wz in a bad hymr n gev him śort ansrz. Ś sd ś wd d wɖt eni ti bt ẃn it cem nir ɖ tîm at ẃć ɖ śop at ɖ cornr clozd ś dsîdd t g ǎt hrslf fr a qortr v a pǎnd v ti n tū pǎndz v śŭgr. Ś pt ɖ slīpñ ćîld deftli in hiz armz n sd:

“Hir. D’nt wecn him.”

A litl lamp wɖ a ẃît ćîna śêd std upn ɖ tebl n its lît fél ovr a foṭgraf ẃć wz inclozd in a frem v crumpld horn. It wz Ani’z foṭgraf. Litl Ćandlr lct at it, pōzñ at ɖ ʈin tît lips. Ś wòr ɖ pel blu sumrblǎz ẃć h hd bròt hr hom az a preznt wn Saṭde. It hd cost him ten n ilevnpns; bt ẃt an aġni v nrṿsnis it hd cost him! Hǎ h hd sufrd ɖt de, wêtñ at ɖ śopdor untl ɖ śop wz emti, standñ at ɖ cǎntr n trayñ t apir at hiz īz ẃl ɖ grl pîld lediz’ blǎzz bfr him, peyñ at ɖ desc n fgetñ t tec p ɖ od peni v hiz ćenj, biyñ cōld bac bî ɖ cśir, n fîṇli, strîvñ t hîd hiz bluśz az h left ɖ śop bî xaṃnñ ɖ parsl t si f it wz s’krli taid. Ẃn h bròt ɖ blǎz hom Ani cist him n sd it wz vri priti n stîliś; bt ẃn ś hŕd ɖ prîs ś ʈrù ɖ blǎz on ɖ tebl n sd it wz a reğlr swindl t ćarj ten n ilevnpns fr it. At frst ś wontd t tec it bac bt ẃn ś traid it on ś wz dlîtd wɖ it, ispeṣ́li wɖ ɖ mc v ɖ slīvz, n cist him n sd h wz vri gd t ʈnc v hr.

Hm!…

H lct coldli intu ɖ îz v ɖ foṭgraf n ɖe ansrd coldli. Srtnli ɖe wr priti n ɖ fes itslf wz priti. Bt h faund smʈñ mīn in it. Ẃ wz it so unconśs n ledilîc? Ɖ cmpoźr v ɖ îz iṛtetd him. Ɖe rpeld him n dfaid him: ɖr wz no paśn in ɖm, no rapćr. H ʈt v ẃt Gaḷhr hd sd abt rić Juesz. Ɖoz darc Orientl îz, h ʈt, hǎ fl ɖe r v paśn, v vlupćs loññ!… Ẃ hd h marid ɖ îz in ɖ foṭgraf?

H còt himslf p at ɖ qsćn n glanst nrṿsli rnd ɖ rūm. H faund smʈñ mīn in ɖ priti frnićr ẃć h hd bòt fr hiz hǎs on ɖ hîrsistm. Ani hd ćozn it hrslf n it rmîndd him v hr. It tù wz prim n priti. A dul rzntmnt agnst hiz lîf awouc wɖn him. Cd h nt iscep fṛm hiz litl hǎs? Wz it tù lêt fr him t trî t liv brevli lîc Gaḷhr? Cd h g t Lundn? Ɖr wz ɖ frnićr stl t b peid fr. F h cd onli rait a bc n gt it publiśt, ɖt mt opn ɖ we fr him.

A volym v Bîṛn’z powmz le bfr him on ɖ tebl. H opnd it cōśsli wɖ hiz left hand lest h śd wecn ɖ ćîld n bgan t rīd ɖ frst powm in ɖ bc:

     Huśt r ɖ windz n stil ɖ īvnñglūm,

     Nt īn a Zefr wondrz ʈru ɖ grov,

     Ẃlst I rtrn t vy mî Marġrit’s tūm

     N scatr flǎrz on ɖ dust I luv.

H pōzd. H flt ɖ riɖm v ɖ vrs abt him in ɖ rūm. Hǎ meḷnc̣li it wz! Cd h, tù, rait lîc ɖt, xpres ɖ meḷnc̣li v hiz soul in vrs? Ɖr wr so mni ʈñz h wontd t dscrîb: hiz snseśn v a fy aurz bfr on Gratn Brij, fr xampl. F h cd gt bac agn intu ɖt mūd…

Ɖ ćîld awouc n bgan t crî. H trnd fṛm ɖ pej n traid t huś it: bt it wd nt b huśt. H bgan t roc it t n fro in hiz armz bt its weilñ crî grù cīnr. H roct it fastr ẃl hiz îz bgan t rīd ɖ secnd stanza:

    Wɖn ɖs naro sél rclînz hr cle,

    Ɖt cle ẃr wns…

It wz yslis. H cd’nt rīd. H cd’nt d enʈñ. Ɖ weilñ v ɖ ćîld pirst ɖ drum v hiz ir. It wz yslis, yslis! H wz a priznr fr lîf. Hiz armz trembld wɖ angr n sudnli bndñ t ɖ ćîld’z fes h śǎtd:

“Stop!”

Ɖ ćîld stopt fr an instnt, hd a spazm v frît n bgan t scrīm. H jumt p fṛm hiz ćer n wōct hesṭli p n dǎn ɖ rūm wɖ ɖ ćîld in hiz armz. It bgan t sob pitịsli, luzñ its breʈ fr for or fîv secndz, n ɖen brstñ ǎt any. Ɖ ʈin wōlz v ɖ rūm ecoud ɖ sǎnd. H traid t suɖ it bt it sobd mor cnvulsivli. H lct at ɖ cntractd n qiṿrñ fes v ɖ ćîld n bgan t b alarmd. H cǎntd sevn sobz wɖt a brec btwn ɖm n còt ɖ ćîld t hiz brest in frît. F it daid!…

Ɖ dor wz brst opn n a yuñ wmn ran in, pantñ.

“Ẃt z it? Ẃt z it?” ś craid.

Ɖ ćîld, hírñ its muɖr’z vôs, brouc ǎt intu a paṛxizm v sobñ.

“It’s nʈñ, Ani … it’s nʈñ… H bgan t crî…”

Ś fluñ hr parslz on ɖ flor n snaćt ɖ ćîld fṛm him.

“Ẃt hv y dn t him?” ś craid, glẹrñ intu hiz fes.

Litl Ćandlr sstend fr wn momnt ɖ gêz v hr îz n hiz hart clozd tgɖr az h met ɖ hetrid in ɖm. H bgan t stamr:

“It’s nʈñ… H … h bgan t crî… I cd’nt … I dd’nt d enʈñ… Ẃt?”

Gvñ no hīd t him ś bgan t wōc p n dǎn ɖ rūm, claspñ ɖ ćîld tîtli in hr armz n mrṃrñ:

“Mî litl man! Mî litl manī! Wz ’u frîtnd, luv?… Ɖr nǎ, luv! Ɖr nǎ!… Laṃbōn! M’mā’z litl lam v ɖ wrld!… Ɖr nǎ!”

Litl Ćandlr flt hiz ćīcs s’fyzd wɖ śem n h std bac ǎt v ɖ lamplît. H lisnd ẃl ɖ paṛxizm v ɖ ćîld’z sobñ grù les n les; n tirz v rmors startd t hiz îz.

 

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