BLAC BYTI, PART IV

ĆAPTRZ
46474849



46: Jêcs n ɖ Ledi

I wz sold t a corndīlr n becr, hūm Jeri ń, n wɖ him h ʈt I śd hv gd fūd n fer wrc. In ɖ frst h wz qt rît, n f mî mastr hd olwz bn on ɖ preṃsz I d nt ʈnc I śd hv bn oṿlodd, bt ɖr wz a fōrmn hu wz olwz huriyñ n drîvñ evrwn, n frīqntli ẃn I hd qt a fl lod h wd ordr smʈñ els t b tecn on. Mî cartr, huz nem wz Jêcs, ofn sd it wz mor ɖn I òt t tec, bt ɖ uɖr olwz ovŗūld him. “’tẉz no ys gwñ twîs ẃn wns wd d, n h ćouz t gt biznis fwd.”

Jêcs, lîc ɖ uɖr cartrz, olwz hd ɖ ćecrein p, ẃć privntd m fṛm drw̃ īẓli, n bî ɖ tîm I hd bn ɖr ʈri or for munʈs I faund ɖ wrc telñ vri mć on mî streñʈ.

Wn de I wz lodd mor ɖn yźl, n part v ɖ rod wz a stīp uphil. I yzd ol mî streñʈ, bt I cd nt gt on, n wz oblîjd cntińli t stop. Ɖs dd nt plīz mî drîvr, n h leid hiz ẃip on badli. “Gt on, y lezi felo,” h sd, “or I’l mc y.”

Agn I startd ɖ hevi lod, n strugld on a fy yardz; agn ɖ ẃip cem dǎn, n agn I strugld fwd. Ɖ pen v ɖt gret cartẃip wz śarp, bt mî mînd wz hrt qt az mć az mî pur sîdz. T b puniśt n abyzd ẃn I wz dwñ mî vri bst wz so hard it tc ɖ hart ǎt v m. A ʈrd tîm h wz flogñ m cruwli, ẃn a ledi stept qcli p t him, n sd in a swīt, rnist vôs:

“Ǒ! pre d nt ẃip yr gd hors eni mor; I am śr h z dwñ ol h cn, n ɖ rod z vri stīp; I am śr h z dwñ hiz bst.”

“F dwñ hiz bst w’nt gt ɖs lod p h mst d smʈñ mor ɖn hiz bst; ɖt’s ol I nǒ, mām,” sd Jêcs.

“Bt z it nt a hevi lod?” ś sd.

“Yes, yes, tù hevi,” h sd; “bt ɖt’s nt mî fōlt; ɖ fōrmn cem jst az w wr startñ, n wd hv ʈri hundṛdweit mor pt on t sev him trubl, n I mst gt on wɖ it az wel az I cn.”

H wz rezñ ɖ ẃip agn, ẃn ɖ ledi sd: “Pre, stop; I ʈnc I cn hlp y f y wl let m.” Ɖ man laft.

“Y si,” ś sd, “y d nt gv him a fer ćans; h canot yz ol hiz pǎr wɖ hiz hed hld bac az it z wɖ ɖt ćecrein; f y wd tec it of I am śr h wd d betr – d trî it,” ś sd pswesivli, “I śd b vri glad f y wd.”

“Wel, wel,” sd Jêcs, wɖ a śort laf, “enʈñ t plīz a ledi, v cors. Hǎ far wd y wś it dǎn, mām?”

“Qt dǎn, gv him hiz hed oltgɖr.”

Ɖ rein wz tecn of, n in a momnt I pt mî hed dǎn t mî vri niz. Ẃt a cumf̣t it wz! Ɖen I tóst it p n dǎn sevṛl tîmz t gt ɖ ecñ stifnis ǎt v mî nec.

“Pur felo! ɖt z ẃt y wontd,” sd ś, patñ n strocñ m wɖ hr jntl hand; “n nǎ f y wl spīc cîndli t him n līd him on I b’liv h wl b ebl t d betr.”

Jêcs tc ɖ rein. “Cm on, Blaci.” I pt dǎn mî hed, n ʈrù mî hol weit agnst ɖ colr; I sperd no streñʈ; ɖ lod muvd on, n I pld it steḍli p ɖ hil, n ɖen stopt t tec breʈ.

Ɖ ledi hd wōct alñ ɖ ftpaʈ, n nǎ cem acrs intu ɖ rod. Ś stroct n patd mî nec, az I hd nt bn patd fr mni a loñ de.

“Y si h wz qt wilñ ẃn y gev him ɖ ćans; I am śr h z a fîn-tmprd crīćr, n I der se hz noun betr dez. Y w’nt pt ɖt rein on agn, wl y?” fr h wz jst gwñ t hić it p on ɖ old plan.

“Wel, mām, I c’nt dnî ɖt hvñ hiz hed hz hlpt him p ɖ hil, n I’l rmembr it anɖr tîm, n ʈanc y, mām; bt f h wnt wɖt a ćecrein I śd b ɖ lafñstoc v ol ɖ cartrz; it z ɖ faśn, y si.”

“Z it nt betr,” ś sd, “t līd a gd faśn ɖn t folo a bad wn? A gret mni jntlṃn d nt yz ćecreinz nǎ; ǎr carijhorsz hv nt wòrn ɖm fr fiftīn yirz, n wrc wɖ mć les ftīg ɖn ɖoz hu hv ɖm; bsdz,” ś add in a vri sirịs vôs, “w hv no rît t dstres eni v God’z crīćrz wɖt a vri gd rīzn; w cōl ɖm dum animlz, n so ɖe r, fr ɖe canot tel s hǎ ɖe fīl, bt ɖe d nt sufr les bcz ɖe hv no wrdz. Bt I mst nt dten y nǎ; I ʈanc y fr trayñ mî plan wɖ yr gd hors, n I am śr y wl fînd it far betr ɖn ɖ ẃip. Gḑe,” n wɖ anɖr soft pat on mî nec ś stept lîtli acrs ɖ paʈ, n I sw hr no mor.

“Ɖt wz a riyl ledi, I’l b baund fr it,” sd Jêcs t himslf; “ś spouc jst az p’lît az f I wz a jntlmn, n I’l trî hr plan, uphil, at eni ret;” n I mst d him ɖ justis t se ɖt h let mî rein ǎt sevṛl houlz, n gwñ uphil aftr ɖt, h olwz gev m mî hed; bt ɖ hevi lodz wnt on. Gd fīd n fer rest wl cīp p wn’z streñʈ undr fl wrc, bt no hors cn stand agnst oṿlodñ; n I wz gtñ so ʈuṛli pld dǎn fṛm ɖs cōz ɖt a yungr hors wz bòt in mî ples. I me az wel mnśn hir ẃt I sufrd at ɖs tîm fṛm anɖr cōz. I hd hŕd horsz spīc v it, bt hd nvr mslf hd xpirịns v ɖ īvl; ɖs wz a badli-lîtd stebl; ɖr wz onli wn vri smōl windo at ɖ end, n ɖ consiqns wz ɖt ɖ stōlz wr olmst darc.

Bsdz ɖ dpresñ ifct ɖs hd on mî spirits, it vri mć wìcnd mî sît, n ẃn I wz sudnli bròt ǎt v ɖ darcnis intu ɖ gler v dêlît it wz vri penfl t mî îz. Sevṛl tîmz I stumbld ovr ɖ ʈreśhold, n cd scersli si ẃr I wz gwñ.

I b’liv, hd I steid ɖr vri loñ, I śd hv bcm prblînd, n ɖt wd hv bn a gret msfortyn, fr I hv hŕd men se ɖt a ston-blînd hors wz sefr t drîv ɖn wn ẃć hd imprfict sît, az it jenṛli mcs ɖm vri timid. Hvr, I iscept wɖt eni prṃnnt inɉri t mî sît, n wz sold t a larj cab-ǒnr.



47: Hard Tîmz

Mî ny mastr I śl nvr fget; h hd blac îz n a hct nǒz, hiz mǎʈ wz az fl v tīʈ az a bldog’z, n hiz vôs wz az harś az ɖ grîndñ v cartẃīlz ovr gravld stonz. Hiz nem wz Nicḷs Scinr, n I b’liv h wz ɖ man ɖt pur Sīdi Sam drouv fr.

I hv hŕd men se ɖt siyñ z b’livñ; bt I śd se ɖt fīlñ z b’livñ; fr mć az I hd sìn bfr, I nvr ń tl nǎ ɖ utr miẓri v a  cabhors’z lîf.

Scinr hd a lo set v cabz n a lo set v drîvrz; h wz hard on ɖ men, n ɖ men wr hard on ɖ horsz. In ɖs ples w hd no Súnde rest, n it wz in ɖ hīt v sumr.

Smtmz on a Súnde mornñ a parti v fast men wd hîr ɖ cab fr ɖ de; for v ɖm insd n anɖr wɖ ɖ drîvr, n I hd t tec ɖm ten or fiftīn mîlz ǎt intu ɖ cuntri, n bac agn; nvr wd eni v ɖm gt dǎn t wōc p a hil, let it b evr so stīp, or ɖ de evr so hot – unls, indd, ẃn ɖ drîvr wz afred I śd nt manij it, n smtmz I wz so fīvrd n wòrn ɖt I cd hardli tuć mî fūd. Hǎ I yst t loñ fr ɖ nîs bran maś wɖ nîtr in it ɖt Jeri yst t gv s on Saṭde nîts in hot weɖr, ɖt yst t cūl s dǎn n mc s so cumf̣tbl.

Ɖen w hd tū nîts n a hol de fr unbrocn rest, n on Munde mornñ w wr az freś az yuñ horsz agn; bt hir ɖr wz no rest, n mî drîvr wz jst az hard az hiz mastr. H hd a cruwl ẃip wɖ smʈñ so śarp at ɖ end ɖt it smtmz drù blud, n h wd īvn ẃip m undr ɖ beli, n flip ɖ laś ǎt at mî hed.

Indigṇtiz lîc ɖz tc ɖ hart ǎt v m teṛbli, bt stl I dd mî bst n nvr huñ bac; fr, az pur Jinjr sd, it wz no ys; men r ɖ strongist.

Mî lîf wz nǎ so utrli rećid ɖt I wśt I mt, lîc Jinjr, drop dǎn ded at mî wrc n b ǎt v mî miẓri, n wn de mî wś vri nirli cem t pas.

I wnt on ɖ stand at et in ɖ mornñ, n hd dn a gd śer v wrc, ẃn w hd t tec a fér t ɖ relwe. A loñ tren wz jst xpctd in, so mî drîvr pld p at ɖ bac v sm v ɖ ǎtsd cabz t tec ɖ ćans v a rtrnfér. It wz a vri hevi tren, n az ol ɖ cabz wr sn ingejd ǎrz wz cōld fr. Ɖr wz a parti v for; a nôzi, blusṭrñ man wɖ a ledi, a litl bô n a yuñ grl, n a gret dīl v lugij. Ɖ ledi n ɖ bô got intu ɖ cab, n ẃl ɖ man ordrd abt ɖ lugij ɖ yuñ grl cem n lct at m.

“Ppā,” ś sd, “I am śr ɖs pur hors canot tec s n ol ǎr lugij so far, h z so vri wìc n wòrn p. D lc at him.”

“Ǒ! h’z ol rît, mis,” sd mî drîvr, “h’z stroñ inuf.”

Ɖ portr, hu wz pŭlñ abt sm hevi boxz, sjstd t ɖ jntlmn, az ɖr wz so mć lugij, ẃɖr h wd nt tec a secnd cab.

“Cn yr hors d it, or c’nt h?” sd ɖ blusṭrñ man.

“Ǒ! h cn d it ol rît, sr; snd p ɖ boxz, portr; h cd tec mor ɖn ɖt;” n h hlpt t hōl p a box so hevi ɖt I cd fīl ɖ sprñz g dǎn.

“Ppā, ppā, d tec a secnd cab,” sd ɖ yuñ grl in a bsićñ ton. “I am śr w r roñ, I am śr it z vri cruwl.”

“Nonsns, Gres, gt in at wns, n d’nt mc ol ɖs fus; a priti ʈñ it wd b f a man v biznis hd t xamin evri  cabhors bfr h hîrd it – ɖ man nz hiz ǒn biznis v cors; ɖr, gt in n hold yr tuñ!”

Mî jntl frend hd t obe, n box aftr box wz dragd p n lojd on ɖ top v ɖ cab or setld bî ɖ sîd v ɖ drîvr. At last ol wz redi, n wɖ hiz yźl jrc at ɖ rein n slaś v ɖ ẃip h drouv ǎt v ɖ steśn.

Ɖ lod wz vri hevi n I hd hd nɖr fūd nr rest sins mornñ; bt I dd mî bst, az I olwz hd dn, in spît v cruwlti n injustis.

I got alñ ferli tl w cem t Ludget Hil; bt ɖr ɖ hevi lod n mî ǒn xōsćn wr tù mć. I wz struġlñ t cīp on, gǒdd bî constnt ćucs v ɖ rein n ys v ɖ ẃip, ẃn in a sngl momnt – I canot tel hǎ – mî fīt slipt fṛm undr m, n I fél heṿli t ɖ grǎnd on mî sîd; ɖ sudņis n ɖ fors wɖ ẃć I fél sīmd t bìt ol ɖ breʈ ǎt v mî bodi. I le prf̣cli stil; indd, I hd no pǎr t muv, n I ʈt nǎ I wz gwñ t dî. I hŕd a sort v cnfyźn rnd m, lǎd, angri vôsz, n ɖ gtñ dǎn v ɖ lugij, bt it wz ol lîc a drīm. I ʈt I hŕd ɖt swīt, pitifl vôs seyñ, “Ǒ! ɖt pur hors! it z ol ǎr fōlt.” Smwn cem n lūsnd ɖ ʈrot strap v mî braidl, n undid ɖ tresz ẃć cept ɖ colr so tît upn m. Smwn sd, “H’z ded, h’l nvr gt p agn.” Ɖen I cd hír a p’līsmn gvñ ordrz, bt I dd nt īvn opn mî îz; I cd onli drw a gaspñ breʈ nǎ n ɖen. Sm cold wōtr wz ʈroun ovr mî hed, n sm cordịl wz pord intu mî mǎʈ, n smʈñ wz cuvrd ovr m. I canot tel hǎ loñ I le ɖr, bt I faund mî lîf cmñ bac, n a cînd-vôst man wz patñ m n incuṛjñ m t rîz. Aftr sm mor cordịl hd bn gvn m, n aftr wn or tū atmts, I stagrd t mî fīt, n wz jntli léd t sm steblz ẃć wr clos bî. Hir I wz pt intu a wel-litrd stōl, n sm worm gruwl wz bròt t m, ẃć I dranc ʈancf̣li.

In ɖ īvnñ I wz sfiśntli rcuvrd t b léd bac t Scinr’z steblz, ẃr I ʈnc ɖe dd ɖ bst fr m ɖe cd. In ɖ mornñ Scinr cem wɖ a farịr t lc at m. H xamind m vri closli n sd:

“Ɖs z a ces v oṿwrc mor ɖn dziz, n f y cd gv him a run of fr six munʈs h wd b ebl t wrc agn; bt nǎ ɖr z nt an ǎns v streñʈ left in him.”

“Ɖen h mst jst g t ɖ dogz,” sd Scinr. “I hv no medoz t nrs sic horsz in – h mt gt wel or h mt nt; ɖt sort v ʈñ d’nt sūt mî biznis; mî plan z t wrc ’m az loñ az ɖ’l g, n ɖen sel ’m fr ẃt ɖ’l feć, at ɖ nacr’z or elsẃr.”

“F h wz brocn-windd,” sd ɖ farịr, “y hd betr hv him cild ǎt v hand, bt h z nt; ɖr z a seil v horsz cmñ of in abt ten dez; f y rest him n fīd him p h me pic p, n y me gt mor ɖn hiz scin z wrʈ, at eni ret.”

Upn ɖs advîs Scinr, rɖr unwilñli, I ʈnc, gev ordrz ɖt I śd b wel féd n cerd fr, n ɖ steblmn, haṗli fr m, carid ǎt ɖ ordrz wɖ a mć betr wil ɖn hiz mastr hd in gvñ ɖm. Ten dez v prfict rest, plenti v gd ots, hei, bran mashes, wɖ bôld linsīd mixt in ɖm, dd mor t gt p mî cndiśn ɖn enʈñ els cd hv dn; ɖoz linsīd maśz wr dliśs, n I bgan t ʈnc, aftr ol, it mt b betr t liv ɖn g t ɖ dogz. Ẃn ɖ twelfʈ de aftr ɖ axidnt cem, I wz tecn t ɖ seil, a fy mîlz ǎt v Lundn. I flt ɖt eni ćenj fṛm mî preznt ples mst b an impruvmnt, so I hld p mî hed, n hopt fr ɖ bst.



48: Farmr Ʈuṛgŭd n Hiz Gransun Wili

At ɖs seil, v cors I faund mslf in cumṗni wɖ ɖ old brocn-dǎn horsz – sm lem, sm brocn-windd, sm old, n sm ɖt I am śr it wd hv bn mrsifl t śūt.

Ɖ bayrz n selrz, tù, mni v ɖm, lct nt mć betr of ɖn ɖ pur bīsts ɖe wr barġnñ abt. Ɖr wr pur old men, trayñ t gt a hors or a poni fr a fy pǎndz, ɖt mt drag abt sm litl wŭd or col cart. Ɖr wr pur men trayñ t sel a wòrn-ǎt bīst fr tū or ʈri pǎndz, rɖr ɖn hv ɖ gretr los v cilñ him. Sm v ɖm lct az f poṿti n hard tîmz hd hardnd ɖm ol ovr; bt ɖr wr uɖrz ɖt I wd hv wilñli yzd ɖ last v mî streñʈ in srvñ; pur n śabi, bt cînd n hymn, wɖ vôsz ɖt I cd trust. Ɖr wz wn toṭrñ old man hu tc a gret fansi t m, n I t him, bt I wz nt stroñ inuf – it wz an añśs tîm! Cmñ fṛm ɖ betr part v ɖ fer, I notist a man hu lct lîc a jntlmnfarmr, wɖ a yuñ bô bî hiz sîd; h hd a brōd bac n rǎnd śoldrz, a cînd, rudi fes, n h wòr a brōd-brimd hat. Ẃn h cem p t m n mî cmpańnz h std stil n gev a pitifl lc rnd upn s. I sw hiz î rest on m; I hd stl a gd mein n teil, ẃć dd smʈñ fr mî apiṛns. I prict mî irz n lct at him.

“Ɖr’z a hors, Wili, ɖt hz noun betr dez.”

“Pur old felo!” sd ɖ bô, “d y ʈnc, granppā, h wz evr a carijhors?”

“Ǒ, yes! mî bô,” sd ɖ farmr, cmñ closr, “h mt hv bn enʈñ ẃn h wz yuñ; lc at hiz nostṛlz n hiz irz, ɖ śep v hiz nec n śoldr; ɖr’z a dīl v brīdñ abt ɖt hors.” H pt ǎt hiz hand n gev m a cînd pat on ɖ nec. I pt ǎt mî nǒz in ansr t hiz cîndnis; ɖ bô stroct mî fes.

“Pur old felo! si, granppā, hǎ wel h unḍstandz cîndnis. Cd nt y bai him n mc him yuñ agn az y dd wɖ Ledibrd?”

“Mî dir bô, I c’nt mc ol old horsz yuñ; bsdz, Ledibrd wz nt so vri old, az ś wz run dǎn n badli yzd.”

“Wel, granppā, I d’nt b’liv ɖt ɖs wn z old; lc at hiz mein n teil. I wś y wd lc intu hiz mǎʈ, n ɖen y cd tel; ɖo h z so vri ʈin, hiz îz r nt sunc lîc sm old horsz’.”

Ɖ old jntlmn laft. “Bles ɖ bô! h z az horsi az hiz old granfaɖr.”

“Bt d lc at hiz mǎʈ, granppā, n asc ɖ prîs; I am śr h wd gro yuñ in ǎr medoz.”

Ɖ man hu hd bròt m fr seil nǎ pt in hiz wrd.

“Ɖ yuñ jntlmn’z a riyl nwñ wn, sr. Nǎ ɖ fact z, ɖs ’ir hos z jst pld dǎn wɖ oṿwrc in ɖ cabz; h’z nt an old wn, n I hird az hǎ ɖ vetṇri śd se, ɖt a six munʈs’ run of wd set him rît p, biyñ az hǎ hiz wind wz nt brocn. I’v hd ɖ tndñ v him ɖz ten dez past, n a gretf̣lr, plezntr animl I nvr met wɖ, n ’tẉd b wrʈ a jntlmn’z ẃl t gv a fîv-pǎnd not fr him, n let him hv a ćans. I’l b baund h’d b wrʈ twenti pǎndz nxt sprñ.”

Ɖ old jntlmn laft, n ɖ litl bô lct p īgrli.

“Ǒ, granppā, dd y nt se ɖ colt sold fr fîv pǎndz mor ɖn y xpctd? Y wd nt b purr f y dd bai ɖs wn.”

Ɖ farmr slǒli flt mî legz, ẃć wr mć sweld n strend; ɖen h lct at mî mǎʈ. “Ʈrtīn or fortīn, I śd se; jst trot him ǎt, wl y?”

I arćt mî pur ʈin nec, rezd mî teil a litl, n ʈrù ǎt mî legz az wel az I cd, fr ɖe wr vri stif.

“Ẃt z ɖ lǒist y wl tec fr him?” sd ɖ farmr az I cem bac.

“Fîv pǎndz, sr; ɖt wz ɖ lǒist prîs mî mastr set.”

“’tiz a spekleśn,” sd ɖ old jntlmn, śecñ hiz hed, bt at ɖ sem tîm slǒli drw̃ ǎt hiz prs, “qt a spekleśn! Hv y eni mor biznis hir?” h sd, cǎntñ ɖ sovṛnz intu hiz hand.

“No, sr, I cn tec him fr y t ɖ ín, f y plīz.”

“D so, I am nǎ gwñ ɖr.”

Ɖe wōct fwd, n I wz léd bhnd. Ɖ bô cd hardli cntrol hiz dlît, n ɖ old jntlmn sīmd t injô hiz pleźr. I hd a gd fīd at ɖ ín, n wz ɖen jntli ridn hom bî a srvnt v mî ny mastr’z, n trnd intu a larj medo wɖ a śed in wn cornr v it.

Mr. Ʈuṛgŭd, fr ɖt wz ɖ nem v mî benifactr, gev ordrz ɖt I śd hv hei n ots evri nît n mornñ, n ɖ run v ɖ medo jrñ ɖ de, n, “y, Wili,” sd h, “mst tec ɖ oṿsît v him; I gv him in ćarj t y.”

Ɖ bô wz prǎd v hiz ćarj, n unḍtc it in ol sirịsnis. Ɖr wz nt a de ẃn h dd nt pe m a vizit; smtmz picñ m ǎt fṛm amñ ɖ uɖr horsz, n gvñ m a bit v caṛt, or smʈñ gd, or smtmz standñ bî m ẃl I ét mî ots. H olwz cem wɖ cînd wrdz n c’resz, n v cors I grù vri fond v him. H cōld m Old Croni, az I yst t cm t him in ɖ fīld n folo him abt. Smtmz h bròt hiz granfaɖr, hu olwz lct closli at mî legz.

“Ɖs z ǎr pônt, Wili,” h wd se; “bt h z impruvñ so steḍli ɖt I ʈnc w śl si a ćenj fr ɖ betr in ɖ sprñ.”

Ɖ prfict rest, ɖ gd fūd, ɖ soft trf, n jntl x’sîz, sn bgan t tel on mî cndiśn n mî spirits. I hd a gd consttyśn fṛm mî muɖr, n I wz nvr strend ẃn I wz yuñ, so ɖt I hd a betr ćans ɖn mni horsz hu hv bn wrct bfr ɖe cem t ɖer fl streñʈ. Jrñ ɖ wintr mî legz impruvd so mć ɖt I bgan t fīl qt yuñ agn. Ɖ sprñ cem rnd, n wn de in Marć Mr. Ʈuṛgŭd dtrmind ɖt h wd trî m in ɖ feytn. I wz wel plizd, n h n Wili drouv m a fy mîlz. Mî legz wr nt stif nǎ, n I dd ɖ wrc wɖ prfict īz.

“H’z growñ yuñ, Wili; w mst gv him a litl jntl wrc nǎ, n bî mid-sumr h wl b az gd az Ledibrd. H hz a bytifl mǎʈ n gd pesz; ɖe c’nt b betr.”

“Ǒ, granppā, hǎ glad I am y bòt him!”

“So am I, mî bô; bt h hz t ʈanc y mor ɖn m; w mst nǎ b lcñ ǎt fr a qayt, jntīl ples fr him, ẃr h wl b valyd.”



49: Mî Last Hom

Wn de jrñ ɖs sumr ɖ grūm clīnd n drest m wɖ sć xtrordnri cer ɖt I ʈt sm ny ćenj mst b at hand; h trimd mî fetlocs n legz, pást ɖ tarbruś ovr mî hūvz, n īvn partd mî fōrloc. I ʈnc ɖ harnis hd an xtra poliś. Wili sīmd haf-añśs, haf-meri, az h got intu ɖ śêz wɖ hiz granfaɖr.

“F ɖ lediz tec t him,” sd ɖ old jntlmn, “ɖ’l b sūtd n h’l b sūtd. W cn bt trî.”

At ɖ distns v a mîl or tū fṛm ɖ vilij w cem t a priti, lo hǎs, wɖ a lōn n śruḅri at ɖ frunt n a drîv p t ɖ dor. Wili rañ ɖ bel, n asct f Mis Blūmfīld or Mis Eḷn wz at hom. Yes, ɖe wr. So, ẃl Wili steid wɖ m, Mr. Ʈuṛgŭd wnt intu ɖ hǎs. In abt ten minits h rtrnd, foloud bî ʈri lediz; wn tōl, pel ledi, rápt in a ẃît śōl, līnd on a yungr ledi, wɖ darc îz n a meri fes; ɖ uɖr, a vri stetli-lcñ prsn, wz Mis Blūmfīld. Ɖe ol cem n lct at m n asct qsćnz. Ɖ yungr ledi – ɖt wz Mis Eḷn – tc t m vri mć; ś sd ś wz śr ś śd lîc m, I hd sć a gd fes. Ɖ tōl, pel ledi sd ɖt ś śd olwz b nrṿs in rîdñ bhnd a hors ɖt hd wns bn dǎn, az I mt cm dǎn agn, n f I dd ś śd nvr gt ovr ɖ frît.

“Y si, lediz,” sd Mr. Ʈuṛgŭd, “mni frst-ret horsz hv hd ɖer niz brocn ʈru ɖ cerlisnis v ɖer drîvrz wɖt eni fōlt v ɖer ǒn, n fṛm ẃt I si v ɖs hors I śd se ɖt z hiz ces; bt v cors I d nt wś t inflụns y. F y inclîn y cn hv him on trîl, n ɖen yr coćmn wl si ẃt h ʈncs v him.”

“Y hv olwz bn sć a gd advîzr t s abt ǎr horsz,” sd ɖ stetli ledi, “ɖt yr rec̣mndeśn wd g a loñ we wɖ m, n f mî sistr L’vińa siz no objx́n w wl axpt yr ofr v a trîl, wɖ ʈancs.”

It wz ɖen arenjd ɖt I śd b snt fr ɖ nxt de.

In ɖ mornñ a smart-lcñ yuñ man cem fr m. At frst h lct plizd; bt ẃn h sw mî niz h sd in a dis’pôntd vôs:

“I dd’nt ʈnc, sr, y wd hv rec̣mndd mî lediz a blemiśt hors lîc ɖt.”

“‘Hansm z ɖt hansm dz’,” sd mî mastr; “y r onli tecñ him on trîl, n I am śr y wl d ferli bî him, yuñ man. F h z nt az sef az eni hors y evr drouv snd him bac.”

I wz léd t mî ny hom, plest in a cumf̣tbl stebl, féd, n left t mslf. Ɖ nxt de, ẃn ɖ grūm wz clīnñ mî fes, h sd:

“Ɖt z jst lîc ɖ star ɖt ‘Blac Byti’ hd; h z mć ɖ sem hît, tù. I wundr ẃr h z nǎ.”

A litl frɖr on h cem t ɖ ples in mî nec ẃr I wz bléd n ẃr a litl nót wz left in ɖ scin. H olmst startd, n bgan t lc m ovr cerf̣li, tōcñ t himslf.

“Ẃît star in ɖ fōrhed, wn ẃît ft on ɖ of sîd, ɖs litl nót jst in ɖt ples;” ɖen lcñ at ɖ midl v mî bac – “n, az I am alîv, ɖr z ɖt litl pać v ẃît her ɖt Jon yst t cōl ‘Byti’z ʈṛpni bit’. It mst b ‘Blac Byti’! Ẃ, Byti! Byti! d y nǒ m? – litl Jo Grīn, ɖt olmst cild y?” N h bgan patñ n patñ m az f h wz qt oṿjoid.

I cd nt se ɖt I rmembrd him, fr nǎ h wz a fîn groun yuñ felo, wɖ blac ẃiscrz n a man’z vôs, bt I wz śr h ń m, n ɖt h wz Jo Grīn, n I wz vri glad. I pt mî nǒz p t him, n traid t se ɖt w wr frendz. I nvr sw a man so plizd.

“Gv y a fer trîl! I śd ʈnc so indd! I wundr hu ɖ rāscl wz ɖt brouc yr niz, mî old Byti! y mst hv bn badli srvd ǎt smẃr; wel, wel, it w’nt b mî fōlt f y hv’nt gd tîmz v it nǎ. I wś Jon Manli wz hir t si y.”

In ɖ afṭnun I wz pt intu a lo parcćer n bròt t ɖ dor. Mis Eḷn wz gwñ t trî m, n Grīn wnt wɖ hr. I sn faund ɖt ś wz a gd drîvr, n ś sīmd plizd wɖ mî pesz. I hŕd Jo telñ hr abt m, n ɖt h wz śr I wz Sqîr Gordn’z old “Blac Byti”.

Ẃn w rtrnd ɖ uɖr sistrz cem ǎt t hír hǎ I hd bhevd mslf. Ś tld ɖm ẃt ś hd jst hŕd, n sd:

“I śl srtnli rait t Msz. Gordn, n tel hr ɖt hr feṿrit hors hz cm t s. Hǎ plizd ś wl b!”

Aftr ɖs I wz drivn evri de fr a wīc or so, n az I apird t b qt sef, Mis L’vińa at last vnćrd ǎt in ɖ smōl clozcarij. Aftr ɖs it wz qt dsîdd t cīp m n cōl m bî mî old nem v “Blac Byti”.

I hv nǎ livd in ɖs hapi ples a hol yir. Jo z ɖ bst n cîndist v grūmz. Mî wrc z īzi n pleznt, n I fīl mî streñʈ n spirits ol cmñ bac agn. Mr. Ʈuṛgŭd sd t Jo ɖ uɖr de:

“In yr ples h wl last tl h z twenti yirz old – phps mor.”

Wili olwz spīcs t m ẃn h cn, n trīts m az hiz speśl frend. Mî lediz hv promist ɖt I śl nvr b sold, n so I hv nʈñ t fir; n hir mî stori endz. Mî trublz r ol ovr, n I am at hom; n ofn bfr I am qt awec, I fansi I am stl in ɖ orć̣d at Brtwic, standñ wɖ mî old frendz undr ɖ apltrīz.

PARTS
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