Category Archives: Clasics in Ñspel

In Ñspel: THE GARDEN-PARTY AND OTHER STORIES, by K Mansfield

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Contents

 

At ɖ BeƉ GardnpartiƉ Dōtrz ov ɖ Lêt CrnlMr. n Msz. DuvƉ Yuñ GrlLîf ov Ma ParcrMarij à la ModeƉ VôijMis BrillHr Frst BōlƉ Sññ LésnƉ StrenjrBanchoḷdeAn Îdiyl FaṃliƉ Ledi’z Meid

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Ɖ Gardnparti

N  aftr ol ɖ weɖr wz îdiyl. Ɖe cd nt hv hd a mor prfict de fr a gardnparti f ɖe hd ordrd it. Windlis, worm, ɖ scî wɖt a clǎd. Onli ɖ blu wz veild wɖ a hêz v lît gold, az it z smtmz in rli sumr. Ɖ gardnr hd bn p sins dōn, mowñ ɖ lōnz n swīpñ ɖm, untl ɖ gras n ɖ darc flat r’zéts ẃr ɖ deiziplants hd bn sīmd t śîn. Az fr ɖ rozz, y cd nt hlp fīlñ ɖe unḍstd ɖt rozz r ɖ onli flǎrz ɖt impres ppl at gardnpartiz; ɖ onli flǎrz ɖt evrbdi z srtn v nwñ. Hundṛdz, yes, litṛli hundṛdz, hd cm ǎt in a sngl nît; ɖ grīn bśz baud dǎn az ɖo ɖe hd bn viẓtd bî arcenjlz.

Brecfst wz nt yt ovr bfr ɖ men cem t pt p ɖ marcī.

“Ẃr d y wont ɖ marcī pt, muɖr?”

“Mî dir ćîld, it’s no ys ascñ m. I’m dtrmind t līv evrʈñ t y ćildṛn ɖs yir. Fget I am yr muɖr. Trīt m az an onrd gest.”

Bt Meg cd nt poṣbli g n sūṗvîz ɖ men. Ś hd wośt hr her bfr brecfst, n ś sat drincñ hr cofi in a grīn trbn, wɖ a darc wet crl stamt on ć ćīc. Jozi, ɖ buṭflî, olwz cem dǎn in a silc peticot n a cimonojacit.

“Y’l hv t g, Lora; y’r ɖ artistic wn.”

Awe Lora flù, stl holdñ hr pìs v bred-n-butr. It’s so dliśs t hv an xks fr ītñ ǎt v dorz, n bsdz, ś luvd hvñ t arenj ʈñz; ś olwz flt ś cd d it so mć betr ɖn enbdi els.

For men in ɖer śrtslīvz std grūpt tgɖr on ɖ gardnpaʈ. Ɖe Carid stevz cuvrd wɖ rolz v canvs, n ɖe hd big tūlbagz sluñ on ɖer bacs. Ɖe lct impresiv. Lora wśt nǎ ɖt ś hd nt got ɖ bred-n-butr, bt ɖr wz nẃr t pt it, n ś cd’nt poṣbli ʈro it awe. Ś bluśt n traid t lc svir n īvn a litl bit śort-sîtd az ś cem p t ɖm.

“Gd mornñ,” ś sd, copiyñ hr muɖr’z vôs. Bt ɖt sǎndd so firf̣li afctd ɖt ś wz aśemd, n stamrd lîc a litl grl, “Ǒ—’r—hv y cm—z it abt ɖ marcī?”

“Ɖt’s rît, mis,” sd ɖ tōlist v ɖ men, a lanci, frecld felo, n h śiftd hiz tūlbag, noct bac hiz strw hat n smîld dǎn at hr. “Ɖt’s abt it.”

Hiz smîl wz so īzi, so frendli ɖt Lora rcuvrd. Ẃt nîs îz h hd, smōl, bt sć a darc blu! N nǎ ś lct at ɖ uɖrz, ɖe wr smîlñ tù. “Ćir p, w w’nt bît,” ɖer smîl sīmd t se. Hǎ vri nîs wrcṃn wr! N ẃt a bytifl mornñ! Ś ms’nt mnśn ɖ mornñ; ś mst b biznislîc. Ɖ marcī.

“Wel, ẃt abt ɖ lililōn? Wd ɖt d?”

N ś pôntd t ɖ lililōn wɖ ɖ hand ɖt dd’nt hold ɖ bred-n-butr. Ɖe trnd, ɖe stérd in ɖ d’rex́n. A litl fat ćap ʈrust ǎt hiz unḍlip, n ɖ tōl felo frǎnd.

“I d’nt fansi it,” sd h. “Nt cnspiks inuf. Y si, wɖ a ʈñ lîc a marcī,” n h trnd t Lora in hiz īzi we, “y wont t pt it smẃr ẃr it’l gv y a bañ slap in ɖ î, f y folo m.”

Lora’z upbrññ md hr wundr fr a momnt ẃɖr it wz qt rspctfl v a wrcmn t tōc t hr v bañz slap in ɖ î. Bt ś dd qt folo him.

“A cornr v ɖ teniscort,” ś sjstd. “Bt ɖ band’z gwñ t b in wn cornr.”

“H’m, gwñ t hv a band, r y?” sd anɖr v ɖ wrcṃn. H wz pel. H hd a haġd lc az hiz darc îz scand ɖ teniscort. Ẃt wz h ʈncñ?

“Onli a vri smōl band,” sd Lora jntli. Phps h wd’nt mînd so mć f ɖ band wz qt smōl. Bt ɖ tōl felo inṭruptd.

“Lc hir, mis, ɖt’s ɖ ples. Agnst ɖoz triz. Ovr ɖr. Ɖt’l d fîn.”

Agnst ɖ c’racaz. Ɖen ɖ c’rac̣trīz wd b hidn. N ɖe wr so luvli, wɖ ɖer brōd, glīmñ līvz, n ɖer clustrz v yelo frūt. Ɖe wr lîc triz y imajind growñ on a deẓt îḷnd, prǎd, solitri, liftñ ɖer līvz n frūts t ɖ sún in a cnd v sîḷnt splendr. Mst ɖe b hidn bî a marcī?

Ɖe mst. Olrdi ɖ men hd śoldrd ɖer stevz n wr mcñ fr ɖ ples. Onli ɖ tōl felo wz left. H bnt dǎn, pinćt a sprig v lavndr, pt hiz ʈum n fōrfngr t hiz nǒz n snuft p ɖ smel. Ẃn Lora sw ɖt jsćr ś fgot ol abt ɖ c’racaz in hr wundr at him cẹrñ fr ʈñz lîc ɖt—cẹrñ fr ɖ smel v lavndr. Hǎ mni men ɖt ś ń wd hv dn sć a ʈñ? Ǒ, hǎ xtrordnṛli nîs wrcṃn wr, ś ʈt. Ẃ cd’nt ś hv wrcṃn fr hr frendz rɖr ɖn ɖ sili bôz ś danst wɖ n hu cem t Súnde nît supr? Ś wd gt on mć betr wɖ men lîc ɖz.

It’s ol ɖ fōlt, ś dsîdd, az ɖ tōl felo drù smʈñ on ɖ bac v an enṿlop, smʈñ ɖt wz t b lūpt p or left t hañ, v ɖz absrd clas-dstñśnz. Wel, fr hr part, ś dd’nt fīl ɖm. Nt a bit, nt an atm… N nǎ ɖr cem ɖ ćóc-ćóc v wŭdn hamrz. Smwn ẃisld, smwn sañ ǎt, “R y rît ɖr, mêti?” “Mêti!” Ɖ frendlinis v it, ɖ—ɖ—Jst t pruv hǎ hapi ś wz, jst t śo ɖ tōl felo hǎ at hom ś flt, n hǎ ś dspîzd stypid cnvnśnz, Lora tc a big bît v hr bred-n-butr az ś stérd at ɖ litl drw̃. Ś flt jst lîc a wrcgrl.

“Lora, Lora, ẃr r y? Teḷfon, Lora!” a vôs craid fṛm ɖ hǎs.

“Cmñ!” Awe ś scimd, ovr ɖ lōn, p ɖ paʈ, p ɖ steps, acrs ɖ vranda, n intu ɖ porć. In ɖ hōl hr faɖr n Lóri wr bruśñ ɖer hats redi t g t ɖ ofis.

“I se, Lora,” sd Lóri vri fast, “y mt jst gv a squiz at mî cot bfr ɖs afṭnun. Si f it wonts presñ.”

“I wl,” sd ś. Sudnli ś cd’nt stop hrslf. Ś ran at Lóri n gev him a smōl, qc sqīz. “Ǒ, I d luv partiz, d’nt y?” gaspt Lora.

“Rɖr,” sd Lóri’z worm, bôiś vôs, n h sqizd hiz sistr tù, n gev hr a jntl pś. “Daś of t ɖ teḷfon, old grl.”

Ɖ teḷfon. “Yes, yes; ǒ yes. Citi? Gd mornñ, dir. Cm t lunć? D, dir. Dlîtd v cors. It wl onli b a vri scraćmīl—jst ɖ sanwijcrusts n brocn mrañ-ślz n ẃt’s left ovr. Yes, z’nt it a prfict mornñ? Yr ẃît? Ǒ, I srtnli śd. Wn momnt—hold ɖ lîn. Muɖr’z cōlñ.” N Lora sat bac. “Ẃt, muɖr? C’nt hír.”

Msz. Śeridn’z vôs flotd dǎn ɖ sterz. “Tel hr t wer ɖt swīt hat ś hd on last Súnde.”

“Muɖr sz y’r t wer ɖt swīt hat y hd on last Súnde. Gd. Wn o’cloc. Bái-bái.”

Lora pt bac ɖ rsivr, fluñ hr armz ovr hr hed, tc a dīp breʈ, strećt n let ɖm fōl. “Hú,” ś said, n ɖ momnt aftr ɖ sai ś sat p qcli. Ś wz stil, liṣnñ. Ol ɖ dorz in ɖ hǎs sīmd t b opn. Ɖ hǎs wz alîv wɖ soft, qc steps n runñ vôsz. Ɖ grīn bêz dor ɖt léd t ɖ cićnrījnz swuñ opn n śut wɖ a mufld ʈud. N nǎ ɖr cem a loñ, ćuc̣lñ absrd sǎnd. It wz ɖ hevi piano biyñ muvd on its stif cástrz. Bt ɖ er! F y stopt t notis, wz ɖ er olwz lîc ɖs? Litl fent windz wr pleyñ ćes, in at ɖ tops v ɖ windoz, ǎt at ɖ dorz. N ɖr wr tū tîni spots v sún, wn on ɖ ñcpot, wn on a silvr foṭgraf̦rem, pleyñ tù. Darlñ litl spots. Ispeṣ́li ɖ wn on ɖ ñcpot lid. It wz qt worm. A worm litl silvr star. Ś cd hv cist it.

Ɖ frunt dor bel pìld, n ɖr sǎndd ɖ rusl v Sêdi’z printscrt on ɖ sterz. A man’z vôs mrmrd; Sêdi ansrd, cerlis, “I’m śr I d’nt nǒ. Wêt. I’l asc Msz. Śeridn.”

“Ẃt z it, Sêdi?” Lora cem intu ɖ hōl.

“It’s ɖ florist, Mis. Lora.”

It wz, indd. Ɖr, jst insd ɖ dor, std a wîd, śalo tre fl v pots v pnc liliz. No uɖr cnd. Nʈñ bt liliz—caṇliliz, big pnc flǎrz, wîd opn, redịnt, olmst frîtnñli alîv on brît crimzn stemz.

“Ǒ-ǒ, Sêdi!” sd Lora, n ɖ sǎnd wz lîc a litl mon. Ś crǎćt dǎn az f t worm hrslf at ɖt blêz v liliz; ś flt ɖe wr in hr fngrz, on hr lips, growñ in hr brest.

“It’s sm mstec,” ś sd fentli. “Nbdi evr ordrd so mni. Sêdi, g n fînd muɖr.”

Bt at ɖt momnt Msz. Śeridn jônd ɖm.

“It’s qt rît,” ś sd cāmli. “Yes, I ordrd ɖm. R’nt ɖe luvli?” Ś prest Lora’z arm. “I wz pasñ ɖ śop yesṭde, n I sw ɖm in ɖ windo. N I sudnli ʈt fr wns in mî lîf I śl hv inuf caṇliliz. Ɖ gardnparti wl b a gd xks.”

“Bt I ʈt y sd y dd’nt mīn t inṭfir,” sd Lora. Sêdi hd gn. Ɖ florist’s man wz stl ǎtsd at hiz van. Ś pt hr arm rnd hr muɖr’z nec n jntli, vri jntli, ś bit hr muɖr’z ir.

“Mî darlñ ćîld, y wd’nt lîc a lojicl muɖr, wd y? D’nt d ɖt. Hir’z ɖ man.”

H carid mor liliz stl, anɖr hol tre.

“Banc ɖm p, jst insd ɖ dor, on bʈ sîdz v ɖ porć, plīz,” sd Msz. Śeridn. “D’nt y agri, Lora?”

“Ǒ, I d, muɖr.”

In ɖ drw̃rūm Meg, Jozi n gd litl Hanz hd at last s’xidd in muvñ ɖ piano.

“Nǎ, f w pt ɖs Ćesṭfīld agnst ɖ wōl n muv evrʈñ ǎt v ɖ rūm xpt ɖ ćerz, d’nt y ʈnc?”

“Qt.”

“Hanz, muv ɖz teblz intu ɖ smocñrūm, n brñ a swīpr t tec ɖz marcs of ɖ carpit n—wn momnt, Hanz—” Jozi luvd gvñ ordrz t ɖ srvnts, n ɖe luvd obeyñ hr. Ś olwz md ɖm fīl ɖe wr tecñ part in sm drama. “Tel muɖr n Mis. Lora t cm hir at wns.”

“Vri gd, Mis. Jozi.”

Ś trnd t Meg. “I wont t hír ẃt ɖ piano sǎndz lîc, jst in ces I’m asct t sñ ɖs afṭnun. Let’s trî ovr ‘Ɖs lîf z Wiri’.”

Pom! Ta-ta-ta -ta! Ɖ piano brst ǎt so paśṇtli ɖt Jozi’z fes ćenjd. Ś claspt hr handz. Ś lct mōrnf̣li n eṇgmaticli at hr muɖr n Lora az ɖe cem in.

Ɖs Lîf z -’ri,

A Tir—a Sai.

A Luv ɖt Ćen-jiz,

Ɖs Lîf z -’ri,

A Tir—a Sai.

A Luv ɖt Ćen-jiz,

N ɖen… Gdbî!

Bt at ɖ wrd “Gdbî,” n olɖo ɖ piano sǎndd mor despṛt ɖn evr, hr fes brouc intu a briłnt, dredf̣li unsimṗʈetic smîl.

“R’nt I in gd vôs, mumi?” ś bīmd.

Ɖs Lîf z -’ri,

Hop cmz t Dî.

A Drīm—a We-c̣nñ.

Bt nǎ Sêdi inṭruptd ɖm. “Ẃt z it, Sêdi?”

“F y plīz, m’m, cc sz hv y got ɖ flagz fr ɖ sanẉjz?”

“Ɖ flagz fr ɖ sanẉjz, Sêdi?” ecoud Msz. Śeridn drīṃli. N ɖ ćildṛn ń bî hr fes ɖt ś hd’nt got ɖm. “Let m si.” N ś sd t Sêdi frmli, “Tel cc I’l let hr hv ɖm in ten minits.”

Sêdi wnt.

“Nǎ, Lora,” sd hr muɖr qcli, “cm wɖ m intu ɖ smocñrūm. I’v got ɖ nemz smẃr on ɖ bac v an enṿlop. Y’l hv t rait ɖm ǎt fr m. Meg, g upsterz ɖs minit n tec ɖt wet ʈñ of yr hed. Jozi, run n finiś dresñ ɖs instnt. D y hír m, ćildṛn, or śl I hv t tel yr faɖr ẃn h cmz hom tnît? N—n, Jozi, paṣfî cc f y d g intu ɖ cićn, wl y? I’m teṛfaid v hr ɖs mornñ.”

Ɖ enṿlop wz faund at last bhnd ɖ dînñrūm cloc, ɖo hǎ it hd got ɖr Msz. Śeridn cd nt imajin.

“Wn v y ćildṛn mst hv stoḷn it ǎt v mî bag, bcz I rmembr vividli—crīmćīz n lemncrd. Hv y dn ɖt?”

“Yes.”

“Eg n—” Msz. Śeridn hld ɖ enṿlop awe fṛm hr. “It lcs lîc mîs. It c’nt b mîs, cn it?”

“Oliv, pet,” sd Lora, lcñ ovr hr śoldr.

“Yes, v cors, oliv. Ẃt a hoṛbl combneśn it sǎndz. Eg n oliv.”

Ɖe wr finiśt at last, n Lora tc ɖm of t ɖ cićn. Ś faund Jozi ɖr paṣfayñ ɖ cc, hu dd nt lc at ol teṛfayñ.

“I hv nvr sìn sć xqizit sanẉjz,” sd Jozi’z rapćṛs vôs. “Hǎ mni cndz dd y se ɖr wr, cc? Fiftīn?”

“Fiftīn, Mis. Jozi.”

“Wel, cc, I cngrać̣let y.”

Cc swept p crusts wɖ ɖ loñ sanwijnîf, n smîld brōdli.

“Godbr’z hz cm,” anǎnst Sêdi, iśuwñ ǎt v ɖ pantri. Ś hd sìn ɖ man pas ɖ windo.

Ɖt mnt ɖ crīm pufs hd cm. Godbr’z wr feṃs fr ɖer crīm pufs. Nbdi evr ʈt v mcñ ɖm at hom.

“Brñ ɖm in n pt ɖm on ɖ tebl, mî grl,” ordrd cc.

Sêdi bròt ɖm in n wnt bac t ɖ dor. V cors Lora n Jozi wr far tù groun-up t riyli cer abt sć ʈñz. Ol ɖ sem, ɖe cd’nt hlp agriyñ ɖt ɖ pufs lct vri atractiv. Vri. Cc bgan arenjñ ɖm, śecñ of ɖ xtra îsñśŭgr.

“D’nt ɖe cari wn bac t ol wn’z partiz?” sd Lora.

“I s’poz ɖe d,” sd practicl Jozi, hu nvr lîct t b carid bac. “Ɖe lc bytifli lît n feɖ̇ri, I mst se.”

“Hv wn ć, mî dirz,” sd cc in hr cumftbl vôs. “Y’ ma w’nt nǒ.”

Ǒ, imposbl. Fansi crīm pufs so sn aftr brecfst. Ɖ vri îdīa md wn śudr. Ol ɖ sem, tū minits lêtr Jozi n Lora wr licñ ɖer fngrz wɖ ɖt abzorbd inwd lc ɖt onli cmz fṛm ẃipt crīm.

“Let’s g intu ɖ gardn, ǎt bî ɖ bac we,” sjstd Lora. “I wont t si hǎ ɖ men r gtñ on wɖ ɖ marcī. Ɖ’r sć ōf̣li nîs men.”

Bt ɖ bac dor wz bloct bî cc, Sêdi, Godbr’z man n Hanz.

Smʈñ hd hapnd.

“Tc-tc-tc,” cluct cc lîc an ajtetd hen. Sêdi hd hr hand clapt t hr ćīc az ɖo ś hd tuʈ-ec. Hanz’z fes wz scrùd p in ɖ ef̣t t unḍstand. Onli Godbr’z man sīmd t b injoyñ himslf; it wz hiz stori.

“Ẃt’s ɖ matr? Ẃt’s hapnd?”

“Ɖr’z bn a hoṛbl axidnt,” sd Cc. “A man cild.”

“A man cild! Ẃr? Hǎ? Ẃn?”

Bt Godbr’z man wz’nt gwñ t hv hiz stori snaćt fṛm undr hiz vri nǒz.

“Nǒ ɖoz litl coṭjz jst b’lo hir, Mis.?” Nǒ ɖm? V cors, ś ń ɖm. “Wel, ɖr’z a yuñ ćap livñ ɖr, nem v Scot, a cartr. Hiz hors śaid at a trax́n-enjin, cornr v Hòc Strīt ɖs mornñ, n h wz ʈroun ǎt on ɖ bac v hiz hed. Cild.”

“Ded!” Lora stérd at Godbr’z man.

“Ded ẃn ɖe pict him p,” sd Godbr’z man wɖ reliś. “Ɖe wr tecñ ɖ bodi hom az I cm p hir.” N h sd t ɖ cc, “H’z left a wîf n fîv litl wnz.”

“Jozi, cm hir.” Lora còt hold v hr sistr’z slīv n dragd hr ʈru ɖ cićn t ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ grīn bêz dor. Ɖr ś pōzd n līnd agnst it. “Jozi!” ś sd, hoṛfaid, “hvr r w gwñ t stop evrʈñ?”

“Stop evrʈñ, Lora!” craid Jozi in astoniśmnt. “Ẃt d y mīn?”

“Stop ɖ gardnparti, v cors.” Ẃ dd Jozi pritnd?

Bt Jozi wz stl mor amezd. “Stop ɖ gardnparti? Mî dir Lora, d’nt b so absrd. V cors w c’nt d enʈñ v ɖ cnd. Nbdi xpcts s t. D’nt b so xtraṿgnt.”

“Bt w c’nt poṣbli hv a gardnparti wɖ a man ded jst ǎtsd ɖ frunt get.”

Ɖt riyli wz xtraṿgnt, fr ɖ litl coṭjz wr in a len t ɖmslvz at ɖ vri botm v a stīp rîz ɖt léd p t ɖ hǎs. A brōd rod ran btwn. Tru, ɖe wr far tù nir. Ɖe wr ɖ gretist poṣbl îsor, n ɖe hd no rît t b in ɖt nebrhd at ol. Ɖe wr litl mīn dwelñz pentd a ćocḷt brǎn. In ɖ gardnpaćz ɖr wz nʈñ bt cabijstōcz, sic hnz n tmātocanz. Ɖ vri smoc cmñ ǎt v ɖer ćimniz wz poṿti-stricn. Litl ragz n średz v smoc, so unlîc ɖ gret silṿri plūmz ɖt uncrld fṛm ɖ Śeridnz’ ćimniz. Wośrwimin livd in ɖ len n swīps n a coblr, n a man huz hǎsfrunt wz studd ol ovr wɖ mînyt brdcejz. Ćildṛn swormd. Ẃn ɖ Śeridnz wr litl ɖe wr fbidn t set ft ɖr bcz v ɖ rvoltñ lanḡj n v ẃt ɖe mt cać. Bt sins ɖe wr groun p, Lora n Lóri on ɖer prǎlz smtmz wōct ʈru. It wz dsgustñ n sordid. Ɖe cem ǎt wɖ a śudr. Bt stl wn mst g evrẃr; wn mst si evrʈñ. So ʈru ɖe wnt.

“N jst ʈnc v ẃt ɖ band wd sǎnd lîc t ɖt pur wmn,” sd Lora.

“Ǒ, Lora!” Jozi bgan t b sirịsli anoid. “F y’r gwñ t stop a band pleyñ evri tîm smwn hz an axidnt, y’l līd a vri strenẏs lîf. I’m evri bit az sori abt it az y. I fīl jst az simṗʈetic.” Hr îz hardnd. Ś lct at hr sistr jst az ś yst t ẃn ɖe wr litl n fîtñ tgɖr. “Y w’nt brñ a druncn wrcmn bac t lîf bî biyñ snṭmntl,” ś sd softli.

“Drunc! Hu sd h wz drunc?” Lora trnd fyrịsli on Jozi. Ś sd, jst az ɖe hd yst t se on ɖoz oceẓ́nz, “I’m gwñ stret p t tel muɖr.”

“D, dir,” cùd Jozi.

“Muɖr, cn I cm intu yr rūm?” Lora trnd ɖ big glas dornob.

“V cors, ćîld. Ẃ, ẃt’s ɖ matr? Ẃt’s gvn y sć a culr?” N Msz. Śeridn trnd rnd fṛm hr dresñtebl. Ś wz trayñ on a ny hat.

“Muɖr, a man’z bn cild,” bgan Lora.

Nt in ɖ gardn?” inṭruptd hr muɖr.

“No, no!”

“Ǒ, ẃt a frît y gev m!” Msz. Śeridn said wɖ rlif, n tc of ɖ big hat n hld it on hr niz.

“Bt lisn, muɖr,” sd Lora. Breʈlis, haf-ćocñ, ś tld ɖ dredfl stori. “V cors, w c’nt hv ǎr parti, cn w?” ś plīdd. “Ɖ band n evrbdi arîvñ. Ɖ’d hír s, muɖr; ɖ’r nirli nebrz!”

T Lora’z astoniśmnt hr muɖr bhevd jst lîc Jozi; it wz hardr t ber bcz ś sīmd aḿzd. Ś rfyzd t tec Lora sirịsli.

“Bt, mî dir ćîld, yz yr comn-sns. It’s onli bî axidnt w’v hŕd v it. F smwn hd daid ɖr norṃli—n I c’nt unḍstand hǎ ɖe cīp alîv in ɖoz pǒci litl houlz—w śd stl b hvñ ǎr parti, śd’nt w?”

Lora hd t se “yes” t ɖt, bt ś flt it wz ol roñ. Ś sat dǎn on hr muɖr’z sofa n pinćt ɖ cŭśnfril.

“Muɖr, z’nt it teṛbli hartlis v s?” ś asct.

“Darlñ!” Msz. Śeridn got p n cem ovr t hr, cariyñ ɖ hat. Bfr Lora cd stop hr ś hd popt it on. “Mî ćîld!” sd hr muɖr, “ɖ hat z yrz. It’s md fr y. It’s mć tù yuñ fr m. I hv nvr sìn y lc sć a picćr. Lc at yrslf!” N ś hld p hr handmirr.

“Bt, muɖr,” Lora bgan agn. Ś cd’nt lc at hrslf; ś trnd asd.

Ɖs tîm Msz. Śeridn lost peśns jst az Jozi hd dn.

“Y r biyñ vri absrd, Lora,” ś sd coldli. “Ppl lîc ɖt d’nt xpct sacṛfîsz fṛm s. N it’s nt vri simṗʈetic t spôl evrbdi’z injômnt az y’r dwñ nǎ.”

“I d’nt unḍstand,” sd Lora, n ś wōct qcli ǎt v ɖ rūm intu hr ǒn bedrūm. Ɖr, qt bî ćans, ɖ frst ʈñ ś sw wz ɖs ćarmñ grl in ɖ mirr, in hr blac hat trimd wɖ gold deiziz, n a loñ blac velvit ribn. Nvr hd ś imajind ś cd lc lîc ɖt. Z muɖr rît? ś ʈt. N nǎ ś hopt hr muɖr wz rît. Am I biyñ xtraṿgnt? Phps it wz xtraṿgnt. Jst fr a momnt ś hd anɖr glims v ɖt pur wmn n ɖoz litl ćildṛn, n ɖ bodi biyñ carid intu ɖ hǎs. Bt it ol sīmd blŕd, unriyl, lîc a picćr in ɖ nyzpepr. I’l rmembr it agn aftr ɖ parti’z ovr, ś dsîdd. N smhǎ ɖt sīmd qt ɖ bst plan…

Lunć wz ovr bî haf-past wn. Bî haf-past tū ɖe wr ol redi fr ɖ fre. Ɖ grīn-cotd band hd arîvd n wz istabliśt in a cornr v ɖ teniscort.

“Mî dir!” trild Citi Mêtḷnd, “r’nt ɖe tù lîc frogz fr wrdz? Y òt t hv arenjd ɖm rnd ɖ pond wɖ ɖ cnductr in ɖ midl on a līf.”

Lóri arîvd n hêld ɖm on hiz we t dres. At ɖ sît v him Lora rmembrd ɖ axidnt agn. Ś wontd t tel him. F Lóri agrìd wɖ ɖ uɖrz, ɖen it wz baund t b ol rît. N ś foloud him intu ɖ hōl.

“Lóri!”

“Hlo!” H wz hafwe upsterz, bt ẃn h trnd rnd n sw Lora h sudnli puft ǎt hiz ćīcs n gogld hiz îz at hr. “Mî wrd, Lora! Y d lc stunñ,” sd Lóri. “Ẃt an abṣlutli topñ hat!”

Lora sd fentli “Z it?” n smîld p at Lóri, n dd’nt tel him aftr ol.

Sn aftr ɖt ppl bgan cmñ in strīmz. Ɖ band struc p; ɖ hîrd wêtrz ran fṛm ɖ hǎs t ɖ marcī. Ẃrvr y lct ɖr wr cuplz strolñ, bndñ t ɖ flǎrz, grītñ, muvñ on ovr ɖ lōn. Ɖe wr lîc brît brdz ɖt hd alîtd in ɖ Śeridnz’ gardn fr ɖs wn afṭnun, on ɖer we t—ẃr? Ā, ẃt hapinis it z t b wɖ ppl hu ol r hapi, t pres handz, pres ćīcs, smîl intu îz.

“Darlñ Lora, hǎ wel y lc!”

“Ẃt a bcmñ hat, ćîld!”

“Lora, y lc qt Spaniś. I’v nvr sìn y lc so strîcñ.”

N Lora, glowñ, ansrd softli, “Hv y hd ti? W’nt y hv an îs? Ɖ paśnfrūt îsz riyli r rɖr speśl.” Ś ran t hr faɖr n begd him. “Dadi darlñ, c’nt ɖ band hv smʈñ t drinc?”

N ɖ prfict afṭnun slǒli rîpnd, slǒli fedd, slǒli its petlz clozd.

“Nvr a mor dlîtfl gardnparti…” “Ɖ gretist s’xes…” “Qt ɖ most…”

Lora hlpt hr muɖr wɖ ɖ gdbîs. Ɖe std sîd bî sîd in ɖ porć tl it wz ol ovr.

“Ol ovr, ol ovr, ʈanc hevn,” sd Msz. Śeridn. “Rnd p ɖ uɖrz, Lora. Let’s g n hv sm freś cofi. I’m xōstd. Yes, it’s bn vri s’xesfl. Bt ǒ, ɖz partiz, ɖz partiz! Ẃ wl y ćildṛn insist on gvñ partiz!” N ɖe ol v ɖm sat dǎn in ɖ dzrtd marcī.

“Hv a sanwij, dadi dir. I rout ɖ flag.”

“Ʈancs.” Mr. Śeridn tc a bît n ɖ sanwij wz gn. H tc anɖr. “I s’poz y dd’nt hír v a bīstli axidnt ɖt hapnd tde?” h sd.

“Mî dir,” sd Msz. Śeridn, holdñ p hr hand, “w dd. It nirli ruind ɖ parti. Lora insistd w śd pt it of.”

“Ǒ, muɖr!” Lora dd’nt wont t b tizd abt it.

“It wz a hoṛbl afer ol ɖ sem,” sd Mr. Śeridn. “Ɖ ćap wz marid tù. Livd jst b’lo in ɖ len, n līvz a wîf n haf a duzn cidiz, so ɖe se.”

An ōcẉd litl sîḷns fél. Msz. Śeridn fiɉtd wɖ hr cup. Riyli, it wz vri tactlis v faɖr…

Sudnli ś lct p. Ɖr on ɖ tebl wr ol ɖoz sanẉjz, cecs, pufs, ol unītn, ol gwñ t b westd. Ś hd wn v hr briłnt îdīaz.

“I nǒ,” ś sd. “Let’s mc p a bascit. Let’s snd ɖt pur crīćr sm v ɖs prf̣cli gd fūd. At eni ret, it wl b ɖ gretist trīt fr ɖ ćildṛn. D’nt y agri? N ś’z śr t hv nebrz cōlñ in n so on. Ẃt a pônt t hv it ol redi priperd. Lora!” Ś jumt p. “Gt m ɖ big bascit ǎt v ɖ sterz cuḅd.”

“Bt, muɖr, d y riyli ʈnc it’s a gd îdīa?” sd Lora.

Agn, hǎ krịs, ś sīmd t b difṛnt fṛm ɖm ol. T tec scraps fṛm ɖer parti. Wd ɖ pur wmn riyli lîc ɖt?

“V cors! Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ y tde? An aur or tū ago y wr insistñ on s biyñ simṗʈetic, n nǎ—”

Ǒ wel! Lora ran fr ɖ bascit. It wz fild, it wz hīpt bî hr muɖr.

“Tec it yrslf, darlñ,” sd ś. “Run dǎn jst az y r. No, wêt, tec ɖ aṛmliliz tù. Ppl v ɖt clas r so imprest bî aṛmliliz.”

“Ɖ stemz wl ruin hr lês froc,” sd practicl Jozi.

So ɖe wd. Jst in tîm. “Onli ɖ bascit, ɖen. N, Lora!”—hr muɖr foloud hr ǎt v ɖ marcī—“d’nt on eni acǎnt—”

“Ẃt muɖr?”

No, betr nt pt sć îdīaz intu ɖ ćîld’z hed! “Nʈñ! Run alñ.”

It wz jst growñ dusci az Lora śut ɖer gardngets. A big dog ran bî lîc a śado. Ɖ rod glīmd ẃît, n dǎn b’lo in ɖ holo ɖ litl coṭjz wr in dīp śêd. Hǎ qayt it sīmd aftr ɖ afṭnun. Hir ś wz gwñ dǎn ɖ hil t smẃr ẃr a man le ded, n ś cd’nt riylîz it. Ẃ cd’nt ś? Ś stopt a minit. N it sīmd t hr ɖt cisz, vôsz, tnc̣lñ spūnz, laftr, ɖ smel v cruśt gras wr smhǎ insd hr. Ś hd no rūm fr enʈñ els. Hǎ strenj! Ś lct p at ɖ pel scî, n ol ś ʈt wz, “Yes, it wz ɖ most s’xesfl parti.”

Nǎ ɖ brōd rod wz crost. Ɖ len bgan, smoci n darc. Wimin in śōlz n men’z twīd caps hurid bî. Men huñ ovr ɖ pêlñz; ɖ ćildṛn pleid in ɖ dorwez. A lo hum cem fṛm ɖ mīn litl coṭjz. In sm v ɖm ɖr wz a flicr v lît, n a śado, crablîc, muvd acrs ɖ windo. Lora bnt hr hed n hurid on. Ś wśt nǎ ś hd pt on a cot. Hǎ hr froc śon! N ɖ big hat wɖ ɖ velvit strīmr—f onli it wz anɖr hat! Wr ɖ ppl lcñ at hr? Ɖe mst b. It wz a mstec t hv cm; ś ń ol alñ it wz a mstec. Śd ś g bac īvn nǎ?

No, tù lêt. Ɖs wz ɖ hǎs. It mst b. A darc nót v ppl std ǎtsd. Bsd ɖ get an old, old wmn wɖ a cruć sat in a ćer, woćñ. Ś hd hr fīt on a nyzpepr. Ɖ vôsz stopt az Lora drù nir. Ɖ grūp partd. It wz az ɖo ś wz xpctd, az ɖo ɖe hd noun ś wz cmñ hir.

Lora wz teṛbli nrṿs. Tosñ ɖ velvit ribn ovr hr śoldr, ś sd t a wmn standñ bî, “Z ɖs Msz. Scot’s hǎs?” n ɖ wmn, smîlñ qirli, sd, “It z, mî las.”

Ǒ, t b awe fṛm ɖs! Ś acć̣̣li sd, “Hlp m, God,” az ś wōct p ɖ tîni paʈ n noct. T b awe fṛm ɖoz stẹrñ îz, or t b cuvrd p in enʈñ, wn v ɖoz wimin’z śōlz īvn. I’l jst līv ɖ bascit n g, ś dsîdd. I ś’nt īvn wêt fr it t b emtid.

Ɖen ɖ dor opnd. A litl wmn in blac śoud in ɖ glūm.

Lora sd, “R y Msz. Scot?” Bt t hr horr ɖ wmn ansrd, “Wōc in plīz, Mis,” n ś wz śut in ɖ pasij.

“No,” sd Lora, “I d’nt wont t cm in. I onli wont t līv ɖs bascit. Muɖr snt—”

Ɖ litl wmn in ɖ glūmi pasij sīmd nt t hv hŕd hr. “Step ɖs we, plīz, Mis,” ś sd in an ôli vôs, n Lora foloud hr.

Ś faund hrslf in a rećid litl lo cićn, lîtd bî a smoci lamp. Ɖr wz a wmn sitñ bfr ɖ fîr.

“Em,” sd ɖ litl crīćr hu hd let hr in. “Em! It’s a yuñ ledi.” Ś trnd t Lora. Ś sd mīnñli, “I’m ’r sistr, Mis. Y’l xkz ’r, w’nt y?”

“Ǒ, bt v cors!” sd Lora. “Plīz, plīz d’nt dstrb hr. I—I onli wont t līv—”

Bt at ɖt momnt ɖ wmn at ɖ fîr trnd rnd. Hr fes, puft p, red, wɖ swoḷn îz n swoḷn lips, lct teṛbl. Ś sīmd az ɖo ś cd’nt unḍstand ẃ Lora wz ɖr. Ẃt dd it mīn? Ẃ wz ɖs strenjr standñ in ɖ cićn wɖ a bascit? Ẃt wz it ol abt? N ɖ pur fes pucrd p agn.

“Ol rît, mî dir,” sd ɖ uɖr. “I’l ʈenc ɖ yuñ ledi.”

N agn ś bgan, “Y’l xkz hr, Mis, I’m śr,” n hr fes, swoḷn tù, traid an ôli smîl.

Lora onli wontd t gt ǎt, t gt awe. Ś wz bac in ɖ pasij. Ɖ dor opnd. Ś wōct stret ʈru intu ɖ bedrūm, ẃr ɖ ded man wz layñ.

“Y’d lîc a lc at ’im, wd’nt y?” sd Em’z sistr, n ś bruśt past Lora ovr t ɖ bed. “D’nt b afreid, mî las,”—n nǎ hr vôs sǎndd fond n slî, n fondli ś drù dǎn ɖ śīt—“’i lcs a picćr. Ɖr’z nʈñ t śo. Cm alñ, mî dir.”

Lora cem.

Ɖr le a yuñ man, fast aslip—slīpñ so sǎndli, so dīpli, ɖt h wz far, far awe fṛm ɖm bʈ. Ǒ, so rmot, so pīsfl. H wz drīmñ. Nvr wec him p agn. Hiz hed wz sunc in ɖ pilo, hiz îz wr clozd; ɖe wr blînd undr ɖ clozd îlidz. H wz gvn p t hiz drīm. Ẃt dd gardnpartiz n bascits n lês frocs matr t him? H wz far fṛm ol ɖoz ʈñz. H wz wundrfl, bytifl. Ẃl ɖe wr lafñ n ẃl ɖ band wz pleyñ, ɖs marvl hd cm t ɖ len. Hapi… hapi… Ol z wel, sd ɖt slīpñ fes. Ɖs z jst az it śd b. I am cntnt.

Bt ol ɖ sem y hd t crî, n ś cd’nt g ǎt v ɖ rūm wɖt seyñ smʈñ t him. Lora gev a lǎd ćîldiś sob.

“Fgiv mî hat,” ś sd.

N ɖs tîm ś dd’nt wêt fr Em’z sistr. Ś faund hr we ǎt v ɖ dor, dǎn ɖ paʈ, past ol ɖoz darc ppl. At ɖ cornr v ɖ len ś met Lóri.

H stept ǎt v ɖ śado. “Z ɖt y, Lora?”

“Yes.”

“Muɖr wz gtñ añśs. Wz it ol rît?”

“Yes, qt. Ǒ, Lóri!” Ś tc hiz arm, ś prest p agnst him.

“I se, y’r nt crayñ, r y?” asct hr bruɖr.

Lora śc hr hed. Ś wz.

Lóri pt hiz arm rnd hr śoldr. “D’nt crî,” h sd in hiz worm, luvñ vôs. “Wz it ōfl?”

“No,” sobd Lora. “It wz simpli marvḷs. Bt Lóri—” Ś stopt, ś lct at hr bruɖr. “Z’nt lîf,” ś stamrd, “z’nt lîf—” Bt ẃt lîf wz ś cd’nt xplen. No matr. H qt unḍstd.

Z’nt it, darlñ?” sd Lóri.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: THE DAUGHTERS OF THE LATE COLONEL, by K Mansfield

ĆAPTRZ

IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXII

Đ DŌTRZ OV Đ LÊT CRNL

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

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I

Ɖ  wīc aftr wz wn v ɖ biziist wīcs v ɖer livz. Īvn ẃn ɖe wnt t bed it wz onli ɖer bodiz ɖt le dǎn n restd; ɖer mîndz wnt on, ʈncñ ʈñz ǎt, tōcñ ʈñz ovr, wunḍrñ, dsîdñ, trayñ t rmembr ẃr…

Cnstanśa le lîc a staću, hr handz bî hr sîdz, hr fīt jst oṿlapñ ć uɖr, ɖ śīt p t hr ćin. Ś stérd at ɖ sīlñ.

“D y ʈnc faɖr wd mînd f w gev hiz tophat t ɖ portr?”

“Ɖ portr?” snapt Joẓfīn. “Ẃ evr ɖ portr? Ẃt a vri xtrordnri îdīa!”

“Bcz,” sd Cnstanśa slǒli, “h mst ofn hv t g t fynṛlz. N I notist at—at ɖ seṃtri ɖt h onli hd a bolr.” Ś pōzd. “I ʈt ɖen hǎ vri mć h’d aprīśiet a tophat. W òt t gv him a preznt, tù. H wz olwz vri nîs t faɖr.”

“Bt,” craid Joẓfīn, flǎnsñ on hr pilo n stẹrñ acrs ɖ darc atCnstanśa, “faɖr’z hed!” N sudnli, fr wn ōfl momnt, ś nirli gigld. Nt, v cors, ɖt ś flt in ɖ līst lîc giġlñ. It mst hv bn habit. Yirz ago, ẃn ɖe hd steid awec at nît tōcñ, ɖer bedz hd simpli hīvd. N nǎ ɖ portr’z hed, dis’pirñ, popt ǎt, lîc a candl, undr faɖr’z hat… Ɖ gigl mǎntd, mǎntd; ś clenćt hr handz; ś fòt it dǎn; ś frǎnd firsli at ɖ darc n sd “Rmembr” teṛbli strnli.

“W cn dsîd tmoro,” ś sd.

Cnstanśa hd notist nʈñ; ś said.

“D y ʈnc w òt t hv ǎr dresñgǎns dáid az wel?”

“Blac?” olmst śrīct Joẓfīn.

“Wel, ẃt els?” sd Cnstanśa. “I wz ʈncñ—it dz’nt sīm qt snsir, in a we, t wer blac ǎt v dorz n ẃn w’r fŭli drest, n ɖen ẃn w’r at hom—”

“Bt nbdi siz s,” sd Joẓfīn. Ś gev ɖ bedcloɖz sć a twić ɖt bʈ hr fīt bcem uncuvrd, n ś hd t crīp p ɖ piloz t gt ɖm wel undr agn.

“Cet dz,” sd Cnstanśa. “N ɖ postmn vri wel mt.”

Joẓfīn ʈt v hr darc-red slipprz, ẃć maćt hr dresñgǎn, n vCnstanśa’z feṿrit indefiṇt grīn wnz ẃć wnt wɖ hrz. Blac! Tū blac dresñgǎns n tū perz v blac wŭli slipprz, crīpñ of t ɖ baʈrūm lîc blac cats.

“I d’nt ʈnc it’s abṣlutli nesṣri,” sd ś.

Sîḷns. Ɖen Cnstanśa sd, “W śl hv t post ɖ peprz wɖ ɖ notis in ɖm tmoro t cać ɖ S’lón meil… Hǎ mni letrz hv w hd p tl nǎ?”

“Twenti-ʈri.”

Joẓfīn hd rplaid t ɖm ol, n twenti-ʈri tîmz ẃn ś cem t “W mis ǎr dir faɖr so mć” ś hd brocn dǎn n hd t yz hr hanc̣ćif, n on sm v ɖm īvn t sǒc p a vri lît-blu tir wɖ an éj v blotñpepr. Strenj! Ś cd’nt hv pt it on—bt twenti-ʈri tîmz. Īvn nǎ, ɖo, ẃn ś sd ovr t hrslf sadli “W mis ǎr dir faɖr so mć,” ś cd hv craid f ś’d wontd t.

“Hv y got inuf stamps?” cem fṛm Cnstanśa.

“Ǒ, hǎ cn I tel?” sd Joẓfīn crosli. “Ẃt’s ɖ gd v ascñ m ɖt nǎ?”

“I wz jst wunḍrñ,” sd Cnstanśa mîldli.

Sîḷns agn. Ɖr cem a litl rusl, a scuri, a hóp.

“A mǎs,” sd Cnstanśa.

“It c’nt b a mǎs bcz ɖr r’nt eni crumz,” sd Joẓfīn.

“Bt it dz’nt nǒ ɖr r’nt,” sd Cnstanśa.

A spazm v piti sqizd hr hart. Pur litl ʈñ! Ś wśt ś’d left a tîni pìs v biscit on ɖ dresñtebl. It wz ōfl t ʈnc v it nt fîndñ enʈñ. Ẃt wd it d?

“I c’nt ʈnc hǎ ɖe manij t liv at ol,” ś sd slǒli.

“Hu?” dmandd Joẓfīn.

N Cnstanśa sd mor lǎdli ɖn ś mnt t, “Mîs.”

Joẓfīn wz fyrịs. “Ǒ, ẃt nonsns, Cón!” ś sd. “Ẃt hv mîs got t d wɖ it? Y’r aslip.”

“I d’nt ʈnc I am,” sd Cnstanśa. Ś śut hr îz t mc śr. Ś wz.

Joẓfīn arćt hr spîn, pld p hr niz, foldd hr armz so ɖt hr fists cem undr hr irz, n prest hr ćīc hard agnst ɖ pilo.

___

II

Anɖr ʈñ ẃć compḷcetd matrz wz ɖe hd Nrs Andruz steyñ on wɖ ɖm ɖt wīc. It wz ɖer ǒn fōlt; ɖe hd asct hr. It wz Joẓfīn’z îdīa. On ɖ mornñ—wel, on ɖ last mornñ, ẃn ɖ doctr hd gn, Joẓfīn hd sd t Cnstanśa, “D’nt y ʈnc it wd b rɖr nîs f w asct Nrs Andruz t ste on fr a wīc az ǎr gest?”

“Vri nîs,” sd Cnstanśa.

“I ʈt,” wnt on Joẓfīn qcli, “I śd jst se ɖs afṭnun, aftr I’v peid hr, ‘Mî sistr n I wd b vri plizd, aftr ol y’v dn fr s, Nrs Andruz, f y wd ste on fr a wīc az ǎr gest.’ I’d hv t pt ɖt in abt biyñ ǎr gest in ces—”

“Ǒ, bt ś cd hardli xpct t b peid!” craid Cnstanśa.

“Wn nvr nz,” sd Joẓfīn sejli.

Nrs Andruz hd, v cors, jumt at ɖ îdīa. Bt it wz a boɖr. It mnt ɖe hd t hv reğlr sit-dǎn mīlz at ɖ propr tîmz, ẃr-az f ɖ’d bn alon ɖe cd jst hv asct Cet f ś wd’nt hv mîndd brññ ɖm a tre ẃrvr ɖe wr. N mīltîmz nǎ ɖt ɖ stren wz ovr wr rɖr a trîl.

Nrs Andruz wz simpli firfl abt butr. Riyli ɖe cd’nt hlp fīlñ ɖt abt butr, at līst, ś tc advantij v ɖer cîndnis. N ś hd ɖt maḍnñ habit v ascñ fr jst an inć mor v bred t finiś ẃt ś hd on hr plet, n ɖen, at ɖ last mǎʈfl, absnt-mîndidli—v cors it wz’nt absnt-mîndidli—tecñ anɖr hlpñ. Joẓfīn got vri red ẃn ɖs hapnd, n ś fasnd hr smōl, bīdlîc îz on ɖ teblcloʈ az f ś sw a mînyt strenj insect crīpñ ʈru ɖ web v it. Bt Cnstanśa’z loñ, pel fes leñʈnd n set, n ś gezd awe—awe—far ovr ɖ deẓt, t ẃr ɖt lîn v camlz unwaund lîc a ʈred v wŭl…

“Ẃn I wz wɖ Ledi Tycs,” sd Nrs Andruz, “ś hd sć a denti litl cntrevns fr ɖ butā. It wz a silvā Kpid baḷnst on ɖ—on ɖ bordā v a glas diś, holdñ a têni forc. N ẃn y wontd sm butā y simpli prest hiz ft n h bnt dǎn n spird y a pìs. It wz qt a gem.”

Joẓfīn cd hardli ber ɖt. Bt “I ʈnc ɖoz ʈñz r vri xtraṿgnt” wz ol ś sd.

“Bt ẃe?” asct Nrs Andruz, bīmñ ʈru hr îglasz. “Nwn, śrli, wd tec mor butā ɖn wn wontd—wd wn?”

“Rñ, Cón,” craid Joẓfīn. Ś cd’nt trust hrslf t rplî.

N prǎd yuñ Cet, ɖ inćantd prinses, cem in t si ẃt ɖ old tabiz wontd nǎ. Ś snaćt awe ɖer plets v moc smʈñ or uɖr n slapt dǎn a ẃît, teṛfaid bḷmonź.

“Jam, plīz, Cet,” sd Joẓfīn cîndli.

Cet nlt n brst opn ɖ sîdbōrd, liftd ɖ lid v ɖ jampot, sw it wz emti, pt it on ɖ tebl, n stōct of.

“I’m afreid,” sd Nrs Andruz a momnt lêtr, “ɖr z’nt eni.”

“Ǒ, ẃt a boɖr!” sd Joẓfīn. Ś bit hr lip. “Ẃt hd w betr d?”

Cnstanśa lct dybịs. “W c’nt dstrb Cet agn,” ś sd softli.

Nrs Andruz wêtd, smîlñ at ɖm bʈ. Hr îz wondrd, spayñ at evrʈñ bhnd hr îglasz. Cnstanśa in dsper wnt bac t hr camlz. Joẓfīn frǎnd heṿli—consntretd. F it hd’nt bn fr ɖs idiotic wmn ś n Cón wd, v cors, hv ītn ɖer bḷmonẓ́ wɖt. Sudnli ɖ îdīa cem.

“I nǒ,” ś sd. “Marṃled. Ɖr’z sm marṃled in ɖ sîdbōrd. Gt it, Cón.”

“I hop,” laft Nrs Andruz—n hr laf wz lîc a spūn tnc̣lñ agnst a meḍsinglas—“I hop it’s nt vri bitā marṃled.”

___

III

Bt, aftr ol, it wz nt loñ nǎ, n ɖen ś’d b gn fr gd. N ɖr wz no gtñ ovr ɖ fact ɖt ś hd bn vri cnd t faɖr. Ś hd nrst him de n nît at ɖ end. Indd, bʈ Cnstanśa n Joẓfīn flt prîṿtli ś hd rɖr oṿdn ɖ nt līvñ him at ɖ vri last. Fr ẃn ɖe hd gn in t se gdbî Nrs Andruz hd sat bsd hiz bed ɖ hol tîm, holdñ hiz rist n pritndñ t lc at hr woć. It cd’nt hv bn nesṣri. It wz so tactlis, tù. S’pozñ faɖr hd wontd t se smʈñ—smʈñ prîṿt t ɖm. Nt ɖt h hd. Ǒ, far fṛm it! H le ɖr, prpl, a darc, angri prpl in ɖ fes, n nvr īvn lct at ɖm ẃn ɖe cem in. Ɖen, az ɖe wr standñ ɖr, wunḍrñ ẃt t d, h hd sudnli opnd wn î. Ǒ, ẃt a difṛns it wd hv md, ẃt a difṛns t ɖer meṃri v him, hǎ mć īzịr t tel ppl abt it, f h hd onli opnd bʈ! Bt no—wn î onli. It glerd at ɖm a momnt n ɖen… wnt ǎt.

___

IV

It hd md it vri ōcẉd fr ɖm ẃn Mr. Farolz, v St. Jon’z, cōld ɖ sem afṭnun.

“Ɖ end wz qt pīsfl, I trust?” wr ɖ frst wrdz h sd az h glîdd twdz ɖm ʈru ɖ darc drw̃rūm.

“Qt,” sd Joẓfīn fentli. Ɖe bʈ huñ ɖer hedz. Bʈ v ɖm flt srtn ɖt î wz’nt at ol a pīsfl î.

“W’nt y sit dǎn?” sd Joẓfīn.

“Ʈanc y, Mis Pinr,” sd Mr. Farolz gretf̣li. H foldd hiz coțeilz n bgan t lowr himslf intu faɖr’z armćer, bt jst az h tućt it h olmst sprañ p n slid intu ɖ nxt ćer instd.

H coft. Joẓfīn claspt hr handz; Cnstanśa lct veg.

“I wont y t fīl, Mis Pinr,” sd Mr. Farolz, “n y, Mis Cnstanśa, ɖt I’m trayñ t b hlpfl. I wont t b hlpfl t y bʈ, f y wl let m. Ɖz r ɖ tîmz,” sd Mr. Farolz, vri simpli n rṇstli, “ẃn God mīnz s t b hlpfl t wn anɖr.”

“Ʈanc y vri mć, Mr. Farolz,” sd Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa.

“Nt at ol,” sd Mr. Farolz jntli. H drù hiz cid gluvz ʈru hiz fngrz n līnd fwd. “N f îɖr v y wd lîc a litl Cḿńn, îɖr or bʈ v y, hir n nǎ, y hv onli t tel m. A litl Cḿńn z ofn vri hlp—a gret cumf̣t,” h add tndrli.

Bt ɖ îdīa v a litl Cḿńn teṛfaid ɖm. Ẃt! In ɖ drw̃rūm bî ɖmslvz—wɖ no—no ōltr or enʈñ! Ɖ piano wd b mć tù hî, ʈt Cnstanśa, n Mr. Farolz cd nt poṣbli līn ovr it wɖ ɖ ćalis. N Cet wd b śr t cm brstñ in n inṭrupt ɖm, ʈt Joẓfīn. N s’pozñ ɖ bel rañ in ɖ midl? It mt b smbdi importnt—abt ɖer mōrnñ. Wd ɖe gt p revṛntli n g ǎt, or wd ɖe hv t wêt… in torćr?

“Phps y wl snd rnd a not bî yr gd Cet f y wd cer fr it lêtr,” sd Mr. Farolz.

“Ǒ yes, ʈanc y vri mć!” ɖe bʈ sd.

Mr. Farolz got p n tc hiz blac strw hat fṛm ɖ rǎnd tebl.

“N abt ɖ fynṛl,” h sd softli. “I me arenj ɖt—az yr dir faɖr’z old frend n yrz, Mis Pinr—n Mis Cnstanśa?”

Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa got p tù.

“I śd lîc it t b qt simpl,” sd Joẓfīn frmli, “n nt tù xpnsiv. At ɖ sem tîm, I śd lîc—”

“A gd wn ɖt wl last,” ʈt drīmi Cnstanśa, az f Joẓfīn wr bayñ a nîtgǎn. Bt, v cors, Joẓfīn dd’nt se ɖt. “Wn sūṭbl t ǎr faɖr’z pziśn.” Ś wz vri nrṿs.

“I’l run rnd t ǎr gd frend Mr. Nait,” sd Mr. Farolz suɖñli. “I wl asc him t cm n si y. I am śr y wl fînd him vri hlpfl indd.”

___

V

Wel, at eni ret, ol ɖt part v it wz ovr, ɖo nɖr v ɖm cd poṣbli b’liv ɖt faɖr wz nvr cmñ bac. Joẓfīn hd hd a momnt v abṣlut terr at ɖ seṃtri, ẃl ɖ cofin wz lowrd, t ʈnc ɖt ś n Cnstanśa hd dn ɖs ʈñ wɖt ascñ hiz pmiśn. Ẃt wd faɖr se ẃn h faund ǎt? Fr h wz baund t fînd ǎt snr or lêtr. H olwz dd. “Berid. Y tū grlz hd m berid!” Ś hŕd hiz stic ʈumpñ. Ǒ, ẃt wd ɖe se? Ẃt poṣbl xks cd ɖe mc? It sǎndd sć an apōlñli hartlis ʈñ t d. Sć a wicid advantij t tec v a prsn bcz h hapnd t b hlplis at ɖ momnt. Ɖ uɖr ppl sīmd t trīt it ol az a matr v cors. Ɖe wr strenjrz; ɖe cd’nt b xpctd t unḍstand ɖt faɖr wz ɖ vri last prsn fr sć a ʈñ t hapn t. No, ɖ intîr blem fr it ol wd fōl on hr n Cnstanśa. N ɖ xpns, ś ʈt, stepñ intu ɖ tît-butnd cab. Ẃn ś hd t śo him ɖ bílz. Ẃt wd h se ɖen?

Ś hŕd him abṣlutli rorñ. “N d y xpct m t pe fr ɖs jimcrac xcrśn v yrz?”

“Ǒ,” grond pur Joẓfīn alǎd, “w śd’nt hv dn it, Cón!”

N Cnstanśa, pel az a lemn in ol ɖt blacnis, sd in a frîtnd ẃispr, “Dn ẃt, Jug?”

“Let ɖm b-beri faɖr lîc ɖt,” sd Joẓfīn, brecñ dǎn n crayñ intu hr ny, qir-smelñ mōrnñhanc̣ćif.

“Bt ẃt els cd w hv dn?” asct Cnstanśa wundrñli. “W cd’nt hv cept him, Jug—w cd’nt hv cept him unberid. At eni ret, nt in a flat ɖt sîz.”

Joẓfīn blù hr nǒz; ɖ cab wz dredf̣li stufi.

“I d’nt nǒ,” ś sd f’lornli. “It z ol so dredfl. I fīl w òt t hv traid t, jst fr a tîm at līst. T mc prf̣cli śr. Wn ʈñ’z srtn”—n hr tirz sprañ ǎt agn—“faɖr wl nvr fgiv s fr ɖs—nvr!”

___

VI

Faɖr wd nvr fgiv ɖm. Ɖt wz ẃt ɖe flt mor ɖn evr ẃn, tū mornñz lêtr, ɖe wnt intu hiz rūm t g ʈru hiz ʈñz. Ɖe hd dscust it qt cāmli. It wz īvn dǎn on Joẓfīn’z list v ʈñz t b dn. “G ʈru faɖr’z ʈñz n setl abt ɖm.” Bt ɖt wz a vri difṛnt matr fṛm seyñ aftr brecfst:

“Wel, r y redi, Cón?”

“Yes, Jug—ẃn y r.”

“Ɖen I ʈnc w’d betr gt it ovr.”

It wz darc in ɖ hōl. It hd bn a rūl fr yirz nvr t dstrb faɖr in ɖ mornñ, ẃtvr hapnd. N nǎ ɖe wr gwñ t opn ɖ dor wɖt nocñ īvn… Cnstanśa’z îz wr inorṃs at ɖ îdīa; Joẓfīn flt wìc in ɖ niz.

“Y—y g frst,” ś gaspt, pśñ Cnstanśa.

Bt Cnstanśa sd, az ś olwz hd sd on ɖoz oceẓ́nz, “No, Jug, ɖt’s nt fer. Y’r ɖ eldist.”

Joẓfīn wz jst gwñ t se—ẃt at uɖr tîmz ś wd’nt hv ǒnd t fr ɖ wrld—ẃt ś cept fr hr vri last wepn, “Bt y’r ɖ tōlist,” ẃn ɖe notist ɖt ɖ cićndor wz opn, n ɖr std Cet…

“Vri stif,” sd Joẓfīn, graspñ ɖ dorhandl n dwñ hr bst t trn it. Az f enʈñ evr dsivd Cet!

It cd’nt b hlpt. Ɖt grl wz… Ɖen ɖ dor wz śut bhnd ɖm, bt—bt ɖe wr’nt in faɖr’z rūm at ol. Ɖe mt hv sudnli wōct ʈru ɖ wōl bî mstec intu a difṛnt flat oltgɖr. Wz ɖ dor jst bhnd ɖm? Ɖe wr tù frîtnd t lc. Joẓfīn ń ɖt f it wz it wz holdñ itslf tît śut; Cnstanśa flt ɖt, lîc ɖ dorz in drīmz, it hd’nt eni handl at ol. It wz ɖ coldnis ẃć md it so ōfl. Or ɖ ẃîtnis—ẃć? Evrʈñ wz cuvrd. Ɖ blîndz wr dǎn, a cloʈ huñ ovr ɖ mirr, a śīt hid ɖ bed; a hyj fan v ẃît pepr fild ɖ fîrples. Cnstanśa timidli pt ǎt hr hand; ś olmst xpctd a snǒflec t fōl. Joẓfīn flt a qir tnġlñ in hr nǒz, az f hr nǒz wz frizñ. Ɖen a cab clop-clopt ovr ɖ coblz b’lo, n ɖ qayt sīmd t śec intu litl pìsz.

“I hd betr pl p a blînd,” sd Joẓfīn brevli.

“Yes, it mt b a gd îdīa,” ẃisprd Cnstanśa.

Ɖe onli gev ɖ blînd a tuć, bt it flù p n ɖ cord flù aftr, rolñ rnd ɖ blîndstic, n ɖ litl tasl tapt az f trayñ t gt fri. Ɖt wz tù mć fr Cnstanśa.

“D’nt y ʈnc—d’nt y ʈnc w mt pt it of fr anɖr de?” ś ẃisprd.

“Ẃ?” snapt Joẓfīn, fīlñ, az yẓ́l, mć betr nǎ ɖt ś ń fr srtn ɖt Cnstanśa wz teṛfaid. “It’s got t b dn. Bt I d wś y wd’nt ẃispr, Cón.”

“I dd’nt nǒ I wz ẃisṗrñ,” ẃisprd Cnstanśa.

“N ẃ d y cīp stẹrñ at ɖ bed?” sd Joẓfīn, rezñ hr vôs olmst dfayntli. “Ɖr’z nʈñ on ɖ bed.”

“Ǒ, Jug, d’nt se so!” sd pur Cóni. “At eni ret, nt so lǎdli.”

Joẓfīn flt hrslf ɖt ś hd gn tù far. Ś tc a wîd swrv ovr t ɖ ćst v drorz, pt ǎt hr hand, bt qcli drù it bac agn.

“Cóni!” ś gaspt, n ś ẃīld rnd n līnd wɖ hr bac agnst ɖ ćst v drorz.

“Ǒ, Jug—ẃt?”

Joẓfīn cd onli gler. Ś hd ɖ most xtrordnri fīlñ ɖt ś hd jst iscept smʈñ simpli ōfl. Bt hǎ cd ś xplen t Cnstanśa ɖt faɖr wz in ɖ ćst v drorz? H wz in ɖ top dror wɖ hiz hanc̣ćīfs n nectîz, or in ɖ nxt wɖ hiz śrts n pjamaz, or in ɖ lǒist v ol wɖ hiz sūts. H wz woćñ ɖr, hidn awe—jst bhnd ɖ dorhandl—redi t sprñ.

Ś pld a funi old-faśnd fes at Cnstanśa, jst az ś yst t in ɖ old dez ẃn ś wz gwñ t crî.

“I c’nt opn,” ś nirli weild.

“No, d’nt, Jug,” ẃisprd Cnstanśa rṇstli. “It’s mć betr nt t. D’nt let’s opn enʈñ. At eni ret, nt fr a loñ tîm.”

“Bt—bt it sīmz so wìc,” sd Joẓfīn, brecñ dǎn.

“Bt ẃ nt b wìc fr wns, Jug?” argyd Cnstanśa, ẃisṗrñ qt firsli. “F it z wìc.” N hr pel stér flù fṛm ɖ loct raitñtebl—so sef—t ɖ hyj gliṭrñ wordrob, n ś bgan t briɖ in a qir, pantñ we. “Ẃ śd’nt w b wìc fr wns in ǎr lîvz, Jug? It’s qt xkẓbl. Let’s b wìc—b wìc, Jug. It’s mć nîsr t b wìc ɖn t b stroñ.”

N ɖen ś dd wn v ɖoz amezñli bold ʈñz ɖt ś’d dn abt twîs bfr in ɖer lîvz: ś marćt ovr t ɖ wordrob, trnd ɖ ci, n tc it ǎt v ɖ loc. Tc it ǎt v ɖ loc n hld it p t Joẓfīn, śowñ Joẓfīn bî hr xtrordnri smîl ɖt ś ń ẃt ś’d dn—ś’d risct dlibṛtli faɖr biyñ in ɖr amñ hiz oṿcots.

F ɖ hyj wordrob hd lrćt fwd, hd craśt dǎn on Cnstanśa, Joẓfīn wd’nt hv bn s’prîzd. On ɖ contrri, ś wd hv ʈt it ɖ onli sūṭbl ʈñ t hapn. Bt nʈñ hapnd. Onli ɖ rūm sīmd qaytr ɖn evr, n ɖ bigr flecs v cold er fél on Joẓfīn’z śoldrz n niz. Ś bgan t śivr.

“Cm, Jug,” sd Cnstanśa, stl wɖ ɖt ōfl caḷs smîl, n Joẓfīn foloud jst az ś hd ɖt last tîm, ẃn Cnstanśa hd pśt Beni intu ɖ rǎnd pond.

___

VII

Bt ɖ stren tld on ɖm ẃn ɖe wr bac in ɖ dînñrūm. Ɖe sat dǎn, vri śeci, n lct at ć uɖr.

“I d’nt fīl I cn setl t enʈñ,” sd Joẓfīn, “untl I’v hd smʈñ. D y ʈnc w cd asc Cet fr tū cups v hot wōtr?”

“I riyli d’nt si ẃ w śd’nt,” sd Cnstanśa cerf̣li. Ś wz qt norml agn. “I w’nt rñ. I’l g t ɖ cićndor n asc hr.”

“Yes, d,” sd Joẓfīn, sncñ dǎn intu a ćer. “Tel hr, jst tū cups, Cón, nʈñ els—on a tre.”

“Ś nīd’nt īvn pt ɖ jug on, nīd ś?” sd Cnstanśa, az ɖo Cet mt vri wel cmplen f ɖ jug hd bn ɖr.

“Ǒ no, srtnli nt! Ɖ jug’z nt at ol nesṣri. Ś cn por it d’rect ǎt v ɖ cetl,” craid Joẓfīn, fīlñ ɖt wd b a lebr-sevñ indd.

Ɖer cold lips qivrd at ɖ grīniś brimz. Joẓfīn crvd hr smōl red handz rnd ɖ cup; Cnstanśa sat p n blù on ɖ wevi stīm, mcñ it flutr fṛm wn sîd t ɖ uɖr.

“Spīcñ v Beni,” sd Joẓfīn.

N ɖo Beni hd’nt bn mnśnd Cnstanśa imīɉtli lct az ɖo h hd.

“H’l xpct s t snd him smʈñ v faɖr’z, v cors. Bt it’s so dificlt t nǒ ẃt t snd t S’lón.”

“Y mīn ʈñz gt unstuc so on ɖ vôij,” mrmrd Cnstanśa.

“No, lost,” sd Joẓfīn śarpli. “Y nǒ ɖr’z no post. Onli runrz.”

Bʈ pōzd t woć a blac man in ẃît linn drorz runñ ʈru ɖ pel fīldz fr dir lîf, wɖ a larj brǎn-pepr parsl in hiz handz. Joẓfīn’z blac man wz tîni; h scurid alñ gliṣnñ lîc an ant. Bt ɖr wz smʈñ blînd n tîrlis abt Cnstanśa’z tōl, ʈin felo, ẃć md him, ś dsîdd, a vri unpleznt prsn indd… On ɖ vranda, drest ol in ẃît n wẹrñ a corc helmit, std Beni. Hiz rît hand śc p n dǎn, az faɖr’z dd ẃn h wz impeśnt. N bhnd him, nt in ɖ līst inṭrestd, sat Hilda, ɖ uņoun sistr-in-lw. Ś swuñ in a cen rocr n flict ovr ɖ līvz v ɖ Tatlr.

“I ʈnc hiz woć wd b ɖ most sūṭbl preznt,” sd Joẓfīn.

Cnstanśa lct p; ś sīmd s’prîzd.

“Ǒ, wd y trust a gold woć t a netiv?”

“Bt v cors, I’d dsgîz it,” sd Joẓfīn. “Nwn wd nǒ it wz a woć.” Ś lîct ɖ îdīa v hvñ t mc a parsl sć a krịs śep ɖt nwn cd poṣbli ges ẃt it wz. Ś īvn ʈt fr a momnt v hîdñ ɖ woć in a naro cardbōrd corsitbox ɖt ś’d cept bî hr fr a loñ tîm, wêtñ fr it t cm in fr smʈñ. It wz sć bytifl, frm cardbōrd. Bt, no, it wd’nt b aproprịt fr ɖs oceẓ́n. It hd leṭrñ on it: Mīdịm Wimin’z 28. Xtra Frm Buscs. It wd b olmst tù mć v a s’prîz fr Beni t opn ɖt n fînd faɖr’z woć insd.

“N v cors it z’nt az ɖo it wd b gwñ—ticñ, I mīn,” sd Cnstanśa, hu wz stl ʈncñ v ɖ netiv luv v juwlri. “At līst,” ś add, “it wd b vri strenj f aftr ol ɖt tîm it wz.”

___

VIII

Joẓfīn md no rplî. Ś hd floun of on wn v hr tanjnts. Ś hd sudnli ʈt v Siril. Wz’nt it mor yẓ́l fr ɖ onli gransun t hv ɖ woć? N ɖen dir Siril wz so aprīṣ́tiv, n a gold woć mnt so mć t a yuñ man. Beni, in ol probbiḷti, hd qt got ǎt v ɖ habit v woćz; men so sldm wòr weistcots in ɖoz hot clîṃts. Ẃr-az Siril in Lundn wòr ɖm fṛm yir’z end t yir’z end. N it wd b so nîs fr hr n Cnstanśa, ẃn h cem t ti, t nǒ it wz ɖr. “I si y’v got on granfaɖr’z woć, Siril.” It wd b smhǎ so saṭsfactri.

Dir bô! Ẃt a blo hiz swīt, simṗʈetic litl not hd bn! V cors ɖe qt unḍstd; bt it wz most unforćṇt.

“It wd hv bn sć a pônt, hvñ him,” sd Joẓfīn.

“N h wd hv injoid it so,” sd Cnstanśa, nt ʈncñ ẃt ś wz seyñ.

Hvr, az sn az h got bac h wz cmñ t ti wɖ hiz āntiz. Siril t ti wz wn v ɖer rer trīts.

“Nǎ, Siril, y ms’nt b frîtnd v ǎr cecs. Yr Ānti Cón n I bòt ɖm at Buẓd’z ɖs mornñ. W nǒ ẃt a man’z aṗtît z. So d’nt b aśemd v mcñ a gd ti.”

Joẓfīn cut reclisli intu ɖ rić darc cec ɖt std fr hr wintrgluvz or ɖ soling n hìlñ v Cnstanśa’z onli rspctbl śuz. Bt Siril wz most unmanlîc in aṗtît.

“I se, Ānt Joẓfīn, I simpli c’nt. I’v onli jst hd lunć, y nǒ.”

“Ǒ, Siril, ɖt c’nt b tru! It’s aftr for,” craid Joẓfīn. Cnstanśa sat wɖ hr nîf pôzd ovr ɖ ćocḷtrol.

“It z, ol ɖ sem,” sd Siril. “I hd t mīt a man at Victoria, n h cept m haññ abt tl… ɖr wz onli tîm t gt lunć n t cm on hir. N h gev m—fȳ”—Siril pt hiz hand t hiz fōrhed—“a t’rific blo-ǎt,” h sd.

It wz dis’pôntñ—tde v ol dez. Bt stl h cd’nt b xpctd t nǒ.

“Bt y’l hv a mrañ, w’nt y, Siril?” sd Ānt Joẓfīn. “Ɖz mrañz wr bòt speśli fr y. Yr dir faɖr wz so fond v ɖm. W wr śr y r, tù.”

“I am, Ānt Joẓfīn,” craid Siril ardntli. “D y mînd f I tec haf t bgin wɖ?”

“Nt at ol, dir bô; bt w ms’nt let y of wɖ ɖt.”

“Z yr dir faɖr stl so fond v mrañz?” asct Ānti Cón jntli. Ś winst fentli az ś brouc ʈru ɖ śel v hrz.

“Wel, I d’nt qt nǒ, Ānti Cón,” sd Siril brīẓli.

At ɖt ɖe bʈ lct p.

“D’nt nǒ?” olmst snapt Joẓfīn. “D’nt nǒ a ʈñ lîc ɖt abt yr ǒn faɖr, Siril?”

“Śrli,” sd Ānti Cón softli.

Siril traid t laf it of. “Ǒ, wel,” h sd, “it’s sć a loñ tîm sins—” H fōltrd. H stopt. Ɖer fesz wr tù mć fr him.

“Īvn so,” sd Joẓfīn.

N Ānti Cón lct.

Siril pt dǎn hiz tīcup. “Wêt a bit,” h craid. “Wêt a bit, Ānt Joẓfīn. Ẃt am I ʈncñ v?”

H lct p. Ɖe wr bginñ t brîtn. Siril slapt hiz ni.

“V cors,” h sd, “it wz mrañz. Hǎ cd I hv fgotn? Yes, Ānt Joẓfīn, y’r prf̣cli rît. Faɖr’z most frîtf̣li cīn on mrañz.”

Ɖe dd’nt onli bīm. Ānt Joẓfīn wnt scarlit wɖ pleẓ́r; Ānti Cón gev a dīp, dīp sai.

“N nǎ, Siril, y mst cm n si faɖr,” sd Joẓfīn. “H nz y wr cmñ tde.”

“Rît,” sd Siril, vri frmli n harṭli. H got p fṛm hiz ćer; sudnli h glanst at ɖ cloc.

“I se, Ānti Cón, z’nt yr cloc a bit slo? I’v got t mīt a man at—at Padñtn jst aftr fîv. I’m afreid I ś’nt b ebl t ste vri loñ wɖ granfaɖr.”

“Ǒ, h w’nt xpct y t ste vri loñ!” sd Ānt Joẓfīn.

Cnstanśa wz stl gezñ at ɖ cloc. Ś cd’nt mc p hr mînd f it wz fast or slo. It wz wn or ɖ uɖr, ś flt olmst srtn v ɖt. At eni ret, it hd bn.

Siril stl lingrd. “R’nt y cmñ alñ, Ānti Cón?”

“V cors,” sd Joẓfīn, “w śl ol g. Cm on, Cón.”

___

IX

Ɖe noct at ɖ dor, n Siril foloud hiz ānts intu granfaɖr’z hot, swītiś rūm.

“Cm on,” sd Granfaɖr Pinr. “D’nt hañ abt. Ẃt z it? Ẃt’v y bn p t?”

H wz sitñ in frunt v a rorñ fîr, claspñ hiz stic. H hd a ʈic rug ovr hiz niz. On hiz lap ɖr le a bytifl pel yelo silc hanc̣ćif.

“It’s Siril, faɖr,” sd Joẓfīn śîli. N ś tc Siril’z hand n léd him fwd.

“Gd afṭnun, granfaɖr,” sd Siril, trayñ t tec hiz hand ǎt v Ānt Joẓfīn’z. Granfaɖr Pinr śot hiz îz at Siril in ɖ we h wz feṃs fr. Ẃr wz Ānti Cón? Ś std on ɖ uɖr sîd v Ānt Joẓfīn; hr loñ armz huñ dǎn in frunt v hr; hr handz wr claspt. Ś nvr tc hr îz of granfaɖr.

“Wel,” sd Granfaɖr Pinr, bginñ t ʈump, “ẃt hv y got t tel m?”

Ẃt hd h, ẃt hd h got t tel him? Siril flt himslf smîlñ lîc a prfict imḅsil. Ɖ rūm wz stîf̣lñ, tù.

Bt Ānt Joẓfīn cem t hiz rescy. Ś craid brîtli, “Siril sz hiz faɖr z stl vri fond v mrañz, faɖr dir.”

“Ê?” sd Granfaɖr Pinr, crvñ hiz hand lîc a prpl mrañśel ovr wn ir.

Joẓfīn rpitd, “Siril sz hiz faɖr z stl vri fond v mrañz.”

“C’nt hír,” sd old Crnl Pinr. N h wevd Joẓfīn awe wɖ hiz stic, ɖen pôntd wɖ hiz stic t Siril. “Tel m ẃt Ś’z trayñ t se,” h sd.

(Mî God!) “Mst I?” sd Siril, bluśñ n stẹrñ at Ānt Joẓfīn.

“D, dir,” ś smîld. “It wl plīz him so mć.”

“Cm on, ǎt wɖ it!” craid Crnl Pinr tsṭli, bginñ t ʈump agn.

N Siril līnd fwd n yeld, “Faɖr’z stl vri fond v mrañz.”

At ɖt Granfaɖr Pinr jumt az ɖo h hd bn śot.

“D’nt śǎt!” h craid. “Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ ɖ bô? Mrañz! Ẃt abt ’m?”

“Ǒ, Ānt Joẓfīn, mst w g on?” grond Siril despṛtli.

“It’s qt ol rît, dir bô,” sd Ānt Joẓfīn, az ɖo h n ś wr at ɖ dntist’s tgɖr. “H’l unḍstand in a minit.” N ś ẃisprd t Siril, “H’z gtñ a bit def, y nǒ.” Ɖen ś līnd fwd n riyli bȍld at Granfaɖr Pinr, “Siril onli wontd t tel y, faɖr dir, ɖt hiz faɖr z stl vri fond v mrañz.”

Crnl Pinr hŕd ɖt tîm, hŕd n brūdd, lcñ Siril p n dǎn.

“Ẃt an estrordnri ʈñ!” sd old Granfaɖr Pinr. “Ẃt an estrordnri ʈñ t cm ol ɖs we hir t tel m!”

N Siril flt it wz.

“Yes, I śl snd Siril ɖ woć,” sd Joẓfīn.

“Ɖt wd b vri nîs,” sd Cnstanśa. “I sīm t rmembr last tîm h cem ɖr wz sm litl trubl abt ɖ tîm.”

___

X

Ɖe wr inṭruptd bî Cet brstñ ʈru ɖ dor in hr yẓ́l faśn, az ɖo ś hd dscuvrd sm sīcrit panl in ɖ wōl.

“Fraid or bôld?” asct ɖ bold vôs.

Fraid or bôld? Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa wr qt bwildrd fr ɖ momnt. Ɖe cd hardli tec it in.

“Fraid or bôld ẃt, Cet?” asct Joẓfīn, trayñ t bgin t consntret.

Cet gev a lǎd snif. “Fiś.”

“Wel, ẃ dd’nt y se so imīɉtli?” Joẓfīn rproćt hr jntli. “Hǎ cd y xpct s t unḍstand, Cet? Ɖr r a gret mni ʈñz in ɖs wrld y nǒ, ẃć r fraid or bôld.” N aftr sć a dsple v curij ś sd qt brîtli t Cnstanśa, “Ẃć d y prifŕ, Cón?”

“I ʈnc it mt b nîs t hv it fraid,” sd Cnstanśa. “On ɖ uɖr hand, v cors, bôld fiś z vri nîs. I ʈnc I prifŕ bʈ īqli wel… Unls y… In ɖt ces—”

“I śl frî it,” sd Cet, n ś bǎnst bac, līvñ ɖer dor opn n slamñ ɖ dor v hr cićn.

Joẓfīn gezd at Cnstanśa; ś rezd hr pel îbrǎz untl ɖe ripld awe intu hr pel her. Ś got p. Ś sd in a vri lofti, impozñ we, “D y mînd folowñ m intu ɖ drw̃rūm, Cnstanśa? I’v got smʈñ v gret importns t dscus wɖ y.”

Fr it wz olwz t ɖ drw̃rūm ɖe rtîrd ẃn ɖe wontd t tōc ovr Cet.

Joẓfīn clozd ɖ dor mīnñli. “Sit dǎn, Cnstanśa,” ś sd, stl vri grand. Ś mt hv bn rsivñ Cnstanśa fr ɖ frst tîm. N Cón lct rnd vegli fr a ćer, az ɖo ś flt indd qt a strenjr.

“Nǎ ɖ qsćn z,” sd Joẓfīn, bndñ fwd, “ẃɖr w śl cīp hr or nt.”

“Ɖt z ɖ qsćn,” agrìd Cnstanśa.

“N ɖs tîm,” sd Joẓfīn frmli, “w mst cm t a defiṇt dsiẓ́n.”

Cnstanśa lct fr a momnt az ɖo ś mt bgin gwñ ovr ol ɖ uɖr tîmz, bt ś pld hrslf tgɖr n sd, “Yes, Jug.”

“Y si, Cón,” xplend Joẓfīn, “evrʈñ z so ćenjd nǎ.” Cnstanśa lct p qcli. “I mīn,” wnt on Joẓfīn, “w’r nt dpndnt on Cet az w wr.” N ś bluśt fentli. “Ɖr’z nt faɖr t cc fr.”

“Ɖt z prf̣cli tru,” agrìd Cnstanśa. “Faɖr srtnli dz’nt wont eni ccñ nǎ, ẃtvr els—”

Joẓfīn brouc in śarpli, “Y’r nt slīpi, r y, Cón?”

“Slīpi, Jug?” Cnstanśa wz wîd-aid.

“Wel, consntret mor,” sd Joẓfīn śarpli, n ś rtrnd t ɖ subjict. “Ẃt it cmz t z, f w dd”—n ɖs ś bérli briɖd, glansñ at ɖ dor—“gv Cet notis”—ś rezd hr vôs agn—“w cd manij ǎr ǒn fūd.”

“Ẃ nt?” craid Cnstanśa. Ś cd’nt hlp smîlñ. Ɖ îdīa wz so xîtñ. Ś claspt hr handz. “Ẃt śd w liv on, Jug?”

“Ǒ, egz in verịs formz!” sd Jug, lofti agn. “N, bsdz, ɖr r ol ɖ cct fūdz.”

“Bt I’v olwz hŕd,” sd Cnstanśa, “ɖe r cnsidrd so vri xpnsiv.”

“Nt f wn baiz ɖm in moḍreśn,” sd Joẓfīn. Bt ś tòr hrslf awe fṛm ɖs faṣnetñ bîpaʈ n dragd Cnstanśa aftr hr.

“Ẃt w’v got t dsîd nǎ, hvr, z ẃɖr w riyli d trust Cet or nt.”

Cnstanśa līnd bac. Hr flat litl laf flù fṛm hr lips.

“Z’nt it krịs, Jug,” sd ś, “ɖt jst on ɖs wn subjict I’v nvr bn ebl t qt mc p mî mînd?”

___

XI

Ś  nvr hd. Ɖ hol dificlti wz t pruv enʈñ. Hǎ dd wn pruv ʈñz, hǎ cd wn? S’poz Cet hd std in frunt v hr n dlibṛtli md a fes. Mt’nt ś vri wel hv bn in pen? Wz’nt it imposbl, at eni ret, t asc Cet f ś wz mcñ a fes at hr? F Cet ansrd “No”—n, v cors, ś wd se “No”—ẃt a pziśn! Hǎ undigṇfaid! Ɖen agn Cnstanśa sspctd, ś wz olmst srtn ɖt Cet wnt t hr ćst v drorz ẃn ś n Joẓfīn wr ǎt, nt t tec ʈñz bt t spî. Mni tîmz ś hd cm bac t fînd hr aṃʈist cros in ɖ most unlîcli plesz, undr hr lês tîz or on top v hr īvnñ Brʈa. Mor ɖn wns ś hd leid a trap fr Cet. Ś hd arenjd ʈñz in a speśl ordr n ɖen cōld Joẓfīn t witnis.

“Y si, Jug?”

“Qt, Cón.”

“Nǎ w śl b ebl t tel.”

Bt, ǒ dir, ẃn ś dd g t lc, ś wz az far of fṛm a prūf az evr! F enʈñ wz dsplest, it mt so vri wel hv hapnd az ś clozd ɖ dror; a jolt mt hv dn it so īẓli.

“Y cm, Jug, n dsîd. I riyli c’nt. It’s tù dificlt.”

Bt aftr a pōz n a loñ gler Joẓfīn wd sai, “Nǎ y’v pt ɖ dǎt intu mî mînd, Cón, I’m śr I c’nt tel mslf.”

“Wel, w c’nt pspon it agn,” sd Joẓfīn. “F w pspon it ɖs tîm—”

___

XII

Bt at ɖt momnt in ɖ strīt b’lo a baṛl-orgn struc p. Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa sprañ t ɖer fīt tgɖr.

“Run, Cón,” sd Joẓfīn. “Run qcli. Ɖr’z sixpns on ɖ—”

Ɖen ɖe rmembrd. It dd’nt matr. Ɖe wd nvr hv t stop ɖ orgngrîndr agn. Nvr agn wd ś n Cnstanśa b tld t mc ɖt munci tec hiz nôz smẃr els. Nvr wd sǎnd ɖt lǎd, strenj belo ẃn faɖr ʈt ɖe wr nt huriyñ inuf. Ɖ orgngrîndr mt ple ɖr ol de n ɖ stic wd nt ʈump.

It nvr wl ʈump agn,

It nvr wl ʈump agn,

pleid ɖ baṛl-orgn.

Ẃt wz Cnstanśa ʈncñ? Ś hd sć a strenj smîl; ś lct difṛnt. Ś cd’nt b gwñ t crî.

“Jug, Jug,” sd Cnstanśa softli, presñ hr handz tgɖr. “D y nǒ ẃt de it z? It’s Saṭde. It’s a wīc tde, a hol wīc.”

A wīc sins faɖr daid,

A wīc sins faɖr daid,

craid ɖ baṛl-orgn. N Joẓfīn, tù, fgot t b practicl n snṣbl; ś smîld fentli, strenjli. On ɖ Indịn carpit ɖr fél a sqer v súnlît, pel red; it cem n wnt n cem—n steid, dīpnd—untl it śon olmst goldn.

“Ɖ sún’z ǎt,” sd Joẓfīn, az ɖo it riyli matrd.

A prfict fǎntn v buḅlñ nots śc fṛm ɖ baṛl-orgn, rǎnd, brît nots, cerlisli scatrd.

Cnstanśa liftd hr big, cold handz az f t cać ɖm, n ɖen hr handz fél agn. Ś wōct ovr t ɖ mantlpìs t hr feṿrit Bda. N ɖ ston n gílt imij, huz smîl olwz gev hr sć a qir fīlñ, olmst a pen n yt a pleznt pen, sīmd tde t b mor ɖn smîlñ. H ń smʈñ; h hd a sīcrit. “I nǒ smʈñ ɖt y d’nt nǒ,” sd hr Bda. Ǒ, ẃt wz it, ẃt cd it b? N yt ś hd olwz flt ɖr wz… smʈñ.

Ɖ súnlît prest ʈru ɖ windoz, ʈīvd its we in, flaśt its lît ovr ɖ frnićr n ɖ foṭgrafs. Joẓfīn woćt it. Ẃn it cem t muɖr’z foṭgraf, ɖ inlarjmnt ovr ɖ piano, it lingrd az ɖo puzld t fînd so litl rmend v muɖr, xpt ɖ irñz śept lîc tîni pgodaz n a blac feɖr boa. Ẃ dd ɖ foṭgrafs v ded ppl olwz fed so? wundrd Joẓfīn. Az sn az a prsn wz ded ɖer foṭgraf daid tù. Bt, v cors, ɖs wn v muɖr wz vri old. It wz ʈrti-fîv yirz old. Joẓfīn rmembrd standñ on a ćer n pôntñ ǎt ɖt feɖr boa t Cnstanśa n telñ hr ɖt it wz a snec ɖt hd cild ɖer muɖr in S’lón… Wd evrʈñ hv bn difṛnt f muɖr hd’nt daid? Ś dd’nt si ẃ. Ānt Floṛns hd livd wɖ ɖm untl ɖe hd left scūl, n ɖe hd muvd ʈri tîmz n hd ɖer yirli hoḷde n… n ɖr’d bn ćenjz v srvnts, v cors.

Sm litl sparoz, yuñ sparoz ɖe sǎndd, ćrpt on ɖ windolej. Yīp—iyīp—yīp. Bt Joẓfīn flt ɖe wr nt sparoz, nt on ɖ windolej. It wz insd hr, ɖt qir litl crayñ nôz. Yīp—iyīp—yīp. Ā, ẃt wz it crayñ, so wìc n f’lorn?

F muɖr hd livd, mt ɖe hv marid? Bt ɖr hd bn nbdi fr ɖm t mari. Ɖr hd bn faɖr’z Anglo-Indịn frendz bfr h qoṛld wɖ ɖm. Bt aftr ɖt ś n Cnstanśa nvr met a sngl man xpt clrjiṃn. Hǎ dd wn mīt men? Or īvn f ɖ’d met ɖm, hǎ cd ɖe hv got t nǒ men wel inuf t b mor ɖn strenjrz? Wn réd v ppl hvñ advnćrz, biyñ foloud, n so on. Bt nbdi hd evr foloud Cnstanśa n hr. Ǒ yes, ɖr hd bn wn yir at Īstbōrn a mstirịs man at ɖer bōrdñhǎs hu hd pt a not on ɖ jug v hot wōtr ǎtsd ɖer bedrūm dor! Bt bî ɖ tîm Cóni hd faund it ɖ stīm hd md ɖ raitñ tù fent t rīd; ɖe cd’nt īvn mc ǎt t ẃć v ɖm it wz adrest. N h hd left nxt de. N ɖt wz ol. Ɖ rest hd bn lcñ aftr faɖr, n at ɖ sem tîm cīpñ ǎt v faɖr’z we. Bt nǎ? Bt nǎ? Ɖ ʈīvñ sún tućt Joẓfīn jntli. Ś liftd hr fes. Ś wz drwn ovr t ɖ windo bî jntl bīmz…

Untl ɖ baṛl-orgn stopt pleyñ Cnstanśa steid bfr ɖ Bda, wunḍrñ, bt nt az yẓ́l, nt vegli. Ɖs tîm hr wundr wz lîc loññ. Ś rmembrd ɖ tîmz ś hd cm in hir, crept ǎt v bed in hr nîtgǎn ẃn ɖ mūn wz fl, n lein on ɖ flor wɖ hr armz ǎtstrećt, az ɖo ś wz crūṣfaid. Ẃ? Ɖ big, pel mūn hd md hr d it. Ɖ hoṛbl dansñ figrz on ɖ carvd scrīn hd lird at hr n ś hd’nt mîndd. Ś rmembrd tù hǎ, ẃnvr ɖe wr at ɖ sìsîd, ś hd gn of bî hrslf n got az clos t ɖ sì az ś cd, n suñ smʈñ, smʈñ ś hd md p, ẃl ś gezd ol ovr ɖt restlis wōtr. Ɖr hd bn ɖs uɖr lîf, runñ ǎt, brññ ʈñz hom in bagz, gtñ ʈñz on apruvl, dscusñ ɖm wɖ Jug, n tecñ ɖm bac t gt mor ʈñz on apruvl, n arenjñ faɖr’z trez n trayñ nt t anô faɖr. Bt it ol sīmd t hv hapnd in a cnd v tunl. It wz’nt riyl. It wz onli ẃn ś cem ǎt v ɖ tunl intu ɖ mūnlît or bî ɖ sì or intu a ʈundrstorm ɖt ś riyli flt hrslf. Ẃt dd it mīn? Ẃt wz it ś wz olwz wontñ? Ẃt dd it ol līd t? Nǎ? Nǎ?

Ś trnd awe fṛm ɖ Bda wɖ wn v hr veg jsćrz. Ś wnt ovr t ẃr Joẓfīn wz standñ. Ś wontd t se smʈñ t Joẓfīn, smʈñ frîtf̣li importnt, abt—abt ɖ fyćr n ẃt…

“D’nt y ʈnc phps—” ś bgan.

Bt Joẓfīn inṭruptd hr. “I wz wunḍrñ f nǎ—” ś mrmrd. Ɖe stopt; ɖe wêtd fr ć uɖr.

“G on, Cón,” sd Joẓfīn.

“No, no, Jug; aftr y,” sd Cnstanśa.

“No, se ẃt y wr gwñ t se. Y bgan,” sd Joẓfīn.

“I… I’d rɖr hír ẃt y wr gwñ t se frst,” sd Cnstanśa.

“D’nt b absrd, Cón.”

“Riyli, Jug.”

“Cóni!”

“Ǒ, Jug!”

A pōz. Ɖen Cnstanśa sd fentli, “I c’nt se ẃt I wz gwñ t se, Jug, bcz I’v fgotn ẃt it wz… ɖt I wz gwñ t se.”

Joẓfīn wz sîḷnt fr a momnt. Ś stérd at a big clǎd ẃr ɖ sún hd bn. Ɖen ś rplaid śortli, “I’v fgotn tù.”

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH, by Charles Dickens

ĆRPS

IIIIII

ĆRP Ɖ FRST

Ɖ  cetl bgan it! D’nt tel m ẃt Msz. Pīribngl sd. I nǒ betr. Msz. Pīribngl me līv it on record t ɖ end v tîm ɖt ś cd’nt se ẃć v ɖm bgan it; bt I se ɖ cetl dd. I òt t nǒ, I hop? Ɖ cetl bgan it, fl fîv minits bî ɖ litl waxi-fest Duć cloc in ɖ cornr, bfr ɖ Cricit utrd a ćrp.

Az f ɖ cloc hd’nt finiśt strîcñ, n ɖ cnvulsiv litl Hei-mcr at ɖ top v it, jrcñ awe rît n left wɖ a sîɖ in frunt v a Mūriś Palis, hd’nt moud dǎn haf an ecr v imajinri gras bfr ɖ Cricit jônd in at ol!

Ẃ, I am nt naćṛli poẓtiv. Evrwn nz ɖt I wd’nt set mî ǒn opińn agnst ɖ opińn v Msz. Pīribngl, unls I wr qt śr, on eni acǎnt ẃtvr. Nʈñ śd indys m. Bt, ɖs z a qsćn v fact. N ɖ fact z, ɖt ɖ cetl bgan it at līst fîv minits bfr ɖ Cricit gev eni sîn v biyñ in xistns. Contṛdict m, n I’l se ten.

Let m nret xacli hǎ it hapnd. I śd hv pṛsidd t d so, in mî vri frst wrd, bt fr ɖs plen cnsiḍreśn—f I am t tel a stori I mst bgin at ɖ bginñ; n hǎ z it poṣbl t bgin at ɖ bginñ wɖt bginñ at ɖ cetl?

It apird az f ɖr wr a sort v mać, or trîl v scil, y mst unḍstand, btwn ɖ cetl n ɖ Cricit. N ɖs z ẃt léd t it, n hǎ it cem abt.

Msz. Pīribngl, gwñ ǎt intu ɖ rw twîlît, n clicñ ovr ɖ wet stonz in a per v pátnz ɖt wrct ińmṛbl ruf impreśnz v ɖ frst propziśn in Yclid ol abt ɖ yard—Msz. Pīribngl fild ɖ cetl at ɖ wōtrbut. Prezntli rtrnñ, les ɖ pátnz (n a gd dīl les, fr ɖe wr tōl, n Msz. Pīribngl wz bt śort), ś set ɖ cetl on ɖ fîr. In dwñ ẃć ś lost hr tmpr, or msleid it fr an instnt; fr, ɖ wōtr biyñ uncumftbli cold, n in ɖt slipi, sluśi, slīti sort v stet ẃr-in it sīmz t peṇtret ʈru evri cnd v substns, pátnrñz includd—hd leid hold v Msz. Pīribngl’z toz, n īvn splaśt hr legz. N ẃn w rɖr plūm ǎrslvz (wɖ rīzn tù) upn ǎr legz, n cīp ǎrslvz ptiklrli nīt in pônt v stocñz, w fînd ɖs, fr ɖ momnt, hard t ber.

Bsdz, ɖ cetl wz agṛvetñ n obstiṇt. It wd’nt alǎ itslf t b ajustd on ɖ top bar; it wd’nt hír v acoṃdetñ itslf cîndli t ɖ nóbz v col; it wd līn fwd wɖ a druncn er, n dribl, a vri Idịt v a cetl, on ɖ harʈ. It wz qoṛlsm, n hist n splutrd mrosli at ɖ fîr. T sum p ol, ɖ lid, rzistñ Msz. Pīribngl’z fngrz, frst v ol trnd topsi-trvi, n ɖen, wɖ an injīńs prṭnaṣti dzrvñ v a betr cōz, dîvd sîdwez in—dǎn t ɖ vri botm v ɖ cetl. N ɖ hul v ɖ Royl Jorj hz nvr md haf ɖ monstṛs rzistns t cmñ ǎt v ɖ wōtr ẃć ɖ lid v ɖt cetl imploid agnst Msz. Pīribngl bfr ś got it p agn.

It lct suḷn n pig-hedd inuf, īvn ɖen; cariyñ its handl wɖ an er v dfayns, n cocñ its spǎt prtli n mocñli at Msz. Pīribngl, az f it sd, “I w’nt bôl. Nʈñ śl indys m!”

Bt, Msz. Pīribngl, wɖ rstord gd-hymr, dustd hr ćubi litl handz agnst ć uɖr, n sat dǎn bfr ɖ cetl lafñ. Mntm, ɖ joli blêz uprouz n fél, flaśñ n glīmñ on ɖ litl Hei-mcr at ɖ top v ɖ Duć cloc, untl wn mt hv ʈt h std stoc-stil bfr ɖ Mūriś Palis, n nʈñ wz in mośn bt ɖ flem.

H wz on ɖ muv, hvr; n hd hiz spazmz, tū t ɖ secnd, ol rît n reğlr. Bt hiz suf̣rñz ẃn ɖ cloc wz gwñ t strîc wr frîtfl t bhold; n ẃn a Ccu lct ǎt v a trapdor in ɖ Palis, n gev not six tîmz, it śc him, ć tîm, lîc a spectṛl vôs—or lîc a smʈñ wîri plucñ at hiz legz.

It wz nt untl a vayḷnt cmośn n a ẃŕñ nôz amñ ɖ weits n rops b’lo him hd qt sbsîdd ɖt ɖs teṛfaid Hei-mcr bcem himslf agn. Nr wz h startld wɖt rīzn; fr ɖz raṭlñ, boni scelitnz v clocs r vri discnsrtñ in ɖer oṗreśn, n I wundr vri mć hǎ eni set v men, bt most v ol hǎ Dućṃn, cn hv hd a lîcñ t invnt ɖm. Ɖr z a popylr b’lif ɖt Dućṃn luv brōd cesz n mć cloɖñ fr ɖer ǒn lowr slvz; n ɖe mt nǒ betr ɖn t līv ɖer clocs so vri lanc n unpṛtctd, śrli.

Nǎ it wz, y obzrv, ɖt ɖ cetl bgan t spend ɖ īvnñ. Nǎ it wz ɖt ɖ cetl, growñ melo n ḿzicl, bgan t hv iripresbl grġlñz in its ʈrot, n t indulj in śort vocl snorts, ẃć it ćect in ɖ bud, az f it hd’nt qt md p its mînd yt t b gd cumṗni. Nǎ it wz ɖt aftr tū or ʈri sć ven atmts t stîfl its cnvivịl sntimnts, it ʈrù of ol mrosnis, ol rzrv, n brst intu a strīm v soñ so cozi n hlerịs az nvr mōdlin nîtngel yt formd ɖ līst îdīa v.

So plen, tù! Bles y, y mt hv unḍstd it lîc a bc—betr ɖn sm bcs y n I cd nem, phps. Wɖ its worm breʈ guśñ fʈ in a lît clǎd ẃć meṛli n gresf̣li asndd a fy fīt, ɖen huñ abt ɖ ćimnicornr az its ǒn dmestic Hevn, it trold its soñ wɖ ɖt stroñ eṇji v ćirflnis, ɖt its ayn bodi humd n strd upn ɖ fîr; n ɖ lid itslf, ɖ rīsntli rbełs lid—sć z ɖ inflụns v a brît xampl—pformd a sort v jig, n clatrd lîc a def n dum yuñ símbl ɖt hd nvr noun ɖ ys v its twin bruɖr.

Ɖt ɖs soñ v ɖ cetl’z wz a soñ v invteśn n welcm t smbdi ǎt v dorz: t smbdi at ɖt momnt cmñ on twdz ɖ snug smōl hom n ɖ crisp fîr: ɖr z no dǎt ẃtvr. Msz. Pīribngl ń it prf̣cli, az ś sat ḿzñ bfr ɖ harʈ. It’s a darc nît, sañ ɖ cetl, n ɖ rotn līvz r layñ bî ɖ we; n, abv, ol z mist n darcnis, n, b’lo, ol z mîr n cle; n ɖr’z onli wn rlif in ol ɖ sad n mrci er; n I d’nt nǒ ɖt it z wn, fr it’s nʈñ bt a gler; v dīp n angri crimzn, ẃr ɖ sún n wind tgɖr; set a brand upn ɖ clǎdz fr biyñ gilti v sć weɖr; n ɖ wîdist opn cuntri z a loñ dul strīc v blac; n ɖr’z hōrfrost on ɖ fngrpost, n ʈw upn ɖ trac; n ɖ îs it z’nt wōtr, n ɖ wōtr z’nt fri; n y cd’nt se ɖt enʈñ z ẃt it òt t b; bt h’z cmñ, cmñ, cmñ!—

N hir, f y lîc, ɖ Cricit DD ćîm in! wɖ a Ćiṛp, Ćiṛp, Ćiṛp v sć magṇtyd, bî we v cōṛs; wɖ a vôs so astǎndñli dispṛporśṇt t its sîz, az cmperd wɖ ɖ cetl; (sîz! y cd’nt si it!) ɖt, f it hd ɖen n ɖr brst itslf lîc an oṿćarjd gun, f it hd fōḷn a victim on ɖ spot, n ćiṛpt its litl bodi intu fifti pìsz, it wd hv sīmd a naćṛl n inevitbl consiqns, fr ẃć it hd xpresli lebrd.

Ɖ cetl hd hd ɖ last v its solo pformns. It prṣvird wɖ undiminiśt ardr; bt ɖ Cricit tc frst fidl, n cept it. Gd Hevn, hǎ it ćrpt! Its śril, śarp, pirsñ vôs rzǎndd ʈru ɖ hǎs, n sīmd t twncl in ɖ ǎtr darcnis lîc a star. Ɖr wz an indiscrîbbl litl tril n trembl in it at its lǎdist, ẃć sjstd its biyñ carid of its legz, n md t līp agn, bî its ǒn intns inʈyziazm. Yt ɖe wnt vri wel tgɖr, ɖ Cricit n ɖ cetl. Ɖ brdn v ɖ soñ wz stl ɖ sem; n lǎdr, lǎdr, lǎdr stl, ɖe sañ it in ɖer eḿleśn.

Ɖ fer litl lisnr—fr fer ś wz, n yuñ; ɖo smʈñ v ẃt z cōld ɖ dumplñ śep; bt I d’nt mslf objct t ɖt—lîtd a candl, glanst at ɖ Hei-mcr on ɖ top v ɖ cloc, hu wz gtñ in a priti aṿrij crop v minits; n lct ǎt v ɖ windo, ẃr ś sw nʈñ, owñ t ɖ darcnis, bt hr ǒn fes imijd in ɖ glas. N mî opińn z (n so wd yrz hv bn) ɖt ś mt hv lct a loñ we n sìn nʈñ haf so agriybl. Ẃn ś cem bac, n sat dǎn in hr formr sīt, ɖ Cricit n ɖ cetl wr stl cīpñ it p, wɖ a prfict fyri v comṗtiśn. Ɖ cetl’z wìc sîd clirli biyñ ɖt h dd’nt nǒ ẃn h wz bìt.

Ɖr wz ol ɖ xîtmnt v a rês abt it. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit a mîl ahd. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl mcñ ple in ɖ distns, lîc a gret top. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit rnd ɖ cornr. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl sticñ t him in hiz ǒn we; no îdīa v gvñ in. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit freśr ɖn evr. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl slo n stedi. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit gwñ in t finiś him. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl nt t b finiśt. Untl at last ɖe got so jumbld tgɖr, in ɖ huri-scuri, heltr-sceltr, v ɖ mać, ɖt ẃɖr ɖ cetl ćrpt n ɖ Cricit humd, or ɖ Cricit ćrpt n ɖ cetl humd, or ɖe bʈ ćrpt n bʈ humd, it wd hv tecn a clirr hed ɖn yrz or mîn t hv dsîdd wɖ enʈñ lîc srtnti. Bt v ɖs ɖr z no dǎt: ɖt, ɖ cetl n ɖ Cricit, at wn n ɖ sem momnt, n bî sm pǎr v amalġmeśn bst noun t ɖmslvz, snt, ć, hiz fîrsîd soñ v cumf̣t strīmñ intu a re v ɖ candl ɖt śon ǎt ʈru ɖ windo, n a loñ we dǎn ɖ len. N ɖs lît, brstñ on a srtn prsn hu, on ɖ instnt, aproćt twdz it ʈru ɖ glūm, xprest ɖ hol ʈñ t him, litṛli in a twnc̣lñ, n craid, “Welcm hom, old felo! Welcm hom, mî bô!”

Ɖs end atend, ɖ cetl, biyñ ded bìt, bôld ovr, n wz tecn of ɖ fîr. Msz. Pīribngl ɖen wnt runñ t ɖ dor, ẃr, ẃt wɖ ɖ ẃīlz v a cart, ɖ tramp v a hors, ɖ vôs v a man, ɖ tẹrñ in n ǎt v an xîtd dog, n ɖ s’prîzñ n mstirịs apiṛns v a bebi, ɖr wz sn ɖ vri Ẃt’s-hiz-nem t ple.

Ẃr ɖ bebi cem fṛm, or hǎ Msz. Pīribngl got hold v it in ɖt flaś v tîm, I d’nt nǒ. Bt a lîv bebi ɖr wz in Msz. Pīribngl’z armz; n a priti tolṛbl amǎnt v prîd ś sīmd t hv in it, ẃn ś wz drwn jntli t ɖ fîr, bî a strdi figr v a man, mć tōlr n mć oldr ɖn hrslf, hu hd t stūp a loñ we dǎn t cis hr. Bt ś wz wrʈ ɖ trubl. Six ft six, wɖ ɖ l’mbego, mt hv dn it.

“Ǒ gdnis, Jon!” sd Msz. P. “Ẃt a stet y’r in wɖ ɖ weɖr!”

H wz smʈñ ɖ wrs fr it undinaybli. Ɖ ʈic mist huñ in clots upn hiz îlaśz lîc candìd ʈw; n, btwn ɖ fog n fîr tgɖr, ɖr wr renboz in hiz vri ẃiscrz.

“Ẃ, y si, Dot,” Jon md ansr slǒli, az h unrold a śōl fṛm abt hiz ʈrot, n wormd hiz handz; “it—it an’t xacli sumrweɖr. So no wundr.”

“I wś y wd’nt cōl m Dot, Jon. I d’nt lîc it,” sd Msz. Pīribngl: pǎtñ in a we ɖt clirli śoud ś dd lîc it vri mć.

“Ẃ, ẃt els r y?” rtrnd Jon, lcñ dǎn upn hr wɖ a smîl, n gvñ hr weist az lît a sqīz az hiz hyj hand n arm cd gv. “A dot n”—hir h glanst at ɖ bebi—“a dot n cari—I w’nt se it, fr fir I śd spôl it; bt I wz vri nir a joc. I d’nt nǒ az evr I wz nirr.”

“A dot n cari—I w’nt se it, fr fir I śd spôl it; bt I wz vri nir a joc.”

H wz ofn nir t smʈñ or uɖr vri clevr, bî hiz ǒn acǎnt: ɖs lumḅrñ, slo, onist Jon; ɖs Jon so hevi, bt so lît v spirit; so ruf upn ɖ srfis, bt so jntl at ɖ cor; so dul wɖt, so qc wɖn; so stolid, bt so gd! Ǒ, Muɖr Nećr, gv ɖî ćildṛn ɖ tru powtri v hart ɖt hid itslf in ɖs pur Carịr’z brest—h wz bt a Carịr, bî ɖ we—n w cn ber t hv ɖm tōcñ prǒz, n līdñ livz v prǒz; n ber t bles ɖi fr ɖer cumṗni!

It wz pleznt t si Dot, wɖ hr litl figr n hr bebi in hr armz: a vri dol v a bebi: glansñ wɖ a ccétiś ʈtflnis at ɖ fîr, n inclînñ hr delic̣t litl hed jst inuf on wn sîd t let it rest in an od, haf-naćṛl, haf-afctd, hoļi neṣlñ n agriybl manr, on ɖ gret rugid figr v ɖ Carịr. It wz pleznt t si him, wɖ hiz tndr ōcẉdnis, indeṿrñ t adapt hiz rūd s’port t hr slît nīd, n mc hiz brli midl ej a līnñ-staf nt in’proprịt t hr blūmñ yʈ. It wz pleznt t obzrv hǎ Tili Slǒbô, wêtñ in ɖ bacgrǎnd fr ɖ bebi, tc speśl cogṇzns (ɖo in hr rliist tīnz) v ɖs grūpñ; n std wɖ hr mǎʈ n îz wîd opn, n hr hed ʈrust fwd, tecñ it in az f it wr er. Nr wz it les agriybl t obzrv hǎ Jon ɖ Carịr, refṛns biyñ md bî Dot t ɖ afōr-sd bebi, ćect hiz hand ẃn on ɖ pônt v tućñ ɖ inf̣nt, az f h ʈt h mt crac it; n, bndñ dǎn, sveid it fṛm a sef distns, wɖ a cnd v puzld prîd, sć az an emịbl mastif mt b s’pozd t śo f h faund himslf, wn de, ɖ faɖr v a yuñ cnẹri.

Tili Slǒbô

“An’t h bytifl, Jon? D’nt h lc preśs in hiz slīp?”

“Vri preśs,” sd Jon. “Vri mć so. H jenṛli z aslip, an’t h?”

“Lor, Jon! Gd greśs, no!”

“Ǒ!” sd Jon, ponḍrñ. “I ʈt hiz îz wz jenṛli śut. Hloa!”

“Gdnis, Jon, hǎ y startl wn!”

“It an’t rît fr him t trn ’m p in ɖt we,” sd ɖ astoniśt Carịr, “z it? Si hǎ h’z wncñ wɖ bʈ v ’m at wns! n lc at hiz mǎʈ! Ẃ, h’z gaspñ lîc a gold n silvr fiś!”

“Y d’nt dzrv t b a faɖr, y d’nt,” sd Dot, wɖ ol ɖ digṇti v an xpirịnst metṛn. “Bt hǎ śd y nǒ ẃt litl cmplents ćildṛn r trubld wɖ, Jon? Y wd’nt so mć az nǒ ɖer nemz, y stypid felo.” N ẃn ś hd trnd ɖ bebi ovr on hr left arm, n hd slapt its bac az a rstoṛtiv, ś pinćt hr huzbnd’z ir, lafñ.

“No,” sd Jon, pŭlñ of hiz ǎtr cot. “It’s vri tru, Dot. I d’nt nǒ mć abt it. I onli nǒ ɖt I’v bn fîtñ priti stifli wɖ ɖ wind tnît. It’s bn blowñ norʈ-īst, stret intu ɖ cart, ɖ hol we hom.”

“Pur old man, so it hz!” craid Msz. Pīribngl, instntli bcmñ vri activ. “Hir, tec ɖ preśs darlñ, Tili, ẃl I mc mslf v sm ys. Bles it, I cd smuɖr it wɖ cisñ it, I cd! Hái ɖen, gd dog! Hái, Boxr, bô! Onli let m mc ɖ ti frst, Jon; n ɖen I’l hlp y wɖ ɖ parslz, lîc a bizi bì. ‘Hǎ duʈ ɖ litl’—n ol ɖ rest v it, y nǒ, Jon. Dd y evr lrn ‘Hǎ duʈ ɖ litl,’ ẃn y wnt t scūl, Jon?”

“Nt t qt nǒ it,” Jon rtrnd. “I wz vri nir it wns. Bt I śd onli hv spôlt it, I der se.”

“Ha, ha!” laft Dot. Ś hd ɖ blîɖist litl laf y evr hŕd. “Ẃt a dir old darlñ v a duns y r, Jon, t b śr!”

Nt at ol dspytñ ɖs pziśn, Jon wnt ǎt t si ɖt ɖ bô wɖ ɖ lantn, ẃć hd bn dansñ t n fro bfr ɖ dor n windo, lîc a Wil v ɖ Wisp, tc dy cer v ɖ hors; hu wz fatr ɖn y wd qt b’liv, f I gev y hiz meźr, n so old ɖt hiz brʈde wz lost in ɖ mists v antiqti. Boxr, fīlñ ɖt hiz atnśnz wr dy t ɖ faṃli in jenṛl, n mst b imparṣ́li dstribytd, daśt in n ǎt wɖ bwilḍrñ inconstnsi; nǎ dscrîbñ a srcl v śort barcs rnd ɖ hors, ẃr h wz biyñ rubd dǎn at ɖ stebldor; nǎ fênñ t mc savij ruśz at hiz mistris, n fsīśsli brññ himslf t sudn stops; nǎ iliṣtñ a śrīc fṛm Tili Slǒbô, in ɖ lo nrsñćer nir ɖ fîr, bî ɖ unixpctd apḷceśn v hiz môst nǒz t hr cǎntinns; nǎ xibtñ an obtrūsiv inṭrest in ɖ bebi; nǎ gwñ rnd n rnd upn ɖ harʈ, n layñ dǎn az f h hd istabliśt himslf fr ɖ nît; nǎ gtñ p agn, n tecñ ɖt nʈñ v a fag-end v a teil v hiz ǎt intu ɖ weɖr, az f h hd jst rmembrd an apôntmnt, n wz of at a rǎnd trot, t cīp it.

Boxr, fīlñ ɖt hiz atnśnz wr dy t ɖ faṃli in jenṛl, n mst b imparṣ́li dstribytd, daśt in n ǎt wɖ bwilḍrñ inconstnsi.

“Ɖr! Ɖr’z ɖ tīpot, redi on ɖ hob!” sd Dot; az briscli bizi az a ćîld at ple at cīpñ hǎs. “N ɖr’z ɖ cold nucl v ham; n ɖr’z ɖ butr; n ɖr’z ɖ crusti lof, n ol! Hir’z a cloɖz bascit fr ɖ smōl parslz, Jon, f y’v got eni ɖr. Ẃr r y, Jon? D’nt let ɖ dir ćîld fōl undr ɖ greit, Tili, ẃtvr y d!”

It me b notd v Mis Slǒbô, in spît v hr rjctñ ɖ cōśn wɖ sm vivaṣti, ɖt ś hd a rer n s’prîzñ taḷnt fr gtñ ɖs bebi intu dificltiz: n hd sevṛl tîmz impeṛld its śort lîf in a qayt we pkłrli hr ǒn. Ś wz v a sper n stret śep, ɖs yuñ ledi, insmć ɖt hr garmnts apird t b in constnt denjr v slîdñ of ɖoz śarp pegz, hr śoldrz, on ẃć ɖe wr lūsli huñ. Hr costym wz rmarcbl fr ɖ parśl dveḷpmnt, on ol poṣbl oceźnz, v sm flanl vstmnt v a snğlr strucćr; olso fr afordñ glimsz, in ɖ rījn v ɖ bac, v a corsit, or a per v stez, in culr a ded grīn. Biyñ olwz in a stet v gepñ adṃreśn at evrʈñ, n abzorbd, bsdz, in ɖ ppćl contmpleśn v hr mistris’z pfx́nz n ɖ bebi’z, Mis Slǒbô, in hr litl errz v jujmnt, me b sd t hv dn īql onr t hr hed n t hr hart; n ɖo ɖz dd les onr t ɖ bebi’z hed, ẃć ɖe wr ɖ oceźnl mīnz v brññ intu contact wɖ dīl dorz, dresrz, steŗelz, bedposts, n uɖr foṛn substnsz, stl ɖe wr ɖ onist rzults v Tili Slǒbô’z constnt astoniśmnt at fîndñ hrslf so cîndli trītd, n instōld in sć a cumftbl hom. Fr ɖ mtrnl n ptrnl Slǒbô wr alîc uņoun t Fem, n Tili hd bn bréd bî public ćaṛti, a fǎndlñ; ẃć wrd, ɖo onli dif̣rñ fṛm fonḍlñ bî wn vǎl’z leñʈ, z vri difṛnt in mīnñ, n xpresz qt anɖr ʈñ.

T hv sìn litl Msz. Pīribngl cm bac wɖ hr huzbnd, tugñ at ɖ cloɖz bascit, n mcñ ɖ most strenẏs xrśnz t d nʈñ at ol (fr h carid it), wd hv aḿzd y olmst az mć az it aḿzd him. It me hv enttend ɖ Cricit, tù, fr enʈñ I nǒ; bt, srtnli, it nǎ bgan t ćrp agn viyṃntli.

“Hêde!” sd Jon in hiz slo we. “It’s merịr ɖn evr tnît, I ʈnc.”

“N it’s śr t brñ s gd fortyn, Jon! It olwz hz dn so. T hv a Cricit on ɖ Harʈ z ɖ luciist ʈñ in ol ɖ wrld!”

Jon lct at hr az f h hd vri nirli got ɖ ʈt intu hiz hed ɖt ś wz hiz Cricit in ćīf, n h qt agrìd wɖ hr. Bt it wz probbli wn v hiz naro isceps, fr h sd nʈñ.

“Ɖ frst tîm I hŕd its ćirfl litl not, Jon, wz on ɖt nît ẃn y bròt m hom—ẃn y bròt m t mî ny hom hir; its litl mistris. Nirli a yir ago. Y rec̣lect, Jon?”

“Ǒ, yes!” Jon rmembrd. “I śd ʈnc so!”

“Its ćrp wz sć a welcm t m! It sīmd so fl v promis n incurijmnt. It sīmd t se, y wd b cînd n jntl wɖ m, n wd nt xpct (I hd a fir v ɖt, Jon, ɖen) t fînd an old hed on ɖ śoldrz v yr fūliś litl wîf.”

Jon ʈtf̣li patd wn v ɖ śoldrz, n ɖen ɖ hed, az ɖo h wd hv sd No, no; h hd hd no sć xpcteśn; h hd bn qt cntnt t tec ɖm az ɖe wr. N riyli h hd rīzn. Ɖe wr vri comli.

“It spouc ɖ truʈ, Jon, ẃn it sīmd t se so: fr y hv evr bn, I am śr, ɖ bst, ɖ most cnsidṛt, ɖ most afx́ṇt v huzbndz t m. Ɖs hz bn a hapi hom, Jon; n I luv ɖ Cricit fr its sec!”

“Ẃ, so d I, ɖen,” sd ɖ Carịr. “So d I, Dot.”

“I luv it fr ɖ mni tîmz I hv hŕd it, n ɖ mni ʈts its harmlis ḿzic hz gvn m. Smtmz, in ɖ twîlît, ẃn I hv flt a litl solitri n dǎn-hartd, Jon—bfr bebi wz hir, t cīp m cumṗni n mc ɖ hǎs ge—ẃn I hv ʈt hǎ lonli y wd b f I śd dî; hǎ lonli I śd b, f I cd nǒ ɖt y hd lost m, dir; its Ćrp, Ćrp, Ćrp upn ɖ harʈ hz sīmd t tel m v anɖr litl vôs, so swīt, so vri dir t m, bfr huz cmñ sǎnd mî trubl vaniśt lîc a drīm. N ẃn I yst t fir—I dd fir wns, Jon; I wz vri yuñ, y nǒ—ɖt ǎrz mt pruv t b an il-asortd marij, I biyñ sć a ćîld, n y mor lîc mî gardịn ɖn mî huzbnd; n ɖt y mt nt, hvr hard y traid, b ebl t lrn t luv m, az y hopt n preid y mt; its Ćrp, Ćrp, Ćrp hz ćird m p agn, n fild m wɖ ny trust n confidns. I wz ʈncñ v ɖz ʈñz tnît, dir, ẃn I sat xpctñ y; n I luv ɖ Cricit fr ɖer sec!”

“N so d I,” rpitd Jon. “Bt, Dot! I hop n pre ɖt I mt lrn t luv y? Hǎ y tōc! I hd lrnt ɖt loñ bfr I bròt y hir, t b ɖ Cricit’s litl mistris, Dot!”

Ś leid hr hand, an instnt, on hiz arm, n lct p at him wɖ an ajtetd fes, az f ś wd hv tld him smʈñ. Nxt momnt, ś wz dǎn upn hr niz bfr ɖ bascit; spīcñ in a sprîtli vôs, n bizi wɖ ɖ parslz.

“Ɖr r nt mni v ɖm tnît, Jon, bt I sw sm gdz bhnd ɖ cart jst nǎ; n ɖo ɖe gv mor trubl, phps, stl ɖe pe az wel; so w hv no rīzn t grumbl, hv w? Bsdz, y hv bn dliṿrñ, I der se, az y cem alñ?”

“Ǒ, yes!” Jon sd. “A gd mni.”

“Ẃ, ẃt’s ɖs rǎnd box? Hart alîv, Jon, it’s a wedñcec!”

“Līv a wmn alon t fînd ǎt ɖt,” sd Jon admîrñli. “Nǎ, a man wd nvr hv ʈt v it! Ẃr-az, it’s mî b’lif ɖt f y wz t pac a wedñcec p in a ti-ćst, or a trn-up bedsted, or a picld-samn ceg, or eni unlîcli ʈñ, a wmn wd b śr t fînd it ǎt d’recli. Yes; I cōld fr it at ɖ pestri-cc’s.”

“N it weiz I d’nt nǒ ẃt—hol hundṛdweits!” craid Dot, mcñ a gret demnstreśn v trayñ t lift it. “Huz z it, Jon? Ẃr z it gwñ?”

“Rīd ɖ raitñ on ɖ uɖr sîd,” sd Jon.

“Ẃ, Jon! Mî Gdnis, Jon!”

“Ā! hu’d hv ʈt it?” Jon rtrnd.

“Y nvr mīn t se,” psyd Dot, sitñ on ɖ flor n śecñ hr hed at him, “ɖt it’s Gruf n Tacltn ɖ tô-mcr!”

Jon nodd.

Msz. Pīribngl nodd olso, fifti tîmz at līst. Nt in asnt—in dum n pitiyñ amezmnt; scruwñ p hr lips, ɖ ẃl, wɖ ol ɖer litl fors (ɖe wr nvr md fr scruwñ p; I am clir v ɖt), n lcñ ɖ gd Carịr ʈru n ʈru, in hr abstrax́n. Mis Slǒbô, in ɖ mntm, hu hd a mcanicl pǎr v rīpṛdysñ scraps v cuṛnt convseśn fr ɖ dilecteśn v ɖ bebi, wɖ ol ɖ sns struc ǎt v ɖm, n ol ɖ nǎnz ćenjd intu ɖ plŭṛl numbr, inqîrd alǎd v ɖt yuñ crīćr, Wz it Grufs n Tacltnz ɖ tô-mcrz ɖen, n Wd it cōl at Pestri-ccs fr wedñcecs, n Dd its muɖrz nǒ ɖ boxz ẃn its faɖrz bròt ɖm hom; n so on.

“N ɖt z riyli t cm abt!” sd Dot. “Ẃ, ś n I wr grlz at scūl tgɖr, Jon.”

H mt hv bn ʈncñ v hr, or nirli ʈncñ v hr, phps, az ś wz in ɖt sem scūltîm. H lct upn hr wɖ a ʈtfl pleźr, bt h md no ansr.

“N h’z az old! Az unlîc hr!—Ẃ, hǎ mni yirz oldr ɖn y z Gruf n Tacltn, Jon?”

“Hǎ mni mor cups v ti śl I drinc tnît, at wn sitñ, ɖn Gruf n Tacltn evr tc in for, I wundr?” rplaid Jon gd-hymrdly, az h drù a ćer t ɖ rǎnd tebl, n bgan at ɖ cold ham. “Az t ītñ, I īt bt litl; bt ɖt litl I injô, Dot.”

Īvn ɖs, hiz yźl sntimnt at mīl-tîmz, wn v hiz iṇsnt dluźnz (fr hiz aṗtît wz olwz obstiṇt, n flatli contṛdictd him), awouc no smîl in ɖ fes v hiz litl wîf, hu std amñ ɖ parslz, pśñ ɖ cecbox slǒli fṛm hr wɖ hr ft, n nvr wns lct, ɖo hr îz wr cast dǎn tù, upn ɖ denti śu ś jenṛli wz so mîndfl v. Abzorbd in ʈt, ś std ɖr, hīdlis alîc v ɖ ti n Jon (olɖo h cōld t hr n rapt ɖ tebl wɖ hiz nîf t startl hr), untl h rouz n tućt hr on ɖ arm; ẃn ś lct at him fr a momnt, n hurid t hr ples bhnd ɖ tībōrd, lafñ at hr neglijns. Bt nt az ś hd laft bfr. Ɖ manr n ɖ ḿzic wr qt ćenjd.

Ɖ Cricit, tù, hd stopt. Smhǎ, ɖ rūm wz nt so ćirfl az it hd bn. Nʈñ lîc it.

“So, ɖz r ol ɖ parslz, r ɖe, Jon?” ś sd, brecñ a loñ sîḷns, ẃć ɖ onist Carịr hd dvotd t ɖ practicl iḷstreśn v wn part v hiz feṿrit sntimnt—srtnli injoyñ ẃt h ét, f it cd’nt b admitd ɖt h ét bt litl. “So ɖz r ol ɖ parslz, r ɖe, Jon?”

“Ɖt’s ol,” sd Jon. “Ẃ—no—I”—leyñ dǎn hiz nîf n forc, n tecñ a loñ breʈ—“I dcler—I’v clīn fgotn ɖ old jntlmn!”

“Ɖ old jntlmn?”

“In ɖ cart,” sd Jon. “H wz aslip amñ ɖ strw, ɖ last tîm I sw him. I’v vri nirli rmembrd him, twîs, sins I cem in; bt h wnt ǎt v mî hed agn. Hloa! Y’hip ɖr! Rǎz p! Ɖt’s mî harti!”

Jon sd ɖz latr wrdz ǎtsd ɖ dor, ẃiɖr h hd hurid wɖ ɖ candl in hiz hand.

Mis Slǒbô, conśs v sm mstirịs refṛns t Ɖ Old Jntlmn, n cnctñ, in hr misṭfaid imaɉneśn, srtn asośieśnz v a rlijs nećr wɖ ɖ frêz, wz so dstrbd, ɖt hesṭli rîzñ fṛm ɖ lo ćer bî ɖ fîr t sīc pṛtx́n nir ɖ scrt v hr mistris, n cmñ intu contact, az ś crost ɖ dorwe, wɖ an enćnt Strenjr, ś instñtivli md a ćarj or but at him wɖ ɖ onli ofnsiv instṛmnt wɖn hr rīć. Ɖs instṛmnt haṗnñ t b ɖ bebi, gret cmośn n alarm insyd, ẃć ɖ sgaṣti v Boxr rɖr tndd t incris; fr ɖt gd dog, mor ʈtfl ɖn hiz mastr, hd, it sīmd, bn woćñ ɖ old jntlmn in hiz slīp, lest h śd wōc of wɖ a fy yuñ popḷrtriz ɖt wr taid p bhnd ɖ cart; n h stl atndd on him vri closli, wuriyñ hiz geitrz, in fact, n mcñ ded sets at ɖ butnz.

“Y’r sć an undinaybli gd slīpr, sr,” sd Jon, ẃn tranqiḷti wz rstord (in ɖ mntm ɖ old jntlmn hd std, bér-hedd n mośnlis, in ɖ sntr v ɖ rūm), “ɖt I hv haf a mînd t asc y ẃr ɖ uɖr six r—onli ɖt wd b a joc, n I nǒ I śd spôl it. Vri nir, ɖo,” mrmrd ɖ Carịr wɖ a ćucl; “vri nir!”

Ɖ Strenjr, hu hd loñ ẃît her, gd fīćrz, snğlrli bold n wel dfînd fr an old man, n darc, brît, peṇtretñ îz, lct rnd wɖ a smîl, n s’lūtd ɖ Carịr’z wîf bî grevli inclînñ hiz hed.

Hiz garb wz vri qent n od—a loñ, loñ we bhnd ɖ tîm. Its hy wz brǎn, ol ovr. In hiz hand h hld a gret brǎn club or wōcñstic; n, strîcñ ɖs upn ɖ flor, it fél asundr, n bcem a ćer. On ẃć h sat dǎn qt cmpozidli.

“Ɖr!” sd ɖ Carịr, trnñ t hiz wîf. “Ɖt’s ɖ we I faund him, sitñ bî ɖ rodsîd! Uprît az a mîlston. N olmst az def.”

“Ɖt’s ɖ we I faund him, sitñ bî ɖ rodsîd! Uprît az a mîlston. N olmst az def.”

“Sitñ in ɖ opn er, Jon?”

“In ɖ opn er,” rplaid ɖ Carịr, “jst at dusc. ‘Carij Peid,’ h sd; n gev m etīn-pns. Ɖen h got in. N ɖr h z.”

“H’z gwñ, Jon, I ʈnc!”

Nt at ol. H wz onli gwñ t spīc.

“F y plīz, I wz t b left tl cōld fr,” sd ɖ Strenjr mîldli. “D’nt mînd m.”

Wɖ ɖt h tc a per v specṭclz fṛm wn v hiz larj pocits, n a bc fṛm anɖr, n leźrli bgan t rīd. Mcñ no mor v Boxr ɖn f h hd bn a hǎslam!

Ɖ Carịr n hiz wîf xćenjd a lc v pplex̣ti. Ɖ Strenjr rezd hiz hed; n, glansñ fṛm ɖ latr t ɖ formr, sd:

“Yr dōtr, mî gd frend?”

“Wîf,” rtrnd Jon.

“Nīs?” sd ɖ Strenjr.

“Wîf!” rord Jon.

“Indd?” obzrvd ɖ Strenjr. “Śrli? Vri yuñ!”

H qaytli trnd ovr, n rzymd hiz rīdñ. Bt, bfr h cd hv réd tū lînz, h agn inṭruptd himslf t se:

“Bebi yrz?”

Jon gev him a jîgantic nod: iqivḷnt t an ansr in ɖ afrṃtiv, dlivrd ʈru a spīcñ trumpit.

“Grl?”

“Bô-ô-ô!” rord Jon.

“Olso vri yuñ, ê?”

Msz. Pīribngl instntli struc in. “Tū munʈs n ʈri dê-êz. Vax̣netd jst six wīcs ago-o! Tc vri fîn-li! Cnsidrd, bî ɖ doctr, a rmarcbli bytifl ćî-îld! Īql t ɖ jenṛl run v ćildṛn at fîv munʈs o-ld! Tecs notis in a we qt wundr-fl! Me sīm imposbl t y, bt fīlz hiz legz ol-redi!”

Hir, ɖ breʈlis litl muɖr, hu hd bn śrīcñ ɖz śort sntnsz intu ɖ old man’z ir, untl hr priti fes wz crimznd, hld p ɖ Bebi bfr him az a stubn n trîumfnt fact; ẃl Tili Slǒbô, wɖ a mlodịs crî v “Cećr, Cećr”—ẃć sǎndd lîc sm uņoun wrdz, adaptd t a popylr Snīz—pformd sm cǎ-lîc gámblz arnd ɖt ol unconśs Iṇsnt.

“Harc! H’z cōld fr, śr inuf,” sd Jon. “Ɖr’z smbdi at ɖ dor. Opn it, Tili.”

Bfr ś cd rīć it, hvr, it wz opnd fṛm wɖt; biyñ a priṃtiv sort v dor, wɖ a lać ɖt enwn cd lift f h ćouz—n a gd mni ppl dd ćūz, fr ol cndz v nebrz lîct t hv a ćirfl wrd or tū wɖ ɖ Carịr, ɖo h wz no gret tōcr himslf. Biyñ opnd, it gev admiśn t a litl, mīgr, ʈtfl, dinji-fest man, hu sīmd t hv md himslf a gretcot fṛm ɖ sac̦loʈ cuṿrñ v sm old box; fr, ẃn h trnd t śut ɖ dor n cīp ɖ weɖr ǎt, h dsclozd upn ɖ bac v ɖt garmnt ɖ inscripśn G & T in larj blac capitlz. Olso ɖ wrd GLAS in bold caṛctrz.

“Gd īvnñ, Jon!” sd ɖ litl man. “Gd īvnñ, mum! Gd īvnñ, Tili! Gd īvnñ, Unḅnoun! Hǎ’z Bebi, mum? Boxr’z priti wel I hop?”

“Ol ʈrîvñ, Cêleb,” rplaid Dot. “I am śr y nīd onli lc at ɖ dir ćîld, fr wn, t nǒ ɖt.”

“N I’m śr I nīd onli lc at y fr anɖr,” sd Cêleb.

H dd’nt lc at hr, ɖo; h hd a wonḍrñ n ʈtfl î, ẃć sīmd t b olwz pṛjctñ itslf intu sm uɖr tîm n ples, no matr ẃt h sd; a dscripśn ẃć wl īqli aplî t hiz vôs.

“Or at Jon fr anɖr,” sd Cêleb. “Or at Tili, az far az ɖt gz. Or srtnli at Boxr.”

“Bizi jst nǎ, Cêleb?” asct ɖ Carịr.

“Ẃ, priti wel, Jon,” h rtrnd, wɖ ɖ dstrōt er v a man hu wz castñ abt fr ɖ F’loṣfr’z ston, at līst. “Priti mć so. Ɖr’z rɖr a run on Noa’z Arcs at preznt. I cd hv wśt t impruv on ɖ Faṃli, bt I d’nt si hǎ it’s t b dn at ɖ prîs. It wd b a saṭsfax́n t wn’z mînd t mc it clirr ẃć wz Śemz n Hamz, n ẃć wz Wîvz. Flîz a’nt on ɖt scel, nɖr, az cmperd wɖ elifnts, y nǒ! Ā, wel! Hv y got enʈñ in ɖ parsļîn fr m, Jon?”

Ɖ Carịr pt hiz hand intu a pocit v ɖ cot h hd tecn of; n bròt ǎt, cerf̣li prizrvd in mos n pepr, a tîni flǎr-pot.

“Ɖr it z!” h sd, ajustñ it wɖ gret cer. “Nt so mć az a līf damijd. Fl v budz!”

Cêleb’z dul î brîtnd az h tc it, n ʈanct him.

“Dir, Cêleb,” sd ɖ Carịr. “Vri dir at ɖs sīzn.”

“Nvr mînd ɖt. It wd b ćīp t m, ẃtvr it cost,” rtrnd ɖ litl man. “Enʈñ els, Jon?”

“A smōl box,” rplaid ɖ Carịr. “Hir y r!”

“‘Fr Cêleb Plumr,’” sd ɖ litl man, spelñ ǎt ɖ d’rex́n. “‘Wɖ Caś.’ Wɖ Caś, Jon? I d’nt ʈnc it’s fr m.”

“Wɖ Cer,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, lcñ ovr hiz śoldr. “Ẃr d y mc ǎt caś?”

“Ǒ! T b śr!” sd Cêleb. “It’s ol rît. Wɖ cer! Yes, yes; ɖt’s mîn. It mt hv bn wɖ caś, indd, f mî dir Bô in ɖ Goldn Sǎʈ Americaz hd livd, Jon. Y luvd him lîc a sun; dd’nt y? Y nīd’nt se y dd. I nǒ, v cors. ‘Cêleb Plumr. Wɖ cer.’ Yes, yes, it’s ol rît. It’s a box v dolz’ îz fr mî dōtr’z wrc. I wś it wz hr ǒn sît in a box, Jon.”

“I wś it wz, or cd b!” craid ɖ Carịr.

“Ʈancī,” sd ɖ litl man. “Y spīc vri harti. T ʈnc ɖt ś śd nvr si ɖ Dolz—n ɖm a-stẹrñ at hr, so bold, ol de loñ! Ɖt’s ẃr it cuts. Ẃt’s ɖ damij, Jon?”

“I’l damij y,” sd Jon, “f y inqîr. Dot! Vri nir?”

“Wel! it’s lîc y t se so,” obzrvd ɖ litl man. “It’s yr cînd we. Let m si. I ʈnc ɖt’s ol.”

“I ʈnc nt,” sd ɖ Carịr. “Trî agn.”

“Smʈñ fr ǎr Guvnr, ê?” sd Cêleb aftr ponḍrñ a litl ẃl. “T b śr. Ɖt’s ẃt I cem fr; bt mî hed’z so runñ on ɖm Arcs n ʈñz! H hz’nt bn hir, hz h?”

“Nt h,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “H’z tù bizi, cortñ.”

“H’z cmñ rnd, ɖo,” sd Cêleb; “fr h tld m t cīp on ɖ nir sîd v ɖ rod gwñ hom, n it wz ten t wn h’d tec m p. I hd betr g, bî-ɖ-bái.—Y cd’nt hv ɖ gdnis t let m pinć Boxr’z teil, mum, fr haf a momnt, cd y?”

“Ẃ, Cêleb, ẃt a qsćn!”

“Ǒ, nvr mînd, mum!” sd ɖ litl man. “H mt’nt lîc it, phps. Ɖr’z a smōl ordr jst cm in fr barcñ dogz; n I śd wś t g az clos t Nećr az I cd fr sixpns. Ɖt’s ol. Nvr mînd, mum.”

It hapnd oṗtynli ɖt Boxr, wɖt rsivñ ɖ pṛpozd stiḿḷs, bgan t barc wɖ gret zīl. Bt, az ɖs implaid ɖ aproć v sm ny vizitr, Cêleb, psponñ hiz studi fṛm ɖ lîf t a mor cnvińnt sīzn, śoldrd ɖ rǎnd box, n tc a hurid līv. H mt hv sperd himslf ɖ trubl, fr h met ɖ vizitr upn ɖ ʈreśhold.

“Ǒ! Y r hir, r y? Wêt a bit. I’l tec y hom. Jon Pīribngl, mî srvis t y. Mor v mî srvis t yr priti wîf. Hanṣmr evri de! Betr tù, f poṣbl! N yungr,” ḿzd ɖ spīcr in a lo vôs, “ɖt’s ɖ devl v it!”

“I śd b astoniśt at yr peyñ complimnts, Mr. Tacltn,” sd Dot, nt wɖ ɖ bst gres in ɖ wrld, “bt fr yr cndiśn.”

“Y nǒ ol abt it, ɖen?”

“I hv got mslf t b’liv it smhǎ,” sd Dot.

“Aftr a hard strugl, I s’poz?”

“Vri.”

Tacltn ɖ Tômrćnt, priti jenṛli noun az Gruf n Tacltn—fr ɖt wz ɖ frm, ɖo Gruf hd bn bòt ǎt loñ ago; onli līvñ hiz nem, n, az sm sd, hiz nećr, acordñ t its Dix́nri mīnñ, in ɖ biznis—Tacltn ɖ Tômrćnt wz a man huz voceśn hd bn qt misunḍstd bî hiz Peṛnts n Gardịnz. F ɖe hd md him a Munilendr, or a śarp Atrni, or a Śerif’s Ofisr, or a Brocr, h mt hv sóun hiz discntntd ots in hiz yʈ, n, aftr hvñ hd ɖ fl run v himslf in il-nećrd trnzax́nz, mt hv trnd ǎt emịbl, at last, fr ɖ sec v a litl freśnis n novlti. Bt, cramt n ćefñ in ɖ pīṣbl psyt v tô-mcñ, h wz a dmestic Ogr, hu hd bn livñ on ćildṛn ol hiz lîf, n wz ɖer implacbl eṇmi. H dspîzd ol tôz; wd’nt hv bòt wn fr ɖ wrld; dlîtd, in hiz malis, t insińuet grim xpreśnz intu ɖ fesz v brǎn-pepr farmrz hu drouv pigz t marcit, belmen hu advtîzd lost loyrz’ conśnsz, muṿbl old lediz hu darnd stocñz or carvd pîz; n uɖr lîc samplz v hiz stoc-in-tred. In apōlñ mascs; hidịs, hẹri, red-aid Jacs in Boxz; Vampîrcîts; dīṃnaycl Tumblrz hu wd’nt lî dǎn, n wr ppć̣li flayñ fwd, t stér infnts ǎt v cǎntinns; hiz soul prf̣cli revld. Ɖe wr hiz onli rlif, n seftivalv. H wz gret in sć invnśnz. Enʈñ sjstiv v a Poni nîtmer wz dliśs t him. H hd īvn lost muni (n h tc t ɖt tô vri cîndli) bî gtñ p Goblinslîdz fr majic lantnz, ẃr-on ɖ Pǎrz v Darcnis wr dpictd az a sort v sūṗnaćṛl śelfiś, wɖ hymn fesz. In intnṣfayñ ɖ portrićr v Jaynts, h hd sunc qt a litl capitl; n, ɖo no pentr himslf, h cd inḍcet, fr ɖ instrux́n v hiz artists, wɖ a pìs v ćōc, a srtn frtiv lir fr ɖ cǎntinnsz v ɖoz monstrz, ẃć wz sef t dstrô ɖ pīs v mînd v eni yuñ jntlmn btwn ɖ ejz v six n ilevn, fr ɖ hol Crisṃs or Midsumr Vceśn.

Ẃt h wz in tôz, h wz (az most men r) in uɖr ʈñz. Y me īẓli s’poz, ɖrfr, ɖt wɖn ɖ gret grīn cep, ẃć rīćt dǎn t ɖ cavz v hiz legz, ɖr wz butnd p t ɖ ćin an uncomnli pleznt felo; n ɖt h wz abt az ćôs a spirit, n az agriybl a cmpańn, az evr std in a per v bl-hedd-lcñ būts wɖ mhoġni-culrd tops.

Stl, Tacltn, ɖ tômrćnt, wz gwñ t b marid. In spît v ol ɖs, h wz gwñ t b marid. N t a yuñ wîf tù, a bytifl yuñ wîf.

H dd’nt lc mć lîc a Brîdgrūm, az h std in ɖ Carịr’z cićn, wɖ a twist in hiz drî fes, n a scru in hiz bodi, n hiz hat jrct ovr ɖ brij v hiz nǒz, n hiz handz tuct dǎn intu ɖ botmz v hiz pocits, n hiz hol sarcastic, il-cndiśnd slf pirñ ǎt v wn litl cornr v wn litl î, lîc ɖ consntretd esns v eni numbr v revnz. Bt a Brîdgrūm h dzînd t b.

“In ʈri dez’ tîm. Nxt Ʈrzde. Ɖ last de v ɖ frst munʈ in ɖ yir. Ɖt’s mî wedñde,” sd Tacltn.

Dd I mnśn ɖt h hd olwz wn î wîd opn, n wn î nirli śut; n ɖt ɖ wn î nirli śut wz olwz ɖ xpresiv î? I d’nt ʈnc I dd.

“Ɖt’s mî wedñde!” sd Tacltn, raṭlñ hiz muni.

“Ẃ, it’s ǎr wedñde tù,” xclemd ɖ Carịr.

“Ha, ha!” laft Tacltn. “Od! Y’r jst sć anɖr cupl. Jst!”

Ɖ inḍgneśn v Dot at ɖs prizumćs asrśn z nt t b dscrîbd. Ẃt nxt? Hiz imaɉneśn wd cumṗs ɖ posbiḷti v jst sć anɖr Bebi, phps. Ɖ man wz mad.

“I se! A wrd wɖ y,” mrmrd Tacltn, nujñ ɖ Carịr wɖ hiz elbo, n tecñ him a litl apart. “Y’l cm t ɖ wedñ? W’r in ɖ sem bot, y nǒ.”

“Hǎ in ɖ sem bot?” inqîrd ɖ Carịr.

“A litl dspaṛti, y nǒ,” sd Tacltn wɖ anɖr nuj. “Cm n spend an īvnñ wɖ s bfrhnd.”

“Ẃ?” dmandd Jon, astoniśt at ɖs presñ hosṗtaḷti.

“Ẃ?” rtrnd ɖ uɖr. “Ɖt’s a ny we v rsivñ an invteśn. Ẃ, fr pleźr—sośbiḷti, y nǒ, n ol ɖt.”

“I ʈt y wr nvr soṣ́bl,” sd Jon in hiz plen we.

“Tća! It’s v no ys t b enʈñ bt fri wɖ y, I si,” sd Tacltn. “Ẃ, ɖen, ɖ truʈ z, y hv a—ẃt tīdrincñ ppl cōl a sort v a cumftbl apiṛns tgɖr, y n yr wîf. W nǒ betr, y nǒ, bt—”

“No, w d’nt nǒ betr,” inṭpozd Jon. “Ẃt r y tōcñ abt?”

“Wel! W d’nt nǒ betr, ɖen,” sd Tacltn. “W’l agri ɖt w d’nt. Az y lîc; ẃt dz it matr? I wz gwñ t se, az y hv ɖt sort v apiṛns, yr cumṗni wl pṛdys a fevṛbl ifct on Msz. Tacltn ɖt wl b. N, ɖo I d’nt ʈnc yr gd ledi’z vri frendli t m in ɖs matr, stl ś c’nt hlp hrslf fṛm fōlñ intu mî vyz, fr ɖr’z a cmpactnis n cozinis v apiṛns abt hr ɖt olwz tlz, īvn in an indifṛnt ces. Y’l se y’l cm?”

“W hv arenjd t cīp ǎr Wedñde (az far az ɖt gz) at hom,” sd Jon. “W hv md ɖ promis t ǎrslvz ɖz six munʈs. W ʈnc, y si, ɖt hom—”

“Ba! ẃt’s hom?” craid Tacltn. “For wōlz n a sīlñ! (Ẃ d’nt y cil ɖt Cricit? I wd! I olwz d. I het ɖer nôz.) Ɖr r for wōlz n a sīlñ at mî hǎs. Cm t m!”

“Y cil yr Cricits, ê?” sd Jon.

“Scrunć ’m, sr,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr, setñ hiz hìl heṿli on ɖ flor. “Y’l se y’l cm? It’s az mć yr inṭrest az mîn, y nǒ, ɖt ɖ wimin śd pswed ć uɖr ɖt ɖ’r qayt n cntntd, n cd’nt b betr of. I nǒ ɖer we. Ẃtvr wn wmn sz, anɖr wmn z dtrmind t clinć olwz. Ɖr’z ɖt spirit v eḿleśn amñ ’m, sr, ɖt f yr wîf sz t mî wîf, ‘I’m ɖ hapiist wmn in ɖ wrld, n mîn’z ɖ bst huzbnd in ɖ wrld, n I dǒt on him,’ mî wîf wl se ɖ sem t yrz, or mor, n haf b’liv it.”

“D y mīn t se ś d’nt, ɖen?” asct ɖ Carịr.

“D’nt!” craid Tacltn wɖ a śort, śarp laf. “D’nt ẃt?”

Ɖ Carịr hd sm fent îdīa v adñ, “dǒt upn y.” Bt, haṗnñ t mīt ɖ haf-clozd î, az it twncld upn him ovr ɖ trnd-up colr v ɖ cep, ẃć wz wɖn an es v pǒcñ it ǎt, h flt it sć an unlîcli part n parsl v enʈñ t b dǒtd on, ɖt h substtytd, “ɖt ś d’nt b’liv it?”

“Ā, y dog! Y’r jocñ,” sd Tacltn.

Bt ɖ Carịr, ɖo slo t unḍstand ɖ fl drift v hiz mīnñ, aid him in sć a sirịs manr, ɖt h wz oblîjd t b a litl mor xplaṇtri.

“I hv ɖ hymr,” sd Tacltn: holdñ p ɖ fngrz v hiz left hand, n tapñ ɖ fōrfngr, t implî, “Ɖr I am, Tacltn t wit”: “I hv ɖ hymr, sr, t mari a yuñ wîf, n a priti wîf”: hir h rapt hiz litl fngr, t xpres ɖ Brîd; nt spẹrñli, bt śarpli; wɖ a sns v pǎr. “I’m ebl t graṭfî ɖt hymr, n I d. It’s mî ẃim. Bt—nǎ lc ɖr!”

H pôntd t ẃr Dot wz sitñ, ʈtf̣li bfr ɖ fîr: līnñ hr dimpld ćin upn hr hand, n woćñ ɖ brît blêz. Ɖ Carịr lct at hr, n ɖen at him, n ɖen at hr, n ɖen at him agn.

“Ś onrz n obez, no dǎt, y nǒ,” sd Tacltn; “n ɖt, az I am nt a man v sntimnt, z qt inuf fr m. Bt d y ʈnc ɖr’z enʈñ mor in it?”

“I ʈnc,” obzrvd ɖ Carịr, “ɖt I śd ćuc eni man ǎt v windo hu sd ɖr wz’nt.”

“Xacli so,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr wɖ an unyźl alacṛti v asnt. “T b śr! Dǎtlis y wd. V cors. I’m srtn v it. Gd nît. Pleznt drīmz!”

Ɖ Carịr wz puzld, n md uncumftbl n unsrtn, in spît v himslf. H cd’nt hlp śowñ it in hiz manr.

“Gd nît, mî dir frend!” sd Tacltn cmpaśṇtli. “I’m of. W’r xacli alîc in riaḷti, I si. Y w’nt gv s tmoro īvnñ? Wel! Nxt de y g ǎt viẓtñ, I nǒ. I’l mīt y ɖr, n brñ mî wîf ɖt z t b. It’l d hr gd. Y’r agriybl? Ʈancī. Ẃt’s ɖt?”

It wz a lǎd crî fṛm ɖ Carịr’z wîf: a lǎd, śarp, sudn crî, ɖt md ɖ rūm rñ lîc a glas vesl. Ś hd rizn fṛm hr sīt, n std lîc wn trnsfixt bî terr n s’prîz. Ɖ Strenjr hd advanst twdz ɖ fîr t worm himslf, n std wɖn a śort strîd v hr ćer. Bt qt stil.

“Dot!” craid ɖ Carịr. “Mẹri! Darlñ! Ẃt’s ɖ matr?”

Ɖe wr ol abt hr in a momnt. Cêleb, hu hd bn dozñ on ɖ cecbox, in ɖ frst imprfict rcuṿri v hiz sspndd prezns v mînd, sizd Mis Slǒbô bî ɖ her v hr hed, bt imīɉtli apoḷjîzd.

“Mẹri!” xclemd ɖ Carịr, s’portñ hr in hiz armz. “R y il? Ẃt z it? Tel m dir!”

Ś onli ansrd bî bìtñ hr handz tgɖr, n fōlñ intu a wîld fit v laftr. Ɖen, sncñ fṛm hiz grasp upn ɖ grǎnd, ś cuvrd hr fes wɖ hr epṛn, n wept bitrli. N ɖen, ś laft agn, n ɖen ś craid agn, n ɖen ś sd hǎ cold ś wz, n sufrd him t līd hr t ɖ fîr, ẃr ś sat dǎn az bfr. Ɖ old man standñ, az bfr, qt stil.

“I’m betr, Jon,” ś sd. “I’m qt wel nǎ—I—”

“Jon!” Bt Jon wz on ɖ uɖr sîd v hr. Ẃ trn hr fes twdz ɖ strenj old jntlmn, az f adresñ him. Wz hr bren wonḍrñ?

“Onli a fansi, Jon dir—a cnd v śoc—a smʈñ cmñ sudnli bfr mî îz—I d’nt nǒ ẃt it wz. It’s qt gn, qt gn.”

“I’m glad it’s gn,” mutrd Tacltn, trnñ ɖ xpresiv î ol rnd ɖ rūm. “I wundr ẃr it’s gn, n ẃt it wz. Humf! Cêleb, cm hir! Hu’z ɖt wɖ ɖ gre her?”

“I d’nt nǒ, sr,” rtrnd Cêleb in a ẃispr. “Nvr si him bfr in ol mî lîf. A bytifl figr fr a nutcracr; qt a ny modl. Wɖ a scrūjw oṗnñ dǎn intu hiz weistcot, h’d b luvli.”

“Nt ugli inuf,” sd Tacltn.

“Or fr a fîrbox îɖr,” obzrvd Cêleb in dīp contmpleśn, “ẃt a modl! Unscru hiz hed t pt ɖ maćz in; trn him hìlz up’dz fr ɖ lît; n ẃt a fîrbox fr a jntlmn’z mantl-ślf, jst az h standz!”

“Nt haf ugli inuf,” sd Tacltn. “Nʈñ in him at ol. Cm! Brñ ɖt box! Ol rît nǎ, I hop?”

“Ǒ, qt gn! Qt gn!” sd ɖ litl wmn, wevñ him huridli awe. “Gd nît!”

“Gd nît!” sd Tacltn. “Gd nît, Jon Pīribngl! Tec cer hǎ y cari ɖt box, Cêleb. Let it fōl, n I’l mrdr y! Darc az pić, n weɖr wrs ɖn evr, ê? Gd nît!”

So, wɖ anɖr śarp lc rnd ɖ rūm, h wnt ǎt at ɖ dor; foloud bî Cêleb wɖ ɖ wedñcec on hiz hed.

Ɖ Carịr hd bn so mć astǎndd bî hiz litl wîf, n so biẓli ingejd in suɖñ n tndñ hr, ɖt h hd scersli bn conśs v ɖ Strenjr’z prezns untl nǎ, ẃn h agn std ɖr, ɖer onli gest.

“H d’nt b’loñ t ɖm, y si,” sd Jon. “I mst gv him a hint t g.”

“I beg yr pardn, frend,” sd ɖ old jntlmn, advansñ t him; “ɖ mor so az I fir yr wîf hz nt bn wel; bt ɖ Atndnt hūm mî infrṃti,” h tućt hiz irz, n śc hiz hed, “rendrz olmst indispnsbl, nt hvñ arîvd, I fir ɖr mst b sm mstec. Ɖ bad nît ẃć md ɖ śltr v yr cumftbl cart (me I nvr hv a wrs!) so axptbl, z stl az bad az evr. Wd y, in yr cîndnis, sufr m t rent a bed hir?”

“Yes, yes,” craid Dot. “Yes! Srtnli!”

“Ǒ!” sd ɖ Carịr, s’prîzd bî ɖ r’pidti v ɖs cnsnt. “Wel! I d’nt objct; bt stl I’m nt qt śr ɖt—”

“Huś!” ś inṭruptd. “Dir Jon!”

“Ẃ, h’z ston def,” rjd Jon.

“I nǒ h z, bt——Yes, sr, srtnli. Yes, srtnli! I’l mc him p a bed d’recli, Jon.”

Az ś hurid of t d it, ɖ flutr v hr spirits, n ɖ ajteśn v hr manr, wr so strenj, ɖt ɖ Carịr std lcñ aftr hr, qt cnfǎndd.

“Dd its muɖrz mc it p a Bedz, ɖen!” craid Mis Slǒbô t ɖ Bebi; “n dd its her gro brǎn n crli ẃn its caps wz liftd of, n frîtn it, a preśs Pets, a-sitñ bî ɖ fîrz!”

Wɖ ɖt un’cǎntbl atrax́n v ɖ mînd t trîflz, ẃć z ofn inṣdntl t a stet v dǎt n cnfyźn, ɖ Carịr, az h wōct slǒli t n fro, faund himslf mnṭli rpitñ īvn ɖz absrd wrdz, mni tîmz. So mni tîmz, ɖt h got ɖm bî hart, n wz stl conñ ɖm ovr n ovr, lîc a lésn, ẃn Tili, aftr adminisṭrñ az mć frix́n t ɖ litl bàld hed wɖ hr hand az ś ʈt holsm (acordñ t ɖ practis v nrsz), hd wns mor taid ɖ Bebi’z cap on.

“N frîtn it, a preśs Pets, a-sitñ bî ɖ fîrz. Ẃt frîtnd Dot, I wundr?” ḿzd ɖ Carịr, pesñ t n fro.

H scǎtd, fṛm hiz hart, ɖ insińueśnz v ɖ tômrćnt, n yt ɖe fild him wɖ a veg, indefiṇt unīzinis. Fr Tacltn wz qc n slî; n h hd ɖt penfl sns, himslf, v biyñ a man v slo pspśn, ɖt a brocn hint wz olwz wuriyñ t him. H srtnli hd no intnśn in hiz mînd v lincñ enʈñ ɖt Tacltn hd sd wɖ ɖ unyźl conduct v hiz wîf, bt ɖ tū subjicts v rflex́n cem intu hiz mînd tgɖr, n h cd nt cīp ɖm asundr.

Ɖ bed wz sn md redi; n ɖ vizitr, dclînñ ol rfreśmnt bt a cup v ti, rtîrd. Ɖen, Dot—qt wel agn, ś sd, qt wel agn—arenjd ɖ gret ćer in ɖ ćimnicornr fr hr huzbnd; fild hiz pîp n gev it him; n tc hr yźl litl stūl bsd him on ɖ harʈ.

Ś olwz wd sit on ɖt litl stūl. I ʈnc ś mst hv hd a cnd v nośn ɖt it wz a cǒxñ, ẃīḍlñ litl stūl.

Ś wz, ǎt n ǎt, ɖ vri bst filr v a pîp, I śd se, in ɖ for qortrz v ɖ glob. T si hr pt ɖt ćubi litl fngr in ɖ bol, n ɖen blo dǎn ɖ pîp t clir ɖ tyb, n, ẃn ś hd dn so, afct t ʈnc ɖt ɖr wz riyli smʈñ in ɖ tyb, n blo a duzn tîmz, n hold it t hr î lîc a teḷscop, wɖ a most pṛvocñ twist in hr capitl litl fes, az ś lct dǎn it, wz qt a briłnt ʈñ. Az t ɖ tbaco, ś wz prfict mistris v ɖ subjict; n hr lîtñ v ɖ pîp, wɖ a wisp v pepr, ẃn ɖ Carịr hd it in hiz mǎʈ—gwñ so vri nir hiz nǒz, n yt nt scorćñ it—wz Art, hî Art.

N ɖ Cricit n ɖ Cetl, trnñ p agn, acnolijd it! Ɖ brît fîr, blezñ p agn, acnolijd it! Ɖ litl Mowr on ɖ cloc, in hiz unhīdd wrc, acnolijd it! Ɖ Carịr, in hiz smuɖñ fōrhed n xpandñ fes, acnolijd it, ɖ rediist v ol.

N ɖ Cricit n ɖ Cetl, trnñ p agn, acnolijd it!

N az h sobrli n ʈtf̣li puft at hiz old pîp, n az ɖ Duć cloc tict, n az ɖ red fîr glīmd, n az ɖ Cricit ćrpt, ɖt Jīńs v hiz Harʈ n Hom (fr sć ɖ Cricit wz) cem ǎt, in fẹri śep, intu ɖ rūm, n sumnd mni formz v Hom abt him. Dots v ol ejz n ol sîzz fild ɖ ćembr. Dots hu wr meri ćildṛn, runñ on bfr him, gaɖ̇rñ flǎrz in ɖ fīldz; cô Dots, haf śrincñ fṛm, haf yīldñ t, ɖ plīdñ v hiz ǒn ruf imij; nyli-marid Dots, alîtñ at ɖ dor, n tecñ wunḍrñ pześn v ɖ hǎshold ciz; muɖrli litl Dots, atndd bî fictiśs Slǒbôz, bẹrñ bebiz t b crisnd; metṛnli Dots, stl yuñ n blūmñ, woćñ Dots v dōtrz, az ɖe danst at rustic bōlz; fat Dots, insrcld n bset bî trūps v rozi granćildṛn; wiɖrd Dots, hu līnd on stics, n totrd az ɖe crept alñ. Old Carịrz, tù, apird wɖ blînd old Boxrz layñ at ɖer fīt; n nywr carts wɖ yungr drîvrz (“Pīribngl Bruɖrz” on ɖ tilt); n sic old Carịrz, tndd bî ɖ jntlist handz; n grevz v ded n gn old Carịrz, grīn in ɖ ćrćyard. N az ɖ Cricit śoud him ol ɖz ʈñz—h sw ɖm plenli, ɖo hiz îz wr fixt upn ɖ fîr—ɖ Carịr’z hart grù lît n hapi, n h ʈanct hiz Hǎshold Godz wɖ ol hiz mt, n cerd no mor fr Gruf n Tacltn ɖn y d.

Bt ẃt wz ɖt yuñ figr v a man, ẃć ɖ sem Fẹri Cricit set so nir Hr stūl, n ẃć rmend ɖr, sngli n alon? Ẃ dd it lingr stl, so nir hr, wɖ its arm upn ɖ ćimnipìs, evr rpitñ “Marid! n nt t m!”

Ǒ, Dot! Ǒ, felñ Dot! Ɖr z no ples fr it in ol yr huzbnd’z viźnz. Ẃ hz its śado fōḷn on hiz harʈ?

ĆRP Ɖ SECND

Cêleb Plumr n hiz Blînd Dōtr livd ol alon bî ɖmslvz, az ɖ Stori Bcs se—n mî blesñ, wɖ yrz, t bac it I hop, on ɖ Stori Bcs, fr seyñ enʈñ in ɖs wrc-a-de wrld!—Cêleb Plumr n hiz Blînd Dōtr livd ol alon bî ɖmslvz, in a litl cract nutśel v a wŭdn hǎs, ẃć wz, in truʈ, no betr ɖn a pimpl on ɖ prominnt red-bric nǒz v Gruf n Tacltn. Ɖ preṃsz v Gruf n Tacltn wr ɖ gret fīćr v ɖ strīt; bt y mt hv noct dǎn Cêleb Plumr’z dwelñ wɖ a hamr or tū, n carid of ɖ pìsz in a cart.

F enwn hd dn ɖ dwelñhǎs v Cêleb Plumr ɖ onr t mis it aftr sć an inrod, it wd hv bn, no dǎt, t cmnd its deṃliśn az a vast impruvmnt. It stuc t ɖ preṃsz v Gruf n Tacltn lîc a barṇcl t a śip’s cīl, or a snel t a dor, or a litl bunć v tǒdstūlz t ɖ stem v a tri. Bt it wz ɖ jrm fṛm ẃć ɖ fl-groun trunc v Gruf n Tacltn hd spruñ; n, undr its crezi rūf, ɖ Gruf bfr last hd, in a smōl we, md tôz fr a jeṇreśn v old bôz n grlz, hu hd pleid wɖ ɖm, n faund ɖm ǎt, n brocn ɖm, n gn t slīp.

I hv sd ɖt Cêleb n hiz pur Blînd Dōtr livd hir. I śd hv sd ɖt Cêleb livd hir, n hiz pur Blînd Dōtr smẃr els—in an inćantd hom v Cêleb’z frṇśñ, ẃr scerṣti n śabinis wr nt, n trubl nvr entrd. Cêleb wz no sorsrr; bt in ɖ onli majic art ɖt stl rmenz t s, ɖ majic v dvotd, deʈlis luv, Nećr hd bn ɖ mistris v hiz studi; n, fṛm hr tīćñ, ol ɖ wundr cem.

Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖt sīlñz wr dsculrd, wōlz bloćt n bér v plastr hir n ɖr, hî creṿsz unstopt n wîḍnñ evri de, bīmz molḍrñ n tndñ dǎnẉd. Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖt ayn wz rustñ, wŭd rotñ, pepr pīlñ of; ɖ sîz, n śep, n tru pṛporśn v ɖ dwelñ, wiɖ̇rñ awe. Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖt ugli śeps v delf n rʈnwér wr on ɖ bōrd; ɖt soro n fent-hartidnis wr in ɖ hǎs; ɖt Cêleb’z scanti herz wr trnñ greyr n mor gre bfr hr sîtlis fes. Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖe hd a mastr, cold, xactñ, n uninṭrestd—nvr ń ɖt Tacltn wz Tacltn, in śort; bt livd in ɖ b’lif v an xntric hyṃrist, hu luvd t hv hiz jest wɖ ɖm, n hu, ẃl h wz ɖ Gardịnenjl v ɖer lîvz, dsdend t hír wn wrd v ʈancflnis.

N ol wz Cêleb’z dwñ; ol ɖ dwñ v hr simpl faɖr! Bt h, tù, hd a Cricit on hiz Harʈ; n liṣnñ sadli t its ḿzic ẃn ɖ muɖrlis Blînd Ćîld wz vri yuñ ɖt Spirit hd inspîrd him wɖ ɖ ʈt ɖt īvn hr gret depṛveśn mt b olmst ćenjd intu a blesñ, n ɖ grl md hapi bî ɖz litl mīnz. Fr ol ɖ Cricit trîb r potnt Spirits, īvn ɖo ɖ ppl hu hold cnvrs wɖ ɖm d nt nǒ it (ẃć z frīqntli ɖ ces), n ɖr r nt in ɖ unsìn wrld vôsz mor jntl n mor tru, ɖt me b so impliṣtli rlaid on, or ɖt r so srtn t gv nn bt tenḍrist cǎnsl, az ɖ Vôsz in ẃć ɖ Spirits v ɖ Fîrsîd n ɖ Harʈ adres ɖmslvz t hymn-cnd.

Cêleb n hiz dōtr wr at wrc tgɖr in ɖer yźl wrcñrūm, ẃć srvd ɖm fr ɖer ordnri livñrūm az wel; n a strenj ples it wz. Ɖr wr hǎzz in it, finiśt n unfiniśt, fr Dolz v ol steśnz in lîf. Sbrbn teṇmnts fr Dolz v modṛt mīnz; cićnz n sngl apartmnts fr Dolz v ɖ lowr clasz; capitl tǎn rezidnsz fr Dolz v hî istet. Sm v ɖz istabliśmnts wr olrdi frniśt acordñ t estiṃt, wɖ a vy t ɖ cnvińns v Dolz v liṃtd incm; uɖrz cd b fitd on ɖ most xpnsiv scel, at a momnt’s notis, fṛm hol ślvz v ćerz n teblz, sofaz, bedstedz, n upholstri. Ɖ nbiḷti n jntri n public in jenṛl, fr huz acoṃdeśn ɖz teṇmnts wr dzînd, le hir n ɖr, in bascits, stẹrñ stret p at ɖ sīlñ; bt in dnotñ ɖer dgriz in ssayti, n cnfînñ ɖm t ɖer rspctiv steśnz (ẃć xpirịns śoz t b l’mntbli dificlt in riyl lîf), ɖ mcrz v ɖz Dolz hd far impruvd on Nećr, hu z ofn frowd n pvrs; fr ɖe, nt restñ on sć arbitrri marcs az satin, cotn print, n bits v rag, hd sūṗadd strîcñ prsnl difṛnsz ẃć alaud v no mstec. Ɖus, ɖ Doļedi v dstñśn hd wax limz v prfict siṃtri; bt onli ś n hr compirz. Ɖ nxt gred in ɖ sośl scel biyñ md v leɖr, n ɖ nxt v cōrs linn stuf. Az t ɖ comn ppl, ɖe hd jst so mni maćz ǎt v tindrboxz fr ɖer armz n legz, n ɖr ɖe wr—istabliśt in ɖer sfir at wns, bynd ɖ posbiḷti v gtñ ǎt v it.

Ɖr wr verịs uɖr samplz v hiz handicraft bsdz Dolz in Cêleb Plumr’z rūm. Ɖr wr Noa’z arcs, in ẃć ɖ Brdz n Bīsts wr an uncomnli tît fit, I aśur y; ɖo ɖe cd b cramd in, enhǎ, at ɖ rūf, n ratld n śecn intu ɖ smōlist cumṗs. Bî a bold p’eticl lîsns, most v ɖz Noa’z arcs hd nocrz on ɖ dorz; incnsistnt apnḍjz, phps, az sjstiv v mornñcōlrz n a Postmn, yt a pleznt finiś t ɖ ǎtsd v ɖ bildñ. Ɖr wr scorz v meḷnc̣li litl carts, ẃć, ẃn ɖ ẃīlz wnt rnd, pformd most dǒlfl ḿzic. Mni smōl fidlz, drumz, n uɖr instṛmnts v torćr; no end v cánn, śīldz, sordz, spirz, n gunz. Ɖr wr litl tumblrz in red brìćz, insesntli swormñ p hî obsṭclz v red tep, n cmñ dǎn, hed frst, on ɖ uɖr sîd; n ɖr wr ińmṛbl old jntlṃn v rspctbl, nt t se venṛbl apiṛns, insenli flayñ ovr hoṛzontl pegz, insrtd, fr ɖ prṗs, in ɖer ǒn strītdorz. Ɖr wr bīsts v ol sorts; horsz, in ptiklr, v evri brīd, fṛm ɖ spotd baṛl on for pegz wɖ a smōl tipit fr a mein, t ɖ ʈura-bréd rocr on hiz hîist métl. Az it wd hv bn hard t cǎnt ɖ duznz upn duznz v gṛtesc figrz ɖt wr evr redi t cmit ol sorts v absrdtiz on ɖ trnñ v a handl, so it wd hv bn no īzi tasc t mnśn eni hymn foli, vîs, or wìcnis ɖt hd nt its tîp, imīɉt or rmot, in Cêleb Plumr’z rūm. N nt in an xaɉretd form, fr vri litl handlz wl muv men n wimin t az strenj pformnsz az eni Tô wz evr md t unḍtec.

In ɖ mdst v ol ɖz objicts, Cêleb n hiz dōtr sat at wrc. Ɖ Blînd Grl bizi az a Dol’z dres-mcr; Cêleb pentñ n glezñ ɖ for-per frunt v a dzîṛbl faṃlimanśn.

In ɖ mdst v ol ɖz objicts, Cêleb n hiz dōtr sat at wrc.

Ɖ cer imprintd in ɖ lînz v Cêleb’z fes, n hiz abzorbd n drīmi manr, ẃć wd hv sat wel on sm alc̣mist or abstrūs stydnt, wr at frst sît an od contrast t hiz okpeśn n ɖ triviaḷtiz abt him. Bt trivịl ʈñz, invntd n psyd fr bred, bcm vri sirịs matrz v fact: n, apart fṛm ɖs cnsiḍreśn, I am nt at ol priperd t se, mslf, ɖt f Cêleb hd bn a Lord Ćembrlin, or a Membr v Parḷmnt, or a loyr, or īvn a gret spekletr, h wd hv dlt in tôz wn ẃit les ẃimzicl, ẃl I hv a vri gret dǎt ẃɖr ɖe wd hv bn az harmlis.

“So y wr ǎt in ɖ ren last nît, faɖr, in yr bytifl ny gretcot,” sd Cêleb’z dōtr.

“In mî bytifl ny gretcot,” ansrd Cêleb, glansñ twdz a cloɖzlîn in ɖ rūm, on ẃć ɖ sac̦loʈ garmnt prīvịsli dscrîbd wz cerf̣li huñ p t drî.

“Hǎ glad I am y bòt it, faɖr!”

“N v sć a teilr tù,” sd Cêleb. “Qt a faśṇbl teilr. It’s tù gd fr m.”

Ɖ Blînd Grl restd fṛm hr wrc, n laft wɖ dlît. “Tù gd, faɖr! Ẃt cn b tù gd fr y?”

“I’m haf aśemd t wer it, ɖo,” sd Cêleb, woćñ ɖ ifct v ẃt h sd upn hr brîṭnñ fes, “upn mî wrd! Ẃn I hír ɖ bôz n ppl se bhnd m, ‘Hloa! Hir’z a swel!’ I d’nt nǒ ẃć we t lc. N ẃn ɖ begr wd’nt g awe last nît; n, ẃn I sd I wz a vri comn man, sd, ‘No, yr Onr! Bles yr Onr, d’nt se ɖt!’ I wz qt aśemd. I riyli flt az f I hd’nt a rît t wer it.”

Hapi Blînd Grl! Hǎ meri ś wz in hr xlteśn!

“I si y, faɖr,” ś sd, claspñ hr handz, “az plenli az f I hd ɖ îz I nvr wont ẃn y r wɖ m. A blu cot—”

“Brît blu,” sd Cêleb.

“Yes, yes! Brît blu!” xclemd ɖ grl, trnñ p hr redịnt fes; “ɖ culr I cn jst rmembr in ɖ blesid scî! Y tld m it wz blu bfr! A brît blu cot—”

“Md lūs t ɖ figr,” sjstd Cêleb.

“Yes! lūs t ɖ figr!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, lafñ harṭli; “n in it, y, dir faɖr, wɖ yr meri î, yr smîlñ fes, yr fri step, n yr darc her—lcñ so yuñ n hansm!”

“Hloa! Hloa!” sd Cêleb. “I śl b ven prezntli!”

I ʈnc y r olrdi,” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, pôntñ at him in hr gli. “I nǒ y, faɖr! Ha, ha, ha! I’v faund y ǎt, y si!”

Hǎ difṛnt ɖ picćr in hr mînd, fṛm Cêleb, az h sat obzrvñ hr! Ś hd spocn v hiz fri step. Ś wz rît in ɖt. Fr yirz n yirz h hd nvr wns crost ɖt ʈreśhold at hiz ǒn slo pes, bt wɖ a ftfōl cǎnṭfitd fr hr ir; n nvr hd h, ẃn hiz hart wz heviist, fgotn ɖ lît tréd ɖt wz t rendr hrz so ćirfl n c’rejs!

Hevn nz! Bt I ʈnc Cêleb’z veg bwildrmnt v manr me hv haf oriɉnetd in hiz hvñ cnfyzd himslf abt himslf n evrʈñ arnd him, fr ɖ luv v hiz Blînd Dōtr. Hǎ cd ɖ litl man b uɖ̇wz ɖn bwildrd, aftr leḅrñ fr so mni yirz t dstrô hiz ǒn îdntti, n ɖt v ol ɖ objicts ɖt hd eni bẹrñ on it?

“Ɖr w r,” sd Cêleb, fōlñ bac a pes or tū t form ɖ betr jujmnt v hiz wrc; “az nir ɖ riyl ʈñ az sixṗnrʈ v hepns z t sixpns. Ẃt a piti ɖt ɖ hol frunt v ɖ hǎs opnz at wns! F ɖr wz onli a sterces in it nǎ, n reğlr dorz t ɖ rūmz t g in at! Bt ɖt’s ɖ wrst v mî cōlñ, I’m olwz dludñ mslf, n swinḍlñ mslf.”

“Y r spīcñ qt softli. Y r nt tîrd, faɖr?”

“Tîrd!” ecoud Cêleb wɖ a gret brst v aṇmeśn. “Ẃt śd tîr m, Brʈa? I wz nvr tîrd. Ẃt dz it mīn?”

T gv ɖ gretr fors t hiz wrdz, h ćect himslf in an invoḷntri iṃteśn v tū haf-leñʈ strećñ n yōnñ figrz on ɖ mantl-ślf, hu wr reprizntd az in wn itrnl stet v wirinis fṛm ɖ weist upwdz; n humd a fragmnt v a soñ. It wz a Bac̣nełn soñ, smʈñ abt a Sparc̣lñ Bol. H sañ it wɖ an asumśn v a Devl-me-cer vôs, ɖt md hiz fes a ʈǎznd tîmz mor mīgr n mor ʈtfl ɖn evr.

“Ẃt! Y’r sññ, r y?” sd Tacltn, ptñ hiz hed in at ɖ dor. “G it! I c’nt sñ.”

Nbdi wd hv sspctd him v it. H hd’nt ẃt z jenṛli trmd a sññ fes, bî eni mīnz.

“I c’nt aford t sñ,” sd Tacltn. “I’m glad y cn. I hop y cn aford t wrc tù. Hardli tîm fr bʈ, I śd ʈnc?”

“F y cd onli si him, Brʈa, hǎ h’z wncñ at m!” ẃisprd Cêleb. “Sć a man t joc! Y’d ʈnc, f y dd’nt nǒ him, h wz in rnist—wd’nt y nǎ?”

Ɖ Blînd Grl smîld n nodd.

“Ɖ brd ɖt cn sñ n w’nt sñ mst b md t sñ, ɖe se,” grumbld Tacltn. “Ẃt abt ɖ ǎl ɖt c’nt sñ, n òt’nt t sñ, n wl sñ; z ɖr enʈñ ɖt h śd b md t d?”

“Ɖ xtnt t ẃć h’z wncñ at ɖs momnt!” ẃisprd Cêleb t hiz dōtr. “Ǒ, mî greśs!”

“Olwz meri n lît-hartd wɖ s!” craid ɖ smîlñ Brʈa.

“Ǒ! y’r ɖr, r y?” ansrd Tacltn. “Pur Idịt!”

H riyli dd b’liv ś wz an Idịt; n h fǎndd ɖ b’lif, I c’nt se ẃɖr conśsli or nt, upn hr biyñ fond v him.

“Wel! n biyñ ɖr,—hǎ r y?” sd Tacltn in hiz grujñ we.

“Ǒ! wel; qt wel! N az hapi az īvn y cn wś m t b. Az hapi az y wd mc ɖ hol wrld, f y cd!”

“Pur Idịt!” mutrd Tacltn. “No glīm v rīzn. Nt a glīm!”

Ɖ Blînd Grl tc hiz hand n cist it; hld it fr a momnt in hr ǒn tū handz; n leid hr ćīc agnst it tndrli bfr rlisñ it. Ɖr wz sć unspīcbl afx́n n sć frvnt grattyd in ɖ act, ɖt Tacltn himslf wz muvd t se, in a mîldr grǎl ɖn yźl:

“Ẃt’s ɖ matr nǎ?”

“I std it clos bsd mî pilo ẃn I wnt t slīp last nît, n rmembrd it in mî drīmz. N ẃn ɖ de brouc, n ɖ glorịs red sún—ɖ red sún, faɖr?”

“Red in ɖ mornñz n ɖ īvnñz, Brʈa,” sd pur Cêleb wɖ a wǒfl glans at hiz imployr.

“Ẃn it rouz, n ɖ brît lît I olmst fir t strîc mslf agnst in wōcñ, cem intu ɖ rūm, I trnd ɖ litl tri twdz it, n blest Hevn fr mcñ ʈñz so preśs, n blest y fr sndñ ɖm t ćir m!”

“Bedḷm brouc lūs!” sd Tacltn undr hiz breʈ. “W śl arîv at ɖ streitweistcot n muflrz sn. W’r gtñ on!”

Cêleb, wɖ hiz handz hct lūsli in ć uɖr, stérd vecntli bfr him ẃl hiz dōtr spouc, az f h riyli wr unsrtn (I b’liv h wz) ẃɖr Tacltn hd dn enʈñ t dzrv hr ʈancs or nt. F h cd hv bn a prf̣cli fri ejnt at ɖt momnt, rqîrd, on pen v deʈ, t cic ɖ tômrćnt, or fōl at hiz fīt, acordñ t hiz merits, I b’liv it wd hv bn an īvn ćans ẃć cors h wd hv tecn. Yt Cêleb ń ɖt wɖ hiz ǒn handz h hd bròt ɖ litl rǒztrī hom fr hr so cerf̣li, n ɖt wɖ hiz ǒn lips h hd forjd ɖ iṇsnt dspśn ẃć śd hlp t cīp hr fṛm sspctñ hǎ mć, hǎ vri mć, h evri de dnaid himslf, ɖt ś mt b hapịr.

“Brʈa!” sd Tacltn, asymñ, fr ɖ nons, a litl cordiaḷti. “Cm hir.”

“Ǒ, I cn cm stret t y! Y nīd’nt gîd m!” ś rjônd.

“Śl I tel y a sīcrit, Brʈa?”

“F y wl!” ś ansrd īgrli.

Hǎ brît ɖ darcnd fes! Hǎ adornd wɖ lît ɖ liṣnñ hed!

“Ɖs z ɖ de on ẃć litl ẃt’s-hr-nem, ɖ spôlt ćîld, Pīribngl’z wîf, pez hr reğlr vizit t y—mcs hr fntastic Picnic hir, an’t it?” sd Tacltn wɖ a stroñ xpreśn v dstest fr ɖ hol cnsrn.

“Yes,” rplaid Brʈa. “Ɖs z ɖ de.”

“I ʈt so,” sd Tacltn. “I śd lîc t jôn ɖ parti.”

“D y hír ɖt, faɖr?” craid ɖ Blînd Grl in an xṭsi.

“Yes, yes, I hír it,” mrmrd Cêleb wɖ ɖ fixt lc v a slīpwōcr; “bt I d’nt b’liv it. It’s wn v mî lîz, I’v no dǎt.”

“Y si I—I wont t brñ ɖ Pīribnglz a litl mor intu cumṗni wɖ Me Fīldñ,” sd Tacltn. “I’m gwñ t b marid t Me.”

“Marid!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, startñ fṛm him.

“Ś’z sć a cnfǎndd idịt,” mutrd Tacltn, “ɖt I wz afred ś’d nvr comprihnd m. Ā, Brʈa! Marid! Ćrć, parsn, clarc, bīdl, glas coć, belz, brecfst, brîdcec, fevrz, marobonz, clīvrz, n ol ɖ rest v ɖ tomfūḷri. A wedñ, y nǒ; a wedñ. D’nt y nǒ ẃt a wedñ z?”

“I nǒ,” rplaid ɖ Blînd Grl in a jntl ton. “I unḍstand!”

“D y?” mutrd Tacltn. “It’s mor ɖn I xpctd. Wel! On ɖt acǎnt I wont t jôn ɖ parti, n t brñ Me n hr muɖr. I’l snd in a litl smʈñ or uɖr, bfr ɖ afṭnun. A cold leg v mutn, or sm cumftbl trîfl v ɖt sort. Y’l xpct m?”

“Yes,” ś ansrd.

Ś hd drūpt hr hed, n trnd awe; n so std, wɖ hr handz crost, ḿzñ.

“I d’nt ʈnc y wl,” mutrd Tacltn, lcñ at hr; “fr y sīm t hv fgotn ol abt it olrdi. Cêleb!”

“I me vnćr t se I’m hir, I s’poz,” ʈt Cêleb. “Sr!”

“Tec cer ś d’nt fget ẃt I’v bn seyñ t hr.”

Ś nvr fgets,” rtrnd Cêleb. “It’s wn v ɖ fy ʈñz ś an’t clevr in.”

“Evri man ʈncs hiz ǒn gīs swonz,” obzrvd ɖ tômrćnt wɖ a śrug. “Pur devl!”

Hvñ dlivrd himslf v ẃć rmarc wɖ infiṇt cntmt, old Gruf n Tacltn wɖdru.

Brʈa rmend ẃr h hd left hr, lost in medteśn. Ɖ geyti hd vaniśt fṛm hr dǎncast fes, n it wz vri sad. Ʈri or for tîmz ś śc hr hed, az f bweilñ sm rmembṛns or sm los; bt hr soṛfl rflex́nz faund no vnt in wrdz.

It wz nt untl Cêleb hd bn okpaid sm tîm in yocñ a tīm v horsz t a wagn bî ɖ súṃri proses v nêlñ ɖ harnis t ɖ vîtl parts v ɖer bodiz, ɖt ś drù nir t hiz wrcñstūl, n, sitñ dǎn bsd him, sd:

“Faɖr, I am lonli in ɖ darc. I wont mî îz, mî peśnt, wilñ îz.”

“Faɖr, I am lonli in ɖ darc. I wont mî îz, mî peśnt, wilñ îz.”

“Hir ɖe r,” sd Cêleb. “Olwz redi. Ɖe r mor yrz ɖn mîn, Brʈa, eni aur in ɖ for-n-twenti. Ẃt śl yr îz d fr y, dir?”

“Lc rnd ɖ rūm, faɖr.”

“Ol rît,” sd Cêleb. “No snr sd ɖn dn, Brʈa.”

“Tel m abt it.”

“It’s mć ɖ sem az yźl,” sd Cêleb. “Homli, bt vri snug. Ɖ ge culrz on ɖ wōlz; ɖ brît flǎrz on ɖ plets n diśz; ɖ śînñ wŭd, ẃr ɖr r bīmz or panlz; ɖ jenṛl ćirflnis n nītnis v ɖ bildñ,—mc it vri priti.”

Ćirfl n nīt it wz, ẃrvr Brʈa’z handz cd bizi ɖmslvz. Bt nẃr els wr ćirflnis n nītnis poṣbl in ɖ old crezi śed ẃć Cêleb’z fansi so trnsformd.

“Y hv yr wrcñdres on, n r nt so gaḷnt az ẃn y wer ɖ hansm cot?” sd Brʈa, tućñ him.

“Nt qt so gaḷnt,” ansrd Cêleb. “Priti brisc, ɖo.”

“Faɖr,” sd ɖ Blînd Grl, drw̃ clos t hiz sîd, n stìlñ wn arm rnd hiz nec, “tel m smʈñ abt Me. Ś z vri fer?”

“Ś z indd,” sd Cêleb. N ś wz indd. It wz qt a rer ʈñ t Cêleb nt t hv t drw on hiz invnśn.

“Hr her z darc,” sd Brʈa pnsivli, “darcr ɖn mîn. Hr vôs z swīt n ḿzicl, I nǒ. I hv ofn luvd t hír it. Hr śep—”

“Ɖr’z nt a Dol’z in ol ɖ rūm t īql it,” sd Cêleb. “N hr îz!—”

H stopt; fr Brʈa hd drwn closr rnd hiz nec, n, fṛm ɖ arm ɖt cluñ abt him, cem a wornñ preśr ẃć h unḍstd tù wel.

H coft a momnt, hamrd fr a momnt, n ɖen fél bac upn ɖ soñ abt ɖ sparc̣lñ bol, hiz infaḷbl rzors in ol sć dificltiz.

“Ǎr frend, faɖr, ǎr beṇfactr. I am nvr tîrd, y nǒ, v hírñ abt him.—Nǎ, wz I evr?” ś sd hesṭli.

“V cors nt,” ansrd Cêleb, “n wɖ rīzn.”

“Ā! Wɖ hǎ mć rīzn!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl. Wɖ sć frvnsi, ɖt Cêleb, ɖo hiz motivz wr so pyr, cd nt indyr t mīt hr fes; bt dropt hiz îz, az f ś cd hv réd in ɖm hiz iṇsnt dsit.

“Ɖen tel m agn abt him, dir faɖr,” sd Brʈa. “Mni tîmz agn! Hiz fes z bnevlnt, cînd, n tndr. Onist n tru, I am śr it z. Ɖ manli hart ɖt trîz t clǒc ol fevrz wɖ a śo v rufnis n unwilñnis, bìts in its evri lc n glans.”

“N mcs it nobl,” add Cêleb in hiz qayt desṗreśn.

“N mcs it nobl,” craid ɖ Blînd Grl. “H z oldr ɖn Me, faɖr.”

“Yi-es,” sd Cêleb rluctntli. “H’z a litl oldr ɖn Me. Bt ɖt d’nt sigṇfî.”

“Ǒ, faɖr, yes! T b hiz peśnt cmpańn in infrṃti n ej; t b hiz jntl nrs in sicnis, n hiz constnt frend in suf̣rñ n soro; t nǒ no wirinis in wrcñ fr hiz sec; t woć him, tnd him, sit bsd hiz bed n tōc t him awec, n pre fr him aslip; ẃt priṿlijz ɖz wd b! Ẃt oṗtyṇtiz fr pruvñ ol hr truʈ n hr dvośn t him! Wd ś d ol ɖs, dir faɖr?”

“No dǎt v it,” sd Cêleb.

“I luv hr, faɖr; I cn luv hr fṛm mî soul!” xclemd ɖ Blînd Grl. N, seyñ so, ś leid hr pur blînd fes on Cêleb’z śoldr, n so wept n wept, ɖt h wz olmst sori t hv bròt ɖt tirfl hapinis upn hr.

In ɖ mntm ɖr hd bn a priti śarp cmośn at Jon Pīribngl’z, fr litl Msz. Pīribngl naćṛli cd’nt ʈnc v gwñ enẃr wɖt ɖ Bebi; n t gt ɖ Bebi undr we tc tîm. Nt ɖt ɖr wz mć v ɖ Bebi, spīcñ v it az a ʈñ v weit n meźr, bt ɖr wz a vast dīl t d abt n abt it, n it ol hd t b dn bî īzi stejz. Fr instns, ẃn ɖ Bebi wz got, bî hc n bî crŭc, t a srtn pônt v dresñ, n y mt hv raśṇli s’pozd ɖt anɖr tuć or tū wd finiś him of, n trn him ǎt a tiptop Bebi ćaḷnjñ ɖ wrld, h wz unixpctidli xtnḡśt in a flanl cap, n husld of t bed; ẃr h simrd (so t spīc) btwn tū blancits fr ɖ bst part v an aur. Fṛm ɖs stet v inax́n h wz ɖen rcōld, śînñ vri mć n rorñ vayḷntli, t ptec v—wel? I wd rɖr se, f y’l pmit m t spīc jenṛli—v a slît rpast. Aftr ẃć h wnt t slīp agn. Msz. Pīribngl tc advantij v ɖs inṭvl, t mc hrslf az smart in a smōl we az evr y sw enbdi in ol yr lîf; n, jrñ ɖ sem śort trūs, Mis Slǒbô insińuetd hrslf intu a Spensr v a faśn so s’prîzñ n injīńs, ɖt it hd no cnx́n wɖ hrslf, or enʈñ els in ɖ yṇvrs, bt wz a śruncn, dog’z-ird, indipndnt fact, psywñ its lonli cors wɖt ɖ līst rgard t enbdi. Bî ɖs tîm, ɖ Bebi, biyñ ol alîv agn, wz invstd, bî ɖ ynîtd ef̣ts v Msz. Pīribngl n Mis Slǒbô, wɖ a crīm-culrd mantl fr its bodi, n a sort v Nancīn rezd pî fr its hed; n so, in cors v tîm, ɖe ol ʈri got dǎn t ɖ dor, ẃr ɖ old hors hd olrdi tecn mor ɖn ɖ fl valy v hiz de’z tol ǎt v ɖ Trnpîc Trust, bî tẹrñ p ɖ rod wɖ hiz impeśnt ōṭgrafs; n ẃns Boxr mt b dimli sìn in ɖ rmot pspctiv, standñ lcñ bac, n tmtñ him t cm on wɖt ordrz.

Az t a ćer, or enʈñ v ɖt cnd fr hlpñ Msz. Pīribngl intu ɖ cart, y nǒ vri litl v Jon, f y ʈnc ɖt wz nesṣri. Bfr y cd hv sìn him lift hr fṛm ɖ grǎnd, ɖr ś wz in hr ples, freś n rozi, seyñ, “Jon! Hǎ cn y? Ʈnc v Tili!”

F I mt b alaud t mnśn a yuñ ledi’z legz on eni trmz, I wd obzrv v Mis Slǒbô’z ɖt ɖr wz a ftaḷti abt ɖm ẃć rendrd ɖm snğlrli laybl t b grezd; n ɖt ś nvr ifctd ɖ smōlist asent or dsent wɖt rcordñ ɖ srcmstans upn ɖm wɖ a noć, az Robinsn Crūzo marct ɖ dez upn hiz wŭdn caḷndr. Bt, az ɖs mt b cnsidrd unjntīl, I’l ʈnc v it.

“Jon! Y’v got ɖ bascit wɖ ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî n ʈñz, n ɖ botlz v Bir?” sd Dot. “F y hv’nt y mst trn rnd agn ɖs vri minit.”

“Y’r a nîs litl articl,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, “t b tōcñ abt trnñ rnd, aftr cīpñ m a fl qortr v an aur bhnd mî tîm.”

“I am sori fr it, Jon,” sd Dot in a gret busl, “bt I riyli cd nt ʈnc v gwñ t Brʈa’z—I wd nt d it, Jon, on eni acǎnt—wɖt ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî n ʈñz, n ɖ botlz v Bir. We!”

Ɖs moṇsiḷbl wz adrest t ɖ hors, hu dd’nt mînd it at ol.

“Ǒ, d we, Jon!” sd Msz. Pīribngl. “Plīz!”

“It’l b tîm inuf t d ɖt,” rtrnd Jon, “ẃn I bgin t līv ʈñz bhnd m. Ɖ bascit’s sef inuf.”

“Ẃt a hard-hartd monstr y mst b, Jon, nt t hv sd so at wns, n sev m sć a trn! I dcler I wd’nt g t Brʈa’z wɖt ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî n ʈñz, n ɖ botlz v Bir, fr eni muni. Reğlrli wns a fortnît evr sins w hv bn marid, Jon, hv w md ǎr litl Picnic ɖr. F enʈñ wz t g roñ wɖ it, I śd olmst ʈnc w wr nvr t b luci agn.”

“It wz a cînd ʈt in ɖ frst instns,” sd ɖ Carịr; “n I onr y fr it, litl wmn.”

“Mî dir Jon!” rplaid Dot, trnñ vri red. “D’nt tōc abt oṇrñ m. Gd greśs!”

“Bî-ɖ-bái”—obzrvd ɖ Carịr—“ɖt old jntlmn—”

Agn so viẓbli n instntli imbaṛst!

“H’z an od fiś,” sd ɖ Carịr, lcñ stret alñ ɖ rod bfr ɖm. “I c’nt mc him ǎt. I d’nt b’liv ɖr’z eni harm in him.”

“Nn at ol. I’m—I’m śr ɖr’z nn at ol.”

“Yes,” sd ɖ Carịr, wɖ hiz îz atractd t hr fes bî ɖ gret rṇstnis v hr manr. “I am glad y fīl so srtn v it, bcz it’s a conf̣meśn t m. It’s krịs ɖt h śd hv tecn it intu hiz hed t asc līv t g on lojñ wɖ s; an’t it? Ʈñz cm abt so strenjli.”

“So vri strenjli,” ś rjônd in a lo vôs, scersli ōḍbl.

“Hvr, h’z a gd-nećrd old jntlmn,” sd Jon, “n pez az a jntlmn, n I ʈnc hiz wrd z t b rlaid upn, lîc a jntlmn’z. I hd qt a loñ tōc wɖ him ɖs mornñ: h cn hír m betr olrdi, h sz, az h gts mor yst t mî vôs. H tld m a gret dīl abt himslf, n I tld him a gd dīl abt mslf, n a rer lot v qsćnz h asct m. I gev him inf̣meśn abt mî hvñ tū bìts, y nǒ, in mî biznis; wn de t ɖ rît fṛm ǎr hǎs n bac agn; anɖr de t ɖ left fṛm ǎr hǎs n bac agn (fr h’z a strenjr, n d’nt nǒ ɖ nemz v plesz abt hir); n h sīmd qt plizd. ‘Ẃ, ɖen I śl b rtrnñ hom tnît yr we,’ h sz, ‘ẃn I ʈt y’d b cmñ in an xacli oṗzit d’rex́n. Ɖt’s capitl! I me trubl y fr anɖr lift, phps, bt I’l ingej nt t fōl so sǎnd aslip agn.’ H wz sǎnd aslip, śrly!—Dot! ẃt r y ʈncñ v?”

“Ʈncñ v, Jon? I—I wz liṣnñ t y.”

“Ǒ! Ɖt’s ol rît!” sd ɖ onist Carịr. “I wz afred, fṛm ɖ lc v yr fes, ɖt I hd gn ramḅlñ on so loñ az t set y ʈncñ abt smʈñ els. I wz vri nir it, I’l b baund.”

Dot mcñ no rplî, ɖe jogd on, fr sm litl tîm, in sîḷns. Bt, it wz nt īzi t rmen sîḷnt vri loñ in Jon Pīribngl’z cart, fr evrbdi on ɖ rod hd smʈñ t se. Ɖo it mt onli b “Hǎ r y?” n, indd, it wz vri ofn nʈñ els, stl, t gv ɖt bac agn in ɖ rît spirit v cordiaḷti, rqîrd, nt mirli a nod n a smîl, bt az holsm an ax́n v ɖ luñz wɖōl az a loñ-windd Parḷmntri spīć. Smtmz, pasinjrz on ft, or horsbac, plodd on a litl we bsd ɖ cart, fr ɖ xpres prṗs v hvñ a ćat; n ɖen ɖr wz a gret dīl t b sd on bʈ sîdz.

Ɖen, Boxr gev oceźn t mor gd-nećrd recgniśnz v, n bî, ɖ Carịr, ɖn haf-a-duzn Crisćnz cd hv dn! Evrbdi ń him ol alñ ɖ rod—ispeṣ́li ɖ faulz n pigz, hu, ẃn ɖe sw him aproćñ, wɖ hiz bodi ol on wn sîd, n hiz irz prict p inqiztivli, n ɖt nob v a teil mcñ ɖ most v itslf in ɖ er, imīɉtli wɖdru intu rmot bacsetlmnts, wɖt wêtñ fr ɖ onr v a nirr aqentns. H hd biznis elsẃr; gwñ dǎn ol ɖ trnñz, lcñ intu ol ɖ wlz, boltñ in n ǎt v ol ɖ coṭjz, daśñ intu ɖ mdst v ol ɖ Dem Scūlz, fluṭrñ ol ɖ pijinz, magṇfayñ ɖ teilz v ol ɖ cats, n trotñ intu ɖ publichǎzz lîc a reğlr custmr. Ẃrvr h wnt, smbdi or uɖr mt hv bn hŕd t crî, “Hloa! hir’z Boxr!” n ǎt cem ɖt smbdi fʈwʈ, acumṗnid bî at līst tū or ʈri uɖr smbdiz, t gv Jon Pīribngl n hiz priti wîf Gd de.

Ɖ pac̣jz n parslz fr ɖ eṛnd cart wr ńmṛs; n ɖr wr mni stoṗjz t tec ɖm in n gv ɖm ǎt, ẃć wr nt bî eni mīnz ɖ wrst parts v ɖ jrni. Sm ppl wr so fl v xpcteśn abt ɖer parslz, n uɖr ppl wr so fl v wundr abt ɖer parslz, n uɖr ppl wr so fl v inixōstbl d’rex́nz abt ɖer parslz, n Jon hd sć a lîvli inṭrest in ol ɖ parslz, ɖt it wz az gd az a ple. Lîcwz, ɖr wr articlz t cari, ẃć rqîrd t b cnsidrd n dscust, n in refṛns t ɖ ajustmnt n dispziśn v ẃć caunslz hd t b holdn bî ɖ Carịr n ɖ sndrz: at ẃć Boxr yẓ́li asistd, in śort fits v ɖ closist atnśn, n loñ fits v tẹrñ rnd n rnd ɖ asmbld sejz, n barcñ himslf hōrs. V ol ɖz litl insidnts, Dot wz ɖ aḿzd n opn-aid spectetris fṛm hr ćer in ɖ cart; n az ś sat ɖr, lcñ on—a ćarmñ litl portrit fremd t adṃreśn bî ɖ tilt—ɖr wz no lac v nujñz n glansñz n ẃisṗrñz n enviyñz amñ ɖ yungr men. N ɖs dlîtd Jon ɖ Carịr bynd meźr; fr h wz prǎd t hv hiz litl wîf admîrd, nwñ ɖt ś dd’nt mînd it—ɖt, f enʈñ, ś rɖr lîct it phps.

Ɖ trip wz a litl fogi, t b śr, in ɖ Jańri weɖr; n wz rw n cold. Bt hu cerd fr sć trîflz? Nt Dot, dsîdidli. Nt Tili Slǒbô, fr ś dīmd sitñ in a cart, on eni trmz, t b ɖ hîist pônt v hymn jôz; ɖ crǎnñ srcmstans v rʈli hop. Nt ɖ Bebi, I’l b sworn; fr it’s nt in Bebi nećr t b wormr or mor sǎnd aslip, ɖo its cpaṣti z gret in bʈ rspcts, ɖn ɖt blest yuñ Pīribngl wz, ol ɖ we.

Y cd’nt si vri far in ɖ fog, v cors; bt y cd si a gret dīl! It’s astoṇśñ hǎ mć y me si in a ʈicr fog ɖn ɖt, f y wl onli tec ɖ trubl t lc fr it. Ẃ, īvn t sit woćñ fr ɖ Fẹrirñz in ɖ fīldz, n fr ɖ paćz v hōrfrost stl linġrñ in ɖ śêd, nir hejz n bî triz, wz a pleznt okpeśn, t mc no mnśn v ɖ unixpctd śeps in ẃć ɖ triz ɖmslvz cem startñ ǎt v ɖ mist, n glîdd intu it agn. Ɖ hejz wr tangld n bér, n wevd a multtyd v blîtd garḷndz in ɖ wind; bt ɖr wz no dscuṛjmnt in ɖs. It wz agriybl t contmplet; fr it md ɖ fîrsîd wormr in pześn, n ɖ sumr grīnr in xpctnsi. Ɖ rivr lct ćili; bt it wz in mośn, n muvñ at a gd pes—ẃć wz a gret pônt. Ɖ cnal wz rɖr slo n torpid; ɖt mst b admitd. Nvr mînd. It wd frīz ɖ snr ẃn ɖ frost set ferli in, n ɖen ɖr wd b scetñ n slîdñ; n ɖ hevi old barjz, frozn p smẃr nir a ẃorf, wd smoc ɖer rusti ayn ćimnipîps ol de, n hv a lezi tîm v it.

In wn ples ɖr wz a gret mǎnd v wīdz or stubl brnñ; n ɖe woćt ɖ fîr, so ẃît in ɖ dêtîm, flẹrñ ʈru ɖ fog, wɖ onli hir n ɖr a daś v red in it, untl, in consiqns, az ś obzrvd, v ɖ smoc “gtñ p hr nǒz,” Mis Slǒbô ćoct—ś cd d enʈñ v ɖt sort, on ɖ smōlist provceśn—n wouc ɖ Bebi, hu wd’nt g t slīp agn. Bt Boxr, hu wz in advans sm qortr v a mîl or so, hd olrdi pást ɖ ǎtposts v ɖ tǎn, n gend ɖ cornr v ɖ strīt ẃr Cêleb n hiz dōtr livd; n, loñ bfr ɖe hd rīćt ɖ dor, h n ɖ Blînd Grl wr on ɖ pevmnt wêtñ t rsiv ɖm.

Boxr, bî ɖ we, md srtn delic̣t dstñśnz v hiz ǒn, in hiz cḿṇceśn wɖ Brʈa, ẃć pswed m fŭli ɖt h ń hr t b blînd. H nvr sòt t atract hr atnśn bî lcñ at hr, az h ofn dd wɖ uɖr ppl, bt tućt hr inverịbli. Ẃt xpirịns h cd evr hv hd v blînd ppl or blînd dogz I d’nt nǒ. H hd nvr livd wɖ a blînd mastr; nr hd Mr. Boxr ɖ eldr, nr Msz. Boxr, nr eni v hiz rspctbl faṃli on îɖr sîd, evr bn viẓtd wɖ blîndnis, ɖt I am awer v. H me hv faund it ǎt fr himslf, phps, bt h hd got hold v it smhǎ; n ɖrfr h hd hold v Brʈa tù, bî ɖ scrt, n cept hold, untl Msz. Pīribngl n ɖ Bebi, n Mis Slǒbô n ɖ bascit, wr ol got sefli wɖn dorz.

Me Fīldñ wz olrdi cm; n so wz hr muɖr—a litl qeryḷs ćip v an old ledi wɖ a pīviś fes, hu, in rît v hvñ prizrvd a weist lîc a bedpost, wz s’pozd t b a most trnsndnt figr; n hu, in consiqns v hvñ wns bn betr of, or v leḅrñ undr an impreśn ɖt ś mt hv bn, f smʈñ hd hapnd ẃć nvr dd hapn, n sīmd t hv nvr bn ptiklrli lîcli t cm t pas—bt it’s ol ɖ sem—wz vri jntīl n patṛnîzñ indd. Gruf n Tacltn wz olso ɖr, dwñ ɖ agriybl, wɖ ɖ evidnt snseśn v biyñ az prf̣cli at hom, n az unqsćṇbli in hiz ǒn elimnt, az a freś yuñ samn on ɖ top v ɖ Gret Piṛmid.

“Me! Mî dir old frend!” craid Dot, runñ p t mīt hr. “Ẃt a hapinis t si y!”

Hr old frend wz, t ɖ fl, az harti n az glad az ś; n it riyli wz, f y’l b’liv m, qt a pleznt sît t si ɖm imbres. Tacltn wz a man v test, bynd ol qsćn. Me wz vri priti.

Y nǒ smtmz, ẃn y r yst t a priti fes, hǎ, ẃn it cmz intu contact n cmparisn wɖ anɖr priti fes, it sīmz fr ɖ momnt t b homli n fedd, n hardli t dzrv ɖ hî opińn y hv hd v it. Nǎ, ɖs wz nt at ol ɖ ces, îɖr wɖ Dot or Me; fr Me’z fes set of Dot’s, n Dot’s fes set of Me’z, so naćṛli n agriybli, ɖt, az Jon Pīribngl wz vri nir seyñ ẃn h cem intu ɖ rūm, ɖe òt t hv bn born sistrz—ẃć wz ɖ onli impruvmnt y cd hv sjstd.

Tacltn hd bròt hiz leg v mutn, n, wundrfl t rlet, a tart bsdz—bt w d’nt mînd a litl diṣpeśn ẃn ǎr brîdz r in ɖ ces; w d’nt gt marid evri de—n, in adiśn t ɖz dentiz, ɖr wr ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî, n “ʈñz,” az Msz. Pīribngl cōld ɖm; ẃć wr ćīfli nuts n oṛnjz, n cecs, n sć smōl dír. Ẃn ɖ rpast wz set fʈ on ɖ bōrd, flanct bî Cêleb’z contṛbyśn, ẃć wz a gret wŭdn bol v smocñ ptetoz (h wz pṛhibtd, bî soḷm compact, fṛm pṛdysñ eni uɖr vayndz), Tacltn léd hiz intndd muɖr-in-lw t ɖ post v onr. Fr ɖ betr gresñ v ɖs ples at ɖ hî fstivl, ɖ mjestic old soul hd adornd hrslf wɖ a cap, calkletd t inspîr ɖ ʈtlis wɖ sntimnts v ō. Ś olso wòr hr gluvz. Bt let s b jntīl, or dî!

Cêleb sat nxt hiz dōtr; Dot n hr old scūlfelo wr sîd bî sîd; ɖ gd Carịr tc cer v ɖ botm v ɖ tebl. Mis Slǒbô wz îṣletd, fr ɖ tîm biyñ, fṛm evri articl v frnićr bt ɖ ćer ś sat on, ɖt ś mt hv nʈñ els t noc ɖ Bebi’z hed agnst.

Az Tili stérd abt hr at ɖ dolz n tôz, ɖe stérd at hr n at ɖ cumṗni. Ɖ venṛbl old jntlṃn at ɖ strītdorz (hu wr ol in fl ax́n) śoud ispeśl inṭrest in ɖ parti, pōzñ oceźṇli bfr līpñ, az f ɖe wr liṣnñ t ɖ convseśn, n ɖen plunjñ wîldli ovr n ovr, a gret mni tîmz, wɖt hōltñ fr breʈ—az in a frantic stet v dlît wɖ ɖ hol pṛsidñz.

Srtnli, f ɖz old jntlṃn wr inclînd t hv a fīndiś jô in ɖ contmpleśn v Tacltn’z dscumfićr, ɖe hd gd rīzn t b saṭsfaid. Tacltn cd’nt gt on at ol; n ɖ mor ćirfl hiz intndd brîd bcem in Dot’s ssayti, ɖ les h lîct it, ɖo h hd bròt ɖm tgɖr fr ɖt prṗs. Fr h wz a reğlr dog in ɖ menjr, wz Tacltn; n, ẃn ɖe laft n h cd’nt, h tc it intu hiz hed, imīɉtli, ɖt ɖe mst b lafñ at him.

“Ā, Me!” sd Dot. “Dir, dir, ẃt ćenjz! T tōc v ɖoz meri scūl dez mcs wn yuñ agn.”

“Ẃ, y an’t ptiklrli old at eni tîm, r y?” sd Tacltn.

“Lc at mî sobr, plodñ huzbnd ɖr,” rtrnd Dot. “H adz twenti yirz t mî ej at līst. D’nt y, Jon?”

“Forti,” Jon rplaid.

“Hǎ mni y’l ad t Mẹri’z, I am śr I d’nt nǒ,” sd Dot, lafñ. “Bt ś c’nt b mć les ɖn a hundṛd yirz v ej on hr nxt brʈde.”

“Ha, ha!” laft Tacltn. Holo az a drum ɖt laf, ɖo. N h lct az f h cd hv twistd Dot’s nec cumftbli.

“Dir, dir!” sd Dot. “Onli t rmembr hǎ w yst t tōc, at scūl, abt ɖ huzbndz w wd ćūz. I d’nt nǒ hǎ yuñ, n hǎ hansm, n hǎ ge, n hǎ lîvli mîn wz nt t b! N az t Me’z!—Ā dir! I d’nt nǒ ẃɖr t laf or crî, ẃn I ʈnc ẃt sili grlz w wr.”

Me sīmd t nǒ ẃć t d; fr ɖ culr flaśt intu hr fes, n tirz std in hr îz.

“Īvn ɖ vri prsnz ɖmslvz—riyl lîv yuñ men—w fixt on smtmz,” sd Dot. “W litl ʈt hǎ ʈñz wd cm abt. I nvr fixt on Jon, I’m śr; I nvr so mć az ʈt v him. N, f I hd tld y y wr evr t b marid t Mr. Tacltn, ẃ, y’d hv slapt m. Wd’nt y, Me?”

Ɖo Me dd’nt se yes, ś srtnli dd’nt se no, or xpres no, bî eni mīnz.

Tacltn laft—qt śǎtd, h laft so lǎd. Jon Pīribngl laft tù, in hiz ordnri gd-nećrd n cntntd manr; bt hiz wz a mir ẃispr v a laf t Tacltn’z.

“Y cd’nt hlp yrslvz, fr ol ɖt. Y cd’nt rzist s, y si,” sd Tacltn. “Hir w r! Hir w r! Ẃr r yr ge yuñ brîdgrūmz nǎ?”

“Sm v ɖm r ded,” sd Dot; “n sm v ɖm fgotn. Sm v ɖm, f ɖe cd stand amñ s at ɖs momnt, wd nt b’liv w wr ɖ sem crīćrz; wd nt b’liv ɖt ẃt ɖe sw n hŕd wz riyl, n w cd fget ɖm so. No! ɖe wd nt b’liv wn wrd v it!”

“Ẃ, Dot!” xclemd ɖ Carịr. “Litl wmn!”

Ś hd spocn wɖ sć rṇstnis n fîr, ɖt ś std in nīd v sm rcōlñ t hrslf, wɖt dǎt. Hr huzbnd’z ćec wz vri jntl, fr h mirli inṭfird, az h s’pozd, t śīld old Tacltn; bt it pruvd ifcćl, fr ś stopt, n sd no mor. Ɖr wz an uncomn ajteśn, īvn in hr sîḷns, ẃć ɖ wẹri Tacltn, hu hd bròt hiz haf-śut î t ber upn hr, notd closli, n rmembrd t sm prṗs tù.

Me utrd no wrd, gd or bad, bt sat qt stl, wɖ hr îz cast dǎn, n md no sîn v inṭrest in ẃt hd pást. Ɖ gd ledi hr muɖr nǎ inṭpozd, obzrvñ, in ɖ frst instns, ɖt grlz wr grlz, n bîgonz bîgonz, n ɖt, so loñ az yuñ ppl wr yuñ n ʈtlis, ɖe wd probbli conduct ɖmslvz lîc yuñ n ʈtlis prsnz: wɖ tū or ʈri uɖr pziśnz v a no les sǎnd n incontṛvrtbl caṛctr. Ś ɖen rmarct, in a dvǎt spirit, ɖt ś ʈanct Hevn ś hd olwz faund in hr dōtr Me a dytifl n obījnt ćîld: fr ẃć ś tc no credit t hrslf, ɖo ś hd evri rīzn t b’liv it wz intîrli owñ t hrslf. Wɖ rgard t Mr. Tacltn, ś sd, Ɖt h wz in a moṛl pônt v vy an undinaybl indivijl, n Ɖt h wz in an eliɉbl pônt v vy a sun-in-lw t b dzîrd, nwn in ɖer snsz cd dǎt. (Ś wz vri imfatic hir.) Wɖ rgard t ɖ faṃli intu ẃć h wz so sn abt, aftr sm s’liṣteśn, t b admitd, ś b’livd Mr. Tacltn ń ɖt, olɖo rdyst in prs, it hd sm pritnśnz t jntiḷti; n ɖt f srtn srcmstansz, nt hoļi uncnctd, ś wd g so far az t se, wɖ ɖ Inḍgo Tred, bt t ẃć ś wd nt mor ptiklrli rfŕ, hd hapnd difṛntli, it mt phps hv bn in pześn v wlʈ. Ś ɖen rmarct ɖt ś wd nt alud t ɖ past, n wd nt mnśn ɖt hr dōtr hd fr sm tîm rjctd ɖ sūt v Mr. Tacltn; n ɖt ś wd nt se a gret mni uɖr ʈñz ẃć ś dd se at gret leñʈ. Fîṇli, ś dlivrd it az ɖ jenṛl rzult v hr obẓveśn n xpirịns, ɖt ɖoz maṛjz in ẃć ɖr wz līst v ẃt wz r’manticli n silili cōld luv, wr olwz ɖ hapiist; n ɖt ś antiṣpetd ɖ gretist poṣbl amǎnt v blis—nt rapćṛs blis; bt ɖ solid, stedi-gwñ articl—fṛm ɖ aproćñ nupślz. Ś cncludd bî informñ ɖ cumṗni ɖt tmoro wz ɖ de ś hd livd fr xpresli; n ɖt, ẃn it wz ovr, ś wd dzîr nʈñ betr ɖn t b pact p n dspozd v in eni jntīl ples v berịl.

Az ɖz rmarcs wr qt unansṛbl—ẃć z ɖ hapi proṗti v ol rmarcs ɖt r sfiśntli wîd v ɖ prṗs—ɖe ćenjd ɖ cuṛnt v ɖ convseśn, n dvrtd ɖ jenṛl atnśn t ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî, ɖ cold mutn, ɖ ptetoz, n ɖ tart. In ordr ɖt ɖ botld bir mt nt b slîtd, Jon Pīribngl pṛpozd Tmoro: ɖ Wedñde; n cōld upn ɖm t drinc a bumpr t it, bfr h pṛsidd on hiz jrni.

Fr y òt t nǒ ɖt h onli restd ɖr, n gev ɖ old hors a beit. H hd t g sm for or fîv mîlz farɖr on; n, ẃn h rtrnd in ɖ īvnñ, h cōld fr Dot, n tc anɖr rest on hiz we hom. Ɖs wz ɖ ordr v ɖ de on ol ɖ Picnic oceźnz, n hd bn evr sins ɖer insttyśn.

Ɖr wr tū prsnz preznt, bsdz ɖ brîd n brîdgrūm ilect, hu dd bt indifṛnt onr t ɖ tost. Wn v ɖz wz Dot, tù fluśt n discmpozd t adapt hrslf t eni smōl ocuṛns v ɖ momnt; ɖ uɖr, Brʈa, hu rouz p huridli bfr ɖ rest, n left ɖ tebl.

“Gdbî!” sd stǎt Jon Pīribngl, pŭlñ on hiz drednòt cot. “I śl b bac at ɖ old tîm. Gdbî ol!”

“Gdbî, Jon,” rtrnd Cêleb.

H sīmd t se it bî rǒt, n t wev hiz hand in ɖ sem unconśs manr; fr h std obzrvñ Brʈa wɖ an añśs wunḍrñ fes, ɖt nvr oltrd its xpreśn.

“Gdbî, yuñ śevr!” sd ɖ joli Carịr, bndñ dǎn t cis ɖ ćîld; ẃć Tili Slǒbô, nǎ intnt upn hr nîf n forc, hd dpoztd aslip (n, strenj t se, wɖt damij) in a litl cót v Brʈa’z frṇśñ; “gdbî! Tîm wl cm, I s’poz, ẃn y’l trn ǎt intu ɖ cold, mî litl frend, n līv yr old faɖr t injô hiz pîp n hiz rūmatics in ɖ ćimnicornr; ê? Ẃr’z Dot?”

“I’m hir, Jon!” ś sd, startñ.

“Cm, cm!” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, clapñ hiz sǎndñ handz. “Ẃr’z ɖ pîp?”

“I qt fgot ɖ pîp, Jon.”

Fgot ɖ pîp! Wz sć a wundr evr hŕd v? Ś! Fgot ɖ pîp!

“I’l—I’l fil it d’recli. It’s sn dn.”

Bt it wz nt so sn dn, îɖr. It le in ɖ yźl ples—ɖ Carịr’z drednòt pocit—wɖ ɖ litl pǎć, hr ǒn wrc, fṛm ẃć ś wz yst t fil it; bt hr hand śc so, ɖt ś intangld it (n yt hr hand wz smōl inuf t hv cm ǎt īẓli, I am śr), n bungld teṛbli. Ɖ filñ v ɖ pîp n lîtñ it, ɖoz litl of̣sz in ẃć I hv cmndd hr dscreśn, wr vîļi dn fṛm frst t last. Jrñ ɖ hol proses, Tacltn std lcñ on mliśsli wɖ ɖ haf-clozd î; ẃć, ẃnvr it met hrz—or còt it, fr it cn hardli b sd t hv evr met anɖr î: rɖr biyñ a cnd v trap t snać it p—ōgmntd hr cnfyźn in a most rmarcbl dgri.

“Ẃ, ẃt a clumzi Dot y r ɖs afṭnun!” sd Jon. “I cd hv dn it betr mslf, I veṛli b’liv!”

Wɖ ɖz gd-nećrd wrdz, h stroud awe, n prezntli wz hŕd, in cumṗni wɖ Boxr, n ɖ old hors, n ɖ cart, mcñ lîvli ḿzic dǎn ɖ rod. Ẃt tîm ɖ drīmi Cêleb stl std, woćñ hiz blînd dōtr, wɖ ɖ sem xpreśn on hiz fes.

“Brʈa!” sd Cêleb, softli. “Ẃt hz hapnd? Hǎ ćenjd y r, mî darlñ, in a fy aurz—sins ɖs mornñ! Y sîḷnt n dul ol de! Ẃt z it? Tel m!”

“Ǒ, faɖr, faɖr!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, brstñ intu tirz. “Ǒ, mî hard, hard fet!”

Cêleb drù hiz hand acrs hiz îz bfr h ansrd hr.

“Bt ʈnc hǎ ćirfl n hǎ hapi y hv bn, Brʈa! Hǎ gd, n hǎ mć luvd, bî mni ppl.”

“Ɖt strîcs m t ɖ hart, dir faɖr! Olwz so mîndfl v m! Olwz so cînd t m!”

Cêleb wz vri mć pplext t unḍstand hr.

“T b—t b blînd, Brʈa, mî pur dir,” h fōltrd, “z a gret aflix́n; bt—”

“I hv nvr flt it!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl. “I hv nvr flt it in its flnis. Nvr! I hv smtmz wśt ɖt I cd si y, or cd si him—onli wns, dir faɖr, onli fr wn litl minit—ɖt I mt nǒ ẃt it z I treźr p,” ś leid hr handz upn hr brest, “n hold hir! Ɖt I mt b śr I hv it rît! N smtmz (bt ɖen I wz a ćîld) I hv wept in mî prerz at nît, t ʈnc ɖt, ẃn yr iṃjz asndd fṛm mî hart t Hevn, ɖe mt nt b ɖ tru rzmbḷns v yrslvz. Bt I hv nvr hd ɖz fīlñz loñ. Ɖe hv pást awe, n left m tranqil n cntntd.”

“N ɖe wl agn,” sd Cêleb.

“Bt, faɖr! Ǒ, mî gd jntl faɖr, ber wɖ m, f I am wicid!” sd ɖ Blînd Grl. “Ɖs z nt ɖ soro ɖt so weiz m dǎn!”

Hr faɖr cd nt ćūz bt let hiz môst îz oṿflo; ś wz so rnist n pʈetic. Bt h dd nt unḍstand hr yt.

“Brñ hr t m,” sd Brʈa. “I canot hold it clozd n śut wɖn mslf. Brñ hr t m, faɖr!”

Ś ń h heztetd, n sd, “Me. Brñ Me!”

Me hŕd ɖ mnśn v hr nem, n, cmñ qaytli twdz hr, tućt hr on ɖ arm. Ɖ Blînd Grl trnd imīɉtli, n hld hr bî bʈ handz.

“Lc intu mî fes, Dir hart, Swīt hart!” sd Brʈa. “Rīd it wɖ yr bytifl îz, n tel m f ɖ truʈ z ritn on it.”

“Dir Brʈa, yes!”

Ɖ Blînd Grl, stl uptrnñ ɖ blanc sîtlis fes, dǎn ẃć ɖ tirz wr corsñ fast, adrest hr in ɖz wrdz:

“Ɖr z nt, in mî soul, a wś or ʈt ɖt z nt fr yr gd, brît Me! Ɖr z nt, in mî soul, a gretfl rec̣lex́n strongr ɖn ɖ dīp rmembṛns ẃć z stord ɖr v ɖ mni mni tîmz ẃn, in ɖ fl prîd v sît n byti, y hv hd cnsiḍreśn fr Blînd Brʈa, īvn ẃn w tū wr ćildṛn, or ẃn Brʈa wz az mć a ćîld az evr blîndnis cn b! Evri blesñ on yr hed! Lît upn yr hapi cors! Nt ɖ les, mî dir Me,”—n ś drù twdz hr in a closr grasp,—“nt ɖ les, mî brd, bcz, tde, ɖ nolij ɖt y r t b Hiz wîf hz rúñ mî hart olmst t brecñ! Faɖr, Me, Mẹri! Ǒ, fgiv m ɖt it z so, fr ɖ sec v ol h hz dn t rliv ɖ wirinis v mî darc lîf: n fr ɖ sec v ɖ b’lif y hv in m, ẃn I cōl Hevn t witnis ɖt I cd nt wś him marid t a wîf mor wrɖi v hiz gdnis!”

Ẃl spīcñ, ś hd rlist Me Fīldñ’z handz, n claspt hr garmnts in an attyd v mngld supḷceśn n luv. Sncñ lowr n lowr dǎn, az ś pṛsidd in hr strenj cnfeśn, ś dropt at last at ɖ fīt v hr frend, n hid hr blînd fes in ɖ foldz v hr dres.

“Gret Pǎr!” xclemd hr faɖr, smitn at wn blo wɖ ɖ truʈ, “hv I dsivd hr fṛm hr credl, bt t brec hr hart at last?”

It wz wel fr ol v ɖm ɖt Dot, ɖt bīmñ, ysfl, bizi litl Dot—fr sć ś wz, ẃtvr fōlts ś hd, n hvr y me lrn t het hr, in gd tîm—it wz wel fr ol v ɖm, I se, ɖt ś wz ɖr, or ẃr ɖs wd hv endd, it wr hard t tel. Bt Dot, rcuṿrñ hr slf-pześn, inṭpozd, bfr Me cd rplî, or Cêleb se anɖr wrd.

“Cm, cm, dir Brʈa! cm awe wɖ m! Gv hr yr arm, Me! So. Hǎ cmpozd ś z, y si, olrdi; n hǎ gd it z v hr t mînd s,” sd ɖ ćiri litl wmn, cisñ hr upn ɖ fōrhed. “Cm awe, dir Brʈa! Cm! n hir’z hr gd faɖr wl cm wɖ hr, w’nt y, Cêleb? T—b—śr!”

Wel, wel! ś wz a nobl litl Dot in sć ʈñz, n it mst hv bn an objṛt nećr ɖt cd hv wɖstd hr inflụns. Ẃn ś hd got pur Cêleb n hiz Brʈa awe, ɖt ɖe mt cumf̣t n cnsol ć uɖr, az ś ń ɖe onli cd, ś prezntli cem bǎnsñ bac,—ɖ seyñ z, az freś az eni deizi; I se freśr—t mǎnt gard ovr ɖt braiḍlñ litl pìs v consiqns in ɖ cap n gluvz, n privnt ɖ dir old crīćr fṛm mcñ dscuṿriz.

“So brñ m ɖ preśs Bebi, Tili,” sd ś, drw̃ a ćer t ɖ fîr; “n ẃl I hv it in mî lap, hir’z Msz. Fīldñ, Tili, wl tel m ol abt ɖ manijmnt v Bebiz, n pt m rît in twenti pônts ẃr I’m az roñ az cn b. W’nt y, Msz. Fīldñ?”

“So brñ m ɖ preśs Bebi, Tili,” sd ś, drw̃ a ćer t ɖ fîr; “n ẃl I hv it in mî lap, hir’z Msz. Fīldñ, Tili, wl tel m ol abt ɖ manijmnt v Bebiz, n pt m rît in twenti pônts ẃr I’m az roñ az cn b. W’nt y, Msz. Fīldñ?”

Nt īvn ɖ Wlś Jaynt, hu, acordñ t ɖ popylr xpreśn, wz so “slo” az t pform a fetl srjicl oṗreśn upn himslf, in eḿleśn v a juġlñ tric aćivd bî hiz arć eṇmi at brecfsțîm; nt īvn h fél haf so reḍli intu ɖ sner priperd fr him az ɖ old ledi intu ɖs artfl pitfōl. Ɖ fact v Tacltn hvñ wōct ǎt; n frɖrmr, v tū or ʈri ppl hvñ bn tōcñ tgɖr at a distns, fr tū minits, līvñ hr t hr ǒn rzorsz; wz qt inuf t hv pt hr on hr digṇti, n ɖ bweilmnt v ɖt mstirịs cnvulśn in ɖ Inḍgo Tred, fr for-n-twenti aurz. Bt ɖs bcmñ defṛns t hr xpirịns, on ɖ part v ɖ yuñ muɖr, wz so irizistbl, ɖt aftr a śort afcteśn v hymiḷti, ś bgan t inlîtn hr wɖ ɖ bst gres in ɖ wrld; n, sitñ bolt uprît bfr ɖ wicid Dot, ś dd, in haf an aur, dlivr mor infaḷbl dmestic reṣpiz n prīsepts ɖn wd (f actd on) hv utrli dstroid n dn p ɖt Yuñ Pīribngl, ɖo h hd bn an Inf̣nt Samsn.

T ćenj ɖ ʈīm, Dot dd a litl nīdlwrc—ś carid ɖ contents v a hol wrcbox in hr pocit; hvr ś cntrîvd it, I d’nt nǒ—ɖen dd a litl nrsñ; ɖen a litl mor nīdlwrc; ɖen hd a litl ẃisṗrñ ćat wɖ Me, ẃl ɖ old ledi dozd; n so in litl bits v busl, ẃć wz qt hr manr olwz, faund it a vri śort afṭnun. Ɖen, az it grù darc, n az it wz a soḷm part v ɖs Insttyśn v ɖ Picnic ɖt ś śd pform ol Brʈa’z hǎshold tascs, ś trimd ɖ fîr, n swept ɖ harʈ, n set ɖ tībōrd ǎt, n drù ɖ crtn, n lîtd a candl. Ɖen ś pleid an er or tū on a rūd cnd v harp, ẃć Cêleb hd cntrîvd fr Brʈa, n pleid ɖm vri wel; fr Nećr hd md hr delic̣t litl ir az ćôs a wn fr ḿzic az it wd hv bn fr juwlz, f ś hd hd eni t wer. Bî ɖs tîm it wz ɖ istabliśt aur fr hvñ ti; n Tacltn cem bac agn t śer ɖ mīl, n spend ɖ īvnñ.

Cêleb n Brʈa hd rtrnd sm tîm bfr, n Cêleb hd sat dǎn t hiz afṭnun’z wrc. Bt h cd’nt setl t it, pur felo, biyñ añśs n rmorsfl fr hiz dōtr. It wz tućñ t si him sitñ îdl on hiz wrcñstūl, rgardñ hr so wistf̣li, n olwz seyñ in hiz fes, “Hv I dsivd hr fṛm hr credl, bt t brec hr hart?”

Ẃn it wz nît, n ti wz dn, n Dot hd nʈñ mor t d in wośñ p ɖ cups n sōsrz; in a wrd—fr I mst cm t it, n ɖr z no ys in ptñ it of—ẃn ɖ tîm drù nî fr xpctñ ɖ Carịr’z rtrn in evri sǎnd v distnt ẃīlz, hr manr ćenjd agn, hr culr cem n wnt, n ś wz vri restlis. Nt az gd wîvz r ẃn liṣnñ fr ɖer huzbndz. No, no, no. It wz anɖr sort v restlisnis fṛm ɖt.

Ẃīlz hŕd. A hors’z fīt. Ɖ barcñ v a dog. Ɖ grajl aproć v ol ɖ sǎndz. Ɖ scraćñ pw v Boxr at ɖ dor!

“Huz step z ɖt?” craid Brʈa, startñ p.

“Huz step?” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, standñ in ɖ portl, wɖ hiz brǎn fes rudi az a wintrbéri fṛm ɖ cīn nîter. “Ẃ, mîn.”

“Ɖ uɖr step,” sd Brʈa. “Ɖ man’z tréd bhnd y!”

“Ś z nt t b dsivd,” obzrvd ɖ Carịr, lafñ. “Cm alñ, sr. Y’l b welcm, nvr fir!”

H spouc in a lǎd ton; n, az h spouc, ɖ def old jntlmn entrd.

“H’z nt so mć a strenjr ɖt y hv’nt sìn him wns, Cêleb,” sd ɖ Carịr. “Y’l gv him hǎsrūm tl w g?”

“Ǒ, śrli, Jon, n tec it az an onr!”

“H’z ɖ bst cumṗni on rʈ t tōc sīcrits in,” sd Jon. “I hv rīzṇbl gd luñz, bt h trîz ’m, I cn tel y. Sit dǎn, sr. Ol frendz hir, n glad t si y!”

Ẃn h hd impartd ɖs aśuṛns, in a vôs ɖt ampli c’roḅretd ẃt h hd sd abt hiz luñz, h add in hiz naćṛl ton, “A ćer in ɖ ćimnicornr, n līv t sit qt sîḷnt n lc plezntli abt him, z ol h cerz fr. H’z īẓli plizd.”

Brʈa hd bn liṣnñ intntli. Ś cōld Cêleb t hr sîd, ẃn h hd set ɖ ćer, n asct him, in a lo vôs, t dscrîb ɖer vizitr. Ẃn h hd dn so (trūli nǎ, wɖ scrūpyḷs fideḷti), ś muvd, fr ɖ frst tîm sins h hd cm in, n said, n sīmd t hv no frɖr inṭrest cnsrnñ him.

Ɖ Carịr wz in hî spirits, gd felo ɖt h wz, n fondr v hiz litl wîf ɖn evr.

“A clumzi Dot ś wz, ɖs afṭnun!” h sd, insrc̣lñ hr wɖ hiz ruf arm, az ś std, rmuvd fṛm ɖ rest; “n yt I lîc hr smhǎ. Si yondr, Dot!”

H pôntd t ɖ old man. Ś lct dǎn. I ʈnc ś trembld.

“H’z—ha, ha, ha!—h’z fl v adṃreśn fr y!” sd ɖ Carịr. “Tōct v nʈñ els ɖ hol we hir. Ẃ, h’z a brev old bô! I lîc him fr it!”

“I wś h hd a betr subjict, Jon,” ś sd wɖ an unīzi glans abt ɖ rūm. At Tacltn ispeṣ́li.

“A betr subjict!” craid ɖ jovịl Jon. “Ɖr’z no sć ʈñ. Cm! of wɖ ɖ gretcot, of wɖ ɖ ʈic śōl, of wɖ ɖ hevi ráprz! n a cozi haf-aur bî ɖ fîr. Mî humbl srvis, mistris. A gem at cribij, y n I? Ɖt’s harti. Ɖ cardz n bōrd, Dot. N a glas v bir hir, f ɖr’z eni left, smōl wîf!”

Hiz ćalinj wz adrest t ɖ old ledi, hu, axptñ it wɖ greśs redinis, ɖe wr sn ingejd upn ɖ gem. At frst, ɖ Carịr lct abt him smtmz wɖ a smîl, or nǎ n ɖen cōld Dot t pīp ovr hiz śoldr at hiz hand, n advîz him on sm nóti pônt. Bt hiz advrṣri biyñ a rijid diṣplinerịn, n subjict t an oceźnl wìcnis in rspct v pegñ mor ɖn ś wz intîtld t, rqîrd sć vijiḷns on hiz part, az left him nɖr îz nr irz t sper. Ɖus, hiz hol atnśn graɉli bcem abzorbd upn ɖ cardz; n h ʈt v nʈñ els, untl a hand upn hiz śoldr rstord him t a conśsnis v Tacltn.

“I am sori t dstrb y—bt a wrd d’recli.”

“I’m gwñ t dīl,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “It’s a crîsis.”

“It z,” sd Tacltn. “Cm hir, man!”

Ɖr wz ɖt in hiz pel fes ẃć md ɖ uɖr rîz imīɉtli, n asc him, in a huri, ẃt ɖ matr wz.

“Huś! Jon Pīribngl,” sd Tacltn, “I am sori fr ɖs. I am indd. I hv bn afred v it. I hv sspctd it fṛm ɖ frst.”

“Ẃt z it?” asct ɖ Carịr wɖ a frîtnd aspect.

“Huś! I’l śo y, f y’l cm wɖ m.”

Ɖ Carịr acumṗnid him wɖt anɖr wrd. Ɖe wnt acrs a yard, ẃr ɖ starz wr śînñ, n bî a litl sîddor, intu Tacltn’z ǒn cǎntñhǎs, ẃr ɖr wz a glas windo, cmandñ ɖ wéŗūm, ẃć wz clozd fr ɖ nît. Ɖr wz no lît in ɖ cǎntñhǎs itslf, bt ɖr wr lamps in ɖ loñ naro wéŗūm; n consiqntli ɖ windo wz brît.

“A momnt!” sd Tacltn. “Cn y ber t lc ʈru ɖt windo, d y ʈnc?”

“Ẃ nt?” rtrnd ɖ Carịr.

“A momnt mor,” sd Tacltn. “D’nt cmit eni vayḷns. It’s v no ys. It’s denjṛs tù. Y’r a stroñ-md man; n y mt d mrdr bfr y nǒ it.”

Ɖ Carịr lct him in ɖ fes, n rcôld a step az f h hd bn struc. In wn strîd h wz at ɖ windo, n h sw——

Ǒ, Śado on ɖ Harʈ! Ǒ, truʈfl Cricit! Ǒ, pfidịs wîf!

H sw hr wɖ ɖ old man—old no longr, bt irect n gaḷnt—bẹrñ in hiz hand ɖ fōls ẃît her ɖt hd wún hiz we intu ɖer dezḷt n mizṛbl hom. H sw hr liṣnñ t him, az h bnt hiz hed t ẃispr in hr ir; n suf̣rñ him t clasp hr rnd ɖ weist, az ɖe muvd slǒli dǎn ɖ dim wŭdn gaḷri twdz ɖ dor bî ẃć ɖe hd entrd it. H sw ɖm stop, n sw hr trn—t hv ɖ fes, ɖ fes h luvd so, so prizntd t hiz vy!—n sw hr, wɖ hr ǒn handz, ajust ɖ lî upn hiz hed, lafñ, az ś dd it, at hiz unsspiśs nećr!

H clenćt hiz stroñ rît hand at frst, az f it wd hv bìtn dǎn a layn. Bt, oṗnñ it imīɉtli agn, h spred it ǎt bfr ɖ îz v Tacltn (fr h wz tndr v hr īvn ɖen), n so, az ɖe pást ǎt, fél dǎn upn a dsc, n wz az wìc az eni inf̣nt.

H wz rápt p t ɖ ćin, n bizi wɖ hiz hors n parslz, ẃn ś cem intu ɖ rūm, priperd fr gwñ hom.

“Nǎ, Jon dir! Gd nît, Me! Gd nît, Brʈa!”

Cd ś cis ɖm? Cd ś b blîɖ n ćirfl in hr partñ? Cd ś vnćr t rvil hr fes t ɖm wɖt a bluś? Yes. Tacltn obzrvd hr closli, n ś dd ol ɖs.

Tili wz huśñ ɖ bebi, n ś crost n rīcrost Tacltn a duzn tîmz, rpitñ drǎẓli:

“Dd ɖ nolij ɖt it wz t b its wîvz, ɖen, riñ its hārts olmst t brecñ; n dd its faɖrz dsiv it fṛm its credlz bt t brec its hārts at last!”

“Nǎ, Tili, gv m ɖ Bebi! Gd nît, Mr. Tacltn. Ẃr’z Jon, fr gdnis’ sec?”

“H’z gwñ t wōc bsd ɖ hors’z hed,” sd Tacltn; hu hlpt hr t hr sīt.

“Mî dir Jon! Wōc? Tnît?”

Ɖ mufld figr v hr huzbnd md a hesti sîn in ɖ afrṃtiv; n, ɖ fōls strenjr n ɖ litl nrs biyñ in ɖer plesz, ɖ old hors muvd of. Boxr, ɖ unconśs Boxr, runñ on bfr, runñ bac, runñ rnd n rnd ɖ cart, n barcñ az trîumfntli n meṛli az evr.

Ẃn Tacltn hd gn of lîcwz, iscortñ Me n hr muɖr hom, pur Cêleb sat dǎn bî ɖ fîr bsd hiz dōtr; añśs n rmorsfl at ɖ cor; n stl seyñ, in hiz wistfl contmpleśn v hr, “Hv I dsivd hr fṛm hr credl, bt t brec hr hart at last?”

Ɖ tôz ɖt hd bn set in mośn fr ɖ Bebi hd ol stopt n run dǎn loñ ago. In ɖ fent lît n sîḷns, ɖ imṗtrbbli cām dolz, ɖ ajtetd rocñhorsz wɖ dstndd îz n nostṛlz, ɖ old jntlṃn at ɖ strītdorz, standñ haf dubld p upn ɖer felñ niz n anclz, ɖ rai-fest nutcracrz, ɖ vri Bīsts upn ɖer we intu ɖ Arc, in tūz, lîc a Bordñscūl ǎt wōcñ, mt hv bn imajind t b stricn mośnlis wɖ fntastic wundr at Dot biyñ fōls, or Tacltn b’luvid, undr eni combneśn v srcmstansz.

ĆRP Ɖ ƮRD

Ɖ  Duć cloc in ɖ cornr struc Ten ẃn ɖ Carịr sat dǎn bî hiz fîrsîd. So trubld n grīf-wòrn ɖt h sīmd t scer ɖ Ccu, hu, hvñ cut hiz ten mlodịs anǎnsmnts az śort az poṣbl, plunjd bac intu ɖ Mūriś Palis agn, n clapt hiz litl dor bhnd him, az f ɖ unwontd specṭcl wr tù mć fr hiz fīlñz.

F ɖ litl Hei-mcr hd bn armd wɖ ɖ śarpist v sîɖz, n hd cut at evri stroc intu ɖ Carịr’z hart, h nvr cd hv gaśt n wūndd it az Dot hd dn.

It wz a hart so fl v luv fr hr; so baund p n hld tgɖr bî ińmṛbl ʈredz v winñ rmembṛns, spun fṛm ɖ dêli wrcñ v hr mni qoḷtz v indirmnt; it wz a hart in ẃć ś hd inśrînd hrslf so jntli n so closli; a hart so sngl n so rnist in its Truʈ, so stroñ in rît, so wìc in roñ,—ɖt it cd ćeriś nɖr paśn nr rvnj at frst, n hd onli rūm t hold ɖ brocn imij v its Aidl.

Bt, slǒli, slǒli, az ɖ Carịr sat brūdñ on hiz harʈ, nǎ cold n darc, uɖr n firsr ʈts bgan t rîz wɖn him, az an angri wind cmz rîzñ in ɖ nît. Ɖ Strenjr wz bnʈ hiz ǎtrejd rūf. Ʈri steps wd tec him t hiz ćembrdor. Wn blo wd bìt it in. “Y mt d mrdr bfr y nǒ it,” Tacltn hd sd. Hǎ cd it b mrdr, f h gev ɖ viḷn tîm t grapl wɖ him hand t hand? H wz ɖ yungr man.

It wz an il-tîmd ʈt, bad fr ɖ darc mūd v hiz mînd. It wz an angri ʈt, gǒdñ him t sm avnjñ act, ɖt śd ćenj ɖ ćirfl hǎs intu a hōntd ples ẃć lonli travlrz wd dred t pas bî nît; n ẃr ɖ timid wd si śadoz struġlñ in ɖ ruind windoz ẃn ɖ mūn wz dim, n hír wîld nôzz in ɖ stormi weɖr.

H wz ɖ yungr man! Yes, yes; sm luvr hu hd wún ɖ hart ɖt h hd nvr tućt. Sm luvr v hr rli ćôs, v hūm ś hd ʈt n drīmd, fr hūm ś hd pînd n pînd, ẃn h hd fansid hr so hapi bî hiz sîd. Ǒ, aġni t ʈnc v it!

Ś hd bn abv-sterz wɖ ɖ Bebi; gtñ it t bed. Az h sat brūdñ on ɖ harʈ, ś cem clos bsd him, wɖt hiz nolij—in ɖ trnñ v ɖ rac v hiz gret miẓri, h lost ol uɖr sǎndz—n pt hr litl stūl at hiz fīt. H onli ń it ẃn h flt hr hand upn hiz ǒn, n sw hr lcñ p intu hiz fes.

Wɖ wundr? No. It wz hiz frst impreśn, n h wz fein t lc at hr agn, t set it rît. No, nt wɖ wundr. Wɖ an īgr n inqîrñ lc; bt nt wɖ wundr. At frst it wz alarmd n sirịs; ɖen, it ćenjd intu a strenj, wîld, dredfl smîl v recgniśn v hiz ʈts; ɖen, ɖr wz nʈñ bt hr claspt handz on hr brǎ, n hr bnt hed, n fōlñ her.

Ɖo ɖ pǎr v Omniṗtns hd bn hiz t wīld at ɖt momnt, h hd tù mć v its dvînr proṗti v Mrsi in hiz brest, t hv trnd wn feɖr’z weit v it agnst hr. Bt h cd nt ber t si hr crǎćñ dǎn upn ɖ litl sīt ẃr h hd ofn lct on hr, wɖ luv n prîd, so iṇsnt n ge; n, ẃn ś rouz n left him, sobñ az ś wnt, h flt it a rlif t hv ɖ vecnt ples bsd him rɖr ɖn hr so loñ-ćeriśt prezns. Ɖs in itslf wz anḡś cīnr ɖn ol, rmîndñ him hǎ dezḷt h wz bcm, n hǎ ɖ gret bond v hiz lîf wz rént asundr.

Ɖ mor h flt ɖs, n ɖ mor h ń h cd hv betr bòrn t si hr layñ preṃtyrli ded bfr him wɖ hr litl ćîld upn hr brest, ɖ hayr n ɖ strongr rouz hiz roʈ agnst hiz eṇmi. H lct abt him fr a wepn.

Ɖr wz a gun haññ on ɖ wōl. H tc it dǎn, n muvd a pes or tū twdz ɖ dor v ɖ pfidịs Strenjr’z rūm. H ń ɖ gun wz lodd. Sm śadǒi îdīa ɖt it wz just t śūt ɖs man lîc a wîld bīst sizd him, n dletd in hiz mînd untl it grù intu a monstṛs dīmn in cmplit pześn v him, castñ ǎt ol mîldr ʈts, n setñ p its undivîdd empîr.

Ɖt frêz z roñ. Nt castñ ǎt hiz mîldr ʈts, bt artf̣li trnsformñ ɖm. Ćenjñ ɖm intu scrjz t drîv him on. Trnñ wōtr intu blud, luv intu het, jntlnis intu blînd f’roṣti. Hr imij, sorowñ, humbld, bt stl plīdñ t hiz tndrnis n mrsi wɖ rzistlis pǎr, nvr left hiz mînd; bt, steyñ ɖr, it rjd him t ɖ dor; rezd ɖ wepn t hiz śoldr; fitd n nrvd hiz fngrz t ɖ trigr; n craid “Cil him! In hiz bed!”

H rvrst ɖ gun t bìt ɖ stoc upn ɖ dor; h olrdi hld it liftd in ɖ er; sm indistñt dzîn wz in hiz ʈts v cōlñ ǎt t him t flî, fr God’z sec, bî ɖ windo——

Ẃn sudnli, ɖ struġlñ fîr iluṃnetd ɖ hol ćimni wɖ a glo v lît; n ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ bgan t Ćrp!

Ẃn sudnli, ɖ struġlñ fîr iluṃnetd ɖ hol ćimni wɖ a glo v lît; n ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ bgan t Ćrp!

No sǎnd h cd hv hŕd, no hymn vôs, nt īvn hrz, cd so hv muvd n sofnd him. Ɖ artlis wrdz in ẃć ś hd tld him v hr luv fr ɖs sem Cricit wr wns mor freśli spocn; hr tremḅlñ, rnist manr at ɖ momnt wz agn bfr him; hr pleznt vôs—ǒ, ẃt a vôs it wz fr mcñ hǎsholdḿzic at ɖ fîrsîd v an onist man!—ʈrild ʈru n ʈru hiz betr nećr, n awouc it intu lîf n ax́n.

H rcôld fṛm ɖ dor, lîc a man wōcñ in hiz slīp, awecnd fṛm a frîtfl drīm; n pt ɖ gun asd. Claspñ hiz handz bfr hiz fes, h ɖen sat dǎn agn bsd ɖ fîr, n faund rlif in tirz.

Claspñ hiz handz bfr hiz fes, h ɖen sat dǎn agn bsd ɖ fîr, n faund rlif in tirz.

Ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ cem ǎt intu ɖ rūm, n std in Fẹri śep bfr him.

“‘I luv it,’” sd ɖ Fẹri Vôs, rpitñ ẃt h wel rmembrd, “‘fr ɖ mni tîmz I hv hŕd it, n ɖ mni ʈts its harmlis ḿzic hz gvn m.’”

“Ś sd so!” craid ɖ Carịr. “Tru!”

“‘Ɖs hz bn a hapi hom, Jon! n I luv ɖ Cricit fr its sec!’”

“It hz bn, Hevn nz,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “Ś md it hapi, olwz,—untl nǎ.”

“So gresf̣li swīt-tmprd; so dmestic, jôfl, bizi, n lît-hartd!” sd ɖ Vôs.

“Uɖ̇wz I nvr cd hv luvd hr az I dd,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr.

Ɖ Vôs, c’rectñ him, sd “d.”

Ɖ Carịr rpitd “az I dd.” Bt nt frmli. Hiz fōlṭrñ tuñ rzistd hiz cntrol, n wd spīc in its ǒn we fr itslf n him.

Ɖ Figr, in an attyd v invceśn, rezd its hand n sd:

“Upn yr ǒn harʈ—”

“Ɖ harʈ ś hz blîtd,” inṭpozd ɖ Carịr.

“Ɖ harʈ ś hz—hǎ ofn!—blest n brîtnd,” sd ɖ Cricit; “ɖ harʈ ẃć, bt fr hr, wr onli a fy stonz n brics n rusti barz, bt ẃć hz bn, ʈru hr, ɖ Ōltr v yr Hom; on ẃć y hv nîtli sacṛfîst sm peti paśn, slfiśnis, or cer, n ofrd p ɖ homij v a tranqil mînd, a trustñ nećr, n an oṿflowñ hart; so ɖt ɖ smoc fṛm ɖs pur ćimni hz gn upwd wɖ a betr fregṛns ɖn ɖ rićist insns ɖt z brnt bfr ɖ rićist śrînz in ol ɖ gōdi templz v ɖs wrld!—Upn yr ǒn harʈ; in its qayt sañćri; srǎndd bî its jntl inflụnsz n asośieśnz; hír hr! Hír m! Hír evrʈñ ɖt spīcs ɖ lanḡj v yr harʈ n hom!”

“N plīdz fr hr?” inqîrd ɖ Carịr.

“Ol ʈñz ɖt spīc ɖ lanḡj v yr harʈ n hom mst plīd fr hr!” rtrnd ɖ Cricit. “Fr ɖe spīc ɖ truʈ.”

N ẃl ɖ Carịr, wɖ hiz hed upn hiz handz, cntinyd t sit medtetñ in hiz ćer, ɖ Prezns std bsd him, sjstñ hiz rflex́nz bî its pǎr, n prizntñ ɖm bfr him, az in a glas or picćr. It wz nt a solitri Prezns. Fṛm ɖ harʈston, fṛm ɖ ćimni, fṛm ɖ cloc, ɖ pîp, ɖ cetl, n ɖ credl; fṛm ɖ flor, ɖ wōlz, ɖ sīlñ, n ɖ sterz; fṛm ɖ cart wɖt, n ɖ cuḅd wɖn, n ɖ hǎsholdimplimnts; fṛm evrʈñ n evri ples wɖ ẃć ś hd evr bn fmiłr, n wɖ ẃć ś hd evr intwînd wn rec̣lex́n v hrslf in hr unhapi huzbnd’z mînd,—Fẹriz cem trūpñ fʈ. Nt t stand bsd him az ɖ Cricit dd, bt t bizi n bstŕ ɖmslvz. T d ol onr t hr imij. T pl him bî ɖ scrts, n pônt t it ẃn it apird. T clustr rnd it, n imbres it, n stru flǎrz fr it t tréd on. T trî t crǎn its fer hed wɖ ɖer tîni handz. T śo ɖt ɖe wr fond v it, n luvd it; n ɖt ɖr wz nt wn ugli, wicid, or akzetri crīćr t clem nolij v it—nn bt ɖer plêfl n apruvñ slvz.

Hiz ʈts wr constnt t hr imij. It wz olwz ɖr.

Ś sat playñ hr nīdl, bfr ɖ fîr, n sññ t hrslf. Sć a blîɖ, ʈrîvñ, stedi litl Dot! Ɖ Fẹri figrz trnd upn him ol at wns, bî wn cnsnt, wɖ wn pṛdijs consntretd stér, n sīmd t se, “Z ɖs ɖ lît wîf y r mōrnñ fr?”

Ɖr wr sǎndz v geyti ǎtsd, ḿzicl instṛmnts, n nôzi tuñz, n laftr. A crǎd v yuñ meri-mcrz cem porñ in, amñ hūm wr Me Fīldñ n a scor v priti grlz. Dot wz ɖ fẹrist v ɖm ol; az yuñ az eni v ɖm tù. Ɖe cem t sumn hr t jôn ɖer parti. It wz a dans. F evr litl ft wr md fr dansñ, hrz wz, śrli. Bt ś laft, n śc hr hed, n pôntd t hr cc̣ri on ɖ fîr, n hr tebl redi spred; wɖ an xultñ dfayns ɖt rendrd hr mor ćarmñ ɖn ś wz bfr. N so ś meṛli dsmist ɖm, nodñ t hr wd-bi partnrz, wn bî wn, az ɖe pást ǎt, wɖ a comicl indifṛns, inuf t mc ɖm g n drǎn ɖmslvz imīɉtli f ɖe wr hr admîrrz—n ɖe mst hv bn so, mor or les; ɖe cd’nt hlp it. N yt indifṛns wz nt hr caṛctr. Ǒ no! Fr prezntli ɖr cem a srtn Carịr t ɖ dor; n, bles hr, ẃt a welcm ś bstoud upn him!

Agn ɖ stẹrñ figrz trnd upn him ol at wns, n sīmd t se, “Z ɖs ɖ wîf hu hz fōrsecn y?”

A śado fél upn ɖ mirr or ɖ picćr: cōl it ẃt y wl. A gret śado v ɖ Strenjr, az h frst std undnʈ ɖer rūf; cuṿrñ its srfis, n blotñ ǎt ol uɖr objicts. Bt, ɖ nimbl Fẹriz wrct lîc bìz t clir it of agn. N Dot agn wz ɖr. Stl brît n bytifl.

Rocñ hr litl Bebi in its credl, sññ t it softli, n restñ hr hed upn a śoldr ẃć hd its cǎnṭpart in ɖ ḿzñ figr bî ẃć ɖ Fẹri Cricit std.

Ɖ nît—I mīn ɖ riyl nît: nt gwñ bî Fẹri clocs—wz wẹrñ nǎ; n, in ɖs stej v ɖ Carịr’z ʈts, ɖ mūn brst ǎt, n śon brîtli in ɖ scî. Phps sm cām n qayt lît hd rizn olso in hiz mînd; n h cd ʈnc mor sobrli v ẃt hd hapnd.

Olɖo ɖ śado v ɖ Strenjr fél at inṭvlz upn ɖ glas—olwz dstñt, n big, n ʈuṛli dfînd—it nvr fél so darcli az at frst. Ẃnvr it apird, ɖ Fẹriz utrd a jenṛl crî v consṭneśn, n plaid ɖer litl armz n legz wɖ incnsiṿbl activti t rub it ǎt. N ẃnvr ɖe got at Dot agn, n śoud hr t him wns mor, brît n bytifl, ɖe ćird in ɖ most inspîrñ manr.

Ɖe nvr śoud hr uɖ̇wz ɖn bytifl n brît, fr ɖe wr Hǎshold Spirits t hūm fōlshd z an anạleśn; n biyñ so, ẃt Dot wz ɖr fr ɖm, bt ɖ wn activ, bīmñ, pleznt litl crīćr hu hd bn ɖ lît n sún v ɖ Carịr’z Hom?

Ɖ Fẹriz wr pṛdiɉsli xîtd ẃn ɖe śoud hr, wɖ ɖ Bebi, goṣpñ amñ a nót v sej old metṛnz, n afctñ t b wundṛs old n metṛnli hrslf, n līnñ in a stêd dḿr old we upn hr huzbnd’z arm, atmtñ—ś! sć a bud v a litl wmn—t cnve ɖ îdīa v hvñ abjurd ɖ vaṇtiz v ɖ wrld in jenṛl, n v biyñ ɖ sort v prsn t hūm it wz no novlti at ol t b a muɖr; yt, in ɖ sem breʈ, ɖe śoud hr lafñ at ɖ Carịr fr biyñ ōcẉd, n pŭlñ p hiz śrt colr t mc him smart, n minsñ meṛli abt ɖt vri rūm t tīć him hǎ t dans!

Ɖe trnd, n stérd imnsli at him ẃn ɖe śoud hr wɖ ɖ Blînd Grl; fr, ɖo ś carid ćirflnis n aṇmeśn wɖ hr ẃr-so-evr ś wnt, ś bòr ɖoz inflụnsz intu Cêleb Plumr’z hom, hīpt p n runñ ovr. Ɖ Blînd Grl’z luv fr hr, n trust in hr, n grattyd t hr; hr ǒn gd bizi we v setñ Brʈa’z ʈancs asd; hr dxtṛs litl arts fr filñ p ć momnt v ɖ vizit in dwñ smʈñ ysfl t ɖ hǎs, n riyli wrcñ hard ẃl fênñ t mc hoḷde; hr bǎntifl pṛviźn v ɖoz standñ delic̣siz, ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî n ɖ botlz v Bir; hr redịnt litl fes arîvñ at ɖ dor, n tecñ līv; ɖ wundrfl xpreśn in hr hol slf, fṛm hr nīt ft t ɖ crǎn v hr hed, v biyñ a part v ɖ istabliśmnt—a smʈñ nesṣri t it, ẃć it cd’nt b wɖt,—ol ɖs ɖ Fẹriz revld in, n luvd hr fr. N wns agn ɖe lct upn him ol at wns, apilñli, n sīmd t se, ẃl sm amñ ɖm nesld in hr dres n fondld hr, “Z ɖs ɖ wîf hu hz btreid yr confidns?”

Mor ɖn wns, or twîs, or ʈrîs, in ɖ loñ ʈtfl nît, ɖe śoud hr t him sitñ on hr feṿrit sīt, wɖ hr bnt hed, hr handz claspt on hr brǎ, hr fōlñ her. Az h hd sìn hr last. N ẃn ɖe faund hr ɖus, ɖe nɖr trnd nr lct upn him, bt gaɖrd clos rnd hr, n cumf̣td n cist hr, n prest on wn anɖr, t śo simṗʈi n cîndnis t hr, n fgot him oltgɖr.

Ɖus ɖ nît pást. Ɖ mūn wnt dǎn; ɖ starz grù pel; ɖ cold de brouc; ɖ sún rouz. Ɖ Carịr stl sat, ḿzñ, in ɖ ćimnicornr. H hd sat ɖr, wɖ hiz hed upn hiz handz, ol nît. Ol nît ɖ feʈfl Cricit hd bn Ćrp, Ćrp, Ćrpñ on ɖ Harʈ. Ol nît h hd lisnd t its vôs. Ol nît ɖ Hǎshold Fẹriz hd bn bizi wɖ him. Ol nît ś hd bn emịbl n blemlis in ɖ glas, xpt ẃn ɖt wn śado fél upn it.

H rouz p ẃn it wz brōd de, n wośt n drest himslf. H cd’nt g abt hiz custmri ćirfl aṿceśnz—h wontd spirit fr ɖm—bt it matrd ɖ les ɖt it wz Tacltn’z wedñde, n h hd arenjd t mc hiz rǎndz bî proxi. H hd ʈt t hv gn meṛli t ćrć wɖ Dot. Bt sć planz wr at an end. It wz ɖer ǒn wedñde tù. Ā! hǎ litl h hd lct fr sć a cloz t sć a yir!

Ɖ Carịr xpctd ɖt Tacltn wd pe him an rli vizit; n h wz rît. H hd nt wōct t n fro bfr hiz ǒn dor mni minits, ẃn h sw ɖ tômrćnt cmñ in hiz śêz alñ ɖ rod. Az ɖ śêz drù nirr, h psivd ɖt Tacltn wz drest ǎt sprūsli fr hiz marij, n ɖt h hd dec̣retd hiz hors’z hed wɖ flǎrz n fevrz.

Ɖ hors lct mć mor lîc a brîdgrūm ɖn Tacltn, huz haf-clozd î wz mor dis’griybli xpresiv ɖn evr. Bt ɖ Carịr tc litl hīd v ɖs. Hiz ʈts hd uɖr okpeśn.

“Jon Pīribngl!” sd Tacltn wɖ an er v cndoḷns. “Mî gd felo, hǎ d y fînd yrslf ɖs mornñ?”

“I hv hd bt a pur nît, Mastr Tacltn,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, śecñ hiz hed: “fr I hv bn a gd dīl dstrbd in mî mînd. Bt it’s ovr nǎ! Cn y sper m haf an aur or so, fr sm prîṿt tōc?”

“I cem on prṗs,” rtrnd Tacltn, alîtñ. “Nvr mînd ɖ hors. H’l stand qayt inuf, wɖ ɖ reinz ovr ɖs post, f y’l gv him a mǎʈfl v hei.”

Ɖ Carịr hvñ bròt it fṛm hiz stebl n set it bfr him, ɖe trnd intu ɖ hǎs.

“Y r nt marid bfr nūn,” h sd, “I ʈnc?”

“No,” ansrd Tacltn. “Plenti v tîm. Plenti v tîm.”

Ẃn ɖe entrd ɖ cićn, Tili Slǒbô wz rapñ at ɖ Strenjr’z dor; ẃć wz onli rmuvd fṛm it bî a fy steps. Wn v hr vri red îz (fr Tili hd bn crayñ ol nît loñ, bcz hr mistris craid) wz at ɖ cīhol; n ś wz nocñ vri lǎd, n sīmd frîtnd.

“F y plīz I c’nt mc nbdi hír,” sd Tili, lcñ rnd. “I hop nbdi an’t gn n bn n daid f y plīz!”

Ɖs fiḷnʈropic wś Mis Slǒbô emf̣sîzd wɖ verịs ny raps n cics at ɖ dor, ẃć léd t no rzult ẃtvr.

“Śl I g?” sd Tacltn. “It’s krịs.”

Ɖ Carịr, hu hd trnd hiz fes fṛm ɖ dor, sînd him t g f h wd.

So Tacltn wnt t Tili Slǒbô’z rlif; n h tù cict n noct; n h tù feld t gt ɖ līst rplî. Bt h ʈt v trayñ ɖ handl v ɖ dor; n, az it opnd īẓli, h pīpt in, lct in, wnt in, n sn cem runñ ǎt agn.

“Jon Pīribngl,” sd Tacltn in hiz ir, “I hop ɖr hz bn nʈñ—nʈñ raś in ɖ nît?”

Ɖ Carịr trnd upn him qcli.

“Bcz h’z gn!” sd Tacltn; “n ɖ windo’z opn. I d’nt si eni marcs—t b śr, it’s olmst on a levl wɖ ɖ gardn: bt I wz afred ɖr mt hv bn sm—sm scufl. Ê?”

H nirli śut p ɖ xpresiv î oltgɖr; h lct at him so hard. N h gev hiz î, n hiz fes, n hiz hol prsn, a śarp twist. Az f h wd hv scrùd ɖ truʈ ǎt v him.

“Mc yrslf īzi,” sd ɖ Carịr. “H wnt intu ɖt rūm last nît, wɖt harm in wrd or dīd fṛm m, n nwn hz entrd it sins. H z awe v hiz ǒn fri wil. I’d g ǎt gladli at ɖt dor, n beg mî bred fṛm hǎs t hǎs, fr lîf, f I cd so ćenj ɖ past ɖt h hd nvr cm. Bt h hz cm n gn. N I hv dn wɖ him!”

“Ǒ!—Wel, I ʈnc h hz got of priti īzi,” sd Tacltn, tecñ a ćer.

Ɖ snir wz lost upn ɖ Carịr, hu sat dǎn tù, n śêdd hiz fes wɖ hiz hand, fr sm litl tîm, bfr pṛsidñ.

“Y śoud m last nît,” h sd at leñʈ, “mî wîf—mî wîf ɖt I luv—sīcṛtli—”

“N tndrli,” insińuetd Tacltn.

“—Cnîvñ at ɖt man’z dsgîz, n gvñ him oṗtyṇtiz v mītñ hr alon. I ʈnc ɖr’z no sît I wd’nt hv rɖr sìn ɖn ɖt. I ʈnc ɖr’z no man in ɖ wrld I wd’nt hv rɖr hd t śo it m.”

“I cnfes t hvñ hd mî sspiśnz olwz,” sd Tacltn. “N ɖt hz md m objx́ṇbl hir, I nǒ.”

“Bt, az y dd śo it m,” psyd ɖ Carịr, nt mîndñ him; “n az y sw hr, mî wîf, mî wîf ɖt I luv”—hiz vôs, n î, n hand grù stedịr n frmr az h rpitd ɖz wrdz: evidntli in psywns v a stedfst prṗs—“az y sw hr at ɖs dis’dvantij, it z rît n just ɖt y śd olso si wɖ mî îz, n lc intu mî brest, n nǒ ẃt mî mînd z upn ɖ subjict. Fr it’s setld,” sd ɖ Carịr, rgardñ him atntivli. “N nʈñ cn śec it nǎ.”

Tacltn mutrd a fy jenṛl wrdz v asnt abt its biyñ nesṣri t vinḍcet smʈñ or uɖr; bt h wz oṿōd bî ɖ manr v hiz cmpańn. Plen n unpoliśt az it wz, it hd a smʈñ digṇfaid n nobl in it, ẃć nʈñ bt ɖ soul v jenṛs onr dwelñ in ɖ man cd hv impartd.

“I am a plen, ruf man,” psyd ɖ Carịr “wɖ vri litl t rec̣mnd m. I am nt a clevr man, az y vri wel nǒ. I am nt a yuñ man. I luvd mî litl Dot, bcz I hd sìn hr gro p, fṛm a ćîld, in hr faɖr’z hǎs; bcz I ń hǎ preśs ś wz; bcz ś hd bn mî lîf fr yirz n yirz. Ɖr’z mni men I c’nt cmper wɖ, hu nvr cd hv luvd mî litl Dot lîc m, I ʈnc!”

H pōzd, n softli bìt ɖ grǎnd a śort tîm wɖ hiz ft, bfr rzymñ:

“I ofn ʈt ɖt ɖo I wz’nt gd inuf fr hr, I śd mc hr a cînd huzbnd, n phps nǒ hr valy betr ɖn anɖr; n in ɖs we I recnsîld it t mslf, n cem t ʈnc it mt b poṣbl ɖt w śd b marid. N, in ɖ end, it cem abt, n w wr marid!”

“Ha!” sd Tacltn wɖ a sgnificnt śec v hiz hed.

“I hd studid mslf; I hd hd xpirịns v mslf; I ń hǎ mć I luvd hr, n hǎ hapi I śd b,” psyd ɖ Carịr. “Bt I hd nt—I fīl it nǎ—sfiśntli cnsidrd hr.”

“T b śr,” sd Tacltn. “Gidinis, frivoḷti, ficlnis, luv v adṃreśn! Nt cnsidrd! Ol left ǎt v sît! Ha!”

“Y hd bst nt inṭrupt m,” sd ɖ Carịr wɖ sm strņis, “tl y unḍstand m; n y’r wîd v dwñ so. F, yesṭde, I’d hv struc ɖt man dǎn at a blo, hu derd t briɖ a wrd agnst hr, tde I’d set mî ft upn hiz fes, f h wz mî bruɖr!”

Ɖ tômrćnt gezd at him in astoniśmnt. H wnt on in a softr ton:

“Dd I cnsidr,” sd ɖ Carịr, “ɖt I tc hr—at hr ej, n wɖ hr byti—fṛm hr yuñ cmpańnz, n ɖ mni sīnz v ẃć ś wz ɖ orṇmnt; in ẃć ś wz ɖ brîtist litl star ɖt evr śon, t śut hr p fṛm de t de in mî dul hǎs, n cīp mî tīdịs cumṗni? Dd I cnsidr hǎ litl sūtd I wz t hr sprîtli hymr, n hǎ wirism a plodñ man lîc m mst b t wn v hr qc spirit? Dd I cnsidr ɖt it wz no merit in m, or clem in m, ɖt I luvd hr, ẃn evrbdi mst hu ń hr? Nvr. I tc advantij v hr hopfl nećr n hr ćirfl dispziśn; n I marid hr. I wś I nvr hd! Fr hr sec; nt fr mîn!”

Ɖ tômrćnt gezd at him wɖt wncñ. Īvn ɖ haf-śut î wz opn nǎ.

“Hevn bles hr!” sd ɖ Carịr, “fr ɖ ćirfl constnsi wɖ ẃć ś hz traid t cīp ɖ nolij v ɖs fṛm m! N Hevn hlp m, ɖt, in mî slo mînd, I hv nt faund it ǎt bfr! Pur ćîld! Pur Dot! I nt t fînd it ǎt, hu hv sìn hr îz fil wɖ tirz ẃn sć a marij az ǎr ǒn wz spocn v! I, hu hv sìn ɖ sīcrit tremḅlñ on hr lips a hundṛd tîmz, n nvr sspctd it, tl last nît! Pur grl! Ɖt I cd evr hop ś wd b fond v m! Ɖt I cd evr b’liv ś wz!”

“Ś md a śo v it,” sd Tacltn. “Ś md sć a śo v it, ɖt, t tel y ɖ truʈ, it wz ɖ oṛjin v mî msgvñz.”

N hir h asrtd ɖ s’pirioṛti v Me Fīldñ, hu srtnli md no sort v śo v biyñ fond v him.

“Ś hz traid,” sd ɖ pur Carịr wɖ gretr imośn ɖn h hd xibtd yt; “I onli nǎ bgin t nǒ hǎ hard ś hz traid, t b mî dytifl n zeḷs wîf. Hǎ gd ś hz bn; hǎ mć ś hz dn; hǎ brev n stroñ a hart ś hz; let ɖ hapinis I hv noun undr ɖs rūf ber witnis! It wl b sm hlp n cumf̣t t m ẃn I am hir alon.”

“Hir alon?” sd Tacltn. “Ǒ! Ɖen y d mīn t tec sm notis v ɖs?”

“I mīn,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, “t d hr ɖ gretist cîndnis, n mc hr ɖ bst reṗreśn, in mî pǎr. I cn rlis hr fṛm ɖ dêli pen v an unīql marij, n ɖ strugl t cnsil it. Ś śl b az fri az I cn rendr hr.”

“Mc hr reṗreśn!” xclemd Tacltn, twistñ n trnñ hiz gret irz wɖ hiz handz. “Ɖr mst b smʈñ roñ hir. Y dd’nt se ɖt, v cors.”

Ɖ Carịr set hiz grip upn ɖ colr v ɖ tômrćnt, n śc him lîc a rìd.

“Lisn t m!” h sd. “N tec cer ɖt y hír m rît. Lisn t m. D I spīc plenli?”

“Vri plenli indd,” ansrd Tacltn.

“Az f I mnt it?”

“Vri mć az f y mnt it.”

“I sat upn ɖt harʈ, last nît, ol nît,” xclemd ɖ Carịr. “On ɖ spot ẃr ś hz ofn sat bsd m, wɖ hr swīt fes lcñ intu mîn. I cōld p hr hol lîf de bî de. I hd hr dir slf, in its evri pasij, in rvy bfr m. N, upn mî soul, ś z iṇsnt, f ɖr z Wn t juj ɖ iṇsnt n gilti!”

Stōnś Cricit on ɖ Harʈ! Loyl Hǎshold Fẹriz!

“Paśn n dstrust hv left m!” sd ɖ Carịr; “n nʈñ bt mî grīf rmenz. In an unhapi momnt sm old luvr, betr sūtd t hr tests n yirz ɖn I, fōrsecn, phps, fr m, agnst hr wil, rtrnd. In an unhapi momnt, tecn bî s’prîz, n wontñ tîm t ʈnc v ẃt ś dd, ś md hrslf a parti t hiz treć̣ri bî cnsilñ it. Last nît ś sw him, in ɖ inṭvy w witnist. It wz roñ. Bt, uɖ̇wz ɖn ɖs, ś z iṇsnt, f ɖr z truʈ on rʈ!”

“F ɖt z yr opińn—” Tacltn bgan.

“So, let hr g!” psyd ɖ Carịr. “G, wɖ mî blesñ fr ɖ mni hapi aurz ś hz gvn m, n mî fgivnis fr eni pañ ś hz cōzd m. Let hr g, n hv ɖ pīs v mînd I wś hr! Ś’l nvr het m. Ś’l lrn t lîc m betr ẃn I’m nt a drag upn hr, n ś werz ɖ ćen I hv riṿtd mor lîtli. Ɖs z ɖ de on ẃć I tc hr, wɖ so litl ʈt fr hr injômnt, fṛm hr hom. Tde ś śl rtrn t it, n I wl trubl hr no mor. Hr faɖr n muɖr wl b hir tde—w hd md a litl plan fr cīpñ it tgɖr—n ɖe śl tec hr hom. I cn trust hr ɖr, or enẃr. Ś līvz m wɖt blem, n ś wl liv so I am śr. F I śd dî—I me phps ẃl ś z stl yuñ; I hv lost sm curij in a fy aurz—ś’l fînd ɖt I rmembrd hr, n luvd hr t ɖ last! Ɖs z ɖ end v ẃt y śoud m. Nǎ, it’s ovr!”

“Ǒ no, Jon, nt ovr! D nt se it’s ovr yt! Nt qt yt. I hv hŕd yr nobl wrdz. I cd nt stìl awe, pritndñ t b ignṛnt v ẃt hz afctd m wɖ sć dīp grattyd. D nt se it’s ovr tl ɖ cloc hz struc agn!”

Ś hd entrd śortli aftr Tacltn, n hd rmend ɖr. Ś nvr lct at Tacltn, bt fixt hr îz upn hr huzbnd. Bt ś cept awe fṛm him, setñ az wîd a spes az poṣbl btwn ɖm; n, ɖo ś spouc wɖ most impaśnd rṇstnis, ś wnt no nirr t him īvn ɖen. Hǎ difṛnt in ɖs fṛm hr old slf!

“No hand cn mc ɖ cloc ẃć wl strîc agn fr m ɖ aurz ɖt r gn,” rplaid ɖ Carịr wɖ a fent smîl. “Bt let it b so, f y wl, mî dir. It wl strîc sn. It’s v litl matr ẃt w se. I’d trî t plīz y in a hardr ces ɖn ɖt.”

“Wel!” mutrd Tacltn. “I mst b of, fr, ẃn ɖ cloc strîcs agn, it’l b nesṣri fr m t b upn mî we t ćrć. Gd mornñ, Jon Pīribngl. I’m sori t b dprîvd v ɖ pleźr v yr cumṗni. Sori fr ɖ los, n ɖ oceźn v it tù!”

“I hv spocn plenli?” sd ɖ Carịr, acumṗniyñ him t ɖ dor.

“Ǒ, qt!”

“N y’l rmembr ẃt I hv sd?”

“Ẃ, f y cmpel m t mc ɖ obẓveśn,” sd Tacltn, prīvịsli tecñ ɖ pricōśn v gtñ intu hiz śêz, “I mst se ɖt it wz so vri unixpctd, ɖt I’m far fṛm biyñ lîcli t fget it.”

“Ɖ betr fr s bʈ,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “Gdbî. I gv y jô!”

“I wś I cd gv it t y,” sd Tacltn. “Az I c’nt, ʈancī. Btwn ǎrslvz (az I tld y bfr, ê?) I d’nt mć ʈnc I śl hv ɖ les jô in mî marid lîf bcz Me hz’nt bn tù ofiśs abt m, n tù dmonstṛtiv. Gdbî! Tec cer v yrslf.”

Ɖ Carịr std lcñ aftr him untl h wz smōlr in ɖ distns ɖn hiz hors’z flǎrz n fevrz nir at hand; n ɖen, wɖ a dīp sai, wnt strolñ lîc a restlis, brocn man, amñ sm neḅrñ elmz; unwilñ t rtrn untl ɖ cloc wz on ɖ īv v strîcñ.

Hiz litl wîf, biyñ left alon, sobd pitịsli; bt ofn draid hr îz n ćect hrslf, t se hǎ gd h wz, hǎ xḷnt h wz! n wns or twîs ś laft; so harṭli, trîumfntli, n inc̣hiṛntli (stl crayñ ol ɖ tîm), ɖt Tili wz qt hoṛfaid.

“Ǎ, f y plīz, d’nt!” sd Tili. “It’s inuf t ded n beri ɖ Bebi, so it z f y plīz.”

“Wl y brñ him smtmz t si hiz faɖr, Tili,” inqîrd hr mistris, drayñ hr îz,—“ẃn I c’nt liv hir, n hv gn t mî old hom?”

“Ǎ, f y plīz, d’nt!” craid Tili, ʈrowñ bac hr hed, n brstñ ǎt intu a hǎl—ś lct at ɖ momnt uncomnli lîc Boxr. “Ǎ, f y plīz, d’nt! Ǎ, ẃt hz evrbdi gn n bn n dn wɖ evrbdi, mcñ evrbdi els so rećid? Ǎ-ǎ-ǎ-ǎ!”

Ɖ soft-hartd Slǒbô teild of at ɖs juñćr intu sć a dploṛbl hǎl, ɖ mor tṛmnḍs fṛm its loñ s’preśn, ɖt ś mst infaḷbli hv awecnd ɖ Bebi, n frîtnd him intu smʈñ sirịs (probbli cnvulśnz), f hr îz hd nt incǎntrd Cêleb Plumr līdñ in hiz dōtr. Ɖs specṭcl rstorñ hr t a sns v ɖ pṛpraytiz, ś std fr sm fy momnts sîḷnt, wɖ hr mǎʈ wîd opn; n ɖen, postñ of t ɖ bed on ẃć ɖ Bebi le aslip, danst in a wird, St. Vîṭs manr on ɖ flor, n at ɖ sem tîm rumijd wɖ hr fes n hed amñ ɖ bedcloɖz, apaṛntli d’rîvñ mć rlif fṛm ɖoz xtrordnri oṗreśnz.

“Mẹri!” sd Brʈa. “Nt at ɖ marij!”

“I tld hr y wd nt b ɖr, mum,” ẃisprd Cêleb. “I hŕd az mć last nît. Bt bles y,” sd ɖ litl man, tecñ hr tndrli bî bʈ handz, “I d’nt cer fr ẃt ɖe se. I d’nt b’liv ɖm. Ɖr an’t mć v m, bt ɖt litl śd b torn t pìsz snr ɖn I’d trust a wrd agnst y!”

H pt hiz armz abt hr nec n hugd hr, az a ćîld mt hv hugd wn v hiz ǒn dolz.

“Brʈa cd’nt ste at hom ɖs mornñ,” sd Cêleb. “Ś wz afred, I nǒ, t hír ɖ belz rñ, n cd’nt trust hrslf t b so nir ɖm on ɖer wedñde. So w startd in gd tîm, n cem hir. I hv bn ʈncñ v ẃt I hv dn,” sd Cêleb aftr a momnt’s pōz; “I hv bn blemñ mslf tl I hardli ń ẃt t d, or ẃr t trn, fr ɖ dstres v mînd I hv cōzd hr; n I’v cm t ɖ cncluźn ɖt I’d betr, f y’l ste wɖ m, mum, ɖ ẃl, tel hr ɖ truʈ. Y’l ste wɖ m ɖ ẃl?” h inqîrd, tremḅlñ fṛm hed t ft. “I d’nt nǒ ẃt ifct it me hv upn hr; I d’nt nǒ ẃt ś’l ʈnc v m; I d’nt nǒ ɖt ś’l evr cer fr hr pur faɖr aftwdz. Bt it’s bst fr hr ɖt ś śd b undisivd, n I mst ber ɖ consiqnsz az I dzrv!”

“Mẹri,” sd Brʈa, “ẃr z yr hand? Ā! Hir it z; hir it z!” presñ it t hr lips wɖ a smîl, n drw̃ it ʈru hr arm. “I hŕd ɖm spīcñ softli amñ ɖmslvz last nît v sm blem agnst y. Ɖe wr roñ.”

Ɖ Carịr’z wîf wz sîḷnt. Cêleb ansrd fr hr.

“Ɖe wr roñ,” h sd.

“I ń it!” craid Brʈa, prǎdli. “I tld ɖm so. I scornd t hír a wrd! Blem hr wɖ justis!” ś prest ɖ hand btwn hr ǒn, n ɖ soft ćīc agnst hr fes. “No, I am nt so blînd az ɖt.”

Hr faɖr wnt on wn sîd v hr, ẃl Dot rmend upn ɖ uɖr, holdñ hr hand.

“I nǒ y ol,” sd Brʈa, “betr ɖn y ʈnc. Bt nn so wel az hr. Nt īvn y, faɖr. Ɖr z nʈñ haf so riyl n so tru abt m az ś z. F I cd b rstord t sît ɖs instnt, n nt a wrd wr spocn, I cd ćūz hr fṛm a crǎd! Mî sistr!”

“Brʈa, mî dir!” sd Cêleb. “I hv smʈñ on mî mînd I wont t tel y ẃl w ʈri r alon. Hír m cîndli! I hv a cnfeśn t mc t y, mî darlñ!”

“A cnfeśn, faɖr?”

“I hv wondrd fṛm ɖ truʈ, n lost mslf, mî ćîld,” sd Cêleb wɖ a pitịbl xpreśn in hiz bwildrd fes. “I hv wondrd fṛm ɖ truʈ, intndñ t b cînd t y; n hv bn cruwl.”

Ś trnd hr wundr-stricn fes twdz him, n rpitd “Cruwl!”

“H akzz himslf tù stroñli, Brʈa,” sd Dot. “Y’l se so prezntli. Y’l b ɖ frst t tel him so.”

“H cruwl t m!” craid Brʈa wɖ a smîl v incṛdyḷti.

“Nt mīnñ it, mî ćîld,” sd Cêleb. “Bt I hv bn: ɖo I nvr sspctd it tl yesṭde. Mî dir blînd dōtr, hír m n fgiv m. Ɖ wrld y liv in, hart v mîn, dz’nt xist az I hv reprizntd it. Ɖ îz y hv trustd in hv bn fōls t y.”

Ś trnd hr wundr-stricn fes twdz him stl; bt drù bac, n cluñ closr t hr frend.

“Yr rod in lîf wz ruf, mî pur wn,” sd Cêleb, “n I mnt t smuɖ it fr y. I hv oltrd objicts, ćenjd ɖ caṛctrz v ppl, invntd mni ʈñz ɖt nvr hv bn, t mc y hapịr. I hv hd cnsilmnts fṛm y, pt dspśnz on y, God fgiv m! n srǎndd y wɖ fansiz.”

“Bt livñ ppl r nt fansiz?” ś sd huridli, n trnñ vri pel, n stl rtîrñ fṛm him. “Y c’nt ćenj ɖm.”

“I hv dn so, Brʈa,” plīdd Cêleb. “Ɖr z wn prsn ɖt y nǒ, mî duv—”

“Ǒ, faɖr! ẃ d y se, I nǒ?” ś ansrd in a trm v cīn rproć. “Ẃt n hūm d I nǒ? I hu hv no līdr! I so mizṛbli blînd!”

In ɖ anḡś v hr hart, ś strećt ǎt hr handz, az f ś wr gropñ hr we; ɖen spred ɖm, in a manr most f’lorn n sad, upn hr fes.

“Ɖ marij ɖt tecs ples tde,” sd Cêleb, “z wɖ a strn, sordid, grîndñ man. A hard mastr t y n m, mî dir, fr mni yirz. Ugli in hiz lcs, n in hiz nećr. Cold n caḷs olwz. Unlîc ẃt I hv pentd him t y in evrʈñ, mî ćîld. In evrʈñ.”

“Ǒ, ẃ,” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, torćrd, az it sīmd, olmst bynd indyṛns, “ẃ dd y evr d ɖs? Ẃ dd y evr fil mî hart so fl, n ɖen cm in lîc Deʈ, n ter awe ɖ objicts v mî luv? O Hevn, hǎ blînd I am! Hǎ hlplis n alon!”

Hr aflictd faɖr huñ hiz hed, n ofrd no rplî bt in hiz penitns n soro.

Ś hd bn bt a śort tîm in ɖs paśn v rgret ẃn ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ, unhŕd bî ol bt hr, bgan t ćrp. Nt meṛli, bt in a lo, fent, sorowñ we. It wz so mōrnfl, ɖt hr tirz bgan t flo; n, ẃn ɖ Prezns ẃć hd bn bsd ɖ Carịr ol nît, apird bhnd hr, pôntñ t hr faɖr, ɖe fél dǎn lîc ren.

Ś hŕd ɖ cricitvôs mor plenli sn, n wz conśs, ʈru hr blîndnis, v ɖ Prezns hoṿrñ abt hr faɖr.

“Mẹri,” sd ɖ Blînd Grl, “tel m ẃt mî hom z. Ẃt it trūli z.”

“It z a pur ples, Brʈa; vri pur n bér indd. Ɖ hǎs wl scersli cīp ǎt wind n ren anɖr wintr. It z az rufli śīldd fṛm ɖ weɖr, Brʈa,” Dot cntinyd in a lo, clir vôs, “az yr pur faɖr in hiz sac̦loʈ cot.”

Ɖ Blînd Grl, gretli ajtetd, rouz, n léd ɖ Carịr’z litl wîf asd.

“Ɖoz preznts ɖt I tc sć cer v; ɖt cem olmst at mî wś, n wr so dirli welcm t m,” ś sd, tremḅlñ; “ẃr dd ɖe cm fṛm? Dd y snd ɖm?”

“No.”

“Hu, ɖen?”

Dot sw ś ń olrdi, n wz sîḷnt. Ɖ Blînd Grl spred hr handz bfr hr fes agn. Bt in qt anɖr manr nǎ.

“Dir Mẹri, a momnt. Wn momnt. Mor ɖs we. Spīc softli t m. Y r tru I nǒ. Y’d nt dsiv m nǎ; wd y?”

“No, Brʈa, indd!”

“No, I am śr y wd nt. Y hv tù mć piti fr m. Mẹri, lc acrs ɖ rūm t ẃr w wr jst nǎ—t ẃr mî faɖr z—mî faɖr, so cmpaśṇt n luvñ t m—n tel m ẃt y si.”

“I si,” sd Dot, hu unḍstd hr wel, “an old man sitñ in a ćer, n līnñ sorofl on ɖ bac, wɖ hiz fes restñ on hiz hand. Az f hiz ćîld śd cumf̣t him, Brʈa.”

“Yes, yes. Ś wl. G on.”

“H z an old man, wòrn wɖ cer n wrc. H z a sper, djctd, ʈtfl, gre-herd man. I si him nǎ, dspondnt n baud dǎn, n strîvñ agnst nʈñ. Bt, Brʈa, I hv sìn him mni tîmz bfr, n strîvñ hard in mni wez, fr wn gret secrid objict. N I onr hiz gre hed, n bles him!”

Ɖ Blînd Grl brouc awe fṛm hr; n, ʈrowñ hrslf upn hr niz bfr him, tc ɖ gre hed t hr brest.

“It z mî sît rstord. It z mî sît!” ś craid. “I hv bn blînd, n nǎ mî îz r opn. I nvr ń him! T ʈnc I mt hv daid, n nvr trūli sìn ɖ faɖr hu hz bn so luvñ t m!”

Ɖr wr no wrdz fr Cêleb’z imośn.

“Ɖr z nt a gaḷnt figr on ɖs rʈ,” xclemd ɖ Blînd Grl, holdñ him in hr imbres, “ɖt I wd luv so dirli, n wd ćeriś so dvotidli, az ɖs! Ɖ greyr, n mor wòrn, ɖ dirr, faɖr! Nvr let ɖm se I am blînd agn. Ɖr’z nt a furo in hiz fes, ɖr’z nt a her upn hiz hed, ɖt śl b fgotn in mî prerz n ʈancs t Hevn!”

Cêleb manijd t artikḷt, “Mî Brʈa!”

“N in mî blîndnis I b’livd him,” sd ɖ grl, c’resñ him wɖ tirz v xqizit afx́n, “t b so difṛnt. N hvñ him bsd m de bî de, so mîndfl v m olwz, nvr drīmd v ɖs!”

“Ɖ freś smart faɖr in ɖ blu cot, Brʈa,” sd pur Cêleb. “H’z gn!”

“Nʈñ z gn,” ś ansrd. “Dirist faɖr, no! Evrʈñ z hir—in y. Ɖ faɖr ɖt I luvd so wel; ɖ faɖr ɖt I nvr luvd inuf, n nvr ń; ɖ beṇfactr hūm I frst bgan t revṛns n luv, bcz h hd sć simṗʈi fr m,—ol r hir in y. Nʈñ z ded t m. Ɖ soul v ol ɖt wz most dir t m z hir—hir, wɖ ɖ wòrn fes, n ɖ gre hed. N I am nt blînd, faɖr, eni longr!”

Dot’s hol atnśn hd bn consntretd, jrñ ɖs discors, upn ɖ faɖr n dōtr; bt lcñ, nǎ, twdz ɖ litl Hei-mcr in ɖ Mūriś medo, ś sw ɖt ɖ cloc wz wɖn a fy minits v strîcñ, n fél, imīɉtli, intu a nrṿs n xîtd stet.

“Faɖr!” sd Brʈa, heztetñ. “Mẹri!”

“Yes, mî dir,” rtrnd Cêleb. “Hir ś z.”

“Ɖr z no ćenj in hr. Y nvr tld m enʈñ v hr ɖt wz nt tru?”

“I śd hv dn it, mî dir, I’m afred,” rtrnd Cêleb, “f I cd hv md hr betr ɖn ś wz. Bt I mst hv ćenjd hr fr ɖ wrs, f I hd ćenjd hr at ol. Nʈñ cd impruv hr, Brʈa.”

Confidnt az ɖ Blînd Grl hd bn ẃn ś asct ɖ qsćn, hr dlît n prîd in ɖ rplî, n hr rnyd imbres v Dot, wr ćarmñ t bhold.

“Mor ćenjz ɖn y ʈnc fr me hapn, ɖo, mî dir,” sd Dot. “Ćenjz fr ɖ betr, I mīn; ćenjz fr gret jô t sm v s. Y ms’nt let ɖm startl y tù mć, f eni sć śd evr hapn, n afct y. R ɖoz ẃīlz upn ɖ rod? Y’v a qc ir, Brʈa. R ɖe ẃīlz?”

“Yes. Cmñ vri fast.”

“I—I—I nǒ y hv a qc ir,” sd Dot, plesñ hr hand upn hr hart, n evidntli tōcñ on az fast az ś cd, t hîd its palṗtetñ stet, “bcz I hv notist it ofn, n bcz y wr so qc t fînd ǎt ɖt strenj step last nît. Ɖo ẃ y śd hv sd, az I vri wel rec̣lect y dd se, Brʈa, ‘Huz step z ɖt?’ n ẃ y śd hv tecn eni gretr obẓveśn v it ɖn v eni uɖr step, I d’nt nǒ. Ɖo, az I sd jst nǎ, ɖr r gret ćenjz in ɖ wrld: gret ćenjz: n w c’nt d betr ɖn priper ǎrslvz t b s’prîzd at hardli enʈñ.”

Cêleb wundrd ẃt ɖs mnt; psivñ ɖt ś spouc t him, no les ɖn t hiz dōtr. H sw hr, wɖ astoniśmnt, so flutrd n dstrest ɖt ś cd scersli briɖ; n holdñ t a ćer, t sev hrslf fṛm fōlñ.

“Ɖe r ẃīlz indd!” ś pantd. “Cmñ nirr! Nirr! Vri clos! N nǎ y hír ɖm stopñ at ɖ gardn-get! N nǎ y hír a step ǎtsd ɖ dor—ɖ sem step, Brʈa, z it nt?—n nǎ——!”

Ś utrd a wîld crî v uncntroḷbl dlît; n runñ p t Cêleb, pt hr handz upn hiz îz, az a yuñ man ruśt intu ɖ rūm, n, flññ awe hiz hat intu ɖ er, cem swīpñ dǎn upn ɖm.

“Z it ovr?” craid Dot.

“Yes!”

“Haṗli ovr?”

“Yes!”

“D y rec̣lect ɖ vôs, dir Cêleb? Dd y evr hír ɖ lîc v it bfr?” craid Dot.

“F mî bô in ɖ Goldn Sǎʈ Americaz wz alîv——!” sd Cêleb, tremḅlñ.

“H z alîv!” śrīct Dot, rmuvñ hr handz fṛm hiz îz, n clapñ ɖm in xṭsi. “Lc at him! Si ẃr h standz bfr y, hlʈi n stroñ! Yr ǒn dir sun. Yr ǒn dir livñ, luvñ bruɖr, Brʈa!”

Ol onr t ɖ litl crīćr fr hr transports! Ol onr t hr tirz n laftr, ẃn ɖ ʈri wr loct in wn anɖr’z armz! Ol onr t ɖ hartinis wɖ ẃć ś met ɖ súnbrnt sêlrfelo, wɖ hiz darc strīmñ her, hafwe, n nvr trnd hr rozi litl mǎʈ asd, bt sufrd him t cis it frīli, n t pres hr t hiz bǎndñ hart!

N onr t ɖ Ccu tù—ẃ nt?—fr brstñ ǎt v ɖ trapdor in ɖ Mūriś Palis lîc a hǎsbrecr, n hicupñ twelv tîmz on ɖ asmbld cumṗni, az f h hd got drunc fr jô!

Ɖ Carịr, enṭrñ, startd bac. N wel h mt, t fînd himslf in sć gd cumṗni.

“Lc, Jon!” sd Cêleb, xultñli, “lc hir! Mî ǒn bô fṛm ɖ Goldn Sǎʈ Americaz! Mî ǒn sun! Him ɖt y fitd ǎt, n snt awe yrslf! Him ɖt y wr olwz sć a frend t!”

Ɖ Carịr advanst t sīz him bî ɖ hand; bt, rcôlñ, az sm fīćr in hiz fes awecnd a rmembṛns v ɖ Def Man in ɖ Cart, sd:

“Edẉd! Wz it y?”

“Nǎ tel him ol!” craid Dot. “Tel him ol, Edẉd; n d’nt sper m, fr nʈñ śl mc m sper mslf in hiz îz, evr agn.”

“I wz ɖ man,” sd Edẉd.

“N cd y stìl, dsgîzd, intu ɖ hǎs v yr old frend?” rjônd ɖ Carịr. “Ɖr wz a franc bô wns—hǎ mni yirz z it, Cêleb, sins w hŕd ɖt h wz ded, n hd it pruvd, w ʈt?—hu nvr wd hv dn ɖt.”

“Ɖr wz a jenṛs frend v mîn wns; mor a faɖr t m ɖn a frend,” sd Edẉd; “hu nvr wd hv jujd m, or eni uɖr man, unhŕd. Y wr h. So I am srtn y wl hír m nǎ.”

Ɖ Carịr, wɖ a trubld glans at Dot, hu stl cept far awe fṛm him, rplaid, “Wel! ɖt’s bt fer. I wl.”

“Y mst nǒ ɖt ẃn I left hir a bô,” sd Edẉd, “I wz in luv, n mî luv wz rtrnd. Ś wz a vri yuñ grl, hu phps (y me tel m) dd’nt nǒ hr ǒn mînd. Bt I ń mîn, n I hd a paśn fr hr.”

“Y hd!” xclemd ɖ Carịr. “Y!”

“Indd I hd,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr. “N ś rtrnd it. I hv evr sins b’livd ś dd, n nǎ I am śr ś dd.”

“Hevn hlp m!” sd ɖ Carịr. “Ɖs z wrs ɖn ol.”

“Constnt t hr,” sd Edẉd, “n rtrnñ, fl v hop, aftr mni hardśps n perilz, t rdim mî part v ǎr old contract, I hŕd, twenti mîlz awe, ɖt ś wz fōls t m; ɖt ś hd fgotn m; n hd bstoud hrslf upn anɖr n a rićr man. I hd no mînd t rproć hr; bt I wśt t si hr, n t pruv bynd dspyt ɖt ɖs wz tru. I hopt ś mt hv bn forst intu it agnst hr ǒn dzîr n rec̣lex́n. It wd b smōl cumf̣t, bt it wd b sm, I ʈt, n on I cem. Ɖt I mt hv ɖ truʈ, ɖ riyl truʈ, obzrvñ frīli fr mslf, n jujñ fr mslf, wɖt obstrux́n on ɖ wn hand, or prizntñ mî ǒn inflụns (f I hd eni) bfr hr, on ɖ uɖr, I drest mslf unlîc mslf—y nǒ hǎ; n wêtd on ɖ rod—y nǒ ẃr. Y hd no sspiśn v m; nɖr hd—hd ś,” pôntñ t Dot, “untl I ẃisprd in hr ir at ɖt fîrsîd, n ś so nirli btreid m.”

“Bt ẃn ś ń ɖt Edẉd wz alîv, n hd cm bac,” sobd Dot, nǎ spīcñ fr hrslf, az ś hd brnd t d, ol ʈru ɖs naṛtiv; “n ẃn ś ń hiz prṗs, ś advîzd him bî ol mīnz t cīp hiz sīcrit clos; fr hiz old frend Jon Pīribngl wz mć tù opn in hiz nećr, n tù clumzi in ol arṭfis—biyñ a clumzi man in jenṛl,” sd Dot, haf lafñ n haf crayñ—“t cīp it fr him. N ẃn ś—ɖt’s m, Jon,” sobd ɖ litl wmn—“tld him ol, n hǎ hiz swīthart hd b’livd him t b ded; n hǎ ś hd at last bn oṿpswedd bî hr muɖr intu a marij ẃć ɖ sili, dir old ʈñ cōld advntejs; n ẃn ś—ɖt’s m agn, Jon—tld him ɖe wr nt yt marid (ɖo clos upn it), n ɖt it wd b nʈñ bt a sacṛfîs f it wnt on, fr ɖr wz no luv on hr sîd; n ẃn h wnt nirli mad wɖ jô t hír it,—ɖen ś—ɖt’s m agn—sd ś wd g btwn ɖm, az ś hd ofn dn bfr in old tîmz, Jon, n wd sǎnd hiz swīthart, n b śr ɖt ẃt ś—m agn, Jon—sd n ʈt wz rît. N it WZ rît, Jon! N ɖe wr bròt tgɖr, Jon! N ɖe wr marid, Jon, an aur ago! N hir’z ɖ Brîd! N Gruf n Tacltn me dî a bać̣lr! N I’m a hapi litl wmn, Me, God bles y!”

Ś wz an irizistbl litl wmn, f ɖt b enʈñ t ɖ prṗs; n nvr so cmplitli irizistbl az in hr preznt transports. Ɖr nvr wr cngrać̣leśnz so indirñ n dliśs az ɖoz ś laviśt on hrslf n on ɖ Brîd.

Amd ɖ tymult v imośnz in hiz brest, ɖ onist Carịr hd std cnfǎndd. Flayñ, nǎ, twdz hr, Dot strećt ǎt hr hand t stop him, n rtritd az bfr.

“No, Jon, no! Hír ol! D’nt luv m eni mor, Jon, tl y’v hŕd evri wrd I hv t se. It wz roñ t hv a sīcrit fṛm y, Jon. I’m vri sori. I dd’nt ʈnc it eni harm, tl I cem n sat dǎn bî y on ɖ litl stūl last nît. Bt ẃn I ń, bî ẃt wz ritn in yr fes, ɖt y hd sìn m wōcñ in ɖ gaḷri wɖ Edẉd, n ẃn I ń ẃt y ʈt, I flt hǎ gidi n hǎ roñ it wz. Bt ǒ, dir Jon, hǎ cd y, cd y ʈnc so?”

Litl wmn, hǎ ś sobd agn! Jon Pīribngl wd hv còt hr in hiz armz. Bt no; ś wd’nt let him.

“D’nt luv m yt, plīz, Jon! Nt fr a loñ tîm yt! Ẃn I wz sad abt ɖs intndd marij, dir, it wz bcz I rmembrd Me n Edẉd sć yuñ luvrz; n ń ɖt hr hart wz far awe fṛm Tacltn. Y b’liv ɖt, nǎ, d’nt y, Jon?”

Jon wz gwñ t mc anɖr ruś at ɖs apil; bt ś stopt him agn.

“No; cīp ɖr, plīz, Jon! Ẃn I laf at y, az I smtmz d, Jon, n cōl y clumzi n a dir old gūs, n nemz v ɖt sort, it’s bcz I luv y, Jon, so wel, n tec sć pleźr in yr wez, n wd’nt si y oltrd in ɖ līst rspct t hv y md a cñ tmoro.”

“Hūror!” sd Cêleb wɖ unyźl vigr. “Mî opińn!”

“N ẃn I spīc v ppl biyñ midl-ejd n stedi, Jon, n pritnd ɖt w r a humdrum cupl, gwñ on in a jogtrot sort v we, it’s onli bcz I’m sć a sili litl ʈñ, Jon, ɖt I lîc, smtmz, t act az a cnd v Ple wɖ Bebi, n ol ɖt: n mc b’liv.”

Ś sw ɖt h wz cmñ; n stopt him agn. Bt ś wz vri nirli tù lêt.

“No, d’nt luv m fr anɖr minit or tū, f y plīz, Jon! Ẃt I wont most t tel y, I hv cept t ɖ last. Mî dir, gd, jenṛs Jon, ẃn w wr tōcñ ɖ uɖr nît abt ɖ Cricit, I hd it on mî lips t se, ɖt at frst I dd nt luv y qt so dirli az I d nǎ; ẃn I frst cem hom hir, I wz haf afred ɖt I mt’nt lrn t luv y evri bit az wel az I hopt n preid I mt—biyñ so vri yuñ, Jon! Bt, dir Jon, evri de n aur I luvd y mor n mor. N f I cd hv luvd y betr ɖn I d, ɖ nobl wrdz I hŕd y se ɖs mornñ wd hv md m. Bt I c’nt. Ol ɖ afx́n ɖt I hd (it wz a gret dīl, Jon) I gev y, az y wel dzrv, loñ, loñ ago, n I hv no mor left t gv. Nǎ, mî dir huzbnd, tec m t yr hart agn! Ɖt’s mî hom, Jon; n nvr, nvr ʈnc v sndñ m t eni uɖr!”

Y nvr wl d’rîv so mć dlît fṛm siyñ a glorịs litl wmn in ɖ armz v a ʈrd parti az y wd hv flt f y hd sìn Dot run intu ɖ Carịr’z imbres. It wz ɖ most cmplit, unmiṭgetd, soul-frōt litl pìs v rṇstnis ɖt evr y bheld in ol yr dez.

Y me b śr ɖ Carịr wz in a stet v prfict rapćr; n y me b śr Dot wz lîcwz; n y me b śr ɖe ol wr, inclūsiv v Mis Slǒbô, hu wept copịsli fr jô, n, wśñ t includ hr yuñ ćarj in ɖ jenṛl inṭćenj v cngrać̣leśnz, handd rnd ɖ Bebi t evrbdi in s’xeśn, az f it wr smʈñ t drinc.

Bt, nǎ, ɖ sǎnd v ẃīlz wz hŕd agn ǎtsd ɖ dor; n smbdi xclemd ɖt Gruf n Tacltn wz cmñ bac. Spīḍli ɖt wrɖi jntlmn apird, lcñ worm n flustrd.

“Ẃ, ẃt ɖ Devl’z ɖs, Jon Pīribngl?” sd Tacltn. “Ɖr’z sm mstec. I apôntd Msz. Tacltn t mīt m at ɖ ćrć, n I’l swer I pást hr on ɖ rod, on hr we hir. Ǒ! hir ś z! I beg yr pardn, sr; I hv’nt ɖ pleźr v nwñ y; bt, f y cn d m ɖ fevr t sper ɖs yuñ ledi, ś hz rɖr a ptiklr ingejmnt ɖs mornñ.”

“Bt I c’nt sper hr,” rtrnd Edẉd. “I cd’nt ʈnc v it.”

“Ẃt d y mīn, y vaġbond?” sd Tacltn.

“I mīn ɖt, az I cn mc alawns fr yr biyñ vxt,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr wɖ a smîl, “I am az def t harś discors ɖs mornñ az I wz t ol discors last nît.”

Ɖ lc ɖt Tacltn bstoud upn him, n ɖ start h gev!

“I am sori, sr,” sd Edẉd, holdñ ǎt Me’z left hand, n ispeṣ́li ɖ ʈrd fngr, “ɖt ɖ yuñ ledi c’nt acumṗni y t ćrć; bt, az ś hz bn ɖr wns ɖs mornñ, phps y’l xkz hr.”

Tacltn lct hard at ɖ ʈrd fngr, n tc a litl pìs v silvr pepr, apaṛntli cntenñ a rñ, fṛm hiz weistcot pocit.

“Mis Slǒbô,” sd Tacltn, “wl y hv ɖ cîndnis t ʈro ɖt in ɖ fîr? Ʈancī.”

“It wz a prīvịs ingejmnt, qt an old ingejmnt, ɖt privntd mî wîf fṛm cīpñ hr apôntmnt wɖ y, I aśur y,” sd Edẉd.

“Mr. Tacltn wl d m ɖ justis t acnolij ɖt I rvild it t him feʈf̣li; n ɖt I tld him, mni tîmz, I nvr cd fget it,” sd Me, bluśñ.

“Ǒ, srtnli!” sd Tacltn. “Ǒ, t b śr! Ǒ, it’s ol rît, it’s qt c’rect! Msz. Edẉd Plumr, I infŕ?”

“Ɖt’s ɖ nem,” rtrnd ɖ brîdgrūm.

“Ā! I śd’nt hv noun y, sr,” sd Tacltn, scrūṭnîzñ hiz fes naroli, n mcñ a lo bǎ. “I gv y jô, sr!”

“Ʈancī.”

“Msz. Pīribngl,” sd Tacltn, trnñ sudnli t ẃr ś std wɖ hr huzbnd; “I’m sori. Y hv’nt dn m a vri gret cîndnis, bt, upn mî lîf, I am sori. Y r betr ɖn I ʈt y. Jon Pīribngl, I am sori. Y unḍstand m; ɖt’s inuf. It’s qt c’rect, lediz n jntlṃn ol, n prf̣cli saṭsfactri. Gd mornñ!”

Wɖ ɖz wrdz h carid it of, n carid himslf of tù: mirli stopñ at ɖ dor t tec ɖ flǎrz n fevrz fṛm hiz hors’z hed, n t cic ɖt animl wns in ɖ ribz, az a mīnz v informñ him ɖt ɖr wz a scru lūs in hiz arenjmnts.

V cors, it bcem a sirịs dyti nǎ t mc sć a de v it az śd marc ɖz ivnts fr a hî Fīst n Fstivl in ɖ Pīribngl Caḷndr fr eṿmor. Acordñli, Dot wnt t wrc t pṛdys sć an enttenmnt az śd rflect undayñ onr on ɖ hǎs n on evrwn cnsrnd; n, in a vri śort spes v tîm, ś wz p t hr dimpld elboz in flaur, n ẃîṭnñ ɖ Carịr’z cot, evri tîm h cem nir hr, bî stopñ him t gv him a cis. Ɖt gd felo wośt ɖ grīnz, n pīld ɖ trnips, n brouc ɖ plets, n upset ayn pots fl v cold wōtr on ɖ fîr, n md himslf ysfl in ol sorts v wez: ẃl a cupl v pṛfeśnl asistnts, hesṭli cōld in fṛm smẃr in ɖ nebrhd, az on a pônt v lîf or deʈ, ran agnst ć uɖr in ol ɖ dorwez n rnd ol ɖ cornrz, n evrbdi tumbld ovr Tili Slǒbô n ɖ Bebi, evrẃr. Tili nvr cem ǎt in sć fors bfr. Hr ybiqti wz ɖ ʈīm v jenṛl adṃreśn. Ś wz a stumḅlñbloc in ɖ pasij at fîv-n-twenti minits past tū; a mantrap in ɖ cićn at haf-past tū prisîsli; n a pitfōl in ɖ garit at fîv-n-twenti minits t ʈri. Ɖ Bebi’z hed wz, az it wr, a tst n tućston fr evri dscripśn v matr, animl, vejtbl, n minṛl. Nʈñ wz in ys ɖt de ɖt dd’nt cm, at sm tîm or uɖr, intu clos aqentns wɖ it.

Ɖen ɖr wz a gret Xpdiśn set on ft t g n fînd ǎt Msz. Fīldñ; n t b dizṃli penitnt t ɖt xḷnt jntlwmn; n t brñ hr bac, bî fors, f nīdfl, t b hapi n fgivñ. N ẃn ɖ Xpdiśn frst dscuvrd hr, ś wd lisn t no trmz at ol, bt sd, an unspīcbl numbr v tîmz, ɖt evr ś śd hv livd t si ɖ de! n cd’nt b got t se enʈñ els, xpt “Nǎ cari m t ɖ grev”: ẃć sīmd absrd, on acǎnt v hr nt biyñ ded, or enʈñ at ol lîc it. Aftr a tîm ś lapst intu a stet v dredfl cāmnis, n obzrvd ɖt, ẃn ɖt unforćṇt tren v srcmstansz hd ocŕd in ɖ Inḍgo Tred, ś hd fsin ɖt ś wd b xpozd, jrñ hr hol lîf, t evri spīśīz v insult n contyṃli; n ɖt ś wz glad t fînd it wz ɖ ces; n begd ɖe wd’nt trubl ɖmslvz abt hr,—fr ẃt wz ś?—ǒ dir! a nbdi!—bt wd fget ɖt sć a biyñ livd, n wd tec ɖer cors in lîf wɖt hr. Fṛm ɖs bitrli sarcastic mūd ś pást intu an angri wn, in ẃć ś gev vnt t ɖ rmarcbl xpreśn ɖt ɖ wrm wd trn f trodn on; n, aftr ɖt, ś yīldd t a soft rgret, n sd, f ɖe hd onli gvn hr ɖer confidns, ẃt mt ś nt hv hd it in hr pǎr t sjst! Tecñ advantij v ɖs crîsis in hr fīlñz, ɖ Xpdiśn imbrest hr; n ś vri sn hd hr gluvz on, n wz on hr we t Jon Pīribngl’z in a stet v unimpīćbl jntiḷti; wɖ a pepr parsl at hr sîd cntenñ a cap v stet, olmst az tōl, n qt az stif, az a mîtr.

Ɖen, ɖr wr Dot’s faɖr n muɖr t cm in anɖr litl śêz; n ɖe wr bhnd ɖer tîm; n firz wr enttend; n ɖr wz mć lcñ ǎt fr ɖm dǎn ɖ rod; n Msz. Fīldñ olwz wd lc in ɖ roñ n moṛli imposbl d’rex́n; n, biyñ aprîzd ɖr-ov, hopt ś mt tec ɖ liḅti v lcñ ẃr ś plizd. At last ɖe cem; a ćubi litl cupl, jogñ alñ in a snug n cumftbl litl we ɖt qt b’loñd t ɖ Dot faṃli; n Dot n hr muɖr, sîd bî sîd, wr wundrfl t si. Ɖe wr so lîc ć uɖr.

Ɖen Dot’s muɖr hd t rny hr aqentns wɖ Me’z muɖr; n Me’z muɖr olwz std on hr jntiḷti; n Dot’s muɖr nvr std on enʈñ bt hr activ litl fīt. N old Dot—so t cōl Dot’s faɖr, I fgot it wz’nt hiz rît nem, bt nvr mînd—tc liḅtiz, n śc handz at frst sît, n sīmd t ʈnc a cap bt so mć starć n muzlin, n dd’nt dfŕ himslf at ol t ɖ Inḍgo Tred, bt sd ɖr wz no hlp fr it nǎ; n, in Msz. Fīldñ’z sumñ-up, wz a gd-nećrd cnd v man—bt cōrs, mî dir.

I wd’nt hv míst Dot, dwñ ɖ onrz in hr wedñgǎn, mî benisn on hr brît fes! fr eni muni. No! nr ɖ gd Carịr, so jovịl n so rudi, at ɖ botm v ɖ tebl. Nr ɖ brǎn, freś sêlrfelo, n hiz hansm wîf. Nr enwn amñ ɖm. T hv míst ɖ dinr wd hv bn t mis az joli n az stǎt a mīl az man nīd īt; n t hv míst ɖ oṿflowñ cups in ẃć ɖe dranc Ɖ Wedñde wd hv bn ɖ gretist mis v ol.

Aftr dinr Cêleb sañ ɖ soñ abt ɖ Sparc̣lñ Bol. Az I’m a livñ man, hopñ t cīp so fr a yir or tū, h sañ it ʈru.

N, bî-ɖ-bái, a most unlct-fr insidnt ocŕd, jst az h finiśt ɖ last vrs.

Ɖr wz a tap at ɖ dor; n a man cem staġrñ in, wɖt seyñ wɖ yr līv, or bî yr līv, wɖ smʈñ hevi on hiz hed. Setñ ɖs dǎn in ɖ midl v ɖ tebl, s’metricli in ɖ sntr v ɖ nuts n aplz, h sd:

“Mr. Tacltn’z complimnts, n, az h hz’nt got no ys fr ɖ cec himslf, p’raps y’l īt it.”

N, wɖ ɖoz wrdz, h wōct of.

Ɖr wz sm s’prîz amñ ɖ cumṗni, az y me imajin. Msz. Fīldñ, biyñ a ledi v infiṇt dsrnmnt, sjstd ɖt ɖ cec wz pôznd, n rletd a naṛtiv v a cec ẃć, wɖn hr nolij, hd trnd a seminri fr yuñ lediz blu. Bt ś wz ovŗūld bî acḷmeśn; n ɖ cec wz cut bî Me wɖ mć seriṃni n rjôsñ.

I d’nt ʈnc enwn hd testd it, ẃn ɖr cem anɖr tap at ɖ dor, n ɖ sem man apird agn, hvñ undr hiz arm a vast brǎn-pepr parsl.

“Mr. Tacltn’z complimnts, n h’z snt a fy tôz fr ɖ Babi. Ɖe e’nt ugli.”

Aftr ɖ dlivri v ẃć xpreśnz, h rtîrd agn.

Ɖ hol parti wd hv xpirịnst gret dificlti in fîndñ wrdz fr ɖer astoniśmnt, īvn f ɖe hd hd ampl tîm t sīc ɖm. Bt ɖe hd nn at ol; fr ɖ mesinjr hd scersli śut ɖ dor bhnd him, ẃn ɖr cem anɖr tap, n Tacltn himslf wōct in.

“Msz. Pīribngl!” sd ɖ tômrćnt, hat in hand, “I’m sori. I’m mor sori ɖn I wz ɖs mornñ. I hv hd tîm t ʈnc v it. Jon Pīribngl! I am sǎr bî dispziśn; bt I c’nt hlp biyñ swītnd, mor or les, bî cmñ fes t fes wɖ sć a man az y. Cêleb! Ɖs unconśs litl nrs gev m a brocn hint last nît, v ẃć I hv faund ɖ ʈred. I bluś t ʈnc hǎ īẓli I mt hv baund y n yr dōtr t m, n ẃt a mizṛbl idịt I wz ẃn I tc hr fr wn! Frendz, wn n ol, mî hǎs z vri lonli tnît. I hv nt so mć az a Cricit on mî Harʈ. I hv scerd ɖm ol awe. B greśs t m: let m jôn ɖs hapi parti!”

H wz at hom in fîv minits. Y nvr sw sć a felo. Ẃt hd h bn dwñ wɖ himslf ol hiz lîf, nvr t hv noun bfr hiz gret cpaṣti v biyñ jovịl? Or ẃt hd ɖ Fẹriz bn dwñ wɖ him, t hv ifctd sć a ćenj?

“Jon! y w’nt snd m hom ɖs īvnñ, wl y?” ẃisprd Dot.

H hd bn vri nir it, ɖo.

Ɖr wontd bt wn livñ crīćr t mc ɖ parti cmplit; n, in ɖ twnc̣lñ v an î, ɖr h wz, vri ʈrsti wɖ hard runñ, n ingejd in hoplis indevrz t sqīz hiz hed intu a naro pićr. H hd gn wɖ ɖ cart t its jrni’z end, vri mć dsgustd wɖ ɖ absns v hiz mastr, n stypndsli rbełs t ɖ Depyti. Aftr linġrñ abt ɖ stebl fr sm litl tîm, venli atmtñ t insait ɖ old hors t ɖ ḿtiṇs act v rtrnñ on hiz ǒn acǎnt, h hd wōct intu ɖ taprūm, n leid himslf dǎn bfr ɖ fîr. Bt, sudnli yīldñ t ɖ cnvix́n ɖt ɖ Depyti wz a humbug, n mst b abandnd, h hd got p agn, trnd teil, n cm hom.

Ɖr wz a dans in ɖ īvnñ. Wɖ ẃć jenṛl mnśn v ɖt recrieśn, I śd hv left it alon, f I hd nt sm rīzn t s’poz ɖt it wz qt an orijinl dans, n wn v a most uncomn figr. It wz formd in an od we; in ɖs we.

Edẉd, ɖt sêlrfelo—a gd fri daśñ sort v felo h wz—hd bn telñ ɖm verịs marvlz cnsrnñ paṛts, n mînz, n Mxicnz, n golḑust, ẃn ol at wns h tc it in hiz hed t jump p fṛm hiz sīt n pṛpoz a dans; fr Brʈa’z harp wz ɖr, n ś sć a hand upn it az y sldm hír. Dot (slî litl pìs v afcteśn ẃn ś ćouz) sd hr dansñdez wr ovr; I ʈnc bcz ɖ Carịr wz smocñ hiz pîp, n ś lîct sitñ bî him bst. Msz. Fīldñ hd no ćôs, v cors, bt t se hr dansñdez wr ovr, aftr ɖt; n evrbdi sd ɖ sem, xpt Me; Me wz redi.

So, Me n Edẉd gt p, amd gret aplōz, t dans alon; n Brʈa plez hr lîvliist tyn.

Wel! f y’l b’liv m, ɖe hd nt bn dansñ fîv minits, ẃn sudnli ɖ Carịr flñz hiz pîp awe, tecs Dot rnd ɖ weist, daśz ǎt intu ɖ rūm, n starts of wɖ hr, to n hìl, qt wundrf̣li. Tacltn no snr siz ɖs ɖn h scimz acrs t Msz. Fīldñ, tecs hr rnd ɖ weist, n foloz sūt. Old Dot no snr siz ɖs ɖn p h z, ol alîv, ẃiscs of Msz. Dot intu ɖ midl v ɖ dans, n z fōrmost ɖr. Cêleb no snr siz ɖs ɖn h clućz Tili Slǒbô bî bʈ handz, n gz of at scor; Mis Slǒbô, frm in ɖ b’lif ɖt dîvñ hotli in amñ ɖ uɖr cuplz, n ifctñ eni numbr v cncuśnz wɖ ɖm, z yr onli prínsipl v ftñ it.

Harc! hǎ ɖ Cricit jônz ɖ ḿzic wɖ its Ćrp, Ćrp, Ćrp; n hǎ ɖ cetl humz!

Bt ẃt z ɖs? Īvn az I lisn t ɖm blîɖli, n trn twdz Dot, fr wn last glims v a litl figr vri pleznt t m, ś n ɖ rest hv vaniśt intu er, n I am left alon. A Cricit sñz upn ɖ Harʈ; a brocn ćîld’z tô lîz upn ɖ grǎnd: n nʈñ els rmenz.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: COUNT THAT DAY LOST, by George Eliot

CǍNT ĐT DE LOST

Jorj Ełt

F y sit dǎn at set v sún
N cǎnt ɖ acts ɖt y hv dn,
N, cǎntñ, fînd
Wn slf-dnayñ dīd, wn wrd
Ɖt īzd ɖ hart v him hu hŕd,
Wn glans most cînd
Ɖt fél lîc súnśîn ẃr it wnt —
Ɖen y m cǎnt ɖt de wel spent.

Bt f, ʈru ol ɖ livloñ de,
Y’v ćird no hart, bî ye or ne —
F, ʈru it ol
Y’ve nʈñ dn ɖt y cn tres
Ɖt bròt ɖ súnśîn t wn fes–
No act most smōl
Ɖt helpt sm soul n nʈñ cost —
Ɖen cǎnt ɖt de az wrs ɖn lost.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: REMEMBER, by Christina Rossetti

RMEMBR

Cṛstīna R’zeti

Rmembr m ẃn I am gn awe,

Gn far awe intu ɖ sîḷnt land;

Ẃn y cn no mor hold m bî ɖ hand,

Nor I haf trn t g yt trnñ ste.

Rmembr m ẃn no mor de bî de

Y tel m v ǎr fyćr ɖt y pland:

Onli rmembr m; y unḍstand

It wl b lêt t cǎnsl ɖen or pre.

Yt f y śd fget m fr a ẃl

N aftwdz rmembr, d nt grīv:

Fr f ɖ darcnis n c’rupśn līv

A vstij v ɖ ʈts ɖt wns I hd,

Betr bî far y śd fget n smîl

Ɖn ɖt y śd rmembr n b sad.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel │ THE WAR OF THE WORLDS │ H.G. WELLS

(Book 1 of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, transcribed into Ñspel)

ĆAPTRZ

BC WN

1 – Ɖ īv ov ɖ wor; 2 – Ɖ fōlñstar; 3 – On Horsl Comn; 4 – Đ silindr opnz; 5 – Ɖ hītre; 6 – Ɖ hītre in ɖ Ćobm Rod; 7 – Hǎ I rīćt hom; 8 – Frîde Nît; 9 – Ɖ fîtñ bginz; 10 – In ɖ storm; 11 – At ɖ windo; 12 – Ẃt I sw ov ɖ dstrux́n ov Wêbrij and Śeṗtn; 13 – Hǎ I fél in wɖ ɖ kṛt; 14 – In Lundn; 15 – Ẃt hd hapnd in Suri; 16 – Ɖ x’ds fṛm Lundn; 17 – Ɖ “Ʈundr Ćîld”

BC TŪ

IḶSTREŚNZ

BC WN

Ɖ CMÑ OV Ɖ MARŚNZ

___

ĆAPTR WN

Ɖ ĪV OV Ɖ WOR

N

wn wd hv b’livd in ɖ last yirz v ɖ nîntīnʈ snćri ɖt ɖs wrld wz biyñ woćt cīnli n closli bî intelijnsz gretr ɖn man’z n yt az mortl az hiz ǒn; ɖt az men bizid ɖmslvz abt ɖer verịs cnsrnz ɖe wr scrūṭnîzd n studid, phps olmst az naroli az a man wɖ a mîcṛscop mt scrūṭnîz ɖ tranzịnt crīćrz ɖt sworm n mulṭplî in a drop v wōtr. Wɖ infiṇt cmplesnsi men wnt t n fro ovr ɖs glob abt ɖer litl aferz, srīn in ɖer aśuṛns v ɖer empîr ovr matr. It z poṣbl ɖt ɖ infyzoria undr ɖ mîcṛscop d ɖ sem. Nwn gev a ʈt t ɖ oldr wrldz v spes az sorsz v hymn denjr, or ʈt v ɖm onli t dsmis ɖ îdīa v lîf upn ɖm az imposbl or improbbl. It z krịs t rcōl sm v ɖ mntl habits v ɖoz dpartd dez. At most t’restrịl men fansid ɖr mt b uɖr men upn Marz, phps infirịr t ɖmslvz n redi t welcm a miśnri enṭprîz. Yt acrs ɖ gulf v spes, mîndz ɖt r t ǎr mîndz az ǎrz r t ɖoz v ɖ bīsts ɖt periś, inṭlects vast n cūl n unsimṗʈetic, rgardd ɖs rʈ wɖ envịs îz, n slǒli n śrli drù ɖer planz agnst s. N rli in ɖ twentịʈ snćri cem ɖ gret disiluźnmnt.

Continue reading In Ñspel │ THE WAR OF THE WORLDS │ H.G. WELLS

In Ñspel: FIRST TIME IN, by Ivor Gurney

FRST TÎM IN

Îvr Grni

Aftr ɖ dred têlz n red yarnz v ɖ Lîn

Enʈñ mt hv cm t s; bt ɖ dvîn

Afṭglo bròt s p t a Wlś coḷni

Hîdñ in sandbag dićz, ẃisṗrñ cnsoḷtri

Soft foṛn ʈñz. Đen w wr tecn in

T lo huts candl-lit, śêdd clos bî slitn

Ôlśīts, n ɖr bt bôz gv s cînd welcm,

So ɖt we lct ǎt az fṛm ɖ éj v hom,

Sañ s Wlś ʈñz, n ćenjd ol formr nośnz

T hymn hopfl ʈñz. N ɖ nxt de’Z gunz

Nor eni Lînpañz evr qt cd blot ǎt

Đt strenjli bytifl entri t wor’z rǎt;

Candlz ɖe gev s, preśs n śerd ovŗaśnz—

Yḷsīz faund litl mor in hiz wonḍrñz

wɖt dǎt.

‘Devid v ɖ Ẃît Roc’, ɖ ‘Slumbrsoñ’

so soft, n ɖt

Bytifl tyn t ẃć rogiś wrdz bî Wlś pitbôz

R suñ—bt nvr mor bytifl ɖn hir

undr ɖ gunz’ nôz.

Pōl Naś │ Đ MENIN ROD │ 1919

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: SOMETHING TOLD THE WILD GEESE, by Rachel Field

SMƮÑ TLD Đ WÎLD GĪS

Rećl Fīld

Smʈñ tld ɖ wîld gīs
It wz tîm t g.
Đo ɖ fīldz le goldn
Smʈñ ẃisprd,—‘Sno.’
Līvz wr grīn n stŕñ,
Bériz, lustr-glost,
Bt bnʈ worm feɖrz
Smʈñ cōśnd,—‘Frost.’
Ol ɖ sagñ orć̣dz
Stīmd wɖ ambr spîs,
Bt ć wîld brest stifnd
At rmembrd îs.
Smʈñ tld ɖ wîld gīs
It wz tîm t flî,—
Sumrsún wz on ɖer wñz,
Wintr in ɖer crî.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: AT THE BAY, by Katherine Mansfield

ĆAPTRZ

IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXII

AT Ɖ BE

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

___

I

Vri rli mornñ. Ɖ sún wz nt yt rizn, n ɖ hol v Cresnt Be wz hidn undr a ẃît sìmist. Ɖ big bś-cuvrd hilz at ɖ bac wr smuɖrd. Y cd nt si ẃr ɖe endd n ɖ paḍcs n bunġloz bgan. Ɖ sandi rod wz gn n ɖ paḍcs n bunġloz ɖ uɖr sîd v it; ɖr wr no ẃît dynz cuvrd wɖ rediś gras bynd ɖm; ɖr wz nʈñ t marc ẃć wz bīć n ẃr wz ɖ sì. A hevi dȳ hd fōḷn. Ɖ gras wz blu. Big drops huñ on ɖ bśz n jst dd nt fōl; ɖ silṿri, flufi toi-toi wz limp on its loñ stōcz, n ol ɖ maṛgoldz n ɖ pncs in ɖ bunġlogardnz wr baud t ɖ rʈ wɖ wetnis. Drenćt wr ɖ cold fyśaz, rǎnd prlz v dȳ le on ɖ flat nstrśmlīvz. It lct az ɖo ɖ sì hd bìtn p softli in ɖ darcnis, az ɖo wn imns wev hd cm riplñ, riplñ—hǎ far? Phps f y hd wect p in ɖ midl v ɖ nît y mt hv sìn a big fiś flicñ in at ɖ windo n gn agn…

Ā-ā! sǎndd ɖ slīpi sì. N fṛm ɖ bś ɖr cem ɖ sǎnd v litl strīmz flowñ, qcli, lîtli, slipñ btwn ɖ smuɖ stonz, guśñ intu frni besnz n ǎt agn; n ɖr wz ɖ splaśñ v big drops on larj līvz, n smʈñ els—ẃt wz it?—a fent stŕñ n śecñ, ɖ snapñ v a twig n ɖen sć sîḷns ɖt it sīmd smwn wz liṣnñ.

Rnd ɖ cornr v Cresnt Be, btwn ɖ pîld-up masz v brocn roc, a floc v śīp cem paṭrñ. Ɖe wr hudld tgɖr, a smōl, tosñ, wŭli mas, n ɖer ʈin, sticlîc legz trotd alñ qcli az f ɖ cold n ɖ qayt hd frîtnd ɖm. Bhnd ɖm an old śīpdog, hiz sǒcñ pwz cuvrd wɖ sand, ran alñ wɖ hiz nǒz t ɖ grǎnd, bt cerlisli, az f ʈncñ v smʈñ els. N ɖen in ɖ roci getwe ɖ śeṗd himslf apird. H wz a līn, uprît old man, in a frìz cot ɖt wz cuvrd wɖ a web v tîni drops, velvit trǎzrz taid undr ɖ ni, n a wîd-awec wɖ a foldd blu hanc̣ćif rnd ɖ brim. Wn hand wz cramd intu hiz blt, ɖ uɖr graspt a bytifli smuɖ yelo stic. N az h wōct, tecñ hiz tîm, h cept p a vri soft lît ẃiṣlñ, an e’ri, far-awe flūtñ ɖt sǎndd mōrnfl n tndr. Ɖ old dog cut an enćnt cepr or tū n ɖen drù p śarp, aśemd v hiz leṿti, n wōct a fy digṇfaid pesz bî hiz mastr’z sîd. Ɖ śīp ran fwd in litl paṭrñ ruśz; ɖe bgan t blīt, n gostli flocs n hŕdz ansrd ɖm fṛm undr ɖ sì. “Ba! Baaa!” Fr a tîm ɖe sīmd t b olwz on ɖ sem pìs v grǎnd. Ɖr ahd wz strećt ɖ sandi rod wɖ śalo pudlz; ɖ sem sǒcñ bśz śoud on îɖr sîd n ɖ sem śadǒi pêlñz. Ɖen smʈñ imns cem intu vy; an inorṃs śoc-herd jaynt wɖ hiz armz strećt ǎt. It wz ɖ big gumtrī ǎtsd Msz. Stubz’ śop, n az ɖe pást bî ɖr wz a stroñ ẃif v yc̣lipṭs. N nǎ big spots v lît glīmd in ɖ mist. Ɖ śeṗd stopt ẃiṣlñ; h rubd hiz red nǒz n wet bird on hiz wet slīv n, scruwñ p hiz îz, glanst in ɖ d’rex́n v ɖ sì. Ɖ sún wz rîzñ. It wz marvḷs hǎ qcli ɖ mist ʈind, sped awe, dzolvd fṛm ɖ śalo plen, rold p fṛm ɖ bś n wz gn az f in a huri t iscep; big twists n crlz josld n śoldrd ć uɖr az ɖ silṿri bīmz brōdnd. Ɖ far-awe scî—a brît, pyr blu—wz rflectd in ɖ pudlz, n ɖ drops, swimñ alñ ɖ teḷgrafpolz, flaśt intu pônts v lît. Nǎ ɖ līpñ, gliṭrñ sì wz so brît it md wn’z îz ec t lc at it. Ɖ śeṗd drù a pîp, ɖ bol az smōl az an ecorn, ǎt v hiz brestpocit, fumbld fr a ćunc v specld tbaco, perd of a fy śevñz n stuft ɖ bol. H wz a grev, fîn-lcñ old man. Az h lit p n ɖ blu smoc rīɖd hiz hed, ɖ dog, woćñ, lct prǎd v him.

“Ba! Baaa!” Ɖ śīp spred ǎt intu a fan. Ɖe wr jst clir v ɖ sumrcoḷni bfr ɖ frst slīpr trnd ovr n liftd a drǎzi hed; ɖer crî sǎndd in ɖ drīmz v litl ćildṛn… hu liftd ɖer armz t drag dǎn, t cudl ɖ darlñ litl wŭli lamz v slīp. Ɖen ɖ frst inhabitnt apird; it wz ɖ Brnélz’ cat Flori, sitñ on ɖ getpost, far tù rli az yẓ́l, lcñ fr ɖer milcgrl. Ẃn ś sw ɖ old śīpdog ś sprañ p qcli, arćt hr bac, drù in hr tabi hed, n sīmd t gv a litl fstidịs śivr. “Ug! Ẃt a cōrs, rvoltñ crīćr!” sd Flori. Bt ɖ old śīpdog, nt lcñ p, wagld past, flññ ǎt hiz legz fṛm sîd t sîd. Onli wn v hiz irz twićt t pruv ɖt h sw, n ʈt hr a sili yuñ fīmel.

Ɖ brīz v mornñ liftd in ɖ bś n ɖ smel v līvz n wet blac rʈ mngld wɖ ɖ śarp smel v ɖ sì. Miriadz v brdz wr sññ. A goldfinć flù ovr ɖ śeṗd’z hed n, prćñ on ɖ tiptop v a spre, it trnd t ɖ sún, ruf̣lñ its smōl brestfeɖrz. N nǎ ɖe hd pást ɖ fiśrmn’z hut, pást ɖ ćard-lcñ litl ẃori ẃr Lela ɖ milcgrl livd wɖ hr old Gran. Ɖ śīp streid ovr a yelo swomp n Wag, ɖ śīpdog, padd aftr, rǎndd ɖm p n hedd ɖm fr ɖ stīpr, narowr roci pas ɖt léd ǎt v Cresnt Be n twdz Dêlît Cov. “Ba! Ba!” Fent ɖ crî cem az ɖe roct alñ ɖ fast-drayñ rod. Ɖ śeṗd pt awe hiz pîp, dropñ it intu hiz brestpocit so ɖt ɖ litl bol huñ ovr. N stretwe ɖ soft e’ri ẃiṣlñ bgan agn. Wag ran ǎt alñ a lej v roc aftr smʈñ ɖt smeld, n ran bac agn dsgustd. Ɖen pśñ, nujñ, huriyñ, ɖ śīp rǎndd ɖ bnd n ɖ śeṗd foloud aftr ǎt v sît.

___

II

A  fy momnts lêtr ɖ bac dor v wn v ɖ bunġloz opnd, n a figr in a brōd-strîpt beɖñsūt fluñ dǎn ɖ paḍc, clird ɖ stail, ruśt ʈru ɖ tuṣcgras intu ɖ holo, stagrd p ɖ sandi hiḷc, n rêst fr dir lîf ovr ɖ big pōṛs stonz, ovr ɖ cold, wet peblz, on t ɖ hard sand ɖt glīmd lîc ôl. Spliś-sploś! Spliś-sploś! Ɖ wōtr bubld rnd hiz legz az Stanli Brnél wêdd ǎt xultñ. Frst man in az yẓ́l! H’d bìtn ɖm ol agn. N h swūpt dǎn t sǎs hiz hed n nec.

“Hêl, bruɖr! Ol hêl, Ɖǎ Mîti Wn!” A vlṿti beis vôs cem būmñ ovr ɖ wōtr.

Gret Scot! Damneśn tec it! Stanli liftd p t si a darc hed bobñ far ǎt n an arm liftd. It wz Joṇʈn Trǎt—ɖr bfr him! “Glorịs mornñ!” sañ ɖ vôs.

“Yes, vri fîn!” sd Stanli brīfli. Ẃ ɖ Dicinz dd’nt ɖ felo stic t hiz part v ɖ sì? Ẃ śd h cm barjñ ovr t ɖs xact spot? Stanli gev a cic, a lunj n struc ǎt, swimñ oṿarm. Bt Joṇʈn wz a mać fr him. P h cem, hiz blac her slīc on hiz fōrhed, hiz śort bird slīc.

“I hd an xtrordnri drīm last nît!” h śǎtd.

Ẃt wz ɖ matr wɖ ɖ man? Ɖs meńa fr convseśn iṛtetd Stanli bynd wrdz. N it wz olwz ɖ sem—olwz sm pifl abt a drīm h’d hd, or sm cranci îdīa h’d got hold v, or sm rot h’d bn rīdñ. Stanli trnd ovr on hiz bac n cict wɖ hiz legz tl h wz a livñ wōtrspǎt. Bt īvn ɖen… “I drīmd I wz haññ ovr a t’rificli hî clif, śǎtñ t smwn b’lo.” Y wd b! ʈt Stanli. H cd stic no mor v it. H stopt splaśñ. “Lc hir, Trǎt,” h sd, “I’m in rɖr a huri ɖs mornñ.”

“Y’r ẂT?” Joṇʈn wz so s’prîzd—or pritndd t b—ɖt h sanc undr ɖ wōtr, ɖen ri’pird agn blowñ.

“Ol I mīn z,” sd Stanli, “I’v no tîm t—t—t fūl abt. I wont t gt ɖs ovr. I’m in a huri. I’v wrc t d ɖs mornñ—si?”

Joṇʈn wz gn bfr Stanli hd finiśt. “Pas, frend!” sd ɖ beis vôs jntli, n h slid awe ʈru ɖ wōtr wɖ scersli a ripl… Bt crs ɖ felo! H’d ruind Stanli’z beɖ. Ẃt an unpracticl idịt ɖ man wz! Stanli struc ǎt t sì agn, n ɖen az qcli swam in agn, n awe h ruśt p ɖ bīć. H flt ćītd.

Joṇʈn steid a litl longr in ɖ wōtr. H flotd, jntli muvñ hiz handz lîc finz, n letñ ɖ sì roc hiz loñ, scini bodi. It wz krịs, bt in spît v evrʈñ h wz fond v Stanli Brnél. Tru, h hd a fīndiś dzîr t tīz him smtmz, t pǒc fun at him, bt at botm h wz sori fr ɖ felo. Ɖr wz smʈñ pʈetic in hiz dtrṃneśn t mc a job v evrʈñ. Y cd’nt hlp fīlñ h’d b còt ǎt wn de, n ɖen ẃt an olmîti cropr h’d cm! At ɖt momnt an imns wev liftd Joṇʈn, roud past him, n brouc alñ ɖ bīć wɖ a jôfl sǎnd. Ẃt a byti! N nǎ ɖr cem anɖr. Ɖt wz ɖ we t liv—cerlisli, reclisli, spendñ wnslf. H got on t hiz fīt n bgan t wêd twdz ɖ śor, presñ hiz toz intu ɖ frm, rincld sand. T tec ʈñz īzi, nt t fît agnst ɖ eb n flo v lîf, bt t gv we t it—ɖt wz ẃt wz nīdd. It wz ɖs tnśn ɖt wz ol roñ. T liv—t liv! N ɖ prfict mornñ, so freś n fer, bascñ in ɖ lît, az ɖo lafñ at its ǒn byti, sīmd t ẃispr, “Ẃ nt?”

Bt nǎ h wz ǎt v ɖ wōtr Joṇʈn trnd blu wɖ cold. H ect ol ovr; it wz az ɖo smwn wz riññ ɖ blud ǎt v him. N stōcñ p ɖ bīć, śiṿrñ, ol hiz muslz tît, h tù flt hiz beɖ wz spôlt. H’d steid in tù loñ.

___

III

Beṛl wz alon in ɖ livñrūm ẃn Stanli apird, wẹrñ a blu srj sūt, a stif colr n a spotd tî. H lct olmst uncaṇli clīn n bruśt; h wz gwñ t tǎn fr ɖ de. Dropñ intu hiz ćer, h pld ǎt hiz woć n pt it bsd hiz plet.

“I’v jst got twenti-fîv minits,” h sd. “Y mt g n si f ɖ porij z redi, Beṛl?”

“Muɖr’z jst gn fr it,” sd Beṛl. Ś sat dǎn at ɖ tebl n pord ǎt hiz ti.

“Ʈancs!” Stanli tc a sip. “Hlo!” h sd in an astoniśt vôs, “y’v fgotn ɖ śŭgr.”

“Ǒ, sori!” Bt īvn ɖen Beṛl dd’nt hlp him; ś pśt ɖ besn acrs. Ẃt dd ɖs mīn? Az Stanli hlpt himslf hiz blu îz wîdnd; ɖe sīmd t qivr. H śot a qc glans at hiz sistr-in-lw n līnd bac.

“Nʈñ roñ, z ɖr?” h asct cerlisli, fnġrñ hiz colr.

Beṛl’z hed wz bnt; ś trnd hr plet in hr fngrz.

“Nʈñ,” sd hr lît vôs. Ɖen ś tù lct p, n smîld at Stanli. “Ẃ śd ɖr b?”

“Ǒ-ǒ! No rīzn at ol az far az I nǒ. I ʈt y sīmd rɖr—”

At ɖt momnt ɖ dor opnd n ɖ ʈri litl grlz apird, ć cariyñ a porijplet. Ɖe wr drest alîc in blu jrziz n nicrz; ɖer brǎn legz wr bér, n ć hd hr her pleitd n pind p in ẃt wz cōld a hors’z teil. Bhnd ɖm cem Msz. Ferfīld wɖ ɖ tre.

“Cerf̣li, ćildṛn,” ś wornd. Bt ɖe wr tecñ ɖ vri gretist cer. Ɖe luvd biyñ alaud t cari ʈñz. “Hv y sd gd mornñ t yr faɖr?”

“Yes, granmā.” Ɖe setld ɖmslvz on ɖ bnć oṗzit Stanli n Beṛl.

“Gd mornñ, Stanli!” Old Msz. Ferfīld gev him hiz plet.

“Mornñ, muɖr! Hǎ’z ɖ bô?”

“Splendid! H onli wouc p wns last nît. Ẃt a prfict mornñ!” Ɖ old wmn pōzd, hr hand on ɖ lof v bred, t gêz ǎt v ɖ opn dor intu ɖ gardn. Ɖ sì sǎndd. Ʈru ɖ wîd-opn windo strīmd ɖ sún on t ɖ yelo varniśt wōlz n bér flor. Evrʈñ on ɖ tebl flaśt n glitrd. In ɖ midl ɖr wz an old saḷdbol fild wɖ yelo n red nstrśmz. Ś smîld, n a lc v dīp cntnt śon in hr îz.

“Y mt cut m a slîs v ɖt bred, muɖr,” sd Stanli. “I’v onli twelv n a haf minits bfr ɖ coć pasz. Hz enwn gvn mî śuz t ɖ srvntgrl?”

“Yes, ɖ’r redi fr y.” Msz. Ferfīld wz qt unrufld.

“Ǒ, Cezia! Ẃ r y sć a mesi ćîld!” craid Beṛl dspẹrñli.

M, Ānt Beṛl?” Cezia stérd at hr. Ẃt hd ś dn nǎ? Ś hd onli dug a rivr dǎn ɖ midl v hr porij, fild it, n wz ītñ ɖ bancs awe. Bt ś dd ɖt evri sngl mornñ, n nwn hd sd a wrd p tl nǎ.

“Ẃ c’nt y īt yr fūd proprli lîc Iẓbél n Loti?” Hǎ unfer groun-ups r!

“Bt Loti olwz mcs a flotñ îḷnd, d’nt y, Loti?”

“I d’nt,” sd Iẓbél smartli. “I jst sprincl mîn wɖ śŭgr n pt on ɖ milc n finiś it. Onli bebiz ple wɖ ɖer fūd.”

Stanli pśt bac hiz ćer n got p.

“Wd y gt m ɖoz śuz, muɖr? N, Beṛl, f y’v finiśt, I wś y’d cut dǎn t ɖ get n stop ɖ coć. Run in t yr muɖr, Iẓbél, n asc hr ẃr mî bolrhat’s bn pt. Wêt a minit—hv y ćildṛn bn pleyñ wɖ mî stic?”

“No, faɖr!”

“Bt I pt it hir.” Stanli bgan t blustr. “I rmembr dstñtli ptñ it in ɖs cornr. Nǎ, hu’z hd it? Ɖr’z no tîm t lūz. Lc śarp! Ɖ stic’s got t b faund.”

Īvn Alis, ɖ srvntgrl, wz drwn intu ɖ ćes. “Y hv’nt bn yzñ it t pǒc ɖ cićn fîr wɖ bî eni ćans?”

Stanli daśt intu ɖ bedrūm ẃr Linda wz layñ. “Most xtrordnri ʈñ. I c’nt cīp a sngl pześn t mslf. Ɖ’v md awe wɖ mî stic, nǎ!”

“Stic, dir? Ẃt stic?” Linda’z vegnis on ɖz oceźnz cd nt b riyl, Stanli dsîdd. Wd nbdi simṗʈîz wɖ him?

“Coć! Coć, Stanli!” Beṛl’z vôs craid fṛm ɖ get.

Stanli wevd hiz arm t Linda. “No tîm t se gdbî!” h craid. N h mnt ɖt az a puniśmnt t hr.

H snaćt hiz bolrhat, daśt ǎt v ɖ hǎs, n swuñ dǎn ɖ gardnpaʈ. Yes, ɖ coć wz ɖr wêtñ, n Beṛl, līnñ ovr ɖ opn get, wz lafñ p at smbdi or uɖr jst az f nʈñ hd hapnd. Ɖ hartlisnis v wimin! Ɖ we ɖe tc it fr grantd it wz yr job t slev awe fr ɖm ẃl ɖe dd’nt īvn tec ɖ trubl t si ɖt yr wōcñstic wz’nt lost. Celi treld hiz ẃip acrs ɖ horsz.

“Gdbî, Stanli,” cōld Beṛl, swītli n gêli. It wz īzi inuf t se gdbî! N ɖr ś std, îdl, śêdñ hr îz wɖ hr hand. Ɖ wrst v it wz Stanli hd t śǎt gdbî tù, fr ɖ sec v apiṛnsz. Ɖen h sw hr trn, gv a litl scip n run bac t ɖ hǎs. Ś wz glad t b rid v him!

Yes, ś wz ʈancfl. Intu ɖ livñrūm ś ran n cōld “H’z gn!” Linda craid fṛm hr rūm: “Beṛl! Hz Stanli gn?” Old Msz. Ferfīld apird, cariyñ ɖ bô in hiz litl flanl cotī.

“Gn?”

“Gn!”

Ǒ, ɖ rlif, ɖ difṛns it md t hv ɖ man ǎt v ɖ hǎs. Ɖer vri vôsz wr ćenjd az ɖe cōld t wn anɖr; ɖe sǎndd worm n luvñ n az f ɖe śerd a sīcrit. Beṛl wnt ovr t ɖ tebl. “Hv anɖr cup v ti, muɖr. It’s stl hot.” Ś wontd, smhǎ, t seḷbret ɖ fact ɖt ɖe cd d ẃt ɖe lîct nǎ. Ɖr wz no man t dstrb ɖm; ɖ hol prfict de wz ɖerz.

“No, ʈanc y, ćîld,” sd old Msz. Ferfīld, bt ɖ we at ɖt momnt ś tóst ɖ bô p n sd “a-gūs-a-gūs-a-ga!” t him mnt ɖt ś flt ɖ sem. Ɖ litl grlz ran intu ɖ paḍc lîc ćicinz let ǎt v a cūp.

Īvn Alis, ɖ srvntgrl, wośñ p ɖ diśz in ɖ cićn, còt ɖ infx́n n yzd ɖ preśs tancwōtr in a prfictli reclis faśn.

“Ǒ, ɖz men!” sd ś, n ś plunjd ɖ tīpot intu ɖ bol n hld it undr ɖ wōtr īvn aftr it hd stopt buḅlñ, az f it tù wz a man n drǎnñ wz tù gd fr ɖm.

___

IV

“Wêt fr m, Iza-bel! Cezia, wêt fr m!”

Ɖr wz pur litl Loti, left bhnd agn, bcz ś faund it so firf̣li hard t gt ovr ɖ stail bî hrslf. Ẃn ś std on ɖ frst step hr niz bgan t wobl; ś graspt ɖ post. Ɖen y hd t pt wn leg ovr. Bt ẃć leg? Ś nvr cd dsîd. N ẃn ś dd fîṇli pt wn leg ovr wɖ a sort v stamp v dsper—ɖen ɖ fīlñ wz ōfl. Ś wz haf in ɖ paḍc stl n haf in ɖ tuṣcgras. Ś clućt ɖ post despṛtli n liftd p hr vôs. “Wêt fr m!”

“No, d’nt y wêt fr hr, Cezia!” sd Iẓbél. “Ś’z sć a litl sili. Ś’z olwz mcñ a fus. Cm on!” N ś tugd Cezia’z jrzi. “Y cn yz mî bucit f y cm wɖ m,” ś sd cîndli. “It’s bigr ɖn yrz.” Bt Cezia cd’nt līv Loti ol bî hrslf. Ś ran bac t hr. Bî ɖs tîm Loti wz vri red in ɖ fes n briɖñ heṿli.

“Hir, pt yr uɖr ft ovr,” sd Cezia.

“Ẃr?”

Loti lct dǎn at Cezia az f fṛm a mǎntnhît.

“Hir ẃr mî hand z.” Cezia patd ɖ ples.

“Ǒ, ɖr d y mīn!” Loti gev a dīp sai n pt ɖ secnd ft ovr.

“Nǎ—sort v trn rnd n sit dǎn n slîd,” sd Cezia.

“Bt ɖr’z nʈñ t sit dǎn on, Cezia,” sd Loti.

Ś manijd it at last, n wns it wz ovr ś śc hrslf n bgan t bīm.

“I’m gtñ betr at clîmñ ovr stailz, r’nt I, Cezia?”

Loti’z wz a vri hopfl nećr.

Ɖ pnc n ɖ blu súnbonit foloud Iẓbél’z brît red súnbonit p ɖt slîdñ, slipñ hil. At ɖ top ɖe pōzd t dsîd ẃr t g n t hv a gd stér at hu wz ɖr olrdi. Sìn fṛm bhnd, standñ agnst ɖ scîlîn, jstikletñ larjli wɖ ɖer spedz, ɖe lct lîc mînyt puzld xplorrz.

Ɖ hol faṃli v Saḿl Jozifs wz ɖr olrdi wɖ ɖer ledi-hlp, hu sat on a campstūl n cept ordr wɖ a ẃisl ɖt ś wòr taid rnd hr nec, n a smōl cen wɖ ẃć ś d’rectd oṗreśnz. Ɖ Saḿl Jozifs nvr pleid bî ɖmslvz or manijd ɖer ǒn gem. F ɖe dd, it endd in ɖ bôz porñ wōtr dǎn ɖ grlz’ necs or ɖ grlz trayñ t pt litl blac crabz intu ɖ bôz’ pocits. So Msz. S. J. n ɖ pur ledi-hlp drù p ẃt ś cōld a “brogram” evri mornñ t cīp ɖm “abyzd n ǎt v bisćif.” It wz ol comṗtiśnz or rêsz or rǎndgemz. Evrʈñ bgan wɖ a pirsñ blast v ɖ ledi-hlp’s ẃisl n endd wɖ anɖr. Ɖr wr īvn prîzz—larj, rɖr drti pepr parslz ẃć ɖ ledi-hlp wɖ a sǎr litl smîl drù ǎt v a buljñ strñ cit. Ɖ Saḿl Jozifs fòt firf̣li fr ɖ prîzz n ćītd n pinćt wn anɖr’z armz—ɖe wr ol exprt pinćrz. Ɖ onli tîm ɖ Brnél ćildṛn evr pleid wɖ ɖm Cezia hd got a prîz, n ẃn ś undid ʈri bits v pepr ś faund a vri smōl rusti butn-hc. Ś cd’nt unḍstand ẃ ɖe md sć a fus…

Bt ɖe nvr pleid wɖ ɖ Saḿl Jozifs nǎ or īvn wnt t ɖer partiz. Ɖ Saḿl Jozifs wr olwz gvñ ćildṛn’z partiz at ɖ Be n ɖr wz olwz ɖ sem fūd. A big wośhand besn v vri brǎn frūt saḷd, bunz cut intu for n a wośhand jug fl v smʈñ ɖ ledi-hlp cōld “Liṃnedr.” N y wnt awe in ɖ īvnñ wɖ haf ɖ fril torn of yr froc or smʈñ spild ol dǎn ɖ frunt v yr opn-wrc piṇfor, līvñ ɖ Saḿl Jozifs līpñ lîc saṿjz on ɖer lōn. No! Ɖe wr tù ōfl.

On ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ bīć, clos dǎn t ɖ wōtr, tū litl bôz, ɖer nicrz rold p, twncld lîc spîdrz. Wn wz digñ, ɖ uɖr patrd in n ǎt v ɖ wōtr, filñ a smōl bucit. Ɖe wr ɖ Trǎt bôz, Pip n Ragz. Bt Pip wz so bizi digñ n Ragz wz so bizi hlpñ ɖt ɖe dd’nt si ɖer litl cuznz untl ɖe wr qt clos.

“Lc!” sd Pip. “Lc ẃt I’v dscuvrd.” N h śoud ɖm an old wet, sqośt-lcñ būt. Ɖ ʈri litl grlz stérd.

“Ẃtvr r y gwñ t d wɖ it?” asct Cezia.

“Cīp it, v cors!” Pip wz vri scornfl. “It’s a fînd—si?”

Yes, Cezia sw ɖt. Ol ɖ sem…

“Ɖr’z lots v ʈñz berid in ɖ sand,” xplend Pip. “Ɖe gt ćuct p fṛm recs. Treẓ́r. Ẃ—y mt fînd—”

“Bt ẃ dz Ragz hv t cīp on porñ wōtr in?” asct Loti.

“Ǒ, ɖt’s t môsn it,” sd Pip, “t mc ɖ wrc a bit īzịr. Cīp it p, Ragz.”

N gd litl Ragz ran p n dǎn, porñ in ɖ wōtr ɖt trnd brǎn lîc coco.

“Hir, śl I śo y ẃt I faund yesṭde?” sd Pip mstirịsli, n h stuc hiz sped intu ɖ sand. “Promis nt t tel.”

Ɖe promist.

“Se, cros mî hart stret dncm.”

Ɖ litl grlz sd it.

Pip tc smʈñ ǎt v hiz pocit, rubd it a loñ tîm on ɖ frunt v hiz jrzi, ɖen briɖd on it n rubd it agn.

“Nǎ trn rnd!” h ordrd.

Ɖe trnd rnd.

“Ol lc ɖ sem we! Cīp stl! Nǎ!”

N hiz hand opnd; h hld p t ɖ lît smʈñ ɖt flaśt, ɖt wnct, ɖt wz a most luvli grīn.

“It’s a nemṛl,” sd Pip soḷmli.

“Z it riyli, Pip?” Īvn Iẓbél wz imprest.

Ɖ luvli grīn ʈñ sīmd t dans in Pip’s fngrz. Ānt Beṛl hd a nemṛl in a rñ, bt it wz a vri smōl wn. Ɖs wn wz az big az a star n far mor bytifl.

___

V

Az ɖ mornñ leñʈnd hol partiz apird ovr ɖ sandhilz n cem dǎn on ɖ bīć t beɖ. It wz unḍstd ɖt at ilevn o’cloc ɖ wimin n ćildṛn v ɖ sumrcoḷni hd ɖ sì t ɖmslvz. Frst ɖ wimin undrest, pld on ɖer beɖñdresz n cuvrd ɖer hedz in hidịs caps lîc spunjbagz; ɖen ɖ ćildṛn wr unbutnd. Ɖ bīć wz strùn wɖ litl hīps v cloɖz n śuz; ɖ big sumrhats, wɖ stonz on ɖm t cīp ɖm fṛm blowñ awe, lct lîc imns ślz. It wz strenj ɖt īvn ɖ sì sīmd t sǎnd difṛntli ẃn ol ɖoz līpñ, lafñ figrz ran intu ɖ wevz. Old Msz. Ferfīld, in a lîlac cotn dres n a blac hat taid undr ɖ ćin, gaɖrd hr litl brūd n got ɖm redi. Ɖ litl Trǎt bôz ẃipt ɖer śrts ovr ɖer hedz, n awe ɖ fîv sped, ẃl ɖer granmā sat wɖ wn hand in hr nitñbag redi t drw ǎt ɖ bōl v wŭl ẃn ś wz saṭsfaid ɖe wr sefli in.

Ɖ frm compact litl grlz wr nt haf so brev az ɖ tndr, delic̣t-lcñ litl bôz. Pip n Ragz, śiṿrñ, crǎćñ dǎn, slapñ ɖ wōtr, nvr heztetd. Bt Iẓbél, hu cd swim twelv strocs, n Cezia, hu cd nirli swim et, onli foloud on ɖ strict unḍstandñ ɖe wr nt t b splaśt. Az fr Loti, ś dd’nt folo at ol. Ś lîct t b left t g in hr ǒn we, plīz. N ɖt we wz t sit dǎn at ɖ éj v ɖ wōtr, hr legz stret, hr niz prest tgɖr, n t mc veg mośnz wɖ hr armz az f ś xpctd t b woftd ǎt t sì. Bt ẃn a bigr wev ɖn yẓ́l, an old ẃisc̣ri wn, cem loḷpñ alñ in hr d’rex́n, ś scrambld t hr fīt wɖ a fes v horr n flù p ɖ bīć agn.

“Hir, muɖr, cīp ɖoz fr m, wl y?”

Tū rñz n a ʈin gold ćen wr dropt intu Msz Ferfīld’z lap.

“Yes, dir. Bt r’nt y gwñ t beɖ hir?”

“No-o,” Beṛl drōld. Ś sǎndd veg. “I’m undresñ farɖr alñ. I’m gwñ t beɖ wɖ Msz. Hari Cmbr.”

“Vri wel.” Bt Msz. Ferfīld’z lips set. Ś dis’pruvd v Msz Hari Cmbr. Beṛl ń it.

Pur old muɖr, ś smîld, az ś scimd ovr ɖ stonz. Pur old muɖr! Old! Ǒ, ẃt jô, ẃt blis it wz t b yuñ…

“Y lc vri plizd,” sd Msz. Hari Cmbr. Ś sat hunćt p on ɖ stonz, hr armz rnd hr niz, smocñ.

“It’s sć a luvli de,” sd Beṛl, smîlñ dǎn at hr.

“Ǒ mî dir!” Msz. Hari Cmbr’z vôs sǎndd az ɖo ś ń betr ɖn ɖt. Bt ɖen hr vôs olwz sǎndd az ɖo ś ń smʈñ betr abt y ɖn y dd yrslf. Ś wz a loñ, strenj-lcñ wmn wɖ naro handz n fīt. Hr fes, tù, wz loñ n naro n xōstd-lcñ; īvn hr fer crld frinj lct brnt ǎt n wiɖrd. Ś wz ɖ onli wmn at ɖ Be hu smoct, n ś smoct insesntli, cīpñ ɖ siġrét btwn hr lips ẃl ś tōct, n onli tecñ it ǎt ẃn ɖ aś wz so loñ y cd nt unḍstand ẃ it dd nt fōl. Ẃn ś wz nt pleyñ brij—ś pleid brij evri de v hr lîf—ś spent hr tîm layñ in ɖ fl gler v ɖ sún. Ś cd stand eni amǎnt v it; ś nvr hd inuf. Ol ɖ sem, it dd nt sīm t worm hr. Parćt, wiɖrd, cold, ś le strećt on ɖ stonz lîc a pìs v tóst-up driftwŭd. Ɖ wimin at ɖ Be ʈt ś wz vri, vri fast. Hr lac v vaṇti, hr slañ, ɖ we ś trītd men az ɖo ś wz wn v ɖm, n ɖ fact ɖt ś dd’nt cer tupns abt hr hǎs n cōld ɖ srvnt Gladis “Glad-îz,” wz dsgresfl. Standñ on ɖ vranḍsteps Msz. Cmbr wd cōl in hr indifṛnt, tîrd vôs, “I se, Glad-îz, y mt hīv m a hanc̣ćif f I’v got wn, wl y?” N Glad-îz, a red bo in hr her instd v a cap, n ẃît śuz, cem runñ wɖ an impydnt smîl. It wz an abṣlut scandl! Tru, ś hd no ćildṛn, n hr huzbnd… Hir ɖ vôsz wr olwz rezd; ɖe bcem frvnt. Hǎ cn h hv marid hr? Hǎ cn h, hǎ cn h? It mst hv bn muni, v cors, bt īvn ɖen!

Msz. Cmbr’z huzbnd wz at līst ten yirz yungr ɖn ś wz, n so increḍbli hansm ɖt h lct lîc a masc or a most prfict iḷstreśn in an Americn novl rɖr ɖn a man. Blac her, darc blu îz, red lips, a slo slīpi smîl, a fîn tenispleyr, a prfict dansr, n wɖ it ol a misṭri. Hari Cmbr wz lîc a man wōcñ in hiz slīp. Men cd’nt stand him, ɖe cd’nt gt a wrd ǎt v ɖ ćap; h ignord hiz wîf jst az ś ignord him. Hǎ dd h liv? V cors ɖr wr storiz, bt sć storiz! Ɖe simpli cd’nt b tld. Ɖ wimin h’d bn sìn wɖ, ɖ plesz h’d bn sìn in… bt nʈñ wz evr srtn, nʈñ defiṇt. Sm v ɖ wimin at ɖ Be prîṿtli ʈt h’d cmit a mrdr wn de. Yes, īvn ẃl ɖe tōct t Msz. Cmbr n tc in ɖ ōfl cncox́n ś wz wẹrñ, ɖe sw hr, strećt az ś le on ɖ bīć; bt cold, bludi, n stl wɖ a siġrét stuc in ɖ cornr v hr mǎʈ.

Msz. Cmbr rouz, yōnd, unsnapt hr blt-bucl, n tugd at ɖ tep v hr blǎz. N Beṛl stept ǎt v hr scrt n śed hr jrzi, n std p in hr śort ẃît peticot, n hr caṃsol wɖ ribn boz on ɖ śoldrz.

“Mrsi on s,” sd Msz. Hari Cmbr, “ẃt a litl byti y r!”

“D’nt!” sd Beṛl softli; bt, drw̃ of wn stocñ n ɖen ɖ uɖr, ś flt a litl byti.

“Mî dir—ẃ nt?” sd Msz. Hari Cmbr, stampñ on hr ǒn peticot. Riyli—hr unḍcloɖz! A per v blu cotn nicrz n a linn bodis ɖt rmîndd wn smhǎ v a piloces… “N y d’nt wer stez, d y?” Ś tućt Beṛl’z weist, n Beṛl sprañ awe wɖ a smōl afctd crî. Ɖen “Nvr!” ś sd frmli.

“Luci litl crīćr,” said Msz. Cmbr, unfaṣnñ hr ǒn.

Beṛl trnd hr bac n bgan ɖ compḷcetd muvmnts v smwn hu z trayñ t tec of hr cloɖz n t pl on hr beɖñdres ol at wn n ɖ sem tîm.

“Ǒ, mî dir—d’nt mînd m,” sd Msz. Hari Cmbr. “Ẃ b śî? I ś’nt īt y. I ś’nt b śoct lîc ɖoz uɖr niniz.” N ś gev hr strenj neyñ laf n griṃst at ɖ uɖr wimin.

Bt Beṛl wz śî. Ś nvr undrest in frunt v enbdi. Wz ɖt sili? Msz. Hari Cmbr md hr fīl it wz sili, īvn smʈñ t b aśemd v. Ẃ b śî indd! Ś glanst qcli at hr frend standñ so boldli in hr torn śemīz n lîtñ a freś siġrét; n a qc, bold, īvl fīlñ startd p in hr brest. Lafñ reclisli, ś drù on ɖ limp, sandi-fīlñ beɖñdres ɖt wz nt qt drî n fasnd ɖ twistd butnz.

“Ɖt’s betr,” sd Msz. Hari Cmbr. Ɖe bgan t g dǎn ɖ bīć tgɖr. “Riyli, it’s a sin fr y t wer cloɖz, mî dir. Smbdi’z got t tel y sm de.”

Ɖ wōtr wz qt worm. It wz ɖt marvḷs trnspaṛnt blu, fléct wɖ silvr, bt ɖ sand at ɖ botm lct gold; ẃn y cict wɖ yr toz ɖr rouz a litl puf v golḑust. Nǎ ɖ wevz jst rīćt hr brest. Beṛl std, hr armz ǎtstrećt, gezñ ǎt, n az ć wev cem ś gev ɖ slîtist litl jump, so ɖt it sīmd it wz ɖ wev ẃć liftd hr so jntli.

“I b’liv in priti grlz hvñ a gd tîm,” sd Msz. Hari Cmbr. “Ẃ nt? D’nt y mc a mstec, mî dir. Injô yrslf.” N sudnli ś trnd trtl, dis’pird, n swam awe qcli, qcli, lîc a rat. Ɖen ś flict rnd n bgan swimñ bac. Ś wz gwñ t se smʈñ els. Beṛl flt ɖt ś wz biyñ pôznd bî ɖs cold wmn, bt ś loñd t hír. Bt ǒ, hǎ strenj, hǎ hoṛbl! Az Msz. Hari Cmbr cem p clos ś lct, in hr blac wōtr-prūf beɖñcap, wɖ hr slīpi fes liftd abv ɖ wōtr, jst hr ćin tućñ, lîc a hoṛbl caric̣ćr v hr huzbnd.

___

VI

In a stīmrćer, undr a mnūc̣trī ɖt grù in ɖ midl v ɖ frunt graspać, Linda Brnél drīmd ɖ mornñ awe. Ś dd nʈñ. Ś lct p at ɖ darc, clos, drî līvz v ɖ mnūca, at ɖ ćincs v blu btwn, n nǎ n agn a tîni yelǒiś flǎr dropt on hr. Priti—yes, f y hld wn v ɖoz flǎrz on ɖ pām v yr hand n lct at it closli, it wz an xqizit smōl ʈñ. Ć pel yelo petl śon az f ć wz ɖ cerfl wrc v a luvñ hand. Ɖ tîni tuñ in ɖ sntr gev it ɖ śep v a bel. N ẃn y trnd it ovr ɖ ǎtsd wz a dīp bronz culr. Bt az sn az ɖe flǎrd, ɖe fél n wr scatrd. Y bruśt ɖm of yr froc az y tōct; ɖ horid litl ʈñz got còt in wn’z her. Ẃ, ɖen, flǎr at ol? Hu tecs ɖ trubl—or ɖ jô—t mc ol ɖz ʈñz ɖt r westd, westd… It wz uncani.

On ɖ gras bsd hr, layñ btwn tū piloz, wz ɖ bô. Sǎnd aslip h le, hiz hed trnd awe fṛm hiz muɖr. Hiz fîn darc her lct mor lîc a śado ɖn lîc riyl her, bt hiz ir wz a brît, dīp coṛl. Linda claspt hr handz abv hr hed n crost hr fīt. It wz vri pleznt t nǒ ɖt ol ɖz bunġloz wr emti, ɖt evrbdi wz dǎn on ɖ bīć, ǎt v sît, ǎt v hírñ. Ś hd ɖ gardn t hrslf; ś wz alon.

Daẓlñ ẃît ɖ pic̣tīz śon; ɖ goldn-aid maṛgold glitrd; ɖ nstrśnz rīɖd ɖ vranḍpolz in grīn n gold flem. F onli wn hd tîm t lc at ɖz flǎrz loñ inuf, tîm t gt ovr ɖ sns v novlti n strenjnis, tîm t nǒ ɖm! Bt az sn az wn pōzd t part ɖ petlz, t dscuvr ɖ unḍsîd v ɖ līf, alñ cem Lîf n wn wz swept awe. N, layñ in hr cen ćer, Linda flt so lît; ś flt lîc a līf. Alñ cem Lîf lîc a wind n ś wz sizd n śecn; ś hd t g. Ǒ dir, wd it olwz b so? Wz ɖr no iscep?

… Nǎ ś sat on ɖ vranda v ɖer Tazmeńn hom, līnñ agnst hr faɖr’z ni. N h promist, “Az sn az y n I r old inuf, Lini, w’l cut of smẃr, w’l iscep. Tū bôz tgɖr. I hv a fansi I’d lîc t sêl p a rivr in Ćîna.” Linda sw ɖt rivr, vri wîd, cuvrd wɖ litl rafts n bots. Ś sw ɖ yelo hats v ɖ botṃn n ś hŕd ɖer hî, ʈin vôsz az ɖe cōld…

“Yes, ppā.”

Bt jst ɖen a vri brōd yuñ man wɖ brît jinjr her wōct slǒli past ɖer hǎs, n slǒli, soḷmli īvn, uncuvrd. Linda’z faɖr pld hr ir tizñli, in ɖ we h hd.

“Lini’z bou,” h ẃisprd.

“Ǒ, ppā, fansi biyñ marid t Stanli Brnél!”

Wel, ś wz marid t him. N ẃt wz mor ś luvd him. Nt ɖ Stanli hūm evrwn sw, nt ɖ evride wn; bt a timid, snṣtiv, iṇsnt Stanli hu nlt dǎn evri nît t se hiz prerz, n hu loñd t b gd. Stanli wz simpl. F h b’livd in ppl—az h b’livd in hr, fr instns—it wz wɖ hiz hol hart. H cd nt b dsloyl; h cd nt tel a lî. N hǎ teṛbli h sufrd f h ʈt enwn—ś—wz nt biyñ ded stret, ded snsir wɖ him! “Ɖs z tù sutl fr m!” H fluñ ǎt ɖ wrdz, bt hiz opn, qiṿrñ, dstrōt lc wz lîc ɖ lc v a trapt bīst.

Bt ɖ trubl wz—hir Linda flt olmst inclînd t laf, ɖo Hevn nz it wz no lafñmatr—ś sw hr Stanli so sldm. Ɖr wr glimsz, momnts, briɖñspesz v cām, bt ol ɖ rest v ɖ tîm it wz lîc livñ in a hǎs ɖt cd’nt b krd v ɖ habit v caćñ on fîr, or a śip ɖt got rect evri de. N it wz olwz Stanli hu wz in ɖ ʈic v ɖ denjr. Hr hol tîm wz spent in rescywñ him, n rstorñ him, n cāmñ him dǎn, n liṣnñ t hiz stori. N ẃt wz left v hr tîm wz spent in ɖ dred v hvñ ćildṛn.

Linda frǎnd; ś sat p qcli in hr stīmrćer n claspt hr anclz. Yes, ɖt wz hr riyl gruj agnst lîf; ɖt wz ẃt ś cd nt unḍstand. Ɖt wz ɖ qsćn ś asct n asct, n lisnd in ven fr ɖ ansr. It wz ol vri wel t se it wz ɖ comn lot v wimin t ber ćildṛn. It wz’nt tru. Ś, fr wn, cd pruv ɖt roñ. Ś wz brocn, md wìc, hr curij wz gn, ʈru ćîldberñ. N ẃt md it dubli hard t ber wz, ś dd nt luv hr ćildṛn. It wz yslis pritndñ. Īvn f ś hd hd ɖ streñʈ ś nvr wd hv nrst n pleid wɖ ɖ litl grlz. No, it wz az ɖo a cold breʈ hd ćild hr ʈru n ʈru on ć v ɖoz ōfl jrniz; ś hd no wormʈ left t gv ɖm. Az t ɖ bô—wel, ʈanc Hevn, muɖr hd tecn him; h wz muɖr’z, or Beṛl’z, or enbdi’z hu wontd him. Ś hd hardli hld him in hr armz. Ś wz so indifṛnt abt him ɖt az h le ɖr… Linda glanst dǎn.

Ɖ bô hd trnd ovr. H le fesñ hr, n h wz no longr aslip. Hiz darc-blu, bebiîz wr opn; h lct az ɖo h wz pīpñ at hiz muɖr. N sudnli hiz fes dimpld; it brouc intu a wîd, tuʈlis smîl, a prfict bīm, no les.

“I’m hir!” ɖt hapi smîl sīmd t se. “Ẃ d’nt y lîc m?”

Ɖr wz smʈñ so qent, so unixpctd abt ɖt smîl ɖt Linda smîld hrslf. Bt ś ćect hrslf n sd t ɖ bô coldli, “I d’nt lîc bebiz.”

“D’nt lîc bebiz?” Ɖ bô cd’nt b’liv hr. “D’nt lîc m?” H wevd hiz armz fūliśli at hiz muɖr.

Linda dropt of hr ćer on t ɖ gras.

“Ẃ d y cīp on smîlñ?” ś sd svirli. “F y ń ẃt I wz ʈncñ abt, y wd’nt.”

Bt h onli sqizd p hiz îz, slîli, n rold hiz hed on ɖ pilo. H dd’nt b’liv a wrd ś sd.

“W nǒ ol abt ɖt!” smîld ɖ bô.

Linda wz so astoniśt at ɖ confidns v ɖs litl crīćr… Ā no, b snsir. Ɖt wz nt ẃt ś flt; it wz smʈñ far difṛnt, it wz smʈñ so ny, so… Ɖ tirz danst in hr îz; ś briɖd in a smōl ẃispr t ɖ bô, “Hlo, mî funi!”

Bt bî nǎ ɖ bô hd fgotn hiz muɖr. H wz sirịs agn. Smʈñ pnc, smʈñ soft wevd in frunt v him. H md a grab at it n it imīɉtli dis’pird. Bt ẃn h le bac, anɖr, lîc ɖ frst, apird. Ɖs tîm h dtrmind t cać it. H md a tṛmnḍs ef̣t n rold rît ovr.

___

VII

Ɖ  tîd wz ǎt; ɖ bīć wz dzrtd; leẓli flopt ɖ worm sì. Ɖ sún bìt dǎn, bìt dǎn hot n fîri on ɖ fîn sand, becñ ɖ gre n blu n blac n ẃît-veind peblz. It suct p ɖ litl drop v wōtr ɖt le in ɖ holo v ɖ crvd ślz; it blīćt ɖ pnc cnvolvyḷs ɖt ʈredd ʈru n ʈru ɖ sandhilz. Nʈñ sīmd t muv bt ɖ smōl sandhóprs. Pit-pit-pit! Ɖe wr nvr stl.

Ovr ɖr on ɖ wīd-huñ rocs ɖt lct at lo tîd lîc śagi bīsts cm dǎn t ɖ wōtr t drinc, ɖ súnlît sīmd t spin lîc a silvr côn dropt intu ć v ɖ smōl rocpūlz. Ɖe danst, ɖe qivrd, n mînyt riplz levd ɖ pōṛs śorz. Lcñ dǎn, bndñ ovr, ć pūl wz lîc a lec wɖ pnc n blu hǎzz clustrd on ɖ śorz; n ǒ! ɖ vast mǎntṇs cuntri bhnd ɖoz hǎzz—ɖ r’vīnz, ɖ pasz, ɖ denjṛs crìcs n firfl tracs ɖt léd t ɖ wōtr’z éj. Undnʈ wevd ɖ sìforist—pnc ʈred-lîc triz, velvit aneṃniz, n orinj-béri-spotd wīdz. Nǎ a ston on ɖ botm muvd, roct, n ɖr wz a glims v a blac fīlr; nǎ a ʈred-lîc crīćr wevrd bî n wz lost. Smʈñ wz haṗnñ t ɖ pnc, wevñ triz; ɖe wr ćenjñ t a cold mūnlît blu. N nǎ ɖr sǎndd ɖ fentist “plop.” Hu md ɖt sǎnd? Ẃt wz gwñ on dǎn ɖr? N hǎ stroñ, hǎ damp ɖ sìwīd smelt in ɖ hot sún…

Ɖ grīn blîndz wr drwn in ɖ bunġloz v ɖ sumrcoḷni. Ovr ɖ vrandaz, pron on ɖ paḍc, fluñ ovr ɖ fnsz, ɖr wr xōstd-lcñ beɖñdresz n ruf strîpt tǎlz. Ć bac windo sīmd t hv a per v sandśuz on ɖ sil n sm lumps v roc or a bucit or a c’lex́n v pawa-ślz. Ɖ bś qivrd in a hêz v hīt; ɖ sandi rod wz emti xpt fr ɖ Trǎts’ dog Snūcr, hu le strećt in ɖ vri midl v it. Hiz blu î wz trnd p, hiz legz stuc ǎt stifli, n h gev an oceẓ́nl despṛt-sǎndñ puf, az mć az t se h hd dsîdd t mc an end v it n wz onli wêtñ fr sm cnd cart t cm alñ.

“Ẃt r y lcñ at, mî granmā? Ẃ d y cīp stopñ n sort v stẹrñ at ɖ wōl?”

Cezia n hr granmuɖr wr tecñ ɖer siesta tgɖr. Ɖ litl grl, wẹrñ onli hr śort drorz n hr unḍbodis, hr armz n legz bér, le on wn v ɖ puft-up piloz v hr granmā’z bed, n ɖ old wmn, in a ẃît rufld dresñgǎn, sat in a rocr at ɖ windo, wɖ a loñ pìs v pnc nitñ in hr lap. Ɖs rūm ɖt ɖe śerd, lîc ɖ uɖr rūmz v ɖ bunġlo, wz v lît varniśt wŭd n ɖ flor wz bér. Ɖ frnićr wz v ɖ śabiist, ɖ simplist. Ɖ dresñtebl, fr instns, wz a pacñces in a sprigd muzlin peticot, n ɖ mirr abv wz vri strenj; it wz az ɖo a litl pìs v forct lîtnñ wz impriznd in it. On ɖ tebl ɖr std a jar v sì-pncs, prest so tîtli tgɖr ɖe lct mor lîc a velvit pincŭśn, n a speśl śel ẃć Cezia hd gvn hr granmā fr a pintre, n anɖr īvn mor speśl ẃć ś hd ʈt wd mc a vri nîs ples fr a woć t crl p in.

“Tel m, granmā,” sd Cezia.

Ɖ old wmn said, ẃipt ɖ wŭl twîs rnd hr ʈum, n drù ɖ bon nīdl ʈru. Ś wz castñ on.

“I wz ʈncñ v yr Uncl Wiłm, darlñ,” ś sd qaytli.

“Mî Ostrełn Uncl Wiłm?” sd Cezia. Ś hd anɖr.

“Yes, v cors.”

“Ɖ wn I nvr sw?”

“Ɖt wz ɖ wn.”

“Wel, ẃt hapnd t him?” Cezia ń prf̣cli wel, bt ś wontd t b tld agn.

“H wnt t ɖ mînz, n h got a súnstroc ɖr n daid,” sd old Msz. Ferfīld.

Cezia blinct n cnsidrd ɖ picćr agn… A litl man fōḷn ovr lîc a tin soljr bî ɖ sîd v a big blac houl.

“Dz it mc y sad t ʈnc abt him, granmā?” Ś hetd hr granmā t b sad.

It wz ɖ old wmn’z trn t cnsidr. Dd it mc hr sad? T lc bac, bac. T stér dǎn ɖ yirz, az Cezia hd sìn hr dwñ. T lc aftr ɖm az a wmn dz, loñ aftr ɖe wr ǎt v sît. Dd it mc hr sad? No, lîf wz lîc ɖt.

“No, Cezia.”

“Bt ẃ?” asct Cezia. Ś liftd wn bér arm n bgan t drw ʈñz in ɖ er. “Ẃ dd Uncl Wiłm hv t dî? H wz’nt old.”

Msz. Ferfīld bgan cǎntñ ɖ stićz in ʈriz. “It jst hapnd,” ś sd in an abzorbd vôs.

“Dz evrbdi hv t dî?” asct Cezia.

“Evrbdi!”

M?” Cezia sǎndd firf̣li increɉḷs.

“Sm de, mî darlñ.”

“Bt, granmā.” Cezia wevd hr left leg n wagld ɖ toz. Ɖe flt sandi. “Ẃt f I jst w’nt?”

Ɖ old wmn said agn n drù a loñ ʈred fṛm ɖ bōl.

“W’r nt asct, Cezia,” ś sd sadli. “It hapnz t ol v s snr or lêtr.”

Cezia le stil ʈncñ ɖs ovr. Ś dd’nt wont t dî. It mnt ś wd hv t līv hir, līv evrẃr, fr evr, līv—līv hr granmā. Ś rold ovr qcli.

“Granmā,” ś sd in a startld vôs.

“Ẃt, mî pet!”

Y’r nt t dî.” Cezia wz vri dsîdd.

“Ā, Cezia”—hr granmā lct p n smîld n śc hr hed—“d’nt let’s tōc abt it.”

“Bt y’r nt t. Y cd’nt līv m. Y cd’nt nt b ɖr.” Ɖs wz ōfl. “Promis m y w’nt evr d it, granmā,” plīdd Cezia.

Ɖ old wmn wnt on nitñ.

“Promis m! Se nvr!”

Bt stl hr granmā wz sîḷnt.

Cezia rold of hr bed; ś cd’nt ber it eni longr, n lîtli ś lept on t hr granmā’z niz, claspt hr handz rnd ɖ old wmn’z ʈrot n bgan cisñ hr, undr ɖ ćin, bhnd ɖ ir, n blowñ dǎn hr nec.

“Se nvr… se nvr… se nvr—” Ś gaspt btwn ɖ cisz. N ɖen ś bgan, vri softli n lîtli, t ticl hr granmā.

“Cezia!” Ɖ old wmn dropt hr nitñ. Ś swuñ bac in ɖ rocr. Ś bgan t ticl Cezia. “Se nvr, se nvr, se nvr,” grgld Cezia, ẃl ɖe le ɖr lafñ in ć uɖr’z armz. “Cm, ɖt’s inuf, mî sqiṛl! Ɖt’s inuf, mî wîld poni!” sd old Msz. Ferfīld, setñ hr cap stret. “Pic p mî nitñ.”

Bʈ v ɖm hd fgotn ẃt ɖ “nvr” wz abt.

___

VIII

Ɖ  sún wz stl fl on ɖ gardn ẃn ɖ bac dor v ɖ Brnélz’ śut wɖ a bañ, n a vri ge figr wōct dǎn ɖ paʈ t ɖ get. It wz Alis, ɖ srvntgrl, drest fr hr afṭnun ǎt. Ś wòr a ẃît cotn dres wɖ sć larj red spots on it n so mni ɖt ɖe md y śudr, ẃît śuz n a leghorn trnd p undr ɖ brim wɖ popiz. V cors ś wòr gluvz, ẃît wnz, stend at ɖ faṣnñz wɖ aynmold, n in wn hand ś carid a vri daśt-lcñ súnśêd ẃć ś rfŕd t az hr “peṛhōl.”

Beṛl, sitñ in ɖ windo, fanñ hr freśli-wośt her, ʈt ś hd nvr sìn sć a gai. F Alis hd onli blact hr fes wɖ a pìs v corc bfr ś startd ǎt, ɖ picćr wd hv bn cmplit. N ẃr dd a grl lîc ɖt g t in a ples lîc ɖs? Ɖ hart-śept Fijiyn fan bìt scornf̣li at ɖt luvli brît mein. Ś s’pozd Alis hd pict p sm hoṛbl comn laṛcin n ɖ’d g of intu ɖ bś tgɖr. Piti t hv md hrslf so cnspiks; ɖ’d hv hard wrc t hîd wɖ Alis in ɖt rig-ǎt.

Bt no, Beṛl wz unfer. Alis wz gwñ t ti wɖ Msz Stubz, hu’d snt hr an “invît” bî ɖ litl bô hu cōld fr ordrz. Ś hd tecn evr sć a lîcñ t Msz. Stubz evr sins ɖ frst tîm ś wnt t ɖ śop t gt smʈñ fr hr mscītoz.

“Dir hart!” Msz. Stubz hd clapt hr hand t hr sîd. “I nvr sìn enwn so ītn. Y mt hv bn atact bî canñbōlz.”

Alis dd wś ɖr’d bn a bit v lîf on ɖ rod ɖo. Md hr fīl so qir, hvñ nbdi bhnd hr. Md hr fīl ol wìc in ɖ spîn. Ś cd’nt b’liv ɖt smwn wz’nt woćñ hr. N yt it wz sili t trn rnd; it gev y awe. Ś pld p hr gluvz, humd t hrslf n sd t ɖ distnt gumtrī, “Ś’nt b loñ nǎ.” Bt ɖt wz hardli cumṗni.

Msz. Stubz’z śop wz prćt on a litl hiḷc jst of ɖ rod. It hd tū big windoz fr îz, a brōd vranda fr a hat, n ɖ sîn on ɖ rūf, scrōld MSZ. STUBZ’Z, wz lîc a litl card stuc rêciśli in ɖ hat crǎn.

On ɖ vranda ɖr huñ a loñ strñ v beɖñdresz, clññ tgɖr az ɖo ɖ’d jst bn rescyd fṛm ɖ sì rɖr ɖn wêtñ t g in, n bsd ɖm ɖr huñ a clustr v sandśūz so xtrordnṛli mixt ɖt t gt at wn per y hd t ter apart n forṣbli sepṛt at līst fifti. Īvn ɖen it wz ɖ rẹrist ʈñ t fînd ɖ left ɖt b’loñd t ɖ rît. So mni ppl hd lost peśns n gn of wɖ wn śu ɖt fitd n wn ɖt wz a litl tù big… Msz. Stubz prîdd hrslf on cīpñ smʈñ v evrʈñ. Ɖ tū windoz, arenjd in ɖ form v pricerịs piṛmidz, wr cramd so tît, pîld so hî, ɖt it sīmd onli a cunjrr cd privnt ɖm fṛm toṗlñ ovr. In ɖ left-hand cornr v wn windo, glùd t ɖ pein bî for jeḷtīn loznjz, ɖr wz—n ɖr hd bn fṛm tîm immorịl—a notis.

LOST! HANSM GOL BROĆ

SOLID GOLD

ON OR NIR BĪĆ

RWORD OFRD

Alis prest opn ɖ dor. Ɖ bel jangld, ɖ red srj crtnz partd, n Msz. Stubz apird. Wɖ hr brōd smîl n ɖ loñ bêcņîf in hr hand, ś lct lîc a frendli brignd. Alis wz welcmd so wormli ɖt ś faund it qt dificlt t cīp p hr “manrz.” Ɖe cnsistd v psistent litl cofs n hmz, plz at hr gluvz, twīcs at hr scrt, n a krịs dificlti in siyñ ẃt wz set bfr hr or unḍstandñ ẃt wz sd.

Ti wz léd on ɖ parlr tebl—ham, sardīnz, a hol pǎnd v butr, n sć a larj Joni cec ɖt it lct lîc an advrtismnt fr smbdi’z becñpǎdr. Bt ɖ Prîṃs stov rord so lǎdli ɖt it wz yslis t trî t tōc abv it. Alis sat dǎn on ɖ éj v a bascitćer ẃl Msz. Stubz pumt ɖ stov stl hayr. Sudnli Msz. Stubz ẃipt ɖ cŭśn of a ćer n dsclozd a larj brǎn-pepr parsl.

“I’v jst hd sm ny fotrz tecn, mî dir,” ś śǎtd ćirf̣li t Alis. “Tel m ẃt y ʈnc v ɖm.”

In a vri denti, rfînd we Alis wet hr fngr n pt ɖ tiśu bac fṛm ɖ frst wn. Lîf! Hǎ mni ɖr wr! Ɖr wr ʈri dozñ at līst. N ś hld it p t ɖ lît.

Msz. Stubz sat in an armćer, līnñ vri mć t wn sîd. Ɖr wz a lc v mîld astoniśmnt on hr larj fes, n wel ɖr mt b. Fr ɖo ɖ armćer std on a carpit, t ɖ left v it, mrakḷsli scrtñ ɖ carpitbordr, ɖr wz a daśñ wōtrfōl. On hr rît std a Grìśn pilr wɖ a jaynt frntrī on îɖr sîd v it, n in ɖ bacgrǎnd tǎrd a gōnt mǎntn, pel wɖ sno.

“It z a nîs stîl, z’nt it?” śǎtd Msz. Stubz; n Alis hd jst scrīmd “Swītli” ẃn ɖ rorñ v ɖ Prîṃs stov daid dǎn, fízld ǎt, sīst, n ś sd “Priti” in a sîḷns ɖt wz frîṭnñ.

“Drw p yr ćer, mî dir,” sd Msz. Stubz, bginñ t por ǎt. “Yes,” ś sd ʈtf̣li, az ś handd ɖ ti, “bt I d’nt cer abt ɖ sîz. I’m hvñ an inlarjmint. Ol vri wel fr Crisṃs cardz, bt I nvr wz ɖ wn fr smōl fotrz mslf. Y gt no cumf̣t ǎt v ɖm. T se ɖ truʈ, I fînd ɖm dsarṭnñ.”

Alis qt sw ẃt ś mnt.

“Sîz,” sd Msz. Stubz. “Gv m sîz. Ɖt wz ẃt mî pur dir huzbnd wz olwz seyñ. H cd’nt stand enʈñ smōl. Gev him ɖ crīps. N, strenj az it me sīm, mî dir”—hir Msz. Stubz crīct n sīmd t xpand hrslf at ɖ meṃri—“it wz dropsi ɖt Carid him of at ɖ larst. Mni’z ɖ tîm ɖe drwn wn n a haf pînts fṛm im at ɖ ospitl… It sīmd lîc a judgmint.”

Alis brnd t nǒ xacli ẃt it wz ɖt wz drwn fṛm him. Ś vnćrd, “I s’poz it wz wōtr.”

Bt Msz. Stubz fixt Alis wɖ hr îz n rplaid mīnñli, “It wz liqid, mî dir.”

Liqid! Alis jumt awe fṛm ɖ wrd lîc a cat n cem bac t it, nozñ n wẹri.

“Ɖt’s im!” sd Msz. Stubz, n ś pôntd dṛmaticli t ɖ lîf-sîz hed n śoldrz v a brli man wɖ a ded ẃît rǒz in ɖ butnhoul v hiz cot ɖt md y ʈnc v a crl v cold mutñfat. Jst b’lo, in silvr letrz on a red cardbōrd grǎnd, wr ɖ wrdz, “B nt afreid, it z I.”

“It’s evr sć a fîn fes,” sd Alis fentli.

Ɖ pel-blu bo on ɖ top v Msz. Stubz’z fer frizi her qivrd. Ś arćt hr plump nec. Ẃt a nec ś hd! It wz brît pnc ẃr it bgan n ɖen it ćenjd t worm epṛcót, n ɖt fedd t ɖ culr v a brǎn eg n ɖen t a dīp crīmi.

“Ol ɖ sem, mî dir,” ś sd s’prîzñli, “frīdm’z bst!” Hr soft, fat ćucl sǎndd lîc a pr. “Frīdm’z bst,” sd Msz. Stubz agn.

Frīdm! Alis gev a lǎd, sili litl titr. Ś flt ōcẉd. Hr mînd flù bac t hr ǒn cićñ. Evr so qir! Ś wontd t b bac in it agn.

___

IX

A  strenj cumṗni asmbld in ɖ Brnélz’ wośhǎs aftr ti. Rnd ɖ tebl ɖr sat a bl, a rūstr, a donci ɖt cept fgetñ it wz a donci, a śīp n a bì. Ɖ wośhǎs wz ɖ prfict ples fr sć a mītñ bcz ɖe cd mc az mć nôz az ɖe lîct, n nbdi evr inṭruptd. It wz a smōl tin śed standñ apart fṛm ɖ bunġlo. Agnst ɖ wōl ɖr wz a dīp trof n in ɖ cornr a copr wɖ a bascit v cloɖzpegz on top v it. Ɖ litl windo, spun ovr wɖ cobwebz, hd a pìs v candl n a mǎstrap on ɖ dusti sil. Ɖr wr cloɖzlînz cris-crost oṿhed n, haññ fṛm a peg on ɖ wōl, a vri big, a hyj, rusti horsśu. Ɖ tebl wz in ɖ midl wɖ a form at îɖr sîd.

“Y c’nt b a bì, Cezia. A bì’z nt an animl. It’s a ninsec.”

“Ǒ, bt I d wont t b a bì frîtf̣li,” weild Cezia… A tîni bì, ol yelo-fŕi, wɖ strîpt legz. Ś drù hr legz p undr hr n līnd ovr ɖ tebl. Ś flt ś wz a bì.

“A ninsec mst b an animl,” ś sd stǎtli. “It mcs a nôz. It’s nt lîc a fiś.”

“I’m a bl, I’m a bl!” craid Pip. N h gev sć a tṛmnḍs belo—hǎ dd h mc ɖt nôz?—ɖt Loti lct qt alarmd.

“I’l b a śīp,” sd litl Ragz. “A hol lot v śīp wnt past ɖs mornñ.”

“Hǎ d y nǒ?”

“Dad hŕd ɖm. Ba!” H sǎndd lîc ɖ litl lam ɖt trots bhnd n sīmz t wêt t b carid.

“Coc-a-dūdl-du!” śrild Iẓbél. Wɖ hr red ćīcs n brît îz ś lct lîc a rūstr.

“Ẃt’l I b?” Loti asct evrbdi, n ś sat ɖr smîlñ, wêtñ fr ɖm t dsîd fr hr. It hd t b an īzi wn.

“B a donci, Loti.” It wz Cezia’z sjsćn. “Hī-hw! Y c’nt fget ɖt.”

“Hī-hw!” sd Loti soḷmli. “Ẃn d I hv t se it?”

“I’l xplen, I’l xplen,” sd ɖ bl. It wz h hu hd ɖ cardz. H wevd ɖm rnd hiz hed. “Ol b qayt! Ol lisn!” N h wêtd fr ɖm. “Lc hir, Loti.” H trnd p a card. “It’s got tū spots on it—si? Nǎ, f y pt ɖt card in ɖ midl n smbdi els hz wn wɖ tū spots az wel, y se ‘Hī-hw,’ n ɖ card’z yrz.”

“Mîn?” Loti wz rǎnd-aid. “T cīp?”

“No, sili. Jst fr ɖ gem, si? Jst ẃl w’r pleyñ.” Ɖ bl wz vri cros wɖ hr.

“Ǒ, Loti, y r a litl sili,” sd ɖ prǎd rūstr.

Loti lct at bʈ v ɖm. Ɖen ś huñ hr hed; hr lip qivrd. “I d’nt wont t ple,” ś ẃisprd. Ɖ uɖrz glanst at wn anɖr lîc cnspiṛtrz. Ol v ɖm ń ẃt ɖt mnt. Ś wd g awe n b dscuvrd smẃr standñ wɖ hr pini ʈroun ovr hr hed, in a cornr, or agnst a wōl, or īvn bhnd a ćer.

“Yes, y d, Loti. It’s qt īzi,” sd Cezia.

N Iẓbél, rpntnt, sd xacli lîc a groun-up, “Woć m, Loti, n y’l sn lrn.”

“Ćir p, Lot,” sd Pip. “Ɖr, I nǒ ẃt I’l d. I’l gv y ɖ frst wn. It’s mîn, riyli, bt I’l gv it t y. Hir y r.” N h slamd ɖ card dǎn in frunt v Loti.

Loti rvîvd at ɖt. Bt nǎ ś wz in anɖr dificlti. “I hv’nt got a hanci,” ś sd; “I wont wn badli, tù.”

“Hir, Loti, y cn yz mîn.” Ragz dipt intu hiz sêlrblǎz n bròt p a vri wet-lcñ wn, nótd tgɖr. “B vri cerfl,” h wornd hr. “Onli yz ɖt cornr. D’nt undu it. I’v got a litl starfiś insd I’m gwñ t trî n tem.”

“Ǒ, cm on, y grlz,” sd ɖ bl. “N mînd—y’r nt t lc at yr cardz. Y’v got t cīp yr handz undr ɖ tebl tl I se ‘G.’”

Smac wnt ɖ cardz rnd ɖ tebl. Ɖe traid wɖ ol ɖer mt t si, bt Pip wz tù qc fr ɖm. It wz vri xîtñ, sitñ ɖr in ɖ wośhǎs; it wz ol ɖe cd d nt t brst intu a litl cōṛs v animlz bfr Pip hd finiśt dīlñ.

“Nǎ, Loti, y bgin.”

Timidli Loti strećt ǎt a hand, tc ɖ top card of hr pac, hd a gd lc at it—it wz plen ś wz cǎntñ ɖ spots—n pt it dǎn.

“No, Loti, y c’nt d ɖt. Y ms’nt lc frst. Y mst trn it ɖ uɖr we ovr.”

“Bt ɖen evrbdi wl si it ɖ sem tîm az m,” sd Loti.

Ɖ gem pṛsidd. Moo-oo-’r! Ɖ bl wz teṛbl. H ćarjd ovr ɖ tebl n sīmd t īt ɖ cardz p.

Bzz-zz! sd ɖ bì.

Coc-a-dūdl-du! Iẓbél std p in hr xîtmnt n muvd hr elboz lîc wñz.

Ba! Litl Ragz pt dǎn ɖ Cñ v Dîmndz n Loti pt dǎn ɖ wn ɖe cōld ɖ Cñ v Spen. Ś hd hardli eni cardz left.

“Ẃ d’nt y cōl ǎt, Loti?”

“I’v fgotn ẃt I am,” sd ɖ donci wǒf̣li.

“Wel, ćenj! B a dog instd! Bǎ-wǎ!”

“Ǒ yes. Ɖt’s īzịr.” Loti smîld agn. Bt ẃn ś n Cezia bʈ hd a wn Cezia wêtd on prṗs. Ɖ uɖrz md sînz t Loti n pôntd. Loti trnd vri red; ś lct bwildrd, n at last ś sd, “Hī-hw! Cé-zia.”

“Śś! Wêt a minit!” Ɖe wr in ɖ vri ʈic v it ẃn ɖ bl stopt ɖm, holdñ p hiz hand. “Ẃt’s ɖt? Ẃt’s ɖt nôz?”

“Ẃt nôz? Ẃt d y mīn?” asct ɖ rūstr.

“Śś! Śut p! Lisn!” Ɖe wr mǎs-stil. “I ʈt I hŕd a—a sort v nocñ,” sd ɖ bl.

“Ẃt wz it lîc?” asct ɖ śīp fentli.

No ansr.

Ɖ bì gev a śudr. “Ẃtvr dd w śut ɖ dor fr?” ś sd softli. Ǒ, ẃ, ẃ hd ɖe śut ɖ dor?

Ẃl ɖe wr pleyñ, ɖ de hd fedd; ɖ gorjs súnset hd blezd n daid. N nǎ ɖ qc darc cem rêsñ ovr ɖ sì, ovr ɖ sandhilz, p ɖ paḍc. Y wr frîtnd t lc in ɖ cornrz v ɖ wośhǎs, n yt y hd t lc wɖ ol yr mt. N smẃr, far awe, granmā wz lîtñ a lamp. Ɖ blîndz wr biyñ pld dǎn; ɖ cićnfîr lept in ɖ tinz on ɖ mantlpìs.

“It wd b ōfl nǎ,” sd ɖ bl, “f a spîdr wz t fōl fṛm ɖ sīlñ on t ɖ tebl, wd’nt it?”

“Spîdrz d’nt fōl fṛm sīlñz.”

“Yes, ɖe d. Ǎr Min tld s ś’d sìn a spîdr az big az a sōspn, wɖ loñ herz on it lîc a gūzḅri.”

Qcli ol ɖ litl hedz wr jrct p; ol ɖ litl bodiz drù tgɖr, prest tgɖr.

“Ẃ dz’nt smbdi cm n cōl s?” craid ɖ rūstr.

Ǒ, ɖoz groun-ups, lafñ n snug, sitñ in ɖ lamplît, drincñ ǎt v cups! Ɖ’d fgotn abt ɖm. No, nt riyli fgotn. Ɖt wz ẃt ɖer smîl mnt. Ɖe hd dsîdd t līv ɖm ɖr ol bî ɖmslvz.

Sudnli Loti gev sć a pirsñ scrīm ɖt ol v ɖm jumt of ɖ formz, ol v ɖm scrīmd tù. “A fes—a fes lcñ!” śrīct Loti.

It wz tru, it wz riyl. Prest agnst ɖ windo wz a pel fes, blac îz, a blac bird.

“Granmā! Muɖr! Smbdi!”

Bt ɖe hd nt got t ɖ dor, tumḅlñ ovr wn anɖr, bfr it opnd fr Uncl Joṇʈn. H hd cm t tec ɖ litl bôz hom.

___

X

H  hd mnt t b ɖr bfr, bt in ɖ frunt gardn h hd cm upn Linda wōcñ p n dǎn ɖ gras, stopñ t pic of a ded pnc or gv a top-hevi carneśn smʈñ t līn agnst, or t tec a dīp breʈ v smʈñ, n ɖen wōcñ on agn, wɖ hr litl er v rmotnis. Ovr hr ẃît froc ś wòr a yelo, pnc-frinjd śōl fṛm ɖ Ćîṇmn’z śop.

“Hlo, Joṇʈn!” cōld Linda. N Joṇʈn ẃipt of hiz śabi Paṇmā, prest it agnst hiz brest, dropt on wn ni, n cist Linda’z hand.

“Grītñ, mî Fer Wn! Grītñ, mî S’lesćl Pīćblosm!” būmd ɖ beis vôs jntli. “Ẃr r ɖ uɖr nobl demz?”

“Beṛl’z ǎt pleyñ brij n muɖr’z gvñ ɖ bô hiz baʈ… Hv y cm t boro smʈñ?”

Ɖ Trǎts wr fr evr runñ ǎt v ʈñz n sndñ acrs t ɖ Brnélz’ at ɖ last momnt.

Bt Joṇʈn onli ansrd, “A litl luv, a litl cîndnis;” n h wōct bî hiz sistr-in-lw’z sîd.

Linda dropt intu Beṛl’z haṃc undr ɖ mnūc̣trī, n Joṇʈn strećt himslf on ɖ gras bsd hr, pld a loñ stōc n bgan ćuwñ it. Ɖe ń ć uɖr wel. Ɖ vôsz v ćildṛn craid fṛm ɖ uɖr gardnz. A fiśrmn’z lît cart śc alñ ɖ sandi rod, n fṛm far awe ɖe hŕd a dog barcñ; it wz mufld az ɖo ɖ dog hd its hed in a sác. F y lisnd y cd jst hír ɖ soft swiś v ɖ sì at fl tîd swīpñ ɖ peblz. Ɖ sún wz sncñ.

“N so y g bac t ɖ ofis on Munde, d y, Joṇʈn?” asct Linda.

“On Munde ɖ cejdor opnz n clañz t upn ɖ victim fr anɖr ilevn munʈs n a wīc,” ansrd Joṇʈn.

Linda swuñ a litl. “It mst b ōfl,” ś sd slǒli.

“Wd yi hv m laf, mî fer sistr? Wd yi hv m wīp?”

Linda wz so acustmd t Joṇʈn’z we v tōcñ ɖt ś ped no atnśn t it.

“I s’poz,” ś sd vegli, “wn gts yst t it. Wn gts yst t enʈñ.”

“Dz wn? Hum!” Ɖ “Hum” wz so dīp it sīmd t būm fṛm undnʈ ɖ grǎnd. “I wundr hǎ it’s dn,” brūdd Joṇʈn; “I’v nvr manijd it.”

Lcñ at him az h le ɖr, Linda ʈt agn hǎ atractiv h wz. It wz strenj t ʈnc ɖt h wz onli an ordnri clarc, ɖt Stanli ŕnd twîs az mć muni az h. Ẃt wz ɖ matr wɖ Joṇʈn? H hd no ambiśn; ś s’pozd ɖt wz it. N yt wn flt h wz giftd, xpśnl. H wz paśṇtli fond v ḿzic; evri sper peni h hd wnt on bcs. H wz olwz fl v ny îdīaz, scīmz, planz. Bt nʈñ cem v it ol. Ɖ ny fîr blezd in Joṇʈn; y olmst hŕd it rorñ softli az h xplend, dscrîbd n dletd on ɖ ny ʈñ; bt a momnt lêtr it hd fōḷn in n ɖr wz nʈñ bt aśz, n Joṇʈn wnt abt wɖ a lc lîc hungr in hiz blac îz. At ɖz tîmz h xaɉretd hiz absrd manr v spīcñ, n h sañ in ćrć—h wz ɖ līdr v ɖ qîr—wɖ sć firfl dṛmatic intnṣti ɖt ɖ mīnist hím pt on an unholi splendr.

“It sīmz t m jst az imḅsil, jst az infrṇl, t hv t g t ɖ ofis on Munde,” sd Joṇʈn, “az it olwz hz dn n olwz wl d. T spend ol ɖ bst yirz v wn’z lîf sitñ on a stūl fṛm nîn t fîv, scraćñ in smbdi’z lejr! It’s a qir ys t mc v wn’z… wn n onli lîf, z’nt it? Or d I fondli drīm?” H rold ovr on ɖ gras n lct p at Linda. “Tel m, ẃt z ɖ difṛns btwn mî lîf n ɖt v an ordnri priznr. Ɖ onli difṛns I cn si z ɖt I pt mslf in jel n nbdi’z evr gwñ t let m ǎt. Ɖt’s a mor intolṛbl sićueśn ɖn ɖ uɖr. Fr f I’d bn—pśt in, agnst mî wil—cicñ, īvn—wns ɖ dor wz loct, or at eni ret in fîv yirz or so, I mt hv axptd ɖ fact n bgun t tec an inṭrest in ɖ flît v flîz or cǎntñ ɖ wordr’z steps alñ ɖ pasij wɖ ptiklr atnśn t verieśnz v tréd n so on. Bt az it z, I’m lîc an insect ɖt’s floun intu a rūm v its ǒn acord. I daś agnst ɖ wōlz, daś agnst ɖ windoz, flop agnst ɖ sīlñ, d evrʈñ on God’z rʈ, in fact, xpt flî ǎt agn. N ol ɖ ẃl I’m ʈncñ, lîc ɖt moʈ, or ɖt buṭflî, or ẃtvr it z, ‘Ɖ śortnis v lîf! Ɖ śortnis v lîf!’ I’v onli wn nît or wn de, n ɖr’z ɖs vast denjṛs gardn, wêtñ ǎt ɖr, undiscuvrd, unixplord.”

“Bt, f y fīl lîc ɖt, ẃ—” bgan Linda qcli.

Ā!” craid Joṇʈn. N ɖt “ā!” wz smhǎ olmst xultnt. “Ɖr y hv m. Ẃ? Ẃ indd? Ɖr’z ɖ maḍnñ, mstirịs qsćn. Ẃ d’nt I flî ǎt agn? Ɖr’z ɖ windo or ɖ dor or ẃtvr it wz I cem in bî. It’s nt hoplisli śut—z it? Ẃ d’nt I fînd it n b of? Ansr m ɖt, litl sistr.” Bt h gev hr no tîm t ansr.

“I’m xacli lîc ɖt insect agn. Fr sm rīzn”—Joṇʈn pōzd btwn ɖ wrdz—“it’s nt alaud, it’s fbidn, it’s agnst ɖ insectlw, t stop baññ n flopñ n crōlñ p ɖ pein īvn fr an instnt. Ẃ d’nt I līv ɖ ofis? Ẃ d’nt I sirịsli cnsidr, ɖs momnt, fr instns, ẃt it z ɖt privnts m līvñ? It’s nt az ɖo I’m tṛmndsli taid. I’v tū bôz t pṛvîd fr, bt, aftr ol, ɖ’r bôz. I cd cut of t sì, or gt a job up-cuntri, or—” Sudnli h smîld at Linda n sd in a ćenjd vôs, az f h wr cnfîdñ a sīcrit, “Wìc… wìc. No stamina. No ancr. No gîdñ prínsipl, let s cōl it.” Bt ɖen ɖ darc vlṿti vôs rold ǎt:

Wd yi hír ɖ stori

Hǎ it unfoldz itslf…

n ɖe wr sîḷnt.

Ɖ sún hd set. In ɖ wstn scî ɖr wr gret masz v cruśt-up rǒz-culrd clǎdz. Brōd bīmz v lît śon ʈru ɖ clǎdz n bynd ɖm az f ɖe wd cuvr ɖ hol scî. Oṿhed ɖ blu fedd; it trnd a pel gold, n ɖ bś ǎtlînd agnst it glīmd darc n briłnt lîc metl. Smtmz ẃn ɖoz bīmz v lît śo in ɖ scî ɖe r vri ōfl. Ɖe rmînd y ɖt p ɖr sits Jhova, ɖ jeḷs God, ɖ Olmîti, Huz î z upn y, evr woćfl, nvr wiri. Y rmembr ɖt at Hiz cmñ ɖ hol rʈ wl śec intu wn ruind grevyard; ɖ cold, brît enjlz wl drîv y ɖs we n ɖt, n ɖr wl b no tîm t xplen ẃt cd b xplend so simpli… Bt tnît it sīmd t Linda ɖr wz smʈñ infiṇtli jôfl n luvñ in ɖoz silvr bīmz. N nǎ no sǎnd cem fṛm ɖ sì. It briɖd softli az f it wd drw ɖt tndr, jôfl byti intu its ǒn bŭzm.

“It’s ol roñ, it’s ol roñ,” cem ɖ śadǒi vôs v Joṇʈn. “It’s nt ɖ sīn, it’s nt ɖ setñ fr… ʈri stūlz, ʈri dscs, ʈri ñcpots n a wîr blînd.”

Linda ń ɖt h wd nvr ćenj, bt ś sd, “Z it tù lêt, īvn nǎ?”

“I’m old—I’m old,” intond Joṇʈn. H bnt twdz hr, h pást hiz hand ovr hiz hed. “Lc!” Hiz blac her wz specld ol ovr wɖ silvr, lîc ɖ brestplūmij v a blac faul.

Linda wz s’prîzd. Ś hd no îdīa ɖt h wz gre. N yt, az h std p bsd hr n said n strećt, ś sw him, fr ɖ frst tîm, nt reẓlut, nt gaḷnt, nt cerlis, bt tućt olrdi wɖ ej. H lct vri tōl on ɖ darc̣nñ gras, n ɖ ʈt crost hr mînd, “H z lîc a wīd.”

Joṇʈn stūpt agn n cist hr fngrz.

“Hevn rword ɖî swīt peśns, ledi mîn,” h mrmrd. “I mst g sīc ɖoz érz t mî fem n fortyn…” H wz gn.

___

XI

Lît śon in ɖ windoz v ɖ bunġlo. Tū sqer paćz v gold fél upn ɖ pncs n ɖ pīct maṛgoldz. Flori, ɖ cat, cem ǎt on t ɖ vranda, n sat on ɖ top step, hr ẃît pwz clos tgɖr, hr teil crld rnd. Ś lct cntnt, az ɖo ś hd bn wêtñ fr ɖs momnt ol de.

“Ʈanc gdnis, it’s gtñ lêt,” sd Flori. “Ʈanc gdnis, ɖ loñ de z ovr.” Hr grīngej îz opnd.

Prezntli ɖr sǎndd ɖ rumbl v ɖ coć, ɖ crac v Celi’z ẃip. It cem nir inuf fr wn t hír ɖ vôsz v ɖ men fṛm tǎn, tōcñ lǎdli tgɖr. It stopt at ɖ Brnélz’ get.

Stanli wz hafwe p ɖ paʈ bfr h sw Linda. “Z ɖt y, darlñ?”

“Yes, Stanli.”

H lept acrs ɖ flǎrbed n sizd hr in hiz armz. Ś wz infoldd in ɖt fmiłr, īgr, stroñ imbres.

“Fgiv m, darlñ, fgiv m,” stamrd Stanli, n h pt hiz hand undr hr ćin n liftd hr fes t him.

“Fgiv y?” smîld Linda. “Bt ẃtvr fr?”

“Gd God! Y c’nt hv fgotn,” craid Stanli Brnél. “I’v ʈt v nʈñ els ol de. I’v hd ɖ hel v a de. I md p mî mînd t daś ǎt n teḷgraf, n ɖen I ʈt ɖ wîr mt’nt rīć y bfr I dd. I’v bn in torćrz, Linda.”

“Bt, Stanli,” sd Linda, “ẃt mst I fgiv y fr?”

“Linda!”—Stanli wz vri hrt—“dd’nt y riylîz—y mst hv riylîzd—I wnt awe wɖt seyñ gdbî t y ɖs mornñ? I c’nt imajin hǎ I cn hv dn sć a ʈñ. Mî cnfǎndd tmpr, v cors. Bt—wel”—n h said n tc hr in hiz armz agn—“I’v sufrd fr it inuf tde.”

“Ẃt’s ɖt y’v got in yr hand?” asct Linda. “Ny gluvz? Let m si.”

“Ǒ, jst a ćīp per v wośleɖr wnz,” sd Stanli humbli. “I notist Bel wz wẹrñ sm in ɖ coć ɖs mornñ, so, az I wz pasñ ɖ śop, I daśt in n got mslf a per. Ẃt r y smîlñ at? Y d’nt ʈnc it wz roñ v m, d y?”

“On ɖ contrri, darlñ,” sd Linda, “I ʈnc it wz most snṣbl.”

Ś pld wn v ɖ larj, pel gluvz on hr ǒn fngrz n lct at hr hand, trnñ it ɖs we n ɖt. Ś wz stl smîlñ.

Stanli wontd t se, “I wz ʈncñ v y ɖ hol tîm I bòt ɖm.” It wz tru, bt fr sm rīzn h cd’nt se it. “Let’s g in,” sd h.

___

XII

Ẃ  dz wn fīl so difṛnt at nît? Ẃ z it so xîtñ t b awec ẃn evrbdi els z aslip? Lêt—it z vri lêt! N yt evri momnt y fīl mor n mor wecfl, az ɖo y wr slǒli, olmst wɖ evri breʈ, wecñ p intu a ny, wundrfl, far mor ʈrilñ n xîtñ wrld ɖn ɖ dêlît wn. N ẃt z ɖs qir snseśn ɖt y’r a cnspiṛtr? Lîtli, stelʈ̇li y muv abt yr rūm. Y tec smʈñ of ɖ dresñtebl n pt it dǎn agn wɖt a sǎnd. N evrʈñ, īvn ɖ bedpost, nz y, rspondz, śerz yr sīcrit…

Y’r nt vri fond v yr rūm bî de. Y nvr ʈnc abt it. Y’r in n ǎt, ɖ dor opnz n slamz, ɖ cuḅd crīcs. Y sit dǎn on ɖ sîd v yr bed, ćenj yr śuz n daś ǎt agn. A dîv dǎn t ɖ glas, tū pinz in yr her, pǎdr yr nǒz n of agn. Bt nǎ—it’s sudnli dir t y. It’s a darlñ litl funi rūm. It’s yrz. Ǒ, ẃt a jô it z t ǒn ʈñz! Mîn—mî ǒn!

“Mî vri ǒn fr evr?”

“Yes.” Ɖer lips met.

No, v cors, ɖt hd nʈñ t d wɖ it. Ɖt wz ol nonsns n rubiś. Bt, in spît v hrslf, Beṛl sw so plenli tū ppl standñ in ɖ midl v hr rūm. Hr armz wr rnd hiz nec; h hld hr. N nǎ h ẃisprd, “Mî byti, mî litl byti!” Ś jumt of hr bed, ran ovr t ɖ windo n nīld on ɖ windosīt, wɖ hr elboz on ɖ sil. Bt ɖ bytifl nît, ɖ gardn, evri bś, evri līf, īvn ɖ ẃît pêlñz, īvn ɖ starz, wr cnspiṛtrz tù. So brît wz ɖ mūn ɖt ɖ flǎrz wr brît az bî de; ɖ śado v ɖ nstrśnz, xqizit lili-lîc līvz n wîd-opn flǎrz, le acrs ɖ silṿri vranda. Ɖ mnūc̣trī, bnt bî ɖ suɖrli windz, wz lîc a brd on wn leg strećñ ǎt a wñ.

Bt ẃn Beṛl lct at ɖ bś, it sīmd t hr ɖ bś wz sad.

“W r dum triz, rīćñ p in ɖ nît, implorñ w nǒ nt ẃt,” sd ɖ soṛfl bś.

It z tru ẃn y r bî yrslf n y ʈnc abt lîf, it z olwz sad. Ol ɖt xîtmnt n so on hz a we v sudnli līvñ y, n it’s az ɖo, in ɖ sîḷns, smbdi cōld yr nem, n y hŕd yr nem fr ɖ frst tîm. “Beṛl!”

“Yes, I’m hir. I’m Beṛl. Hu wonts m?”

“Beṛl!”

“Let m cm.”

It z lonli livñ bî wnslf. V cors, ɖr r rleśnz, frendz, hīps v ɖm; bt ɖt’s nt ẃt ś mīnz. Ś wonts smwn hu wl fînd ɖ Beṛl ɖe nn v ɖm nǒ, hu wl xpct hr t b ɖt Beṛl olwz. Ś wonts a luvr.

“Tec m awe fṛm ol ɖz uɖr ppl, mî luv. Let s g far awe. Let s liv ǎr lîf, ol ny, ol ǎrz, fṛm ɖ vri bginñ. Let s mc ǎr fîr. Let s sit dǎn t īt tgɖr. Let s hv loñ tōcs at nît.”

N ɖ ʈt wz olmst, “Sev m, mî luv. Sev m!”

…“Ǒ, g on! D’nt b a prūd, mî dir. Y injô yrslf ẃl y’r yuñ. Ɖt’s mî advîs.” N a hî ruś v sili laftr jônd Msz. Hari Cmbr’z lǎd, indifṛnt ne.

Y si, it’s so frîtf̣li dificlt ẃn y’v nbdi. Y’r so at ɖ mrsi v ʈñz. Y c’nt jst b rūd. N y’v olwz ɖs horr v sīmñ inixpirịnst n stufi lîc ɖ uɖr niniz at ɖ Be. N—n it’s faṣnetñ t nǒ y’v pǎr ovr ppl. Yes, ɖt z faṣnetñ…

Ǒ ẃ, ǒ ẃ dz’nt “h” cm sn?

F I g on livñ hir, ʈt Beṛl, enʈñ me hapn t m.

“Bt hǎ d y nǒ h z cmñ at ol?” moct a smōl vôs wɖn hr.

Bt Beṛl dsmist it. Ś cd’nt b left. Uɖr ppl, phps, bt nt ś. It wz’nt poṣbl t ʈnc ɖt Beṛl Ferfīld nvr marid, ɖt luvli faṣnetñ grl.

“D y rmembr Beṛl Ferfīld?”

“Rmembr hr! Az f I cd fget hr! It wz wn sumr at ɖ Be ɖt I sw hr. Ś wz standñ on ɖ bīć in a blu”—no, pnc—“muzlin froc, holdñ on a big crīm”—no, blac—“strw hat. Bt it’s yirz ago nǎ.”

“Ś’z az luvli az evr, mor so f enʈñ.”

Beṛl smîld, bit hr lip, n gezd ovr ɖ gardn. Az ś gezd, ś sw smbdi, a man, līv ɖ rod, step alñ ɖ paḍc bsd ɖer pêlñz az f h wz cmñ stret twdz hr. Hr hart bìt. Hu wz it? Hu cd it b? It cd’nt b a brglr, srtnli nt a brglr, fr h wz smocñ n h strold lîtli. Beṛl’z hart lept; it sīmd t trn rît ovr, n ɖen t stop. Ś rec̣gnîzd him.

“Gd īvnñ, Mis Beṛl,” sd ɖ vôs softli.

“Gd īvnñ.”

“W’nt y cm fr a litl wōc?” it drōld.

Cm fr a wōc—at ɖt tîm v nît! “I cd’nt. Evrbdi’z in bed. Evrbdi’z aslip.”

“Ǒ,” sd ɖ vôs lîtli, n a ẃif v swīt smoc rīćt hr. “Ẃt dz evrbdi matr? D cm! It’s sć a fîn nît. Ɖr’z nt a soul abt.”

Beṛl śc hr hed. Bt olrdi smʈñ strd in hr, smʈñ rird its hed.

Ɖ vôs sd, “Frîtnd?” It moct, “Pur litl grl!”

“Nt in ɖ līst,” sd ś. Az ś spouc ɖt wìc ʈñ wɖn hr sīmd t uncôl, t gro sudnli tṛmndsli stroñ; ś loñd t g!

N jst az f ɖs wz qt unḍstd bî ɖ uɖr, ɖ vôs sd, jntli n softli, bt fîṇli, “Cm alñ!”

Beṛl stept ovr hr lo windo, crost ɖ vranda, ran dǎn ɖ gras t ɖ get. H wz ɖr bfr hr.

“Ɖt’s rît,” briɖd ɖ vôs, n it tizd, “Y’r nt frîtnd, r y? Y’r nt frîtnd?”

Ś wz; nǎ ś wz hir ś wz teṛfaid, n it sīmd t hr evrʈñ wz difṛnt. Ɖ mūnlît stérd n glitrd; ɖ śadoz wr lîc barz v ayn. Hr hand wz tecn.

“Nt in ɖ līst,” ś sd lîtli. “Ẃ śd I b?”

Hr hand wz pld jntli, tugd. Ś hld bac.

“No, I’m nt cmñ eni farɖr,” sd Beṛl.

“Ǒ, rot!” Hari Cmbr dd’nt b’liv hr. “Cm alñ! W’l jst g az far az ɖt fyśa-bś. Cm alñ!”

Ɖ fyśa-bś wz tōl. It fél ovr ɖ fns in a śǎr. Ɖr wz a litl pit v darcnis bnʈ.

“No, riyli, I d’nt wont t,” sd Beṛl.

Fr a momnt Hari Cmbr dd’nt ansr. Ɖen h cem clos t hr, trnd t hr, smîld n sd qcli, “D’nt b sili! D’nt b sili!”

Hiz smîl wz smʈñ sh’d nvr sìn bfr. Wz h drunc? Ɖt brît, blînd, teṛfayñ smîl froz hr wɖ horr. Ẃt wz ś dwñ? Hǎ hd ś got hir? ɖ strn gardn asct hr az ɖ get pśt opn, n qc az a cat Hari Cmbr cem ʈru n snaćt hr t him.

“Cold litl devl! Cold litl devl!” sd ɖ hetfl vôs.

Bt Beṛl wz stroñ. Ś slipt, dúct, renćt fri.

“Y r vîl, vîl,” sd ś.

“Ɖen ẃ in God’z nem dd y cm?” stamrd Hari Cmbr.

Nbdi ansrd him.

A clǎd, smōl, srīn, flotd acrs ɖ mūn. In ɖt momnt v darcnis ɖ sì sǎndd dīp, trubld. Ɖen ɖ clǎd sêld awe, n ɖ sǎnd v ɖ sì wz a veg mrmr, az ɖo it wect ǎt v a darc drīm. Ol wz stil.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: SPRING OFFENSIVE, by Wilfred Owen

SPRÑ OFNSIV

Wilfrid Own

Hōltd agnst ɖ śêd v a last hil,

Ɖe féd, n, layñ īzi, wr at īz

N, fîndñ cumftbl ćests n niz

Cerlisli slept.

Bt mni ɖr std stl

T fes ɖ starc, blanc scî bynd ɖ rij,

Nwñ ɖer fīt hd cm t ɖ end v ɖ wrld.

Marṿlñ ɖe std, n woćt ɖ loñ gras swrld

Bî ɖ Me brīz, mrmṛs wɖ wosp n mij,

Fr ɖo ɖ sumr ūzd intu ɖer veinz

Lîc ɖ injctd drug fr ɖer bonz’ penz,

Śarp on ɖer soulz huñ ɖ iminnt lîn v gras,

Firf̣li flaśt ɖ scî’z mstirịs glas.

Aur aftr aur ɖe pondr ɖ worm fīld—

N ɖ far vali bhnd, ẃr ɖ butrcups

Hd blest wɖ gold ɖer slo būts cmñ p,

Ẃr īvn ɖ litl bramblz wd nt yīld,

Bt clućt n cluñ t ɖm lîc sorowñ handz;

Ɖe briɖ lîc triz unstŕd.

Tl lîc a cold gust ʈrild ɖ litl wrd

At ẃć ć bodi n its soul bgrd

N tîtn ɖm fr batl. No alarmz

V byglz, no hî flagz, no clamṛs hest—

Onli a lift n fler v îz ɖt fest

Ɖ sún, lîc a frend wɖ hūm ɖer luv z dn.

O larjr śon ɖt smîl agnst ɖ sún,—

Mîtịr ɖn hiz huz bǎnti ɖz hv sprnd.

So, sn ɖe topt ɖ hil, n rêst tgɖr

Ovr an opn streć v hrb n heɖr

Xpozd. N instntli ɖ hol scî brnd

Wɖ fyri agnst ɖm; n soft sudn cups

Opnd in ʈǎzndz fr ɖer blud; n ɖ grīn slǒps

Cazmd n stīpnd śir t infiṇt spes.

V ɖm hu runñ on ɖt last hî ples

Lept t swift unsìn bŭlits, or wnt p

On ɖ hot blast n fyri v hel’z upsrj,

Or plunjd n fél awe past ɖs wrld’z vrj,

Sm se God còt ɖm īvn bfr ɖe fél.

Bt ẃt se sć az fṛm xistns’ brinc

Vnćrd bt drev tù swift t snc.

Ɖ fy hu ruśt in ɖ bodi t entr hel,

N ɖr ǎt-fīndñ ol its fīndz n flemz

Wɖ suṗhymn inhymaṇtiz,

Loñ-feṃs gloriz, immorịl śemz—

N crōlñ slǒli bac, hv bî dgriz

Rgend cūl pīsfl er in wundr—

Ẃ spīc ɖe nt v comredz ɖt wnt undr?

Louis Alexander Weirter │ BATTLE OF COURCELETTE │ 1918

ANAḶSIS

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: FUTILITY, by Wilfred Owen

FYTIḶTI

Wilfrid Own

Muv him intu ɖ sún—

Jntli its tuć awouc him wns,

At hom, ẃisṗrñ v fīldz unsóun.

Olwz it wouc him, īvn in Frans,

Untl ɖs mornñ n ɖs sno.

F enʈñ mt rǎz him nǎ

Ɖ cînd old sún wl nǒ.

Ʈnc hǎ it wecs ɖ sīdz—

Wouc wns ɖ clez v a cold star.

R limz, so dir-aćivd, r sîdz

Fl-nrvd, stl worm, tù hard t str?

Wz it fr ɖs ɖ cle grù tōl?—

O ẃt md faćs súnbīmz tôl

T brec rʈ’z slīp at ol?

Gilḅt Rojrz │ Frst Wrld Wor: Strećrberrz ov ɖ Royl Armi Medicl Cōr Liftñ a Wūndd Man ǎt ov a Trenć │ 1919

ANAḶSIS

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: DISABLED, by Wilfred Owen

DSEBLD

Wilfrid Own

H sat in a ẃīld ćer, wêtñ fr darc,

N śivrd in hiz gastli sūt v gre,

Leglis, soun śort at elbo. Ʈru ɖ parc

Vôsz v bôz rañ saḍnñ lîc a hím,

Vôsz v ple n pleźr aftr de,

Tl gaɖrñ slīp hd muɖrd ɖm fṛm him.

Abt ɖs tîm Tǎn yst t swñ so ge

Ẃn glǒlamps budd in ɖ lît-blu triz,

N grlz glanst luvlịr az ɖ er grù dim,—

In ɖ old tîmz, bfr h ʈrù awe hiz niz.

Nǎ h wl nvr fīl agn hǎ slim

Grlz’ weists r, or hǎ worm ɖer sutl handz,

Ol v ɖm tuć him lîc sm qir dziz.

Ɖr wz an artist sili fr hiz fes,

Fr it wz yungr ɖn hiz yʈ, last yir.

Nǎ, h z old; hiz bac wl nvr bres;

H’z lost hiz culr vri far fṛm hir,

Pord it dǎn śelhoulz tl ɖ veinz ran drî,

N haf hiz lîftîm lapst in ɖ hot rês

N līp v prpl sprtd fṛm hiz ʈî.

Wn tîm h lîct a bludsmir dǎn hiz leg,

Aftr ɖ maćz carid śoldr-hî.

It wz aftr ftbōl, ẃn h’d drunc a peg,

H ʈt h’d betr jôn. H wundrz ẃ.

Smwn hd sd h’d lc a god in cilts.

Ɖt’s ẃ; n mbi, tù, t plīz hiz Meg,

Ai, ɖt wz it, t plīz ɖ gidi jilts,

H asct t jôn. H dd’nt hv t beg;

Smîlñ ɖe rout hiz lî: ejd nîntīn yirz.

Jrmnz h scersli ʈt v, ol ɖer gilt,

N Ostria’z, dd nt muv him. N no firz

V Fir cem yt. H ʈt v juwld hilts

Fr dagrz in pled socs; v smart s’lūts;

N cer v armz; n līv; n pe arirz;

Esprit de corps; n hints fr yuñ rcrūts.

N sn, h wz draftd ǎt wɖ drumz n ćirz.

Sm ćird him hom, bt nt az crǎdz ćir Gol.

Onli a soḷm man hu bròt him frūts

Ʈanct him; n ɖen inqîrd abt hiz soul.

Nǎ, h wl spend a fy sic yirz in insttyts,

N d ẃt ʈñz ɖ rūlz cnsidr wîz,

N tec ẃtvr piti ɖe me dǒl.

Tnît h notist hǎ ɖ wimin’z îz

Pást fṛm him t ɖ stroñ men ɖt wr hol.

Hǎ cold n lêt it z! Ẃ d’nt ɖe cm

N pt him intu bed? Ẃ d’nt ɖe cm?

George Grosz │ GREY DAY │ 1921

ANAḶSIS

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL