Category Archives: G K Chesterton

In Ñspel: THE ROLLING ENGLISH ROAD, by G.K. Chesterton

Ɖ ROLÑ ÑGLIŚ ROD

G.C. Ćsttn

Bfr ɖ Romn cem t Rî or ǎt t Sévn stroud,
Ɖ rolñ Ñgliś drunc̣d md ɖ rolñ Ñgliś rod.
A rīlñ rod, a rolñ rod, ɖt ramblz rnd ɖ śîr,
N aftr him ɖ parsn ran, ɖ sxtn n ɖ sqîr;
A meri rod, a mezi rod, n sć az w dd tréd
Ɖ nît w wnt t Brmñm bî we v Bīći Hed.

I ń no harm v Boṇpart bt plenti v ɖ Sqîr,
N fr t fît ɖ Frenćmn I dd nt mć dzîr;
Bt I dd baś ɖer baġnets bcz ɖe cem areid
T stretn ǎt ɖ crŭcid rod an Ñgliś drunc̣d md,
Ẃr y n I wnt dǎn ɖ len

wɖ elmugz in ǎr handz,

Ɖ nît w wnt t Glasṭnbri

bî we v Gdwin Sandz.

Hiz sinz ɖe wr fgivn him; or ẃ d flǎrz run
Bhnd him; n ɖ hejz ol streñʈ̇nñ in ɖ sún?
Ɖ wîld ʈñ wnt fṛm left t rît n ń nt ẃć wz ẃć,
Bt ɖ wîld rǒz wz abv him

ẃn ɖe faund him in ɖ dić.

God pardn s, nr hardn s; w dd nt si so clir
Ɖ nît w wnt t Baṇcbrn bî we v Brîtn Pír.

Mî frendz, w wl nt g agn t ep an enćnt rej,
Or streć ɖ foli v ǎr yʈ t b ɖ śem v ej,
Bt wōc wɖ clirr îz n irz ɖs paʈ ɖt wonḍreʈ,
N si undrugd in īvnñlît ɖ dīsnt ín v deʈ;
Fr ɖr z gd nyz yt t hír n fîn ʈñz t b sìn,
Bfr w g t Paṛdîs bî we v Cnsl Grīn.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

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In Ñspel: THE PARADISE OF THIEVES, by G K Chesterton

Ɖ PAṚDÎS OV ƮĪVZ

G. C. Ćsttn

Ɖ  gret Mscari, most orijinl v ɖ yuñ Tuscn powts, wōct swiftli intu hiz feṿrit resṭront, ẃć oṿlct ɖ Mediṭreńn, wz cuvrd bî an ōnñ n fnst bî litl lemn n orinjtrīz. Wêtrz in ẃît epṛnz wr olrdi leyñ ǎt on ẃît teblz ɖ insignia v an rli n elignt lunć; n ɖs sīmd t incris a saṭsfax́n ɖt olrdi tućt ɖ top v swagr. Mscari hd an īglnǒz lîc Dante; hiz her n nec̣ćīf wr darc n flowñ; h carid a blac clǒc, n mt olmst hv carid a blac masc, so mć dd h ber wɖ him a sort v Vnīśn meḷdrama. H actd az f a trūḅdor hd stl a defiṇt sośl ofis, lîc a biṣ́p. H wnt az nir az hiz snćri pmitd t wōcñ ɖ wrld litṛli lîc Don Juwn, wɖ repịr n gitar.

Fr h nvr travld wɖt a ces v sordz, wɖ ẃć h hd fòt mni briłnt dȳlz, or wɖt a corispondñ ces fr hiz manḍlin, wɖ ẃć h hd acć̣li seṛnedd Mis Eʈl Haṛget, ɖ hîli cnvnśnl dōtr v a Yorx́r bancr on a hoḷde. Yt h wz nɖr a śarḷtn nr a ćîld; bt a hot, lojicl Latin hu lîct a srtn ʈñ n wz it. Hiz powtri wz az stretfwd az enwn els’z prǒz. H dzîrd fem or wîn or ɖ byti v wimin wɖ a torid d’rectnis incnsiṿbl amñ ɖ clǎdi îdiylz or clǎdi compṛmîzz v ɖ norʈ; t vegr resz hiz intnṣti smelt v denjr or īvn crîm. Lîc fîr or ɖ sì, h wz tù simpl t b trustd.

Ɖ bancr n hiz bytifl Ñgliś dōtr wr steyñ at ɖ hotel ataćt t Mscari’z resṭront; ɖt wz ẃ it wz hiz feṿrit resṭront. A glans flaśt arnd ɖ rūm tld him at wns, hvr, ɖt ɖ Ñgliś parti hd nt dsndd. Ɖ resṭront wz gliṭrñ, bt stl cmpaṛtivli emti. Tū prīsts wr tōcñ at a tebl in a cornr, bt Mscari (an ardnt Caʈ̇lic) tc no mor notis v ɖm ɖn v a cupl v croz. Bt fṛm a yt farɖr sīt, partli cnsild bhnd a dworf tri goldn wɖ oṛnjz, ɖr rouz n advanst twdz ɖ powt a prsn huz costym wz ɖ most agresivli oṗzit t hiz ǒn.

Ɖs figr wz clad in twīdz v a pîbàld ćec, wɖ a pnc tî, a śarp colr n pṛtybṛnt yelo būts. H cntrîvd, in ɖ tru tṛdiśn v ‘Ari at Marget, t lc at wns starṭlñ n comnples. Bt az ɖ Cocni aṗriśn drù nirr, Mscari wz astǎndd t obzrv ɖt ɖ hed wz dstñtli difṛnt fṛm ɖ bodi. It wz an Itałn hed: fuzi, sworɖi n vri viveśs, ɖt rouz abrupli ǎt v ɖ standñ colr lîc cardbōrd n ɖ comic pnc tî. In fact it wz a hed h ń. H rec̣gnîzd it, abv ol ɖ dîr irex́n v Ñgliś hoḷde are, az ɖ fes v an old bt fgotn frend nemd Etsa. Ɖs yʈ hd bn a proḍji at colij, n Yṛpiyn fem wz promist him ẃn h wz bérli fiftīn; bt ẃn h apird in ɖ wrld h feld, frst pubḷcli az a draṃtist n a deṃgog, n ɖen prîṿtli fr yirz on end az an actr, a travlr, a cmiśn-ejnt or a jrṇlist. Mscari hd noun him last bhnd ɖ ftlîts; h wz bt tù wel atynd t ɖ xîtmnts v ɖt pṛfeśn, n it wz b’livd ɖt sm moṛl c’laṃti hd swoloud him p.

“Etsa!” craid ɖ powt, rîzñ n śecñ handz in a pleznt astoniśmnt. “Wel, I’v sìn y in mni costymz in ɖ grīn rūm; bt I nvr xpctd t si y drest p az an Ñgliśmn.”

“Ɖs,” ansrd Etsa grevli, “z nt ɖ costym v an Ñgliśmn, bt v ɖ Itałn v ɖ fyćr.”

“In ɖt ces,” rmarct Mscari, “I cnfes I prifŕ ɖ Itałn v ɖ past.”

“Ɖt z yr old mstec, Mscari,” sd ɖ man in twīdz, śecñ hiz hed; “n ɖ mstec v Iṭli. In ɖ sixtīnʈ snćri w Tuscnz md ɖ mornñ: w hd ɖ nyist stīl, ɖ nyist carvñ, ɖ nyist ceṃstri. Ẃ śd w nt nǎ hv ɖ nyist facṭriz, ɖ nyist motrz, ɖ nyist fnans – ɖ nyist cloɖz?”

“Bcz ɖe r nt wrʈ hvñ,” ansrd Mscari. “Y canot mc Itałnz riyli pṛgresiv; ɖe r tù intelijnt. Men hu si ɖ śort cut t gd livñ wl nvr g bî ɖ ny ilabṛt rodz.”

“Wel, t m Marconi, or D’Anŭnzio, z ɖ star v Iṭli” sd ɖ uɖr. “Ɖt z ẃ I hv bcm a Fyć̣rist – n a curịr.”

“A curịr!” craid Mscari, lafñ. “Z ɖt ɖ last v yr list v tredz? N hūm r y cnductñ?”

“Ǒ, a man v ɖ nem v Haṛget, n hiz faṃli, I b’liv.”

“Nt ɖ bancr in ɖs hotel?” inqîrd ɖ powt, wɖ sm īgrnis.

“Ɖt’s ɖ man,” ansrd ɖ curịr.

“Dz it pe wel?” asct ɖ trūḅdor iṇsntli.

“It wl pe m,” sd Etsa, wɖ a vri eṇgmatic smîl. “Bt I am a rɖr krịs sort v curịr.” Ɖen, az f ćenjñ ɖ subjict, h sd abrupli: “H hz a dōtr – n a sun.”

“Ɖ dōtr z dvîn,” afrmd Mscari, “ɖ faɖr n sun r, I s’poz, hymn. Bt grantd hiz harmlis qoḷtz dz’nt ɖt bancr strîc y az a splendid instns v mî arğmnt? Haṛget hz miłnz in hiz sefs, n I hv – ɖ houl in mî pocit. Bt y der’nt se – y c’nt se – ɖt h’z clevrr ɖn I, or boldr ɖn I, or īvn mor eṇjetic. H’z nt clevr, h’z got îz lîc blu butnz; h’z nt eṇjetic, h muvz fṛm ćer t ćer lîc a paṛlitic. H’z a conśienśs, cîndli old bloched; bt h’z got muni simpli bcz h c’lects muni, az a bô c’lects stamps. Y’r tù stroñ-mîndd fr biznis, Etsa. Y w’nt gt on. T b clevr inuf t gt ol ɖt muni, wn mst b stypid inuf t wont it.”

“I’m stypid inuf fr ɖt,” sd Etsa glūṃli. “Bt I śd sjst a sspnśn v yr cṛtīc v ɖ bancr, fr hir h cmz.”

Mr. Haṛget, ɖ gret finansịr, dd indd entr ɖ rūm, bt nbdi lct at him. H wz a masiv eldrli man wɖ a bôld blu î n fedd gre-sandi mstaśz; bt fr hiz hevi stūp h mt hv bn a crnl. H carid sevṛl unopnd letrz in hiz hand. Hiz sun Franc wz a riyli fîn lad, crli-herd, sún-brnt n strenẏs; bt nbdi lct at him îɖr. Ol îz, az yźl, wr riṿtd, fr ɖ momnt at līst, upn Eʈl Haṛget, huz goldn Grīc hed n culr v ɖ dōn sīmd set prṗsli abv ɖt safîr sì, lîc a godes’z. Ɖ powt Mscari drù a dīp breʈ az f h wr drincñ smʈñ, az indd h wz. H wz drincñ ɖ Clasic; ẃć hiz faɖrz md. Etsa studid hr wɖ a gêz īqli intns n far mor baf̣lñ.

Mis Haṛget wz speṣ́li redịnt n redi fr convseśn on ɖs oceźn; n hr faṃli hd fōḷn intu ɖ īzịr Conṭnentl habit, alawñ ɖ strenjr Mscari n īvn ɖ curịr Etsa t śer ɖer tebl n ɖer tōc. In Eʈl Haṛget cnvnṣ́naḷti crǎnd itslf wɖ a pfx́n n splendr v its ǒn. Prǎd v hr faɖr’z pṛspeṛti, fond v faśṇbl pleźrz, a fond dōtr bt an aṛnt flrt, ś wz ol ɖz ʈñz wɖ a sort v goldn gd-nećr ɖt md hr vri prîd plizñ n hr wrldli rspctbiḷti a freś n harti ʈñ.

Ɖe wr in an edi v xîtmnt abt sm alejd peṛl in ɖ mǎntnpaʈ ɖe wr t atmt ɖt wīc. Ɖ denjr wz nt fṛm roc n aṿlanć, bt fṛm smʈñ yt mor r’mantic. Eʈl hd bn rṇstli aśurd ɖt brigndz, ɖ tru cutʈrots v ɖ modn lejnd, stl hōntd ɖt rij n hld ɖt pas v ɖ Aṗnînz.

“Ɖe se,” ś craid, wɖ ɖ ōfl reliś v a scūlgrl, “ɖt ol ɖt cuntri z’nt rūld bî ɖ Cñ v Iṭli, bt bî ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz. Hu z ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz?”

“A gret man,” rplaid Mscari, “wrɖi t ranc wɖ yr ǒn Robin Hŭd, sińrīna. Mntano, ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz, wz frst hŕd v in ɖ mǎntnz sm ten yirz ago, ẃn ppl sd brigndz wr xtñt. Bt hiz wîld oʈoṛti spred wɖ ɖ swiftnis v a sîḷnt reṿluśn. Men faund hiz firs procḷmeśnz nêld in evri mǎntnvilij; hiz sntinlz, gun in hand, in evri mǎntn-rvin. Six tîmz ɖ Itałn Guvnmnt traid t dsloj him, n wz dfitd in six pićt batlz az f bî Npołn.”

“Nǎ ɖt sort v ʈñ,” obzrvd ɖ bancr weiṭli, “wd nvr b alaud in Ñgḷnd; phps, aftr ol, w hd betr ćūz anɖr rùt. Bt ɖ curịr ʈt it prf̣cli sef.”

“It z prf̣cli sef,” sd ɖ curịr cntmćsli. “I hv bn ovr it twenti tîmz. Ɖr me hv bn sm old jelbrd cōld a Cñ in ɖ tîm v ǎr granmuɖrz; bt h b’loñz t hisṭri f nt t febl. Briġndij z utrli stamt ǎt.”

“It cn nvr b utrli stamt ǎt,” Mscari ansrd; “bcz armd rvolt z a recrieśn naćṛl t suɖ̇nrz. Ǎr peznts r lîc ɖer mǎntnz, rić in gres n grīn geyti, bt wɖ ɖ fîrz bnʈ. Ɖr z a pônt v hymn dsper ẃr ɖ norɖn pur tec t drinc – n ǎr ǒn pur tec t dagrz.”

“A powt z priṿlijd,” rplaid Etsa, wɖ a snir. “F Sińor Mscari wr Ñgliś h wd stl b lcñ fr hîweṃn in Wonzẉʈ. B’liv m, ɖr z no mor denjr v biyñ capćrd in Iṭli ɖn v biyñ scalpt in Bostn.”

“Ɖen y pṛpoz t atmt it?” asct Mr. Haṛget, frǎnñ.

“Ǒ, it sǎndz rɖr dredfl,” craid ɖ grl, trnñ hr glorịs îz on Mscari. “D y riyli ʈnc ɖ pas z denjṛs?”

Mscari ʈrù bac hiz blac mein. “I nǒ it z denjṛs:” h sd. “I am crosñ it tmoro.”

Ɖ yuñ Haṛget wz left bhnd fr a momnt emtiyñ a glas v ẃît wîn n lîtñ a siġrét, az ɖ byti rtîrd wɖ ɖ bancr, ɖ curịr n ɖ powt, dstribytñ pìlz v silṿri satîr. At abt ɖ sem instnt ɖ tū prīsts in ɖ cornr rouz; ɖ tōlr, a ẃît-herd Itałn, tecñ hiz līv. Ɖ śortr prīst trnd n wōct twdz ɖ bancr’z sun, n ɖ latr wz astoniśt t riylîz ɖt ɖo a Romn prīst ɖ man wz an Ñgliśmn. H vegli rmembrd mītñ him at ɖ sośl cruśz v sm v hiz Caʈ̇lic frendz. Bt ɖ man spouc bfr hiz meṃriz cd c’lect ɖmslvz.

“Mr. Franc Haṛget, I ʈnc,” h sd. “I hv hd an intṛdux́n, bt I d nt mīn t prizym on it. Ɖ od ʈñ I hv t se wl cm far betr fṛm a strenjr. Mr. Haṛget, I se wn wrd n g: tec cer v yr sistr in hr gret soro.”

Īvn fr Franc’s trūli fṛtrnl indifṛns ɖ redịns n d’riźn v hiz sistr stl sīmd t sparcl n rñ; h cd hír hr laftr stl fṛm ɖ gardn v ɖ hotel, n h stérd at hiz sombr advîzr in puzldm.

“D y mīn ɖ brigndz?” h asct; n ɖen, rmemḅrñ a veg fir v hiz ǒn, “or cn y b ʈncñ v Mscari?”

“Wn z nvr ʈncñ v ɖ riyl soro,” sd ɖ strenj prīst. “Wn cn onli b cînd ẃn it cmz.”

N h pást promtli fṛm ɖ rūm, līvñ ɖ uɖr olmst wɖ hiz mǎʈ opn.

A de or tū aftwdz a coć cntenñ ɖ cumṗni wz riyli crōlñ n staġrñ p ɖ sprz v ɖ meṇsñ mǎntnrenj. Btwn Etsa’z ćiri dnayl v ɖ denjr n Mscari’z bôstṛs dfayns v it, ɖ fnanśl faṃli wr frm in ɖer orijinl prṗs; n Mscari md hiz mǎntnjrni cǒinsîd wɖ ɖerz. A mor s’prîzñ fīćr wz ɖ apiṛns at ɖ cǒsțǎn steśn v ɖ litl prīst v ɖ resṭront; h alejd mirli ɖt biznis léd him olso t cros ɖ mǎntnz v ɖ midḷnd. Bt yuñ Haṛget cd nt bt cnct hiz prezns wɖ ɖ misticl firz n wornñz v yesṭde.

Ɖ coć wz a cnd v cmodịs waġnét, invntd bî ɖ moḍnist taḷnt v ɖ curịr, hu doṃnetd ɖ xpdiśn wɖ hiz sạ̣ntific activti n brīzi wit. Ɖ ʈiyri v denjr fṛm ʈīvz wz baniśt fṛm ʈt n spīć; ɖo so far cnsidd in forml act ɖt sm slît pṛtx́n wz imploid. Ɖ curịr n ɖ yuñ bancr carid lodd rvolvrz, n Mscari (wɖ mć bôiś gratif̣ceśn) bucld on a cnd v cutḷs undr hiz blac clǒc.

H hd plantd hiz prsn at a flayñ līp nxt t ɖ luvli Ñgliśwŭmn; on ɖ uɖr sîd v hr sat ɖ prīst, huz nem wz Brǎn n hu wz forćṇtli a sîḷnt indivijl; ɖ curịr n ɖ faɖr n sun wr on ɖ banc bhnd. Mscari wz in tǎrñ spirits, sirịsli b’livñ in ɖ peṛl, n hiz tōc t Eʈl mt wel hv md hr ʈnc him a meńac. Bt ɖr wz smʈñ in ɖ crezi n gorjs asent, amd cragz lîc pīcs lodd wɖ wŭdz lîc orć̣dz, ɖt dragd hr spirit p alñ wɖ hiz intu prpl pripostṛs hevnz wɖ ẃīlñ súnz. Ɖ ẃît rod clîmd lîc a ẃît cat; it spand súnlis cazmz lîc a tîtrop; it wz fluñ rnd far-of hedḷndz lîc a l’su.

N yt, hvr hî ɖe wnt, ɖ deẓt stl blosmd lîc ɖ rouz. Ɖ fīldz wr brniśt in sún n wind wɖ ɖ culr v cñfiśr n paṛt n humñbrd, ɖ hyz v a hundṛd flǎrñ flǎrz. Ɖr r no luvlịr medoz n wŭdḷndz ɖn ɖ Ñgliś, no noblr crests or cazmz ɖn ɖoz v Snǒdn n Glenco. Bt Eʈl Haṛget hd nvr bfr sìn ɖ suɖn parcs tiltd on ɖ splintrd norɖn pīcs; ɖ gorj v Glenco lêdn wɖ ɖ frūts v Cnt. Ɖr wz nʈñ hir v ɖt ćil n deẓleśn ɖt in Britn wn asośiets wɖ hî n wîld sìṇri. It wz rɖr lîc a mzêicpalis, rent wɖ rʈqecs; or lîc a Duć tylip gardn bloun t ɖ starz wɖ dîṇmît.

“It’s lîc Cỳ Gardnz on Bīći Hed,” sd Eʈl.

“It z ǎr sīcrit,” ansrd h, “ɖ sīcrit v ɖ vlceno; ɖt z olso ɖ sīcrit v ɖ reṿluśn – ɖt a ʈñ cn b vayḷnt n yt frūtfl.”

“Y r rɖr vayḷnt yrslf,” n ś smîld at him.

“N yt rɖr frūtlis,” h admitd; “f I dî tnît I dî unmarid n a fūl.”

“It z nt mî fōlt f y hv cm,” ś sd aftr a dificlt sîḷns.

“It z nvr yr fōlt,” ansrd Mscari; “it wz nt yr fōlt ɖt Trô fél.”

Az ɖe spouc ɖe cem undr oṿẃlmñ clifs ɖt spred olmst lîc wñz abv a cornr v pkłr peṛl. Śoct bî ɖ big śado on ɖ naro lej, ɖ horsz strd dǎtf̣li. Ɖ drîvr lept t ɖ rʈ t hold ɖer hedz, n ɖe bcem unguvṇbl. Wn hors rird p t hiz fl hît – ɖ tîtanic n teṛfayñ hît v a hors ẃn h bcmz a bîped. It wz jst inuf t oltr ɖ eqlibrịm; ɖ hol coć hìld ovr lîc a śip n craśt ʈru ɖ frinj v bśz ovr ɖ clif. Mscari ʈrù an arm rnd Eʈl, hu cluñ t him, n śǎtd alǎd. It wz fr sć momnts ɖt h livd.

At ɖ momnt ẃn ɖ gorjs mǎntnwōlz wnt rnd ɖ powt’s hed lîc a prpl windmil a ʈñ hapnd ẃć wz sūṗfiṣ́li īvn mor starṭlñ. Ɖ eldrli n l’ʈarjic bancr sprañ irect in ɖ coć n lept ovr ɖ preṣpis bfr ɖ tiltd viycl cd tec him ɖr. In ɖ frst flaś it lct az wîld az suisîd; bt in ɖ secnd it wz az snṣbl az a sef invstmnt. Ɖ Yorcśrmn hd evidntli mor promttyd, az wel az mor sgaṣti, ɖn Mscari hd gvn him credit fr; fr h landd in a lap v land ẃć mt hv bn speṣ́li padd wɖ trf n clovr t rsiv him. Az it hapnd, indd, ɖ hol cumṗni wr īqli luci, f les digṇfaid in ɖer form v ijx́n. Imīɉtli undr ɖs abrupt trn v ɖ rod wz a grasi n flǎri holo lîc a suncn medo; a sort v grīn velvit pocit in ɖ loñ, grīn, trelñ garmnts v ɖ hilz. Intu ɖs ɖe wr ol tipt or tumbld wɖ litl damij, sev ɖt ɖer smōlist bagij n īvn ɖ contents v ɖer pocits wr scatrd in ɖ gras arnd ɖm. Ɖ rect coć stl huñ abv, intangld in ɖ tuf hej, n ɖ horsz plunjd penf̣li dǎn ɖ slǒp. Ɖ frst t sit p wz ɖ litl prīst, hu scraćt hiz hed wɖ a fes v fūliś wundr. Franc Haṛget hŕd him se t himslf: “Nǎ ẃ on rʈ hv w fōḷn jst hir?”

H blinct at ɖ litr arnd him, n rcuvrd hiz ǒn vri clumzi umbrela. Bynd it le ɖ brōd sombrero fōḷn fṛm ɖ hed v Mscari, n bsd it a sìld biznisletr ẃć, aftr a glans at ɖ adres, h rtrnd t ɖ eldr Haṛget. On ɖ uɖr sîd v him ɖ gras partli hid Mis Eʈl’z súnśêd, n jst bynd it le a krịs litl glas botl hardli tū inćz loñ. Ɖ prīst pict it p; in a qc, un’btrusiv manr h uncorct n snift it, n hiz hevi fes trnd ɖ culr v cle.

“Hevn dlivr s!” h mutrd; “it c’nt b hrz! Hz hr soro cm on hr olrdi?” H slipt it intu hiz ǒn weistcot pocit. “I ʈnc I’m jusṭfaid,” h sd, “tl I nǒ a litl mor.”

H gezd penf̣li at ɖ grl, at ɖt momnt biyñ rezd ǎt v ɖ flǎrz bî Mscari, hu wz seyñ: “W hv fōḷn intu hevn; it z a sîn. Mortlz clîm p n ɖe fōl dǎn; bt it z onli godz n godesz hu cn fōl upwdz.”

N indd ś rouz ǎt v ɖ sì v culrz so bytifl n hapi a viźn ɖt ɖ prīst flt hiz sspiśn śecn n śiftd. “Aftr ol,” h ʈt, “phps ɖ pôzn z’nt hrz; phps it’s wn v Mscari’z meḷdṛmatic trics.”

Mscari set ɖ ledi lîtli on hr fīt, md hr an absrdli ʈiatricl bǎ, n ɖen, drw̃ hiz cutḷs, hact hard at ɖ tōt reinz v ɖ horsz, so ɖt ɖe scrambld t ɖer fīt n std in ɖ gras tremḅlñ. Ẃn h hd dn so, a most rmarcbl ʈñ ocŕd. A vri qayt man, vri purli drest n xtrimli súnbrnt, cem ǎt v ɖ bśz n tc hold v ɖ horsz’ hedz. H hd a qir-śept nîf, vri brōd n crŭcid, bucld on hiz blt; ɖr wz nʈñ els rmarcbl abt him, xpt hiz sudn n sîḷnt apiṛns. Ɖ powt asct him hu h wz, n h dd nt ansr.

Lcñ arnd him at ɖ cnfyzd n startld grūp in ɖ holo, Mscari ɖen psivd ɖt anɖr tand n tatrd man, wɖ a śort gun undr hiz arm, wz lcñ at ɖm fṛm ɖ lej jst b’lo, līnñ hiz elboz on ɖ éj v ɖ trf. Ɖen h lct p at ɖ rod fṛm ẃć ɖe hd fōḷn n sw, lcñ dǎn on ɖm, ɖ muzlz v for uɖr carbînz n for uɖr brǎn fesz wɖ brît bt qt mośnlis îz.

“Ɖ brigndz!” craid Mscari, wɖ a cnd v monstṛs geyti. “Ɖs wz a trap. Etsa, f y wl oblîj m bî śūtñ ɖ coćmn frst, w cn cut ǎr we ǎt yt. Ɖr r onli six v ɖm.”

“Ɖ coćmn,” sd Etsa, hu wz standñ grimli wɖ hiz handz in hiz pocits, “hapnz t b a srvnt v Mr. Haṛget’z.”

“Ɖen śūt him ol ɖ mor,” craid ɖ powt impeśntli; “h wz brîbd t upset hiz mastr. Ɖen pt ɖ ledi in ɖ midl, n w wl brec ɖ lîn p ɖr – wɖ a ruś.”

N, wêdñ in wîld gras n flǎrz, h advanst firlisli on ɖ for carbînz; bt fîndñ ɖt nwn foloud xpt yuñ Haṛget, h trnd, branḍśñ hiz cutḷs t wev ɖ uɖrz on. H bheld ɖ curịr stl standñ slîtli astrîd in ɖ sntr v ɖ grasi rñ, hiz handz in hiz pocits; n hiz līn, îronicl Itałn fes sīmd t gro longr n longr in ɖ īvnñ lît.

“Y ʈt, Mscari, I wz ɖ fełr amñ ǎr scūlfeloz,” h sd, “n y ʈt y wr ɖ s’xes. Bt I hv s’xidd mor ɖn y n fil a bigr ples in hisṭri. I hv bn actñ epics ẃl y hv bn raitñ ɖm.”

“Cm on, I tel y!” ʈundrd Mscari fṛm abv. “Wl y stand ɖr tōcñ nonsns abt yrslf wɖ a wmn t sev n ʈri stroñ men t hlp y? Ẃt d y cōl yrslf?”

“I cōl mslf Mntano,” craid ɖ strenj curịr in a vôs īqli lǎd n fl. “I am ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz, n I welcm y ol t mî sumrpalis.”

N īvn az h spouc fîv mor sîḷnt men wɖ wepnz redi cem ǎt v ɖ bśz, n lct twdz him fr ɖer ordrz. Wn v ɖm hld a larj pepr in hiz hand.

“Ɖs priti litl nst ẃr w r ol picnicñ,” wnt on ɖ curịrbrignd, wɖ ɖ sem īzi yt sinistr smîl, “z, tgɖr wɖ sm cevz undnʈ it, noun bî ɖ nem v ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz. It z mî prinsipl stroñhold on ɖz hilz; fr (az y hv dǎtlis notist) ɖ îri z inviẓbl bʈ fṛm ɖ rod abv n fṛm ɖ vali b’lo. It z smʈñ betr ɖn impregṇbl; it z uņotisbl. Hir I mostli liv, n hir I śl srtnli dî, f ɖ gendarmes evr trac m hir. I am nt ɖ cnd v criminl ɖt ‘rzrvz hiz dfns,’ bt ɖ betr cnd ɖt rzrvz hiz last bŭlit.”

Ol wr stẹrñ at him ʈundrstruc n stil, xpt Faɖr Brǎn, hu hīvd a hyj sai az v rlif n fngrd ɖ litl fail in hiz pocit. “Ʈanc God!” h mutrd; “ɖt’s mć mor probbl. Ɖ pôzn b’loñz t ɖs robrćīf, v cors. H cariz it so ɖt h me nvr b capćrd, lîc Ceto.”

Ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz wz, hvr, cntinywñ hiz adres wɖ ɖ sem cnd v denjṛs p’lîtnis. “It onli rmenz fr m,” h sd, “t xplen t mî gests ɖ sośl cndiśnz upn ẃć I hv ɖ pleźr v enttenñ ɖm. I nīd nt xpǎnd ɖ qent old rićl v ransm, ẃć it z incumbnt upn m t cīp p; n īvn ɖs onli aplîz t a part v ɖ cumṗni. Ɖ Revṛnd Faɖr Brǎn n ɖ seḷbretd Sińor Mscari I śl rlis tmoro at dōn n escort t mî ǎtposts. Powts n prīsts, f y wl pardn mî simpliṣti v spīć, nvr hv eni muni. N so (sins it z imposbl t gt enʈñ ǎt v ɖm), let s sīz ɖ oṗtyṇti t śo ǎr adṃreśn fr clasic litṛćr n ǎr revṛns fr Holi Ćrć.”

H pōzd wɖ an unplizñ smîl; n Faɖr Brǎn blinct rpitidli at him, n sīmd sudnli t b liṣnñ wɖ gret atnśn. Ɖ brigndcaptin tc ɖ larj pepr fṛm ɖ atndntbrignd n, glansñ ovr it, cntinyd: “Mî uɖr intnśnz r clirli set frth in ɖs public dokmnt, ẃć I wl hand rnd in a momnt; n ẃć aftr ɖt wl b postd on a tri bî evri vilij in ɖ vali, n evri crosrod in ɖ hilz. I wl nt wiri y wɖ ɖ vrḅlizm, sins y wl b ebl t ćec it; ɖ substns v mî procḷmeśn z ɖs: I anǎns frst ɖt I hv capćrd ɖ Ñgliś miłner, ɖ c’loss v fnans, Mr. Saḿl Haṛget. I nxt anǎns ɖt I hv faund on hiz prsn nots n bondz fr tū ʈǎznd pǎndz, ẃć h hz gvn p t m. Nǎ sins it wd b riyli imoṛl t anǎns sć a ʈñ t a creɉḷs public f it hd nt ocŕd, I sjst it śd ocŕ wɖt frɖr dle. I sjst ɖt Mr. Haṛget sīńr śd nǎ gv m ɖ tū ʈǎznd pǎndz in hiz pocit.”

Ɖ bancr lct at him undr lowrñ brǎz, red-fest n sulci, bt sīmñli caud. Ɖt līp fṛm ɖ felñ carij sīmd t hv yzd p hiz last vriḷti. H hd hld bac in a hañdog stîl ẃn hiz sun n Mscari hd md a bold muvmnt t brec ǎt v ɖ brigndtrap. N nǎ hiz red n tremḅlñ hand wnt rluctntli t hiz brestpocit, n pást a bundl v peprz n enṿlops t ɖ brignd.

“Xḷnt!” craid ɖt ǎtlw gêli; “so far w r ol cozi. I rzym ɖ pônts v mî procḷmeśn, so sn t b publiśt t ol Iṭli. Ɖ ʈrd îtm z ɖt v ransm. I am ascñ fṛm ɖ frendz v ɖ Haṛget faṃli a ransm v ʈri ʈǎznd pǎndz, ẃć I am śr z olmst insultñ t ɖt faṃli in its modṛt estiṃt v ɖer importns. Hu wd nt pe tripl ɖs sum fr anɖr de’z asośieśn wɖ sć a dmestic srcl? I wl nt cnsil fṛm y ɖt ɖ dokmnt endz wɖ srtn līgl frezz abt ɖ unpleznt ʈñz ɖt me hapn f ɖ muni z nt peid; bt mnẃl, lediz n jntlṃn, let m aśur y ɖt I am cumfṭbli of hir fr acoṃdeśn, wîn n sgarz, n bid y fr ɖ preznt a sportsmnlîc welcm t ɖ lux̣́riz v ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz.”

Ol ɖ tîm ɖt h hd bn spīcñ, ɖ dybịs-lcñ men wɖ carbînz n drti slǎćhats hd bn gaɖ̇rñ sîḷntli in sć priponḍretñ numbrz ɖt īvn Mscari wz cmpeld t rec̣gnîz hiz sali wɖ ɖ sord az hoplis. H glanst arnd him; bt ɖ grl hd olrdi gn ovr t suɖ n cumf̣t hr faɖr, fr hr naćṛl afx́n fr hiz prsn wz az stroñ or strongr ɖn hr smẃt snobiś prîd in hiz s’xes. Mscari, wɖ ɖ ilojcaḷti v a luvr, admîrd ɖs filịl dvośn, n yt wz iṛtetd bî it. H slapt hiz sord bac in ɖ scaḅd n wnt n fluñ himslf smẃt sulc̣li on wn v ɖ grīn bancs. Ɖ prīst sat dǎn wɖn a yard or tū, n Mscari trnd hiz aqlîn nǒz on him in an instnteńs iṛteśn.

“Wel,” sd ɖ powt tartli, “d ppl stl ʈnc m tù r’mantic? R ɖr, I wundr, eni brigndz left in ɖ mǎntnz?”

“Ɖr me b,” sd Faɖr Brǎn agnosticli.

“Ẃt d y mīn?” asct ɖ uɖr śarpli.

“I mīn I am puzld,” rplaid ɖ prīst. “I am puzld abt Etsa or Mntano, or ẃtvr hiz nem z. H sīmz t m mć mor inixplicbl az a brignd īvn ɖn h wz az a curịr.”

“Bt in ẃt w?” psistd hiz cmpańn. “Santa Mrīa! I śd hv ʈt ɖ brignd wz plen inuf.”

“I fînd ʈri krịs dificltiz,” sd ɖ prīst in a qayt vôs. “I śd lîc t hv yr opińn on ɖm. Frst v ol I mst tel y I wz lunćñ in ɖt resṭront at ɖ sìsîd. Az for v y left ɖ rūm, y n Mis Haṛget wnt ahd, tōcñ n lafñ; ɖ bancr n ɖ curịr cem bhnd, spīcñ sperli n rɖr lo. Bt I cd nt hlp hírñ Etsa se ɖz wrdz – ‘Wel, let hr hv a litl fun; y nǒ ɖ blo me smaś hr eni minit.’ Mr. Haṛget ansrd nʈñ; so ɖ wrdz mst hv hd sm mīnñ. On ɖ impuls v ɖ momnt I wornd hr bruɖr ɖt ś mt b in peṛl; I sd nʈñ v its nećr, fr I dd nt nǒ. Bt f it mnt ɖs capćr in ɖ hilz, ɖ ʈñ z nonsns. Ẃ śd ɖ brigndcurịr worn hiz petṛn, īvn bî a hint, ẃn it wz hiz hol prṗs t lur him intu ɖ mǎntn-mǎstrap? It cd nt hv mnt ɖt. Bt f nt, ẃt z ɖs dzastr, noun bʈ t curịr n bancr, ẃć hañz ovr Mis Haṛget’z hed?”

“Dzastr t Mis Haṛget!” ijakletd ɖ powt, sitñ p wɖ sm f’roṣti. “Xplen yrslf; g on.”

“Ol mî ridlz, hvr, rvolv rnd ǎr banditćīf,” rzymd ɖ prīst rflectivli. “N hir z ɖ secnd v ɖm. Ẃ dd h pt so prominntli in hiz dmand fr ransm ɖ fact ɖt h hd tecn tū ʈǎznd pǎndz fṛm hiz victim on ɖ spot? It hd no fentist tndnsi t ivoc ɖ ransm. Qt ɖ uɖr we, in fact. Haṛget’z frendz wd b far lîclịr t fir fr hiz fet f ɖe ʈt ɖ ʈīvz wr pur n despṛt. Yt ɖ spolieśn on ɖ spot wz emf̣sîzd n īvn pt frst in ɖ dmand. Ẃ śd Etsa Mntano wont so speṣ́li t tel ol Yṛp ɖt h hd pict ɖ pocit bfr h levid ɖ blacmeil?”

“I canot imajin,” sd Mscari, rubñ p hiz blac her fr wns wɖ an un’fctd jsćr. “Y me ʈnc y inlîtn m, bt y r līdñ m dīpr in ɖ darc. Ẃt me b ɖ ʈrd objx́n t ɖ Cñ v ɖ Ʈīvz?” “Ɖ ʈrd objx́n,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, stl in medteśn, “z ɖs banc w r sitñ on. Ẃ dz ǎr brigndcurịr cōl ɖs hiz ćīf fortris n ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz? It z srtnli a soft spot t fōl on n a swīt spot t lc at. It z olso qt tru, az h sz, ɖt it z inviẓbl fṛm vali n pīc, n z ɖrfr a hîdñples. Bt it z nt a fortris. It nvr cd b a fortris. I ʈnc it wd b ɖ wrst fortris in ɖ wrld. Fr it z acć̣li cmandd fṛm abv bî ɖ comn hîrod acrs ɖ mǎntnz – ɖ vri ples ẃr ɖ p’līs wd most probbli pas. Ẃ, fîv śabi śort gunz hld s hlplis hir abt haf an aur ago. Ɖ qortr v a cumṗni v eni cnd v soljrz cd hv bloun s ovr ɖ preṣpis. Ẃtvr z ɖ mīnñ v ɖs od litl nc v gras n flǎrz, it z nt an intrenćt pziśn. It z smʈñ els; it hz sm uɖr strenj sort v importns; sm valy ɖt I d nt unḍstand. It z mor lîc an axdntl ʈiytr or a naćṛl grīnrūm; it z lîc ɖ sīn fr sm r’mantic coṃdi; it z lîc….”

Az ɖ litl prīst’s wrdz leñʈnd n lost ɖmslvz in a dul n drīmi snseṛti, Mscari, huz animl snsz wr alrt n impeśnt, hŕd a ny nôz in ɖ mǎntnz. Īvn fr him ɖ sǎnd wz az yt vri smōl n fent; bt h cd hv sworn ɖ īvnñbrīz bòr wɖ it smʈñ lîc ɖ pulseśn v horsz’ hūfs n a distnt hluwñ.

At ɖ sem momnt, n loñ bfr ɖ vîbreśn hd tućt ɖ les-xpirịnst Ñgliś irz, Mntano ɖ brignd ran p ɖ banc abv ɖm n std in ɖ brocn hej, stediyñ himslf agnst a tri n pirñ dǎn ɖ rod. H wz a strenj figr az h std ɖr, fr h hd asymd a flapt fntastic hat n swññ baldric n cutḷs in hiz cpaṣti v bandit-cñ, bt ɖ brît pṛzêic twīd v ɖ curịr śoud ʈru in paćz ol ovr him.

Ɖ nxt momnt h trnd hiz oliv, snirñ fes n md a muvmnt wɖ hiz hand. Ɖ brigndz scatrd at ɖ signl, nt in cnfyźn, bt in ẃt wz evidntli a cnd v g’ríḷdiṣplin. Instd v okpayñ ɖ rod alñ ɖ rij, ɖe sprincld ɖmslvz alñ ɖ sîd v it bhnd ɖ triz n ɖ hej, az f woćñ unsìn fr an eṇmi. Ɖ nôz bynd grù strongr, bginñ t śec ɖ mǎntnrod, n a vôs cd b clirli hŕd cōlñ ǎt ordrz. Ɖ brigndz sweid n hudld, crsñ n ẃisṗrñ, n ɖ īvnñ-er wz fl v litl mtalic nôzz az ɖe coct ɖer pistlz, or lūsnd ɖer nîvz, or treld ɖer scaḅdz ovr ɖ stonz. Ɖen ɖ nôzz fṛm bʈ qortrz sīmd t mīt on ɖ rod abv; branćz brouc, horsz neid, men craid ǎt.

“A resk!” craid Mscari, sprññ t hiz fīt n wevñ hiz hat; “ɖ gendarmes r on ɖm! Nǎ fr frīdm n a blo fr it! Nǎ t b reblz agnst robrz! Cm, d’nt let s līv evrʈñ t ɖ p’līs; ɖt z so dredf̣li modn. Fōl on ɖ rir v ɖz rufịnz. Ɖ gendarmes r resk wñ s; cm, frendz, let s resk ɖ gendarmes!”

N ʈrowñ hiz hat ovr ɖ triz, h drù hiz cutḷs wns mor n bgan t esc̣led ɖ slǒp p t ɖ rod. Franc Haṛget jumt p n ran acrs t hlp him, rvolvr in hand, bt wz astǎndd t hír himslf impeṛtivli rcōld bî ɖ rōc̣s vôs v hiz faɖr, hu sīmd t b in gret ajteśn.

“I w’nt hv it,” sd ɖ bancr in a ćocñ vôs; “I cmand y nt t inṭfir.”

“Bt, faɖr,” sd Franc vri wormli, “an Itałn jntlmn hz léd ɖ we. Y wd’nt hv it sd ɖt ɖ Ñgliś huñ bac.”

“It z yslis,” sd ɖ oldr man, hu wz tremḅlñ vayḷntli, “it z yslis. W mst sbmit t ǎr lot.”

Faɖr Brǎn lct at ɖ bancr; ɖen h pt hiz hand instñtivli az f on hiz hart, bt riyli on ɖ litl botl v pôzn; n a gret lît cem intu hiz fes lîc ɖ lît v ɖ reṿleśn v deʈ.

Mscari mnẃl, wɖt wêtñ fr s’port, hd crestd ɖ banc p t ɖ rod, n struc ɖ brignd-cñ heṿli on ɖ śoldr, cōzñ him t stagr n swñ rnd. Mntano olso hd hiz cutḷs unśīɖd, n Mscari, wɖt frɖr spīć, snt a slaś at hiz hed ẃć h wz cmpeld t cać n pari. Bt īvn az ɖ tū śort bledz crost n claśt ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz dlibṛtli dropt hiz pônt n laft.

“Ẃt’s ɖ gd, old man?” h sd in spiṛtd Itałn slañ; “ɖs dámd fars wl sn b ovr.”

“Ẃt d y mīn, y śuflr?” pantd ɖ fîr-ītñ powt. “Z yr curij a śam az wel az yr oṇsti?”

“Evrʈñ abt m z a śam,” rspondd ɖ xcurịr in cmplit gd hymr. “I am an actr; n f I evr hd a prîṿt caṛctr, I hv fgotn it. I am no mor a jenyin brignd ɖn I am a jenyin curịr. I am onli a bundl v mascs, n y c’nt fît a dȳl wɖ ɖt.” N h laft wɖ bôiś pleźr n fél intu hiz old stradlñ attyd, wɖ hiz bac t ɖ scrmiś p ɖ rod.

Darcnis wz dīṗnñ undr ɖ mǎntnwōlz, n it wz nt īzi t dsrn mć v ɖ progres v ɖ strugl, sev ɖt tōl men wr pśñ ɖer horsz’ muzlz ʈru a clññ crǎd v brigndz, hu sīmd mor inclînd t haṛs n husl ɖ invedrz ɖn t cil ɖm. It wz mor lîc a tǎncrǎd privntñ ɖ pasij v ɖ p’līs ɖn enʈñ ɖ powt hd evr picćrd az ɖ last stand v dūmd n ǎtlwd men v blud. Jst az h wz rolñ hiz îz in bwildrmnt h flt a tuć on hiz elbo, n faund ɖ od litl prīst standñ ɖr lîc a smōl Noa wɖ a larj hat, n rqstñ ɖ fevr v a wrd or tū.

“Sińor Mscari,” sd ɖ cleric, “in ɖs qir crîsis prṣnaḷtiz me b pardnd. I me tel y wɖt ofns v a we in ẃć y wl d mor gd ɖn bî hlpñ ɖ gendarmes, hu r baund t brec ʈru in eni ces. Y wl pmit m ɖ imprtinnt intiṃsi, bt d y cer abt ɖt grl? Cer inuf t mari hr n mc hr a gd huzbnd, I mīn?”

“Yes,” sd ɖ powt qt simpli.

“Dz ś cer abt y?”

“I ʈnc so,” wz ɖ īqli grev rplî.

“Ɖen g ovr ɖr n ofr yrslf,” sd ɖ prīst: “ofr hr evrʈñ y cn; ofr hr hevn n rʈ f y’v got ɖm. Ɖ tîm z śort.”

“Ẃ?” asct ɖ astoniśt man v letrz.

“Bcz,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, “hr Dūm z cmñ p ɖ rod.”

“Nʈñ z cmñ p ɖ rod,” argyd Mscari, “xpt ɖ resk.”

“Wel, y g ovr ɖr,” sd hiz advîzr, “n b redi t resk hr fṛm ɖ resk.”

Olmst az h spouc ɖ hejz wr brocn ol alñ ɖ rij bî a ruś v ɖ iscepñ brigndz. Ɖe dîvd intu bśz n ʈic gras lîc dfitd men psyd; n ɖ gret coct hats v ɖ mǎntd gendarmerie wr sìn pasñ alñ abv ɖ brocn hej. Anɖr ordr wz gvn; ɖr wz a nôz v dsmǎntñ, n a tōl ofisr wɖ coct hat, a gre impirịl, n a pepr in hiz hand apird in ɖ gap ɖt wz ɖ get v ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz. Ɖr wz a momntri sîḷns, brocn in an xtrordnri we bî ɖ bancr, hu craid ǎt in a hōrs n strangld vôs: “Robd! I’v bn robd!”

“Ẃ, ɖt wz aurz ago,” craid hiz sun in astoniśmnt: “ẃn y wr robd v tū ʈǎznd pǎndz.”

“Nt v tū ʈǎznd pǎndz,” sd ɖ fnansịr, wɖ an abrupt n teṛbl cmpoźr, “onli v a smōl botl.”

Ɖ p’līsmn wɖ ɖ gre impirịl wz strîdñ acrs ɖ grīn holo. Incǎnṭrñ ɖ Cñ v ɖ Ʈīvz in hiz paʈ, h clapt him on ɖ śoldr wɖ smʈñ btwn a c’res n a bufit n gev him a pś ɖt snt him staġrñ awe. “Y’l gt intu trubl, tù,” h sd, “f y ple ɖz trics.”

Agn t Mscari’z artistic î it sīmd scersli lîc ɖ capćr v a gret ǎtlw at be. Pasñ on, ɖ p’līsmn hōltd bfr ɖ Haṛget grūp n sd: “Saḿl Haṛget, I arest y in ɖ nem v ɖ lw fr imbezlmnt v ɖ fundz v ɖ Hul n Huḍsfīld Banc.”

Ɖ gret bancr nodd wɖ an od er v biznis-asnt, sīmd t rflect a momnt, n bfr ɖe cd inṭpoz tc a haf trn n a step ɖt bròt him t ɖ éj v ɖ ǎtr mǎntnwōl. Ɖen, flññ p hiz handz, h lept xacli az h lept ǎt v ɖ coć. Bt ɖs tîm h dd nt fōl intu a litl medo jst bnʈ; h fél a ʈǎznd fīt b’lo, t bcm a rec v bonz in ɖ vali.

Ɖ angr v ɖ Itałn p’līsmn, ẃć h xprest vołbli t Faɖr Brǎn, wz larjli mixt wɖ adṃreśn. “It wz lîc him t iscep s at last,” h sd. “H wz a gret brignd f y lîc. Ɖs last tric v hiz I b’liv t b abṣlutli unpresdntd. H fled wɖ ɖ cumṗni’z muni t Iṭli, n acć̣li got himslf capćrd bî śam brigndz in hiz ǒn pe, so az t xplen bʈ ɖ dis’piṛns v ɖ muni n ɖ dis’piṛns v himslf. Ɖt dmand fr ransm wz riyli tecn sirịsli bî most v ɖ p’līs. Bt fr yirz h’z bn dwñ ʈñz az gd az ɖt, qt az gd az ɖt. H wl b a sirịs los t hiz faṃli.”

Mscari wz līdñ awe ɖ unhapi dōtr, hu hld hard t him, az ś dd fr mni a yir aftr. Bt īvn in ɖt trajic rec h cd nt hlp hvñ a smîl n a hand v haf-mocñ frendśp fr ɖ indfnsbl Etsa Mntano. “N ẃr r y gwñ nxt?” h asct him ovr hiz śoldr.

“Brmñm,” ansrd ɖ actr, pufñ a siġrét. “Dd’nt I tel y I wz a Fyć̣rist? I riyli d b’liv in ɖoz ʈñz f I b’liv in enʈñ. Ćenj, busl n ny ʈñz evri mornñ. I am gwñ t Manćestr, Liṿpul, Lìdz, Hul, Huḍsfīld, Glazgo, Ścago – in śort, t inlîtnd, eṇjetic, siṿlîzd ssayti!”

“In śort,” sd Mscari, “t ɖ riyl Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz.”

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: THE ABSENCE OF MR GLASS, by G K Chesterton

Ɖ ABSNS OV MR. GLAS

G. C. Ćsttn

Ɖ ­ cnsultñrūmz v Dr. Orayn Hŭd, ɖ eminnt criṃnoḷjist n speṣ́list in srtn moṛl dsordrz, le alñ ɖ sìfrunt at Scarḅra, in a siriz v vri larj n wel-lîtd Frenć windoz, ẃć śoud ɖ Norʈ Sì lîc wn endlis ǎtr wōl v blu-grīn marbl. In sć a ples ɖ sì hd smʈñ v ɖ mnoṭni v a blu-grīn dedo: fr ɖ ćembrz ɖmslvz wr rūld ʈrt bî a teṛbl tîdinis nt unlîc ɖ teṛbl tîdinis v ɖ sì. It mst nt b s’pozd ɖt Dr. Hŭd’z apartmnts xcludd lux̣́ri, or īvn powtri. Ɖz ʈñz wr ɖr, in ɖer ples; bt wn flt ɖt ɖe wr nvr alaud ǎt v ɖer ples. Lux̣́ri wz ɖr: ɖr std upn a speśl tebl et or ten boxz v ɖ bst sgarz; bt ɖe wr bilt upn a plan so ɖt ɖ strongist wr olwz nirist ɖ wōl n ɖ mîldist nirist ɖ windo. A tanṭḷs cntenñ ʈri cndz v spirit, ol v a licŕ x’ḷns, std olwz on ɖs tebl v lux̣́ri; bt ɖ fansifl hv asrtd ɖt ɖ ẃisci, brandi, n rum sīmd olwz t stand at ɖ sem levl. Powtri wz ɖr: ɖ left-hand cornr v ɖ rūm wz lînd wɖ az cmplit a set v Ñgliś clasics az ɖ rît-hand cd śo v Ñgliś n foṛn fizioḷjists. Bt f wn tc a volym v Ćōsr or Śeli fṛm ɖt ranc, its absns iṛtetd ɖ mînd lîc a gap in a man’z frunt tīʈ. Wn cd nt se ɖ bcs wr nvr réd; probbli ɖe wr, bt ɖr wz a sns v ɖer biyñ ćend t ɖer plesz, lîc ɖ Bîblz in ɖ old ćrćz. Dr. Hŭd trītd hiz prîṿt bc-ślf az f it wr a public lîbrri. N f ɖs strict sạ̣ntific intanɉbiḷti stīpt īvn ɖ ślvz lêdn wɖ lirics n baḷdz n ɖ teblz lêdn wɖ drinc n tbaco, it gz wɖt seyñ ɖt yt mor v sć hīɖn holinis pṛtctd ɖ uɖr ślvz ɖt hld ɖ speṣ́list’s lîbrri, n ɖ uɖr teblz ɖt sstend ɖ frel n īvn fẹrilîc instṛmnts v ceṃstri or mcanics.

Dr. Hŭd pêst ɖ leñʈ v hiz strñ v apartmnts, bǎndd – az ɖ bôz’ jiogṛfiz se – on ɖ īst bî ɖ Norʈ Sì n on ɖ wst bî ɖ serid rancs v hiz soṣ́lojicl n criṃnoḷjist lîbrri. H wz clad in an artist’s velvit, bt wɖ nn v an artist’s neglijns; hiz her wz heṿli śot wɖ gre, bt growñ ʈic n hlʈi; hiz fes wz līn, bt sanḡn n xpctnt. Evrʈñ abt him n hiz rūm indcetd smʈñ at wns rijid n restlis, lîc ɖt gret norɖn sì bî ẃć (on pyr prínsiplz v hîjīn) h hd bilt hiz hom.

Fet, biyñ in a funi mūd, pśt ɖ dor opn n intṛdyst intu ɖoz loñ, strict, sì-flanct apartmnts wn hu wz phps ɖ most starṭlñ oṗzit v ɖm n ɖer mastr. In ansr t a crt bt sivl sumnz, ɖ dor opnd inẉdz n ɖr śambld intu ɖ rūm a śeplis litl figr, ẃć sīmd t fînd its ǒn hat n umbrela az unmaniɉbl az a mas v lugij. Ɖ umbrela wz a blac n pṛzêic bundl loñ past rper; ɖ hat wz a brōd-crvd blac hat, clericl bt nt comn in Ñgḷnd; ɖ man wz ɖ vri imbodimnt v ol ɖt z homli n hlplis.

Ɖ doctr rgardd ɖ ny-cmr wɖ a rstrend astoniśmnt, nt unlîc ɖt h wd hv śoun f sm hyj bt obvịsli harmlis sìbīst hd crōld intu hiz rūm. Ɖ ny-cmr rgardd ɖ doctr wɖ ɖt bīmñ bt breʈlis jīniaḷti ẃć caṛcṭrîzz a corpyḷnt ćarwmn hu hz jst manijd t stuf hrslf intu an omnibus. It z a rić cnfyźn v sośl slf-cngrać̣leśn n boḍli dis’re. Hiz hat tumbld t ɖ carpit, hiz hevi umbrela slipt btwn hiz niz wɖ a ʈud; h rīćt aftr ɖ wn n dúct aftr ɖ uɖr, bt wɖ an unimperd smîl on hiz rǎnd fes spouc simlteńsli az foloz:

“Mî nem z Brǎn. Pre xkz m. I’v cm abt ɖt biznis v ɖ McNabz. I hv hŕd y ofn hlp ppl ǎt v sć trublz. Pre xkz m f I am roñ.”

Bî ɖs tîm h hd sprōlñli rcuvrd ɖ hat, n md an od litl bobñ bǎ ovr it, az f setñ evrʈñ qt rît.

“I hardli unḍstand y,” rplaid ɖ sayntist, wɖ a cold intnṣti v manr. “I fir y hv mstecn ɖ ćembrz. I am Dr. Hŭd, n mî wrc z olmst intîrli litrri n edyceśnl. It z tru ɖt I hv smtmz bn cnsultd bî ɖ p’līs in cesz v pkłr dificlti n importns, bt – ”

“Ǒ, ɖs z v ɖ gretist importns,” brouc in ɖ litl man cōld Brǎn. “Ẃ, hr muɖr w’nt let ɖm gt ingejd.” N h līnd bac in hiz ćer in redịnt raṣ́naḷti.

Ɖ brǎz v Dr. Hŭd wr drwn dǎn darcli, bt ɖ îz undr ɖm wr brît wɖ smʈñ ɖt mt b angr or mt b aḿzmnt. “N stl,” h sd, “I d nt qt unḍstand.”

“Y si, ɖe wont t gt marid,” sd ɖ man wɖ ɖ clericl hat. “Magi McNab n yuñ Tódhuntr wont t gt marid. Nǎ, ẃt cn b mor importnt ɖn ɖt?”

Ɖ gret Orayn Hŭd’z sạ̣ntific trîumfs hd dprîvd him v mni ʈñz – sm sd v hiz hlʈ, uɖrz v hiz God; bt ɖe hd nt hoļi dspôld him v hiz sns v ɖ absrd. At ɖ last pli v ɖ injenẏs prīst a ćucl brouc ǎt v him fṛm insd, n h ʈrù himslf intu an armćer in an îronicl attyd v ɖ cnsultñfziśn.

“Mr. Brǎn,” h sd grevli, “it z qt fortīn n a haf yirz sins I wz prsṇli asct t tst a prsnl probḷm: ɖen it wz ɖ ces v an atmt t pôzn ɖ Frenć Prezidnt at a Lord Mẹr’z Banqit. It z nǎ, I unḍstand, a qsćn v ẃɖr sm frend v yrz cōld Magi z a sūṭbl fiãsé fr sm frend v hrz cōld Tódhuntr. Wel, Mr. Brǎn, I am a sportsmn. I wl tec it on. I wl gv ɖ McNab faṃli mî bst advîs, az gd az I gev ɖ Frenć Rpublic n ɖ Cñ v Ñgḷnd – no, betr: fortīn yirz betr. I hv nʈñ els t d ɖs afṭnun. Tel m yr stori.”

Ɖ litl clrjimn cōld Brǎn ʈanct him wɖ unqsćṇbl wormʈ, bt stl wɖ a qir cnd v simpliṣti. It wz rɖr az f h wr ʈancñ a strenjr in a smocñrūm fr sm trubl in pasñ ɖ maćz, ɖn az f h wr (az h wz) practicli ʈancñ ɖ Kretr v Cỳ Gardnz fr cmñ wɖ him intu a fīld t fînd a for-līft clovr. Wɖ scersli a semi-colon aftr hiz harti ʈancs, ɖ litl man bgan hiz rsîtl:

“I tld y mî nem wz Brǎn; wel, ɖt’s ɖ fact, n I’m ɖ prīst v ɖ litl Caʈ̇lic Ćrć I der se y’v sìn bynd ɖoz stragli strīts, ẃr ɖ tǎn endz twdz ɖ norʈ. In ɖ last n stragliist v ɖoz strīts ẃć runz alñ ɖ sì lîc a sìwōl ɖr z a vri onist bt rɖr śarp-tmprd membr v mî floc, a wido cōld McNab. Ś hz wn dōtr, n ś lets lojñz, n btwn hr n ɖ dōtr, n btwn hr n ɖ lojrz – wel, I der se ɖr z a gret dīl t b sd on bʈ sîdz. At preznt ś hz onli wn lojr, ɖ yuñ man cōld Tódhuntr; bt h hz gvn mor trubl ɖn ol ɖ rest, fr h wonts t mari ɖ yuñ wmn v ɖ hǎs.”

“N ɖ yuñ wmn v ɖ hǎs,” asct Dr. Hŭd, wɖ hyj n sîḷnt aḿzmnt, “ẃt dz ś wont?”

“Ẃ, ś wonts t mari him,” craid Faɖr Brǎn, sitñ p īgrli. “Ɖt z jst ɖ ōfl compḷceśn.”

“It z indd a hidịs inigma,” sd Dr. Hŭd.

“Ɖs yuñ Jemz Tódhuntr,” cntinyd ɖ cleric, “z a vri dīsnt man so far az I nǒ; bt ɖen nbdi nz vri mć. H z a brît, brǎniś litl felo, ajîl lîc a munci, clīn-śevn lîc an actr, n oblîjñ lîc a born cortịr. H sīmz t hv qt a pocitfl v muni, bt nbdi nz ẃt hiz tred z. Msz McNab, ɖrfr (biyñ v a peṣmistic trn), z qt śr it z smʈñ dredfl, n probbli cnctd wɖ dîṇmît. Ɖ dîṇmît mst b v a śî n nôzlis sort, fr ɖ pur felo onli śuts himslf p fr sevṛl aurz v ɖ de n studiz smʈñ bhnd a loct dor. H dclerz hiz priṿsi z tmprri n jusṭfaid, n proṃsz t xplen bfr ɖ wedñ. Ɖt z ol ɖt enwn nz fr srtn, bt Msz McNab wl tel y a gret dīl mor ɖn īvn ś z srtn v. Y nǒ hǎ ɖ têlz gro lîc gras on sć a pać v ignṛns az ɖt. Ɖr r têlz v tū vôsz hŕd tōcñ in ɖ rūm; ɖo, ẃn ɖ dor z opnd, Tódhuntr z olwz faund alon. Ɖr r têlz v a mstirịs tōl man in a silc hat, hu wns cem ǎt v ɖ sìmists n apaṛntli ǎt v ɖ sì, stepñ softli acrs ɖ sandi fīldz n ʈru ɖ smōl bacgardn at twîlît, tl h wz hŕd tōcñ t ɖ lojr at hiz opn windo. Ɖ coḷqi sīmd t end in a qoṛl. Tódhuntr daśt dǎn hiz windo wɖ vayḷns, n ɖ man in ɖ hî hat mltd intu ɖ sìfog agn. Ɖs stori z tld bî ɖ faṃli wɖ ɖ firsist mistif̣ceśn; bt I riyli ʈnc Msz McNab prifŕz hr ǒn orijinl têl: ɖt ɖ Uɖr Man (or ẃtvr it z) crōlz ǎt evri nît fṛm ɖ big box in ɖ cornr, ẃć z cept loct ol de. Y si, ɖrfr, hǎ ɖs sìld dor v Tódhuntr’z z trītd az ɖ get v ol ɖ fansiz n mnstroṣtiz v ɖ ‘Ʈǎznd n Wn Nîts’. N yt ɖr z ɖ litl felo in hiz rspctbl blac jacit, az puñćl n iṇsnt az a parlrcloc. H pez hiz rent t ɖ tic; h z practicli a tītotḷr; h z tîrlisli cînd wɖ ɖ yungr ćildṛn, n cn cīp ɖm aḿzd fr a de on end; n, last n most rjnt v ol, h hz md himslf īqli popylr wɖ ɖ eldist dōtr, hu z redi t g t ćrć wɖ him tmoro.”

A man wormli cnsrnd wɖ eni larj ʈiriz hz olwz a reliś fr aplayñ ɖm t eni triviaḷti. Ɖ gret speṣ́list hvñ condisndd t ɖ prīst’s simpliṣti, condisndd xpansivli. H setld himslf wɖ cumf̣t in hiz armćer n bgan t tōc in ɖ ton v a smẃt absnt-mîndd lecćrr:

“Īvn in a mînyt instns, it z bst t lc frst t ɖ mn tndnsiz v Nećr. A ptiklr flǎr me nt b ded in rli wintr, bt ɖ flǎrz r dayñ; a ptiklr pebl me nvr b wetd wɖ ɖ tîd, bt ɖ tîd z cmñ in. T ɖ sạ̣ntific î ol hymn hisṭri z a siriz v c’lectiv muvmnts, dstrux́nz or mîgreśnz, lîc ɖ maṣcr v flîz in wintr or ɖ rtrn v brdz in sprñ. Nǎ ɖ rūtfact in ol hisṭri z Res. Res pṛdysz rlijn; Res pṛdysz līgl n eʈicl worz. Ɖr z no strongr ces ɖn ɖt v ɖ wîld, unwrldli n peṛśñ stoc ẃć w comnli cōl ɖ Celts, v hūm yr frendz ɖ McNabz r spesimnz. Smōl, sworɖi, n v ɖs drīmi n driftñ blud, ɖe axpt īẓli ɖ sūṗstiśs xpḷneśn v eni insidnts, jst az ɖe stl axpt (y wl xkz m fr seyñ) ɖt sūṗstiśs xpḷneśn v ol insidnts ẃć y n yr Ćrć repriznt. It z nt rmarcbl ɖt sć ppl, wɖ ɖ sì monñ bhnd ɖm n ɖ Ćrć (xkz m agn) dronñ in frunt v ɖm, śd pt fntastic fīćrz intu ẃt r probbli plen ivnts. Y, wɖ yr smōl p’rocịl rsponsbiḷtiz, si onli ɖs ptiklr Msz McNab, teṛfaid wɖ ɖs ptiklr têl v tū vôsz n a tōl man ǎt v ɖ sì. Bt ɖ man wɖ ɖ sạ̣ntific imaɉneśn siz, az it wr, ɖ hol clanz v McNab scatrd ovr ɖ hol wrld, in its ultiṃt aṿrij az yṇform az a trîb v brdz. H siz ʈǎzndz v Msz McNabz, in ʈǎzndz v hǎzz, dropñ ɖer litl drop v morbidti in ɖ tīcups v ɖer frendz; h siz – ”

Bfr ɖ sayntist cd cnclud hiz sntns, anɖr n mor impeśnt sumnz sǎndd fṛm wɖt; smwn wɖ swiśñ scrts wz marśld huridli dǎn ɖ coṛdor, n ɖ dor opnd on a yuñ grl, dīsntli drest bt dsordrd n red-hot wɖ hest. Ś hd sì-bloun blond her, n wd hv bn intîrli bytifl f hr ćīcbonz hd nt bn, in ɖ Scoć manr, a litl hî in rlif az wel az in culr. Hr apoḷji wz olmst az abrupt az a cmand.

“I’m sori t inṭrupt y, sr,” ś sd, “bt I hd t folo Faɖr Brǎn at wns; it’s nʈñ les ɖn lîf or deʈ.”

Faɖr Brǎn bgan t gt t hiz fīt in sm dsordr. “Ẃ, ẃt hz hapnd, Magi?” h sd.

“Jemz hz bn mrdrd, fr ol I cn mc ǎt,” ansrd ɖ grl, stl briɖñ hard fṛm hr ruś. “Ɖt man Glas hz bn wɖ him agn; I hŕd ɖm tōcñ ʈru ɖ dor qt plen. Tū sepṛt vôsz: fr Jemz spīcs lo, wɖ a br, n ɖ uɖr vôs wz hî n qeṿri.”

“Ɖt man Glas?” rpitd ɖ prīst in sm pplex̣ti.

“I nǒ hiz nem z Glas,” ansrd ɖ grl, in gret impeśns. “I hŕd it ʈru ɖ dor. Ɖe wr qoṛlñ – abt muni, I ʈnc – fr I hŕd Jemz se agn n agn, ‘Ɖt’s rît, Mr. Glas,’ or ‘No, Mr. Glas,’ n ɖen, ‘Tū or ʈri, Mr. Glas.’ Bt w’r tōcñ tù mć; y mst cm at wns, n ɖr me b tîm yt.”

“Bt tîm fr ẃt?” asct Dr. Hŭd, hu hd bn studiyñ ɖ yuñ ledi wɖ marct inṭrest. “Ẃt z ɖr abt Mr. Glas n hiz munitrublz ɖt śd impel sć rjnsi?”

“I traid t brec dǎn ɖ dor n cd’nt,” ansrd ɖ grl śortli, “Ɖen I ran t ɖ bacyard, n manijd t clîm on t ɖ windosil ɖt lcs intu ɖ rūm. It wz ol dim, n sīmd t b emti, bt I swer I sw Jemz layñ hudld p in a cornr, az f h wr drugd or strangld.”

“Ɖs z vri sirịs,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, gaɖ̇rñ hiz eṛnt hat n umbrela n standñ p; “in pônt v fact I wz jst ptñ yr ces bfr ɖs jntlmn, n hiz vy – ”

“Hz bn larjli oltrd,” sd ɖ sayntist grevli. “I d nt ʈnc ɖs yuñ ledi z so Cltic az I hd s’pozd. Az I hv nʈñ els t d, I wl pt on mî hat n strol dǎn tǎn wɖ y.”

In a fy minits ol ʈri wr aproćñ ɖ driri teil v ɖ McNabz’ strīt: ɖ grl wɖ ɖ strn n breʈlis strîd v ɖ mǎnṭnir, ɖ criṃnoḷjist wɖ a lǎnjñ gres (ẃć wz nt wɖt a srtn leṗdlîc swiftnis), n ɖ prīst at an eṇjetic trot intîrli dvôd v dstñśn. Ɖ aspect v ɖs éj v ɖ tǎn wz nt intîrli wɖt justif̣ceśn fr ɖ doctr’z hints abt dezḷt mūdz n invîrnmnts. Ɖ scatrd hǎzz std farɖr n farɖr apart in a brocn strñ alñ ɖ sìśor; ɖ afṭnun wz clozñ wɖ a preṃtyr n partli lŭrid twîlît; ɖ sì wz v an ñci prpl n mrṃrñ omiṇsli. In ɖ scrapi bacgardn v ɖ McNabz ẃć ran dǎn twdz ɖ sand, tū blac, baṛn-lcñ triz std p lîc dīmnhandz hld p in astoniśmnt, n az Msz McNab ran dǎn ɖ strīt t mīt ɖm wɖ līn handz similrli spred, n hr firs fes in śado, ś wz a litl lîc a dīmn hrslf. Ɖ doctr n ɖ prīst md scant rplî t hr śril riiṭreśnz v hr dōtr’z stori, wɖ mor dstrbñ dītelz v hr ǒn, t ɖ dvîdd vǎz v vnjns agnst Mr. Glas fr mrḍrñ, n agnst Mr. Tódhuntr fr biyñ mrdrd, or agnst ɖ latr fr hvñ derd t wont t mari hr dōtr, n fr nt hvñ livd t d it. Ɖe pást ʈru ɖ naro pasij in ɖ frunt v ɖ hǎs untl ɖe cem t ɖ lojr’z dor at ɖ bac, n ɖr Dr. Hŭd, wɖ ɖ tric v an old dtctiv, pt hiz śoldr śarpli t ɖ panl n brst in ɖ dor.

It opnd on a sīn v sîḷnt ctastṛfi. Nwn siyñ it, īvn fr a flaś, cd dǎt ɖt ɖ rūm hd bn ɖ ʈiytr v sm ʈrilñ c’liźn btwn tū, or phps mor, prsnz. Pleyñcardz le litrd acrs ɖ tebl or flutrd abt ɖ flor az f a gem hd bn inṭruptd. Tū wînglasz std redi fr wîn on a sîdtebl, bt a ʈrd le smaśt in a star v cristl upn ɖ carpit. A fy fīt fṛm it le ẃt lct lîc a loñ nîf or śort sord, stret, bt wɖ an orṇmntl n picćrd handl, its dul bled jst còt a gre glint fṛm ɖ driri windo bhnd, ẃć śoud ɖ blac triz agnst ɖ ledn levl v ɖ sì. Twdz ɖ oṗzit cornr v ɖ rūm wz rold a jntlmn’z silc top hat, az f it hd jst bn noct of hiz hed; so mć so, indd, ɖt wn olmst lct t si it stl rolñ. N in ɖ cornr bhnd it, ʈroun lîc a sác v ptetoz, bt cordd lîc a relwe trunc, le Mr. Jemz Tódhuntr, wɖ a scarf acrs hiz mǎʈ, n six or sevn rops nótd rnd hiz elboz n anclz. Hiz brǎn îz wr alîv n śiftd alrtli.

Dr. Orayn Hŭd pōzd fr wn instnt on ɖ dormat n dranc in ɖ hol sīn v vôslis vayḷns. Ɖen h stept swiftli acrs ɖ carpit, pict p ɖ tōl silc hat, n grevli pt it upn ɖ hed v ɖ yt pińnd Tódhuntr. It wz so mć tù larj fr him ɖt it olmst slipt dǎn on t hiz śoldrz.

“Mr. Glas’z hat,” sd ɖ doctr, rtrnñ wɖ it n pirñ intu ɖ insîd wɖ a pocit-lnz. “Hǎ t xplen ɖ absns v Mr. Glas n ɖ prezns v Mr. Glas’z hat? Fr Mr. Glas z nt a cerlis man wɖ hiz cloɖz. Ɖt hat z v a stîliś śep n sistmaticli bruśt n brniśt, ɖo nt vri ny. An old dandi, I śd ʈnc.”

“Bt, gd hevnz!” cōld ǎt Mis McNab, “r’nt y gwñ t untî ɖ man frst?”

“I se ‘old’ wɖ intnśn, ɖo nt wɖ srtnti” cntinyd ɖ xpozitr; “mî rīzn fr it mt sīm a litl far-fećt. Ɖ her v hymn biyñz fōlz ǎt in vri vẹriyñ dgriz, bt olmst olwz fōlz ǎt slîtli, n wɖ ɖ lnz I śd si ɖ tîni herz in a hat rīsntli wòrn. It hz nn, ẃć līdz m t ges ɖt Mr. Glas z bàld. Nǎ ẃn ɖs z tecn wɖ ɖ hî-pićt n qeryḷs vôs ẃć Mis McNab dscrîbd so vividli (peśns, mî dir ledi, peśns), ẃn w tec ɖ herlis hed tgɖr wɖ ɖ ton comn in sīnîl angr, I śd ʈnc w me ddys sm advans in yirz. Nvɖles, h wz probbli vigṛs, n h wz olmst srtnli tōl. I mt rlî in sm dgri on ɖ stori v hiz prīvịs apiṛns at ɖ windo, az a tōl man in a silc hat, bt I ʈnc I hv mor xact indceśn. Ɖs wînglas hz bn smaśt ol ovr ɖ ples, bt wn v its splintrz lîz on ɖ hî bracit bsd ɖ mantlpìs. No sć fragmnt cd hv fōḷn ɖr f ɖ vesl hd bn smaśt in ɖ hand v a cmpaṛtivli śort man lîc Mr. Tódhuntr.”

“Bî ɖ we,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, “mt it nt b az wel t untî Mr. Tódhuntr?”

“Ǎr lésn fṛm ɖ drincñveslz dz nt end hir,” pṛsidd ɖ speṣ́list. “I me se at wns ɖt it z poṣbl ɖt ɖ man Glas wz bàld or nrṿs ʈru diṣpeśn rɖr ɖn ej. Mr. Tódhuntr, az hz bn rmarct, z a qayt ʈrifti jntlmn, isnṣ́li an abstenr. Ɖz cardz n wîncups r no part v hiz norml habit; ɖe hv bn pṛdyst fr a ptiklr cmpańn. Bt, az it hapnz, w me g farɖr. Mr. Tódhuntr me or me nt pzes ɖs wînsrvis, bt ɖr z no apiṛns v hiz pzesñ eni wîn. Ẃt, ɖen, wr ɖz veslz t cnten? I wd at wns sjst sm brandi or ẃisci, phps v a l’x́urịs sort, fṛm a flasc in ɖ pocit v Mr. Glas. W hv ɖus smʈñ lîc a picćr v ɖ man, or at līst v ɖ tîp: tōl, eldrli, faśṇbl, bt smẃt freid, srtnli fond v ple n stroñ wōtrz, phps rɖr tù fond v ɖm. Mr. Glas z a jntlmn nt uņoun on ɖ frinjz v ssayti.”

“Lc hir,” craid ɖ yuñ wmn, “f y d’nt let m pas t untî him I’l run ǎtsd n scrīm fr ɖ p’līs.”

“I śd nt advîz y, Mis McNab,” sd Dr. Hŭd grevli, “t b in eni huri t feć ɖ p’līs. Faɖr Brǎn, I sirịsli asc y t cmpoz yr floc, fr ɖer secs, nt fr mîn. Wel, w hv sìn smʈñ v ɖ figr n qoḷti v Mr. Glas; ẃt r ɖ ćīf facts noun v Mr. Tódhuntr? Ɖe r sbstanṣ́li ʈri: ɖt h z ic̣nomicl, ɖt h z mor or les wlʈi, n ɖt h hz a sīcrit. Nǎ, śrli it z obvịs ɖt ɖr r ɖ ʈri ćīf marcs v ɖ cnd v man hu z blacmeild. N śrli it z īqli obvịs ɖt ɖ fedd fîṇri, ɖ profliġt habits, n ɖ śril iṛteśn v Mr. Glas r ɖ unmistecbl marcs v ɖ cnd v man hu blacmeilz him. W hv ɖ tū tipicl figrz v a traɉdi v huśmuni: on ɖ wn hand, ɖ rspctbl man wɖ a misṭri; on ɖ uɖr, ɖ Wst-end vulćr wɖ a sént fr a misṭri. Ɖz tū men hv met hir tde n hv qoṛld, yzñ bloz n a bér wepn.”

“R y gwñ t tec ɖoz rops of?” asct ɖ grl stubnli.

Dr. Hŭd rplest ɖ silc hat cerf̣li on ɖ sîdtebl, n wnt acrs t ɖ captiv. H studid him intntli, īvn muvñ him a litl n haf-trnñ him rnd bî ɖ śoldrz, bt h onli ansrd:

“No; I ʈnc ɖz rops wl d vri wel tl yr frendz ɖ p’līs brñ ɖ hancufs.”

Faɖr Brǎn, hu hd bn lcñ duļi at ɖ carpit, liftd hiz rǎnd fes n sd: “Ẃt d y mīn?”

Ɖ man v sayns hd pict p ɖ pkłr dagrsord fṛm ɖ carpit n wz xaṃnñ it intntli az h ansrd:

“Bcz y fînd Mr. Tódhuntr taid p,” h sd, “y ol jump t ɖ cncluźn ɖt Mr. Glas hd taid him p; n ɖen, I s’poz, iscept. Ɖr r for objx́nz t ɖs: Frst, ẃ śd a jntlmn so dresi az ǎr frend Glas līv hiz hat bhnd him, f h left v hiz ǒn fri wl? Secnd,” h cntinyd, muvñ twdz ɖ windo, “ɖs z ɖ onli xit, n it z loct on ɖ insîd. Ʈrd, ɖs bled hir hz a tîni tuć v blud at ɖ pônt, bt ɖr z no wūnd on Mr. Tódhuntr. Mr. Glas tc ɖt wūnd awe wɖ him, ded or alîv. Ad t ol ɖs prîṃri probbiḷti. It z mć mor lîcli ɖt ɖ blacmeild prsn wd trî t cil hiz inkbs, rɖr ɖn ɖt ɖ blacmeilr wd trî t cil ɖ gūs ɖt lez hiz goldn eg. Ɖr, I ʈnc, w hv a priti cmplit stori.”

“Bt ɖ rops?” inqîrd ɖ prīst, huz îz hd rmend opn wɖ a rɖr vecnt adṃreśn.

“Ā, ɖ rops,” sd ɖ xprt wɖ a snğlr inṭneśn. “Mis McNab vri mć wontd t nǒ ẃ I dd nt set Mr. Tódhuntr fri fṛm hiz rops. Wel, I wl tel hr. I dd nt d it bcz Mr. Tódhuntr cn set himslf fri fṛm ɖm at eni minit h ćuzz.”

“Ẃt?” craid ɖ ōdịns on qt difṛnt nots v astoniśmnt.

“I hv lct at ol ɖ nóts on Mr. Tódhuntr,” riiṭretd Hŭd qaytli. “I hapn t nǒ smʈñ abt nóts; ɖe r qt a branć v criminl sayns. Evrwn v ɖoz nóts h hz md himslf n cd lūsn himslf; nt wn v ɖm wd hv bn md bî an eṇmi riyli trayñ t pińn him. Ɖ hol v ɖs afer v ɖ rops z a clevr fec, t mc s ʈnc him ɖ victim v ɖ strugl instd v ɖ rećid Glas, huz corps me b hidn in ɖ gardn or stuft p ɖ ćimni.”

Ɖr wz a rɖr dprest sîḷns; ɖ rūm wz darc̣nñ, ɖ sì-blîtd bauz v ɖ gardn triz lct līnr n blacr ɖn evr, yt ɖe sīmd t hv cm nirr t ɖ windo. Wn cd olmst fansi ɖe wr sìmonstrz lîc crecnz or cutlfiś, rîɖñ polipi hu hd crōld p fṛm ɖ sì t si ɖ end v ɖs traɉdi, īvn az h, ɖ viḷn n victim v it, ɖ teṛbl man in ɖ tōl hat, hd wns crōld p fṛm ɖ sì. Fr ɖ hol er wz dns wɖ ɖ morbidti v blacmeil, ẃć z ɖ most morbid v hymn ʈñz, bcz it z a crîm cnsilñ a crîm; a blac plastr on a blacr wūnd.

Ɖ fes v ɖ litl Caʈ̇lic prīst, ẃć wz comnli cmplesnt n īvn comic, hd sudnli bcm nótd wɖ a krịs frǎn. It wz nt ɖ blanc krioṣti v hiz frst iṇsns. It wz rɖr ɖt crietiv krioṣti ẃć cmz ẃn a man hz ɖ bginñz v an îdīa. “Se it agn, plīz,” h sd in a simpl, boɖrd manr; “d y mīn ɖt Tódhuntr cn tî himslf p ol alon n untî himslf ol alon?”

“Ɖt z ẃt I mīn,” sd ɖ doctr.

“Jrūsḷm!” ijakletd Brǎn sudnli, “I wundr f it cd poṣbli b ɖt!”

H scutld acrs ɖ rūm rɖr lîc a rabit, n pīrd wɖ qt a ny impulsivnis intu ɖ parṣ́li-cuvrd fes v ɖ captiv. Ɖen h trnd hiz ǒn rɖr faćs fes t ɖ cumṗni. “Yes, ɖt’s it!” h craid in a srtn xîtmnt. “C’nt y si it in ɖ man’z fes? Ẃ, lc at hiz îz!”

Bʈ ɖ Pṛfesr n ɖ grl foloud ɖ d’rex́n v hiz glans. N ɖo ɖ brōd blac scarf cmplitli masct ɖ lowr haf v Tódhuntr’z vizij, ɖe dd gro conśs v smʈñ struġlñ n intns abt ɖ upr part v it.

“Hiz îz d lc qir,” craid ɖ yuñ wmn, stroñli muvd. “Y brūts; I b’liv it’s hrtñ him!”

“Nt ɖt, I ʈnc,” sd Dr. Hŭd; “ɖ îz hv srtnli a snğlr xpreśn. Bt I śd intrprit ɖoz tranzvrs rinclz az xpresñ rɖr sć slît sîc̣lojicl abnormaḷti – ”

“Ǒ, boś!” craid Faɖr Brǎn: “c’nt y si h’z lafñ?”

“Lafñ!” rpitd ɖ doctr, wɖ a start; “bt ẃt on rʈ cn h b lafñ at?”

“Wel,” rplaid ɖ Revṛnd Brǎn apoḷjeticli, “nt t pt tù fîn a pônt on it, I ʈnc h z lafñ at y. N indd, I’m a litl inclînd t laf at mslf, nǎ I nǒ abt it.”

“Nǎ y nǒ abt ẃt?” asct Hŭd, in sm xasṗreśn.

“Nǎ I nǒ,” rplaid ɖ prīst, “ɖ pṛfeśn v Mr. Tódhuntr.”

H śufld abt ɖ rūm, lcñ at wn objict aftr anɖr wɖ ẃt sīmd t b a vecnt stér, n ɖen inverịbli brstñ intu an īqli vecnt laf, a hîli iṛtetñ proses fr ɖoz hu hd t woć it. H laft vri mć ovr ɖ hat, stl mor uprorịsli ovr ɖ brocn glas, bt ɖ blud on ɖ sordpônt snt him intu mortl cnvulśnz v aḿzmnt. Ɖen h trnd t ɖ fymñ speṣ́list.

“Dr. Hŭd,” h craid inʈyziasticli, “y r a gret powt! Y hv cōld an uncrietd biyñ ǎt v ɖ vôd. Hǎ mć mor godlîc ɖt z ɖn f y hd onli feṛtd ǎt ɖ mir facts! Indd, ɖ mir facts r rɖr comnples n comic bî cmparisn.”

“I hv no nośn ẃt y r tōcñ abt,” sd Dr. Hŭd rɖr hōṭli; “mî facts r ol inevitbl, ɖo nesseṛli incmplit. A ples me b pmitd t intyiśn, phps (or powtri f y prifŕ ɖ trm), bt onli bcz ɖ corispondñ dītelz canot az yt b aṣtend. In ɖ absns v Mr. Glas – ”

“Ɖt’s it, ɖt’s it,” sd ɖ litl prīst, nodñ qt īgrli, “ɖt’s ɖ frst îdīa t gt fixt; ɖ absns v Mr. Glas. H z so xtrimli absnt. I s’poz,” h add rflectivli, “ɖt ɖr wz nvr enbdi so absnt az Mr. Glas.”

“D y mīn h z absnt fṛm ɖ tǎn?” dmandd ɖ doctr.

“I mīn h z absnt fṛm evrẃr,” ansrd Faɖr Brǎn; “h z absnt fṛm ɖ Nećr v Ʈñz, so t spīc.”

“D y sirịsli mīn,” sd ɖ speṣ́list wɖ a smîl, “ɖt ɖr z no sć prsn?”

Ɖ prīst md a sîn v asnt. “It dz sīm a piti,” h sd.

Orayn Hŭd brouc intu a cntmćs laf. “Wel,” h sd, “bfr w g on t ɖ hundṛd n wn uɖr evidnsz, let s tec ɖ frst prūf w faund; ɖ frst fact w fél ovr ẃn w fél intu ɖs rūm. F ɖr z no Mr. Glas, huz hat z ɖs?”

“It z Mr. Tódhuntr’z,” rplaid Faɖr Brǎn.

“Bt it dz’nt fit him,” craid Hŭd impeśntli. “H cd’nt poṣbli wer it!”

Faɖr Brǎn śc hiz hed wɖ inef̣bl mîldnis. “I nvr sd h cd wer it,” h ansrd. “I sd it wz hiz hat. Or, f y insist on a śêd v difṛns, a hat ɖt z hiz.”

“N ẃt z ɖ śêd v difṛns?” asct ɖ criṃnoḷjist wɖ a slît snir.

“Mî gd sr,” craid ɖ mîld litl man, wɖ hiz frst muvmnt acin t impeśns, “f y wl wōc dǎn ɖ strīt t ɖ nirist hatr’z śop, y wl si ɖt ɖr z, in comn spīć, a difṛns btwn a man’z hat n ɖ hats ɖt r hiz.”

“Bt a hatr,” pṛtstd Hŭd, “cn gt muni ǎt v hiz stoc v ny hats. Ẃt cd Tódhuntr gt ǎt v ɖs wn old hat?”

“Rabits,” rplaid Faɖr Brǎn promtli.

“Ẃt?” craid Dr. Hŭd.

“Rabits, ribnz, swītmìts, goldfiś, rolz v culrd pepr,” sd ɖ revṛnd jntlmn wɖ r’pidti. “Dd’nt y si it ol ẃn y faund ǎt ɖ fect rops? It’s jst ɖ sem wɖ ɖ sord. Mr. Tódhuntr hz’nt got a scrać on him, az y se; bt h’z got a scrać in him, f y folo m.”

“D y mīn insd Mr. Tódhuntr’z cloɖz?” inqîrd Msz McNab strnli.

“I d nt mīn insd Mr. Tódhuntr’z cloɖz,” sd Faɖr Brǎn. “I mīn insd Mr. Tódhuntr.”

“Wel, ẃt in ɖ nem v Bedḷm d y mīn?”

“Mr. Tódhuntr,” xplend Faɖr Brǎn plasidli, “z lrnñ t b a pṛfeśnl cunjrr, az wel az juglr, ventriḷqist, n xprt in ɖ roptric. Ɖ cunɉrñ xplenz ɖ hat. It z wɖt tresz v her, nt bcz it z wòrn bî ɖ preṃtyrli bàld Mr. Glas, bt bcz it hz nvr bn wòrn bî enbdi. Ɖ juġlñ xplenz ɖ ʈri glasz, ẃć Tódhuntr wz tīćñ himslf t ʈro p n cać in r’teśn. Bt, biyñ onli at ɖ stej v practis, h smaśt wn glas agnst ɖ sīlñ. N ɖ juġlñ olso xplenz ɖ sord, ẃć it wz Mr. Tódhuntr’z pṛfeśnl prîd n dyti t swolo. Bt, agn, biyñ at ɖ stej v practis, h vri slîtli grezd ɖ insîd v hiz ʈrot wɖ ɖ wepn. Hns h hz a wūnd insd him, ẃć I am śr (fṛm ɖ xpreśn on hiz fes) z nt a sirịs wn. H wz olso pracṭsñ ɖ tric v a rlis fṛm rops, lîc ɖ Davnport Bruɖrz, n h wz jst abt t fri himslf ẃn w ol brst intu ɖ rūm. Ɖ cardz, v cors, r fr card trics, n ɖe r scatrd on ɖ flor bcz h hd jst bn pracṭsñ wn v ɖoz dojz v sndñ ɖm flayñ ʈru ɖ er. H mirli cept hiz tred sīcrit, bcz h hd t cīp hiz trics sīcrit, lîc eni uɖr cunjrr. Bt ɖ mir fact v an îdlr in a top hat hvñ wns lct in at hiz bacwindo, n bn drivn awe bî him wɖ gret inḍgneśn, wz inuf t set s ol on a roñ trac v romans, n mc s imajin hiz hol lîf oṿśadoud bî ɖ silc-hatd spectr v Mr. Glas.”

“Bt ẃt abt ɖ tū vôsz?” asct Magi, stẹrñ.

“Hv y nvr hŕd a ventriḷqist?” asct Faɖr Brǎn. “D’nt y nǒ ɖe spīc frst in ɖer naćṛl vôs, n ɖen ansr ɖmslvz in jst ɖt śril, sqīci, uņaćṛl vôs ɖt y hŕd?”

Ɖr wz a loñ sîḷns, n Dr. Hŭd rgardd ɖ litl man hu hd spocn wɖ a darc n atntiv smîl. “Y r srtnli a vri injīńs prsn,” h sd; “it cd nt hv bn dn betr in a bc. Bt ɖr z jst wn part v Mr. Glas y hv nt s’xidd in xplenñ awe, n ɖt z hiz nem. Mis McNab dstñtli hŕd him so adrest bî Mr. Tódhuntr.”

Ɖ Rév. Mr. Brǎn brouc intu a rɖr ćîldiś gigl. “Wel, ɖt,” h sd, “ɖt’s ɖ siliist part v ɖ hol sili stori. Ẃn ǎr juġlñ frend hir ʈrù p ɖ ʈri glasz in trn, h cǎntd ɖm alǎd az h còt ɖm, n olso comntd alǎd ẃn h feld t cać ɖm. Ẃt h riyli sd wz: ‘Wn, tū n ʈri – míst a glas wn, tū – míst a glas.’ N so on.”

Ɖr wz a secnd v stilnis in ɖ rūm, n ɖen evrwn wɖ wn acord brst ǎt lafñ. Az ɖe dd so ɖ figr in ɖ cornr cmplesntli uncôld ol ɖ rops n let ɖm fōl wɖ a fluriś. Ɖen, advansñ intu ɖ midl v ɖ rūm wɖ a bǎ, h pṛdyst fṛm hiz pocit a big bil printd in blu n red, ẃć anǎnst ɖt Z’LADIN, ɖ Wrld’z Gretist Cunjrr, Cntorśnist, Ventriḷqist n Hymn Canġru wd b redi wɖ an intîrli ny siriz v Trics at ɖ Empîr Pviłn, Scarḅra, on Munde nxt at et o’cloc prisîsli.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL