Category Archives: Katherine Mansfield

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: 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: THE LADY’S MAID, by Katherine Mansfield

Ɖ LEDI’Z MEID

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

Ilevn o’cloc. A noc at ɖ dor… I hop I hv’nt dstrbd y, madm. Y wr’nt aslip—wr y? Bt I’v jst gvn mî ledi hr ti, n ɖr wz sć a nîs cup ovr, I ʈt, phps…

… Nt at ol, madm. I olwz mc a cup v ti last ʈñ. Ś drincs it in bed aftr hr prerz t worm hr p. I pt ɖ cetl on ẃn ś nīlz dǎn n I se t it, “Nǎ y nīd’nt b in tù mć v a huri t se yr prerz.” Bt it’s olwz bôlñ bfr mî ledi z haf ʈru. Y si, madm, w nǒ sć a lot v ppl, n ɖ’v ol got t b preid fr—evrwn. Mî ledi cīps a list v ɖ nemz in a litl red bc. Ǒ dir! ẃnvr smwn ny hz bn t si s n mî ledi sz aftwdz, “Eḷn, gv m mî litl red bc,” I fīl qt wîld, I d. “Ɖr’z anɖr,” I ʈnc, “cīpñ hr ǎt v hr bed in ol weɖrz.” N ś w’nt hv a cŭśn, y nǒ, madm; ś nīlz on ɖ hard carpit. It fijits m smʈñ dredfl t si hr, nwñ hr az I d. I’v traid t ćīt hr; I’v spred ǎt ɖ îdrdǎn. Bt ɖ frst tîm I dd it—ǒ, ś gev m sć a lc—holi it wz, madm. “Dd ǎr Lord hv an îdrdǎn, Eḷn?” ś sd. Bt—I wz yungr at ɖ tîm—I flt inclînd t se, “No, bt ǎr Lord wz’nt yr ej, n h dd’nt nǒ ẃt it wz t hv yr lumbego.” Wicid—wz’nt it? Bt ś’z tù gd, y nǒ, madm. Ẃn I tuct hr p jst nǎ n sìn—sw hr layñ bac, hr handz ǎtsd n hr hed on ɖ pilo—so priti—I cd’nt hlp ʈncñ, “Nǎ y lc jst lîc yr dir muɖr ẃn I leid hr ǎt!”

… Yes, madm, it wz ol left t m. Ǒ, ś dd lc swīt. I dd hr her, softlîc, rnd hr fōrhed, ol in denti crlz, n jst t wn sîd v hr nec I pt a bunć v most bytifl prpl panziz. Ɖoz panziz md a picćr v hr, madm! I śl nvr fget ɖm. I ʈt tnît, ẃn I lct at mî ledi, “Nǎ, f onli ɖ panziz wz ɖr nwn cd tel ɖ difṛns.”

… Onli ɖ last yir, madm. Onli aftr ś’d got a litl—wel—fībl az y mt se. V cors, ś wz nvr denjṛs; ś wz ɖ swītist old ledi. Bt hǎ it tc hr wz—ś ʈt ś’d lost smʈñ. Ś cd’nt cīp stil, ś cd’nt setl. Ol de loñ ś’d b p n dǎn, p n dǎn; y’d mīt hr evrẃr,—on ɖ sterz, in ɖ porć, mcñ fr ɖ cićn. N ś’d lc p at y, n ś’d se—jst lîc a ćîld, “I’v lost it, I’v lost it.” “Cm alñ,” I’d se, “cm alñ, n I’l le ǎt yr peśns fr y.” Bt ś’d cać m bî ɖ hand—I wz a feṿrit v hrz—n ẃispr, “Fînd it fr m, Eḷn. Fînd it fr m.” Sad, wz’nt it?

… No, ś nvr rcuvrd, madm. Ś hd a stroc at ɖ end. Last wrdz ś evr sd wz—vri slo, “Lc in—ɖ—Lc—in—” N ɖen ś wz gn.

… No, madm, I c’nt se I notist it. Phps sm grlz. Bt y si, it’s lîc ɖs, I’v got nbdi bt mî ledi. Mî muɖr daid v cnsumśn ẃn I wz for, n I livd wɖ mî granfaɖr, hu cept a herdresr’z śop. I yst t spend ol mî tîm in ɖ śop undr a tebl dresñ mî dol’z her—copiyñ ɖ asistnts, I s’poz. Ɖe wr evr so cînd t m. Yst t mc m litl wigz, ol culrz, ɖ lêtist faśnz n ol. N ɖr I’d sit ol de, qayt az qayt—ɖ custmrz nvr ń. Onli nǎ n agn I’d tec mî pīp fṛm undr ɖ teblcloʈ.

… Bt wn de I manijd t gt a per v sizrz n—wd y b’liv it, madm? I cut of ol mî her; snipt it of ol in bits, lîc ɖ litl munci I wz. Granfaɖr wz fyrịs! H còt hold v ɖ toñz—I śl nvr fget it—grabd m bî ɖ hand n śut mî fngrz in ɖm. “Ɖt’l tīć y!” h sd. It wz a firfl brn. I’v got ɖ marc v it tde.

… Wel, y si, madm, h’d tecn sć prîd in mî her. H yst t sit m p on ɖ cǎntr, bfr ɖ custmrz cem, n d it smʈñ bytifl—big, soft crlz n wevd ovr ɖ top. I rmembr ɖ asistnts standñ rnd, n m evr so soḷm wɖ ɖ peni granfaɖr gev m t hold ẃl it wz biyñ dn… Bt h olwz tc ɖ peni bac aftwdz. Pur granfaɖr! Wîld, h wz, at ɖ frît I’d md v mslf. Bt h frîtnd m ɖt tîm. D y nǒ ẃt I dd, madm? I ran awe. Yes, I dd, rnd ɖ cornrz, in n ǎt, I d’nt nǒ hǎ far I dd’nt run. Ǒ, dir, I mst hv lct a sît, wɖ mî hand rold p in mî pini n mî her sticñ ǎt. Ppl mst hv laft ẃn ɖe sw m…

… No, madm, granfaɖr nvr got ovr it. H cd’nt ber ɖ sît v m aftr. Cd’nt īt hiz dinr, īvn, f I wz ɖr. So mî ānt tc m. Ś wz a cripl, an upholstris. Tîni! Ś hd t stand on ɖ sofaz ẃn ś wontd t cut ǎt ɖ bacs. N it wz hlpñ hr I met mî ledi…

… Nt so vri, madm. I wz ʈrtīn, trnd. N I d’nt rmembr evr fīlñ—wel—a ćîld, az y mt se. Y si ɖr wz mî yṇform, n wn ʈñ n anɖr. Mî ledi pt m intu coḷrz n cufs fṛm ɖ frst. Ǒ yes—wns I dd! Ɖt wz—funi! It wz lîc ɖs. Mî ledi hd hr tū litl nīsz steyñ wɖ hr—w wr at Śeldn at ɖ tîm—n ɖr wz a fer on ɖ comn.

“Nǎ, Eḷn,” ś sd, “I wont y t tec ɖ tū yuñ lediz fr a rîd on ɖ donciz.” Of w wnt; soḷm litl luvz ɖe wr; ć hd a hand. Bt ẃn w cem t ɖ donciz ɖe wr tù śî t g on. So w std n woćt instd. Bytifl ɖoz donciz wr! Ɖe wr ɖ frst I’d sìn ǎt v a cart—fr pleźr az y mt se. Ɖe wr a luvli silvr-gre, wɖ litl red sadlz n blu braidlz n belz jñ-a-jnġlñ on ɖer irz. N qt big grlz—oldr ɖn m, īvn—wr rîdñ ɖm, evr so ge. Nt at ol comn, I d’nt mīn, madm, jst injoyñ ɖmslvz. N I d’nt nǒ ẃt it wz, bt ɖ we ɖ litl fīt wnt, n ɖ îz—so jntl—n ɖ soft irz—md m wont t g on a donci mor ɖn enʈñ in ɖ wrld!

… V cors, I cd’nt. I hd mî yuñ lediz. N ẃt wd I hv lct lîc prćt p ɖr in mî yṇform? Bt ol ɖ rest v ɖ de it wz donciz—donciz on ɖ bren wɖ m. I flt I śd hv brst f I dd’nt tel smwn; n hu wz ɖr t tel? Bt ẃn I wnt t bed—I wz slīpñ in Msz. Jemz’z bedrūm, ǎr cc ɖt wz, at ɖ tîm—az sn az ɖ lîts wz ǎt, ɖr ɖe wr, mî donciz, jnġlñ alñ, wɖ ɖer nīt litl fīt n sad îz… Wel, madm, wd y b’liv it, I wêtd fr a loñ tîm n pritndd t b aslip, n ɖen sudnli I sat p n cōld ǎt az lǎd az I cd, “I d wont t g on a donci. I d wont a doncirîd!” Y si, I hd t se it, n I ʈt ɖe wd’nt laf at m f ɖe ń I wz onli drīmñ. Artfl—wz’nt it? Jst ẃt a sili ćîld wd ʈnc…

… No, madm, nvr nǎ. V cors, I dd ʈnc v it at wn tîm. Bt it wz’nt t b. H hd a litl flǎrśop jst dǎn ɖ rod n acrs fṛm ẃr w wz livñ. Funi—wz’nt it? N m sć a wn fr flǎrz. W wr hvñ a lot v cumṗni at ɖ tîm, n I wz in n ǎt v ɖ śop mor ofn ɖn nt, az ɖ seyñ z. N Hari n I (hiz nem wz Hari) got t qoṛlñ abt hǎ ʈñz òt t b arenjd—n ɖt bgan it. Flǎrz! y wd’nt b’liv it, madm, ɖ flǎrz h yst t brñ m. H’d stop at nʈñ. It wz liliz-v-ɖ-vali mor ɖn wns, n I’m nt xaɉretñ! Wel, v cors, w wr gwñ t b marid n liv ovr ɖ śop, n it wz ol gwñ t b jst so, n I wz t hv ɖ windo t arenj… Ǒ, hǎ I’v dn ɖt windo v a Saṭde! Nt riyli, v cors, madm, jst drīmñ, az y mt se. I’v dn it fr Crisṃs—moto in hóli, n ol—n I’v hd mî Īstr liliz wɖ a gorjs star ol daf̣dilz in ɖ midl. I’v huñ—wel, ɖt’s inuf v ɖt. Ɖ de cem h wz t cōl fr m t ćūz ɖ frnićr. Śl I evr fget it? It wz a Tyzde. Mî ledi wz’nt qt hrslf ɖt afṭnun. Nt ɖt ś’d sd enʈñ, v cors; ś nvr dz or wl. Bt I ń bî ɖ we ɖt ś cept rápñ hrslf p n ascñ m f it wz cold—n hr litl nǒz lct… pinćt. I dd’nt lîc līvñ hr; I ń I’d b wuriyñ ol ɖ tîm. At last I asct hr f ś’d rɖr I pt it of. “Ǒ no, Eḷn,” ś sd, “y ms’nt mînd abt m. Y ms’nt dis’pônt yr yuñ man.” N so ćirfl, y nǒ, madm, nvr ʈncñ abt hrslf. It md m fīl wrs ɖn evr. I bgan t wundr… ɖen ś dropt hr hanc̣ćif n bgan t stūp dǎn t pic it p hrslf—a ʈñ ś nvr dd. “Ẃtvr r y dwñ!” I craid, runñ t stop hr. “Wel,” ś sd, smîlñ, y nǒ, madm, “I śl hv t bgin t practis.” Ǒ, it wz ol I cd d nt t brst ǎt crayñ. I wnt ovr t ɖ dresñtebl n md b’liv t rub p ɖ silvr, n I cd’nt cīp mslf in, n I asct hr f ś’d rɖr I… dd’nt gt marid. “No, Eḷn,” ś sd—ɖt wz hr vôs, madm, lîc I’m gvñ y—“No, Eḷn, nt fr ɖ wîd wrld!” Bt ẃl ś sd it, madm—I wz lcñ in hr glas; v cors, ś dd’nt nǒ I cd si hr—ś pt hr litl hand on hr hart jst lîc hr dir muɖr yst t, n liftd hr îz… Ǒ, madm!

Ẃn Hari cem I hd hiz letrz ol redi, n ɖ rñ n a duci litl broć h’d gvn m—a silvr brd it wz, wɖ a ćen in its bīc, n on ɖ end v ɖ ćen a hart wɖ a dagr. Qt ɖ ʈñ! I opnd ɖ dor t him. I nvr gev him tîm fr a wrd. “Ɖr y r,” I sd. “Tec ɖm ol bac,” I sd, “it’s ol ovr. I’m nt gwñ t mari y,” I sd, “I c’nt līv mî ledi.” Ẃît! h trnd az ẃît az a wmn. I hd t slam ɖ dor, n ɖr I std, ol v a trembl, tl I ń h hd gn. Ẃn I opnd ɖ dor—b’liv m or nt, madm—ɖt man wz gn! I ran ǎt intu ɖ rod jst az I wz, in mî epṛn n mî hǎsśuz, n ɖr I steid in ɖ midl v ɖ rod… stẹrñ. Ppl mst hv laft f ɖe sw m…

… Gdnis greśs!—Ẃt’s ɖt? It’s ɖ cloc strîcñ! N hir I’v bn cīpñ y awec. Ǒ, madm, y òt t hv stopt m… Cn I tuc in yr fīt? I olwz tuc in mî ledi’z fīt, evri nît, jst ɖ sem. N ś sz, “Gd nît, Eḷn. Slīp sǎnd n wec rli!” I d’nt nǒ ẃt I śd d f ś dd’nt se ɖt, nǎ.

… Ǒ dir, I smtmz ʈnc… ẃtvr śd I d f enʈñ wr t… Bt, ɖr, ʈncñ’z no gd t enwn—z it, madm? Ʈncñ w’nt hlp. Nt ɖt I d it ofn. N f evr I d I pl mslf p śarp, “Nǎ, ɖen, Eḷn. At it agn—y sili grl! F y c’nt fînd enʈñ betr t d ɖn t start ʈncñ!… ”

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: AN IDEAL FAMILY, by Katherine Mansfield

AN ÎDIYL FAṂLI

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

Ɖt īvnñ fr ɖ frst tîm in hiz lîf, az h prest ʈru ɖ swñdor n dsndd ɖ ʈri brōd steps t ɖ pevmnt, old Mr. Nīv flt h wz tù old fr ɖ sprñ. Sprñ—worm, īgr, restlis—wz ɖr, wêtñ fr him in ɖ goldn lît, redi in frunt v evrbdi t run p, t blo in hiz ẃît bird, t drag swītli on hiz arm. N h cd’nt mīt hr, no; h cd’nt sqer p wns mor n strîd of, jōnti az a yuñ man. H wz tîrd n, olɖo ɖ lêt sún wz stl śînñ, krịsli cold, wɖ a numd fīlñ ol ovr. Qt sudnli h hd’nt ɖ eṇji, h hd’nt ɖ hart t stand ɖs geyti n brît muvmnt eni longr; it cnfyzd him. H wontd t stand stl, t wev it awe wɖ hiz stic, t se, “B of wɖ y!” Sudnli it wz a teṛbl ef̣t t grīt az yźl—tipñ hiz wîd-awec wɖ hiz stic—ol ɖ ppl hūm h ń, ɖ frendz, aqentnsz, śopcīprz, postṃn, drîvrz. Bt ɖ ge glans ɖt wnt wɖ ɖ jsćr, ɖ cîndli twncl ɖt sīmd t se, “I’m a mać n mor fr eni v y”—ɖt old Mr. Nīv cd nt manij at ol. H stumt alñ, liftñ hiz niz hî az f h wr wōcñ ʈru er ɖt hd smhǎ groun hevi n solid lîc wōtr. N ɖ homẉd-lcñ crǎd hurid bî, ɖ tramz clanct, ɖ lît carts clatrd, ɖ big swññ cabz bǒld alñ wɖ ɖt reclis, dfaynt indifṛns ɖt wn nz onli in drīmz…

It hd bn a de lîc uɖr dez at ɖ ofis. Nʈñ speśl hd hapnd. Haṛld hd’nt cm bac fṛm lunć untl clos on for. Ẃr hd h bn? Ẃt hd h bn p t? H wz’nt gwñ t let hiz faɖr nǒ. Old Mr. Nīv hd hapnd t b in ɖ vsṭbyl, seyñ gdbî t a cōlr, ẃn Haṛld sōntrd in, prf̣cli trnd ǎt az yźl, cūl, swāv, smîlñ ɖt pkłr litl haf-smîl ɖt wimin faund so faṣnetñ.

Ā, Haṛld wz tù hansm, tù hansm bî far; ɖt hd bn ɖ trubl ol alñ. No man hd a rît t sć îz, sć laśz, n sć lips; it wz uncani. Az fr hiz muɖr, hiz sistrz, n ɖ srvnts, it wz nt tù mć t se ɖe md a yuñ god v him; ɖe wrśipt Haṛld, ɖe fgev him evrʈñ; n h hd nīdd sm fgivñ evr sins ɖ tîm ẃn h wz ʈrtīn n h hd stoḷn hiz muɖr’z prs, tecn ɖ muni, n hidn ɖ prs in ɖ cc’s bedrūm. Old Mr. Nīv struc śarpli wɖ hiz stic upn ɖ pevmnt éj. Bt it wz’nt onli hiz faṃli hu spôld Haṛld, h rflectd, it wz evrbdi; h hd onli t lc n t smîl, n dǎn ɖe wnt bfr him. So phps it wz’nt t b wundrd at ɖt h xpctd ɖ ofis t cari on ɖ tṛdiśn. Hm, hm! Bt it cd’nt b dn. No biznis—nt īvn a s’xesfl, istabliśt, big peyñ cnsrn—cd b pleid wɖ. A man hd îɖr t pt hiz hol hart n soul intu it, or it wnt ol t pìsz bfr hiz îz…

N ɖen Śarlót n ɖ grlz wr olwz at him t mc ɖ hol ʈñ ovr t Haṛld, t rtîr, n t spend hiz tîm injoyñ himslf. Injoyñ himslf! Old Mr. Nīv stopt ded undr a grūp v enćnt cabijpāmz ǎtsd ɖ Guvnmnt bildñz! Injoyñ himslf! Ɖ wind v īvnñ śc ɖ darc līvz t a ʈin e’ri cacl. Sitñ at hom, twiḍlñ hiz ʈumz, conśs ol ɖ ẃl ɖt hiz lîf’s wrc wz slipñ awe, dzolvñ, dis’pirñ ʈru Haṛld’z fîn fngrz, ẃl Haṛld smîld…

“Ẃ wl y b so unrīzṇbl, faɖr? Ɖr’z abṣlutli no nīd fr y t g t ɖ ofis. It onli mcs it vri ōcẉd fr s ẃn ppl psist in seyñ hǎ tîrd y’r lcñ. Hir’z ɖs hyj hǎs n gardn. Śrli y cd b hapi in—in—aprīśietñ it fr a ćenj. Or y cd tec p sm hobi.”

N Lola ɖ bebi hd ćîmd in lofṭli, “Ol men òt t hv hobiz. It mcs lîf imposbl f ɖe hv’nt.”

Wel, wel! H cd’nt hlp a grim smîl az penf̣li h bgan t clîm ɖ hil ɖt léd intu Harcort Aṿny. Ẃr wd Lola n hr sistrz n Śarlót b f h’d gn in fr hobiz, h’d lîc t nǒ? Hobiz cd’nt pe fr ɖ tǎnhǎs n ɖ sìsîd bunġlo, n ɖer horsz, n ɖer golf, n ɖ sixti-gini graṃfon in ɖ ḿzicrūm fr ɖm t dans t. Nt ɖt h grujd ɖm ɖz ʈñz. No, ɖe wr smart, gd-lcñ grlz, n Śarlót wz a rmarcbl wmn; it wz naćṛl fr ɖm t b in ɖ swim. Az a matr v fact, no uɖr hǎs in ɖ tǎn wz az popylr az ɖerz; no uɖr faṃli enttend so mć. N hǎ mni tîmz old Mr. Nīv, pśñ ɖ sgarbox acrs ɖ smocñrūm tebl, hd lisnd t prezz v hiz wîf, hiz grlz, v himslf īvn.

“Y’r an îdiyl faṃli, sr, an îdiyl faṃli. It’s lîc smʈñ wn rīdz abt or siz on ɖ stej.”

“Ɖt’s ol rît, mî bô,” old Mr. Nīv wd rplî. “Trî wn v ɖoz; I ʈnc y’l lîc ɖm. N f y cer t smoc in ɖ gardn, y’l fînd ɖ grlz on ɖ lōn, I der se.”

Ɖt wz ẃ ɖ grlz hd nvr marid, so ppl sd. Ɖe cd hv marid enbdi. Bt ɖe hd tù gd a tîm at hom. Ɖe wr tù hapi tgɖr, ɖ grlz n Śarlót. Hm, hm! Wel, wel. Phps so…

Bî ɖs tîm h hd wōct ɖ leñʈ v faśṇbl Harcort Aṿny; h hd rīćt ɖ cornrhǎs, ɖer hǎs. Ɖ carijgets wr pśt bac; ɖr wr freś marcs v ẃīlz on ɖ drîv. N ɖen h fest ɖ big ẃît-pentd hǎs, wɖ its wîd-opn windoz, its tyl crtnz flotñ ǎtwdz, its blu jarz v haysinʈs on ɖ brōd silz. On îɖr sîd v ɖ carijporć ɖer hîdrenjaz—feṃs in ɖ tǎn—wr cmñ intu flǎr; ɖ pnciś, bluiś masz v flǎr le lîc lît amñ ɖ spredñ līvz. N smhǎ, it sīmd t old Mr. Nīv ɖt ɖ hǎs n ɖ flǎrz, n īvn ɖ freś marcs on ɖ drîv, wr seyñ, “Ɖr z yuñ lîf hir. Ɖr r grlz—”

Ɖ hōl, az olwz, wz dusci wɖ ráps, paṛsolz, gluvz, pîld on ɖ oc ćests. Fṛm ɖ ḿzicrūm sǎndd ɖ piano, qc, lǎd n impeśnt. Ʈru ɖ drw̃rūm dor ɖt wz ajar vôsz flotd.

“N wr ɖr îsz?” cem fṛm Śarlót. Ɖen ɖ crīc, crīc v hr rocr.

“Îsz!” craid Eʈl. “Mî dir muɖr, y nvr sw sć îsz. Onli tū cndz. N wn a comn litl strwḅri śop-îs, in a sópñ wet fril.”

“Ɖ fūd oltgɖr wz tù apōlñ,” cem fṛm Marịn.

“Stl, it’s rɖr rli fr îsz,” sd Śarlót īẓli.

“Bt ẃ, f wn hz ɖm at ol… “ bgan Eʈl.

“Ǒ, qt so, darlñ,” crūnd Śarlót.

Sudnli ɖ ḿzicrūm dor opnd n Lola daśt ǎt. Ś startd, ś nirli scrīmd, at ɖ sît v old Mr. Nīv.

“Greśs, faɖr! Ẃt a frît y gev m! Hv y jst cm hom? Ẃ z’nt Ćarlz hir t hlp y of wɖ yr cot?”

Hr ćīcs wr crimzn fṛm pleyñ, hr îz glitrd, ɖ her fél ovr hr fōrhed. N ś briɖd az ɖo ś hd cm runñ ʈru ɖ darc n wz frîtnd. Old Mr. Nīv stérd at hiz yungist dōtr; h flt h hd nvr sìn hr bfr. So ɖt wz Lola, wz it? Bt ś sīmd t hv fgotn hr faɖr; it wz nt fr him ɖt ś wz wêtñ ɖr. Nǎ ś pt ɖ tip v hr crumpld hanc̣ćif btwn hr tīʈ n tugd at it angṛli. Ɖ teḷfon rañ. Ā-ā! Lola gev a crî lîc a sob n daśt past him. Ɖ dor v ɖ teḷfonrūm slamd, n at ɖ sem momnt Śarlót cōld, “Z ɖt y, faɖr?”

“Y’r tîrd agn,” sd Śarlót rproćf̣li, n ś stopt ɖ rocr n ofrd hr worm plumlîc ćīc. Brît-herd Eʈl pect hiz bird, Marịn’z lips bruśt hiz ir.

“Dd y wōc bac, faɖr?” asct Śarlót.

“Yes, I wōct hom,” sd old Mr. Nīv, n h sanc intu wn v ɖ imns drw̃rūm ćerz.

“Bt ẃ dd’nt y tec a cab?” sd Eʈl. “Ɖr r hundṛd v cabz abt at ɖt tîm.”

“Mî dir Eʈl,” craid Marịn, “f faɖr prifŕz t tîr himslf ǎt, I riyli d’nt si ẃt biznis v ǎrz it z t inṭfir.”

“Ćildṛn, ćildṛn?” cǒxt Śarlót.

Bt Marịn wd’nt b stopt. “No, muɖr, y spôl faɖr, n it’s nt rît. Y òt t b strictr wɖ him. H’z vri nōti.” Ś laft hr hard, brît laf n patd hr her in a mirr. Strenj! Ẃn ś wz a litl grl ś hd sć a soft, heztetñ vôs; ś hd īvn stutrd, n nǎ, ẃtvr ś sd—īvn f it wz onli “Jam, plīz, faɖr”—it rañ ǎt az ɖo ś wr on ɖ stej.

“Dd Haṛld līv ɖ ofis bfr y, dir?” asct Śarlót, bginñ t roc agn.

“I’m nt śr,” sd Old Mr. Nīv. “I’m nt śr. I dd’nt si him aftr for o’cloc.”

“H sd—” bgan Śarlót.

Bt at ɖt momnt Eʈl, hu wz twićñ ovr ɖ līvz v sm pepr or uɖr, ran t hr muɖr n sanc dǎn bsd hr ćer.

“Ɖr, y si,” ś craid. “Ɖt’s ẃt I mīn, mumi. Yelo, wɖ tućz v silvr. D’nt y agri?”

“Gv it t m, luv,” sd Śarlót. Ś fumbld fr hr torṭsśel specṭclz n pt ɖm on, gev ɖ pej a litl dab wɖ hr plump smōl fngrz, n prst p hr lips. “Vri swīt!” ś crūnd vegli; ś lct at Eʈl ovr hr specṭclz. “Bt I śd’nt hv ɖ tren.”

“Nt ɖ tren!” weild Eʈl trajicli. “Bt ɖ tren’z ɖ hol pônt.”

“Hir, muɖr, let m dsîd.” Marịn snaćt ɖ pepr plêf̣li fṛm Śarlót. “I agri wɖ muɖr,” ś craid trîumfntli. “Ɖ tren oṿweits it.”

Old Mr. Nīv, fgotn, sanc intu ɖ brōd lap v hiz ćer, n, dozñ, hŕd ɖm az ɖo h drīmd. Ɖr wz no dǎt abt it, h wz tîrd ǎt; h hd lost hiz hold. Īvn Śarlót n ɖ grlz wr tù mć fr him tnît. Ɖe wr tù… tù… Bt ol hiz drǎzñ bren cd ʈnc v wz—tù rić fr him. N smẃr at ɖ bac v evrʈñ h wz woćñ a litl wiɖrd enćnt man clîmñ p endlis flîts v sterz. Hu wz h?

“I ś’nt dres tnît,” h mutrd.

“Ẃt d y se, faɖr?”

“Ê, ẃt, ẃt?” Old Mr. Nīv wouc wɖ a start n stérd acrs at ɖm. “I ś’nt dres tnît,” h rpitd.

“Bt, faɖr, w’v got L’sīl cmñ, n Õri Davnport, n Msz. Tedi Wōcr.”

“It wl lc so vri ǎt v ɖ picćr.”

“D’nt y fīl wel, dir?”

“Y nīd’nt mc eni ef̣t. Ẃt z Ćarlz fr?”

“Bt f y’r riyli nt p t it,” Śarlót wevrd.

“Vri wel! Vri wel!” Old Mr. Nīv got p n wnt t jôn ɖt litl old clîmñ felo jst az far az hiz dresñrūm…

Ɖr yuñ Ćarlz wz wêtñ fr him. Cerf̣li, az ɖo evrʈñ dpndd on it, h wz tucñ a tǎl rnd ɖ hot-wōtr can. Yuñ Ćarlz hd bn a feṿrit v hiz evr sins az a litl red-fest bô h hd cm intu ɖ hǎs t lc aftr ɖ fîrz. Old Mr. Nīv lowrd himslf intu ɖ cen lǎnj bî ɖ windo, strećt ǎt hiz legz, n md hiz litl īvnñjoc, “Dres him p, Ćarlz!” N Ćarlz, briɖñ intnsli n frǎnñ, bnt fwd t tec ɖ pin ǎt v hiz tî.

Hm, hm! Wel, wel! It wz pleznt bî ɖ opn windo, vri pleznt—a fîn mîld īvnñ. Ɖe wr cutñ ɖ gras on ɖ teniscort b’lo; h hŕd ɖ soft ćr v ɖ mowr. Sn ɖ grlz wd bgin ɖer tenispartiz agn. N at ɖ ʈt h sīmd t hír Marịn’z vôs rñ ǎt, “Gd fr y, partnr… Ǒ, pleid, partnr… Ǒ, vri nîs indd.” Ɖen Śarlót cōlñ fṛm ɖ vranda, “Ẃr z Haṛld?” N Eʈl, “H’z srtnli nt hir, muɖr.” N Śarlót’s veg, “H sd—”

Old Mr. Nīv said, got p, n ptñ wn hand undr hiz bird, h tc ɖ com fṛm yuñ Ćarlz, n cerf̣li comd ɖ ẃît bird ovr. Ćarlz gev him a foldd hanc̣ćif, hiz woć n sìlz, n specṭclces.

“Ɖt wl d, mî lad.” Ɖ dor śut, h sanc bac, h wz alon…

N nǎ ɖt litl enćnt felo wz clîmñ dǎn endlis flîts ɖt léd t a gliṭrñ, ge dînñrūm. Ẃt legz h hd! Ɖe wr lîc a spîdr’z—ʈin, wiɖrd.

“Y’r an îdiyl faṃli, sr, an îdiyl faṃli.”

Bt f ɖt wr tru, ẃ dd’nt Śarlót or ɖ grlz stop him? Ẃ wz h ol alon, clîmñ p n dǎn? Ẃr wz Haṛld? Ā, it wz no gd xpctñ enʈñ fṛm Haṛld. Dǎn, dǎn wnt ɖ litl old spîdr, n ɖen, t hiz horr, old Mr. Nīv sw him slip past ɖ dînñrūm n mc fr ɖ porć, ɖ darc drîv, ɖ carijgets, ɖ ofis. Stop him, stop him, smbdi!

Old Mr. Nīv startd p. It wz darc in hiz dresñrūm; ɖ windo śon pel. Hǎ loñ hd h bn aslip? H lisnd, n ʈru ɖ big, e’ri, darcnd hǎs ɖr flotd far-awe vôsz, far-awe sǎndz. Phps, h ʈt vegli, h hd bn aslip fr a loñ tîm. H’d bn fgotn. Ẃt hd ol ɖs t d wɖ him—ɖs hǎs n Śarlót, ɖ grlz n Haṛld—ẃt dd h nǒ abt ɖm? Ɖe wr strenjrz t him. Lîf hd pást him bî. Śarlót wz nt hiz wîf. Hiz wîf!

… A darc porć, haf hidn bî a paśnvîn, ɖt drūpt soṛfl, mōrnfl, az ɖo it unḍstd. Smōl, worm armz wr rnd hiz nec. A fes, litl n pel, liftd t hiz, n a vôs briɖd, “Gdbî, mî treźr.”

Mî treźr! “Gdbî, mî treźr!” Ẃć v ɖm hd spocn? Ẃ hd ɖe sd gdbî? Ɖr hd bn sm teṛbl mstec. Ś wz hiz wîf, ɖt litl pel grl, n ol ɖ rest v hiz lîf hd bn a drīm.

Ɖen ɖ dor opnd, n yuñ Ćarlz, standñ in ɖ lît, pt hiz handz bî hiz sîd n śǎtd lîc a yuñ soljr, “Dinr z on ɖ tebl, sr!”

“I’m cmñ, I’m cmñ,” sd old Mr. Nīv.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: BANK HOLIDAY, by Katherine Mansfield

BANCHOḶDE

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

A  stǎt man wɖ a pnc fes werz dinji ẃît flanl trǎzrz, a blu cot wɖ a pnc hanc̣ćif śowñ, n a strw hat mć tù smōl fr him, prćt at ɖ bac v hiz hed. H plez ɖ gitar. A litl ćap in ẃît canvs śuz, hiz fes hidn undr a flt hat lîc a brocn wñ, briɖz intu a flūt; n a tōl ʈin felo, wɖ brstñ ovr-rîp butn būts, drwz ribnz—loñ, twistd, strīmñ ribnz—v tyn ǎt v a fidl. Ɖe stand, unsmîlñ, bt nt sirịs, in ɖ brōd súnlît oṗzit ɖ frūt-śop; ɖ pnc spîdr v a hand bìts ɖ gitar, ɖ litl sqot hand, wɖ a bras-n-trqôz rñ, forsz ɖ rluctnt flūt, n ɖ fidlr’z arm trîz t sw ɖ fidl in tū.

A crǎd c’lects, ītñ oṛnjz n bnanaz, tẹrñ of ɖ scinz, dvîdñ, śẹrñ. Wn yuñ grl hz īvn a bascit v strwḅriz, bt ś dz nt īt ɖm. “R’nt ɖe dir!” Ś stérz at ɖ tîni pôntd frūts az f ś wr afred v ɖm. Ɖ Ostrełn soljr lafs. “Hir, g on, ɖr’z nt mor ɖn a mǎʈfl.” Bt h dz’nt wont hr t īt ɖm, îɖr. H lîcs t woć hr litl frîtnd fes, n hr puzld îz liftd t hiz: “R’nt ɖe a prîs!” H pśz ǎt hiz ćst n grinz. Old fat wimin in velvit bodsz—old dusti pincŭśnz—līn old hagz lîc wòrn umbrelaz wɖ a qiṿrñ bonit on top; yuñ wimin, in muzlinz, wɖ hats ɖt mt hv groun on hejz, n hî pôntd śuz; men in cāci, sêlrz, śabi clarcs, yuñ Juz in fîn cloʈ sūts wɖ padd śoldrz n wîd trǎzrz, “hospitlbôz” in blu—ɖ sún dscuvrz ɖm—ɖ lǎd, bold ḿzic holdz ɖm tgɖr in wn big nót fr a momnt. Ɖ yuñ wnz r larcñ, pśñ ć uɖr on n of ɖ pevmnt, dojñ, nujñ; ɖ old wnz r tōcñ: “So I sd t ’im, f y wonts ɖ doctr t yrslf, feć ’im, sz I.”

“An’ bî ɖ tîm ɖe wz cct ɖr wz’nt so mć az y cd pt in ɖ pām v mi ’an!”

Ɖ onli wnz hu r qayt r ɖ ragid ćildṛn. Ɖe stand, az clos p t ɖ ḿziśnz az ɖe cn gt, ɖer handz bhnd ɖer bacs, ɖer îz big. Oceźṇli a leg hóps, an arm wagz. A tîni staġrr, oṿcm, trnz rnd twîs, sits dǎn soḷm, n ɖen gts p agn.

“E’nt it luvli?” ẃisprz a smōl grl bhnd hr hand.

N ɖ ḿzic brecs intu brît pìsz, n jônz tgɖr agn, n agn brecs, n z dzolvd, n ɖ crǎd scatrz, muvñ slǒli p ɖ hil.

At ɖ cornr v ɖ rod ɖ stōlz bgin.

“Ticlrz! Tupns a ticlr! ’Ūl ‘av a ticlr? Ticl ’m p, bôz.” Litl soft brūmz on wîr handlz. Ɖe r īgrli bòt bî ɖ soljrz.

“Bai a goliwog! Tupns a goliwog!”

“Bai a jumpñ donci! Ol alîv-ǒ!”

“Su-pirịr ćuwñgum. Bai smʈñ t d, bôz.”

“Bai a rôz. Gv ’r a rôz, bô. Rozz, ledi?”

“Fevrz! Fevrz!” Ɖe r hard t rzist. Luvli, strīmñ feɖrz, emṛld grīn, scarlit, brît blu, cnẹri yelo. Īvn ɖ bebiz wer feɖrz ʈredd ʈru ɖer bonits.

N an old wmn in a ʈri-cornrd pepr hat crîz az f it wr hr fînl partñ’dvîs, ɖ onli we v sevñ yrslf or v brññ him t hiz snsz: “Bai a ʈri-cornrd ’at, mî dir, an’ pt it on!”

It z a flayñ de, haf sún, haf wind. Ẃn ɖ sún gz in a śado flîz ovr; ẃn it cmz ǎt agn it z fîri. Ɖ men n wimin fīl it brnñ ɖer bacs, ɖer brests n ɖer armz; ɖe fīl ɖer bodiz xpandñ, cmñ alîv… so ɖt ɖe mc larj imbresñ-jsćrz, lift p ɖer armz, fr nʈñ, swūp dǎn on a grl, blrt intu laftr.

Leṃned! A hol tanc v it standz on a tebl cuvrd wɖ a cloʈ; n lemnz lîc bluntd fiśz blob in ɖ yelo wōtr. It lcs solid, lîc a jeli, in ɖ ʈic glasz. Ẃ c’nt ɖe drinc it wɖt spilñ it? Evrbdi spilz it, n bfr ɖ glas z handd bac ɖ last drops r ʈroun in a rñ.

Rnd ɖ îscrīm cart, wɖ its strîpt ōnñ n brît bras cuvr, ɖ ćildṛn clustr. Litl tuñz lic, lic rnd ɖ crīm trumpits, rnd ɖ sqerz. Ɖ cuvr z liftd, ɖ wŭdn spūn plunjz in; wn śuts wn’z îz t fīl it, sîḷntli scrunćñ.

“Let ɖz litl brdz tel y yr fyćr!” Ś standz bsd ɖ cej, a śrivld êjlis Itałn, claspñ n unclaspñ hr darc clwz. Hr fes, a treźr v delic̣t carvñ, z taid in a grīn-n-gold scarf. N insd ɖer prizn ɖ luv-brdz flutr twdz ɖ peprz in ɖ sīdtre.

“Y hv gret streñʈ v caṛctr. Y wl mari a red-herd man n hv ʈri ćildṛn. Bwer v a blond wmn.” Lc ǎt! Lc ǎt! A motrcar drivn bî a fat śofr cmz ruśñ dǎn ɖ hil. Insd ɖr a blond wmn, pǎtñ, līnñ fwd—ruśñ ʈru yr lîf—bwer! bwer!

“Lediz n jntlṃn, I am an ōx́nir bî pṛfeśn, n f ẃt I tel y z nt ɖ truʈ I am laybl t hv mî lîsns tecn awe fṛm m n a hevi impriznmnt.” H holdz ɖ lîsns acrs hiz ćst; ɖ swet porz dǎn hiz fes intu hiz pepr colr; hiz îz lc glezd. Ẃn h tecs of hiz hat ɖr z a dīp pucr v angri fleś on hiz fōrhed. Nbdi baiz a woć.

Lc ǎt agn! A hyj b’rūś cmz swññ dǎn ɖ hil wɖ tū old, old bebiz insd. Ś holdz p a lês paṛsol; h sucs ɖ nob v hiz cen, n ɖ fat old bodiz rol tgɖr az ɖ credl rocs, n ɖ stīmñ hors līvz a trel v mńr az it amblz dǎn ɖ hil.

Undr a tri, Pṛfesr Leṇd, in cap n gǎn, standz bsd hiz banr. H z hir “fr wn de,” fṛm ɖ Lundn, Paris n Bruslz Xbiśn, t tel yr fortyn fṛm yr fes. N h standz, smîlñ incurijmnt, lîc a clumzi dntist. Ẃn ɖ big men, rompñ n swẹrñ a momnt bfr, hand acrs ɖer sixpns, n stand bfr him, ɖe r sudnli sirịs, dum, timid, olmst bluśñ az ɖ Pṛfesr’z qc hand noćz ɖ printd card. Ɖe r lîc litl ćildṛn còt pleyñ in a fbidn gardn bî ɖ ǒnr, stepñ fṛm bhnd a tri.

Ɖ top v ɖ hil z rīćt. Hǎ hot it z! Hǎ fîn it z! Ɖ publichǎs z opn, n ɖ crǎd presz in. Ɖ muɖr sits on ɖ pevmnt-éj wɖ hr bebi, n ɖ faɖr brñz hr ǎt a glas v darc, brǎniś stuf, n ɖen saṿjli elboz hiz we in agn. A rìc v bir flots fṛm ɖ publichǎs, n a lǎd clatr n ratl v vôsz.

Ɖ wind hz dropt, n ɖ sún brnz mor firsli ɖn evr. Ǎtsd ɖ tū swñdorz ɖr z a ʈic mas v ćildṛn lîc flîz at ɖ mǎʈ v a swītjar.

N p, p ɖ hil cm ɖ ppl, wɖ ticlrz n goliwogz, n rozz n feɖrz. P, p ɖe ʈrust intu ɖ lît n hīt, śǎtñ, lafñ, sqīlñ, az ɖo ɖe wr biyñ pśt bî smʈñ, far b’lo, n bî ɖ sún, far ahd v ɖm—drwn p intu ɖ fl, brît, daẓlñ redịns t… ẃt?

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: THE STRANGER, by Katherine Mansfield

Ɖ STRENJR

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

It sīmd t ɖ litl crǎd on ɖ ẃorf ɖt ś wz nvr gwñ t muv agn. Ɖr ś le, imns, mośnlis on ɖ gre crincld wōtr, a lūp v smoc abv hr, an imns floc v gulz scrīmñ n dîvñ aftr ɖ galidropñz at ɖ strn. Y cd jst si litl cuplz p’redñ—litl flîz wōcñ p n dǎn ɖ diś on ɖ gre crincld teblcloʈ. Uɖr flîz clustrd n swormd at ɖ éj. Nǎ ɖr wz a glīm v ẃît on ɖ lowr dec—ɖ cc’s epṛn or ɖ stywdes phps. Nǎ a tîni blac spîdr rêst p ɖ ladr on t ɖ brij.

In ɖ frunt v ɖ crǎd a stroñ-lcñ, midl-ejd man, drest vri wel, vri snugli in a gre oṿcot, gre silc scarf, ʈic gluvz n darc flt hat, marćt p n dǎn, twrlñ hiz foldd umbrela. H sīmd t b ɖ līdr v ɖ litl crǎd on ɖ ẃorf n at ɖ sem tîm t cīp ɖm tgɖr. H wz smʈñ btwn ɖ śīpdog n ɖ śeṗd.

Bt ẃt a fūl—ẃt a fūl h hd bn nt t brñ eni glasz! Ɖr wz’nt a per v glasz btwn ɖ hol lot v ɖm.

“Krịs ʈñ, Mr. Scot, ɖt nn v s ʈt v glasz. W mt hv bn ebl t str ’m p a bit. W mt hv manijd a litl sigṇlñ. ‘D’nt heẓtet t land. Netivz harmlis.’ Or: ‘A welcm awêts y. Ol z fgivn.’ Ẃt? Ê?”

Mr. Hamnd’z qc, īgr glans, so nrṿs n yt so frendli n cnfîdñ, tc in evrbdi on ɖ ẃorf, ropt in īvn ɖoz old ćaps lǎnjñ agnst ɖ gañwez. Ɖe ń, evri manjac v ɖm, ɖt Msz. Hamnd wz on ɖt bot, n ɖt h wz so tṛmndsli xîtd it nvr entrd hiz hed nt t b’liv ɖt ɖs marvḷs fact mnt smʈñ t ɖm tù. It wormd hiz hart twdz ɖm. Ɖe wr, h dsîdd, az dīsnt a crǎd v ppl—Ɖoz old ćaps ovr bî ɖ gañwez, tù—fîn, solid old ćaps. Ẃt ćests—bî Jov! N h sqerd hiz ǒn, plunjd hiz ʈic-gluvd handz intu hiz pocits, roct fṛm hìl t to.

“Yes, mî wîf’s bn in Yṛp fr ɖ last ten munʈs. On a vizit t ǎr eldist grl, hu wz marid last yir. I bròt hr p hir, az far az Sōlzḅri, mslf. So I ʈt I’d betr cm n feć hr bac. Yes, yes, yes.” Ɖ śrūd gre îz naroud agn n srćt añśsli, qcli, ɖ mośnlis lînr. Agn hiz oṿcot wz unbutnd. Ǎt cem ɖ ʈin, butr-yelo woć agn, n fr ɖ twentịʈ—fiftịʈ—hundṛdʈ tîm h md ɖ calkleśn.

“Let m si nǎ. It wz tū fiftīn ẃn ɖ doctr’z lōnć wnt of. Tū fiftīn. It z nǎ xacli twenti-et minits past for. Ɖt z t se, ɖ doctr’z bn gn tū aurz n ʈrtīn minits. Tū aurz n ʈrtīn minits! Ẃi-ū!” H gev a qir litl haf-ẃisl n snapt hiz woć t agn. “Bt I ʈnc w śd hv bn tld f ɖr wz enʈñ p—d’nt y, Mr. Gavn?”

“Ǒ, yes, Mr. Hamnd! I d’nt ʈnc ɖr’z enʈñ t—enʈñ t wuri abt,” sd Mr. Gavn, nocñ ǎt hiz pîp agnst ɖ hìl v hiz śu. “At ɖ sem tîm—”

“Qt so! Qt so!” craid Mr. Hamnd. “Daśt anoyñ!” H pêst qcli p n dǎn n cem bac agn t hiz stand btwn Mr. n Msz. Scot n Mr. Gavn. “It’s gtñ qt darc, tù,” n h wevd hiz foldd umbrela az ɖo ɖ dusc at līst mt hv hd ɖ dīsnsi t cīp of fr a bit. Bt ɖ dusc cem slǒli, spredñ lîc a slo sten ovr ɖ wōtr. Litl Jīn Scot dragd at hr muɖr’z hand.

“I won’ mî ti, mami!” ś weild.

“I xpct y d,” sd Mr. Hamnd. “I xpct ol ɖz lediz wont ɖer ti.” N hiz cînd, fluśt, olmst pitifl glans ropt ɖm ol in agn. H wundrd ẃɖr Jêni wz hvñ a fînl cup v ti in ɖ s’lūn ǎt ɖr. H hopt so; h ʈt nt. It wd b jst lîc hr nt t līv ɖ dec. In ɖt ces phps ɖ dec stywd wd brñ hr p a cup. F h’d bn ɖr h’d hv got it fr hr—smhǎ. N fr a momnt h wz on dec, standñ ovr hr, woćñ hr litl hand fold rnd ɖ cup in ɖ we ś hd, ẃl ś dranc ɖ onli cup v ti t b got on bōrd… Bt nǎ h wz bac hir, n ɖ Lord onli ń ẃn ɖt crst Captin wd stop haññ abt in ɖ strīm. H tc anɖr trn, p n dǎn, p n dǎn. H wōct az far az ɖ cabstand t mc śr hiz drîvr hd’nt dis’pird; bac h swrvd agn t ɖ litl floc hudld in ɖ śltr v ɖ bnanacrets. Litl Jīn Scot wz stl wontñ hr ti. Pur litl begr! H wśt h hd a bit v ćocḷt on him.

“Hir, Jīn!” h sd. “Lîc a lift p?” N īẓli, jntli, h swuñ ɖ litl grl on t a hayr baṛl. Ɖ muvmnt v holdñ hr, stediyñ hr, rlivd him wundrf̣li, lîtnd hiz hart.

“Hold on,” h sd, cīpñ an arm rnd hr.

“Ǒ, d’nt wuri abt Jīn, Mr. Hamnd!” sd Msz. Scot.

“Ɖt’s ol rît, Msz. Scot. No trubl. It’s a pleźr. Jīn’z a litl pal v mîn, r’nt y, Jīn?”

“Yes, Mr. Hamnd,” sd Jīn, n ś ran hr fngr dǎn ɖ dnt v hiz flt hat.

Bt sudnli ś còt him bî ɖ ir n gev a lǎd scrīm. “Lŭ-ŭc, Mr. Hamnd! Ś’z muvñ! Lc, ś’z cmñ in!”

Bî Jov! So ś wz. At last! Ś wz slǒli, slǒli trnñ rnd. A bel sǎndd far ovr ɖ wōtr n a gret spǎt v stīm guśt intu ɖ er. Ɖ gulz rouz; ɖe flutrd awe lîc bits v ẃît pepr. N ẃɖr ɖt dīp ʈrobñ wz hr enjinz or hiz hart Mr. Hamnd cd’nt se. H hd t nrv himslf t ber it, ẃtvr it wz. At ɖt momnt old Captin Jonsn, ɖ harbrmastr, cem strîdñ dǎn ɖ ẃorf, a leɖr portfolio undr hiz arm.

“Jīn’l b ol rît,” sd Mr. Scot. “I’l hold hr.” H wz jst in tîm. Mr. Hamnd hd fgotn abt Jīn. H sprañ awe t grīt old Captin Jonsn.

“Wel, Captin,” ɖ īgr, nrṿs vôs rañ ǎt agn, “y’v tecn piti on s at last.”

“It’s no gd blemñ m, Mr. Hamnd,” ẃizd old Captin Jonsn, stẹrñ at ɖ lînr. ‘Y got Msz. Hamnd on bōrd, e’nt y’?”

“Yes, yes!” sd Hamnd, n h cept bî ɖ harbrmastr’z sîd. “Msz. Hamnd’z ɖr. Hul-lo! W ś’nt b loñ nǎ!”

Wɖ hr teḷfon rñ-rññ, ɖ ʈrum v hr scru filñ ɖ er, ɖ big lînr bòr dǎn on ɖm, cutñ śarp ʈru ɖ darc wōtr so ɖt big ẃît śevñzz crld t îɖr sîd. Hamnd n ɖ harbrmastr cept in frunt v ɖ rest. Hamnd tc of hiz hat; h rêct ɖ decs—ɖe wr cramd wɖ pasinjrz; h wevd hiz hat n bȍld a lǎd, strenj “Hul-lo!” acrs ɖ wōtr; n ɖen trnd rnd n brst ǎt lafñ n sd smʈñ—nʈñ—t old Captin Jonsn.

“Sìn hr?” asct ɖ harbrmastr.

“No, nt yt. Stedi—wêt a bit!” N sudnli, btwn tū gret clumzi idịts—“Gt ǎt v ɖ we ɖr!” h sînd wɖ hiz umbrela—h sw a hand rezd—a ẃît gluv śecñ a hanc̣ćif. Anɖr momnt, n—ʈanc God, ʈanc God!—ɖr ś wz. Ɖr wz Jêni. Ɖr wz Msz. Hamnd, yes, yes, yes—standñ bî ɖ rel n smîlñ n nodñ n wevñ hr hanc̣ćif.

“Wel ɖt’s frst clas—frst clas! Wel, wel, wel!” H poztivli stamt. Lîc lîtnñ h drù ǎt hiz sgarces n ofrd it t old Captin Jonsn. “Hv a sgar, Captin! Ɖ’r priti gd. Hv a cupl! Hir”—n h prest ol ɖ sgarz in ɖ ces on ɖ harbrmastr—“I’v a cupl v boxz p at ɖ hotel.”

“Ʈencs, Mr. Hamnd!” ẃizd old Captin Jonsn.

Hamnd stuft ɖ sgarces bac. Hiz handz wr śecñ, bt h’d got hold v himslf agn. H wz ebl t fes Jêni. Ɖr ś wz, līnñ on ɖ rel, tōcñ t sm wmn n at ɖ sem tîm woćñ him, redi fr him. It struc him, az ɖ gulf v wōtr clozd, hǎ smōl ś lct on ɖt hyj śip. Hiz hart wz rúñ wɖ sć a spazm ɖt h cd hv craid ǎt. Hǎ litl ś lct t hv cm ol ɖt loñ we n bac bî hrslf! Jst lîc hr, ɖo. Jst lîc Jêni. Ś hd ɖ curij v a—N nǎ ɖ cru hd cm fwd n partd ɖ pasinjrz; ɖe hd lowrd ɖ relz fr ɖ gañwez.

Ɖ vôsz on śor n ɖ vôsz on bōrd flù t grīt ć uɖr.

“Ol wel?”

“Ol wel.”

“Hǎ’z muɖr?”

“Mć betr.”

“Hlo, Jīn!”

“Hilo, Ān’ Eṃli!”

“Hd a gd vôij?”

“Splendid!”

“Ś’nt b loñ nǎ!”

“Nt loñ nǎ.”

Ɖ enjinz stopt. Slǒli ś éjd t ɖ ẃorfsîd.

“Mc we ɖr—mc we—mc we!” N ɖ ẃorfhandz bròt ɖ hevi gañwez alñ at a swīpñ run. Hamnd sînd t Jêni t ste ẃr ś wz. Ɖ old harbrmastr stept fwd; h foloud. Az t “lediz frst,” or eni rot lîc ɖt, it nvr entrd hiz hed.

“Aftr y, Captin!” h craid jīńli. N, trédñ on ɖ old man’z hìlz, h stroud p ɖ gañwe on t ɖ dec in a bìlîn t Jêni, n Jêni wz claspt in hiz armz.

“Wel, wel, wel! Yes, yes! Hir w r at last!” h stamrd. It wz ol h cd se. N Jêni imrjd, n hr cūl litl vôs—ɖ onli vôs in ɖ wrld fr him—sd,

“Wel, darlñ! Hv y bn wêtñ loñ?”

No; nt loñ. Or, at eni ret, it dd’nt matr. It wz ovr nǎ. Bt ɖ pônt wz, h hd a cab wêtñ at ɖ end v ɖ ẃorf. Wz ś redi t g of. Wz hr lugij redi? In ɖt ces ɖe cd cut of śarp wɖ hr cabinlugij n let ɖ rest g hañ untl tmoro. H bnt ovr hr n ś lct p wɖ hr fmiłr haf-smîl. Ś wz jst ɖ sem. Nt a de ćenjd. Jst az h’d olwz noun hr. Ś leid hr smōl hand on hiz slīv.

“Hǎ r ɖ ćildṛn, Jon?” ś asct.

(Hañ ɖ ćildṛn!) “Prf̣cli wel. Nvr betr in ɖer livz.”

“Hv’nt ɖe snt m letrz?”

“Yes, yes—v cors! I’v left ɖm at ɖ hotel fr y t djst lêtr on.”

“W c’nt g qt so fast,” sd ś. “I’v got ppl t se gdbî t—n ɖen ɖr’z ɖ Captin.” Az hiz fes fél ś gev hiz arm a smōl unḍstandñ sqīz. “F ɖ Captin cmz of ɖ brij I wont y t ʈanc him fr hvñ lct aftr yr wîf so bytifli.” Wel, h’d got hr. F ś wontd anɖr ten minits—Az h gev we ś wz srǎndd. Ɖ hol frst-clas sīmd t wont t se gdbî t Jêni.

“Gdbî, dir Msz. Hamnd! N nxt tîm y’r in Sidni I’l xpct y.”

“Darlñ Msz. Hamnd! Y w’nt fget t rait t m, wl y?”

“Wel, Msz. Hamnd, ẃt ɖs bot wd hv bn wɖt y!”

It wz az plen az a pîcstaf ɖt ś wz bî far ɖ most popylr wmn on bōrd. N ś tc it ol—jst az yźl. Abṣlutli cmpozd. Jst hr litl slf—jst Jêni ol ovr; standñ ɖr wɖ hr veil ʈroun bac. Hamnd nvr notist ẃt hiz wîf hd on. It wz ol ɖ sem t him ẃtvr ś wòr. Bt tde h dd notis ɖt ś wòr a blac “costym”—dd’nt ɖe cōl it?—wɖ ẃît frilz, trimñz h s’pozd ɖe wr, at ɖ nec n slīvz. Ol ɖs ẃl Jêni handd him rnd.

“Jon, dir!” N ɖen: “I wont t intṛdys y t—”

Fîṇli ɖe dd iscep, n ś léd ɖ we t hr stetrūm. T folo Jêni dǎn ɖ pasij ɖt ś ń so wel—ɖt wz so strenj t him; t part ɖ grīn crtnz aftr hr n t step intu ɖ cabin ɖt hd bn hrz gev him xqizit hapinis. Bt—cnfǎnd it!—ɖ stywdes wz ɖr on ɖ flor, strapñ p ɖ rugz.

“Ɖt’s ɖ last, Msz. Hamnd,” sd ɖ stywdes, rîzñ n pŭlñ dǎn hr cufs.

H wz intṛdyst agn, n ɖen Jêni n ɖ stywdes dis’pird intu ɖ pasij. H hŕd ẃisṗrñz. Ś wz gtñ ɖ tipñbiznis ovr, h s’pozd. H sat dǎn on ɖ strîpt sofa n tc hiz hat of. Ɖr wr ɖ rugz ś hd tecn wɖ hr; ɖe lct gd az ny. Ol hr lugij lct freś, prfict. Ɖ leblz wr ritn in hr bytifl litl clir hand—“Msz. Jon Hamnd.”

“Msz. Jon Hamnd!” H gev a loñ sai v cntnt n līnd bac, crosñ hiz armz. Ɖ stren wz ovr. H flt h cd hv sat ɖr fr evr sayñ hiz rlif—ɖ rlif at biyñ rid v ɖt hoṛbl tug, pl, grip on hiz hart. Ɖ denjr wz ovr. Ɖt wz ɖ fīlñ. Ɖe wr on drî land agn.

Bt at ɖt momnt Jêni’z hed cem rnd ɖ cornr.

“Darlñ—d y mînd? I jst wont t g n se gdbî t ɖ doctr.”

Hamnd startd p. “I’l cm wɖ y.”

“No, no!” ś sd. “D’nt boɖr. I’d rɖr nt. I’l nt b a minit.”

N bfr h cd ansr ś wz gn. H hd haf a mînd t run aftr hr; bt instd h sat dǎn agn.

Wd ś riyli nt b loñ? Ẃt wz ɖ tîm nǎ? Ǎt cem ɖ woć; h stérd at nʈñ. Ɖt wz rɖr qir v Jêni, wz’nt it? Ẃ cd’nt ś hv tld ɖ stywdes t se gdbî fr hr? Ẃ dd ś hv t g ćesñ aftr ɖ śip’s doctr? Ś cd hv snt a not fṛm ɖ hotel īvn f ɖ afer hd bn rjnt. Rjnt? Dd it—cd it mīn ɖt ś hd bn il on ɖ vôij—ś wz cīpñ smʈñ fṛm him? Ɖt wz it! H sizd hiz hat. H wz gwñ of t fînd ɖt felo n t riñ ɖ truʈ ǎt v him at ol costs. H ʈt h’d notist jst smʈñ. Ś wz jst a tuć tù cām—tù stedi. Fṛm ɖ vri frst momnt—

Ɖ crtnz rañ. Jêni wz bac. H jumt t hiz fīt.

“Jêni, hv y bn il on ɖs vôij? Y hv!”

“Il?” Hr e’ri litl vôs moct him. Ś stept ovr ɖ rugz, n cem p clos, tućt hiz brest, n lct p at him.

“Darlñ,” ś sd, “d’nt frîtn m. V cors I hv’nt! Ẃtvr mcs y ʈnc I hv? D I lc il?”

Bt Hamnd dd’nt si hr. H onli flt ɖt ś wz lcñ at him n ɖt ɖr wz no nīd t wuri abt enʈñ. Ś wz hir t lc aftr ʈñz. It wz ol rît. Evrʈñ wz.

Ɖ jntl preśr v hr hand wz so cāmñ ɖt h pt hiz ovr hrz t hold it ɖr. N ś sd:

“Stand stil. I wont t lc at y. I hv’nt sìn y yt. Y’v hd yr bird bytifli trimd, n y lc—yungr, I ʈnc, n dsîdidli ʈinr! Bać̣lrlîf agriz wɖ y.”

“Agriz wɖ m!” H grond fr luv n còt hr clos agn. N agn, az olwz, h hd ɖ fīlñ ɖt h wz holdñ smʈñ ɖt nvr wz qt hiz—hiz. Smʈñ tù delic̣t, tù preśs, ɖt wd flî awe wns h let g.

“Fr God’z sec let’s gt of t ɖ hotel so ɖt w cn b bî ǎrslvz!” N h rañ ɖ bel hard fr smwn t lc śarp wɖ ɖ lugij.

Wōcñ dǎn ɖ ẃorf tgɖr ś tc hiz arm. H hd hr on hiz arm agn. N ɖ difṛns it md t gt intu ɖ cab aftr Jêni—t ʈro ɖ red-n-yelo strîpt blancit rnd ɖm bʈ—t tel ɖ drîvr t huri bcz nɖr v ɖm hd hd eni ti. No mor gwñ wɖt hiz ti or porñ ǎt hiz ǒn. Ś wz bac. H trnd t hr, sqizd hr hand, n sd jntli, tizñli, in ɖ “speśl” vôs h hd fr hr: “Glad t b hom agn, diri?” Ś smîld; ś dd’nt īvn boɖr t ansr, bt jntli ś drù hiz hand awe az ɖe cem t ɖ brîtr strīts.

“W’v got ɖ bst rūm in ɖ hotel,” h sd. “I wd’nt b pt of wɖ anɖr. N I asct ɖ ćembrmeid t pt in a bit v a fîr in ces y flt ćili. Ś’z a nîs, atntiv grl. N I ʈt nǎ w wr hir w wd’nt boɖr t g hom tmoro, bt spend ɖ de lcñ rnd n līv ɖ mornñ aftr. Dz ɖt sūt y? Ɖr’z no huri, z ɖr? Ɖ ćildṛn wl hv y sn inuf… I ʈt a de’z sîtsiyñ mt mc a nîs brec in yr jrni—ê, Jêni?”

“Hv y tecn ɖ ticits fr ɖ de aftr?” ś asct.

“I śd ʈnc I hv!” H unbutnd hiz oṿcot n tc ǎt hiz buljñ pocit-bc. “Hir w r! I rzrvd a frst-clas carij t Cctǎn. Ɖr it z—‘Mr. n Msz. Jon Hamnd.’ I ʈt w mt az wel d ǎrslvz cumftbli, n w d’nt wont uɖr ppl butñ in, d w? Bt f y’d lîc t stop hir a bit longr—?”

“Ǒ, no!” sd Jêni qcli. “Nt fr ɖ wrld! Ɖ de aftr tmoro, ɖen. N ɖ ćildṛn—”

Bt ɖe hd rīćt ɖ hotel. Ɖ manijr wz standñ in ɖ brōd, briłntli-lîtd porć. H cem dǎn t grīt ɖm. A portr ran fṛm ɖ hōl fr ɖer boxz.

“Wel, Mr. Arnld, hir’z Msz. Hamnd at last!”

Ɖ manijr léd ɖm ʈru ɖ hōl himslf n prest ɖ eḷvetrbel. Hamnd ń ɖr wr biznispalz v hiz sitñ at ɖ litl hōlteblz hvñ a drinc bfr dinr. Bt h wz’nt gwñ t risc inṭrupśn; h lct nɖr t ɖ rît nr ɖ left. Ɖe cd ʈnc ẃt ɖe plizd. F ɖe dd’nt unḍstand, ɖ mor fūlz ɖe—n h stept ǎt v ɖ lift, unloct ɖ dor v ɖer rūm, n śeṗdd Jêni in. Ɖ dor śut. Nǎ, at last, ɖe wr alon tgɖr. H trnd p ɖ lît. Ɖ crtnz wr drwn; ɖ fîr blezd. H fluñ hiz hat on t ɖ hyj bed n wnt twdz hr.

Bt—wd y b’liv it!—agn ɖe wr inṭruptd. Ɖs tîm it wz ɖ portr wɖ ɖ lugij. H md tū jrniz v it, līvñ ɖ dor opn in btwn, tecñ hiz tîm, ẃiṣlñ ʈru hiz tīʈ in ɖ coṛdor. Hamnd pêst p n dǎn ɖ rūm, tẹrñ of hiz gluvz, tẹrñ of hiz scarf. Fîṇli h fluñ hiz oṿcot on t ɖ bedsîd.

At last ɖ fūl wz gn. Ɖ dor clict. Nǎ ɖe wr alon. Sd Hamnd: “I fīl I’l nvr hv y t mslf agn. Ɖz crst ppl! Jêni”—n h bnt hiz fluśt, īgr gêz upn hr—“let’s hv dinr p hir. F w g dǎn t ɖ resṭront w’l b inṭruptd, n ɖen ɖr’z ɖ cnfǎndd ḿzic” (ɖ ḿzic h’d prezd so hîli, aplōdd so lǎdli last nît!). “W ś’nt b ebl t hír ć uɖr spīc. Let’s hv smʈñ p hir in frunt v ɖ fîr. It’s tù lêt fr ti. I’l ordr a litl supr, śl I? Hǎ dz ɖt îdīa strîc y?”

“D, darlñ!” sd Jêni. “N ẃl y’r awe—ɖ ćildṛn’z letrz—”

“Ǒ, lêtr on wl d!” sd Hamnd.

“Bt ɖen w’d gt it ovr,” sd Jêni. “N I’d frst hv tîm t—”

“Ǒ, I nīd’nt g dǎn!” xplend Hamnd. “I’l jst rñ n gv ɖ ordr… y d’nt wont t snd m awe, d y?”

Jêni śc hr hed n smîld.

“Bt y’r ʈncñ v smʈñ els. Y’r wuriyñ abt smʈñ,” sd Hamnd. “Ẃt z it? Cm n sit hir—cm n sit on mî ni bfr ɖ fîr.”

“I’l jst unpin mî hat,” sd Jêni, n ś wnt ovr t ɖ dresñtebl. “Ā-ā!” Ś gev a litl crî.

“Ẃt z it?”

“Nʈñ, darlñ. I’v jst faund ɖ ćildṛn’z letrz. Ɖt’s ol rît! Ɖe wl cīp. No huri nǎ!” Ś trnd t him, claspñ ɖm. Ś tuct ɖm intu hr frild blǎz. Ś craid qcli, gêli: “Ǒ, hǎ tipicl ɖs dresñtebl z v y!”

“Ẃ? Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ it?” sd Hamnd.

“F it wr flotñ in itrṇti I śd se ‘Jon!’” laft Jêni, stẹrñ at ɖ big botl v hertonic, ɖ wicrbotl v eau-de-Cologne, ɖ tū herbruśz, n a duzn ny coḷrz taid wɖ pnc tep. “Z ɖs ol yr lugij?”

“Hañ mî lugij!” sd Hamnd; bt ol ɖ sem h lîct biyñ laft at bî Jêni. “Let’s tōc. Let’s gt dǎn t ʈñz. Tel m”—n az Jêni prćt on hiz niz h līnd bac n drù hr intu ɖ dīp, ugli ćer—“tel m y’r riyli glad t b bac, Jêni.”

“Yes, darlñ, I am glad,” ś sd.

Bt jst az ẃn h imbrest hr h flt ś wd flî awe, so Hamnd nvr ń—nvr ń fr ded srtn ɖt ś wz az glad az h wz. Hǎ cd h nǒ? Wd h evr nǒ? Wd h olwz hv ɖs crevñ—ɖs pañ lîc hungr, smhǎ, t mc Jêni so mć part v him ɖt ɖr wz’nt eni v hr t iscep? H wontd t blot ǎt evrbdi, evrʈñ. H wśt nǎ h’d trnd of ɖ lît. Ɖt mt hv bròt hr nirr. N nǎ ɖoz letrz fṛm ɖ ćildṛn rusld in hr blǎz. H cd hv ćuct ɖm intu ɖ fîr.

“Jêni,” h ẃisprd.

“Yes, dir?” Ś le on hiz brest, bt so lîtli, so rmotli. Ɖer briɖñ rouz n fél tgɖr.

“Jêni!”

“Ẃt z it?”

“Trn t m,” h ẃisprd. A slo, dīp fluś floud intu hiz fōrhed. “Cis m, Jêni! Y cis m!”

It sīmd t him ɖr wz a tîni pōz—bt loñ inuf fr him t sufr torćr—bfr hr lips tućt hiz, frmli, lîtli—cisñ ɖm az ś olwz cist him, az ɖo ɖ cis—hǎ cd h dscrîb it?—cnfrmd ẃt ɖe wr seyñ, sînd ɖ contract. Bt ɖt wz’nt ẃt h wontd; ɖt wz’nt at ol ẃt h ʈrstd fr. H flt sudnli, hoṛbl tîrd.

“F y ń,” h sd, oṗnñ hiz îz, “ẃt it’s bn lîc—wêtñ tde. I ʈt ɖ bot nvr wd cm in. Ɖr w wr, haññ abt. Ẃt cept y so loñ?”

Ś md no ansr. Ś wz lcñ awe fṛm him at ɖ fîr. Ɖ flemz hurid—hurid ovr ɖ colz, flicrd, fél.

“Nt aslip, r y?” sd Hamnd, n h jumt hr p n dǎn.

“No,” ś sd. N ɖen: “D’nt d ɖt, dir. No, I wz ʈncñ. Az a matr v fact,” ś sd, “wn v ɖ pasinjrz daid last nît—a man. Ɖt’s ẃt hld s p. W bròt him in—I mīn, h wz’nt berid at sì. So, v cors, ɖ śip’s doctr n ɖ śordoctr—”

“Ẃt wz it?” asct Hamnd unīẓli. H hetd t hír v deʈ. H hetd ɖs t hv hapnd. It wz, in sm qir we, az ɖo h n Jêni hd met a fynṛl on ɖer we t ɖ hotel.

“Ǒ, it wz’nt enʈñ in ɖ līst infx́s!” sd Jêni. Ś wz spīcñ scersli abv hr breʈ. “It wz hart.” A pōz. “Pur felo!” ś sd. “Qt yuñ.” N ś woćt ɖ fîr flicr n fōl. “H daid in mî armz,” sd Jêni.

Ɖ blo wz so sudn ɖt Hamnd ʈt h wd fent. H cd’nt muv; h cd’nt briɖ. H flt ol hiz streñʈ flowñ—flowñ intu ɖ big darc ćer, n ɖ big darc ćer hld him fast, gript him, forst him t ber it.

“Ẃt?” h sd duļi. “Ẃt’s ɖt y se?”

“Ɖ end wz qt pīsfl,” sd ɖ smōl vôs. “H jst”—n Hamnd sw hr lift hr jntl hand—“briɖd hiz lîf awe at ɖ end.” N hr hand fél.

“Hu—els wz ɖr?” Hamnd manijd t asc.

“Nbdi. I wz alon wɖ him.”

Ā, mî God, ẃt wz ś seyñ! Ẃt wz ś dwñ t him! Ɖs wd cil him! N ol ɖ ẃl ś spouc:

“I sw ɖ ćenj cmñ n I snt ɖ stywd fr ɖ doctr, bt ɖ doctr wz tù lêt. H cd’nt hv dn enʈñ, enwe.”

“Bt—ẃ y, ẃ y?” mond Hamnd.

At ɖt Jêni trnd qcli, qcli srćt hiz fes.

“Y d’nt mînd, Jon, d y?” ś asct. “Y d’nt—It’s nʈñ t d wɖ y n m.”

Smhǎ or uɖr h manijd t śec sm sort v smîl at hr. Smhǎ or uɖr h stamrd: “No—g—on, g on! I wont y t tel m.”

“Bt, Jon darlñ—”

“Tel m, Jêni!”

“Ɖr’z nʈñ t tel,” ś sd, wunḍrñ. “H wz wn v ɖ frst-clas pasinjrz. I sw h wz vri il ẃn h cem on bōrd… Bt h sīmd t b so mć betr untl yesṭde. H hd a svir atac in ɖ afṭnun—xîtmnt—nrṿsnis, I ʈnc, abt arîvñ. N aftr ɖt h nvr rcuvrd.”

“Bt ẃ dd’nt ɖ stywdes—”

“Ǒ, mî dir—ɖ stywdes!” sd Jêni. “Ẃt wd h hv flt? N bsdz… h mt hv wontd t līv a mesij… t—”

“Dd’nt h?” mutrd Hamnd. “Dd’nt h se enʈñ?”

“No, darlñ, nt a wrd!” Ś śc hr hed softli. “Ol ɖ tîm I wz wɖ him h wz tù wìc… h wz tù wìc īvn t muv a fngr… ”

Jêni wz sîḷnt. Bt hr wrdz, so lît, so soft, so ćil, sīmd t hovr in ɖ er, t ren intu hiz brest lîc sno.

Ɖ fîr hd gn red. Nǎ it fél in wɖ a śarp sǎnd n ɖ rūm wz coldr. Cold crept p hiz armz. Ɖ rūm wz hyj, imns, gliṭrñ. It fild hiz hol wrld. Ɖr wz ɖ gret blînd bed, wɖ hiz cot fluñ acrs it lîc sm hedlis man seyñ hiz prerz. Ɖr wz ɖ lugij, redi t b carid awe agn, enẃr, tóst intu trenz, cartd on t bots.

… “H wz tù wìc. H wz tù wìc t muv a fngr.” N yt h daid in Jêni’z armz. Ś—hu’d nvr—nvr wns in ol ɖz yirz—nvr on wn sngl solitri oceźn—

No; h ms’nt ʈnc v it. Madnis le in ʈncñ v it. No, h wd’nt fes it. H cd’nt stand it. It wz tù mć t ber!

N nǎ Jêni tućt hiz tî wɖ hr fngrz. Ś pinćt ɖ éjz v ɖ tî tgɖr.

“Y’r nt—sori I tld y, Jon darlñ? It hz’nt md y sad? It hz’nt spôlt ǎr īvnñ—ǎr biyñ alon tgɖr?”

Bt at ɖt h hd t hîd hiz fes. H pt hiz fes intu hr bŭzm n hiz armz infoldd hr.

Spôlt ɖer īvnñ! Spôlt ɖer biyñ alon tgɖr! Ɖe wd nvr b alon tgɖr agn.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

 

In Ñspel: THE SINGING LESSON, by Katherine Mansfield

Ɖ SÑÑLÉSN

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

Wɖ dsper—cold, śarp dsper—berid dīp in hr hart lîc a wicid nîf, Mis Medoz, in cap n gǎn n cariyñ a litl batn, trod ɖ cold coṛdorz ɖt léd t ɖ ḿzichōl. Grlz v ol ejz, rozi fṛm ɖ er, n buḅlñ ovr wɖ ɖt glīfl xîtmnt ɖt cmz fṛm runñ t scūl on a fîn ōtm̦ornñ, hurid, scipt, flutrd bî; fṛm ɖ holo clasrūmz cem a qc drumñ v vôsz; a bel rañ; a vôs lîc a brd craid, “Muriel.” N ɖen ɖr cem fṛm ɖ sterces a tṛmnḍs noc-noc-nocñ. Smwn hd dropt hr dumbelz.

Ɖ Saynsmistris stopt Mis Medoz.

“Gd mor-nñ,” ś craid, in hr swīt, afctd drōl. “Z’nt it cold? It mt b win-tr.”

Mis Medoz, hugñ ɖ nîf, stérd in hetrid at ɖ Saynsmistris. Evrʈñ abt hr wz swīt, pel, lîc huni. Y wd nt hv bn s’prîzd t si a bì còt in ɖ tanglz v ɖt yelo her.

“It z rɖr śarp,” sd Mis Medoz, grimli.

Ɖ uɖr smîld hr śŭġri smîl.

“Y lc fro-zen,” sd ś. Hr blu îz opnd wîd; ɖr cem a mocñ lît in ɖm. (Hd ś notist enʈñ?)

“Ǒ, nt qt az bad az ɖt,” sd Mis Medoz, n ś gev ɖ Saynsmistris, in xćenj fr hr smîl, a qc grimis n pást on…

Formz For, Fîv, n Six wr asmbld in ɖ ḿzichōl. Ɖ nôz wz def̣nñ. On ɖ platform, bî ɖ piano, std Mẹri Bīzli, Mis Medoz’ feṿrit, hu pleid acumṗnimnts. Ś wz trnñ ɖ ḿzic stūl. Ẃn ś sw Mis Medoz ś gev a lǎd, wornñ “Ś-ś! grlz!” n Mis Medoz, hr handz ʈrust in hr slīvz, ɖ batn undr hr arm, stroud dǎn ɖ sntr ail, mǎntd ɖ steps, trnd śarpli, sizd ɖ bras ḿzicstand, plantd it in frunt v hr, n gev tū śarp taps wɖ hr batn fr sîḷns.

“Sîḷns, plīz! Imīɉtli!” n, lcñ at nbdi, hr glans swept ovr ɖt sì v culrd flanl blǎzz, wɖ bobñ pnc fesz n handz, qiṿrñ buṭflî herboz, n ḿzic-bcs ǎtspred. Ś ń prf̣cli wel ẃt ɖe wr ʈncñ. “Mīdi z in a wax.” Wel, let ɖm ʈnc it! Hr îlidz qivrd; ś tóst hr hed, dfayñ ɖm. Ẃt cd ɖ ʈts v ɖoz crīćrz matr t smwn hu std ɖr blīdñ t deʈ, pirst t ɖ hart, t ɖ hart, bî sć a letr—

… “I fīl mor n mor stroñli ɖt ǎr marij wd b a mstec. Nt ɖt I d nt luv y. I luv y az mć az it z poṣbl fr m t luv eni wmn, bt, truʈ t tel, I hv cm t ɖ cncluźn ɖt I am nt a mariyñ man, n ɖ îdīa v seṭlñ dǎn filz m wɖ nʈñ bt—” n ɖ wrd “dsgust” wz scraćt ǎt lîtli n “rgret” ritn ovr ɖ top.

Bazil! Mis Medoz stōct ovr t ɖ piano. N Mẹri Bīzli, hu wz wêtñ fr ɖs momnt, bnt fwd; hr crlz fél ovr hr ćīcs ẃl ś briɖd, “Gd mornñ, Mis Medoz,” n ś mośnd twdz rɖr ɖn handd t hr mistris a bytifl yelo cṛsanʈmm. Ɖs litl rićl v ɖ flǎr hd bn gn ʈru fr ejz n ejz, qt a trm n a haf. It wz az mć part v ɖ lésn az oṗnñ ɖ piano. Bt ɖs mornñ, instd v tecñ it p, instd v tucñ it intu hr blt ẃl ś lent ovr Mẹri n sd, “Ʈanc y, Mẹri. Hǎ vri nîs! Trn t pej ʈrti-tū,” ẃt wz Mẹri’z horr ẃn Mis Medoz toṭli ignord ɖ cṛsanʈmm, md no rplî t hr grītñ, bt sd in a vôs v îs, “Pej fortīn, plīz, n marc ɖ axnts wel.”

Staġrñ momnt! Mẹri bluśt untl ɖ tirz std in hr îz, bt Mis Medoz wz gn bac t ɖ ḿzic stand; hr vôs rañ ʈru ɖ ḿzichōl.

“Pej fortīn. W wl bgin wɖ pej fortīn. ‘A L’mnt.’ Nǎ, grlz, y òt t nǒ it bî ɖs tîm. W śl tec it ol tgɖr; nt in parts, ol tgɖr. N wɖt xpreśn. Sñ it, ɖo, qt simpli, bìtñ tîm wɖ ɖ left hand.”

Ś rezd ɖ batn; ś tapt ɖ ḿzic stand twîs. Dǎn cem Mẹri on ɖ oṗnñ cōrd; dǎn cem ol ɖoz left handz, bìtñ ɖ er, n in ćîmd ɖoz yuñ, mōrnfl vôsz:—

     “Fast!  Ā, tù Fast Fed ɖ Ro-o-zz v Pleźr;

        Sn Ōtm yīldz untu Wi-i-ntr Drir.

      Flītli!  Ā, Flītli Ḿ-ḿ-zic’s Ge Meźr

        Pasz awe fṛm ɖ Liṣnñ Ir.”

Gd Hevnz, ẃt cd b mor trajic ɖn ɖt l’mnt! Evri not wz a sai, a sob, a gron v ōfl mōrnflnis. Mis Medoz liftd hr armz in ɖ wîd gǎn n bgan cnductñ wɖ bʈ handz. “… I fīl mor n mor stroñli ɖt ǎr marij wd b a mstec… “ ś bìt. N ɖ vôsz craid: “Flītli! Ā, Flītli.” Ẃt cd hv pzest him t rait sć a letr! Ẃt cd hv léd p t it! It cem ǎt v nʈñ. Hiz last letr hd bn ol abt a fymd-oc bc̦es h hd bòt fr “ǎr” bcs, n a “nati litl hōlstand” h hd sìn, “a vri nīt afer wɖ a carvd ǎl on a bracit, holdñ ʈri hatbruśz in its clwz.” Hǎ ś hd smîld at ɖt! So lîc a man t ʈnc wn nīdd ʈri hat-bruśz! “Fṛm ɖ Liṣnñ Ir,” sañ ɖ vôsz.

“Wns agn,” sd Mis Medoz. “Bt ɖs tîm in parts. Stl wɖt xpreśn.” “Fast! Ā, tù Fast.” Wɖ ɖ glūm v ɖ cntraltoz add, wn cd scersli hlp śuḍrñ. “Fed ɖ Rozz v Pleźr.” Last tîm h hd cm t si hr, Bazil hd wòrn a rôz in hiz butnhoul. Hǎ hansm h hd lct in ɖt brît blu sūt, wɖ ɖt darc red rôz! N h ń it, tù. H cd’nt hlp nwñ it. Frst h stroct hiz her, ɖen hiz mstaś; hiz tīʈ glīmd ẃn h smîld.

“Ɖ hedmastr’z wîf cīps on ascñ m t dinr. It’s a prfict ńsns. I nvr gt an īvnñ t mslf in ɖt ples.”

“Bt c’nt y rfyz?”

“Ǒ, wel, it dz’nt d fr a man in mî pziśn t b unpopylr.”

“Ḿzic’s Ge Meźr,” weild ɖ vôsz. Ɖ wilo triz, ǎtsd ɖ hî, naro windoz, wevd in ɖ wind. Ɖe hd lost haf ɖer līvz. Ɖ tîni wnz ɖt cluñ rigld lîc fiśz còt on a lîn. “… I am nt a mariyñ man… “ Ɖ vôsz wr sîḷnt; ɖ piano wêtd.

“Qt gd,” sd Mis Medoz, bt stl in sć a strenj, stoni ton ɖt ɖ yungr grlz bgan t fīl poztivli frîtnd. “Bt nǎ ɖt w nǒ it, w śl tec it wɖ xpreśn. Az mć xpreśn az y cn pt intu it. Ʈnc v ɖ wrdz, grlz. Yz yr imaɉneśnz. ‘Fast! Ā, tù Fast,’” craid Mis Medoz. “Ɖt òt t brec ǎt—a lǎd, stroñ forte—a l’mnt. N ɖen in ɖ secnd lîn, ‘Wintr Drir,’ mc ɖt ‘Drir’ sǎnd az f a cold wind wr blowñ ʈru it. ‘Dri-ir!’” sd ś so ōf̣li ɖt Mẹri Bīzli, on ɖ ḿzic stūl, rigld hr spîn. “Ɖ ʈrd lîn śd b wn cṛśendo. ‘Flītli! Ā, Flītli Ḿzic’s Ge Meźr.’ Brecñ on ɖ frst wrd v ɖ last lîn, Pasz.’ N ɖen on ɖ wrd, ‘Awe,’ y mst bgin t dî… t fed… untl ‘Ɖ Liṣnñ Ir’ z nʈñ mor ɖn a fent ẃispr… Y cn slo dǎn az mć az y lîc olmst on ɖ last lîn. Nǎ, plīz.”

Agn ɖ tū lît taps; ś liftd hr armz agn. ‘Fast! Ā, tù Fast.’ “… n ɖ îdīa v seṭlñ dǎn filz m wɖ nʈñ bt dsgust—” Dsgust wz ẃt h hd ritn. Ɖt wz az gd az t se ɖer ingejmnt wz defiṇtli brocn of. Brocn of! Ɖer ingejmnt! Ppl hd bn s’prîzd inuf ɖt ś hd got ingejd. Ɖ Saynsmistris wd nt b’liv it at frst. Bt nbdi hd bn az s’prîzd az ś. Ś wz ʈrti. Bazil wz twenti-fîv. It hd bn a miṛcl, simpli a miṛcl, t hír him se, az ɖe wōct hom fṛm ćrć ɖt vri darc nît, “Y nǒ, smhǎ or uɖr, I’v got fond v y.” N h hd tecn hold v ɖ end v hr ostrićfeɖr boa. “Pasz awe fṛm ɖ Liṣnñ Ir.”

“Rpit! Rpit!” sd Mis Medoz. “Mor xpreśn, grlz! Wns mor!”

“Fast! Ā, tù Fast.” Ɖ oldr grlz wr crimzn; sm v ɖ yungr wnz bgan t crî. Big spots v ren blù agnst ɖ windoz, n wn cd hír ɖ wiloz ẃisṗrñ, “… nt ɖt I d nt luv y… ”

“Bt, mî darlñ, f y luv m,” ʈt Mis Medoz, “I d’nt mînd hǎ mć it z. Luv m az litl az y lîc.” Bt ś ń h dd’nt luv hr. Nt t hv cerd inuf t scrać ǎt ɖt wrd “dsgust,” so ɖt ś cd’nt rīd it! “Sn Ōtm yīldz untu Wintr Drir.” Ś wd hv t līv ɖ scūl, tù. Ś cd nvr fes ɖ Saynsmistris or ɖ grlz aftr it got noun. Ś wd hv t dis’pir smẃr. “Pasz awe.” Ɖ vôsz bgan t dî, t fed, t ẃispr… t vaniś…

Sudnli ɖ dor opnd. A litl grl in blu wōct fuṣli p ɖ ail, haññ hr hed, bîtñ hr lips, n twistñ ɖ silvr bangl on hr red litl rist. Ś cem p ɖ steps n std bfr Mis Medoz.

“Wel, Monica, ẃt z it?”

“Ǒ, f y plīz, Mis Medoz,” sd ɖ litl grl, gaspñ, “Mis Wayt wonts t si y in ɖ mistris’z rūm.”

“Vri wel,” sd Mis Medoz. N ś cōld t ɖ grlz, “I śl pt y on yr onr t tōc qaytli ẃl I am awe.” Bt ɖe wr tù sbdyd t d enʈñ els. Most v ɖm wr blowñ ɖer nozz.

Ɖ coṛdorz wr sîḷnt n cold; ɖe ecoud t Mis Medoz’ steps. Ɖ hed mistris sat at hr dsc. Fr a momnt ś dd nt lc p. Ś wz az yźl disintanglñ hr îglasz, ẃć hd got còt in hr lês tî. “Sit dǎn, Mis Medoz,” ś sd vri cîndli. N ɖen ś pict p a pnc enṿlop fṛm ɖ blotñpad. “I snt fr y jst nǎ bcz ɖs teḷgram hz cm fr y.”

“A teḷgram fr m, Mis Wayt?”

Bazil! H hd cmitd suisîd, dsîdd Mis Medoz. Hr hand flù ǎt, bt Mis Wayt hld ɖ teḷgram bac a momnt. “I hop it’s nt bad nyz,” ś sd, so mor ɖn cîndli. N Mis Medoz tòr it opn.

“Pe no atnśn t letr, mst hv bn mad, bòt hatstand tde—Bazil,” ś réd. Ś cd’nt tec hr îz of ɖ teḷgram.

“I d hop it’s nʈñ vri sirịs,” sd Mis Wayt, līnñ fwd.

“Ǒ, no, ʈanc y, Mis Wayt,” bluśt Mis Medoz. “It’s nʈñ bad at ol. It’s”—n ś gev an apoḷjetic litl laf—“it’s fṛm mî fianse seyñ ɖt… seyñ ɖt—” Ɖr wz a pōz. “I si,” sd Mis Wayt. N anɖr pōz. Ɖen—“Y’v fiftīn minits mor v yr clas, Mis Medoz, hv’nt y?”

“Yes, Mis Wayt.” Ś got p. Ś haf ran twdz ɖ dor.

“Ǒ, jst wn minit, Mis Medoz,” sd Mis Wayt. “I mst se I d’nt apruv v mî tīćrz hvñ teḷgramz snt t ɖm in scūl-aurz, unls in ces v vri bad nyz, sć az deʈ,” xplend Mis Wayt, “or a vri sirịs axidnt, or smʈñ t ɖt ifct. Gd nyz, Mis Medoz, wl olwz cīp, y nǒ.”

On ɖ wñz v hop, v luv, v jô, Mis Medoz sped bac t ɖ ḿzichōl, p ɖ ail, p ɖ steps, ovr t ɖ piano.

“Pej ʈrti-tū, Mẹri,” ś sd, “pej ʈrti-tū,” n, picñ p ɖ yelo cṛsanʈmm, ś hld it t hr lips t hîd hr smîl. Ɖen ś trnd t ɖ grlz, rapt wɖ hr batn: “Pej ʈrti-tū, grlz. Pej ʈrti-tū.”

     “W cm hir Tde wɖ Flǎrz ’rlêdn,

      Wɖ Bascits v Frūt n Ribnz t būt,

      Tu-u Cngrać̣let…

“Stop! Stop!” craid Mis Medoz. “Ɖs z ōfl. Ɖs z dredfl.” N ś bīmd at hr grlz. “Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ y ol? Ʈnc, grlz, ʈnc v ẃt y’r sññ. Yz yr imaɉneśnz. ‘Wɖ Flǎrz ’rlêdn. Bascits v Frūt n Ribnz t būt.’ N ‘Cngrać̣let.’” Mis Medoz brouc of. “D’nt lc so dǒlfl, grlz. It òt t sǎnd worm, jôfl, īgr. ‘Cngrać̣let.’ Wns mor. Qcli. Ol tgɖr. Nǎ ɖen!”

N ɖs tîm Mis Medoz’ vôs sǎndd ovr ol ɖ uɖr vôsz—fl, dīp, glowñ wɖ xpreśn.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: HER FIRST BALL, by Katherine Mansfield

HR FRST BŌL

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

Xacli ẃn ɖ bōl bgan Leila wd hv faund it hard t se. Phps hr frst riyl partnr wz ɖ cab. It dd nt matr ɖt ś śerd ɖ cab wɖ ɖ Śeridn grlz n ɖer bruɖr. Ś sat bac in hr ǒn litl cornr v it, n ɖ bolstr on ẃć hr hand restd flt lîc ɖ slīv v an uņoun yuñ man’z dreșūt; n awe ɖe bǒld, past wōltsñ lamp̓osts n hǎzz n fnsz n triz.

“Hv y riyli nvr bn t a bōl bfr, Leila? Bt, mî ćîld, hǎ tù wird—” craid ɖ Śeridn grlz.

“Ǎr nirist nebr wz fiftīn mîlz,” sd Leila softli, jntli oṗnñ n śutñ hr fan.

Ǒ dir, hǎ hard it wz t b indifṛnt lîc ɖ uɖrz! Ś traid nt t smîl tù mć; ś traid nt t cer. Bt evri sngl ʈñ wz so ny n xîtñ… Meg’z tyḅrozz, Jǒsi’z loñ lūp v ambr, Lora’z litl darc hed, pśñ abv hr ẃît fŕ lîc a flǎr ʈru sno. Ś wd rmembr fr evr. It īvn gev hr a pañ t si hr cuzn Lóri ʈro awe ɖ wisps v tiśupepr h pld fṛm ɖ faṣnñz v hiz ny gluvz. Ś wd lîc t hv cept ɖoz wisps az a cīpsec, az a rmembṛns. Lóri līnd fwd n pt hiz hand on Lora’z ni.

“Lc hir, darlñ,” h sd. “Ɖ ʈrd n ɖ nînʈ az yźl. Twig?”

Ǒ, hǎ marvḷs t hv a bruɖr! In hr xîtmnt Leila flt ɖt f ɖr hd bn tîm, f it hd’nt bn imposbl, ś cd’nt hv hlpt crayñ bcz ś wz an onli ćîld, n no bruɖr hd evr sd “Twig?” t hr; no sistr wd evr se, az Meg sd t Jǒsi ɖt momnt, “I’v nvr noun yr her g p mor s’xesf̣li ɖn it hz tnît!”

Bt, v cors, ɖr wz no tîm. Ɖe wr at ɖ drilhōl olrdi; ɖr wr cabz in frunt v ɖm n cabz bhnd. Ɖ rod wz brît on îɖr sîd wɖ muvñ fanlîc lîts, n on ɖ pevmnt ge cuplz sīmd t flot ʈru ɖ er; litl satin śuz ćest ć uɖr lîc brdz.

“Hold on t m, Leila; y’l gt lost,” sd Lora.

“Cm on, grlz, let’s mc a daś fr it,” sd Lóri.

Leila pt tū fngrz on Lora’z pnc velvit clǒc, n ɖe wr smhǎ liftd past ɖ big goldn lantn, carid alñ ɖ pasij, n pśt intu ɖ litl rūm marct “Lediz.” Hir ɖ crǎd wz so gret ɖr wz hardli spes t tec of ɖer ʈñz; ɖ nôz wz def̣nñ. Tū bnćz on îɖr sîd wr stact hî wɖ ráps. Tū old wimin in ẃît epṛnz ran p n dǎn tosñ freś armflz. N evrbdi wz presñ fwd trayñ t gt at ɖ litl dresñtebl n mirr at ɖ far end.

A gret qiṿrñ jet v gas lîtd ɖ lediz’ rūm. It cd’nt wêt; it wz dansñ olrdi. Ẃn ɖ dor opnd agn n ɖr cem a brst v tynñ fṛm ɖ drilhōl, it lept olmst t ɖ sīlñ.

Darc grlz, fer grlz wr patñ ɖer her, tayñ ribnz agn, tucñ hanc̣ćīfs dǎn ɖ fronts v ɖer boḍsz, smuɖñ marbl-ẃît gluvz. N bcz ɖe wr ol lafñ it sīmd t Leila ɖt ɖe wr ol luvli.

“R’nt ɖr eni inviẓbl herpinz?” craid a vôs. “Hǎ most xtrordnri! I c’nt si a sngl inviẓbl herpin.”

“Pǎdr mî bac, ɖr’z a darlñ,” craid smwn els.

“Bt I mst hv a nīdl n cotn. I’v torn simpli mîlz n mîlz v ɖ fril,” weild a ʈrd.

Ɖen, “Pas ɖm alñ, pas ɖm alñ!” Ɖ strw bascit v programz wz tóst fṛm arm t arm. Darlñ litl pnc-n-silvr programz, wɖ pnc pnslz n flufi taslz. Leila’z fngrz śc az ś tc wn ǎt v ɖ bascit. Ś wontd t asc smwn, “Am I mnt t hv wn tù?” bt ś hd jst tîm t rīd: “Wōlts 3. ‘Tū, Tū in a Cnu.’ Polca 4. ‘Mcñ ɖ Feɖrz Flî,’” ẃn Meg craid, “Redi, Leila?” n ɖe prest ɖer we ʈru ɖ cruś in ɖ pasij twdz ɖ big dubl dorz v ɖ drilhōl.

Dansñ hd nt bgun yt, bt ɖ band hd stopt tynñ, n ɖ nôz wz so gret it sīmd ɖt ẃn it dd bgin t ple it wd nvr b hŕd. Leila, presñ clos t Meg, lcñ ovr Meg’z śoldr, flt ɖt īvn ɖ litl qiṿrñ culrd flagz struñ acrs ɖ sīlñ wr tōcñ. Ś qt fgot t b śî; ś fgot hǎ in ɖ midl v dresñ ś hd sat dǎn on ɖ bed wɖ wn śu of n wn śu on n begd hr muɖr t rñ p hr cuznz n se ś cd’nt g aftr ol. N ɖ ruś v loññ ś hd hd t b sitñ on ɖ vranda v ɖer fōrsecn up-cuntri hom, liṣnñ t ɖ bebi ǎlz crayñ “Mor porc” in ɖ mūnlît, wz ćenjd t a ruś v jô so swīt ɖt it wz hard t ber alon. Ś clućt hr fan, n, gezñ at ɖ glīmñ, goldn flor, ɖ azełz, ɖ lantnz, ɖ stej at wn end wɖ its red carpit n gílt ćerz n ɖ band in a cornr, ś ʈt breʈlisli, “Hǎ hevnli; hǎ simpli hevnli!”

Ol ɖ grlz std grūpt tgɖr at wn sîd v ɖ dorz, ɖ men at ɖ uɖr, n ɖ śaṗronz in darc dresz, smîlñ rɖr fūliśli, wōct wɖ litl cerfl steps ovr ɖ poliśt flor twdz ɖ stej.

“Ɖs z mî litl cuntri cuzn Leila. B nîs t hr. Fînd hr partnrz; ś’z undr mî wñ,” sd Meg, gwñ p t wn grl aftr anɖr.

Strenj fesz smîld at Leila—swītli, vegli. Strenj vôsz ansrd, “V cors, mî dir.” Bt Leila flt ɖ grlz dd’nt riyli si hr. Ɖe wr lcñ twdz ɖ men. Ẃ dd’nt ɖ men bgin? Ẃt wr ɖe wêtñ fr? Ɖr ɖe std, smuɖñ ɖer gluvz, patñ ɖer glosi her n smîlñ amñ ɖmslvz. Ɖen, qt sudnli, az f ɖe hd onli jst md p ɖer mîndz ɖt ɖt wz ẃt ɖe hd t d, ɖ men cem glîdñ ovr ɖ parce. Ɖr wz a jôfl flutr amñ ɖ grlz. A tōl, fer man flù p t Meg, sizd hr program, scribld smʈñ; Meg pást him on t Leila. “Me I hv ɖ pleźr?” H dúct n smîld. Ɖr cem a darc man wẹrñ an îglas, ɖen cuzn Lóri wɖ a frend, n Lora wɖ a litl frecld felo huz tî wz crŭcid. Ɖen qt an old man—fat, wɖ a big bàld pać on hiz hed—tc hr program n mrmrd, “Let m si, let m si!” N h wz a loñ tîm cmperñ hiz program, ẃć lct blac wɖ nemz, wɖ hrz. It sīmd t gv him so mć trubl ɖt Leila wz aśemd. “Ǒ, plīz d’nt boɖr,” ś sd īgrli. Bt instd v rplayñ ɖ fat man rout smʈñ, glanst at hr agn. “D I rmembr ɖs brît litl fes?” h sd softli. “Z it noun t m v yor?” At ɖt momnt ɖ band bgan pleyñ; ɖ fat man dis’pird. H wz tóst awe on a gret wev v ḿzic ɖt cem flayñ ovr ɖ glīmñ flor, brecñ ɖ grūps p intu cuplz, scaṭrñ ɖm, sndñ ɖm spinñ…

Leila hd lrnt t dans at bordñscūl. Evri Saṭde afṭnun ɖ bōrdrz wr hurid of t a litl coṛgetd ayn miśnhōl ẃr Mis Eclz (v Lundn) hld hr “s’lect” clasz. Bt ɖ difṛns btwn ɖt dusti-smelñ hōl—wɖ caḷco txts on ɖ wōlz, ɖ pur teṛfaid litl wmn in a brǎn velvit tǒc wɖ rabit’s irz ʈumpñ ɖ cold piano, Mis Eclz pǒcñ ɖ grlz’ fīt wɖ hr loñ ẃît wond—n ɖs wz so tṛmnḍs ɖt Leila wz śr f hr partnr dd’nt cm n ś hd t lisn t ɖt marvḷs ḿzic n t woć ɖ uɖrz slîdñ, glîdñ ovr ɖ goldn flor, ś wd dî at līst, or fent, or lift hr armz n flî ǎt v wn v ɖoz darc windoz ɖt śoud ɖ starz.

“Ǎrz, I ʈnc—” Smwn baud, smîld, n ofrd hr hiz arm; ś hd’nt t dî aftr ol. Smwn’z hand prest hr weist, n ś flotd awe lîc a flǎr ɖt z tóst intu a pūl.

“Qt a gd flor, z’nt it?” drōld a fent vôs clos t hr ir.

“I ʈnc it’s most bytifli sliṗri,” sd Leila.

“Pardn!” Ɖ fent vôs sǎndd s’prîzd. Leila sd it agn. N ɖr wz a tîni pōz bfr ɖ vôs ecoud, “Ǒ, qt!” n ś wz swuñ rnd agn.

H stird so bytifli. Ɖt wz ɖ gret difṛns btwn dansñ wɖ grlz n men, Leila dsîdd. Grlz bañd intu ć uɖr, n stamt on ć uɖr’z fīt; ɖ grl hu wz jntlmn olwz clućt y so.

Ɖ azełz wr sepṛt flǎrz no longr; ɖe wr pnc n ẃît flagz strīmñ bî.

“Wr y at ɖ Belz’ last wīc?” ɖ vôs cem agn. It sǎndd tîrd. Leila wundrd ẃɖr ś òt t asc him f h wd lîc t stop.

“No, ɖs z mî frst dans,” sd ś.

Hr partnr gev a litl gaspñ laf. “Ǒ, I se,” h pṛtstd.

“Yes, it z riyli ɖ frst dans I’v evr bn t.” Leila wz most frvnt. It wz sć a rlif t b ebl t tel smbdi. “Y si, I’v livd in ɖ cuntri ol mî lîf p tl nǎ… ”

At ɖt momnt ɖ ḿzic stopt, n ɖe wnt t sit on tū ćerz agnst ɖ wōl. Leila tuct hr pnc satin fīt undr n fand hrslf, ẃl ś blisf̣li woćt ɖ uɖr cuplz pasñ n dis’pirñ ʈru ɖ swñdorz.

“Injoyñ yrslf, Leila?” asct Jǒsi, nodñ hr goldn hed.

Lora pást n gev hr ɖ fentist litl wnc; it md Leila wundr fr a momnt ẃɖr ś wz qt groun p aftr ol. Srtnli hr partnr dd nt se vri mć. H coft, tuct hiz hanc̣ćif awe, pld dǎn hiz weistcot, tc a minit ʈred of hiz slīv. Bt it dd’nt matr. Olmst imīɉtli ɖ band startd n hr secnd partnr sīmd t sprñ fṛm ɖ sīlñ.

“Flor’z nt bad,” sd ɖ ny vôs. Dd wn olwz bgin wɖ ɖ flor? N ɖen, “Wr y at ɖ Nīvz’ on Tyzde?” N agn Leila xplend. Phps it wz a litl strenj ɖt hr partnrz wr nt mor inṭrestd. Fr it wz ʈrilñ. Hr frst bōl! Ś wz onli at ɖ bginñ v evrʈñ. It sīmd t hr ɖt ś hd nvr noun ẃt ɖ nît wz lîc bfr. P tl nǎ it hd bn darc, sîḷnt, bytifl vri ofn—ǒ yes—bt mōrnfl smhǎ. Soḷm. N nǎ it wd nvr b lîc ɖt agn—it hd opnd daẓlñ brît.

“Cer fr an îs?” sd hr partnr. N ɖe wnt ʈru ɖ swñdorz, dǎn ɖ pasij, t ɖ supŗūm. Hr ćīcs brnd, ś wz firf̣li ʈrsti. Hǎ swīt ɖ îsz lct on litl glas plets n hǎ cold ɖ frostid spūn wz, îst tù! N ẃn ɖe cem bac t ɖ hōl ɖr wz ɖ fat man wêtñ fr hr bî ɖ dor. It gev hr qt a śoc agn t si hǎ old h wz; h òt t hv bn on ɖ stej wɖ ɖ faɖrz n muɖrz. N ẃn Leila cmperd him wɖ hr uɖr partnrz h lct śabi. Hiz weistcot wz crīst, ɖr wz a butn of hiz gluv, hiz cot lct az f it wz dusti wɖ Frenć ćōc.

“Cm alñ, litl ledi,” sd ɖ fat man. H scersli trubld t clasp hr, n ɖe muvd awe so jntli, it wz mor lîc wōcñ ɖn dansñ. Bt h sd nt a wrd abt ɖ flor. “Yr frst dans, z’nt it?” h mrmrd.

“Hǎ dd y nǒ?”

“Ā,” sd ɖ fat man, “ɖt’s ẃt it z t b old!” H ẃizd fentli az h stird hr past an ōcẉd cupl. “Y si, I’v bn dwñ ɖs cnd v ʈñ fr ɖ last ʈrti yirz.”

“Ʈrti yirz?” craid Leila. Twelv yirz bfr ś wz born!

“It hardli berz ʈncñ abt, dz it?” sd ɖ fat man glūṃli. Leila lct at hiz bàld hed, n ś flt qt sori fr him.

“I ʈnc it’s marvḷs t b stl gwñ on,” ś sd cîndli.

“Cnd litl ledi,” sd ɖ fat man, n h prest hr a litl closr, n humd a bar v ɖ wōlts. “V cors,” h sd, “y c’nt hop t last enʈñ lîc az loñ az ɖt. No-o,” sd ɖ fat man, “loñ bfr ɖt y’l b sitñ p ɖr on ɖ stej, lcñ on, in yr nîs blac velvit. N ɖz priti armz wl hv trnd intu litl śort fat wnz, n y’l bìt tîm wɖ sć a difṛnt cnd v fan—a blac boni wn.” Ɖ fat man sīmd t śudr. “N y’l smîl awe lîc ɖ pur old dirz p ɖr, n pônt t yr dōtr, n tel ɖ eldrli ledi nxt t y hǎ sm dredfl man traid t cis hr at ɖ club̦ōl. N yr hart wl ec, ec”—ɖ fat man sqizd hr closr stl, az f h riyli wz sori fr ɖt pur hart—“bcz nwn wonts t cis y nǎ. N y’l se hǎ unpleznt ɖz poliśt florz r t wōc on, hǎ denjṛs ɖe r. Ê, Madṃzél Twncltoz?” sd ɖ fat man softli.

Leila gev a lît litl laf, bt ś dd nt fīl lîc lafñ. Wz it—cd it ol b tru? It sǎndd teṛbli tru. Wz ɖs frst bōl onli ɖ bginñ v hr last bōl, aftr ol? At ɖt ɖ ḿzic sīmd t ćenj; it sǎndd sad, sad; it rouz upn a gret sai. Ǒ, hǎ qcli ʈñz ćenjd! Ẃ dd’nt hapinis last fr evr? Fr evr wz’nt a bit tù loñ.

“I wont t stop,” ś sd in a breʈlis vôs. Ɖ fat man léd hr t ɖ dor.

“No,” ś sd, “I w’nt g ǎtsd. I w’nt sit dǎn. I’l jst stand hir, ʈanc y.” Ś līnd agnst ɖ wōl, tapñ wɖ hr ft, pŭlñ p hr gluvz n trayñ t smîl. Bt dīp insd hr a litl grl ʈrù hr piṇfor ovr hr hed n sobd. Ẃ hd h spôld it ol?

“I se, y nǒ,” sd ɖ fat man, “y ms’nt tec m sirịsli, litl ledi.”

“Az f I śd!” sd Leila, tosñ hr smōl darc hed n sucñ hr underlip…

Agn ɖ cuplz p’redd. Ɖ swñdorz opnd n śut. Nǎ ny ḿzic wz gvn ǎt bî ɖ bandmastr. Bt Leila dd’nt wont t dans eni mor. Ś wontd t b hom, or sitñ on ɖ vranda liṣnñ t ɖoz bebi-ǎlz. Ẃn ś lct ʈru ɖ darc windoz at ɖ starz, ɖe hd loñ bīmz lîc wñz…

Bt prezntli a soft, mltñ, raṿśñ tyn bgan, n a yuñ man wɖ crli her baud bfr hr. Ś wd hv t dans, ǎt v p’lîtnis, untl ś cd fînd Meg. Vri stifli ś wōct intu ɖ midl; vri hōṭli ś pt hr hand on hiz slīv. Bt in wn minit, in wn trn, hr fīt glîdd, glîdd. Ɖ lîts, ɖ azełz, ɖ dresz, ɖ pnc fesz, ɖ velvit ćerz, ol bcem wn bytifl flayñ ẃīl. N ẃn hr nxt partnr bumt hr intu ɖ fat man n h sd, “Pardn,” ś smîld at him mor redịntli ɖn evr. Ś dd’nt īvn rec̣gnîz him agn.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: MISS BRILL, by Katherine Mansfield

MIS BRIL

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

Olɖo it wz so briłntli fîn—ɖ blu scî pǎdrd wɖ gold n gret spots v lît lîc ẃît wîn splaśt ovr ɖ Jardins Publiques—Mis Bril wz glad ɖt ś hd dsîdd on hr fŕ. Ɖ er wz mośnlis, bt ẃn y opnd yr mǎʈ ɖr wz jst a fent ćil, lîc a ćil fṛm a glas v îst wōtr bfr y sip, n nǎ n agn a līf cem driftñ—fṛm nẃr, fṛm ɖ scî. Mis Bril pt p hr hand n tućt hr fŕ. Dir litl ʈñ! It wz nîs t fīl it agn. Ś hd tecn it ǎt v its box ɖt afṭnun, śecn ǎt ɖ moʈpǎdr, gvn it a gd bruś, n rubd ɖ lîf bac intu ɖ dim litl îz. “Ẃt hz bn haṗnñ t m?” sd ɖ sad litl îz. Ǒ, hǎ swīt it wz t si ɖm snap at hr agn fṛm ɖ red îdrdǎn!… Bt ɖ nǒz, ẃć wz v sm blac compziśn, wz’nt at ol frm. It mst hv hd a noc, smhǎ. Nvr mînd—a litl dab v blac sìlñwax ẃn ɖ tîm cem—ẃn it wz abṣlutli nesṣri… Litl rog! Yes, ś riyli flt lîc ɖt abt it. Litl rog bîtñ its teil jst bî hr left ir. Ś cd hv tecn it of n leid it on hr lap n stroct it. Ś flt a tnġlñ in hr handz n armz, bt ɖt cem fṛm wōcñ, ś s’pozd. N ẃn ś briɖd, smʈñ lît n sad—no, nt sad, xacli—smʈñ jntl sīmd t muv in hr bŭzm.

Ɖr wr a numbr v ppl ǎt ɖs afṭnun, far mor ɖn last Súnde. N ɖ band sǎndd lǎdr n geyr. Ɖt wz bcz ɖ Sīzn hd bgun. Fr olɖo ɖ band pleid ol ɖ yir rnd on Súndez, ǎt v sīzn it wz nvr ɖ sem. It wz lîc smwn pleyñ wɖ onli ɖ faṃli t lisn; it dd’nt cer hǎ it pleid f ɖr wr’nt eni strenjrz preznt. Wz’nt ɖ cnductr wẹrñ a ny cot, tù? Ś wz śr it wz ny. H scrept wɖ hiz ft n flapt hiz armz lîc a rūstr abt t cro, n ɖ bandzṃn sitñ in ɖ grīn r’tŭnda blù ǎt ɖer ćīcs n glerd at ɖ ḿzic. Nǎ ɖr cem a litl “flūti” bit—vri priti!—a litl ćen v brît drops. Ś wz śr it wd b rpitd. It wz; ś liftd hr hed n smîld.

Onli tū ppl śerd hr “speśl” sīt: a fîn old man in a velvit cot, hiz handz claspt ovr a hyj carvd wōcñstic, n a big old wmn, sitñ uprît, wɖ a rol v nitñ on hr imbrôdrd epṛn. Ɖe dd nt spīc. Ɖs wz dis’pôntñ, fr Mis Bril olwz lct fwd t ɖ convseśn. Ś hd bcm riyli qt xprt, ś ʈt, at liṣnñ az ɖo ś dd’nt lisn, at sitñ in uɖr ppl’z lîvz jst fr a minit ẃl ɖe tōct rnd hr.

Ś glanst, sîdwez, at ɖ old cupl. Phps ɖe wd g sn. Last Súnde, tù, hd’nt bn az inṭrestñ az yźl. An Ñgliśmn n hiz wîf, h wẹrñ a dredfl Paṇmā hat n ś butnbūts. N ś’d gn on ɖ hol tîm abt hǎ ś òt t wer specṭclz; ś ń ś nīdd ɖm; bt ɖt it wz no gd gtñ eni; ɖ’d b śr t brec n ɖ’d nvr cīp on. N h’d bn so peśnt. H’d sjstd evrʈñ—gold rimz, ɖ cnd ɖt crvd rnd yr irz, litl padz insd ɖ brij. No, nʈñ wd plīz hr. “Ɖ’l olwz b slîdñ dǎn mî nǒz!” Mis Bril hd wontd t śec hr.

Ɖ old ppl sat on ɖ bnć, stl az staćuz. Nvr mînd, ɖr wz olwz ɖ crǎd t woć. T n fro, in frunt v ɖ flǎrbedz n ɖ bandr’tŭnda, ɖ cuplz n grūps p’redd, stopt t tōc, t grīt, t bai a hanfl v flǎrz fṛm ɖ old begr hu hd hiz tre fixt t ɖ relñz. Litl ćildṛn ran amñ ɖm, swūpñ n lafñ; litl bôz wɖ big ẃît silc boz undr ɖer ćinz, litl grlz, litl Frenć dolz, drest p in velvit n lês. N smtmz a tîni staġrr cem sudnli rocñ intu ɖ opn fṛm undr ɖ triz, stopt, stérd, az sudnli sat dǎn “flop,” untl its smōl hî-stepñ muɖr, lîc a yuñ hen, ruśt scoldñ t its rescy. Uɖr ppl sat on ɖ bnćz n grīn ćerz, bt ɖe wr nirli olwz ɖ sem, Súnde aftr Súnde, n—Mis Bril hd ofn notist—ɖr wz smʈñ funi abt nirli ol v ɖm. Ɖe wr od, sîḷnt, nirli ol old, n fṛm ɖ we ɖe stérd ɖe lct az ɖo ɖ’d jst cm fṛm darc litl rūmz or īvn—īvn cuḅdz!

Bhnd ɖ r’tŭnda ɖ slendr triz wɖ yelo līvz dǎn drūpñ, n ʈru ɖm jst a lîn v sì, n bynd ɖ blu scî wɖ gold-veind clǎdz.

Tum-tum-tum tidl ’m! tidl ’m! tum tidli ’m tum ta! blù ɖ band.

Tū yuñ grlz in red cem bî n tū yuñ soljrz in blu met ɖm, n ɖe laft n perd n wnt of arm-in-arm. Tū peznt wimin wɖ funi strw hats pást, grevli, līdñ bytifl smoc-culrd donciz. A cold, pel nun hurid bî. A bytifl wmn cem alñ n dropt hr bunć v vaylits, n a litl bô ran aftr t hand ɖm t hr, n ś tc ɖm n ʈrù ɖm awe az f ɖ’d bn pôznd. Dir m! Mis Bril dd’nt nǒ ẃɖr t admîr ɖt or nt! N nǎ an ŕmin tǒc n a jntlmn in gre met jst in frunt v hr. H wz tōl, stif, digṇfaid, n ś wz wẹrñ ɖ ŕmin tǒc ś’d bòt ẃn hr her wz yelo. Nǎ evrʈñ, hr her, hr fes, īvn hr îz, wz ɖ sem culr az ɖ śabi ŕmin, n hr hand, in its clīnd gluv, liftd t dab hr lips, wz a tîni yelǒiś pw. Ǒ, ś wz so plizd t si him—dlîtd! Ś rɖr ʈt ɖe wr gwñ t mīt ɖt afṭnun. Ś dscrîbd ẃr ś’d bn—evrẃr, hir, ɖr, alñ bî ɖ sì. Ɖ de wz so ćarmñ—dd’nt h agri? N wd’nt h, phps?… Bt h śc hiz hed, lîtd a siġrét, slǒli briɖd a gret dīp puf intu hr fes, n īvn ẃl ś wz stl tōcñ n lafñ, flict ɖ mać awe n wōct on. Ɖ ŕmin tǒc wz alon; ś smîld mor brîtli ɖn evr. Bt īvn ɖ band sīmd t nǒ ẃt ś wz fīlñ n pleid mor softli, pleid tndrli, n ɖ drum bìt, “Ɖ Brūt! Ɖ Brūt!” ovr n ovr. Ẃt wd ś d? Ẃt wz gwñ t hapn nǎ? Bt az Mis Bril wundrd, ɖ ŕmin tǒc trnd, rezd hr hand az ɖo ś’d sìn smwn els, mć nîsr, jst ovr ɖr, n patrd awe. N ɖ band ćenjd agn n pleid mor qcli, mor gêli ɖn evr, n ɖ old cupl on Mis Bril’z sīt got p n marćt awe, n sć a funi old man wɖ loñ ẃiscrz hobld alñ in tîm t ɖ ḿzic n wz nirli noct ovr bî for grlz wōcñ abrest.

Ǒ, hǎ faṣnetñ it wz! Hǎ ś injoid it! Hǎ ś luvd sitñ hir, woćñ it ol! It wz lîc a ple. It wz xacli lîc a ple. Hu cd b’liv ɖ scî at ɖ bac wz’nt pentd? Bt it wz’nt tl a litl brǎn dog trotd on soḷm n ɖen slǒli trotd of, lîc a litl “ʈiytrdog,” a litl dog ɖt hd bn drugd, ɖt Mis Bril dscuvrd ẃt it wz ɖt md it so xîtñ. Ɖe wr ol on ɖ stej. Ɖe wr’nt onli ɖ ōdịns, nt onli lcñ on; ɖe wr actñ. Īvn ś hd a part n cem evri Súnde. No dǎt smbdi wd hv notist f ś hd’nt bn ɖr; ś wz part v ɖ pformns aftr ol. Hǎ strenj ś’d nvr ʈt v it lîc ɖt bfr! N yt it xplend ẃ ś md sć a pônt v startñ fṛm hom at jst ɖ sem tîm ć wīc—so az nt t b lêt fr ɖ pformns—n it olso xplend ẃ ś hd qt a qir, śî fīlñ at telñ hr Ñgliś pyplz hǎ ś spent hr Súnde afṭnunz. No wundr! Mis Bril nirli laft ǎt lǎd. Ś wz on ɖ stej. Ś ʈt v ɖ old inṿlid jntlmn t hūm ś réd ɖ nyzpepr for afṭnunz a wīc ẃl h slept in ɖ gardn. Ś hd got qt yst t ɖ frel hed on ɖ cotn pilo, ɖ holoud îz, ɖ opn mǎʈ n ɖ hî pinćt nǒz. F h’d bn ded ś mt’nt hv notist fr wīcs; ś wd’nt hv mîndd. Bt sudnli h ń h wz hvñ ɖ pepr réd t him bî an actris! “An actris!” Ɖ old hed liftd; tū pônts v lît qivrd in ɖ old îz. “An actris—r yi?” N Mis Bril smuɖd ɖ nyzpepr az ɖo it wr ɖ mańscript v hr part n sd jntli; “Yes, I hv bn an actris fr a loñ tîm.”

Ɖ band hd bn hvñ a rest. Nǎ ɖe startd agn. N ẃt ɖe pleid wz worm, súni, yt ɖr wz jst a fent ćil—a smʈñ, ẃt wz it?—nt sadnis—no, nt sadnis—a smʈñ ɖt md y wont t sñ. Ɖ tyn liftd, liftd, ɖ lît śon; n it sīmd t Mis Bril ɖt in anɖr momnt ol v ɖm, ol ɖ hol cumṗni, wd bgin sññ. Ɖ yuñ wnz, ɖ lafñ wnz hu wr muvñ tgɖr, ɖe wd bgin, n ɖ men’z vôsz, vri reẓlut n brev, wd jôn ɖm. N ɖen ś tù, ś tù, n ɖ uɖrz on ɖ bnćz—ɖe wd cm in wɖ a cnd v acumṗnimnt—smʈñ lo, ɖt scersli rouz or fél, smʈñ so bytifl—muvñ… N Mis Bril’z îz fild wɖ tirz n ś lct smîlñ at ol ɖ uɖr membrz v ɖ cumṗni. Yes, w unḍstand, w unḍstand, ś ʈt—ɖo ẃt ɖe unḍstd ś dd’nt nǒ.

Jst at ɖt momnt a bô n grl cem n sat dǎn ẃr ɖ old cupl hd bn. Ɖe wr bytifli drest; ɖe wr in luv. Ɖ hiro n herǒin, v cors, jst arîvd fṛm hiz faɖr’z yot. N stl sǎndlisli sññ, stl wɖ ɖt tremḅlñ smîl, Mis Bril priperd t lisn.

“No, nt nǎ,” sd ɖ grl. “Nt hir, I c’nt.”

“Bt ẃ? Bcz v ɖt stypid old ʈñ at ɖ end ɖr?” asct ɖ bô. “Ẃ dz ś cm hir at ol—hu wonts hr? Ẃ dz’nt ś cīp hr sili old mug at hom?”

“It’s hr fŕŕŕ ẃć z so funi,” gigld ɖ grl. “It’s xacli lîc a fraid ẃîtñ.”

“Ā, b of wɖ y!” sd ɖ bô in an angri ẃispr. Ɖen: “Tel m, ma petite chère—”

“No, nt hir,” sd ɖ grl. “Nt yt.”

 

On hr we hom ś yẓ́li bòt a slîs v hunicec at ɖ becr’z. It wz hr Súnde trīt. Smtmz ɖr wz an āmnd in hr slîs, smtmz nt. It md a gret difṛns. F ɖr wz an āmnd it wz lîc cariyñ hom a tîni preznt—a s’prîz—smʈñ ɖt mt vri wel nt hv bn ɖr. Ś hurid on ɖ āmnd Súndez n struc ɖ mać fr ɖ cetl in qt a daśñ we.

Bt tde ś pást ɖ becr’z bî, clîmd ɖ sterz, wnt intu ɖ litl darc rūm—hr rūm lîc a cuḅd—n sat dǎn on ɖ red îdrdǎn. Ś sat ɖr fr a loñ tîm. Ɖ box ɖt ɖ fŕ cem ǎt v wz on ɖ bed. Ś unclaspt ɖ neclit qcli; qcli, wɖt lcñ, leid it insd. Bt ẃn ś pt ɖ lid on ś ʈt ś hŕd smʈñ crayñ.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL