Category Archives: Katherine Mansfield

In Ñspel: LIFE OF MA PARKER, by Katherine Mansfield

LÎF OV MA PARCR

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

Ẃn ɖ litrri jntlmn, huz flat old Ma Parcr clīnd evri Tyzde, opnd ɖ dor t hr ɖt mornñ, h asct aftr hr gransun. Ma Parcr std on ɖ dormat insd ɖ darc litl hōl, n ś strećt ǎt hr hand t hlp hr jntlmn śut ɖ dor bfr ś rplaid. “W berid ’im yesṭde, sr,” ś sd qaytli.

“Ǒ, dir m! I’m sori t hír ɖt,” sd ɖ litrri jntlmn in a śoct ton. H wz in ɖ midl v hiz brecfst. H wòr a vri śabi dresñgǎn n carid a crumpld nyzpepr in wn hand. Bt h flt ōcẉd. H cd hardli g bac t ɖ worm sitñrūm wɖt seyñ smʈñ—smʈñ mor. Ɖen bcz ɖz ppl set sć stor bî fynṛlz h sd cîndli, “I hop ɖ fynṛl wnt of ol rît.”

“Beg pardñ, sr?” sd old Ma Parcr husc̣li.

Pur old brd! Ś dd lc daśt. “I hop ɖ fynṛl wz a—a—s’xes,” sd h. Ma Parcr gev no ansr. Ś bnt hr hed n hobld of t ɖ cićn, claspñ ɖ old fiśbag ɖt hld hr clīnñʈñz n an epṛn n a per v flt śuz. Ɖ litrri jntlmn rezd hiz îbrǎz n wnt bac t hiz brecfst.

“Oṿcm, I s’poz,” h sd alǎd, hlpñ himslf t ɖ marṃled.

Ma Parcr drù ɖ tū jetispirz ǎt v hr tǒc n huñ it bhnd ɖ dor. Ś unhct hr wòrn jacit n huñ ɖt p tù. Ɖen ś taid hr epṛn n sat dǎn t tec of hr būts. T tec of hr būts or t pt ɖm on wz an aġni t hr, bt it hd bn an aġni fr yirz. In fact, ś wz so acustmd t ɖ pen ɖt hr fes wz drwn n scrùd p redi fr ɖ twinj bfr ś’d so mć az untaid ɖ lêsz. Ɖt ovr, ś sat bac wɖ a sai n softli rubd hr niz…

“Gran! Gran!” Hr litl gransun std on hr lap in hiz butnbūts. H’d jst cm in fṛm pleyñ in ɖ strīt.

“Lc ẃt a stet y’v md yr gran’z scrt intu—y wicid bô!”

Bt h pt hiz armz rnd hr nec n rubd hiz ćīc agnst hrz.

“Gran, gi’s a peni!” h cǒxt.

“B of wɖ y; Gran e’nt got no peniz.”

“Yes, y ’av.”

“No, I e’nt.”

“Yes, y ’av. Gi’s wn!”

Olrdi ś wz fīlñ fr ɖ old, sqośt, blac leɖr prs.

“Wel, ẃt’l y gv yr gran?”

H gev a śî litl laf n prest closr. Ś flt hiz îlid qiṿrñ agnst hr ćīc. “I e’nt got nʈñ,” h mrmrd…

Ɖ old wmn sprañ p, sizd ɖ ayn cetl of ɖ gaștov n tc it ovr t ɖ snc. Ɖ nôz v ɖ wōtr drumñ in ɖ cetl dednd hr pen, it sīmd. Ś fild ɖ peil, tù, n ɖ wośñ-up bol.

It wd tec a hol bc t dscrîb ɖ stet v ɖt cićn. Jrñ ɖ wīc ɖ litrri jntlmn “dd” fr himslf. Ɖt z t se, h emtid ɖ tīlīvz nǎ n agn intu a jamjar set asd fr ɖt prṗs, n f h ran ǎt v clīn forcs h wîpt ovr wn or tū on ɖ rolr tǎl. Uɖ̇wz, az h xplend t hiz frendz, hiz “sistm” wz qt simpl, n h cd’nt unḍstand ẃ ppl md ol ɖs fus abt hǎscīpñ.

“Y simpli drti evrʈñ y’v got, gt a hag in wns a wīc t clīn p, n ɖ ʈñ’z dn.”

Ɖ rzult lct lîc a jîgantic dusbin. Īvn ɖ flor wz litrd wɖ tostcrusts, enṿlops, siġrét- endz. Bt Ma Parcr bòr him no gruj. Ś pitid ɖ pur yuñ jntlmn fr hvñ nwn t lc aftr him. Ǎt v ɖ smuji litl windo y cd si an imns xpans v sad-lcñ scî, n ẃnvr ɖr wr clǎdz ɖe lct vri wòrn, old clǎdz, freid at ɖ éjz, wɖ houlz in ɖm, or darc stenz lîc ti.

Ẃl ɖ wōtr wz hītñ, Ma Parcr bgan swīpñ ɖ flor. “Yes,” ś ʈt, az ɖ brūm noct, “ẃt wɖ wn ʈñ n anɖr I’v hd mî śer. I’v hd a hard lîf.”

Īvn ɖ nebrz sd ɖt v hr. Mni a tîm, hoḅlñ hom wɖ hr fiśbag ś hŕd ɖm, wêtñ at ɖ cornr, or līnñ ovr ɖ erịrelñz, se amñ ɖmslvz, “Ś’z hd a hard lîf, hz Ma Parcr.” N it wz so tru ś wz’nt in ɖ līst prǎd v it. It wz jst az f y wr t se ś livd in ɖ besmntbac at Numbr 27. A hard lîf!…

At sixtīn ś’d left Stratf̣d n cm p t Lundn az cićnmeid. Yes, ś wz born in Stratf̣d-on-Êvn. Śecspir, sr? No, ppl wr olwz ascñ hr abt him. Bt ś’d nvr hŕd hiz nem untl ś sw it on ɖ ʈiytrz.

Nʈñ rmend v Stratf̣d xpt ɖt “sitñ in ɖ fîrples v a īvnñ y cd si ɖ starz ʈru ɖ ćimli,” n “Muɖr olwz ’ad ’r sîd v bêcn, ’aññ fṛm ɖ sīlñ.” N ɖr wz smʈñ—a bś, ɖr wz—at ɖ frunt dor, ɖt smelt evr so nîs. Bt ɖ bś wz vri veg. Ś’d onli rmembrd it wns or twîs in ɖ hospitl, ẃn ś’d bn tecn bad.

Ɖt wz a dredfl ples—hr frst ples. Ś wz nvr alaud ǎt. Ś nvr wnt upsterz xpt fr prerz mornñ n īvnñ. It wz a fer sélr. N ɖ cc wz a cruwl wmn. Ś yst t snać awe hr letrz fṛm hom bfr ś’d réd ɖm, n ʈro ɖm in ɖ renj bcz ɖe md hr drīmi… N ɖ bīdlz! Wd y b’liv it?—untl ś cem t Lundn ś’d nvr sìn a blac bīdl. Hir Ma olwz gev a litl laf, az ɖo—nt t hv sìn a blac bīdl! Wel! It wz az f t se y’d nvr sìn yr ǒn fīt.

Ẃn ɖt faṃli wz sold p ś wnt az “hlp” t a doctr’z hǎs, n aftr tū yirz ɖr, on ɖ run fṛm mornñ tl nît, ś marid hr huzbnd. H wz a becr.

“A becr, Msz. Parcr!” ɖ litrri jntlmn wd se. Fr oceźṇli h leid asd hiz tǒmz n lent an ir, at līst, t ɖs product cōld Lîf. “It mst b rɖr nîs t b marid t a becr!”

Msz. Parcr dd’nt lc so śr.

“Sć a clīn tred,” sd ɖ jntlmn.

Msz. Parcr dd’nt lc cnvinst.

“N dd’nt y lîc handñ ɖ ny lovz t ɖ custmrz?”

“Wel, sr,” sd Msz. Parcr, “I wz’nt in ɖ śop abv a gret dīl. W hd ʈrtīn litl wnz n berid sevn v ɖm. F it wz’nt ɖ ’ospitl it wz ɖ infrṃri, y mt se!”

“Y mt, indd, Msz. Parcr!” sd ɖ jntlmn, śuḍrñ, n tecñ p hiz pén agn.

Yes, sevn hd gn, n ẃl ɖ six wr stl smōl hr huzbnd wz tecn il wɖ cnsumśn. It wz flaur on ɖ luñz, ɖ doctr tld hr at ɖ tîm… Hr huzbnd sat p in bed wɖ hiz śrt pld ovr hiz hed, n ɖ doctr’z fngr drù a srcl on hiz bac.

“Nǎ, f w wr t cut him opn hir, Msz. Parcr,” sd ɖ doctr, “y’d fînd hiz luñz ćóc-a-bloc wɖ ẃît pǎdr. Briɖ, mî gd felo!” N Msz. Parcr nvr ń fr srtn ẃɖr ś sw or ẃɖr ś fansid ś sw a gret fan v ẃît dust cm ǎt v hr pur ded huzbnd’z lips…

Bt ɖ strugl ś’d hd t brñ p ɖoz six litl ćildṛn n cīp hrslf t hrslf. Teṛbl it hd bn! Ɖen, jst ẃn ɖe wr old inuf t g t scūl hr huzbnd’z sistr cem t stop wɖ ɖm t hlp ʈñz alñ, n ś hd’nt bn ɖr mor ɖn tū munʈs ẃn ś fél dǎn a flît v steps n hrt hr spîn. N fr fîv yirz Ma Parcr hd anɖr bebi—n sć a wn fr crayñ!—t lc aftr. Ɖen yuñ Mōdi wnt roñ n tc hr sistr Alis wɖ hr; ɖ tū bôz eṃgretd, n yuñ Jim wnt t India wɖ ɖ armi, n Eʈl, ɖ yungist, marid a gd-fr-nʈñ litl wêtr hu daid v ulsrz ɖ yir litl Leni wz born. N nǎ litl Leni—mî gransun…

Ɖ pîlz v drti cups, drti diśz, wr wośt n draid. Ɖ ñc-blac nîvz wr clīnd wɖ a pìs v pteto n finiśt of wɖ a pìs v corc. Ɖ tebl wz scrubd, n ɖ dresr n ɖ snc ɖt hd sardīnteilz swimñ in it…

H’d nvr bn a stroñ ćîld—nvr fṛm ɖ frst. H’d bn wn v ɖoz fer bebiz ɖt evrbdi tc fr a grl. Silṿri fer crlz h hd, blu îz, n a litl frecl lîc a dîmnd on wn sîd v hiz nǒz. Ɖ trubl ś n Eʈl hd hd t rir ɖt ćîld! Ɖ ʈñz ǎt v ɖ nyzpeprz ɖe traid him wɖ! Evri Súnde mornñ Eʈl wd rīd alǎd ẃl Ma Parcr dd hr wośñ.

“Dir Sr,—Jst a lîn t let y nǒ mî litl Mrtl wz leid ǎt fr ded… Aftr for botlz… gend 8 pǎndz in 9 wīcs, n z stl ptñ it on.”

N ɖen ɖ egcup v ñc wd cm of ɖ dresr n ɖ letr wd b ritn, n Ma wd bai a postl ordr on hr we t wrc nxt mornñ. Bt it wz no ys. Nʈñ md litl Leni pt it on. Tecñ him t ɖ seṃtri, īvn, nvr gev him a culr; a nîs śec-up in ɖ bus nvr impruvd hiz aṗtît.

Bt h wz gran’z bô fṛm ɖ frst…

“Huz bô r y?” sd old Ma Parcr, streṭnñ p fṛm ɖ stov n gwñ ovr t ɖ smuji windo. N a litl vôs, so worm, so clos, it haf stîfld hr—it sīmd t b in hr brest undr hr hart—laft ǎt, n sd, “I’m gran’z bô!”

At ɖt momnt ɖr wz a sǎnd v steps, n ɖ litrri jntlmn apird, drest fr wōcñ.

“Ǒ, Msz. Parcr, I’m gwñ ǎt.”

“Vri gd, sr.”

“N y’l fînd yr haf-crǎn in ɖ tre v ɖ ñcstand.”

“Ʈanc y, sr.”

“Ǒ, bî ɖ we, Msz. Parcr,” sd ɖ litrri jntlmn qcli, “y dd’nt ʈro awe eni coco last tîm y wr hir—dd y?”

“No, sr.” “Vri strenj. I cd hv sworn I left a tīspūnfl v coco in ɖ tin.” H brouc of. H sd softli n frmli, “Y’l olwz tel m ẃn y ʈro ʈñz awe—w’nt y, Msz. Parcr?” N h wōct of vri wel plizd wɖ himslf, cnvinst, in fact, h’d śoun Msz. Parcr ɖt undr hiz apaṛnt cerlisnis h wz az vijiḷnt az a wmn.

Ɖ dor bañd. Ś tc hr bruśz n cloʈs intu ɖ bedrūm. Bt ẃn ś bgan t mc ɖ bed, smuɖñ, tucñ, patñ, ɖ ʈt v litl Leni wz unbeṛbl. Ẃ dd h hv t sufr so? Ɖt’s ẃt ś cd’nt unḍstand. Ẃ śd a litl enjlćîld hv t asc fr hiz breʈ n fît fr it? Ɖr wz no sns in mcñ a ćîld sufr lîc ɖt.

… Fṛm Leni’z litl box v a ćst ɖr cem a sǎnd az ɖo smʈñ wz bôlñ. Ɖr wz a gret lump v smʈñ buḅlñ in hiz ćst ɖt h cd’nt gt rid v. Ẃn h coft ɖ swet sprañ ǎt on hiz hed; hiz îz buljd, hiz handz wevd, n ɖ gret lump bubld az a pteto nocs in a sōspn. Bt ẃt wz mor ōfl ɖn ol wz ẃn h dd’nt cof h sat agnst ɖ pilo n nvr spouc or ansrd, or īvn md az f h hŕd. Onli h lct ofndd.

“It’s nt yr pur old gran’z dwñ it, mî luvi,” sd old Ma Parcr, patñ bac ɖ damp her fṛm hiz litl scarlit irz. Bt Leni muvd hiz hed n éjd awe. Dredf̣li ofndd wɖ hr h lct—n soḷm. H bnt hiz hed n lct at hr sîdwez az ɖo h cd’nt hv b’livd it v hiz gran.

Bt at ɖ last… Ma Parcr ʈrù ɖ cǎnṭpein ovr ɖ bed. No, ś simpli cd’nt ʈnc abt it. It wz tù mć—ś’d hd tù mć in hr lîf t ber. Ś’d bòrn it p tl nǎ, ś’d cept hrslf t hrslf, n nvr wns hd ś bn sìn t crî. Nvr bî a livñ soul. Nt īvn hr ǒn ćildṛn hd sìn Ma brec dǎn. Ś’d cept a prǎd fes olwz. Bt nǎ! Leni gn—ẃt hd ś? Ś hd nʈñ. H wz ol ś’d got fṛm lîf, n nǎ h wz tc tù. Ẃ mst it ol hv hapnd t m? ś wundrd. “Ẃt hv I dn?” sd old Ma Parcr. “Ẃt hv I dn?”

Az ś sd ɖoz wrdz ś sudnli let fōl hr bruś. Ś faund hrslf in ɖ cićn. Hr miẓri wz so teṛbl ɖt ś pind on hr hat, pt on hr jacit n wōct ǎt v ɖ flat lîc a prsn in a drīm. Ś dd nt nǒ ẃt ś wz dwñ. Ś wz lîc a prsn so dezd bî ɖ horr v ẃt hz hapnd ɖt h wōcs awe—enẃr, az ɖo bî wōcñ awe h cd iscep…

It wz cold in ɖ strīt. Ɖr wz a wind lîc îs. Ppl wnt flitñ bî, vri fast; ɖ men wōct lîc sizrz; ɖ wimin trod lîc cats. N nbdi ń—nbdi cerd. Īvn f ś brouc dǎn, f at last, aftr ol ɖz yirz, ś wr t crî, ś’d fînd hrslf in ɖ loc-up az lîc az nt.

Bt at ɖ ʈt v crayñ it wz az ɖo litl Leni lept in hiz gran’z armz. Ā, ɖt’s ẃt ś wonts t d, mî duv. Gran wonts t crî. F ś cd onli crî nǎ, crî fr a loñ tîm, ovr evrʈñ, bginñ wɖ hr frst ples n ɖ cruwl cc, gwñ on t ɖ doctr’z, n ɖen ɖ sevn litl wnz, deʈ v hr huzbnd, ɖ ćildṛn’z līvñ hr, n ol ɖ yirz v miẓri ɖt léd p t Leni. Bt t hv a propr crî ovr ol ɖz ʈñz wd tec a loñ tîm. Ol ɖ sem, ɖ tîm fr it hd cm. Ś mst d it. Ś cd’nt pt it of eni longr; ś cd’nt wêt eni mor… Ẃr cd ś g?

“Ś’z hd a hard lîf, hz Ma Parcr.” Yes, a hard lîf, indd! Hr ćin bgan t trembl; ɖr wz no tîm t lūz. Bt ẃr? Ẃr?

Ś cd’nt g hom; Eʈl wz ɖr. It wd frîtn Eʈl ǎt v hr lîf. Ś cd’nt sit on a bnć enẃr; ppl wd cm ascñ hr qsćnz. Ś cd’nt poṣbli g bac t ɖ jntlmn’z flat; ś hd no rît t crî in strenjrz’ hǎzz. F ś sat on sm steps a p’līsmn wd spīc t hr.

Ǒ, wz’nt ɖr enẃr ẃr ś cd hîd n cīp hrslf t hrslf n ste az loñ az ś lîct, nt dstrbñ enbdi, n nbdi wuriyñ hr? Wz’nt ɖr enẃr in ɖ wrld ẃr ś cd hv hr crî ǎt—at last?

Ma Parcr std, lcñ p n dǎn. Ɖ îsi wind blù ǎt hr epṛn intu a b’lūn. N nǎ it bgan t ren. Ɖr wz nẃr.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: THE YOUNG GIRL, by Katherine Mansfield

Ɖ YUÑ GRL

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

In hr blu dres, wɖ hr ćīcs lîtli fluśt, hr blu, blu îz, n hr gold crlz pind p az ɖo fr ɖ frst tîm—pind p t b ǎt v ɖ we fr hr flît—Msz. Radic’s dōtr mt hv jst dropt fṛm ɖs redịnt hevn. Msz. Radic’s timid, fentli astoniśt, bt dīpli admîrñ glans lct az f ś b’livd it, tù; bt ɖ dōtr dd’nt apir eni tù plizd—ẃ śd ś?—t hv alîtd on ɖ steps v ɖ Csīno. Indd, ś wz bord—bord az ɖo Hevn hd bn fl v csīnoz wɖ snufi old sents fr crūpịrz n crǎnz t ple wɖ.

“Y d’nt mînd tecñ Heni?” sd Msz. Radic. “Śr y d’nt? Ɖr’z ɖ car, n y’l hv ti n w’l b bac hir on ɖs step—rît hir—in an aur. Y si, I wont hr t g in. Ś’z nt bn bfr, n it’s wrʈ siyñ. I fīl it wd’nt b fer t hr.”

“Ǒ, śut p, muɖr,” sd ś wiṛli. “Cm alñ. D’nt tōc so mć. N yr bag’z opn; y’l b luzñ ol yr muni agn.”

“I’m sori, darlñ,” sd Msz. Radic.

“Ǒ, d cm in! I wont t mc muni,” sd ɖ impeśnt vôs. “It’s ol joli wel fr y—bt I’m brouc!”

“Hir—tec fifti francs, darlñ, tec a hundṛd!” I sw Msz. Radic presñ nots intu hr hand az ɖe pást ʈru ɖ swñ dorz.

Heni n I std on ɖ steps a minit, woćñ ɖ ppl. H hd a vri brōd, dlîtd smîl.

“I se,” h craid, “ɖr’z an Ñgliś bldog. R ɖe alaud t tec dogz in ɖr?”

“No, ɖ’r nt.”

“H’z a ripñ ćap, z’nt h? I wś I hd wn. Ɖ’r sć fun. Ɖe frîtn ppl so, n ɖ’r nvr firs wɖ ɖer—ɖ ppl ɖe b’loñ t.” Sudnli h sqizd mî arm. “I se, d lc at ɖt old wmn. Hu z ś? Ẃ dz ś lc lîc ɖt? Z ś a gamblr?”

Ɖ enćnt, wiɖrd crīćr, wẹrñ a grīn satin dres, a blac velvit clǒc n a ẃît hat wɖ prpl feɖrz, jrct slǒli, slǒli p ɖ steps az ɖo ś wr biyñ drwn p on wîrz. Ś stérd in frunt v hr, ś wz lafñ n nodñ n cac̣lñ t hrslf; hr clwz clućt rnd ẃt lct lîc a drti būtbag.

Bt jst at ɖt momnt ɖr wz Msz. Radic agn wɖ—hr—n anɖr ledi hoṿrñ in ɖ bacgrǎnd. Msz. Radic ruśt at m. Ś wz brîtli fluśt, ge, a difṛnt crīćr. Ś wz lîc a wmn hu z seyñ “gdbî” t hr frendz on ɖ steśn platform, wɖ nt a minit t sper bfr ɖ tren starts.

“Ǒ, y’r hir, stl. Z’nt ɖt luci! Y’v nt gn. Z’nt ɖt fîn! I’v hd ɖ most dredfl tîm wɖ—hr,” n ś wevd t hr dōtr, hu std abṣlutli stil, dsdenfl, lcñ dǎn, twiḍlñ hr ft on ɖ step, mîlz awe. “Ɖe w’nt let hr in. I swòr ś wz twenti-wn. Bt ɖe w’nt b’liv m. I śoud ɖ man mî prs; I dd’nt der t d mor. Bt it wz no ys. H simpli scoft… N nǎ I’v jst met Msz. McYwn fṛm Ny Yorc, n ś jst wún ʈrtīn ʈǎznd in ɖ Salle Privée—n ś wonts m t g bac wɖ hr ẃl ɖ luc lasts. V cors I c’nt līv—hr. Bt f y’d—”

At ɖt “ś” lct p; ś simpli wiɖrd hr muɖr. “Ẃ c’nt y līv m?” ś sd fyrịsli. “Ẃt utr rot! Hǎ der y mc a sīn lîc ɖs? Ɖs z ɖ last tîm I’l cm ǎt wɖ y. Y riyli r tù ōfl fr wrdz.” Ś lct hr muɖr p n dǎn. “Cām yrslf,” ś sd sūprbli.

Msz. Radic wz despṛt, jst despṛt. Ś wz “wîld” t g bac wɖ Msz. McYwn, bt at ɖ sem tîm…

I sizd mî curij. “Wd y—d y cer t cm t ti wɖ—s?”

“Yes, yes, ś’l b dlîtd. Ɖt’s jst ẃt I wontd, z’nt it, darlñ? Msz. McYwn… I’l b bac hir in an aur… or les… I’l…”

Msz. R. daśt p ɖ steps. I sw hr bag wz opn agn.

So w ʈri wr left. Bt riyli it wz’nt mî fōlt. Heni lct cruśt t ɖ rʈ, tù. Ẃn ɖ car wz ɖr ś rápt hr darc cot rnd hr—t iscep cntaṃneśn. Īvn hr litl fīt lct az ɖo ɖe scornd t cari hr dǎn ɖ steps t s.

“I am so ōf̣li sori,” I mrmrd az ɖ car startd.

“Ǒ, I d’nt mînd,” sd ś. “I d’nt wont t lc twenti-wn. Hu wd—f ɖe wr sevntīn! It’s”—n ś gev a fent śudr—“ɖ stypidti I loɖ, n biyñ stérd at bî old fat men. Bīsts!”

Heni gev hr a qc lc n ɖen pīrd ǎt v ɖ windo.

W drù p bfr an imns palis v pnc-n-ẃît marbl wɖ orinjtrīz ǎtsd ɖ dorz in gold-n-blac tubz.

“Wd y cer t g in?” I sjstd.

Ś heztetd, glanst, bit hr lip, n rzînd hrslf. “Ǒ wel, ɖr sīmz nẃr els,” sd ś. “Gt ǎt, Heni.”

I wnt frst—t fînd ɖ tebl, v cors—ś foloud. Bt ɖ wrst v it wz hvñ hr litl bruɖr, hu wz onli twelv, wɖ s. Ɖt wz ɖ last, fînl strw—hvñ ɖt ćîld, trelñ at hr hìlz.

Ɖr wz wn tebl. It hd pnc carneśnz n pnc plets wɖ litl blu tīnapcinz fr sêlz.

“Śl w sit hir?”

Ś pt hr hand wiṛli on ɖ bac v a ẃît wicr ćer.

“W me az wel. Ẃ nt?” sd ś.

Heni sqizd past hr n rigld on t a stūl at ɖ end. H flt ōf̣li ǎt v it. Ś dd’nt īvn tec hr gluvz of. Ś lowrd hr îz n drumd on ɖ tebl. Ẃn a fent vaylin sǎndd ś winst n bit hr lip agn. Sîḷns.

Ɖ wêtris apird. I hardli derd t asc hr. “Ti—cofi? Ćîna ti—or îst ti wɖ lemn?”

Riyli ś dd’nt mînd. It wz ol ɖ sem t hr. Ś dd’nt riyli wont enʈñ. Heni ẃisprd, “Ćocḷt!”

Bt jst az ɖ wêtris trnd awe ś craid ǎt cerlisli, “Ǒ, y me az wel brñ m a ćocḷt, tù.”

Ẃl w wêtd ś tc ǎt a litl, gold pǎdrbox wɖ a mirr in ɖ lid, śc ɖ pur litl puf az ɖo ś loɖd it, n dabd hr luvli nǒz.

“Heni,” ś sd, “tec ɖoz flǎrz awe.” Ś pôntd wɖ hr puf t ɖ carneśnz, n I hŕd hr mrmr, “I c’nt ber flǎrz on a tebl.” Ɖe hd evidntli bn gvñ hr intns pen, fr ś poztivli clozd hr îz az I muvd ɖm awe.

Ɖ wêtris cem bac wɖ ɖ ćocḷt n ɖ ti. Ś pt ɖ big, froʈñ cups bfr ɖm n pśt acrs mî clir glas. Heni berid hiz nǒz, imrjd, wɖ, fr wn dredfl momnt, a litl tremḅlñ blob v crīm on ɖ tip. Bt h hesṭli wîpt it of lîc a litl jntlmn. I wundrd f I śd der drw hr atnśn t hr cup. Ś dd’nt notis it—dd’nt si it—untl sudnli, qt bî ćans, ś tc a sip. I woćt añśsli; ś fentli śudrd.

“Dredf̣li swīt!” sd ś.

A tîni bô wɖ a hed lîc a rezn n a ćocḷt bodi cem rnd wɖ a tre v pestriz—ro upn ro v litl frīcs, litl insṗreśnz, litl mltñ drīmz. H ofrd ɖm t hr. “Ǒ, I’m nt at ol hungri. Tec ɖm awe.”

H ofrd ɖm t Heni. Heni gev m a swift lc—it mst hv bn saṭsfactri—fr h tc a ćocḷt crīm, a cofi icler, a mrañ stuft wɖ ćesnut n a tîni horn fild wɖ freś strwḅriz. Ś cd hardli ber t woć him. Bt jst az ɖ bô swrvd awe ś hld p hr plet.

“Ǒ wel, gv m wn,” sd ś.

Ɖ silvr toñz dropt wn, tū, ʈri—n a ćeri tartlit. “I d’nt nǒ ẃ y’r gvñ m ol ɖz,” ś sd, n nirli smîld. “I ś’nt īt ɖm; I cd’nt!”

I flt mć mor cumftbl. I sipt mî ti, līnd bac, n īvn asct f I mt smoc. At ɖt ś pōzd, ɖ forc in hr hand, opnd hr îz, n riyli dd smîl. “V cors,” sd ś. “I olwz xpct ppl t.”

Bt at ɖt momnt a traɉdi hapnd t Heni. H spird hiz pestri horn tù hard, n it flù in tū, n wn haf spild on ɖ tebl. Gastli afer! H trnd crimzn. Īvn hiz irz flerd, n wn aśemd hand crept acrs ɖ tebl t tec ẃt wz left v ɖ bodi awe.

“Y utr litl bīst!” sd ś.

Gd hevnz! I hd t flî t ɖ rescy. I craid hesṭli, “Wl y b abrōd loñ?”

Bt ś hd olrdi fgotn Heni. I wz fgotn, tù. Ś wz trayñ t rmembr smʈñ… Ś wz mîlz awe.

“I—d’nt—nǒ,” ś sd slǒli, fṛm ɖt far ples.

“I s’poz y prifŕ it t Lundn. It’s mor… mor…”

Ẃn I dd’nt g on ś cem bac n lct at m, vri puzld. “Mor…?”

Enfin—geyr,” I craid, wevñ mî siġrét.

Bt ɖt tc a hol cec t cnsidr. Īvn ɖen, “Ǒ wel, ɖt dpndz!” wz ol ś cd sefli se.

Heni hd finiśt. H wz stl vri worm.

I sizd ɖ buṭflîlist of ɖ tebl. “I se—ẃt abt an îs, Heni? Ẃt abt tanɉrīn n jinjr? No, smʈñ cūlr. Ẃt abt a freś pînapl crīm?”

Heni stroñli apruvd. Ɖ wêtris hd hr î on s. Ɖ ordr wz tecn ẃn ś lct p fṛm hr crumz.

“Dd y se tanɉrīn n jinjr? I lîc jinjr. Y cn brñ m wn.” N ɖen qcli, “I wś ɖt orcistra wd’nt ple ʈñz fṛm ɖ yir Wn. W wr dansñ t ɖt ol last Crisṃs. It’s tù sic̣nñ!”

Bt it wz a ćarmñ er. Nǎ ɖt I notist it, it wormd m.

“I ʈnc ɖs z rɖr a nîs ples, d’nt y, Heni?” I sd.

Heni sd: “Ripñ!” H mnt t se it vri lo, bt it cem ǎt vri hî in a cnd v sqīc.

Nîs? Ɖs ples? Nîs? Fr ɖ frst tîm ś stérd abt hr, trayñ t si ẃt ɖr wz… Ś blinct; hr luvli îz wundrd. A vri gd-lcñ eldrli man stérd bac at hr ʈru a moṇcl on a blac ribn. Bt him ś simpli cd’nt si. Ɖr wz a houl in ɖ er ẃr h wz. Ś lct ʈru n ʈru him.

Fîṇli ɖ litl flat spūnz le stil on ɖ glas plets. Heni lct rɖr xōstd, bt ś pld on hr ẃît gluvz agn. Ś hd sm trubl wɖ hr dîmnd ristwoć; it got in hr we. Ś tugd at it—traid t brec ɖ stypid litl ʈñ—it wd’nt brec. Fîṇli, ś hd t drag hr gluv ovr. I sw, aftr ɖt, ś cd’nt stand ɖs ples a momnt longr, n, indd, ś jumt p n trnd awe ẃl I wnt ʈru ɖ vulgr act v peyñ fr ɖ ti.

N ɖen w wr ǎtsd agn. It hd groun dusci. Ɖ scî wz sprincld wɖ smōl starz; ɖ big lamps gloud. Ẃl w wêtd fr ɖ car t cm p ś std on ɖ step, jst az bfr, twiḍlñ hr ft, lcñ dǎn.

Heni bǎndd fwd t opn ɖ dor n ś got in n sanc bac wɖ—ǒ—sć a sai!

“Tel him,” ś gaspt, “t drîv az fast az h cn.”

Heni grind at hiz frend ɖ śofr. “Allie veet!” sd h. Ɖen h cmpozd himslf n sat on ɖ smōl sīt fesñ s.

Ɖ gold pǎdrbox cem ǎt agn. Agn ɖ pur litl puf wz śecn; agn ɖr wz ɖt swift, dedli-sīcrit glans btwn hr n ɖ mirr.

W tòr ʈru ɖ blac-n-gold tǎn lîc a per v sizrz tẹrñ ʈru bṛced. Heni hd gret dificlti nt t lc az ɖo h wr haññ on t smʈñ.

N ẃn w rīćt ɖ Csīno, v cors Msz. Radic wz’nt ɖr. Ɖr wz’nt a sîn v hr on ɖ steps—nt a sîn.

“Wl y ste in ɖ car ẃl I g n lc?”

Bt no—ś wd’nt d ɖt. Gd hevnz, no! Heni cd ste. Ś cd’nt ber sitñ in a car. Ś’d wêt on ɖ steps.

“Bt I scersli lîc t līv y,” I mrmrd. “I’d vri mć rɖr nt līv y hir.”

At ɖt ś ʈrù bac hr cot; ś trnd n fest m; hr lips partd. “Gd hevnz—ẃ! I… I d’nt mînd it a bit. I… I lîc wêtñ.” N sudnli hr ćīcs crimznd, hr îz grù darc—fr a momnt I ʈt ś wz gwñ t crî. “L-let m, plīz,” ś stamrd, in a worm, īgr vôs. “I lîc it. I luv wêtñ! Riyli… riyli I d! I’m olwz wêtñ—in ol cndz v plesz… ”

Hr darc cot fél opn, n hr ẃît ʈrot—ol hr soft yuñ bodi in ɖ blu dres—wz lîc a flǎr ɖt z jst imrjñ fṛm its darc bud.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: MR AND MRS DOVE, by Katherine Mansfield

MR. AND MSZ. DUV

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

V  cors h ń—no man betr—ɖt h hd’nt a gost v a ćans, h hd’nt an rʈli. Ɖ vri îdīa v sć a ʈñ wz pripostṛs. So pripostṛs ɖt h’d prf̣cli unḍstand it f hr faɖr—wel, ẃtvr hr faɖr ćouz t d h’d prf̣cli unḍstand. In fact, nʈñ śort v desṗreśn, nʈñ śort v ɖ fact ɖt ɖs wz poztivli hiz last de in Ñgḷnd fr God nz hǎ loñ, wd hv scrùd him p t it. N īvn nǎ… H ćouz a tî ǎt v ɖ ćst v drorz, a blu n crīm ćec tî, n sat on ɖ sîd v hiz bed. S’pozñ ś rplaid, “Ẃt imprtinns!” wd h b s’prîzd? Nt in ɖ līst, h dsîdd, trnñ p hiz soft colr n trnñ it dǎn ovr ɖ tî. H xpctd hr t se smʈñ lîc ɖt. H dd’nt si, f h lct at ɖ afer ded sobrli, ẃt els ś cd se.

Hir h wz! N nrṿsli h taid a bo in frunt v ɖ mirr, jamd hiz her dǎn wɖ bʈ handz, pld ǎt ɖ flaps v hiz jacitpocits. Mcñ btwn 500 n 600 pǎndz a yir on a frūtfarm in—v ol plesz—R’dīźa. No capitl. Nt a peni cmñ t him. No ćans v hiz incm incrisñ fr at līst for yirz. Az fr lcs n ol ɖt sort v ʈñ, h wz cmplitli ǎt v ɖ runñ. H cd’nt īvn bost v top-houl hlʈ, fr ɖ Īst Africa biznis hd noct him ǎt so ʈuṛli ɖt h’d hd t tec six munʈs’ līv. H wz stl firf̣li pel—wrs īvn ɖn yźl ɖs afṭnun, h ʈt, bndñ fwd n pirñ intu ɖ mirr. Gd hevnz! Ẃt hd hapnd? Hiz her lct olmst brît grīn. Daś it ol, h hd’nt grīn her at ol ivnts. Ɖt wz a bit tù stīp. N ɖen ɖ grīn lît trembld in ɖ glas; it wz ɖ śado fṛm ɖ tri ǎtsd. Reji trnd awe, tc ǎt hiz siġrétces, bt rmemḅrñ hǎ ɖ metr hetd him t smoc in hiz bedrūm, pt it bac agn n driftd ovr t ɖ ćst v drorz. No, h wz daśt f h cd ʈnc v wn blesid ʈñ in hiz fevr, ẃl ś… Ā!… H stopt ded, foldd hiz armz, n līnd hard agnst ɖ ćst v drorz.

N in spît v hr pziśn, hr faɖr’z wlʈ, ɖ fact ɖt ś wz an onli ćîld n far n awe ɖ most popylr grl in ɖ nebrhd; in spît v hr byti n hr clevrnis—clevrnis!—it wz a gret dīl mor ɖn ɖt, ɖr wz riyli nʈñ ś cd’nt d; h fŭli b’livd, hd it bn nesṣri, ś wd hv bn a jīńs at enʈñ… in spît v ɖ fact ɖt hr peṛnts adord hr, n ś ɖm, n ɖ’d az sn let hr g ol ɖt we az… In spît v evri sngl ʈñ y cd ʈnc v, so t’rific wz hiz luv ɖt h cd’nt hlp hopñ. Wel, wz it hop? Or wz ɖs qir, timid loññ t hv ɖ ćans v lcñ aftr hr, v mcñ it hiz job t si ɖt ś hd evrʈñ ś wontd, n ɖt nʈñ cem nir hr ɖt wz’nt prfict… jst luv? Hǎ h luvd hr! H sqizd hard agnst ɖ ćst v drorz n mrmrd t it, “I luv hr, I luv hr!” N jst fr ɖ momnt h wz wɖ hr on ɖ we t Umtali. It wz nît. Ś sat in a cornr aslip. Hr soft ćin wz tuct intu hr soft colr, hr gold-brǎn laśz le on hr ćīcs. H dǒtd on hr delic̣t litl nǒz, hr prfict lips, hr ir lîc a bebi’z, n ɖ gold-brǎn crl ɖt haf cuvrd it. Ɖe wr pasñ ʈru ɖ jungl. It wz worm n darc n far awe. Ɖen ś wouc p n sd, “Hv I bn aslip?” n h ansrd, “Yes. R y ol rît? Hir, let m…” N h līnd fwd t… H bnt ovr hr. Ɖs wz sć blis ɖt h cd drīm no frɖr. Bt it gev him ɖ curij t bǎnd dǎnsterz, t snać hiz strw hat fṛm ɖ hōl, n t se az h clozd ɖ frunt dor, “Wel, I cn onli trî mî luc, ɖt’s ol.”

Bt hiz luc gev him a nasti jar, t se ɖ līst, olmst imīɉtli. Proṃnedñ p n dǎn ɖ gardnpaʈ wɖ Ćini n Bidi, ɖ enćnt Pīcs, wz ɖ metr. V cors Rejinld wz fond v ɖ metr n ol ɖt. Ś… ś mnt wel, ś hd no end v grit, n so on. Bt ɖr wz no dnayñ it, ś wz rɖr a grim peṛnt. N ɖr hd bn momnts, mni v ɖm, in Reji’z lîf, bfr Uncl Alic daid n left him ɖ frūtfarm, ẃn h wz cnvinst ɖt t b a wido’z onli sun wz abt ɖ wrst puniśmnt a ćap cd hv. N ẃt md it rufr ɖn evr wz ɖt ś wz poztivli ol ɖt h hd. Ś wz’nt onli a cmbînd peṛnt, az it wr, bt ś hd qoṛld wɖ ol hr ǒn n ɖ guvnr’z rleśnz bfr Reji hd wún hiz frst trǎzrpocits. So ɖt ẃnvr Reji wz homsic ǎt ɖr, sitñ on hiz darc vranda bî starlît, ẃl ɖ graṃfon craid, “Dir, ẃt z Lîf bt Luv?” hiz onli viźn wz v ɖ metr, tōl n stǎt, ruṣlñ dǎn ɖ gardnpaʈ, wɖ Ćini n Bidi at hr hìlz…

Ɖ metr, wɖ hr sizrz ǎtspred t snap ɖ hed v a ded smʈñ or uɖr, stopt at ɖ sît v Reji.

“Y r nt gwñ ǎt, Rejinld?” ś asct, siyñ ɖt h wz.

“I’l b bac fr ti, metr,” sd Reji wìcli, plunjñ hiz handz intu hiz jacitpocits.

Snip. Of cem a hed. Reji olmst jumt.

“I śd hv ʈt y cd hv sperd yr muɖr yr last afṭnun,” sd ś.

Sîḷns. Ɖ Pīcs stérd. Ɖe unḍstd evri wrd v ɖ metr’z. Bidi le dǎn wɖ hr tuñ pǒct ǎt; ś wz so fat n glosi ś lct lîc a lump v haf-mltd tofi. Bt Ćini’z porṣlin îz glūmd at Rejinld, n h snift fentli, az ɖo ɖ hol wrld wr wn unpleznt smel. Snip, wnt ɖ sizrz agn. Pur litl begrz; ɖe wr gtñ it!

“N ẃr r y gwñ, f yr muɖr me asc?” asct ɖ metr.

It wz ovr at last, bt Reji dd nt slo dǎn untl h wz ǎt v sît v ɖ hǎs n hafwe t Crnl Proctr’z. Ɖen onli h notist ẃt a top-houl afṭnun it wz. It hd bn renñ ol ɖ mornñ, lêt-sumr ren, worm, hevi, qc, n nǎ ɖ scî wz clir, xpt fr a loñ teil v litl clǎdz, lîc duclñz, sêlñ ovr ɖ forist. Ɖr wz jst inuf wind t śec ɖ last drops of ɖ triz; wn worm star splaśt on hiz hand. Pñ!—anɖr drumd on hiz hat. Ɖ emti rod glīmd, ɖ hejz smeld v brayr, n hǎ big n brît ɖ hólihocs gloud in ɖ cotijgardnz. N hir wz Crnl Proctr’z—hir it wz olrdi. Hiz hand wz on ɖ get, hiz elbo jogd ɖ sringa-bśz, n petlz n poḷn scatrd ovr hiz cotslīv. Bt wêt a bit. Ɖs wz tù qc oltgɖr. H’d mnt t ʈnc ɖ hol ʈñ ǎt agn. Hir, stedi. Bt h wz wōcñ p ɖ paʈ, wɖ ɖ hyj rǒz-bśz on îɖr sîd. It c’nt b dn lîc ɖs. Bt hiz hand hd graspt ɖ bel, gvn it a pl, n startd it pìlñ wîldli, az f h’d cm t se ɖ hǎs wz on fîr. Ɖ hǎsmeid mst hv bn in ɖ hōl, tù, fr ɖ frunt dor flaśt opn, n Reji wz śut in ɖ emti drw̃rūm bfr ɖt cnfǎndd bel hd stopt rññ. Strenjli inuf, ẃn it dd, ɖ big rūm, śadǒi, wɖ smwn’z paṛsol layñ on top v ɖ grand piano, buct him p—or rɖr, xîtd him. It wz so qayt, n yt in wn momnt ɖ dor wd opn, n hiz fet b dsîdd. Ɖ fīlñ wz nt unlîc ɖt v biyñ at ɖ dntist’s; h wz olmst reclis. Bt at ɖ sem tîm, t hiz imns s’prîz, Reji hŕd himslf seyñ, “Lord, Ɖǎ knowest, Ɖǎ hast nt dn mć fr m…” Ɖt pld him p; ɖt md him riylîz agn hǎ ded sirịs it wz. Tù lêt. Ɖ dor handl trnd. Án cem in, crost ɖ śadǒi spes btwn ɖm, gev him hr hand, n sd, in hr smōl, soft vôs, “I’m so sori, faɖr z ǎt. N muɖr z hvñ a de in tǎn, hathuntñ. Ɖr’z onli m t entten y, Reji.”

Reji gaspt, prest hiz ǒn hat t hiz jacitbutnz, n stamrd ǎt, “Az a matr v fact, I’v onli cm… t se gdbî.”

“Ǒ!” craid Án softli—ś stept bac fṛm him n hr gre îz danst—“ẃt a vri śort vizit!”

Ɖen, woćñ him, hr ćin tiltd, ś laft ǎtrît, a loñ, soft pìl, n wōct awe fṛm him ovr t ɖ piano, n līnd agnst it, pleyñ wɖ ɖ tasl v ɖ paṛsol.

“I’m so sori,” ś sd, “t b lafñ lîc ɖs. I d’nt nǒ ẃ I d. It’s jst a bad h-habit.” N sudnli ś stamt hr gre śu, n tc a pocithanc̣ćif ǎt v hr ẃît wŭli jacit. “I riyli mst concr it, it’s tù absrd,” sd ś.

“Gd hevnz, Án,” craid Reji, “I luv t hír y lafñ! I c’nt imajin enʈñ mor…”

Bt ɖ truʈ wz, n ɖe bʈ ń it, ś wz’nt olwz lafñ; it wz’nt riyli a habit. Onli evr sins ɖ de ɖ’d met, evr sins ɖt vri frst momnt, fr sm strenj rīzn ɖt Reji wśt t God h unḍstd, Án hd laft at him. Ẃ? It dd’nt matr ẃr ɖe wr or ẃt ɖe wr tōcñ abt. Ɖe mt bgin bî biyñ az sirịs az poṣbl, ded sirịs—at eni ret, az far az h wz cnsrnd—bt ɖen sudnli, in ɖ midl v a sntns, Án wd glans at him, n a litl qc qivr pást ovr hr fes. Hr lips partd, hr îz danst, n ś bgan lafñ.

Anɖr qir ʈñ abt it wz, Reji hd an îdīa ś dd’nt hrslf nǒ ẃ ś laft. H hd sìn hr trn awe, frǎn, suc in hr ćīcs, pres hr handz tgɖr. Bt it wz no ys. Ɖ loñ, soft pìl sǎndd, īvn ẃl ś craid, “I d’nt nǒ ẃ I’m lafñ.” It wz a misṭri…

Nǎ ś tuct ɖ hanc̣ćif awe.

“D sit dǎn,” sd ś. “N smoc, w’nt y? Ɖr r siġréts in ɖt litl box bsd y. I’l hv wn tù.” H lîtd a mać fr hr, n az ś bnt fwd h sw ɖ tîni flem glo in ɖ prl rñ ś wòr. “It z tmoro ɖt y’r gwñ, z’nt it?” sd Án.

“Yes, tmoro az evr wz,” sd Reji, n h blù a litl fan v smoc. Ẃ on rʈ wz h so nrṿs? Nrṿs wz’nt ɖ wrd fr it.

“It’s… it’s frîtf̣li hard t b’liv,” h add.

“Yes… z’nt it?” sd Án softli, n ś līnd fwd n rold ɖ pônt v hr siġrét rnd ɖ grīn aśtre. Hǎ bytifl ś lct lîc ɖt!—simpli bytifl—n ś wz so smōl in ɖt imns ćer. Rejinld’z hart sweld wɖ tndrnis, bt it wz hr vôs, hr soft vôs, ɖt md him trembl. “I fīl y’v bn hir fr yirz,” ś sd.

Rejinld tc a dīp breʈ v hiz siġrét. “It’s gastli, ɖs îdīa v gwñ bac,” h sd.

“C’rūcŭcŭcu,” sǎndd fṛm ɖ qayt.

“Bt y’r fond v biyñ ǎt ɖr, r’nt y?” sd Án. Ś hct hr fngr ʈru hr prl necḷs. “Faɖr wz seyñ onli ɖ uɖr nît hǎ luci h ʈt y wr t hv a lîf v yr ǒn.” N ś lct p at him. Rejinld’z smîl wz rɖr won. “I d’nt fīl firf̣li luci,” h sd lîtli.

“Rūcŭcŭcu,” cem agn. N Án mrmrd, “Y mīn it’s lonli.”

“Ǒ, it z’nt ɖ lonlinis I cer abt,” sd Rejinld, n h stumt hiz siġrét saṿjli on ɖ grīn aśtre. “I cd stand eni amǎnt v it, yst t lîc it īvn. It’s ɖ îdīa v—” Sudnli, t hiz horr, h flt himslf bluśñ.

“Rūcŭcŭcu! Rūcŭcŭcu!”

Án jumt p. “Cm n se gdbî t mî duvz,” ś sd. “Ɖ’v bn muvd t ɖ sîd vranda. Y d lîc duvz, d’nt y, Reji?”

“Ōf̣li,” sd Reji, so frvntli ɖt az h opnd ɖ Frenć windo fr hr n std t wn sîd, Án ran fwd n laft at ɖ duvz instd.

T n fro, t n fro ovr ɖ fîn red sand on ɖ flor v ɖ duvhǎs, wōct ɖ tū duvz. Wn wz olwz in frunt v ɖ uɖr. Wn ran fwd, uṭrñ a litl crî, n ɖ uɖr foloud, soḷmli bawñ n bawñ. “Y si,” xplend Án, “ɖ wn in frunt, ś’z Msz. Duv. Ś lcs at Mr. Duv n gvz ɖt litl laf n runz fwd, n h foloz hr, bawñ n bawñ. N ɖt mcs hr laf agn. Awe ś runz, n aftr hr,” craid Án, n ś sat bac on hr hìlz, “cmz pur Mr. Duv, bawñ n bawñ… n ɖt’s ɖer hol lîf. Ɖe nvr d enʈñ els, y nǒ.” Ś got p n tc sm yelo grenz ǎt v a bag on ɖ rūf v ɖ duv hǎs. “Ẃn y ʈnc v ɖm, ǎt in R’dīźa, Reji, y cn b śr ɖt z ẃt ɖe wl b dwñ… ”

Reji gev no sîn v hvñ sìn ɖ duvz or v hvñ hŕd a wrd. Fr ɖ momnt h wz conśs onli v ɖ imns ef̣t it tc t ter hiz sīcrit ǎt v himslf n ofr it t Án. “Án, d y ʈnc y cd evr cer fr m?” It wz dn. It wz ovr. N in ɖ litl pōz ɖt foloud Rejinld sw ɖ gardn opn t ɖ lît, ɖ blu qiṿrñ scî, ɖ flutr v līvz on ɖ vranḍpolz, n Án trnñ ovr ɖ grenz v meiz on hr pām wɖ wn fngr. Ɖen slǒli ś śut hr hand, n ɖ ny wrld fedd az ś mrmrd slǒli, “No, nvr in ɖt we.” Bt h hd scersli tîm t fīl enʈñ bfr ś wōct qcli awe, n h foloud hr dǎn ɖ steps, alñ ɖ gardnpaʈ, undr ɖ pnc rǒz-arćz, acrs ɖ lōn. Ɖr, wɖ ɖ ge hbeśs bordr bhnd hr, Án fest Rejinld. “It z’nt ɖt I’m nt ōf̣li fond v y,” ś sd. “I am. Bt”—hr îz wîdnd—“nt in ɖ we”—a qivr pást ovr hr fes—“wn òt t b fond v…” Hr lips partd, n ś cd’nt stop hrslf. Ś bgan lafñ. “Ɖr, y si, y si,” ś craid, “it’s yr ćec t-tî. Īvn at ɖs momnt, ẃn wn wd ʈnc wn riyli wd b soḷm, yr tî rmîndz m firf̣li v ɖ bǒtî ɖt cats wer in picćrz! Ǒ, plīz fgiv m fr biyñ so horid, plīz!”

Reji còt hold v hr litl worm hand. “Ɖr’z no qsćn v fgivñ y,” h sd qcli. “Hǎ cd ɖr b? N I d b’liv I nǒ ẃ I mc y laf. It’s bcz y’r so far abv m in evri we ɖt I am smhǎ r’dikḷs. I si ɖt, Án. Bt f I wr t…”

“No, no.” Án sqizd hiz hand hard. “It’s nt ɖt. Ɖt’s ol roñ. I’m nt far abv y at ol. Y’r mć betr ɖn I am. Y’r marvḷsli unslfiś n… n cînd n simpl. I’m nn v ɖoz ʈñz. Y d’nt nǒ m. I’m ɖ most ōfl caṛctr,” sd Án. “Plīz d’nt inṭrupt. N bsdz, ɖt’s nt ɖ pônt. Ɖ pônt z”—ś śc hr hed—“I cd’nt poṣbli mari a man I laft at. Śrli y si ɖt. Ɖ man I mari…” briɖd Án softli. Ś brouc of. Ś drù hr hand awe, n lcñ at Reji ś smîld strenjli, drīṃli. “Ɖ man I mari…”

N it sīmd t Reji ɖt a tōl, hansm, briłnt strenjr stept in frunt v him n tc hiz ples—ɖ cnd v man ɖt Án n h hd sìn ofn at ɖ ʈiytr, wōcñ on t ɖ stej fṛm nẃr, wɖt a wrd caćñ ɖ herǒin in hiz armz, n aftr wn loñ, tṛmnḍs lc, cariyñ hr of t enẃr…

Reji baud t hiz viźn. “Yes, I si,” h sd husc̣li.

“D y?” sd Án. “Ǒ, I d hop y d. Bcz I fīl so horid abt it. It’s so hard t xplen. Y nǒ I’v nvr…” Ś stopt. Reji lct at hr. Ś wz smîlñ. “Z’nt it funi?” ś sd. “I cn se enʈñ t y. I olwz hv bn ebl t fṛm ɖ vri bginñ.”

H traid t smîl, t se “I’m glad.” Ś wnt on. “I’v nvr noun enwn I lîc az mć az I lîc y. I’v nvr flt so hapi wɖ enwn. Bt I’m śr it’s nt ẃt ppl n ẃt bcs mīn ẃn ɖe tōc abt luv. D y unḍstand? Ǒ, f y onli ń hǎ horid I fīl. Bt w’d b lîc… lîc Mr. n Msz. Duv.”

Ɖt dd it. Ɖt sīmd t Rejinld fînl, n so teṛbli tru ɖt h cd hardli ber it. “D’nt drîv it hom,” h sd, n h trnd awe fṛm Án n lct acrs ɖ lōn. Ɖr wz ɖ gardnr’z cotij, wɖ ɖ darc ilextrī bsd it. A wet, blu ʈum v trnspaṛnt smoc huñ abv ɖ ćimni. It dd’nt lc riyl. Hǎ hiz ʈrot ect! Cd h spīc? H hd a śot. “I mst b gtñ alñ hom,” h crǒct, n h bgan wōcñ acrs ɖ lōn. Bt Án ran aftr him. “No, d’nt. Y c’nt g yt,” ś sd implorñli. “Y c’nt poṣbli g awe fīlñ lîc ɖt.” N ś stérd p at him frǎnñ, bîtñ hr lip.

“Ǒ, ɖt’s ol rît,” sd Reji, gvñ himslf a śec. “I’l… I’l…” N h wevd hiz hand az mć az t se “gt ovr it.”

“Bt ɖs z ōfl,” sd Án. Ś claspt hr handz n std in frunt v him. “Śrli y d si hǎ fetl it wd b fr s t mari, d’nt y?”

“Ǒ, qt, qt,” sd Reji, lcñ at hr wɖ haġd îz.

“Hǎ roñ, hǎ wicid, fīlñ az I d. I mīn, it’s ol vri wel fr Mr. n Msz. Duv. Bt imajin ɖt in riyl lîf… Imajin it!”

“Ǒ, abṣlutli,” sd Reji, n h startd t wōc on. Bt agn Án stopt him. Ś tugd at hiz slīv, n t hiz astoniśmnt, ɖs tîm, instd v lafñ, ś lct lîc a litl grl hu wz gwñ t crî.

“Ɖen ẃ, f y unḍstand, r y so un-unhapi?” ś weild. “Ẃ d y mînd so firf̣li? Ẃ d y lc so ō-ōfl?”

Reji gulpt, n agn h wevd smʈñ awe. “I c’nt hlp it,” h sd, “I’v hd a blo. F I cut of nǎ, I’l b ebl t…”

“Hǎ cn y tōc v cutñ of nǎ?” sd Án scornf̣li. Ś stamt hr ft at Reji; ś wz crimzn. “Hǎ cn y b so cruwl? I c’nt let y g untl I nǒ fr srtn ɖt y r jst az hapi az y wr bfr y asct m t mari y. Śrli y mst si ɖt, it’s so simpl.”

Bt it dd nt sīm at ol simpl t Rejinld. It sīmd imposbli dificlt.

“Īvn f I c’nt mari y, hǎ cn I nǒ ɖt y’r ol ɖt we awe, wɖ onli ɖt ōfl muɖr t rait t, n ɖt y’r mizṛbl, n ɖt it’s ol mî fōlt?”

“It’s nt yr fōlt. D’nt ʈnc ɖt. It’s jst fet.” Reji tc hr hand of hiz slīv n cist it. “D’nt piti m, dir litl Án,” h sd jntli. N ɖs tîm h nirli ran, undr ɖ pnc arćz, alñ ɖ gardnpaʈ.

“Rūcŭcŭcu! Rūcŭcŭcu!” sǎndd fṛm ɖ vranda. “Reji, Reji,” fṛm ɖ gardn.

H stopt, h trnd. Bt ẃn ś sw hiz timid, puzld lc, ś gev a litl laf.

“Cm bac, Mr. Duv,” sd Án. N Rejinld cem slǒli acrs ɖ lōn.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel: VOICES OF THE AIR, by Katherine Mansfield

VÔSZ OV Ɖ ER

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

 

Bt ɖen ɖr cmz ɖt momnt rer
Ẃn, fr no cōz ɖt I cn fînd,
Ɖ litl vôsz v ɖ er
Sǎnd abv ol ɖ sì n wind.

Ɖ sì n wind d ɖen obe
N sayñ, sayñ dubl nots
V dubl beisz, cntnt t ple
A dronñ cōrd fr ɖ litl ʈrots—

Ɖ litl ʈrots ɖt sñ n rîz
P intu ɖ lît wɖ luvli īz
N a cnd v majicl, swīt s’prîz
To hír n nǒ ɖmslvz fr ɖz—

Fr ɖz litl vôsz: ɖ bì, ɖ flî,
Ɖ līf ɖt taps, ɖ pod ɖt brecs,
Ɖ brīz on ɖ grastops bndñ bî,
Ɖ śril qc sǎnd ɖt ɖ insect mcs.

Ɖ insect haññ upn a stem
N ɖ bīdz v wōtr dropñ alñ
Ɖ mosz, ɖ big rocs n daydém
N its infiṇt sîḷnt soñ.

Ɖ sîḷnt soñ so fent so rer
Ɖt ɖ hart mst nt bìt

Nr ɖ qc blud run
T hír ɖ inspîrd vôsz v ɖ er.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL