Category Archives: Ñspel

Poems from Uncle Arthur: JUST DESSERTS

JUST DZRTS

Ɖ stori wz nicrbocr glori

untl mî î

fél on apl pî, onli t trn

t ɖ ruf n tumbl

v rūbarb crumbl, ɖ bîlatṛl wit

v bnana split, a scrumśs plet

v caṛt cec, ou peut-etre savourer

une crème brûlée, or phps a plunj

intu trīcl spunj, n ǒ! fr a bytifl

slîs v frūt trîfl, or a ćili wōltsdrīm

v Viena îscrīm, n ẃt a sinfl bt gd ʈñ

sticitofi pdñ! or ʈncñ it ovr

ẃ nt sm pvlova, or lemn mrañ

t gv lîf a tang? bt mć az I traid

I jst cd’nt dsîd. N so it wz lcñ

ol rɖr rum baba, untl trnñ t y

I sudnli ń: ɖ dzrt I dzrvd

wz yr tiṛmisu.

INDEX OF POETSMEDIA LINKS

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

Poems from Uncle Arthur: CLOSE SHAVE

CLOS ŚEV

Nirli nict mslf śeving

az ofn I d

ẃn ɖ sop z so soft

n ɖ scî z so blu

Olmst slipt ptñ on mî soc

ẃć hapnz qt a bit

ẃn ɖ flor z so flîti

ɖ scî so blu

ɖ sop so soft

n mî hart gz hóp scip flip

Cd’v ćoct upn mî ti

ẃć z nt so rer at ol

f ɖ tīlīvz līv tù lêt

hóp scip flip

flor so flîti

sop so soft

scî so blu

n I fri-fōl ʈru ɖ hōl

Nirli wz run ovr

by Numbr 63

bcz ɖ bus wz rūbi-red

fri-fél ʈru hōl

līvz left tù lêt

hart hóp scip flip

flor so flîti

sop so soft

scî so blu

n I’m fīlñ nt qt m

Olmst disingejd yr get –

I d it qt a lot

ẃn yr getposts stand so prǎd

nt qt m wz rūbi-red

ʈru ɖ hōl līvz left tù lêt

scip flip so flîti

sop soft scî blu

n it’s olmst nǎ ocloc

Stumbld on yr dorstep –

mć īzịr ɖn y’d ʈnc

ẃn ɖ ston sz Welcm Hom

nǎ ocloc prǎd nt m rūbi

hōl ti hóp flip

fri soft blu scî

n ɖ pevmnt’s prpl-pnc

Nirli fél intu yr armz

ẃć z vri īzi tù

bcz yr îz r dîmnd-brît

ɖ pevmnt’s pnc ɖ ston sd Hom

it’s haf-past nǎ yr getposts prǎd

nt fīlñ m bus 63

fél ʈru ɖ hōl līvz left tù lêt

wnt hóp scip flip so flîti flor

fri soft blu scî

fri soft blu scî

n I’m so in luv wɖ y



INDEX OF POETSMEDIA LINKS

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

ĆRPS

IIIIII

ĆRP Ɖ FRST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tili Slǒbô

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

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

“Lor, Jon! Gd greśs, no!”

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

“Gdnis, Jon, hǎ y startl wn!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ǒ, yes!” Jon rmembrd. “I śd ʈnc so!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ǒ, yes!” Jon sd. “A gd mni.”

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

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

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

“Rīd ɖ raitñ on ɖ uɖr sîd,” sd Jon.

“Ẃ, Jon! Mî Gdnis, Jon!”

“Ā! hu’d hv ʈt it?” Jon rtrnd.

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

Jon nodd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ɖ old jntlmn?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sitñ in ɖ opn er, Jon?”

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

“H’z gwñ, Jon, I ʈnc!”

Nt at ol. H wz onli gwñ t spīc.

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

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

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

“Yr dōtr, mî gd frend?”

“Wîf,” rtrnd Jon.

“Nīs?” sd ɖ Strenjr.

“Wîf!” rord Jon.

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

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

“Bebi yrz?”

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

“Grl?”

“Bô-ô-ô!” rord Jon.

“Olso vri yuñ, ê?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Bizi jst nǎ, Cêleb?” asct ɖ Carịr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I wś it wz, or cd b!” craid ɖ Carịr.

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

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

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

“I ʈnc nt,” sd ɖ Carịr. “Trî agn.”

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

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

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

“Ẃ, Cêleb, ẃt a qsćn!”

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

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

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

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

“Y nǒ ol abt it, ɖen?”

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

“Aftr a hard strugl, I s’poz?”

“Vri.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hǎ in ɖ sem bot?” inqîrd ɖ Carịr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Y cil yr Cricits, ê?” sd Jon.

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

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

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

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

“Ā, y dog! Y’r jocñ,” sd Tacltn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Nt ugli inuf,” sd Tacltn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes, yes,” craid Dot. “Yes! Srtnli!”

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

“Huś!” ś inṭruptd. “Dir Jon!”

“Ẃ, h’z ston def,” rjd Jon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ĆRP Ɖ SECND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hǎ glad I am y bòt it, faɖr!”

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

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

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

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

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

“Brît blu,” sd Cêleb.

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

“Md lūs t ɖ figr,” sjstd Cêleb.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ɖ Blînd Grl smîld n nodd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ẃt’s ɖ matr nǎ?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Śl I tel y a sīcrit, Brʈa?”

“F y wl!” ś ansrd īgrli.

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

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

“Yes,” rplaid Brʈa. “Ɖs z ɖ de.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes,” ś ansrd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Lc rnd ɖ rūm, faɖr.”

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

“Tel m abt it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No dǎt v it,” sd Cêleb.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agn so viẓbli n instntli imbaṛst!

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

“Nn at ol. I’m—I’m śr ɖr’z nn at ol.”

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

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

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

“Ʈncñ v, Jon? I—I wz liṣnñ t y.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Forti,” Jon rplaid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ẃ, Dot!” xclemd ɖ Carịr. “Litl wmn!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Gdbî, Jon,” rtrnd Cêleb.

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

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

“I’m hir, Jon!” ś sd, startñ.

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

“I qt fgot ɖ pîp, Jon.”

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

“I’l—I’l fil it d’recli. It’s sn dn.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cêleb wz vri mć pplext t unḍstand hr.

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

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

“N ɖe wl agn,” sd Cêleb.

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

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

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

Ś ń h heztetd, n sd, “Me. Brñ Me!”

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

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

“Dir Brʈa, yes!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ǒ, śrli, Jon, n tec it az an onr!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It z,” sd Tacltn. “Cm hir, man!”

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

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

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

“Huś! I’l śo y, f y’l cm wɖ m.”

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

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

“Ẃ nt?” rtrnd ɖ Carịr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Mî dir Jon! Wōc? Tnît?”

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

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

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

ĆRP Ɖ ƮRD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ś sd so!” craid ɖ Carịr. “Tru!”

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

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

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

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

Ɖ Vôs, c’rectñ him, sd “d.”

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

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

“Upn yr ǒn harʈ—”

“Ɖ harʈ ś hz blîtd,” inṭpozd ɖ Carịr.

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

“N plīdz fr hr?” inqîrd ɖ Carịr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Śl I g?” sd Tacltn. “It’s krịs.”

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

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

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

Ɖ Carịr trnd upn him qcli.

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

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

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

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

Ɖ snir wz lost upn ɖ Carịr, hu sat dǎn tù, n śêdd hiz fes wɖ hiz hand, fr sm litl tîm, bfr pṛsidñ.

“Y śoud m last nît,” h sd at leñʈ, “mî wîf—mî wîf ɖt I luv—sīcṛtli—”

“N tndrli,” insińuetd Tacltn.

“—Cnîvñ at ɖt man’z dsgîz, n gvñ him oṗtyṇtiz v mītñ hr alon. I ʈnc ɖr’z no sît I wd’nt hv rɖr sìn ɖn ɖt. I ʈnc ɖr’z no man in ɖ wrld I wd’nt hv rɖr hd t śo it m.”

“I cnfes t hvñ hd mî sspiśnz olwz,” sd Tacltn. “N ɖt hz md m objx́ṇbl hir, I nǒ.”

“Bt, az y dd śo it m,” psyd ɖ Carịr, nt mîndñ him; “n az y sw hr, mî wîf, mî wîf ɖt I luv”—hiz vôs, n î, n hand grù stedịr n frmr az h rpitd ɖz wrdz: evidntli in psywns v a stedfst prṗs—“az y sw hr at ɖs dis’dvantij, it z rît n just ɖt y śd olso si wɖ mî îz, n lc intu mî brest, n nǒ ẃt mî mînd z upn ɖ subjict. Fr it’s setld,” sd ɖ Carịr, rgardñ him atntivli. “N nʈñ cn śec it nǎ.”

Tacltn mutrd a fy jenṛl wrdz v asnt abt its biyñ nesṣri t vinḍcet smʈñ or uɖr; bt h wz oṿōd bî ɖ manr v hiz cmpańn. Plen n unpoliśt az it wz, it hd a smʈñ digṇfaid n nobl in it, ẃć nʈñ bt ɖ soul v jenṛs onr dwelñ in ɖ man cd hv impartd.

“I am a plen, ruf man,” psyd ɖ Carịr “wɖ vri litl t rec̣mnd m. I am nt a clevr man, az y vri wel nǒ. I am nt a yuñ man. I luvd mî litl Dot, bcz I hd sìn hr gro p, fṛm a ćîld, in hr faɖr’z hǎs; bcz I ń hǎ preśs ś wz; bcz ś hd bn mî lîf fr yirz n yirz. Ɖr’z mni men I c’nt cmper wɖ, hu nvr cd hv luvd mî litl Dot lîc m, I ʈnc!”

H pōzd, n softli bìt ɖ grǎnd a śort tîm wɖ hiz ft, bfr rzymñ:

“I ofn ʈt ɖt ɖo I wz’nt gd inuf fr hr, I śd mc hr a cînd huzbnd, n phps nǒ hr valy betr ɖn anɖr; n in ɖs we I recnsîld it t mslf, n cem t ʈnc it mt b poṣbl ɖt w śd b marid. N, in ɖ end, it cem abt, n w wr marid!”

“Ha!” sd Tacltn wɖ a sgnificnt śec v hiz hed.

“I hd studid mslf; I hd hd xpirịns v mslf; I ń hǎ mć I luvd hr, n hǎ hapi I śd b,” psyd ɖ Carịr. “Bt I hd nt—I fīl it nǎ—sfiśntli cnsidrd hr.”

“T b śr,” sd Tacltn. “Gidinis, frivoḷti, ficlnis, luv v adṃreśn! Nt cnsidrd! Ol left ǎt v sît! Ha!”

“Y hd bst nt inṭrupt m,” sd ɖ Carịr wɖ sm strņis, “tl y unḍstand m; n y’r wîd v dwñ so. F, yesṭde, I’d hv struc ɖt man dǎn at a blo, hu derd t briɖ a wrd agnst hr, tde I’d set mî ft upn hiz fes, f h wz mî bruɖr!”

Ɖ tômrćnt gezd at him in astoniśmnt. H wnt on in a softr ton:

“Dd I cnsidr,” sd ɖ Carịr, “ɖt I tc hr—at hr ej, n wɖ hr byti—fṛm hr yuñ cmpańnz, n ɖ mni sīnz v ẃć ś wz ɖ orṇmnt; in ẃć ś wz ɖ brîtist litl star ɖt evr śon, t śut hr p fṛm de t de in mî dul hǎs, n cīp mî tīdịs cumṗni? Dd I cnsidr hǎ litl sūtd I wz t hr sprîtli hymr, n hǎ wirism a plodñ man lîc m mst b t wn v hr qc spirit? Dd I cnsidr ɖt it wz no merit in m, or clem in m, ɖt I luvd hr, ẃn evrbdi mst hu ń hr? Nvr. I tc advantij v hr hopfl nećr n hr ćirfl dispziśn; n I marid hr. I wś I nvr hd! Fr hr sec; nt fr mîn!”

Ɖ tômrćnt gezd at him wɖt wncñ. Īvn ɖ haf-śut î wz opn nǎ.

“Hevn bles hr!” sd ɖ Carịr, “fr ɖ ćirfl constnsi wɖ ẃć ś hz traid t cīp ɖ nolij v ɖs fṛm m! N Hevn hlp m, ɖt, in mî slo mînd, I hv nt faund it ǎt bfr! Pur ćîld! Pur Dot! I nt t fînd it ǎt, hu hv sìn hr îz fil wɖ tirz ẃn sć a marij az ǎr ǒn wz spocn v! I, hu hv sìn ɖ sīcrit tremḅlñ on hr lips a hundṛd tîmz, n nvr sspctd it, tl last nît! Pur grl! Ɖt I cd evr hop ś wd b fond v m! Ɖt I cd evr b’liv ś wz!”

“Ś md a śo v it,” sd Tacltn. “Ś md sć a śo v it, ɖt, t tel y ɖ truʈ, it wz ɖ oṛjin v mî msgvñz.”

N hir h asrtd ɖ s’pirioṛti v Me Fīldñ, hu srtnli md no sort v śo v biyñ fond v him.

“Ś hz traid,” sd ɖ pur Carịr wɖ gretr imośn ɖn h hd xibtd yt; “I onli nǎ bgin t nǒ hǎ hard ś hz traid, t b mî dytifl n zeḷs wîf. Hǎ gd ś hz bn; hǎ mć ś hz dn; hǎ brev n stroñ a hart ś hz; let ɖ hapinis I hv noun undr ɖs rūf ber witnis! It wl b sm hlp n cumf̣t t m ẃn I am hir alon.”

“Hir alon?” sd Tacltn. “Ǒ! Ɖen y d mīn t tec sm notis v ɖs?”

“I mīn,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, “t d hr ɖ gretist cîndnis, n mc hr ɖ bst reṗreśn, in mî pǎr. I cn rlis hr fṛm ɖ dêli pen v an unīql marij, n ɖ strugl t cnsil it. Ś śl b az fri az I cn rendr hr.”

“Mc hr reṗreśn!” xclemd Tacltn, twistñ n trnñ hiz gret irz wɖ hiz handz. “Ɖr mst b smʈñ roñ hir. Y dd’nt se ɖt, v cors.”

Ɖ Carịr set hiz grip upn ɖ colr v ɖ tômrćnt, n śc him lîc a rìd.

“Lisn t m!” h sd. “N tec cer ɖt y hír m rît. Lisn t m. D I spīc plenli?”

“Vri plenli indd,” ansrd Tacltn.

“Az f I mnt it?”

“Vri mć az f y mnt it.”

“I sat upn ɖt harʈ, last nît, ol nît,” xclemd ɖ Carịr. “On ɖ spot ẃr ś hz ofn sat bsd m, wɖ hr swīt fes lcñ intu mîn. I cōld p hr hol lîf de bî de. I hd hr dir slf, in its evri pasij, in rvy bfr m. N, upn mî soul, ś z iṇsnt, f ɖr z Wn t juj ɖ iṇsnt n gilti!”

Stōnś Cricit on ɖ Harʈ! Loyl Hǎshold Fẹriz!

“Paśn n dstrust hv left m!” sd ɖ Carịr; “n nʈñ bt mî grīf rmenz. In an unhapi momnt sm old luvr, betr sūtd t hr tests n yirz ɖn I, fōrsecn, phps, fr m, agnst hr wil, rtrnd. In an unhapi momnt, tecn bî s’prîz, n wontñ tîm t ʈnc v ẃt ś dd, ś md hrslf a parti t hiz treć̣ri bî cnsilñ it. Last nît ś sw him, in ɖ inṭvy w witnist. It wz roñ. Bt, uɖ̇wz ɖn ɖs, ś z iṇsnt, f ɖr z truʈ on rʈ!”

“F ɖt z yr opińn—” Tacltn bgan.

“So, let hr g!” psyd ɖ Carịr. “G, wɖ mî blesñ fr ɖ mni hapi aurz ś hz gvn m, n mî fgivnis fr eni pañ ś hz cōzd m. Let hr g, n hv ɖ pīs v mînd I wś hr! Ś’l nvr het m. Ś’l lrn t lîc m betr ẃn I’m nt a drag upn hr, n ś werz ɖ ćen I hv riṿtd mor lîtli. Ɖs z ɖ de on ẃć I tc hr, wɖ so litl ʈt fr hr injômnt, fṛm hr hom. Tde ś śl rtrn t it, n I wl trubl hr no mor. Hr faɖr n muɖr wl b hir tde—w hd md a litl plan fr cīpñ it tgɖr—n ɖe śl tec hr hom. I cn trust hr ɖr, or enẃr. Ś līvz m wɖt blem, n ś wl liv so I am śr. F I śd dî—I me phps ẃl ś z stl yuñ; I hv lost sm curij in a fy aurz—ś’l fînd ɖt I rmembrd hr, n luvd hr t ɖ last! Ɖs z ɖ end v ẃt y śoud m. Nǎ, it’s ovr!”

“Ǒ no, Jon, nt ovr! D nt se it’s ovr yt! Nt qt yt. I hv hŕd yr nobl wrdz. I cd nt stìl awe, pritndñ t b ignṛnt v ẃt hz afctd m wɖ sć dīp grattyd. D nt se it’s ovr tl ɖ cloc hz struc agn!”

Ś hd entrd śortli aftr Tacltn, n hd rmend ɖr. Ś nvr lct at Tacltn, bt fixt hr îz upn hr huzbnd. Bt ś cept awe fṛm him, setñ az wîd a spes az poṣbl btwn ɖm; n, ɖo ś spouc wɖ most impaśnd rṇstnis, ś wnt no nirr t him īvn ɖen. Hǎ difṛnt in ɖs fṛm hr old slf!

“No hand cn mc ɖ cloc ẃć wl strîc agn fr m ɖ aurz ɖt r gn,” rplaid ɖ Carịr wɖ a fent smîl. “Bt let it b so, f y wl, mî dir. It wl strîc sn. It’s v litl matr ẃt w se. I’d trî t plīz y in a hardr ces ɖn ɖt.”

“Wel!” mutrd Tacltn. “I mst b of, fr, ẃn ɖ cloc strîcs agn, it’l b nesṣri fr m t b upn mî we t ćrć. Gd mornñ, Jon Pīribngl. I’m sori t b dprîvd v ɖ pleźr v yr cumṗni. Sori fr ɖ los, n ɖ oceźn v it tù!”

“I hv spocn plenli?” sd ɖ Carịr, acumṗniyñ him t ɖ dor.

“Ǒ, qt!”

“N y’l rmembr ẃt I hv sd?”

“Ẃ, f y cmpel m t mc ɖ obẓveśn,” sd Tacltn, prīvịsli tecñ ɖ pricōśn v gtñ intu hiz śêz, “I mst se ɖt it wz so vri unixpctd, ɖt I’m far fṛm biyñ lîcli t fget it.”

“Ɖ betr fr s bʈ,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “Gdbî. I gv y jô!”

“I wś I cd gv it t y,” sd Tacltn. “Az I c’nt, ʈancī. Btwn ǎrslvz (az I tld y bfr, ê?) I d’nt mć ʈnc I śl hv ɖ les jô in mî marid lîf bcz Me hz’nt bn tù ofiśs abt m, n tù dmonstṛtiv. Gdbî! Tec cer v yrslf.”

Ɖ Carịr std lcñ aftr him untl h wz smōlr in ɖ distns ɖn hiz hors’z flǎrz n fevrz nir at hand; n ɖen, wɖ a dīp sai, wnt strolñ lîc a restlis, brocn man, amñ sm neḅrñ elmz; unwilñ t rtrn untl ɖ cloc wz on ɖ īv v strîcñ.

Hiz litl wîf, biyñ left alon, sobd pitịsli; bt ofn draid hr îz n ćect hrslf, t se hǎ gd h wz, hǎ xḷnt h wz! n wns or twîs ś laft; so harṭli, trîumfntli, n inc̣hiṛntli (stl crayñ ol ɖ tîm), ɖt Tili wz qt hoṛfaid.

“Ǎ, f y plīz, d’nt!” sd Tili. “It’s inuf t ded n beri ɖ Bebi, so it z f y plīz.”

“Wl y brñ him smtmz t si hiz faɖr, Tili,” inqîrd hr mistris, drayñ hr îz,—“ẃn I c’nt liv hir, n hv gn t mî old hom?”

“Ǎ, f y plīz, d’nt!” craid Tili, ʈrowñ bac hr hed, n brstñ ǎt intu a hǎl—ś lct at ɖ momnt uncomnli lîc Boxr. “Ǎ, f y plīz, d’nt! Ǎ, ẃt hz evrbdi gn n bn n dn wɖ evrbdi, mcñ evrbdi els so rećid? Ǎ-ǎ-ǎ-ǎ!”

Ɖ soft-hartd Slǒbô teild of at ɖs juñćr intu sć a dploṛbl hǎl, ɖ mor tṛmnḍs fṛm its loñ s’preśn, ɖt ś mst infaḷbli hv awecnd ɖ Bebi, n frîtnd him intu smʈñ sirịs (probbli cnvulśnz), f hr îz hd nt incǎntrd Cêleb Plumr līdñ in hiz dōtr. Ɖs specṭcl rstorñ hr t a sns v ɖ pṛpraytiz, ś std fr sm fy momnts sîḷnt, wɖ hr mǎʈ wîd opn; n ɖen, postñ of t ɖ bed on ẃć ɖ Bebi le aslip, danst in a wird, St. Vîṭs manr on ɖ flor, n at ɖ sem tîm rumijd wɖ hr fes n hed amñ ɖ bedcloɖz, apaṛntli d’rîvñ mć rlif fṛm ɖoz xtrordnri oṗreśnz.

“Mẹri!” sd Brʈa. “Nt at ɖ marij!”

“I tld hr y wd nt b ɖr, mum,” ẃisprd Cêleb. “I hŕd az mć last nît. Bt bles y,” sd ɖ litl man, tecñ hr tndrli bî bʈ handz, “I d’nt cer fr ẃt ɖe se. I d’nt b’liv ɖm. Ɖr an’t mć v m, bt ɖt litl śd b torn t pìsz snr ɖn I’d trust a wrd agnst y!”

H pt hiz armz abt hr nec n hugd hr, az a ćîld mt hv hugd wn v hiz ǒn dolz.

“Brʈa cd’nt ste at hom ɖs mornñ,” sd Cêleb. “Ś wz afred, I nǒ, t hír ɖ belz rñ, n cd’nt trust hrslf t b so nir ɖm on ɖer wedñde. So w startd in gd tîm, n cem hir. I hv bn ʈncñ v ẃt I hv dn,” sd Cêleb aftr a momnt’s pōz; “I hv bn blemñ mslf tl I hardli ń ẃt t d, or ẃr t trn, fr ɖ dstres v mînd I hv cōzd hr; n I’v cm t ɖ cncluźn ɖt I’d betr, f y’l ste wɖ m, mum, ɖ ẃl, tel hr ɖ truʈ. Y’l ste wɖ m ɖ ẃl?” h inqîrd, tremḅlñ fṛm hed t ft. “I d’nt nǒ ẃt ifct it me hv upn hr; I d’nt nǒ ẃt ś’l ʈnc v m; I d’nt nǒ ɖt ś’l evr cer fr hr pur faɖr aftwdz. Bt it’s bst fr hr ɖt ś śd b undisivd, n I mst ber ɖ consiqnsz az I dzrv!”

“Mẹri,” sd Brʈa, “ẃr z yr hand? Ā! Hir it z; hir it z!” presñ it t hr lips wɖ a smîl, n drw̃ it ʈru hr arm. “I hŕd ɖm spīcñ softli amñ ɖmslvz last nît v sm blem agnst y. Ɖe wr roñ.”

Ɖ Carịr’z wîf wz sîḷnt. Cêleb ansrd fr hr.

“Ɖe wr roñ,” h sd.

“I ń it!” craid Brʈa, prǎdli. “I tld ɖm so. I scornd t hír a wrd! Blem hr wɖ justis!” ś prest ɖ hand btwn hr ǒn, n ɖ soft ćīc agnst hr fes. “No, I am nt so blînd az ɖt.”

Hr faɖr wnt on wn sîd v hr, ẃl Dot rmend upn ɖ uɖr, holdñ hr hand.

“I nǒ y ol,” sd Brʈa, “betr ɖn y ʈnc. Bt nn so wel az hr. Nt īvn y, faɖr. Ɖr z nʈñ haf so riyl n so tru abt m az ś z. F I cd b rstord t sît ɖs instnt, n nt a wrd wr spocn, I cd ćūz hr fṛm a crǎd! Mî sistr!”

“Brʈa, mî dir!” sd Cêleb. “I hv smʈñ on mî mînd I wont t tel y ẃl w ʈri r alon. Hír m cîndli! I hv a cnfeśn t mc t y, mî darlñ!”

“A cnfeśn, faɖr?”

“I hv wondrd fṛm ɖ truʈ, n lost mslf, mî ćîld,” sd Cêleb wɖ a pitịbl xpreśn in hiz bwildrd fes. “I hv wondrd fṛm ɖ truʈ, intndñ t b cînd t y; n hv bn cruwl.”

Ś trnd hr wundr-stricn fes twdz him, n rpitd “Cruwl!”

“H akzz himslf tù stroñli, Brʈa,” sd Dot. “Y’l se so prezntli. Y’l b ɖ frst t tel him so.”

“H cruwl t m!” craid Brʈa wɖ a smîl v incṛdyḷti.

“Nt mīnñ it, mî ćîld,” sd Cêleb. “Bt I hv bn: ɖo I nvr sspctd it tl yesṭde. Mî dir blînd dōtr, hír m n fgiv m. Ɖ wrld y liv in, hart v mîn, dz’nt xist az I hv reprizntd it. Ɖ îz y hv trustd in hv bn fōls t y.”

Ś trnd hr wundr-stricn fes twdz him stl; bt drù bac, n cluñ closr t hr frend.

“Yr rod in lîf wz ruf, mî pur wn,” sd Cêleb, “n I mnt t smuɖ it fr y. I hv oltrd objicts, ćenjd ɖ caṛctrz v ppl, invntd mni ʈñz ɖt nvr hv bn, t mc y hapịr. I hv hd cnsilmnts fṛm y, pt dspśnz on y, God fgiv m! n srǎndd y wɖ fansiz.”

“Bt livñ ppl r nt fansiz?” ś sd huridli, n trnñ vri pel, n stl rtîrñ fṛm him. “Y c’nt ćenj ɖm.”

“I hv dn so, Brʈa,” plīdd Cêleb. “Ɖr z wn prsn ɖt y nǒ, mî duv—”

“Ǒ, faɖr! ẃ d y se, I nǒ?” ś ansrd in a trm v cīn rproć. “Ẃt n hūm d I nǒ? I hu hv no līdr! I so mizṛbli blînd!”

In ɖ anḡś v hr hart, ś strećt ǎt hr handz, az f ś wr gropñ hr we; ɖen spred ɖm, in a manr most f’lorn n sad, upn hr fes.

“Ɖ marij ɖt tecs ples tde,” sd Cêleb, “z wɖ a strn, sordid, grîndñ man. A hard mastr t y n m, mî dir, fr mni yirz. Ugli in hiz lcs, n in hiz nećr. Cold n caḷs olwz. Unlîc ẃt I hv pentd him t y in evrʈñ, mî ćîld. In evrʈñ.”

“Ǒ, ẃ,” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, torćrd, az it sīmd, olmst bynd indyṛns, “ẃ dd y evr d ɖs? Ẃ dd y evr fil mî hart so fl, n ɖen cm in lîc Deʈ, n ter awe ɖ objicts v mî luv? O Hevn, hǎ blînd I am! Hǎ hlplis n alon!”

Hr aflictd faɖr huñ hiz hed, n ofrd no rplî bt in hiz penitns n soro.

Ś hd bn bt a śort tîm in ɖs paśn v rgret ẃn ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ, unhŕd bî ol bt hr, bgan t ćrp. Nt meṛli, bt in a lo, fent, sorowñ we. It wz so mōrnfl, ɖt hr tirz bgan t flo; n, ẃn ɖ Prezns ẃć hd bn bsd ɖ Carịr ol nît, apird bhnd hr, pôntñ t hr faɖr, ɖe fél dǎn lîc ren.

Ś hŕd ɖ cricitvôs mor plenli sn, n wz conśs, ʈru hr blîndnis, v ɖ Prezns hoṿrñ abt hr faɖr.

“Mẹri,” sd ɖ Blînd Grl, “tel m ẃt mî hom z. Ẃt it trūli z.”

“It z a pur ples, Brʈa; vri pur n bér indd. Ɖ hǎs wl scersli cīp ǎt wind n ren anɖr wintr. It z az rufli śīldd fṛm ɖ weɖr, Brʈa,” Dot cntinyd in a lo, clir vôs, “az yr pur faɖr in hiz sac̦loʈ cot.”

Ɖ Blînd Grl, gretli ajtetd, rouz, n léd ɖ Carịr’z litl wîf asd.

“Ɖoz preznts ɖt I tc sć cer v; ɖt cem olmst at mî wś, n wr so dirli welcm t m,” ś sd, tremḅlñ; “ẃr dd ɖe cm fṛm? Dd y snd ɖm?”

“No.”

“Hu, ɖen?”

Dot sw ś ń olrdi, n wz sîḷnt. Ɖ Blînd Grl spred hr handz bfr hr fes agn. Bt in qt anɖr manr nǎ.

“Dir Mẹri, a momnt. Wn momnt. Mor ɖs we. Spīc softli t m. Y r tru I nǒ. Y’d nt dsiv m nǎ; wd y?”

“No, Brʈa, indd!”

“No, I am śr y wd nt. Y hv tù mć piti fr m. Mẹri, lc acrs ɖ rūm t ẃr w wr jst nǎ—t ẃr mî faɖr z—mî faɖr, so cmpaśṇt n luvñ t m—n tel m ẃt y si.”

“I si,” sd Dot, hu unḍstd hr wel, “an old man sitñ in a ćer, n līnñ sorofl on ɖ bac, wɖ hiz fes restñ on hiz hand. Az f hiz ćîld śd cumf̣t him, Brʈa.”

“Yes, yes. Ś wl. G on.”

“H z an old man, wòrn wɖ cer n wrc. H z a sper, djctd, ʈtfl, gre-herd man. I si him nǎ, dspondnt n baud dǎn, n strîvñ agnst nʈñ. Bt, Brʈa, I hv sìn him mni tîmz bfr, n strîvñ hard in mni wez, fr wn gret secrid objict. N I onr hiz gre hed, n bles him!”

Ɖ Blînd Grl brouc awe fṛm hr; n, ʈrowñ hrslf upn hr niz bfr him, tc ɖ gre hed t hr brest.

“It z mî sît rstord. It z mî sît!” ś craid. “I hv bn blînd, n nǎ mî îz r opn. I nvr ń him! T ʈnc I mt hv daid, n nvr trūli sìn ɖ faɖr hu hz bn so luvñ t m!”

Ɖr wr no wrdz fr Cêleb’z imośn.

“Ɖr z nt a gaḷnt figr on ɖs rʈ,” xclemd ɖ Blînd Grl, holdñ him in hr imbres, “ɖt I wd luv so dirli, n wd ćeriś so dvotidli, az ɖs! Ɖ greyr, n mor wòrn, ɖ dirr, faɖr! Nvr let ɖm se I am blînd agn. Ɖr’z nt a furo in hiz fes, ɖr’z nt a her upn hiz hed, ɖt śl b fgotn in mî prerz n ʈancs t Hevn!”

Cêleb manijd t artikḷt, “Mî Brʈa!”

“N in mî blîndnis I b’livd him,” sd ɖ grl, c’resñ him wɖ tirz v xqizit afx́n, “t b so difṛnt. N hvñ him bsd m de bî de, so mîndfl v m olwz, nvr drīmd v ɖs!”

“Ɖ freś smart faɖr in ɖ blu cot, Brʈa,” sd pur Cêleb. “H’z gn!”

“Nʈñ z gn,” ś ansrd. “Dirist faɖr, no! Evrʈñ z hir—in y. Ɖ faɖr ɖt I luvd so wel; ɖ faɖr ɖt I nvr luvd inuf, n nvr ń; ɖ beṇfactr hūm I frst bgan t revṛns n luv, bcz h hd sć simṗʈi fr m,—ol r hir in y. Nʈñ z ded t m. Ɖ soul v ol ɖt wz most dir t m z hir—hir, wɖ ɖ wòrn fes, n ɖ gre hed. N I am nt blînd, faɖr, eni longr!”

Dot’s hol atnśn hd bn consntretd, jrñ ɖs discors, upn ɖ faɖr n dōtr; bt lcñ, nǎ, twdz ɖ litl Hei-mcr in ɖ Mūriś medo, ś sw ɖt ɖ cloc wz wɖn a fy minits v strîcñ, n fél, imīɉtli, intu a nrṿs n xîtd stet.

“Faɖr!” sd Brʈa, heztetñ. “Mẹri!”

“Yes, mî dir,” rtrnd Cêleb. “Hir ś z.”

“Ɖr z no ćenj in hr. Y nvr tld m enʈñ v hr ɖt wz nt tru?”

“I śd hv dn it, mî dir, I’m afred,” rtrnd Cêleb, “f I cd hv md hr betr ɖn ś wz. Bt I mst hv ćenjd hr fr ɖ wrs, f I hd ćenjd hr at ol. Nʈñ cd impruv hr, Brʈa.”

Confidnt az ɖ Blînd Grl hd bn ẃn ś asct ɖ qsćn, hr dlît n prîd in ɖ rplî, n hr rnyd imbres v Dot, wr ćarmñ t bhold.

“Mor ćenjz ɖn y ʈnc fr me hapn, ɖo, mî dir,” sd Dot. “Ćenjz fr ɖ betr, I mīn; ćenjz fr gret jô t sm v s. Y ms’nt let ɖm startl y tù mć, f eni sć śd evr hapn, n afct y. R ɖoz ẃīlz upn ɖ rod? Y’v a qc ir, Brʈa. R ɖe ẃīlz?”

“Yes. Cmñ vri fast.”

“I—I—I nǒ y hv a qc ir,” sd Dot, plesñ hr hand upn hr hart, n evidntli tōcñ on az fast az ś cd, t hîd its palṗtetñ stet, “bcz I hv notist it ofn, n bcz y wr so qc t fînd ǎt ɖt strenj step last nît. Ɖo ẃ y śd hv sd, az I vri wel rec̣lect y dd se, Brʈa, ‘Huz step z ɖt?’ n ẃ y śd hv tecn eni gretr obẓveśn v it ɖn v eni uɖr step, I d’nt nǒ. Ɖo, az I sd jst nǎ, ɖr r gret ćenjz in ɖ wrld: gret ćenjz: n w c’nt d betr ɖn priper ǎrslvz t b s’prîzd at hardli enʈñ.”

Cêleb wundrd ẃt ɖs mnt; psivñ ɖt ś spouc t him, no les ɖn t hiz dōtr. H sw hr, wɖ astoniśmnt, so flutrd n dstrest ɖt ś cd scersli briɖ; n holdñ t a ćer, t sev hrslf fṛm fōlñ.

“Ɖe r ẃīlz indd!” ś pantd. “Cmñ nirr! Nirr! Vri clos! N nǎ y hír ɖm stopñ at ɖ gardn-get! N nǎ y hír a step ǎtsd ɖ dor—ɖ sem step, Brʈa, z it nt?—n nǎ——!”

Ś utrd a wîld crî v uncntroḷbl dlît; n runñ p t Cêleb, pt hr handz upn hiz îz, az a yuñ man ruśt intu ɖ rūm, n, flññ awe hiz hat intu ɖ er, cem swīpñ dǎn upn ɖm.

“Z it ovr?” craid Dot.

“Yes!”

“Haṗli ovr?”

“Yes!”

“D y rec̣lect ɖ vôs, dir Cêleb? Dd y evr hír ɖ lîc v it bfr?” craid Dot.

“F mî bô in ɖ Goldn Sǎʈ Americaz wz alîv——!” sd Cêleb, tremḅlñ.

“H z alîv!” śrīct Dot, rmuvñ hr handz fṛm hiz îz, n clapñ ɖm in xṭsi. “Lc at him! Si ẃr h standz bfr y, hlʈi n stroñ! Yr ǒn dir sun. Yr ǒn dir livñ, luvñ bruɖr, Brʈa!”

Ol onr t ɖ litl crīćr fr hr transports! Ol onr t hr tirz n laftr, ẃn ɖ ʈri wr loct in wn anɖr’z armz! Ol onr t ɖ hartinis wɖ ẃć ś met ɖ súnbrnt sêlrfelo, wɖ hiz darc strīmñ her, hafwe, n nvr trnd hr rozi litl mǎʈ asd, bt sufrd him t cis it frīli, n t pres hr t hiz bǎndñ hart!

N onr t ɖ Ccu tù—ẃ nt?—fr brstñ ǎt v ɖ trapdor in ɖ Mūriś Palis lîc a hǎsbrecr, n hicupñ twelv tîmz on ɖ asmbld cumṗni, az f h hd got drunc fr jô!

Ɖ Carịr, enṭrñ, startd bac. N wel h mt, t fînd himslf in sć gd cumṗni.

“Lc, Jon!” sd Cêleb, xultñli, “lc hir! Mî ǒn bô fṛm ɖ Goldn Sǎʈ Americaz! Mî ǒn sun! Him ɖt y fitd ǎt, n snt awe yrslf! Him ɖt y wr olwz sć a frend t!”

Ɖ Carịr advanst t sīz him bî ɖ hand; bt, rcôlñ, az sm fīćr in hiz fes awecnd a rmembṛns v ɖ Def Man in ɖ Cart, sd:

“Edẉd! Wz it y?”

“Nǎ tel him ol!” craid Dot. “Tel him ol, Edẉd; n d’nt sper m, fr nʈñ śl mc m sper mslf in hiz îz, evr agn.”

“I wz ɖ man,” sd Edẉd.

“N cd y stìl, dsgîzd, intu ɖ hǎs v yr old frend?” rjônd ɖ Carịr. “Ɖr wz a franc bô wns—hǎ mni yirz z it, Cêleb, sins w hŕd ɖt h wz ded, n hd it pruvd, w ʈt?—hu nvr wd hv dn ɖt.”

“Ɖr wz a jenṛs frend v mîn wns; mor a faɖr t m ɖn a frend,” sd Edẉd; “hu nvr wd hv jujd m, or eni uɖr man, unhŕd. Y wr h. So I am srtn y wl hír m nǎ.”

Ɖ Carịr, wɖ a trubld glans at Dot, hu stl cept far awe fṛm him, rplaid, “Wel! ɖt’s bt fer. I wl.”

“Y mst nǒ ɖt ẃn I left hir a bô,” sd Edẉd, “I wz in luv, n mî luv wz rtrnd. Ś wz a vri yuñ grl, hu phps (y me tel m) dd’nt nǒ hr ǒn mînd. Bt I ń mîn, n I hd a paśn fr hr.”

“Y hd!” xclemd ɖ Carịr. “Y!”

“Indd I hd,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr. “N ś rtrnd it. I hv evr sins b’livd ś dd, n nǎ I am śr ś dd.”

“Hevn hlp m!” sd ɖ Carịr. “Ɖs z wrs ɖn ol.”

“Constnt t hr,” sd Edẉd, “n rtrnñ, fl v hop, aftr mni hardśps n perilz, t rdim mî part v ǎr old contract, I hŕd, twenti mîlz awe, ɖt ś wz fōls t m; ɖt ś hd fgotn m; n hd bstoud hrslf upn anɖr n a rićr man. I hd no mînd t rproć hr; bt I wśt t si hr, n t pruv bynd dspyt ɖt ɖs wz tru. I hopt ś mt hv bn forst intu it agnst hr ǒn dzîr n rec̣lex́n. It wd b smōl cumf̣t, bt it wd b sm, I ʈt, n on I cem. Ɖt I mt hv ɖ truʈ, ɖ riyl truʈ, obzrvñ frīli fr mslf, n jujñ fr mslf, wɖt obstrux́n on ɖ wn hand, or prizntñ mî ǒn inflụns (f I hd eni) bfr hr, on ɖ uɖr, I drest mslf unlîc mslf—y nǒ hǎ; n wêtd on ɖ rod—y nǒ ẃr. Y hd no sspiśn v m; nɖr hd—hd ś,” pôntñ t Dot, “untl I ẃisprd in hr ir at ɖt fîrsîd, n ś so nirli btreid m.”

“Bt ẃn ś ń ɖt Edẉd wz alîv, n hd cm bac,” sobd Dot, nǎ spīcñ fr hrslf, az ś hd brnd t d, ol ʈru ɖs naṛtiv; “n ẃn ś ń hiz prṗs, ś advîzd him bî ol mīnz t cīp hiz sīcrit clos; fr hiz old frend Jon Pīribngl wz mć tù opn in hiz nećr, n tù clumzi in ol arṭfis—biyñ a clumzi man in jenṛl,” sd Dot, haf lafñ n haf crayñ—“t cīp it fr him. N ẃn ś—ɖt’s m, Jon,” sobd ɖ litl wmn—“tld him ol, n hǎ hiz swīthart hd b’livd him t b ded; n hǎ ś hd at last bn oṿpswedd bî hr muɖr intu a marij ẃć ɖ sili, dir old ʈñ cōld advntejs; n ẃn ś—ɖt’s m agn, Jon—tld him ɖe wr nt yt marid (ɖo clos upn it), n ɖt it wd b nʈñ bt a sacṛfîs f it wnt on, fr ɖr wz no luv on hr sîd; n ẃn h wnt nirli mad wɖ jô t hír it,—ɖen ś—ɖt’s m agn—sd ś wd g btwn ɖm, az ś hd ofn dn bfr in old tîmz, Jon, n wd sǎnd hiz swīthart, n b śr ɖt ẃt ś—m agn, Jon—sd n ʈt wz rît. N it WZ rît, Jon! N ɖe wr bròt tgɖr, Jon! N ɖe wr marid, Jon, an aur ago! N hir’z ɖ Brîd! N Gruf n Tacltn me dî a bać̣lr! N I’m a hapi litl wmn, Me, God bles y!”

Ś wz an irizistbl litl wmn, f ɖt b enʈñ t ɖ prṗs; n nvr so cmplitli irizistbl az in hr preznt transports. Ɖr nvr wr cngrać̣leśnz so indirñ n dliśs az ɖoz ś laviśt on hrslf n on ɖ Brîd.

Amd ɖ tymult v imośnz in hiz brest, ɖ onist Carịr hd std cnfǎndd. Flayñ, nǎ, twdz hr, Dot strećt ǎt hr hand t stop him, n rtritd az bfr.

“No, Jon, no! Hír ol! D’nt luv m eni mor, Jon, tl y’v hŕd evri wrd I hv t se. It wz roñ t hv a sīcrit fṛm y, Jon. I’m vri sori. I dd’nt ʈnc it eni harm, tl I cem n sat dǎn bî y on ɖ litl stūl last nît. Bt ẃn I ń, bî ẃt wz ritn in yr fes, ɖt y hd sìn m wōcñ in ɖ gaḷri wɖ Edẉd, n ẃn I ń ẃt y ʈt, I flt hǎ gidi n hǎ roñ it wz. Bt ǒ, dir Jon, hǎ cd y, cd y ʈnc so?”

Litl wmn, hǎ ś sobd agn! Jon Pīribngl wd hv còt hr in hiz armz. Bt no; ś wd’nt let him.

“D’nt luv m yt, plīz, Jon! Nt fr a loñ tîm yt! Ẃn I wz sad abt ɖs intndd marij, dir, it wz bcz I rmembrd Me n Edẉd sć yuñ luvrz; n ń ɖt hr hart wz far awe fṛm Tacltn. Y b’liv ɖt, nǎ, d’nt y, Jon?”

Jon wz gwñ t mc anɖr ruś at ɖs apil; bt ś stopt him agn.

“No; cīp ɖr, plīz, Jon! Ẃn I laf at y, az I smtmz d, Jon, n cōl y clumzi n a dir old gūs, n nemz v ɖt sort, it’s bcz I luv y, Jon, so wel, n tec sć pleźr in yr wez, n wd’nt si y oltrd in ɖ līst rspct t hv y md a cñ tmoro.”

“Hūror!” sd Cêleb wɖ unyźl vigr. “Mî opińn!”

“N ẃn I spīc v ppl biyñ midl-ejd n stedi, Jon, n pritnd ɖt w r a humdrum cupl, gwñ on in a jogtrot sort v we, it’s onli bcz I’m sć a sili litl ʈñ, Jon, ɖt I lîc, smtmz, t act az a cnd v Ple wɖ Bebi, n ol ɖt: n mc b’liv.”

Ś sw ɖt h wz cmñ; n stopt him agn. Bt ś wz vri nirli tù lêt.

“No, d’nt luv m fr anɖr minit or tū, f y plīz, Jon! Ẃt I wont most t tel y, I hv cept t ɖ last. Mî dir, gd, jenṛs Jon, ẃn w wr tōcñ ɖ uɖr nît abt ɖ Cricit, I hd it on mî lips t se, ɖt at frst I dd nt luv y qt so dirli az I d nǎ; ẃn I frst cem hom hir, I wz haf afred ɖt I mt’nt lrn t luv y evri bit az wel az I hopt n preid I mt—biyñ so vri yuñ, Jon! Bt, dir Jon, evri de n aur I luvd y mor n mor. N f I cd hv luvd y betr ɖn I d, ɖ nobl wrdz I hŕd y se ɖs mornñ wd hv md m. Bt I c’nt. Ol ɖ afx́n ɖt I hd (it wz a gret dīl, Jon) I gev y, az y wel dzrv, loñ, loñ ago, n I hv no mor left t gv. Nǎ, mî dir huzbnd, tec m t yr hart agn! Ɖt’s mî hom, Jon; n nvr, nvr ʈnc v sndñ m t eni uɖr!”

Y nvr wl d’rîv so mć dlît fṛm siyñ a glorịs litl wmn in ɖ armz v a ʈrd parti az y wd hv flt f y hd sìn Dot run intu ɖ Carịr’z imbres. It wz ɖ most cmplit, unmiṭgetd, soul-frōt litl pìs v rṇstnis ɖt evr y bheld in ol yr dez.

Y me b śr ɖ Carịr wz in a stet v prfict rapćr; n y me b śr Dot wz lîcwz; n y me b śr ɖe ol wr, inclūsiv v Mis Slǒbô, hu wept copịsli fr jô, n, wśñ t includ hr yuñ ćarj in ɖ jenṛl inṭćenj v cngrać̣leśnz, handd rnd ɖ Bebi t evrbdi in s’xeśn, az f it wr smʈñ t drinc.

Bt, nǎ, ɖ sǎnd v ẃīlz wz hŕd agn ǎtsd ɖ dor; n smbdi xclemd ɖt Gruf n Tacltn wz cmñ bac. Spīḍli ɖt wrɖi jntlmn apird, lcñ worm n flustrd.

“Ẃ, ẃt ɖ Devl’z ɖs, Jon Pīribngl?” sd Tacltn. “Ɖr’z sm mstec. I apôntd Msz. Tacltn t mīt m at ɖ ćrć, n I’l swer I pást hr on ɖ rod, on hr we hir. Ǒ! hir ś z! I beg yr pardn, sr; I hv’nt ɖ pleźr v nwñ y; bt, f y cn d m ɖ fevr t sper ɖs yuñ ledi, ś hz rɖr a ptiklr ingejmnt ɖs mornñ.”

“Bt I c’nt sper hr,” rtrnd Edẉd. “I cd’nt ʈnc v it.”

“Ẃt d y mīn, y vaġbond?” sd Tacltn.

“I mīn ɖt, az I cn mc alawns fr yr biyñ vxt,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr wɖ a smîl, “I am az def t harś discors ɖs mornñ az I wz t ol discors last nît.”

Ɖ lc ɖt Tacltn bstoud upn him, n ɖ start h gev!

“I am sori, sr,” sd Edẉd, holdñ ǎt Me’z left hand, n ispeṣ́li ɖ ʈrd fngr, “ɖt ɖ yuñ ledi c’nt acumṗni y t ćrć; bt, az ś hz bn ɖr wns ɖs mornñ, phps y’l xkz hr.”

Tacltn lct hard at ɖ ʈrd fngr, n tc a litl pìs v silvr pepr, apaṛntli cntenñ a rñ, fṛm hiz weistcot pocit.

“Mis Slǒbô,” sd Tacltn, “wl y hv ɖ cîndnis t ʈro ɖt in ɖ fîr? Ʈancī.”

“It wz a prīvịs ingejmnt, qt an old ingejmnt, ɖt privntd mî wîf fṛm cīpñ hr apôntmnt wɖ y, I aśur y,” sd Edẉd.

“Mr. Tacltn wl d m ɖ justis t acnolij ɖt I rvild it t him feʈf̣li; n ɖt I tld him, mni tîmz, I nvr cd fget it,” sd Me, bluśñ.

“Ǒ, srtnli!” sd Tacltn. “Ǒ, t b śr! Ǒ, it’s ol rît, it’s qt c’rect! Msz. Edẉd Plumr, I infŕ?”

“Ɖt’s ɖ nem,” rtrnd ɖ brîdgrūm.

“Ā! I śd’nt hv noun y, sr,” sd Tacltn, scrūṭnîzñ hiz fes naroli, n mcñ a lo bǎ. “I gv y jô, sr!”

“Ʈancī.”

“Msz. Pīribngl,” sd Tacltn, trnñ sudnli t ẃr ś std wɖ hr huzbnd; “I’m sori. Y hv’nt dn m a vri gret cîndnis, bt, upn mî lîf, I am sori. Y r betr ɖn I ʈt y. Jon Pīribngl, I am sori. Y unḍstand m; ɖt’s inuf. It’s qt c’rect, lediz n jntlṃn ol, n prf̣cli saṭsfactri. Gd mornñ!”

Wɖ ɖz wrdz h carid it of, n carid himslf of tù: mirli stopñ at ɖ dor t tec ɖ flǎrz n fevrz fṛm hiz hors’z hed, n t cic ɖt animl wns in ɖ ribz, az a mīnz v informñ him ɖt ɖr wz a scru lūs in hiz arenjmnts.

V cors, it bcem a sirịs dyti nǎ t mc sć a de v it az śd marc ɖz ivnts fr a hî Fīst n Fstivl in ɖ Pīribngl Caḷndr fr eṿmor. Acordñli, Dot wnt t wrc t pṛdys sć an enttenmnt az śd rflect undayñ onr on ɖ hǎs n on evrwn cnsrnd; n, in a vri śort spes v tîm, ś wz p t hr dimpld elboz in flaur, n ẃîṭnñ ɖ Carịr’z cot, evri tîm h cem nir hr, bî stopñ him t gv him a cis. Ɖt gd felo wośt ɖ grīnz, n pīld ɖ trnips, n brouc ɖ plets, n upset ayn pots fl v cold wōtr on ɖ fîr, n md himslf ysfl in ol sorts v wez: ẃl a cupl v pṛfeśnl asistnts, hesṭli cōld in fṛm smẃr in ɖ nebrhd, az on a pônt v lîf or deʈ, ran agnst ć uɖr in ol ɖ dorwez n rnd ol ɖ cornrz, n evrbdi tumbld ovr Tili Slǒbô n ɖ Bebi, evrẃr. Tili nvr cem ǎt in sć fors bfr. Hr ybiqti wz ɖ ʈīm v jenṛl adṃreśn. Ś wz a stumḅlñbloc in ɖ pasij at fîv-n-twenti minits past tū; a mantrap in ɖ cićn at haf-past tū prisîsli; n a pitfōl in ɖ garit at fîv-n-twenti minits t ʈri. Ɖ Bebi’z hed wz, az it wr, a tst n tućston fr evri dscripśn v matr, animl, vejtbl, n minṛl. Nʈñ wz in ys ɖt de ɖt dd’nt cm, at sm tîm or uɖr, intu clos aqentns wɖ it.

Ɖen ɖr wz a gret Xpdiśn set on ft t g n fînd ǎt Msz. Fīldñ; n t b dizṃli penitnt t ɖt xḷnt jntlwmn; n t brñ hr bac, bî fors, f nīdfl, t b hapi n fgivñ. N ẃn ɖ Xpdiśn frst dscuvrd hr, ś wd lisn t no trmz at ol, bt sd, an unspīcbl numbr v tîmz, ɖt evr ś śd hv livd t si ɖ de! n cd’nt b got t se enʈñ els, xpt “Nǎ cari m t ɖ grev”: ẃć sīmd absrd, on acǎnt v hr nt biyñ ded, or enʈñ at ol lîc it. Aftr a tîm ś lapst intu a stet v dredfl cāmnis, n obzrvd ɖt, ẃn ɖt unforćṇt tren v srcmstansz hd ocŕd in ɖ Inḍgo Tred, ś hd fsin ɖt ś wd b xpozd, jrñ hr hol lîf, t evri spīśīz v insult n contyṃli; n ɖt ś wz glad t fînd it wz ɖ ces; n begd ɖe wd’nt trubl ɖmslvz abt hr,—fr ẃt wz ś?—ǒ dir! a nbdi!—bt wd fget ɖt sć a biyñ livd, n wd tec ɖer cors in lîf wɖt hr. Fṛm ɖs bitrli sarcastic mūd ś pást intu an angri wn, in ẃć ś gev vnt t ɖ rmarcbl xpreśn ɖt ɖ wrm wd trn f trodn on; n, aftr ɖt, ś yīldd t a soft rgret, n sd, f ɖe hd onli gvn hr ɖer confidns, ẃt mt ś nt hv hd it in hr pǎr t sjst! Tecñ advantij v ɖs crîsis in hr fīlñz, ɖ Xpdiśn imbrest hr; n ś vri sn hd hr gluvz on, n wz on hr we t Jon Pīribngl’z in a stet v unimpīćbl jntiḷti; wɖ a pepr parsl at hr sîd cntenñ a cap v stet, olmst az tōl, n qt az stif, az a mîtr.

Ɖen, ɖr wr Dot’s faɖr n muɖr t cm in anɖr litl śêz; n ɖe wr bhnd ɖer tîm; n firz wr enttend; n ɖr wz mć lcñ ǎt fr ɖm dǎn ɖ rod; n Msz. Fīldñ olwz wd lc in ɖ roñ n moṛli imposbl d’rex́n; n, biyñ aprîzd ɖr-ov, hopt ś mt tec ɖ liḅti v lcñ ẃr ś plizd. At last ɖe cem; a ćubi litl cupl, jogñ alñ in a snug n cumftbl litl we ɖt qt b’loñd t ɖ Dot faṃli; n Dot n hr muɖr, sîd bî sîd, wr wundrfl t si. Ɖe wr so lîc ć uɖr.

Ɖen Dot’s muɖr hd t rny hr aqentns wɖ Me’z muɖr; n Me’z muɖr olwz std on hr jntiḷti; n Dot’s muɖr nvr std on enʈñ bt hr activ litl fīt. N old Dot—so t cōl Dot’s faɖr, I fgot it wz’nt hiz rît nem, bt nvr mînd—tc liḅtiz, n śc handz at frst sît, n sīmd t ʈnc a cap bt so mć starć n muzlin, n dd’nt dfŕ himslf at ol t ɖ Inḍgo Tred, bt sd ɖr wz no hlp fr it nǎ; n, in Msz. Fīldñ’z sumñ-up, wz a gd-nećrd cnd v man—bt cōrs, mî dir.

I wd’nt hv míst Dot, dwñ ɖ onrz in hr wedñgǎn, mî benisn on hr brît fes! fr eni muni. No! nr ɖ gd Carịr, so jovịl n so rudi, at ɖ botm v ɖ tebl. Nr ɖ brǎn, freś sêlrfelo, n hiz hansm wîf. Nr enwn amñ ɖm. T hv míst ɖ dinr wd hv bn t mis az joli n az stǎt a mīl az man nīd īt; n t hv míst ɖ oṿflowñ cups in ẃć ɖe dranc Ɖ Wedñde wd hv bn ɖ gretist mis v ol.

Aftr dinr Cêleb sañ ɖ soñ abt ɖ Sparc̣lñ Bol. Az I’m a livñ man, hopñ t cīp so fr a yir or tū, h sañ it ʈru.

N, bî-ɖ-bái, a most unlct-fr insidnt ocŕd, jst az h finiśt ɖ last vrs.

Ɖr wz a tap at ɖ dor; n a man cem staġrñ in, wɖt seyñ wɖ yr līv, or bî yr līv, wɖ smʈñ hevi on hiz hed. Setñ ɖs dǎn in ɖ midl v ɖ tebl, s’metricli in ɖ sntr v ɖ nuts n aplz, h sd:

“Mr. Tacltn’z complimnts, n, az h hz’nt got no ys fr ɖ cec himslf, p’raps y’l īt it.”

N, wɖ ɖoz wrdz, h wōct of.

Ɖr wz sm s’prîz amñ ɖ cumṗni, az y me imajin. Msz. Fīldñ, biyñ a ledi v infiṇt dsrnmnt, sjstd ɖt ɖ cec wz pôznd, n rletd a naṛtiv v a cec ẃć, wɖn hr nolij, hd trnd a seminri fr yuñ lediz blu. Bt ś wz ovŗūld bî acḷmeśn; n ɖ cec wz cut bî Me wɖ mć seriṃni n rjôsñ.

I d’nt ʈnc enwn hd testd it, ẃn ɖr cem anɖr tap at ɖ dor, n ɖ sem man apird agn, hvñ undr hiz arm a vast brǎn-pepr parsl.

“Mr. Tacltn’z complimnts, n h’z snt a fy tôz fr ɖ Babi. Ɖe e’nt ugli.”

Aftr ɖ dlivri v ẃć xpreśnz, h rtîrd agn.

Ɖ hol parti wd hv xpirịnst gret dificlti in fîndñ wrdz fr ɖer astoniśmnt, īvn f ɖe hd hd ampl tîm t sīc ɖm. Bt ɖe hd nn at ol; fr ɖ mesinjr hd scersli śut ɖ dor bhnd him, ẃn ɖr cem anɖr tap, n Tacltn himslf wōct in.

“Msz. Pīribngl!” sd ɖ tômrćnt, hat in hand, “I’m sori. I’m mor sori ɖn I wz ɖs mornñ. I hv hd tîm t ʈnc v it. Jon Pīribngl! I am sǎr bî dispziśn; bt I c’nt hlp biyñ swītnd, mor or les, bî cmñ fes t fes wɖ sć a man az y. Cêleb! Ɖs unconśs litl nrs gev m a brocn hint last nît, v ẃć I hv faund ɖ ʈred. I bluś t ʈnc hǎ īẓli I mt hv baund y n yr dōtr t m, n ẃt a mizṛbl idịt I wz ẃn I tc hr fr wn! Frendz, wn n ol, mî hǎs z vri lonli tnît. I hv nt so mć az a Cricit on mî Harʈ. I hv scerd ɖm ol awe. B greśs t m: let m jôn ɖs hapi parti!”

H wz at hom in fîv minits. Y nvr sw sć a felo. Ẃt hd h bn dwñ wɖ himslf ol hiz lîf, nvr t hv noun bfr hiz gret cpaṣti v biyñ jovịl? Or ẃt hd ɖ Fẹriz bn dwñ wɖ him, t hv ifctd sć a ćenj?

“Jon! y w’nt snd m hom ɖs īvnñ, wl y?” ẃisprd Dot.

H hd bn vri nir it, ɖo.

Ɖr wontd bt wn livñ crīćr t mc ɖ parti cmplit; n, in ɖ twnc̣lñ v an î, ɖr h wz, vri ʈrsti wɖ hard runñ, n ingejd in hoplis indevrz t sqīz hiz hed intu a naro pićr. H hd gn wɖ ɖ cart t its jrni’z end, vri mć dsgustd wɖ ɖ absns v hiz mastr, n stypndsli rbełs t ɖ Depyti. Aftr linġrñ abt ɖ stebl fr sm litl tîm, venli atmtñ t insait ɖ old hors t ɖ ḿtiṇs act v rtrnñ on hiz ǒn acǎnt, h hd wōct intu ɖ taprūm, n leid himslf dǎn bfr ɖ fîr. Bt, sudnli yīldñ t ɖ cnvix́n ɖt ɖ Depyti wz a humbug, n mst b abandnd, h hd got p agn, trnd teil, n cm hom.

Ɖr wz a dans in ɖ īvnñ. Wɖ ẃć jenṛl mnśn v ɖt recrieśn, I śd hv left it alon, f I hd nt sm rīzn t s’poz ɖt it wz qt an orijinl dans, n wn v a most uncomn figr. It wz formd in an od we; in ɖs we.

Edẉd, ɖt sêlrfelo—a gd fri daśñ sort v felo h wz—hd bn telñ ɖm verịs marvlz cnsrnñ paṛts, n mînz, n Mxicnz, n golḑust, ẃn ol at wns h tc it in hiz hed t jump p fṛm hiz sīt n pṛpoz a dans; fr Brʈa’z harp wz ɖr, n ś sć a hand upn it az y sldm hír. Dot (slî litl pìs v afcteśn ẃn ś ćouz) sd hr dansñdez wr ovr; I ʈnc bcz ɖ Carịr wz smocñ hiz pîp, n ś lîct sitñ bî him bst. Msz. Fīldñ hd no ćôs, v cors, bt t se hr dansñdez wr ovr, aftr ɖt; n evrbdi sd ɖ sem, xpt Me; Me wz redi.

So, Me n Edẉd gt p, amd gret aplōz, t dans alon; n Brʈa plez hr lîvliist tyn.

Wel! f y’l b’liv m, ɖe hd nt bn dansñ fîv minits, ẃn sudnli ɖ Carịr flñz hiz pîp awe, tecs Dot rnd ɖ weist, daśz ǎt intu ɖ rūm, n starts of wɖ hr, to n hìl, qt wundrf̣li. Tacltn no snr siz ɖs ɖn h scimz acrs t Msz. Fīldñ, tecs hr rnd ɖ weist, n foloz sūt. Old Dot no snr siz ɖs ɖn p h z, ol alîv, ẃiscs of Msz. Dot intu ɖ midl v ɖ dans, n z fōrmost ɖr. Cêleb no snr siz ɖs ɖn h clućz Tili Slǒbô bî bʈ handz, n gz of at scor; Mis Slǒbô, frm in ɖ b’lif ɖt dîvñ hotli in amñ ɖ uɖr cuplz, n ifctñ eni numbr v cncuśnz wɖ ɖm, z yr onli prínsipl v ftñ it.

Harc! hǎ ɖ Cricit jônz ɖ ḿzic wɖ its Ćrp, Ćrp, Ćrp; n hǎ ɖ cetl humz!

Bt ẃt z ɖs? Īvn az I lisn t ɖm blîɖli, n trn twdz Dot, fr wn last glims v a litl figr vri pleznt t m, ś n ɖ rest hv vaniśt intu er, n I am left alon. A Cricit sñz upn ɖ Harʈ; a brocn ćîld’z tô lîz upn ɖ grǎnd: n nʈñ els rmenz.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

In Ñspel │ EMMA │ Jane Austen


Cover Ema

Volym I

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Volym IIVolume III

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E

ma Wŭdhǎs, hansm, clevr, n rić, wɖ a cumftbl hom n hapi disṗziśn, sīmd t ynît sm v ɖ bst blesñz v xistns; n hd livd nirli twenti-wn yirz in ɖ wrld wɖ vri litl t dstres or vx hr.

Ś wz ɖ yungist v ɖ tū dōtrz v a most afẋṇt, induljnt faɖr; n hd, in consiqns v hr sistr’z marij, bn mistris v hiz hǎs fṛm a vri rli pirịd. Hr muɖr hd daid tù loñ ago fr hr t hv mor ɖn an indistñt rmembṛns v hr c’resz; n hr ples hd bn s’plaid bî an xḷnt wmn az guṿnes, hu hd fōḷn litl śort v a muɖr in afẋn.

Sixtīn yirz hd Mis Teilr bn in Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z faṃli, les az a guṿnes ɖn a frend, vri fond v bʈ dōtrz, bt ptiklrli v Ema. Btwn ɖm it wz mor ɖ intiṃsi v sistrz. Īvn bfr Mis Teilr hd sīst t hold ɖ nominl ofis v guṿnes, ɖ mîldnis v hr tmpr hd hardli alaud hr t impoz eni rstrent; n ɖ śado v oʈoṛti biyñ nǎ loñ pást awe, ɖe hd bn livñ tgɖr az frend n frend vri ḿć̣li ataćt, n Ema dwñ jst ẃt ś lîct; hîli istimñ Mis Teilr’z jujmnt, bt d’rectd ćīfli bî hr ǒn.

Ɖ riyl īvlz, indd, v Ema’z sićueśn wr ɖ pǎr v hvñ rɖr tù mć hr ǒn we, n a disṗziśn t ʈnc a litl tù wel v hrslf; ɖz wr ɖ dis’dvantjz ẃć ʈretnd alô t hr mni injômnts. Ɖ denjr, hvr, wz at preznt so unṗsivd, ɖt ɖe dd nt bî eni mīnz ranc az msfortynz wɖ hr.

Soro cem—a jntl soro—bt nt at ol in ɖ śep v eni dis’griybl conśsnis.—Mis Teilr marid. It wz Mis Teilr’z los ẃć frst bròt grīf. It wz on ɖ wedñde v ɖs b’luvid frend ɖt Ema frst sat in mōrnfl ʈt v eni cntinẏns. Ɖ wedñ ovr, n ɖ brîd-ppl gn, hr faɖr n hrslf wr left t dîn tgɖr, wɖ no prospect v a ʈrd t ćir a loñ īvnñ. Hr faɖr cmpozd himslf t slīp aftr dinr, az yźl, n ś hd ɖen onli t sit n ʈnc v ẃt ś hd lost.

Ɖ ivnt hd evri promis v hapinis fr hr frend. Mr. Wsṭn wz a man v unixpśṇbl caṛctr, īzi fortyn, sūṭbl ej, n pleznt manrz; n ɖr wz sm saṭsfaẋn in cnsiḍrñ wɖ ẃt slf-dnayñ, jenṛs frendśp ś hd olwz wśt n pṛmotd ɖ mać; bt it wz a blac mornñ’z wrc fr hr. Ɖ wont v Mis Teilr wd b flt evri aur v evri de. Ś rcōld hr past cîndnis—ɖ cîndnis, ɖ afẋn v sixtīn yirz—hǎ ś hd tòt n hǎ ś hd pleid wɖ hr fṛm fîv yirz old—hǎ ś hd dvotd ol hr pǎrz t atać n aḿz hr in hlʈ—n hǎ nrst hr ʈru ɖ verịs ilṇsz v ćîldhd. A larj dét v grattyd wz owñ hir; bt ɖ inṭcors v ɖ last sevn yirz, ɖ īql ftñ n prfict unrizrv ẃć hd sn foloud Iẓbela’z marij, on ɖer biyñ left t ć uɖr, wz yt a dirr, tendrr rec̣leẋn. Ś hd bn a frend n cmpańn sć az fy pzest: intelijnt, wel-informd, ysfl, jntl, nwñ ol ɖ wez v ɖ faṃli, inṭrestd in ol its cnsrnz, n pkłrli inṭrestd in hrslf, in evri pleźr, evri scīm v hrz—wn t hūm ś cd spīc evri ʈt az it arouz, n hu hd sć an afẋn fr hr az cd nvr fînd fōlt.

Hǎ wz ś t ber ɖ ćenj?—It wz tru ɖt hr frend wz gwñ onli haf a mîl fṛm ɖm; bt Ema wz awer ɖt gret mst b ɖ difṛns btwn a Msz. Wsṭn, onli haf a mîl fṛm ɖm, n a Mis Teilr in ɖ hǎs; n wɖ ol hr advantjz, naćṛl n dmestic, ś wz nǎ in gret denjr v suf̣rñ fṛm inṭlecćl soḷtyd. Ś dirli luvd hr faɖr, bt h wz no cmpańn fr hr. H cd nt mīt hr in convseśn, raśnl or plêfl.

Ɖ īvl v ɖ acćl dspaṛti in ɖer ejz (n Mr. Wŭdhǎs hd nt marid rli) wz mć incrist bî hiz consttyśn n habits; fr hvñ bn a vaḷtyḍnerịn ol hiz lîf, wɖt activti v mînd or bodi, h wz a mć oldr man in wez ɖn in yirz; n ɖo evrẃr b’luvid fr ɖ frendlinis v hiz hart n hiz emịbl tmpr, hiz taḷnts cd nt hv rec̣mndd him at eni tîm.

Hr sistr, ɖo cmpaṛtivli bt litl rmuvd bî matriṃni, biyñ setld in Lundn, onli sixtīn mîlz of, wz mć bynd hr dêli rīć; n mni a loñ Octobr n Nvmbr īvnñ mst b strugld ʈru at Hārtfīld, bfr Crisṃs bròt ɖ nxt vizit fṛm Iẓbela n hr huzbnd, n ɖer litl ćildṛn, t fil ɖ hǎs, n gv hr pleznt ssayti agn.

Hîḅri, ɖ larj n popyḷs vilij, olmst amǎntñ t a tǎn, t ẃć Hārtfīld, in spît v its sepṛt lōn, n śruḅriz, n nem, dd riyli b’loñ, afordd hr no īqlz. Ɖ Wŭdhǎsz wr frst in consiqns ɖr. Ol lct p t ɖm. Ś hd mni aqentns in ɖ ples, fr hr faɖr wz yṇvrṣli sivl, bt nt wn amñ ɖm hu cd b axptd in lū v Mis Teilr fr īvn haf a de. It wz a meḷnc̣li ćenj; n Ema cd nt bt sai ovr it, n wś fr imposbl ʈñz, tl hr faɖr awouc, n md it nesṣri t b ćirfl. Hiz spirits rqîrd s’port. H wz a nrṿs man, īẓli dprest; fond v evrbdi ɖt h wz yst t, n hetñ t part wɖ ɖm; hetñ ćenj v evri cnd. Matriṃni, az ɖ oṛjin v ćenj, wz olwz dis’griybl; n h wz bî no mīnz yt recnsîld t hiz ǒn dōtr’z mariyñ, nr cd evr spīc v hr bt wɖ cmpaśn, ɖo it hd bn intîrli a mać v afẋn, ẃn h wz nǎ oblîjd t part wɖ Mis Teilr tù; n fṛm hiz habits v jntl slfiśnis, n v biyñ nvr ebl t s’poz ɖt uɖr ppl cd fīl difṛntli fṛm himslf, h wz vri mć dspozd t ʈnc Mis Teilr hd dn az sad a ʈñ fr hrslf az fr ɖm, n wd hv bn a gret dīl hapịr f ś hd spent ol ɖ rest v hr lîf at Hārtfīld. Ema smîld n ćatd az ćirf̣li az ś cd, t cīp him fṛm sć ʈts; bt ẃn ti cem, it wz imposbl fr him nt t se xacli az h hd sd at dinr,

“Pur Mis Teilr!—I wś ś wr hir agn. Ẃt a piti it z ɖt Mr. Wsṭn evr ʈt v hr!”

“I canot agri wɖ y, ppā; y nǒ I canot. Mr. Wsṭn z sć a gd-hymrd, pleznt, xḷnt man, ɖt h ʈuṛli dzrvz a gd wîf;—n y wd nt hv hd Mis Teilr liv wɖ s fr evr, n ber ol mî od hymrz, ẃn ś mt hv a hǎs v hr ǒn?”

“A hǎs v hr ǒn!—Bt ẃr z ɖ advantij v a hǎs v hr ǒn? Ɖs z ʈri tîmz az larj.—N y hv nvr eni od hymrz, mî dir.”

“Hǎ ofn w śl b gwñ t si ɖm, n ɖe cmñ t si s!—W śl b olwz mītñ! W mst bgin; w mst g n pe ǎr wedñ vizit vri sn.”

“Mî dir, hǎ am I t gt so far? Randlz z sć a distns. I cd nt wōc haf so far.”

“No, ppā, nbdi ʈt v yr wōcñ. W mst g in ɖ carij, t b śr.”

“Ɖ carij! Bt Jemz wl nt lîc t pt ɖ horsz t fr sć a litl we;—n ẃr r ɖ pur horsz t b ẃl w r peyñ ǎr vizit?”

“Ɖe r t b pt intu Mr. Wsṭn’z stebl, ppā. Y nǒ w hv setld ol ɖt olrdi. W tōct it ol ovr wɖ Mr. Wsṭn last nît. N az fr Jemz, y me b vri śr h wl olwz lîc gwñ t Randlz, bcz v hiz dōtr’z biyñ hǎsmeid ɖr. I onli dǎt ẃɖr h wl evr tec s enẃr els. Ɖt wz yr dwñ, ppā. Y got Hana ɖt gd ples. Nbdi ʈt v Hana tl y mnśnd hr—Jemz z so oblîjd t y!”

“I am vri glad I dd ʈnc v hr. It wz vri luci, fr I wd nt hv hd pur Jemz ʈnc himslf slîtd upn eni acǎnt; n I am śr ś wl mc a vri gd srvnt: ś z a sivl, priti-spocn grl; I hv a gret opińn v hr. Ẃnvr I si hr, ś olwz crtsiz n ascs m hǎ I d, in a vri priti manr; n ẃn y hv hd hr hir t d nīdlwrc, I obzrv ś olwz trnz ɖ loc v ɖ dor ɖ rît we n nvr bañz it. I am śr ś wl b an xḷnt srvnt; n it wl b a gret cumf̣t t pur Mis Teilr t hv smbdi abt hr ɖt ś z yst t si. Ẃnvr Jemz gz ovr t si hiz dōtr, y nǒ, ś wl b hírñ v s. H wl b ebl t tel hr hǎ w ol r.”

Ema sperd no xrśnz t mnten ɖs hapịr flo v îdīaz, n hopt, bî ɖ hlp v bacgamn, t gt hr faɖr tolṛbli ʈru ɖ īvnñ, n b atact bî no rgrets bt hr ǒn. Ɖ bacgaṃntebl wz plest; bt a vizitr imīɉtli aftwdz wōct in n md it uņesṣri.

Mr. Naitli, a snṣbl man abt sevn or et-n-ʈrti, wz nt onli a vri old n intiṃt frend v ɖ faṃli, bt ptiklrli cnctd wɖ it, az ɖ eldr bruɖr v Iẓbela’z huzbnd. H livd abt a mîl fṛm Hîḅri, wz a frīqnt vizitr, n olwz welcm, n at ɖs tîm mor welcm ɖn yźl, az cmñ d’recli fṛm ɖer ḿćl cnẋnz in Lundn. H hd rtrnd t a lêt dinr, aftr sm dez’ absns, n nǎ wōct p t Hārtfīld t se ɖt ol wr wel in Brunzwic Sqer. It wz a hapi srcmstans, n aṇmetd Mr. Wŭdhǎs fr sm tîm. Mr. Naitli hd a ćirfl manr, ẃć olwz dd him gd; n hiz mni inqîriz aftr “pur Iẓbela” n hr ćildṛn wr ansrd most saṭsfactṛli. Ẃn ɖs wz ovr, Mr. Wŭdhǎs gretf̣li obzrvd, “It z vri cînd v y, Mr. Naitli, t cm ǎt at ɖs lêt aur t cōl upn s. I am afreid y mst hv hd a śocñ wōc.”

“Nt at ol, sr. It z a bytifl mūnlît nît; n so mîld ɖt I mst drw bac fṛm yr gret fîr.”

“Bt y mst hv faund it vri damp n drti. I wś y me nt cać cold.”

“Drti, sr! Lc at mî śuz. Nt a spec on ɖm.”

“Wel! ɖt z qt s’prîzñ, fr w hv hd a vast dīl v ren hir. It rênd dredf̣li hard fr haf an aur ẃl w wr at brecfst. I wontd ɖm t pt of ɖ wedñ.”

“Bî ɖ bái—I hv nt wśt y jô. Biyñ priti wel awer v ẃt sort v jô y mst bʈ b fīlñ, I hv bn in no huri wɖ mî cngrać̣leśnz; bt I hop it ol wnt of tolṛbli wel. Hǎ dd y ol bhev? Hu craid most?”

“Ā! pur Mis Teilr! ‘tiz a sad biznis.”

“Pur Mr. n Mis Wŭdhǎs, f y plīz; bt I canot poṣbli se ‘pur Mis Teilr.’ I hv a gret rgard fr y n Ema; bt ẃn it cmz t ɖ qsćn v dpndns or indipndns!—At eni ret, it mst b betr t hv onli wn t plīz ɖn tū.”

“Ispeṣ́li ẃn wn v ɖoz tū z sć a fansifl, trublsm crīćr!” sd Ema plêf̣li. “Ɖt z ẃt y hv in yr hed, I nǒ—n ẃt y wd srtnli se f mî faɖr wr nt bî.”

“I b’liv it z vri tru, mî dir, indd,” sd Mr. Wŭdhǎs, wɖ a sai. “I am afreid I am smtmz vri fansifl n trublsm.”

“Mî dirist ppā! Y d nt ʈnc I cd mīn y, or s’poz Mr. Naitli t mīn y. Ẃt a hoṛbl îdīa! Ǒ no! I mnt onli mslf. Mr. Naitli luvz t fînd fōlt wɖ m, y nǒ—in a joc—it z ol a joc. W olwz se ẃt w lîc t wn anɖr.”

Mr. Naitli, in fact, wz wn v ɖ fy ppl hu cd si fōlts in Ema Wŭdhǎs, n ɖ onli wn hu evr tld hr v ɖm: n ɖo ɖs wz nt ptiklrli agriybl t Ema hrslf, ś ń it wd b so mć les so t hr faɖr, ɖt ś wd nt hv him riyli sspct sć a srcmstans az hr nt biyñ ʈt prfict bî evrbdi.

“Ema nz I nvr flatr hr,” sd Mr. Naitli, “bt I mnt no rfleẋn on enbdi. Mis Teilr hz bn yst t hv tū prsnz t plīz; ś wl nǎ hv bt wn. Ɖ ćansz r ɖt ś mst b a genr.”

“Wel,” sd Ema, wilñ t let it pas—“y wont t hír abt ɖ wedñ; n I śl b hapi t tel y, fr w ol bhevd ćarmñli. Evrbdi wz puñćl, evrbdi in ɖer bst lcs: nt a ter, n hardli a loñ fes t b sìn. Ǒ no; w ol flt ɖt w wr gwñ t b onli haf a mîl apart, n wr śr v mītñ evri de.”

“Dir Ema berz evrʈñ so wel,” sd hr faɖr. “Bt, Mr. Naitli, ś z riyli vri sori t lūz pur Mis Teilr, n I am śr ś wl mis hr mor ɖn ś ʈncs fr.”

Ema trnd awe hr hed, dvîdd btwn tirz n smîlz. “It z imposbl ɖt Ema śd nt mis sć a cmpańn,” sd Mr. Naitli. “W śd nt lîc hr so wel az w d, sr, f w cd s’poz it; bt ś nz hǎ mć ɖ marij z t Mis Teilr’z advantij; ś nz hǎ vri axptbl it mst b, at Mis Teilr’z tîm v lîf, t b setld in a hom v hr ǒn, n hǎ importnt t hr t b s’kr v a cumftbl pṛviźn, n ɖrfr canot alǎ hrslf t fīl so mć pen az pleźr. Evri frend v Mis Teilr mst b glad t hv hr so haṗli marid.”

“N y hv fgotn wn matr v jô t m,” sd Ema, “n a vri cnsidṛbl wn—ɖt I md ɖ mać mslf. I md ɖ mać, y nǒ, for yirz ago; n t hv it tec ples, n b pruvd in ɖ rît, ẃn so mni ppl sd Mr. Wsṭn wd nvr mari agn, me cumf̣t m fr enʈñ.”

Mr. Naitli śc hiz hed at hr. Hr faɖr fondli rplaid, “Ā! mî dir, I wś y wd nt mc maćz n fōrtel ʈñz, fr ẃtvr y se olwz cmz t pas. Pre d nt mc eni mor maćz.”

“I promis y t mc nn fr mslf, ppā; bt I mst, indd, fr uɖr ppl. It z ɖ gretist aḿzmnt in ɖ wrld! N aftr sć s’xes, y nǒ!—Evrbdi sd ɖt Mr. Wsṭn wd nvr mari agn. Ǒ dir, no! Mr. Wsṭn, hu hd bn a widowr so loñ, n hu sīmd so prf̣cli cumftbl wɖt a wîf, so constntli okpaid îɖr in hiz biznis in tǎn or amñ hiz frendz hir, olwz axptbl ẃrvr h wnt, olwz ćirfl—Mr. Wsṭn nīd nt spend a sngl īvnñ in ɖ yir alon f h dd nt lîc it. Ǒ no! Mr. Wsṭn srtnli wd nvr mari agn. Sm ppl īvn tōct v a promis t hiz wîf on hr deʈbed, n uɖrz v ɖ sun n ɖ uncl nt letñ him. Ol manr v soḷm nonsns wz tōct on ɖ subjict, bt I b’livd nn v it.

“Evr sins ɖ de—abt for yirz ago—ɖt Mis Teilr n I met wɖ him in Brōdwe Len, ẃn, bcz it bgan t drizl, h dartd awe wɖ so mć gaḷntri, n boroud tū umbrelaz fr s fṛm Farmr Mićl’z, I md p mî mînd on ɖ subjict. I pland ɖ mać fṛm ɖt aur; n ẃn sć s’xes hz blest m in ɖs instns, dir ppā, y canot ʈnc ɖt I śl līv of mać-mcñ.”

“I d nt unḍstand ẃt y mīn bî ‘s’xes,’” sd Mr. Naitli. “S’xes s’pozz indevr. Yr tîm hz bn proprli n delic̣tli spent, f y hv bn indeṿrñ fr ɖ last for yirz t brñ abt ɖs marij. A wrɖi implômnt fr a yuñ ledi’z mînd! Bt f, ẃć I rɖr imajin, yr mcñ ɖ mać, az y cōl it, mīnz onli yr planñ it, yr seyñ t yrslf wn îdl de, ‘I ʈnc it wd b a vri gd ʈñ fr Mis Teilr f Mr. Wsṭn wr t mari hr,’ n seyñ it agn t yrslf evri nǎ n ɖen aftwdz, ẃ d y tōc v s’xes? Ẃr z yr merit? Ẃt r y prǎd v? Y md a luci ges; n ɖt z ol ɖt cn b sd.”

“N hv y nvr noun ɖ pleźr n trîumf v a luci ges?—I piti y.—I ʈt y clevrr—fr, dpnd upn it a luci ges z nvr mirli luc. Ɖr z olwz sm taḷnt in it. N az t mî pur wrd ‘s’xes,’ ẃć y qoṛl wɖ, I d nt nǒ ɖt I am so intîrli wɖt eni clem t it. Y hv drwn tū priti picćrz; bt I ʈnc ɖr me b a ʈrd—a smʈñ btwn ɖ du-nʈñ n ɖ du-ol. F I hd nt pṛmotd Mr. Wsṭn’z vizits hir, n gvn mni litl incurijmnts, n smuɖd mni litl matrz, it mt nt hv cm t enʈñ aftr ol. I ʈnc y mst nǒ Hārtfīld inuf t comprihnd ɖt.”

“A stretfwd, opn-hartd man lîc Wsṭn, n a raśnl, un’fctd wmn lîc Mis Teilr, me b sefli left t manij ɖer ǒn cnsrnz. Y r mor lîcli t hv dn harm t yrslf, ɖn gd t ɖm, bî inṭfiṛns.”

“Ema nvr ʈncs v hrslf, f ś cn d gd t uɖrz,” rjônd Mr. Wŭdhǎs, unḍstandñ bt in part. “Bt, mî dir, pre d nt mc eni mor maćz; ɖe r sili ʈñz, n brec p wn’z faṃlisrcl grīṿsli.”

“Onli wn mor, ppā; onli fr Mr. Eltn. Pur Mr. Eltn! Y lîc Mr. Eltn, ppā,—I mst lc abt fr a wîf fr him. Ɖr z nbdi in Hîḅri hu dzrvz him—n h hz bn hir a hol yir, n hz fitd p hiz hǎs so cumftbli, ɖt it wd b a śem t hv him sngl eni longr—n I ʈt ẃn h wz jônñ ɖer handz tde, h lct so vri mć az f h wd lîc t hv ɖ sem cînd ofis dn fr him! I ʈnc vri wel v Mr. Eltn, n ɖs z ɖ onli we I hv v dwñ him a srvis.”

“Mr. Eltn z a vri priti yuñ man, t b śr, n a vri gd yuñ man, n I hv a gret rgard fr him. Bt f y wont t śo him eni atnśn, mî dir, asc him t cm n dîn wɖ s sm de. Ɖt wl b a mć betr ʈñ. I der se Mr. Naitli wl b so cînd az t mīt him.”

“Wɖ a gret dīl v pleźr, sr, at eni tîm,” sd Mr. Naitli, lafñ, “n I agri wɖ y intîrli, ɖt it wl b a mć betr ʈñ. Invît him t dinr, Ema, n hlp him t ɖ bst v ɖ fiś n ɖ ćicn, bt līv him t ćūz hiz ǒn wîf. Dpnd upn it, a man v six or sevn-n-twenti cn tec cer v himslf.”


___

M

r. Wsṭn wz a netiv v Hîḅri, n born v a rspctbl faṃli, ẃć fr ɖ last tū or ʈri jeṇreśnz hd bn rîzñ intu jntiḷti n proṗti. H hd rsivd a gd edyceśn, bt, on s’xidñ rli in lîf t a smōl indipndns, hd bcm indisposed fr eni v ɖ mor homli psyts in ẃć hiz bruɖrz wr ingejd, n hd saṭsfaid an activ, ćirfl mînd n sośl tmpr bî enṭrñ intu ɖ mliśa v hiz cǎnti, ɖen imbodid.

Captin Wsṭn wz a jenṛl feṿrit; n ẃn ɖ ćansz v hiz militri lîf hd intṛdyst him t Mis Ćrćl, v a gret Yorẋr faṃli, n Mis Ćrćl fél in luv wɖ him, nbdi wz s’prîzd, xpt hr bruɖr n hiz wîf, hu hd nvr sìn him, n hu wr fl v prîd n importns, ẃć ɖ cnẋn wd ofnd.

Mis Ćrćl, hvr, biyñ v ej, n wɖ ɖ fl cmand v hr fortyn—ɖo hr fortyn bòr no pṛporśn t ɖ faṃli-istet—wz nt t b dswedd fṛm ɖ marij, n it tc ples, t ɖ infiṇt mortif̣ceśn v Mr. n Msz. Ćrćl, hu ʈrù hr of wɖ dy dcoṛm. It wz an unsūṭbl cnẋn, n dd nt pṛdys mć hapinis. Msz. Wsṭn òt t hv faund mor in it, fr ś hd a huzbnd huz worm hart n swīt tmpr md him ʈnc evrʈñ dy t hr in rtrn fr ɖ gret gdnis v biyñ in luv wɖ him; bt ɖo ś hd wn sort v spirit, ś hd nt ɖ bst. Ś hd reẓluśn inuf t psy hr ǒn wil in spît v hr bruɖr, bt nt inuf t rfren fṛm unrīzṇbl rgrets at ɖt bruɖr’z unrīzṇbl angr, nr fṛm misñ ɖ lux̣́riz v hr formr hom. Ɖe livd bynd ɖer incm, bt stl it wz nʈñ in cmparisn v Enscm: ś dd nt sīs t luv hr huzbnd, bt ś wontd at wns t b ɖ wîf v Captin Wsṭn, n Mis Ćrćl v Enscm.

Captin Wsṭn, hu hd bn cnsidrd, ispeṣ́li bî ɖ Ćrćlz, az mcñ sć an amezñ mać, wz pruvd t hv mć ɖ wrst v ɖ bargin; fr ẃn hiz wîf daid, aftr a ʈri yirz’ marij, h wz rɖr a purr man ɖn at frst, n wɖ a ćîld t mnten. Fṛm ɖ xpns v ɖ ćîld, hvr, h wz sn rlivd. Ɖ bô hd, wɖ ɖ adiśnl sof̣nñ clem v a linġrñ ilnis v hiz muɖr’z, bn ɖ mīnz v a sort v recnsilieśn; n Mr. n Msz. Ćrćl, hvñ no ćildṛn v ɖer ǒn, nr eni uɖr yuñ crīćr v īql cindrid t cer fr, ofrd t tec ɖ hol ćarj v ɖ litl Franc sn aftr hr dsis. Sm scrūplz n sm rluctns ɖ widowrfaɖr me b s’pozd t hv flt; bt az ɖe wr oṿcm bî uɖr cnsiḍreśnz, ɖ ćîld wz gvn p t ɖ cer n ɖ wlʈ v ɖ Ćrćlz, n h hd onli hiz ǒn cumf̣t t sīc, n hiz ǒn sićueśn t impruv az h cd.

A cmplit ćenj v lîf bcem dzîṛbl. H qitd ɖ mliśa n ingejd in tred, hvñ bruɖrz olrdi istabliśt in a gd we in Lundn, ẃć afordd him a fevṛbl oṗnñ. It wz a cnsrn ẃć bròt jst implômnt inuf. H hd stl a smōl hǎs in Hîḅri, ẃr most v hiz leźrdez wr spent; n btwn ysfl okpeśn n ɖ pleźrz v ssayti, ɖ nxt etīn or twenti yirz v hiz lîf pást ćirf̣li awe. H hd, bî ɖt tîm, riylîzd an īzi compitns—inuf t s’kr ɖ prćis v a litl istet ajônñ Hîḅri, ẃć h hd olwz loñd fr—inuf t mari a wmn az porśnlis īvn az Mis Teilr, n t liv acordñ t ɖ wśz v hiz ǒn frendli n sośl disṗziśn.

It wz nǎ sm tîm sins Mis Teilr hd bgun t inflụns hiz scīmz; bt az it wz nt ɖ t’ranic inflụns v yʈ on yʈ, it hd nt śecn hiz dtrṃneśn v nvr seṭlñ tl h cd prćis Randlz, n ɖ seil v Randlz wz loñ lct fwd t; bt h hd gn steḍli on, wɖ ɖz objicts in vy, tl ɖe wr acumpliśt. H hd md hiz fortyn, bòt hiz hǎs, n obtend hiz wîf; n wz bginñ a ny pirịd v xistns, wɖ evri probbiḷti v gretr hapinis ɖn in eni yt pást ʈru. H hd nvr bn an unhapi man; hiz ǒn tmpr hd s’krd him fṛm ɖt, īvn in hiz frst marij; bt hiz secnd mst śo him hǎ dlîtfl a wel-jujñ n trūli emịbl wmn cd b, n mst gv him ɖ plezntist prūf v its biyñ a gret dīl betr t ćūz ɖn t b ćozn, t xît grattyd ɖn t fīl it.

H hd onli himslf t plīz in hiz ćôs: hiz fortyn wz hiz ǒn; fr az t Franc, it wz mor ɖn biyñ taṣtli bròt p az hiz uncl’z ér, it hd bcm so avaud an adopśn az t hv him asym ɖ nem v Ćrćl on cmñ v ej. It wz most unlîcli, ɖrfr, ɖt h śd evr wont hiz faɖr’z asistns. Hiz faɖr hd no aprihnśn v it. Ɖ ānt wz a cpriśs wmn, n guvnd hr huzbnd intîrli; bt it wz nt in Mr. Wsṭn’z nećr t imajin ɖt eni cprīs cd b stroñ inuf t afct wn so dir, n, az h b’livd, so dzrvidli dir. H sw hiz sun evri yir in Lundn, n wz prǎd v him; n hiz fond rport v him az a vri fîn yuñ man hd md Hîḅri fīl a sort v prîd in him tù. H wz lct on az sfiśntli b’loññ t ɖ ples t mc hiz merits n prospects a cnd v comn cnsrn.

Mr. Franc Ćrćl wz wn v ɖ bosts v Hîḅri, n a lîvli krioṣti t si him priveld, ɖo ɖ complimnt wz so litl rtrnd ɖt h hd nvr bn ɖr in hiz lîf. Hiz cmñ t vizit hiz faɖr hd bn ofn tōct v bt nvr aćivd.

Nǎ, upn hiz faɖr’z marij, it wz vri jenṛli pṛpozd, az a most propr atnśn, ɖt ɖ vizit śd tec ples. Ɖr wz nt a dsntịnt vôs on ɖ subjict, îɖr ẃn Msz. Peri dranc ti wɖ Msz. n Mis Bêts, or ẃn Msz. n Mis Bêts rtrnd ɖ vizit. Nǎ wz ɖ tîm fr Mr. Franc Ćrćl t cm amñ ɖm; n ɖ hop streñʈnd ẃn it wz unḍstd ɖt h hd ritn t hiz ny muɖr on ɖ oceźn. Fr a fy dez, evri mornñvizit in Hîḅri includd sm mnśn v ɖ hansm letr Msz. Wsṭn hd rsivd. “I s’poz y hv hŕd v ɖ hansm letr Mr. Franc Ćrćl hz ritn t Msz. Wsṭn? I unḍstand it wz a vri hansm letr, indd. Mr. Wŭdhǎs tld m v it. Mr. Wŭdhǎs sw ɖ letr, n h sz h nvr sw sć a hansm letr in hiz lîf.”

It wz, indd, a hîli prîzd letr. Msz. Wsṭn hd, v cors, formd a vri fevṛbl îdīa v ɖ yuñ man; n sć a plizñ atnśn wz an irizistbl prūf v hiz gret gd sns, n a most welcm adiśn t evri sors n evri xpreśn v cngrać̣leśn ẃć hr marij hd olrdi s’krd. Ś flt hrslf a most forćṇt wmn; n ś hd livd loñ inuf t nǒ hǎ forćṇt ś mt wel b ʈt, ẃr ɖ onli rgret wz fr a parśl seṗreśn fṛm frendz huz frendśp fr hr hd nvr cūld, n hu cd il ber t part wɖ hr.

Ś ń ɖt at tîmz ś mst b míst; n cd nt ʈnc, wɖt pen, v Ema’z luzñ a sngl pleźr, or suf̣rñ an aur’z õwi, fṛm ɖ wont v hr cmpańṇblnis: bt dir Ema wz v no fībl caṛctr; ś wz mor īql t hr sićueśn ɖn most grlz wd hv bn, n hd sns, n eṇji, n spirits ɖt mt b hopt wd ber hr wel n haṗli ʈru its litl dificltiz n priveśnz. N ɖen ɖr wz sć cumf̣t in ɖ vri īzi distns v Randlz fṛm Hārtfīld, so cnvińnt fr īvn solitri fīmel wōcñ, n in Mr. Wsṭn’z disṗziśn n srcmstansz, ẃć wd mc ɖ aproćñ sīzn no hindṛns t ɖer spendñ haf ɖ īvnñz in ɖ wīc tgɖr.

Hr sićueśn wz oltgɖr ɖ subjict v aurz v grattyd t Msz. Wsṭn, n v momnts onli v rgret; n hr saṭsfaẋn—hr mor ɖn saṭsfaẋn—hr ćirfl injômnt, wz so just n so apaṛnt, ɖt Ema, wel az ś ń hr faɖr, wz smtmz tecn bî s’prîz at hiz biyñ stl ebl t piti ‘pur Mis Teilr,’ ẃn ɖe left hr at Randlz in ɖ sntr v evri dmestic cumf̣t, or sw hr g awe in ɖ īvnñ atndd bî hr pleznt huzbnd t a carij v hr ǒn. Bt nvr dd ś g wɖt Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z gvñ a jntl sai, n seyñ, “Ā, pur Mis Teilr! Ś wd b vri glad t ste.”

Ɖr wz no rcuṿrñ Mis Teilr—nr mć lîclihd v sīsñ t piti hr; bt a fy wīcs bròt sm alivieśn t Mr. Wŭdhǎs. Ɖ complimnts v hiz nebrz wr ovr; h wz no longr tizd bî biyñ wśt jô v so soṛfl an ivnt; n ɖ wedñcec, ẃć hd bn a gret dstres t him, wz ol ét p. Hiz ǒn stuṃc cd ber nʈñ rić, n h cd nvr b’liv uɖr ppl t b difṛnt fṛm himslf. Ẃt wz unholsm t him h rgardd az unfit fr enbdi; n h hd, ɖrfr, rṇstli traid t dswed ɖm fṛm hvñ eni wedñcec at ol, n ẃn ɖt pruvd ven, az rṇstli traid t privnt enbdi’z ītñ it. H hd bn at ɖ penz v cnsultñ Mr. Peri, ɖ apoʈ̇cri, on ɖ subjict. Mr. Peri wz an intelijnt, jntlmnlîc man, huz frīqnt vizits wr wn v ɖ cumf̣ts v Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z lîf; n upn biyñ aplaid t, h cd nt bt acnolij (ɖo it sīmd rɖr agnst ɖ bays v incḷneśn) ɖt wedñcec mt srtnli dis’gri wɖ mni—phps wɖ most ppl, unls tecn modṛtli. Wɖ sć an opińn, in conf̣meśn v hiz ǒn, Mr. Wŭdhǎs hopt t inflụns evri vizitr v ɖ nyli marid per; bt stl ɖ cec wz ītn; n ɖr wz no rest fr hiz bnevlnt nrvz tl it wz ol gn.

Ɖr wz a strenj rūmr in Hîḅri v ol ɖ litl Periz biyñ sìn wɖ a slîs v Msz. Wsṭn’z wedñcec in ɖer handz: bt Mr. Wŭdhǎs wd nvr b’liv it.


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r. Wŭdhǎs wz fond v ssayti in hiz ǒn we. H lîct vri mć t hv hiz frendz cm n si him; n fṛm verịs ynîtd cōzz, fṛm hiz loñ rezidns at Hārtfīld, n hiz gd nećr, fṛm hiz fortyn, hiz hǎs, n hiz dōtr, h cd cmand ɖ vizits v hiz ǒn litl srcl, in a gret meźr, az h lîct. H hd nt mć inṭcors wɖ eni faṃliz bynd ɖt srcl; hiz horr v lêt aurz, n larj dinrpartiz, md him unfit fr eni aqentns bt sć az wd vizit him on hiz ǒn trmz. Forćṇtli fr him, Hîḅri, includñ Randlz in ɖ sem pariś, n Donwél Abi in ɖ pariś ajônñ, ɖ sīt v Mr. Naitli, comprihndd mni sć. Nt unfrīqntli, ʈru Ema’z psweźn, h hd sm v ɖ ćozn n ɖ bst t dîn wɖ him: bt īvnñpartiz wr ẃt h prifŕd; n, unls h fansid himslf at eni tîm unīql t cumṗni, ɖr wz scersli an īvnñ in ɖ wīc in ẃć Ema cd nt mc p a cardtebl fr him.

Riyl, loñ-standñ rgard bròt ɖ Wsṭnz n Mr. Naitli; n bî Mr. Eltn, a yuñ man livñ alon wɖt lîcñ it, ɖ priṿlij v xćenjñ eni vecnt īvnñ v hiz ǒn blanc soḷtyd fr ɖ elignsiz n ssayti v Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z drw̃rūm, n ɖ smîlz v hiz luvli dōtr, wz in no denjr v biyñ ʈroun awe.

Aftr ɖz cem a secnd set; amñ ɖ most cm-aṭbl v hūm wr Msz. n Mis Bêts, n Msz. Godard, ʈri lediz olmst olwz at ɖ srvis v an invteśn fṛm Hārtfīld, n hu wr fećt n carid hom so ofn, ɖt Mr. Wŭdhǎs ʈt it no hardśp fr îɖr Jemz or ɖ horsz. Hd it tecn ples onli wns a yir, it wd hv bn a grīvns.

Msz. Bêts, ɖ wido v a formr vicr v Hîḅri, wz a vri old ledi, olmst past evrʈñ bt ti n qdril. Ś livd wɖ hr sngl dōtr in a vri smōl we, n wz cnsidrd wɖ ol ɖ rgard n rspct ẃć a harmlis old ledi, undr sć unṭword srcmstansz, cn xît. Hr dōtr injoid a most uncomn dgri v popylaṛti fr a wmn nɖr yuñ, hansm, rić, nr marid. Mis Bêts std in ɖ vri wrst pridic̣mnt in ɖ wrld fr hvñ mć v ɖ public fevr; n ś hd no inṭlecćl s’pirioṛti t mc atonmnt t hrslf, or frîtn ɖoz hu mt het hr intu ǎtwd rspct. Ś hd nvr bostd îɖr byti or clevrnis. Hr yʈ hd pást wɖt dstñśn, n hr midl v lîf wz dvotd t ɖ cer v a felñ muɖr, n ɖ indevr t mc a smōl incm g az far az poṣbl. N yt ś wz a hapi wmn, n a wmn hūm nwn nemd wɖt gdwil. It wz hr ǒn yṇvrsl gdwil n cntntd tmpr ẃć wrct sć wundrz. Ś luvd evrbdi, wz inṭrestd in evrbdi’z hapinis, qc-sîtd t evrbdi’z merits; ʈt hrslf a most forćṇt crīćr, n srǎndd wɖ blesñz in sć an xḷnt muɖr, n so mni gd nebrz n frendz, n a hom ɖt wontd fr nʈñ. Ɖ simpliṣti n ćirflnis v hr nećr, hr cntntd n gretfl spirit, wr a rec̣mndeśn t evrbdi, n a mîn v f’liṣti t hrslf. Ś wz a gret tōcr upn litl matrz, ẃć xacli sūtd Mr. Wŭdhǎs, fl v trivịl cḿṇceśnz n harmlis gosip.

Msz. Godard wz ɖ mistris v a Scūl—nt v a seminri, or an istabliśmnt, or enʈñ ẃć pṛfest, in loñ sntnsz v rfînd nonsns, t cmbîn libṛl aqîrmnts wɖ elignt mraḷti, upn ny prínsiplz n ny sistmz—n ẃr yuñ lediz fr inorṃs pe mt b scrùd ǎt v hlʈ n intu vaṇti—bt a riyl, onist, old-faśnd Bordñscūl, ẃr a rīzṇbl qontti v acumpliśmnts wr sold at a rīzṇbl prîs, n ẃr grlz mt b snt t b ǎt v ɖ we, n scrambl ɖmslvz intu a litl edyceśn, wɖt eni denjr v cmñ bac proḍjiz. Msz. Godard’z scūl wz in hî rpyt—n vri dzrvidli; fr Hîḅri wz recnd a ptiklrli hlʈi spot: ś hd an ampl hǎs n gardn, gev ɖ ćildṛn plenti v holsm fūd, let ɖm run abt a gret dīl in ɖ sumr, n in wintr drest ɖer ćilblenz wɖ hr ǒn handz. It wz no wundr ɖt a tren v twenti yuñ cuplz nǎ wōct aftr hr t ćrć. Ś wz a plen, muɖrli cnd v wmn, hu hd wrct hard in hr yʈ, n nǎ ʈt hrslf intîtld t ɖ oceźnl hoḷde v a tīvizit; n hvñ formrli oud mć t Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z cîndnis, flt hiz ptiklr clem on hr t līv hr nīt parlr, huñ rnd wɖ fansi-wrc, ẃnvr ś cd, n win or lūz a fy sixpnsz bî hiz fîrsîd.

Ɖz wr ɖ lediz hūm Ema faund hrslf vri frīqntli ebl t c’lect; n hapi wz ś, fr hr faɖr’z sec, in ɖ pǎr; ɖo, az far az ś wz hrslf cnsrnd, it wz no reṃdi fr ɖ absns v Msz. Wsṭn. Ś wz dlîtd t si hr faɖr lc cumftbl, n vri mć plizd wɖ hrslf fr cntrîvñ ʈñz so wel; bt ɖ qayt prosings v ʈri sć wimin md hr fīl ɖt evri īvnñ so spent wz indd wn v ɖ loñ īvnñz ś hd firf̣li antiṣpetd.

Az ś sat wn mornñ, lcñ fwd t xacli sć a cloz v ɖ preznt de, a not wz bròt fṛm Msz. Godard, rqstñ, in most rspctfl trmz, t b alaud t brñ Mis Smiʈ wɖ hr; a most welcm rqst: fr Mis Smiʈ wz a grl v sevntīn, hūm Ema ń vri wel bî sît, n hd loñ flt an inṭrest in, on acǎnt v hr byti. A vri greśs invteśn wz rtrnd, n ɖ īvnñ no longr dredd bî ɖ fer mistris v ɖ manśn.

Harịt Smiʈ wz ɖ naćṛl dōtr v smbdi. Smbdi hd plest hr, sevṛl yirz bac, at Msz. Godard’z scūl, n smbdi hd lêtli rezd hr fṛm ɖ cndiśn v scolr t ɖt v parlr-bōrdr. Ɖs wz ol ɖt wz jenṛli noun v hr hisṭri. Ś hd no viẓbl frendz bt ẃt hd bn aqîrd at Hîḅri, n wz nǎ jst rtrnd fṛm a loñ vizit in ɖ cuntri t sm yuñ lediz hu hd bn at scūl ɖr wɖ hr.

Ś wz a vri priti grl, n hr byti hapnd t b v a sort ẃć Ema ptiklrli admîrd. Ś wz śort, plump, n fer, wɖ a fîn blūm, blu îz, lît her, reğlr fīćrz, n a lc v gret swītnis, n, bfr ɖ end v ɖ īvnñ, Ema wz az mć plizd wɖ hr manrz az hr prsn, n qt dtrmind t cntiny ɖ aqentns.

Ś wz nt struc bî enʈñ rmarcbli clevr in Mis Smiʈ’s convseśn, bt ś faund hr oltgɖr vri ingejñ—nt incnvińntli śî, nt unwilñ t tōc—n yt so far fṛm pśñ, śowñ so propr n bcmñ a defṛns, sīmñ so plezntli gretfl fr biyñ admitd t Hārtfīld, n so artlisli imprest bî ɖ apiṛns v evrʈñ in so s’pirịr a stîl t ẃt ś hd bn yst t, ɖt ś mst hv gd sns, n dzrv incurijmnt. Incurijmnt śd b gvn. Ɖoz soft blu îz, n ol ɖoz naćṛl gresz, śd nt b westd on ɖ infirịr ssayti v Hîḅri n its cnẋnz. Ɖ aqentns ś hd olrdi formd wr unwrɖi v hr. Ɖ frendz fṛm hūm ś hd jst partd, ɖo vri gd sort v ppl, mst b dwñ hr harm. Ɖe wr a faṃli v ɖ nem v Martin, hūm Ema wel ń bî caṛctr, az rentñ a larj farm v Mr. Naitli, n rzîdñ in ɖ pariś v Donwél—vri creditbli, ś b’livd—ś ń Mr. Naitli ʈt hîli v ɖm—bt ɖe mst b cōrs n unpoliśt, n vri unfit t b ɖ intiṃts v a grl hu wontd onli a litl mor nolij n eligns t b qt prfict. Ś wd notis hr; ś wd impruv hr; ś wd dtać hr fṛm hr bad aqentns, n intṛdys hr intu gd ssayti; ś wd form hr opińnz n hr manrz. It wd b an inṭrestñ, n srtnli a vri cînd unḍtecñ; hîli bcmñ hr ǒn sićueśn in lîf, hr leźr, n pǎrz.

Ś wz so bizi in admîrñ ɖoz soft blu îz, in tōcñ n liṣnñ, n formñ ol ɖz scīmz in ɖ in-btwnz, ɖt ɖ īvnñ flù awe at a vri unyźl ret; n ɖ suprtebl, ẃć olwz clozd sć partiz, n fr ẃć ś hd bn yst t sit n woć ɖ dy tîm, wz ol set ǎt n redi, n muvd fwdz t ɖ fîr, bfr ś wz awer. Wɖ an alacṛti bynd ɖ comn impuls v a spirit ẃć yt wz nvr indifṛnt t ɖ credit v dwñ evrʈñ wel n atntivli, wɖ ɖ riyl gdwil v a mînd dlîtd wɖ its ǒn îdīaz, dd ś ɖen d ol ɖ onrz v ɖ mīl, n hlp n rec̣mnd ɖ minst ćicn n scaḷpt ôstrz, wɖ an rjnsi ẃć ś ń wd b axptbl t ɖ rli aurz n sivl scrūplz v ɖer gests.

Upn sć oceźnz pur Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z fīlñz wr in sad worfér. H luvd t hv ɖ cloʈ leid, bcz it hd bn ɖ faśn v hiz yʈ, bt hiz cnviẋn v suprz biyñ vri unholsm md him rɖr sori t si enʈñ pt on it; n ẃl hiz hosṗtaḷti wd hv welcmd hiz vizitrz t evrʈñ, hiz cer fr ɖer hlʈ md him grīv ɖt ɖe wd īt.

Sć anɖr smōl besn v ʈin gruwl az hiz ǒn wz ol ɖt h cd, wɖ ʈura slf-apṛbeśn, rec̣mnd; ɖo h mt cnstren himslf, ẃl ɖ lediz wr cumftbli clirñ ɖ nîsr ʈñz, t se:

“Msz. Bêts, let m pṛpoz yr vnćrñ on wn v ɖz egz. An eg bôld vri soft z nt unholsm. Srl unḍstandz bôlñ an eg betr ɖn enbdi. I wd nt rec̣mnd an eg bôld bî enbdi els; bt y nīd nt b afreid, ɖe r vri smōl, y si—wn v ǎr smōl egz wl nt hrt y. Mis Bêts, let Ema hlp y t a litl bit v tart—a vri litl bit. Ǎrz r ol apl tarts. Y nīd nt b afreid v unholsm prizrvz hir. I d nt advîz ɖ custd. Msz. Godard, ẃt se y t haf a glas v wîn? A smōl haf-glas, pt intu a tumblr v wōtr? I d nt ʈnc it cd dis’gri wɖ y.”

Ema alaud hr faɖr t tōc—bt s’plaid hr vizitrz in a mć mor saṭsfactri stîl, n on ɖ preznt īvnñ hd ptiklr pleźr in sndñ ɖm awe hapi. Ɖ hapinis v Mis Smiʈ wz qt īql t hr intnśnz. Mis Wŭdhǎs wz so gret a prṣnij in Hîḅri, ɖt ɖ prospect v ɖ intṛduẋn hd gvn az mć panic az pleźr; bt ɖ humbl, gretfl litl grl wnt of wɖ hîli graṭfaid fīlñz, dlîtd wɖ ɖ afbiḷti wɖ ẃć Mis Wŭdhǎs hd trītd hr ol ɖ īvnñ, n acć̣li śecn handz wɖ hr at last!


___

H

arịt Smiʈ’s intiṃsi at Hārtfīld wz sn a setld ʈñ. Qc n dsîdd in hr wez, Ema lost no tîm in invîtñ, incuṛjñ, n telñ hr t cm vri ofn; n az ɖer aqentns incrist, so dd ɖer saṭsfaẋn in ć uɖr. Az a wōcñ cmpańn, Ema hd vri rli fsin hǎ ysfl ś mt fînd hr. In ɖt rspct Msz. Wsṭn’z los hd bn importnt. Hr faɖr nvr wnt bynd ɖ śruḅri, ẃr tū dviźnz v ɖ grǎnd s’fîst him fr hiz loñ wōc, or hiz śort, az ɖ yir vẹrid; n sins Msz. Wsṭn’z marij hr x’sîz hd bn tù mć cnfînd. Ś hd vnćrd wns alon t Randlz, bt it wz nt pleznt; n a Harịt Smiʈ, ɖrfr, wn hūm ś cd sumn at eni tîm t a wōc, wd b a vałbl adiśn t hr privḷjz. Bt in evri rspct, az ś sw mor v hr, ś apruvd hr, n wz cnfrmd in ol hr cînd dzînz.

Harịt srtnli wz nt clevr, bt ś hd a swīt, dosîl, gretfl disṗziśn, wz toṭli fri fṛm cnsit, n onli dzîrñ t b gîdd bî enwn ś lct p t. Hr rli ataćmnt t hrslf wz vri emịbl; n hr incḷneśn fr gd cumṗni, n pǎr v aprīśietñ ẃt wz elignt n clevr, śoud ɖt ɖr wz no wont v test, ɖo streñʈ v unḍstandñ mst nt b xpctd. Oltgɖr ś wz qt cnvinst v Harịt Smiʈ’s biyñ xacli ɖ yuñ frend ś wontd—xacli ɖ smʈñ ẃć hr hom rqîrd. Sć a frend az Msz. Wsṭn wz ǎt v ɖ qsćn. Tū sć cd nvr b grantd. Tū sć ś dd nt wont. It wz qt a difṛnt sort v ʈñ, a sntimnt dstñt n indipndnt. Msz. Wsṭn wz ɖ objict v a rgard ẃć hd its besis in grattyd n istim. Harịt wd b luvd az wn t hūm ś cd b ysfl. Fr Msz. Wsṭn ɖr wz nʈñ t b dn; fr Harịt evrʈñ.

Hr frst atmts at ysflnis wr in an indevr t fînd ǎt hu wr ɖ peṛnts, bt Harịt cd nt tel. Ś wz redi t tel evrʈñ in hr pǎr, bt on ɖs subjict qsćnz wr ven. Ema wz oblîjd t fansi ẃt ś lîct—bt ś cd nvr b’liv ɖt in ɖ sem sićueśn ś śd nt hv dscuvrd ɖ truʈ. Harịt hd no peṇtreśn. Ś hd bn saṭsfaid t hír n b’liv jst ẃt Msz. Godard ćouz t tel hr; n lct no farɖr.

Msz. Godard, n ɖ tīćrz, n ɖ grlz n ɖ aferz v ɖ scūl in jenṛl, formd naćṛli a gret part v ɖ convseśn—n bt fr hr aqentns wɖ ɖ Martinz v Abimil Farm, it mst hv bn ɖ hol. Bt ɖ Martinz okpaid hr ʈts a gd dīl; ś hd spent tū vri hapi munʈs wɖ ɖm, n nǎ luvd t tōc v ɖ pleźrz v hr vizit, n dscrîb ɖ mni cumf̣ts n wundrz v ɖ ples. Ema incurijd hr tōc̣tivnis—aḿzd bî sć a picćr v anɖr set v biyñz, n injoyñ ɖ yʈfl simpliṣti ẃć cd spīc wɖ so mć xlteśn v Msz. Martin’z hvñ “ parlrz, tū vri gd parlrz, indd; wn v ɖm qt az larj az Msz. Godard’z drw̃rūm; n v hr hvñ an upr meid hu hd livd fîv-n-twenti yirz wɖ hr; n v ɖer hvñ et cǎz, tū v ɖm Ōlḍniz, n wn a litl Wlś cǎ, a vri priti litl Wlś cǎ indd; n v Msz. Martin’z seyñ az ś wz so fond v it, it śd b cōld hr cǎ; n v ɖer hvñ a vri hansm sumrhǎs in ɖer gardn, ẃr sm de nxt yir ɖe wr ol t drinc ti:—a vri hansm sumrhǎs, larj inuf t hold a duzn ppl.”

Fr sm tîm ś wz aḿzd, wɖt ʈncñ bynd ɖ imīɉt cōz; bt az ś cem t unḍstand ɖ faṃli betr, uɖr fīlñz arouz. Ś hd tecn p a roñ îdīa, fansiyñ it wz a muɖr n dōtr, a sun n sun’z wîf, hu ol livd tgɖr; bt ẃn it apird ɖt ɖ Mr. Martin, hu bòr a part in ɖ naṛtiv, n wz olwz mnśnd wɖ apṛbeśn fr hiz gret gd-nećr in dwñ smʈñ or uɖr, wz a sngl man; ɖt ɖr wz no yuñ Msz. Martin, no wîf in ɖ ces; ś dd sspct denjr t hr pur litl frend fṛm ol ɖs hosṗtaḷti n cîndnis, n ɖt, f ś wr nt tecn cer v, ś mt b rqîrd t snc hrslf fr evr.

Wɖ ɖs inspiṛtñ nośn, hr qsćnz incrist in numbr n mīnñ; n ś ptiklrli léd Harịt t tōc mor v Mr. Martin, n ɖr wz evidntli no dslîc t it. Harịt wz vri redi t spīc v ɖ śer h hd hd in ɖer mūnlît wōcs n meri īvnñ gemz; n dwelt a gd dīl upn hiz biyñ so vri gd-hymrd n oblîjñ. H hd gn ʈri mîlz rnd wn de in ordr t brñ hr sm wōlnuts, bcz ś hd sd hǎ fond ś wz v ɖm, n in evrʈñ els h wz so vri oblîjñ. H hd hiz śeṗd’z sun intu ɖ parlr wn nît on prṗs t sñ t hr. Ś wz vri fond v sññ. H cd sñ a litl himslf. Ś b’livd h wz vri clevr, n unḍstd evrʈñ. H hd a vri fîn floc, n, ẃl ś wz wɖ ɖm, h hd bn bid mor fr hiz wŭl ɖn enbdi in ɖ cuntri. Ś b’livd evrbdi spouc wel v him. Hiz muɖr n sistrz wr vri fond v him. Msz. Martin hd tld hr wn de (n ɖr wz a bluś az ś sd it,) ɖt it wz imposbl fr enbdi t b a betr sun, n ɖrfr ś wz śr, ẃnvr h marid, h wd mc a gd huzbnd. Nt ɖt ś wontd him t mari. Ś wz in no huri at ol.

“Wel dn, Msz. Martin!” ʈt Ema. “Y nǒ ẃt y r abt.”

“N ẃn ś hd cm awe, Msz. Martin wz so vri cînd az t snd Msz. Godard a bytifl gūs—ɖ fînist gūs Msz. Godard hd evr sìn. Msz. Godard hd drest it on a Súnde, n asct ol ɖ ʈri tīćrz, Mis Naś, n Mis Prins, n Mis Rićdsn, t sup wɖ hr.”

“Mr. Martin, I s’poz, z nt a man v inf̣meśn bynd ɖ lîn v hiz ǒn biznis? H dz nt rīd?”

“Ǒ yes!—ɖt z, no—I d nt nǒ—bt I b’liv h hz réd a gd dīl—bt nt ẃt y wd ʈnc enʈñ v. H rīdz ɖ Agṛculćṛl Rports, n sm uɖr bcs ɖt lei in wn v ɖ windosīts—bt h rīdz ol ɖm t himslf. Bt smtmz v an īvnñ, bfr w wnt t cardz, h wd rīd smʈñ alǎd ǎt v ɖ Elignt Xtracts, vri enttenñ. N I nǒ h hz réd ɖ Vicr v Wecfīld. H nvr réd ɖ Romans v ɖ Forist, nr Ɖ Ćildṛn v ɖ Abi. H hd nvr hŕd v sć bcs bfr I mnśnd ɖm, bt h z dtrmind t gt ɖm nǎ az sn az evr h cn.”

Ɖ nxt qsćn wz—

“Ẃt sort v lcñ man z Mr. Martin?”

“Ǒ! nt hansm—nt at ol hansm. I ʈt him vri plen at frst, bt I d nt ʈnc him so plen nǎ. Wn dz nt, y nǒ, aftr a tîm. Bt dd y nvr si him? H z in Hîḅri evri nǎ n ɖen, n h z śr t rîd ʈru evri wīc in hiz we t Cñstn. H hz pást y vri ofn.”

“Ɖt me b, n I me hv sìn him fifti tîmz, bt wɖt hvñ eni îdīa v hiz nem. A yuñ farmr, ẃɖr on horsbac or on ft, z ɖ vri last sort v prsn t rêz mî krioṣti. Ɖ yoṃnri r prisîsli ɖ ordr v ppl wɖ hūm I fīl I cn hv nʈñ t d. A dgri or tū lowr, n a creditbl apiṛns mt inṭrest m; I mt hop t b ysfl t ɖer faṃliz in sm we or uɖr. Bt a farmr cn nīd nn v mî hlp, n z, ɖrfr, in wn sns, az mć abv mî notis az in evri uɖr h z b’lo it.”

“T b śr. Ǒ yes! It z nt lîcli y śd evr hv obzrvd him; bt h nz y vri wel indd—I mīn bî sît.”

“I hv no dǎt v hiz biyñ a vri rspctbl yuñ man. I nǒ, indd, ɖt h z so, n, az sć, wś him wel. Ẃt d y imajin hiz ej t b?”

“H wz for-n-twenti ɖ 8ʈ v last Jūn, n mî brʈde z ɖ 23rd jst a fortnît n a de’z difṛns—ẃć z vri od.”

“Onli for-n-twenti. Ɖt z tù yuñ t setl. Hiz muɖr z prf̣cli rît nt t b in a huri. Ɖe sīm vri cumftbl az ɖe r, n f ś wr t tec eni penz t mari him, ś wd probbli rpnt it. Six yirz hns, f h cd mīt wɖ a gd sort v yuñ wmn in ɖ sem ranc az hiz ǒn, wɖ a litl muni, it mt b vri dzîṛbl.”

“Six yirz hns! Dir Mis Wŭdhǎs, h wd b ʈrti yirz old!”

“Wel, n ɖt z az rli az most men cn aford t mari, hu r nt born t an indipndns. Mr. Martin, I imajin, hz hiz fortyn intîrli t mc—canot b at ol bfrhnd wɖ ɖ wrld. Ẃtvr muni h mt cm intu ẃn hiz faɖr daid, ẃtvr hiz śer v ɖ faṃli proṗti, it z, I der se, ol aflot, ol imploid in hiz stoc, n so fʈ; n ɖo, wɖ dilijns n gd luc, h me b rić in tîm, it z nxt t imposbl ɖt h śd hv riylîzd enʈñ yt.”

“T b śr, so it z. Bt ɖe liv vri cumftbli. Ɖe hv no indorz man, els ɖe d nt wont fr enʈñ; n Msz. Martin tōcs v tecñ a bô anɖr yir.”

“I wś y me nt gt intu a screp, Harịt, ẃnvr h dz mari;—I mīn, az t biyñ aqentd wɖ hiz wîf—fr ɖo hiz sistrz, fṛm a s’pirịr edyceśn, r nt t b oltgɖr objctd t, it dz nt folo ɖt h mt mari enbdi at ol fit fr y t notis. Ɖ msfortyn v yr brʈ òt t mc y ptiklrli cerfl az t yr asośịts. Ɖr cn b no dǎt v yr biyñ a jntlmn’z dōtr, n y mst s’port yr clem t ɖt steśn bî evrʈñ wɖn yr ǒn pǎr, or ɖr wl b plenti v ppl hu wd tec pleźr in dgredñ y.”

“Yes, t b śr, I s’poz ɖr r. Bt ẃl I vizit at Hārtfīld, n y r so cînd t m, Mis Wŭdhǎs, I am nt afreid v ẃt enbdi cn d.”

“Y unḍstand ɖ fors v inflụns priti wel, Harịt; bt I wd hv y so frmli istabliśt in gd ssayti, az t b indipndnt īvn v Hārtfīld n Mis Wŭdhǎs. I wont t si y prṃnntli wel cnctd, n t ɖt end it wl b advîẓbl t hv az fy od aqentns az me b; n, ɖrfr, I se ɖt f y śd stl b in ɖs cuntri ẃn Mr. Martin mariz, I wś y me nt b drwn in bî yr intiṃsi wɖ ɖ sistrz, t b aqentd wɖ ɖ wîf, hu wl probbli b sm mir farmr’z dōtr, wɖt edyceśn.”

“T b śr. Yes. Nt ɖt I ʈnc Mr. Martin wd evr mari enbdi bt ẃt hd hd sm edyceśn—n bn vri wel bròt p. Hvr, I d nt mīn t set p mî opińn agnst yrz—n I am śr I śl nt wś fr ɖ aqentns v hiz wîf. I śl olwz hv a gret rgard fr ɖ Mis Martinz, ispeṣ́li Iliẓbʈ, n śd b vri sori t gv ɖm p, fr ɖe r qt az wel edycetd az m. Bt f h mariz a vri ignṛnt, vulgr wmn, srtnli I hd betr nt vizit hr, f I cn hlp it.”

Ema woćt hr ʈru ɖ flucćueśnz v ɖs spīć, n sw no alarmñ simtmz v luv. Ɖ yuñ man hd bn ɖ frst admîrr, bt ś trustd ɖr wz no uɖr hold, n ɖt ɖr wd b no sirịs dificlti, on Harịt’s sîd, t opoz eni frendli arenjmnt v hr ǒn.

Ɖe met Mr. Martin ɖ vri nxt de, az ɖe wr wōcñ on ɖ Donwél rod. H wz on ft, n aftr lcñ vri rspctf̣li at hr, lct wɖ most unfend saṭsfaẋn at hr cmpańn. Ema wz nt sori t hv sć an oṗtyṇti v srve; n wōcñ a fy yardz fwd, ẃl ɖe tōct tgɖr, sn md hr qc î sfiśntli aqentd wɖ Mr. Roḅt Martin. Hiz apiṛns wz vri nīt, n h lct lîc a snṣbl yuñ man, bt hiz prsn hd no uɖr advantij; n ẃn h cem t b cntrastd wɖ jntlṃn, ś ʈt h mst lūz ol ɖ grǎnd h hd gend in Harịt’s incḷneśn. Harịt wz nt insnsbl v manr; ś hd voḷntṛli notist hr faɖr’z jntlnis wɖ adṃreśn az wel az wundr. Mr. Martin lct az f h dd nt nǒ ẃt manr wz.

Ɖe rmend bt a fy minits tgɖr, az Mis Wŭdhǎs mst nt b cept wêtñ; n Harịt ɖen cem runñ t hr wɖ a smîlñ fes, n in a flutr v spirits, ẃć Mis Wŭdhǎs hopt vri sn t cmpoz.

“Onli ʈnc v ǎr haṗnñ t mīt him!—Hǎ vri od! It wz qt a ćans, h sd, ɖt h hd nt gn rnd bî Randlz. H dd nt ʈnc w evr wōct ɖs rod. H ʈt w wōct twdz Randlz most dez. H hz nt bn ebl t gt ɖ Romans v ɖ Forist yt. H wz so bizi ɖ last tîm h wz at Cñstn ɖt h qt fgot it, bt h gz agn tmoro. So vri od w śd hapn t mīt! Wel, Mis Wŭdhǎs, z h lîc ẃt y xpctd? Ẃt d y ʈnc v him? D y ʈnc him so vri plen?”

“H z vri plen, undǎtidli—rmarcbli plen:—bt ɖt z nʈñ cmperd wɖ hiz intîr wont v jntiḷti. I hd no rît t xpct mć, n I dd nt xpct mć; bt I hd no îdīa ɖt h cd b so vri clǎniś, so toṭli wɖt er. I hd imajind him, I cnfes, a dgri or tū nirr jntiḷti.”

“T b śr,” sd Harịt, in a morṭfaid vôs, “h z nt so jntīl az riyl jntlṃn.”

“I ʈnc, Harịt, sins yr aqentns wɖ s, y hv bn rpitidli in ɖ cumṗni v sm sć vri riyl jntlṃn, ɖt y mst yrslf b struc wɖ ɖ difṛns in Mr. Martin. At Hārtfīld, y hv hd vri gd spesimnz v wel edycetd, wel bréd men. I śd b s’prîzd f, aftr siyñ ɖm, y cd b in cumṗni wɖ Mr. Martin agn wɖt psivñ him t b a vri infirịr crīćr—n rɖr wunḍrñ at yrslf fr hvñ evr ʈt him at ol agriybl bfr. D nt y bgin t fīl ɖt nǎ? Wr nt y struc? I am śr y mst hv bn struc bî hiz ōcẉd lc n abrupt manr, n ɖ uncuʈnis v a vôs ẃć I hŕd t b hoļi unmodyletd az I std hir.”

“Srtnli, h z nt lîc Mr. Naitli. H hz nt sć a fîn er n we v wōcñ az Mr. Naitli. I si ɖ difṛns plen inuf. Bt Mr. Naitli z so vri fîn a man!”

“Mr. Naitli’z er z so rmarcbli gd ɖt it z nt fer t cmper Mr. Martin wɖ him. Y mt nt si wn in a hundṛd wɖ jntlmn so plenli ritn az in Mr. Naitli. Bt h z nt ɖ onli jntlmn y hv bn lêtli yst t. Ẃt se y t Mr. Wsṭn n Mr. Eltn? Cmper Mr. Martin wɖ îɖr v ɖm. Cmper ɖer manr v cariyñ ɖmslvz; v wōcñ; v spīcñ; v biyñ sîḷnt. Y mst si ɖ difṛns.”

“Ǒ yes!—ɖr z a gret difṛns. Bt Mr. Wsṭn z olmst an old man. Mr. Wsṭn mst b btwn forti n fifti.”

“Ẃć mcs hiz gd manrz ɖ mor vałbl. Ɖ oldr a prsn groz, Harịt, ɖ mor importnt it z ɖt ɖer manrz śd nt b bad; ɖ mor glẹrñ n dsgustñ eni lǎdnis, or cōrsnis, or ōcẉdnis bcmz. Ẃt z paṣbl in yʈ z dtstbl in lêtr ej. Mr. Martin z nǎ ōcẉd n abrupt; ẃt wl h b at Mr. Wsṭn’z tîm v lîf?”

“Ɖr z no seyñ, indd,” rplaid Harịt rɖr soḷmli.

“Bt ɖr me b priti gd gesñ. H wl b a cmplitli gros, vulgr farmr, toṭli in’tntiv t apiṛnsz, n ʈncñ v nʈñ bt profit n los.”

“Wl h, indd? Ɖt wl b vri bad.”

“Hǎ mć hiz biznis ingrosz him olrdi z vri plen fṛm ɖ srcmstans v hiz fgetñ t inqîr fr ɖ bc y rec̣mndd. H wz a gret dīl tù fl v ɖ marcit t ʈnc v enʈñ els—ẃć z jst az it śd b, fr a ʈrîvñ man. Ẃt hz h t d wɖ bcs? N I hv no dǎt ɖt h wl ʈrîv, n b a vri rić man in tîm—n hiz biyñ ilitṛt n cōrs nīd nt dstrb s.”

“I wundr h dd nt rmembr ɖ bc”—wz ol Harịt’s ansr, n spocn wɖ a dgri v grev dspleźr ẃć Ema ʈt mt b sefli left t itslf. Ś, ɖrfr, sd no mor fr sm tîm. Hr nxt bginñ wz,

“In wn rspct, phps, Mr. Eltn’z manrz r s’pirịr t Mr. Naitli’z or Mr. Wsṭn’z. Ɖe hv mor jntlnis. Ɖe mt b mor sefli hld p az a patn. Ɖr z an opņis, a qcnis, olmst a bluntnis in Mr. Wsṭn, ẃć evrbdi lîcs in him, bcz ɖr z so mć gd-hymr wɖ it—bt ɖt wd nt d t b copid. Nɖr wd Mr. Naitli’z dǎnrît, dsîdd, cmandñ sort v manr, ɖo it sūts him vri wel; hiz figr, n lc, n sićueśn in lîf sīm t alǎ it; bt f eni yuñ man wr t set abt copiyñ him, h wd nt b sufṛbl. On ɖ contrri, I ʈnc a yuñ man mt b vri sefli rec̣mndd t tec Mr. Eltn az a modl. Mr. Eltn z gd-hymrd, ćirfl, oblîjñ, n jntl. H sīmz t m t b groun ptiklrli jntl v lêt. I d nt nǒ ẃɖr h hz eni dzîn v ingreśietñ himslf wɖ îɖr v s, Harịt, bî adiśnl softnis, bt it strîcs m ɖt hiz manrz r softr ɖn ɖe yst t b. F h mīnz enʈñ, it mst b t plīz y. Dd nt I tel y ẃt h sd v y ɖ uɖr de?”

Ś ɖen rpitd sm worm prsnl prêz ẃć ś hd drwn fṛm Mr. Eltn, n nǎ dd fl justis t; n Harịt bluśt n smîld, n sd ś hd olwz ʈt Mr. Eltn vri agriybl.

Mr. Eltn wz ɖ vri prsn fixt on bî Ema fr drîvñ ɖ yuñ farmr ǎt v Harịt’s hed. Ś ʈt it wd b an xḷnt mać; n onli tù palṗbli dzîṛbl, naćṛl, n probbl, fr hr t hv mć merit in planñ it. Ś fird it wz ẃt evrbodi els mst ʈnc v n pridict. It wz nt lîcli, hvr, ɖt enbdi śd hv īqld hr in ɖ det v ɖ plan, az it hd entrd hr bren jrñ ɖ vri frst īvnñ v Harịt’s cmñ t Hārtfīld. Ɖ longr ś cnsidrd it, ɖ gretr wz hr sns v its xpīdịnsi. Mr. Eltn’z sićueśn wz most sūṭbl, qt ɖ jntlmn himslf, n wɖt lo cnẋnz; at ɖ sem tîm, nt v eni faṃli ɖt cd ferli objict t ɖ dǎtfl brʈ v Harịt. H hd a cumftbl hom fr hr, n Ema imajind a vri sfiśnt incm; fr ɖo ɖ vic̣rij v Hîḅri wz nt larj, h wz noun t hv sm indipndnt proṗti; n ś ʈt vri hîli v him az a gd-hymrd, wel-mīnñ, rspctbl yuñ man, wɖt eni dfiśnsi v ysfl unḍstandñ or nolij v ɖ wrld.

Ś hd olrdi saṭsfaid hrslf ɖt h ʈt Harịt a bytifl grl, ẃć ś trustd, wɖ sć frīqnt mītñz at Hārtfīld, wz fǎndeśn inuf on hiz sîd; n on Harịt’s ɖr cd b litl dǎt ɖt ɖ îdīa v biyñ prifŕd bî him wd hv ol ɖ yźl weit n efic̣si. N h wz riyli a vri plizñ yuñ man, a yuñ man hūm eni wmn nt fstidịs mt lîc. H wz recnd vri hansm; hiz prsn mć admîrd in jenṛl, ɖo nt bî hr, ɖr biyñ a wont v eligns v fīćr ẃć ś cd nt dspns wɖ:—bt ɖ grl hu cd b graṭfaid bî a Roḅt Martin’z rîdñ abt ɖ cuntri t gt wōlnuts fr hr mt vri wel b concrd bî Mr. Eltn’z adṃreśn.


___

“I

d nt nǒ ẃt yr opińn me b, Msz. Wsṭn,” sd Mr. Naitli, “v ɖs gret intiṃsi btwn Ema n Harịt Smiʈ, bt I ʈnc it a bad ʈñ.”

“A bad ʈñ! D y riyli ʈnc it a bad ʈñ?—ẃ so?”

“I ʈnc ɖe wl nɖr v ɖm d ɖ uɖr eni gd.”

“Y s’prîz m! Ema mst d Harịt gd: n bî s’playñ hr wɖ a ny objict v inṭrest, Harịt me b sd t d Ema gd. I hv bn siyñ ɖer intiṃsi wɖ ɖ gretist pleźr. Hǎ vri difṛntli w fīl!—Nt ʈnc ɖe wl d ć uɖr eni gd! Ɖs wl srtnli b ɖ bginñ v wn v ǎr qoṛlz abt Ema, Mr. Naitli.”

“Phps y ʈnc I am cm on prṗs t qoṛl wɖ y, nwñ Wsṭn t b ǎt, n ɖt y mst stl fît yr ǒn batl.”

“Mr. Wsṭn wd undǎtidli s’port m, f h wr hir, fr h ʈncs xacli az I d on ɖ subjict. W wr spīcñ v it onli yesṭde, n agriyñ hǎ forćṇt it wz fr Ema, ɖt ɖr śd b sć a grl in Hîḅri fr hr t asośiet wɖ. Mr. Naitli, I śl nt alǎ y t b a fer juj in ɖs ces. Y r so mć yst t liv alon, ɖt y d nt nǒ ɖ valy v a cmpańn; n, phps no man cn b a gd juj v ɖ cumf̣t a wmn fīlz in ɖ ssayti v wn v hr ǒn sx, aftr biyñ yst t it ol hr lîf. I cn imajin yr objẋn t Harịt Smiʈ. Ś z nt ɖ s’pirịr yuñ wmn ẃć Ema’z frend òt t b. Bt on ɖ uɖr hand, az Ema wonts t si hr betr informd, it wl b an indysmnt t hr t rīd mor hrslf. Ɖe wl rīd tgɖr. Ś mīnz it, I nǒ.”

“Ema hz bn mīnñ t rīd mor evr sins ś wz twelv yirz old. I hv sìn a gret mni lists v hr drw̃-up at verịs tîmz v bcs ɖt ś mnt t rīd reğlrli ʈru—n vri gd lists ɖe wr—vri wel ćozn, n vri nītli arenjd—smtmz alfbéticli, n smtmz bî sm uɖr rūl. Ɖ list ś drù p ẃn onli fortīn—I rmembr ʈncñ it dd hr jujmnt so mć credit, ɖt I prizrvd it sm tîm; n I der se ś me hv md ǎt a vri gd list nǎ. Bt I hv dn wɖ xpctñ eni cors v stedi rīdñ fṛm Ema. Ś wl nvr sbmit t enʈñ rqîrñ inḍstri n peśns, n a sbjẋn v ɖ fansi t ɖ unḍstandñ. Ẃr Mis Teilr feld t stiḿlet, I me sefli afrm ɖt Harịt Smiʈ wl d nʈñ.—Y nvr cd pswed hr t rīd haf so mć az y wśt.—Y nǒ y cd nt.”

“I der se,” rplaid Msz. Wsṭn, smîlñ, “ɖt I ʈt so ɖen;—bt sins w hv partd, I cn nvr rmembr Ema’z omitñ t d enʈñ I wśt.”

“Ɖr z hardli eni dzîrñ t rfreś sć a meṃri az ɖt,”—sd Mr. Naitli, fīlñli; n fr a momnt or tū h hd dn. “Bt I,” h sn add, “hu hv hd no sć ćarm ʈroun ovr mî snsz, mst stl si, hír, n rmembr. Ema z spôld bî biyñ ɖ cleṿrist v hr faṃli. At ten yirz old, ś hd ɖ msfortyn v biyñ ebl t ansr qsćnz ẃć puzld hr sistr at sevntīn. Ś wz olwz qc n aśurd: Iẓbela slo n difidnt. N evr sins ś wz twelv, Ema hz bn mistris v ɖ hǎs n v y ol. In hr muɖr ś lost ɖ onli prsn ebl t cǒp wɖ hr. Ś inherits hr muɖr’z taḷnts, n mst hv bn undr sbjẋn t hr.”

“I śd hv bn sori, Mr. Naitli, t b dpndnt on yr rec̣mndeśn, hd I qitd Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z faṃli n wontd anɖr sićueśn; I d nt ʈnc y wd hv spocn a gd wrd fr m t enbdi. I am śr y olwz ʈt m unfit fr ɖ ofis I hld.”

“Yes,” sd h, smîlñ. “Y r betr plest hir; vri fit fr a wîf, bt nt at ol fr a guṿnes. Bt y wr pripẹrñ yrslf t b an xḷnt wîf ol ɖ tîm y wr at Hārtfīld. Y mt nt gv Ema sć a cmplit edyceśn az yr pǎrz wd sīm t promis; bt y wr rsivñ a vri gd edyceśn fṛm hr, on ɖ vri mtirịl matṛmonịl pônt v sbmitñ yr ǒn wil, n dwñ az y wr bid; n f Wsṭn hd asct m t rec̣mnd him a wîf, I śd srtnli hv nemd Mis Teilr.”

“Ʈanc y. Ɖr wl b vri litl merit in mcñ a gd wîf t sć a man az Mr. Wsṭn.”

“Ẃ, t ǒn ɖ truʈ, I am afreid y r rɖr ʈroun awe, n ɖt wɖ evri disṗziśn t ber, ɖr wl b nʈñ t b bòrn. W wl nt dsper, hvr. Wsṭn me gro cros fṛm ɖ wontņis v cumf̣t, or hiz sun me pleg him.”

“I hop nt ɖt.—It z nt lîcli. No, Mr. Naitli, d nt fōrtel vxeśn fṛm ɖt qortr.”

“Nt I, indd. I onli nem posbiḷtiz. I d nt pritnd t Ema’z jīńs fr fōrtelñ n gesñ. I hop, wɖ ol mî hart, ɖ yuñ man me b a Wsṭn in merit, n a Ćrćl in fortyn.—Bt Harịt Smiʈ—I hv nt haf dn abt Harịt Smiʈ. I ʈnc hr ɖ vri wrst sort v cmpańn ɖt Ema cd poṣbli hv. Ś nz nʈñ hrslf, n lcs upn Ema az nwñ evrʈñ. Ś z a flatrr in ol hr wez; n so mć ɖ wrs, bcz undizînd. Hr ignṛns z aurli flaṭri. Hǎ cn Ema imajin ś hz enʈñ t lrn hrslf, ẃl Harịt z prizntñ sć a dlîtfl infirioṛti? N az fr Harịt, I wl vnćr t se ɖt ś canot gen bî ɖ aqentns. Hārtfīld wl onli pt hr ǎt v cnsit wɖ ol ɖ uɖr plesz ś b’loñz t. Ś wl gro jst rfînd inuf t b uncumftbl wɖ ɖoz amñ hūm brʈ n srcmstansz hv plest hr hom. I am mć mstecn f Ema’z doctrinz gv eni streñʈ v mînd, or tnd at ol t mc a grl adapt hrslf raśṇli t ɖ vraytiz v hr sićueśn in lîf.—Ɖe onli gv a litl poliś.”

“I îɖr dpnd mor upn Ema’z gd sns ɖn y d, or am mor añśs fr hr preznt cumf̣t; fr I canot l’mnt ɖ aqentns. Hǎ wel ś lct last nît!”

“Ǒ! y wd rɖr tōc v hr prsn ɖn hr mînd, wd y? Vri wel; I śl nt atmt t dnî Ema’z biyñ priti.”

“Priti! se bytifl rɖr. Cn y imajin enʈñ nirr prfict byti ɖn Ema oltgɖr—fes n figr?”

“I d nt nǒ ẃt I cd imajin, bt I cnfes ɖt I hv sldm sìn a fes or figr mor plizñ t m ɖn hrz. Bt I am a parśl old frend.”

“Sć an î!—ɖ tru hezl î—n so briłnt! reğlr fīćrz, opn cǎntinns, wɖ a cmpleẋn! ǒ! ẃt a blūm v fl hlʈ, n sć a priti hît n sîz; sć a frm n uprît figr! Ɖr z hlʈ, nt mirli in hr blūm, bt in hr er, hr hed, hr glans. Wn hírz smtmz v a ćîld biyñ ‘ɖ picćr v hlʈ;’ nǎ, Ema olwz gvz m ɖ îdīa v biyñ ɖ cmplit picćr v groun-up hlʈ. Ś z luvlinis itslf. Mr. Naitli, z nt ś?”

“I hv nt a fōlt t fînd wɖ hr prsn,” h rplaid. “I ʈnc hr ol y dscrîb. I luv t lc at hr; n I wl ad ɖs prêz, ɖt I d nt ʈnc hr prsṇli ven. Cnsiḍrñ hǎ vri hansm ś z, ś apirz t b litl okpaid wɖ it; hr vaṇti lîz anɖr we. Msz. Wsṭn, I am nt t b tōct ǎt v mî dslîc v Harịt Smiʈ, or mî dred v its dwñ ɖm bʈ harm.”

“N I, Mr. Naitli, am īqli stǎt in mî confidns v its nt dwñ ɖm eni harm. Wɖ ol dir Ema’z litl fōlts, ś z an xḷnt crīćr. Ẃr śl w si a betr dōtr, or a cîndr sistr, or a truwr frend? No, no; ś hz qoḷtz ẃć me b trustd; ś wl nvr līd enwn riyli roñ; ś wl mc no lastñ blundr; ẃr Ema ŕz wns, ś z in ɖ rît a hundṛd tîmz.”

“Vri wel; I wl nt pleg y eni mor. Ema śl b an enjl, n I wl cīp mî splīn t mslf tl Crisṃs brñz Jon n Iẓbela. Jon luvz Ema wɖ a rīzṇbl n ɖrfr nt a blînd afẋn, n Iẓbela olwz ʈncs az h dz; xpt ẃn h z nt qt frîtnd inuf abt ɖ ćildṛn. I am śr v hvñ ɖer opińnz wɖ m.”

“I nǒ ɖt y ol luv hr riyli tù wel t b unjust or uncînd; bt xkz m, Mr. Naitli, f I tec ɖ liḅti (I cnsidr mslf, y nǒ, az hvñ smẃt v ɖ priṿlij v spīć ɖt Ema’z muɖr mt hv hd) ɖ liḅti v hintñ ɖt I d nt ʈnc eni poṣbl gd cn arîz fṛm Harịt Smiʈ’s intiṃsi biyñ md a matr v mć dscuśn amñ y. Pre xkz m; bt s’pozñ eni litl incnvińns me b aprihndd fṛm ɖ intiṃsi, it canot b xpctd ɖt Ema, acǎntbl t nbdi bt hr faɖr, hu prf̣cli apruvz ɖ aqentns, śd pt an end t it, so loñ az it z a sors v pleźr t hrslf. It hz bn so mni yirz mî provins t gv advîs, ɖt y canot b s’prîzd, Mr. Naitli, at ɖs litl rmenz v ofis.”

“Nt at ol,” craid h; “I am mć oblîjd t y fr it. It z vri gd advîs, n it śl hv a betr fet ɖn yr advîs hz ofn faund; fr it śl b atndd t.”

“Msz. Jon Naitli z īẓli alarmd, n mt b md unhapi abt hr sistr.”

“B saṭsfaid,” sd h, “I wl nt rêz eni ǎtcrî. I wl cīp mî il hymr t mslf. I hv a vri snsir inṭrest in Ema. Iẓbela dz nt sīm mor mî sistr; hz nvr xîtd a gretr inṭrest; phps hardli so gret. Ɖr z an añzayti, a krioṣti in ẃt wn fīlz fr Ema. I wundr ẃt wl bcm v hr!”

“So d I,” sd Msz. Wsṭn jntli, “vri mć.”

“Ś olwz dclerz ś wl nvr mari, ẃć, v cors, mīnz jst nʈñ at ol. Bt I hv no îdīa ɖt ś hz yt evr sìn a man ś cerd fr. It wd nt b a bad ʈñ fr hr t b vri mć in luv wɖ a propr objict. I śd lîc t si Ema in luv, n in sm dǎt v a rtrn; it wd d hr gd. Bt ɖr z nbdi hir’bts t atać hr; n ś gz so sldm fṛm hom.”

“Ɖr dz, indd, sīm az litl t tmt hr t brec hr reẓluśn at preznt,” sd Msz. Wsṭn, “az cn wel b; n ẃl ś z so hapi at Hārtfīld, I canot wś hr t b formñ eni ataćmnt ẃć wd b crietñ sć dificltiz on pur Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z acǎnt. I d nt rec̣mnd matriṃni at preznt t Ema, ɖo I mīn no slît t ɖ stet, I aśur y.”

Part v hr mīnñ wz t cnsil sm feṿrit ʈts v hr ǒn n Mr. Wsṭn’z on ɖ subjict, az mć az poṣbl. Ɖr wr wśz at Randlz rspctñ Ema’z desṭni, bt it wz nt dzîṛbl t hv ɖm sspctd; n ɖ qayt trnziśn ẃć Mr. Naitli sn aftwdz md t “Ẃt dz Wsṭn ʈnc v ɖ weɖr; śl w hv ren?” cnvinst hr ɖt h hd nʈñ mor t se or s’mîz abt Hārtfīld.


___

E

ma cd nt fīl a dǎt v hvñ gvn Harịt’s fansi a propr d’reẋn n rezd ɖ grattyd v hr yuñ vaṇti t a vri gd prṗs, fr ś faund hr dsîdidli mor snṣbl ɖn bfr v Mr. Eltn’z biyñ a rmarcbli hansm man, wɖ most agriybl manrz; n az ś hd no hezteśn in folowñ p ɖ aśuṛns v hiz adṃreśn bî agriybl hints, ś wz sn priti confidnt v crietñ az mć lîcñ on Harịt’s sîd, az ɖr cd b eni oceźn fr. Ś wz qt cnvinst v Mr. Eltn’z biyñ in ɖ fẹrist we v fōlñ in luv, f nt in luv olrdi. Ś hd no scrūpl wɖ rgard t him. H tōct v Harịt, n prezd hr so wormli, ɖt ś cd nt s’poz enʈñ wontñ ẃć a litl tîm wd nt ad. Hiz pspśn v ɖ strîcñ impruvmnt v Harịt’s manr, sins hr intṛduẋn at Hārtfīld, wz nt wn v ɖ līst agriybl prūfs v hiz growñ ataćmnt.

“Y hv gvn Mis Smiʈ ol ɖt ś rqîrd,” sd h; “y hv md hr gresfl n īzi. Ś wz a bytifl crīćr ẃn ś cem t y, bt, in mî opińn, ɖ atraẋnz y hv add r infiṇtli s’pirịr t ẃt ś rsivd fṛm nećr.”

“I am glad y ʈnc I hv bn ysfl t hr; bt Harịt onli wontd drw̃ ǎt, n rsivñ a fy, vri fy hints. Ś hd ol ɖ naćṛl gres v swītnis v tmpr n artlisnis in hrslf. I hv dn vri litl.”

“F it wr admisbl t contṛdict a ledi,” sd ɖ gaḷnt Mr. Eltn—

“I hv phps gvn hr a litl mor dsiźn v caṛctr, hv tòt hr t ʈnc on pônts ẃć hd nt fōḷn in hr we bfr.”

“Xacli so; ɖt z ẃt prinsipli strîcs m. So mć sūṗadd dsiźn v caṛctr! Scilfl hz bn ɖ hand!”

“Gret hz bn ɖ pleźr, I am śr. I nvr met wɖ a disṗziśn mor trūli emịbl.”

“I hv no dǎt v it.” N it wz spocn wɖ a sort v sayñ aṇmeśn, ẃć hd a vast dīl v ɖ luvr. Ś wz nt les plizd anɖr de wɖ ɖ manr in ẃć h secndd a sudn wś v hrz, t hv Harịt’s picćr.

“Dd y evr hv yr lîcnis tecn, Harịt?” sd ś: “dd y evr sit fr yr picćr?”

Harịt wz on ɖ pônt v līvñ ɖ rūm, n onli stopt t se, wɖ a vri inṭrestñ nîīvte,

“Ǒ! dir, no, nvr.”

No snr wz ś ǎt v sît, ɖn Ema xclemd,

“Ẃt an xqizit pześn a gd picćr v hr wd b! I wd gv eni muni fr it. I olmst loñ t atmt hr lîcnis mslf. Y d nt nǒ it I der se, bt tū or ʈri yirz ago I hd a gret paśn fr tecñ lîcnisz, n atmtd sevṛl v mî frendz, n wz ʈt t hv a tolṛbl î in jenṛl. Bt fṛm wn cōz or anɖr, I gev it p in dsgust. Bt riyli, I cd olmst vnćr, f Harịt wd sit t m. It wd b sć a dlît t hv hr picćr!”

“Let m intrit y,” craid Mr. Eltn; “it wd indd b a dlît! Let m intrit y, Mis Wŭdhǎs, t x’sîz so ćarmñ a taḷnt in fevr v yr frend. I nǒ ẃt yr drw̃z r. Hǎ cd y s’poz m ignṛnt? Z nt ɖs rūm rić in spesimnz v yr lansceps n flǎrz; n hz nt Msz. Wsṭn sm inimitbl figrpìsz in hr drw̃rūm, at Randlz?”

Yes, gd man!—ʈt Ema—bt ẃt hz ol ɖt t d wɖ tecñ lîcnisz? Y nǒ nʈñ v drw̃. D’nt pritnd t b in rapćrz abt mîn. Cīp yr rapćrz fr Harịt’s fes. “Wel, f y gv m sć cînd incurijmnt, Mr. Eltn, I b’liv I śl trî ẃt I cn d. Harịt’s fīćrz r vri delic̣t, ẃć mcs a lîcnis dificlt; n yt ɖr z a pkliaṛti in ɖ śep v ɖ î n ɖ lînz abt ɖ mǎʈ ẃć wn òt t cać.”

“Xacli so—Ɖ śep v ɖ î n ɖ lînz abt ɖ mǎʈ—I hv nt a dǎt v yr s’xes. Pre, pre atmt it. Az y wl d it, it wl indd, t yz yr ǒn wrdz, b an xqizit pześn.”

“Bt I am afreid, Mr. Eltn, Harịt wl nt lîc t sit. Ś ʈncs so litl v hr ǒn byti. Dd nt y obzrv hr manr v anṣrñ m? Hǎ cmplitli it mnt, ‘ẃ śd mî picćr b drwn?’”

“Ǒ! yes, I obzrvd it, I aśur y. It wz nt lost on m. Bt stl I canot imajin ś wd nt b pswedd.”

Harịt wz sn bac agn, n ɖ pṛpozl olmst imīɉtli md; n ś hd no scrūplz ẃć cd stand mni minits agnst ɖ rnist presñ v bʈ ɖ uɖrz. Ema wśt t g t wrc d’recli, n ɖrfr pṛdyst ɖ portfolio cntenñ hr verịs atmts at portrits, fr nt wn v ɖm hd evr bn finiśt, ɖt ɖe mt dsîd tgɖr on ɖ bst sîz fr Harịt. Hr mni bginñz wr dspleid. Miṇćrz, haf-leñʈs, hol-leñʈs, pensl, creon, n wōtrculrz hd bn ol traid in trn. Ś hd olwz wontd t d evrʈñ, n hd md mor progres bʈ in drw̃ n ḿzic ɖn mni mt hv dn wɖ so litl lebr az ś wd evr sbmit t. Ś pleid n sañ;—n drù in olmst evri stîl; bt stedinis hd olwz bn wontñ; n in nʈñ hd ś aproćt ɖ dgri v x’ḷns ẃć ś wd hv bn glad t cmand, n òt nt t hv feld v. Ś wz nt mć dsivd az t hr ǒn scil îɖr az an artist or a ḿziśn, bt ś wz nt unwilñ t hv uɖrz dsivd, or sori t nǒ hr repyteśn fr acumpliśmnt ofn hayr ɖn it dzrvd.

Ɖr wz merit in evri drw̃—in ɖ līst finiśt, phps ɖ most; hr stîl wz spiṛtd; bt hd ɖr bn mć les, or hd ɖr bn ten tîmz mor, ɖ dlît n adṃreśn v hr tū cmpańnz wd hv bn ɖ sem. Ɖe wr bʈ in xṭsiz. A lîcnis plizz evrbdi; n Mis Wŭdhǎs’z pformnsz mst b capitl.

“No gret vrayti v fesz fr y,” sd Ema. “I hd onli mî ǒn faṃli t studi fṛm. Ɖr z mî faɖr—anɖr v mî faɖr—bt ɖ îdīa v sitñ fr hiz picćr md him so nrṿs, ɖt I cd onli tec him bî stelʈ; nɖr v ɖm vri lîc ɖrfr. Msz. Wsṭn agn, n agn, n agn, y si. Dir Msz. Wsṭn! olwz mî cîndist frend on evri oceźn. Ś wd sit ẃnvr I asct hr. Ɖr z mî sistr; n riyli qt hr ǒn litl elignt figr!—n ɖ fes nt unlîc. I śd hv md a gd lîcnis v hr, f ś wd hv sat longr, bt ś wz in sć a huri t hv m drw hr for ćildṛn ɖt ś wd nt b qayt. Ɖen, hir cm ol mî atmts at ʈri v ɖoz for ćildṛn;—ɖr ɖe r, Õri n Jon n Bela, fṛm wn end v ɖ śīt t ɖ uɖr, n enwn v ɖm mt d fr enwn v ɖ rest. Ś wz so īgr t hv ɖm drwn ɖt I cd nt rfyz; bt ɖr z no mcñ ćildṛn v ʈri or for yirz old stand stil y nǒ; nr cn it b vri īzi t tec eni lîcnis v ɖm, bynd ɖ er n cmpleẋn, unls ɖe r cōrsr fīćrd ɖn eni v m’mā’z ćildṛn evr wr. Hir z mî sceć v ɖ forʈ, hu wz a bebi. I tc him az h wz slīpñ on ɖ sofa, n it z az stroñ a lîcnis v hiz cced az y wd wś t si. H hd nesld dǎn hiz hed most cnvińntli. Ɖt’s vri lîc. I am rɖr prǎd v litl Jorj. Ɖ cornr v ɖ sofa z vri gd. Ɖen hir z mî last,”—unclozñ a priti sceć v a jntlmn in smōl sîz, hol-leñʈ—“mî last n mî bst—mî bruɖr, Mr. Jon Naitli.—Ɖs dd nt wont mć v biyñ finiśt, ẃn I pt it awe in a pet, n vaud I wd nvr tec anɖr lîcnis. I cd nt hlp biyñ pṛvoct; fr aftr ol mî penz, n ẃn I hd riyli md a vri gd lîcnis v it—(Msz. Wsṭn n I wr qt agrìd in ʈncñ it vri lîc)—onli tù hansm—tù flaṭrñ—bt ɖt wz a fōlt on ɖ rît sîd”—aftr ol ɖs, cem pur dir Iẓbela’z cold apṛbeśn v—“Yes, it wz a litl lîc—bt t b śr it dd nt d him justis. W hd hd a gret dīl v trubl in pswedñ him t sit at ol. It wz md a gret fevr v; n oltgɖr it wz mor ɖn I cd ber; n so I nvr wd finiś it, t hv it apoḷjîzd ovr az an unfevṛbl lîcnis, t evri mornñ vizitr in Brunzwic Sqer;—n, az I sd, I dd ɖen forswer evr drw̃ enbdi agn. Bt fr Harịt’s sec, or rɖr fr mî ǒn, n az ɖr r no huzbndz n wîvz in ɖ ces at preznt, I wl brec mî reẓluśn nǎ.”

Mr. Eltn sīmd vri proprli struc n dlîtd bî ɖ îdīa, n wz rpitñ, “No huzbndz n wîvz in ɖ ces at preznt indd, az y obzrv. Xacli so. No huzbndz n wîvz,” wɖ so inṭrestñ a conśsnis, ɖt Ema bgan t cnsidr ẃɖr ś hd nt betr līv ɖm tgɖr at wns. Bt az ś wontd t b drw̃, ɖ decḷreśn mst wêt a litl longr.

Ś hd sn fixt on ɖ sîz n sort v portrit. It wz t b a hol-leñʈ in wōtrculrz, lîc Mr. Jon Naitli’z, n wz destind, f ś cd plīz hrslf, t hold a vri onṛbl steśn ovr ɖ mantlpìs.

Ɖ sitñ bgan; n Harịt, smîlñ n bluśñ, n afreid v nt cīpñ hr attyd n cǎntinns, prizntd a vri swīt mixćr v yʈfl xpreśn t ɖ stedi îz v ɖ artist. Bt ɖr wz no dwñ enʈñ, wɖ Mr. Eltn fiɉtñ bhnd hr n woćñ evri tuć. Ś gev him credit fr steṣ́nñ himslf ẃr h mt gêz n gêz agn wɖt ofns; bt wz riyli oblîjd t pt an end t it, n rqst him t ples himslf elsẃr. It ɖen ocŕd t hr t implô him in rīdñ.

“F h wd b so gd az t rīd t ɖm, it wd b a cîndnis indd! It wd aḿz awe ɖ dificltiz v hr part, n lesn ɖ ŕcsmnis v Mis Smiʈ’s.”

Mr. Eltn wz onli tù hapi. Harịt lisnd, n Ema drù in pīs. Ś mst alǎ him t b stl frīqntli cmñ t lc; enʈñ les wd srtnli hv bn tù litl in a luvr; n h wz redi at ɖ smōlist inṭmiśn v ɖ pensl, t jump p n si ɖ progres, n b ćarmd.—Ɖr wz no biyñ dsplizd wɖ sć an incurijr, fr hiz adṃreśn md him dsrn a lîcnis olmst bfr it wz poṣbl. Ś cd nt rspct hiz î, bt hiz luv n hiz cmplesns wr unixpśṇbl.

Ɖ sitñ wz oltgɖr vri saṭsfactri; ś wz qt inuf plizd wɖ ɖ frst de’z sceć t wś t g on. Ɖr wz no wont v lîcnis, ś hd bn forćṇt in ɖ attyd, n az ś mnt t ʈro in a litl impruvmnt t ɖ figr, t gv a litl mor hît, n cnsidṛbli mor eligns, ś hd gret confidns v its biyñ in evri we a priti drw̃ at last, n v its filñ its destind ples wɖ credit t ɖm bʈ—a standñ mmorịl v ɖ byti v wn, ɖ scil v ɖ uɖr, n ɖ frendśp v bʈ; wɖ az mni uɖr agriybl asośieśnz az Mr. Eltn’z vri proṃsñ ataćmnt wz lîcli t ad.

Harịt wz t sit agn ɖ nxt de; n Mr. Eltn, jst az h òt, intritd fr ɖ pmiśn v atndñ n rīdñ t ɖm agn.

“Bî ol mīnz. W śl b most hapi t cnsidr y az wn v ɖ parti.”

Ɖ sem sviḷtiz n crṭsiz, ɖ sem s’xes n saṭsfaẋn, tc ples on ɖ moro, n acumṗnid ɖ hol progres v ɖ picćr, ẃć wz rapid n hapi. Evrbdi hu sw it wz plizd, bt Mr. Eltn wz in cntińl rapćrz, n dfndd it ʈru evri criṭsizm.

“Mis Wŭdhǎs hz gvn hr frend ɖ onli byti ś wontd,”—obzrvd Msz. Wsṭn t him—nt in ɖ līst sspctñ ɖt ś wz adresñ a luvr.—“Ɖ xpreśn v ɖ î z most c’rect, bt Mis Smiʈ hz nt ɖoz îbrǎz n îlaśz. It z ɖ fōlt v hr fes ɖt ś hz ɖm nt.”

“D y ʈnc so?” rplaid h. “I canot agri wɖ y. It apirz t m a most prfict rzmbḷns in evri fīćr. I nvr sw sć a lîcnis in mî lîf. W mst alǎ fr ɖ ifct v śêd, y nǒ.”

“Y hv md hr tù tōl, Ema,” sd Mr. Naitli.

Ema ń ɖt ś hd, bt wd nt ǒn it; n Mr. Eltn wormli add,

“Ǒ no! srtnli nt tù tōl; nt in ɖ līst tù tōl. Cnsidr, ś z sitñ dǎn—ẃć naćṛli preznts a difṛnt—ẃć in śort gvz xacli ɖ îdīa—n ɖ pṛporśnz mst b prizrvd, y nǒ. Pṛporśnz, fōrśorṭnñ.—Ǒ no! it gvz wn xacli ɖ îdīa v sć a hît az Mis Smiʈ’s. Xacli so indd!”

“It z vri priti,” sd Mr. Wŭdhǎs. “So priṭli dn! Jst az yr drw̃z olwz r, mî dir. I d nt nǒ enbdi hu drwz so wel az y d. Ɖ onli ʈñ I d nt ʈuṛli lîc z, ɖt ś sīmz t b sitñ ǎt v dorz, wɖ onli a litl śōl ovr hr śoldrz—n it mcs wn ʈnc ś mst cać cold.”

“Bt, mî dir ppā, it z s’pozd t b sumr; a worm de in sumr. Lc at ɖ tri.”

“Bt it z nvr sef t sit ǎt v dorz, mî dir.”

“Y, sr, me se enʈñ,” craid Mr. Eltn, “bt I mst cnfes ɖt I rgard it az a most hapi ʈt, ɖ plesñ v Mis Smiʈ ǎt v dorz; n ɖ tri z tućt wɖ sć inimitbl spirit! Eni uɖr sićueśn wd hv bn mć les in caṛctr. Ɖ nîīvte v Mis Smiʈ’s manrz—n oltgɖr—Ǒ, it z most admṛbl! I canot cīp mî îz fṛm it. I nvr sw sć a lîcnis.”

Ɖ nxt ʈñ wontd wz t gt ɖ picćr fremd; n hir wr a fy dificltiz. It mst b dn d’recli; it mst b dn in Lundn; ɖ ordr mst g ʈru ɖ handz v sm intelijnt prsn huz test cd b dpndd on; n Iẓbela, ɖ yźl duwr v ol cmiśnz, mst nt b aplaid t, bcz it wz Dsmbr, n Mr. Wŭdhǎs cd nt ber ɖ îdīa v hr stŕñ ǎt v hr hǎs in ɖ fogz v Dsmbr. Bt no snr wz ɖ dstres noun t Mr. Eltn, ɖn it wz rmuvd. Hiz gaḷntri wz olwz on ɖ alrt. “Mt h b trustd wɖ ɖ cmiśn, ẃt infiṇt pleźr śd h hv in x’ktñ it! h cd rîd t Lundn at eni tîm. It wz imposbl t se hǎ mć h śd b graṭfaid bî biyñ imploid on sć an eṛnd.”

“H wz tù gd!—ś cd nt indyr ɖ ʈt!—ś wd nt gv him sć a trublsm ofis fr ɖ wrld,”—bròt on ɖ dzîrd reṗtiśn v intritiz n aśuṛnsz,—n a vri fy minits setld ɖ biznis.

Mr. Eltn wz t tec ɖ drw̃ t Lundn, ćūz ɖ frem, n gv ɖ d’reẋnz; n Ema ʈt ś cd so pac it az t enśur its sefti wɖt mć incmodñ him, ẃl h sīmd mostli firfl v nt biyñ inc̣modd inuf.

“Ẃt a preśs dpozit!” sd h wɖ a tndr sai, az h rsivd it.

“Ɖs man z olmst tù gaḷnt t b in luv,” ʈt Ema. “I śd se so, bt ɖt I s’poz ɖr me b a hundṛd difṛnt wez v biyñ in luv. H z an xḷnt yuñ man, n wl sūt Harịt xacli; it wl b an ‘Xacli so,’ az h sz himslf; bt h dz sai n lanḡś, n studi fr complimnts rɖr mor ɖn I cd indyr az a prinsipl. I cm in fr a priti gd śer az a secnd. Bt it z hiz grattyd on Harịt’s acǎnt.”


___

Ɖ

vri de v Mr. Eltn’z gwñ t Lundn pṛdyst a freś oceźn fr Ema’z srṿsz twdz hr frend. Harịt hd bn at Hārtfīld, az yźl, sn aftr brecfst; n, aftr a tîm, hd gn hom t rtrn agn t dinr: ś rtrnd, n snr ɖn hd bn tōct v, n wɖ an ajtetd, hurid lc, anǎnsñ smʈñ xtrordnri t hv hapnd ẃć ś wz loññ t tel. Haf a minit bròt it ol ǎt. Ś hd hŕd, az sn az ś got bac t Msz. Godard’z, ɖt Mr. Martin hd bn ɖr an aur bfr, n fîndñ ś wz nt at hom, nr ptiklrli xpctd, hd left a litl parsl fr hr fṛm wn v hiz sistrz, n gn awe; n on oṗnñ ɖs parsl, ś hd acć̣li faund, bsdz ɖ tū soñz ẃć ś hd lent Iliẓbʈ t copi, a letr t hrslf; n ɖs letr wz fṛm him, fṛm Mr. Martin, n cntend a d’rect pṛpozl v marij. “Hu cd hv ʈt it? Ś wz so s’prîzd ś dd nt nǒ ẃt t d. Yes, qt a pṛpozl v marij; n a vri gd letr, at līst ś ʈt so. N h rout az f h riyli luvd hr vri mć—bt ś dd nt nǒ—n so, ś wz cm az fast az ś cd t asc Mis Wŭdhǎs ẃt ś śd d.—” Ema wz haf-aśemd v hr frend fr sīmñ so plizd n so dǎtfl.

“Upn mî wrd,” ś craid, “ɖ yuñ man z dtrmind nt t lūz enʈñ fr wont v ascñ. H wl cnct himslf wel f h cn.”

“Wl y rīd ɖ letr?” craid Harịt. “Pre d. I’d rɖr y wd.”

Ema wz nt sori t b prest. Ś réd, n wz s’prîzd. Ɖ stîl v ɖ letr wz mć abv hr xpcteśn. Ɖr wr nt mirli no gṛmaticl errz, bt az a compziśn it wd nt hv dsgrest a jntlmn; ɖ lanḡj, ɖo plen, wz stroñ n un’fctd, n ɖ sntimnts it cnveid vri mć t ɖ credit v ɖ raitr. It wz śort, bt xprest gd sns, worm ataćmnt, liḅraḷti, pṛprayti, īvn delic̣si v fīlñ. Ś pōzd ovr it, ẃl Harịt std añśsli woćñ fr hr opińn, wɖ a “Wel, wel,” n wz at last forst t ad, “Z it a gd letr? or z it tù śort?”

“Yes, indd, a vri gd letr,” rplaid Ema rɖr slǒli—“so gd a letr, Harịt, ɖt evrʈñ cnsidrd, I ʈnc wn v hiz sistrz mst hv hlpt him. I cn hardli imajin ɖ yuñ man hūm I sw tōcñ wɖ y ɖ uɖr de cd xpres himslf so wel, f left qt t hiz ǒn pǎrz, n yt it z nt ɖ stîl v a wmn; no, srtnli, it z tù stroñ n cnsîs; nt dfys inuf fr a wmn. No dǎt h z a snṣbl man, n I s’poz me hv a naćṛl taḷnt fr—ʈncs stroñli n clirli—n ẃn h tecs a pén in hand, hiz ʈts naćṛli fînd propr wrdz. It z so wɖ sm men. Yes, I unḍstand ɖ sort v mînd. Vigṛs, dsîdd, wɖ sntimnts t a srtn pônt, nt cōrs. A betr ritn letr, Harịt (rtrnñ it,) ɖn I hd xpctd.”

“Wel,” sd ɖ stl wêtñ Harịt;—“wel—n—n ẃt śl I d?”

“Ẃt śl y d! In ẃt rspct? D y mīn wɖ rgard t ɖs letr?”

“Yes.”

“Bt ẃt r y in dǎt v? Y mst ansr it v cors—n spīḍli.”

“Yes. Bt ẃt śl I se? Dir Mis Wŭdhǎs, d advîz m.”

“Ǒ no, no! ɖ letr hd mć betr b ol yr ǒn. Y wl xpres yrslf vri proprli, I am śr. Ɖr z no denjr v yr nt biyñ inteliɉbl, ẃć z ɖ frst ʈñ. Yr mīnñ mst b uniqivcl; no dǎts or dḿrz: n sć xpreśnz v grattyd n cnsrn fr ɖ pen y r inflictñ az pṛprayti rqîrz, wl priznt ɖmslvz unbidn t yr mînd, I am pswedd. Y nīd nt b promtd t rait wɖ ɖ apiṛns v soro fr hiz dis’pôntmnt.”

“Y ʈnc I òt t rfyz him ɖen,” sd Harịt, lcñ dǎn.

“Òt t rfyz him! Mî dir Harịt, ẃt d y mīn? R y in eni dǎt az t ɖt? I ʈt—bt I beg yr pardn, phps I hv bn undr a mstec. I srtnli hv bn misunḍstandñ y, f y fīl in dǎt az t ɖ pport v yr ansr. I hd imajind y wr cnsultñ m onli az t ɖ wrdñ v it.”

Harịt wz sîḷnt. Wɖ a litl rzrv v manr, Ema cntinyd:

“Y mīn t rtrn a fevṛbl ansr, I c’lect.”

“No, I d nt; ɖt z, I d nt mīn—Ẃt śl I d? Ẃt wd y advîz m t d? Pre, dir Mis Wŭdhǎs, tel m ẃt I òt t d.”

“I śl nt gv y eni advîs, Harịt. I wl hv nʈñ t d wɖ it. Ɖs z a pônt ẃć y mst setl wɖ yr fīlñz.”

“I hd no nośn ɖt h lîct m so vri mć,” sd Harịt, contmpletñ ɖ letr. Fr a litl ẃl Ema prṣvird in hr sîḷns; bt bginñ t aprihnd ɖ bwićñ flaṭri v ɖt letr mt b tù pǎrfl, ś ʈt it bst t se,

“I le it dǎn az a jenṛl rūl, Harịt, ɖt f a wmn dǎts az t ẃɖr ś śd axpt a man or nt, ś srtnli òt t rfyz him. F ś cn heẓtet az t ‘Yes,’ ś òt t se ‘No’ d’recli. It z nt a stet t b sefli entrd intu wɖ dǎtfl fīlñz, wɖ haf a hart. I ʈt it mî dyti az a frend, n oldr ɖn yrslf, t se ɖus mć t y. Bt d nt imajin ɖt I wont t inflụns y.”

“Ǒ! no, I am śr y r a gret dīl tù cînd t—bt f y wd jst advîz m ẃt I hd bst d—No, no, I d nt mīn ɖt—Az y se, wn’z mînd òt t b qt md p—Wn śd nt b heztetñ—It z a vri sirịs ʈñ.—It wl b sefr t se ‘No,’ phps.—D y ʈnc I hd betr se ‘No?’”

“Nt fr ɖ wrld,” sd Ema, smîlñ greśsli, “wd I advîz y îɖr we. Y mst b ɖ bst juj v yr ǒn hapinis. F y prifŕ Mr. Martin t evri uɖr prsn; f y ʈnc him ɖ most agriybl man y hv evr bn in cumṗni wɖ, ẃ śd y heẓtet? Y bluś, Harịt.—Dz enbdi els ocŕ t y at ɖs momnt undr sć a def̣niśn? Harịt, Harịt, d nt dsiv yrslf; d nt b run awe wɖ bî grattyd n cmpaśn. At ɖs momnt hūm r y ʈncñ v?”

Ɖ simtmz wr fevṛbl.—Instd v anṣrñ, Harịt trnd awe cnfyzd, n std ʈtf̣li bî ɖ fîr; n ɖo ɖ letr wz stl in hr hand, it wz nǎ mcanicli twistd abt wɖt rgard. Ema wêtd ɖ rzult wɖ impeśns, bt nt wɖt stroñ hops. At last, wɖ sm hezteśn, Harịt sd—

“Mis Wŭdhǎs, az y wl nt gv m yr opińn, I mst d az wel az I cn bî mslf; n I hv nǎ qt dtrmind, n riyli olmst md p mî mînd—t rfyz Mr. Martin. D y ʈnc I am rît?”

“Prf̣cli, prf̣cli rît, mî dirist Harịt; y r dwñ jst ẃt y òt. Ẃl y wr at ol in sspns I cept mî fīlñz t mslf, bt nǎ ɖt y r so cmplitli dsîdd I hv no hezteśn in apruvñ. Dir Harịt, I gv mslf jô v ɖs. It wd hv grīvd m t lūz yr aqentns, ẃć mst hv bn ɖ consiqns v yr mariyñ Mr. Martin. Ẃl y wr in ɖ smōlist dgri weṿrñ, I sd nʈñ abt it, bcz I wd nt inflụns; bt it wd hv bn ɖ los v a frend t m. I cd nt hv viẓtd Msz. Roḅt Martin, v Abimil Farm. Nǎ I am s’kr v y fr evr.”

Harịt hd nt s’mîzd hr ǒn denjr, bt ɖ îdīa v it struc hr forṣbli.

“Y cd nt hv viẓtd m!” ś craid, lcñ agast. “No, t b śr y cd nt; bt I nvr ʈt v ɖt bfr. Ɖt wd hv bn tù dredfl!—Ẃt an iscep!—Dir Mis Wŭdhǎs, I wd nt gv p ɖ pleźr n onr v biyñ intiṃt wɖ y fr enʈñ in ɖ wrld.”

“Indd, Harịt, it wd hv bn a svir pañ t lūz y; bt it mst hv bn. Y wd hv ʈroun yrslf ǎt v ol gd ssayti. I mst hv gvn y p.”

“Dir m!—Hǎ śd I evr hv bòrn it! It wd hv cild m nvr t cm t Hārtfīld eni mor!”

“Dir afẋṇt crīćr!—Y baniśt t Abimil Farm!—Y cnfînd t ɖ ssayti v ɖ ilitṛt n vulgr ol yr lîf! I wundr hǎ ɖ yuñ man cd hv ɖ aśuṛns t asc it. H mst hv a priti gd opińn v himslf.”

“I d nt ʈnc h z cnsitd îɖr, in jenṛl,” sd Harịt, hr conśns opozñ sć snśr; “at līst, h z vri gd natured, n I śl olwz fīl mć oblîjd t him, n hv a gret rgard fr—bt ɖt z qt a difṛnt ʈñ fṛm—n y nǒ, ɖo h me lîc m, it dz nt folo ɖt I śd—n srtnli I mst cnfes ɖt sins mî viẓtñ hir I hv sìn ppl—n f wn cmz t cmper ɖm, prsn n manrz, ɖr z no cmparisn at ol, wn z so vri hansm n agriybl. Hvr, I d riyli ʈnc Mr. Martin a vri emịbl yuñ man, n hv a gret opińn v him; n hiz biyñ so mć ataćt t m—n hiz raitñ sć a letr—bt az t līvñ y, it z ẃt I wd nt d upn eni cnsiḍreśn.”

“Ʈanc y, ʈanc y, mî ǒn swīt litl frend. W wl nt b partd. A wmn z nt t mari a man mirli bcz ś z asct, or bcz h z ataćt t hr, n cn rait a tolṛbl letr.”

“Ǒ no;—n it z bt a śort letr tù.”

Ema flt ɖ bad test v hr frend, bt let it pas wɖ a “vri tru; n it wd b a smōl conṣleśn t hr, fr ɖ clǎniś manr ẃć mt b ofndñ hr evri aur v ɖ de, t nǒ ɖt hr huzbnd cd rait a gd letr.”

“Ǒ! yes, vri. Nbdi cerz fr a letr; ɖ ʈñ z, t b olwz hapi wɖ pleznt cmpańnz. I am qt dtrmind t rfyz him. Bt hǎ śl I d? Ẃt śl I se?”

Ema aśurd hr ɖr wd b no dificlti in ɖ ansr, n advîzd its biyñ ritn d’recli, ẃć wz agrìd t, in ɖ hop v hr asistns; n ɖo Ema cntinyd t pṛtst agnst eni asistns biyñ wontd, it wz in fact gvn in ɖ formeśn v evri sntns. Ɖ lcñ ovr hiz letr agn, in rplayñ t it, hd sć a sof̣nñ tndnsi, ɖt it wz ptiklrli nesṣri t bres hr p wɖ a fy dsîsiv xpreśnz; n ś wz so vri mć cnsrnd at ɖ îdīa v mcñ him unhapi, n ʈt so mć v ẃt hiz muɖr n sistrz wd ʈnc n se, n wz so añśs ɖt ɖe śd nt fansi hr ungretfl, ɖt Ema b’livd f ɖ yuñ man hd cm in hr we at ɖt momnt, h wd hv bn axptd aftr ol.

Ɖs letr, hvr, wz ritn, n sìld, n snt. Ɖ biznis wz finiśt, n Harịt sef. Ś wz rɖr lo ol ɖ īvnñ, bt Ema cd alǎ fr hr emịbl rgrets, n smtmz rlivd ɖm bî spīcñ v hr ǒn afẋn, smtmz bî brññ fwd ɖ îdīa v Mr. Eltn.

“I śl nvr b invîtd t Abimil agn,” wz sd in rɖr a soṛfl ton.

“Nr, f y wr, cd I evr ber t part wɖ y, mî Harịt. Y r a gret dīl tù nesṣri at Hārtfīld t b sperd t Abimil.”

“N I am śr I śd nvr wont t g ɖr; fr I am nvr hapi bt at Hārtfīld.”

Sm tîm aftwdz it wz, “I ʈnc Msz. Godard wd b vri mć s’prîzd f ś ń ẃt hd hapnd. I am śr Mis Naś wd—fr Mis Naś ʈncs hr ǒn sistr vri wel marid, n it z onli a linndrepr.”

“Wn śd b sori t si gretr prîd or rfînmnt in ɖ tīćr v a scūl, Harịt. I der se Mis Naś wd envi y sć an oṗtyṇti az ɖs v biyñ marid. Īvn ɖs conqest wd apir vałbl in hr îz. Az t enʈñ s’pirịr fr y, I s’poz ś z qt in ɖ darc. Ɖ atnśnz v a srtn prsn cn hardli b amñ ɖ titl-tatl v Hîḅri yt. Hiɖrtu I fansi y n I r ɖ onli ppl t hūm hiz lcs n manrz hv xplend ɖmslvz.”

Harịt bluśt n smîld, n sd smʈñ abt wunḍrñ ɖt ppl śd lîc hr so mć. Ɖ îdīa v Mr. Eltn wz srtnli ćirñ; bt stl, aftr a tîm, ś wz tndr-hartd agn twdz ɖ rjctd Mr. Martin.

“Nǎ h hz got mî letr,” sd ś softli. “I wundr ẃt ɖe r ol dwñ—ẃɖr hiz sistrz nǒ—f h z unhapi, ɖe wl b unhapi tù. I hop h wl nt mînd it so vri mć.”

“Let s ʈnc v ɖoz amñ ǎr absnt frendz hu r mor ćirf̣li imploid,” craid Ema. “At ɖs momnt, phps, Mr. Eltn z śowñ yr picćr t hiz muɖr n sistrz, telñ hǎ mć mor bytifl z ɖ orijinl, n aftr biyñ asct fr it fîv or six tîmz, alawñ ɖm t hír yr nem, yr ǒn dir nem.”

“Mî picćr!—Bt h hz left mî picćr in Bond Strīt.”

“Hz h so!—Ɖen I nǒ nʈñ v Mr. Eltn. No, mî dir litl modist Harịt, dpnd upn it ɖ picćr wl nt b in Bond Strīt tl jst bfr h mǎnts hiz hors tmoro. It z hiz cmpańn ol ɖs īvnñ, hiz solis, hiz dlît. It opnz hiz dzînz t hiz faṃli, it intṛdysz y amñ ɖm, it dfyzz ʈru ɖ parti ɖoz plezntist fīlñz v ǎr nećr, īgr krioṣti n worm prīṗześn. Hǎ ćirfl, hǎ aṇmetd, hǎ sspiśs, hǎ bizi ɖer imaɉneśnz ol r!”

Harịt smîld agn, n hr smîlz grù strongr.


___

H

arịt slept at Hārtfīld ɖt nît. Fr sm wīcs past ś hd bn spendñ mor ɖn haf hr tîm ɖr, n graɉli gtñ t hv a bedrūm aproprietd t hrslf; n Ema jujd it bst in evri rspct, sefist n cîndist, t cīp hr wɖ ɖm az mć az poṣbl jst at preznt. Ś wz oblîjd t g ɖ nxt mornñ fr an aur or tū t Msz. Godard’z, bt it wz ɖen t b setld ɖt ś śd rtrn t Hārtfīld, t mc a reğlr vizit v sm dez.

Ẃl ś wz gn, Mr. Naitli cōld, n sat sm tîm wɖ Mr. Wŭdhǎs n Ema, tl Mr. Wŭdhǎs, hu hd prīvịsli md p hiz mînd t wōc ǎt, wz pswedd bî hiz dōtr nt t dfŕ it, n wz indyst bî ɖ intritiz v bʈ, ɖo agnst ɖ scrūplz v hiz ǒn sviḷti, t līv Mr. Naitli fr ɖt prṗs. Mr. Naitli, hu hd nʈñ v seriṃni abt him, wz of̣rñ bî hiz śort, dsîdd ansrz, an aḿzñ contrast t ɖ pṛtractd apoḷjiz n sivl heẓteśnz v ɖ uɖr.

“Wel, I b’liv, f y wl xkz m, Mr. Naitli, f y wl nt cnsidr m az dwñ a vri rūd ʈñ, I śl tec Ema’z advîs n g ǎt fr a qortr v an aur. Az ɖ sún z ǎt, I b’liv I hd betr tec mî ʈri trnz ẃl I cn. I trīt y wɖt seriṃni, Mr. Naitli. W inṿlidz ʈnc w r priṿlijd ppl.”

“Mî dir sr, d nt mc a strenjr v m.”

“I līv an xḷnt substtyt in mî dōtr. Ema wl b hapi t entten y. N ɖrfr I ʈnc I wl beg yr xks n tec mî ʈri trnz—mî wintrwōc.”

“Y canot d betr, sr.”

“I wd asc fr ɖ pleźr v yr cumṗni, Mr. Naitli, bt I am a vri slo wōcr, n mî pes wd b tīdịs t y; n, bsdz, y hv anɖr loñ wōc bfr y, t Donwél Abi.”

“Ʈanc y, sr, ʈanc y; I am gwñ ɖs momnt mslf; n I ʈnc ɖ snr y g ɖ betr. I wl feć yr gretcot n opn ɖ gardn dor fr y.”

Mr. Wŭdhǎs at last wz of; bt Mr. Naitli, instd v biyñ imīɉtli of lîcwz, sat dǎn agn, sīmñli inclînd fr mor ćat. H bgan spīcñ v Harịt, n spīcñ v hr wɖ mor voḷntri prêz ɖn Ema hd evr hŕd bfr.

“I canot ret hr byti az y d,” sd h; “bt ś z a priti litl crīćr, n I am inclînd t ʈnc vri wel v hr disṗziśn. Hr caṛctr dpndz upn ɖoz ś z wɖ; bt in gd handz ś wl trn ǎt a vałbl wmn.”

“I am glad y ʈnc so; n ɖ gd handz, I hop, me nt b wontñ.”

“Cm,” sd h, “y r añśs fr a complimnt, so I wl tel y ɖt y hv impruvd hr. Y hv krd hr v hr scūlgrl’z gigl; ś riyli dz y credit.”

“Ʈanc y. I śd b morṭfaid indd f I dd nt b’liv I hd bn v sm ys; bt it z nt evrbdi hu wl bsto prêz ẃr ɖe me. Y d nt ofn oṿpǎr m wɖ it.”

“Y r xpctñ hr agn, y se, ɖs mornñ?”

“Olmst evri momnt. Ś hz bn gn longr olrdi ɖn ś intndd.”

“Smʈñ hz hapnd t dle hr; sm vizitrz phps.”

“Hîḅri gosips!—Tîrsm rećz!”

“Harịt me nt cnsidr evrbdi tîrsm ɖt y wd.”

Ema ń ɖs wz tù tru fr contṛdiẋn, n ɖrfr sd nʈñ. H prezntli add, wɖ a smîl,

“I d nt pritnd t fix on tîmz or plesz, bt I mst tel y ɖt I hv gd rīzn t b’liv yr litl frend wl sn hír v smʈñ t hr advantij.”

“Indd! hǎ so? v ẃt sort?”

“A vri sirịs sort, I aśur y;” stl smîlñ.

“Vri sirịs! I cn ʈnc v bt wn ʈñ—Hu z in luv wɖ hr? Hu mcs y ɖer conf̣dant?”

Ema wz mor ɖn haf in hops v Mr. Eltn’z hvñ dropt a hint. Mr. Naitli wz a sort v jenṛl frend n advîzr, n ś ń Mr. Eltn lct p t him.

“I hv rīzn t ʈnc,” h rplaid, “ɖt Harịt Smiʈ wl sn hv an ofr v marij, n fṛm a most unixpśṇbl qortr:—Roḅt Martin z ɖ man. Hr vizit t Abimil, ɖs sumr, sīmz t hv dn hiz biznis. H z despṛtli in luv n mīnz t mari hr.”

“H z vri oblîjñ,” sd Ema; “bt z h śr ɖt Harịt mīnz t mari him?”

“Wel, wel, mīnz t mc hr an ofr ɖen. Wl ɖt d? H cem t ɖ Abi tū īvnñz ago, on prṗs t cnsult m abt it. H nz I hv a ʈura rgard fr him n ol hiz faṃli, n, I b’liv, cnsidrz m az wn v hiz bst frendz. H cem t asc m ẃɖr I ʈt it wd b imprūdnt in him t setl so rli; ẃɖr I ʈt hr tù yuñ: in śort, ẃɖr I apruvd hiz ćôs oltgɖr; hvñ sm aprihnśn phps v hr biyñ cnsidrd (ispeṣ́li sins yr mcñ so mć v hr) az in a lîn v ssayti abv him. I wz vri mć plizd wɖ ol ɖt h sd. I nvr hír betr sns fṛm enwn ɖn Roḅt Martin. H olwz spīcs t ɖ prṗs; opn, stretfwd, n vri wel jujñ. H tld m evrʈñ; hiz srcmstansz n planz, n ẃt ɖe ol pṛpozd dwñ in ɖ ivnt v hiz marij. H z an xḷnt yuñ man, bʈ az sun n bruɖr. I hd no hezteśn in advîzñ him t mari. H pruvd t m ɖt h cd aford it; n ɖt biyñ ɖ ces, I wz cnvinst h cd nt d betr. I prezd ɖ fer ledi tù, n oltgɖr snt him awe vri hapi. F h hd nvr istimd mî opińn bfr, h wd hv ʈt hîli v m ɖen; n, I der se, left ɖ hǎs ʈncñ m ɖ bst frend n cǎnslr man evr hd. Ɖs hapnd ɖ nît bfr last. Nǎ, az w me ferli s’poz, h wd nt alǎ mć tîm t pas bfr h spouc t ɖ ledi, n az h dz nt apir t hv spocn yesṭde, it z nt unlîcli ɖt h śd b at Msz. Godard’z tde; n ś me b dtend bî a vizitr, wɖt ʈncñ him at ol a tîrsm reć.”

“Pre, Mr. Naitli,” sd Ema, hu hd bn smîlñ t hrslf ʈru a gret part v ɖs spīć, “hǎ d y nǒ ɖt Mr. Martin dd nt spīc yesṭde?”

“Srtnli,” rplaid h, s’prîzd, “I d nt abṣlutli nǒ it; bt it me b infŕd. Wz nt ś ɖ hol de wɖ y?”

“Cm,” sd ś, “I wl tel y smʈñ, in rtrn fr ẃt y hv tld m. H dd spīc yesṭde—ɖt z, h rout, n wz rfyzd.”

Ɖs wz oblîjd t b rpitd bfr it cd b b’livd; n Mr. Naitli acć̣li lct red wɖ s’prîz n dspleźr, az h std p, in tōl inḍgneśn, n sd,

“Ɖen ś z a gretr simpltn ɖn I evr b’livd hr. Ẃt z ɖ fūliś grl abt?”

“Ǒ! t b śr,” craid Ema, “it z olwz incomprihnsbl t a man ɖt a wmn śd evr rfyz an ofr v marij. A man olwz imajinz a wmn t b redi fr enbdi hu ascs hr.”

“Nonsns! a man dz nt imajin eni sć ʈñ. Bt ẃt z ɖ mīnñ v ɖs? Harịt Smiʈ rfyz Roḅt Martin? madnis, f it z so; bt I hop y r mstecn.”

“I sw hr ansr!—nʈñ cd b clirr.”

“Y sw hr ansr!—y rout hr ansr tù. Ema, ɖs z yr dwñ. Y pswedd hr t rfyz him.”

“N f I dd, (ẃć, hvr, I am far fṛm alawñ) I śd nt fīl ɖt I hd dn roñ. Mr. Martin z a vri rspctbl yuñ man, bt I canot admit him t b Harịt’s īql; n am rɖr s’prîzd indd ɖt h śd hv vnćrd t adres hr. Bî yr acǎnt, h dz sīm t hv hd sm scrūplz. It z a piti ɖt ɖe wr evr got ovr.”

“Nt Harịt’s īql!” xclemd Mr. Naitli lǎdli n wormli; n wɖ cāmr aspeṛti, add, a fy momnts aftwdz, “No, h z nt hr īql indd, fr h z az mć hr s’pirịr in sns az in sićueśn. Ema, yr infaćueśn abt ɖt grl blîndz y. Ẃt r Harịt Smiʈ’s clemz, îɖr v brʈ, nećr or edyceśn, t eni cnẋn hayr ɖn Robt Martin? Ś z ɖ naćṛl dōtr v nbdi nz hūm, wɖ probbli no setld pṛviźn at ol, n srtnli no rspctbl rleśnz. Ś z noun onli az parlrbōrdr at a comn scūl. Ś z nt a snṣbl grl, nr a grl v eni inf̣meśn. Ś hz bn tòt nʈñ ysfl, n z tù yuñ n tù simpl t hv aqîrd enʈñ hrslf. At hr ej ś cn hv no xpirịns, n wɖ hr litl wit, z nt vri lîcli evr t hv eni ɖt cn avel hr. Ś z priti, n ś z gd-tmprd, n ɖt z ol. Mî onli scrūpl in advîzñ ɖ mać wz on hiz acǎnt, az biyñ bnʈ hiz dzrts, n a bad cnẋn fr him. I flt ɖt, az t fortyn, in ol probbiḷti h mt d mć betr; n ɖt az t a raśnl cmpańn or ysfl hlpmêt, h cd nt d wrs. Bt I cd nt rīzn so t a man in luv, n wz wilñ t trust t ɖr biyñ no harm in hr, t hr hvñ ɖt sort v disṗziśn, ẃć, in gd handz, lîc hiz, mt b īẓli léd arît n trn ǎt vri wel. Ɖ advantij v ɖ mać I flt t b ol on hr sîd; n hd nt ɖ smōlist dǎt (nr hv I nǎ) ɖt ɖr wd b a jenṛl crî-ǎt upn hr xtrim gd luc. Īvn yr saṭsfaẋn I md śr v. It crost mî mînd imīɉtli ɖt y wd nt rgret yr frend’z līvñ Hîḅri, fr ɖ sec v hr biyñ setld so wel. I rmembr seyñ t mslf, ‘Īvn Ema, wɖ ol hr parśiaḷti fr Harịt, wl ʈnc ɖs a gd mać.’”

“I canot hlp wunḍrñ at yr nwñ so litl v Ema az t se eni sć ʈñ. Ẃt! ʈnc a farmr, (n wɖ ol hiz sns n ol hiz merit Mr. Martin z nʈñ mor,) a gd mać fr mî intiṃt frend! Nt rgret hr līvñ Hîḅri fr ɖ sec v mariyñ a man hūm I cd nvr admit az an aqentns v mî ǒn! I wundr y śd ʈnc it poṣbl fr m t hv sć fīlñz. I aśur y mîn r vri difṛnt. I mst ʈnc yr stetmnt bî no mīnz fer. Y r nt just t Harịt’s clemz. Ɖe wd b esṭmetd vri difṛntli bî uɖrz az wel az mslf; Mr. Martin me b ɖ rićist v ɖ tū, bt h z undǎtidli hr infirịr az t ranc in ssayti.—Ɖ sfir in ẃć ś muvz z mć abv hiz.—It wd b a degṛdeśn.”

“A degṛdeśn t iḷjitiṃsi n ignṛns, t b marid t a rspctbl, intelijnt jntlmnfarmr!”

“Az t ɖ srcmstansz v hr brʈ, ɖo in a līgl sns ś me b cōld Nbdi, it wl nt hold in comn-sns. Ś z nt t pe fr ɖ ofns v uɖrz, bî biyñ hld b’lo ɖ levl v ɖoz wɖ hūm ś z bròt p.—Ɖr cn scersli b a dǎt ɖt hr faɖr z a jntlmn—n a jntlmn v fortyn.—Hr alawns z vri libṛl; nʈñ hz evr bn grujd fr hr impruvmnt or cumf̣t.—Ɖt ś z a jntlmn’z dōtr, z indybitbl t m; ɖt ś asośịts wɖ jntlṃn’z dōtrz, nwn, I aprihnd, wl dnî.—Ś z s’pirịr t Mr. Roḅt Martin.”

“Huevr mt b hr peṛnts,” sd Mr. Naitli, “huevr me hv hd ɖ ćarj v hr, it dz nt apir t hv bn eni part v ɖer plan t intṛdys hr intu ẃt y wd cōl gd ssayti. Aftr rsivñ a vri indifṛnt edyceśn ś z left in Msz. Godard’z handz t śift az ś cn;—t muv, in śort, in Msz. Godard’z lîn, t hv Msz. Godard’z aqentns. Hr frendz evidntli ʈt ɖs gd inuf fr hr; n it wz gd inuf. Ś dzîrd nʈñ betr hrslf. Tl y ćouz t trn hr intu a frend, hr mînd hd no dstest fr hr ǒn set, nr eni ambiśn bynd it. Ś wz az hapi az poṣbl wɖ ɖ Martinz in ɖ sumr. Ś hd no sns v s’pirioṛti ɖen. F ś hz it nǎ, y hv gvn it. Y hv bn no frend t Harịt Smiʈ, Ema. Roḅt Martin wd nvr hv pṛsidd so far, f h hd nt flt pswedd v hr nt biyñ disinclînd t him. I nǒ him wel. H hz tù mć riyl fīlñ t adres eni wmn on ɖ haphaẓd v slfiś paśn. N az t cnsit, h z ɖ farɖist fṛm it v eni man I nǒ. Dpnd upn it h hd incurijmnt.”

It wz most cnvińnt t Ema nt t mc a d’rect rplî t ɖs asrśn; ś ćouz rɖr t tec p hr ǒn lîn v ɖ subjict agn.

“Y r a vri worm frend t Mr. Martin; bt, az I sd bfr, r unjust t Harịt. Harịt’s clemz t mari wel r nt so cntmtbl az y repriznt ɖm. Ś z nt a clevr grl, bt ś hz betr sns ɖn y r awer v, n dz nt dzrv t hv hr unḍstandñ spocn v so slîtñli. Weivñ ɖt pônt, hvr, n s’pozñ hr t b, az y dscrîb hr, onli priti n gd-nećrd, let m tel y, ɖt in ɖ dgri ś pzesz ɖm, ɖe r nt trivịl rec̣mndeśnz t ɖ wrld in jenṛl, fr ś z, in fact, a bytifl grl, n mst b ʈt so bî nînti-nîn ppl ǎt v an hundṛd; n tl it apirz ɖt men r mć mor fiḷsofic on ɖ subjict v byti ɖn ɖe r jenṛli s’pozd; tl ɖe d fōl in luv wɖ wel-informd mîndz instd v hansm fesz, a grl, wɖ sć luvlinis az Harịt, hz a srtnti v biyñ admîrd n sòt aftr, v hvñ ɖ pǎr v ćuzñ fṛm amñ mni, consiqntli a clem t b nîs. Hr gd-nećr, tù, z nt so vri slît a clem, comprihndñ, az it dz, riyl, ʈura swītnis v tmpr n manr, a vri humbl opińn v hrslf, n a gret redinis t b plizd wɖ uɖr ppl. I am vri mć mstecn f yr sx in jenṛl wd nt ʈnc sć byti, n sć tmpr, ɖ hîist clemz a wmn cd pzes.”

“Upn mî wrd, Ema, t hír y abyzñ ɖ rīzn y hv, z olmst inuf t mc m ʈnc so tù. Betr b wɖt sns, ɖn mis’plî it az y d.”

“T b śr!” craid ś plêf̣li. “I nǒ ɖt z ɖ fīlñ v y ol. I nǒ ɖt sć a grl az Harịt z xacli ẃt evri man dlîts in—ẃt at wns bwićz hiz snsz n saṭsfîz hiz jujmnt. Ǒ! Harịt me pic n ćūz. Wr y, yrslf, evr t mari, ś z ɖ vri wmn fr y. N z ś, at sevntīn, jst enṭrñ intu lîf, jst bginñ t b noun, t b wundrd at bcz ś dz nt axpt ɖ frst ofr ś rsivz? No—pre let hr hv tîm t lc abt hr.”

“I hv olwz ʈt it a vri fūliś intiṃsi,” sd Mr. Naitli prezntli, “ɖo I hv cept mî ʈts t mslf; bt I nǎ psiv ɖt it wl b a vri unforćṇt wn fr Harịt. Y wl puf hr p wɖ sć îdīaz v hr ǒn byti, n v ẃt ś hz a clem t, ɖt, in a litl ẃl, nbdi wɖn hr rīć wl b gd inuf fr hr. Vaṇti wrcñ on a wìc hed, pṛdysz evri sort v misćif. Nʈñ so īzi az fr a yuñ ledi t rêz hr xpcteśnz tù hî. Mis Harịt Smiʈ me nt fînd ofrz v marij flo in so fast, ɖo ś z a vri priti grl. Men v sns, ẃtvr y me ćūz t se, d nt wont sili wîvz. Men v faṃli wd nt b vri fond v cnctñ ɖmslvz wɖ a grl v sć obskṛti—n most prūdnt men wd b afreid v ɖ incnvińns n dsgres ɖe mt b involvd in, ẃn ɖ misṭri v hr peṛntij cem t b rvild. Let hr mari Roḅt Martin, n ś z sef, rspctbl, n hapi fr evr; bt f y incurij hr t xpct t mari gretli, n tīć hr t b saṭsfaid wɖ nʈñ les ɖn a man v consiqns n larj fortyn, ś me b a parlrbōrdr at Msz. Godard’z ol ɖ rest v hr lîf—or, at līst, (fr Harịt Smiʈ z a grl hu wl mari smbdi or uɖr,) tl ś gro despṛt, n z glad t cać at ɖ old raitñmastr’z sun.”

“W ʈnc so vri difṛntli on ɖs pônt, Mr. Naitli, ɖt ɖr cn b no ys in cánvsñ it. W śl onli b mcñ ć uɖr mor angri. Bt az t mî letñ hr mari Roḅt Martin, it z imposbl; ś hz rfyzd him, n so dsîdidli, I ʈnc, az mst privnt eni secnd apḷceśn. Ś mst abîd bî ɖ īvl v hvñ rfyzd him, ẃtvr it me b; n az t ɖ rfyzl itslf, I wl nt pritnd t se ɖt I mt nt inflụns hr a litl; bt I aśur y ɖr wz vri litl fr m or fr enbdi t d. Hiz apiṛns z so mć agnst him, n hiz manr so bad, ɖt f ś evr wr dspozd t fevr him, ś z nt nǎ. I cn imajin, ɖt bfr ś hd sìn enbdi s’pirịr, ś mt toḷret him. H wz ɖ bruɖr v hr frendz, n h tc penz t plīz hr; n oltgɖr, hvñ sìn nbdi betr (ɖt mst hv bn hiz gret asistnt) ś mt nt, ẃl ś wz at Abimil, fînd him dis’griybl. Bt ɖ ces z oltrd nǎ. Ś nz nǎ ẃt jntlṃn r; n nʈñ bt a jntlmn in edyceśn n manr hz eni ćans wɖ Harịt.”

“Nonsns, eṛnt nonsns, az evr wz tōct!” craid Mr. Naitli.—“Robt Martin’z manrz hv sns, snseṛti, n gd-hymr t rec̣mnd ɖm; n hiz mînd hz mor tru jntiḷti ɖn Harịt Smiʈ cd unḍstand.”

Ema md no ansr, n traid t lc ćirf̣li uncnsrnd, bt wz riyli fīlñ uncumftbl n wontñ him vri mć t b gn. Ś dd nt rpnt ẃt ś hd dn; ś stl ʈt hrslf a betr juj v sć a pônt v fīmel rît n rfînmnt ɖn h cd b; bt yt ś hd a sort v hbićl rspct fr hiz jujmnt in jenṛl, ẃć md hr dslîc hvñ it so lǎdli agnst hr; n t hv him sitñ jst oṗzit t hr in angri stet, wz vri dis’griybl. Sm minits pást in ɖs unpleznt sîḷns, wɖ onli wn atmt on Ema’z sîd t tōc v ɖ weɖr, bt h md no ansr. H wz ʈncñ. Ɖ rzult v hiz ʈts apird at last in ɖz wrdz.

“Roḅt Martin hz no gret los—f h cn bt ʈnc so; n I hop it wl nt b loñ bfr h dz. Yr vyz fr Harịt r bst noun t yrslf; bt az y mc no sīcrit v yr luv v mać-mcñ, it z fer t s’poz ɖt vyz, n planz, n projects y hv;—n az a frend I śl jst hint t y ɖt f Eltn z ɖ man, I ʈnc it wl b ol lebr in ven.”

Ema laft n dsclemd. H cntinyd,

“Dpnd upn it, Eltn wl nt d. Eltn z a vri gd sort v man, n a vri rspctbl vicr v Hîḅri, bt nt at ol lîcli t mc an imprūdnt mać. H nz ɖ valy v a gd incm az wel az enbdi. Eltn me tōc snṭmnṭli, bt h wl act raśṇli. H z az wel aqentd wɖ hiz ǒn clemz, az y cn b wɖ Harịt’s. H nz ɖt h z a vri hansm yuñ man, n a gret feṿrit ẃrvr h gz; n fṛm hiz jenṛl we v tōcñ in unrizrvd momnts, ẃn ɖr r onli men preznt, I am cnvinst ɖt h dz nt mīn t ʈro himslf awe. I hv hŕd him spīc wɖ gret aṇmeśn v a larj faṃli v yuñ lediz ɖt hiz sistrz r intiṃt wɖ, hu hv ol twenti ʈǎznd pǎndz apis.”

“I am vri mć oblîjd t y,” sd Ema, lafñ agn. “F I hd set mî hart on Mr. Eltn’z mariyñ Harịt, it wd hv bn vri cînd t opn mî îz; bt at preznt I onli wont t cīp Harịt t mslf. I hv dn wɖ mać-mcñ indd. I cd nvr hop t īql mî ǒn dwñz at Randlz. I śl līv of ẃl I am wel.”

“Gd mornñ t y,”—sd h, rîzñ n wōcñ of abrupli. H wz vri mć vxt. H flt ɖ dis’pôntmnt v ɖ yuñ man, n wz morṭfaid t hv bn ɖ mīnz v pṛmotñ it, bî ɖ sañśn h hd gvn; n ɖ part ẃć h wz pswedd Ema hd tecn in ɖ afer, wz pṛvocñ him xidñli.

Ema rmend in a stet v vxeśn tù; bt ɖr wz mor indistñtnis in ɖ cōzz v hr’z, ɖn in hiz. Ś dd nt olwz fīl so abṣlutli saṭsfaid wɖ hrslf, so intîrli cnvinst ɖt hr opińnz wr rît n hr advrṣri’z roñ, az Mr. Naitli. H wōct of in mor cmplit slf-apṛbeśn ɖn h left fr hr. Ś wz nt so mtirịli cast dǎn, hvr, bt ɖt a litl tîm n ɖ rtrn v Harịt wr vri adiqt rstoṛtivz. Harịt’s steyñ awe so loñ wz bginñ t mc hr unīzi. Ɖ posbiḷti v ɖ yuñ man’z cmñ t Msz. Godard’z ɖt mornñ, n mītñ wɖ Harịt n plīdñ hiz ǒn cōz, gev alarmñ îdīaz. Ɖ dred v sć a fełr aftr ol bcem ɖ prominnt unīzinis; n ẃn Harịt apird, n in vri gd spirits, n wɖt hvñ eni sć rīzn t gv fr hr loñ absns, ś flt a saṭsfaẋn ẃć setld hr wɖ hr ǒn mînd, n cnvinst hr, ɖt let Mr. Naitli ʈnc or se ẃt h wd, ś hd dn nʈñ ẃć wmn’z frendśp n wmn’z fīlñz wd nt jusṭfî.

H hd frîtnd hr a litl abt Mr. Eltn; bt ẃn ś cnsidrd ɖt Mr. Naitli cd nt hv obzrvd him az ś hd dn, nɖr wɖ ɖ inṭrest, nr (ś mst b alaud t tel hrslf, in spît v Mr. Naitli’z pritnśnz) wɖ ɖ scil v sć an obzrvr on sć a qsćn az hrslf, ɖt h hd spocn it hesṭli n in angr, ś wz ebl t b’liv, ɖt h hd rɖr sd ẃt h wśt rzntf̣li t b tru, ɖn ẃt h ń enʈñ abt. H srtnli mt hv hŕd Mr. Eltn spīc wɖ mor unrizrv ɖn ś hd evr dn, n Mr. Eltn mt nt b v an imprūdnt, incnsidṛt disṗziśn az t munimatrz; h mt naćṛli b rɖr atntiv ɖn uɖ̇wz t ɖm; bt ɖen, Mr. Naitli dd nt mc dy alawns fr ɖ inflụns v a stroñ paśn at wor wɖ ol inṭrestd motivz. Mr. Naitli sw no sć paśn, n v cors ʈt nʈñ v its ifcts; bt ś sw tù mć v it t fīl a dǎt v its oṿcmñ eni heẓteśnz ɖt a rīzṇbl prūdns mt orijiṇli sjst; n mor ɖn a rīzṇbl, bcmñ dgri v prūdns, ś wz vri śr dd nt b’loñ t Mr. Eltn.

Harịt’s ćirfl lc n manr istabliśt hrz: ś cem bac, nt t ʈnc v Mr. Martin, bt t tōc v Mr. Eltn. Mis Naś hd bn telñ hr smʈñ, ẃć ś rpitd imīɉtli wɖ gret dlît. Mr. Peri hd bn t Msz. Godard’z t atnd a sic ćîld, n Mis Naś hd sìn him, n h hd tld Mis Naś, ɖt az h wz cmñ bac yesṭde fṛm Cletn Parc, h hd met Mr. Eltn, n faund t hiz gret s’prîz, ɖt Mr. Eltn wz acć̣li on hiz rod t Lundn, n nt mīnñ t rtrn tl ɖ moro, ɖo it wz ɖ ẃistclub nît, ẃć h hd bn nvr noun t mis bfr; n Mr. Peri hd remnstretd wɖ him abt it, n tld him hǎ śabi it wz in him, ɖer bst pleyr, t absnt himslf, n traid vri mć t pswed him t pt of hiz jrni onli wn de; bt it wd nt d; Mr. Eltn hd bn dtrmind t g on, n hd sd in a vri ptiklr we indd, ɖt h wz gwñ on biznis ẃć h wd nt pt of fr eni indysmnt in ɖ wrld; n smʈñ abt a vri envịbl cmiśn, n biyñ ɖ berr v smʈñ xidñli preśs. Mr. Peri cd nt qt unḍstand him, bt h wz vri śr ɖr mst b a ledi in ɖ ces, n h tld him so; n Mr. Eltn onli lct vri conśs n smîlñ, n roud of in gret spirits. Mis Naś hd tld hr ol ɖs, n hd tōct a gret dīl mor abt Mr. Eltn; n sd, lcñ so vri sgnificntli at hr, “ɖt ś dd nt pritnd t unḍstand ẃt hiz biznis mt b, bt ś onli ń ɖt eni wmn hūm Mr. Eltn cd prifŕ, ś śd ʈnc ɖ luciist wmn in ɖ wrld; fr, bynd a dǎt, Mr. Eltn hd nt hiz īql fr byti or agriyblnis.”


___

M

r. Naitli mt qoṛl wɖ hr, bt Ema cd nt qoṛl wɖ hrslf. H wz so mć dsplizd, ɖt it wz longr ɖn yźl bfr h cem t Hārtfīld agn; n ẃn ɖe dd mīt, hiz grev lcs śoud ɖt ś wz nt fgivn. Ś wz sori, bt cd nt rpnt. On ɖ contrri, hr planz n pṛsidñz wr mor n mor jusṭfaid n indird t hr bî ɖ jenṛl apiṛnsz v ɖ nxt fy dez.

Ɖ Picćr, eligntli fremd, cem sefli t hand sn aftr Mr. Eltn’z rtrn, n biyñ huñ ovr ɖ mantlpìs v ɖ comn sitñrūm, h got p t lc at it, n said ǎt hiz haf sntnsz v adṃreśn jst az h òt; n az fr Harịt’s fīlñz, ɖe wr viẓbli formñ ɖmslvz intu az stroñ n stedi an ataćmnt az hr yʈ n sort v mînd admitd. Ema wz sn prf̣cli saṭsfaid v Mr. Martin’z biyñ no uɖ̇wz rmembrd, ɖn az h frniśt a contrast wɖ Mr. Eltn, v ɖ utmost advantij t ɖ latr.

Hr vyz v impruvñ hr litl frend’z mînd, bî a gret dīl v ysfl rīdñ n convseśn, hd nvr yt léd t mor ɖn a fy frst ćaptrz, n ɖ intnśn v gwñ on tmoro. It wz mć īzịr t ćat ɖn t studi; mć plezntr t let hr imaɉneśn renj n wrc at Harịt’s fortyn, ɖn t b leḅrñ t inlarj hr comprihnśn or x’sîz it on sobr facts; n ɖ onli litrri psyt ẃć ingejd Harịt at preznt, ɖ onli mntl pṛviźn ś wz mcñ fr ɖ īvnñ v lîf, wz ɖ c’lectñ n trnscrîbñ ol ɖ ridlz v evri sort ɖt ś cd mīt wɖ, intu a ʈin qorto v hot-prest pepr, md p bî hr frend, n orṇmntd wɖ sîfrz n trofiz.

In ɖs ej v litṛćr, sć c’leẋnz on a vri grand scel r nt uncomn. Mis Naś, hed-tīćr at Msz. Godard’z, hd ritn ǎt at līst ʈri hundṛd; n Harịt, hu hd tecn ɖ frst hint v it fṛm hr, hopt, wɖ Mis Wŭdhǎs’z hlp, t gt a gret mni mor. Ema asistd wɖ hr invnśn, meṃri n test; n az Harịt rout a vri priti hand, it wz lîcli t b an arenjmnt v ɖ frst ordr, in form az wel az qontti.

Mr. Wŭdhǎs wz olmst az mć inṭrestd in ɖ biznis az ɖ grlz, n traid vri ofn t rec̣lect smʈñ wrʈ ɖer ptñ in. “So mni clevr ridlz az ɖr yst t b ẃn h wz yuñ—h wundrd h cd nt rmembr ɖm! bt h hopt h śd in tîm.” N it olwz endd in “Citi, a fer bt frozn meid.”

Hiz gd frend Peri, tù, hūm h hd spocn t on ɖ subjict, dd nt at preznt rec̣lect enʈñ v ɖ ridl cnd; bt h hd dzîrd Peri t b upn ɖ woć, n az h wnt abt so mć, smʈñ, h ʈt, mt cm fṛm ɖt qortr.

It wz bî no mīnz hiz dōtr’z wś ɖt ɖ inṭlects v Hîḅri in jenṛl śd b pt undr reqziśn. Mr. Eltn wz ɖ onli wn huz asistns ś asct. H wz invîtd t cntribyt eni riyli gd inigmaz, ś’redz, or cnundṛmz ɖt h mt rec̣lect; n ś hd ɖ pleźr v siyñ him most intntli at wrc wɖ hiz rec̣leẋnz; n at ɖ sem tîm, az ś cd psiv, most rṇstli cerfl ɖt nʈñ ungaḷnt, nʈñ ɖt dd nt briɖ a complimnt t ɖ sx śd pas hiz lips. Ɖe oud t him ɖer tū or ʈri p’lîtist puzlz; n ɖ jô n xlteśn wɖ ẃć at last h rcōld, n rɖr snṭmnṭli rsîtd, ɖt wel-noun ś’red,

Mî frst duʈ afliẋn dnot,

Ẃć mî secnd z dstind t fīl

N mî hol z ɖ bst antidot

Ɖt afliẋn t sofn n hīl.—

md hr qt sori t acnolij ɖt ɖe hd trnscrîbd it sm pejz ago olrdi.

“Ẃ wl nt y rait wn yrslf fr s, Mr. Eltn?” sd ś; “ɖt z ɖ onli s’kṛti fr its freśnis; n nʈñ cd b īzịr t y.”

“Ǒ no! h hd nvr ritn, hardli evr, enʈñ v ɖ cnd in hiz lîf. Ɖ styṗdist felo! H wz afreid nt īvn Mis Wŭdhǎs”—h stopt a momnt—“or Mis Smiʈ cd inspîr him.”

Ɖ vri nxt de hvr pṛdyst sm prūf v insṗreśn. H cōld fr a fy momnts, jst t līv a pìs v pepr on ɖ tebl cntenñ, az h sd, a ś’red, ẃć a frend v hiz hd adrest t a yuñ ledi, ɖ objict v hiz adṃreśn, bt ẃć, fṛm hiz manr, Ema wz imīɉtli cnvinst mst b hiz ǒn.

“I d nt ofr it fr Mis Smiʈ’s c’leẋn,” sd h. “Biyñ mî frend’z, I hv no rît t xpoz it in eni dgri t ɖ public î, bt phps y me nt dslîc lcñ at it.”

Ɖ spīć wz mor t Ema ɖn t Harịt, ẃć Ema cd unḍstand. Ɖr wz dīp conśsnis abt him, n h faund it īzịr t mīt hr î ɖn hr frend’z. H wz gn ɖ nxt momnt:—aftr anɖr momnt’s pōz,

“Tec it,” sd Ema, smîlñ, n pśñ ɖ pepr twdz Harịt—“it z fr y. Tec yr ǒn.”

Bt Harịt wz in a tremr, n cd nt tuć it; n Ema, nvr loʈ t b frst, wz oblîjd t xamin it hrslf.

T Mis—

Ś’RED.

Mî frst dsplez ɖ wlʈ n pomp v cñz,

Lordz v ɖ rʈ! ɖer lux̣́ri n īz.

Anɖr vy v man, mî secnd brñz,

Bhold him ɖr, ɖ moṇc v ɖ sìz!

Bt ā! ynîtd, ẃt rvrs w hv!

Man’z bostd pǎr n frīdm, ol r floun;

Lord v ɖ rʈ n sì, h bndz a slev,

N wmn, luvli wmn, rênz alon.

Ɖî redi wit ɖ wrd wl sn s’plî,

Me its apruvl bīm in ɖt soft î!

Ś cast hr î ovr it, pondrd, còt ɖ mīnñ, réd it ʈru agn t b qt srtn, n qt mistris v ɖ lînz, n ɖen pasñ it t Harịt, sat haṗli smîlñ, n seyñ t hrslf, ẃl Harịt wz puẓlñ ovr ɖ pepr in ol ɖ cnfyźn v hop n dulnis, “Vri wel, Mr. Eltn, vri wel indd. I hv réd wrs ś’redz. Cortśp—a vri gd hint. I gv y credit fr it. Ɖs z fīlñ yr we. Ɖs z seyñ vri plenli—‘Pre, Mis Smiʈ, gv m līv t pe mî adresz t y. Apruv mî ś’red n mî intnśnz in ɖ sem glans.’

Me its apruvl bīm in ɖt soft î!

Harịt xacli. Soft z ɖ vri wrd fr hr î—v ol epiʈets, ɖ justist ɖt cd b gvn.

Ɖî redi wit ɖ wrd wl sn s’plî.

Humf—Harịt’s redi wit! Ol ɖ betr. A man mst b vri mć in luv, indd, t dscrîb hr so. Ā! Mr. Naitli, I wś y hd ɖ beṇfit v ɖs; I ʈnc ɖs wd cnvins y. Fr wns in yr lîf y wd b oblîjd t ǒn yrslf mstecn. An xḷnt ś’red indd! n vri mć t ɖ prṗs. Ʈñz mst cm t a crîsis sn nǎ.”

Ś wz oblîjd t brec of fṛm ɖz vri pleznt obẓveśnz, ẃć wr uɖ̇wz v a sort t run intu gret leñʈ, bî ɖ īgrnis v Harịt’s wunḍrñ qsćnz.

“Ẃt cn it b, Mis Wŭdhǎs?—ẃt cn it b? I hv nt an îdīa—I canot ges it in ɖ līst. Ẃt cn it poṣbli b? D trî t fînd it ǎt, Mis Wŭdhǎs. D hlp m. I nvr sw enʈñ so hard. Z it cñdm? I wundr hu ɖ frend wz—n hu cd b ɖ yuñ ledi. D y ʈnc it z a gd wn? Cn it b wmn?

N wmn, luvli wmn, rênz alon.

Cn it b Neptyn?

Bhold him ɖr, ɖ moṇc v ɖ sìz!

Or a trîdnt? or a mrmeid? or a śarc? Ǒ, no! śarc z onli wn siḷbl. It mst b vri clevr, or h wd nt hv bròt it. Ǒ! Mis Wŭdhǎs, d y ʈnc w śl evr fînd it ǎt?”

“Mrmeidz n śarcs! Nonsns! Mî dir Harịt, ẃt r y ʈncñ v? Ẃr wd b ɖ ys v hiz brññ s a ś’red md bî a frend upn a mrmeid or a śarc? Gv m ɖ pepr n lisn.

Fr Mis ———, réd Mis Smiʈ.

Mî frst dsplez ɖ wlʈ n pomp v cñz,

Lordz v ɖ rʈ! ɖer lux̣́ri n īz.

Ɖt z cort.

Anɖr vy v man, mî secnd brñz;

Bhold him ɖr, ɖ moṇc v ɖ sìz!

Ɖt z śip;—plen az it cn b.—Nǎ fr ɖ crīm.

Bt ā! ynîtd, (cortśp, y nǒ,) ẃt rvrs w hv!

Man’z bostd pǎr n frīdm, ol r floun.

Lord v ɖ rʈ n sì, h bndz a slev,

N wmn, luvli wmn, rênz alon.

A vri propr complimnt!—n ɖen foloz ɖ apḷceśn, ẃć I ʈnc, mî dir Harịt, y canot fînd mć dificlti in comprihndñ. Rīd it in cumf̣t t yrslf. Ɖr cn b no dǎt v its biyñ ritn fr y n t y.”

Harịt cd nt loñ rzist so dlîtfl a psweźn. Ś réd ɖ cncludñ lînz, n wz ol flutr n hapinis. Ś cd nt spīc. Bt ś wz nt wontd t spīc. It wz inuf fr hr t fīl. Ema spouc fr hr.

“Ɖr z so pôntd, n so ptiklr a mīnñ in ɖs complimnt,” sd ś, “ɖt I canot hv a dǎt az t Mr. Eltn’z intnśnz. Y r hiz objict—n y wl sn rsiv ɖ cmplitist prūf v it. I ʈt it mst b so. I ʈt I cd nt b so dsivd; bt nǎ, it z clir; ɖ stet v hiz mînd z az clir n dsîdd, az mî wśz on ɖ subjict hv bn evr sins I ń y. Yes, Harịt, jst so loñ hv I bn wontñ ɖ vri srcmstans t hapn ɖt hz hapnd. I cd nvr tel ẃɖr an ataćmnt btwn y n Mr. Eltn wr most dzîṛbl or most naćṛl. Its probbiḷti n its eliɉbiḷti hv riyli so īqld ć uɖr! I am vri hapi. I cngrać̣let y, mî dir Harịt, wɖ ol mî hart. Ɖs z an ataćmnt ẃć a wmn me wel fīl prîd in crietñ. Ɖs z a cnẋn ẃć ofrz nʈñ bt gd. It wl gv y evrʈñ ɖt y wont—cnsiḍreśn, indipndns, a propr hom—it wl fix y in ɖ sntr v ol yr riyl frendz, clos t Hārtfīld n t m, n cnfrm ǎr intiṃsi fr evr. Ɖs, Harịt, z an alayns ẃć cn nvr rêz a bluś in îɖr v s.”

“Dir Mis Wŭdhǎs!”—n “Dir Mis Wŭdhǎs,” wz ol ɖt Harịt, wɖ mni tndr imbresz cd artikḷt at frst; bt ẃn ɖe dd arîv at smʈñ mor lîc convseśn, it wz sfiśntli clir t hr frend ɖt ś sw, flt, antiṣpetd, n rmembrd jst az ś òt. Mr. Eltn’z s’pirioṛti hd vri ampl acnolijmnt.

“Ẃtvr y se z olwz rît,” craid Harịt, “n ɖrfr I s’poz, n b’liv, n hop it mst b so; bt uɖ̇wz I cd nt hv imajind it. It z so mć bynd enʈñ I dzrv. Mr. Eltn, hu mt mari enbdi! Ɖr canot b tū opińnz abt him. H z so vri s’pirịr. Onli ʈnc v ɖoz swīt vrsz—‘T Mis ———.’ Dir m, hǎ clevr!—Cd it riyli b mnt fr m?”

“I canot mc a qsćn, or lisn t a qsćn abt ɖt. It z a srtnti. Rsiv it on mî jujmnt. It z a sort v prolog t ɖ ple, a moto t ɖ ćaptr; n wl b sn foloud bî matr-v-fact prǒz.”

“It z a sort v ʈñ ẃć nbdi cd hv xpctd. I am śr, a munʈ ago, I hd no mor îdīa mslf!—Ɖ strenjist ʈñz d tec ples!”

“Ẃn Mis Smiʈs n Mr. Eltnz gt aqentd—ɖe d indd—n riyli it z strenj; it z ǎt v ɖ comn cors ɖt ẃt z so evidntli, so palṗbli dzîṛbl—ẃt corts ɖ pri’renjmnt v uɖr ppl, śd so imīɉtli śep itslf intu ɖ propr form. Y n Mr. Eltn r bî sićueśn cōld tgɖr; y b’loñ t wn anɖr bî evri srcmstans v yr rspctiv homz. Yr mariyñ wl b īql t ɖ mać at Randlz. Ɖr dz sīm t b a smʈñ in ɖ er v Hārtfīld ẃć gvz luv xacli ɖ rît d’reẋn, n sndz it intu ɖ vri ćanl ẃr it òt t flo.

Ɖ cors v tru luv nvr dd run smuɖ—

A Hārtfīld idiśn v Śecspir wd hv a loñ not on ɖt pasij.”

“Ɖt Mr. Eltn śd riyli b in luv wɖ m,—m, v ol ppl, hu dd nt nǒ him, t spīc t him, at Miclms! N h, ɖ vri hanṣmist man ɖt evr wz, n a man ɖt evrbdi lcs p t, qt lîc Mr. Naitli! Hiz cumṗni so sòt aftr, ɖt evrbdi sz h nīd nt īt a sngl mīl bî himslf f h dz nt ćūz it; ɖt h hz mor invteśnz ɖn ɖr r dez in ɖ wīc. N so xḷnt in ɖ Ćrć! Mis Naś hz pt dǎn ol ɖ txts h hz evr prīćt fṛm sins h cem t Hîḅri. Dir m! Ẃn I lc bac t ɖ frst tîm I sw him! Hǎ litl dd I ʈnc!—Ɖ tū Aḅts n I ran intu ɖ frunt rūm n pīpt ʈru ɖ blînd ẃn w hŕd h wz gwñ bî, n Mis Naś cem n scoldd s awe, n steid t lc ʈru hrslf; hvr, ś cōld m bac prezntli, n let m lc tù, ẃć wz vri gd-nećrd. N hǎ bytifl w ʈt h lct! H wz arm-in-arm wɖ Mr. Coul.”

“Ɖs z an alayns ẃć, huevr—ẃtvr yr frendz me b, mst b agriybl t ɖm, pṛvîdd at līst ɖe hv comn-sns; n w r nt t b adresñ ǎr conduct t fūlz. F ɖe r añśs t si y haṗli marid, hir z a man huz emịbl caṛctr gvz evri aśuṛns v it;—f ɖe wś t hv y setld in ɖ sem cuntri n srcl ẃć ɖe hv ćozn t ples y in, hir it wl b acumpliśt; n f ɖer onli objict z ɖt y śd, in ɖ comn frêz, b wel marid, hir z ɖ cumftbl fortyn, ɖ rspctbl istabliśmnt, ɖ rîz in ɖ wrld ẃć mst saṭsfî ɖm.”

“Yes, vri tru. Hǎ nîsli y tōc; I luv t hír y. Y unḍstand evrʈñ. Y n Mr. Eltn r wn az clevr az ɖ uɖr. Ɖs ś’red!—F I hd studid a twelvmunʈ, I cd nvr hv md enʈñ lîc it.”

“I ʈt h mnt t trî hiz scil, bî hiz manr v dclînñ it yesṭde.”

“I d ʈnc it z, wɖt xpśn, ɖ bst ś’red I evr réd.”

“I nvr réd wn mor t ɖ prṗs, srtnli.”

“It z az loñ agn az olmst ol w hv hd bfr.”

“I d nt cnsidr its leñʈ az ptiklrli in its fevr. Sć ʈñz in jenṛl canot b tù śort.”

Harịt wz tù intnt on ɖ lînz t hír. Ɖ most saṭsfactri cmparisnz wr rîzñ in hr mînd.

“It z wn ʈñ,” sd ś, prezntli—hr ćīcs in a glo—“t hv vri gd sns in a comn we, lîc evrbdi els, n f ɖr z enʈñ t se, t sit dǎn n rait a letr, n se jst ẃt y mst, in a śort we; n anɖr, t rait vrsz n ś’redz lîc ɖs.”

Ema cd nt hv dzîrd a mor spiṛtd rjẋn v Mr. Martin’z prǒz.

“Sć swīt lînz!” cntinyd Harịt—“ɖz tū last!—Bt hǎ śl I evr b ebl t rtrn ɖ pepr, or se I hv faund it ǎt?—Ǒ! Mis Wŭdhǎs, ẃt cn w d abt ɖt?”

“Līv it t m. Y d nʈñ. H wl b hir ɖs īvnñ, I der se, n ɖen I wl gv it him bac, n sm nonsns or uɖr wl pas btwn s, n y śl nt b cmitd.—Yr soft îz śl ćūz ɖer ǒn tîm fr bīmñ. Trust t m.”

“Ǒ! Mis Wŭdhǎs, ẃt a piti ɖt I mst nt rait ɖs bytifl ś’red intu mî bc! I am śr I hv nt got wn haf so gd.”

“Līv ǎt ɖ tū last lînz, n ɖr z no rīzn ẃ y śd nt rait it intu yr bc.”

“Ǒ! bt ɖoz tū lînz r”—

—“Ɖ bst v ol. Grantd;—fr prîṿt injômnt; n fr prîṿt injômnt cīp ɖm. Ɖe r nt at ol ɖ les ritn y nǒ, bcz y dvîd ɖm. Ɖ cuplit dz nt sīs t b, nr dz its mīnñ ćenj. Bt tec it awe, n ol aproprieśn sīsz, n a vri priti gaḷnt ś’red rmenz, fit fr eni c’leẋn. Dpnd upn it, h wd nt lîc t hv hiz ś’red slîtd, mć betr ɖn hiz paśn. A powt in luv mst b incurijd in bʈ cpaṣtiz, or nɖr. Gv m ɖ bc, I wl rait it dǎn, n ɖen ɖr cn b no poṣbl rfleẋn on y.”

Harịt sbmitd, ɖo hr mînd cd hardli seṗret ɖ parts, so az t fīl qt śr ɖt hr frend wr nt raitñ dǎn a decḷreśn v luv. It sīmd tù preśs an of̣rñ fr eni dgri v pbliṣti.

“I śl nvr let ɖt bc g ǎt v mî ǒn handz,” sd ś.

“Vri wel,” rplaid Ema; “a most naćṛl fīlñ; n ɖ longr it lasts, ɖ betr I śl b plizd. Bt hir z mî faɖr cmñ: y wl nt objict t mî rīdñ ɖ ś’red t him. It wl b gvñ him so mć pleźr! H luvz enʈñ v ɖ sort, n ispeṣ́li enʈñ ɖt pez wmn a complimnt. H hz ɖ tenḍrist spirit v gaḷntri twdz s ol!—Y mst let m rīd it t him.”

Harịt lct grev.

“Mî dir Harịt, y mst nt rfîn tù mć upn ɖs ś’red.—Y wl btre yr fīlñz improprli, f y r tù conśs n tù qc, n apir t afix mor mīnñ, or īvn qt ol ɖ mīnñ ẃć me b afixt t it. D nt b oṿpǎrd bî sć a litl tribyt v adṃreśn. F h hd bn añśs fr sīcṛsi, h wd nt hv left ɖ pepr ẃl I wz bî; bt h rɖr pśt it twdz m ɖn twdz y. D nt let s b tù soḷm on ɖ biznis. H hz incurijmnt inuf t pṛsid, wɖt ǎr sayñ ǎt ǎr soulz ovr ɖs ś’red.”

“Ǒ! no—I hop I śl nt b r’dikḷs abt it. D az y plīz.”

Mr. Wŭdhǎs cem in, n vri sn léd t ɖ subjict agn, bî ɖ rcuṛns v hiz vri frīqnt inqîri v “Wel, mî dirz, hǎ dz yr bc g on?—Hv y got enʈñ freś?”

“Yes, ppā; w hv smʈñ t rīd y, smʈñ qt freś. A pìs v pepr wz faund on ɖ tebl ɖs mornñ—(dropt, w s’poz, bî a fẹri)—cntenñ a vri priti ś’red, n w hv jst copid it in.”

Ś réd it t him, jst az h lîct t hv enʈñ réd, slǒli n dstñtli, n tū or ʈri tîmz ovr, wɖ xpḷneśnz v evri part az ś pṛsidd—n h wz vri mć plizd, n, az ś hd fsin, ispeṣ́li struc wɖ ɖ compḷmntri cncluźn.

“Ai, ɖt’s vri just, indd, ɖt’s vri proprli sd. Vri tru. ‘Wmn, luvli wmn.’ It z sć a priti ś’red, mî dir, ɖt I cn īẓli ges ẃt fẹri bròt it.—Nbdi cd hv ritn so priṭli, bt y, Ema.”

Ema onli nodd, n smîld.—Aftr a litl ʈncñ, n a vri tndr sai, h add,

“Ā! it z no dificlti t si hu y tec aftr! Yr dir muɖr wz so clevr at ol ɖoz ʈñz! F I hd bt hr meṃri! Bt I cn rmembr nʈñ;—nt īvn ɖt ptiklr ridl ẃć y hv hŕd m mnśn; I cn onli rec̣lect ɖ frst stanza; n ɖr r sevṛl.

Citi, a fer bt frozn meid,

Cindld a flem I yt dplor,

Ɖ hdwnct bô I cōld t ed,

Ɖo v hiz nir aproć afreid,

So fetl t mî sūt bfr.

N ɖt z ol ɖt I cn rec̣lect v it—bt it z vri clevr ol ɖ we ʈru. Bt I ʈnc, mî dir, y sd y hd got it.”

“Yes, ppā, it z ritn ǎt in ǎr secnd pej. W copid it fṛm ɖ Elignt Xtracts. It wz Garic’s, y nǒ.”

“Ai, vri tru.—I wś I cd rec̣lect mor v it.

Citi, a fer bt frozn meid.

Ɖ nem mcs m ʈnc v pur Iẓbela; fr ś wz vri nir biyñ crisnd Caʈrin aftr hr granṃmā. I hop w śl hv hr hir nxt wīc. Hv y ʈt, mî dir, ẃr y śl pt hr—n ẃt rūm ɖr wl b fr ɖ ćildṛn?”

“Ǒ! yes—ś wl hv hr ǒn rūm, v cors; ɖ rūm ś olwz hz;—n ɖr z ɖ nrṣri fr ɖ ćildṛn,—jst az yźl, y nǒ. Ẃ śd ɖr b eni ćenj?”

“I d nt nǒ, mî dir—bt it z so loñ sins ś wz hir!—nt sins last Īstr, n ɖen onli fr a fy dez.—Mr. Jon Naitli’z biyñ a loyr z vri incnvińnt.—Pur Iẓbela!—ś z sadli tecn awe fṛm s ol!—n hǎ sori ś wl b ẃn ś cmz, nt t si Mis Teilr hir!”

“Ś wl nt b s’prîzd, ppā, at līst.”

“I d nt nǒ, mî dir. I am śr I wz vri mć s’prîzd ẃn I frst hŕd ś wz gwñ t b marid.”

“W mst asc Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn t dîn wɖ s, ẃl Iẓbela z hir.”

“Yes, mî dir, f ɖr z tîm.—Bt—(in a vri dprest ton)—ś z cmñ fr onli wn wīc. Ɖr wl nt b tîm fr enʈñ.”

“It z unforćṇt ɖt ɖe canot ste longr—bt it sīmz a ces v nseṣti. Mr. Jon Naitli mst b in tǎn agn on ɖ 28ʈ, n w òt t b ʈancfl, ppā, ɖt w r t hv ɖ hol v ɖ tîm ɖe cn gv t ɖ cuntri, ɖt tū or ʈri dez r nt t b tecn ǎt fr ɖ Abi. Mr. Naitli proṃsz t gv p hiz clem ɖs Crisṃs—ɖo y nǒ it z longr sins ɖe wr wɖ him, ɖn wɖ s.”

“It wd b vri hard, indd, mî dir, f pur Iẓbela wr t b enẃr bt at Hārtfīld.”

Mr. Wŭdhǎs cd nvr alǎ fr Mr. Naitli’z clemz on hiz bruɖr, or enbdi’z clemz on Iẓbela, xpt hiz ǒn. H sat ḿzñ a litl ẃl, n ɖen sd,

“Bt I d nt si ẃ pur Iẓbela śd b oblîjd t g bac so sn, ɖo h dz. I ʈnc, Ema, I śl trî n pswed hr t ste longr wɖ s. Ś n ɖ ćildṛn mt ste vri wel.”

“Ā! ppā—ɖt z ẃt y nvr hv bn ebl t acumpliś, n I d nt ʈnc y evr wl. Iẓbela canot ber t ste bhnd hr huzbnd.”

Ɖs wz tù tru fr contṛdiẋn. Unwelcm az it wz, Mr. Wŭdhǎs cd onli gv a sbmisiv sai; n az Ema sw hiz spirits afctd bî ɖ îdīa v hiz dōtr’z ataćmnt t hr huzbnd, ś imīɉtli léd t sć a branć v ɖ subjict az mst rêz ɖm.

“Harịt mst gv s az mć v hr cumṗni az ś cn ẃl mî bruɖr n sistr r hir. I am śr ś wl b plizd wɖ ɖ ćildṛn. W r vri prǎd v ɖ ćildṛn, r nt w, ppā? I wundr ẃć ś wl ʈnc ɖ hanṣmist, Õri or Jon?”

“Ai, I wundr ẃć ś wl. Pur litl dirz, hǎ glad ɖe wl b t cm. Ɖe r vri fond v biyñ at Hārtfīld, Harịt.”

“I der se ɖe r, sr. I am śr I d nt nǒ hu z nt.”

“Õri z a fîn bô, bt Jon z vri lîc hiz m’mā. Õri z ɖ eldist, h wz nemd aftr m, nt aftr hiz faɖr. Jon, ɖ secnd, z nemd aftr hiz faɖr. Sm ppl r s’prîzd, I b’liv, ɖt ɖ eldist wz nt, bt Iẓbela wd hv him cōld Õri, ẃć I ʈt vri priti v hr. N h z a vri clevr bô, indd. Ɖe r ol rmarcbli clevr; n ɖe hv so mni priti wez. Ɖe wl cm n stand bî mî ćer, n se, ‘Granppā, cn y gv m a bit v strñ?’ n wns Õri asct m fr a nîf, bt I tld him nîvz wr onli md fr granppāz. I ʈnc ɖer faɖr z tù ruf wɖ ɖm vri ofn.”

“H apirz ruf t y,” sd Ema, “bcz y r so vri jntl yrslf; bt f y cd cmper him wɖ uɖr ppāz, y wd nt ʈnc him ruf. H wśz hiz bôz t b activ n hardi; n f ɖe misbhev, cn gv ɖm a śarp wrd nǎ n ɖen; bt h z an afẋṇt faɖr—srtnli Mr. Jon Naitli z an afẋṇt faɖr. Ɖ ćildṛn r ol fond v him.”

“N ɖen ɖer uncl cmz in, n tosz ɖm p t ɖ sīlñ in a vri frîtfl we!”

“Bt ɖe lîc it, ppā; ɖr z nʈñ ɖe lîc so mć. It z sć injômnt t ɖm, ɖt f ɖer uncl dd nt le dǎn ɖ rūl v ɖer tecñ trnz, ẃćvr bgan wd nvr gv we t ɖ uɖr.”

“Wel, I canot unḍstand it.”

“Ɖt z ɖ ces wɖ s ol, ppā. Wn haf v ɖ wrld canot unḍstand ɖ pleźrz v ɖ uɖr.”

Lêtr in ɖ mornñ, n jst az ɖ grlz wr gwñ t seṗret in preṗreśn fr ɖ reğlr for o’cloc dinr, ɖ hiro v ɖs inimitbl ś’red wōct in agn. Harịt trnd awe; bt Ema cd rsiv him wɖ ɖ yźl smîl, n hr qc î sn dsrnd in hiz ɖ conśsnis v hvñ md a pś—v hvñ ʈroun a dî; n ś imajind h wz cm t si hǎ it mt trn p. Hiz ostnsbl rīzn, hvr, wz t asc ẃɖr Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z parti cd b md p in ɖ īvnñ wɖt him, or ẃɖr h śd b in ɖ smōlist dgri nesṣri at Hārtfīld. F h wr, evrʈñ els mst gv we; bt uɖ̇wz hiz frend Coul hd bn seyñ so mć abt hiz dînñ wɖ him—hd md sć a pônt v it, ɖt h hd promist him cndiśṇli t cm.

Ema ʈanct him, bt cd nt alǎ v hiz dis’pôntñ hiz frend on ɖer acǎnt; hr faɖr wz śr v hiz rubr. H ri-rjd—ś rīdiclînd; n h sīmd ɖen abt t mc hiz bǎ, ẃn tecñ ɖ pepr fṛm ɖ tebl, ś rtrnd it—

“Ǒ! hir z ɖ ś’red y wr so oblîjñ az t līv wɖ s; ʈanc y fr ɖ sît v it. W admîrd it so mć, ɖt I hv vnćrd t rait it intu Mis Smiʈ’s c’leẋn. Yr frend wl nt tec it amis I hop. V cors I hv nt trnscrîbd bynd ɖ frst et lînz.”

Mr. Eltn srtnli dd nt vri wel nǒ ẃt t se. H lct rɖr dǎtñli—rɖr cnfyzd; sd smʈñ abt “onr,”—glanst at Ema n at Harịt, n ɖen siyñ ɖ bc opn on ɖ tebl, tc it p, n xamind it vri atntivli. Wɖ ɖ vy v pasñ of an ōcẉd momnt, Ema smîlñli sd,

“Y mst mc mî apoḷjiz t yr frend; bt so gd a ś’red mst nt b cnfînd t wn or tū. H me b śr v evri wmn’z apṛbeśn ẃl h raits wɖ sć gaḷntri.”

“I hv no hezteśn in seyñ,” rplaid Mr. Eltn, ɖo heztetñ a gd dīl ẃl h spouc; “I hv no hezteśn in seyñ—at līst f mî frend fīlz at ol az I d—I hv nt ɖ smōlist dǎt ɖt, cd h si hiz litl ifyźn onrd az I si it, (lcñ at ɖ bc agn, n rplesñ it on ɖ tebl), h wd cnsidr it az ɖ prǎdist momnt v hiz lîf.”

Aftr ɖs spīć h wz gn az sn az poṣbl. Ema cd nt ʈnc it tù sn; fr wɖ ol hiz gd n agriybl qoḷtz, ɖr wz a sort v p’red in hiz spīćz ẃć wz vri apt t inclîn hr t laf. Ś ran awe t indulj ɖ incḷneśn, līvñ ɖ tndr n ɖ sblîm v pleźr t Harịt’s śer.


___

Ɖ

o nǎ ɖ midl v Dsmbr, ɖr hd yt bn no weɖr t privnt ɖ yuñ lediz fṛm tolṛbli reğlr x’sîz; n on ɖ moro, Ema hd a ćaritbl vizit t pe t a pur sic faṃli, hu livd a litl we ǎt v Hîḅri.

Ɖer rod t ɖs dtaćt cotij wz dǎn Vic̣rij Len, a len līdñ at rît anglz fṛm ɖ brōd, ɖo ireğlr, mn strīt v ɖ ples; n, az me b infŕd, cntenñ ɖ blest abod v Mr. Eltn. A fy infirịr dwelñz wr frst t b pást, n ɖen, abt a qortr v a mîl dǎn ɖ len rouz ɖ Vic̣rij, an old n nt vri gd hǎs, olmst az clos t ɖ rod az it cd b. It hd no advantij v sićueśn; bt hd bn vri mć smartnd p bî ɖ preznt pṛpraytr; n, sć az it wz, ɖr cd b no posbiḷti v ɖ tū frendz pasñ it wɖt a slacnd pes n obzrvñ îz.—Ema’z rmarc wz—

“Ɖr it z. Ɖr g y n yr ridl-bc wn v ɖz dez.”—Harịt’s wz—

“Ǒ, ẃt a swīt hǎs!—Hǎ vri bytifl!—Ɖr r ɖ yelo crtnz ɖt Mis Naś admîrz so mć.”

“I d nt ofn wōc ɖs we ,” sd Ema, az ɖe pṛsidd, “bt ɖen ɖr wl b an indysmnt, n I śl graɉli gt intiṃtli aqentd wɖ ol ɖ hejz, gets, pūlz n polardz v ɖs part v Hîḅri.”

Harịt, ś faund, hd nvr in hr lîf bn insd ɖ Vic̣rij, n hr krioṣti t si it wz so xtrim, ɖt, cnsiḍrñ xtirịrz n probbiḷtiz, Ema cd onli clas it, az a prūf v luv, wɖ Mr. Eltn’z siyñ redi wit in hr.

“I wś w cd cntrîv it,” sd ś; “bt I canot ʈnc v eni tolṛbl pritns fr gwñ in;—no srvnt ɖt I wont t inqîr abt v hiz hǎscīpr—no mesij fṛm mî faɖr.”

Ś pondrd, bt cd ʈnc v nʈñ. Aftr a ḿćl sîḷns v sm minits, Harịt ɖus bgan agn—

“I d so wundr, Mis Wŭdhǎs, ɖt y śd nt b marid, or gwñ t b marid! so ćarmñ az y r!”—

Ema laft, n rplaid,

“Mî biyñ ćarmñ, Harịt, z nt qt inuf t indys m t mari; I mst fînd uɖr ppl ćarmñ—wn uɖr prsn at līst. N I am nt onli, nt gwñ t b marid, at preznt, bt hv vri litl intnśn v evr mariyñ at ol.”

“Ā!—so y se; bt I canot b’liv it.”

“I mst si smbdi vri s’pirịr t enwn I hv sìn yt, t b tmtd; Mr. Eltn, y nǒ, (rec̣lectñ hrslf,) z ǎt v ɖ qsćn: n I d nt wś t si eni sć prsn. I wd rɖr nt b tmtd. I canot riyli ćenj fr ɖ betr. F I wr t mari, I mst xpct t rpnt it.”

“Dir m!—it z so od t hír a wmn tōc so!”—

“I hv nn v ɖ yźl indysmnts v wimin t mari. Wr I t fōl in luv, indd, it wd b a difṛnt ʈñ! bt I nvr hv bn in luv; it z nt mî we, or mî nećr; n I d nt ʈnc I evr śl. N, wɖt luv, I am śr I śd b a fūl t ćenj sć a sićueśn az mîn. Fortyn I d nt wont; implômnt I d nt wont; consiqns I d nt wont: I b’liv fy marid wimin r haf az mć mistris v ɖer huzbnd’z hǎs az I am v Hārtfīld; n nvr, nvr cd I xpct t b so trūli b’luvid n importnt; so olwz frst n olwz rît in eni man’z îz az I am in mî faɖr’z.”

“Bt ɖen, t b an old meid at last, lîc Mis Bêts!”

“Ɖt z az formiḍbl an imij az y cd priznt, Harịt; n f I ʈt I śd evr b lîc Mis Bêts! so sili—so saṭsfaid—so smîlñ—so prozñ—so undistnḡśñ n unf̣stidịs—n so apt t tel evrʈñ reḷtiv t evrbdi abt m, I wd mari tmoro. Bt btwn s, I am cnvinst ɖr nvr cn b eni lîcnis, xpt in biyñ unmarid.”

“Bt stl, y wl b an old meid! n ɖt’s so dredfl!”

“Nvr mînd, Harịt, I śl nt b a pur old meid; n it z poṿti onli ẃć mcs seliḅsi cntmtbl t a jenṛs public! A sngl wmn, wɖ a vri naro incm, mst b a r’dikḷs, dis’griybl old meid! ɖ propr sport v bôz n grlz, bt a sngl wmn, v gd fortyn, z olwz rspctbl, n me b az snṣbl n pleznt az enbdi els. N ɖ dstñśn z nt qt so mć agnst ɖ candr n comn-sns v ɖ wrld az apirz at frst; fr a vri naro incm hz a tndnsi t contract ɖ mînd, n sǎr ɖ tmpr. Ɖoz hu cn bérli liv, n hu liv pfors in a vri smōl, n jenṛli vri infirịr, ssayti, me wel b ilibṛl n cros. Ɖs dz nt aplî, hvr, t Mis Bêts; ś z onli tù gd nećrd n tù sili t sūt m; bt, in jenṛl, ś z vri mć t ɖ test v evrbdi, ɖo sngl n ɖo pur. Poṿti srtnli hz nt cntractd hr mînd: I riyli b’liv, f ś hd onli a śilñ in ɖ wrld, ś wd b vri lîcli t gv awe sixpns v it; n nbdi z afreid v hr: ɖt z a gret ćarm.”

“Dir m! bt ẃt śl y d? hǎ śl y implô yrslf ẃn y gro old?”

“F I nǒ mslf, Harịt, mîn z an activ, bizi mînd, wɖ a gret mni indipndnt rzorsz; n I d nt psiv ẃ I śd b mor in wont v implômnt at forti or fifti ɖn wn-n-twenti. Wmn’z yźl okpeśnz v hand n mînd wl b az opn t m ɖen az ɖe r nǎ; or wɖ no importnt verieśn. F I drw les, I śl rīd mor; f I gv p ḿzic, I śl tec t carpitwrc. N az fr objicts v inṭrest, objicts fr ɖ afẋnz, ẃć z in truʈ ɖ gret pônt v infirioṛti, ɖ wont v ẃć z riyli ɖ gret īvl t b avôdd in nt mariyñ, I śl b vri wel of, wɖ ol ɖ ćildṛn v a sistr I luv so mć, t cer abt. Ɖr wl b inuf v ɖm, in ol probbiḷti, t s’plî evri sort v snseśn ɖt dclînñ lîf cn nīd. Ɖr wl b inuf fr evri hop n evri fir; n ɖo mî ataćmnt t nn cn īql ɖt v a peṛnt, it sūts mî îdīaz v cumf̣t betr ɖn ẃt z wormr n blîndr. Mî nefyz n nīsz!—I śl ofn hv a nīs wɖ m.”

“D y nǒ Mis Bêts’z nīs? Ɖt z, I nǒ y mst hv sìn hr a hundṛd tîmz—bt r y aqentd?”

“Ǒ! yes; w r olwz forst t b aqentd ẃnvr ś cmz t Hîḅri. Bî ɖ bái, ɖt z olmst inuf t pt wn ǎt v cnsit wɖ a nīs. Hevn fbid! at līst, ɖt I śd evr bòr ppl haf so mć abt ol ɖ Naitliz tgɖr, az ś dz abt Jen Ferfax. Wn z sic v ɖ vri nem v Jen Ferfax. Evri letr fṛm hr z réd forti tîmz ovr; hr complimnts t ol frendz g rnd n rnd agn; n f ś dz bt snd hr ānt ɖ patn v a stuṃcr, or nit a per v gartrz fr hr granmuɖr, wn hírz v nʈñ els fr a munʈ. I wś Jen Ferfax vri wel; bt ś tîrz m t deʈ.”

Ɖe wr nǎ aproćñ ɖ cotij, n ol îdl topics wr sūṗsidd. Ema wz vri cmpaśṇt; n ɖ dstresz v ɖ pur wr az śr v rlif fṛm hr prsnl atnśn n cîndnis, hr cǎnsl n hr peśns, az fṛm hr prs. Ś unḍstd ɖer wez, cd alǎ fr ɖer ignṛns n ɖer tmteśnz, hd no r’mantic xpcteśnz v xtrordnri vrću fṛm ɖoz fr hūm edyceśn hd dn so litl; entrd intu ɖer trublz wɖ redi simṗʈi, n olwz gev hr asistns wɖ az mć intelijns az gdwil. In ɖ preznt instns, it wz sicnis n poṿti tgɖr ẃć ś cem t vizit; n aftr rmenñ ɖr az loñ az ś cd gv cumf̣t or advîs, ś qitd ɖ cotij wɖ sć an impreśn v ɖ sīn az md hr se t Harịt, az ɖe wōct awe,

“Ɖz r ɖ sîts, Harịt, t d wn gd. Hǎ trîf̣lñ ɖe mc evrʈñ els apir!—I fīl nǎ az f I cd ʈnc v nʈñ bt ɖz pur crīćrz ol ɖ rest v ɖ de; n yt, hu cn se hǎ sn it me ol vaniś fṛm mî mînd?”

“Vri tru,” sd Harịt. “Pur crīćrz! wn cn ʈnc v nʈñ els.”

“N riyli, I d nt ʈnc ɖ impreśn wl sn b ovr,” sd Ema, az ś crost ɖ lo hej, n toṭrñ ftstep ẃć endd ɖ naro, sliṗri paʈ ʈru ɖ cotij gardn, n bròt ɖm intu ɖ len agn. “I d nt ʈnc it wl,” stopñ t lc wns mor at ol ɖ ǎtwd rećidnis v ɖ ples, n rcōl ɖ stl gretr wɖn.

“Ǒ! dir, no,” sd hr cmpańn.

Ɖe wōct on. Ɖ len md a slît bnd; n ẃn ɖt bnd wz pást, Mr. Eltn wz imīɉtli in sît; n so nir az t gv Ema tîm onli t se farɖr,

“Ā! Harịt, hir cmz a vri sudn trîl v ǎr stbiḷti in gd ʈts. Wel, (smîlñ,) I hop it me b alaud ɖt f cmpaśn hz pṛdyst xrśn n rlif t ɖ sufrrz, it hz dn ol ɖt z trūli importnt. F w fīl fr ɖ rećid, inuf t d ol w cn fr ɖm, ɖ rest z emti simṗʈi, onli dstresñ t ǎrslvz.”

Harịt cd jst ansr, “Ǒ! dir, yes,” bfr ɖ jntlmn jônd ɖm. Ɖ wonts n suf̣rñz v ɖ pur faṃli, hvr, wr ɖ frst subjict on mītñ. H hd bn gwñ t cōl on ɖm. Hiz vizit h wd nǎ dfŕ; bt ɖe hd a vri inṭrestñ parli abt ẃt cd b dn n śd b dn. Mr. Eltn ɖen trnd bac t acumṗni ɖm.

“T fōl in wɖ ć uɖr on sć an eṛnd az ɖs,” ʈt Ema; “t mīt in a ćaritbl scīm; ɖs wl brñ a gret incrīs v luv on ć sîd. I śd nt wundr f it wr t brñ on ɖ decḷreśn. It mst, f I wr nt hir. I wś I wr enẃr els.”

Añśs t seṗret hrslf fṛm ɖm az far az ś cd, ś sn aftwdz tc pześn v a naro ftpaʈ, a litl rezd on wn sîd v ɖ len, līvñ ɖm tgɖr in ɖ mn rod. Bt ś hd nt bn ɖr tū minits ẃn ś faund ɖt Harịt’s habits v dpndns n iṃteśn wr brññ hr p tù, n ɖt, in śort, ɖe wd bʈ b sn aftr hr. Ɖs wd nt d; ś imīɉtli stopt, undr pritns v hvñ sm olṭreśn t mc in ɖ lêsñ v hr haf-būt, n stūpñ dǎn in cmplit okpeśn v ɖ ftpaʈ, begd ɖm t hv ɖ gdnis t wōc on, n ś wd folo in haf a minit. Ɖe dd az ɖe wr dzîrd; n bî ɖ tîm ś jujd it rīzṇbl t hv dn wɖ hr būt, ś hd ɖ cumf̣t v farɖr dle in hr pǎr, biyñ oṿtecn bî a ćîld fṛm ɖ cotij, setñ ǎt, acordñ t ordrz, wɖ hr pićr, t feć broʈ fṛm Hārtfīld. T wōc bî ɖ sîd v ɖs ćîld, n tōc t n qsćn hr, wz ɖ most naćṛl ʈñ in ɖ wrld, or wd hv bn ɖ most naćṛl, hd ś bn actñ jst ɖen wɖt dzîn; n bî ɖs mīnz ɖ uɖrz wr stl ebl t cīp ahd, wɖt eni obḷgeśn v wêtñ fr hr. Ś gend on ɖm, hvr, invoḷntṛli: ɖ ćîld’z pes wz qc, n ɖerz rɖr slo; n ś wz ɖ mor cnsrnd at it, fṛm ɖer biyñ evidntli in a convseśn ẃć inṭrestd ɖm. Mr. Eltn wz spīcñ wɖ aṇmeśn, Harịt liṣnñ wɖ a vri plizd atnśn; n Ema, hvñ snt ɖ ćîld on, wz bginñ t ʈnc hǎ ś mt drw bac a litl mor, ẃn ɖe bʈ lct arnd, n ś wz oblîjd t jôn ɖm.

Mr. Eltn wz stl tōcñ, stl ingejd in sm inṭrestñ dītel; n Ema xpirịnst sm dis’pôntmnt ẃn ś faund ɖt h wz onli gvñ hiz fer cmpańn an acǎnt v ɖ yesṭde’z parti at hiz frend Coul’z, n ɖt ś wz cm in hrslf fr ɖ Stiltn ćīz, ɖ norʈ Wiltśr, ɖ butr, ɖ seḷri, ɖ bītrūt, n ol ɖ dzrt.

“Ɖs wd sn hv léd t smʈñ betr, v cors,” wz hr cnsolñ rfleẋn; “enʈñ inṭrests btwn ɖoz hu luv; n enʈñ wl srv az intṛduẋn t ẃt z nir ɖ hart. F I cd bt hv cept longr awe!”

Ɖe nǎ wōct on tgɖr qaytli, tl wɖn vy v ɖ vic̣rijpelz, ẃn a sudn reẓluśn, v at līst gtñ Harịt intu ɖ hǎs, md hr agn fînd smʈñ vri mć amis abt hr būt, n fōl bhnd t arenj it wns mor. Ś ɖen brouc ɖ lês of śort, n dxtṛsli ʈrowñ it intu a dić, wz prezntli oblîjd t intrit ɖm t stop, n acnolijd hr in’biḷti t pt hrslf t rîts so az t b ebl t wōc hom in tolṛbl cumf̣t.

“Part v mî lês z gn,” sd ś, “n I d nt nǒ hǎ I am t cntrîv. I riyli am a most trublsm cmpańn t y bʈ, bt I hop I am nt ofn so il-iqipt. Mr. Eltn, I mst beg līv t stop at yr hǎs, n asc yr hǎscīpr fr a bit v ribnd or strñ, or enʈñ jst t cīp mî būt on.”

Mr. Eltn lct ol hapinis at ɖs propziśn; n nʈñ cd xid hiz alrtnis n atnśn in cnductñ ɖm intu hiz hǎs n indeṿrñ t mc evrʈñ apir t advantij. Ɖ rūm ɖe wr tecn intu wz ɖ wn h ćīfli okpaid, n lcñ fwdz; bhnd it wz anɖr wɖ ẃć it imīɉtli cḿṇcetd; ɖ dor btwn ɖm wz opn, n Ema pást intu it wɖ ɖ hǎscīpr t rsiv hr asistns in ɖ most cumftbl manr. Ś wz oblîjd t līv ɖ dor ajar az ś faund it; bt ś fŭli intndd ɖt Mr. Eltn śd cloz it. It wz nt clozd, hvr, it stl rmend ajar; bt bî ingejñ ɖ hǎscīpr in insesnt convseśn, ś hopt t mc it practicbl fr him t ćūz hiz ǒn subjict in ɖ ajônñ rūm. Fr ten minits ś cd hír nʈñ bt hrslf. It cd b pṛtractd no longr. Ś wz ɖen oblîjd t b finiśt, n mc hr apiṛns.

Ɖ luvrz wr standñ tgɖr at wn v ɖ windoz. It hd a most fevṛbl aspect; n, fr haf a minit, Ema flt ɖ glori v hvñ scīmd s’xesf̣li. Bt it wd nt d; h hd nt cm t ɖ pônt. H hd bn most agriybl, most dlîtfl; h hd tld Harịt ɖt h hd sìn ɖm g bî, n hd prṗsli foloud ɖm; uɖr litl gaḷntriz n aluźnz hd bn dropt, bt nʈñ sirịs.

“Cōśs, vri cōśs,” ʈt Ema; “h advansz inć bî inć, n wl haẓd nʈñ tl h b’livz himslf s’kr.”

Stl, hvr, ɖo evrʈñ hd nt bn acumpliśt bî hr injīńs dvîs, ś cd nt bt flatr hrslf ɖt it hd bn ɖ oceźn v mć preznt injômnt t bʈ, n mst b līdñ ɖm fwd t ɖ gret ivnt.


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M

r. Eltn mst nǎ b left t himslf. It wz no longr in Ema’z pǎr t sūṗintnd hiz hapinis or qcn hiz meźrz. Ɖ cmñ v hr sistr’z faṃli wz so vri nir at hand, ɖt frst in antiṣpeśn, n ɖen in riaḷti, it bcem hnsfʈ hr prîm objict v inṭrest; n jrñ ɖ ten dez v ɖer ste at Hārtfīld it wz nt t b xpctd—ś dd nt hrslf xpct—ɖt enʈñ bynd oceźnl, forćuwṭs asistns cd b afordd bî hr t ɖ luvrz. Ɖe mt advans rapidli f ɖe wd, hvr; ɖe mst advans smhǎ or uɖr ẃɖr ɖe wd or no. Ś hardli wśt t hv mor leźr fr ɖm. Ɖr r ppl, hu ɖ mor y d fr ɖm, ɖ les ɖe wl d fr ɖmslvz.

Mr. n Msz. Jon Naitli, fṛm hvñ bn longr ɖn yźl absnt fṛm Suri, wr xîtñ v cors rɖr mor ɖn ɖ yźl inṭrest. Tl ɖs yir, evri loñ vceśn sins ɖer marij hd bn dvîdd btwn Hārtfīld n Donwél Abi; bt ol ɖ hoḷdez v ɖs ōtm hd bn gvn t sìbeɖñ fr ɖ ćildṛn, n it wz ɖrfr mni munʈs sins ɖe hd bn sìn in a reğlr we bî ɖer Suri cnẋnz, or sìn at ol bî Mr. Wŭdhǎs, hu cd nt b indyst t gt so far az Lundn, īvn fr pur Iẓbela’z sec; n hu consiqntli wz nǎ most nrṿsli n aprihnsivli hapi in fōrstōlñ ɖs tù śort vizit.

H ʈt mć v ɖ īvlz v ɖ jrni fr hr, n nt a litl v ɖ ftīgz v hiz ǒn horsz n coćmn hu wr t brñ sm v ɖ parti ɖ last haf v ɖ we; bt hiz alarmz wr nīdlis; ɖ sixtīn mîlz biyñ haṗli acumpliśt, n Mr. n Msz. Jon Naitli, ɖer fîv ćildṛn, n a compitnt numbr v nrṣrimeidz, ol rīćñ Hārtfīld in sefti. Ɖ busl n jô v sć an arîvl, ɖ mni t b tōct t, welcmd, incurijd, n verịsli dsprst n dspozd v, pṛdyst a nôz n cnfyźn ẃć hiz nrvz cd nt hv bòrn undr eni uɖr cōz, nr hv indyrd mć longr īvn fr ɖs; bt ɖ wez v Hārtfīld n ɖ fīlñz v hr faɖr wr so rspctd bî Msz. Jon Naitli, ɖt in spît v mtrnl s’liṣtyd fr ɖ imīɉt injômnt v hr litl wnz, n fr ɖer hvñ instntli ol ɖ liḅti n atndns, ol ɖ ītñ n drincñ, n slīpñ n pleyñ, ẃć ɖe cd poṣbli wś fr, wɖt ɖ smōlist dle, ɖ ćildṛn wr nvr alaud t b loñ a dstrbns t him, îɖr in ɖmslvz or in eni restlis atndns on ɖm.

Msz. Jon Naitli wz a priti, elignt litl wmn, v jntl, qayt manrz, n a disṗziśn rmarcbli emịbl n afẋṇt; rápt p in hr faṃli; a dvotd wîf, a dǒtñ muɖr, n so tndrli ataćt t hr faɖr n sistr ɖt, bt fr ɖz hayr tîz, a wormr luv mt hv sīmd imposbl. Ś cd nvr si a fōlt in eni v ɖm. Ś wz nt a wmn v stroñ unḍstandñ or eni qcnis; n wɖ ɖs rzmbḷns v hr faɖr, ś inheṛtd olso mć v hiz consttyśn; wz delic̣t in hr ǒn hlʈ, oṿcerfl v ɖt v hr ćildṛn, hd mni firz n mni nrvz, n wz az fond v hr ǒn Mr. Wñfīld in tǎn az hr faɖr cd b v Mr. Peri. Ɖe wr alîc tù, in a jenṛl bnevḷns v tmpr, n a stroñ habit v rgard fr evri old aqentns.

Mr. Jon Naitli wz a tōl, jntlmnlîc, n vri clevr man; rîzñ in hiz pṛfeśn, dmestic, n rspctbl in hiz prîṿt caṛctr; bt wɖ rzrvd manrz ẃć privntd hiz biyñ jenṛli plizñ; n ceṗbl v biyñ smtmz ǎt v hymr. H wz nt an il-tmprd man, nt so ofn unrīzṇbli cros az t dzrv sć a rproć; bt hiz tmpr wz nt hiz gret pfẋn; n, indd, wɖ sć a wrṣ́pñ wîf, it wz hardli poṣbl ɖt eni naćṛl dīfects in it śd nt b incrist. Ɖ xtrim swītnis v hr tmpr mst hrt hiz. H hd ol ɖ clirnis n qcnis v mînd ẃć ś wontd, n h cd smtmz act an ungreśs, or se a svir ʈñ.

H wz nt a gret feṿrit wɖ hiz fer sistr-in-lw. Nʈñ roñ in him iscept hr. Ś wz qc in fīlñ ɖ litl inɉriz t Iẓbela, ẃć Iẓbela nvr flt hrslf. Phps ś mt hv pást ovr mor hd hiz manrz bn flaṭrñ t Iẓbela’z sistr, bt ɖe wr onli ɖoz v a cāmli cînd bruɖr n frend, wɖt prêz n wɖt blîndnis; bt hardli eni dgri v prsnl complimnt cd hv md hr rgardlis v ɖt gretist fōlt v ol in hr îz ẃć h smtmz fél intu, ɖ wont v rspctfl fōrbeṛns twdz hr faɖr. Ɖr h hd nt olwz ɖ peśns ɖt cd hv bn wśt. Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z pkliaṛtiz n fijtinis wr smtmz pṛvocñ him t a raśnl rmonstṛns or śarp rtort īqli il-bstoud. It dd nt ofn hapn; fr Mr. Jon Naitli hd riyli a gret rgard fr hiz faɖr-in-lw, n jenṛli a stroñ sns v ẃt wz dy t him; bt it wz tù ofn fr Ema’z ćaṛti, ispeṣ́li az ɖr wz ol ɖ pen v aprihnśn frīqntli t b indyrd, ɖo ɖ ofns cem nt. Ɖ bginñ, hvr, v evri vizit dspleid nn bt ɖ proṗrist fīlñz, n ɖs biyñ v nseṣti so śort mt b hopt t pas awe in unsulid cordiaḷti. Ɖe hd nt bn loñ sītd n cmpozd ẃn Mr. Wŭdhǎs, wɖ a meḷnc̣li śec v ɖ hed n a sai, cōld hiz dōtr’z atnśn t ɖ sad ćenj at Hārtfīld sins ś hd bn ɖr last.

“Ā, mî dir,” sd h, “pur Mis Teilr—It z a grīṿs biznis.”

“Ǒ yes, sr,” craid ś wɖ redi simṗʈi, “hǎ y mst mis hr! N dir Ema, tù!—Ẃt a dredfl los t y bʈ!—I hv bn so grīvd fr y.—I cd nt imajin hǎ y cd poṣbli d wɖt hr.—It z a sad ćenj indd.—Bt I hop ś z priti wel, sr.”

“Priti wel, mî dir—I hop—priti wel.—I d nt nǒ bt ɖt ɖ ples agriz wɖ hr tolṛbli.”

Mr. Jon Naitli hir asct Ema qaytli ẃɖr ɖr wr eni dǎts v ɖ er v Randlz.

“Ǒ! no—nn in ɖ līst. I nvr sw Msz. Wsṭn betr in mî lîf—nvr lcñ so wel. Ppā z onli spīcñ hiz ǒn rgret.”

“Vri mć t ɖ onr v bʈ,” wz ɖ hansm rplî.

“N d y si hr, sr, tolṛbli ofn?” asct Iẓbela in ɖ plentiv ton ẃć jst sūtd hr faɖr.

Mr. Wŭdhǎs heztetd.—“Nt nir so ofn, mî dir, az I cd wś.”

“Ǒ! ppā, w hv míst siyñ ɖm bt wn intîr de sins ɖe marid. Îɖr in ɖ mornñ or īvnñ v evri de, xptñ wn, hv w sìn îɖr Mr. Wsṭn or Msz. Wsṭn, n jenṛli bʈ, îɖr at Randlz or hir—n az y me s’poz, Iẓbela, most frīqntli hir. Ɖe r vri, vri cînd in ɖer vizits. Mr. Wsṭn z riyli az cînd az hrslf. Ppā, f y spīc in ɖt meḷnc̣li we, y wl b gvñ Iẓbela a fōls îdīa v s ol. Evrbdi mst b awer ɖt Mis Teilr mst b míst, bt evrbdi òt olso t b aśurd ɖt Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn d riyli privnt ǎr misñ hr bî eni mīnz t ɖ xtnt w ǎrslvz antiṣpetd—ẃć z ɖ xact truʈ.”

“Jst az it śd b,” sd Mr. Jon Naitli, “n jst az I hopt it wz fṛm yr letrz. Hr wś v śowñ y atnśn cd nt b dǎtd, n hiz biyñ a disingejd n sośl man mcs it ol īzi. I hv bn olwz telñ y, mî luv, ɖt I hd no îdīa v ɖ ćenj biyñ so vri mtirịl t Hārtfīld az y aprihndd; n nǎ y hv Ema’z acǎnt, I hop y wl b saṭsfaid.”

“Ẃ, t b śr,” sd Mr. Wŭdhǎs—“yes, srtnli—I canot dnî ɖt Msz. Wsṭn, pur Msz. Wsṭn, dz cm n si s priti ofn—bt ɖen—ś z olwz oblîjd t g awe agn.”

“It wd b vri hard upn Mr. Wsṭn f ś dd nt, ppā.—Y qt fget pur Mr. Wsṭn.”

“I ʈnc, indd,” sd Jon Naitli plezntli, “ɖt Mr. Wsṭn hz sm litl clem. Y n I, Ema, wl vnćr t tec ɖ part v ɖ pur huzbnd. I, biyñ a huzbnd, n y nt biyñ a wîf, ɖ clemz v ɖ man me vri lîcli strîc s wɖ īql fors. Az fr Iẓbela, ś hz bn marid loñ inuf t si ɖ cnvińns v ptñ ol ɖ Mr. Wsṭnz asd az mć az ś cn.”

“M, mî luv,” craid hiz wîf, hírñ n unḍstandñ onli in part.— “R y tōcñ abt m?—I am śr nbdi òt t b, or cn b, a gretr advc̣t fr matriṃni ɖn I am; n f it hd nt bn fr ɖ miẓri v hr līvñ Hārtfīld, I śd nvr hv ʈt v Mis Teilr bt az ɖ most forćṇt wmn in ɖ wrld; n az t slîtñ Mr. Wsṭn, ɖt xḷnt Mr. Wsṭn, I ʈnc ɖr z nʈñ h dz nt dzrv. I b’liv h z wn v ɖ vri bst-tmprd men ɖt evr xistd. Xptñ yrslf n yr bruɖr, I d nt nǒ hiz īql fr tmpr. I śl nvr fget hiz flayñ Õri’z cît fr him ɖt vri windi de last Īstr—n evr sins hiz ptiklr cîndnis last Sptmbr twelvmunʈ in raitñ ɖt not, at twelv o’cloc at nît, on prṗs t aśur m ɖt ɖr wz no scarlit fīvr at Cobm, I hv bn cnvinst ɖr cd nt b a mor fīlñ hart nr a betr man in xistns.—F enbdi cn dzrv him, it mst b Mis Teilr.”

“Ẃr z ɖ yuñ man?” sd Jon Naitli. “Hz h bn hir on ɖs oceźn—or hz h nt?”

“H hz nt bn hir yt,” rplaid Ema. “Ɖr wz a stroñ xpcteśn v hiz cmñ sn aftr ɖ marij, bt it endd in nʈñ; n I hv nt hŕd him mnśnd lêtli.”

“Bt y śd tel ɖm v ɖ letr, mî dir,” sd hr faɖr. “H rout a letr t pur Msz. Wsṭn, t cngrać̣let hr, n a vri propr, hansm letr it wz. Ś śoud it t m. I ʈt it vri wel dn v him indd. Ẃɖr it wz hiz ǒn îdīa y nǒ, wn canot tel. H z bt yuñ, n hiz uncl, phps—”

“Mî dir ppā, h z ʈri-n-twenti. Y fget hǎ tîm pasz.”

“Ʈri-n-twenti!—z h indd?—Wel, I cd nt hv ʈt it—n h wz bt tū yirz old ẃn h lost hiz pur muɖr! Wel, tîm dz flî indd!—n mî meṃri z vri bad. Hvr, it wz an xidñ gd, priti letr, n gev Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn a gret dīl v pleźr. I rmembr it wz ritn fṛm Weṃʈ, n detd Sept. 28ʈ—n bgan, ‘Mî dir Madm,’ bt I fget hǎ it wnt on; n it wz sînd ‘F. C. Wsṭn Ćrćl.’—I rmembr ɖt prf̣cli.”

“Hǎ vri plizñ n propr v him!” craid ɖ gd-hartd Msz. Jon Naitli. “I hv no dǎt v hiz biyñ a most emịbl yuñ man. Bt hǎ sad it z ɖt h śd nt liv at hom wɖ hiz faɖr! Ɖr z smʈñ so śocñ in a ćîld’z biyñ tecn awe fṛm hiz peṛnts n naćṛl hom! I nvr cd comprihnd hǎ Mr. Wsṭn cd part wɖ him. T gv p wn’z ćîld! I riyli nvr cd ʈnc wel v enbdi hu pṛpozd sć a ʈñ t enbdi els.”

“Nbdi evr dd ʈnc wel v ɖ Ćrćlz, I fansi,” obzrvd Mr. Jon Naitli cūli. “Bt y nīd nt imajin Mr. Wsṭn t hv flt ẃt y wd fīl in gvñ p Õri or Jon. Mr. Wsṭn z rɖr an īzi, ćirfl-tmprd man, ɖn a man v stroñ fīlñz; h tecs ʈñz az h fîndz ɖm, n mcs injômnt v ɖm smhǎ or uɖr, dpndñ, I sspct, mć mor upn ẃt z cōld ssayti fr hiz cumf̣ts, ɖt z, upn ɖ pǎr v ītñ n drincñ, n pleyñ ẃist wɖ hiz nebrz fîv tîmz a wīc, ɖn upn faṃli’fẋn, or enʈñ ɖt hom afordz.”

Ema cd nt lîc ẃt bordrd on a rfleẋn on Mr. Wsṭn, n hd haf a mînd t tec it p; bt ś strugld, n let it pas. Ś wd cīp ɖ pīs f poṣbl; n ɖr wz smʈñ onṛbl n vałbl in ɖ stroñ dmestic habits, ɖ ol-sfiśnsi v hom t himslf, ẃns rzultd hr bruɖr’z disṗziśn t lc dǎn on ɖ comn ret v sośl inṭcors, n ɖoz t hūm it wz importnt.—It hd a hî clem t fōrbeṛns.


___

M

r. Naitli wz t dîn wɖ ɖm—rɖr agnst ɖ incḷneśn v Mr. Wŭdhǎs, hu dd nt lîc ɖt enwn śd śer wɖ him in Iẓbela’z frst de. Ema’z sns v rît hvr hd dsîdd it; n bsdz ɖ cnsiḍreśn v ẃt wz dy t ć bruɖr, ś hd ptiklr pleźr, fṛm ɖ srcmstans v ɖ lêt dis’grīmnt btwn Mr. Naitli n hrslf, in pṛkrñ him ɖ propr invteśn.

Ś hopt ɖe mt nǎ bcm frendz agn. Ś ʈt it wz tîm t mc p. Mcñ-up indd wd nt d. Ś srtnli hd nt bn in ɖ roñ, n h wd nvr ǒn ɖt h hd. Cnseśn mst b ǎt v ɖ qsćn; bt it wz tîm t apir t fget ɖt ɖe hd evr qoṛld; n ś hopt it mt rɖr asist ɖ resṭreśn v frendśp, ɖt ẃn h cem intu ɖ rūm ś hd wn v ɖ ćildṛn wɖ hr—ɖ yungist, a nîs litl grl abt et munʈs old, hu wz nǎ mcñ hr frst vizit t Hārtfīld, n vri hapi t b danst abt in hr ānt’s armz. It dd asist; fr ɖo h bgan wɖ grev lcs n śort qsćnz, h wz sn léd on t tōc v ɖm ol in ɖ yźl we, n t tec ɖ ćîld ǎt v hr armz wɖ ol ɖ unseṛmonịsnis v prfict aṃti. Ema flt ɖe wr frendz agn; n ɖ cnviẋn gvñ hr at frst gret saṭsfaẋn, n ɖen a litl sōsinis, ś cd nt hlp seyñ, az h wz admîrñ ɖ bebi,

“Ẃt a cumf̣t it z, ɖt w ʈnc alîc abt ǎr nefyz n nīsz. Az t men n wimin, ǎr opińnz r smtmz vri difṛnt; bt wɖ rgard t ɖz ćildṛn, I obzrv w nvr dis’gri.”

“F y wr az mć gîdd bî nećr in yr esṭmet v men n wimin, n az litl undr ɖ pǎr v fansi n ẃim in yr dīlñz wɖ ɖm, az y r ẃr ɖz ćildṛn r cnsrnd, w mt olwz ʈnc alîc.”

“T b śr—ǎr dscordnsiz mst olwz arîz fṛm mî biyñ in ɖ roñ.”

“Yes,” sd h, smîlñ—“n rīzn gd. I wz sixtīn yirz old ẃn y wr born.”

“A mtirịl difṛns ɖen,” ś rplaid—“n no dǎt y wr mć mî s’pirịr in jujmnt at ɖt pirịd v ǎr livz; bt dz nt ɖ laps v wn-n-twenti yirz brñ ǎr unḍstandñz a gd dīl nirr?”

“Yes—a gd dīl nirr.”

“Bt stl, nt nir inuf t gv m a ćans v biyñ rît, f w ʈnc difṛntli.”

“I hv stl ɖ advantij v y bî sixtīn yirz’ xpirịns, n bî nt biyñ a priti yuñ wmn n a spôld ćîld. Cm, mî dir Ema, let s b frendz, n se no mor abt it. Tel yr ānt, litl Ema, ɖt ś òt t set y a betr xampl ɖn t b rnywñ old grīvnsz, n ɖt f ś wr nt roñ bfr, ś z nǎ.”

“Ɖt’s tru,” ś craid—“vri tru. Litl Ema, gro p a betr wmn ɖn yr ānt. B infiṇtli clevrr n nt haf so cnsitd. Nǎ, Mr. Naitli, a wrd or tū mor, n I hv dn. Az far az gd intnśnz wnt, w wr rît, n I mst se ɖt no ifcts on mî sîd v ɖ arğmnt hv yt pruvd roñ. I onli wont t nǒ ɖt Mr. Martin z nt vri, vri bitrli dis’pôntd.”

“A man canot b mor so,” wz hiz śort, fl ansr.

“Ā!—Indd I am vri sori.—Cm, śec handz wɖ m.”

Ɖs hd jst tecn ples n wɖ gret cordiaḷti, ẃn Jon Naitli md hiz apiṛns, n “Hǎ d’yi d, Jorj?” n “Jon, hǎ r y?” s’xidd in ɖ tru Ñgliś stîl, beriyñ undr a cāmnis ɖt sīmd ol bt indifṛns, ɖ riyl ataćmnt ẃć wd hv léd îɖr v ɖm, f reqzit, t d evrʈñ fr ɖ gd v ɖ uɖr.

Ɖ īvnñ wz qayt n cnvrsbl, az Mr. Wŭdhǎs dclînd cardz intîrli fr ɖ sec v cumftbl tōc wɖ hiz dir Iẓbela, n ɖ litl parti md tū naćṛl dviźnz; on wn sîd h n hiz dōtr; on ɖ uɖr ɖ tū Mr. Naitliz; ɖer subjicts toṭli dstñt, or vri rerli mixñ—n Ema onli oceźṇli jônñ in wn or ɖ uɖr.

Ɖ bruɖrz tōct v ɖer ǒn cnsrnz n psyts, bt prinsipli v ɖoz v ɖ eldr, huz tmpr wz bî mć ɖ most cḿnic̣tiv, n hu wz olwz ɖ gretr tōcr. Az a maɉstret, h hd jenṛli sm pônt v lw t cnsult Jon abt, or, at līst, sm krịs aṇcdot t gv; n az a farmr, az cīpñ in hand ɖ homfarm at Donwél, h hd t tel ẃt evri fīld wz t ber nxt yir, n t gv ol sć locl inf̣meśn az cd nt fel v biyñ inṭrestñ t a bruɖr huz hom it hd īqli bn ɖ longist part v hiz lîf, n huz ataćmnts wr stroñ. Ɖ plan v a dren, ɖ ćenj v a fns, ɖ félñ v a tri, n ɖ desṭneśn v evri ecr fr ẃīt, trnips, or sprñcorn, wz entrd intu wɖ az mć iqoḷti v inṭrest bî Jon, az hiz cūlr manrz rendrd poṣbl; n f hiz wilñ bruɖr evr left him enʈñ t inqîr abt, hiz inqîriz īvn aproćt a ton v īgrnis.

Ẃl ɖe wr ɖus cumftbli okpaid, Mr. Wŭdhǎs wz injoyñ a fl flo v hapi rgrets n firfl afẋn wɖ hiz dōtr.

“Mî pur dir Iẓbela,” sd h, fondli tecñ hr hand, n inṭruptñ, fr a fy momnts, hr bizi lebrz fr smwn v hr fîv ćildṛn—“Hǎ loñ it z, hǎ teṛbli loñ sins y wr hir! N hǎ tîrd y mst b aftr yr jrni! Y mst g t bed rli, mî dir—n I rec̣mnd a litl gruwl t y bfr y g.—Y n I wl hv a nîs besn v gruwl tgɖr. Mî dir Ema, s’poz w ol hv a litl gruwl.”

Ema cd nt s’poz eni sć ʈñ, nwñ az ś dd, ɖt bʈ ɖ Mr. Naitliz wr az unṗsweḍbl on ɖt articl az hrslf;—n tū besnz onli wr ordrd. Aftr a litl mor discors in prêz v gruwl, wɖ sm wunḍrñ at its nt biyñ tecn evri īvnñ bî evrbdi, h pṛsidd t se, wɖ an er v grev rfleẋn,

“It wz an ōcẉd biznis, mî dir, yr spendñ ɖ ōtm at Sǎʈ End instd v cmñ hir. I nvr hd mć opińn v ɖ sì-er.”

“Mr. Wñfīld most strenẏsli rec̣mndd it, sr—or w śd nt hv gn. H rec̣mndd it fr ol ɖ ćildṛn, bt ptiklrli fr ɖ wìcnis in litl Bela’z ʈrot,—bʈ sì-er n beɖñ.”

“Ā! mî dir, bt Peri hd mni dǎts abt ɖ sì dwñ hr eni gd; n az t mslf, I hv bn loñ prf̣cli cnvinst, ɖo phps I nvr tld y so bfr, ɖt ɖ sì z vri rerli v ys t enbdi. I am śr it olmst cild m wns.”

“Cm, cm,” craid Ema, fīlñ ɖs t b an unsef subjict, “I mst beg y nt t tōc v ɖ sì. It mcs m envịs n mizṛbl;—I hu hv nvr sìn it! Sǎʈ End z pṛhibtd, f y plīz. Mî dir Iẓbela, I hv nt hŕd y mc wn inqîri abt Mr. Peri yt; n h nvr fgets y.”

“Ǒ! gd Mr. Peri—hǎ z h, sr?”

“Ẃ, priti wel; bt nt qt wel. Pur Peri z biłs, n h hz nt tîm t tec cer v himslf—h tlz m h hz nt tîm t tec cer v himslf—ẃć z vri sad—bt h z olwz wontd ol rnd ɖ cuntri. I s’poz ɖr z nt a man in sć practis enẃr. Bt ɖen ɖr z nt so clevr a man enẃr.”

“N Msz. Peri n ɖ ćildṛn, hǎ r ɖe? d ɖ ćildṛn gro? I hv a gret rgard fr Mr. Peri. I hop h wl b cōlñ sn. H wl b so plizd t si mî litl wnz.”

“I hop h wl b hir tmoro, fr I hv a qsćn or tū t asc him abt mslf v sm consiqns. N, mî dir, ẃnvr h cmz, y hd betr let him lc at litl Bela’z ʈrot.”

“Ǒ! mî dir sr, hr ʈrot z so mć betr ɖt I hv hardli eni unīzinis abt it. Îɖr beɖñ hz bn v ɖ gretist srvis t hr, or els it z t b atribytd t an xḷnt embṛceśn v Mr. Wñfīld’z, ẃć w hv bn aplayñ at tîmz evr sins Ōġst.”

“It z nt vri lîcli, mî dir, ɖt beɖñ śd hv bn v ys t hr—n f I hd noun y wr wontñ an embṛceśn, I wd hv spocn t—

“Y sīm t m t hv fgotn Msz. n Mis Bêts,” sd Ema, “I hv nt hŕd wn inqîri aftr ɖm.”

“Ǒ! ɖ gd Bêtsz—I am qt aśemd v mslf—bt y mnśn ɖm in most v yr letrz. I hop ɖe r qt wel. Gd old Msz. Bêts—I wl cōl upn hr tmoro, n tec mî ćildṛn.—Ɖe r olwz so plizd t si mî ćildṛn.—N ɖt xḷnt Mis Bêts!—sć ʈura wrɖi ppl!—Hǎ r ɖe, sr?”

“Ẃ, priti wel, mî dir, upn ɖ hol. Bt pur Msz. Bêts hd a bad cold abt a munʈ ago.”

“Hǎ sori I am! Bt coldz wr nvr so prevḷnt az ɖe hv bn ɖs ōtm. Mr. Wñfīld tld m ɖt h hz nvr noun ɖm mor jenṛl or hevi—xpt ẃn it hz bn qt an influenza.”

“Ɖt hz bn a gd dīl ɖ ces, mî dir; bt nt t ɖ dgri y mnśn. Peri sz ɖt coldz hv bn vri jenṛl, bt nt so hevi az h hz vri ofn noun ɖm in Nvmbr. Peri dz nt cōl it oltgɖr a sicli sīzn.”

“No, I d nt nǒ ɖt Mr. Wñfīld cnsidrz it vri sicli xpt—

“Ā! mî pur dir ćîld, ɖ truʈ z, ɖt in Lundn it z olwz a sicli sīzn. Nbdi z hlʈi in Lundn, nbdi cn b. It z a dredfl ʈñ t hv y forst t liv ɖr! so far of!—n ɖ er so bad!”

“No, indd—w r nt at ol in a bad er. Ǎr part v Lundn z vri s’pirịr t most uɖrz!—Y mst nt cnfǎnd s wɖ Lundn in jenṛl, mî dir sr. Ɖ nebrhd v Brunzwic Sqer z vri difṛnt fṛm olmst ol ɖ rest. W r so vri e’ri! I śd b unwilñ, I ǒn, t liv in eni uɖr part v ɖ tǎn;—ɖr z hardli eni uɖr ɖt I cd b saṭsfaid t hv mî ćildṛn in: bt w r so rmarcbli e’ri!—Mr. Wñfīld ʈncs ɖ vsiṇti v Brunzwic Sqer dsîdidli ɖ most fevṛbl az t er.”

“Ā! mî dir, it z nt lîc Hārtfīld. Y mc ɖ bst v it—bt aftr y hv bn a wīc at Hārtfīld, y r ol v y difṛnt crīćrz; y d nt lc lîc ɖ sem. Nǎ I canot se, ɖt I ʈnc y r eni v y lcñ wel at preznt.”

“I am sori t hír y se so, sr; bt I aśur y, xptñ ɖoz litl nrṿs hed-ecs n palṗteśnz ẃć I am nvr intîrli fri fṛm enẃr, I am qt wel mslf; n f ɖ ćildṛn wr rɖr pel bfr ɖe wnt t bed, it wz onli bcz ɖe wr a litl mor tîrd ɖn yźl, fṛm ɖer jrni n ɖ hapinis v cmñ. I hop y wl ʈnc betr v ɖer lcs tmoro; fr I aśur y Mr. Wñfīld tld m, ɖt h dd nt b’liv h hd evr snt s of oltgɖr, in sć gd ces. I trust, at līst, ɖt y d nt ʈnc Mr. Naitli lcñ il,” trnñ hr îz wɖ afẋṇt añzayti twdz hr huzbnd.

“Miḍlñ, mî dir; I canot complimnt y. I ʈnc Mr. Jon Naitli vri far fṛm lcñ wel.”

“Ẃt z ɖ matr, sr?—Dd y spīc t m?” craid Mr. Jon Naitli, hírñ hiz ǒn nem.

“I am sori t fînd, mî luv, ɖt mî faɖr dz nt ʈnc y lcñ wel—bt I hop it z onli fṛm biyñ a litl ftīgd. I cd hv wśt, hvr, az y nǒ, ɖt y hd sìn Mr. Wñfīld bfr y left hom.”

“Mî dir Iẓbela,”—xclemd h hesṭli—“pre d nt cnsrn yrslf abt mî lcs. B saṭsfaid wɖ docṭrñ n coḍlñ yrslf n ɖ ćildṛn, n let m lc az I ćūz.”

“I dd nt ʈuṛli unḍstand ẃt y wr telñ yr bruɖr,” craid Ema, “abt yr frend Mr. Greym’z intndñ t hv a beilif fṛm Scotḷnd, t lc aftr hiz ny istet. Ẃt wl it ansr? Wl nt ɖ old preɉdis b tù stroñ?”

N ś tōct in ɖs we so loñ n s’xesf̣li ɖt, ẃn forst t gv hr atnśn agn t hr faɖr n sistr, ś hd nʈñ wrs t hír ɖn Iẓbela’z cînd inqîri aftr Jen Ferfax; n Jen Ferfax, ɖo no gret feṿrit wɖ hr in jenṛl, ś wz at ɖt momnt vri hapi t asist in prezñ.

“Ɖt swīt, emịbl Jen Ferfax!” sd Msz. Jon Naitli.—“It z so loñ sins I hv sìn hr, xpt nǎ n ɖen fr a momnt axdnṭli in tǎn! Ẃt hapinis it mst b t hr gd old granmuɖr n xḷnt ānt, ẃn ś cmz t vizit ɖm! I olwz rgret xesivli on dir Ema’z acǎnt ɖt ś canot b mor at Hîḅri; bt nǎ ɖer dōtr z marid, I s’poz Crnl n Msz. Cambl wl nt b ebl t part wɖ hr at ol. Ś wd b sć a dlîtfl cmpańn fr Ema.”

Mr. Wŭdhǎs agrìd t it ol, bt add,

“Ǎr litl frend Harịt Smiʈ, hvr, z jst sć anɖr priti cnd v yuñ prsn. Y wl lîc Harịt. Ema cd nt hv a betr cmpańn ɖn Harịt.”

“I am most hapi t hír it—bt onli Jen Ferfax wn nz t b so vri acumpliśt n s’pirịr!—n xacli Ema’z ej.”

Ɖs topic wz dscust vri haṗli, n uɖrz s’xidd v similr momnt, n pást awe wɖ similr harṃni; bt ɖ īvnñ dd nt cloz wɖt a litl rtrn v ajteśn. Ɖ gruwl cem n s’plaid a gret dīl t b sd—mć prêz n mni coments—undǎtñ dsiźn v its holṣmnis fr evri consttyśn, n priti svir F’lipics upn ɖ mni hǎzz ẃr it wz nvr met wɖ tolṛbli;—bt, unforćṇtli, amñ ɖ fełrz ẃć ɖ dōtr hd t instns, ɖ most rīsnt, n ɖrfr most prominnt, wz in hr ǒn cc at Sǎʈ End, a yuñ wmn hîrd fr ɖ tîm, hu nvr hd bn ebl t unḍstand ẃt ś mnt bî a besn v nîs smuɖ gruwl, ʈin, bt nt tù ʈin. Ofn az ś hd wśt fr n ordrd it, ś hd nvr bn ebl t gt enʈñ tolṛbl. Hir wz a denjṛs oṗnñ.

“Ā!” sd Mr. Wŭdhǎs, śecñ hiz hed n fixñ hiz îz on hr wɖ tndr cnsrn.—Ɖ ijakleśn in Ema’z ir xprest, “Ā! ɖr z no end v ɖ sad consiqnsz v yr gwñ t Sǎʈ End. It dz nt ber tōcñ v.” N fr a litl ẃl ś hopt h wd nt tōc v it, n ɖt a sîḷnt rūṃneśn mt sfîs t rstor him t ɖ reliś v hiz ǒn smuɖ gruwl. Aftr an inṭvl v sm minits, hvr, h bgan wɖ,

“I śl olwz b vri sori ɖt y wnt t ɖ sì ɖs ōtm, instd v cmñ hir.”

“Bt ẃ śd y b sori, sr?—I aśur y, it dd ɖ ćildṛn a gret dīl v gd.”

“N, morovr, f y mst g t ɖ sì, it hd betr nt hv bn t Sǎʈ End. Sǎʈ End z an unhlʈi ples. Peri wz s’prîzd t hír y hd fixt upn Sǎʈ End.”

“I nǒ ɖr z sć an îdīa wɖ mni ppl, bt indd it z qt a mstec, sr.—W ol hd ǎr hlʈ prf̣cli wel ɖr, nvr faund ɖ līst incnvińns fṛm ɖ mud; n Mr. Wñfīld sz it z intîrli a mstec t s’poz ɖ ples unhlʈi; n I am śr h me b dpndd on, fr h ʈuṛli unḍstandz ɖ nećr v ɖ er, n hiz ǒn bruɖr n faṃli hv bn ɖr rpitidli.”

“Y śd hv gn t Cromr, mî dir, f y wnt enẃr.—Peri wz a wīc at Cromr wns, n h holdz it t b ɖ bst v ol ɖ sìbeɖñ-plesz. A fîn opn sì, h sz, n vri pyr er. N, bî ẃt I unḍstand, y mt hv hd lojñz ɖr qt awe fṛm ɖ sì—a qortr v a mîl of—vri cumftbl. Y śd hv cnsultd Peri.”

“Bt, mî dir sr, ɖ difṛns v ɖ jrni;—onli cnsidr hǎ gret it wd hv bn.—An hundṛd mîlz, phps, instd v forti.”

“Ā! mî dir, az Peri sz, ẃr hlʈ z at stec, nʈñ els śd b cnsidrd; n f wn z t travl, ɖr z nt mć t ćūz btwn forti mîlz n an hundṛd.—Betr nt muv at ol, betr ste in Lundn oltgɖr ɖn travl forti mîlz t gt intu a wrs er. Ɖs z jst ẃt Peri sd. It sīmd t him a vri il-jujd meźr.”

Ema’z atmts t stop hr faɖr hd bn ven; n ẃn h hd rīćt sć a pônt az ɖs, ś cd nt wundr at hr bruɖr-in-lw’z brecñ ǎt.

“Mr. Peri,” sd h, in a vôs v vri stroñ dspleźr, “wd d az wel t cīp hiz opińn tl it z asct fr. Ẃ dz h mc it eni biznis v hiz, t wundr at ẃt I d?—at mî tecñ mî faṃli t wn part v ɖ cǒst or anɖr?—I me b alaud, I hop, ɖ ys v mî jujmnt az wel az Mr. Peri.—I wont hiz d’reẋnz no mor ɖn hiz drugz.” H pōzd—n growñ cūlr in a momnt, add, wɖ onli sarcastic drînis, “F Mr. Peri cn tel m hǎ t cnve a wîf n fîv ćildṛn a distns v an hundṛd n ʈrti mîlz wɖ no gretr xpns or incnvińns ɖn a distns v forti, I śd b az wilñ t prifŕ Cromr t Sǎʈ End az h cd himslf.”

“Tru, tru,” craid Mr. Naitli, wɖ most redi inṭpziśn—“vri tru. Ɖt’s a cnsiḍreśn indd.—Bt Jon, az t ẃt I wz telñ y v mî îdīa v muvñ ɖ paʈ t Lañm, v trnñ it mor t ɖ rît ɖt it me nt cut ʈru ɖ hom̦edoz, I canot cnsiv eni dificlti. I śd nt atmt it, f it wr t b ɖ mīnz v incnvińns t ɖ Hîḅri ppl, bt f y cōl t mînd xacli ɖ preznt lîn v ɖ paʈ…. Ɖ onli we v pruvñ it, hvr, wl b t trn t ǎr maps. I śl si y at ɖ Abi tmoro-mornñ I hop, n ɖen w wl lc ɖm ovr, n y śl gv m yr opińn.”

Mr. Wŭdhǎs wz rɖr ajtetd bî sć harś rfleẋnz on hiz frend Peri, t hūm h hd, in fact, ɖo unconśsli, bn atribytñ mni v hiz ǒn fīlñz n xpreśnz;—bt ɖ suɖñ atnśnz v hiz dōtrz graɉli rmuvd ɖ preznt īvl, n ɖ imīɉt alrtnis v wn bruɖr, n betr rec̣leẋnz v ɖ uɖr, privntd eni rnywl v it.


___

Ɖ

r cd hardli b a hapịr crīćr in ɖ wrld ɖn Msz. Jon Naitli, in ɖs śort vizit t Hārtfīld, gwñ abt evri mornñ amñ hr old aqentns wɖ hr fîv ćildṛn, n tōcñ ovr ẃt ś hd dn evri īvnñ wɖ hr faɖr n sistr. Ś hd nʈñ t wś uɖ̇wz, bt ɖt ɖ dez dd nt pas so swiftli. It wz a dlîtfl vizit;—prfict, in biyñ mć tù śort.

In jenṛl ɖer īvnñz wr les ingejd wɖ frendz ɖn ɖer mornñz; bt wn cmplit dinr-ingejmnt, n ǎt v ɖ hǎs tù, ɖr wz no avôdñ, ɖo at Crisṃs. Mr. Wsṭn wd tec no dnayl; ɖe mst ol dîn at Randlz wn de;—īvn Mr. Wŭdhǎs wz pswedd t ʈnc it a poṣbl ʈñ in prefṛns t a dviźn v ɖ parti.

Hǎ ɖe wr ol t b cnveid, h wd hv md a dificlti f h cd, bt az hiz sun n dōtr’z carij n horsz wr acć̣li at Hārtfīld, h wz nt ebl t mc mor ɖn a simpl qsćn on ɖt hed; it hardli amǎntd t a dǎt; nr dd it okpî Ema loñ t cnvins him ɖt ɖe mt in wn v ɖ caṛjz fînd rūm fr Harịt olso.

Harịt, Mr. Eltn, n Mr. Naitli, ɖer ǒn ispeśl set, wr ɖ onli prsnz invîtd t mīt ɖm;—ɖ aurz wr t b rli, az wel az ɖ numbrz fy; Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z habits n incḷneśn biyñ cnsultd in evrʈñ.

Ɖ īvnñ bfr ɖs gret ivnt (fr it wz a vri gret ivnt ɖt Mr. Wŭdhǎs śd dîn ǎt, on ɖ 24ʈ v Dsmbr) hd bn spent bî Harịt at Hārtfīld, n ś hd gn hom so mć indispozd wɖ a cold, ɖt, bt fr hr ǒn rnist wś v biyñ nrst bî Msz. Godard, Ema cd nt hv alaud hr t līv ɖ hǎs. Ema cōld on hr ɖ nxt de, n faund hr dūm olrdi sînd wɖ rgard t Randlz. Ś wz vri fīṿriś n hd a bad sor ʈrot: Msz. Godard wz fl v cer n afẋn, Mr. Peri wz tōct v, n Harịt hrslf wz tù il n lo t rzist ɖ oʈoṛti ẃć xcludd hr fṛm ɖs dlîtfl ingejmnt, ɖo ś cd nt spīc v hr los wɖt mni tirz.

Ema sat wɖ hr az loñ az ś cd, t atnd hr in Msz. Godard’z un’vôḍbl absnsz, n rêz hr spirits bî reprizntñ hǎ mć Mr. Eltn’z wd b dprest ẃn h ń hr stet; n left hr at last tolṛbli cumftbl, in ɖ swīt dpndns v hiz hvñ a most cumf̣tlis vizit, n v ɖer ol misñ hr vri mć. Ś hd nt advanst mni yardz fṛm Msz. Godard’z dor, ẃn ś wz met bî Mr. Eltn himslf, evidntli cmñ twdz it, n az ɖe wōct on slǒli tgɖr in convseśn abt ɖ inṿlid—v hūm h, on ɖ rūmr v cnsidṛbl ilnis, hd bn gwñ t inqîr, ɖt h mt cari sm rport v hr t Hārtfīld—ɖe wr oṿtecn bî Mr. Jon Naitli rtrnñ fṛm ɖ dêli vizit t Donwél, wɖ hiz tū eldist bôz, huz hlʈi, glowñ fesz śoud ol ɖ beṇfit v a cuntrirun, n sīmd t enśur a qc dspać v ɖ rost mutn n rîs pŭdñ ɖe wr heṣnñ hom fr. Ɖe jônd cumṗni n pṛsidd tgɖr. Ema wz jst dscrîbñ ɖ nećr v hr frend’z cmplent;—“a ʈrot vri mć inflemd, wɖ a gret dīl v hīt abt hr, a qc, lo puls, ets. n ś wz sori t fînd fṛm Msz. Godard ɖt Harịt wz laybl t vri bad sor ʈrots, n hd ofn alarmd hr wɖ ɖm.” Mr. Eltn lct ol alarm on ɖ oceźn, az h xclemd,

“A sor ʈrot!—I hop nt infẋs. I hop nt v a pytrid infẋs sort. Hz Peri sìn hr? Indd y śd tec cer v yrslf az wel az v yr frend. Let m intrit y t run no riscs. Ẃ dz nt Peri si hr?”

Ema, hu wz nt riyli at ol frîtnd hrslf, tranqlîzd ɖs xes v aprihnśn bî aśuṛnsz v Msz. Godard’z xpirịns n cer; bt az ɖr mst stl rmen a dgri v unīzinis ẃć ś cd nt wś t rīzn awe, ẃć ś wd rɖr fīd n asist ɖn nt, ś add sn aftwdz—az f qt anɖr subjict,

“It z so cold, so vri cold—n lcs n fīlz so vri mć lîc sno, ɖt f it wr t eni uɖr ples or wɖ eni uɖr parti, I śd riyli trî nt t g ǎt tde—n dswed mî faɖr fṛm vnćrñ; bt az h hz md p hiz mînd, n dz nt sīm t fīl ɖ cold himslf, I d nt lîc t inṭfir, az I nǒ it wd b so gret a dis’pôntmnt t Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn. Bt, upn mî wrd, Mr. Eltn, in yr ces, I śd srtnli xkz mslf. Y apir t m a litl hōrs olrdi, n ẃn y cnsidr ẃt dmand v vôs n ẃt ftīgz tmoro wl brñ, I ʈnc it wd b no mor ɖn comn prūdns t ste at hom n tec cer v yrslf tnît.”

Mr. Eltn lct az f h dd nt vri wel nǒ ẃt ansr t mc; ẃć wz xacli ɖ ces; fr ɖo vri mć graṭfaid bî ɖ cînd cer v sć a fer ledi, n nt lîcñ t rzist eni advîs v hr’z, h hd nt riyli ɖ līst incḷneśn t gv p ɖ vizit;—bt Ema, tù īgr n bizi in hr ǒn prīvịs cnspśnz n vyz t hír him imparṣ́li, or si him wɖ clir viźn, wz vri wel saṭsfaid wɖ hiz muṭrñ acnolijmnt v its biyñ “vri cold, srtnli vri cold,” n wōct on, rjôsñ in hvñ xtṛcetd him fṛm Randlz, n s’krd him ɖ pǎr v sndñ t inqîr aftr Harịt evri aur v ɖ īvnñ.

“Y d qt rît,” sd ś;—“w wl mc yr apoḷjiz t Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn.”

Bt hardli hd ś so spocn, ẃn ś faund hr bruɖr wz siṿli of̣rñ a sīt in hiz carij, f ɖ weɖr wr Mr. Eltn’z onli objẋn, n Mr. Eltn acć̣li axptñ ɖ ofr wɖ mć promt saṭsfaẋn. It wz a dn ʈñ; Mr. Eltn wz t g, n nvr hd hiz brōd hansm fes xprest mor pleźr ɖn at ɖs momnt; nvr hd hiz smîl bn strongr, nr hiz îz mor xultñ ɖn ẃn h nxt lct at hr.

“Wel,” sd ś t hrslf, “ɖs z most strenj!—Aftr I hd got him of so wel, t ćūz t g intu cumṗni, n līv Harịt il bhnd!—Most strenj indd!—Bt ɖr z, I b’liv, in mni men, ispeṣ́li sngl men, sć an incḷneśn—sć a paśn fr dînñ ǎt—a dinr-ingejmnt z so hî in ɖ clas v ɖer pleźrz, ɖer implômnts, ɖer digṇtiz, olmst ɖer dytiz, ɖt enʈñ gvz we t it—n ɖs mst b ɖ ces wɖ Mr. Eltn; a most vałbl, emịbl, plizñ yuñ man undǎtidli, n vri mć in luv wɖ Harịt; bt stl, h canot rfyz an invteśn, h mst dîn ǎt ẃrvr h z asct. Ẃt a strenj ʈñ luv z! h cn si redi wit in Harịt, bt wl nt dîn alon fr hr.”

Sn aftwdz Mr. Eltn qitd ɖm, n ś cd nt bt d him ɖ justis v fīlñ ɖt ɖr wz a gret dīl v sntimnt in hiz manr v nemñ Harịt at partñ; in ɖ ton v hiz vôs ẃl aśurñ hr ɖt h śd cōl at Msz. Godard’z fr nyz v hr fer frend, ɖ last ʈñ bfr h priperd fr ɖ hapinis v mītñ hr agn, ẃn h hopt t b ebl t gv a betr rport; n h said n smîld himslf of in a we ɖt left ɖ baḷns v apṛbeśn mć in hiz fevr.

Aftr a fy minits v intîr sîḷns btwn ɖm, Jon Naitli bgan wɖ—

“I nvr in mî lîf sw a man mor intnt on biyñ agriybl ɖn Mr. Eltn. It z dǎnrît lebr t him ẃr lediz r cnsrnd. Wɖ men h cn b raśnl n un’fctd, bt ẃn h hz lediz t plīz, evri fīćr wrcs.”

“Mr. Eltn’z manrz r nt prfict,” rplaid Ema; “bt ẃr ɖr z a wś t plīz, wn òt t oṿlc, n wn dz oṿlc a gret dīl. Ẃr a man dz hiz bst wɖ onli modṛt pǎrz, h wl hv ɖ advantij ovr neglijnt s’pirioṛti. Ɖr z sć prfict gd-tmpr n gdwil in Mr. Eltn az wn canot bt valy.”

“Yes,” sd Mr. Jon Naitli prezntli, wɖ sm slînis, “h sīmz t hv a gret dīl v gdwil twdz y.”

“M!” ś rplaid wɖ a smîl v astoniśmnt, “r y imaɉnñ m t b Mr. Eltn’z objict?”

“Sć an imaɉneśn hz crost m, I ǒn, Ema; n f it nvr ocŕd t y bfr, y me az wel tec it intu cnsiḍreśn nǎ.”

“Mr. Eltn in luv wɖ m!—Ẃt an îdīa!”

“I d nt se it z so; bt y wl d wel t cnsidr ẃɖr it z so or nt, n t reğlet yr bhevyr acordñli. I ʈnc yr manrz t him incuṛjñ. I spīc az a frend, Ema. Y hd betr lc abt y, n aṣten ẃt y d, n ẃt y mīn t d.”

“I ʈanc y; bt I aśur y y r qt mstecn. Mr. Eltn n I r vri gd frendz, n nʈñ mor;” n ś wōct on, aḿzñ hrslf in ɖ cnsiḍreśn v ɖ blundrz ẃć ofn arîz fṛm a parśl nolij v srcmstansz, v ɖ mstecs ẃć ppl v hî pritnśnz t jujmnt r fr evr fōlñ intu; n nt vri wel plizd wɖ hr bruɖr fr imaɉnñ hr blînd n ignṛnt, n in wont v cǎnsl. H sd no mor.

Mr. Wŭdhǎs hd so cmplitli md p hiz mînd t ɖ vizit, ɖt in spît v ɖ incrisñ coldnis, h sīmd t hv no îdīa v śrincñ fṛm it, n set fwd at last most puñć̣li wɖ hiz eldist dōtr in hiz ǒn carij, wɖ les apaṛnt conśsnis v ɖ weɖr ɖn îɖr v ɖ uɖrz; tù fl v ɖ wundr v hiz ǒn gwñ, n ɖ pleźr it wz t aford at Randlz t si ɖt it wz cold, n tù wel rápt p t fīl it. Ɖ cold, hvr, wz svir; n bî ɖ tîm ɖ secnd carij wz in mośn, a fy flecs v sno wr fîndñ ɖer we dǎn, n ɖ scî hd ɖ apiṛns v biyñ so oṿćarjd az t wont onli a mîldr er t pṛdys a vri ẃît wrld in a vri śort tîm.

Ema sn sw ɖt hr cmpańn wz nt in ɖ hapiist hymr. Ɖ pripẹrñ n ɖ gwñ abrōd in sć weɖr, wɖ ɖ sacṛfîs v hiz ćildṛn aftr dinr, wr īvlz, wr dis’griyblz at līst, ẃć Mr. Jon Naitli dd nt bî eni mīnz lîc; h antiṣpetd nʈñ in ɖ vizit ɖt cd b at ol wrʈ ɖ prćis; n ɖ hol v ɖer drîv t ɖ vic̣rij wz spent bî him in xpresñ hiz discntnt.

“A man,” sd h, “mst hv a vri gd opińn v himslf ẃn h ascs ppl t līv ɖer ǒn fîrsîd, n incǎntr sć a de az ɖs, fr ɖ sec v cmñ t si him. H mst ʈnc himslf a most agriybl felo; I cd nt d sć a ʈñ. It z ɖ gretist absrdti—Acć̣li snowñ at ɖs momnt!—Ɖ foli v nt alawñ ppl t b cumftbl at hom—n ɖ foli v ppl’z nt steyñ cumftbli at hom ẃn ɖe cn! F w wr oblîjd t g ǎt sć an īvnñ az ɖs, bî eni cōl v dyti or biznis, ẃt a hardśp w śd dīm it;—n hir r w, probbli wɖ rɖr ʈinr cloɖñ ɖn yźl, setñ fwd voḷntṛli, wɖt xks, in dfayns v ɖ vôs v nećr, ẃć tlz man, in evrʈñ gvn t hiz vy or hiz fīlñz, t ste at hom himslf, n cīp ol undr śltr ɖt h cn;—hir r w setñ fwd t spend fîv dul aurz in anɖr man’z hǎs, wɖ nʈñ t se or t hír ɖt wz nt sd n hŕd yesṭde, n me nt b sd n hŕd agn tmoro. Gwñ in dizṃl weɖr, t rtrn probbli in wrs;—for horsz n for srvnts tecn ǎt fr nʈñ bt t cnve fîv îdl, śiṿrñ crīćrz intu coldr rūmz n wrs cumṗni ɖn ɖe mt hv hd at hom.”

Ema dd nt fînd hrslf īql t gv ɖ plizd asnt, ẃć no dǎt h wz in ɖ habit v rsivñ, t eḿlet ɖ “Vri tru, mî luv,” ẃć mst hv bn yẓ́li administrd bî hiz traṿlñ cmpańn; bt ś hd reẓluśn inuf t rfren fṛm mcñ eni ansr at ol. Ś cd nt b cmplayñ, ś dredd biyñ qoṛlsm; hr herǒizm rīćt onli t sîḷns. Ś alaud him t tōc, n arenjd ɖ glasz, n rápt hrslf p, wɖt oṗnñ hr lips.

Ɖe arîvd, ɖ carij trnd, ɖ step wz let dǎn, n Mr. Eltn, sprūs, blac, n smîlñ, wz wɖ ɖm instntli. Ema ʈt wɖ pleźr v sm ćenj v subjict. Mr. Eltn wz ol obḷgeśn n ćirflnis; h wz so vri ćirfl in hiz sviḷtiz indd, ɖt ś bgan t ʈnc h mst hv rsivd a difṛnt acǎnt v Harịt fṛm ẃt hd rīćt hr. Ś hd snt ẃl dresñ, n ɖ ansr hd bn, “Mć ɖ sem—nt betr.”

rport fṛm Msz. Godard’z,” sd ś prezntli, “wz nt so pleznt az I hd hopt—‘Nt betr’ wz ansr.”

Hiz fes leñʈnd imīɉtli; n hiz vôs wz ɖ vôs v sntimnt az h ansrd.

“Ǒ! no—I am grīvd t fînd—I wz on ɖ pônt v telñ y ɖt ẃn I cōld at Msz. Godard’z dor, ẃć I dd ɖ vri last ʈñ bfr I rtrnd t dres, I wz tld ɖt Mis Smiʈ wz nt betr, bî no mīnz betr, rɖr wrs. Vri mć grīvd n cnsrnd—I hd flatrd mslf ɖt ś mst b betr aftr sć a cordịl az I ń hd bn gvn hr in ɖ mornñ.”

Ema smîld n ansrd—“Mî vizit wz v ys t ɖ nrṿs part v hr cmplent, I hop; bt nt īvn I cn ćarm awe a sor ʈrot; it z a most svir cold indd. Mr. Peri hz bn wɖ hr, az y probbli hŕd.”

“Yes—I imajind—ɖt z—I dd nt—”

“H hz bn yst t hr in ɖz cmplents, n I hop tmoro-mornñ wl brñ s bʈ a mor cumftbl rport. Bt it z imposbl nt t fīl unīzinis. Sć a sad los t ǎr parti tde!”

“Dredfl!—Xacli so, indd.—Ś wl b míst evri momnt.”

Ɖs wz vri propr; ɖ sai ẃć acumṗnid it wz riyli estiṃbl; bt it śd hv lastd longr. Ema wz rɖr in dsme ẃn onli haf a minit aftwdz h bgan t spīc v uɖr ʈñz, n in a vôs v ɖ gretist alacṛti n injômnt.

“Ẃt an xḷnt dvîs,” sd h, “ɖ ys v a śīpscin fr caṛjz. Hǎ vri cumftbl ɖe mc it;—imposbl t fīl cold wɖ sć pricōśnz. Ɖ cntrîvnsz v modn dez indd hv rendrd a jntlmn’z carij prf̣cli cmplit. Wn z so fnst n gardd fṛm ɖ weɖr, ɖt nt a breʈ v er cn fînd its we unṗmitd. Weɖr bcmz abṣlutli v no consiqns. It z a vri cold afṭnun—bt in ɖs carij w nǒ nʈñ v ɖ matr.—Ha! snoz a litl I si.”

“Yes,” sd Jon Naitli, “n I ʈnc w śl hv a gd dīl v it.”

“Crisṃsweɖr,” obzrvd Mr. Eltn. “Qt sīzṇbl; n xtrimli forćṇt w me ʈnc ǎrslvz ɖt it dd nt bgin yesṭde, n privnt ɖs de’z parti, ẃć it mt vri poṣbli hv dn, fr Mr. Wŭdhǎs wd hardli hv vnćrd hd ɖr bn mć sno on ɖ grǎnd; bt nǎ it z v no consiqns. Ɖs z qt ɖ sīzn indd fr frendli mītñz. At Crisṃs evrbdi invîts ɖer frendz abt ɖm, n ppl ʈnc litl v īvn ɖ wrst weɖr. I wz snoud p at a frend’z hǎs wns fr a wīc. Nʈñ cd b plezntr. I wnt fr onli wn nît, n cd nt gt awe tl ɖt vri de senît.”

Mr. Jon Naitli lct az f h dd nt comprihnd ɖ pleźr, bt sd onli, cūli,

“I canot wś t b snoud p a wīc at Randlz.”

At anɖr tîm Ema mt hv bn aḿzd, bt ś wz tù mć astoniśt nǎ at Mr. Eltn’z spirits fr uɖr fīlñz. Harịt sīmd qt fgotn in ɖ xpcteśn v a pleznt parti.

“W r śr v xḷnt fîrz,” cntinyd h, “n evrʈñ in ɖ gretist cumf̣t. Ćarmñ ppl, Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn;—Msz. Wsṭn indd z mć bynd prêz, n h z xacli ẃt wn valyz, so hspitbl, n so fond v ssayti;—it wl b a smōl parti, bt ẃr smōl partiz r s’lect, ɖe r phps ɖ most agriybl v eni. Mr. Wsṭn’z dînñrūm dz nt acoṃdet mor ɖn ten cumftbli; n fr mî part, I wd rɖr, undr sć srcmstansz, fōl śort bî tū ɖn xid bî tū. I ʈnc y wl agri wɖ m, (trnñ wɖ a soft er t Ema,) I ʈnc I śl srtnli hv yr apṛbeśn, ɖo Mr. Naitli phps, fṛm biyñ yst t ɖ larj partiz v Lundn, me nt qt entr intu ǎr fīlñz.”

“I nǒ nʈñ v ɖ larj partiz v Lundn, sr—I nvr dîn wɖ enbdi.”

“Indd! (in a ton v wundr n piti,) I hd no îdīa ɖt ɖ lw hd bn so gret a sleṿri. Wel, sr, ɖ tîm mst cm ẃn y wl b peid fr ol ɖs, ẃn y wl hv litl lebr n gret injômnt.”

“Mî frst injômnt,” rplaid Jon Naitli, az ɖe pást ʈru ɖ swīpget, “wl b t fînd mslf sef at Hārtfīld agn.”


___

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m ćenj v cǎntinns wz nesṣri fr ć jntlmn az ɖe wōct intu Msz. Wsṭn’z drw̃rūm;—Mr. Eltn mst cmpoz hiz joys lcs, n Mr. Jon Naitli dsprs hiz il hymr. Mr. Eltn mst smîl les, n Mr. Jon Naitli mor, t fit ɖm fr ɖ ples.—Ema onli mt b az nećr promtd, n śo hrslf jst az hapi az ś wz. T hr it wz riyl injômnt t b wɖ ɖ Wsṭnz. Mr. Wsṭn wz a gret feṿrit, n ɖr wz nt a crīćr in ɖ wrld t hūm ś spouc wɖ sć unrizrv, az t hiz wîf; nt enwn, t hūm ś rletd wɖ sć cnviẋn v biyñ lisnd t n unḍstd, v biyñ olwz inṭrestñ n olwz inteliɉbl, ɖ litl aferz, arenjmnts, pplex̣tiz, n pleźrz v hr faɖr n hrslf. Ś cd tel nʈñ v Hārtfīld, in ẃć Msz. Wsṭn hd nt a lîvli cnsrn; n haf an aur’z uninṭruptd cḿṇceśn v ol ɖoz litl matrz on ẃć ɖ dêli hapinis v prîṿt lîf dpndz, wz wn v ɖ frst graṭficeśnz v ć.

Ɖs wz a pleźr ẃć phps ɖ hol de’z vizit mt nt aford, ẃć srtnli dd nt b’loñ t ɖ preznt haf-aur; bt ɖ vri sît v Msz. Wsṭn, hr smîl, hr tuć, hr vôs wz gretfl t Ema, n ś dtrmind t ʈnc az litl az poṣbl v Mr. Eltn’z oḍtiz, or v enʈñ els unpleznt, n injô ol ɖt wz injoybl t ɖ utmost.

Ɖ msfortyn v Harịt’s cold hd bn priti wel gn ʈru bfr hr arîvl. Mr. Wŭdhǎs hd bn sefli sītd loñ inuf t gv ɖ hisṭri v it, bsdz ol ɖ hisṭri v hiz ǒn n Iẓbela’z cmñ, n v Ema’z biyñ t folo, n hd indd jst got t ɖ end v hiz saṭsfaẋn ɖt Jemz śd cm n si hiz dōtr, ẃn ɖ uɖrz apird, n Msz. Wsṭn, hu hd bn olmst hoļi ingrost bî hr atnśnz t him, wz ebl t trn awe n welcm hr dir Ema.

Ema’z project v fgetñ Mr. Eltn fr a ẃl md hr rɖr sori t fînd, ẃn ɖe hd ol tecn ɖer plesz, ɖt h wz clos t hr. Ɖ dificlti wz gret v drîvñ hiz strenj insnsbiḷti twdz Harịt, fṛm hr mînd, ẃl h nt onli sat at hr elbo, bt wz cntińli obtrudñ hiz hapi cǎntinns on hr notis, n s’lisiṭsli adresñ hr upn evri oceźn. Instd v fgetñ him, hiz bhevyr wz sć ɖt ś cd nt avôd ɖ intrnl sjsćn v “Cn it riyli b az mî bruɖr imajind? cn it b poṣbl fr ɖs man t b bginñ t transfr hiz afẋnz fṛm Harịt t m?—Absrd n insufṛbl!”—Yt h wd b so añśs fr hr biyñ prf̣cli worm, wd b so inṭrestd abt hr faɖr, n so dlîtd wɖ Msz. Wsṭn; n at last wd bgin admîrñ hr drw̃z wɖ so mć zīl n so litl nolij az sīmd teṛbli lîc a wd-bi luvr, n md it sm ef̣t wɖ hr t prizrv hr gd manrz. Fr hr ǒn sec ś cd nt b rūd; n fr Harịt’s, in ɖ hop ɖt ol wd yt trn ǎt rît, ś wz īvn poztivli sivl; bt it wz an ef̣t; ispeṣ́li az smʈñ wz gwñ on amñst ɖ uɖrz, in ɖ most oṿpǎrñ pirịd v Mr. Eltn’z nonsns, ẃć ś ptiklrli wśt t lisn t. Ś hŕd inuf t nǒ ɖt Mr. Wsṭn wz gvñ sm inf̣meśn abt hiz sun; ś hŕd ɖ wrdz “mî sun,” n “Franc,” n “mî sun,” rpitd sevṛl tîmz ovr; n, fṛm a fy uɖr haf-siḷblz vri mć sspctd ɖt h wz anǎnsñ an rli vizit fṛm hiz sun; bt bfr ś cd qayt Mr. Eltn, ɖ subjict wz so cmplitli past ɖt eni rvîvñ qsćn fṛm hr wd hv bn ōcẉd.

Nǎ, it so hapnd ɖt in spît v Ema’z reẓluśn v nvr mariyñ, ɖr wz smʈñ in ɖ nem, in ɖ îdīa v Mr. Franc Ćrćl, ẃć olwz inṭrestd hr. Ś hd frīqntli ʈt—ispeṣ́li sins hiz faɖr’z marij wɖ Mis Teilr—ɖt f ś wr t mari, h wz ɖ vri prsn t sūt hr in ej, caṛctr n cndiśn. H sīmd bî ɖs cnẋn btwn ɖ faṃliz, qt t b’loñ t hr. Ś cd nt bt s’poz it t b a mać ɖt evrbdi hu ń ɖm mst ʈnc v. Ɖt Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn dd ʈnc v it, ś wz vri stroñli pswedd; n ɖo nt mīnñ t b indyst bî him, or bî enbdi els, t gv p a sićueśn ẃć ś b’livd mor rplit wɖ gd ɖn eni ś cd ćenj it fr, ś hd a gret krioṣti t si him, a dsîdd intnśn v fîndñ him pleznt, v biyñ lîct bî him t a srtn dgri, n a sort v pleźr in ɖ îdīa v ɖer biyñ cupld in ɖer frendz’ imaɉneśnz.

Wɖ sć snseśnz, Mr. Eltn’z sviḷtiz wr dredf̣li il-tîmd; bt ś hd ɖ cumf̣t v apirñ vri p’lît, ẃl fīlñ vri cros—n v ʈncñ ɖt ɖ rest v ɖ vizit cd nt poṣbli pas wɖt brññ fwd ɖ sem inf̣meśn agn, or ɖ substns v it, fṛm ɖ opn-hartd Mr. Wsṭn.—So it pruvd;—fr ẃn haṗli rlist fṛm Mr. Eltn, n sītd bî Mr. Wsṭn, at dinr, h md ys v ɖ vri frst inṭvl in ɖ cerz v hosṗtaḷti, ɖ vri frst leźr fṛm ɖ sadl v mutn, t se t hr,

“W wont onli tū mor t b jst ɖ rît numbr. I śd lîc t si tū mor hir,—yr priti litl frend, Mis Smiʈ, n mî sun—n ɖen I śd se w wr qt cmplit. I b’liv y dd nt hír m telñ ɖ uɖrz in ɖ drw̃rūm ɖt w r xpctñ Franc. I hd a letr fṛm him ɖs mornñ, n h wl b wɖ s wɖn a fortnît.”

Ema spouc wɖ a vri propr dgri v pleźr; n fŭli asntd t hiz propziśn v Mr. Franc Ćrćl n Mis Smiʈ mcñ ɖer parti qt cmplit.

“H hz bn wontñ t cm t s,” cntinyd Mr. Wsṭn, “evr sins Sptmbr: evri letr hz bn fl v it; bt h canot cmand hiz ǒn tîm. H hz ɖoz t plīz hu mst b plizd, n hu (btwn ǎrslvz) r smtmz t b plizd onli bî a gd mni sacṛfîsz. Bt nǎ I hv no dǎt v siyñ him hir abt ɖ secnd wīc in Jańri.”

“Ẃt a vri gret pleźr it wl b t y! n Msz. Wsṭn z so añśs t b aqentd wɖ him, ɖt ś mst b olmst az hapi az yrslf.”

“Yes, ś wd b, bt ɖt ś ʈncs ɖr wl b anɖr pt-of. Ś dz nt dpnd upn hiz cmñ so mć az I d: bt ś dz nt nǒ ɖ partiz so wel az I d. Ɖ ces, y si, z—(bt ɖs z qt btwn ǎrslvz: I dd nt mnśn a siḷbl v it in ɖ uɖr rūm. Ɖr r sīcrits in ol faṃliz, y nǒ)—Ɖ ces z, ɖt a parti v frendz r invîtd t pe a vizit at Enscm in Jańri; n ɖt Franc’s cmñ dpndz upn ɖer biyñ pt of. F ɖe r nt pt of, h canot str. Bt I nǒ ɖe wl, bcz it z a faṃli ɖt a srtn ledi, v sm consiqns, at Enscm, hz a ptiklr dslîc t: n ɖo it z ʈt nesṣri t invît ɖm wns in tū or ʈri yirz, ɖe olwz r pt of ẃn it cmz t ɖ pônt. I hv nt ɖ smōlist dǎt v ɖ iśu. I am az confidnt v siyñ Franc hir bfr ɖ midl v Jańri, az I am v biyñ hir mslf: bt yr gd frend ɖr (nodñ twdz ɖ upr end v ɖ tebl) hz so fy veġriz hrslf, n hz bn so litl yst t ɖm at Hārtfīld, ɖt ś canot calklet on ɖer ifcts, az I hv bn loñ in ɖ practis v dwñ.”

“I am sori ɖr śd b enʈñ lîc dǎt in ɖ ces,” rplaid Ema; “bt am dspozd t sîd wɖ y, Mr. Wsṭn. F y ʈnc h wl cm, I śl ʈnc so tù; fr y nǒ Enscm.”

“Yes—I hv sm rît t ɖt nolij; ɖo I hv nvr bn at ɖ ples in mî lîf.—Ś z an od wmn!—Bt I nvr alǎ mslf t spīc il v hr, on Franc’s acǎnt; fr I d b’liv hr t b vri fond v him. I yst t ʈnc ś wz nt ceṗbl v biyñ fond v enbdi, xpt hrslf: bt ś hz olwz bn cînd t him (in hr we—alawñ fr litl ẃimz n cprīsz, n xpctñ evrʈñ t b az ś lîcs). N it z no smōl credit, in mî opińn, t him, ɖt h śd xît sć an afẋn; fr, ɖo I wd nt se it t enbdi els, ś hz no mor hart ɖn a ston t ppl in jenṛl; n ɖ devl v a tmpr.”

Ema lîct ɖ subjict so wel, ɖt ś bgan upn it, t Msz. Wsṭn, vri sn aftr ɖer muvñ intu ɖ drw̃rūm: wśñ hr jô—yt obzrvñ, ɖt ś ń ɖ frst mītñ mst b rɖr alarmñ.— Msz. Wsṭn agrìd t it; bt add, ɖt ś śd b vri glad t b s’kr v unḍgwñ ɖ añzayti v a frst mītñ at ɖ tîm tōct v: “fr I canot dpnd upn hiz cmñ. I canot b so sanḡn az Mr. Wsṭn. I am vri mć afreid ɖt it wl ol end in nʈñ. Mr. Wsṭn, I der se, hz bn telñ y xacli hǎ ɖ matr standz?”

“Yes—it sīmz t dpnd upn nʈñ bt ɖ il hymr v Msz. Ćrćl, ẃć I imajin t b ɖ most srtn ʈñ in ɖ wrld.”

“Mî Ema!” rplaid Msz. Wsṭn, smîlñ, “ẃt z ɖ srtnti v cprīs?” Ɖen trnñ t Iẓbela, hu hd nt bn atndñ bfr—“Y mst nǒ, mî dir Msz. Naitli, ɖt w r bî no mīnz so śr v siyñ Mr. Franc Ćrćl, in mî opińn, az hiz faɖr ʈncs. It dpndz intîrli upn hiz ānt’s spirits n pleźr; in śort, upn hr tmpr. T y—t mî tū dōtrz—I me vnćr on ɖ truʈ. Msz. Ćrćl rūlz at Enscm, n z a vri od-tmprd wmn; n hiz cmñ nǎ, dpndz upn hr biyñ wilñ t sper him.”

“Ǒ, Msz. Ćrćl; evrbdi nz Msz. Ćrćl,” rplaid Iẓbela: “n I am śr I nvr ʈnc v ɖt pur yuñ man wɖt ɖ gretist cmpaśn. T b constntli livñ wɖ an il-tmprd prsn, mst b dredfl. It z ẃt w haṗli hv nvr noun enʈñ v; bt it mst b a lîf v miẓri. Ẃt a blesñ, ɖt ś nvr hd eni ćildṛn! Pur litl crīćrz, hǎ unhapi ś wd hv md ɖm!”

Ema wśt ś hd bn alon wɖ Msz. Wsṭn. Ś śd ɖen hv hŕd mor: Msz. Wsṭn wd spīc t hr, wɖ a dgri v unrizrv ẃć ś wd nt haẓd wɖ Iẓbela; n, ś riyli b’livd, wd scersli trî t cnsil enʈñ reḷtiv t ɖ Ćrćlz fṛm hr, xptñ ɖoz vyz on ɖ yuñ man, v ẃć hr ǒn imaɉneśn hd olrdi gvn hr sć instñtiv nolij. Bt at preznt ɖr wz nʈñ mor t b sd. Mr. Wŭdhǎs vri sn foloud ɖm intu ɖ drw̃rūm. T b sitñ loñ aftr dinr, wz a cnfînmnt ɖt h cd nt indyr. Nɖr wîn nr convseśn wz enʈñ t him; n gladli dd h muv t ɖoz wɖ hūm h wz olwz cumftbl.

Ẃl h tōct t Iẓbela, hvr, Ema faund an oṗtyṇti v seyñ,

“N so y d nt cnsidr ɖs vizit fṛm yr sun az bî eni mīnz srtn. I am sori fr it. Ɖ intṛduẋn mst b unpleznt, ẃnvr it tecs ples; n ɖ snr it cd b ovr, ɖ betr.”

“Yes; n evri dle mcs wn mor aprihnsiv v uɖr dlez. Īvn f ɖs faṃli, ɖ Breʈwets, r pt of, I am stl afreid ɖt sm xks me b faund fr dis’pôntñ s. I canot ber t imajin eni rluctns on hiz sîd; bt I am śr ɖr z a gret wś on ɖ Ćrćlz’ t cīp him t ɖmslvz. Ɖr z jeḷsi. Ɖe r jeḷs īvn v hiz rgard fr hiz faɖr. In śort, I cn fīl no dpndns on hiz cmñ, n I wś Mr. Wsṭn wr les sanḡn.”

“H òt t cm,” sd Ema. “F h cd ste onli a cupl v dez, h òt t cm; n wn cn hardli cnsiv a yuñ man’z nt hvñ it in hiz pǎr t d az mć az ɖt. A yuñ wmn, f ś fōl intu bad handz, me b tizd, n cept at a distns fṛm ɖoz ś wonts t b wɖ; bt wn canot comprihnd a yuñ man’z biyñ undr sć rstrent, az nt t b ebl t spend a wīc wɖ hiz faɖr, f h lîcs it.”

“Wn òt t b at Enscm, n nǒ ɖ wez v ɖ faṃli, bfr wn dsîdz upn ẃt h cn d,” rplaid Msz. Wsṭn. “Wn òt t yz ɖ sem cōśn, phps, in jujñ v ɖ conduct v eni wn indivijl v eni wn faṃli; bt Enscm, I b’liv, srtnli mst nt b jujd bî jenṛl rūlz: ś z so vri unrīzṇbl; n evrʈñ gvz we t hr.”

“Bt ś z so fond v ɖ nefy: h z so vri gret a feṿrit. Nǎ, acordñ t mî îdīa v Msz. Ćrćl, it wd b most naćṛl, ɖt ẃl ś mcs no sacṛfîs fr ɖ cumf̣t v ɖ huzbnd, t hūm ś oz evrʈñ, ẃl ś x’sîsz insesnt cprīs twdz him, ś śd frīqntli b guvnd bî ɖ nefy, t hūm ś oz nʈñ at ol.”

“Mî dirist Ema, d nt pritnd, wɖ yr swīt tmpr, t unḍstand a bad wn, or t le dǎn rūlz fr it: y mst let it g its ǒn we. I hv no dǎt v hiz hvñ, at tîmz, cnsidṛbl inflụns; bt it me b prf̣cli imposbl fr him t nǒ bfrhnd ẃn it wl b.”

Ema lisnd, n ɖen cūli sd, “I śl nt b saṭsfaid, unls h cmz.”

“H me hv a gret dīl v inflụns on sm pônts,” cntinyd Msz. Wsṭn, “n on uɖrz, vri litl: n amñ ɖoz, on ẃć ś z bynd hiz rīć, it z bt tù lîcli, me b ɖs vri srcmstans v hiz cmñ awe fṛm ɖm t vizit s.”


___

M

r. Wŭdhǎs wz sn redi fr hiz ti; n ẃn h hd dranc hiz ti h wz qt redi t g hom; n it wz az mć az hiz ʈri cmpańnz cd d, t entten awe hiz notis v ɖ lêtnis v ɖ aur, bfr ɖ uɖr jntlṃn apird. Mr. Wsṭn wz ćati n cnvivịl, n no frend t rli seṗreśnz v eni sort; bt at last ɖ drw̃rūm parti dd rsiv an ōgmnteśn. Mr. Eltn, in vri gd spirits, wz wn v ɖ frst t wōc in. Msz. Wsṭn n Ema wr sitñ tgɖr on a sofa. H jônd ɖm imīɉtli, n, wɖ scersli an invteśn, sītd himslf btwn ɖm.

Ema, in gd spirits tù, fṛm ɖ aḿzmnt afordd hr mînd bî ɖ xpcteśn v Mr. Franc Ćrćl, wz wilñ t fget hiz lêt impṛpraytiz, n b az wel saṭsfaid wɖ him az bfr, n on hiz mcñ Harịt hiz vri frst subjict, wz redi t lisn wɖ most frendli smîlz.

H pṛfest himslf xtrimli añśs abt hr fer frend—hr fer, luvli, emịbl frend. “Dd ś nǒ?—hd ś hŕd enʈñ abt hr, sins ɖer biyñ at Randlz?—h flt mć añzayti—h mst cnfes ɖt ɖ nećr v hr cmplent alarmd him cnsidṛbli.” N in ɖs stîl h tōct on fr sm tîm vri proprli, nt mć atndñ t eni ansr, bt oltgɖr sfiśntli awec t ɖ terr v a bad sor ʈrot; n Ema wz qt in ćaṛti wɖ him.

Bt at last ɖr sīmd a pvrs trn; it sīmd ol at wns az f h wr mor afreid v its biyñ a bad sor ʈrot on hr acǎnt, ɖn on Harịt’s—mor añśs ɖt ś śd iscep ɖ infẋn, ɖn ɖt ɖr śd b no infẋn in ɖ cmplent. H bgan wɖ gret rṇstnis t intrit hr t rfren fṛm viẓtñ ɖ sicćembr agn, fr ɖ preznt—t intrit hr t promis him nt t vnćr intu sć haẓd tl h hd sìn Mr. Peri n lrnt hiz opińn; n ɖo ś traid t laf it of n brñ ɖ subjict bac intu its propr cors, ɖr wz no ptñ an end t hiz xtrim s’liṣtyd abt hr. Ś wz vxt. It dd apir—ɖr wz no cnsilñ it—xacli lîc ɖ pritns v biyñ in luv wɖ hr, instd v Harịt; an inconstnsi, f riyl, ɖ most cntmtbl n abomiṇbl! n ś hd dificlti in bhevñ wɖ tmpr. H trnd t Msz. Wsṭn t implor hr asistns, “Wd nt ś gv him hr s’port?—wd nt ś ad hr psweźnz t hiz, t indys Mis Wŭdhǎs nt t g t Msz. Godard’z tl it wr srtn ɖt Mis Smiʈ’s dsordr hd no infẋn? H cd nt b saṭsfaid wɖt a promis—wd nt ś gv him hr inflụns in pṛkrñ it?”

“So scrūpyḷs fr uɖrz,” h cntinyd, “n yt so cerlis fr hrslf! Ś wontd m t nrs mî cold bî steyñ at hom tde, n yt wl nt promis t avôd ɖ denjr v caćñ an ulṣretd sor ʈrot hrslf. Z ɖs fer, Msz. Wsṭn?—Juj btwn s. Hv nt I sm rît t cmplen? I am śr v yr cînd s’port n ed.”

Ema sw Msz. Wsṭn’z s’prîz, n flt ɖt it mst b gret, at an adres ẃć, in wrdz n manr, wz asymñ t himslf ɖ rît v frst inṭrest in hr; n az fr hrslf, ś wz tù mć pṛvoct n ofndd t hv ɖ pǎr v d’recli seyñ enʈñ t ɖ prṗs. Ś cd onli gv him a lc; bt it wz sć a lc az ś ʈt mst rstor him t hiz snsz, n ɖen left ɖ sofa, rmuvñ t a sīt bî hr sistr, n gvñ hr ol hr atnśn.

Ś hd nt tîm t nǒ hǎ Mr. Eltn tc ɖ rprūf, so rapidli dd anɖr subjict s’xid; fr Mr. Jon Naitli nǎ cem intu ɖ rūm fṛm xaṃnñ ɖ weɖr, n opnd on ɖm ol wɖ ɖ inf̣meśn v ɖ grǎnd biyñ cuvrd wɖ sno, n v its stl snowñ fast, wɖ a stroñ driftñ wind; cncludñ wɖ ɖz wrdz t Mr. Wŭdhǎs:

“Ɖs wl pruv a spiṛtd bginñ v yr wintr-ingejmnts, sr. Smʈñ ny fr yr coćmn n horsz t b mcñ ɖer we ʈru a storm v sno.”

Pur Mr. Wŭdhǎs wz sîḷnt fṛm consṭneśn; bt evrbdi els hd smʈñ t se; evrbdi wz îɖr s’prîzd or nt s’prîzd, n hd sm qsćn t asc, or sm cumf̣t t ofr. Msz. Wsṭn n Ema traid rṇstli t ćir him n trn hiz atnśn fṛm hiz sun-in-lw, hu wz psywñ hiz trîumf rɖr unfīlñli.

“I admîrd yr reẓluśn vri mć, sr,” sd h, “in vnćrñ ǎt in sć weɖr, fr v cors y sw ɖr wd b sno vri sn. Evrbdi mst hv sìn ɖ sno cmñ on. I admîrd yr spirit; n I der se w śl gt hom vri wel. Anɖr aur or tū’z sno cn hardli mc ɖ rod impaṣbl; n w r tū caṛjz; f wn z bloun ovr in ɖ blīc part v ɖ comn fīld ɖr wl b ɖ uɖr at hand. I der se w śl b ol sef at Hārtfīld bfr midnît.”

Mr. Wsṭn, wɖ trîumf v a difṛnt sort, wz cnfesñ ɖt h hd noun it t b snowñ sm tîm, bt hd nt sd a wrd, lest it śd mc Mr. Wŭdhǎs uncumftbl, n b an xks fr hiz huriyñ awe. Az t ɖr biyñ eni qontti v sno fōḷn or lîcli t fōl t impid ɖer rtrn, ɖt wz a mir joc; h wz afreid ɖe wd fînd no dificlti. H wśt ɖ rod mt b impaṣbl, ɖt h mt b ebl t cīp ɖm ol at Randlz; n wɖ ɖ utmost gdwil wz śr ɖt acoṃdeśn mt b faund fr evrbdi, cōlñ on hiz wîf t agri wɖ him, ɖt wɖ a litl cntrîvns, evrbdi mt b lojd, ẃć ś hardli ń hǎ t d, fṛm ɖ conśsnis v ɖr biyñ bt tū sper rūmz in ɖ hǎs.

“Ẃt z t b dn, mî dir Ema?—ẃt z t b dn?” wz Mr. Wŭdhǎs’z frst xcḷmeśn, n ol ɖt h cd se fr sm tîm. T hr h lct fr cumf̣t; n hr aśuṛnsz v sefti, hr repriznteśn v ɖ x’ḷns v ɖ horsz, n v Jemz, n v ɖer hvñ so mni frendz abt ɖm, rvîvd him a litl.

Hiz eldist dōtr’z alarm wz īql t hiz ǒn. Ɖ horr v biyñ bloct p at Randlz, ẃl hr ćildṛn wr at Hārtfīld, wz fl in hr imaɉneśn; n fansiyñ ɖ rod t b nǎ jst paṣbl fr advnćṛs ppl, bt in a stet ɖt admitd no dle, ś wz īgr t hv it setld, ɖt hr faɖr n Ema śd rmen at Randlz, ẃl ś n hr huzbnd set fwd instntli ʈru ol ɖ poṣbl akḿleśnz v driftd sno ɖt mt impid ɖm.

“Y hd betr ordr ɖ carij d’recli, mî luv,” sd ś; “I der se w śl b ebl t gt alñ, f w set of d’recli; n f w d cm t enʈñ vri bad, I cn gt ǎt n wōc. I am nt at ol afreid. I śd nt mînd wōcñ haf ɖ we. I cd ćenj mî śuz, y nǒ, ɖ momnt I got hom; n it z nt ɖ sort v ʈñ ɖt gvz m cold.”

“Indd!” rplaid h. “Ɖen, mî dir Iẓbela, it z ɖ most xtrordnri sort v ʈñ in ɖ wrld, fr in jenṛl evrʈñ dz gv y cold. Wōc hom!—y r priṭli śod fr wōcñ hom, I der se. It wl b bad inuf fr ɖ horsz.”

Iẓbela trnd t Msz. Wsṭn fr hr apṛbeśn v ɖ plan. Msz. Wsṭn cd onli apruv. Iẓbela ɖen wnt t Ema; bt Ema cd nt so intîrli gv p ɖ hop v ɖer biyñ ol ebl t gt awe; n ɖe wr stl dscusñ ɖ pônt, ẃn Mr. Naitli, hu hd left ɖ rūm imīɉtli aftr hiz bruɖr’z frst rport v ɖ sno, cem bac agn, n tld ɖm ɖt h hd bn ǎt v dorz t xamin, n cd ansr fr ɖr nt biyñ ɖ smōlist dificlti in ɖer gtñ hom, ẃnvr ɖe lîct it, îɖr nǎ or an aur hns. H hd gn bynd ɖ swīp—sm we alñ ɖ Hîḅri rod—ɖ sno wz nẃr abv haf an inć dīp—in mni plesz hardli inuf t ẃîtn ɖ grǎnd; a vri fy flecs wr fōlñ at preznt, bt ɖ clǎdz wr partñ, n ɖr wz evri apiṛns v its biyñ sn ovr. H hd sìn ɖ coćṃn, n ɖe bʈ agrìd wɖ him in ɖr biyñ nʈñ t aprihnd.

T Iẓbela, ɖ rlif v sć tîdñz wz vri gret, n ɖe wr scersli les axptbl t Ema on hr faɖr’z acǎnt, hu wz imīɉtli set az mć at īz on ɖ subjict az hiz nrṿs consttyśn alaud; bt ɖ alarm ɖt hd bn rezd cd nt b apizd so az t admit v eni cumf̣t fr him ẃl h cntinyd at Randlz. H wz saṭsfaid v ɖr biyñ no preznt denjr in rtrnñ hom, bt no aśuṛnsz cd cnvins him ɖt it wz sef t ste; n ẃl ɖ uɖrz wr verịsli rjñ n rec̣mndñ, Mr. Naitli n Ema setld it in a fy brīf sntnsz: ɖus—

“Yr faɖr wl nt b īzi; ẃ d nt y g?”

“I am redi, f ɖ uɖrz r.”

“Śl I rñ ɖ bel?”

“Yes, d.”

N ɖ bel wz ruñ, n ɖ caṛjz spocn fr. A fy minits mor, n Ema hopt t si wn trublsm cmpańn dpoztd in hiz ǒn hǎs, t gt sobr n cūl, n ɖ uɖr rcuvr hiz tmpr n hapinis ẃn ɖs vizit v hardśp wr ovr.

Ɖ carij cem: n Mr. Wŭdhǎs, olwz ɖ frst objict on sć oceźnz, wz cerf̣li atndd t hiz ǒn bî Mr. Naitli n Mr. Wsṭn; bt nt ol ɖt îɖr cd se cd privnt sm rnywl v alarm at ɖ sît v ɖ sno ẃć hd acć̣li fōḷn, n ɖ dscuṿri v a mć darcr nît ɖn h hd bn priperd fr. “H wz afreid ɖe śd hv a vri bad drîv. H wz afreid pur Iẓbela wd nt lîc it. N ɖr wd b pur Ema in ɖ carij bhnd. H dd nt nǒ ẃt ɖe hd bst d. Ɖe mst cīp az mć tgɖr az ɖe cd;” n Jemz wz tōct t, n gvn a ćarj t g vri slo n wêt fr ɖ uɖr carij.

Iẓbela stept in aftr hr faɖr; Jon Naitli, fgetñ ɖt h dd nt b’loñ t ɖer parti, stept in aftr hiz wîf vri naćṛli; so ɖt Ema faund, on biyñ iscortd n foloud intu ɖ secnd carij bî Mr. Eltn, ɖt ɖ dor wz t b lwf̣li śut on ɖm, n ɖt ɖe wr t hv a tête-à-tête drîv. It wd nt hv bn ɖ ōcẉdnis v a momnt, it wd hv bn rɖr a pleźr, prīvịs t ɖ sspiśnz v ɖs vri de; ś cd hv tōct t him v Harịt, n ɖ ʈri-qortrs v a mîl wd hv sīmd bt wn. Bt nǎ, ś wd rɖr it hd nt hapnd. Ś b’livd h hd bn drincñ tù mć v Mr. Wsṭn’z gd wîn, n flt śr ɖt h wd wont t b tōcñ nonsns.

T rstren him az mć az mt b, bî hr ǒn manrz, ś wz imīɉtli pripẹrñ t spīc wɖ xqizit cāmnis n graṿti v ɖ weɖr n ɖ nît; bt scersli hd ś bgun, scersli hd ɖe pást ɖ swīpget n jônd ɖ uɖr carij, ɖn ś faund hr subjict cut p—hr hand sizd—hr atnśn dmandd, n Mr. Eltn acć̣li mcñ vayḷnt luv t hr: avelñ himslf v ɖ preśs oṗtyṇti, dclerñ sntimnts ẃć mst b olrdi wel noun, hopñ—firñ—adorñ—redi t dî f ś rfyzd him; bt flaṭrñ himslf ɖt hiz ardnt ataćmnt n unīqld luv n unixampld paśn cd nt fel v hvñ sm ifct, n in śort, vri mć rzolvd on biyñ sirịsli axptd az sn az poṣbl. It riyli wz so. Wɖt scrūpl—wɖt apoḷji—wɖt mć apaṛnt difidns, Mr. Eltn, ɖ luvr v Harịt, wz pṛfesñ himslf hr luvr. Ś traid t stop him; bt venli; h wd g on, n se it ol. Angri az ś wz, ɖ ʈt v ɖ momnt md hr rzolv t rstren hrslf ẃn ś dd spīc. Ś flt ɖt haf ɖs foli mst b druncņis, n ɖrfr cd hop ɖt it mt b’loñ onli t ɖ pasñ aur. Acordñli, wɖ a mixćr v ɖ sirịs n ɖ plêfl, ẃć ś hopt wd bst sūt hiz haf n haf stet, ś rplaid,

“I am vri mć astoniśt, Mr. Eltn. Ɖs t m! y fget yrslf—y tec m fr mî frend—eni mesij t Mis Smiʈ I śl b hapi t dlivr; bt no mor v ɖs t m, f y plīz.”

“Mis Smiʈ!—mesij t Mis Smiʈ!—Ẃt cd ś poṣbli mīn!”—N h rpitd hr wrdz wɖ sć aśuṛns v axnt, sć bostfl pritns v amezmnt, ɖt ś cd nt hlp rplayñ wɖ qcnis,

“Mr. Eltn, ɖs z ɖ most xtrordnri conduct! n I cn acǎnt fr it onli in wn we; y r nt yrslf, or y cd nt spīc îɖr t m, or v Harịt, in sć a manr. Cmand yrslf inuf t se no mor, n I wl indevr t fget it.”

Bt Mr. Eltn hd onli drunc wîn inuf t eḷvet hiz spirits, nt at ol t cnfyz hiz inṭlects. H prf̣cli ń hiz ǒn mīnñ; n hvñ wormli pṛtstd agnst hr sspiśn az most injurịs, n slîtli tućt upn hiz rspct fr Mis Smiʈ az hr frend,—bt acnoḷjñ hiz wundr ɖt Mis Smiʈ śd b mnśnd at ol,—h rzymd ɖ subjict v hiz ǒn paśn, n wz vri rjnt fr a fevṛbl ansr.

Az ś ʈt les v hiz inībrịti, ś ʈt mor v hiz inconstnsi n prizumśn; n wɖ fywr struglz fr p’lîtnis, rplaid,

“It z imposbl fr m t dǎt eni longr. Y hv md yrslf tù clir. Mr. Eltn, mî astoniśmnt z mć bynd enʈñ I cn xpres. Aftr sć bhevyr, az I hv witnist jrñ ɖ last munʈ, t Mis Smiʈ—sć atnśnz az I hv bn in ɖ dêli habit v obzrvñ—t b adresñ m in ɖs manr—ɖs z an unstedinis v caṛctr, indd, ẃć I hd nt s’pozd poṣbl! B’liv m, sr, I am far, vri far, fṛm graṭfaid in biyñ ɖ objict v sć pṛfeśnz.”

“Gd Hevn!” craid Mr. Eltn, “ẃt cn b ɖ mīnñ v ɖs?—Mis Smiʈ!—I nvr ʈt v Mis Smiʈ in ɖ hol cors v mî xistns—nvr peid hr eni atnśnz, bt az yr frend: nvr cerd ẃɖr ś wr ded or alîv, bt az yr frend. F ś hz fansid uɖ̇wz, hr ǒn wśz hv msléd hr, n I am vri sori—xtrimli sori—Bt, Mis Smiʈ, indd!—Ǒ! Mis Wŭdhǎs! hu cn ʈnc v Mis Smiʈ, ẃn Mis Wŭdhǎs z nir! No, upn mî onr, ɖr z no unstedinis v caṛctr. I hv ʈt onli v y. I pṛtst agnst hvñ peid ɖ smōlist atnśn t enwn els. Evrʈñ ɖt I hv sd or dn, fr mni wīcs past, hz bn wɖ ɖ sol vy v marcñ mî aḍreśn v yrslf. Y canot riyli, sirịsli, dǎt it. No!—(in an axnt mnt t b insińuetñ)—I am śr y hv sìn n unḍstd m.”

It wd b imposbl t se ẃt Ema flt, on hírñ ɖs—ẃć v ol hr unpleznt snseśnz wz uṗmost. Ś wz tù cmplitli oṿpǎrd t b imīɉtli ebl t rplî: n tū momnts v sîḷns biyñ ampl incurijmnt fr Mr. Eltn’z sanḡn stet v mînd, h traid t tec hr hand agn, az h joysli xclemd—

“Ćarmñ Mis Wŭdhǎs! alǎ m t intrprit ɖs inṭrestñ sîḷns. It cnfesz ɖt y hv loñ unḍstd m.”

“No, sr,” craid Ema, “it cnfesz no sć ʈñ. So far fṛm hvñ loñ unḍstd y, I hv bn in a most cmplit err wɖ rspct t yr vyz, tl ɖs momnt. Az t mslf, I am vri sori ɖt y śd hv bn gvñ we t eni fīlñz—Nʈñ cd b farɖr fṛm mî wśz—yr ataćmnt t mî frend Harịt—yr psyt v hr, (psyt, it apird,) gev m gret pleźr, n I hv bn vri rṇstli wśñ y s’xes: bt hd I s’pozd ɖt ś wr nt yr atraẋn t Hārtfīld, I śd srtnli hv ʈt y jujd il in mcñ yr vizits so frīqnt. Am I t b’liv ɖt y hv nvr sòt t rec̣mnd yrslf ptiklrli t Mis Smiʈ?—ɖt y hv nvr ʈt sirịsli v hr?”

“Nvr, madm,” craid h, afruntd in hiz trn: “nvr, I aśur y. I ʈnc sirịsli v Mis Smiʈ!—Mis Smiʈ z a vri gd sort v grl; n I śd b hapi t si hr rspctbli setld. I wś hr xtrimli wel: n, no dǎt, ɖr r men hu mt nt objict t—Evrbdi hz ɖer levl: bt az fr mslf, I am nt, I ʈnc, qt so mć at a los. I nīd nt so toṭli dsper v an īql alayns, az t b adresñ mslf t Mis Smiʈ!—No, madm, mî vizits t Hārtfīld hv bn fr yrslf onli; n ɖ incurijmnt I rsivd—”

“Incurijmnt!—I gv y incurijmnt!—Sr, y hv bn intîrli mstecn in s’pozñ it. I hv sìn y onli az ɖ admîrr v mî frend. In no uɖr lît cd y hv bn mor t m ɖn a comn aqentns. I am xidñli sori: bt it z wel ɖt ɖ mstec endz ẃr it dz. Hd ɖ sem bhevyr cntinyd, Mis Smiʈ mt hv bn léd intu a miscnspśn v yr vyz; nt biyñ awer, probbli, eni mor ɖn mslf, v ɖ vri gret iniqoḷti ẃć y r so snṣbl v. Bt, az it z, ɖ dis’pôntmnt z sngl, n, I trust, wl nt b lastñ. I hv no ʈts v matriṃni at preznt.”

H wz tù angri t se anɖr wrd; hr manr tù dsîdd t invît supḷceśn; n in ɖs stet v swelñ rzntmnt, n ḿć̣li dīp mortif̣ceśn, ɖe hd t cntiny tgɖr a fy minits longr, fr ɖ firz v Mr. Wŭdhǎs hd cnfînd ɖm t a ft-pes. F ɖr hd nt bn so mć angr, ɖr wd hv bn despṛt ōcẉdnis; bt ɖer stretfwd imośnz left no rūm fr ɖ litl zigzagz v imbaṛsmnt. Wɖt nwñ ẃn ɖ carij trnd intu Vic̣rij Len, or ẃn it stopt, ɖe faund ɖmslvz, ol at wns, at ɖ dor v hiz hǎs; n h wz ǎt bfr anɖr siḷbl pást.—Ema ɖen flt it indispnsbl t wś him a gd nît. Ɖ complimnt wz jst rtrnd, coldli n prǎdli; n, undr indiscrîbbl iṛteśn v spirits, ś wz ɖen cnveid t Hārtfīld.

Ɖr ś wz welcmd, wɖ ɖ utmost dlît, bî hr faɖr, hu hd bn tremḅlñ fr ɖ denjrz v a solitri drîv fṛm Vic̣rij Len—trnñ a cornr ẃć h cd nvr ber t ʈnc v—n in strenj handz—a mir comn coćmn—no Jemz; n ɖr it sīmd az f hr rtrn onli wr wontd t mc evrʈñ g wel: fr Mr. Jon Naitli, aśemd v hiz il hymr, wz nǎ ol cîndnis n atnśn; n so ptiklrli s’lisiṭs fr ɖ cumf̣t v hr faɖr, az t sīm—f nt qt redi t jôn him in a besn v gruwl—prf̣cli snṣbl v its biyñ xidñli holsm; n ɖ de wz cncludñ in pīs n cumf̣t t ol ɖer litl parti, xpt hrslf.—Bt hr mînd hd nvr bn in sć prtbeśn; n it nīdd a vri stroñ ef̣t t apir atntiv n ćirfl tl ɖ yźl aur v seṗretñ alaud hr ɖ rlif v qayt rfleẋn.


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Ɖ

her wz crld, n ɖ meid snt awe, n Ema sat dǎn t ʈnc n b mizṛbl.—It wz a rećid biznis indd!—Sć an oṿʈro v evrʈñ ś hd bn wśñ fr!—Sć a dveḷpmnt v evrʈñ most unwelcm!—Sć a blo fr Harịt!—ɖt wz ɖ wrst v ol. Evri part v it bròt pen n hymilieśn, v sm sort or uɖr; bt, cmperd wɖ ɖ īvl t Harịt, ol wz lît; n ś wd gladli hv sbmitd t fīl yt mor mstecn—mor in err—mor dsgrest bî msjujmnt, ɖn ś acć̣li wz, cd ɖ ifcts v hr blundrz hv bn cnfînd t hrslf.

“F I hd nt pswedd Harịt intu lîcñ ɖ man, I cd hv bòrn enʈñ. H mt hv dubld hiz prizumśn t m—bt pur Harịt!”

Hǎ ś cd hv bn so dsivd!—H pṛtstd ɖt h hd nvr ʈt sirịsli v Harịt—nvr! Ś lct bac az wel az ś cd; bt it wz ol cnfyźn. Ś hd tecn p ɖ îdīa, ś s’pozd, n md evrʈñ bnd t it. Hiz manrz, hvr, mst hv bn unmarct, weṿrñ, dybịs, or ś cd nt hv bn so msléd.

Ɖ picćr!—Hǎ īgr h hd bn abt ɖ picćr!—n ɖ ś’red!—n an hundṛd uɖr srcmstansz;—hǎ clirli ɖe hd sīmd t pônt at Harịt. T b śr, ɖ ś’red, wɖ its “redi wit”—bt ɖen ɖ “soft îz”—in fact it sūtd nɖr; it wz a jumbl wɖt test or truʈ. Hu cd hv sìn ʈru sć ʈic-hedd nonsns?

Srtnli ś hd ofn, ispeṣ́li v lêt, ʈt hiz manrz t hrslf uņessṛli gaḷnt; bt it hd pást az hiz we, az a mir err v jujmnt, v nolij, v test, az wn prūf amñ uɖrz ɖt h hd nt olwz livd in ɖ bst ssayti, ɖt wɖ ol ɖ jntlnis v hiz adres, tru eligns wz smtmz wontñ; bt, tl ɖs vri de, ś hd nvr, fr an instnt, sspctd it t mīn enʈñ bt gretfl rspct t hr az Harịt’s frend.

T Mr. Jon Naitli wz ś indétd fr hr frst îdīa on ɖ subjict, fr ɖ frst start v its posbiḷti. Ɖr wz no dnayñ ɖt ɖoz bruɖrz hd peṇtreśn. Ś rmembrd ẃt Mr. Naitli hd wns sd t hr abt Mr. Eltn, ɖ cōśn h hd gvn, ɖ cnviẋn h hd pṛfest ɖt Mr. Eltn wd nvr mari indiscritli; n bluśt t ʈnc hǎ mć truwr a nolij v hiz caṛctr hd bn ɖr śoun ɖn eni ś hd rīćt hrslf. It wz dredf̣li morṭfayñ; bt Mr. Eltn wz pruvñ himslf, in mni rspcts, ɖ vri rvrs v ẃt ś hd mnt n b’livd him; prǎd, asymñ, cnsitd; vri fl v hiz ǒn clemz, n litl cnsrnd abt ɖ fīlñz v uɖrz.

Contrri t ɖ yźl cors v ʈñz, Mr. Eltn’z wontñ t pe hiz adresz t hr hd sunc him in hr opińn. Hiz pṛfeśnz n hiz pṛpozlz dd him no srvis. Ś ʈt nʈñ v hiz ataćmnt, n wz insultd bî hiz hops. H wontd t mari wel, n hvñ ɖ aṛgns t rêz hiz îz t hr, pritndd t b in luv; bt ś wz prf̣cli īzi az t hiz nt suf̣rñ eni dis’pôntmnt ɖt nīd b cerd fr. Ɖr hd bn no riyl afẋn îɖr in hiz lanḡj or manrz. Saiz n fîn wrdz hd bn gvn in abundns; bt ś cd hardli dvîz eni set v xpreśnz, or fansi eni ton v vôs, les alaid wɖ riyl luv. Ś nīd nt trubl hrslf t piti him. H onli wontd t agrandîz n inrić himslf; n f Mis Wŭdhǎs v Hārtfīld, ɖ éres v ʈrti ʈǎznd pǎndz, wr nt qt so īẓli obtend az h hd fansid, h wd sn trî fr Mis Smbdi-Els wɖ twenti, or wɖ ten.

Bt—ɖt h śd tōc v incurijmnt, śd cnsidr hr az awer v hiz vyz, axptñ hiz atnśnz, mīnñ (in śort), t mari him!—śd s’poz himslf hr īql in cnẋn or mînd!—lc dǎn upn hr frend, so wel unḍstandñ ɖ gṛdeśnz v ranc b’lo him, n b so blînd t ẃt rouz abv, az t fansi himslf śowñ no prizumśn in adresñ hr!—It wz most pṛvocñ.

Phps it wz nt fer t xpct him t fīl hǎ vri mć h wz hr infirịr in taḷnt, n ol ɖ elignsiz v mînd. Ɖ vri wont v sć iqoḷti mt privnt hiz pspśn v it; bt h mst nǒ ɖt in fortyn n consiqns ś wz gretli hiz s’pirịr. H mst nǒ ɖt ɖ Wŭdhǎsz hd bn setld fr sevṛl jeṇreśnz at Hārtfīld, ɖ yungr branć v a vri enćnt faṃli—n ɖt ɖ Eltnz wr nbdi. Ɖ landd proṗti v Hārtfīld srtnli wz incnsidṛbl, biyñ bt a sort v noć in ɖ Donwél Abi istet, t ẃć ol ɖ rest v Hîḅri b’loñd; bt ɖer fortyn, fṛm uɖr sorsz, wz sć az t mc ɖm scersli secnḍri t Donwél Abi itslf, in evri uɖr cnd v consiqns; n ɖ Wŭdhǎsz hd loñ hld a hî ples in ɖ cnsiḍreśn v ɖ nebrhd ẃć Mr. Eltn hd frst entrd nt tū yirz ago, t mc hiz we az h cd, wɖt eni alaynsz bt in tred, or enʈñ t rec̣mnd him t notis bt hiz sićueśn n hiz sviḷti.—Bt h hd fansid hr in luv wɖ him; ɖt evidntli mst hv bn hiz dpndns; n aftr revñ a litl abt ɖ sīmñ incngruwti v jntl manrz n a cnsitd hed, Ema wz oblîjd in comn oṇsti t stop n admit ɖt hr ǒn bhevyr t him hd bn so cmplesnt n oblîjñ, so fl v crṭsi n atnśn, az (s’pozñ hr riyl motiv unṗsivd) mt woṛnt a man v ordnri obẓveśn n delic̣si, lîc Mr. Eltn, in fansiyñ himslf a vri dsîdd feṿrit. F ś hd so misintrpṛtd hiz fīlñz, ś hd litl rît t wundr ɖt h, wɖ slf-inṭrest t blînd him, śd hv mstecn hrz.

Ɖ frst err n ɖ wrst lei at hr dor. It wz fūliś, it wz roñ, t tec so activ a part in brññ eni tū ppl tgɖr. It wz advnćrñ tù far, asymñ tù mć, mcñ lît v ẃt òt t b sirịs, a tric v ẃt òt t b simpl. Ś wz qt cnsrnd n aśemd, n rzolvd t d sć ʈñz no mor.

“Hir hv I,” sd ś, “acć̣li tōct pur Harịt intu biyñ vri mć ataćt t ɖs man. Ś mt nvr hv ʈt v him bt fr m; n srtnli nvr wd hv ʈt v him wɖ hop, f I hd nt aśurd hr v hiz ataćmnt, fr ś z az modist n humbl az I yst t ʈnc him. Ǒ! ɖt I hd bn saṭsfaid wɖ pswedñ hr nt t axpt yuñ Martin. Ɖr I wz qt rît. Ɖt wz wel dn v m; bt ɖr I śd hv stopt, n left ɖ rest t tîm n ćans. I wz intṛdysñ hr intu gd cumṗni, n gvñ hr ɖ oṗtyṇti v plizñ smwn wrʈ hvñ; I òt nt t hv atmtd mor. Bt nǎ, pur grl, hr pīs z cut p fr sm tîm. I hv bn bt haf a frend t hr; n f ś wr nt t fīl ɖs dis’pôntmnt so vri mć, I am śr I hv nt an îdīa v enbdi els hu wd b at ol dzîṛbl fr hr;—Wiłm Cǒx—Ǒ! no, I cd nt indyr Wiłm Cǒx—a prt yuñ loyr.”

Ś stopt t bluś n laf at hr ǒn rlaps, n ɖen rzymd a mor sirịs, mor dspiṛtñ cojteśn upn ẃt hd bn, n mt b, n mst b. Ɖ dstresñ xpḷneśn ś hd t mc t Harịt, n ol ɖt pur Harịt wd b suf̣rñ, wɖ ɖ ōcẉdnis v fyćr mītñz, ɖ dificltiz v cntinywñ or discntinywñ ɖ aqentns, v sbdywñ fīlñz, cnsilñ rzntmnt, n avôdñ eclā, wr inuf t okpî hr in most unmrʈfl rfleẋnz sm tîm longr, n ś wnt t bed at last wɖ nʈñ setld bt ɖ cnviẋn v hr hvñ blundrd most dredf̣li.

T yʈ n naćṛl ćirflnis lîc Ema’z, ɖo undr temprri glūm at nît, ɖ rtrn v de wl hardli fel t brñ rtrn v spirits. Ɖ yʈ n ćirflnis v mornñ r in hapi anaḷji, n v pǎrfl oṗreśn; n f ɖ dstres b nt pôńnt inuf t cīp ɖ îz unclozd, ɖe wl b śr t opn t snseśnz v sofnd pen n brîtr hop.

Ema got p on ɖ moro mor dspozd fr cumf̣t ɖn ś hd gn t bed, mor redi t si alivieśnz v ɖ īvl bfr hr, n t dpnd on gtñ tolṛbli ǎt v it.

It wz a gret conṣleśn ɖt Mr. Eltn śd nt b riyli in luv wɖ hr, or so ptiklrli emịbl az t mc it śocñ t dis’pônt him—ɖt Harịt’s nećr śd nt b v ɖt s’pirịr sort in ẃć ɖ fīlñz r most akt n rtntiv—n ɖt ɖr cd b no nseṣti fr enbdi’z nwñ ẃt hd pást xpt ɖ ʈri prinsiplz, n ispeṣ́li fr hr faɖr’z biyñ gvn a momnt’s unīzinis abt it.

Ɖz wr vri ćirñ ʈts; n ɖ sît v a gret dīl v sno on ɖ grǎnd dd hr frɖr srvis, fr enʈñ wz welcm ɖt mt jusṭfî ɖer ol ʈri biyñ qt asundr at preznt.

Ɖ weɖr wz most fevṛbl fr hr; ɖo Crisṃs De, ś cd nt g t ćrć. Mr. Wŭdhǎs wd hv bn mizṛbl hd hiz dōtr atmtd it, n ś wz ɖrfr sef fṛm îɖr xîtñ or rsivñ unpleznt n most unsūṭbl îdīaz. Ɖ grǎnd cuvrd wɖ sno, n ɖ atṃsfir in ɖt unsetld stet btwn frost n ʈw, ẃć z v ol uɖrz ɖ most unfrendli fr x’sîz, evri mornñ bginñ in ren or sno, n evri īvnñ setñ in t frīz, ś wz fr mni dez a most onṛbl priznr. No inṭcors wɖ Harịt poṣbl bt bî not; no ćrć fr hr on Súnde eni mor ɖn on Crisṃs De; n no nīd t fînd xksz fr Mr. Eltn’z absntñ himslf.

It wz weɖr ẃć mt ferli cnfîn evrbdi at hom; n ɖo ś hopt n b’livd him t b riyli tecñ cumf̣t in sm ssayti or uɖr, it wz vri pleznt t hv hr faɖr so wel saṭsfaid wɖ hiz biyñ ol alon in hiz ǒn hǎs, tù wîz t str ǎt; n t hír him se t Mr. Naitli, hūm no weɖr cd cīp intîrli fṛm ɖm,—

“Ā! Mr. Naitli, ẃ d nt y ste at hom lîc pur Mr. Eltn?”

Ɖz dez v cnfînmnt wd hv bn, bt fr hr prîṿt pplex̣tiz, rmarcbli cumftbl, az sć s’cluźn xacli sūtd hr bruɖr, huz fīlñz mst olwz b v gret importns t hiz cmpańnz; n h hd, bsdz, so ʈuṛli clird of hiz il hymr at Randlz, ɖt hiz amịblnis nvr feld him jrñ ɖ rest v hiz ste at Hārtfīld. H wz olwz agriybl n oblîjñ, n spīcñ plezntli v evrbdi. Bt wɖ ol ɖ hops v ćirflnis, n ol ɖ preznt cumf̣t v dle, ɖr wz stl sć an īvl haññ ovr hr in ɖ aur v xpḷneśn wɖ Harịt, az md it imposbl fr Ema t b evr prf̣cli at īz.


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M

r. n Msz. Jon Naitli wr nt dtend loñ at Hārtfīld. Ɖ weɖr sn impruvd inuf fr ɖoz t muv hu mst muv; n Mr. Wŭdhǎs hvñ, az yźl, traid t pswed hiz dōtr t ste bhnd wɖ ol hr ćildṛn, wz oblîjd t si ɖ hol parti set of, n rtrn t hiz lamnteśnz ovr ɖ desṭni v pur Iẓbela;—ẃć pur Iẓbela, pasñ hr lîf wɖ ɖoz ś dǒtd on, fl v ɖer merits, blînd t ɖer fōlts, n olwz iṇsntli bizi, mt hv bn a modl v rît feṃnin hapinis.

Ɖ īvnñ v ɖ vri de on ẃć ɖe wnt bròt a not fṛm Mr. Eltn t Mr. Wŭdhǎs, a loñ, sivl, seṛmońs not, t se, wɖ Mr. Eltn’z bst complimnts, “ɖt h wz pṛpozñ t līv Hîḅri ɖ folowñ mornñ in hiz we t Baʈ; ẃr, in cmplayns wɖ ɖ presñ intritiz v sm frendz, h hd ingejd t spend a fy wīcs, n vri mć rgretd ɖ imposbiḷti h wz undr, fṛm verịs srcmstansz v weɖr n biznis, v tecñ a prsnl līv v Mr. Wŭdhǎs, v huz frendli sviḷtiz h śd evr rten a gretfl sns—n hd Mr. Wŭdhǎs eni cmandz, śd b hapi t atnd t ɖm.”

Ema wz most agriybli s’prîzd.—Mr. Eltn’z absns jst at ɖs tîm wz ɖ vri ʈñ t b dzîrd. Ś admîrd him fr cntrîvñ it, ɖo nt ebl t gv him mć credit fr ɖ manr in ẃć it wz anǎnst. Rzntmnt cd nt hv bn mor plenli spocn ɖn in a sviḷti t hr faɖr, fṛm ẃć ś wz so pôntidli xcludd. Ś hd nt īvn a śer in hiz oṗnñ complimnts.—Hr nem wz nt mnśnd;—n ɖr wz so strîcñ a ćenj in ol ɖs, n sć an il-jujd s’lemṇti v līvtecñ in hiz gresfl acnolijmnts, az ś ʈt, at frst, cd nt iscep hr faɖr’z sspiśn.

It dd, hvr.—Hr faɖr wz qt tecn p wɖ ɖ s’prîz v so sudn a jrni, n hiz firz ɖt Mr. Eltn mt nvr gt sefli t ɖ end v it, n sw nʈñ xtrordnri in hiz lanḡj. It wz a vri ysfl not, fr it s’plaid ɖm wɖ freś matr fr ʈt n convseśn jrñ ɖ rest v ɖer lonli īvnñ. Mr. Wŭdhǎs tōct ovr hiz alarmz, n Ema wz in spirits t pswed ɖm awe wɖ ol hr yźl promttyd.

Ś nǎ rzolvd t cīp Harịt no longr in ɖ darc. Ś hd rīzn t b’liv hr nirli rcuvrd fṛm hr cold, n it wz dzîṛbl ɖt ś śd hv az mć tîm az poṣbl fr gtñ ɖ betr v hr uɖr cmplent bfr ɖ jntlmn’z rtrn. Ś wnt t Msz. Godard’z acordñli ɖ vri nxt de, t unḍgo ɖ nesṣri penns v cḿṇceśn; n a svir wn it wz.—Ś hd t dstrô ol ɖ hops ẃć ś hd bn so industrịsli fīdñ—t apir in ɖ ungreśs caṛctr v ɖ wn prifŕd—n acnolij hrslf grosli mstecn n mis-jujñ in ol hr îdīaz on wn subjict, ol hr obẓveśnz, ol hr cnviẋnz, ol hr prof̣siz fr ɖ last six wīcs.

Ɖ cnfeśn cmplitli rnyd hr frst śem—n ɖ sît v Harịt’s tirz md hr ʈnc ɖt ś śd nvr b in ćaṛti wɖ hrslf agn.

Harịt bòr ɖ intelijns vri wel—blemñ nbdi—n in evrʈñ tsṭfayñ sć an injenẏsnis v disṗziśn n loli opińn v hrslf, az mst apir wɖ ptiklr advantij at ɖt momnt t hr frend.

Ema wz in ɖ hymr t valy simpliṣti n moḍsti t ɖ utmost; n ol ɖt wz emịbl, ol ɖt òt t b ataćñ, sīmd on Harịt’s sîd, nt hr ǒn. Harịt dd nt cnsidr hrslf az hvñ enʈñ t cmplen v. Ɖ afẋn v sć a man az Mr. Eltn wd hv bn tù gret a dstñśn.—Ś nvr cd hv dzrvd him—n nbdi bt so parśl n cînd a frend az Mis Wŭdhǎs wd hv ʈt it poṣbl.

Hr tirz fél abundntli—bt hr grīf wz so trūli artlis, ɖt no digṇti cd hv md it mor rspctbl in Ema’z îz—n ś lisnd t hr n traid t cnsol hr wɖ ol hr hart n unḍstandñ—riyli fr ɖ tîm cnvinst ɖt Harịt wz ɖ s’pirịr crīćr v ɖ tū—n ɖt t rzmbl hr wd b mor fr hr ǒn welfér n hapinis ɖn ol ɖt jīńs or intelijns cd d.

It wz rɖr tù lêt in ɖ de t set abt biyñ simpl-mîndd n ignṛnt; bt ś left hr wɖ evri prīvịs reẓluśn cnfrmd v biyñ humbl n dscrit, n rpresñ imaɉneśn ol ɖ rest v hr lîf. Hr secnd dyti nǎ, infirịr onli t hr faɖr’z clemz, wz t pṛmot Harịt’s cumf̣t, n indevr t pruv hr ǒn afẋn in sm betr meʈ̇d ɖn bî mać-mcñ. Ś got hr t Hārtfīld, n śoud hr ɖ most unvẹriyñ cîndnis, strîvñ t okpî n aḿz hr, n bî bcs n convseśn, t drîv Mr. Eltn fṛm hr ʈts.

Tîm, ś ń, mst b alaud fr ɖs biyñ ʈuṛli dn; n ś cd s’poz hrslf bt an indifṛnt juj v sć matrz in jenṛl, n vri inadiqt t simṗʈîz in an ataćmnt t Mr. Eltn in ptiklr; bt it sīmd t hr rīzṇbl ɖt at Harịt’s ej, n wɖ ɖ intîr xtñśn v ol hop, sć a progres mt b md twdz a stet v cmpoźr bî ɖ tîm v Mr. Eltn’z rtrn, az t alǎ ɖm ol t mīt agn in ɖ comn rūtīn v aqentns, wɖt eni denjr v btreyñ sntimnts or incrisñ ɖm.

Harịt dd ʈnc him ol pfẋn, n mntend ɖ non-xistns v enbdi īql t him in prsn or gdnis—n dd, in truʈ, pruv hrslf mor reẓlutli in luv ɖn Ema hd fsin; bt yt it apird t hr so naćṛl, so inevitbl t strîv agnst an incḷneśn v ɖt sort unriqîtd, ɖt ś cd nt comprihnd its cntinywñ vri loñ in īql fors.

F Mr. Eltn, on hiz rtrn, md hiz ǒn indifṛns az evidnt n indybitbl az ś cd nt dǎt h wd añśsli d, ś cd nt imajin Harịt’s psistñ t ples hr hapinis in ɖ sît or ɖ rec̣leẋn v him.

Ɖer biyñ fixt, so abṣlutli fixt, in ɖ sem ples, wz bad fr ć, fr ol ʈri. Nt wn v ɖm hd ɖ pǎr v rmuvl, or v ifctñ eni mtirịl ćenj v ssayti. Ɖe mst incǎntr ć uɖr, n mc ɖ bst v it.

Harịt wz farɖr unforćṇt in ɖ ton v hr cmpańnz at Msz. Godard’z; Mr. Eltn biyñ ɖ aḍreśn v ol ɖ tīćrz n gret grlz in ɖ scūl; n it mst b at Hārtfīld onli ɖt ś cd hv eni ćans v hírñ him spocn v wɖ cūlñ moḍreśn or rpeḷnt truʈ. Ẃr ɖ wūnd hd bn gvn, ɖr mst ɖ kr b faund f enẃr; n Ema flt ɖt, tl ś sw hr in ɖ we v kr, ɖr cd b no tru pīs fr hrslf.


___

M

r. Franc Ćrćl dd nt cm. Ẃn ɖ tîm pṛpozd drù nir, Msz. Wsṭn’z firz wr jusṭfaid in ɖ arîvl v a letr v xks. Fr ɖ preznt, h cd nt b sperd, t hiz “vri gret mortif̣ceśn n rgret; bt stl h lct fwd wɖ ɖ hop v cmñ t Randlz at no distnt pirịd.”

Msz. Wsṭn wz xidñli dis’pôntd—mć mor dis’pôntd, in fact, ɖn hr huzbnd, ɖo hr dpndns on siyñ ɖ yuñ man hd bn so mć mor sobr: bt a sanḡn tmpr, ɖo fr evr xpctñ mor gd ɖn ocŕz, dz nt olwz pe fr its hops bî eni pṛporśṇt dpreśn. It sn flîz ovr ɖ preznt fełr, n bginz t hop agn. Fr haf an aur Mr. Wsṭn wz s’prîzd n sori; bt ɖen h bgan t psiv ɖt Franc’s cmñ tū or ʈri munʈs lêtr wd b a mć betr plan; betr tîm v yir; betr weɖr; n ɖt h wd b ebl, wɖt eni dǎt, t ste cnsidṛbli longr wɖ ɖm ɖn f h hd cm snr.

Ɖz fīlñz rapidli rstord hiz cumf̣t, ẃl Msz. Wsṭn, v a mor aprihnsiv disṗziśn, fōrsw nʈñ bt a reṗtiśn v xksz n dlez; n aftr ol hr cnsrn fr ẃt hr huzbnd wz t sufr, sufrd a gret dīl mor hrslf.

Ema wz nt at ɖs tîm in a stet v spirits t cer riyli abt Mr. Franc Ćrćl’z nt cmñ, xpt az a dis’pôntmnt at Randlz. Ɖ aqentns at preznt hd no ćarm fr hr. Ś wontd, rɖr, t b qayt, n ǎt v tmteśn; bt stl, az it wz dzîṛbl ɖt ś śd apir, in jenṛl, lîc hr yźl slf, ś tc cer t xpres az mć inṭrest in ɖ srcmstans, n entr az wormli intu Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn’z dis’pôntmnt, az mt naćṛli b’loñ t ɖer frendśp.

Ś wz ɖ frst t anǎns it t Mr. Naitli; n xclemd qt az mć az wz nesṣri, (or, biyñ actñ a part, phps rɖr mor,) at ɖ conduct v ɖ Ćrćlz, in cīpñ him awe. Ś ɖen pṛsidd t se a gd dīl mor ɖn ś flt, v ɖ advantij v sć an adiśn t ɖer cnfînd ssayti in Suri; ɖ pleźr v lcñ at smbdi ny; ɖ gāḷde t Hîḅri intîr, ẃć ɖ sît v him wd hv md; n endñ wɖ rfleẋnz on ɖ Ćrćlz agn, faund hrslf d’recli involvd in a dis’grīmnt wɖ Mr. Naitli; n, t hr gret aḿzmnt, psivd ɖt ś wz tecñ ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ qsćn fṛm hr riyl opińn, n mcñ ys v Msz. Wsṭn’z arğmnts agnst hrslf.

“Ɖ Ćrćlz r vri lîcli in fōlt,” sd Mr. Naitli, cūli; “bt I der se h mt cm f h wd.”

“I d nt nǒ ẃ y śd se so. H wśz xidñli t cm; bt hiz uncl n ānt wl nt sper him.”

“I canot b’liv ɖt h hz nt ɖ pǎr v cmñ, f h md a pônt v it. It z tù unlîcli, fr m t b’liv it wɖt prūf.”

“Hǎ od y r! Ẃt hz Mr. Franc Ćrćl dn, t mc y s’poz him sć an uņaćṛl crīćr?”

“I am nt s’pozñ him at ol an uņaćṛl crīćr, in sspctñ ɖt h me hv lrnt t b abv hiz cnẋnz, n t cer vri litl fr enʈñ bt hiz ǒn pleźr, fṛm livñ wɖ ɖoz hu hv olwz set him ɖ xampl v it. It z a gret dīl mor naćṛl ɖn wn cd wś, ɖt a yuñ man, bròt p bî ɖoz hu r prǎd, l’gźurịs, n slfiś, śd b prǎd, l’gźurịs, n slfiś tù. F Franc Ćrćl hd wontd t si hiz faɖr, h wd hv cntrîvd it btwn Sptmbr n Jańri. A man at hiz ej—ẃt z h?—ʈri or for-n-twenti—canot b wɖt ɖ mīnz v dwñ az mć az ɖt. It z imposbl.”

“Ɖt’s īẓli sd, n īẓli flt bî y, hu hv olwz bn yr ǒn mastr. Y r ɖ wrst juj in ɖ wrld, Mr. Naitli, v ɖ dificltiz v dpndns. Y d nt nǒ ẃt it z t hv tmprz t manij.”

“It z nt t b cnsivd ɖt a man v ʈri or for-n-twenti śd nt hv liḅti v mînd or lim t ɖt amǎnt. H canot wont muni—h canot wont leźr. W nǒ, on ɖ contrri, ɖt h hz so mć v bʈ, ɖt h z glad t gt rid v ɖm at ɖ îdlist hōnts in ɖ cñdm. W hír v him fr evr at sm wōṭrñples or uɖr. A litl ẃl ago, h wz at Weṃʈ. Ɖs pruvz ɖt h cn līv ɖ Ćrćlz.”

“Yes, smtmz h cn.”

“N ɖoz tîmz r ẃnvr h ʈncs it wrʈ hiz ẃl; ẃnvr ɖr z eni tmteśn v pleźr.”

“It z vri unfer t juj v enbdi’z conduct, wɖt an intiṃt nolij v ɖer sićueśn. Nbdi, hu hz nt bn in ɖ intirịr v a faṃli, cn se ẃt ɖ dificltiz v eni indivijl v ɖt faṃli me b. W òt t b aqentd wɖ Enscm, n wɖ Msz. Ćrćl’z tmpr, bfr w pritnd t dsîd upn ẃt hr nefy cn d. H me, at tîmz, b ebl t d a gret dīl mor ɖn h cn at uɖrz.”

“Ɖr z wn ʈñ, Ema, ẃć a man cn olwz d, f h ćuzz, n ɖt z, hiz dyti; nt bî mnuṿrñ n finesñ, bt bî vigr n reẓluśn. It z Franc Ćrćl’z dyti t pe ɖs atnśn t hiz faɖr. H nz it t b so, bî hiz proṃsz n meṣjz; bt f h wśt t d it, it mt b dn. A man hu flt rîtli wd se at wns, simpli n reẓlutli, t Msz. Ćrćl—‘Evri sacṛfîs v mir pleźr y wl olwz fînd m redi t mc t yr cnvińns; bt I mst g n si mî faɖr imīɉtli. I nǒ h wd b hrt bî mî felñ in sć a marc v rspct t him on ɖ preznt oceźn. I śl, ɖrfr, set of tmoro.’—F h wd se so t hr at wns, in ɖ ton v dsiźn bcmñ a man, ɖr wd b no opziśn md t hiz gwñ.”

“No,” sd Ema, lafñ; “bt phps ɖr mt b sm md t hiz cmñ bac agn. Sć lanḡj fr a yuñ man intîrli dpndnt, t yz!—Nbdi bt y, Mr. Naitli, wd imajin it poṣbl. Bt y hv nt an îdīa v ẃt z reqzit in sićueśnz d’recli oṗzit t yr ǒn. Mr. Franc Ćrćl t b mcñ sć a spīć az ɖt t ɖ uncl n ānt, hu hv bròt him p, n r t pṛvîd fr him!—Standñ p in ɖ midl v ɖ rūm, I s’poz, n spīcñ az lǎd az h cd!—Hǎ cn y imajin sć conduct practicbl?”

“Dpnd upn it, Ema, a snṣbl man wd fînd no dificlti in it. H wd fīl himslf in ɖ rît; n ɖ decḷreśn—md, v cors, az a man v sns wd mc it, in a propr manr—wd d him mor gd, rêz him hayr, fix hiz inṭrest strongr wɖ ɖ ppl h dpndd on, ɖn ol ɖt a lîn v śifts n xpīdịnts cn evr d. Rspct wd b add t afẋn. Ɖe wd fīl ɖt ɖe cd trust him; ɖt ɖ nefy hu hd dn rîtli bî hiz faɖr, wd d rîtli bî ɖm; fr ɖe nǒ, az wel az h dz, az wel az ol ɖ wrld mst nǒ, ɖt h òt t pe ɖs vizit t hiz faɖr; n ẃl mīnli xrtñ ɖer pǎr t dle it, r in ɖer hārts nt ʈncñ ɖ betr v him fr sbmitñ t ɖer ẃimz. Rspct fr rît conduct z flt bî evrbdi. F h wd act in ɖs sort v manr, on prínsipl, cnsistntli, reğlrli, ɖer litl mîndz wd bnd t hiz.”

“I rɖr dǎt ɖt. Y r vri fond v bndñ litl mîndz; bt ẃr litl mîndz b’loñ t rić ppl in oʈoṛti, I ʈnc ɖe hv a nac v swelñ ǎt, tl ɖe r qt az unmaniɉbl az gret wnz. I cn imajin, ɖt f y, az y r, Mr. Naitli, wr t b trnsportd n plest ol at wns in Mr. Franc Ćrćl’z sićueśn, y wd b ebl t se n d jst ẃt y hv bn rec̣mndñ fr him; n it mt hv a vri gd ifct. Ɖ Ćrćlz mt nt hv a wrd t se in rtrn; bt ɖen, y wd hv no habits v rli obīdịns n loñ obzrvns t brec ʈru. T him hu hz, it mt nt b so īzi t brst fʈ at wns intu prfict indipndns, n set ol ɖer clemz on hiz grattyd n rgard at nòt. H me hv az stroñ a sns v ẃt wd b rît, az y cn hv, wɖt biyñ so īql, undr ptiklr srcmstansz, t act p t it.”

“Ɖen it wd nt b so stroñ a sns. F it feld t pṛdys īql xrśn, it cd nt b an īql cnviẋn.”

“Ǒ, ɖ difṛns v sićueśn n habit! I wś y wd trî t unḍstand ẃt an emịbl yuñ man me b lîcli t fīl in d’recli opozñ ɖoz, hūm az ćîld n bô h hz bn lcñ p t ol hiz lîf.”

“Ǎr emịbl yuñ man z a vri wìc yuñ man, f ɖs b ɖ frst oceźn v hiz cariyñ ʈru a reẓluśn t d rît agnst ɖ wl v uɖrz. It òt t hv bn a habit wɖ him bî ɖs tîm, v folowñ hiz dyti, instd v cnsultñ xpīdịnsi. I cn alǎ fr ɖ firz v ɖ ćîld, bt nt v ɖ man. Az h bcem raśnl, h òt t hv rǎzd himslf n śecn of ol ɖt wz unwrɖi in ɖer oʈoṛti. H òt t hv opozd ɖ frst atmt on ɖer sîd t mc him slît hiz faɖr. Hd h bgun az h òt, ɖr wd hv bn no dificlti nǎ.”

“W śl nvr agri abt him,” craid Ema; “bt ɖt z nʈñ xtrordnri. I hv nt ɖ līst îdīa v hiz biyñ a wìc yuñ man: I fīl śr ɖt h z nt. Mr. Wsṭn wd nt b blînd t foli, ɖo in hiz ǒn sun; bt h z vri lîcli t hv a mor yīldñ, cmplayñ, mîld disṗziśn ɖn wd sūt yr nośnz v man’z pfẋn. I der se h hz; n ɖo it me cut him of fṛm sm advantjz, it wl s’kr him mni uɖrz.”

“Yes; ol ɖ advantjz v sitñ stil ẃn h òt t muv, n v līdñ a lîf v mir îdl pleźr, n fansiyñ himslf xtrimli xprt in fîndñ xksz fr it. H cn sit dǎn n rait a fîn fluṛśñ letr, fl v pṛfeśnz n fōlshdz, n pswed himslf ɖt h hz hit upn ɖ vri bst meʈ̇d in ɖ wrld v prizrvñ pīs at hom n privntñ hiz faɖr’z hvñ eni rît t cmplen. Hiz letrz dsgust m.”

“Yr fīlñz r snğlr. Ɖe sīm t saṭsfî evrbdi els.”

“I sspct ɖe d nt saṭsfî Msz. Wsṭn. Ɖe hardli cn saṭsfî a wmn v hr gd sns n qc fīlñz: standñ in a muɖr’z ples, bt wɖt a muɖr’z afẋn t blînd hr. It z on hr acǎnt ɖt atnśn t Randlz z dubli dy, n ś mst dubli fīl ɖ omiśn. Hd ś bn a prsn v consiqns hrslf, h wd hv cm I der se; n it wd nt hv sigṇfaid ẃɖr h dd or no. Cn y ʈnc yr frend bhnd-hand in ɖz sort v cnsiḍreśnz? D y s’poz ś dz nt ofn se ol ɖs t hrslf? No, Ema, yr emịbl yuñ man cn b emịbl onli in Frenć, nt in Ñgliś. H me b vri aimable, hv vri gd manrz, n b vri agriybl; bt h cn hv no Ñgliś delic̣si twdz ɖ fīlñz v uɖr ppl: nʈñ riyli emịbl abt him.”

“Y sīm dtrmind t ʈnc il v him.”

“M!—nt at ol,” rplaid Mr. Naitli, rɖr dsplizd; “I d nt wont t ʈnc il v him. I śd b az redi t acnolij hiz merits az eni uɖr man; bt I hír v nn, xpt ẃt r mirli prsnl; ɖt h z wel-groun n gd-lcñ, wɖ smuɖ, plōẓbl manrz.”

“Wel, f h hv nʈñ els t rec̣mnd him, h wl b a treźr at Hîḅri. W d nt ofn lc upn fîn yuñ men, wel-bréd n agriybl. W mst nt b nîs n asc fr ol ɖ vrćuz intu ɖ bargin. Canot y imajin, Mr. Naitli, ẃt a snseśn hiz cmñ wl pṛdys? Ɖr wl b bt wn subjict ʈrt ɖ paṛśz v Donwél n Hîḅri; bt wn inṭrest—wn objict v krioṣti; it wl b ol Mr. Franc Ćrćl; w śl ʈnc n spīc v nbdi els.”

“Y wl xkz mî biyñ so mć ovr-pǎrd. F I fînd him cnvrsbl, I śl b glad v hiz aqentns; bt f h z onli a ćaṭrñ cocscom, h wl nt okpî mć v mî tîm or ʈts.”

“Mî îdīa v him z, ɖt h cn adapt hiz convseśn t ɖ test v evrbdi, n hz ɖ pǎr az wel az ɖ wś v biyñ yṇvrṣli agriybl. T y, h wl tōc v farmñ; t m, v drw̃ or ḿzic; n so on t evrbdi, hvñ ɖt jenṛl inf̣meśn on ol subjicts ẃć wl inebl him t folo ɖ līd, or tec ɖ līd, jst az pṛprayti me rqîr, n t spīc xtrimli wel on ć; ɖt z mî îdīa v him.”

“N mîn,” sd Mr. Naitli wormli, “z, ɖt f h trn ǎt enʈñ lîc it, h wl b ɖ most insufṛbl felo briɖñ! Ẃt! at ʈri-n-twenti t b ɖ cñ v hiz cumṗni—ɖ gret man—ɖ practist poḷtiśn, hu z t rīd evrbdi’z caṛctr, n mc evrbdi’z taḷnts cndys t ɖ dsple v hiz ǒn s’pirioṛti; t b dspnsñ hiz flaṭriz arnd, ɖt h me mc ol apir lîc fūlz cmperd wɖ himslf! Mî dir Ema, yr ǒn gd sns cd nt indyr sć a pupi ẃn it cem t ɖ pônt.”

“I wl se no mor abt him,” craid Ema, “y trn evrʈñ t īvl. W r bʈ preɉdist; y agnst, I fr him; n w hv no ćans v agriyñ tl h z riyli hir.”

“Preɉdist! I am nt preɉdist.”

“Bt I am vri mć, n wɖt biyñ at ol aśemd v it. Mî luv fr Mr. n Msz. Wsṭn gvz m a dsîdd preɉdis in hiz fevr.”

“H z a prsn I nvr ʈnc v fṛm wn munʈ’s end t anɖr,” sd Mr. Naitli, wɖ a dgri v vxeśn, ẃć md Ema imīɉtli tōc v smʈñ els, ɖo ś cd nt comprihnd ẃ h śd b angri.

T tec a dslîc t a yuñ man, onli bcz h apird t b v a difṛnt disṗziśn fṛm himslf, wz unwrɖi ɖ riyl liḅraḷti v mînd ẃć ś wz olwz yst t acnolij in him; fr wɖ ol ɖ hî opińn v himslf, ẃć ś hd ofn leid t hiz ćarj, ś hd nvr bfr fr a momnt s’pozd it cd mc him unjust t ɖ merit v anɖr.

In Ñspel | FRANKENSTEIN | Mary Shelley

(Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley, transcribed into Ñspel, a new way of spelling devised by Frank Johnson. With audio accompaniment.)

CONTENTS

Letrz

Ćaptrz
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Letr 1

St. Pīṭzbrg, Ds. 11ʈ, 17—

T Msz. Savil, Ñgḷnd

Y wl rjôs t hír ɖt no dzastr hz acumṗnid ɖ cmnsmnt v an enṭprîz ẃć y hv rgardd wɖ sć īvl fōrbodñz. I arîvd hir yesṭde, n mî frst tasc z t aśur mî dir sistr v mî welfér n incrisñ confidns in ɖ s’xes v mî unḍtecñ.

I am olrdi far norʈ v Lundn, n az I wōc in ɖ strīts v Pīṭzbrg, I fīl a cold norɖn brīz ple upn mî ćīcs, ẃć bresz mî nrvz n filz m wɖ dlît. D y unḍstand ɖs fīlñ? Ɖs brīz, ẃć hz travld fṛm ɖ rījnz twdz ẃć I am advansñ, gvz m a fōrtest v ɖoz îsi clîmz. Inspiṛtd bî ɖs wind v promis, mî dêdrīmz bcm mor frvnt n vivid. I trî in ven t b pswedd ɖt ɖ pol z ɖ sīt v frost n deẓleśn; it evr priznts itslf t mî imaɉneśn az ɖ rījn v byti n dlît. Ɖr, Marġrit, ɖ sún z fr evr viẓbl, its brōd disc jst scrtñ ɖ hrîzn n dfyzñ a ppećl splendr. Ɖr—fr wɖ yr līv, mî sistr, I wl pt sm trust in prisidñ naṿgetrz—ɖr sno n frost r baniśt; n, sêlñ ovr a cām sì, w me b woftd t a land s’pasñ in wundrz n in byti evri rījn hiɖrtu dscuvrd on ɖ habitbl glob. Its pṛduẋnz n fīćrz me b wɖt xampl, az ɖ fnoṃna v ɖ hevnli bodiz undǎtidli r in ɖoz undiscuvrd soḷtydz. Ẃt me nt b xpctd in a cuntri v itrnl lît? I me ɖr dscuvr ɖ wundṛs pǎr ẃć atracts ɖ nīdl n me reğlet a ʈǎznd s’lesćl obẓveśnz ɖt rqîr onli ɖs vôij t rendr ɖer sīmñ xntriṣtiz cnsistnt fr evr. I śl seśiet mî ardnt krioṣti wɖ ɖ sît v a part v ɖ wrld nvr bfr viẓtd, n me tréd a land nvr bfr imprintd bî ɖ ft v man. Ɖz r mî intîsmnts, n ɖe r sfiśnt t concr ol fir v denjr or deʈ n t indys m t cmns ɖs l’borịs vôij wɖ ɖ jô a ćîld fīlz ẃn h imbarcs in a litl bot, wɖ hiz hoḷde mêts, on an xpdiśn v dscuṿri p hiz netiv rivr. Bt s’pozñ ol ɖz cnjcćrz t b fōls, y canot cntst ɖ inestiṃbl beṇfit ẃć I śl cnfŕ on ol man-cnd, t ɖ last jeṇreśn, bî dscuṿrñ a pasij nir ɖ pol t ɖoz cuntriz, t rīć ẃć at preznt so mni munʈs r reqzit; or bî aṣtenñ ɖ sīcrit v ɖ magnit, ẃć, f at ol poṣbl, cn onli b ifctd bî an unḍtecñ sć az mîn.

Ɖz rfleẋnz hv dspeld ɖ ajteśn wɖ ẃć I bgan mî letr, n I fīl mî hart glo wɖ an inʈyziazm ẃć eḷvets m t hevn, fr nʈñ cntribyts so mć t tranqlîz ɖ mînd az a stedi prṗs—a pônt on ẃć ɖ soul me fix its inṭlecćl î. Ɖs xpdiśn hz bn ɖ feṿrit drīm v mî rli yirz. I hv réd wɖ ardr ɖ acǎnts v ɖ verịs voyjz ẃć hv bn md in ɖ prospect v arîvñ at ɖ Norʈ Psific Ośn ʈru ɖ sìz ẃć srǎnd ɖ pol. Y me rmembr ɖt a hisṭri v ol ɖ voyjz md fr prṗsz v dscuṿri cmpozd ɖ hol v ǎr gd Uncl Toṃs’ lîbrri. Mî edyceśn wz nglectd, yt I wz paśṇtli fond v rīdñ. Ɖz volymz wr mî studi de n nît, n mî fmiliaṛti wɖ ɖm incrist ɖt rgret ẃć I hd flt, az a ćîld, on lrnñ ɖt mî faɖr’z dayñ injuñśn hd fbidn mî uncl t alǎ m t imbarc in a sìfẹrñlîf.

Ɖz viźnz fedd ẃn I p’ruzd, fr ɖ frst tîm, ɖoz powts huz ifyźnz intranst mî soul n liftd it t hevn. I olso bcem a powt n fr wn yir livd in a paṛdîs v mî ǒn crieśn; I imajind ɖt I olso mt obten a nīś in ɖ templ ẃr ɖ nemz v Homr n Śecspir r conṣcretd. Y r wel aqentd wɖ mî fełr n hǎ heṿli I bòr ɖ dis’pôntmnt. Bt jst at ɖt tîm I inheṛtd ɖ fortyn v mî cuzn, n mî ʈts wr trnd intu ɖ ćanl v ɖer rlịr bnt.

Six yirz hv pást sins I rzolvd on mî preznt unḍtecñ. I cn, īvn nǎ, rmembr ɖ aur fṛm ẃć I dedcetd mslf t ɖs gret enṭprîz. I cmnst bî inyrñ mî bodi t hardśp. I acumṗnid ɖ ẃelfiśrz on sevṛl xṗdiśnz t ɖ Norʈ Sì; I voḷntṛli indyrd cold, famin, ʈrst, n wont v slīp; I ofn wrct hardr ɖn ɖ comn sêlrz jrñ ɖ de n dvotd mî nîts t ɖ studi v maʈ̇matics, ɖ ʈiyri v meḍsin, n ɖoz branćz v fizicl sayns fṛm ẃć a nevl advnćrr mt d’rîv ɖ gretist practicl advantij. Twîs I acć̣li hîrd mslf az an unḍmêt in a Grīnḷnd ẃelr, n aqitd mslf t adṃreśn. I mst ǒn I flt a litl prǎd ẃn mî captin ofrd m ɖ secnd digṇti in ɖ vesl n intritd m t rmen wɖ ɖ gretist rṇstnis, so vałbl dd h cnsidr mî srṿsz. N nǎ, dir Marġrit, d I nt dzrv t acumpliś sm gret prṗs? Mî lîf mt hv bn pást in īz n lux̣́ri, bt I prifŕd glori t evri intîsmnt ɖt wlʈ plest in mî paʈ. Ǒ, ɖt sm incuṛjñ vôs wd ansr in ɖ afrṃtiv! Mî curij n mî reẓluśn z frm; bt mî hops flucćuet, n mî spirits r ofn dprest. I am abt t pṛsid on a loñ n dificlt vôij, ɖ imrjnsiz v ẃć wl dmand ol mî forttyd: I am rqîrd nt onli t rêz ɖ spirits v uɖrz, bt smtmz t ssten mî ǒn, ẃn ɖerz r felñ.

Ɖs z ɖ most fevṛbl pirịd fr traṿlñ in Ruśa. Ɖe flî qcli ovr ɖ sno in ɖer slejz; ɖ mośn z pleznt, n, in mî opińn, far mor agriybl ɖn ɖt v an Ñgliś stejcoć. Ɖ cold z nt xesiv, f y r rápt in fŕz—a dres ẃć I hv olrdi adoptd, fr ɖr z a gret difṛns btwn wōcñ ɖ dec n rmenñ sītd mośnlis fr aurz, ẃn no x’sîz privnts ɖ blud fṛm acć̣li frizñ in yr veinz. I hv no ambiśn t lūz mî lîf on ɖ postrod btwn St. Pīṭzbrg n Arcenjl. I śl dpart fr ɖ latr tǎn in a fortnît or ʈri wīcs; n mî intnśn z t hîr a śip ɖr, ẃć cn īẓli b dn bî peyñ ɖ inśuṛns fr ɖ ǒnr, n t ingej az mni sêlrz az I ʈnc nesṣri amñ ɖoz hu r acustmd t ɖ ẃelfiśñ. I d nt intnd t sêl untl ɖ munʈ v Jūn; n ẃn śl I rtrn? Ā, dir sistr, hǎ cn I ansr ɖs qsćn? F I s’xid, mni, mni munʈs, phps yirz, wl pas bfr y n I me mīt. F I fel, y wl si m agn sn, or nvr. Férwel, mî dir, xḷnt Marġrit. Hevn śǎr dǎn blesñz on y, n sev m, ɖt I me agn n agn tsṭfî mî grattyd fr ol yr luv n cîndnis.

Yr afẋṇt bruɖr, R. Wōltn

Letr 2

Arcenjl, 28ʈ Marć, 17—

T Msz. Savil, Ñgḷnd

Hǎ slǒli ɖ tîm pasz hir, incumṗst az I am bî frost n sno! Yt a secnd step z tecn twdz mî enṭprîz. I hv hîrd a vesl n am okpaid in c’lectñ mî sêlrz; ɖoz hūm I hv olrdi ingejd apir t b men on hūm I cn dpnd n r srtnli pzest v dōntlis curij.

Bt I hv wn wont ẃć I hv nvr yt bn ebl t saṭsfî, n ɖ absns v ɖ objict v ẃć I nǎ fīl az a most svir īvl, I hv no frend, Marġrit: ẃn I am glowñ wɖ ɖ inʈyziazm v s’xes, ɖr wl b nn t ptiṣpet mî jô; f I am aseld bî dis’pôntmnt, nwn wl indevr t ssten m in djẋn. I śl cmit mî ʈts t pepr, it z tru; bt ɖt z a pur mīdịm fr ɖ cḿṇceśn v fīlñ. I dzîr ɖ cumṗni v a man hu cd simṗʈîz wɖ m, huz îz wd rplî t mîn. Y me dīm m r’mantic, mî dir sistr, bt I bitrli fīl ɖ wont v a frend. I hv nwn nir m, jntl yt c’rejs, pzest v a cultvetd az wel az v a cpeśs mînd, huz tests r lîc mî ǒn, t apruv or amnd mî planz. Hǎ wd sć a frend rper ɖ fōlts v yr pur bruɖr! I am tù ardnt in x’kśn n tù impeśnt v dificltiz. Bt it z a stl gretr īvl t m ɖt I am slf-edycetd: fr ɖ frst fortīn yirz v mî lîf I ran wîld on a comn n réd nʈñ bt ǎr Uncl Toṃs’ bcs v voyjz. At ɖt ej I bcem aqentd wɖ ɖ seḷbretd powts v ǎr ǒn cuntri; bt it wz onli ẃn it hd sīst t b in mî pǎr t d’rîv its most importnt beṇfits fṛm sć a cnviẋn ɖt I psivd ɖ nseṣti v bcmñ aqentd wɖ mor lanḡjz ɖn ɖt v mî netiv cuntri. Nǎ I am twenti-et n am in riaḷti mor ilitṛt ɖn mni scūlbôz v fiftīn. It z tru ɖt I hv ʈt mor n ɖt mî dêdrīmz r mor xtndd n mgnifisnt, bt ɖe wont (az ɖ pentrz cōl it) CĪPÑ; n I gretli nīd a frend hu wd hv sns inuf nt t dspîz m az r’mantic, n afẋn inuf fr m t indevr t reğlet mî mînd. Wel, ɖz r yslis cmplents; I śl srtnli fînd no frend on ɖ wîd ośn, nr īvn hir in Arcenjl, amñ mrćnts n sìṃn. Yt sm fīlñz, un’laid t ɖ dros v hymn nećr, bìt īvn in ɖz rugid bzmz. Mî leftennt, fr instns, z a man v wundrfl curij n enṭprîz; h z madli dzîṛs v glori, or rɖr, t wrd mî frêz mor caṛcṭristicli, v advansmnt in hiz pṛfeśn. H z an Ñgliśmn, n in ɖ mdst v naṣ́nl n pṛfeśnl preɉdisz, unsofnd bî cultveśn, rtenz sm v ɖ noblist indǎmnts v hymaṇti. I frst bcem aqentd wɖ him on bōrd a ẃelvesl; fîndñ ɖt h wz unimploid in ɖs siti, I īẓli ingejd him t asist in mî enṭprîz. Ɖ mastr z a prsn v an xḷnt disṗziśn n z rmarcbl in ɖ śip fr hiz jntlnis n ɖ mîldnis v hiz diṣplin. Ɖs srcmstans, add t hiz wel-noun integṛti n dōntlis curij, md m vri dzîṛs t ingej him. A yʈ pást in soḷtyd, mî bst yirz spent undr yr jntl n feṃnin fosṭrij, hz so rfînd ɖ grǎndwrc v mî caṛctr ɖt I canot oṿcm an intns dstest t ɖ yźl brūtaḷti x’sîzd on bōrd śip: I hv nvr b’livd it t b nesṣri, n ẃn I hŕd v a marinr īqli notd fr hiz cîndlinis v hart n ɖ rspct n obīdịns peid t him bî hiz cru, I flt mslf pkłrli forćṇt in biyñ ebl t s’kr hiz srṿsz. I hŕd v him frst in rɖr a r’mantic manr, fṛm a ledi hu oz t him ɖ hapinis v hr lîf. Ɖs, brīfli, z hiz stori. Sm yirz ago h luvd a yuñ Ruśn ledi v modṛt fortyn, n hvñ amast a cnsidṛbl sum in prîzmuni, ɖ faɖr v ɖ grl cnsntd t ɖ mać. H sw hiz mistris wns bfr ɖ destind seriṃni; bt ś wz beɖd in tirz, n ʈrowñ hrslf at hiz fīt, intritd him t sper hr, cnfesñ at ɖ sem tîm ɖt ś luvd anɖr, bt ɖt h wz pur, n ɖt hr faɖr wd nvr cnsnt t ɖ yńn. Mî jenṛs frend ri’śurd ɖ suplịnt, n on biyñ informd v ɖ nem v hr luvr, instntli abandnd hiz psyt. H hd olrdi bòt a farm wɖ hiz muni, on ẃć h hd dzînd t pas ɖ rmendr v hiz lîf; bt h bstoud ɖ hol on hiz rîvl, tgɖr wɖ ɖ rmenz v hiz prîzmuni t prćs stoc, n ɖen himslf s’liṣtd ɖ yuñ wmn’z faɖr t cnsnt t hr marij wɖ hr luvr. Bt ɖ old man dsîdidli rfyzd, ʈncñ himslf baund in onr t mî frend, hu, ẃn h faund ɖ faɖr inexṛbl, qitd hiz cuntri, nr rtrnd untl h hŕd ɖt hiz formr mistris wz marid acordñ t hr incḷneśnz. “Ẃt a nobl felo!” y wl xclem. H z so; bt ɖen h z hoļi unedycetd: h z az sîḷnt az a Trc, n a cnd v ignṛnt cerlisnis atndz him, ẃć, ẃl it rendrz hiz conduct ɖ mor astoṇśñ, dtracts fṛm ɖ inṭrest n simṗʈi ẃć uɖ̇wz h wd cmand.

Yt d nt s’poz, bcz I cmplen a litl or bcz I cn cnsiv a conṣleśn fr mî tôlz ẃć I me nvr nǒ, ɖt I am weṿrñ in mî reẓluśnz. Ɖoz r az fixt az fet, n mî vôij z onli nǎ dleid untl ɖ weɖr śl pmit mî imbarceśn. Ɖ wintr hz bn dredf̣li svir, bt ɖ sprñ proṃsz wel, n it z cnsidrd az a rmarcbli rli sīzn, so ɖt phps I me sêl snr ɖn I xpctd. I śl d nʈñ raśli: y nǒ m sfiśntli t cnfîd in mî prūdns n cnsidṛtnis ẃnvr ɖ sefti v uɖrz z cmitd t mî cer.

I canot dscrîb t y mî snseśnz on ɖ nir prospect v mî unḍtecñ. It z imposbl t cḿṇcet t y a cnspśn v ɖ tremḅlñ snseśn, haf pleźṛbl n haf firfl, wɖ ẃć I am pripẹrñ t dpart. I am gwñ t unixplord rījnz, t “ɖ land v mist n sno,” bt I śl cil no alḅtrós; ɖrfr d nt b alarmd fr mî sefti or f I śd cm bac t y az wòrn n wǒfl az ɖ “Enćnt Marinr.” Y wl smîl at mî aluźn, bt I wl dscloz a sīcrit. I hv ofn atribytd mî ataćmnt t, mî paśṇt inʈyziazm fr, ɖ denjṛs misṭriz v ośn t ɖt pṛduẋn v ɖ most imajiṇtiv v modn powts. Ɖr z smʈñ at wrc in mî soul ẃć I d nt unḍstand. I am practicli industrịs—penztecñ, a wrcmn t x’kt wɖ prsviṛns n lebr—bt bsdz ɖs ɖr z a luv fr ɖ marvḷs, a b’lif in ɖ marvḷs, inṭtwînd in ol mî projects, ẃć huriz m ǎt v ɖ comn paʈwez v men, īvn t ɖ wîld sì n unviẓtd rījnz I am abt t xplor. Bt t rtrn t dirr cnsiḍreśnz. Śl I mīt y agn, aftr hvñ tṛvrst imns sìz, n rtrnd bî ɖ most suɖn cep v Africa or America? I der nt xpct sć s’xes, yt I canot ber t lc on ɖ rvrs v ɖ picćr. Cntiny fr ɖ preznt t rait t m bî evri oṗtyṇti: I me rsiv yr letrz on sm oceźnz ẃn I nīd ɖm most t s’port mî spirits. I luv y vri tndrli. Rmembr m wɖ afẋn, śd y nvr hír fṛm m agn.

Yr afẋṇt bruɖr, Robt Wōltn

Letr 3

Jlî 7ʈ, 17—

T Msz. Savil, Ñgḷnd

Mî dir Sistr,

I rait a fy lînz in hest t se ɖt I am sef—n wel advanst on mî vôij. Ɖs letr wl rīć Ñgḷnd bî a mrćntmn nǎ on its homẉd vôij fṛm Arcenjl; mor forćṇt ɖn I, hu me nt si mî netiv land, phps, fr mni yirz. I am, hvr, in gd spirits: mî men r bold n apaṛntli frm v prṗs, nr d ɖ flotñ śīts v îs ɖt cntińli pas s, indcetñ ɖ denjrz v ɖ rījn twdz ẃć w r advansñ, apir t dsme ɖm. W hv olrdi rīćt a vri hî lattyd; bt it z ɖ hît v sumr, n olɖo nt so worm az in Ñgḷnd, ɖ suɖn gelz, ẃć blo s spīḍli twdz ɖoz śorz ẃć I so ardntli dzîr t aten, briɖ a dgri v reṇvetñ wormʈ ẃć I hd nt xpctd.

No insidnts hv hiɖrtu bfōḷn s ɖt wd mc a figr in a letr. Wn or tū stif gelz n ɖ sprññ v a līc r axidnts ẃć xpirịnst naṿgetrz scersli rmembr t rcord, n I śl b wel cntnt f nʈñ wrs hapn t s jrñ ǎr vôij.

Ady, mî dir Marġrit. B aśurd ɖt fr mî ǒn sec, az wel az yrz, I wl nt raśli incǎntr denjr. I wl b cūl, prṣvirñ, n prūdnt.

Bt s’xes ŚL crǎn mî indevrz. Ẃr-fr nt? Ɖus far I hv gn, tresñ a s’kr we ovr ɖ paʈlis sìz, ɖ vri starz ɖmslvz biyñ witṇsz n tstiṃniz v mî trîumf. Ẃ nt stl pṛsid ovr ɖ untemd yt obījnt elimnt? Ẃt cn stop ɖ dtrmind hart n rzolvd wil v man?

Mî swelñ hart invoḷntṛli porz itslf ǎt ɖus. Bt I mst finiś. Hevn bles mî b’luvid sistr!

R.W.

Letr 4

Ōġst 5ʈ, 17—

T Msz. Savil, Ñgḷnd

So strenj an axidnt hz hapnd t s ɖt I canot fōrber rcordñ it, olɖo it z vri probbl ɖt y wl si m bfr ɖz peprz cn cm intu yr pześn.

Last Munde (Jlî 31st) w wr nirli srǎndd bî îs, ẃć clozd in ɖ śip on ol sîdz, scersli līvñ hr ɖ sìrūm in ẃć ś flotd. Ǎr sićueśn wz smẃt denjṛs, ispeṣ́li az w wr cumṗst rnd bî a vri ʈic fog. W acordñli le t, hopñ ɖt sm ćenj wd tec ples in ɖ atṃsfir n weɖr.

Abt tū o’cloc ɖ mist clird awe, n w bheld, strećt ǎt in evri d’reẋn, vast n ireğlr plenz v îs, ẃć sīmd t hv no end. Sm v mî comredz grond, n mî ǒn mînd bgan t gro woćfl wɖ añśs ʈts, ẃn a strenj sît sudnli atractd ǎr atnśn n dvrtd ǎr s’liṣtyd fṛm ǎr ǒn sićueśn. W psivd a lo carij, fixt on a slej n drwn bî dogz, pas on twdz ɖ norʈ, at ɖ distns v haf a mîl; a biyñ ẃć hd ɖ śep v a man, bt apaṛntli v jîgantic staćr, sat in ɖ slej n gîdd ɖ dogz. W woćt ɖ rapid progres v ɖ travlr wɖ ǎr teḷscops untl h wz lost amñ ɖ distnt iniqoḷtiz v ɖ îs. Ɖs apiṛns xîtd ǎr unqoḷfaid wundr. W wr, az w b’livd, mni hundṛd mîlz fṛm eni land; bt ɖs aṗriśn sīmd t dnot ɖt it wz nt, in riaḷti, so distnt az w hd s’pozd. Śut in, hvr, bî îs, it wz imposbl t folo hiz trac, ẃć w hd obzrvd wɖ ɖ gretist atnśn. Abt tū aurz aftr ɖs ocuṛns w hŕd ɖ grǎndsì, n bfr nît ɖ îs brouc n frìd ǎr śip. W, hvr, le t untl ɖ mornñ, firñ t incǎntr in ɖ darc ɖoz larj lūs masz ẃć flot abt aftr ɖ brecñ p v ɖ îs. I prof̣td v ɖs tîm t rest fr a fy aurz.

In ɖ mornñ, hvr, az sn az it wz lît, I wnt upn dec n faund ol ɖ sêlrz bizi on wn sîd v ɖ vesl, apaṛntli tōcñ t smwn in ɖ sì. It wz, in fact, a slej, lîc ɖt w hd sìn bfr, ẃć hd driftd twdz s in ɖ nît on a larj fragmnt v îs. Onli wn dog rmend alîv; bt ɖr wz a hymn biyñ wɖn it hūm ɖ sêlrz wr pswedñ t entr ɖ vesl. H wz nt, az ɖ uɖr travlr sīmd t b, a savij inhabitnt v sm undiscuvrd îḷnd, bt a Yṛpiyn. Ẃn I apird on dec ɖ mastr sd, “Hir z ǎr captin, n h wl nt alǎ y t periś on ɖ opn sì.”

On psivñ m, ɖ strenjr adrest m in Ñgliś, olɖo wɖ a foṛn axnt. “Bfr I cm on bōrd yr vesl,” sd h, “wl y hv ɖ cîndnis t inform m ẃiɖr y r baund?”

Y me cnsiv mî astoniśmnt on hírñ sć a qsćn adrest t m fṛm a man on ɖ brinc v dstruẋn n t hūm I śd hv s’pozd ɖt mî vesl wd hv bn a rzors ẃć h wd nt hv xćenjd fr ɖ most preśs wlʈ ɖ rʈ cn aford. I rplaid, hvr, ɖt w wr on a vôij v dscuṿri twdz ɖ norɖn pol.

Upn hírñ ɖs h apird saṭsfaid n cnsntd t cm on bōrd. Gd God! Marġrit, f y hd sìn ɖ man hu ɖus c’pić̣letd fr hiz sefti, yr s’prîz wd hv bn bǎndlis. Hiz limz wr nirli frozn, n hiz bodi dredf̣li imesietd bî ftīg n suf̣rñ. I nvr sw a man in so rećid a cndiśn. W atmtd t cari him intu ɖ cabin, bt az sn az h hd qitd ɖ freś er h fentd. W acordñli bròt him bac t ɖ dec n rstord him t aṇmeśn bî rubñ him wɖ brandi n forsñ him t swolo a smōl qontti. Az sn az h śoud sînz v lîf w rápt him p in blancits n plest him nir ɖ ćimni v ɖ cićn stov. Bî slo dgriz h rcuvrd n ét a litl sūp, ẃć rstord him wundrf̣li.

Tū dez pást in ɖs manr bfr h wz ebl t spīc, n I ofn fird ɖt hiz suf̣rñz hd dprîvd him v unḍstandñ. Ẃn h hd in sm meźr rcuvrd, I rmuvd him t mî ǒn cabin n atndd on him az mć az mî dyti wd pmit. I nvr sw a mor inṭrestñ crīćr: hiz îz hv jenṛli an xpreśn v wîldnis, n īvn madnis, bt ɖr r momnts ẃn, f enwn pformz an act v cîndnis twdz him or dz him eni ɖ most trîf̣lñ srvis, hiz hol cǎntinns z lîtd p, az it wr, wɖ a bīm v bnevḷns n swītnis ɖt I nvr sw īqld. Bt h z jenṛli meḷnc̣li n dsperñ, n smtmz h náśz hiz tīʈ, az f impeśnt v ɖ weit v woz ɖt opresz him.

Ẃn mî gest wz a litl rcuvrd I hd gret trubl t cīp of ɖ men, hu wśt t asc him a ʈǎznd qsćnz; bt I wd nt alǎ him t b tormntd bî ɖer îdl krioṣti, in a stet v bodi n mînd huz resṭreśn evidntli dpndd upn intîr rpoz. Wns, hvr, ɖ leftennt asct ẃ h hd cm so far upn ɖ îs in so strenj a viycl.

Hiz cǎntinns instntli asymd an aspect v ɖ dīpist glūm, n h rplaid, “T sīc wn hu fled fṛm m.”

“N dd ɖ man hūm y psyd travl in ɖ sem faśn?”

“Yes.”

“Ɖen I fansi w hv sìn him, fr ɖ de bfr w pict y p w sw sm dogz drw̃ a slej, wɖ a man in it, acrs ɖ îs.”

Ɖs arǎzd ɖ strenjr’z atnśn, n h asct a multtyd v qsćnz cnsrnñ ɖ rùt ẃć ɖ dīmn, az h cōld him, hd psyd. Sn aftr, ẃn h wz alon wɖ m, h sd, “I hv, dǎtlis, xîtd yr krioṣti, az wel az ɖt v ɖz gd ppl; bt y r tù cnsidṛt t mc inqîriz.”

“Srtnli; it wd indd b vri imprtinnt n inhymn in m t trubl y wɖ eni inqiztivnis v mîn.”

“N yt y rescyd m fṛm a strenj n perḷs sićueśn; y hv bneṿlntli rstord m t lîf.”

Sn aftr ɖs h inqîrd f I ʈt ɖt ɖ brecñ p v ɖ îs hd dstroid ɖ uɖr slej. I rplaid ɖt I cd nt ansr wɖ eni dgri v srtnti, fr ɖ îs hd nt brocn untl nir midnît, n ɖ travlr mt hv arîvd at a ples v sefti bfr ɖt tîm; bt v ɖs I cd nt juj. Fṛm ɖs tîm a ny spirit v lîf aṇmetd ɖ dceyñ frem v ɖ strenjr. H maṇfstd ɖ gretist īgrnis t b upn dec t woć fr ɖ slej ẃć hd bfr apird; bt I hv pswedd him t rmen in ɖ cabin, fr h z far tù wìc t ssten ɖ rwnis v ɖ atṃsfir. I hv promist ɖt smwn śd woć fr him n gv him instnt notis f eni ny objict śd apir in sît.

Sć z mî jrnl v ẃt rlets t ɖs strenj ocuṛns p t ɖ preznt de. Ɖ strenjr hz graɉli impruvd in hlʈ bt z vri sîḷnt n apirz unīzi ẃn enwn xpt mslf entrz hiz cabin. Yt hiz manrz r so cnsilietñ n jntl ɖt ɖ sêlrz r ol inṭrestd in him, olɖo ɖe hv hd vri litl cḿṇceśn wɖ him. Fr mî ǒn part, I bgin t luv him az a bruɖr, n hiz constnt n dīp grīf filz m wɖ simṗʈi n cmpaśn. H mst hv bn a nobl crīćr in hiz betr dez, biyñ īvn nǎ in rec so atractiv n emịbl. I sd in wn v mî letrz, mî dir Marġrit, ɖt I śd fînd no frend on ɖ wîd ośn; yt I hv faund a man hu, bfr hiz spirit hd bn brocn bî miẓri, I śd hv bn hapi t hv pzest az ɖ bruɖr v mî hart.

I śl cntiny mî jrnl cnsrnñ ɖ strenjr at inṭvlz, śd I hv eni freś insidnts t rcord.

Ōġst 13ʈ, 17—

Mî afẋn fr mî gest incrisz evri de. H xîts at wns mî adṃreśn n mî piti t an astoṇśñ dgri. Hǎ cn I si so nobl a crīćr dstroid bî miẓri wɖt fīlñ ɖ most pôńnt grīf? H z so jntl, yt so wîz; hiz mînd z so cultvetd, n ẃn h spīcs, olɖo hiz wrdz r culd wɖ ɖ ćôsist art, yt ɖe flo wɖ r’pidti n unpaṛleld eḷqns. H z nǎ mć rcuvrd fṛm hiz ilnis n z cntińli on ɖ dec, apaṛntli woćñ fr ɖ slej ɖt prisidd hiz ǒn. Yt, olɖo unhapi, h z nt so utrli okpaid bî hiz ǒn miẓri bt ɖt h inṭrests himslf dīpli in ɖ projects v uɖrz. H hz frīqntli cnvrst wɖ m on mîn, ẃć I hv cḿṇcetd t him wɖt dsgîz. H entrd atntivli intu ol mî arğmnts in fevr v mî ivnćl s’xes n intu evri mînyt dītel v ɖ meźrz I hd tecn t s’kr it. I wz īẓli léd bî ɖ simṗʈi ẃć h ivinst t yz ɖ lanḡj v mî hart, t gv utṛns t ɖ brnñ ardr v mî soul n t se, wɖ ol ɖ frvr ɖt wormd m, hǎ gladli I wd sacṛfîs mî fortyn, mî xistns, mî evri hop, t ɖ frɖṛns v mî enṭprîz. Wn man’z lîf or deʈ wr bt a smōl prîs t pe fr ɖ aqîrmnt v ɖ nolij ẃć I sòt, fr ɖ dmińn I śd aqîr n trnzmit ovr ɖ eḷmntl foz v ǎr res. Az I spouc, a darc glūm spred ovr mî lisnr’z cǎntinns. At frst I psivd ɖt h traid t s’pres hiz imośn; h plest hiz handz bfr hiz îz, n mî vôs qivrd n feld m az I bheld tirz tricl fast fṛm btwn hiz fngrz; a gron brst fṛm hiz hīvñ brest. I pōzd; at leñʈ h spouc, in brocn axnts: “Unhapi man! D y śer mî madnis? Hv y drunc olso v ɖ intox̣cetñ dráft? Hír m; let m rvil mî têl, n y wl daś ɖ cup fṛm yr lips!”

Sć wrdz, y me imajin, stroñli xîtd mî krioṣti; bt ɖ paṛxizm v grīf ɖt hd sizd ɖ strenjr oṿcem hiz wìcnd pǎrz, n mni aurz v rpoz n tranqil convseśn wr nesṣri t rstor hiz cmpoźr. Hvñ concrd ɖ vayḷns v hiz fīlñz, h apird t dspîz himslf fr biyñ ɖ slev v paśn; n qelñ ɖ darc tiṛni v dsper, h léd m agn t cnvrs cnsrnñ mslf prsṇli. H asct m ɖ hisṭri v mî rlịr yirz. Ɖ têl wz qcli tld, bt it awecnd verịs trenz v rfleẋn. I spouc v mî dzîr v fîndñ a frend, v mî ʈrst fr a mor intiṃt simṗʈi wɖ a felo mînd ɖn hd evr fōḷn t mî lot, n xprest mî cnviẋn ɖt a man cd bost v litl hapinis hu dd nt injô ɖs blesñ. “I agri wɖ y,” rplaid ɖ strenjr; “w r unfaśnd crīćrz, bt haf md p, f wn wîzr, betr, dirr ɖn ǎrslvz—sć a frend òt t b—d nt lend hiz ed t pfex̣́net ǎr wìc n fōlti nećrz. I wns hd a frend, ɖ most nobl v hymn crīćrz, n am intîtld, ɖrfr, t juj rspctñ frendśp. Y hv hop, n ɖ wrld bfr y, n hv no cōz fr dsper. Bt I—I hv lost evrʈñ n canot bgin lîf any.”

Az h sd ɖs hiz cǎntinns bcem xpresiv v a cām, setld grīf ɖt tućt m t ɖ hart. Bt h wz sîḷnt n prezntli rtîrd t hiz cabin.

Īvn brocn in spirit az h z, nwn cn fīl mor dīpli ɖn h dz ɖ bytiz v nećr. Ɖ stari scî, ɖ sì, n evri sît afordd bî ɖz wundrfl rījnz sīm stl t hv ɖ pǎr v eḷvetñ hiz soul fṛm rʈ. Sć a man hz a dubl xistns: h me sufr miẓri n b oṿẃlmd bî dis’pôntmnts, yt ẃn h hz rtîrd intu himslf, h wl b lîc a s’lesćl spirit ɖt hz a helo arnd him, wɖn huz srcl no grīf or foli vnćrz.

Wl y smîl at ɖ inʈyziazm I xpres cnsrnñ ɖs dvîn wondrr? Y wd nt f y sw him. Y hv bn tytrd n rfînd bî bcs n rtîrmnt fṛm ɖ wrld, n y r ɖrfr smẃt fstidịs; bt ɖs onli rendrz y ɖ mor fit t aprīśiet ɖ xtrordnri merits v ɖs wundrfl man. Smtmz I hv indevrd t dscuvr ẃt qoḷti it z ẃć h pzesz ɖt eḷvets him so imeźṛbli abv eni uɖr prsn I evr ń. I b’liv it t b an intywtiv dsrnmnt, a qc bt nvr-felñ pǎr v jujmnt, a peṇtreśn intu ɖ cōzz v ʈñz, unīqld fr clirnis n prisiźn; ad t ɖs a fsiḷti v xpreśn n a vôs huz vẹrid inṭneśnz r soul-sbdywñ ḿzic.

Ōġst 19, 17—

Yesṭde ɖ strenjr sd t m, “Y me īẓli psiv, Captin Wōltn, ɖt I hv sufrd gret n unpaṛleld msfortynz. I hd dtrmind at wn tîm ɖt ɖ meṃri v ɖz īvlz śd dî wɖ m, bt y hv wún m t oltr mî dtrṃneśn. Y sīc fr nolij n wizdm, az I wns dd; n I ardntli hop ɖt ɖ gratif̣ceśn v yr wśz me nt b a srpnt t stñ y, az mîn hz bn. I d nt nǒ ɖt ɖ rleśn v mî dzastrz wl b ysfl t y; yt, ẃn I rflect ɖt y r psywñ ɖ sem cors, xpozñ yrslf t ɖ sem denjrz ẃć hv rendrd m ẃt I am, I imajin ɖt y me ddys an apt moṛl fṛm mî têl, wn ɖt me d’rect y f y s’xid in yr unḍtecñ n consol y in ces v fełr. Priper t hír v ocuṛnsiz ẃć r yẓ́li dīmd marvḷs. Wr w amñ ɖ temr sīnz v nećr I mt fir t incǎntr yr unḅlif, phps yr riḍkl; bt mni ʈñz wl apir poṣbl in ɖz wîld n mstirịs rījnz ẃć wd pṛvoc ɖ laftr v ɖoz un’qentd wɖ ɖ evr-vẹrid pǎrz v nećr; nr cn I dǎt bt ɖt mî têl cnvez in its siriz intrnl evidns v ɖ truʈ v ɖ ivnts v ẃć it z cmpozd.”

Y me īẓli imajin ɖt I wz mć graṭfaid bî ɖ ofrd cḿṇceśn, yt I cd nt indyr ɖt h śd rny hiz grīf bî a rsîtl v hiz msfortynz. I flt ɖ gretist īgrnis t hír ɖ promist naṛtiv, partli fṛm krioṣti n partli fṛm a stroñ dzîr t amīłret hiz fet f it wr in mî pǎr. I xprest ɖz fīlñz in mî ansr.

“I ʈanc y,” h rplaid, “fr yr simṗʈi, bt it z yslis; mî fet z nirli flfild. I wêt bt fr wn ivnt, n ɖen I śl rpoz in pīs. I unḍstand yr fīlñ,” cntinyd h, psivñ ɖt I wśt t inṭrupt him; “bt y r mstecn, mî frend, f ɖus y wl alǎ m t nem y; nʈñ cn oltr mî desṭni; lisn t mî hisṭri, n y wl psiv hǎ irevcbli it z dtrmind.”

H ɖen tld m ɖt h wd cmns hiz naṛtiv ɖ nxt de ẃn I śd b at leźr. Ɖs promis drù fṛm m ɖ wormist ʈancs. I hv rzolvd evri nît, ẃn I am nt impeṛtivli okpaid bî mî dytiz, t rcord, az nirli az poṣbl in hiz ǒn wrdz, ẃt h hz rletd jrñ ɖ de. F I śd b ingejd, I wl at līst mc nots. Ɖs mańscript wl dǎtlis aford y ɖ gretist pleźr; bt t m, hu nǒ him, n hu hír it fṛm hiz ǒn lips—wɖ ẃt inṭrest n simṗʈi śl I rīd it in sm fyćr de! Īvn nǎ, az I cmns mî tasc, hiz fl-tond vôs swelz in mî irz; hiz lustṛs îz dwel on m wɖ ol ɖer meḷnc̣li swītnis; I si hiz ʈin hand rezd in aṇmeśn, ẃl ɖ linịmnts v hiz fes r iredietd bî ɖ soul wɖn.

Strenj n harowñ mst b hiz stori, frîtfl ɖ storm ẃć imbrest ɖ gaḷnt vesl on its cors n rect it—ɖus!


Poems from Uncle Arthur: IF

IF

 

F I hd feʈ

ɖt a powm in ɖ rît ples

cd spred luv n pīs,

mc fwa gra hisṭri fr gīs,

tec fṛm ɖ rić n gv t ɖ pur,

fix a brocn bac dor,

mc siṿlîześn mor sivl,

stop tōcrz tōcñ drivl,

reẓrect ɖ ded,

mnd ɖ gardnśed,

sev ɖ ẃelz,

gt m a cotij in ɖ Yorcśr Dêlz,

injndr hop n ćaṛti,

gv trnspaṛnsi mor claṛti,

bwić n bgîl

or at līst mc y smîl,

cunjr smʈñ ǎt v nʈñ,

cīp ɖ foxz fri fṛm huntñ,

solv ɖ ic̣nomic crîsis,

iliṃnet Îsis,

dump Trump,

fînd an xit t Brexit,

untwist m n unbitr,

imprizn lǎts hu drop ɖer litr,

pt an end t grīd,

mc Worbrec Rzrvz win ɖ ftbōl līg,

hlp ɖ Marśnz gt bî on Marz,

florịnoṗlîz ɖt emti vāz,

hīl ɖ sic n mc pen sīs,

gv caḅjz incris,

stop ɖ wor,

wrc ǎt ẃt on rʈ lîf’s fr,

sumn ɖ sblîm,

mc ɖ busz run on tîm

or

b haf az gd az Rudẏd Ciplñ,

I mt rait mor.

INDEX OF POETSMEDIA LINKS

Poems from Uncle Arthur: LIFE SENTENCE

LÎF-SNTNS

 

(wɖ ybiqiṭs apoḷjiz)

Lîf’s t b livd

so liv fr tde

or carpe diem

f yr Latin’z oce

n d’nt lūz ɖ wil t liv

or se lîf e’nt wrʈ livñ

bcz y onli liv wns

n lîf’s tù śort

az w’r hir tde

gn tmoro

indd fṛm credl t grev

e’nt ɖt loñ a ste

lîf z a caḅre old ćum

ɖ bst ʈñz in lîf r fri

livñ z īzi wɖ îz clozd

n lîf’s nt abt hǎ mni breʈs y tec

bt ɖ momnts ɖt tec yr breʈ awe

so liv n let liv

īt drinc n b meri

fr tmoro

cn lc aftr itslf

n enwe

ǎr litl lîf z rǎndd wɖ a slīp

n lîf ẃt z it bt a drīm

wć z nt t se lîf c’nt b cruwl

lîf z hard

n nʈñ z srtn bt deʈ n taxz

so lc lîvli

h cem t sev ɖ livñ nt ɖ ded

liv az if evri de wz yr last

d’nt fret abt spelñ or gramr

n srtnli nt sintax

it’s nt a matr v lîf or deʈ

it’s mor importnt ɖn ɖt

rmembr God raits stret on crŭcid lîvz

n liv lîf t ɖ fl stop

INDEX OF POETSMEDIA LINKS

In Ñspel: “A Haunted House” by Virginia Woolf

( The short story “A Haunted House” by Virginia Woolf, transcribed into Ñspel)

(A short story by Virginia Woolf, transcribed into Ñspel)

tvr aur y woc ɖr wz a dor śutñ. Fṛm rūm t rūm ɖe wnt, hand in hand, liftñ hir, oṗnñ ɖr, mcñ śr—a gostli cupl.

“Hir w left it,” ś sd. N h add, “Ǒ, bt hir tù!” “It’s upsterz,” ś mrmrd. “N in ɖ gardn,” h ẃisprd “Qaytli,” ɖe sd, “or w śl wec ɖm.”

Bt it wz’nt ɖt y woc s. Ǒ, no. “Ɖ’r lcñ fr it; ɖ’r drw̃ ɖ crtn,” wn mt se, n so rīd on a pej or tū. “Nǎ ɖ’v faund it,” wn wd b srtn, stopñ ɖ pensl on ɖ marjin. N ɖen, tîrd v rīdñ, wn mt rîz n si fr wnslf, ɖ hǎs ol emti, ɖ dorz standñ opn, onli ɖ wŭdpijnz bublñ wɖ cntnt n ɖ hum v ɖ ʈreśñmśīn sǎndñ fṛm ɖ farm. “Ẃt dd I cm in hir fr? Ẃt dd I wont t fînd?” Mî handz wr emti. “Phps it’s upsterz ɖen?” Ɖ aplz wr in ɖ loft. N so dǎn agn, ɖ gardn stil az evr, onli ɖ bc hd slipt intu ɖ gras.

Bt ɖe hd faund it in ɖ drw̃rūm. Nt ɖt wn cd evr si ɖm. Ɖ windopeinz rflectd aplz, rflectd rozz; ol ɖ līvz wr grīn in ɖ glas. F ɖe muvd in ɖ drw̃rūm, ɖ apl onli trnd its yelo sîd. Yt, ɖ momnt aftr, f ɖ dor wz opnd, spred abt ɖ flor, huñ upn ɖ wōlz, pndnt fṛm ɖ sīlñ—ẃt? Mî handz wr emti. Ɖ śado v a ʈruś crost ɖ carpit; fṛm ɖ dīpist wlz v sîḷns ɖ wŭdpijn drù its bubl v sǎnd. “Sef, sef, sef,” ɖ puls v ɖ hǎs bìt softli. “Ɖ treźr berid; ɖ rūm . . . ” ɖ puls stopt śort. Ǒ, wz ɖt ɖ berid treźr?

A momnt lêtr ɖ lît hd fedd. Ǎt in ɖ gardn ɖen? Bt ɖ triz spun darcnis fr a wonḍrñ bīm v sún. So fîn, so rer, cūli sunc bnʈ ɖ srfis ɖ bīm I sòt olwz brnt bhnd ɖ glas. Deʈ wz ɖ glas; deʈ wz btwn s; cmñ t ɖ wmn frst, hundṛdz v yirz ago, līvñ ɖ hǎs, sìlñ ol ɖ windoz; ɖ rūmz wr darcnd. H left it, left hr, wnt Norʈ, wnt Īst, sw ɖ starz trnd in ɖ Suɖn scî; sòt ɖ hǎs, faund it dropt bnʈ ɖ Dǎnz. “Sef, sef, sef,” ɖ puls v ɖ hǎs bìt gladli. “Ɖ Treźr yrz.”

Ɖ wind rorz p ɖ aṿny. Triz stūp n bnd ɖs we n ɖt. Mūnbīmz splaś n spil wîldli in ɖ ren. Bt ɖ bīm v ɖ lamp fōlz stret fṛm ɖ windo. Ɖ candl brnz stif n stil. Wonḍrñ ʈru ɖ hǎs, oṗnñ ɖ windoz, ẃisṗrñ nt t wec s, ɖ gostli cupl sīc ɖer jô.

“Hir w slept,” ś sz. N h adz, “Cisz wɖǎt numbr.” “Wecñ in ɖ mornñ—” “Silvr btwn ɖ triz—” “Upsterz—” “In ɖ gardn—” “Ẃn sumr cem—” “In wintr snôtîm—” Ɖ dorz g śutñ far in ɖ distns, jntli nocñ lîc ɖ puls v a hart.

Nirr ɖe cm; sīs at ɖ dorwê. Ɖ wind fōlz, ɖ ren slîdz silvr dǎn ɖ glas. Ǎr îz darcn; w hír no steps bsd s; w si no ledi spred hr gostli clǒc. Hiz handz śīld ɖ lantn. “Lc,” h briɖz. “Sǎnd aslip. Luv upn ɖer lips.”

Stūpñ, holdñ ɖer silvr lamp abv s, loñ ɖe lc n dīpli. Loñ ɖe pōz. Ɖ wind drîvz stretli; ɖ flem stūps slîtli. Wîld bīmz v mūnlît cros bʈ flor n wōl, n, mītñ, sten ɖ fesz bnt; ɖ fesz ponḍrñ; ɖ fesz ɖt srć ɖ slīprz n sīc ɖer hidn jô.

“Sef, sef, sef,” ɖ hart v ɖ hǎs bìts prǎdli. “Loñ yirz—” h saiz. “Agn y faund m.” “Hir,” ś mrmrz, “slīpñ; in ɖ gardn rīdñ; lafñ, rolñ aplz in ɖ loft. Hir w left ǎr treźr—” Stūpñ, ɖer lît lifts ɖ lidz upn mî îz. “Sef! sef! sef!” ɖ puls v ɖ hǎs bìts wîldli. Wecñ, I crî “Ǒ, z ɖs yr berid treźr? Ɖ lît in ɖ hart.”

Poems from Uncle Arthur: FOURTEEN

FORTĪN

D’nt wōc undr a

ladr, d’nt let a frog in

sîd, d’nt opn an um

brela untl y’r ǎt ǎt

sîd, rflect bfr y brec a

mirr, crosñ blac-cat paɖz – un

wîz, d’nt sñ ẃn ītñ

dinr, d’nt brñ an alḅtros di

mîz, d’nt gift a prs wɖ emti

inr, n v cors ɖr’z mor bi

sîdz, bt apṛpo v poa

tri, ẃt’er yr rîmñ

scīm, b mnli mîti cerfl nt

t cōl yr powm Ʈr

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