Clasics in Nspel: THE IDYLL OF MISS SARAH BROWN, by Damon Runyon

The Guardian, 2020: "I wish more people would read ... Damon Runyon's short stories." Photo: Granger Historical Picture Archive/Alamy.

Ɖ IDIL OV MIS SẸRA BRǍN

Demn Ruńn

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V  ol ɖ hî pleyrz ɖs cuntri evr siz, ɖr z no dǎt bt ɖt ɖ gai ɖe cōl Ɖ Scî z ɖ hîist. In fact, ɖ rīzn h z cōld Ɖ Scî z bcz h gz so hî ẃn it cmz t betñ on eni propziśn ẃtvr. H wl bet ol h hz, n nbdi cn bet eni mor ɖn ɖs.

Hiz rît nem z Oḅdaia Masṭsn, n h z orijiṇli ǎt v a litl tǎn in suɖn Coḷrado ẃr h lrnz t śūt craps, n ple cardz, n wn ʈñ n anɖr, n ẃr hiz old man z a vri wel-noun sitizn, n smʈñ v a sport himslf. In fact, Ɖ Scî tlz m ɖt ẃn h fîṇli clīnz p ol ɖ lūs scrać arnd hiz homtǎn n dsîdz h nīdz mor rūm, hiz old man hz a litl prîṿt tōc wɖ him n sz t him lîc ɖs:

“Sun,” ɖ old gai sz, “y r nǎ gwñ ǎt intu ɖ wîd, wîd wrld t mc yr ǒn we, n it z a vri gd ʈñ t d, az ɖr r no mor oṗtyṇtiz fr y in ɖs brg. I am onli sori,” h sz, “ɖt I am nt ebl t bancrol y t a vri larj start, bt,” h sz, “nt hvñ eni ptetoz t gv y, I am nǎ gwñ t stec y t sm vri vałbl advîs, ẃć I prsṇli c’lect in mî yirz v xpirịns arnd n abt, n I hop n trust y wl olwz ber ɖs advîs in mînd.

“Sun,” ɖ old gai sz, “no matr hǎ far y travl, or hǎ smart y gt, olwz rmembr ɖs: sm de, smẃr,” h sz, “a gai z gwñ t cm t y n śo y a nîs brand-ny dec v cardz on ẃć ɖ sìl z nvr brocn, n ɖs gai z gwñ t ofr t bet y ɖt ɖ jac v spedz wl jump ǎt v ɖs dec n sqrt sîdr in yr ir. Bt, sun,” ɖ old gai sz, “d nt bet him, fr az śr az y d y r gwñ t gt an ir fl v sîdr.”

Wel, Ɖ Scî rmembrz ẃt hiz old man sz, n h z olwz vri cōśs abt betñ on sć proṗziśnz az ɖ jac v spedz jumpñ ǎt v a sìld dec v cardz n sqrtñ sîdr in hiz ir, n so h mcs fy mstecs az h gz alñ. In fact, ɖ onli riyl mstec Ɖ Scî mcs z ẃn h hits St Lui aftr līvñ hiz old homtǎn, n luzz ol hiz ptetoz betñ a gai St Lui z ɖ bigist tǎn in ɖ wrld.

Nǎ v cors ɖs z bfr Ɖ Scî evr siz eni bigr tǎnz, n h z nvr mć v a hand fr rīdñ p on matrz sć az ɖs. In fact, ɖ onli rīdñ Ɖ Scî evr dz az h gz alñ ʈru lîf z in ɖz Gidịn Bîblz sć az h fîndz in ɖ hotelrūmz ẃr h livz, fr Ɖ Scî nvr livz enẃr els bt in hotelrūmz fr yirz.

H tlz m ɖt h rīdz mni îtmz v gret inṭrest in ɖz Gidịn Bîblz, n frɖrmr Ɖ Scî sz ɖt sevṛl tîmz ɖz Gidịn Bîblz cīp him fṛm gtñ ǎt v lîn, sć az ɖ tîm h fîndz himslf priti mć frozn-in ovr in Sinṣnati, ẃt wɖ owñ evrbdi in tǎn xpt mbi ɖ mẹr fṛm pleyñ gemz v ćans v wn cnd n anɖr.

Wel, Ɖ Scî sz h siz no we v mītñ ɖz obḷgeśnz n h z fiğrñ ɖ onli ʈñ h cn d z t tec a run-ǎt pǎdr, ẃn h hapnz t réd in wn v ɖz Gidịn Bîblz ẃr it sz lîc ɖs:

“Betr z it,” ɖ Gidịn Bîbl sz, “ɖt ɖǎ śdst nt vǎ, ɖn ɖt ɖǎ śdst vǎ n nt pe.”

Wel, Ɖ Scî sz h cn si ɖt ɖr z no dǎt ẃtvr bt ɖt ɖs mīnz a gai śl nt wlś, so h rmenz in Sinṣnati untl h maṇjz t wigl himslf ǎt v ɖ sićueśn, n fṛm ɖt de t ɖs, Ɖ Scî nvr ʈncs v wlśñ.

H z mbi ʈrti yirz old, n z a tōl gai wɖ a rǎnd cisr, n big blu îz, n h olwz lcs az iṇsnt az a litl bebi. Bt Ɖ Scî z bî no mīnz az iṇsnt az h lcs. In fact, Ɖ Scî z smartr ɖn ʈri Fiḷdelfia loyrz, ẃć mcs him vri smart, indd, n h z wel istabliśt az a hî pleyr in Ny Orliynz, n Ścago, n Los Anɉlīz, n ẃrvr els ɖr z eni ax́n in ɖ we v cardpleyñ, or crapśūtñ, or horsrêsñ, or betñ on ɖ besbōl gemz, fr Ɖ Scî z olwz muvñ arnd ɖ cuntri folowñ ɖ ax́n.

Bt ẃl Ɖ Scî wl bet on enʈñ ẃtvr, h z mor v a śort-card pleyr n a crapśūtr ɖn enʈñ els, n frɖrmr h z a gret hand fr proṗziśnz, sć az r olwz cmñ p amñ sitiznz hu folo gemz v ćans fr a livñ. Mni sitiznz prifŕ betñ on proṗziśnz t enʈñ y cn ʈnc v, bcz ɖe fiğr a propziśn gvz ɖm a ćans t ǎtsmart smbdi, n in fact I nǒ sitiznz hu wl sit p ol nît mcñ p proṗziśnz t ofr uɖr sitiznz ɖ nxt de.

A propziśn me b onli a probḷm in cardz, sć az ẃt z ɖ prîs agnst a gai gtñ esz bac-t-bac, or hǎ ofn a per v dysz wl win a hand in stud, n ɖen agn it me b sm vri dafi propziśn, indd, olɖo ɖ dafịr eni propziśn sīmz t b, ɖ mor sm sitiznz lîc it. N nwn evr siz Ɖ Scî ẃn h dz nt hv sm propziśn v hiz ǒn.

Ɖ frst tîm h evr śoz p arnd ɖs tǎn, h gz t a besbōl gem at ɖ Pologrǎndz wɖ sevṛl prominnt sitiznz, n ẃl h z at ɖ bōlgem, h baiz himslf a sác v Hari Stīvnz’ pīnuts, ẃć h dumps in a sîdpocit v hiz cot. H z ītñ ɖz pīnuts ol ʈru ɖ gem, n aftr ɖ gem z ovr n h z wōcñ acrs ɖ fīld wɖ ɖ sitiznz, h sz t ɖm lîc ɖs:

“Ẃt prîs,” Ɖ Scî sz, “I canot ʈro a pīnut fṛm secnd bes t ɖ homplet?”

Wel, evrbdi nz ɖt a pīnut z tù lît fr enbdi t ʈro it ɖs far, so Big Nig, ɖ crapśūtr, hu olwz lîcs t hv a litl ɖ bst v it runñ fr him, spīcs az foloz:

“Y cn hv 3 t 1 fṛm m, strenjr,” Big Nig sz.

“Tū C’z agnst six,” Ɖ Scî sz, n ɖen h standz on secnd bes, n tecs a pīnut ǎt v hiz pocit, n nt onli ẃips it t ɖ homplet, bt on intu ɖ lap v a fat gai hu z stl sitñ in ɖ grandstand ptñ ɖ zñ on Bil Teri fr nt tecñ Wōcr ǎt v ɖ box ẃn Wōcr z gtñ a pestñ fṛm ɖ uɖr club.

Wel, naćṛli, ɖs z a most astoṇśñ ʈro, indd, bt aftwdz it cmz ǎt ɖt Ɖ Scî ʈroz a pīnut lodd wɖ led, n v cors it z nt wn v Hari Stīvnz’ pīnuts, îɖr, az Hari z nt selñ pīnuts fl v led at a dîm a bag, wɖ ɖ prîs v led ẃt it z.

It z onli a fy nîts aftr ɖs ɖt Ɖ Scî stets anɖr most unyźl propziśn t a grūp v sitiznz sitñ in Mindi’z resṭront ẃn h ofrz t bet a C not ɖt h cn g dǎn intu Mindi’z sélr n cać a liv rat wɖ hiz bér handz n evrbdi z gretli astoniśt ẃn Mindi himslf steps p n tecs ɖ bet, fr orḍneṛli Mindi wl nt bet y a nicl h z alîv.

Bt it sīmz ɖt Mindi nz ɖt Ɖ Scî plants a tem rat in ɖ sélr, n ɖs rat nz Ɖ Scî n luvz him dirli, n wl let him cać it eni tîm h wśz, n it olso sīmz ɖt Mindi nz ɖt wn v hiz diśwośrz hapnz upn ɖs rat, n nt nwñ it z tem, nocs it flatr ɖn a pancec. So ẃn Ɖ Scî gz dǎn intu ɖ sélr n starts trayñ t cać a rat wɖ hiz bér handz h z gretli s’prîzd hǎ inh’spitbl ɖ rat trnz ǎt t b, bcz it z wn v Mindi’z prsnl rats, n Mindi z arnd aftwdz seyñ h wl le plenti v 7 t 5 agnst īvn Stranglr Luis biyñ ebl t cać wn v hiz rats wɖ hiz bér handz, or wɖ boxñgluvz on.

I am onli telñ y ol ɖs t śo y ẃt a smart gai Ɖ Scî z, n I am onli sori I d nt hv tîm t tel y abt mni uɖr vri rmarcbl proṗziśnz ɖt h ʈncs p ǎtsd v hiz reğlr biznis.

It z wel-noun t wn n ol ɖt h z vri onist in evri rspct, n ɖt h hets n dspîzz ćītrz at cardz, or dîs, n frɖrmr Ɖ Scî nvr wśz t ple wɖ eni ɖ bst v it himslf, or enwe nt mć. H wl nvr tec ɖ insîd v eni sićueśn, az mni gamblrz luv t d, sć az ǒnñ a gamḅlñhǎs, n hvñ ɖ psntij run fr him instd v agnst him, fr olwz Ɖ Scî z stricli a pleyr, bcz h sz h wl nvr cer t setl dǎn in wn spot loñ inuf t bcm ɖ ǒnr v enʈñ.

In fact, in ol ɖ yirz Ɖ Scî z driftñ arnd ɖ cuntri, nbdi evr nz him t ǒn enʈñ xpt mbi a bancrol, n ẃn h cmz t Brōdwe ɖ last tîm, ẃć z ɖ tîm I am nǎ spīcñ v, h hz a hundṛd G’z in caśmuni, n an xtra sūt v cloɖz, n ɖs z ol h hz in ɖ wrld. H nvr ǒnz sć a ʈñ az a hǎs, or an ōtṃbil, or a pìs v juwlri. H nvr ǒnz a woć, bcz Ɖ Scî sz tîm mīnz nʈñ t him.

V cors sm gaiz wl fiğr a hundṛd G’z cmz undr ɖ hed v ǒnñ smʈñ, bt az far az Ɖ Scî z cnsrnd, muni z nʈñ bt jst smʈñ fr him t ple wɖ n ɖ dolrz me az wel b donuts az far az valy gz wɖ him. Ɖ onli tîm Ɖ Scî evr ʈncs v muni az muni z ẃn h z brouc, n ɖ onli we h cn tel h z brouc z ẃn h rīćz intu hiz pocit n fîndz nʈñ ɖr bt hiz fngrz.

Ɖen it z nesṣri fr Ɖ Scî t g ǎt n dig p sm freś scrać smẃr, n ẃn it cmz t digñ p scrać, Ɖ Scî z practicli sūṗnaćṛl. H cn gt mor ptetoz on ɖ streñʈ v a teḷgram t sm ples or uɖr ɖn Jon D. Roc̣félr cn gt on c’latṛl, fr evrbdi nz Ɖ Scî’z wrd z az gd az ẃīt in ɖ bin.

Nǎ wn Súnde īvnñ Ɖ Scî z wōcñ alñ Brōdwe, n at ɖ cornr v forti-nînʈ Strīt h cmz upn a litl bunć v miśnwrcrz hu r holdñ a rlijs mītñ, sć az miśnwrcrz luv t d v a Súnde īvnñ, ɖ îdīa biyñ ɖt ɖe me rǎnd p a fy sinrz hir n ɖr, olɖo prsṇli I olwz clem ɖ miśnwrcrz cm ǎt tù rli t cać eni sinrz on ɖs part v Brōdwe. At sć an aur ɖ sinrz r stl in bed restñ p fṛm ɖer sinñ v ɖ nît bfr, so ɖe wl b in gd śep fr mor sinñ a litl lêtr on.

Ɖr r onli for v ɖz miśnwrcrz, n tū v ɖm r old gaiz, n wn z an old dol, ẃl ɖ uɖr z a yuñ dol hu z tūṭlñ on a cornit. N aftr a cupl v gandrz at ɖs yuñ dol, Ɖ Scî z a gonr, fr ɖs z wn v ɖ most bytifl yuñ dolz enbdi evr siz on Brōdwe, n ispeṣ́li az a miśnwrcr. Hr nem z Mis Sẹra Brǎn.

Ś z tōl, n ʈin, n hz a frst-clas śep, n hr her z a lît brǎn, gwñ on blond, n hr îz r lîc I d nt nǒ ẃt, xpt ɖt ɖe r wn-hundṛd-p’-snt îz in evri rspct. Frɖrmr, ś z nt a bad cornitpleyr, f y lîc cornitpleyrz, olɖo at ɖs spot on Brōdwe ś hz t ple agnst a scatband in a ćopsui jônt nir bî, n ɖs z tuf comṗtiśn, olɖo at ɖt mni sitiznz b’liv Mis Sẹra Brǎn wl win bî a larj scor f ś onli gts a litl mor s’port fṛm wn v ɖ old gaiz wɖ hr hu hz a big beis drum, bt dz nt pǎnd it harti inuf.

Wel, Ɖ Scî standz ɖr liṣnñ t Mis Sẹra Brǎn tūṭlñ on ɖ cornit fr qt a spel, n ɖen h hírz hr mc a spīć in ẃć ś pts ɖ blast on sin vri gd, n būsts rlijn qt sm, n sz f ɖr r eni soulz arnd ɖt nīd sevñ ɖ ǒnrz v sem me step fwd at wns. Bt nwn steps fwd, so Ɖ Scî cmz ovr t Mindi’z resṭront ẃr mni sitiznz r congṛgetd, n starts telñ s abt Mis Sẹra Brǎn. Bt v cors w olrdi nǒ abt Mis Sẹra Brǎn, bcz ś z so bytifl, n so gd.

Frɖrmr, evrbdi fīlz smẃt sori fr Mis Sẹra Brǎn, fr ẃl ś z olwz tūṭlñ ɖ cornit, n mcñ spīćz, n lcñ t sev eni soulz ɖt nīd sevñ, ś nvr sīmz t fînd eni soulz t sev, or at līst hr bunć v miśnwrcrz nvr gts eni bigr. In fact, it gts smōlr, az ś starts ǎt wɖ a gai hu plez a vri fer sort v trombon, bt ɖs gai tecs it on ɖ lam wn nît wɖ ɖ trombon, ẃć wn n ol cnsidr a drti tric.

Nǎ fṛm ɖs tîm on, Ɖ Scî dz nt tec eni inṭrest in enʈñ bt Mis Sẹra Brǎn, n eni nît ś z ǎt on ɖ cornr wɖ ɖ uɖr miśnwrcrz, y wl si Ɖ Scî standñ arnd lcñ at hr, n naćṛli aftr a fy wīcs v ɖs, Mis Sẹra Brǎn mst nǒ Ɖ Scî z lcñ at hr, or ś z dumr ɖn sīmz poṣbl. N nbdi evr fiğrz Mis Sẹra Brǎn dum, az ś z olwz on hr toz, n sīmz plenti ebl t tec cer v hrslf, īvn on Brōdwe.

Smtmz aftr ɖ strītmītñ z ovr, Ɖ Scî foloz ɖ miśnwrcrz t ɖer hedqortrz in an old stoŗūm arnd in Forti-etʈ Strīt ẃr ɖe jenṛli hold an indorseśn, n I hír Ɖ Scî drops mni a larj cōrs not in ɖ c’lex́nbox ẃl lcñ at Mis Sẹra Brǎn, n ɖr z no dǎt ɖz nots cm in handi arnd ɖ miśn, az I hír biznis z bî no mīnz so gd ɖr.

It z cōld ɖ Sev-a-Soul Miśn, n it z run mnli bî Mis Sẹra Brǎn’z granfaɖr, an old gai wɖ ẃiscrz, bî ɖ nem v Arvīd Aḅnaʈi, bt Mis Sẹra Brǎn sīmz t d most v ɖ wrc, includñ tūṭlñ ɖ cornit, n viẓtñ ɖ pur ppl arnd n abt, n ol ɖs n ɖt, n mni sitiznz clem it z a gret śem ɖt sć a bytifl dol z westñ hr tîm biyñ gd.

Hǎ Ɖ Scî evr bcmz aqentd wɖ Mis Sẹra Brǎn z a vri gret misṭri, bt ɖ nxt ʈñ enbdi nz, h z seyñ hlo t hr, n ś z smîlñ at him ǎt v hr wn-hundṛd-p’-snt îz, n wn īvnñ ẃn I hapn t b wɖ Ɖ Scî w run intu hr wōcñ alñ Forti-nînʈ Strīt, n Ɖ Scî hōlz of n stops hr, n sz it z a nîs īvnñ, ẃć it z, at ɖt. Ɖen Ɖ Scî sz t Mis Sẹra Brǎn lîc ɖs:

“Wel,” Ɖ Scî sz, “hǎ z ɖ miśn doj gwñ ɖz dez? R y sevñ eni soulz?” h sz.

Wel, it sīmz fṛm ẃt Mis Sẹra Brǎn sz ɖ soul-sevñ z vri slo, indd, ɖz dez.

“In fact,” Mis Sẹra Brǎn sz, “I wuri gretli abt hǎ fy soulz w sīm t sev. Smtmz I wundr f w r lacñ in gres.”

Ś gz on p ɖ strīt, n Ɖ Scî standz lcñ aftr hr, n h sz t m lîc ɖs:

“I wś I cn ʈnc v sm we t hlp ɖs litl dol,” h sz, “ispeṣ́li,” h sz, “in sevñ a fy soulz t bild p hr mob at ɖ miśn. I mst spīc t hr agn, n si f I cn fiğr smʈñ ǎt.”

Bt Ɖ Scî dz nt gt t spīc t Mis Sẹra Brǎn agn, bcz smbdi weiz in ɖ sacs on him bî telñ hr h z nʈñ bt a pṛfeśnl gamblr, n ɖt h z a vri undizîṛbl caṛctr, n ɖt hiz onli inṭrest in haññ arnd ɖ miśn z bcz ś z a gd-lcñ dol. So ol v a sudn Mis Sẹra Brǎn plez a plenti v ćil fr Ɖ Scî. Frɖrmr, ś sndz him wrd ɖt ś dz nt cer t axpt eni mor v hiz ptetoz in ɖ c’lex́nbox, bcz hiz ptetoz r nʈñ bt il-gotn genz.

Wel, naćṛli, ɖs hrts Ɖ Scî’z fīlñz no litl, so h qits standñ arnd lcñ at Mis Sẹra Brǎn, n gwñ t ɖ miśn, n tecs t mnġlñ agn wɖ ɖ sitiznz in Mindi’z, n śowñ sm inṭrest in ɖ aferz v ɖ cḿṇti, ispeṣ́li ɖ crapgemz.

V cors ɖ crapgemz ɖt r gwñ on at ɖs tîm r nʈñ mć, bcz practicli evrbdi in ɖ wrld z brouc, bt ɖr z a hed-n-hed gem run bî Neʈn Dtrôt ovr a garij in Fifti-secnd Strīt ẃr ɖr z oceźṇli sm ax́n, n hu śoz p at ɖs crapgem rli wn īvnñ bt Ɖ Scî, olɖo it sīmz h śoz p ɖr mor t fînd cumṗni ɖn enʈñ els.

In fact, h onli standz arnd woćñ ɖ ple, n tōcñ wɖ uɖr gaiz hu r olso standñ arnd n woćñ, n mni v ɖz gaiz r vri hî śots jrñ ɖ goldruś, olɖo most v ɖm r nǎ az clīn az a jêbrd, n mbi clīnr. Wn v ɖz gaiz z a gai bî ɖ nem v Brandibotl Bêts, hu z noun fṛm cǒst t cǒst az a hî pleyr ẃn h hz enʈñ t ple wɖ, n hu z cōld Brandibotl Bêts bcz it sīmz ɖt yirz ago h z a gret hand fr bltñ a brandibotl arnd.

Ɖs Brandibotl Bêts z a big, blac-lcñ gai, wɖ a larj bīzr, n a hed śept lîc a pér, n h z cnsidrd a vri imoṛl n wicid caṛctr, bt h z a priti slic gamblr, n a fast man wɖ a dolr ẃn h z in ɖ muni.

Wel, fîṇli Ɖ Scî ascs Brandibotl ẃ h z nt pleyñ n Brandi lafs, n stets az foloz:

“Ẃ,” h sz, “in ɖ frst ples I hv no ptetoz, n in ɖ secnd ples I dǎt f it wl d m mć gd f I d hv eni ptetoz ɖ we I am gwñ ɖ past yir. Ẃ,” Brandibotl sz, “I canot win a bet t sev mî soul.”

Nǎ ɖs crac sīmz t gv Ɖ Scî an îdīa, az h standz lcñ at Brandibotl vri strenjli, n ẃl h z lcñ, Big Nig, ɖ crapśūtr, pics p ɖ dîs n hits ʈri tîmz handrunñ, bñ, bñ, bñ. Ɖen Big Nig cmz ǎt on a six n Brandibotl Bêts spīcs az foloz:

“Y si hǎ mî luc z,” h sz. “Hir z Big Nig hotr ɖn a stov, n hir I am wɖt a bob t folo him wɖ, ispeṣ́li,” Brandi sz, “ẃn h z lcñ fr nʈñ bt a six. Ẃ,” h sz, “Nig cn mc sixz ol nît ẃn h z hot. F h dz nt mc ɖs six, ɖ we h z, I wl b wilñ t trn sqer n qit gamḅlñ fr evr.”

“Wel, Brandi,” Ɖ Scî sz, “I wl mc y a propziśn. I wl le y a G not Big Nig dz nt gt hiz six. I wl le y a G not agnst nʈñ bt yr soul,” h sz. “I mīn f Big Nig dz nt gt hiz six, y r t trn sqer n jôn Mis Sẹra Brǎn’z miśn fr six munʈs.”

“Bet!” Brandibotl Bêts sz rît awe, mīnñ ɖ propziśn z on, olɖo ɖ ćansz r h dz nt qt unḍstand ɖ propziśn. Ol Brandi unḍstandz z Ɖ Scî wśz t wejr ɖt Big Nig dz nt mc hiz six, n Brandibotl Bêts wl b wilñ t bet hiz soul a cupl v tîmz ovr on Big Nig mcñ hiz six, n fiğr h z gtñ ɖ bst v it, at ɖt, az Brandi hz gret confidns in Nig.

Wel, śr inuf, Big Nig mcs ɖ six, so Ɖ Scî wīdz Brandibotl Bêts a G not, olɖo evrbdi arnd z seyñ Ɖ Scî mcs a teṛbl oṿle v ɖ naćṛl prîs in gvñ Brandibotl a G agnst hiz soul. Frɖrmr, evrbdi arnd fiğrz ɖ ćansz r Ɖ Scî onli wśz t gv Brandi an oṗtyṇti t gt in ax́n, n nbdi fiğrz Ɖ Scî z on ɖ levl abt trayñ t win Brandibotl Bêts’ soul, ispeṣ́li az Ɖ Scî dz nt sīm t wś t g eni frɖr aftr peyñ ɖ bet.

H onli standz ɖr lcñ on n sīmñ smẃt dprest az Brandibotl gz intu ax́n on hiz ǒn acǎnt wɖ ɖ G not, fedñ uɖr gaiz arnd ɖ tebl wɖ caśmuni. Bt Brandibotl Bêts sīmz t fiğr ẃt z in Ɖ Scî’z mînd priti wel, bcz Brandibotl z a crafti old gai.

It fîṇli cmz hiz trn t handl ɖ dîs, n h hits a cupl v tîmz, n ɖen h cmz ǎt on a for, n enbdi wl tel y ɖt a for z a vri tuf pônt t mc, īvn wɖ a led pnsl. Ɖen Brandibotl trnz t Ɖ Scî n spīcs t him az foloz:

“Wel, Scî,” h sz, “I wl tec ɖ odz of y on ɖs wn. I nǒ y d nt wont mî dou,” h sz. “I nǒ y onli wont mî soul fr Mis Sẹra Brǎn, n,” h sz, “wɖt wśñ t b freś abt it, I nǒ ẃ y wont it fr hr. I am yuñ wns mslf,” Brandibotl sz. “N y nǒ f I lūz t y, I wl b ovr ɖr in Forti-etʈ Strīt in an aur pǎndñ on ɖ dor, fr Brandi olwz setlz.

“Bt, Scî,” h sz, “nǎ I am in ɖ muni, n mî prîs gz p. Wl y le m ten G’z agnst mî soul I d nt mc ɖs for?”

“Bet!” Ɖ Scî sz, n rît awe Brandibotl mcs hiz for.

Wel, ẃn wrd gz arnd ɖt Ɖ Scî z p at Neʈn Dtrôt’s crapgem trayñ t win Brandibotl Bêts’ soul fr Mis Sẹra Brǎn, ɖ xîtmnt z practicli intns. Smbdi teḷfonz Mindi’z, ẃr a larj numbr v sitiznz r sitñ arnd argywñ abt ɖs n ɖt, n telñ wn anɖr hǎ mć ɖe wl bet in s’port v ɖer arğmnts, f onli ɖe hv smʈñ t bet, n Mindi himslf z olmst cild in ɖ ruś fr ɖ dor.

Wn v ɖ frst gaiz ǎt v Mindi’z n p t ɖ crapgem z Rgret, ɖ horspleyr, n az h cmz in Brandibotl z lcñ fr a nîn, n Ɖ Scî z leyñ him twelv G’z agnst hiz soul ɖt h dz nt mc ɖs nîn, fr it sīmz Brandibotl’z soul cīps gtñ mor n mor xpnsiv.

Wel, Rgret wśz t bet hiz soul agnst a G ɖt Brandibotl gts hiz nîn, n z gretli insultd ẃn Ɖ Scî canot fiğr hiz prîs eni betr ɖn a dubl sw, bt fîṇli Rgret axpts ɖs prîs, n Brandibotl hits agn.

Nǎ mni uɖr sitiznz rqst a litl ax́n fṛm Ɖ Scî, n f ɖr z wn ʈñ Ɖ Scî canot dnî a sitizn it z ax́n, so h sz h wl le ɖm acordñ t hǎ h fiğrz ɖer wrd t jôn Mis Sẹra Brǎn’z miśn f Brandibotl misz ǎt, bt abt ɖs tîm Ɖ Scî fîndz h hz no mor ptetoz on him, biyñ nǎ arnd ʈrti-fîv G’z luzr, n h wśz t gv marcrz.

Bt Brandibotl sz ɖt ẃl orḍneṛli h wl b plizd t xtnd Ɖ Scî ɖs acoṃdeśn, h dz nt cer t axpt marcrz agnst hiz soul, so ɖen Ɖ Scî hz t līv ɖ jônt n g ovr t hiz hotel tū or ʈri blocs awe, n gt ɖ nîtclarc t opn hiz dampr so Ɖ Scî cn gt ɖ rest v hiz bancrol. In ɖ mntm ɖ crapgem cntinyz at Neʈn Dtrôt’s amñ ɖ smōl oṗretrz, ẃl ɖ uɖr sitiznz stand arnd n se ɖt ẃl ɖe hír v mni a dafi propziśn in ɖer tîm, ɖs z ɖ dafiist ɖt evr cmz t ɖer atnśn, olɖo Big Nig clemz h hírz v a dafịr wn, bt canot ʈnc ẃt it z.

Big Nig clemz ɖt ol gamblrz r dafi enwe, n in fact h sz f ɖe r nt dafi ɖe wl nt b gamblrz, n ẃl h z argywñ ɖs matr bac cmz Ɖ Scî wɖ freś scrać, n Brandibotl Bêts tecs p ẃr h līvz of, olɖo Brandi sz h z axptñ ɖ wrst v it, az ɖ dîs hv a ćans t cūl of.

Nǎ ɖ upśot v ɖ hol biznis z ɖt Brandibotl hits ʈrtīn lics in a ro, n ɖ last lic h mcs z on a ten, n it z fr twenti G’z agnst hiz soul, wɖ abt a duzn uɖr sitiznz gtñ enẃr fṛm wn t fîv C’s agnst ɖer soulz, n cmplenñ bitrli v ɖ prîs.

N az Brandibotl mcs hiz ten, I hapn t lc at Ɖ Scî n I si him woćñ Brandi wɖ a vri pkłr xpreśn on hiz fes, n frɖrmr I si Ɖ Scî’z rît hand crīpñ insd hiz cot ẃr I nǒ h olwz pacs a Betsi in a śoldrholstr, so I cn si smʈñ z roñ smẃr.

Bt bfr I cn fiğr ǎt ẃt it z, ɖr z qt a fus at ɖ dor, n lǎd tōcñ, n a dol’z vôs, n ol v a sudn in bobz nbdi els bt Mis Sẹra Brǎn. It z plen t b sìn ɖt ś z ol stīmd p abt smʈñ.

Ś marćz rît p t ɖ craptebl ẃr Brandibotl Bêts n Ɖ Scî n ɖ uɖr sitiznz r standñ, n wn n ol r fīlñ sori fr Dóbr, ɖ dormn, ʈncñ v ẃt Neʈn Dtrôt z bǎnd t se t him fr letñ hr in. Ɖ dîs r stl layñ on ɖ tebl śowñ Brandibotlz Bêts’ last ʈro, ẃć clīnz Ɖ Scî n gvz mni sitiznz ɖ frst mīnz ɖe injô in sevṛl munʈs.

Wel, Mis Sẹra Brǎn lcs at Ɖ Scî, n Ɖ Scî lcs at Mis Sẹra Brǎn, n Mis Sẹra Brǎn lcs at ɖ sitiznz arnd n abt, n wn n ol r smẃt dumfǎndd, n nbdi sīmz t b ebl t ʈnc v mć t se, olɖo Ɖ Scî fîṇli spīcs p az foloz:

“Gd īvnñ,” Ɖ Scî sz. “It z a nîs īvnñ,” h sz. “I am trayñ t win a fy soulz fr y arnd hir, bt,” h sz, “I sīm t b abt haf ǎt v luc.”

“Wel,” Mis Sẹra Brǎn sz, lcñ at Ɖ Scî most svirli ǎt v hr hundṛd-p’-snt îz, “y r tecñ tù mć upn yrslf. I cn win eni soulz I nīd mslf. Y betr b ʈncñ v yr ǒn soul. Bî ɖ we,” ś sz, “r y riscñ yr ǒn soul, or jst yr muni?”

Wel, v cors p t ɖs tîm Ɖ Scî z nt riscñ enʈñ bt hiz ptetoz, so h onli śecs hiz hed t Mis Sẹra Brǎn’z qsćn, n lcs smẃt dsorġnîzd.

“I nǒ smʈñ abt gamḅlñ,” Mis Sẹra Brǎn sz, “ispeṣ́li abt crapgemz. I òt t,” ś sz. “It ruinz mî pur ppā n mî bruɖr Jo. F y wś t gambl fr soulz, Mistr Scî, gambl fr yr ǒn soul.”

Nǎ Mis Sẹra Brǎn opnz a smōl blac leɖr pocit-bc ś z cariyñ in wn hand, n plz ǎt a tū-dolr bil, n it z sć a tū-dolr bil az sīmz t hv sìn mć srvis in its tîm, n holdñ p ɖs dys, Mis Sẹra Brǎn spīcs az foloz:

“I wl gambl wɖ y, Mistr Scî,” ś sz. “I wl gambl wɖ y,” ś sz, “on ɖ sem trmz y gambl wɖ ɖz partiz hir. Ɖs tū dolrz agnst yr soul, Mistr Scî. It z ol I hv, bt,” ś sz, “it z mor ɖn yr soul z wrʈ.”

Wel, v cors enbdi cn si ɖt Mis Sẹra Brǎn z dwñ ɖs bcz ś z vri angri, n wśz t mc Ɖ Scî lc smōl, bt rît awe Ɖ Scî’z dyc cmz fṛm insd hiz cot, n h pics p ɖ dîs n handz ɖm t hr n spīcs az foloz:

“Rol ɖm,” Ɖ Scî sz, n Mis Sẹra Brǎn snaćz ɖ dîs ǎt v hiz hand n gvz ɖm a qc slñ on ɖ tebl in sć a we ɖt enbdi cn si ś z nt a pṛfeśnl crapśūtr, n nt īvn an aṃćr crapśūtr, fr ol aṃćr crapśūtrz frst briɖ on ɖ dîs, n ratl ɖm gd, n mc rmarcs t ɖm, sć az “Cm on, bebi!”

In fact, ɖr z sm criṭsizm v Mis Sẹra Brǎn aftwdz on acǎnt v hr hest, az mni sitiznz r īgr t strñ wɖ hr t hit, ẃl uɖrz r jst az añśs t bet ś misz, n ś dz nt gv ɖm a ćans t gt dǎn.

Wel, Scrantn Slim z ɖ sticgai, n h tecs a gandr at ɖ dîs az ɖe hit p agnst ɖ sîd v ɖ tebl n bǎns bac, n ɖen Slim holrz, “Winr, winr, winr,” az sticgaiz luv t d, n ẃt z śowñ on ɖ dîs az big az lîf, bt a six n a fîv, ẃć mcs ilevn, no matr hǎ y fiğr, so Ɖ Scî’z soul b’loñz t Mis Sẹra Brǎn.

Ś trnz at wns n pśz ʈru ɖ sitiznz arnd ɖ tebl wɖt īvn wêtñ t pic p ɖ dys ś lez dǎn ẃn ś grabz ɖ dîs. Aftwdz a most obnox́s caṛctr bî ɖ nem v Red Nǒz Regn trîz t clem ɖ dys az a slīpr n gts ɖ hīv-o fṛm Neʈn Dtrôt, hu bcmz vri indignnt abt ɖs, stetñ ɖt Red Nǒz z trayñ t gv hiz jônt a roñ rap.

Naćṛli, Ɖ Scî foloz Mis Brǎn, n Dóbr, ɖ dormn, tlz m ɖt az ɖe r wêtñ fr him t unloc ɖ dor n let ɖm ǎt, Mis Sẹra Brǎn trnz on Ɖ Scî n spīcs t him az foloz:

“Y r a fūl,” Mis Sẹra Brǎn sz.

Wel, at ɖs Dóbr fiğrz Ɖ Scî z baund t let wn g, az ɖs sīmz t b most insultñ lanḡj, bt instd v letñ wn g, Ɖ Scî onli smîlz at Mis Sẹra Brǎn n sz t hr lîc ɖs:

“Ẃ,” Ɖ Scî sz, “Pōl sz ‘F eni man amñ y sīmiʈ t b wîz in ɖs wrld, let him bcm a fūl, ɖt h me b wîz.’ I luv y, Mis Sẹra Brǎn,” Ɖ Scî sz.

Wel, nǎ, Dóbr hz a priti fer sort v meṃri, n h sz ɖt Mis Sẹra Brǎn tlz Ɖ Scî ɖt sins h sīmz t nǒ so mć abt ɖ Bîbl, mbi h rmembrz ɖ secnd vrs v ɖ Soñ v Soḷmn, bt ɖ ćansz r Dóbr mufs ɖ numbr v ɖ vrs, bcz I lc ɖ matr p in wn v ɖz Gidịn Bîblz, n ɖ vrs sīmz a litl tù mć fr Mis Sẹra Brǎn, olɖo v cors y nvr cn tel.

Enwe, ɖs z abt ol ɖr z t ɖ stori, xpt ɖt Brandibotl Bêts slîdz ǎt jrñ ɖ cnfyźn so qaytli īvn Dóbr scersli rmembrz letñ him ǎt, n h tecs most v Ɖ Scî’z ptetoz wɖ him, bt h sn gts batd in agnst ɖ faro banc ǎt in Ścago, n ɖ last enbdi hírz v him h gts rlijn ol ovr agn, n z prīćñ ǎt in San Źose, so Ɖ Scî olwz clemz h bìts Brandi fr hiz soul, at ɖt.

I si Ɖ Scî ɖ uɖr nît at Forti-nînʈ Strīt n Brōdwe, n h z wɖ qt a raft v miśnwrcrz, includñ Msz Scî, fr it sīmz ɖt ɖ soul-sevñ biznis pics p wundrf̣li, n Ɖ Scî z gvñ a big beis drum sć a frst-clas ẃacñ ɖt ɖ scatband in ɖ ćopsui jônt cn scersli b hŕd. Frɖrmr, Ɖ Scî z hoḷrñ btwn ẃacs, n I nvr si a gai lc hapịr, ispeṣ́li ẃn Msz Scî smîlz at him ǎt v hr hundṛd-p’-snt îz. Bt I d nt lingr loñ, bcz Ɖ Scî gts a gandr at m, n rît awe h bginz hoḷrñ:

“I si bfr m a sinr v dīpist dai,” h holrz. “Ǒ, sinr, rpnt bfr it z tù lêt. Jôn wɖ s, sinr,” h holrz, “n let s sev yr soul.”

Naćṛli, ɖs crac abt m biyñ a sinr imbaṛsz m no litl, az it z bî no mīnz tru, n it z a gd ʈñ fr Ɖ Scî ɖr z no copr in m, or I wl g t Msz Scî, hu z olwz bragñ abt hǎ ś winz Ɖ Scî’z soul bî ǎtpleyñ him at hiz ǒn gem, n tel hr ɖ truʈ.

N ɖ truʈ z ɖt ɖ dîs wɖ ẃć ś winz Ɖ Scî’z soul, n ẃć r ɖ sem dîs wɖ ẃć Brandibotl Bêts winz ol hiz ptetoz, r stricli foni, n ɖt ś gts intu Neʈn Dtrôt’s jst in tîm t cīp Ɖ Scî fṛm cilñ old Brandibotl.

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