VIII: “It’s Mî Ǒn Invnśn”

A

ftr a ẃl ɖ nôz sīmd graɉli t dî awe, tl ol wz ded sîḷns, n Alis liftd p hr hed in sm alarm. Ɖr wz nwn t b sìn, n hr frst ʈt wz ɖt ś mst hv bn drīmñ abt ɖ Layn n ɖ Yṇcorn n ɖoz qir Anglo-Saxn Mesinjrz. Hvr, ɖr wz ɖ gret diś stl layñ at hr fīt, on ẃć ś hd traid t cut ɖ plum cec, “So I wz’nt drīmñ, aftr ol,” ś sd t hrslf, “unls—unls w’r ol part v ɖ sem drīm. Onli I d hop it’s  drīm, n nt ɖ Red Cñ’z! I d’nt lîc b’loññ t anɖr prsn’z drīm,” ś wnt on in a rɖr cmplenñ ton: “I’v a gret mînd t g n wec him, n si ẃt hapnz!”

At ɖs momnt hr ʈts wr inṭruptd bî a lǎd śǎtñ v “Ahô! Ahô! Ćec!” n a Nait drest in crimzn armr cem gaḷpñ dǎn upn hr, branḍśñ a gret club. Jst az h rīćt hr, ɖ hors stopt sudnli: “Y’r mî priznr!” ɖ Nait craid, az h tumbld of hiz hors.

Startld az ś wz, Alis wz mor frîtnd fr him ɖn fr hrslf at ɖ momnt, n woćt him wɖ sm añzayti az h mǎntd agn. Az sn az h wz cumf̣tbli in ɖ sadl, h bgan wns mor “Y’r mî—” bt hir anɖr vôs brouc in “Ahô! Ahô! Ćec!” n Alis lct rnd in sm s’prîz fr ɖ ny eṇmi.

Ɖs tîm it wz a Ẃît Nait. H drù p at Alis’z sîd, n tumbld of hiz hors jst az ɖ Red Nait hd dn: ɖen h got on agn, n ɖ tū Naits sat n lct at ć uɖr fr sm tîm wɖt spīcñ. Alis lct fṛm wn t ɖ uɖr in sm bwildrmnt.

“Ś’z  priznr, y nǒ!” ɖ Red Nait sd at last.

“Yes, bt ɖen I cem n rescyd hr!” ɖ Ẃît Nait rplaid.

“Wel, w mst fît fr hr, ɖen,” sd ɖ Red Nait, az h tc p hiz helmit (ẃć huñ fṛm ɖ sadl, n wz smʈñ ɖ śep v a hors’z hed), n pt it on.

“Y wl obzrv ɖ Rūlz v Batl, v cors?” ɖ Ẃît Nait rmarct, ptñ on hiz helmit tù.

“I olwz d,” sd ɖ Red Nait, n ɖe bgan baññ awe at ć uɖr wɖ sć fyri ɖt Alis got bhnd a tri t b ǎt v ɖ we v ɖ bloz.

40

“I wundr, nǎ, ẃt ɖ Rūlz v Batl r,” ś sd t hrslf, az ś woćt ɖ fît, timidli pīpñ ǎt fṛm hr hîdñples: “wn Rūl sīmz t b, ɖt f wn Nait hits ɖ uɖr, h nocs him of hiz hors, n f h misz, h tumblz of himslf—n anɖr Rūl sīmz t b ɖt ɖe hold ɖer clubz wɖ ɖer armz, az f ɖe wr Punć n Jūdi—Ẃt a nôz ɖe mc ẃn ɖe tumbl! Jst lîc a hol set v fîr-aynz fōlñ intu ɖ fndr! N hǎ qayt ɖ horsz r! Ɖe let ɖm gt on n of ɖm jst az f ɖe wr teblz!”

Anɖr Rūl v Batl, ɖt Alis hd nt notist, sīmd t b ɖt ɖe olwz fél on ɖer hedz, n ɖ batl endd wɖ ɖer bʈ fōlñ of in ɖs we, sîd bî sîd: ẃn ɖe got p agn, ɖe śc handz, n ɖen ɖ Red Nait mǎntd n gaḷpt of.

“It wz a glorịs vicṭri, wz’nt it?” sd ɖ Ẃît Nait, az h cem p pantñ.

“I d’nt nǒ,” Alis sd dǎtf̣li. “I d’nt wont t b enbdi’z priznr. I wont t b a Qīn.”

“So y wl, ẃn y’v crost ɖ nxt brŭc,” sd ɖ Ẃît Nait. “I’l si y sef t ɖ end v ɖ wŭd—n ɖen I mst g bac, y nǒ. Ɖt’s ɖ end v mî muv.”

“Ʈanc y vri mć,” sd Alis. “Me I hlp y of wɖ yr helmit?” It wz evidntli mor ɖn h cd manij bî himslf; hvr, ś manijd t śec him ǎt v it at last.

“Nǎ wn cn briɖ mor īẓli,” sd ɖ Nait, ptñ bac hiz śagi her wɖ bʈ handz, n trnñ hiz jntl fes n larj mîld îz t Alis. Ś ʈt ś hd nvr sìn sć a strenj-lcñ soljr in ol hr lîf.

H wz drest in tin armr, ẃć sīmd t fit him vri badli, n h hd a qir-śept litl dīl box fasnd acrs hiz śoldr, upsîd-dǎn, n wɖ ɖ lid haññ opn. Alis lct at it wɖ gret krioṣti.

“I si y’r admîrñ mî litl box.” ɖ Nait sd in a frendli ton. “It’s mî ǒn invnśn—t cīp cloɖz n sanẉjz in. Y si I cari it upsîd-dǎn, so ɖt ɖ ren c’nt gt in.”

“Bt ɖ ʈñz cn gt ǎt,” Alis jntli rmarct. “D y nǒ ɖ lid’z opn?”

“I dd’nt nǒ it,” ɖ Nait sd, a śêd v vxeśn pasñ ovr hiz fes. “Ɖen ol ɖ ʈñz mst hv fōḷn ǎt! N ɖ box z no ys wɖt ɖm.” H unfasnd it az h spouc, n wz jst gwñ t ʈro it intu ɖ bśz, ẃn a sudn ʈt sīmd t strîc him, n h huñ it cerf̣li on a tri. “Cn y ges ẃ I dd ɖt?” h sd t Alis.

Alis śc hr hed.

“In hops sm bìz me mc a nst in it—ɖen I śd gt ɖ huni.”

“Bt y’v got a bìhîv—or smʈñ lîc wn—fasnd t ɖ sadl,” sd Alis.

“Yes, it’s a vri gd bìhîv,” ɖ Nait sd in a discntntd ton, “wn v ɖ bst cnd. Bt nt a sngl bì hz cm nir it yt. N ɖ uɖr ʈñ z a mǎstrap. I s’poz ɖ mîs cīp ɖ bìz ǎt—or ɖ bìz cīp ɖ mîs ǎt, I d’nt nǒ ẃć.”

“I wz wunḍrñ ẃt ɖ mǎstrap wz fr,” sd Alis. “It z’nt vri lîcli ɖr wd b eni mîs on ɖ hors’z bac.”

“Nt vri lîcli, phps,” sd ɖ Nait: “bt f ɖe d cm, I d’nt ćūz t hv ɖm runñ ol abt.”

“Y si,” h wnt on aftr a pōz, “it’s az wel t b pṛvîdd fr evrʈñ. Ɖt’s ɖ rīzn ɖ hors hz ol ɖoz anclits rnd hiz fīt.”

“Bt ẃt r ɖe fr?” Alis asct in a ton v gret krioṣti.

“T gard agnst ɖ bîts v śarcs,” ɖ Nait rplaid. “It’s an invnśn v mî ǒn. N nǎ hlp m on. I’l g wɖ y t ɖ end v ɖ wŭd—Ẃt’s ɖ diś fr?”

“It’s mnt fr plum cec,” sd Alis.

“W’d betr tec it wɖ s,” ɖ Nait sd. “It’l cm in handi f w fînd eni plum cec. Hlp m t gt it intu ɖs bag.”

Ɖs tc a vri loñ tîm t manij, ɖo Alis hld ɖ bag opn vri cerf̣li, bcz ɖ Nait wz so vri ōcẉd in ptñ in ɖ diś: ɖ frst tū or ʈri tîmz ɖt h traid h fél in himslf instd. “It’s rɖr a tît fit, y si,” h sd, az ɖe got it in a last; “Ɖr r so mni candlstics in ɖ bag.” N h huñ it t ɖ sadl, ẃć wz olrdi lodd wɖ bunćz v caṛts, n fîr-aynz, n mni uɖr ʈñz.

“I hop y’v got yr her wel fasnd on?” h cntinyd, az ɖe set of.

“Onli in ɖ yźl we,” Alis sd, smîlñ.

“Ɖt’s hardli inuf,” h sd, añśsli. “Y si ɖ wind z so vri stroñ hir. It’s az stroñ az sūp.”

“Hv y invntd a plan fr cīpñ ɖ her fṛm biyñ bloun of?” Alis inqîrd.

“Nt yt,” sd ɖ Nait. “Bt I’v got a plan fr cīpñ it fṛm fōlñ of.”

“I śd lîc t hír it, vri mć.”

“Frst y tec an uprît stic,” sd ɖ Nait. “Ɖen y mc yr her crīp p it, lîc a frūțrī. Nǎ ɖ rīzn her fōlz of z bcz it hañz dǎn—ʈñz nvr fōl upwdz, y nǒ. It’s a plan v mî ǒn invnśn. Y me trî it f y lîc.”

It dd’nt sǎnd a cumf̣tbl plan, Alis ʈt, n fr a fy minits ś wōct on in sîḷns, puẓlñ ovr ɖ îdīa, n evri nǎ n ɖen stopñ t hlp ɖ pur Nait, hu srtnli wz nt a gd rîdr.

41

Ẃnvr ɖ hors stopt (ẃć it dd vri ofn), h fél of in frunt; n ẃnvr it wnt on agn (ẃć it jenṛli dd rɖr sudnli), h fél of bhnd. Uɖwz h cept on priti wel, xpt ɖt h hd a habit v nǎ n ɖen fōlñ of sîdwez; n az h jenṛli dd ɖs on ɖ sîd on ẃć Alis wz wōcñ, ś sn faund ɖt it wz ɖ bst plan nt t wōc qt clos t ɖ hors.

“I’m afred y’v nt hd mć practis in rîdñ,” ś vnćrd t se, az ś wz hlpñ him p fṛm hiz fifʈ tumbl.

Ɖ Nait lct vri mć s’prîzd, n a litl ofndd at ɖ rmarc. “Ẃt mcs y se ɖt?” h asct, az h scrambld bac intu ɖ sadl, cīpñ hold v Alis’z her wɖ wn hand, t sev himslf fṛm fōlñ ovr on ɖ uɖr sîd.

“Bcz ppl d’nt fōl of qt so ofn, ẃn ɖ’v hd mć practis.”

“I’v hd plenti v practis,” ɖ Nait sd vri grevli: “plenti v practis!”

Alis cd ʈnc v nʈñ betr t se ɖn “Indd?” bt ś sd it az harṭli az ś cd. Ɖe wnt on a litl we in sîḷns aftr ɖs, ɖ Nait wɖ hiz îz śut, muṭrñ t himslf, n Alis woćñ añśsli fr ɖ nxt tumbl.

“Ɖ gret art v rîdñ,” ɖ Nait sudnli bgan in a lǎd vôs, wevñ hiz rît arm az h spouc, “z t cīp—” Hir ɖ sntns endd az sudnli az it hd bgun, az ɖ Nait fél heṿli on ɖ top v hiz hed xacli in ɖ paʈ ẃr Alis wz wōcñ. Ś wz qt frîtnd ɖs tîm, n sd in an añśs ton, az ś pict him p, “I hop no bonz r brocn?”

“Nn t spīc v,” ɖ Nait sd, az f h dd’nt mînd brecñ tū or ʈri v ɖm. “Ɖ gret art v rîdñ, az I wz seyñ, z—t cīp yr baḷns proprli. Lîc ɖs, y nǒ—”

H let g ɖ brîdl, n strećt ǎt bʈ hiz armz t śo Alis ẃt h mnt, n ɖs tîm h fél flat on hiz bac, rît undr ɖ hors’z fīt.

“Plenti v practis!” h wnt on rpitñ, ol ɖ tîm ɖt Alis wz gtñ him on hiz fīt agn. “Plenti v practis!”

“It’s tù r’dikyḷs!” craid Alis, luzñ ol hr peśns ɖs tîm. “Y òt t hv a wŭdn hors on ẃīlz, ɖt y òt!”

“Dz ɖt cnd g smuɖli?” ɖ Nait asct in a ton v gret inṭrest, claspñ hiz armz rnd ɖ hors’z nec az h spouc, jst in tîm t sev himslf fṛm tumḅlñ of agn.

“Mć mor smuɖli ɖn a lîv hors,” Alis sd, wɖ a litl scrīm v laftr, in spît v ol ś cd d t privnt it.

“I’l gt wn,” ɖ Nait sd ʈtf̣li t himslf. “Wn or tū—sevṛl.”

Ɖr wz a śort sîḷns aftr ɖs, n ɖen ɖ Nait wnt on agn. “I’m a gret hand at invntñ ʈñz. Nǎ, I derse y notist, ɖt last tîm y pict m p, ɖt I wz lcñ rɖr ʈtfl?”

“Y wr a litl grev,” sd Alis.

“Wel, jst ɖen I wz invntñ a ny we v gtñ ovr a get—wd y lîc t hír it?”

“Vri mć indd,” Alis sd p’lîtli.

“I’l tel y hǎ I cem t ʈnc v it,” sd ɖ Nait. “Y si, I sd t mslf, “Ɖ onli dificlti z wɖ ɖ fīt: ɖ hed z hî inuf olrdi.” Nǎ, frst I pt mî hed on ɖ top v ɖ get—ɖen I stand on mî hed—ɖen ɖ fīt r hî inuf, y si—ɖen I’m ovr, y si.”

“Yes, I s’poz y’d b ovr ẃn ɖt wz dn,” Alis sd ʈtf̣li: “bt d’nt y ʈnc it wd b rɖr hard?”

“I hv’nt traid it yt,” ɖ Nait sd, grevli: “so I c’nt tel fr srtn—bt I’m afred it wd b a litl hard.”

H lct so vxt at ɖ îdīa, ɖt Alis ćenjd ɖ subjict hesṭli. “Ẃt a krịs helmit y’v got!” ś sd ćirf̣li. “Z ɖt yr invnśn tù?”

Ɖ Nait lct dǎn prǎdli at hiz helmit, ẃć huñ fṛm ɖ sadl. “Yes,” h sd, “bt I’v invntd a betr wn ɖn ɖt—lîc a śŭgr lof. Ẃn I yst t wer it, f I fél of ɖ hors, it olwz tućt ɖ grǎnd d’recli. So I hd a vri litl we t fōl, y si—Bt ɖr wz ɖ denjr v fōlñ intu it, t b śr. Ɖt hapnd t m wns—n ɖ wrst v it wz, bfr I cd gt ǎt agn, ɖ uɖr Ẃît Nait cem n pt it on. H ʈt it wz hiz ǒn helmit.”

Ɖ nait lct so soḷm abt it ɖt Alis dd nt der t laf. “I’m afred y mst hv hrt him,” ś sd in a tremḅlñ vôs, “biyñ on ɖ top v hiz hed.”

“I hd t cic him, v cors,” ɖ Nait sd, vri sirịsli. “N ɖen h tc ɖ helmit of agn—bt it tc aurz n aurz t gt m ǎt. I wz az fast az—az lîtnñ, y nǒ.”

“Bt ɖt’s a difṛnt cnd v fastnis,” Alis objctd.

Ɖ Nait śc hiz hed. “It wz ol cndz v fastnis wɖ m, I cn aśur y!” h sd. H rezd hiz handz in sm xîtmnt az h sd ɖs, n instntli rold ǎt v ɖ sadl, n fél hedloñ intu a dīp dić.

Alis ran t ɖ sîd v ɖ dić t lc fr him. Ś wz rɖr startld bî ɖ fōl, az fr sm tîm h hd cept on vri wel, n ś wz afred ɖt h riyli wz hrt ɖs tîm. Hvr, ɖo ś cd si nʈñ bt ɖ sǒlz v hiz fīt, ś wz mć rlivd t hír ɖt h wz tōcñ on in hiz yźl ton. “Ol cndz v fastnis,” h rpitd: “bt it wz cerlis v him t pt anɖr man’z helmit on—wɖ ɖ man in it, tù.”

42

“Hǎ cn y g on tōcñ so qaytli, hed dǎnwdz?” Alis asct, az ś dragd him ǎt bî ɖ fīt, n leid him in a hīp on ɖ banc.

Ɖ Nait lct s’prîzd at ɖ qsćn. “Ẃt dz it matr ẃr mî bodi hapnz t b?” h sd. “Mî mînd gz on wrcñ ol ɖ sem. In fact, ɖ mor hed dǎnwdz I am, ɖ mor I cīp invntñ ny ʈñz.”

“Nǎ ɖ cleṿrist ʈñ v ɖ sort ɖt I evr dd,” h wnt on aftr a pōz, “wz invntñ a ny pdñ jrñ ɖ mìtcors.”

“In tîm t hv it cct fr ɖ nxt cors?” sd Alis. “Wel, nt ɖ nxt cors,” ɖ Nait sd in a slo ʈtfl ton: “no, srtnli nt ɖ nxt cors.”

“Ɖen it wd hv t b ɖ nxt de. I s’poz y wd’nt hv tū pdñcorsz in wn dinr?”

“Wel, nt ɖ nxt de,” ɖ Nait rpitd az bfr: “nt ɖ nxt de. In fact,” h wnt on, holdñ hiz hed dǎn, n hiz vôs gtñ lowr n lowr, “I d’nt b’liv ɖt pdñ evr wz cct! In fact, I d’nt b’liv ɖt pdñ evr wl b cct! N yt it wz a vri clevr pdñ t invnt.”

“Ẃt dd y mīn it t b md v?” Alis asct, hopñ t ćir him p, fr ɖ pur Nait sīmd qt lo-spiṛtd abt it.

“It bgan wɖ blotñpepr,” ɖ Nait ansrd wɖ a gron.

“Ɖt wd’nt b vri nîs, I’m afred—”

“Nt vri nîs alon,” h inṭruptd, qt īgrli: “bt y’v no îdīa ẃt a difṛns it mcs mixñ it wɖ uɖr ʈñz—sć az gunpǎdr n sìlñwax. N hir I mst līv y.” Ɖe hd jst cm t ɖ end v ɖ wŭd.

Alis cd onli lc puzld: ś wz ʈncñ v ɖ pdñ.

“Y r sad,” ɖ Nait sd in an añśs ton: “let m sñ y a soñ t cumf̣t y.”

“Z it vri loñ?” Alis asct, fr ś hd hŕd a gd dīl v powtri ɖt de.

“It’s loñ,” sd ɖ Nait, “bt vri, vri bytifl. Evrbdi ɖt hírz m sñ it—îɖr it brñz ɖ tirz intu ɖer îz, or els—”

“Or els ẃt?” sd Alis, fr ɖ Nait hd md a sudn pōz.

“Or els it dz’nt, y nǒ. Ɖ nem v ɖ soñ z cōld ‘Haḍcs’ Îz’.”

“Ǒ, ɖt’s ɖ nem v ɖ soñ, z it?” Alis sd, trayñ t fīl inṭrestd.

“No, y d’nt unḍstand,” ɖ Nait sd, lcñ a litl vxt. “Ɖt’s ẃt ɖ nem z cōld. Ɖ nem riyli z ‘Ɖ Ejid Ejid Man’.”

“Ɖen I òt t hv sd ‘Ɖt’s ẃt ɖ soñ z cōld’?” Alis c’rectd hrslf.

“No, y òt’nt: ɖt’s qt anɖr ʈñ! Ɖ soñ z cōld ‘Wez n Mīnz’: bt ɖt’s onli ẃt it’s cōld, y nǒ!”

“Wel, ẃt z ɖ soñ, ɖen?” sd Alis, hu wz bî ɖs tîm cmplitli bwildrd.

“I wz cmñ t ɖt,” ɖ Nait sd. “Ɖ soñ riyli z “A-sitñ on a Get”: n ɖ tyn’z mî ǒn invnśn.”

So seyñ, h stopt hiz hors n let ɖ reinz fōl on its nec: ɖen, slǒli bìtñ tîm wɖ wn hand, n wɖ a fent smîl lîtñ p hiz jntl fūliś fes, az f h injoid ɖ ḿzic v hiz soñ, h bgan.

V ol ɖ strenj ʈñz ɖt Alis sw in hr jrni Ʈru Ɖ Lcñglas, ɖs wz ɖ wn ɖt ś olwz rmembrd most clirli. Yirz aftwdz ś cd brñ ɖ hol sīn bac agn, az f it hd bn onli yesṭde—ɖ mîld blu îz n cîndli smîl v ɖ Nait—ɖ setñ sún glīmñ ʈru hiz her, n śînñ on hiz armr in a blêz v lît ɖt qt dazld hr—ɖ hors qaytli muvñ abt, wɖ ɖ reinz haññ lūs on hiz nec, cropñ ɖ gras at hr fīt—n ɖ blac śadoz v ɖ forist bhnd—ol ɖs ś tc in lîc a picćr, az, wɖ wn hand śêdñ hr îz, ś lent agnst a tri, woćñ ɖ strenj per, n liṣnñ, in a haf drīm, t ɖ meḷnc̣li ḿzic v ɖ soñ.

“Bt ɖ tyn z’nt hiz ǒn invnśn,” ś sd t hrslf: “it’s ‘I gv ɖi ol, I cn no mor’.” Ś std n lisnd vri atntivli, bt no tirz cem intu hr îz.

     I’l tel ɖi evrʈñ I cn;

      Ɖr’z litl t rlet.

     I sw an ejid ejid man,

      A-sitñ on a get.

     “Hu r y, ejid man?” I sd,

      “n hǎ z it y liv?”

      N hiz ansr tricld ʈru mî hed

      Lîc wōtr ʈru a siv.

 

     H sd “I lc fr buṭflîz

      Ɖt slīp amñ ɖ ẃīt:

     I mc ɖm intu mutn pîz,

      N sel ɖm in ɖ strīt.

     I sel ɖm untu men,” h sd,

      “Hu sêl on stormi sìz;

     N ɖt’s ɖ we I gt mî bred—

      A trîfl, f y plīz.”

 

     Bt I wz ʈncñ v a plan

      T dai wn’z ẃiscrz grīn,

     N olwz yz so larj a fan

      Ɖt ɖe cd nt b sìn.

     So, hvñ no rplî t gv

      T ẃt ɖ old man sd,

     I craid, “Cm, tel m hǎ y liv!”

       N ʈumt him on ɖ hed.

 

     Hiz axnts mîld tc p ɖ têl:

      H sd “I g mî wez,

     N ẃn I fînd a mǎntnril,

      I set it in a blêz;

     N ɖns ɖe mc a stuf ɖe cōl

      Roḷnd’z Mcasr Ôl—

     Yt tupns-heṗni z ol

      Ɖe gv m fr mî tôl.”

 

     Bt I wz ʈncñ v a we

      T fīd wnslf on batr,

     N so g on fṛm de t de

      Gtñ a litl fatr.

     I śc him wel fṛm sîd t sîd,

      Untl hiz fes wz blu:

     “Cm, tel m hǎ y liv,” I craid,

      “N ẃt it z y d!”

43

     H sd “I hunt fr haḍcs’ îz

      Amñ ɖ heɖr brît,

     N wrc ɖm intu weistcot-butnz

      In ɖ sîḷnt nît.

     N ɖz I d nt sel fr gold

      Or côn v silṿri śîn

     Bt fr a copr heṗni,

      N ɖt wl prćs nîn.

 

     “I smtmz dig fr butrd rolz,

      Or set lîmd twigz fr crabz;

     I smtmz srć ɖ grasi nólz

      Fr ẃīlz v Hansmcabz.

     N ɖt’s ɖ we” (h gev a wnc)

      “Bî ẃć I gt mî wlʈ—

     N vri gladli wl I drinc

      Yr Onr’z nobl hlʈ.”

 

     I hŕd him ɖen, fr I hd jst

      Cmplitd mî dzîn

     T cīp ɖ Menî brij fṛm rust

      Bî bôlñ it in wîn.

     I ʈanct him mć fr telñ m

      Ɖ we h got hiz wlʈ,

     Bt ćīfli fr hiz wś ɖt h

      Mt drinc mî nobl hlʈ.

 

     N nǎ, f e’r bî ćans I pt

      Mî fngrz intu glu

     Or madli sqīz a rît-hand ft

      Intu a left-hand śu,

     Or f I drop upn mî to

      A vri hevi weit,

     I wīp, fr it rmîndz m so,

      V ɖt old man I yst t nǒ—

 

     Huz lc wz mîld, huz spīć wz slo,

     Huz her wz ẃîtr ɖn ɖ sno,

     Huz fes wz vri lîc a cro,

     Wɖ îz, lîc sindrz, ol aglo,

     Hu sīmd dstractd wɖ hiz wo,

     Hu roct hiz bodi t n fro,

     N mutrd mumḅlñli n lo,

     Az f hiz mǎʈ wr fl v dou,

     Hu snortd lîc a buf̣lo—

     Ɖt sumr-īvnñ, loñ ago,

      A-sitñ on a get.”

Az ɖ Nait sañ ɖ last wrdz v ɖ baḷd, h gaɖrd p ɖ reinz, n trnd hiz hors’z hed alñ ɖ rod bî ẃć ɖe hd cm. “Y’v onli a fy yardz t g,” h sd, “dǎn ɖ hil n ovr ɖt litl brŭc, n ɖen y’l b a Qīn—Bt y’l ste n si m of frst?” h add az Alis trnd wɖ an īgr lc in ɖ d’rex́n t ẃć h pôntd. “I ś’nt b loñ. Y’l wêt n wev yr hanc̣ćif ẃn I gt t ɖt trn in ɖ rod? I ʈnc it’l incurij m, y si.”

“V cors I’l wêt,” sd Alis: “n ʈanc y vri mć fr cmñ so far—n fr ɖ soñ—I lîct it vri mć.”

“I hop so,” ɖ Nait sd dǎtf̣li: “bt y dd’nt crî so mć az I ʈt y wd.”

So ɖe śc handz, n ɖen ɖ Nait roud slǒli awe intu ɖ forist. “It w’nt tec loñ t si him of, I xpct,” Alis sd t hrslf, az ś std woćñ him. “Ɖr h gz! Rît on hiz hed az yźl! Hvr, h gts on agn priti īẓli—ɖt cmz v hvñ so mni ʈñz huñ rnd ɖ hors—” So ś wnt on tōcñ t hrslf, az ś woćt ɖ hors wōcñ leźrli alñ ɖ rod, n ɖ Nait tumḅlñ of, frst on wn sîd n ɖen on ɖ uɖr. Aftr ɖ forʈ or fifʈ tumbl h rīćt ɖ trn, n ɖen ś wevd hr hanc̣ćif t him, n wêtd tl h wz ǎt v sît.

“I hop it incurijd him,” ś sd, az ś trnd t run dǎn ɖ hil: “n nǎ fr ɖ last brŭc, n t b a Qīn! Hǎ grand it sǎndz!” A vri fy steps bròt hr t ɖ éj v ɖ brŭc. “Ɖ Etʈ Sqer at last!” ś craid az ś bǎndd acrs,

* * * * * * *

* * * * * *

* * * * * * *

n ʈrù hrslf dǎn t rest on a lōn az soft az mos, wɖ litl flǎrbedz dotd abt it hir n ɖr. “Ǒ, hǎ glad I am t gt hir! N ẃt z ɖs on mî hed?” ś xclemd in a ton v dsme, az ś pt hr handz p t smʈñ vri hevi, n fitd tît ol rnd hr hed.

“Bt hǎ cn it hv got ɖr wɖt mî nwñ it?” ś sd t hrslf, az ś liftd it of, n set it on hr lap t mc ǎt ẃt it cd poṣbli b.

It wz a goldn crǎn.


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ÑSPEL

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