In Ñspel: MR AND MRS DOVE, by Katherine Mansfield

MR. AND MSZ. DUV

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snip. Of cem a hed. Reji olmst jumt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nǎ ś tuct ɖ hanc̣ćif awe.

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

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

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

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

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

“C’rūcŭcŭcu,” sǎndd fṛm ɖ qayt.

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

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

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

“Rūcŭcŭcu! Rūcŭcŭcu!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

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