In Ñspel: The Dead, by James Joyce

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story “The Dead” from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

PDF

Ɖ DED

Lili, ɖ certecr’z dōtr, wz litṛli run of hr fīt. Hardli hd ś bròt wn jntlmn intu ɖ litl pantri bhnd ɖ ofis on ɖ grǎnd flor n hlpt him of wɖ hiz oṿcot ɖn ɖ ẃīzi hōldor bel clañd agn n ś hd t scampr alñ ɖ bér hōlwe t let in anɖr gest. It wz wel fr hr ś hd nt t atnd t ɖ lediz olso. Bt Mis Cet n Mis Jūlia hd ʈt v ɖt n hd cnvrtd ɖ baʈrūm upsterz intu a lediz’ dresñrūm. Mis Cet n Mis Jūlia wr ɖr, goṣpñ n lafñ n fusñ, wōcñ aftr ć uɖr t ɖ hed v ɖ sterz, pirñ dǎn ovr ɖ banistrz n cōlñ dǎn t Lili t asc hr hu hd cm.

It wz olwz a gret afer, ɖ Misz Morcn’z ańl dans. Evrbdi hu ń ɖm cem t it, membrz v ɖ faṃli, old frendz v ɖ faṃli, ɖ membrz v Jūlia’z qîr, eni v Cet’s pyplz ɖt wr groun p inuf, n īvn sm v Mẹri Jen’z pyplz tù. Nvr wns hd it fōḷn flat. Fr yirz n yirz it hd gn of in splendid stîl az loñ az enwn cd rmembr; evr sins Cet n Jūlia, aftr ɖ deʈ v ɖer bruɖr Pat, hd left ɖ hǎs in Stǒni Batr n tecn Mẹri Jen, ɖer onli nīs, t liv wɖ ɖm in ɖ darc gōnt hǎs on Uśr’z Îḷnd, ɖ upr part v ẃć ɖe hd rentd fṛm Mr. Fŭḷm, ɖ cornfactr on ɖ grǎnd flor. Ɖt wz a gd ʈrti yirz ago f it wz a de. Mẹri Jen, hu wz ɖen a litl grl in śort cloɖz, wz nǎ ɖ mn prop v ɖ hǎshold, fr ś hd ɖ orgn in Hadñtn Rod. Ś hd bn ʈru ɖ Acaḍmi n gev a pyplz’ conṣt evri yir in ɖ upr rūm v ɖ Enćnt Conṣtrūmz. Mni v hr pyplz b’loñd t ɖ betr-clas faṃliz on ɖ Cñztǎn n Dōlci lîn. Old az ɖe wr, hr ānts olso dd ɖer śer. Jūlia, ɖo ś wz qt gre, wz stl ɖ līdñ s’prāno in Adm n Īv’z, n Cet, biyñ tù fībl t g abt mć, gev ḿziclésnz t bginrz on ɖ old sqer piano in ɖ bac rūm. Lili, ɖ certecr’z dōtr, dd hǎsmeid’z wrc fr ɖm. Ɖo ɖer lîf wz modist ɖe b’livd in ītñ wel; ɖ bst v evrʈñ: dîmnd-bon srlônz, ʈri-śilñ ti n ɖ bst botld stǎt. Bt Lili sldm md a mstec in ɖ ordrz so ɖt ś got on wel wɖ hr ʈri mistṛsz. Ɖe wr fusi, ɖt wz ol. Bt ɖ onli ʈñ ɖe wd nt stand wz bac-ansrz.

V cors ɖe hd gd rīzn t b fusi on sć a nît. N ɖen it wz loñ aftr ten o’cloc n yt ɖr wz no sîn v Gebrịl n hiz wîf. Bsdz ɖe wr dredf̣li afred ɖt Fredi Malinz mt trn p scrùd. Ɖe wd nt wś fr wrldz ɖt eni v Mẹri Jen’z pyplz śd si him undr ɖ inflụns; n ẃn h wz lîc ɖt it wz smtmz vri hard t manij him. Fredi Malinz olwz cem lêt bt ɖe wundrd ẃt cd b cīpñ Gebrịl: n ɖt wz ẃt bròt ɖm evri tū minits t ɖ banistrz t asc Lili hd Gebrịl or Fredi cm.

“Ǒ, Mr. Conrô,” sd Lili t Gebrịl ẃn ś opnd ɖ dor fr him, “Mis Cet n Mis Jūlia ʈt y wr nvr cmñ. Gdnît, Msz Conrô.”

“I’l ingej ɖe dd,” sd Gebrịl, “bt ɖe fget ɖt mî wîf hir tecs ʈri mortl aurz t dres hrslf.”

H std on ɖ mat, screpñ ɖ sno fṛm hiz g’lośz, ẃl Lili léd hiz wîf t ɖ ft v ɖ sterz n cōld ǎt:

“Mis Cet, hir’z Msz Conrô.”

Cet n Jūlia cem toḍlñ dǎn ɖ darc sterz at wns. Bʈ v ɖm cist Gebrịl’z wîf, sd ś mst b periśt alîv n asct wz Gebrịl wɖ hr.

“Hir I am az rît az ɖ meil, Ānt Cet! G on p. I’l folo,” cōld ǎt Gebrịl fṛm ɖ darc.

H cntinyd screpñ hiz fīt vigṛsli ẃl ɖ ʈri wimin wnt upsterz, lafñ, t ɖ lediz’ dresñrūm. A lît frinj v sno le lîc a cep on ɖ śoldrz v hiz oṿcot n lîc tǒcaps on ɖ toz v hiz g’lośz; n, az ɖ butnz v hiz oṿcot slipt wɖ a sqīcñ nôz ʈru ɖ sno-stifnd frìz, a cold, fregṛnt er fṛm ǎt-v-dorz iscept fṛm creṿsz n foldz.

“Z it snowñ agn, Mr. Conrô?” asct Lili.

Ś hd prisidd him intu ɖ pantri t hlp him of wɖ hiz oṿcot. Gebrịl smîld at ɖ ʈri siḷblz ś hd gvn hiz srnem n glanst at hr. Ś wz a slim, growñ grl, pel in cmplex́n n wɖ hei-culrd her. Ɖ gas in ɖ pantri md hr lc stl pelr. Gebrịl hd noun hr ẃn ś wz a ćîld n yst t sit on ɖ lǒist step nrsñ a rag dol.

“Yes, Lili,” h ansrd, “n I ʈnc w’r in fr a nît v it.”

H lct p at ɖ pantrisīlñ, ẃć wz śecñ wɖ ɖ stampñ n śuf̣lñ v fīt on ɖ flor abv, lisnd fr a momnt t ɖ piano n ɖen glanst at ɖ grl, hu wz foldñ hiz oṿcot cerf̣li at ɖ end v a ślf.

“Tel m, Lili,” h sd in a frendli ton, “d y stl g t scūl?”

“Ǒ no, sr,” ś ansrd. “I’m dn scūlñ ɖs yir n mor.”

“Ǒ, ɖen,” sd Gebrịl gêli, “I s’poz w’l b gwñ t yr wedñ wn v ɖz fîn dez wɖ yr yuñ man, ê?”

Ɖ grl glanst bac at him ovr hr śoldr n sd wɖ gret bitrnis:

“Ɖ men ɖt z nǎ z onli ol p’lāvr n ẃt ɖe cn gt ǎt v y.”

Gebrịl culrd az f h flt h hd md a mstec n, wɖt lcñ at hr, cict of hiz g’lośz n flict activli wɖ hiz muflr at hiz petnt-leɖr śuz.

H wz a stǎt tōliś yuñ man. Ɖ hî culr v hiz ćīcs pśt upwdz īvn t hiz fōrhed ẃr it scatrd itslf in a fy formlis paćz v pel red; n on hiz herlis fes ɖr sinṭletd restlisli ɖ poliśt lenzz n ɖ brît gílt rimz v ɖ glasz ẃć scrīnd hiz delic̣t n restlis îz. Hiz glosi blac her wz partd in ɖ midl n bruśt in a loñ crv bhnd hiz irz ẃr it crld slîtli bnʈ ɖ grūv left bî hiz hat.

Ẃn h hd flict lustr intu hiz śuz h std p n pld hiz weistcot dǎn mor tîtli on hiz plump bodi. Ɖen h tc a côn rapidli fṛm hiz pocit.

“Ǒ Lili,” h sd, ʈrustñ it intu hr handz, “it’s Crisṃs tîm, z’nt it? Jst … hir’z a litl…”

H wōct rapidli twdz ɖ dor.

“Ǒ no, sr!” craid ɖ grl, folowñ him. “Riyli, sr, I wd’nt tec it.”

“Crisṃs tîm! Crisṃs tîm!” sd Gebrịl, olmst trotñ t ɖ sterz n wevñ hiz hand t hr in depriceśn.

Ɖ grl, siyñ ɖt h hd gend ɖ sterz, cōld ǎt aftr him:

“Wel, ʈanc y, sr.”

H wêtd ǎtsd ɖ drw̃rūm dor untl ɖ wōlts śd finiś, liṣnñ t ɖ scrts ɖt swept agnst it n t ɖ śuf̣lñ v fīt. H wz stl discmpozd bî ɖ grl’z bitr n sudn rtort. It hd cast a glūm ovr him ẃć h traid t dspel bî arenjñ hiz cufs n ɖ boz v hiz tî. H ɖen tc fṛm hiz weistcot-pocit a litl pepr n glanst at ɖ hedñz h hd md fr hiz spīć. H wz undsîdd abt ɖ lînz fṛm Robt Brǎnñ fr h fird ɖe wd b abv ɖ hedz v hiz hírrz. Sm qoteśn ɖt ɖe wd rec̣gnîz fṛm Śecspir or fṛm ɖ Meḷdiz wd b betr. Ɖ indelic̣t clacñ v ɖ men’z hìlz n ɖ śuf̣lñ v ɖer sǒlz rmîndd him ɖt ɖer gred v culćr difrd fṛm hiz. H wd onli mc himslf r’dikyḷs bî qotñ powtri t ɖm ẃć ɖe cd nt unḍstand. Ɖe wd ʈnc ɖt h wz e’rñ hiz s’pirịr edyceśn. H wd fel wɖ ɖm jst az h hd feld wɖ ɖ grl in ɖ pantri. H hd tecn p a roñ ton. Hiz hol spīć wz a mstec fṛm frst t last, an utr fełr.

Jst ɖen hiz ānts n hiz wîf cem ǎt v ɖ lediz’ dresñrūm. Hiz ānts wr tū smōl plenli drest old wimin. Ānt Jūlia wz an inć or so ɖ tōlr. Hr her, drwn lo ovr ɖ tops v hr irz, wz gre; n gre olso, wɖ darcr śadoz, wz hr larj flaxid fes. Ɖo ś wz stǎt in bild n std irect hr slo îz n partd lips gev hr ɖ apiṛns v a wmn hu dd nt nǒ ẃr ś wz or ẃr ś wz gwñ. Ānt Cet wz mor viveśs. Hr fes, hlʈịr ɖn hr sistr’z, wz ol pucrz n crīsz, lîc a śrivld red apl, n hr her, brêdd in ɖ sem old-faśnd we, hd nt lost its rîp-nut culr.

Ɖe bʈ cist Gebrịl francli. H wz ɖer feṿrit nefy, ɖ sun v ɖer ded eldr sistr, Eḷn, hu hd marid T. J. Conrô v ɖ Port n Docs.

“Greta tlz m y’r nt gwñ t tec a cab bac t Muncstǎn tnît, Gebrịl,” sd Ānt Cet.

“No,” sd Gebrịl, trnñ t hiz wîf, “w hd qt inuf v ɖt last yir, hd’nt w? D’nt y rmembr, Ānt Cet, ẃt a cold Greta got ǎt v it? Cab windoz raṭlñ ol ɖ we, n ɖ īst wind blowñ in aftr w pást Merịn. Vri joli it wz. Greta còt a dredfl cold.”

Ānt Cet frǎnd svirli n nodd hr hed at evri wrd.

“Qt rît, Gebrịl, qt rît,” ś sd. “Y c’nt b tù cerfl.”

“Bt az fr Greta ɖr,” sd Gebrịl, “ś’d wōc hom in ɖ sno f ś wr let.”

Msz Conrô laft.

“D’nt mînd him, Ānt Cet,” ś sd. “H’z riyli an ōfl boɖr, ẃt wɖ grīn śêdz fr Tom’z îz at nît n mcñ him d ɖ dum-blz, n forsñ Īva t īt ɖ str’bt. Ɖ pur ćîld! N ś simpli hets ɖ sît v it!… Ǒ, bt y’l nvr ges ẃt h mcs m wer nǎ!”

Ś brouc ǎt intu a pìl v laftr n glanst at hr huzbnd, huz admîrñ n hapi îz hd bn wonḍrñ fṛm hr dres t hr fes n her. Ɖ tū ānts laft harṭli tù, fr Gebrịl’z s’liṣtyd wz a standñ joc wɖ ɖm.

“G’lośz!” sd Msz Conrô. “Ɖt’s ɖ lêtist. Ẃnvr it’s wet unḍft I mst pt on mî g’lośz. Tnît īvn h wontd m t pt ɖm on, bt I wd’nt. Ɖ nxt ʈñ h’l bai m wl b a dîvñ sūt.”

Gebrịl laft nrṿsli n patd hiz tî ri’śurñli ẃl Ānt Cet nirli dubld hrslf, so harṭli dd ś injô ɖ joc. Ɖ smîl sn fedd fṛm Ānt Jūlia’z fes n hr mrʈlis îz wr d’rectd twdz hr nefy’z fes. Aftr a pōz ś asct:

“N ẃt r g’lośz, Gebrịl?”

“G’lośz, Jūlia!” xclemd hr sistr “Gdnis m, d’nt y nǒ ẃt g’lośz r? Y wer ɖm ovr yr … ovr yr būts, Greta, z’nt it?”

“Yes,” sd Msz Conrô. “Guṭprća ʈñz. W bʈ hv a per nǎ. Gebrịl sz evrwn werz ɖm on ɖ continnt.”

“Ǒ, on ɖ continnt,” mrmrd Ānt Jūlia, nodñ hr hed slǒli.

Gebrịl nitd hiz brǎz n sd, az f h wr slîtli angrd:

“It’s nʈñ vri wundrfl bt Greta ʈncs it vri funi bcz ś sz ɖ wrd rmîndz hr v Cristi Minstṛlz.”

“Bt tel m, Gebrịl,” sd Ānt Cet, wɖ brisc tact. “V cors, y’v sìn abt ɖ rūm. Greta wz seyñ…”

“Ǒ, ɖ rūm z ol rît,” rplaid Gebrịl. “I’v tecn wn in ɖ Greśm.”

“T b śr,” sd Ānt Cet, “bî far ɖ bst ʈñ t d. N ɖ ćildṛn, Greta, y’r nt añśs abt ɖm?”

“Ǒ, fr wn nît,” sd Msz Conrô. “Bsdz, Besi wl lc aftr ɖm.”

“T b śr,” sd Ānt Cet agn. “Ẃt a cumf̣t it z t hv a grl lîc ɖt, wn y cn dpnd on! Ɖr’z ɖt Lili, I’m śr I d’nt nǒ ẃt hz cm ovr hr lêtli. Ś’z nt ɖ grl ś wz at ol.”

Gebrịl wz abt t asc hiz ānt sm qsćnz on ɖs pônt bt ś brouc of sudnli t gêz aftr hr sistr hu hd wondrd dǎn ɖ sterz n wz crenñ hr nec ovr ɖ banistrz.

“Nǎ, I asc y,” ś sd olmst tsṭli, “ẃr z Jūlia gwñ? Jūlia! Jūlia! Ẃr r y gwñ?”

Jūlia, hu hd gn haf we dǎn wn flît, cem bac n anǎnst blandli:

“Hir’z Fredi.”

At ɖ sem momnt a clapñ v handz n a fînl fluriś v ɖ piynist tld ɖt ɖ wōlts hd endd. Ɖ drw̃rūm dor wz opnd fṛm wɖn n sm cuplz cem ǎt. Ānt Cet drù Gebrịl asd huridli n ẃisprd intu hiz ir:

“Slip dǎn, Gebrịl, lîc a gd felo n si f h’z ol rît, n d’nt let him p f h’z scrùd. I’m śr h’z scrùd. I’m śr h z.”

Gebrịl wnt t ɖ sterz n lisnd ovr ɖ banistrz. H cd hír tū prsnz tōcñ in ɖ pantri. Ɖen h rec̣gnîzd Fredi Malinz’ laf. H wnt dǎn ɖ sterz nôẓli.

“It’s sć a rlif,” sd Ānt Cet t Msz Conrô, “ɖt Gebrịl z hir. I olwz fīl īzịr in mî mînd ẃn h’z hir… Jūlia, ɖr’z Mis Dêli n Mis Pǎr wl tec sm rfreśmnt. Ʈancs fr yr bytifl wōlts, Mis Dêli. It md luvli tîm.”

A tōl wizn-fest man, wɖ a stif grizld mstaś n sworɖi scin, hu wz pasñ ǎt wɖ hiz partnr sd:

“N me w hv sm rfreśmnt, tù, Mis Morcn?”

“Jūlia,” sd Ānt Cet sumṛli, “n hir’z Mr. Braun n Mis Frloñ. Tec ɖm in, Jūlia, wɖ Mis Dêli n Mis Pǎr.”

“I’m ɖ man fr ɖ lediz,” sd Mr. Braun, prsñ hiz lips untl hiz mstaś brisld n smîlñ in ol hiz rinclz. “Y nǒ, Mis Morcn, ɖ rīzn ɖe r so fond v m z——”

H dd nt finiś hiz sntns, bt, siyñ ɖt Ānt Cet wz ǎt v irśot, at wns léd ɖ ʈri yuñ lediz intu ɖ bac rūm. Ɖ midl v ɖ rūm wz okpaid bî tū sqer teblz plest end t end, n on ɖz Ānt Jūlia n ɖ certecr wr streṭnñ n smuɖñ a larj cloʈ. On ɖ sîdbord wr areid diśz n plets, n glasz n bundlz v nîvz n forcs n spūnz. Ɖ top v ɖ clozd sqer piano srvd olso az a sîdbord fr vayndz n swīts. At a smōlr sîdbord in wn cornr tū yuñ men wr standñ, drincñ hóp-bitrz.

Mr. Braun léd hiz ćarjz ɖiɖr n invîtd ɖm ol, in jest, t sm lediz’ punć, hot, stroñ n swīt. Az ɖe sd ɖe nvr tc enʈñ stroñ h opnd ʈri botlz v leṃned fr ɖm. Ɖen h asct wn v ɖ yuñ men t muv asd, n, tecñ hold v ɖ dcantr, fild ǎt fr himslf a gdli meźr v ẃisci. Ɖ yuñ men aid him rspctf̣li ẃl h tc a trîl sip.

“God hlp m,” h sd, smîlñ, “it’s ɖ doctr’z ordrz.”

Hiz wiznd fes brouc intu a brōdr smîl, n ɖ ʈri yuñ lediz laft in ḿzicl eco t hiz plezntri, sweyñ ɖer bodiz t n fro, wɖ nrṿs jrcs v ɖer śoldrz. Ɖ boldist sd:

“Ǒ, nǎ, Mr. Braun, I’m śr ɖ doctr nvr ordrd enʈñ v ɖ cnd.”

Mr. Braun tc anɖr sip v hiz ẃisci n sd, wɖ sîḍlñ miṃcri:

“Wel, y si, I’m lîc ɖ feṃs Msz Caṣdi, hu z rportd t hv sd: ‘Nǎ, Mẹri Grîmz, f I d’nt tec it, mc m tec it, fr I fīl I wont it.’”

Hiz hot fes hd līnd fwd a litl tù conf̣dnṣ́li n h hd asymd a vri lo Dublin axnt so ɖt ɖ yuñ lediz, wɖ wn instñt, rsivd hiz spīć in sîḷns. Mis Frloñ, hu wz wn v Mẹri Jen’z pyplz, asct Mis Dêli ẃt wz ɖ nem v ɖ priti wōlts ś hd pleid; n Mr. Braun, siyñ ɖt h wz ignord, trnd promtli t ɖ tū yuñ men hu wr mor aprīṣ́tiv.

A red-fest yuñ wmn, drest in panzi, cem intu ɖ rūm, xîtidli clapñ hr handz n crayñ:

“Qdrilz! Qdrilz!”

Clos on hr hìlz cem Ānt Cet, crayñ:

“Tū jntlṃn n ʈri lediz, Mẹri Jen!”

“Ǒ, hir’z Mr. Brgin n Mr. Cerign,” sd Mẹri Jen. “Mr. Cerign, wl y tec Mis Pǎr? Mis Frloñ, me I gt y a partnr, Mr. Brgin. Ǒ, ɖt’l jst d nǎ.”

“Ʈri lediz, Mẹri Jen,” sd Ānt Cet.

Ɖ tū yuñ jntlṃn asct ɖ lediz f ɖe mt hv ɖ pleźr, n Mẹri Jen trnd t Mis Dêli.

“Ǒ, Mis Dêli, y’r riyli ōf̣li gd, aftr pleyñ fr ɖ last tū dansz, bt riyli w’r so śort v lediz tnît.”

“I d’nt mînd in ɖ līst, Mis Morcn.”

“Bt I’v a nîs partnr fr y, Mr. Bartél D’Arsi, ɖ tenr. I’l gt him t sñ lêtr on. Ol Dublin z revñ abt him.”

“Luvli vôs, luvli vôs!” sd Ānt Cet.

Az ɖ piano hd twîs bgun ɖ prelyd t ɖ frst figr Mẹri Jen léd hr rcrūts qcli fṛm ɖ rūm. Ɖe hd hardli gn ẃn Ānt Jūlia wondrd slǒli intu ɖ rūm, lcñ bhnd hr at smʈñ.

“Ẃt z ɖ matr, Jūlia?” asct Ānt Cet añśsli. “Hu z it?”

Jūlia, hu wz cariyñ in a coḷm v teblnapcinz, trnd t hr sistr n sd, simpli, az f ɖ qsćn hd s’prîzd hr:

“It’s onli Fredi, Cet, n Gebrịl wɖ him.”

In fact rît bhnd hr Gebrịl cd b sìn pîḷtñ Fredi Malinz acrs ɖ landñ. Ɖ latr, a yuñ man v abt forti, wz v Gebrịl’z sîz n bild, wɖ vri rǎnd śoldrz. Hiz fes wz fleśi n palid, tućt wɖ culr onli at ɖ ʈic haññ lǒbz v hiz irz n at ɖ wîd wñz v hiz nǒz. H hd cōrs fīćrz, a blunt nǒz, a convx n rsidñ brǎ, tymid n pṛtrudd lips. Hiz hevi-lidd îz n ɖ dsordr v hiz scanti her md him lc slīpi. H wz lafñ harṭli in a hî ci at a stori ẃć h hd bn telñ Gebrịl on ɖ sterz n at ɖ sem tîm rubñ ɖ nuclz v hiz left fist bcwdz n fwdz intu hiz left î.

“Gd-īvnñ, Fredi,” sd Ānt Jūlia.

Fredi Malinz bád ɖ Misz Morcn gd-īvnñ in ẃt sīmd an ofhand faśn bî rīzn v ɖ hbićl cać in hiz vôs n ɖen, siyñ ɖt Mr. Braun wz grinñ at him fṛm ɖ sîdbord, crost ɖ rūm on rɖr śeci legz n bgan t rpit in an unḍton ɖ stori h hd jst tld t Gebrịl.

“H’z nt so bad, z h?” sd Ānt Cet t Gebrịl.

Gebrịl’z brǎz wr darc bt h rezd ɖm qcli n ansrd:

“Ǒ, no, hardli notisbl.”

“Nǎ, z’nt h a teṛbl felo!” ś sd. “N hiz pur muɖr md him tec ɖ plej on Ny Yir’z Īv. Bt cm on, Gebrịl, intu ɖ drw̃rūm.”

Bfr līvñ ɖ rūm wɖ Gebrịl ś signld t Mr. Braun bî frǎnñ n śecñ hr fōrfngr in wornñ t n fro. Mr. Braun nodd in ansr n, ẃn ś hd gn, sd t Fredi Malinz:

“Nǎ, ɖen, Tedi, I’m gwñ t fil y ǎt a gd glas v leṃned jst t buc y p.”

Fredi Malinz, hu wz nirñ ɖ clîmax v hiz stori, wevd ɖ ofr asd impeśntli bt Mr. Braun, hvñ frst cōld Fredi Malinz’ atnśn t a dis’re in hiz dres, fild ǎt n handd him a fl glas v leṃned. Fredi Malinz’ left hand axptd ɖ glas mcanicli, hiz rît hand biyñ ingejd in ɖ mcanicl ri’justmnt v hiz dres. Mr. Braun, huz fes wz wns mor rinc̣lñ wɖ mrʈ, pord ǎt fr himslf a glas v ẃisci ẃl Fredi Malinz xplodd, bfr h hd wel rīćt ɖ clîmax v hiz stori, in a cnc v hî-pićt broncitic laftr n, setñ dǎn hiz untestd n oṿflowñ glas, bgan t rub ɖ nuclz v hiz left fist bcwdz n fwdz intu hiz left î, rpitñ wrdz v hiz last frêz az wel az hiz fit v laftr wd alǎ him.


Gebrịl cd nt lisn ẃl Mẹri Jen wz pleyñ hr Acaḍmi pìs, fl v runz n dificlt paṣjz, t ɖ huśt drw̃rūm. H lîct ḿzic bt ɖ pìs ś wz pleyñ hd no meḷdi fr him n h dǎtd ẃɖr it hd eni meḷdi fr ɖ uɖr lisnrz, ɖo ɖe hd begd Mẹri Jen t ple smʈñ. For yuñ men, hu hd cm fṛm ɖ rfreśmntrūm t stand in ɖ dorwe at ɖ sǎnd v ɖ piano, hd gn awe qaytli in cuplz aftr a fy minits. Ɖ onli prsnz hu sīmd t folo ɖ ḿzic wr Mẹri Jen hrslf, hr handz rêsñ alñ ɖ cībord or liftd fṛm it at ɖ pōzz lîc ɖoz v a prīstes in momntri impṛceśn, n Ānt Cet standñ at hr elbo t trn ɖ pej.

Gebrịl’z îz, iṛtetd bî ɖ flor, ẃć glitrd wɖ bìzwax undr ɖ hevi śanḍlir, wondrd t ɖ wōl abv ɖ piano. A picćr v ɖ balc̣ni sīn in Romio n Jūliit huñ ɖr n bsd it wz a picćr v ɖ tū mrdrd prinsz in ɖ Tǎr ẃć Ānt Jūlia hd wrct in red, blu n brǎn wŭlz ẃn ś wz a grl. Probbli in ɖ scūl ɖe hd gn t az grlz ɖt cnd v wrc hd bn tòt fr wn yir. Hiz muɖr hd wrct fr him az a brʈde preznt a weistcot v prpl tabiṇt, wɖ litl foxz’ hedz upn it, lînd wɖ brǎn satin n hvñ rǎnd mulḅributnz. It wz strenj ɖt hiz muɖr hd hd no ḿzicl taḷnt ɖo Ānt Cet yst t cōl hr ɖ brenzcarịr v ɖ Morcn faṃli. Bʈ ś n Jūlia hd olwz sīmd a litl prǎd v ɖer sirịs n metṛnli sistr. Hr foṭgraf std bfr ɖ pírglas. Ś hld an opn bc on hr niz n wz pôntñ ǎt smʈñ in it t Constntîn hu, drest in a man-o’-wor sūt, le at hr fīt. It wz ś hu hd ćozn ɖ nem v hr sunz fr ś wz vri snṣbl v ɖ digṇti v faṃlilîf. Ʈancs t hr, Constntîn wz nǎ sīńr kṛt in Balbrign n, ʈancs t hr, Gebrịl himslf hd tecn hiz dgri in ɖ Royl Yṇvrṣti. A śado pást ovr hiz fes az h rmembrd hr suḷn opziśn t hiz marij. Sm slîtñ frezz ś hd yzd stl rancld in hiz meṃri; ś hd wns spocn v Greta az biyñ cuntri-kt n ɖt wz nt tru v Greta at ol. It wz Greta hu hd nrst hr jrñ ol hr last loñ ilnis in ɖer hǎs at Muncstǎn.

H ń ɖt Mẹri Jen mst b nir ɖ end v hr pìs fr ś wz pleyñ agn ɖ oṗnñ meḷdi wɖ runz v scelz aftr evri bar n ẃl h wêtd fr ɖ end ɖ rzntmnt daid dǎn in hiz hart. Ɖ pìs endd wɖ a tril v octevz in ɖ trebl n a fînl dīp octev in ɖ beis. Gret aplōz grītd Mẹri Jen az, bluśñ n rolñ p hr ḿzic nrṿsli, ś iscept fṛm ɖ rūm. Ɖ most vigṛs clapñ cem fṛm ɖ for yuñ men in ɖ dorwe hu hd gn awe t ɖ rfreśmntrūm at ɖ bginñ v ɖ pìs bt hd cm bac ẃn ɖ piano hd stopt.

Lansrz wr arenjd. Gebrịl faund himslf partnrd wɖ Mis Îvrz. Ś wz a franc-manrd tōc̣tiv yuñ ledi, wɖ a frecld fes n prominnt brǎn îz. Ś dd nt wer a lo-cut bodis n ɖ larj broć ẃć wz fixt in ɖ frunt v hr colr bòr on it an Îriś dvîs n moto.

Ẃn ɖe hd tecn ɖer plesz ś sd abrupli:

“I hv a cro t pluc wɖ y.”

“Wɖ m?” sd Gebrịl.

Ś nodd hr hed grevli.

“Ẃt z it?” asct Gebrịl, smîlñ at hr soḷm manr.

“Hu z G. C.?” ansrd Mis Îvrz, trnñ hr îz upn him.

Gebrịl culrd n wz abt t nit hiz brǎz, az f h dd nt unḍstand, ẃn ś sd bluntli:

“Ǒ, iṇsnt Emi! I hv faund ǎt ɖt y rait fr Ɖ Dêli Xpres. Nǎ, r’nt y aśemd v yrslf?”

“Ẃ śd I b aśemd v mslf?” asct Gebrịl, blincñ hiz îz n trayñ t smîl.

“Wel, I’m aśemd v y,” sd Mis Îvrz francli. “T se y’d rait fr a pepr lîc ɖt. I dd’nt ʈnc y wr a Wst Britn.”

A lc v pplex̣ti apird on Gebrịl’z fes. It wz tru ɖt h rout a litrri coḷm evri Wenzde in Ɖ Dêli Xpres, fr ẃć h wz peid fiftīn śilñz. Bt ɖt dd nt mc him a Wst Britn śrli. Ɖ bcs h rsivd fr rvy wr olmst mor welcm ɖn ɖ pōltri ćéc. H luvd t fīl ɖ cuvrz n trn ovr ɖ pejz v nyli printd bcs. Nirli evri de ẃn hiz tīćñ in ɖ colij wz endd h yst t wondr dǎn ɖ cìz t ɖ secnd-hand bcselrz, t Hici’z on Bać̣lr’z Wōc, t Web’z or Masi’z on Astn’z Cì, or t O’Cloḥsi’z in ɖ bî-strīt. H dd nt nǒ hǎ t mīt hr ćarj. H wontd t se ɖt litṛćr wz abv poḷtics. Bt ɖe wr frendz v mni yirz’ standñ n ɖer c’rirz hd bn paṛlel, frst at ɖ yṇvrṣti n ɖen az tīćrz: h cd nt risc a grandios frêz wɖ hr. H cntinyd blincñ hiz îz n trayñ t smîl n mrmrd lemli ɖt h sw nʈñ p’liticl in raitñ rvyz v bcs.

Ẃn ɖer trn t cros hd cm h wz stl pplext n in’tntiv. Mis Îvrz promtli tc hiz hand in a worm grasp n sd in a soft frendli ton:

“V cors, I wz onli jocñ. Cm, w cros nǎ.”

Ẃn ɖe wr tgɖr agn ś spouc v ɖ Yṇvrṣti qsćn n Gebrịl flt mor at īz. A frend v hrz hd śoun hr hiz rvy v Brǎnñ’z powmz. Ɖt wz hǎ ś hd faund ǎt ɖ sīcrit: bt ś lîct ɖ rvy imnsli. Ɖen ś sd sudnli:

“Ǒ, Mr. Conrô, wl y cm fr an xcrśn t ɖ Aṛn Îlz ɖs sumr? W’r gwñ t ste ɖr a hol munʈ. It wl b splendid ǎt in ɖ Atlantic. Y òt t cm. Mr. Clansi z cmñ, n Mr. Cilceli n Caʈlīn Cirni. It wd b splendid fr Greta tù f ś’d cm. Ś’z fṛm Conōt, z’nt ś?”

“Hr ppl r,” sd Gebrịl śortli.

“Bt y wl cm, w’nt y?” sd Mis Îvrz, leyñ hr worm hand īgrli on hiz arm.

“Ɖ fact z,” sd Gebrịl, “I hv jst arenjd t g——”

“G ẃr?” asct Mis Îvrz.

“Wel, y nǒ, evri yir I g fr a sîc̣lñtur wɖ sm feloz n so——”

“Bt ẃr?” asct Mis Îvrz.

“Wel, w yẓ́li g t Frans or Beljm or phps Jrṃni,” sd Gebrịl ōcẉdli.

“N ẃ d y g t Frans n Beljm,” sd Mis Îvrz, “instd v viẓtñ yr ǒn land?”

“Wel,” sd Gebrịl, “it’s partli t cīp in tuć wɖ ɖ lanḡjz n partli fr a ćenj.”

“N hv’nt y yr ǒn lanḡj t cīp in tuć wɖ—Îriś?” asct Mis Îvrz.

“Wel,” sd Gebrịl, “f it cmz t ɖt, y nǒ, Îriś z nt mî lanḡj.”

Ɖer nebrz hd trnd t lisn t ɖ crosxaṃneśn. Gebrịl glanst rît n left nrṿsli n traid t cīp hiz gd hymr undr ɖ ordīl ẃć wz mcñ a bluś inved hiz fōrhed.

“N hv’nt y yr ǒn land t vizit,” cntinyd Mis Îvrz, “ɖt y nǒ nʈñ v, yr ǒn ppl, n yr ǒn cuntri?”

“Ǒ, t tel y ɖ truʈ,” rtortd Gebrịl sudnli, “I’m sic v mî ǒn cuntri, sic v it!”

“Ẃ?” asct Mis Îvrz.

Gebrịl dd nt ansr fr hiz rtort hd hītd him.

“Ẃ?” rpitd Mis Îvrz.

Ɖe hd t g viẓtñ tgɖr n, az h hd nt ansrd hr, Mis Îvrz sd wormli:

“V cors, y’v no ansr.”

Gebrịl traid t cuvr hiz ajteśn bî tecñ part in ɖ dans wɖ gret eṇji. H avôdd hr îz fr h hd sìn a sǎr xpreśn on hr fes. Bt ẃn ɖe met in ɖ loñ ćen h wz s’prîzd t fīl hiz hand frmli prest. Ś lct at him fṛm undr hr brǎz fr a momnt qizicli untl h smîld. Ɖen, jst az ɖ ćen wz abt t start agn, ś std on tipto n ẃisprd intu hiz ir:

“Wst Britn!”

Ẃn ɖ lansrz wr ovr Gebrịl wnt awe t a rmot cornr v ɖ rūm ẃr Fredi Malinz’ muɖr wz sitñ. Ś wz a stǎt fībl old wmn wɖ ẃît her. Hr vôs hd a cać in it lîc hr sun’z n ś stutrd slîtli. Ś hd bn tld ɖt Fredi hd cm n ɖt h wz nirli ol rît. Gebrịl asct hr ẃɖr ś hd hd a gd crosñ. Ś livd wɖ hr marid dōtr in Glazgo n cem t Dublin on a vizit wns a yir. Ś ansrd plasidli ɖt ś hd hd a bytifl crosñ n ɖt ɖ captin hd bn most atntiv t hr. Ś spouc olso v ɖ bytifl hǎs hr dōtr cept in Glazgo, n v ol ɖ frendz ɖe hd ɖr. Ẃl hr tuñ rambld on Gebrịl traid t baniś fṛm hiz mînd ol meṃri v ɖ unpleznt insidnt wɖ Mis Îvrz. V cors ɖ grl or wmn, or ẃtvr ś wz, wz an inʈyziast bt ɖr wz a tîm fr ol ʈñz. Phps h òt nt t hv ansrd hr lîc ɖt. Bt ś hd no rît t cōl him a Wst Britn bfr ppl, īvn in joc. Ś hd traid t mc him r’dikyḷs bfr ppl, hec̣lñ him n stẹrñ at him wɖ hr rabit’s îz.

H sw hiz wîf mcñ hr we twdz him ʈru ɖ wōltsñ cuplz. Ẃn ś rīćt him ś sd intu hiz ir:

“Gebrịl, Ānt Cet wonts t nǒ w’nt y carv ɖ gūs az yźl. Mis Dêli wl carv ɖ ham n I’l d ɖ pŭdñ.”

“Ol rît,” sd Gebrịl.

“Ś’z sndñ in ɖ yungr wnz frst az sn az ɖs wōlts z ovr so ɖt w’l hv ɖ tebl t ǎrslvz.”

“Wr y dansñ?” asct Gebrịl.

“V cors I wz. Dd’nt y si m? Ẃt rǎ hd y wɖ Moli Îvrz?”

“No rǎ. Ẃ? Dd ś se so?”

“Smʈñ lîc ɖt. I’m trayñ t gt ɖt Mr. D’Arsi t sñ. H’z fl v cnsit, I ʈnc.”

“Ɖr wz no rǎ,” sd Gebrịl mūḍli, “onli ś wontd m t g fr a trip t ɖ wst v Îrḷnd n I sd I wd’nt.”

Hiz wîf claspt hr handz xîtidli n gev a litl jump.

“Ǒ, d g, Gebrịl,” ś craid. “I’d luv t si Gōlwe agn.”

“Y cn g f y lîc,” sd Gebrịl coldli.

Ś lct at him fr a momnt, ɖen trnd t Msz Malinz n sd:

“Ɖr’z a nîs huzbnd fr y, Msz Malinz.”

Ẃl ś wz ʈredñ hr we bac acrs ɖ rūm Msz Malinz, wɖt advrtñ t ɖ inṭrupśn, wnt on t tel Gebrịl ẃt bytifl plesz ɖr wr in Scotḷnd n bytifl sìṇri. Hr sun-in-lw bròt ɖm evri yir t ɖ lecs n ɖe yst t g fiśñ. Hr sun-in-lw wz a splendid fiśr. Wn de h còt a bytifl big fiś n ɖ man in ɖ hotel cct it fr ɖer dinr.

Gebrịl hardli hŕd ẃt ś sd. Nǎ ɖt supr wz cmñ nir h bgan t ʈnc agn abt hiz spīć n abt ɖ qoteśn. Ẃn h sw Fredi Malinz cmñ acrs ɖ rūm t vizit hiz muɖr Gebrịl left ɖ ćer fri fr him n rtîrd intu ɖ imbreźr v ɖ windo. Ɖ rūm hd olrdi clird n fṛm ɖ bac rūm cem ɖ clatr v plets n nîvz. Ɖoz hu stl rmend in ɖ drw̃rūm sīmd tîrd v dansñ n wr cnvrsñ qaytli in litl grūps. Gebrịl’z worm tremḅlñ fngrz tapt ɖ cold pein v ɖ windo. Hǎ cūl it mst b ǎtsd! Hǎ pleznt it wd b t wōc ǎt alon, frst alñ bî ɖ rivr n ɖen ʈru ɖ parc! Ɖ sno wd b layñ on ɖ branćz v ɖ triz n formñ a brît cap on ɖ top v ɖ Welñtn Mońmnt. Hǎ mć mor pleznt it wd b ɖr ɖn at ɖ suprtebl!

H ran ovr ɖ hedñz v hiz spīć: Îriś hosṗtaḷti, sad meṃriz, ɖ Ʈri Gresz, Paris, ɖ qoteśn fṛm Brǎnñ. H rpitd t himslf a frêz h hd ritn in hiz rvy: “Wn fīlz ɖt wn z liṣnñ t a ʈt-tormntd ḿzic.” Mis Îvrz hd prezd ɖ rvy. Wz ś s’nsir? Hd ś riyli eni lîf v hr ǒn bhnd ol hr propgandizm? Ɖr hd nvr bn eni il-fīlñ btwn ɖm untl ɖt nît. It uņrvd him t ʈnc ɖt ś wd b at ɖ suprtebl, lcñ p at him ẃl h spouc wɖ hr criticl qizñ îz. Phps ś wd nt b sori t si him fel in hiz spīć. An îdīa cem intu hiz mînd n gev him curij. H wd se, aludñ t Ānt Cet n Ānt Jūlia: “Lediz n Jntlṃn, ɖ jeṇreśn ẃć z nǎ on ɖ wen amñ s me hv hd its fōlts bt fr mî part I ʈnc it hd srtn qoḷtz v hosṗtaḷti, v hymr, v hymaṇti, ẃć ɖ ny n vri sirịs n hyṗedycetd jeṇreśn ɖt z growñ p arnd s sīmz t m t lac.” Vri gd: ɖt wz wn fr Mis Îvrz. Ẃt dd h cer ɖt hiz ānts wr onli tū ignṛnt old wimin?

A mrmr in ɖ rūm atractd hiz atnśn. Mr. Braun wz advansñ fṛm ɖ dor, gaḷntli iscortñ Ānt Jūlia, hu līnd upn hiz arm, smîlñ n haññ hr hed. An ireğlr musc̣tri v aplōz iscortd hr olso az far az ɖ piano n ɖen, az Mẹri Jen sītd hrslf on ɖ stūl, n Ānt Jūlia, no longr smîlñ, haf trnd so az t pić hr vôs ferli intu ɖ rūm, graɉli sīst. Gebrịl rec̣gnîzd ɖ prelyd. It wz ɖt v an old soñ v Ānt Jūlia’z—Areid fr ɖ Brîdl. Hr vôs, stroñ n clir in ton, atact wɖ gret spirit ɖ runz ẃć imbeliś ɖ er n ɖo ś sañ vri rapidli ś dd nt mis īvn ɖ smōlist v ɖ gres nots. T folo ɖ vôs, wɖt lcñ at ɖ sñr’z fes, wz t fīl n śer ɖ xîtmnt v swift n s’kr flît. Gebrịl aplōdd lǎdli wɖ ol ɖ uɖrz at ɖ clos v ɖ soñ n lǎd aplōz wz bòrn in fṛm ɖ inviẓbl suprtebl. It sǎndd so jenyin ɖt a litl culr strugld intu Ānt Jūlia’z fes az ś bnt t rples in ɖ ḿzicstand ɖ old leɖr-baund soñ-bc ɖt hd hr iniślz on ɖ cuvr. Fredi Malinz, hu hd lisnd wɖ hiz hed prćt sîdwez t hír hr betr, wz stl aplōdñ ẃn evrwn els hd sīst n tōcñ aṇmetidli t hiz muɖr hu nodd hr hed grevli n slǒli in aqiesns. At last, ẃn h cd clap no mor, h std p sudnli n hurid acrs ɖ rūm t Ānt Jūlia huz hand h sizd n hld in bʈ hiz handz, śecñ it ẃn wrdz feld him or ɖ cać in hiz vôs pruvd tù mć fr him.

“I wz jst telñ mî muɖr,” h sd, “I nvr hŕd y sñ so wel, nvr. No, I nvr hŕd yr vôs so gd az it z tnît. Nǎ! Wd y b’liv ɖt nǎ? Ɖt’s ɖ truʈ. Upn mî wrd n onr ɖt’s ɖ truʈ. I nvr hŕd yr vôs sǎnd so freś n so … so clir n freś, nvr.”

Ānt Jūlia smîld brōdli n mrmrd smʈñ abt complimnts az ś rlist hr hand fṛm hiz grasp. Mr. Braun xtndd hiz opn hand twdz hr n sd t ɖoz hu wr nir him in ɖ manr v a śomn intṛdysñ a proḍji t an ōdịns:

“Mis Jūlia Morcn, mî lêtist dscuṿri!”

H wz lafñ vri harṭli at ɖs himslf ẃn Fredi Malinz trnd t him n sd:

“Wel, Braun, f y’r sirịs y mt mc a wrs dscuṿri. Ol I cn se z I nvr hŕd hr sñ haf so wel az loñ az I am cmñ hir. N ɖt’s ɖ onist truʈ.”

“Nɖr dd I,” sd Mr. Braun. “I ʈnc hr vôs hz gretli impruvd.”

Ānt Jūlia śrugd hr śoldrz n sd wɖ mīc prîd:

“Ʈrti yirz ago I hd’nt a bad vôs az vôsz g.”

“I ofn tld Jūlia,” sd Ānt Cet imfaticli, “ɖt ś wz simpli ʈroun awe in ɖt qîr. Bt ś nvr wd b sd bî m.”

Ś trnd az f t apil t ɖ gd sns v ɖ uɖrz agnst a rfractri ćîld ẃl Ānt Jūlia gezd in frunt v hr, a veg smîl v reṃnisns pleyñ on hr fes.

“No,” cntinyd Ānt Cet, “ś wd’nt b sd or léd bî enwn, slevñ ɖr in ɖt qîr nît n de, nît n de. Six o’cloc on Crisṃs mornñ! N ol fr ẃt?”

“Wel, z’nt it fr ɖ onr v God, Ānt Cet?” asct Mẹri Jen, twistñ rnd on ɖ pianostūl n smîlñ.

Ānt Cet trnd firsli on hr nīs n sd:

“I nǒ ol abt ɖ onr v God, Mẹri Jen, bt I ʈnc it’s nt at ol onṛbl fr ɖ pǒp t trn ǎt ɖ wimin ǎt v ɖ qîrz ɖt hv slevd ɖr ol ɖer lîvz n pt litl ẃiprsnaprz v bôz ovr ɖer hedz. I s’poz it z fr ɖ gd v ɖ Ćrć f ɖ pǒp dz it. Bt it’s nt just, Mẹri Jen, n it’s nt rît.”

Ś hd wrct hrslf intu a paśn n wd hv cntinyd in dfns v hr sistr fr it wz a sor subjict wɖ hr bt Mẹri Jen, siyñ ɖt ol ɖ dansrz hd cm bac, inṭvind p’sificli:

“Nǎ, Ānt Cet, y’r gvñ scandl t Mr. Braun hu z v ɖ uɖr psweźn.”

Ānt Cet trnd t Mr. Braun, hu wz grinñ at ɖs aluźn t hiz rlijn, n sd hesṭli:

“Ǒ, I d’nt qsćn ɖ pǒp’s biyñ rît. I’m onli a stypid old wmn n I wd’nt prizym t d sć a ʈñ. Bt ɖr’z sć a ʈñ az comn evride p’lîtnis n grattyd. N f I wr in Jūlia’z ples I’d tel ɖt Faɖr Hīli stret p t hiz fes…”

“N bsdz, Ānt Cet,” sd Mẹri Jen, “w riyli r ol hungri n ẃn w r hungri w r ol vri qoṛlsm.”

“N ẃn w r ʈrsti w r olso qoṛlsm,” add Mr. Braun.

“So ɖt w hd betr g t supr,” sd Mẹri Jen, “n finiś ɖ dscuśn aftwdz.”

On ɖ landñ ǎtsd ɖ drw̃rūm Gebrịl faund hiz wîf n Mẹri Jen trayñ t pswed Mis Îvrz t ste fr supr. Bt Mis Îvrz, hu hd pt on hr hat n wz buṭnñ hr clǒc, wd nt ste. Ś dd nt fīl in ɖ līst hungri n ś hd olrdi oṿsteid hr tîm.

“Bt onli fr ten minits, Moli,” sd Msz Conrô. “Ɖt w’nt dle y.”

“T tec a pic itslf,” sd Mẹri Jen, “aftr ol yr dansñ.”

“I riyli cd’nt,” sd Mis Îvrz.

“I am afred y dd’nt injô yrslf at ol,” sd Mẹri Jen hoplisli.

“Evr so mć, I aśur y,” sd Mis Îvrz, “bt y riyli mst let m run of nǎ.”

“Bt hǎ cn y gt hom?” asct Msz Conrô.

“Ǒ, it’s onli tū steps p ɖ cì.”

Gebrịl heztetd a momnt n sd:

“F y wl alǎ m, Mis Îvrz, I’l si y hom f y r riyli oblîjd t g.”

Bt Mis Îvrz brouc awe fṛm ɖm.

“I w’nt hír v it,” ś craid. “Fr gdnis’ sec g in t yr suprz n d’nt mînd m. I’m qt wel ebl t tec cer v mslf.”

“Wel, y’r ɖ comicl grl, Moli,” sd Msz Conrô francli.

Beannacht libh,” craid Mis Îvrz, wɖ a laf, az ś ran dǎn ɖ sterces.

Mẹri Jen gezd aftr hr, a mūdi puzld xpreśn on hr fes, ẃl Msz Conrô līnd ovr ɖ banistrz t lisn fr ɖ hōldor. Gebrịl asct himslf wz h ɖ cōz v hr abrupt dparćr. Bt ś dd nt sīm t b in il hymr: ś hd gn awe lafñ. H stérd blancli dǎn ɖ sterces.

At ɖ momnt Ānt Cet cem toḍlñ ǎt v ɖ supŗūm, olmst riññ hr handz in dsper.

“Ẃr z Gebrịl?” ś craid. “Ẃr on rʈ z Gebrịl? Ɖr’z evrwn wêtñ in ɖr, stej t let, n nbdi t carv ɖ gūs!”

“Hir I am, Ānt Cet!” craid Gebrịl, wɖ sudn aṇmeśn, “redi t carv a floc v gīs, f nesṣri.”

A fat brǎn gūs le at wn end v ɖ tebl n at ɖ uɖr end, on a bed v crīst pepr strùn wɖ sprigz v parsli, le a gret ham, stript v its ǎtr scin n péprd ovr wɖ crust crumz, a nīt pepr fril rnd its śin n bsd ɖs wz a rǎnd v spîst bīf. Btwn ɖz rîvl endz ran paṛlel lînz v sîḑiśz: tū litl minstrz v jeli, red n yelo; a śalo diś fl v blocs v bḷmonź n red jam, a larj grīn līf-śept diś wɖ a stōc-śept handl, on ẃć le bunćz v prpl reznz n pīld almndz, a cmpańn diś on ẃć le a solid rectangl v Smirna figz, a diś v custd topt wɖ greitd nutmeg, a smōl bol fl v ćocḷts n swīts rápt in gold n silvr peprz n a glas vāz in ẃć std sm tōl seḷri stōcz. In ɖ sntr v ɖ tebl ɖr std, az sntriz t a frūtstand ẃć upheld a piṛmid v oṛnjz n Americn aplz, tū sqot old-faśnd dcantrz v cut glas, wn cntenñ port n ɖ uɖr darc śeri. On ɖ clozd sqer piano a pŭdñ in a hyj yelo diś le in wêtñ n bhnd it wr ʈri sqodz v botlz v stǎt n el n minṛlz, drwn p acordñ t ɖ culrz v ɖer yṇformz, ɖ frst tū blac, wɖ brǎn n red leblz, ɖ ʈrd n smōlist sqod ẃît, wɖ tranzvrs grīn saśz.

Gebrịl tc hiz sīt boldli at ɖ hed v ɖ tebl n, hvñ lct t ɖ éj v ɖ carvr, plunjd hiz forc frmli intu ɖ gūs. H flt qt at īz nǎ fr h wz an xprt carvr n lîct nʈñ betr ɖn t fînd himslf at ɖ hed v a wel-lêdn tebl.

“Mis Frloñ, ẃt śl I snd y?” h asct. “A wñ or a slîs v ɖ brest?”

“Jst a smōl slîs v ɖ brest.”

“Mis Higinz, ẃt fr y?”

“Ǒ, enʈñ at ol, Mr. Conrô.”

Ẃl Gebrịl n Mis Dêli xćenjd plets v gūs n plets v ham n spîst bīf Lili wnt fṛm gest t gest wɖ a diś v hot flauri ptetoz rápt in a ẃît napcin. Ɖs wz Mẹri Jen’z îdīa n ś hd olso sjstd apl sōs fr ɖ gūs bt Ānt Cet hd sd ɖt plen rost gūs wɖt eni apl sōs hd olwz bn gd inuf fr hr n ś hopt ś mt nvr īt wrs. Mẹri Jen wêtd on hr pyplz n sw ɖt ɖe got ɖ bst slîsz n Ānt Cet n Ānt Jūlia opnd n carid acrs fṛm ɖ piano botlz v stǎt n el fr ɖ jntlṃn n botlz v minṛlz fr ɖ lediz. Ɖr wz a gret dīl v cnfyźn n laftr n nôz, ɖ nôz v ordrz n cǎntr-ordrz, v nîvz n forcs, v corcs n glas stoprz. Gebrịl bgan t carv secnd hlpñz az sn az h hd finiśt ɖ frst rnd wɖt srvñ himslf. Evrwn pṛtstd lǎdli so ɖt h compṛmîzd bî tecñ a loñ dráft v stǎt fr h hd faund ɖ carvñ hot wrc. Mẹri Jen setld dǎn qaytli t hr supr bt Ānt Cet n Ānt Jūlia wr stl toḍlñ rnd ɖ tebl, wōcñ on ć uɖr’z hìlz, gtñ in ć uɖr’z we n gvñ ć uɖr unhīdd ordrz. Mr. Braun begd v ɖm t sit dǎn n īt ɖer suprz n so dd Gebrịl bt ɖe sd ɖe wr tîm inuf so ɖt, at last, Fredi Malinz std p n, capćrñ Ānt Cet, plumt hr dǎn on hr ćer amd jenṛl laftr.

Ẃn evrwn hd bn wel srvd Gebrịl sd, smîlñ:

“Nǎ, f enwn wonts a litl mor v ẃt vulgr ppl cōl stufñ let him or hr spīc.”

A cōṛs v vôsz invîtd him t bgin hiz ǒn supr n Lili cem fwd wɖ ʈri ptetoz ẃć ś hd rzrvd fr him.

“Vri wel,” sd Gebrịl emịbli, az h tc anɖr pripaṛtri dráft, “cîndli fget mî xistns, lediz n jntlṃn, fr a fy minits.”

H set t hiz supr n tc no part in ɖ convseśn wɖ ẃć ɖ tebl cuvrd Lili’z rmuvl v ɖ plets. Ɖ subjict v tōc wz ɖ opṛcumṗni ẃć wz ɖen at ɖ Ʈiytr Royl. Mr. Bartél D’Arsi, ɖ tenr, a darc-cmplex́nd yuñ man wɖ a smart mstaś, prezd vri hîli ɖ līdñ cntralto v ɖ cumṗni bt Mis Frloñ ʈt ś hd a rɖr vulgr stîl v pṛdux́n. Fredi Malinz sd ɖr wz a nīgro ćīftn sññ in ɖ secnd part v ɖ Geyti panṭmîm hu hd wn v ɖ fînist tenr vôsz h hd evr hŕd.

“Hv y hŕd him?” h asct Mr. Bartél D’Arsi acrs ɖ tebl.

“No,” ansrd Mr. Bartél D’Arsi cerlisli.

“Bcz,” Fredi Malinz xplend, “nǎ I’d b krịs t hír yr opińn v him. I ʈnc h hz a grand vôs.”

“It tecs Tedi t fînd ǎt ɖ riyli gd ʈñz,” sd Mr. Braun fmiłrli t ɖ tebl.

“N ẃ cd’nt h hv a vôs tù?” asct Fredi Malinz śarpli. “Z it bcz h’z onli a blac?”

Nbdi ansrd ɖs qsćn n Mẹri Jen léd ɖ tebl bac t ɖ l’jitiṃt oṗra. Wn v hr pyplz hd gvn hr a pas fr Mignon. V cors it wz vri fîn, ś sd, bt it md hr ʈnc v pur Jorjīna Brnz. Mr. Braun cd g bac farɖr stl, t ɖ old Itałn cumṗniz ɖt yst t cm t Dublin—Tietjens, Ilma de Murzka, Campanini, ɖ gret Trebelli, Giuglini, Ravelli, Aramburo. Ɖoz wr ɖ dez, h sd, ẃn ɖr wz smʈñ lîc sññ t b hŕd in Dublin. H tld tù v hǎ ɖ top gaḷri v ɖ old Royl yst t b páct nît aftr nît, v hǎ wn nît an Itałn tenr hd suñ fîv oncorz t Let m lîc a Soljr fōl, intṛdysñ a hî C evri tîm, n v hǎ ɖ gaḷri bôz wd smtmz in ɖer inʈyziazm unyoc ɖ horsz fṛm ɖ carij v sm gret prīma dona n pl hr ɖmslvz ʈru ɖ strīts t hr hotel. Ẃ dd ɖe nvr ple ɖ grand old oṗraz nǎ, h asct, Dinorah, Lucrezia Borgia? Bcz ɖe cd nt gt ɖ vôsz t sñ ɖm: ɖt wz ẃ.

“Ǒ, wel,” sd Mr. Bartél D’Arsi, “I prizym ɖr r az gd sñrz tde az ɖr wr ɖen.”

“Ẃr r ɖe?” asct Mr. Braun dfayntli.

“In Lundn, Paris, Milan,” sd Mr. Bartél D’Arsi wormli. “I s’poz C’rūzo, fr xampl, z qt az gd, f nt betr ɖn eni v ɖ men y hv mnśnd.”

“Mbi so,” sd Mr. Braun. “Bt I me tel y I dǎt it stroñli.”

“Ǒ, I’d gv enʈñ t hír C’rūzo sñ,” sd Mẹri Jen.

“Fr m,” sd Ānt Cet, hu hd bn picñ a bon, “ɖr wz onli wn tenr. T plīz m, I mīn. Bt I s’poz nn v y evr hŕd v him.”

“Hu wz h, Mis Morcn?” asct Mr. Bartél D’Arsi p’lîtli.

“Hiz nem,” sd Ānt Cet, “wz Parcinsn. I hŕd him ẃn h wz in hiz prîm n I ʈnc h hd ɖen ɖ pyrist tenr vôs ɖt wz evr pt intu a man’z ʈrot.”

“Strenj,” sd Mr. Bartél D’Arsi. “I nvr īvn hŕd v him.”

“Yes, yes, Mis Morcn z rît,” sd Mr. Braun. “I rmembr hírñ v old Parcinsn bt h’z tù far bac fr m.”

“A bytifl pyr swīt melo Ñgliś tenr,” sd Ānt Cet wɖ inʈyziazm.

Gebrịl hvñ finiśt, ɖ hyj pŭdñ wz trnsfŕd t ɖ tebl. Ɖ clatr v forcs n spūnz bgan agn. Gebrịl’z wîf srvd ǎt spūnflz v ɖ pŭdñ n pást ɖ plets dǎn ɖ tebl. Midwe dǎn ɖe wr hld p bî Mẹri Jen, hu rpleniśt ɖm wɖ razḅri or orinj jeli or wɖ bḷmonź n jam. Ɖ pŭdñ wz v Ānt Jūlia’z mcñ n ś rsivd prezz fr it fṛm ol qortrz. Ś hrslf sd ɖt it wz nt qt brǎn inuf.

“Wel, I hop, Mis Morcn,” sd Mr. Braun, “ɖt I’m brǎn inuf fr y bcz, y nǒ, I’m ol brǎn.”

Ol ɖ jntlṃn, xpt Gebrịl, ét sm v ɖ pŭdñ ǎt v complimnt t Ānt Jūlia. Az Gebrịl nvr ét swīts ɖ seḷri hd bn left fr him. Fredi Malinz olso tc a stōc v seḷri n ét it wɖ hiz pŭdñ. H hd bn tld ɖt seḷri wz a capitl ʈñ fr ɖ blud n h wz jst ɖen undr doctr’z cer. Msz Malinz, hu hd bn sîḷnt ol ʈru ɖ supr, sd ɖt hr sun wz gwñ dǎn t Mǎnt Meḷre in a wīc or so. Ɖ tebl ɖen spouc v Mǎnt Meḷre, hǎ bresñ ɖ er wz dǎn ɖr, hǎ hspitbl ɖ muncs wr n hǎ ɖe nvr asct fr a peni3pìs fṛm ɖer gests.

“N d y mīn t se,” asct Mr. Braun increɉḷsli, “ɖt a ćap cn g dǎn ɖr n pt p ɖr az f it wr a hotel n liv on ɖ fat v ɖ land n ɖen cm awe wɖt peyñ enʈñ?”

“Ǒ, most ppl gv sm dneśn t ɖ moṇstri ẃn ɖe līv.” sd Mẹri Jen.

“I wś w hd an insttyśn lîc ɖt in ǎr Ćrć,” sd Mr. Braun candidli.

H wz astoniśt t hír ɖt ɖ muncs nvr spouc, got p at tū in ɖ mornñ n slept in ɖer cofinz. H asct ẃt ɖe dd it fr.

“Ɖt’s ɖ rūl v ɖ ordr,” sd Ānt Cet frmli.

“Yes, bt ẃ?” asct Mr. Braun.

Ānt Cet rpitd ɖt it wz ɖ rūl, ɖt wz ol. Mr. Braun stl sīmd nt t unḍstand. Fredi Malinz xplend t him, az bst h cd, ɖt ɖ muncs wr trayñ t mc p fr ɖ sinz cmitd bî ol ɖ sinrz in ɖ ǎtsd wrld. Ɖ xpḷneśn wz nt vri clir fr Mr. Braun grind n sd:

“I lîc ɖt îdīa vri mć bt wd’nt a cumf̣tbl sprñ bed d ɖm az wel az a cofin?”

“Ɖ cofin,” sd Mẹri Jen, “z t rmînd ɖm v ɖer last end.”

Az ɖ subjict hd groun l’gūbrịs it wz berid in a sîḷns v ɖ tebl jrñ ẃć Msz Malinz cd b hŕd seyñ t hr nebr in an indistñt unḍton:

“Ɖe r vri gd men, ɖ muncs, vri pays men.”

Ɖ reznz n almndz n figz n aplz n oṛnjz n ćocḷts n swīts wr nǎ pást abt ɖ tebl n Ānt Jūlia invîtd ol ɖ gests t hv îɖr port or śeri. At frst Mr. Bartél D’Arsi rfyzd t tec îɖr bt wn v hiz nebrz nujd him n ẃisprd smʈñ t him upn ẃć h alaud hiz glas t b fild. Graɉli az ɖ last glasz wr biyñ fild ɖ convseśn sīst. A pōz foloud, brocn onli bî ɖ nôz v ɖ wîn n bî unseṭlñz v ćerz. Ɖ Misz Morcn, ol ʈri, lct dǎn at ɖ teblcloʈ. Smwn coft wns or twîs n ɖen a fy jntlṃn patd ɖ tebl jntli az a signl fr sîḷns. Ɖ sîḷns cem n Gebrịl pśt bac hiz ćer.

Ɖ patñ at wns grù lǎdr in incurijmnt n ɖen sīst oltgɖr. Gebrịl līnd hiz ten tremḅlñ fngrz on ɖ teblcloʈ n smîld nrṿsli at ɖ cumṗni. Mītñ a ro v uptrnd fesz h rezd hiz îz t ɖ śanḍlir. Ɖ piano wz pleyñ a wōlts tyn n h cd hír ɖ scrts swīpñ agnst ɖ drw̃rūm dor. Ppl, phps, wr standñ in ɖ sno on ɖ cì ǎtsd, gezñ p at ɖ lîtd windoz n liṣnñ t ɖ wōltsḿzic. Ɖ er wz pyr ɖr. In ɖ distns le ɖ parc ẃr ɖ triz wr weitd wɖ sno. Ɖ Welñtn Mońmnt wòr a glīmñ cap v sno ɖt flaśt wstẉd ovr ɖ ẃît fīld v Fiftīn Ecrz.

H bgan:

“Lediz n Jntlṃn,

“It hz fōḷn t mî lot ɖs īvnñ, az in yirz past, t pform a vri plizñ tasc bt a tasc fr ẃć I am afred mî pur pǎrz az a spīcr r ol tù inadiqt.”

“No, no!” sd Mr. Braun.

“Bt, hvr ɖt me b, I cn onli asc y tnît t tec ɖ wil fr ɖ dīd n t lend m yr atnśn fr a fy momnts ẃl I indevr t xpres t y in wrdz ẃt mî fīlñz r on ɖs oceźn.

“Lediz n Jntlṃn, it z nt ɖ frst tîm ɖt w hv gaɖrd tgɖr undr ɖs hspitbl rūf, arnd ɖs hspitbl bord. It z nt ɖ frst tîm ɖt w hv bn ɖ rsipịnts—or phps, I hd betr se, ɖ victimz—v ɖ hosṗtaḷti v srtn gd lediz.”

H md a srcl in ɖ er wɖ hiz arm n pōzd. Evrwn laft or smîld at Ānt Cet n Ānt Jūlia n Mẹri Jen hu ol trnd crimzn wɖ pleźr. Gebrịl wnt on mor boldli:

“I fīl mor stroñli wɖ evri rcŕñ yir ɖt ǎr cuntri hz no tṛdiśn ẃć dz it so mć onr n ẃć it śd gard so jeḷsli az ɖt v its hosṗtaḷti. It z a tṛdiśn ɖt z ynīc az far az mî xpirịns gz (n I hv viẓtd nt a fy plesz abrōd) amñ ɖ modn neśnz. Sm wd se, phps, ɖt wɖ s it z rɖr a felñ ɖn enʈñ t b bostd v. Bt grantd īvn ɖt, it z, t mî mînd, a prinsli felñ, n wn ɖt I trust wl loñ b cultvetd amñ s. V wn ʈñ, at līst, I am śr. Az loñ az ɖs wn rūf śltrz ɖ gd lediz afōr-sd—n I wś fṛm mî hart it me d so fr mni n mni a loñ yir t cm—ɖ tṛdiśn v jenyin wrm-hartd crtịs Îriś hosṗtaḷti, ẃć ǎr fōrfaɖrz hv handd dǎn t s n ẃć w in trn mst hand dǎn t ǎr dsndnts, z stl alîv amñ s.”

A harti mrmr v asnt ran rnd ɖ tebl. It śot ʈru Gebrịl’z mînd ɖt Mis Îvrz wz nt ɖr n ɖt ś hd gn awe dscrtịsli: n h sd wɖ confidns in himslf:

“Lediz n Jntlṃn,

“A ny jeṇreśn z growñ p in ǎr mdst, a jeṇreśn acćuetd bî ny îdīaz n ny prínsiplz. It z sirịs n inʈyziastic fr ɖz ny îdīaz n its inʈyziazm, īvn ẃn it z misḍrectd, z, I b’liv, in ɖ mn s’nsir. Bt w r livñ in a scepticl n, f I me yz ɖ frêz, a ʈt-tormntd ej: n smtmz I fir ɖt ɖs ny jeṇreśn, edycetd or hîṗedycetd az it z, wl lac ɖoz qoḷtz v hymaṇti, v hosṗtaḷti, v cîndli hymr ẃć b’loñd t an oldr de. Liṣnñ tnît t ɖ nemz v ol ɖoz gret sñrz v ɖ past it sīmd t m, I mst cnfes, ɖt w wr livñ in a les speśs ej. Ɖoz dez mt, wɖt xaɉreśn, b cōld speśs dez: n f ɖe r gn bynd rcōl let s hop, at līst, ɖt in gaɖ̇rñz sć az ɖs w śl stl spīc v ɖm wɖ prîd n afx́n, stl ćeriś in ǎr hārts ɖ meṃri v ɖoz ded n gn gret wnz huz fem ɖ wrld wl nt wilñli let dî.”

“Hír, hír!” sd Mr. Braun lǎdli.

“Bt yt,” cntinyd Gebrịl, hiz vôs fōlñ intu a softr inflex́n, “ɖr r olwz in gaɖ̇rñz sć az ɖs sadr ʈts ɖt wl rcŕ t ǎr mîndz: ʈts v ɖ past, v yʈ, v ćenjz, v absnt fesz ɖt w mis hir tnît. Ǎr paʈ ʈru lîf z strùn wɖ mni sć sad meṃriz: n wr w t brūd upn ɖm olwz w cd nt fînd ɖ hart t g on brevli wɖ ǎr wrc amñ ɖ livñ. W hv ol v s livñ dytiz n livñ afx́nz ẃć clem, n rîtli clem, ǎr strenẏs indevrz.

“Ɖrfr, I wl nt lingr on ɖ past. I wl nt let eni glūmi moṛlîzñ intrud upn s hir tnît. Hir w r gaɖrd tgɖr fr a brīf momnt fṛm ɖ busl n ruś v ǎr evride rūtīn. W r met hir az frendz, in ɖ spirit v gd-felośp, az colīgz, olso t a srtn xtnt, in ɖ tru spirit v caṃradri, n az ɖ gests v—ẃt śl I cōl ɖm?—ɖ Ʈri Gresz v ɖ Dublin ḿzicl wrld.”

Ɖ tebl brst intu aplōz n laftr at ɖs aluźn. Ānt Jūlia venli asct ć v hr nebrz in trn t tel hr ẃt Gebrịl hd sd.

“H sz w r ɖ Ʈri Gresz, Ānt Jūlia,” sd Mẹri Jen.

Ānt Jūlia dd nt unḍstand bt ś lct p, smîlñ, at Gebrịl, hu cntinyd in ɖ sem vein:

“Lediz n Jntlṃn,

“I wl nt atmt t ple tnît ɖ part ɖt Paris pleid on anɖr oceźn. I wl nt atmt t ćūz btwn ɖm. Ɖ tasc wd b an invidịs wn n wn bynd mî pur pǎrz. Fr ẃn I vy ɖm in trn, ẃɖr it b ǎr ćīf hostes hrslf, huz gd hart, huz tù gd hart, hz bcm a bîwrd wɖ ol hu nǒ hr, or hr sistr, hu sīmz t b giftd wɖ p’reńl yʈ n huz sññ mst hv bn a s’prîz n a reṿleśn t s ol tnît, or, last bt nt līst, ẃn I cnsidr ǎr yungist hostes, talntd, ćirfl, hard-wrcñ n ɖ bst v nīsz, I cnfes, Lediz n Jntlṃn, ɖt I d nt nǒ t ẃć v ɖm I śd aword ɖ prîz.”

Gebrịl glanst dǎn at hiz ānts n, siyñ ɖ larj smîl on Ānt Jūlia’z fes n ɖ tirz ẃć hd rizn t Ānt Cet’s îz, hesnd t hiz clos. H rezd hiz glas v port gaḷntli, ẃl evri membr v ɖ cumṗni fngrd a glas xpctntli, n sd lǎdli:

“Let s tost ɖm ol ʈri tgɖr. Let s drinc t ɖer hlʈ, wlʈ, loñ lîf, hapinis n pṛspeṛti n me ɖe loñ cntiny t hold ɖ prǎd n slf-wún pziśn ẃć ɖe hold in ɖer pṛfeśn n ɖ pziśn v onr n afx́n ẃć ɖe hold in ǎr harts.”

Ol ɖ gests std p, glas in hand, n trnñ twdz ɖ ʈri sītd lediz, sañ in ynisn, wɖ Mr. Braun az līdr:

     Fr ɖe r joli ge feloz,

     Fr ɖe r joli ge feloz,

     Fr ɖe r joli ge feloz,

     Ẃć nbdi cn dnî.

Ānt Cet wz mcñ franc ys v hr hanc̣ćif n īvn Ānt Jūlia sīmd muvd. Fredi Malinz bìt tîm wɖ hiz pŭdñforc n ɖ sñrz trnd twdz wn anɖr, az f in mlodịs confṛns, ẃl ɖe sañ wɖ emf̣sis:

     Unls h tlz a lî,

     Unls h tlz a lî.

Ɖen, trnñ wns mor twdz ɖer hostesz, ɖe sañ:

     Fr ɖe r joli ge feloz,

     Fr ɖe r joli ge feloz,

     Fr ɖe r joli ge feloz,

     Ẃć nbdi cn dnî.

Ɖ acḷmeśn ẃć foloud wz tecn p bynd ɖ dor v ɖ supr-rūm bî mni v ɖ uɖr gests n rnyd tîm aftr tîm, Fredi Malinz actñ az ofisr wɖ hiz forc on hî.

Ɖ pirsñ mornñ er cem intu ɖ hōl ẃr ɖe wr standñ so ɖt Ānt Cet sd:

“Clos ɖ dor, smbdi. Msz Malinz wl gt hr deʈ v cold.”

“Braun z ǎt ɖr, Ānt Cet,” sd Mẹri Jen.

“Braun z evrẃr,” sd Ānt Cet, lowrñ hr vôs.

Mẹri Jen laft at hr ton.

“Riyli,” ś sd arćli, “h z vri atntiv.”

“H hz bn leid on hir lîc ɖ gas,” sd Ānt Cet in ɖ sem ton, “ol jrñ ɖ Crisṃs.”

Ś laft hrslf ɖs tîm gd-hymrdli n ɖen add qcli:

“Bt tel him t cm in, Mẹri Jen, n clos ɖ dor. I hop t gdnis h dd’nt hír m.”

At ɖt momnt ɖ hōldor wz opnd n Mr. Braun cem in fṛm ɖ dorstep, lafñ az f hiz hart wd brec. H wz drest in a loñ grīn oṿcot wɖ moc astṛcan cufs n colr n wòr on hiz hed an ovl fŕ cap. H pôntd dǎn ɖ sno-cuvrd cì fṛm ẃr ɖ sǎnd v śril pṛloñd ẃiṣlñ wz bòrn in.

“Tedi wl hv ol ɖ cabz in Dublin ǎt,” h sd.

Gebrịl advanst fṛm ɖ litl pantri bhnd ɖ ofis, struġlñ intu hiz oṿcot n, lcñ rnd ɖ hōl, sd:

“Greta nt dǎn yt?”

“Ś’z gtñ on hr ʈñz, Gebrịl,” sd Ānt Cet.

“Hu’z pleyñ p ɖr?” asct Gebrịl.

“Nbdi. Ɖ’r ol gn.”

“Ǒ no, Ānt Cet,” sd Mẹri Jen. “Bartél D’Arsi n Mis O’Caḷhn r’nt gn yt.”

“Smwn z fūlñ at ɖ piano enhǎ,” sd Gebrịl.

Mẹri Jen glanst at Gebrịl n Mr. Braun n sd wɖ a śivr:

“It mcs m fīl cold t lc at y tū jntlṃn mufld p lîc ɖt. I wd’nt lîc t fes yr jrni hom at ɖs aur.”

“I’d lîc nʈñ betr ɖs minit,” sd Mr. Braun stǎtli, “ɖn a raṭlñ fîn wōc in ɖ cuntri or a fast drîv w�� a gd spancñ gwr btwn ɖ śafts.”

“W yst t hv a vri gd hors n trap at hom,” sd Ānt Jūlia sadli.

“Ɖ nvr-t-b-fgotn Joni,” sd Mẹri Jen, lafñ.

Ānt Cet n Gebrịl laft tù.

“Ẃ, ẃt wz wundrfl abt Joni?” asct Mr. Braun.

“Ɖ lêt l’mntd Patric Morcn, ǎr granfaɖr, ɖt z,” xplend Gebrịl, “comnli noun in hiz lêtr yirz az ɖ old jntlmn, wz a glūbôlr.”

“Ǒ nǎ, Gebrịl,” sd Ānt Cet, lafñ, “h hd a starćmil.”

“Wel, glu or starć,” sd Gebrịl, “ɖ old jntlmn hd a hors bî ɖ nem v Joni. N Joni yst t wrc in ɖ old jntlmn’z mil, wōcñ rnd n rnd in ordr t drîv ɖ mil. Ɖt wz ol vri wel; bt nǎ cmz ɖ trajic part abt Joni. Wn fîn de ɖ old jntlmn ʈt h’d lîc t drîv ǎt wɖ ɖ qoḷti t a militri rvy in ɖ parc.”

“Ɖ Lord hv mrsi on hiz soul,” sd Ānt Cet cmpaśṇtli.

“Āmén,” sd Gebrịl. “So ɖ old jntlmn, az I sd, harnist Joni n pt on hiz vri bst tōl hat n hiz vri bst stoc colr n drouv ǎt in grand stîl fṛm hiz ansestṛl manśn smẃr nir Bac Len, I ʈnc.”

Evrwn laft, īvn Msz Malinz, at Gebrịl’z manr n Ānt Cet sd:

“Ǒ nǎ, Gebrịl, h dd’nt liv in Bac Len, riyli. Onli ɖ mil wz ɖr.”

“Ǎt fṛm ɖ manśn v hiz fōrfaɖrz,” cntinyd Gebrịl, “h drouv wɖ Joni. N evrʈñ wnt on bytifli untl Joni cem in sît v Cñ Bili’z staću: n ẃɖr h fél in luv wɖ ɖ hors Cñ Bili sits on or ẃɖr h ʈt h wz bac agn in ɖ mil, enhǎ h bgan t wōc rnd ɖ staću.”

Gebrịl pêst in a srcl rnd ɖ hōl in hiz g’lośz amd ɖ laftr v ɖ uɖrz.

“Rnd n rnd h wnt,” sd Gebrịl, “n ɖ old jntlmn, hu wz a vri pomṗs old jntlmn, wz hîli indignnt. ‘G on, sr! Ẃt d y mīn, sr? Joni! Joni! Most xtrordnri conduct! C’nt unḍstand ɖ hors!’”

Ɖ pìl v laftr ẃć foloud Gebrịl’z iṃteśn v ɖ insidnt wz inṭruptd bî a rzǎndñ noc at ɖ hōldor. Mẹri Jen ran t opn it n let in Fredi Malinz. Fredi Malinz, wɖ hiz hat wel bac on hiz hed n hiz śoldrz humt wɖ cold, wz pufñ n stīmñ aftr hiz xrśnz.

“I cd onli gt wn cab,” h sd.

“Ǒ, w’l fînd anɖr alñ ɖ cì,” sd Gebrịl.

“Yes,” sd Ānt Cet. “Betr nt cīp Msz Malinz standñ in ɖ dráft.”

Msz Malinz wz hlpt dǎn ɖ frunt steps bî hr sun n Mr. Braun n, aftr mni mnūvrz, hôstd intu ɖ cab. Fredi Malinz clambrd in aftr hr n spent a loñ tîm seṭlñ hr on ɖ sīt, Mr. Braun hlpñ him wɖ advîs. At last ś wz setld cumf̣tbli n Fredi Malinz invîtd Mr. Braun intu ɖ cab. Ɖr wz a gd dīl v cnfyzd tōc, n ɖen Mr. Braun got intu ɖ cab. Ɖ cabmn setld hiz rug ovr hiz niz, n bnt dǎn fr ɖ adres. Ɖ cnfyźn grù gretr n ɖ cabmn wz d’rectd difṛntli bî Fredi Malinz n Mr. Braun, ć v hūm hd hiz hed ǎt ʈru a windo v ɖ cab. Ɖ dificlti wz t nǒ ẃr t drop Mr. Braun alñ ɖ rùt, n Ānt Cet, Ānt Jūlia n Mẹri Jen hlpt ɖ dscuśn fṛm ɖ dorstep wɖ crosḍrex́nz n contṛdix́nz n abundns v laftr. Az fr Fredi Malinz h wz spīćlis wɖ laftr. H popt hiz hed in n ǎt v ɖ windo evri momnt t ɖ gret denjr v hiz hat, n tld hiz muɖr hǎ ɖ dscuśn wz pṛgresñ, tl at last Mr. Braun śǎtd t ɖ bwildrd cabmn abv ɖ din v evrbdi’z laftr:

“D y nǒ Triṇti Colij?”

“Yes, sr,” sd ɖ cabmn.

“Wel, drîv bañ p agnst Triṇti Colij gets,” sd Mr. Braun, “n ɖen w’l tel y ẃr t g. Y unḍstand nǎ?”

“Yes, sr,” sd ɖ cabmn.

“Mc lîc a brd fr Triṇti Colij.”

“Rît, sr,” sd ɖ cabmn.

Ɖ hors wz ẃipt p n ɖ cab ratld of alñ ɖ cì amd a cōṛs v laftr n ady.

Gebrịl hd nt gn t ɖ dor wɖ ɖ uɖrz. H wz in a darc part v ɖ hōl gezñ p ɖ sterces. A wmn wz standñ nir ɖ top v ɖ frst flît, in ɖ śado olso. H cd nt si hr fes bt h cd si ɖ teṛcota n samn-pnc panlz v hr scrt ẃć ɖ śado md apir blac n ẃît. It wz hiz wîf. Ś wz līnñ on ɖ banistrz, liṣnñ t smʈñ. Gebrịl wz s’prîzd at hr stilnis n strend hiz ir t lisn olso. Bt h cd hír litl sev ɖ nôz v laftr n dspyt on ɖ frunt steps, a fy cōrdz struc on ɖ piano n a fy nots v a man’z vôs sññ.

H std stil in ɖ glūm v ɖ hōl, trayñ t cać ɖ er ɖt ɖ vôs wz sññ n gezñ p at hiz wîf. Ɖr wz gres n misṭri in hr attyd az f ś wr a simbl v smʈñ. H asct himslf ẃt z a wmn standñ on ɖ sterz in ɖ śado, liṣnñ t distnt ḿzic, a simbl v. F h wr a pentr h wd pent hr in ɖt attyd. Hr blu flt hat wd śo of ɖ bronz v hr her agnst ɖ darcnis n ɖ darc panlz v hr scrt wd śo of ɖ lît wnz. Distnt Ḿzic h wd cōl ɖ picćr f h wr a pentr.

Ɖ hōldor wz clozd; n Ānt Cet, Ānt Jūlia n Mẹri Jen cem dǎn ɖ hōl, stl lafñ.

“Wel, z’nt Fredi teṛbl?” sd Mẹri Jen. “H’z riyli teṛbl.”

Gebrịl sd nʈñ bt pôntd p ɖ sterz twdz ẃr hiz wîf wz standñ. Nǎ ɖt ɖ hōldor wz clozd ɖ vôs n ɖ piano cd b hŕd mor clirli. Gebrịl hld p hiz hand fr ɖm t b sîḷnt. Ɖ soñ sīmd t b in ɖ old Îriś tnaḷti n ɖ sñr sīmd unsrtn bʈ v hiz wrdz n v hiz vôs. Ɖ vôs, md plentiv bî distns n bî ɖ sñr’z hōrsnis, fentli iluṃnetd ɖ cedns v ɖ er wɖ wrdz xpresñ grīf:

     Ǒ, ɖ ren fōlz on mî hevi locs

     N ɖ dȳ wets mî scin,

     Mî beb lîz cold…

“Ǒ,” xclemd Mẹri Jen. “It’s Bartél D’Arsi sññ n h wd’nt sñ ol ɖ nît. Ǒ, I’l gt him t sñ a soñ bfr h gz.”

“Ǒ d, Mẹri Jen,” sd Ānt Cet.

Mẹri Jen bruśt past ɖ uɖrz n ran t ɖ sterces, bt bfr ś rīćt it ɖ sññ stopt n ɖ piano wz clozd abrupli.

“Ǒ, ẃt a piti!” ś craid. “Z h cmñ dǎn, Greta?”

Gebrịl hŕd hiz wîf ansr yes n sw hr cm dǎn twdz ɖm. A fy steps bhnd hr wr Mr. Bartél D’Arsi n Mis O’Caḷhn.

“Ǒ, Mr. D’Arsi,” craid Mẹri Jen, “it’s dǎnrît mīn v y t brec of lîc ɖt ẃn w wr ol in rapćrz liṣnñ t y.”

“I hv bn at him ol ɖ īvnñ,” sd Mis O’Caḷhn, “n Msz Conrô tù n h tld s h hd a dredfl cold n cd’nt sñ.”

“Ǒ, Mr. D’Arsi,” sd Ānt Cet, “nǎ ɖt wz a gret fib t tel.”

“C’nt y si ɖt I’m az hōrs az a cro?” sd Mr. D’Arsi rufli.

H wnt intu ɖ pantri hesṭli n pt on hiz oṿcot. Ɖ uɖrz, tecn abac bî hiz rūd spīć, cd fînd nʈñ t se. Ānt Cet rincld hr brǎz n md sînz t ɖ uɖrz t drop ɖ subjict. Mr. D’Arsi std sweɖñ hiz nec cerf̣li n frǎnñ.

“It’s ɖ weɖr,” sd Ānt Jūlia, aftr a pōz.

“Yes, evrbdi hz coldz,” sd Ānt Cet reḍli, “evrbdi.”

“Ɖe se,” sd Mẹri Jen, “w hv’nt hd sno lîc it fr ʈrti yirz; n I réd ɖs mornñ in ɖ nyzpeprz ɖt ɖ sno z jenṛl ol ovr Îrḷnd.”

“I luv ɖ lc v sno,” sd Ānt Jūlia sadli.

“So d I,” sd Mis O’Caḷhn. “I ʈnc Crisṃs z nvr riyli Crisṃs unls w hv ɖ sno on ɖ grǎnd.”

“Bt pur Mr. D’Arsi dz’nt lîc ɖ sno,” sd Ānt Cet, smîlñ.

Mr. D’Arsi cem fṛm ɖ pantri, fŭli sweɖd n butnd, n in a rpntnt ton tld ɖm ɖ hisṭri v hiz cold. Evrwn gev him advîs n sd it wz a gret piti n rjd him t b vri cerfl v hiz ʈrot in ɖ nîter. Gebrịl woćt hiz wîf, hu dd nt jôn in ɖ convseśn. Ś wz standñ rît undr ɖ dusti fanlît n ɖ flem v ɖ gas lit p ɖ rić bronz v hr her, ẃć h hd sìn hr drayñ at ɖ fîr a fy dez bfr. Ś wz in ɖ sem attyd n sīmd un’wer v ɖ tōc abt hr. At last ś trnd twdz ɖm n Gebrịl sw ɖt ɖr wz culr on hr ćīcs n ɖt hr îz wr śînñ. A sudn tîd v jô wnt līpñ ǎt v hiz hart.

“Mr. D’Arsi,” ś sd, “ẃt z ɖ nem v ɖt soñ y wr sññ?”

“It’s cōld Ɖ Las v Ócṛm,” sd Mr. D’Arsi, “bt I cd’nt rmembr it proprli. Ẃ? D y nǒ it?”

Ɖ Las v Ócṛm,” ś rpitd. “I cd’nt ʈnc v ɖ nem.”

“It’s a vri nîs er,” sd Mẹri Jen. “I’m sori y wr nt in vôs tnît.”

“Nǎ, Mẹri Jen,” sd Ānt Cet, “d’nt anô Mr. D’Arsi. I w’nt hv him anoid.”

Siyñ ɖt ol wr redi t start ś śeṗdd ɖm t ɖ dor, ẃr gdnît wz sd:

“Wel, gdnît, Ānt Cet, n ʈancs fr ɖ pleznt īvnñ.”

“Gdnît, Gebrịl. Gdnît, Greta!”

“Gdnît, Ānt Cet, n ʈancs evr so mć. Gdnît, Ānt Jūlia.”

“Ǒ, gdnît, Greta, I dd’nt si y.”

“Gdnît, Mr. D’Arsi. Gdnît, Mis O’Caḷhn.”

“Gdnît, Mis Morcn.”

“Gdnît, agn.”

“Gdnît, ol. Sef hom.”

“Gdnît. Gdnît.”

Ɖ mornñ wz stl darc. A dul yelo lît brūdd ovr ɖ hǎzz n ɖ rivr; n ɖ scî sīmd t b dsndñ. It wz sluśi unḍft; n onli strīcs n paćz v sno le on ɖ rūfs, on ɖ paṛpits v ɖ cì n on ɖ erịrelñz. Ɖ lamps wr stl brnñ redli in ɖ mrci er n, acrs ɖ rivr, ɖ palis v ɖ For Corts std ǎt meṇsñli agnst ɖ hevi scî.

Ś wz wōcñ on bfr him wɖ Mr. Bartél D’Arsi, hr śuz in a brǎn parsl tuct undr wn arm n hr handz holdñ hr scrt p fṛm ɖ sluś. Ś hd no longr eni gres v attyd bt Gebrịl’z îz wr stl brît wɖ hapinis. Ɖ blud wnt bǎndñ alñ hiz veinz; n ɖ ʈts wnt raytñ ʈru hiz bren, prǎd, jôfl, tndr, vaḷṛs.

Ś wz wōcñ on bfr him so lîtli n so irect ɖt h loñd t run aftr hr nôzlisli, cać hr bî ɖ śoldrz n se smʈñ fūliś n afx́ṇt intu hr ir. Ś sīmd t him so frel ɖt h loñd t dfnd hr agnst smʈñ n ɖen t b alon wɖ hr. Momnts v ɖer sīcrit lîf tgɖr brst lîc starz upn hiz meṃri. A hīłtrop enṿlop wz layñ bsd hiz brecfstcup n h wz c’resñ it wɖ hiz hand. Brdz wr twiṭrñ in ɖ îvi n ɖ súni web v ɖ crtn wz śiṃrñ alñ ɖ flor: h cd nt īt fr hapinis. Ɖe wr standñ on ɖ crǎdd platform n h wz plesñ a ticit insd ɖ worm pām v hr gluv. H wz standñ wɖ hr in ɖ cold, lcñ in ʈru a greitd windo at a man mcñ botlz in a rorñ frnis. It wz vri cold. Hr fes, fregṛnt in ɖ cold er, wz qt clos t hiz; n sudnli h cōld ǎt t ɖ man at ɖ frnis:

“Z ɖ fîr hot, sr?”

Bt ɖ man cd nt hír wɖ ɖ nôz v ɖ frnis. It wz jst az wel. H mt hv ansrd rūdli.

A wev v yt mor tndr jô iscept fṛm hiz hart n wnt corsñ in worm flud alñ hiz arṭriz. Lîc ɖ tndr fîr v starz, momnts v ɖer lîf tgɖr, ɖt nwn ń v or wd evr nǒ v, brouc upn n ilumind hiz meṃri. H loñd t rcōl t hr ɖoz momnts, t mc hr fget ɖ yirz v ɖer dul xistns tgɖr n rmembr onli ɖer momnts v xṭsi. Fr ɖ yirz, h flt, hd nt qnćt hiz soul or hrz. Ɖer ćildṛn, hiz raitñ, hr hǎshold cerz hd nt qnćt ol ɖer soulz’ tndr fîr. In wn letr ɖt h hd ritn t hr ɖen h hd sd: “Ẃ z it ɖt wrdz lîc ɖz sīm t m so dul n cold? Z it bcz ɖr z no wrd tndr inuf t b yr nem?”

Lîc distnt ḿzic ɖz wrdz ɖt h hd ritn yirz bfr wr bòrn twdz him fṛm ɖ past. H loñd t b alon wɖ hr. Ẃn ɖ uɖrz hd gn awe, ẃn h n ś wr in ɖer rūm in ɖ hotel, ɖen ɖe wd b alon tgɖr. H wd cōl hr softli:

“Greta!”

Phps ś wd nt hír at wns: ś wd b undresñ. Ɖen smʈñ in hiz vôs wd strîc hr. Ś wd trn n lc at him…

At ɖ cornr v Wîntavn Strīt ɖe met a cab. H wz glad v its raṭlñ nôz az it sevd him fṛm convseśn. Ś wz lcñ ǎt v ɖ windo n sīmd tîrd. Ɖ uɖrz spouc onli a fy wrdz, pôntñ ǎt sm bildñ or strīt. Ɖ hors gaḷpt alñ wiṛli undr ɖ mrci mornñscî, dragñ hiz old raṭlñ box aftr hiz hìlz, n Gebrịl wz agn in a cab wɖ hr, gaḷpñ t cać ɖ bot, gaḷpñ t ɖer hunimūn.

Az ɖ cab drouv acrs O’Conl Brij Mis O’Caḷhn sd:

“Ɖe se y nvr cros O’Conl Brij wɖt siyñ a ẃît hors.”

“I si a ẃît man ɖs tîm,” sd Gebrịl.

“Ẃr?” asct Mr. Bartél D’Arsi.

Gebrịl pôntd t ɖ staću, on ẃć le paćz v sno. Ɖen h nodd fmiłrli t it n wevd hiz hand.

“Gdnît, Dan,” h sd gêli.

Ẃn ɖ cab drù p bfr ɖ hotel, Gebrịl jumt ǎt n, in spît v Mr. Bartél D’Arsi’z protest, peid ɖ drîvr. H gev ɖ man a śilñ ovr hiz fér. Ɖ man s’lūtd n sd:

“A prospṛs Ny Yir t y, sr.”

“Ɖ sem t y,” sd Gebrịl corɉli.

Ś līnd fr a momnt on hiz arm in gtñ ǎt v ɖ cab n ẃl standñ at ɖ crbston, bidñ ɖ uɖrz gdnît. Ś līnd lîtli on hiz arm, az lîtli az ẃn ś hd danst wɖ him a fy aurz bfr. H hd flt prǎd n hapi ɖen, hapi ɖt ś wz hiz, prǎd v hr gres n wîfli carij. Bt nǎ, aftr ɖ cinḍlñ agn v so mni meṃriz, ɖ frst tuć v hr bodi, ḿzicl n strenj n prfymd, snt ʈru him a cīn pañ v lust. Undr cuvr v hr sîḷns h prest hr arm closli t hiz sîd; n, az ɖe std at ɖ hoteldor, h flt ɖt ɖe hd iscept fṛm ɖer lîvz n dytiz, iscept fṛm hom n frendz n run awe tgɖr wɖ wîld n redịnt harts t a ny advnćr.

An old man wz dozñ in a gret hŭdd ćer in ɖ hōl. H lit a candl in ɖ ofis n wnt bfr ɖm t ɖ sterz. Ɖe foloud him in sîḷns, ɖer fīt fōlñ in soft ʈudz on ɖ ʈicli carṗtd sterz. Ś mǎntd ɖ sterz bhnd ɖ portr, hr hed baud in ɖ asent, hr frel śoldrz crvd az wɖ a brdn, hr scrt grt tîtli abt hr. H cd hv fluñ hiz armz abt hr hips n hld hr stil, fr hiz armz wr tremḅlñ wɖ dzîr t sīz hr n onli ɖ stres v hiz nêlz agnst ɖ pāmz v hiz handz hld ɖ wîld impuls v hiz bodi in ćec. Ɖ portr hōltd on ɖ sterz t setl hiz guṭrñ candl. Ɖe hōltd tù on ɖ steps b’lo him. In ɖ sîḷns Gebrịl cd hír ɖ fōlñ v ɖ moltn wax intu ɖ tre n ɖ ʈumpñ v hiz ǒn hart agnst hiz ribz.

Ɖ portr léd ɖm alñ a coṛdor n opnd a dor. Ɖen h set hiz unstebl candl dǎn on a tôḷțebl n asct at ẃt aur ɖe wr t b cōld in ɖ mornñ.

“Et,” sd Gebrịl.

Ɖ portr pôntd t ɖ tap v ɖ ilectric lît n bgan a mutrd apoḷji bt Gebrịl cut him śort.

“W d’nt wont eni lît. W hv lît inuf fṛm ɖ strīt. N I se,” h add, pôntñ t ɖ candl, “y mt rmuv ɖt hansm articl, lîc a gd man.”

Ɖ portr tc p hiz candl agn, bt slǒli fr h wz s’prîzd bî sć a novl îdīa. Ɖen h mumbld gdnît n wnt ǎt. Gebrịl śot ɖ loc t.

A gostli lît fṛm ɖ strītlamp le in a loñ śaft fṛm wn windo t ɖ dor. Gebrịl ʈrù hiz oṿcot n hat on a cǎć n crost ɖ rūm twdz ɖ windo. H lct dǎn intu ɖ strīt in ordr ɖt hiz imośn mt cām a litl. Ɖen h trnd n līnd agnst a ćst v drorz wɖ hiz bac t ɖ lît. Ś hd tecn of hr hat n clǒc n wz standñ bfr a larj swññ mirr, unhcñ hr weist. Gebrịl pōzd fr a fy momnts, woćñ hr, n ɖen sd:

“Greta!”

Ś trnd awe fṛm ɖ mirr slǒli n wōct alñ ɖ śaft v lît twdz him. Hr fes lct so sirịs n wiri ɖt ɖ wrdz wd nt pas Gebrịl’z lips. No, it wz nt ɖ momnt yt.

“Y lct tîrd,” h sd.

“I am a litl,” ś ansrd.

“Y d’nt fīl il or wìc?”

“No, tîrd: ɖt’s ol.”

Ś wnt on t ɖ windo n std ɖr, lcñ ǎt. Gebrịl wêtd agn n ɖen, firñ ɖt difidns wz abt t concr him, h sd abrupli:

“Bî ɖ we, Greta!”

“Ẃt z it?”

“Y nǒ ɖt pur felo Malinz?” h sd qcli.

“Yes. Ẃt abt him?”

“Wel, pur felo, h’z a dīsnt sort v ćap aftr ol,” cntinyd Gebrịl in a fōls vôs. “H gev m bac ɖt sovrin I lent him, n I dd’nt xpct it, riyli. It’s a piti h wd’nt cīp awe fṛm ɖt Braun, bcz h’z nt a bad felo, riyli.”

H wz tremḅlñ nǎ wɖ anoyns. Ẃ dd ś sīm so abstractd? H dd nt nǒ hǎ h cd bgin. Wz ś anoid, tù, abt smʈñ? F ś wd onli trn t him or cm t him v hr ǒn acord! T tec hr az ś wz wd b brūtl. No, h mst si sm ardr in hr îz frst. H loñd t b mastr v hr strenj mūd.

“Ẃn dd y lend him ɖ pǎnd?” ś asct, aftr a pōz.

Gebrịl strouv t rstren himslf fṛm brecñ ǎt intu brūtl lanḡj abt ɖ sotiś Malinz n hiz pǎnd. H loñd t crî t hr fṛm hiz soul, t cruś hr bodi agnst hiz, t oṿmastr hr. Bt h sd:

“Ǒ, at Crisṃs, ẃn h opnd ɖt litl Crisṃscard śop in Henri Strīt.”

H wz in sć a fīvr v rej n dzîr ɖt h dd nt hír hr cm fṛm ɖ windo. Ś std bfr him fr an instnt, lcñ at him strenjli. Ɖen, sudnli rezñ hrslf on tipto n restñ hr handz lîtli on hiz śoldrz, ś cist him.

“Y r a vri jenṛs prsn, Gebrịl,” ś sd.

Gebrịl, tremḅlñ wɖ dlît at hr sudn cis n at ɖ qentnis v hr frêz, pt hiz handz on hr her n bgan smuɖñ it bac, scersli tućñ it wɖ hiz fngrz. Ɖ wośñ hd md it fîn n briłnt. Hiz hart wz brimñ ovr wɖ hapinis. Jst ẃn h wz wśñ fr it ś hd cm t him v hr ǒn acord. Phps hr ʈts hd bn runñ wɖ hiz. Phps ś hd flt ɖ impećs dzîr ɖt wz in him, n ɖen ɖ yīldñ mūd hd cm upn hr. Nǎ ɖt ś hd fōḷn t him so īẓli, h wundrd ẃ h hd bn so difidnt.

H std, holdñ hr hed btwn hiz handz. Ɖen, slipñ wn arm swiftli abt hr bodi n drw̃ hr twdz him, h sd softli:

“Greta, dir, ẃt r y ʈncñ abt?”

Ś dd nt ansr nr yīld hoļi t hiz arm. H sd agn, softli:

“Tel m ẃt it z, Greta. I ʈnc I nǒ ẃt z ɖ matr. D I nǒ?”

Ś dd nt ansr at wns. Ɖen ś sd in an ǎtbrst v tirz:

“Ǒ, I am ʈncñ abt ɖt soñ, Ɖ Las v Ócṛm.”

Ś brouc lūs fṛm him n ran t ɖ bed n, ʈrowñ hr armz acrs ɖ bedrel, hid hr fes. Gebrịl std stoc-stil fr a momnt in astoniśmnt n ɖen foloud hr. Az h pást in ɖ we v ɖ śvalglas h còt sît v himslf in fl leñʈ, hiz brōd, wel-fild śrtfrunt, ɖ fes huz xpreśn olwz puzld him ẃn h sw it in a mirr n hiz gliṃrñ gílt-rimd îglasz. H hōltd a fy pesz fṛm hr n sd:

“Ẃt abt ɖ soñ? Ẃ dz ɖt mc y crî?”

Ś rezd hr hed fṛm hr armz n draid hr îz wɖ ɖ bac v hr hand lîc a ćîld. A cîndr not ɖn h hd intndd wnt intu hiz vôs.

“Ẃ, Greta?” h asct.

“I am ʈncñ abt a prsn loñ ago hu yst t sñ ɖt soñ.”

“N hu wz ɖ prsn loñ ago?” asct Gebrịl, smîlñ.

“It wz a prsn I yst t nǒ in Gōlwe ẃn I wz livñ wɖ mî granmuɖr,” ś sd.

Ɖ smîl pást awe fṛm Gebrịl’z fes. A dul angr bgan t gaɖr agn at ɖ bac v hiz mînd n ɖ dul fîrz v hiz lust bgan t glo angṛli in hiz veinz.

“Smwn y wr in luv wɖ?” h asct îronicli.

“It wz a yuñ bô I yst t nǒ,” ś ansrd, “nemd Mîcl Fyri. H yst t sñ ɖt soñ, Ɖ Las v Ócṛm. H wz vri delic̣t.”

Gebrịl wz sîḷnt. H dd nt wś hr t ʈnc ɖt h wz inṭrestd in ɖs delic̣t bô.

“I cn si him so plenli,” ś sd aftr a momnt. “Sć îz az h hd: big, darc îz! N sć an xpreśn in ɖm—an xpreśn!”

“Ǒ ɖen, y wr in luv wɖ him?” sd Gebrịl.

“I yst t g ǎt wōcñ wɖ him,” ś sd, “ẃn I wz in Gōlwe.”

A ʈt flù acrs Gebrịl’z mînd.

“Phps ɖt wz ẃ y wontd t g t Gōlwe wɖ ɖt Îvrz grl?” h sd coldli.

Ś lct at him n asct in s’prîz:

“Ẃt fr?”

Hr îz md Gebrịl fīl ōcẉd. H śrugd hiz śoldrz n sd:

“Hǎ d I nǒ? T si him, phps.”

Ś lct awe fṛm him alñ ɖ śaft v lît twdz ɖ windo in sîḷns.

“H z ded,” ś sd at leñʈ. “H daid ẃn h wz onli sevntīn. Z’nt it a teṛbl ʈñ t dî so yuñ az ɖt?”

“Ẃt wz h?” asct Gebrịl, stl îronicli.

“H wz in ɖ gaswrcs,” ś sd.

Gebrịl flt hymilietd bî ɖ fełr v hiz îṛni n bî ɖ evceśn v ɖs figr fṛm ɖ ded, a bô in ɖ gaswrcs. Ẃl h hd bn fl v meṃriz v ɖer sīcrit lîf tgɖr, fl v tndrnis n jô n dzîr, ś hd bn cmperñ him in hr mînd wɖ anɖr. A śemfl conśsnis v hiz ǒn prsn aseld him. H sw himslf az a lūdicṛs figr, actñ az a penibô fr hiz ānts, a nrṿs, wel-mīnñ snṭmnṭlist, oretñ t vulgerịnz n îdiylîzñ hiz ǒn clǎniś lusts, ɖ pitịbl faćs felo h hd còt a glims v in ɖ mirr. Instñtivli h trnd hiz bac mor t ɖ lît lest ś mt si ɖ śem ɖt brnd upn hiz fōrhed.

H traid t cīp p hiz ton v cold inteṛgeśn, bt hiz vôs ẃn h spouc wz humbl n indifṛnt.

“I s’poz y wr in luv wɖ ɖs Mîcl Fyri, Greta,” h sd.

“I wz gret wɖ him at ɖt tîm,” ś sd.

Hr vôs wz veild n sad. Gebrịl, fīlñ nǎ hǎ ven it wd b t trî t līd hr ẃiɖr h hd prṗst, c’rest wn v hr handz n sd, olso sadli:

“N ẃt dd h dî v so yuñ, Greta? Cnsumśn, wz it?”

“I ʈnc h daid fr m,” ś ansrd.

A veg terr sizd Gebrịl at ɖs ansr az f, at ɖt aur ẃn h hd hopt t trîumf, sm impalpbl n vndictiv biyñ wz cmñ agnst him, gaɖ̇rñ forsz agnst him in its veg wrld. Bt h śc himslf fri v it wɖ an ef̣t v rīzn n cntinyd t c’res hr hand. H dd nt qsćn hr agn fr h flt ɖt ś wd tel him v hrslf. Hr hand wz worm n môst: it dd nt rspond t hiz tuć bt h cntinyd t c’res it jst az h hd c’rest hr frst letr t him ɖt sprñmornñ.

“It wz in ɖ wintr,” ś sd, “abt ɖ bginñ v ɖ wintr ẃn I wz gwñ t līv mî granmuɖr’z n cm p hir t ɖ convnt. N h wz il at ɖ tîm in hiz lojñz in Gōlwe n wd’nt b let ǎt n hiz ppl in Ōṭrard wr ritn t. H wz in dclîn, ɖe sd, or smʈñ lîc ɖt. I nvr ń rîtli.”

Ś pōzd fr a momnt n said.

“Pur felo,” ś sd. “H wz vri fond v m n h wz sć a jntl bô. W yst t g ǎt tgɖr, wōcñ, y nǒ, Gebrịl, lîc ɖ we ɖe d in ɖ cuntri. H wz gwñ t studi sññ onli fr hiz hlʈ. H hd a vri gd vôs, pur Mîcl Fyri.”

“Wel; n ɖen?” asct Gebrịl.

“N ɖen ẃn it cem t ɖ tîm fr m t līv Gōlwe n cm p t ɖ convnt h wz mć wrs n I wd’nt b let si him so I rout him a letr seyñ I wz gwñ p t Dublin n wd b bac in ɖ sumr n hopñ h wd b betr ɖen.”

Ś pōzd fr a momnt t gt hr vôs undr cntrol n ɖen wnt on:

“Ɖen ɖ nît bfr I left I wz in mî granmuɖr’z hǎs in Nunz’ Îḷnd, pacñ p, n I hŕd gravl ʈroun p agnst ɖ windo. Ɖ windo wz so wet I cd’nt si so I ran dǎnsterz az I wz n slipt ǎt ɖ bac intu ɖ gardn n ɖr wz ɖ pur felo at ɖ end v ɖ gardn, śiṿrñ.”

“N dd y nt tel him t g bac?” asct Gebrịl.

“I implord v him t g hom at wns n tld him h wd gt hiz deʈ in ɖ ren. Bt h sd h dd nt wont t liv. I cn si hiz îz az wel az wel! H wz standñ at ɖ end v ɖ wōl ẃr ɖr wz a tri.”

“N dd h g hom?” asct Gebrịl.

“Yes, h wnt hom. N ẃn I wz onli a wīc in ɖ convnt h daid n h wz berid in Ōṭrard ẃr hiz ppl cem fṛm. Ǒ, ɖ de I hŕd ɖt, ɖt h wz ded!”

Ś stopt, ćocñ wɖ sobz n, oṿcm bî imośn, fluñ hrslf fes dǎnẉd on ɖ bed, sobñ in ɖ qilt. Gebrịl hld hr hand fr a momnt longr, ireẓlutli, n ɖen, śî v intrudñ on hr grīf, let it fōl jntli n wōct qaytli t ɖ windo.

Ś wz fast aslip.

Gebrịl, līnñ on hiz elbo, lct fr a fy momnts unrizntf̣li on hr tangld her n haf-opn mǎʈ, liṣnñ t hr dīp-drwn breʈ. So ś hd hd ɖt romans in hr lîf: a man hd daid fr hr sec. It hardli pend him nǎ t ʈnc hǎ pur a part h, hr huzbnd, hd pleid in hr lîf. H woćt hr ẃl ś slept az ɖo h n ś hd nvr livd tgɖr az man n wîf. Hiz krịs îz restd loñ upn hr fes n on hr her: n, az h ʈt v ẃt ś mst hv bn ɖen, in ɖt tîm v hr frst grliś byti, a strenj, frendli piti fr hr entrd hiz soul. H dd nt lîc t se īvn t himslf ɖt hr fes wz no longr bytifl bt h ń ɖt it wz no longr ɖ fes fr ẃć Mîcl Fyri hd brevd deʈ.

Phps ś hd nt tld him ol ɖ stori. Hiz îz muvd t ɖ ćer ovr ẃć ś hd ʈroun sm v hr cloɖz. A peticotstrñ dangld t ɖ flor. Wn būt std uprît, its limp upr fōḷn dǎn: ɖ felo v it le upn its sîd. H wundrd at hiz rayt v imośnz v an aur bfr. Fṛm ẃt hd it pṛsidd? Fṛm hiz ānt’s supr, fṛm hiz ǒn fūliś spīć, fṛm ɖ wîn n dansñ, ɖ meri-mcñ ẃn seyñ gdnît in ɖ hōl, ɖ pleźr v ɖ wōc alñ ɖ rivr in ɖ sno. Pur Ānt Jūlia! Ś, tù, wd sn b a śêd wɖ ɖ śêd v Patric Morcn n hiz hors. H hd còt ɖt haġd lc upn hr fes fr a momnt ẃn ś wz sññ Areid fr ɖ Brîdl. Sn, phps, h wd b sitñ in ɖt sem drw̃rūm, drest in blac, hiz silc hat on hiz niz. Ɖ blîndz wd b drwn dǎn n Ānt Cet wd b sitñ bsd him, crayñ n blowñ hr nǒz n telñ him hǎ Jūlia hd daid. H wd cast abt in hiz mînd fr sm wrdz ɖt mt consol hr, n wd fînd onli lem n yslis wnz. Yes, yes: ɖt wd hapn vri sn.

Ɖ er v ɖ rūm ćild hiz śoldrz. H strećt himslf cōśsli alñ undr ɖ śīts n le dǎn bsd hiz wîf. Wn bî wn ɖe wr ol bcmñ śêdz. Betr pas boldli intu ɖt uɖr wrld, in ɖ fl glori v sm paśn, ɖn fed n wiɖr dizṃli wɖ ej. H ʈt v hǎ ś hu le bsd him hd loct in hr hart fr so mni yirz ɖt imij v hr luvr’z îz ẃn h hd tld hr ɖt h dd nt wś t liv.

Jenṛs tirz fild Gebrịl’z îz. H hd nvr flt lîc ɖt himslf twdz eni wmn bt h ń ɖt sć a fīlñ mst b luv. Ɖ tirz gaɖrd mor ʈicli in hiz îz n in ɖ parśl darcnis h imajind h sw ɖ form v a yuñ man standñ undr a dripñ tri. Uɖr formz wr nir. Hiz soul hd aproćt ɖt rījn ẃr dwel ɖ vast hosts v ɖ ded. H wz conśs v, bt cd nt aprihnd, ɖer weẉd n flic̣rñ xistns. Hiz ǒn îdntti wz fedñ ǎt intu a gre impalpbl wrld: ɖ solid wrld itslf ẃć ɖz ded hd wn tîm rird n livd in wz dzolvñ n dwindlñ.

A fy lît taps upn ɖ pein md him trn t ɖ windo. It hd bgun t sno agn. H woćt slīṗli ɖ flecs, silvr n darc, fōlñ oblicli agnst ɖ lamplît. Ɖ tîm hd cm fr him t set ǎt on hiz jrni wstẉd. Yes, ɖ nyzpeprz wr rît: sno wz jenṛl ol ovr Îrḷnd. It wz fōlñ on evri part v ɖ darc sntṛl plen, on ɖ trīlis hilz, fōlñ softli upn ɖ Bog v Aḷn n, farɖr wstẉd, softli fōlñ intu ɖ darc ḿtiṇs Śann wevz. It wz fōlñ, tù, upn evri part v ɖ lonli ćrćyard on ɖ hil ẃr Mîcl Fyri le berid. It le ʈicli driftd on ɖ crŭcid crosz n hedstonz, on ɖ spirz v ɖ litl get, on ɖ baṛn ʈornz. Hiz soul swūnd slǒli az h hŕd ɖ sno fōlñ fentli ʈru ɖ yṇvrs n fentli fōlñ, lîc ɖ dsent v ɖer last end, upn ol ɖ livñ n ɖ ded.

Comments welcomed

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.