NORƮANGR ABI │ ĆAPTR 12

“Msz Aḷn,” sd Caʈrin ɖ nxt mornñ, “wl ɖr b eni harm in mî cōlñ on Mis Tilni tde? I śl nt b īzi tl I hv xplend evrʈñ.”

“G, bî ol mīnz, mî dir; onli pt on a ẃît gǎn; Mis Tilni olwz werz ẃît.”

Caʈrin ćirf̣li cmplaid, n biyñ proprli iqipt, wz mor impeśnt ɖn evr t b at ɖ pumprūm, ɖt ś mt inform hrslf v Jenṛl Tilni’z lojñz, fr ɖo ś b’livd ɖe wr in Milsm Strīt, ś wz nt srtn v ɖ hǎs, n Msz Aḷn’z weṿrñ cnvix́nz onli md it mor dǎtfl. T Milsm Strīt ś wz d’rectd, n hvñ md hrslf prfict in ɖ numbr, hesnd awe wɖ īgr steps n a bìtñ hart t pe hr vizit, xplen hr cnduct, n b fgivn; tripñ lîtli ʈru ɖ ćrćyard, n reẓlutli trnñ awe hr îz, ɖt ś mt nt b oblîjd t si hr b’luvid Iẓbela n hr dir faṃli, hu, ś hd rīzn t b’liv, wr in a śop hard bî. Ś rīćt ɖ hǎs wɖǎt eni impedimnt, lct at ɖ numbr, noct at ɖ dor, n inqîrd fr Mis Tilni. Ɖ man b’livd Mis Tilni t b at hom, bt wz nt qt srtn. Wd ś b plizd t snd p hr nem? Ś gev hr card. In a fy minits ɖ srvnt rtrnd, n wɖ a lc ẃć dd nt qt cnfrm hiz wrdz, sd h hd bn mstecn, fr ɖt Mis Tilni wz wōct ǎt. Caʈrin, wɖ a bluś v mortif̣ceśn, left ɖ hǎs. Ś flt olmst pswedd ɖt Mis Tilni wz at hom, n tù mć ofndd t admit hr; n az ś rtîrd dǎn ɖ strīt, cd nt wɖhold wn glans at ɖ drw̃rūm windoz, in xpcteśn v siyñ hr ɖr, bt nwn apird at ɖm. At ɖ botm v ɖ strīt, hvr, ś lct bac agn, n ɖen, nt at a windo, bt iśuwñ fṛm ɖ dor, ś sw Mis Tilni hrslf. Ś wz foloud bî a jntlmn, hūm Caʈrin b’livd t b hr faɖr, n ɖe trnd p twdz Edgr’z Bildñz. Caʈrin, in dīp mortif̣ceśn, pṛsidd on hr we. Ś cd olmst b angri hrslf at sć angri inṣviḷti; bt ś ćect ɖ rzntfl snseśn; ś rmembrd hr ǒn ignṛns. Ś ń nt hǎ sć an ofns az hrz mt b clast bî ɖ lwz v wrldli p’lîtnis, t ẃt a dgri v unf̣givñnis it mt wɖ pṛprayti līd, nr t ẃt rigrz v rūdnis in rtrn it mt justli mc hr amīṇbl.

Djctd n humbld, ś hd īvn sm ʈts v nt gwñ wɖ ɖ uɖrz t ɖ ʈiytr ɖt nît; bt it mst b cnfest ɖt ɖe wr nt v loñ cntinẏns, fr ś sn rec̣lectd, in ɖ frst ples, ɖt ś wz wɖǎt eni xks fr steyñ at hom; n, in ɖ secnd, ɖt it wz a ple ś wontd vri mć t si. T ɖ ʈiytr acordñli ɖe ol wnt; no Tilniz apird t pleg or plīz hr; ś fird ɖt, amñst ɖ mni pfx́nz v ɖ faṃli, a fondnis fr plez wz nt t b ranct; bt phps it wz bcz ɖe wr hbićuetd t ɖ fînr pformnsz v ɖ Lundn stej, ẃć ś ń, on Iẓbela’z oʈoṛti, rendrd evrʈñ els v ɖ cnd “qt horid.” Ś wz nt dsivd in hr ǒn xpcteśn v pleźr; ɖ coṃdi so wel sspndd hr cer ɖt nwn, obzrvñ hr jrñ ɖ frst for acts, wd hv s’pozd ś hd eni rećidnis abt hr. On ɖ bginñ v ɖ fifʈ, hvr, ɖ sudn vy v Mr Henri Tilni n hiz faɖr, jônñ a parti in ɖ oṗzit box, rcōld hr t añzayti n dstres. Ɖ stej cd no longr xît jenyin merimnt—no longr cīp hr hol atnśn. Evri uɖr lc upn an aṿrij wz d’rectd twdz ɖ oṗzit box; n, fr ɖ spes v tū intîr sīnz, dd ś ɖus woć Henri Tilni, wɖǎt biyñ wns ebl t cać hiz î. No longr cd h b sspctd v indifṛns fr a ple; hiz notis wz nvr wɖdrwn fṛm ɖ stej jrñ tū hol sīnz. At leñʈ, hvr, h dd lc twdz hr, n h baud—bt sć a bǎ! No smîl, no cntinyd obzrvns atndd it; hiz îz wr imījtli rtrnd t ɖer formr d’rex́n. Caʈrin wz restlisli mizṛbl; ś cd olmst hv run rnd t ɖ box in ẃć h sat n forst him t hír hr xpḷneśn. Fīlñz rɖr naćṛl ɖn hrǒic pzest hr; instd v cnsidrñ hr ǒn digṇti injrd bî ɖs redi condmneśn—instd v prǎdli rzolvñ, in conśs iṇsns, t śo hr rzntmnt twdz him hu cd harbr a dǎt v it, t līv t him ol ɖ trubl v sīcñ an xpḷneśn, n t inlîtn him on ɖ past onli bî avôdñ hiz sît, or flrtñ wɖ smbdi els—ś tc t hrslf ol ɖ śem v msconduct, or at līst v its apiṛns, n wz onli īgr fr an oṗtyṇti v xplenñ its cōz.

Ɖ ple cncludd—ɖ crtn fél—Henri Tilni wz no longr t b sìn ẃr h hd hiɖrtu sat, bt hiz faɖr rmend, n phps h mt b nǎ cmñ rnd t ɖer box. Ś wz rît; in a fy minits h apird, n, mcñ hiz we ʈru ɖ ɖen ʈinñ roz, spouc wɖ lîc cām p’lîtnis t Msz Aḷn n hr frend. Nt wɖ sć cāmnis wz h ansrd bî ɖ latr: “Ǒ! Mr Tilni, I hv bn qt wîld t spīc t y, n mc mî apoḷji. Y mst hv ʈt m so rūd; bt indd it wz nt mî ǒn fōlt, wz it, Msz Aḷn? Dd nt ɖe tel m ɖt Mr Tilni n hiz sistr wr gn ǎt in a feytn tgɖr? N ɖen ẃt cd I d? Bt I hd ten ʈǎznd tîmz rɖr hv bn wɖ y; nǎ hd nt I, Msz Aḷn?”

“Mî dir, y tumbl mî gǎn,” wz Msz Aḷn’z rplî.

Hr aśuṛns, hvr, standñ sol az it dd, wz nt ʈroun awe; it bròt a mor cordịl, mor naćṛl smîl intu hiz cǎntinns, n h rplaid in a ton ẃć rtend onli a litl afctd rzrv: “W wr mć oblîjd t y at eni ret fr wśñ s a pleznt wōc aftr ǎr pasñ y in Argîl Strīt: y wr so cnd az t lc bac on prṗs.”

“Bt indd I dd nt wś y a pleznt wōc; I nvr ʈt v sć a ʈñ; bt I begd Mr Ʈorp so rṇstli t stop; I cōld ǎt t him az sn az evr I sw y; nǎ, Msz Aḷn, dd nt—Ǒ! Y wr nt ɖr; bt indd I dd; n, f Mr Ʈorp wd onli hv stopt, I wd hv jumt ǎt n run aftr y.”

Z ɖr a Henri in ɖ wrld hu cd b insnsbl t sć a decḷreśn? Henri Tilni at līst wz nt. Wɖ a yt swītr smîl, h sd evrʈñ ɖt nīd b sd v hiz sistr’z cnsrn, rgret, n dpndns on Caʈrin’z onr. “Ǒ! D nt se Mis Tilni wz nt angri,” craid Caʈrin, “bcz I nǒ ś wz; fr ś wd nt si m ɖs mornñ ẃn I cōld; I sw hr wōc ǎt v ɖ hǎs ɖ nxt minit aftr mî līvñ it; I wz hrt, bt I wz nt afruntd. Phps y dd nt nǒ I hd bn ɖr.”

“I wz nt wɖn at ɖ tîm; bt I hŕd v it fṛm Eḷnr, n ś hz bn wśñ evr sins t si y, t xplen ɖ rīzn v sć inṣviḷti; bt phps I cn d it az wel. It wz nʈñ mor ɖn ɖt mî faɖr—ɖe wr jst pripẹrñ t wōc ǎt, n h biyñ hurid fr tîm, n nt cẹrñ t hv it pt of—md a pônt v hr biyñ dnaid. Ɖt wz ol, I d aśur y. Ś wz vri mć vxt, n mnt t mc hr apoḷji az sn az poṣbl.”

Caʈrin’z mînd wz gretli īzd bî ɖs inf̣meśn, yt a smʈñ v s’liṣtyd rmend, fṛm ẃć sprañ ɖ folowñ qsćn, ʈuṛli artlis in itslf, ɖo rɖr dstresñ t ɖ jntlmn: “Bt, Mr Tilni, ẃ wr y les jenṛs ɖn yr sistr? F ś flt sć confidns in mî gd intnśnz, n cd s’poz it t b onli a mstec, ẃ śd y b so redi t tec ofns?”

“M! I tec ofns!”

“Nê, I am śr bî yr lc, ẃn y cem intu ɖ box, y wr angri.”

“I angri! I cd hv no rît.”

“Wel, nbdi wd hv ʈt y hd no rît hu sw yr fes.” H rplaid bî ascñ hr t mc rūm fr him, n tōcñ v ɖ ple.

H rmend wɖ ɖm sm tîm, n wz onli tù agriybl fr Caʈrin t b cntntd ẃn h wnt awe. Bfr ɖe partd, hvr, it wz agrìd ɖt ɖ pṛjctd wōc śd b tecn az sn az poṣbl; n, setñ asd ɖ miẓri v hiz qitñ ɖer box, ś wz, upn ɖ hol, left wn v ɖ hapiist crīćrz in ɖ wrld.

Ẃl tōcñ t ć uɖr, ś hd obzrvd wɖ sm s’prîz ɖt Jon Ʈorp, hu wz nvr in ɖ sem part v ɖ hǎs fr ten minits tgɖr, wz ingejd in convseśn wɖ Jenṛl Tilni; n ś flt smʈñ mor ɖn s’prîz ẃn ś ʈt ś cd psiv hrslf ɖ objict v ɖer atnśn n discors. Ẃt cd ɖe hv t se v hr? Ś fird Jenṛl Tilni dd nt lîc hr apiṛns: ś faund it wz implaid in hiz privntñ hr admitns t hiz dōtr, rɖr ɖn pspon hiz ǒn wōc a fy minits. “Hǎ cem Mr Ʈorp t nǒ yr faɖr?” wz hr añśs inqîri, az ś pôntd ɖm ǎt t hr cmpańn. H ń nʈñ abt it; bt hiz faɖr, lîc evri miliṭri man, hd a vri larj aqentns.

Ẃn ɖ enttenmnt wz ovr, Ʈorp cem t asist ɖm in gtñ ǎt. Caʈrin wz ɖ imījt objict v hiz gaḷntri; n, ẃl ɖe wêtd in ɖ lobi fr a ćer, h privntd ɖ inqîri ẃć hd travld fṛm hr hart olmst t ɖ tip v hr tuñ, bî ascñ, in a consiqnśl manr, ẃɖr ś hd sìn him tōcñ wɖ Jenṛl Tilni: “H z a fîn old felo, upn mî soul! Stǎt, activ—lcs az yuñ az hiz sun. I hv a gret rgard fr him, I aśur y: a jntlmnlîc, gd sort v felo az evr livd.”

“Bt hǎ cem y t nǒ him?”

“Nǒ him! Ɖr r fy ppl mć abt tǎn ɖt I d nt nǒ. I hv met him fr evr at ɖ Bedfd; n I ń hiz fes agn tde ɖ momnt h cem intu ɖ biłrdrūm. Wn v ɖ bst pleyrz w hv, bî ɖ bî; n w hd a litl tuć tgɖr, ɖo I wz olmst afred v him at frst: ɖ odz wr fîv t for agnst m; n, f I hd nt md wn v ɖ clīnist strocs ɖt phps evr wz md in ɖs wrld—I tc hiz bōl xacli—bt I cd nt mc y unḍstand it wɖǎt a tebl; hvr, I dd bìt him. A vri fîn felo; az rić az a Ju. I śd lîc t dîn wɖ him; I der se h gvz feṃs dinrz. Bt ẃt d y ʈnc w hv bn tōcñ v? Y. Yes, bî hevnz! N ɖ jenṛl ʈncs y ɖ fînist grl in Baʈ.”

“Ǒ! Nonsns! Hǎ cn y se so?”

“N ẃt d y ʈnc I sd?”—lowrñ hiz vôs—“wel dn, jenṛl, sd I; I am qt v yr mînd.”

Hir Caʈrin, hu wz mć les graṭfaid bî hiz adṃreśn ɖn bî Jenṛl Tilni’z, wz nt sori t b cōld awe bî Mr Aḷn. Ʈorp, hvr, wd si hr t hr ćer, n, tl ś entrd it, cntinyd ɖ sem cnd v delic̣t flaṭri, in spît v hr intritñ him t hv dn.

Ɖt Jenṛl Tilni, instd v dslîcñ, śd admîr hr, wz vri dlîtfl; n ś jôf̣li ʈt ɖt ɖr wz nt wn v ɖ faṃli hūm ś nīd nǎ fir t mīt. Ɖ īvnñ hd dn mor, mć mor, fr hr ɖn cd hv bn xpctd.

ĆAPTRZ: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31