NORƮANGR ABI │ ĆAPTR 17

Ɖ Aḷnz hd nǎ entrd on ɖ sixʈ wīc v ɖer ste in Baʈ; n ẃɖr it śd b ɖ last wz fr sm tîm a qsćn, t ẃć Caʈrin lisnd wɖ a bìtñ hart. T hv hr aqentns wɖ ɖ Tilniz end so sn wz an īvl ẃć nʈñ cd cǎnṭbaḷns. Hr hol hapinis sīmd at stec, ẃl ɖ afer wz in sspns, n evrʈñ s’krd ẃn it wz dtrmind ɖt ɖ lojñz śd b tecn fr anɖr fortnît. Ẃt ɖs adiśnl fortnît wz t pṛdys t hr bynd ɖ pleźr v smtmz siyñ Henri Tilni md bt a smōl part v Caʈrin’z spekleśn. Wns or twîs indd, sins Jemz’z ingejmnt hd tòt hr ẃt cd b dn, ś hd got so far az t indulj in a sīcrit “phps,” bt in jenṛl ɖ f’liṣti v biyñ wɖ him fr ɖ preznt bǎndd hr vyz: ɖ preznt wz nǎ cmprîzd in anɖr ʈri wīcs, n hr hapinis biyñ srtn fr ɖt pirịd, ɖ rest v hr lîf wz at sć a distns az t xît bt litl inṭrest. In ɖ cors v ɖ mornñ ẃć sw ɖs biznis arenjd, ś viẓtd Mis Tilni, n pord fʈ hr jôfl fīlñz. It wz dūmd t b a de v trîl. No snr hd ś xprest hr dlît in Mr Aḷn’z leñʈnd ste ɖn Mis Tilni tld hr v hr faɖr’z hvñ jst dtrmind upn qitñ Baʈ bî ɖ end v anɖr wīc. Hir wz a blo! Ɖ past sspns v ɖ mornñ hd bn īz n qayt t ɖ preznt dis’pôntmnt. Caʈrin’z cǎntinns fél, n in a vôs v most sinsir cnsrn ś ecoud Mis Tilni’z cncludñ wrdz, “Bî ɖ end v anɖr wīc!”

“Yes, mî faɖr cn sldm b priveld on t gv ɖ wōtrz ẃt I ʈnc a fer trîl. H hz bn dis’pôntd v sm frendz’ arîvl hūm h xpctd t mīt hir, n az h z nǎ priti wel, z in a huri t gt hom.”

“I am vri sori fr it,” sd Caʈrin djctidli; “f I hd noun ɖs bfr—”

“Phps,” sd Mis Tilni in an imbaṛst manr, “y wd b so gd—it wd mc m vri hapi f—”

Ɖ entṛns v hr faɖr pt a stop t ɖ sviḷti, ẃć Caʈrin wz bginñ t hop mt intṛdys a dzîr v ɖer corispondñ. Aftr adresñ hr wɖ hiz yźl p’lîtnis, h trnd t hiz dōtr n sd, “Wel, Eḷnr, me I cngraćlet y on biyñ s’xesfl in yr apḷceśn t yr fer frend?”

“I wz jst bginñ t mc ɖ rqst, sr, az y cem in.”

“Wel, pṛsid bî ol mīnz. I nǒ hǎ mć yr hart z in it. Mî dōtr, Mis Morḷnd,” h cntinyd, wɖǎt līvñ hiz dōtr tîm t spīc, “hz bn formñ a vri bold wś. W līv Baʈ, az ś hz phps tld y, on Saṭde seņît. A letr fṛm mî stywd tlz m ɖt mî prezns z wontd at hom; n biyñ dis’pôntd in mî hop v siyñ ɖ Marqis v Loñtǎn n Jenṛl Cortni hir, sm v mî vri old frendz, ɖr z nʈñ t dten m longr in Baʈ. N cd w cari ǎr slfiś pônt wɖ y, w śd līv it wɖǎt a sngl rgret. Cn y, in śort, b priveld on t qit ɖs sīn v public trîumf n oblîj yr frend Eḷnr wɖ yr cumṗni in Glostrśr? I am olmst aśemd t mc ɖ rqst, ɖo its prizumśn wd srtnli apir gretr t evri crīćr in Baʈ ɖn yrslf. Modsti sć az yrz—bt nt fr ɖ wrld wd I pen it bî opn prêz. F y cn b indyst t onr s wɖ a vizit, y wl mc s hapi bynd xpreśn. ’tiz tru, w cn ofr y nʈñ lîc ɖ geytiz v ɖs lîvli ples; w cn tmt y nɖr bî aḿzmnt nr splendr, fr ǎr mod v livñ, az y si, z plen n unpritndñ; yt no indevrz śl b wontñ on ǎr sîd t mc Norʈangr Abi nt hoļi dis’griybl.”

Norʈangr Abi! Ɖz wr ʈrilñ wrdz, n waund p Caʈrin’z fīlñz t ɖ hîist pônt v xṭsi. Hr gretfl n graṭfaid hart cd hardli rstren its xpreśnz wɖn ɖ lanḡj v tolṛbl cāmnis. T rsiv so flaṭrñ an invteśn! T hv hr cumṗni so wormli s’liṣtd! Evrʈñ onṛbl n suɖñ, evri preznt injômnt, n evri fyćr hop wz cntend in it; n hr axptns, wɖ onli ɖ sevñ clōz v Ppā n Mmā’z apṛbeśn, wz īgrli gvn. “I wl rait hom d’recli,” sd ś, “n f ɖe d nt objct, az I der se ɖe wl nt—”

Jenṛl Tilni wz nt les sanḡn, hvñ olrdi wêtd on hr xḷnt frendz in Pŭltni Strīt, n obtend ɖer sañśn v hiz wśz. “Sins ɖe cn cnsnt t part wɖ y,” sd h, “w me xpct f’loṣfi fṛm ol ɖ wrld.”

Mis Tilni wz ŕnist, ɖo jntl, in hr secndri sviḷtiz, n ɖ afer bcem in a fy minits az nirli setld az ɖs nesṣri refṛns t Fŭḷtn wd alǎ.

Ɖ srcmstansz v ɖ mornñ hd léd Caʈrin’z fīlñz ʈru ɖ vraytiz v sspns, s’kṛti, n dis’pôntmnt; bt ɖe wr nǎ sefli lojd in prfict blis; n wɖ spirits iletd t rapćr, wɖ Henri at hr hart, n Norʈangr Abi on hr lips, ś hurid hom t rait hr letr. Mr n Msz Morḷnd, rlayñ on ɖ dscreśn v ɖ frendz t hūm ɖe hd olrdi intrustd ɖer dōtr, flt no dǎt v ɖ pṛprayti v an aqentns ẃć hd bn formd undr ɖer î, n snt ɖrfr bî rtrn v post ɖer redi cnsnt t hr vizit in Glostrśr. Ɖs induljns, ɖo nt mor ɖn Caʈrin hd hopt fr, cmplitd hr cnvix́n v biyñ fevrd bynd evri uɖr hymn crīćr, in frendz n fortyn, srcmstans n ćans. Evrʈñ sīmd t cooṗret fr hr advantij. Bî ɖ cîndnis v hr frst frendz, ɖ Aḷnz, ś hd bn intṛdyst intu sīnz ẃr pleźrz v evri cnd hd met hr. Hr fīlñz, hr prefṛnsz, hd ć noun ɖ hapinis v a rtrn. Ẃrvr ś flt ataćmnt, ś hd bn ebl t criet it. Ɖ afx́n v Iẓbela wz t b s’krd t hr in a sistr. Ɖ Tilniz, ɖe, bî hūm, abv ol, ś dzîrd t b fevṛbli ʈt v, ǎtstript īvn hr wśz in ɖ flaṭrñ meźrz bî ẃć ɖer intiṃsi wz t b cntinyd. Ś wz t b ɖer ćozn vizitr, ś wz t b for wīcs undr ɖ sem rūf wɖ ɖ prsn huz ssayti ś mostli prîzd—n, in adiśn t ol ɖ rest, ɖs rūf wz t b ɖ rūf v an abi! Hr paśn fr enćnt edfisz wz nxt in dgri t hr paśn fr Henri Tilni—n caslz n abiz md yźli ɖ ćarm v ɖoz reṿriz ẃć hiz imij dd nt fil. T si n xplor îɖr ɖ ramparts n cīp v ɖ wn, or ɖ clôstrz v ɖ uɖr, hd bn fr mni wīcs a darlñ wś, ɖo t b mor ɖn ɖ vizitr v an aur hd sīmd tù nirli imposbl fr dzîr. N yt, ɖs wz t hapn. Wɖ ol ɖ ćansz agnst hr v hǎs, hōl, ples, parc, cort, n cotij, Norʈangr trnd p an abi, n ś wz t b its inhabitnt. Its loñ, damp pasjz, its naro sélz n ruind ćapl, wr t b wɖn hr dêli rīć, n ś cd nt intîrli sbdy ɖ hop v sm tṛdiśnl lejndz, sm ōfl mmorịlz v an injrd n il-fetd nun.

It wz wundrfl ɖt hr frendz śd sīm so litl iletd bî ɖ pześn v sć a hom, ɖt ɖ conśsnis v it śd b so mīcli bòrn. Ɖ pǎr v rli habit onli cd acǎnt fr it. A dstñśn t ẃć ɖe hd bn born gev no prîd. Ɖer s’pirioṛti v abod wz no mor t ɖm ɖn ɖer s’pirioṛti v prsn.

Mni wr ɖ inqîriz ś wz īgr t mc v Mis Tilni; bt so activ wr hr ʈts, ɖt ẃn ɖz inqîriz wr ansrd, ś wz hardli mor aśurd ɖn bfr, v Norʈangr Abi hvñ bn a rićli indaud convnt at ɖ tîm v ɖ Ref̣meśn, v its hvñ fōḷn intu ɖ handz v an ansestr v ɖ Tilniz on its diṣluśn, v a larj porśn v ɖ enćnt bildñ stl mcñ a part v ɖ preznt dwelñ olɖo ɖ rest wz dceid, or v its standñ lo in a vali, śltrd fṛm ɖ norʈ n īst bî rîzñ wŭdz v oc.

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