NORƮANGR ABI │ ĆAPTR 20

Mr n Msz Aḷn wr sori t lūz ɖer yuñ frend, huz gd hymr n ćirflnis hd md hr a vałbl cmpańn, n in ɖ pṛmośn v huz injômnt ɖer ǒn hd bn jntli incrist. Hr hapinis in gwñ wɖ Mis Tilni, hvr, privntd ɖer wśñ it uɖwz; n, az ɖe wr t rmen onli wn mor wīc in Baʈ ɖmslvz, hr qitñ ɖm nǎ wd nt loñ b flt. Mr Aḷn atndd hr t Milsm Strīt, ẃr ś wz t brecfst, n sw hr sītd wɖ ɖ cîndist welcm amñ hr ny frendz; bt so gret wz hr ajteśn in fîndñ hrslf az wn v ɖ faṃli, n so firfl wz ś v nt dwñ xacli ẃt wz rît, n v nt biyñ ebl t prizrv ɖer gd opińn, ɖt, in ɖ imbaṛsmnt v ɖ frst fîv minits, ś cd olmst hv wśt t rtrn wɖ him t Pŭltni Strīt.

Mis Tilni’z manrz n Henri’z smîl sn dd awe sm v hr unpleznt fīlñz; bt stl ś wz far fṛm biyñ at īz; nr cd ɖ insesnt atnśnz v ɖ jenṛl himslf intîrli ri’śur hr. Nê, pvrs az it sīmd, ś dǎtd ẃɖr ś mt nt hv flt les, hd ś bn les atndd t. Hiz añzayti fr hr cumf̣t—hiz cntińl s’liṣteśnz ɖt ś wd īt, n hiz ofn-xprest firz v hr siyñ nʈñ t hr test—ɖo nvr in hr lîf bfr hd ś bheld haf sć vrayti on a brecfsțebl—md it imposbl fr hr t fget fr a momnt ɖt ś wz a vizitr. Ś flt utrli unwrɖi v sć rspct, n ń nt hǎ t rplî t it. Hr tranqiḷti wz nt impruvd bî ɖ jenṛl’z impeśns fr ɖ apiṛns v hiz eldist sun, nr bî ɖ dspleźr h xprest at hiz lezinis ẃn Captin Tilni at last cem dǎn. Ś wz qt pend bî ɖ sveṛti v hiz faɖr’z rprūf, ẃć sīmd dispṛporśṇt t ɖ ofns; n mć wz hr cnsrn incrist ẃn ś faund hrslf ɖ prinsipl cōz v ɖ lecćr, n ɖt hiz tardinis wz ćīfli rzntd fṛm biyñ disrispctfl t hr. Ɖs wz plesñ hr in a vri uncumftbl sićueśn, n ś flt gret cmpaśn fr Captin Tilni, wɖǎt biyñ ebl t hop fr hiz gdwil.

H lisnd t hiz faɖr in sîḷns, n atmtd nt eni dfns, ẃć cnfrmd hr in firñ ɖt ɖ inqaytyd v hiz mînd, on Iẓbela’z acǎnt, mt, bî cīpñ him loñ slīplis, hv bn ɖ riyl cōz v hiz rîzñ lêt. It wz ɖ frst tîm v hr biyñ dsîdidli in hiz cumṗni, n ś hd hopt t b nǎ ebl t form hr opińn v him; bt ś scersli hŕd hiz vôs ẃl hiz faɖr rmend in ɖ rūm; n īvn aftwdz, so mć wr hiz spirits afctd, ś cd dstnḡś nʈñ bt ɖz wrdz, in a ẃispr t Eḷnr, “Hǎ glad I śl b ẃn y r ol of.”

Ɖ busl v gwñ wz nt pleznt. Ɖ cloc struc ten ẃl ɖ truncs wr cariyñ dǎn, n ɖ jenṛl hd fixt t b ǎt v Milsm Strīt bî ɖt aur. Hiz gretcot, instd v biyñ bròt fr him t pt on d’recli, wz spred ǎt in ɖ curicl in ẃć h wz t acumṗni hiz sun. Ɖ midl sīt v ɖ śez wz nt drwn ǎt, ɖo ɖr wr ʈri ppl t g in it, n hiz dōtr’z meid hd so crǎdd it wɖ parslz ɖt Mis Morḷnd wd nt hv rūm t sit; n, so mć wz h inflụnst bî ɖs aprihnśn ẃn h handd hr in, ɖt ś hd sm dificlti in sevñ hr ǒn ny raitñdesc fṛm biyñ ʈroun ǎt intu ɖ strīt. At last, hvr, ɖ dor wz clozd upn ɖ ʈri fīmelz, n ɖe set of at ɖ sobr pes in ẃć ɖ hansm, hîli féd for horsz v a jntlmn yźli pform a jrni v ʈrti mîlz: sć wz ɖ distns v Norʈangr fṛm Baʈ, t b nǎ dvîdd intu tū īql stejz. Caʈrin’z spirits rvîvd az ɖe drouv fṛm ɖ dor; fr wɖ Mis Tilni ś flt no rstrent; n, wɖ ɖ inṭrest v a rod intîrli ny t hr, v an abi bfr, n a curicl bhnd, ś còt ɖ last vy v Baʈ wɖǎt eni rgret, n met wɖ evri mîlston bfr ś xpctd it. Ɖ tīdịsnis v a tū aurz’ wêt at Peti Frans, in ẃć ɖr wz nʈñ t b dn bt t īt wɖǎt biyñ hungri, n lôtr abt wɖǎt enʈñ t si, nxt foloud—n hr adṃreśn v ɖ stîl in ẃć ɖe travld, v ɖ faśṇbl śez n for—pstiłnz hansmli liṿrid, rîzñ so reğlrli in ɖer stiṛps, n ńmṛs ǎtrîdrz proprli mǎntd, sunc a litl undr ɖs consiqnt incnvińns. Hd ɖer parti bn prf̣cli agriybl, ɖ dle wd hv bn nʈñ; bt Jenṛl Tilni, ɖo so ćarmñ a man, sīmd olwz a ćec upn hiz ćildṛn’z spirits, n scersli enʈñ wz sd bt bî himslf; ɖ obẓveśn v ẃć, wɖ hiz discntnt at ẃtvr ɖ ín afordd, n hiz angri impeśns at ɖ wêtrz, md Caʈrin gro evri momnt mor in ō v him, n apird t leñʈn ɖ tū aurz intu for. At last, hvr, ɖ ordr v rlis wz gvn; n mć wz Caʈrin ɖen s’prîzd bî ɖ jenṛl’z pṛpozl v hr tecñ hiz ples in hiz sun’z curicl fr ɖ rest v ɖ jrni: “ɖ de wz fîn, n h wz añśs fr hr siyñ az mć v ɖ cuntri az poṣbl.”

Ɖ rmembṛns v Mr Aḷn’z opińn, rspctñ yuñ men’z opn caṛjz, md hr bluś at ɖ mnśn v sć a plan, n hr frst ʈt wz t dclîn it; bt hr secnd wz v gretr defṛns fr Jenṛl Tilni’z jujmnt; h cd nt pṛpoz enʈñ impropr fr hr; n, in ɖ cors v a fy minits, ś faund hrslf wɖ Henri in ɖ curicl, az hapi a biyñ az evr xistd. A vri śort trîl cnvinst hr ɖt a curicl wz ɖ pritiist eqipij in ɖ wrld; ɖ śez n for ẃīld of wɖ sm granjr, t b śr, bt it wz a hevi n trublsm biznis, n ś cd nt īẓli fget its hvñ stopt tū aurz at Peti Frans. Haf ɖ tîm wd hv bn inuf fr ɖ curicl, n so nimbli wr ɖ lît horsz dspozd t muv, ɖt, hd nt ɖ jenṛl ćozn t hv hiz ǒn carij līd ɖ we, ɖe cd hv pást it wɖ īz in haf a minit. Bt ɖ merit v ɖ curicl dd nt ol b’loñ t ɖ horsz; Henri drouv so wel—so qaytli—wɖǎt mcñ eni dstrbns, wɖǎt p’redñ t hr, or swẹrñ at ɖm: so difṛnt fṛm ɖ onli jntlmn-coćmn hūm it wz in hr pǎr t cmper him wɖ! N ɖen hiz hat sat so wel, n ɖ ińmṛbl cepz v hiz gretcot lct so bcumñli importnt! T b drivn bî him, nxt t biyñ dansñ wɖ him, wz srtnli ɖ gretist hapinis in ɖ wrld. In adiśn t evri uɖr dlît, ś hd nǎ ɖt v liṣnñ t hr ǒn prêz; v biyñ ʈanct at līst, on hiz sistr’z acǎnt, fr hr cîndnis in ɖus bcmñ hr vizitr; v hírñ it ranct az riyl frendśp, n dscrîbd az crietñ riyl grattyd. Hiz sistr, h sd, wz uncumftbli srcmstanst—ś hd no fīmel cmpańn—n, in ɖ frīqnt absns v hr faɖr, wz smtmz wɖǎt eni cmpańn at ol.

“Bt hǎ cn ɖt b?” sd Caʈrin. “R nt y wɖ hr?”

“Norʈangr z nt mor ɖn haf mî hom; I hv an istabliśmnt at mî ǒn hǎs in Wŭdstn, ẃć z nirli twenti mîlz fṛm mî faɖr’z, n sm v mî tîm z nesseṛli spent ɖr.”

“Hǎ sori y mst b fr ɖt!”

“I am olwz sori t līv Eḷnr.”

“Yes; bt bsdz yr afx́n fr hr, y mst b so fond v ɖ abi! Aftr biyñ yst t sć a hom az ɖ abi, an ordnri parsnijhǎs mst b vri dis’griybl.”

H smîld, n sd, “Y hv formd a vri fevṛbl îdīa v ɖ abi.”

“T b śr, I hv. Z nt it a fîn old ples, jst lîc ẃt wn rīdz abt?”

“N r y priperd t incǎntr ol ɖ horrz ɖt a bildñ sć az ‘ẃt wn rīdz abt’ me pṛdys? Hv y a stǎt hart? Nrvz fit fr slîdñ panlz n taṗstri?”

“Ǒ! yes—I d nt ʈnc I śd b īẓli frîtnd, bcz ɖr wd b so mni ppl in ɖ hǎs—n bsdz, it hz nvr bn uninhaḅtd n left dzrtd fr yirz, n ɖen ɖ faṃli cm bac t it un’werz, wɖǎt gvñ eni notis, az jenṛli hapnz.”

“No, srtnli. W śl nt hv t xplor ǎr we intu a hōl dimli lîtd bî ɖ xpîrñ embrz v a wŭd fîr—nr b oblîjd t spred ǎr bedz on ɖ flor v a rūm wɖǎt windoz, dorz, or frnićr. Bt y mst b awer ɖt ẃn a yuñ ledi z (bî ẃtvr mīnz) intṛdyst intu a dwelñ v ɖs cnd, ś z olwz lojd apart fṛm ɖ rest v ɖ faṃli. Ẃl ɖe snugli rper t ɖer ǒn end v ɖ hǎs, ś z forṃli cnductd bî Doṛʈi, ɖ enćnt hǎscīpr, p a difṛnt sterces, n alñ mni glūmi pasjz, intu an apartmnt nvr yzd sins sm cuzn or cin daid in it abt twenti yirz bfr. Cn y stand sć a seriṃni az ɖs? Wl nt yr mînd misgiv y ẃn y fînd yrslf in ɖs glūmi ćembr—tù lofti n xtnsv fr y, wɖ onli ɖ fībl rez v a sngl lamp t tec in its sîz—its wōlz huñ wɖ taṗstri xibtñ figrz az larj az lîf, n ɖ bed, v darc grīn stuf or prpl velvit, prizntñ īvn a fynirịl apiṛns? Wl nt yr hart snc wɖn y?”

“Ǒ! Bt ɖs wl nt hapn t m, I am śr.”

“Hǎ firf̣li wl y xamin ɖ frnićr v yr apartmnt! N ẃt wl y dsrn? Nt teblz, twāléts, wordrǒbz, or drorz, bt on wn sîd phps ɖ rmenz v a brocn lūt, on ɖ uɖr a pondṛs ćst ẃć no ef̣ts cn opn, n ovr ɖ fîrples ɖ portrit v sm hansm worịr, huz fīćrz wl so incomprihnsbli strîc y, ɖt y wl nt b ebl t wɖdrw yr îz fṛm it. Doṛʈi, mnẃl, no les struc bî yr apiṛns, gezz on y in gret ajteśn, n drops a fy unintelijibl hints. T rêz yr spirits, morovr, ś gvz y rīzn t s’poz ɖt ɖ part v ɖ abi y inhabit z undǎtidli hōntd, n informz y ɖt y wl nt hv a sngl d’mestic wɖn cōl. Wɖ ɖs partñ cordịl ś crtsiz of—y lisn t ɖ sǎnd v hr rsidñ ftsteps az loñ az ɖ last eco cn rīć y—n ẃn, wɖ fentñ spirits, y atmt t fasn yr dor, y dscuvr, wɖ incrist alarm, ɖt it hz no loc.”

“Ǒ! Mr Tilni, hǎ frîtfl! Ɖs z jst lîc a bc! Bt it canot riyli hapn t m. I am śr yr hǎscīpr z nt riyli Doṛʈi. Wel, ẃt ɖen?”

“Nʈñ frɖr t alarm phps me ocŕ ɖ frst nît. Aftr s’mǎntñ yr unconcṛbl horr v ɖ bed, y wl rtîr t rest, n gt a fy aurz’ unqayt slumbr. Bt on ɖ secnd, or at farɖist ɖ ʈrd nît aftr yr arîvl, y wl probbli hv a vayḷnt storm. Pìlz v ʈundr so lǎd az t sīm t śec ɖ eḍfis t its fǎndeśn wl rol rnd ɖ nebrñ mǎntinz—n jrñ ɖ frîtfl gusts v wind ẃć acumṗni it, y wl probbli ʈnc y dsrn (fr yr lamp z nt xtnḡśt) wn part v ɖ haññ mor vayḷntli ajtetd ɖn ɖ rest. Unebl v cors t rpres yr krioṣti in so fevṛbl a momnt fr induljñ it, y wl instntli arîz, n ʈrowñ yr dresñgǎn arnd y, pṛsid t xamin ɖs misṭri. Aftr a vri śort srć, y wl dscuvr a dviźn in ɖ taṗstri so artf̣li cnstructd az t dfî ɖ mîńūtist inspx́n, n on oṗnñ it, a dor wl imījtli apir—ẃć dor, biyñ onli s’krd bî masi barz n a padloc, y wl, aftr a fy ef̣ts, s’xid in oṗnñ—n, wɖ yr lamp in yr hand, wl pas ʈru it intu a smōl vōltd rūm.”

“No, indd; I śd b tù mć frîtnd t d eni sć ʈñ.”

“Ẃt! Nt ẃn Doṛʈi hz gvn y t unḍstand ɖt ɖr z a sīcrit subṭreńs cḿṇceśn btwn yr apartmnt n ɖ ćapl v St. Ánṭni, scersli tū mîlz of? Cd y śrinc fṛm so simpl an advnćr? No, no, y wl pṛsid intu ɖs smōl vōltd rūm, n ʈru ɖs intu sevṛl uɖrz, wɖǎt psivñ enʈñ vri rmarcbl in îɖr. In wn phps ɖr me b a dagr, in anɖr a fy drops v blud, n in a ʈrd ɖ rmenz v sm instṛmnt v torćr; bt ɖr biyñ nʈñ in ol ɖs ǎt v ɖ comn we, n yr lamp biyñ nirli xōstd, y wl rtrn twdz yr ǒn apartmnt. In rīpasñ ʈru ɖ smōl vōltd rūm, hvr, yr îz wl b atractd twdz a larj, old-faśnd cabiṇt v eḅni n gold, ẃć, ɖo naroli xaṃnñ ɖ frnićr bfr, y hd pást uņotist. Impeld bî an irizistibl prizntimnt, y wl īgrli advans t it, unloc its foldñ dorz, n srć intu evri dror—bt fr sm tîm wɖǎt dscuṿrñ enʈñ v importns—phps nʈñ bt a cnsidṛbl hōrd v dîmndz. At last, hvr, bî tućñ a sīcrit sprñ, an inr cmpartmnt wl opn—a rol v pepr apirz—y sīz it—it cntenz mni śīts v mańscript—y hesn wɖ ɖ preśs treźr intu yr ǒn ćembr, bt scersli hv y bn ebl t dsîfr ‘Ǒ! Ɖǎ—hūmsoevr ɖǎ mayst b, intu huz handz ɖz memwarz v ɖ rećid Mtilda me fōl’—ẃn yr lamp sudnli xpîrz in ɖ socit, n līvz y in totl darcnis.”

“Ǒ! No, no—d nt se so. Wel, g on.”

Bt Henri wz tù mć aḿzd bî ɖ inṭrest h hd rezd t b ebl t cari it farɖr; h cd no longr cmand s’lemṇti îɖr v subjict or vôs, n wz oblîjd t intrit hr t yz hr ǒn fansi in ɖ p’ruzl v Mtilda’s woz. Caʈrin, rec̣lectñ hrslf, grù aśemd v hr īgrnis, n bgan ŕṇstli t aśur him ɖt hr atnśn hd bn fixt wɖǎt ɖ smōlist aprihnśn v riyli mītñ wɖ ẃt h rletd. “Mis Tilni, ś wz śr, wd nvr pt hr intu sć a ćembr az h hd dscrîbd! Ś wz nt at ol afred.”

Az ɖe drù nir ɖ end v ɖer jrni, hr impeśns fr a sît v ɖ abi—fr sm tîm sspndd bî hiz convseśn on subjicts vri difṛnt—rtrnd in fl fors, n evri bnd in ɖ rod wz xpctd wɖ soḷm ō t aford a glims v its masi wōlz v gre ston, rîzñ amdst a grov v enćnt ocs, wɖ ɖ last bīmz v ɖ sún pleyñ in bytifl splendr on its hî Goʈic windoz. Bt so lo dd ɖ bildñ stand, ɖt ś faund hrslf pasñ ʈru ɖ gret gets v ɖ loj intu ɖ vri grǎndz v Norʈangr, wɖǎt hvñ dsrnd īvn an antīc ćimni.

Ś ń nt ɖt ś hd eni rît t b s’prîzd, bt ɖr wz a smʈñ in ɖs mod v aproć ẃć ś srtnli hd nt xpctd. T pas btwn lojz v a modn apiṛns, t fînd hrslf wɖ sć īz in ɖ vri prīsñts v ɖ abi, n drivn so rapidli alñ a smuɖ, levl rod v fîn gravl, wɖǎt obsṭcl, alarm, or s’lemṇti v eni cnd, struc hr az od n incnsistnt. Ś wz nt loñ at leźr, hvr, fr sć cnsiḍreśnz. A sudn scud v ren, drîvñ fl in hr fes, md it imposbl fr hr t obzrv enʈñ frɖr, n fixt ol hr ʈts on ɖ welfer v hr ny strw bonit; n ś wz acćli undr ɖ abiwōlz, wz sprññ, wɖ Henri’z asistns, fṛm ɖ carij, wz bnʈ ɖ śltr v ɖ old porć, n hd īvn pást on t ɖ hōl, ẃr hr frend n ɖ jenṛl wr wêtñ t welcm hr, wɖǎt fīlñ wn ōfl fōrbodñ v fyćr miẓri t hrslf, or wn momnt’s sspiśn v eni past sīnz v horr biyñ actd wɖn ɖ soḷm eḍfis. Ɖ brīz hd nt sīmd t woft ɖ saiz v ɖ mrdrd t hr; it hd woftd nʈñ wrs ɖn a ʈic mizlñ ren; n hvñ gvn a gd śec t hr habit, ś wz redi t b śoun intu ɖ comn drw̃rūm, n ceṗbl v cnsidrñ ẃr ś wz.

An abi! Yes, it wz dlîtfl t b riyli in an abi! Bt ś dǎtd, az ś lct rnd ɖ rūm, ẃɖr enʈñ wɖn hr obẓveśn wd hv gvn hr ɖ conśsnis. Ɖ frnićr wz in ol ɖ pṛfyźn n eligns v modn test. Ɖ fîrples, ẃr ś hd xpctd ɖ ampl widʈ n pondṛs carvñ v formr tîmz, wz cntractd t a Rumfd, wɖ slabz v plen ɖo hansm marbl, n orṇmnts ovr it v ɖ pritiist Ñgliś ćîna. Ɖ windoz, t ẃć ś lct wɖ pkłr dpndns, fṛm hvñ hŕd ɖ jenṛl tōc v hiz prizrvñ ɖm in ɖer Goʈic form wɖ reṿrenśl cer, wr yt les ẃt hr fansi hd portreid. T b śr, ɖ pôntd arć wz prizrvd—ɖ form v ɖm wz Goʈic—ɖe mt b īvn cesmnts—bt evri pein wz so larj, so clir, so lît! T an imaɉneśn ẃć hd hopt fr ɖ smōlist dviźnz, n ɖ heviist stonwrc, fr pentd glas, drt, n cobwebz, ɖ difṛns wz vri dstresñ.

Ɖ jenṛl, psivñ hǎ hr î wz imploid, bgan t tōc v ɖ smōlnis v ɖ rūm n simpliṣti v ɖ frnićr, ẃr evrʈñ, biyñ fr dêli ys, pritndd onli t cumf̣t, ets.; flaṭrñ himslf, hvr, ɖt ɖr wr sm apartmnts in ɖ Abi nt unwrɖi hr notis—n wz pṛsidñ t mnśn ɖ costli gíldñ v wn in ptiklr, ẃn, tecñ ǎt hiz woć, h stopt śort t pṛnǎns it wɖ s’prîz wɖn twenti minits v fîv! Ɖs sīmd ɖ wrd v seṗreśn, n Caʈrin faund hrslf hurid awe bî Mis Tilni in sć a manr az cnvinst hr ɖt ɖ strictist puñćuaḷti t ɖ faṃli aurz wd b xpctd at Norʈangr.

Rtrnñ ʈru ɖ larj n lofti hōl, ɖe asndd a brōd sterces v śînñ oc, ẃć, aftr mni flîts n mni landñplesz, bròt ɖm upn a loñ, wîd gaḷri. On wn sîd it hd a renj v dorz, n it wz lîtd on ɖ uɖr bî windoz ẃć Caʈrin hd onli tîm t dscuvr lct intu a qodrangl, bfr Mis Tilni léd ɖ we intu a ćembr, n scersli steyñ t hop ś wd fînd it cumftbl, left hr wɖ an añśs intriti ɖt ś wd mc az litl olṭreśn az poṣbl in hr dres.

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