NORƮANGR ABI │ ĆAPTR 23

An aur pást awe bfr ɖ jenṛl cem in, spent, on ɖ part v hiz yuñ gest, in no vri fevṛbl cnsiḍreśn v hiz caṛctr. “Ɖs leñʈnd absns, ɖz soliṭri ramblz, dd nt spīc a mînd at īz, or a conśns vôd v rproć.” At leñʈ h apird; n, ẃtvr mt hv bn ɖ glūm v hiz medteśnz, h cd stl smîl wɖ ɖm. Mis Tilni, unḍstandñ in part hr frend’z krioṣti t si ɖ hǎs, sn rvîvd ɖ subjict; n hr faɖr biyñ, contrri t Caʈrin’z xpcteśnz, unpṛvîdd wɖ eni pritns fr frɖr dle, bynd ɖt v stopñ fîv minits t ordr rfreśmnts t b in ɖ rūm bî ɖer rtrn, wz at last redi t iscort ɖm.

Ɖe set fwd; n, wɖ a granjr v er, a digṇfaid step, ẃć còt ɖ î, bt cd nt śec ɖ dǎts v ɖ wel-réd Caʈrin, h léd ɖ we acrs ɖ hōl, ʈru ɖ comn drw̃rūm n wn yslis antićembr, intu a rūm magnifisnt bʈ in sîz n frnićr—ɖ riyl drw̃rūm, yzd onli wɖ cumṗni v consiqns. It wz vri nobl—vri grand—vri ćarmñ!—wz ol ɖt Caʈrin hd t se, fr hr indiscriṃnetñ î scersli dsrnd ɖ culr v ɖ satin; n ol mîńūtnis v prêz, ol prêz ɖt hd mć mīnñ, wz s’plaid bî ɖ jenṛl: ɖ costlinis or eligns v eni rūm’z fitñ-up cd b nʈñ t hr; ś cerd fr no frnićr v a mor modn det ɖn ɖ fiftīnʈ snćri. Ẃn ɖ jenṛl hd saṭsfaid hiz ǒn krioṣti, in a clos xaṃneśn v evri wel-noun orṇmnt, ɖe pṛsidd intu ɖ lîbrri, an apartmnt, in its we, v īql magnifisns, xibtñ a c’lex́n v bcs, on ẃć an humbl man mt hv lct wɖ prîd. Caʈrin hŕd, admîrd, n wundrd wɖ mor jenyin fīlñ ɖn bfr—gaɖrd ol ɖt ś cd fṛm ɖs storhǎs v nolij, bî runñ ovr ɖ tîtlz v haf a śelf, n wz redi t pṛsid. Bt swìts v apartmnts dd nt sprñ p wɖ hr wśz. Larj az wz ɖ bildñ, ś hd olrdi viẓtd ɖ gretist part; ɖo, on biyñ tld ɖt, wɖ ɖ adiśn v ɖ cićn, ɖ six or sevn rūmz ś hd nǎ sìn srǎndd ʈri sîdz v ɖ cort, ś cd scersli b’liv it, or oṿcm ɖ sspiśn v ɖr biyñ mni ćembrz s’critd. It wz sm rlif, hvr, ɖt ɖe wr t rtrn t ɖ rūmz in comn ys, bî pasñ ʈru a fy v les importns, lcñ intu ɖ cort, ẃć, wɖ oceźnl pasjz, nt hoļi unintric̣t, cnctd ɖ difṛnt sîdz; n ś wz frɖr suɖd in hr progres bî biyñ tld ɖt ś wz trédñ ẃt hd wns bn a clôstr, hvñ tresz v sélz pôntd ǎt, n obzrvñ sevṛl dorz ɖt wr nɖr opnd nr xplend t hr—bî fîndñ hrslf s’xesvli in a biłrdrūm, n in ɖ jenṛl’z prîvt apartmnt, wɖǎt comprihndñ ɖer cnx́n, or biyñ ebl t trn arît ẃn ś left ɖm; n lastli, bî pasñ ʈru a darc litl rūm, ǒnñ Henri’z oʈoṛti, n strùd wɖ hiz litr v bcs, gunz, n gretcots.

Fṛm ɖ dînñrūm, v ẃć, ɖo olrdi sìn, n olwz t b sìn at fîv o’cloc, ɖ jenṛl cd nt forgo ɖ pleźr v pesñ ǎt ɖ leñʈ, fr ɖ mor srtn inf̣meśn v Mis Morḷnd, az t ẃt ś nɖr dǎtd nr cerd fr, ɖe pṛsidd bî qc cḿṇceśn t ɖ cićn—ɖ enćnt cićn v ɖ convnt, rić in ɖ masi wōlz n smoc v formr dez, n in ɖ stovz n hot clozits v ɖ preznt. Ɖ jenṛl’z impruvñ hand hd nt lôtrd hir: evri modn invnśn t fsiḷtet ɖ lebr v ɖ ccs hd bn adoptd wɖn ɖs, ɖer speśs ʈiytr; n, ẃn ɖ jīńs v uɖrz hd feld, hiz ǒn hd ofn pṛdyst ɖ pfx́n wontd. Hiz indǎmnts v ɖs spot alon mt at eni tîm hv plest him hî amñ ɖ beṇfactrz v ɖ convnt.

Wɖ ɖ wōlz v ɖ cićn endd ol ɖ antiqti v ɖ abi; ɖ forʈ sîd v ɖ qodrangl hvñ, on acǎnt v its dceyñ stet, bn rmuvd bî ɖ jenṛl’z faɖr, n ɖ preznt irectd in its ples. Ol ɖt wz venṛbl sīst hir. Ɖ ny bildñ wz nt onli ny, bt dclerd itslf t b so; intndd onli fr of̣sz, n inclozd bhnd bî steblyardz, no yṇforṃti v arc̣tecćr hd bn ʈt nesṣri. Caʈrin cd hv revd at ɖ hand ẃć hd swept awe ẃt mst hv bn bynd ɖ valy v ol ɖ rest, fr ɖ prṗsz v mir d’mestic icoṇmi; n wd wilñli hv bn sperd ɖ mortif̣ceśn v a wōc ʈru sīnz so fōḷn, hd ɖ jenṛl alaud it; bt f h hd a vaṇti, it wz in ɖ arenjmnt v hiz of̣sz; n az h wz cnvinst ɖt, t a mînd lîc Mis Morḷnd’z, a vy v ɖ acoṃdeśnz n cumf̣ts, bî ẃć ɖ lebrz v hr infirịrz wr sofnd, mst olwz b graṭfayñ, h śd mc no apoḷji fr līdñ hr on. Ɖe tc a slît srve v ol; n Caʈrin wz imprest, bynd hr xpcteśn, bî ɖer mulṭpliṣti n ɖer cnvīńns. Ɖ prṗsz fr ẃć a fy śeplis pantriz n a cumf̣tlis scuḷri wr dīmd sfiśnt at Fŭḷtn, wr hir carid on in aproprịt dviźnz, cmodịs n rūmi. Ɖ numbr v srvnts cntińli apirñ dd nt strîc hr les ɖn ɖ numbr v ɖer of̣sz. Ẃrvr ɖe wnt, sm patnd grl stopt t crtsi, or sm ftmn in diṣbīl snīct of. Yt ɖs wz an abi! Hǎ inxpresbli difṛnt in ɖz d’mestic arenjmnts fṛm sć az ś hd réd abt—fṛm abiz n caslz, in ẃć, ɖo srtnli larjr ɖn Norʈangr, ol ɖ drti wrc v ɖ hǎs wz t b dn bî tū per v fīmel handz at ɖ utmost. Hǎ ɖe cd gt ʈru it ol hd ofn amezd Msz Aḷn; n, ẃn Caʈrin sw ẃt wz nesṣri hir, ś bgan t b amezd hrslf.

Ɖe rtrnd t ɖ hōl, ɖt ɖ ćīf sterces mt b asndd, n ɖ byti v its wŭd, n orṇmnts v rić carvñ mt b pôntd ǎt: hvñ gend ɖ top, ɖe trnd in an oṗzit d’rex́n fṛm ɖ gaḷri in ẃć hr rūm le, n śortli entrd wn on ɖ sem plan, bt s’pirịr in leñʈ n bredʈ. Ś wz hir śoun s’xesvli intu ʈri larj bedćembrz, wɖ ɖer dresñrūmz, most cmplitli n hansmli fitd p; evrʈñ ɖt muni n test cd d, t gv cumf̣t n eligns t apartmnts, hd bn bstod on ɖz; n, biyñ frniśt wɖn ɖ last fîv yirz, ɖe wr prfict in ol ɖt wd b jenṛli plizñ, n wontñ in ol ɖt cd gv pleźr t Caʈrin. Az ɖe wr sveyñ ɖ last, ɖ jenṛl, aftr slîtli nemñ a fy v ɖ dstnḡśt caṛctrz bî hūm ɖe hd at tîmz bn onrd, trnd wɖ a smîlñ cǎntinns t Caʈrin, n vnćrd t hop ɖt hnsfwd sm v ɖer rliist tennts mt b “ǎr frendz fṛm Fŭḷtn.” Ś flt ɖ unxpctd complimnt, n dīpli rgretd ɖ imposbiḷti v ʈncñ wel v a man so cîndli dspozd twdz hrslf, n so fl v sviḷti t ol hr faṃli.

Ɖ gaḷri wz trṃnetd bî foldñdorz, ẃć Mis Tilni, advansñ, hd ʈroun opn, n pást ʈru, n sīmd on ɖ pônt v dwñ ɖ sem bî ɖ frst dor t ɖ left, in anɖr loñ rīć v gaḷri, ẃn ɖ jenṛl, cmñ fwdz, cōld hr hesṭli, n, az Caʈrin ʈt, rɖr angṛli bac, dmandñ ẃiɖr ś wr gwñ?—N ẃt wz ɖr mor t b sìn?—Hd nt Mis Morḷnd olrdi sìn ol ɖt cd b wrʈ hr notis?—N dd ś nt s’poz hr frend mt b glad v sm rfreśmnt aftr so mć x’sîz? Mis Tilni drù bac d’recli, n ɖ hevi dorz wr clozd upn ɖ morṭfaid Caʈrin, hu, hvñ sìn, in a momnṭri glans bynd ɖm, a narowr pasij, mor ńmṛs oṗnñz, n simtmz v a wîndñ sterces, b’livd hrslf at last wɖn ɖ rīć v smʈñ wrʈ hr notis; n flt, az ś unwilñli pêst bac ɖ gaḷri, ɖt ś wd rɖr b alaud t xamin ɖt end v ɖ hǎs ɖn si ol ɖ fîṇri v ol ɖ rest. Ɖ jenṛl’z evidnt dzîr v privntñ sć an xaṃneśn wz an adiśnl stiḿlnt. Smʈñ wz srtnli t b cnsild; hr fansi, ɖo it hd tresṗst letli wns or twîs, cd nt mslīd hr hir; n ẃt ɖt smʈñ wz, a śort sntns v Mis Tilni’z, az ɖe foloud ɖ jenṛl at sm distns dǎnsterz, sīmd t pônt ǎt: “I wz gwñ t tec y intu ẃt wz mî muɖr’z rūm—ɖ rūm in ẃć ś daid—” wr ol hr wrdz; bt fy az ɖe wr, ɖe cnveid pejz v intelijns t Caʈrin. It wz no wundr ɖt ɖ jenṛl śd śrñc fṛm ɖ sît v sć objicts az ɖt rūm mst cnten; a rūm in ol probbiḷti nvr entrd bî him sins ɖ dredfl sīn hd pást, ẃć rlist hiz suf̣rñ wîf, n left him t ɖ stñz v conśns.

Ś vnćrd, ẃn nxt alon wɖ Eḷnr, t xpres hr wś v biyñ pmitd t si it, az wel az ol ɖ rest v ɖt sîd v ɖ hǎs; n Eḷnr promist t atnd hr ɖr, ẃnvr ɖe śd hv a cnvińnt aur. Caʈrin unḍstd hr: ɖ jenṛl mst b woćt fṛm hom, bfr ɖt rūm cd b entrd. “It rmenz az it wz, I s’poz?” sd ś, in a ton v fīlñ.

“Yes, intîrli.”

“N hǎ loñ ago me it b ɖt yr muɖr daid?”

“Ś hz bn ded ɖz nîn yirz.” N nîn yirz, Caʈrin ń, wz a trîfl v tîm, cmperd wɖ ẃt jenṛli ilapst aftr ɖ deʈ v an injrd wîf, bfr hr rūm wz pt t rîts.

“Y wr wɖ hr, I s’poz, t ɖ last?”

“No,” sd Mis Tilni, sayñ; “I wz unforćṇtli fṛm hom. Hr ilnis wz sudn n śort; n, bfr I arîvd it wz ol ovr.”

Caʈrin’z blud ran cold wɖ ɖ horid sjsćnz ẃć naćṛli sprañ fṛm ɖz wrdz. Cd it b poṣbl? Cd Henri’z faɖr—? N yt hǎ mni wr ɖ xamplz t jusṭfî īvn ɖ blacist sspiśnz! N, ẃn ś sw him in ɖ īvnñ, ẃl ś wrct wɖ hr frend, slǒli pesñ ɖ drw̃rūm fr an aur tgɖr in sîḷnt ʈtflnis, wɖ dǎncast îz n cntractd brǎ, ś flt s’kr fṛm ol posbiḷti v roññ him. It wz ɖ er n attyd v a Montoni! Ẃt cd mor plenli spīc ɖ glūmi wrcñz v a mînd nt hoļi ded t evri sns v hymaṇti, in its firfl rvy v past sīnz v gilt? Unhapi man! N ɖ añṣ́nis v hr spirits d’rectd hr îz twdz hiz figr so rpitidli, az t cać Mis Tilni’z notis. “Mî faɖr,” ś ẃisprd, “ofn wōcs abt ɖ rūm in ɖs we; it z nʈñ unyźl.”

“So mć ɖ wrs!” ʈt Caʈrin; sć il-tîmd x’sîz wz v a pìs wɖ ɖ strenj unsīzṇblnis v hiz mornñ wōcs, n bodd nʈñ gd.

Aftr an īvnñ, ɖ litl vrayti n sīmñ leñʈ v ẃć md hr pkłrli snsibl v Henri’z importns amñ ɖm, ś wz harṭli glad t b dsmist; ɖo it wz a lc fṛm ɖ jenṛl nt dzînd fr hr obzveśn ẃć snt hiz dōtr t ɖ bel. Ẃn ɖ butlr wd hv lit hiz mastr’z candl, hvr, h wz fbidn. Ɖ latr wz nt gwñ t rtîr. “I hv mni pamflits t finiś,” sd h t Caʈrin, “bfr I cn clos mî îz, n phps me b poring ovr ɖ aferz v ɖ neśn fr aurz aftr y r aslip. Cn îɖr v s b mor mītli imploid? Mî îz wl b blîndñ fr ɖ gd v uɖrz, n yrz pripẹrñ bî rest fr fyćr misćif.”

Bt nɖr ɖ biznis alejd, nr ɖ magnifisnt complimnt, cd win Caʈrin fṛm ʈncñ ɖt sm vri difṛnt objict mst oceźn so sirịs a dle v propr rpoz. T b cept p fr aurz, aftr ɖ faṃli wr in bed, bî stypid pamflits wz nt vri lîcli. Ɖr mst b sm dīpr cōz: smʈñ wz t b dn ẃć cd b dn onli ẃl ɖ hǎshold slept; n ɖ probbiḷti ɖt Msz Tilni yt livd, śut p fr cōzz uņoun, n rsivñ fṛm ɖ pitilis handz v hr huzbnd a nîtli s’plî v cōrs fūd, wz ɖ cncluźn ẃć nesseṛli foloud. Śocñ az wz ɖ îdīa, it wz at līst betr ɖn a deʈ unferli hesnd, az, in ɖ naćṛl cors v ʈñz, ś mst e’r loñ b rlist. Ɖ suḍņis v hr rpytd ilnis, ɖ absns v hr dōtr, n probbli v hr uɖr ćildṛn, at ɖ tîm—ol fevrd ɖ supziśn v hr impriznmnt. Its oṛjin—jeḷsi phps, or wontn cruwlti—wz yt t b unravld.

In rvolvñ ɖz matrz, ẃl ś undrest, it sudnli struc hr az nt unlîcli ɖt ś mt ɖt mornñ hv pást nir ɖ vri spot v ɖs unforćṇt wmn’z cnfînmnt—mt hv bn wɖn a fy pesz v ɖ sél in ẃć ś lanḡśt ǎt hr dez; fr ẃt part v ɖ abi cd b mor fitd fr ɖ prṗs ɖn ɖt ẃć yt bōr ɖ tresz v mnastic dviźn? In ɖ hî-arćt pasij, pevd wɖ ston, ẃć olrdi ś hd trodn wɖ pkłr ō, ś wel rmembrd ɖ dorz v ẃć ɖ jenṛl hd gvn no acǎnt. T ẃt mt nt ɖoz dorz līd? In s’port v ɖ plōẓbiḷti v ɖs cnjcćr, it frɖr ocŕd t hr ɖt ɖ fbidn gaḷri, in ẃć le ɖ apartmnts v ɖ unforćṇt Msz Tilni, mst b, az srtnli az hr meṃri cd gîd hr, xacli ovr ɖs sspctd renj v sélz, n ɖ sterces bî ɖ sîd v ɖoz apartmnts v ẃć ś hd còt a tranzịnt glims, cḿṇcetñ bî sm sīcrit mīnz wɖ ɖoz sélz, mt wel hv fevrd ɖ barbṛs pṛsidñz v hr huzbnd. Dǎn ɖt sterces ś hd phps bn cnveid in a stet v wel-priperd insnṣbiḷti!

Caʈrin smtmz startd at ɖ boldnis v hr ǒn s’mîzz, n smtmz hopt or fird ɖt ś hd gn tù far; bt ɖe wr s’portd bî sć apiṛnsz az md ɖer dsmisl imposbl.

Ɖ sîd v ɖ qodrangl, in ẃć ś s’pozd ɖ gilti sīn t b actñ, biyñ, acordñ t hr b’lif, jst oṗzit hr ǒn, it struc hr ɖt, f jdiśsli woćt, sm rez v lît fṛm ɖ jenṛl’z lamp mt glimr ʈru ɖ lowr windoz, az h pást t ɖ prizn v hiz wîf; n, twîs bfr ś stept intu bed, ś stol jntli fṛm hr rūm t ɖ corispondñ windo in ɖ gaḷri, t si f it apird; bt ol abrōd wz darc, n it mst yt b tù rli. Ɖ verịs asndñ nôzz cnvinst hr ɖt ɖ srvnts mst stl b p. Tl midnît, ś s’pozd it wd b in ven t woć; bt ɖen, ẃn ɖ cloc hd struc twelv, n ol wz qayt, ś wd, f nt qt apōld bî darcnis, stìl ǎt n lc wns mor. Ɖ cloc struc twelv—n Caʈrin hd bn haf an aur aslip.

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