NORƮANGR ABI │ ĆAPTR 25

Ɖ viźnz v romans wr ovr. Caʈrin wz cmplitli awecnd. Henri’z adres, śort az it hd bn, hd mor ʈuṛli opnd hr îz t ɖ xtraṿgns v hr lêt fansiz ɖn ol ɖer sevṛl dis’pôntmnts hd dn. Most grīṿsli wz ś humbld. Most bitrli dd ś crî. It wz nt onli wɖ hrslf ɖt ś wz sunc—bt wɖ Henri. Hr foli, ẃć nǎ sīmd īvn criminl, wz ol xpozd t him, n h mst dspîz hr fr evr. Ɖ liḅti ẃć hr imaɉneśn hd derd t tec wɖ ɖ caṛctr v hiz faɖr—cd h evr fgiv it? Ɖ absrdti v hr krioṣti n hr firz—cd ɖe evr b fgotn? Ś hetd hrslf mor ɖn ś cd xpres. H hd—ś ʈt h hd, wns or twîs bfr ɖs fetl mornñ, śoun smʈñ lîc afx́n fr hr. Bt nǎ—in śort, ś md hrslf az mizṛbl az posibl fr abt haf an aur, wnt dǎn ẃn ɖ cloc struc fîv, wɖ a brocn hart, n cd scersli gv an intelijibl ansr t Eḷnr’z inqîri f ś wz wel. Ɖ formiḍbl Henri sn foloud hr intu ɖ rūm, n ɖ onli difṛns in hiz bhevyr t hr wz ɖt h peid hr rɖr mor atnśn ɖn yźl. Caʈrin hd nvr wontd cumf̣t mor, n h lct az f h wz awer v it.

Ɖ īvnñ wòr awe wɖ no abeitmnt v ɖs suɖñ p’lîtnis; n hr spirits wr graɉli rezd t a modist tranqiḷti. Ś dd nt lrn îɖr t fget or dfnd ɖ past; bt ś lrnt t hop ɖt it wd nvr trnspîr farɖr, n ɖt it mt nt cost hr Henri’z intîr rgard. Hr ʈts biyñ stl ćīfli fixt on ẃt ś hd wɖ sć cōzlis terr flt n dn, nʈñ cd śortli b clirr ɖn ɖt it hd bn ol a voḷntri, slf-crietd dluźn, ć trîf̣lñ srcmstans rsivñ importns fṛm an imaɉneśn rzolvd on alarm, n evrʈñ forst t bnd t wn prṗs bî a mînd ẃć, bfr ś entrd ɖ abi, hd bn crevñ t b frîtnd. Ś rmembrd wɖ ẃt fīlñz ś hd priperd fr a nolij v Norʈangr. Ś sw ɖt ɖ infaćueśn hd bn crietd, ɖ misćif setld, loñ bfr hr qitñ Baʈ, n it sīmd az f ɖ hol mt b trêst t ɖ inflụns v ɖt sort v rīdñ ẃć ś hd ɖr induljd.

Ćarmñ az wr ol Msz Radclif’s wrcs, n ćarmñ īvn az wr ɖ wrcs v ol hr iṃtetrz, it wz nt in ɖm phps ɖt hymn nećr, at līst in ɖ Midḷnd cǎntiz v Ñgḷnd, wz t b lct fr. V ɖ Alps n Piṛnīz, wɖ ɖer pînforists n ɖer vîsz, ɖe mt gv a feʈfl d’linieśn; n Iṭli, Switṣḷnd, n ɖ sǎʈ v Frans mt b az frūtfl in horrz az ɖe wr ɖr reprizntd. Caʈrin derd nt dǎt bynd hr ǒn cuntri, n īvn v ɖt, f hard prest, wd hv yīldd ɖ norɖn n wstn xtreṃtiz. Bt in ɖ sntṛl part v Ñgḷnd ɖr wz śrli sm s’kṛti fr ɖ xistns īvn v a wîf nt b’luvid, in ɖ lwz v ɖ land, n ɖ manrz v ɖ ej. Mrdr wz nt toḷretd, srvnts wr nt slevz, n nɖr pôzn nr slīpñpośnz t b pṛkrd, lîc rūbarb, fṛm evri drugist. Amñ ɖ Alps n Piṛnīz, phps, ɖr wr no mixt caṛctrz. Ɖr, sć az wr nt az spotlis az an enjl mt hv ɖ disṗziśnz v a fīnd. Bt in Ñgḷnd it wz nt so; amñ ɖ Ñgliś, ś b’livd, in ɖer harts n habits, ɖr wz a jenṛl ɖo unīql mixćr v gd n bad. Upn ɖs cnvix́n, ś wd nt b s’prîzd f īvn in Henri n Eḷnr Tilni, sm slît imṗfx́n mt hiraftr apir; n upn ɖs cnvix́n ś nīd nt fir t acnolij sm acćl specs in ɖ caṛctr v ɖer faɖr, hu, ɖo clird fṛm ɖ grǒsli injurịs sspiśnz ẃć ś mst evr bluś t hv enttend, ś dd b’liv, upn sirịs cnsiḍreśn, t b nt prf̣cli emịbl.

Hr mînd md p on ɖz sevṛl pônts, n hr reẓluśn formd, v olwz jujñ n actñ in fyćr wɖ ɖ gretist gd sns, ś hd nʈñ t d bt t fgiv hrslf n b hapịr ɖn evr; n ɖ līńnt hand v tîm dd mć fr hr bî insnsibl gṛdeśnz in ɖ cors v anɖr de. Henri’z astoṇśñ jeṇroṣti n noblnis v conduct, in nvr aludñ in ɖ slîtist we t ẃt hd pást, wz v ɖ gretist asistns t hr; n snr ɖn ś cd hv s’pozd it posibl in ɖ bginñ v hr dstres, hr spirits bcem abṣlutli cumftbl, n ceṗbl, az hirtufōr, v cntińl impruvmnt bî enʈñ h sd. Ɖr wr stl sm subjicts, indd, undr ẃć ś b’livd ɖe mst olwz trembl—ɖ mnśn v a ćst or a cabiṇt, fr instns—n ś dd nt luv ɖ sît v Jpan in eni śep: bt īvn ś cd alǎ ɖt an oceźnl m’mnto v past foli, hvr penfl, mt nt b wɖǎt ys.

Ɖ añzaytiz v comn lîf bgan sn t s’xid t ɖ alarmz v romans. Hr dzîr v hírñ fṛm Iẓbela grù evri de gretr. Ś wz qt impeśnt t nǒ hǎ ɖ Baʈ wrld wnt on, n hǎ ɖ rūmz wr atndd; n ispeśli wz ś añśs t b aśurd v Iẓbela’z hvñ maćt sm fîn netñcotn, on ẃć ś hd left hr intnt; n v hr cntinywñ on ɖ bst trmz wɖ Jemz. Hr onli dpndns fr inf̣meśn v eni cnd wz on Iẓbela. Jemz hd pṛtstd agnst raitñ t hr tl hiz rtrn t Oxfd; n Msz Aḷn hd gvn hr no hops v a letr tl ś hd got bac t Fŭḷtn. Bt Iẓbela hd promist n promist agn; n ẃn ś promist a ʈñ, ś wz so scrūpyḷs in pformñ it! Ɖs md it so ptiklrli strenj!

Fr nîn s’xesv mornñz, Caʈrin wundrd ovr ɖ reṗtiśn v a dis’pôntmnt, ẃć ć mornñ bcem mor svir: bt, on ɖ tenʈ, ẃn ś entrd ɖ brecfstrūm, hr frst objict wz a letr, hld ǎt bî Henri’z wilñ hand. Ś ʈanct him az harṭli az f h hd ritn it himslf. “’tiz onli fṛm Jemz, hvr,” az ś lct at ɖ d’rex́n. Ś opnd it; it wz fṛm Oxfd; n t ɖs prṗs:

“Dir Caʈrin,

 

“Ɖo, God nz, wɖ litl incḷneśn fr raitñ, I ʈnc it mî dyti t tel y ɖt evrʈñ z at an end btwn Mis Ʈorp n m. I left hr n Baʈ yesṭde, nvr t si îɖr agn. I śl nt entr intu ptiklrz—ɖe wd onli pen y mor. Y wl sn hír inuf fṛm anɖr qortr t nǒ ẃr lîz ɖ blem; n I hop wl aqit yr bruɖr v evrʈñ bt ɖ foli v tù īẓli ʈncñ hiz afx́n rtrnd. Ʈanc God! I am undisivd in tîm! Bt it z a hevi blo! Aftr mî faɖr’z cnsnt hd bn so cîndli gvn—bt no mor v ɖs. Ś hz md m mizṛbl fr evr! Let m sn hír fṛm y, dir Caʈrin; y r mî onli frend; yr luv I d bild upn. I wś yr vizit at Norʈangr me b ovr bfr Captin Tilni mcs hiz ingejmnt noun, or y wl b uncumftbli srcmstanst. Pur Ʈorp z in tǎn: I dred ɖ sît v him; hiz onist hart wd fīl so mć. I hv ritn t him n mî faɖr. Hr dypliṣti hrts m mor ɖn ol; tl ɖ vri last, f I rīznd wɖ hr, ś dclerd hrslf az mć ataćt t m az evr, n laft at mî firz. I am aśemd t ʈnc hǎ loñ I bòr wɖ it; bt f evr man hd rīzn t b’liv himslf luvd, I wz ɖt man. I canot unḍstand īvn nǎ ẃt ś wd b at, fr ɖr cd b no nīd v mî biyñ pleid of t mc hr s’kr v Tilni. W partd at last bî ḿćl cnsnt—hapi fr m hd w nvr met! I cn nvr xpct t nǒ sć anɖr wmn! Dirist Caʈrin, bwer hǎ y gv yr hart.

“B’liv m,” &c.

Caʈrin hd nt réd ʈri lînz bfr hr sudn ćenj v cǎntinns, n śort xcḷmeśnz v sorowñ wundr, dclerd hr t b rsivñ unpleznt nyz; n Henri, ŕṇstli woćñ hr ʈru ɖ hol letr, sw plenli ɖt it endd no betr ɖn it bgan. H wz privntd, hvr, fṛm īvn lcñ hiz s’prîz bî hiz faɖr’z entṛns. Ɖe wnt t brecfst d’recli; bt Caʈrin cd hardli īt enʈñ. Tirz fild hr îz, n īvn ran dǎn hr ćīcs az ś sat. Ɖ letr wz wn momnt in hr hand, ɖen in hr lap, n ɖen in hr pocit; n ś lct az f ś ń nt ẃt ś dd. Ɖ jenṛl, btwn hiz coco n hiz nyzpepr, hd luc̣li no leźr fr noṭsñ hr; bt t ɖ uɖr tū hr dstres wz īqli vizibl. Az sn az ś derd līv ɖ tebl ś hurid awe t hr ǒn rūm; bt ɖ hǎsmeidz wr bizi in it, n ś wz oblîjd t cm dǎn agn. Ś trnd intu ɖ drw̃rūm fr privsi, bt Henri n Eḷnr hd lîcwz rtritd ɖiɖr, n wr at ɖt momnt dīp in conslteśn abt hr. Ś drù bac, trayñ t beg ɖer pardn, bt wz, wɖ jntl vayḷns, forst t rtrn; n ɖ uɖrz wɖdru, aftr Eḷnr hd afx́ṇtli xprest a wś v biyñ v ys or cumf̣t t hr.

Aftr haf an aur’z fri induljns v grīf n rflex́n, Caʈrin flt īql t incǎnṭrñ hr frendz; bt ẃɖr ś śd mc hr dstres noun t ɖm wz anɖr cnsiḍreśn. Phps, f ptiklrli qsćnd, ś mt jst gv an îdīa—jst distntli hint at it—bt nt mor. T xpoz a frend, sć a frend az Iẓbela hd bn t hr—n ɖen ɖer ǒn bruɖr so closli cnsrnd in it! Ś b’livd ś mst weiv ɖ subjict oltgɖr. Henri n Eḷnr wr bî ɖmslvz in ɖ brecfstrūm; n ć, az ś entrd it, lct at hr añśsli. Caʈrin tc hr ples at ɖ tebl, n, aftr a śort sîḷns, Eḷnr sd, “No bad nyz fṛm Fŭḷtn, I hop? Mr n Msz Morḷnd—yr bruɖrz n sistrz—I hop ɖe r nn v ɖm il?”

“No, I ʈanc y” (sayñ az ś spouc); “ɖe r ol vri wel. Mî letr wz fṛm mî bruɖr at Oxfd.”

Nʈñ frɖr wz sd fr a fy minits; n ɖen spīcñ ʈru hr tirz, ś add, “I d nt ʈnc I śl evr wś fr a letr agn!”

“I am sori,” sd Henri, clozñ ɖ bc h hd jst opnd; “f I hd sspctd ɖ letr v cntenñ enʈñ unwelcm, I śd hv gvn it wɖ vri difṛnt fīlñz.”

“It cntend smʈñ wrs ɖn enbdi cd s’poz! Pur Jemz z so unhapi! Y wl sn nǒ ẃ.”

“T hv so cînd-hartd, so afx́ṇt a sistr,” rplaid Henri wormli, “mst b a cumf̣t t him undr eni dstres.”

“I hv wn fevr t beg,” sd Caʈrin, śortli aftwdz, in an ajtetd manr, “ɖt, f yr bruɖr śd b cmñ hir, y wl gv m notis v it, ɖt I me g awe.”

“Ǎr bruɖr! Fredric!”

“Yes; I am śr I śd b vri sori t līv y so sn, bt smʈñ hz hapnd ɖt wd mc it vri dredfl fr m t b in ɖ sem hǎs wɖ Captin Tilni.”

Eḷnr’z wrc wz sspndd ẃl ś gezd wɖ incrisñ astoniśmnt; bt Henri bgan t sspct ɖ truʈ, n smʈñ, in ẃć Mis Ʈorp’s nem wz includd, pást hiz lips.

“Hǎ qc y r!” craid Caʈrin: “y hv gést it, I dcler! N yt, ẃn w tōct abt it in Baʈ, y litl ʈt v its endñ so. Iẓbela—no wundr nǎ I hv nt hŕd fṛm hr—Iẓbela hz dzrtd mî bruɖr, n z t mari yrz! Cd y hv b’livd ɖr hd bn sć inconstnsi n ficlnis, n evrʈñ ɖt z bad in ɖ wrld?”

“I hop, so far az cnsrnz mî bruɖr, y r misinformd. I hop h hz nt hd eni mtirịl śer in brññ on Mr Morḷnd’z dis’pôntmnt. Hiz mariyñ Mis Ʈorp z nt probbl. I ʈnc y mst b dsivd so far. I am vri sori fr Mr Morḷnd—sori ɖt enwn y luv śd b unhapi; bt mî s’prîz wd b gretr at Fredric’s mariyñ hr ɖn at eni uɖr part v ɖ stori.”

“It z vri tru, hvr; y śl rīd Jemz’z letr yrslf. Ste—Ɖr z wn part—” rec̣lectñ wɖ a bluś ɖ last lîn.

“Wl y tec ɖ trubl v rīdñ t s ɖ pasjz ẃć cnsrn mî bruɖr?”

“No, rīd it yrslf,” craid Caʈrin, huz secnd ʈts wr clirr. “I d nt nǒ ẃt I wz ʈncñ v” (bluśñ agn ɖt ś hd bluśt bfr); “Jemz onli mīnz t gv m gd advîs.”

H gladli rsivd ɖ letr, n, hvñ réd it ʈru, wɖ clos atnśn, rtrnd it seyñ, “Wel, f it z t b so, I cn onli se ɖt I am sori fr it. Fredric wl nt b ɖ frst man hu hz ćozn a wîf wɖ les sns ɖn hiz faṃli xpctd. I d nt envi hiz sićueśn, îɖr az a luvr or a sun.”

Mis Tilni, at Caʈrin’z invteśn, nǎ réd ɖ letr lîcwz, n, hvñ xprest olso hr cnsrn n s’prîz, bgan t inqîr intu Mis Ʈorp’s cnx́nz n fortyn.

“Hr muɖr z a vri gd sort v wmn,” wz Caʈrin’z ansr.

“Ẃt wz hr faɖr?”

“A loyr, I b’liv. Ɖe liv at Putni.”

“R ɖe a wlʈi faṃli?”

“No, nt vri. I d nt b’liv Iẓbela hz eni fortyn at ol: bt ɖt wl nt sigṇfî in yr faṃli. Yr faɖr z so vri libṛl! H tld m ɖ uɖr de ɖt h onli valyd muni az it alaud him t pṛmot ɖ hapinis v hiz ćildṛn.” Ɖ bruɖr n sistr lct at ć uɖr. “Bt,” sd Eḷnr, aftr a śort pōz, “wd it b t pṛmot hiz hapinis, t inebl him t mari sć a grl? Ś mst b an unprínsipld wn, or ś cd nt hv yzd yr bruɖr so. N hǎ strenj an infaćueśn on Fredric’s sîd! A grl hu, bfr hiz îz, z vayletñ an ingejmnt voḷntṛli entrd intu wɖ anɖr man! Z nt it incnsivbl, Henri? Fredric tù, hu olwz wòr hiz hart so prǎdli! Hu faund no wmn gd inuf t b luvd!”

“Ɖt z ɖ most unproṃsñ srcmstans, ɖ strongist prizumśn agnst him. Ẃn I ʈnc v hiz past decḷreśnz, I gv him p. Morovr, I hv tù gd an opińn v Mis Ʈorp’s prūdns t s’poz ɖt ś wd part wɖ wn jntlmn bfr ɖ uɖr wz s’krd. It z ol ovr wɖ Fredric indd! H z a dsist man—dfuñt in unḍstandñ. Priper fr yr sistr-in-lw, Eḷnr, n sć a sistr-in-lw az y mst dlît in! Opn, candid, artlis, gîļis, wɖ afx́nz stroñ bt simpl, formñ no pritnśnz, n nwñ no dsgîz.”

“Sć a sistr-in-lw, Henri, I śd dlît in,” sd Eḷnr wɖ a smîl.

“Bt phps,” obzrvd Caʈrin, “ɖo ś hz bhevd so il bî ǎr faṃli, ś me bhev betr bî yrz. Nǎ ś hz riyli got ɖ man ś lîcs, ś me b constnt.”

“Indd I am afred ś wl,” rplaid Henri; “I am afred ś wl b vri constnt, unls a baṛnét śd cm in hr we; ɖt z Fredric’s onli ćans. I wl gt ɖ Baʈ pepr, n lc ovr ɖ arîvlz.”

“Y ʈnc it z ol fr ambiśn, ɖen? N, upn mî wrd, ɖr r sm ʈñz ɖt sīm vri lîc it. I canot fget ɖt, ẃn ś frst ń ẃt mî faɖr wd d fr ɖm, ś sīmd qt dis’pôntd ɖt it wz nt mor. I nvr wz so dsivd in enwn’z caṛctr in mî lîf bfr.”

“Amñ ol ɖ gret vrayti ɖt y hv noun n studid.”

“Mî ǒn dis’pôntmnt n los in hr z vri gret; bt, az fr pur Jemz, I s’poz h wl hardli evr rcuvr it.”

“Yr bruɖr z srtnli vri mć t b pitid at preznt; bt w mst nt, in ǎr cnsrn fr hiz suf̣rñz, unḍvaly yrz. Y fīl, I s’poz, ɖt in luzñ Iẓbela, y lūz haf yrslf: y fīl a vôd in yr hart ẃć nʈñ els cn okpî. Ssayti z bcmñ rcsm; n az fr ɖ aḿzmnts in ẃć y wr wónt t śer at Baʈ, ɖ vri îdīa v ɖm wɖǎt hr z abhoṛnt. Y wd nt, fr instns, nǎ g t a bōl fr ɖ wrld. Y fīl ɖt y hv no longr eni frend t hūm y cn spīc wɖ unrizrv, on huz rgard y cn ples dpndns, or huz cǎnsl, in eni dificlti, y cd rlî on. Y fīl ol ɖs?”

“No,” sd Caʈrin, aftr a fy momnts’ rflex́n, “I d nt—òt I? T se ɖ truʈ, ɖo I am hrt n grīvd, ɖt I canot stl luv hr, ɖt I am nvr t hír fṛm hr, phps nvr t si hr agn, I d nt fīl so vri, vri mć aflictd az wn wd hv ʈt.”

“Y fīl, az y olwz d, ẃt z most t ɖ credit v hymn nećr. Sć fīlñz òt t b invstgetd, ɖt ɖe me nǒ ɖmslvz.”

Caʈrin, bî sm ćans or uɖr, faund hr spirits so vri mć rlivd bî ɖs convseśn ɖt ś cd nt rgret hr biyñ léd on, ɖo so un’cǎntbli, t mnśn ɖ srcmstans ẃć hd pṛdyst it.

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