NORƮANGR ABI │ ĆAPTR 29

Caʈrin wz tù rećid t b firfl. Ɖ jrni in itslf hd no terrz fr hr; n ś bgan it wɖǎt îɖr dredñ its leñʈ or fīlñ its soliṭrinis. Līnñ bac in wn cornr v ɖ carij, in a vayḷnt brst v tirz, ś wz cnveid sm mîlz bynd ɖ wōlz v ɖ abi bfr ś rezd hr hed; n ɖ hîist pônt v grǎnd wɖn ɖ parc wz olmst clozd fṛm hr vy bfr ś wz ceṗbl v trnñ hr îz twdz it. Unforćṇtli, ɖ rod ś nǎ travld wz ɖ sem ẃć onli ten dez ago ś hd so haṗli pást alñ in gwñ t n fṛm Wŭdstn; n, fr fortīn mîlz, evri bitr fīlñ wz rendrd mor svir bî ɖ rvy v objicts on ẃć ś hd frst lct undr impreśnz so difṛnt. Evri mîl, az it bròt hr nirr Wŭdstn, add t hr suf̣rñz, n ẃn wɖn ɖ distns v fîv, ś pást ɖ trnñ ẃć léd t it, n ʈt v Henri, so nir, yt so unconśs, hr grīf n ajteśn wr xesv.

Ɖ de ẃć ś hd spent at ɖt ples hd bn wn v ɖ hapiist v hr lîf. It wz ɖr, it wz on ɖt de, ɖt ɖ jenṛl hd md ys v sć xpreśnz wɖ rgard t Henri n hrslf, hd so spocn n so lct az t gv hr ɖ most poẓtiv cnvix́n v hiz acćli wśñ ɖer marij. Yes, onli ten dez ago hd h iletd hr bî hiz pôntd rgard—hd h īvn cnfyzd hr bî hiz tù sgnificnt refṛns! N nǎ—ẃt hd ś dn, or ẃt hd ś omitd t d, t merit sć a ćenj?

Ɖ onli ofns agnst him v ẃć ś cd akz hrslf hd bn sć az wz scersli poṣbl t rīć hiz nolij. Henri n hr ǒn hart onli wr privi t ɖ śocñ sspiśnz ẃć ś hd so îdli enttend; n īqli sef dd ś b’liv hr sīcrit wɖ ć. Dzînidli, at līst, Henri cd nt hv btreid hr. F, indd, bî eni strenj msćans hiz faɖr śd hv gend intelijns v ẃt ś hd derd t ʈnc n lc fr, v hr cōzlis fansiz n injurịs xaṃneśnz, ś cd nt wundr at eni dgri v hiz inḍgneśn. F awer v hr hvñ vyd him az a mrdrr, ś cd nt wundr at hiz īvn trnñ hr fṛm hiz hǎs. Bt a justif̣ceśn so fl v torćr t hrslf, ś trustd, wd nt b in hiz pǎr.

Añśs az wr ol hr cnjcćrz on ɖs pônt, it wz nt, hvr, ɖ wn on ẃć ś dwelt most. Ɖr wz a ʈt yt nirr, a mor privelñ, mor impećs cnsrn. Hǎ Henri wd ʈnc, n fīl, n lc, ẃn h rtrnd on ɖ moro t Norʈangr n hŕd v hr biyñ gn, wz a qsćn v fors n inṭrest t rîz ovr evri uɖr, t b nvr sīsñ, oltrṇtli iritetñ n suɖñ; it smtmz sjstd ɖ dred v hiz cām aqiesns, n at uɖrz wz ansrd bî ɖ swītist confidns in hiz rgret n rzntmnt. T ɖ jenṛl, v cors, h wd nt der t spīc; bt t Eḷnr—ẃt mt h nt se t Eḷnr abt hr?

In ɖs unsīsñ rcuṛns v dǎts n inqîriz, on eni wn articl v ẃć hr mînd wz inceṗbl v mor ɖn momnṭri rpoz, ɖ aurz pást awe, n hr jrni advanst mć fastr ɖn ś lct fr. Ɖ presñ añzaytiz v ʈt, ẃć privntd hr fṛm noṭsñ enʈñ bfr hr, ẃn wns bynd ɖ nebrhd v Wŭdstn, sevd hr at ɖ sem tîm fṛm woćñ hr progres; n ɖo no objict on ɖ rod cd ingej a momnt’s atnśn, ś faund no stej v it tīdịs. Fṛm ɖs, ś wz prizrvd tù bî anɖr cōz, bî fīlñ no īgrnis fr hr jrni’z cncluźn; fr t rtrn in sć a manr t Fŭḷtn wz olmst t dstrô ɖ pleźr v a mītñ wɖ ɖoz ś luvd bst, īvn aftr an absns sć az hrz—an ilevn wīcs’ absns. Ẃt hd ś t se ɖt wd nt humbl hrslf n pen hr faṃli, ɖt wd nt incris hr ǒn grīf bî ɖ cnfeśn v it, xtnd an yslis rzntmnt, n phps involv ɖ iṇsnt wɖ ɖ gilti in undistnḡśñ il wil? Ś cd nvr d justis t Henri n Eḷnr’z merit; ś flt it tù stroñli fr xpreśn; n śd a dslîc b tecn agnst ɖm, śd ɖe b ʈt v unfevṛbli, on ɖer faɖr’z acǎnt, it wd cut hr t ɖ hart.

Wɖ ɖz fīlñz, ś rɖr dredd ɖn sòt fr ɖ frst vy v ɖt wel-noun spîr ẃć wd anǎns hr wɖn twenti mîlz v hom. Sōlzḅri ś hd noun t b hr pônt on līvñ Norʈangr; bt aftr ɖ frst stej ś hd bn indétd t ɖ postmastrz fr ɖ nemz v ɖ plesz ẃć wr ɖen t cnduct hr t it; so gret hd bn hr ignṛns v hr rùt. Ś met wɖ nʈñ, hvr, t dstres or frîtn hr. Hr yʈ, sivl manrz, n libṛl pe pṛkrd hr ol ɖ atnśn ɖt a travlr lîc hrslf cd rqîr; n stopñ onli t ćenj horsz, ś travld on fr abt ilevn aurz wɖǎt axidnt or alarm, n btwn six n sevn o’cloc in ɖ īvnñ faund hrslf enṭrñ Fŭḷtn.

A herǒin rtrnñ, at ɖ cloz v hr c’rir, t hr netiv vilij, in ol ɖ trîumf v rcuvrd repyteśn, n ol ɖ digṇti v a cǎntes, wɖ a loñ tren v nobl rleśnz in ɖer sevṛl feytónz, n ʈri wêtñmeidz in a traṿlñśez n for, bhnd hr, z an ivnt on ẃć ɖ pén v ɖ cntrîvr me wel dlît t dwel; it gvz credit t evri cncluźn, n ɖ oʈr mst śer in ɖ glori ś so libṛli bstoz. Bt mî afer z wîdli difṛnt; I brñ bac mî herǒin t hr hom in soḷtyd n dsgres; n no swīt ileśn v spirits cn līd m intu mîńūtnis. A herǒin in a hac postśez z sć a blo upn sntimnt, az no atmt at granjr or peʈos cn wɖstand. Swiftli ɖrfr śl hr postbô drîv ʈru ɖ vilij, amd ɖ gêz v Súnde grūps, n spīdi śl b hr dsent fṛm it.

Bt, ẃtvr mt b ɖ dstres v Caʈrin’z mînd, az ś ɖus advanst twdz ɖ parṣnij, n ẃtvr ɖ hymilieśn v hr bîogṛfr in rletñ it, ś wz pripẹrñ injômnt v no evridê nećr fr ɖoz t hūm ś wnt; frst, in ɖ apiṛns v hr carij—n secndli, in hrslf. Ɖ śez v a travlr biyñ a rer sît in Fŭḷtn, ɖ hol faṃli wr imījtli at ɖ windo; n t hv it stop at ɖ swīpget wz a pleźr t brîtn evri î n okpî evri fansi—a pleźr qt unlŭct fr bî ol bt ɖ tū yungist ćildṛn, a bô n grl v six n for yirz old, hu xpctd a bruɖr or sistr in evri carij. Hapi ɖ glans ɖt frst dstnḡśt Caʈrin! Hapi ɖ vôs ɖt pṛclemd ɖ dscuṿri! Bt ẃɖr sć hapinis wr ɖ lwfl proṗti v Jorj or Harịt cd nvr b xacli unḍstd.

Hr faɖr, muɖr, Sẹra, Jorj, n Harịt, ol asmbld at ɖ dor t welcm hr wɖ afx́ṇt īgrnis, wz a sît t awecn ɖ bst fīlñz v Caʈrin’z hart; n in ɖ imbres v ć, az ś stept fṛm ɖ carij, ś faund hrslf suɖd bynd enʈñ ɖt ś hd b’livd poṣbl. So srǎndd, so c’rest, ś wz īvn hapi! In ɖ jôf̣lnis v faṃli luv evrʈñ fr a śort tîm wz sbdyd, n ɖ pleźr v siyñ hr, līvñ ɖm at frst litl leźr fr cām krioṣti, ɖe wr ol sītd rnd ɖ tītebl, ẃć Msz Morḷnd hd hurid fr ɖ cumf̣t v ɖ pur travlr, huz pel n jedd lcs sn còt hr notis, bfr eni inqîri so d’rect az t dmand a poẓtiv ansr wz adrest t hr.

Rluctntli, n wɖ mć hezteśn, dd ś ɖen bgin ẃt mt phps, at ɖ end v haf an aur, b trmd, bî ɖ crṭsi v hr hírrz, an xpḷneśn; bt scersli, wɖn ɖt tîm, cd ɖe at ol dscuvr ɖ cōz, or c’lect ɖ ptiklrz, v hr sudn rtrn. Ɖe wr far fṛm biyñ an iritbl res; far fṛm eni qcnis in caćñ, or bitrnis in rzntñ, afrunts: bt hir, ẃn ɖ hol wz unfoldd, wz an insult nt t b oṿlct, nr, fr ɖ frst haf aur, t b īẓli pardnd. Wɖǎt suf̣rñ eni r’mantic alarm, in ɖ cnsiḍreśn v ɖer dōtr’z loñ n lonli jrni, Mr n Msz Morḷnd cd nt bt fīl ɖt it mt hv bn pṛductiv v mć unplezntnis t hr; ɖt it wz ẃt ɖe cd nvr hv voḷntṛli sufrd; n ɖt, in forsñ hr on sć a meźr, Jenṛl Tilni hd actd nɖr onṛbli nr fīlñli—nɖr az a jntlmn nr az a peṛnt. Ẃ h hd dn it, ẃt cd hv pṛvoct him t sć a brīć v hosṗtaḷti, n so sudnli trnd ol hiz parśl rgard fr ɖer dōtr intu acćl il wil, wz a matr ẃć ɖe wr at līst az far fṛm dvînñ az Caʈrin hrslf; bt it dd nt opres ɖm bî eni mīnz so loñ; n, aftr a dy cors v yslis cnjcćr, ɖt “it wz a strenj biznis, n ɖt h mst b a vri strenj man,” grù inuf fr ol ɖer inḍgneśn n wundr; ɖo Sẹra indd stl induljd in ɖ swīts v incomprihnsbiḷti, xclemñ n cnjcćrñ wɖ yʈfl ardr. “Mî dir, y gv yrslf a gret dīl v nīdlis trubl,” sd hr muɖr at last; “dpnd upn it, it z smʈñ nt at ol wrʈ unḍstandñ.”

“I cn alǎ fr hiz wśñ Caʈrin awe, ẃn h rec̣lectd ɖs ingejmnt,” sd Sẹra, “bt ẃ nt d it siṿli?”

“I am sori fr ɖ yuñ ppl,” rtrnd Msz Morḷnd; “ɖe mst hv a sad tîm v it; bt az fr enʈñ els, it z no matr nǎ; Caʈrin z sef at hom, n ǎr cumf̣t dz nt dpnd upn Jenṛl Tilni.” Caʈrin said. “Wel,” cntinyd hr fiḷsofic muɖr, “I am glad I dd nt nǒ v yr jrni at ɖ tîm; bt nǎ it z ol ovr, phps ɖr z no gret harm dn. It z olwz gd fr yuñ ppl t b pt upn xrtñ ɖmslvz; n y nǒ, mî dir Caʈrin, y olwz wr a sad litl scatr-brend crīćr; bt nǎ y mst hv bn forst t hv yr wits abt y, wɖ so mć ćenjñ v śezz n so fʈ; n I hop it wl apir ɖt y hv nt left enʈñ bhnd y in eni v ɖ pocits.”

Caʈrin hopt so tù, n traid t fīl an inṭrest in hr ǒn amndmnt, bt hr spirits wr qt wòrn dǎn; n, t b sîḷnt n alon bcmñ sn hr onli wś, ś reḍli agrìd t hr muɖr’z nxt cǎnsl v gwñ rli t bed. Hr peṛnts, siyñ nʈñ in hr il lcs n ajteśn bt ɖ naćṛl consiqns v morṭfaid fīlñz, n v ɖ unyźl xrśn n ftīg v sć a jrni, partd fṛm hr wɖǎt eni dǎt v ɖer biyñ sn slept awe; n ɖo, ẃn ɖe ol met ɖ nxt mornñ, hr rcuvri wz nt īql t ɖer hops, ɖe wr stl prf̣cli unsspiśs v ɖr biyñ eni dīpr īvl. Ɖe nvr wns ʈt v hr hart, ẃć, fr ɖ peṛnts v a yuñ ledi v sevntīn, jst rtrnd fṛm hr frst xcrśn fṛm hom, wz od inuf!

Az sn az brecfst wz ovr, ś sat dǎn t flfil hr promis t Mis Tilni, huz trust in ɖ ifct v tîm n distns on hr frend’z disṗziśn wz olrdi jusṭfaid, fr olrdi dd Caʈrin rproć hrslf wɖ hvñ partd fṛm Eḷnr coldli, wɖ hvñ nvr inuf valyd hr merits or cîndnis, n nvr inuf cmiẓretd hr fr ẃt ś hd bn yesṭde left t indyr. Ɖ streñʈ v ɖz fīlñz, hvr, wz far fṛm asistñ hr pén; n nvr hd it bn hardr fr hr t rait ɖn in adresñ Eḷnr Tilni. T cmpoz a letr ẃć mt at wns d justis t hr sntimnts n hr sićueśn, cnve grattyd wɖǎt srvîl rgret, b gardd wɖǎt coldnis, n onist wɖǎt rzntmnt—a letr ẃć Eḷnr mt nt b pend bî ɖ p’ruzl v—n, abv ol, ẃć ś mt nt bluś hrslf, f Henri śd ćans t si, wz an unḍtecñ t frîtn awe ol hr pǎrz v pformns; n, aftr loñ ʈt n mć pplex̣ti, t b vri brīf wz ol ɖt ś cd dtrmin on wɖ eni confidns v sefti. Ɖ muni ɖrfr ẃć Eḷnr hd advanst wz inclozd wɖ litl mor ɖn gretfl ʈancs, n ɖ ʈǎznd gd wśz v a most afx́ṇt hart.

“Ɖs hz bn a strenj aqentns,” obzrvd Msz Morḷnd, az ɖ letr wz finiśt; “sn md n sn endd. I am sori it hapnz so, fr Msz Aḷn ʈt ɖm vri priti cnd v yuñ ppl; n y wr sadli ǎt v luc tù in yr Iẓbela. Ā! Pur Jemz! Wel, w mst liv n lrn; n ɖ nxt ny frendz y mc I hop wl b betr wrʈ cīpñ.”

Caʈrin culrd az ś wormli ansrd, “No frend cn b betr wrʈ cīpñ ɖn Eḷnr.”

“F so, mî dir, I der se y wl mīt agn sm tîm or uɖr; d nt b unīzi. It z ten t wn bt y r ʈroun tgɖr agn in ɖ cors v a fy yirz; n ɖen ẃt a pleźr it wl b!”

Msz Morḷnd wz nt hapi in hr atmt at conṣleśn. Ɖ hop v mītñ agn in ɖ cors v a fy yirz cd onli pt intu Caʈrin’z hed ẃt mt hapn wɖn ɖt tîm t mc a mītñ dredfl t hr. Ś cd nvr fget Henri Tilni, or ʈnc v him wɖ les tndrnis ɖn ś dd at ɖt momnt; bt h mt fget hr; n in ɖt ces, t mīt—! Hr îz fild wɖ tirz az ś picćrd hr aqentns so rnyd; n hr muɖr, psivñ hr cumftbl sjsćnz t hv hd no gd ifct, pṛpozd, az anɖr xpīdịnt fr rstorñ hr spirits, ɖt ɖe śd cōl on Msz Aḷn.

Ɖ tū hǎzz wr onli a qortr v a mîl apart; n, az ɖe wōct, Msz Morḷnd qcli dspaćt ol ɖt ś flt on ɖ scor v Jemz’z dis’pôntmnt. “W r sori fr him,” sd ś; “bt uɖwz ɖr z no harm dn in ɖ mać gwñ of; fr it cd nt b a dzîṛbl ʈñ t hv him ingejd t a grl hūm w hd nt ɖ smōlist aqentns wɖ, n hu wz so intîrli wɖǎt fortyn; n nǎ, aftr sć bhevyr, w canot ʈnc at ol wel v hr. Jst at preznt it cmz hard t pur Jemz; bt ɖt wl nt last fr evr; n I der se h wl b a dscritr man ol hiz lîf, fr ɖ fūliśnis v hiz frst ćôs.”

Ɖs wz jst sć a súṃri vy v ɖ afer az Caʈrin cd lisn t; anɖr sntns mt hv indenjrd hr cmplesns, n md hr rplî les raṣ́nl; fr sn wr ol hr ʈncñpǎrz swoloud p in ɖ rflex́n v hr ǒn ćenj v fīlñz n spirits sins last ś hd trodn ɖt wel-noun rod. It wz nt ʈri munʈs ago sins, wîld wɖ jôfl xpcteśn, ś hd ɖr run bcwdz n fwdz sm ten tîmz a de, wɖ an hart lît, ge, n indipndnt; lcñ fwd t pleźrz untestd n un’loid, n fri fṛm ɖ aprihnśn v īvl az fṛm ɖ nolij v it. Ʈri munʈs ago hd sìn hr ol ɖs; n nǎ, hǎ oltrd a biyñ dd ś rtrn!

Ś wz rsivd bî ɖ Aḷnz wɖ ol ɖ cîndnis ẃć hr unlŭct-fr apiṛns, actñ on a stedi afx́n, wd naćṛli cōl fʈ; n gret wz ɖer s’prîz, n worm ɖer dspleźr, on hírñ hǎ ś hd bn trītd—ɖo Msz Morḷnd’z acǎnt v it wz no infletd repriznteśn, no studid apil t ɖer paśnz. “Caʈrin tc s qt bî s’prîz yesṭde īvnñ,” sd ś. “Ś travld ol ɖ we post bî hrslf, n ń nʈñ v cmñ tl Saṭde nît; fr Jenṛl Tilni, fṛm sm od fansi or uɖr, ol v a sudn grù tîrd v hvñ hr ɖr, n olmst trnd hr ǎt v ɖ hǎs. Vri unfrendli, srtnli; n h mst b a vri od man; bt w r so glad t hv hr amñst s agn! N it z a gret cumf̣t t fînd ɖt ś z nt a pur hlplis crīćr, bt cn śift vri wel fr hrslf.”

Mr Aḷn xprest himslf on ɖ oceźn wɖ ɖ rīzṇbl rzntmnt v a snṣbl frend; n Msz Aḷn ʈt hiz xpreśnz qt gd inuf t b imījtli md ys v agn bî hrslf. Hiz wundr, hiz cnjcćrz, n hiz xpḷneśnz bcem in s’xeśn hrz, wɖ ɖ adiśn v ɖs sngl rmarc—“I riyli hv nt peśns wɖ ɖ jenṛl”—t fil p evri axdntl pōz. N, “I riyli hv nt peśns wɖ ɖ jenṛl,” wz utrd twîs aftr Mr Aḷn left ɖ rūm, wɖǎt eni rīlaxeśn v angr, or eni mtirịl dgreśn v ʈt. A mor cnsidṛbl dgri v wonḍrñ atndd ɖ ʈrd reṗtiśn; n, aftr cmplitñ ɖ forʈ, ś imījtli add, “Onli ʈnc, mî dir, v mî hvñ got ɖt frîtfl gret rént in mî bst Meclin so ćarmñli mndd, bfr I left Baʈ, ɖt wn cn hardli si ẃr it wz. I mst śo it y sm de or uɖr. Baʈ z a nîs ples, Caʈrin, aftr ol. I aśur y I dd nt abv haf lîc cmñ awe. Msz Ʈorp’s biyñ ɖr wz sć a cumf̣t t s, wz nt it? Y nǒ, y n I wr qt f’lorn at frst.”

“Yes, bt ɖt dd nt last loñ,” sd Caʈrin, hr îz brîṭnñ at ɖ rec̣lex́n v ẃt hd frst gvn spirit t hr xistns ɖr.

“Vri tru: w sn met wɖ Msz Ʈorp, n ɖen w wontd fr nʈñ. Mî dir, d nt y ʈnc ɖz silc gluvz wer vri wel? I pt ɖm on ny ɖ frst tîm v ǎr gwñ t ɖ Lowr Rūmz, y nǒ, n I hv wòrn ɖm a gret dīl sins. D y rmembr ɖt īvnñ?”

“D I! Ǒ! Prf̣cli.”

“It wz vri agriybl, wz nt it? Mr Tilni dranc ti wɖ s, n I olwz ʈt him a gret adiśn, h z so vri agriybl. I hv a nośn y danst wɖ him, bt am nt qt śr. I rmembr I hd mî fevrit gǎn on.”

Caʈrin cd nt ansr; n, aftr a śort trîl v uɖr subjicts, Msz Aḷn agn rtrnd t—“I riyli hv nt peśns wɖ ɖ jenṛl! Sć an agriybl, wrɖi man az h sīmd t b! I d nt s’poz, Msz Morḷnd, y evr sw a betr-bréd man in yr lîf. Hiz lojñz wr tecn ɖ vri de aftr h left ɖm, Caʈrin. Bt no wundr; Milsm Strīt, y nǒ.”

Az ɖe wōct hom agn, Msz Morḷnd indevrd t impres on hr dōtr’z mînd ɖ hapinis v hvñ sć stedi wel-wśrs az Mr n Msz Aḷn, n ɖ vri litl cnsiḍreśn ẃć ɖ nglect or uncîndnis v slît aqentns lîc ɖ Tilniz òt t hv wɖ hr, ẃl ś cd prizrv ɖ gd opińn n afx́n v hr rliist frendz. Ɖr wz a gret dīl v gd sns in ol ɖs; bt ɖr r sm sićueśnz v ɖ hymn mînd in ẃć gd sns hz vri litl pǎr; n Caʈrin’z fīlñz contṛdictd olmst evri pziśn hr muɖr advanst. It wz upn ɖ bhevyr v ɖz vri slît aqentns ɖt ol hr preznt hapinis dpndd; n ẃl Msz Morḷnd wz s’xesf̣li cnfrmñ hr ǒn opińnz bî ɖ justnis v hr ǒn repriznteśnz, Caʈrin wz sîḷntli rflectñ ɖt nǎ Henri mst hv arîvd at Norʈangr; nǎ h mst hv hŕd v hr dparćr; n nǎ, phps, ɖe wr ol setñ v fr Herifd.

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