NORƮANGR ABI │ ĆAPTR 3

Evri mornñ nǎ bròt its reğlr dytiz—śops wr t b viẓtd; sm ny part v ɖ tǎn t b lct at; n ɖ pumprūm t b atndd, ẃr ɖe p’redd p n dǎn fr an aur, lcñ at evrbdi n spīcñ t nwn. Ɖ wś v a ńmṛs aqentns in Baʈ wz stl uṗmost wɖ Msz Aḷn, n ś rpitd it aftr evri freś prūf, ẃć evri mornñ bròt, v hr nwñ nbdi at ol.

Ɖe md ɖer apiṛns in ɖ Lowr Rūmz; n hir fortyn wz mor fevṛbl t ǎr herǒin. Ɖ mastr v ɖ seriṃniz intṛdyst t hr a vri jntlmnlîc yuñ man az a partnr; hiz nem wz Tilni. H sīmd t b abt for or fîv n twenti, wz rɖr tōl, hd a plizñ cǎntinns, a vri intelijnt n lîvli î, n, f nt qt hansm, wz vri nir it. Hiz adres wz gd, n Caʈrin flt hrslf in hî luc. Ɖr wz litl leźr fr spīcñ ẃl ɖe danst; bt ẃn ɖe wr sītd at ti, ś faund him az agriybl az ś hd olrdi gvn him credit fr biyñ. H tōct wɖ fluwnsi n spirit—n ɖr wz an arćnis n plezntri in hiz manr ẃć inṭrestd, ɖo it wz hardli unḍstd bî hr. Aftr ćatñ sm tîm on sć matrz az naćṛli arouz fṛm ɖ objicts arnd ɖm, h sudnli adrest hr wɖ—“I hv hiɖrtu bn vri rmis, madm, in ɖ propr atnśnz v a partnr hir; I hv nt yt asct y hǎ loñ y hv bn in Baʈ; ẃɖr y wr evr hir bfr; ẃɖr y hv bn at ɖ Upr Rūmz, ɖ ʈiytr, n ɖ conṣt; n hǎ y lîc ɖ ples oltgɖr. I hv bn vri neglijnt—bt r y nǎ at leźr t saṭsfî m in ɖz ptiklrz? F y r I wl bgin d’recli.”

“Y nīd nt gv yrslf ɖt trubl, sr.”

“No trubl, I aśur y, madm.” Ɖen formñ hiz fīćrz intu a set smîl, n afctdli sof̣nñ hiz vôs, h add, wɖ a simṗrñ er, “Hv y bn loñ in Baʈ, madm?”

“Abt a wīc, sr,” rplaid Caʈrin, trayñ nt t laf.

“Riyli!” wɖ afctd astoniśmnt.

“Ẃ śd y b s’prîzd, sr?”

“Ẃ, indd!” sd h, in hiz naćṛl ton. “Bt sm imośn mst apir t b rezd bî yr rplî, n s’prîz z mor īẓli asymd, n nt les rīzṇbl ɖn eni uɖr. Nǎ let s g on. Wr y nvr hir bfr, madm?”

“Nvr, sr.”

“Indd! Hv y yt onrd ɖ Upr Rūmz?”

“Yes, sr, I wz ɖr last Munde.”

“Hv y bn t ɖ ʈiytr?”

“Yes, sr, I wz at ɖ ple on Tyzde.”

“T ɖ conṣt?”

“Yes, sr, on Wenzde.”

“N r y oltgɖr plizd wɖ Baʈ?”

“Yes—I lîc it vri wel.”

“Nǎ I mst gv wn smrc, n ɖen w me b raṣ́nl agn.” Caʈrin trnd awe hr hed, nt nwñ ẃɖr ś mt vnćr t laf. “I si ẃt y ʈnc v m,” sd h grevli—“I śl mc bt a pur figr in yr jrnl tmro.”

“Mî jrnl!”

“Yes, I nǒ xacli ẃt y wl se: Frîde, wnt t ɖ Lowr Rūmz; wòr mî sprigd muzlin rǒb wɖ blu trimñz—plen blac śuz—apird t mć advantij; bt wz strenjli haṛst bî a qir, haf-witd man, hu wd mc m dans wɖ him, n dstrest m bî hiz nonsns.”

“Indd I śl se no sć ʈñ.”

“Śl I tel y ẃt y òt t se?”

“F y plīz.”

“I danst wɖ a vri agriybl yuñ man, intṛdyst bî Mr Cñ; hd a gret dīl v convseśn wɖ him—sīmz a most xtrordnri jīńs—hop I me nǒ mor v him. Ɖt, madm, z ẃt I wś y t se.”

“Bt, phps, I cīp no jrnl.”

“Phps y r nt sitñ in ɖs rūm, n I am nt sitñ bî y. Ɖz r pônts in ẃć a dǎt z īqli posibl. Nt cīp a jrnl! Hǎ r yr absnt cuznz t unḍstand ɖ tenr v yr lîf in Baʈ wɖǎt wn? Hǎ r ɖ sviḷtiz n complimnts v evri de t b rletd az ɖe òt t b, unls notd dǎn evri īvnñ in a jrnl? Hǎ r yr verịs dresz t b rmembrd, n ɖ ptiklr stet v yr cmplex́n, n crl v yr her t b dscrîbd in ol ɖer dvrṣtiz, wɖǎt hvñ constnt rcors t a jrnl? Mî dir madm, I am nt so ignṛnt v yuñ lediz’ wez az y wś t b’liv m; it z ɖs dlîtfl habit v jrṇlñ ẃć larjli cntribyts t form ɖ īzi stîl v raitñ fr ẃć lediz r so jenṛli seḷbretd. Evrbdi alǎz ɖt ɖ taḷnt v raitñ agriybl letrz z pkłrli fīmel. Nećr me hv dn smʈñ, bt I am śr it mst b isnṣ́li asistd bî ɖ practis v cīpñ a jrnl.”

“I hv smtmz ʈt,” sd Caʈrin, dǎtñli, “ẃɖr lediz d rait so mć betr letrz ɖn jntlṃn! Ɖt z—I śd nt ʈnc ɖ s’pirioṛti wz olwz on ǎr sîd.”

“Az far az I hv hd oṗtyṇti v jujñ, it apirz t m ɖt ɖ yźl stîl v letŗaitñ amñ wimin z fōltlis, xpt in ʈri ptiklrz.”

“N ẃt r ɖe?”

“A jenṛl dfiśnsi v subjict, a totl in’tnśn t stops, n a vri frīqnt ignṛns v gramr.”

“Upn mî wrd! I nīd nt hv bn afred v dsclemñ ɖ complimnt. Y d nt ʈnc tù hîli v s in ɖt we.”

“I śd no mor le it dǎn az a jenṛl rūl ɖt wimin rait betr letrz ɖn men, ɖn ɖt ɖe sñ betr dyéts, or drw betr lansceps. In evri pǎr, v ẃć test z ɖ fǎndeśn, xḷns z priti ferli dvîdd btwn ɖ sxz.”

Ɖe wr inṭruptd bî Msz Aḷn: “Mî dir Caʈrin,” sd ś, “d tec ɖs pin ǎt v mî slīv; I am afred it hz torn a houl olrdi; I śl b qt sori f it hz, fr ɖs z a fevrit gǎn, ɖo it cost bt nîn śilñz a yard.”

“Ɖt z xacli ẃt I śd hv gést it, madm,” sd Mr Tilni, lcñ at ɖ muzlin.

“D y unḍstand muzlinz, sr?”

“Ptiklrli wel; I olwz bai mî ǒn cṛvats, n am alaud t b an xḷnt juj; n mî sistr hz ofn trustd m in ɖ ćôs v a gǎn. I bòt wn fr hr ɖ uɖr de, n it wz pṛnǎnst t b a pṛdijs bargin bî evri ledi hu sw it. I gev bt fîv śilñz a yard fr it, n a tru Indịn muzlin.”

Msz Aḷn wz qt struc bî hiz jīńs. “Men comnli tec so litl notis v ɖoz ʈñz,” sd ś; “I cn nvr gt Mr Aḷn t nǒ wn v mî gǎnz fṛm anɖr. Y mst b a gret cumf̣t t yr sistr, sr.”

“I hop I am, madm.”

“N pre, sr, ẃt d y ʈnc v Mis Morḷnd’z gǎn?”

“It z vri priti, madm,” sd h, grevli xaṃnñ it; “bt I d nt ʈnc it wl woś wel; I am afred it wl fre.”

“Hǎ cn y,” sd Caʈrin, lafñ, “b so—” Ś hd olmst sd “strenj.”

“I am qt v yr opińn, sr,” rplaid Msz Aḷn; “n so I tld Mis Morḷnd ẃn ś bòt it.”

“Bt ɖen y nǒ, madm, muzlin olwz trnz t sm acǎnt or uɖr; Mis Morḷnd wl gt inuf ǎt v it fr a hanc̣ćif, or a cap, or a clǒc. Muzlin cn nvr b sd t b westd. I hv hŕd mî sistr se so forti tîmz, ẃn ś hz bn xtraṿgnt in bayñ mor ɖn ś wontd, or cerlis in cutñ it t pìsz.”

“Baʈ z a ćarmñ ples, sr; ɖr r so mni gd śops hir. W r sadli of in ɖ cuntri; nt bt ẃt w hv vri gd śops in Sōlzḅri, bt it z so far t g—et mîlz z a loñ we; Mr Aḷn sz it z nîn, meźrd nîn; bt I am śr it canot b mor ɖn et; n it z sć a fag—I cm bac tîrd t deʈ. Nǎ, hir wn cn step ǎt v dorz n gt a ʈñ in fîv minits.”

Mr Tilni wz p’lît inuf t sīm inṭrestd in ẃt ś sd; n ś cept him on ɖ subjict v muzlinz tl ɖ dansñ rīc̣mnst. Caʈrin fird, az ś lisnd t ɖer discors, ɖt h induljd himslf a litl tù mć wɖ ɖ fôblz v uɖrz. “Ẃt r y ʈncñ v so ŕṇstli?” sd h, az ɖe wōct bac t ɖ bōlrūm; “nt v yr partnr, I hop, fr, bî ɖt śec v ɖ hed, yr medteśnz r nt saṭsfacṭri.”

Caʈrin culrd, n sd, “I wz nt ʈncñ v enʈñ.”

“Ɖt z artfl n dīp, t b śr; bt I hd rɖr b tld at wns ɖt y wl nt tel m.”

“Wel ɖen, I wl nt.”

“Ʈanc y; fr nǎ w śl sn b aqentd, az I am oʈ̇rîzd t tīz y on ɖs subjict ẃnvr w mīt, n nʈñ in ɖ wrld advansz intiṃsi so mć.”

Ɖe danst agn; n, ẃn ɖ asmbli clozd, partd, on ɖ ledi’z sîd at līst, wɖ a stroñ incḷneśn fr cntinywñ ɖ aqentns. Ẃɖr ś ʈt v him so mć, ẃl ś dranc hr worm wîn n wōtr, n priperd hrslf fr bed, az t drīm v him ẃn ɖr, canot b aṣtend; bt I hop it wz no mor ɖn in a slît slumbr, or a mornñ dǒz at most; fr f it b tru, az a seḷbretd raitr hz mntend, ɖt no yuñ ledi cn b jusṭfaid in fōlñ in luv bfr ɖ jntlmn’z luv z dclerd,* it mst b vri impropr ɖt a yuñ ledi śd drīm v a jntlmn bfr ɖ jntlmn z frst noun t hv dremt v hr. Hǎ propr Mr Tilni mt b az a drīmr or a luvr hd nt yt phps entrd Mr Aḷn’z hed, bt ɖt h wz nt objx́ṇbl az a comn aqentns fr hiz yuñ ćarj h wz on inqîri saṭsfaid; fr h hd rli in ɖ īvnñ tecn penz t nǒ hu hr partnr wz, n hd bn aśurd v Mr Tilni’z biyñ a clrjimn, n v a vri rspctbl faṃli in Glostrśr.

*Vide a letr fṛm Mr Rićdsn, No. 97, Vol. II, Ramblr.

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