PRÎD AND PREɈDIS: Ćaptrz 41 tu 50

Ćaptrz:
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

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Ćaptr 41

Ɖ

 frst wīc v ɖer rtrn wz sn gn. Ɖ secnd bgan. It wz ɖ last v ɖ rejimnt’s ste in Meritn, n ol ɖ yuñ lediz in ɖ nebrhd wr drūpñ apes. Ɖ djx́n wz olmst yṇvrsl. Ɖ eldr Mis Benits alon wr stl ebl t īt, drinc, n slīp, n psy ɖ yźl cors v ɖer implômnts. Vri frīqntli wr ɖe rproćt fr ɖs insnsbiḷti bî Citi n Lidia, huz ǒn miẓri wz xtrim, n hu cd nt comprihnd sć hard-hartidnis in eni v ɖ faṃli.

“Gd Hevn! ẃt z t bcm v s? Ẃt r w t d?” wd ɖe ofn xclem in ɖ bitrnis v wo. “Hǎ cn y b smîlñ so, Lizi?”

Ɖer afx́ṇt muɖr śerd ol ɖer grīf; ś rmembrd ẃt ś hd hrslf indyrd on a similr oceźn, fîv-n-twenti yirz ago.

“I am śr,” sd ś, “I craid fr tū dez tgɖr ẃn Crnl Milr’z rejimnt wnt awe. I ʈt I śd hv brocn mî hart.”

“I am śr I śl brec mîn,” sd Lidia.

“F wn cd bt g t Braitn!” obzrvd Msz Benit.

“Ǒ, yes! – f wn cd bt g t Braitn! Bt ppā z so dis’griybl.”

“A litl sìbeɖñ wd set m p fr evr.”

“N mî ānt Filips z śr it wd d m a gret dīl v gd,” add Citi.

Sć wr ɖ cnd v lamnteśnz rzǎndñ ppć̣li ʈru Loñbōrn Hǎs. Iliẓbʈ traid t b dvrtd bî ɖm; bt ol sns v pleźr wz lost in śem. Ś flt any ɖ justis v Mr Darsi’z objx́nz; n nvr hd ś bn so mć dspozd t pardn hiz inṭfiṛns in ɖ vyz v hiz frend.

Bt ɖ glūm v Lidia’z prospect wz śortli clird awe; fr ś rsivd an invteśn fṛm Msz Forstr, ɖ wîf v ɖ crnl v ɖ rejimnt, t acumṗni hr t Braitn. Ɖs invałbl frend wz a vri yuñ wmn, n vri lêtli marid. A rzmbḷns in gd hymr n gd spirits hd rec̣mndd hr n Lidia t ć uɖr, n ǎt v ɖer ʈri munʈs’ aqentns ɖe hd bn intiṃt .

Ɖ rapćr v Lidia on ɖs oceźn, hr aḍreśn v Msz Forstr, ɖ dlît v Msz Benit, n ɖ mortif̣ceśn v Citi, r scersli t b dscrîbd. Hoļi in’tntiv t hr sistr’z fīlñz, Lidia flù abt ɖ hǎs in restlis xṭsi, cōlñ fr evrwn’z cngrać̣leśnz, n lafñ n tōcñ wɖ mor vayḷns ɖn evr; ẃlst ɖ luclis Citi cntinyd in ɖ parlr rpînd at hr fet in trmz az unrīzṇbl az hr axnt wz pīviś.

“I canot si ẃ Msz Forstr śd nt asc m az wel az Lidia,” sd ś, “Ɖo I am nt hr ptiklr frend. I hv jst az mć rît t b asct az ś hz, n mor tù, fr I am tū yirz oldr.”

In ven dd Iliẓbʈ atmt t mc hr rīzṇbl, n Jen t mc hr rzînd. Az fr Iliẓbʈ hrslf, ɖs invteśn wz so far fṛm xîtñ in hr ɖ sem fīlñz az in hr muɖr n Lidia, ɖt ś cnsidrd it az ɖ deʈ woṛnt v ol posbiḷti v comn-sns fr ɖ latr; n dtstbl az sć a step mst mc hr wr it noun, ś cd nt hlp sīcṛtli advîzñ hr faɖr nt t let hr g. Ś reprizntd t him ol ɖ impṛpraytiz v Lidia’z jenṛl bhevyr, ɖ litl advantij ś cd dirîv fṛm ɖ frendśp v sć a wmn az Msz Forstr, n ɖ probbiḷti v hr biyñ yt mor imprūdnt wɖ sć a cmpańn at Braitn, ẃr ɖ tmteśnz mst b gretr ɖn at hom. H hŕd hr atntivli, n ɖen sd:

“Lidia wl nvr b īzi untl ś hz xpozd hrslf in sm public ples or uɖr, n w cn nvr xpct hr t d it wɖ so litl xpns or incnvińns t hr faṃli az undr ɖ preznt srcmstansz.”

“F y wr awer,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “v ɖ vri gret dis’dvantij t s ol ẃć mst arîz fṛm ɖ public notis v Lidia’z ungardd n imprūdnt manr – nê, ẃć hz olrdi arizn fṛm it, I am śr y wd juj difṛntli in ɖ afer.”

“Olrdi arizn?” rpitd Mr Benit. “Ẃt, hz ś frîtnd awe sm v yr luvrz? Pur litl Lizi! Bt d nt b cast dǎn. Sć sqīmiś yuɖz az canot ber t b cnctd wɖ a litl absrdti r nt wrʈ a rgret. Cm, let m si ɖ list v pitifl feloz hu hv bn cept alūf bî Lidia’z foli.”

“Indd y r mstecn. I hv no sć inɉriz t rznt. It z nt v ptiklr, bt v jenṛl īvlz, ẃć I am nǎ cmplenñ. Ǎr importns, ǎr rspctbiḷti in ɖ wrld mst b afctd bî ɖ wîld voḷtiḷti, ɖ aśuṛns n dsden v ol rstrent ẃć marc Lidia’z caṛctr. Xkz m, fr I mst spīc plenli. F y, mî dir faɖr, wl nt tec ɖ trubl v ćecñ hr xūbṛnt spirits, n v tīćñ hr ɖt hr preznt psyts r nt t b ɖ biznis v hr lîf, ś wl sn b bynd ɖ rīć v amndmnt. Hr caṛctr wl b fixt, n ś wl, at sixtīn, b ɖ most dtrmind flrt ɖt evr md hrslf or hr faṃli r’dikyḷs; a flrt, tù, in ɖ wrst n mīnist dgri v flrteśn; wɖt eni atrax́n bynd yʈ n a tolṛbl prsn; n, fṛm ɖ ignṛns n emtinis v hr mînd, hoļi unebl t word of eni porśn v ɖt yṇvrsl cntmt ẃć hr rej fr adṃreśn wl xît. In ɖs denjr Citi olso z comprihndd. Ś wl folo ẃrvr Lidia līdz. Ven, ignṛnt, îdl, n abṣlutli uncntrold! Ǒ! mî dir faɖr, cn y s’poz it poṣbl ɖt ɖe wl nt b snśrd n dspîzd ẃrvr ɖe r noun, n ɖt ɖer sistrz wl nt b ofn involvd in ɖ dsgres?”

Mr Benit sw ɖt hr hol hart wz in ɖ subjict, n afx́ṇtli tecñ hr hand sd in rplî:

“D nt mc yrslf unīzi, mî luv. Ẃrvr y n Jen r noun y mst b rspctd n valyd; n y wl nt apir t les advantij fr hvñ a cupl v – or I me se, ʈri – vri sili sistrz. W śl hv no pīs at Loñbōrn f Lidia dz nt g t Braitn. Let hr g, ɖen. Crnl Forstr z a snṣbl man, n wl cīp hr ǎt v eni riyl misćif; n ś z luc̣li tù pur t b an objict v prei t enbdi. At Braitn ś wl b v les importns īvn az a comn flrt ɖn ś hz bn hir. Ɖ ofisrz wl fînd wimin betr wrʈ ɖer notis. Let s hop, ɖrfr, ɖt hr biyñ ɖr me tīć hr hr ǒn inṣgnificns. At eni ret, ś canot gro mni dgriz wrs, wɖt oʈ̇rîzñ s t loc hr p fr ɖ rest v hr lîf.”

Wɖ ɖs ansr Iliẓbʈ wz forst t b cntnt; bt hr ǒn opińn cntinyd ɖ sem, n ś left him dis’pôntd n sori. It wz nt in hr nećr, hvr, t incris hr vxeśnz bî dwelñ on ɖm. Ś wz confidnt v hvñ pformd hr dyti, n t fret ovr un’vôḍbl īvlz, or ōgmnt ɖm bî añzayti, wz no part v hr disṗziśn.

Hd Lidia n hr muɖr noun ɖ substns v hr confṛns wɖ hr faɖr, ɖer inḍgneśn wd hardli hv faund xpreśn in ɖer ynîtd vołbiḷti. In Lidia’z imaɉneśn, a vizit t Braitn cmprîzd evri posbiḷti v rʈli hapinis. Ś sw, wɖ ɖ crietiv î v fansi, ɖ strīts v ɖt ge beɖñples cuvrd wɖ ofisrz. Ś sw hrslf ɖ objict v atnśn, t tnz n t scorz v ɖm at preznt uņoun. Ś sw ol ɖ gloriz v ɖ camp – its tnts strećt fʈ in bytịs yṇforṃti v lînz, crǎdd wɖ ɖ yuñ n ɖ ge, n daẓlñ wɖ scarlit; n, t cmplit ɖ vy, ś sw hrslf sītd bnʈ a tnt, tndrli flrtñ wɖ at līst six ofisrz at wns.

Hd ś noun hr sistr sòt t ter hr fṛm sć prospects n sć riaḷtiz az ɖz, ẃt wd hv bn hr snseśnz? Ɖe cd hv bn unḍstd onli bî hr muɖr, hu mt hv flt nirli ɖ sem. Lidia’z gwñ t Braitn wz ol ɖt cnsold hr fr hr meḷnc̣li cnvix́n v hr huzbnd’z nvr intndñ t g ɖr himslf.

Bt ɖe wr intîrli ignṛnt v ẃt hd pást; n ɖer rapćrz cntinyd, wɖ litl inṭmiśn, t ɖ vri de v Lidia’z līvñ hom.

Iliẓbʈ wz nǎ t si Mr Wicm fr ɖ last tîm. Hvñ bn frīqntli in cumṗni wɖ him sins hr rtrn, ajteśn wz priti wel ovr; ɖ ajteśnz v formr parśiaḷti intîrli so. Ś hd īvn lrnt t dtct, in ɖ vri jntlnis ẃć hd frst dlîtd hr, an afcteśn n a semnis t dsgust n wiri. In hiz preznt bhevyr t hrslf, morovr, ś hd a freś sors v dspleźr, fr ɖ incḷneśn h sn tsṭfaid v rnywñ ɖoz intnśnz ẃć hd marct ɖ rli part v ɖer aqentns cd onli srv, aftr ẃt hd sins pást, t pṛvoc hr. Ś lost ol cnsrn fr him in fîndñ hrslf ɖus s’lectd az ɖ objict v sć îdl n frivḷs gaḷntri; n ẃl ś steḍli rprest it, cd nt bt fīl ɖ rprūf cntend in hiz b’livñ, ɖt hvr loñ, n fr ẃtvr cōz, hiz atnśnz hd bn wɖdrwn, hr vaṇti wd b graṭfaid, n hr prefṛns s’krd at eni tîm bî ɖer rnywl.

On ɖ vri last de v ɖ rejimnt’s rmenñ at Meritn, h dînd, wɖ uɖr v ɖ ofisrz, at Loñbōrn; n so litl wz Iliẓbʈ dspozd t part fṛm him in gd hymr, ɖt on hiz mcñ sm inqîri az t ɖ manr in ẃć hr tîm hd pást at Hunsf̣d, ś mnśnd Crnl Fitswiłm’z n Mr Darsi’z hvñ bʈ spent ʈri wīcs at Rozñz, n asct him, f h wz aqentd wɖ ɖ formr.

H lct s’prîzd, dsplizd, alarmd; bt wɖ a momnt’s rec̣lex́n n a rtrnñ smîl, rplaid, ɖt h hd formrli sìn him ofn; n, aftr obzrvñ ɖt h wz a vri jntlmnlîc man, asct hr hǎ ś hd lîct him. Hr ansr wz wormli in hiz fevr. Wɖ an er v indifṛns h sn aftwdz add:

“Hǎ loñ dd y se h wz at Rozñz?”

“Nirli ʈri wīcs.”

“N y sw him frīqntli?”

“Yes, olmst evri de.”

“Hiz manrz r vri difṛnt fṛm hiz cuzn’z.”

“Yes, vri difṛnt. Bt I ʈnc Mr Darsi impruvz upn aqentns.”

“Indd!” craid Mr Wicm wɖ a lc ẃć dd nt iscep hr. “N pre, me I asc? – ” Bt ćecñ himslf, h add, in a geyr ton, “Z it in adres ɖt h impruvz? Hz h deind t ad ōt v sviḷti t hiz ordnri stîl? – fr I der nt hop,” h cntinyd in a lowr n mor sirịs ton, “ɖt h z impruvd in isnślz.”

“Ǒ, no!” sd Iliẓbʈ. “In isnślz, I b’liv, h z vri mć ẃt h evr wz.”

Ẃl ś spouc, Wicm lct az f scersli nwñ ẃɖr t rjôs ovr hr wrdz, or t dstrust ɖer mīnñ. Ɖr wz a smʈñ in hr cǎntinns ẃć md him lisn wɖ an aprihnsiv n añśs atnśn, ẃl ś add:

“Ẃn I sd ɖt h impruvd on aqentns, I dd nt mīn ɖt hiz mînd or hiz manrz wr in a stet v impruvmnt, bt ɖt, fṛm nwñ him betr, hiz disṗziśn wz betr unḍstd.”

Wicm’z alarm nǎ apird in a hîtnd cmplex́n n ajtetd lc; fr a fy minits h wz sîḷnt, tl, śecñ of hiz imbaṛsmnt, h trnd t hr agn, n sd in ɖ jntlist v axnts:

“Y, hu so wel nǒ mî fīlñ twdz Mr Darsi, wl reḍli comprihnd hǎ s’nsirli I mst rjôs ɖt h z wîz inuf t asym īvn ɖ apiṛns v ẃt z rît. Hiz prîd, in ɖt d’rex́n, me b v srvis, f nt t himslf, t mni uɖrz, fr it mst onli dtŕ him fṛm sć fǎl msconduct az I hv sufrd bî. I onli fir ɖt ɖ sort v cōśsnis t ẃć y, I imajn, hv bn aludñ, z mirli adoptd on hiz vizits t hiz ānt, v huz gd opińn n jujmnt h standz mć in ō. Hiz fir v hr hz olwz oṗretd, I nǒ, ẃn ɖe wr tgɖr; n a gd dīl z t b impytd t hiz wś v forẉdñ ɖ mać wɖ Mis d’Brg, ẃć I am srtn h hz vri mć at hart.”

Iliẓbʈ cd nt rpres a smîl at ɖs, bt ś ansrd onli bî a slît incḷneśn v ɖ hed. Ś sw ɖt h wontd t ingej hr on ɖ old subjict v hiz grīvnsz, n ś wz in no hymr t indulj him. Ɖ rest v ɖ īvnñ pást wɖ ɖ apiṛns, on hiz sîd, v yźl ćirflnis, bt wɖ no frɖr atmt t dstnḡś Iliẓbʈ; n ɖe partd at last wɖ ḿćl sviḷti, n poṣbli a ḿćl dzîr v nvr mītñ agn.

Ẃn ɖ parti brouc p, Lidia rtrnd wɖ Msz Forstr t Meritn, fṛm ẃns ɖe wr t set ǎt rli ɖ nxt mornñ. Ɖ seṗreśn btwn hr n hr faṃli wz rɖr nôzi ɖn pʈetic. Citi wz ɖ onli wn hu śed tirz; bt ś dd wīp fṛm vxeśn n envi. Msz Benit wz dfys in hr gd wśz fr ɖ f’liṣti v hr dōtr, n impresiv in hr injuñśnz ɖt ś śd nt mis ɖ oṗtyṇti v injoyñ hrslf az mć az poṣbl – advîs ẃć ɖr wz evri rīzn t b’liv wd b wel atndd t; n in ɖ clamṛs hapinis v Lidia hrslf in bidñ férwel, ɖ mor jntl ady v hr sistrz wr utrd wɖt biyñ hŕd.

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Ćaptr 42

H

d Iliẓbʈ’s opińn bn ol drwn fṛm hr ǒn faṃli, ś cd nt hv formd a vri plizñ opińn v conɉgl f’liṣti or dmestic cumf̣t. Hr faɖr, captvetd bî yʈ n byti, n ɖt apiṛns v gd hymr ẃć yʈ n byti jenṛli gv, hd marid a wmn huz wìc unḍstandñ n ilibṛl mînd hd vri rli in ɖer marij pt an end t ol riyl afx́n fr hr. Rspct, istim, n confidns hd vaniśt fr evr; n ol hiz vyz v dmestic hapinis wr oṿʈroun. Bt Mr Benit wz nt v a disṗziśn t sīc cumf̣t fr ɖ dis’pôntmnt ẃć hiz ǒn imprudns hd bròt on, in eni v ɖoz pleźrz ẃć tù ofn consol ɖ unforćṇt fr ɖer foli or ɖer vîs. H wz fond v ɖ cuntri n v bcs; n fṛm ɖz tests hd arizn hiz prinsipl injômnts. T hiz wîf h wz vri litl uɖrwz indétd, ɖn az hr ignṛns n foli hd cntribytd t hiz aḿzmnt. Ɖs z nt ɖ sort v hapinis ẃć a man wd in jenṛl wś t o t hiz wîf; bt ẃr uɖr pǎrz v enttenmnt r wontñ, ɖ tru f’loṣfr wl dirîv beṇfit fṛm sć az r gvn.

Iliẓbʈ, hvr, hd nvr bn blînd t ɖ impṛprayti v hr faɖr’z bhevyr az a huzbnd. Ś hd olwz sìn it wɖ pen; bt rspctñ hiz abiḷtiz, n gretfl fr hiz afx́ṇt trītmnt v hrslf, ś indevrd t fget ẃt ś cd nt oṿlc, n t baniś fṛm hr ʈts ɖt cntińl brīć v conɉgl obḷgeśn n dcoṛm ẃć, in xpozñ hiz wîf t ɖ cntmt v hr ǒn ćildṛn, wz so hîli reprihnsbl. Bt ś hd nvr flt so stroñli az nǎ ɖ dis’dvantjz ẃć mst atnd ɖ ćildṛn v so unsūṭbl a marij, nr evr bn so fŭli awer v ɖ īvlz arîzñ fṛm so il-jujd a d’rex́n v taḷnts; taḷnts, ẃć, rîtli yzd, mt at līst hv prizrvd ɖ rspctbiḷti v hiz dōtrz, īvn f inceṗbl v inlarjñ ɖ mînd v hiz wîf.

Ẃn Iliẓbʈ hd rjôst ovr Wicm’z dparćr ś faund litl uɖr cōz fr saṭsfax́n in ɖ los v ɖ rejimnt. Ɖer partiz abrōd wr les vẹrid ɖn bfr, n at hom ś hd a muɖr n sistr huz constnt rpînñz at ɖ dulnis v evrʈñ arnd ɖm ʈrù a riyl glūm ovr ɖer dmestic srcl; n, ɖo Citi mt in tîm rgen hr naćṛl dgri v sns, sins ɖ dstrbrz v hr bren wr rmuvd, hr uɖr sistr, fṛm huz disṗziśn gretr īvl mt b aprihndd, wz lîcli t b hardnd in ol hr foli n aśuṛns bî a sićueśn v sć dubl denjr az a wōṭrñ-ples n a camp. Upn ɖ hol, ɖrfr, ś faund, ẃt hz bn smtmz faund bfr, ɖt an ivnt t ẃć ś hd bn lcñ wɖ impeśnt dzîr dd nt, in tecñ ples, brñ ol ɖ saṭsfax́n ś hd promist hrslf. It wz consiqntli nesṣri t nem sm uɖr pirịd fr ɖ cmnsmnt v acćl f’liṣti – t hv sm uɖr pônt on ẃć hr wśz n hops mt b fixt, n bî agn injoyñ ɖ pleźr v antiṣpeśn, consol hrslf fr ɖ preznt, n priper fr anɖr dis’pôntmnt. Hr tur t ɖ Lecs wz nǎ ɖ objict v hr hapiist ʈts; it wz hr bst conṣleśn fr ol ɖ uncumf̣tbl aurz ẃć ɖ discntntidnis v hr muɖr n Citi md inevitbl; n cd ś hv includd Jen in ɖ scīm, evri part v it wd hv bn prfict.

“Bt it z forćṇt,” ʈt ś, “ɖt I hv smʈñ t wś fr. Wr ɖ hol arenjmnt cmplit, mî dis’pôntmnt wd b srtn. Bt hir, bî cariyñ wɖ m wn sīslis sors v rgret in mî sistr’z absns, I me rīzṇbli hop t hv ol mî xpcteśnz v pleźr riylîzd. A scīm v ẃć evri part proṃsz dlît cn nvr b s’xesfl; n jenṛl dis’pôntmnt z onli wordd of bî ɖ dfns v sm litl pkłr vxeśn.”

Ẃn Lidia wnt awe ś promist t rait vri ofn n vri mînytli t hr muɖr n Citi; bt hr letrz wr olwz loñ xpctd, n olwz vri śort. Ɖoz t hr muɖr cntend litl els ɖn ɖt ɖe wr jst rtrnd fṛm ɖ lîbrri, ẃr sć n sć ofisrz hd atndd ɖm, n ẃr ś hd sìn sć bytifl orṇmnts az md hr qt wîld; ɖt ś hd a ny gǎn, or a ny paṛsol, ẃć ś wd hv dscrîbd mor fŭli, bt wz oblîjd t līv of in a vayḷnt huri, az Msz Forstr cōld hr, n ɖe wr gwñ of t ɖ camp; n fṛm hr corispondns wɖ hr sistr, ɖr wz stl les t b lrnt – fr hr letrz t Citi, ɖo rɖr longr, wr mć tù fl v lînz undr ɖ wrdz t b md public.

Aftr ɖ frst fortnît or ʈri wīcs v hr absns, hlʈ, gd hymr, n ćirflnis bgan t ri’pir at Loñbōrn. Evrʈñ wòr a hapịr aspect. Ɖ faṃliz hu hd bn in tǎn fr ɖ wintr cem bac agn, n sumrfîṇri n sumr-ingejmnts arouz. Msz Benit wz rstord t hr yźl qeryḷs sreṇti; n, bî ɖ midl v Jūn, Citi wz so mć rcuvrd az t b ebl t entr Meritn wɖt tirz; an ivnt v sć hapi promis az t mc Iliẓbʈ hop ɖt bî ɖ folowñ Crisṃs ś mt b so tolṛbli rīzṇbl az nt t mnśn an ofisr abv wns a de, unls, bî sm cruwl n mliśs arenjmnt at ɖ Wor Ofis, anɖr rejimnt śd b qortrd in Meritn.

Ɖ tîm fixt fr ɖ bginñ v ɖer norɖn tur wz nǎ fast aproćñ, n a fortnît onli wz wontñ v it, ẃn a letr arîvd fṛm Msz Gardinr, ẃć at wns dleid its cmnsmnt n crteld its xtnt. Mr Gardinr wd b privntd bî biznis fṛm setñ ǎt tl a fortnît lêtr in Jlî, n mst b in Lundn agn wɖn a munʈ, n az ɖt left tù śort a pirịd fr ɖm t g so far, n si so mć az ɖe hd pṛpozd, or at līst t si it wɖ ɖ leźr n cumf̣t ɖe hd bilt on, ɖe wr oblîjd t gv p ɖ Lecs, n substtyt a mor cntractd tur, n, acordñ t ɖ preznt plan, wr t g no farɖr norʈẉdz ɖn Darbiśr. In ɖt cǎnti ɖr wz inuf t b sìn t okpî ɖ ćīf v ɖer ʈri wīcs; n t Msz Gardinr it hd a pkłrli stroñ atrax́n. Ɖ tǎn ẃr ś hd formrli pást sm yirz v hr lîf, n ẃr ɖe wr nǎ t spend a fy dez, wz probbli az gret an objict v hr krioṣti az ol ɖ seḷbretd bytiz v Matlóc, Ćatswrʈ, Duvdêl, or ɖ Pīc.

Iliẓbʈ wz xesivli dis’pôntd; ś hd set hr hart on siyñ ɖ Lecs, n stl ʈt ɖr mt hv bn tîm inuf. Bt it wz hr biznis t b saṭsfaid – n srtnli hr tmpr t b hapi; n ol wz sn rît agn.

Wɖ ɖ mnśn v Darbiśr ɖr wr mni îdīaz cnctd. It wz imposbl fr hr t si ɖ wrd wɖt ʈncñ v Pmḅli n its ǒnr. “Bt śrli,” sd ś, “I me entr hiz cǎnti wɖ impyṇti, n rob it v a fy petṛfaid sparz wɖt hiz psivñ m.”

Ɖ pirịd v xpcteśn wz nǎ dubld. For wīcs wr t pas awe bfr hr uncl n ānt’s arîvl. Bt ɖe dd pas awe, n Mr n Msz Gardinr, wɖ ɖer for ćildṛn, dd at leñʈ apir at Loñbōrn. Ɖ ćildṛn, tū grlz v six n et yirz old, n tū yungr bôz, wr t b left undr ɖ ptiklr cer v ɖer cuzn Jen, hu wz ɖ jenṛl feṿrit, n huz stedi sns n swītnis v tmpr xacli adaptd hr fr atndñ t ɖm in evri we – tīćñ ɖm, pleyñ wɖ ɖm, n luvñ ɖm.

Ɖ Gardinrz steid onli wn nît at Loñbōrn, n set of ɖ nxt mornñ wɖ Iliẓbʈ in psyt v novlti n aḿzmnt. Wn injômnt wz srtn – ɖt v sūtblnis v cmpańnz; a sūtblnis ẃć comprihndd hlʈ n tmpr t ber incnvińnsz – ćirflnis t inhans evri pleźr – n afx́n n intelijns, ẃć mt s’plî it amñ ɖmslvz f ɖr wr dis’pôntmnts abrōd.

It z nt ɖ objict v ɖs wrc t gv a dscripśn v Darbiśr, nr v eni v ɖ rmarcbl plesz ʈru ẃć ɖer rùt ɖiɖr le; Oxf̣d, Blenm, Woric, Cenlwrʈ, Brmñm, ets. r sfiśntli noun. A smōl part v Darbiśr z ol ɖ preznt cnsrn. T ɖ litl tǎn v Lamtn, ɖ sīn v Msz Gardinr’z formr rezidns, n ẃr ś hd lêtli lrnt sm aqentns stl rmend, ɖe bnt ɖer steps, aftr hvñ sìn ol ɖ prinsipl wundrz v ɖ cuntri; n wɖn fîv mîlz v Lamtn, Iliẓbʈ faund fṛm hr ānt ɖt Pmḅli wz sićuetd. It wz nt in ɖer d’rect rod, nr mor ɖn a mîl or tū ǎt v it. In tōcñ ovr ɖer rùt ɖ īvnñ bfr, Msz Gardinr xprest an incḷneśn t si ɖ ples agn. Mr Gardinr dclerd hiz wilñnis, n Iliẓbʈ wz aplaid t fr hr apṛbeśn.

“Mî luv, śd nt y lîc t si a ples v ẃć y hv hŕd so mć?” sd hr ānt; “a ples, tù, wɖ ẃć so mni v yr aqentnsz r cnctd. Wicm pást ol hiz yʈ ɖr, y nǒ.”

Iliẓbʈ wz dstrest. Ś flt ɖt ś hd no biznis at Pmḅli, n wz oblîjd t asym a disincḷneśn fr siyñ it. Ś mst ǒn ɖt ś wz tîrd v siyñ gret hǎzz; aftr gwñ ovr so mni, ś riyli hd no pleźr in fîn carpits or satin crtnz.

Msz Gardinr abyzd hr stypidti. “F it wr mirli a fîn hǎs rićli frniśt,” sd ś, “I śd nt cer abt it mslf; bt ɖ grǎndz r dlîtfl. Ɖe hv sm v ɖ fînist wŭdz in ɖ cuntri.”

Iliẓbʈ sd no mor – bt hr mînd cd nt aqies. Ɖ posbiḷti v mītñ Mr Darsi, ẃl vywñ ɖ ples, instntli ocŕd. It wd b dredfl! Ś bluśt at ɖ vri îdīa, n ʈt it wd b betr t spīc opnli t hr ānt ɖn t run sć a risc. Bt agnst ɖs ɖr wr objx́nz; n ś fîṇli rzolvd ɖt it cd b ɖ last rzors, f hr prîṿt inqîriz t ɖ absns v ɖ faṃli wr unfevṛbli ansrd.

Acordñli, ẃn ś rtîrd at nît, ś asct ɖ ćembrmeid ẃɖr Pmḅli wr nt a vri fîn ples? ẃt wz ɖ nem v its pṛpraytr? n, wɖ no litl alarm, ẃɖr ɖ faṃli wr dǎn fr ɖ sumr? A most welcm neġtiv foloud ɖ last qsćn – n hr alarmz nǎ biyñ rmuvd, ś wz at leźr t fīl a gret dīl v krioṣti t si ɖ hǎs hrslf; n ẃn ɖ subjict wz rvîvd ɖ nxt mornñ, n ś wz agn aplaid t, cd reḍli ansr, n wɖ a propr er v indifṛns, ɖt ś hd nt riyli eni dslîc t ɖ scīm. T Pmḅli, ɖrfr, ɖe wr t g.

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Ćaptr 43

I

liẓbʈ, az ɖe drouv alñ, woćt fr ɖ frst apiṛns v Pmḅli Wŭdz wɖ sm prtbeśn; n ẃn at leñʈ ɖe trnd in at ɖ loj, hr spirits wr in a hî flutr.

Ɖ parc wz vri larj, n cntend gret vrayti v grǎnd. Ɖe entrd it in wn v its lǒist pônts, n drouv fr sm tîm ʈru a bytifl wŭd strećñ ovr a wîd xtnt.

Iliẓbʈ’s mînd wz tù fl fr convseśn, bt ś sw n admîrd evri rmarcbl spot n pônt v vy. Ɖe graɉli asndd fr haf-a-mîl, n ɖen faund ɖmslvz at ɖ top v a cnsidṛbl eminns, ẃr ɖ wŭd sīst, n ɖ î wz instntli còt bî Pmḅli Hǎs, sićuetd on ɖ oṗzit sîd v a vali, intu ẃć ɖ rod wɖ sm abruptnis waund. It wz a larj, hansm ston bildñ, standñ wel on rîzñ grǎnd, n bact bî a rij v hî wŭdi hilz; n in frunt, a strīm v sm naćṛl importns wz sweld intu gretr, bt wɖt eni arṭfiśl apiṛns. Its bancs wr nɖr forml nr fōlsli adornd. Iliẓbʈ wz dlîtd. Ś hd nvr sìn a ples fr ẃć nećr hd dn mor, or ẃr naćṛl byti hd bn so litl cǎnṭactd bî an ōcẉd test. Ɖe wr ol v ɖm worm in ɖer adṃreśn; n at ɖt momnt ś flt ɖt t b mistris v Pmḅli mt b smʈñ!

Ɖe dsndd ɖ hil, crost ɖ brij, n drouv t ɖ dor; n, ẃl xaṃnñ ɖ nirr aspect v ɖ hǎs, ol hr aprihnśn v mītñ its ǒnr rtrnd. Ś dredd lest ɖ ćembrmeid hd bn mstecn. On aplayñ t si ɖ ples, ɖe wr admitd intu ɖ hōl; n Iliẓbʈ, az ɖe wêtd fr ɖ hǎscīpr, hd leźr t wundr at hr biyñ ẃr ś wz.

Ɖ hǎscīpr cem; a rspctbl-lcñ eldrli wmn, mć les fîn, n mor sivl, ɖn ś hd eni nośn v fîndñ hr. Ɖe foloud hr intu ɖ dînñparlr. It wz a larj, wel pṛporśnd rūm, hansmli fitd p. Iliẓbʈ, aftr slîtli sveyñ it, wnt t a windo t injô its prospect. Ɖ hil, crǎnd wɖ wŭd, ẃć ɖe hd dsndd, rsivñ incrist abruptnis fṛm ɖ distns, wz a bytifl objict. Evri disṗziśn v ɖ grǎnd wz gd; n ś lct on ɖ hol sīn, ɖ rivr, ɖ triz scatrd on its bancs n ɖ wîndñ v ɖ vali, az far az ś cd tres it, wɖ dlît. Az ɖe pást intu uɖr rūmz ɖz objicts wr tecñ difṛnt pziśnz; bt fṛm evri windo ɖr wr bytiz t b sìn. Ɖ rūmz wr lofti n hansm, n ɖer frnićr sūṭbl t ɖ fortyn v its pṛpraytr; bt Iliẓbʈ sw, wɖ adṃreśn v hiz test, ɖt it wz nɖr gōdi nr yslisli fîn; wɖ les v splendr, n mor riyl eligns, ɖn ɖ frnićr v Rozñz.

“N v ɖs ples,” ʈt ś, “I mt hv bn mistris! Wɖ ɖz rūmz I mt nǎ hv bn fmiłrli aqentd! Instd v vywñ ɖm az a strenjr, I mt hv rjôst in ɖm az mî ǒn, n welcmd t ɖm az vizitrz mî uncl n ānt. Bt no,” – rec̣lectñ hrslf – “ɖt cd nvr b; mî uncl n ānt wd hv bn lost t m; I śd nt hv bn alaud t invît ɖm.”

Ɖs wz a luci rec̣lex́n – it sevd hr fṛm smʈñ vri lîc rgret.

Ś loñd t inqîr v ɖ hǎscīpr ẃɖr hr mastr wz riyli absnt, bt hd nt ɖ curij fr it. At leñʈ hvr, ɖ qsćn wz asct bî hr uncl; n ś trnd awe wɖ alarm, ẃl Msz Renldz rplaid ɖt h wz, adñ, “Bt w xpct him tmoro, wɖ a larj parti v frendz.” Hǎ rjôst wz Iliẓbʈ ɖt ɖer ǒn jrni hd nt bî eni srcmstans bn dleid a de!

Hr ānt nǎ cōld hr t lc at a picćr. Ś aproćt n sw ɖ lîcnis v Mr Wicm, sspndd, amñst sevṛl uɖr miṇćrz, ovr ɖ mantlpìs. Hr ānt asct hr, smîlñli, hǎ ś lîct it. Ɖ hǎscīpr cem fwd, n tld ɖm it wz a picćr v a yuñ jntlmn, ɖ sun v hr lêt mastr’z stywd, hu hd bn bròt p bî him at hiz ǒn xpns. “H z nǎ gn intu ɖ armi,” ś add; “bt I am afred h hz trnd ǎt vri wîld.”

Msz Gardinr lct at hr nīs wɖ a smîl, bt Iliẓbʈ cd nt rtrn it.

“N ɖt,” sd Msz Renldz, pôntñ t anɖr v ɖ miṇćrz, “z mî mastr – n vri lîc him. It wz drwn at ɖ sem tîm az ɖ uɖr – abt et yirz ago.”

“I hv hŕd mć v yr mastr’z fîn prsn,” sd Msz Gardinr, lcñ at ɖ picćr; “it z a hansm fes. Bt, Lizi, y cn tel s ẃɖr it z lîc or nt.”

Msz Renldz rspct fr Iliẓbʈ sīmd t incris on ɖs inṭmeśn v hr nwñ hr mastr.

“Dz ɖt yuñ ledi nǒ Mr Darsi?”

Iliẓbʈ culrd, n sd: “A litl.”

“N d nt y ʈnc him a vri hansm jntlmn, mām?”

“Yes, vri hansm.”

“I am śr I nǒ nn so hansm; bt in ɖ gaḷri upsterz y wl si a fînr, larjr picćr v him ɖn ɖs. Ɖs rūm wz mî lêt mastr’z feṿrit rūm, n ɖz miṇćrz r jst az ɖe yst t b ɖen. H wz vri fond v ɖm.”

Ɖs acǎntd t Iliẓbʈ fr Mr Wicm’z biyñ amñ ɖm.

Msz Renldz ɖen d’rectd ɖer atnśn t wn v Mis Darsi, drwn ẃn ś wz onli et yirz old.

“N z Mis Darsi az hansm az hr bruɖr?” sd Msz Gardinr.

“Ǒ! yes – ɖ hanṣmist yuñ ledi ɖt evr wz sìn; n so acumpliśt! – Ś plez n sñz ol de loñ. In ɖ nxt rūm z a ny instṛmnt jst cm dǎn fr hr – a preznt fṛm mî mastr; ś cmz hir tmoro wɖ him.”

Mr Gardinr, huz manrz wr vri īzi n pleznt, incurijd hr cḿnic̣tivnis bî hiz qsćnz n rmarcs; Msz Renldz, îɖr bî prîd or ataćmnt, hd evidntli gret pleźr in tōcñ v hr mastr n hiz sistr.

“Z yr mastr mć at Pmḅli in ɖ cors v ɖ yir?”

“Nt so mć az I cd wś, sr; bt I der se h me spend haf hiz tîm hir; n Mis Darsi z olwz dǎn fr ɖ sumr munʈs.”

“Xpt,” ʈt Iliẓbʈ, “ẃn ś gz t Ramzget.”

“F yr mastr wd mari, y mt si mor v him.”

“Yes, sr; bt I d nt nǒ ẃn ɖt wl b. I d nt nǒ hu z gd inuf fr him.”

Mr n Msz Gardinr smîld. Iliẓbʈ cd nt hlp seyñ, “It z vri mć t hiz credit, I am śr, ɖt y śd ʈnc so.”

“I se no mor ɖn ɖ truʈ, n evrbdi wl se ɖt nz him,” rplaid ɖ uɖr. Iliẓbʈ ʈt ɖs wz gwñ priti far; n ś lisnd wɖ incrisñ astoniśmnt az ɖ hǎscīpr add, “I hv nvr noun a cros wrd fṛm him in mî lîf, n I hv noun him evr sins h wz for yirz old.”

Ɖs wz prêz, v ol uɖrz most xtrordnri, most oṗzit t hr îdīaz. Ɖt h wz nt a gd-tmprd man hd bn hr frmist opińn. Hr cīnist atnśn wz awecnd; ś loñd t hír mor, n wz gretfl t hr uncl fr seyñ:

“Ɖr r vri fy ppl v hūm so mć cn b sd. Y r luci in hvñ sć a mastr.”

“Yes, sr, I nǒ I am. F I wr t g ʈru ɖ wrld, I cd nt mīt wɖ a betr. Bt I hv olwz obzrvd, ɖt ɖe hu r gd-nećrd ẃn ćildṛn, r gd-nećrd ẃn ɖe gro p; n h wz olwz ɖ swītist-tmprd, most jenṛs-hartd bô in ɖ wrld.”

Iliẓbʈ olmst stérd at hr. “Cn ɖs b Mr Darsi?” ʈt ś.

“Hiz faɖr wz an xḷnt man,” sd Msz Gardinr.

“Yes, mām, ɖt h wz indd; n hiz sun wl b jst lîc him – jst az af̣bl t ɖ pur.”

Iliẓbʈ lisnd, wundrd, dǎtd, n wz impeśnt fr mor. Msz Renldz cd inṭrest hr on no uɖr pônt. Ś rletd ɖ subjicts v ɖ picćrz, ɖ dmnśnz v ɖ rūmz, n ɖ prîs v ɖ frnićr, in ven. Mr Gardinr, hîli aḿzd bî ɖ cnd v faṃlipreɉdis t ẃć h atribytd hr xesiv comndeśn v hr mastr, sn léd agn t ɖ subjict; n ś dwelt wɖ eṇji on hiz mni merits az ɖe pṛsidd tgɖr p ɖ gret sterces.

“H z ɖ bst landlord, n ɖ bst mastr,” sd ś, “ɖt evr livd; nt lîc ɖ wîld yuñ men nawdez, hu ʈnc v nʈñ bt ɖmslvz. Ɖr z nt wn v hiz tennts or srvnts bt wl gv him a gd nem. Sm ppl cōl him prǎd; bt I am śr I nvr sw enʈñ v it. T mî fansi, it z onli bcz h dz nt ratl awe lîc uɖr yuñ men.”

“In ẃt an emịbl lît dz ɖs ples him!” ʈt Iliẓbʈ.

“Ɖs fîn acǎnt v him,” ẃisprd hr ānt az ɖe wōct, “z nt qt cnsistnt wɖ hiz bhevyr t ǎr pur frend.”

“Phps w mt b dsivd.”

“Ɖt z nt vri lîcli; ǎr oʈoṛti wz tù gd.”

On rīćñ ɖ speśs lobi abv ɖe wr śoun intu a vri priti sitñrūm, lêtli fitd p wɖ gretr eligns n lîtnis ɖn ɖ apartmnts b’lo; n wr informd ɖt it wz bt jst dn t gv pleźr t Mis Darsi, hu hd tecn a lîcñ t ɖ rūm ẃn last at Pmḅli.

“H z srtnli a gd bruɖr,” sd Iliẓbʈ, az ś wōct twdz wn v ɖ windoz.

Msz Renldz antiṣpetd Mis Darsi’z dlît, ẃn ś śd entr ɖ rūm. “N ɖs z olwz ɖ we wɖ him,” ś add. “Ẃtvr cn gv hiz sistr eni pleźr z śr t b dn in a momnt. Ɖr z nʈñ h wd nt d fr hr.”

Ɖ picćrgaḷri, n tū or ʈri v ɖ prinsipl bedrūmz, wr ol ɖt rmend t b śoun. In ɖ formr wr mni gd pentñz; bt Iliẓbʈ ń nʈñ v ɖ art; n fṛm sć az hd bn olrdi viẓbl b’lo, ś hd wilñli trnd t lc at sm drw̃z v Mis Darsi’z, in creonz, huz subjicts wr yẓ́li mor inṭrestñ, n olso mor inteliɉbl.

In ɖ gaḷri ɖr wr mni faṃliportrits, bt ɖe cd hv litl t fix ɖ atnśn v a strenjr. Iliẓbʈ wōct in qst v ɖ onli fes huz fīćrz wd b noun t hr. At last it arestd hr – n ś bheld a strîcñ rzmbḷns t Mr Darsi, wɖ sć a smîl ovr ɖ fes az ś rmembrd t hv smtmz sìn ẃn h lct at hr. Ś std sevṛl minits bfr ɖ picćr, in rnist contmpleśn, n rtrnd t it agn bfr ɖe qitd ɖ gaḷri. Msz Renldz informd ɖm ɖt it hd bn tecn in hiz faɖr’z lîftîm.

Ɖr wz srtnli at ɖs momnt, in Iliẓbʈ’s mînd, a mor jntl snseśn twdz ɖ orijinl ɖn ś hd evr flt at ɖ hît v ɖer aqentns. Ɖ comndeśn bstoud on him bî Msz Renldz wz v no trîf̣lñ nećr. Ẃt prêz z mor vałbl ɖn ɖ prêz v an intelijnt srvnt? Az a bruɖr, a landlord, a mastr, ś cnsidrd hǎ mni ppl’z hapinis wr in hiz gardịnśp! – hǎ mć v pleźr or pen wz it in hiz pǎr t bsto! – hǎ mć v gd or īvl mst b dn bî him! Evri îdīa ɖt hd bn bròt fwd bî ɖ hǎscīpr wz fevṛbl t hiz caṛctr, n az ś std bfr ɖ canvs on ẃć h wz reprizntd, n fixt hiz îz upn hrslf, ś ʈt v hiz rgard wɖ a dīpr sntimnt v grattyd ɖn it hd evr rezd bfr; ś rmembrd its wormʈ, n sofnd its impṛprayti v xpreśn.

Ẃn ol v ɖ hǎs ɖt wz opn t jenṛl inspx́n hd bn sìn, ɖe rtrnd dǎnsterz, n, tecñ līv v ɖ hǎscīpr, wr cnsînd ovr t ɖ gardnr, hu met ɖm at ɖ hōldor.

Az ɖe wōct acrs ɖ hōl twdz ɖ rivr, Iliẓbʈ trnd bac t lc agn; hr uncl n ānt stopt olso, n ẃl ɖ formr wz cnjcćrñ az t ɖ det v ɖ bildñ, ɖ ǒnr v it himslf sudnli cem fwd fṛm ɖ rod, ẃć léd bhnd it t ɖ steblz.

Ɖe wr wɖn twenti yardz v ć uɖr, n so abrupt wz hiz apiṛns, ɖt it wz imposbl t avôd hiz sît. Ɖer îz instntli met, n ɖ ćīcs v bʈ wr oṿspred wɖ ɖ dīpist bluś. H abṣlutli startd, n fr a momnt sīmd imuṿbl fṛm s’prîz; bt śortli rcuṿrñ himslf, advanst twdz ɖ parti, n spouc t Iliẓbʈ, f nt in trmz v prfict cmpoźr, at līst v prfict sviḷti.

Ś hd instñtivli trnd awe; bt stopñ on hiz aproć, rsivd hiz complimnts wɖ an imbaṛsmnt imposbl t b oṿcm. Hd hiz frst apiṛns, or hiz rzmbḷns t ɖ picćr ɖe hd jst bn xaṃnñ, bn inṣfiśnt t aśur ɖ uɖr tū ɖt ɖe nǎ sw Mr Darsi, ɖ gardnr’z xpreśn v s’prîz, on bholdñ hiz mastr, mst imīɉtli hv tld it. Ɖe std a litl alūf ẃl h wz tōcñ t ɖer nīs, hu, astoniśt n cnfyzd, scersli derd lift hr îz t hiz fes, n ń nt ẃt ansr ś rtrnd t hiz sivl inqîriz aftr hr faṃli. Amezd at ɖ olṭreśn v hiz manr sins ɖe last partd, evri sntns ɖt h utrd wz incrisñ hr imbaṛsmnt; n evri îdīa v ɖ impṛprayti v hr biyñ faund ɖr rcŕñ t hr mînd, ɖ fy minits in ẃć ɖe cntinyd wr sm v ɖ most uncumf̣tbl in hr lîf. Nr dd h sīm mć mor at īz; ẃn h spouc, hiz axnt hd nn v its yźl s’detnis; n h rpitd hiz inqîriz az t ɖ tîm v hr hvñ left Loñbōrn, n v hr hvñ steid in Darbiśr, so ofn, n in so hurid a we, az plenli spouc ɖ dstrax́n v hiz ʈts.

At leñʈ evri îdīa sīmd t fel him; n, aftr standñ a fy momnts wɖt seyñ a wrd, h sudnli rec̣lectd himslf, n tc līv.

Ɖ uɖrz ɖen jônd hr, n xprest adṃreśn v hiz figr; bt Iliẓbʈ hŕd nt a wrd, n hoļi ingrost bî hr ǒn fīlñz, foloud ɖm in sîḷns. Ś wz oṿpǎrd bî śem n vxeśn. Hr cmñ ɖr wz ɖ most unforćṇt, ɖ most il-jujd ʈñ in ɖ wrld! Hǎ strenj it mst apir t him! In ẃt a dsgresfl lît mt it nt strîc so ven a man! It mt sīm az f ś hd prṗsli ʈroun hrslf in hiz we agn! Ǒ! ẃ dd ś cm? Or, ẃ dd h ɖus cm a de bfr h wz xpctd? Hd ɖe bn onli ten minits snr, ɖe śd hv bn bynd ɖ rīć v hiz dscriṃneśn; fr it wz plen ɖt h wz ɖt momnt arîvd – ɖt momnt alîtd fṛm hiz hors or hiz carij. Ś bluśt agn n agn ovr ɖ pvrsnis v ɖ mītñ. N hiz bhevyr, so strîcñli oltrd – ẃt cd it mīn? Ɖt h śd īvn spīc t hr wz amezñ! – bt t spīc wɖ sć sviḷti, t inqîr aftr hr faṃli! Nvr in hr lîf hd ś sìn hiz manrz so litl digṇfaid, nvr hd h spocn wɖ sć jntlnis az on ɖs unxpctd mītñ. Ẃt a contrast dd it ofr t hiz last adres in Rozñz Parc, ẃn h pt hiz letr intu hr hand! Ś ń nt ẃt t ʈnc, or hǎ t acǎnt fr it.

Ɖe hd nǎ entrd a bytifl wōc bî ɖ sîd v ɖ wōtr, n evri step wz brññ fwd a noblr fōl v grǎnd, or a fînr rīć v ɖ wŭdz t ẃć ɖe wr aproćñ; bt it wz sm tîm bfr Iliẓbʈ wz snṣbl v eni v it; n, ɖo ś ansrd mcanicli t ɖ rpitd apilz v hr uncl n ānt, n sīmd t d’rect hr îz t sć objicts az ɖe pôntd ǎt, ś dstnḡśt no part v ɖ sīn. Hr ʈts wr ol fixt on ɖt wn spot v Pmḅli Hǎs, ẃćvr it mt b, ẃr Mr Darsi ɖen wz. Ś loñd t nǒ ẃt at ɖ momnt wz pasñ in hiz mînd – in ẃt manr h ʈt v hr, n ẃɖr, in dfayns v evrʈñ, ś wz stl dir t him. Phps h hd bn sivl onli bcz h flt himslf at īz; yt ɖr hd bn ɖt in hiz vôs ẃć wz nt lîc īz. Ẃɖr h hd flt mor v pen or v pleźr in siyñ hr ś cd nt tel, bt h srtnli hd nt sìn hr wɖ cmpoźr.

At leñʈ, hvr, ɖ rmarcs v hr cmpańnz on hr absns v mînd arǎzd hr, n ś flt ɖ nseṣti v apirñ mor lîc hrslf.

Ɖe entrd ɖ wŭdz, n bidñ ady t ɖ rivr fr a ẃl, asndd sm v ɖ hayr grǎndz; ẃn, in spots ẃr ɖ oṗnñ v ɖ triz gev ɖ î pǎr t wondr, wr mni ćarmñ vyz v ɖ vali, ɖ oṗzit hilz, wɖ ɖ loñ renj v wŭdz oṿspredñ mni, n oceźṇli part v ɖ strīm. Mr Gardinr xprest a wś v gwñ rnd ɖ hol parc, bt fird it mt b bynd a wōc. Wɖ a trîumfnt smîl ɖe wr tld ɖt it wz ten mîlz rnd. It setld ɖ matr; n ɖe psyd ɖ acustmd srcit; ẃć bròt ɖm agn, aftr sm tîm, in a dsent amñ haññ wŭdz, t ɖ éj v ɖ wōtr, n wn v its narǒist parts. Ɖe crost it bî a simpl brij, in caṛctr wɖ ɖ jenṛl er v ɖ sīn; it wz a spot les adornd ɖn eni ɖe hd yt viẓtd; n ɖ vali, hir cntractd intu a glen, alaud rūm onli fr ɖ strīm, n a naro wōc amdst ɖ ruf copiswŭd ẃć bordrd it. Iliẓbʈ loñd t xplor its wîndñz; bt ẃn ɖe hd crost ɖ brij, n psivd ɖer distns fṛm ɖ hǎs, Msz Gardinr, hu wz nt a gret wōcr, cd g no farɖr, n ʈt onli v rtrnñ t ɖ carij az qcli az poṣbl. Hr nīs wz, ɖrfr, oblîjd t sbmit, n ɖe tc ɖer we twdz ɖ hǎs on ɖ oṗzit sîd v ɖ rivr, in ɖ nirist d’rex́n; bt ɖer progres wz slo, fr Mr Gardinr, ɖo sldm ebl t indulj ɖ test, wz vri fond v fiśñ, n wz so mć ingejd in woćñ ɖ oceźnl apiṛns v sm trǎt in ɖ wōtr, n tōcñ t ɖ man abt ɖm, ɖt h advanst bt litl. Ẃlst wonḍrñ on in ɖs slo manr, ɖe wr agn s’prîzd, n Iliẓbʈ’s astoniśmnt wz qt īql t ẃt it hd bn at frst, bî ɖ sît v Mr Darsi aproćñ ɖm, n at no gret distns. Ɖ wōc biyñ hir les śltrd ɖn on ɖ uɖr sîd, alaud ɖm t si him bfr ɖe met. Iliẓbʈ, hvr astoniśt, wz at līst mor priperd fr an inṭvy ɖn bfr, n rzolvd t apir n t spīc wɖ cāmnis, f h riyli intndd t mīt ɖm. Fr a fy momnts, indd, ś flt ɖt h wd probbli strîc intu sm uɖr paʈ. Ɖ îdīa lastd ẃl a trnñ in ɖ wōc cnsild him fṛm ɖer vy; ɖ trnñ past, h wz imīɉtli bfr ɖm. Wɖ a glans, ś sw ɖt h hd lost nn v hiz rīsnt sviḷti; n, t iṃtet hiz p’lîtnis, ś bgan, az ɖe met, t admîr ɖ byti v ɖ ples; bt ś hd nt got bynd ɖ wrdz “dlîtfl,” n “ćarmñ,” ẃn sm unluci rec̣lex́nz obtrudd, n ś fansid ɖt prêz v Pmḅli fṛm hr mt b misćivsli cnstrùd. Hr culr ćenjd, n ś sd no mor.

Msz Gardinr wz standñ a litl bhnd; n on hr pōzñ, h asct hr f ś wd d him ɖ onr v intṛdysñ him t hr frendz. Ɖs wz a stroc v sviḷti fr ẃć ś wz qt unpriperd; n ś cd hardli s’pres a smîl at hiz biyñ nǎ sīcñ ɖ aqentns v sm v ɖoz vri ppl agnst hūm hiz prîd hd rvoltd in hiz ofr t hrslf. “Ẃt wl b hiz s’prîz,” ʈt ś, “ẃn h nz hu ɖe r? H tecs ɖm nǎ fr ppl v faśn.”

Ɖ intṛdux́n, hvr, wz imīɉtli md; n az ś nemd ɖer rleśnśp t hrslf, ś stoul a slî lc at him, t si hǎ h bòr it, n wz nt wɖt ɖ xpcteśn v hiz dcampñ az fast az h cd fṛm sć dsgresfl cmpańnz. Ɖt h wz s’prîzd bî ɖ cnx́n wz evidnt; h sstend it, hvr, wɖ forttyd, n so far fṛm gwñ awe, trnd bac wɖ ɖm, n entrd intu convseśn wɖ Mr Gardinr. Iliẓbʈ cd nt bt b plizd, cd nt bt trîumf. It wz cnsolñ ɖt h śd nǒ ś hd sm rleśnz fr hūm ɖr wz no nīd t bluś. Ś lisnd most atntivli t ol ɖt pást btwn ɖm, n glorid in evri xpreśn, evri sntns v hr uncl, ẃć marct hiz intelijns, hiz test, or hiz gd manrz.

Ɖ convseśn sn trnd upn fiśñ; n ś hŕd Mr Darsi invît him, wɖ ɖ gretist sviḷti, t fiś ɖr az ofn az h ćouz ẃl h cntinyd in ɖ nebrhd, of̣rñ at ɖ sem tîm t s’plî him wɖ fiśñtacl, n pôntñ ǎt ɖoz parts v ɖ strīm ẃr ɖr wz yẓ́li most sport. Msz Gardinr, hu wz wōcñ arm-in-arm wɖ Iliẓbʈ, gev hr a lc xpresiv v wundr. Iliẓbʈ sd nʈñ, bt it graṭfaid hr xidñli; ɖ complimnt mst b ol fr hrslf. Hr astoniśmnt, hvr, wz xtrim, n cntińli wz ś rpitñ, “Ẃ z h so oltrd? Fṛm ẃt cn it pṛsid? It canot b fr m – it canot b fr  sec ɖt hiz manrz r ɖus sofnd. Mî rprūfs at Hunsf̣d cd nt wrc sć a ćenj az ɖs. It z imposbl ɖt h śd stl luv m.”

Aftr wōcñ sm tîm in ɖs we, ɖ tū lediz in frunt, ɖ tū jntlṃn bhnd, on rzymñ ɖer plesz, aftr dsndñ t ɖ brinc v ɖ rivr fr ɖ betr inspx́n v sm krịs wōtrplant, ɖr ćanst t b a litl olṭreśn. It oriɉnetd in Msz Gardinr, hu, ftīgd bî ɖ x’sîz v ɖ mornñ, faund Iliẓbʈ’s arm inadiqt t hr s’port, n consiqntli prifŕd hr huzbnd’z. Mr Darsi tc hr ples bî hr nīs, n ɖe wōct on tgɖr. Aftr a śort sîḷns, ɖ ledi frst spouc. Ś wśt him t nǒ ɖt ś hd bn aśurd v hiz absns bfr ś cem t ɖ ples, n acordñli bgan bî obzrvñ, ɖt hiz arîvl hd bn vri unxpctd – “fr yr hǎscīpr,” ś add, “informd s ɖt y wd srtnli nt b hir tl tmoro; n indd, bfr w left Becwel, w unḍstd ɖt y wr nt imīɉtli xpctd in ɖ cuntri.” H acnolijd ɖ truʈ v it ol, n sd ɖt biznis wɖ hiz stywd hd oceźnd hiz cmñ fwd a fy aurz bfr ɖ rest v ɖ parti wɖ hūm h hd bn traṿlñ. “Ɖe wl jôn m rli tmoro,” h cntinyd, “n amñ ɖm r sm hu wl clem an aqentns wɖ y – Mr Bñli n hiz sistrz.”

Iliẓbʈ ansrd onli bî a slît bǎ. Hr ʈts wr instntli drivn bac t ɖ tîm ẃn Mr Bñli’z nem hd bn ɖ last mnśnd btwn ɖm; n, f ś mt juj bî hiz cmplex́n, hiz mînd wz nt vri difṛntli ingejd.

“Ɖr z olso wn uɖr prsn in ɖ parti,” h cntinyd aftr a pōz, “hu mor ptiklrli wśz t b noun t y. Wl y alǎ m, or d I asc tù mć, t intṛdys mî sistr t yr aqentns jrñ yr ste at Lamtn?”

Ɖ s’prîz v sć an apḷceśn wz gret indd; it wz tù gret fr hr t nǒ in ẃt manr ś axidd t it. Ś imīɉtli flt ɖt ẃtvr dzîr Mis Darsi mt hv v biyñ aqentd wɖ hr mst b ɖ wrc v hr bruɖr, n, wɖt lcñ farɖr, it wz saṭsfactri; it wz graṭfayñ t nǒ ɖt hiz rzntmnt hd nt md him ʈnc riyli il v hr.

Ɖe nǎ wōct on in sîḷns, ć v ɖm dīp in ʈt. Iliẓbʈ wz nt cumf̣tbl; ɖt wz imposbl; bt ś wz flatrd n plizd. Hiz wś v intṛdysñ hiz sistr t hr wz a complimnt v ɖ hîist cnd. Ɖe sn ǎtstript ɖ uɖrz, n ẃn ɖe hd rīćt ɖ carij, Mr n Msz Gardinr wr haf a qortr v a mîl bhnd.

H ɖen asct hr t wōc intu ɖ hǎs – bt ś dclerd hrslf nt tîrd, n ɖe std tgɖr on ɖ lōn. At sć a tîm mć mt hv bn sd, n sîḷns wz vri ōcẉd. Ś wontd t tōc, bt ɖr sīmd t b an imbargo on evri subjict. At last ś rec̣lectd ɖt ś hd bn traṿlñ, n ɖe tōct v Matlóc n Duv Dêl wɖ gret prsviṛns. Yt tîm n hr ānt muvd slǒli – n hr peśns n hr îdīaz wr nirli wòrn ǎt bfr ɖ tete-a-tete wz ovr. On Mr n Msz Gardinr’z cmñ p ɖe wr ol prest t g intu ɖ hǎs n tec sm rfreśmnt; bt ɖs wz dclînd, n ɖe partd on ć sîd wɖ utmost p’lîtnis. Mr Darsi handd ɖ lediz intu ɖ carij; n ẃn it drouv of, Iliẓbʈ sw him wōcñ slǒli twdz ɖ hǎs.

Ɖ obẓveśnz v hr uncl n ānt nǎ bgan; n ć v ɖm pṛnǎnst him t b infiṇtli s’pirịr t enʈñ ɖe hd xpctd. “H z prf̣cli wel bhevd, p’lît, n un’symñ,” sd hr uncl.

“Ɖr z smʈñ a litl stetli in him, t b śr,” rplaid hr ānt, “bt it z cnfînd t hiz er, n z nt unbcmñ. I cn nǎ se wɖ ɖ hǎscīpr, ɖt ɖo sm ppl me cōl him prǎd, I hv sìn nʈñ v it.”

“I wz nvr mor s’prîzd ɖn bî hiz bhevyr t s. It wz mor ɖn sivl; it wz riyli atntiv; n ɖr wz no nseṣti fr sć atnśn. Hiz aqentns wɖ Iliẓbʈ wz vri trîf̣lñ.”

“T b śr, Lizi,” sd hr ānt, “h z nt so hansm az Wicm; or, rɖr, h hz nt Wicm’z cǎntinns, fr hiz fīćrz r prf̣cli gd. Bt hǎ cem y t tel m ɖt h wz so dis’griybl?”

Iliẓbʈ xkzd hrslf az wel az ś cd; sd ɖt ś hd lîct him betr ẃn ɖe hd met in Cnt ɖn bfr, n ɖt ś hd nvr sìn him so pleznt az ɖs mornñ.

“Bt phps h me b a litl ẃimzicl in hiz sviḷtiz,” rplaid hr uncl. “Yr gret men ofn r; n ɖrfr I śl nt tec him at hiz wrd, az h mt ćenj hiz mînd anɖr de, n worn m of hiz grǎndz.”

Iliẓbʈ flt ɖt ɖe hd intîrli misunḍstd hiz caṛctr, bt sd nʈñ.

“Fṛm ẃt w hv sìn v him,” cntinyd Msz Gardinr, “I riyli śd nt hv ʈt ɖt h cd hv bhevd in so cruwl a we bî enbdi az h hz dn bî pur Wicm. H hz nt an il-nećrd lc. On ɖ contrri, ɖr z smʈñ plizñ abt hiz mǎʈ ẃn h spīcs. N ɖr z smʈñ v digṇti in hiz cǎntinns ɖt wd nt gv wn an unfevṛbl îdīa v hiz hart. Bt, t b śr, ɖ gd ledi hu śoud s hiz hǎs dd gv him a most flemñ caṛctr! I cd hardli hlp lafñ alǎd smtmz. Bt h z a libṛl mastr, I s’poz, n ɖt in ɖ î v a srvnt comprihndz evri vrću.”

Iliẓbʈ hir flt hrslf cōld on t se smʈñ in vindceśn v hiz bhevyr t Wicm; n ɖrfr gev ɖm t unḍstand, in az gardd a manr az ś cd, ɖt bî ẃt ś hd hŕd fṛm hiz rleśnz in Cnt, hiz ax́nz wr ceṗbl v a vri difṛnt cnstrux́n; n ɖt hiz caṛctr wz bî no mīnz so fōlti, nr Wicm’z so emịbl, az ɖe hd bn cnsidrd in Hartfdśr. In confmeśn v ɖs, ś rletd ɖ ptiklrz v ol ɖ pkńri trnzax́nz in ẃć ɖe hd bn cnctd, wɖt acć̣li nemñ hr oʈoṛti, bt stetñ it t b sć az mt b rlaid on.

Msz Gardinr wz s’prîzd n cnsrnd; bt az ɖe wr nǎ aproćñ ɖ sīn v hr formr pleźrz, evri îdīa gev we t ɖ ćarm v rec̣lex́n; n ś wz tù mć ingejd in pôntñ ǎt t hr huzbnd ol ɖ inṭrestñ spots in its invîṛnz t ʈnc v enʈñ els. Ftīgd az ś hd bn bî ɖ mornñ’z wōc ɖe hd no snr dînd ɖn ś set of agn in qst v hr formr aqentns, n ɖ īvnñ wz spent in ɖ saṭsfax́nz v an inṭcors rnyd aftr mni yirz’ discntinẏns.

Ɖ ocuṛnsiz v ɖ de wr tù fl v inṭrest t līv Iliẓbʈ mć atnśn fr eni v ɖz ny frendz; n ś cd d nʈñ bt ʈnc, n ʈnc wɖ wundr, v Mr Darsi’z sviḷti, n, abv ol, v hiz wśñ hr t b aqentd wɖ hiz sistr.

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Ćaptr 44

I

liẓbʈ hd setld it ɖt Mr Darsi wd brñ hiz sistr t vizit hr ɖ vri de aftr hr rīćñ Pmḅli; n wz consiqntli rzolvd nt t b ǎt v sît v ɖ ín ɖ hol v ɖt mornñ. Bt hr cncluźn wz fōls; fr on ɖ vri mornñ aftr ɖer arîvl at Lamtn, ɖz vizitrz cem. Ɖe hd bn wōcñ abt ɖ ples wɖ sm v ɖer ny frendz, n wr jst rtrnñ t ɖ ín t dres ɖmslvz fr dînñ wɖ ɖ sem faṃli, ẃn ɖ sǎnd v a carij drù ɖm t a windo, n ɖe sw a jntlmn n a ledi in a curicl drîvñ p ɖ strīt. Iliẓbʈ imīɉtli recgnîzñ ɖ liṿri, gést ẃt it mnt, n impartd no smōl dgri v hr s’prîz t hr rleśnz bî aqentñ ɖm wɖ ɖ onr ẃć ś xpctd. Hr uncl n ānt wr ol amezmnt; n ɖ imbaṛsmnt v hr manr az ś spouc, jônd t ɖ srcmstans itslf, n mni v ɖ srcmstansz v ɖ prisidñ de, opnd t ɖm a ny îdīa on ɖ biznis. Nʈñ hd evr sjstd it bfr, bt ɖe flt ɖt ɖr wz no uɖr we v acǎntñ fr sć atnśnz fṛm sć a qortr ɖn bî s’pozñ a parśiaḷti fr ɖer nīs. Ẃl ɖz nyli born nośnz wr pasñ in ɖer hedz, ɖ prtbeśn v Iliẓbʈ’s fīlñz wz at evri momnt incrisñ. Ś wz qt amezd at hr ǒn discmpoźr; bt amñst uɖr cōzz v dsqayt, ś dredd lest ɖ parśiaḷti v ɖ bruɖr śd hv sd tù mć in hr fevr; n, mor ɖn comnli añśs t plīz, ś naćṛli sspctd ɖt evri pǎr v plizñ wd fel hr.

Ś rtritd fṛm ɖ windo, firfl v biyñ sìn; n az ś wōct p n dǎn ɖ rūm, indeṿrñ t cmpoz hrslf, sw sć lcs v inqîrñ s’prîz in hr uncl n ānt az md evrʈñ wrs.

Mis Darsi n hr bruɖr apird, n ɖs formiḍbl intṛdux́n tc ples. Wɖ astoniśmnt dd Iliẓbʈ si ɖt hr ny aqentns wz at līst az mć imbaṛst az hrslf. Sins hr biyñ at Lamtn, ś hd hŕd ɖt Mis Darsi wz xidñli prǎd; bt ɖ obẓveśn v a vri fy minits cnvinst hr ɖt ś wz onli xidñli śî. Ś faund it dificlt t obten īvn a wrd fṛm hr bynd a moṇsiḷbl.

Mis Darsi wz tōl, n on a larjr scel ɖn Iliẓbʈ; n, ɖo litl mor ɖn sixtīn, hr figr wz formd, n hr apiṛns wmnli n gresfl. Ś wz les hansm ɖn hr bruɖr; bt ɖr wz sns n gd hymr in hr fes, n hr manrz wr prf̣cli un’symñ n jntl. Iliẓbʈ, hu hd xpctd t fînd in hr az akt n unimbaṛst an obzrvr az evr Mr Darsi hd bn, wz mć rlivd bî dsrnñ sć difṛnt fīlñz.

Ɖe hd nt loñ bn tgɖr bfr Mr Darsi tld hr ɖt Bñli wz olso cmñ t wêt on hr; n ś hd bérli tîm t xpres hr saṭsfax́n, n priper fr sć a vizitr, ẃn Bñli’z qc step wz hŕd on ɖ sterz, n in a momnt h entrd ɖ rūm. Ol Iliẓbʈ’s angr agnst him hd bn loñ dn awe; bt hd ś stl flt eni, it cd hardli hv std its grǎnd agnst ɖ un’fctd cordiaḷti wɖ ẃć h xprest himslf on siyñ hr agn. H inqîrd in a frendli, ɖo jenṛl we, aftr hr faṃli, n lct n spouc wɖ ɖ sem gd-hymrd īz ɖt h hd evr dn.

T Mr n Msz Gardinr h wz scersli a les inṭrestñ prṣnij ɖn t hrslf. Ɖe hd loñ wśt t si him. Ɖ hol parti bfr ɖm, indd, xîtd a lîvli atnśn. Ɖ sspiśnz ẃć hd jst arizn v Mr Darsi n ɖer nīs d’rectd ɖer obẓveśn twdz ć wɖ an rnist ɖo gardd inqîri; n ɖe sn drù fṛm ɖoz inqîriz ɖ fl cnvix́n ɖt wn v ɖm at līst ń ẃt it wz t luv. V ɖ ledi’z snseśnz ɖe rmend a litl in dǎt; bt ɖt ɖ jntlmn wz oṿflowñ wɖ adṃreśn wz evidnt inuf.

Iliẓbʈ, on hr sîd, hd mć t d. Ś wontd t aṣten ɖ fīlñz v ć v hr vizitrz; ś wontd t cmpoz hr ǒn, n t mc hrslf agriybl t ol; n in ɖ latr objict, ẃr ś fird most t fel, ś wz most śr v s’xes, fr ɖoz t hūm ś indevrd t gv pleźr wr prīṗzest in hr fevr. Bñli wz redi, Jorjana wz īgr, n Darsi dtrmind, t b plizd.

In siyñ Bñli, hr ʈts naćṛli flù t hr sistr; n, ǒ! hǎ ardntli dd ś loñ t nǒ ẃɖr eni v hiz wr d’rectd in a lîc manr. Smtmz ś cd fansi ɖt h tōct les ɖn on formr oceźnz, n wns or twîs plizd hrslf wɖ ɖ nośn ɖt, az h lct at hr, h wz trayñ t tres a rzmbḷns. Bt, ɖo ɖs mt b imajinri, ś cd nt b dsivd az t hiz bhevyr t Mis Darsi, hu hd bn set p az a rîvl t Jen. No lc apird on îɖr sîd ɖt spouc ptiklr rgard. Nʈñ ocŕd btwn ɖm ɖt cd jusṭfî ɖ hops v hiz sistr. On ɖs pônt ś wz sn saṭsfaid; n tū or ʈri litl srcmstansz ocŕd e’r ɖe partd, ẃć, in hr añśs intrpṛteśn, dnotd a rec̣lex́n v Jen nt untñćrd bî tndrnis, n a wś v seyñ mor ɖt mt līd t ɖ mnśn v hr, hd h derd. H obzrvd t hr, at a momnt ẃn ɖ uɖrz wr tōcñ tgɖr, n in a ton ẃć hd smʈñ v riyl rgret, ɖt it “wz a vri loñ tîm sins h hd hd ɖ pleźr v siyñ hr;” n, bfr ś cd rplî, h add, “It z abv et munʈs. W hv nt met sins ɖ 26ʈ v Nvmbr, ẃn w wr ol dansñ tgɖr at Neɖ̇fīld.”

Iliẓbʈ wz plizd t fînd hiz meṃri so xact; n h aftwdz tc oceźn t asc hr, ẃn un’tndd t bî eni v ɖ rest, ẃɖr ol hr sistrz wr at Loñbōrn. Ɖr wz nt mć in ɖ qsćn, nr in ɖ prisidñ rmarc; bt ɖr wz a lc n a manr ẃć gev ɖm mīnñ.

It wz nt ofn ɖt ś cd trn hr îz on Mr Darsi himslf; bt, ẃnvr ś dd cać a glims, ś sw an xpreśn v jenṛl cmplesns, n in ol ɖt h sd ś hŕd an axnt so rmuvd fṛm ǒtŕ or dsden v hiz cmpańnz, az cnvinst hr ɖt ɖ impruvmnt v manrz ẃć ś hd yesṭde witnist hvr temprri its xistns mt pruv, hd at līst ǎtlivd wn de. Ẃn ś sw him ɖus sīcñ ɖ aqentns n cortñ ɖ gd opińn v ppl wɖ hūm eni inṭcors a fy munʈs ago wd hv bn a dsgres – ẃn ś sw him ɖus sivl, nt onli t hrslf, bt t ɖ vri rleśnz hūm h hd opnli dsdend, n rec̣lectd ɖer last lîvli sīn in Hunsf̣d Parṣnij – ɖ difṛns, ɖ ćenj wz so gret, n struc so forṣbli on hr mînd, ɖt ś cd hardli rstren hr astoniśmnt fṛm biyñ viẓbl. Nvr, īvn in ɖ cumṗni v hiz dir frendz at Neɖ̇fīld, or hiz digṇfaid rleśnz at Rozñz, hd ś sìn him so dzîṛs t plīz, so fri fṛm slf-consiqns or unbndñ rzrv, az nǎ, ẃn no importns cd rzult fṛm ɖ s’xes v hiz indevrz, n ẃn īvn ɖ aqentns v ɖoz t hūm hiz atnśnz wr adrest wd drw dǎn ɖ riḍkl n snśr v ɖ lediz bʈ v Neɖ̇fīld n Rozñz.

Ɖer vizitrz steid wɖ ɖm abv haf-an-aur; n ẃn ɖe arouz t dpart, Mr Darsi cōld on hiz sistr t jôn him in xpresñ ɖer wś v siyñ Mr n Msz Gardinr, n Mis Benit, t dinr at Pmḅli, bfr ɖe left ɖ cuntri. Mis Darsi, ɖo wɖ a difidns ẃć marct hr litl in ɖ habit v gvñ invteśnz, reḍli obeid. Msz Gardinr lct at hr nīs, dzîṛs v nwñ hǎ ś, hūm ɖ invteśn most cnsrnd, flt dspozd az t its axptns, bt Iliẓbʈ hd trnd awe hr hed. Prizymñ hvr, ɖt ɖs studid avôdns spouc rɖr a momntri imbaṛsmnt ɖn eni dslîc v ɖ pṛpozl, n siyñ in hr huzbnd, hu wz fond v ssayti, a prfict wilñnis t axpt it, ś vnćrd t ingej fr hr atndns, n ɖ de aftr ɖ nxt wz fixt on.

Bñli xprest gret pleźr in ɖ srtnti v siyñ Iliẓbʈ agn, hvñ stl a gret dīl t se t hr, n mni inqîriz t mc aftr ol ɖer Hartfdśr frendz. Iliẓbʈ, cnstruwñ ol ɖs intu a wś v hírñ hr spīc v hr sistr, wz plizd, n on ɖs acǎnt, az wel az sm uɖrz, faund hrslf, ẃn ɖer vizitrz left ɖm, ceṗbl v cnsiḍrñ ɖ last haf-aur wɖ sm saṭsfax́n, ɖo ẃl it wz pasñ, ɖ injômnt v it hd bn litl. Īgr t b alon, n firfl v inqîriz or hints fṛm hr uncl n ānt, ś steid wɖ ɖm onli loñ inuf t hír ɖer fevṛbl opińn v Bñli, n ɖen hurid awe t dres.

Bt ś hd no rīzn t fir Mr n Msz Gardinr’z krioṣti; it wz nt ɖer wś t fors hr cḿṇceśn. It wz evidnt ɖt ś wz mć betr aqentd wɖ Mr Darsi ɖn ɖe hd bfr eni îdīa v; it wz evidnt ɖt h wz vri mć in luv wɖ hr. Ɖe sw mć t inṭrest, bt nʈñ t jusṭfî inqîri.

V Mr Darsi it wz nǎ a matr v añzayti t ʈnc wel; n, az far az ɖer aqentns rīćt, ɖr wz no fōlt t fînd. Ɖe cd nt b untućt bî hiz p’lîtnis; n hd ɖe drwn hiz caṛctr fṛm ɖer ǒn fīlñz n hiz srvnt’s rport, wɖt eni refṛns t eni uɖr acǎnt, ɖ srcl in Hartfdśr t ẃć h wz noun wd nt hv rec̣gnîzd it fr Mr Darsi. Ɖr wz nǎ an inṭrest, hvr, in b’livñ ɖ hǎscīpr; n ɖe sn bcem snṣbl ɖt ɖ oʈoṛti v a srvnt hu hd noun him sins h wz for yirz old, n huz ǒn manrz indicetd rspctbiḷti, wz nt t b hesṭli rjctd. Nɖr hd enʈñ ocŕd in ɖ intelijns v ɖer Lamtn frendz ɖt cd mtirịli lesn its weit. Ɖe hd nʈñ t akz him v bt prîd; prîd h probbli hd, n f nt, it wd srtnli b impytd bî ɖ inhabitnts v a smōl marcițǎn ẃr ɖ faṃli dd nt vizit. It wz acnolijd, hvr, ɖt h wz a libṛl man, n dd mć gd amñ ɖ pur.

Wɖ rspct t Wicm, ɖ travlrz sn faund ɖt h wz nt hld ɖr in mć esṭmeśn; fr ɖo ɖ ćīf v hiz cnsrnz wɖ ɖ sun v hiz petṛn wr imprf̣cli unḍstd, it wz yt a wel-noun fact ɖt, on hiz qitñ Darbiśr, h hd left mni déts bhnd him, ẃć Mr Darsi aftwdz dsćarjd.

Az fr Iliẓbʈ, hr ʈts wr at Pmḅli ɖs īvnñ mor ɖn ɖ last; n ɖ īvnñ, ɖo az it pást it sīmd loñ, wz nt loñ inuf t dtrmin hr fīlñz twdz wn in ɖt manśn; n ś le awec tū hol aurz indeṿrñ t mc ɖm ǎt. Ś srtnli dd nt het him. No; hetrid hd vaniśt loñ ago, n ś hd olmst az loñ bn aśemd v evr fīlñ a dslîc agnst him, ɖt cd b so cōld. Ɖ rspct crietd bî ɖ cnvix́n v hiz vałbl qoḷtz, ɖo at frst unwilñli admitd, hd fr sm tîm sīst t b rpugnnt t hr fīlñ; n it wz nǎ hîtnd intu smẃt v a frendlịr nećr, bî ɖ tstiṃni so hîli in hiz fevr, n brññ fwd hiz disṗziśn in so emịbl a lît, ẃć yesṭde hd pṛdyst. Bt abv ol, abv rspct n istim, ɖr wz a motiv wɖn hr v gdwil ẃć cd nt b oṿlct. It wz grattyd; grattyd, nt mirli fr hvñ wns luvd hr, bt fr luvñ hr stl wel inuf t fgiv ol ɖ pećḷns n acriṃni v hr manr in rjctñ him, n ol ɖ unjust akześnz acumṗniyñ hr rjx́n. H hu, ś hd bn pswedd, wd avôd hr az hiz gretist eṇmi, sīmd, on ɖs axdntl mītñ, most īgr t prizrv ɖ aqentns, n wɖt eni indelic̣t dsple v rgard, or eni pkliaṛti v manr, ẃr ɖer tū slvz onli wr cnsrnd, wz s’liṣtñ ɖ gd opińn v hr frendz, n bnt on mcñ hr noun t hiz sistr. Sć a ćenj in a man v so mć prîd xîtñ nt onli astoniśmnt bt grattyd – fr t luv, ardnt luv, it mst b atribytd; n az sć its impreśn on hr wz v a sort t b incurijd, az bî no mīnz unplizñ, ɖo it cd nt b xacli dfînd. Ś rspctd, ś istimd, ś wz gretfl t him, ś flt a riyl inṭrest in hiz welfer; n ś onli wontd t nǒ hǎ far ś wśt ɖt welfer t dpnd upn hrslf, n hǎ far it wd b fr ɖ hapinis v bʈ ɖt ś śd implô ɖ pǎr, ẃć hr fansi tld hr ś stl pzest, v brññ on hr ɖ rnywl v hiz adresz.

It hd bn setld in ɖ īvnñ btwn ɖ ānt n ɖ nīs, ɖt sć a strîcñ sviḷti az Mis Darsi’z in cmñ t si ɖm on ɖ vri de v hr arîvl at Pmḅli, fr ś hd rīćt it onli t a lêt brecfst, òt t b iṃtetd, ɖo it cd nt b īqld, bî sm xrśn v p’lîtnis on ɖer sîd; n, consiqntli, ɖt it wd b hîli xpīdịnt t wêt on hr at Pmḅli ɖ folowñ mornñ. Ɖe wr, ɖrfr, t g. Iliẓbʈ wz plizd; ɖo ẃn ś asct hrslf ɖ rīzn, ś hd vri litl t se in rplî.

Mr Gardinr left ɖm sn aftr brecfst. Ɖ fiśñscīm hd bn rnyd ɖ de bfr, n a poẓtiv ingejmnt md v hiz mītñ sm v ɖ jntlṃn at Pmḅli bfr nūn.

___

Ćaptr 45

C

nvinst az Iliẓbʈ nǎ wz ɖt Mis Bñli’z dslîc v hr hd oriɉnetd in jeḷsi, ś cd nt hlp fīlñ hǎ unwelcm hr apiṛns at Pmḅli mst b t hr, n wz krịs t nǒ wɖ hǎ mć sviḷti on ɖt ledi’z sîd ɖ aqentns wd nǎ b rnyd.

On rīćñ ɖ hǎs, ɖe wr śoun ʈru ɖ hōl intu ɖ s’lūn, huz norɖn aspect rendrd it dlîtfl fr sumr. Its windoz oṗnñ t ɖ grǎnd, admitd a most rfreśñ vy v ɖ hî wŭdi hilz bhnd ɖ hǎs, n v ɖ bytifl ocs n Spaniś ćesnuts ẃć wr scatrd ovr ɖ inṭmīdịt lōn.

In ɖs hǎs ɖe wr rsivd bî Mis Darsi, hu wz sitñ ɖr wɖ Msz Hrst n Mis Bñli, n ɖ ledi wɖ hūm ś livd in Lundn. Jorjana’z rspśn v ɖm wz vri sivl, bt atndd wɖ ol ɖ imbaṛsmnt ẃć, ɖo pṛsidñ fṛm śînis n ɖ fir v dwñ roñ, wd īẓli gv t ɖoz hu flt ɖmslvz infirịr ɖ b’lif v hr biyñ prǎd n rzrvd. Msz Gardinr n hr nīs, hvr, dd hr justis, n pitid hr.

Bî Msz Hrst n Mis Bñli ɖe wr notist onli bî a crtsi; n, on ɖer biyñ sītd, a pōz, ōcẉd az sć pōzz mst olwz b, s’xidd fr a fy momnts. It wz frst brocn bî Msz Anzli, a jntīl, agriybl-lcñ wmn, huz indevr t intṛdys sm cnd v discors pruvd hr t b mor trūli wel-bréd ɖn îɖr v ɖ uɖrz; n btwn hr n Msz Gardinr, wɖ oceźnl hlp fṛm Iliẓbʈ, ɖ convseśn wz carid on. Mis Darsi lct az f ś wśt fr curij inuf t jôn in it; n smtmz dd vnćr a śort sntns ẃn ɖr wz līst denjr v its biyñ hŕd.

Iliẓbʈ sn sw ɖt ś wz hrslf closli woćt bî Mis Bñli, n ɖt ś cd nt spīc a wrd, ispeṣ́li t Mis Darsi, wɖt cōlñ hr atnśn. Ɖs obẓveśn wd nt hv privntd hr fṛm trayñ t tōc t ɖ latr, hd ɖe nt bn sītd at an incnvińnt distns; bt ś wz nt sori t b sperd ɖ nseṣti v seyñ mć. Hr ǒn ʈts wr imployñ hr. Ś xpctd evri momnt ɖt sm v ɖ jntlṃn wd entr ɖ rūm. Ś wśt, ś fird ɖt ɖ mastr v ɖ hǎs mt b amñst ɖm; n ẃɖr ś wśt or fird it most, ś cd scersli dtrmin. Aftr sitñ in ɖs manr a qortr v an aur wɖt hírñ Mis Bñli’z vôs, Iliẓbʈ wz rǎzd bî rsivñ fṛm hr a cold inqîri aftr ɖ hlʈ v hr faṃli. Ś ansrd wɖ īql indifṛns n breṿti, n ɖ uɖr sd no mor.

Ɖ nxt verieśn ẃć ɖer vizit afordd wz pṛdyst bî ɖ entṛns v srvnts wɖ cold mìt, cec, n a vrayti v ol ɖ fînist frūts in sīzn; bt ɖs dd nt tec ples tl aftr mni a sgnificnt lc n smîl fṛm Msz Anzli t Mis Darsi hd bn gvn, t rmînd hr v hr post. Ɖr wz nǎ implômnt fr ɖ hol parti – fr ɖo ɖe cd nt ol tōc, ɖe cd ol īt; n ɖ bytifl piṛmidz v greps, necṭrīnz, n pīćz sn c’lectd ɖm rnd ɖ tebl.

Ẃl ɖus ingejd, Iliẓbʈ hd a fer oṗtyṇti v dsîdñ ẃɖr ś most fird or wśt fr ɖ apiṛns v Mr Darsi, bî ɖ fīlñz ẃć priveld on hiz enṭrñ ɖ rūm; n ɖen, ɖo bt a momnt bfr ś hd b’livd hr wśz t pridoṃnet, ś bgan t rgret ɖt h cem.

H hd bn sm tîm wɖ Mr Gardinr, hu, wɖ tū or ʈri uɖr jntlṃn fṛm ɖ hǎs, wz ingejd bî ɖ rivr, n hd left him onli on lrnñ ɖt ɖ lediz v ɖ faṃli intndd a vizit t Jorjana ɖt mornñ. No snr dd h apir ɖn Iliẓbʈ wîzli rzolvd t b prf̣cli īzi n unimbaṛst; a reẓluśn ɖ mor nesṣri t b md, bt phps nt ɖ mor īẓli cept, bcz ś sw ɖt ɖ sspiśnz v ɖ hol parti wr awecnd agnst ɖm, n ɖt ɖr wz scersli an î ẃć dd nt woć hiz bhevyr ẃn h frst cem intu ɖ rūm. In no cǎntinns wz atntiv krioṣti so stroñli marct az in Mis Bñli’z, in spît v ɖ smîlz ẃć oṿspred hr fes ẃnvr ś spouc t wn v its objicts; fr jeḷsi hd nt yt md hr despṛt, n hr atnśnz t Mr Darsi wr bî no mīnz ovr. Mis Darsi, on hr bruɖr’z entṛns, xrtd hrslf mć mor t tōc, n Iliẓbʈ sw ɖt h wz añśs fr hiz sistr n hrslf t gt aqentd, n forẉdd az mć az poṣbl, evri atmt at convseśn on îɖr sîd. Mis Bñli sw ol ɖs lîcwz; n, in ɖ imprudns v angr, tc ɖ frst oṗtyṇti v seyñ, wɖ snirñ sviḷti:

“Pre, Mis Ilîza, r nt ɖ ––śr Mliśa rmuvd fṛm Meritn? Ɖe mst b a gret los t yr faṃli.”

In Darsi’z prezns ś derd nt mnśn Wicm’z nem; bt Iliẓbʈ instntli comprihndd ɖt h wz uṗmost in hr ʈts; n ɖ verịs rec̣lex́nz cnctd wɖ him gev hr a momnt’s dstres; bt xrtñ hrslf vigṛsli t rpel ɖ il-nećrd atac, ś prezntli ansrd ɖ qsćn in a tolṛbli dtaćt ton. Ẃl ś spouc, an invoḷntri glans śoud hr Darsi, wɖ a hîtnd cmplex́n, rṇstli lcñ at hr, n hiz sistr oṿcm wɖ cnfyźn, n unebl t lift p hr îz. Hd Mis Bñli noun ẃt pen ś wz ɖen gvñ hr b’luvid frend, ś undǎtidli wd hv rfrend fṛm ɖ hint; bt ś hd mirli intndd t discmpoz Iliẓbʈ bî brññ fwd ɖ îdīa v a man t hūm ś b’livd hr parśl, t mc hr btre a snsbiḷti ẃć mt injr hr in Darsi’z opińn, n, phps, t rmînd ɖ latr v ol ɖ foliz n absrdtiz bî ẃć sm part v hr faṃli wr cnctd wɖ ɖt cōr. Nt a siḷbl hd evr rīćt hr v Mis Darsi’z medtetd ilopmnt. T no crīćr hd it bn rvild, ẃr sīcṛsi wz poṣbl, xpt t Iliẓbʈ; n fṛm ol Bñli’z cnx́nz hr bruɖr wz ptiklrli añśs t cnsil it, fṛm ɖ vri wś ẃć Iliẓbʈ hd loñ ago atribytd t him, v ɖer bcmñ hiraftr hr ǒn. H hd srtnli formd sć a plan, n wɖt mīnñ ɖt it śd afct hiz indevr t sepṛt him fṛm Mis Benit, it z probbl ɖt it mt ad smʈñ t hiz lîvli cnsrn fr ɖ welfer v hiz frend.

Iliẓbʈ’s c’lectd bhevyr, hvr, sn qaytd hiz imośn; n az Mis Bñli, vxt n dis’pôntd, derd nt aproć nirr t Wicm, Jorjana olso rcuvrd in tîm, ɖo nt inuf t b ebl t spīc eni mor. Hr bruɖr, huz î ś fird t mīt, scersli rec̣lectd hr inṭrest in ɖ afer, n ɖ vri srcmstans ẃć hd bn dzînd t trn hiz ʈts fṛm Iliẓbʈ sīmd t hv fixt ɖm on hr mor n mor ćirf̣li.

Ɖer vizit dd nt cntiny loñ aftr ɖ qsćn n ansr abv mnśnd; n ẃl Mr Darsi wz atndñ ɖm t ɖer carij Mis Bñli wz vntñ hr fīlñz in criṭsizmz on Iliẓbʈ’s prsn, bhevyr, n dres. Bt Jorjana wd nt jôn hr. Hr bruɖr’z rec̣mndeśn wz inuf t enśur hr fevr; hiz jujmnt cd nt ŕ. N h hd spocn in sć trmz v Iliẓbʈ az t līv Jorjana wɖt ɖ pǎr v fîndñ hr uɖrwz ɖn luvli n emịbl. Ẃn Darsi rtrnd t ɖ s’lūn, Mis Bñli cd nt hlp rpitñ t him sm part v ẃt ś hd bn seyñ t hiz sistr.

“Hǎ vri il Mis Ilîza Benit lcs ɖs mornñ, Mr Darsi,” ś craid; “I nvr in mî lîf sw enwn so mć oltrd az ś z sins ɖ wintr. Ś z groun so brǎn n cōrs! Luīza n I wr agriyñ ɖt w śd nt hv noun hr agn.”

Hvr litl Mr Darsi mt hv lîct sć an adres, h cntntd himslf wɖ cūli rplayñ ɖt h psivd no uɖr olṭreśn ɖn hr biyñ rɖr tand, no mrakḷs consiqns v traṿlñ in ɖ sumr.

“Fr mî ǒn part,” ś rjônd, “I mst cnfes ɖt I nvr cd si eni byti in hr. Hr fes z tù ʈin; hr cmplex́n hz no briłnsi; n hr fīćrz r nt at ol hansm. Hr nǒz wonts caṛctr – ɖr z nʈñ marct in its lînz. Hr tīʈ r tolṛbl, bt nt ǎt v ɖ comn we; n az fr hr îz, ẃć hv smtmz bn cōld so fîn, I cd nvr si enʈñ xtrordnri in ɖm. Ɖe hv a śarp, śruiś lc, ẃć I d nt lîc at ol; n in hr er oltgɖr ɖr z a slf-sfiśnsi wɖt faśn, ẃć z intolṛbl.”

Pswedd az Mis Bñli wz ɖt Darsi admîrd Iliẓbʈ, ɖs wz nt ɖ bst meʈ̇d v rec̣mndñ hrslf; bt angri ppl r nt olwz wîz; n in siyñ him at last lc smẃt netld, ś hd ol ɖ s’xes ś xpctd. H wz reẓlutli sîḷnt, hvr, n, fṛm a dtrṃneśn v mcñ him spīc, ś cntinyd:

“I rmembr, ẃn w frst ń hr in Hartfdśr, hǎ amezd w ol wr t fînd ɖt ś wz a rpytd byti; n I ptiklrli rec̣lect yr seyñ wn nît, aftr ɖe hd bn dînñ at Neɖ̇fīld, ‘Ś a byti! – I śd az sn cōl hr muɖr a wit.’ Bt aftwdz ś sīmd t impruv on y, n I b’liv y ʈt hr rɖr priti at wn tîm.”

“Yes,” rplaid Darsi, hu cd cnten himslf no longr, “bt ɖt wz onli ẃn I frst sw hr, fr it z mni munʈs sins I hv cnsidrd hr az wn v ɖ hanṣmist wimin v mî aqentns.”

H ɖen wnt awe, n Mis Bñli wz left t ol ɖ saṭsfax́n v hvñ forst him t se ẃt gev nwn eni pen bt hrslf.

Msz Gardinr n Iliẓbʈ tōct v ol ɖt hd ocŕd jrñ ɖer vizit, az ɖe rtrnd, xpt ẃt hd ptiklrli inṭrestd ɖm bʈ. Ɖ lc n bhevyr v evrbdi ɖe hd sìn wr dscust, xpt v ɖ prsn hu hd mostli ingejd ɖer atnśn. Ɖe tōct v hiz sistr, hiz frendz, hiz hǎs, hiz frūt – v evrʈñ bt himslf; yt Iliẓbʈ wz loññ t nǒ ẃt Msz Gardinr ʈt v him, n Msz Gardinr wd hv bn hîli graṭfaid bî hr nīs’z bginñ ɖ subjict.

___

Ćaptr 46

I

liẓbʈ hd bn a gd dīl dis’pôntd in nt fîndñ a letr fṛm Jen on ɖer frst arîvl at Lamtn; n ɖs dis’pôntmnt hd bn rnyd on ć v ɖ mornñz ɖt hd nǎ bn spent ɖr; bt on ɖ ʈrd hr rpînñ wz ovr, n hr sistr jusṭfaid, bî ɖ rsit v tū letrz fṛm hr at wns, on wn v ẃć wz marct ɖt it hd bn mișnt elsẃr. Iliẓbʈ wz nt s’prîzd at it, az Jen hd ritn ɖ d’rex́n rmarcbli il.

Ɖe hd jst bn pripẹrñ t wōc az ɖ letrz cem in; n hr uncl n ānt, līvñ hr t injô ɖm in qayt, set of bî ɖmslvz. Ɖ wn mișnt mst frst b atndd t; it hd bn ritn fîv dez ago. Ɖ bginñ cntend an acǎnt v ol ɖer litl partiz n ingejmnts, wɖ sć nyz az ɖ cuntri afordd; bt ɖ latr haf, ẃć wz detd a de lêtr, n ritn in evidnt ajteśn, gev mor importnt intelijns. It wz t ɖs ifct:

“Sins raitñ ɖ abv, dirist Lizi, smʈñ hz ocŕd v a most unxpctd n sirịs nećr; bt I am afred v alarmñ y – b aśurd ɖt w r ol wel. Ẃt I hv t se rlets t pur Lidia. An xpres cem at twelv last nît, jst az w wr ol gn t bed, fṛm Crnl Forstr, t inform s ɖt ś wz gn of t Scotḷnd wɖ wn v hiz ofisrz; t ǒn ɖ truʈ, wɖ Wicm! Imajn ǎr s’prîz. T Citi, hvr, it dz nt sīm so hoļi unxpctd. I am vri, vri sori. So imprūdnt a mać on bʈ sîdz! Bt I am wilñ t hop ɖ bst, n ɖt hiz caṛctr hz bn misunḍstd. Ʈtlis n indiscrit I cn īẓli b’liv him, bt ɖs step (n let s rjôs ovr it) marcs nʈñ bad at hart. Hiz ćôs z disinṭrestd at līst, fr h mst nǒ mî faɖr cn gv hr nʈñ. Ǎr pur muɖr z sadli grīvd. Mî faɖr berz it betr. Hǎ ʈancfl am I ɖt w nvr let ɖm nǒ ẃt hz bn sd agnst him; w mst fget it ǎrslvz. Ɖe wr of Saṭde nît abt twelv, az z cnjcćrd, bt wr nt míst tl yesṭde mornñ at et. Ɖ xpres wz snt of d’recli. Mî dir Lizi, ɖe mst hv pást wɖn ten mîlz v s. Crnl Forstr gvz s rīzn t xpct him hir sn. Lidia left a fy lînz fr hiz wîf, informñ hr v ɖer intnśn. I mst cnclud, fr I canot b loñ fṛm mî pur muɖr. I am afred y wl nt b ebl t mc it ǎt, bt I hardli nǒ ẃt I hv ritn.”

Wɖt alawñ hrslf tîm fr cnsiḍreśn, n scersli nwñ ẃt ś flt, Iliẓbʈ on finiśñ ɖs letr instntli sizd ɖ uɖr, n oṗnñ it wɖ ɖ utmost impeśns, réd az foloz: it hd bn ritn a de lêtr ɖn ɖ cncluźn v ɖ frst.

“Bî ɖs tîm, mî dirist sistr, y hv rsivd mî hurid letr; I wś ɖs me b mor inteliɉbl, bt ɖo nt cnfînd fr tîm, mî hed z so bwildrd ɖt I canot ansr fr biyñ chiṛnt. Dirist Lizi, I hardli nǒ ẃt I wd rait, bt I hv bad nyz fr y, n it canot b dleid. Imprūdnt az ɖ marij btwn Mr Wicm n ǎr pur Lidia wd b, w r nǎ añśs t b aśurd it hz tecn ples, fr ɖr z bt tù mć rīzn t fir ɖe r nt gn t Scotḷnd. Crnl Forstr cem yesṭde, hvñ left Braitn ɖ de bfr, nt mni aurz aftr ɖ xpres. Ɖo Lidia’z śort letr t Msz F. gev ɖm t unḍstand ɖt ɖe wr gwñ t Gretna Grīn, smʈñ wz dropt bî Deni xpresñ hiz b’lif ɖt W. nvr intndd t g ɖr, or t mari Lidia at ol, ẃć wz rpitd t Crnl F., hu, instntli tecñ ɖ alarm, set of fṛm B. intndñ t tres ɖer rùt. H dd tres ɖm īẓli t Clapm, bt no frɖr; fr on enṭrñ ɖt ples, ɖe rmuvd intu a hacnicoć, n dsmist ɖ śêz ɖt bròt ɖm fṛm Epsm. Ol ɖt z noun aftr ɖs z, ɖt ɖe wr sìn t cntiny ɖ Lundn rod. I nǒ nt ẃt t ʈnc. Aftr mcñ evri poṣbl inqîri on ɖt sîd Lundn, Crnl F. cem on intu Hartfdśr, añśsli rnywñ ɖm at ol ɖ trnpîcs, n at ɖ ínz in Barnit n Hatfīld, bt wɖt eni s’xes – no sć ppl hd bn sìn t pas ʈru. Wɖ ɖ cîndist cnsrn h cem on t Loñbōrn, n brouc hiz aprihnśnz t s in a manr most creditbl t hiz hart. I am s’nsirli grīvd fr him n Msz F., bt nwn cn ʈro eni blem on ɖm. Ǎr dstres, mî dir Lizi, z vri gret. Mî faɖr n muɖr b’liv ɖ wrst, bt I canot ʈnc so il v him. Mni srcmstansz mt mc it mor eliɉbl fr ɖm t b marid prîṿtli in tǎn ɖn t psy ɖer frst plan; n īvn f h cd form sć a dzîn agnst a yuñ wmn v Lidia’z cnx́nz, ẃć z nt lîcli, cn I s’poz hr so lost t evrʈñ? Imposbl! I grīv t fînd, hvr, ɖt Crnl F. z nt dspozd t dpnd upn ɖer marij; h śc hiz hed ẃn I xprest mî hops, n sd h fird W. wz nt a man t b trustd. Mî pur muɖr z riyli il, n cīps hr rūm. Cd ś xrt hrslf, it wd b betr; bt ɖs z nt t b xpctd. N az t mî faɖr, I nvr in mî lîf sw him so afctd. Pur Citi hz angr fr hvñ cnsild ɖer ataćmnt; bt az it wz a matr v confidns, wn canot wundr. I am trūli glad, dirist Lizi, ɖt y hv bn sperd smʈñ v ɖz dstresñ sīnz; bt nǎ, az ɖ frst śoc z ovr, śl I ǒn ɖt I loñ fr yr rtrn? I am nt so slfiś, hvr, az t pres fr it, f incnvińnt. Ady! I tec p mî pén agn t d ẃt I hv jst tld y I wd nt; bt srcmstansz r sć ɖt I canot hlp rṇstli begñ y ol t cm hir az sn az poṣbl. I nǒ mî dir uncl n ānt so wel, ɖt I am nt afred v rqstñ it, ɖo I hv stl smʈñ mor t asc v ɖ formr. Mî faɖr z gwñ t Lundn wɖ Crnl Forstr instntli, t trî t dscuvr hr. Ẃt h mīnz t d I am śr I nǒ nt; bt hiz xesiv dstres wl nt alǎ him t psy eni meźr in ɖ bst n sefist we, n Crnl Forstr z oblîjd t b at Braitn agn tmoro īvnñ. In sć an xijns, mî uncl’z advîs n asistns wd b evrʈñ in ɖ wrld; h wl imīɉtli comprihnd ẃt I mst fīl, n I rlî upn hiz gdnis.”

“Ǒ! ẃr, ẃr z mî uncl?” craid Iliẓbʈ, dartñ fṛm hr sīt az ś finiśt ɖ letr, in īgrnis t folo him, wɖt luzñ a momnt v ɖ tîm so preśs; bt az ś rīćt ɖ dor it wz opnd bî a srvnt, n Mr Darsi apird. Hr pel fes n impećs manr md him start, n bfr h cd rcuvr himslf t spīc, ś, in huz mînd evri îdīa wz sūṗsidd bî Lidia’z sićueśn, hesṭli xclemd, “I beg yr pardn, bt I mst līv y. I mst fînd Mr Gardinr ɖs momnt, on biznis ɖt canot b dleid; I hv nt an instnt t lūz.”

“Gd God! ẃt z ɖ matr?” craid h, wɖ mor fīlñ ɖn p’lîtnis; ɖen rec̣lectñ himslf, “I wl nt dten y a minit; bt let m, or let ɖ srvnt g aftr Mr n Msz Gardinr. Y r nt wel inuf; y canot g yrslf.”

Iliẓbʈ heztetd, bt hr niz trembld undr hr n ś flt hǎ litl wd b gend bî hr atmtñ t psy ɖm. Cōlñ bac ɖ srvnt, ɖrfr, ś cmiśnd him, ɖo in so breʈlis an axnt az md hr olmst uninteliɉbl, t feć hiz mastr n mistris hom instntli.

On hiz qitñ ɖ rūm ś sat dǎn, unebl t s’port hrslf, n lcñ so mizṛbli il, ɖt it wz imposbl fr Darsi t līv hr, or t rfren fṛm seyñ, in a ton v jntlnis n cmizreśn, “Let m cōl yr meid. Z ɖr nʈñ y cd tec t gv y preznt rlif? A glas v wîn; śl I gt y wn? Y r vri il.”

“No, I ʈanc y,” ś rplaid, indeṿrñ t rcuvr hrslf. “Ɖr z nʈñ ɖ matr wɖ m. I am qt wel; I am onli dstrest bî sm dredfl nyz ẃć I hv jst rsivd fṛm Loñbōrn.”

Ś brst intu tirz az ś aludd t it, n fr a fy minits cd nt spīc anɖr wrd. Darsi, in rećid sspns, cd onli se smʈñ indistñtli v hiz cnsrn, n obzrv hr in cmpaśṇt sîḷns. At leñʈ ś spouc agn. “I hv jst hd a letr fṛm Jen, wɖ sć dredfl nyz. It canot b cnsild fṛm enwn. Mî yungr sistr hz left ol hr frendz – hz ilopt; hz ʈroun hrslf intu ɖ pǎr v – v Mr Wicm. Ɖe r gn of tgɖr fṛm Braitn. Y nǒ him tù wel t dǎt ɖ rest. Ś hz no muni, no cnx́nz, nʈñ ɖt cn tmt him t – ś z lost fr evr.”

Darsi wz fixt in astoniśmnt. “Ẃn I cnsidr,” ś add in a yt mor ajtetd vôs, “ɖt I mt hv privntd it! I, hu ń ẃt h wz. Hd I bt xplend sm part v it onli – sm part v ẃt I lrnt, t mî ǒn faṃli! Hd hiz caṛctr bn noun, ɖs cd nt hv hapnd. Bt it z ol – ol tù lêt nǎ.”

“I am grīvd indd,” craid Darsi; “grīvd – śoct. Bt z it srtn – abṣlutli srtn?”

“Ǒ, yes! Ɖe left Braitn tgɖr on Súnde nît, n wr trest olmst t Lundn, bt nt bynd; ɖe r srtnli nt gn t Scotḷnd.”

“N ẃt hz bn dn, ẃt hz bn atmtd, t rcuvr hr?”

“Mî faɖr z gn t Lundn, n Jen hz ritn t beg mî uncl’z imīɉt asistns; n w śl b of, I hop, in haf-an-aur. Bt nʈñ cn b dn – I nǒ vri wel ɖt nʈñ cn b dn. Hǎ z sć a man t b wrct on? Hǎ r ɖe īvn t b dscuvrd? I hv nt ɖ smōlist hop. It z evri we hoṛbl!”

Darsi śc hiz hed in sîḷnt aqiesns.

“Ẃn  îz wr opnd t hiz riyl caṛctr – Ǒ! hd I noun ẃt I òt, ẃt I derd t d! Bt I ń nt – I wz afred v dwñ tù mć. Rećid, rećid mstec!”

Darsi md no ansr. H sīmd scersli t hír hr, n wz wōcñ p n dǎn ɖ rūm in rnist medteśn, hiz brǎ cntractd, hiz er glūmi. Iliẓbʈ sn obzrvd, n instntli unḍstd it. Hr pǎr wz sncñ; evrʈñ mst snc undr sć a prūf v faṃliwìcnis, sć an aśuṛns v ɖ dīpist dsgres. Ś cd nɖr wundr nr cndem, bt ɖ b’lif v hiz slf-conqest bròt nʈñ cnsoḷtri t hr bŭzm, afordd no palieśn v hr dstres. It wz, on ɖ contrri, xacli calkletd t mc hr unḍstand hr ǒn wśz; n nvr hd ś so oṇstli flt ɖt ś cd hv luvd him, az nǎ, ẃn ol luv mst b ven.

Bt slf, ɖo it wd intrud, cd nt ingros hr. Lidia – ɖ hymilieśn, ɖ miẓri ś wz brññ on ɖm ol, sn swoloud p evri prîṿt cer; n cuṿrñ hr fes wɖ hr hanc̣ćif, Iliẓbʈ wz sn lost t evrʈñ els; n, aftr a pōz v sevṛl minits, wz onli rcōld t a sns v hr sićueśn bî ɖ vôs v hr cmpańn, hu, in a manr ẃć, ɖo it spouc cmpaśn, spouc lîcwz rstrent, sd, “I am afred y hv bn loñ dzîrñ mî absns, nr hv I enʈñ t plīd in xks v mî ste, bt riyl, ɖo un’velñ cnsrn. Wd t Hevn ɖt enʈñ cd b îɖr sd or dn on mî part ɖt mt ofr conṣleśn t sć dstres! Bt I wl nt torment y wɖ ven wśz, ẃć me sīm prṗsli t asc fr yr ʈancs. Ɖs unforćṇt afer wl, I fir, privnt mî sistr’z hvñ ɖ pleźr v siyñ y at Pmḅli tde.”

“Ǒ, yes. B so cînd az t apoḷjîz fr s t Mis Darsi. Se ɖt rjnt biznis cōlz s hom imīɉtli. Cnsil ɖ unhapi truʈ az loñ az it z poṣbl, I nǒ it canot b loñ.”

H reḍli aśurd hr v hiz sīcṛsi; agn xprest hiz soro fr hr dstres, wśt it a hapịr cncluźn ɖn ɖr wz at preznt rīzn t hop, n līvñ hiz complimnts fr hr rleśnz, wɖ onli wn sirịs, partñ lc, wnt awe.

Az h qitd ɖ rūm, Iliẓbʈ flt hǎ improbbl it wz ɖt ɖe śd evr si ć uɖr agn on sć trmz v cordiaḷti az hd marct ɖer sevṛl mītñz in Darbiśr; n az ś ʈrù a retṛspctiv glans ovr ɖ hol v ɖer aqentns, so fl v contṛdix́nz n vraytiz, said at ɖ pvrsnis v ɖoz fīlñz ẃć wd nǎ hv pṛmotd its cntinẏns, n wd formrli hv rjôst in its trṃneśn.

F grattyd n istim r gd fǎndeśnz v afx́n, Iliẓbʈ’s ćenj v sntimnt wl b nɖr improbbl nr fōlti. Bt f uɖrwz – f rgard sprññ fṛm sć sorsz z unrīzṇbl or uņaćṛl, in cmparisn v ẃt z so ofn dscrîbd az arîzñ on a frst inṭvy wɖ its objict, n īvn bfr tū wrdz hv bn xćenjd, nʈñ cn b sd in hr dfns, xpt ɖt ś hd gvn smẃt v a trîl t ɖ latr meʈ̇d in hr parśiaḷti fr Wicm, n ɖt its il s’xes mt, phps, oʈ̇rîz hr t sīc ɖ uɖr les inṭrestñ mod v ataćmnt. B ɖt az it me, ś sw him g wɖ rgret; n in ɖs rli xampl v ẃt Lidia’z inf̣mi mst pṛdys, faund adiśnl anḡś az ś rflectd on ɖt rećid biznis. Nvr, sins rīdñ Jen’z secnd letr, hd ś enttend a hop v Wicm’z mīnñ t mari hr. Nwn bt Jen, ś ʈt, cd flatr hrslf wɖ sć an xpcteśn. S’prîz wz ɖ līst v hr fīlñz on ɖs dveḷpmnt. Ẃl ɖ contents v ɖ frst letr rmend in hr mînd, ś wz ol s’prîz – ol astoniśmnt ɖt Wicm śd mari a grl hūm it wz imposbl h cd mari fr muni; n hǎ Lidia cd evr hv ataćt him hd apird incomprihnsbl. Bt nǎ it wz ol tù naćṛl. Fr sć an ataćmnt az ɖs ś mt hv sfiśnt ćarmz; n ɖo ś dd nt s’poz Lidia t b dlibṛtli ingejñ in an ilopmnt wɖt ɖ intnśn v marij, ś hd no dificlti in b’livñ ɖt nɖr hr vrću nr hr unḍstandñ wd prizrv hr fṛm fōlñ an īzi prei.

Ś hd nvr psivd, ẃl ɖ rejimnt wz in Hartfdśr, ɖt Lidia hd eni parśiaḷti fr him; bt ś wz cnvinst ɖt Lidia wontd onli incurijmnt t atać hrslf t enbdi. Smtmz wn ofisr, smtmz anɖr, hd bn hr feṿrit, az ɖer atnśnz rezd ɖm in hr opińn. Hr afx́nz hd cntińli bn flucćuetñ bt nvr wɖt an objict. Ɖ misćif v nglect n mstecn induljns twdz sć a grl – ǒ! hǎ aktli dd ś nǎ fīl it!

Ś wz wîld t b at hom – t hír, t si, t b upn ɖ spot t śer wɖ Jen in ɖ cerz ɖt mst nǎ fōl hoļi upn hr, in a faṃli so d’renjd, a faɖr absnt, a muɖr inceṗbl v xrśn, n rqîrñ constnt atndns; n ɖo olmst pswedd ɖt nʈñ cd b dn fr Lidia, hr uncl’z inṭfiṛns sīmd v ɖ utmost importns, n tl h entrd ɖ rūm hr impeśns wz svir. Mr n Msz Gardinr hd hurid bac in alarm, s’pozñ bî ɖ srvnt’s acǎnt ɖt ɖer nīs wz tecn sudnli il; bt saṭsfayñ ɖm instntli on ɖt hed, ś īgrli cḿṇcetd ɖ cōz v ɖer sumnz, rīdñ ɖ tū letrz alǎd, n dwelñ on ɖ poșcript v ɖ last wɖ tremḅlñ eṇji. – Ɖo Lidia hd nvr bn a feṿrit wɖ ɖm, Mr n Msz Gardinr cd nt bt b dīpli aflictd. Nt Lidia onli, bt ol wr cnsrnd in it; n aftr ɖ frst xcḷmeśnz v s’prîz n horr, Mr Gardinr promist evri asistns in hiz pǎr. Iliẓbʈ, ɖo xpctñ no les, ʈanct him wɖ tirz v grattyd; n ol ʈri biyñ acćuetd bî wn spirit, evrʈñ rletñ t ɖer jrni wz spīḍli setld. Ɖe wr t b of az sn az poṣbl. “Bt ẃt z t b dn abt Pmḅli?” craid Msz Gardinr. “Jon tld s Mr Darsi wz hir ẃn y snt fr s; wz it so?”

“Yes; n I tld him w śd nt b ebl t cīp ǎr ingejmnt. Ɖt z ol setld.”

“Ẃt z ol setld?” rpitd ɖ uɖr, az ś ran intu hr rūm t priper. “N r ɖe upn sć trmz az fr hr t dscloz ɖ riyl truʈ? Ǒ, ɖt I ń hǎ it wz!”

Bt wśz wr ven, or at līst cd onli srv t aḿz hr in ɖ huri n cnfyźn v ɖ folowñ aur. Hd Iliẓbʈ bn at leźr t b îdl, ś wd hv rmend srtn ɖt ol implômnt wz imposbl t wn so rećid az hrslf; bt ś hd hr śer v biznis az wel az hr ānt, n amñst ɖ rest ɖr wr nots t b ritn t ol ɖer frendz at Lamtn, wɖ fōls xksz fr ɖer sudn dparćr. An aur, hvr, sw ɖ hol cmplitd; n Mr Gardinr mnẃl hvñ setld hiz acǎnt at ɖ ín, nʈñ rmend t b dn bt t g; n Iliẓbʈ, aftr ol ɖ miẓri v ɖ mornñ, faund hrslf, in a śortr spes v tîm ɖn ś cd hv s’pozd, sītd in ɖ carij, n on ɖ rod t Loñbōrn.

___

Ćaptr 47

“I

 hv bn ʈncñ it ovr agn, Iliẓbʈ,” sd hr uncl, az ɖe drouv fṛm ɖ tǎn; “n riyli, upn sirịs cnsiḍreśn, I am mć mor inclînd ɖn I wz t juj az yr eldist sistr dz on ɖ matr. It apirz t m so vri unlîcli ɖt eni yuñ man śd form sć a dzîn agnst a grl hu z bî no mīnz unpṛtctd or frendlis, n hu wz acć̣li steyñ in hiz crnl’z faṃli, ɖt I am stroñli inclînd t hop ɖ bst. Cd h xpct ɖt hr frendz wd nt step fwd? Cd h xpct t b notist agn bî ɖ rejimnt, aftr sć an afrunt t Crnl Forstr? Hiz tmteśn z nt adiqt t ɖ risc!”

“D y riyli ʈnc so?” craid Iliẓbʈ, brîṭnñ p fr a momnt.

“Upn mî wrd,” sd Msz Gardinr, “I bgin t b v yr uncl’z opińn. It z riyli tù gret a vạleśn v dīsnsi, onr, n inṭrest, fr him t b gilti v. I canot ʈnc so vri il v Wicm. Cn y yrslf, Lizi, so hoļi gv him p, az t b’liv him ceṗbl v it?”

“Nt, phps, v nglectñ hiz ǒn inṭrest; bt v evri uɖr nglect I cn b’liv him ceṗbl. F, indd, it śd b so! Bt I der nt hop it. Ẃ śd ɖe nt g on t Scotḷnd f ɖt hd bn ɖ ces?”

“In ɖ frst ples,” rplaid Mr Gardinr, “ɖr z no abṣlut prūf ɖt ɖe r nt gn t Scotḷnd.”

“Ǒ! bt ɖer rmuvñ fṛm ɖ śêz intu a hacnicoć z sć a prizumśn! N, bsdz, no tresz v ɖm wr t b faund on ɖ Barnit rod.”

“Wel, ɖen – s’pozñ ɖm t b in Lundn. Ɖe me b ɖr, ɖo fr ɖ prṗs v cnsilmnt, fr no mor xpśnl prṗs. It z nt lîcli ɖt muni śd b vri abundnt on îɖr sîd; n it mt strîc ɖm ɖt ɖe cd b mor ic̣nomicli, ɖo les xṗdiśsli, marid in Lundn ɖn in Scotḷnd.”

“Bt ẃ ol ɖs sīcṛsi? Ẃ eni fir v dtx́n? Ẃ mst ɖer marij b prîṿt? Ǒ, no, no – ɖs z nt lîcli. Hiz most ptiklr frend, y si bî Jen’z acǎnt, wz pswedd v hiz nvr intndñ t mari hr. Wicm wl nvr mari a wmn wɖt sm muni. H canot aford it. N ẃt clemz hz Lidia – ẃt atrax́n hz ś bynd yʈ, hlʈ, n gd hymr ɖt cd mc him, fr hr sec, fōrgo evri ćans v beṇfitñ himslf bî mariyñ wel? Az t ẃt rstrent ɖ aprihnśnz v dsgres in ɖ cōr mt ʈro on a dsonṛbl ilopmnt wɖ hr, I am nt ebl t juj; fr I nǒ nʈñ v ɖ ifcts ɖt sć a step mt pṛdys. Bt az t yr uɖr objx́n, I am afred it wl hardli hold gd. Lidia hz no bruɖrz t step fwd; n h mt imajn, fṛm mî faɖr’z bhevyr, fṛm hiz indḷns n ɖ litl atnśn h hz evr sīmd t gv t ẃt wz gwñ fwd in hiz faṃli, ɖt h wd d az litl, n ʈnc az litl abt it, az eni faɖr cd d, in sć a matr.”

“Bt cn y ʈnc ɖt Lidia z so lost t evrʈñ bt luv v him az t cnsnt t liv wɖ him on eni trmz uɖr ɖn marij?”

“It dz sīm, n it z most śocñ indd,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ, wɖ tirz in hr îz, “ɖt a sistr’z sns v dīsnsi n vrću in sć a pônt śd admit v dǎt. Bt, riyli, I nǒ nt ẃt t se. Phps I am nt dwñ hr justis. Bt ś z vri yuñ; ś hz nvr bn tòt t ʈnc on sirịs subjicts; n fr ɖ last haf-yir, nê, fr a twelvmunʈ – ś hz bn gvn p t nʈñ bt aḿzmnt n vaṇti. Ś hz bn alaud t dspoz v hr tîm in ɖ most îdl n frivḷs manr, n t adopt eni opińnz ɖt cem in hr we. Sins ɖ ––śr wr frst qortrd in Meritn, nʈñ bt luv, flrteśn, n ofisrz hv bn in hr hed. Ś hz bn dwñ evrʈñ in hr pǎr bî ʈncñ n tōcñ on ɖ subjict, t gv gretr – ẃt śl I cōl it? ssptbiḷti t hr fīlñz; ẃć r naćṛli lîvli inuf. N w ol nǒ ɖt Wicm hz evri ćarm v prsn n adres ɖt cn capṭvet a wmn.”

“Bt y si ɖt Jen,” sd hr ānt, “dz nt ʈnc so vri il v Wicm az t b’liv him ceṗbl v ɖ atmt.”

“V hūm dz Jen evr ʈnc il? N hu z ɖr, ẃtvr mt b ɖer formr conduct, ɖt ś wd ʈnc ceṗbl v sć an atmt, tl it wr pruvd agnst ɖm? Bt Jen nz, az wel az I d, ẃt Wicm riyli z. W bʈ nǒ ɖt h hz bn profliġt in evri sns v ɖ wrd; ɖt h hz nɖr integṛti nr onr; ɖt h z az fōls n dsitfl az h z insińuetñ.”

“N d y riyli nǒ ol ɖs?” craid Msz Gardinr, huz krioṣti az t ɖ mod v hr intelijns wz ol alîv.

“I d indd,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ, cuḷrñ. “I tld y, ɖ uɖr de, v hiz infṃs bhevyr t Mr Darsi; n y yrslf, ẃn last at Loñbōrn, hŕd in ẃt manr h spouc v ɖ man hu hd bhevd wɖ sć fōrbeṛns n liḅraḷti twdz him. N ɖr r uɖr srcmstansz ẃć I am nt at liḅti – ẃć it z nt wrʈẃl t rlet; bt hiz lîz abt ɖ hol Pmḅli faṃli r endlis. Fṛm ẃt h sd v Mis Darsi I wz ʈuṛli priperd t si a prǎd, rzrvd, dis’griybl grl. Yt h ń t ɖ contrri himslf. H mst nǒ ɖt ś wz az emịbl n unpritndñ az w hv faund hr.”

“Bt dz Lidia nǒ nʈñ v ɖs? cn ś b ignṛnt v ẃt y n Jen sīm so wel t unḍstand?”

“Ǒ, yes! – ɖt, ɖt z ɖ wrst v ol. Tl I wz in Cnt, n sw so mć bʈ v Mr Darsi n hiz rleśn Crnl Fitswiłm, I wz ignṛnt v ɖ truʈ mslf. N ẃn I rtrnd hom, ɖ ––śr wz t līv Meritn in a wīc or fortnît’s tîm. Az ɖt wz ɖ ces, nɖr Jen, t hūm I rletd ɖ hol, nr I, ʈt it nesṣri t mc ǎr nolij public; fr v ẃt ys cd it apaṛntli b t enwn, ɖt ɖ gd opińn ẃć ol ɖ nebrhd hd v him śd ɖen b oṿʈroun? N īvn ẃn it wz setld ɖt Lidia śd g wɖ Msz Forstr, ɖ nseṣti v oṗnñ hr îz t hiz caṛctr nvr ocŕd t m. Ɖt ś cd b in eni denjr fṛm ɖ dspśn nvr entrd mî hed. Ɖt sć a consiqns az ɖs cd insy, y me īẓli b’liv, wz far inuf fṛm mî ʈts.”

“Ẃn ɖe ol rmuvd t Braitn, ɖrfr, y hd no rīzn, I s’poz, t b’liv ɖm fond v ć uɖr?”

“Nt ɖ slîtist. I cn rmembr no simtm v afx́n on îɖr sîd; n hd enʈñ v ɖ cnd bn psptbl, y mst b awer ɖt ǎrz z nt a faṃli on ẃć it cd b ʈroun awe. Ẃn frst h entrd ɖ cōr, ś wz redi inuf t admîr him; bt so w ol wr. Evri grl in or nir Meritn wz ǎt v hr snsz abt him fr ɖ frst tū munʈs; bt h nvr dstnḡśt hr bî eni ptiklr atnśn; n, consiqntli, aftr a modṛt pirịd v xtraṿgnt n wîld adṃreśn, hr fansi fr him gev we, n uɖrz v ɖ rejimnt, hu trītd hr wɖ mor dstñśn, agn bcem hr feṿrits.”

———

It me b īẓli b’livd, ɖt hvr litl v novlti cd b add t ɖer firz, hops, n cnjcćrz, on ɖs inṭrestñ subjict, bî its rpitd dscuśn, no uɖr cd dten ɖm fṛm it loñ, jrñ ɖ hol v ɖ jrni. Fṛm Iliẓbʈ’s ʈts it wz nvr absnt. Fixt ɖr bî ɖ cīnist v ol anḡś, slf-rproć, ś cd fînd no inṭvl v īz or fgetflnis.

Ɖe travld az xṗdiśsli az poṣbl, n, slīpñ wn nît on ɖ rod, rīćt Loñbōrn bî dinr tîm ɖ nxt de. It wz a cumf̣t t Iliẓbʈ t cnsidr ɖt Jen cd nt hv bn wirid bî loñ xpcteśnz.

Ɖ litl Gardinrz, atractd bî ɖ sît v a śêz, wr standñ on ɖ steps v ɖ hǎs az ɖe entrd ɖ paḍc; n, ẃn ɖ carij drouv p t ɖ dor, ɖ jôfl s’prîz ɖt lîtd p ɖer fesz, n dspleid itslf ovr ɖer hol bodiz, in a vrayti v ceprz n friscs, wz ɖ frst plizñ rnist v ɖer welcm.

Iliẓbʈ jumt ǎt; n, aftr gvñ ć v ɖm a hesti cis, hurid intu ɖ vsṭbyl, ẃr Jen, hu cem runñ dǎn fṛm hr muɖr’z apartmnt, imīɉtli met hr.

Iliẓbʈ, az ś afx́ṇtli imbrest hr, ẃlst tirz fild ɖ îz v bʈ, lost nt a momnt in ascñ ẃɖr enʈñ hd bn hŕd v ɖ fyɉtvz.

“Nt yt,” rplaid Jen. “Bt nǎ ɖt mî dir uncl z cm, I hop evrʈñ wl b wel.”

“Z mî faɖr in tǎn?”

“Yes, h wnt on Tyzde, az I rout y wrd.”

“N hv y hŕd fṛm him ofn?”

“W hv hŕd onli twîs. H rout m a fy lînz on Wenzde t se ɖt h hd arîvd in sefti, n t gv m hiz d’rex́nz, ẃć I ptiklrli begd him t d. H mirli add ɖt h śd nt rait agn tl h hd smʈñ v importns t mnśn.”

“N mî muɖr – hǎ z ś? Hǎ r y ol?”

“Mî muɖr z tolṛbli wel, I trust; ɖo hr spirits r gretli śecn. Ś z upsterz n wl hv gret saṭsfax́n in siyñ y ol. Ś dz nt yt līv hr dresñrūm. Mẹri n Citi, ʈanc Hevn, r qt wel.”

“Bt y – hǎ r y?” craid Iliẓbʈ. “Y lc pel. Hǎ mć y mst hv gn ʈru!”

Hr sistr, hvr, aśurd hr v hr biyñ prf̣cli wel; n ɖer convseśn, ẃć hd bn pasñ ẃl Mr n Msz Gardinr wr ingejd wɖ ɖer ćildṛn, wz nǎ pt an end t bî ɖ aproć v ɖ hol parti. Jen ran t hr uncl n ānt, n welcmd n ʈanct ɖm bʈ, wɖ oltṇt smîlz n tirz.

Ẃn ɖe wr ol in ɖ drw̃rūm, ɖ qsćnz ẃć Iliẓbʈ hd olrdi asct wr v cors rpitd bî ɖ uɖrz, n ɖe sn faund ɖt Jen hd no intelijns t gv. Ɖ sanḡn hop v gd, hvr, ẃć ɖ bnevḷns v hr hart sjstd hd nt yt dzrtd hr; ś stl xpctd ɖt it wd ol end wel, n ɖt evri mornñ wd brñ sm letr, îɖr fṛm Lidia or hr faɖr, t xplen ɖer pṛsidñz, n, phps, anǎns ɖer marij.

Msz Benit, t huz apartmnt ɖe ol rperd, aftr a fy minits’ convseśn tgɖr, rsivd ɖm xacli az mt b xpctd; wɖ tirz n lamnteśnz v rgret, invctvz agnst ɖ viḷṇs conduct v Wicm, n cmplents v hr ǒn suf̣rñz n il ysij; blemñ evrbdi bt ɖ prsn t huz il-jujñ induljns ɖ errz v hr dōtr mst prinsipli b owñ.

“F I hd bn ebl,” sd ś, “t cari mî pônt in gwñ t Braitn, wɖ ol mî faṃli, ɖs wd nt hv hapnd; bt pur dir Lidia hd nbdi t tec cer v hr. Ẃ dd ɖ Forsters evr let hr g ǎt v ɖer sît? I am śr ɖr wz sm gret nglect or uɖr on ɖer sîd, fr ś z nt ɖ cnd v grl t d sć a ʈñ f ś hd bn wel lct aftr. I olwz ʈt ɖe wr vri unfit t hv ɖ ćarj v hr; bt I wz ovŗūld, az I olwz am. Pur dir ćîld! N nǎ hir’z Mr Benit gn awe, n I nǒ h wl fît Wicm, ẃrvr h mīts him n ɖen h wl b cild, n ẃt z t bcm v s ol? Ɖ Colinzz wl trn s ǎt bfr h z cold in hiz grev, n f y r nt cînd t s, bruɖr, I d nt nǒ ẃt w śl d.”

Ɖe ol xclemd agnst sć t’rific îdīaz; n Mr Gardinr, aftr jenṛl aśuṛnsz v hiz afx́n fr hr n ol hr faṃli, tld hr ɖt h mnt t b in Lundn ɖ vri nxt de, n wd asist Mr Benit in evri indevr fr rcuṿrñ Lidia.

“D nt gv we t yslis alarm,” add h; “ɖo it z rît t b priperd fr ɖ wrst, ɖr z no oceźn t lc on it az srtn. It z nt qt a wīc sins ɖe left Braitn. In a fy dez mor w me gen sm nyz v ɖm; n tl w nǒ ɖt ɖe r nt marid, n hv no dzîn v mariyñ, d nt let s gv ɖ matr ovr az lost. Az sn az I gt t tǎn I śl g t mî bruɖr, n mc him cm hom wɖ m t Gresćrć Strīt; n ɖen w me cnsult tgɖr az t ẃt z t b dn.”

“Ǒ! mî dir bruɖr,” rplaid Msz Benit, “ɖt z xacli ẃt I cd most wś fr. N nǎ d, ẃn y gt t tǎn, fînd ɖm ǎt, ẃrvr ɖe me b; n f ɖe r nt marid olrdi, mc ɖm mari. N az fr wedñcloɖz, d nt let ɖm wêt fr ɖt, bt tel Lidia ś śl hv az mć muni az ś ćuzz t bai ɖm, aftr ɖe r marid. N, abv ol, cīp Mr Benit fṛm fîtñ. Tel him ẃt a dredfl stet I am in, ɖt I am frîtd ǎt v mî wits – n hv sć tremblñz, sć fluṭrñz, ol ovr m – sć spazmz in mî sîd n penz in mî hed, n sć bìtñz at hart, ɖt I cn gt no rest bî nît nr bî de. N tel mî dir Lidia nt t gv eni d’rex́nz abt hr cloɖz tl ś hz sìn m, fr ś dz nt nǒ ẃć r ɖ bst wérhǎzz. Ǒ, bruɖr, hǎ cînd y r! I nǒ y wl cntrîv it ol.”

Bt Mr Gardinr, ɖo h aśurd hr agn v hiz rnist indevrz in ɖ cōz, cd nt avôd rec̣mndñ moḍreśn t hr, az wel in hr hops az hr fir; n aftr tōcñ wɖ hr in ɖs manr tl dinr wz on ɖ tebl, ɖe ol left hr t vnt ol hr fīlñz on ɖ hǎscīpr, hu atndd in ɖ absns v hr dōtrz.

Ɖo hr bruɖr n sistr wr pswedd ɖt ɖr wz no riyl oceźn fr sć a s’cluźn fṛm ɖ faṃli, ɖe dd nt atmt t opoz it, fr ɖe ń ɖt ś hd nt prūdns inuf t hold hr tuñ bfr ɖ srvnts, ẃl ɖe wêtd at tebl, n jujd it betr ɖt wn onli v ɖ hǎshold, n ɖ wn hūm ɖe cd most trust śd comprihnd ol hr firz n s’liṣtyd on ɖ subjict.

In ɖ dînñrūm ɖe wr sn jônd bî Mẹri n Citi, hu hd bn tù biẓli ingejd in ɖer sepṛt apartmnts t mc ɖer apiṛns bfr. Wn cem fṛm hr bcs, n ɖ uɖr fṛm hr twālét. Ɖ fesz v bʈ, hvr, wr tolṛbli cām; n no ćenj wz viẓbl in îɖr, xpt ɖt ɖ los v hr feṿrit sistr, or ɖ angr ẃć ś hd hrslf incŕd in ɖs biznis, hd gvn mor v fretf̣lnis ɖn yźl t ɖ axnts v Citi. Az fr Mẹri, ś wz mistris inuf v hrslf t ẃispr t Iliẓbʈ, wɖ a cǎntinns v grev rflex́n, sn aftr ɖe wr sītd at tebl:

“Ɖs z a most unforćṇt afer, n wl probbli b mć tōct v. Bt w mst stem ɖ tîd v malis, n por intu ɖ wūndd bzmz v ć uɖr ɖ bām v sistrli conṣleśn.”

Ɖen, psivñ in Iliẓbʈ no incḷneśn v rplayñ, ś add, “Unhapi az ɖ ivnt mst b fr Lidia, w me drw fṛm it ɖs ysfl lésn: ɖt los v vrću in a fīmel z iritriṿbl; ɖt wn fōls step involvz hr in endlis ruin; ɖt hr repyteśn z no les britl ɖn it z bytifl; n ɖt ś canot b tù mć gardd in hr bhevyr twdz ɖ undizrvñ v ɖ uɖr sx.”

Iliẓbʈ liftd p hr îz in amezmnt, bt wz tù mć oprest t mc eni rplî. Mẹri, hvr, cntinyd t consol hrslf wɖ sć cnd v moṛl xtrax́nz fṛm ɖ īvl bfr ɖm.

In ɖ afṭnun, ɖ tū eldr Mis Benits wr ebl t b fr haf-an-aur bî ɖmslvz; n Iliẓbʈ instntli aveld hrslf v ɖ oṗtyṇti v mcñ eni inqîriz, ẃć Jen wz īqli īgr t saṭsfî. Aftr jônñ in jenṛl lamnteśnz ovr ɖ dredfl sīql v ɖs ivnt, ẃć Iliẓbʈ cnsidrd az ol bt srtn, n Mis Benit cd nt asrt t b hoļi imposbl, ɖ formr cntinyd ɖ subjict, bî seyñ, “Bt tel m ol n evrʈñ abt it ẃć I hv nt olrdi hŕd. Gv m frɖr ptiklrz. Ẃt dd Crnl Forstr se? Hd ɖe no aprihnśn v enʈñ bfr ɖ ilopmnt tc ples? Ɖe mst hv sìn ɖm tgɖr fr evr.”

“Crnl Forstr dd ǒn ɖt h hd ofn sspctd sm parśiaḷti, ispeṣ́li on Lidia’z sîd, bt nʈñ t gv him eni alarm. I am so grīvd fr him! Hiz bhevyr wz atntiv n cînd t ɖ utmost. H wz cmñ t s, in ordr t aśur s v hiz cnsrn, bfr h hd eni îdīa v ɖer nt biyñ gn t Scotḷnd: ẃn ɖt aprihnśn frst got abrōd, it hesnd hiz jrni.”

“N wz Deni cnvinst ɖt Wicm wd nt mari? Dd h nǒ v ɖer intndñ t g of? Hd Crnl Forstr sìn Deni himslf?”

“Yes; bt, ẃn qsćnd bî him, Deni dnaid nwñ enʈñ v ɖer planz, n wd nt gv hiz riyl opińn abt it. H dd nt rpit hiz psweźn v ɖer nt mariyñ – n fṛm ɖt, I am inclînd t hop, h mt hv bn misunḍstd bfr.”

“N tl Crnl Forstr cem himslf, nt wn v y enttend a dǎt, I s’poz, v ɖer biyñ riyli marid?”

“Hǎ wz it poṣbl ɖt sć an îdīa śd entr ǎr brenz? I flt a litl unīzi – a litl firfl v mî sistr’z hapinis wɖ him in marij, bcz I ń ɖt hiz conduct hd nt bn olwz qt rît. Mî faɖr n muɖr ń nʈñ v ɖt; ɖe onli flt hǎ imprūdnt a mać it mst b. Citi ɖen ǒnd, wɖ a vri naćṛl trîumf on nwñ mor ɖn ɖ rest v s, ɖt in Lidia’z last letr ś hd priperd hr fr sć a step. Ś hd noun, it sīmz, v ɖer biyñ in luv wɖ ć uɖr, mni wīcs.”

“Bt nt bfr ɖe wnt t Braitn?”

“No, I b’liv nt.”

“N dd Crnl Forstr apir t ʈnc wel v Wicm himslf? Dz h nǒ hiz riyl caṛctr?”

“I mst cnfes ɖt h dd nt spīc so wel v Wicm az h formrli dd. H b’livd him t b imprūdnt n xtraṿgnt. N sins ɖs sad afer hz tecn ples, it z sd ɖt h left Meritn gretli in dét; bt I hop ɖs me b fōls.”

“Ǒ, Jen, hd w bn les sīcrit, hd w tld ẃt w ń v him, ɖs cd nt hv hapnd!”

“Phps it wd hv bn betr,” rplaid hr sistr. “Bt t xpoz ɖ formr fōlts v eni prsn wɖt nwñ ẃt ɖer preznt fīlñz wr, sīmd unjusṭfaybl. W actd wɖ ɖ bst intnśnz.”

“Cd Crnl Forstr rpit ɖ ptiklrz v Lidia’z not t hiz wîf?”

“H bròt it wɖ him fr s t si.”

Jen ɖen tc it fṛm hr pocit-bc, n gev it t Iliẓbʈ. Ɖz wr ɖ contents:

“MÎ DIR HARỊT,

“Y wl laf ẃn y nǒ ẃr I am gn, n I canot hlp lafñ mslf at yr s’prîz tmoro mornñ, az sn az I am míst. I am gwñ t Gretna Grīn, n f y canot ges wɖ hu, I śl ʈnc y a simpltn, fr ɖr z bt wn man in ɖ wrld I luv, n h z an enjl. I śd nvr b hapi wɖt him, so ʈnc it no harm t b of. Y nīd nt snd ɖm wrd at Loñbōrn v mî gwñ, f y d nt lîc it, fr it wl mc ɖ s’prîz ɖ gretr, ẃn I rait t ɖm n sîn mî nem ‘Lidia Wicm.’ Ẃt a gd joc it wl b! I cn hardli rait fr lafñ. Pre mc mî xksz t Prát fr nt cīpñ mî ingejmnt, n dansñ wɖ him tnît. Tel him I hop h wl xkz m ẃn h nz ol; n tel him I wl dans wɖ him at ɖ nxt bōl w mīt, wɖ gret pleźr. I śl snd fr mî cloɖz ẃn I gt t Loñbōrn; bt I wś y wd tel Sali t mnd a gret slit in mî wrct muzlin gǎn bfr ɖe r páct p. Gdbî. Gv mî luv t Crnl Forstr. I hop y wl drinc t ǎr gd jrni.

“Yr afẋṇt frend,

“LIDIA BENIT.”

“Ǒ! ʈtlis, ʈtlis Lidia!” craid Iliẓbʈ ẃn ś hd finiśt it. “Ẃt a letr z ɖs, t b ritn at sć a momnt! Bt at līst it śoz ɖt ś wz sirịs on ɖ subjict v ɖer jrni. Ẃtvr h mt aftwdz pswed hr t, it wz nt on hr sîd a scīm v inf̣mi. Mî pur faɖr! hǎ h mst hv flt it!”

“I nvr sw enwn so śoct. H cd nt spīc a wrd fr fl ten minits. Mî muɖr wz tecn il imīɉtli, n ɖ hol hǎs in sć cnfyźn!”

“Ǒ! Jen,” craid Iliẓbʈ, “wz ɖr a srvnt b’loññ t it hu dd nt nǒ ɖ hol stori bfr ɖ end v ɖ de?”

“I d nt nǒ. I hop ɖr wz. Bt t b gardd at sć a tîm z vri dificlt. Mî muɖr wz in histerics, n ɖo I indevrd t gv hr evri asistns in mî pǎr, I am afred I dd nt d so mć az I mt hv dn! Bt ɖ horr v ẃt mt poṣbli hapn olmst tc fṛm m mî facltiz.”

“Yr atndns upn hr hz bn tù mć fr y. Y d nt lc wel. Ǒ ɖt I hd bn wɖ y! y hv hd evri cer n añzayti upn yrslf alon.”

“Mẹri n Citi hv bn vri cînd, n wd hv śerd in evri ftīg, I am śr; bt I dd nt ʈnc it rît fr îɖr v ɖm. Citi z slît n delic̣t; n Mẹri studiz so mć, ɖt hr aurz v rpoz śd nt b brocn in on. Mî ānt Filips cem t Loñbōrn on Tyzde, aftr mî faɖr wnt awe; n wz so gd az t ste tl Ʈrzde wɖ m. Ś wz v gret ys n cumf̣t t s ol. N Ledi Lūc̣s hz bn vri cînd; ś wōct hir on Wenzde mornñ t cndol wɖ s, n ofrd hr srṿsz, or eni v hr dōtrz’, f ɖe śd b v ys t s.”

“Ś hd betr hv steid at hom,” craid Iliẓbʈ; “phps ś mnt wel, bt, undr sć a msfortyn az ɖs, wn canot si tù litl v wn’z nebrz. Asistns z imposbl; cndoḷns insufṛbl. Let ɖm trîumf ovr s at a distns, n b saṭsfaid.”

Ś ɖen pṛsidd t inqîr intu ɖ meźrz ẃć hr faɖr hd intndd t psy, ẃl in tǎn, fr ɖ rcuṿri v hiz dōtr.

“H mnt I b’liv,” rplaid Jen, “t g t Epsm, ɖ ples ẃr ɖe last ćenjd horsz, si ɖ pstiłnz n trî f enʈñ cd b md ǎt fṛm ɖm. Hiz prinsipl objict mst b t dscuvr ɖ numbr v ɖ hacnicoć ẃć tc ɖm fṛm Clapm. It hd cm wɖ a fér fṛm Lundn; n az h ʈt ɖt ɖ srcmstans v a jntlmn n ledi’z rmuvñ fṛm wn carij intu anɖr mt b rmarct h mnt t mc inqîriz at Clapm. F h cd enhǎ dscuvr at ẃt hǎs ɖ coćmn hd bfr set dǎn hiz fér, h dtrmind t mc inqîriz ɖr, n hopt it mt nt b imposbl t fînd ǎt ɖ stand n numbr v ɖ coć. I d nt nǒ v eni uɖr dzînz ɖt h hd formd; bt h wz in sć a huri t b gn, n hiz spirits so gretli discmpozd, ɖt I hd dificlti in fîndñ ǎt īvn so mć az ɖs.”

___

Ćaptr 48

Ɖ

 hol parti wr in hops v a letr fṛm Mr Benit ɖ nxt mornñ, bt ɖ post cem in wɖt brññ a sngl lîn fṛm him. Hiz faṃli ń him t b, on ol comn oceźnz, a most neglijnt n diḷtri corispondnt; bt at sć a tîm ɖe hd hopt fr xrśn. Ɖe wr forst t cnclud ɖt h hd no plizñ intelijns t snd; bt īvn v ɖt ɖe wd hv bn glad t b srtn. Mr Gardinr hd wêtd onli fr ɖ letrz bfr h set of.

Ẃn h wz gn, ɖe wr srtn at līst v rsivñ constnt inf̣meśn v ẃt wz gwñ on, n ɖer uncl promist, at partñ, t privel on Mr Benit t rtrn t Loñbōrn, az sn az h cd, t ɖ gret conṣleśn v hiz sistr, hu cnsidrd it az ɖ onli s’kṛti fr hr huzbnd’z nt biyñ cild in a dȳl.

Msz Gardinr n ɖ ćildṛn wr t rmen in Hartfdśr a fy dez longr, az ɖ formr ʈt hr prezns mt b srvisbl t hr nīsz. Ś śerd in ɖer atndns on Msz Benit, n wz a gret cumf̣t t ɖm in ɖer aurz v frīdm. Ɖer uɖr ānt olso viẓtd ɖm frīqntli, n olwz, az ś sd, wɖ ɖ dzîn v ćirñ n harṭnñ ɖm p – ɖo, az ś nvr cem wɖt rportñ sm freś instns v Wicm’z xtraṿgns or ireğlaṛti, ś sldm wnt awe wɖt līvñ ɖm mor dspiṛtd ɖn ś faund ɖm.

Ol Meritn sīmd strîvñ t blacn ɖ man hu, bt ʈri munʈs bfr, hd bn olmst an enjl v lît. H wz dclerd t b in dét t evri tredzmn in ɖ ples, n hiz intrigz, ol onrd wɖ ɖ tîtl v sdux́n, hd bn xtndd intu evri tredzmn’z faṃli. Evrbdi dclerd ɖt h wz ɖ wic̣dist yuñ man in ɖ wrld; n evrbdi bgan t fînd ǎt ɖt ɖe hd olwz dstrustd ɖ apiṛns v hiz gdnis. Iliẓbʈ, ɖo ś dd nt credit abv haf v ẃt wz sd, b’livd inuf t mc hr formr aśuṛns v hr sistr’z ruin mor srtn; n īvn Jen, hu b’livd stl les v it, bcem olmst hoplis, mor ispeṣ́li az ɖ tîm wz nǎ cm ẃn, f ɖe hd gn t Scotḷnd, ẃć ś hd nvr bfr intîrli dsperd v, ɖe mst in ol probbiḷti hv gend sm nyz v ɖm.

Mr Gardinr left Loñbōrn on Súnde; on Tyzde hiz wîf rsivd a letr fṛm him; it tld ɖm ɖt, on hiz arîvl, h hd imīɉtli faund ǎt hiz bruɖr, n pswedd him t cm t Gresćrć Strīt; ɖt Mr Benit hd bn t Epsm n Clapm, bfr hiz arîvl, bt wɖt genñ eni saṭsfactri inf̣meśn; n ɖt h wz nǎ dtrmind t inqîr at ol ɖ prinsipl hotelz in tǎn, az Mr Benit ʈt it poṣbl ɖe mt hv gn t wn v ɖm, on ɖer frst cmñ t Lundn, bfr ɖe pṛkrd lojñz. Mr Gardinr himslf dd nt xpct eni s’xes fṛm ɖs meźr, bt az hiz bruɖr wz īgr in it, h mnt t asist him in psywñ it. H add ɖt Mr Benit sīmd hoļi disinclînd at preznt t līv Lundn n promist t rait agn vri sn. Ɖr wz olso a poșcript t ɖs ifct:

“I hv ritn t Crnl Forstr t dzîr him t fînd ǎt, f poṣbl, fṛm sm v ɖ yuñ man’z inṭmets in ɖ rejimnt, ẃɖr Wicm hz eni rleśnz or cnx́nz hu wd b lîcli t nǒ in ẃt part v tǎn h hz nǎ cnsild himslf. F ɖr wr enwn ɖt wn cd aplî t wɖ a probbiḷti v genñ sć a clu az ɖt, it mt b v isnśl consiqns. At preznt w hv nʈñ t gîd s. Crnl Forstr wl, I der se, d evrʈñ in hiz pǎr t saṭsfî s on ɖs hed. Bt, on secnd ʈts, phps, Lizi cd tel s ẃt rleśnz h hz nǎ livñ, betr ɖn eni uɖr prsn.”

Iliẓbʈ wz at no los t unḍstand fṛm ẃns ɖs defṛns t hr oʈoṛti pṛsidd; bt it wz nt in hr pǎr t gv eni inf̣meśn v so saṭsfactri a nećr az ɖ complimnt dzrvd. Ś hd nvr hŕd v hiz hvñ hd eni rleśnz, xpt a faɖr n muɖr, bʈ v hūm hd bn ded mni yirz. It wz poṣbl, hvr, ɖt sm v hiz cmpańnz in ɖ ––śr mt b ebl t gv mor inf̣meśn; n ɖo ś wz nt vri sanḡn in xpctñ it, ɖ apḷceśn wz a smʈñ t lc fwd t.

Evri de at Loñbōrn wz nǎ a de v añzayti; bt ɖ most añśs part v ć wz ẃn ɖ post wz xpctd. Ɖ arîvl v letrz wz ɖ grand objict v evri mornñ’z impeśns. Ʈru letrz, ẃtvr v gd or bad wz t b tld wd b cḿṇcetd, n evri s’xidñ de wz xpctd t brñ sm nyz v importns.

Bt bfr ɖe hŕd agn fṛm Mr Gardinr, a letr arîvd fr ɖer faɖr, fṛm a difṛnt qortr, fṛm Mr Colinz; ẃć, az Jen hd rsivd d’rex́nz t opn ol ɖt cem fr him in hiz absns, ś acordñli réd; n Iliẓbʈ, hu ń ẃt krioṣtiz hiz letrz olwz wr, lct ovr hr, n réd it lîcwz. It wz az foloz:

“MÎ DIR SR,

“I fīl mslf cōld upn, bî ǎr rleśnśp, n mî sićueśn in lîf, t cndol wɖ y on ɖ grīṿs aflix́n y r nǎ suf̣rñ undr, v ẃć w wr yesṭde informd bî a letr fṛm Hartfdśr. B aśurd, mî dir sr, ɖt Msz Colinz n mslf s’nsirli simṗʈîz wɖ y n ol yr rspctbl faṃli, in yr preznt dstres, ẃć mst b v ɖ biṭrist cnd, bcz pṛsidñ fṛm a cōz ẃć no tîm cn rmuv. No arğmnts śl b wontñ on mî part ɖt cn alīviet so svir a msfortyn – or ɖt me cumf̣t y, undr a srcmstans ɖt mst b v ol uɖrz ɖ most aflictñ t a peṛnt’s mînd. Ɖ deʈ v yr dōtr wd hv bn a blesñ in cmparisn v ɖs. N it z ɖ mor t b l’mentd, bcz ɖr z rīzn t s’poz az mî dir Śarlót informz m, ɖt ɖs lîsnṣ́snis v bhevyr in yr dōtr hz pṛsidd fṛm a fōlti dgri v induljns; ɖo, at ɖ sem tîm, fr ɖ conṣleśn v yrslf n Msz Benit, I am inclînd t ʈnc ɖt hr ǒn disṗziśn mst b naćṛli bad, or ś cd nt b gilti v sć an inorṃti, at so rli an ej. Hǎsoevr ɖt me b, y r grīṿsli t b pitid; in ẃć opińn I am nt onli jônd bî Msz Colinz, bt lîcwz bî Ledi Caʈ̇rin n hr dōtr, t hūm I hv rletd ɖ afer. Ɖe agri wɖ m in aprihnddñ ɖt ɖs fōls step in wn dōtr wl b injurịs t ɖ fortynz v ol ɖ uɖrz; fr hu, az Ledi Caʈ̇rin hrslf condisndñli sz, wl cnct ɖmslvz wɖ sć a faṃli? N ɖs cnsiḍreśn līdz m morovr t rflect, wɖ ōgmntd saṭsfax́n, on a srtn ivnt v last Nvmbr; fr hd it bn uɖrwz, I mst hv bn involvd in ol yr soro n dsgres. Let m ɖen advîz y, dir sr, t consol yrslf az mć az poṣbl, t ʈro of yr unwrɖi ćîld fṛm yr afx́n fr evr, n līv hr t rīp ɖ frūts v hr ǒn hīṇs ofns.

“I am, dir sr, ets., ets.”

Mr Gardinr dd nt rait agn tl h hd rsivd an ansr fṛm Crnl Forstr; n ɖen h hd nʈñ v a pleznt nećr t snd. It wz nt noun ɖt Wicm hd a sngl rleśnśp wɖ hūm h cept p eni cnx́n, n it wz srtn ɖt h hd no nir wn livñ. Hiz formr aqentnsz hd bn ńmṛs; bt sins h hd bn in ɖ mliśa, it dd nt apir ɖt h wz on trmz v ptiklr frendśp wɖ eni v ɖm. Ɖr wz nwn, ɖrfr, hu cd b pôntd ǎt az lîcli t gv eni nyz v him. N in ɖ rećid stet v hiz ǒn fnansz, ɖr wz a vri pǎrfl motiv fr sīcṛsi, in adiśn t hiz fir v dscuṿri bî Lidia’z rleśnz, fr it hd jst trnspîrd ɖt h hd left gemñ déts bhnd him t a vri cnsidṛbl amǎnt. Crnl Forstr b’livd ɖt mor ɖn a ʈǎznd pǎndz wd b nesṣri t clir hiz xpnsz at Braitn. H oud a gd dīl in tǎn, bt hiz déts v onr wr stl mor formiḍbl. Mr Gardinr dd nt atmt t cnsil ɖz ptiklrz fṛm ɖ Loñbōrn faṃli. Jen hŕd ɖm wɖ horr. “A gemstr!” ś craid. “Ɖs z hoļi unxpctd. I hd nt an îdīa v it.”

Mr Gardinr add in hiz letr, ɖt ɖe mt xpct t si ɖer faɖr at hom on ɖ folowñ de, ẃć wz Saṭde. Rendrd spiṛtlis bî ɖ il s’xes v ol ɖer indevrz, h hd yīldd t hiz bruɖr-in-lw’z intriti ɖt h wd rtrn t hiz faṃli, n līv it t him t d ẃtvr oceźn mt sjst t b advîẓbl fr cntinywñ ɖer psyt. Ẃn Msz Benit wz tld v ɖs, ś dd nt xpres so mć saṭsfax́n az hr ćildṛn xpctd, cnsiḍrñ ẃt hr añzayti fr hiz lîf hd bn bfr.

“Ẃt, z h cmñ hom, n wɖt pur Lidia?” ś craid. “Śr h wl nt līv Lundn bfr h hz faund ɖm. Hu z t fît Wicm, n mc him mari hr, f h cmz awe?”

Az Msz Gardinr bgan t wś t b at hom, it wz setld ɖt ś n ɖ ćildṛn śd g t Lundn, at ɖ sem tîm ɖt Mr Benit cem fṛm it. Ɖ coć, ɖrfr, tc ɖm ɖ frst stej v ɖer jrni, n bròt its mastr bac t Loñbōrn.

Msz Gardinr wnt awe in ol ɖ pplex̣ti abt Iliẓbʈ n hr Darbiśr frend ɖt hd atndd hr fṛm ɖt part v ɖ wrld. Hiz nem hd nvr bn voḷntṛli mnśnd bfr ɖm bî hr nīs; n ɖ cnd v haf-xpcteśn ẃć Msz Gardinr hd formd, v ɖer biyñ foloud bî a letr fṛm him, hd endd in nʈñ. Iliẓbʈ hd rsivd nn sins hr rtrn ɖt cd cm fṛm Pmḅli.

Ɖ preznt unhapi stet v ɖ faṃli rendrd eni uɖr xks fr ɖ lonis v hr spirits uņesṣri; nʈñ, ɖrfr, cd b ferli cnjcćrd fṛm ɖt, ɖo Iliẓbʈ, hu wz bî ɖs tîm tolṛbli wel aqentd wɖ hr ǒn fīlñz, wz prf̣cli awer ɖt, hd ś noun nʈñ v Darsi, ś cd hv bòrn ɖ dred v Lidia’z inf̣mi smẃt betr. It wd hv sperd hr, ś ʈt, wn slīplis nît ǎt v tū.

Ẃn Mr Benit arîvd, h hd ol ɖ apiṛns v hiz yźl fiḷsofic cmpoźr. H sd az litl az h hd evr bn in ɖ habit v seyñ; md no mnśn v ɖ biznis ɖt hd tecn him awe, n it wz sm tîm bfr hiz dōtrz hd curij t spīc v it.

It wz nt tl ɖ afṭnun, ẃn h hd jônd ɖm at ti, ɖt Iliẓbʈ vnćrd t intṛdys ɖ subjict; n ɖen, on hr brīfli xpresñ hr soro fr ẃt h mst hv indyrd, h rplaid, “Se nʈñ v ɖt. Hu śd sufr bt mslf? It hz bn mî ǒn dwñ, n I òt t fīl it.”

“Y mst nt b tù svir upn yrslf,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ.

“Y me wel worn m agnst sć an īvl. Hymn nećr z so pron t fōl intu it! No, Lizi, let m wns in mî lîf fīl hǎ mć I hv bn t blem. I am nt afred v biyñ oṿpǎrd bî ɖ impreśn. It wl pas awe sn inuf.”

“D y s’poz ɖm t b in Lundn?”

“Yes; ẃr els cn ɖe b so wel cnsild?”

“N Lidia yst t wont t g t Lundn,” add Citi.

“Ś z hapi ɖen,” sd hr faɖr drîli; “n hr rezidns ɖr wl probbli b v sm jreśn.”

Ɖen aftr a śort sîḷns h cntinyd:

“Lizi, I ber y no il wil fr biyñ jusṭfaid in yr advîs t m last Me, ẃć, cnsiḍrñ ɖ ivnt, śoz sm gretnis v mînd.”

Ɖe wr inṭruptd bî Mis Benit, hu cem t feć hr muɖr’z ti.

“Ɖs z a p’red,” h craid, “ẃć dz wn gd; it gvz sć an eligns t msfortyn! Anɖr de I wl d ɖ sem; I wl sit in mî lîbrri, in mî nîtcap n pǎḍrñgǎn, n gv az mć trubl az I cn; or, phps, I me dfŕ it tl Citi runz awe.”

“I am nt gwñ t run awe, ppā,” sd Citi fretf̣li. “F I śd evr g t Braitn, I wd bhev betr ɖn Lidia.”

Y g t Braitn. I wd nt trust y so nir it az Īstbōrn fr fifti pǎndz! No, Citi, I hv at last lrnt t b cōśs, n y wl fīl ɖ ifcts v it. No ofisr z evr t entr intu mî hǎs agn, nr īvn t pas ʈru ɖ vilij. Bōlz wl b abṣlutli pṛhibtd, unls y stand p wɖ wn v yr sistrz. N y r nvr t str ǎt v dorz tl y cn pruv ɖt y hv spent ten minits v evri de in a raṣ́nl manr.”

Citi, hu tc ol ɖz ʈrets in a sirịs lît, bgan t crî.

“Wel, wel,” sd h, “d nt mc yrslf unhapi. F y r a gd grl fr ɖ nxt ten yirz, I wl tec y t a rvy at ɖ end v ɖm.”

___

Ćaptr 49

T

ū dez aftr Mr Benit’s rtrn, az Jen n Iliẓbʈ wr wōcñ tgɖr in ɖ śruḅri bhnd ɖ hǎs, ɖe sw ɖ hǎscīpr cmñ twdz ɖm, n, cncludñ ɖt ś cem t cōl ɖm t ɖer muɖr, wnt fwd t mīt hr; bt, instd v ɖ xpctd sumnz, ẃn ɖe aproćt hr, ś sd t Mis Benit, “I beg yr pardn, madm, fr inṭruptñ y, bt I wz in hops y mt hv got sm gd nyz fṛm tǎn, so I tc ɖ liḅti v cmñ t asc.”

“Ẃt d y mīn, Hil? W hv hŕd nʈñ fṛm tǎn.”

“Dir madm,” craid Msz Hil, in gret astoniśmnt, “d’nt y nǒ ɖr z an xpres cm fr mastr fṛm Mr Gardinr? H hz bn hir ɖs haf-aur, n mastr hz hd a letr.”

Awe ran ɖ grlz, tù īgr t gt in t hv tîm fr spīć. Ɖe ran ʈru ɖ vsṭbyl intu ɖ brecfstrūm; fṛm ɖns t ɖ lîbrri; ɖer faɖr wz in nɖr; n ɖe wr on ɖ pônt v sīcñ him upsterz wɖ ɖer muɖr, ẃn ɖe wr met bî ɖ butlr, hu sd:

“F y r lcñ fr mî mastr, mām, h z wōcñ twdz ɖ litl cops.”

Upn ɖs inf̣meśn, ɖe instntli pást ʈru ɖ hōl wns mor, n ran acrs ɖ lōn aftr ɖer faɖr, hu wz dlibṛtli psywñ hiz we twdz a smōl wŭd on wn sîd v ɖ paḍc.

Jen, hu wz nt so lît nr so mć in ɖ habit v runñ az Iliẓbʈ, sn lagd bhnd, ẃl hr sistr, pantñ fr breʈ, cem p wɖ him, n īgrli craid ǎt:

“Ǒ, ppā, ẃt nyz – ẃt nyz? Hv y hŕd fṛm mî uncl?”

“Yes I hv hd a letr fṛm him bî xpres.”

“Wel, n ẃt nyz dz it brñ – gd or bad?”

“Ẃt z ɖr v gd t b xpctd?” sd h, tecñ ɖ letr fṛm hiz pocit. “Bt phps y wd lîc t rīd it.”

Iliẓbʈ impeśntli còt it fṛm hiz hand. Jen nǎ cem p.

“Rīd it alǎd,” sd ɖer faɖr, “fr I hardli nǒ mslf ẃt it z abt.”

“Gresćrć Strīt, Munde, Ōġst 2.

“MÎ DIR BRUƉR,

“At last I am ebl t snd y sm tîdñz v mî nīs, n sć az, upn ɖ hol, I hop it wl gv y saṭsfax́n. Sn aftr y left m on Saṭde, I wz forćṇt inuf t fînd ǎt in ẃt part v Lundn ɖe wr. Ɖ ptiklrz I rzrv tl w mīt; it z inuf t nǒ ɖe r dscuvrd. I hv sìn ɖm bʈ – ”

“Ɖen it z az I olwz hopt,” craid Jen; “ɖe r marid!”

Iliẓbʈ réd on:

“I hv sìn ɖm bʈ. Ɖe r nt marid, nr cn I fînd ɖr wz eni intnśn v biyñ so; bt f y r wilñ t pform ɖ ingejmnts ẃć I hv vnćrd t mc on yr sîd, I hop it wl nt b loñ bfr ɖe r. Ol ɖt z rqîrd v y z, t aśur t yr dōtr, bî setlmnt, hr īql śer v ɖ fîv ʈǎznd pǎndz s’krd amñ yr ćildṛn aftr ɖ dsis v yrslf n mî sistr; n, morovr, t entr intu an ingejmnt v alawñ hr, jrñ yr lîf, wn hundṛd pǎndz p’anm. Ɖz r cndiśnz ẃć, cnsiḍrñ evrʈñ, I hd no hezteśn in cmplayñ wɖ, az far az I ʈt mslf priṿlijd, fr y. I śl snd ɖs bî xpres, ɖt no tîm me b lost in brññ m yr ansr. Y wl īẓli comprihnd, fṛm ɖz ptiklrz, ɖt Mr Wicm’z srcmstansz r nt so hoplis az ɖe r jenṛli b’livd t b. Ɖ wrld hz bn dsivd in ɖt rspct; n I am hapi t se ɖr wl b sm litl muni, īvn ẃn ol hiz déts r dsćarjd, t setl on mî nīs, in adiśn t hr ǒn fortyn. F, az I cnclud wl b ɖ ces, y snd m fl pǎrz t act in yr nem ʈrt ɖ hol v ɖs biznis, I wl imīɉtli gv d’rex́nz t Haġstn fr pripẹrñ a propr setlmnt. Ɖr wl nt b ɖ smōlist oceźn fr yr cmñ t tǎn agn; ɖrfr ste qayt at Loñbōrn, n dpnd on mî dilijns n cer. Snd bac yr ansr az fast az y cn, n b cerfl t rait xpliṣtli. W hv jujd it bst ɖt mî nīs śd b marid fṛm ɖs hǎs, v ẃć I hop y wl apruv. Ś cmz t s tde. I śl rait agn az sn az enʈñ mor z dtrmind on. Yrz, ets.,

“EDW. GARDINR.”

“Z it poṣbl?” craid Iliẓbʈ, ẃn ś hd finiśt. “Cn it b poṣbl ɖt h wl mari hr?”

“Wicm z nt so undizrvñ, ɖen, az w ʈt him,” sd hr sistr. “Mî dir faɖr, I cngrać̣let y.”

“N hv y ansrd ɖ letr?” craid Iliẓbʈ.

“No; bt it mst b dn sn.”

Most rṇstli dd ś ɖen intrit him t lūz no mor tîm bfr h rout.

“Ǒ! mî dir faɖr,” ś craid, “cm bac n rait imīɉtli. Cnsidr hǎ importnt evri momnt z in sć a ces.”

“Let m rait fr y,” sd Jen, “f y dslîc ɖ trubl yrslf.”

“I dslîc it vri mć,” h rplaid; “bt it mst b dn.”

N so seyñ, h trnd bac wɖ ɖm, n wōct twdz ɖ hǎs.

“N me I asc – ” sd Iliẓbʈ; “bt ɖ trmz, I s’poz, mst b cmplaid wɖ.”

“Cmplaid wɖ! I am onli aśemd v hiz ascñ so litl.”

“N ɖe mst mari! Yt h z  a man!”

“Yes, yes, ɖe mst mari. Ɖr z nʈñ els t b dn. Bt ɖr r tū ʈñz ɖt I wont vri mć t nǒ; wn z, hǎ mć muni yr uncl hz leid dǎn t brñ it abt; n ɖ uɖr, hǎ am I evr t pe him.”

“Muni! Mî uncl!” craid Jen, “ẃt d y mīn, sr?”

“I mīn, ɖt no man in hiz snsz wd mari Lidia on so slît a tmteśn az wn hundṛd a yir jrñ mî lîf, n fifti aftr I am gn.”

“Ɖt z vri tru,” sd Iliẓbʈ; “ɖo it hd nt ocŕd t m bfr. Hiz déts t b dsćarjd, n smʈñ stl t rmen! Ǒ! it mst b mî uncl’z dwñz! Jenṛs, gd man, I am afred h hz dstrest himslf. A smōl sum cd nt d ol ɖs.”

“No,” sd hr faɖr; “Wicm’z a fūl f h tecs hr wɖ a farɖñ les ɖn ten ʈǎznd pǎndz. I śd b sori t ʈnc so il v him, in ɖ vri bginñ v ǎr rleśnśp.”

“Ten ʈǎznd pǎndz! Hevn fbid! Hǎ z haf sć a sum t b rpeid?”

Mr Benit md no ansr, n ć v ɖm, dīp in ʈt, cntinyd sîḷnt tl ɖe rīćt ɖ hǎs. Ɖer faɖr ɖen wnt on t ɖ lîbrri t rait, n ɖ grlz wōct intu ɖ brecfstrūm.

“N ɖe r riyli t b marid!” craid Iliẓbʈ, az sn az ɖe wr bî ɖmslvz. “Hǎ strenj ɖs z! N fr ɖs w r t b ʈancfl. Ɖt ɖe śd mari, smōl az z ɖer ćans v hapinis, n rećid az z hiz caṛctr, w r forst t rjôs. Ǒ, Lidia!”

“I cumf̣t mslf wɖ ʈncñ,” rplaid Jen, “ɖt h srtnli wd nt mari Lidia f h hd nt a riyl rgard fr hr. Ɖo ǎr cînd uncl hz dn smʈñ twdz clirñ him, I canot b’liv ɖt ten ʈǎznd pǎndz, or enʈñ lîc it, hz bn advanst. H hz ćildṛn v hiz ǒn, n me hv mor. Hǎ cd h sper haf ten ʈǎznd pǎndz?”

“F h wr evr ebl t lrn ẃt Wicm’z déts hv bn,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “n hǎ mć z setld on hiz sîd on ǎr sistr, w śl xacli nǒ ẃt Mr Gardinr hz dn fr ɖm, bcz Wicm hz nt sixpns v hiz ǒn. Ɖ cîndnis v mî uncl n ānt cn nvr b rqîtd. Ɖer tecñ hr hom, n afordñ hr ɖer prsnl pṛtx́n n cǎntinns, z sć a sacṛfîs t hr advantij az yirz v grattyd canot inuf acnolij. Bî ɖs tîm ś z acć̣li wɖ ɖm! F sć gdnis dz nt mc hr mizṛbl nǎ, ś wl nvr dzrv t b hapi! Ẃt a mītñ fr hr, ẃn ś frst siz mî ānt!”

“W mst indevr t fget ol ɖt hz pást on îɖr sîd,” sd Jen: “I hop n trust ɖe wl yt b hapi. Hiz cnsntñ t mari hr z a prūf, I wl b’liv, ɖt h z cm t a rît we v ʈncñ. Ɖer ḿćl afx́n wl stedi ɖm; n I flatr mslf ɖe wl setl so qaytli, n liv in so raṣ́nl a manr, az me in tîm mc ɖer past imprudns fgotn.”

“Ɖer conduct hz bn sć,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ, “az nɖr y, nr I, nr enbdi cn evr fget. It z yslis t tōc v it.”

It nǎ ocŕd t ɖ grlz ɖt ɖer muɖr wz in ol lîclihd prf̣cli ignṛnt v ẃt hd hapnd. Ɖe wnt t ɖ lîbrri, ɖrfr, n asct ɖer faɖr ẃɖr h wd nt wś ɖm t mc it noun t hr. H wz raitñ n, wɖt rezñ hiz hed, cūli rplaid:

“Jst az y plīz.”

“Me w tec mî uncl’z letr t rīd t hr?”

“Tec ẃtvr y lîc, n gt awe.”

Iliẓbʈ tc ɖ letr fṛm hiz raitñtebl, n ɖe wnt upsterz tgɖr. Mẹri n Citi wr bʈ wɖ Msz Benit: wn cḿṇceśn wd, ɖrfr, d fr ol. Aftr a slît preṗreśn fr gd nyz, ɖ letr wz réd alǎd. Msz Benit cd hardli cnten hrslf. Az sn az Jen hd réd Mr Gardinr’z hop v Lidia’z biyñ sn marid, hr jô brst fʈ, n evri folowñ sntns add t its xybṛns. Ś wz nǎ in an iṛteśn az vayḷnt fṛm dlît, az ś hd evr bn fiɉti fṛm alarm n vxeśn. T nǒ ɖt hr dōtr wd b marid wz inuf. Ś wz dstrbd bî no fir fr hr f’liṣti, nr humbld bî eni rmembṛns v hr msconduct.

“Mî dir, dir Lidia!” ś craid. “Ɖs z dlîtfl indd! Ś wl b marid! I śl si hr agn! Ś wl b marid at sixtīn! Mî gd, cînd bruɖr! I ń hǎ it wd b. I ń h wd manij evrʈñ! Hǎ I loñ t si hr! n t si dir Wicm tù! Bt ɖ cloɖz, ɖ wedñcloɖz! I wl rait t mî sistr Gardinr abt ɖm d’recli. Lizi, mî dir, run dǎn t yr faɖr, n asc him hǎ mć h wl gv hr. Ste, ste, I wl g mslf. Rñ ɖ bel, Citi, fr Hil. I wl pt on mî ʈñz in a momnt. Mî dir, dir Lidia! Hǎ meri w śl b tgɖr ẃn w mīt!”

Hr eldist dōtr indevrd t gv sm rlif t ɖ vayḷns v ɖz transports, bî līdñ hr ʈts t ɖ obḷgeśnz ẃć Mr Gardinr’z bhevyr leid ɖm ol undr.

“Fr w mst atribyt ɖs hapi cncluźn,” ś add, “in a gret meźr t hiz cîndnis. W r pswedd ɖt h hz plejd himslf t asist Mr Wicm wɖ muni.”

“Wel,” craid hr muɖr, “it z ol vri rît; hu śd d it bt hr ǒn uncl? F h hd nt hd a faṃli v hiz ǒn, I n mî ćildṛn mst hv hd ol hiz muni, y nǒ; n it z ɖ frst tîm w hv evr hd enʈñ fṛm him, xpt a fy preznts. Wel! I am so hapi! In a śort tîm I śl hv a dōtr marid. Msz Wicm! Hǎ wel it sǎndz! N ś wz onli sixtīn last Jūn. Mî dir Jen, I am in sć a flutr, ɖt I am śr I c’nt rait; so I wl dictet, n y rait fr m. W wl setl wɖ yr faɖr abt ɖ muni aftwdz; bt ɖ ʈñz śd b ordrd imīɉtli.”

Ś wz ɖen pṛsidñ t ol ɖ ptiklrz v caḷco, muzlin, n cambric, n wd śortli hv dictetd sm vri plentifl ordrz, hd nt Jen, ɖo wɖ sm dificlti, pswedd hr t wêt tl hr faɖr wz at leźr t b cnsultd. Wn de’z dle, ś obzrvd, wd b v smōl importns; n hr muɖr wz tù hapi t b qt so obstiṇt az yźl. Uɖr scīmz, tù, cem intu hr hed.

“I wl g t Meritn,” sd ś, “az sn az I am drest, n tel ɖ gd, gd nyz t mî sistr Filips. N az I cm bac, I cn cōl on Ledi Lūc̣s n Msz Loñ. Citi, run dǎn n ordr ɖ carij. An e’rñ wd d m a gret dīl v gd, I am śr. Grlz, cn I d enʈñ fr y in Meritn? Ǒ! Hir cmz Hil! Mî dir Hil, hv y hŕd ɖ gd nyz? Mis Lidia z gwñ t b marid; n y śl ol hv a bol v punć t mc meri at hr wedñ.”

Msz Hil bgan instntli t xpres hr jô. Iliẓbʈ rsivd hr cngrać̣leśnz amñst ɖ rest, n ɖen, sic v ɖs foli, tc refyj in hr ǒn rūm, ɖt ś mt ʈnc wɖ frīdm.

Pur Lidia’z sićueśn mst, at bst, b bad inuf; bt ɖt it wz no wrs, ś hd nīd t b ʈancfl. Ś flt it so; n ɖo, in lcñ fwd, nɖr raṣ́nl hapinis nr wrldli pṛspeṛti cd b justli xpctd fr hr sistr, in lcñ bac t ẃt ɖe hd fird, onli tū aurz ago, ś flt ol ɖ advantjz v ẃt ɖe hd gend.

___

Ćaptr 50

M

r Benit hd vri ofn wśt bfr ɖs pirịd v hiz lîf ɖt, instd v spendñ hiz hol incm, h hd leid bî an ańl sum fr ɖ betr pṛviźn v hiz ćildṛn, n v hiz wîf, f ś svîvd him. H nǎ wśt it mor ɖn evr. Hd h dn hiz dyti in ɖt rspct, Lidia nīd nt hv bn indétd t hr uncl fr ẃtvr v onr or credit cd nǎ b prć̣st fr hr. Ɖ saṭsfax́n v privelñ on wn v ɖ most wrʈlis yuñ men in Gret Britn t b hr huzbnd mt ɖen hv restd in its propr ples.

H wz sirịsli cnsrnd ɖt a cōz v so litl advantij t enwn śd b forẉdd at ɖ sol xpns v hiz bruɖr-in-lw, n h wz dtrmind, f poṣbl, t fînd ǎt ɖ xtnt v hiz asistns, n t disćarj ɖ obḷgeśn az sn az h cd.

Ẃn frst Mr Benit hd marid, icoṇmi wz hld t b prf̣cli yslis, fr, v cors, ɖe wr t hv a sun. Ɖ sun wz t jôn in cutñ of ɖ inteil, az sn az h śd b v ej, n ɖ wido n yungr ćildṛn wd bî ɖt mīnz b pṛvîdd fr. Fîv dōtrz s’xesivli entrd ɖ wrld, bt yt ɖ sun wz t cm; n Msz Benit, fr mni yirz aftr Lidia’z brʈ, hd bn srtn ɖt h wd. Ɖs ivnt hd at last bn dsperd v, bt it wz ɖen tù lêt t b sevñ. Msz Benit hd no trn fr icoṇmi, n hr huzbnd’z luv v indipndns hd alon privntd ɖer xidñ ɖer incm.

Fîv ʈǎznd pǎndz wz setld bî marij-articlz on Msz Benit n ɖ ćildṛn. Bt in ẃt pṛporśnz it śd b dvîdd amñst ɖ latr dpndd on ɖ wl v ɖ peṛnts. Ɖs wz wn pônt, wɖ rgard t Lidia, at līst, ẃć wz nǎ t b setld, n Mr Benit cd hv no hezteśn in axidñ t ɖ pṛpozl bfr him. In trmz v gretfl acnolijmnt fr ɖ cîndnis v hiz bruɖr, ɖo xprest most cnsîsli, h ɖen dlivrd on pepr hiz prfict apṛbeśn v ol ɖt wz dn, n hiz wilñnis t flfil ɖ ingejmnts ɖt hd bn md fr him. H hd nvr bfr s’pozd ɖt, cd Wicm b priveld on t mari hiz dōtr, it wd b dn wɖ so litl incnvińns t himslf az bî ɖ preznt arenjmnt. H wd scersli b ten pǎndz a yir ɖ luzr bî ɖ hundṛd ɖt wz t b peid ɖm; fr, ẃt wɖ hr bord n pocit alawns, n ɖ cntińl preznts in muni ẃć pást t hr ʈru hr muɖr’z handz, Lidia’z xpnsz hd bn vri litl wɖn ɖt sum.

Ɖt it wd b dn wɖ sć trîf̣lñ xrśn on hiz sîd, tù, wz anɖr vri welcm s’prîz; fr hiz wś at preznt wz t hv az litl trubl in ɖ biznis az poṣbl. Ẃn ɖ frst transports v rej ẃć hd pṛdyst hiz activti in sīcñ hr wr ovr, h naćṛli rtrnd t ol hiz formr indḷns. Hiz letr wz sn dspaćt; fr, ɖo diḷtri in unḍtecñ biznis, h wz qc in its x’kśn. H begd t nǒ frɖr ptiklrz v ẃt h wz indétd t hiz bruɖr, bt wz tù angri wɖ Lidia t snd eni mesij t hr.

Ɖ gd nyz spred qcli ʈru ɖ hǎs, n wɖ pṛporśṇt spīd ʈru ɖ nebrhd. It wz bòrn in ɖ latr wɖ dīsnt f’loṣfi. T b śr, it wd hv bn mor fr ɖ advantij v convseśn hd Mis Lidia Benit cm upn ɖ tǎn; or, az ɖ hapiist oltrṇtiv, bn s’cludd fṛm ɖ wrld, in sm distnt farmhǎs. Bt ɖr wz mć t b tōct v in mariyñ hr; n ɖ gd-nećrd wśz fr hr wel-dwñ ẃć hd pṛsidd bfr fṛm ol ɖ spîtfl old lediz in Meritn lost bt a litl v ɖer spirit in ɖs ćenj v srcmstansz, bcz wɖ sć an huzbnd hr miẓri wz cnsidrd srtn.

It wz a fortnît sins Msz Benit hd bn dǎnsterz; bt on ɖs hapi de ś agn tc hr sīt at ɖ hed v hr tebl, n in spirits opresivli hî. No sntimnt v śem gev a damp t hr trîumf. Ɖ marij v a dōtr, ẃć hd bn ɖ frst objict v hr wśz sins Jen wz sixtīn, wz nǎ on ɖ pônt v acumpliśmnt, n hr ʈts n hr wrdz ran hoļi on ɖoz atndnts v elignt nupślz, fîn muzlinz, ny caṛjz, n srvnts. Ś wz biẓli srćñ ʈru ɖ nebrhd fr a propr sićueśn fr hr dōtr, n, wɖt nwñ or cnsiḍrñ ẃt ɖer incm mt b, rjctd mni az dfiśnt in sîz n importns.

“Héi Parc mt d,” sd ś, “f ɖ Goldñz cd qit it – or ɖ gret hǎs at Stǒc, f ɖ drw̃rūm wr larjr; bt Aśwrʈ z tù far of! I cd nt ber t hv hr ten mîlz fṛm m; n az fr Pulvis Loj, ɖ atics r dredfl.”

Hr huzbnd alaud hr t tōc on wɖt inṭrupśn ẃl ɖ srvnts rmend. Bt ẃn ɖe hd wɖdrwn, h sd t hr: “Msz Benit, bfr y tec eni or ol v ɖz hǎzz fr yr sun n dōtr, let s cm t a rît unḍstandñ. Intu wn hǎs in ɖs nebrhd ɖe śl nvr hv admitns. I wl nt incurij ɖ impydns v îɖr, bî rsivñ ɖm at Loñbōrn.”

A loñ dspyt foloud ɖs decḷreśn; bt Mr Benit wz frm. It sn léd t anɖr; n Msz Benit faund, wɖ amezmnt n horr, ɖt hr huzbnd wd nt advans a gini t bai cloɖz fr hiz dōtr. H pṛtstd ɖt ś śd rsiv fṛm him no marc v afx́n ẃtvr on ɖ oceźn. Msz Benit cd hardli comprihnd it. Ɖt hiz angr cd b carid t sć a pônt v incnsivbl rzntmnt az t rfyz hiz dōtr a priṿlij wɖt ẃć hr marij wd scersli sīm valid, xidd ol ś cd b’liv poṣbl. Ś wz mor alîv t ɖ dsgres ẃć hr wont v ny cloɖz mst rflect on hr dōtr’z nupślz, ɖn t eni sns v śem at hr ilopñ n livñ wɖ Wicm a fortnît bfr ɖe tc ples.

Iliẓbʈ wz nǎ most harṭli sori ɖt ś hd, fṛm ɖ dstres v ɖ momnt, bn léd t mc Mr Darsi aqentd wɖ ɖer firz fr hr sistr; fr sins hr marij wd so śortli gv ɖ propr trṃneśn t ɖ ilopmnt, ɖe mt hop t cnsil its unfevṛbl bginñ fṛm ol ɖoz hu wr nt imīɉtli on ɖ spot.

Ś hd no fir v its spredñ farɖr ʈru hiz mīnz. Ɖr wr fy ppl on huz sīcṛsi ś wd hv mor confidntli dpndd; bt, at ɖ sem tîm, ɖr wz nwn huz nolij v a sistr’z frelti wd hv morṭfaid hr so mć – nt, hvr, fṛm eni fir v dis’dvantij fṛm it indivijli t hrslf, fr, at eni ret, ɖr sīmd a gulf impaṣbl btwn ɖm. Hd Lidia’z marij bn cncludd on ɖ most onṛbl trmz, it wz nt t b s’pozd ɖt Mr Darsi wd cnct himslf wɖ a faṃli ẃr, t evri uɖr objx́n, wd nǎ b add an alayns n rleśnśp v ɖ nirist cnd wɖ a man hūm h so justli scornd.

Fṛm sć a cnx́n ś cd nt wundr ɖt h wd śrinc. Ɖ wś v pṛkrñ hr rgard, ẃć ś hd aśurd hrslf v hiz fīlñ in Darbiśr, cd nt in raṣ́nl xpcteśn svîv sć a blo az ɖs. Ś wz humbld, ś wz grīvd; ś rpntd, ɖo ś hardli ń v ẃt. Ś bcem jeḷs v hiz istim, ẃn ś cd no longr hop t b beṇfitd bî it. Ś wontd t hír v him, ẃn ɖr sīmd ɖ līst ćans v genñ intelijns. Ś wz cnvinst ɖt ś cd hv bn hapi wɖ him, ẃn it wz no longr lîcli ɖe śd mīt.

Ẃt a trîumf fr him, az ś ofn ʈt, cd h nǒ ɖt ɖ pṛpozlz ẃć ś hd prǎdli sprnd onli for munʈs ago, wd nǎ hv bn most gladli n gretf̣li rsivd! H wz az jenṛs, ś dǎtd nt, az ɖ most jenṛs v hiz sx; bt ẃl h wz mortl, ɖr mst b a trîumf.

Ś bgan nǎ t comprihnd ɖt h wz xacli ɖ man hu, in disṗziśn n taḷnts, wd most sūt hr. Hiz unḍstandñ n tmpr, ɖo unlîc hr ǒn, wd hv ansrd ol hr wśz. It wz an yńn ɖt mst hv bn t ɖ advantij v bʈ; bî hr īz n lîvlinis, hiz mînd mt hv bn sofnd, hiz manrz impruvd; n fṛm hiz jujmnt, inf̣meśn, n nolij v ɖ wrld, ś mst hv rsivd beṇfit v gretr importns.

Bt no sć hapi marij cd nǎ tīć ɖ admîrñ multtyd ẃt cńbịl f’liṣti riyli wz. An yńn v a difṛnt tndnsi, n pricludñ ɖ posbiḷti v ɖ uɖr, wz sn t b formd in ɖer faṃli.

Hǎ Wicm n Lidia wr t b s’portd in tolṛbl indipndns, ś cd nt imajn. Bt hǎ litl v prṃnnt hapinis cd b’loñ t a cupl hu wr onli bròt tgɖr bcz ɖer paśnz wr strongr ɖn ɖer vrću, ś cd īẓli cnjcćr.

Mr Gardinr sn rout agn t hiz bruɖr. T Mr Benit’s acnolijmnts h brīfli rplaid, wɖ aśuṛns v hiz īgrnis t pṛmot ɖ welfer v eni v hiz faṃli; n cncludd wɖ intritiz ɖt ɖ subjict mt nvr b mnśnd t him agn. Ɖ prinsipl pport v hiz letr wz t inform ɖm ɖt Mr Wicm hd rzolvd on qitñ ɖ mliśa.

“It wz gretli mî wś ɖt h śd d so,” h add, “az sn az hiz marij wz fixt on. N I ʈnc y wl agri wɖ m, in cnsiḍrñ ɖ rmuvl fṛm ɖt cōr az hîli advîẓbl, bʈ on hiz acǎnt n mî nīs’z. It z Mr Wicm’z intnśn t g intu ɖ reğlrz; n amñ hiz formr frendz, ɖr r stl sm hu r ebl n wilñ t asist him in ɖ armi. H hz ɖ promis v an ensînsi in Jenṛl ––’z rejimnt, nǎ qortrd in ɖ Norʈ. It z an advantij t hv it so far fṛm ɖs part v ɖ cñdm. H proṃsz ferli; n I hop amñ difṛnt ppl, ẃr ɖe me ć hv a caṛctr t prizrv, ɖe wl bʈ b mor prūdnt. I hv ritn t Crnl Forstr, t inform him v ǎr preznt arenjmnts, n t rqst ɖt h wl saṭsfî ɖ verịs creditrz v Mr Wicm in n nir Braitn, wɖ aśuṛnsz v spīdi pemnt, fr ẃć I hv plejd mslf. N wl y gv yrslf ɖ trubl v cariyñ similr aśuṛnsz t hiz creditrz in Meritn, v hūm I śl sbjôn a list acordñ t hiz inf̣meśn? H hz gvn in ol hiz déts; I hop at līst h hz nt dsivd s. Haġstn hz ǎr d’rex́nz, n ol wl b cmplitd in a wīc. Ɖe wl ɖen jôn hiz rejimnt, unls ɖe r frst invîtd t Loñbōrn; n I unḍstand fṛm Msz Gardinr, ɖt mî nīs z vri dzîṛs v siyñ y ol bfr ś līvz ɖ Sǎʈ. Ś z wel, n begz t b dytifli rmembrd t y n hr muɖr. – Yrz, ets.,

“E. GARDINR.”

Mr Benit n hiz dōtrz sw ol ɖ advantjz v Wicm’z rmuvl fṛm ɖ ––śr az clirli az Mr Gardinr cd d. Bt Msz Benit wz nt so wel plizd wɖ it. Lidia’z biyñ setld in ɖ Norʈ, jst ẃn ś hd xpctd most pleźr n prîd in hr cumṗni, fr ś hd bî no mīnz gvn p hr plan v ɖer rzîdñ in Hartfdśr, wz a svir dis’pôntmnt; n, bsdz, it wz sć a piti ɖt Lidia śd b tecn fṛm a rejimnt ẃr ś wz aqentd wɖ evrbdi, n hd so mni feṿrits.

“Ś z so fond v Msz Forstr,” sd ś, “it wl b qt śocñ t snd hr awe! N ɖr r sevṛl v ɖ yuñ men, tù, ɖt ś lîcs vri mć. Ɖ ofisrz me nt b so pleznt in Jenṛl ––’z rejimnt.”

Hiz dōtr’z rqst, fr sć it mt b cnsidrd, v biyñ admitd intu hr faṃli agn bfr ś set of fr ɖ Norʈ, rsivd at frst an abṣlut neġtiv. Bt Jen n Iliẓbʈ, hu agrìd in wśñ, fr ɖ sec v ɖer sistr’z fīlñz n consiqns, ɖt ś śd b notist on hr marij bî hr peṛnts, rjd him so rṇstli yt so raśṇli n so mîldli, t rsiv hr n hr huzbnd at Loñbōrn, az sn az ɖe wr marid, ɖt h wz priveld on t ʈnc az ɖe ʈt, n act az ɖe wśt. N ɖer muɖr hd ɖ saṭsfax́n v nwñ ɖt ś wd b ebl t śo hr marid dōtr in ɖ nebrhd bfr ś wz baniśt t ɖ Norʈ. Ẃn Mr Benit rout agn t hiz bruɖr, ɖrfr, h snt hiz pmiśn fr ɖm t cm; n it wz setld, ɖt az sn az ɖ seriṃni wz ovr, ɖe śd pṛsid t Loñbōrn. Iliẓbʈ wz s’prîzd, hvr, ɖt Wicm śd cnsnt t sć a scīm, n hd ś cnsultd onli hr ǒn incḷneśn, eni mītñ wɖ him wd hv bn ɖ last objict v hr wśz.

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