M.R. James: Oh, whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad (in Ñspel, with audio)

“I ṢPOZ y wl b gtñ awe priti sn, nâ Fl Trm z ovr, Pṛfesr,” sd a prsn nt in ɖ stori t ɖ Pṛfesr v Ontogṛfi, sn aftr ɖe hd sat dân nxt t ć uɖr at a fīst in ɖ hospiṭbl hōl v St. Jemz’z Colij.

Ɖ Pṛfesr wz yuñ, nīt, n prisîs in spīć.

“Yes,” h sd; “mî frendz hv bn mcñ m tec p golf ɖs trm, n I mīn t g t ɖ Īst Côst – in pýnt v fact t Brnsto – (I der se y nô it) fr a wīc or ten dez, t impruv mî gem. I hop t gt of tmro.”

“Ô, Parcinz,” sd hiz nebr on ɖ uɖr sîd, “f y r gwñ t Brnsto, I wś y wd lc at ɖ sait v ɖ Templrz’ prispṭri, n let m nô f y ʈñc it wd b eni gd t hv a dig ɖr in ɖ sumr.”

It wz, az y mt ṣpoz, a prsn v antiqerịn psyts hu sd ɖs, bt, sins h mirli apirz in ɖs prôlog, ɖr z no nīd t gv hiz intîtlmnts.

“Srtnli,” sd Parcinz, ɖ Pṛfesr: “f y wl dscrîb t m ẃṛbts ɖ sait z, I wl d mî bst t gv y an îdīa v ɖ lî v ɖ land ẃn I gt bac; or I cd rait t y abt it, f y wd tel m ẃr y r lîcli t b.”

“D’nt trubl t d ɖt, ʈancs. It’s onli ɖt I’m ʈncing v tecñ mî famli in ɖt drẋn in ɖ Loñ, n it ocŕd t m ɖt, az vri fy v ɖ Ñgliś prispṭriz hv evr bn proprli pland, I mt hv an oṗtyṇti v dwñ smʈñ ysfl on ofdez.”

Ɖ Pṛfesr rɖr snift at ɖ îdīa ɖt planñ ât a prispṭri cd b dscrîbd az ysfl. Hiz nebr cntinyd:

“Ɖ sait – I dât f ɖr z enʈñ śowñ abv grând – mst b dân qt clos t ɖ bīć nâ. Ɖ sì hz incroćt trimnḍsli, az y nô, ol alñ ɖt bit v côst. I śd ʈnc, fṛm ɖ map, ɖt it mst b abt ʈri qortrz v a mîl fṛm ɖ Glob Ín, at ɖ norʈ end v ɖ tân. Ẃr r y gwñ t ste?”

“Wel, at ɖ Glob Ín, az a matr v fact,” sd Parcinz; “I hv ingejd a rūm ɖr. I cd’nt gt in enẃr els; most v ɖ lojñhâzz r śut p in wintr, it sīmz; n, az it z, ɖe tel m ɖt ɖ onli rūm v eni sîz I cn hv z riyli a dubl-bedd wn, n ɖt ɖe hv’nt a cornr in ẃć t stor ɖ uɖr bed, n so on. Bt I mst hv a ferli lj rūm, fr I am tecñ sm bcs dân, n mīn t d a bit v wrc; n ɖo I d’nt qt fansi hvñ an emti bed – nt t spīc v tu – in ẃt I me cōl fr ɖ tîm biyñ mî studi, I ṣpoz I cn manij t ruf it fr ɖ śort tîm I śl b ɖr.”

“D y cōl hvñ an xtra bed in yr rūm rufñ it, Parcinz?” sd a bluf prsn oṗzit. “Lc hir, I śl cm dân n okpî it fr a bit; it’l b cumṗni fr y.”

Ɖ Pṛfesr qivrd, bt manijd t laf in a crtịs manr.

“Bî ol mīnz, Rojrz; ɖr’z nʈñ I śd lîc btr. Bt I’m afred y wd fînd it rɖr dul; y d’nt ple golf, d y?”

“No, ʈanc Hevn!” sd rūd Mr Rojrz.

“Wel, y si, ẃn I’m nt raitñ I śl most lîcli b ât on ɖ lincs, n ɖt, az I se, wd b rɖr dul fr y, I’m afred.”

“Ô, I d’nt nô! Ɖr’z srtn t b smbdi I nô in ɖ ples; bt, v cors, f y d’nt wont m, spīc ɖ wrd, Parcinz; I ś’nt b ofndd. Truʈ, az y olwz tel s, z nvr ofnsv.”

Parcinz wz, indd, scrūpyḷsli ṗlît n stricli truʈfl. It z t b fird ɖt Mr Rojrz smtmz practist upn hiz nolij v ɖz caricṭristcs. In Parcinz’z brest ɖr wz a conflict nâ rejñ, ẃć fr a momnt or tu dd nt alâ hm t ansr. Ɖt intvl biyñ ovr, h sd:

“Wel, f y wont ɖ xct truʈ, Rojrz, I wz cnsidrñ ẃɖr ɖ rūm I spīc v wd riyli b lj inuf t acoṃdet s bʈ cumftbli; n olso ẃɖr (mînd, I śd’nt hv sd ɖs f y hd’nt prest m) y wd nt constityt smʈñ in ɖ nećr v a hindṛns t mî wrc.”

Rojrz laft lâdli.

“Wel dn, Parcinz!” h sd. “It’s ol rît. I promis nt t inṭrupt yr wrc; d’nt y dstrb yrslf abt ɖt. No, I w’nt cm f y d’nt wont m; bt I ʈt I śd d so nîsli t cīp ɖ gosts of.” Hir h mt hv bn sìn t wnc n t nuj hiz nxt nebr. Parcinz mt olso hv bn sìn t bcm pnc. “I beg pardn, Parcinz,” Rojrz cntinyd; “I òt’nt t hv sd ɖt. I fgot y dd’nt lîc levti on ɖz topcs.”

“Wel,” Parcinz sd, “az y hv mnśnd ɖ matr, I frīli ôn ɖt I d nt lîc cerlis tōc abt ẃt y cōl gosts. A man in mî pziśn,” h wnt on, rezñ hiz výs a ltl, “canot, I fînd, b tù cerfl abt apirñ t sanẋn ɖ cuṛnt ḅlifs on sć subjicts. Az y nô, Rojrz, or az y òt t nô; fr I ʈnc I hv nvr cnsild mî vyz – ”

“No, y srtnli hv nt, old man,” pt in Rojrz sotto voce.

“ – I hold ɖt eni sembḷns, eni apiṛns v cnseśn t ɖ vy ɖt sć ʈñz mt xist z iqivḷnt t a rnunsieśn v ol ɖt I hold most secrid. Bt I’m afred I hv nt sxidd in ṣkrñ yr atnśn.”

“Yr undivîdd atnśn, wz ẃt Dr Blimbr acćli sd,” Rojrz inṭruptd, wɖ evri apiṛns v an ŕnist dzîr fr akṛsi. “Bt I beg yr pardn, Parcinz: I’m stopñ y.”

“No, nt at ol,” sd Parcinz. “I d’nt rmmbr Blimbr; phps h wz bfr mî tîm. Bt I nīd’nt g on. I’m śr y nô ẃt I mīn.”

“Yes, yes,” sd Rojrz, rɖr hestili – “jst so. W’l g intu it fŭli at Brnsto, or smẃr.”

In rpitñ ɖ abv daylog I hv traid t gv ɖ impreśn ẃć it md on m, ɖt Parcinz wz smʈñ v an old wmn – rɖr hen-lîc, phps, in hiz ltl wez; totli destityt, alas! v ɖ sens v hymr, bt at ɖ sem tîm dōntlis n sinsir in hiz cnviẋnz, n a man dzrvñ v ɖ grtist rspct. Ẃɖr or nt ɖ rīdr hz gaɖrd so mć, ɖt wz ɖ carictr ẃć Parcinz hd.

On ɖ folowñ de Parcinz dd, az h hd hopt, sxid in gtñ awe fṛm hiz colij, n in arîvñ at Brnsto. H wz md welcm at ɖ Glob Ín, wz sefli instōld in ɖ lj dubl-bedd rūm v ẃć w hv hŕd, n wz ebl bfr rtîrñ t rest t arenj hiz mtirịlz fr wrc in aplpî ordr upn a cmodịs tebl ẃć okpaid ɖ âtr end v ɖ rūm, n wz ṣrândd on ʈri sîdz bî windoz lcñ ât sìẉd; ɖt z t se, ɖ sntṛl windo lct stret ât t sì, n ɖoz on ɖ left n rît cmandd prospects alñ ɖ śor t ɖ norʈ n sâʈ rspctvli. On ɖ sâʈ y sw ɖ vilij v Brnsto. On ɖ norʈ no hâzz wr t b sìn, bt onli ɖ bīć n ɖ lo clif bacñ it. Imījtli in frunt wz a strip – nt cnsidṛbl – v ruf gras, dotd wɖ old ancrz, capstnz, n so fʈ; ɖen a brōd paʈ; ɖen ɖ bīć. Ẃtvr me hv bn ɖ orijinl distns btwn ɖ Glob Ín n ɖ sì, nt mr ɖn sixti yardz nâ seṗretd ɖm.

Ɖ rest v ɖ popyleśn v ɖ ín wz, v cors, a golfñ wn, n includd fy elimnts ɖt cōl fr a speśl dscripśn. Ɖ most cnspiks figr wz, phps, ɖt v an ancien militaire secṛtri v a Lundn club, n pzest v a výs v incredbl streñʈ, n v vyz v a pṛnânsidli Protistnt tîp. Ɖz wr apt t fînd utṛns aftr hiz atndns upn ɖ ministreśnz v ɖ Vicr, an estiṃbl man wɖ inclineśnz twdz a pic̣resc rićl, ẃć h gaḷntli cept dân az far az h cd ât v defṛns t Īst Anglịn tṛdiśn.

Pṛfesr Parcinz, wn v huz prinsipl caricṭristcs wz pluc, spent ɖ grtr part v ɖ de folowñ hiz arîvl at Brnsto in ẃt h hd cōld impruvñ hiz gem, in cumṗni wɖ ɖs Crnl Wilsn: n jrñ ɖ aftnn – ẃɖr ɖ prôses v impruvmnt wr t blem or nt, I am nt śr – ɖ Crnl’z dmīnr asymd a cuḷrñ so lŭrid ɖt īvn Parcinz jibd at ɖ ʈt v wōcñ hom wɖ hm fṛm ɖ lincs. H dtrmind, aftr a śort n frtv lc at ɖt brislñ mstaś n ɖoz incarṇdînd fīćrz, ɖt it wd b wîzr t alâ ɖ inflụnsz v ti n tbaco t d ẃt ɖe cd wɖ ɖ Crnl bfr ɖ dinr aur śd rendr a mītñ inevitbl.

“I mt wōc hom tnît alñ ɖ bīć,” h rflctd – “yes, n tec a lc – ɖr wl b lît inuf fr ɖt – at ɖ ruinz v ẃć Dizni wz tōcñ. I d’nt xacli nô ẃr ɖe r, bî ɖ we; bt I xpct I cn hardli hlp stumblñ on ɖm.”

Ɖs h acumpliśt, I me se, in ɖ most litṛl sens, fr in picñ hiz we fṛm ɖ lincs t ɖ śnglbīć hiz ft còt, partli in a gorsrūt n partli in a bigiś ston, n ovr h wnt. Ẃn h got p n srved hiz ṣrândñz, h faund hmslf in a pać v smẃt brocn grând cuvrd wɖ sml dpreśnz n mândz. Ɖz latr, ẃn h cem t xamin ɖm, pruvd t b simpli masz v flints imbedd in mortr n groun ovr wɖ trf. H mst, h qt rîtli cncludd, b on ɖ sait v ɖ prispṭri h hd promist t lc at. It sīmd nt unlîcli t rword ɖ sped v ɖ xplorr; inuf v ɖ fândeśnz wz probbli left at no grt depʈ t ʈro a gd dīl v lît on ɖ jenṛl plan. H rmmbrd vegli ɖt ɖ Templrz, t hūm ɖs sait hd ḅloñd, wr in ɖ habit v bildñ rând ćrćz, n h ʈt a ptiklr siriz v ɖ humps or mândz nir hm dd apir t b arenjd in smʈñ v a srklr form. Fy ppl cn rzist ɖ temteśn t trî a ltl aṃtr rsrć in a dpartmnt qt âtsd ɖer ôn, f onli fr ɖ satisfaẋn v śowñ hâ sxesfl ɖe wd hv bn hd ɖe onli tecn it p sirịsli. Âr Pṛfesr, hvr, f h felt smʈñ v ɖs mìn dzîr, wz olso trūli añśs t oblîj Mr Dizni. So h pêst wɖ cer ɖ srklr ẹria h hd notist, n rout dân its ruf dmenśnz in hiz pocit bc. Ɖen h pṛsidd t xamin an obloñ eminns ẃć le īst v ɖ sntr v ɖ srcl, n sīmd t hiz ʈñcñ lîcli t b ɖ bes v a platform or ōltr. At wn end v it, ɖ norɖn, a pać v ɖ trf wz gn – rmuvd bî sm bý or uɖr crīćr feræ naturæ. It mt, h ʈt, b az wel t prob ɖ sýl hir fr evidnsz v mesnri, n h tc ât hiz nîf n bgan screpñ awe ɖ rʈ. N nâ foloud anɖr ltl dscuvri: a porśn v sýl fel inẉd az h scrept, n dsclozd a sml cavti. H lîtd wn mać aftr anɖr t hlp hm t si v ẃt nećr ɖ houl wz, bt ɖ wind wz tù stroñ fr ɖm ol. Bî tapñ n scraćñ ɖ sîdz wɖ hiz nîf, hvr, h wz ebl t mc ât ɖt it mst b an artifiśl houl in mesnri. It wz rectanğlr, n ɖ sîdz, top, n botm, f nt acćli plastrd, wr smuɖ n reğlr. V cors it wz emti. No! Az h wɖdru ɖ nîf h hŕd a mtalic clinc, n ẃn h intṛdyst hiz hand it met wɖ a silindricl objict layñ on ɖ flor v ɖ houl. Naćṛli inuf, h pict it p, n ẃn h bròt it intu ɖ lît, nâ fast fedñ, h cd si ɖt it, tù, wz v man’z mcñ – a metl tyb abt for inćz loñ, n evidntli v sm cnsidṛbl ej.

Bî ɖ tîm Parcinz hd md śr ɖt ɖr wz nʈñ els in ɖs od rsptcl, it wz tù lêt n tù darc fr hm t ʈnc v undtecñ eni frɖr srć. Ẃt h hd dn hd pruvd so unxpctdli intrestñ ɖt h dtrmind t sacrifîs a ltl mr v ɖ de lît on ɖ moro t arcioḷji. Ɖ objict ẃć h nâ hd sef in hiz pocit wz baund t b v sm slît valy at līst, h felt śr.

Blīc n soḷm wz ɖ vy on ẃć h tc a last lc bfr startñ homẉd. A fent yelo lît in ɖ west śoud ɖ lincs, on ẃć a fy figrz muvñ twdz ɖ clubhâs wr stl vizbl, ɖ sqot martélotâr, ɖ lîts v Ōldzi vilij, ɖ pel ribn v sandz inṭsctd at intvlz bî blac wŭdn grýnz, ɖ dim n mrmrñ sì. Ɖ wind wz bitr fṛm ɖ norʈ, bt wz at hiz bac ẃn h set ât fr ɖ Glob. H qcli ratld n claśt ʈru ɖ śngl n gend ɖ sand, upn ẃć, bt fr ɖ grýnz ẃć hd t b got ovr evri fy yardz, ɖ gwñ wz bʈ gd n qayt. Wn last lc bhnd, t meźr ɖ distns h hd md sins līvñ ɖ ruind Templrz’ ćrć, śoud hm a prospect v cumṗni on hiz wōc, in ɖ śep v a rɖr indistñt prṣnij, hu sīmd t b mcñ grt ef̣ts t cać p wɖ hm, bt md ltl, f eni, progres. I mīn ɖt ɖr wz an apiṛns v runñ abt hiz muvmnts, bt ɖt ɖ distns btwn hm n Parcinz dd nt sīm mtirịli t lésn. So, at līst, Parcinz ʈt, n dsîdd ɖt h olmst srtnli dd nt nô hm, n ɖt it wd b absrd t wet untl h cem p. Fr ol ɖt, cumṗni, h bgan t ʈnc, wd riyli b vri welcm on ɖt lonli śor, f onli y cd ćūz yr cmpańn. In hiz uninlîtnd dez h hd réd v mītñz in sć plesz ẃć īvn nâ wd hardli ber ʈncñ v. H wnt on ʈncñ v ɖm, hvr, untl h rīćt hom, n ptklrli v wn ẃć caćz most ppl’z fansi at sm tîm v ɖer ćîldhd. “Nâ I sw in mî drīm ɖt Crisćn hd gn bt a vri ltl we ẃn h sw a fâl fīnd cmñ ovr ɖ fīld t mīt hm.” “Ẃt śd I d nâ,” h ʈt, “f I lct bac n còt sît v a blac figr śarpli dfînd agnst ɖ yelo scî, n sw ɖt it hd hornz n wñz? I wundr ẃɖr I śd stand or run fr it. Lucili, ɖ jentlmn bhnd z nt v ɖt cnd, n h sīmz t b abt az far of nâ az ẃn I sw hm frst. Wel, at ɖs ret h w’nt gt hiz dinr az sn az I śl; n, dir m! it’s wɖn a qortr v an aur v ɖ tîm nâ. I mst run!”

Parcinz hd, in fact, vri ltl tîm fr dresñ. Ẃn h met ɖ Crnl at dinr, Pīs – or az mć v hr az ɖt jentlmn cd manij – rênd wns mr in ɖ militri bzm; nr wz ś pt t flît in ɖ aurz v brij ɖt foloud dinr, fr Parcinz wz a mr ɖn rspctbl pleyr. Ẃn, ɖrfr, h rtîrd twdz twelv o’cloc, h felt ɖt h hd spent hiz īvnñ in qt a satisfactri we, n ɖt, īvn fr so loñ az a fortnît or ʈri wīcs, lîf at ɖ Glob wd b s’portbl undr similr cndiśnz – “ispeśli,” ʈt h, “f I g on impruvñ mî gem.”

Az h wnt alñ ɖ pasijz h met ɖ būts v ɖ Glob, hu stopt n sd:

“Beg yr pardn, sr, bt az I wz abruśñ yr cot jst nâ ɖr wz smʈñ fel ât v ɖ pocit. I pt it on yr ćst v drorz, sr, in yr rūm, sr – a pìs v a pîp or smʈnc v ɖt, sr. Ʈanc y, sr. Y’l fînd it on yr ćst v drorz, sr – yes, sr. Gd nît, sr.”

Ɖ spīć srvd t rmînd Parcinz v hiz ltl dscuvri v ɖt aftnn. It wz wɖ sm cnsidṛbl krioṣti ɖt h trnd it ovr bî ɖ lît v hiz candlz. It wz v bronz, h nâ sw, n wz śept vri mć aftr ɖ manr v ɖ modn dogẃisl; in fact it wz – yes, srtnli it wz – acćli no mr nr les ɖn a ẃisl. H pt it t hiz lips, bt it wz qt fl v a fîn, cect-p sand or rʈ, ẃć wd nt yīld t nocñ, bt mst b lūsnd wɖ a nîf. Tîdi az evr in hiz habits, Parcinz clird ât ɖ rʈ on t a pìs v pepr, n tc ɖ latr t ɖ windo t emti it ât. Ɖ nît wz clir n brît, az h sw ẃn h hd opnd ɖ cesmnt, n h stopt fr an instnt t lc at ɖ sì n not a ḅletd wondrr steśnd on ɖ śor in frunt v ɖ ín. Ɖen h śut ɖ windo, a ltl ṣprîzd at ɖ lêt aurz ppl cept at Brnsto, n tc hiz ẃisl t ɖ lît agn. Ẃ, śrli ɖr wr marcs on it, nt mirli marcs, bt letrz! A vri ltl rubñ rendrd ɖ dīpli cut inscripśn qt lejbl, bt ɖ Pṛfesr hd t cnfes, aftr sm ŕnist ʈt, ɖt ɖ mīnñ v it wz az obskr t hm az ɖ raitñ on ɖ wōl t Belśazr. Ɖr wr lejndz bʈ on ɖ frunt n on ɖ bac v ɖ ẃisl. Ɖ wn réd ɖus:

FLA
FUR   FLE
BIS

Ɖ uɖr:

QUIS EST ISTE QUI UENIT

“I òt t b ebl t mc it ât,” h ʈt; “bt I ṣpoz I am a ltl rusti in mî Latin. Ẃn I cm t ʈnc v it, I d’nt ḅliv I īvn nô ɖ wrd fr a ẃisl. Ɖ loñ wn dz sīm simpl inuf. It òt t mīn, ‘Hu z ɖs hu z cmñ?’ Wel, ɖ bst we t fînd ât z evidntli t ẃisl fr hm.”

H blù tenttvli n stopt sudnli, startld n yt plizd at ɖ not h hd ilisitd. It hd a qoḷti v infiṇt distns in it, n, soft az it wz, h smhâ felt it mst b ōdbl fr mîlz rnd. It wz a sând, tù, ɖt sīmd t hv ɖ pâr (ẃć mni sénts pzes) v formñ picćrz in ɖ bren. H sw qt clirli fr a momnt a viźn v a wîd, darc xpans at nît, wɖ a freś wind blowñ, n in ɖ midst a lonli figr – hâ imploid, h cd nt tel. Phps h wd hv sìn mr hd nt ɖ picćr bn brocn bî ɖ sudn srj v a gust v wind agnst hiz cesmnt, so sudn ɖt it md hm lc p, jst in tîm t si ɖ ẃît glint v a sìbrd’z wñ smẃr âtsd ɖ darc pênz.

Ɖ sând v ɖ ẃisl hd so fasinetd hm ɖt h cd nt hlp trayñ it wns mr, ɖs tîm mr boldli. Ɖ not wz ltl, f at ol, lâdr ɖn bfr, n reṗtiśn brouc ɖ iluźn – no picćr foloud, az h hd haf hopt it mt. “Bt ẃt z ɖs? Gdnis! ẃt fors ɖ wind cn gt p in a fy minits! Ẃt a trimnḍs gust! Ɖr! I ń ɖt windofasnñ wz no ys! Ā! I ʈt so – bʈ candlz ât. It’s inuf t ter ɖ rūm t pìsz.”

Ɖ frst ʈñ wz t gt ɖ windo śut. Ẃl y mt cânt twenti, Parcinz wz struglñ wɖ ɖ sml cesmnt, n felt olmst az f h wr pśñ bac a strdi brglr, so stroñ wz ɖ preśr. It slacnd ol at wns n ɖ windo bañd t n laćt itslf. Nâ t rīlît ɖ candlz n si ẃt damij, f eni, hd bn dn. No, nʈñ sīmd amis; no glas īvn wz brocn in ɖ cesmnt. Bt ɖ nýz hd evidntli râzd at līst wn membr v ɖ hâshold: ɖ Crnl wz t b hŕd stumpñ in hiz stocñd fīt on ɖ flor abv, n grâlñ.

Qcli az it hd rizn, ɖ wind dd nt fōl at wns. On it wnt, monñ n ruśñ past ɖ hâs, at tîmz rîzñ t a crî so dezḷt ɖt, az Parcinz dsinṭrestdli sd, it mt hv md fansifl ppl fīl qt uncumftbl; īvn ɖ unimajiṇtv, h ʈt aftr a qortr v an aur, mt b hapịr wɖt it.

Ẃɖr it wz ɖ wind, or ɖ xîtmnt v golf, or v ɖ rsrćz in ɖ prispṭri ɖt cept Parcinz awec, h wz nt śr. Awec h rmend, in eni ces, loñ inuf t fansi (az I am afred I ofn d mslf undr sć cndiśnz) ɖt h wz ɖ victim v ol manr v fetl dsordrz: h wd lî cântñ ɖ bīts v hiz hāt, cnvinst ɖt it wz gwñ t stop wrc evri momnt, n wd entten grev sspiśnz v hiz luñz, bren, livr, etc. – sspiśnz ẃć h wz śr wd b dspeld bî ɖ rtrn v de lît, bt ẃć untl ɖen rfyzd t b pt asîd. H faund a ltl vicerịs cumf̣t in ɖ îdīa ɖt smwn els wz in ɖ sem bot. A nir nebr (in ɖ darcnis it wz nt īzi t tel hiz drẋn) wz tosñ n ruslñ in hiz bed, tù.

Ɖ nxt stej wz ɖt Parcinz śut hiz îz n dtrmind t gv slīp evri ćans. Hir agn oṿrxîtmnt asrtd itslf in anɖr form – ɖt v mcñ picćrz. Experto crede, picćrz d cm t ɖ clozd îz v wn trayñ t slīp, n r ofn so ltl t hiz test ɖt h mst opn hiz îz n dsprs ɖm.

Parcinz’z xpirịns on ɖs oceźn wz a vri dstresñ wn. H faund ɖt ɖ picćr ẃć prizntd itslf t hm wz cntinys. Ẃn h opnd hiz îz, v cors, it wnt; bt ẃn h śut ɖm wns mr it fremd itslf afreś, n actd itslf ât agn, nɖr qcr nr slowr ɖn bfr. Ẃt h sw wz ɖs:

A loñ streć v śor – śngl éjd bî sand, n inṭsctd at śort intvlz wɖ blac grýnz runñ dân t ɖ wōtr – a sīn, in fact, so lîc ɖt v hiz aftnn’z wōc ɖt, in ɖ absns v eni landmarc, it cd nt b dstnḡśt ɖrfrom. Ɖ lît wz obskr, cnveyñ an impreśn v gaɖrñ storm, lêt wintr īvnñ, n slît cold ren. On ɖs blīc stej at frst no actr wz vizbl. Ẃn, in ɖ distns, a bobñ blac objict apird; a momnt mr, n it wz a man runñ, jumpñ, clambrñ ovr ɖ grýnz, n evri fy secndz lcñ īgrli bac. Ɖ nirr h cem ɖ mr obvịs it wz ɖt h wz nt onli añśs, bt īvn teṛbli frîtnd, ɖo hiz fes wz nt t b dstnḡśt. H wz, mrvr, olmst at ɖ end v hiz streñʈ. On h cem; ć sxesv obstcl sīmd t cōz hm mr dfclti ɖn ɖ last. “Wl h gt ovr ɖs nxt wn?” ʈt Parcinz; “it sīmz a ltl hîr ɖn ɖ uɖrz.” Yes; haf clîmñ, haf ʈrowñ hmslf, h dd gt ovr, n fel ol in a hīp on ɖ uɖr sîd (ɖ sîd nirist t ɖ spectetr). Ɖr, az f riyli unebl t gt p agn, h rmend crâćñ undr ɖ grýn, lcñ p in an atityd v penfl añzayti.

So far no cōz ẃtvr fr ɖ fir v ɖ runr hd bn śoun; bt nâ ɖr bgan t b sìn, far p ɖ śor, a ltl flicr v smʈñ lît-culrd muvñ t n fro wɖ grt swiftnis n ireğlaṛti. Rapidli growñ ljr, it, tù, dclerd itslf az a figr in pel, flutrñ drepriz, il-dfînd. Ɖr wz smʈñ abt its mośn ẃć md Parcinz vri unwilñ t si it at clos qortrz. It wd stop, rêz armz, bâ itslf twd ɖ sand, ɖen run stūpñ acrs ɖ bīć t ɖ wōtr éj n bac agn; n ɖen, rîzñ uprît, wns mr cntiny its cors fwd at a spīd ɖt wz startlñ n terifayñ. Ɖ momnt cem ẃn ɖ psywr wz hovrñ abt fṛm left t rît onli a fy yardz bynd ɖ grýn ẃr ɖ runr le in hîdñ. Aftr tu or ʈri inifcćl castñz hiɖr n ɖiɖr it cem t a stop, std uprît, wɖ armz rezd hî, n ɖen dartd stret fwd twdz ɖ grýn.

It wz at ɖs pýnt ɖt Parcinz olwz feld in hiz reẓluśn t cīp hiz îz śut. Wɖ mni msgivñz az t insipịnt fełr v îsît, ovwrct bren, xesv smocñ, n so on, h fîṇli rzînd hmslf t lît hiz candl, gt ât a bc, n pas ɖ nît wecñ, rɖr ɖn b tormntd bî ɖs psistnt paṇrāma, ẃć h sw clirli inuf cd onli b a morbid rflẋn v hiz wōc n hiz ʈts on ɖt vri de.

Ɖ screpñ v mać on box n ɖ gler v lît mst hv startld sm crīćrz v ɖ nît – rats or ẃt nt – ẃć h hŕd scuri acrs ɖ flor fṛm ɖ sîd v hiz bed wɖ mć ruslñ. Dir, dir! ɖ mać z ât! Fūl ɖt it z! Bt ɖ secnd wn brnt btr, n a candl n bc wr dyli pṛkrd, ovr ẃć Parcinz pord tl slīp v a holsm cnd cem upn hm, n ɖt in no loñ spes. Fr abt ɖ frst tîm in hiz ordrli n prūdnt lîf h fgot t blo ât ɖ candl, n ẃn h wz cōld nxt mornñ at êt ɖr wz stl a flicr in ɖ socit n a sad mes v gutrd grīs on ɖ top v ɖ ltl tebl.

Aftr brecfst h wz in hiz rūm, ptñ ɖ finiśñ tućz t hiz golfñ costym – forćn hd agn alotd ɖ Crnl t hm fr a partnr – ẃn wn v ɖ medz cem in.

“Ô, f y plīz,” ś sd, “wd y lîc eni xtra blancits on yr bed, sr?”

“Ā! ʈanc y,” sd Parcinz. “Yes, I ʈñc I śd lîc wn. It sīmz lîcli t trn rɖr coldr.”

In a vri śort tîm ɖ med wz bac wɖ ɖ blancit.

“Ẃć bed śd I pt it on, sr?” ś asct.

“Ẃt? Ẃ, ɖt wn – ɖ wn I slept in last nît,” h sd, pýntñ t it.

“Ô yes! I beg yr pardn, sr, bt y sīmd t hv traid bʈ v ’m; līstwez, w hd t mc ’m bʈ p ɖs mornñ.”

“Riyli? Hâ vri absrd!” sd Parcinz. “I srtnli nvr tućt ɖ uɖr, xpt t le sm ʈñz on it. Dd it acćli sīm t hv bn slept in?”

“Ô yes, sr!” sd ɖ med. “Ẃ, ol ɖ ʈñz wz crumpld n ʈroud abt ol wez, f y’l xkz m, sr – qt az f enwn ’ad’nt pást bt a vri pur nît, sr.”

“Dir m,” sd Parcinz. “Wel, I me hv dsordrd it mr ɖn I ʈt ẃn I unpact mî ʈñz. I’m vri sori t hv gvn y ɖ trubl, I’m śr. I xpct a frend v mîn sn, bî ɖ we – a jentlmn fṛm Cembrij – t cm n okpî it fr a nît or tu. Ɖt wl b ol rît, I ṣpoz, w’nt it?”

“Ô yes, t b śr, sr. Ʈanc y, sr. It’s no trubl, I’m śr,” sd ɖ med, n dpartd t gigl wɖ hr colīgz.

Parcinz set fʈ, wɖ a strn dtrmineśn t impruv hiz gem.

I am glad t b ebl t rport ɖt h sxidd so far in ɖs enṭprîz ɖt ɖ Crnl, hu hd bn rɖr rpînñ at ɖ prospect v a secnd de’z ple in hiz cumṗni, bcem qt ćati az ɖ mornñ advanst; n hiz výs būmd ât ovr ɖ flats, az srtn olso v âr ôn mînr powts hv sd, “lîc sm grt burdn in a minstrtâr.”

“Xtrordnri wind, ɖt w hd last nît,” h sd. “In mî old hom w śd hv sd smwn hd bn ẃislñ fr it.”

“Śd y, indd!” sd Parcinz. “Z ɖr a sūṗstiśn v ɖt cnd stl cuṛnt in yr part v ɖ cuntri?”

“I d’nt nô abt sūṗstiśn,” sd ɖ Crnl. “Ɖe ḅliv in it ol ovr Denmarc n Norwe, az wel az on ɖ Yorcśr côst; n mî xpirịns z, mînd y, ɖt ɖr’z jenṛli smʈñ at ɖ botm v ẃt ɖz cuntri foc hold t, n hv held t fr jeṇreśnz. Bt it’s yr drîv” (or ẃtvr it mt hv bn: ɖ golfñ rīdr wl hv t imajin aproprịt dgreśnz at ɖ propr intvlz).

Ẃn convseśn wz rzymd, Parcinz sd, wɖ a slît hezitnsi:

“Apṛpo v ẃt y wr seyñ jst nâ, Crnl, I ʈnc I òt t tel y ɖt mî ôn vyz on sć subjicts r vri stroñ. I am, in fact, a cnvinst disḅlivr in ẃt z cōld ɖ ‘sūṗnaćṛl’.”

“Ẃt!” sd ɖ Crnl, “d y mīn t tel m y d’nt ḅliv in secndsît, or gosts, or enʈñ v ɖt cnd?”

“In nʈñ ẃtvr v ɖt cnd,” rtrnd Parcinz frmli.

“Wel,” sd ɖ Crnl, “bt it apirz t m at ɖt ret, sr, ɖt y mst b ltl btr ɖn a Sadysī.”

Parcinz wz on ɖ pýnt v ansrñ ɖt, in hiz opińn, ɖ Sadysīz wr ɖ most snsbl prsnz h hd evr réd v in ɖ Old Tesṭmnt; bt, fīlñ sm dât az t ẃɖr mć mnśn v ɖm wz t b faund in ɖt wrc, h prifŕd  t laf ɖ akześn of.

“Phps I am,” h sd; “bt – Hir, gv m mî clìc, bý! – Xkz m wn momnt, Crnl.” A śort intvl. “Nâ, az t ẃislñ fr ɖ wind, let m gv y mî ʈiyri abt it. Ɖ lwz ẃć guvn windz r riyli nt at ol prficli noun – t fiśrfoc n sć, v cors, nt noun at ol. A man or wmn v xntric habits, phps, or a strenjr, z sìn rpitdli on ɖ bīć at sm unyźl aur, n z hŕd ẃislñ. Sn aftwdz a vayḷnt wind rîzz; a man hu cd rīd ɖ scî prficli or hu pzest a ḅromitr cd hv fōrtold ɖt it wd. Ɖ simpl ppl v a fiśñvilij hv no ḅromitrz, n onli a fy ruf rūlz fr profisayñ weɖr. Ẃt mr naćṛl ɖn ɖt ɖ xntric prṣnij I postyletd śd b rgardd az hvñ rezd ɖ wind, or ɖt h or ś śd cluć īgrli at ɖ repyteśn v biyñ ebl t d so? Nâ, tec last nît’s wind: az it hapnz, I mslf wz ẃislñ. I blù a ẃisl twîs, n ɖ wind sīmd t cm abṣlutli in ansr t mî cōl. F enwn hd sìn m – ”

Ɖ ōdịns hd bn a ltl restv undr ɖs hrañ, n Parcinz hd, I fir, fōḷn smẃt intu ɖ ton v a lecćrr; bt at ɖ last sntns ɖ Crnl stopt.

“Ẃislñ, wr y?” h sd. “N ẃt sort v ẃisl dd y yz? Ple ɖs stroc frst.” Intvl.

“Abt ɖt ẃisl y wr ascñ, Crnl. It’s rɖr a krịs wn. I hv it in mî –  No; I si I’v left it in mî rūm. Az a matr v fact, I faund it ystde.”

N ɖen Parcinz nretd ɖ manr v hiz dscuvri v ɖ ẃisl, upn hírñ ẃć ɖ Crnl gruntd, n opînd ɖt, in Parcinz’z ples, h śd hmslf b cerfl abt yzñ a ʈñ ɖt hd ḅloñd t a set v Pêpists, v hūm, spīcñ jenṛli, it mt b afrmd ɖt y nvr ń ẃt ɖe mt nt hv bn p t. Fṛm ɖs topic h dvrjd t ɖ inorṃtiz v ɖ Vicr, hu hd gvn notis on ɖ prīvịs Súnde ɖt Frîde wd b ɖ Fīst v St. Toms ɖ Aposl, n ɖt ɖr wd b srvis at ilevn o’cloc in ɖ ćrć. Ɖs n uɖr similr pṛsīdñz constitytd in ɖ Crnl’z vy a stroñ prizumśn ɖt ɖ Vicr wz a cnsild Pêpist, f nt a Jeźuit; n Parcinz, hu cd nt vri redili folo ɖ Crnl in ɖs rījn, dd nt dis’gri wɖ hm. In fact, ɖe got on so wel tgɖr in ɖ mornñ ɖt ɖr wz no tōc on îɖr sîd v ɖer seṗretñ aftr lunć.

Bʈ cntinyd t ple wel jrñ ɖ aftnn, or, at līst, wel inuf t mc ɖm fgt evrʈñ els untl ɖ lît bgan t fel ɖm. Nt untl ɖen dd Parcinz rmmbr ɖt h hd mnt t d sm mr invstigetñ at ɖ prispṭri; bt it wz v no grt importns, h rflctd. Wn de wz az gd az anɖr; h mt az wel g hom wɖ ɖ Crnl.

Az ɖe trnd ɖ cornr v ɖ hâs, ɖ Crnl wz olmst noct dân bî a bý hu ruśt intu hm at ɖ vri top v hiz spīd, n ɖen, instd v runñ awe, rmend hangñ on t hm n pantñ. Ɖ frst wrdz v ɖ worịr wr naćṛli ɖoz v rpruf n objgeśn, bt h qcli dsrnd ɖt ɖ bý wz olmst spīćlis wɖ frît. Inqîriz wr yslis at frst. Ẃn ɖ bý got hiz breʈ h bgan t hâl, n stl cluñ t ɖ Crnl’z legz. H wz at last dtaćt, bt cntinyd t hâl.

“Ẃt in ɖ wrld z ɖ matr wɖ y? Ẃt hv y bn p t? Ẃt hv y sìn?” sd ɖ tu men.

“’Â, I sìn it wîv at m ât v ɖ windr,” weild ɖ bý, “n I d’nt lîc it.”

“Ẃt windo?” sd ɖ iritetd Crnl. “Cm, pl yrslf tgɖr, mî bý.”

“Ɖ fruntwindr it wz, at ɖ ’otel,” sd ɖ bý.

At ɖs pýnt Parcinz wz in fevr v sndñ ɖ bý hom, bt ɖ Crnl rfyzd; h wontd t gt t ɖ botm v it, h sd; it wz most denjṛs t gv a bý sć a frît az ɖs wn hd hd, n f it trnd ât ɖt ppl hd bn pleyñ jocs, ɖe śd sufr fr it in sm we. N bî a siriz v qsćnz h md ât ɖs stori: Ɖ bý hd bn pleyñ abt on ɖ gras in frunt v ɖ Glob wɖ sm uɖrz; ɖen ɖe hd gn hom t ɖer tiz, n h wz jst gwñ, ẃn h hapnd t lc p at ɖ fruntwindr n si it awîvñ at hm. It sīmd t b a figr v sm sort, in ẃît az far az h ń – cd’nt si its fes; bt it wîvd at hm, n it wōr’nt a rît ʈñ – nt t se nt a rît prsn. Wz ɖr a lît in ɖ rūm? No, h dd’nt ʈnc t lc f ɖr wz a lît. Ẃć wz ɖ windo? Wz it ɖ top wn or ɖ secnd wn? Ɖ secnd wn it wz – ɖ bg windr ẃt got tu ltl ’nz at ɖ sîdz.

“Vri wel, mî bý,” sd ɖ Crnl, aftr a fy mr qsćnz. “Y run awe hom nâ. I xpct it wz sm prsn trayñ t gv y a start. Anɖr tîm, lîc a brev Ñgliś bý, y jst ʈro a ston – wel, no, nt ɖt xacli, bt y g n spīc t ɖ wetr, or t Mr Simsn, ɖ landlord, n – yes – n se ɖt I advîzd y t d so.”

Ɖ bý’z fes xprest sm v ɖ dât h felt az t ɖ lîclīhd v Mr Simsn’z lendñ a fevṛbl ir t hiz cmplent, bt ɖ Crnl dd nt apir t psiv ɖs, n wnt on:

“N hir’z a sixpns – no, I si it’s a śilñ – n y b of hom, n d’nt ʈnc eni mr abt it.”

Ɖ yʈ hurid of wɖ ajitetd ʈancs, n ɖ Crnl n Parcinz wnt rnd t ɖ frunt v ɖ Glob n reċnýtrd. Ɖr wz onli wn windo ansrñ t ɖ dscripśn ɖe hd bn hírñ.

“Wel, ɖt’s krịs,” sd Parcinz; “it’s evidntli mî windo ɖ lad wz tōcñ abt. Wl y cm p fr a momnt, Crnl Wilsn? W òt t b ebl t si f enwn hz bn tecñ libtiz in mî rūm.”

Ɖe wr sn in ɖ pasij, n Parcinz md az f t opn ɖ dor. Ɖen h stopt n felt in hiz pocits.

“Ɖs z mr sirịs ɖn I ʈt,” wz hiz nxt rmarc. “I rmmbr nâ ɖt bfr I startd ɖs mornñ I loct ɖ dor. It z loct nâ, n, ẃt z mr, hir z ɖ ci.” N h held it p. “Nâ,” h wnt on, “f ɖ srvnts r in ɖ habit v gwñ intu wn’z rūm jrñ ɖ de ẃn wn z awe, I cn onli se ɖt – wel, ɖt I d’nt apruv v it at ol.” Conśs v a smẃt wìc clîmax, h bizid hmslf in opnñ ɖ dor (ẃć wz indd loct) n in lîtñ candlz. “No,” h sd, “nʈñ sīmz dstrbd.”

“Xpt yr bed,” pt in ɖ Crnl.

“Xkz m, ɖt z’nt mî bed,” sd Parcinz. “I d’nt yz ɖt wn. Bt it dz lc az f smwn hd bn pleyñ trics wɖ it.”

It srtnli dd: ɖ cloɖz wr bundld p n twistd tgɖr in a most torćs cnfyźn. Parcinz pondrd.

“Ɖt mst b it,” h sd at last: “I dsordrd ɖ cloɖz last nît in unpacñ, n ɖe hv’nt md it sins. Phps ɖe cem in t mc it, n ɖt bý sw ɖm ʈru ɖ windo; n ɖen ɖe wr cōld awe n loct ɖ dor aftr ɖm. Yes, I ʈnc ɖt mst b it.”

“Wel, rñ n asc,” sd ɖ Crnl, n ɖs apild t Parcinz az practicl.

Ɖ med apird, n, t mc a loñ stori śort, dpozd ɖt ś hd md ɖ bed in ɖ mornñ ẃn ɖ jentlmn wz in ɖ rūm, n hd’nt bn ɖr sins. No, ś hd’nt no uɖr ci. Mr Simsn h cep’ ɖ ciz; h’d b ebl t tel ɖ jentlmn f enwn hd bn p.

Ɖs wz a puzl. Invstigeśn śoud ɖt nʈñ v valy hd bn tecn, n Parcinz rmmbrd ɖ disṗziśn v ɖ sml objicts on teblz n so fʈ wel inuf t b priti śr ɖt no prancs hd bn pleid wɖ ɖm. Mr n Mrs Simsn frɖrmr agrìd ɖt nɖr v ɖm hd gvn ɖ dūplic̣t ci v ɖ rūm t eni prsn ẃtvr jrñ ɖ de. Nr cd Parcinz, fer-mîndd man az h wz, dtct enʈñ in ɖ dmīnr v mastr, mistris, or med ɖt indicetd gilt. H wz mć mr inclînd t ʈnc ɖt ɖ bý hd bn impozñ on ɖ Crnl.

Ɖ latr wz unwontdli sîḷnt n pensv at dinr n ʈrt ɖ īvnñ. Ẃn h beid gd nît t Parcinz, h mrmrd in a gruf undrton:

“Y nô ẃr I am f y wont m jrñ ɖ nît.”

“Ẃ, yes, ʈanc y, Crnl Wilsn, I ʈnc I d; bt ɖr z’nt mć prospect v mî distrbñ y, I hop. Bî ɖ we,” h add, “dd I śo y ɖt old ẃisl I spouc v? I ʈnc nt. Wel, hir it z.”

Ɖ Crnl trnd it ovr jinjrli in ɖ lît v ɖ candl.

“Cn y mc enʈñ v ɖ inscripśn?” asct Parcinz, az h tc it bac.

“No, nt in ɖs lît. Ẃt d y mīn t d wɖ it?”

“Ô, wel, ẃn I gt bac t Cembrij I śl sbmit it t sm v ɖ arcioḷjists ɖr, n si ẃt ɖe ʈnc v it; n vri lîcli, f ɖe cnsidr it wrʈ hvñ, I me priznt it t wn v ɖ myziymz.”

“’m!” sd ɖ Crnl. “Wel, y me b rît. Ol I nô z ɖt, f it wr mîn, I śd ćuc it stret intu ɖ sì. It’s no ys tōcñ, I’m wel awer, bt I xpct ɖt wɖ y it’s a ces v liv n lrn. I hop so, I’m śr, n I wś y a gd nît.”

H trnd awe, līvñ Parcinz in act t spīc at ɖ botm v ɖ ster, n sn ć wz in hiz ôn bedrum.

Bî sm unforćṇt axidnt, ɖr wr nɖr blîndz nr crtnz t ɖ windoz v ɖ Pṛfesr’z rūm. Ɖ prīvịs nît h hd ʈt ltl v ɖs, bt tnît ɖr sīmd evri prospect v a brît mūn rîzñ t śîn drctli on hiz bed, n probbli wec hm lêtr on. Ẃn h notist ɖs h wz a gd dīl anoid, bt, wɖ an injnywti ẃć I cn onli envi, h sxidd in rigñ p, wɖ ɖ hlp v a relwe rug, sm sefti pinz, n a stic n umbrela, a scrīn ẃć, f it onli held tgɖr, wd cmplitli cīp ɖ mūnlît of hiz bed. N śortli aftwdz h wz cumftbli in ɖt bed. Ẃn h hd réd a smẃt solid wrc loñ inuf t pṛdys a dsîdd wś fr slīp, h cast a drâzi glans rnd ɖ rūm, blù ât ɖ candl, n fel bac upn ɖ pilo.

H mst hv slept sândli fr an aur or mr, ẃn a sudn clatr śc hm p in a most unwelcm manr. In a momnt h riylîzd ẃt hd hapnd: hiz cerfli cnstructd scrīn hd gvn we, n a vri brît frosti mūn wz śînñ drctli on hiz fes. Ɖs wz hîli anoyñ. Cd h posbli gt p n rīcnstruct ɖ scrīn? or cd h manij t slīp f h dd nt?

Fr sm minits h le n pondrd ovr ɖ posbiḷtiz; ɖen h trnd ovr śāpli, n wɖ hiz îz opn le breʈlisli lisnñ. Ɖr hd bn a muvmnt, h wz śr, in ɖ emti bed on ɖ oṗzit sîd v ɖ rūm. Tmro h wd hv it muvd, fr ɖr mst b rats or smʈñ pleyñ abt in it. It wz qayt nâ. No! ɖ cmośn bgan agn. Ɖr wz a ruslñ n śecñ: śrli mr ɖn eni rat cd cōz.

I cn figr t mslf smʈñ v ɖ Pṛfesr’s bwildrmnt n horr, fr I hv in a drīm ʈrti yirz bac sìn ɖ sem ʈñ hapn; bt ɖ rīdr wl hardli, phps, imajin hâ dredfl it wz t hm t si a figr sudnli sit p in ẃt h hd noun wz an emti bed. H wz ât v hiz ôn bed in wn bând, n md a daś twdz ɖ windo, ẃr le hiz onli wepn, ɖ stic wɖ ẃć h hd propt hiz scrīn. Ɖs wz, az it trnd ât, ɖ wrst ʈñ h cd hv dn, bcz ɖ prṣnij in ɖ emti bed, wɖ a sudn mośn, slipt fṛm ɖ bed n tc p a pziśn, wɖ âtspred armz, btwn ɖ tu bedz, n in frunt v ɖ dor. Parcinz woćt it in a horid pplx̣ti. Smhâ, ɖ îdīa v gtñ past it n iscepñ ʈru ɖ dor wz intolṛbl t hm; h cd nt hv bōrn – h dd’nt nô ẃ – t tuć it; n az fr its tućñ hm, h wd snr daś hmslf ʈru ɖ windo ɖn hv ɖt hapn. It std fr ɖ momnt in a band v darc shado, n h hd nt sìn ẃt its fes wz lîc. Nâ it bgan t muv, in a stūpñ posćr, n ol at wns ɖ spectetr riylîzd, wɖ sm horr n sm rlif, ɖt it mst b blînd, fr it sīmd t fīl abt it wɖ its mufld armz in a gropñ n randm faśn. Trnñ haf awe fṛm hm, it bcem sudnli conśs v ɖ bed h hd jst left, n dartd twdz it, n bent ovr n felt ɖ piloz in a we ẃć md Parcinz śudr az h hd nvr in hiz lîf ʈt it posbl. In a vri fy momnts it sīmd t nô ɖt ɖ bed wz emti, n ɖen, muvñ fwd intu ɖ re v lît n fesñ ɖ windo, it śoud fr ɖ frst tîm ẃt manr v ʈñ it wz.

Parcinz, hu vri mć dslîcs biyñ qsćnd abt it, dd wns dscrîb smʈñ v it in mî hírñ, n I gaɖrd ɖt ẃt h ćīfli rmmbrz abt it z a hoṛbl, an intnsli hoṛbl, fes v crumpld linn. Ẃt xpreśn h réd upn it h cd nt or wd nt tel, bt ɖt ɖ fir v it wnt nî t madnñ hm z srtn.

Bt h wz nt at leźr t woć it fr loñ. Wɖ formidbl qcnis it muvd intu ɖ midl v ɖ rūm, n, az it gropt n wevd, wn cornr v its drepriz swept acrs Parcinz’z fes. H cd nt – ɖo h ń hâ periḷs a sând wz – h cd nt cīp bac a crî v dsgust, n ɖs gev ɖ srćr an instnt clu. It lept twdz hm upn ɖ instnt, n ɖ nxt momnt h wz hafwe ʈru ɖ windo bacwdz, utrñ crî upn crî at ɖ utmost pić v hiz výs, n ɖ linn fes wz ʈrust clos intu hiz ôn. At ɖs, olmst ɖ last posbl secnd, dlivṛns cem, az y wl hv gést: ɖ Crnl brst ɖ dor opn, n wz jst in tîm t si ɖ dredfl grūp at ɖ windo. Ẃn h rīćt ɖ figrz onli wn wz left. Parcinz sanc fwd intu ɖ rūm in a fent, n bfr hm on ɖ flor le a tumbld hīp v bedcloɖz.

Crnl Wilsn asct no qsćnz, bt bizid hmslf in cīpñ evrwn els ât v ɖ rūm n in gtñ Parcinz bac t hiz bed; n hmslf, rápt in a rug, okpaid ɖ uɖr bed fr ɖ rest v ɖ nît. Rli on ɖ nxt de Rojrz arîvd, mr welcm ɖn h wd hv bn a de bfr, n ɖ ʈri v ɖm held a vri loñ conslteśn in ɖ Pṛfesr’z rūm. At ɖ end v it ɖ Crnl left ɖ hoteldor cariyñ a sml objict btwn hiz fngr n ʈum, ẃć h cast az far intu ɖ sì az a vri brōni arm cd snd it. Lêtr on ɖ smoc v a brnñ asndd fṛm ɖ bac premisz v ɖ Glob.

Xacli ẃt expḷneśn wz paćt p fr ɖ staf n vizitrz at ɖ hotel I mst cnfes I d nt rec̣lct. Ɖ Pṛfesr wz smhâ clird v ɖ redi sspiśn v delirium tremens, n ɖ hotel v ɖ repyteśn v a trubld hâs.

Ɖr z nt mć qsćn az t ẃt wd hv hapnd t Parcinz f ɖ Crnl hd nt intvind ẃn h dd. H wd îɖr hv fōḷn ât v ɖ windo or els lost hiz wits. Bt it z nt so evidnt ẃt mr ɖ crīćr ɖt cem in ansr t ɖ ẃisl cd hv dn ɖn frîtn. Ɖr sīmd t b abṣlutli nʈñ mtirịl abt it sev ɖ bedcloɖz v ẃć it hd md itslf a bodi. Ɖ Crnl, hu rmmbrd a nt vri dsimilr ocuṛns in India, wz v opińn ɖt f Parcinz hd clozd wɖ it it cd riyli hv dn vri ltl, n ɖt its wn pâr wz ɖt v frîtnñ. Ɖ hol ʈñ, h sd, srvd t cnfrm hiz opińn v ɖ Ćrć v Rôm.

Ɖr z riyli nʈñ mr t tel, bt, az y me imajin, ɖ Pṛfesr’z vyz on srtn pýnts r les clir cut ɖn ɖe yst t b. Hiz nrvz, tù, hv sufrd: h canot īvn nâ si a srplis haññ on a dor qt unmuvd, n ɖ specṭcl v a scercro in a fīld lêt on a wintr aftnn hz cost hm mr ɖn wn slīplis nît.


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