Tag Archives: Spelling reform

Clasics in Ñspel: THE TURN OF THE SCREW, by Henry James

Wikipedia

ÑSPEL

ĆAPTRZ:

INTRODUCTION
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXXXXIXXIIXXIIIXXIV

___

Ɖ  stori hd hld s, rnd ɖ fîr, sfiśntli breʈlis, bt xpt ɖ obvịs rmarc ɖt it wz grūsm, az, on Crisṃs Īv in an old hǎs, a strenj têl śd isnṣ́li b, I rmembr no coment utrd tl smbdi hapnd t se ɖt it wz ɖ onli ces h hd met in ẃć sć a viẓteśn hd fōḷn on a ćîld. Ɖ ces, I me mnśn, wz ɖt v an aṗriśn in jst sć an old hǎs az hd gaɖrd s fr ɖ oceźn – an apiṛns, v a dredfl cnd, t a litl bô slīpñ in ɖ rūm wɖ hiz muɖr n wecñ hr p in ɖ terr v it; wecñ hr nt t diṣpet hiz dred n suɖ him t slīp agn, bt t incǎntr olso, hrslf, bfr ś hd s’xidd in dwñ so, ɖ sem sît ɖt hd śecn him. It wz ɖs obẓveśn ɖt drù fṛm Dugḷs – nt imīɉtli, bt lêtr in ɖ īvnñ – a rplî ɖt hd ɖ inṭrestñ consiqns t ẃć I cōl atnśn. Smwn els tld a stori nt ptiklrli ifctiv, ẃć I sw h wz nt folowñ. Ɖs I tc fr a sîn ɖt h hd himslf smʈñ t pṛdys n ɖt w śd onli hv t wêt. W wêtd in fact tl tū nîts lêtr; bt ɖt sem īvnñ, bfr w scatrd, h bròt ǎt ẃt wz in hiz mînd.

“I qt agri – in rgard t Grifin’z gost, or ẃtvr it wz – ɖt its apirñ frst t ɖ litl bô, at so tndr an ej, adz a ptiklr tuć. Bt it’s nt ɖ frst ocuṛns v its ćarmñ cnd ɖt I nǒ t hv involvd a ćîld. F ɖ ćîld gvz ɖ ifct anɖr trn v ɖ scru, ẃt d y se t ćildṛn – ?”“W se, v cors,” smbdi xclemd, “ɖt ɖe gv tū trnz! Olso ɖt w wont t hír abt ɖm.”

I cn si Dugḷs ɖr bfr ɖ fîr, t ẃć h hd got p t priznt hiz bac, lcñ dǎn at hiz inṭloktr wɖ hiz handz in hiz pocits. “Nbdi bt m, tl nǎ, hz evr hŕd. It’s qt tù hoṛbl.” Ɖs, naćṛli, wz dclerd bî sevṛl vôsz t gv ɖ ʈñ ɖ utmost prîs, n ǎr frend, wɖ qayt art, priperd hiz trîumf bî trnñ hiz îz ovr ɖ rest v s n gwñ on: “It’s bynd evrʈñ. Nʈñ at ol ɖt I nǒ tućz it.”

“Fr śir terr?” I rmembr ascñ.

H sīmd t se it wz nt so simpl az ɖt; t b riyli at a los hǎ t qoḷfî it. H pást hiz hand ovr hiz îz, md a litl winsñ grimis. “Fr dredfl – dredflnis!”

“Ǒ, hǎ dliśs!” craid wn v ɖ wimin.

H tc no notis v hr; h lct at m, bt az f, instd v m, h sw ẃt h spouc v. “Fr jenṛl uncani uglinis n horr n pen.”

“Wel ɖen,” I sd, “jst sit rît dǎn n bgin.”

H trnd rnd t ɖ fîr, gev a cic t a log, woćt it an instnt. Ɖen az h fest s agn: “I c’nt bgin. I śl hv t snd t tǎn.” Ɖr wz a ynaniṃs gron at ɖs, n mć rproć; aftr ẃć, in hiz priokpaid we, h xplend. “Ɖ stori’z ritn. It’s in a loct dror – it hz nt bn ǎt fr yirz. I cd rait t mî man n incloz ɖ ci; h cd snd dǎn ɖ pacit az h fîndz it.” It wz t m in ptiklr ɖt h apird t pṛpǎnd ɖs – apird olmst t apil fr ed nt t heẓtet. H hd brocn a ʈicnis v îs, ɖ formeśn v mni a wintr; hd hd hiz rīznz fr a loñ sîḷns. Ɖ uɖrz rzntd psponmnt, bt it wz jst hiz scrūplz ɖt ćarmd m. I ajurd him t rait bî ɖ frst post n t agri wɖ s fr an rli hírñ; ɖen I asct him f ɖ xpirịns in qsćn hd bn hiz ǒn. T ɖs hiz ansr wz promt. “Ǒ, ʈanc God, no!”

“N z ɖ record yrz? Y tc ɖ ʈñ dǎn?”

“Nʈñ bt ɖ impreśn. I tc ɖt hir” – h tapt hiz hart. “I’v nvr lost it.”

“Ɖen yr mańscript – ?”

“Z in old, fedd ñc, n in ɖ most bytifl hand.” H huñ fîr agn. “A wmn’z. Ś hz bn ded ɖz twenti yirz. Ś snt m ɖ pejz in qsćn bfr ś daid.” Ɖe wr ol liṣnñ nǎ, n v cors ɖr wz smbdi t b arć, or at eni ret t drw ɖ infṛns. Bt f h pt ɖ infṛns bî wɖt a smîl it wz olso wɖt iṛteśn. “Ś wz a most ćarmñ prsn, bt ś wz ten yirz oldr ɖn I. Ś wz mî sistr’z guṿnes,” h qaytli sd. “Ś wz ɖ most agriybl wmn I’v evr noun in hr pziśn; ś wd hv bn wrɖi v eni ẃtvr. It wz loñ ago, n ɖs eṗsod wz loñ bfr. I wz at Triṇti, n I faund hr at hom on mî cmñ dǎn ɖ secnd sumr. I wz mć ɖr ɖt yir – it wz a bytifl wn; n w hd, in hr of-aurz, sm strolz n tōcs in ɖ gardn – tōcs in ẃć ś struc m az ōf̣li clevr n nîs. Ǒ yes; d’nt grin: I lîct hr xtrimli n am glad t ɖs de t ʈnc ś lîct m, tù. F ś hd’nt ś wd’nt hv tld m. Ś hd nvr tld enwn. It wz’nt simpli ɖt ś sd so, bt ɖt I ń ś hd’nt. I wz śr; I cd si. Y’l īẓli juj ẃ ẃn y hír.”

“Bcz ɖ ʈñ hd bn sć a scer?”

H cntinyd t fix m. “Y’l īẓli juj,” h rpitd: “y wl.”

I fixt him, tù. “I si. Ś wz in luv.”

H laft fr ɖ frst tîm. “Y r akt. Yes, ś wz in luv. Ɖt z, ś hd bn. Ɖt cem ǎt – ś cd’nt tel hr stori wɖt its cmñ ǎt. I sw it, n ś sw I sw it; bt nɖr v s spouc v it. I rmembr ɖ tîm n ɖ ples – ɖ cornr v ɖ lōn, ɖ śêd v ɖ gret bìćz n ɖ loñ, hot sumr-afṭnun. It wz’nt a sīn fr a śudr; bt ǒ – !” H qitd ɖ fîr n dropt bac intu hiz ćer.

“Y’l rsiv ɖ pacit Ʈrzde mornñ?” I inqîrd.

“Probbli nt tl ɖ secnd post.”

“Wel ɖen; aftr dinr – ”

“Y’l ol mīt m hir?” H lct s rnd agn. “Z’nt enbdi gwñ?” It wz olmst ɖ ton v hop.

“Evrbdi wl ste!”

I wl” – n “I wl!” craid ɖ lediz huz dparćr hd bn fixt. Msz. Grifin, hvr, xprest ɖ nīd fr a litl mor lît. “Hu wz it ś wz in luv wɖ?”

“Ɖ stori wl tel,” I tc upn mslf t rplî.

“Ǒ, I c’nt wêt fr ɖ stori!”

“Ɖ stori w’nt tel,” sd Dugḷs; “nt in eni litṛl, vulgr we.”

“Mor’z ɖ piti, ɖen. Ɖt’s ɖ onli we I evr unḍstand.”

“W’nt y tel, Dugḷs?” smbdi els inqîrd.

H sprañ t hiz fīt agn. “Yes – tmoro. Nǎ I mst g t bed. Gd nît.” N qcli caćñ p a candlstic, h left s slîtli bwildrd. Fṛm ǎr end v ɖ gret brǎn hōl w hŕd hiz step on ɖ ster; ẃr’pn Msz. Grifin spouc. “Wel, f I d’nt nǒ hu ś wz in luv wɖ, I nǒ hu h wz.”

“Ś wz ten yirz oldr,” sd hr huzbnd.

Raison de plus – at ɖt ej! Bt it’s rɖr nîs, hiz loñ retisns.”

“Forti yirz!” Grifin pt in.

“Wɖ ɖs ǎtbrec at last.”

“Ɖ ǎtbrec,” I rtrnd, “wl mc a tṛmnḍs oceźn v Ʈrzde nît;” n evrwn so agrìd wɖ m ɖt, in ɖ lît v it, w lost ol atnśn fr evrʈñ els. Ɖ last stori, hvr incmplit n lîc ɖ mir oṗnñ v a sirịl, hd bn tld; w hand-śc n “candlstuc,” az smbdi sd, n wnt t bed.

I ń ɖ nxt de ɖt a letr cntenñ ɖ ci hd, bî ɖ frst post, gn of t hiz Lundn apartmnts; bt in spît v – or phps jst on acǎnt v – ɖ ivnćl dfyźn v ɖs nolij w qt let him alon tl aftr dinr, tl sć an aur v ɖ īvnñ, in fact, az mt bst acord wɖ ɖ cnd v imośn on ẃć ǎr hops wr fixt. Ɖen h bcem az cḿnic̣tiv az w cd dzîr n indd gev s hiz bst rīzn fr biyñ so. W hd it fṛm him agn bfr ɖ fîr in ɖ hōl, az w hd hd ǎr mîld wundrz v ɖ prīvịs nît. It apird ɖt ɖ naṛtiv h hd promist t rīd s riyli rqîrd fr a propr intelijns a fy wrdz v prolog. Let m se hir dstñtli, t hv dn wɖ it, ɖt ɖs naṛtiv, fṛm an xact transcript v mî ǒn md mć lêtr, z ẃt I śl prezntli gv. Pur Dugḷs, bfr hiz deʈ – ẃn it wz in sît – cmitd t m ɖ mańscript ɖt rīćt him on ɖ ʈrd v ɖz dez n ɖt, on ɖ sem spot, wɖ imns ifct, h bgan t rīd t ǎr huśt litl srcl on ɖ nît v ɖ forʈ. Ɖ dpartñ lediz hu hd sd ɖe wd ste dd’nt, v cors, ʈanc hevn, ste: ɖe dpartd, in consiqns v arenjmnts md, in a rej v krioṣti, az ɖe pṛfest, pṛdyst bî ɖ tućz wɖ ẃć h hd olrdi wrct s p. Bt ɖt onli md hiz litl fînl ōditri mor cmpact n s’lect, cept it, rnd ɖ harʈ, subjict t a comn ʈril.

Ɖ frst v ɖz tućz cnveid ɖt ɖ ritn stetmnt tc p ɖ têl at a pônt aftr it hd, in a manr, bgun. Ɖ fact t b in pześn v wz ɖrfr ɖt hiz old frend, ɖ yungist v sevṛl dōtrz v a pur cuntri parsn, hd, at ɖ ej v twenti, on tecñ srvis fr ɖ frst tîm in ɖ scūlrūm, cm p t Lundn, in treṗdeśn, t ansr in prsn an advrtismnt ɖt hd olrdi plest hr in brīf corispondns wɖ ɖ advtîzr. Ɖs prsn pruvd, on hr prizntñ hrslf, fr jujmnt, at a hǎs in Harli Strīt, ɖt imprest hr az vast n impozñ – ɖs pṛspctiv petṛn pruvd a jntlmn, a bać̣lr in ɖ prîm v lîf, sć a figr az hd nvr rizn, sev in a drīm or an old novl, bfr a flutrd, añśs grl ǎt v a Hampśr vic̣rij. Wn cd īẓli fix hiz tîp; it nvr, haṗli, dîz ǎt. H wz hansm n bold n pleznt, of-hand n ge n cînd. H struc hr, inevitbli, az gaḷnt n splendid, bt ẃt tc hr most v ol n gev hr ɖ curij ś afṭwd śoud wz ɖt h pt ɖ hol ʈñ t hr az a cnd v fevr, an obḷgeśn h śd gretf̣li incŕ. Ś cnsivd him az rić, bt az firf̣li xtraṿgnt – sw him ol in a glo v hî faśn, v gd lcs, v xpnsiv habits, v ćarmñ wez wɖ wimin. H hd fr hiz ǒn tǎnrezidns a big hǎs fild wɖ ɖ spôlz v travl n ɖ trofiz v ɖ ćes; bt it wz t hiz cuntrihom, an old faṃliples in Esix, ɖt h wśt hr imīɉtli t pṛsid.

H hd bn left, bî ɖ deʈ v ɖer peṛnts in India, gardịn t a smōl nefy n a smōl nīs, ćildṛn v a yungr, a militri bruɖr, hūm h hd lost tū yirz bfr. Ɖz ćildṛn wr, bî ɖ strenjist v ćansz fr a man in hiz pziśn – a lon man wɖt ɖ rît sort v xpirịns or a gren v peśns – vri heṿli on hiz handz. It hd ol bn a gret wuri n, on hiz ǒn part dǎtlis, a siriz v blundrz, bt h imnsli pitid ɖ pur ćics n hd dn ol h cd; hd in ptiklr snt ɖm dǎn t hiz uɖr hǎs, ɖ propr ples fr ɖm biyñ v cors ɖ cuntri, n cept ɖm ɖr, fṛm ɖ frst, wɖ ɖ bst ppl h cd fînd t lc aftr ɖm, partñ īvn wɖ hiz ǒn srvnts t wêt on ɖm n gwñ dǎn himslf, ẃnvr h mt, t si hǎ ɖe wr dwñ. Ɖ ōcẉd ʈñ wz ɖt ɖe hd practicli no uɖr rleśnz n ɖt hiz ǒn aferz tc p ol hiz tîm. H hd pt ɖm in pześn v Blai, ẃć wz hlʈi n s’kr, n hd plest at ɖ hed v ɖer litl istabliśmnt – bt b’lo sterz onli – an xḷnt wmn, Msz. Grǒs, hūm h wz śr hiz vizitr wd lîc n hu hd formrli bn meid t hiz muɖr. Ś wz nǎ hǎscīpr n wz olso actñ fr ɖ tîm az sūpr-intndnt t ɖ litl grl, v hūm, wɖt ćildṛn v hr ǒn, ś wz, bî gd luc, xtrimli fond. Ɖr wr plenti v ppl t hlp, bt v cors ɖ yuñ ledi hu śd g dǎn az guṿnes wd b in s’prīm oʈoṛti. Ś wd olso hv, in hoḷdez, t lc aftr ɖ smōl bô, hu hd bn fr a trm at scūl – yuñ az h wz t b snt, bt ẃt els cd b dn? – n hu, az ɖ hoḷdez wr abt t bgin, wd b bac fṛm wn de t ɖ uɖr. Ɖr hd bn fr ɖ tū ćildṛn at frst a yuñ ledi hūm ɖe hd hd ɖ msfortyn t lūz. Ś hd dn fr ɖm qt bytifli – ś wz a most rspctbl prsn – tl hr deʈ, ɖ gret ōcẉdnis v ẃć hd, prisîsli, left no oltrṇtiv bt ɖ scūl fr litl Mîlz. Msz. Grǒs, sins ɖen, in ɖ we v manrz n ʈñz, hd dn az ś cd fr Flora; n ɖr wr, frɖr, a cc, a hǎsmeid, a dẹriwmn, an old poni, an old grūm, n an old gardnr, ol lîcwz ʈuṛli rspctbl.

So far hd Dugḷs prizntd hiz picćr ẃn smwn pt a qsćn. “N ẃt dd ɖ formr guṿnes dî v? – v so mć rspctbiḷti?”

Ǎr frend’z ansr wz promt. “Ɖt wl cm ǎt. I d’nt antiṣpet.”

“Xkz m – I ʈt ɖt wz jst ẃt y r dwñ.”

“In hr s’xesr’z ples,” I sjstd, “I śd hv wśt t lrn f ɖ ofis bròt wɖ it – ”

“Nesṣri denjr t lîf?” Dugḷs cmplitd mî ʈt. “Ś dd wś t lrn, n ś dd lrn. Y śl hír tmoro ẃt ś lrnt. Mnẃl, v cors, ɖ prospect struc hr az slîtli grim. Ś wz yuñ, untraid, nrṿs: it wz a viźn v sirịs dytiz n litl cumṗni, v riyli gret lonlinis. Ś heztetd – tc a cupl v dez t cnsult n cnsidr. Bt ɖ saḷri ofrd mć xidd hr modist meźr, n on a secnd inṭvy ś fest ɖ ḿzic, ś ingejd.” N Dugḷs, wɖ ɖs, md a pōz ɖt, fr ɖ beṇfit v ɖ cumṗni, muvd m t ʈro in –

“Ɖ moṛl v ẃć wz v cors ɖ sdux́n x’sîzd bî ɖ splendid yuñ man. Ś s’cumd t it.”

H got p n, az h hd dn ɖ nît bfr, wnt t ɖ fîr, gev a str t a log wɖ hiz ft, ɖen std a momnt wɖ hiz bac t s. “Ś sw him onli twîs.”

“Yes, bt ɖt’s jst ɖ byti v hr paśn.”

A litl t mî s’prîz, on ɖs, Dugḷs trnd rnd t m. “It wz ɖ byti v it. Ɖr wr uɖrz,” h wnt on, “hu hd’nt s’cumd. H tld hr francli ol hiz dificlti – ɖt fr sevṛl aplic̣nts ɖ cndiśnz hd bn pṛhibtiv. Ɖe wr, smhǎ, simpli afreid. It sǎndd dul – it sǎndd strenj; n ol ɖ mor so bcz v hiz mn cndiśn.”

“Ẃć wz – ?”

“Ɖt ś śd nvr trubl him – bt nvr, nvr: nɖr apil nr cmplen nr rait abt enʈñ; onli mīt ol qsćnz hrslf, rsiv ol muniz fṛm hiz s’lisitr, tec ɖ hol ʈñ ovr n let him alon. Ś promist t d ɖs, n ś mnśnd t m ɖt ẃn, fr a momnt, dsbrdnd, dlîtd, h hld hr hand, ʈancñ hr fr ɖ sacṛfîs, ś olrdi flt rwordd.”

“Bt wz ɖt ol hr rword?” wn v ɖ lediz asct.

“Ś nvr sw him agn.”

“Ǒ!” sd ɖ ledi; ẃć, az ǎr frend imīɉtli left s agn, wz ɖ onli uɖr wrd v importns cntribytd t ɖ subjict tl, ɖ nxt nît, bî ɖ cornr v ɖ harʈ, in ɖ bst ćer, h opnd ɖ fedd red cuvr v a ʈin old-faśnd gílt-éjd albm. Ɖ hol ʈñ tc indd mor nîts ɖn wn, bt on ɖ frst oceźn ɖ sem ledi pt anɖr qsćn. “Ẃt z yr tîtl?”

“I hv’nt wn.”

“Ǒ, I hv!” I sd. Bt Dugḷs, wɖt hīdñ m, hd bgun t rīd wɖ a fîn clirnis ɖt wz lîc a renḍrñ t ɖ ir v ɖ byti v hiz oʈr’z hand.

___

I

I  rmembr ɖ hol bginñ az a s’xeśn v flîts n drops, a litl si-sw v ɖ rît ʈrobz n ɖ roñ. Aftr rîzñ, in tǎn, t mīt hiz apil, I hd at ol ivnts a cupl v vri bad dez – faund mslf dǎtfl agn, flt indd śr I hd md a mstec. In ɖs stet v mînd I spent ɖ loñ aurz v bumpñ, swññ coć ɖt carid m t ɖ stopñples at ẃć I wz t b met bî a viycl fṛm ɖ hǎs. Ɖs cnvińns, I wz tld, hd bn ordrd, n I faund, twd ɖ cloz v ɖ Jūn afṭnun, a cmodịs flai in wêtñ fr m. Drîvñ at ɖt aur, on a luvli de, ʈru a cuntri t ẃć ɖ sumrswītnis sīmd t ofr m a frendli welcm, mî forttyd mǎntd afreś n, az w trnd intu ɖ aṿny, incǎntrd a rpriv ɖt wz probbli bt a prūf v ɖ pônt t ẃć it hd sunc. I s’poz I hd xpctd, or hd dredd, smʈñ so meḷnc̣li ɖt ẃt grītd m wz a gd s’prîz. I rmembr az a most pleznt impreśn ɖ brōd, clir frunt, its opn windoz n freś crtnz n ɖ per v meidz lcñ ǎt; I rmembr ɖ lōn n ɖ brît flǎrz n ɖ crunć v mî ẃīlz on ɖ gravl n ɖ clustrd trītóps ovr ẃć ɖ rŭcs srcld n cwd in ɖ goldn scî. Ɖ sīn hd a gretnis ɖt md it a difṛnt afer fṛm mî ǒn scant hom, n ɖr imīɉtli apird at ɖ dor, wɖ a litl grl in hr hand, a sivl prsn hu dropt m az dīsnt a crtsi az f I hd bn ɖ mistris or a dstnḡśt vizitr. I hd rsivd in Harli Strīt a narowr nośn v ɖ ples, n ɖt, az I rcōld it, md m ʈnc ɖ pṛpraytr stl mor v a jntlmn, sjstd ɖt ẃt I wz t injô mt b smʈñ bynd hiz promis.

I hd no drop agn tl ɖ nxt de, fr I wz carid trîumfntli ʈru ɖ folowñ aurz bî mî intṛdux́n t ɖ yungr v mî pyplz. Ɖ litl grl hu acumṗnid Msz. Grǒs apird t m on ɖ spot a crīćr so ćarmñ az t mc it a gret fortyn t hv t d wɖ hr. Ś wz ɖ most bytifl ćîld I hd evr sìn, n I afṭwd wundrd ɖt mî imployr hd nt tld m mor v hr. I slept litl ɖt nît – I wz tù mć xîtd; n ɖs astoniśt m, tù, I rec̣lect, rmend wɖ m, adñ t mî sns v ɖ liḅraḷti wɖ ẃć I wz trītd. Ɖ larj, impresiv rūm, wn v ɖ bst in ɖ hǎs, ɖ gret stetbed, az I olmst flt it, ɖ fl, figrd dreṗriz, ɖ loñ glasz in ẃć, fr ɖ frst tîm, I cd si mslf fṛm hed t ft, ol struc m – lîc ɖ xtrordnri ćarm v mî smōl ćarj – az so mni ʈñz ʈroun in. It wz ʈroun in az wel, fṛm ɖ frst momnt, ɖt I śd gt on wɖ Msz. Grǒs in a rleśn ovr ẃć, on mî we, in ɖ coć, I fir I hd rɖr brūdd. Ɖ onli ʈñ indd ɖt in ɖs rli ǎtlŭc mt hv md m śrinc agn wz ɖ clir srcmstans v hr biyñ so glad t si m. I psivd wɖn haf an aur ɖt ś wz so glad – stǎt, simpl, plen, clīn, holsm wmn – az t b poztivli on hr gard agnst śowñ it tù mć. I wundrd īvn ɖen a litl ẃ ś śd wś nt t śo it, n ɖt, wɖ rflex́n, wɖ sspiśn, mt v cors hv md m unīzi.Bt it wz a cumf̣t ɖt ɖr cd b no unīzinis in a cnx́n wɖ enʈñ so bịtific az ɖ redịnt imij v mî litl grl, ɖ viźn v huz anjelic byti hd probbli mor ɖn enʈñ els t d wɖ ɖ restlisnis ɖt, bfr mornñ, md m sevṛl tîmz rîz n wondr abt mî rūm t tec in ɖ hol picćr n prospect; t woć, fṛm mî opn windo, ɖ fent sumrdōn, t lc at sć porśnz v ɖ rest v ɖ hǎs az I cd cać, n t lisn, ẃl, in ɖ fedñ dusc, ɖ frst brdz bgan t twitr, fr ɖ poṣbl rcuṛns v a sǎnd or tū, les naćṛl n nt wɖt, bt wɖn, ɖt I hd fansid I hŕd. Ɖr hd bn a momnt ẃn I b’livd I rec̣gnîzd, fent n far, ɖ crî v a ćîld; ɖr hd bn anɖr ẃn I faund mslf jst conśsli startñ az at ɖ pasij, bfr mî dor, v a lît ftstep. Bt ɖz fansiz wr nt marct inuf nt t b ʈroun of, n it z onli in ɖ lît, or ɖ glūm, I śd rɖr se, v uɖr n subsiqnt matrz ɖt ɖe nǎ cm bac t m. T woć, tīć, “form” litl Flora wd tù evidntli b ɖ mcñ v a hapi n ysfl lîf. It hd bn agrìd btwn s dǎnsterz ɖt aftr ɖs frst oceźn I śd hv hr az a matr v cors at nît, hr smōl ẃît bed biyñ olrdi arenjd, t ɖt end, in mî rūm. Ẃt I hd unḍtecn wz ɖ hol cer v hr, n ś hd rmend, jst ɖs last tîm, wɖ Msz. Grǒs onli az an ifct v ǎr cnsiḍreśn fr mî inevitbl strenjnis n hr naćṛl tmidti. In spît v ɖs tmidti – ẃć ɖ ćîld hrslf, in ɖ odist we in ɖ wrld, hd bn prf̣cli franc n brev abt, alawñ it, wɖt a sîn v uncumftbl conśsnis, wɖ ɖ dīp, swīt sreṇti indd v wn v Rafel’z holi infnts, t b dscust, t b impytd t hr, n t dtrmin s – I fīl qt śr ś wd prezntli lîc m. It wz part v ẃt I olrdi lîct Msz. Grǒs hrslf fr, ɖ pleźr I cd si hr fīl in mî adṃreśn n wundr az I sat at supr wɖ for tōl candlz n wɖ mî pypl, in a hî ćer n a bib, brîtli fesñ m, btwn ɖm, ovr bred n milc. Ɖr wr naćṛli ʈñz ɖt in Flora’z prezns cd pas btwn s onli az pṛdijs n graṭfaid lcs, obskr n rnd’bt aluźnz.

“N ɖ litl bô – dz h lc lîc hr? Z h tù so vri rmarcbl?”

Wn wd’nt flatr a ćîld. “Ǒ, mis, most rmarcbl. F y ʈnc wel v ɖs wn!” – n ś std ɖr wɖ a plet in hr hand, bīmñ at ǎr cmpańn, hu lct fṛm wn v s t ɖ uɖr wɖ plasid hevnli îz ɖt cntend nʈñ t ćec s.

“Yes; f I d – ?”

“Y wl b carid awe bî ɖ litl jntlmn!”

“Wel, ɖt, I ʈnc, z ẃt I cem fr – t b carid awe. I’m afreid, hvr,” I rmembr fīlñ ɖ impuls t ad, “I’m rɖr īẓli carid awe. I wz carid awe in Lundn!”

I cn stl si Msz. Grǒs’z brōd fes az ś tc ɖs in. “In Harli Strīt?”

“In Harli Strīt.”

“Wel, mis, y’r nt ɖ frst – n y w’nt b ɖ last.”

“Ǒ, I’v no pritnśn,” I cd laf, “t biyñ ɖ onli wn. Mî uɖr pypl, at eni ret, az I unḍstand, cmz bac tmoro?”

“Nt tmoro – Frîde, mis. H arîvz, az y dd, bî ɖ coć, undr cer v ɖ gard, n z t b met bî ɖ sem carij.”

I fʈwʈ xprest ɖt ɖ propr az wel az ɖ pleznt n frendli ʈñ wd b ɖrfr ɖt on ɖ arîvl v ɖ public cnveyns I śd b in wêtñ fr him wɖ hiz litl sistr; an îdīa in ẃć Msz. Grǒs cncŕd so harṭli ɖt I smhǎ tc hr manr az a cnd v cumf̣tñ plej – nvr fōlṣfaid, ʈanc hevn! – ɖt w śd on evri qsćn b qt at wn. Ǒ, ś wz glad I wz ɖr!

Ẃt I flt ɖ nxt de wz, I s’poz, nʈñ ɖt cd b ferli cōld a riax́n fṛm ɖ ćir v mî arîvl; it wz probbli at ɖ most onli a slît opreśn pṛdyst bî a fŭlr meźr v ɖ scel, az I wōct rnd ɖm, gezd p at ɖm, tc ɖm in, v mî ny srcmstansz. Ɖe hd, az it wr, an xtnt n mas fr ẃć I hd nt bn priperd n in ɖ prezns v ẃć I faund mslf, freśli, a litl scerd az wel az a litl prǎd. Lésnz, in ɖs ajteśn, srtnli sufrd sm dle; I rflectd ɖt mî frst dyti wz, bî ɖ jntlist arts I cd cntrîv, t win ɖ ćîld intu ɖ sns v nwñ m. I spent ɖ de wɖ hr ǎt-v-dorz; I arenjd wɖ hr, t hr gret saṭsfax́n, ɖt it śd b ś, ś onli, hu mt śo m ɖ ples. Ś śoud it step bî step n rūm bî rūm n sīcrit bî sīcrit, wɖ drol, dlîtfl, ćîldiś tōc abt it n wɖ ɖ rzult, in haf an aur, v ǎr bcmñ imns frendz. Yuñ az ś wz, I wz struc, ʈrt ǎr litl tur, wɖ hr confidns n curij wɖ ɖ we, in emti ćembrz n dul coṛdorz, on crŭcid stercesz ɖt md m pōz n īvn on ɖ sumit v an old mćic̣letd sqer tǎr ɖt md m dizi, hr mornñ ḿzic, hr dispziśn t tel m so mni mor ʈñz ɖn ś asct, rañ ǎt n léd m on. I hv nt sìn Blai sins ɖ de I left it, n I der se ɖt t mî oldr n mor informd îz it wd nǎ apir sfiśntli cntractd. Bt az mî litl cnductris, wɖ hr her v gold n hr froc v blu, danst bfr m rnd cornrz n patrd dǎn paṣjz, I hd ɖ vy v a casl v romans inhaḅtd bî a rozi sprît, sć a ples az wd smhǎ, fr dvrśn v ɖ yuñ îdīa, tec ol culr ǎt v stori-bcs n fẹritêlz. Wz’nt it jst a stori-bc ovr ẃć I hd fōḷn adoz n adrīm? No; it wz a big, ugli, antīc, bt cnvińnt hǎs, imbodiyñ a fy fīćrz v a bildñ stl oldr, haf-rplest n haf-yṭlîzd, in ẃć I hd ɖ fansi v ǎr biyñ olmst az lost az a hanfl v pasinjrz in a gret driftñ śip. Wel, I wz, strenjli, at ɖ hlm!

___

II

Ɖs cem hom t m ẃn, tū dez lêtr, I drouv ovr wɖ Flora t mīt, az Msz. Grǒs sd, ɖ litl jntlmn; n ol ɖ mor fr an insidnt ɖt, prizntñ itslf ɖ secnd īvnñ, hd dīpli discnsrtd m. Ɖ frst de hd bn, on ɖ hol, az I hv xprest, ri’śurñ; bt I wz t si it wînd p in cīn aprihnśn. Ɖ postbag, ɖt īvnñ – it cem lêt – cntend a letr fr m, ẃć, hvr, in ɖ hand v mî imployr, I faund t b cmpozd bt v a fy wrdz inclozñ anɖr, adrest t himslf, wɖ a sìl stl unbrocn. “Ɖs, I rec̣gnîz, z fṛm ɖ hedmastr, n ɖ hedmastr’z an ōfl bòr. Rīd him, plīz; dīl wɖ him; bt mînd y d’nt rport. Nt a wrd. I’m of!” I brouc ɖ sìl wɖ a gret ef̣t – so gret a wn ɖt I wz a loñ tîm cmñ t it; tc ɖ unopnd misiv at last p t mî rūm n onli atact it jst bfr gwñ t bed. I hd betr hv let it wêt tl mornñ, fr it gev m a secnd slīplis nît. Wɖ no cǎnsl t tec, ɖ nxt de, I wz fl v dstres; n it fîṇli got so ɖ betr v m ɖt I dtrmind t opn mslf at līst t Msz. Grǒs.

“Ẃt dz it mīn? Ɖ ćîld’z dsmist hiz scūl.”Ś gev m a lc ɖt I rmarct at ɖ momnt; ɖen, viẓbli, wɖ a qc blancnis, sīmd t trî t tec it bac. “Bt r’nt ɖe ol – ?”

“Snt hom – yes. Bt onli fr ɖ hoḷdez. Mîlz me nvr g bac at ol.”

Conśsli, undr mî atnśn, ś rednd. “Ɖe w’nt tec him?”

“Ɖe abṣlutli dclîn.”

At ɖs ś rezd hr îz, ẃć ś hd trnd fṛm m; I sw ɖm fil wɖ gd tirz. “Ẃt hz h dn?”

I heztetd; ɖen I jujd bst simpli t hand hr mî letr – ẃć, hvr, hd ɖ ifct v mcñ hr, wɖt tecñ it, simpli pt hr handz bhnd hr. Ś śc hr hed sadli. “Sć ʈñz r nt fr m, mis.”

Mî cǎnṣlr cd’nt rīd! I winst at mî mstec, ẃć I ateńuetd az I cd, n opnd mî letr agn t rpit it t hr; ɖen, fōlṭrñ in ɖ act n foldñ it p wns mor, I pt it bac in mî pocit. “Z h riyli bad?”

Ɖ tirz wr stl in hr îz. “D ɖ jntlṃn se so?”

“Ɖe g intu no ptiklrz. Ɖe simpli xpres ɖer rgret ɖt it śd b imposbl t cīp him. Ɖt cn hv onli wn mīnñ.” Msz. Grǒs lisnd wɖ dum imośn; ś forbòr t asc m ẃt ɖs mīnñ mt b; so ɖt, prezntli, t pt ɖ ʈñ wɖ sm chiṛns n wɖ ɖ mir ed v hr prezns t mî ǒn mînd, I wnt on: “Ɖt h’z an inɉri t ɖ uɖrz.”

At ɖs, wɖ wn v ɖ qc trnz v simpl foc, ś sudnli flemd p. “Mastr Mîlz! him an inɉri?”

Ɖr wz sć a flud v gd feʈ in it ɖt, ɖo I hd nt yt sìn ɖ ćîld, mî vri firz md m jump t ɖ absrdti v ɖ îdīa. I faund mslf, t mīt mî frend ɖ betr, of̣rñ it, on ɖ spot, sarcasticli. “T hiz pur litl iṇsnt mêts!”

“It’s tù dredfl,” craid Msz. Grǒs, “t se sć cruwl ʈñz! Ẃ, h’z scers ten yirz old.”

“Yes, yes; it wd b increḍbl.”

Ś wz evidntli gretfl fr sć a pṛfeśn. “Si him, mis, frst. Ɖen b’liv it!” I flt fʈwʈ a ny impeśns t si him; it wz ɖ bginñ v a krioṣti ɖt, fr ol ɖ nxt aurz, wz t dīpn olmst t pen. Msz. Grǒs wz awer, I cd juj, v ẃt ś hd pṛdyst in m, n ś foloud it p wɖ aśuṛns. “Y mt az wel b’liv it v ɖ litl ledi. Bles hr,” ś add ɖ nxt momnt – “lc at hr!”

I trnd n sw ɖt Flora, hūm, ten minits bfr, I hd istabliśt in ɖ scūlrūm wɖ a śīt v ẃît pepr, a pensl, n a copi v nîs “rǎnd O’z,” nǎ prizntd hrslf t vy at ɖ opn dor. Ś xprest in hr litl we an xtrordnri dtaćmnt fṛm dis’griybl dytiz, lcñ t m, hvr, wɖ a gret ćîldiś lît ɖt sīmd t ofr it az a mir rzult v ɖ afx́n ś hd cnsivd fr mî prsn, ẃć hd rendrd nesṣri ɖt ś śd folo m. I nīdd nʈñ mor ɖn ɖs t fīl ɖ fl fors v Msz. Grǒs’z cmparisn, n, caćñ mî pypl in mî armz, cuvrd hr wɖ cisz in ẃć ɖr wz a sob v atonmnt.

Nnɖles, ɖ rest v ɖ de I woćt fr frɖr oceźn t aproć mî colīg, ispeṣ́li az, twd īvnñ, I bgan t fansi ś rɖr sòt t avôd m. I oṿtc hr, I rmembr, on ɖ sterces; w wnt dǎn tgɖr, n at ɖ botm I dtend hr, holdñ hr ɖr wɖ a hand on hr arm. “I tec ẃt y sd t m at nūn az a decḷreśn ɖt y’v nvr noun him t b bad.”

Ś ʈrù bac hr hed; ś hd clirli, bî ɖs tîm, n vri oṇstli, adoptd an attyd. “Ǒ, nvr noun him – I d’nt pritnd ɖt!

I wz upset agn. “Ɖen y hv noun him – ?”

“Yes indd, mis, ʈanc God!”

On rflex́n I axptd ɖs. “Y mīn ɖt a bô hu nvr z – ?”

“Z no bô fr m!

I hld hr tîtr. “Y lîc ɖm wɖ ɖ spirit t b nōti?” Ɖen, cīpñ pes wɖ hr ansr, “So d I!” I īgrli bròt ǎt. “Bt nt t ɖ dgri t cntaṃnet – ”

“T cntaṃnet?” – mî big wrd left hr at a los. I xplend it. “T c’rupt.”

Ś stérd, tecñ mî mīnñ in; bt it pṛdyst in hr an od laf. “R y afreid h’l c’rupt y?” Ś pt ɖ qsćn wɖ sć a fîn bold hymr ɖt, wɖ a laf, a litl sili dǎtlis, t mać hr ǒn, I gev we fr ɖ tîm t ɖ aprihnśn v riḍkl.

Bt ɖ nxt de, az ɖ aur fr mî drîv aproćt, I cropt p in anɖr ples. “Ẃt wz ɖ ledi hu wz hir bfr?”

“Ɖ last guṿnes? Ś wz olso yuñ n priti – olmst az yuñ n olmst az priti, mis, īvn az y.”

“Ā, ɖen, I hop hr yʈ n hr byti hlpt hr!” I rec̣lect ʈrowñ of. “H sīmz t lîc s yuñ n priti!”

“Ǒ, h dd,” Msz. Grǒs asntd: “it wz ɖ we h lîct evrwn!” Ś hd no snr spocn indd ɖn ś còt hrslf p. “I mīn ɖt’s hiz we – ɖ mastr’z.”

I wz struc. “Bt v hūm dd y spīc frst?”

Ś lct blanc, bt ś culrd. “Ẃ, v him.”

“V ɖ mastr?”

“V hu els?”

Ɖr wz so obvịsli nwn els ɖt ɖ nxt momnt I hd lost mî impreśn v hr hvñ axdnṭli sd mor ɖn ś mnt; n I mirli asct ẃt I wontd t nǒ. “Dd ś si enʈñ in ɖ bô – ?”

“Ɖt wz’nt rît? Ś nvr tld m.”

I hd a scrūpl, bt I oṿcem it. “Wz ś cerfl – ptiklr?”

Msz. Grǒs apird t trî t b conśienśs. “Abt sm ʈñz – yes.”

“Bt nt abt ol?”

Agn ś cnsidrd. “Wel, mis – ś’z gn. I w’nt tel têlz.”

“I qt unḍstand yr fīlñ,” I hesnd t rplî; bt I ʈt it, aftr an instnt, nt opozd t ɖs cnseśn t psy: “Dd ś dî hir?”

“No – ś wnt of.”

I d’nt nǒ ẃt ɖr wz in ɖs breṿti v Msz. Grǒs’z ɖt struc m az ambigẏs. “Wnt of t dî?” Msz. Grǒs lct stret ǎt v ɖ windo, bt I flt ɖt, hîṗʈeticli, I hd a rît t nǒ ẃt yuñ prsnz ingejd fr Blai wr xpctd t d. “Ś wz tecn il, y mīn, n wnt hom?”

“Ś wz nt tecn il, so far az apird, in ɖs hǎs. Ś left it, at ɖ end v ɖ yir, t g hom, az ś sd, fr a śort hoḷde, t ẃć ɖ tîm ś hd pt in hd srtnli gvn hr a rît. W hd ɖen a yuñ wmn – a nrsmeid hu hd steid on n hu wz a gd grl n clevr; n ś tc ɖ ćildṛn oltgɖr fr ɖ inṭvl. Bt ǎr yuñ ledi nvr cem bac, n at ɖ vri momnt I wz xpctñ hr I hŕd fṛm ɖ mastr ɖt ś wz ded.”

I trnd ɖs ovr. “Bt v ẃt?”

“H nvr tld m! Bt plīz, mis,” sd Msz. Grǒs, “I mst gt t mî wrc.”

___

III

Hr ɖus trnñ hr bac on m wz forćṇtli nt, fr mî just priokpeśnz, a snub ɖt cd ćec ɖ groʈ v ǎr ḿćl istim. W met, aftr I hd bròt hom litl Mîlz, mor intiṃtli ɖn evr on ɖ grǎnd v mî styṗfax́n, mî jenṛl imośn: so monstṛs wz I ɖen redi t pṛnǎns it ɖt sć a ćîld az hd nǎ bn rvild t m śd b undr an inṭdict. I wz a litl lêt on ɖ sīn, n I flt, az h std wistf̣li lcñ ǎt fr m bfr ɖ dor v ɖ ín at ẃć ɖ coć hd pt him dǎn, ɖt I hd sìn him, on ɖ instnt, wɖt n wɖn, in ɖ gret glo v freśnis, ɖ sem poẓtiv fregṛns v pyṛti, in ẃć I hd, fṛm ɖ frst momnt, sìn hiz litl sistr. H wz increḍbli bytifl, n Msz. Grǒs hd pt hr fngr on it: evrʈñ bt a sort v paśn v tndrnis fr him wz swept awe bî hiz prezns. Ẃt I ɖen n ɖr tc him t mî hart fr wz smʈñ dvîn ɖt I hv nvr faund t ɖ sem dgri in eni ćîld – hiz indiscrîbbl litl er v nwñ nʈñ in ɖ wrld bt luv. It wd hv bn imposbl t cari a bad nem wɖ a gretr swītnis v iṇsns, n bî ɖ tîm I hd got bac t Blai wɖ him I rmend mirli bwildrd – so far, ɖt z, az I wz nt ǎtrejd – bî ɖ sns v ɖ hoṛbl letr loct p in mî rūm, in a dror. Az sn az I cd cumṗs a prîṿt wrd wɖ Msz. Grǒs I dclerd t hr ɖt it wz gṛtesc.

Ś promtli unḍstd m. “Y mīn ɖ cruwl ćarj – ?”“It dz’nt liv an instnt. Mî dir wmn, lc at him!”

Ś smîld at mî pritnśn t hv dscuvrd hiz ćarm. “I aśur y, mis, I d nʈñ els! Ẃt wl y se, ɖen?” ś imīɉtli add.

“In ansr t ɖ letr?” I hd md p mî mînd. “Nʈñ.”

“N t hiz uncl?”

I wz insîsiv. “Nʈñ.”

“N t ɖ bô himslf?”

I wz wundrfl. “Nʈñ.”

Ś gev wɖ hr epṛn a gret wîp t hr mǎʈ. “Ɖen I’l stand bî y. W’l si it ǎt.”

“W’l si it ǎt!” I ardntli ecoud, gvñ hr mî hand t mc it a vǎ.

Ś hld m ɖr a momnt, ɖen ẃisct p hr epṛn agn wɖ hr dtaćt hand. “Wd y mînd, mis, f I yzd ɖ frīdm – ”

“T cis m? No!” I tc ɖ gd crīćr in mî armz n, aftr w hd imbrest lîc sistrz, flt stl mor forṭfaid n indignnt.

Ɖs, at ol ivnts, wz fr ɖ tîm: a tîm so fl ɖt, az I rcōl ɖ we it wnt, it rmîndz m v ol ɖ art I nǎ nīd t mc it a litl dstñt. Ẃt I lc bac at wɖ amezmnt z ɖ sićueśn I axptd. I hd unḍtecn, wɖ mî cmpańn, t si it ǎt, n I wz undr a ćarm, apaṛntli, ɖt cd smuɖ awe ɖ xtnt n ɖ far n dificlt cnx́nz v sć an ef̣t. I wz liftd aloft on a gret wev v infaćueśn n piti. I faund it simpl, in mî ignṛns, mî cnfyźn, n phps mî cnsit, t asym ɖt I cd dīl wɖ a bô huz edyceśn fr ɖ wrld wz ol on ɖ pônt v bginñ. I am unebl īvn t rmembr at ɖs de ẃt pṛpozl I fremd fr ɖ end v hiz hoḷdez n ɖ rzumśn v hiz studiz. Lésnz wɖ m, indd, ɖt ćarmñ sumr, w ol hd a ʈiyri ɖt h wz t hv; bt I nǎ fīl ɖt, fr wīcs, ɖ lésnz mst hv bn rɖr mî ǒn. I lrnt smʈñ – at frst, srtnli – ɖt hd nt bn wn v ɖ tīćñz v mî smōl, smuɖrd lîf; lrnt t b aḿzd, n īvn aḿzñ, n nt t ʈnc fr ɖ moro. It wz ɖ frst tîm, in a manr, ɖt I hd noun spes n er n frīdm, ol ɖ ḿzic v sumr n ol ɖ misṭri v nećr. N ɖen ɖr wz cnsiḍreśn – n cnsiḍreśn wz swīt. Ǒ, it wz a trap – nt dzînd, bt dīp – t mî imaɉneśn, t mî delic̣si, phps t mî vaṇti; t ẃtvr, in m, wz most xîṭbl. Ɖ bst we t picćr it ol z t se ɖt I wz of mî gard. Ɖe gev m so litl trubl – ɖe wr v a jntlnis so xtrordnri. I yst t speklet – bt īvn ɖs wɖ a dim disc̣nctidnis – az t hǎ ɖ ruf fyćr (fr ol fyćrz r ruf!) wd handl ɖm n mt brūz ɖm. Ɖe hd ɖ blūm v hlʈ n hapinis; n yt, az f I hd bn in ćarj v a per v litl grandīz, v prinsz v ɖ blud, fr hūm evrʈñ, t b rît, wd hv t b inclozd n pṛtctd, ɖ onli form ɖt, in mî fansi, ɖ afṭyirz cd tec fr ɖm wz ɖt v a r’mantic, a riyli royl xtnśn v ɖ gardn n ɖ parc. It me b, v cors, abv ol, ɖt ẃt sudnli brouc intu ɖs gvz ɖ prīvịs tîm a ćarm v stilnis – ɖt huś in ẃć smʈñ gaɖrz or crǎćz. Ɖ ćenj wz acć̣li lîc ɖ sprñ v a bīst.

In ɖ frst wīcs ɖ dez wr loñ; ɖe ofn, at ɖer fînist, gev m ẃt I yst t cōl mî ǒn aur, ɖ aur ẃn, fr mî pyplz, tītîm n bedtîm hvñ cm n gn, I hd, bfr mî fînl rtîrmnt, a smōl inṭvl alon. Mć az I lîct mî cmpańnz, ɖs aur wz ɖ ʈñ in ɖ de I lîct most; n I lîct it bst v ol ẃn, az ɖ lît fedd – or rɖr, I śd se, ɖ de lingrd n ɖ last cōlz v ɖ last brdz sǎndd, in a fluśt scî, fṛm ɖ old triz – I cd tec a trn intu ɖ grǎndz n injô, olmst wɖ a sns v proṗti ɖt aḿzd n flatrd m, ɖ byti n digṇti v ɖ ples. It wz a pleźr at ɖz momnts t fīl mslf tranqil n jusṭfaid; dǎtlis, phps, olso t rflect ɖt bî mî dscreśn, mî qayt gd sns n jenṛl hî pṛprayti, I wz gvñ pleźr – f h evr ʈt v it! – t ɖ prsn t huz preśr I hd rspondd. Ẃt I wz dwñ wz ẃt h hd rṇstli hopt n d’recli asct v m, n ɖt I cd, aftr ol, d it pruvd īvn a gretr jô ɖn I hd xpctd. I der se I fansid mslf, in śort, a rmarcbl yuñ wmn n tc cumf̣t in ɖ feʈ ɖt ɖs wd mor pubḷcli apir. Wel, I nīdd t b rmarcbl t ofr a frunt t ɖ rmarcbl ʈñz ɖt prezntli gev ɖer frst sîn.

It wz plump, wn afṭnun, in ɖ midl v mî vri aur: ɖ ćildṛn wr tuct awe, n I hd cm ǎt fr mî strol. Wn v ɖ ʈts ɖt, az I d’nt in ɖ līst śrinc nǎ fṛm notñ, yst t b wɖ m in ɖz wonḍrñz wz ɖt it wd b az ćarmñ az a ćarmñ stori sudnli t mīt smwn. Smwn wd apir ɖr at ɖ trn v a paʈ n wd stand bfr m n smîl n apruv. I dd’nt asc mor ɖn ɖt – I onli asct ɖt h śd nǒ; n ɖ onli we t b śr h ń wd b t si it, n ɖ cînd lît v it, in hiz hansm fes. Ɖt wz xacli preznt t m – bî ẃć I mīn ɖ fes wz – ẃn, on ɖ frst v ɖz oceźnz, at ɖ end v a loñ Jūn de, I stopt śort on imrjñ fṛm wn v ɖ planteśnz n cmñ intu vy v ɖ hǎs. Ẃt arestd m on ɖ spot – n wɖ a śoc mć gretr ɖn eni viźn hd alaud fr – wz ɖ sns ɖt mî imaɉneśn hd, in a flaś, trnd riyl. H dd stand ɖr! – bt hî p, bynd ɖ lōn n at ɖ vri top v ɖ tǎr t ẃć, on ɖt frst mornñ, litl Flora hd cnductd m. Ɖs tǎr wz wn v a per – sqer, incongrụs, creṇletd strucćrz – ɖt wr dstnḡśt, fr sm rīzn, ɖo I cd si litl difṛns, az ɖ ny n ɖ old. Ɖe flanct oṗzit endz v ɖ hǎs n wr probbli arc̣tecćṛl absrdtiz, rdimd in a meźr indd bî nt biyñ hoļi disingejd nr v a hît tù pritnśs, detñ, in ɖer jinjrbred antiqti, fṛm a r’mantic rvîvl ɖt wz olrdi a rspctbl past. I admîrd ɖm, hd fansiz abt ɖm, fr w cd ol profit in a dgri, ispeṣ́li ẃn ɖe lūmd ʈru ɖ dusc, bî ɖ granjr v ɖer acćl batlmnts; yt it wz nt at sć an eḷveśn ɖt ɖ figr I hd so ofn invoct sīmd most in ples.

It pṛdyst in m, ɖs figr, in ɖ clir twîlît, I rmembr, tū dstñt gasps v imośn, ẃć wr, śarpli, ɖ śoc v mî frst n ɖt v mî secnd s’prîz. Mî secnd wz a vayḷnt pspśn v ɖ mstec v mî frst: ɖ man hu met mî îz wz nt ɖ prsn I hd prisipittli s’pozd. Ɖr cem t m ɖus a bwildrmnt v viźn v ẃć, aftr ɖz yirz, ɖr z no livñ vy ɖt I cn hop t gv. An uņoun man in a lonli ples z a pmitd objict v fir t a yuñ wmn prîṿtli bréd; n ɖ figr ɖt fest m wz – a fy mor secndz aśurd m – az litl enwn els I ń az it wz ɖ imij ɖt hd bn in mî mînd. I hd nt sìn it in Harli Strīt – I hd nt sìn it enẃr. Ɖ ples, morovr, in ɖ strenjist we in ɖ wrld, hd, on ɖ instnt, n bî ɖ vri fact v its apiṛns, bcm a soḷtyd. T m at līst, mcñ mî stetmnt hir wɖ a dliḅreśn wɖ ẃć I hv nvr md it, ɖ hol fīlñ v ɖ momnt rtrnz. It wz az f, ẃl I tc in – ẃt I dd tec in – ol ɖ rest v ɖ sīn hd bn stricn wɖ deʈ. I cn hír agn, az I rait, ɖ intns huś in ẃć ɖ sǎndz v īvnñ dropt. Ɖ rŭcs stopt cw̃ in ɖ goldn scî, n ɖ frendli aur lost, fr ɖ minit, ol its vôs. Bt ɖr wz no uɖr ćenj in nećr, unls indd it wr a ćenj ɖt I sw wɖ a strenjr śarpnis. Ɖ gold wz stl in ɖ scî, ɖ clirnis in ɖ er, n ɖ man hu lct at m ovr ɖ batlmnts wz az defiṇt az a picćr in a frem. Ɖt’s hǎ I ʈt, wɖ xtrordnri qcnis, v ć prsn ɖt h mt hv bn n ɖt h wz nt. W wr cnfruntd acrs ǎr distns qt loñ inuf fr m t asc mslf wɖ intnṣti hu ɖen h wz n t fīl, az an ifct v mî in’biḷti t se, a wundr ɖt in a fy instnts mor bcem intns.

Ɖ gret qsćn, or wn v ɖz, z, afṭwd, I nǒ, wɖ rgard t srtn matrz, ɖ qsćn v hǎ loñ ɖe hv lastd. Wel, ɖs matr v mîn, ʈnc ẃt y wl v it, lastd ẃl I còt at a duzn posbiḷtiz, nn v ẃć md a difṛns fr ɖ betr, ɖt I cd si, in ɖr hvñ bn in ɖ hǎs – n fr hǎ loñ, abv ol? – a prsn v hūm I wz in ignṛns. It lastd ẃl I jst braidld a litl wɖ ɖ sns ɖt mî ofis dmandd ɖt ɖr śd b no sć ignṛns n no sć prsn. It lastd ẃl ɖs vizitnt, at ol ivnts – n ɖr wz a tuć v ɖ strenj frīdm, az I rmembr, in ɖ sîn v fmiliaṛti v hiz wẹrñ no hat – sīmd t fix m, fṛm hiz pziśn, wɖ jst ɖ qsćn, jst ɖ scrūṭni ʈru ɖ fedñ lît, ɖt hiz ǒn prezns pṛvoct. W wr tù far apart t cōl t ć uɖr, bt ɖr wz a momnt at ẃć, at śortr renj, sm ćalinj btwn s, brecñ ɖ huś, wd hv bn ɖ rît rzult v ǎr stret ḿćl stér. H wz in wn v ɖ anglz, ɖ wn awe fṛm ɖ hǎs, vri irect, az it struc m, n wɖ bʈ handz on ɖ lej. So I sw him az I si ɖ letrz I form on ɖs pej; ɖen, xacli, aftr a minit, az f t ad t ɖ specṭcl, h slǒli ćenjd hiz ples – pást, lcñ at m hard ol ɖ ẃl, t ɖ oṗzit cornr v ɖ platform. Yes, I hd ɖ śarpist sns ɖt jrñ ɖs transit h nvr tc hiz îz fṛm m, n I cn si at ɖs momnt ɖ we hiz hand, az h wnt, pást fṛm wn v ɖ creṇleśnz t ɖ nxt. H stopt at ɖ uɖr cornr, bt les loñ, n īvn az h trnd awe stl marcidli fixt m. H trnd awe; ɖt wz ol I ń.

___

IV

It wz nt ɖt I dd’nt wêt, on ɖs oceźn, fr mor, fr I wz rūtd az dīpli az I wz śecn. Wz ɖr a “sīcrit” at Blai – a misṭri v Ūdolfo or an insen, an unmnśṇbl reḷtiv cept in unsspctd cnfînmnt? I c’nt se hǎ loñ I trnd it ovr, or hǎ loñ, in a cnfyźn v krioṣti n dred, I rmend ẃr I hd hd mî c’liźn; I onli rcōl ɖt ẃn I ri-entrd ɖ hǎs darcnis hd qt clozd in. Ajteśn, in ɖ inṭvl, srtnli hd hld m n drivn m, fr I mst, in src̣lñ abt ɖ ples, hv wōct ʈri mîlz; bt I wz t b, lêtr on, so mć mor oṿẃlmd ɖt ɖs mir dōn v alarm wz a cmpaṛtivli hymn ćil. Ɖ most snğlr part v it, in fact – snğlr az ɖ rest hd bn – wz ɖ part I bcem, in ɖ hōl, awer v in mītñ Msz. Grǒs. Ɖs picćr cmz bac t m in ɖ jenṛl tren – ɖ impreśn, az I rsivd it on mî rtrn, v ɖ wîd ẃît panld spes, brît in ɖ lamplît n wɖ its portrits n red carpit, n v ɖ gd s’prîzd lc v mî frend, ẃć imīɉtli tld m ś hd míst m. It cem t m stretwe, undr hr contact, ɖt, wɖ plen hartinis, mir rlivd añzayti at mî apiṛns, ś ń nʈñ ẃtvr ɖt cd ber upn ɖ insidnt I hd ɖr redi fr hr. I hd nt sspctd in advans ɖt hr cumftbl fes wd pl m p, n I smhǎ meźrd ɖ importns v ẃt I hd sìn bî mî ɖus fîndñ mslf heẓtet t mnśn it. Scers enʈñ in ɖ hol hisṭri sīmz t m so od az ɖs fact ɖt mî riyl bginñ v fir wz wn, az I me se, wɖ ɖ instñt v spẹrñ mî cmpańn. On ɖ spot, acordñli, in ɖ pleznt hōl n wɖ hr îz on m, I, fr a rīzn ɖt I cd’nt ɖen hv frezd, aćivd an inwd reẓluśn – ofrd a veg prītxt fr mî lêtnis n, wɖ ɖ pli v ɖ byti v ɖ nît n v ɖ hevi dȳ n wet fīt, wnt az sn az poṣbl t mî rūm.

Hir it wz anɖr afer; hir, fr mni dez aftr, it wz a qir afer inuf. Ɖr wr aurz, fṛm de t de – or at līst ɖr wr momnts, snaćt īvn fṛm clir dytiz – ẃn I hd t śut mslf p t ʈnc. It wz nt so mć yt ɖt I wz mor nrṿs ɖn I cd ber t b az ɖt I wz rmarcbli afreid v bcmñ so; fr ɖ truʈ I hd nǎ t trn ovr wz, simpli n clirli, ɖ truʈ ɖt I cd arîv at no acǎnt ẃtvr v ɖ vizitr wɖ hūm I hd bn so inixplicbli n yt, az it sīmd t m, so intiṃtli cnsrnd. It tc litl tîm t si ɖt I cd sǎnd wɖt formz v inqîri n wɖt xîtñ rmarc eni dmestic compḷceśnz. Ɖ śoc I hd sufrd mst hv śarpnd ol mî snsz; I flt śr, at ɖ end v ʈri dez n az ɖ rzult v mir closr atnśn, ɖt I hd nt bn practist upn bî ɖ srvnts nr md ɖ objict v eni “gem.” V ẃtvr it wz ɖt I ń, nʈñ wz noun arnd m. Ɖr wz bt wn sen infṛns: smwn hd tecn a liḅti rɖr gros. Ɖt wz ẃt, rpitidli, I dipt intu mî rūm n loct ɖ dor t se t mslf. W hd bn, c’lectivli, subjict t an intruźn; sm unscrūpyḷs travlr, krịs in old hǎzz, hd md hiz we in un’bzrvd, injoid ɖ prospect fṛm ɖ bst pônt v vy, n ɖen stoḷn ǎt az h cem. F h hd gvn m sć a bold hard stér, ɖt wz bt a part v hiz indiscreśn. Ɖ gd ʈñ, aftr ol, wz ɖt w śd śrli si no mor v him.Ɖs wz nt so gd a ʈñ, I admit, az nt t līv m t juj ɖt ẃt, isnṣ́li, md nʈñ els mć sigṇfî wz simpli mî ćarmñ wrc. Mî ćarmñ wrc wz jst mî lîf wɖ Mîlz n Flora, n ʈru nʈñ cd I so lîc it az ʈru fīlñ ɖt I cd ʈro mslf intu it in trubl. Ɖ atrax́n v mî smōl ćarjz wz a constnt jô, līdñ m t wundr afreś at ɖ vaṇti v mî orijinl firz, ɖ dstest I hd bgun bî enttenñ fr ɖ probbl gre prǒz v mî ofis. Ɖr wz t b no gre prǒz, it apird, n no loñ grînd; so hǎ cd wrc nt b ćarmñ ɖt prizntd itslf az dêli byti? It wz ol ɖ romans v ɖ nrṣri n ɖ powtri v ɖ scūlrūm. I d’nt mīn bî ɖs, v cors, ɖt w studid onli fix́n n vrs; I mīn I cn xpres no uɖ̇wz ɖ sort v inṭrest mî cmpańnz inspîrd. Hǎ cn I dscrîb ɖt xpt bî seyñ ɖt instd v growñ yst t ɖm – n it’s a marvl fr a guṿnes: I cōl ɖ sistrhd t witnis! – I md constnt freś dscuṿriz. Ɖr wz wn d’rex́n, aśuridli, in ẃć ɖz dscuṿriz stopt: dīp obskṛti cntinyd t cuvr ɖ rījn v ɖ bô’z conduct at scūl. It hd bn promtli gvn m, I hv notd, t fes ɖt misṭri wɖt a pañ. Phps īvn it wd b nirr ɖ truʈ t se ɖt – wɖt a wrd – h himslf hd clird it p. H hd md ɖ hol ćarj absrd. Mî cncluźn blūmd ɖr wɖ ɖ riyl rôz fluś v hiz iṇsns: h wz onli tù fîn n fer fr ɖ litl horid, unclīn scūlwrld, n h hd peid a prîs fr it. I rflectd aktli ɖt ɖ sns v sć difṛnsz, sć s’pirioṛtiz v qoḷti, olwz, on ɖ part v ɖ mjoṛti – ẃć cd includ īvn stypid, sordid hedmastrz – trn infaḷbli t ɖ vndictiv.

Bʈ ɖ ćildṛn hd a jntlnis (it wz ɖer onli fōlt, n it nvr md Mîlz a muf) ɖt cept ɖm – hǎ śl I xpres it? – olmst imprsnl n srtnli qt unpuniṣbl. Ɖe wr lîc ɖ ćeṛbz v ɖ aṇcdot, hu hd – moṛli, at eni ret – nʈñ t ẃac! I rmembr fīlñ wɖ Mîlz in ispeśl az f h hd hd, az it wr, no hisṭri. W xpct v a smōl ćîld a scant wn, bt ɖr wz in ɖs bytifl litl bô smʈñ xtrordnṛli snṣtiv, yt xtrordnṛli hapi, ɖt, mor ɖn in eni crīćr v hiz ej I hv sìn, struc m az bginñ any ć de. H hd nvr fr a secnd sufrd. I tc ɖs az a d’rect dsprūf v hiz hvñ riyli bn ćastîzd. F h hd bn wicid h wd hv “còt” it, n I śd hv còt it bî ɖ rbaund – I śd hv faund ɖ tres. I faund nʈñ at ol, n h wz ɖrfr an enjl. H nvr spouc v hiz scūl, nvr mnśnd a comred or a mastr; n I, fr mî part, wz qt tù mć dsgustd t alud t ɖm. V cors I wz undr ɖ spel, n ɖ wundrfl part z ɖt, īvn at ɖ tîm, I prf̣cli ń I wz. Bt I gev mslf p t it; it wz an antidot t eni pen, n I hd mor penz ɖn wn. I wz in rsit in ɖz dez v dstrbñ letrz fṛm hom, ẃr ʈñz wr nt gwñ wel. Bt wɖ mî ćildṛn, ẃt ʈñz in ɖ wrld matrd? Ɖt wz ɖ qsćn I yst t pt t mî scrapi rtîrmnts. I wz dazld bî ɖer luvlinis.

Ɖr wz a Súnde – t gt on – ẃn it rênd wɖ sć fors n fr so mni aurz ɖt ɖr cd b no pṛseśn t ćrć; in consiqns v ẃć, az ɖ de dclînd, I hd arenjd wɖ Msz. Grǒs ɖt, śd ɖ īvnñ śo impruvmnt, w wd atnd tgɖr ɖ lêt srvis. Ɖ ren haṗli stopt, n I priperd fr ǎr wōc, ẃć, ʈru ɖ parc n bî ɖ gd rod t ɖ vilij, wd b a matr v twenti minits. Cmñ dǎnsterz t mīt mî colīg in ɖ hōl, I rmembrd a per v gluvz ɖt hd rqîrd ʈri stićz n ɖt hd rsivd ɖm – wɖ a pbliṣti phps nt edfayñ – ẃl I sat wɖ ɖ ćildṛn at ɖer ti, srvd on Súndez, bî xpśn, in ɖt cold, clīn tmpl v mhoġni n bras, ɖ “groun-up” dînñrūm. Ɖ gluvz hd bn dropt ɖr, n I trnd in t rcuvr ɖm. Ɖ de wz gre inuf, bt ɖ afṭnun lît stl lingrd, n it inebld m, on crosñ ɖ ʈreśhold, nt onli t rec̣gnîz, on a ćer nir ɖ wîd windo, ɖen clozd, ɖ articlz I wontd, bt t bcm awer v a prsn on ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ windo n lcñ stret in. Wn step intu ɖ rūm hd s’fîst; mî viźn wz instnteńs; it wz ol ɖr. Ɖ prsn lcñ stret in wz ɖ prsn hu hd olrdi apird t m. H apird ɖus agn wɖ I w’nt se gretr dstñtnis, fr ɖt wz imposbl, bt wɖ a nirnis ɖt reprizntd a fwd strîd in ǎr inṭcors n md m, az I met him, cać mî breʈ n trn cold. H wz ɖ sem – h wz ɖ sem, n sìn, ɖs tîm, az h hd bn sìn bfr, fṛm ɖ weist p, ɖ windo, ɖo ɖ dînñrūm wz on ɖ grǎndflor, nt gwñ dǎn t ɖ teris on ẃć h std. Hiz fes wz clos t ɖ glas, yt ɖ ifct v ɖs betr vy wz, strenjli, onli t śo m hǎ intns ɖ formr hd bn. H rmend bt a fy secndz – loñ inuf t cnvins m h olso sw n rec̣gnîzd; bt it wz az f I hd bn lcñ at him fr yirz n hd noun him olwz. Smʈñ, hvr, hapnd ɖs tîm ɖt hd nt hapnd bfr; hiz stér intu mî fes, ʈru ɖ glas n acrs ɖ rūm, wz az dīp n hard az ɖen, bt it qitd m fr a momnt jrñ ẃć I cd stl woć it, si it fix s’xesivli sevṛl uɖr ʈñz. On ɖ spot ɖr cem t m ɖ add śoc v a srttyd ɖt it wz nt fr m h hd cm ɖr. H hd cm fr smwn els.

Ɖ flaś v ɖs nolij – fr it wz nolij in ɖ mdst v dred – pṛdyst in m ɖ most xtrordnri ifct, startd az I std ɖr, a sudn vîbreśn v dyti n curij. I se curij bcz I wz bynd ol dǎt olrdi far gn. I bǎndd stret ǎt v ɖ dor agn, rīćt ɖt v ɖ hǎs, got, in an instnt, upn ɖ drîv, n, pasñ alñ ɖ teris az fast az I cd ruś, trnd a cornr n cem fl in sît. Bt it wz in sît v nʈñ nǎ – mî vizitr hd vaniśt. I stopt, I olmst dropt, wɖ ɖ riyl rlif v ɖs; bt I tc in ɖ hol sīn – I gev him tîm t ri’pir. I cōl it tîm, bt hǎ loñ wz it? I c’nt spīc t ɖ prṗs tde v ɖ jreśn v ɖz ʈñz. Ɖt cnd v meźr mst hv left m: ɖe cd’nt hv lastd az ɖe acć̣li apird t m t last. Ɖ teris n ɖ hol ples, ɖ lōn n ɖ gardn bynd it, ol I cd si v ɖ parc, wr emti wɖ a gret emtinis. Ɖr wr śruḅriz n big triz, bt I rmembr ɖ clir aśuṛns I flt ɖt nn v ɖm cnsild him. H wz ɖr or wz nt ɖr: nt ɖr f I dd’nt si him. I got hold v ɖs; ɖen, instñtivli, instd v rtrnñ az I hd cm, wnt t ɖ windo. It wz cnfyzidli preznt t m ɖt I òt t ples mslf ẃr h hd std. I dd so; I aplaid mî fes t ɖ pein n lct, az h hd lct, intu ɖ rūm. Az f, at ɖs momnt, t śo m xacli ẃt hiz renj hd bn, Msz. Grǒs, az I hd dn fr himslf jst bfr, cem in fṛm ɖ hōl. Wɖ ɖs I hd ɖ fl imij v a reṗtiśn v ẃt hd olrdi ocŕd. Ś sw m az I hd sìn mî ǒn vizitnt; ś pld p śort az I hd dn; I gev hr smʈñ v ɖ śoc ɖt I hd rsivd. Ś trnd ẃît, n ɖs md m asc mslf f I hd blanćt az mć. Ś stérd, in śort, n rtritd on jst lînz, n I ń ś hd ɖen pást ǎt n cm rnd t m n ɖt I śd prezntli mīt hr. I rmend ẃr I wz, n ẃl I wêtd I ʈt v mor ʈñz ɖn wn. Bt ɖr’z onli wn I tec spes t mnśn. I wundrd ẃ ś śd b scerd.

___

V

Ǒ, ś let m nǒ az sn az, rnd ɖ cornr v ɖ hǎs, ś lūmd agn intu vy. “Ẃt in ɖ nem v gdnis z ɖ matr – ?” Ś wz nǎ fluśt n ǎt v breʈ.

I sd nʈñ tl ś cem qt nir. “Wɖ m?” I mst hv md a wundrfl fes. “D I śo it?”“Y’r az ẃît az a śīt. Y lc ōfl.”

I cnsidrd; I cd mīt on ɖs, wɖt scrūpl, eni iṇsns. Mî nīd t rspct ɖ blūm v Msz. Grǒs’z hd dropt, wɖt a rusl, fṛm mî śoldrz, n f I wevrd fr ɖ instnt it wz nt wɖ ẃt I cept bac. I pt ǎt mî hand t hr n ś tc it; I hld hr hard a litl, lîcñ t fīl hr clos t m. Ɖr wz a cnd v s’port in ɖ śî hīv v hr s’prîz. “Y cem fr m fr ćrć, v cors, bt I c’nt g.”

“Hz enʈñ hapnd?”

“Yes. Y mst nǒ nǎ. Dd I lc vri qir?”

“Ʈru ɖs windo? Dredfl!”

“Wel,” I sd, “I’v bn frîtnd.” Msz. Grǒs’z îz xprest plenli ɖt ś hd no wś t b, yt olso ɖt ś ń tù wel hr ples nt t b redi t śer wɖ m eni marct incnvińns. Ǒ, it wz qt setld ɖt ś mst śer! “Jst ẃt y sw fṛm ɖ dînñrūm a minit ago wz ɖ ifct v ɖt. Ẃt I sw – jst bfr – wz mć wrs.”

Hr hand tîtnd. “Ẃt wz it?”

“An xtrordnri man. Lcñ in.”

“Ẃt xtrordnri man?”

“I hv’nt ɖ līst îdīa.”

Msz. Grǒs gezd rnd s in ven. “Ɖen ẃr z h gn?”

“I nǒ stl les.”

“Hv y sìn him bfr?”

“Yes – wns. On ɖ old tǎr.”

Ś cd onli lc at m hardr. “D y mīn h’z a strenjr?”

“Ǒ, vri mć!”

“Yt y dd’nt tel m?”

“No – fr rīznz. Bt nǎ ɖt y’v gest – ”

Msz. Grǒs’z rǎnd îz incǎntrd ɖs ćarj. “Ā, I hv’nt gest!” ś sd vri simpli. “Hǎ cn I f y d’nt imajin?”

“I d’nt in ɖ vri līst.”

“Y’v sìn him nẃr bt on ɖ tǎr?”

“N on ɖs spot jst nǎ.”

Msz. Grǒs lct rnd agn. “Ẃt wz h dwñ on ɖ tǎr?”

“Onli standñ ɖr n lcñ dǎn at m.”

Ś ʈt a minit. “Wz h a jntlmn?”

I faund I hd no nīd t ʈnc. “No.” Ś gezd in dīpr wundr. “No.”

“Ɖen nbdi abt ɖ ples? Nbdi fṛm ɖ vilij?”

“Nbdi – nbdi. I dd’nt tel y, bt I md śr.”

Ś briɖd a veg rlif: ɖs wz, odli, so mć t ɖ gd. It onli wnt indd a litl we. “Bt f h z’nt a jntlmn – ”

“Ẃt z h? H’z a horr.”

“A horr?”

“H’z – God hlp m f I nǒ ẃt h z!”

Msz. Grǒs lct rnd wns mor; ś fixt hr îz on ɖ duscịr distns, ɖen, pŭlñ hrslf tgɖr, trnd t m wɖ abrupt inconsiqns. “It’s tîm w śd b at ćrć.”

“Ǒ, I’m nt fit fr ćrć!”

“W’nt it d y gd?”

“It w’nt d ɖm! –  I nodd at ɖ hǎs.

“Ɖ ćildṛn?”

“I c’nt līv ɖm nǎ.”

“Y’r afreid – ?”

I spouc boldli. “I’m afreid v him.”

Msz. Grǒs’z larj fes śoud m, at ɖs, fr ɖ frst tîm, ɖ far-awe fent glimr v a conśsnis mor akt: I smhǎ md ǎt in it ɖ dleid dōn v an îdīa I mslf hd nt gvn hr n ɖt wz az yt qt obskr t m. It cmz bac t m ɖt I ʈt instntli v ɖs az smʈñ I cd gt fṛm hr; n I flt it t b cnctd wɖ ɖ dzîr ś prezntli śoud t nǒ mor. “Ẃn wz it – on ɖ tǎr?”

“Abt ɖ midl v ɖ munʈ. At ɖs sem aur.”

“Olmst at darc,” sd Msz. Grǒs.

“Ǒ, no, nt nirli. I sw him az I si y.”

“Ɖen hǎ dd h gt in?”

“N hǎ dd h gt ǎt?” I laft. “I hd no oṗtyṇti t asc him! Ɖs īvnñ, y si,” I psyd, “h hz nt bn ebl t gt in.”

“H onli pīps?”

“I hop it wl b cnfînd t ɖt!” Ś hd nǎ let g mî hand; ś trnd awe a litl. I wêtd an instnt; ɖen I bròt ǎt: “G t ćrć. Gdbî. I mst woć.”

Slǒli ś fest m agn. “D y fir fr ɖm?”

W met in anɖr loñ lc. “D’nt y?” Instd v anṣrñ ś cem nirr t ɖ windo n, fr a minit, aplaid hr fes t ɖ glas. “Y si hǎ h cd si,” I mnẃl wnt on.

Ś dd’nt muv. “Hǎ loñ wz h hir?”

“Tl I cem ǎt. I cem t mīt him.”

Msz. Grǒs at last trnd rnd, n ɖr wz stl mor in hr fes. “I cd’nt hv cm ǎt.”

“Nɖr cd I!” I laft agn. “Bt I dd cm. I hv mî dyti.”

“So hv I mîn,” ś rplaid; aftr ẃć ś add: “Ẃt z h lîc?”

“I’v bn dayñ t tel y. Bt h’z lîc nbdi.”

“Nbdi?” ś ecoud.

“H hz no hat.” Ɖen siyñ in hr fes ɖt ś olrdi, in ɖs, wɖ a dīpr dsme, faund a tuć v picćr, I qcli add stroc t stroc. “H hz red her, vri red, clos-crlñ, n a pel fes, loñ in śep, wɖ stret, gd fīćrz n litl, rɖr qir ẃiscrz ɖt r az red az hiz her. Hiz îbrǎz r, smhǎ, darcr; ɖe lc ptiklrli arćt n az f ɖe mt muv a gd dīl. Hiz îz r śarp, strenj – ōf̣li; bt I onli nǒ clirli ɖt ɖ’r rɖr smōl n vri fixt. Hiz mǎʈ’z wîd, n hiz lips r ʈin, n xpt fr hiz litl ẃiscrz h’z qt clīn-śevn. H gvz m a sort v sns v lcñ lîc an actr.”

“An actr!” It wz imposbl t rzmbl wn les, at līst, ɖn Msz. Grǒs at ɖt momnt.

“I’v nvr sìn wn, bt so I s’poz ɖm. H’z tōl, activ, irect,” I cntinyd, “bt nvr – no, nvr! – a jntlmn.”

Mî cmpańn’z fes hd blanćt az I wnt on; hr rǎnd îz startd n hr mîld mǎʈ gept. “A jntlmn?” ś gaspt, cnfǎndd, styṗfaid: “a jntlmn h?

“Y nǒ him ɖen?”

Ś viẓbli traid t hold hrslf. “Bt h z hansm?”

I sw ɖ we t hlp hr. “Rmarcbli!”

“N drest – ?”

“In smbdi’z cloɖz.” “Ɖ’r smart, bt ɖ’r nt hiz ǒn.”

Ś brouc intu a breʈlis afrṃtiv gron: “Ɖ’r ɖ mastr’z!”

I còt it p. “Y d nǒ him?”

Ś fōltrd bt a secnd. “Qint!” ś craid.

“Qint?”

“Pītr Qint – hiz ǒn man, hiz vale, ẃn h wz hir!”

“Ẃn ɖ mastr wz?”

Gepñ stl, bt mītñ m, ś pìst it ol tgɖr. “H nvr wòr hiz hat, bt h dd wer – wel, ɖr wr weistcots míst. Ɖe wr bʈ hir – last yir. Ɖen ɖ mastr wnt, n Qint wz alon.”

I foloud, bt hōltñ a litl. “Alon?”

“Alon wɖ s.” Ɖen, az fṛm a dīpr depʈ, “In ćarj,” ś add.

“N ẃt bcem v him?”

Ś huñ fîr so loñ ɖt I wz stl mor misṭfaid. “H wnt, tù,” ś bròt ǎt at last.

“Wnt ẃr?”

Hr xpreśn, at ɖs, bcem xtrordnri. “God nz ẃr! H daid.”

“Daid?” I olmst śrīct.

Ś sīmd ferli t sqer hrslf, plant hrslf mor frmli t utr ɖ wundr v it. “Yes. Mr. Qint z ded.”

___

VI

It tc v cors mor ɖn ɖt ptiklr pasij t ples s tgɖr in prezns v ẃt w hd nǎ t liv wɖ az w cd – mî dredfl lạbiḷti t impreśnz v ɖ ordr so vividli xmpḷfaid, n mî cmpańn’z nolij, hnsfʈ – a nolij haf consṭneśn n haf cmpaśn – v ɖt lạbiḷti. Ɖr hd bn, ɖs īvnñ, aftr ɖ reṿleśn left m, fr an aur, so pṛstret – ɖr hd bn, fr îɖr v s, no atndns on eni srvis bt a litl srvis v tirz n vǎz, v prerz n proṃsz, a clîmax t ɖ siriz v ḿćl ćaḷnjz n plejz ɖt hd stretwe insyd on ǎr rtritñ tgɖr t ɖ scūlrūm n śutñ ǎrslvz p ɖr t hv evrʈñ ǎt. Ɖ rzult v ǎr hvñ evrʈñ ǎt wz simpli t rdys ǎr sićueśn t ɖ last rigr v its elimnts. Ś hrslf hd sìn nʈñ, nt ɖ śado v a śado, n nbdi in ɖ hǎs bt ɖ guṿnes wz in ɖ guṿnes’z plît; yt ś axptd wɖt d’recli impynñ mî saṇti ɖ truʈ az I gev it t hr, n endd bî śowñ m, on ɖs grǎnd, an ōstricn tndrnis, an xpreśn v ɖ sns v mî mor ɖn qsćṇbl priṿlij, v ẃć ɖ vri breʈ hz rmend wɖ m az ɖt v ɖ swītist v hymn ćaṛtiz.

Ẃt wz setld btwn s, acordñli, ɖt nît, wz ɖt w ʈt w mt ber ʈñz tgɖr; n I wz nt īvn śr ɖt, in spît v hr xmśn, it wz ś hu hd ɖ bst v ɖ brdn. I ń at ɖs aur, I ʈnc, az wel az I ń lêtr, ẃt I wz ceṗbl v mītñ t śltr mî pyplz; bt it tc m sm tîm t b hoļi śr v ẃt mî onist alî wz priperd fr t cīp trmz wɖ so compṛmîzñ a contract. I wz qir cumṗni inuf – qt az qir az ɖ cumṗni I rsivd; bt az I tres ovr ẃt w wnt ʈru I si hǎ mć comn grǎnd w mst hv faund in ɖ wn îdīa ɖt, bî gd fortyn, cd stedi s. It wz ɖ îdīa, ɖ secnd muvmnt, ɖt léd m stret ǎt, az I me se, v ɖ inr ćembr v mî dred. I cd tec ɖ er in ɖ cort, at līst, n ɖr Msz. Grǒs cd jôn m. Prf̣cli cn I rcōl nǎ ɖ ptiklr we streñʈ cem t m bfr w seṗretd fr ɖ nît. W hd gn ovr n ovr evri fīćr v ẃt I hd sìn.“H wz lcñ fr smwn els, y se – smwn hu wz nt y?”

“H wz lcñ fr litl Mîlz.” A portnṭs clirnis nǎ pzest m. “Ɖt’s hūm h wz lcñ fr.”

“Bt hǎ d y nǒ?”

“I nǒ, I nǒ, I nǒ!” Mî xlteśn grù. “N y nǒ, mî dir!”

Ś dd’nt dnî ɖs, bt I rqîrd, I flt, nt īvn so mć telñ az ɖt. Ś rzymd in a momnt, at eni ret: “Ẃt f h śd si him?”

“Litl Mîlz? Ɖt’s ẃt h wonts!”

Ś lct imnsli scerd agn. “Ɖ ćîld?”

“Hevn fbid! Ɖ man. H wonts t apir t ɖm.” Ɖt h mt wz an ōfl cnspśn, n yt, smhǎ, I cd cīp it at be; ẃć, morovr, az w lingrd ɖr, wz ẃt I s’xidd in practicli pruvñ. I hd an abṣlut srtnti ɖt I śd si agn ẃt I hd olrdi sìn, bt smʈñ wɖn m sd ɖt bî of̣rñ mslf brevli az ɖ sol subjict v sć xpirịns, bî axptñ, bî invîtñ, bî smǎntñ it ol, I śd srv az an xpietri victim n gard ɖ tranqiḷti v mî cmpańnz. Ɖ ćildṛn, in ispeśl, I śd ɖus fns abt n abṣlutli sev. I rcōl wn v ɖ last ʈñz I sd ɖt nît t Msz. Grǒs.

“It dz strîc m ɖt mî pyplz hv nvr mnśnd – ”

Ś lct at m hard az I ḿzñli pld p. “Hiz hvñ bn hir n ɖ tîm ɖe wr wɖ him?”

“Ɖ tîm ɖe wr wɖ him, n hiz nem, hiz prezns, hiz hisṭri, in eni we.”

“Ǒ, ɖ litl ledi dz’nt rmembr. Ś nvr hŕd or ń.”

“Ɖ srcmstansz v hiz deʈ?” I ʈt wɖ sm intnṣti. “Phps nt. Bt Mîlz wd rmembr – Mîlz wd nǒ.”

“Ā, d’nt trî him!” brouc fṛm Msz. Grǒs.

I rtrnd hr ɖ lc ś hd gvn m. “D’nt b afreid.” I cntinyd t ʈnc. “It z rɖr od.”

“Ɖt h hz nvr spocn v him?”

“Nvr bî ɖ līst aluźn. N y tel m ɖe wr ‘gret frendz’?”

“Ǒ, it wz’nt him!” Msz. Grǒs wɖ emf̣sis dclerd. “It wz Qint’s ǒn fansi. T ple wɖ him, I mīn – t spôl him.” Ś pōzd a momnt; ɖen ś add: “Qint wz mć tù fri.”

Ɖs gev m, stret fṛm mî viźn v hiz fes – a fes! – a sudn sicnis v dsgust. “Tù fri wɖ bô?”

“Tù fri wɖ evrwn!”

I forbòr, fr ɖ momnt, t aṇlîz ɖs dscripśn frɖr ɖn bî ɖ rflex́n ɖt a part v it aplaid t sevṛl v ɖ membrz v ɖ hǎshold, v ɖ haf-duzn meidz n men hu wr stl v ǎr smōl coḷni. Bt ɖr wz evrʈñ, fr ǎr aprihnśn, in ɖ luci fact ɖt no dscumf̣tbl lejnd, no prtbeśn v scułnz, hd evr, wɖn enwn’z meṃri ataćt t ɖ cînd old ples. It hd nɖr bad nem nr il fem, n Msz. Grǒs, most apaṛntli, onli dzîrd t clñ t m n t qec in sîḷns. I īvn pt hr, ɖ vri last ʈñ v ol, t ɖ tst. It wz ẃn, at midnît, ś hd hr hand on ɖ scūlrūm dor t tec līv. “I hv it fṛm y ɖen – fr it’s v gret importns – ɖt h wz defiṇtli n admitidli bad?”

“Ǒ, nt admitidli. I ń it – bt ɖ mastr dd’nt.”

“N y nvr tld him?”

“Wel, h dd’nt lîc têlbẹrñ – h hetd cmplents. H wz teṛbli śort wɖ enʈñ v ɖt cnd, n f ppl wr ol rît t him – ”

“H wd’nt b boɖrd wɖ mor?” Ɖs sqerd wel inuf wɖ mî impreśnz v him: h wz nt a trubl-luvñ jntlmn, nr so vri ptiklr phps abt sm v ɖ cumṗni h cept. Ol ɖ sem, I prest mî inṭloktris. “I promis y I wd hv tld!”

Ś flt mî dscriṃneśn. “I der se I wz roñ. Bt, riyli, I wz afreid.”

“Afreid v ẃt?”

“V ʈñz ɖt man cd d. Qint wz so clevr – h wz so dīp.”

I tc ɖs in stl mor ɖn, probbli, I śoud. “Y wr’nt afreid v enʈñ els? Nt v hiz ifct – ?”

“Hiz ifct?” ś rpitd wɖ a fes v anḡś n wêtñ ẃl I fōltrd.

“On iṇsnt litl preśs lîvz. Ɖe wr in yr ćarj.”

“No, ɖe wr nt in mîn!” ś rǎndli n dstresf̣li rtrnd. “Ɖ mastr b’livd in him n plest him hir bcz h wz s’pozd nt t b wel n ɖ cuntri er so gd fr him. So h hd evrʈñ t se. Yes” – ś let m hv it – “īvn abt ɖm.”

“Ɖm – ɖt crīćr?” I hd t smuɖr a cnd v hǎl. “N y cd ber it!”

“No. I cd’nt – n I c’nt nǎ!” N ɖ pur wmn brst intu tirz.

A rijid cntrol, fṛm ɖ nxt de, wz, az I hv sd, t folo ɖm; yt hǎ ofn n hǎ paśṇtli, fr a wīc, w cem bac tgɖr t ɖ subjict! Mć az w hd dscust it ɖt Súnde nît, I wz, in ɖ imīɉt lêtr aurz in ispeśl – fr it me b imajind ẃɖr I slept – stl hōntd wɖ ɖ śado v smʈñ ś hd nt tld m. I mslf hd cept bac nʈñ, bt ɖr wz a wrd Msz. Grǒs hd cept bac. I wz śr, morovr, bî mornñ, ɖt ɖs wz nt fṛm a fełr v francnis, bt bcz on evri sîd ɖr wr firz. It sīmz t m indd, in retṛspect, ɖt bî ɖ tîm ɖ moro’z sún wz hî I hd restlisli réd intu ɖ fact bfr s olmst ol ɖ mīnñ ɖe wr t rsiv fṛm subsiqnt n mor cruwl ocuṛnsiz. Ẃt ɖe gev m abv ol wz jst ɖ sinistr figr v ɖ livñ man – ɖ ded wn wd cīp aẃl! – n v ɖ munʈs h hd cntinẏsli pást at Blai, ẃć, add p, md a formiḍbl streć. Ɖ limit v ɖs īvl tîm hd arîvd onli ẃn, on ɖ dōn v a wintr’z mornñ, Pītr Qint wz faund, bî a lebrr gwñ t rli wrc, ston ded on ɖ rod fṛm ɖ vilij: a ctastṛfi xplend – sūṗfiṣ́li at līst – bî a viẓbl wūnd t hiz hed; sć a wūnd az mt hv bn pṛdyst – n az, on ɖ fînl evidns, hd bn – bî a fetl slip, in ɖ darc n aftr līvñ ɖ public hǎs, on ɖ stīpiś îsi slǒp, a roñ paʈ oltgɖr, at ɖ botm v ẃć h le. Ɖ îsi slǒp, ɖ trn mstecn at nît n in lícr, acǎntd fr mć – practicli, in ɖ end n aftr ɖ inqest n bǎndlis ćatr, fr evrʈñ; bt ɖr hd bn matrz in hiz lîf – strenj paṣjz n perilz, sīcrit dsordrz, vîsz mor ɖn sspctd – ɖt wd hv acǎntd fr a gd dīl mor.

I scers nǒ hǎ t pt mî stori intu wrdz ɖt śl b a creḍbl picćr v mî stet v mînd; bt I wz in ɖz dez litṛli ebl t fînd a jô in ɖ xtrordnri flît v herǒizm ɖ oceźn dmandd v m. I nǎ sw ɖt I hd bn asct fr a srvis admṛbl n dificlt; n ɖr wd b a gretnis in letñ it b sìn – ǒ, in ɖ rît qortr! – ɖt I cd s’xid ẃr mni anɖr grl mt hv feld. It wz an imns hlp t m – I cnfes I rɖr aplōd mslf az I lc bac! – ɖt I sw mî srvis so stroñli n so simpli. I wz ɖr t pṛtct n dfnd ɖ litl crīćrz in ɖ wrld ɖ most b’rivd n ɖ most luṿbl, ɖ apil v huz hlplisnis hd sudnli bcm onli tù xplisit, a dīp, constnt ec v wn’z ǒn cmitd hart. W wr cut of, riyli, tgɖr; w wr ynîtd in ǎr denjr. Ɖe hd nʈñ bt m, n I – wel, I hd ɖm. It wz in śort a mgnifisnt ćans. Ɖs ćans prizntd itslf t m in an imij rićli mtirịl. I wz a scrīn – I wz t stand bfr ɖm. Ɖ mor I sw, ɖ les ɖe wd. I bgan t woć ɖm in a stîfld sspns, a dsgîzd xîtmnt ɖt mt wel, hd it cntinyd tù loñ, hv trnd t smʈñ lîc madnis. Ẃt sevd m, az I nǎ si, wz ɖt it trnd t smʈñ els oltgɖr. It dd’nt last az sspns – it wz sūṗsidd bî hoṛbl prūfs. Prūfs, I se, yes – fṛm ɖ momnt I riyli tc hold.

Ɖs momnt detd fṛm an afṭnun-aur ɖt I hapnd t spend in ɖ grǎndz wɖ ɖ yungr v mî pyplz alon. W hd left Mîlz indorz, on ɖ red cŭśn v a dīp windosīt; h hd wśt t finiś a bc, n I hd bn glad t incurij a prṗs so lōdbl in a yuñ man huz onli dīfect wz an oceźnl xes v ɖ restlis. Hiz sistr, on ɖ contrri, hd bn alrt t cm ǎt, n I strold wɖ hr haf an aur, sīcñ ɖ śêd, fr ɖ sún wz stl hî n ɖ de xpśṇli worm. I wz awer afreś, wɖ hr, az w wnt, v hǎ, lîc hr bruɖr, ś cntrîvd – it wz ɖ ćarmñ ʈñ in bʈ ćildṛn – t let m alon wɖt apirñ t drop m n t acumṗni m wɖt apirñ t srǎnd. Ɖe wr nvr imporćṇt n yt nvr listlis. Mî atnśn t ɖm ol riyli wnt t siyñ ɖm aḿz ɖmslvz imnsli wɖt m: ɖs wz a specṭcl ɖe sīmd activli t priper n ɖt ingejd m az an activ admîrr. I wōct in a wrld v ɖer invnśn – ɖe hd no oceźn ẃtvr t drw upn mîn; so ɖt mî tîm wz tecn onli wɖ biyñ, fr ɖm, sm rmarcbl prsn or ʈñ ɖt ɖ gem v ɖ momnt rqîrd n ɖt wz mirli, ʈancs t mî s’pirịr, mî xōltd stamp, a hapi n hîli dstnḡśt siṇkr. I fget ẃt I wz on ɖ preznt oceźn; I onli rmembr ɖt I wz smʈñ vri importnt n vri qayt n ɖt Flora wz pleyñ vri hard. W wr on ɖ éj v ɖ lec, n, az w hd lêtli bgun jiogṛfi, ɖ lec wz ɖ Sì v Azof.

Sudnli, in ɖz srcmstansz, I bcem awer ɖt, on ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ Sì v Azof, w hd an inṭrestd spectetr. Ɖ we ɖs nolij gaɖrd in m wz ɖ strenjist ʈñ in ɖ wrld – ɖ strenjist, ɖt z, xpt ɖ vri mć strenjr in ẃć it qcli mrjd itslf. I hd sat dǎn wɖ a pìs v wrc – fr I wz smʈñ or uɖr ɖt cd sit – on ɖ old ston bnć ẃć oṿlct ɖ pond; n in ɖs pziśn I bgan t tec in wɖ srttyd, n yt wɖt d’rect viźn, ɖ prezns, at a distns, v a ʈrd prsn. Ɖ old triz, ɖ ʈic śruḅri, md a gret n pleznt śêd, bt it wz ol s’fyzd wɖ ɖ brîtnis v ɖ hot, stil aur. Ɖr wz no amḅgywti in enʈñ; nn ẃtvr, at līst, in ɖ cnvix́n I fṛm wn momnt t anɖr faund mslf formñ az t ẃt I śd si stret bfr m n acrs ɖ lec az a consiqns v rezñ mî îz. Ɖe wr ataćt at ɖs juñćr t ɖ stićñ in ẃć I wz ingejd, n I cn fīl wns mor ɖ spazm v mî ef̣t nt t muv ɖm tl I śd so hv stedid mslf az t b ebl t mc p mî mînd ẃt t d. Ɖr wz an ełn objict in vy – a figr huz rît v prezns I instntli, paśṇtli qsćnd. I rec̣lect cǎntñ ovr prf̣cli ɖ posbiḷtiz, rmîndñ mslf ɖt nʈñ wz mor naćṛl, fr instns, ɖen ɖ apiṛns v wn v ɖ men abt ɖ ples, or īvn v a mesinjr, a postmn, or a tredzmn’z bô, fṛm ɖ vilij. Ɖt rmîndr hd az litl ifct on mî practicl srttyd az I wz conśs – stl īvn wɖt lcñ – v its hvñ upn ɖ caṛctr n attyd v ǎr vizitr. Nʈñ wz mor naćṛl ɖn ɖt ɖz ʈñz śd b ɖ uɖr ʈñz ɖt ɖe abṣlutli wr nt.

V ɖ poẓtiv îdntti v ɖ aṗriśn I wd aśur mslf az sn az ɖ smōl cloc v mî curij śd hv tict ǎt ɖ rît secnd; mnẃl, wɖ an ef̣t ɖt wz olrdi śarp inuf, I trnsfŕd mî îz stret t litl Flora, hu, at ɖ momnt, wz abt ten yardz awe. Mî hart hd std stil fr an instnt wɖ ɖ wundr n terr v ɖ qsćn ẃɖr ś tù wd si; n I hld mî breʈ ẃl I wêtd fr ẃt a crî fṛm hr, ẃt sm sudn iṇsnt sîn îɖr v inṭrest or v alarm, wd tel m. I wêtd, bt nʈñ cem; ɖen, in ɖ frst ples – n ɖr z smʈñ mor dîr in ɖs, I fīl, ɖn in enʈñ I hv t rlet – I wz dtrmind bî a sns ɖt, wɖn a minit, ol sǎndz fṛm hr hd prīvịsli dropt; n, in ɖ secnd, bî ɖ srcmstans ɖt, olso wɖn ɖ minit, ś hd, in hr ple, trnd hr bac t ɖ wōtr. Ɖs wz hr attyd ẃn I at last lct at hr – lct wɖ ɖ cnfrmd cnvix́n ɖt w wr stl, tgɖr, undr d’rect prsnl notis. Ś hd pict p a smōl flat pìs v wŭd, ẃć hapnd t hv in it a litl houl ɖt hd evidntli sjstd t hr ɖ îdīa v sticñ in anɖr fragmnt ɖt mt figr az a māst n mc ɖ ʈñ a bot. Ɖs secnd morsl, az I woćt hr, ś wz vri marcidli n intntli atmtñ t tîtn in its ples. Mî aprihnśn v ẃt ś wz dwñ sstend m so ɖt aftr sm secndz I flt I wz redi fr mor. Ɖen I agn śiftd mî îz – I fest ẃt I hd t fes.

___

VII

I  got hold v Msz. Grǒs az sn aftr ɖs az I cd; n I cn gv no inteliɉbl acǎnt v hǎ I fòt ǎt ɖ inṭvl. Yt I stl hír mslf crî az I ferli ʈrù mslf intu hr armz: “Ɖe – it’s tù monstṛs: ɖe nǒ, ɖe nǒ!”

“N ẃt on rʈ – ?” I flt hr incṛdyḷti az ś hld m.“Ẃ, ol ɖt w nǒ – n hevn nz ẃt els bsdz!” Ɖen, az ś rlist m, I md it ǎt t hr, md it ǎt phps onli nǎ wɖ fl chiṛnsi īvn t mslf. “Tū aurz ago, in ɖ gardn” – I cd scers artikḷt – “Flora sw!

Msz. Grǒs tc it az ś mt hv tecn a blo in ɖ stuṃc. “Ś hz tld y?” ś pantd.

“Nt a wrd – ɖt’s ɖ horr. Ś cept it t hrslf! Ɖ ćîld v et, ɖt ćîld!” Unutṛbl stl, fr m, wz ɖ styṗfax́n v it.

Msz. Grǒs, v cors, cd onli gep ɖ wîdr. “Ɖen hǎ d y nǒ?”

“I wz ɖr – I sw wɖ mî îz: sw ɖt ś wz prf̣cli awer.”

“D y mīn awer v him?

“No – v hr.” I wz conśs az I spouc ɖt I lct pṛdijs ʈñz, fr I got ɖ slo rflex́n v ɖm in mî cmpańn’z fes. “Anɖr prsn – ɖs tîm; bt a figr v qt az unmistecbl horr n īvl: a wmn in blac, pel n dredfl – wɖ sć an er olso, n sć a fes! – on ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ lec. I wz ɖr wɖ ɖ ćîld – qayt fr ɖ aur; n in ɖ mdst v it ś cem.”

“Cem hǎ – fṛm ẃr?”

“Fṛm ẃr ɖe cm fṛm! Ś jst apird n std ɖr – bt nt so nir.”

“N wɖt cmñ nirr?”

“Ǒ, fr ɖ ifct n ɖ fīlñ, ś mt hv bn az clos az y!”

Mî frend, wɖ an od impuls, fél bac a step. “Wz ś smwn y’v nvr sìn?”

“Yes. Bt smwn ɖ ćîld hz. Smwn y hv.” Ɖen, t śo hǎ I hd ʈt it ol ǎt: “Mî prīdisesr – ɖ wn hu daid.”

“Mis Jesl?”

“Mis Jesl. Y d’nt b’liv m?” I prest.

Ś trnd rît n left in hr dstres. “Hǎ cn y b śr?”

Ɖs drù fṛm m, in ɖ stet v mî nrvz, a flaś v impeśns. “Ɖen asc Flora – ś’z śr!” Bt I hd no snr spocn ɖn I còt mslf p. “No, fr God’z sec, d’nt! Ś’l se ś z’nt – ś’l lai!”

Msz. Grǒs wz nt tù bwildrd instñtivli t pṛtst. “Ā, hǎ cn y?”

“Bcz I’m clir. Flora dz’nt wont m t nǒ.”

“It’s onli ɖen t sper y.”

“No, no – ɖr r depʈs, depʈs! Ɖ mor I g ovr it, ɖ mor I si in it, n ɖ mor I si in it, ɖ mor I fir. I d’nt nǒ ẃt I d’nt si – ẃt I d’nt fir!”

Msz. Grǒs traid t cīp p wɖ m. “Y mīn y’r afreid v siyñ hr agn?”

“Ǒ, no; ɖt’s nʈñ – nǎ!” Ɖen I xplend. “It’s v nt siyñ hr.”

Bt mî cmpańn onli lct won. “I d’nt unḍstand y.”

“Ẃ, it’s ɖt ɖ ćîld me cīp it p – n ɖt ɖ ćîld aśuridli wl – wɖt mî nwñ it.”

At ɖ imij v ɖs posbiḷti Msz. Grǒs fr a momnt c’lapst, yt prezntli t pl hrslf tgɖr agn, az f fṛm ɖ poẓtiv fors v ɖ sns v ẃt, śd w yīld an inć, ɖr wd riyli b t gv we t. “Dir, dir – w mst cīp ǎr hedz! N aftr ol, f ś dz’nt mînd it – !” Ś īvn traid a grim joc. “Phps ś lîcs it!”

“Lîcs ʈñz – a scrap v an inf̣nt!”

“Z’nt it jst a prūf v hr blesid iṇsns?” mî frend brevli inqîrd.

Ś bròt m, fr ɖ instnt, olmst rnd. “Ǒ, w mst cluć at ɖt – w mst clñ t it! F it z’nt a prūf v ẃt y se, it’s a prūf v – God nz ẃt! Fr ɖ wmn’z a horr v horrz.”

Msz. Grǒs, at ɖs, fixt hr îz a minit on ɖ grǎnd; ɖen at last rezñ ɖm, “Tel m hǎ y nǒ,” ś sd.

“Ɖen y admit it’s ẃt ś wz?” I craid.

“Tel m hǎ y nǒ,” mî frend simpli rpitd.

“Nǒ? Bî siyñ hr! Bî ɖ we ś lct.”

“At y, d y mīn – so wicidli?”

“Dir m, no – I cd hv bòrn ɖt. Ś gev m nvr a glans. Ś onli fixt ɖ ćîld.”

Msz. Grǒs traid t si it. “Fixt hr?”

“Ā, wɖ sć ōfl îz!”

Ś stérd at mîn az f ɖe mt riyli hv rzmbld ɖm. “D y mīn v dslîc?”

“God hlp s, no. V smʈñ mć wrs.”

“Wrs ɖn dslîc?” – ɖs left hr indd at a los.

“Wɖ a dtrṃneśn – indiscrîbbl. Wɖ a cnd v fyri v intnśn.”

I md hr trn pel. “Intnśn?”

“T gt hold v hr.” Msz. Grǒs – hr îz jst linġrñ on mîn – gev a śudr n wōct t ɖ windo; n ẃl ś std ɖr lcñ ǎt I cmplitd mî stetmnt. “Ɖt’s ẃt Flora nz.”

Aftr a litl ś trnd rnd. “Ɖ prsn wz in blac, y se?”

“In mōrnñ – rɖr pur, olmst śabi. Bt – yes – wɖ xtrordnri byti.” I nǎ rec̣gnîzd t ẃt I hd at last, stroc bî stroc, bròt ɖ victim v mî confidns, fr ś qt viẓbli weid ɖs. “Ǒ, hansm – vri, vri,” I insistd; “wundrf̣li hansm. Bt infṃs.”

Ś slǒli cem bac t m. “Mis Jesl – wz infṃs.” Ś wns mor tc mî hand in bʈ hr ǒn, holdñ it az tît az f t forṭfî m agnst ɖ incris v alarm I mt drw fṛm ɖs dscloźr. “Ɖe wr bʈ infṃs,” ś fîṇli sd.

So, fr a litl, w fest it wns mor tgɖr; n I faund abṣlutli a dgri v hlp in siyñ it nǎ so stret. “I aprīśiet,” I sd, “ɖ gret dīsnsi v yr nt hvñ hiɖrtu spocn; bt ɖ tîm hz srtnli cm t gv m ɖ hol ʈñ.” Ś apird t asnt t ɖs, bt stl onli in sîḷns; siyñ ẃć I wnt on: “I mst hv it nǎ. V ẃt dd ś dî? Cm, ɖr wz smʈñ btwn ɖm.”

“Ɖr wz evrʈñ.”

“In spît v ɖ difṛns – ?”

“Ǒ, v ɖer ranc, ɖer cndiśn” – ś bròt it wǒf̣li ǎt. “Ś wz a ledi.”

I trnd it ovr; I agn sw. “Yes – ś wz a ledi.”

“N h so dredf̣li b’lo,” sd Msz. Grǒs.

I flt ɖt I dǎtlis nīd’nt pres tù hard, in sć cumṗni, on ɖ ples v a srvnt in ɖ scel; bt ɖr wz nʈñ t privnt an axptns v mî cmpańn’z ǒn meźr v mî prīdisesr’z abesmnt. Ɖr wz a we t dīl wɖ ɖt, n I dlt; ɖ mor reḍli fr mî fl viźn – on ɖ evidns – v ǎr imployr’z lêt clevr, gd-lcñ “ǒn” man; impydnt, aśurd, spôld, dprevd. “Ɖ felo wz a hǎnd.”

Msz. Grǒs cnsidrd az f it wr phps a litl a ces fr a sns v śêdz. “I’v nvr sìn wn lîc him. H dd ẃt h wśt.”

“Wɖ hr?

“Wɖ ɖm ol.”

It wz az f nǎ in mî frend’z ǒn îz Mis Jesl hd agn apird. I sīmd at eni ret, fr an instnt, t si ɖer evceśn v hr az dstñtli az I hd sìn hr bî ɖ pond; n I bròt ǎt wɖ dsiźn: “It mst hv bn olso ẃt ś wśt!”

Msz. Grǒs’z fes sigṇfaid ɖt it hd bn indd, bt ś sd at ɖ sem tîm: “Pur wmn – ś peid fr it!”

“Ɖen y d nǒ ẃt ś daid v?” I asct.

“No – I nǒ nʈñ. I wontd nt t nǒ; I wz glad inuf I dd’nt; n I ʈanct hevn ś wz wel ǎt v ɖs!”

“Yt y hd, ɖen, yr îdīa – ”

“V hr riyl rīzn fr līvñ? Ǒ, yes – az t ɖt. Ś cd’nt hv steid. Fansi it hir – fr a guṿnes! N afṭwd I imajind – n I stl imajin. N ẃt I imajin z dredfl.”

“Nt so dredfl az ẃt I d,” I rplaid; on ẃć I mst hv śoun hr – az I wz indd bt tù conśs – a frunt v mizṛbl dfit. It bròt ǎt agn ol hr cmpaśn fr m, n at ɖ rnyd tuć v hr cîndnis mî pǎr t rzist brouc dǎn. I brst, az I hd, ɖ uɖr tîm, md hr brst, intu tirz; ś tc m t hr muɖrli brest, n mî lamnteśn oṿfloud. “I d’nt d it!” I sobd in dsper; “I d’nt sev or śīld ɖm! It’s far wrs ɖn I drīmd – ɖ’r lost!”

___

VIII

Ẃt I hd sd t Msz. Grǒs wz tru inuf: ɖr wr in ɖ matr I hd pt bfr hr depʈs n posbiḷtiz ɖt I lact reẓluśn t sǎnd; so ɖt ẃn w met wns mor in ɖ wundr v it w wr v a comn mînd abt ɖ dyti v rzistns t xtraṿgnt fansiz. W wr t cīp ǎr hedz f w śd cīp nʈñ els – dificlt indd az ɖt mt b in ɖ fes v ẃt, in ǎr pṛdijs xpirịns, wz līst t b qsćnd. Lêt ɖt nît, ẃl ɖ hǎs slept, w hd anɖr tōc in mî rūm, ẃn ś wnt ol ɖ we wɖ m az t its biyñ bynd dǎt ɖt I hd sìn xacli ẃt I hd sìn. T hold hr prf̣cli in ɖ pinć v ɖt, I faund I hd onli t asc hr hǎ, f I hd “md it p,” I cem t b ebl t gv, v ć v ɖ prsnz apirñ t m, a picćr dsclozñ, t ɖ last dītel, ɖer speśl marcs – a portrit on ɖ xbiśn v ẃć ś hd instntli rec̣gnîzd n nemd ɖm. Ś wśt v cors – smōl blem t hr! – t snc ɖ hol subjict; n I wz qc t aśur hr ɖt mî ǒn inṭrest in it hd nǎ vayḷntli tecn ɖ form v a srć fr ɖ we t iscep fṛm it. I incǎntrd hr on ɖ grǎnd v a probbiḷti ɖt wɖ rcuṛns – fr rcuṛns w tc fr grantd – I śd gt yst t mî denjr, dstñtli pṛfesñ ɖt mî prsnl xpoźr hd sudnli bcm ɖ līst v mî dscumf̣ts. It wz mî ny sspiśn ɖt wz intolṛbl; n yt īvn t ɖs compḷceśn ɖ lêtr aurz v ɖ de hd bròt a litl īz.

On līvñ hr, aftr mî frst ǎtbrec, I hd v cors rtrnd t mî pyplz, asośietñ ɖ rît reṃdi fr mî dsme wɖ ɖt sns v ɖer ćarm ẃć I hd olrdi faund t b a ʈñ I cd poztivli culṭvet n ẃć hd nvr feld m yt. I hd simpli, in uɖr wrdz, plunjd afreś intu Flora’z speśl ssayti n ɖr bcm awer – it wz olmst a lux̣́ri! – ɖt ś cd pt hr litl conśs hand stret upn ɖ spot ɖt ect. Ś hd lct at m in swīt spekleśn n ɖen hd akzd m t mî fes v hvñ “craid.” I hd s’pozd I hd bruśt awe ɖ ugli sînz: bt I cd litṛli – fr ɖ tîm, at ol ivnts – rjôs, undr ɖs faɖmlis ćaṛti, ɖt ɖe hd nt intîrli dis’pird. T gêz intu ɖ depʈs v blu v ɖ ćîld’z îz n pṛnǎns ɖer luvlinis a tric v preṃtyr cunñ wz t b gilti v a siṇsizm in prefṛns t ẃć I naćṛli prifŕd t abjur mî jujmnt n, so far az mt b, mî ajteśn. I cd’nt abjur fr mirli wontñ t, bt I cd rpit t Msz. Grǒs – az I dd ɖr, ovr n ovr, in ɖ smōl aurz – ɖt wɖ ɖer vôsz in ɖ er, ɖer preśr on wn’z hart, n ɖer fregṛnt fesz agnst wn’z ćīc, evrʈñ fél t ɖ grǎnd bt ɖer inc̣paṣti n ɖer byti. It wz a piti ɖt, smhǎ, t setl ɖs wns fr ol, I hd īqli t riińṃret ɖ sînz v sutlti ɖt, in ɖ afṭnun, bî ɖ lec hd md a miṛcl v mî śo v slfpześn. It wz a piti t b oblîjd t riinvstget ɖ srttyd v ɖ momnt itslf n rpit hǎ it hd cm t m az a reṿleśn ɖt ɖ incnsiṿbl cḿńn I ɖen s’prîzd wz a matr, fr îɖr parti, v habit. It wz a piti ɖt I śd hv hd t qevr ǎt agn ɖ rīznz fr mî nt hvñ, in mî dluźn, so mć az qsćnd ɖt ɖ litl grl sw ǎr vizitnt īvn az I acć̣li sw Msz. Grǒs hrslf, n ɖt ś wontd, bî jst so mć az ś dd ɖus si, t mc m s’poz ś dd’nt, n at ɖ sem tîm, wɖt śowñ enʈñ, arîv at a ges az t ẃɖr I mslf dd! It wz a piti ɖt I nīdd wns mor t dscrîb ɖ portnṭs litl activti bî ẃć ś sòt t dvrt mî atnśn – ɖ psptbl incris v muvmnt, ɖ gretr intnṣti v ple, ɖ sññ, ɖ gaḅlñ v nonsns, n ɖ invteśn t romp.Yt f I hd nt induljd, t pruv ɖr wz nʈñ in it, in ɖs rvy, I śd hv míst ɖ tū or ʈri dim elimnts v cumf̣t ɖt stl rmend t m. I śd nt fr instns hv bn ebl t aseṿret t mî frend ɖt I wz srtn – ẃć wz so mć t ɖ gd – ɖt I at līst hd nt btreid mslf. I śd nt hv bn promtd, bî stres v nīd, bî desṗreśn v mînd – I scers nǒ ẃt t cōl it – t invoc sć frɖr ed t intelijns az mt sprñ fṛm pśñ mî colīg ferli t ɖ wōl. Ś hd tld m, bit bî bit, undr preśr, a gret dīl; bt a smōl śifti spot on ɖ roñ sîd v it ol stl smtmz bruśt mî brǎ lîc ɖ wñ v a bat; n I rmembr hǎ on ɖs oceźn – fr ɖ slīpñ hǎs n ɖ consntreśn alîc v ǎr denjr n ǎr woć sīmd t hlp – I flt ɖ importns v gvñ ɖ last jrc t ɖ crtn. “I d’nt b’liv enʈñ so hoṛbl,” I rec̣lect seyñ; “no, let s pt it defiṇtli, mî dir, ɖt I d’nt. Bt f I dd, y nǒ, ɖr’z a ʈñ I śd rqîr nǎ, jst wɖt spẹrñ y ɖ līst bit mor – ǒ, nt a scrap, cm! – t gt ǎt v y. Ẃt wz it y hd in mînd ẃn, in ǎr dstres, bfr Mîlz cem bac, ovr ɖ letr fṛm hiz scūl, y sd, undr mî insistns, ɖt y dd’nt pritnd fr him ɖt h hd nt litṛli evr bn ‘bad’? H hz nt litṛli ‘evr,’ in ɖz wīcs ɖt I mslf hv livd wɖ him n so closli woćt him; h hz bn an imṗtrbbl litl proḍji v dlîtfl, luṿbl gdnis. Ɖrfr y mt prf̣cli hv md ɖ clem fr him f y hd nt, az it hapnd, sìn an xpśn t tec. Ẃt wz yr xpśn, n t ẃt pasij in yr prsnl obẓveśn v him dd y rfŕ?”

It wz a dredf̣li ostir inqîri, bt leṿti wz nt ǎr not, n, at eni ret, bfr ɖ gre dōn admoniśt s t seṗret I hd got mî ansr. Ẃt mî frend hd hd in mînd pruvd t b imnsli t ɖ prṗs. It wz nɖr mor nr les ɖn ɖ srcmstans ɖt fr a pirịd v sevṛl munʈs Qint n ɖ bô hd bn ppć̣li tgɖr. It wz in fact ɖ vri aproprịt truʈ ɖt ś hd vnćrd t criṭsîz ɖ pṛprayti, t hint at ɖ incngruwti, v so clos an alayns, n īvn t g so far on ɖ subjict az a franc oṿćr t Mis Jesl. Mis Jesl hd, wɖ a most strenj manr, rqstd hr t mînd hr biznis, n ɖ gd wmn hd, on ɖs, d’recli aproćt litl Mîlz. Ẃt ś hd sd t him, sins I prest, wz ɖt ś lîct t si yuñ jntlṃn nt fget ɖer steśn.

I prest agn, v cors, at ɖs. “Y rmîndd him ɖt Qint wz onli a bes mīńl?”

“Az y mt se! N it wz hiz ansr, fr wn ʈñ, ɖt wz bad.”

“N fr anɖr ʈñ?” I wêtd. “H rpitd yr wrdz t Qint?”

“No, nt ɖt. It’s jst ẃt h wd’nt!” ś cd stl impres upn m. “I wz śr, at eni ret,” ś add, “ɖt h dd’nt. Bt h dnaid srtn oceźnz.”

“Ẃt oceźnz?”

“Ẃn ɖe hd bn abt tgɖr qt az f Qint wr hiz tytr – n a vri grand wn – n Mis Jesl onli fr ɖ litl ledi. Ẃn h hd gn of wɖ ɖ felo, I mīn, n spent aurz wɖ him.”

“H ɖen privaṛcetd abt it – h sd h hd’nt?” Hr asnt wz clir inuf t cōz m t ad in a momnt: “I si. H laid.”

“Ǒ!” Msz. Grǒs mumbld. Ɖs wz a sjsćn ɖt it dd’nt matr; ẃć indd ś bact p bî a frɖr rmarc. “Y si, aftr ol, Mis Jesl dd’nt mînd. Ś dd’nt fbid him.”

I cnsidrd. “Dd h pt ɖt t y az a justif̣ceśn?”

At ɖs ś dropt agn. “No, h nvr spouc v it.”

“Nvr mnśnd hr in cnx́n wɖ Qint?”

Ś sw, viẓbli fluśñ, ẃr I wz cmñ ǎt. “Wel, h dd’nt śo enʈñ. H dnaid,” ś rpitd; “h dnaid.”

Lord, hǎ I prest hr nǎ! “So ɖt y cd si h ń ẃt wz btwn ɖ tū rećz?”

“I d’nt nǒ – I d’nt nǒ!” ɖ pur wmn grond.

“Y d nǒ, y dir ʈñ,” I rplaid; “onli y hv’nt mî dredfl boldnis v mînd, n y cīp bac, ǎt v tmidti n moḍsti n delic̣si, īvn ɖ impreśn ɖt, in ɖ past, ẃn y hd, wɖt mî ed, t flǎndr abt in sîḷns, most v ol md y mizṛbl. Bt I śl gt it ǎt v y yt! Ɖr wz smʈñ in ɖ bô ɖt sjstd t y,” I cntinyd, “ɖt h cuvrd n cnsild ɖer rleśn.”

“Ǒ, h cd’nt privnt – ”

“Yr lrnñ ɖ truʈ? I der se! Bt, hevnz,” I fél, wɖ viymns, aʈncñ, “ẃt it śoz ɖt ɖe mst, t ɖt xtnt, hv s’xidd in mcñ v him!”

“Ā, nʈñ ɖt’s nt nîs nǎ!” Msz. Grǒs l’gubrịsli plīdd.

“I d’nt wundr y lct qir,” I psistd, “ẃn I mnśnd t y ɖ letr fṛm hiz scūl!”

“I dǎt f I lct az qir az y!” ś rtortd wɖ homli fors. “N f h wz so bad ɖen az ɖt cmz t, hǎ z h sć an enjl nǎ?”

“Yes, indd – n f h wz a fīnd at scūl! Hǎ, hǎ, hǎ? Wel,” I sd in mî torment, “y mst pt it t m agn, bt I śl nt b ebl t tel y fr sm dez. Onli, pt it t m agn!” I craid in a we ɖt md mî frend stér. “Ɖr r d’rex́nz in ẃć I mst nt fr ɖ preznt let mslf g.” Mnẃl I rtrnd t hr frst xampl – ɖ wn t ẃć ś hd jst prīvịsli rfŕd – v ɖ bô’z hapi cpaṣti fr an oceźnl slip. “F Qint – on yr remnstṛns at ɖ tîm y spīc v – wz a bes mīńl, wn v ɖ ʈñz Mîlz sd t y, I fînd mslf gesñ, wz ɖt y wr anɖr.” Agn hr admiśn wz so adiqt ɖt I cntinyd: “N y fgev him ɖt?”

“Wd’nt y?

“Ǒ, yes!” N w xćenjd ɖr, in ɖ stilnis, a sǎnd v ɖ odist aḿzmnt. Ɖen I wnt on: “At ol ivnts, ẃl h wz wɖ ɖ man – ”

“Mis Flora wz wɖ ɖ wmn. It sūtd ɖm ol!”

It sūtd m, tù, I flt, onli tù wel; bî ẃć I mīn ɖt it sūtd xacli ɖ ptiklrli dedli vy I wz in ɖ vri act v fbidñ mslf t entten. Bt I so far s’xidd in ćecñ ɖ xpreśn v ɖs vy ɖt I wl ʈro, jst hir, no frɖr lît on it ɖn me b ofrd bî ɖ mnśn v mî fînl obẓveśn t Msz. Grǒs. “Hiz hvñ laid n bn impydnt r, I cnfes, les ingejñ spesimnz ɖn I hd hopt t hv fṛm y v ɖ ǎtbrec in him v ɖ litl naćṛl man. Stl,” I ḿzd, “Ɖe mst d, fr ɖe mc m fīl mor ɖn evr ɖt I mst woć.”

It md m bluś, ɖ nxt minit, t si in mî frend’z fes hǎ mć mor unrizrvidli ś hd fgivn him ɖn hr aṇcdot struc m az prizntñ t mî ǒn tndrnis an oceźn fr dwñ. Ɖs cem ǎt ẃn, at ɖ scūlrūm dor, ś qitd m. “Śrli y d’nt akz him – ”

“V cariyñ on an inṭcors ɖt h cnsilz fṛm m? Ā, rmembr ɖt, untl frɖr evidns, I nǎ akz nbdi.” Ɖen, bfr śutñ hr ǎt t g, bî anɖr pasij, t hr ǒn ples, “I mst jst wêt,” I waund p.

___

IX

I  wêtd n wêtd, n ɖ dez, az ɖe ilapst, tc smʈñ fṛm mî consṭneśn. A vri fy v ɖm, in fact, pasñ, in constnt sît v mî pyplz, wɖt a freś insidnt, s’fîst t gv t grīṿs fansiz n īvn t odịs meṃriz a cnd v bruś v ɖ spunj. I hv spocn v ɖ srendr t ɖer xtrordnri ćîldiś gres az a ʈñ I cd activli culṭvet, n it me b imajind f I nglectd nǎ t adres mslf t ɖs sors fr ẃtvr it wd yīld. Strenjr ɖn I cn xpres, srtnli, wz ɖ ef̣t t strugl agnst mî ny lîts; it wd dǎtlis hv bn, hvr, a gretr tnśn stl hd it nt bn so frīqntli s’xesfl. I yst t wundr hǎ mî litl ćarjz cd hlp gesñ ɖt I ʈt strenj ʈñz abt ɖm; n ɖ srcmstansz ɖt ɖz ʈñz onli md ɖm mor inṭrestñ wz nt bî itslf a d’rect ed t cīpñ ɖm in ɖ darc. I trembld lest ɖe śd si ɖt ɖe wr so imnsli mor inṭrestñ. Ptñ ʈñz at ɖ wrst, at ol ivnts, az in medteśn I so ofn dd, eni clǎdñ v ɖer iṇsns cd onli b – blemlis n fōrdumd az ɖe wr – a rīzn ɖ mor fr tecñ riscs. Ɖr wr momnts ẃn, bî an irizistbl impuls, I faund mslf caćñ ɖm p n presñ ɖm t mî hart. Az sn az I hd dn so I yst t se t mslf: “Ẃt wl ɖe ʈnc v ɖt? Dz’nt it btre tù mć?” It wd hv bn īzi t gt intu a sad, wîld tangl abt hǎ mć I mt btre; bt ɖ riyl acǎnt, I fīl, v ɖ aurz v pīs ɖt I cd stl injô wz ɖt ɖ imīɉt ćarm v mî cmpańnz wz a bgîlmnt stl ifctiv īvn undr ɖ śado v ɖ posbiḷti ɖt it wz studid. Fr f it ocŕd t m ɖt I mt oceźṇli xît sspiśn bî ɖ litl ǎtbrecs v mî śarpr paśn fr ɖm, so tù I rmembr wunḍrñ f I mt’nt si a qirnis in ɖ treṣbl incris v ɖer ǒn demnstreśnz.

Ɖe wr at ɖs pirịd xtraṿgntli n prīṭnaćṛli fond v m; ẃć, aftr ol, I cd rflect, wz no mor ɖn a gresfl rspons in ćildṛn ppć̣li baud ovr n hugd. Ɖ homij v ẃć ɖe wr so laviś s’xidd, in truʈ, fr mî nrvz, qt az wel az f I nvr apird t mslf, az I me se, litṛli t cać ɖm at a prṗs in it. Ɖe hd nvr, I ʈnc, wontd t d so mni ʈñz fr ɖer pur pṛtctris; I mīn – ɖo ɖe got ɖer lésnz betr n betr, ẃć wz naćṛli ẃt wd plīz hr most – in ɖ we v dvrtñ, enttenñ, s’prîzñ hr; rīdñ hr paṣjz, telñ hr storiz, actñ hr ś’redz, pǎnsñ ǎt at hr, in dsgîzz, az animlz n historicl caṛctrz, n abv ol astoṇśñ hr bî ɖ “pìsz” ɖe hd sīcṛtli got bî hart n cd intrmiṇbli rsît. I śd nvr gt t ɖ botm – wr I t let mslf g īvn nǎ – v ɖ pṛdijs prîṿt comntri, ol undr stl mor prîṿt c’rex́n, wɖ ẃć, in ɖz dez, I oṿscord ɖer fl aurz. Ɖe hd śoun m fṛm ɖ frst a fsiḷti fr evrʈñ, a jenṛl faclti ẃć, tecñ a freś start, aćivd rmarcbl flîts. Ɖe got ɖer litl tascs az f ɖe luvd ɖm, n induljd, fṛm ɖ mir xybṛns v ɖ gift, in ɖ most unimpozd litl miṛclz v meṃri. Ɖe nt onli popt ǎt at m az tîgrz n az Romnz, bt az Śecspirịnz, astroṇmrz, n naṿgetrz. Ɖs wz so snğlrli ɖ ces ɖt it hd prizyṃbli mć t d wɖ ɖ fact az t ẃć, at ɖ preznt de, I am at a los fr a difṛnt xpḷneśn: I alud t mî uņaćṛl cmpoźr on ɖ subjict v anɖr scūl fr Mîlz. Ẃt I rmembr z ɖt I wz cntnt nt, fr ɖ tîm, t opn ɖ qsćn, n ɖt cntntmnt mst hv spruñ fṛm ɖ sns v hiz ppć̣li strîcñ śo v clevrnis. H wz tù clevr fr a bad guṿnes, fr a parsn’z dōtr, t spôl; n ɖ strenjist f nt ɖ brîtist ʈred in ɖ pensiv imbrôdri I jst spouc v wz ɖ impreśn I mt hv got, f I hd derd t wrc it ǎt, ɖt h wz undr sm inflụns oṗretñ in hiz smōl inṭlecćl lîf az a tṛmnḍs insîtmnt.F it wz īzi t rflect, hvr, ɖt sć a bô cd pspon scūl, it wz at līst az marct ɖt fr sć a bô t hv bn “cict ǎt” bî a scūlmastr wz a mistif̣ceśn wɖt end. Let m ad ɖt in ɖer cumṗni nǎ – n I wz cerfl olmst nvr t b ǎt v it – I cd folo no sént vri far. W livd in a clǎd v ḿzic n luv n s’xes n prîṿt ʈiatriclz. Ɖ ḿzicl sns in ć v ɖ ćildṛn wz v ɖ qcist, bt ɖ eldr in ispeśl hd a marvḷs nac v caćñ n rpitñ. Ɖ scūlrūm piano brouc intu ol grūsm fansiz; n ẃn ɖt feld ɖr wr cnfabyleśnz in cornrz, wɖ a sīql v wn v ɖm gwñ ǎt in ɖ hîist spirits in ordr t “cm in” az smʈñ ny. I hd hd bruɖrz mslf, n it wz no reṿleśn t m ɖt litl grlz cd b sleviś aidoḷtrz v litl bôz. Ẃt s’pást evrʈñ wz ɖt ɖr wz a litl bô in ɖ wrld hu cd hv fr ɖ infirịr ej, sx, n intelijns so fîn a cnsiḍreśn. Ɖe wr xtrordnṛli at wn, n t se ɖt ɖe nvr îɖr qoṛld or cmplend z t mc ɖ not v prêz cōrs fr ɖer qoḷti v swītnis. Smtmz, indd, ẃn I dropt intu cōrsnis, I phps cem acrs tresz v litl unḍstandñz btwn ɖm bî ẃć wn v ɖm śd cīp m okpaid ẃl ɖ uɖr slipt awe. Ɖr z a naïf sîd, I s’poz, in ol dploṃsi; bt f mî pyplz practist upn m, it wz śrli wɖ ɖ minimm v grosnis. It wz ol in ɖ uɖr qortr ɖt, aftr a lul, ɖ grosnis brouc ǎt.

I fînd ɖt I riyli hañ bac; bt I mst tec mî plunj. In gwñ on wɖ ɖ record v ẃt wz hidịs at Blai, I nt onli ćalinj ɖ most libṛl feʈ – fr ẃć I litl cer; bt – n ɖs z anɖr matr – I rny ẃt I mslf sufrd, I agn pś mî we ʈru it t ɖ end. Ɖr cem sudnli an aur aftr ẃć, az I lc bac, ɖ afer sīmz t m t hv bn ol pyr suf̣rñ; bt I hv at līst rīćt ɖ hart v it, n ɖ stretist rod ǎt z dǎtlis t advans. Wn īvnñ – wɖ nʈñ t līd p or t priper it – I flt ɖ cold tuć v ɖ impreśn ɖt hd briɖd on m ɖ nît v mî arîvl n ẃć, mć lîtr ɖen, az I hv mnśnd, I śd probbli hv md litl v in meṃri hd mî subsiqnt sojrn bn les ajtetd. I hd nt gn t bed; I sat rīdñ bî a cupl v candlz. Ɖr wz a rūmfl v old bcs at Blai – last-snćri fix́n, sm v it, ẃć, t ɖ xtnt v a dstñtli depṛcetd rnǎn, bt nvr t so mć az ɖt v a stre spesimn, hd rīćt ɖ s’qestrd hom n apild t ɖ un’vaud krioṣti v mî yʈ. I rmembr ɖt ɖ bc I hd in mî hand wz Fīldñ’z Amīła; olso ɖt I wz hoļi awec. I rcōl frɖr bʈ a jenṛl cnvix́n ɖt it wz hoṛbli lêt n a ptiklr objx́n t lcñ at mî woć. I figr, fîṇli, ɖt ɖ ẃît crtn drepñ, in ɖ faśn v ɖoz dez, ɖ hed v Flora’z litl bed, śrǎdd, az I hd aśurd mslf loñ bfr, ɖ pfx́n v ćîldiś rest. I rec̣lect in śort ɖt, ɖo I wz dīpli inṭrestd in mî oʈr, I faund mslf, at ɖ trn v a pej n wɖ hiz spel ol scatrd, lcñ stret p fṛm him n hard at ɖ dor v mî rūm. Ɖr wz a momnt jrñ ẃć I lisnd, rmîndd v ɖ fent sns I hd hd, ɖ frst nît, v ɖr biyñ smʈñ undifîṇbli astŕ in ɖ hǎs, n notd ɖ soft breʈ v ɖ opn cesmnt jst muv ɖ haf-drwn blînd. Ɖen, wɖ ol ɖ marcs v a dliḅreśn ɖt mst hv sīmd mgnifisnt hd ɖr bn enwn t admîr it, I leid dǎn mî bc, rouz t mî fīt, n, tecñ a candl, wnt stret ǎt v ɖ rūm n, fṛm ɖ pasij, on ẃć mî lît md litl impreśn, nôzlisli clozd n loct ɖ dor.

I cn se nǎ nɖr ẃt dtrmind nr ẃt gîdd m, bt I wnt stret alñ ɖ lobi, holdñ mî candl hî, tl I cem wɖn sît v ɖ tōl windo ɖt prizîdd ovr ɖ gret trn v ɖ sterces. At ɖs pônt I prisipittli faund mslf awer v ʈri ʈñz. Ɖe wr practicli simlteńs, yt ɖe hd flaśz v s’xeśn. Mî candl, undr a bold fluriś, wnt ǎt, n I psivd, bî ɖ uncuvrd windo, ɖt ɖ yīldñ dusc v rliist mornñ rendrd it uņesṣri. Wɖt it, ɖ nxt instnt, I sw ɖt ɖr wz smwn on ɖ ster. I spīc v sīqnsz, bt I rqîrd no laps v secndz t stifn mslf fr a ʈrd incǎntr wɖ Qint. Ɖ aṗriśn hd rīćt ɖ landñ hafwe p n wz ɖrfr on ɖ spot nirist ɖ windo, ẃr at sît v m, it stopt śort n fixt m xacli az it hd fixt m fṛm ɖ tǎr n fṛm ɖ gardn. H ń m az wel az I ń him; n so, in ɖ cold, fent twîlît, wɖ a glimr in ɖ hî glas n anɖr on ɖ poliś v ɖ oc ster b’lo, w fest ć uɖr in ǎr comn intnṣti. H wz abṣlutli, on ɖs oceźn, a livñ, dtstbl, denjṛs prezns. Bt ɖt wz nt ɖ wundr v wundrz; I rzrv ɖs dstñśn fr qt anɖr srcmstans: ɖ srcmstans ɖt dred hd unmistecbli qitd m n ɖt ɖr wz nʈñ in m ɖr ɖt dd’nt mīt n meźr him.

I hd plenti v anḡś aftr ɖt xtrordnri momnt, bt I hd, ʈanc God, no terr. N h ń I hd nt – I faund mslf at ɖ end v an instnt mgnifisntli awer v ɖs. I flt, in a firs rigr v confidns, ɖt f I std mî grǎnd a minit I śd sīs – fr ɖ tîm, at līst – t hv him t recn wɖ; n jrñ ɖ minit, acordñli, ɖ ʈñ wz az hymn n hidịs az a riyl inṭvy: hidịs jst bcz it wz hymn, az hymn az t hv met alon, in ɖ smōl aurz, in a slīpñ hǎs, sm eṇmi, sm advnćrr, sm criminl. It wz ɖ ded sîḷns v ǎr loñ gêz at sć clos qortrz ɖt gev ɖ hol horr, hyj az it wz, its onli not v ɖ uņaćṛl. F I hd met a mrdrr in sć a ples n at sć an aur, w stl at līst wd hv spocn. Smʈñ wd hv pást, in lîf, btwn s; f nʈñ hd pást, wn v s wd hv muvd. Ɖ momnt wz so pṛloñd ɖt it wd hv tecn bt litl mor t mc m dǎt f īvn I wr in lîf. I c’nt xpres ẃt foloud it sev bî seyñ ɖt ɖ sîḷns itslf – ẃć wz indd in a manr an aṭsteśn v mî streñʈ – bcem ɖ elimnt intu ẃć I sw ɖ figr dis’pir; in ẃć I defiṇtli sw it trn az I mt hv sìn ɖ lo reć t ẃć it hd wns b’loñd trn on rsit v an ordr, n pas, wɖ mî îz on ɖ viḷṇs bac ɖt no hunć cd hv mor dsfigrd, stret dǎn ɖ sterces n intu ɖ darcnis in ẃć ɖ nxt bnd wz lost.

___

X

I  rmend aẃl at ɖ top v ɖ ster, bt wɖ ɖ ifct prezntli v unḍstandñ ɖt ẃn mî vizitr hd gn, h hd gn: ɖen I rtrnd t mî rūm. Ɖ fōrmost ʈñ I sw ɖr bî ɖ lît v ɖ candl I hd left brnñ wz ɖt Flora’z litl bed wz emti; n on ɖs I còt mî breʈ wɖ ol ɖ terr ɖt, fîv minits bfr, I hd bn ebl t rzist. I daśt at ɖ ples in ẃć I hd left hr layñ n ovr ẃć (fr ɖ smōl silc cǎnṭpein n ɖ śīts wr dis’renjd) ɖ ẃît crtnz hd bn dsivñli pld fwd; ɖen mî step, t mî unutṛbl rlif, pṛdyst an anṣrñ sǎnd: I psivd an ajteśn v ɖ windoblînd, n ɖ ćîld, ducñ dǎn, imrjd roẓli fṛm ɖ uɖr sîd v it. Ś std ɖr in so mć v hr candr n so litl v hr nîtgǎn, wɖ hr pnc bér fīt n ɖ goldn glo v hr crlz. Ś lct intnsli grev, n I hd nvr hd sć a sns v luzñ an advantij aqîrd (ɖ ʈril v ẃć hd jst bn so pṛdijs) az on mî conśsnis ɖt ś adrest m wɖ a rproć. “Y nōti: ẃr hv y bn?” – instd v ćaḷnjñ hr ǒn ireğlaṛti I faund mslf arend n xplenñ. Ś hrslf xplend, fr ɖt matr, wɖ ɖ luvliist, īġrist simpliṣti. Ś hd noun sudnli, az ś le ɖr, ɖt I wz ǎt v ɖ rūm, n hd jumt p t si ẃt hd bcm v m. I hd dropt, wɖ ɖ jô v hr ri’piṛns, bac intu mî ćer – fīlñ ɖen, n ɖen onli, a litl fent; n ś hd patrd stret ovr t m, ʈroun hrslf upn mî ni, gvn hrslf t b hld wɖ ɖ flem v ɖ candl fl in ɖ wundrfl litl fes ɖt wz stl fluśt wɖ slīp. I rmembr clozñ mî îz an instnt, yīldñli, conśsli, az bfr ɖ xes v smʈñ bytifl ɖt śon ǎt v ɖ blu v hr ǒn. “Y wr lcñ fr m ǎt v ɖ windo?” I sd. “Y ʈt I mt b wōcñ in ɖ grǎndz?”

“Wel, y nǒ, I ʈt smwn wz” – ś nvr blanćt az ś smîld ǎt ɖt at m.Ǒ, hǎ I lct at hr nǎ! “N dd y si enwn?”

“Ā, no!” ś rtrnd, olmst wɖ ɖ fl priṿlij v ćîldiś inconsiqns, rzntf̣li, ɖo wɖ a loñ swītnis in hr litl drōl v ɖ neġtiv.

At ɖt momnt, in ɖ stet v mî nrvz, I abṣlutli b’livd ś laid; n f I wns mor clozd mî îz it wz bfr ɖ dazl v ɖ ʈri or for poṣbl wez in ẃć I mt tec ɖs p. Wn v ɖz, fr a momnt, tmtd m wɖ sć snğlr intnṣti ɖt, t wɖstand it, I mst hv gript mî litl grl wɖ a spazm ɖt, wundrf̣li, ś sbmitd t wɖt a crî or a sîn v frît. Ẃ nt brec ǎt at hr on ɖ spot n hv it ol ovr? – gv it t hr stret in hr luvli litl lîtd fes? “Y si, y si, y ɖt y d n ɖt y olrdi qt sspct I b’liv it; ɖrfr, ẃ nt francli cnfes it t m, so ɖt w me at līst liv wɖ it tgɖr n lrn phps, in ɖ strenjnis v ǎr fet, ẃr w r n ẃt it mīnz?” Ɖs s’liṣteśn dropt, alas, az it cem: f I cd imīɉtli hv s’cumd t it I mt hv sperd mslf – wel, y’l si ẃt. Instd v s’cumñ I sprañ agn t mî fīt, lct at hr bed, n tc a hlplis midl we. “Ẃ dd y pl ɖ crtn ovr ɖ ples t mc m ʈnc y wr stl ɖr?”

Flora lūmiṇsli cnsidrd; aftr ẃć, wɖ hr litl dvîn smîl: “Bcz I d’nt lîc t frîtn y!”

“Bt f I hd, bî yr îdīa, gn ǎt – ?”

Ś abṣlutli dclînd t b puzld; ś trnd hr îz t ɖ flem v ɖ candl az f ɖ qsćn wr az ireḷvnt, or at eni ret az imprsnl, az Msz. Marsét or nîn-tîmz-nîn. “Ǒ, bt y nǒ,” ś qt adiqtli ansrd, “ɖt y mt cm bac, y dir, n ɖt y hv!” N aftr a litl, ẃn ś hd got intu bed, I hd, fr a loñ tîm, bî olmst sitñ on hr t hold hr hand, t pruv ɖt I rec̣gnîzd ɖ prṭnns v mî rtrn.

Y me imajin ɖ jenṛl cmplex́n, fṛm ɖt momnt, v mî nîts. I rpitidli sat p tl I dd’nt nǒ ẃn; I s’lectd momnts ẃn mî rūm̦êt unmistecbli slept, n, stìlñ ǎt, tc nôzlis trnz in ɖ pasij n īvn pśt az far az t ẃr I hd last met Qint. Bt I nvr met him ɖr agn; n I me az wel se at wns ɖt I on no uɖr oceźn sw him in ɖ hǎs. I jst míst, on ɖ sterces, on ɖ uɖr hand, a difṛnt advnćr. Lcñ dǎn it fṛm ɖ top I wns rec̣gnîzd ɖ prezns v a wmn sītd on wn v ɖ lowr steps wɖ hr bac prizntd t m, hr bodi haf-baud n hr hed, in an attyd v wo, in hr handz. I hd bn ɖr bt an instnt, hvr, ẃn ś vaniśt wɖt lcñ rnd at m. I ń, nnɖles, xacli ẃt dredfl fes ś hd t śo; n I wundrd ẃɖr, f instd v biyñ abv I hd bn b’lo, I śd hv hd, fr gwñ p, ɖ sem nrv I hd lêtli śoun Qint. Wel, ɖr cntinyd t b plenti v ćans fr nrv. On ɖ ilevnʈ nît aftr mî lêtist incǎntr wɖ ɖt jntlmn – ɖe wr ol numbrd nǎ – I hd an alarm ɖt periḷsli scrtd it n ɖt indd, fṛm ɖ ptiklr qoḷti v its unixpctidnis, pruvd qt mî śarpist śoc. It wz prisîsli ɖ frst nît jrñ ɖs siriz ɖt, wiri wɖ woćñ, I hd flt ɖt I mt agn wɖt lax̣ti le mslf dǎn at mî old aur. I slept imīɉtli n, az I afṭwd ń, tl abt wn o’cloc; bt ẃn I wouc it wz t sit stret p, az cmplitli rǎzd az f a hand hd śc m. I hd left a lît brnñ, bt it wz nǎ ǎt, n I flt an instnt srtnti ɖt Flora hd xtnḡśt it. Ɖs bròt m t mî fīt n stret, in ɖ darcnis, t hr bed, ẃć I faund ś hd left. A glans at ɖ windo inlîtnd m frɖr, n ɖ strîcñ v a mać cmplitd ɖ picćr.

Ɖ ćîld hd agn got p – ɖs tîm blowñ ǎt ɖ tepr, n hd agn, fr sm prṗs v obẓveśn or rspons, sqizd in bhnd ɖ blînd n wz pirñ ǎt intu ɖ nît. Ɖt ś nǎ sw – az ś hd nt, I hd saṭsfaid mslf, ɖ prīvịs tîm – wz pruvd t m bî ɖ fact ɖt ś wz dstrbd nɖr bî mî riiluṃneśn nr bî ɖ hest I md t gt intu sliprz n intu a ráp. Hidn, pṛtctd, abzorbd, ś evidntli restd on ɖ sil – ɖ cesmnt opnd fwd – n gev hrslf p. Ɖr wz a gret stil mūn t hlp hr, n ɖs fact hd cǎntd in mî qc dsiźn. Ś wz fes t fes wɖ ɖ aṗriśn w hd met at ɖ lec, n cd nǎ cḿṇcet wɖ it az ś hd nt ɖen bn ebl t d. Ẃt I, on mî sîd, hd t cer fr wz, wɖt dstrbñ hr, t rīć, fṛm ɖ coṛdor, sm uɖr windo in ɖ sem qortr. I got t ɖ dor wɖt hr hírñ m; I got ǎt v it, clozd it, n lisnd, fṛm ɖ uɖr sîd, fr sm sǎnd fṛm hr. Ẃl I std in ɖ pasij I hd mî îz on hr bruɖr’z dor, ẃć wz bt ten steps of n ẃć, indiscrîbbli, pṛdyst in m a rnywl v ɖ strenj impuls ɖt I lêtli spouc v az mî tmteśn. Ẃt f I śd g stret in n marć t hiz windo? – ẃt f, bî riscñ t hiz bôiś bwildrmnt a reṿleśn v mî motiv, I śd ʈro acrs ɖ rest v ɖ misṭri ɖ loñ hōltr v mî boldnis?

Ɖs ʈt hld m sfiśntli t mc m cros t hiz ʈreśhold n pōz agn. I prīṭnaćṛli lisnd; I figrd t mslf ẃt mt portnṭsli b; I wundrd f hiz bed wr olso emti n h tù wr sīcṛtli at woć. It wz a dīp, sǎndlis minit, at ɖ end v ẃć mî impuls feld. H wz qayt; h mt b iṇsnt; ɖ risc wz hidịs; I trnd awe. Ɖr wz a figr in ɖ grǎndz – a figr prǎlñ fr a sît, ɖ vizitr wɖ hūm Flora wz ingejd; bt it wz nt ɖ vizitr most cnsrnd wɖ mî bô. I heztetd afreś, bt on uɖr grǎndz n onli fr a fy secndz; ɖen I hd md mî ćôs. Ɖr wr emti rūmz at Blai, n it wz onli a qsćn v ćuzñ ɖ rît wn. Ɖ rît wn sudnli prizntd itslf t m az ɖ lowr wn – ɖo hî abv ɖ gardnz – in ɖ solid cornr v ɖ hǎs ɖt I hv spocn v az ɖ old tǎr. Ɖs wz a larj, sqer ćembr, arenjd wɖ sm stet az a bedrūm, ɖ xtraṿgnt sîz v ẃć md it so incnvińnt ɖt it hd nt fr yirz, ɖo cept bî Msz. Grǒs in xmpḷri ordr, bn okpaid. I hd ofn admîrd it n I ń mî we abt in it; I hd onli, aftr jst fōlṭrñ at ɖ frst ćil glūm v its dsys, t pas acrs it n unbolt az qaytli az I cd wn v ɖ śutrz. Aćivñ ɖs transit, I uncuvrd ɖ glas wɖt a sǎnd n, aplayñ mî fes t ɖ pein, wz ebl, ɖ darcnis wɖt biyñ mć les ɖn wɖn, t si ɖt I cmandd ɖ rît d’rex́n. Ɖen I sw smʈñ mor. Ɖ mūn md ɖ nît xtrordnṛli penitṛbl n śoud m on ɖ lōn a prsn, dminiśt bî distns, hu std ɖr mośnlis n az f faṣnetd, lcñ p t ẃr I hd apird – lcñ, ɖt z, nt so mć stret at m az at smʈñ ɖt wz apaṛntli abv m. Ɖr wz clirli anɖr prsn abv m – ɖr wz a prsn on ɖ tǎr; bt ɖ prezns on ɖ lōn wz nt in ɖ līst ẃt I hd cnsivd n hd confidntli hurid t mīt. Ɖ prezns on ɖ lōn – I flt sic az I md it ǎt – wz pur litl Mîlz himslf.

___

XI

It wz nt tl lêt nxt de ɖt I spouc t Msz. Grǒs; ɖ rigr wɖ ẃć I cept mî pyplz in sît mcñ it ofn dificlt t mīt hr prîṿtli, n ɖ mor az w ć flt ɖ importns v nt pṛvocñ – on ɖ part v ɖ srvnts qt az mć az on ɖt v ɖ ćildṛn – eni sspiśn v a sīcrit fluri or ɖt v a dscuśn v misṭriz. I drù a gret s’kṛti in ɖs ptiklr fṛm hr mir smuɖ aspect. Ɖr wz nʈñ in hr freś fes t pas on t uɖrz mî hoṛbl confidnsz. Ś b’livd m, I wz śr, abṣlutli: f ś hd’nt I d’nt nǒ ẃt wd hv bcm v m, fr I cd’nt hv bòrn ɖ biznis alon. Bt ś wz a mgnifisnt mońmnt t ɖ blesñ v a wont v imaɉneśn, n f ś cd si in ǎr litl ćarjz nʈñ bt ɖer byti n emịbiḷti, ɖer hapinis n clevrnis, ś hd no d’rect cḿṇceśn wɖ ɖ sorsz v mî trubl. F ɖe hd bn at ol viẓbli blîtd or batrd, ś wd dǎtlis hv groun, on tresñ it bac, haġd inuf t mać ɖm; az matrz std, hvr, I cd fīl hr, ẃn ś sveid ɖm, wɖ hr larj ẃît armz foldd n ɖ habit v sreṇti in ol hr lc, ʈanc ɖ Lord’z mrsi ɖt f ɖe wr ruind ɖ pìsz wd stl srv. Flîts v fansi gev ples, in hr mînd, t a stedi fîrsîd glo, n I hd olrdi bgun t psiv hǎ, wɖ ɖ dveḷpmnt v ɖ cnvix́n ɖt – az tîm wnt on wɖt a public axidnt – ǎr yuñ ʈñz cd, aftr ol, lc ǎt fr ɖmslvz, ś adrest hr gretist s’liṣtyd t ɖ sad ces prizntd bî ɖer instructris. Ɖt, fr mslf, wz a sǎnd simplif̣ceśn: I cd ingej ɖt, t ɖ wrld, mî fes śd tel no têlz, bt it wd hv bn, in ɖ cndiśnz, an imns add stren t fînd mslf añśs abt hrz.

At ɖ aur I nǎ spīc v ś hd jônd m, undr preśr, on ɖ teris, ẃr, wɖ ɖ laps v ɖ sīzn, ɖ afṭnunsún wz nǎ agriybl; n w sat ɖr tgɖr ẃl, bfr s, at a distns, bt wɖn cōl f w wśt, ɖ ćildṛn strold t n fro in wn v ɖer most maniɉbl mūdz. Ɖe muvd slǒli, in ynisn, b’lo s, ovr ɖ lōn, ɖ bô, az ɖe wnt, rīdñ alǎd fṛm a stori-bc n pasñ hiz arm rnd hiz sistr t cīp hr qt in tuć. Msz. Grǒs woćt ɖm wɖ poẓtiv pḷsidti; ɖen I còt ɖ s’prest inṭlecćl crīc wɖ ẃć ś conśienśsli trnd t tec fṛm m a vy v ɖ bac v ɖ taṗstri. I hd md hr a rspticl v lŭrid ʈñz, bt ɖr wz an od recgniśn v mî s’pirioṛti – mî acumpliśmnts n mî fuñśn – in hr peśns undr mî pen. Ś ofrd hr mînd t mî dscloźrz az, hd I wśt t mix a wić’z broʈ n pṛpozd it wɖ aśuṛns, ś wd hv hld ǎt a larj clīn sōspn. Ɖs hd bcm ʈuṛli hr attyd bî ɖ tîm ɖt, in mî rsîtl v ɖ ivnts v ɖ nît, I rīćt ɖ pônt v ẃt Mîlz hd sd t m ẃn, aftr siyñ him, at sć a monstṛs aur, olmst on ɖ vri spot ẃr h hapnd nǎ t b, I hd gn dǎn t brñ him in; ćuzñ ɖen, at ɖ windo, wɖ a consntretd nīd v nt alarmñ ɖ hǎs, rɖr ɖt meʈ̇d ɖn a signl mor reẓnnt. I hd left hr mnẃl in litl dǎt v mî smōl hop v reprizntñ wɖ s’xes īvn t hr acćl simṗʈi mî sns v ɖ riyl splendr v ɖ litl insṗreśn wɖ ẃć, aftr I hd got him intu ɖ hǎs, ɖ bô met mî fînl artikḷt ćalinj. Az sn az I apird in ɖ mūnlît on ɖ teris, h hd cm t m az stret az poṣbl; on ẃć I hd tecn hiz hand wɖt a wrd n léd him, ʈru ɖ darc spesz, p ɖ sterces ẃr Qint hd so hungṛli hovrd fr him, alñ ɖ lobi ẃr I hd lisnd n trembld, n so t hiz fōrsecn rūm.Nt a sǎnd, on ɖ we, hd pást btwn s, n I hd wundrd – ǒ, I hd wundrd! – f h wr gropñ abt in hiz litl mînd fr smʈñ plōẓbl n nt tù gṛtesc. It wd tax hiz invnśn, srtnli, n I flt, ɖs tîm, ovr hiz riyl imbaṛsmnt, a krịs ʈril v trîumf. It wz a śarp trap fr ɖ inscrūṭbl! H cd’nt ple eni longr at iṇsns; so hǎ ɖ dys wd h gt ǎt v it? Ɖr bìt in m indd, wɖ ɖ paśṇt ʈrob v ɖs qsćn an īql dum apil az t hǎ ɖ dys I śd. I wz cnfruntd at last, az nvr yt, wɖ ol ɖ risc ataćt īvn nǎ t sǎndñ mî ǒn horid not. I rmembr in fact ɖt az w pśt intu hiz litl ćembr, ẃr ɖ bed hd nt bn slept in at ol n ɖ windo, uncuvrd t ɖ mūnlît, md ɖ ples so clir ɖt ɖr wz no nīd v strîcñ a mać – I rmembr hǎ I sudnli dropt, sanc upn ɖ éj v ɖ bed fṛm ɖ fors v ɖ îdīa ɖt h mst nǒ hǎ h riyli, az ɖe se, “hd” m. H cd d ẃt h lîct, wɖ ol hiz clevrnis t hlp him, so loñ az I śd cntiny t dfŕ t ɖ old tṛdiśn v ɖ criṃnaḷti v ɖoz certecrz v ɖ yuñ hu ministr t sūṗstiśnz n firz. H “hd” m indd, n in a cleft stic; fr hu wd evr abzolv m, hu wd cnsnt ɖt I śd g unhuñ, f, bî ɖ fentist tremr v an oṿćr, I wr ɖ frst t intṛdys intu ǎr prfict inṭcors an elimnt so dîr? No, no: it wz yslis t atmt t cnve t Msz. Grǒs, jst az it z scersli les so t atmt t sjst hir, hǎ, in ǎr śort, stif bruś in ɖ darc, h ferli śc m wɖ adṃreśn. I wz v cors ʈuṛli cînd n mrsifl; nvr, nvr yt hd I plest on hiz litl śoldrz handz v sć tndrnis az ɖoz wɖ ẃć, ẃl I restd agnst ɖ bed, I hld him ɖr wel undr fîr. I hd no oltrṇtiv bt, in form at līst, t pt it t him.

“Y mst tel m nǎ – n ol ɖ truʈ. Ẃt dd y g ǎt fr? Ẃt wr y dwñ ɖr?”

I cn stl si hiz wundrfl smîl, ɖ ẃîts v hiz bytifl îz, n ɖ uncuṿrñ v hiz litl tīʈ śîn t m in ɖ dusc. “F I tel y ẃ, wl y unḍstand?” Mî hart, at ɖs, lept intu mî mǎʈ. Wd h tel m ẃ? I faund no sǎnd on mî lips t pres it, n I wz awer v rplayñ onli wɖ a veg, rpitd, griṃsñ nod. H wz jntlnis itslf, n ẃl I wagd mî hed at him h std ɖr mor ɖn evr a litl fẹriprins. It wz hiz brîtnis indd ɖt gev m a respît. Wd it b so gret f h wr riyli gwñ t tel m? “Wel,” h sd at last, “jst xacli in ordr ɖt y śd d ɖs.”

“D ẃt?”

“Ʈnc m – fr a ćenj – bad!” I śl nvr fget ɖ swītnis n geyti wɖ ẃć h bròt ǎt ɖ wrd, nr hǎ, on top v it, h bnt fwd n cist m. It wz practicli ɖ end v evrʈñ. I met hiz cis n I hd t mc, ẃl I foldd him fr a minit in mî armz, ɖ most stypnds ef̣t nt t crî. H hd gvn xacli ɖ acǎnt v himslf ɖt pmitd līst v mî gwñ bhnd it, n it wz onli wɖ ɖ ifct v cnfrmñ mî axptns v it ɖt, az I prezntli glanst abt ɖ rūm, I cd se –

“Ɖen y dd’nt undres at ol?”

H ferli glitrd in ɖ glūm. “Nt at ol. I sat p n réd.”

“N ẃn dd y g dǎn?”

“At midnît. Ẃn I’m bad I am bad!”

“I si, I si – it’s ćarmñ. Bt hǎ cd y b śr I wd nǒ it?”

“Ǒ, I arenjd ɖt wɖ Flora.” Hiz ansrz rañ ǎt wɖ a redinis! “Ś wz t gt p n lc ǎt.”

“Ẃć z ẃt ś dd d.” It wz I hu fél intu ɖ trap!

“So ś dstrbd y, n, t si ẃt ś wz lcñ at, y olso lct – y sw.”

“Ẃl y,” I cncŕd, “còt yr deʈ in ɖ nîter!”

H litṛli blūmd so fṛm ɖs xplôt ɖt h cd aford redịntli t asnt. “Hǎ uɖ̇wz śd I hv bn bad inuf?” h asct. Ɖen, aftr anɖr imbres, ɖ insidnt n ǎr inṭvy clozd on mî recgniśn v ol ɖ rzrvz v gdnis ɖt, fr hiz joc, h hd bn ebl t drw upn.

___

XII

Ɖ  ptiklr impreśn I hd rsivd pruvd in ɖ mornñ lît, I rpit, nt qt s’xesf̣li prizntbl t Msz. Grǒs, ɖo I riinforst it wɖ ɖ mnśn v stl anɖr rmarc ɖt h hd md bfr w seṗretd. “It ol lîz in haf a duzn wrdz,” I sd t hr, “wrdz ɖt riyli setl ɖ matr. ‘Ʈnc, y nǒ, ẃt I mt d!’ H ʈrù ɖt of t śo m hǎ gd h z. H nz dǎn t ɖ grǎnd ẃt h ‘mt’ d. Ɖt’s ẃt h gev ɖm a test v at scūl.”

“Lord, y d ćenj!” craid mî frend.“I d’nt ćenj – I simpli mc it ǎt. Ɖ for, dpnd upn it, ppć̣li mīt. F on îɖr v ɖz last nîts y hd bn wɖ îɖr ćîld, y wd clirli hv unḍstd. Ɖ mor I’v woćt n wêtd ɖ mor I’v flt ɖt f ɖr wr nʈñ els t mc it śr it wd b md so bî ɖ sisṭmatic sîḷns v ć. Nvr, bî a slip v ɖ tuñ, hv ɖe so mć az aludd t îɖr v ɖer old frendz, eni mor ɖn Mîlz hz aludd t hiz xpulśn. Ǒ, yes, w me sit hir n lc at ɖm, n ɖe me śo of t s ɖr t ɖer fil; bt īvn ẃl ɖe pritnd t b lost in ɖer fẹritêl ɖ’r stīpt in ɖer viźn v ɖ ded rstord. H’z nt rīdñ t hr,” I dclerd; “ɖ’r tōcñ v ɖm – ɖ’r tōcñ horrz! I g on, I nǒ, az f I wr crezi; n it’s a wundr I’m nt. Ẃt I’v sìn wd hv md y so; bt it hz onli md m mor lūsid, md m gt hold v stl uɖr ʈñz.”

Mî lūsidti mst hv sīmd ōfl, bt ɖ ćarmñ crīćrz hu wr victimz v it, pasñ n rīpasñ in ɖer inṭloct swītnis, gev mî colīg smʈñ t hold on bî; n I flt hǎ tît ś hld az, wɖt stŕñ in ɖ breʈ v mî paśn, ś cuvrd ɖm stl wɖ hr îz. “V ẃt uɖr ʈñz hv y got hold?”

“Ẃ, v ɖ vri ʈñz ɖt hv dlîtd, faṣnetd, n yt, at botm, az I nǎ so strenjli si, misṭfaid n trubld m. Ɖer mor ɖn rʈli byti, ɖer abṣlutli uņaćṛl gdnis. It’s a gem,” I wnt on; “it’s a poḷsi n a frōd!”

“On ɖ part v litl darlñz – ?”

“Az yt mir luvli bebiz? Yes, mad az ɖt sīmz!” Ɖ vri act v brññ it ǎt riyli hlpt m t tres it – folo it ol p n pìs it ol tgɖr. “Ɖe hv’nt bn gd – ɖ’v onli bn absnt. It hz bn īzi t liv wɖ ɖm, bcz ɖ’r simpli līdñ a lîf v ɖer ǒn. Ɖ’r nt mîn – ɖ’r nt ǎrz. Ɖ’r hiz n ɖ’r hrz!”

“Qint’s n ɖt wmn’z?”

“Qint’s n ɖt wmn’z. Ɖe wont t gt t ɖm.”

Ǒ, hǎ, at ɖs, pur Msz. Grǒs apird t studi ɖm! “Bt fr ẃt?”

“Fr ɖ luv v ol ɖ īvl ɖt, in ɖoz dredfl dez, ɖ per pt intu ɖm. N t plî ɖm wɖ ɖt īvl stl, t cīp p ɖ wrc v dīmnz, z ẃt brñz ɖ uɖrz bac.”

“Lwz!” sd mî frend undr hr breʈ. Ɖ xcḷmeśn wz homli, bt it rvild a riyl axptns v mî frɖr prūf v ẃt, in ɖ bad tîm – fr ɖr hd bn a wrs īvn ɖn ɖs! – mst hv ocŕd. Ɖr cd hv bn no sć justif̣ceśn fr m az ɖ plen asnt v hr xpirịns t ẃtvr depʈ v dpravti I faund creḍbl in ǎr bres v scǎndṛlz. It wz in obvịs sbmiśn v meṃri ɖt ś bròt ǎt aftr a momnt: “Ɖe wr rasclz! Bt ẃt cn ɖe nǎ d?” ś psyd.

“D?” I ecoud so lǎd ɖt Mîlz n Flora, az ɖe pást at ɖer distns, pōzd an instnt in ɖer wōc n lct at s. “D’nt ɖe d inuf?” I dmandd in a lowr ton, ẃl ɖ ćildṛn, hvñ smîld n nodd n cist handz t s, rzymd ɖer xbiśn. W wr hld bî it a minit; ɖen I ansrd: “Ɖe cn dstrô ɖm!” At ɖs mî cmpańn dd trn, bt ɖ inqîri ś lōnćt wz a sîḷnt wn, ɖ ifct v ẃć wz t mc m mor xplisit. “Ɖe d’nt nǒ, az yt, qt hǎ – bt ɖ’r trayñ hard. Ɖ’r sìn onli acrs, az it wr, n bynd – in strenj plesz n on hî plesz, ɖ top v tǎrz, ɖ rūf v hǎzz, ɖ ǎtsd v windoz, ɖ frɖr éj v pūlz; bt ɖr’z a dīp dzîn, on îɖr sîd, t śortn ɖ distns n oṿcm ɖ obsṭcl; n ɖ s’xes v ɖ tmtrz z onli a qsćn v tîm. Ɖ’v onli t cīp t ɖer sjsćnz v denjr.”

“Fr ɖ ćildṛn t cm?”

“N periś in ɖ atmt!” Msz. Grǒs slǒli got p, n I scrūpyḷsli add: “Unls, v cors, w cn privnt!”

Standñ ɖr bfr m ẃl I cept mî sīt, ś viẓbli trnd ʈñz ovr. “Ɖer uncl mst d ɖ privntñ. H mst tec ɖm awe.”

“N hu’z t mc him?”

Ś hd bn scanñ ɖ distns, bt ś nǎ dropt on m a fūliś fes. “Y, mis.”

“Bî raitñ t him ɖt hiz hǎs z pôznd n hiz litl nefy n nīs mad?”

“Bt f ɖe r, mis?”

“N f I am mslf, y mīn? Ɖt’s ćarmñ nyz t b snt him bî a guṿnes huz prîm unḍtecñ wz t gv him no wuri.”

Msz. Grǒs cnsidrd, folowñ ɖ ćildṛn agn. “Yes, h d het wuri. Ɖt wz ɖ gret rīzn – ”

“Ẃ ɖoz fīndz tc him in so loñ? No dǎt, ɖo hiz indifṛns mst hv bn ōfl. Az I’m nt a fīnd, at eni ret, I śd’nt tec him in.”

Mî cmpańn, aftr an instnt n fr ol ansr, sat dǎn agn n graspt mî arm. “Mc him at eni ret cm t y.”

I stérd. “T m?” I hd a sudn fir v ẃt ś mt d. “‘Him’?”

“H òt t b hir – h òt t hlp.”

I qcli rouz, n I ʈnc I mst hv śoun hr a qirr fes ɖn evr yt. “Y si m ascñ him fr a vizit?” No, wɖ hr îz on mî fes ś evidntli cd’nt. Instd v it īvn – az a wmn rīdz anɖr – ś cd si ẃt I mslf sw: hiz d’riźn, hiz aḿzmnt, hiz cntmt fr ɖ brecdǎn v mî reẓgneśn at biyñ left alon n fr ɖ fîn mśīṇri I hd set in mośn t atract hiz atnśn t mî slîtd ćarmz. Ś dd’nt nǒ – nwn ń – hǎ prǎd I hd bn t srv him n t stic t ǎr trmz; yt ś nnɖles tc ɖ meźr, I ʈnc, v ɖ wornñ I nǎ gev hr. “F y śd so lūz yr hed az t apil t him fr m – ”

Ś wz riyli frîtnd. “Yes, mis?”

“I wd līv, on ɖ spot, bʈ him n y.”

___

XIII

It wz ol vri wel t jôn ɖm, bt spīcñ t ɖm pruvd qt az mć az evr an ef̣t bynd mî streñʈ – ofrd, in clos qortrz, dificltiz az inṣmǎntbl az bfr. Ɖs sićueśn cntinyd a munʈ, n wɖ ny agṛveśnz n ptiklr nots, ɖ not abv ol, śarpr n śarpr, v ɖ smōl îronic conśsnis on ɖ part v mî pyplz. It wz nt, I am az śr tde az I wz śr ɖen, mî mir infrṇl imaɉneśn: it wz abṣlutli treṣbl ɖt ɖe wr awer v mî pridic̣mnt n ɖt ɖs strenj rleśn md, in a manr, fr a loñ tîm, ɖ er in ẃć w muvd. I d’nt mīn ɖt ɖe hd ɖer tuñz in ɖer ćīcs or dd enʈñ vulgr, fr ɖt wz nt wn v ɖer denjrz: I d mīn, on ɖ uɖr hand, ɖt ɖ elimnt v ɖ uņemd n untućt bcem, btwn s, gretr ɖn eni uɖr, n ɖt so mć avôdns cd nt hv bn so s’xesf̣li ifctd wɖt a gret dīl v tasit arenjmnt. It wz az f, at momnts, w wr ppć̣li cmñ intu sît v subjicts bfr ẃć w mst stop śort, trnñ sudnli ǎt v aliz ɖt w psivd t b blînd, clozñ wɖ a litl bañ ɖt md s lc at ć uɖr – fr, lîc ol bañz, it wz smʈñ lǎdr ɖn w hd intndd – ɖ dorz w hd indiscritli opnd. Ol rodz līd t Rom, n ɖr wr tîmz ẃn it mt hv struc s ɖt olmst evri branć v studi or subjict v convseśn scrtd fbidn grǎnd. Fbidn grǎnd wz ɖ qsćn v ɖ rtrn v ɖ ded in jenṛl n v ẃtvr, in ispeśl, mt svîv, in meṃri, v ɖ frendz litl ćildṛn hd lost. Ɖr wr dez ẃn I cd hv sworn ɖt wn v ɖm hd, wɖ a smōl inviẓbl nuj, sd t ɖ uɖr: “Ś ʈncs ś’l d it ɖs tîm – bt ś w’nt!” T “d it” wd hv bn t indulj fr instns – n fr wns in a we – in sm d’rect refṛns t ɖ ledi hu hd priperd ɖm fr mî diṣplin. Ɖe hd a dlîtfl endlis aṗtît fr paṣjz in mî ǒn hisṭri, t ẃć I hd agn n agn trītd ɖm; ɖe wr in pześn v evrʈñ ɖt hd evr hapnd t m, hd hd, wɖ evri srcmstans ɖ stori v mî smōlist advnćrz n v ɖoz v mî bruɖrz n sistrz n v ɖ cat n ɖ dog at hom, az wel az mni ptiklrz v ɖ xntric nećr v mî faɖr, v ɖ frnićr n arenjmnt v ǎr hǎs, n v ɖ convseśn v ɖ old wimin v ǎr vilij. Ɖr wr ʈñz inuf, tecñ wn wɖ anɖr, t ćatr abt, f wn wnt vri fast n ń bî instñt ẃn t g rnd. Ɖe pld wɖ an art v ɖer ǒn ɖ strñz v mî invnśn n mî meṃri; n nʈñ els phps, ẃn I ʈt v sć oceźnz afṭwd, gev m so ɖ sspiśn v biyñ woćt fṛm undr cuvr. It wz in eni ces ovr lîf, past, n frendz alon ɖt w cd tec enʈñ lîc ǎr īz – a stet v aferz ɖt léd ɖm smtmz wɖt ɖ līst prṭnns t brec ǎt intu soṣ́bl rmîndrz. I wz invîtd – wɖ no viẓbl cnx́n – t rpit afreś Gdi Gozlñ’z seḷbretd mot or t cnfrm ɖ dītelz olrdi s’plaid az t ɖ clevrnis v ɖ vic̣rijponi.

It wz partli at sć juñćrz az ɖz n partli at qt difṛnt wnz ɖt, wɖ ɖ trn mî matrz hd nǎ tecn, mî pridic̣mnt, az I hv cōld it, grù most snṣbl. Ɖ fact ɖt ɖ dez pást fr m wɖt anɖr incǎntr òt, it wd hv apird, t hv dn smʈñ twd suɖñ mî nrvz. Sins ɖ lît bruś, ɖt secnd nît on ɖ upr landñ, v ɖ prezns v a wmn at ɖ ft v ɖ ster, I hd sìn nʈñ, ẃɖr in or ǎt v ɖ hǎs, ɖt wn hd betr nt hv sìn. Ɖr wz mni a cornr rnd ẃć I xpctd t cm upn Qint, n mni a sićueśn ɖt, in a mirli sinistr we, wd hv fevrd ɖ apiṛns v Mis Jesl. Ɖ sumr hd trnd, ɖ sumr hd gn; ɖ ōtm hd dropt upn Blai n hd bloun ǎt haf ǎr lîts. Ɖ ples, wɖ its gre scî n wiɖrd garḷndz, its bérd spesz n scatrd ded līvz, wz lîc a ʈiytr aftr ɖ pformns – ol strùn wɖ crumpld plêbílz. Ɖr wr xacli stets v ɖ er, cndiśnz v sǎnd n v stilnis, unspīcbl impreśnz v ɖ cnd v minisṭrñ momnt, ɖt bròt bac t m, loñ inuf t cać it, ɖ fīlñ v ɖ mīdịm in ẃć, ɖt Jūn īvnñ ǎt v dorz, I hd hd mî frst sît v Qint, n in ẃć, tù, at ɖoz uɖr instnts, I hd, aftr siyñ him ʈru ɖ windo, lct fr him in ven in ɖ srcl v śruḅri. I rec̣gnîzd ɖ sînz, ɖ portnts – I rec̣gnîzd ɖ momnt, ɖ spot. Bt ɖe rmend un’cumṗnid n emti, n I cntinyd unṃlestd; f unṃlestd wn cd cōl a yuñ wmn huz snsbiḷti hd, in ɖ most xtrordnri faśn, nt dclînd bt dīpnd. I hd sd in mî tōc wɖ Msz. Grǒs on ɖt horid sīn v Flora’z bî ɖ lec – n hd pplext hr bî so seyñ – ɖt it wd fṛm ɖt momnt dstres m mć mor t lūz mî pǎr ɖn t cīp it. I hd ɖen xprest ẃt wz vividli in mî mînd: ɖ truʈ ɖt, ẃɖr ɖ ćildṛn riyli sw or nt – sins, ɖt z, it wz nt yt defiṇtli pruvd – I gretli prifŕd, az a sefgard, ɖ fŭlnis v mî ǒn xpoźr. I wz redi t nǒ ɖ vri wrst ɖt wz t b noun. Ẃt I hd ɖen hd an ugli glims v wz ɖt mî îz mt b sìld jst ẃl ɖerz wr most opnd. Wel, mî îz wr sìld, it apird, at preznt – a consymeśn fr ẃć it sīmd blasfṃs nt t ʈanc God. Ɖr wz, alas, a dificlti abt ɖt: I wd hv ʈanct him wɖ ol mî soul hd I nt hd in a pṛporśṇt meźr ɖs cnvix́n v ɖ sīcrit v mî pyplz.Hǎ cn I rītres tde ɖ strenj steps v mî obseśn? Ɖr wr tîmz v ǎr biyñ tgɖr ẃn I wd hv bn redi t swer ɖt, litṛli, in mî prezns, bt wɖ mî d’rect sns v it clozd, ɖe hd vizitrz hu wr noun n wr welcm. Ɖen it wz ɖt, hd I nt bn dtrd bî ɖ vri ćans ɖt sć an inɉri mt pruv gretr ɖn ɖ inɉri t b avrtd, mî xlteśn wd hv brocn ǎt. “Ɖ’r hir, ɖ’r hir, y litl rećz,” I wd hv craid, “n y c’nt dnî it nǎ!” Ɖ litl rećz dnaid it wɖ ol ɖ add volym v ɖer sośbiḷti n ɖer tndrnis, in jst ɖ cristl depʈs v ẃć – lîc ɖ flaś v a fiś in a strīm – ɖ moc̣ri v ɖer advantij pīpt p. Ɖ śoc, in truʈ, hd sunc intu m stl dīpr ɖn I ń on ɖ nît ẃn, lcñ ǎt t si îɖr Qint or Mis Jesl undr ɖ starz, I hd bheld ɖ bô ovr huz rest I woćt n hu hd imīɉtli bròt in wɖ him – hd stretwe, ɖr, trnd it on m – ɖ luvli upwd lc wɖ ẃć, fṛm ɖ batlmnts abv m, ɖ hidịs aṗriśn v Qint hd pleid. F it wz a qsćn v a scer, mî dscuṿri on ɖs oceźn hd scerd m mor ɖn eni uɖr, n it wz in ɖ cndiśn v nrvz pṛdyst bî it ɖt I md mî acćl indux́nz. Ɖe haṛst m so ɖt smtmz, at od momnts, I śut mslf p ōḍbli t rhrs – it wz at wns a fntastic rlif n a rnyd dsper – ɖ manr in ẃć I mt cm t ɖ pônt. I aproćt it fṛm wn sîd n ɖ uɖr ẃl, in mî rūm, I fluñ mslf abt, bt I olwz brouc dǎn in ɖ monstṛs utṛns v nemz. Az ɖe daid awe on mî lips, I sd t mslf ɖt I śd indd hlp ɖm t repriznt smʈñ infṃs, f, bî pṛnǎnsñ ɖm, I śd vaylet az rer a litl ces v instñtiv delic̣si az eni scūlrūm, probbli, hd evr noun. Ẃn I sd t mslf: “Ɖe hv ɖ manrz t b sîḷnt, n y, trustd az y r, ɖ besnis t spīc!” I flt mslf crimzn n I cuvrd mî fes wɖ mî handz. Aftr ɖz sīcrit sīnz I ćatrd mor ɖn evr, gwñ on vołbli inuf tl wn v ǎr pṛdijs, palṗbl huśz ocŕd – I cn cōl ɖm nʈñ els – ɖ strenj, dizi lift or swim (I trî fr trmz!) intu a stilnis, a pōz v ol lîf, ɖt hd nʈñ t d wɖ ɖ mor or les nôz ɖt at ɖ momnt w mt b ingejd in mcñ n ɖt I cd hír ʈru eni dīpnd xiḷreśn or qcnd reṣteśn or lǎdr strum v ɖ piano. Ɖen it wz ɖt ɖ uɖrz, ɖ ǎtsîdrz, wr ɖr. Ɖo ɖe wr nt enjlz, ɖe “pást,” az ɖ Frenć se, cōzñ m, ẃl ɖe steid, t trembl wɖ ɖ fir v ɖer adresñ t ɖer yungr victimz sm yt mor infrṇl mesij or mor vivid imij ɖn ɖe hd ʈt gd inuf fr mslf.

Ẃt it wz most imposbl t gt rid v wz ɖ cruwl îdīa ɖt, ẃtvr I hd sìn, Mîlz n Flora sw mor – ʈñz teṛbl n ungeṣbl n ɖt sprañ fṛm dredfl paṣjz v inṭcors in ɖ past. Sć ʈñz naćṛli left on ɖ srfis, fr ɖ tîm, a ćil ẃć w vsifṛsli dnaid ɖt w flt; n w hd, ol ʈri, wɖ reṗtiśn, got intu sć splendid trenñ ɖt w wnt, ć tîm, olmst ōṭmaticli, t marc ɖ cloz v ɖ insidnt, ʈru ɖ vri sem muvmnts. It wz strîcñ v ɖ ćildṛn, at ol ivnts, t cis m invetṛtli wɖ a cnd v wîld ireḷvns n nvr t fel – wn or ɖ uɖr – v ɖ preśs qsćn ɖt hd hlpt s ʈru mni a peṛl. “Ẃn d y ʈnc h wl cm? D’nt y ʈnc w òt t rait?” – ɖr wz nʈñ lîc ɖt inqîri, w faund bî xpirịns, fr cariyñ of an ōcẉdnis. “H” v cors wz ɖer uncl in Harli Strīt; n w livd in mć pṛfyźn v ʈiyri ɖt h mt at eni momnt arîv t mngl in ǎr srcl. It wz imposbl t hv gvn les incurijmnt ɖn h hd dn t sć a doctrin, bt f w hd nt hd ɖ doctrin t fōl bac upn w śd hv dprîvd ć uɖr v sm v ǎr fînist xbiśnz. H nvr rout t ɖm – ɖt me hv bn slfiś, bt it wz a part v ɖ flaṭri v hiz trust v m; fr ɖ we in ẃć a man pez hiz hîist tribyt t a wmn z apt t b bt bî ɖ mor fstl seḷbreśn v wn v ɖ secrid lwz v hiz cumf̣t; n I hld ɖt I carid ǎt ɖ spirit v ɖ plej gvn nt t apil t him ẃn I let mî ćarjz unḍstand ɖt ɖer ǒn letrz wr bt ćarmñ litrri x’sîsz. Ɖe wr tù bytifl t b postd; I cept ɖm mslf; I hv ɖm ol t ɖs aur. Ɖs wz a rūl indd ẃć onli add t ɖ s’tiric ifct v mî biyñ plaid wɖ ɖ supziśn ɖt h mt at eni momnt b amñ s. It wz xacli az f mî ćarjz ń hǎ olmst mor ōcẉd ɖn enʈñ els ɖt mt b fr m. Ɖr apirz t m, morovr, az I lc bac, no not in ol ɖs mor xtrordnri ɖn ɖ mir fact ɖt, in spît v mî tnśn n v ɖer trîumf, I nvr lost peśns wɖ ɖm. Adoṛbl ɖe mst in truʈ hv bn, I nǎ rflect, ɖt I dd’nt in ɖz dez het ɖm! Wd xasṗreśn, hvr, f rlif hd longr bn pspond, fîṇli hv btreid m? It litl matrz, fr rlif arîvd. I cōl it rlif, ɖo it wz onli ɖ rlif ɖt a snap brñz t a stren or ɖ brst v a ʈundrstorm t a de v suf̣ceśn. It wz at līst ćenj, n it cem wɖ a ruś.

___

XIV

Wōcñ t ćrć a srtn Súnde mornñ, I hd litl Mîlz at mî sîd n hiz sistr, in advans v s n at Msz. Grǒs’z, wel in sît. It wz a crisp, clir de, ɖ frst v its ordr fr sm tîm; ɖ nît hd bròt a tuć v frost, n ɖ ōtm er, brît n śarp, md ɖ ćrć belz olmst ge. It wz an od axidnt v ʈt ɖt I śd hv hapnd at sć a momnt t b ptiklrli n vri gretf̣li struc wɖ ɖ obīdịns v mî litl ćarjz. Ẃ dd ɖe nvr rznt mî inexṛbl, mî ppćl ssayti? Smʈñ or uɖr hd bròt nirr hom t m ɖt I hd ol bt pind ɖ bô t mî śōl n ɖt, in ɖ we ǎr cmpańnz wr marśld bfr m, I mt hv apird t pṛvîd agnst sm denjr v rbełn. I wz lîc a jelr wɖ an î t poṣbl s’prîzz n isceps. Bt ol ɖs b’loñd – I mīn ɖer mgnifisnt litl srendr – jst t ɖ speśl are v ɖ facts ɖt wr most abizml. Trnd ǎt fr Súnde bî hiz uncl’z teilr, hu hd hd a fri hand n a nośn v priti weistcots n v hiz grand litl er, Mîlz’z hol tîtl t indipndns, ɖ rîts v hiz sx n sićueśn, wr so stamt upn him ɖt f h hd sudnli struc fr frīdm I śd hv hd nʈñ t se. I wz bî ɖ strenjist v ćansz wunḍrñ hǎ I śd mīt him ẃn ɖ reṿluśn unmistecbli ocŕd. I cōl it a reṿluśn bcz I nǎ si hǎ, wɖ ɖ wrd h spouc, ɖ crtn rouz on ɖ last act v mî dredfl drama, n ɖ ctastṛfi wz prisiṗtetd. “Lc hir, mî dir, y nǒ,” h ćarmñli sd, “ẃn in ɖ wrld, plīz, am I gwñ bac t scūl?”

Trnscrîbd hir ɖ spīć sǎndz harmlis inuf, ptiklrli az utrd in ɖ swīt, hî, caźl pîp wɖ ẃć, at ol inṭloktrz, bt abv ol at hiz itrnl guṿnes, h ʈrù of inṭneśnz az f h wr tosñ rozz. Ɖr wz smʈñ in ɖm ɖt olwz md wn “cać,” n I còt, at eni ret, nǎ so ifcć̣li ɖt I stopt az śort az f wn v ɖ triz v ɖ parc hd fōḷn acrs ɖ rod. Ɖr wz smʈñ ny, on ɖ spot, btwn s, n h wz prf̣cli awer ɖt I rec̣gnîzd it, ɖo, t inebl m t d so, h hd no nīd t lc a ẃit les candid n ćarmñ ɖn yźl. I cd fīl in him hǎ h olrdi, fṛm mî at frst fîndñ nʈñ t rplî, psivd ɖ advantij h hd gend. I wz so slo t fînd enʈñ ɖt h hd plenti v tîm, aftr a minit, t cntiny wɖ hiz sjstiv bt incnclūsiv smîl: “Y nǒ, mî dir, ɖt fr a felo t b wɖ a ledi olwz – !” Hiz “mî dir” wz constntli on hiz lips fr m, n nʈñ cd hv xprest mor ɖ xact śêd v ɖ sntimnt wɖ ẃć I dzîrd t inspîr mî pyplz ɖn its fond fmiliaṛti. It wz so rspctf̣li īzi.Bt, ǒ, hǎ I flt ɖt at preznt I mst pic mî ǒn frezz! I rmembr ɖt, t gen tîm, I traid t laf, n I sīmd t si in ɖ bytifl fes wɖ ẃć h woćt m hǎ ugli n qir I lct. “N olwz wɖ ɖ sem ledi?” I rtrnd.

H nɖr blanćt nr wnct. Ɖ hol ʈñ wz vrć̣li ǎt btwn s. “Ā, v cors, ś’z a joli, ‘prfict’ ledi; bt, aftr ol, I’m a felo, d’nt y si? ɖt’s – wel, gtñ on.”

I lingrd ɖr wɖ him an instnt evr so cîndli. “Yes, y’r gtñ on.” Ǒ, bt I flt hlplis!

I hv cept t ɖs de ɖ hartbrecñ litl îdīa v hǎ h sīmd t nǒ ɖt n t ple wɖ it. “N y c’nt se I’v nt bn ōf̣li gd, cn y?”

I leid mî hand on hiz śoldr, fr, ɖo I flt hǎ mć betr it wd hv bn t wōc on, I wz nt yt qt ebl. “No, I c’nt se ɖt, Mîlz.”

“Xpt jst ɖt wn nît, y nǒ – !”

“Ɖt wn nît?” I cd’nt lc az stret az h.

“Ẃ, ẃn I wnt dǎn – wnt ǎt v ɖ hǎs.”

“Ǒ, yes. Bt I fget ẃt y dd it fr.”

“Y fget?” – h spouc wɖ ɖ swīt xtraṿgns v ćîldiś rproć. “Ẃ, it wz t śo y I cd!”

“Ǒ, yes, y cd.”

“N I cn agn.”

I flt ɖt I mt, phps, aftr ol, s’xid in cīpñ mî wits abt m. “Srtnli. Bt y w’nt.”

“No, nt ɖt agn. It wz nʈñ.”

“It wz nʈñ,” I sd. “Bt w mst g on.”

H rzymd ǎr wōc wɖ m, pasñ hiz hand intu mî arm. “Ɖen ẃn am I gwñ bac?”

I wòr, in trnñ it ovr, mî most rsponsbl er. “Wr y vri hapi at scūl?”

H jst cnsidrd. “Ǒ, I’m hapi inuf enẃr!”

“Wel, ɖen,” I qevrd, “f y’r jst az hapi hir – !”

“Ā, bt ɖt z’nt evrʈñ! V cors y nǒ a lot – ”

“Bt y hint ɖt y nǒ olmst az mć?” I risct az h pōzd.

“Nt haf I wont t!” Mîlz oṇstli pṛfest. “Bt it z’nt so mć ɖt.”

“Ẃt z it, ɖen?”

“Wel – I wont t si mor lîf.”

“I si; I si.” W hd arîvd wɖn sît v ɖ ćrć n v verịs prsnz, includñ sevṛl v ɖ hǎshold v Blai, on ɖer we t it n clustrd abt ɖ dor t si s g in. I qcnd ǎr step; I wontd t gt ɖr bfr ɖ qsćn btwn s opnd p mć frɖr; I rflectd hungṛli ɖt, fr mor ɖn an aur, h wd hv t b sîḷnt; n I ʈt wɖ envi v ɖ cmpaṛtiv dusc v ɖ py n v ɖ olmst spirićl hlp v ɖ haṣc on ẃć I mt bnd mî niz. I sīmd litṛli t b runñ a rês wɖ sm cnfyźn t ẃć h wz abt t rdys m, bt I flt ɖt h hd got in frst ẃn, bfr w hd īvn entrd ɖ ćrćyard, h ʈrù ǎt –

“I wont mî ǒn sort!”

It litṛli md m bǎnd fwd. “Ɖr r nt mni v yr ǒn sort, Mîlz!” I laft. “Unls phps dir litl Flora!”

“Y riyli cmper m t a bebigrl?”

Ɖs faund m snğlrli wìc. “D’nt y, ɖen, luv ǎr swīt Flora?”

“F I dd’nt – n y, tù; f I dd’nt – !” h rpitd az f rtritñ fr a jump, yt līvñ hiz ʈt so unfiniśt ɖt, aftr w hd cm intu ɖ get, anɖr stop, ẃć h impozd on m bî ɖ preśr v hiz arm, hd bcm inevitbl. Msz. Grǒs n Flora hd pást intu ɖ ćrć, ɖ uɖr wrśiprz hd foloud, n w wr, fr ɖ minit, alon amñ ɖ old, ʈic grevz. W hd pōzd, on ɖ paʈ fṛm ɖ get, bî a lo, obloñ, tebļîc tūm.

“Yes, f y dd’nt – ?”

H lct, ẃl I wêtd, at ɖ grevz. “Wel, y nǒ ẃt!” Bt h dd’nt muv, n h prezntli pṛdyst smʈñ ɖt md m drop stret dǎn on ɖ ston slab, az f sudnli t rest. “Dz mî uncl ʈnc ẃt y ʈnc?”

I marcidli restd. “Hǎ d y nǒ ẃt I ʈnc?”

“Ā, wel, v cors I d’nt; fr it strîcs m y nvr tel m. Bt I mīn dz h nǒ?”

“Nǒ ẃt, Mîlz?”

“Ẃ, ɖ we I’m gwñ on.”

I psivd qcli inuf ɖt I cd mc, t ɖs inqîri, no ansr ɖt wd nt involv smʈñ v a sacṛfîs v mî imployr. Yt it apird t m ɖt w wr ol, at Blai, sfiśntli sacṛfîst t mc ɖt vīńl. “I d’nt ʈnc yr uncl mć cerz.”

Mîlz, on ɖs, std lcñ at m. “Ɖen d’nt y ʈnc h cn b md t?”

“In ẃt we?”

“Ẃ, bî hiz cmñ dǎn.”

“Bt hu’l gt him t cm dǎn?”

I wl!” ɖ bô sd wɖ xtrordnri brîtnis n emf̣sis. H gev m anɖr lc ćarjd wɖ ɖt xpreśn n ɖen marćt of alon intu ćrć.

___

XV

Ɖ  biznis wz practicli setld fṛm ɖ momnt I nvr foloud him. It wz a pitifl srendr t ajteśn, bt mî biyñ awer v ɖs hd smhǎ no pǎr t rstor m. I onli sat ɖr on mî tūm n réd intu ẃt mî litl frend hd sd t m ɖ fŭlnis v its mīnñ; bî ɖ tîm I hd graspt ɖ hol v ẃć I hd olso imbrest, fr absns, ɖ prītxt ɖt I wz aśemd t ofr mî pyplz n ɖ rest v ɖ congṛgeśn sć an xampl v dle. Ẃt I sd t mslf abv ol wz ɖt Mîlz hd got smʈñ ǎt v m n ɖt ɖ prūf v it, fr him, wd b jst ɖs ōcẉd c’laps. H hd got ǎt v m ɖt ɖr wz smʈñ I wz mć afreid v n ɖt h śd probbli b ebl t mc ys v mî fir t gen, fr hiz ǒn prṗs, mor frīdm. Mî fir wz v hvñ t dīl wɖ ɖ intolṛbl qsćn v ɖ grǎndz v hiz dsmisl fṛm scūl, fr ɖt wz riyli bt ɖ qsćn v ɖ horrz gaɖrd bhnd. Ɖt hiz uncl śd arîv t trīt wɖ m v ɖz ʈñz wz a s’lūśn ɖt, stricli spīcñ, I òt nǎ t hv dzîrd t brñ on; bt I cd so litl fes ɖ uglinis n ɖ pen v it ɖt I simpli pṛcrasṭnetd n livd fṛm hand t mǎʈ. Ɖ bô, t mî dīp discmpoźr, wz imnsli in ɖ rît, wz in a pziśn t se t m: “Îɖr y clir p wɖ mî gardịn ɖ misṭri v ɖs inṭrupśn v mî studiz, or y sīs t xpct m t līd wɖ y a lîf ɖt’s so uņaćṛl fr a bô.” Ẃt wz so uņaćṛl fr ɖ ptiklr bô I wz cnsrnd wɖ wz ɖs sudn reṿleśn v a conśsnis n a plan.

Ɖt wz ẃt riyli oṿcem m, ẃt privntd mî gwñ in. I wōct rnd ɖ ćrć, heztetñ, hoṿrñ; I rflectd ɖt I hd olrdi, wɖ him, hrt mslf bynd rper. Ɖrfr I cd pać p nʈñ, n it wz tù xtrim an ef̣t t sqīz bsd him intu ɖ py: h wd b so mć mor śr ɖn evr t pas hiz arm intu mîn n mc m sit ɖr fr an aur in clos, sîḷnt contact wɖ hiz comntri on ǎr tōc. Fr ɖ frst minit sins hiz arîvl I wontd t gt awe fṛm him. Az I pōzd bnʈ ɖ hî īst windo n lisnd t ɖ sǎndz v wrśp, I wz tecn wɖ an impuls ɖt mt mastr m, I flt, cmplitli śd I gv it ɖ līst incurijmnt. I mt īẓli pt an end t mî pridic̣mnt bî gtñ awe oltgɖr. Hir wz mî ćans; ɖr wz nwn t stop m; I cd gv ɖ hol ʈñ p – trn mî bac n rtrit. It wz onli a qsćn v huriyñ agn, fr a fy preṗreśnz, t ɖ hǎs ẃć ɖ atndns at ćrć v so mni v ɖ srvnts wd practicli hv left unokpaid. Nwn, in śort, cd blem m f I śd jst drîv despṛtli of. Ẃt wz it t gt awe f I got awe onli tl dinr? Ɖt wd b in a cupl v aurz, at ɖ end v ẃć – I hd ɖ akt priviźn – mî litl pyplz wd ple at iṇsnt wundr abt mî non’piṛns in ɖer tren.“Ẃt dd y d, y nōti, bad ʈñ? Ẃ in ɖ wrld, t wuri s so – n tec ǎr ʈts of, tù, d’nt y nǒ? – dd y dzrt s at ɖ vri dor?” I cd’nt mīt sć qsćnz nr, az ɖe asct ɖm, ɖer fōls litl luvli îz; yt it wz ol so xacli ẃt I śd hv t mīt ɖt, az ɖ prospect grù śarp t m, I at last let mslf g.

I got, so far az ɖ imīɉt momnt wz cnsrnd, awe; I cem stret ǎt v ɖ ćrćyard n, ʈncñ hard, rtrest mî steps ʈru ɖ parc. It sīmd t m ɖt bî ɖ tîm I rīćt ɖ hǎs I hd md p mî mînd I wd flî. Ɖ Súnde stilnis bʈ v ɖ aproćz n v ɖ intirịr, in ẃć I met nwn, ferli xîtd m wɖ a sns v oṗtyṇti. Wr I t gt of qcli, ɖs we, I śd gt of wɖt a sīn, wɖt a wrd. Mî qcnis wd hv t b rmarcbl, hvr, n ɖ qsćn v a cnveyns wz ɖ gret wn t setl. Tormntd, in ɖ hōl, wɖ dificltiz n obsṭclz, I rmembr sncñ dǎn at ɖ ft v ɖ sterces – sudnli c’lapsñ ɖr on ɖ lǒist step n ɖen, wɖ a rvulśn, rcōlñ ɖt it wz xacli ẃr mor ɖn a munʈ bfr, in ɖ darcnis v nît n jst so baud wɖ īvl ʈñz, I hd sìn ɖ spectr v ɖ most hoṛbl v wimin. At ɖs I wz ebl t stretn mslf; I wnt ɖ rest v ɖ we p; I md, in mî bwildrmnt, fr ɖ scūlrūm, ẃr ɖr wr objicts b’loññ t m ɖt I śd hv t tec. Bt I opnd ɖ dor t fînd agn, in a flaś, mî îz unsealed. In ɖ prezns v ẃt I sw I rīld stret bac upn mî rzistns.

Sītd at mî ǒn tebl in clir nūnde lît I sw a prsn hūm, wɖt mî prīvịs xpirịns, I śd hv tecn at ɖ frst bluś fr sm hǎsmeid hu mt hv steid at hom t lc aftr ɖ ples n hu, avelñ hrslf v rer rlif fṛm obẓveśn n v ɖ scūlrūm tebl n mî pnz, ñc, n pepr, hd aplaid hrslf t ɖ cnsidṛbl ef̣t v a letr t hr swīthart. Ɖr wz an ef̣t in ɖ we ɖt, ẃl hr armz restd on ɖ tebl, hr handz wɖ evidnt wirinis s’portd hr hed; bt at ɖ momnt I tc ɖs in I hd olrdi bcm awer ɖt, in spît v mî entṛns, hr attyd strenjli psistd. Ɖen it wz – wɖ ɖ vri act v its anǎnsñ itslf – ɖt hr îdntti flerd p in a ćenj v posćr. Ś rouz, nt az f ś hd hŕd m, bt wɖ an indiscrîbbl grand meḷnc̣li v indifṛns n dtaćmnt, n, wɖn a duzn fīt v m, std ɖr az mî vîl prīdisesr. Disonrd n trajic, ś wz ol bfr m; bt īvn az I fixt n, fr meṃri, s’krd it, ɖ ōfl imij pást awe. Darc az midnît in hr blac dres, hr haġd byti n hr unutṛbl wo, ś hd lct at m loñ inuf t apir t se ɖt hr rît t sit at mî tebl wz az gd az mîn t sit at hrz. Ẃl ɖz instnts lastd, indd, I hd ɖ xtrordnri ćil v fīlñ ɖt it wz I hu wz ɖ intrudr. It wz az a wîld protest agnst it ɖt, acć̣li adresñ hr – “Y teṛbl, mizṛbl wmn!” – I hŕd mslf brec intu a sǎnd ɖt, bî ɖ opn dor, rañ ʈru ɖ loñ pasij n ɖ emti hǎs. Ś lct at m az f ś hŕd m, bt I hd rcuvrd mslf n clird ɖ er. Ɖr wz nʈñ in ɖ rūm ɖ nxt minit bt ɖ súnśîn n a sns ɖt I mst ste.

___

XVI

I  hd so prf̣cli xpctd ɖt ɖ rtrn v mî pyplz wd b marct bî a demnstreśn ɖt I wz freśli upset at hvñ t tec intu acǎnt ɖt ɖe wr dum abt mî absns. Instd v gêli dnǎnsñ n c’resñ m, ɖe md no aluźn t mî hvñ feld ɖm, n I wz left, fr ɖ tîm, on psivñ ɖt ś tù sd nʈñ, t studi Msz. Grǒs’z od fes. I dd ɖs t sć prṗs ɖt I md śr ɖe hd in sm we brîbd hr t sîḷns; a sîḷns ɖt, hvr, I wd ingej t brec dǎn on ɖ frst prîṿt oṗtyṇti. Ɖs oṗtyṇti cem bfr ti: I s’krd fîv minits wɖ hr in ɖ hǎscīpr’z rūm, ẃr, in ɖ twîlît, amd a smel v lêtli bect bred, bt wɖ ɖ ples ol swept n garniśt, I faund hr sitñ in pend pḷsidti bfr ɖ fîr. So I si hr stl, so I si hr bst: fesñ ɖ flem fṛm hr stret ćer in ɖ dusci, śînñ rūm, a larj clīn imij v ɖ “pt awe” – v drorz clozd n loct n rest wɖt a reṃdi.

“Ǒ, yes, ɖe asct m t se nʈñ; n t plīz ɖm – so loñ az ɖe wr ɖr – v cors I promist. Bt ẃt hd hapnd t y?”

“I onli wnt wɖ y fr ɖ wōc,” I sd. “I hd ɖen t cm bac t mīt a frend.”

Ś śoud hr s’prîz. “A frend – y?

“Ǒ, yes, I hv a cupl!” I laft. “Bt dd ɖ ćildṛn gv y a rīzn?”

“Fr nt aludñ t yr līvñ s? Yes; ɖe sd y wd lîc it betr. D y lîc it betr?”

Mî fes hd md hr rūfl. “No, I lîc it wrs!” Bt aftr an instnt I add: “Dd ɖe se ẃ I śd lîc it betr?”

“No; Mastr Mîlz onli sd, ‘W mst d nʈñ bt ẃt ś lîcs!’”

“I wś indd h wd. N ẃt dd Flora se?”

“Mis Flora wz tù swīt. Ś sd, ‘Ǒ, v cors, v cors!’ – n I sd ɖ sem.”

I ʈt a momnt. “Y wr tù swīt, tù – I cn hír y ol. Bt nnɖles, btwn Mîlz n m, it’s nǎ ol ǎt.”

“Ol ǎt?” Mî cmpańn stérd. “Bt ẃt, mis?”

“Evrʈñ. It dz’nt matr. I’v md p mî mînd. I cem hom, mî dir,” I wnt on, “fr a tōc wɖ Mis Jesl.”

I hd bî ɖs tîm formd ɖ habit v hvñ Msz. Grǒs litṛli wel in hand in advans v mî sǎndñ ɖt not; so ɖt īvn nǎ, az ś brevli blinct undr ɖ signl v mî wrd, I cd cīp hr cmpaṛtivli frm. “A tōc! D y mīn ś spouc?”

“It cem t ɖt. I faund hr, on mî rtrn, in ɖ scūlrūm.”

“N ẃt dd ś se?” I cn hír ɖ gd wmn stl, n ɖ candr v hr styṗfax́n.

“Ɖt ś sufrz ɖ torments – !”

It wz ɖs, v a truʈ, ɖt md hr, az ś fild ǎt mî picćr, gep. “D y mīn,” ś fōltrd, “ – v ɖ lost?”

“V ɖ lost. V ɖ dámd. N ɖt’s ẃ, t śer ɖm – ” I fōltrd mslf wɖ ɖ horr v it.

Bt mî cmpańn, wɖ les imaɉneśn, cept m p. “T śer ɖm – ?”

“Ś wonts Flora.” Msz. Grǒs mt, az I gev it t hr, ferli hv fōḷn awe fṛm m hd I nt bn priperd. I stl hld hr ɖr, t śo I wz. “Az I’v tld y, hvr, it dz’nt matr.”

“Bcz y’v md p yr mînd? Bt t ẃt?”

“T evrʈñ.”

“N ẃt d y cōl ‘evrʈñ’?”

“Ẃ, sndñ fr ɖer uncl.”

“Ǒ, mis, in piti d,” mî frend brouc ǎt.

“Ā, bt I wl, I wl! I si it’s ɖ onli we. Ẃt’s ‘ǎt,’ az I tld y, wɖ Mîlz z ɖt f h ʈncs I’m afreid t – n hz îdīaz v ẃt h genz bî ɖt – h śl si h’z mstecn. Yes, yes; hiz uncl śl hv it hir fṛm m on ɖ spot (n bfr ɖ bô himslf, f nesṣri) ɖt f I’m t b rproćt wɖ hvñ dn nʈñ agn abt mor scūl – ”

“Yes, mis – ” mî cmpańn prest m.

“Wel, ɖr’z ɖt ōfl rīzn.”

Ɖr wr nǎ clirli so mni v ɖz fr mî pur colīg ɖt ś wz xkẓbl fr biyñ veg. “Bt – a – ẃć?”

“Ẃ, ɖ letr fṛm hiz old ples.”

“Y’l śo it t ɖ mastr?”

“I òt t hv dn so on ɖ instnt.”

“Ǒ, no!” sd Msz. Grǒs wɖ dsiźn.

“I’l pt it bfr him,” I wnt on inexṛbli, “ɖt I c’nt unḍtec t wrc ɖ qsćn on bhaf v a ćîld hu hz bn xpeld – ”

“Fr w’v nvr in ɖ līst noun ẃt!” Msz. Grǒs dclerd.

“Fr wicidnis. Fr ẃt els – ẃn h’z so clevr n bytifl n prfict? Z h stypid? Z h untîdi? Z h infrm? Z h il-nećrd? H’z xqizit – so it cn b onli ɖt; n ɖt wd opn p ɖ hol ʈñ. Aftr ol,” I sd, “it’s ɖer uncl’z fōlt. F h left hir sć ppl – !”

“H dd’nt riyli in ɖ līst nǒ ɖm. Ɖ fōlt’s mîn.” Ś hd trnd qt pel.

“Wel, y ś’nt sufr,” I ansrd.

“Ɖ ćildṛn ś’nt!” ś imfaticli rtrnd.

I wz sîḷnt aẃl; w lct at ć uɖr. “Ɖen ẃt am I t tel him?”

“Y nīd’nt tel him enʈñ. I’l tel him.”

I meźrd ɖs. “D y mīn y’l rait – ?” Rmemḅrñ ś cd’nt, I còt mslf p. “Hǎ d y cḿṇcet?”

“I tel ɖ beilif. H raits.”

“N śd y lîc him t rait ǎr stori?”

Mî qsćn hd a sarcastic fors ɖt I hd nt fŭli intndd, n it md hr, aftr a momnt, inconsiqntli brec dǎn. Ɖ tirz wr agn in hr îz. “Ā, mis, y rait!”

“Wel – tnît,” I at last ansrd; n on ɖs w seṗretd.

___

XVII

I  wnt so far, in ɖ īvnñ, az t mc a bginñ. Ɖ weɖr hd ćenjd bac, a gret wind wz abrōd, n bnʈ ɖ lamp, in mî rūm, wɖ Flora at pīs bsd m, I sat fr a loñ tîm bfr a blanc śīt v pepr n lisnd t ɖ laś v ɖ ren n ɖ batr v ɖ gusts. Fîṇli I wnt ǎt, tecñ a candl; I crost ɖ pasij n lisnd a minit at Mîlz’z dor. Ẃt, undr mî endlis obseśn, I hd bn impeld t lisn fr wz sm btreyl v hiz nt biyñ at rest, n I prezntli còt wn, bt nt in ɖ form I hd xpctd. Hiz vôs tncld ǎt. “I se, y ɖr – cm in.” It wz a geyti in ɖ glūm!

I wnt in wɖ mî lît n faund him, in bed, vri wîd awec, bt vri mć at hiz īz. “Wel, ẃt r y p t?” h asct wɖ a gres v sośbiḷti in ẃć it ocŕd t m ɖt Msz. Grǒs, hd ś bn preznt, mt hv lct in ven fr prūf ɖt enʈñ wz “ǎt.”I std ovr him wɖ mî candl. “Hǎ dd y nǒ I wz ɖr?”

“Ẃ, v cors I hŕd y. Dd y fansi y md no nôz? Y’r lîc a trūp v cavlri!” h bytifli laft.

“Ɖen y wr’nt aslip?”

“Nt mć! I lî awec n ʈnc.”

I hd pt mî candl, dzînidli, a śort we of, n ɖen, az h hld ǎt hiz frendli old hand t m, hd sat dǎn on ɖ éj v hiz bed. “Ẃt z it,” I asct, “ɖt y ʈnc v?”

“Ẃt in ɖ wrld, mî dir, bt y?

“Ā, ɖ prîd I tec in yr aprīśieśn dz’nt insist on ɖt! I hd so far rɖr y slept.”

“Wel, I ʈnc olso, y nǒ, v ɖs qir biznis v ǎrz.”

I marct ɖ cūlnis v hiz frm litl hand. “V ẃt qir biznis, Mîlz?”

“Ẃ, ɖ we y brñ m p. N ol ɖ rest!”

I ferli hld mî breʈ a minit, n īvn fṛm mî gliṃrñ tepr ɖr wz lît inuf t śo hǎ h smîld p at m fṛm hiz pilo. “Ẃt d y mīn bî ol ɖ rest?”

“Ǒ, y nǒ, y nǒ!”

I cd se nʈñ fr a minit, ɖo I flt, az I hld hiz hand n ǎr îz cntinyd t mīt, ɖt mî sîḷns hd ol ɖ er v admitñ hiz ćarj n ɖt nʈñ in ɖ hol wrld v riaḷti wz phps at ɖt momnt so fabyḷs az ǎr acćl rleśn. “Srtnli y śl g bac t scūl,” I sd, “f it b ɖt ɖt trublz y. Bt nt t ɖ old ples – w mst fînd anɖr, a betr. Hǎ cd I nǒ it dd trubl y, ɖs qsćn, ẃn y nvr tld m so, nvr spouc v it at ol?” Hiz clir, liṣnñ fes, fremd in its smuɖ ẃîtnis, md him fr ɖ minit az apilñ az sm wistfl peśnt in a ćildṛn’z hospitl; n I wd hv gvn, az ɖ rzmbḷns cem t m, ol I pzest on rʈ riyli t b ɖ nrs or ɖ sistr v ćaṛti hu mt hv hlpt t kr him. Wel, īvn az it wz, I phps mt hlp! “D y nǒ y’v nvr sd a wrd t m abt yr scūl – I mīn ɖ old wn; nvr mnśnd it in eni we?”

H sīmd t wundr; h smîld wɖ ɖ sem luvlinis. Bt h clirli gend tîm; h wêtd, h cōld fr gîdns. “Hv’nt I?” It wz’nt fr m t hlp him – it wz fr ɖ ʈñ I hd met!

Smʈñ in hiz ton n ɖ xpreśn v hiz fes, az I got ɖs fṛm him, set mî hart ecñ wɖ sć a pañ az it hd nvr yt noun; so unutṛbli tućñ wz it t si hiz litl bren puzld n hiz litl rzorsz taxt t ple, undr ɖ spel leid on him, a part v iṇsns n cnsistnsi. “No, nvr – fṛm ɖ aur y cem bac. Y’v nvr mnśnd t m wn v yr mastrz, wn v yr comredz, nr ɖ līst litl ʈñ ɖt evr hapnd t y at scūl. Nvr, litl Mîlz – no, nvr – hv y gvn m an ñclñ v enʈñ ɖt me hv hapnd ɖr. Ɖrfr y cn fansi hǎ mć I’m in ɖ darc. Untl y cem ǎt, ɖt we, ɖs mornñ, y hd, sins ɖ frst aur I sw y, scers īvn md a refṛns t enʈñ in yr prīvịs lîf. Y sīmd so prf̣cli t axpt ɖ preznt.” It wz xtrordnri hǎ mî abṣlut cnvix́n v hiz sīcrit pricoṣti (or ẃtvr I mt cōl ɖ pôzn v an inflụns ɖt I derd bt haf t frêz) md him, in spît v ɖ fent breʈ v hiz inwd trubl, apir az axesbl az an oldr prsn – impozd him olmst az an inṭlecćl īql. “I ʈt y wontd t g on az y r.”

It struc m ɖt at ɖs h jst fentli culrd. H gev, at eni ret, lîc a conṿlesnt slîtli ftīgd, a lanḡd śec v hiz hed. “I d’nt – I d’nt. I wont t gt awe.”

“Y’r tîrd v Blai?”

“Ǒ, no, I lîc Blai.”

“Wel, ɖen – ?”

“Ǒ, y nǒ ẃt a bô wonts!”

I flt ɖt I dd’nt nǒ so wel az Mîlz, n I tc tmprri refyj. “Y wont t g t yr uncl?”

Agn, at ɖs, wɖ hiz swīt îronic fes, h md a muvmnt on ɖ pilo. “Ā, y c’nt gt of wɖ ɖt!”

I wz sîḷnt a litl, n it wz I, nǎ, I ʈnc, hu ćenjd culr. “Mî dir, I d’nt wont t gt of!”

“Y c’nt, īvn f y d. Y c’nt, y c’nt!” – h le bytifli stẹrñ. “Mî uncl mst cm dǎn, n y mst cmplitli setl ʈñz.”

“F w d,” I rtrnd wɖ sm spirit, “y me b śr it wl b t tec y qt awe.”

“Wel, d’nt y unḍstand ɖt ɖt’s xacli ẃt I’m wrcñ fr? Y’l hv t tel him – abt ɖ we y’v let it ol drop: y’l hv t tel him a tṛmnḍs lot!”

Ɖ xlteśn wɖ ẃć h utrd ɖs hlpt m smhǎ, fr ɖ instnt, t mīt him rɖr mor. “N hǎ mć wl y, Mîlz, hv t tel him? Ɖr r ʈñz h’l asc y!”

H trnd it ovr. “Vri lîcli. Bt ẃt ʈñz?”

“Ɖ ʈñz y’v nvr tld m. T mc p hiz mînd ẃt t d wɖ y. H c’nt snd y bac – ”

“Ǒ, I d’nt wont t g bac!” h brouc in. “I wont a ny fīld.”

H sd it wɖ admṛbl sreṇti, wɖ poẓtiv unimpīćbl geyti; n dǎtlis it wz ɖt vri not ɖt most ivoct fr m ɖ pôńnsi, ɖ uņaćṛl ćîldiś traɉdi, v hiz probbl ri’piṛns at ɖ end v ʈri munʈs wɖ ol ɖs bṛvādo n stl mor dsonr. It oṿẃlmd m nǎ ɖt I śd nvr b ebl t ber ɖt, n it md m let mslf g. I ʈrù mslf upn him n in ɖ tndrnis v mî piti I imbrest him. “Dir litl Mîlz, dir litl Mîlz – !”

Mî fes wz clos t hiz, n h let m cis him, simpli tecñ it wɖ induljnt gd hymr. “Wel, old ledi?”

“Z ɖr nʈñ – nʈñ at ol ɖt y wont t tel m?”

H trnd of a litl, fesñ rnd twd ɖ wōl n holdñ p hiz hand t lc at az wn hd sìn sic ćildṛn lc. “I’v tld y – I tld y ɖs mornñ.”

Ǒ, I wz sori fr him! “Ɖt y jst wont m nt t wuri y?”

H lct rnd at m nǎ, az f in recgniśn v mî unḍstandñ him; ɖen evr so jntli, “T let m alon,” h rplaid.

Ɖr wz īvn a snğlr litl digṇti in it, smʈñ ɖt md m rlis him, yt, ẃn I hd slǒli rizn, lingr bsd him. God nz I nvr wśt t haṛs him, bt I flt ɖt mirli, at ɖs, t trn mî bac on him wz t abandn or, t pt it mor trūli, t lūz him. “I’v jst bgun a letr t yr uncl,” I sd.

“Wel, ɖen, finiś it!”

I wêtd a minit. “Ẃt hapnd bfr?”

H gezd p at m agn. “Bfr ẃt?”

“Bfr y cem bac. N bfr y wnt awe.”

Fr sm tîm h wz sîḷnt, bt h cntinyd t mīt mî îz. “Ẃt hapnd?”

It md m, ɖ sǎnd v ɖ wrdz, in ẃć it sīmd t m ɖt I còt fr ɖ vri frst tîm a smōl fent qevr v cnsntñ conśsnis – it md m drop on mî niz bsd ɖ bed n sīz wns mor ɖ ćans v pzesñ him. “Dir litl Mîlz, dir litl Mîlz, f y ń hǎ I wont t hlp y! It’s onli ɖt, it’s nʈñ bt ɖt, n I’d rɖr dî ɖn gv y a pen or d y a roñ – I’d rɖr dî ɖn hrt a her v y. Dir litl Mîlz” – ǒ, I bròt it ǎt nǎ īvn f I śd g tù far – “I jst wont y t hlp m t sev y!” Bt I ń in a momnt aftr ɖs ɖt I hd gn tù far. Ɖ ansr t mî apil wz instnteńs, bt it cem in ɖ form v an xtrordnri blast n ćil, a gust v frozn er, n a śec v ɖ rūm az gret az f, in ɖ wîld wind, ɖ cesmnt hd craśt in. Ɖ bô gev a lǎd, hî śrīc, ẃć, lost in ɖ rest v ɖ śoc v sǎnd, mt hv sīmd, indistñtli, ɖo I wz so clos t him, a not îɖr v jūḅleśn or v terr. I jumt t mî fīt agn n wz conśs v darcnis. So fr a momnt w rmend, ẃl I stérd abt m n sw ɖt ɖ drwn crtnz wr unstŕd n ɖ windo tît. “Ẃ, ɖ candl’z ǎt!” I ɖen craid.

“It wz I hu blù it, dir!” sd Mîlz.

___

XVIII

Ɖ  nxt de, aftr lésnz, Msz. Grǒs faund a momnt t se t m qaytli: “Hv y ritn, mis?”

“Yes – I’v ritn.” Bt I dd’nt ad – fr ɖ aur – ɖt mî letr, sìld n d’rectd, wz stl in mî pocit. Ɖr wd b tîm inuf t snd it bfr ɖ mesinjr śd g t ɖ vilij. Mnẃl ɖr hd bn, on ɖ part v mî pyplz, no mor briłnt, mor xmpḷri mornñ. It wz xacli az f ɖe hd bʈ hd at hart t glos ovr eni rīsnt litl frix́n. Ɖe pformd ɖ diziist fìts v ariʈṃtic, sōrñ qt ǎt v fībl renj, n prṗtretd, in hayr spirits ɖn evr, jịgraficl n historicl jocs. It wz cnspiks v cors in Mîlz in ptiklr ɖt h apird t wś t śo hǎ īẓli h cd let m dǎn. Ɖs ćîld, t mî meṃri, riyli livz in a setñ v byti n miẓri ɖt no wrdz cn trnzlet; ɖr wz a dstñśn ol hiz ǒn in evri impuls h rvild; nvr wz a smōl naćṛl crīćr, t ɖ uniniśietd î ol francnis n frīdm, a mor injīńs, a mor xtrordnri litl jntlmn. I hd ppć̣li t gard agnst ɖ wundr v contmpleśn intu ẃć mî iniśietd vy btreid m; t ćec ɖ ireḷvnt gêz n dscurijd sai in ẃć I constntli bʈ atact n rnǎnst ɖ inigma v ẃt sć a litl jntlmn cd hv dn ɖt dzrvd a penlti. Se ɖt, bî ɖ darc proḍji I ń, ɖ imaɉneśn v ol īvl hd bn opnd p t him: ol ɖ justis wɖn m ect fr ɖ prūf ɖt it cd evr hv flǎrd intu an act.H hd nvr, at eni ret, bn sć a litl jntlmn az ẃn, aftr ǎr rli dinr on ɖs dredfl de, h cem rnd t m n asct f I śd’nt lîc him, fr haf an aur, t ple t m. Devid pleyñ t Sōl cd nvr hv śoun a fînr sns v ɖ oceźn. It wz litṛli a ćarmñ xbiśn v tact, v magnniṃti, n qt tanṭmǎnt t hiz seyñ ǎtrît: “Ɖ tru naits w luv t rīd abt nvr pś an advantij tù far. I nǒ ẃt y mīn nǎ: y mīn ɖt – t b let alon yrslf n nt foloud p – y’l sīs t wuri n spî upn m, w’nt cīp m so clos t y, wl let m g n cm. Wel, I ‘cm,’ y si – bt I d’nt g! Ɖr’l b plenti v tîm fr ɖt. I d riyli dlît in yr ssayti, n I onli wont t śo y ɖt I cntndd fr a prínsipl.” It me b imajind ẃɖr I rzistd ɖs apil or feld t acumṗni him agn, hand in hand, t ɖ scūlrūm. H sat dǎn at ɖ old piano n pleid az h hd nvr pleid; n f ɖr r ɖoz hu ʈnc h hd betr hv bn cicñ a ftbōl I cn onli se ɖt I hoļi agri wɖ ɖm. Fr at ɖ end v a tîm ɖt undr hiz inflụns I hd qt sīst t meźr, I startd p wɖ a strenj sns v hvñ litṛli slept at mî post. It wz aftr lunćn, n bî ɖ scūlrūm fîr, n yt I hd’nt riyli, in ɖ līst, slept: I hd onli dn smʈñ mć wrs – I hd fgotn. Ẃr, ol ɖs tîm, wz Flora? Ẃn I pt ɖ qsćn t Mîlz, h pleid on a minit bfr anṣrñ n ɖen cd onli se: “Ẃ, mî dir, hǎ d I nǒ?” – brecñ morovr intu a hapi laf ẃć, imīɉtli aftr, az f it wr a vocl acumṗnimnt, h pṛloñd intu inc̣hiṛnt, xtraṿgnt soñ.

I wnt stret t mî rūm, bt hiz sistr wz nt ɖr; ɖen, bfr gwñ dǎnsterz, I lct intu sevṛl uɖrz. Az ś wz nẃr abt ś wd śrli b wɖ Msz. Grǒs, hūm, in ɖ cumf̣t v ɖt ʈiyri, I acordñli pṛsidd in qst v. I faund hr ẃr I hd faund hr ɖ īvnñ bfr, bt ś met mî qc ćalinj wɖ blanc, scerd ignṛns. Ś hd onli s’pozd ɖt, aftr ɖ rpast, I hd carid of bʈ ɖ ćildṛn; az t ẃć ś wz qt in hr rît, fr it wz ɖ vri frst tîm I hd alaud ɖ litl grl ǎt v mî sît wɖt sm speśl pṛviźn. V cors nǎ indd ś mt b wɖ ɖ meidz, so ɖt ɖ imīɉt ʈñ wz t lc fr hr wɖt an er v alarm. Ɖs w promtli arenjd btwn s; bt ẃn, ten minits lêtr n in psywns v ǎr arenjmnt, w met in ɖ hōl, it wz onli t rport on îɖr sîd ɖt aftr gardd inqîriz w hd oltgɖr feld t tres hr. Fr a minit ɖr, apart fṛm obẓveśn, w xćenjd ḿt alarmz, n I cd fīl wɖ ẃt hî inṭrest mî frend rtrnd m ol ɖoz I hd fṛm ɖ frst gvn hr.

“Ś’l b abv,” ś prezntli sd – “in wn v ɖ rūmz y hv’nt srćt.”

“No; ś’z at a distns.” I hd md p mî mînd. “Ś hz gn ǎt.”

Msz. Grǒs stérd. “Wɖt a hat?”

I naćṛli olso lct volymz. “Z’nt ɖt wmn olwz wɖt wn?”

“Ś’z wɖ hr?

“Ś’z wɖ hr!” I dclerd. “W mst fînd ɖm.”

Mî hand wz on mî frend’z arm, bt ś feld fr ɖ momnt, cnfruntd wɖ sć an acǎnt v ɖ matr, t rspond t mî preśr. Ś cḿnd, on ɖ contrri, on ɖ spot, wɖ hr unīzinis. “N ẃr’z Mastr Mîlz?”

“Ǒ, h’z wɖ Qint. Ɖ’r in ɖ scūlrūm.”

“Lord, mis!” Mî vy, I wz mslf awer – n ɖrfr I s’poz mî ton – hd nvr yt rīćt so cām an aśuṛns.

“Ɖ tric’s pleid,” I wnt on; “ɖ’v s’xesf̣li wrct ɖer plan. H faund ɖ most dvîn litl we t cīp m qayt ẃl ś wnt of.”

“‘Dvîn’?” Msz. Grǒs bwildrdli ecoud.

“Infrṇl, ɖen!” I olmst ćirf̣li rjônd. “H hz pṛvîdd fr himslf az wel. Bt cm!”

Ś hd hlplisli glūmd at ɖ upr rījnz. “Y līv him – ?”

“So loñ wɖ Qint? Yes – I d’nt mînd ɖt nǎ.”

Ś olwz endd, at ɖz momnts, bî gtñ pześn v mî hand, n in ɖs manr ś cd at preznt stl ste m. Bt aftr gaspñ an instnt at mî sudn reẓgneśn, “Bcz v yr letr?” ś īgrli bròt ǎt.

I qcli, bî we v ansr, flt fr mî letr, drù it fʈ, hld it p, n ɖen, friyñ mslf, wnt n leid it on ɖ gret hōl tebl. “Lūc wl tec it,” I sd az I cem bac. I rīćt ɖ hǎsdor n opnd it; I wz olrdi on ɖ steps.

Mî cmpańn stl dḿrd: ɖ storm v ɖ nît n ɖ rli mornñ hd dropt, bt ɖ afṭnun wz damp n gre. I cem dǎn t ɖ drîv ẃl ś std in ɖ dorwe. “Y g wɖ nʈñ on?”

“Ẃt d I cer ẃn ɖ ćîld hz nʈñ? I c’nt wêt t dres,” I craid, “n f y mst d so, I līv y. Trî mnẃl, yrslf, upsterz.”

“Wɖ ɖm?” Ǒ, on ɖs, ɖ pur wmn promtli jônd m!

___

XIX

W  wnt stret t ɖ lec, az it wz cōld at Blai, n I der se rîtli cōld, ɖo I rflect ɖt it me in fact hv bn a śīt v wōtr les rmarcbl ɖn it apird t mî untravld îz. Mî aqentns wɖ śīts v wōtr wz smōl, n ɖ pūl v Blai, at ol ivnts on ɖ fy oceźnz v mî cnsntñ, undr ɖ pṛtx́n v mî pyplz, t afrunt its srfis in ɖ old flat-botmd bot murd ɖr fr ǎr ys, hd imprest m bʈ wɖ its xtnt n its ajteśn. Ɖ yźl ples v imbarceśn wz haf a mîl fṛm ɖ hǎs, bt I hd an intiṃt cnvix́n ɖt, ẃrvr Flora mt b, ś wz nt nir hom. Ś hd nt gvn m ɖ slip fr eni smōl advnćr, n, sins ɖ de v ɖ vri gret wn ɖt I hd śerd wɖ hr bî ɖ pond, I hd bn awer, in ǎr wōcs, v ɖ qortr t ẃć ś most inclînd. Ɖs wz ẃ I hd nǎ gvn t Msz. Grǒs’z steps so marct a d’rex́n – a d’rex́n ɖt md hr, ẃn ś psivd it, opoz a rzistns ɖt śoud m ś wz freśli misṭfaid. “Y’r gwñ t ɖ wōtr, Mis? – y ʈnc ś’z in – ?”

“Ś me b, ɖo ɖ depʈ z, I b’liv, nẃr vri gret. Bt ẃt I juj most lîcli z ɖt ś’z on ɖ spot fṛm ẃć, ɖ uɖr de, w sw tgɖr ẃt I tld y.”“Ẃn ś pritndd nt t si – ?”

“Wɖ ɖt astǎndñ slf-pześn? I’v olwz bn śr ś wontd t g bac alon. N nǎ hr bruɖr hz manijd it fr hr.”

Msz. Grǒs stl std ẃr ś hd stopt. “Y s’poz ɖe riyli tōc v ɖm?”

“I cd mīt ɖs wɖ a confidns! Ɖe se ʈñz ɖt, f w hŕd ɖm, wd simpli apōl s.”

“N f ś z ɖr – ”

“Yes?”

“Ɖen Mis Jesl z?”

“Bynd a dǎt. Y śl si.”

“Ǒ, ʈanc y!” mî frend craid, plantd so frm ɖt, tecñ it in, I wnt stret on wɖt hr. Bî ɖ tîm I rīćt ɖ pūl, hvr, ś wz clos bhnd m, n I ń ɖt, ẃtvr, t hr aprihnśn, mt bfōl m, ɖ xpoźr v mî ssayti struc hr az hr līst denjr. Ś xheld a mon v rlif az w at last cem in sît v ɖ gretr part v ɖ wōtr wɖt a sît v ɖ ćîld. Ɖr wz no tres v Flora on ɖt nirr sîd v ɖ banc ẃr mî obẓveśn v hr hd bn most starṭlñ, n nn on ɖ oṗzit éj, ẃr, sev fr a marjin v sm twenti yardz, a ʈic cops cem dǎn t ɖ wōtr. Ɖ pond, obloñ in śep, hd a widʈ so scant cmperd t its leñʈ ɖt, wɖ its endz ǎt v vy, it mt hv bn tecn fr a scant rivr. W lct at ɖ emti xpans, n ɖen I flt ɖ sjsćn v mî frend’z îz. I ń ẃt ś mnt n I rplaid wɖ a neġtiv hedśec.

“No, no; wêt! Ś hz tecn ɖ bot.”

Mî cmpańn stérd at ɖ vecnt murñples n ɖen agn acrs ɖ lec. “Ɖen ẃr z it?”

“Ǎr nt siyñ it z ɖ strongist v prūfs. Ś hz yzd it t g ovr, n ɖen hz manijd t hîd it.”

“Ol alon – ɖt ćîld?”

“Ś’z nt alon, n at sć tîmz ś’z nt a ćîld: ś’z an old, old wmn.” I scand ol ɖ viẓbl śor ẃl Msz. Grǒs tc agn, intu ɖ qir elimnt I ofrd hr, wn v hr plunjz v sbmiśn; ɖen I pôntd ǎt ɖt ɖ bot mt prf̣cli b in a smōl refyj formd bî wn v ɖ rsesz v ɖ pūl, an indnteśn masct, fr ɖ hiɖr sîd, bî a pṛjx́n v ɖ banc n bî a clump v triz growñ clos t ɖ wōtr.

“Bt f ɖ bot’s ɖr, ẃr on rʈ z ś?” mî colīg añśsli asct.

“Ɖt’s xacli ẃt w mst lrn.” N I startd t wōc frɖr.

“Bî gwñ ol ɖ we rnd?”

“Srtnli, far az it z. It wl tec s bt ten minits, bt it’s far inuf t hv md ɖ ćîld prifŕ nt t wōc. Ś wnt stret ovr.”

“Lwz!” craid mî frend agn; ɖ ćen v mî lojic wz evr tù mć fr hr. It dragd hr at mî hìlz īvn nǎ, n ẃn w hd got hafwe rnd – a dīvịs, tîrsm proses, on grǎnd mć brocn n bî a paʈ ćoct wɖ oṿgroʈ – I pōzd t gv hr breʈ. I sstend hr wɖ a gretfl arm, aśurñ hr ɖt ś mt hyjli hlp m; n ɖs startd s afreś, so ɖt in ɖ cors v bt fy minits mor w rīćt a pônt fṛm ẃć w faund ɖ bot t b ẃr I hd s’pozd it. It hd bn intnśṇli left az mć az poṣbl ǎt v sît n wz taid t wn v ɖ stecs v a fns ɖt cem, jst ɖr, dǎn t ɖ brinc n ɖt hd bn an asistns t disimbarcñ. I rec̣gnîzd, az I lct at ɖ per v śort, ʈic òrz, qt sefli drwn p, ɖ pṛdijs caṛctr v ɖ fìt fr a litl grl; bt I hd livd, bî ɖs tîm, tù loñ amñ wundrz n hd pantd t tù mni lîvlịr meźrz. Ɖr wz a get in ɖ fns, ʈru ẃć w pást, n ɖt bròt s, aftr a trîf̣lñ inṭvl, mor intu ɖ opn. Ɖen, “Ɖr ś z!” w bʈ xclemd at wns.

Flora, a śort we of, std bfr s on ɖ gras n smîld az f hr pformns wz nǎ cmplit. Ɖ nxt ʈñ ś dd, hvr, wz t stūp stret dǎn n pluc – qt az f it wr ol ś wz ɖr fr – a big, ugli spre v wiɖrd frn. I instntli bcem śr ś hd jst cm ǎt v ɖ cops. Ś wêtd fr s, nt hrslf tecñ a step, n I wz conśs v ɖ rer s’lemṇti wɖ ẃć w prezntli aproćt hr. Ś smîld n smîld, n w met; bt it wz ol dn in a sîḷns bî ɖs tîm flegṛntli omiṇs. Msz. Grǒs wz ɖ frst t brec ɖ spel: ś ʈrù hrslf on hr niz n, drw̃ ɖ ćîld t hr brest, claspt in a loñ imbres ɖ litl tndr, yīldñ bodi. Ẃl ɖs dum cnvulśn lastd I cd onli woć it – ẃć I dd ɖ mor intntli ẃn I sw Flora’z fes pīp at m ovr ǎr cmpańn’z śoldr. It wz sirịs nǎ – ɖ flicr hd left it; bt it streñʈnd ɖ pañ wɖ ẃć I at ɖt momnt envid Msz. Grǒs ɖ simpliṣti v hr rleśn. Stl, ol ɖs ẃl, nʈñ mor pást btwn s sev ɖt Flora hd let hr fūliś frn agn drop t ɖ grǎnd. Ẃt ś n I hd vrć̣li sd t ć uɖr wz ɖt prītxts wr yslis nǎ. Ẃn Msz. Grǒs fîṇli got p ś cept ɖ ćîld’z hand, so ɖt ɖ tū wr stl bfr m; n ɖ snğlr retisns v ǎr cḿńn wz īvn mor marct in ɖ franc lc ś lōnćt m. “I’l b hañd,” it sd, “f I’l spīc!”

It wz Flora hu, gezñ ol ovr m in candid wundr, wz ɖ frst. Ś wz struc wɖ ǎr bér-hedd aspect. “Ẃ, ẃr r yr ʈñz?”

“Ẃr yrz r, mî dir!” I promtli rtrnd.

Ś hd olrdi got bac hr geyti, n apird t tec ɖs az an ansr qt sfiśnt. “N ẃr’z Mîlz?” ś wnt on.

Ɖr wz smʈñ in ɖ smōl valr v it ɖt qt finiśt m: ɖz ʈri wrdz fṛm hr wr, in a flaś lîc ɖ glitr v a drwn bled, ɖ josl v ɖ cup ɖt mî hand, fr wīcs n wīcs, hd hld hî n fl t ɖ brim ɖt nǎ, īvn bfr spīcñ, I flt oṿflo in a delyj. “I’l tel y f y’l tel m – ” I hŕd mslf se, ɖen hŕd ɖ tremr in ẃć it brouc.

“Wel, ẃt?”

Msz. Grǒs’z sspns blezd at m, bt it wz tù lêt nǎ, n I bròt ɖ ʈñ ǎt hansmli. “Ẃr, mî pet, z Mis Jesl?”

___

XX

Jst az in ɖ ćrćyard wɖ Mîlz, ɖ hol ʈñ wz upn s. Mć az I hd md v ɖ fact ɖt ɖs nem hd nvr wns, btwn s, bn sǎndd, ɖ qc, smitn gler wɖ ẃć ɖ ćîld’z fes nǎ rsivd it ferli lîcnd mî brīć v ɖ sîḷns t ɖ smaś v a pein v glas. It add t ɖ inṭpozñ crî, az f t ste ɖ blo, ɖt Msz. Grǒs, at ɖ sem instnt, utrd ovr mî vayḷns – ɖ śrīc v a crīćr scerd, or rɖr wūndd, ẃć, in trn, wɖn a fy secndz, wz cmplitd bî a gasp v mî ǒn. I sizd mî colīg’z arm. “Ś’z ɖr, ś’z ɖr!”

Mis Jesl std bfr s on ɖ oṗzit banc xacli az ś hd std ɖ uɖr tîm, n I rmembr, strenjli, az ɖ frst fīlñ nǎ pṛdyst in m, mî ʈril v jô at hvñ bròt on a prūf. Ś wz ɖr, n I wz jusṭfaid; ś wz ɖr, n I wz nɖr cruwl nr mad. Ś wz ɖr fr pur scerd Msz. Grǒs, bt ś wz ɖr most fr Flora; n no momnt v mî monstṛs tîm wz phps so xtrordnri az ɖt in ẃć I conśsli ʈrù ǎt t hr – wɖ ɖ sns ɖt, pel n ravṇs dīmn az ś wz, ś wd cać n unḍstand it – an inartikḷt mesij v grattyd. Ś rouz irect on ɖ spot mî frend n I hd lêtli qitd, n ɖr wz nt, in ol ɖ loñ rīć v hr dzîr, an inć v hr īvl ɖt fél śort. Ɖs frst vividnis v viźn n imośn wr ʈñz v a fy secndz, jrñ ẃć Msz. Grǒs’z dezd blinc acrs t ẃr I pôntd struc m az a sovrin sîn ɖt ś tù at last sw, jst az it carid mî ǒn îz prisipittli t ɖ ćîld. Ɖ reṿleśn ɖen v ɖ manr in ẃć Flora wz afctd startld m, in truʈ, far mor ɖn it wd hv dn t fînd hr olso mirli ajtetd, fr d’rect dsme wz v cors nt ẃt I hd xpctd. Priperd n on hr gard az ǎr psyt hd acć̣li md hr, ś wd rpres evri btreyl; n I wz ɖrfr śecn, on ɖ spot, bî mî frst glims v ɖ ptiklr wn fr ẃć I hd nt alaud. T si hr, wɖt a cnvulśn v hr smōl pnc fes, nt īvn fên t glans in ɖ d’rex́n v ɖ proḍji I anǎnst, bt onli, instd v ɖt, trn at m an xpreśn v hard, stil graṿti, an xpreśn abṣlutli ny n unpresdntd n ɖt apird t rīd n akz n juj m – ɖs wz a stroc ɖt smhǎ cnvrtd ɖ litl grl hrslf intu ɖ vri prezns ɖt cd mc m qêl. I qeld īvn ɖo mî srttyd ɖt ś ʈuṛli sw wz nvr gretr ɖn at ɖt instnt, n in ɖ imīɉt nīd t dfnd mslf I cōld it paśṇtli t witnis. “Ś’z ɖr, y litl unhapi ʈñ – ɖr, ɖr, ɖr, n y si hr az wel az y si m!” I hd sd śortli bfr t Msz. Grǒs ɖt ś wz nt at ɖz tîmz a ćîld, bt an old, old wmn, n ɖt dscripśn v hr cd nt hv bn mor strîcñli cnfrmd ɖn in ɖ we in ẃć, fr ol ansr t ɖs, ś simpli śoud m, wɖt a cnseśn, an admiśn, v hr îz, a cǎntinns v dīpr n dīpr, v indd sudnli qt fixt, repṛbeśn. I wz bî ɖs tîm – f I cn pt ɖ hol ʈñ at ol tgɖr – mor apōld at ẃt I me proprli cōl hr manr ɖn at enʈñ els, ɖo it wz simlteńsli wɖ ɖs ɖt I bcem awer v hvñ Msz. Grǒs olso, n vri formiḍbli, t recn wɖ. Mî eldr cmpańn, ɖ nxt momnt, at eni ret, blotd ǎt evrʈñ bt hr ǒn fluśt fes n hr lǎd, śoct protest, a brst v hî dis’pruvl. “Ẃt a dredfl trn, t b śr, mis! Ẃr on rʈ d y si enʈñ?”I cd onli grasp hr mor qcli yt, fr īvn ẃl ś spouc ɖ hidịs plen prezns std undimd n undōntd. It hd olrdi lastd a minit, n it lastd ẃl I cntinyd, sizñ mî colīg, qt ʈrustñ hr at it n prizntñ hr t it, t insist wɖ mî pôntñ hand. “Y d’nt si hr xacli az w si? – y mīn t se y d’nt nǎ – nǎ? Ś’z az big az a blezñ fîr! Onli lc, dirist wmn, lc – !” Ś lct, īvn az I dd, n gev m, wɖ hr dīp gron v ngeśn, rpulśn, cmpaśn – ɖ mixćr wɖ hr piti v hr rlif at hr xmśn – a sns, tućñ t m īvn ɖen, ɖt ś wd hv bact m p f ś cd. I mt wel hv nīdd ɖt, fr wɖ ɖs hard blo v ɖ prūf ɖt hr îz wr hoplisli sìld I flt mî ǒn sićueśn hoṛbli crumbl, I flt – I sw – mî livid prīdisesr pres, fṛm hr pziśn, on mî dfit, n I wz conśs, mor ɖn ol, v ẃt I śd hv fṛm ɖs instnt t dīl wɖ in ɖ astǎndñ litl attyd v Flora. Intu ɖs attyd Msz. Grǒs imīɉtli n vayḷntli entrd, brecñ, īvn ẃl ɖr pirst ʈru mî sns v ruin a pṛdijs prîṿt trîumf, intu breʈlis ri’śuṛns.

“Ś z’nt ɖr, litl ledi, n nbdi’z ɖr – n y nvr si nʈñ, mî swīt! Hǎ cn pur Mis Jesl – ẃn pur Mis Jesl’z ded n berid? W nǒ, d’nt w, luv?” – n ś apild, blunḍrñ in, t ɖ ćîld. “It’s ol a mir mstec n a wuri n a joc – n w’l g hom az fast az w cn!”

Ǎr cmpańn, on ɖs, hd rspondd wɖ a strenj, qc primnis v pṛprayti, n ɖe wr agn, wɖ Msz. Grǒs on hr fīt, ynîtd, az it wr, in pend opziśn t m. Flora cntinyd t fix m wɖ hr smōl masc v repṛbeśn, n īvn at ɖt minit I preid God t fgiv m fr sīmñ t si ɖt, az ś std ɖr holdñ tît t ǎr frend’z dres, hr incmpaṛbl ćîldiś byti hd sudnli feld, hd qt vaniśt. I’v sd it olrdi – ś wz litṛli, ś wz hidịsli, hard; ś hd trnd comn n olmst ugli. “I d’nt nǒ ẃt y mīn. I si nbdi. I si nʈñ. I nvr hv. I ʈnc y’r cruwl. I d’nt lîc y!” Ɖen, aftr ɖs dlivṛns, ẃć mt hv bn ɖt v a vulgrli prt litl grl in ɖ strīt, ś hugd Msz. Grǒs mor closli n berid in hr scrts ɖ dredfl litl fes. In ɖs pziśn ś pṛdyst an olmst fyrịs weil. “Tec m awe, tec m awe – ǒ, tec m awe fṛm hr!

“Fṛm m?” I pantd.

“Fṛm y – fṛm y!” ś craid.

Īvn Msz. Grǒs lct acrs at m dsmeid, ẃl I hd nʈñ t d bt cḿṇcet agn wɖ ɖ figr ɖt, on ɖ oṗzit banc, wɖt a muvmnt, az rijidli stil az f caćñ, bynd ɖ inṭvl, ǎr vôsz, wz az vividli ɖr fr mî dzastr az it wz nt ɖr fr mî srvis. Ɖ rećid ćîld hd spocn xacli az f ś hd got fṛm sm ǎtsd sors ć v hr stabñ litl wrdz, n I cd ɖrfr, in ɖ fl dsper v ol I hd t axpt, bt sadli śec mî hed at hr. “F I hd evr dǎtd, ol mî dǎt wd at preznt hv gn. I’v bn livñ wɖ ɖ mizṛbl truʈ, n nǎ it hz onli tù mć clozd rnd m. V cors I’v lost y: I’v inṭfird, n y’v sìn – undr hr dicteśn” – wɖ ẃć I fest, ovr ɖ pūl agn, ǎr infrṇl witnis – “ɖ īzi n prfict we t mīt it. I’v dn mî bst, bt I’v lost y. Gdbî.” Fr Msz. Grǒs I hd an impeṛtiv, an olmst frantic “G, g!” bfr ẃć, in infiṇt dstres, bt ḿtli pzest v ɖ litl grl n clirli cnvinst, in spît v hr blîndnis, ɖt smʈñ ōfl hd ocŕd n sm c’laps ingulft s, ś rtritd, bî ɖ we w hd cm, az fast az ś cd muv.

V ẃt frst hapnd ẃn I wz left alon I hd no subsiqnt meṃri. I onli ń ɖt at ɖ end v, I s’poz, a qortr v an aur, an odṛs dampnis n rufnis, ćilñ n pirsñ mî trubl, hd md m unḍstand ɖt I mst hv ʈroun mslf, on mî fes, on ɖ grǎnd n gvn we t a wîldnis v grīf. I mst hv lein ɖr loñ n craid n sobd, fr ẃn I rezd mî hed ɖ de wz olmst dn. I got p n lct a momnt, ʈru ɖ twîlît, at ɖ gre pūl n its blanc, hōntd éj, n ɖen I tc, bac t ɖ hǎs, mî driri n dificlt cors. Ẃn I rīćt ɖ get in ɖ fns ɖ bot, t mî s’prîz, wz gn, so ɖt I hd a freś rflex́n t mc on Flora’z xtrordnri cmand v ɖ sićueśn. Ś pást ɖt nît, bî ɖ most tasit, n I śd ad, wr nt ɖ wrd so gṛtesc a fōls not, ɖ hapiist v arenjmnts, wɖ Msz. Grǒs. I sw nɖr v ɖm on mî rtrn, bt, on ɖ uɖr hand, az bî an ambigẏs compnseśn, I sw a gret dīl v Mîlz. I sw – I cn yz no uɖr frêz – so mć v him ɖt it wz az f it wr mor ɖn it hd evr bn. No īvnñ I hd pást at Blai hd ɖ portnṭs qoḷti v ɖs wn; in spît v ẃć – n in spît olso v ɖ dīpr depʈs v consṭneśn ɖt hd opnd bnʈ mî fīt – ɖr wz litṛli, in ɖ ebñ acćl, an xtrordnṛli swīt sadnis. On rīćñ ɖ hǎs I hd nvr so mć az lct fr ɖ bô; I hd simpli gn stret t mî rūm t ćenj ẃt I wz wẹrñ n t tec in, at a glans, mć mtirịl tstiṃni t Flora’z rupćr. Hr litl b’loññz hd ol bn rmuvd. Ẃn lêtr, bî ɖ scūlrūm fîr, I wz srvd wɖ ti bî ɖ yźl meid, I induljd, on ɖ articl v mî uɖr pypl, in no inqîri ẃtvr. H hd hiz frīdm nǎ – h mt hv it t ɖ end! Wel, h dd hv it; n it cnsistd – in part at līst – v hiz cmñ in at abt et o’cloc n sitñ dǎn wɖ m in sîḷns. On ɖ rmuvl v ɖ tīʈñz I hd bloun ǎt ɖ candlz n drwn mî ćer closr: I wz conśs v a mortl coldnis n flt az f I śd nvr agn b worm. So, ẃn h apird, I wz sitñ in ɖ glo wɖ mî ʈts. H pōzd a momnt bî ɖ dor az f t lc at m; ɖen – az f t śer ɖm – cem t ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ harʈ n sanc intu a ćer. W sat ɖr in abṣlut stilnis; yt h wontd, I flt, t b wɖ m.

___

XXI

Bfr a ny de, in mî rūm, hd fŭli brocn, mî îz opnd t Msz. Grǒs, hu hd cm t mî bedsîd wɖ wrs nyz. Flora wz so marcidli fīṿriś ɖt an ilnis wz phps at hand; ś hd pást a nît v xtrim unrest, a nît ajtetd abv ol bî firz ɖt hd fr ɖer subjict nt in ɖ līst hr formr, bt hoļi hr preznt, guṿnes. It wz nt agnst ɖ poṣbl rientṛns v Mis Jesl on ɖ sīn ɖt ś pṛtstd – it wz cnspiksli n paśṇtli agnst mîn. I wz promtli on mî fīt v cors, n wɖ an imns dīl t asc; ɖ mor ɖt mî frend hd dsrṇbli nǎ grdd hr lônz t mīt m wns mor. Ɖs I flt az sn az I hd pt t hr ɖ qsćn v hr sns v ɖ ćîld’z snseṛti az agnst mî ǒn. “Ś psists in dnayñ t y ɖt ś sw, or hz evr sìn, enʈñ?”

Mî vizitr’z trubl, trūli, wz gret. “Ā, mis, it z’nt a matr on ẃć I cn pś hr! Yt it z’nt îɖr, I mst se, az f I mć nīdd t. It hz md hr, evri inć v hr, qt old.”“Ǒ, I si hr prf̣cli fṛm hir. Ś rznts, fr ol ɖ wrld lîc sm hî litl prṣnij, ɖ impyteśn on hr truʈflnis n, az it wr, hr rspctbiḷti. ‘Mis Jesl indd – ś!’ Ā, ś’z ‘rspctbl,’ ɖ ćit! Ɖ impreśn ś gev m ɖr yesṭde wz, I aśur y, ɖ vri strenjist v ol; it wz qt bynd eni v ɖ uɖrz. I dd pt mî ft in it! Ś’l nvr spīc t m agn.”

Hidịs n obskr az it ol wz, it hld Msz. Grǒs brīfli sîḷnt; ɖen ś grantd mî pônt wɖ a francnis ẃć, I md śr, hd mor bhnd it. “I ʈnc indd, mis, ś nvr wl. Ś d hv a grand manr abt it!”

“N ɖt manr” – I sumd it p – “z practicli ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ hr nǎ!”

Ǒ, ɖt manr, I cd si in mî vizitr’z fes, n nt a litl els bsdz! “Ś ascs m evri ʈri minits f I ʈnc y’r cmñ in.”

“I si – I si.” I, tù, on mî sîd, hd so mć mor ɖn wrct it ǎt. “Hz ś sd t y sins yesṭde – xpt t rpydiet hr fmiliaṛti wɖ enʈñ so dredfl – a sngl uɖr wrd abt Mis Jesl?”

“Nt wn, mis. N v cors y nǒ,” mî frend add, “I tc it fṛm hr, bî ɖ lec, ɖt, jst ɖen n ɖr at līst, ɖr wz nbdi.”

“Rɖr! n, naćṛli, y tec it fṛm hr stl.”

“I d’nt contṛdict hr. Ẃt els cn I d?”

“Nʈñ in ɖ wrld! Y’v ɖ cleṿrist litl prsn t dīl wɖ. Ɖ’v md ɖm – ɖer tū frendz, I mīn – stl clevrr īvn ɖn nećr dd; fr it wz wundṛs mtirịl t ple on! Flora hz nǎ hr grīvns, n ś’l wrc it t ɖ end.”

“Yes, mis; bt t ẃt end?”

“Ẃ, ɖt v dīlñ wɖ m t hr uncl. Ś’l mc m ǎt t him ɖ lǒist crīćr – !”

I winst at ɖ fer śo v ɖ sīn in Msz. Grǒs’z fes; ś lct fr a minit az f ś śarpli sw ɖm tgɖr. “N him hu ʈncs so wel v y!”

“H hz an od we – it cmz ovr m nǎ,” I laft, “ – v pruvñ it! Bt ɖt dz’nt matr. Ẃt Flora wonts, v cors, z t gt rid v m.”

Mî cmpańn brevli cncŕd. “Nvr agn t so mć az lc at y.”

“So ɖt ẃt y’v cm t m nǎ fr,” I asct, “z t spīd m on mî we?” Bfr ś hd tîm t rplî, hvr, I hd hr in ćec. “I’v a betr îdīa – ɖ rzult v mî rflex́nz. Mî gwñ wd sīm ɖ rît ʈñ, n on Súnde I wz teṛbli nir it. Yt ɖt w’nt d. It’s y hu mst g. Y mst tec Flora.”

Mî vizitr, at ɖs, dd speklet. “Bt ẃr in ɖ wrld – ?”

“Awe fṛm hir. Awe fṛm ɖm. Awe, īvn most v ol, nǎ, fṛm m. Stret t hr uncl.”

“Onli t tel on y – ?”

“No, nt ‘onli’! T līv m, in adiśn, wɖ mî reṃdi.”

Ś wz stl veg. “N ẃt z yr reṃdi?”

“Yr loylti, t bgin wɖ. N ɖen Mîlz’z.”

Ś lct at m hard. “D y ʈnc h – ?”

“W’nt, f h hz ɖ ćans, trn on m? Yes, I vnćr stl t ʈnc it. At ol ivnts, I wont t trî. Gt of wɖ hiz sistr az sn az poṣbl n līv m wɖ him alon.” I wz amezd, mslf, at ɖ spirit I hd stl in rzrv, n ɖrfr phps a trîfl ɖ mor discnsrtd at ɖ we in ẃć, in spît v ɖs fîn xampl v it, ś heztetd. “Ɖr’z wn ʈñ, v cors,” I wnt on: “ɖe ms’nt, bfr ś gz, si ć uɖr fr ʈri secndz.” Ɖen it cem ovr m ɖt, in spît v Flora’z prizyṃbl sīqstreśn fṛm ɖ instnt v hr rtrn fṛm ɖ pūl, it mt olrdi b tù lêt. “D y mīn,” I añśsli asct, “ɖt ɖe hv met?”

At ɖs ś qt fluśt. “Ā, mis, I’m nt sć a fūl az ɖt! F I’v bn oblîjd t līv hr ʈri or for tîmz, it hz bn ć tîm wɖ wn v ɖ meidz, n at preznt, ɖo ś’z alon, ś’z loct in sef. N yt – n yt!” Ɖr wr tù mni ʈñz.

“N yt ẃt?”

“Wel, r y so śr v ɖ litl jntlmn?”

“I’m nt śr v enʈñ bt y. Bt I hv, sins last īvnñ, a ny hop. I ʈnc h wonts t gv m an oṗnñ. I d b’liv ɖt – pur litl xqizit reć! – h wonts t spīc. Last īvnñ, in ɖ fîrlît n ɖ sîḷns, h sat wɖ m fr tū aurz az f it wr jst cmñ.”

Msz. Grǒs lct hard, ʈru ɖ windo, at ɖ gre, gaɖ̇rñ de. “N dd it cm?”

“No, ɖo I wêtd n wêtd, I cnfes it dd’nt, n it wz wɖt a brīć v ɖ sîḷns or so mć az a fent aluźn t hiz sistr’z cndiśn n absns ɖt w at last cist fr gd nît. Ol ɖ sem,” I cntinyd, “I c’nt, f hr uncl siz hr, cnsnt t hiz siyñ hr bruɖr wɖt mî hvñ gvn ɖ bô – n most v ol bcz ʈñz hv got so bad – a litl mor tîm.”

Mî frend apird on ɖs grǎnd mor rluctnt ɖn I cd qt unḍstand. “Ẃt d y mīn bî mor tîm?”

“Wel, a de or tū – riyli t brñ it ǎt. H’l ɖen b on sîd – v ẃć y si ɖ importns. F nʈñ cmz, I śl onli fel, n y wl, at ɖ wrst, hv hlpt m bî dwñ, on yr arîvl in tǎn, ẃtvr y me hv faund poṣbl.” So I pt it bfr hr, bt ś cntinyd fr a litl so inscrūtbli imbaṛst ɖt I cem agn t hr ed. “Unls, indd,” I waund p, “y riyli wont nt t g.”

I cd si it, in hr fes, at last clir itslf; ś pt ǎt hr hand t m az a plej. “I’l g – I’l g. I’l g ɖs mornñ.”

I wontd t b vri just. “F y śd wś stl t wêt, I wd ingej ś śd’nt si m.”

“No, no: it’s ɖ ples itslf. Ś mst līv it.” Ś hld m a momnt wɖ hevi îz, ɖen bròt ǎt ɖ rest. “Yr îdīa’z ɖ rît wn. I mslf, mis – ”

“Wel?”

“I c’nt ste.”

Ɖ lc ś gev m wɖ it md m jump at posbiḷtiz. “Y mīn ɖt, sins yesṭde, y hv sìn – ?”

Ś śc hr hed wɖ digṇti. “I’v hŕd – !”

“Hŕd?”

“Fṛm ɖt ćîld – horrz! Ɖr!” ś said wɖ trajic rlif. “On mî onr, mis, ś sz ʈñz – !” Bt at ɖs evceśn ś brouc dǎn; ś dropt, wɖ a sudn sob, upn mî sofa n, az I hd sìn hr d bfr, gev we t ol ɖ grīf v it.

It wz qt in anɖr manr ɖt I, fr mî part, let mslf g. “Ǒ, ʈanc God!”

Ś sprañ p agn at ɖs, drayñ hr îz wɖ a gron. “‘Ʈanc God’?”

“It so jusṭfîz m!”

“It dz ɖt, mis!”

I cd’nt hv dzîrd mor emf̣sis, bt I jst heztetd. “Ś’z so hoṛbl?”

I sw mî colīg scers ń hǎ t pt it. “Riyli śocñ.”

“N abt m?”

“Abt y, mis – sins y mst hv it. It’s bynd evrʈñ, fr a yuñ ledi; n I c’nt ʈnc ẃrvr ś mst hv pict p – ”

“Ɖ apōlñ lanḡj ś aplaid t m? I cn, ɖen!” I brouc in wɖ a laf ɖt wz dǎtlis sgnificnt inuf.

It onli, in truʈ, left mî frend stl mor grev. “Wel, phps I òt t olso – sins I’v hŕd sm v it bfr! Yt I c’nt ber it,” ɖ pur wmn wnt on ẃl, wɖ ɖ sem muvmnt, ś glanst, on mî dresñtebl, at ɖ fes v mî woć. “Bt I mst g bac.”

I cept hr, hvr. “Ā, f y c’nt ber it – !”

“Hǎ cn I stop wɖ hr, y mīn? Ẃ, jst fr ɖt: t gt hr awe. Far fṛm ɖs,” ś psyd, “far fṛm ɖm – ”

“Ś me b difṛnt? Ś me b fri?” I sizd hr olmst wɖ jô. “Ɖen, in spît v yesṭde, y b’liv – ”

“In sć dwñz?” Hr simpl dscripśn v ɖm rqîrd, in ɖ lît v hr xpreśn, t b carid no frɖr, n ś gev m ɖ hol ʈñ az ś hd nvr dn. “I b’liv.”

Yes, it wz a jô, n w wr stl śoldr t śoldr: f I mt cntiny śr v ɖt I śd cer bt litl ẃt els hapnd. Mî s’port in ɖ prezns v dzastr wd b ɖ sem az it hd bn in mî rli nīd v confidns, n f mî frend wd ansr fr mî oṇsti, I wd ansr fr ol ɖ rest. On ɖ pônt v tecñ līv v hr, nnɖles, I wz t sm xtnt imbaṛst. “Ɖr’z wn ʈñ, v cors – it ocŕz t m – t rmembr. Mî letr, gvñ ɖ alarm, wl hv rīćt tǎn bfr y.”

I nǎ psivd stl mor hǎ ś hd bn bìtñ abt ɖ bś n hǎ wiri at last it hd md hr. “Yr letr w’nt hv got ɖr. Yr letr nvr wnt.”

“Ẃt ɖen bcem v it?”

“Gdnis nz! Mastr Mîlz – ”

“D y mīn h tc it?” I gaspt.

Ś huñ fîr, bt ś oṿcem hr rluctns. “I mīn ɖt I sw yesṭde, ẃn I cem bac wɖ Mis Flora, ɖt it wz’nt ẃr y hd pt it. Lêtr in ɖ īvnñ I hd ɖ ćans t qsćn Lūc, n h dclerd ɖt h hd nɖr notist nr tućt it.” W cd onli xćenj, on ɖs, wn v ǎr dīpr ḿćl sǎndñz, n it wz Msz. Grǒs hu frst bròt p ɖ plúm wɖ an olmst iletd “Y si!”

“Yes, I si ɖt f Mîlz tc it instd h probbli wl hv réd it n dstroid it.”

“N d’nt y si enʈñ els?”

I fest hr a momnt wɖ a sad smîl. “It strîcs m ɖt bî ɖs tîm yr îz r opn īvn wîdr ɖn mîn.”

Ɖe pruvd t b so indd, bt ś cd stl bluś, olmst, t śo it. “I mc ǎt nǎ ẃt h mst hv dn at scūl.” N ś gev, in hr simpl śarpnis, an olmst drol disiluźnd nod. “H stoul!”

I trnd it ovr – I traid t b mor jdiśl. “Wel – phps.”

Ś lct az f ś faund m unixpctidli cām. “H stoul letrz!

Ś cd’nt nǒ mî rīznz fr a cāmnis aftr ol priti śalo; so I śoud ɖm of az I mt. “I hop ɖen it wz t mor prṗs ɖn in ɖs ces! Ɖ not, at eni ret, ɖt I pt on ɖ tebl yesṭde,” I psyd, “wl hv gvn him so scant an advantij – fr it cntend onli ɖ bér dmand fr an inṭvy – ɖt h z olrdi mć aśemd v hvñ gn so far fr so litl, n ɖt ẃt h hd on hiz mînd last īvnñ wz prisîsli ɖ nīd v cnfeśn.” I sīmd t mslf, fr ɖ instnt, t hv mastrd it, t si it ol. “Līv s, līv s” – I wz olrdi, at ɖ dor, huriyñ hr of. “I’l gt it ǎt v him. H’l mīt m – h’l cnfes. F h cnfesz, h’z sevd. N f h’z sevd – ”

“Ɖen y r?” Ɖ dir wmn cist m on ɖs, n I tc hr férwel. “I’l sev y wɖt him!” ś craid az ś wnt.

___

XXII

Yt it wz ẃn ś hd got of – n I míst hr on ɖ spot – ɖt ɖ gret pinć riyli cem. F I hd cǎntd on ẃt it wd gv m t fînd mslf alon wɖ Mîlz, I spīḍli psivd, at līst, ɖt it wd gv m a meźr. No aur v mî ste in fact wz so aseld wɖ aprihnśnz az ɖt v mî cmñ dǎn t lrn ɖt ɖ carij cntenñ Msz. Grǒs n mî yungr pypl hd olrdi rold ǎt v ɖ gts. Nǎ I wz, I sd t mslf, fes t fes wɖ ɖ elimnts, n fr mć v ɖ rest v ɖ de, ẃl I fòt mî wìcnis, I cd cnsidr ɖt I hd bn s’prīmli raś. It wz a tîtr ples stl ɖn I hd yt trnd rnd in; ol ɖ mor ɖt, fr ɖ frst tîm, I cd si in ɖ aspect v uɖrz a cnfyzd rflex́n v ɖ crîsis. Ẃt hd hapnd naćṛli cōzd ɖm ol t stér; ɖr wz tù litl v ɖ xplend, ʈro ǎt ẃtvr w mt, in ɖ sudņis v mî colīg’z act. Ɖ meidz n ɖ men lct blanc; ɖ ifct v ẃć on mî nrvz wz an agṛveśn untl I sw ɖ nseṣti v mcñ it a poẓtiv ed. It wz prisîsli, in śort, bî jst clućñ ɖ hlm ɖt I avôdd totl rec; n I der se ɖt, t ber p at ol, I bcem, ɖt mornñ, vri grand n vri drî. I welcmd ɖ conśsnis ɖt I wz ćarjd wɖ mć t d, n I cōzd it t b noun az wel ɖt, left ɖus t mslf, I wz qt rmarcbli frm. I wondrd wɖ ɖt manr, fr ɖ nxt aur or tū, ol ovr ɖ ples n lct, I hv no dǎt, az f I wr redi fr eni onset. So, fr ɖ beṇfit v hūm it mt cnsrn, I p’redd wɖ a sic hart.

Ɖ prsn it apird līst t cnsrn pruvd t b, tl dinr, litl Mîlz himslf. Mî p’rambyleśnz hd gvn m, mnẃl, no glims v him, bt ɖe hd tndd t mc mor public ɖ ćenj tecñ ples in ǎr rleśn az a consiqns v hiz hvñ at ɖ piano, ɖ de bfr, cept m, in Flora’z inṭrest, so bgîld n bfūld. Ɖ stamp v pbliṣti hd v cors bn fŭli gvn bî hr cnfînmnt n dparćr, n ɖ ćenj itslf wz nǎ uśrd in bî ǎr nonobzrvns v ɖ reğlr custm v ɖ scūlrūm. H hd olrdi dis’pird ẃn, on mî we dǎn, I pśt opn hiz dor, n I lrnt b’lo ɖt h hd brecfstd – in ɖ prezns v a cupl v ɖ meidz – wɖ Msz. Grǒs n hiz sistr. H hd ɖen gn ǎt, az h sd, fr a strol; ɖn ẃć nʈñ, I rflectd, cd betr hv xprest hiz franc vy v ɖ abrupt transfmeśn v mî ofis. Ẃt h wd nt pmit ɖs ofis t cnsist v wz yt t b setld: ɖr wz a qir rlif, at ol ivnts – I mīn fr mslf in ispeśl – in ɖ rnǎnsmnt v wn pritnśn. F so mć hd spruñ t ɖ srfis, I scers pt it tù stroñli in seyñ ɖt ẃt hd phps spruñ hîist wz ɖ absrdti v ǎr pṛloññ ɖ fix́n ɖt I hd enʈñ mor t tīć him. It sfiśntli stuc ǎt ɖt, bî tasit litl trics in ẃć īvn mor ɖn mslf h carid ǎt ɖ cer fr mî digṇti, I hd hd t apil t him t let m of strenñ t mīt him on ɖ grǎnd v hiz tru cpaṣti. H hd at eni ret hiz frīdm nǎ; I wz nvr t tuć it agn; az I hd ampli śoun, morovr, ẃn, on hiz jônñ m in ɖ scūlrūm ɖ prīvịs nît, I hd utrd, on ɖ subjict v ɖ inṭvl jst cncludd, nɖr ćalinj nr hint. I hd tù mć, fṛm ɖs momnt, mî uɖr îdīaz. Yt ẃn h at last arîvd, ɖ dificlti v aplayñ ɖm, ɖ akḿleśnz v mî probḷm, wr bròt stret hom t m bî ɖ bytifl litl prezns on ẃć ẃt hd ocŕd hd az yt, fr ɖ î, dropt nɖr sten nr śado.T marc, fr ɖ hǎs, ɖ hî stet I cultvetd I dcrìd ɖt mî mīlz wɖ ɖ bô śd b srvd, az w cōld it, dǎnsterz; so ɖt I hd bn awêtñ him in ɖ pondṛs pomp v ɖ rūm ǎtsd v ɖ windo v ẃć I hd hd fṛm Msz. Grǒs, ɖt frst scerd Súnde, mî flaś v smʈñ it wd scers hv dn t cōl lît. Hir at preznt I flt afreś – fr I hd flt it agn n agn – hǎ mî eqlibrịm dpndd on ɖ s’xes v mî rijid wil, ɖ wil t śut mî îz az tît az poṣbl t ɖ truʈ ɖt ẃt I hd t dīl wɖ wz, rvoltñli, agnst nećr. I cd onli gt on at ol bî tecñ “nećr” intu mî confidns n mî acǎnt, bî trītñ mî monstṛs ordīl az a pś in a d’rex́n unyźl, v cors, n unpleznt, bt dmandñ, aftr ol, fr a fer frunt, onli anɖr trn v ɖ scru v ordnri hymn vrću. No atmt, nnɖles, cd wel rqîr mor tact ɖn jst ɖs atmt t s’plî, wn’z slf, ol ɖ nećr. Hǎ cd I pt īvn a litl v ɖt articl intu a s’preśn v refṛns t ẃt hd ocŕd? Hǎ, on ɖ uɖr hand, cd I mc refṛns wɖt a ny plunj intu ɖ hidịs obskr? Wel, a sort v ansr, aftr a tîm, hd cm t m, n it wz so far cnfrmd az ɖt I wz met, incntstbli, bî ɖ qcnd viźn v ẃt wz rer in mî litl cmpańn. It wz indd az f h hd faund īvn nǎ – az h hd so ofn faund at lésnz – stl sm uɖr delic̣t we t īz m of. Wz’nt ɖr lît in ɖ fact ẃć, az w śerd ǎr soḷtyd, brouc ǎt wɖ a spīśs glitr it hd nvr yt qt wòrn? – ɖ fact ɖt (oṗtyṇti edñ, preśs oṗtyṇti ẃć hd nǎ cm) it wd b pripostṛs, wɖ a ćîld so indaud, t fōrgo ɖ hlp wn mt rést fṛm abṣlut intelijns? Ẃt hd hiz intelijns bn gvn him fr bt t sev him? Mt’nt wn, t rīć hiz mînd, risc ɖ streć v an anğlr arm ovr hiz caṛctr? It wz az f, ẃn w wr fes t fes in ɖ dînñrūm, h hd litṛli śoun m ɖ we. Ɖ rost mutn wz on ɖ tebl, n I hd dspnst wɖ atndns. Mîlz, bfr h sat dǎn, std a momnt wɖ hiz handz in hiz pocits n lct at ɖ jônt, on ẃć h sīmd on ɖ pônt v pasñ sm hymṛs jujmnt. Bt ẃt h prezntli pṛdyst wz: “I se, mî dir, z ś riyli vri ōf̣li il?”

“Litl Flora? Nt so bad bt ɖt ś’l prezntli b betr. Lundn wl set hr p. Blai hd sīst t agri wɖ hr. Cm hir n tec yr mutn.”

H alrtli obeid m, carid ɖ plet cerf̣li t hiz sīt, n, ẃn h wz istabliśt, wnt on. “Dd Blai dis’gri wɖ hr so teṛbli sudnli?”

“Nt so sudnli az y mt ʈnc. Wn hd sìn it cmñ on.”

“Ɖen ẃ dd’nt y gt hr of bfr?”

“Bfr ẃt?”

“Bfr ś bcem tù il t travl.”

I faund mslf promt. “Ś’z nt tù il t travl: ś onli mt hv bcm so f ś hd steid. Ɖs wz jst ɖ momnt t sīz. Ɖ jrni wl diṣpet ɖ inflụns” – ǒ, I wz grand! – “n cari it of.”

“I si, I si” – Mîlz, fr ɖt matr, wz grand, tù. H setld t hiz rpast wɖ ɖ ćarmñ litl “teblmanr” ɖt, fṛm ɖ de v hiz arîvl, hd rlivd m v ol grosnis v adṃniśn. Ẃtvr h hd bn drivn fṛm scūl fr, it wz nt fr ugli fīdñ. H wz iriproćbl, az olwz, tde; bt h wz unmistecbli mor conśs. H wz dsrṇbli trayñ t tec fr grantd mor ʈñz ɖn h faund, wɖt asistns, qt īzi; n h dropt intu pīsfl sîḷns ẃl h flt hiz sićueśn. Ǎr mīl wz v ɖ brīfist – mîn a ven pritns, n I hd ɖ ʈñz imīɉtli rmuvd. Ẃl ɖs wz dn Mîlz std agn wɖ hiz handz in hiz litl pocits n hiz bac t m – std n lct ǎt v ɖ wîd windo ʈru ẃć, ɖt uɖr de, I hd sìn ẃt pld m p. W cntinyd sîḷnt ẃl ɖ meid wz wɖ s – az sîḷnt, it ẃimzicli ocŕd t m, az sm yuñ cupl hu, on ɖer wedñjrni, at ɖ ín, fīl śî in ɖ prezns v ɖ wêtr. H trnd rnd onli ẃn ɖ wêtr hd left s. “Wel – so w’r alon!”

___

XXIII

“Ǒ, mor or les.” I fansi mî smîl wz pel. “Nt abṣlutli. W śd’nt lîc ɖt!” I wnt on.

“No – I s’poz w śd’nt. V cors w hv ɖ uɖrz.”“W hv ɖ uɖrz – w hv indd ɖ uɖrz,” I cncŕd.

“Yt īvn ɖo w hv ɖm,” h rtrnd, stl wɖ hiz handz in hiz pocits n plantd ɖr in frunt v m, “ɖe d’nt mć cǎnt, d ɖe?”

I md ɖ bst v it, bt I flt won. “It dpndz on ẃt y cōl ‘mć’!”

“Yes” – wɖ ol acoṃdeśn – “evrʈñ dpndz!” On ɖs, hvr, h fest t ɖ windo agn n prezntli rīćt it wɖ hiz veg, restlis, cojtetñ step. H rmend ɖr aẃl, wɖ hiz fōrhed agnst ɖ glas, in contmpleśn v ɖ stypid śrubz I ń n ɖ dul ʈñz v Nvmbr. I hd olwz mî hipocṛsi v “wrc,” bhnd ẃć, nǎ, I gend ɖ sofa. Stediyñ mslf wɖ it ɖr az I hd rpitidli dn at ɖoz momnts v torment ɖt I hv dscrîbd az ɖ momnts v mî nwñ ɖ ćildṛn t b gvn t smʈñ fṛm ẃć I wz bàrd, I sfiśntli obeid mî habit v biyñ priperd fr ɖ wrst. Bt an xtrordnri impreśn dropt on m az I xtractd a mīnñ fṛm ɖ bô’z imbaṛst bac – nn uɖr ɖn ɖ impreśn ɖt I wz nt bàrd nǎ. Ɖs infṛns grù in a fy minits t śarp intnṣti n sīmd baund p wɖ ɖ d’rect pspśn ɖt it wz poztivli h hu wz. Ɖ fremz n sqerz v ɖ gret windo wr a cnd v imij, fr him, v a cnd v fełr. I flt ɖt I sw him, at eni ret, śut in or śut ǎt. H wz admṛbl, bt nt cumftbl: I tc it in wɖ a ʈrob v hop. Wz’nt h lcñ, ʈru ɖ hōntd pein, fr smʈñ h cd’nt si? – n wz’nt it ɖ frst tîm in ɖ hol biznis ɖt h hd noun sć a laps? Ɖ frst, ɖ vri frst: I faund it a splendid portent. It md him añśs, ɖo h woćt himslf; h hd bn añśs ol de n, īvn ẃl in hiz yźl swīt litl manr h sat at tebl, hd nīdd ol hiz smōl strenj jīńs t gv it a glos. Ẃn h at last trnd rnd t mīt m, it wz olmst az f ɖs jīńs hd s’cumd. “Wel, I ʈnc I’m glad Blai agriz wɖ m!

“Y wd srtnli sīm t hv sìn, ɖz twenti-fr aurz, a gd dīl mor v it ɖn fr sm tîm bfr. I hop,” I wnt on brevli, “ɖt y’v bn injoyñ yrslf.”

“Ǒ, yes, I’v bn evr so far; ol rnd abt – mîlz n mîlz awe. I’v nvr bn so fri.”

H hd riyli a manr v hiz ǒn, n I cd onli trî t cīp p wɖ him. “Wel, d y lîc it?”

H std ɖr smîlñ; ɖen at last h pt intu tū wrdz – “D y?” – mor dscriṃneśn ɖn I hd evr hŕd tū wrdz cnten. Bfr I hd tîm t dīl wɖ ɖt, hvr, h cntinyd az f wɖ ɖ sns ɖt ɖs wz an imprtinns t b sofnd. “Nʈñ cd b mor ćarmñ ɖn ɖ we y tec it, fr v cors f w’r alon tgɖr nǎ it’s y ɖt r alon most. Bt I hop,” h ʈrù in, “y d’nt ptiklrli mînd!”

“Hvñ t d wɖ y?” I asct. “Mî dir ćîld, hǎ cn I hlp mîndñ? Ɖo I’v rnǎnst ol clem t yr cumṗni – y’r so bynd m – I at līst gretli injô it. Ẃt els śd I ste on fr?”

H lct at m mor d’recli, n ɖ xpreśn v hiz fes, grevr nǎ, struc m az ɖ most bytifl I hd evr faund in it. “Y ste on jst fr ɖt?

“Srtnli. I ste on az yr frend n fṛm ɖ tṛmnḍs inṭrest I tec in y tl smʈñ cn b dn fr y ɖt me b mor wrʈ yr ẃl. Ɖt nīd’nt s’prîz y.” Mî vôs trembld so ɖt I flt it imposbl t s’pres ɖ śec. “D’nt y rmembr hǎ I tld y, ẃn I cem n sat on yr bed ɖ nît v ɖ storm, ɖt ɖr wz nʈñ in ɖ wrld I wd’nt d fr y?”

“Yes, yes!” H, on hiz sîd, mor n mor viẓbli nrṿs, hd a ton t mastr; bt h wz so mć mor s’xesfl ɖn I ɖt, lafñ ǎt ʈru hiz graṿti, h cd pritnd w wr plezntli jstñ. “Onli ɖt, I ʈnc, wz t gt m t d smʈñ fr y!

“It wz partli t gt y t d smʈñ,” I cnsidd. “Bt, y nǒ, y dd’nt d it.”

“Ǒ, yes,” h sd wɖ ɖ brîtist sūṗfiśl īgrnis, “y wontd m t tel y smʈñ.”

“Ɖt’s it. Ǎt, stret ǎt. Ẃt y hv on yr mînd, y nǒ.”

“Ā, ɖen, z ɖt ẃt y’v steid ovr fr?”

H spouc wɖ a geyti ʈru ẃć I cd stl cać ɖ fînist litl qivr v rzntfl paśn; bt I c’nt bgin t xpres ɖ ifct upn m v an impḷceśn v srendr īvn so fent. It wz az f ẃt I hd yrnd fr hd cm at last onli t astoniś m. “Wel, yes – I me az wel mc a clīn brest v it, it wz prisîsli fr ɖt.”

H wêtd so loñ ɖt I s’pozd it fr ɖ prṗs v rpydietñ ɖ asumśn on ẃć mî ax́n hd bn fǎndd; bt ẃt h fîṇli sd wz: “D y mīn nǎ – hir?”

“Ɖr cd’nt b a betr ples or tîm.” H lct rnd him unīẓli, n I hd ɖ rer – ǒ, ɖ qir! – impreśn v ɖ vri frst simtm I hd sìn in him v ɖ aproć v imīɉt fir. It wz az f h wr sudnli afreid v m – ẃć struc m indd az phps ɖ bst ʈñ t mc him. Yt in ɖ vri pañ v ɖ ef̣t I flt it ven t trî strņis, n I hŕd mslf ɖ nxt instnt so jntl az t b olmst gṛtesc. “Y wont so t g ǎt agn?”

“Ōf̣li!” H smîld at m hrôicli, n ɖ tućñ litl breṿri v it wz inhanst bî hiz acć̣li fluśñ wɖ pen. H hd pict p hiz hat, ẃć h hd bròt in, n std twrlñ it in a we ɖt gev m, īvn az I wz jst nirli rīćñ port, a pvrs horr v ẃt I wz dwñ. T d it in eni we wz an act v vayḷns, fr ẃt dd it cnsist v bt ɖ obtruźn v ɖ îdīa v grosnis n gilt on a smōl hlplis crīćr hu hd bn fr m a reṿleśn v ɖ posbiḷtiz v bytifl inṭcors? Wz’nt it bes t criet fr a biyñ so xqizit a mir ełn ōcẉdnis? I s’poz I nǎ rīd intu ǎr sićueśn a clirnis it cd’nt hv hd at ɖ tîm, fr I sīm t si ǎr pur îz olrdi lîtd wɖ sm sparc v a prīviźn v ɖ anḡś ɖt wz t cm. So w srcld abt, wɖ terrz n scrūplz, lîc fîtrz nt dẹrñ t cloz. Bt it wz fr ć uɖr w fird! Ɖt cept s a litl longr sspndd n unbruzd. “I’l tel y evrʈñ,” Mîlz sd – “I mīn I’l tel y enʈñ y lîc. Y’l ste on wɖ m, n w śl bʈ b ol rît, n I wl tel y – I wl. Bt nt nǎ.”

“Ẃ nt nǎ?”

Mî insistns trnd him fṛm m n cept him wns mor at hiz windo in a sîḷns jrñ ẃć, btwn s, y mt hv hŕd a pin drop. Ɖen h wz bfr m agn wɖ ɖ er v a prsn fr hūm, ǎtsd, smwn hu hd francli t b recnd wɖ wz wêtñ. “I hv t si Lūc.”

I hd nt yt rdyst him t qt so vulgr a lai, n I flt pṛporśṇtli aśemd. Bt, hoṛbl az it wz, hiz laiz md p mî truʈ. I aćivd ʈtf̣li a fy lūps v mî nitñ. “Wel, ɖen, g t Lūc, n I’l wêt fr ẃt y promis. Onli, in rtrn fr ɖt, saṭsfî, bfr y līv m, wn vri mć smōlr rqst.”

H lct az f h flt h hd s’xidd inuf t b ebl stl a litl t bargin. “Vri mć smōlr – ?”

“Yes, a mir frax́n v ɖ hol. Tel m” – ǒ, mî wrc priokpaid m, n I wz ofhand! – “f, yesṭde afṭnun, fṛm ɖ tebl in ɖ hōl, y tc, y nǒ, mî letr.”

___

XXIV

Mî sns v hǎ h rsivd ɖs sufrd fr a minit fṛm smʈñ ɖt I cn dscrîb onli az a firs split v mî atnśn – a stroc ɖt at frst, az I sprañ stret p, rdyst m t ɖ mir blînd muvmnt v gtñ hold v him, drw̃ him clos, n, ẃl I jst fél fr s’port agnst ɖ nirist pìs v frnićr, instñtivli cīpñ him wɖ hiz bac t ɖ windo. Ɖ apiṛns wz fl upn s ɖt I hd olrdi hd t dīl wɖ hir: Pītr Qint hd cm intu vy lîc a sntinl bfr a prizn. Ɖ nxt ʈñ I sw wz ɖt, fṛm ǎtsd, h hd rīćt ɖ windo, n ɖen I ń ɖt, clos t ɖ glas n glẹrñ in ʈru it, h ofrd wns mor t ɖ rūm hiz ẃît fes v damneśn. It repriznts bt grosli ẃt tc ples wɖn m at ɖ sît t se ɖt on ɖ secnd mî dsiźn wz md; yt I b’liv ɖt no wmn so oṿẃlmd evr in so śort a tîm rcuvrd hr grasp v ɖ act. It cem t m in ɖ vri horr v ɖ imīɉt prezns ɖt ɖ act wd b, siyñ n fesñ ẃt I sw n fest, t cīp ɖ bô himslf un’wer. Ɖ insṗreśn – I cn cōl it bî no uɖr nem – wz ɖt I flt hǎ voḷntṛli, hǎ transndnṭli, I mt. It wz lîc fîtñ wɖ a dīmn fr a hymn soul, n ẃn I hd ferli so aprezd it I sw hǎ ɖ hymn soul – hld ǎt, in ɖ tremr v mî handz, at arm’z leñʈ – hd a prfict dȳ v swet on a luvli ćîldiś fōrhed. Ɖ fes ɖt wz clos t mîn wz az ẃît az ɖ fes agnst ɖ glas, n ǎt v it prezntli cem a sǎnd, nt lo nr wìc, bt az f fṛm mć frɖr awe, ɖt I dranc lîc a woft v fregṛns.

“Yes – I tc it.”At ɖs, wɖ a mon v jô, I infoldd, I drù him clos; n ẃl I hld him t mî brest, ẃr I cd fīl in ɖ sudn fīvr v hiz litl bodi ɖ tṛmnḍs puls v hiz litl hart, I cept mî îz on ɖ ʈñ at ɖ windo n sw it muv n śift its posćr. I hv lîcnd it t a sntinl, bt its slo ẃīl, fr a momnt, wz rɖr ɖ prǎl v a bafld bīst. Mî preznt qcnd curij, hvr, wz sć ɖt, nt tù mć t let it ʈru, I hd t śêd, az it wr, mî flem. Mnẃl ɖ gler v ɖ fes wz agn at ɖ windo, ɖ scǎndṛl fixt az f t woć n wêt. It wz ɖ vri confidns ɖt I mt nǎ dfî him, az wel az ɖ poẓtiv srttyd, bî ɖs tîm, v ɖ ćîld’z unconśsnis, ɖt md m g on. “Ẃt dd y tec it fr?”

“T si ẃt y sd abt m.”

“Y opnd ɖ letr?”

“I opnd it.”

Mî îz wr nǎ, az I hld him of a litl agn, on Mîlz’z ǒn fes, in ẃć ɖ c’laps v moc̣ri śoud m hǎ cmplit wz ɖ ravij v unīzinis. Ẃt wz pṛdijs wz ɖt at last, bî mî s’xes, hiz sns wz sìld n hiz cḿṇceśn stopt: h ń ɖt h wz in prezns, bt ń nt v ẃt, n ń stl les ɖt I olso wz n ɖt I dd nǒ. N ẃt dd ɖs stren v trubl matr ẃn mî îz wnt bac t ɖ windo onli t si ɖt ɖ er wz clir agn n – bî mî prsnl trîumf – ɖ inflụns qnćt? Ɖr wz nʈñ ɖr. I flt ɖt ɖ cōz wz mîn n ɖt I śd śrli gt ol. “N y faund nʈñ!” – I let mî ileśn ǎt.

H gev ɖ most mōrnfl, ʈtfl litl hedśec. “Nʈñ.”

“Nʈñ, nʈñ!” I olmst śǎtd in mî jô.

“Nʈñ, nʈñ,” h sadli rpitd.

I cist hiz fōrhed; it wz drenćt. “So ẃt hv y dn wɖ it?”

“I’v brnt it.”

“Brnt it?” It wz nǎ or nvr. “Z ɖt ẃt y dd at scūl?”

Ǒ, ẃt ɖs bròt p! “At scūl?”

“Dd y tec letrz? – or uɖr ʈñz?”

“Uɖr ʈñz?” H apird nǎ t b ʈncñ v smʈñ far of n ɖt rīćt him onli ʈru ɖ preśr v hiz añzayti. Yt it dd rīć him. “Dd I stìl?

I flt mslf redn t ɖ rūts v mî her az wel az wundr f it wr mor strenj t pt t a jntlmn sć a qsćn or t si him tec it wɖ alawnsz ɖt gev ɖ vri distns v hiz fōl in ɖ wrld. “Wz it fr ɖt y mt’nt g bac?”

Ɖ onli ʈñ h flt wz rɖr a driri litl s’prîz. “Dd y nǒ I mt’nt g bac?”

“I nǒ evrʈñ.”

H gev m at ɖs ɖ longist n strenjist lc. “Evrʈñ?”

“Evrʈñ. Ɖrfr dd y – ?” Bt I cd’nt se it agn.

Mîlz cd, vri simpli. “No. I dd’nt stìl.”

Mî fes mst hv śoun him I b’livd him utrli; yt mî handz – bt it wz fr pyr tndrnis – śc him az f t asc him ẃ, f it wz ol fr nʈñ, h hd cndemd m t munʈs v torment. “Ẃt ɖen dd y d?”

H lct in veg pen ol rnd ɖ top v ɖ rūm n drù hiz breʈ, tū or ʈri tîmz ovr, az f wɖ dificlti. H mt hv bn standñ at ɖ botm v ɖ sì n rezñ hiz îz t sm fent grīn twîlît. “Wel – I sd ʈñz.”

“Onli ɖt?”

“Ɖe ʈt it wz inuf!”

“T trn y ǎt fr?”

Nvr, trūli, hd a prsn “trnd ǎt” śoun so litl t xplen it az ɖs litl prsn! H apird t wei mî qsćn, bt in a manr qt dtaćt n olmst hlplis. “Wel, I s’poz I òt’nt.”

“Bt t hūm dd y se ɖm?”

H evidntli traid t rmembr, bt it dropt – h hd lost it. “I d’nt nǒ!”

H olmst smîld at m in ɖ deẓleśn v hiz srendr, ẃć wz indd practicli, bî ɖs tîm, so cmplit ɖt I òt t hv left it ɖr. Bt I wz infaćuetd – I wz blînd wɖ vicṭri, ɖo īvn ɖen ɖ vri ifct ɖt wz t hv bròt him so mć nirr wz olrdi ɖt v add seṗreśn. “Wz it t evrwn?” I asct.

“No; it wz onli t – ” Bt h gev a sic litl hedśec. “I d’nt rmembr ɖer nemz.”

“Wr ɖe ɖen so mni?”

“No – onli a fy. Ɖoz I lîct.”

Ɖoz h lîct? I sīmd t flot nt intu clirnis, bt intu a darcr obskr, n wɖn a minit ɖr hd cm t m ǎt v mî vri piti ɖ apōlñ alarm v hiz biyñ phps iṇsnt. It wz fr ɖ instnt cnfǎndñ n botmlis, fr f h wr iṇsnt, ẃt ɖen on rʈ wz I? Paṛlîzd, ẃl it lastd, bî ɖ mir bruś v ɖ qsćn, I let him g a litl, so ɖt, wɖ a dīp-drwn sai, h trnd awe fṛm m agn; ẃć, az h fest twd ɖ clir windo, I sufrd, fīlñ ɖt I hd nʈñ nǎ ɖr t cīp him fṛm. “N dd ɖe rpit ẃt y sd?” I wnt on aftr a momnt.

H wz sn at sm distns fṛm m, stl briɖñ hard n agn wɖ ɖ er, ɖo nǎ wɖt angr fr it, v biyñ cnfînd agnst hiz wil. Wns mor, az h hd dn bfr, h lct p at ɖ dim de az f, v ẃt hd hiɖrtu sstend him, nʈñ wz left bt an unspīcbl añzayti. “Ǒ, yes,” h nvɖles rplaid – “ɖe mst hv rpitd ɖm. T ɖoz ɖe lîct,” h add.

Ɖr wz, smhǎ, les v it ɖn I hd xpctd; bt I trnd it ovr. “N ɖz ʈñz cem rnd – ?”

“T ɖ mastrz? Ǒ, yes!” h ansrd vri simpli. “Bt I dd’nt nǒ ɖ’d tel.”

“Ɖ mastrz? Ɖe dd’nt – ɖ’v nvr tld. Ɖt’s ẃ I asc y.”

H trnd t m agn hiz litl bytifl fīvrd fes. “Yes, it wz tù bad.”

“Tù bad?”

“Ẃt I s’poz I smtmz sd. T rait hom.”

I c’nt nem ɖ xqizit peʈos v ɖ contṛdix́n gvn t sć a spīć bî sć a spīcr; I onli nǒ ɖt ɖ nxt instnt I hŕd mslf ʈro of wɖ homli fors: “Stuf n nonsns!” Bt ɖ nxt aftr ɖt I mst hv sǎndd strn inuf. “Ẃt wr ɖz ʈñz?”

Mî strņis wz ol fr hiz juj, hiz x’kśnr; yt it md him avrt himslf agn, n ɖt muvmnt md m, wɖ a sngl bǎnd n an iripresbl crî, sprñ stret upn him. Fr ɖr agn, agnst ɖ glas, az f t blît hiz cnfeśn n ste hiz ansr, wz ɖ hidịs oʈr v ǎr wo – ɖ ẃît fes v damneśn. I flt a sic swim at ɖ drop v mî vicṭri n ol ɖ rtrn v mî batl, so ɖt ɖ wîldnis v mî veriṭbl līp onli srvd az a gret btreyl. I sw him, fṛm ɖ mdst v mî act, mīt it wɖ a diṿneśn, n on ɖ pspśn ɖt īvn nǎ h onli gest, n ɖt ɖ windo wz stl t hiz ǒn îz fri, I let ɖ impuls flem p t cnvrt ɖ clîmax v hiz dsme intu ɖ vri prūf v hiz liḅreśn. “No mor, no mor, no mor!” I śrīct, az I traid t pres him agnst m, t mî vizitnt.

“Z ś hir?” Mîlz pantd az h còt wɖ hiz sìld îz ɖ d’rex́n v mî wrdz. Ɖen az hiz strenj “ś” stagrd m n, wɖ a gasp, I ecoud it, “Mis Jesl, Mis Jesl!” h wɖ a sudn fyri gev m bac.

I sizd, styṗfaid, hiz supziśn – sm sīql t ẃt w hd dn t Flora, bt ɖs md m onli wont t śo him ɖt it wz betr stl ɖn ɖt. “It’s nt Mis Jesl! Bt it’s at ɖ windo – stret bfr s. It’s ɖr – ɖ cawd horr, ɖr fr ɖ last tîm!”

At ɖs, aftr a secnd in ẃć hiz hed md ɖ muvmnt v a bafld dog’z on a sént n ɖen gev a frantic litl śec fr er n lît, h wz at m in a ẃît rej, bwildrd, glẹrñ venli ovr ɖ ples n misñ hoļi, ɖo it nǎ, t mî sns, fild ɖ rūm lîc ɖ test v pôzn, ɖ wîd, oṿẃlmñ prezns. “It’s h?

I wz so dtrmind t hv ol mî prūf ɖt I flaśt intu îs t ćalinj him. “Hūm d y mīn bî ‘h’?”

“Pītr Qint – y devl!” Hiz fes gev agn, rnd ɖ rūm, its cnvulst supḷceśn. “Ẃr?

Ɖe r in mî irz stl, hiz s’prīm srendr v ɖ nem n hiz tribyt t mî dvośn. “Ẃt dz h matr nǎ, mî ǒn? – ẃt wl h evr matr? I hv y,” I lōnćt at ɖ bīst, “bt h hz lost y fr evr!” Ɖen, fr ɖ demnstreśn v mî wrc, “Ɖr, ɖr!” I sd t Mîlz.

Bt h hd olrdi jrct stret rnd, stérd, glerd agn, n sìn bt ɖ qayt de. Wɖ ɖ stroc v ɖ los I wz so prǎd v h utrd ɖ crî v a crīćr hrld ovr an abis, n ɖ grasp wɖ ẃć I rcuvrd him mt hv bn ɖt v caćñ him in hiz fōl. I còt him, yes, I hld him – it me b imajind wɖ ẃt a paśn; bt at ɖ end v a minit I bgan t fīl ẃt it trūli wz ɖt I hld. W wr alon wɖ ɖ qayt de, n hiz litl hart, disṗzest, hd stopt.

 

Clasics in Ñspel: ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, by Lewis Carroll

Clasics in Ñspel: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, by Lewis Carroll

(Through the Looking-Glass – Contents – by Lewis Carroll, transcribed into Ñspel, a new way of spelling devised by Frank Johnson. With audio accompaniment.)

58

wɖ iḷstreśnz bî Jon Teńl

Orijinli publiśt bî Mcmiḷn n Cumṗni in 1872

C O N T E N T S

ĆAPTRZ

I: Lcñglas hǎs
II: Đ gardn ov lîv flǎrz
III: Lcñglas insects
IV: Twīdldúm and Twīdldī
V: Wŭl and wōtr
VI: Humti Dumti
VII: Đ Layn and ɖ Yṇcorn
VIII: “It’s mî ǒn invnśn”
IX: Qīn Alis
X: Śecñ
XI: Wecñ
XII: Ẃć drīmd it?

Clasics in Ñspel │ THE DIARY OF A NOBODY │ George and Weedon Grossmith

Link to Wikipedia article

PDF

ĆAPTRZ

INTROIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXXXXIXXIIXXIIILAST

INTṚDUX́N BÎ MR. PŪTR

Ẃ śd I nt publiś mî dayri? I hv ofn sìn reṃnisnsz v ppl I hv nvr īvn hŕd v, n I fel t sibcz I d nt hapn t b aSmbdi’ – ẃ mî dayri śd nt b inṭrestñ. Mî onli rgret z ɖt I dd nt cmns it ẃn I wz a yʈ.

Ćarlz Pūtr.

Ɖ Loṛlz,

Bricfīld Teris,

Hoḷwe.

ĆAPTR I

W setl dǎn in ǎr ny hom, n I rzolv t cīp a dayri. Tredzṃn trubl s a bit, so dz ɖ screpr. Ɖ kṛt cōlz n pez m a gret complimnt.

Mî dir wîf Cári n I hv jst bn a wīc in ǎr ny hǎs, “Ɖ Loṛlz,” Bricfīld Teris, Hoḷwe – a nîs six-rūmd rezidns, nt cǎntñ besmnt, wɖ a frunt brecfstparlr. W hv a litl fruntgardn; n ɖr z a flît v ten steps p t ɖ fruntdor, ẃć, bî-ɖ-bî, w cīp loct wɖ ɖ ćen p. Cumñz, Gowñ, n ǎr uɖr intiṃt frendz olwz cm t ɖ litl sîd-entṛns, ẃć sevz ɖ srvnt ɖ trubl v gwñ p t ɖ fruntdor, ɖrbî tecñ hr fṛm hr wrc. W hv a nîs litl bacgardn ẃć runz dǎn t ɖ relwe. W wr rɖr afreid v ɖ nôz v ɖ trenz at frst, bt ɖ landlord sd w śd nt notis ɖm aftr a bit, n tc £2 of ɖ rent. H wz srtnli rît; n bynd ɖ cracñ v ɖ gardnwōl at ɖ botm, w hv sufrd no incnvińns.

“Đ Loṛlz”
“Đ Loṛlz”
Aftr mî wrc in ɖ Siti, I lîc t b at hom. Ẃt’s ɖ gd v a hom, f y r nvr in it? “Hom, Swīt Hom,” ɖt’s mî moto. I am olwz in v an īvnñ. Ǎr old frend Gowñ me drop in wɖt seriṃni; so me Cumñz, hu livz oṗzit. Mî dir wîf Caṛlîn n I r plizd t si ɖm, f ɖe lîc t drop in on s. Bt Cári n I cn manij t pas ǎr īvnñz tgɖr wɖt frendz. Ɖr z olwz smʈñ t b dn: a tintac hir, a Vnīśn blînd t pt stret, a fan t nêl p, or part v a carpit t nêl dǎn – ol v ẃć I cn d wɖ mî pîp in mî mǎʈ; ẃl Cári z nt abv ptñ a butn on a śrt, mndñ a piloces, or pracṭsñ ɖ “Silvia Gvót” on ǎr ny cotijpiano (on ɖ ʈri yirz’ sistm), mańfacćrd bî W. Bilcsn (in smōl letrz), fṛm Colard n Colard (in vri larj letrz). It z olso a gret cumf̣t t s t nǒ ɖt ǎr bô Wili z gtñ on so wel in ɖ Banc at Oldm. W śd lîc t si mor v him. Nǎ fr mî dayri: –

 

Epril 3. – Tredzṃn cōld fr custm, n I promist Farṃsn, ɖ aynmungr, t gv him a trn f I wontd eni nêlz or tūlz. Bî-ɖ-bî, ɖt rmîndz m ɖr z no ci t ǎr bedrūm dor, n ɖ belz mst b sìn t. Ɖ parlrbel z brocn, n ɖ fruntdor rñz p in ɖ srvnt’s bedrūm, ẃć z r’dikḷs. Dir frend Gowñ dropt in, bt wd’nt ste, seyñ ɖr wz an infrṇl smel v pent.

Our dear friend Gowing
Ǎr dir frend Gowñ

Epril 4. – Tredzṃn stl cōlñ; Cári biyñ ǎt, I arenjd t dīl wɖ Horwin, hu sīmd a sivl bćr wɖ a nîs clīn śop. Ordrd a śoldr v mutn fr tmoro, t gv him a trîl. Cári arenjd wɖ Borsit, ɖ butrmn, n ordrd a pǎnd v freś butr, n a pǎnd n a haf v sōlt dito fr cićn, n a śilñ’z wrʈ v egz. In ɖ īvnñ, Cumñz unixpctidli dropt in t śo m a mirśōm pîp h hd wún in a rafl in ɖ Siti, n tld m t handl it cerf̣li, az it wd spôl ɖ cuḷrñ f ɖ hand wz môst. H sd h wd’nt ste, az h dd’nt cer mć fr ɖ smel v ɖ pent, n fél ovr ɖ screpr az h wnt ǎt. Mst gt ɖ screpr rmuvd, or els I śl gt intu a screp. I d’nt ofn mc jocs.

Our dear friend Cummings
Ǎr dir frend Cumñz

Epril 5. – Tū śoldrz v mutn arîvd, Cári hvñ arenjd wɖ anɖr bćr wɖt cnsultñ m. Gowñ cōld, n fél ovr screpr cmñ in. Mst gt ɖt screpr rmuvd.

Epril 6. – Egz fr brecfst simpli śocñ; snt ɖm bac t Borsit wɖ mî complimnts, n h nīd’nt cōl eni mor fr ordrz. Cd’nt fînd umbrela, n ɖo it wz porñ wɖ ren, hd t g wɖt it. Sẹra sd Mr. Gowñ mst hv tc it bî mstec last nît, az ɖr wz a stic in ɖ ’ōl ɖt dd’nt b’loñ t nbdi. In ɖ īvnñ, hírñ smwn tōcñ in a lǎd vôs t ɖ srvnt in ɖ dǎnsterzhōl, I wnt ǎt t si hu it wz, n wz s’prîzd t fînd it wz Borsit, ɖ butrmn, hu wz bʈ drunc n ofnsiv. Borsit, on siyñ m, sd h wd b hañd f h wd evr srv siticlarcs eni mor – ɖ gem wz’nt wrʈ ɖ candl. I rstrend mî fīlñz, n qaytli rmarct ɖt I ʈt it wz poṣbl fr a siticlarc t b a jntlmn. H rplaid h wz vri glad t hír it, n wontd t nǒ ẃɖr I hd evr cm acrs wn, fr h hd’nt. H left ɖ hǎs, slamñ ɖ dor aftr him, ẃć nirli brouc ɖ fanlît; n I hŕd him fōl ovr ɖ screpr, ẃć md m fīl glad I hd’nt rmuvd it. Ẃn h hd gn, I ʈt v a splendid ansr I òt t hv gvn him. Hvr, I wl cīp it fr anɖr oceźn.

Epril 7. – Biyñ Saṭde, I lct fwd t biyñ hom rli, n ptñ a fy ʈñz stret; bt tū v ǎr prinsiplz at ɖ ofis wr absnt ʈru ilnis, n I dd nt gt hom tl sevn. Faund Borsit wêtñ. H hd bn ʈri tîmz jrñ ɖ de t apoḷjîz fr hiz conduct last nît. H sd h wz unebl t tec hiz Banchoḷde last Munde, n tc it last nît instd. H begd m t axpt hiz apoḷji, n a pǎnd v freś butr. H sīmz, aftr ol, a dīsnt sort v felo; so I gev him an ordr fr sm freś egz, wɖ a rqst ɖt on ɖs oceźn ɖe śd b freś. I am afreid w śl hv t gt sm ny stercarpits aftr ol; ǎr old wnz r nt qt wîd inuf t mīt ɖ pent on îɖr sîd. Cári sjsts ɖt w mt ǎrslvz brōdn ɖ pent. I wl si f w cn mać ɖ culr (darc ćocḷt) on Munde.

Epril 8, Súnde. – Aftr ćrć, ɖ kṛt cem bac wɖ s. I snt Cári in t opn fruntdor, ẃć w d nt yz xpt on speśl oceźnz. Ś cd nt gt it opn, n aftr ol mî dsple, I hd t tec ɖ kṛt (huz nem, bî-ɖ-bî, I dd nt cać,) rnd ɖ sîd entṛns. H còt hiz ft in ɖ screpr, n tòr ɖ botm v hiz trǎzrz. Most anoyñ, az Cári cd nt wel ofr t rper ɖm on a Súnde. Aftr dinr, wnt t slīp. Tc a wōc rnd ɖ gardn, n dscuvrd a bytifl spot fr sǒwñ musṭd-n-cres n raḍśz. Wnt t ćrć agn in ɖ īvnñ: wōct bac wɖ ɖ kṛt. Cári notist h hd got on ɖ sem per v trǎzrz, onli rperd. H wonts m t tec rnd ɖ plet, ẃć I ʈnc a gret complimnt.

ĆAPTR II

Tredzṃn n ɖ screpr stl trublsm. Gowñ rɖr tîrsm wɖ hiz cmplents v ɖ pent. I mc wn v ɖ bst jocs v mî lîf. Dlîts v Garḍnñ. Mr. Stilbrŭc, Gowñ, Cumñz, n I hv a litl misunḍstandñ. Sẹra mcs m lc a fūl bfr Cumñz.

Epril 9. – Cmnst ɖ mornñ badli. Ɖ bćr, hūm w dsîdd nt t arenj wɖ, cōld n blagardd m in ɖ most uncōld-fr manr. H bgan bî abyzñ m, n seyñ h dd nt wont mî custm. I simpli sd: “Ɖen ẃt r y mcñ ol ɖs fus abt it fr?” N h śǎtd ǎt at ɖ top v hiz vôs, so ɖt ol ɖ nebrz cd hír: “Pā! g alñ. Ug! I cd bai p ‘ʈñz’ lîc y bî ɖ duzn!”

I śut ɖ dor, n wz gvñ Cári t unḍstand ɖt ɖs dsgresfl sīn wz intîrli hr fōlt, ẃn ɖr wz a vayḷnt cicñ at ɖ dor, inuf t brec ɖ panlz. It wz ɖ blagard bćr agn, hu sd h hd cut hiz ft ovr ɖ screpr, n wd imīɉtli brñ an ax́n agnst m. Cōld at Farṃsn’z, ɖ aynmungr, on mî we t tǎn, n gev him ɖ job v muvñ ɖ screpr n rperñ ɖ belz, ʈncñ it scersli wrʈ ẃl t trubl ɖ landlord wɖ sć a trîf̣lñ matr.

Arîvd hom tîrd n wurid. Mr. Putli, a pentr n dec̣retr, hu hd snt in a card, sd h cd nt mać ɖ culr on ɖ sterz, az it cntend Indịn carmîn. H sd h spent haf-a-de cōlñ at wérhǎzz t si f h cd gt it. H sjstd h śd intîrli rīpent ɖ sterz. It wd cost vri litl mor; f h traid t mać it, h cd onli mc a bad job v it. It wd b mor saṭsfactri t him n t s t hv ɖ wrc dn proprli. I cnsntd, bt flt I hd bn tōct ovr. Plantd sm musṭd-n-cres n raḍśz, n wnt t bed at nîn.

Epril 10. – Farṃsn cem rnd t atnd t ɖ screpr himslf. H sīmz a vri sivl felo. H sz h dz nt yẓ́li cnduct sć smōl jobz prsṇli, bt fr m h wd d so. I ʈanct him, n wnt t tǎn. It z dsgresfl hǎ lêt sm v ɖ yuñ clarcs r at arîvñ. I tld ʈri v ɖm ɖt f Mr. Prcup, ɖ prinsipl, hŕd v it, ɖe mt b dsćarjd.

Pít, a munci v sevntīn, hu hz onli bn wɖ s six wīcs, tld m “t cīp mî her on!” I informd him I hd hd ɖ onr v biyñ in ɖ frm twenti yirz, t ẃć h inṣḷntli rplaid ɖt I “lct it.” I gev him an indignnt lc, n sd: “I dmand fṛm y sm rspct, sr.” H rplaid: “Ol rît, g on dmandñ.” I wd nt argy wɖ him eni frɖr. Y canot argy wɖ ppl lîc ɖt. In ɖ īvnñ Gowñ cōld, n rpitd hiz cmplent abt ɖ smel v pent. Gowñ z smtmz vri tīdịs wɖ hiz rmarcs, n nt olwz cōśs; n Cári wns vri proprli rmîndd him ɖt ś wz preznt.

Epril 11. – Musṭd-n-cres n raḍśz nt cm p yt. Tde wz a de v anoynsz. I míst ɖ qortr-t-nîn ’bus t ɖ Siti, ʈru hvñ wrdz wɖ ɖ grosr’z bô, hu fr ɖ secnd tîm hd ɖ imprtinns t brñ hiz bascit t ɖ hōldor, n hd left ɖ marcs v hiz drti būts on ɖ freś-clīnd dorsteps. H sd h hd noct at ɖ sîḑor wɖ hiz nuclz fr a qortr v an aur. I ń Sẹra, ǎr srvnt, cd nt hír ɖs, az ś wz upsterz dwñ ɖ bedrūmz, so asct ɖ bô ẃ h dd nt rñ ɖ bel? H rplaid ɖt h dd pl ɖ bel, bt ɖ handl cem of in hiz hand.

I wz haf-an-aur lêt at ɖ ofis, a ʈñ ɖt hz nvr hapnd t m bfr. Ɖr hz rīsntli bn mć ireğlaṛti in ɖ atndns v ɖ clarcs, n Mr. Prcup, ǎr prinsipl, unforćṇtli ćouz ɖs vri mornñ t pǎns dǎn upn s rli. Smwn hd gvn ɖ tip t ɖ uɖrz. Ɖ rzult wz ɖt I wz ɖ onli wn lêt v ɖ lot. Buclñ, wn v ɖ sīńr clarcs, wz a bric, n I wz sevd bî hiz inṭvnśn. Az I pást bî Pít’s dsc, I hŕd him rmarc t hiz nebr: “Hǎ dsgresf̣li lêt sm v ɖ hed clarcs arîv!” Ɖs wz, v cors, mnt fr m. I trītd ɖ obẓveśn wɖ sîḷns, simpli gvñ him a lc, ẃć unforćṇtli hd ɖ ifct v mcñ bʈ v ɖ clarcs laf. Ʈt aftwdz it wd hv bn mor digṇfaid f I hd pritndd nt t hv hŕd him at ol. Cumñz cōld in ɖ īvnñ, n w pleid doṃnoz.

Epril 12. – Musṭd-n-cres n raḍśz nt cm p yt. Left Farṃsn rperñ ɖ screpr, bt ẃn I cem hom faund ʈri men wrcñ. I asct ɖ mīnñ v it, n Farṃsn sd ɖt in mcñ a freś houl h hd peṇtretd ɖ gaspîp. H sd it wz a most r’dikḷs ples t pt ɖ gaspîp, n ɖ man hu dd it evidntli ń nʈñ abt hiz biznis. I flt hiz xks wz no conṣleśn fr ɖ xpns I śl b pt t.

In ɖ īvnñ, aftr ti, Gowñ dropt in, n w hd a smoc tgɖr in ɖ brecfstparlr. Cári jônd s lêtr, bt dd nt ste loñ, seyñ ɖ smoc wz tù mć fr hr. It wz olso rɖr tù mć fr m, fr Gowñ hd gvn m ẃt h cōld a grīn sgar, wn ɖt hiz frend Śūmac hd jst bròt ovr fṛm America. Ɖ sgar dd’nt lc grīn, bt I fansi I mst hv dn so; fr ẃn I hd smoct a litl mor ɖn haf I wz oblîjd t rtîr on ɖ prītxt v telñ Sẹra t brñ in ɖ glasz.I tc a wōc rnd ɖ gardn ʈri or for tîmz, fīlñ ɖ nīd v freś er. On rtrnñ Gowñ notist I wz nt smocñ: ofrd m anɖr sgar, ẃć I p’lîtli dclînd. Gowñ bgan hiz yźl snifñ, so, antiṣpetñ him, I sd: “Y’r nt gwñ t cmplen v ɖ smel v pent agn?” H sd: “No, nt ɖs tîm; bt I’l tel y ẃt, I dstñtli smel drî rot.” I d’nt ofn mc jocs, bt I rplaid: “Y’r tōcñ a lot v drî rot yrslf.” I cd nt hlp rorñ at ɖs, n Cári sd hr sîdz qt ect wɖ laftr. I nvr wz so imnsli ticld bî enʈñ I hv evr sd bfr. I acć̣li wouc p twîs jrñ ɖ nît, n laft tl ɖ bed śc.

Epril 13. – An xtrordnri cǒinsidns: Cári hd cōld in a wmn t mc sm ćins cuvrz fr ǎr drw̃rūm ćerz n sofa t privnt ɖ sún fedñ ɖ grīn rep v ɖ frnićr. I sw ɖ wmn, n rec̣gnîzd hr az a wmn hu yst t wrc yirz ago fr mî old ānt at Clapm. It onli śoz hǎ smōl ɖ wrld z.

Epril 14. – Spent ɖ hol v ɖ afṭnun in ɖ gardn, hvñ ɖs mornñ pict p at a bcstōl fr fîvpns a capitl litl bc, in gd cndiśn, on Garḍnñ. I pṛkrd n sóud sm haf-hardi ańlz in ẃt I fansi wl b a worm, súni bordr. I ʈt v a joc, n cōld ǎt Cári. Cári cem ǎt rɖr tsti, I ʈt. I sd: “I hv jst dscuvrd w hv got a lojñhǎs.” Ś rplaid: “Hǎ d y mīn?” I sd: “Lc at ɖ bōrdrz.” Cári sd: “Z ɖt ol y wontd m fr?” I sd: “Eni uɖr tîm y wd hv laft at mî litl plezntri.” Cári sd: “Srtnli – at eni uɖr tîm, bt nt ẃn I am bizi in ɖ hǎs.” Ɖ sterz lct vri nîs. Gowñ cōld, n sd ɖ sterz lct ol rît, bt it md ɖ banistrz lc ol roñ, n sjstd a cot v pent on ɖm olso, ẃć Cári qt agrìd wɖ. I wōct rnd t Putli, n forćṇtli h wz ǎt, so I hd a gd xks t let ɖ banistrz slîd. Bî-ɖ-bî, ɖt z rɖr funi.

Epril 15, Súnde. – At ʈri o’cloc Cumñz n Gowñ cōld fr a gd loñ wōc ovr Hamstid n Finćli, n bròt wɖ ɖm a frend nemd Stilbrŭc. W wōct n ćatd tgɖr, xpt Stilbrŭc, hu wz olwz a fy yardz bhnd s stẹrñ at ɖ grǎnd n cutñ at ɖ gras wɖ hiz stic.

Stillbrook lags behind. Gowing uphill.
Stilbrŭc lagz bhnd. Gwñ uphil.
Going downhill
Gwñ dǎnhil
Nearly there
Nirli ɖr

Az it wz gtñ on fr fîv, w for hld a conslteśn, n Gowñ sjstd ɖt w śd mc fr “Ɖ Cǎ & Hej” n gt sm ti. Stilbrŭc sd: “A brandi-n-soda wz gd inuf fr him.” I rmîndd ɖm ɖt ol publichǎzz wr clozd tl six o’cloc. Stilbrŭc sd, “Ɖt’s ol rît – bona-fide travlrz.”W arîvd; n az I wz trayñ t pas, ɖ man in ćarj v ɖ get sd: “Ẃr fṛm?” I rplaid: “Hoḷwe.” H imīɉtli pt p hiz arm, n dclînd t let m pas. I trnd bac fr a momnt, ẃn I sw Stilbrŭc, closli foloud bî Cumñz n Gowñ, mc fr ɖ entṛns. I woćt ɖm, n ʈt I wd hv a gd laf at ɖer xpns, I hŕd ɖ portr se: “Ẃr fṛm?” Ẃn, t mî s’prîz, in fact dsgust, Stilbrŭc rplaid: “Blachīʈ,” n ɖ ʈri wr imīɉtli admitd.

Gowñ cōld t m acrs ɖ get, n sd: “W ś’nt b a minit.” I wêtd fr ɖm ɖ bst part v an aur. Ẃn ɖe apird ɖe wr ol in most xḷnt spirits, n ɖ onli wn hu md an ef̣t t apoḷjîz wz Mr. Stilbrŭc, hu sd t m: “It wz vri ruf on y t b cept wêtñ, bt w hd anɖr spin fr S. n B.’s.” I wōct hom in sîḷns; I cd’nt spīc t ɖm. I flt vri dul ol ɖ īvnñ, bt dīmd it advîẓbl nt t se enʈñ t Cári abt ɖ matr.

Epril 16. – Aftr biznis, set t wrc in ɖ gardn. Ẃn it got darc I rout t Cumñz n Gowñ (hu nɖr cōld, fr a wundr; phps ɖe wr aśemd v ɖmslvz) abt yesṭde’z advnćr at “Ɖ Cǎ & Hej.” Aftwdz md p mî mînd nt t rait yt.

Epril 17. – Ʈt I wd rait a cînd litl not t Gowñ n Cumñz abt last Súnde, n wornñ ɖm agnst Mr. Stilbrŭc. Aftwdz, ʈncñ ɖ matr ovr, tòr p ɖ letrz n dtrmind nt t rait at ol, bt t spīc qaytli t ɖm. Dumfǎndd at rsivñ a śarp letr fṛm Cumñz, seyñ ɖt bʈ h n Gowñ hd bn wêtñ fr an xpḷneśn v (mînd y, mî) xtrordnri conduct cmñ hom on Súnde. At last I rout: “I ʈt I wz ɖ agrivd parti; bt az I frīli fgiv y, y – fīlñ yrslf agrivd – śd bsto fgivnis on m.” I hv copid ɖs vbetim in ɖ dayri, bcz I ʈnc it z wn v ɖ most prfict n ʈtfl sntnsz I hv evr ritn. I postd ɖ letr, bt in mî ǒn hart I flt I wz acć̣li apoḷjîzñ fr hvñ bn insultd.

Epril 18. – Am in fr a cold. Spent ɖ hol de at ɖ ofis snizñ. In ɖ īvnñ, ɖ cold biyñ intolṛbl, snt Sẹra ǎt fr a botl v Ciṇhn. Fél aslip in ɖ armćer, n wouc wɖ ɖ śivrz. Wz startld bî a lǎd noc at ɖ fruntdor. Cári ōf̣li flurid. Sẹra stl ǎt, so wnt p, opnd ɖ dor, n faund it wz onli Cumñz. Rmembrd ɖ grosr’z bô hd agn brocn ɖ sîdbel. Cumñz sqizd mî hand, n sd: “I’v jst sìn Gowñ. Ol rît. Se no mor abt it.” Ɖr z no dǎt ɖe r bʈ undr ɖ impreśn I hv apoḷjîzd.

Ẃl pleyñ doṃnoz wɖ Cumñz in ɖ parlr, h sd: “Bî-ɖ-bî, d y wont eni wîn or spirits? Mî cuzn Mrtn hz jst set p in ɖ tred, n hz a splendid ẃisci, for yirz in botl, at ʈrti-et śilñz. It z wrʈ yr ẃl leyñ dǎn a fy duzn v it.” I tld him mî sélrz, ẃć wr vri smōl, wr fl p. T mî horr, at ɖt vri momnt, Sẹra entrd ɖ rūm, n ptñ a botl v ẃisci, rápt in a drti pìs v nyzpepr, on ɖ tebl in frunt v s, sd: “Plīz, sr, ɖ grosr sz h e’nt got no mor Ciṇhn, bt y’l fînd ɖs vri gd at tū-n-six, wɖ tupns rtrnd on ɖ botl; n, plīz, dd y wont eni mor śeri? az h hz sm at wn-n-ʈri, az drî az a nut!”
"Please, sir, the grocer says he ain't got no more Kinahan, but you'll find this very good at two-and-six."
“Plīz, sr, ɖ grosr sz h e’nt got no mor Ciṇhn, bt y’l fînd ɖs vri gd at tū-n-six.”

ĆAPTR III

A convseśn wɖ Mr. Mrtn on Ssayti. Mr. n Msz. Jemz, v Sutn, cm p. A mizṛbl īvnñ at ɖ Tanc Ʈiytr. Xperimnts wɖ inaml pent. I mc anɖr gd joc; bt Gowñ n Cumñz r uņessṛli ofndd. I pent ɖ baʈ red, wɖ unixpctd rzult.

Epril 19. – Cumñz cōld, brññ wɖ him hiz frend Mrtn, hu z in ɖ wîntred. Gowñ olso cōld. Mr. Mrtn md himslf at hom at wns, n Cári n I wr bʈ struc wɖ him imīɉtli, n ʈuṛli apruvd v hiz sntimnts.

H līnd bac in hiz ćer n sd: “Y mst tec m az I am;” n I rplaid: “Yes – n y mst tec s az w r. W’r homli ppl, w r nt swelz.”H ansrd: “No, I cn si ɖt,” n Gowñ rord wɖ laftr; bt Mrtn in a most jntlmnli manr sd t Gowñ: “I d’nt ʈnc y qt unḍstand m. I intndd t cnve ɖt ǎr ćarmñ host n hostes wr s’pirịr t ɖ foliz v faśn, n prifŕd līdñ a simpl n holsm lîf t gadñ abt t tuṗni-heṗni tīdrincñ afṭnunz, n livñ abv ɖer incumz.”

I wz imnsli plizd wɖ ɖz snṣbl rmarcs v Mrtn’z, n cncludd ɖt subjict bî seyñ: “No, candidli, Mr. Mrtn, w d’nt g intu Ssayti, bcz w d nt cer fr it; n ẃt wɖ ɖ xpns v cabz hir n cabz ɖr, n ẃît gluvz n ẃît tîz, ets., it dz’nt sīm wrʈ ɖ muni.”

Mrtn sd in refṛns t frendz: “Mî moto z ‘Fy n Tru;’ n, bî ɖ we, I olso aplî ɖt t wîn, ‘Litl n Gd.’” Gowñ sd: “Yes, n smtmz ‘ćīp n testi,’ ê, old man?” Mrtn, stl cntinywñ, sd h śd trīt m az a frend, n pt m dǎn fr a duzn v hiz “Loc̣nbar” ẃisci, n az I wz an old frend v Gowñ, I śd hv it fr 36ś., ẃć wz cnsidṛbli undr ẃt h peid fr it.

H bct hiz ǒn ordr, n frɖr sd ɖt at eni tîm I wontd eni pasz fr ɖ ʈiytr I wz t let him nǒ, az hiz nem std gd fr eni ʈiytr in Lundn.

Epril 20. – Cári rmîndd m ɖt az hr old scūlfrend, Ani Fŭlrz (nǎ Msz. Jemz), n hr huzbnd hd cm p fṛm Sutn fr a fy dez, it wd lc cînd t tec ɖm t ɖ ʈiytr, n wd I drop a lîn t Mr. Mrtn ascñ him fr pasz fr for, îɖr fr ɖ Itałn Oṗra, Heimarcit, Svô, or Līseym. I rout Mrtn t ɖt ifct.

Epril 21. – Got a rplî fṛm Mrtn, seyñ h wz vri bizi, n jst at preznt cd’nt manij pasz fr ɖ Itałn Oṗra, Heimarcit, Svô, or Līseym, bt ɖ bst ʈñ gwñ on in Lundn wz ɖ Brǎn Bśz, at ɖ Tanc Ʈiytr, Izlñtn, n inclozd sīts fr for; olso bil fr ẃisci.

Epril 23. – Mr. n Msz. Jemz (Mis Fŭlrz ɖt wz) cem t mìt ti, n w left d’recli aftr fr ɖ Tanc Ʈiytr. W got a ’bus ɖt tc s t Cñ’z Cros, n ɖen ćenjd intu wn ɖt tc s t ɖ “Enjl.” Mr. Jemz ć tîm insistd on peyñ fr ol, seyñ ɖt I hd peid fr ɖ ticits n ɖt wz qt inuf.

W arîvd at ʈiytr, ẃr, krịsli inuf, ol ǎr ’buslod xpt an old wmn wɖ a bascit sīmd t b gwñ in. I wōct ahd n prizntd ɖ ticits. Ɖ man lct at ɖm, n cōld ǎt: “Mr. Wiloli! d y nǒ enʈñ abt ɖz?” holdñ p mî ticits. Ɖ jntlmn cōld t, cem p n xamind mî ticits, n sd: “Hu gev y ɖz?” I sd, rɖr indignntli: “Mr. Mrtn, v cors.” H sd: “Mrtn? Hu’z h?” I ansrd, rɖr śarpli: “Y òt t nǒ, hiz nem’z gd at eni ʈiytr in Lundn.” H rplaid: “Ǒ! z it? Wel, it e’nt no gd hir. Ɖz ticits, ẃć r nt detd, wr iśùd undr Mr. Swinsted’z manijmnt, ẃć hz sins ćenjd handz.” Ẃl I wz hvñ sm vri unpleznt wrdz wɖ ɖ man, Jemz, hu hd gn upsterz wɖ ɖ lediz, cōld ǎt: “Cm on!” I wnt p aftr ɖm, n a vri sivl atndnt sd: “Ɖs we, plīz, box H.” I sd t Jemz: “Ẃ, hǎ on rʈ dd y manij it?” n t mî horr h rplaid: “Ẃ, peid fr it v cors.”Ɖs wz hymilietñ inuf, n I cd scersli folo ɖ ple, bt I wz dūmd t stl frɖr hymilieśn. I wz līnñ ǎt v ɖ box, ẃn mî tî – a litl blac bo ẃć fasnd on t ɖ stud bî mīnz v a ny petnt – fél intu ɖ pit b’lo. A clumzi man nt noṭsñ it, hd hiz ft on it fr evr so loñ bfr h dscuvrd it. H ɖen pict it p n ivnć̣li fluñ it undr ɖ nxt sīt in dsgust. Ẃt wɖ ɖ box-insidnt n ɖ tî, I flt qt mizṛbl. Mr. Jemz, v Sutn, wz vri gd. H sd: “D’nt wuri – nwn wl notis it wɖ yr bird. Ɖt z ɖ onli advantij v growñ wn ɖt I cn si.” Ɖr wz no oceźn fr ɖt rmarc, fr Cári z vri prǎd v mî bird.

T hîd ɖ absns v ɖ tî I hd t cīp mî ćin dǎn ɖ rest v ɖ īvnñ, ẃć cōzd a pen at ɖ bac v mî nec.

Epril 24. – Cd scersli slīp a wnc ʈru ʈncñ v hvñ bròt p Mr. n Msz. Jemz fṛm ɖ cuntri t g t ɖ ʈiytr last nît, n hiz hvñ peid fr a prîṿt box bcz ǎr ordr wz nt onrd, n sć a pur ple tù. I rout a vri s’tiricl letr t Mrtn, ɖ wînmrćnt, hu gev s ɖ pas, n sd, “Cnsiḍrñ w hd t pe fr ǎr sīts, w dd ǎr bst t aprīśiet ɖ pformns.” I ʈt ɖs lîn rɖr cutñ, n I asct Cári hǎ mni p’z ɖr wr in aprīśiet, n ś sd, “Wn.” Aftr I snt of ɖ letr I lct at ɖ dix́nri n faund ɖr wr tū. Ōf̣li vxt at ɖs.

Dsîdd nt t wuri mslf eni mor abt ɖ Jemz’z; fr, az Cári wîzli sd, “W’l mc it ol rît wɖ ɖm bî ascñ ɖm p fṛm Sutn wn īvnñ nxt wīc t ple at Bzīc.”

Epril 25. – In consiqns v Bricwel telñ m hiz wîf wz wrcñ wundrz wɖ ɖ ny Pncf̣d’z inaml pent, I dtrmind t trî it. I bòt tū tinz v red on mî we hom. I hesnd ʈru ti, wnt intu ɖ gardn n pentd sm flǎrpots. I cōld ǎt Cári, hu sd: “Y’v olwz got sm ny-fangld crêz;” bt ś wz oblîjd t admit ɖt ɖ flǎrpots lct rmarcbli wel. Wnt upsterz intu ɖ srvnt’s bedrūm n pentd hr wośstand, tǎlhors, n ćst v drorz. T mî mînd it wz an xtrordnri impruvmnt, bt az an xampl v ɖ ignṛns v ɖ lowr clasz in ɖ matr v test, ǎr srvnt, Sẹra, on siyñ ɖm, ivinst no sîn v pleźr, bt mirli sd “ś ʈt ɖe lct vri wel az ɖe wz bfr.”

I painted the washstand in the servant's bedroom.
I pentd ɖ wośstand in ɖ srvnt’s bedrūm.

Epril 26. – Got sm mor red inaml pent (red, t mî mînd, biyñ ɖ bst culr), n pentd ɖ colscutl, n ɖ bacs v ǎr Śecspir, ɖ bîndñ v ẃć hd olmst wòrn ǎt.

Epril 27. – Pentd ɖ baʈ red, n wz dlîtd wɖ ɖ rzult. Sori t se Cári wz nt, in fact w hd a fy wrdz abt it. Ś sd I òt t hv cnsultd hr, n ś hd nvr hŕd v sć a ʈñ az a baʈ biyñ pentd red. I rplaid: “It’s mirli a matr v test.”

Forćṇtli, frɖr arğmnt on ɖ subjict wz stopt bî a vôs seyñ, “Me I cm in?” It wz onli Cumñz, hu sd, “Yr meid opnd ɖ dor, n asct m t xkz hr śowñ m in, az ś wz riññ ǎt sm socs.” I wz dlîtd t si him, n sjstd w śd hv a gem v ẃist wɖ a dumi, n bî we v merimnt sd: “Y cn b ɖ dumi.” Cumñz (I ʈt rɖr il-nećrdli) rplaid: “Funi az yźl.” H sd h cd’nt stop, h onli cōld t līv m ɖ Bîsicl Nyz, az h hd dn wɖ it.Anɖr rñ at ɖ bel; it wz Gowñ, hu sd h “mst apoḷjîz fr cmñ so ofn, n ɖt wn v ɖz dez w mst cm rnd t him.” I sd: “A vri xtrordnri ʈñ hz struc m.” “Smʈñ funi, az yźl,” sd Cumñz. “Yes,” I rplaid; “I ʈnc īvn y wl se so ɖs tîm. It’s cnsrnñ y bʈ; fr dz’nt it sīm od ɖt Gowñ’z olwz cmñ n Cumñz olwz gwñ?” Cári, hu hd evidntli qt fgotn abt ɖ baʈ, wnt intu fits v laftr, n az fr mslf, I ferli dubld p in mî ćer, tl it cract bnʈ m. I ʈnc ɖs wz wn v ɖ bst jocs I hv evr md.

Ɖen imajin mî astoniśmnt on psivñ bʈ Cumñz n Gowñ prf̣cli sîḷnt, n wɖt a smîl on ɖer fesz. Aftr rɖr an unpleznt pōz, Cumñz, hu hd opnd a sgarces, clozd it p agn n sd: “Yes – I ʈnc, aftr ɖt, I śl b gwñ, n I am sori I fel t si ɖ fun v yr jocs.” Gowñ sd h dd’nt mînd a joc ẃn it wz’nt rūd, bt a pun on a nem, t hiz ʈncñ, wz srtnli a litl wontñ in gd test. Cumñz foloud it p bî seyñ, f it hd bn sd bî enwn els bt mslf, h śd’nt hv entrd ɖ hǎs agn. Ɖs rɖr unplezntli trṃnetd ẃt mt hv bn a ćirfl īvnñ. Hvr, it wz az wel ɖe wnt, fr ɖ ćarwmn hd finiśt p ɖ rmenz v ɖ cold porc.

Epril 28. – At ɖ ofis, ɖ ny n vri yuñ clarc Pít, hu wz vri impydnt t m a wīc or so ago, wz lêt agn. I tld him it wd b mî dyti t inform Mr. Prcup, ɖ prinsipl. T mî s’prîz, Pít apoḷjîzd most humbli n in a most jntlmnli faśn. I wz unfênidli plizd t notis ɖs impruvmnt in hiz manr twdz m, n tld him I wd lc ovr hiz unpuñćuaḷti. Pasñ dǎn ɖ rūm an aur lêtr, I rsivd a smart smac in ɖ fes fṛm a rold-up bōl v hard flscap. I trnd rnd śarpli, bt ol ɖ clarcs wr apaṛntli riṿtd t ɖer wrc. I am nt a rić man, bt I wd gv haf-a-sovrin t nǒ ẃɖr ɖt wz ʈroun bî axidnt or dzîn. Wnt hom rli n bòt sm mor inaml pent – blac ɖs tîm – n spent ɖ īvnñ tućñ p ɖ fndr, picćrfremz, n an old per v būts, mcñ ɖm lc az gd az ny. Olso pentd Gowñ’z wōcñstic, ẃć h left bhnd, n md it lc lîc eḅni.

Epril 29, Súnde. – Wouc p wɖ a firfl hed-ec n stroñ simtmz v a cold. Cári, wɖ a pvrṣti ẃć z jst lîc hr, sd it wz “pentr’z colic,” n wz ɖ rzult v mî hvñ spent ɖ last fy dez wɖ mî nǒz ovr a pentpot. I tld hr frmli ɖt I ń a gret dīl betr ẃt wz ɖ matr wɖ m ɖn ś dd. I hd got a ćil, n dsîdd t hv a baʈ az hot az I cd ber it. Baʈ redi – cd scersli ber it so hot. I prṣvird, n got in; vri hot, bt vri axptbl. I le stl fr sm tîm.

On muvñ mî hand abv ɖ srfis v ɖ wōtr, I xpirịnst ɖ gretist frît I evr rsivd in ɖ hol cors v mî lîf; fr imajin mî horr on dscuṿrñ mî hand, az I ʈt, fl v blud. Mî frst ʈt wz ɖt I hd rupćrd an arṭri, n wz blīdñ t deʈ, n śd b dscuvrd, lêtr on, lcñ lîc a secnd Marā, az I rmembr siyñ him in Madm Tūsod’z. Mî secnd ʈt wz t rñ ɖ bel, bt rmembrd ɖr wz no bel t rñ. Mî ʈrd wz, ɖt ɖr wz nʈñ bt ɖ inaml pent, ẃć hd dzolvd wɖ bôlñ wōtr. I stept ǎt v ɖ baʈ, prf̣cli red ol ovr, rzmḅlñ ɖ Red Indịnz I hv sìn dpictd at an Īst-End ʈiytr. I dtrmind nt t se a wrd t Cári, bt t tel Farṃsn t cm on Munde n pent ɖ baʈ ẃît.
"I looked like Marat in the bath, in Madame Tussaud's.".
“I lct lîc Marā in ɖ baʈ, in Madm Tūsod’z.”

ĆAPTR IV

Ɖ bōl at ɖ Manśnhǎs.

Epril 30. – Prf̣cli astǎndd at rsivñ an invteśn fr Cári n mslf fṛm ɖ Lord n Ledi Mẹris t ɖ Manśnhǎs, t “mīt ɖ Repriznttivz v Tredz n Comrs.” Mî hart bìt lîc ɖt v a scūlbô’z. Cári n I réd ɖ invteśn ovr tū or ʈri tîmz. I cd scersli īt mî brecfst. I sd – n I flt it fṛm ɖ botm v mî hart, – “Cári darlñ, I wz a prǎd man ẃn I léd y dǎn ɖ ail v ɖ ćrć on ǎr wedñde; ɖt prîd wl b īqld, f nt s’pást, ẃn I līd mî dir, priti wîf p t ɖ Lord n Ledi Mẹris at ɖ Manśnhǎs.” I sw ɖ tirz in Cári’z îz, n ś sd: “Ćarli dir, it z I hu hv t b prǎd v y. N I am vri, vri prǎd v y. Y hv cōld m priti; n az loñ az I am priti in yr îz, I am hapi. Y, dir old Ćarli, r nt hansm, bt y r gd, ẃć z far mor nobl.” I gev hr a cis, n ś sd: “I wundr f ɖr wl b eni dansñ? I hv nt danst wɖ y fr yirz.”

I canot tel ẃt indyst m t d it, bt I sizd hr rnd ɖ weist, n w wr sili inuf t b x’ktñ a wîld cnd v polca ẃn Sẹra entrd, grinñ, n sd: “Ɖr z a man, mum, at ɖ dor hu wonts t nǒ f y wont eni gd colz.” Most anoid at ɖs. Spent ɖ īvnñ in anṣrñ, n tẹrñ p agn, ɖ rplî t ɖ Manśnhǎs, hvñ left wrd wɖ Sẹra f Gowñ or Cumñz cōld w wr nt at hom. Mst cnsult Mr. Prcup hǎ t ansr ɖ Lord Mẹr’z invteśn.
"I seized her round the waist, and we were silly enough to be executing a wild kind of polka when Sarah entered."
I sizd hr rnd ɖ weist, n w wr sili inuf t b x’ktñ a wîld cnd v polca ẃn Sẹra entrd

Me 1. – Cári sd: “I śd lîc t snd muɖr ɖ invteśn t lc at.” I cnsntd, az sn az I hd ansrd it. I tld Mr. Prcup, at ɖ ofis, wɖ a fīlñ v prîd, ɖt w hd rsivd an invteśn t ɖ Manśnhǎs; n h sd, t mî astoniśmnt, ɖt h himslf gev in mî nem t ɖ Lord Mẹr’z secṛtri. I flt ɖs rɖr dscǎntd ɖ valy v ɖ invteśn, bt I ʈanct him; n in rplî t m, h dscrîbd hǎ I wz t ansr it. I flt ɖ rplî wz tù simpl; bt v cors Mr. Prcup nz bst.

Me 2. – Snt mî drescot n trǎzrz t ɖ litl teilr’z rnd ɖ cornr, t hv ɖ crīsz tecn ǎt. Tld Gowñ nt t cōl nxt Munde, az w wr gwñ t ɖ Manśnhǎs. Snt similr not t Cumñz.

Me 3. – Cári wnt t Msz. Jemz, at Sutn, t cnsult abt hr dres fr nxt Munde. Ẃl spīcñ inṣdnṭli t Spoć, wn v ǎr hed clarcs, abt ɖ Manśnhǎs, h sd: “Ǒ, I’m asct, bt d’nt ʈnc I śl g.” Ẃn a vulgr man lîc Spoć z asct, I fīl mî invteśn z cnsidṛbli dscǎntd. In ɖ īvnñ, ẃl I wz ǎt, ɖ litl teilr bròt rnd mî cot n trǎzrz, n bcz Sẹra hd nt a śilñ t pe fr ɖ presñ, h tc ɖm awe agn.

Me 4. – Cári’z muɖr rtrnd ɖ Lord Mẹr’z invteśn, ẃć wz snt t hr t lc at, wɖ apoḷjiz fr hvñ upset a glas v port ovr it. I wz tù angri t se enʈñ.

Me 5. – Bòt a per v lavndr cid gluvz fr nxt Munde, n tū ẃît tîz, in ces wn got spôlt in ɖ tayñ.

Me 6, Súnde. – A vri dul srmn, jrñ ẃć, I rgret t se, I twîs ʈt v ɖ Manśnhǎs rspśn tmoro.

Me 7. – A big red-letr de; viz., ɖ Lord Mẹr’z rspśn. Ɖ hol hǎs upset. I hd t gt drest at haf-past six, az Cári wontd ɖ rūm t hrslf. Msz. Jemz hd cm p fṛm Sutn t hlp Cári; so I cd nt hlp ʈncñ it unrīzṇbl ɖt ś śd rqîr ɖ intîr atnśn v Sẹra, ɖ srvnt, az wel. Sẹra cept runñ ǎt v ɖ hǎs t feć “smʈñ fr misis,” n sevṛl tîmz I hd, in mî fl īvnñdres, t ansr ɖ bacdor.

Ɖ last tîm it wz ɖ grīngrosr’z bô, hu, nt siyñ it wz m, fr Sẹra hd nt lîtd ɖ gas, pśt intu mî handz tū caḅjz n haf-a-duzn col blocs. I indignntli ʈrù ɖm on ɖ grǎnd, n flt so anoid ɖt I so far fgot mslf az t box ɖ bô’z irz. H wnt awe crayñ, n sd h śd sumnz m, a ʈñ I wd nt hv hapn fr ɖ wrld. In ɖ darc, I stept on a pìs v ɖ cabij, ẃć bròt m dǎn on ɖ flagz ol v a hīp. Fr a momnt I wz stund, bt ẃn I rcuvrd I crōld upsterz intu ɖ drw̃rūm n on lcñ intu ɖ ćimniglas dscuvrd ɖt mî ćin wz blīdñ, mî śrt smird wɖ ɖ col blocs, n mî left trǎzr torn at ɖ ni.Hvr, Msz. Jemz bròt m dǎn anɖr śrt, ẃć I ćenjd in ɖ drw̃rūm. I pt a pìs v cortplastr on mî ćin, n Sẹra vri nītli soud p ɖ ter at ɖ ni. At nîn o’cloc Cári swept intu ɖ rūm, lcñ lîc a qīn. Nvr hv I sìn hr lc so luvli, or so dstnḡśt. Ś wz wẹrñ a satin dres v scî-blu – mî feṿrit culr – n a pìs v lês, ẃć Msz. Jemz lent hr, rnd ɖ śoldrz, t gv a finiś. I ʈt phps ɖ dres wz a litl tù loñ bhnd, n dsîdidli tù śort in frunt, bt Msz. Jemz sd it wz à la mode. Msz. Jemz wz most cînd, n lent Cári a fan v îṿri wɖ red feɖrz, ɖ valy v ẃć, ś sd, wz prîslis, az ɖ feɖrz b’loñd t ɖ Caću īgl – a brd nǎ xtñt. I prifŕd ɖ litl ẃît fan ẃć Cári bòt fr ʈri-n-six at Śūlbred’z, bt bʈ lediz sat on m at wns.

The greengrocer's boy … who pushed into my hands two cabbages and half-a-dozen coal-blocks.
Ɖ grīngrosr’z bô… hu pśt intu mî handz tū caḅjz n haf-a-duzn col blocs.

W arîvd at ɖ Manśnhǎs tù rli, ẃć wz rɖr forćṇt, fr I hd an oṗtyṇti v spīcñ t hiz lordśp, hu greśsli condisndd t tōc wɖ m sm minits; bt I mst se I wz dis’pôntd t fînd h dd nt īvn nǒ Mr. Prcup, ǎr prinsipl.

I flt az f w hd bn invîtd t ɖ Manśnhǎs bî wn hu dd nt nǒ ɖ Lord Mẹr himslf. Crǎdz arîvd, n I śl nvr fget ɖ grand sît. Mî humbl pén cn nvr dscrîb it. I wz a litl anoid wɖ Cári, hu cept seyñ: “Z’nt it a piti w d’nt nǒ enbdi?”

Wns ś qt lost hr hed. I sw smwn hu lct lîc Franćñ, fṛm Pecm, n wz muvñ twdz him ẃn ś sizd m bî ɖ coțeilz, n sd qt lǎdli: “D’nt līv m,” ẃć cōzd an eldrli jntlmn, in a cortsūt, n a ćen rnd him, n tū lediz, t brst ǎt lafñ. Ɖr wz an imns crǎd in ɖ supŗūm, n, mî starz! it wz a splendid supr – eni amǎnt v śampen.

Cári md a most harti supr, fr ẃć I wz plizd; fr I smtmz ʈnc ś z nt stroñ. Ɖr wz scersli a diś ś dd nt test. I wz so ʈrsti, I cd nt īt mć. Rsivñ a śarp slap on ɖ śoldr, I trnd, n, t mî amezmnt, sw Farṃsn, ǎr aynmungr. H sd, in ɖ most fmiłr we: “Ɖs z betr ɖn Bricfīld Teris, ê?” I simpli lct at him, n sd cūli: “I nvr xpctd t si y hir.” H sd, wɖ a lǎd, cōrs laf: “I lîc ɖt – f y, ẃ nt m?” I rplaid: “Srtnli,” I wś I cd hv ʈt v smʈñ betr t se. H sd: “Cn I gt yr gd ledi enʈñ?” Cári sd: “No, I ʈanc y,” fr ẃć I wz plizd. I sd, bî we v rprūf t him: “Y nvr snt tde t pent ɖ baʈ, az I rqstd.” Farṃsn sd: “Pardn m, Mr. Pūtr, no śop ẃn w’r in cumṗni, plīz.”

Bfr I cd ʈnc v a rplî, wn v ɖ śerifs, in fl Cort costym, slapt Farṃsn on ɖ bac n hêld him az an old frend, n asct him t dîn wɖ him at hiz loj. I wz astoniśt. Fr fl fîv minits ɖe std rorñ wɖ laftr, n std digñ ć uɖr in ɖ ribz. Ɖe cept telñ ć uɖr ɖe dd’nt lc a de oldr. Ɖe bgan imbresñ ć uɖr n drincñ śampen.

T ʈnc ɖt a man hu mndz ǎr screpr śd nǒ eni membr v ǎr aṛstocṛsi! I wz jst muvñ wɖ Cári, ẃn Farṃsn sizd m rɖr rufli bî ɖ colr, n adresñ ɖ śerif, sd: “Let m intṛdys mî nebr, Pūtr.” H dd nt īvn se “Mistr.” Ɖ śerif handd m a glas v śampen. I flt, aftr ol, it wz a gret onr t drinc a glas v wîn wɖ him, n I tld him so. W std ćatñ fr sm tîm, n at last I sd: “Y mst xkz m nǎ f I jôn Msz. Pūtr.” Ẃn I aproćt hr, ś sd: “D’nt let m tec y awe fṛm frendz. I am qt hapi standñ hir alon in a crǎd, nwñ nbdi!”

Az it tecs tū t mc a qoṛl, n az it wz nɖr ɖ tîm nr ɖ ples fr it, I gev mî arm t Cári, n sd: “I hop mî darlñ litl wîf wl dans wɖ m, f onli fr ɖ sec v seyñ w hd danst at ɖ Manśnhǎs az gests v ɖ Lord Mẹr.” Fîndñ ɖ dansñ aftr supr wz les forml, n nwñ hǎ mć Cári yst t admîr mî dansñ in ɖ dez gn bî, I pt mî arm rnd hr weist n w cmnst a wōlts.

A most unforćṇt axidnt ocŕd. I hd got on a ny per v būts. Fūliśli, I hd omitd t tec Cári’z advîs; nemli, t scrać ɖ sǒlz v ɖm wɖ ɖ pônts v ɖ sizrz or t pt a litl wet on ɖm. I hd scersli startd ẃn, lîc lîtnñ, mî left ft slipt awe n I cem dǎn, ɖ sîd v mî hed strîcñ ɖ flor wɖ sć vayḷns ɖt fr a secnd or tū I dd nt nǒ ẃt hd hapnd. I nīd hardli se ɖt Cári fél wɖ m wɖ īql vayḷns, brecñ ɖ com in hr her n grezñ hr elbo.

Ɖr wz a ror v laftr, ẃć wz imīɉtli ćect ẃn ppl faund ɖt w hd riyli hrt ǎrslvz. A jntlmn asistd Cári t a sīt, n I xprest mslf priti stroñli on ɖ denjr v hvñ a plen poliśt flor wɖ no carpit or drugit t privnt ppl slipñ. Ɖ jntlmn, hu sd hiz nem wz Darwits, insistd on iscortñ Cári t hv a glas v wîn, an invteśn ẃć I wz plizd t alǎ Cári t axpt.

I foloud, n met Farṃsn, hu imīɉtli sd, in hiz lǎd vôs “Ǒ, r y ɖ wn hu wnt dǎn?”

I ansrd wɖ an indignnt lc.

Wɖ xicṛbl test, h sd: “Lc hir, old man, w r tù old fr ɖs gem. W mst līv ɖz ceprz t ɖ yuñstrz. Cm n hv anɖr glas, ɖt z mor in ǎr lîn.”

Olɖo I flt I wz bayñ hiz sîḷns bî axptñ, w foloud ɖ uɖrz intu ɖ supŗūm.

Nɖr Cári nr I, aftr ǎr unforćṇt mishap, flt inclînd t ste longr. Az w wr dpartñ, Farṃsn sd: “R y gwñ? f so, y mt gv m a lift.”

I ʈt it betr t cnsnt, bt wś I hd frst cnsultd Cári.

ĆAPTR V

Aftr ɖ Manśnhǎs Bōl. Cári ofndd. Gowñ olso ofndd. A pleznt parti at ɖ Cumñz’. Mr. Franćñ, v Pecm, vizits s.

Me 8. – I wouc p wɖ a most teṛbl hed-ec. I cd scersli si, n ɖ bac v mî nec wz az f I hd gvn it a cric. I ʈt frst v sndñ fr a doctr; bt I dd nt ʈnc it nesṣri. Ẃn p, I flt fent, n wnt t Brǎniś’z, ɖ cemist, hu gev m a dráft. So bad at ɖ ofis, hd t gt līv t cm hom. Wnt t anɖr cemist in ɖ Siti, n I got a dráft. Brǎniś’z dos sīmz t hv md m wrs; hv ītn nʈñ ol de. T mc matrz wrs, Cári, evri tîm I spouc t hr, ansrd m śarpli – ɖt z, ẃn ś ansrd at ol.

In ɖ īvnñ I flt vri mć wrs agn n sd t hr: “I d b’liv I’v bn pôznd bî ɖ lobstr meynez at ɖ Manśnhǎs last nît;” ś simpli rplaid, wɖt tecñ hr îz fṛm hr sowñ: “Śampen nvr dd agri wɖ y.” I flt iṛtetd, n sd: “Ẃt nonsns y tōc; I onli hd a glas n a haf, n y nǒ az wel az I d – ” Bfr I cd cmplit ɖ sntns ś bǎnst ǎt v ɖ rūm. I sat ovr an aur wêtñ fr hr t rtrn; bt az ś dd nt, I dtrmind I wd g t bed. I dscuvrd Cári hd gn t bed wɖt īvn seyñ “gdnît”; līvñ m t bar ɖ scuḷridor n fīd ɖ cat. I śl srtnli spīc t hr abt ɖs in ɖ mornñ.

Me 9. – Stl a litl śeci, wɖ blac specs. Ɖ Blacfrîrz Bîwīcli Nyz cntenz a loñ list v ɖ gests at ɖ Manśnhǎs Bōl. Dis’pôntd t fînd ǎr nemz omitd, ɖo Farṃsn’z z in plenli inuf wɖ M.L.L. aftr it, ẃtvr ɖt me mīn. Mor ɖn vxt, bcz w hd ordrd a duzn copiz t snd t ǎr frendz. Rout t ɖ Blacfrîrz Bîwīcli Nyz, pôntñ ǎt ɖer omiśn.

Cári hd cmnst hr brecfst ẃn I entrd ɖ parlr. I hlpt mslf t a cup v ti, n I sd, prf̣cli cāmli n qaytli: “Cári, I wś a litl xpḷneśn v yr conduct last nît.”Ś rplaid, “Indd! n I dzîr smʈñ mor ɖn a litl xpḷneśn v yr conduct ɖ nît bfr.”

I sd, cūli: “Riyli, I d’nt unḍstand y.”

Cári sd snirñli: “Probbli nt; y wr scersli in a cndiśn t unḍstand enʈñ.”

I wz astǎndd at ɖs insińueśn n simpli ijakletd: “Caṛlîn!”

Ś sd: “D’nt b ʈiatricl, it hz no ifct on m. Rzrv ɖt ton fr yr ny frend, Mistr Farṃsn, ɖ aynmungr.”

I wz abt t spīc, ẃn Cári, in a tmpr sć az I hv nvr sìn hr in bfr, tld m t hold mî tuñ. Ś sd: “Nǎ I’m gwñ t se smʈñ! Aftr pṛfesñ t snub Mr. Farṃsn, y pmit him t snub y, in mî prezns, n ɖen axpt hiz invteśn t tec a glas v śampen wɖ y, n y d’nt limit yrslf t wn glas. Y ɖen ofr ɖs vulgr man, hu md a bungl v rperñ ǎr screpr, a sīt in ǎr cab on ɖ we hom. I se nʈñ abt hiz tẹrñ mî dres in gtñ in ɖ cab, nr v trédñ on Msz. Jemz’z xpnsiv fan, ẃć y noct ǎt v mî hand, n fr ẃć h nvr īvn apoḷjîzd; bt y smoct ol ɖ we hom wɖt hvñ ɖ dīsnsi t asc mî pmiśn. Ɖt z nt ol! At ɖ end v ɖ jrni, olɖo h dd nt ofr y a farɖñ twdz hiz śer v ɖ cab, y asct him in. Forćṇtli, h wz sobr inuf t dtct, fṛm mî manr, ɖt hiz cumṗni wz nt dzîṛbl.”

"You then offer this vulgar man, who made a bungle of repairing our scraper, a seat in our cab on the way home."
“Y ɖen ofr ɖs vulgr man… a sīt in ǎr cab on ɖ we hom.”

Gdnis nz I flt hymilietd inuf at ɖs; bt, t mc matrz wrs, Gowñ entrd ɖ rūm, wɖt nocñ, wɖ tū hats on hiz hed n holdñ ɖ gardnrêc in hiz hand, wɖ Cári’z fŕ tipit (ẃć h hd tecn of ɖ dǎnsterz hōlpeg) rnd hiz nec, n anǎnst himslf in a lǎd, cōrs vôs: “Hiz Royl Hînis, ɖ Lord Mẹr!” H marćt twîs rnd ɖ rūm lîc a bfūn, n fîndñ w tc no notis, sd: “Hlo! ẃt’s p? Luvrz’ qoṛl, ê?”

Ɖr wz a sîḷns fr a momnt, so I sd qaytli: “Mî dir Gowñ, I’m nt vri wel, n nt qt in ɖ hymr fr jocñ; ispeṣ́li ẃn y entr ɖ rūm wɖt nocñ, an act ẃć I fel t si ɖ fun v.”

Gowñ sd: “I’m vri sori, bt I cōld fr mî stic, ẃć I ʈt y wd hv snt rnd.” I handd him hiz stic, ẃć I rmembrd I hd pentd blac wɖ ɖ inaml pent, ʈncñ t impruv it. H lct at it fr a minit wɖ a dezd xpreśn n sd: “Hu dd ɖs?”

I sd: “Ê, dd ẃt?”

H sd: “Dd ẃt? Ẃ, dstroid mî stic! It b’loñd t mî pur uncl, n I valy it mor ɖn enʈñ I hv in ɖ wrld! I’l nǒ hu dd it.”

I sd: “I’m vri sori. I der se it wl cm of. I dd it fr ɖ bst.”

Gowñ sd: “Ɖen ol I cn se z, it’s a cnfǎndd liḅti; n I wd ad, y’r a bigr fūl ɖn y lc, onli ɖt’s abṣlutli imposbl.”

Me 12. – Got a sngl copi v ɖ Blacfrîrz Bîwīcli Nyz. Ɖr wz a śort list v sevṛl nemz ɖe hd omitd; bt ɖ stypid ppl hd mnśnd ǎr nemz az “Mr. n Msz. C. Portr.” Most anoyñ! Rout agn n I tc ptiklr cer t rait ǎr nem in capitl letrz, PŪTR, so ɖt ɖr śd b no poṣbl mstec ɖs tîm.

Me 16. – Abṣlutli dsgustd on oṗnñ ɖ Blacfrîrz Bîwīcli Nyz v tde, t fînd ɖ folowñ paṛgraf: “W hv rsivd tū letrz fṛm Mr. n Msz. Ćarlz Pytr, rqstñ s t anǎns ɖ importnt fact ɖt ɖe wr at ɖ Manśnhǎs Bōl.” I tòr p ɖ pepr n ʈrù it in ɖ westpepr bascit. Mî tîm z far tù vałbl t boɖr abt sć trîflz.

Me 21. – Ɖ last wīc or ten dez teṛbli dul, Cári biyñ awe at Msz. Jemz’z, at Sutn. Cumñz olso awe. Gowñ, I prizym, z stl ofndd wɖ m fr blac-inaṃlñ hiz stic wɖt ascñ him.

Me 22. – Prćist a ny stic mǎntd wɖ silvr, ẃć cost sevn-n-sixpns (śl tel Cári fîv śilñz), n snt it rnd wɖ nîs not t Gowñ.

Me 23. – Rsivd strenj not fṛm Gowñ; h sd: “Ofndd? nt a bit, mî bô – I ʈt y wr ofndd wɖ m fr luzñ mî tmpr. Bsdz, I faund aftr ol, it wz nt mî pur old uncl’z stic y pentd. It wz onli a śilñ ʈñ I bòt at a tbac̣nist’s. Hvr, I am mć oblîjd t y fr yr hansm preznt ol sem.”

Me 24. – Cári bac. Hrā! Ś lcs wundrf̣li wel, xpt ɖt ɖ sún hz còt hr nǒz.

Me 25. – Cári bròt dǎn sm v mî śrts n advîzd m t tec ɖm t Trilip’s rnd ɖ cornr. Ś sd: “Ɖ frunts n cufs r mć freid.” I sd wɖt a momnt’s hezteśn: “I’m ’freid ɖe r.” Lor! hǎ w rord. I ʈt w śd nvr stop lafñ. Az I hapnd t b sitñ nxt ɖ drîvr gwñ t tǎn on ɖ ’bus, I tld him mî joc abt ɖ “freid” śrts. I ʈt h wd hv rold of hiz sīt. Ɖe laft at ɖ ofis a gd bit tù ovr it.

Me 26. – Left ɖ śrts t b rperd at Trilip’s. I sd t him: “I’m ’freid ɖe r freid.” H sd, wɖt a smîl: “Ɖ’r baund t d ɖt, sr.” Sm ppl sīm t b qt desttyt v a sns v hymr.

Jūn 1. – Ɖ last wīc hz bn lîc old tîmz, Cári biyñ bac, n Gowñ n Cumñz cōlñ evri īvnñ nirli. Twîs w sat ǎt in ɖ gardn qt lêt. Ɖs īvnñ w wr lîc a pac v ćildṛn, n pleid “consiqnsz.” It z a gd gem.

Jūn 2. – “Consiqnsz” agn ɖs īvnñ. Nt qt so s’xesfl az last nît; Gowñ hvñ sevṛl tîmz oṿstept ɖ limits v gd test.

Jūn 4. – In ɖ īvnñ Cári n I wnt rnd t Mr. n Msz. Cumñz’ t spend a qayt īvnñ wɖ ɖm. Gowñ wz ɖr, olso Mr. Stilbrŭc. It wz qayt bt pleznt. Msz. Cumñz sañ fîv or six soñz, “No, Sr,” n “Ɖ Gardn v Slīp,” biyñ bst in mî humbl jujmnt; bt ẃt plizd m most wz ɖ dyet ś sañ wɖ Cári – clasicl dyet, tù. I ʈnc it z cōld, “I wd ɖt mî luv!” It wz bytifl. F Cári hd bn in betr vôs, I d’nt ʈnc pṛfeśnlz cd hv suñ it betr. Aftr supr w md ɖm sñ it agn. I nvr lîct Mr. Stilbrŭc sins ɖ wōc ɖt Súnde t ɖ “Cǎ & Hej,” bt I mst se h sñz comic soñz wel. Hiz soñ: “W d’nt wont ɖ old men nǎ,” md s śrīc wɖ laftr, ispeṣ́li ɖ vrs rfŕñ t Mr. Gladstn; bt ɖr wz wn vrs I ʈnc h mt hv omitd, n I sd so, bt Gowñ ʈt it wz ɖ bst v ɖ lot.

Jūn 6. – Trilip bròt rnd ɖ śrts n, t mî dsgust, hiz ćarj fr rperñ wz mor ɖn I gev fr ɖm ẃn ny. I tld him so, n h imprtinntli rplaid: “Wel, ɖe r betr nǎ ɖn ẃn ɖe wr ny.” I peid him, n sd it wz a roḅri. H sd: “F y wontd yr śrtfrunts md ǎt v pōprlinn, sć az z yzd fr pacñ n bcbîndñ, ẃ dd’nt y se so?”

Jūn 7. – A dredfl anoyns. Met Mr. Franćñ, hu livz at Pecm, n hu z a gret swel in hiz we. I vnćrd t asc him t cm hom t mìți, n tec potluc. I dd nt ʈnc h wd axpt sć a humbl invteśn; bt h dd, seyñ, in a most frendli we, h wd rɖr “pec” wɖ s ɖn bî himslf. I sd: “W hd betr gt intu ɖs blu ’bus.” H rplaid: “No blu-busñ fr m. I hv hd inuf v ɖ bluz lêtli. I lost a cūl ‘ʈǎ’ ovr ɖ Copr Scer. Step in hir.”

Mr. Franching, of Peckham.
Mr. Franćñ, v Pecm

W drouv p hom in stîl, in a hansmcab, n I noct ʈri tîmz at ɖ fruntdor wɖt gtñ an ansr. I sw Cári, ʈru ɖ panlz v graund glas (wɖ starz), ruśñ upsterz. I tld Mr. Franćñ t wêt at ɖ dor ẃl I wnt rnd t ɖ sîd. Ɖr I sw ɖ grosr’z bô acć̣li picñ of ɖ pent on ɖ dor, ẃć hd formd intu blistrz. No tîm t rpruv him; so wnt rnd n ifctd an entṛns ʈru ɖ cićnwindo. I let in Mr. Franćñ, n śoud him intu ɖ drw̃rūm. I wnt upsterz t Cári, hu wz ćenjñ hr dres, n tld hr I hd pswedd Mr. Franćñ t cm hom. Ś rplaid: “Hǎ cn y d sć a ʈñ? Y nǒ it’s Sẹra’z hoḷde, n ɖr’z nt a ʈñ in ɖ hǎs, ɖ cold mutn hvñ trnd wɖ ɖ hot weɖr.”Ivnć̣li Cári, lîc a gd crīćr az ś z, slipt dǎn, wośt p ɖ tīcups, n leid ɖ cloʈ, n I gev Franćñ ǎr vyz v Jpan t lc at ẃl I ran rnd t ɖ bćr’z t gt ʈri ćops.

The grocer's boy was actually picking off the paint on the side door, which had formed into blisters.
Đ grosr’z bô wz acć̣li picñ of ɖ pent on ɖ dor, ẃć hd formd intu blistrz.

Jlî 30. – Ɖ mizṛbl cold weɖr z îɖr upsetñ m or Cári, or bʈ. W sīm t brec ǎt intu an arğmnt abt abṣlutli nʈñ, n ɖs unpleznt stet v ʈñz yẓ́li ocŕz at mīltîmz.

Ɖs mornñ, fr sm un’cǎntbl rīzn, w wr tōcñ abt b’lūnz, n w wr az meri az poṣbl; bt ɖ convseśn driftd intu faṃli matrz, jrñ ẃć Cári, wɖt ɖ slîtist rīzn, rfŕd in ɖ most uncompḷmntri manr t mî pur faɖr’z pkńri trubl. I rtortd bî seyñ ɖt “Pa, at ol ivnts, wz a jntlmn,” ẃr’pn Cári brst ǎt crayñ. I poztivli cd nt īt eni brecfst.At ɖ ofis I wz snt fr bî Mr. Prcup, hu sd h wz vri sori, bt I śd hv t tec mî ańl hoḷdez fṛm nxt Saṭde. Franćñ cōld at ofis n asct m t dîn at hiz club, “Ɖ Consttyśnl.” Firñ dis’griyblz at hom aftr ɖ “tif” ɖs mornñ, I snt a teḷgram t Cári, telñ hr I wz gwñ ǎt t dîn n ś wz nt t sit p. Bòt a litl silvr bangl fr Cári.

Jlî 31. – Cári wz vri plizd wɖ ɖ bangl, ẃć I left wɖ an afx́ṇt not on hr dresñtebl last nît bfr gwñ t bed. I tld Cári w śd hv t start fr ǎr hoḷde nxt Saṭde. Ś rplaid qt haṗli ɖt ś dd nt mînd, xpt ɖt ɖ weɖr wz so bad, n ś fird ɖt Mis Jibnz wd nt b ebl t gt hr a sìsîd dres in tîm. I tld Cári ɖt I ʈt ɖ drab wn wɖ pnc boz lct qt gd inuf; n Cári sd ś śd nt ʈnc v wẹrñ it. I wz abt t dscus ɖ matr, ẃn, rmemḅrñ ɖ arğmnt yesṭde, rzolvd t hold mî tuñ.

I sd t Cári: “I d’nt ʈnc w cn d betr ɖn ‘Gd old Brōdsterz’.” Cári nt onli, t mî astoniśmnt, rezd an objx́n t Brōdsterz, fr ɖ frst tîm; bt begd m nt t yz ɖ xpreśn, “Gd old,” bt t līv it t Mr. Stilbrŭc n uɖr jntlṃn v hiz tîp. Hírñ mî ’bus pas ɖ windo, I wz oblîjd t ruś ǎt v ɖ hǎs wɖt cisñ Cári az yźl; n I śǎtd t hr: “I līv it t y t dsîd.” On rtrnñ in ɖ īvnñ, Cári sd ś ʈt az ɖ tîm wz so śort ś hd dsîdd on Brōdsterz, n hd ritn t Msz. Béc, Harbr Vy Teris, fr apartmnts.

Ōġst 1. – Ordrd a ny per v trǎzrz at Edwdz’z, n tld ɖm nt t cut ɖm so lūs ovr ɖ būt; ɖ last per biyñ so lūs n olso tît at ɖ ni, lct lîc a sêlr’z, n I hŕd Pít, ɖt objx́ṇbl yʈ at ɖ ofis, cōl ǎt “Hornpîp” az I pást hiz dsc. Cári hz ordrd v Mis Jibnz a pnc Garibōldi n blu-srj scrt, ẃć I olwz ʈnc lcs so priti at ɖ sìsîd. In ɖ īvnñ ś trimd hrslf a litl sêlrhat, ẃl I réd t hr ɖ Xćenj n Mart. W hd a gd laf ovr mî trayñ on ɖ hat ẃn ś hd finiśt it; Cári seyñ it lct so funi wɖ mî bird, n hǎ ɖ ppl wd hv rord f I wnt on ɖ stej lîc it.

Young Pitt called out "Hornpipe" as I passed his desk.
Yuñ Pít cōld ǎt “Hornpîp” az I pást his dsc.

Ōġst 2. – Msz. Béc rout t se w cd hv ǎr yźl rūmz at Brōdsterz. Ɖt’s of ǎr mînd. Bòt a culrd śrt n a per v tan-culrd būts, ẃć I si mni v ɖ swel clarcs wẹrñ in ɖ Siti, n hír r ol ɖ “go.”

Ōġst 3. – A bytifl de. Lcñ fwd t tmoro. Cári bòt a paṛsol abt fîv fīt loñ. I tld hr it wz r’dikḷs. Ś sd: “Msz. Jemz, v Sutn, hz wn twîs az loñ so;” ɖ matr dropt. I bòt a capitl hat fr hot weɖr at ɖ sìsîd. I d’nt nǒ ẃt it z cōld, bt it z ɖ śep v ɖ helmit wòrn in India, onli md v strw. Got ʈri ny tîz, tū culrd hanc̣ćīfs, n a per v nevi-blu socs at Pǒp Bruɖrz. Spent ɖ īvnñ pacñ. Cári tld m nt t fget t boro Mr. Higzwrʈ’s teḷscop, ẃć h olwz lendz m, nwñ I nǒ hǎ t tec cer v it. Snt Sẹra ǎt fr it. Ẃl evrʈñ wz sīmñ so brît, ɖ last post bròt s a letr fṛm Msz. Béc, seyñ: “I hv jst let ol mî hǎs t wn parti, n am sori I mst tec bac mî wrdz, n am sori y mst fînd uɖr apartmnts; bt Msz. Womming, nxt dor, wl b plizd t acoṃdet y, bt ś canot tec y bfr Munde, az hr rūmz r ingejd Banchoḷde wīc.”

ĆAPTR VI

Ɖ Unixpctd Arîvl Hom v ǎr Sun, Wili Lūpin Pūtr.

Ōġst 4. – Ɖ frst post bròt a nîs letr fṛm ǎr dir sun Wili, acnoḷjñ a trîf̣lñ preznt ẃć Cári snt him, ɖ de bfr yesṭde biyñ hiz twentịʈ brʈde. T ǎr utr amezmnt h trnd p himslf in ɖ afṭnun, hvñ jrnid ol ɖ we fṛm Oldm. H sd h hd got līv fṛm ɖ banc, n az Munde wz a hoḷde h ʈt h wd gv s a litl s’prîz.

Ōġst 5, Súnde. – W hv nt sìn Wili sins last Crisṃs, n r plizd t notis ẃt a fîn yuñ man h hz groun. Wn wd scersli b’liv h wz Cári’z sun. H lcs mor lîc a yungr bruɖr. I rɖr dis’pruv v hiz wẹrñ a ćec sūt on a Súnde, n I ʈnc h òt t hv gn t ćrć ɖs mornñ; bt h sd h wz tîrd aftr yesṭde’z jrni, so I rfrend fṛm eni rmarc on ɖ subjict. W hd a botl v port fr dinr, n dranc dir Wili’z hlʈ.

H sd: “Ǒ, bî-ɖ-bî, dd I tel y I’v cut mî frst nem, ‘Wiłm,’ n tecn ɖ secnd nem ‘Lūpin’? In fact, I’m onli noun at Oldm az ‘Lūpin Pūtr.’ F y wr t ‘Wili’ m ɖr, ɖe wd’nt nǒ ẃt y mnt.”V cors, Lūpin biyñ a pyrli faṃli nem, Cári wz dlîtd, n bgan bî gvñ a loñ hisṭri v ɖ Lūpinz. I vnćrd t se ɖt I ʈt Wiłm a nîs simpl nem, n rmîndd him h wz crisnd aftr hiz Uncl Wiłm, hu wz mć rspctd in ɖ Siti. Wili, in a manr ẃć I dd nt mć cer fr, sd snirñli: “Ǒ, I nǒ ol abt ɖt – Gd old Bil!” n hlpt himslf t a ʈrd glas v port.

Cári objctd stroñli t mî seyñ “Gd old,” bt ś md no rmarc ẃn Wili yzd ɖ dubl ajctiv. I sd nʈñ, bt lct at hr, ẃć mnt mor. I sd: “Mî dir Wili, I hop y r hapi wɖ yr colīgz at ɖ Banc.” H rplaid: “Lūpin, f y plīz; n wɖ rspct t ɖ Banc, ɖr’z nt a clarc hu z a jntlmn, n ɖ ‘bos’ z a cad.” I flt so śoct, I cd se nʈñ, n mî instñt tld m ɖr wz smʈñ roñ.

Lupin
Lūpin

Ōġst 6, Banchoḷde. – Az ɖr wz no sîn v Lūpin muvñ at nîn o’cloc, I noct at hiz dor, n sd w yẓ́li brecfstd at haf-past et, n asct hǎ loñ wd h b? Lūpin rplaid ɖt h hd hd a lîvli tîm v it, frst wɖ ɖ tren śecñ ɖ hǎs ol nît, n ɖen wɖ ɖ sún strīmñ in ʈru ɖ windo in hiz îz, n gvñ him a cracñ hed-ec. Cári cem p n asct f h wd lîc sm brecfst snt p, n h sd h cd d wɖ a cup v ti, n dd’nt wont enʈñ t īt.

Lūpin nt hvñ cm dǎn, I wnt p agn at haf-past wn, n sd w dînd at tū; h sd h “wd b ɖr.” H nvr cem dǎn tl a qortr t ʈri. I sd: “W hv nt sìn mć v y, n y wl hv t rtrn bî ɖ 5.30 tren; ɖrfr y wl hv t līv in an aur, unls y g bî ɖ midnît meil.” H sd: “Lc hir, Guvnr, it’s no ys bìtñ abt ɖ bś. I’v tndrd mî reẓgneśn at ɖ Banc.”Fr a momnt I cd nt spīc. Ẃn mî spīć cem agn, I sd: “Hǎ der y, sr? Hǎ der y tec sć a sirịs step wɖt cnsultñ m? D’nt ansr m, sr! – y wl sit dǎn imīɉtli, n rait a not at mî dicteśn, wɖdrw̃ yr reẓgneśn n ampli apoḷjîzñ fr yr ʈtlisnis.”

Imajin mî dsme ẃn h rplaid wɖ a lǎd gfw: “It’s no ys. F y wont ɖ gd old truʈ, I’v got ɖ ćuc!”

Ōġst 7. – Mr. Prcup hz gvn m līv t pspon mî hoḷde a wīc, az w cd nt gt ɖ rūm. Ɖs wl gv s an oṗtyṇti v trayñ t fînd an apôntmnt fr Wili bfr w g. Ɖ ambiśn v mî lîf wd b t gt him intu Mr. Prcup’s frm.

Ōġst 11. – Olɖo it z a sirịs matr hvñ ǎr bô Lūpin on ǎr handz, stl it z saṭsfactri t nǒ h wz asct t rzîn fṛm ɖ Banc simpli bcz “h tc no inṭrest in hiz wrc, n olwz arîvd an aur (smtmz tū aurz) lêt.” W cn ol start of on Munde t Brōdsterz wɖ a lît hart. Ɖs wl tec mî mînd of ɖ wuri v ɖ last fy dez, ẃć hv bn westd ovr a yslis corispondns wɖ ɖ manijr v ɖ Banc at Oldm.

Ōġst 13. – Hrā! at Brōdsterz. Vri nîs apartmnts nir ɖ steśn. On ɖ clifs ɖe wd hv bn dubl ɖ prîs. Ɖ landledi hd a nîs fîv o’cloc dinr n ti redi, ẃć w ol injoid, ɖo Lūpin sīmd fstidịs bcz ɖr hapnd t b a flî in ɖ butr. It wz vri wet in ɖ īvnñ, fr ẃć I wz ʈancfl, az it wz a gd xks fr gwñ t bed rli. Lūpin sd h wd sit p n rīd a bit.

Ōġst 14. – I wz a litl anoid t fînd Lūpin, instd v rīdñ last nît, hd gn t a comn sort v enttenmnt, gvn at ɖ Asmblirūmz. I xprest mî opińn ɖt sć pformnsz wr unwrɖi v rspctbl patṛnij; bt h rplaid: “Ǒ, it wz onli ‘fr wn nît onli.’ I hd a fit v ɖ bluz cm on, n ʈt I wd g t si Poli Preswel, Ñgḷnd’z Ptiklr Sparc.” I tld him I wz prǎd t se I hd nvr hŕd v hr. Cári sd: “D let ɖ bô alon. H’z qt old inuf t tec cer v himslf, n w’nt fget h’z a jntlmn. Rmembr, y wr yuñ wns yrslf.” Rênd ol de hard, bt Lūpin wd g ǎt.

Ōġst 15. – Clird p a bit, so w ol tc ɖ tren t Marget, n ɖ frst prsn w met on ɖ jeti wz Gowñ. I sd: “Hlo! I ʈt y hd gn t Barṃʈ wɖ yr Brmñm frendz?” H sd: “Yes, bt yuñ Pītr Loṛns wz so il, ɖe pspond ɖer vizit, so I cem dǎn hir. Y nǒ ɖ Cumñz’ r hir tù?” Cári sd: “Ǒ, ɖt wl b dlîtfl! W mst hv sm īvnñz tgɖr n hv gemz.”

I intṛdyst Lūpin, seyñ: “Y wl b plizd t fînd w hv ǎr dir bô at hom!” Gowñ sd: “Hǎ’z ɖt? Y d’nt mīn t se h’z left ɖ Banc?”I ćenjd ɖ subjict qcli, n ɖrbî avôdd eni v ɖoz ōcẉd qsćnz ẃć Gowñ olwz hz a nac v ascñ.

Ōġst 16. – Lūpin poztivli rfyzd t wōc dǎn ɖ P’red wɖ m bcz I wz wẹrñ mî ny strw helmit wɖ mî froc̦ot. I d’nt nǒ ẃt ɖ bô z cmñ t.

Lupin positively refused to walk down the Parade with me because I was wearing my new straw helmet with my frock-coat.
Lūpin poztivli rfyzd t wōc dǎn ɖ P’red wɖ m bcz I wz wẹrñ mî ny strw helmit wɖ mî froc̦ot.

Ōġst 17. – Lūpin nt fōlñ in wɖ ǎr vyz, Cári n I wnt fr a sêl. It wz a rlif t b wɖ hr alon; fr ẃn Lūpin iṛtets m, ś olwz sîdz wɖ him. On ǎr rtrn, h sd: “Ǒ, y’v bn on ɖ ‘Śilñ-Imetic,’ hv y? Y’l cm t six-peṇʈ on ɖ ‘Livrjrcr’ nxt.” I prizym h mnt a trîsicl, bt I afctd nt t unḍstand him.

Ōġst 18. – Gowñ n Cumñz wōct ovr t arenj an īvnñ at Marget. It biyñ wet, Gowñ asct Cumñz t acumṗni him t ɖ hotel n hv a gem v biłdz, nwñ I nvr ple, n in fact dis’pruv v ɖ gem. Cumñz sd h mst hesn bac t Marget; ẃr’pn Lūpin, t mî horr, sd: “I’l gv y a gem, Gowñ – a hundṛd p. A wōc rnd ɖ cloʈ wl gv m an aṗtît fr dinr.” I sd: “Phps Mistr Gowñ dz nt cer t ple wɖ bôz.” Gowñ s’prîzd m bî seyñ: “Ǒ yes, I d, f ɖe ple wel,” n ɖe wōct of tgɖr.

Ōġst 19, Súnde. – I wz abt t rīd Lūpin a srmn on smocñ (ẃć h induljz in vayḷntli) n biłdz, bt h pt on hiz hat n wōct ǎt. Cári ɖen réd m a loñ srmn on ɖ palṗbl in’dvîẓbiḷti v trītñ Lūpin az f h wr a mir ćîld. I flt ś wz smẃt rît, so in ɖ īvnñ I ofrd him a sgar. H sīmd plizd, bt, aftr a fy ẃifs, sd: “Ɖs z a gd old tuṗni – trî wn v mîn,” n h handd m a sgar az loñ az it wz stroñ, ẃć z seyñ a gd dīl.

Ōġst 20. – I am glad ǎr last de at ɖ sìsîd wz fîn, ɖo clǎdd oṿhed. W wnt ovr t Cumñz (at Marget) in ɖ īvnñ, n az it wz cold, w steid in n pleid gemz; Gowñ, az yźl, oṿstepñ ɖ marc. H sjstd w śd ple “Cutḷts,” a gem w nvr hŕd v. H sat on a ćer, n asct Cári t sit on hiz lap, an invteśn ẃć dir Cári rîtli dclînd.

Aftr sm spīśīz v ranġlñ, I sat on Gowñ’z niz n Cári sat on ɖ éj v mîn. Lūpin sat on ɖ éj v Cári’z lap, ɖen Cumñz on Lūpin’z, n Msz. Cumñz on hr huzbnd’z. W lct vri r’dikḷs, n laft a gd dīl.Gowñ ɖen sd: “R y a b’livr in ɖ Gret Mǒgl?” W hd t ansr ol tgɖr: “Yes – ǒ, yes!” (ʈri tîmz). Gowñ sd: “So am I,” n sudnli got p. Ɖ rzult v ɖs stypid joc wz ɖt w ol fél on ɖ grǎnd, n pur Cári bañd hr hed agnst ɖ cornr v ɖ fndr. Msz. Cumñz pt sm viṇgr on; bt ʈru ɖs w míst ɖ last tren, n hd t drîv bac t Brōdsterz, ẃć cost m sevn-n-sixpns.

We play the game of "Cutlets." When we had all sat on each other's laps, Gowing said: "Are you a believer in the Great Mogul?"
W ple ɖ gem v “Cupḷts.” Ẃn w hd ol sat on ć uɖr’z laps, Gowñ sd: “R y a b’livr in ɖ Gret Mǒgl?”
Gowing said: "So am I," and suddenly got up.
Gowñ sd: “So am I,” n sudnli got p.

ĆAPTR VII

Hom agn. Msz. Jemz’ inflụns on Cári. Cn gt nʈñ fr Lūpin. Nxt-dor nebrz r a litl trublsm. Smwn tamprz wɖ mî dayri. Got a ples fr Lūpin. Lūpin startlz s wɖ an anǎnsmnt.

Ōġst 22. – Hom swīt Hom agn! Cári bòt sm priti blu-wŭl mats t stand vāzz on. Frips, Jêṇs & Co. rait t se ɖe r sori ɖe hv no vecnsi amñ ɖer staf v clarcs fr Lūpin.

Ōġst 23. – I bòt a per v stagz’ hedz md v plastr-v-Paris n culrd brǎn. Ɖe wl lc jst ɖ ʈñ fr ǎr litl hōl, n gv it stîl; ɖ hedz r xḷnt iṃteśnz. Pūlrz & Smiʈ r sori ɖe hv nʈñ t ofr Lūpin.

I hung up the stag's head made of plaster-of-Paris.
I huñ p a stag’z hed md v plastr-v-Paris.

Ōġst 24. – Simpli t plīz Lūpin, n mc ʈñz ćirfl fr him, az h z a litl dǎn, Cári invîtd Msz. Jemz t cm p fṛm Sutn n spend tū or ʈri dez wɖ s. W hv nt sd a wrd t Lūpin, bt mīn t cīp it az a s’prîz.

Ōġst 25. – Msz. Jemz, v Sutn, arîvd in ɖ afṭnun, brññ wɖ hr an inorṃs bunć v wîld flǎrz. Ɖ mor I si v Msz. Jemz ɖ nîsr I ʈnc ś z, n ś z dvotd t Cári. Ś wnt intu Cári’z rūm t tec of hr bonit, n rmend ɖr nirli an aur tōcñ abt dres. Lūpin sd h wz nt a bit s’prîzd at Msz. Jemz’ vizit, bt wz s’prîzd at hr.

Ōġst 26, Súnde. – Nirli lêt fr ćrć, Msz. Jemz hvñ tōct cnsidṛbli abt ẃt t wer ol ɖ mornñ. Lūpin dz nt sīm t gt on vri wel wɖ Msz. Jemz. I am afreid w śl hv sm trubl wɖ ǎr nxt-dor nebrz hu cem in last Wenzde. Sevṛl v ɖer frendz, hu drîv p in dogcarts, hv olrdi md ɖmslvz objx́ṇbl.

An īvnñ or tū ago I hd pt on a ẃît weistcot fr cūlnis, n ẃl wōcñ past wɖ mî ʈumz in mî weistcot pocits (a habit I hv), wn man, sītd in ɖ cart, n lcñ lîc an Americn, cmnst sññ sm vulgr nonsns abt “I hd ʈrtīn dolrz in mî weistcot pocit.” I fansid it wz mnt fr m, n mî sspiśnz wr cnfrmd; fr ẃl wōcñ rnd ɖ gardn in mî tōl hat ɖs afṭnun, a “ʈro-dǎn” cracr wz dlibṛtli emd at mî hat, n xplodd on it lîc a pcuśncap. I trnd śarpli, n am poẓtiv I sw ɖ man hu wz in ɖ cart rtritñ fṛm wn v ɖ bedrūm windoz.

Ōġst 27. – Cári n Msz. Jemz wnt of śopñ, n hd nt rtrnd ẃn I cem bac fṛm ɖ ofis. Jujñ fṛm ɖ subsiqnt convseśn, I am afreid Msz. Jemz z filñ Cári’z hed wɖ a lot v nonsns abt dres. I wōct ovr t Gowñ’z n asct him t drop in t supr, n mc ʈñz pleznt.

Cári priperd a litl xtmṗrîzd supr, cnsistñ v ɖ rmendr v ɖ cold jônt, a smōl pìs v samn (ẃć I wz t rfyz, in ces ɖr wz nt inuf t g rnd), n a bḷmonź n custdz. Ɖr wz olso a dcantr v port n sm jam pufs on ɖ sîdbōrd. Msz. Jemz md s ple rɖr a gd gem v cardz, cōld “Mugñz.” T mî s’prîz, in fact dsgust, Lūpin got p in ɖ midl, n, in a most sarcastic ton, sd: “Pardn m, ɖs sort v ʈñ z tù fast fr m, I śl g n injô a qayt gem v marblz in ɖ bacgardn.”Ʈñz mt hv bcm rɖr dis’griybl bt fr Gowñ (hu sīmz t hv tecn t Lūpin) sjstñ ɖe śd invnt gemz. Lūpin sd: “Let’s ple ‘munciz’.” H ɖen léd Gowñ ol rnd ɖ rūm, n bròt him in frunt v ɖ lcñglas. I mst cnfes I laft harṭli at ɖs. I wz a litl vxt at evrbdi subsiqntli lafñ at sm joc ẃć ɖe dd nt xplen, n it wz onli on gwñ t bed I dscuvrd I mst hv bn wōcñ abt ol ɖ īvnñ wɖ an antiṃcasr on wn butn v mî coțeilz.

Ōġst 28. – Faund a larj bric in ɖ midl bed v jrenịmz, evidntli cm fṛm nxt dor. Patlz & Patlz c’nt fînd a ples fr Lūpin.

Ōġst 29. – Msz. Jemz z mcñ a poẓtiv fūl v Cári. Cári apird in a ny dres lîc a smóc-froc. Ś sd “smócñ” wz ol ɖ rej. I rplaid it pt m in a rej. Ś olso hd on a hat az big az a cićn colscutl, n ɖ sem śep. Msz. Jemz wnt hom, n bʈ Lūpin n I wr smẃt plizd – ɖ frst tîm w hv agrìd on a sngl subjict sins hiz rtrn. Mrcinz & Sun rait ɖe hv no vecnsi fr Lūpin.

Octobr 30. – I śd vri mć lîc t nǒ hu hz wilf̣li torn ɖ last fîv or six wīcs ǎt v mî dayri. It z prf̣cli monstṛs! Mîn z a larj scriḅlñdayri, wɖ plenti v spes fr ɖ rec̣d v mî evride ivnts, n in cīpñ p ɖt rec̣d I tec (wɖ mć prîd) a gret dīl v penz.

I asct Cári f ś ń enʈñ abt it. Ś rplaid it wz mî ǒn fōlt fr līvñ ɖ dayri abt wɖ a ćarwmn clīnñ n ɖ swīps in ɖ hǎs. I sd ɖt wz nt an ansr t mî qsćn. Ɖs rtort v mîn, ẃć I ʈt xtrimli smart, wd hv bn mor ifctiv hd I nt jogd mî elbo agnst a vāz on a tebl tmprṛli plest in ɖ pasij, noct it ovr, n smaśt it.Cári wz dredf̣li upset at ɖs dzastr, fr it wz wn v a per v vāzz ẃć canot b maćt, gvn t s on ǎr wedñde bî Msz. Brtset, an old frend v Cári’z cuznz, ɖ Poṃtnz, lêt v Dōlstn. I cōld t Sẹra, n asct hr abt ɖ dayri. Ś sd ś hd nt bn in ɖ sitñrūm at ol; aftr ɖ swīp hd left, Msz. Biṛl (ɖ ćarwmn) hd clīnd ɖ rūm n lîtd ɖ fîr hrslf. Fîndñ a brnt pìs v pepr in ɖ greit, I xamind it, n faund it wz a pìs v mî dayri. So it wz evidnt smwn hd torn mî dayri t lît ɖ fîr. I rqstd Msz. Biṛl t b snt t m tmoro.

Octobr 31. – Rsivd a letr fṛm ǎr prinsipl, Mr. Prcup, seyñ ɖt h ʈncs h nz v a ples at last fr ǎr dir bô Lūpin. Ɖs, in a meźr, cnsolz m fr ɖ los v a porśn v mî dayri; fr I am baund t cnfes ɖ last fy wīcs hv bn dvotd t ɖ rec̣d v dis’pôntñ ansrz rsivd fṛm ppl t hūm I hv aplaid fr apôntmnts fr Lūpin. Msz. Biṛl cōld, n, in rplî t m, sd: “Ś nvr si no bc, mć les tec sć a liḅti az tuć it.”

I sd I wz dtrmind t fînd ǎt hu dd it, ẃr’pn ś sd ś wd d hr bst t hlp m; bt ś rmembrd ɖ swīp lîtñ ɖ fîr wɖ a bit v ɖ Eco. I rqstd ɖ swīp t b snt t m tmoro. I wś Cári hd nt gvn Lūpin a laćci; w nvr sīm t si enʈñ v him. I sat p tl past wn fr him, n ɖen rtîrd tîrd.

Nvmbr 1. – Mî entri yesṭde abt “rtîrd tîrd,” ẃć I dd nt notis at ɖ tîm, z rɖr funi. F I wr nt so wurid jst nǎ, I mt hv hd a litl joc abt it. Ɖ swīp cōld, bt hd ɖ ōdaṣti t cm p t ɖ hōldor n līn hiz drti bag v st on ɖ dorstep. H, hvr, wz so p’lît, I cd nt rbyc him. H sd Sẹra lîtd ɖ fîr. Unforćṇtli, Sẹra hŕd ɖs, fr ś wz dustñ ɖ banistrz, n ś ran dǎn, n flù intu a tmpr wɖ ɖ swīp, cōzñ a rǎ on ɖ fruntdor-steps, ẃć I wd nt hv hd hapn fr enʈñ. I ordrd hr abt hr biznis, n tld ɖ swīp I wz sori t hv trubld him; n so I wz, fr ɖ dorsteps wr cuvrd wɖ st in consiqns v hiz vizit. I wd wilñli gv ten śilñz t fînd ǎt hu tòr mî dayri.

Nvmbr 2. – I spent ɖ īvnñ qaytli wɖ Cári, v huz cumṗni I nvr tîr. W hd a most pleznt ćat abt ɖ letrz on “Z Marij a Fełr?” It hz bn no fełr in ǎr ces. In tōcñ ovr ǎr ǒn hapi xpirịnsz, w nvr notist ɖt it wz past midnît. W wr startld bî hírñ ɖ dor slam vayḷntli. Lūpin hd cm in. H md no atmt t trn dǎn ɖ gas in ɖ pasij, or īvn t lc intu ɖ rūm ẃr w wr, bt wnt stret p t bed, mcñ a teṛbl nôz. I asct him t cm dǎn fr a momnt, n h begd t b xkzd, az h wz “ded bìt,” an obẓveśn ɖt wz scersli cnsistnt wɖ ɖ fact ɖt, fr a qortr v an aur aftwdz, h wz poztivli dansñ in hiz rūm, n śǎtñ ǎt, “Si m dans ɖ polca!” or sm sć nonsns.

Nvmbr 3. – Gd nyz at last. Mr. Prcup hz got an apôntmnt fr Lūpin, n h z t g n si abt it on Munde. Ǒ, hǎ mî mînd z rlivd! I wnt t Lūpin’z rūm t tec ɖ gd nyz t him, bt h wz in bed, vri sīdi, so I rzolvd t cīp it ovr tl ɖ īvnñ.

H sd h hd last nît bn ilectd a membr v an Aṃćr Dṛmatic Club, cōld ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz”; n, ɖo it wz a pleznt īvnñ, h hd sat in a dráft, n got ńralja in ɖ hed. H dclînd t hv eni brecfst, so I left him. In ɖ īvnñ I hd p a speśl botl v port, n, Lūpin biyñ in fr a wundr, w fild ǎr glasz, n I sd: “Lūpin mî bô, I hv sm gd n unixpctd nyz fr y. Mr. Prcup hz pṛkrd y an apôntmnt!” Lūpin sd: “Gd biz!” n w drend ǎr glasz.Lūpin ɖen sd: “Fil p ɖ glasz agn, fr I hv sm gd n unixpctd nyz fr y.”

Mr. Perkupp.
Mr. Prcup

I hd sm slît msgvñz, n so evidntli hd Cári, fr ś sd: “I hop w śl ʈnc it gd nyz.”

Lūpin sd: “Ǒ, it’s ol rît! I’m ingejd t b marid!

Lupin said: "I'm engaged to be married."
Lūpin sd: “Ǒ, it’s ol rît! I’m ingejd t b marid!”

ĆAPTR VIII

Deizi Mutlr sol topic v convseśn. Lūpin’z ny bŕʈ. Fîrwrcs at ɖ Cumñz’. Ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz.” Sẹra qoṛlz wɖ ɖ ćarwmn. Lūpin’z uncōld-fr inṭfiṛns. Am intṛdyst t Deizi Mutlr. W dsîd t gv a parti in hr onr.

Nvmbr 5, Súnde. – Cári n I trubld abt ɖt mir bô Lūpin gtñ ingejd t b marid wɖt cnsultñ s or enʈñ. Aftr dinr h tld s ol abt it. H sd ɖ ledi’z nem wz Deizi Mutlr, n ś wz ɖ nîsist, pritiist, n most acumpliśt grl h evr met. H luvd hr ɖ momnt h sw hr, n f h hd t wêt fifti yirz h wd wêt, n h ń ś wd wêt fr him.

Lūpin frɖr sd, wɖ mć wormʈ, ɖt ɖ wrld wz a difṛnt wrld t him nǎ, – it wz a wrld wrʈ livñ in. H livd wɖ an objict nǎ, n ɖt wz t mc Deizi Mutlr – Deizi Pūtr, n h wd gaṛnti ś wd nt dsgres ɖ faṃli v ɖ Pūtrz. Cári hir brst ǎt crayñ, n ʈrù hr armz rnd hiz nec, n in dwñ so, upset ɖ glas v port h hld in hiz hand ol ovr hiz ny lît trǎzrz.I sd I hd no dǎt w śd lîc Mis Mutlr ẃn w sw hr, bt Cári sd ś luvd hr olrdi. I ʈt ɖs rɖr preṃtyr, bt hld mî tuñ. Deizi Mutlr wz ɖ sol topic v convseśn fr ɖ rmendr v ɖ de. I asct Lūpin hu hr ppl wr, n h rplaid: “Ǒ, y nǒ Mutlr, Wiłmz & Wots.” I dd nt nǒ, bt rfrend fṛm ascñ eni frɖr qsćnz at preznt, fr fir v iṛtetñ Lūpin.

Nvmbr 6. – Lūpin wnt wɖ m t ɖ ofis, n hd a loñ convseśn wɖ Mr. Prcup, ǎr prinsipl, ɖ rzult v ẃć wz ɖt h axptd a clarcśp in ɖ frm v Jǒb Clenndz & Co., Stoc & Śer Brocrz. Lūpin tld m, prîṿtli, it wz an advtîzñ frm, n h dd nt ʈnc mć v it. I rplaid: “Begrz śd nt b ćuzrz;” n I wl d Lūpin ɖ justis t se, h lct rɖr aśemd v himslf.

In ɖ īvnñ w wnt rnd t ɖ Cumñz’, t hv a fy fîrwrcs. It bgan t ren, n I ʈt it rɖr dul. Wn v mî sqibz wd nt g of, n Gowñ sd: “Hit it on yr būt, bô; it wl g of ɖen.” I gev it a fy nocs on ɖ end v mî būt, n it wnt of wɖ wn lǎd xploźn, n brnt mî fngrz rɖr badli. I gev ɖ rest v ɖ sqibz t ɖ litl Cumñz’ bô t let of.Anɖr unforćṇt ʈñ hapnd, ẃć bròt a hīp v abys on mî hed. Cumñz fasnd a larj ẃīl-setpìs on a stec in ɖ grǎnd bî we v a grand fināle. H md a gret fus abt it; sd it cost sevn śilñz. Ɖr wz a litl dificlti in gtñ it alît. At last it wnt of; bt aftr a cupl v slo reṿluśnz it stopt. I hd mî stic wɖ m, so I gev it a tap t snd it rnd, n, unforćṇtli, it fél of ɖ stec on t ɖ gras. Enbdi wd hv ʈt I hd set ɖ hǎs on fîr fṛm ɖ we in ẃć ɖe stormd at m. I wl nvr jôn in eni mor fîrwrc-partiz. It z a r’dikḷs west v tîm n muni.

Nvmbr 7. – Lūpin asct Cári t cōl on Msz. Mutlr, bt Cári sd ś ʈt Msz. Mutlr òt t cōl on hr frst. I agrìd wɖ Cári, n ɖs léd t an arğmnt. Hvr, ɖ matr wz setld bî Cári seyñ ś cd nt fînd eni viẓtñcardz, n w mst gt sm mor printd, n ẃn ɖe wr finiśt wd b qt tîm inuf t dscus ɖ eticét v cōlñ.

Nvmbr 8. – I ordrd sm v ǎr cardz at Blac’s, ɖ steṣ́nrz. I ordrd twenti-fîv v ć, ẃć wl last s fr a gd loñ tîm. In ɖ īvnñ, Lūpin bròt in Hari Mutlr, Mis Mutlr’z bruɖr. H wz rɖr a gōci yʈ, n Lūpin sd h wz ɖ most popylr n bst aṃćr in ɖ club, rfŕñ t ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz.” Lūpin ẃisprd t s ɖt f w cd onli “drw ǎt” Hari a bit, h wd mc s ror wɖ laftr.

At supr, yuñ Mutlr dd sevṛl aḿzñ ʈñz. H tc p a nîf, n wɖ ɖ flat part v it pleid a tyn on hiz ćīc in a wundrfl manr. H olso gev an iṃteśn v an old man wɖ no tīʈ, smocñ a big sgar. Ɖ we h cept dropñ ɖ sgar snt Cári intu fits.In ɖ cors v convseśn, Deizi’z nem cropt p, n yuñ Mutlr sd h wd brñ hiz sistr rnd t s wn īvnñ – hiz peṛnts biyñ rɖr old-faśnd, n nt gwñ ǎt mć. Cári sd w wd gt p a litl speśl parti. Az yuñ Mutlr śoud no incḷneśn t g, n it wz aproćñ ilevn o’cloc, az a hint I rmîndd Lūpin ɖt h hd t b p rli tmoro. Instd v tecñ ɖ hint, Mutlr bgan a siriz v comic iṃteśnz. H wnt on fr an aur wɖt sseśn. Pur Cári cd scersli cīp hr îz opn. At last ś md an xks, n sd “Gdnît.”

Mutlr ɖen left, n I hŕd him n Lūpin ẃisṗrñ in ɖ hōl smʈñ abt ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz,” n t mî dsgust, olɖo it wz past midnît, Lūpin pt on hiz hat n cot, n wnt ǎt wɖ hiz ny cmpańn.

Nvmbr 9. – Mî indevrz t dscuvr hu tòr ɖ śīts ǎt v mî dayri stl frūtlis. Lūpin hz Deizi Mutlr on ɖ bren, so w si litl v him, xpt ɖt h inverịbli trnz p at mīltîmz. Cumñz dropt in.

Nvmbr 10. – Lūpin sīmz t lîc hiz ny bŕʈ – ɖt’s a cumf̣t. Deizi Mutlr ɖ sol topic v convseśn jrñ ti. Cári olmst az fl v it az Lūpin. Lūpin informz m, t mî dsgust, ɖt h hz bn pswedd t tec part in ɖ fʈcmñ pformns v ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz.” H sz h z t ple Bob Brićz in ɖ fars, Gn t mî Uncl’z; Franc Mutlr z gwñ t ple old Musti. I tld Lūpin priti plenli I wz nt in ɖ līst dgri inṭrestd in ɖ matr, n toṭli dis’pruvd v aṃćrʈiatriclz. Gowñ cem in ɖ īvnñ.

Nvmbr 11. – Rtrnd hom t fînd ɖ hǎs in a most dsgresfl upror. Cári, hu apird vri frîtnd, wz standñ ǎtsd hr bedrūm, ẃl Sẹra wz xîtd n crayñ. Msz. Biṛl (ɖ ćarwmn), hu hd evidntli bn drincñ, wz śǎtñ at ɖ top v hr vôs ɖt ś wz “no ʈīf, ɖt ś wz a rspctbl wmn, hu hd t wrc hard fr hr livñ, n ś wd smac enwn’z fes hu pt lîz intu hr mǎʈ.” Lūpin, huz bac wz twdz m, dd nt hír m cm in. H wz standñ btwn ɖ tū wimin, n, I rgret t se, in hiz indevr t act az pīs-mcr, h md ys v rɖr stroñ lanḡj in ɖ prezns v hiz muɖr; n I wz jst in tîm t hír him se: “N ol ɖs fus abt ɖ los v a fy pejz fṛm a rotn dayri ɖt wd’nt feć ʈri-hepns a pǎnd!” I sd, qaytli: “Pardn m, Lūpin, ɖt z a matr v opińn; n az I am mastr v ɖs hǎs, phps y wl alǎ m t tec ɖ reinz.”

I aṣtend ɖt ɖ cōz v ɖ rǎ wz, ɖt Sẹra hd akzd Msz. Biṛl v tẹrñ ɖ pejz ǎt v mî dayri t ráp p sm cićnfat n līvñz ẃć ś hd tecn ǎt v ɖ hǎs last wīc. Msz. Biṛl hd slapt Sẹra’z fes, n sd ś hd tecn nʈñ ǎt v ɖ ples, az ɖr wz “nvr no līvñz t tec.” I ordrd Sẹra bac t hr wrc, n rqstd Msz. Biṛl t g hom. Ẃn I entrd ɖ parlr Lūpin wz cicñ hiz legz in ɖ er, n rorñ wɖ laftr.

Nvmbr 12, Súnde. – Cmñ hom fṛm ćrć Cári n I met Lūpin, Deizi Mutlr, n hr bruɖr. Deizi wz intṛdyst t s, n w wōct hom tgɖr, Cári wōcñ on wɖ Mis Mutlr. W asct ɖm in fr a fy minits, n I hd a gd lc at mî fyćr dōtr-in-lw. Mî hart qt sanc. Ś z a big yuñ wmn, n I śd ʈnc at līst et yirz oldr ɖn Lūpin. I dd nt īvn ʈnc hr gd-lcñ. Cári asct hr f ś cd cm in on Wenzde nxt wɖ hr bruɖr t mīt a fy frendz. Ś rplaid ɖt ś wd onli b tù plizd.

Nvmbr 13. – Cári snt ǎt invteśnz t Gowñ, ɖ Cumñz, t Mr. n Msz. Jemz (v Sutn), n Mr. Stilbrŭc. I rout a not t Mr. Franćñ, v Pecm. Cári sd w me az wel mc it a nîs afer, n ẃ nt asc ǎr prinsipl, Mr. Prcup? I sd I fird w wr nt qt grand inuf fr him. Cári sd ɖr wz “no ofns in ascñ him.” I sd: “Srtnli nt,” n I rout him a letr. Cári cnfest ś wz a litl dis’pôntd wɖ Deizi Mutlr’z apiṛns, bt ʈt ś sīmd a nîs grl.

Daisy Mutlar
Deizi Mutlr

Nvmbr 14. – Evrbdi so far hz axptd fr ǎr qt grand litl parti fr tmoro. Mr. Prcup, in a nîs letr ẃć I śl cīp, rout ɖt h wz dînñ in Cnzñtn, bt f h cd gt awe, h wd cm p t Hoḷwe fr an aur. Cári wz bizi ol de, mcñ litl cecs n opn jam pufs n jéliz. Ś sd ś flt qt nrṿs abt hr rsponsbiḷtiz tmoro īvnñ. W dsîdd t hv sm lît ʈñz on ɖ tebl, sć az sanẉjz, cold ćicn n ham, n sm swīts, n on ɖ sîdbōrd a nîs pìs v cold bīf n a Pîsandu tuñ – fr ɖ mor hungri wnz t peg intu f ɖe lîct.

Gowñ cōld t nǒ f h wz t pt on “swoloteilz” tmoro. Cári sd h hd betr dres, ispeṣ́li az Mr. Franćñ wz cmñ, n ɖr wz a posbiḷti v Mr. Prcup olso ptñ in an apiṛns.Gowñ sd: “Ǒ, I onli wontd t nǒ, fr I hv nt wòrn mî drescot fr sm tîm, n I mst snd it t hv ɖ crīsz prest ǎt.”

Aftr Gowñ left, Lūpin cem in, n in hiz añzayti t plīz Deizi Mutlr, carpt at n criṭsîzd ɖ arenjmnts, n, in fact, dis’pruvd v evrʈñ, includñ ǎr hvñ asct ǎr old frend Cumñz, hu, h sd, wd lc in īvnñdres lîc a grīngrosr ingejd t wêt, n hu mst nt b s’prîzd f Deizi tc him fr wn.

I ferli lost mî tmpr, n sd: “Lūpin, alǎ m t tel y Mis Deizi Mutlr z nt ɖ Qīn v Ñgḷnd. I gev y credit fr mor wizdm ɖn t alǎ yrslf t b invegld intu an ingejmnt wɖ a wmn cnsidṛbli oldr ɖn yrslf. I advîz y t ʈnc v rnñ yr livñ bfr intanglñ yrslf wɖ a wîf hūm y wl hv t s’port, n, in ol probbiḷti, hr bruɖr olso, hu apird t b nʈñ bt a loufr.”

Instd v rsivñ ɖs advîs in a snṣbl manr, Lūpin jumt p n sd: “F y insult ɖ ledi I am ingejd t, y insult m. I wl līv ɖ hǎs n nvr darcn yr dorz agn.”

H wnt ǎt v ɖ hǎs, slamñ ɖ hōldor. Bt it wz olrît. H cem bac t supr, n w pleid Bzīc tl nirli twelv o’cloc.

ĆAPTR IX

Ǎr frst importnt Parti. Old Frendz n Ny Frendz. Gowñ z a litl anoyñ; bt hiz frend, Mr. Stilbrŭc, trnz ǎt t b qt aḿzñ. Inoṗtyn arîvl v Mr. Prcup, bt h z most cînd n compḷmntri. Parti a gret s’xes.

Nvmbr 15. – A red-letr de. Ǎr frst importnt parti sins w hv bn in ɖs hǎs. I got hom rli fṛm ɖ Siti. Lūpin insistd on hvñ a hîrd wêtr, n std a haf-duzn v śampen. I ʈnc ɖs an uņesṣri xpns, bt Lūpin sd h hd hd a pìs v luc, hvñ md ʈri pǎndz ǎt v a prîṿt dīl in ɖ Siti. I hop h w’nt gambl in hiz ny sićueśn. Ɖ supŗūm lct so nîs, n Cári trūli sd: “W nīd nt b aśemd v its biyñ sìn bî Mr. Prcup, śd h onr s bî cmñ.”

I drest rli in ces ppl śd arîv puñć̣li at et o’cloc, n wz mć vxt t fînd mî ny drestrǎzrz mć tù śort.Lūpin, hu z gtñ bynd hiz pziśn, faund fōlt wɖ mî wẹrñ ordnri būts instd v dresbūts.

I rplaid s’tiricli: “Mî dir sun, I hv livd t b abv ɖt sort v ʈñ.”

Lūpin brst ǎt lafñ, n sd: “A man jenṛli wz abv hiz būts.”

Ɖs me b funi, or it me nt; bt I wz graṭfaid t fînd h hd nt dscuvrd ɖ coṛl hd cm of wn v mî studz. Cári lct a picćr, wẹrñ ɖ dres ś wòr at ɖ Manśnhǎs. Ɖ arenjmnt v ɖ drw̃rūm wz xḷnt. Cári hd huñ muzlin crtnz ovr ɖ foldñdorz, n olso ovr wn v ɖ entṛnsz, fr w hd rmuvd ɖ dor fṛm its hinjz.

Mr. Pītrz, ɖ wêtr, arîvd in gd tîm, n I gev him strict ordrz nt t opn anɖr botl v śampen untl ɖ prīvịs wn wz emti. Cári arenjd fr sm śeri n portwîn t b plest on ɖ drw̃rūm sîdbōrd, wɖ sm glasz. Bî-ɖ-bî, ǎr ny inlarjd n tintd foṭgrafs lc vri nîs on ɖ wōlz, ispeṣ́li az Cári hz arenjd sm Liḅti silc boz on ɖ for cornrz v ɖm.

Ɖ frst arîvl wz Gowñ, hu, wɖ hiz yźl test, grītd m wɖ: “Hlo, Pūtr, ẃ yr trǎzrz r tù śort!”

I simpli sd: “Vri lîcli, n y wl fînd mî tmpr ‘śort’ olso.”

H sd: “Ɖt w’nt mc yr trǎzrz longr, Juginz. Y śd gt yr mis t pt a flǎns on ɖm.”

I wundr I west mî tîm enṭrñ hiz insultñ obẓveśnz in mî dayri.

Ɖ nxt arîvlz wr Mr. n Msz. Cumñz. Ɖ formr sd: “Az y dd’nt se enʈñ abt dres, I hv cm ‘haf dres.’” H hd on a blac froc̦ot n ẃît tî. Ɖ Jemz’, Mr. Mrtn, n Mr. Stilbrŭc arîvd, bt Lūpin wz restlis n unbeṛbl tl hiz Deizi Mutlr n Franc arîvd.

Cári n I wr rɖr startld at Deizi’z apiṛns. Ś hd a brît-crimzn dres on, cut vri lo in ɖ nec. I d nt ʈnc sć a stîl modist. Ś òt t hv tecn a lésn fṛm Cári, n cuvrd hr śoldrz wɖ a litl lês. Mr. Naclz, Mr. Sprîs-Hóg n hiz for dōtrz cem; so dd Franćñ, n wn or tū v Lūpin’z ny frendz, membrz v ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz.” Sm v ɖz sīmd rɖr ʈiatricl in ɖer manr, ispeṣ́li wn, hu wz pozñ ol ɖ īvnñ, n lent on ǎr litl rnd tebl n cract it. Lūpin cōld him “ǎr Õri,” n sd h wz “ǎr līd at ɖ H.C.’z,” n wz qt az gd in ɖt dpartmnt az Hari Mutlr wz az ɖ lo-coṃdi mrćnt. Ol ɖs z Grīc t m.

W hd sm ḿzic, n Lūpin, hu nvr left Deizi’z sîd fr a momnt, revd ovr hr sññ v a soñ, cōld “Sm De.” It sīmd a priti soñ, bt ś md sć griṃsz, n sañ, t mî mînd, so ǎt v tyn, I wd nt hv asct hr t sñ agn; bt Lūpin md hr sñ for soñz rît of, wn aftr ɖ uɖr.

At ten o’cloc w wnt dǎn t supr, n fṛm ɖ we Gowñ n Cumñz ét y wd hv ʈt ɖe hd nt hd a mīl fr a munʈ. I tld Cári t cīp smʈñ bac in ces Mr. Prcup śd cm bî mir ćans. Gowñ anoid m vri mć bî filñ a larj tumblr v śampen, n drincñ it stret of. H rpitd ɖs ax́n, n md m fir ǎr haf-duzn v śampen wd nt last ǎt. I traid t cīp a botl bac, bt Lūpin got hold v it, n tc it t ɖ sîdtebl wɖ Deizi n Franc Mutlr.

W wnt upsterz, n ɖ yuñ feloz bgan scîlarcñ. Cári pt a stop t ɖt at wns. Stilbrŭc aḿzd s wɖ a soñ, “Ẃt hv y dn wɖ yr Cuzn Jon?” I dd nt notis ɖt Lūpin n Franc hd dis’pird. I asct Mr. Wotsn, wn v ɖ Hoḷwez, ẃr ɖe wr, n h sd: “It’s a ces v ‘Ǒ, ẃt a s’prîz!’”

W wr d’rectd t form a srcl – ẃć w dd. Wotsn ɖen sd: “I hv mć pleźr in intṛdysñ ɖ seḷbretd Blondin Donci.” Franc n Lūpin ɖen bǎndd intu ɖ rūm. Lūpin hd ẃîtnd hiz fes lîc a clǎn, n Franc hd taid rnd hiz weist a larj harʈrug. H wz s’pozd t b ɖ donci, n h lct it. Ɖe induljd in a vri nôzi panṭmîm, n w wr ol śrīcñ wɖ laftr.

I trnd rnd sudnli, n ɖen I sw Mr. Prcup standñ hafwe in ɖ dor, h hvñ arîvd wɖt ǎr nwñ it. I becnd t Cári, n w wnt p t him at wns. H wd nt cm rît intu ɖ rūm. I apoḷjîzd fr ɖ fūḷri, bt Mr. Prcup sd: “Ǒ, it sīmz aḿzñ.” I cd si h wz nt a bit aḿzd.

Cári n I tc him dǎnsterz, bt ɖ tebl wz a rec. Ɖr wz nt a glas v śampen left – nt īvn a sanwij. Mr. Prcup sd h rqîrd nʈñ, bt wd lîc a glas v sltsr or soḍwōtr. Ɖ last sîfn wz emti. Cári sd: “W hv plenti v portwîn left.” Mr. Prcup sd, wɖ a smîl: “No, ʈanc y. I riyli rqîr nʈñ, bt I am most plizd t si y n yr huzbnd in yr ǒn hom. Gdnît, Msz. Pūtr – y wl xkz mî vri śort ste, I nǒ.” I wnt wɖ him t hiz carij, n h sd: “D’nt trubl t cm t ɖ ofis tl twelv tmoro.”

I flt dspondnt az I wnt bac t ɖ hǎs, n I tld Cári I ʈt ɖ parti wz a fełr. Cári sd it wz a gret s’xes, n I wz onli tîrd, n insistd on mî hvñ sm port mslf. I dranc tū glasz, n flt mć betr, n w wnt intu ɖ drw̃rūm, ẃr ɖe hd cmnst dansñ. Cári n I hd a litl dans, ẃć I sd rmîndd m v old dez. Ś sd I wz a spūni old ʈñ.

ĆAPTR X

Rflex́nz. I mc anɖr Gd Joc. Am anoid at ɖ constnt srvñ-up v ɖ “Bḷmōź.” Lūpin xpresz hiz opińn v Wedñz. Lūpin fōlz ǎt wɖ Deizi Mutlr.

Nvmbr 16. – Wouc abt twenti tîmz jrñ ɖ nît, wɖ teṛbl ʈrst. Finiśt of ol ɖ wōtr in ɖ botl, az wel az haf ɖt in ɖ jug. Cept drīmñ olso, ɖt last nît’s parti wz a fełr, n ɖt a lot v lo ppl cem wɖt invteśn, n cept ćafñ n ʈrowñ ʈñz at Mr. Prcup, tl at last I wz oblîjd t hîd him in ɖ boxrūm (ẃć w hd jst dscuvrd), wɖ a baʈtǎl ovr him. It sīmz absrd nǎ, bt it wz penf̣li riyl in ɖ drīm. I hd ɖ sem drīm abt a duzn tîmz.

Cári anoid m bî seyñ: “Y nǒ śampen nvr agriz wɖ y.” I tld hr I hd onli a cupl v glasz v it, hvñ cept mslf intîrli t port. I add ɖt gd śampen hrt nbdi, n Lūpin tld m h hd onli got it fṛm a travlr az a fevr, az ɖt ptiklr brand hd bn intîrli bòt p bî a Wst-End club.I ʈnc I ét tù harṭli v ɖ “sîḑiśz,” az ɖ wêtr cōld ɖm. I sd t Cári: “I wś I hd pt ɖoz ‘sîḑiśz’ asd.” I rpitd ɖs, bt Cári wz bizi, pacñ p ɖ tīspūnz w hd boroud v Msz. Cumñz fr ɖ parti. It wz jst haf-past ilevn, n I wz startñ fr ɖ ofis, ẃn Lūpin apird, wɖ a yelo cmplex́n, n sd: “Hlo! Guv., ẃt prîst hed hv y ɖs mornñ?” I tld him h mt jst az wel spīc t m in Duć. H add: “Ẃn I wouc ɖs mornñ, mî hed wz az big az Bōldwin’z b’lūn.” On ɖ spr v ɖ momnt I sd ɖ cleṿrist ʈñ I ʈnc I hv evr sd; viz.: “Phps ɖt acǎnts fr ɖ paṛśū penz.” W rord.

Nvmbr 17. – Stl fīl tîrd n hed-eci! In ɖ īvnñ Gowñ cōld, n wz fl v prêz abt ǎr parti last Wenzde. H sd evrʈñ wz dn bytifli, n h injoid himslf inorṃsli. Gowñ cn b a vri nîs felo ẃn h lîcs, bt y nvr nǒ hǎ loñ it wl last. Fr instns, h stopt t supr, n siyñ sm bḷmōź on ɖ tebl, śǎtd ǎt, ẃl ɖ srvnt wz in ɖ rūm: “Hlo! Ɖ rmenz v Wenzde?”

Nvmbr 18. – Wouc p qt freś aftr a gd nît’s rest, n fīl qt mslf agn. I am saṭsfaid a lîf v gwñ-ǎt n Ssayti z nt a lîf fr m; w ɖrfr dclînd ɖ invteśn ẃć w rsivd ɖs mornñ t Mis Brd’z wedñ. W onli met hr twîs at Msz. Jemz’, n it mīnz a preznt. Lūpin sd: “I am wɖ y fr wns. T mî mînd a wedñ’z a vri pur ple. Ɖr r onli tū parts in it – ɖ brîd n brîdgrūm. Ɖ bst man z onli a wōcñ jntlmn. Wɖ ɖ xpśn v a crayñ faɖr n a sniṿlñ muɖr, ɖ rest r sūprz hu hv t dres wel n hv t pe fr ɖer inṣgnificnt parts in ɖ śep v costli preznts.” I dd nt cer fr ɖ ʈiatricl slañ, bt ʈt it clevr, ɖo disrispctfl.

I tld Sẹra nt t brñ p ɖ bḷmōź agn fr brecfst. It sīmz t hv bn plest on ǎr tebl at evri mīl sins Wenzde. Cumñz cem rnd in ɖ īvnñ, n cngrać̣letd s on ɖ s’xes v ǎr parti. H sd it wz ɖ bst parti h hd bn t fr mni a yir; bt h wśt w hd let him nǒ it wz fl dres, az h wd hv trnd p in hiz swoloteilz. W sat dǎn t a qayt gem v doṃnoz, n wr inṭruptd bî ɖ nôzi entṛns v Lūpin n Franc Mutlr. Cumñz n I asct ɖm t jôn s. Lūpin sd h dd nt cer fr doṃnoz, n sjstd a gem v “Spūf.” On mî ascñ f it rqîrd cǎntrz, Franc n Lūpin in meźrd tîm sd: “Wn, tū, ʈri; g! Hv y an istet in Grīnḷnd?” It wz simpli Grīc t m, bt it apirz it z wn v ɖ custmz v ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz” t d ɖs ẃn a membr dsplez ignṛns.In spît v mî instrux́nz, ɖt bḷmōź wz bròt p agn fr supr. T mc matrz wrs, ɖr hd bn an atmt t dsgîz it, bî plesñ it in a glas diś wɖ jam rnd it. Cári asct Lūpin f h wd hv sm, n h rplaid: “No secnd-hand gdz fr m, ʈanc y.” I tld Cári, ẃn w wr alon, f ɖt bḷmōź wr plest on ɖ tebl agn I śd wōc ǎt v ɖ hǎs.

Nvmbr 19, Súnde. – A dlîtf̣li qayt de. In ɖ afṭnun Lūpin wz of t spend ɖ rest v ɖ de wɖ ɖ Mutlrz. H dpartd in ɖ bst v spirits, n Cári sd: “Wel, wn advantij v Lūpin’z ingejmnt wɖ Deizi z ɖt ɖ bô sīmz hapi ol de loñ. Ɖt qt recnsîlz m t ẃt I mst cnfes sīmz an imprūdnt ingejmnt.”

Cári n I tōct ɖ matr ovr jrñ ɖ īvnñ, n agrìd ɖt it dd nt olwz folo ɖt an rli ingejmnt mnt an unhapi marij. Dir Cári rmîndd m ɖt w marid rli, n, wɖ ɖ xpśn v a fy trivịl misunḍstandñz, w hd nvr hd a riyli sirịs wrd. I cd nt hlp ʈncñ (az I tld hr) ɖt haf ɖ pleźrz v lîf wr d’rîvd fṛm ɖ litl struglz n smōl priveśnz ɖt wn hd t indyr at ɖ bginñ v wn’z marid lîf. Sć struglz wr jenṛli oceźnd bî wont v mīnz, n ofn hlpt t mc luvñ cuplz stand tgɖr ol ɖ frmr.Cári sd I hd xprest mslf wundrf̣li wel, n ɖt I wz qt a f’loṣfr.

W r ol ven at tîmz, n I mst cnfes I flt flatrd bî Cári’z litl complimnt. I d’nt pritnd t b ebl t xpres mslf in fîn lanḡj, bt I fīl I hv ɖ pǎr v xpresñ mî ʈts wɖ simpliṣti n lūsidnis. Abt nîn o’cloc, t ǎr s’prîz, Lūpin entrd, wɖ a wîld, reclis lc, n in a holo vôs, ẃć I mst se sīmd rɖr ʈiatricl, sd: “Hv y eni brandi?” I sd: “No; bt hir z sm ẃisci.” Lūpin dranc of nirli a wînglasfl wɖt wōtr, t mî horr.

W ol ʈri sat rīdñ in sîḷns tl ten, ẃn Cári n I rouz t g t bed. Cári sd t Lūpin: “I hop Deizi z wel?”

Lūpin, wɖ a forst cerlis er ɖt h mst hv pict p fṛm ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz,” rplaid: “Ǒ, Deizi? Y mīn Mis Mutlr. I d’nt nǒ ẃɖr ś z wel or nt, bt plīz nvr t mnśn hr nem agn in mî prezns.”

ĆAPTR XI

W hv a dos v Ŕvñ iṃteśnz. Mc ɖ aqentns v a Mr. Paj. D’nt cer fr him. Mr. Brwin-Fosltn bcmz a ńsns.

Nvmbr 20. – Hv sìn nʈñ v Lūpin ɖ hol de. Bòt a ćīp adres-bc. I spent ɖ īvnñ copiyñ in ɖ nemz n adresz v mî frendz n aqentnsz. Left ǎt ɖ Mutlrz v cors.

Nvmbr 21. – Lūpin trnd p fr a fy minits in ɖ īvnñ. H asct fr a drop v brandi wɖ a sort v cerlis lc, ẃć t mî mînd wz ʈiatricl n qt inifctiv. I sd: “Mî bô, I hv nn, n I d’nt ʈnc I śd gv it y f I hd.” Lūpin sd: “I’l g ẃr I cn gt sm,” n wōct ǎt v ɖ hǎs. Cári tc ɖ bô’z part, n ɖ rest v ɖ īvnñ wz spent in a dis’griybl dscuśn, in ẃć ɖ wrdz “Deizi” n “Mutlr” mst hv ocŕd a ʈǎznd tîmz.

Nvmbr 22. – Gowñ n Cumñz dropt in jrñ ɖ īvnñ. Lūpin olso cem in, brññ hiz frend, Mr. Brwin-Fosltn – wn v ɖ “Hoḷwe Cmīdịnz” – hu wz at ǎr parti ɖ uɖr nît, n hu cract ǎr litl rnd tebl. Hapi t se Deizi Mutlr wz nvr rfŕd t. Ɖ convseśn wz olmst intîrli mnoṗlîzd bî ɖ yuñ felo Fosltn, hu nt onli lct rɖr lîc Mr. Ŕvñ, bt sīmd t imajin ɖt h wz ɖ seḷbretd actr. I mst se h gev sm capitl iṃteśnz v him. Az h śoud no sînz v muvñ at supr tîm, I sd: “F y lîc t ste, Mr. Fosltn, fr ǎr yźl crust – pre d.” H rplaid: “Ǒ! ʈancs; bt plīz cōl m Brwin-Fosltn. It z a dubl nem. Ɖr r lots v Fosltnz, bt plīz cōl m Brwin-Fosltn.”

H bgan dwñ ɖ Ŕvñ biznis ol ʈru supr. H sanc so lo dǎn in hiz ćer ɖt hiz ćin wz olmst on a levl wɖ ɖ tebl, n twîs h cict Cári undr ɖ tebl, upset hiz wîn, n flaśt a nîf uncumftbli nir Gowñ’z fes. Aftr supr h cept strećñ ǎt hiz legz on ɖ fndr, induljñ in scraps v qteśnz fṛm plez ẃć wr Grīc t m, n mor ɖn wns noct ovr ɖ fîr-aynz, mcñ a hidịs rǎ – pur Cári olrdi hvñ a bad hed-ec.Ẃn h wnt, h sd, t ǎr s’prîz: “I wl cm tmoro n brñ mî Ŕvñ mc-p.” Gowñ n Cumñz sd ɖe wd lîc t si it n wd cm tù. I cd nt hlp ʈncñ ɖe mt az wel gv a parti at mî hǎs ẃl ɖe r abt it. Hvr, az Cári snṣbli sd: “D enʈñ, dir, t mc Lūpin fget ɖ Deizi Mutlr biznis.”

Mr. Burwin-Fosselton at supper.
Mr. Brwin-Fosltn at supr.

Nvmbr 23. – In ɖ īvnñ, Cumñz cem rli. Gowñ cem a litl lêtr n bròt, wɖt ascñ pmiśn, a fat n, I ʈnc, vri vulgr-lcñ man nemd Paj, hu apird t b ol mstaś. Gowñ nvr atmtd eni apoḷji t îɖr v s, bt sd Paj wontd t si ɖ Ŕvñ biznis, t ẃć Paj sd: “Ɖt’s rît,” n ɖt z abt ol h dd se jrñ ɖ intîr īvnñ. Lūpin cem in n sīmd in mć betr spirits. H hd priperd a bit v a s’prîz. Mr. Brwin-Fosltn hd cm in wɖ him, bt hd gn upsterz t gt redi. In haf-an-aur Lūpin rtîrd fṛm ɖ parlr, n rtrnñ in a fy minits, anǎnst “Mr. Henri Ŕvñ.”

Mr. Padge
Mr. Paj
Lupin announces "Mr. Henry Irving."
Lūpin anǎnsz “Mr. Henri Ŕvñ.”
I mst se w wr ol astǎndd. I nvr sw sć a rzmbḷns. It wz astoṇśñ. Ɖ onli prsn hu dd nt apir inṭrestd wz ɖ man Paj, hu hd got ɖ bst armćer, n wz pufñ awe at a fǎl pîp intu ɖ fîrples. Aftr sm litl tîm I sd; “Ẃ d actrz olwz wer ɖer her so loñ?” Cári in a momnt sd, “Mr. Hér dz’nt wer loñ her.” Hǎ w laft xpt Mr. Fosltn, hu sd, in a rɖr patṛnîzñ cnd v we, “Ɖ joc, Msz. Pūtr, z xtrimli aproprịt, f nt oltgɖr ny.” Ʈncñ ɖs rɖr a snub, I sd: “Mr. Fosltn, I fansi – ” H inṭruptd m bî seyñ: “Mr. Brwin-Fosltn, f y plīz,” ẃć md m qt fget ẃt I wz gwñ t se t him. Jrñ ɖ supr Mr. Brwin-Fosltn agn mnoṗlîzd ɖ convseśn wɖ hiz Ŕvñ tōc, n bʈ Cári n I cem t ɖ cncluźn wn cn hv īvn tù mć iṃteśn v Ŕvñ. Aftr supr, Mr. Brwin-Fosltn got a litl tù bôstṛs ovr hiz Ŕvñ iṃteśn, n sudnli sizñ Gowñ bî ɖ colr v hiz cot, dug hiz ʈumnêl, axdnṭli v cors, intu Gowñ’z nec n tc a pìs v fleś ǎt. Gowñ wz rîtli anoid, bt ɖt man Paj, hu hvñ dclînd ǎr modist supr in ordr ɖt h śd nt lūz hiz cumftbl ćer, brst intu an uncntroḷbl fit v laftr at ɖ litl mis’dvnćr. I wz so anoid at ɖ conduct v Paj, I sd: “I s’poz y wd hv laft f h hd pǒct Mr. Gowñ’z î ǎt?” t ẃć Paj rplaid: “Ɖt’s rît,” n laft mor ɖn evr. I ʈnc phps ɖ gretist s’prîz wz ẃn w brouc p, fr Mr. Brwin-Fosltn sd: “Gdnît, Mr. Pūtr. I’m glad y lîc ɖ iṃteśn, I’l brñ ɖ uɖr mc-up tmoro nît.”

Nvmbr 24. – I wnt t tǎn wɖt a pocithanc̣ćīf. Ɖs z ɖ secnd tîm I hv dn ɖs jrñ ɖ last wīc. I mst b luzñ mî meṃri. Hd it nt bn fr ɖs Deizi Mutlr biznis, I wd hv ritn t Mr. Brwin-Fosltn n tld him I śd b ǎt ɖs īvnñ, bt I fansi h z ɖ sort v yuñ man hu wd cm ol ɖ sem.

Dir old Cumñz cem in ɖ īvnñ; bt Gowñ snt rnd a litl not seyñ h hopt I wd xkz hiz nt trnñ p, ẃć rɖr aḿzd m. H add ɖt hiz nec wz stl penfl. V cors, Brwin-Fosltn cem, bt Lūpin nvr trnd p, n imajin mî utr dsgust ẃn ɖt man Paj acć̣li cem agn, n nt īvn acumṗnid bî Gowñ. I wz xasṗretd, n sd: “Mr. Paj, ɖs z a s’prîz.” Dir Cári, firñ unplezntnis, sd: “Ǒ! I s’poz Mr. Paj hz onli cm t si ɖ uɖr Ŕvñ mc-up.” Mr. Paj sd: “Ɖt’s rît,” n tc ɖ bst ćer agn, fṛm ẃć h nvr muvd ɖ hol īvnñ.Mî onli conṣleśn z, h tecs no supr, so h z nt an xpnsiv gest, bt I śl spīc t Gowñ abt ɖ matr. Ɖ Ŕvñ iṃteśnz n convseśnz okpaid ɖ hol īvnñ, tl I wz sic v it. Wns w hd a rɖr hītd dscuśn, ẃć wz cmnst bî Cumñz seyñ ɖt it apird t him ɖt Mr. Brwin-Fosltn wz nt onli lîc Mr. Ŕvñ, bt wz in hiz jujmnt evri we az gd or īvn betr. I vnćrd t rmarc ɖt aftr ol it wz bt an iṃteśn v an orijinl.

Cumñz sd śrli sm iṃteśnz wr betr ɖn ɖ orijinlz. I md ẃt I cnsidrd a vri clevr rmarc: “Wɖt an orijinl ɖr cn b no iṃteśn.” Mr. Brwin-Fosltn sd qt imprtinntli: “D’nt dscus m in mî prezns, f y plīz; n, Mr. Pūtr, I śd advîz y t tōc abt ẃt y unḍstand;” t ẃć ɖt cad Paj rplaid: “Ɖt’s rît.” Dir Cári sevd ɖ hol ʈñ bî sudnli seyñ: “I’l b Eḷn Teri.” Dir Cári’z iṃteśn wz’nt a bit lîct, bt ś wz so spnteńs n so funi ɖt ɖ dis’griybl dscuśn pást of. Ẃn ɖe left, I vri pôntidli sd t Mr. Brwin-Fosltn n Mr. Paj ɖt w śd b ingejd tmoro īvnñ.

Nvmbr 25. – Hd a loñ letr fṛm Mr. Fosltn rspctñ last nît’s Ŕvñ dscuśn. I wz vri angri, n I rout n sd I ń litl or nʈñ abt stejmatrz, wz nt in ɖ līst inṭrestd in ɖm n poztivli dclînd t b drwn intu a dscuśn on ɖ subjict, īvn at ɖ risc v its līdñ t a brīć v frendśp. I nvr rout a mor dtrmind letr.

On rtrnñ hom at ɖ yźl aur on Saṭde afṭnun I met nir ɖ Arćwe Deizi Mutlr. Mî hart gev a līp. I baud rɖr stifli, bt ś afctd nt t hv sìn m. Vri mć anoid in ɖ īvnñ bî ɖ lōndris sndñ hom an od soc. Sẹra sd ś snt tū perz, n ɖ lōndris dclerd onli a per n a haf wr snt. I spouc t Cári abt it, bt ś rɖr tsṭli rplaid: “I am tîrd v spīcñ t hr; y hd betr g n spīc t hr yrslf. Ś z ǎtsd.” I dd so, bt ɖ lōndris dclerd ɖt onli an od soc wz snt.Gowñ pást intu ɖ pasij at ɖs tîm n wz rūd inuf t lisn t ɖ convseśn, n inṭruptñ, sd: “D’nt west ɖ od soc, old man; d an act v ćaṛti n gv it t sm pur man wɖ onli wn leg.” Ɖ lōndris gigld lîc an idịt. I wz dsgustd n wōct upsterz fr ɖ prṗs v pinñ dǎn mî colr, az ɖ butn hd cm of ɖ bac v mî śrt.

Ẃn I rtrnd t ɖ parlr, Gowñ wz rīteilñ hiz idiotic joc abt ɖ od soc, n Cári wz rorñ wɖ laftr. I s’poz I am luzñ mî sns v hymr. I spouc mî mînd priti frīli abt Paj. Gowñ sd h hd met him onli wns bfr ɖt īvnñ. H hd bn intṛdyst bî a frend, n az h (Paj) hd “std” a gd dinr, Gowñ wśt t śo him sm litl rtrn. Upn mî wrd, Gowñ’z cūlnis s’pász ol b’lif. Lūpin cem in bfr I cd rplî, n Gowñ unforćṇtli inqîrd aftr Deizi Mutlr. Lūpin śǎtd: “Mînd yr ǒn biznis, sr!” n bǎnst ǎt v ɖ rūm, slamñ ɖ dor. Ɖ rmendr v ɖ nît wz Deizi Mutlr – Deizi Mutlr – Deizi Mutlr. Ǒ dir!

Nvmbr 26, Súnde. – Ɖ kṛt prīćt a vri gd srmn tde – vri gd indd. Hiz apiṛns z nvr so impresiv az ǎr dir old vicr’z, bt I am baund t se hiz srmnz r mć mor impresiv. A rɖr anoyñ insidnt ocŕd, v ẃć I mst mc mnśn. Msz. Frnlos, hu z qt a grand ledi, livñ in wn v ɖoz larj hǎzz in ɖ Camdn Rod, stopt t spīc t m aftr ćrć, ẃn w wr ol cmñ ǎt. I mst se I flt flatrd, fr ś z ʈt a gd dīl v. I s’poz ś ń m ʈru siyñ m so ofn tec rnd ɖ plet, ispeṣ́li az ś olwz okpîz ɖ cornr sīt v ɖ py. Ś z a vri influenśl ledi, n me hv hd smʈñ v ɖ utmost importns t se, bt unforćṇtli, az ś cmnst t spīc a stroñ gust v wind cem n blù mî hat of intu ɖ midl v ɖ rod.

I hd t run aftr it, n hd ɖ gretist dificlti in rcuṿrñ it. Ẃn I hd s’xidd in dwñ so, I faund Msz. Frnlos hd wōct on wɖ sm swel frendz, n I flt I cd nt wel aproć hr nǎ, ispeṣ́li az mî hat wz smuɖrd wɖ mud. I canot se hǎ dis’pôntd I flt.In ɖ īvnñ (Súnde īvnñ v ol uɖrz) I faund an imprtinnt not fṛm Mr. Brwin-Fosltn, ẃć ran az foloz:

“Dir Mr. Pūtr, – Olɖo yr jūńr bî phps sm twenti or ʈrti yirz – ẃć z sfiśnt rīzn ɖt y òt t hv a longr rec̣d v ɖ ʈñz n wez in ɖs minićr v a planit – I fīl it z jst wɖn ɖ bǎndz v posbiḷti ɖt ɖ ẃīlz v yr lîf d’nt travl so qcli rnd az ɖoz v ɖ humbl raitr v ɖz lînz. Ɖ dandi hors v past dez hz bn noun t oṿtec ɖ slo coć.

“D I mc mslf unḍstd?

“Vri wel, ɖen! Pmit m, Mr. Pūtr, t advîz y t axpt ɖ vrb. sap. Acnolij yr dfit, n tec yr ẃipñ gresf̣li; fr rmembr y ʈrù dǎn ɖ gluv, n I canot clem t b îɖr mnṭli or fizicli a cawd!

Revenons à nos moutons.

“Ǎr lîvz run in difṛnt grūvz. I liv fr MÎ ART – Ɖ STEJ. Yr lîf z dvotd t cmrśl psyts – ‘A lîf amñ Lejrz.’ Mî bcs r v difṛnt metl. Yr lîf in ɖ Siti z onṛbl, I admit. Bt hǎ difṛnt! Canot īvn y si ɖ ośn btwn s? A ćanl ɖt privnts ɖ mītñ v ǎr brenz in harmońs acord. Ā! Bt chacun à son goût.

“I hv rejistrd a vǎ t mǎnt ɖ steps v fem. I me crōl, I me slip, I me īvn fōltr (w r ol wìc), bt rīć ɖ top ruñ v ɖ ladr I wl!!! Ẃn ɖr, mî vôs śl b hŕd, fr I wl śǎt t ɖ multtydz b’lo: ‘Vici!’ Fr ɖ preznt I am onli an aṃćr, n mî wrc z uņoun, fsuʈ, sev t a parti v frendz, wɖ hir n ɖr an eṇmi.

“Bt, Mr. Pūtr, let m asc y, ‘Ẃt z ɖ difṛns btwn ɖ aṃćr n ɖ pṛfeśnl?’

“Nn!!!

“Ste! Yes, ɖr z a difṛns. Wn z peid fr dwñ ẃt ɖ uɖr dz az scilfli fr nʈñ!

“Bt I wl b peid, tù! Fr I, contrri t ɖ wśz v mî faṃli n frendz, hv at last ilectd t adopt ɖ stej az pṛfeśn. N ẃn ɖ fars crêz z ovr – n, marc y, ɖt wl b sn – I wl mc mî pǎr noun; fr I fīl – pardn mî apaṛnt cnsit – ɖt ɖr z no livñ man hu cn ple ɖ hump-bact Rićd az I fīl n I cn.

“N y wl b ɖ frst t cm rnd n bnd yr hed in sbmiśn. Ɖr r mni matrz y me unḍstand, bt nolij v ɖ fîn art v actñ z t y an uņoun qontti.

“Pre let ɖs dscuśn sīs wɖ ɖs letr. Vale!

Yrz trūli,

“Brwin-Fosltn.”

I wz dsgustd. Ẃn Lūpin cem in, I handd him ɖs imprtinnt letr, n sd: “Mî bô, in ɖt letr y cn si ɖ tru caṛctr v yr frend.”

Lūpin, t mî s’prîz, sd: “Ǒ yes. H śoud m ɖ letr bfr h snt it. I ʈnc h z rît, n y òt t apoḷjîz.”

ĆAPTR XII

A sirịs dscuśn cnsrnñ ɖ ys n valy v mî dayri. Lūpin’z opińn v ’Xṃs. Lūpin’z unforćṇt ingejmnt z on agn.

Dsmbr 17. – Az I opn mî scriḅlñ dayri I fînd ɖ wrdz “Oxf̣d Miclms Trm endz.” Ẃ ɖs śd indys m t indulj in retṛspctiv I d’nt nǒ, bt it dz. Ɖ last fy wīcs v mî dayri r v minimm inṭrest. Ɖ brecñ of v ɖ ingejmnt btwn Lūpin n Deizi Mutlr hz md him a difṛnt biyñ, n Cári a rɖr dpresñ cmpańn. Ś wz a litl dul last Saṭde, n I ʈt t ćir hr p bî rīdñ sm xtracts fṛm mî dayri; bt ś wōct ǎt v ɖ rūm in ɖ midl v ɖ rīdñ, wɖt a wrd. On hr rtrn, I sd: “Dd mî dayri bòr y, darlñ?”

Ś rplaid, t mî s’prîz: “I riyli wz’nt liṣnñ, dir. I wz oblîjd t līv t gv instrux́nz t ɖ lōndris. In consiqns v sm stuf ś pts in ɖ wōtr, tū mor v Lūpin’z culrd śrts hv run n h sz h w’nt wer ɖm.”I sd: “Evrʈñ z Lūpin. It’s ol Lūpin, Lūpin, Lūpin. Ɖr wz nt a sngl butn on mî śrt yesṭde, bt I md no cmplent.”

Cári simpli rplaid: “Y śd d az ol uɖr men d, n wer studz. In fact, I nvr sw enwn bt y wer butnz on ɖ śrtfrunts.”

I sd: “I srtnli wòr nn yesṭde, fr ɖr wr nn on.”

Anɖr ʈt ɖt strîcs m z ɖt Gowñ sldm cōlz in ɖ īvnñ, n Cumñz nvr dz. I fir ɖe d’nt gt on wel wɖ Lūpin.

Dsmbr 18. – Yesṭde I wz in a retṛspctiv vein – tde it z pṛspctiv. I si nʈñ bt clǎdz, clǎdz, clǎdz. Lūpin z prf̣cli intolṛbl ovr ɖ Deizi Mutlr biznis. H w’nt se ẃt z ɖ cōz v ɖ brīć. H z evidntli cndemñ hr conduct, n yt, f w vnćr t agri wɖ him, sz h w’nt hír a wrd agnst hr. So ẃt z wn t d? Anɖr ʈñ ẃć z dis’pôntñ t m z, ɖt Cári n Lūpin tec no inṭrest ẃtvr in mî dayri.

I broćt ɖ subjict at ɖ brecfsțebl tde. I sd: “I wz in hops ɖt, f enʈñ evr hapnd t m, ɖ dayri wd b an endlis sors v pleźr t y bʈ; t se nʈñ v ɖ ćans v ɖ rḿṇreśn ẃć me acru fṛm its biyñ publiśt.”Bʈ Cári n Lūpin brst ǎt lafñ. Cári wz sori fr ɖs, I cd si, fr ś sd: “I dd nt mīn t b rūd, dir Ćarli; bt trūli I d nt ʈnc yr dayri wd sfiśntli inṭrest ɖ public t b tecn p bî a publiśr.”

I rplaid: “I am śr it wd pruv qt az inṭrestñ az sm v ɖ r’dikḷs reṃnisnsz ɖt hv bn publiśt lêtli. Bsdz, it’s ɖ dayri ɖt mcs ɖ man. Ẃr wd Eṿlin n Pìps hv bn f it hd nt bn fr ɖer dayriz?”

Cári sd I wz qt a f’loṣfr; bt Lūpin, in a jirñ ton, sd: “F it hd bn ritn on larjr pepr, Guv., w mt gt a fer prîs fṛm a butrmn fr it.”

Az I am in ɖ pṛspctiv vein, I vǎ ɖ end v ɖs yir wl si ɖ end v mî dayri.

Dsmbr 19. – Ɖ ańl invteśn cem t spend Crisṃs wɖ Cári’z muɖr – ɖ yźl faṃli fstiv gaɖ̇rñ t ẃć w olwz lc fwd. Lūpin dclînd t g. I wz astǎndd, n xprest mî s’prîz n dsgust. Lūpin ɖen oblîjd s wɖ ɖ folowñ Radicl spīć: “I het a faṃli gaɖ̇rñ at Crisṃs. Ẃt dz it mīn? Ẃ smwn sz: ‘Ā! w mis pur Uncl Jemz, hu wz hir last yir,’ n w ol bgin t snivl. Smwn els sz: ‘It’s tū yirz sins pur Ānt Liz yst t sit in ɖt cornr.’ Ɖen w ol bgin t snivl agn. Ɖen anɖr glūmi rleśn sz ‘Ā! I wundr huz trn it wl b nxt?’ Ɖen w ol snivl agn, n pṛsid t īt n drinc tù mć; n ɖe d’nt dscuvr untl I gt p ɖt w hv bn sītd ʈrtīn at dinr.”

Dsmbr 20. – Wnt t Smrcsnz’, ɖ dreprz, in ɖ Strand, hu ɖs yir hv trnd ǎt evrʈñ in ɖ śop n dvotd ɖ hol ples t ɖ seil v Crisṃs cardz. Śop crǎdd wɖ ppl, hu sīmd t tec p ɖ cardz rɖr rufli, n, aftr a hurid glans at ɖm, ʈro ɖm dǎn agn. I rmarct t wn v ɖ yuñ prsnz srvñ, ɖt cerlisnis apird t b a dziz wɖ sm prćisrz. Ɖ obẓveśn wz scersli ǎt v mî mǎʈ, ẃn mî ʈic cotslīv còt agnst a larj pîl v xpnsiv cardz in boxz wn on top v ɖ uɖr, n ʈrù ɖm dǎn. Ɖ manijr cem fwd, lcñ vri mć anoid, n picñ p sevṛl cardz fṛm ɖ grǎnd, sd t wn v ɖ asistnts, wɖ a palṗbl sîdglans at m: “Pt ɖz amñst ɖ sixṗni gdz; ɖe c’nt b sold fr a śilñ nǎ.” Ɖ rzult wz, I flt it mî dyti t bai sm v ɖz damijd cardz.

I hd t bai mor n pe mor ɖn intndd. Unforćṇtli I dd nt xamin ɖm ol, n ẃn I got hom I dscuvrd a vulgr card wɖ a picćr v a fat nrs wɖ tū bebiz, wn blac n ɖ uɖr ẃît, n ɖ wrdz: “W wś Pa a Meri Crisṃs.” I tòr p ɖ card n ʈrù it awe. Cári sd ɖ gret dis’dvantij v gwñ ǎt in Ssayti n incrisñ ɖ numbr v ǎr frendz wz, ɖt w śd hv t snd ǎt nirli tū duzn cardz ɖs yir.

Dsmbr 21. – T sev ɖ postmn a mizṛbl Crisṃs, w folo ɖ xampl v ol unslfiś ppl, n snd ǎt ǎr cardz rli. Most v ɖ cardz hd fngrmarcs, ẃć I dd nt notis at nît. I śl bai ol fyćr cardz in ɖ dêtîm. Lūpin (hu, evr sins h hz hd ɖ apôntmnt wɖ a stoc n śer brocr, dz nt sīm oṿscrūpyḷs in hiz dīlñz) tld m nvr t rub ǎt ɖ pnsld prîs on ɖ bacs v ɖ cardz. I asct him ẃ. Lūpin sd: “S’poz yr card z marct 9d. Wel, ol y hv t d z t pensl a 3 – n a loñ dǎn-stroc aftr it – in frunt v ɖ nînpns, n ppl wl ʈnc y hv gvn fîv tîmz ɖ prîs fr it.”

In ɖ īvnñ Lūpin wz vri lo-spiṛtd, n I rmîndd him ɖt bhnd ɖ clǎdz ɖ sún wz śînñ. H sd: “Ug! it nvr śînz on m.” I sd: “Stop, Lūpin, mî bô; y r wurid abt Deizi Mutlr. D’nt ʈnc v hr eni mor. Y òt t cngrać̣let yrslf on hvñ got of a vri bad bargin. Hr nośnz r far tù grand fr ǎr simpl tests.” H jumt p n sd: “I w’nt alǎ wn wrd t b utrd agnst hr. Ś’z wrʈ ɖ hol bunć v yr frendz pt tgɖr, ɖt infletd, slǒpñhed v a Prcup includd.” I left ɖ rūm wɖ sîḷnt digṇti, bt còt mî ft in ɖ mat.

Dsmbr 23. – I xćenjd no wrdz wɖ Lūpin in ɖ mornñ; bt az h sīmd t b in xūbṛnt spirits in ɖ īvnñ, I vnćrd t asc him ẃr h intndd t spend hiz Crisṃs. H rplaid: “Ǒ, most lîcli at ɖ Mutlrz’.”

In wundrmnt, I sd: “Ẃt! aftr yr ingejmnt hz bn brocn of?”Lūpin sd: “Hu sd it z of?”

I sd: “Y hv gvn s bʈ t unḍstand – ”

H inṭruptd m bî seyñ: “Wel, nvr mînd ẃt I sd. It z on agn – ɖr!”

ĆAPTR XIII

I rsiv an insultñ Crisṃs card. W spend a pleznt Crisṃs at Cári’z muɖr’z. A Mr. Mos z rɖr tù fri. A bôstṛs īvnñ, jrñ ẃć I am struc in ɖ darc. I rsiv an xtrordnri letr fṛm Mr. Mutlr, sīńr, rspctñ Lūpin. W mis drincñ ǎt ɖ Old Yir.

Dsmbr 24. – I am a pur man, bt I wd gladli gv ten śilñz t fînd ǎt hu snt m ɖ insultñ Crisṃs card I rsivd ɖs mornñ. I nvr insult ppl; ẃ śd ɖe insult m? Ɖ wrst part v ɖ trnzax́n z, ɖt I fînd mslf sspctñ ol mî frendz. Ɖ handraitñ on ɖ enṿlop z evidntli dsgîzd, biyñ ritn slǒpñ ɖ roñ we. I canot ʈnc îɖr Gowñ or Cumñz wd d sć a mīn ʈñ. Lūpin dnaid ol nolij v it, n I b’liv him; olɖo I dis’pruv v hiz lafñ n simṗʈîzñ wɖ ɖ ofndr. Mr. Franćñ wd b abv sć an act; n I d’nt ʈnc eni v ɖ Mutlrz wd dsnd t sć a cors. I wundr f Pít, ɖt impydnt clarc at ɖ ofis, dd it? Or Msz. Biṛl, ɖ ćarwmn, or Brwin-Fosltn? Ɖ raitñ z tù gd fr ɖ formr.

Crisṃs De. – W còt ɖ 10.20 tren at Padñtn, n spent a pleznt de at Cári’z muɖr’z. Ɖ cuntri wz qt nîs n pleznt, olɖo ɖ rodz wr slopi. W dînd in ɖ midl v ɖ de, jst ten v s, n tōct ovr old tîmz. F evrbdi hd a nîs, uninṭfirñ muɖr-in-lw, sć az I hv, ẃt a dīl v hapinis ɖr wd b in ɖ wrld. Biyñ ol in gd spirits, I pṛpozd hr hlʈ, n I md, I ʈnc, a vri gd spīć.I cncludd, rɖr nītli, bî seyñ: “On an oceźn lîc ɖs – ẃɖr reḷtivz, frendz, or aqentnsz, – w r ol inspîrd wɖ gd fīlñz twdz ć uɖr. W r v wn mînd, n ʈnc onli v luv n frendśp. Ɖoz hu hv qoṛld wɖ absnt frendz śd cis n mc it p. Ɖoz hu haṗli hv nt fōḷn ǎt, cn cis ol ɖ sem.”

I sw ɖ tirz in ɖ îz v bʈ Cári n hr muɖr, n mst se I flt vri flatrd bî ɖ complimnt. Ɖt dir old Revṛnd Jon Panzi Smiʈ, hu marid s, md a most ćirfl n aḿzñ spīć, n sd h śd act on mî sjsćn rspctñ ɖ cisñ. H ɖen wōct rnd ɖ tebl n cist ol ɖ lediz, includñ Cári. V cors wn dd nt objct t ɖs; bt I wz mor ɖn stagrd ẃn a yuñ felo nemd Mos, hu wz a strenjr t m, n hu hd scersli spocn a wrd ʈru dinr, jumt p sudnli wɖ a sprig v mislto, n xclemd: “Hlo! I d’nt si ẃ I śd’nt b on in ɖs sīn.” Bfr wn cd riylîz ẃt h wz abt t d, h cist Cári n ɖ rest v ɖ lediz.

Forćṇtli ɖ matr wz trītd az a joc, n w ol laft; bt it wz a denjṛs xperimnt, n I flt vri unīzi fr a momnt az t ɖ rzult. I subsiqntli rfŕd t ɖ matr t Cári, bt ś sd: “Ǒ, h’z nt mć mor ɖn a bô.” I sd ɖt h hd a vri larj mstaś fr a bô. Cári rplaid: “I dd’nt se h wz nt a nîs bô.”

Dsmbr 26. – I dd nt slīp vri wel last nît; I nvr d in a strenj bed. I fīl a litl indijsćn, ẃć wn mst xpct at ɖs tîm v ɖ yir. Cári n I rtrnd t Tǎn in ɖ īvnñ. Lūpin cem in lêt. H sd h injoid hiz Crisṃs, n add: “I fīl az fit az a Lǎɖr Arced fidl, n onli rqîr a litl mor ‘ūf’ t fīl az fit az a £500 Straḍverịs.” I hv loñ sins gvn p trayñ t unḍstand Lūpin’z slañ, or ascñ him t xplen it.

Dsmbr 27. – I tld Lūpin I wz xpctñ Gowñ n Cumñz t drop in tmoro īvnñ fr a qayt gem. I wz in hop ɖ bô wd voḷntir t ste in, n hlp t aḿz ɖm. Instd v ẃć, h sd: “Ǒ, y hd betr pt ɖm of, az I hv asct Deizi n Franc Mutlr t cm.” I sd I cd nt ʈnc v dwñ sć a ʈñ. Lūpin sd: “Ɖen I wl snd a wîr, n pt of Deizi.” I sjstd ɖt a postcard or letr wd rīć hr qt sn inuf, n wd nt b so xtraṿgnt.

Cári, hu hd lisnd t ɖ abv convseśn wɖ apaṛnt anoyns, d’rectd a wel-emd śaft at Lūpin. Ś sd: “Lūpin, ẃ d y objct t Deizi mītñ yr faɖr’z frendz? Z it bcz ɖe r nt gd inuf fr hr, or (ẃć z īqli poṣbl) ś z nt gd inuf fr ɖm?” Lūpin wz dumfǎndd, n cd mc no rplî. Ẃn h left ɖ rūm, I gev Cári a cis v apruvl.

Dsmbr 28 – Lūpin, on cmñ dǎn t brecfst, sd t hiz muɖr: “I hv nt pt of Deizi n Franc, n śd lîc ɖm t jôn Gowñ n Cumñz ɖs īvnñ.” I flt vri plizd wɖ ɖ bô fr ɖs. Cári sd, in rplî: “I am glad y let m nǒ in tîm, az I cn trn ovr ɖ cold leg v mutn, dres it wɖ a litl parsli, n nwn wl nǒ it hz bn cut.” Ś frɖr sd ś wd mc a fy custdz, n sty sm pipinz, so ɖt ɖe wd b cold bî ɖ īvnñ.

Fîndñ Lūpin in gd spirits, I asct him qaytli f h riyli hd eni prsnl objx́n t îɖr Gowñ or Cumñz. H rplaid: “Nt in ɖ līst. I ʈnc Cumñz lcs rɖr an as, bt ɖt z partli dy t hiz patṛnîzñ ‘ɖ ʈri-n-six-wn-prîs hat cumṗni,’ n wẹrñ a rīć-m-dǎn froc̦ot. Az fr ɖt ppćl brǎn velvtīn jacit v Gowñ’z – ẃ, h rzmblz an îtinṛnt ftogṛfr.”I sd it wz nt ɖ cot ɖt md ɖ jntlmn; ẃr’pn Lūpin, wɖ a laf, rplaid: “No, n it wz’nt mć v a jntlmn hu md ɖer cóts.”

W wr rɖr joli at supr, n Deizi md hrslf vri agriybl, ispeṣ́li in ɖ rlịr part v ɖ īvnñ, ẃn ś sañ. At supr, hvr, ś sd: “Cn y mc tì-t-tums wɖ bred?” n ś cmnst rolñ p pìsz v bred, n twistñ ɖm rnd on ɖ tebl. I flt ɖs t b bad manrz, bt v cors sd nʈñ. Prezntli Deizi n Lūpin, t mî dsgust, bgan ʈrowñ bredpilz at ć uɖr. Franc foloud sūt, n so dd Cumñz n Gowñ, t mî astoniśmnt. Ɖe ɖen cmnst ʈrowñ hard pìsz v crust, wn pìs caćñ m on ɖ fōrhed, n mcñ m blinc. I sd: “Stedi, plīz; stedi!” Franc jumt p n sd: “Tum, tum; ɖen ɖ band pleid.”

I dd nt nǒ ẃt ɖs mnt, bt ɖe ol rord, n cntinyd ɖ bredbatl. Gowñ sudnli sizd ol ɖ parsli of ɖ cold mutn, n ʈrù it fl in mî fes. I lct dagrz at Gowñ, hu rplaid: “I se, it’s no gd trayñ t lc indignnt, wɖ yr her fl v parsli.” I rouz fṛm ɖ tebl, n insistd ɖt a stop śd b pt t ɖs fūḷri at wns. Franc Mutlr śǎtd: “Tîm, jntlṃn, plīz! tîm!” n trnd ǎt ɖ gas, līvñ s in abṣlut darcnis.

I wz fīlñ mî we ǎt v ɖ rūm, ẃn I sudnli rsivd a hard intnśnl punć at ɖ bac v mî hed. I sd lǎdli: “Hu dd ɖt?” Ɖr wz no ansr; so I rpitd ɖ qsćn, wɖ ɖ sem rzult. I struc a mać, n lîtd ɖ gas. Ɖe wr ol tōcñ n lafñ, so I cept mî ǒn cǎnsl; bt, aftr ɖe hd gn, I sd t Cári; “Ɖ prsn hu snt m ɖt insultñ postcard at Crisṃs wz hir tnît.”

Dsmbr 29. – I hd a most vivid drīm last nît. I wouc p, n on fōlñ aslip, drīmd ɖ sem drīm ovr agn prisîsli. I dremt I hŕd Franc Mutlr telñ hiz sistr ɖt h hd nt onli snt m ɖ insultñ Crisṃs card, bt admitd ɖt h wz ɖ wn hu punćt mî hed last nît in ɖ darc. Az fet wd hv it, Lūpin, at brecfst, wz rīdñ xtracts fṛm a letr h hd jst rsivd fṛm Franc.

I asct him t pas ɖ enṿlop, ɖt I mt cmper ɖ raitñ. H dd so, n I xamind it bî ɖ sîd v ɖ enṿlop cntenñ ɖ Crisṃs card. I dtctd a siṃlaṛti in ɖ raitñ, in spît v ɖ atmtd dsgîz. I pást ɖm on t Cári, hu bgan t laf. I asct hr ẃt ś wz lafñ at, n ś sd ɖ card wz nvr d’rectd t m at ol. It wz “L. Pūtr,” nt “C. Pūtr.” Lūpin asct t lc at ɖ d’rex́n n ɖ card, n xclemd, wɖ a laf: “Ǒ yes, Guv., it’s mnt fr m.”I sd: “R y in ɖ habit v rsivñ insultñ Crisṃs cardz?” H rplaid: “Ǒ yes, n v sndñ ɖm, tù.”

In ɖ īvnñ Gowñ cōld, n sd h injoid himslf vri mć last nît. I tc ɖ oṗtyṇti t cnfîd in him, az an old frend, abt ɖ viśs punć last nît. H brst ǎt lafñ, n sd: “Ǒ, it wz yr hed, wz it? I nǒ I axdnṭli hit smʈñ, bt I ʈt it wz a bric wōl.” I tld him I flt hrt, in bʈ snsz v ɖ xpreśn.

Dsmbr 30, Súnde. – Lūpin spent ɖ hol de wɖ ɖ Mutlrz. H sīmd rɖr ćirfl in ɖ īvnñ, so I sd: “I’m glad t si y so hapi, Lūpin.” H ansrd: “Wel, Deizi z a splendid grl, bt I wz oblîjd t tec hr old fūl v a faɖr dǎn a peg. Ẃt wɖ hiz mīņis ovr hiz sgarz, hiz stinjinis ovr hiz drincs, hiz farɖñ icoṇmi in trnñ dǎn ɖ gas f y onli qit ɖ rūm fr a secnd, raitñ t wn on haf-śīts v notpepr, sticñ ɖ remnnt v ɖ last cec v sop on t ɖ ny cec, ptñ tū brics on ć sîd v ɖ fîrples, n hiz jenṛl ‘ǎtsd-heṗni-’bus-nis,’ I wz cmpeld t let him hv a bit v mî mînd.” I sd: “Lūpin, y r nt mć mor ɖn a bô; I hop y w’nt rpnt it.”

Dsmbr 31. – Ɖ last de v ɖ Old Yir. I rsivd an xtrordnri letr fṛm Mr. Mutlr, sīńr. H raits: “Dir Sr, – Fr a loñ tîm past I hv hd cnsidṛbl dificlti dsîdñ ɖ importnt qsćn, ‘Hu z ɖ mastr v mî ǒn hǎs? Mslf, or yr sun Lūpin?’ B’liv m, I hv no preɉdis wn we or ɖ uɖr; bt I hv bn most rluctntli cmpeld t gv jujmnt t ɖ ifct ɖt I am ɖ mastr v it. Undr ɖ srcmstansz, it hz bcm mî dyti t fbid yr sun t entr mî hǎs agn. I am sori, bcz it dprîvz m v ɖ ssayti v wn v ɖ most modist, un’symñ, n jntlmnli prsnz I hv evr hd ɖ onr v biyñ aqentd wɖ.”

I dd nt dzîr ɖ last de t wînd p dis’griybli, so I sd nʈñ t îɖr Cári or Lūpin abt ɖ letr.A most teṛbl fog cem on, n Lūpin wd g ǎt in it, bt promist t b bac t drinc ǎt ɖ Old Yir – a custm w hv olwz obzrvd. At a qortr t twelv Lūpin hd nt rtrnd, n ɖ fog wz firfl. Az tîm wz drw̃ clos, I got ǎt ɖ spirits. Cári n I dsîdñ on ẃisci, I opnd a freś botl; bt Cári sd it smelt lîc brandi. Az I ń it t b ẃisci, I sd ɖr wz nʈñ t dscus. Cári, evidntli vxt ɖt Lūpin hd nt cm in, dd dscus it ol ɖ sem, n wontd m t hv a smōl wejr wɖ hr t dsîd bî ɖ smel. I sd I cd dsîd it bî ɖ test in a momnt. A sili n uņesṣri arğmnt foloud, ɖ rzult v ẃć wz w sudnli sw it wz a qortr-past twelv, n, fr ɖ frst tîm in ǎr marid lîf, w míst welcmñ in ɖ Ny Yir. Lūpin got hom at a qortr-past tū, hvñ got lost in ɖ fog – so h sd.

ĆAPTR XIV

Bgin ɖ yir wɖ an unixpctd pṛmośn at ɖ ofis. I mc tū gd jocs. I gt an inorṃs rîz in mî saḷri. Lūpin speklets s’xesf̣li n starts a ponitrap. Hv t spīc t Sẹra. Xtrordnri conduct v Gowñ’z.

Jańri 1. – I hd intndd cncludñ mî dayri last wīc; bt a most importnt ivnt hz hapnd, so I śl cntiny fr a litl ẃl longr on ɖ flîlīvz ataćt t ɖ end v mî last yir’z dayri. It hd jst struc haf-past wn, n I wz on ɖ pônt v līvñ ɖ ofis t hv mî dinr, ẃn I rsivd a mesij ɖt Mr. Prcup dzîrd t si m at wns. I mst cnfes ɖt mî hart cmnst t bìt n I hd most sirịs msgvñz.

Mr. Prcup wz in hiz rūm raitñ, n h sd: “Tec a sīt, Mr. Pūtr, I śl nt b a momnt.”I rplaid: “No, ʈanc y, sr; I’l stand.”

I woćt ɖ cloc on ɖ mantlpìs, n I wz wêtñ qt twenti minits; bt it sīmd aurz. Mr. Prcup at last got p himslf.

I sd: “I hop ɖr z nʈñ roñ, sr?”

H rplaid: “Ǒ dir, no! qt ɖ rvrs, I hop.” Ẃt a weit of mî mînd! Mî breʈ sīmd t cm bac agn in an instnt.

Mr. Prcup sd: “Mr. Buclñ z gwñ t rtîr, n ɖr wl b sm slît ćenjz in ɖ ofis. Y hv bn wɖ s nirli twenti-wn yirz, n, in consiqns v yr conduct jrñ ɖt pirịd, w intnd mcñ a speśl pṛmośn in yr fevr. W hv nt qt dsîdd hǎ y wl b plest; bt in eni ces ɖr wl b a cnsidṛbl incrīs in yr saḷri, ẃć, it z qt uņesṣri fr m t se, y fŭli dzrv. I hv an apôntmnt at tū; bt y śl hír mor tmoro.”

H ɖen left ɖ rūm qcli, n I wz nt īvn alaud tîm or ʈt t xpres a sngl wrd v gretfl ʈancs t him. I nīd nt se hǎ dir Cári rsivd ɖs jôfl nyz. Wɖ prfict simpliṣti ś sd: “At last w śl b ebl t hv a ćimniglas fr ɖ bac drw̃rūm, ẃć w olwz wontd.” I add: “Yes, n at last y śl hv ɖt litl costym ẃć y sw at Pītr Robinsn’z so ćīp.”

Jańri 2. – I wz in a gret stet v sspns ol de at ɖ ofis. I dd nt lîc t wuri Mr. Prcup; bt az h dd nt snd fr m, n mnśnd yesṭde ɖt h wd si m agn tde, I ʈt it betr, phps, t g t him. I noct at hiz dor, n on enṭrñ, Mr. Prcup sd: “Ǒ! it’s y, Mr. Pūtr; d y wont t si m?” I sd: “No, sr, I ʈt y wontd t si m!” “Ǒ!” h rplaid, “I rmembr. Wel, I am vri bizi tde; I wl si y tmoro.”

Jańri 3. – Stl in a stet v añzayti n xîtmnt, ẃć wz nt alīvietd bî aṣtenñ ɖt Mr. Prcup snt wrd h śd nt b at ɖ ofis tde. In ɖ īvnñ, Lūpin, hu wz biẓli ingejd wɖ a pepr, sd sudnli t m: “D y nǒ enʈñ abt ćōcpits, Guv.?” I sd: “No, mî bô, nt ɖt I’m awer v.” Lūpin sd: “Wel, I gv y ɖ tip; ćōcpits r az sef az Consolz, n pe six psnt at par.” I sd a rɖr nīt ʈñ, viz.: “Ɖe me b six psnt at par, bt yr pa hz no muni t invst.” Cári n I bʈ rord wɖ laftr. Lūpin dd nt tec ɖ slîtist notis v ɖ joc, olɖo I prṗsli rpitd it fr him; bt cntinyd: “I gv y ɖ tip, ɖt’s ol – ćōcpits!” I sd anɖr funi ʈñ: “Mînd y d’nt fōl intu ɖm!” Lūpin pt on a sūṗsiłs smîl, n sd: “Brāvo! Jo Milr.”

Jańri 4. – Mr. Prcup snt fr m n tld m ɖt mî pziśn wd b ɖt v wn v ɖ sīńr clarcs. I wz mor ɖn oṿjoid. Mr. Prcup add, h wd let m nǒ tmoro ẃt ɖ saḷri wd b. Ɖs mīnz anɖr de’z añzayti; I d’nt mînd, fr it z añzayti v ɖ rît sort. Ɖt rmîndd m ɖt I hd fgotn t spīc t Lūpin abt ɖ letr I rsivd fṛm Mr. Mutlr, sīńr. I broćt ɖ subjict t Lūpin in ɖ īvnñ, hvñ frst cnsultd Cári. Lūpin wz riṿtd t ɖ Fnanśl Nyz, az f h hd bn a born capiṭlist, n I sd: “Pardn m a momnt, Lūpin, hǎ z it y hv nt bn t ɖ Mutlrz’ eni de ɖs wīc?”

Lūpin ansrd: “I tld y! I canot stand old Mutlr.”I sd: “Mr. Mutlr raits t m t se priti plenli ɖt h canot stand y!”

Lūpin sd: “Wel, I lîc hiz ćīc in raitñ t y. I’l fînd ǎt f hiz faɖr z stl alîv, n I wl rait him a not cmplenñ v hiz sun, n I’l stet priti clirli ɖt hiz sun z a bliɖ̇rñ idịt!”

I sd: “Lūpin, plīz moḍret yr xpreśnz in ɖ prezns v yr muɖr.”

Lūpin sd: “I’m vri sori, bt ɖr z no uɖr xpreśn wn cn aplî t him. Hvr, I’m dtrmind nt t entr hiz ples agn.”

I sd: “Y nǒ, Lūpin, h hz fbidn y ɖ hǎs.”

Lūpin rplaid: “Wel, w w’nt split strwz – it’s ol ɖ sem. Deizi z a trump, n wl wêt fr m ten yirz, f nesṣri.”

Jańri 5. – I cn scersli rait ɖ nyz. Mr. Prcup tld m mî saḷri wd b rezd £100! I std gepñ fr a momnt unebl t riylîz it. I ańli gt £10 rîz, n I ʈt it mt b £15 or īvn £20; bt £100 s’pász ol b’lif. Cári n I bʈ rjôst ovr ǎr gd fortyn. Lūpin cem hom in ɖ īvnñ in ɖ utmost gd spirits. I snt Sẹra qaytli rnd t ɖ grosr’z fr a botl v śampen, ɖ sem az w hd bfr, “Jacsn Frer.” It wz opnd at supr, n I sd t Lūpin: “Ɖs z t seḷbret sm gd nyz I hv rsivd tde.” Lūpin rplaid: “Hre, Guv.! N I hv sm gd nyz, olso; a dubl ivnt, ê?” I sd: “Mî bô, az a rzult v twenti-wn yirz’ inḍstri n strict atnśn t ɖ inṭrests v mî s’pirịrz in ofis, I hv bn rwordd wɖ pṛmośn n a rîz in saḷri v £100.”

Lūpin gev ʈri ćirz, n w rapt ɖ tebl fyrịsli, ẃć bròt in Sẹra t si ẃt ɖ matr wz. Lūpin ordrd s t “fil p” agn, n adresñ s upstandñ, sd: “Hvñ bn in ɖ frm v Jǒb Clenndz, stoc n śer brocrz, a fy wīcs, n nt hvñ peid ptiklr atnśn t ɖ inṭrests v mî s’pirịrz in ofis, mî Guvnr, az a rword t m, alotd m £5 wrʈ v śerz in a riyli gd ʈñ. Ɖ rzult z, tde I hv md £200.” I sd: “Lūpin, y r jocñ.” “No, Guv., it’s ɖ gd old truʈ; Jǒb Clenndz pt m on t Clōrets.”

Jańri 21. – I am vri mć cnsrnd at Lūpin hvñ startd a ponitrap. I sd: “Lūpin, r y jusṭfaid in ɖs ǎtrejs xtraṿgns?” Lūpin rplaid: “Wel, wn mst gt t ɖ Siti smhǎ. I’v onli hîrd it, n cn gv it p eni tîm I lîc.” I rpitd mî qsćn: “R y jusṭfaid in ɖs xtraṿgns?” H rplaid: “Lc hir, Guv., xkz m seyñ so, bt y’r a bit ǎt v det. It dz nt pe nawdez, fiḍlñ abt ovr smōl ʈñz. I d’nt mīn enʈñ prsnl, Guvnr. Mî bos sz f I tec hiz tip, n stic t big ʈñz, I cn mc big muni!” I sd I ʈt ɖ vri îdīa v spekleśn most hoṛfayñ. Lūpin sd “It z nt spekleśn, it’s a ded srt.” I advîzd him, at ol ivnts, nt t cntiny ɖ poni n cart; bt h rplaid: “I md £200 in wn de; nǎ s’poz I onli mc £200 in a munʈ, or pt it at £100 a munʈ, ẃć z r’dikḷsli lo – ẃ, ɖt z £1,250 a yir. Ẃt’s a fy pǎndz a wīc fr a trap?”

I dd nt psy ɖ subjict frɖr, bynd seyñ ɖt I śd fīl glad ẃn ɖ ōtm cem, n Lūpin wd b v ej n rsponsbl fr hiz ǒn déts. H ansrd: “Mî dir Guv., I promis y feʈf̣li ɖt I wl nvr speklet wɖ ẃt I hv nt got. I śl onli g on Jǒb Clenndz’ tips, n az h z in ɖ ‘nǒ’ it z priti sef sêlñ.” I flt smẃt rlivd. Gowñ cōld in ɖ īvnñ n, t mî s’prîz, informd m ɖt, az h hd md £10 bî wn v Lūpin’z tips, h intndd ascñ s n ɖ Cumñz rnd nxt Saṭde. Cári n I sd w śd b dlîtd.

Jańri 22. – I d’nt jenṛli lūz mî tmpr wɖ srvnts; bt I hd t spīc t Sẹra rɖr śarpli abt a cerlis habit ś hz rīsntli cntractd v śecñ ɖ teblcloʈ, aftr rmuvñ ɖ brecfst ʈñz, in a manr ẃć cōzz ol ɖ crumz t fōl on ɖ carpit, ivnć̣li t b trodn in. Sẹra ansrd vri rūdli: “Ǒ, y r olwz cmplenñ.” I rplaid: “Indd, I am nt. I spouc t y last wīc abt wōcñ ol ovr ɖ drw̃rūm carpit wɖ a pìs v yelo sop on ɖ hìl v yr būt.” Ś sd: “N y’r olwz grumḅlñ abt yr brecfst.” I sd: “No, I am nt; bt I fīl prf̣cli jusṭfaid in cmplenñ ɖt I nvr cn gt a hard-bôld eg. Ɖ momnt I crac ɖ śel it sprts ol ovr ɖ plet, n I hv spocn t y at līst fifti tîmz abt it.” Ś bgan t crî n mc a sīn; bt forćṇtli mî ’bus cem bî, so I hd a gd xks fr līvñ hr. Gowñ left a mesij in ɖ īvnñ, ɖt w wr nt t fget nxt Saṭde. Cári aḿzñli sd: “Az h hz nvr asct eni frendz bfr, w r nt lîcli t fget it.”

Jańri 23. – I asct Lūpin t trî n ćenj ɖ hard bruśz, h rīsntli md m a preznt v, fr sm softr wnz, az mî herdresr tlz m I òt nt t bruś mî her tù mć jst nǎ.

Jańri 24. – Ɖ ny ćimniglas cem hom fr ɖ bac drw̃rūm. Cári arenjd sm fanz vri priṭli on ɖ top n on ć sîd. It z an imns impruvmnt t ɖ rūm.

Jańri 25. – W hd jst finiśt ǎr ti, ẃn hu śd cm in bt Cumñz, hu hz nt bn hir fr ovr ʈri wīcs. I notist ɖt h lct enʈñ bt wel, so I sd: “Wel, Cumñz, hǎ r y? Y lc a litl blu.” H rplaid: “Yes! n I fīl blu tù.” I sd: “Ẃ, ẃt’s ɖ matr?” H sd: “Ǒ, nʈñ, xpt ɖt I hv bn on mî bac fr a cupl v wīcs, ɖt’s ol. At wn tîm mî doctr nirli gev m p, yt nt a soul hz cm nir m. Nwn hz īvn tecn ɖ trubl t inqîr ẃɖr I wz alîv or ded.”

I sd: “Ɖs z ɖ frst I hv hŕd v it. I hv pást yr hǎs sevṛl nîts, n prizymd y hd cumṗni, az ɖ rūmz wr so briłntli lîtd.”Cumñz rplaid: “No! Ɖ onli cumṗni I hv hd wz mî wîf, ɖ doctr, n ɖ landledi – ɖ last-nemd hvñ trnd ǎt a prfict trump. I wundr y dd nt si it in ɖ pepr. I nǒ it wz mnśnd in ɖ Bîsicl Nyz.”

I ʈt t ćir him p, n sd: “Wel, y r ol rît nǎ?”

H rplaid: “Ɖt’s nt ɖ qsćn. Ɖ qsćn z ẃɖr an ilnis dz nt inebl y t dscuvr hu r yr tru frendz.”

I sd sć an obẓveśn wz unwrɖi v him. T mc matrz wrs, in cem Gowñ, hu gev Cumñz a vayḷnt slap on ɖ bac, n sd: “Hlo! Hv y sìn a gost? Y lc scerd t deʈ, lîc Ŕvñ in Mcbeʈ.” I sd: “Jntli, Gowñ, ɖ pur felo hz bn vri il.” Gowñ rord wɖ laftr n sd: “Yes, n y lc it, tù.” Cumñz qaytli sd: “Yes, n I fīl it tù – nt ɖt I s’poz y cer.”

An ōcẉd sîḷns foloud. Gowñ sd: “Nvr mînd, Cumñz, y n ɖ misis cm rnd t mî ples tmoro, n it wl ćir y p a bit; fr w’l opn a botl v wîn.”

Jańri 26. – An xtrordnri ʈñ hapnd. Cári n I wnt rnd t Gowñ’z, az arenjd, at haf-past sevn. W noct n rañ sevṛl tîmz wɖt gtñ an ansr. At last ɖ lać wz drwn n ɖ dor opnd a litl we, ɖ ćen stl biyñ p. A man in śrtslīvz pt hiz hed ʈru n sd: “Hu z it? Ẃt d y wont?” I sd: “Mr. Gowñ, h z xpctñ s.” Ɖ man sd (az wel az I cd hír, owñ t ɖ yapñ v a litl dog): “I d’nt ʈnc h z. Mr. Gowñ z nt at hom.” I sd: “H wl b in d’recli.”

Wɖ ɖt obẓveśn h slamd ɖ dor, līvñ Cári n m standñ on ɖ steps wɖ a cutñ wind blowñ rnd ɖ cornr.Cári advîzd m t noc agn. I dd so, n ɖen dscuvrd fr ɖ frst tîm ɖt ɖ nocr hd bn nyli pentd, n ɖ pent hd cm of on mî gluvz – ẃć wr, in consiqns, cmplitli spôld.

I noct at ɖ dor wɖ mî stic tū or ʈri tîmz.

Ɖ man opnd ɖ dor, tecñ ɖ ćen of ɖs tîm, n bgan abyzñ m. H sd: “Ẃt d y mīn bî scraćñ ɖ pent wɖ yr stic lîc ɖt, spôlñ ɖ varniś? Y òt t b aśemd v yrslf.”

I sd: “Pardn m, Mr. Gowñ invîtd – ”

H inṭruptd n sd: “I d’nt cer fr Mr. Gowñ, or eni v hiz frendz. Ɖs z dor, nt Mr. Gowñ’z. Ɖr r ppl hir bsdz Mr. Gowñ.”

Ɖ imprtinns v ɖs man wz nʈñ. I scersli notist it, it wz so trivịl in cmparisn wɖ ɖ scandḷs conduct v Gowñ.

At ɖs momnt Cumñz n hiz wîf arîvd. Cumñz wz vri lem n līnñ on a stic; bt got p ɖ steps n asct ẃt ɖ matr wz.

Ɖ man sd: “Mr. Gowñ sd nʈñ abt xpctñ enwn. Ol h sd wz h hd jst rsivd an invteśn t Crôdn, n h śd nt b bac tl Munde īvnñ. H tc hiz bag wɖ him.”

Wɖ ɖt h slamd ɖ dor agn. I wz tù indignnt wɖ Gowñ’z conduct t se enʈñ. Cumñz lct ẃît wɖ rej, n az h dsndd ɖ steps struc hiz stic vayḷntli on ɖ grǎnd n sd: “Scǎndṛl!”

ĆAPTR XV

Gowñ xplenz hiz conduct. Lūpin tecs s fr a drîv, ẃć w d’nt injô. Lūpin intṛdysz s t Mr. Muri Poś.

Febrri 8. – It dz sīm hard I canot gt gd soṣjz fr brecfst. Ɖe r îɖr fl v bred or spîs, or r az red az bīf. Stl añśs abt ɖ £20 I invstd last wīc bî Lūpin’z advîs. Hvr, Cumñz hz dn ɖ sem.

Febrri 9. – Xacli a fortnît hz pást, n I hv nɖr sìn nr hŕd fṛm Gowñ rspctñ hiz xtrordnri conduct in ascñ s rnd t hiz hǎs, n ɖen biyñ ǎt. In ɖ īvnñ Cári wz ingejd marcñ a haf-duzn ny coḷrz I hd prćist. I’l bac Cári’z marcñ agnst enbdi’z. Ẃl I wz drayñ ɖm at ɖ fîr, n Cári wz rbycñ m fr scorćñ ɖm, Cumñz cem in.

H sīmd qt wel agn, n ćaft s abt marcñ ɖ coḷrz. I asct him f h hd hŕd fṛm Gowñ, n h rplaid ɖt h hd nt. I sd I śd nt hv b’livd ɖt Gowñ cd hv actd in sć an unjntlmnli manr. Cumñz sd: “Y r mîld in yr dscripśn v him; I ʈnc h hz actd lîc a cad.”Ɖ wrdz wr scersli ǎt v hiz mǎʈ ẃn ɖ dor opnd, n Gowñ, ptñ in hiz hed, sd: “Me I cm in?” I sd: “Srtnli.” Cári sd vri pôntidli: “Wel, y r a strenjr.” Gowñ sd: “Yes, I’v bn on n of t Crôdn jrñ ɖ last fortnît.” I cd si Cumñz wz bôlñ ovr, n ivnć̣li h tacld Gowñ vri stroñli rspctñ hiz conduct last Saṭde wīc. Gowñ apird s’prîzd, n sd: “Ẃ, I postd a letr t y in ɖ mornñ anǎnsñ ɖt ɖ parti wz ‘of, vri mć of.’” I sd: “I nvr got it.” Gowñ, trnñ t Cári, sd: “I s’poz letrz smtmz mscari, d’nt ɖe, Msz. Cári?” Cumñz śarpli sd: “Ɖs z nt a tîm fr jocñ. I hd no notis v ɖ parti biyñ pt of.” Gowñ rplaid: “I tld Pūtr in mî not t tel y, az I wz in a huri. Hvr, I’l inqîr at ɖ post-ofis, n w mst mīt agn at mî ples.” I add ɖt I hopt h wd b preznt at ɖ nxt mītñ. Cári rord at ɖs, n īvn Cumñz cd nt hlp lafñ.

Febrri 10, Súnde. – Contrri t mî wśz, Cári alaud Lūpin t pswed hr t tec hr fr a drîv in ɖ afṭnun in hiz trap. I qt dis’pruv v drîvñ on a Súnde, bt I dd nt lîc t trust Cári alon wɖ Lūpin, so I ofrd t g tù. Lūpin sd: “Nǎ, ɖt z nîs v y, Guv., bt y w’nt mînd sitñ on ɖ bacsīt v ɖ cart?”

Lūpin pṛsidd t pt on a brît-blu cot ɖt sīmd mîlz tù larj fr him. Cári sd it wontd tecñ in cnsidṛbli at ɖ bac. Lūpin sd: “Hv’nt y sìn a boxcot bfr? Y c’nt drîv in enʈñ els.”H me wer ẃt h lîcs in ɖ fyćr, fr I śl nvr drîv wɖ him agn. Hiz conduct wz śocñ. Ẃn w pást Hîget Arćwe, h traid t pas evrʈñ n evrbdi. H śǎtd t rspctbl ppl hu wr wōcñ qaytli in ɖ rod t gt ǎt v ɖ we; h flict at ɖ hors v an old man hu wz rîdñ, cōzñ it t rir; n, az I hd t rîd bcwdz, I wz cmpeld t fes a gañ v rufs in a doncicart, hūm Lūpin hd ćaft, n hu trnd n foloud s fr nirli a mîl, belowñ, induljñ in cōrs jocs n laftr, t se nʈñ v oceźṇli pltñ s wɖ orinjpīl.

Lūpin’z xks – ɖt ɖ Prins v Wêlz wd hv t pt p wɖ ɖ sem sort v ʈñ f h drouv t ɖ Darbi – wz v litl conṣleśn t îɖr Cári or mslf. Franc Mutlr cōld in ɖ īvnñ, n Lūpin wnt ǎt wɖ him.

Febrri 11. – Fīlñ a litl cnsrnd abt Lūpin, I mustrd p curij t spīc t Mr. Prcup abt him. Mr. Prcup hz olwz bn most cînd t m, so I tld him evrʈñ, includñ yesṭde’z advnćr. Mr. Prcup cîndli rplaid: “Ɖr z no nseṣti fr y t b añśs, Mr. Pūtr. It wd b imposbl fr a sun v sć gd peṛnts t trn ǎt irońsli. Rmembr h z yuñ, n wl sn gt oldr. I wś w cd fînd rūm fr him in ɖs frm.” Ɖ advîs v ɖs gd man tecs lodz of mî mînd. In ɖ īvnñ Lūpin cem in.

Aftr ǎr litl supr, h sd: “Mî dir peṛnts, I hv sm nyz, ẃć I fir wl afct y cnsidṛbli.” I flt a qām cm ovr m, n sd nʈñ. Lūpin ɖen sd: “It me dstres y – in fact, I’m śr it wl – bt ɖs afṭnun I hv gvn p mî poni n trap fr evr.” It me sīm absrd, bt I wz so plizd, I imīɉtli opnd a botl v port. Gowñ dropt in jst in tîm, brññ wɖ him a larj śīt, wɖ a print v a teiļis donci, ẃć h fasnd agnst ɖ wōl. H ɖen pṛdyst sevṛl sepṛt teilz, n w spent ɖ rmendr v ɖ īvnñ trayñ blîndfoldd t pin a teil on in ɖ propr ples. Mî sîdz poztivli ect wɖ laftr ẃn I wnt t bed.

Febrri 12. – In ɖ īvnñ I spouc t Lūpin abt hiz ingejmnt wɖ Deizi Mutlr. I asct f h hd hŕd fṛm hr. H rplaid: “No; ś promist ɖt old windbag v a faɖr v hrz ɖt ś wd nt cḿṇcet wɖ m. I si Franc Mutlr, v cors; in fact, h sd h mt cōl agn ɖs īvnñ.” Franc cōld, bt sd h cd nt stop, az h hd a frend wêtñ ǎtsd fr him, nemd Muri Poś, adñ h wz qt a swel. Cári asct Franc t brñ him in.

H wz bròt in, Gowñ enṭrñ at ɖ sem tîm. Mr. Muri Poś wz a tōl, fat yuñ man, n wz evidntli v a vri nrṿs dispziśn, az h subsiqntli cnfest h wd nvr g in a hansmcab, nr wd h entr a for-ẃīlr untl ɖ drîvr hd frst got on ɖ box wɖ hiz reinz in hiz handz.

Mr. Murray Posh
Mr. Muri Poś

On biyñ intṛdyst, Gowñ, wɖ hiz yźl wont v tact, sd: “Eni rleśn t ‘Poś’z ʈri-śilñ hats’?” Mr. Poś rplaid: “Yes; bt plīz unḍstand I d’nt trî on hats mslf. I tec no activ part in ɖ biznis.” I rplaid: “I wś I hd a biznis lîc it.” Mr. Poś sīmd plizd, n gev a loñ bt most inṭrestñ hisṭri v ɖ xtrordnri dificltiz in ɖ mańfacćr v ćīp hats.

Muri Poś evidntli ń Deizi Mutlr vri intiṃtli fṛm ɖ we h wz tōcñ v hr; n Franc sd t Lūpin wns, lafñli: “F y d’nt lc ǎt, Poś wl cut y ǎt!” Ẃn ɖe hd ol gn, I rfŕd t ɖs flipnt convseśn; n Lūpin sd, sarcasticli: “A man hu z jeḷs hz no rspct fr himslf. A man hu wd b jeḷs v an elifnt lîc Muri Poś cd onli hv a cntmt fr himslf. I nǒ Deizi. Ś wd wêt ten yirz fr m, az I sd bfr; in fact, f nesṣri, ś wd wêt twenti yirz fr m.”

ĆAPTR XVI

W lūz muni ovr Lūpin’z advîs az t invstmnt, so dz Cumñz. Muri Poś ingejd t Deizi Mutlr.

Febrri 18. – Cári hz sevṛl tîmz rīsntli cōld atnśn t ɖ ʈiņis v mî her at ɖ top v mî hed, n rec̣mndd m t gt it sìn t. I wz ɖs mornñ trayñ t lc at it bî ɖ ed v a smōl hand-glas, ẃn smhǎ mî elbo còt agnst ɖ éj v ɖ ćst v drorz n noct ɖ glas ǎt v mî hand n smaśt it. Cári wz in an ōfl we abt it, az ś z rɖr absrdli sūṗstiśs. T mc matrz wrs, mî larj foṭgraf in ɖ drw̃rūm fél jrñ ɖ nît, n ɖ glas cract.

Cári sd: “Marc mî wrdz, Ćarlz, sm msfortyn z abt t hapn.”I sd: “Nonsns, dir.”

In ɖ īvnñ Lūpin arîvd hom rli, n sīmd a litl ajtetd. I sd: “Ẃt’s p, mî bô?” H heztetd a gd dīl, n ɖen sd: “Y nǒ ɖoz Paṛćica Clōrets I advîzd y t invst £20 in?” I rplaid: “Yes, ɖe r ol rît, I trust?” H rplaid: “Wel, no! T ɖ s’prîz v evrbdi, ɖe hv utrli c’lapst.”

Mî breʈ wz so cmplitli tecn awe, I cd se nʈñ. Cári lct at m, n sd: “Ẃt dd I tel y?” Lūpin, aftr a ẃl, sd: “Hvr, y r speṣ́li forćṇt. I rsivd an rli tip, n sold ǎt yrz imīɉtli, n wz forćṇt t gt £2 fr ɖm. So y gt smʈñ aftr ol.”

I gev a sai v rlif. I sd: “I wz nt so sanḡn az t s’poz, az y pridictd, ɖt I śd gt six or et tîmz ɖ amǎnt v mî invstmnt; stl a profit v £2 z a gd psntij fr sć a śort tîm.” Lūpin sd, qt iritbli: “Y d’nt unḍstand. I sold yr £20 śerz fr £2; y ɖrfr lūz £18 on ɖ trnzax́n, ẃr-bî Cumñz n Gowñ wl lūz ɖ hol v ɖerz.”

Febrri 19. – Lūpin, bfr gwñ t tǎn, sd: “I am vri sori abt ɖoz Paṛćica Clōrets; it wd nt hv hapnd f ɖ bos, Jǒb Clenndz, hd bn in tǎn. Btwn ǎrslvz, y mst nt b s’prîzd f smʈñ gz roñ at ǎr ofis. Jǒb Clenndz hz nt bn sìn ɖ last fy dez, n it strîcs m sevṛl ppl d wont t si him vri ptiklrli.”

In ɖ īvnñ Lūpin wz jst on ɖ pônt v gwñ ǎt t avôd a c’liźn wɖ Gowñ n Cumñz, ẃn ɖ formr entrd ɖ rūm, wɖt nocñ, bt wɖ hiz yźl tric v seyñ, “Me I cm in?”H entrd, n t ɖ s’prîz v Lūpin n mslf, sīmd t b in ɖ vri bst v spirits. Nɖr Lūpin nr I broćt ɖ subjict t him, bt h dd so v hiz ǒn acord. H sd: “I se, ɖoz Paṛćica Clōrets hv gn an ōfl smaś! Y’r a nîs wn, Mastr Lūpin. Hǎ mć d y lūz?” Lūpin, t mî utr astoniśmnt, sd: “Ǒ! I hd nʈñ in ɖm. Ɖr wz sm informaḷti in mî apḷceśn – I fgot t incloz ɖ ćéc or smʈñ, n I dd’nt gt eni. Ɖ Guv. luzz £18.” I sd: “I qt unḍstd y wr in it, or nʈñ wd hv indyst m t speklet.” Lūpin rplaid: “Wel, it c’nt b hlpt; y mst g dubl on ɖ nxt tip.” Bfr I cd rplî, Gowñ sd: “Wel, I lūz nʈñ, forćṇtli. Fṛm ẃt I hŕd, I dd nt qt b’liv in ɖm, so I pswedd Cumñz t tec mî £15 wrʈ, az h hd mor feʈ in ɖm ɖn I hd.”

Lūpin brst ǎt lafñ, n, in ɖ most unsīmli manr, sd: “Alas, pur Cumñz. H’l lūz £35.” At ɖt momnt ɖr wz a rñ at ɖ bel. Lūpin sd: “I d’nt wont t mīt Cumñz.” F h hd gn ǎt v ɖ dor h wd hv met him in ɖ pasij, so az qcli az poṣbl Lūpin opnd ɖ parlrwindo n got ǎt. Gowñ jumt p sudnli, xclemñ: “I d’nt wont t si him îɖr!” n, bfr I cd se a wrd, h foloud Lūpin ǎt v ɖ windo.

Fr mî ǒn part, I wz hoṛfaid t ʈnc mî ǒn sun n wn v mî most intiṃt frendz śd dpart fṛm ɖ hǎs lîc a cupl v inṭruptd brglrz. Pur Cumñz wz vri upset, n v cors wz naćṛli vri angri bʈ wɖ Lūpin n Gowñ. I prest him t hv a litl ẃisci, n h rplaid ɖt h hd gvn p ẃisci; bt wd lîc a litl “Unswītnd,” az h wz advîzd it wz ɖ most hlʈi spirit. I hd nn in ɖ hǎs, bt snt Sẹra rnd t Locwŭd’z fr sm.

Febrri 20. – Ɖ frst ʈñ ɖt còt mî î on oṗnñ ɖ Standd wz – “Gret Fełr v Stoc n Śer Dīlrz! Mr. Jǒb Clenndz abscondd!” I handd it t Cári, n ś rplaid: “Ǒ! phps it’s fr Lūpin’z gd. I nvr dd ʈnc it a sūṭbl sićueśn fr him.” I ʈt ɖ hol afer vri śocñ.

Lūpin cem dǎn t brecfst, n siyñ h lct penf̣li dstrest, I sd: “W nǒ ɖ nyz, mî dir bô, n fīl vri sori fr y.” Lūpin sd: “Hǎ dd y nǒ? hu tld y?” I handd him ɖ Standd. H ʈrù ɖ pepr dǎn, n sd: “Ǒ I d’nt cer a butn fr ɖt! I xpctd ɖt, bt I dd nt xpct ɖs.” H ɖen réd a letr fṛm Franc Mutlr, anǎnsñ, in a cūl manr, ɖt Deizi Mutlr z t b marid nxt munʈ t Muri Poś. I xclemd, “Muri Poś! Z nt ɖt ɖ vri man Franc hd ɖ impydns t brñ hir last Tyzde wīc?” Lūpin sd: “Yes; ɖ ‘Poś’z-ʈri-śilñ-hats’ ćap.”W ol ɖen ét ǎr brecfst in ded sîḷns.

In fact, I cd īt nʈñ. I wz nt onli tù wurid, bt I canot n wl nt īt cŭśn v bêcn. F I canot gt strīci bêcn, I wl d wɖt enʈñ.

Ẃn Lūpin rouz t g I notist a mliśs smîl crīp ovr hiz fes. I asct him ẃt it mnt. H rplaid: “Ǒ! onli a litl conṣleśn – stl it z a conṣleśn. I hv jst rmembrd ɖt, bî advîs, Mr. Muri Poś hz invstd £600 in Paṛćica Clōrets!”

ĆAPTR XVII

Marij v Deizi Mutlr n Muri Poś. Ɖ drīm v mî lîf riylîzd. Mr. Prcup tecs Lūpin intu ɖ ofis.

Marć 20. – Tde biyñ ɖ de on ẃć Deizi Mutlr n Mr. Muri Poś r t b marid, Lūpin hz gn wɖ a frend t spend ɖ de at Grevzend. Lūpin hz bn mć cut-up ovr ɖ afer, olɖo h dclerz ɖt h z glad it z of. I wś h wd nt g t so mni ḿzichōlz, bt wn der nt se enʈñ t him abt it. At ɖ preznt momnt h iṛtets m bî sññ ol ovr ɖ hǎs sm nonsns abt “Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ Gladstn? H’z ol rît! Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ Lūpin? H’z ol rît!” I d’nt ʈnc îɖr v ɖm z. In ɖ īvnñ Gowñ cōld, n ɖ ćīf topic v convseśn wz Deizi’z marij t Muri Poś. I sd: “I wz glad ɖ matr wz at an end, az Deizi wd onli hv md a fūl v Lūpin.” Gowñ, wɖ hiz yźl gd test, sd: “Ǒ, Mastr Lūpin cn mc a fūl v himslf wɖt eni asistns.” Cári vri proprli rzntd ɖs, n Gowñ hd sfiśnt sns t se h wz sori.

Marć 21. – Tde I śl cnclud mî dayri, fr it z wn v ɖ hapiist dez v mî lîf. Mî gret drīm v ɖ last fy wīcs – in fact, v mni yirz – hz bn riylîzd. Ɖs mornñ cem a letr fṛm Mr. Prcup, ascñ m t tec Lūpin dǎn t ɖ ofis wɖ m. I wnt t Lūpin’z rūm; pur felo, h sīmd vri pel, n sd h hd a bad hed-ec. H hd cm bac yesṭde fṛm Grevzend, ẃr h spent part v ɖ de in a smōl bot on ɖ wōtr, hvñ bn mad inuf t nglect t tec hiz oṿcot wɖ him. I śoud him Mr. Prcup’s letr, n h got p az qcli az poṣbl. I begd v him nt t pt on hiz fast-culrd cloɖz n tîz, bt t dres in smʈñ blac or qayt-lcñ.

Cári wz ol v a-trembl ẃn ś réd ɖ letr, n ol ś cd cīp on seyñ wz: “Ǒ, I d hop it wl b ol rît.” Fr mslf, I cd scersli īt eni brecfst. Lūpin cem dǎn drest qaytli, n lcñ a prfict jntlmn, xpt ɖt hiz fes wz rɖr yelo. Cári, bî we v incurijmnt sd: “Y d lc nîs, Lūpin.” Lūpin rplaid: “Yes, it’s a gd mc-up, z’nt it? A reğlr-dǎnrît-rspctbl-fynirịl-frst-clas-Siti-frm-jūńr-clarc.” H laft rɖr îronicli.In ɖ hōl I hŕd a gret nôz, n olso Lūpin śǎtñ t Sẹra t feć dǎn hiz old hat. I wnt intu ɖ pasij, n faund Lūpin in a fyri, cicñ n smaśñ a ny tōl hat. I sd: “Lūpin, mî bô, ẃt r y dwñ? Hǎ wicid v y! Sm pur felo wd b glad t hv it.” Lūpin rplaid: “I wd nt insult eni pur felo bî gvñ it t him.”

Ẃn h hd gn ǎtsd, I pict p ɖ batrd hat, n sw insd “Poś’z Petnt.” Pur Lūpin! I cn fgiv him. It sīmd aurz bfr w rīćt ɖ ofis. Mr. Prcup snt fr Lūpin, hu wz wɖ him nirli an aur. H rtrnd, az I ʈt, crestfōḷn in apiṛns. I sd: “Wel, Lūpin, hǎ abt Mr. Prcup?” Lūpin cmnst hiz soñ: “Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ Prcup? H’z ol rît!” I flt instñtivli mî bô wz ingejd. I wnt t Mr. Prcup, bt I cd nt spīc. H sd: “Wel, Mr. Pūtr, ẃt z it?” I mst hv lct a fūl, fr ol I cd se wz: “Mr. Prcup, y r a gd man.” H lct at m fr a momnt, n sd: “No, Mr. Pūtr, y r ɖ gd man; n w’l si f w canot gt yr sun t folo sć an xḷnt xampl.” I sd: “Mr. Prcup, me I g hom? I canot wrc eni mor tde.”

Mî gd mastr śc mî hand wormli az h nodd hiz hed. It wz az mć az I cd d t privnt mslf fṛm crayñ in ɖ ’bus; in fact, I śd hv dn so, hd mî ʈts nt bn inṭruptd bî Lūpin, hu wz hvñ a qoṛl wɖ a fat man in ɖ ’bus, hūm h akzd v tecñ p tù mć rūm.

In ɖ īvnñ Cári snt rnd fr dir old frend Cumñz n hiz wîf, n olso t Gowñ. W ol sat rnd ɖ fîr, n in a botl v “Jacsn Frer,” ẃć Sẹra fećt fṛm ɖ grosr’z, dranc Lūpin’z hlʈ. I le awec fr aurz, ʈncñ v ɖ fyćr. Mî bô in ɖ sem ofis az mslf – w cn g dǎn tgɖr bî ɖ ’bus, cm hom tgɖr, n hu nz bt in ɖ cors v tîm h me tec gret inṭrest in ǎr litl hom. Ɖt h me hlp m t pt a nêl in hir or a nêl in ɖr, or hlp hiz dir muɖr t hañ a picćr. In ɖ sumr h me hlp s in ǎr litl gardn wɖ ɖ flǎrz, n asist s t pent ɖ standz n pots. (Bî-ɖ-bî, I mst gt in sm mor inaml pent.) Ol ɖs I ʈt ovr n ovr agn, n a ʈǎznd hapi ʈts bsd. I hŕd ɖ cloc strîc for, n sn aftr fél aslip, onli t drīm v ʈri hapi ppl – Lūpin, dir Cári, n mslf.

ĆAPTR XVIII

Trubl wɖ a stîḷgrafic pén. W g t a Voḷntirbōl, ẃr I am let in fr an xpnsiv supr. Grosli insultd bî a cabmn. An od invteśn t Sǎʈend.

Epril 8. – No ivnts v eni importns, xpt ɖt Gowñ stroñli rec̣mndd a ny petnt stîḷgrafic pén, ẃć cost m nîn-n-sixpns, n ẃć wz simpli nîn-n-sixpns ʈroun in ɖ mud. It hz cōzd m constnt anoyns n iritbiḷti v tmpr. Ɖ ñc ūzz ǎt v ɖ top, mcñ a mes on mî handz, n wns at ɖ ofis ẃn I wz nocñ ɖ pām v mî hand on ɖ dsc t jrc ɖ ñc dǎn, Mr. Prcup, hu hd jst entrd, cōld ǎt: “Stop ɖt nocñ! I s’poz ɖt z y, Mr. Pít?” Ɖt yuñ munci, Pít, tc a mliśs gli in rspondñ qt lǎdli: “No, sr; I beg pardn, it z Mr. Pūtr wɖ hiz pén; it hz bn gwñ on ol ɖ mornñ.” T mc matrz wrs, I sw Lūpin lafñ bhnd hiz dsc. I ʈt it wîzr t se nʈñ. I tc ɖ pén bac t ɖ śop n asct ɖm f ɖe wd tec it bac, az it dd nt act. I dd nt xpct ɖ fl prîs rtrnd, bt wz wilñ t tec haf. Ɖ man sd h cd nt d ɖt – bayñ n selñ wr tū difṛnt ʈñz. Lūpin’z conduct jrñ ɖ pirịd h hz bn in Mr. Prcup’s ofis hz bn most xmpḷri. Mî onli fir z, it z tù gd t last.

Epril 9. – Gowñ cōld, brññ wɖ him an invteśn fr Cári n mslf t a bōl gvn bî ɖ Īst Actn Rîfl Briged, ẃć h ʈt wd b a swel afer, az ɖ membr fr Īst Actn (Sr Wiłm Grîm) hd promist hiz patṛnij. W axptd v hiz cîndnis, n h steid t supr, an oceźn I ʈt sūṭbl fr trayñ a botl v ɖ sparc̣lñ Alźera ɖt Mr. Jemz (v Sutn) hd snt az a preznt. Gowñ sipt ɖ wîn, obzrvñ ɖt h hd nvr testd it bfr, n frɖr rmarct ɖt hiz poḷsi wz t stic t mor rec̣gnîzd brandz. I tld him it wz a preznt fṛm a dir frend, n wn ms’nt lc a gifthors in ɖ mǎʈ. Gowñ fsīśsli rplaid: “N h dd’nt lîc ptñ it in ɖ mǎʈ îɖr.”

I ʈt ɖ rmarcs wr rūd wɖt biyñ funi, bt on testñ it mslf, cem t ɖ cncluźn ɖr wz sm justif̣ceśn fr ɖm. Ɖ sparc̣lñ Alźera z vri lîc sîdr, onli mor sǎr. I sjstd ɖt phps ɖ ʈundr hd trnd it a bit asid. H mirli rplaid: “Ǒ! I d’nt ʈnc so.” W hd a vri pleznt gem v cardz, ɖo I lost for śilñz n Cári lost wn, n Gowñ sd h hd lost abt sixpns: hǎ h cd hv lost, cnsiḍrñ ɖt Cári n I wr ɖ onli uɖr pleyrz, rmenz a misṭri.

Epril 14, Súnde. – Owñ, I prizym, t ɖ unsetld weɖr, I awouc wɖ a fīlñ ɖt mî scin wz drwn ovr mî fes az tît az a drum. Wōcñ rnd ɖ gardn wɖ Mr. n Msz. Trien, membrz v ǎr congṛgeśn hu hd wōct bac wɖ s, I wz mć anoid t fînd a larj nyzpepr fl v bonz on ɖ gravlpaʈ, evidntli ʈroun ovr bî ɖoz yuñ Grifin bôz nxt dor; hu, ẃnvr w hv frendz, clîm p ɖ emti steps insd ɖer cnsrṿtri, tap at ɖ windoz, mcñ fesz, ẃiṣlñ, n iṃtetñ brdz.

Young Griffin boys making faces, whistling and imitating birds.
Yuñ Grifin bôz mcñ fesz, ẃiṣlñ, n iṃtetñ brdz.

Epril 15. – Brnt mî tuñ most ōf̣li wɖ ɖ Wŭstr sōs, ʈru ɖt stypid grl Sẹra śecñ ɖ botl vayḷntli bfr ptñ it on ɖ tebl.

Epril 16. – Ɖ nît v ɖ Īst Actn Voḷntirbōl. On mî advîs, Cári pt on ɖ sem dres ɖt ś lct so bytifl in at ɖ Manśnhǎs, fr it hd ocŕd t m, biyñ a militri bōl, ɖt Mr. Prcup, hu, I b’liv, z an ofisr in ɖ Oṇrri Artiḷricumṗni, wd in ol probbiḷti b preznt. Lūpin, in hiz yźl incomprihnsbl lanḡj, rmarct ɖt h hd hŕd it wz a “bǎndrz’ bōl.” I dd’nt asc him ẃt h mnt ɖo I dd’nt unḍstand. Ẃr h gts ɖz xpreśnz fṛm I d’nt nǒ; h srtnli dz’nt lrn ɖm at hom.

Ɖ invteśn wz fr haf-past et, so I cncludd f w arîvd an aur lêtr w śd b in gd tîm, wɖt biyñ “unfaśṇbl,” az Msz. Jemz sz. It wz vri dificlt t fînd – ɖ cabmn hvñ t gt dǎn sevṛl tîmz t inqîr at difṛnt publichǎzz ẃr ɖ Drilhōl wz. I wundr at ppl livñ in sć ǎt-v-ɖ-we plesz. Nwn sīmd t nǒ it. Hvr, aftr gwñ p n dǎn a gd mni badli-lîtd strīts w arîvd at ǎr desṭneśn. I hd no îdīa it wz so far fṛm Hoḷwe. I gev ɖ cabmn fîv śilñz, hu onli grumbld, seyñ it wz drt-ćīp at haf-a-sovrin, n wz imprtinnt inuf t advîz m ɖ nxt tîm I wnt t a bōl t tec a ’bus. Captin Welcut rsivd s, seyñ w wr rɖr lêt, bt ɖt it wz betr lêt ɖn nvr. H sīmd a vri gd-lcñ jntlmn ɖo, az Cári rmarct, “rɖr śort fr an ofisr.” H begd t b xkzd fr līvñ s, az h wz ingejd fr a dans, n hopt w śd mc ǎrslvz at hom. Cári tc mî arm n w wōct rnd ɖ rūmz tū or ʈri tîmz n woćt ɖ ppl dansñ. I cd’nt fînd a sngl prsn I ń, bt atribytd it t most v ɖm biyñ in yṇform. Az w wr enṭrñ ɖ supŗūm I rsivd a slap on ɖ śoldr, foloud bî a welcm śec v ɖ hand. I sd: “Mr. Paj, I b’liv;” h rplaid, “Ɖt’s rît.”

I gev Cári a ćer, n sītd bî hr wz a ledi hu md hrslf at hom wɖ Cári at wns.

Ɖr wz a vri libṛl rpast on ɖ teblz, plenti v śampen, clarit, ets., n, in fact, evrʈñ sīmd t b dn rgardlis v xpns. Mr. Paj z a man ɖt, I admit, I hv no ptiklr lîcñ fr, bt I flt so glad t cm acrs smwn I ń, ɖt I asct him t sit at ǎr tebl, n I mst se ɖt fr a śort fat man h lct wel in yṇform, olɖo I ʈnc hiz tynic wz rɖr bagi in ɖ bac. It wz ɖ onli supŗūm ɖt I hv bn in ɖt wz nt oṿcrǎdd; in fact w wr ɖ onli ppl ɖr, evrbdi biyñ so bizi dansñ.

I asistd Cári n hr nyli-formd aqentns, hu sd hr nem wz Lupcin, t sm śampen; olso mslf, n handd ɖ botl t Mr. Paj t d lîcwz, seyñ: “Y mst lc aftr yrslf.” H rplaid: “Ɖt’s rît,” n pord ǎt haf a tumblr n dranc Cári’z hlʈ, cupld, az h sd, “wɖ hr wrɖi lord n mastr.” W ol hd sm splendid pijn pî, n îsz t folo.

Ɖ wêtrz wr vri atntiv, n asct f w wd lîc sm mor wîn. I asistd Cári n hr frend n Mr. Paj, olso sm ppl hu hd jst cm fṛm ɖ dansñrūm, hu wr vri sivl. It ocŕd t m at ɖ tîm ɖt phps sm v ɖ jntlṃn ń m in ɖ Siti, az ɖe wr so p’lît. I md mslf ysfl, n asistd sevṛl lediz t îsz, rmemḅrñ an old seyñ ɖt “Ɖr z nʈñ lost bî sviḷti.”

Ɖ band struc p fr ɖ dans, n ɖe ol wnt intu ɖ bōlrūm. Ɖ lediz (Cári n Msz. Lupcin) wr añśs t si ɖ dansñ, n az I hd nt qt finiśt mî supr, Mr. Paj ofrd hiz armz t ɖm n iscortd ɖm t ɖ bōlrūm, telñ m t folo. I sd t Mr. Paj: “It z qt a Wst End afer,” t ẃć rmarc Mr. Paj rplaid: “Ɖt’s rît.”

Ẃn I hd qt finiśt mî supr, n wz līvñ, ɖ wêtr hu hd bn atndñ on s arestd mî atnśn bî tapñ m on ɖ śoldr. I ʈt it unyźl fr a wêtr at a prîṿt bōl t xpct a tip, bt nvɖles gev a śilñ, az h hd bn vri atntiv. H smîlñli rplaid: “I beg yr pardn, sr, ɖs z no gd,” aludñ t ɖ śilñ. “Yr parti’z hd for suprz at 5ś. a hed, fîv îsz at 1ś., ʈri botlz v śampen at 11ś. 6d., a glas v clarit, n a sixṗni sgar fr ɖ stǎt jntlmn – in ol £3 0ś. 6d.!”

I d’nt ʈnc I wz evr so s’prîzd in mî lîf, n hd onli sfiśnt breʈ t inform him ɖt I hd rsivd a prîṿt invteśn, t ẃć h ansrd ɖt h wz prf̣cli wel awer v ɖt; bt ɖt ɖ invteśn dd’nt includ īṭblz n drinc̣blz. A jntlmn hu wz standñ at ɖ bar c’roḅretd ɖ wêtr’z stetmnt, n aśurd m it wz qt c’rect.

Ɖ wêtr sd h wz xtrimli sori f I hd bn undr eni misaprihnśn; bt it wz nt hiz fōlt. V cors ɖr wz nʈñ t b dn bt t pe. So, aftr trnñ ǎt mî pocits, I jst manijd t screp p sfiśnt, ol bt nîn śilñz; bt ɖ manijr, on mî gvñ mî card t him, sd: “Ɖt’s ol rît.”

I d’nt ʈnc I evr flt mor hymilietd in mî lîf, n I dtrmind t cīp ɖs msfortyn fṛm Cári, fr it wd intîrli dstrô ɖ pleznt īvnñ ś wz injoyñ. I flt ɖr wz no mor injômnt fr m ɖt īvnñ, n it biyñ lêt, I sòt Cári n Msz. Lupcin. Cári sd ś wz qt redi t g, n Msz. Lupcin, az w wr wśñ hr “Gdnît,” asct Cári n mslf f w evr peid a vizit t Sǎʈend? On mî rplayñ ɖt I hd’nt bn ɖr fr mni yirz, ś vri cîndli sd: “Wel, ẃ d’nt y cm dǎn n ste at ǎr ples?” Az hr invteśn wz so presñ, n obzrvñ ɖt Cári wśt t g, w promist w wd vizit hr ɖ nxt Saṭde wīc, n ste tl Munde. Msz. Lupcin sd ś wd rait t s tmoro, gvñ s ɖ adres n ptiklrz v trenz, ets.

Ẃn w got ǎtsd ɖ Drilhōl it wz renñ so hard ɖt ɖ rodz rzmbld cnalz, n I nīd hardli se w hd gret dificlti in gtñ a cabmn t tec s t Hoḷwe. Aftr wêtñ a bit, a man sd h wd drîv s, enhǎ, az far az “Ɖ Enjl,” at Izlñtn, n w cd īẓli gt anɖr cab fṛm ɖr. It wz a tīdịs jrni; ɖ ren wz bìtñ agnst ɖ windoz n tric̣lñ dǎn ɖ insd v ɖ cab.

Ẃn w arîvd at “Ɖ Enjl” ɖ hors sīmd tîrd ǎt. Cári got ǎt n ran intu a dorwe, n ẃn I cem t pe, t mî abṣlut horr I rmembrd I hd no muni, nr hd Cári. I xplend t ɖ cabmn hǎ w wr sićuetd. Nvr in mî lîf hv I evr bn so insultd; ɖ cabmn, hu wz a ruf bŭli n t mî ʈncñ nt sobr, cōld m evri nem h cd le hiz tuñ t, n poztivli sizd m bî ɖ bird, ẃć h pld tl ɖ tirz cem intu mî îz. I tc ɖ numbr v a p’līsmn (hu witnist ɖ asōlt) fr nt tecñ ɖ man in ćarj. Ɖ p’līsmn sd h cd’nt inṭfir, ɖt h hd sìn no asōlt, n ɖt ppl śd nt rîd in cabz wɖt muni.

W hd t wōc hom in ɖ porñ ren, nirli tū mîlz, n ẃn I got in I pt dǎn ɖ convseśn I hd wɖ ɖ cabmn, wrd fr wrd, az I intnd raitñ t ɖ Teḷgraf fr ɖ prṗs v pṛpozñ ɖt cabz śd b drivn onli bî men undr Guvnmnt cntrol, t privnt sviłnz biyñ sbjctd t ɖ dsgresfl insult n ǎtrej ɖt I hd hd t indyr.

Epril 17. – No wōtr in ǎr sistn agn. Snt fr Putli, hu sd h wd sn reṃdi ɖt, ɖ sistn biyñ znc.

Epril 18. – Wōtr ol rît agn in ɖ sistn. Msz. Jemz, v Sutn, cōld in ɖ afṭnun. Ś n Cári drept ɖ mantlpìs in ɖ drw̃rūm, n pt litl tôspîdrz, frogz n bītlz ol ovr it, az Msz. Jemz sz it’s qt ɖ faśn. It wz Msz. Jemz’ sjsćn, n v cors Cári olwz dz ẃt Msz. Jemz sjsts. Fr mî part, I prifŕd ɖ mantlpìs az it wz; bt ɖr, I’m a plen man, n d’nt pritnd t b in ɖ faśn.

Epril 19. – Ǎr nxt-dor nebr, Mr. Grifin, cōld, n in a rɖr ofnsiv ton akzd m, or “smwn,” v borñ a houl in hiz sistn n letñ ǎt hiz wōtr t s’plî ǎr sistn, ẃć ajônd hiz. H sd h śd hv hiz rperd, n snd s in ɖ bil.

Epril 20. – Cumñz cōld, hoḅlñ in wɖ a stic, seyñ h hd bn on hiz bac fr a wīc. It apirz h wz trayñ t śut hiz bedrūm dor, ẃć z sićuetd jst at ɖ top v ɖ sterces, n uņoun t him a pìs v corc ɖ dog hd bn pleyñ wɖ hd got btwn ɖ dor, n privntd it śutñ; n in pŭlñ ɖ dor hard, t gv it an xtra slam, ɖ handl cem of in hiz handz, n h fél bcwdz dǎnsterz.

On hírñ ɖs, Lūpin sudnli jumt p fṛm ɖ cǎć n ruśt ǎt v ɖ rūm sîdwez. Cumñz lct vri indignnt, n rmarct it wz vri pur fun a man nirli brecñ hiz bac; n ɖo I hd mî sspiśnz ɖt Lūpin wz lafñ, I aśurd Cumñz ɖt h hd onli run ǎt t opn ɖ dor t a frend h xpctd. Cumñz sd ɖs wz ɖ secnd tîm h hd bn leid p, n w hd nvr snt t inqîr. I sd I ń nʈñ abt it. Cumñz sd: “It wz mnśnd in ɖ Bîsicl Nyz.”

Epril 22. – I hv v lêt frīqntli notist Cári rubñ hr nêlz a gd dīl wɖ an instṛmnt, n on ascñ hr ẃt ś wz dwñ, ś rplaid: “Ǒ, I’m gwñ in fr maṇkrñ. It’s ol ɖ faśn nǎ.” I sd: “I s’poz Msz. Jemz intṛdyst ɖt intu yr hed.” Cári lafñli rplaid: “Yes; bt evrwn dz it nǎ.”

I wś Msz. Jemz wd’nt cm t ɖ hǎs. Ẃnvr ś dz ś olwz intṛdysz sm ny-fandangld rubiś intu Cári’z hed. Wn v ɖz dez I fīl śr I śl tel hr ś’z nt welcm. I am śr it wz Msz. Jemz hu pt Cári p t raitñ on darc slet-culrd pepr wɖ ẃît ñc. Nonsns!

Epril 23. – Rsivd a letr fṛm Msz. Lupcin, v Sǎʈend, telñ s ɖ tren t cm bî on Saṭde, n hopñ w wl cīp ǎr promis t ste wɖ hr. Ɖ letr cncludd: “Y mst cm n ste at ǎr hǎs; w śl ćarj y haf ẃt y wl hv t pe at ɖ Royl, n ɖ vy z evri bit az gd.” Lcñ at ɖ adres at ɖ top v ɖ notpepr, I faund it wz “Lupcin’z Faṃli n Cmrśl Hotel.”

I rout a not, seyñ w wr cmpeld t “dclîn hr cînd invteśn.” Cári ʈt ɖs vri s’tiricl, n t ɖ pônt.Bî-ɖ-bî, I wl nvr ćūz anɖr cloʈpatn at nît. I ordrd a ny sūt v ditoz fr ɖ gardn at Edwdz’, n ćouz ɖ patn bî gaslît, n ɖe sīmd t b a qayt pepr-n-sōlt mixćr wɖ ẃît strîps dǎn. Ɖe cem hom ɖs mornñ, n, t mî horr, I faund it wz qt a flaś-lcñ sūt. Ɖr wz a lot v grīn wɖ brît yelo-culrd strîps.

I traid on ɖ cot, n wz anoid t fînd Cári giġlñ. Ś sd: “Ẃt mixćr dd y se y asct fr?”

I sd: “A qayt pepr n sōlt.”

Cári sd: “Wel, it lcs mor lîc musṭd, f y wont t nǒ ɖ truʈ.”

ĆAPTR XIX

Mīt Tedi Finzwrʈ, an old scūlfelo. W hv a pleznt n qayt dinr at hiz uncl’z, mard onli bî a fy ōcẉd mstecs on mî part rspctñ Mr. Finzwrʈ’s picćrz. A dscuśn on drīmz.

Epril 27. – Cept a litl lêtr ɖn yźl at ɖ ofis, n az I wz huriyñ alñ a man stopt m, seyñ: “Hlo! Ɖt’s a fes I nǒ.” I rplaid p’lîtli: “Vri lîcli; lots v ppl nǒ m, olɖo I me nt nǒ ɖm.” H rplaid: “Bt y nǒ m – Tedi Finzwrʈ.” So it wz. H wz at ɖ sem scūl wɖ m. I hd nt sìn him fr yirz n yirz. No wundr I dd nt nǒ him! At scūl h wz at līst a hed tōlr ɖn I wz; nǎ I am at līst a hed tōlr ɖn h z, n h hz a ʈic bird, olmst gre. H insistd on mî hvñ a glas v wîn (a ʈñ I nvr d), n tld m h livd at Midlzbra, ẃr h wz Depyti Tǎnclarc, a pziśn ẃć wz az hî az ɖ Tǎnclarc v Lundn – in fact, hayr. H add ɖt h wz steyñ fr a fy dez in Lundn, wɖ hiz uncl, Mr. Edgr Pōl Finzwrʈ (v Finzwrʈ n Pŭltwél). H sd h wz śr hiz uncl wd b onli tù plizd t si m, n h hd a nîs hǎs, Wotni Loj, onli a fy minits’ wōc fṛm Muzwél Hil Steśn. I gev him ǎr adres, n w partd.

In ɖ īvnñ, t mî s’prîz, h cōld wɖ a vri nîs letr fṛm Mr. Finzwrʈ, seyñ f w (includñ Cári) wd dîn wɖ ɖm tmoro (Súnde), at tū o’cloc, h wd b dlîtd. Cári dd nt lîc t g; bt Tedi Finzwrʈ prest s so mć w cnsntd. Cári snt Sẹra rnd t ɖ bćr’z n cǎnṭmandd ǎr haf-leg v mutn, ẃć w hd ordrd fr tmoro.

Epril 28, Súnde. – W faund Wotni Loj farɖr of ɖn w antiṣpetd, n onli arîvd az ɖ cloc struc tū, bʈ fīlñ hot n uncumftbl. T mc matrz wrs, a larj colidog pǎnst fwd t rsiv s. H barct lǎdli n jumt p at Cári, cuṿrñ hr lît scrt, ẃć ś wz wẹrñ fr ɖ frst tîm, wɖ mud. Tedi Finzwrʈ cem ǎt n drouv ɖ dog of n apoḷjîzd. W wr śoun intu ɖ drw̃rūm, ẃć wz bytifli dec̣retd. It wz fl v nic-nacs, n sm plets huñ p on ɖ wōl. Ɖr wr sevṛl litl wŭdn milcstūlz wɖ pentñz on ɖm; olso a ẃît wŭdn banjo, pentd bî wn v Mr. Pōl Finzwrʈ’s nīsz – a cuzn v Tedi’z.

Mr. Pōl Finzwrʈ sīmd qt a dstnḡśt-lcñ eldrli jntlmn, n wz most gaḷnt t Cári. Ɖr wr a gret mni wōtrculrz haññ on ɖ wōlz, mostli difṛnt vyz v India, ẃć wr vri brît. Mr. Finzwrʈ sd ɖe wr pentd bî “Simps,” n add ɖt h wz no juj v picćrz himslf bt hd bn informd on gd oʈoṛti ɖt ɖe wr wrʈ sm hundṛdz v pǎndz, olɖo h hd onli peid a fy śilñz apis fr ɖm, fremz includd, at a seil in ɖ nebrhd.Ɖr wz olso a larj picćr in a vri hansm frem, dn in culrd creonz. It lct lîc a rlijs subjict. I wz vri mć struc wɖ ɖ lês colr, it lct so riyl, bt I unforćṇtli md ɖ rmarc ɖt ɖr wz smʈñ abt ɖ xpreśn v ɖ fes ɖt wz nt qt plizñ. It lct pinćt. Mr. Finzwrʈ sorofli rplaid: “Yes, ɖ fes wz dn aftr deʈ – mî wîf’s sistr.”

I flt teṛbli ōcẉd n baud apoḷjeticli, n in a ẃispr sd I hopt I hd nt hrt hiz fīlñz. W bʈ std lcñ at ɖ picćr fr a fy minits in sîḷns, ẃn Mr. Finzwrʈ tc ǎt a hanc̣ćif n sd: “Ś wz sitñ in ǎr gardn last sumr,” n blù hiz nǒz vayḷntli. H sīmd qt afctd, so I trnd t lc at smʈñ els n std in frunt v a portrit v a joli-lcñ midl-ejd jntlmn, wɖ a red fes n strw hat. I sd t Mr. Finzwrʈ: “Hu z ɖs jovịl-lcñ jntlmn? Lîf dz’nt sīm t trubl him mć.” Mr. Finzwrʈ sd: “No, it dz’nt. H z ded tù – mî bruɖr.”

"He is dead too."
“H z ded tù.”

I wz abṣlutli hoṛfaid at mî ǒn ōcẉdnis. Forćṇtli at ɖs momnt Cári entrd wɖ Msz. Finzwrʈ, hu hd tecn hr upsterz t tec of hr bonit n bruś hr scrt. Tedi sd: “Śort z lêt,” bt at ɖt momnt ɖ jntlmn rfŕd t arîvd, n I wz intṛdyst t him bî Tedi, hu sd: “D y nǒ Mr. Śort?” I rplaid, smîlñ, ɖt I hd nt ɖt pleźr, bt I hopt it wd nt b loñ bfr I ń Mr. Śort. H evidntli dd nt si mî litl joc, olɖo I rpitd it twîs wɖ a litl laf. I sudnli rmembrd it wz Súnde, n Mr. Śort wz phps vri ptiklr. In ɖs I wz mstecn, fr h wz nt at ol ptiklr in sevṛl v hiz rmarcs aftr dinr. In fact I wz so aśemd v wn v hiz obẓveśnz ɖt I tc ɖ oṗtyṇti t se t Msz. Finzwrʈ ɖt I fird ś faund Mr. Śort oceźṇli a litl imbaṛsñ. T mî s’prîz ś sd: “Ǒ! h z priṿlijd y nǒ.” I dd nt nǒ az a matr v fact, n so I baud apoḷjeticli. I fel t si ẃ Mr. Śort śd b priṿlijd.

Anɖr ʈñ ɖt anoid m at dinr wz ɖt ɖ colidog, ẃć jumt p at Cári, wz alaud t rmen undr ɖ dînñrūm tebl. It cept grǎlñ n snapñ at mî būts evri tîm I muvd mî ft. Fīlñ nrṿs rɖr, I spouc t Msz. Finzwrʈ abt ɖ animl, n ś rmarct: “It z onli hiz ple.” Ś jumt p n let in a frîtf̣li ugli-lcñ spańl cōld Bíbz, ẃć hd bn scraćñ at ɖ dor. Ɖs dog olso sīmd t tec a fansi t mî būts, n I dscuvrd aftwdz ɖt it hd lict of evri bit v blacñ fṛm ɖm. I wz poztivli aśemd v biyñ sìn in ɖm. Msz. Finzwrʈ, hu, I mst se, z nt mć v a Jǒb’z cumf̣tr, sd: “Ǒ! w r yst t Bíbz dwñ ɖt t ǎr vizitrz.”

Mr. Finzwrʈ hd p sm fîn port, olɖo I qsćn ẃɖr it z a gd ʈñ t tec on ɖ top v bir. It md m fīl a litl slīpi, ẃl it hd ɖ ifct v indysñ Mr. Śort t bcm “priṿlijd” t rɖr an alarmñ xtnt. It biyñ cold īvn fr Epril, ɖr wz a fîr in ɖ drw̃rūm; w sat rnd in īzićerz, n Tedi n I waxt rɖr eḷqnt ovr ɖ old scūl dez, ẃć hd ɖ ifct v sndñ ol ɖ uɖrz t slīp. I wz dlîtd, az far az Mr. Śort wz cnsrnd, ɖt it dd hv ɖt ifct on him.

W steid tl for, n ɖ wōc hom wz rmarcbl onli fr ɖ fact ɖt sevṛl fūlz gigld at ɖ unpoliśt stet v mî būts. Poliśt ɖm mslf ẃn I got hom. Wnt t ćrć in ɖ īvnñ, n cd scersli cīp awec. I wl nt tec port on ɖ top v bir agn.

Epril 29. – I am gtñ qt acustmd t biyñ snubd bî Lūpin, n I d nt mînd biyñ sat upn bî Cári, bcz I ʈnc ś hz a srtn amǎnt v rît t d so; bt I d ʈnc it hard t b at wns snubd bî wîf, sun, n bʈ mî gests.

Gowñ n Cumñz hd dropt in jrñ ɖ īvnñ, n I sudnli rmembrd an xtrordnri drīm I hd a fy nîts ago, n I ʈt I wd tel ɖm abt it. I dremt I sw sm hyj blocs v îs in a śop wɖ a brît gler bhnd ɖm. I wōct intu ɖ śop n ɖ hīt wz oṿpǎrñ. I faund ɖt ɖ blocs v îs wr on fîr. Ɖ hol ʈñ wz so riyl n yt so sūṗnaćṛl I wouc p in a cold prsṗreśn. Lūpin in a most cntmćs manr, sd: “Ẃt utr rot.”Bfr I cd rplî, Gowñ sd ɖr wz nʈñ so cmplitli uninṭrestñ az uɖr ppl’z drīmz.

I apild t Cumñz, bt h sd h wz baund t agri wɖ ɖ uɖrz n mî drīm wz ispeṣ́li nonsnsicl. I sd: “It sīmd so riyl t m.” Gowñ rplaid: “Yes, t y phps, bt nt t s.” Ẃr’pn ɖe ol rord.

Cári, hu hd hiɖrtu bn qayt, sd: “H tlz m hiz stypid drīmz evri mornñ nirli.” I rplaid: “Vri wel, dir, I promis y I wl nvr tel y or enbdi els anɖr drīm v mîn ɖ longist de I liv.” Lūpin sd: “Hír! hír!” n hlpt himslf t anɖr glas v bir. Ɖ subjict wz forćṇtli ćenjd, n Cumñz réd a most inṭrestñ articl on ɖ s’pirioṛti v ɖ bîsicl t ɖ hors.

ĆAPTR XX

Dinr at Franćñ’z t mīt Mr. Hardfr Hutl.

Me 10. – Rsivd a letr fṛm Mr. Franćñ, v Pecm, ascñ s t dîn wɖ him tnît, at sevn o’cloc, t mīt Mr. Hardfr Hutl, a vri clevr raitr fr ɖ Americn peprz. Franćñ apoḷjîzd fr ɖ śort notis; bt sd h hd at ɖ last momnt bn dis’pôntd v tū v hiz gests n rgardd s az old frendz hu wd nt mînd filñ p ɖ gap. Cári rɖr dḿrd at ɖ invteśn; bt I xplend t hr ɖt Franćñ wz vri wel of n influenśl, n w cd nt aford t ofnd him. “N w r śr t gt a gd dinr n a gd glas v śampen.” “Ẃć nvr agriz wɖ y!” Cári rplaid, śarpli. I rgardd Cári’z obẓveśn az unséd. Mr. Franćñ asct s t wîr a rplî. Az h hd sd nʈñ abt dres in ɖ letr, I wîrd bac: “Wɖ pleźr. Z it fl dres?” n bî līvñ ǎt ǎr nem, jst got ɖ mesij wɖn ɖ sixpns.

Got bac rli t gv tîm t dres, ẃć w rsivd a teḷgram instructñ s t d. I wontd Cári t mīt m at Franćñ’z hǎs; bt ś wd nt d so, so I hd t g hom t feć hr. Ẃt a loñ jrni it z fṛm Hoḷwe t Pecm! Ẃ d ppl liv sć a loñ we of? Hvñ t ćenj ’busz, I alaud plenti v tîm – in fact, tù mć; fr w arîvd at twenti minits t sevn, n Franćñ, so ɖ srvnt sd, hd onli jst gn p t dres. Hvr, h wz dǎn az ɖ cloc struc sevn; h mst hv drest vri qcli.I mst se it wz qt a dstnḡśt parti, n olɖo w dd nt nǒ enbdi prsṇli, ɖe ol sīmd t b qt swelz. Franćñ hd got a pṛfeśnl wêtr, n evidntli sperd no xpns. Ɖr wr flǎrz on ɖ tebl rnd sm fẹrilamps n ɖ ifct, I mst se, wz xqizit. Ɖ wîn wz gd n ɖr wz plenti v śampen, cnsrnñ ẃć Franćñ sd h himslf, nvr wśt t test betr. W wr ten in numbr, n a menû card t ć. Wn ledi sd ś olwz prizrvd ɖ menû n got ɖ gests t rait ɖer nemz on ɖ bac.

W ol v s foloud hr xampl, xpt Mr. Hutl, hu wz v cors ɖ importnt gest.

Ɖ dinrparti cnsistd v Mr. Franćñ, Mr. Hardfr Hutl, Mr. n Msz. Saḿl Hilbútr, Msz. Fīld, Mr. n Msz. Prdic, Mr. Prát, Mr. R. Cnt, n, last bt nt līst, Mr. n Msz. Ćarlz Pūtr. Franćñ sd h wz sori h hd no ledi fr m t tec in t dinr. I rplaid ɖt I prifŕd it, ẃć I aftwdz ʈt wz a vri uncompḷmntri obẓveśn t mc.

I sat nxt t Msz. Fīld at dinr. Ś sīmd a wel-informd ledi, bt wz vri def. It dd nt mć matr, fr Mr. Hardfr Hutl dd ol ɖ tōcñ. H z a marvḷsli inṭlecćl man n sz ʈñz ẃć fṛm uɖr ppl wd sīm qt alarmñ. Hǎ I wś I cd rmembr īvn a qortr v hiz briłnt convseśn. I md a fy litl rmîndñ nots on ɖ menû card.

Wn obẓveśn struc m az biyñ abṣlutli pǎrfl – ɖo nt t mî we v ʈncñ v cors. Msz. Prdic hapnd t se “Y r srtnli unorʈ̇dox, Mr. Hutl.” Mr. Hutl, wɖ a pkłr xpreśn (I cn si it nǎ) sd in a slo rić vôs: “Msz. Prdic, ‘orʈ̇dox’ z a grandiḷqnt wrd implayñ sticñ-in-ɖ-mud. F C’lumbs n Stīvnsn hd bn orʈ̇̇dox, ɖr wd nɖr hv bn ɖ dscuṿri v America nr ɖ stīm-enjin.” Ɖr wz qt a sîḷns. It apird t m ɖt sć tīćñ wz abṣlutli denjṛs, n yt I flt – in fact w mst ol hv flt – ɖr wz no ansr t ɖ arğmnt. A litl lêtr on, Msz. Prdic, hu z Franćñ’z sistr n olso actd az hostes, rouz fṛm ɖ tebl, n Mr. Hutl sd: “Ẃ, lediz, d y dprîv s v yr cumṗni so sn? Ẃ nt wêt ẃl w hv ǎr sgarz?”

"'Orthodox' is a grandiloquent word."
“‘Orʈ̇dox’ z a grandiḷqnt wrd.”

Ɖ ifct wz ilectricl. Ɖ lediz (includñ Cári) wr in no we inclînd t b dprîvd v Mr. Hutl’z faṣnetñ ssayti, n imīɉtli rzymd ɖer sīts, amd mć laftr n a litl ćaf. Mr. Hutl sd: “Wel, ɖt’s a riyl gd sîn; y śl nt b insultd bî biyñ cōld orʈ̇dox eni longr.” Msz. Prdic, hu sīmd t b a brît n rɖr śarp wmn, sd: “Mr. Hutl, w wl mīt y hafwe – ɖt z, tl y gt hafwe ʈru yr sgar. Ɖt, at ol ivnts, wl b ɖ hapi mīdịm.”

I śl nvr fget ɖ ifct ɖ wrdz, “hapi mīdịm,” hd upn him. H wz briłnt n most dẹrñ in hiz intrpṛteśn v ɖ wrdz. H poztivli alarmd m. H sd smʈñ lîc ɖ folowñ: “Hapi mīdịm, indd. D y nǒ ‘hapi mīdịm’ r tū wrdz ẃć mīn ‘mizṛbl mīdiocṛti’? I se, g frst clas or ʈrd; mari a dućis or hr cićnmeid. Ɖ hapi mīdịm mīnz rspctbiḷti, n rspctbiḷti mīnz insipidnis. Dz it nt, Mr. Pūtr?”

I wz so tecn abac bî biyñ prsṇli apild t, ɖt I cd onli bǎ apoḷjeticli, n se I fird I wz nt compitnt t ofr an opińn. Cári wz abt t se smʈñ; bt ś wz inṭruptd, fr ẃć I wz rɖr plizd, fr ś z nt clevr at arğmnt, n wn hz t b xtra clevr t dscus a subjict wɖ a man lîc Mr. Hutl.

H cntinyd, wɖ an amezñ eḷqns ɖt md hiz unwelcm opińnz poztivli cnvinsñ: “Ɖ hapi mīdịm z nʈñ mor or les ɖn a vulgr haf-meźr. A man hu luvz śampen n, fîndñ a pînt tù litl, firz t fes a hol botl n hz rcors t an impirịl pînt, wl nvr bild a Brŭclin Brij or an Îfl Tǎr. No, h z haf-hartid, h z a haf-meźr – rspctbl – in fact, a hapi mīdịm, n wl spend ɖ rest v hiz dez in a sbrbn vila wɖ a stuco-coḷm portico, rzmḅlñ a for-post bedsted.”

W ol laft.

“Ɖt sort v ʈñ,” cntinyd Mr. Hutl, “b’loñz t a soft man, wɖ a soft bird wɖ a soft hed, wɖ a md tî ɖt hcs on.”

Ɖs sīmd rɖr prsnl n twîs I còt mslf lcñ in ɖ glas v ɖ cheffonière; fr I hd on a tî ɖt hct on – n ẃ nt? F ɖz rmarcs wr nt prsnl ɖe wr rɖr cerlis, n so wr sm v hiz subsiqnt obẓveśnz, ẃć mst hv md bʈ Mr. Franćñ n hiz gests rɖr uncumftbl. I d’nt ʈnc Mr. Hutl mnt t b prsnl, fr h add; “W d’nt nǒ ɖt clas hir in ɖs cuntri: bt w d in America, n I’v no ys fr ɖm.”

Franćñ sevṛl tîmz sjstd ɖt ɖ wîn śd b pást rnd ɖ tebl, ẃć Mr. Hutl dd nt hīd; bt cntinyd az f h wr gvñ a lecćr:

“Ẃt w wont in America z yr homz. W liv on ẃīlz. Yr simpl, qayt lîf n hom, Mr. Franćñ, r ćarmñ. No dsple, no pritnśn! Y mc no difṛns in yr dinr, I der se, ẃn y sit dǎn bî yrslf n ẃn y invît s. Y hv yr ǒn prsnl atndnt – no hîrd wêtr t briɖ on ɖ bac v yr hed.”

I sw Franćñ palṗbli wins at ɖs.

Mr. Hutl cntinyd: “Jst a smōl dinr wɖ a fy gd ʈñz, sć az y hv ɖs īvnñ. Y d’nt insult yr gests bî sndñ t ɖ grosr fr śampen at six śilñz a botl.”

I cd nt hlp ʈncñ v “Jacsn Frer” at ʈri-n-six!

“In fact,” sd Mr. Hutl, “a man z litl les ɖn a mrdrr hu dz. Ɖt z ɖ provins v ɖ milcsop, hu wests hiz īvnñ at hom pleyñ doṃnoz wɖ hiz wîf. I’v hŕd v ɖz ppl. W d’nt wont ɖm at ɖs tebl. Ǎr parti z wel s’lectd. W’v no ys fr def old wimin, hu canot folo inṭlecćl convseśn.”

Ol ǎr îz wr trnd t Msz. Fīld, hu forćṇtli, biyñ def, dd nt hír hiz rmarcs; bt cntinyd smîlñ apruvl.

“W hv no repriznttiv at Mr. Franćñ’z tebl,” sd Mr. Hutl, “v ɖ uninlîtnd frivḷs metṛn, hu gz t a secnd-clas dans at Bezwōtr n fansiz ś z in Ssayti. Ssayti dz nt nǒ hr; it hz no ys fr hr.”

Mr. Hutl pōzd fr a momnt n ɖ oṗtyṇti wz afordd fr ɖ lediz t rîz. I asct Mr. Franćñ qaytli t xkz m, az I dd nt wś t mis ɖ last tren, ẃć w vri nirli dd, bî-ɖ-bî, ʈru Cári hvñ msleid ɖ litl cloʈ cricitcap ẃć ś werz ẃn w g ǎt.

It wz vri lêt ẃn Cári n I got hom; bt on enṭrñ ɖ sitñrūm I sd: “Cári, ẃt d y ʈnc v Mr. Hardfr Hutl?” Ś simpli ansrd: “Hǎ lîc Lūpin!” Ɖ sem îdīa ocŕd t m in ɖ tren. Ɖ cmparisn cept m awec haf ɖ nît. Mr. Hutl wz, v cors, an oldr n mor influenśl man; bt h wz lîc Lūpin, n it md m ʈnc hǎ denjṛs Lūpin wd b f h wr oldr n mor influenśl. I fīl prǎd t ʈnc Lūpin dz rzmbl Mr. Hutl in sm wez. Lūpin, lîc Mr. Hutl, hz orijinl n smtmz wundrfl îdīaz; bt it z ɖoz îdīaz ɖt r so denjṛs. Ɖe mc men xtrimli rić or xtrimli pur. Ɖe mc or brec men. I olwz fīl ppl r hapịr hu liv a simpl unṣfisṭcetd lîf. I b’liv I am hapi bcz I am nt ambiśs. Smhǎ I fīl ɖt Lūpin, sins h hz bn wɖ Mr. Prcup, hz bcm cntnt t setl dǎn n folo ɖ ftsteps v hiz faɖr. Ɖs z a cumf̣t.

ĆAPTR XXI

Lūpin z dsćarjd. W r in gret trubl. Lūpin gts ingejd elsẃr at a hansm saḷri.

Me 13. – A teṛbl msfortyn hz hapnd: Lūpin z dsćarjd fṛm Mr. Prcup’s ofis; n I scersli nǒ hǎ I am raitñ mî dayri. I wz awe fṛm ofis last Sat., ɖ frst tîm I hv bn absnt ʈru ilnis fr twenti yirz. I b’liv I wz pôznd bî sm lobstr. Mr. Prcup wz olso absnt, az Fet wd hv it; n ǎr most valyd custmr, Mr. Croḅlón, wnt t ɖ ofis in a rej, n wɖdru hiz custm. Mî bô Lūpin nt onli hd ɖ aśuṛns t rsiv him, bt rec̣mndd him ɖ frm v Gilṭsn, Sunz & Co. Liṃtd. In mî ǒn humbl jujmnt, n ɖo I hv t se it agnst mî ǒn sun, ɖs sīmz an act v treć̣ri.

Ɖs mornñ I rsiv a letr fṛm Prcup, informñ m ɖt Lūpin’z srṿsz r no longr rqîrd, n an inṭvy wɖ m z dzîrd at ilevn o’cloc. I wnt dǎn t ɖ ofis wɖ an ecñ hart, dredñ an inṭvy wɖ Mr. Prcup, wɖ hūm I hv nvr hd a wrd. I sw nʈñ v Lūpin in ɖ mornñ. H hd nt got p ẃn it wz tîm fr m t līv, n Cári sd I śd d no gd bî dstrbñ him. Mî mînd wondrd so at ɖ ofis ɖt I cd nt d mî wrc proprli.Az I xpctd, I wz snt fr bî Mr. Prcup, n ɖ folowñ convseśn insyd az nirli az I cn rmembr it.

Mr. Prcup sd: “Gd mornñ, Mr. Pūtr! Ɖs z a vri sirịs biznis. I am nt rfŕñ so mć t ɖ dsmisl v yr sun, fr I ń w śd hv t part snr or lêtr. I am ɖ hed v ɖs old, influenśl, n mć-rspctd frm; n ẃn I cnsidr ɖ tîm hz cm t reṿluśnîz ɖ biznis, I wl d it mslf.”

I cd si mî gd mastr wz smẃt afctd, n I sd: “I hop, sr, y d nt imajin ɖt I hv in eni we cǎntinnst mî sun’z unwoṛntbl inṭfiṛns?” Mr. Prcup rouz fṛm hiz sīt n tc mî hand, n sd: “Mr. Pūtr, I wd az sn sspct mslf az sspct y.” I wz so ajtetd ɖt in ɖ cnfyźn, t śo mî grattyd I vri nirli cōld him a “grand old man.”

Forćṇtli I ćect mslf in tîm, n sd h wz a “grand old mastr.” I wz so un’cǎntbl fr mî ax́nz ɖt I sat dǎn, līvñ him standñ. V cors, I at wns rouz, bt Mr. Prcup bád m sit dǎn, ẃć I wz vri plizd t d. Mr. Prcup, rzymñ, sd: “Y wl unḍstand, Mr. Pūtr, ɖt ɖ hî-standñ nećr v ǎr frm wl nt admit v ǎr bndñ t enbdi. F Mr. Croḅlón ćuzz t pt hiz wrc intu uɖr handz – I me ad, les xpirịnst handz – it z nt fr s t bnd n beg bac hiz custm.” “Y śl nt d it, sr,” I sd wɖ inḍgneśn. “Xacli,” rplaid Mr. Prcup; “I śl nt d it. Bt I wz ʈncñ ɖs, Mr. Pūtr. Mr. Croḅlón z ǎr most valyd claynt, n I wl īvn cnfes – fr I nǒ ɖs wl nt g bynd ǎrslvz – ɖt w canot aford vri wel t lūz him, ispeṣ́li in ɖz tîmz, ẃć r nt v ɖ brîtist. Nǎ, I fansi y cn b v srvis.”

I rplaid: “Mr. Prcup, I wl wrc de n nît t srv y!”

Mr. Prcup sd: “I nǒ y wl. Nǎ, ẃt I śd lîc y t d z ɖs. Y yrslf mt rait t Mr. Croḅlón – y mst nt, v cors, līd him t s’poz I nǒ enʈñ abt yr dwñ so – n xplen t him ɖt yr sun wz onli tecn on az a clarc – qt an inixpirịnst wn in fact – ǎt v ɖ rspct ɖ frm hd fr y, Mr. Pūtr. Ɖs z, v cors, a fact. I d’nt sjst ɖt y śd spīc in tù stroñ trmz v yr ǒn sun’z conduct; bt I me ad, ɖt hd h bn a sun v mîn, I śd hv cndemd hiz inṭfiṛns wɖ no meźrd trmz. Ɖt I līv t y. I ʈnc ɖ rzult wl b ɖt Mr. Croḅlón wl si ɖ fors v ɖ fūliś step h hz tecn, n ǎr frm wl nɖr sufr in digṇti nr in pocit.”

I cd nt hlp ʈncñ ẃt a nobl jntlmn Mr. Prcup z. Hiz manrz n hiz we v spīcñ sīm t olmst ʈril wn wɖ rspct.

I sd: “Wd y lîc t si ɖ letr bfr I snd it?”

Mr. Prcup sd: “Ǒ no! I hd betr nt. I am s’pozd t nǒ nʈñ abt it, n I hv evri confidns in y. Y mst rait ɖ letr cerf̣li. W r nt vri bizi; y hd betr tec ɖ mornñ tmoro, or ɖ hol de f y lîc. I śl b hir mslf ol de tmoro, in fact ol ɖ wīc, in ces Mr. Croḅlón śd cōl.”

I wnt hom a litl mor ćirfl, bt I left wrd wɖ Sẹra ɖt I cd nt si îɖr Gowñ or Cumñz, nr in fact enbdi, f ɖe cōld in ɖ īvnñ. Lūpin cem intu ɖ parlr fr a momnt wɖ a ny hat on, n asct mî opińn v it. I sd I wz nt in ɖ mūd t juj v hats, n I dd nt ʈnc h wz in a pziśn t bai a ny wn. Lūpin rplaid cerlisli: “I dd’nt bai it; it wz a preznt.”

I hv sć teṛbl sspiśnz v Lūpin nǎ ɖt I scersli lîc t asc him qsćnz, az I dred ɖ ansrz so. H, hvr, sevd m ɖ trubl.

H sd: “I met a frend, an old frend, ɖt I dd nt qt ʈnc a frend at ɖ tîm; bt it’s ol rît. Az h wîzli sd, ‘ol z fer in luv n wor,’ n ɖr wz no rīzn ẃ w śd nt b frendz stl. H’z a joli, gd, ol-rnd sort v felo, n a vri difṛnt stamp fṛm ɖt infletd fūl v a Prcup.”

I sd: “Huś, Lūpin! D nt pre ad insult t inɉri.”

Lūpin sd: “Ẃt d y mīn bî inɉri? I rpit, I hv dn no inɉri. Croḅlón z simpli tîrd v a stagnnt stic-in-ɖ-mud frm, n md ɖ ćenj on hiz ǒn acǎnt. I simpli rec̣mndd ɖ ny frm az a matr v biz – gd old biz!”

I sd qaytli: “I d’nt unḍstand yr slañ, n at mî tîm v lîf hv no dzîr t lrn it; so, Lūpin, mî bô, let s ćenj ɖ subjict. I wl, f it plīz y, trî n b inṭrestd in yr ny hat advnćr.”

Lūpin sd: “Ǒ! ɖr’z nʈñ mć abt it, xpt I hv nt wns sìn him sins hiz marij, n h sd h wz vri plizd t si m, n hopt w śd b frendz. I std a drinc t s’mnt ɖ frendśp, n h std m a ny hat – wn v hiz ǒn.”

I sd rɖr wiṛli: “Bt y hv nt tld m yr old frend’z nem?”

Lūpin sd, wɖ afctd cerlisnis: “Ǒ dd’nt I? Wel, I wl. It wz Muri Poś.”

Me 14. – Lūpin cem dǎn lêt, n siyñ m at hom ol ɖ mornñ, asct ɖ rīzn v it. Cári n I bʈ agrìd it wz betr t se nʈñ t him abt ɖ letr I wz raitñ, so I ivedd ɖ qsćn.

Lūpin wnt ǎt, seyñ h wz gwñ t lunć wɖ Muri Poś in ɖ Siti. I sd I hopt Mr. Poś wd pṛvîd him wɖ a bŕʈ. Lūpin wnt ǎt lafñ, seyñ: “I d’nt mînd wẹrñ Poś’z wn-prîst hats, bt I am nt gwñ t sel ɖm.” Pur bô, I fir h z prf̣cli hoplis.It tc m nirli ɖ hol de t rait t Mr. Croḅlón. Wns or twîs I asct Cári fr sjsćnz; n olɖo it sīmz ungretfl, hr sjsćnz wr nn v ɖm t ɖ pônt, ẃl wn or tū wr abṣlutli idiotic. V cors I dd nt tel hr so. I got ɖ letr of, n tc it dǎn t ɖ ofis fr Mr. Prcup t si, bt h agn rpitd ɖt h cd trust m.

Gowñ cōld in ɖ īvnñ, n I wz oblîjd t tel him abt Lūpin n Mr. Prcup; n, t mî s’prîz, h wz qt inclînd t sîd wɖ Lūpin. Cári jônd in, n sd ś ʈt I wz tecñ mć tù meḷnc̣li a vy v it. Gowñ pṛdyst a pînt samplbotl v Mdira, ẃć hd bn gvn him, ẃć h sd wd gt rid v ɖ bluz. I der se it wd hv dn so f ɖr hd bn mor v it; bt az Gowñ hlpt himslf t ʈri glasz, it dd nt līv mć fr Cári n m t gt rid v ɖ bluz wɖ.

Me 15. – A de v gret añzayti, fr I xpctd evri momnt a letr fṛm Mr. Croḅlón. Tū letrz cem in ɖ īvnñ – wn fr m, wɖ “Croḅlón Hōl” printd in larj gold-n-red letrz on ɖ bac v ɖ enṿlop; ɖ uɖr fr Lūpin, ẃć I flt inclînd t opn n rīd, az it hd “Gilṭsn, Sunz, & Co. Liṃtd,” ẃć wz ɖ rec̣mndd frm. I trembld az I opnd Mr. Croḅlón’z letr. I rout him sixtīn pejz, closli ritn; h rout m les ɖn sixtīn lînz.

Hiz letr wz: “Sr, – I toṭli dis’gri wɖ y. Yr sun, in ɖ cors v fîv minits’ convseśn, dspleid mor intelijns ɖn yr frm hz dn jrñ ɖ last fîv yirz. – Yrz feʈf̣li, Gilḅt E. Giḷm O. Croḅlón.”Ẃt am I t d? Hir z a letr ɖt I der nt śo t Mr. Prcup, n wd nt śo t Lūpin fr enʈñ. Ɖ crîsis hd yt t cm; fr Lūpin arîvd, n, oṗnñ hiz letr, śoud a ćéc fr £25 az a cmiśn fr ɖ rec̣mndeśn v Mr. Croḅlón, huz custm t Mr. Prcup z evidntli lost fr evr. Cumñz n Gowñ bʈ cōld, n bʈ tc Lūpin’z part. Cumñz wnt so far az t se ɖt Lūpin wd mc a nem yt. I s’poz I wz meḷnc̣li, fr I cd onli asc: “Yes, bt ẃt sort v a nem?”

Me 16. – I tld Mr. Prcup ɖ contents v ɖ letr in a moḍfaid form, bt Mr. Prcup sd: “Pre d’nt dscus ɖ matr; it z at an end. Yr sun wl brñ hiz puniśmnt upn himslf.” I wnt hom in ɖ īvnñ, ʈncñ v ɖ hoplis fyćr v Lūpin. I faund him in most xtraṿgnt spirits n in īvnñdres. H ʈrù a letr on ɖ tebl fr m t rīd.

T mî amezmnt, I réd ɖt Gilṭsn n Sunz hd abṣlutli ingejd Lūpin at a saḷri v £200 a yir, wɖ uɖr advantjz. I réd ɖ letr ʈru ʈri tîmz n ʈt it mst hv bn fr m. Bt ɖr it wz – Lūpin Pūtr – plen inuf. I wz sîḷnt. Lūpin sd: “Ẃt prîs Prcup nǎ? Y tec mî tip, Guv. – ‘of’ wɖ Prcup n frīz on t Gilṭsn, ɖ frm v ɖ fyćr! Prcup’s frm? Ɖ stagnnt dumiz hv bn standñ stl fr yirz, n nǎ r muvñ bac. I wont t g on. In fact I mst g of, az I am dînñ wɖ ɖ Muri Pośz tnît.”In ɖ xybṛns v hiz spirits h hit hiz hat wɖ hiz stic, gev a lǎd wor “Ẃūūūp,” jumt ovr a ćer, n tc ɖ liḅti v rumṗlñ mî her ol ovr mî fōrhed, n bǎnst ǎt v ɖ rūm, gvñ m no ćans v rmîndñ him v hiz ej n ɖ rspct ẃć wz dy t hiz peṛnt. Gowñ n Cumñz cem in ɖ īvnñ, n poztivli ćird m p wɖ cngrać̣leśnz rspctñ Lūpin.

Gowñ sd: “I olwz sd h wd gt on, n, tec mî wrd, h hz mor in hiz hed ɖn w ʈri pt tgɖr.”

Cári sd: “H z a secnd Hardfr Hutl.”

ĆAPTR XXII

Mastr Prsi Edgr Smiʈ Jemz. Msz. Jemz (v Sutn) vizits s agn n intṛdysz “Spirićl Seãsz.”

Me 26, Súnde. – W wnt t Sutn aftr dinr t hv mìți wɖ Mr. n Msz. Jemz. I hd no aṗtît, hvñ dînd wel at tū, n ɖ intîr īvnñ wz spôld bî litl Prsi – ɖer onli sun – hu sīmz t m t b an utrli spôlt ćîld.

Tū or ʈri tîmz h cem p t m n dlibṛtli cict mî śinz. H hrt m wns so mć ɖt ɖ tirz cem intu mî îz. I jntli remnstretd wɖ him, n Msz. Jemz sd: “Plīz d’nt scold him; I d nt b’liv in biyñ tù svir wɖ yuñ ćildṛn. Y spôl ɖer caṛctr.”Litl Prsi set p a def̣nñ yel hir, n ẃn Cári traid t paṣfî him, h slapt hr fes.

I wz so anoid, I sd: “Ɖt z nt mî îdīa v brññ p ćildṛn, Msz. Jemz.”

Msz. Jemz sd. “Ppl hv difṛnt îdīaz v brññ p ćildṛn – īvn yr sun Lūpin z nt ɖ standd v pfx́n.”

Master Percy Edgar Smith James
Mastr Prsi Edgr Smiʈ Jemz

A Mr. Metsīni (an Itałn, I fansi) hir tc Prsi in hiz lap. Ɖ ćîld rigld n cict n brouc awe fṛm Mr. Metsīni, seyñ: “I d’nt lîc y – y’v got a drti fes.”

A vri nîs jntlmn, Mr. Brcs Spūnr, tc ɖ ćîld bî ɖ rist n sd: “Cm hir, dir, n lisn t ɖs.”

H dtaćt hiz cṛnomitr fṛm ɖ ćen n md hiz woć strîc six.

T ǎr horr, ɖ ćîld snaćt it fṛm hiz hand n bǎnst it dǎn upn ɖ grǎnd lîc wn wd a bōl.

Mr. Brcs Spūnr wz most emịbl, n sd h cd īẓli gt a ny glas pt in, n dd nt s’poz ɖ wrcs wr damijd.

T śo y hǎ ppl’z opińnz difr, Cári sd ɖ ćîld wz bad-tmprd, bt it md p fr ɖt dīfect bî its lcs, fr it wz – in hr mînd – an unqsćṇbli bytifl ćîld.

I me b roñ, bt I d nt ʈnc I hv sìn a mć uglịr ćîld mslf. Ɖt z opińn.

Me 30. – I d’nt nǒ ẃ it z, bt I nvr antiṣpet wɖ eni pleźr ɖ vizits t ǎr hǎs v Msz. Jemz, v Sutn. Ś z cmñ agn t ste fr a fy dez. I sd t Cári ɖs mornñ, az I wz līvñ: “I wś, dir Cári, I cd lîc Msz. Jemz betr ɖn I d.”

Cári sd: “So d I, dir; bt az fr yirz I hv hd t pt p wɖ Mr. Gowñ, hu z vulgr, n Mr. Cumñz, hu z cînd bt most uninṭrestñ, I am śr, dir, y w’nt mînd ɖ oceźnl vizits v Msz. Jemz, hu hz mor inṭlect in hr litl fngr ɖn bʈ yr frendz hv in ɖer intîr bodiz.”I wz so intîrli tecn bac bî ɖs onslōt on mî tū dir old frendz, I cd se nʈñ, n az I hŕd ɖ ’bus cmñ, I left wɖ a hurid cis – a litl tù hurid, phps, fr mî upr lip cem in contact wɖ Cári’z tīʈ, ẃć slîtli cut it. It wz qt penfl fr an aur aftwdz. Ẃn I cem hom in ɖ īvnñ I faund Cári berid in a bc on Spirić̣lizm, cōld Ɖr z no Brʈ, bî Floṛns Snglyét. I nīd scersli se ɖ bc wz snt hr t rīd bî Msz. Jemz, v Sutn. Az ś hd nt a wrd t se ǎtsd hr bc, I spent ɖ rest v ɖ īvnñ olṭrñ ɖ stercarpits, ẃć r bginñ t śo sînz v wer at ɖ éjz.

Msz. Jemz arîvd n, az yźl, in ɖ īvnñ tc ɖ intîr manijmnt v evrʈñ. Fîndñ ɖt ś n Cári wr mcñ sm preṗreśnz fr tebltrnñ, I ʈt it tîm riyli t pt mî ft dǎn. I hv olwz hd ɖ gretist cntmt fr sć nonsns, n pt an end t it yirz ago ẃn Cári, at ǎr old hǎs, yst t hv Seãsz evri nît wɖ pur Msz. Fustrz (hu z nǎ ded). F I cd si eni ys in it, I wd nt cer. Az I stopt it in ɖ dez gn bî, I dtrmind t d so nǎ.

I sd: “I am vri sori Msz. Jemz, bt I toṭli dis’pruv v it, apart fṛm ɖ fact ɖt I rsiv mî old frendz on ɖs īvnñ.”

Msz. Jemz sd: “D y mīn t se y hv’nt réd Ɖr z no Brʈ?” I sd: “No, n I hv no intnśn v dwñ so.” Msz. Jemz sīmd s’prîzd n sd: “Ol ɖ wrld z gwñ mad ovr ɖ bc.” I rspondd rɖr clevrli: “Let it. Ɖr wl b wn sen man in it, at ol ivnts.”

Msz. Jemz sd ś ʈt it wz vri uncînd, n f ppl wr ol az preɉdist az I wz, ɖr wd nvr hv bn ɖ ilectric teḷgraf or ɖ teḷfon.

I sd ɖt wz qt a difṛnt ʈñ.

Msz. Jemz sd śarpli: “In ẃt we, pre – in ẃt we?”

I sd: “In mni wez.”

Msz. Jemz sd: “Wel, mnśn wn we.”

I rplaid qaytli: “Pardn m, Msz. Jemz; I dclîn t dscus ɖ matr. I am nt inṭrestd in it.”

Sẹra at ɖs momnt opnd ɖ dor n śoud in Cumñz, fr ẃć I wz ʈancfl, fr I flt it wd pt a stop t ɖs fūliś tebltrnñ. Bt I wz intîrli mstecn; fr, on ɖ subjict biyñ opnd agn, Cumñz sd h wz most inṭrestd in Spirić̣lizm, olɖo h wz baund t cnfes h dd nt b’liv mć in it; stl, h wz wilñ t b cnvinst.

I frmli dclînd t tec eni part in it, wɖ ɖ rzult ɖt mî prezns wz ignord. I left ɖ ʈri sitñ in ɖ parlr at a smōl rnd tebl ẃć ɖe hd tecn ǎt v ɖ drw̃rūm. I wōct intu ɖ hōl wɖ ɖ ultiṃt intnśn v tecñ a litl strol. Az I opnd ɖ dor, hu śd cm in bt Gowñ!

On hírñ ẃt wz gwñ on, h pṛpozd ɖt w śd jôn ɖ srcl n h wd g intu a trans. H add ɖt h ń a fy ʈñz abt old Cumñz, n wd invnt a fy abt Msz. Jemz. Nwñ hǎ denjṛs Gowñ z, I dclînd t let him tec part in eni sć fūliś pformns. Sẹra asct m f ś cd g ǎt fr haf an aur, n I gev hr pmiśn, ʈncñ it wd b mor cumftbl t sit wɖ Gowñ in ɖ cićn ɖn in ɖ cold drw̃rūm. W tōct a gd dīl abt Lūpin n Mr. n Msz. Muri Poś, wɖ hūm h z az yźl spendñ ɖ īvnñ. Gowñ sd: “I se, it wd’nt b a bad ʈñ fr Lūpin f old Poś cict ɖ bucit.”

Mî hart gev a līp v horr, n I rbyct Gowñ vri strnli fr jocñ on sć a subjict. I le awec haf ɖ nît ʈncñ v it – ɖ uɖr haf wz spent in nîtmerz on ɖ sem subjict.

Me 31. – I rout a strn letr t ɖ lōndris. I wz rɖr plizd wɖ ɖ letr, fr I ʈt it vri s’tiricl. I sd: “Y hv rtrnd ɖ hanc̣ćīfs wɖt ɖ culr. Phps y wl rtrn îɖr ɖ culr or ɖ valy v ɖ hanc̣ćīfs.” I śl b rɖr krịs t nǒ ẃt ś wl hv t se.

Mor tebltrnñ in ɖ īvnñ. Cári sd last nît wz in a meźr s’xesfl, n ɖe òt t sit agn. Cumñz cem in, n sīmd inṭrestd. I hd ɖ gas lîtd in ɖ drw̃rūm, got ɖ steps, n rperd ɖ cornis, ẃć hz bn a bit v an îsor t m. In a fit v unʈncñnis – f I me yz sć an xpreśn, – I gev ɖ flor ovr ɖ parlr, ẃr ɖ seãs wz tecñ ples, tū lǎd raps wɖ ɖ hamr. I flt sori aftwdz, fr it wz ɖ sort v r’dikḷs, fūlhardi ʈñ ɖt Gowñ or Lūpin wd hv dn.Hvr, ɖe nvr īvn rfŕd t it, bt Cári dclerd ɖt a mesij cem ʈru ɖ tebl t hr v a wundrfl dscripśn, cnsrnñ smwn hūm ś n I ń yirz ago, n hu wz qt uņoun t ɖ uɖrz.

Ẃn w wnt t bed, Cári asct m az a fevr t sit tmoro nît, t oblîj hr. Ś sd it sīmd rɖr uncînd n unsoṣ́bl on mî part. I promist I wd sit wns.

Jūn 1. – I sat rluctntli at ɖ tebl in ɖ īvnñ, n I am baund t admit sm krịs ʈñz hapnd. I cntnd ɖe wr cǒinsidnsz, bt ɖe wr krịs. Fr instns, ɖ tebl cept tiltñ twdz m, ẃć Cári cnstrùd az a dzîr ɖt I śd asc ɖ spirit a qsćn. I obeid ɖ rūlz, n I asct ɖ spirit (hu sd hr nem wz Līna) f ś cd tel m ɖ nem v an old ānt v hūm I wz ʈncñ, n hūm w yst t cōl Ānt Magi. Ɖ tebl spelt ǎt C A T. W cd mc nʈñ ǎt v it, tl I sudnli rmembrd ɖt hr secnd nem wz Caʈrin, ẃć it wz evidntli trayñ t spel. I d’nt ʈnc īvn Cári ń ɖs. Bt f ś dd, ś wd nvr ćīt. I mst admit it wz krịs. Sevṛl uɖr ʈñz hapnd, n I cnsntd t sit at anɖr seãs on Munde.

Jūn 3. – Ɖ lōndris cōld, n sd ś wz vri sori abt ɖ hanc̣ćīfs, n rtrnd nînpns. I sd, az ɖ culr wz cmplitli wośt ǎt n ɖ hanc̣ćīfs qt spôld, nînpns wz nt inuf. Cári rplaid ɖt ɖ tū hanc̣ćīfs orijiṇli onli cost sixpns, fr ś rmembrd bayñ ɖm at a seil at ɖ Hoḷwe Bon Marché. In ɖt ces, I insistd ɖt ʈrŭpns bayñ śd b rtrnd t ɖ lōndris. Lūpin hz gn t ste wɖ ɖ Pośz fr a fy dez. I mst se I fīl vri uncumftbl abt it. Cári sd I wz r’dikḷs t wuri abt it. Mr. Poś wz vri fond v Lūpin, hu, aftr ol, wz onli a mir bô.

In ɖ īvnñ w hd anɖr seãs, ẃć, in sm rspcts, wz vri rmarcbl, olɖo ɖ frst part v it wz a litl dǎtfl. Gowñ cōld, az wel az Cumñz, n begd t b alaud t jôn ɖ srcl. I wontd t objct, bt Msz. Jemz, hu apirz a gd Mīdịm (ɖt z, f ɖr z enʈñ in it at ol), ʈt ɖr mt b a litl mor spirit pǎr f Gowñ jônd; so ɖ fîv v s sat dǎn.Ɖ momnt I trnd ǎt ɖ gas, n olmst bfr I cd gt mî handz on ɖ tebl, it roct vayḷntli n tiltd, n bgan muvñ qcli acrs ɖ rūm. Gowñ śǎtd ǎt: “We ǒ! stedi, lad, stedi!” I tld Gowñ f h cd nt bhev himslf I śd lît ɖ gas, n pt an end t ɖ seãs.

T tel ɖ truʈ, I ʈt Gowñ wz pleyñ trics, n I hintd az mć; bt Msz. Jemz sd ś hd ofn sìn ɖ tebl g rît of ɖ grǎnd. Ɖ spirit Līna cem agn, n sd, “WORN” ʈri or for tîmz, n dclînd t xplen. Msz. Jemz sd “Līna” wz stubn smtmz. Ś ofn bhevd lîc ɖt, n ɖ bst ʈñ t d wz t snd hr awe.

Ś ɖen hit ɖ tebl śarpli, n sd: “G awe, Līna; y r dis’griybl. G awe!” I śd ʈnc w sat nirli ʈri-qortrz v an aur wɖ nʈñ haṗnñ. Mî handz flt qt cold, n I sjstd w śd stop ɖ seãs. Cári n Msz. Jemz, az wel az Cumñz, wd nt agri t it. In abt ten minits’ tîm ɖr wz sm tiltñ twdz m. I gev ɖ alf̣bét, n it spelt ǎt S P Ū F. Az I hv hŕd bʈ Gowñ n Lūpin yz ɖ wrd, n az I cd hír Gowñ sîḷntli lafñ, I d’recli akzd him v pśñ ɖ tebl. H dnaid it; bt, I rgret t se, I dd nt b’liv him.

Gowñ sd: “Phps it mīnz ‘Spūc,’ a gost.”

I sd: “Y nǒ it dz’nt mīn enʈñ v ɖ sort.”

Gowñ sd: “Ǒ! vri wel – I’m sori I ‘spūc,’” n h rouz fṛm ɖ tebl.

Nwn tc eni notis v ɖ stypid joc, n Msz. Jemz sjstd h śd sit ǎt fr a ẃl. Gowñ cnsntd n sat in ɖ armćer.

Ɖ tebl bgan t muv agn, n w mt hv hd a wundrfl seãs bt fr Gowñ’z stypid inṭrupśnz. In ansr t ɖ alf̣bét fṛm Cári ɖ tebl spelt “NIPŪL,” ɖen ɖ “WORN” ʈri tîmz. W cd nt ʈnc ẃt it mnt tl Cumñz pôntd ǎt ɖt “NIPŪL” wz Lūpin spelt bcwdz. Ɖs wz qt xîtñ. Cári wz ptiklrli xîtd, n sd ś hopt nʈñ hoṛbl wz gwñ t hapn.

Msz. Jemz asct f “Līna” wz ɖ spirit. Ɖ tebl rplaid frmli, “No,” n ɖ spirit wd nt gv hiz or hr nem. W ɖen hd ɖ mesij, “NIPŪL wl b vri rić.”

Cári sd ś flt qt rlivd, bt ɖ wrd “WORN” wz agn spelt ǎt. Ɖ tebl ɖen bgan t oṣlet vayḷntli, n in rplî t Msz. Jemz, hu spouc vri softli t ɖ tebl, ɖ spirit bgan t spel its nem. It frst spelt “DRINC.”

Gowñ hir sd: “Ā! ɖt’s mor in mî lîn.”

I asct him t b qayt az ɖ nem mt nt b cmplitd.

Ɖ tebl ɖen spelt “WŌTR.”

Gowñ hir inṭruptd agn, n sd: “Ā! ɖt’s nt in mî lîn. Ǎtsd f y lîc, bt nt insd.”

Cári apild t him t b qayt.

Ɖ tebl ɖen spelt “CAPTIN,” n Msz. Jemz startld s bî crayñ ǎt, “Captin Drincwōtr, a vri old frend v mî faɖr’z, hu hz bn ded sm yirz.”

Ɖs wz mor inṭrestñ, n I cd nt hlp ʈncñ ɖt aftr ol ɖr mst b smʈñ in Spirić̣lizm.

Msz. Jemz asct ɖ spirit t intrprit ɖ mīnñ v ɖ wrd “Worn” az aplaid t “NIPŪL.” Ɖ alf̣bét wz gvn agn, n w got ɖ wrd “BOŚ.”

Gowñ hir mutrd: “So it z.”

Msz. Jemz sd ś dd nt ʈnc ɖ spirit mnt ɖt, az Captin Drincwōtr wz a prfict jntlmn, n wd nvr hv yzd ɖ wrd in ansr t a ledi’z qsćn. Acordñli ɖ alf̣bét wz gvn agn.

Ɖs tîm ɖ tebl spelt dstñtli “POŚ.” W ol ʈt v Msz. Muri Poś n Lūpin. Cári wz gtñ a litl dstrest, n az it wz gtñ lêt w brouc p ɖ srcl.

W arenjd t hv wn mor tmoro, az it wl b Msz. Jemz’ last nît in tǎn. W olso dtrmind nt t hv Gowñ preznt.

Cumñz, bfr līvñ, sd it wz srtnli inṭrestñ, bt h wśt ɖ spirits wd se smʈñ abt him.

Jūn 4. – Qt lcñ fwd t ɖ seãs ɖs īvnñ. Wz ʈncñ v it ol ɖ de at ɖ ofis.

Jst az w sat dǎn at ɖ tebl w wr anoid bî Gowñ enṭrñ wɖt nocñ.H sd: “I am nt gwñ t stop, bt I hv bròt wɖ m a sìld enṿlop, ẃć I nǒ I cn trust wɖ Msz. Pūtr. In ɖt sìld enṿlop z a strip v pepr on ẃć I hv asct a simpl qsćn. F ɖ spirits cn ansr ɖt qsćn, I wl b’liv in Spirić̣lizm.”

I vnćrd ɖ xpreśn ɖt it mt b imposbl.

Msz. Jemz sd: “Ǒ no! it z v comn ocuṛns fr ɖ spirits t ansr qsćnz undr sć cndiśnz – n īvn fr ɖm t rait on loct slets. It z qt wrʈ trayñ. F ‘Līna’ z in a gd tmpr, ś z srtn t d it.”

Gowñ sd: “Ol rît; ɖen I śl b a frm b’livr. I śl phps drop in abt haf-past nîn or ten, n hír ɖ rzult.”

H ɖen left n w sat a loñ tîm. Cumñz wontd t nǒ smʈñ abt sm unḍtecñ in ẃć h wz cnsrnd, bt h cd gt no ansr v eni dscripśn ẃtvr – at ẃć h sd h wz vri dis’pôntd n wz afreid ɖr wz nt mć in tebltrnñ aftr ol. I ʈt ɖs rɖr slfiś v him. Ɖ seãs wz vri similr t ɖ wn last nît, olmst ɖ sem in fact. So w trnd t ɖ letr. “Līna” tc a loñ tîm anṣrñ ɖ qsćn, bt ivnć̣li spelt ǎt “ROZZ, LILIZ, N CǍZ.” Ɖr wz gret rocñ v ɖ tebl at ɖs tîm, n Msz. Jemz sd: “F ɖt z Captin Drincwōtr, let s asc him ɖ ansr az wel?”

It wz ɖ spirit v ɖ Captin, n, most snğlr, h gev ɖ sem îdnticl ansr: “ROZZ, LILIZ, N CǍZ.”

I canot dscrîb ɖ ajteśn wɖ ẃć Cári brouc ɖ sìl, or ɖ dis’pôntmnt w flt on rīdñ ɖ qsćn, t ẃć ɖ ansr wz so in’proprịt. Ɖ qsćn wz, “Ẃt’s old Pūtr’z ej?”

Ɖs qt dsîdd m.

Az I hd pt mî ft dǎn on Spirić̣lizm yirz ago, so I wd agn.

I am priti īzi-gwñ az a rūl, bt I cn b xtrimli frm ẃn drivn t it.

I sd slǒli, az I trnd p ɖ gas: “Ɖs z ɖ last v ɖs nonsns ɖt śl evr tec ples undr mî rūf. I rgret I pmitd mslf t b a parti t sć tomfūḷri. F ɖr z enʈñ in it – ẃć I dǎt – it z nʈñ v eni gd, n I w’nt hv it agn. Ɖt z inuf.”

Msz. Jemz sd: “I ʈnc, Mr. Pūtr, y r rɖr oṿstepñ – ”

I sd: “Huś, madm. I am mastr v ɖs hǎs – plīz unḍstand ɖt.”

Msz. Jemz md an obẓveśn ẃć I snsirli hop I wz mstecn in. I wz in sć a rej I cd nt qt cać ẃt ś sd. Bt f I ʈt ś sd ẃt it sǎndd lîc, ś śd nvr entr ɖ hǎs agn.

ĆAPTR XXIII

Lūpin līvz s. W dîn at hiz ny apartmnts, n hír sm xtrordnri inf̣meśn rspctñ ɖ wlʈ v Mr. Muri Poś. Mīt Mis Liłn Poś. Am snt fr bî Mr. Hardfr Hutl. Importnt.

Jlî 1. – I fînd, on lcñ ovr mî dayri, nʈñ v eni consiqns hz tecn ples jrñ ɖ last munʈ. Tde w lūz Lūpin, hu hz tecn frniśt apartmnts at Bezwōtr, nir hiz frendz, Mr. n Msz. Muri Poś, at tū giniz a wīc. I ʈnc ɖs z most xtraṿgnt v him, az it z haf hiz saḷri. Lūpin sz wn nvr luzz bî a gd adres, n, t yz hiz ǒn xpreśn, Bricfīld Teris z a bit “of.” Ẃɖr h mīnz it z “far of” I d nt nǒ. I hv loñ sins gvn p trayñ t unḍstand hiz krịs xpreśnz. I sd ɖ nebrhd hd olwz bn gd inuf fr hiz peṛnts. Hiz rplî wz: “It z no qsćn v biyñ gd or bad. Ɖr z no muni in it, n I am nt gwñ t rot awe mî lîf in ɖ subrbz.”

W r sori t lūz him, bt phps h wl gt on betr bî himslf, n ɖr me b sm truʈ in hiz rmarc ɖt an old n a yuñ hors c’nt pl tgɖr in ɖ sem cart.Gowñ cōld, n sd ɖt ɖ hǎs sīmd qt pīsfl, n lîc old tîmz. H lîct Mastr Lūpin vri wel, bt h oceźṇli sufrd fṛm ẃt h cd nt hlp – yʈ.

Jlî 2. – Cumñz cōld, lct vri pel, n sd h hd bn vri il agn, n v cors nt a sngl frend hd bn nir him. Cári sd ś hd nvr hŕd v it, ẃr’pn h ʈrù dǎn a copi v ɖ Bîsicl Nyz on ɖ tebl, wɖ ɖ folowñ paṛgraf: “W rgret t hír ɖt ɖt feṿrit old rǒdstr, Mr. Cumñz (‘Loñ’ Cumñz), hz met wɖ ẃt mt hv bn a sirịs axidnt in Rî Len. A misćiṿs bô ʈrù a stic btwn ɖ spocs v wn v ɖ bac ẃīlz, n ɖ mśīn oṿtrnd, brññ ǎr bruɖr trîṣclist heṿli t ɖ grǎnd. Forćṇtli h wz mor frîtnd ɖn hrt, bt w míst hiz meri fes at ɖ dinr at Ćñf̣d, ẃr ɖe trnd p in gd numbrz. ‘Loñ’ Cumñz’ hlʈ wz pṛpozd bî ǎr popylr Vîs, Mr. Westropp, ɖ prins v bîṣclists, hu in hiz hapiist vein sd it wz a ces v ‘Cumñ(z) ʈru ɖ , bt forćṇtli ɖr wz mor ẃīl ɖn wo,’ a joc ẃć crietd rorz v laftr.”

W ol sd w wr vri sori, n prest Cumñz t ste t supr. Cumñz sd it wz lîc old tîmz biyñ wɖt Lūpin, n h wz mć betr awe.

Jlî 3, Súnde. – In ɖ afṭnun, az I wz lcñ ǎt v ɖ parlrwindo, ẃć wz opn, a grand trap, drivn bî a ledi, wɖ a jntlmn sītd bî ɖ sîd v hr, stopt at ǎr dor. Nt wśñ t b sìn, I wɖdru mî hed vri qcli, nocñ ɖ bac v it vayḷntli agnst ɖ śarp éj v ɖ windosaś. I wz nirli stund. Ɖr wz a lǎd dubl-noc at ɖ fruntdor; Cári ruśt ǎt v ɖ parlr, upsterz t hr rūm, n I foloud, az Cári ʈt it wz Mr. Prcup. I ʈt it wz Mr. Franćñ. – I ẃisprd t Sẹra ovr ɖ banistrz: “Śo ɖm intu ɖ drw̃rūm.” Sẹra sd, az ɖ śutrz wr nt opnd, ɖ rūm wd smel musti. Ɖr wz anɖr lǎd rat-tat. I ẃisprd: “Ɖen śo ɖm intu ɖ parlr, n se Mr. Pūtr wl b dǎn d’recli.” I ćenjd mî cot, bt cd nt si t d mî her, az Cári wz okpayñ ɖ glas.

Sẹra cem p, n sd it wz Msz. Muri Poś n Mr. Lūpin.Ɖs wz qt a rlif. I wnt dǎn wɖ Cári, n Lūpin met m wɖ ɖ rmarc: “I se, ẃt dd y run awe fṛm ɖ windo fr? Dd w frîtn y?”

I fūliśli sd: “Ẃt windo?”

Lūpin sd: “Ǒ, y nǒ. Śut it. Y lct az f y wr pleyñ at Punć n Jūdi.”

On Cári ascñ f ś cd ofr ɖm enʈñ, Lūpin sd: “Ǒ, I ʈnc Deizi wl tec on a cup v ti. I cn d wɖ a B. n S.”

I sd: “I am afreid w hv no soda.”

Lūpin sd: “D’nt boɖr abt ɖt. Y jst trip ǎt n hold ɖ hors; I d’nt ʈnc Sẹra unḍstandz it.”

Ɖe steid a vri śort tîm, n az ɖe wr līvñ, Lūpin sd: “I wont y bʈ t cm n dîn wɖ m nxt Wenzde, n si mî ny ples. Mr. n Msz. Muri Poś, Mis Poś (Muri’z sistr) r cmñ. Et o’cloc śarp. Nwn els.”

I sd w dd nt pritnd t b faśṇbl ppl, n wd lîc ɖ dinr rlịr, az it md it so lêt bfr w got hom.

Lūpin sd: “Rats! Y mst gt yst t it. F it cmz t ɖt, Deizi n I cn drîv y hom.”

W promist t g; bt I mst se in mî simpl mînd ɖ fmiłr we in ẃć Msz. Poś n Lūpin adrest ć uɖr z reprihnsbl. Enbdi wd ʈnc ɖe hd bn ćildṛn tgɖr. I srtnli śd objct t a six munʈs’ aqentns cōlñ wîf “Cári,” n drîvñ ǎt wɖ hr.

Jlî 4. – Lūpin’z rūmz lct vri nîs; bt ɖ dinr wz, I ʈt, a litl tù grand, ispeṣ́li az h cmnst wɖ śampen stret of. I olso ʈnc Lūpin mt hv tld s ɖt h n Mr. n Msz. Muri Poś n Mis Poś wr gwñ t pt on fl īvnñdres. Nwñ ɖt ɖ dinr wz onli fr s six, w nvr drīmd it wd b a fl dres afer. I hd no aṗtît. It wz qt twenti minits past et bfr w sat dǎn t dinr. At six I cd hv ītn a harti mīl. I hd a bit v bred-n-butr at ɖt aur, fīlñ famiśt, n I xpct ɖt partli spôld mî aṗtît.

W wr intṛdyst t Mis Poś, hūm Lūpin cōld “Líli Grl,” az f h hd noun hr ol hiz lîf. Ś wz vri tōl, rɖr plen, n I ʈt ś wz a litl pentd rnd ɖ îz. I hop I am roñ; bt ś hd sć fer her, n yt hr îbrǎz wr blac. Ś lct abt ʈrti. I dd nt lîc ɖ we ś cept giġlñ n gvñ Lūpin smacs n pinćñ him. Ɖen hr laf wz a sort v a scrīm ɖt wnt rît ʈru mî irz, ol ɖ mor iṛtetñ bcz ɖr wz nʈñ t laf at. In fact, Cári n I wr nt at ol prīṗzest wɖ hr. Ɖe ol smoct siġréts aftr dinr, includñ Mis Poś, hu startld Cári bî seyñ: “D’nt y smoc, dir?” I ansrd fr Cári, n sd: “Msz. Ćarlz Pūtr hz nt arîvd at it yt,” ẃr’pn Mis Poś gev wn v hr pirsñ lafs agn.

"Lillie Girl"
“Líli Grl”

Msz. Poś sañ a duzn soñz at līst, n I cn onli rpit ẃt I hv sd bfr – ś dz nt sñ in tyn; bt Lūpin sat bî ɖ sîd v ɖ piano, gezñ intu hr îz ɖ hol tîm. F I hd bn Mr. Poś, I ʈnc I śd hv hd smʈñ t se abt it. Mr. Poś md himslf vri agriybl t s, n ivnć̣li snt s hom in hiz carij, ẃć I ʈt most cînd. H z evidntli vri rić, fr Msz. Poś hd on sm bytifl juwlri. Ś tld Cári hr necḷs, ẃć hr huzbnd gev hr az a brʈde preznt, alon cost £300.

Mr. Poś sd h hd a gret b’lif in Lūpin, n ʈt h wd mc rapid we in ɖ wrld.

I cd nt hlp ʈncñ v ɖ £600 Mr. Poś lost ovr ɖ Paṛćica Clōrets ʈru Lūpin’z advîs.

Jrñ ɖ īvnñ I hd an oṗtyṇti t spīc t Lūpin, n xprest a hop ɖt Mr. Poś wz nt livñ bynd hiz mīnz.

Lūpin snird, n sd Mr. Poś wz wrʈ ʈǎzndz. “Poś’z wn-prîs hat” wz a hǎsholdwrd in Brmñm, Manćestr, Liṿpul, n ol ɖ big tǎnz ʈrt Ñgḷnd. Lūpin frɖr informd m ɖt Mr. Poś wz oṗnñ branć-istabliśmnts at Ny Yorc, Sidni, n Melbōrn, n wz ngośietñ fr Cimḅli n Jhaṇzbrg.

I sd I wz plizd t hír it.

Lūpin sd: “Ẃ, h hz setld ovr £10,000 on Deizi, n ɖ sem amǎnt on ‘Líli Grl.’ F at eni tîm I wontd a litl capitl, h wd pt p a cupl v ‘ɖǎ’ at a de’z notis, n cd bai p Prcup’s frm ovr hiz hed at eni momnt wɖ redi caś.”

On ɖ we hom in ɖ carij, fr ɖ frst tîm in mî lîf, I wz inclînd t indulj in ɖ radicl ʈt ɖt muni wz nt proprli dvîdd.

On arîvñ hom at a qortr-past ilevn, w faund a hansmcab, ẃć hd bn wêtñ fr m fr tū aurz wɖ a letr. Sẹra sd ś dd nt nǒ ẃt t d, az w hd nt left ɖ adres ẃr w hd gn. I trembld az I opnd ɖ letr, firñ it wz sm bad nyz abt Mr. Prcup. Ɖ not wz: “Dir Mr. Pūtr, – Cm dǎn t ɖ Victoria Hotel wɖt dle. Importnt. Yrz trūli, Hardfr Hutl.”

I asct ɖ cabmn f it wz tù lêt. Ɖ cabmn rplaid ɖt it wz nt; fr hiz instrux́nz wr, f I hapnd t b ǎt, h wz t wêt tl I cem hom. I flt vri tîrd, n riyli wontd t g t bed. I rīćt ɖ hotel at a qortr bfr midnît. I apoḷjîzd fr biyñ so lêt, bt Mr. Hutl sd: “Nt at ol; cm n hv a fy ôstrz.” I fīl mî hart bìtñ az I rait ɖz wrdz. T b brīf, Mr. Hutl sd h hd a rić Americn frend hu wontd t d smʈñ larj in ǎr lîn v biznis, n ɖt Mr. Franćñ hd mnśnd mî nem t him. W tōct ovr ɖ matr. F, bî eni hapi ćans, ɖ rzult b s’xesfl, I cn mor ɖn compnset mî dir mastr fr ɖ los v Mr. Croḅlón’z custm. Mr. Hutl hd prīvịsli sd: “Ɖ glorịs ‘Forʈ’ z a luci de fr America, n, az it hz nt yt struc twelv, w wl seḷbret it wɖ a glas v ɖ bst wîn t b hd in ɖ ples, n drinc gd luc t ǎr bit v biznis.”

I frvntli hop it wl brñ gd luc t s ol.

It wz tū o’cloc ẃn I got hom. Olɖo I wz so tîrd, I cd nt slīp xpt fr śort inṭvlz – ɖen onli t drīm.

I cept drīmñ v Mr. Prcup n Mr. Hutl. Ɖ latr wz in a luvli palis wɖ a crǎn on. Mr. Prcup wz wêtñ in ɖ rūm. Mr. Hutl cept tecñ of ɖs crǎn n handñ it t m, n cōlñ m “Prezidnt.”

H apird t tec no notis v Mr. Prcup, n I cept ascñ Mr. Hutl t gv ɖ crǎn t mî wrɖi mastr. Mr. Hutl cept seyñ: “No, ɖs z ɖ Ẃît Hǎs v Wośñtn, n y mst cīp yr crǎn, Mr. Prezidnt.”

W ol laft loñ n vri lǎdli, tl I got parćt, n ɖen I wouc p. I fél aslip, onli t drīm ɖ sem ʈñ ovr n ovr agn.

ĆAPTR Ɖ LAST

Wn v ɖ hapiist dez v mî lîf.

Jlî 10. – Ɖ xîtmnt n añzayti ʈru ẃć I hv gn ɖ last fy dez hv bn olmst inuf t trn mî her gre. It z ol bt setld. Tmoro ɖ dî wl b cast. I hv ritn a loñ letr t Lūpin – fīlñ it mî dyti t d so, – rgardñ hiz atnśn t Msz. Poś, fr ɖe drouv p t ǎr hǎs agn last nît.

Jlî 11. – I fînd mî îz filñ wɖ tirz az I pén ɖ not v mî inṭvy ɖs mornñ wɖ Mr. Prcup. Adresñ m, h sd: “Mî feʈfl srvnt, I wl nt dwel on ɖ importnt srvis y hv dn ǎr frm. Y cn nvr b sfiśntli ʈanct. Let s ćenj ɖ subjict. D y lîc yr hǎs, n r y hapi ẃr y r?”

I rplaid: “Yes, sr; I luv mî hǎs n I luv ɖ nebrhd, n cd nt ber t līv it.” Mr. Prcup, t mî s’prîz, sd: “Mr. Pūtr, I wl prćis ɖ frīhold v ɖt hǎs, n preznt it t ɖ most onist n most wrɖi man it hz evr bn mî lot t mīt.”

H śc mî hand, n sd h hopt mî wîf n I wd b sperd mni yirz t injô it. Mî hart wz tù fl t ʈanc him; n, siyñ mî imbaṛsmnt, ɖ gd felo sd: “Y nīd se nʈñ, Mr. Pūtr,” n left ɖ ofis.

I snt teḷgramz t Cári, Gowñ, n Cumñz (a ʈñ I hv nvr dn bfr), n asct ɖ tū latr t cm rnd t supr.

On arîvñ hom I faund Cári crayñ wɖ jô, n I snt Sẹra rnd t ɖ grosr’z t gt tū botlz v “Jacsn Frer.”

Mî tū dir frendz cem in ɖ īvnñ, n ɖ last post bròt a letr fṛm Lūpin in rplî t mîn. I réd it alǎd t ɖm ol. It ran: “Mî dir old Guv., – Cīp yr her on. Y r on ɖ roñ tac agn. I am ingejd t b marid t ‘Líli Grl.’ I dd nt mnśn it last Ʈrzde, az it wz nt defiṇtli setld. W śl b marid in Ōġst, n amñst ǎr gests w hop t si yr old frendz Gowñ n Cumñz. Wɖ mć luv t ol, fṛm Ɖ sem old Lūpin.”

Đ END

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

Clasics in Ñspel: THE PARADISE OF THIEVES, by G K Chesterton

Ɖ PAṚDÎS OV ƮĪVZ

G. C. Ćsttn

Ɖ  gret Mscari, most orijinl v ɖ yuñ Tuscn powts, wōct swiftli intu hiz feṿrit resṭront, ẃć oṿlct ɖ Mediṭreńn, wz cuvrd bî an ōnñ n fnst bî litl lemn n orinjtrīz. Wêtrz in ẃît epṛnz wr olrdi leyñ ǎt on ẃît teblz ɖ insignia v an rli n elignt lunć; n ɖs sīmd t incris a saṭsfax́n ɖt olrdi tućt ɖ top v swagr. Mscari hd an īglnǒz lîc Dante; hiz her n nec̣ćīf wr darc n flowñ; h carid a blac clǒc, n mt olmst hv carid a blac masc, so mć dd h ber wɖ him a sort v Vnīśn meḷdrama. H actd az f a trūḅdor hd stl a defiṇt sośl ofis, lîc a biṣ́p. H wnt az nir az hiz snćri pmitd t wōcñ ɖ wrld litṛli lîc Don Juwn, wɖ repịr n gitar.

Fr h nvr travld wɖt a ces v sordz, wɖ ẃć h hd fòt mni briłnt dȳlz, or wɖt a corispondñ ces fr hiz manḍlin, wɖ ẃć h hd acć̣li seṛnedd Mis Eʈl Haṛget, ɖ hîli cnvnśnl dōtr v a Yorx́r bancr on a hoḷde. Yt h wz nɖr a śarḷtn nr a ćîld; bt a hot, lojicl Latin hu lîct a srtn ʈñ n wz it. Hiz powtri wz az stretfwd az enwn els’z prǒz. H dzîrd fem or wîn or ɖ byti v wimin wɖ a torid d’rectnis incnsiṿbl amñ ɖ clǎdi îdiylz or clǎdi compṛmîzz v ɖ norʈ; t vegr resz hiz intnṣti smelt v denjr or īvn crîm. Lîc fîr or ɖ sì, h wz tù simpl t b trustd.

Ɖ bancr n hiz bytifl Ñgliś dōtr wr steyñ at ɖ hotel ataćt t Mscari’z resṭront; ɖt wz ẃ it wz hiz feṿrit resṭront. A glans flaśt arnd ɖ rūm tld him at wns, hvr, ɖt ɖ Ñgliś parti hd nt dsndd. Ɖ resṭront wz gliṭrñ, bt stl cmpaṛtivli emti. Tū prīsts wr tōcñ at a tebl in a cornr, bt Mscari (an ardnt Caʈ̇lic) tc no mor notis v ɖm ɖn v a cupl v croz. Bt fṛm a yt farɖr sīt, partli cnsild bhnd a dworf tri goldn wɖ oṛnjz, ɖr rouz n advanst twdz ɖ powt a prsn huz costym wz ɖ most agresivli oṗzit t hiz ǒn.

Ɖs figr wz clad in twīdz v a pîbàld ćec, wɖ a pnc tî, a śarp colr n pṛtybṛnt yelo būts. H cntrîvd, in ɖ tru tṛdiśn v ‘Ari at Marget, t lc at wns starṭlñ n comnples. Bt az ɖ Cocni aṗriśn drù nirr, Mscari wz astǎndd t obzrv ɖt ɖ hed wz dstñtli difṛnt fṛm ɖ bodi. It wz an Itałn hed: fuzi, sworɖi n vri viveśs, ɖt rouz abrupli ǎt v ɖ standñ colr lîc cardbōrd n ɖ comic pnc tî. In fact it wz a hed h ń. H rec̣gnîzd it, abv ol ɖ dîr irex́n v Ñgliś hoḷde are, az ɖ fes v an old bt fgotn frend nemd Etsa. Ɖs yʈ hd bn a proḍji at colij, n Yṛpiyn fem wz promist him ẃn h wz bérli fiftīn; bt ẃn h apird in ɖ wrld h feld, frst pubḷcli az a draṃtist n a deṃgog, n ɖen prîṿtli fr yirz on end az an actr, a travlr, a cmiśn-ejnt or a jrṇlist. Mscari hd noun him last bhnd ɖ ftlîts; h wz bt tù wel atynd t ɖ xîtmnts v ɖt pṛfeśn, n it wz b’livd ɖt sm moṛl c’laṃti hd swoloud him p.

“Etsa!” craid ɖ powt, rîzñ n śecñ handz in a pleznt astoniśmnt. “Wel, I’v sìn y in mni costymz in ɖ grīn rūm; bt I nvr xpctd t si y drest p az an Ñgliśmn.”

“Ɖs,” ansrd Etsa grevli, “z nt ɖ costym v an Ñgliśmn, bt v ɖ Itałn v ɖ fyćr.”

“In ɖt ces,” rmarct Mscari, “I cnfes I prifŕ ɖ Itałn v ɖ past.”

“Ɖt z yr old mstec, Mscari,” sd ɖ man in twīdz, śecñ hiz hed; “n ɖ mstec v Iṭli. In ɖ sixtīnʈ snćri w Tuscnz md ɖ mornñ: w hd ɖ nyist stīl, ɖ nyist carvñ, ɖ nyist ceṃstri. Ẃ śd w nt nǎ hv ɖ nyist facṭriz, ɖ nyist motrz, ɖ nyist fnans – ɖ nyist cloɖz?”

“Bcz ɖe r nt wrʈ hvñ,” ansrd Mscari. “Y canot mc Itałnz riyli pṛgresiv; ɖe r tù intelijnt. Men hu si ɖ śort cut t gd livñ wl nvr g bî ɖ ny ilabṛt rodz.”

“Wel, t m Marconi, or D’Anŭnzio, z ɖ star v Iṭli” sd ɖ uɖr. “Ɖt z ẃ I hv bcm a Fyć̣rist – n a curịr.”

“A curịr!” craid Mscari, lafñ. “Z ɖt ɖ last v yr list v tredz? N hūm r y cnductñ?”

“Ǒ, a man v ɖ nem v Haṛget, n hiz faṃli, I b’liv.”

“Nt ɖ bancr in ɖs hotel?” inqîrd ɖ powt, wɖ sm īgrnis.

“Ɖt’s ɖ man,” ansrd ɖ curịr.

“Dz it pe wel?” asct ɖ trūḅdor iṇsntli.

“It wl pe m,” sd Etsa, wɖ a vri eṇgmatic smîl. “Bt I am a rɖr krịs sort v curịr.” Ɖen, az f ćenjñ ɖ subjict, h sd abrupli: “H hz a dōtr – n a sun.”

“Ɖ dōtr z dvîn,” afrmd Mscari, “ɖ faɖr n sun r, I s’poz, hymn. Bt grantd hiz harmlis qoḷtz dz’nt ɖt bancr strîc y az a splendid instns v mî arğmnt? Haṛget hz miłnz in hiz sefs, n I hv – ɖ houl in mî pocit. Bt y der’nt se – y c’nt se – ɖt h’z clevrr ɖn I, or boldr ɖn I, or īvn mor eṇjetic. H’z nt clevr, h’z got îz lîc blu butnz; h’z nt eṇjetic, h muvz fṛm ćer t ćer lîc a paṛlitic. H’z a conśienśs, cîndli old bloched; bt h’z got muni simpli bcz h c’lects muni, az a bô c’lects stamps. Y’r tù stroñ-mîndd fr biznis, Etsa. Y w’nt gt on. T b clevr inuf t gt ol ɖt muni, wn mst b stypid inuf t wont it.”

“I’m stypid inuf fr ɖt,” sd Etsa glūṃli. “Bt I śd sjst a sspnśn v yr cṛtīc v ɖ bancr, fr hir h cmz.”

Mr. Haṛget, ɖ gret finansịr, dd indd entr ɖ rūm, bt nbdi lct at him. H wz a masiv eldrli man wɖ a bôld blu î n fedd gre-sandi mstaśz; bt fr hiz hevi stūp h mt hv bn a crnl. H carid sevṛl unopnd letrz in hiz hand. Hiz sun Franc wz a riyli fîn lad, crli-herd, sún-brnt n strenẏs; bt nbdi lct at him îɖr. Ol îz, az yźl, wr riṿtd, fr ɖ momnt at līst, upn Eʈl Haṛget, huz goldn Grīc hed n culr v ɖ dōn sīmd set prṗsli abv ɖt safîr sì, lîc a godes’z. Ɖ powt Mscari drù a dīp breʈ az f h wr drincñ smʈñ, az indd h wz. H wz drincñ ɖ Clasic; ẃć hiz faɖrz md. Etsa studid hr wɖ a gêz īqli intns n far mor baf̣lñ.

Mis Haṛget wz speṣ́li redịnt n redi fr convseśn on ɖs oceźn; n hr faṃli hd fōḷn intu ɖ īzịr Conṭnentl habit, alawñ ɖ strenjr Mscari n īvn ɖ curịr Etsa t śer ɖer tebl n ɖer tōc. In Eʈl Haṛget cnvnṣ́naḷti crǎnd itslf wɖ a pfx́n n splendr v its ǒn. Prǎd v hr faɖr’z pṛspeṛti, fond v faśṇbl pleźrz, a fond dōtr bt an aṛnt flrt, ś wz ol ɖz ʈñz wɖ a sort v goldn gd-nećr ɖt md hr vri prîd plizñ n hr wrldli rspctbiḷti a freś n harti ʈñ.

Ɖe wr in an edi v xîtmnt abt sm alejd peṛl in ɖ mǎntnpaʈ ɖe wr t atmt ɖt wīc. Ɖ denjr wz nt fṛm roc n aṿlanć, bt fṛm smʈñ yt mor r’mantic. Eʈl hd bn rṇstli aśurd ɖt brigndz, ɖ tru cutʈrots v ɖ modn lejnd, stl hōntd ɖt rij n hld ɖt pas v ɖ Aṗnînz.

“Ɖe se,” ś craid, wɖ ɖ ōfl reliś v a scūlgrl, “ɖt ol ɖt cuntri z’nt rūld bî ɖ Cñ v Iṭli, bt bî ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz. Hu z ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz?”

“A gret man,” rplaid Mscari, “wrɖi t ranc wɖ yr ǒn Robin Hŭd, sińrīna. Mntano, ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz, wz frst hŕd v in ɖ mǎntnz sm ten yirz ago, ẃn ppl sd brigndz wr xtñt. Bt hiz wîld oʈoṛti spred wɖ ɖ swiftnis v a sîḷnt reṿluśn. Men faund hiz firs procḷmeśnz nêld in evri mǎntnvilij; hiz sntinlz, gun in hand, in evri mǎntn-rvin. Six tîmz ɖ Itałn Guvnmnt traid t dsloj him, n wz dfitd in six pićt batlz az f bî Npołn.”

“Nǎ ɖt sort v ʈñ,” obzrvd ɖ bancr weiṭli, “wd nvr b alaud in Ñgḷnd; phps, aftr ol, w hd betr ćūz anɖr rùt. Bt ɖ curịr ʈt it prf̣cli sef.”

“It z prf̣cli sef,” sd ɖ curịr cntmćsli. “I hv bn ovr it twenti tîmz. Ɖr me hv bn sm old jelbrd cōld a Cñ in ɖ tîm v ǎr granmuɖrz; bt h b’loñz t hisṭri f nt t febl. Briġndij z utrli stamt ǎt.”

“It cn nvr b utrli stamt ǎt,” Mscari ansrd; “bcz armd rvolt z a recrieśn naćṛl t suɖ̇nrz. Ǎr peznts r lîc ɖer mǎntnz, rić in gres n grīn geyti, bt wɖ ɖ fîrz bnʈ. Ɖr z a pônt v hymn dsper ẃr ɖ norɖn pur tec t drinc – n ǎr ǒn pur tec t dagrz.”

“A powt z priṿlijd,” rplaid Etsa, wɖ a snir. “F Sińor Mscari wr Ñgliś h wd stl b lcñ fr hîweṃn in Wonzẉʈ. B’liv m, ɖr z no mor denjr v biyñ capćrd in Iṭli ɖn v biyñ scalpt in Bostn.”

“Ɖen y pṛpoz t atmt it?” asct Mr. Haṛget, frǎnñ.

“Ǒ, it sǎndz rɖr dredfl,” craid ɖ grl, trnñ hr glorịs îz on Mscari. “D y riyli ʈnc ɖ pas z denjṛs?”

Mscari ʈrù bac hiz blac mein. “I nǒ it z denjṛs:” h sd. “I am crosñ it tmoro.”

Ɖ yuñ Haṛget wz left bhnd fr a momnt emtiyñ a glas v ẃît wîn n lîtñ a siġrét, az ɖ byti rtîrd wɖ ɖ bancr, ɖ curịr n ɖ powt, dstribytñ pìlz v silṿri satîr. At abt ɖ sem instnt ɖ tū prīsts in ɖ cornr rouz; ɖ tōlr, a ẃît-herd Itałn, tecñ hiz līv. Ɖ śortr prīst trnd n wōct twdz ɖ bancr’z sun, n ɖ latr wz astoniśt t riylîz ɖt ɖo a Romn prīst ɖ man wz an Ñgliśmn. H vegli rmembrd mītñ him at ɖ sośl cruśz v sm v hiz Caʈ̇lic frendz. Bt ɖ man spouc bfr hiz meṃriz cd c’lect ɖmslvz.

“Mr. Franc Haṛget, I ʈnc,” h sd. “I hv hd an intṛdux́n, bt I d nt mīn t prizym on it. Ɖ od ʈñ I hv t se wl cm far betr fṛm a strenjr. Mr. Haṛget, I se wn wrd n g: tec cer v yr sistr in hr gret soro.”

Īvn fr Franc’s trūli fṛtrnl indifṛns ɖ redịns n d’riźn v hiz sistr stl sīmd t sparcl n rñ; h cd hír hr laftr stl fṛm ɖ gardn v ɖ hotel, n h stérd at hiz sombr advîzr in puzldm.

“D y mīn ɖ brigndz?” h asct; n ɖen, rmemḅrñ a veg fir v hiz ǒn, “or cn y b ʈncñ v Mscari?”

“Wn z nvr ʈncñ v ɖ riyl soro,” sd ɖ strenj prīst. “Wn cn onli b cînd ẃn it cmz.”

N h pást promtli fṛm ɖ rūm, līvñ ɖ uɖr olmst wɖ hiz mǎʈ opn.

A de or tū aftwdz a coć cntenñ ɖ cumṗni wz riyli crōlñ n staġrñ p ɖ sprz v ɖ meṇsñ mǎntnrenj. Btwn Etsa’z ćiri dnayl v ɖ denjr n Mscari’z bôstṛs dfayns v it, ɖ fnanśl faṃli wr frm in ɖer orijinl prṗs; n Mscari md hiz mǎntnjrni cǒinsîd wɖ ɖerz. A mor s’prîzñ fīćr wz ɖ apiṛns at ɖ cǒsțǎn steśn v ɖ litl prīst v ɖ resṭront; h alejd mirli ɖt biznis léd him olso t cros ɖ mǎntnz v ɖ midḷnd. Bt yuñ Haṛget cd nt bt cnct hiz prezns wɖ ɖ misticl firz n wornñz v yesṭde.

Ɖ coć wz a cnd v cmodịs waġnét, invntd bî ɖ moḍnist taḷnt v ɖ curịr, hu doṃnetd ɖ xpdiśn wɖ hiz sạ̣ntific activti n brīzi wit. Ɖ ʈiyri v denjr fṛm ʈīvz wz baniśt fṛm ʈt n spīć; ɖo so far cnsidd in forml act ɖt sm slît pṛtx́n wz imploid. Ɖ curịr n ɖ yuñ bancr carid lodd rvolvrz, n Mscari (wɖ mć bôiś gratif̣ceśn) bucld on a cnd v cutḷs undr hiz blac clǒc.

H hd plantd hiz prsn at a flayñ līp nxt t ɖ luvli Ñgliśwŭmn; on ɖ uɖr sîd v hr sat ɖ prīst, huz nem wz Brǎn n hu wz forćṇtli a sîḷnt indivijl; ɖ curịr n ɖ faɖr n sun wr on ɖ banc bhnd. Mscari wz in tǎrñ spirits, sirịsli b’livñ in ɖ peṛl, n hiz tōc t Eʈl mt wel hv md hr ʈnc him a meńac. Bt ɖr wz smʈñ in ɖ crezi n gorjs asent, amd cragz lîc pīcs lodd wɖ wŭdz lîc orć̣dz, ɖt dragd hr spirit p alñ wɖ hiz intu prpl pripostṛs hevnz wɖ ẃīlñ súnz. Ɖ ẃît rod clîmd lîc a ẃît cat; it spand súnlis cazmz lîc a tîtrop; it wz fluñ rnd far-of hedḷndz lîc a l’su.

N yt, hvr hî ɖe wnt, ɖ deẓt stl blosmd lîc ɖ rouz. Ɖ fīldz wr brniśt in sún n wind wɖ ɖ culr v cñfiśr n paṛt n humñbrd, ɖ hyz v a hundṛd flǎrñ flǎrz. Ɖr r no luvlịr medoz n wŭdḷndz ɖn ɖ Ñgliś, no noblr crests or cazmz ɖn ɖoz v Snǒdn n Glenco. Bt Eʈl Haṛget hd nvr bfr sìn ɖ suɖn parcs tiltd on ɖ splintrd norɖn pīcs; ɖ gorj v Glenco lêdn wɖ ɖ frūts v Cnt. Ɖr wz nʈñ hir v ɖt ćil n deẓleśn ɖt in Britn wn asośiets wɖ hî n wîld sìṇri. It wz rɖr lîc a mzêicpalis, rent wɖ rʈqecs; or lîc a Duć tylip gardn bloun t ɖ starz wɖ dîṇmît.

“It’s lîc Cỳ Gardnz on Bīći Hed,” sd Eʈl.

“It z ǎr sīcrit,” ansrd h, “ɖ sīcrit v ɖ vlceno; ɖt z olso ɖ sīcrit v ɖ reṿluśn – ɖt a ʈñ cn b vayḷnt n yt frūtfl.”

“Y r rɖr vayḷnt yrslf,” n ś smîld at him.

“N yt rɖr frūtlis,” h admitd; “f I dî tnît I dî unmarid n a fūl.”

“It z nt mî fōlt f y hv cm,” ś sd aftr a dificlt sîḷns.

“It z nvr yr fōlt,” ansrd Mscari; “it wz nt yr fōlt ɖt Trô fél.”

Az ɖe spouc ɖe cem undr oṿẃlmñ clifs ɖt spred olmst lîc wñz abv a cornr v pkłr peṛl. Śoct bî ɖ big śado on ɖ naro lej, ɖ horsz strd dǎtf̣li. Ɖ drîvr lept t ɖ rʈ t hold ɖer hedz, n ɖe bcem unguvṇbl. Wn hors rird p t hiz fl hît – ɖ tîtanic n teṛfayñ hît v a hors ẃn h bcmz a bîped. It wz jst inuf t oltr ɖ eqlibrịm; ɖ hol coć hìld ovr lîc a śip n craśt ʈru ɖ frinj v bśz ovr ɖ clif. Mscari ʈrù an arm rnd Eʈl, hu cluñ t him, n śǎtd alǎd. It wz fr sć momnts ɖt h livd.

At ɖ momnt ẃn ɖ gorjs mǎntnwōlz wnt rnd ɖ powt’s hed lîc a prpl windmil a ʈñ hapnd ẃć wz sūṗfiṣ́li īvn mor starṭlñ. Ɖ eldrli n l’ʈarjic bancr sprañ irect in ɖ coć n lept ovr ɖ preṣpis bfr ɖ tiltd viycl cd tec him ɖr. In ɖ frst flaś it lct az wîld az suisîd; bt in ɖ secnd it wz az snṣbl az a sef invstmnt. Ɖ Yorcśrmn hd evidntli mor promttyd, az wel az mor sgaṣti, ɖn Mscari hd gvn him credit fr; fr h landd in a lap v land ẃć mt hv bn speṣ́li padd wɖ trf n clovr t rsiv him. Az it hapnd, indd, ɖ hol cumṗni wr īqli luci, f les digṇfaid in ɖer form v ijx́n. Imīɉtli undr ɖs abrupt trn v ɖ rod wz a grasi n flǎri holo lîc a suncn medo; a sort v grīn velvit pocit in ɖ loñ, grīn, trelñ garmnts v ɖ hilz. Intu ɖs ɖe wr ol tipt or tumbld wɖ litl damij, sev ɖt ɖer smōlist bagij n īvn ɖ contents v ɖer pocits wr scatrd in ɖ gras arnd ɖm. Ɖ rect coć stl huñ abv, intangld in ɖ tuf hej, n ɖ horsz plunjd penf̣li dǎn ɖ slǒp. Ɖ frst t sit p wz ɖ litl prīst, hu scraćt hiz hed wɖ a fes v fūliś wundr. Franc Haṛget hŕd him se t himslf: “Nǎ ẃ on rʈ hv w fōḷn jst hir?”

H blinct at ɖ litr arnd him, n rcuvrd hiz ǒn vri clumzi umbrela. Bynd it le ɖ brōd sombrero fōḷn fṛm ɖ hed v Mscari, n bsd it a sìld biznisletr ẃć, aftr a glans at ɖ adres, h rtrnd t ɖ eldr Haṛget. On ɖ uɖr sîd v him ɖ gras partli hid Mis Eʈl’z súnśêd, n jst bynd it le a krịs litl glas botl hardli tū inćz loñ. Ɖ prīst pict it p; in a qc, un’btrusiv manr h uncorct n snift it, n hiz hevi fes trnd ɖ culr v cle.

“Hevn dlivr s!” h mutrd; “it c’nt b hrz! Hz hr soro cm on hr olrdi?” H slipt it intu hiz ǒn weistcot pocit. “I ʈnc I’m jusṭfaid,” h sd, “tl I nǒ a litl mor.”

H gezd penf̣li at ɖ grl, at ɖt momnt biyñ rezd ǎt v ɖ flǎrz bî Mscari, hu wz seyñ: “W hv fōḷn intu hevn; it z a sîn. Mortlz clîm p n ɖe fōl dǎn; bt it z onli godz n godesz hu cn fōl upwdz.”

N indd ś rouz ǎt v ɖ sì v culrz so bytifl n hapi a viźn ɖt ɖ prīst flt hiz sspiśn śecn n śiftd. “Aftr ol,” h ʈt, “phps ɖ pôzn z’nt hrz; phps it’s wn v Mscari’z meḷdṛmatic trics.”

Mscari set ɖ ledi lîtli on hr fīt, md hr an absrdli ʈiatricl bǎ, n ɖen, drw̃ hiz cutḷs, hact hard at ɖ tōt reinz v ɖ horsz, so ɖt ɖe scrambld t ɖer fīt n std in ɖ gras tremḅlñ. Ẃn h hd dn so, a most rmarcbl ʈñ ocŕd. A vri qayt man, vri purli drest n xtrimli súnbrnt, cem ǎt v ɖ bśz n tc hold v ɖ horsz’ hedz. H hd a qir-śept nîf, vri brōd n crŭcid, bucld on hiz blt; ɖr wz nʈñ els rmarcbl abt him, xpt hiz sudn n sîḷnt apiṛns. Ɖ powt asct him hu h wz, n h dd nt ansr.

Lcñ arnd him at ɖ cnfyzd n startld grūp in ɖ holo, Mscari ɖen psivd ɖt anɖr tand n tatrd man, wɖ a śort gun undr hiz arm, wz lcñ at ɖm fṛm ɖ lej jst b’lo, līnñ hiz elboz on ɖ éj v ɖ trf. Ɖen h lct p at ɖ rod fṛm ẃć ɖe hd fōḷn n sw, lcñ dǎn on ɖm, ɖ muzlz v for uɖr carbînz n for uɖr brǎn fesz wɖ brît bt qt mośnlis îz.

“Ɖ brigndz!” craid Mscari, wɖ a cnd v monstṛs geyti. “Ɖs wz a trap. Etsa, f y wl oblîj m bî śūtñ ɖ coćmn frst, w cn cut ǎr we ǎt yt. Ɖr r onli six v ɖm.”

“Ɖ coćmn,” sd Etsa, hu wz standñ grimli wɖ hiz handz in hiz pocits, “hapnz t b a srvnt v Mr. Haṛget’z.”

“Ɖen śūt him ol ɖ mor,” craid ɖ powt impeśntli; “h wz brîbd t upset hiz mastr. Ɖen pt ɖ ledi in ɖ midl, n w wl brec ɖ lîn p ɖr – wɖ a ruś.”

N, wêdñ in wîld gras n flǎrz, h advanst firlisli on ɖ for carbînz; bt fîndñ ɖt nwn foloud xpt yuñ Haṛget, h trnd, branḍśñ hiz cutḷs t wev ɖ uɖrz on. H bheld ɖ curịr stl standñ slîtli astrîd in ɖ sntr v ɖ grasi rñ, hiz handz in hiz pocits; n hiz līn, îronicl Itałn fes sīmd t gro longr n longr in ɖ īvnñ lît.

“Y ʈt, Mscari, I wz ɖ fełr amñ ǎr scūlfeloz,” h sd, “n y ʈt y wr ɖ s’xes. Bt I hv s’xidd mor ɖn y n fil a bigr ples in hisṭri. I hv bn actñ epics ẃl y hv bn raitñ ɖm.”

“Cm on, I tel y!” ʈundrd Mscari fṛm abv. “Wl y stand ɖr tōcñ nonsns abt yrslf wɖ a wmn t sev n ʈri stroñ men t hlp y? Ẃt d y cōl yrslf?”

“I cōl mslf Mntano,” craid ɖ strenj curịr in a vôs īqli lǎd n fl. “I am ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz, n I welcm y ol t mî sumrpalis.”

N īvn az h spouc fîv mor sîḷnt men wɖ wepnz redi cem ǎt v ɖ bśz, n lct twdz him fr ɖer ordrz. Wn v ɖm hld a larj pepr in hiz hand.

“Ɖs priti litl nst ẃr w r ol picnicñ,” wnt on ɖ curịrbrignd, wɖ ɖ sem īzi yt sinistr smîl, “z, tgɖr wɖ sm cevz undnʈ it, noun bî ɖ nem v ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz. It z mî prinsipl stroñhold on ɖz hilz; fr (az y hv dǎtlis notist) ɖ îri z inviẓbl bʈ fṛm ɖ rod abv n fṛm ɖ vali b’lo. It z smʈñ betr ɖn impregṇbl; it z uņotisbl. Hir I mostli liv, n hir I śl srtnli dî, f ɖ gendarmes evr trac m hir. I am nt ɖ cnd v criminl ɖt ‘rzrvz hiz dfns,’ bt ɖ betr cnd ɖt rzrvz hiz last bŭlit.”

Ol wr stẹrñ at him ʈundrstruc n stil, xpt Faɖr Brǎn, hu hīvd a hyj sai az v rlif n fngrd ɖ litl fail in hiz pocit. “Ʈanc God!” h mutrd; “ɖt’s mć mor probbl. Ɖ pôzn b’loñz t ɖs robrćīf, v cors. H cariz it so ɖt h me nvr b capćrd, lîc Ceto.”

Ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz wz, hvr, cntinywñ hiz adres wɖ ɖ sem cnd v denjṛs p’lîtnis. “It onli rmenz fr m,” h sd, “t xplen t mî gests ɖ sośl cndiśnz upn ẃć I hv ɖ pleźr v enttenñ ɖm. I nīd nt xpǎnd ɖ qent old rićl v ransm, ẃć it z incumbnt upn m t cīp p; n īvn ɖs onli aplîz t a part v ɖ cumṗni. Ɖ Revṛnd Faɖr Brǎn n ɖ seḷbretd Sińor Mscari I śl rlis tmoro at dōn n escort t mî ǎtposts. Powts n prīsts, f y wl pardn mî simpliṣti v spīć, nvr hv eni muni. N so (sins it z imposbl t gt enʈñ ǎt v ɖm), let s sīz ɖ oṗtyṇti t śo ǎr adṃreśn fr clasic litṛćr n ǎr revṛns fr Holi Ćrć.”

H pōzd wɖ an unplizñ smîl; n Faɖr Brǎn blinct rpitidli at him, n sīmd sudnli t b liṣnñ wɖ gret atnśn. Ɖ brigndcaptin tc ɖ larj pepr fṛm ɖ atndntbrignd n, glansñ ovr it, cntinyd: “Mî uɖr intnśnz r clirli set frth in ɖs public dokmnt, ẃć I wl hand rnd in a momnt; n ẃć aftr ɖt wl b postd on a tri bî evri vilij in ɖ vali, n evri crosrod in ɖ hilz. I wl nt wiri y wɖ ɖ vrḅlizm, sins y wl b ebl t ćec it; ɖ substns v mî procḷmeśn z ɖs: I anǎns frst ɖt I hv capćrd ɖ Ñgliś miłner, ɖ c’loss v fnans, Mr. Saḿl Haṛget. I nxt anǎns ɖt I hv faund on hiz prsn nots n bondz fr tū ʈǎznd pǎndz, ẃć h hz gvn p t m. Nǎ sins it wd b riyli imoṛl t anǎns sć a ʈñ t a creɉḷs public f it hd nt ocŕd, I sjst it śd ocŕ wɖt frɖr dle. I sjst ɖt Mr. Haṛget sīńr śd nǎ gv m ɖ tū ʈǎznd pǎndz in hiz pocit.”

Ɖ bancr lct at him undr lowrñ brǎz, red-fest n sulci, bt sīmñli caud. Ɖt līp fṛm ɖ felñ carij sīmd t hv yzd p hiz last vriḷti. H hd hld bac in a hañdog stîl ẃn hiz sun n Mscari hd md a bold muvmnt t brec ǎt v ɖ brigndtrap. N nǎ hiz red n tremḅlñ hand wnt rluctntli t hiz brestpocit, n pást a bundl v peprz n enṿlops t ɖ brignd.

“Xḷnt!” craid ɖt ǎtlw gêli; “so far w r ol cozi. I rzym ɖ pônts v mî procḷmeśn, so sn t b publiśt t ol Iṭli. Ɖ ʈrd îtm z ɖt v ransm. I am ascñ fṛm ɖ frendz v ɖ Haṛget faṃli a ransm v ʈri ʈǎznd pǎndz, ẃć I am śr z olmst insultñ t ɖt faṃli in its modṛt estiṃt v ɖer importns. Hu wd nt pe tripl ɖs sum fr anɖr de’z asośieśn wɖ sć a dmestic srcl? I wl nt cnsil fṛm y ɖt ɖ dokmnt endz wɖ srtn līgl frezz abt ɖ unpleznt ʈñz ɖt me hapn f ɖ muni z nt peid; bt mnẃl, lediz n jntlṃn, let m aśur y ɖt I am cumfṭbli of hir fr acoṃdeśn, wîn n sgarz, n bid y fr ɖ preznt a sportsmnlîc welcm t ɖ lux̣́riz v ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz.”

Ol ɖ tîm ɖt h hd bn spīcñ, ɖ dybịs-lcñ men wɖ carbînz n drti slǎćhats hd bn gaɖ̇rñ sîḷntli in sć priponḍretñ numbrz ɖt īvn Mscari wz cmpeld t rec̣gnîz hiz sali wɖ ɖ sord az hoplis. H glanst arnd him; bt ɖ grl hd olrdi gn ovr t suɖ n cumf̣t hr faɖr, fr hr naćṛl afx́n fr hiz prsn wz az stroñ or strongr ɖn hr smẃt snobiś prîd in hiz s’xes. Mscari, wɖ ɖ ilojcaḷti v a luvr, admîrd ɖs filịl dvośn, n yt wz iṛtetd bî it. H slapt hiz sord bac in ɖ scaḅd n wnt n fluñ himslf smẃt sulc̣li on wn v ɖ grīn bancs. Ɖ prīst sat dǎn wɖn a yard or tū, n Mscari trnd hiz aqlîn nǒz on him in an instnteńs iṛteśn.

“Wel,” sd ɖ powt tartli, “d ppl stl ʈnc m tù r’mantic? R ɖr, I wundr, eni brigndz left in ɖ mǎntnz?”

“Ɖr me b,” sd Faɖr Brǎn agnosticli.

“Ẃt d y mīn?” asct ɖ uɖr śarpli.

“I mīn I am puzld,” rplaid ɖ prīst. “I am puzld abt Etsa or Mntano, or ẃtvr hiz nem z. H sīmz t m mć mor inixplicbl az a brignd īvn ɖn h wz az a curịr.”

“Bt in ẃt w?” psistd hiz cmpańn. “Santa Mrīa! I śd hv ʈt ɖ brignd wz plen inuf.”

“I fînd ʈri krịs dificltiz,” sd ɖ prīst in a qayt vôs. “I śd lîc t hv yr opińn on ɖm. Frst v ol I mst tel y I wz lunćñ in ɖt resṭront at ɖ sìsîd. Az for v y left ɖ rūm, y n Mis Haṛget wnt ahd, tōcñ n lafñ; ɖ bancr n ɖ curịr cem bhnd, spīcñ sperli n rɖr lo. Bt I cd nt hlp hírñ Etsa se ɖz wrdz – ‘Wel, let hr hv a litl fun; y nǒ ɖ blo me smaś hr eni minit.’ Mr. Haṛget ansrd nʈñ; so ɖ wrdz mst hv hd sm mīnñ. On ɖ impuls v ɖ momnt I wornd hr bruɖr ɖt ś mt b in peṛl; I sd nʈñ v its nećr, fr I dd nt nǒ. Bt f it mnt ɖs capćr in ɖ hilz, ɖ ʈñ z nonsns. Ẃ śd ɖ brigndcurịr worn hiz petṛn, īvn bî a hint, ẃn it wz hiz hol prṗs t lur him intu ɖ mǎntn-mǎstrap? It cd nt hv mnt ɖt. Bt f nt, ẃt z ɖs dzastr, noun bʈ t curịr n bancr, ẃć hañz ovr Mis Haṛget’z hed?”

“Dzastr t Mis Haṛget!” ijakletd ɖ powt, sitñ p wɖ sm f’roṣti. “Xplen yrslf; g on.”

“Ol mî ridlz, hvr, rvolv rnd ǎr banditćīf,” rzymd ɖ prīst rflectivli. “N hir z ɖ secnd v ɖm. Ẃ dd h pt so prominntli in hiz dmand fr ransm ɖ fact ɖt h hd tecn tū ʈǎznd pǎndz fṛm hiz victim on ɖ spot? It hd no fentist tndnsi t ivoc ɖ ransm. Qt ɖ uɖr we, in fact. Haṛget’z frendz wd b far lîclịr t fir fr hiz fet f ɖe ʈt ɖ ʈīvz wr pur n despṛt. Yt ɖ spolieśn on ɖ spot wz emf̣sîzd n īvn pt frst in ɖ dmand. Ẃ śd Etsa Mntano wont so speṣ́li t tel ol Yṛp ɖt h hd pict ɖ pocit bfr h levid ɖ blacmeil?”

“I canot imajin,” sd Mscari, rubñ p hiz blac her fr wns wɖ an un’fctd jsćr. “Y me ʈnc y inlîtn m, bt y r līdñ m dīpr in ɖ darc. Ẃt me b ɖ ʈrd objx́n t ɖ Cñ v ɖ Ʈīvz?” “Ɖ ʈrd objx́n,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, stl in medteśn, “z ɖs banc w r sitñ on. Ẃ dz ǎr brigndcurịr cōl ɖs hiz ćīf fortris n ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz? It z srtnli a soft spot t fōl on n a swīt spot t lc at. It z olso qt tru, az h sz, ɖt it z inviẓbl fṛm vali n pīc, n z ɖrfr a hîdñples. Bt it z nt a fortris. It nvr cd b a fortris. I ʈnc it wd b ɖ wrst fortris in ɖ wrld. Fr it z acć̣li cmandd fṛm abv bî ɖ comn hîrod acrs ɖ mǎntnz – ɖ vri ples ẃr ɖ p’līs wd most probbli pas. Ẃ, fîv śabi śort gunz hld s hlplis hir abt haf an aur ago. Ɖ qortr v a cumṗni v eni cnd v soljrz cd hv bloun s ovr ɖ preṣpis. Ẃtvr z ɖ mīnñ v ɖs od litl nc v gras n flǎrz, it z nt an intrenćt pziśn. It z smʈñ els; it hz sm uɖr strenj sort v importns; sm valy ɖt I d nt unḍstand. It z mor lîc an axdntl ʈiytr or a naćṛl grīnrūm; it z lîc ɖ sīn fr sm r’mantic coṃdi; it z lîc….”

Az ɖ litl prīst’s wrdz leñʈnd n lost ɖmslvz in a dul n drīmi snseṛti, Mscari, huz animl snsz wr alrt n impeśnt, hŕd a ny nôz in ɖ mǎntnz. Īvn fr him ɖ sǎnd wz az yt vri smōl n fent; bt h cd hv sworn ɖ īvnñbrīz bòr wɖ it smʈñ lîc ɖ pulseśn v horsz’ hūfs n a distnt hluwñ.

At ɖ sem momnt, n loñ bfr ɖ vîbreśn hd tućt ɖ les-xpirịnst Ñgliś irz, Mntano ɖ brignd ran p ɖ banc abv ɖm n std in ɖ brocn hej, stediyñ himslf agnst a tri n pirñ dǎn ɖ rod. H wz a strenj figr az h std ɖr, fr h hd asymd a flapt fntastic hat n swññ baldric n cutḷs in hiz cpaṣti v bandit-cñ, bt ɖ brît pṛzêic twīd v ɖ curịr śoud ʈru in paćz ol ovr him.

Ɖ nxt momnt h trnd hiz oliv, snirñ fes n md a muvmnt wɖ hiz hand. Ɖ brigndz scatrd at ɖ signl, nt in cnfyźn, bt in ẃt wz evidntli a cnd v g’ríḷdiṣplin. Instd v okpayñ ɖ rod alñ ɖ rij, ɖe sprincld ɖmslvz alñ ɖ sîd v it bhnd ɖ triz n ɖ hej, az f woćñ unsìn fr an eṇmi. Ɖ nôz bynd grù strongr, bginñ t śec ɖ mǎntnrod, n a vôs cd b clirli hŕd cōlñ ǎt ordrz. Ɖ brigndz sweid n hudld, crsñ n ẃisṗrñ, n ɖ īvnñ-er wz fl v litl mtalic nôzz az ɖe coct ɖer pistlz, or lūsnd ɖer nîvz, or treld ɖer scaḅdz ovr ɖ stonz. Ɖen ɖ nôzz fṛm bʈ qortrz sīmd t mīt on ɖ rod abv; branćz brouc, horsz neid, men craid ǎt.

“A resk!” craid Mscari, sprññ t hiz fīt n wevñ hiz hat; “ɖ gendarmes r on ɖm! Nǎ fr frīdm n a blo fr it! Nǎ t b reblz agnst robrz! Cm, d’nt let s līv evrʈñ t ɖ p’līs; ɖt z so dredf̣li modn. Fōl on ɖ rir v ɖz rufịnz. Ɖ gendarmes r resk wñ s; cm, frendz, let s resk ɖ gendarmes!”

N ʈrowñ hiz hat ovr ɖ triz, h drù hiz cutḷs wns mor n bgan t esc̣led ɖ slǒp p t ɖ rod. Franc Haṛget jumt p n ran acrs t hlp him, rvolvr in hand, bt wz astǎndd t hír himslf impeṛtivli rcōld bî ɖ rōc̣s vôs v hiz faɖr, hu sīmd t b in gret ajteśn.

“I w’nt hv it,” sd ɖ bancr in a ćocñ vôs; “I cmand y nt t inṭfir.”

“Bt, faɖr,” sd Franc vri wormli, “an Itałn jntlmn hz léd ɖ we. Y wd’nt hv it sd ɖt ɖ Ñgliś huñ bac.”

“It z yslis,” sd ɖ oldr man, hu wz tremḅlñ vayḷntli, “it z yslis. W mst sbmit t ǎr lot.”

Faɖr Brǎn lct at ɖ bancr; ɖen h pt hiz hand instñtivli az f on hiz hart, bt riyli on ɖ litl botl v pôzn; n a gret lît cem intu hiz fes lîc ɖ lît v ɖ reṿleśn v deʈ.

Mscari mnẃl, wɖt wêtñ fr s’port, hd crestd ɖ banc p t ɖ rod, n struc ɖ brignd-cñ heṿli on ɖ śoldr, cōzñ him t stagr n swñ rnd. Mntano olso hd hiz cutḷs unśīɖd, n Mscari, wɖt frɖr spīć, snt a slaś at hiz hed ẃć h wz cmpeld t cać n pari. Bt īvn az ɖ tū śort bledz crost n claśt ɖ Cñ v Ʈīvz dlibṛtli dropt hiz pônt n laft.

“Ẃt’s ɖ gd, old man?” h sd in spiṛtd Itałn slañ; “ɖs dámd fars wl sn b ovr.”

“Ẃt d y mīn, y śuflr?” pantd ɖ fîr-ītñ powt. “Z yr curij a śam az wel az yr oṇsti?”

“Evrʈñ abt m z a śam,” rspondd ɖ xcurịr in cmplit gd hymr. “I am an actr; n f I evr hd a prîṿt caṛctr, I hv fgotn it. I am no mor a jenyin brignd ɖn I am a jenyin curịr. I am onli a bundl v mascs, n y c’nt fît a dȳl wɖ ɖt.” N h laft wɖ bôiś pleźr n fél intu hiz old stradlñ attyd, wɖ hiz bac t ɖ scrmiś p ɖ rod.

Darcnis wz dīṗnñ undr ɖ mǎntnwōlz, n it wz nt īzi t dsrn mć v ɖ progres v ɖ strugl, sev ɖt tōl men wr pśñ ɖer horsz’ muzlz ʈru a clññ crǎd v brigndz, hu sīmd mor inclînd t haṛs n husl ɖ invedrz ɖn t cil ɖm. It wz mor lîc a tǎncrǎd privntñ ɖ pasij v ɖ p’līs ɖn enʈñ ɖ powt hd evr picćrd az ɖ last stand v dūmd n ǎtlwd men v blud. Jst az h wz rolñ hiz îz in bwildrmnt h flt a tuć on hiz elbo, n faund ɖ od litl prīst standñ ɖr lîc a smōl Noa wɖ a larj hat, n rqstñ ɖ fevr v a wrd or tū.

“Sińor Mscari,” sd ɖ cleric, “in ɖs qir crîsis prṣnaḷtiz me b pardnd. I me tel y wɖt ofns v a we in ẃć y wl d mor gd ɖn bî hlpñ ɖ gendarmes, hu r baund t brec ʈru in eni ces. Y wl pmit m ɖ imprtinnt intiṃsi, bt d y cer abt ɖt grl? Cer inuf t mari hr n mc hr a gd huzbnd, I mīn?”

“Yes,” sd ɖ powt qt simpli.

“Dz ś cer abt y?”

“I ʈnc so,” wz ɖ īqli grev rplî.

“Ɖen g ovr ɖr n ofr yrslf,” sd ɖ prīst: “ofr hr evrʈñ y cn; ofr hr hevn n rʈ f y’v got ɖm. Ɖ tîm z śort.”

“Ẃ?” asct ɖ astoniśt man v letrz.

“Bcz,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, “hr Dūm z cmñ p ɖ rod.”

“Nʈñ z cmñ p ɖ rod,” argyd Mscari, “xpt ɖ resk.”

“Wel, y g ovr ɖr,” sd hiz advîzr, “n b redi t resk hr fṛm ɖ resk.”

Olmst az h spouc ɖ hejz wr brocn ol alñ ɖ rij bî a ruś v ɖ iscepñ brigndz. Ɖe dîvd intu bśz n ʈic gras lîc dfitd men psyd; n ɖ gret coct hats v ɖ mǎntd gendarmerie wr sìn pasñ alñ abv ɖ brocn hej. Anɖr ordr wz gvn; ɖr wz a nôz v dsmǎntñ, n a tōl ofisr wɖ coct hat, a gre impirịl, n a pepr in hiz hand apird in ɖ gap ɖt wz ɖ get v ɖ Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz. Ɖr wz a momntri sîḷns, brocn in an xtrordnri we bî ɖ bancr, hu craid ǎt in a hōrs n strangld vôs: “Robd! I’v bn robd!”

“Ẃ, ɖt wz aurz ago,” craid hiz sun in astoniśmnt: “ẃn y wr robd v tū ʈǎznd pǎndz.”

“Nt v tū ʈǎznd pǎndz,” sd ɖ fnansịr, wɖ an abrupt n teṛbl cmpoźr, “onli v a smōl botl.”

Ɖ p’līsmn wɖ ɖ gre impirịl wz strîdñ acrs ɖ grīn holo. Incǎnṭrñ ɖ Cñ v ɖ Ʈīvz in hiz paʈ, h clapt him on ɖ śoldr wɖ smʈñ btwn a c’res n a bufit n gev him a pś ɖt snt him staġrñ awe. “Y’l gt intu trubl, tù,” h sd, “f y ple ɖz trics.”

Agn t Mscari’z artistic î it sīmd scersli lîc ɖ capćr v a gret ǎtlw at be. Pasñ on, ɖ p’līsmn hōltd bfr ɖ Haṛget grūp n sd: “Saḿl Haṛget, I arest y in ɖ nem v ɖ lw fr imbezlmnt v ɖ fundz v ɖ Hul n Huḍsfīld Banc.”

Ɖ gret bancr nodd wɖ an od er v biznis-asnt, sīmd t rflect a momnt, n bfr ɖe cd inṭpoz tc a haf trn n a step ɖt bròt him t ɖ éj v ɖ ǎtr mǎntnwōl. Ɖen, flññ p hiz handz, h lept xacli az h lept ǎt v ɖ coć. Bt ɖs tîm h dd nt fōl intu a litl medo jst bnʈ; h fél a ʈǎznd fīt b’lo, t bcm a rec v bonz in ɖ vali.

Ɖ angr v ɖ Itałn p’līsmn, ẃć h xprest vołbli t Faɖr Brǎn, wz larjli mixt wɖ adṃreśn. “It wz lîc him t iscep s at last,” h sd. “H wz a gret brignd f y lîc. Ɖs last tric v hiz I b’liv t b abṣlutli unpresdntd. H fled wɖ ɖ cumṗni’z muni t Iṭli, n acć̣li got himslf capćrd bî śam brigndz in hiz ǒn pe, so az t xplen bʈ ɖ dis’piṛns v ɖ muni n ɖ dis’piṛns v himslf. Ɖt dmand fr ransm wz riyli tecn sirịsli bî most v ɖ p’līs. Bt fr yirz h’z bn dwñ ʈñz az gd az ɖt, qt az gd az ɖt. H wl b a sirịs los t hiz faṃli.”

Mscari wz līdñ awe ɖ unhapi dōtr, hu hld hard t him, az ś dd fr mni a yir aftr. Bt īvn in ɖt trajic rec h cd nt hlp hvñ a smîl n a hand v haf-mocñ frendśp fr ɖ indfnsbl Etsa Mntano. “N ẃr r y gwñ nxt?” h asct him ovr hiz śoldr.

“Brmñm,” ansrd ɖ actr, pufñ a siġrét. “Dd’nt I tel y I wz a Fyć̣rist? I riyli d b’liv in ɖoz ʈñz f I b’liv in enʈñ. Ćenj, busl n ny ʈñz evri mornñ. I am gwñ t Manćestr, Liṿpul, Lìdz, Hul, Huḍsfīld, Glazgo, Ścago – in śort, t inlîtnd, eṇjetic, siṿlîzd ssayti!”

“In śort,” sd Mscari, “t ɖ riyl Paṛdîs v Ʈīvz.”

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

Clasics in Ñspel: THE ABSENCE OF MR GLASS, by G K Chesterton

Ɖ ABSNS OV MR. GLAS

G. C. Ćsttn

Ɖ ­ cnsultñrūmz v Dr. Orayn Hŭd, ɖ eminnt criṃnoḷjist n speṣ́list in srtn moṛl dsordrz, le alñ ɖ sìfrunt at Scarḅra, in a siriz v vri larj n wel-lîtd Frenć windoz, ẃć śoud ɖ Norʈ Sì lîc wn endlis ǎtr wōl v blu-grīn marbl. In sć a ples ɖ sì hd smʈñ v ɖ mnoṭni v a blu-grīn dedo: fr ɖ ćembrz ɖmslvz wr rūld ʈrt bî a teṛbl tîdinis nt unlîc ɖ teṛbl tîdinis v ɖ sì. It mst nt b s’pozd ɖt Dr. Hŭd’z apartmnts xcludd lux̣́ri, or īvn powtri. Ɖz ʈñz wr ɖr, in ɖer ples; bt wn flt ɖt ɖe wr nvr alaud ǎt v ɖer ples. Lux̣́ri wz ɖr: ɖr std upn a speśl tebl et or ten boxz v ɖ bst sgarz; bt ɖe wr bilt upn a plan so ɖt ɖ strongist wr olwz nirist ɖ wōl n ɖ mîldist nirist ɖ windo. A tanṭḷs cntenñ ʈri cndz v spirit, ol v a licŕ x’ḷns, std olwz on ɖs tebl v lux̣́ri; bt ɖ fansifl hv asrtd ɖt ɖ ẃisci, brandi, n rum sīmd olwz t stand at ɖ sem levl. Powtri wz ɖr: ɖ left-hand cornr v ɖ rūm wz lînd wɖ az cmplit a set v Ñgliś clasics az ɖ rît-hand cd śo v Ñgliś n foṛn fizioḷjists. Bt f wn tc a volym v Ćōsr or Śeli fṛm ɖt ranc, its absns iṛtetd ɖ mînd lîc a gap in a man’z frunt tīʈ. Wn cd nt se ɖ bcs wr nvr réd; probbli ɖe wr, bt ɖr wz a sns v ɖer biyñ ćend t ɖer plesz, lîc ɖ Bîblz in ɖ old ćrćz. Dr. Hŭd trītd hiz prîṿt bc-ślf az f it wr a public lîbrri. N f ɖs strict sạ̣ntific intanɉbiḷti stīpt īvn ɖ ślvz lêdn wɖ lirics n baḷdz n ɖ teblz lêdn wɖ drinc n tbaco, it gz wɖt seyñ ɖt yt mor v sć hīɖn holinis pṛtctd ɖ uɖr ślvz ɖt hld ɖ speṣ́list’s lîbrri, n ɖ uɖr teblz ɖt sstend ɖ frel n īvn fẹrilîc instṛmnts v ceṃstri or mcanics.

Dr. Hŭd pêst ɖ leñʈ v hiz strñ v apartmnts, bǎndd – az ɖ bôz’ jiogṛfiz se – on ɖ īst bî ɖ Norʈ Sì n on ɖ wst bî ɖ serid rancs v hiz soṣ́lojicl n criṃnoḷjist lîbrri. H wz clad in an artist’s velvit, bt wɖ nn v an artist’s neglijns; hiz her wz heṿli śot wɖ gre, bt growñ ʈic n hlʈi; hiz fes wz līn, bt sanḡn n xpctnt. Evrʈñ abt him n hiz rūm indcetd smʈñ at wns rijid n restlis, lîc ɖt gret norɖn sì bî ẃć (on pyr prínsiplz v hîjīn) h hd bilt hiz hom.

Fet, biyñ in a funi mūd, pśt ɖ dor opn n intṛdyst intu ɖoz loñ, strict, sì-flanct apartmnts wn hu wz phps ɖ most starṭlñ oṗzit v ɖm n ɖer mastr. In ansr t a crt bt sivl sumnz, ɖ dor opnd inẉdz n ɖr śambld intu ɖ rūm a śeplis litl figr, ẃć sīmd t fînd its ǒn hat n umbrela az unmaniɉbl az a mas v lugij. Ɖ umbrela wz a blac n pṛzêic bundl loñ past rper; ɖ hat wz a brōd-crvd blac hat, clericl bt nt comn in Ñgḷnd; ɖ man wz ɖ vri imbodimnt v ol ɖt z homli n hlplis.

Ɖ doctr rgardd ɖ ny-cmr wɖ a rstrend astoniśmnt, nt unlîc ɖt h wd hv śoun f sm hyj bt obvịsli harmlis sìbīst hd crōld intu hiz rūm. Ɖ ny-cmr rgardd ɖ doctr wɖ ɖt bīmñ bt breʈlis jīniaḷti ẃć caṛcṭrîzz a corpyḷnt ćarwmn hu hz jst manijd t stuf hrslf intu an omnibus. It z a rić cnfyźn v sośl slf-cngrać̣leśn n boḍli dis’re. Hiz hat tumbld t ɖ carpit, hiz hevi umbrela slipt btwn hiz niz wɖ a ʈud; h rīćt aftr ɖ wn n dúct aftr ɖ uɖr, bt wɖ an unimperd smîl on hiz rǎnd fes spouc simlteńsli az foloz:

“Mî nem z Brǎn. Pre xkz m. I’v cm abt ɖt biznis v ɖ McNabz. I hv hŕd y ofn hlp ppl ǎt v sć trublz. Pre xkz m f I am roñ.”

Bî ɖs tîm h hd sprōlñli rcuvrd ɖ hat, n md an od litl bobñ bǎ ovr it, az f setñ evrʈñ qt rît.

“I hardli unḍstand y,” rplaid ɖ sayntist, wɖ a cold intnṣti v manr. “I fir y hv mstecn ɖ ćembrz. I am Dr. Hŭd, n mî wrc z olmst intîrli litrri n edyceśnl. It z tru ɖt I hv smtmz bn cnsultd bî ɖ p’līs in cesz v pkłr dificlti n importns, bt – ”

“Ǒ, ɖs z v ɖ gretist importns,” brouc in ɖ litl man cōld Brǎn. “Ẃ, hr muɖr w’nt let ɖm gt ingejd.” N h līnd bac in hiz ćer in redịnt raṣ́naḷti.

Ɖ brǎz v Dr. Hŭd wr drwn dǎn darcli, bt ɖ îz undr ɖm wr brît wɖ smʈñ ɖt mt b angr or mt b aḿzmnt. “N stl,” h sd, “I d nt qt unḍstand.”

“Y si, ɖe wont t gt marid,” sd ɖ man wɖ ɖ clericl hat. “Magi McNab n yuñ Tódhuntr wont t gt marid. Nǎ, ẃt cn b mor importnt ɖn ɖt?”

Ɖ gret Orayn Hŭd’z sạ̣ntific trîumfs hd dprîvd him v mni ʈñz – sm sd v hiz hlʈ, uɖrz v hiz God; bt ɖe hd nt hoļi dspôld him v hiz sns v ɖ absrd. At ɖ last pli v ɖ injenẏs prīst a ćucl brouc ǎt v him fṛm insd, n h ʈrù himslf intu an armćer in an îronicl attyd v ɖ cnsultñfziśn.

“Mr. Brǎn,” h sd grevli, “it z qt fortīn n a haf yirz sins I wz prsṇli asct t tst a prsnl probḷm: ɖen it wz ɖ ces v an atmt t pôzn ɖ Frenć Prezidnt at a Lord Mẹr’z Banqit. It z nǎ, I unḍstand, a qsćn v ẃɖr sm frend v yrz cōld Magi z a sūṭbl fiãsé fr sm frend v hrz cōld Tódhuntr. Wel, Mr. Brǎn, I am a sportsmn. I wl tec it on. I wl gv ɖ McNab faṃli mî bst advîs, az gd az I gev ɖ Frenć Rpublic n ɖ Cñ v Ñgḷnd – no, betr: fortīn yirz betr. I hv nʈñ els t d ɖs afṭnun. Tel m yr stori.”

Ɖ litl clrjimn cōld Brǎn ʈanct him wɖ unqsćṇbl wormʈ, bt stl wɖ a qir cnd v simpliṣti. It wz rɖr az f h wr ʈancñ a strenjr in a smocñrūm fr sm trubl in pasñ ɖ maćz, ɖn az f h wr (az h wz) practicli ʈancñ ɖ Kretr v Cỳ Gardnz fr cmñ wɖ him intu a fīld t fînd a for-līft clovr. Wɖ scersli a semi-colon aftr hiz harti ʈancs, ɖ litl man bgan hiz rsîtl:

“I tld y mî nem wz Brǎn; wel, ɖt’s ɖ fact, n I’m ɖ prīst v ɖ litl Caʈ̇lic Ćrć I der se y’v sìn bynd ɖoz stragli strīts, ẃr ɖ tǎn endz twdz ɖ norʈ. In ɖ last n stragliist v ɖoz strīts ẃć runz alñ ɖ sì lîc a sìwōl ɖr z a vri onist bt rɖr śarp-tmprd membr v mî floc, a wido cōld McNab. Ś hz wn dōtr, n ś lets lojñz, n btwn hr n ɖ dōtr, n btwn hr n ɖ lojrz – wel, I der se ɖr z a gret dīl t b sd on bʈ sîdz. At preznt ś hz onli wn lojr, ɖ yuñ man cōld Tódhuntr; bt h hz gvn mor trubl ɖn ol ɖ rest, fr h wonts t mari ɖ yuñ wmn v ɖ hǎs.”

“N ɖ yuñ wmn v ɖ hǎs,” asct Dr. Hŭd, wɖ hyj n sîḷnt aḿzmnt, “ẃt dz ś wont?”

“Ẃ, ś wonts t mari him,” craid Faɖr Brǎn, sitñ p īgrli. “Ɖt z jst ɖ ōfl compḷceśn.”

“It z indd a hidịs inigma,” sd Dr. Hŭd.

“Ɖs yuñ Jemz Tódhuntr,” cntinyd ɖ cleric, “z a vri dīsnt man so far az I nǒ; bt ɖen nbdi nz vri mć. H z a brît, brǎniś litl felo, ajîl lîc a munci, clīn-śevn lîc an actr, n oblîjñ lîc a born cortịr. H sīmz t hv qt a pocitfl v muni, bt nbdi nz ẃt hiz tred z. Msz McNab, ɖrfr (biyñ v a peṣmistic trn), z qt śr it z smʈñ dredfl, n probbli cnctd wɖ dîṇmît. Ɖ dîṇmît mst b v a śî n nôzlis sort, fr ɖ pur felo onli śuts himslf p fr sevṛl aurz v ɖ de n studiz smʈñ bhnd a loct dor. H dclerz hiz priṿsi z tmprri n jusṭfaid, n proṃsz t xplen bfr ɖ wedñ. Ɖt z ol ɖt enwn nz fr srtn, bt Msz McNab wl tel y a gret dīl mor ɖn īvn ś z srtn v. Y nǒ hǎ ɖ têlz gro lîc gras on sć a pać v ignṛns az ɖt. Ɖr r têlz v tū vôsz hŕd tōcñ in ɖ rūm; ɖo, ẃn ɖ dor z opnd, Tódhuntr z olwz faund alon. Ɖr r têlz v a mstirịs tōl man in a silc hat, hu wns cem ǎt v ɖ sìmists n apaṛntli ǎt v ɖ sì, stepñ softli acrs ɖ sandi fīldz n ʈru ɖ smōl bacgardn at twîlît, tl h wz hŕd tōcñ t ɖ lojr at hiz opn windo. Ɖ coḷqi sīmd t end in a qoṛl. Tódhuntr daśt dǎn hiz windo wɖ vayḷns, n ɖ man in ɖ hî hat mltd intu ɖ sìfog agn. Ɖs stori z tld bî ɖ faṃli wɖ ɖ firsist mistif̣ceśn; bt I riyli ʈnc Msz McNab prifŕz hr ǒn orijinl têl: ɖt ɖ Uɖr Man (or ẃtvr it z) crōlz ǎt evri nît fṛm ɖ big box in ɖ cornr, ẃć z cept loct ol de. Y si, ɖrfr, hǎ ɖs sìld dor v Tódhuntr’z z trītd az ɖ get v ol ɖ fansiz n mnstroṣtiz v ɖ ‘Ʈǎznd n Wn Nîts’. N yt ɖr z ɖ litl felo in hiz rspctbl blac jacit, az puñćl n iṇsnt az a parlrcloc. H pez hiz rent t ɖ tic; h z practicli a tītotḷr; h z tîrlisli cînd wɖ ɖ yungr ćildṛn, n cn cīp ɖm aḿzd fr a de on end; n, last n most rjnt v ol, h hz md himslf īqli popylr wɖ ɖ eldist dōtr, hu z redi t g t ćrć wɖ him tmoro.”

A man wormli cnsrnd wɖ eni larj ʈiriz hz olwz a reliś fr aplayñ ɖm t eni triviaḷti. Ɖ gret speṣ́list hvñ condisndd t ɖ prīst’s simpliṣti, condisndd xpansivli. H setld himslf wɖ cumf̣t in hiz armćer n bgan t tōc in ɖ ton v a smẃt absnt-mîndd lecćrr:

“Īvn in a mînyt instns, it z bst t lc frst t ɖ mn tndnsiz v Nećr. A ptiklr flǎr me nt b ded in rli wintr, bt ɖ flǎrz r dayñ; a ptiklr pebl me nvr b wetd wɖ ɖ tîd, bt ɖ tîd z cmñ in. T ɖ sạ̣ntific î ol hymn hisṭri z a siriz v c’lectiv muvmnts, dstrux́nz or mîgreśnz, lîc ɖ maṣcr v flîz in wintr or ɖ rtrn v brdz in sprñ. Nǎ ɖ rūtfact in ol hisṭri z Res. Res pṛdysz rlijn; Res pṛdysz līgl n eʈicl worz. Ɖr z no strongr ces ɖn ɖt v ɖ wîld, unwrldli n peṛśñ stoc ẃć w comnli cōl ɖ Celts, v hūm yr frendz ɖ McNabz r spesimnz. Smōl, sworɖi, n v ɖs drīmi n driftñ blud, ɖe axpt īẓli ɖ sūṗstiśs xpḷneśn v eni insidnts, jst az ɖe stl axpt (y wl xkz m fr seyñ) ɖt sūṗstiśs xpḷneśn v ol insidnts ẃć y n yr Ćrć repriznt. It z nt rmarcbl ɖt sć ppl, wɖ ɖ sì monñ bhnd ɖm n ɖ Ćrć (xkz m agn) dronñ in frunt v ɖm, śd pt fntastic fīćrz intu ẃt r probbli plen ivnts. Y, wɖ yr smōl p’rocịl rsponsbiḷtiz, si onli ɖs ptiklr Msz McNab, teṛfaid wɖ ɖs ptiklr têl v tū vôsz n a tōl man ǎt v ɖ sì. Bt ɖ man wɖ ɖ sạ̣ntific imaɉneśn siz, az it wr, ɖ hol clanz v McNab scatrd ovr ɖ hol wrld, in its ultiṃt aṿrij az yṇform az a trîb v brdz. H siz ʈǎzndz v Msz McNabz, in ʈǎzndz v hǎzz, dropñ ɖer litl drop v morbidti in ɖ tīcups v ɖer frendz; h siz – ”

Bfr ɖ sayntist cd cnclud hiz sntns, anɖr n mor impeśnt sumnz sǎndd fṛm wɖt; smwn wɖ swiśñ scrts wz marśld huridli dǎn ɖ coṛdor, n ɖ dor opnd on a yuñ grl, dīsntli drest bt dsordrd n red-hot wɖ hest. Ś hd sì-bloun blond her, n wd hv bn intîrli bytifl f hr ćīcbonz hd nt bn, in ɖ Scoć manr, a litl hî in rlif az wel az in culr. Hr apoḷji wz olmst az abrupt az a cmand.

“I’m sori t inṭrupt y, sr,” ś sd, “bt I hd t folo Faɖr Brǎn at wns; it’s nʈñ les ɖn lîf or deʈ.”

Faɖr Brǎn bgan t gt t hiz fīt in sm dsordr. “Ẃ, ẃt hz hapnd, Magi?” h sd.

“Jemz hz bn mrdrd, fr ol I cn mc ǎt,” ansrd ɖ grl, stl briɖñ hard fṛm hr ruś. “Ɖt man Glas hz bn wɖ him agn; I hŕd ɖm tōcñ ʈru ɖ dor qt plen. Tū sepṛt vôsz: fr Jemz spīcs lo, wɖ a br, n ɖ uɖr vôs wz hî n qeṿri.”

“Ɖt man Glas?” rpitd ɖ prīst in sm pplex̣ti.

“I nǒ hiz nem z Glas,” ansrd ɖ grl, in gret impeśns. “I hŕd it ʈru ɖ dor. Ɖe wr qoṛlñ – abt muni, I ʈnc – fr I hŕd Jemz se agn n agn, ‘Ɖt’s rît, Mr. Glas,’ or ‘No, Mr. Glas,’ n ɖen, ‘Tū or ʈri, Mr. Glas.’ Bt w’r tōcñ tù mć; y mst cm at wns, n ɖr me b tîm yt.”

“Bt tîm fr ẃt?” asct Dr. Hŭd, hu hd bn studiyñ ɖ yuñ ledi wɖ marct inṭrest. “Ẃt z ɖr abt Mr. Glas n hiz munitrublz ɖt śd impel sć rjnsi?”

“I traid t brec dǎn ɖ dor n cd’nt,” ansrd ɖ grl śortli, “Ɖen I ran t ɖ bacyard, n manijd t clîm on t ɖ windosil ɖt lcs intu ɖ rūm. It wz ol dim, n sīmd t b emti, bt I swer I sw Jemz layñ hudld p in a cornr, az f h wr drugd or strangld.”

“Ɖs z vri sirịs,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, gaɖ̇rñ hiz eṛnt hat n umbrela n standñ p; “in pônt v fact I wz jst ptñ yr ces bfr ɖs jntlmn, n hiz vy – ”

“Hz bn larjli oltrd,” sd ɖ sayntist grevli. “I d nt ʈnc ɖs yuñ ledi z so Cltic az I hd s’pozd. Az I hv nʈñ els t d, I wl pt on mî hat n strol dǎn tǎn wɖ y.”

In a fy minits ol ʈri wr aproćñ ɖ driri teil v ɖ McNabz’ strīt: ɖ grl wɖ ɖ strn n breʈlis strîd v ɖ mǎnṭnir, ɖ criṃnoḷjist wɖ a lǎnjñ gres (ẃć wz nt wɖt a srtn leṗdlîc swiftnis), n ɖ prīst at an eṇjetic trot intîrli dvôd v dstñśn. Ɖ aspect v ɖs éj v ɖ tǎn wz nt intîrli wɖt justif̣ceśn fr ɖ doctr’z hints abt dezḷt mūdz n invîrnmnts. Ɖ scatrd hǎzz std farɖr n farɖr apart in a brocn strñ alñ ɖ sìśor; ɖ afṭnun wz clozñ wɖ a preṃtyr n partli lŭrid twîlît; ɖ sì wz v an ñci prpl n mrṃrñ omiṇsli. In ɖ scrapi bacgardn v ɖ McNabz ẃć ran dǎn twdz ɖ sand, tū blac, baṛn-lcñ triz std p lîc dīmnhandz hld p in astoniśmnt, n az Msz McNab ran dǎn ɖ strīt t mīt ɖm wɖ līn handz similrli spred, n hr firs fes in śado, ś wz a litl lîc a dīmn hrslf. Ɖ doctr n ɖ prīst md scant rplî t hr śril riiṭreśnz v hr dōtr’z stori, wɖ mor dstrbñ dītelz v hr ǒn, t ɖ dvîdd vǎz v vnjns agnst Mr. Glas fr mrḍrñ, n agnst Mr. Tódhuntr fr biyñ mrdrd, or agnst ɖ latr fr hvñ derd t wont t mari hr dōtr, n fr nt hvñ livd t d it. Ɖe pást ʈru ɖ naro pasij in ɖ frunt v ɖ hǎs untl ɖe cem t ɖ lojr’z dor at ɖ bac, n ɖr Dr. Hŭd, wɖ ɖ tric v an old dtctiv, pt hiz śoldr śarpli t ɖ panl n brst in ɖ dor.

It opnd on a sīn v sîḷnt ctastṛfi. Nwn siyñ it, īvn fr a flaś, cd dǎt ɖt ɖ rūm hd bn ɖ ʈiytr v sm ʈrilñ c’liźn btwn tū, or phps mor, prsnz. Pleyñcardz le litrd acrs ɖ tebl or flutrd abt ɖ flor az f a gem hd bn inṭruptd. Tū wînglasz std redi fr wîn on a sîdtebl, bt a ʈrd le smaśt in a star v cristl upn ɖ carpit. A fy fīt fṛm it le ẃt lct lîc a loñ nîf or śort sord, stret, bt wɖ an orṇmntl n picćrd handl, its dul bled jst còt a gre glint fṛm ɖ driri windo bhnd, ẃć śoud ɖ blac triz agnst ɖ ledn levl v ɖ sì. Twdz ɖ oṗzit cornr v ɖ rūm wz rold a jntlmn’z silc top hat, az f it hd jst bn noct of hiz hed; so mć so, indd, ɖt wn olmst lct t si it stl rolñ. N in ɖ cornr bhnd it, ʈroun lîc a sác v ptetoz, bt cordd lîc a relwe trunc, le Mr. Jemz Tódhuntr, wɖ a scarf acrs hiz mǎʈ, n six or sevn rops nótd rnd hiz elboz n anclz. Hiz brǎn îz wr alîv n śiftd alrtli.

Dr. Orayn Hŭd pōzd fr wn instnt on ɖ dormat n dranc in ɖ hol sīn v vôslis vayḷns. Ɖen h stept swiftli acrs ɖ carpit, pict p ɖ tōl silc hat, n grevli pt it upn ɖ hed v ɖ yt pińnd Tódhuntr. It wz so mć tù larj fr him ɖt it olmst slipt dǎn on t hiz śoldrz.

“Mr. Glas’z hat,” sd ɖ doctr, rtrnñ wɖ it n pirñ intu ɖ insîd wɖ a pocit-lnz. “Hǎ t xplen ɖ absns v Mr. Glas n ɖ prezns v Mr. Glas’z hat? Fr Mr. Glas z nt a cerlis man wɖ hiz cloɖz. Ɖt hat z v a stîliś śep n sistmaticli bruśt n brniśt, ɖo nt vri ny. An old dandi, I śd ʈnc.”

“Bt, gd hevnz!” cōld ǎt Mis McNab, “r’nt y gwñ t untî ɖ man frst?”

“I se ‘old’ wɖ intnśn, ɖo nt wɖ srtnti” cntinyd ɖ xpozitr; “mî rīzn fr it mt sīm a litl far-fećt. Ɖ her v hymn biyñz fōlz ǎt in vri vẹriyñ dgriz, bt olmst olwz fōlz ǎt slîtli, n wɖ ɖ lnz I śd si ɖ tîni herz in a hat rīsntli wòrn. It hz nn, ẃć līdz m t ges ɖt Mr. Glas z bàld. Nǎ ẃn ɖs z tecn wɖ ɖ hî-pićt n qeryḷs vôs ẃć Mis McNab dscrîbd so vividli (peśns, mî dir ledi, peśns), ẃn w tec ɖ herlis hed tgɖr wɖ ɖ ton comn in sīnîl angr, I śd ʈnc w me ddys sm advans in yirz. Nvɖles, h wz probbli vigṛs, n h wz olmst srtnli tōl. I mt rlî in sm dgri on ɖ stori v hiz prīvịs apiṛns at ɖ windo, az a tōl man in a silc hat, bt I ʈnc I hv mor xact indceśn. Ɖs wînglas hz bn smaśt ol ovr ɖ ples, bt wn v its splintrz lîz on ɖ hî bracit bsd ɖ mantlpìs. No sć fragmnt cd hv fōḷn ɖr f ɖ vesl hd bn smaśt in ɖ hand v a cmpaṛtivli śort man lîc Mr. Tódhuntr.”

“Bî ɖ we,” sd Faɖr Brǎn, “mt it nt b az wel t untî Mr. Tódhuntr?”

“Ǎr lésn fṛm ɖ drincñveslz dz nt end hir,” pṛsidd ɖ speṣ́list. “I me se at wns ɖt it z poṣbl ɖt ɖ man Glas wz bàld or nrṿs ʈru diṣpeśn rɖr ɖn ej. Mr. Tódhuntr, az hz bn rmarct, z a qayt ʈrifti jntlmn, isnṣ́li an abstenr. Ɖz cardz n wîncups r no part v hiz norml habit; ɖe hv bn pṛdyst fr a ptiklr cmpańn. Bt, az it hapnz, w me g farɖr. Mr. Tódhuntr me or me nt pzes ɖs wînsrvis, bt ɖr z no apiṛns v hiz pzesñ eni wîn. Ẃt, ɖen, wr ɖz veslz t cnten? I wd at wns sjst sm brandi or ẃisci, phps v a l’x́urịs sort, fṛm a flasc in ɖ pocit v Mr. Glas. W hv ɖus smʈñ lîc a picćr v ɖ man, or at līst v ɖ tîp: tōl, eldrli, faśṇbl, bt smẃt freid, srtnli fond v ple n stroñ wōtrz, phps rɖr tù fond v ɖm. Mr. Glas z a jntlmn nt uņoun on ɖ frinjz v ssayti.”

“Lc hir,” craid ɖ yuñ wmn, “f y d’nt let m pas t untî him I’l run ǎtsd n scrīm fr ɖ p’līs.”

“I śd nt advîz y, Mis McNab,” sd Dr. Hŭd grevli, “t b in eni huri t feć ɖ p’līs. Faɖr Brǎn, I sirịsli asc y t cmpoz yr floc, fr ɖer secs, nt fr mîn. Wel, w hv sìn smʈñ v ɖ figr n qoḷti v Mr. Glas; ẃt r ɖ ćīf facts noun v Mr. Tódhuntr? Ɖe r sbstanṣ́li ʈri: ɖt h z ic̣nomicl, ɖt h z mor or les wlʈi, n ɖt h hz a sīcrit. Nǎ, śrli it z obvịs ɖt ɖr r ɖ ʈri ćīf marcs v ɖ cnd v man hu z blacmeild. N śrli it z īqli obvịs ɖt ɖ fedd fîṇri, ɖ profliġt habits, n ɖ śril iṛteśn v Mr. Glas r ɖ unmistecbl marcs v ɖ cnd v man hu blacmeilz him. W hv ɖ tū tipicl figrz v a traɉdi v huśmuni: on ɖ wn hand, ɖ rspctbl man wɖ a misṭri; on ɖ uɖr, ɖ Wst-end vulćr wɖ a sént fr a misṭri. Ɖz tū men hv met hir tde n hv qoṛld, yzñ bloz n a bér wepn.”

“R y gwñ t tec ɖoz rops of?” asct ɖ grl stubnli.

Dr. Hŭd rplest ɖ silc hat cerf̣li on ɖ sîdtebl, n wnt acrs t ɖ captiv. H studid him intntli, īvn muvñ him a litl n haf-trnñ him rnd bî ɖ śoldrz, bt h onli ansrd:

“No; I ʈnc ɖz rops wl d vri wel tl yr frendz ɖ p’līs brñ ɖ hancufs.”

Faɖr Brǎn, hu hd bn lcñ duļi at ɖ carpit, liftd hiz rǎnd fes n sd: “Ẃt d y mīn?”

Ɖ man v sayns hd pict p ɖ pkłr dagrsord fṛm ɖ carpit n wz xaṃnñ it intntli az h ansrd:

“Bcz y fînd Mr. Tódhuntr taid p,” h sd, “y ol jump t ɖ cncluźn ɖt Mr. Glas hd taid him p; n ɖen, I s’poz, iscept. Ɖr r for objx́nz t ɖs: Frst, ẃ śd a jntlmn so dresi az ǎr frend Glas līv hiz hat bhnd him, f h left v hiz ǒn fri wl? Secnd,” h cntinyd, muvñ twdz ɖ windo, “ɖs z ɖ onli xit, n it z loct on ɖ insîd. Ʈrd, ɖs bled hir hz a tîni tuć v blud at ɖ pônt, bt ɖr z no wūnd on Mr. Tódhuntr. Mr. Glas tc ɖt wūnd awe wɖ him, ded or alîv. Ad t ol ɖs prîṃri probbiḷti. It z mć mor lîcli ɖt ɖ blacmeild prsn wd trî t cil hiz inkbs, rɖr ɖn ɖt ɖ blacmeilr wd trî t cil ɖ gūs ɖt lez hiz goldn eg. Ɖr, I ʈnc, w hv a priti cmplit stori.”

“Bt ɖ rops?” inqîrd ɖ prīst, huz îz hd rmend opn wɖ a rɖr vecnt adṃreśn.

“Ā, ɖ rops,” sd ɖ xprt wɖ a snğlr inṭneśn. “Mis McNab vri mć wontd t nǒ ẃ I dd nt set Mr. Tódhuntr fri fṛm hiz rops. Wel, I wl tel hr. I dd nt d it bcz Mr. Tódhuntr cn set himslf fri fṛm ɖm at eni minit h ćuzz.”

“Ẃt?” craid ɖ ōdịns on qt difṛnt nots v astoniśmnt.

“I hv lct at ol ɖ nóts on Mr. Tódhuntr,” riiṭretd Hŭd qaytli. “I hapn t nǒ smʈñ abt nóts; ɖe r qt a branć v criminl sayns. Evrwn v ɖoz nóts h hz md himslf n cd lūsn himslf; nt wn v ɖm wd hv bn md bî an eṇmi riyli trayñ t pińn him. Ɖ hol v ɖs afer v ɖ rops z a clevr fec, t mc s ʈnc him ɖ victim v ɖ strugl instd v ɖ rećid Glas, huz corps me b hidn in ɖ gardn or stuft p ɖ ćimni.”

Ɖr wz a rɖr dprest sîḷns; ɖ rūm wz darc̣nñ, ɖ sì-blîtd bauz v ɖ gardn triz lct līnr n blacr ɖn evr, yt ɖe sīmd t hv cm nirr t ɖ windo. Wn cd olmst fansi ɖe wr sìmonstrz lîc crecnz or cutlfiś, rîɖñ polipi hu hd crōld p fṛm ɖ sì t si ɖ end v ɖs traɉdi, īvn az h, ɖ viḷn n victim v it, ɖ teṛbl man in ɖ tōl hat, hd wns crōld p fṛm ɖ sì. Fr ɖ hol er wz dns wɖ ɖ morbidti v blacmeil, ẃć z ɖ most morbid v hymn ʈñz, bcz it z a crîm cnsilñ a crîm; a blac plastr on a blacr wūnd.

Ɖ fes v ɖ litl Caʈ̇lic prīst, ẃć wz comnli cmplesnt n īvn comic, hd sudnli bcm nótd wɖ a krịs frǎn. It wz nt ɖ blanc krioṣti v hiz frst iṇsns. It wz rɖr ɖt crietiv krioṣti ẃć cmz ẃn a man hz ɖ bginñz v an îdīa. “Se it agn, plīz,” h sd in a simpl, boɖrd manr; “d y mīn ɖt Tódhuntr cn tî himslf p ol alon n untî himslf ol alon?”

“Ɖt z ẃt I mīn,” sd ɖ doctr.

“Jrūsḷm!” ijakletd Brǎn sudnli, “I wundr f it cd poṣbli b ɖt!”

H scutld acrs ɖ rūm rɖr lîc a rabit, n pīrd wɖ qt a ny impulsivnis intu ɖ parṣ́li-cuvrd fes v ɖ captiv. Ɖen h trnd hiz ǒn rɖr faćs fes t ɖ cumṗni. “Yes, ɖt’s it!” h craid in a srtn xîtmnt. “C’nt y si it in ɖ man’z fes? Ẃ, lc at hiz îz!”

Bʈ ɖ Pṛfesr n ɖ grl foloud ɖ d’rex́n v hiz glans. N ɖo ɖ brōd blac scarf cmplitli masct ɖ lowr haf v Tódhuntr’z vizij, ɖe dd gro conśs v smʈñ struġlñ n intns abt ɖ upr part v it.

“Hiz îz d lc qir,” craid ɖ yuñ wmn, stroñli muvd. “Y brūts; I b’liv it’s hrtñ him!”

“Nt ɖt, I ʈnc,” sd Dr. Hŭd; “ɖ îz hv srtnli a snğlr xpreśn. Bt I śd intrprit ɖoz tranzvrs rinclz az xpresñ rɖr sć slît sîc̣lojicl abnormaḷti – ”

“Ǒ, boś!” craid Faɖr Brǎn: “c’nt y si h’z lafñ?”

“Lafñ!” rpitd ɖ doctr, wɖ a start; “bt ẃt on rʈ cn h b lafñ at?”

“Wel,” rplaid ɖ Revṛnd Brǎn apoḷjeticli, “nt t pt tù fîn a pônt on it, I ʈnc h z lafñ at y. N indd, I’m a litl inclînd t laf at mslf, nǎ I nǒ abt it.”

“Nǎ y nǒ abt ẃt?” asct Hŭd, in sm xasṗreśn.

“Nǎ I nǒ,” rplaid ɖ prīst, “ɖ pṛfeśn v Mr. Tódhuntr.”

H śufld abt ɖ rūm, lcñ at wn objict aftr anɖr wɖ ẃt sīmd t b a vecnt stér, n ɖen inverịbli brstñ intu an īqli vecnt laf, a hîli iṛtetñ proses fr ɖoz hu hd t woć it. H laft vri mć ovr ɖ hat, stl mor uprorịsli ovr ɖ brocn glas, bt ɖ blud on ɖ sordpônt snt him intu mortl cnvulśnz v aḿzmnt. Ɖen h trnd t ɖ fymñ speṣ́list.

“Dr. Hŭd,” h craid inʈyziasticli, “y r a gret powt! Y hv cōld an uncrietd biyñ ǎt v ɖ vôd. Hǎ mć mor godlîc ɖt z ɖn f y hd onli feṛtd ǎt ɖ mir facts! Indd, ɖ mir facts r rɖr comnples n comic bî cmparisn.”

“I hv no nośn ẃt y r tōcñ abt,” sd Dr. Hŭd rɖr hōṭli; “mî facts r ol inevitbl, ɖo nesseṛli incmplit. A ples me b pmitd t intyiśn, phps (or powtri f y prifŕ ɖ trm), bt onli bcz ɖ corispondñ dītelz canot az yt b aṣtend. In ɖ absns v Mr. Glas – ”

“Ɖt’s it, ɖt’s it,” sd ɖ litl prīst, nodñ qt īgrli, “ɖt’s ɖ frst îdīa t gt fixt; ɖ absns v Mr. Glas. H z so xtrimli absnt. I s’poz,” h add rflectivli, “ɖt ɖr wz nvr enbdi so absnt az Mr. Glas.”

“D y mīn h z absnt fṛm ɖ tǎn?” dmandd ɖ doctr.

“I mīn h z absnt fṛm evrẃr,” ansrd Faɖr Brǎn; “h z absnt fṛm ɖ Nećr v Ʈñz, so t spīc.”

“D y sirịsli mīn,” sd ɖ speṣ́list wɖ a smîl, “ɖt ɖr z no sć prsn?”

Ɖ prīst md a sîn v asnt. “It dz sīm a piti,” h sd.

Orayn Hŭd brouc intu a cntmćs laf. “Wel,” h sd, “bfr w g on t ɖ hundṛd n wn uɖr evidnsz, let s tec ɖ frst prūf w faund; ɖ frst fact w fél ovr ẃn w fél intu ɖs rūm. F ɖr z no Mr. Glas, huz hat z ɖs?”

“It z Mr. Tódhuntr’z,” rplaid Faɖr Brǎn.

“Bt it dz’nt fit him,” craid Hŭd impeśntli. “H cd’nt poṣbli wer it!”

Faɖr Brǎn śc hiz hed wɖ inef̣bl mîldnis. “I nvr sd h cd wer it,” h ansrd. “I sd it wz hiz hat. Or, f y insist on a śêd v difṛns, a hat ɖt z hiz.”

“N ẃt z ɖ śêd v difṛns?” asct ɖ criṃnoḷjist wɖ a slît snir.

“Mî gd sr,” craid ɖ mîld litl man, wɖ hiz frst muvmnt acin t impeśns, “f y wl wōc dǎn ɖ strīt t ɖ nirist hatr’z śop, y wl si ɖt ɖr z, in comn spīć, a difṛns btwn a man’z hat n ɖ hats ɖt r hiz.”

“Bt a hatr,” pṛtstd Hŭd, “cn gt muni ǎt v hiz stoc v ny hats. Ẃt cd Tódhuntr gt ǎt v ɖs wn old hat?”

“Rabits,” rplaid Faɖr Brǎn promtli.

“Ẃt?” craid Dr. Hŭd.

“Rabits, ribnz, swītmìts, goldfiś, rolz v culrd pepr,” sd ɖ revṛnd jntlmn wɖ r’pidti. “Dd’nt y si it ol ẃn y faund ǎt ɖ fect rops? It’s jst ɖ sem wɖ ɖ sord. Mr. Tódhuntr hz’nt got a scrać on him, az y se; bt h’z got a scrać in him, f y folo m.”

“D y mīn insd Mr. Tódhuntr’z cloɖz?” inqîrd Msz McNab strnli.

“I d nt mīn insd Mr. Tódhuntr’z cloɖz,” sd Faɖr Brǎn. “I mīn insd Mr. Tódhuntr.”

“Wel, ẃt in ɖ nem v Bedḷm d y mīn?”

“Mr. Tódhuntr,” xplend Faɖr Brǎn plasidli, “z lrnñ t b a pṛfeśnl cunjrr, az wel az juglr, ventriḷqist, n xprt in ɖ roptric. Ɖ cunɉrñ xplenz ɖ hat. It z wɖt tresz v her, nt bcz it z wòrn bî ɖ preṃtyrli bàld Mr. Glas, bt bcz it hz nvr bn wòrn bî enbdi. Ɖ juġlñ xplenz ɖ ʈri glasz, ẃć Tódhuntr wz tīćñ himslf t ʈro p n cać in r’teśn. Bt, biyñ onli at ɖ stej v practis, h smaśt wn glas agnst ɖ sīlñ. N ɖ juġlñ olso xplenz ɖ sord, ẃć it wz Mr. Tódhuntr’z pṛfeśnl prîd n dyti t swolo. Bt, agn, biyñ at ɖ stej v practis, h vri slîtli grezd ɖ insîd v hiz ʈrot wɖ ɖ wepn. Hns h hz a wūnd insd him, ẃć I am śr (fṛm ɖ xpreśn on hiz fes) z nt a sirịs wn. H wz olso pracṭsñ ɖ tric v a rlis fṛm rops, lîc ɖ Davnport Bruɖrz, n h wz jst abt t fri himslf ẃn w ol brst intu ɖ rūm. Ɖ cardz, v cors, r fr card trics, n ɖe r scatrd on ɖ flor bcz h hd jst bn pracṭsñ wn v ɖoz dojz v sndñ ɖm flayñ ʈru ɖ er. H mirli cept hiz tred sīcrit, bcz h hd t cīp hiz trics sīcrit, lîc eni uɖr cunjrr. Bt ɖ mir fact v an îdlr in a top hat hvñ wns lct in at hiz bacwindo, n bn drivn awe bî him wɖ gret inḍgneśn, wz inuf t set s ol on a roñ trac v romans, n mc s imajin hiz hol lîf oṿśadoud bî ɖ silc-hatd spectr v Mr. Glas.”

“Bt ẃt abt ɖ tū vôsz?” asct Magi, stẹrñ.

“Hv y nvr hŕd a ventriḷqist?” asct Faɖr Brǎn. “D’nt y nǒ ɖe spīc frst in ɖer naćṛl vôs, n ɖen ansr ɖmslvz in jst ɖt śril, sqīci, uņaćṛl vôs ɖt y hŕd?”

Ɖr wz a loñ sîḷns, n Dr. Hŭd rgardd ɖ litl man hu hd spocn wɖ a darc n atntiv smîl. “Y r srtnli a vri injīńs prsn,” h sd; “it cd nt hv bn dn betr in a bc. Bt ɖr z jst wn part v Mr. Glas y hv nt s’xidd in xplenñ awe, n ɖt z hiz nem. Mis McNab dstñtli hŕd him so adrest bî Mr. Tódhuntr.”

Ɖ Rév. Mr. Brǎn brouc intu a rɖr ćîldiś gigl. “Wel, ɖt,” h sd, “ɖt’s ɖ siliist part v ɖ hol sili stori. Ẃn ǎr juġlñ frend hir ʈrù p ɖ ʈri glasz in trn, h cǎntd ɖm alǎd az h còt ɖm, n olso comntd alǎd ẃn h feld t cać ɖm. Ẃt h riyli sd wz: ‘Wn, tū n ʈri – míst a glas wn, tū – míst a glas.’ N so on.”

Ɖr wz a secnd v stilnis in ɖ rūm, n ɖen evrwn wɖ wn acord brst ǎt lafñ. Az ɖe dd so ɖ figr in ɖ cornr cmplesntli uncôld ol ɖ rops n let ɖm fōl wɖ a fluriś. Ɖen, advansñ intu ɖ midl v ɖ rūm wɖ a bǎ, h pṛdyst fṛm hiz pocit a big bil printd in blu n red, ẃć anǎnst ɖt Z’LADIN, ɖ Wrld’z Gretist Cunjrr, Cntorśnist, Ventriḷqist n Hymn Canġru wd b redi wɖ an intîrli ny siriz v Trics at ɖ Empîr Pviłn, Scarḅra, on Munde nxt at et o’cloc prisîsli.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

Clasics in Ñspel: THE GARDEN-PARTY AND OTHER STORIES, by K Mansfield

___

Contents

 

At ɖ BeƉ GardnpartiƉ Dōtrz ov ɖ Lêt CrnlMr. n Msz. DuvƉ Yuñ GrlLîf ov Ma ParcrMarij à la ModeƉ VôijMis BrillHr Frst BōlƉ Sññ LésnƉ StrenjrBanchoḷdeAn Îdiyl FaṃliƉ Ledi’z Meid

___

Ɖ Gardnparti

N  aftr ol ɖ weɖr wz îdiyl. Ɖe cd nt hv hd a mor prfict de fr a gardnparti f ɖe hd ordrd it. Windlis, worm, ɖ scî wɖt a clǎd. Onli ɖ blu wz veild wɖ a hêz v lît gold, az it z smtmz in rli sumr. Ɖ gardnr hd bn p sins dōn, mowñ ɖ lōnz n swīpñ ɖm, untl ɖ gras n ɖ darc flat r’zéts ẃr ɖ deiziplants hd bn sīmd t śîn. Az fr ɖ rozz, y cd nt hlp fīlñ ɖe unḍstd ɖt rozz r ɖ onli flǎrz ɖt impres ppl at gardnpartiz; ɖ onli flǎrz ɖt evrbdi z srtn v nwñ. Hundṛdz, yes, litṛli hundṛdz, hd cm ǎt in a sngl nît; ɖ grīn bśz baud dǎn az ɖo ɖe hd bn viẓtd bî arcenjlz.

Brecfst wz nt yt ovr bfr ɖ men cem t pt p ɖ marcī.

“Ẃr d y wont ɖ marcī pt, muɖr?”

“Mî dir ćîld, it’s no ys ascñ m. I’m dtrmind t līv evrʈñ t y ćildṛn ɖs yir. Fget I am yr muɖr. Trīt m az an onrd gest.”

Bt Meg cd nt poṣbli g n sūṗvîz ɖ men. Ś hd wośt hr her bfr brecfst, n ś sat drincñ hr cofi in a grīn trbn, wɖ a darc wet crl stamt on ć ćīc. Jozi, ɖ buṭflî, olwz cem dǎn in a silc peticot n a cimonojacit.

“Y’l hv t g, Lora; y’r ɖ artistic wn.”

Awe Lora flù, stl holdñ hr pìs v bred-n-butr. It’s so dliśs t hv an xks fr ītñ ǎt v dorz, n bsdz, ś luvd hvñ t arenj ʈñz; ś olwz flt ś cd d it so mć betr ɖn enbdi els.

For men in ɖer śrtslīvz std grūpt tgɖr on ɖ gardnpaʈ. Ɖe Carid stevz cuvrd wɖ rolz v canvs, n ɖe hd big tūlbagz sluñ on ɖer bacs. Ɖe lct impresiv. Lora wśt nǎ ɖt ś hd nt got ɖ bred-n-butr, bt ɖr wz nẃr t pt it, n ś cd’nt poṣbli ʈro it awe. Ś bluśt n traid t lc svir n īvn a litl bit śort-sîtd az ś cem p t ɖm.

“Gd mornñ,” ś sd, copiyñ hr muɖr’z vôs. Bt ɖt sǎndd so firf̣li afctd ɖt ś wz aśemd, n stamrd lîc a litl grl, “Ǒ—’r—hv y cm—z it abt ɖ marcī?”

“Ɖt’s rît, mis,” sd ɖ tōlist v ɖ men, a lanci, frecld felo, n h śiftd hiz tūlbag, noct bac hiz strw hat n smîld dǎn at hr. “Ɖt’s abt it.”

Hiz smîl wz so īzi, so frendli ɖt Lora rcuvrd. Ẃt nîs îz h hd, smōl, bt sć a darc blu! N nǎ ś lct at ɖ uɖrz, ɖe wr smîlñ tù. “Ćir p, w w’nt bît,” ɖer smîl sīmd t se. Hǎ vri nîs wrcṃn wr! N ẃt a bytifl mornñ! Ś ms’nt mnśn ɖ mornñ; ś mst b biznislîc. Ɖ marcī.

“Wel, ẃt abt ɖ lililōn? Wd ɖt d?”

N ś pôntd t ɖ lililōn wɖ ɖ hand ɖt dd’nt hold ɖ bred-n-butr. Ɖe trnd, ɖe stérd in ɖ d’rex́n. A litl fat ćap ʈrust ǎt hiz unḍlip, n ɖ tōl felo frǎnd.

“I d’nt fansi it,” sd h. “Nt cnspiks inuf. Y si, wɖ a ʈñ lîc a marcī,” n h trnd t Lora in hiz īzi we, “y wont t pt it smẃr ẃr it’l gv y a bañ slap in ɖ î, f y folo m.”

Lora’z upbrññ md hr wundr fr a momnt ẃɖr it wz qt rspctfl v a wrcmn t tōc t hr v bañz slap in ɖ î. Bt ś dd qt folo him.

“A cornr v ɖ teniscort,” ś sjstd. “Bt ɖ band’z gwñ t b in wn cornr.”

“H’m, gwñ t hv a band, r y?” sd anɖr v ɖ wrcṃn. H wz pel. H hd a haġd lc az hiz darc îz scand ɖ teniscort. Ẃt wz h ʈncñ?

“Onli a vri smōl band,” sd Lora jntli. Phps h wd’nt mînd so mć f ɖ band wz qt smōl. Bt ɖ tōl felo inṭruptd.

“Lc hir, mis, ɖt’s ɖ ples. Agnst ɖoz triz. Ovr ɖr. Ɖt’l d fîn.”

Agnst ɖ c’racaz. Ɖen ɖ c’rac̣trīz wd b hidn. N ɖe wr so luvli, wɖ ɖer brōd, glīmñ līvz, n ɖer clustrz v yelo frūt. Ɖe wr lîc triz y imajind growñ on a deẓt îḷnd, prǎd, solitri, liftñ ɖer līvz n frūts t ɖ sún in a cnd v sîḷnt splendr. Mst ɖe b hidn bî a marcī?

Ɖe mst. Olrdi ɖ men hd śoldrd ɖer stevz n wr mcñ fr ɖ ples. Onli ɖ tōl felo wz left. H bnt dǎn, pinćt a sprig v lavndr, pt hiz ʈum n fōrfngr t hiz nǒz n snuft p ɖ smel. Ẃn Lora sw ɖt jsćr ś fgot ol abt ɖ c’racaz in hr wundr at him cẹrñ fr ʈñz lîc ɖt—cẹrñ fr ɖ smel v lavndr. Hǎ mni men ɖt ś ń wd hv dn sć a ʈñ? Ǒ, hǎ xtrordnṛli nîs wrcṃn wr, ś ʈt. Ẃ cd’nt ś hv wrcṃn fr hr frendz rɖr ɖn ɖ sili bôz ś danst wɖ n hu cem t Súnde nît supr? Ś wd gt on mć betr wɖ men lîc ɖz.

It’s ol ɖ fōlt, ś dsîdd, az ɖ tōl felo drù smʈñ on ɖ bac v an enṿlop, smʈñ ɖt wz t b lūpt p or left t hañ, v ɖz absrd clas-dstñśnz. Wel, fr hr part, ś dd’nt fīl ɖm. Nt a bit, nt an atm… N nǎ ɖr cem ɖ ćóc-ćóc v wŭdn hamrz. Smwn ẃisld, smwn sañ ǎt, “R y rît ɖr, mêti?” “Mêti!” Ɖ frendlinis v it, ɖ—ɖ—Jst t pruv hǎ hapi ś wz, jst t śo ɖ tōl felo hǎ at hom ś flt, n hǎ ś dspîzd stypid cnvnśnz, Lora tc a big bît v hr bred-n-butr az ś stérd at ɖ litl drw̃. Ś flt jst lîc a wrcgrl.

“Lora, Lora, ẃr r y? Teḷfon, Lora!” a vôs craid fṛm ɖ hǎs.

“Cmñ!” Awe ś scimd, ovr ɖ lōn, p ɖ paʈ, p ɖ steps, acrs ɖ vranda, n intu ɖ porć. In ɖ hōl hr faɖr n Lóri wr bruśñ ɖer hats redi t g t ɖ ofis.

“I se, Lora,” sd Lóri vri fast, “y mt jst gv a squiz at mî cot bfr ɖs afṭnun. Si f it wonts presñ.”

“I wl,” sd ś. Sudnli ś cd’nt stop hrslf. Ś ran at Lóri n gev him a smōl, qc sqīz. “Ǒ, I d luv partiz, d’nt y?” gaspt Lora.

“Rɖr,” sd Lóri’z worm, bôiś vôs, n h sqizd hiz sistr tù, n gev hr a jntl pś. “Daś of t ɖ teḷfon, old grl.”

Ɖ teḷfon. “Yes, yes; ǒ yes. Citi? Gd mornñ, dir. Cm t lunć? D, dir. Dlîtd v cors. It wl onli b a vri scraćmīl—jst ɖ sanwijcrusts n brocn mrañ-ślz n ẃt’s left ovr. Yes, z’nt it a prfict mornñ? Yr ẃît? Ǒ, I srtnli śd. Wn momnt—hold ɖ lîn. Muɖr’z cōlñ.” N Lora sat bac. “Ẃt, muɖr? C’nt hír.”

Msz. Śeridn’z vôs flotd dǎn ɖ sterz. “Tel hr t wer ɖt swīt hat ś hd on last Súnde.”

“Muɖr sz y’r t wer ɖt swīt hat y hd on last Súnde. Gd. Wn o’cloc. Bái-bái.”

Lora pt bac ɖ rsivr, fluñ hr armz ovr hr hed, tc a dīp breʈ, strećt n let ɖm fōl. “Hú,” ś said, n ɖ momnt aftr ɖ sai ś sat p qcli. Ś wz stil, liṣnñ. Ol ɖ dorz in ɖ hǎs sīmd t b opn. Ɖ hǎs wz alîv wɖ soft, qc steps n runñ vôsz. Ɖ grīn bêz dor ɖt léd t ɖ cićnrījnz swuñ opn n śut wɖ a mufld ʈud. N nǎ ɖr cem a loñ, ćuc̣lñ absrd sǎnd. It wz ɖ hevi piano biyñ muvd on its stif cástrz. Bt ɖ er! F y stopt t notis, wz ɖ er olwz lîc ɖs? Litl fent windz wr pleyñ ćes, in at ɖ tops v ɖ windoz, ǎt at ɖ dorz. N ɖr wr tū tîni spots v sún, wn on ɖ ñcpot, wn on a silvr foṭgraf̦rem, pleyñ tù. Darlñ litl spots. Ispeṣ́li ɖ wn on ɖ ñcpot lid. It wz qt worm. A worm litl silvr star. Ś cd hv cist it.

Ɖ frunt dor bel pìld, n ɖr sǎndd ɖ rusl v Sêdi’z printscrt on ɖ sterz. A man’z vôs mrmrd; Sêdi ansrd, cerlis, “I’m śr I d’nt nǒ. Wêt. I’l asc Msz. Śeridn.”

“Ẃt z it, Sêdi?” Lora cem intu ɖ hōl.

“It’s ɖ florist, Mis. Lora.”

It wz, indd. Ɖr, jst insd ɖ dor, std a wîd, śalo tre fl v pots v pnc liliz. No uɖr cnd. Nʈñ bt liliz—caṇliliz, big pnc flǎrz, wîd opn, redịnt, olmst frîtnñli alîv on brît crimzn stemz.

“Ǒ-ǒ, Sêdi!” sd Lora, n ɖ sǎnd wz lîc a litl mon. Ś crǎćt dǎn az f t worm hrslf at ɖt blêz v liliz; ś flt ɖe wr in hr fngrz, on hr lips, growñ in hr brest.

“It’s sm mstec,” ś sd fentli. “Nbdi evr ordrd so mni. Sêdi, g n fînd muɖr.”

Bt at ɖt momnt Msz. Śeridn jônd ɖm.

“It’s qt rît,” ś sd cāmli. “Yes, I ordrd ɖm. R’nt ɖe luvli?” Ś prest Lora’z arm. “I wz pasñ ɖ śop yesṭde, n I sw ɖm in ɖ windo. N I sudnli ʈt fr wns in mî lîf I śl hv inuf caṇliliz. Ɖ gardnparti wl b a gd xks.”

“Bt I ʈt y sd y dd’nt mīn t inṭfir,” sd Lora. Sêdi hd gn. Ɖ florist’s man wz stl ǎtsd at hiz van. Ś pt hr arm rnd hr muɖr’z nec n jntli, vri jntli, ś bit hr muɖr’z ir.

“Mî darlñ ćîld, y wd’nt lîc a lojicl muɖr, wd y? D’nt d ɖt. Hir’z ɖ man.”

H carid mor liliz stl, anɖr hol tre.

“Banc ɖm p, jst insd ɖ dor, on bʈ sîdz v ɖ porć, plīz,” sd Msz. Śeridn. “D’nt y agri, Lora?”

“Ǒ, I d, muɖr.”

In ɖ drw̃rūm Meg, Jozi n gd litl Hanz hd at last s’xidd in muvñ ɖ piano.

“Nǎ, f w pt ɖs Ćesṭfīld agnst ɖ wōl n muv evrʈñ ǎt v ɖ rūm xpt ɖ ćerz, d’nt y ʈnc?”

“Qt.”

“Hanz, muv ɖz teblz intu ɖ smocñrūm, n brñ a swīpr t tec ɖz marcs of ɖ carpit n—wn momnt, Hanz—” Jozi luvd gvñ ordrz t ɖ srvnts, n ɖe luvd obeyñ hr. Ś olwz md ɖm fīl ɖe wr tecñ part in sm drama. “Tel muɖr n Mis. Lora t cm hir at wns.”

“Vri gd, Mis. Jozi.”

Ś trnd t Meg. “I wont t hír ẃt ɖ piano sǎndz lîc, jst in ces I’m asct t sñ ɖs afṭnun. Let’s trî ovr ‘Ɖs lîf z Wiri’.”

Pom! Ta-ta-ta -ta! Ɖ piano brst ǎt so paśṇtli ɖt Jozi’z fes ćenjd. Ś claspt hr handz. Ś lct mōrnf̣li n eṇgmaticli at hr muɖr n Lora az ɖe cem in.

Ɖs Lîf z -’ri,

A Tir—a Sai.

A Luv ɖt Ćen-jiz,

Ɖs Lîf z -’ri,

A Tir—a Sai.

A Luv ɖt Ćen-jiz,

N ɖen… Gdbî!

Bt at ɖ wrd “Gdbî,” n olɖo ɖ piano sǎndd mor despṛt ɖn evr, hr fes brouc intu a briłnt, dredf̣li unsimṗʈetic smîl.

“R’nt I in gd vôs, mumi?” ś bīmd.

Ɖs Lîf z -’ri,

Hop cmz t Dî.

A Drīm—a We-c̣nñ.

Bt nǎ Sêdi inṭruptd ɖm. “Ẃt z it, Sêdi?”

“F y plīz, m’m, cc sz hv y got ɖ flagz fr ɖ sanẉjz?”

“Ɖ flagz fr ɖ sanẉjz, Sêdi?” ecoud Msz. Śeridn drīṃli. N ɖ ćildṛn ń bî hr fes ɖt ś hd’nt got ɖm. “Let m si.” N ś sd t Sêdi frmli, “Tel cc I’l let hr hv ɖm in ten minits.”

Sêdi wnt.

“Nǎ, Lora,” sd hr muɖr qcli, “cm wɖ m intu ɖ smocñrūm. I’v got ɖ nemz smẃr on ɖ bac v an enṿlop. Y’l hv t rait ɖm ǎt fr m. Meg, g upsterz ɖs minit n tec ɖt wet ʈñ of yr hed. Jozi, run n finiś dresñ ɖs instnt. D y hír m, ćildṛn, or śl I hv t tel yr faɖr ẃn h cmz hom tnît? N—n, Jozi, paṣfî cc f y d g intu ɖ cićn, wl y? I’m teṛfaid v hr ɖs mornñ.”

Ɖ enṿlop wz faund at last bhnd ɖ dînñrūm cloc, ɖo hǎ it hd got ɖr Msz. Śeridn cd nt imajin.

“Wn v y ćildṛn mst hv stoḷn it ǎt v mî bag, bcz I rmembr vividli—crīmćīz n lemncrd. Hv y dn ɖt?”

“Yes.”

“Eg n—” Msz. Śeridn hld ɖ enṿlop awe fṛm hr. “It lcs lîc mîs. It c’nt b mîs, cn it?”

“Oliv, pet,” sd Lora, lcñ ovr hr śoldr.

“Yes, v cors, oliv. Ẃt a hoṛbl combneśn it sǎndz. Eg n oliv.”

Ɖe wr finiśt at last, n Lora tc ɖm of t ɖ cićn. Ś faund Jozi ɖr paṣfayñ ɖ cc, hu dd nt lc at ol teṛfayñ.

“I hv nvr sìn sć xqizit sanẉjz,” sd Jozi’z rapćṛs vôs. “Hǎ mni cndz dd y se ɖr wr, cc? Fiftīn?”

“Fiftīn, Mis. Jozi.”

“Wel, cc, I cngrać̣let y.”

Cc swept p crusts wɖ ɖ loñ sanwijnîf, n smîld brōdli.

“Godbr’z hz cm,” anǎnst Sêdi, iśuwñ ǎt v ɖ pantri. Ś hd sìn ɖ man pas ɖ windo.

Ɖt mnt ɖ crīm pufs hd cm. Godbr’z wr feṃs fr ɖer crīm pufs. Nbdi evr ʈt v mcñ ɖm at hom.

“Brñ ɖm in n pt ɖm on ɖ tebl, mî grl,” ordrd cc.

Sêdi bròt ɖm in n wnt bac t ɖ dor. V cors Lora n Jozi wr far tù groun-up t riyli cer abt sć ʈñz. Ol ɖ sem, ɖe cd’nt hlp agriyñ ɖt ɖ pufs lct vri atractiv. Vri. Cc bgan arenjñ ɖm, śecñ of ɖ xtra îsñśŭgr.

“D’nt ɖe cari wn bac t ol wn’z partiz?” sd Lora.

“I s’poz ɖe d,” sd practicl Jozi, hu nvr lîct t b carid bac. “Ɖe lc bytifli lît n feɖ̇ri, I mst se.”

“Hv wn ć, mî dirz,” sd cc in hr cumftbl vôs. “Y’ ma w’nt nǒ.”

Ǒ, imposbl. Fansi crīm pufs so sn aftr brecfst. Ɖ vri îdīa md wn śudr. Ol ɖ sem, tū minits lêtr Jozi n Lora wr licñ ɖer fngrz wɖ ɖt abzorbd inwd lc ɖt onli cmz fṛm ẃipt crīm.

“Let’s g intu ɖ gardn, ǎt bî ɖ bac we,” sjstd Lora. “I wont t si hǎ ɖ men r gtñ on wɖ ɖ marcī. Ɖ’r sć ōf̣li nîs men.”

Bt ɖ bac dor wz bloct bî cc, Sêdi, Godbr’z man n Hanz.

Smʈñ hd hapnd.

“Tc-tc-tc,” cluct cc lîc an ajtetd hen. Sêdi hd hr hand clapt t hr ćīc az ɖo ś hd tuʈ-ec. Hanz’z fes wz scrùd p in ɖ ef̣t t unḍstand. Onli Godbr’z man sīmd t b injoyñ himslf; it wz hiz stori.

“Ẃt’s ɖ matr? Ẃt’s hapnd?”

“Ɖr’z bn a hoṛbl axidnt,” sd Cc. “A man cild.”

“A man cild! Ẃr? Hǎ? Ẃn?”

Bt Godbr’z man wz’nt gwñ t hv hiz stori snaćt fṛm undr hiz vri nǒz.

“Nǒ ɖoz litl coṭjz jst b’lo hir, Mis.?” Nǒ ɖm? V cors, ś ń ɖm. “Wel, ɖr’z a yuñ ćap livñ ɖr, nem v Scot, a cartr. Hiz hors śaid at a trax́n-enjin, cornr v Hòc Strīt ɖs mornñ, n h wz ʈroun ǎt on ɖ bac v hiz hed. Cild.”

“Ded!” Lora stérd at Godbr’z man.

“Ded ẃn ɖe pict him p,” sd Godbr’z man wɖ reliś. “Ɖe wr tecñ ɖ bodi hom az I cm p hir.” N h sd t ɖ cc, “H’z left a wîf n fîv litl wnz.”

“Jozi, cm hir.” Lora còt hold v hr sistr’z slīv n dragd hr ʈru ɖ cićn t ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ grīn bêz dor. Ɖr ś pōzd n līnd agnst it. “Jozi!” ś sd, hoṛfaid, “hvr r w gwñ t stop evrʈñ?”

“Stop evrʈñ, Lora!” craid Jozi in astoniśmnt. “Ẃt d y mīn?”

“Stop ɖ gardnparti, v cors.” Ẃ dd Jozi pritnd?

Bt Jozi wz stl mor amezd. “Stop ɖ gardnparti? Mî dir Lora, d’nt b so absrd. V cors w c’nt d enʈñ v ɖ cnd. Nbdi xpcts s t. D’nt b so xtraṿgnt.”

“Bt w c’nt poṣbli hv a gardnparti wɖ a man ded jst ǎtsd ɖ frunt get.”

Ɖt riyli wz xtraṿgnt, fr ɖ litl coṭjz wr in a len t ɖmslvz at ɖ vri botm v a stīp rîz ɖt léd p t ɖ hǎs. A brōd rod ran btwn. Tru, ɖe wr far tù nir. Ɖe wr ɖ gretist poṣbl îsor, n ɖe hd no rît t b in ɖt nebrhd at ol. Ɖe wr litl mīn dwelñz pentd a ćocḷt brǎn. In ɖ gardnpaćz ɖr wz nʈñ bt cabijstōcz, sic hnz n tmātocanz. Ɖ vri smoc cmñ ǎt v ɖer ćimniz wz poṿti-stricn. Litl ragz n średz v smoc, so unlîc ɖ gret silṿri plūmz ɖt uncrld fṛm ɖ Śeridnz’ ćimniz. Wośrwimin livd in ɖ len n swīps n a coblr, n a man huz hǎsfrunt wz studd ol ovr wɖ mînyt brdcejz. Ćildṛn swormd. Ẃn ɖ Śeridnz wr litl ɖe wr fbidn t set ft ɖr bcz v ɖ rvoltñ lanḡj n v ẃt ɖe mt cać. Bt sins ɖe wr groun p, Lora n Lóri on ɖer prǎlz smtmz wōct ʈru. It wz dsgustñ n sordid. Ɖe cem ǎt wɖ a śudr. Bt stl wn mst g evrẃr; wn mst si evrʈñ. So ʈru ɖe wnt.

“N jst ʈnc v ẃt ɖ band wd sǎnd lîc t ɖt pur wmn,” sd Lora.

“Ǒ, Lora!” Jozi bgan t b sirịsli anoid. “F y’r gwñ t stop a band pleyñ evri tîm smwn hz an axidnt, y’l līd a vri strenẏs lîf. I’m evri bit az sori abt it az y. I fīl jst az simṗʈetic.” Hr îz hardnd. Ś lct at hr sistr jst az ś yst t ẃn ɖe wr litl n fîtñ tgɖr. “Y w’nt brñ a druncn wrcmn bac t lîf bî biyñ snṭmntl,” ś sd softli.

“Drunc! Hu sd h wz drunc?” Lora trnd fyrịsli on Jozi. Ś sd, jst az ɖe hd yst t se on ɖoz oceẓ́nz, “I’m gwñ stret p t tel muɖr.”

“D, dir,” cùd Jozi.

“Muɖr, cn I cm intu yr rūm?” Lora trnd ɖ big glas dornob.

“V cors, ćîld. Ẃ, ẃt’s ɖ matr? Ẃt’s gvn y sć a culr?” N Msz. Śeridn trnd rnd fṛm hr dresñtebl. Ś wz trayñ on a ny hat.

“Muɖr, a man’z bn cild,” bgan Lora.

Nt in ɖ gardn?” inṭruptd hr muɖr.

“No, no!”

“Ǒ, ẃt a frît y gev m!” Msz. Śeridn said wɖ rlif, n tc of ɖ big hat n hld it on hr niz.

“Bt lisn, muɖr,” sd Lora. Breʈlis, haf-ćocñ, ś tld ɖ dredfl stori. “V cors, w c’nt hv ǎr parti, cn w?” ś plīdd. “Ɖ band n evrbdi arîvñ. Ɖ’d hír s, muɖr; ɖ’r nirli nebrz!”

T Lora’z astoniśmnt hr muɖr bhevd jst lîc Jozi; it wz hardr t ber bcz ś sīmd aḿzd. Ś rfyzd t tec Lora sirịsli.

“Bt, mî dir ćîld, yz yr comn-sns. It’s onli bî axidnt w’v hŕd v it. F smwn hd daid ɖr norṃli—n I c’nt unḍstand hǎ ɖe cīp alîv in ɖoz pǒci litl houlz—w śd stl b hvñ ǎr parti, śd’nt w?”

Lora hd t se “yes” t ɖt, bt ś flt it wz ol roñ. Ś sat dǎn on hr muɖr’z sofa n pinćt ɖ cŭśnfril.

“Muɖr, z’nt it teṛbli hartlis v s?” ś asct.

“Darlñ!” Msz. Śeridn got p n cem ovr t hr, cariyñ ɖ hat. Bfr Lora cd stop hr ś hd popt it on. “Mî ćîld!” sd hr muɖr, “ɖ hat z yrz. It’s md fr y. It’s mć tù yuñ fr m. I hv nvr sìn y lc sć a picćr. Lc at yrslf!” N ś hld p hr handmirr.

“Bt, muɖr,” Lora bgan agn. Ś cd’nt lc at hrslf; ś trnd asd.

Ɖs tîm Msz. Śeridn lost peśns jst az Jozi hd dn.

“Y r biyñ vri absrd, Lora,” ś sd coldli. “Ppl lîc ɖt d’nt xpct sacṛfîsz fṛm s. N it’s nt vri simṗʈetic t spôl evrbdi’z injômnt az y’r dwñ nǎ.”

“I d’nt unḍstand,” sd Lora, n ś wōct qcli ǎt v ɖ rūm intu hr ǒn bedrūm. Ɖr, qt bî ćans, ɖ frst ʈñ ś sw wz ɖs ćarmñ grl in ɖ mirr, in hr blac hat trimd wɖ gold deiziz, n a loñ blac velvit ribn. Nvr hd ś imajind ś cd lc lîc ɖt. Z muɖr rît? ś ʈt. N nǎ ś hopt hr muɖr wz rît. Am I biyñ xtraṿgnt? Phps it wz xtraṿgnt. Jst fr a momnt ś hd anɖr glims v ɖt pur wmn n ɖoz litl ćildṛn, n ɖ bodi biyñ carid intu ɖ hǎs. Bt it ol sīmd blŕd, unriyl, lîc a picćr in ɖ nyzpepr. I’l rmembr it agn aftr ɖ parti’z ovr, ś dsîdd. N smhǎ ɖt sīmd qt ɖ bst plan…

Lunć wz ovr bî haf-past wn. Bî haf-past tū ɖe wr ol redi fr ɖ fre. Ɖ grīn-cotd band hd arîvd n wz istabliśt in a cornr v ɖ teniscort.

“Mî dir!” trild Citi Mêtḷnd, “r’nt ɖe tù lîc frogz fr wrdz? Y òt t hv arenjd ɖm rnd ɖ pond wɖ ɖ cnductr in ɖ midl on a līf.”

Lóri arîvd n hêld ɖm on hiz we t dres. At ɖ sît v him Lora rmembrd ɖ axidnt agn. Ś wontd t tel him. F Lóri agrìd wɖ ɖ uɖrz, ɖen it wz baund t b ol rît. N ś foloud him intu ɖ hōl.

“Lóri!”

“Hlo!” H wz hafwe upsterz, bt ẃn h trnd rnd n sw Lora h sudnli puft ǎt hiz ćīcs n gogld hiz îz at hr. “Mî wrd, Lora! Y d lc stunñ,” sd Lóri. “Ẃt an abṣlutli topñ hat!”

Lora sd fentli “Z it?” n smîld p at Lóri, n dd’nt tel him aftr ol.

Sn aftr ɖt ppl bgan cmñ in strīmz. Ɖ band struc p; ɖ hîrd wêtrz ran fṛm ɖ hǎs t ɖ marcī. Ẃrvr y lct ɖr wr cuplz strolñ, bndñ t ɖ flǎrz, grītñ, muvñ on ovr ɖ lōn. Ɖe wr lîc brît brdz ɖt hd alîtd in ɖ Śeridnz’ gardn fr ɖs wn afṭnun, on ɖer we t—ẃr? Ā, ẃt hapinis it z t b wɖ ppl hu ol r hapi, t pres handz, pres ćīcs, smîl intu îz.

“Darlñ Lora, hǎ wel y lc!”

“Ẃt a bcmñ hat, ćîld!”

“Lora, y lc qt Spaniś. I’v nvr sìn y lc so strîcñ.”

N Lora, glowñ, ansrd softli, “Hv y hd ti? W’nt y hv an îs? Ɖ paśnfrūt îsz riyli r rɖr speśl.” Ś ran t hr faɖr n begd him. “Dadi darlñ, c’nt ɖ band hv smʈñ t drinc?”

N ɖ prfict afṭnun slǒli rîpnd, slǒli fedd, slǒli its petlz clozd.

“Nvr a mor dlîtfl gardnparti…” “Ɖ gretist s’xes…” “Qt ɖ most…”

Lora hlpt hr muɖr wɖ ɖ gdbîs. Ɖe std sîd bî sîd in ɖ porć tl it wz ol ovr.

“Ol ovr, ol ovr, ʈanc hevn,” sd Msz. Śeridn. “Rnd p ɖ uɖrz, Lora. Let’s g n hv sm freś cofi. I’m xōstd. Yes, it’s bn vri s’xesfl. Bt ǒ, ɖz partiz, ɖz partiz! Ẃ wl y ćildṛn insist on gvñ partiz!” N ɖe ol v ɖm sat dǎn in ɖ dzrtd marcī.

“Hv a sanwij, dadi dir. I rout ɖ flag.”

“Ʈancs.” Mr. Śeridn tc a bît n ɖ sanwij wz gn. H tc anɖr. “I s’poz y dd’nt hír v a bīstli axidnt ɖt hapnd tde?” h sd.

“Mî dir,” sd Msz. Śeridn, holdñ p hr hand, “w dd. It nirli ruind ɖ parti. Lora insistd w śd pt it of.”

“Ǒ, muɖr!” Lora dd’nt wont t b tizd abt it.

“It wz a hoṛbl afer ol ɖ sem,” sd Mr. Śeridn. “Ɖ ćap wz marid tù. Livd jst b’lo in ɖ len, n līvz a wîf n haf a duzn cidiz, so ɖe se.”

An ōcẉd litl sîḷns fél. Msz. Śeridn fiɉtd wɖ hr cup. Riyli, it wz vri tactlis v faɖr…

Sudnli ś lct p. Ɖr on ɖ tebl wr ol ɖoz sanẉjz, cecs, pufs, ol unītn, ol gwñ t b westd. Ś hd wn v hr briłnt îdīaz.

“I nǒ,” ś sd. “Let’s mc p a bascit. Let’s snd ɖt pur crīćr sm v ɖs prf̣cli gd fūd. At eni ret, it wl b ɖ gretist trīt fr ɖ ćildṛn. D’nt y agri? N ś’z śr t hv nebrz cōlñ in n so on. Ẃt a pônt t hv it ol redi priperd. Lora!” Ś jumt p. “Gt m ɖ big bascit ǎt v ɖ sterz cuḅd.”

“Bt, muɖr, d y riyli ʈnc it’s a gd îdīa?” sd Lora.

Agn, hǎ krịs, ś sīmd t b difṛnt fṛm ɖm ol. T tec scraps fṛm ɖer parti. Wd ɖ pur wmn riyli lîc ɖt?

“V cors! Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ y tde? An aur or tū ago y wr insistñ on s biyñ simṗʈetic, n nǎ—”

Ǒ wel! Lora ran fr ɖ bascit. It wz fild, it wz hīpt bî hr muɖr.

“Tec it yrslf, darlñ,” sd ś. “Run dǎn jst az y r. No, wêt, tec ɖ aṛmliliz tù. Ppl v ɖt clas r so imprest bî aṛmliliz.”

“Ɖ stemz wl ruin hr lês froc,” sd practicl Jozi.

So ɖe wd. Jst in tîm. “Onli ɖ bascit, ɖen. N, Lora!”—hr muɖr foloud hr ǎt v ɖ marcī—“d’nt on eni acǎnt—”

“Ẃt muɖr?”

No, betr nt pt sć îdīaz intu ɖ ćîld’z hed! “Nʈñ! Run alñ.”

It wz jst growñ dusci az Lora śut ɖer gardngets. A big dog ran bî lîc a śado. Ɖ rod glīmd ẃît, n dǎn b’lo in ɖ holo ɖ litl coṭjz wr in dīp śêd. Hǎ qayt it sīmd aftr ɖ afṭnun. Hir ś wz gwñ dǎn ɖ hil t smẃr ẃr a man le ded, n ś cd’nt riylîz it. Ẃ cd’nt ś? Ś stopt a minit. N it sīmd t hr ɖt cisz, vôsz, tnc̣lñ spūnz, laftr, ɖ smel v cruśt gras wr smhǎ insd hr. Ś hd no rūm fr enʈñ els. Hǎ strenj! Ś lct p at ɖ pel scî, n ol ś ʈt wz, “Yes, it wz ɖ most s’xesfl parti.”

Nǎ ɖ brōd rod wz crost. Ɖ len bgan, smoci n darc. Wimin in śōlz n men’z twīd caps hurid bî. Men huñ ovr ɖ pêlñz; ɖ ćildṛn pleid in ɖ dorwez. A lo hum cem fṛm ɖ mīn litl coṭjz. In sm v ɖm ɖr wz a flicr v lît, n a śado, crablîc, muvd acrs ɖ windo. Lora bnt hr hed n hurid on. Ś wśt nǎ ś hd pt on a cot. Hǎ hr froc śon! N ɖ big hat wɖ ɖ velvit strīmr—f onli it wz anɖr hat! Wr ɖ ppl lcñ at hr? Ɖe mst b. It wz a mstec t hv cm; ś ń ol alñ it wz a mstec. Śd ś g bac īvn nǎ?

No, tù lêt. Ɖs wz ɖ hǎs. It mst b. A darc nót v ppl std ǎtsd. Bsd ɖ get an old, old wmn wɖ a cruć sat in a ćer, woćñ. Ś hd hr fīt on a nyzpepr. Ɖ vôsz stopt az Lora drù nir. Ɖ grūp partd. It wz az ɖo ś wz xpctd, az ɖo ɖe hd noun ś wz cmñ hir.

Lora wz teṛbli nrṿs. Tosñ ɖ velvit ribn ovr hr śoldr, ś sd t a wmn standñ bî, “Z ɖs Msz. Scot’s hǎs?” n ɖ wmn, smîlñ qirli, sd, “It z, mî las.”

Ǒ, t b awe fṛm ɖs! Ś acć̣̣li sd, “Hlp m, God,” az ś wōct p ɖ tîni paʈ n noct. T b awe fṛm ɖoz stẹrñ îz, or t b cuvrd p in enʈñ, wn v ɖoz wimin’z śōlz īvn. I’l jst līv ɖ bascit n g, ś dsîdd. I ś’nt īvn wêt fr it t b emtid.

Ɖen ɖ dor opnd. A litl wmn in blac śoud in ɖ glūm.

Lora sd, “R y Msz. Scot?” Bt t hr horr ɖ wmn ansrd, “Wōc in plīz, Mis,” n ś wz śut in ɖ pasij.

“No,” sd Lora, “I d’nt wont t cm in. I onli wont t līv ɖs bascit. Muɖr snt—”

Ɖ litl wmn in ɖ glūmi pasij sīmd nt t hv hŕd hr. “Step ɖs we, plīz, Mis,” ś sd in an ôli vôs, n Lora foloud hr.

Ś faund hrslf in a rećid litl lo cićn, lîtd bî a smoci lamp. Ɖr wz a wmn sitñ bfr ɖ fîr.

“Em,” sd ɖ litl crīćr hu hd let hr in. “Em! It’s a yuñ ledi.” Ś trnd t Lora. Ś sd mīnñli, “I’m ’r sistr, Mis. Y’l xkz ’r, w’nt y?”

“Ǒ, bt v cors!” sd Lora. “Plīz, plīz d’nt dstrb hr. I—I onli wont t līv—”

Bt at ɖt momnt ɖ wmn at ɖ fîr trnd rnd. Hr fes, puft p, red, wɖ swoḷn îz n swoḷn lips, lct teṛbl. Ś sīmd az ɖo ś cd’nt unḍstand ẃ Lora wz ɖr. Ẃt dd it mīn? Ẃ wz ɖs strenjr standñ in ɖ cićn wɖ a bascit? Ẃt wz it ol abt? N ɖ pur fes pucrd p agn.

“Ol rît, mî dir,” sd ɖ uɖr. “I’l ʈenc ɖ yuñ ledi.”

N agn ś bgan, “Y’l xkz hr, Mis, I’m śr,” n hr fes, swoḷn tù, traid an ôli smîl.

Lora onli wontd t gt ǎt, t gt awe. Ś wz bac in ɖ pasij. Ɖ dor opnd. Ś wōct stret ʈru intu ɖ bedrūm, ẃr ɖ ded man wz layñ.

“Y’d lîc a lc at ’im, wd’nt y?” sd Em’z sistr, n ś bruśt past Lora ovr t ɖ bed. “D’nt b afreid, mî las,”—n nǎ hr vôs sǎndd fond n slî, n fondli ś drù dǎn ɖ śīt—“’i lcs a picćr. Ɖr’z nʈñ t śo. Cm alñ, mî dir.”

Lora cem.

Ɖr le a yuñ man, fast aslip—slīpñ so sǎndli, so dīpli, ɖt h wz far, far awe fṛm ɖm bʈ. Ǒ, so rmot, so pīsfl. H wz drīmñ. Nvr wec him p agn. Hiz hed wz sunc in ɖ pilo, hiz îz wr clozd; ɖe wr blînd undr ɖ clozd îlidz. H wz gvn p t hiz drīm. Ẃt dd gardnpartiz n bascits n lês frocs matr t him? H wz far fṛm ol ɖoz ʈñz. H wz wundrfl, bytifl. Ẃl ɖe wr lafñ n ẃl ɖ band wz pleyñ, ɖs marvl hd cm t ɖ len. Hapi… hapi… Ol z wel, sd ɖt slīpñ fes. Ɖs z jst az it śd b. I am cntnt.

Bt ol ɖ sem y hd t crî, n ś cd’nt g ǎt v ɖ rūm wɖt seyñ smʈñ t him. Lora gev a lǎd ćîldiś sob.

“Fgiv mî hat,” ś sd.

N ɖs tîm ś dd’nt wêt fr Em’z sistr. Ś faund hr we ǎt v ɖ dor, dǎn ɖ paʈ, past ol ɖoz darc ppl. At ɖ cornr v ɖ len ś met Lóri.

H stept ǎt v ɖ śado. “Z ɖt y, Lora?”

“Yes.”

“Muɖr wz gtñ añśs. Wz it ol rît?”

“Yes, qt. Ǒ, Lóri!” Ś tc hiz arm, ś prest p agnst him.

“I se, y’r nt crayñ, r y?” asct hr bruɖr.

Lora śc hr hed. Ś wz.

Lóri pt hiz arm rnd hr śoldr. “D’nt crî,” h sd in hiz worm, luvñ vôs. “Wz it ōfl?”

“No,” sobd Lora. “It wz simpli marvḷs. Bt Lóri—” Ś stopt, ś lct at hr bruɖr. “Z’nt lîf,” ś stamrd, “z’nt lîf—” Bt ẃt lîf wz ś cd’nt xplen. No matr. H qt unḍstd.

Z’nt it, darlñ?” sd Lóri.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

Clasics in Ñspel: THE DAUGHTERS OF THE LATE COLONEL, by K Mansfield

ĆAPTRZ

IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXII

Đ DŌTRZ OV Đ LÊT CRNL

Caʈ̇rīn Mansfīld

___

I

Ɖ  wīc aftr wz wn v ɖ biziist wīcs v ɖer livz. Īvn ẃn ɖe wnt t bed it wz onli ɖer bodiz ɖt le dǎn n restd; ɖer mîndz wnt on, ʈncñ ʈñz ǎt, tōcñ ʈñz ovr, wunḍrñ, dsîdñ, trayñ t rmembr ẃr…

Cnstanśa le lîc a staću, hr handz bî hr sîdz, hr fīt jst oṿlapñ ć uɖr, ɖ śīt p t hr ćin. Ś stérd at ɖ sīlñ.

“D y ʈnc faɖr wd mînd f w gev hiz tophat t ɖ portr?”

“Ɖ portr?” snapt Joẓfīn. “Ẃ evr ɖ portr? Ẃt a vri xtrordnri îdīa!”

“Bcz,” sd Cnstanśa slǒli, “h mst ofn hv t g t fynṛlz. N I notist at—at ɖ seṃtri ɖt h onli hd a bolr.” Ś pōzd. “I ʈt ɖen hǎ vri mć h’d aprīśiet a tophat. W òt t gv him a preznt, tù. H wz olwz vri nîs t faɖr.”

“Bt,” craid Joẓfīn, flǎnsñ on hr pilo n stẹrñ acrs ɖ darc atCnstanśa, “faɖr’z hed!” N sudnli, fr wn ōfl momnt, ś nirli gigld. Nt, v cors, ɖt ś flt in ɖ līst lîc giġlñ. It mst hv bn habit. Yirz ago, ẃn ɖe hd steid awec at nît tōcñ, ɖer bedz hd simpli hīvd. N nǎ ɖ portr’z hed, dis’pirñ, popt ǎt, lîc a candl, undr faɖr’z hat… Ɖ gigl mǎntd, mǎntd; ś clenćt hr handz; ś fòt it dǎn; ś frǎnd firsli at ɖ darc n sd “Rmembr” teṛbli strnli.

“W cn dsîd tmoro,” ś sd.

Cnstanśa hd notist nʈñ; ś said.

“D y ʈnc w òt t hv ǎr dresñgǎns dáid az wel?”

“Blac?” olmst śrīct Joẓfīn.

“Wel, ẃt els?” sd Cnstanśa. “I wz ʈncñ—it dz’nt sīm qt snsir, in a we, t wer blac ǎt v dorz n ẃn w’r fŭli drest, n ɖen ẃn w’r at hom—”

“Bt nbdi siz s,” sd Joẓfīn. Ś gev ɖ bedcloɖz sć a twić ɖt bʈ hr fīt bcem uncuvrd, n ś hd t crīp p ɖ piloz t gt ɖm wel undr agn.

“Cet dz,” sd Cnstanśa. “N ɖ postmn vri wel mt.”

Joẓfīn ʈt v hr darc-red slipprz, ẃć maćt hr dresñgǎn, n vCnstanśa’z feṿrit indefiṇt grīn wnz ẃć wnt wɖ hrz. Blac! Tū blac dresñgǎns n tū perz v blac wŭli slipprz, crīpñ of t ɖ baʈrūm lîc blac cats.

“I d’nt ʈnc it’s abṣlutli nesṣri,” sd ś.

Sîḷns. Ɖen Cnstanśa sd, “W śl hv t post ɖ peprz wɖ ɖ notis in ɖm tmoro t cać ɖ S’lón meil… Hǎ mni letrz hv w hd p tl nǎ?”

“Twenti-ʈri.”

Joẓfīn hd rplaid t ɖm ol, n twenti-ʈri tîmz ẃn ś cem t “W mis ǎr dir faɖr so mć” ś hd brocn dǎn n hd t yz hr hanc̣ćif, n on sm v ɖm īvn t sǒc p a vri lît-blu tir wɖ an éj v blotñpepr. Strenj! Ś cd’nt hv pt it on—bt twenti-ʈri tîmz. Īvn nǎ, ɖo, ẃn ś sd ovr t hrslf sadli “W mis ǎr dir faɖr so mć,” ś cd hv craid f ś’d wontd t.

“Hv y got inuf stamps?” cem fṛm Cnstanśa.

“Ǒ, hǎ cn I tel?” sd Joẓfīn crosli. “Ẃt’s ɖ gd v ascñ m ɖt nǎ?”

“I wz jst wunḍrñ,” sd Cnstanśa mîldli.

Sîḷns agn. Ɖr cem a litl rusl, a scuri, a hóp.

“A mǎs,” sd Cnstanśa.

“It c’nt b a mǎs bcz ɖr r’nt eni crumz,” sd Joẓfīn.

“Bt it dz’nt nǒ ɖr r’nt,” sd Cnstanśa.

A spazm v piti sqizd hr hart. Pur litl ʈñ! Ś wśt ś’d left a tîni pìs v biscit on ɖ dresñtebl. It wz ōfl t ʈnc v it nt fîndñ enʈñ. Ẃt wd it d?

“I c’nt ʈnc hǎ ɖe manij t liv at ol,” ś sd slǒli.

“Hu?” dmandd Joẓfīn.

N Cnstanśa sd mor lǎdli ɖn ś mnt t, “Mîs.”

Joẓfīn wz fyrịs. “Ǒ, ẃt nonsns, Cón!” ś sd. “Ẃt hv mîs got t d wɖ it? Y’r aslip.”

“I d’nt ʈnc I am,” sd Cnstanśa. Ś śut hr îz t mc śr. Ś wz.

Joẓfīn arćt hr spîn, pld p hr niz, foldd hr armz so ɖt hr fists cem undr hr irz, n prest hr ćīc hard agnst ɖ pilo.

___

II

Anɖr ʈñ ẃć compḷcetd matrz wz ɖe hd Nrs Andruz steyñ on wɖ ɖm ɖt wīc. It wz ɖer ǒn fōlt; ɖe hd asct hr. It wz Joẓfīn’z îdīa. On ɖ mornñ—wel, on ɖ last mornñ, ẃn ɖ doctr hd gn, Joẓfīn hd sd t Cnstanśa, “D’nt y ʈnc it wd b rɖr nîs f w asct Nrs Andruz t ste on fr a wīc az ǎr gest?”

“Vri nîs,” sd Cnstanśa.

“I ʈt,” wnt on Joẓfīn qcli, “I śd jst se ɖs afṭnun, aftr I’v peid hr, ‘Mî sistr n I wd b vri plizd, aftr ol y’v dn fr s, Nrs Andruz, f y wd ste on fr a wīc az ǎr gest.’ I’d hv t pt ɖt in abt biyñ ǎr gest in ces—”

“Ǒ, bt ś cd hardli xpct t b peid!” craid Cnstanśa.

“Wn nvr nz,” sd Joẓfīn sejli.

Nrs Andruz hd, v cors, jumt at ɖ îdīa. Bt it wz a boɖr. It mnt ɖe hd t hv reğlr sit-dǎn mīlz at ɖ propr tîmz, ẃr-az f ɖ’d bn alon ɖe cd jst hv asct Cet f ś wd’nt hv mîndd brññ ɖm a tre ẃrvr ɖe wr. N mīltîmz nǎ ɖt ɖ stren wz ovr wr rɖr a trîl.

Nrs Andruz wz simpli firfl abt butr. Riyli ɖe cd’nt hlp fīlñ ɖt abt butr, at līst, ś tc advantij v ɖer cîndnis. N ś hd ɖt maḍnñ habit v ascñ fr jst an inć mor v bred t finiś ẃt ś hd on hr plet, n ɖen, at ɖ last mǎʈfl, absnt-mîndidli—v cors it wz’nt absnt-mîndidli—tecñ anɖr hlpñ. Joẓfīn got vri red ẃn ɖs hapnd, n ś fasnd hr smōl, bīdlîc îz on ɖ teblcloʈ az f ś sw a mînyt strenj insect crīpñ ʈru ɖ web v it. Bt Cnstanśa’z loñ, pel fes leñʈnd n set, n ś gezd awe—awe—far ovr ɖ deẓt, t ẃr ɖt lîn v camlz unwaund lîc a ʈred v wŭl…

“Ẃn I wz wɖ Ledi Tycs,” sd Nrs Andruz, “ś hd sć a denti litl cntrevns fr ɖ butā. It wz a silvā Kpid baḷnst on ɖ—on ɖ bordā v a glas diś, holdñ a têni forc. N ẃn y wontd sm butā y simpli prest hiz ft n h bnt dǎn n spird y a pìs. It wz qt a gem.”

Joẓfīn cd hardli ber ɖt. Bt “I ʈnc ɖoz ʈñz r vri xtraṿgnt” wz ol ś sd.

“Bt ẃe?” asct Nrs Andruz, bīmñ ʈru hr îglasz. “Nwn, śrli, wd tec mor butā ɖn wn wontd—wd wn?”

“Rñ, Cón,” craid Joẓfīn. Ś cd’nt trust hrslf t rplî.

N prǎd yuñ Cet, ɖ inćantd prinses, cem in t si ẃt ɖ old tabiz wontd nǎ. Ś snaćt awe ɖer plets v moc smʈñ or uɖr n slapt dǎn a ẃît, teṛfaid bḷmonź.

“Jam, plīz, Cet,” sd Joẓfīn cîndli.

Cet nlt n brst opn ɖ sîdbōrd, liftd ɖ lid v ɖ jampot, sw it wz emti, pt it on ɖ tebl, n stōct of.

“I’m afreid,” sd Nrs Andruz a momnt lêtr, “ɖr z’nt eni.”

“Ǒ, ẃt a boɖr!” sd Joẓfīn. Ś bit hr lip. “Ẃt hd w betr d?”

Cnstanśa lct dybịs. “W c’nt dstrb Cet agn,” ś sd softli.

Nrs Andruz wêtd, smîlñ at ɖm bʈ. Hr îz wondrd, spayñ at evrʈñ bhnd hr îglasz. Cnstanśa in dsper wnt bac t hr camlz. Joẓfīn frǎnd heṿli—consntretd. F it hd’nt bn fr ɖs idiotic wmn ś n Cón wd, v cors, hv ītn ɖer bḷmonẓ́ wɖt. Sudnli ɖ îdīa cem.

“I nǒ,” ś sd. “Marṃled. Ɖr’z sm marṃled in ɖ sîdbōrd. Gt it, Cón.”

“I hop,” laft Nrs Andruz—n hr laf wz lîc a spūn tnc̣lñ agnst a meḍsinglas—“I hop it’s nt vri bitā marṃled.”

___

III

Bt, aftr ol, it wz nt loñ nǎ, n ɖen ś’d b gn fr gd. N ɖr wz no gtñ ovr ɖ fact ɖt ś hd bn vri cnd t faɖr. Ś hd nrst him de n nît at ɖ end. Indd, bʈ Cnstanśa n Joẓfīn flt prîṿtli ś hd rɖr oṿdn ɖ nt līvñ him at ɖ vri last. Fr ẃn ɖe hd gn in t se gdbî Nrs Andruz hd sat bsd hiz bed ɖ hol tîm, holdñ hiz rist n pritndñ t lc at hr woć. It cd’nt hv bn nesṣri. It wz so tactlis, tù. S’pozñ faɖr hd wontd t se smʈñ—smʈñ prîṿt t ɖm. Nt ɖt h hd. Ǒ, far fṛm it! H le ɖr, prpl, a darc, angri prpl in ɖ fes, n nvr īvn lct at ɖm ẃn ɖe cem in. Ɖen, az ɖe wr standñ ɖr, wunḍrñ ẃt t d, h hd sudnli opnd wn î. Ǒ, ẃt a difṛns it wd hv md, ẃt a difṛns t ɖer meṃri v him, hǎ mć īzịr t tel ppl abt it, f h hd onli opnd bʈ! Bt no—wn î onli. It glerd at ɖm a momnt n ɖen… wnt ǎt.

___

IV

It hd md it vri ōcẉd fr ɖm ẃn Mr. Farolz, v St. Jon’z, cōld ɖ sem afṭnun.

“Ɖ end wz qt pīsfl, I trust?” wr ɖ frst wrdz h sd az h glîdd twdz ɖm ʈru ɖ darc drw̃rūm.

“Qt,” sd Joẓfīn fentli. Ɖe bʈ huñ ɖer hedz. Bʈ v ɖm flt srtn ɖt î wz’nt at ol a pīsfl î.

“W’nt y sit dǎn?” sd Joẓfīn.

“Ʈanc y, Mis Pinr,” sd Mr. Farolz gretf̣li. H foldd hiz coțeilz n bgan t lowr himslf intu faɖr’z armćer, bt jst az h tućt it h olmst sprañ p n slid intu ɖ nxt ćer instd.

H coft. Joẓfīn claspt hr handz; Cnstanśa lct veg.

“I wont y t fīl, Mis Pinr,” sd Mr. Farolz, “n y, Mis Cnstanśa, ɖt I’m trayñ t b hlpfl. I wont t b hlpfl t y bʈ, f y wl let m. Ɖz r ɖ tîmz,” sd Mr. Farolz, vri simpli n rṇstli, “ẃn God mīnz s t b hlpfl t wn anɖr.”

“Ʈanc y vri mć, Mr. Farolz,” sd Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa.

“Nt at ol,” sd Mr. Farolz jntli. H drù hiz cid gluvz ʈru hiz fngrz n līnd fwd. “N f îɖr v y wd lîc a litl Cḿńn, îɖr or bʈ v y, hir n nǎ, y hv onli t tel m. A litl Cḿńn z ofn vri hlp—a gret cumf̣t,” h add tndrli.

Bt ɖ îdīa v a litl Cḿńn teṛfaid ɖm. Ẃt! In ɖ drw̃rūm bî ɖmslvz—wɖ no—no ōltr or enʈñ! Ɖ piano wd b mć tù hî, ʈt Cnstanśa, n Mr. Farolz cd nt poṣbli līn ovr it wɖ ɖ ćalis. N Cet wd b śr t cm brstñ in n inṭrupt ɖm, ʈt Joẓfīn. N s’pozñ ɖ bel rañ in ɖ midl? It mt b smbdi importnt—abt ɖer mōrnñ. Wd ɖe gt p revṛntli n g ǎt, or wd ɖe hv t wêt… in torćr?

“Phps y wl snd rnd a not bî yr gd Cet f y wd cer fr it lêtr,” sd Mr. Farolz.

“Ǒ yes, ʈanc y vri mć!” ɖe bʈ sd.

Mr. Farolz got p n tc hiz blac strw hat fṛm ɖ rǎnd tebl.

“N abt ɖ fynṛl,” h sd softli. “I me arenj ɖt—az yr dir faɖr’z old frend n yrz, Mis Pinr—n Mis Cnstanśa?”

Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa got p tù.

“I śd lîc it t b qt simpl,” sd Joẓfīn frmli, “n nt tù xpnsiv. At ɖ sem tîm, I śd lîc—”

“A gd wn ɖt wl last,” ʈt drīmi Cnstanśa, az f Joẓfīn wr bayñ a nîtgǎn. Bt, v cors, Joẓfīn dd’nt se ɖt. “Wn sūṭbl t ǎr faɖr’z pziśn.” Ś wz vri nrṿs.

“I’l run rnd t ǎr gd frend Mr. Nait,” sd Mr. Farolz suɖñli. “I wl asc him t cm n si y. I am śr y wl fînd him vri hlpfl indd.”

___

V

Wel, at eni ret, ol ɖt part v it wz ovr, ɖo nɖr v ɖm cd poṣbli b’liv ɖt faɖr wz nvr cmñ bac. Joẓfīn hd hd a momnt v abṣlut terr at ɖ seṃtri, ẃl ɖ cofin wz lowrd, t ʈnc ɖt ś n Cnstanśa hd dn ɖs ʈñ wɖt ascñ hiz pmiśn. Ẃt wd faɖr se ẃn h faund ǎt? Fr h wz baund t fînd ǎt snr or lêtr. H olwz dd. “Berid. Y tū grlz hd m berid!” Ś hŕd hiz stic ʈumpñ. Ǒ, ẃt wd ɖe se? Ẃt poṣbl xks cd ɖe mc? It sǎndd sć an apōlñli hartlis ʈñ t d. Sć a wicid advantij t tec v a prsn bcz h hapnd t b hlplis at ɖ momnt. Ɖ uɖr ppl sīmd t trīt it ol az a matr v cors. Ɖe wr strenjrz; ɖe cd’nt b xpctd t unḍstand ɖt faɖr wz ɖ vri last prsn fr sć a ʈñ t hapn t. No, ɖ intîr blem fr it ol wd fōl on hr n Cnstanśa. N ɖ xpns, ś ʈt, stepñ intu ɖ tît-butnd cab. Ẃn ś hd t śo him ɖ bílz. Ẃt wd h se ɖen?

Ś hŕd him abṣlutli rorñ. “N d y xpct m t pe fr ɖs jimcrac xcrśn v yrz?”

“Ǒ,” grond pur Joẓfīn alǎd, “w śd’nt hv dn it, Cón!”

N Cnstanśa, pel az a lemn in ol ɖt blacnis, sd in a frîtnd ẃispr, “Dn ẃt, Jug?”

“Let ɖm b-beri faɖr lîc ɖt,” sd Joẓfīn, brecñ dǎn n crayñ intu hr ny, qir-smelñ mōrnñhanc̣ćif.

“Bt ẃt els cd w hv dn?” asct Cnstanśa wundrñli. “W cd’nt hv cept him, Jug—w cd’nt hv cept him unberid. At eni ret, nt in a flat ɖt sîz.”

Joẓfīn blù hr nǒz; ɖ cab wz dredf̣li stufi.

“I d’nt nǒ,” ś sd f’lornli. “It z ol so dredfl. I fīl w òt t hv traid t, jst fr a tîm at līst. T mc prf̣cli śr. Wn ʈñ’z srtn”—n hr tirz sprañ ǎt agn—“faɖr wl nvr fgiv s fr ɖs—nvr!”

___

VI

Faɖr wd nvr fgiv ɖm. Ɖt wz ẃt ɖe flt mor ɖn evr ẃn, tū mornñz lêtr, ɖe wnt intu hiz rūm t g ʈru hiz ʈñz. Ɖe hd dscust it qt cāmli. It wz īvn dǎn on Joẓfīn’z list v ʈñz t b dn. “G ʈru faɖr’z ʈñz n setl abt ɖm.” Bt ɖt wz a vri difṛnt matr fṛm seyñ aftr brecfst:

“Wel, r y redi, Cón?”

“Yes, Jug—ẃn y r.”

“Ɖen I ʈnc w’d betr gt it ovr.”

It wz darc in ɖ hōl. It hd bn a rūl fr yirz nvr t dstrb faɖr in ɖ mornñ, ẃtvr hapnd. N nǎ ɖe wr gwñ t opn ɖ dor wɖt nocñ īvn… Cnstanśa’z îz wr inorṃs at ɖ îdīa; Joẓfīn flt wìc in ɖ niz.

“Y—y g frst,” ś gaspt, pśñ Cnstanśa.

Bt Cnstanśa sd, az ś olwz hd sd on ɖoz oceẓ́nz, “No, Jug, ɖt’s nt fer. Y’r ɖ eldist.”

Joẓfīn wz jst gwñ t se—ẃt at uɖr tîmz ś wd’nt hv ǒnd t fr ɖ wrld—ẃt ś cept fr hr vri last wepn, “Bt y’r ɖ tōlist,” ẃn ɖe notist ɖt ɖ cićndor wz opn, n ɖr std Cet…

“Vri stif,” sd Joẓfīn, graspñ ɖ dorhandl n dwñ hr bst t trn it. Az f enʈñ evr dsivd Cet!

It cd’nt b hlpt. Ɖt grl wz… Ɖen ɖ dor wz śut bhnd ɖm, bt—bt ɖe wr’nt in faɖr’z rūm at ol. Ɖe mt hv sudnli wōct ʈru ɖ wōl bî mstec intu a difṛnt flat oltgɖr. Wz ɖ dor jst bhnd ɖm? Ɖe wr tù frîtnd t lc. Joẓfīn ń ɖt f it wz it wz holdñ itslf tît śut; Cnstanśa flt ɖt, lîc ɖ dorz in drīmz, it hd’nt eni handl at ol. It wz ɖ coldnis ẃć md it so ōfl. Or ɖ ẃîtnis—ẃć? Evrʈñ wz cuvrd. Ɖ blîndz wr dǎn, a cloʈ huñ ovr ɖ mirr, a śīt hid ɖ bed; a hyj fan v ẃît pepr fild ɖ fîrples. Cnstanśa timidli pt ǎt hr hand; ś olmst xpctd a snǒflec t fōl. Joẓfīn flt a qir tnġlñ in hr nǒz, az f hr nǒz wz frizñ. Ɖen a cab clop-clopt ovr ɖ coblz b’lo, n ɖ qayt sīmd t śec intu litl pìsz.

“I hd betr pl p a blînd,” sd Joẓfīn brevli.

“Yes, it mt b a gd îdīa,” ẃisprd Cnstanśa.

Ɖe onli gev ɖ blînd a tuć, bt it flù p n ɖ cord flù aftr, rolñ rnd ɖ blîndstic, n ɖ litl tasl tapt az f trayñ t gt fri. Ɖt wz tù mć fr Cnstanśa.

“D’nt y ʈnc—d’nt y ʈnc w mt pt it of fr anɖr de?” ś ẃisprd.

“Ẃ?” snapt Joẓfīn, fīlñ, az yẓ́l, mć betr nǎ ɖt ś ń fr srtn ɖt Cnstanśa wz teṛfaid. “It’s got t b dn. Bt I d wś y wd’nt ẃispr, Cón.”

“I dd’nt nǒ I wz ẃisṗrñ,” ẃisprd Cnstanśa.

“N ẃ d y cīp stẹrñ at ɖ bed?” sd Joẓfīn, rezñ hr vôs olmst dfayntli. “Ɖr’z nʈñ on ɖ bed.”

“Ǒ, Jug, d’nt se so!” sd pur Cóni. “At eni ret, nt so lǎdli.”

Joẓfīn flt hrslf ɖt ś hd gn tù far. Ś tc a wîd swrv ovr t ɖ ćst v drorz, pt ǎt hr hand, bt qcli drù it bac agn.

“Cóni!” ś gaspt, n ś ẃīld rnd n līnd wɖ hr bac agnst ɖ ćst v drorz.

“Ǒ, Jug—ẃt?”

Joẓfīn cd onli gler. Ś hd ɖ most xtrordnri fīlñ ɖt ś hd jst iscept smʈñ simpli ōfl. Bt hǎ cd ś xplen t Cnstanśa ɖt faɖr wz in ɖ ćst v drorz? H wz in ɖ top dror wɖ hiz hanc̣ćīfs n nectîz, or in ɖ nxt wɖ hiz śrts n pjamaz, or in ɖ lǒist v ol wɖ hiz sūts. H wz woćñ ɖr, hidn awe—jst bhnd ɖ dorhandl—redi t sprñ.

Ś pld a funi old-faśnd fes at Cnstanśa, jst az ś yst t in ɖ old dez ẃn ś wz gwñ t crî.

“I c’nt opn,” ś nirli weild.

“No, d’nt, Jug,” ẃisprd Cnstanśa rṇstli. “It’s mć betr nt t. D’nt let’s opn enʈñ. At eni ret, nt fr a loñ tîm.”

“Bt—bt it sīmz so wìc,” sd Joẓfīn, brecñ dǎn.

“Bt ẃ nt b wìc fr wns, Jug?” argyd Cnstanśa, ẃisṗrñ qt firsli. “F it z wìc.” N hr pel stér flù fṛm ɖ loct raitñtebl—so sef—t ɖ hyj gliṭrñ wordrob, n ś bgan t briɖ in a qir, pantñ we. “Ẃ śd’nt w b wìc fr wns in ǎr lîvz, Jug? It’s qt xkẓbl. Let’s b wìc—b wìc, Jug. It’s mć nîsr t b wìc ɖn t b stroñ.”

N ɖen ś dd wn v ɖoz amezñli bold ʈñz ɖt ś’d dn abt twîs bfr in ɖer lîvz: ś marćt ovr t ɖ wordrob, trnd ɖ ci, n tc it ǎt v ɖ loc. Tc it ǎt v ɖ loc n hld it p t Joẓfīn, śowñ Joẓfīn bî hr xtrordnri smîl ɖt ś ń ẃt ś’d dn—ś’d risct dlibṛtli faɖr biyñ in ɖr amñ hiz oṿcots.

F ɖ hyj wordrob hd lrćt fwd, hd craśt dǎn on Cnstanśa, Joẓfīn wd’nt hv bn s’prîzd. On ɖ contrri, ś wd hv ʈt it ɖ onli sūṭbl ʈñ t hapn. Bt nʈñ hapnd. Onli ɖ rūm sīmd qaytr ɖn evr, n ɖ bigr flecs v cold er fél on Joẓfīn’z śoldrz n niz. Ś bgan t śivr.

“Cm, Jug,” sd Cnstanśa, stl wɖ ɖt ōfl caḷs smîl, n Joẓfīn foloud jst az ś hd ɖt last tîm, ẃn Cnstanśa hd pśt Beni intu ɖ rǎnd pond.

___

VII

Bt ɖ stren tld on ɖm ẃn ɖe wr bac in ɖ dînñrūm. Ɖe sat dǎn, vri śeci, n lct at ć uɖr.

“I d’nt fīl I cn setl t enʈñ,” sd Joẓfīn, “untl I’v hd smʈñ. D y ʈnc w cd asc Cet fr tū cups v hot wōtr?”

“I riyli d’nt si ẃ w śd’nt,” sd Cnstanśa cerf̣li. Ś wz qt norml agn. “I w’nt rñ. I’l g t ɖ cićndor n asc hr.”

“Yes, d,” sd Joẓfīn, sncñ dǎn intu a ćer. “Tel hr, jst tū cups, Cón, nʈñ els—on a tre.”

“Ś nīd’nt īvn pt ɖ jug on, nīd ś?” sd Cnstanśa, az ɖo Cet mt vri wel cmplen f ɖ jug hd bn ɖr.

“Ǒ no, srtnli nt! Ɖ jug’z nt at ol nesṣri. Ś cn por it d’rect ǎt v ɖ cetl,” craid Joẓfīn, fīlñ ɖt wd b a lebr-sevñ indd.

Ɖer cold lips qivrd at ɖ grīniś brimz. Joẓfīn crvd hr smōl red handz rnd ɖ cup; Cnstanśa sat p n blù on ɖ wevi stīm, mcñ it flutr fṛm wn sîd t ɖ uɖr.

“Spīcñ v Beni,” sd Joẓfīn.

N ɖo Beni hd’nt bn mnśnd Cnstanśa imīɉtli lct az ɖo h hd.

“H’l xpct s t snd him smʈñ v faɖr’z, v cors. Bt it’s so dificlt t nǒ ẃt t snd t S’lón.”

“Y mīn ʈñz gt unstuc so on ɖ vôij,” mrmrd Cnstanśa.

“No, lost,” sd Joẓfīn śarpli. “Y nǒ ɖr’z no post. Onli runrz.”

Bʈ pōzd t woć a blac man in ẃît linn drorz runñ ʈru ɖ pel fīldz fr dir lîf, wɖ a larj brǎn-pepr parsl in hiz handz. Joẓfīn’z blac man wz tîni; h scurid alñ gliṣnñ lîc an ant. Bt ɖr wz smʈñ blînd n tîrlis abt Cnstanśa’z tōl, ʈin felo, ẃć md him, ś dsîdd, a vri unpleznt prsn indd… On ɖ vranda, drest ol in ẃît n wẹrñ a corc helmit, std Beni. Hiz rît hand śc p n dǎn, az faɖr’z dd ẃn h wz impeśnt. N bhnd him, nt in ɖ līst inṭrestd, sat Hilda, ɖ uņoun sistr-in-lw. Ś swuñ in a cen rocr n flict ovr ɖ līvz v ɖ Tatlr.

“I ʈnc hiz woć wd b ɖ most sūṭbl preznt,” sd Joẓfīn.

Cnstanśa lct p; ś sīmd s’prîzd.

“Ǒ, wd y trust a gold woć t a netiv?”

“Bt v cors, I’d dsgîz it,” sd Joẓfīn. “Nwn wd nǒ it wz a woć.” Ś lîct ɖ îdīa v hvñ t mc a parsl sć a krịs śep ɖt nwn cd poṣbli ges ẃt it wz. Ś īvn ʈt fr a momnt v hîdñ ɖ woć in a naro cardbōrd corsitbox ɖt ś’d cept bî hr fr a loñ tîm, wêtñ fr it t cm in fr smʈñ. It wz sć bytifl, frm cardbōrd. Bt, no, it wd’nt b aproprịt fr ɖs oceẓ́n. It hd leṭrñ on it: Mīdịm Wimin’z 28. Xtra Frm Buscs. It wd b olmst tù mć v a s’prîz fr Beni t opn ɖt n fînd faɖr’z woć insd.

“N v cors it z’nt az ɖo it wd b gwñ—ticñ, I mīn,” sd Cnstanśa, hu wz stl ʈncñ v ɖ netiv luv v juwlri. “At līst,” ś add, “it wd b vri strenj f aftr ol ɖt tîm it wz.”

___

VIII

Joẓfīn md no rplî. Ś hd floun of on wn v hr tanjnts. Ś hd sudnli ʈt v Siril. Wz’nt it mor yẓ́l fr ɖ onli gransun t hv ɖ woć? N ɖen dir Siril wz so aprīṣ́tiv, n a gold woć mnt so mć t a yuñ man. Beni, in ol probbiḷti, hd qt got ǎt v ɖ habit v woćz; men so sldm wòr weistcots in ɖoz hot clîṃts. Ẃr-az Siril in Lundn wòr ɖm fṛm yir’z end t yir’z end. N it wd b so nîs fr hr n Cnstanśa, ẃn h cem t ti, t nǒ it wz ɖr. “I si y’v got on granfaɖr’z woć, Siril.” It wd b smhǎ so saṭsfactri.

Dir bô! Ẃt a blo hiz swīt, simṗʈetic litl not hd bn! V cors ɖe qt unḍstd; bt it wz most unforćṇt.

“It wd hv bn sć a pônt, hvñ him,” sd Joẓfīn.

“N h wd hv injoid it so,” sd Cnstanśa, nt ʈncñ ẃt ś wz seyñ.

Hvr, az sn az h got bac h wz cmñ t ti wɖ hiz āntiz. Siril t ti wz wn v ɖer rer trīts.

“Nǎ, Siril, y ms’nt b frîtnd v ǎr cecs. Yr Ānti Cón n I bòt ɖm at Buẓd’z ɖs mornñ. W nǒ ẃt a man’z aṗtît z. So d’nt b aśemd v mcñ a gd ti.”

Joẓfīn cut reclisli intu ɖ rić darc cec ɖt std fr hr wintrgluvz or ɖ soling n hìlñ v Cnstanśa’z onli rspctbl śuz. Bt Siril wz most unmanlîc in aṗtît.

“I se, Ānt Joẓfīn, I simpli c’nt. I’v onli jst hd lunć, y nǒ.”

“Ǒ, Siril, ɖt c’nt b tru! It’s aftr for,” craid Joẓfīn. Cnstanśa sat wɖ hr nîf pôzd ovr ɖ ćocḷtrol.

“It z, ol ɖ sem,” sd Siril. “I hd t mīt a man at Victoria, n h cept m haññ abt tl… ɖr wz onli tîm t gt lunć n t cm on hir. N h gev m—fȳ”—Siril pt hiz hand t hiz fōrhed—“a t’rific blo-ǎt,” h sd.

It wz dis’pôntñ—tde v ol dez. Bt stl h cd’nt b xpctd t nǒ.

“Bt y’l hv a mrañ, w’nt y, Siril?” sd Ānt Joẓfīn. “Ɖz mrañz wr bòt speśli fr y. Yr dir faɖr wz so fond v ɖm. W wr śr y r, tù.”

“I am, Ānt Joẓfīn,” craid Siril ardntli. “D y mînd f I tec haf t bgin wɖ?”

“Nt at ol, dir bô; bt w ms’nt let y of wɖ ɖt.”

“Z yr dir faɖr stl so fond v mrañz?” asct Ānti Cón jntli. Ś winst fentli az ś brouc ʈru ɖ śel v hrz.

“Wel, I d’nt qt nǒ, Ānti Cón,” sd Siril brīẓli.

At ɖt ɖe bʈ lct p.

“D’nt nǒ?” olmst snapt Joẓfīn. “D’nt nǒ a ʈñ lîc ɖt abt yr ǒn faɖr, Siril?”

“Śrli,” sd Ānti Cón softli.

Siril traid t laf it of. “Ǒ, wel,” h sd, “it’s sć a loñ tîm sins—” H fōltrd. H stopt. Ɖer fesz wr tù mć fr him.

“Īvn so,” sd Joẓfīn.

N Ānti Cón lct.

Siril pt dǎn hiz tīcup. “Wêt a bit,” h craid. “Wêt a bit, Ānt Joẓfīn. Ẃt am I ʈncñ v?”

H lct p. Ɖe wr bginñ t brîtn. Siril slapt hiz ni.

“V cors,” h sd, “it wz mrañz. Hǎ cd I hv fgotn? Yes, Ānt Joẓfīn, y’r prf̣cli rît. Faɖr’z most frîtf̣li cīn on mrañz.”

Ɖe dd’nt onli bīm. Ānt Joẓfīn wnt scarlit wɖ pleẓ́r; Ānti Cón gev a dīp, dīp sai.

“N nǎ, Siril, y mst cm n si faɖr,” sd Joẓfīn. “H nz y wr cmñ tde.”

“Rît,” sd Siril, vri frmli n harṭli. H got p fṛm hiz ćer; sudnli h glanst at ɖ cloc.

“I se, Ānti Cón, z’nt yr cloc a bit slo? I’v got t mīt a man at—at Padñtn jst aftr fîv. I’m afreid I ś’nt b ebl t ste vri loñ wɖ granfaɖr.”

“Ǒ, h w’nt xpct y t ste vri loñ!” sd Ānt Joẓfīn.

Cnstanśa wz stl gezñ at ɖ cloc. Ś cd’nt mc p hr mînd f it wz fast or slo. It wz wn or ɖ uɖr, ś flt olmst srtn v ɖt. At eni ret, it hd bn.

Siril stl lingrd. “R’nt y cmñ alñ, Ānti Cón?”

“V cors,” sd Joẓfīn, “w śl ol g. Cm on, Cón.”

___

IX

Ɖe noct at ɖ dor, n Siril foloud hiz ānts intu granfaɖr’z hot, swītiś rūm.

“Cm on,” sd Granfaɖr Pinr. “D’nt hañ abt. Ẃt z it? Ẃt’v y bn p t?”

H wz sitñ in frunt v a rorñ fîr, claspñ hiz stic. H hd a ʈic rug ovr hiz niz. On hiz lap ɖr le a bytifl pel yelo silc hanc̣ćif.

“It’s Siril, faɖr,” sd Joẓfīn śîli. N ś tc Siril’z hand n léd him fwd.

“Gd afṭnun, granfaɖr,” sd Siril, trayñ t tec hiz hand ǎt v Ānt Joẓfīn’z. Granfaɖr Pinr śot hiz îz at Siril in ɖ we h wz feṃs fr. Ẃr wz Ānti Cón? Ś std on ɖ uɖr sîd v Ānt Joẓfīn; hr loñ armz huñ dǎn in frunt v hr; hr handz wr claspt. Ś nvr tc hr îz of granfaɖr.

“Wel,” sd Granfaɖr Pinr, bginñ t ʈump, “ẃt hv y got t tel m?”

Ẃt hd h, ẃt hd h got t tel him? Siril flt himslf smîlñ lîc a prfict imḅsil. Ɖ rūm wz stîf̣lñ, tù.

Bt Ānt Joẓfīn cem t hiz resk. Ś craid brîtli, “Siril sz hiz faɖr z stl vri fond v mrañz, faɖr dir.”

“Ê?” sd Granfaɖr Pinr, crvñ hiz hand lîc a prpl mrañśel ovr wn ir.

Joẓfīn rpitd, “Siril sz hiz faɖr z stl vri fond v mrañz.”

“C’nt hír,” sd old Crnl Pinr. N h wevd Joẓfīn awe wɖ hiz stic, ɖen pôntd wɖ hiz stic t Siril. “Tel m ẃt Ś’z trayñ t se,” h sd.

(Mî God!) “Mst I?” sd Siril, bluśñ n stẹrñ at Ānt Joẓfīn.

“D, dir,” ś smîld. “It wl plīz him so mć.”

“Cm on, ǎt wɖ it!” craid Crnl Pinr tsṭli, bginñ t ʈump agn.

N Siril līnd fwd n yeld, “Faɖr’z stl vri fond v mrañz.”

At ɖt Granfaɖr Pinr jumt az ɖo h hd bn śot.

“D’nt śǎt!” h craid. “Ẃt’s ɖ matr wɖ ɖ bô? Mrañz! Ẃt abt ’m?”

“Ǒ, Ānt Joẓfīn, mst w g on?” grond Siril despṛtli.

“It’s qt ol rît, dir bô,” sd Ānt Joẓfīn, az ɖo h n ś wr at ɖ dntist’s tgɖr. “H’l unḍstand in a minit.” N ś ẃisprd t Siril, “H’z gtñ a bit def, y nǒ.” Ɖen ś līnd fwd n riyli bȍld at Granfaɖr Pinr, “Siril onli wontd t tel y, faɖr dir, ɖt hiz faɖr z stl vri fond v mrañz.”

Crnl Pinr hŕd ɖt tîm, hŕd n brūdd, lcñ Siril p n dǎn.

“Ẃt an estrordnri ʈñ!” sd old Granfaɖr Pinr. “Ẃt an estrordnri ʈñ t cm ol ɖs we hir t tel m!”

N Siril flt it wz.

“Yes, I śl snd Siril ɖ woć,” sd Joẓfīn.

“Ɖt wd b vri nîs,” sd Cnstanśa. “I sīm t rmembr last tîm h cem ɖr wz sm litl trubl abt ɖ tîm.”

___

X

Ɖe wr inṭruptd bî Cet brstñ ʈru ɖ dor in hr yẓ́l faśn, az ɖo ś hd dscuvrd sm sīcrit panl in ɖ wōl.

“Fraid or bôld?” asct ɖ bold vôs.

Fraid or bôld? Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa wr qt bwildrd fr ɖ momnt. Ɖe cd hardli tec it in.

“Fraid or bôld ẃt, Cet?” asct Joẓfīn, trayñ t bgin t consntret.

Cet gev a lǎd snif. “Fiś.”

“Wel, ẃ dd’nt y se so imīɉtli?” Joẓfīn rproćt hr jntli. “Hǎ cd y xpct s t unḍstand, Cet? Ɖr r a gret mni ʈñz in ɖs wrld y nǒ, ẃć r fraid or bôld.” N aftr sć a dsple v curij ś sd qt brîtli t Cnstanśa, “Ẃć d y prifŕ, Cón?”

“I ʈnc it mt b nîs t hv it fraid,” sd Cnstanśa. “On ɖ uɖr hand, v cors, bôld fiś z vri nîs. I ʈnc I prifŕ bʈ īqli wel… Unls y… In ɖt ces—”

“I śl frî it,” sd Cet, n ś bǎnst bac, līvñ ɖer dor opn n slamñ ɖ dor v hr cićn.

Joẓfīn gezd at Cnstanśa; ś rezd hr pel îbrǎz untl ɖe ripld awe intu hr pel her. Ś got p. Ś sd in a vri lofti, impozñ we, “D y mînd folowñ m intu ɖ drw̃rūm, Cnstanśa? I’v got smʈñ v gret importns t dscus wɖ y.”

Fr it wz olwz t ɖ drw̃rūm ɖe rtîrd ẃn ɖe wontd t tōc ovr Cet.

Joẓfīn clozd ɖ dor mīnñli. “Sit dǎn, Cnstanśa,” ś sd, stl vri grand. Ś mt hv bn rsivñ Cnstanśa fr ɖ frst tîm. N Cón lct rnd vegli fr a ćer, az ɖo ś flt indd qt a strenjr.

“Nǎ ɖ qsćn z,” sd Joẓfīn, bndñ fwd, “ẃɖr w śl cīp hr or nt.”

“Ɖt z ɖ qsćn,” agrìd Cnstanśa.

“N ɖs tîm,” sd Joẓfīn frmli, “w mst cm t a defiṇt dsiẓ́n.”

Cnstanśa lct fr a momnt az ɖo ś mt bgin gwñ ovr ol ɖ uɖr tîmz, bt ś pld hrslf tgɖr n sd, “Yes, Jug.”

“Y si, Cón,” xplend Joẓfīn, “evrʈñ z so ćenjd nǎ.” Cnstanśa lct p qcli. “I mīn,” wnt on Joẓfīn, “w’r nt dpndnt on Cet az w wr.” N ś bluśt fentli. “Ɖr’z nt faɖr t cc fr.”

“Ɖt z prf̣cli tru,” agrìd Cnstanśa. “Faɖr srtnli dz’nt wont eni ccñ nǎ, ẃtvr els—”

Joẓfīn brouc in śarpli, “Y’r nt slīpi, r y, Cón?”

“Slīpi, Jug?” Cnstanśa wz wîd-aid.

“Wel, consntret mor,” sd Joẓfīn śarpli, n ś rtrnd t ɖ subjict. “Ẃt it cmz t z, f w dd”—n ɖs ś bérli briɖd, glansñ at ɖ dor—“gv Cet notis”—ś rezd hr vôs agn—“w cd manij ǎr ǒn fūd.”

“Ẃ nt?” craid Cnstanśa. Ś cd’nt hlp smîlñ. Ɖ îdīa wz so xîtñ. Ś claspt hr handz. “Ẃt śd w liv on, Jug?”

“Ǒ, egz in verịs formz!” sd Jug, lofti agn. “N, bsdz, ɖr r ol ɖ cct fūdz.”

“Bt I’v olwz hŕd,” sd Cnstanśa, “ɖe r cnsidrd so vri xpnsiv.”

“Nt f wn baiz ɖm in moḍreśn,” sd Joẓfīn. Bt ś tòr hrslf awe fṛm ɖs faṣnetñ bîpaʈ n dragd Cnstanśa aftr hr.

“Ẃt w’v got t dsîd nǎ, hvr, z ẃɖr w riyli d trust Cet or nt.”

Cnstanśa līnd bac. Hr flat litl laf flù fṛm hr lips.

“Z’nt it krịs, Jug,” sd ś, “ɖt jst on ɖs wn subjict I’v nvr bn ebl t qt mc p mî mînd?”

___

XI

Ś  nvr hd. Ɖ hol dificlti wz t pruv enʈñ. Hǎ dd wn pruv ʈñz, hǎ cd wn? S’poz Cet hd std in frunt v hr n dlibṛtli md a fes. Mt’nt ś vri wel hv bn in pen? Wz’nt it imposbl, at eni ret, t asc Cet f ś wz mcñ a fes at hr? F Cet ansrd “No”—n, v cors, ś wd se “No”—ẃt a pziśn! Hǎ undigṇfaid! Ɖen agn Cnstanśa sspctd, ś wz olmst srtn ɖt Cet wnt t hr ćst v drorz ẃn ś n Joẓfīn wr ǎt, nt t tec ʈñz bt t spî. Mni tîmz ś hd cm bac t fînd hr aṃʈist cros in ɖ most unlîcli plesz, undr hr lês tîz or on top v hr īvnñ Brʈa. Mor ɖn wns ś hd leid a trap fr Cet. Ś hd arenjd ʈñz in a speśl ordr n ɖen cōld Joẓfīn t witnis.

“Y si, Jug?”

“Qt, Cón.”

“Nǎ w śl b ebl t tel.”

Bt, ǒ dir, ẃn ś dd g t lc, ś wz az far of fṛm a prūf az evr! F enʈñ wz dsplest, it mt so vri wel hv hapnd az ś clozd ɖ dror; a jolt mt hv dn it so īẓli.

“Y cm, Jug, n dsîd. I riyli c’nt. It’s tù dificlt.”

Bt aftr a pōz n a loñ gler Joẓfīn wd sai, “Nǎ y’v pt ɖ dǎt intu mî mînd, Cón, I’m śr I c’nt tel mslf.”

“Wel, w c’nt pspon it agn,” sd Joẓfīn. “F w pspon it ɖs tîm—”

___

XII

Bt at ɖt momnt in ɖ strīt b’lo a baṛl-orgn struc p. Joẓfīn n Cnstanśa sprañ t ɖer fīt tgɖr.

“Run, Cón,” sd Joẓfīn. “Run qcli. Ɖr’z sixpns on ɖ—”

Ɖen ɖe rmembrd. It dd’nt matr. Ɖe wd nvr hv t stop ɖ orgngrîndr agn. Nvr agn wd ś n Cnstanśa b tld t mc ɖt munci tec hiz nôz smẃr els. Nvr wd sǎnd ɖt lǎd, strenj belo ẃn faɖr ʈt ɖe wr nt huriyñ inuf. Ɖ orgngrîndr mt ple ɖr ol de n ɖ stic wd nt ʈump.

It nvr wl ʈump agn,

It nvr wl ʈump agn,

pleid ɖ baṛl-orgn.

Ẃt wz Cnstanśa ʈncñ? Ś hd sć a strenj smîl; ś lct difṛnt. Ś cd’nt b gwñ t crî.

“Jug, Jug,” sd Cnstanśa softli, presñ hr handz tgɖr. “D y nǒ ẃt de it z? It’s Saṭde. It’s a wīc tde, a hol wīc.”

A wīc sins faɖr daid,

A wīc sins faɖr daid,

craid ɖ baṛl-orgn. N Joẓfīn, tù, fgot t b practicl n snṣbl; ś smîld fentli, strenjli. On ɖ Indịn carpit ɖr fél a sqer v súnlît, pel red; it cem n wnt n cem—n steid, dīpnd—untl it śon olmst goldn.

“Ɖ sún’z ǎt,” sd Joẓfīn, az ɖo it riyli matrd.

A prfict fǎntn v buḅlñ nots śc fṛm ɖ baṛl-orgn, rǎnd, brît nots, cerlisli scatrd.

Cnstanśa liftd hr big, cold handz az f t cać ɖm, n ɖen hr handz fél agn. Ś wōct ovr t ɖ mantlpìs t hr feṿrit Bda. N ɖ ston n gílt imij, huz smîl olwz gev hr sć a qir fīlñ, olmst a pen n yt a pleznt pen, sīmd tde t b mor ɖn smîlñ. H ń smʈñ; h hd a sīcrit. “I nǒ smʈñ ɖt y d’nt nǒ,” sd hr Bda. Ǒ, ẃt wz it, ẃt cd it b? N yt ś hd olwz flt ɖr wz… smʈñ.

Ɖ súnlît prest ʈru ɖ windoz, ʈīvd its we in, flaśt its lît ovr ɖ frnićr n ɖ foṭgrafs. Joẓfīn woćt it. Ẃn it cem t muɖr’z foṭgraf, ɖ inlarjmnt ovr ɖ piano, it lingrd az ɖo puzld t fînd so litl rmend v muɖr, xpt ɖ irñz śept lîc tîni pgodaz n a blac feɖr boa. Ẃ dd ɖ foṭgrafs v ded ppl olwz fed so? wundrd Joẓfīn. Az sn az a prsn wz ded ɖer foṭgraf daid tù. Bt, v cors, ɖs wn v muɖr wz vri old. It wz ʈrti-fîv yirz old. Joẓfīn rmembrd standñ on a ćer n pôntñ ǎt ɖt feɖr boa t Cnstanśa n telñ hr ɖt it wz a snec ɖt hd cild ɖer muɖr in S’lón… Wd evrʈñ hv bn difṛnt f muɖr hd’nt daid? Ś dd’nt si ẃ. Ānt Floṛns hd livd wɖ ɖm untl ɖe hd left scūl, n ɖe hd muvd ʈri tîmz n hd ɖer yirli hoḷde n… n ɖr’d bn ćenjz v srvnts, v cors.

Sm litl sparoz, yuñ sparoz ɖe sǎndd, ćrpt on ɖ windolej. Yīp—iyīp—yīp. Bt Joẓfīn flt ɖe wr nt sparoz, nt on ɖ windolej. It wz insd hr, ɖt qir litl crayñ nôz. Yīp—iyīp—yīp. Ā, ẃt wz it crayñ, so wìc n f’lorn?

F muɖr hd livd, mt ɖe hv marid? Bt ɖr hd bn nbdi fr ɖm t mari. Ɖr hd bn faɖr’z Anglo-Indịn frendz bfr h qoṛld wɖ ɖm. Bt aftr ɖt ś n Cnstanśa nvr met a sngl man xpt clrjiṃn. Hǎ dd wn mīt men? Or īvn f ɖ’d met ɖm, hǎ cd ɖe hv got t nǒ men wel inuf t b mor ɖn strenjrz? Wn réd v ppl hvñ advnćrz, biyñ foloud, n so on. Bt nbdi hd evr foloud Cnstanśa n hr. Ǒ yes, ɖr hd bn wn yir at Īstbōrn a mstirịs man at ɖer bōrdñhǎs hu hd pt a not on ɖ jug v hot wōtr ǎtsd ɖer bedrūm dor! Bt bî ɖ tîm Cóni hd faund it ɖ stīm hd md ɖ raitñ tù fent t rīd; ɖe cd’nt īvn mc ǎt t ẃć v ɖm it wz adrest. N h hd left nxt de. N ɖt wz ol. Ɖ rest hd bn lcñ aftr faɖr, n at ɖ sem tîm cīpñ ǎt v faɖr’z we. Bt nǎ? Bt nǎ? Ɖ ʈīvñ sún tućt Joẓfīn jntli. Ś liftd hr fes. Ś wz drwn ovr t ɖ windo bî jntl bīmz…

Untl ɖ baṛl-orgn stopt pleyñ Cnstanśa steid bfr ɖ Bda, wunḍrñ, bt nt az yẓ́l, nt vegli. Ɖs tîm hr wundr wz lîc loññ. Ś rmembrd ɖ tîmz ś hd cm in hir, crept ǎt v bed in hr nîtgǎn ẃn ɖ mūn wz fl, n lein on ɖ flor wɖ hr armz ǎtstrećt, az ɖo ś wz crūṣfaid. Ẃ? Ɖ big, pel mūn hd md hr d it. Ɖ hoṛbl dansñ figrz on ɖ carvd scrīn hd lird at hr n ś hd’nt mîndd. Ś rmembrd tù hǎ, ẃnvr ɖe wr at ɖ sìsîd, ś hd gn of bî hrslf n got az clos t ɖ sì az ś cd, n suñ smʈñ, smʈñ ś hd md p, ẃl ś gezd ol ovr ɖt restlis wōtr. Ɖr hd bn ɖs uɖr lîf, runñ ǎt, brññ ʈñz hom in bagz, gtñ ʈñz on apruvl, dscusñ ɖm wɖ Jug, n tecñ ɖm bac t gt mor ʈñz on apruvl, n arenjñ faɖr’z trez n trayñ nt t anô faɖr. Bt it ol sīmd t hv hapnd in a cnd v tunl. It wz’nt riyl. It wz onli ẃn ś cem ǎt v ɖ tunl intu ɖ mūnlît or bî ɖ sì or intu a ʈundrstorm ɖt ś riyli flt hrslf. Ẃt dd it mīn? Ẃt wz it ś wz olwz wontñ? Ẃt dd it ol līd t? Nǎ? Nǎ?

Ś trnd awe fṛm ɖ Bda wɖ wn v hr veg jsćrz. Ś wnt ovr t ẃr Joẓfīn wz standñ. Ś wontd t se smʈñ t Joẓfīn, smʈñ frîtf̣li importnt, abt—abt ɖ fyćr n ẃt…

“D’nt y ʈnc phps—” ś bgan.

Bt Joẓfīn inṭruptd hr. “I wz wunḍrñ f nǎ—” ś mrmrd. Ɖe stopt; ɖe wêtd fr ć uɖr.

“G on, Cón,” sd Joẓfīn.

“No, no, Jug; aftr y,” sd Cnstanśa.

“No, se ẃt y wr gwñ t se. Y bgan,” sd Joẓfīn.

“I… I’d rɖr hír ẃt y wr gwñ t se frst,” sd Cnstanśa.

“D’nt b absrd, Cón.”

“Riyli, Jug.”

“Cóni!”

“Ǒ, Jug!”

A pōz. Ɖen Cnstanśa sd fentli, “I c’nt se ẃt I wz gwñ t se, Jug, bcz I’v fgotn ẃt it wz… ɖt I wz gwñ t se.”

Joẓfīn wz sîḷnt fr a momnt. Ś stérd at a big clǎd ẃr ɖ sún hd bn. Ɖen ś rplaid śortli, “I’v fgotn tù.”

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

Clasics in Ñspel: THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH, by Charles Dickens

ĆRPS

IIIIII

PDF

ĆRP Ɖ FRST

Ɖ  cetl bgan it! D’nt tel m ẃt Msz. Pīribngl sd. I nǒ betr. Msz. Pīribngl me līv it on record t ɖ end v tîm ɖt ś cd’nt se ẃć v ɖm bgan it; bt I se ɖ cetl dd. I òt t nǒ, I hop? Ɖ cetl bgan it, fl fîv minits bî ɖ litl waxi-fest Duć cloc in ɖ cornr, bfr ɖ Cricit utrd a ćrp.

Az f ɖ cloc hd’nt finiśt strîcñ, n ɖ cnvulsiv litl He-mcr at ɖ top v it, jrcñ awe rît n left wɖ a sîɖ in frunt v a Mūriś Palis, hd’nt moud dǎn haf an ecr v imajinri gras bfr ɖ Cricit jônd in at ol!

Ẃ, I am nt naćṛli poẓtiv. Evrwn nz ɖt I wd’nt set mî ǒn opińn agnst ɖ opińn v Msz. Pīribngl, unls I wr qt śr, on eni acǎnt ẃtvr. Nʈñ śd indys m. Bt, ɖs z a qsćn v fact. N ɖ fact z, ɖt ɖ cetl bgan it at līst fîv minits bfr ɖ Cricit gev eni sîn v biyñ in xistns. Contṛdict m, n I’l se ten.

Let m nret xacli hǎ it hapnd. I śd hv pṛsidd t d so, in mî vri frst wrd, bt fr ɖs plen cnsiḍreśn—f I am t tel a stori I mst bgin at ɖ bginñ; n hǎ z it poṣbl t bgin at ɖ bginñ wɖt bginñ at ɖ cetl?

It apird az f ɖr wr a sort v mać, or trîl v scil, y mst unḍstand, btwn ɖ cetl n ɖ Cricit. N ɖs z ẃt léd t it, n hǎ it cem abt.

Msz. Pīribngl, gwñ ǎt intu ɖ rw twîlît, n clicñ ovr ɖ wet stonz in a per v pátnz ɖt wrct ińmṛbl ruf impreśnz v ɖ frst propziśn in Yclid ol abt ɖ yard—Msz. Pīribngl fild ɖ cetl at ɖ wōtrbut. Prezntli rtrnñ, les ɖ pátnz (n a gd dīl les, fr ɖe wr tōl, n Msz. Pīribngl wz bt śort), ś set ɖ cetl on ɖ fîr. In dwñ ẃć ś lost hr tmpr, or msleid it fr an instnt; fr, ɖ wōtr biyñ uncumftbli cold, n in ɖt slipi, sluśi, slīti sort v stet ẃr-in it sīmz t peṇtret ʈru evri cnd v substns, pátnrñz includd—hd leid hold v Msz. Pīribngl’z toz, n īvn splaśt hr legz. N ẃn w rɖr plūm ǎrslvz (wɖ rīzn tù) upn ǎr legz, n cīp ǎrslvz ptiklrli nīt in pônt v stocñz, w fînd ɖs, fr ɖ momnt, hard t ber.

Bsdz, ɖ cetl wz agṛvetñ n obstiṇt. It wd’nt alǎ itslf t b ajustd on ɖ top bar; it wd’nt hír v acoṃdetñ itslf cîndli t ɖ nóbz v col; it wd līn fwd wɖ a druncn er, n dribl, a vri Idịt v a cetl, on ɖ harʈ. It wz qoṛlsm, n hist n splutrd mrosli at ɖ fîr. T sum p ol, ɖ lid, rzistñ Msz. Pīribngl’z fngrz, frst v ol trnd topsi-trvi, n ɖen, wɖ an injīńs prṭnaṣti dzrvñ v a betr cōz, dîvd sîdwez in—dǎn t ɖ vri botm v ɖ cetl. N ɖ hul v ɖ Royl Jorj hz nvr md haf ɖ monstṛs rzistns t cmñ ǎt v ɖ wōtr ẃć ɖ lid v ɖt cetl imploid agnst Msz. Pīribngl bfr ś got it p agn.

It lct suḷn n pig-hedd inuf, īvn ɖen; cariyñ its handl wɖ an er v dfayns, n cocñ its spǎt prtli n mocñli at Msz. Pīribngl, az f it sd, “I w’nt bôl. Nʈñ śl indys m!”

Bt, Msz. Pīribngl, wɖ rstord gd-hymr, dustd hr ćubi litl handz agnst ć uɖr, n sat dǎn bfr ɖ cetl lafñ. Mntm, ɖ joli blêz uprouz n fél, flaśñ n glīmñ on ɖ litl He-mcr at ɖ top v ɖ Duć cloc, untl wn mt hv ʈt h std stoc-stil bfr ɖ Mūriś Palis, n nʈñ wz in mośn bt ɖ flem.

H wz on ɖ muv, hvr; n hd hiz spazmz, tū t ɖ secnd, ol rît n reğlr. Bt hiz suf̣rñz ẃn ɖ cloc wz gwñ t strîc wr frîtfl t bhold; n ẃn a Ccu lct ǎt v a trapdor in ɖ Palis, n gev not six tîmz, it śc him, ć tîm, lîc a spectṛl vôs—or lîc a smʈñ wîri plucñ at hiz legz.

It wz nt untl a vayḷnt cmośn n a ẃŕñ nôz amñ ɖ weits n rops b’lo him hd qt sbsîdd ɖt ɖs teṛfaid He-mcr bcem himslf agn. Nr wz h startld wɖt rīzn; fr ɖz raṭlñ, boni scelitnz v clocs r vri discnsrtñ in ɖer oṗreśn, n I wundr vri mć hǎ eni set v men, bt most v ol hǎ Dućṃn, cn hv hd a lîcñ t invnt ɖm. Ɖr z a popylr b’lif ɖt Dućṃn luv brōd cesz n mć cloɖñ fr ɖer ǒn lowr slvz; n ɖe mt nǒ betr ɖn t līv ɖer clocs so vri lanc n unpṛtctd, śrli.

Nǎ it wz, y obzrv, ɖt ɖ cetl bgan t spend ɖ īvnñ. Nǎ it wz ɖt ɖ cetl, growñ melo n ḿzicl, bgan t hv iripresbl grġlñz in its ʈrot, n t indulj in śort vocl snorts, ẃć it ćect in ɖ bud, az f it hd’nt qt md p its mînd yt t b gd cumṗni. Nǎ it wz ɖt aftr tū or ʈri sć ven atmts t stîfl its cnvivịl sntimnts, it ʈrù of ol mrosnis, ol rzrv, n brst intu a strīm v soñ so cozi n hlerịs az nvr mōdlin nîtngel yt formd ɖ līst îdīa v.

So plen, tù! Bles y, y mt hv unḍstd it lîc a bc—betr ɖn sm bcs y n I cd nem, phps. Wɖ its worm breʈ guśñ fʈ in a lît clǎd ẃć meṛli n gresf̣li asndd a fy fīt, ɖen huñ abt ɖ ćimnicornr az its ǒn dmestic Hevn, it trold its soñ wɖ ɖt stroñ eṇji v ćirflnis, ɖt its ayn bodi humd n strd upn ɖ fîr; n ɖ lid itslf, ɖ rīsntli rbełs lid—sć z ɖ inflụns v a brît xampl—pformd a sort v jig, n clatrd lîc a def n dum yuñ símbl ɖt hd nvr noun ɖ ys v its twin bruɖr.

Ɖt ɖs soñ v ɖ cetl’z wz a soñ v invteśn n welcm t smbdi ǎt v dorz: t smbdi at ɖt momnt cmñ on twdz ɖ snug smōl hom n ɖ crisp fîr: ɖr z no dǎt ẃtvr. Msz. Pīribngl ń it prf̣cli, az ś sat ḿzñ bfr ɖ harʈ. It’s a darc nît, sañ ɖ cetl, n ɖ rotn līvz r layñ bî ɖ we; n, abv, ol z mist n darcnis, n, b’lo, ol z mîr n cle; n ɖr’z onli wn rlif in ol ɖ sad n mrci er; n I d’nt nǒ ɖt it z wn, fr it’s nʈñ bt a gler; v dīp n angri crimzn, ẃr ɖ sún n wind tgɖr; set a brand upn ɖ clǎdz fr biyñ gilti v sć weɖr; n ɖ wîdist opn cuntri z a loñ dul strīc v blac; n ɖr’z hōrfrost on ɖ fngrpost, n ʈw upn ɖ trac; n ɖ îs it z’nt wōtr, n ɖ wōtr z’nt fri; n y cd’nt se ɖt enʈñ z ẃt it òt t b; bt h’z cmñ, cmñ, cmñ!—

N hir, f y lîc, ɖ Cricit DD ćîm in! wɖ a Ćiṛp, Ćiṛp, Ćiṛp v sć magṇtyd, bî we v cōṛs; wɖ a vôs so astǎndñli dispṛporśṇt t its sîz, az cmperd wɖ ɖ cetl; (sîz! y cd’nt si it!) ɖt, f it hd ɖen n ɖr brst itslf lîc an oṿćarjd gun, f it hd fōḷn a victim on ɖ spot, n ćiṛpt its litl bodi intu fifti pìsz, it wd hv sīmd a naćṛl n inevitbl consiqns, fr ẃć it hd xpresli lebrd.

Ɖ cetl hd hd ɖ last v its solo pformns. It prṣvird wɖ undiminiśt ardr; bt ɖ Cricit tc frst fidl, n cept it. Gd Hevn, hǎ it ćrpt! Its śril, śarp, pirsñ vôs rzǎndd ʈru ɖ hǎs, n sīmd t twncl in ɖ ǎtr darcnis lîc a star. Ɖr wz an indiscrîbbl litl tril n trembl in it at its lǎdist, ẃć sjstd its biyñ carid of its legz, n md t līp agn, bî its ǒn intns inʈyziazm. Yt ɖe wnt vri wel tgɖr, ɖ Cricit n ɖ cetl. Ɖ brdn v ɖ soñ wz stl ɖ sem; n lǎdr, lǎdr, lǎdr stl, ɖe sañ it in ɖer eḿleśn.

Ɖ fer litl lisnr—fr fer ś wz, n yuñ; ɖo smʈñ v ẃt z cōld ɖ dumplñ śep; bt I d’nt mslf objct t ɖt—lîtd a candl, glanst at ɖ He-mcr on ɖ top v ɖ cloc, hu wz gtñ in a priti aṿrij crop v minits; n lct ǎt v ɖ windo, ẃr ś sw nʈñ, owñ t ɖ darcnis, bt hr ǒn fes imijd in ɖ glas. N mî opińn z (n so wd yrz hv bn) ɖt ś mt hv lct a loñ we n sìn nʈñ haf so agriybl. Ẃn ś cem bac, n sat dǎn in hr formr sīt, ɖ Cricit n ɖ cetl wr stl cīpñ it p, wɖ a prfict fyri v comṗtiśn. Ɖ cetl’z wìc sîd clirli biyñ ɖt h dd’nt nǒ ẃn h wz bìt.

Ɖr wz ol ɖ xîtmnt v a rês abt it. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit a mîl ahd. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl mcñ ple in ɖ distns, lîc a gret top. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit rnd ɖ cornr. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl sticñ t him in hiz ǒn we; no îdīa v gvñ in. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit freśr ɖn evr. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl slo n stedi. Ćrp, ćrp, ćrp! Cricit gwñ in t finiś him. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Cetl nt t b finiśt. Untl at last ɖe got so jumbld tgɖr, in ɖ huri-scuri, heltr-sceltr, v ɖ mać, ɖt ẃɖr ɖ cetl ćrpt n ɖ Cricit humd, or ɖ Cricit ćrpt n ɖ cetl humd, or ɖe bʈ ćrpt n bʈ humd, it wd hv tecn a clirr hed ɖn yrz or mîn t hv dsîdd wɖ enʈñ lîc srtnti. Bt v ɖs ɖr z no dǎt: ɖt, ɖ cetl n ɖ Cricit, at wn n ɖ sem momnt, n bî sm pǎr v amalġmeśn bst noun t ɖmslvz, snt, ć, hiz fîrsîd soñ v cumf̣t strīmñ intu a re v ɖ candl ɖt śon ǎt ʈru ɖ windo, n a loñ we dǎn ɖ len. N ɖs lît, brstñ on a srtn prsn hu, on ɖ instnt, aproćt twdz it ʈru ɖ glūm, xprest ɖ hol ʈñ t him, litṛli in a twnc̣lñ, n craid, “Welcm hom, old felo! Welcm hom, mî bô!”

Ɖs end atend, ɖ cetl, biyñ ded bìt, bôld ovr, n wz tecn of ɖ fîr. Msz. Pīribngl ɖen wnt runñ t ɖ dor, ẃr, ẃt wɖ ɖ ẃīlz v a cart, ɖ tramp v a hors, ɖ vôs v a man, ɖ tẹrñ in n ǎt v an xîtd dog, n ɖ s’prîzñ n mstirịs apiṛns v a bebi, ɖr wz sn ɖ vri Ẃt’s-hiz-nem t ple.

Ẃr ɖ bebi cem fṛm, or hǎ Msz. Pīribngl got hold v it in ɖt flaś v tîm, I d’nt nǒ. Bt a lîv bebi ɖr wz in Msz. Pīribngl’z armz; n a priti tolṛbl amǎnt v prîd ś sīmd t hv in it, ẃn ś wz drwn jntli t ɖ fîr, bî a strdi figr v a man, mć tōlr n mć oldr ɖn hrslf, hu hd t stūp a loñ we dǎn t cis hr. Bt ś wz wrʈ ɖ trubl. Six ft six, wɖ ɖ l’mbego, mt hv dn it.

“Ǒ gdnis, Jon!” sd Msz. P. “Ẃt a stet y’r in wɖ ɖ weɖr!”

H wz smʈñ ɖ wrs fr it undinaybli. Ɖ ʈic mist huñ in clots upn hiz îlaśz lîc candìd ʈw; n, btwn ɖ fog n fîr tgɖr, ɖr wr renboz in hiz vri ẃiscrz.

“Ẃ, y si, Dot,” Jon md ansr slǒli, az h unrold a śōl fṛm abt hiz ʈrot, n wormd hiz handz; “it—it an’t xacli sumrweɖr. So no wundr.”

“I wś y wd’nt cōl m Dot, Jon. I d’nt lîc it,” sd Msz. Pīribngl: pǎtñ in a we ɖt clirli śoud ś dd lîc it vri mć.

“Ẃ, ẃt els r y?” rtrnd Jon, lcñ dǎn upn hr wɖ a smîl, n gvñ hr weist az lît a sqīz az hiz hyj hand n arm cd gv. “A dot n”—hir h glanst at ɖ bebi—“a dot n cari—I w’nt se it, fr fir I śd spôl it; bt I wz vri nir a joc. I d’nt nǒ az evr I wz nirr.”

“A dot n cari—I w’nt se it, fr fir I śd spôl it; bt I wz vri nir a joc.”

H wz ofn nir t smʈñ or uɖr vri clevr, bî hiz ǒn acǎnt: ɖs lumḅrñ, slo, onist Jon; ɖs Jon so hevi, bt so lît v spirit; so ruf upn ɖ srfis, bt so jntl at ɖ cor; so dul wɖt, so qc wɖn; so stolid, bt so gd! Ǒ, Muɖr Nećr, gv ɖî ćildṛn ɖ tru powtri v hart ɖt hid itslf in ɖs pur Carịr’z brest—h wz bt a Carịr, bî ɖ we—n w cn ber t hv ɖm tōcñ prǒz, n līdñ livz v prǒz; n ber t bles ɖi fr ɖer cumṗni!

It wz pleznt t si Dot, wɖ hr litl figr n hr bebi in hr armz: a vri dol v a bebi: glansñ wɖ a ccétiś ʈtflnis at ɖ fîr, n inclînñ hr delic̣t litl hed jst inuf on wn sîd t let it rest in an od, haf-naćṛl, haf-afctd, hoļi neṣlñ n agriybl manr, on ɖ gret rugid figr v ɖ Carịr. It wz pleznt t si him, wɖ hiz tndr ōcẉdnis, indeṿrñ t adapt hiz rūd s’port t hr slît nīd, n mc hiz brli midl ej a līnñ-staf nt in’proprịt t hr blūmñ yʈ. It wz pleznt t obzrv hǎ Tili Slǒbô, wêtñ in ɖ bacgrǎnd fr ɖ bebi, tc speśl cogṇzns (ɖo in hr rliist tīnz) v ɖs grūpñ; n std wɖ hr mǎʈ n îz wîd opn, n hr hed ʈrust fwd, tecñ it in az f it wr er. Nr wz it les agriybl t obzrv hǎ Jon ɖ Carịr, refṛns biyñ md bî Dot t ɖ afōr-sd bebi, ćect hiz hand ẃn on ɖ pônt v tućñ ɖ inf̣nt, az f h ʈt h mt crac it; n, bndñ dǎn, sveid it fṛm a sef distns, wɖ a cnd v puzld prîd, sć az an emịbl mastif mt b s’pozd t śo f h faund himslf, wn de, ɖ faɖr v a yuñ cnẹri.

Tili Slǒbô

“An’t h bytifl, Jon? D’nt h lc preśs in hiz slīp?”

“Vri preśs,” sd Jon. “Vri mć so. H jenṛli z aslip, an’t h?”

“Lor, Jon! Gd greśs, no!”

“Ǒ!” sd Jon, ponḍrñ. “I ʈt hiz îz wz jenṛli śut. Hloa!”

“Gdnis, Jon, hǎ y startl wn!”

“It an’t rît fr him t trn ’m p in ɖt we,” sd ɖ astoniśt Carịr, “z it? Si hǎ h’z wncñ wɖ bʈ v ’m at wns! n lc at hiz mǎʈ! Ẃ, h’z gaspñ lîc a gold n silvr fiś!”

“Y d’nt dzrv t b a faɖr, y d’nt,” sd Dot, wɖ ol ɖ digṇti v an xpirịnst metṛn. “Bt hǎ śd y nǒ ẃt litl cmplents ćildṛn r trubld wɖ, Jon? Y wd’nt so mć az nǒ ɖer nemz, y stypid felo.” N ẃn ś hd trnd ɖ bebi ovr on hr left arm, n hd slapt its bac az a rstoṛtiv, ś pinćt hr huzbnd’z ir, lafñ.

“No,” sd Jon, pŭlñ of hiz ǎtr cot. “It’s vri tru, Dot. I d’nt nǒ mć abt it. I onli nǒ ɖt I’v bn fîtñ priti stifli wɖ ɖ wind tnît. It’s bn blowñ norʈ-īst, stret intu ɖ cart, ɖ hol we hom.”

“Pur old man, so it hz!” craid Msz. Pīribngl, instntli bcmñ vri activ. “Hir, tec ɖ preśs darlñ, Tili, ẃl I mc mslf v sm ys. Bles it, I cd smuɖr it wɖ cisñ it, I cd! Hái ɖen, gd dog! Hái, Boxr, bô! Onli let m mc ɖ ti frst, Jon; n ɖen I’l hlp y wɖ ɖ parslz, lîc a bizi bì. ‘Hǎ duʈ ɖ litl’—n ol ɖ rest v it, y nǒ, Jon. Dd y evr lrn ‘Hǎ duʈ ɖ litl,’ ẃn y wnt t scūl, Jon?”

“Nt t qt nǒ it,” Jon rtrnd. “I wz vri nir it wns. Bt I śd onli hv spôlt it, I der se.”

“Ha, ha!” laft Dot. Ś hd ɖ blîɖist litl laf y evr hŕd. “Ẃt a dir old darlñ v a duns y r, Jon, t b śr!”

Nt at ol dspytñ ɖs pziśn, Jon wnt ǎt t si ɖt ɖ bô wɖ ɖ lantn, ẃć hd bn dansñ t n fro bfr ɖ dor n windo, lîc a Wil v ɖ Wisp, tc dy cer v ɖ hors; hu wz fatr ɖn y wd qt b’liv, f I gev y hiz meźr, n so old ɖt hiz brʈde wz lost in ɖ mists v antiqti. Boxr, fīlñ ɖt hiz atnśnz wr dy t ɖ faṃli in jenṛl, n mst b imparṣ́li dstribytd, daśt in n ǎt wɖ bwilḍrñ inconstnsi; nǎ dscrîbñ a srcl v śort barcs rnd ɖ hors, ẃr h wz biyñ rubd dǎn at ɖ stebldor; nǎ fênñ t mc savij ruśz at hiz mistris, n fsīśsli brññ himslf t sudn stops; nǎ iliṣtñ a śrīc fṛm Tili Slǒbô, in ɖ lo nrsñćer nir ɖ fîr, bî ɖ unixpctd apḷceśn v hiz môst nǒz t hr cǎntinns; nǎ xibtñ an obtrūsiv inṭrest in ɖ bebi; nǎ gwñ rnd n rnd upn ɖ harʈ, n layñ dǎn az f h hd istabliśt himslf fr ɖ nît; nǎ gtñ p agn, n tecñ ɖt nʈñ v a fag-end v a teil v hiz ǎt intu ɖ weɖr, az f h hd jst rmembrd an apôntmnt, n wz of at a rǎnd trot, t cīp it.

Boxr, fīlñ ɖt hiz atnśnz wr dy t ɖ faṃli in jenṛl, n mst b imparṣ́li dstribytd, daśt in n ǎt wɖ bwilḍrñ inconstnsi.

“Ɖr! Ɖr’z ɖ tīpot, redi on ɖ hob!” sd Dot; az briscli bizi az a ćîld at ple at cīpñ hǎs. “N ɖr’z ɖ cold nucl v ham; n ɖr’z ɖ butr; n ɖr’z ɖ crusti lof, n ol! Hir’z a cloɖz bascit fr ɖ smōl parslz, Jon, f y’v got eni ɖr. Ẃr r y, Jon? D’nt let ɖ dir ćîld fōl undr ɖ greit, Tili, ẃtvr y d!”

It me b notd v Mis Slǒbô, in spît v hr rjctñ ɖ cōśn wɖ sm vivaṣti, ɖt ś hd a rer n s’prîzñ taḷnt fr gtñ ɖs bebi intu dificltiz: n hd sevṛl tîmz impeṛld its śort lîf in a qayt we pkłrli hr ǒn. Ś wz v a sper n stret śep, ɖs yuñ ledi, insmć ɖt hr garmnts apird t b in constnt denjr v slîdñ of ɖoz śarp pegz, hr śoldrz, on ẃć ɖe wr lūsli huñ. Hr costym wz rmarcbl fr ɖ parśl dveḷpmnt, on ol poṣbl oceźnz, v sm flanl vstmnt v a snğlr strucćr; olso fr afordñ glimsz, in ɖ rījn v ɖ bac, v a corsit, or a per v stez, in culr a ded grīn. Biyñ olwz in a stet v gepñ adṃreśn at evrʈñ, n abzorbd, bsdz, in ɖ ppćl contmpleśn v hr mistris’z pfx́nz n ɖ bebi’z, Mis Slǒbô, in hr litl errz v jujmnt, me b sd t hv dn īql onr t hr hed n t hr hart; n ɖo ɖz dd les onr t ɖ bebi’z hed, ẃć ɖe wr ɖ oceźnl mīnz v brññ intu contact wɖ dīl dorz, dresrz, steŗelz, bedposts, n uɖr foṛn substnsz, stl ɖe wr ɖ onist rzults v Tili Slǒbô’z constnt astoniśmnt at fîndñ hrslf so cîndli trītd, n instōld in sć a cumftbl hom. Fr ɖ mtrnl n ptrnl Slǒbô wr alîc uņoun t Fem, n Tili hd bn bréd bî public ćaṛti, a fǎndlñ; ẃć wrd, ɖo onli dif̣rñ fṛm fonḍlñ bî wn vǎl’z leñʈ, z vri difṛnt in mīnñ, n xpresz qt anɖr ʈñ.

T hv sìn litl Msz. Pīribngl cm bac wɖ hr huzbnd, tugñ at ɖ cloɖz bascit, n mcñ ɖ most strenẏs xrśnz t d nʈñ at ol (fr h carid it), wd hv aḿzd y olmst az mć az it aḿzd him. It me hv enttend ɖ Cricit, tù, fr enʈñ I nǒ; bt, srtnli, it nǎ bgan t ćrp agn viyṃntli.

“Hêde!” sd Jon in hiz slo we. “It’s merịr ɖn evr tnît, I ʈnc.”

“N it’s śr t brñ s gd fortyn, Jon! It olwz hz dn so. T hv a Cricit on ɖ Harʈ z ɖ luciist ʈñ in ol ɖ wrld!”

Jon lct at hr az f h hd vri nirli got ɖ ʈt intu hiz hed ɖt ś wz hiz Cricit in ćīf, n h qt agrìd wɖ hr. Bt it wz probbli wn v hiz naro isceps, fr h sd nʈñ.

“Ɖ frst tîm I hŕd its ćirfl litl not, Jon, wz on ɖt nît ẃn y bròt m hom—ẃn y bròt m t mî ny hom hir; its litl mistris. Nirli a yir ago. Y rec̣lect, Jon?”

“Ǒ, yes!” Jon rmembrd. “I śd ʈnc so!”

“Its ćrp wz sć a welcm t m! It sīmd so fl v promis n incurijmnt. It sīmd t se, y wd b cînd n jntl wɖ m, n wd nt xpct (I hd a fir v ɖt, Jon, ɖen) t fînd an old hed on ɖ śoldrz v yr fūliś litl wîf.”

Jon ʈtf̣li patd wn v ɖ śoldrz, n ɖen ɖ hed, az ɖo h wd hv sd No, no; h hd hd no sć xpcteśn; h hd bn qt cntnt t tec ɖm az ɖe wr. N riyli h hd rīzn. Ɖe wr vri comli.

“It spouc ɖ truʈ, Jon, ẃn it sīmd t se so: fr y hv evr bn, I am śr, ɖ bst, ɖ most cnsidṛt, ɖ most afx́ṇt v huzbndz t m. Ɖs hz bn a hapi hom, Jon; n I luv ɖ Cricit fr its sec!”

“Ẃ, so d I, ɖen,” sd ɖ Carịr. “So d I, Dot.”

“I luv it fr ɖ mni tîmz I hv hŕd it, n ɖ mni ʈts its harmlis ḿzic hz gvn m. Smtmz, in ɖ twîlît, ẃn I hv flt a litl solitri n dǎn-hartd, Jon—bfr bebi wz hir, t cīp m cumṗni n mc ɖ hǎs ge—ẃn I hv ʈt hǎ lonli y wd b f I śd dî; hǎ lonli I śd b, f I cd nǒ ɖt y hd lost m, dir; its Ćrp, Ćrp, Ćrp upn ɖ harʈ hz sīmd t tel m v anɖr litl vôs, so swīt, so vri dir t m, bfr huz cmñ sǎnd mî trubl vaniśt lîc a drīm. N ẃn I yst t fir—I dd fir wns, Jon; I wz vri yuñ, y nǒ—ɖt ǎrz mt pruv t b an il-asortd marij, I biyñ sć a ćîld, n y mor lîc mî gardịn ɖn mî huzbnd; n ɖt y mt nt, hvr hard y traid, b ebl t lrn t luv m, az y hopt n preid y mt; its Ćrp, Ćrp, Ćrp hz ćird m p agn, n fild m wɖ ny trust n confidns. I wz ʈncñ v ɖz ʈñz tnît, dir, ẃn I sat xpctñ y; n I luv ɖ Cricit fr ɖer sec!”

“N so d I,” rpitd Jon. “Bt, Dot! I hop n pre ɖt I mt lrn t luv y? Hǎ y tōc! I hd lrnt ɖt loñ bfr I bròt y hir, t b ɖ Cricit’s litl mistris, Dot!”

Ś leid hr hand, an instnt, on hiz arm, n lct p at him wɖ an ajtetd fes, az f ś wd hv tld him smʈñ. Nxt momnt, ś wz dǎn upn hr niz bfr ɖ bascit; spīcñ in a sprîtli vôs, n bizi wɖ ɖ parslz.

“Ɖr r nt mni v ɖm tnît, Jon, bt I sw sm gdz bhnd ɖ cart jst nǎ; n ɖo ɖe gv mor trubl, phps, stl ɖe pe az wel; so w hv no rīzn t grumbl, hv w? Bsdz, y hv bn dliṿrñ, I der se, az y cem alñ?”

“Ǒ, yes!” Jon sd. “A gd mni.”

“Ẃ, ẃt’s ɖs rǎnd box? Hart alîv, Jon, it’s a wedñcec!”

“Līv a wmn alon t fînd ǎt ɖt,” sd Jon admîrñli. “Nǎ, a man wd nvr hv ʈt v it! Ẃr-az, it’s mî b’lif ɖt f y wz t pac a wedñcec p in a ti-ćst, or a trn-up bedsted, or a picld-samn ceg, or eni unlîcli ʈñ, a wmn wd b śr t fînd it ǎt d’recli. Yes; I cōld fr it at ɖ pestri-cc’s.”

“N it weiz I d’nt nǒ ẃt—hol hundṛdweits!” craid Dot, mcñ a gret demnstreśn v trayñ t lift it. “Huz z it, Jon? Ẃr z it gwñ?”

“Rīd ɖ raitñ on ɖ uɖr sîd,” sd Jon.

“Ẃ, Jon! Mî Gdnis, Jon!”

“Ā! hu’d hv ʈt it?” Jon rtrnd.

“Y nvr mīn t se,” psyd Dot, sitñ on ɖ flor n śecñ hr hed at him, “ɖt it’s Gruf n Tacltn ɖ tô-mcr!”

Jon nodd.

Msz. Pīribngl nodd olso, fifti tîmz at līst. Nt in asnt—in dum n pitiyñ amezmnt; scruwñ p hr lips, ɖ ẃl, wɖ ol ɖer litl fors (ɖe wr nvr md fr scruwñ p; I am clir v ɖt), n lcñ ɖ gd Carịr ʈru n ʈru, in hr abstrax́n. Mis Slǒbô, in ɖ mntm, hu hd a mcanicl pǎr v rīpṛdysñ scraps v cuṛnt convseśn fr ɖ dilecteśn v ɖ bebi, wɖ ol ɖ sns struc ǎt v ɖm, n ol ɖ nǎnz ćenjd intu ɖ plŭṛl numbr, inqîrd alǎd v ɖt yuñ crīćr, Wz it Grufs n Tacltnz ɖ tô-mcrz ɖen, n Wd it cōl at Pestri-ccs fr wedñcecs, n Dd its muɖrz nǒ ɖ boxz ẃn its faɖrz bròt ɖm hom; n so on.

“N ɖt z riyli t cm abt!” sd Dot. “Ẃ, ś n I wr grlz at scūl tgɖr, Jon.”

H mt hv bn ʈncñ v hr, or nirli ʈncñ v hr, phps, az ś wz in ɖt sem scūltîm. H lct upn hr wɖ a ʈtfl pleźr, bt h md no ansr.

“N h’z az old! Az unlîc hr!—Ẃ, hǎ mni yirz oldr ɖn y z Gruf n Tacltn, Jon?”

“Hǎ mni mor cups v ti śl I drinc tnît, at wn sitñ, ɖn Gruf n Tacltn evr tc in for, I wundr?” rplaid Jon gd-hymrdly, az h drù a ćer t ɖ rǎnd tebl, n bgan at ɖ cold ham. “Az t ītñ, I īt bt litl; bt ɖt litl I injô, Dot.”

Īvn ɖs, hiz yźl sntimnt at mīl-tîmz, wn v hiz iṇsnt dluźnz (fr hiz aṗtît wz olwz obstiṇt, n flatli contṛdictd him), awouc no smîl in ɖ fes v hiz litl wîf, hu std amñ ɖ parslz, pśñ ɖ cecbox slǒli fṛm hr wɖ hr ft, n nvr wns lct, ɖo hr îz wr cast dǎn tù, upn ɖ denti śu ś jenṛli wz so mîndfl v. Abzorbd in ʈt, ś std ɖr, hīdlis alîc v ɖ ti n Jon (olɖo h cōld t hr n rapt ɖ tebl wɖ hiz nîf t startl hr), untl h rouz n tućt hr on ɖ arm; ẃn ś lct at him fr a momnt, n hurid t hr ples bhnd ɖ tībōrd, lafñ at hr neglijns. Bt nt az ś hd laft bfr. Ɖ manr n ɖ ḿzic wr qt ćenjd.

Ɖ Cricit, tù, hd stopt. Smhǎ, ɖ rūm wz nt so ćirfl az it hd bn. Nʈñ lîc it.

“So, ɖz r ol ɖ parslz, r ɖe, Jon?” ś sd, brecñ a loñ sîḷns, ẃć ɖ onist Carịr hd dvotd t ɖ practicl iḷstreśn v wn part v hiz feṿrit sntimnt—srtnli injoyñ ẃt h ét, f it cd’nt b admitd ɖt h ét bt litl. “So ɖz r ol ɖ parslz, r ɖe, Jon?”

“Ɖt’s ol,” sd Jon. “Ẃ—no—I”—leyñ dǎn hiz nîf n forc, n tecñ a loñ breʈ—“I dcler—I’v clīn fgotn ɖ old jntlmn!”

“Ɖ old jntlmn?”

“In ɖ cart,” sd Jon. “H wz aslip amñ ɖ strw, ɖ last tîm I sw him. I’v vri nirli rmembrd him, twîs, sins I cem in; bt h wnt ǎt v mî hed agn. Hloa! Y’hip ɖr! Rǎz p! Ɖt’s mî harti!”

Jon sd ɖz latr wrdz ǎtsd ɖ dor, ẃiɖr h hd hurid wɖ ɖ candl in hiz hand.

Mis Slǒbô, conśs v sm mstirịs refṛns t Ɖ Old Jntlmn, n cnctñ, in hr misṭfaid imaɉneśn, srtn asośieśnz v a rlijs nećr wɖ ɖ frêz, wz so dstrbd, ɖt hesṭli rîzñ fṛm ɖ lo ćer bî ɖ fîr t sīc pṛtx́n nir ɖ scrt v hr mistris, n cmñ intu contact, az ś crost ɖ dorwe, wɖ an enćnt Strenjr, ś instñtivli md a ćarj or but at him wɖ ɖ onli ofnsiv instṛmnt wɖn hr rīć. Ɖs instṛmnt haṗnñ t b ɖ bebi, gret cmośn n alarm insyd, ẃć ɖ sgaṣti v Boxr rɖr tndd t incris; fr ɖt gd dog, mor ʈtfl ɖn hiz mastr, hd, it sīmd, bn woćñ ɖ old jntlmn in hiz slīp, lest h śd wōc of wɖ a fy yuñ popḷrtriz ɖt wr taid p bhnd ɖ cart; n h stl atndd on him vri closli, wuriyñ hiz geitrz, in fact, n mcñ ded sets at ɖ butnz.

“Y’r sć an undinaybli gd slīpr, sr,” sd Jon, ẃn tranqiḷti wz rstord (in ɖ mntm ɖ old jntlmn hd std, bér-hedd n mośnlis, in ɖ sntr v ɖ rūm), “ɖt I hv haf a mînd t asc y ẃr ɖ uɖr six r—onli ɖt wd b a joc, n I nǒ I śd spôl it. Vri nir, ɖo,” mrmrd ɖ Carịr wɖ a ćucl; “vri nir!”

Ɖ Strenjr, hu hd loñ ẃît her, gd fīćrz, snğlrli bold n wel dfînd fr an old man, n darc, brît, peṇtretñ îz, lct rnd wɖ a smîl, n s’lūtd ɖ Carịr’z wîf bî grevli inclînñ hiz hed.

Hiz garb wz vri qent n od—a loñ, loñ we bhnd ɖ tîm. Its hy wz brǎn, ol ovr. In hiz hand h hld a gret brǎn club or wōcñstic; n, strîcñ ɖs upn ɖ flor, it fél asundr, n bcem a ćer. On ẃć h sat dǎn qt cmpozidli.

“Ɖr!” sd ɖ Carịr, trnñ t hiz wîf. “Ɖt’s ɖ we I faund him, sitñ bî ɖ rodsîd! Uprît az a mîlston. N olmst az def.”

“Ɖt’s ɖ we I faund him, sitñ bî ɖ rodsîd! Uprît az a mîlston. N olmst az def.”

“Sitñ in ɖ opn er, Jon?”

“In ɖ opn er,” rplaid ɖ Carịr, “jst at dusc. ‘Carij Peid,’ h sd; n gev m etīn-pns. Ɖen h got in. N ɖr h z.”

“H’z gwñ, Jon, I ʈnc!”

Nt at ol. H wz onli gwñ t spīc.

“F y plīz, I wz t b left tl cōld fr,” sd ɖ Strenjr mîldli. “D’nt mînd m.”

Wɖ ɖt h tc a per v specṭclz fṛm wn v hiz larj pocits, n a bc fṛm anɖr, n leźrli bgan t rīd. Mcñ no mor v Boxr ɖn f h hd bn a hǎslam!

Ɖ Carịr n hiz wîf xćenjd a lc v pplex̣ti. Ɖ Strenjr rezd hiz hed; n, glansñ fṛm ɖ latr t ɖ formr, sd:

“Yr dōtr, mî gd frend?”

“Wîf,” rtrnd Jon.

“Nīs?” sd ɖ Strenjr.

“Wîf!” rord Jon.

“Indd?” obzrvd ɖ Strenjr. “Śrli? Vri yuñ!”

H qaytli trnd ovr, n rzymd hiz rīdñ. Bt, bfr h cd hv réd tū lînz, h agn inṭruptd himslf t se:

“Bebi yrz?”

Jon gev him a jîgantic nod: iqivḷnt t an ansr in ɖ afrṃtiv, dlivrd ʈru a spīcñ trumpit.

“Grl?”

“Bô-ô-ô!” rord Jon.

“Olso vri yuñ, ê?”

Msz. Pīribngl instntli struc in. “Tū munʈs n ʈri dê-êz. Vax̣netd jst six wīcs ago-o! Tc vri fîn-li! Cnsidrd, bî ɖ doctr, a rmarcbli bytifl ćî-îld! Īql t ɖ jenṛl run v ćildṛn at fîv munʈs o-ld! Tecs notis in a we qt wundr-fl! Me sīm imposbl t y, bt fīlz hiz legz ol-redi!”

Hir, ɖ breʈlis litl muɖr, hu hd bn śrīcñ ɖz śort sntnsz intu ɖ old man’z ir, untl hr priti fes wz crimznd, hld p ɖ Bebi bfr him az a stubn n trîumfnt fact; ẃl Tili Slǒbô, wɖ a mlodịs crî v “Cećr, Cećr”—ẃć sǎndd lîc sm uņoun wrdz, adaptd t a popylr Snīz—pformd sm cǎ-lîc gámblz arnd ɖt ol unconśs Iṇsnt.

“Harc! H’z cōld fr, śr inuf,” sd Jon. “Ɖr’z smbdi at ɖ dor. Opn it, Tili.”

Bfr ś cd rīć it, hvr, it wz opnd fṛm wɖt; biyñ a priṃtiv sort v dor, wɖ a lać ɖt enwn cd lift f h ćouz—n a gd mni ppl dd ćūz, fr ol cndz v nebrz lîct t hv a ćirfl wrd or tū wɖ ɖ Carịr, ɖo h wz no gret tōcr himslf. Biyñ opnd, it gev admiśn t a litl, mīgr, ʈtfl, dinji-fest man, hu sīmd t hv md himslf a gretcot fṛm ɖ sac̦loʈ cuṿrñ v sm old box; fr, ẃn h trnd t śut ɖ dor n cīp ɖ weɖr ǎt, h dsclozd upn ɖ bac v ɖt garmnt ɖ inscripśn G & T in larj blac capitlz. Olso ɖ wrd GLAS in bold caṛctrz.

“Gd īvnñ, Jon!” sd ɖ litl man. “Gd īvnñ, mum! Gd īvnñ, Tili! Gd īvnñ, Unḅnoun! Hǎ’z Bebi, mum? Boxr’z priti wel I hop?”

“Ol ʈrîvñ, Cêleb,” rplaid Dot. “I am śr y nīd onli lc at ɖ dir ćîld, fr wn, t nǒ ɖt.”

“N I’m śr I nīd onli lc at y fr anɖr,” sd Cêleb.

H dd’nt lc at hr, ɖo; h hd a wonḍrñ n ʈtfl î, ẃć sīmd t b olwz pṛjctñ itslf intu sm uɖr tîm n ples, no matr ẃt h sd; a dscripśn ẃć wl īqli aplî t hiz vôs.

“Or at Jon fr anɖr,” sd Cêleb. “Or at Tili, az far az ɖt gz. Or srtnli at Boxr.”

“Bizi jst nǎ, Cêleb?” asct ɖ Carịr.

“Ẃ, priti wel, Jon,” h rtrnd, wɖ ɖ dstrōt er v a man hu wz castñ abt fr ɖ F’loṣfr’z ston, at līst. “Priti mć so. Ɖr’z rɖr a run on Noa’z Arcs at preznt. I cd hv wśt t impruv on ɖ Faṃli, bt I d’nt si hǎ it’s t b dn at ɖ prîs. It wd b a saṭsfax́n t wn’z mînd t mc it clirr ẃć wz Śemz n Hamz, n ẃć wz Wîvz. Flîz a’nt on ɖt scel, nɖr, az cmperd wɖ elifnts, y nǒ! Ā, wel! Hv y got enʈñ in ɖ parsļîn fr m, Jon?”

Ɖ Carịr pt hiz hand intu a pocit v ɖ cot h hd tecn of; n bròt ǎt, cerf̣li prizrvd in mos n pepr, a tîni flǎr-pot.

“Ɖr it z!” h sd, ajustñ it wɖ gret cer. “Nt so mć az a līf damijd. Fl v budz!”

Cêleb’z dul î brîtnd az h tc it, n ʈanct him.

“Dir, Cêleb,” sd ɖ Carịr. “Vri dir at ɖs sīzn.”

“Nvr mînd ɖt. It wd b ćīp t m, ẃtvr it cost,” rtrnd ɖ litl man. “Enʈñ els, Jon?”

“A smōl box,” rplaid ɖ Carịr. “Hir y r!”

“‘Fr Cêleb Plumr,’” sd ɖ litl man, spelñ ǎt ɖ d’rex́n. “‘Wɖ Caś.’ Wɖ Caś, Jon? I d’nt ʈnc it’s fr m.”

“Wɖ Cer,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, lcñ ovr hiz śoldr. “Ẃr d y mc ǎt caś?”

“Ǒ! T b śr!” sd Cêleb. “It’s ol rît. Wɖ cer! Yes, yes; ɖt’s mîn. It mt hv bn wɖ caś, indd, f mî dir Bô in ɖ Goldn Sǎʈ Americaz hd livd, Jon. Y luvd him lîc a sun; dd’nt y? Y nīd’nt se y dd. I nǒ, v cors. ‘Cêleb Plumr. Wɖ cer.’ Yes, yes, it’s ol rît. It’s a box v dolz’ îz fr mî dōtr’z wrc. I wś it wz hr ǒn sît in a box, Jon.”

“I wś it wz, or cd b!” craid ɖ Carịr.

“Ʈancī,” sd ɖ litl man. “Y spīc vri harti. T ʈnc ɖt ś śd nvr si ɖ Dolz—n ɖm a-stẹrñ at hr, so bold, ol de loñ! Ɖt’s ẃr it cuts. Ẃt’s ɖ damij, Jon?”

“I’l damij y,” sd Jon, “f y inqîr. Dot! Vri nir?”

“Wel! it’s lîc y t se so,” obzrvd ɖ litl man. “It’s yr cînd we. Let m si. I ʈnc ɖt’s ol.”

“I ʈnc nt,” sd ɖ Carịr. “Trî agn.”

“Smʈñ fr ǎr Guvnr, ê?” sd Cêleb aftr ponḍrñ a litl ẃl. “T b śr. Ɖt’s ẃt I cem fr; bt mî hed’z so runñ on ɖm Arcs n ʈñz! H hz’nt bn hir, hz h?”

“Nt h,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “H’z tù bizi, cortñ.”

“H’z cmñ rnd, ɖo,” sd Cêleb; “fr h tld m t cīp on ɖ nir sîd v ɖ rod gwñ hom, n it wz ten t wn h’d tec m p. I hd betr g, bî-ɖ-bái.—Y cd’nt hv ɖ gdnis t let m pinć Boxr’z teil, mum, fr haf a momnt, cd y?”

“Ẃ, Cêleb, ẃt a qsćn!”

“Ǒ, nvr mînd, mum!” sd ɖ litl man. “H mt’nt lîc it, phps. Ɖr’z a smōl ordr jst cm in fr barcñ dogz; n I śd wś t g az clos t Nećr az I cd fr sixpns. Ɖt’s ol. Nvr mînd, mum.”

It hapnd oṗtynli ɖt Boxr, wɖt rsivñ ɖ pṛpozd stiḿḷs, bgan t barc wɖ gret zīl. Bt, az ɖs implaid ɖ aproć v sm ny vizitr, Cêleb, psponñ hiz studi fṛm ɖ lîf t a mor cnvińnt sīzn, śoldrd ɖ rǎnd box, n tc a hurid līv. H mt hv sperd himslf ɖ trubl, fr h met ɖ vizitr upn ɖ ʈreśhold.

“Ǒ! Y r hir, r y? Wêt a bit. I’l tec y hom. Jon Pīribngl, mî srvis t y. Mor v mî srvis t yr priti wîf. Hanṣmr evri de! Betr tù, f poṣbl! N yungr,” ḿzd ɖ spīcr in a lo vôs, “ɖt’s ɖ devl v it!”

“I śd b astoniśt at yr peyñ complimnts, Mr. Tacltn,” sd Dot, nt wɖ ɖ bst gres in ɖ wrld, “bt fr yr cndiśn.”

“Y nǒ ol abt it, ɖen?”

“I hv got mslf t b’liv it smhǎ,” sd Dot.

“Aftr a hard strugl, I s’poz?”

“Vri.”

Tacltn ɖ Tômrćnt, priti jenṛli noun az Gruf n Tacltn—fr ɖt wz ɖ frm, ɖo Gruf hd bn bòt ǎt loñ ago; onli līvñ hiz nem, n, az sm sd, hiz nećr, acordñ t its Dix́nri mīnñ, in ɖ biznis—Tacltn ɖ Tômrćnt wz a man huz voceśn hd bn qt misunḍstd bî hiz Peṛnts n Gardịnz. F ɖe hd md him a Munilendr, or a śarp Atrni, or a Śerif’s Ofisr, or a Brocr, h mt hv sóun hiz discntntd ots in hiz yʈ, n, aftr hvñ hd ɖ fl run v himslf in il-nećrd trnzax́nz, mt hv trnd ǎt emịbl, at last, fr ɖ sec v a litl freśnis n novlti. Bt, cramt n ćefñ in ɖ pīṣbl psyt v tô-mcñ, h wz a dmestic Ogr, hu hd bn livñ on ćildṛn ol hiz lîf, n wz ɖer implacbl eṇmi. H dspîzd ol tôz; wd’nt hv bòt wn fr ɖ wrld; dlîtd, in hiz malis, t insińuet grim xpreśnz intu ɖ fesz v brǎn-pepr farmrz hu drouv pigz t marcit, belmen hu advtîzd lost loyrz’ conśnsz, muṿbl old lediz hu darnd stocñz or carvd pîz; n uɖr lîc samplz v hiz stoc-in-tred. In apōlñ mascs; hidịs, hẹri, red-aid Jacs in Boxz; Vampîrcîts; dīṃnaycl Tumblrz hu wd’nt lî dǎn, n wr ppć̣li flayñ fwd, t stér infnts ǎt v cǎntinns; hiz soul prf̣cli revld. Ɖe wr hiz onli rlif, n seftivalv. H wz gret in sć invnśnz. Enʈñ sjstiv v a Poni nîtmer wz dliśs t him. H hd īvn lost muni (n h tc t ɖt tô vri cîndli) bî gtñ p Goblinslîdz fr majic lantnz, ẃr-on ɖ Pǎrz v Darcnis wr dpictd az a sort v sūṗnaćṛl śelfiś, wɖ hymn fesz. In intnṣfayñ ɖ portrićr v Jaynts, h hd sunc qt a litl capitl; n, ɖo no pentr himslf, h cd inḍcet, fr ɖ instrux́n v hiz artists, wɖ a pìs v ćōc, a srtn frtiv lir fr ɖ cǎntinnsz v ɖoz monstrz, ẃć wz sef t dstrô ɖ pīs v mînd v eni yuñ jntlmn btwn ɖ ejz v six n ilevn, fr ɖ hol Crisṃs or Midsumr Vceśn.

Ẃt h wz in tôz, h wz (az most men r) in uɖr ʈñz. Y me īẓli s’poz, ɖrfr, ɖt wɖn ɖ gret grīn cep, ẃć rīćt dǎn t ɖ cavz v hiz legz, ɖr wz butnd p t ɖ ćin an uncomnli pleznt felo; n ɖt h wz abt az ćôs a spirit, n az agriybl a cmpańn, az evr std in a per v bl-hedd-lcñ būts wɖ mhoġni-culrd tops.

Stl, Tacltn, ɖ tômrćnt, wz gwñ t b marid. In spît v ol ɖs, h wz gwñ t b marid. N t a yuñ wîf tù, a bytifl yuñ wîf.

H dd’nt lc mć lîc a Brîdgrūm, az h std in ɖ Carịr’z cićn, wɖ a twist in hiz drî fes, n a scru in hiz bodi, n hiz hat jrct ovr ɖ brij v hiz nǒz, n hiz handz tuct dǎn intu ɖ botmz v hiz pocits, n hiz hol sarcastic, il-cndiśnd slf pirñ ǎt v wn litl cornr v wn litl î, lîc ɖ consntretd esns v eni numbr v revnz. Bt a Brîdgrūm h dzînd t b.

“In ʈri dez’ tîm. Nxt Ʈrzde. Ɖ last de v ɖ frst munʈ in ɖ yir. Ɖt’s mî wedñde,” sd Tacltn.

Dd I mnśn ɖt h hd olwz wn î wîd opn, n wn î nirli śut; n ɖt ɖ wn î nirli śut wz olwz ɖ xpresiv î? I d’nt ʈnc I dd.

“Ɖt’s mî wedñde!” sd Tacltn, raṭlñ hiz muni.

“Ẃ, it’s ǎr wedñde tù,” xclemd ɖ Carịr.

“Ha, ha!” laft Tacltn. “Od! Y’r jst sć anɖr cupl. Jst!”

Ɖ inḍgneśn v Dot at ɖs prizumćs asrśn z nt t b dscrîbd. Ẃt nxt? Hiz imaɉneśn wd cumṗs ɖ posbiḷti v jst sć anɖr Bebi, phps. Ɖ man wz mad.

“I se! A wrd wɖ y,” mrmrd Tacltn, nujñ ɖ Carịr wɖ hiz elbo, n tecñ him a litl apart. “Y’l cm t ɖ wedñ? W’r in ɖ sem bot, y nǒ.”

“Hǎ in ɖ sem bot?” inqîrd ɖ Carịr.

“A litl dspaṛti, y nǒ,” sd Tacltn wɖ anɖr nuj. “Cm n spend an īvnñ wɖ s bfrhnd.”

“Ẃ?” dmandd Jon, astoniśt at ɖs presñ hosṗtaḷti.

“Ẃ?” rtrnd ɖ uɖr. “Ɖt’s a ny we v rsivñ an invteśn. Ẃ, fr pleźr—sośbiḷti, y nǒ, n ol ɖt.”

“I ʈt y wr nvr soṣ́bl,” sd Jon in hiz plen we.

“Tća! It’s v no ys t b enʈñ bt fri wɖ y, I si,” sd Tacltn. “Ẃ, ɖen, ɖ truʈ z, y hv a—ẃt tīdrincñ ppl cōl a sort v a cumftbl apiṛns tgɖr, y n yr wîf. W nǒ betr, y nǒ, bt—”

“No, w d’nt nǒ betr,” inṭpozd Jon. “Ẃt r y tōcñ abt?”

“Wel! W d’nt nǒ betr, ɖen,” sd Tacltn. “W’l agri ɖt w d’nt. Az y lîc; ẃt dz it matr? I wz gwñ t se, az y hv ɖt sort v apiṛns, yr cumṗni wl pṛdys a fevṛbl ifct on Msz. Tacltn ɖt wl b. N, ɖo I d’nt ʈnc yr gd ledi’z vri frendli t m in ɖs matr, stl ś c’nt hlp hrslf fṛm fōlñ intu mî vyz, fr ɖr’z a cmpactnis n cozinis v apiṛns abt hr ɖt olwz tlz, īvn in an indifṛnt ces. Y’l se y’l cm?”

“W hv arenjd t cīp ǎr Wedñde (az far az ɖt gz) at hom,” sd Jon. “W hv md ɖ promis t ǎrslvz ɖz six munʈs. W ʈnc, y si, ɖt hom—”

“Ba! ẃt’s hom?” craid Tacltn. “For wōlz n a sīlñ! (Ẃ d’nt y cil ɖt Cricit? I wd! I olwz d. I het ɖer nôz.) Ɖr r for wōlz n a sīlñ at mî hǎs. Cm t m!”

“Y cil yr Cricits, ê?” sd Jon.

“Scrunć ’m, sr,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr, setñ hiz hìl heṿli on ɖ flor. “Y’l se y’l cm? It’s az mć yr inṭrest az mîn, y nǒ, ɖt ɖ wimin śd pswed ć uɖr ɖt ɖ’r qayt n cntntd, n cd’nt b betr of. I nǒ ɖer we. Ẃtvr wn wmn sz, anɖr wmn z dtrmind t clinć olwz. Ɖr’z ɖt spirit v eḿleśn amñ ’m, sr, ɖt f yr wîf sz t mî wîf, ‘I’m ɖ hapiist wmn in ɖ wrld, n mîn’z ɖ bst huzbnd in ɖ wrld, n I dǒt on him,’ mî wîf wl se ɖ sem t yrz, or mor, n haf b’liv it.”

“D y mīn t se ś d’nt, ɖen?” asct ɖ Carịr.

“D’nt!” craid Tacltn wɖ a śort, śarp laf. “D’nt ẃt?”

Ɖ Carịr hd sm fent îdīa v adñ, “dǒt upn y.” Bt, haṗnñ t mīt ɖ haf-clozd î, az it twncld upn him ovr ɖ trnd-up colr v ɖ cep, ẃć wz wɖn an es v pǒcñ it ǎt, h flt it sć an unlîcli part n parsl v enʈñ t b dǒtd on, ɖt h substtytd, “ɖt ś d’nt b’liv it?”

“Ā, y dog! Y’r jocñ,” sd Tacltn.

Bt ɖ Carịr, ɖo slo t unḍstand ɖ fl drift v hiz mīnñ, aid him in sć a sirịs manr, ɖt h wz oblîjd t b a litl mor xplaṇtri.

“I hv ɖ hymr,” sd Tacltn: holdñ p ɖ fngrz v hiz left hand, n tapñ ɖ fōrfngr, t implî, “Ɖr I am, Tacltn t wit”: “I hv ɖ hymr, sr, t mari a yuñ wîf, n a priti wîf”: hir h rapt hiz litl fngr, t xpres ɖ Brîd; nt spẹrñli, bt śarpli; wɖ a sns v pǎr. “I’m ebl t graṭfî ɖt hymr, n I d. It’s mî ẃim. Bt—nǎ lc ɖr!”

H pôntd t ẃr Dot wz sitñ, ʈtf̣li bfr ɖ fîr: līnñ hr dimpld ćin upn hr hand, n woćñ ɖ brît blêz. Ɖ Carịr lct at hr, n ɖen at him, n ɖen at hr, n ɖen at him agn.

“Ś onrz n obez, no dǎt, y nǒ,” sd Tacltn; “n ɖt, az I am nt a man v sntimnt, z qt inuf fr m. Bt d y ʈnc ɖr’z enʈñ mor in it?”

“I ʈnc,” obzrvd ɖ Carịr, “ɖt I śd ćuc eni man ǎt v windo hu sd ɖr wz’nt.”

“Xacli so,” rtrnd ɖ uɖr wɖ an unyźl alacṛti v asnt. “T b śr! Dǎtlis y wd. V cors. I’m srtn v it. Gd nît. Pleznt drīmz!”

Ɖ Carịr wz puzld, n md uncumftbl n unsrtn, in spît v himslf. H cd’nt hlp śowñ it in hiz manr.

“Gd nît, mî dir frend!” sd Tacltn cmpaśṇtli. “I’m of. W’r xacli alîc in riaḷti, I si. Y w’nt gv s tmoro īvnñ? Wel! Nxt de y g ǎt viẓtñ, I nǒ. I’l mīt y ɖr, n brñ mî wîf ɖt z t b. It’l d hr gd. Y’r agriybl? Ʈancī. Ẃt’s ɖt?”

It wz a lǎd crî fṛm ɖ Carịr’z wîf: a lǎd, śarp, sudn crî, ɖt md ɖ rūm rñ lîc a glas vesl. Ś hd rizn fṛm hr sīt, n std lîc wn trnsfixt bî terr n s’prîz. Ɖ Strenjr hd advanst twdz ɖ fîr t worm himslf, n std wɖn a śort strîd v hr ćer. Bt qt stil.

“Dot!” craid ɖ Carịr. “Mẹri! Darlñ! Ẃt’s ɖ matr?”

Ɖe wr ol abt hr in a momnt. Cêleb, hu hd bn dozñ on ɖ cecbox, in ɖ frst imprfict rcuṿri v hiz sspndd prezns v mînd, sizd Mis Slǒbô bî ɖ her v hr hed, bt imīɉtli apoḷjîzd.

“Mẹri!” xclemd ɖ Carịr, s’portñ hr in hiz armz. “R y il? Ẃt z it? Tel m dir!”

Ś onli ansrd bî bìtñ hr handz tgɖr, n fōlñ intu a wîld fit v laftr. Ɖen, sncñ fṛm hiz grasp upn ɖ grǎnd, ś cuvrd hr fes wɖ hr epṛn, n wept bitrli. N ɖen, ś laft agn, n ɖen ś craid agn, n ɖen ś sd hǎ cold ś wz, n sufrd him t līd hr t ɖ fîr, ẃr ś sat dǎn az bfr. Ɖ old man standñ, az bfr, qt stil.

“I’m betr, Jon,” ś sd. “I’m qt wel nǎ—I—”

“Jon!” Bt Jon wz on ɖ uɖr sîd v hr. Ẃ trn hr fes twdz ɖ strenj old jntlmn, az f adresñ him. Wz hr bren wonḍrñ?

“Onli a fansi, Jon dir—a cnd v śoc—a smʈñ cmñ sudnli bfr mî îz—I d’nt nǒ ẃt it wz. It’s qt gn, qt gn.”

“I’m glad it’s gn,” mutrd Tacltn, trnñ ɖ xpresiv î ol rnd ɖ rūm. “I wundr ẃr it’s gn, n ẃt it wz. Humf! Cêleb, cm hir! Hu’z ɖt wɖ ɖ gre her?”

“I d’nt nǒ, sr,” rtrnd Cêleb in a ẃispr. “Nvr si him bfr in ol mî lîf. A bytifl figr fr a nutcracr; qt a ny modl. Wɖ a scrūjw oṗnñ dǎn intu hiz weistcot, h’d b luvli.”

“Nt ugli inuf,” sd Tacltn.

“Or fr a fîrbox îɖr,” obzrvd Cêleb in dīp contmpleśn, “ẃt a modl! Unscru hiz hed t pt ɖ maćz in; trn him hìlz up’dz fr ɖ lît; n ẃt a fîrbox fr a jntlmn’z mantl-ślf, jst az h standz!”

“Nt haf ugli inuf,” sd Tacltn. “Nʈñ in him at ol. Cm! Brñ ɖt box! Ol rît nǎ, I hop?”

“Ǒ, qt gn! Qt gn!” sd ɖ litl wmn, wevñ him huridli awe. “Gd nît!”

“Gd nît!” sd Tacltn. “Gd nît, Jon Pīribngl! Tec cer hǎ y cari ɖt box, Cêleb. Let it fōl, n I’l mrdr y! Darc az pić, n weɖr wrs ɖn evr, ê? Gd nît!”

So, wɖ anɖr śarp lc rnd ɖ rūm, h wnt ǎt at ɖ dor; foloud bî Cêleb wɖ ɖ wedñcec on hiz hed.

Ɖ Carịr hd bn so mć astǎndd bî hiz litl wîf, n so biẓli ingejd in suɖñ n tndñ hr, ɖt h hd scersli bn conśs v ɖ Strenjr’z prezns untl nǎ, ẃn h agn std ɖr, ɖer onli gest.

“H d’nt b’loñ t ɖm, y si,” sd Jon. “I mst gv him a hint t g.”

“I beg yr pardn, frend,” sd ɖ old jntlmn, advansñ t him; “ɖ mor so az I fir yr wîf hz nt bn wel; bt ɖ Atndnt hūm mî infrṃti,” h tućt hiz irz, n śc hiz hed, “rendrz olmst indispnsbl, nt hvñ arîvd, I fir ɖr mst b sm mstec. Ɖ bad nît ẃć md ɖ śltr v yr cumftbl cart (me I nvr hv a wrs!) so axptbl, z stl az bad az evr. Wd y, in yr cîndnis, sufr m t rent a bed hir?”

“Yes, yes,” craid Dot. “Yes! Srtnli!”

“Ǒ!” sd ɖ Carịr, s’prîzd bî ɖ r’pidti v ɖs cnsnt. “Wel! I d’nt objct; bt stl I’m nt qt śr ɖt—”

“Huś!” ś inṭruptd. “Dir Jon!”

“Ẃ, h’z ston def,” rjd Jon.

“I nǒ h z, bt——Yes, sr, srtnli. Yes, srtnli! I’l mc him p a bed d’recli, Jon.”

Az ś hurid of t d it, ɖ flutr v hr spirits, n ɖ ajteśn v hr manr, wr so strenj, ɖt ɖ Carịr std lcñ aftr hr, qt cnfǎndd.

“Dd its muɖrz mc it p a Bedz, ɖen!” craid Mis Slǒbô t ɖ Bebi; “n dd its her gro brǎn n crli ẃn its caps wz liftd of, n frîtn it, a preśs Pets, a-sitñ bî ɖ fîrz!”

Wɖ ɖt un’cǎntbl atrax́n v ɖ mînd t trîflz, ẃć z ofn inṣdntl t a stet v dǎt n cnfyźn, ɖ Carịr, az h wōct slǒli t n fro, faund himslf mnṭli rpitñ īvn ɖz absrd wrdz, mni tîmz. So mni tîmz, ɖt h got ɖm bî hart, n wz stl conñ ɖm ovr n ovr, lîc a lésn, ẃn Tili, aftr adminisṭrñ az mć frix́n t ɖ litl bàld hed wɖ hr hand az ś ʈt holsm (acordñ t ɖ practis v nrsz), hd wns mor taid ɖ Bebi’z cap on.

“N frîtn it, a preśs Pets, a-sitñ bî ɖ fîrz. Ẃt frîtnd Dot, I wundr?” ḿzd ɖ Carịr, pesñ t n fro.

H scǎtd, fṛm hiz hart, ɖ insińueśnz v ɖ tômrćnt, n yt ɖe fild him wɖ a veg, indefiṇt unīzinis. Fr Tacltn wz qc n slî; n h hd ɖt penfl sns, himslf, v biyñ a man v slo pspśn, ɖt a brocn hint wz olwz wuriyñ t him. H srtnli hd no intnśn in hiz mînd v lincñ enʈñ ɖt Tacltn hd sd wɖ ɖ unyźl conduct v hiz wîf, bt ɖ tū subjicts v rflex́n cem intu hiz mînd tgɖr, n h cd nt cīp ɖm asundr.

Ɖ bed wz sn md redi; n ɖ vizitr, dclînñ ol rfreśmnt bt a cup v ti, rtîrd. Ɖen, Dot—qt wel agn, ś sd, qt wel agn—arenjd ɖ gret ćer in ɖ ćimnicornr fr hr huzbnd; fild hiz pîp n gev it him; n tc hr yźl litl stūl bsd him on ɖ harʈ.

Ś olwz wd sit on ɖt litl stūl. I ʈnc ś mst hv hd a cnd v nośn ɖt it wz a cǒxñ, ẃīḍlñ litl stūl.

Ś wz, ǎt n ǎt, ɖ vri bst filr v a pîp, I śd se, in ɖ for qortrz v ɖ glob. T si hr pt ɖt ćubi litl fngr in ɖ bol, n ɖen blo dǎn ɖ pîp t clir ɖ tyb, n, ẃn ś hd dn so, afct t ʈnc ɖt ɖr wz riyli smʈñ in ɖ tyb, n blo a duzn tîmz, n hold it t hr î lîc a teḷscop, wɖ a most pṛvocñ twist in hr capitl litl fes, az ś lct dǎn it, wz qt a briłnt ʈñ. Az t ɖ tbaco, ś wz prfict mistris v ɖ subjict; n hr lîtñ v ɖ pîp, wɖ a wisp v pepr, ẃn ɖ Carịr hd it in hiz mǎʈ—gwñ so vri nir hiz nǒz, n yt nt scorćñ it—wz Art, hî Art.

N ɖ Cricit n ɖ Cetl, trnñ p agn, acnolijd it! Ɖ brît fîr, blezñ p agn, acnolijd it! Ɖ litl Mowr on ɖ cloc, in hiz unhīdd wrc, acnolijd it! Ɖ Carịr, in hiz smuɖñ fōrhed n xpandñ fes, acnolijd it, ɖ rediist v ol.

N ɖ Cricit n ɖ Cetl, trnñ p agn, acnolijd it!

N az h sobrli n ʈtf̣li puft at hiz old pîp, n az ɖ Duć cloc tict, n az ɖ red fîr glīmd, n az ɖ Cricit ćrpt, ɖt Jīńs v hiz Harʈ n Hom (fr sć ɖ Cricit wz) cem ǎt, in fẹri śep, intu ɖ rūm, n sumnd mni formz v Hom abt him. Dots v ol ejz n ol sîzz fild ɖ ćembr. Dots hu wr meri ćildṛn, runñ on bfr him, gaɖ̇rñ flǎrz in ɖ fīldz; cô Dots, haf śrincñ fṛm, haf yīldñ t, ɖ plīdñ v hiz ǒn ruf imij; nyli-marid Dots, alîtñ at ɖ dor, n tecñ wunḍrñ pześn v ɖ hǎshold ciz; muɖrli litl Dots, atndd bî fictiśs Slǒbôz, bẹrñ bebiz t b crisnd; metṛnli Dots, stl yuñ n blūmñ, woćñ Dots v dōtrz, az ɖe danst at rustic bōlz; fat Dots, insrcld n bset bî trūps v rozi granćildṛn; wiɖrd Dots, hu līnd on stics, n totrd az ɖe crept alñ. Old Carịrz, tù, apird wɖ blînd old Boxrz layñ at ɖer fīt; n nywr carts wɖ yungr drîvrz (“Pīribngl Bruɖrz” on ɖ tilt); n sic old Carịrz, tndd bî ɖ jntlist handz; n grevz v ded n gn old Carịrz, grīn in ɖ ćrćyard. N az ɖ Cricit śoud him ol ɖz ʈñz—h sw ɖm plenli, ɖo hiz îz wr fixt upn ɖ fîr—ɖ Carịr’z hart grù lît n hapi, n h ʈanct hiz Hǎshold Godz wɖ ol hiz mt, n cerd no mor fr Gruf n Tacltn ɖn y d.

Bt ẃt wz ɖt yuñ figr v a man, ẃć ɖ sem Fẹri Cricit set so nir Hr stūl, n ẃć rmend ɖr, sngli n alon? Ẃ dd it lingr stl, so nir hr, wɖ its arm upn ɖ ćimnipìs, evr rpitñ “Marid! n nt t m!”

Ǒ, Dot! Ǒ, felñ Dot! Ɖr z no ples fr it in ol yr huzbnd’z viźnz. Ẃ hz its śado fōḷn on hiz harʈ?

ĆRP Ɖ SECND

Cêleb Plumr n hiz Blînd Dōtr livd ol alon bî ɖmslvz, az ɖ Stori Bcs se—n mî blesñ, wɖ yrz, t bac it I hop, on ɖ Stori Bcs, fr seyñ enʈñ in ɖs wrc-a-de wrld!—Cêleb Plumr n hiz Blînd Dōtr livd ol alon bî ɖmslvz, in a litl cract nutśel v a wŭdn hǎs, ẃć wz, in truʈ, no betr ɖn a pimpl on ɖ prominnt red-bric nǒz v Gruf n Tacltn. Ɖ preṃsz v Gruf n Tacltn wr ɖ gret fīćr v ɖ strīt; bt y mt hv noct dǎn Cêleb Plumr’z dwelñ wɖ a hamr or tū, n carid of ɖ pìsz in a cart.

F enwn hd dn ɖ dwelñhǎs v Cêleb Plumr ɖ onr t mis it aftr sć an inrod, it wd hv bn, no dǎt, t cmnd its deṃliśn az a vast impruvmnt. It stuc t ɖ preṃsz v Gruf n Tacltn lîc a barṇcl t a śip’s cīl, or a snel t a dor, or a litl bunć v tǒdstūlz t ɖ stem v a tri. Bt it wz ɖ jrm fṛm ẃć ɖ fl-groun trunc v Gruf n Tacltn hd spruñ; n, undr its crezi rūf, ɖ Gruf bfr last hd, in a smōl we, md tôz fr a jeṇreśn v old bôz n grlz, hu hd pleid wɖ ɖm, n faund ɖm ǎt, n brocn ɖm, n gn t slīp.

I hv sd ɖt Cêleb n hiz pur Blînd Dōtr livd hir. I śd hv sd ɖt Cêleb livd hir, n hiz pur Blînd Dōtr smẃr els—in an inćantd hom v Cêleb’z frṇśñ, ẃr scerṣti n śabinis wr nt, n trubl nvr entrd. Cêleb wz no sorsrr; bt in ɖ onli majic art ɖt stl rmenz t s, ɖ majic v dvotd, deʈlis luv, Nećr hd bn ɖ mistris v hiz studi; n, fṛm hr tīćñ, ol ɖ wundr cem.

Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖt sīlñz wr dsculrd, wōlz bloćt n bér v plastr hir n ɖr, hî creṿsz unstopt n wîḍnñ evri de, bīmz molḍrñ n tndñ dǎnẉd. Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖt ayn wz rustñ, wŭd rotñ, pepr pīlñ of; ɖ sîz, n śep, n tru pṛporśn v ɖ dwelñ, wiɖ̇rñ awe. Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖt ugli śeps v delf n rʈnwér wr on ɖ bōrd; ɖt soro n fent-hartidnis wr in ɖ hǎs; ɖt Cêleb’z scanti herz wr trnñ greyr n mor gre bfr hr sîtlis fes. Ɖ Blînd Grl nvr ń ɖe hd a mastr, cold, xactñ, n uninṭrestd—nvr ń ɖt Tacltn wz Tacltn, in śort; bt livd in ɖ b’lif v an xntric hyṃrist, hu luvd t hv hiz jest wɖ ɖm, n hu, ẃl h wz ɖ Gardịnenjl v ɖer lîvz, dsdend t hír wn wrd v ʈancflnis.

N ol wz Cêleb’z dwñ; ol ɖ dwñ v hr simpl faɖr! Bt h, tù, hd a Cricit on hiz Harʈ; n liṣnñ sadli t its ḿzic ẃn ɖ muɖrlis Blînd Ćîld wz vri yuñ ɖt Spirit hd inspîrd him wɖ ɖ ʈt ɖt īvn hr gret depṛveśn mt b olmst ćenjd intu a blesñ, n ɖ grl md hapi bî ɖz litl mīnz. Fr ol ɖ Cricit trîb r potnt Spirits, īvn ɖo ɖ ppl hu hold cnvrs wɖ ɖm d nt nǒ it (ẃć z frīqntli ɖ ces), n ɖr r nt in ɖ unsìn wrld vôsz mor jntl n mor tru, ɖt me b so impliṣtli rlaid on, or ɖt r so srtn t gv nn bt tenḍrist cǎnsl, az ɖ Vôsz in ẃć ɖ Spirits v ɖ Fîrsîd n ɖ Harʈ adres ɖmslvz t hymn-cnd.

Cêleb n hiz dōtr wr at wrc tgɖr in ɖer yźl wrcñrūm, ẃć srvd ɖm fr ɖer ordnri livñrūm az wel; n a strenj ples it wz. Ɖr wr hǎzz in it, finiśt n unfiniśt, fr Dolz v ol steśnz in lîf. Sbrbn teṇmnts fr Dolz v modṛt mīnz; cićnz n sngl apartmnts fr Dolz v ɖ lowr clasz; capitl tǎn rezidnsz fr Dolz v hî istet. Sm v ɖz istabliśmnts wr olrdi frniśt acordñ t estiṃt, wɖ a vy t ɖ cnvińns v Dolz v liṃtd incm; uɖrz cd b fitd on ɖ most xpnsiv scel, at a momnt’s notis, fṛm hol ślvz v ćerz n teblz, sofaz, bedstedz, n upholstri. Ɖ nbiḷti n jntri n public in jenṛl, fr huz acoṃdeśn ɖz teṇmnts wr dzînd, le hir n ɖr, in bascits, stẹrñ stret p at ɖ sīlñ; bt in dnotñ ɖer dgriz in ssayti, n cnfînñ ɖm t ɖer rspctiv steśnz (ẃć xpirịns śoz t b l’mntbli dificlt in riyl lîf), ɖ mcrz v ɖz Dolz hd far impruvd on Nećr, hu z ofn frowd n pvrs; fr ɖe, nt restñ on sć arbitrri marcs az satin, cotn print, n bits v rag, hd sūṗadd strîcñ prsnl difṛnsz ẃć alaud v no mstec. Ɖus, ɖ Doļedi v dstñśn hd wax limz v prfict siṃtri; bt onli ś n hr compirz. Ɖ nxt gred in ɖ sośl scel biyñ md v leɖr, n ɖ nxt v cōrs linn stuf. Az t ɖ comn ppl, ɖe hd jst so mni maćz ǎt v tindrboxz fr ɖer armz n legz, n ɖr ɖe wr—istabliśt in ɖer sfir at wns, bynd ɖ posbiḷti v gtñ ǎt v it.

Ɖr wr verịs uɖr samplz v hiz handicraft bsdz Dolz in Cêleb Plumr’z rūm. Ɖr wr Noa’z arcs, in ẃć ɖ Brdz n Bīsts wr an uncomnli tît fit, I aśur y; ɖo ɖe cd b cramd in, enhǎ, at ɖ rūf, n ratld n śecn intu ɖ smōlist cumṗs. Bî a bold p’eticl lîsns, most v ɖz Noa’z arcs hd nocrz on ɖ dorz; incnsistnt apnḍjz, phps, az sjstiv v mornñcōlrz n a Postmn, yt a pleznt finiś t ɖ ǎtsd v ɖ bildñ. Ɖr wr scorz v meḷnc̣li litl carts, ẃć, ẃn ɖ ẃīlz wnt rnd, pformd most dǒlfl ḿzic. Mni smōl fidlz, drumz, n uɖr instṛmnts v torćr; no end v cánn, śīldz, sordz, spirz, n gunz. Ɖr wr litl tumblrz in red brìćz, insesntli swormñ p hî obsṭclz v red tep, n cmñ dǎn, hed frst, on ɖ uɖr sîd; n ɖr wr ińmṛbl old jntlṃn v rspctbl, nt t se venṛbl apiṛns, insenli flayñ ovr hoṛzontl pegz, insrtd, fr ɖ prṗs, in ɖer ǒn strītdorz. Ɖr wr bīsts v ol sorts; horsz, in ptiklr, v evri brīd, fṛm ɖ spotd baṛl on for pegz wɖ a smōl tipit fr a mein, t ɖ ʈura-bréd rocr on hiz hîist métl. Az it wd hv bn hard t cǎnt ɖ duznz upn duznz v gṛtesc figrz ɖt wr evr redi t cmit ol sorts v absrdtiz on ɖ trnñ v a handl, so it wd hv bn no īzi tasc t mnśn eni hymn foli, vîs, or wìcnis ɖt hd nt its tîp, imīɉt or rmot, in Cêleb Plumr’z rūm. N nt in an xaɉretd form, fr vri litl handlz wl muv men n wimin t az strenj pformnsz az eni Tô wz evr md t unḍtec.

In ɖ mdst v ol ɖz objicts, Cêleb n hiz dōtr sat at wrc. Ɖ Blînd Grl bizi az a Dol’z dres-mcr; Cêleb pentñ n glezñ ɖ for-per frunt v a dzîṛbl faṃlimanśn.

In ɖ mdst v ol ɖz objicts, Cêleb n hiz dōtr sat at wrc.

Ɖ cer imprintd in ɖ lînz v Cêleb’z fes, n hiz abzorbd n drīmi manr, ẃć wd hv sat wel on sm alc̣mist or abstrūs stydnt, wr at frst sît an od contrast t hiz okpeśn n ɖ triviaḷtiz abt him. Bt trivịl ʈñz, invntd n psyd fr bred, bcm vri sirịs matrz v fact: n, apart fṛm ɖs cnsiḍreśn, I am nt at ol priperd t se, mslf, ɖt f Cêleb hd bn a Lord Ćembrlin, or a Membr v Parḷmnt, or a loyr, or īvn a gret spekletr, h wd hv dlt in tôz wn ẃit les ẃimzicl, ẃl I hv a vri gret dǎt ẃɖr ɖe wd hv bn az harmlis.

“So y wr ǎt in ɖ ren last nît, faɖr, in yr bytifl ny gretcot,” sd Cêleb’z dōtr.

“In mî bytifl ny gretcot,” ansrd Cêleb, glansñ twdz a cloɖzlîn in ɖ rūm, on ẃć ɖ sac̦loʈ garmnt prīvịsli dscrîbd wz cerf̣li huñ p t drî.

“Hǎ glad I am y bòt it, faɖr!”

“N v sć a teilr tù,” sd Cêleb. “Qt a faśṇbl teilr. It’s tù gd fr m.”

Ɖ Blînd Grl restd fṛm hr wrc, n laft wɖ dlît. “Tù gd, faɖr! Ẃt cn b tù gd fr y?”

“I’m haf aśemd t wer it, ɖo,” sd Cêleb, woćñ ɖ ifct v ẃt h sd upn hr brîṭnñ fes, “upn mî wrd! Ẃn I hír ɖ bôz n ppl se bhnd m, ‘Hloa! Hir’z a swel!’ I d’nt nǒ ẃć we t lc. N ẃn ɖ begr wd’nt g awe last nît; n, ẃn I sd I wz a vri comn man, sd, ‘No, yr Onr! Bles yr Onr, d’nt se ɖt!’ I wz qt aśemd. I riyli flt az f I hd’nt a rît t wer it.”

Hapi Blînd Grl! Hǎ meri ś wz in hr xlteśn!

“I si y, faɖr,” ś sd, claspñ hr handz, “az plenli az f I hd ɖ îz I nvr wont ẃn y r wɖ m. A blu cot—”

“Brît blu,” sd Cêleb.

“Yes, yes! Brît blu!” xclemd ɖ grl, trnñ p hr redịnt fes; “ɖ culr I cn jst rmembr in ɖ blesid scî! Y tld m it wz blu bfr! A brît blu cot—”

“Md lūs t ɖ figr,” sjstd Cêleb.

“Yes! lūs t ɖ figr!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, lafñ harṭli; “n in it, y, dir faɖr, wɖ yr meri î, yr smîlñ fes, yr fri step, n yr darc her—lcñ so yuñ n hansm!”

“Hloa! Hloa!” sd Cêleb. “I śl b ven prezntli!”

I ʈnc y r olrdi,” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, pôntñ at him in hr gli. “I nǒ y, faɖr! Ha, ha, ha! I’v faund y ǎt, y si!”

Hǎ difṛnt ɖ picćr in hr mînd, fṛm Cêleb, az h sat obzrvñ hr! Ś hd spocn v hiz fri step. Ś wz rît in ɖt. Fr yirz n yirz h hd nvr wns crost ɖt ʈreśhold at hiz ǒn slo pes, bt wɖ a ftfōl cǎnṭfitd fr hr ir; n nvr hd h, ẃn hiz hart wz heviist, fgotn ɖ lît tréd ɖt wz t rendr hrz so ćirfl n c’rejs!

Hevn nz! Bt I ʈnc Cêleb’z veg bwildrmnt v manr me hv haf oriɉnetd in hiz hvñ cnfyzd himslf abt himslf n evrʈñ arnd him, fr ɖ luv v hiz Blînd Dōtr. Hǎ cd ɖ litl man b uɖ̇wz ɖn bwildrd, aftr leḅrñ fr so mni yirz t dstrô hiz ǒn îdntti, n ɖt v ol ɖ objicts ɖt hd eni bẹrñ on it?

“Ɖr w r,” sd Cêleb, fōlñ bac a pes or tū t form ɖ betr jujmnt v hiz wrc; “az nir ɖ riyl ʈñ az sixṗnrʈ v hepns z t sixpns. Ẃt a piti ɖt ɖ hol frunt v ɖ hǎs opnz at wns! F ɖr wz onli a sterces in it nǎ, n reğlr dorz t ɖ rūmz t g in at! Bt ɖt’s ɖ wrst v mî cōlñ, I’m olwz dludñ mslf, n swinḍlñ mslf.”

“Y r spīcñ qt softli. Y r nt tîrd, faɖr?”

“Tîrd!” ecoud Cêleb wɖ a gret brst v aṇmeśn. “Ẃt śd tîr m, Brʈa? I wz nvr tîrd. Ẃt dz it mīn?”

T gv ɖ gretr fors t hiz wrdz, h ćect himslf in an invoḷntri iṃteśn v tū haf-leñʈ strećñ n yōnñ figrz on ɖ mantl-ślf, hu wr reprizntd az in wn itrnl stet v wirinis fṛm ɖ weist upwdz; n humd a fragmnt v a soñ. It wz a Bac̣nełn soñ, smʈñ abt a Sparc̣lñ Bol. H sañ it wɖ an asumśn v a Devl-me-cer vôs, ɖt md hiz fes a ʈǎznd tîmz mor mīgr n mor ʈtfl ɖn evr.

“Ẃt! Y’r sññ, r y?” sd Tacltn, ptñ hiz hed in at ɖ dor. “G it! I c’nt sñ.”

Nbdi wd hv sspctd him v it. H hd’nt ẃt z jenṛli trmd a sññ fes, bî eni mīnz.

“I c’nt aford t sñ,” sd Tacltn. “I’m glad y cn. I hop y cn aford t wrc tù. Hardli tîm fr bʈ, I śd ʈnc?”

“F y cd onli si him, Brʈa, hǎ h’z wncñ at m!” ẃisprd Cêleb. “Sć a man t joc! Y’d ʈnc, f y dd’nt nǒ him, h wz in rnist—wd’nt y nǎ?”

Ɖ Blînd Grl smîld n nodd.

“Ɖ brd ɖt cn sñ n w’nt sñ mst b md t sñ, ɖe se,” grumbld Tacltn. “Ẃt abt ɖ ǎl ɖt c’nt sñ, n òt’nt t sñ, n wl sñ; z ɖr enʈñ ɖt h śd b md t d?”

“Ɖ xtnt t ẃć h’z wncñ at ɖs momnt!” ẃisprd Cêleb t hiz dōtr. “Ǒ, mî greśs!”

“Olwz meri n lît-hartd wɖ s!” craid ɖ smîlñ Brʈa.

“Ǒ! y’r ɖr, r y?” ansrd Tacltn. “Pur Idịt!”

H riyli dd b’liv ś wz an Idịt; n h fǎndd ɖ b’lif, I c’nt se ẃɖr conśsli or nt, upn hr biyñ fond v him.

“Wel! n biyñ ɖr,—hǎ r y?” sd Tacltn in hiz grujñ we.

“Ǒ! wel; qt wel! N az hapi az īvn y cn wś m t b. Az hapi az y wd mc ɖ hol wrld, f y cd!”

“Pur Idịt!” mutrd Tacltn. “No glīm v rīzn. Nt a glīm!”

Ɖ Blînd Grl tc hiz hand n cist it; hld it fr a momnt in hr ǒn tū handz; n leid hr ćīc agnst it tndrli bfr rlisñ it. Ɖr wz sć unspīcbl afx́n n sć frvnt grattyd in ɖ act, ɖt Tacltn himslf wz muvd t se, in a mîldr grǎl ɖn yźl:

“Ẃt’s ɖ matr nǎ?”

“I std it clos bsd mî pilo ẃn I wnt t slīp last nît, n rmembrd it in mî drīmz. N ẃn ɖ de brouc, n ɖ glorịs red sún—ɖ red sún, faɖr?”

“Red in ɖ mornñz n ɖ īvnñz, Brʈa,” sd pur Cêleb wɖ a wǒfl glans at hiz imployr.

“Ẃn it rouz, n ɖ brît lît I olmst fir t strîc mslf agnst in wōcñ, cem intu ɖ rūm, I trnd ɖ litl tri twdz it, n blest Hevn fr mcñ ʈñz so preśs, n blest y fr sndñ ɖm t ćir m!”

“Bedḷm brouc lūs!” sd Tacltn undr hiz breʈ. “W śl arîv at ɖ streitweistcot n muflrz sn. W’r gtñ on!”

Cêleb, wɖ hiz handz hct lūsli in ć uɖr, stérd vecntli bfr him ẃl hiz dōtr spouc, az f h riyli wr unsrtn (I b’liv h wz) ẃɖr Tacltn hd dn enʈñ t dzrv hr ʈancs or nt. F h cd hv bn a prf̣cli fri ejnt at ɖt momnt, rqîrd, on pen v deʈ, t cic ɖ tômrćnt, or fōl at hiz fīt, acordñ t hiz merits, I b’liv it wd hv bn an īvn ćans ẃć cors h wd hv tecn. Yt Cêleb ń ɖt wɖ hiz ǒn handz h hd bròt ɖ litl rǒztrī hom fr hr so cerf̣li, n ɖt wɖ hiz ǒn lips h hd forjd ɖ iṇsnt dspśn ẃć śd hlp t cīp hr fṛm sspctñ hǎ mć, hǎ vri mć, h evri de dnaid himslf, ɖt ś mt b hapịr.

“Brʈa!” sd Tacltn, asymñ, fr ɖ nons, a litl cordiaḷti. “Cm hir.”

“Ǒ, I cn cm stret t y! Y nīd’nt gîd m!” ś rjônd.

“Śl I tel y a sīcrit, Brʈa?”

“F y wl!” ś ansrd īgrli.

Hǎ brît ɖ darcnd fes! Hǎ adornd wɖ lît ɖ liṣnñ hed!

“Ɖs z ɖ de on ẃć litl ẃt’s-hr-nem, ɖ spôlt ćîld, Pīribngl’z wîf, pez hr reğlr vizit t y—mcs hr fntastic Picnic hir, an’t it?” sd Tacltn wɖ a stroñ xpreśn v dstest fr ɖ hol cnsrn.

“Yes,” rplaid Brʈa. “Ɖs z ɖ de.”

“I ʈt so,” sd Tacltn. “I śd lîc t jôn ɖ parti.”

“D y hír ɖt, faɖr?” craid ɖ Blînd Grl in an xṭsi.

“Yes, yes, I hír it,” mrmrd Cêleb wɖ ɖ fixt lc v a slīpwōcr; “bt I d’nt b’liv it. It’s wn v mî lîz, I’v no dǎt.”

“Y si I—I wont t brñ ɖ Pīribnglz a litl mor intu cumṗni wɖ Me Fīldñ,” sd Tacltn. “I’m gwñ t b marid t Me.”

“Marid!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, startñ fṛm him.

“Ś’z sć a cnfǎndd idịt,” mutrd Tacltn, “ɖt I wz afred ś’d nvr comprihnd m. Ā, Brʈa! Marid! Ćrć, parsn, clarc, bīdl, glas coć, belz, brecfst, brîdcec, fevrz, marobonz, clīvrz, n ol ɖ rest v ɖ tomfūḷri. A wedñ, y nǒ; a wedñ. D’nt y nǒ ẃt a wedñ z?”

“I nǒ,” rplaid ɖ Blînd Grl in a jntl ton. “I unḍstand!”

“D y?” mutrd Tacltn. “It’s mor ɖn I xpctd. Wel! On ɖt acǎnt I wont t jôn ɖ parti, n t brñ Me n hr muɖr. I’l snd in a litl smʈñ or uɖr, bfr ɖ afṭnun. A cold leg v mutn, or sm cumftbl trîfl v ɖt sort. Y’l xpct m?”

“Yes,” ś ansrd.

Ś hd drūpt hr hed, n trnd awe; n so std, wɖ hr handz crost, ḿzñ.

“I d’nt ʈnc y wl,” mutrd Tacltn, lcñ at hr; “fr y sīm t hv fgotn ol abt it olrdi. Cêleb!”

“I me vnćr t se I’m hir, I s’poz,” ʈt Cêleb. “Sr!”

“Tec cer ś d’nt fget ẃt I’v bn seyñ t hr.”

Ś nvr fgets,” rtrnd Cêleb. “It’s wn v ɖ fy ʈñz ś an’t clevr in.”

“Evri man ʈncs hiz ǒn gīs swonz,” obzrvd ɖ tômrćnt wɖ a śrug. “Pur devl!”

Hvñ dlivrd himslf v ẃć rmarc wɖ infiṇt cntmt, old Gruf n Tacltn wɖdru.

Brʈa rmend ẃr h hd left hr, lost in medteśn. Ɖ geyti hd vaniśt fṛm hr dǎncast fes, n it wz vri sad. Ʈri or for tîmz ś śc hr hed, az f bweilñ sm rmembṛns or sm los; bt hr soṛfl rflex́nz faund no vnt in wrdz.

It wz nt untl Cêleb hd bn okpaid sm tîm in yocñ a tīm v horsz t a wagn bî ɖ súṃri proses v nêlñ ɖ harnis t ɖ vîtl parts v ɖer bodiz, ɖt ś drù nir t hiz wrcñstūl, n, sitñ dǎn bsd him, sd:

“Faɖr, I am lonli in ɖ darc. I wont mî îz, mî peśnt, wilñ îz.”

“Faɖr, I am lonli in ɖ darc. I wont mî îz, mî peśnt, wilñ îz.”

“Hir ɖe r,” sd Cêleb. “Olwz redi. Ɖe r mor yrz ɖn mîn, Brʈa, eni aur in ɖ for-n-twenti. Ẃt śl yr îz d fr y, dir?”

“Lc rnd ɖ rūm, faɖr.”

“Ol rît,” sd Cêleb. “No snr sd ɖn dn, Brʈa.”

“Tel m abt it.”

“It’s mć ɖ sem az yźl,” sd Cêleb. “Homli, bt vri snug. Ɖ ge culrz on ɖ wōlz; ɖ brît flǎrz on ɖ plets n diśz; ɖ śînñ wŭd, ẃr ɖr r bīmz or panlz; ɖ jenṛl ćirflnis n nītnis v ɖ bildñ,—mc it vri priti.”

Ćirfl n nīt it wz, ẃrvr Brʈa’z handz cd bizi ɖmslvz. Bt nẃr els wr ćirflnis n nītnis poṣbl in ɖ old crezi śed ẃć Cêleb’z fansi so trnsformd.

“Y hv yr wrcñdres on, n r nt so gaḷnt az ẃn y wer ɖ hansm cot?” sd Brʈa, tućñ him.

“Nt qt so gaḷnt,” ansrd Cêleb. “Priti brisc, ɖo.”

“Faɖr,” sd ɖ Blînd Grl, drw̃ clos t hiz sîd, n stìlñ wn arm rnd hiz nec, “tel m smʈñ abt Me. Ś z vri fer?”

“Ś z indd,” sd Cêleb. N ś wz indd. It wz qt a rer ʈñ t Cêleb nt t hv t drw on hiz invnśn.

“Hr her z darc,” sd Brʈa pnsivli, “darcr ɖn mîn. Hr vôs z swīt n ḿzicl, I nǒ. I hv ofn luvd t hír it. Hr śep—”

“Ɖr’z nt a Dol’z in ol ɖ rūm t īql it,” sd Cêleb. “N hr îz!—”

H stopt; fr Brʈa hd drwn closr rnd hiz nec, n, fṛm ɖ arm ɖt cluñ abt him, cem a wornñ preśr ẃć h unḍstd tù wel.

H coft a momnt, hamrd fr a momnt, n ɖen fél bac upn ɖ soñ abt ɖ sparc̣lñ bol, hiz infaḷbl rzors in ol sć dificltiz.

“Ǎr frend, faɖr, ǎr beṇfactr. I am nvr tîrd, y nǒ, v hírñ abt him.—Nǎ, wz I evr?” ś sd hesṭli.

“V cors nt,” ansrd Cêleb, “n wɖ rīzn.”

“Ā! Wɖ hǎ mć rīzn!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl. Wɖ sć frvnsi, ɖt Cêleb, ɖo hiz motivz wr so pyr, cd nt indyr t mīt hr fes; bt dropt hiz îz, az f ś cd hv réd in ɖm hiz iṇsnt dsit.

“Ɖen tel m agn abt him, dir faɖr,” sd Brʈa. “Mni tîmz agn! Hiz fes z bnevlnt, cînd, n tndr. Onist n tru, I am śr it z. Ɖ manli hart ɖt trîz t clǒc ol fevrz wɖ a śo v rufnis n unwilñnis, bìts in its evri lc n glans.”

“N mcs it nobl,” add Cêleb in hiz qayt desṗreśn.

“N mcs it nobl,” craid ɖ Blînd Grl. “H z oldr ɖn Me, faɖr.”

“Yi-es,” sd Cêleb rluctntli. “H’z a litl oldr ɖn Me. Bt ɖt d’nt sigṇfî.”

“Ǒ, faɖr, yes! T b hiz peśnt cmpańn in infrṃti n ej; t b hiz jntl nrs in sicnis, n hiz constnt frend in suf̣rñ n soro; t nǒ no wirinis in wrcñ fr hiz sec; t woć him, tnd him, sit bsd hiz bed n tōc t him awec, n pre fr him aslip; ẃt priṿlijz ɖz wd b! Ẃt oṗtyṇtiz fr pruvñ ol hr truʈ n hr dvośn t him! Wd ś d ol ɖs, dir faɖr?”

“No dǎt v it,” sd Cêleb.

“I luv hr, faɖr; I cn luv hr fṛm mî soul!” xclemd ɖ Blînd Grl. N, seyñ so, ś leid hr pur blînd fes on Cêleb’z śoldr, n so wept n wept, ɖt h wz olmst sori t hv bròt ɖt tirfl hapinis upn hr.

In ɖ mntm ɖr hd bn a priti śarp cmośn at Jon Pīribngl’z, fr litl Msz. Pīribngl naćṛli cd’nt ʈnc v gwñ enẃr wɖt ɖ Bebi; n t gt ɖ Bebi undr we tc tîm. Nt ɖt ɖr wz mć v ɖ Bebi, spīcñ v it az a ʈñ v weit n meźr, bt ɖr wz a vast dīl t d abt n abt it, n it ol hd t b dn bî īzi stejz. Fr instns, ẃn ɖ Bebi wz got, bî hc n bî crŭc, t a srtn pônt v dresñ, n y mt hv raśṇli s’pozd ɖt anɖr tuć or tū wd finiś him of, n trn him ǎt a tiptop Bebi ćaḷnjñ ɖ wrld, h wz unixpctidli xtnḡśt in a flanl cap, n husld of t bed; ẃr h simrd (so t spīc) btwn tū blancits fr ɖ bst part v an aur. Fṛm ɖs stet v inax́n h wz ɖen rcōld, śînñ vri mć n rorñ vayḷntli, t ptec v—wel? I wd rɖr se, f y’l pmit m t spīc jenṛli—v a slît rpast. Aftr ẃć h wnt t slīp agn. Msz. Pīribngl tc advantij v ɖs inṭvl, t mc hrslf az smart in a smōl we az evr y sw enbdi in ol yr lîf; n, jrñ ɖ sem śort trūs, Mis Slǒbô insińuetd hrslf intu a Spensr v a faśn so s’prîzñ n injīńs, ɖt it hd no cnx́n wɖ hrslf, or enʈñ els in ɖ yṇvrs, bt wz a śruncn, dog’z-ird, indipndnt fact, psywñ its lonli cors wɖt ɖ līst rgard t enbdi. Bî ɖs tîm, ɖ Bebi, biyñ ol alîv agn, wz invstd, bî ɖ ynîtd ef̣ts v Msz. Pīribngl n Mis Slǒbô, wɖ a crīm-culrd mantl fr its bodi, n a sort v Nancīn rezd pî fr its hed; n so, in cors v tîm, ɖe ol ʈri got dǎn t ɖ dor, ẃr ɖ old hors hd olrdi tecn mor ɖn ɖ fl valy v hiz de’z tol ǎt v ɖ Trnpîc Trust, bî tẹrñ p ɖ rod wɖ hiz impeśnt ōṭgrafs; n ẃns Boxr mt b dimli sìn in ɖ rmot pspctiv, standñ lcñ bac, n tmtñ him t cm on wɖt ordrz.

Az t a ćer, or enʈñ v ɖt cnd fr hlpñ Msz. Pīribngl intu ɖ cart, y nǒ vri litl v Jon, f y ʈnc ɖt wz nesṣri. Bfr y cd hv sìn him lift hr fṛm ɖ grǎnd, ɖr ś wz in hr ples, freś n rozi, seyñ, “Jon! Hǎ cn y? Ʈnc v Tili!”

F I mt b alaud t mnśn a yuñ ledi’z legz on eni trmz, I wd obzrv v Mis Slǒbô’z ɖt ɖr wz a ftaḷti abt ɖm ẃć rendrd ɖm snğlrli laybl t b grezd; n ɖt ś nvr ifctd ɖ smōlist asent or dsent wɖt rcordñ ɖ srcmstans upn ɖm wɖ a noć, az Robinsn Crūzo marct ɖ dez upn hiz wŭdn caḷndr. Bt, az ɖs mt b cnsidrd unjntīl, I’l ʈnc v it.

“Jon! Y’v got ɖ bascit wɖ ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî n ʈñz, n ɖ botlz v Bir?” sd Dot. “F y hv’nt y mst trn rnd agn ɖs vri minit.”

“Y’r a nîs litl articl,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, “t b tōcñ abt trnñ rnd, aftr cīpñ m a fl qortr v an aur bhnd mî tîm.”

“I am sori fr it, Jon,” sd Dot in a gret busl, “bt I riyli cd nt ʈnc v gwñ t Brʈa’z—I wd nt d it, Jon, on eni acǎnt—wɖt ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî n ʈñz, n ɖ botlz v Bir. We!”

Ɖs moṇsiḷbl wz adrest t ɖ hors, hu dd’nt mînd it at ol.

“Ǒ, d we, Jon!” sd Msz. Pīribngl. “Plīz!”

“It’l b tîm inuf t d ɖt,” rtrnd Jon, “ẃn I bgin t līv ʈñz bhnd m. Ɖ bascit’s sef inuf.”

“Ẃt a hard-hartd monstr y mst b, Jon, nt t hv sd so at wns, n sev m sć a trn! I dcler I wd’nt g t Brʈa’z wɖt ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî n ʈñz, n ɖ botlz v Bir, fr eni muni. Reğlrli wns a fortnît evr sins w hv bn marid, Jon, hv w md ǎr litl Picnic ɖr. F enʈñ wz t g roñ wɖ it, I śd olmst ʈnc w wr nvr t b luci agn.”

“It wz a cînd ʈt in ɖ frst instns,” sd ɖ Carịr; “n I onr y fr it, litl wmn.”

“Mî dir Jon!” rplaid Dot, trnñ vri red. “D’nt tōc abt oṇrñ m. Gd greśs!”

“Bî-ɖ-bái”—obzrvd ɖ Carịr—“ɖt old jntlmn—”

Agn so viẓbli n instntli imbaṛst!

“H’z an od fiś,” sd ɖ Carịr, lcñ stret alñ ɖ rod bfr ɖm. “I c’nt mc him ǎt. I d’nt b’liv ɖr’z eni harm in him.”

“Nn at ol. I’m—I’m śr ɖr’z nn at ol.”

“Yes,” sd ɖ Carịr, wɖ hiz îz atractd t hr fes bî ɖ gret rṇstnis v hr manr. “I am glad y fīl so srtn v it, bcz it’s a conf̣meśn t m. It’s krịs ɖt h śd hv tecn it intu hiz hed t asc līv t g on lojñ wɖ s; an’t it? Ʈñz cm abt so strenjli.”

“So vri strenjli,” ś rjônd in a lo vôs, scersli ōḍbl.

“Hvr, h’z a gd-nećrd old jntlmn,” sd Jon, “n pez az a jntlmn, n I ʈnc hiz wrd z t b rlaid upn, lîc a jntlmn’z. I hd qt a loñ tōc wɖ him ɖs mornñ: h cn hír m betr olrdi, h sz, az h gts mor yst t mî vôs. H tld m a gret dīl abt himslf, n I tld him a gd dīl abt mslf, n a rer lot v qsćnz h asct m. I gev him inf̣meśn abt mî hvñ tū bìts, y nǒ, in mî biznis; wn de t ɖ rît fṛm ǎr hǎs n bac agn; anɖr de t ɖ left fṛm ǎr hǎs n bac agn (fr h’z a strenjr, n d’nt nǒ ɖ nemz v plesz abt hir); n h sīmd qt plizd. ‘Ẃ, ɖen I śl b rtrnñ hom tnît yr we,’ h sz, ‘ẃn I ʈt y’d b cmñ in an xacli oṗzit d’rex́n. Ɖt’s capitl! I me trubl y fr anɖr lift, phps, bt I’l ingej nt t fōl so sǎnd aslip agn.’ H wz sǎnd aslip, śrly!—Dot! ẃt r y ʈncñ v?”

“Ʈncñ v, Jon? I—I wz liṣnñ t y.”

“Ǒ! Ɖt’s ol rît!” sd ɖ onist Carịr. “I wz afred, fṛm ɖ lc v yr fes, ɖt I hd gn ramḅlñ on so loñ az t set y ʈncñ abt smʈñ els. I wz vri nir it, I’l b baund.”

Dot mcñ no rplî, ɖe jogd on, fr sm litl tîm, in sîḷns. Bt, it wz nt īzi t rmen sîḷnt vri loñ in Jon Pīribngl’z cart, fr evrbdi on ɖ rod hd smʈñ t se. Ɖo it mt onli b “Hǎ r y?” n, indd, it wz vri ofn nʈñ els, stl, t gv ɖt bac agn in ɖ rît spirit v cordiaḷti, rqîrd, nt mirli a nod n a smîl, bt az holsm an ax́n v ɖ luñz wɖōl az a loñ-windd Parḷmntri spīć. Smtmz, pasinjrz on ft, or horsbac, plodd on a litl we bsd ɖ cart, fr ɖ xpres prṗs v hvñ a ćat; n ɖen ɖr wz a gret dīl t b sd on bʈ sîdz.

Ɖen, Boxr gev oceźn t mor gd-nećrd recgniśnz v, n bî, ɖ Carịr, ɖn haf-a-duzn Crisćnz cd hv dn! Evrbdi ń him ol alñ ɖ rod—ispeṣ́li ɖ faulz n pigz, hu, ẃn ɖe sw him aproćñ, wɖ hiz bodi ol on wn sîd, n hiz irz prict p inqiztivli, n ɖt nob v a teil mcñ ɖ most v itslf in ɖ er, imīɉtli wɖdru intu rmot bacsetlmnts, wɖt wêtñ fr ɖ onr v a nirr aqentns. H hd biznis elsẃr; gwñ dǎn ol ɖ trnñz, lcñ intu ol ɖ wlz, boltñ in n ǎt v ol ɖ coṭjz, daśñ intu ɖ mdst v ol ɖ Dem Scūlz, fluṭrñ ol ɖ pijinz, magṇfayñ ɖ teilz v ol ɖ cats, n trotñ intu ɖ publichǎzz lîc a reğlr custmr. Ẃrvr h wnt, smbdi or uɖr mt hv bn hŕd t crî, “Hloa! hir’z Boxr!” n ǎt cem ɖt smbdi fʈwʈ, acumṗnid bî at līst tū or ʈri uɖr smbdiz, t gv Jon Pīribngl n hiz priti wîf Gd de.

Ɖ pac̣jz n parslz fr ɖ eṛnd cart wr ńmṛs; n ɖr wr mni stoṗjz t tec ɖm in n gv ɖm ǎt, ẃć wr nt bî eni mīnz ɖ wrst parts v ɖ jrni. Sm ppl wr so fl v xpcteśn abt ɖer parslz, n uɖr ppl wr so fl v wundr abt ɖer parslz, n uɖr ppl wr so fl v inixōstbl d’rex́nz abt ɖer parslz, n Jon hd sć a lîvli inṭrest in ol ɖ parslz, ɖt it wz az gd az a ple. Lîcwz, ɖr wr articlz t cari, ẃć rqîrd t b cnsidrd n dscust, n in refṛns t ɖ ajustmnt n dispziśn v ẃć caunslz hd t b holdn bî ɖ Carịr n ɖ sndrz: at ẃć Boxr yẓ́li asistd, in śort fits v ɖ closist atnśn, n loñ fits v tẹrñ rnd n rnd ɖ asmbld sejz, n barcñ himslf hōrs. V ol ɖz litl insidnts, Dot wz ɖ aḿzd n opn-aid spectetris fṛm hr ćer in ɖ cart; n az ś sat ɖr, lcñ on—a ćarmñ litl portrit fremd t adṃreśn bî ɖ tilt—ɖr wz no lac v nujñz n glansñz n ẃisṗrñz n enviyñz amñ ɖ yungr men. N ɖs dlîtd Jon ɖ Carịr bynd meźr; fr h wz prǎd t hv hiz litl wîf admîrd, nwñ ɖt ś dd’nt mînd it—ɖt, f enʈñ, ś rɖr lîct it phps.

Ɖ trip wz a litl fogi, t b śr, in ɖ Jańri weɖr; n wz rw n cold. Bt hu cerd fr sć trîflz? Nt Dot, dsîdidli. Nt Tili Slǒbô, fr ś dīmd sitñ in a cart, on eni trmz, t b ɖ hîist pônt v hymn jôz; ɖ crǎnñ srcmstans v rʈli hop. Nt ɖ Bebi, I’l b sworn; fr it’s nt in Bebi nećr t b wormr or mor sǎnd aslip, ɖo its cpaṣti z gret in bʈ rspcts, ɖn ɖt blest yuñ Pīribngl wz, ol ɖ we.

Y cd’nt si vri far in ɖ fog, v cors; bt y cd si a gret dīl! It’s astoṇśñ hǎ mć y me si in a ʈicr fog ɖn ɖt, f y wl onli tec ɖ trubl t lc fr it. Ẃ, īvn t sit woćñ fr ɖ Fẹrirñz in ɖ fīldz, n fr ɖ paćz v hōrfrost stl linġrñ in ɖ śêd, nir hejz n bî triz, wz a pleznt okpeśn, t mc no mnśn v ɖ unixpctd śeps in ẃć ɖ triz ɖmslvz cem startñ ǎt v ɖ mist, n glîdd intu it agn. Ɖ hejz wr tangld n bér, n wevd a multtyd v blîtd garḷndz in ɖ wind; bt ɖr wz no dscuṛjmnt in ɖs. It wz agriybl t contmplet; fr it md ɖ fîrsîd wormr in pześn, n ɖ sumr grīnr in xpctnsi. Ɖ rivr lct ćili; bt it wz in mośn, n muvñ at a gd pes—ẃć wz a gret pônt. Ɖ cnal wz rɖr slo n torpid; ɖt mst b admitd. Nvr mînd. It wd frīz ɖ snr ẃn ɖ frost set ferli in, n ɖen ɖr wd b scetñ n slîdñ; n ɖ hevi old barjz, frozn p smẃr nir a ẃorf, wd smoc ɖer rusti ayn ćimnipîps ol de, n hv a lezi tîm v it.

In wn ples ɖr wz a gret mǎnd v wīdz or stubl brnñ; n ɖe woćt ɖ fîr, so ẃît in ɖ dêtîm, flẹrñ ʈru ɖ fog, wɖ onli hir n ɖr a daś v red in it, untl, in consiqns, az ś obzrvd, v ɖ smoc “gtñ p hr nǒz,” Mis Slǒbô ćoct—ś cd d enʈñ v ɖt sort, on ɖ smōlist provceśn—n wouc ɖ Bebi, hu wd’nt g t slīp agn. Bt Boxr, hu wz in advans sm qortr v a mîl or so, hd olrdi pást ɖ ǎtposts v ɖ tǎn, n gend ɖ cornr v ɖ strīt ẃr Cêleb n hiz dōtr livd; n, loñ bfr ɖe hd rīćt ɖ dor, h n ɖ Blînd Grl wr on ɖ pevmnt wêtñ t rsiv ɖm.

Boxr, bî ɖ we, md srtn delic̣t dstñśnz v hiz ǒn, in hiz cḿṇceśn wɖ Brʈa, ẃć pswed m fŭli ɖt h ń hr t b blînd. H nvr sòt t atract hr atnśn bî lcñ at hr, az h ofn dd wɖ uɖr ppl, bt tućt hr inverịbli. Ẃt xpirịns h cd evr hv hd v blînd ppl or blînd dogz I d’nt nǒ. H hd nvr livd wɖ a blînd mastr; nr hd Mr. Boxr ɖ eldr, nr Msz. Boxr, nr eni v hiz rspctbl faṃli on îɖr sîd, evr bn viẓtd wɖ blîndnis, ɖt I am awer v. H me hv faund it ǎt fr himslf, phps, bt h hd got hold v it smhǎ; n ɖrfr h hd hold v Brʈa tù, bî ɖ scrt, n cept hold, untl Msz. Pīribngl n ɖ Bebi, n Mis Slǒbô n ɖ bascit, wr ol got sefli wɖn dorz.

Me Fīldñ wz olrdi cm; n so wz hr muɖr—a litl qeryḷs ćip v an old ledi wɖ a pīviś fes, hu, in rît v hvñ prizrvd a weist lîc a bedpost, wz s’pozd t b a most trnsndnt figr; n hu, in consiqns v hvñ wns bn betr of, or v leḅrñ undr an impreśn ɖt ś mt hv bn, f smʈñ hd hapnd ẃć nvr dd hapn, n sīmd t hv nvr bn ptiklrli lîcli t cm t pas—bt it’s ol ɖ sem—wz vri jntīl n patṛnîzñ indd. Gruf n Tacltn wz olso ɖr, dwñ ɖ agriybl, wɖ ɖ evidnt snseśn v biyñ az prf̣cli at hom, n az unqsćṇbli in hiz ǒn elimnt, az a freś yuñ samn on ɖ top v ɖ Gret Piṛmid.

“Me! Mî dir old frend!” craid Dot, runñ p t mīt hr. “Ẃt a hapinis t si y!”

Hr old frend wz, t ɖ fl, az harti n az glad az ś; n it riyli wz, f y’l b’liv m, qt a pleznt sît t si ɖm imbres. Tacltn wz a man v test, bynd ol qsćn. Me wz vri priti.

Y nǒ smtmz, ẃn y r yst t a priti fes, hǎ, ẃn it cmz intu contact n cmparisn wɖ anɖr priti fes, it sīmz fr ɖ momnt t b homli n fedd, n hardli t dzrv ɖ hî opińn y hv hd v it. Nǎ, ɖs wz nt at ol ɖ ces, îɖr wɖ Dot or Me; fr Me’z fes set of Dot’s, n Dot’s fes set of Me’z, so naćṛli n agriybli, ɖt, az Jon Pīribngl wz vri nir seyñ ẃn h cem intu ɖ rūm, ɖe òt t hv bn born sistrz—ẃć wz ɖ onli impruvmnt y cd hv sjstd.

Tacltn hd bròt hiz leg v mutn, n, wundrfl t rlet, a tart bsdz—bt w d’nt mînd a litl diṣpeśn ẃn ǎr brîdz r in ɖ ces; w d’nt gt marid evri de—n, in adiśn t ɖz dentiz, ɖr wr ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî, n “ʈñz,” az Msz. Pīribngl cōld ɖm; ẃć wr ćīfli nuts n oṛnjz, n cecs, n sć smōl dír. Ẃn ɖ rpast wz set fʈ on ɖ bōrd, flanct bî Cêleb’z contṛbyśn, ẃć wz a gret wŭdn bol v smocñ ptetoz (h wz pṛhibtd, bî soḷm compact, fṛm pṛdysñ eni uɖr vayndz), Tacltn léd hiz intndd muɖr-in-lw t ɖ post v onr. Fr ɖ betr gresñ v ɖs ples at ɖ hî fstivl, ɖ mjestic old soul hd adornd hrslf wɖ a cap, calkletd t inspîr ɖ ʈtlis wɖ sntimnts v ō. Ś olso wòr hr gluvz. Bt let s b jntīl, or dî!

Cêleb sat nxt hiz dōtr; Dot n hr old scūlfelo wr sîd bî sîd; ɖ gd Carịr tc cer v ɖ botm v ɖ tebl. Mis Slǒbô wz îṣletd, fr ɖ tîm biyñ, fṛm evri articl v frnićr bt ɖ ćer ś sat on, ɖt ś mt hv nʈñ els t noc ɖ Bebi’z hed agnst.

Az Tili stérd abt hr at ɖ dolz n tôz, ɖe stérd at hr n at ɖ cumṗni. Ɖ venṛbl old jntlṃn at ɖ strītdorz (hu wr ol in fl ax́n) śoud ispeśl inṭrest in ɖ parti, pōzñ oceźṇli bfr līpñ, az f ɖe wr liṣnñ t ɖ convseśn, n ɖen plunjñ wîldli ovr n ovr, a gret mni tîmz, wɖt hōltñ fr breʈ—az in a frantic stet v dlît wɖ ɖ hol pṛsidñz.

Srtnli, f ɖz old jntlṃn wr inclînd t hv a fīndiś jô in ɖ contmpleśn v Tacltn’z dscumfićr, ɖe hd gd rīzn t b saṭsfaid. Tacltn cd’nt gt on at ol; n ɖ mor ćirfl hiz intndd brîd bcem in Dot’s ssayti, ɖ les h lîct it, ɖo h hd bròt ɖm tgɖr fr ɖt prṗs. Fr h wz a reğlr dog in ɖ menjr, wz Tacltn; n, ẃn ɖe laft n h cd’nt, h tc it intu hiz hed, imīɉtli, ɖt ɖe mst b lafñ at him.

“Ā, Me!” sd Dot. “Dir, dir, ẃt ćenjz! T tōc v ɖoz meri scūl dez mcs wn yuñ agn.”

“Ẃ, y an’t ptiklrli old at eni tîm, r y?” sd Tacltn.

“Lc at mî sobr, plodñ huzbnd ɖr,” rtrnd Dot. “H adz twenti yirz t mî ej at līst. D’nt y, Jon?”

“Forti,” Jon rplaid.

“Hǎ mni y’l ad t Mẹri’z, I am śr I d’nt nǒ,” sd Dot, lafñ. “Bt ś c’nt b mć les ɖn a hundṛd yirz v ej on hr nxt brʈde.”

“Ha, ha!” laft Tacltn. Holo az a drum ɖt laf, ɖo. N h lct az f h cd hv twistd Dot’s nec cumftbli.

“Dir, dir!” sd Dot. “Onli t rmembr hǎ w yst t tōc, at scūl, abt ɖ huzbndz w wd ćūz. I d’nt nǒ hǎ yuñ, n hǎ hansm, n hǎ ge, n hǎ lîvli mîn wz nt t b! N az t Me’z!—Ā dir! I d’nt nǒ ẃɖr t laf or crî, ẃn I ʈnc ẃt sili grlz w wr.”

Me sīmd t nǒ ẃć t d; fr ɖ culr flaśt intu hr fes, n tirz std in hr îz.

“Īvn ɖ vri prsnz ɖmslvz—riyl lîv yuñ men—w fixt on smtmz,” sd Dot. “W litl ʈt hǎ ʈñz wd cm abt. I nvr fixt on Jon, I’m śr; I nvr so mć az ʈt v him. N, f I hd tld y y wr evr t b marid t Mr. Tacltn, ẃ, y’d hv slapt m. Wd’nt y, Me?”

Ɖo Me dd’nt se yes, ś srtnli dd’nt se no, or xpres no, bî eni mīnz.

Tacltn laft—qt śǎtd, h laft so lǎd. Jon Pīribngl laft tù, in hiz ordnri gd-nećrd n cntntd manr; bt hiz wz a mir ẃispr v a laf t Tacltn’z.

“Y cd’nt hlp yrslvz, fr ol ɖt. Y cd’nt rzist s, y si,” sd Tacltn. “Hir w r! Hir w r! Ẃr r yr ge yuñ brîdgrūmz nǎ?”

“Sm v ɖm r ded,” sd Dot; “n sm v ɖm fgotn. Sm v ɖm, f ɖe cd stand amñ s at ɖs momnt, wd nt b’liv w wr ɖ sem crīćrz; wd nt b’liv ɖt ẃt ɖe sw n hŕd wz riyl, n w cd fget ɖm so. No! ɖe wd nt b’liv wn wrd v it!”

“Ẃ, Dot!” xclemd ɖ Carịr. “Litl wmn!”

Ś hd spocn wɖ sć rṇstnis n fîr, ɖt ś std in nīd v sm rcōlñ t hrslf, wɖt dǎt. Hr huzbnd’z ćec wz vri jntl, fr h mirli inṭfird, az h s’pozd, t śīld old Tacltn; bt it pruvd ifcćl, fr ś stopt, n sd no mor. Ɖr wz an uncomn ajteśn, īvn in hr sîḷns, ẃć ɖ wẹri Tacltn, hu hd bròt hiz haf-śut î t ber upn hr, notd closli, n rmembrd t sm prṗs tù.

Me utrd no wrd, gd or bad, bt sat qt stl, wɖ hr îz cast dǎn, n md no sîn v inṭrest in ẃt hd pást. Ɖ gd ledi hr muɖr nǎ inṭpozd, obzrvñ, in ɖ frst instns, ɖt grlz wr grlz, n bîgonz bîgonz, n ɖt, so loñ az yuñ ppl wr yuñ n ʈtlis, ɖe wd probbli conduct ɖmslvz lîc yuñ n ʈtlis prsnz: wɖ tū or ʈri uɖr pziśnz v a no les sǎnd n incontṛvrtbl caṛctr. Ś ɖen rmarct, in a dvǎt spirit, ɖt ś ʈanct Hevn ś hd olwz faund in hr dōtr Me a dytifl n obījnt ćîld: fr ẃć ś tc no credit t hrslf, ɖo ś hd evri rīzn t b’liv it wz intîrli owñ t hrslf. Wɖ rgard t Mr. Tacltn, ś sd, Ɖt h wz in a moṛl pônt v vy an undinaybl indivijl, n Ɖt h wz in an eliɉbl pônt v vy a sun-in-lw t b dzîrd, nwn in ɖer snsz cd dǎt. (Ś wz vri imfatic hir.) Wɖ rgard t ɖ faṃli intu ẃć h wz so sn abt, aftr sm s’liṣteśn, t b admitd, ś b’livd Mr. Tacltn ń ɖt, olɖo rdyst in prs, it hd sm pritnśnz t jntiḷti; n ɖt f srtn srcmstansz, nt hoļi uncnctd, ś wd g so far az t se, wɖ ɖ Inḍgo Tred, bt t ẃć ś wd nt mor ptiklrli rfŕ, hd hapnd difṛntli, it mt phps hv bn in pześn v wlʈ. Ś ɖen rmarct ɖt ś wd nt alud t ɖ past, n wd nt mnśn ɖt hr dōtr hd fr sm tîm rjctd ɖ sūt v Mr. Tacltn; n ɖt ś wd nt se a gret mni uɖr ʈñz ẃć ś dd se at gret leñʈ. Fîṇli, ś dlivrd it az ɖ jenṛl rzult v hr obẓveśn n xpirịns, ɖt ɖoz maṛjz in ẃć ɖr wz līst v ẃt wz r’manticli n silili cōld luv, wr olwz ɖ hapiist; n ɖt ś antiṣpetd ɖ gretist poṣbl amǎnt v blis—nt rapćṛs blis; bt ɖ solid, stedi-gwñ articl—fṛm ɖ aproćñ nupślz. Ś cncludd bî informñ ɖ cumṗni ɖt tmoro wz ɖ de ś hd livd fr xpresli; n ɖt, ẃn it wz ovr, ś wd dzîr nʈñ betr ɖn t b pact p n dspozd v in eni jntīl ples v berịl.

Az ɖz rmarcs wr qt unansṛbl—ẃć z ɖ hapi proṗti v ol rmarcs ɖt r sfiśntli wîd v ɖ prṗs—ɖe ćenjd ɖ cuṛnt v ɖ convseśn, n dvrtd ɖ jenṛl atnśn t ɖ Vīl n Ham Pî, ɖ cold mutn, ɖ ptetoz, n ɖ tart. In ordr ɖt ɖ botld bir mt nt b slîtd, Jon Pīribngl pṛpozd Tmoro: ɖ Wedñde; n cōld upn ɖm t drinc a bumpr t it, bfr h pṛsidd on hiz jrni.

Fr y òt t nǒ ɖt h onli restd ɖr, n gev ɖ old hors a beit. H hd t g sm for or fîv mîlz farɖr on; n, ẃn h rtrnd in ɖ īvnñ, h cōld fr Dot, n tc anɖr rest on hiz we hom. Ɖs wz ɖ ordr v ɖ de on ol ɖ Picnic oceźnz, n hd bn evr sins ɖer insttyśn.

Ɖr wr tū prsnz preznt, bsdz ɖ brîd n brîdgrūm ilect, hu dd bt indifṛnt onr t ɖ tost. Wn v ɖz wz Dot, tù fluśt n discmpozd t adapt hrslf t eni smōl ocuṛns v ɖ momnt; ɖ uɖr, Brʈa, hu rouz p huridli bfr ɖ rest, n left ɖ tebl.

“Gdbî!” sd stǎt Jon Pīribngl, pŭlñ on hiz drednòt cot. “I śl b bac at ɖ old tîm. Gdbî ol!”

“Gdbî, Jon,” rtrnd Cêleb.

H sīmd t se it bî rǒt, n t wev hiz hand in ɖ sem unconśs manr; fr h std obzrvñ Brʈa wɖ an añśs wunḍrñ fes, ɖt nvr oltrd its xpreśn.

“Gdbî, yuñ śevr!” sd ɖ joli Carịr, bndñ dǎn t cis ɖ ćîld; ẃć Tili Slǒbô, nǎ intnt upn hr nîf n forc, hd dpoztd aslip (n, strenj t se, wɖt damij) in a litl cót v Brʈa’z frṇśñ; “gdbî! Tîm wl cm, I s’poz, ẃn y’l trn ǎt intu ɖ cold, mî litl frend, n līv yr old faɖr t injô hiz pîp n hiz rūmatics in ɖ ćimnicornr; ê? Ẃr’z Dot?”

“I’m hir, Jon!” ś sd, startñ.

“Cm, cm!” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, clapñ hiz sǎndñ handz. “Ẃr’z ɖ pîp?”

“I qt fgot ɖ pîp, Jon.”

Fgot ɖ pîp! Wz sć a wundr evr hŕd v? Ś! Fgot ɖ pîp!

“I’l—I’l fil it d’recli. It’s sn dn.”

Bt it wz nt so sn dn, îɖr. It le in ɖ yźl ples—ɖ Carịr’z drednòt pocit—wɖ ɖ litl pǎć, hr ǒn wrc, fṛm ẃć ś wz yst t fil it; bt hr hand śc so, ɖt ś intangld it (n yt hr hand wz smōl inuf t hv cm ǎt īẓli, I am śr), n bungld teṛbli. Ɖ filñ v ɖ pîp n lîtñ it, ɖoz litl of̣sz in ẃć I hv cmndd hr dscreśn, wr vîļi dn fṛm frst t last. Jrñ ɖ hol proses, Tacltn std lcñ on mliśsli wɖ ɖ haf-clozd î; ẃć, ẃnvr it met hrz—or còt it, fr it cn hardli b sd t hv evr met anɖr î: rɖr biyñ a cnd v trap t snać it p—ōgmntd hr cnfyźn in a most rmarcbl dgri.

“Ẃ, ẃt a clumzi Dot y r ɖs afṭnun!” sd Jon. “I cd hv dn it betr mslf, I veṛli b’liv!”

Wɖ ɖz gd-nećrd wrdz, h stroud awe, n prezntli wz hŕd, in cumṗni wɖ Boxr, n ɖ old hors, n ɖ cart, mcñ lîvli ḿzic dǎn ɖ rod. Ẃt tîm ɖ drīmi Cêleb stl std, woćñ hiz blînd dōtr, wɖ ɖ sem xpreśn on hiz fes.

“Brʈa!” sd Cêleb, softli. “Ẃt hz hapnd? Hǎ ćenjd y r, mî darlñ, in a fy aurz—sins ɖs mornñ! Y sîḷnt n dul ol de! Ẃt z it? Tel m!”

“Ǒ, faɖr, faɖr!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl, brstñ intu tirz. “Ǒ, mî hard, hard fet!”

Cêleb drù hiz hand acrs hiz îz bfr h ansrd hr.

“Bt ʈnc hǎ ćirfl n hǎ hapi y hv bn, Brʈa! Hǎ gd, n hǎ mć luvd, bî mni ppl.”

“Ɖt strîcs m t ɖ hart, dir faɖr! Olwz so mîndfl v m! Olwz so cînd t m!”

Cêleb wz vri mć pplext t unḍstand hr.

“T b—t b blînd, Brʈa, mî pur dir,” h fōltrd, “z a gret aflix́n; bt—”

“I hv nvr flt it!” craid ɖ Blînd Grl. “I hv nvr flt it in its flnis. Nvr! I hv smtmz wśt ɖt I cd si y, or cd si him—onli wns, dir faɖr, onli fr wn litl minit—ɖt I mt nǒ ẃt it z I treźr p,” ś leid hr handz upn hr brest, “n hold hir! Ɖt I mt b śr I hv it rît! N smtmz (bt ɖen I wz a ćîld) I hv wept in mî prerz at nît, t ʈnc ɖt, ẃn yr iṃjz asndd fṛm mî hart t Hevn, ɖe mt nt b ɖ tru rzmbḷns v yrslvz. Bt I hv nvr hd ɖz fīlñz loñ. Ɖe hv pást awe, n left m tranqil n cntntd.”

“N ɖe wl agn,” sd Cêleb.

“Bt, faɖr! Ǒ, mî gd jntl faɖr, ber wɖ m, f I am wicid!” sd ɖ Blînd Grl. “Ɖs z nt ɖ soro ɖt so weiz m dǎn!”

Hr faɖr cd nt ćūz bt let hiz môst îz oṿflo; ś wz so rnist n pʈetic. Bt h dd nt unḍstand hr yt.

“Brñ hr t m,” sd Brʈa. “I canot hold it clozd n śut wɖn mslf. Brñ hr t m, faɖr!”

Ś ń h heztetd, n sd, “Me. Brñ Me!”

Me hŕd ɖ mnśn v hr nem, n, cmñ qaytli twdz hr, tućt hr on ɖ arm. Ɖ Blînd Grl trnd imīɉtli, n hld hr bî bʈ handz.

“Lc intu mî fes, Dir hart, Swīt hart!” sd Brʈa. “Rīd it wɖ yr bytifl îz, n tel m f ɖ truʈ z ritn on it.”

“Dir Brʈa, yes!”

Ɖ Blînd Grl, stl uptrnñ ɖ blanc sîtlis fes, dǎn ẃć ɖ tirz wr corsñ fast, adrest hr in ɖz wrdz:

“Ɖr z nt, in mî soul, a wś or ʈt ɖt z nt fr yr gd, brît Me! Ɖr z nt, in mî soul, a gretfl rec̣lex́n strongr ɖn ɖ dīp rmembṛns ẃć z stord ɖr v ɖ mni mni tîmz ẃn, in ɖ fl prîd v sît n byti, y hv hd cnsiḍreśn fr Blînd Brʈa, īvn ẃn w tū wr ćildṛn, or ẃn Brʈa wz az mć a ćîld az evr blîndnis cn b! Evri blesñ on yr hed! Lît upn yr hapi cors! Nt ɖ les, mî dir Me,”—n ś drù twdz hr in a closr grasp,—“nt ɖ les, mî brd, bcz, tde, ɖ nolij ɖt y r t b Hiz wîf hz rúñ mî hart olmst t brecñ! Faɖr, Me, Mẹri! Ǒ, fgiv m ɖt it z so, fr ɖ sec v ol h hz dn t rliv ɖ wirinis v mî darc lîf: n fr ɖ sec v ɖ b’lif y hv in m, ẃn I cōl Hevn t witnis ɖt I cd nt wś him marid t a wîf mor wrɖi v hiz gdnis!”

Ẃl spīcñ, ś hd rlist Me Fīldñ’z handz, n claspt hr garmnts in an attyd v mngld supḷceśn n luv. Sncñ lowr n lowr dǎn, az ś pṛsidd in hr strenj cnfeśn, ś dropt at last at ɖ fīt v hr frend, n hid hr blînd fes in ɖ foldz v hr dres.

“Gret Pǎr!” xclemd hr faɖr, smitn at wn blo wɖ ɖ truʈ, “hv I dsivd hr fṛm hr credl, bt t brec hr hart at last?”

It wz wel fr ol v ɖm ɖt Dot, ɖt bīmñ, ysfl, bizi litl Dot—fr sć ś wz, ẃtvr fōlts ś hd, n hvr y me lrn t het hr, in gd tîm—it wz wel fr ol v ɖm, I se, ɖt ś wz ɖr, or ẃr ɖs wd hv endd, it wr hard t tel. Bt Dot, rcuṿrñ hr slf-pześn, inṭpozd, bfr Me cd rplî, or Cêleb se anɖr wrd.

“Cm, cm, dir Brʈa! cm awe wɖ m! Gv hr yr arm, Me! So. Hǎ cmpozd ś z, y si, olrdi; n hǎ gd it z v hr t mînd s,” sd ɖ ćiri litl wmn, cisñ hr upn ɖ fōrhed. “Cm awe, dir Brʈa! Cm! n hir’z hr gd faɖr wl cm wɖ hr, w’nt y, Cêleb? T—b—śr!”

Wel, wel! ś wz a nobl litl Dot in sć ʈñz, n it mst hv bn an objṛt nećr ɖt cd hv wɖstd hr inflụns. Ẃn ś hd got pur Cêleb n hiz Brʈa awe, ɖt ɖe mt cumf̣t n cnsol ć uɖr, az ś ń ɖe onli cd, ś prezntli cem bǎnsñ bac,—ɖ seyñ z, az freś az eni deizi; I se freśr—t mǎnt gard ovr ɖt braiḍlñ litl pìs v consiqns in ɖ cap n gluvz, n privnt ɖ dir old crīćr fṛm mcñ dscuṿriz.

“So brñ m ɖ preśs Bebi, Tili,” sd ś, drw̃ a ćer t ɖ fîr; “n ẃl I hv it in mî lap, hir’z Msz. Fīldñ, Tili, wl tel m ol abt ɖ manijmnt v Bebiz, n pt m rît in twenti pônts ẃr I’m az roñ az cn b. W’nt y, Msz. Fīldñ?”

“So brñ m ɖ preśs Bebi, Tili,” sd ś, drw̃ a ćer t ɖ fîr; “n ẃl I hv it in mî lap, hir’z Msz. Fīldñ, Tili, wl tel m ol abt ɖ manijmnt v Bebiz, n pt m rît in twenti pônts ẃr I’m az roñ az cn b. W’nt y, Msz. Fīldñ?”

Nt īvn ɖ Wlś Jaynt, hu, acordñ t ɖ popylr xpreśn, wz so “slo” az t pform a fetl srjicl oṗreśn upn himslf, in eḿleśn v a juġlñ tric aćivd bî hiz arć eṇmi at brecfsțîm; nt īvn h fél haf so reḍli intu ɖ sner priperd fr him az ɖ old ledi intu ɖs artfl pitfōl. Ɖ fact v Tacltn hvñ wōct ǎt; n frɖrmr, v tū or ʈri ppl hvñ bn tōcñ tgɖr at a distns, fr tū minits, līvñ hr t hr ǒn rzorsz; wz qt inuf t hv pt hr on hr digṇti, n ɖ bweilmnt v ɖt mstirịs cnvulśn in ɖ Inḍgo Tred, fr for-n-twenti aurz. Bt ɖs bcmñ defṛns t hr xpirịns, on ɖ part v ɖ yuñ muɖr, wz so irizistbl, ɖt aftr a śort afcteśn v hymiḷti, ś bgan t inlîtn hr wɖ ɖ bst gres in ɖ wrld; n, sitñ bolt uprît bfr ɖ wicid Dot, ś dd, in haf an aur, dlivr mor infaḷbl dmestic reṣpiz n prīsepts ɖn wd (f actd on) hv utrli dstroid n dn p ɖt Yuñ Pīribngl, ɖo h hd bn an Inf̣nt Samsn.

T ćenj ɖ ʈīm, Dot dd a litl nīdlwrc—ś carid ɖ contents v a hol wrcbox in hr pocit; hvr ś cntrîvd it, I d’nt nǒ—ɖen dd a litl nrsñ; ɖen a litl mor nīdlwrc; ɖen hd a litl ẃisṗrñ ćat wɖ Me, ẃl ɖ old ledi dozd; n so in litl bits v busl, ẃć wz qt hr manr olwz, faund it a vri śort afṭnun. Ɖen, az it grù darc, n az it wz a soḷm part v ɖs Insttyśn v ɖ Picnic ɖt ś śd pform ol Brʈa’z hǎshold tascs, ś trimd ɖ fîr, n swept ɖ harʈ, n set ɖ tībōrd ǎt, n drù ɖ crtn, n lîtd a candl. Ɖen ś pleid an er or tū on a rūd cnd v harp, ẃć Cêleb hd cntrîvd fr Brʈa, n pleid ɖm vri wel; fr Nećr hd md hr delic̣t litl ir az ćôs a wn fr ḿzic az it wd hv bn fr juwlz, f ś hd hd eni t wer. Bî ɖs tîm it wz ɖ istabliśt aur fr hvñ ti; n Tacltn cem bac agn t śer ɖ mīl, n spend ɖ īvnñ.

Cêleb n Brʈa hd rtrnd sm tîm bfr, n Cêleb hd sat dǎn t hiz afṭnun’z wrc. Bt h cd’nt setl t it, pur felo, biyñ añśs n rmorsfl fr hiz dōtr. It wz tućñ t si him sitñ îdl on hiz wrcñstūl, rgardñ hr so wistf̣li, n olwz seyñ in hiz fes, “Hv I dsivd hr fṛm hr credl, bt t brec hr hart?”

Ẃn it wz nît, n ti wz dn, n Dot hd nʈñ mor t d in wośñ p ɖ cups n sōsrz; in a wrd—fr I mst cm t it, n ɖr z no ys in ptñ it of—ẃn ɖ tîm drù nî fr xpctñ ɖ Carịr’z rtrn in evri sǎnd v distnt ẃīlz, hr manr ćenjd agn, hr culr cem n wnt, n ś wz vri restlis. Nt az gd wîvz r ẃn liṣnñ fr ɖer huzbndz. No, no, no. It wz anɖr sort v restlisnis fṛm ɖt.

Ẃīlz hŕd. A hors’z fīt. Ɖ barcñ v a dog. Ɖ grajl aproć v ol ɖ sǎndz. Ɖ scraćñ pw v Boxr at ɖ dor!

“Huz step z ɖt?” craid Brʈa, startñ p.

“Huz step?” rtrnd ɖ Carịr, standñ in ɖ portl, wɖ hiz brǎn fes rudi az a wintrbéri fṛm ɖ cīn nîter. “Ẃ, mîn.”

“Ɖ uɖr step,” sd Brʈa. “Ɖ man’z tréd bhnd y!”

“Ś z nt t b dsivd,” obzrvd ɖ Carịr, lafñ. “Cm alñ, sr. Y’l b welcm, nvr fir!”

H spouc in a lǎd ton; n, az h spouc, ɖ def old jntlmn entrd.

“H’z nt so mć a strenjr ɖt y hv’nt sìn him wns, Cêleb,” sd ɖ Carịr. “Y’l gv him hǎsrūm tl w g?”

“Ǒ, śrli, Jon, n tec it az an onr!”

“H’z ɖ bst cumṗni on rʈ t tōc sīcrits in,” sd Jon. “I hv rīzṇbl gd luñz, bt h trîz ’m, I cn tel y. Sit dǎn, sr. Ol frendz hir, n glad t si y!”

Ẃn h hd impartd ɖs aśuṛns, in a vôs ɖt ampli c’roḅretd ẃt h hd sd abt hiz luñz, h add in hiz naćṛl ton, “A ćer in ɖ ćimnicornr, n līv t sit qt sîḷnt n lc plezntli abt him, z ol h cerz fr. H’z īẓli plizd.”

Brʈa hd bn liṣnñ intntli. Ś cōld Cêleb t hr sîd, ẃn h hd set ɖ ćer, n asct him, in a lo vôs, t dscrîb ɖer vizitr. Ẃn h hd dn so (trūli nǎ, wɖ scrūpyḷs fideḷti), ś muvd, fr ɖ frst tîm sins h hd cm in, n said, n sīmd t hv no frɖr inṭrest cnsrnñ him.

Ɖ Carịr wz in hî spirits, gd felo ɖt h wz, n fondr v hiz litl wîf ɖn evr.

“A clumzi Dot ś wz, ɖs afṭnun!” h sd, insrc̣lñ hr wɖ hiz ruf arm, az ś std, rmuvd fṛm ɖ rest; “n yt I lîc hr smhǎ. Si yondr, Dot!”

H pôntd t ɖ old man. Ś lct dǎn. I ʈnc ś trembld.

“H’z—ha, ha, ha!—h’z fl v adṃreśn fr y!” sd ɖ Carịr. “Tōct v nʈñ els ɖ hol we hir. Ẃ, h’z a brev old bô! I lîc him fr it!”

“I wś h hd a betr subjict, Jon,” ś sd wɖ an unīzi glans abt ɖ rūm. At Tacltn ispeṣ́li.

“A betr subjict!” craid ɖ jovịl Jon. “Ɖr’z no sć ʈñ. Cm! of wɖ ɖ gretcot, of wɖ ɖ ʈic śōl, of wɖ ɖ hevi ráprz! n a cozi haf-aur bî ɖ fîr. Mî humbl srvis, mistris. A gem at cribij, y n I? Ɖt’s harti. Ɖ cardz n bōrd, Dot. N a glas v bir hir, f ɖr’z eni left, smōl wîf!”

Hiz ćalinj wz adrest t ɖ old ledi, hu, axptñ it wɖ greśs redinis, ɖe wr sn ingejd upn ɖ gem. At frst, ɖ Carịr lct abt him smtmz wɖ a smîl, or nǎ n ɖen cōld Dot t pīp ovr hiz śoldr at hiz hand, n advîz him on sm nóti pônt. Bt hiz advrṣri biyñ a rijid diṣplinerịn, n subjict t an oceźnl wìcnis in rspct v pegñ mor ɖn ś wz intîtld t, rqîrd sć vijiḷns on hiz part, az left him nɖr îz nr irz t sper. Ɖus, hiz hol atnśn graɉli bcem abzorbd upn ɖ cardz; n h ʈt v nʈñ els, untl a hand upn hiz śoldr rstord him t a conśsnis v Tacltn.

“I am sori t dstrb y—bt a wrd d’recli.”

“I’m gwñ t dīl,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “It’s a crîsis.”

“It z,” sd Tacltn. “Cm hir, man!”

Ɖr wz ɖt in hiz pel fes ẃć md ɖ uɖr rîz imīɉtli, n asc him, in a huri, ẃt ɖ matr wz.

“Huś! Jon Pīribngl,” sd Tacltn, “I am sori fr ɖs. I am indd. I hv bn afred v it. I hv sspctd it fṛm ɖ frst.”

“Ẃt z it?” asct ɖ Carịr wɖ a frîtnd aspect.

“Huś! I’l śo y, f y’l cm wɖ m.”

Ɖ Carịr acumṗnid him wɖt anɖr wrd. Ɖe wnt acrs a yard, ẃr ɖ starz wr śînñ, n bî a litl sîddor, intu Tacltn’z ǒn cǎntñhǎs, ẃr ɖr wz a glas windo, cmandñ ɖ wéŗūm, ẃć wz clozd fr ɖ nît. Ɖr wz no lît in ɖ cǎntñhǎs itslf, bt ɖr wr lamps in ɖ loñ naro wéŗūm; n consiqntli ɖ windo wz brît.

“A momnt!” sd Tacltn. “Cn y ber t lc ʈru ɖt windo, d y ʈnc?”

“Ẃ nt?” rtrnd ɖ Carịr.

“A momnt mor,” sd Tacltn. “D’nt cmit eni vayḷns. It’s v no ys. It’s denjṛs tù. Y’r a stroñ-md man; n y mt d mrdr bfr y nǒ it.”

Ɖ Carịr lct him in ɖ fes, n rcôld a step az f h hd bn struc. In wn strîd h wz at ɖ windo, n h sw——

Ǒ, Śado on ɖ Harʈ! Ǒ, truʈfl Cricit! Ǒ, pfidịs wîf!

H sw hr wɖ ɖ old man—old no longr, bt irect n gaḷnt—bẹrñ in hiz hand ɖ fōls ẃît her ɖt hd wún hiz we intu ɖer dezḷt n mizṛbl hom. H sw hr liṣnñ t him, az h bnt hiz hed t ẃispr in hr ir; n suf̣rñ him t clasp hr rnd ɖ weist, az ɖe muvd slǒli dǎn ɖ dim wŭdn gaḷri twdz ɖ dor bî ẃć ɖe hd entrd it. H sw ɖm stop, n sw hr trn—t hv ɖ fes, ɖ fes h luvd so, so prizntd t hiz vy!—n sw hr, wɖ hr ǒn handz, ajust ɖ lî upn hiz hed, lafñ, az ś dd it, at hiz unsspiśs nećr!

H clenćt hiz stroñ rît hand at frst, az f it wd hv bìtn dǎn a layn. Bt, oṗnñ it imīɉtli agn, h spred it ǎt bfr ɖ îz v Tacltn (fr h wz tndr v hr īvn ɖen), n so, az ɖe pást ǎt, fél dǎn upn a dsc, n wz az wìc az eni inf̣nt.

H wz rápt p t ɖ ćin, n bizi wɖ hiz hors n parslz, ẃn ś cem intu ɖ rūm, priperd fr gwñ hom.

“Nǎ, Jon dir! Gd nît, Me! Gd nît, Brʈa!”

Cd ś cis ɖm? Cd ś b blîɖ n ćirfl in hr partñ? Cd ś vnćr t rvil hr fes t ɖm wɖt a bluś? Yes. Tacltn obzrvd hr closli, n ś dd ol ɖs.

Tili wz huśñ ɖ bebi, n ś crost n rīcrost Tacltn a duzn tîmz, rpitñ drǎẓli:

“Dd ɖ nolij ɖt it wz t b its wîvz, ɖen, riñ its hārts olmst t brecñ; n dd its faɖrz dsiv it fṛm its credlz bt t brec its hārts at last!”

“Nǎ, Tili, gv m ɖ Bebi! Gd nît, Mr. Tacltn. Ẃr’z Jon, fr gdnis’ sec?”

“H’z gwñ t wōc bsd ɖ hors’z hed,” sd Tacltn; hu hlpt hr t hr sīt.

“Mî dir Jon! Wōc? Tnît?”

Ɖ mufld figr v hr huzbnd md a hesti sîn in ɖ afrṃtiv; n, ɖ fōls strenjr n ɖ litl nrs biyñ in ɖer plesz, ɖ old hors muvd of. Boxr, ɖ unconśs Boxr, runñ on bfr, runñ bac, runñ rnd n rnd ɖ cart, n barcñ az trîumfntli n meṛli az evr.

Ẃn Tacltn hd gn of lîcwz, iscortñ Me n hr muɖr hom, pur Cêleb sat dǎn bî ɖ fîr bsd hiz dōtr; añśs n rmorsfl at ɖ cor; n stl seyñ, in hiz wistfl contmpleśn v hr, “Hv I dsivd hr fṛm hr credl, bt t brec hr hart at last?”

Ɖ tôz ɖt hd bn set in mośn fr ɖ Bebi hd ol stopt n run dǎn loñ ago. In ɖ fent lît n sîḷns, ɖ imṗtrbbli cām dolz, ɖ ajtetd rocñhorsz wɖ dstndd îz n nostṛlz, ɖ old jntlṃn at ɖ strītdorz, standñ haf dubld p upn ɖer felñ niz n anclz, ɖ rai-fest nutcracrz, ɖ vri Bīsts upn ɖer we intu ɖ Arc, in tūz, lîc a Bordñscūl ǎt wōcñ, mt hv bn imajind t b stricn mośnlis wɖ fntastic wundr at Dot biyñ fōls, or Tacltn b’luvid, undr eni combneśn v srcmstansz.

ĆRP Ɖ ƮRD

Ɖ  Duć cloc in ɖ cornr struc Ten ẃn ɖ Carịr sat dǎn bî hiz fîrsîd. So trubld n grīf-wòrn ɖt h sīmd t scer ɖ Ccu, hu, hvñ cut hiz ten mlodịs anǎnsmnts az śort az poṣbl, plunjd bac intu ɖ Mūriś Palis agn, n clapt hiz litl dor bhnd him, az f ɖ unwontd specṭcl wr tù mć fr hiz fīlñz.

F ɖ litl He-mcr hd bn armd wɖ ɖ śarpist v sîɖz, n hd cut at evri stroc intu ɖ Carịr’z hart, h nvr cd hv gaśt n wūndd it az Dot hd dn.

It wz a hart so fl v luv fr hr; so baund p n hld tgɖr bî ińmṛbl ʈredz v winñ rmembṛns, spun fṛm ɖ dêli wrcñ v hr mni qoḷtz v indirmnt; it wz a hart in ẃć ś hd inśrînd hrslf so jntli n so closli; a hart so sngl n so rnist in its Truʈ, so stroñ in rît, so wìc in roñ,—ɖt it cd ćeriś nɖr paśn nr rvnj at frst, n hd onli rūm t hold ɖ brocn imij v its Aidl.

Bt, slǒli, slǒli, az ɖ Carịr sat brūdñ on hiz harʈ, nǎ cold n darc, uɖr n firsr ʈts bgan t rîz wɖn him, az an angri wind cmz rîzñ in ɖ nît. Ɖ Strenjr wz bnʈ hiz ǎtrejd rūf. Ʈri steps wd tec him t hiz ćembrdor. Wn blo wd bìt it in. “Y mt d mrdr bfr y nǒ it,” Tacltn hd sd. Hǎ cd it b mrdr, f h gev ɖ viḷn tîm t grapl wɖ him hand t hand? H wz ɖ yungr man.

It wz an il-tîmd ʈt, bad fr ɖ darc mūd v hiz mînd. It wz an angri ʈt, gǒdñ him t sm avnjñ act, ɖt śd ćenj ɖ ćirfl hǎs intu a hōntd ples ẃć lonli travlrz wd dred t pas bî nît; n ẃr ɖ timid wd si śadoz struġlñ in ɖ ruind windoz ẃn ɖ mūn wz dim, n hír wîld nôzz in ɖ stormi weɖr.

H wz ɖ yungr man! Yes, yes; sm luvr hu hd wún ɖ hart ɖt h hd nvr tućt. Sm luvr v hr rli ćôs, v hūm ś hd ʈt n drīmd, fr hūm ś hd pînd n pînd, ẃn h hd fansid hr so hapi bî hiz sîd. Ǒ, aġni t ʈnc v it!

Ś hd bn abv-sterz wɖ ɖ Bebi; gtñ it t bed. Az h sat brūdñ on ɖ harʈ, ś cem clos bsd him, wɖt hiz nolij—in ɖ trnñ v ɖ rac v hiz gret miẓri, h lost ol uɖr sǎndz—n pt hr litl stūl at hiz fīt. H onli ń it ẃn h flt hr hand upn hiz ǒn, n sw hr lcñ p intu hiz fes.

Wɖ wundr? No. It wz hiz frst impreśn, n h wz fein t lc at hr agn, t set it rît. No, nt wɖ wundr. Wɖ an īgr n inqîrñ lc; bt nt wɖ wundr. At frst it wz alarmd n sirịs; ɖen, it ćenjd intu a strenj, wîld, dredfl smîl v recgniśn v hiz ʈts; ɖen, ɖr wz nʈñ bt hr claspt handz on hr brǎ, n hr bnt hed, n fōlñ her.

Ɖo ɖ pǎr v Omniṗtns hd bn hiz t wīld at ɖt momnt, h hd tù mć v its dvînr proṗti v Mrsi in hiz brest, t hv trnd wn feɖr’z weit v it agnst hr. Bt h cd nt ber t si hr crǎćñ dǎn upn ɖ litl sīt ẃr h hd ofn lct on hr, wɖ luv n prîd, so iṇsnt n ge; n, ẃn ś rouz n left him, sobñ az ś wnt, h flt it a rlif t hv ɖ vecnt ples bsd him rɖr ɖn hr so loñ-ćeriśt prezns. Ɖs in itslf wz anḡś cīnr ɖn ol, rmîndñ him hǎ dezḷt h wz bcm, n hǎ ɖ gret bond v hiz lîf wz rént asundr.

Ɖ mor h flt ɖs, n ɖ mor h ń h cd hv betr bòrn t si hr layñ preṃtyrli ded bfr him wɖ hr litl ćîld upn hr brest, ɖ hayr n ɖ strongr rouz hiz roʈ agnst hiz eṇmi. H lct abt him fr a wepn.

Ɖr wz a gun haññ on ɖ wōl. H tc it dǎn, n muvd a pes or tū twdz ɖ dor v ɖ pfidịs Strenjr’z rūm. H ń ɖ gun wz lodd. Sm śadǒi îdīa ɖt it wz just t śūt ɖs man lîc a wîld bīst sizd him, n dletd in hiz mînd untl it grù intu a monstṛs dīmn in cmplit pześn v him, castñ ǎt ol mîldr ʈts, n setñ p its undivîdd empîr.

Ɖt frêz z roñ. Nt castñ ǎt hiz mîldr ʈts, bt artf̣li trnsformñ ɖm. Ćenjñ ɖm intu scrjz t drîv him on. Trnñ wōtr intu blud, luv intu het, jntlnis intu blînd f’roṣti. Hr imij, sorowñ, humbld, bt stl plīdñ t hiz tndrnis n mrsi wɖ rzistlis pǎr, nvr left hiz mînd; bt, steyñ ɖr, it rjd him t ɖ dor; rezd ɖ wepn t hiz śoldr; fitd n nrvd hiz fngrz t ɖ trigr; n craid “Cil him! In hiz bed!”

H rvrst ɖ gun t bìt ɖ stoc upn ɖ dor; h olrdi hld it liftd in ɖ er; sm indistñt dzîn wz in hiz ʈts v cōlñ ǎt t him t flî, fr God’z sec, bî ɖ windo——

Ẃn sudnli, ɖ struġlñ fîr iluṃnetd ɖ hol ćimni wɖ a glo v lît; n ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ bgan t Ćrp!

Ẃn sudnli, ɖ struġlñ fîr iluṃnetd ɖ hol ćimni wɖ a glo v lît; n ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ bgan t Ćrp!

No sǎnd h cd hv hŕd, no hymn vôs, nt īvn hrz, cd so hv muvd n sofnd him. Ɖ artlis wrdz in ẃć ś hd tld him v hr luv fr ɖs sem Cricit wr wns mor freśli spocn; hr tremḅlñ, rnist manr at ɖ momnt wz agn bfr him; hr pleznt vôs—ǒ, ẃt a vôs it wz fr mcñ hǎsholdḿzic at ɖ fîrsîd v an onist man!—ʈrild ʈru n ʈru hiz betr nećr, n awouc it intu lîf n ax́n.

H rcôld fṛm ɖ dor, lîc a man wōcñ in hiz slīp, awecnd fṛm a frîtfl drīm; n pt ɖ gun asd. Claspñ hiz handz bfr hiz fes, h ɖen sat dǎn agn bsd ɖ fîr, n faund rlif in tirz.

Claspñ hiz handz bfr hiz fes, h ɖen sat dǎn agn bsd ɖ fîr, n faund rlif in tirz.

Ɖ Cricit on ɖ Harʈ cem ǎt intu ɖ rūm, n std in Fẹri śep bfr him.

“‘I luv it,’” sd ɖ Fẹri Vôs, rpitñ ẃt h wel rmembrd, “‘fr ɖ mni tîmz I hv hŕd it, n ɖ mni ʈts its harmlis ḿzic hz gvn m.’”

“Ś sd so!” craid ɖ Carịr. “Tru!”

“‘Ɖs hz bn a hapi hom, Jon! n I luv ɖ Cricit fr its sec!’”

“It hz bn, Hevn nz,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr. “Ś md it hapi, olwz,—untl nǎ.”

“So gresf̣li swīt-tmprd; so dmestic, jôfl, bizi, n lît-hartd!” sd ɖ Vôs.

“Uɖ̇wz I nvr cd hv luvd hr az I dd,” rtrnd ɖ Carịr.

Ɖ Vôs, c’rectñ him, sd “d.”

Ɖ Carịr rpitd “az I dd.” Bt nt frmli. Hiz fōlṭrñ tuñ rzistd hiz cntrol, n wd spīc in its ǒn we fr itslf n him.

Ɖ Figr, in an attyd v invceśn, rezd its hand n sd:

“Upn yr ǒn harʈ—”

“Ɖ harʈ ś hz blîtd,” inṭpozd ɖ Carịr.

“Ɖ harʈ ś hz—hǎ ofn!—blest n brîtnd,” sd ɖ Cricit; “ɖ harʈ ẃć, bt fr hr, wr onli a fy stonz n brics n rusti barz, bt ẃć hz bn, ʈru hr, ɖ Ōltr v yr Hom; on ẃć y hv nîtli sacṛfîst sm peti paśn, slfiśnis, or cer, n ofrd p ɖ homij v a tranqil mînd, a trustñ nećr, n an oṿflowñ hart; so ɖt ɖ smoc fṛm ɖs pur ćimni hz gn upwd wɖ a betr fregṛns ɖn ɖ rićist insns ɖt z brnt bfr ɖ rićist śrînz in ol ɖ gōdi templz v ɖs wrld!—Upn yr ǒn harʈ; in its qayt sañćri; srǎndd bî its jntl inflụnsz n asośieśnz; hír hr! Hír m! Hír evrʈñ ɖt spīcs ɖ lanḡj v yr harʈ n hom!”

“N plīdz fr hr?” inqîrd ɖ Carịr.

“Ol ʈñz ɖt spīc ɖ lanḡj v yr harʈ n hom mst plīd fr hr!” rtrnd ɖ Cricit. “Fr ɖe spīc ɖ truʈ.”

N ẃl ɖ Carịr, wɖ hiz hed upn hiz handz, cntinyd t sit medtetñ in hiz ćer, ɖ Prezns std bsd him, sjstñ hiz rflex́nz bî its pǎr, n prizntñ ɖm bfr him, az in a glas or picćr. It wz nt a solitri Prezns. Fṛm ɖ harʈston, fṛm ɖ ćimni, fṛm ɖ cloc, ɖ pîp, ɖ cetl, n ɖ credl; fṛm ɖ flor, ɖ wōlz, ɖ sīlñ, n ɖ sterz; fṛm ɖ cart wɖt, n ɖ cuḅd wɖn, n ɖ hǎsholdimplimnts; fṛm evrʈñ n evri ples wɖ ẃć ś hd evr bn fmiłr, n wɖ ẃć ś hd evr intwînd wn rec̣lex́n v hrslf in hr unhapi huzbnd’z mînd,—Fẹriz cem trūpñ fʈ. Nt t stand bsd him az ɖ Cricit dd, bt t bizi n bstŕ ɖmslvz. T d ol onr t hr imij. T pl him bî ɖ scrts, n pônt t it ẃn it apird. T clustr rnd it, n imbres it, n stru flǎrz fr it t tréd on. T trî t crǎn its fer hed wɖ ɖer tîni handz. T śo ɖt ɖe wr fond v it, n luvd it; n ɖt ɖr wz nt wn ugli, wicid, or akzetri crīćr t clem nolij v it—nn bt ɖer plêfl n apruvñ slvz.

Hiz ʈts wr constnt t hr imij. It wz olwz ɖr.

Ś sat playñ hr nīdl, bfr ɖ fîr, n sññ t hrslf. Sć a blîɖ, ʈrîvñ, stedi litl Dot! Ɖ Fẹri figrz trnd upn him ol at wns, bî wn cnsnt, wɖ wn pṛdijs consntretd stér, n sīmd t se, “Z ɖs ɖ lît wîf y r mōrnñ fr?”

Ɖr wr sǎndz v geyti ǎtsd, ḿzicl instṛmnts, n nôzi tuñz, n laftr. A crǎd v yuñ meri-mcrz cem porñ in, amñ hūm wr Me Fīldñ n a scor v priti grlz. Dot wz ɖ fẹrist v ɖm ol; az yuñ az eni v ɖm tù. Ɖe cem t sumn hr t jôn ɖer parti. It wz a dans. F evr litl ft wr md fr dansñ, hrz wz, śrli. Bt ś laft, n śc hr hed, n pôntd t hr cc̣ri on ɖ fîr, n hr tebl redi spred; wɖ an xultñ dfayns ɖt rendrd hr mor ćarmñ ɖn ś wz bfr. N so ś meṛli dsmist ɖm, nodñ t hr wd-bi partnrz, wn bî wn, az ɖe pást ǎt, wɖ a comicl indifṛns, inuf t mc ɖm g n drǎn ɖmslvz imīɉtli f ɖe wr hr admîrrz—n ɖe mst hv bn so, mor or les; ɖe cd’nt hlp it. N yt indifṛns wz nt hr caṛctr. Ǒ no! Fr prezntli ɖr cem a srtn Carịr t ɖ dor; n, bles hr, ẃt a welcm ś bstoud upn him!

Agn ɖ stẹrñ figrz trnd upn him ol at wns, n sīmd t se, “Z ɖs ɖ wîf hu hz fōrsecn y?”

A śado fél upn ɖ mirr or ɖ picćr: cōl it ẃt y wl. A gret śado v ɖ Strenjr, az h frst std undnʈ ɖer rūf; cuṿrñ its srfis, n blotñ ǎt ol uɖr objicts. Bt, ɖ nimbl Fẹriz wrct lîc bìz t clir it of agn. N Dot agn wz ɖr. Stl brît n bytifl.

Rocñ hr litl Bebi in its credl, sññ t it softli, n restñ hr hed upn a śoldr ẃć hd its cǎnṭpart in ɖ ḿzñ figr bî ẃć ɖ Fẹri Cricit std.

Ɖ nît—I mīn ɖ riyl nît: nt gwñ bî Fẹri clocs—wz wẹrñ nǎ; n, in ɖs stej v ɖ Carịr’z ʈts, ɖ mūn brst ǎt, n śon brîtli in ɖ scî. Phps sm cām n qayt lît hd rizn olso in hiz mînd; n h cd ʈnc mor sobrli v ẃt hd hapnd.

Olɖo ɖ śado v ɖ Strenjr fél at inṭvlz upn ɖ glas—olwz dstñt, n big, n ʈuṛli dfînd—it nvr fél so darcli az at frst. Ẃnvr it apird, ɖ Fẹriz utrd a jenṛl crî v consṭneśn, n plaid ɖer litl armz n legz wɖ incnsiṿbl activti t rub it ǎt. N ẃnvr ɖe got at Dot agn, n śoud hr t him wns mor, brît n bytifl, ɖe ćird in ɖ most inspîrñ manr.

Ɖe nvr śoud hr uɖ̇wz ɖn bytifl n brît, fr ɖe wr Hǎshold Spirits t hūm fōlshd z an anạleśn; n biyñ so, ẃt Dot wz ɖr fr ɖm, bt ɖ wn activ, bīmñ, pleznt litl crīćr hu hd bn ɖ lît n sún v ɖ Carịr’z Hom?

Ɖ Fẹriz wr pṛdiɉsli xîtd ẃn ɖe śoud hr, wɖ ɖ Bebi, goṣpñ amñ a nót v sej old metṛnz, n afctñ t b wundṛs old n metṛnli hrslf, n līnñ in a stêd dḿr old we upn hr huzbnd’z arm, atmtñ—ś! sć a bud v a litl wmn—t cnve ɖ îdīa v hvñ abjurd ɖ vaṇtiz v ɖ wrld in jenṛl, n