Đ TÎM̦ŚĪN: ĆAPTR II

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I ʈnc ɖt at ɖt tîm nn v s qt b’livd in ɖ Tîm̦śīn. Ɖ fact z, ɖ Tîmtravlr wz wn v ɖoz men hu r tù clevr t b b’livd: y nvr flt ɖt y sw ol rnd him; y olwz sspctd sm sutl rzrv, sm inɉńuwti in ambŭś, bhnd hiz lūsid francnis. Hd Filbi śoun ɖ modl n xplend ɖ matr in ɖ Tîmtravlr’z wrdz, w śd hv śoun him far les scepṭsizm. Fr w śd hv psivd hiz motivz; a porc-bćr cd unḍstand Filbi. Bt ɖ Tîmtravlr hd mor ɖn a tuć v ẃim amñ hiz elimnts, n w dstrustd him. Ʈñz ɖt wd hv md ɖ fem v a les clevr man sīmd trics in hiz handz. It z a mstec t d ʈñz tù īẓli. Ɖ sirịs ppl hu tc him sirịsli nvr flt qt śr v hiz dportmnt; ɖe wr smhǎ awer ɖt trustñ ɖer repyteśnz fr jujmnt wɖ him wz lîc frṇśñ a nrṣri wɖ eg-śel ćîna. So I d’nt ʈnc eni v s sd vri mć abt tîmtraṿlñ in ɖ inṭvl btwn ɖt Ʈrzde n ɖ nxt, ɖo its od ptenśiaḷtiz ran, no dǎt, in most v ǎr mîndz: its plōẓbiḷti, ɖt z, its practicl incrediblnis, ɖ krịs posbiḷtiz v anacṛnizm n v utr cnfyźn it sjstd. Fr mî ǒn part, I wz ptiklrli priokpaid wɖ ɖ tric v ɖ modl. Ɖt I rmembr dscusñ wɖ ɖ Mediclman, hūm I met on Frîde at ɖ Liniyn. H sd h hd sìn a similr ʈñ at Tūbñm, n leid cnsidṛbl stres on ɖ blowñ ǎt v ɖ candl. Bt hǎ ɖ tric wz dn h cd nt xplen.

Ɖ nxt Ʈrzde I wnt agn t Rićmnd—I s’poz I wz wn v ɖ Tîmtravlr’z most constnt gests—n, arîvñ lêt, faund for or fîv men olrdi asmbld in hiz drw̃rūm. Ɖ Mediclman wz standñ bfr ɖ fîr wɖ a śīt v pepr in wn hand n hiz woć in ɖ uɖr. I lct rnd fr ɖ Tîmtravlr, n—”It’s haf-past sevn nǎ,” sd ɖ Mediclman. “I s’poz w’d betr hv dinr?”

“Ẃr’z——?” sd I, nemñ ǎr host.

“Y’v jst cm? It’s rɖr od. H’z un’vôḍbli dtend. H ascs m in ɖs not t līd of wɖ dinr at sevn f h’z nt bac. Sz h’l xplen ẃn h cmz.”

“It sīmz a piti t let ɖ dinr spôl,” sd ɖ Editr v a wel-noun delí pepr; n ɖr’pn ɖ Doctr rañ ɖ bel.

Ɖ Sîcoḷjist wz ɖ onli prsn bsdz ɖ Doctr n mslf hu hd atndd ɖ prīvịs dinr. Ɖ uɖr men wr Blanc, ɖ Editr afōrmnśnd, a srtn jrṇlist, n anɖr—a qayt, śî man wɖ a bird—hūm I dd’nt nǒ, n hu, az far az mî obzveśn wnt, nvr opnd hiz mǎʈ ol ɖ īvnñ. Ɖr wz sm spekleśn at ɖ dinrtebl abt ɖ Tîmtravlr’z absns, n I sjstd tîmtraṿlñ, in a haf-joklr spirit. Ɖ Editr wontd ɖt xplend t him, n ɖ Sîcoḷjist voḷntird a wŭdn acǎnt v ɖ “injīńs paṛdox n tric” w hd witnist ɖt de wīc. H wz in ɖ mdst v hiz xpziśn ẃn ɖ dor fṛm ɖ coṛdor opnd slǒli n wɖǎt nôz. I wz fesñ ɖ dor, n sw it frst. “Hlo!” I sd. “At last!” N ɖ dor opnd wîdr, n ɖ Tîmtravlr std bfr s. I gev a crî v ṣprîz. “Gd hevnz! man, ẃt’s ɖ matr?” craid ɖ Mediclman, hu sw him nxt. N ɖ hol teblfl trnd twdz ɖ dor.

H wz in an amezñ plît. Hiz cot wz dusti n drti, n smird wɖ grīn dǎn ɖ slīvz; hiz her dsordrd, n az it sīmd t m greyr—îɖr wɖ dust n drt or bcz its culr hd acćli fedd. Hiz fes wz gastli pel; hiz ćin hd a brǎn cut on it—a cut haf-hīld; hiz xpreśn wz haġd n drwn, az bî intns suf̣rñ. Fr a momnt h heztetd in ɖ dorwe, az f h hd bn dazld bî ɖ lît. Ɖen h cem intu ɖ rūm. H wōct wɖ jst sć a limp az I hv sìn in ftsor tramps. W stérd at him in sîḷns, xpctñ him t spīc.

H sd nt a wrd, bt cem penf̣li t ɖ tebl, n md a mośn twdz ɖ wîn. Ɖ Editr fild a glas v śampen, n pśt it twdz him. H drend it, n it sīmd t d him gd: fr h lct rnd ɖ tebl, n ɖ gost v hiz old smîl flicrd acrs hiz fes. “Ẃt on rʈ hv y bn p t, man?” sd ɖ Doctr. Ɖ Tîmtravlr dd nt sīm t hír. “D’nt let m dstrb y,” h sd, wɖ a srtn fōlṭrñ artikleśn. “I’m ol rît.” H stopt, hld ǎt hiz glas fr mor, n tc it of at a dráft. “Ɖt’s gd,” h sd. Hiz îz grù brîtr, n a fent culr cem intu hiz ćīcs. Hiz glans flicrd ovr ǎr fesz wɖ a srtn dul apruvl, n ɖen wnt rnd ɖ worm n cumftbl rūm. Ɖen h spouc agn, stl az it wr fīlñ hiz we amñ hiz wrdz. “I’m gwñ t woś n dres, n ɖen I’l cm dǎn n xplen ʈñz … Sev m sm v ɖt mutn. I’m starvñ fr a bit v mìt.”

H lct acrs at ɖ Editr, hu wz a rer vizitr, n hopt h wz ol rît. Ɖ Editr bgan a qsćn. “Tel y prezntli,” sd ɖ Tîmtravlr. “I’m—funi! B ol rît in a minit.”

H pt dǎn hiz glas, n wōct twdz ɖ sterces dor. Agn I rmarct hiz lemnis n ɖ soft padñ sǎnd v hiz ftfōl, n standñ p in mî ples, I sw hiz fīt az h wnt ǎt. H hd nʈñ on ɖm bt a per v tatrd, blud-stend socs. Ɖen ɖ dor clozd upn him. I hd haf a mînd t folo, tl I rmembrd hǎ h dtstd eni fus abt himslf. Fr a minit, phps, mî mînd wz wŭl-gaɖ̇rñ. Ɖen, “Rmarcbl Bhevyr v an Eminnt Sayntist,” I hrd ɖ Editr se, ʈncñ (aftr hiz wónt) in hedlînz. N ɖs bròt mî atnśn bac t ɖ brît dinrtebl.

“Ẃt’s ɖ gem?” sd ɖ Jrṇlist. “Hz h bn dwñ ɖ Aṃćr Cajr? I d’nt folo.” I met ɖ î v ɖ Sîcoḷjist, n réd mî ǒn intrpṛteśn in hiz fes. I ʈt v ɖ Tîmtravlr limpñ penf̣li upsterz. I d’nt ʈnc enwn els hd notist hiz lemnis.

Ɖ frst t rcuvr cmplitli fṛm ɖs ṣprîz wz ɖ Mediclman, hu rañ ɖ bel—ɖ Tîmtravlr hetd t hv srvnts wêtñ at dinr—fr a hot plet. At ɖt ɖ Editr trnd t hiz nîf n forc wɖ a grunt, n ɖ Sîḷnt Man foloud sūt. Ɖ dinr wz rzymd. Convseśn wz xclaṃtri fr a litl ẃl, wɖ gaps v wundrmnt; n ɖen ɖ Editr got frvnt in hiz krioṣti. “Dz ǎr frend īc ǎt hiz modist incm wɖ a crosñ? or hz h hiz Nebŭcdnezr fezz?” h inqîrd. “I fīl aśurd it’s ɖs biznis v ɖ Tîm̦śīn,” I sd, n tc p ɖ Sîcoḷjist’s acǎnt v ǎr prīvịs mītñ. Ɖ ny gests wr francli increɉḷs. Ɖ Editr rezd objx́nz. “Ẃt wz ɖs tîmtraṿlñ? A man cd’nt cuvr himslf wɖ dust bî rolñ in a paṛdox, cd h?” N ɖen, az ɖ îdīa cem hom t him, h rzortd t caric̣ćr. Hd’nt ɖe eni cloɖzbruśz in ɖ Fyćr? Ɖ Jrṇlist, tù, wd nt b’liv at eni prîs, n jônd ɖ Editr in ɖ īzi wrc v hīpñ riḍkl on ɖ hol ʈñ. Ɖe wr bʈ ɖ ny cnd v jrṇlist—vri joys, irevṛnt yuñ men. “Ǎr Speśl Coṛspondnt in ɖ De aftr Tmoro rports,” ɖ Jrṇlist wz seyñ—or rɖr śǎtñ—ẃn ɖ Tîmtravlr cem bac. H wz drest in ordnri īvnñcloɖz, n nʈñ sev hiz haġd lc rmend v ɖ ćenj ɖt hd startld m.

“I se,” sd ɖ Editr hlerịsli, “ɖz ćaps hir se y hv bn traṿlñ intu ɖ midl v nxt wīc! Tel s ol abt litl Rozbri, wl y? Ẃt wl y tec fr ɖ lot?”

Ɖ Tîmtravlr cem t ɖ ples rzrvd fr him wɖǎt a wrd. H smîld qaytli, in hiz old we. “Ẃr’z mî mutn?” h sd. “Ẃt a trīt it z t stic a forc intu mìt agn!”

“Stori!” craid ɖ Editr.

“Stori b dámd!” sd ɖ Tîmtravlr. “I wont smʈñ t īt. I w’nt se a wrd untl I gt sm pepton intu mî arṭriz. Ʈancs. N ɖ sōlt.”

“Wn wrd,” sd I. “Hv y bn tîmtraṿlñ?”

“Yes,” sd ɖ Tîmtravlr, wɖ hiz mǎʈ fl, nodñ hiz hed.

“I’d gv a śilñ a lîn fr a vbetim not,” sd ɖ Editr. Ɖ Tîmtravlr pśt hiz glas twdz ɖ Sîḷnt Man n rañ it wɖ hiz fngrnêl; at ẃć ɖ Sîḷnt Man, hu hd bn stẹrñ at hiz fes, startd cnvulsvli, n pord him wîn. Ɖ rest v ɖ dinr wz uncumftbl. Fr mî ǒn part, sudn qsćnz cept on rîzñ t mî lips, n I der se it wz ɖ sem wɖ ɖ uɖrz. Ɖ Jrṇlist traid t rliv ɖ tnśn bî telñ aṇcdots v Héti Potr. Ɖ Tîmtravlr dvotd hiz atnśn t hiz dinr, n dspleid ɖ aṗtît v a tramp. Ɖ Mediclman smoct a siġrét, n woćt ɖ Tîmtravlr ʈru hiz îlaśz. Ɖ Sîḷnt Man sīmd īvn mor clumzi ɖn yźl, n dranc śampen wɖ reğlaṛti n dtrṃneśn ǎt v śir nrṿsnis. At last ɖ Tîmtravlr pśt hiz plet awe, n lct rnd s. “I ṣpoz I mst apoḷjîz,” h sd. “I wz simpli starvñ. I’ve hd a most amezñ tîm.” H rīćt ǎt hiz hand fr a sgar, n cut ɖ end. “Bt cm intu ɖ smocñrūm. It’s tù loñ a stori t tel ovr grīsi plets.” N rññ ɖ bel in pasñ, h léd ɖ we intu ɖ ajônñ rūm.

“Y hv tld Blanc, n Daś, n Ćoz abt ɖ mśīn?” h sd t m, līnñ bac in hiz īzi-ćer n nemñ ɖ ʈri ny gests.

“Bt ɖ ʈñ’z a mir paṛdox,” sd ɖ Editr.

“I c’nt argy tnît. I d’nt mînd telñ y ɖ stori, bt I c’nt argy. I wl,” h wnt on, “tel y ɖ stori v ẃt hz hapnd t m, f y lîc, bt y mst rfren fṛm inṭrupśnz. I wont t tel it. Badli. Most v it wl sǎnd lîc láyñ. So b it! It’s tru—evri wrd v it, ol ɖ sem. I wz in mî l’boṛtri at for o’cloc, n sins ɖen … I’v livd et dez … sć dez az no hymn biyñ evr livd bfr! I’m nirli wòrn ǎt, bt I ś’nt slīp tl I’ve tld ɖs ʈñ ovr t y. Ɖen I śl g t bed. Bt no inṭrupśnz! Z it agrìd?”

“Agrìd,” sd ɖ Editr, n ɖ rest v s ecoud “Agrìd.” N wɖ ɖt ɖ Tîmtravlr bgan hiz stori az I hv set it fʈ. H sat bac in hiz ćer at frst, n spouc lîc a wiri man. Aftwdz h got mor aṇmetd. In raitñ it dǎn I fīl wɖ onli tù mć cīņis ɖ inadiqsi v pén n ñc—n, abv ol, mî ǒn inadiqsi—t xpres its qoḷti. Y rīd, I wl ṣpoz, atntvli inuf; bt y canot si ɖ spīcr’z ẃît, sinsir fes in ɖ brît srcl v ɖ litl lamp, nr hír ɖ inṭneśn v hiz vôs. Y canot nǒ hǎ hiz xpreśn foloud ɖ trnz v hiz stori! Most v s hírrz wr in śado, fr ɖ candlz in ɖ smocñrūm hd nt bn lîtd, n onli ɖ fes v ɖ Jrṇlist n ɖ legz v ɖ Sîḷnt Man fṛm ɖ niz dǎnẉd wr iluṃnetd. At frst w glanst nǎ n agn at ć uɖr. Aftr a tîm w sīst t d ɖt, n lct onli at ɖ Tîmtravlr’z fes.

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