Đ TÎM̦ŚĪN: ĆAPTR III

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“I tld sm v y last Ʈrzde v ɖ prínsiplz v ɖ Tîm̦śīn, n śoud y ɖ acćl ʈñ itslf, incmplit in ɖ wrcśop. Ɖr it z nǎ, a litl travl-wòrn, trūli; n wn v ɖ îṿri barz z cract, n a bras rel bnt; bt ɖ rest v it’s sǎnd inuf. I xpctd t finiś it on Frîde, bt on Frîde, ẃn ɖ ptñ tgɖr wz nirli dn, I faund ɖt wn v ɖ nicl barz wz xacli wn inć tù śort, n ɖs I hd t gt rīmed; so ɖt ɖ ʈñ wz nt cmplit untl ɖs mornñ. It wz at ten o’cloc tde ɖt ɖ frst v ol Tîm̦śīnz bgan its c’rir. I gev it a last tap, traid ol ɖ scruz agn, pt wn mor drop v ôl on ɖ qorts ród, n sat mslf in ɖ sadl. I s’poz a suisîd hu holdz a pistl t hiz scul fīlz mć ɖ sem wundr at ẃt wl cm nxt az I flt ɖen. I tc ɖ startñ līvr in wn hand n ɖ stopñ wn in ɖ uɖr, prest ɖ frst, n olmst imījtli ɖ secnd. I sīmd t rīl; I flt a nîtmer snseśn v fōlñ; n, lcñ rnd, I sw ɖ l’boṛtri xacli az bfr. Hd enʈñ hapnd? Fr a momnt I sspctd ɖt mî inṭlect hd trict m. Ɖen I notd ɖ cloc. A momnt bfr, az it sīmd, it hd std at a minit or so past ten; nǎ it wz nirli haf-past ʈri!

“I drù a breʈ, set mî tīʈ, gript ɖ startñ līvr wɖ bʈ handz, n wnt of wɖ a ʈud. Ɖ l’boṛtri got hezi n wnt darc. Msz. Woćit cem in n wōct, apaṛntli wɖǎt siyñ m, twdz ɖ gardndor. I s’poz it tc hr a minit or so t tṛvrs ɖ ples, bt t m ś sīmd t śūt acrs ɖ rūm lîc a rocit. I prest ɖ līvr ovr t its xtrim pziśn. Ɖ nît cem lîc ɖ trnñ ǎt v a lamp, n in anɖr momnt cem tmoro. Ɖ l’boṛtri grù fent n hezi, ɖen fentr n evr fentr. Tmoronît cem blac, ɖen de agn, nît agn, de agn, fastr n fastr stl. An ediyñ mrmr fild mî irz, n a strenj, dum cnfyẓdnis dsndd on mî mînd.

“I am afred I canot cnve ɖ pkłr snseśnz v tîmtraṿlñ. Ɖe r xesvli unpleznt. Ɖr z a fīlñ xacli lîc ɖt wn hz upn a swićbac—v a hlplis hedloñ mośn! I flt ɖ sem horibl antiṣpeśn, tù, v an iminnt smaś. Az I pt on pes, nît foloud de lîc ɖ flapñ v a blac wñ. Ɖ dim sjsćn v ɖ l’boṛtri sīmd prezntli t fōl awe fṛm m, n I sw ɖ sún hópñ swiftli acrs ɖ scî, līpñ it evri minit, n evri minit marcñ a de. I s’pozd ɖ l’boṛtri hd bn dstroid n I hd cm intu ɖ opn er. I hd a dim impreśn v scafldñ, bt I wz olrdi gwñ tù fast t b conśs v eni muvñ ʈñz. Ɖ slǒist snêl ɖt evr crōld daśt bî tù fast fr m. Ɖ twnclñ s’xeśn v darcnis n lît wz xesvli penfl t ɖ î. Ɖen, in ɖ inṭmitnt darcnisz, I sw ɖ mūn spinñ swiftli ʈru hr qortrz fṛm ny t fl, n hd a fent glims v ɖ src̣lñ starz. Prezntli, az I wnt on, stl genñ vloṣti, ɖ palṗteśn v nît n de mrjd intu wn cntińs grênis; ɖ scî tc on a wundrfl dīpnis v blu, a splendid lūmiṇs culr lîc ɖt v rli twîlît; ɖ jrcñ sún bcem a strīc v fîr, a briłnt arć, in spes; ɖ mūn a fentr flucćuetñ band; n I cd si nʈñ v ɖ starz, sev nǎ n ɖen a brîtr srcl flic̣rñ in ɖ blu.

“Ɖ lanscep wz misti n veg. I wz stl on ɖ hilsîd upn ẃć ɖs hǎs nǎ standz, n ɖ śoldr rouz abv m gre n dim. I sw triz growñ n ćenjñ lîc pufs v vepr, nǎ brǎn, nǎ grīn; ɖe grù, spred, śivrd, n pást awe. I sw hyj bildñz rîz p fent n fer, n pas lîc drīmz. Ɖ hol srfis v ɖ rʈ sīmd ćenjd—mltñ n flowñ undr mî îz. Ɖ litl handz upn ɖ dîlz ɖt rejistrd mî spīd rêst rnd fastr n fastr. Prezntli I notd ɖt ɖ sún-blt sweid p n dǎn, fṛm solstis t solstis, in a minit or les, n ɖt consiqntli mî pes wz ovr a yir a minit; n minit bî minit ɖ ẃît sno flaśt acrs ɖ wrld, n vaniśt, n wz foloud bî ɖ brît, brīf grīn v sprñ.

“Ɖ unpleznt snseśnz v ɖ start wr les pôńnt nǎ. Ɖe mrjd at last intu a cnd v histericl xiḷreśn. I rmarct indd a clumzi sweyñ v ɖ mśīn, fr ẃć I wz unebl t acǎnt. Bt mî mînd wz tù cnfyzd t atnd t it, so wɖ a cnd v madnis growñ upn m, I fluñ mslf intu fyćuṛti. At frst I scers ʈt v stopñ, scers ʈt v enʈñ bt ɖz ny snseśnz. Bt prezntli a freś siriz v impreśnz grù p in mî mînd—a srtn krioṣti n ɖr-wɖ a srtn dred—untl at last ɖe tc cmplit pześn v m. Ẃt strenj dveḷpmnts v hymaṇti, ẃt wundrfl advansz upn ǎr rūḍmntri siṿlîześn, I ʈt, mt nt apir ẃn I cem t lc nirli intu ɖ dim ilūsv wrld ɖt rêst n flucćuetd bfr mî îz! I sw gret n splendid arc̣tecćr rîzñ abt m, mor masv ɖn eni bildñz v ǎr ǒn tîm, n yt, az it sīmd, bilt v glimr n mist. I sw a rićr grīn flo p ɖ hilsîd, n rmen ɖr, wɖǎt eni wintri inṭmiśn. Īvn ʈru ɖ veil v mî cnfyźn ɖ rʈ sīmd vri fer. N so mî mînd cem rnd t ɖ biznis v stopñ.

“Ɖ pkłr risc le in ɖ posbiḷti v mî fîndñ sm substns in ɖ spes ẃć I, or ɖ mśīn, okpaid. So loñ az I travld at a hî vloṣti ʈru tîm, ɖs scersli matrd; I wz, so t spīc, ateńuetd—wz slipñ lîc a vepr ʈru ɖ intrsṭsiz v inṭvinñ substnsz! Bt t cm t a stop involvd ɖ jamñ v mslf, moḷkl bî moḷkl, intu ẃtvr le in mî we; mnt brññ mî atmz intu sć intiṃt contact wɖ ɖoz v ɖ obsṭcl ɖt a pṛfǎnd cemicl riax́n—posibli a far-rīćñ xploźn—wd rzult, n blo mslf n mî aṗreṭs ǎt v ol posibl dmnśnz—intu ɖ Uņoun. Ɖs posbiḷti hd ocŕd t m agn n agn ẃl I wz mcñ ɖ mśīn; bt ɖen I hd ćirf̣li axptd it az an un’vôḍbl risc—wn v ɖ riscs a man hz got t tec! Nǎ ɖ risc wz inevitbl, I no longr sw it in ɖ sem ćirfl lît. Ɖ fact z ɖt, insnsibli, ɖ abṣlut strenjnis v evrʈñ, ɖ sicli jarñ n sweyñ v ɖ mśīn, abv ol, ɖ fīlñ v pṛloñd fōlñ, hd abṣlutli upset mî nrv. I tld mslf ɖt I cd nvr stop, n wɖ a gust v peć̣ḷns I rzolvd t stop fʈwʈ. Lîc an impeśnt fūl, I lugd ovr ɖ līvr, n incontinntli ɖ ʈñ wnt rīlñ ovr, n I wz fluñ hedloñ ʈru ɖ er.

“Ɖr wz ɖ sǎnd v a clap v ʈundr in mî irz. I me hv bn stund fr a momnt. A pitilis hêl wz hisñ rnd m, n I wz sitñ on soft trf in frunt v ɖ oṿset mśīn. Evrʈñ stl sīmd gre, bt prezntli I rmarct ɖt ɖ cnfyźn in mî irz wz gn. I lct rnd m. I wz on ẃt sīmd t b a litl lōn in a gardn, srǎndd bî roddendṛn bśz, n I notist ɖt ɖer mov n prpl blosmz wr dropñ in a śǎr undr ɖ bìtñ v ɖ hêlstonz. Ɖ rībǎndñ, dansñ hêl huñ in a clǎd ovr ɖ mśīn, n drouv alñ ɖ grǎnd lîc smoc. In a momnt I wz wet t ɖ scin. “Fîn hosṗtaḷti,” sd I, “t a man hu hz travld ińmṛbl yirz t si y.”

“Prezntli I ʈt ẃt a fūl I wz t gt wet. I std p n lct rnd m. A c’losl figr, carvd apaṛntli in sm ẃît ston, lūmd indistñtli bynd ɖ roddendṛnz ʈru ɖ hezi dǎnpor. Bt ol els v ɖ wrld wz invizibl.

“Mî snseśnz wd b hard t dscrîb. Az ɖ coḷmz v hêl grù ʈinr, I sw ɖ ẃît figr mor dstñtli. It wz vri larj, fr a silvr brćtrī tućt its śoldr. It wz v ẃît marbl, in śep smʈñ lîc a wñd sfnx, bt ɖ wñz, instd v biyñ carid vrticli at ɖ sîdz, wr spred so ɖt it sīmd t hovr. Ɖ peḍstl, it apird t m, wz v bronz, n wz ʈic wɖ vrḍgrīs. It ćanst ɖt ɖ fes wz twdz m; ɖ sîtlis îz sīmd t woć m; ɖr wz ɖ fent śado v a smîl on ɖ lips. It wz gretli weɖr-wòrn, n ɖt impartd an unpleznt sjsćn v dziz. I std lcñ at it fr a litl spes—haf a minit, phps, or haf an aur. It sīmd t advans n t rsid az ɖ hêl drouv bfr it densr or ʈinr. At last I tòr mî îz fṛm it fr a momnt n sw ɖt ɖ hêlcrtn hd wòrn ʈredbér, n ɖt ɖ scî wz lîṭnñ wɖ ɖ promis v ɖ sún.

“I lct p agn at ɖ crǎćñ ẃît śep, n ɖ fl tmeṛti v mî vôij cem sudnli upn m. Ẃt mt apir ẃn ɖt hezi crtn wz oltgɖr wɖdrwn? Ẃt mt nt hv hapnd t men? Ẃt f cruwlti hd groun intu a comn paśn? Ẃt f in ɖs inṭvl ɖ res hd lost its manlinis n hd dveḷpt intu smʈñ inhymn, unsimṗʈetic, n oṿẃlmñli pǎrfl? I mt sīm sm old-wrld savij animl, onli ɖ mor dredfl n dsgustñ fr ǎr comn lîcnis—a fǎl crīćr t b incontinntli slein.

“Olrdi I sw uɖr vast śeps—hyj bildñz wɖ intric̣t paṛpits n tōl coḷmz, wɖ a wŭdd hilsîd dimli crīpñ in upn m ʈru ɖ leṣnñ storm. I wz sizd wɖ a panicfir. I trnd franticli t ɖ Tîm̦śīn, n strov hard t ri’just it. Az I dd so ɖ śafts v ɖ sún smout ʈru ɖ ʈundrstorm. Ɖ gre dǎnpor wz swept asd n vaniśt lîc ɖ trelñ garmnts v a gost. Abv m, in ɖ intns blu v ɖ sumr scî, sm fent brǎn średz v clǎd ẃrld intu nʈñnis. Ɖ gret bildñz abt m std ǎt clir n dstñt, śînñ wɖ ɖ wet v ɖ ʈundrstorm, n pict ǎt in ẃît bî ɖ unmltd hêlstonz pîld alñ ɖer corsz. I flt necid in a strenj wrld. I flt az phps a brd me fīl in ɖ clir er, nwñ ɖ hōc wñz abv n wl swūp. Mî fir grù t frenzi. I tc a briɖñspes, set mî tīʈ, n agn grapld firsli, rist n ni, wɖ ɖ mśīn. It gev undr mî despṛt onset n trnd ovr. It struc mî ćin vayḷntli. Wn hand on ɖ sadl, ɖ uɖr on ɖ līvr, I std pantñ heṿli in attyd t mǎnt agn.

“Bt wɖ ɖs rcuvri v a promt rtrit mî curij rcuvrd. I lct mor krịsli n les firf̣li at ɖs wrld v ɖ rmot fyćr. In a srklr oṗnñ, hî p in ɖ wōl v ɖ nirr hǎs, I sw a grūp v figrz clad in rić soft rǒbz. Ɖe hd sìn m, n ɖer fesz wr d’rectd twdz m.

“Ɖen I hrd vôsz aproćñ m. Cmñ ʈru ɖ bśz bî ɖ Ẃît Sfnx wr ɖ hedz n śoldrz v men runñ. Wn v ɖz imrjd in a paʈwe līdñ stret t ɖ litl lōn upn ẃć I std wɖ mî mśīn. H wz a slît crīćr—phps for fīt hî—clad in a prpl tynic, grdld at ɖ weist wɖ a leɖr blt. Sandlz or buscinz—I cd nt clirli dstnḡś ẃć—wr on hiz fīt; hiz legz wr bér t ɖ niz, n hiz hed wz bér. Noṭsñ ɖt, I notist fr ɖ frst tîm hǎ worm ɖ er wz.

“H struc m az biyñ a vri bytifl n gresfl crīćr, bt indiscrîbbli frel. Hiz fluśt fes rmîndd m v ɖ mor bytifl cnd v cnsumtiv—ɖt hectic byti v ẃć w yst t hír so mć. At ɖ sît v him I sudnli rgend confidns. I tc mî handz fṛm ɖ mśīn.

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