Đ TÎM̦ŚĪN: ĆAPTR IX

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“W imrjd fṛm ɖ palis ẃl ɖ sún wz stl in part abv ɖ hrîzn. I wz dtrmind t rīć ɖ Ẃît Sfnx ŕli ɖ nxt mornñ, n ẹr ɖ dusc I prṗst pśñ ʈru ɖ wŭdz ɖt hd stopt m on ɖ prīvịs jrni. Mî plan wz t g az far az posibl ɖt nît, n ɖen, bildñ a fîr, t slīp in ɖ pṛtx́n v its gler. Acordñli, az w wnt alñ I gaɖrd eni stics or draid gras I sw, n prezntli hd mî armz fl v sć litr. Ɖus lodd, ǎr progres wz slowr ɖn I hd antiṣpetd, n bsdz Wīna wz tîrd. N I bgan t sufr fṛm slīpinis tù; so ɖt it wz fl nît bfr w rīćt ɖ wŭd. Upn ɖ śrubi hil v its éj Wīna wd hv stopt, firñ ɖ darcnis bfr s; bt a snğlr sns v impndñ c̣laṃti, ɖt śd indd hv srvd m az a wornñ, drouv m onẉd. I hd bn wɖǎt slīp fr a nît n tū dez, n I wz fīvriś n iritbl. I flt slīp cmñ upn m, n ɖ Morlocs wɖ it.

“Ẃl w heztetd, amñ ɖ blac bśz bhnd s, n dim agnst ɖer blacnis, I sw ʈri crǎćñ figrz. Ɖr wz scrub n loñ gras ol abt s, n I dd nt fīl sef fṛm ɖer insidịs aproć. Ɖ forist, I calkletd, wz rɖr les ɖn a mîl acrs. F w cd gt ʈru it t ɖ bér hilsîd, ɖr, az it sīmd t m, wz an oltgɖr sefr restñples; I ʈt ɖt wɖ mî maćz n mî camfr I cd cntrîv t cīp mî paʈ iluṃnetd ʈru ɖ wŭdz. Yt it wz evidnt ɖt f I wz t fluriś maćz wɖ mî handz I śd hv t abandn mî fîrwŭd; so, rɖr rluctntli, I pt it dǎn. N ɖen it cem intu mî hed ɖt I wd amez ǎr frendz bhnd bî lîtñ it. I wz t dscuvr ɖ atrośs foli v ɖs pṛsidñ, bt it cem t mî mînd az an injīńs muv fr cuṿrñ ǎr rtrit.

“I d’nt nǒ f y hv evr ʈt ẃt a rer ʈñ flem mst b in ɖ absns v man n in a tmpṛt clîṃt. Ɖ sún’z hīt z rerli stroñ inuf t brn, īvn ẃn it z foc̣st bî dỳdrops, az z smtmz ɖ ces in mor tropicl districts. Lîtnñ me blast n blacn, bt it rerli gvz rîz t wîdspréd fîr. Dceyñ vejteśn me oceźṇli smoldr wɖ ɖ hīt v its frmnteśn, bt ɖs rerli rzults in flem. In ɖs decdns, tù, ɖ art v fîr-mcñ hd bn fgotn on ɖ ŕʈ. Ɖ red tuñz ɖt wnt licñ p mî hīp v wŭd wr an oltgɖr ny n strenj ʈñ t Wīna.

“Ś wontd t run t it n ple wɖ it. I ḅliv ś wd hv cast hrslf intu it hd I nt rstrend hr. Bt I còt hr p, n in spît v hr struglz, plunjd boldli bfr m intu ɖ wŭd. Fr a litl we ɖ gler v mî fîr lit ɖ paʈ. Lcñ bac prezntli, I cd si, ʈru ɖ crǎdd stemz, ɖt fṛm mî hīp v stics ɖ blêz hd spred t sm bśz ajesnt, n a crvd lîn v fîr wz crīpñ p ɖ gras v ɖ hil. I laft at ɖt, n trnd agn t ɖ darc triz bfr m. It wz vri blac, n Wīna cluñ t m cnvulsvli, bt ɖr wz stl, az mî îz grù acustmd t ɖ darcnis, sfiśnt lît fr m t avôd ɖ stemz. Oṿhed it wz simpli blac, xpt ẃr a gap v rmot blu scî śon dǎn upn s hir n ɖr. I struc nn v mî maćz bcz I hd no hand fri. Upn mî left arm I carid mî litl wn, in mî rît hand I hd mî ayn bar.

“Fr sm we I hrd nʈñ bt ɖ craclñ twigz undr mî fīt, ɖ fent rusl v ɖ brīz abv, n mî ǒn briɖñ n ɖ ʈrob v ɖ bludveslz in mî irz. Ɖen I sīmd t nǒ v a paṭrñ abt m. I pśt on grimli. Ɖ paṭrñ grù mor dstñt, n ɖen I còt ɖ sem qir sǎnd n vôsz I hd hrd in ɖ Unḍwrld. Ɖr wr evidntli sevṛl v ɖ Morlocs, n ɖe wr clozñ in upn m. Indd, in anɖr minit I flt a tug at mî cot, ɖen smʈñ at mî arm. N Wīna śivrd vayḷntli, n bcem qt stl.

“It wz tîm fr a mać. Bt t gt wn I mst pt hr dǎn. I dd so, n, az I fumbld wɖ mî pocit, a strugl bgan in ɖ darcnis abt mî niz, prf̣cli sîḷnt on hr part n wɖ ɖ sem pkłr cuwñ sǎndz fṛm ɖ Morlocs. Soft litl handz, tù, wr crīpñ ovr mî cot n bac, tućñ īvn mî nec. Ɖen ɖ mać scraćt n fízd. I hld it flẹrñ, n sw ɖ ẃît bacs v ɖ Morlocs in flît amd ɖ triz. I hesṭli tc a lump v camfr fṛm mî pocit, n priperd t lît it az sn az ɖ mać śd wen. Ɖen I lct at Wīna. Ś wz layñ clućñ mî fīt n qt mośnlis, wɖ hr fes t ɖ grǎnd. Wɖ a sudn frît I stūpt t hr. Ś sīmd scersli t briɖ. I lit ɖ bloc v camfr n fluñ it t ɖ grǎnd, n az it split n flerd p n drouv bac ɖ Morlocs n ɖ śadoz, I nelt dǎn n liftd hr. Ɖ wŭd bhnd sīmd fl v ɖ str n mrmr v a gret cumṗni!

“Ś sīmd t hv fentd. I pt hr cerf̣li upn mî śoldr n rouz t pś on, n ɖen ɖr cem a horibl rịlîześn. In mnuvrñ wɖ mî maćz n Wīna, I hd trnd mslf abt sevṛl tîmz, n nǎ I hd nt ɖ fentist îdīa in ẃt drex́n le mî paʈ. Fr ol I ń, I mt b fesñ bac twdz ɖ Palis v Grīn Porṣlin. I faund mslf in a cold swet. I hd t ʈnc rapidli ẃt t d. I dtrmind t bild a fîr n incamp ẃr w wr. I pt Wīna, stl mośnlis, dǎn upn a trfi boul, n vri hesṭli, az mî frst lump v camfr wend, I bgan c̣lectñ stics n līvz. Hir n ɖr ǎt v ɖ darcnis rnd m ɖ Morlocs’ îz śon lîc carbunclz.

“Ɖ camfr flicrd n wnt ǎt. I lit a mać, n az I dd so, tū ẃît formz ɖt hd bn aproćñ Wīna daśt hesṭli awe. Wn wz so blîndd bî ɖ lît ɖt h cem stret fr m, n I flt hiz bonz grînd undr ɖ blo v mî fist. H gev a ẃūp v dsme, stagrd a litl we, n fél dǎn. I lit anɖr pìs v camfr, n wnt on gaɖ̇rñ mî bonfîr. Prezntli I notist hǎ drî wz sm v ɖ foliij abv m, fr sins mî arîvl on ɖ Tîm̦śīn, a matr v a wīc, no ren hd fōḷn. So, instd v castñ abt amñ ɖ triz fr fōḷn twigz, I bgan līpñ p n dragñ dǎn branćz. Vri sn I hd a ćǒcñ smoci fîr v grīn wŭd n drî stics, n cd icoṇmîz mî camfr. Ɖen I trnd t ẃr Wīna le bsd mî ayn mês. I traid ẃt I cd t rvîv hr, bt ś le lîc wn ded. I cd nt īvn saṭsfî mslf ẃɖr or nt ś briɖd.

“Nǎ, ɖ smoc v ɖ fîr bìt ovr twdz m, n it mst hv md m hevi v a sudn. Mrvr, ɖ vepr v camfr wz in ɖ er. Mî fîr wd nt nīd rpleṇśñ fr an aur or so. I flt vri wiri aftr mî xrśn, n sat dǎn. Ɖ wŭd, tù, wz fl v a slumbṛs mrmr ɖt I dd nt unḍstand. I sīmd jst t nod n opn mî îz. Bt ol wz darc, n ɖ Morlocs hd ɖer handz upn m. Flññ of ɖer clññ fngrz I hesṭli flt in mî pocit fr ɖ mać-box, n—it hd gn! Ɖen ɖe gript n clozd wɖ m agn. In a momnt I ń ẃt hd hapnd. I hd slept, n mî fîr hd gn ǎt, n ɖ bitrnis v deʈ cem ovr mî soul. Ɖ forist sīmd fl v ɖ smel v brnñ wŭd. I wz còt bî ɖ nec, bî ɖ her, bî ɖ armz, n pld dǎn. It wz indiscrîbbli horibl in ɖ darcnis t fīl ol ɖz soft crīćrz hīpt upn m. I flt az f I wz in a monstṛs spîdr’z web. I wz oṿpǎrd, n wnt dǎn. I flt litl tīʈ nipñ at mî nec. I rold ovr, n az I dd so mî hand cem agnst mî ayn līvr. It gev m streñʈ. I strugld p, śecñ ɖ hymn rats fṛm m, n, holdñ ɖ bar śort, I ʈrust ẃr I jujd ɖer fesz mt b. I cd fīl ɖ sukḷnt gvñ v fleś n bon undr mî bloz, n fr a momnt I wz fri.

“Ɖ strenj xlteśn ɖt so ofn sīmz t acumṗni hard fîtñ cem upn m. I ń ɖt bʈ I n Wīna wr lost, bt I dtrmind t mc ɖ Morlocs pe fr ɖer mìt. I std wɖ mî bac t a tri, swññ ɖ ayn bar bfr m. Ɖ hol wŭd wz fl v ɖ str n crîz v ɖm. A minit pást. Ɖer vôsz sīmd t rîz t a hayr pić v xîtmnt, n ɖer muvmnts grù fastr. Yt nn cem wɖn rīć. I std glẹrñ at ɖ blacnis. Ɖen sudnli cem hop. Ẃt f ɖ Morlocs wr afred? N clos on ɖ hìlz v ɖt cem a strenj ʈñ. Ɖ darcnis sīmd t gro lūmiṇs. Vri dimli I bgan t si ɖ Morlocs abt m—ʈri batrd at mî fīt—n ɖen I recgnîzd, wɖ increɉḷs ṣprîz, ɖt ɖ uɖrz wr runñ, in an insesnt strīm, az it sīmd, fṛm bhnd m, n awe ʈru ɖ wŭd in frunt. N ɖer bacs sīmd no longr ẃît, bt rediś. Az I std agep, I sw a litl red sparc g driftñ acrs a gap v starlît btwn ɖ branćz, n vaniś. N at ɖt I unḍstd ɖ smel v brnñ wŭd, ɖ slumbṛs mrmr ɖt wz growñ nǎ intu a gusti ror, ɖ red glo, n ɖ Morlocs’ flît.

“Stepñ ǎt fṛm bhnd mî tri n lcñ bac, I sw, ʈru ɖ blac pilrz v ɖ nirr triz, ɖ flemz v ɖ brnñ forist. It wz mî frst fîr cmñ aftr m. Wɖ ɖt I lct fr Wīna, bt ś wz gn. Ɖ hisñ n craclñ bhnd m, ɖ xplozv ʈud az ć freś tri brst intu flem, left litl tîm fr rflex́n. Mî ayn bar stl gript, I foloud in ɖ Morlocs’ paʈ. It wz a clos rês. Wns ɖ flemz crept fwd so swiftli on mî rît az I ran ɖt I wz ǎtflanct n hd t strîc of t ɖ left. Bt at last I imrjd upn a smōl opn spes, n az I dd so, a Morloc cem blunḍrñ twdz m, n past m, n wnt on stret intu ɖ fîr!

“N nǎ I wz t si ɖ most wird n horibl ʈñ, I ʈnc, v ol ɖt I bheld in ɖt fyćr ej. Ɖs hol spes wz az brît az de wɖ ɖ rflex́n v ɖ fîr. In ɖ sntr wz a hiḷc or tyḿḷs, ṣmǎntd bî a scorćt hwʈorn. Bynd ɖs wz anɖr arm v ɖ brnñ forist, wɖ yelo tuñz olrdi rîɖñ fṛm it, cmplitli insrclñ ɖ spes wɖ a fns v fîr. Upn ɖ hilsîd wr sm ʈrti or forti Morlocs, dazld bî ɖ lît n hīt, n blunḍrñ hɖr n ɖɖr agnst ć uɖr in ɖer bwildrmnt. At frst I dd nt riylîz ɖer blîndnis, n struc fyrịsli at ɖm wɖ mî bar, in a frenzi v fir, az ɖe aproćt m, cilñ wn n criṗlñ sevṛl mor. Bt ẃn I hd woćt ɖ jsćrz v wn v ɖm gropñ undr ɖ hwʈorn agnst ɖ red scî, n hrd ɖer monz, I wz aśurd v ɖer abṣlut hlplisnis n miẓri in ɖ gler, n I struc no mor v ɖm.

“Yt evri nǎ n ɖen wn wd cm stret twdz m, setñ lūs a qiṿrñ horr ɖt md m qc t ilud him. At wn tîm ɖ flemz daid dǎn smẃt, n I fird ɖ fǎl crīćrz wd prezntli b ebl t si m. I wz ʈncñ v bginñ ɖ fît bî cilñ sm v ɖm bfr ɖs śd hapn; bt ɖ fîr brst ǎt agn brîtli, n I steid mî hand. I wōct abt ɖ hil amñ ɖm n avôdd ɖm, lcñ fr sm tres v Wīna. Bt Wīna wz gn.

“At last I sat dǎn on ɖ sumit v ɖ hiḷc, n woćt ɖs strenj incredibl cumṗni v blînd ʈñz gropñ t n fro, n mcñ uncani nôzz t ć uɖr, az ɖ gler v ɖ fîr bìt on ɖm. Ɖ côlñ upruś v smoc strīmd acrs ɖ scî, n ʈru ɖ rer tatrz v ɖt red caṇpi, rmot az ɖo ɖe bloñd t anɖr yṇvrs, śon ɖ litl starz. Tū or ʈri Morlocs cem blunḍrñ intu m, n I drouv ɖm of wɖ bloz v mî fists, tremḅlñ az I dd so.

“Fr ɖ most part v ɖt nît I wz pswedd it wz a nîtmer. I bit mslf n scrīmd in a paśṇt dzîr t awec. I bìt ɖ grǎnd wɖ mî handz, n got p n sat dǎn agn, n wondrd hir n ɖr, n agn sat dǎn. Ɖen I wd fōl t rubñ mî îz n cōlñ upn God t let m awec. Ʈrîs I sw Morlocs pt ɖer hedz dǎn in a cnd v aġni n ruś intu ɖ flemz. Bt, at last, abv ɖ sbsîdñ red v ɖ fîr, abv ɖ strīmñ masz v blac smoc n ɖ ẃîṭnñ n blac̣nñ trīstumps, n ɖ dmiṇśñ numbrz v ɖz dim crīćrz, cem ɖ ẃît lît v ɖ de.

“I srćt agn fr tresz v Wīna, bt ɖr wr nn. It wz plen ɖt ɖe hd left hr pur litl bodi in ɖ forist. I canot dscrîb hǎ it rlivd m t ʈnc ɖt it hd iscept ɖ ōfl fet t ẃć it sīmd destind. Az I ʈt v ɖt, I wz olmst muvd t bgin a maṣcr v ɖ hlplis aboṃneśnz abt m, bt I cntend mslf. Ɖ hiḷc, az I hv sd, wz a cnd v îḷnd in ɖ forist. Fṛm its sumit I cd nǎ mc ǎt ʈru a hêz v smoc ɖ Palis v Grīn Porṣlin, n fṛm ɖt I cd gt mî bẹrñz fr ɖ Ẃît Sfnx. N so, līvñ ɖ remnnt v ɖz dámd soulz stl gwñ hɖr n ɖɖr n monñ, az ɖ de grù clirr, I taid sm gras abt mî fīt n limt on acrs smocñ aśz n amñ blac stemz, ɖt stl pulsetd intrṇli wɖ fîr, twdz ɖ hîdñples v ɖ Tîm̦śīn. I wōct slǒli, fr I wz olmst xōstd, az wel az lem, n I flt ɖ intnsist rećidnis fr ɖ horibl deʈ v litl Wīna. It sīmd an oṿẃlmñ c̣laṃti. Nǎ, in ɖs old fmiłr rūm, it z mor lîc ɖ soro v a drīm ɖn an acćl los. Bt ɖt mornñ it left m abṣlutli lonli agn—teṛbli alon. I bgan t ʈnc v ɖs hǎs v mîn, v ɖs fîrsîd, v sm v y, n wɖ sć ʈts cem a loññ ɖt wz pen.

“Bt az I wōct ovr ɖ smocñ aśz undr ɖ brît mornñscî, I md a dscuvri. In mî trǎzrpocit wr stl sm lūs maćz. Ɖ box mst hv līct bfr it wz lost.

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