Đ TÎM̦ŚĪN: ĆAPTR V

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“Az I std ɖr ḿzñ ovr ɖs tù prfict trîumf v man, ɖ fl mūn, yelo n giḅs, cem p ǎt v an oṿflo v silvr lît in ɖ norʈ-īst. Ɖ brît litl figrz sīst t muv abt b’lo, a nôzlis ǎl flitd bî, n I śivrd wɖ ɖ ćil v ɖ nît. I dtrmind t dsnd n fînd ẃr I cd slīp.

“I lct fr ɖ bildñ I ń. Ɖen mî î travld alñ t ɖ figr v ɖ Ẃît Sfnx upn ɖ peḍstl v bronz, growñ dstñt az ɖ lît v ɖ rîzñ mūn grù brîtr. I cd si ɖ silvr brć agnst it. Ɖr wz ɖ tangl v roddendṛn-bśz, blac in ɖ pel lît, n ɖr wz ɖ litl lōn. I lct at ɖ lōn agn. A qir dǎt ćild mî cmplesnsi. “No,” sd I stǎtli t mslf, “ɖt wz nt ɖ lōn.”

“Bt it wz ɖ lōn. Fr ɖ ẃît lepṛs fes v ɖ sfnx wz twdz it. Cn y imajn ẃt I flt az ɖs cnvix́n cem hom t m? Bt y canot. Ɖ Tîm̦śīn wz gn!

“At wns, lîc a laś acrs ɖ fes, cem ɖ posbiḷti v luzñ mî ǒn ej, v biyñ left hlplis in ɖs strenj ny wrld. Ɖ bér ʈt v it wz an acćl fizicl snseśn. I cd fīl it grip m at ɖ ʈrot n stop mî briɖñ. In anɖr momnt I wz in a paśn v fir n runñ wɖ gret līpñ strîdz dǎn ɖ slǒp. Wns I fél hedloñ n cut mî fes; I lost no tîm in stōnśñ ɖ blud, bt jumt p n ran on, wɖ a worm tricl dǎn mî ćīc n ćin. Ol ɖ tîm I ran I wz seyñ t mslf: “Ɖe hv muvd it a litl, pśt it undr ɖ bśz ǎt v ɖ we.” Nvɖls, I ran wɖ ol mî mt. Ol ɖ tîm, wɖ ɖ srtnti ɖt smtmz cmz wɖ xesv dred, I ń ɖt sć aśuṛns wz foli, ń instñtvli ɖt ɖ mśīn wz rmuvd ǎt v mî rīć. Mî breʈ cem wɖ pen. I ṣpoz I cuvrd ɖ hol distns fṛm ɖ hilcrest t ɖ litl lōn, tū mîlz phps, in ten minits. N I am nt a yuñ man. I crst alǎd, az I ran, at mî confidnt foli in līvñ ɖ mśīn, westñ gd breʈ ɖrbî. I craid alǎd, n nn ansrd. Nt a crīćr sīmd t b stŕñ in ɖt mūnlit wrld.

“Ẃn I rīćt ɖ lōn mî wrst firz wr riylîzd. Nt a tres v ɖ ʈñ wz t b sìn. I flt fent n cold ẃn I fest ɖ emti spes amñ ɖ blac tangl v bśz. I ran rnd it fyrịsli, az f ɖ ʈñ mt b hidn in a cornr, n ɖen stopt abruptli, wɖ mî handz clućñ mî her. Abv m tǎrd ɖ sfnx, upn ɖ bronz peḍstl, ẃît, śînñ, lepṛs, in ɖ lît v ɖ rîzñ mūn. It sīmd t smîl in moc̣ri v mî dsme.

“I mt hv cnsold mslf bî imajnñ ɖ litl ppl hd pt ɖ mec̣nizm in sm śltr fr m, hd I nt flt aśurd v ɖer fizicl n inṭlecćl inadiqsi. Ɖt z ẃt dsmeid m: ɖ sns v sm hiɖrtu unsspctd pǎr, ʈru huz inṭvnśn mî invnśn hd vaniśt. Yt, fr wn ʈñ I flt aśurd: unls sm uɖr ej hd pṛdyst its xact dyplic̣t, ɖ mśīn cd nt hv muvd in tîm. Ɖ ataćmnt v ɖ līvrz—I wl śo y ɖ meʈd lêtr—privntd enwn fṛm tamṗrñ wɖ it in ɖt we ẃn ɖe wr rmuvd. It hd muvd, n wz hid, onli in spes. Bt ɖen, ẃr cd it b?

“I ʈnc I mst hv hd a cnd v frenzi. I rmembr runñ vayḷntli in n ǎt amñ ɖ mūnlit bśz ol rnd ɖ sfnx, n starṭlñ sm ẃît animl ɖt, in ɖ dim lît, I tc fr a smōl dír. I rmembr, tù, lêt ɖt nît, bìtñ ɖ bśz wɖ mî clenćt fist untl mî nuclz wr gaśt n blīdñ fṛm ɖ brocn twigz. Ɖen, sobñ n revñ in mî anḡś v mînd, I wnt dǎn t ɖ gret bildñ v ston. Ɖ big hōl wz darc, sîḷnt, n dzrtd. I slipt on ɖ unīvn flor, n fél ovr wn v ɖ maḷcît teblz, olmst brecñ mî śin. I lit a mać n wnt on past ɖ dusti crtnz, v ẃć I hv tld y.

“Ɖr I faund a secnd gret hōl cuvrd wɖ cŭśnz, upn ẃć, phps, a scor or so v ɖ litl ppl wr slīpñ. I hv no dǎt ɖe faund mî secnd apiṛns strenj inuf, cmñ sudnli ǎt v ɖ qayt darcnis wɖ inartikḷt nôzz n ɖ splutr n fler v a mać. Fr ɖe hd fgotn abt maćz. “Ẃr z mî Tîm̦śīn?” I bgan, bȍlñ lîc an angri ćîld, leyñ handz upn ɖm n śecñ ɖm p tgɖr. It mst hv bn vri qir t ɖm. Sm laft, most v ɖm lct sorli frîtnd. Ẃn I sw ɖm standñ rnd m, it cem intu mî hed ɖt I wz dwñ az fūliś a ʈñ az it wz posibl fr m t d undr ɖ srcmstansz, in trayñ t rvîv ɖ snseśn v fir. Fr, rīẓnñ fṛm ɖer dêlît bhevyr, I ʈt ɖt fir mst b fgotn.

“Abruptli, I daśt dǎn ɖ mać, n, nocñ wn v ɖ ppl ovr in mî cors, wnt blunḍrñ acrs ɖ big dînñhōl agn, ǎt undr ɖ mūnlît. I hrd crîz v terr n ɖer litl fīt runñ n stumḅlñ ɖs we n ɖt. I d nt rmembr ol I dd az ɖ mūn crept p ɖ scî. I ṣpoz it wz ɖ unxpctd nećr v mî los ɖt madnd m. I flt hoplisli cut of fṛm mî ǒn cnd—a strenj animl in an uņoun wrld. I mst hv revd t n fro, scrīmñ n crayñ upn God n Fet. I hv a meṃri v horibl ftīg, az ɖ loñ nît v dsper wòr awe; v lcñ in ɖs imposibl ples n ɖt; v gropñ amñ mūn-lit ruinz n tućñ strenj crīćrz in ɖ blac śadoz; at last, v layñ on ɖ grǎnd nir ɖ sfnx n wīpñ wɖ abṣlut rećdnis. I hd nʈñ left bt miẓri. Ɖen I slept, n ẃn I woc agn it wz fl de, n a cupl v sparoz wr hópñ rnd m on ɖ trf wɖn rīć v mî arm.

“I sat p in ɖ freśnis v ɖ mornñ, trayñ t rmembr hǎ I hd got ɖr, n ẃ I hd sć a pṛfǎnd sns v dzrśn n dsper. Ɖen ʈñz cem clir in mî mînd. Wɖ ɖ plen, rīzṇbl dêlît, I cd lc mî srcmstansz ferli in ɖ fes. I sw ɖ wîld foli v mî frenzi oṿnît, n I cd rīzn wɖ mslf. “Ṣpoz ɖ wrst?” I sd. “Ṣpoz ɖ mśīn oltgɖr lost—phps dstroid? It bhovz m t b cām n peśnt, t lrn ɖ we v ɖ ppl, t gt a clir îdīa v ɖ meʈd v mî los, n ɖ mīnz v gtñ mtirịlz n tūlz; so ɖt in ɖ end, phps, I me mc anɖr.” Ɖt wd b mî onli hop, phps, bt betr ɖn dsper. N, aftr ol, it wz a bytifl n krịs wrld.

“Bt probbli, ɖ mśīn hd onli bn tecn awe. Stl, I mst b cām n peśnt, fînd its hîdñples, n rcuvr it bî fors or cunñ. N wɖ ɖt I scrambld t mî fīt n lct abt m, wunḍrñ ẃr I cd beɖ. I flt wiri, stif, n travl-sôld. Ɖ freśnis v ɖ mornñ md m dzîr an īql freśnis. I hd xōstd mî imośn. Indd, az I wnt abt mî biznis, I faund mslf wunḍrñ at mî intns xîtmnt oṿnît. I md a cerfl xaṃneśn v ɖ grǎnd abt ɖ litl lōn. I westd sm tîm in fytîl qsćnñz, cnveid, az wel az I wz ebl, t sć v ɖ litl ppl az cem bî. Ɖe ol feld t unḍstand mî jsćrz; sm wr simpli stolid, sm ʈt it wz a jest n laft at m. I hd ɖ hardist tasc in ɖ wrld t cīp mî handz of ɖer priti lafñ fesz. It wz a fūliś impuls, bt ɖ devl bgotn v fir n blînd angr wz il crbd n stl īgr t tec advantij v mî pplex̣ti. Ɖ trf gev betr cǎnsl. I faund a grūv ript in it, abt midwe btwn ɖ peḍstl v ɖ sfnx n ɖ marcs v mî fīt ẃr, on arîvl, I hd strugld wɖ ɖ oṿtrnd mśīn. Ɖr wr uɖr sînz v rmuvl abt, wɖ qir naro ftprints lîc ɖoz I cd imajn md bî a sloʈ. Ɖs drectd mî closr atnśn t ɖ peḍstl. It wz, az I ʈnc I hv sd, v bronz. It wz nt a mir bloc, bt hîli dec̣retd wɖ dīp fremd panlz on îɖr sîd. I wnt n rapt at ɖz. Ɖ peḍstl wz holo. Xaminñ ɖ panlz wɖ cer I faund ɖm discntinys wɖ ɖ fremz. Ɖr wr no handlz or cīhoulz, bt poṣbli ɖ panlz, f ɖe wr dorz, az I ṣpozd, opnd fṛm wɖn. Wn ʈñ wz clir inuf t mî mînd. It tc no vri gret mentl ef̣t t infŕ ɖt mî Tîm̦śīn wz insd ɖt peḍstl. Bt hǎ it got ɖr wz a difṛnt probḷm.

“I sw ɖ hedz v tū orinj-clad ppl cmñ ʈru ɖ bśz n undr sm blosm-cuvrd apltrīz twdz m. I trnd smîlñ t ɖm n becnd ɖm t m. Ɖe cem, n ɖen, pôntñ t ɖ bronz peḍstl, I traid t inṭmet mî wś t opn it. Bt at mî frst jsćr twdz ɖs ɖe bhevd vri odli. I d’nt nǒ hǎ t cnve ɖer xpreśn t y. Ṣpoz y wr t yz a grǒsli impropr jsćr t a delic̣t-mîndd wmn—it z hǎ ś wd lc. Ɖe wnt of az f ɖe hd rsivd ɖ last posibl insult. I traid a swīt-lcñ litl ćap in ẃît nxt, wɖ xacli ɖ sem rzult. Smhǎ, hiz manr md m fīl aśemd v mslf. Bt, az y nǒ, I wontd ɖ Tîm̦śīn, n I traid him wns mor. Az h trnd of, lîc ɖ uɖrz, mî tmpr got ɖ betr v m. In ʈri strîdz I wz aftr him, hd him bî ɖ lūs part v hiz rǒb rnd ɖ nec, n bgan dragñ him twdz ɖ sfnx. Ɖen I sw ɖ horr n rpugnns v hiz fes, n ol v a sudn I let him g.

“Bt I wz nt bìtn yt. I bañd wɖ mî fist at ɖ bronz panlz. I ʈt I hrd smʈñ str insd—t b xplisit, I ʈt I hrd a sǎnd lîc a ćucl—bt I mst hv bn mstecn. Ɖen I got a big pebl fṛm ɖ rivr, n cem n hamrd tl I hd flatnd a côl in ɖ dec̣reśnz, n ɖ vrḍgrīs cem of in pǎdri flecs. Ɖ delic̣t litl ppl mst hv hrd m haṃrñ in gusti ǎtbrecs a mîl awe on îɖr hand, bt nʈñ cem v it. I sw a crǎd v ɖm upn ɖ slǒps, lcñ frtvli at m. At last, hot n tîrd, I sat dǎn t woć ɖ ples. Bt I wz tù restlis t woć loñ; I am tù Oxdntl fr a loñ vijil. I cd wrc at a probḷm fr yirz, bt t wêt inactiv fr twenti-for aurz—ɖt z anɖr matr.

“I got p aftr a tîm, n bgan wōcñ emlisli ʈru ɖ bśz twdz ɖ hil agn. “Peśns,” sd I t mslf. “F y wont yr mśīn agn y mst līv ɖt sfnx alon. F ɖe mīn t tec yr mśīn awe, it’s litl gd yr recñ ɖer bronz panlz, n f ɖe d’nt, y wl gt it bac az sn az y cn asc fr it. T sit amñ ol ɖoz uņoun ʈñz bfr a puzl lîc ɖt z hoplis. Ɖt we lîz moṇmeńa. Fes ɖs wrld. Lrn its wez, woć it, b cerfl v tù hesti gesz at its mīnñ. In ɖ end y wl fînd cluz t it ol.” Ɖen sudnli ɖ hymr v ɖ sićueśn cem intu mî mînd: ɖ ʈt v ɖ yirz I hd spent in studi n tôl t gt intu ɖ fyćr ej, n nǎ mî paśn v añzayti t gt ǎt v it. I hd md mslf ɖ most compḷcetd n ɖ most hoplis trap ɖt evr a man dvîzd. Olɖo it wz at mî ǒn xpns, I cd nt hlp mslf. I laft alǎd.

“Gwñ ʈru ɖ big palis, it sīmd t m ɖt ɖ litl ppl avôdd m. It me hv bn mî fansi, or it me hv hd smʈñ t d wɖ mî haṃrñ at ɖ gets v bronz. Yt I flt tolṛbli śr v ɖ avôdns. I wz cerfl, hvr, t śo no cnsrn n t absten fṛm eni psyt v ɖm, n in ɖ cors v a de or tū ʈñz got bac t ɖ old ftñ. I md ẃt progres I cd in ɖ lanḡj, n in adiśn I pśt mî xpḷreśnz hir n ɖr. Îɖr I míst sm sutl pônt or ɖer lanḡj wz xesvli simpl—olmst xclūsvli cmpozd v concrīt substntivz n vrbz. Ɖr sīmd t b fy, f eni, abstract trmz, or litl ys v fiğṛtiv lanḡj. Ɖer sntnsz wr yźli simpl n v tū wrdz, n I feld t cnve or unḍstand eni bt ɖ simplist proṗziśnz. I dtrmind t pt ɖ ʈt v mî Tîm̦śīn n ɖ misṭri v ɖ bronz dorz undr ɖ sfnx az mć az posibl in a cornr v meṃri, untl mî growñ nolij wd līd m bac t ɖm in a naćṛl we. Yt a srtn fīlñ, y me unḍstand, teɖrd m in a srcl v a fy mîlz rnd ɖ pônt v mî arîvl.

“So far az I cd si, ol ɖ wrld dspleid ɖ sem xūbṛnt rićnis az ɖ Tmz vali. Fṛm evri hil I clîmd I sw ɖ sem abundns v splendid bildñz, endlisli vẹrid in mtirịl n stîl, ɖ sem clusṭrñ ʈicits v evrgrīnz, ɖ sem blosm-lêdn triz n trīfrnz. Hir n ɖr wōtr śon lîc silvr, n bynd, ɖ land rouz intu blu undyletñ hilz, n so fedd intu ɖ sreṇti v ɖ scî. A pkłr fīćr, ẃć prezntli atractd mî atnśn, wz ɖ prezns v srtn srklr wlz, sevṛl, az it sīmd t m, v a vri gret depʈ. Wn le bî ɖ paʈ p ɖ hil, ẃć I hd foloud jrñ mî frst wōc. Lîc ɖ uɖrz, it wz rimd wɖ bronz, krịsli ròt, n pṛtctd bî a litl kṗla fṛm ɖ ren. Sitñ bî ɖ sîd v ɖz wlz, n pirñ dǎn intu ɖ śaftd darcnis, I cd si no glīm v wōtr, nr cd I start eni rflex́n wɖ a lîtd mać. Bt in ol v ɖm I hrd a srtn sǎnd: a ʈud—ʈud—ʈud, lîc ɖ bìtñ v sm big enjin; n I dscuvrd, fṛm ɖ flẹrñ v mî maćz, ɖt a stedi cuṛnt v er set dǎn ɖ śafts. Frɖr, I ʈrù a scrap v pepr intu ɖ ʈrot v wn, n, instd v fluṭrñ slǒli dǎn, it wz at wns suct swiftli ǎt v sît.

“Aftr a tîm, tù, I cem t c̣nct ɖz wlz wɖ tōl tǎrz standñ hir n ɖr upn ɖ slǒps; fr abv ɖm ɖr wz ofn jst sć a flicr in ɖ er az wn siz on a hot de abv a sún-scorćt bīć. Ptñ ʈñz tgɖr, I rīćt a stroñ sjsćn v an xtnsv sistm v subṭreńn vnṭleśn, huz tru import it wz dificlt t imajn. I wz at frst inclînd t asośiet it wɖ ɖ sanitri aṗrėṭs v ɖz ppl. It wz an obvịs cncluźn, bt it wz abṣlutli roñ.

“N hir I mst admit ɖt I lrnt vri litl v drenz n blz n modz v cnveyns, n ɖ lîc cnvińnsz, jrñ mî tîm in ɖs riyl fyćr. In sm v ɖz viźnz v Ytopịz n cmñ tîmz ẃć I hv réd, ɖr z a vast amǎnt v dītel abt bildñ, n sośl arenjmnts, n so fʈ. Bt ẃl sć dītelz r īzi inuf t obten ẃn ɖ hol wrld z cntend in wn’z imaɉneśn, ɖe r oltgɖr in’xesibl t a riyl travlr amd sć riaḷtiz az I faund hir. Cnsiv ɖ têl v Lundn ẃć a nīgro, freś fṛm Sntṛl Afṛca, wd tec bac t hiz trîb! Ẃt wd h nǒ v relwe cumṗniz, v sośl muvmnts, v teḷfon n teḷgraf wîrz, v ɖ Parslzḍlivri Cumṗni, n postl ordrz n ɖ lîc? Yt w, at lìst, śd b wilñ inuf t xplen ɖz ʈñz t him! N īvn v ẃt h ń, hǎ mć cd h mc hiz untravld frend îɖr aprihnd or b’liv? Ɖen, ʈnc hǎ naro ɖ gap btwn a nīgro n a ẃît man v ǎr ǒn tîmz, n hǎ wîd ɖ inṭvl btwn mslf n ɖz v ɖ Goldn Ej! I wz snsibl v mć ẃć wz unsìn, n ẃć cntribytd t mî cumf̣t; bt sev fr a jenṛl impreśn v ōṭmatic orġnîześn, I fir I cn cnve vri litl v ɖ difṛns t yr mînd.

“In ɖ matr v seplćr, fr instns, I cd si no sînz v creṃtoria nr enʈñ sjstiv v tūmz. Bt it ocŕd t m ɖt, poṣbli, ɖr mt b seṃtriz (or creṃtoria) smẃr bynd ɖ renj v mî xplorñz. Ɖs, agn, wz a qsćn I dlibṛtli pt t mslf, n mî krioṣti wz at frst intîrli dfitd upn ɖ pônt. Ɖ ʈñ puzld m, n I wz léd t mc a frɖr rmarc, ẃć puzld m stl mor: ɖt ejid n infrm amñ ɖs ppl ɖr wr nn.

“I mst cnfes ɖt mî saṭsfax́n wɖ mî frst ʈiriz v an ōṭmatic siṿlîześn n a dec̣dnt hymaṇti dd nt loñ indyr. Yt I cd ʈnc v no uɖr. Let m pt mî dificltiz. Ɖ sevṛl big paḷsz I hd xplord wr mir livñplesz, gret dînñhōlz n slīpñ’partmnts. I cd fînd no mśīnri, no aplaynsz v eni cnd. Yt ɖz ppl wr cloɖd in pleznt fabrics ɖt mst at tîmz nīd rnywl, n ɖer sandlz, ɖo undec̣retd, wr ferli complex spesimnz v metlwrc. Smhǎ sć ʈñz mst b md. N ɖ litl ppl dspleid no vstij v a crietiv tndnsi. Ɖr wr no śops, no wrcśops, no sîn v importeśnz amñ ɖm. Ɖe spent ol ɖer tîm in pleyñ jntli, in beɖñ in ɖ rivr, in mcñ luv in a haf-plêfl faśn, in ītñ frūt n slīpñ. I cd nt si hǎ ʈñz wr cept gwñ.

“Ɖen, agn, abt ɖ Tîm̦śīn: smʈñ, I ń nt ẃt, hd tecn it intu ɖ holo peḍstl v ɖ Ẃît Sfnx. Ẃ? Fr ɖ lîf v m I cd nt imajn. Ɖoz wōtrlis wlz, tù, ɖoz flic̣rñ pilrz. I flt I lact a clu. I flt—hǎ śl I pt it? Ṣpoz y faund an inscripśn, wɖ sntnsz hir n ɖr in xḷnt plen Ñgliś, n intrṗletd ɖr-wɖ, uɖrz md p v wrdz, v letrz īvn, abṣlutli uņoun t y? Wel, on ɖ ʈrd de v mî vizit, ɖt wz hǎ ɖ wrld v Êt Hundṛd n Tū Ʈǎznd Sevn Hundṛd n Wn prizntd itslf t m!

“Ɖt de, tù, I md a frend—v a sort. It hapnd ɖt, az I wz woćñ sm v ɖ litl ppl beɖñ in a śalo, wn v ɖm wz sizd wɖ cramp n bgan driftñ dǎnstrīm. Ɖ mn cuṛnt ran rɖr swiftli, bt nt tù stroñli fr īvn a modṛt swimr. It wl gv y an îdīa, ɖrfr, v ɖ strenj dfiśnsi in ɖz crīćrz, ẃn I tel y ɖt nn md ɖ slîtist atmt t rescy ɖ wìcli crayñ litl ʈñ ẃć wz drǎnñ bfr ɖer îz. Ẃn I riylîzd ɖs, I huṛdli slipt of mî cloɖz, n, wêdñ in at a pônt lowr dǎn, I còt ɖ pur mait n drù hr sef t land. A litl rubñ v ɖ limz sn bròt hr rnd, n I hd ɖ saṭsfax́n v siyñ ś wz ol rît bfr I left hr. I hd got t sć a lo estiṃt v hr cnd ɖt I dd nt xpct eni grattyd fṛm hr. In ɖt, hvr, I wz roñ.

“Ɖs hapnd in ɖ mornñ. In ɖ afṭnun I met mî litl wmn, az I b’liv it wz, az I wz rtrnñ twdz mî sntr fṛm an xpḷreśn, n ś rsivd m wɖ crîz v dlît n prizntd m wɖ a big garḷnd v flǎrz—evidntli md fr m n m alon. Ɖ ʈñ tc mî imaɉneśn. Vri poṣbli I hd bn fīlñ dezḷt. At eni ret I dd mî bst t dsple mî aprīśieśn v ɖ gift. W wr sn sītd tgɖr in a litl ston arbr, ingejd in convseśn, ćīfli v smîlz. Ɖ crīćr’z frendlinis afctd m xacli az a ćîld’z mt hv dn. W pást ć uɖr flǎrz, n ś cist mî handz. I dd ɖ sem t hrz. Ɖen I traid tōc, n faund ɖt hr nem wz Wīna, ẃć, ɖo I d’nt nǒ ẃt it mnt, smhǎ sīmd aproprịt inuf. Ɖt wz ɖ bginñ v a qir frendśp ẃć lastd a wīc, n endd—az I wl tel y!

“Ś wz xacli lîc a ćîld. Ś wontd t b wɖ m olwz. Ś traid t folo m evrẃr, n on mî nxt jrni ǎt n abt it wnt t mî hart t tîr hr dǎn, n līv hr at last, xōstd n cōlñ aftr m rɖr plentvli. Bt ɖ probḷmz v ɖ wrld hd t b mastrd. I hd nt, I sd t mslf, cm intu ɖ fyćr t cari on a minićr flrteśn. Yt hr dstres ẃn I left hr wz vri gret, hr xposćleśnz at ɖ partñ wr smtmz frantic, n I ʈnc, oltgɖr, I hd az mć trubl az cumf̣t fṛm hr dvośn. Nvɖls ś wz, smhǎ, a vri gret cumf̣t. I ʈt it wz mir ćîldiś afx́n ɖt md hr clñ t m. Untl it wz tù lêt, I dd nt clirli nǒ ẃt I hd inflictd upn hr ẃn I left hr. Nr untl it wz tù lêt dd I clirli unḍstand ẃt ś wz t m. Fr, bî mirli sīmñ fond v m, n śowñ in hr wìc, fytîl we ɖt ś cerd fr m, ɖ litl dol v a crīćr prezntli gev mî rtrn t ɖ nebrhd v ɖ Ẃît Sfnx olmst ɖ fīlñ v cmñ hom; n I wd woć fr hr tîni figr v ẃît n gold so sn az I cem ovr ɖ hil.

“It wz fṛm hr, tù, ɖt I lrnt ɖt fir hd nt yt left ɖ wrld. Ś wz firlis inuf in ɖ dêlît, n ś hd ɖ odist confidns in m; fr wns, in a fūliś momnt, I md ʈreṭnñ griṃsz at hr, n ś simpli laft at ɖm. Bt ś dredd ɖ darc, dredd śadoz, dredd blac ʈñz. Darcnis t hr wz ɖ wn ʈñ dredfl. It wz a snğlrli paśṇt imośn, n it set m ʈncñ n obzrvñ. I dscuvrd ɖen, amñ uɖr ʈñz, ɖt ɖz litl ppl gaɖrd intu ɖ gret hǎzz aftr darc, n slept in drovz. T entr upn ɖm wɖǎt a lît wz t pt ɖm intu a tymult v aprihnśn. I nvr faund wn ǎt v dorz, or wn slīpñ alon wɖn dorz, aftr darc. Yt I wz stl sć a blochéd ɖt I míst ɖ lesn v ɖt fir, n in spît v Wīna’z dstres I insistd upn slīpñ awe fṛm ɖz slumbrñ multtydz.

“It trubld hr gretli, bt in ɖ end hr od afx́n fr m trîumft, n fr fîv v ɖ nîts v ǎr aqentns, includñ ɖ last nît v ol, ś slept wɖ hr hed piloud on mî arm. Bt mî stori slips awe fṛm m az I spīc v hr. It mst hv bn ɖ nît bfr hr rescy ɖt I wz awecnd abt dōn. I hd bn restlis, drīmñ most dis’griybli ɖt I wz drǎnd, n ɖt sì’neṃniz wr fīlñ ovr mî fes wɖ ɖer soft palps. I woc wɖ a start, n wɖ an od fansi ɖt sm grêiś animl hd jst ruśt ǎt v ɖ ćembr. I traid t gt t slīp agn, bt I flt restlis n uncumftbl. It wz ɖt dim gre aur ẃn ʈñz r jst crīpñ ǎt v darcnis, ẃn evrʈñ z culrlis n clir cut, n yt unriyl. I got p, n wnt dǎn intu ɖ gret hōl, n so ǎt upn ɖ flagstonz in frunt v ɖ palis. I ʈt I wd mc a vrću v nseṣti, n si ɖ súnrîz.

“Ɖ mūn wz setñ, n ɖ dayñ mūnlît n ɖ frst palr v dōn wr mngld in a gastli haf-lît. Ɖ bśz wr ñci blac, ɖ grǎnd a sombr gre, ɖ scî culrlis n ćirlis. N p ɖ hil I ʈt I cd si gosts. Ɖr sevṛl tîmz, az I scand ɖ slǒp, I sw ẃît figrz. Twîs I fansid I sw a soḷtri ẃît, eplîc crīćr runñ rɖr qcli p ɖ hil, n wns nir ɖ ruinz I sw a līś v ɖm cariyñ sm darc bodi. Ɖe muvd hesṭli. I dd nt si ẃt bcem v ɖm. It sīmd ɖt ɖe vaniśt amñ ɖ bśz. Ɖ dōn wz stl indistñt, y mst unḍstand. I wz fīlñ ɖt ćil, unsrtn, ŕli-mornñ fīlñ y me hv noun. I dǎtd mî îz.

“Az ɖ īstn scî grù brîtr, n ɖ lît v ɖ de cem on n its vivid cuḷrñ rtrnd upn ɖ wrld wns mor, I scand ɖ vy cīnli. Bt I sw no vstij v mî ẃît figrz. Ɖe wr mir crīćrz v ɖ haf lît. “Ɖe mst hv bn gosts,” I sd; “I wundr ẃns ɖe detd.” Fr a qir nośn v Grant Aḷn’z cem intu mî hed, n aḿzd m. F ć jeṇreśn dî n līv gosts, h arğd, ɖ wrld at last wl gt oṿcrǎdd wɖ ɖm. On ɖt ʈiyri ɖe wd hv groun ińmṛbl sm Êt Hundṛd Ʈǎznd Yirz hns, n it wz no gret wundr t si for at wns. Bt ɖ jest wz unsaṭsfayñ, n I wz ʈncñ v ɖz figrz ol ɖ mornñ, untl Wīna’z rescy drouv ɖm ǎt v mî hed. I asośietd ɖm in sm indefiṇt we wɖ ɖ ẃît animl I hd startld in mî frst paśṇt srć fr ɖ Tîm̦śīn. Bt Wīna wz a pleznt substtyt. Yt ol ɖ sem, ɖe wr sn destind t tec far dedlịr pześn v mî mînd.

“I ʈnc I hv sd hǎ mć hotr ɖn ǎr ǒn wz ɖ weɖr v ɖs Goldn Ej. I canot acǎnt fr it. It me b ɖt ɖ sún wz hotr, or ɖ ŕʈ nirr ɖ sún. It z yźl t asym ɖt ɖ sún wl g on cūlñ steḍli in ɖ fyćr. Bt ppl, unfmiłr wɖ sć spekleśnz az ɖoz v ɖ yungr Darwin, fget ɖt ɖ planits mst ultiṃtli fōl bac wn bî wn intu ɖ peṛnt bodi. Az ɖz ctastṛfiz ocŕ, ɖ sún wl blêz wɖ rnyd eṇji; n it me b ɖt sm inr planit hd sufrd ɖs fet. Ẃtvr ɖ rīzn, ɖ fact rmenz ɖt ɖ sún wz vri mć hotr ɖn w nǒ it.

“Wel, wn vri hot mornñ—mî forʈ, I ʈnc—az I wz sīcñ śltr fṛm ɖ hīt n gler in a c’losl ruin nir ɖ gret hǎs ẃr I slept n féd, ɖr hapnd ɖs strenj ʈñ: Clambrñ amñ ɖz hīps v mesnri, I faund a naro gaḷri, huz end n sîd windoz wr bloct bî fōḷn masz v ston. Bî contrast wɖ ɖ briłnsi ǎtsd, it sīmd at frst impenitṛbli darc t m. I entrd it gropñ, fr ɖ ćenj fṛm lît t blacnis md spots v culr swim bfr m. Sudnli I hōltd spelbaund. A per v îz, lūmiṇs bî rflex́n agnst ɖ dêlît wɖǎt, wz woćñ m ǎt v ɖ darcnis.

“Ɖ old instñtv dred v wîld bīsts cem upn m. I clenćt mî handz n stedfstli lct intu ɖ glerñ îbōlz. I wz afred t trn. Ɖen ɖ ʈt v ɖ abṣlut ṣkṛti in ẃć hymaṇti apird t b livñ cem t mî mînd. N ɖen I rmembrd ɖt strenj terr v ɖ darc. Oṿcmñ mî fir t sm xtnt, I advanst a step n spouc. I wl admit ɖt mî vôs wz harś n il-cntrold. I pt ǎt mî hand n tućt smʈñ soft. At wns ɖ îz dartd sîdwez, n smʈñ ẃît ran past m. I trnd wɖ mî hart in mî mǎʈ, n sw a qir litl eplîc figr, its hed hld dǎn in a pkłr manr, runñ acrs ɖ súnlit spes bhnd m. It blundrd agnst a bloc v granit, stagrd asd, n in a momnt wz hidn in a blac śado bnʈ anɖr pîl v ruind mesnri.

“Mî impreśn v it z, v cors, imprfict; bt I nǒ it wz a dul ẃît, n hd strenj larj grêiś-red îz; olso ɖt ɖr wz flaxn her on its hed n dǎn its bac. Bt, az I se, it wnt tù fast fr m t si dstñtli. I canot īvn se ẃɖr it ran on ol-forz, or onli wɖ its fōrarmz hld vri lo. Aftr an instnt’s pōz I foloud it intu ɖ secnd hīp v ruinz. I cd nt fînd it at frst; bt, aftr a tîm in ɖ pṛfǎnd obskṛti, I cem upn wn v ɖoz rnd weļîc oṗnñz v ẃć I hv tld y, haf clozd bî a fōḷn pilr. A sudn ʈt cem t m. Cd ɖs Ʈñ hv vaniśt dǎn ɖ śaft? I lit a mać, n, lcñ dǎn, I sw a smōl, ẃît, muvñ crīćr, wɖ larj brît îz ẃć rgardd m stedfstli az it rtritd. It md m śudr. It wz so lîc a hymn spîdr! It wz clamḅrñ dǎn ɖ wōl, n nǎ I sw fr ɖ frst tîm a numbr v metl ft n hand rests formñ a cnd v ladr dǎn ɖ śaft. Ɖen ɖ lît brnd mî fngrz n fél ǎt v mî hand, gwñ ǎt az it dropt, n ẃn I hd lit anɖr ɖ litl monstr hd dis’pird.

“I d nt nǒ hǎ loñ I sat pirñ dǎn ɖt wel. It wz nt fr sm tîm ɖt I cd ṣxid in pswedñ mslf ɖt ɖ ʈñ I hd sìn wz hymn. Bt, graɉli, ɖ truʈ dōnd on m: ɖt Man hd nt rmend wn spīśīz, bt hd dif̣renśietd intu tū dstñt animlz: ɖt mî gresfl ćildṛn v ɖ Uṗwrld wr nt ɖ sol dsndnts v ǎr jeṇreśn, bt ɖt ɖs blīćt, obsin, noctrnl Ʈñ, ẃć hd flaśt bfr m, wz olso ér t ol ɖ ejz.

“I ʈt v ɖ flic̣rñ pilrz n v mî ʈiyri v an unḍgrǎnd vnṭleśn. I bgan t sspct ɖer tru import. N ẃt, I wundrd, wz ɖs Līmr dwñ in mî scīm v a prf̣cli baḷnst orgnîześn? Hǎ wz it rletd t ɖ indḷnt sreṇti v ɖ bytifl Uṗwrldrz? N ẃt wz hidn dǎn ɖr, at ɖ ft v ɖt śaft? I sat upn ɖ éj v ɖ wel telñ mslf ɖt, at eni ret, ɖr wz nʈñ t fir, n ɖt ɖr I mst dsnd fr ɖ ṣlūśn v mî dificltiz. N wɖōl I wz abṣlutli afred t g! Az I heztetd, tū v ɖ bytifl Uṗwrld ppl cem runñ in ɖer amṛs sport acrs ɖ dêlît in ɖ śado. Ɖ mel psyd ɖ fīmel, flññ flǎrz at hr az h ran.

“Ɖe sīmd dstrest t fînd m, mî arm agnst ɖ oṿtrnd pilr, pirñ dǎn ɖ wel. Apaṛntli it wz cnsidrd bad form t rmarc ɖz aṗćrz; fr ẃn I pôntd t ɖs wn, n traid t frem a qsćn abt it in ɖer tuñ, ɖe wr stl mor viẓbli dstrest n trnd awe. Bt ɖe wr inṭrestd bî mî maćz, n I struc sm t aḿz ɖm. I traid ɖm agn abt ɖ wel, n agn I feld. So prezntli I left ɖm, mīnñ t g bac t Wīna, n si ẃt I cd gt fṛm hr. Bt mî mînd wz olrdi in reṿlūśn; mî gesz n impreśnz wr slipñ n slîdñ t a ny ajustmnt. I hd nǎ a clu t ɖ import v ɖz wlz, t ɖ vnṭletñtǎrz, t ɖ misṭri v ɖ gosts; t se nʈñ v a hint at ɖ mīnñ v ɖ bronz gets n ɖ fet v ɖ Tîm̦śīn! N vri vegli ɖr cem a sjsćn twdz ɖ ṣlūśn v ɖ ic̣nomic probḷm ɖt hd puzld m.

“Hir wz ɖ ny vy. Plenli, ɖs secnd spīśīz v Man wz subṭreńn. Ɖr wr ʈri srcmstansz in ptiklr ẃć md m ʈnc ɖt its rer imrjns abv grǎnd wz ɖ ǎtcum v a loñ-cntinyd unḍgrǎnd habit. In ɖ frst ples, ɖr wz ɖ blīćt lc comn in most animlz ɖt liv larjli in ɖ darc—ɖ ẃît fiś v ɖ Centuci cevz, fr instns. Ɖen, ɖoz larj îz, wɖ ɖt c̣paṣti fr rflectñ lît, r comn fīćrz v noctrnl ʈñz—witnis ɖ ǎl n ɖ cat. N last v ol, ɖt evdnt cnfyźn in ɖ sunśîn, ɖt hesti yt fumḅlñ ōcẉd flît twdz darc śado, n ɖt pkłr carij v ɖ hed ẃl in ɖ lît—ol riinforst ɖ ʈiyri v an xtrim snṣtivnis v ɖ retina.

“Bnʈ mî fīt, ɖen, ɖ ŕʈ mst b tunld inorṃsli, n ɖz tunlñz wr ɖ habtat v ɖ ny res. Ɖ prezns v vnṭletñśafts n wlz alñ ɖ hil slǒps—evrẃr, in fact, xpt alñ ɖ rivr vali—śoud hǎ yṇvrsl wr its ramif̣ceśnz. Ẃt so naćṛl, ɖen, az t asym ɖt it wz in ɖs arṭfiśl Unḍwrld ɖt sć wrc az wz nessri t ɖ cumf̣t v ɖ dêlît res wz dn? Ɖ nośn wz so plōzibl ɖt I at wns axptd it, n wnt on t asym ɖ v ɖs splitñ v ɖ hymn spīśīz. I der se y wl antiṣpet ɖ śep v mî ʈiyri; ɖo, fr mslf, I vri sn flt ɖt it fél far śort v ɖ truʈ.

“At frst, pṛsidñ fṛm ɖ probḷmz v ǎr ǒn ej, it sīmd clir az dêlît t m ɖt ɖ grajl wîḍnñ v ɖ preznt mirli temprri n sośl difṛns btwn ɖ Capiṭlist n ɖ Lebrr, wz ɖ ci t ɖ hol pziśn. No dǎt it wl sīm gṛtesc inuf t y—n wîldli incredibl!—n yt īvn nǎ ɖr r xistñ srcmstansz t pônt ɖt we. Ɖr z a tndnsi t yṭlîz unḍgrǎnd spes fr ɖ les orṇmntl prṗsz v siṿlîześn; ɖr z ɖ Metṛpolitn Relwe in Lundn, fr instns, ɖr r ny ilectric relwez, ɖr r subwez, ɖr r unḍgrǎnd wrcrūmz n resṭronts, n ɖe incris n mulṭplî. Evidntli, I ʈt, ɖs tndnsi hd incrist tl Inḍstri hd graɉli lost its brʈrît in ɖ scî. I mīn ɖt it hd gn dīpr n dīpr intu larjr n evr larjr unḍgrǎnd facṭriz, spendñ a stl-incrisñ amǎnt v its tîm ɖr-in, tl, in ɖ end—! Īvn nǎ, dz nt an Īst-end wrcr liv in sć arṭfiśl cndiśnz az pracṭcli t b cut of fṛm ɖ naćṛl srfis v ɖ ŕʈ?

“Agn, ɖ xclūsv tndnsi v rićr ppl—dy, no dǎt, t ɖ incrisñ rfînmnt v ɖer edyceśn, n ɖ wîḍnñ gulf btwn ɖm n ɖ rūd vayḷns v ɖ pur—z olrdi līdñ t ɖ clozñ, in ɖer inṭrest, v cnsidṛbl porśnz v ɖ srfis v ɖ land. Abt Lundn, fr instns, phps haf ɖ pritịr cuntri z śut in agnst intruźn. N ɖs sem wîḍnñ gulf—ẃć z dy t ɖ leñʈ n xpns v ɖ hayr edyceśnl proses n ɖ incrist fsiḷtiz fr n tmteśnz twdz rfînd habits on ɖ part v ɖ rić—wl mc ɖt xćenj btwn clas n clas, ɖt pṛmośn bî inṭmarij ẃć at preznt rtardz ɖ splitñ v ǎr spīśīz alñ lînz v sośl stratif̣ceśn, les n les frīqnt. So, in ɖ end, abv grǎnd y mst hv ɖ Havz, psywñ pleźr n cumf̣t n byti, n b’lo grǎnd ɖ Hv-nts, ɖ Wrcrz gtñ cntińli adaptd t ɖ cndiśnz v ɖer lebr. Wns ɖe wr ɖr, ɖe wd no dǎt hv t pe rent, n nt a litl v it, fr ɖ vnṭleśn v ɖer cavnz; n f ɖe rfyzd, ɖe wd starv or b suf̣cetd fr arirz. Sć v ɖm az wr so consttytd az t b mizṛbl n rbełs wd dî; n, in ɖ end, ɖ baḷns biyñ prmnnt, ɖ svîvrz wd bcm az wel adaptd t ɖ cndiśnz v unḍgrǎnd lîf, n az hapi in ɖer we, az ɖ Uṗwrld ppl wr t ɖerz. Az it sīmd t m, ɖ rfînd byti n ɖ etịletd palr foloud naćṛli inuf.

“Ɖ gret trîumf v Hymaṇti I hd dremt v tc a difṛnt śep in mî mînd. It hd bn no sć trîumf v moṛl edyceśn n jenṛl cooṗreśn az I hd imajnd. Instd, I sw a riyl aṛstocṛsi, armd wɖ a pfctd sayns n wrcñ t a lojicl cncluźn ɖ industrịl sistm v tde. Its trîumf hd nt bn simpli a trîumf ovr Nećr, bt a trîumf ovr Nećr n ɖ felo-man. Ɖs, I mst worn y, wz mî ʈiyri at ɖ tîm. I hd no cnvińnt ćić̣roni in ɖ patn v ɖ Ytopịn bcs. Mî xpḷneśn me b abṣlutli roñ. I stl ʈnc it z ɖ most plōzibl wn. Bt īvn on ɖs supziśn ɖ baḷnst siṿlîześn ɖt wz at last atend mst hv loñ sins pást its zeniʈ, n wz nǎ far fōḷn intu dce. Ɖ tù-prfict ṣkṛti v ɖ Uṗwrldrz hd léd ɖm t a slo muvmnt v djeṇreśn, t a jenṛl dwindlñ in sîz, streñʈ, n intelijns. Ɖt I cd si clirli inuf olrdi. Ẃt hd hapnd t ɖ Undr-grǎndrz I dd nt yt sspct; bt fṛm ẃt I hd sìn v ɖ Morlocs—ɖt, bî ɖ bî, wz ɖ nem bî ẃć ɖz crīćrz wr cōld—I cd imajn ɖt ɖ modif̣ceśn v ɖ hymn tîp wz īvn far mor pṛfǎnd ɖn amñ ɖ “Īlô,” ɖ bytifl res ɖt I olrdi ń.

“Ɖen cem trublsm dǎts. Ẃ hd ɖ Morlocs tecn mî Tîm̦śīn? Fr I flt śr it wz ɖe hu hd tecn it. Ẃ, tù, f ɖ Īlô wr mastrz, cd ɖe nt rstor ɖ mśīn t m? N ẃ wr ɖe so teṛbli afred v ɖ darc? I pṛsidd, az I hv sd, t qsćn Wīna abt ɖs Unḍwrld, bt hir agn I wz dis’pôntd. At frst ś wd nt unḍstand mî qsćnz, n prezntli ś rfyzd t ansr ɖm. Ś śivrd az ɖo ɖ topic wz unindyṛbl. N ẃn I prest hr, phps a litl harśli, ś brst intu tirz. Ɖe wr ɖ onli tirz, xpt mî ǒn, I evr sw in ɖt Goldn Ej. Ẃn I sw ɖm I sīst abruptli t trubl abt ɖ Morlocs, n wz onli cnsrnd in baṇśñ ɖz sînz v ɖ hymn inheritns fṛm Wīna’z îz. N vri sn ś wz smîlñ n clapñ hr handz, ẃl I soḷmli brnd a mać.

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