Đ WOR OV Đ WRLDZ │ H. J. WLZ │ BC 2

BC TŪ

Ɖ RƮ UNDR Ɖ MARŚNZ

ĆAPTRZ: 1 – Undr ft2 – Ẃt wi sw fṛm ɖ ruind hǎs3 – Đ dez v impriznmnt4 – Đ deʈ ov ɖ kṛt5 – Đ stilnis6 – Đ wrc ov fiftīn dez7 – Đ man on Putni Hil8 – Ded Lundn9 – Recij10 – Đ eṗlog

 

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ĆAPTR WN

 

UNDR FT

I

n ɖ frst bc I hv wondrd so mć fṛm mî ǒn advnćrz t tel v ɖ xpirịnsz v mî bruɖr ɖt ol ʈru ɖ last tū ćaptrz I n ɖ kṛt hv bn lrcñ in ɖ emti hǎs at Halif̣d ẃiɖr w fled t iscep ɖ Blac Smoc. Ɖr I wl rzym. W stopt ɖr ol Súnde nît n ol ɖ nxt de – ɖ de v ɖ panic – in a litl îḷnd v dêlît, cut of bî ɖ Blac Smoc fṛm ɖ rest v ɖ wrld. W cd d nʈñ bt wêt in ecñ inactivti jrñ ɖoz tū wiri dez.

Mî mînd wz okpaid bî añzayti fr mî wîf. I figrd hr at Leɖ̇hed, teṛfaid, in denjr, mōrnñ m olrdi az a ded man. I pêst ɖ rūmz n craid alǎd ẃn I ʈt v hǎ I wz cut of fṛm hr, v ol ɖt mt hapn t hr in mî absns. Mî cuzn I ń wz brev inuf fr eni imrjnsi, bt h wz nt ɖ sort v man t riylîz denjr qcli, t rîz promtli. Ẃt wz nīdd nǎ wz nt breṿri, bt srcmspx́n. Mî onli conṣleśn wz t b’liv ɖt ɖ Marśnz wr muvñ Lundnẉd n awe fṛm hr. Sć veg añzaytiz cīp ɖ mînd snṣtiv n penfl. I grù vri wiri n iritbl wɖ ɖ kṛt’s ppećl ijakleśnz; I tîrd v ɖ sît v hiz slfiś dsper. Aftr sm inifcćl remnstṛns I cept awe fṛm him, steyñ in a rūm – evidntli a ćildṛn’z scūlrūm – cntenñ globz, formz, n copi-bcs. Ẃn h foloud m ɖiɖr, I wnt t a boxrūm at ɖ top v ɖ hǎs n, in ordr t b alon wɖ mî ecñ miẓriz, loct mslf in.

W wr hoplisli hemd in bî ɖ Blac Smoc ol ɖt de n ɖ mornñ v ɖ nxt. Ɖr wr sînz v ppl in ɖ nxt hǎs on Súnde īvnñ – a fes at a windo n muvñ lîts, n lêtr ɖ slamñ v a dor. Bt I d nt nǒ hu ɖz ppl wr, nr ẃt bcem v ɖm. W sw nʈñ v ɖm nxt de. Ɖ Blac Smoc driftd slǒli rivrẉd ol ʈru Munde mornñ, crīpñ nirr n nirr t s, drîvñ at last alñ ɖ rodwe ǎtsd ɖ hǎs ɖt hid s.

A Marśn cem acrs ɖ fīldz abt miḑe, leyñ ɖ stuf wɖ a jet v sūṗhītd stīm ɖt hist agnst ɖ wōlz, smaśt ol ɖ windoz it tućt, n scōldd ɖ kṛt’s hand az h fled ǎt v ɖ frunt rūm. Ẃn at last w crept acrs ɖ sodn rūmz n lct ǎt agn, ɖ cuntri norʈẉd wz az ɖo a blac snǒstorm hd pást ovr it. Lcñ twdz ɖ rivr, w wr astoniśt t si an un’cǎntbl rednis mnġlñ wɖ ɖ blac v ɖ scorćt medoz.

Fr a tîm w dd nt si hǎ ɖs ćenj afctd ǎr pziśn, sev ɖt w wr rlivd v ǎr fir v ɖ Blac Smoc. Bt lêtr I psivd ɖt w wr no longr hemd in, ɖt nǎ w mt gt awe. So sn az I riylîzd ɖt ɖ we v iscep wz opn, mî drīm v ax́n rtrnd. Bt ɖ kṛt wz l’ʈarjic, unrīzṇbl.

“W r sef hir,” h rpitd; “sef hir.”

I rzolvd t līv him – wd ɖt I hd! Wîzr nǎ fr ɖ artiḷrimn’z tīćñ, I sòt ǎt fūd n drinc. I hd faund ôl n ragz fr mî brnz, n I olso tc a hat n a flanl śrt ɖt I faund in wn v ɖ bedrūmz. Ẃn it wz clir t him ɖt I mnt t g alon – hd recnsîld mslf t gwñ alon – h sudnli rǎzd himslf t cm. N ol biyñ qayt ʈrt ɖ afṭnun, w startd abt fîv o’cloc, az I śd juj, alñ ɖ blacnd rod t Súnḅri.

In Súnḅri, n at inṭvlz alñ ɖ rod, wr ded bodiz layñ in cntortd attydz, horsz az wel az men, oṿtrnd carts n lugij, ol cuvrd ʈicli wɖ blac dust. Ɖt pōl v sinḍri pǎdr md m ʈnc v ẃt I hd réd v ɖ dstrux́n v Pompêi. W got t Hamtn Cort wɖt mis’dvnćr, ǎr mîndz fl v strenj n unfmiłr apiṛnsz, n at Hamtn Cort ǎr îz wr rlivd t fînd a pać v grīn ɖt hd iscept ɖ suf̣cetñ drift. W wnt ʈru Bŭśi Parc, wɖ its dír gwñ t n fro undr ɖ ćsnuts, n sm men n wimin huriyñ in ɖ distns twdz Hamtn, n so w cem t Twicnm. Ɖz wr ɖ frst ppl w sw.

Awe acrs ɖ rod ɖ wŭdz bynd Ham n Pīṭśm wr stl afîr. Twicnm wz uninjrd bî îɖr Hītre or Blac Smoc, n ɖr wr mor ppl abt hir, ɖo nn cd gv s nyz. Fr ɖ most part ɖe wr lîc ǎrslvz, tecñ advantij v a lul t śift ɖer qortrz. I hv an impreśn ɖt mni v ɖ hǎzz hir wr stl okpaid bî scerd inhabitnts, tù frîtnd īvn fr flît. Hir tù ɖ evidns v a hesti rǎt wz abundnt alñ ɖ rod. I rmembr most vividli ʈri smaśt bîsiclz in a hīp, pǎndd intu ɖ rod bî ɖ ẃīlz v subsiqnt carts. W crost Rićmnd Brij abt haf past et. W hurid acrs ɖ xpozd brij, v cors, bt I notist flotñ dǎn ɖ strīm a numbr v red masz, sm mni fīt acrs. I dd nt nǒ ẃt ɖz wr – ɖr wz no tîm fr scrūṭni – n I pt a mor hoṛbl intrpṛteśn on ɖm ɖn ɖe dzrvd. Hir agn on ɖ Suri sîd wr blac dust ɖt hd wns bn smoc, n ded bodiz – a hīp nir ɖ aproć t ɖ steśn; bt w hd no glims v ɖ Marśnz untl w wr sm we twdz Bārnz.

W sw in ɖ blacnd distns a grūp v ʈri ppl runñ dǎn a sîdstrīt twdz ɖ rivr, bt uɖwz it sīmd dzrtd. P ɖ hil Rićmnd tǎn wz brnñ briscli; ǎtsd ɖ tǎn v Rićmnd ɖr wz no tres v ɖ Blac Smoc.

Ɖen sudnli, az w aproćt Cỳ, cem a numbr v ppl runñ, n ɖ uṗwrcs v a Marśn fîtñṃśīn lūmd in sît ovr ɖ hǎstops, nt a hundṛd yardz awe fṛm s. W std agast at ǎr denjr, n hd ɖ Marśn lct dǎn w mst imījtli hv periśt. W wr so teṛfaid ɖt w derd nt g on, bt trnd asd n hid in a śed in a gardn. Ɖr ɖ kṛt crǎćt, wīpñ sîḷntli, n rfyzñ t str agn.

Bt mî fixt îdīa v rīćñ Leɖ̇hed wd nt let m rest, n in ɖ twîlît I vnćrd ǎt agn. I wnt ʈru a śruḅri, n alñ a pasij bsd a big hǎs standñ in its ǒn grǎndz, n so imrjd upn ɖ rod twdz Cỳ. Ɖ kṛt I left in ɖ śed, bt h cem huriyñ aftr m.

Ɖt secnd start wz ɖ most fūlhardi ʈñ I evr dd. Fr it wz maṇfest ɖ Marśnz wr abt s. No snr hd ɖ kṛt oṿtecn m ɖn w sw îɖr ɖ fîtñṃśīn w hd sìn bfr or anɖr, far awe acrs ɖ medoz in ɖ d’rex́n v Cỳ Loj. For or fîv litl blac figrz hurid bfr it acrs ɖ grīn-gre v ɖ fīld, n in a momnt it wz evidnt ɖs Marśn psyd ɖm. In ʈri strîdz h wz amñ ɖm, n ɖe ran redietñ fṛm hiz fīt in ol drex́nz. H yzd no Hītre t dstrô ɖm, bt pict ɖm p wn bî wn. Apaṛntli h tóst ɖm intu ɖ gret mtalic carịr ẃć pṛjctd bhnd him, mć az a wrcmn’z bascit hañz ovr hiz śoldr.

It wz ɖ frst tîm I riylîzd ɖt ɖ Marśnz mt hv eni uɖr prṗs ɖn dstrux́n wɖ dfitd hymaṇti. W std fr a momnt petṛfaid, ɖen trnd n fled ʈru a get bhnd s intu a wōld gardn, fél intu, rɖr ɖn faund, a forćṇt dić, n le ɖr, scers dẹrñ t ẃispr t ć uɖr untl ɖ starz wr ǎt.

I s’poz it wz nirli ilevn o’cloc bfr w gaɖrd curij t start agn, no longr vnćrñ intu ɖ rod, bt snīcñ alñ hejroz n ʈru planteśnz, n woćñ cīnli ʈru ɖ darcnis, h on ɖ rît n I on ɖ left, fr ɖ Marśnz, hu sīmd t b ol abt s. In wn ples w blundrd upn a scorćt n blacnd eria, nǎ cūlñ n aśn, n a numbr v scatrd ded bodiz v men, brnd hoṛbli abt ɖ hedz n truncs bt wɖ ɖer legz n būts mostli intact; n v ded horsz, fifti fīt, phps, bhnd a lîn v for ript gunz n smaśt guncarijz.

Śīn, it sīmd, hd iscept dstrux́n, bt ɖ ples wz sîḷnt n dzrtd. Hir w hapnd on no ded, ɖo ɖ nît wz tù darc fr s t si intu ɖ sîd rodz v ɖ ples. In Śīn mî cmpańn sudnli cmplend v fentnis n ʈrst, n w dsîdd t trî wn v ɖ hǎzz.

Ɖ frst hǎs w entrd, aftr a litl dificlti wɖ ɖ windo, wz a smōl semi-dtaćt vila, n I faund nʈñ īṭbl left in ɖ ples bt sm moldi ćīz. Ɖr wz, hvr, wōtr t drinc; n I tc a haćit, ẃć promist t b ysfl in ǎr nxt hǎsbrecñ.

W ɖen crost t a ples ẃr ɖ rod trnz twdz Mortlec. Hir ɖr std a ẃît hǎs wɖn a wōld gardn, n in ɖ pantri v ɖs doṃsîl w faund a stor v fūd – tū lovz v bred in a pan, an uncct steic, n ɖ haf v a ham. I gv ɖs caṭlog so prisîsli bcz, az it hapnd, w wr destind t sbsist upn ɖs stor fr ɖ nxt fortnît. Botld bir std undr a ślf, n ɖr wr tū bagz v haricobīnz n sm limp leṭsz. Ɖs pantri opnd intu a cnd v woś-up cićn, n in ɖs wz fîrwŭd; ɖr wz olso a cuḅd, in ẃć w faund nirli a duzn v brgndi, tind sūps n samn, n tū tinz v biscits.

W sat in ɖ ajesnt cićn in ɖ darc – fr w derd nt strîc a lît – n ét bred n ham, n dranc bir ǎt v ɖ sem botl. Ɖ kṛt, hu wz stl timṛs n restlis, wz nǎ, odli inuf, fr pśñ on, n I wz rjñ him t cīp p hiz streñʈ bî ītñ ẃn ɖ ʈñ hapnd ɖt wz t imprizn s.

“It c’nt b midnît yt,” I sd, n ɖen cem a blîndñ gler v vivid grīn lît. Evrʈñ in ɖ cićn lept ǎt, clirli viẓbl in grīn n blac, n vaniśt agn. N ɖen foloud sć a cncuśn az I hv nvr hŕd bfr or sins. So clos on ɖ hìlz v ɖs az t sīm instnteńs cem a ʈud bhnd m, a claś v glas, a craś n ratl v fōlñ mesnri ol abt s, n ɖ plastr v ɖ sīlñ cem dǎn upn s, smaśñ intu a multtyd v fragmnts upn ǎr hedz. I wz noct hedloñ acrs ɖ flor agnst ɖ uvnhandl n stund. I wz insnsbl fr a loñ tîm, ɖ kṛt tld m, n ẃn I cem t w wr in darcnis agn, n h, wɖ a fes wet, az I faund aftwdz, wɖ blud fṛm a cut fōrhed, wz dabñ wōtr ovr m.

Fr sm tîm I cd nt rec̣lect ẃt hd hapnd. Ɖen ʈñz cem t m slǒli. A brūz on mî templ asrtd itslf.

“R y betr?” asct ɖ kṛt in a ẃispr.

At last I ansrd him. I sat p.

“D’nt muv,” h sd. “Ɖ flor z cuvrd wɖ smaśt croc̣ri fṛm ɖ dresr. Y c’nt poṣbli muv wɖt mcñ a nôz, n I fansi ɖe r ǎtsd.”

W bʈ sat qt sîḷnt, so ɖt w cd scersli hír ć uɖr briɖñ. Evrʈñ sīmd dedli stil, bt wns smʈñ nir s, sm plastr or brocn bricwrc, slid dǎn wɖ a rumḅlñ sǎnd. Ǎtsd n vri nir wz an inṭmitnt, mtalic ratl.

“Ɖt!” sd ɖ kṛt, ẃn prezntli it hapnd agn.

“Yes,” I sd. “Bt ẃt z it?”

“A Marśn!” sd ɖ kṛt.

I lisnd agn.

“It wz nt lîc ɖ Hītre,” I sd, n fr a tîm I wz inclînd t ʈnc wn v ɖ gret fîtñṃśīnz hd stumbld agnst ɖ hǎs, az I hd sìn wn stumbl agnst ɖ tǎr v Śeṗtn Ćrć.

Ǎr sićueśn wz so strenj n incomprihnsbl ɖt fr ʈri or for aurz, untl ɖ dōn cem, w scersli muvd. N ɖen ɖ lît filtrd in, nt ʈru ɖ windo, ẃć rmend blac, bt ʈru a trîanğlr aṗćr btwn a bīm n a hīp v brocn brics in ɖ wōl bhnd s. Ɖ intirịr v ɖ cićn w nǎ sw grêli fr ɖ frst tîm.

Ɖ windo hd bn brst in bî a mas v gardn mold, ẃć floud ovr ɖ tebl upn ẃć w hd bn sitñ n le abt ǎr fīt. Ǎtsd, ɖ sôl wz banct hî agnst ɖ hǎs. At ɖ top v ɖ windofrem w cd si an uprūtd drenpîp. Ɖ flor wz litrd wɖ smaśt hardwér; ɖ end v ɖ cićn twdz ɖ hǎs wz brocn intu, n sins ɖ dêlît śon in ɖr, it wz evidnt ɖ gretr part v ɖ hǎs hd c’lapst. Cntrastñ vividli wɖ ɖs ruin wz ɖ nīt dresr, stend in ɖ faśn, pel grīn, n wɖ a numbr v copr n tin veslz b’lo it, ɖ wōlpepr iṃtetñ blu n ẃît tîlz, n a cupl v culrd suplimnts fluṭrñ fṛm ɖ wōlz abv ɖ cićnrenj.

Az ɖ dōn grù clirr, w sw ʈru ɖ gap in ɖ wōl ɖ bodi v a Marśn, standñ sntinl, I s’poz, ovr ɖ stl glowñ silindr. At ɖ sît v ɖt w crōld az srcmspecli az poṣbl ǎt v ɖ twîlît v ɖ cićn intu ɖ darcnis v ɖ scuḷri.

Abrupli ɖ rît intrpṛteśn dōnd upn mî mînd.

“Ɖ fifʈ silindr,” I ẃisprd, “ɖ fifʈ śot fṛm Marz, hz struc ɖs hǎs n berid s undr ɖ ruinz!”

Fr a tîm ɖ kṛt wz sîḷnt, n ɖen h ẃisprd:

“God hv mrsi upn s!”

I hŕd him prezntli ẃimṗrñ t himslf.

Sev fr ɖt sǎnd w le qt stil in ɖ scuḷri; I fr mî part scers derd briɖ, n sat wɖ mî îz fixt on ɖ fent lît v ɖ cićndor. I cd jst si ɖ kṛt’s fes, a dim, ovl śep, n hiz colr n cufs. Ǎtsd ɖr bgan a mtalic haṃrñ, ɖen a vayḷnt hūtñ, n ɖen agn, aftr a qayt inṭvl, a hisñ lîc ɖ hisñ v an enjin. Ɖz nôzz, fr ɖ most part probḷmaticl, cntinyd inṭmitntli, n sīmd f enʈñ t incris in numbr az tîm wòr on. Prezntli a meźrd ʈudñ n a vîbreśn ɖt md evrʈñ abt s qivr n ɖ veslz in ɖ pantri rñ n śift, bgan n cntinyd. Wns ɖ lît wz iclipst, n ɖ gostli cićn-dorwê bcem abṣlutli darc. Fr mni aurz w mst hv crǎćt ɖr, sîḷnt n śiṿrñ, untl ǎr tîrd atnśn feld…

At last I faund mslf awec n vri hungri. I am inclînd t b’liv w mst hv spent ɖ gretr porśn v a de bfr ɖt awecnñ. Mî hungr wz at a strîd so insistnt ɖt it muvd m t ax́n. I tld ɖ kṛt I wz gwñ t sīc fūd, n flt mî we twdz ɖ pantri. H md m no ansr, bt so sn az I bgan ītñ ɖ fent nôz I md strd him p n I hŕd him crōlñ aftr m.

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ĆAPTR TŪ

 

ẂT WI SW FṚM Ɖ RUIND HǍS

A

ftr ītñ w crept bac t ɖ scuḷri, n ɖr I mst hv dozd agn, fr ẃn prezntli I lct rnd I wz alon. Ɖ ʈudñ vîbreśn cntinyd wɖ wirism psistns. I ẃisprd fr ɖ kṛt sevṛl tîmz, n at last flt mî we t ɖ dor v ɖ cićn. It wz stl dêlît, n I psivd him acrs ɖ rūm, layñ agnst ɖ trîanğlr houl ɖt lct ǎt upn ɖ Marśnz. Hiz śoldrz wr hunćt, so ɖt hiz hed wz hidn fṛm m.

I cd hír a numbr v nôzz olmst lîc ɖoz in an enjinśed; n ɖ ples roct wɖ ɖt bìtñ ʈud. Ʈru ɖ aṗćr in ɖ wōl I cd si ɖ top v a tri tućt wɖ gold n ɖ worm blu v a tranqil īvnñ scî. Fr a minit or so I rmend woćñ ɖ kṛt, n ɖen I advanst, crǎćñ n stepñ wɖ xtrim cer amd ɖ brocn croc̣ri ɖt litrd ɖ flor.

I tućt ɖ kṛt’s leg, n h startd so vayḷntli ɖt a mas v plastr wnt slîdñ dǎn ǎtsd n fél wɖ a lǎd impact. I gript hiz arm, firñ h mt crî ǎt, n fr a loñ tîm w crǎćt mośnlis. Ɖen I trnd t si hǎ mć v ǎr rampart rmend. Ɖ dtaćmnt v ɖ plastr hd left a vrticl slit opn in ɖ debri, n bî rezñ mslf cōśsli acrs a bīm I wz ebl t si ǎt v ɖs gap intu ẃt hd bn oṿnît a qayt sbrbn rodwe. Vast, indd, wz ɖ ćenj ɖt w bheld.

Ɖ fifʈ silindr mst hv fōḷn rît intu ɖ mdst v ɖ hǎs w hd frst viẓtd. Ɖ bildñ hd vaniśt, cmplitli smaśt, pulvrîzd, n dsprst bî ɖ blo. Ɖ silindr le nǎ far bnʈ ɖ orijinl fǎndeśnz – dīp in a houl, olrdi vastli larjr ɖn ɖ pit I hd lct intu at Wǒcñ. Ɖ rʈ ol rnd it hd splaśt undr ɖt tṛmnḍs impact – “splaśt” z ɖ onli wrd – n le in hīpt pîlz ɖt hid ɖ masz v ɖ ajesnt hǎzz. It hd bhevd xacli lîc mud undr ɖ vayḷnt blo v a hamr. Ǎr hǎs hd c’lapst bcwd; ɖ frunt porśn, īvn on ɖ grǎnd flor, hd bn dstroid cmplitli; bî a ćans ɖ cićn n scuḷri hd iscept, n std berid nǎ undr sôl n ruinz, clozd in bî tunz v rʈ on evri sîd sev twdz ɖ silindr. Ovr ɖt aspect w huñ nǎ on ɖ vri éj v ɖ gret srklr pit ɖ Marśnz wr ingejd in mcñ. Ɖ hevi bìtñ sǎnd wz evidntli jst bhnd s, n evr n agn a brît grīn vepr drouv p lîc a veil acrs ǎr pīphoul.

Ɖ silindr wz olrdi opnd in ɖ sntr v ɖ pit, n on ɖ farɖr éj v ɖ pit, amd ɖ smaśt n gravl-hīpt śruḅri, wn v ɖ gret fîtñṃśīnz, dzrtd bî its okpnt, std stif n tōl agnst ɖ īvnñscî. At frst I scersli notist ɖ pit n ɖ silindr, olɖo it hz bn cnvińnt t dscrîb ɖm frst, on acǎnt v ɖ xtrordnri gliṭrñ mec̣nizm I sw bizi in ɖ xcveśn, n on acǎnt v ɖ strenj crīćrz ɖt wr crōlñ slǒli n penf̣li acrs ɖ hīpt mold nir it.

Ɖ mec̣nizm it srtnli wz ɖt hld mî atnśn frst. It wz wn v ɖoz compḷcetd fabrics ɖt hv sins bn cōld hanḍlñṃśīnz, n ɖ studi v ẃć hz olrdi gvn sć an inorṃs impṭs t t’restrịl invnśn. Az it dōnd upn m frst, it prizntd a sort v mtalic spîdr wɖ fîv jôntd, ajîl legz, n wɖ an xtrordnri numbr v jôntd līvrz, barz, n rīćñ n clućñ tnṭclz abt its bodi. Most v its armz wr rtractd, bt wɖ ʈri loñ tnṭclz it wz fiśñ ǎt a numbr v ródz, plets, n barz ẃć lînd ɖ cuṿrñ n apaṛntli streñʈnd ɖ wōlz v ɖ silindr. Ɖz, az it xtractd ɖm, wr liftd ǎt n dpoztd upn a levl srfis v rʈ bhnd it.

Its mośn wz so swift, complex, n prfict ɖt at frst I dd nt si it az a mśīn, in spît v its mtalic glitr. Ɖ fîtñṃśīnz wr coorḍnetd n aṇmetd t an xtrordnri pić, bt nʈñ t cmper wɖ ɖs. Ppl hu hv nvr sìn ɖz strucćrz, n hv onli ɖ il-imajnd ef̣ts v artists or ɖ imprfict dscripśnz v sć îwitṇsz az mslf t g upn, scersli riylîz ɖt livñ qoḷti.

I rcōl ptiklrli ɖ iḷstreśn v wn v ɖ frst pamflits t gv a cnsektiv acǎnt v ɖ wor. Ɖ artist hd evidntli md a hesti studi v wn v ɖ fîtñṃśīnz, n ɖr hiz nolij endd. H prizntd ɖm az tiltd, stif trîpodz, wɖt îɖr flexbiḷti or sutlti, n wɖ an oltgɖr mslidñ mnoṭni v ifct. Ɖ pamflit cntenñ ɖz renḍrñz hd a cnsidṛbl vog, n I mnśn ɖm hir simpli t worn ɖ rīdr agnst ɖ impreśn ɖe me hv crietd. Ɖe wr no mor lîc ɖ Marśnz I sw in ax́n ɖn a Duć dol z lîc a hymn biyñ. T mî mînd, ɖ pamflit wd hv bn mć betr wɖt ɖm.

At frst, I se, ɖ hanḍlñṃśīn dd nt impres m az a mśīn, bt az a crablîc crīćr wɖ a gliṭrñ inteğmnt, ɖ cntrolñ Marśn huz delic̣t tnṭclz acćuetd its muvmnts sīmñ t b simpli ɖ iqivḷnt v ɖ crab’z seṛbṛl porśn. Bt ɖen I psivd ɖ rzmbḷns v its gre-brǎn, śîni, leɖ̇ri inteğmnt t ɖt v ɖ uɖr sprōlñ bodiz bynd, n ɖ tru nećr v ɖs dxtṛs wrcmn dōnd upn m. Wɖ ɖt rịlîześn mî inṭrest śiftd t ɖoz uɖr crīćrz, ɖ riyl Marśnz. Olrdi I hd hd a tranzịnt impreśn v ɖz, n ɖ frst nōzia no longr obskrd mî obẓveśn. Morovr, I wz cnsild n mośnlis, n undr no rjnsi v ax́n.

Ɖe wr, I nǎ sw, ɖ most unrʈli crīćrz it z poṣbl t cnsiv. Ɖe wr hyj rǎnd bodiz – or, rɖr, hedz – abt for fīt in dîamitr, ć bodi hvñ in frunt v it a fes. Ɖs fes hd no nostṛlz – indd, ɖ Marśnz d nt sīm t hv hd eni sns v smel, bt it hd a per v vri larj darc-culrd îz, n jst bnʈ ɖs a cnd v fleśi bīc. In ɖ bac v ɖs hed or bodi – I scersli nǒ hǎ t spīc v it – wz ɖ sngl tît timpanic srfis, sins noun t b aṇtomicli an ir, ɖo it mst hv bn olmst yslis in ǎr dns er. In a grūp rnd ɖ mǎʈ wr sixtīn slendr, olmst ẃiplîc tnṭclz, arenjd in tū bunćz v et ć. Ɖz bunćz hv sins bn nemd rɖr aptli, bî ɖt dstnḡśt anaṭmist, Pṛfesr Hǎz, ɖ handz. Īvn az I sw ɖz Marśnz fr ɖ frst tîm ɖe sīmd t b indeṿrñ t rêz ɖmslvz on ɖz handz, bt v cors, wɖ ɖ incrist weit v t’restrịl cndiśnz, ɖs wz imposbl. Ɖr z rīzn t s’poz ɖt on Marz ɖe me hv pṛgrest upn ɖm wɖ sm fsiḷti.

Ɖ intrnl anatmi, I me rmarc hir, az dsx́n hz sins śoun, wz olmst īqli simpl. Ɖ gretr part v ɖ strucćr wz ɖ bren, sndñ inorṃs nrvz t ɖ îz, ir, n tactîl tnṭclz. Bsdz ɖs wr ɖ bulci luñz, intu ẃć ɖ mǎʈ opnd, n ɖ hart n its veslz. Ɖ plṃnri dstres cōzd bî ɖ densr atṃsfir n gretr gravteśnl atrax́n wz onli tù evidnt in ɖ cnvulsiv muvmnts v ɖ ǎtr scin.

N ɖs wz ɖ sum v ɖ Marśn orgnz. Strenj az it me sīm t a hymn biyñ, ol ɖ complex aṗreṭs v djsćn, ẃć mcs p ɖ bulc v ǎr bodiz, dd nt xist in ɖ Marśnz. Ɖe wr hedz – mirli hedz. Entrelz ɖe hd nn. Ɖe dd nt īt, mć les djst. Instd, ɖe tc ɖ freś, livñ blud v uɖr crīćrz, n injctd it intu ɖer ǒn veinz. I hv mslf sìn ɖs biyñ dn, az I śl mnśn in its ples. Bt, sqīmiś az I me sīm, I canot brñ mslf t dscrîb ẃt I cd nt indyr īvn t cntiny woćñ. Let it sfîs t se, blud obtend fṛm a stl livñ animl, in most cesz fṛm a hymn biyñ, wz run d’recli bî mīnz v a litl pipét intu ɖ rsipịnt cnal…

Ɖ bér îdīa v ɖs z no dǎt hoṛbli rpulsiv t s, bt at ɖ sem tîm I ʈnc ɖt w śd rmembr hǎ rpulsiv ǎr carnivṛs habits wd sīm t an intelijnt rabit.

Ɖ fizịlojicl advantjz v ɖ practis v injx́n r undinaybl, f wn ʈncs v ɖ tṛmnḍs west v hymn tîm n eṇji oceźnd bî ītñ n ɖ djstiv proses. Ǎr bodiz r haf md p v glandz n tybz n orgnz, okpaid in trnñ hetṛjīńs fūd intu blud. Ɖ djstiv prosesz n ɖer riax́n upn ɖ nrṿs sistm sap ǎr streñʈ n culr ǎr mîndz. Men g hapi or mizṛbl az ɖe hv hlʈi or unhelʈi livrz, or sǎnd gastric glandz. Bt ɖ Marśnz wr liftd abv ol ɖz organic flucćueśnz v mūd n imośn.

Ɖer undinaybl prefṛns fr men az ɖer sors v nuriśmnt z partli xplend bî ɖ nećr v ɖ rmenz v ɖ victimz ɖe hd bròt wɖ ɖm az pṛviźnz fṛm Marz. Ɖz crīćrz, t juj fṛm ɖ śrivld rmenz ɖt hv fōḷn intu hymn handz, wr bîpedz wɖ flimzi, s’liśs scelitnz (olmst lîc ɖoz v ɖ s’liśs spunjz) n fībl muskḷćr, standñ abt six fīt hî n hvñ rǎnd, irect hedz, n larj îz in flinti socits. Tū or ʈri v ɖz sīm t hv bn bròt in ć silindr, n ol wr cild bfr rʈ wz rīćt. It wz jst az wel fr ɖm, fr ɖ mir atmt t stand uprît upn ǎr planit wd hv brocn evri bon in ɖer bodiz.

N ẃl I am ingejd in ɖs dscripśn, I me ad in ɖs ples srtn frɖr dītelz ẃć, olɖo ɖe wr nt ol evidnt t s at ɖ tîm, wl inebl ɖ rīdr hu z un’qentd wɖ ɖm t form a clirr picćr v ɖz ofnsiv crīćrz.

In ʈri uɖr pônts ɖer fizioḷji difrd strenjli fṛm ǎrz. Ɖer orġnizmz dd nt slīp, eni mor ɖn ɖ hart v man slīps. Sins ɖe hd no xtnsiv musklr mec̣nizm t rcūṗret, ɖt piriodicl xtñśn wz uņoun t ɖm. Ɖe hd litl or no sns v ftīg, it wd sīm. On rʈ ɖe cd nvr hv muvd wɖt ef̣t, yt īvn t ɖ last ɖe cept in ax́n. In twenti-for aurz ɖe dd twenti-for aurz v wrc, az īvn on rʈ z phps ɖ ces wɖ ɖ ants.

In ɖ nxt ples, wundrfl az it sīmz in a sx́l wrld, ɖ Marśnz wr abṣlutli wɖt sx, n ɖrfr wɖt eni v ɖ tymulćs imośnz ɖt arîz fṛm ɖt difṛns amñ men. A yuñ Marśn, ɖr cn nǎ b no dspyt, wz riyli born upn rʈ jrñ ɖ wor, n it wz faund ataćt t its peṛnt, parśli budd of, jst az yuñ lilibulbz bud of, or lîc ɖ yuñ animlz in ɖ freś-wōtr polip.

In man, in ol ɖ hayr t’restrịl animlz, sć a meʈd v incrīs hz dis’pird; bt īvn on ɖs rʈ it wz srtnli ɖ priṃtiv meʈd. Amñ ɖ lowr animlz, p īvn t ɖoz frst cuznz v ɖ vrtbretd animlz, ɖ Tyṇcets, ɖ tū prosesz ocŕ sîd bî sîd, bt fîṇli ɖ sx́l meʈd sūṗsidd its cmpetitr oltgɖr. On Marz, hvr, jst ɖ rvrs hz apaṛntli bn ɖ ces.

It z wrɖi v rmarc ɖt a srtn spekḷtiv raitr v qāzi-sạntific rpyt, raitñ loñ bfr ɖ Marśn inveźn, dd fōrcast fr man a fînl strucćr nt unlîc ɖ acćl Marśn cndiśn. Hiz prof̣si, I rmembr, apird in Nvmbr or Dsmbr, 1893, in a loñ-dfuñt pubḷceśn, ɖ Pal Mal Bujit, n I rcōl a caric̣ćr v it in a pri-Marśn piriodicl cōld Punć. H pôntd ǎt – raitñ in a fūliś, fsīśs ton – ɖt ɖ pfx́n v mcanicl aplaynsz mst ultiṃtli sūṗsid limz; ɖ pfx́n v cemicl dvîsz, djsćn; ɖt sć orgnz az her, xtrnl nǒz, tīʈ, irz, n ćin wr no longr isnśl parts v ɖ hymn biyñ, n ɖt ɖ tndnsi v naćṛl s’lex́n wd lî in ɖ d’rex́n v ɖer stedi diṃńśn ʈru ɖ cmñ ejz. Ɖ bren alon rmend a cardinl nseṣti. Onli wn uɖr part v ɖ bodi hd a stroñ ces fr svîvl, n ɖt wz ɖ hand, “tīćr n ejnt v ɖ bren.” Ẃl ɖ rest v ɖ bodi dwindld, ɖ handz wd gro larjr.

Ɖr z mni a tru wrd ritn in jest, n hir in ɖ Marśnz w hv bynd dspyt ɖ acćl acumpliśmnt v sć a s’preśn v ɖ animl sîd v ɖ orġnizm bî ɖ intelijns. T m it z qt creḍbl ɖt ɖ Marśnz me b dsndd fṛm biyñz nt unlîc ǎrslvz, bî a grajl dveḷpmnt v bren n handz (ɖ latr gvñ rîz t ɖ tū bunćz v delic̣t tnṭclz at last) at ɖ xpns v ɖ rest v ɖ bodi. Wɖt ɖ bodi ɖ bren wd, v cors, bcm a mir slfiś intelijns, wɖt eni v ɖ imośnl substretm v ɖ hymn biyñ.

Ɖ last sełnt pônt in ẃć ɖ sistmz v ɖz crīćrz difrd fṛm ǎrz wz in ẃt wn mt hv ʈt a vri trivịl ptiklr. Mîcroorġnizmz, ẃć cōz so mć dziz n pen on rʈ, hv îɖr nvr apird upn Marz or Marśn sanitri sayns iliṃnetd ɖm ejz ago. A hundṛd dzizz, ol ɖ fīvrz n cntejnz v hymn lîf, cnsumśn, cansrz, tymrz n sć morbidtiz, nvr entr ɖ scīm v ɖer lîf. N spīcñ v ɖ difṛnsz btwn ɖ lîf on Marz n t’restrịl lîf, I me alud hir t ɖ krịs sjsćnz v ɖ red wīd.

Apaṛntli ɖ vejtblcñdm in Marz, instd v hvñ grīn fr a dominnt culr, z v a vivid blud-red tint. At eni ret, ɖ sīdz ẃć ɖ Marśnz (intnśṇli or axdntli) bròt wɖ ɖm gev rîz in ol cesz t red-culrd groʈs. Onli ɖt noun popylrli az ɖ red wīd, hvr, gend eni ftñ in comṗtiśn wɖ t’restrịl formz. Ɖ red crīpr wz qt a transitri groʈ, n fy ppl hv sìn it growñ. Fr a tîm, hvr, ɖ red wīd grù wɖ astoṇśñ vigr n lux́urịns. It spred p ɖ sîdz v ɖ pit bî ɖ ʈrd or forʈ de v ǎr impriznmnt, n its cacṭslîc branćz formd a carmîn frinj t ɖ éjz v ǎr trîanğlr windo. N aftwdz I faund it brōdcast ʈrt ɖ cuntri, n ispeśli ẃrvr ɖr wz a strīm v wōtr.

Ɖ Marśnz hd ẃt apirz t hv bn an ōditri orgn, a sngl rǎnd drum at ɖ bac v ɖ hedbodi, n îz wɖ a viźl renj nt vri difṛnt fṛm ǎrz xpt ɖt, acordñ t Filips, blu n vayḷt wr az blac t ɖm. It z comnli s’pozd ɖt ɖe cḿṇcetd bî sǎndz n tntaklr jstikleśnz; ɖs z asrtd, fr instns, in ɖ ebl bt hesṭli cmpîld pamflit (ritn evidntli bî smwn nt an îwitnis v Marśn ax́nz) t ẃć I hv olrdi aludd, n ẃć, so far, hz bn ɖ ćīf sors v inf̣meśn cnsrnñ ɖm. Nǎ no svîvñ hymn biyñ sw so mć v ɖ Marśnz in ax́n az I dd. I tec no credit t mslf fr an axidnt, bt ɖ fact z so. N I asrt ɖt I woćt ɖm closli tîm aftr tîm, n ɖt I hv sìn for, fîv, n (wns) six v ɖm sluġśli pformñ ɖ most ilabṛtli compḷcetd oṗreśnz tgɖr wɖt îɖr sǎnd or jsćr. Ɖer pkłr hūtñ inverịbli prisidd fīdñ; it hd no modyleśn, n wz, I b’liv, in no sns a signl, bt mirli ɖ xṗreśn v er pripaṛtri t ɖ sux̣́nl oṗreśn. I hv a srtn clem t at līst an eḷmntri nolij v sîcoḷji, n in ɖs matr I am cnvinst – az frmli az I am cnvinst v enʈñ – ɖt ɖ Marśnz inṭćenjd ʈts wɖt eni fizicl inṭmīdieśn. N I hv bn cnvinst v ɖs in spît v stroñ prīcnspśnz. Bfr ɖ Marśn inveźn, az an oceźnl rīdr hir or ɖr me rmembr, I hd ritn wɖ sm litl viymns agnst ɖ teḷpaʈic ʈiyri.

Ɖ Marśnz wòr no cloɖñ. Ɖer cnspśnz v orṇmnt n dcoṛm wr nesseṛli difṛnt fṛm ǎrz; n nt onli wr ɖe evidntli mć les snṣbl v ćenjz v tmpṛćr ɖn w r, bt ćenjz v preśr d nt sīm t hv afctd ɖer hlʈ at ol sirịsli. Yt ɖo ɖe wòr no cloɖñ, it wz in ɖ uɖr arṭfiśl adiśnz t ɖer boḍli rzorsz ɖt ɖer gret s’pirioṛti ovr man le. W men, wɖ ǎr bîsiclz n rodscets, ǎr Liłntāl sōrñṃśīnz, ǎr gunz n stics n so fʈ, r jst in ɖ bginñ v ɖ īṿluśn ɖt ɖ Marśnz hv wrct ǎt. Ɖe hv bcm practicli mir brenz, wẹrñ difṛnt bodiz acordñ t ɖer nīdz jst az men wer sūts v cloɖz n tec a bîsicl in a huri or an umbrela in ɖ wet. N v ɖer aplaynsz, phps nʈñ z mor wundrfl t a man ɖn ɖ krịs fact ɖt ẃt z ɖ dominnt fīćr v olmst ol hymn dvîsz in mec̣nizm z absnt – ɖ ẃīl z absnt; amñ ol ɖ ʈñz ɖe bròt t rʈ ɖr z no tres or sjsćn v ɖer ys v ẃīlz. Wn wd hv at līst xpctd it in loc̣mośn. N in ɖs cnx́n it z krịs t rmarc ɖt īvn on ɖs rʈ Nećr hz nvr hit upn ɖ ẃīl, or hz prifŕd uɖr xpīdịnts t its dveḷpmnt. N nt onli dd ɖ Marśnz îɖr nt nǒ v (ẃć z increḍbl), or absten fṛm, ɖ ẃīl, bt in ɖer aṗreṭs snğlrli litl ys z md v ɖ fixt piṿt or reḷtivli fixt piṿt, wɖ srklr mośnz ɖr’bt cnfînd t wn plein. Olmst ol ɖ jônts v ɖ mśīṇri priznt a compḷcetd sistm v slîdñ parts muvñ ovr smōl bt bytifli crvd frix́nbẹrñz. N ẃl upn ɖs matr v dītel, it z rmarcbl ɖt ɖ loñ līvṛjz v ɖer mśīnz r in most cesz acćuetd bî a sort v śam muskḷćr v ɖ discs in an ilastic śīʈ; ɖz discs bcm poḷrîzd n drwn closli n pǎrf̣li tgɖr ẃn tṛvrst bî a cuṛnt v ilectriṣti. In ɖs we ɖ krịs paṛlelizm t animl mośnz, ẃć wz so strîcñ n dstrbñ t ɖ hymn bholdr, wz atend. Sć qāzi-muslz abǎndd in ɖ crablîc hanḍlñṃśīn ẃć, on mî frst pīpñ ǎt v ɖ slit, I woćt unpacñ ɖ silindr. It sīmd infiṇtli mor alîv ɖn ɖ acćl Marśnz layñ bynd it in ɖ súnsetlît, pantñ, stŕñ inifcćl tnṭclz, n muvñ fībli aftr ɖer vast jrni acrs spes.

Ẃl I wz stl woćñ ɖer slugiś mośnz in ɖ súnlît, n notñ ć strenj dītel v ɖer form, ɖ kṛt rmîndd m v hiz prezns bî pŭlñ vayḷntli at mî arm. I trnd t a scǎlñ fes, n sîḷnt, eḷqnt lips. H wontd ɖ slit, ẃć pmitd onli wn v s t pīp ʈru; n so I hd t fōrgo woćñ ɖm fr a tîm ẃl h injoid ɖt priṿlij.

Ẃn I lct agn, ɖ bizi hanḍlñṃśīn hd olrdi pt tgɖr sevṛl v ɖ pìsz v aṗreṭs it hd tecn ǎt v ɖ silindr intu a śep hvñ an unmistecbl lîcnis t its ǒn; n dǎn on ɖ left a bizi litl digñ mec̣nizm hd cm intu vy, imitñ jets v grīn vepr n wrcñ its we rnd ɖ pit, xc̣vetñ n imbancñ in a mʈodicl n dscriṃnetñ manr. Ɖs it wz ẃć hd cōzd ɖ reğlr bìtñ nôz, n ɖ riɖmic śocs ɖt hd cept ǎr ruiṇs refyj qiṿrñ. It pîpt n ẃisld az it wrct. So far az I cd si, ɖ ʈñ wz wɖt a d’rectñ Marśn at ol.

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ĆAPTR ƮRI

 

Ɖ DEZ OV IMPRIZNMNT

Ɖ

 arîvl v a secnd fîtñṃśīn drouv s fṛm ǎr pīphoul intu ɖ scuḷri, fr w fird ɖt fṛm hiz eḷveśn ɖ Marśn mt si dǎn upn s bhnd ǎr barịr. At a lêtr det w bgan t fīl les in denjr v ɖer îz, fr t an î in ɖ dazl v ɖ súnlît ǎtsd ǎr refyj mst hv bn blanc blacnis, bt at frst ɖ slîtist sjsćn v aproć drouv s intu ɖ scuḷri in hart-ʈrobñ rtrit. Yt teṛbl az wz ɖ denjr w incŕd, ɖ atrax́n v pīpñ wz fr bʈ v s irizistbl. N I rcōl nǎ wɖ a sort v wundr ɖt, in spît v ɖ infiṇt denjr in ẃć w wr btwn starveśn n a stl mor teṛbl deʈ, w cd yt strugl bitrli fr ɖt hoṛbl priṿlij v sît. W wd rês acrs ɖ cićn in a gṛtesc we btwn īgrnis n ɖ dred v mcñ a nôz, n strîc ć uɖr, n ʈrust n cic, wɖn a fy inćz v xpoźr.

Ɖ fact z ɖt w hd abṣlutli incmpatbl disṗziśnz n habits v ʈt n ax́n, n ǎr denjr n îṣleśn onli axnćuetd ɖ incmpatbiḷti. At Halif̣d I hd olrdi cm t het ɖ kṛt’s tric v hlplis xcḷmeśn, hiz stypid r’jidti v mînd. Hiz endlis muṭrñ moṇlog viśietd evri ef̣t I md t ʈnc ǎt a lîn v ax́n, n drouv m at tîmz, ɖus pnt p n intnṣfaid, olmst t ɖ vrj v crezinis. H wz az lacñ in rstrent az a sili wmn. H wd wīp fr aurz tgɖr, n I veṛli b’liv ɖt t ɖ vri end ɖs spôlt ćîld v lîf ʈt hiz wìc tirz in sm we ef̣ceśs. N I wd sit in ɖ darcnis unebl t cīp mî mînd of him bî rīzn v hiz importyṇtiz. H ét mor ɖn I dd, n it wz in ven I pôntd ǎt ɖt ǎr onli ćans v lîf wz t stop in ɖ hǎs untl ɖ Marśnz hd dn wɖ ɖer pit, ɖt in ɖt loñ peśns a tîm mt prezntli cm ẃn w śd nīd fūd. H ét n dranc impulsivli in hevi mīlz at loñ inṭvlz. H slept litl.

Az ɖ dez wòr on, hiz utr cerlisnis v eni cnsiḍreśn so intnṣfaid ǎr dstres n denjr ɖt I hd, mć az I loɖd dwñ it, t rzort t ʈrets, n at last t bloz. Ɖt bròt him t rīzn fr a tîm. Bt h wz wn v ɖoz wìc crīćrz, vôd v prîd, timṛs, anīmic, hetfl soulz, fl v śifti cunñ, hu fes nɖr God nr man, hu fes nt īvn ɖmslvz.

It z dis’griybl fr m t rcōl n rait ɖz ʈñz, bt I set ɖm dǎn ɖt mî stori me lac nʈñ. Ɖoz hu hv iscept ɖ darc n teṛbl aspects v lîf wl fînd mî brūtaḷti, mî flaś v rej in ǎr fînl traɉdi, īzi inuf t blem; fr ɖe nǒ ẃt z roñ az wel az eni, bt nt ẃt z poṣbl t torćrd men. Bt ɖoz hu hv bn undr ɖ śado, hu hv gn dǎn at last t eḷmntl ʈñz, wl hv a wîdr ćaṛti.

N ẃl wɖn w fòt ǎt ǎr darc, dim contest v ẃisprz, snaćt fūd n drinc, n gripñ handz n bloz, wɖt, in ɖ pitilis súnlît v ɖt teṛbl Jūn, wz ɖ strenj wundr, ɖ unfmiłr rūtīn v ɖ Marśnz in ɖ pit. Let m rtrn t ɖoz frst ny xpirịnsz v mîn. Aftr a loñ tîm I vnćrd bac t ɖ pīphoul, t fînd ɖt ɖ ny-cmrz hd bn riinforst bî ɖ okpnts v no fywr ɖn ʈri v ɖ fîtñṃśīnz. Ɖz last hd bròt wɖ ɖm srtn freś aplaynsz ɖt std in an ordrli manr abt ɖ silindr. Ɖ secnd hanḍlñṃśīn wz nǎ cmplitd, n wz bizid in srvñ wn v ɖ novl cntrîvnsz ɖ big mśīn hd bròt. Ɖs wz a bodi rzmḅlñ a milc̦an in its jenṛl form, abv ẃć oṣletd a pér-śept rspticl, n fṛm ẃć a strīm v ẃît pǎdr floud intu a srklr besn b’lo.

Ɖ osiḷtri mośn wz impartd t ɖs bî wn tnṭcl v ɖ hanḍlñṃśīn. Wɖ tū spaćḷt handz ɖ hanḍlñṃśīn wz digñ ǎt n flññ masz v cle intu ɖ pér-śept rspticl abv, ẃl wɖ anɖr arm it piriodicli opnd a dor n rmuvd rusti n blacnd clincrz fṛm ɖ midl part v ɖ mśīn. Anɖr stīli tnṭcl d’rectd ɖ pǎdr fṛm ɖ besn alñ a ribd ćanl twdz sm rsivr ɖt wz hidn fṛm m bî ɖ mǎnd v bluiś dust. Fṛm ɖs unsìn rsivr a litl ʈred v grīn smoc rouz vrticli intu ɖ qayt er. Az I lct, ɖ hanḍlñṃśīn, wɖ a fent n ḿzicl clincñ, xtndd, teḷscopic faśn, a tnṭcl ɖt hd bn a momnt bfr a mir blunt pṛjx́n, untl its end wz hidn bhnd ɖ mǎnd v cle. In anɖr secnd it hd liftd a bar v ẃît aḷmińm intu sît, untarniśt az yt, n śînñ dazlñli, n dpoztd it in a growñ stac v barz ɖt std at ɖ sîd v ɖ pit. Btwn súnset n starlît ɖs dxtṛs mśīn mst hv md mor ɖn a hundṛd sć barz ǎt v ɖ crūd cle, n ɖ mǎnd v bluiś dust rouz steḍli untl it topt ɖ sîd v ɖ pit.

Ɖ contrast btwn ɖ swift n complex muvmnts v ɖz cntrîvnsz n ɖ inrt pantñ clumzinis v ɖer mastrz wz akt, n fr dez I hd t tel mslf rpitdli ɖt ɖz latr wr indd ɖ livñ v ɖ tū ʈñz.

Ɖ kṛt hd pześn v ɖ slit ẃn ɖ frst men wr bròt t ɖ pit. I wz sitñ b’lo, hudld p, liṣnñ wɖ ol mî irz. H md a sudn muvmnt bcwd, n I, firfl ɖt w wr obzrvd, crǎćt in a spazm v terr. H cem slîdñ dǎn ɖ rubiś n crept bsd m in ɖ darcnis, inartikḷt, jstikletñ, n fr a momnt I śerd hiz panic. Hiz jsćr sjstd a reẓgneśn v ɖ slit, n aftr a litl ẃl mî krioṣti gev m curij, n I rouz p, stept acrs him, n clambrd p t it. At frst I cd si no rīzn fr hiz frantic bhevyr. Ɖ twîlît hd nǎ cm, ɖ starz wr litl n fent, bt ɖ pit wz iluṃnetd bî ɖ flic̣rñ grīn fîr ɖt cem fṛm ɖ aḷmińm-mcñ. Ɖ hol picćr wz a flic̣rñ scīm v grīn glīmz n śiftñ rusti blac śadoz, strenjli trayñ t ɖ îz. Ovr n ʈru it ol wnt ɖ bats, hīdñ it nt at ol. Ɖ sprōlñ Marśnz wr no longr t b sìn, ɖ mǎnd v blu-grīn pǎdr hd rizn t cuvr ɖm fṛm sît, n a fîtñṃśīn, wɖ its legz cntractd, crumpld, n abrīvietd, std acrs ɖ cornr v ɖ pit. N ɖen, amd ɖ clangr v ɖ mśīṇri, cem a driftñ sspiśn v hymn vôsz, ɖt I enttend at frst onli t dsmis.

I crǎćt, woćñ ɖs fîtñṃśīn closli, saṭsfayñ mslf nǎ fr ɖ frst tîm ɖt ɖ hŭd dd indd cnten a Marśn. Az ɖ grīn flemz liftd I cd si ɖ ôli glīm v hiz inteğmnt n ɖ brîtnis v hiz îz. N sudnli I hŕd a yel, n sw a loñ tnṭcl rīćñ ovr ɖ śoldr v ɖ mśīn t ɖ litl cej ɖt hunćt upn its bac. Ɖen smʈñ – smʈñ struġlñ vayḷntli – wz liftd hî agnst ɖ scî, a blac, veg inigma agnst ɖ starlît; n az ɖs blac objict cem dǎn agn, I sw bî ɖ grīn brîtnis ɖt it wz a man. Fr an instnt h wz clirli viẓbl. H wz a stǎt, rudi, midl-ejd man, wel drest; ʈri dez bfr, h mst hv bn wōcñ ɖ wrld, a man v cnsidṛbl consiqns. I cd si hiz stẹrñ îz n glīmz v lît on hiz studz n woć̦en. H vaniśt bhnd ɖ mǎnd, n fr a momnt ɖr wz sîḷns. N ɖen bgan a śrīcñ n a sstend n ćirfl hūtñ fṛm ɖ Marśnz.

I slid dǎn ɖ rubiś, strugld t mî fīt, clapt mî handz ovr mî irz, n boltd intu ɖ scuḷri. Ɖ kṛt, hu hd bn crǎćñ sîḷntli wɖ hiz armz ovr hiz hed, lct p az I pást, craid ǎt qt lǎdli at mî dzrśn v him, n cem runñ aftr m.

Ɖt nît, az w lrct in ɖ scuḷri, baḷnst btwn ǎr horr n ɖ teṛbl faṣneśn ɖs pīpñ hd, olɖo I flt an rjnt nīd v ax́n I traid in ven t cnsiv sm plan v iscep; bt aftwdz, jrñ ɖ secnd de, I wz ebl t cnsidr ǎr pziśn wɖ gret clirnis. Ɖ kṛt, I faund, wz qt inceṗbl v dscuśn; ɖs ny n culṃnetñ atroṣti hd robd him v ol vsṭjz v rīzn or fōrʈōt. Practicli h hd olrdi sunc t ɖ levl v an animl. Bt az ɖ seyñ gz, I gript mslf wɖ bʈ handz. It grù upn mî mînd, wns I cd fes ɖ facts, ɖt teṛbl az ǎr pziśn wz, ɖr wz az yt no justif̣ceśn fr abṣlut dsper. Ǎr ćīf ćans le in ɖ posbiḷti v ɖ Marśnz mcñ ɖ pit nʈñ mor ɖn a temprri incampmnt. Or īvn f ɖe cept it prmnntli, ɖe mt nt cnsidr it nesṣri t gard it, n a ćans v iscep mt b afordd s. I olso weid vri cerf̣li ɖ posbiḷti v ǎr digñ a we ǎt in a d’rex́n awe fṛm ɖ pit, bt ɖ ćansz v ǎr imrjñ wɖn sît v sm sntinl-fîtñṃśīn sīmd at frst tù gret. N I śd hv hd t d ol ɖ digñ mslf. Ɖ kṛt wd srtnli hv feld m.

It wz on ɖ ʈrd de, f mî meṃri srvz m rît, ɖt I sw ɖ lad cild. It wz ɖ onli oceźn on ẃć I acćli sw ɖ Marśnz fīd. Aftr ɖt xpirịns I avôdd ɖ houl in ɖ wōl fr ɖ betr part v a de. I wnt intu ɖ scuḷri, rmuvd ɖ dor, n spent sm aurz digñ wɖ mî haćit az sîḷntli az poṣbl; bt ẃn I hd md a houl abt a cupl v fīt dīp ɖ lūs rʈ c’lapst nôẓli, n I dd nt der cntiny. I lost hart, n le dǎn on ɖ scuḷri flor fr a loñ tîm, hvñ no spirit īvn t muv. N aftr ɖt I abandnd oltgɖr ɖ îdīa v iscepñ bî xcveśn.

It sz mć fr ɖ impreśn ɖ Marśnz hd md upn m ɖt at frst I enttend litl or no hop v ǎr iscep biyñ bròt abt bî ɖer oṿʈro ʈru eni hymn ef̣t. Bt on ɖ forʈ or fifʈ nît I hŕd a sǎnd lîc hevi gunz.

It wz vri lêt in ɖ nît, n ɖ mūn wz śînñ brîtli. Ɖ Marśnz hd tecn awe ɖ xc̣vetñṃśīn, n, sev fr a fîtñṃśīn ɖt std in ɖ rmotr banc v ɖ pit n a hanḍlñṃśīn ɖt wz berid ǎt v mî sît in a cornr v ɖ pit imījtli bnʈ mî pīphoul, ɖ ples wz dzrtd bî ɖm. Xpt fr ɖ pel glo fṛm ɖ hanḍlñṃśīn n ɖ barz n paćz v ẃît mūnlît ɖ pit wz in darcnis, n, xpt fr ɖ clincñ v ɖ hanḍlñṃśīn, qt stil. Ɖt nît wz a bytifl sreṇti; sev fr wn planit, ɖ mūn sīmd t hv ɖ scî t hrslf. I hŕd a dog hǎlñ, n ɖt fmiłr sǎnd it wz ɖt md m lisn. Ɖen I hŕd qt dstñtli a būmñ xacli lîc ɖ sǎnd v gret gunz. Six dstñt rports I cǎntd, n aftr a loñ inṭvl six agn. N ɖt wz ol.

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ĆAPTR FOR

 

Ɖ DEƮ OV Ɖ KṚT

I

t wz on ɖ sixʈ de v ǎr impriznmnt ɖt I pīpt fr ɖ last tîm, n prezntli faund mslf alon. Instd v cīpñ clos t m n trayñ t ǎst m fṛm ɖ slit, ɖ kṛt hd gn bac intu ɖ scuḷri. I wz struc bî a sudn ʈt. I wnt bac qcli n qaytli intu ɖ scuḷri. In ɖ darcnis I hŕd ɖ kṛt drincñ. I snaćt in ɖ darcnis, n mî fngrz còt a botl v brgndi.

Fr a fy minits ɖr wz a tusl. Ɖ botl struc ɖ flor n brouc, n I dzistd n rouz. W std pantñ n ʈreṭnñ ć uɖr. In ɖ end I plantd mslf btwn him n ɖ fūd, n tld him v mî dtrṃneśn t bgin a diṣplin. I dvîdd ɖ fūd in ɖ pantri, intu raśnz t last s ten dez. I wd nt let him īt eni mor ɖt de. In ɖ afṭnun h md a fībl ef̣t t gt at ɖ fūd. I hd bn dozñ, bt in an instnt I wz awec. Ol de n ol nît w sat fes t fes, I wiri bt reẓlut, n h wīpñ n cmplenñ v hiz imījt hungr. It wz, I nǒ, a nît n a de, bt t m it sīmd – it sīmz nǎ – an intrmiṇbl leñʈ v tîm.

N so ǎr wîdnd incmpatbiḷti endd at last in opn conflict. Fr tū vast dez w strugld in unḍtonz n reṣlñcontests. Ɖr wr tîmz ẃn I bìt n cict him madli, tîmz ẃn I cjold n pswedd him, n wns I traid t brîb him wɖ ɖ last botl v brgndi, fr ɖr wz a renwōtr-pump fṛm ẃć I cd gt wōtr. Bt nɖr fors nr cîndnis aveld; h wz indd bynd rīzn. H wd nɖr dzist fṛm hiz atacs on ɖ fūd nr fṛm hiz nôzi baḅlñ t himslf. Ɖ rūḍmntri pricōśnz t cīp ǎr impriznmnt indyṛbl h wd nt obzrv. Slǒli I bgan t riylîz ɖ cmplit oṿʈro v hiz intelijns, t psiv ɖt mî sol cmpańn in ɖs clos n sicli darcnis wz a man insen.

Fṛm srtn veg meṃriz I am inclînd t ʈnc mî ǒn mînd wondrd at tîmz. I hd strenj n hidịs drīmz ẃnvr I slept. It sǎndz paṛdoxicl, bt I am inclînd t ʈnc ɖt ɖ wìcnis n insaṇti v ɖ kṛt wornd m, brêst m, n cept m a sen man.

On ɖ etʈ de h bgan t tōc alǎd instd v ẃisṗrñ, n nʈñ I cd d wd modṛt hiz spīć.

“It z just, O God!” h wd se, ovr n ovr agn. “It z just. On m n mîn b ɖ puniśmnt leid. W hv sind, w hv fōḷn śort. Ɖr wz poṿti, soro; ɖ pur wr trodn in ɖ dust, n I hld mî pīs. I prīćt axptbl foli – mî God, ẃt foli! – ẃn I śd hv std p, ɖo I daid fr it, n cōld upn ɖm t rpnt – rpnt!… Opresrz v ɖ pur n nīdi… ! Ɖ wînpres v God!”

Ɖen h wd sudnli rvrt t ɖ matr v ɖ fūd I wɖheld fṛm him, preyñ, begñ, wīpñ, at last ʈreṭnñ. H bgan t rêz hiz vôs – I preid him nt t. H psivd a hold on m – h ʈretnd h wd śǎt n brñ ɖ Marśnz upn s. Fr a tîm ɖt scerd m; bt eni cnseśn wd hv śortnd ǎr ćans v iscep bynd esṭmetñ. I dfaid him, olɖo I flt no aśuṛns ɖt h mt nt d ɖs ʈñ. Bt ɖt de, at eni ret, h dd nt. H tōct wɖ hiz vôs rîzñ slǒli, ʈru ɖ gretr part v ɖ etʈ n nînʈ dez – ʈrets, intritiz, mngld wɖ a toṛnt v haf-sen n olwz froʈi rpntns fr hiz vecnt śam v God’z srvis, sć az md m piti him. Ɖen h slept aẃl, n bgan agn wɖ rnyd streñʈ, so lǎdli ɖt I mst nīdz mc him dzist.

“B stil!” I implord.

H rouz t hiz niz, fr h hd bn sitñ in ɖ darcnis nir ɖ copr.

“I hv bn stil tù loñ,” h sd, in a ton ɖt mst hv rīćt ɖ pit, “n nǎ I mst ber mî witnis. Wo untu ɖs unfeʈfl siti! Wo! Wo! Wo! Wo! Wo! T ɖ inhabitnts v ɖ rʈ bî rīzn v ɖ uɖr vôsz v ɖ trumpit – ”

“Śut p!” I sd, rîzñ t mî fīt, n in a terr lest ɖ Marśnz śd hír s. “Fr God’z sec – ”

“Nê,” śǎtd ɖ kṛt, at ɖ top v hiz vôs, standñ lîcwz n xtndñ hiz armz. “Spīc! Ɖ wrd v ɖ Lord z upn m!”

In ʈri strîdz h wz at ɖ dor līdñ intu ɖ cićn.

“I mst ber mî witnis! I g! It hz olrdi bn tù loñ dled.”

I pt ǎt mî hand n flt ɖ mìtćopr haññ t ɖ wōl. In a flaś I wz aftr him. I wz firs wɖ fir. Bfr h wz hafwe acrs ɖ cićn I hd oṿtecn him. Wɖ wn last tuć v hymaṇti I trnd ɖ bled bac n struc him wɖ ɖ but. H wnt hedloñ fwd n le strećt on ɖ grǎnd. I stumbld ovr him n std pantñ. H le stil.

Sudnli I hŕd a nôz wɖt, ɖ run n smaś v slipñ plastr, n ɖ trîanğlr aṗćr in ɖ wōl wz darcnd. I lct p n sw ɖ lowr srfis v a hanḍlñṃśīn cmñ slǒli acrs ɖ houl. Wn v its gripñ limz crld amd ɖ debri; anɖr lim apird, fīlñ its we ovr ɖ fōḷn bīmz. I std petṛfaid, stẹrñ. Ɖen I sw ʈru a sort v glas plet nir ɖ éj v ɖ bodi ɖ fes, az w me cōl it, n ɖ larj darc îz v a Marśn, pirñ, n ɖen a loñ mtalic snec v tnṭcl cem fīlñ slǒli ʈru ɖ houl.

I trnd bî an ef̣t, stumbld ovr ɖ kṛt, n stopt at ɖ scuḷri dor. Ɖ tnṭcl wz nǎ sm we, tū yardz or mor, in ɖ rūm, n twistñ n trnñ, wɖ qir sudn muvmnts, ɖs we n ɖt. Fr a ẃl I std faṣnetd bî ɖt slo, fitfl advans. Ɖen, wɖ a fent, hōrs crî, I forst mslf acrs ɖ scuḷri. I trembld vayḷntli; I cd scersli stand uprît. I opnd ɖ dor v ɖ colsélr, n std ɖr in ɖ darcnis stẹrñ at ɖ fentli lit dorwê intu ɖ cićn, n liṣnñ. Hd ɖ Marśn sìn m? Ẃt wz it dwñ nǎ?

Smʈñ wz muvñ t n fro ɖr, vri qaytli; evri nǎ n ɖen it tapt agnst ɖ wōl, or startd on its muvmnts wɖ a fent mtalic rññ, lîc ɖ muvmnts v ciz on a split rñ. Ɖen a hevi bodi – I ń tù wel ẃt – wz dragd acrs ɖ flor v ɖ cićn twdz ɖ oṗnñ. Irizistbli atractd, I crept t ɖ dor n pīpt intu ɖ cićn. In ɖ trîangl v brît ǎtr súnlît I sw ɖ Marśn, in its Brîerịs v a hanḍlñṃśīn, scrūṭnîzñ ɖ kṛt’s hed. I ʈt at wns ɖt it wd infŕ mî prezns fṛm ɖ marc v ɖ blo I hd gvn him.

I crept bac t ɖ colsélr, śut ɖ dor, n bgan t cuvr mslf p az mć az I cd, n az nôzlisli az poṣbl in ɖ darcnis, amñ ɖ fîrwŭd n col ɖr-in. Evri nǎ n ɖen I pōzd, rijid, t hír f ɖ Marśn hd ʈrust its tnṭclz ʈru ɖ oṗnñ agn.

Ɖen ɖ fent mtalic jngl rtrnd. I trêst it slǒli fīlñ ovr ɖ cićn. Prezntli I hŕd it nirr – in ɖ scuḷri, az I jujd. I ʈt ɖt its leñʈ mt b inṣfiśnt t rīć m. I preid copịsli. It pást, screpñ fentli acrs ɖ sélrdor. An ej v olmst intolṛbl sspns inṭvind; ɖen I hŕd it fumḅlñ at ɖ lać! It hd faund ɖ dor! Ɖ Marśnz unḍstd dorz!

It wurid at ɖ cać fr a minit, phps, n ɖen ɖ dor opnd.

In ɖ darcnis I cd jst si ɖ ʈñ – lîc an elifnt’s trunc mor ɖn enʈñ els – wevñ twdz m n tućñ n xaṃnñ ɖ wōl, colz, wŭd n sīlñ. It wz lîc a blac wrm sweyñ its blînd hed t n fro.

Wns, īvn, it tućt ɖ hìl v mî būt. I wz on ɖ vrj v scrīmñ; I bit mî hand. Fr a tîm ɖ tnṭcl wz sîḷnt. I cd hv fansid it hd bn wɖdrwn. Prezntli, wɖ an abrupt clic, it gript smʈñ – I ʈt it hd m! – n sīmd t g ǎt v ɖ sélr agn. Fr a minit I wz nt śr. Apaṛntli it hd tecn a lump v col t xamin.

I sizd ɖ oṗtyṇti v slîtli śiftñ mî pziśn, ẃć hd bcm cramt, n ɖen lisnd. I ẃisprd paśṇt prerz fr sefti.

Ɖen I hŕd ɖ slo, dlibṛt sǎnd crīpñ twdz m agn. Slǒli, slǒli it drù nir, scraćñ agnst ɖ wōlz n tapñ ɖ frnićr.

Ẃl I wz stl dǎtfl, it rapt smartli agnst ɖ sélrdor n clozd it. I hŕd it g intu ɖ pantri, n ɖ bisciținz ratld n a botl smaśt, n ɖen cem a hevi bump agnst ɖ sélrdor. Ɖen sîḷns ɖt pást intu an infiṇti v sspns.

Hd it gn?

At last I dsîdd ɖt it hd.

It cem intu ɖ scuḷri no mor; bt I le ol ɖ tnʈ de in ɖ clos darcnis, berid amñ colz n fîrwŭd, nt dẹrñ īvn t crōl ǎt fr ɖ drinc fr ẃć I crevd. It wz ɖ ilevnʈ de bfr I vnćrd so far fṛm mî s’kṛti.

___

ĆAPTR FÎV

 

Ɖ STILNIS

M

î frst act bfr I wnt intu ɖ pantri wz t fasn ɖ dor btwn ɖ cićn n ɖ scuḷri. Bt ɖ pantri wz emti; evri scrap v fūd hd gn. Apaṛntli, ɖ Marśn hd tecn it ol on ɖ prīvịs de. At ɖt dscuṿri I dsperd fr ɖ frst tîm. I tc no fūd, or no drinc îɖr, on ɖ ilevnʈ or ɖ twelfʈ de.

At frst mî mǎʈ n ʈrot wr parćt, n mî streñʈ ebd snṣbli. I sat abt in ɖ darcnis v ɖ scuḷri, in a stet v dspondnt rećidnis. Mî mînd ran on ītñ. I ʈt I hd bcm def, fr ɖ nôzz v muvmnt I hd bn acustmd t hír fṛm ɖ pit hd sīst abṣlutli. I dd nt fīl stroñ inuf t crōl nôzlisli t ɖ pīphoul, or I wd hv gn ɖr.

On ɖ twelfʈ de mî ʈrot wz so penfl ɖt, tecñ ɖ ćans v alarmñ ɖ Marśnz, I atact ɖ crīcñ renwōtr pump ɖt std bî ɖ snc, n got a cupl v glasflz v blacnd n tentd renwōtr. I wz gretli rfreśt bî ɖs, n imboldnd bî ɖ fact ɖt no inqîrñ tnṭcl foloud ɖ nôz v mî pumpñ.

Jrñ ɖz dez, in a ramḅlñ, incnclūsiv we, I ʈt mć v ɖ kṛt n v ɖ manr v hiz deʈ.

On ɖ ʈrtīnʈ de I dranc sm mor wōtr, n dozd n ʈt dsjôntdli v ītñ n v veg imposbl planz v iscep. Ẃnvr I dozd I dremt v hoṛbl fantazmz, v ɖ deʈ v ɖ kṛt, or v sumćs dinrz; bt, aslip or awec, I flt a cīn pen ɖt rjd m t drinc agn n agn. Ɖ lît ɖt cem intu ɖ scuḷri wz no longr gre, bt red. T mî dsordrd imaɉneśn it sīmd ɖ culr v blud.

On ɖ fortīnʈ de I wnt intu ɖ cićn, n I wz s’prîzd t fînd ɖt ɖ frondz v ɖ red wīd hd groun rît acrs ɖ houl in ɖ wōl, trnñ ɖ haf-lît v ɖ ples intu a crimzn-culrd obskṛti.

It wz rli on ɖ fiftīnʈ de ɖt I hŕd a krịs, fmiłr sīqns v sǎndz in ɖ cićn, n, liṣnñ, îdnṭfaid it az ɖ snufñ n scraćñ v a dog. Gwñ intu ɖ cićn, I sw a dog’z nǒz pirñ in ʈru a brec amñ ɖ rudi frondz. Ɖs gretli s’prîzd m. At ɖ sént v m h barct śortli.

I ʈt f I cd indys him t cm intu ɖ ples qaytli I śd b ebl, phps, t cil n īt him; n in eni ces, it wd b advîẓbl t cil him, lest hiz ax́nz atractd ɖ atnśn v ɖ Marśnz.

I crept fwd, seyñ “Gd dog!” vri softli; bt h sudnli wɖdru hiz hed n dis’pird.

I lisnd – I wz nt def – bt srtnli ɖ pit wz stil. I hŕd a sǎnd lîc ɖ flutr v a brd’z wñz, n a hōrs crǒcñ, bt ɖt wz ol.

Fr a loñ ẃl I le clos t ɖ pīphoul, bt nt dẹrñ t muv asd ɖ red plants ɖt obskrd it. Wns or twîs I hŕd a fent pitr-patr lîc ɖ fīt v ɖ dog gwñ hiɖr n ɖiɖr on ɖ sand far b’lo m, n ɖr wr mor brdlîc sǎndz, bt ɖt wz ol. At leñʈ, incurijd bî ɖ sîḷns, I lct ǎt.

Xpt in ɖ cornr, ẃr a multtyd v croz hópt n fòt ovr ɖ scelitnz v ɖ ded ɖ Marśnz hd cnsymd, ɖr wz nt a livñ ʈñ in ɖ pit.

I stérd abt m, scersli b’livñ mî îz. Ol ɖ mśīṇri hd gn. Sev fr ɖ big mǎnd v grêiś-blu pǎdr in wn cornr, srtn barz v aḷmińm in anɖr, ɖ blac brdz, n ɖ scelitnz v ɖ cild, ɖ ples wz mirli an emti srklr pit in ɖ sand.

Slǒli I ʈrust mslf ǎt ʈru ɖ red wīd, n std upn ɖ mǎnd v rubl. I cd si in eni d’rex́n sev bhnd m, t ɖ norʈ, n nɖr Marśnz nr sîn v Marśnz wr t b sìn. Ɖ pit dropt śirli fṛm mî fīt, bt a litl we alñ ɖ rubiś afordd a practicbl slǒp t ɖ sumit v ɖ ruinz. Mî ćans v iscep hd cm. I bgan t trembl.

I heztetd fr sm tîm, n ɖen, in a gust v despṛt reẓluśn, n wɖ a hart ɖt ʈrobd vayḷntli, I scrambld t ɖ top v ɖ mǎnd in ẃć I hd bn berid so loñ.

I lct abt agn. T ɖ norʈẉd, tù, no Marśn wz viẓbl.

Ẃn I hd last sìn ɖs part v Śīn in ɖ dêlît it hd bn a straġlñ strīt v cumftbl ẃît n red hǎzz, inṭsprst wɖ abundnt śêdi triz. Nǎ I std on a mǎnd v smaśt bricwrc, cle, n gravl, ovr ẃć spred a multtyd v red cacṭs-śept plants, ni-hî, wɖt a solitri t’restrịl groʈ t dspyt ɖer ftñ. Ɖ triz nir m wr ded n brǎn, bt frɖr a netwrc v red ʈred sceld ɖ stl livñ stemz.

Ɖ neḅrñ hǎzz hd ol bn rect, bt nn hd bn brnd; ɖer wōlz std, smtmz t ɖ secnd stori, wɖ smaśt windoz n śatrd dorz. Ɖ red wīd grù tymulć̣sli in ɖer rūflis rūmz. B’lo m wz ɖ gret pit, wɖ ɖ croz struġlñ fr its refys. A numbr v uɖr brdz hópt abt amñ ɖ ruinz. Far awe I sw a gōnt cat slinc crǎćñli alñ a wōl, bt tresz v men ɖr wr nn.

Ɖ de sīmd, bî contrast wɖ mî rīsnt cnfînmnt, dazlñli brît, ɖ scî a glowñ blu. A jntl brīz cept ɖ red wīd ɖt cuvrd evri scrap v unokpaid grǎnd jntli sweyñ. N ǒ! ɖ swītnis v ɖ er!

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ĆAPTR SIX

 

Ɖ WRC OV FIFTĪN DEZ

F

r sm tîm I std toṭrñ on ɖ mǎnd rgardlis v mî sefti. Wɖn ɖt nôsm den fṛm ẃć I hd imrjd I hd ʈt wɖ a naro intnṣti onli v ǎr imījt s’kṛti. I hd nt riylîzd ẃt hd bn haṗnñ t ɖ wrld, hd nt antiṣpetd ɖs starṭlñ viźn v unfmiłr ʈñz. I hd xpctd t si Śīn in ruinz – I faund abt m ɖ lanscep, wird n lŭrid, v anɖr planit.

Fr ɖt momnt I tućt an imośn bynd ɖ comn renj v men, yt wn ɖt ɖ pur brūts w doṃnet nǒ onli tù wel. I flt az a rabit mt fīl rtrnñ t hiz buro n sudnli cnfruntd bî ɖ wrc v a duzn bizi naviz digñ ɖ fǎndeśnz v a hǎs. I flt ɖ frst ñclñ v a ʈñ ɖt prezntli grù qt clir in mî mînd, ɖt oprest m fr mni dez, a sns v dʈronmnt, a psweźn ɖt I wz no longr a mastr, bt an animl amñ ɖ animlz, undr ɖ Marśn hìl. Wɖ s it wd b az wɖ ɖm, t lrc n woć, t run n hîd; ɖ fir n empîr v man hd pást awe.

Bt so sn az ɖs strenjnis hd bn riylîzd it pást, n mî dominnt motiv bcem ɖ hungr v mî loñ n dizṃl fast. In ɖ d’rex́n awe fṛm ɖ pit I sw, bynd a red-cuvrd wōl, a pać v gardn grǎnd unberid. Ɖs gev m a hint, n I wnt ni-dīp, n smtmz nec-dīp, in ɖ red wīd. Ɖ denṣti v ɖ wīd gev m a ri’śurñ sns v hîdñ. Ɖ wōl wz sm six fīt hî, n ẃn I atmtd t clambr it I faund I cd nt lift mî fīt t ɖ crest. So I wnt alñ bî ɖ sîd v it, n cem t a cornr n a rocwrc ɖt inebld m t gt t ɖ top, n tumbl intu ɖ gardn I cuṿtd. Hir I faund sm yuñ uńnz, a cupl v gladioḷs bulbz, n a qontti v iṃtyr caṛts, ol v ẃć I s’krd, n, scramḅlñ ovr a ruind wōl, wnt on mî we ʈru scarlit n crimzn triz twdz Cỳ – it wz lîc wōcñ ʈru an aṿny v jîgantic bluḑrops – pzest wɖ tū îdīaz: t gt mor fūd, n t limp, az sn n az far az mî streñʈ pmitd, ǎt v ɖs acrst unrʈli rījn v ɖ pit.

Sm we farɖr, in a grasi ples, wz a grūp v muśrumz ẃć olso I dvǎrd, n ɖen I cem upn a brǎn śīt v flowñ śalo wōtr, ẃr medoz yst t b. Ɖz fragmnts v nuriśmnt srvd onli t ẃet mî hungr. At frst I wz s’prîzd at ɖs flud in a hot, drî sumr, bt aftwdz I dscuvrd ɖt it wz cōzd bî ɖ tropicl xybṛns v ɖ red wīd. D’recli ɖs xtrordnri groʈ incǎntrd wōtr it stretwê bcem jîgantic n v unpaṛleld fcundti. Its sīdz wr simpli pord dǎn intu ɖ wōtr v ɖ Wê n Tmz, n its swiftli growñ n Tîtanic wōtr frondz spīḍli ćoct bʈ ɖoz rivrz.

At Putni, az I aftwdz sw, ɖ brij wz olmst lost in a tangl v ɖs wīd, n at Rićmnd, tù, ɖ Tmz wōtr pord in a brōd n śalo strīm acrs ɖ medoz v Hamtn n Twicnm. Az ɖ wōtr spred ɖ wīd foloud ɖm, untl ɖ ruind vilaz v ɖ Tmz vali wr fr a tîm lost in ɖs red swomp, huz marjin I xplord, n mć v ɖ deẓleśn ɖ Marśnz hd cōzd wz cnsild.

In ɖ end ɖ red wīd s’cumd olmst az qcli az it hd spred. A canc̣rñ dziz, dy, it z b’livd, t ɖ ax́n v srtn bactiria, prezntli sizd upn it. Nǎ bî ɖ ax́n v naćṛl s’lex́n, ol t’restrịl plants hv aqîrd a rzistñ pǎr agnst bactirịl dzizz – ɖe nvr s’cum wɖt a svir strugl, bt ɖ red wīd rotd lîc a ʈñ olrdi ded. Ɖ frondz bcem blīćt, n ɖen śrivld n britl. Ɖe brouc of at ɖ līst tuć, n ɖ wōtrz ɖt hd stiḿletd ɖer rli groʈ carid ɖer last vsṭjz ǎt t sì.

Mî frst act on cmñ t ɖs wōtr wz, v cors, t slec mî ʈrst. I dranc a gret dīl v it n, muvd bî an impuls, nwd sm frondz v red wīd; bt ɖe wr wōṭri, n hd a sicli, mtalic test. I faund ɖ wōtr wz sfiśntli śalo fr m t wêd s’krli, olɖo ɖ red wīd impidd mî fīt a litl; bt ɖ flud evidntli got dīpr twdz ɖ rivr, n I trnd bac t Mortlec. I manijd t mc ǎt ɖ rod bî mīnz v oceźnl ruinz v its vilaz n fnsz n lamps, n so prezntli I got ǎt v ɖs spet n md mî we t ɖ hil gwñ p twdz Rohamtn n cem ǎt on Putni Comn.

Hir ɖ sìṇri ćenjd fṛm ɖ strenj n unfmiłr t ɖ recij v ɖ fmiłr: paćz v grǎnd xibtd ɖ devsteśn v a sîclon, n in a fy scor yardz I wd cm upn prf̣cli undistrbd spesz, hǎzz wɖ ɖer blîndz trimli drwn n dorz clozd, az f ɖe hd bn left fr a de bî ɖ ǒnrz, or az f ɖer inhabitnts slept wɖn. Ɖ red wīd wz les abundnt; ɖ tōl triz alñ ɖ len wr fri fṛm ɖ red crīpr. I huntd fr fūd amñ ɖ triz, fîndñ nʈñ, n I olso rêdd a cupl v sîḷnt hǎzz, bt ɖe hd olrdi bn brocn intu n ransact. I restd fr ɖ rmendr v ɖ dêlît in a śruḅri, biyñ, in mî infībld cndiśn, tù ftīgd t pś on.

Ol ɖs tîm I sw no hymn biyñz, n no sînz v ɖ Marśnz. I incǎntrd a cupl v hungri-lcñ dogz, bt bʈ hurid s’kwṭsli awe fṛm ɖ advansz I md ɖm. Nir Rohamtn I hd sìn tū hymn scelitnz – nt bodiz, bt scelitnz, pict clīn – n in ɖ wŭd bî m I faund ɖ cruśt n scatrd bonz v sevṛl cats n rabits n ɖ scul v a śīp. Bt ɖo I nwd parts v ɖz in mî mǎʈ, ɖr wz nʈñ t b got fṛm ɖm.

Aftr súnset I strugld on alñ ɖ rod twdz Putni, ẃr I ʈnc ɖ Hītre mst hv bn yzd fr sm rīzn. N in ɖ gardn bynd Rohamtn I got a qontti v iṃtyr ptetoz, sfiśnt t ste mî hungr. Fṛm ɖs gardn wn lct dǎn upn Putni n ɖ rivr. Ɖ aspect v ɖ ples in ɖ dusc wz snğlrli dezḷt: blacnd triz, blacnd, dezḷt ruinz, n dǎn ɖ hil ɖ śīts v ɖ fludd rivr, red-tinjd wɖ ɖ wīd. N ovr ol – sîḷns. It fild m wɖ indiscrîbbl terr t ʈnc hǎ swiftli ɖt deẓletñ ćenj hd cm.

Fr a tîm I b’livd ɖt man-cnd hd bn swept ǎt v xistns, n ɖt I std ɖr alon, ɖ last man left alîv. Hard bî ɖ top v Putni Hil I cem upn anɖr scelitn, wɖ ɖ armz disḷcetd n rmuvd sevṛl yardz fṛm ɖ rest v ɖ bodi. Az I pṛsidd I bcem mor n mor cnvinst ɖt ɖ xtrṃneśn v man-cnd wz, sev fr sć straglrz az mslf, olrdi acumpliśt in ɖs part v ɖ wrld. Ɖ Marśnz, I ʈt, hd gn on n left ɖ cuntri deṣletd, sīcñ fūd elsẃr. Phps īvn nǎ ɖe wr dstroyñ Brlin or Paris, or it mt b ɖe hd gn norʈẉd.

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ĆAPTR SEVN

 

Ɖ MAN ON PUTNI HIL

I

 spent ɖt nît in ɖ ín ɖt standz at ɖ top v Putni Hil, slīpñ in a md bed fr ɖ frst tîm sins mî flît t Leɖ̇hed. I wl nt tel ɖ nīdlis trubl I hd brecñ intu ɖt hǎs – aftwdz I faund ɖ frunt dor wz on ɖ lać – nr hǎ I ransact evri rūm fr fūd, untl jst on ɖ vrj v dsper, in ẃt sīmd t m t b a srvnt’s bedrūm, I faund a rat-nwd crust n tū tinz v pînapl. Ɖ ples hd bn olrdi srćt n emtid. In ɖ bar I aftwdz faund sm biscits n sanẉjz ɖt hd bn oṿlct. Ɖ latr I cd nt īt, ɖe wr tù rotn, bt ɖ formr nt onli steid mî hungr, bt fild mî pocits. I lit no lamps, firñ sm Marśn mt cm bìtñ ɖt part v Lundn fr fūd in ɖ nît. Bfr I wnt t bed I hd an inṭvl v restlisnis, n prǎld fṛm windo t windo, pirñ ǎt fr sm sîn v ɖz monstrz. I slept litl. Az I le in bed I faund mslf ʈncñ cnsektivli – a ʈñ I d nt rmembr t hv dn sins mî last arğmnt wɖ ɖ kṛt. Jrñ ol ɖ inṭvinñ tîm mî mntl cndiśn hd bn a huriyñ s’xeśn v veg imośnl stets or a sort v stypid rīseptivti. Bt in ɖ nît mî bren, riinforst, I s’poz, bî ɖ fūd I hd ītn, grù clir agn, n I ʈt.

Ʈri ʈñz strugld fr pześn v mî mînd: ɖ cilñ v ɖ kṛt, ɖ ẃr’bts v ɖ Marśnz, n ɖ poṣbl fet v mî wîf. Ɖ formr gev m no snseśn v horr or rmors t rcōl; I sw it simpli az a ʈñ dn, a meṃri infiṇtli dis’griybl bt qt wɖt ɖ qoḷti v rmors. I sw mslf ɖen az I si mslf nǎ, drivn step bî step twdz ɖt hesti blo, ɖ crīćr v a sīqns v axidnts līdñ inevitbli t ɖt. I flt no condmneśn; yt ɖ meṃri, static, unpṛgresiv, hōntd m. In ɖ sîḷns v ɖ nît, wɖ ɖt sns v ɖ nirnis v God ɖt smtmz cmz intu ɖ stilnis n ɖ darcnis, I std mî trîl, mî onli trîl, fr ɖt momnt v roʈ n fir. I rtrest evri step v ǎr convseśn fṛm ɖ momnt ẃn I hd faund him crǎćñ bsd m, hīdlis v mî ʈrst, n pôntñ t ɖ fîr n smoc ɖt strīmd p fṛm ɖ ruinz v Wêbrij. W hd bn inceṗbl v cooṗreśn – grim ćans hd tecn no hīd v ɖt. Hd I fsin, I śd hv left him at Halif̣d. Bt I dd nt fōrsi; n crîm z t fōrsi n d. N I set ɖs dǎn az I hv set ol ɖs stori dǎn, az it wz. Ɖr wr no witṇsz – ol ɖz ʈñz I mt hv cnsild. Bt I set it dǎn, n ɖ rīdr mst form hiz jujmnt az h wl.

N ẃn, bî an ef̣t, I hd set asd ɖt picćr v a prostret bodi, I fest ɖ probḷm v ɖ Marśnz n ɖ fet v mî wîf. Fr ɖ formr I hd no deta; I cd imajn a hundṛd ʈñz, n so, unhaṗli, I cd fr ɖ latr. N sudnli ɖt nît bcem teṛbl. I faund mslf sitñ p in bed, stẹrñ at ɖ darc. I faund mslf preyñ ɖt ɖ Hītre mt hv sudnli n penlisli struc hr ǎt v biyñ. Sins ɖ nît v mî rtrn fṛm Leɖ̇hed I hd nt preid. I hd utrd prerz, fetiśprerz, hd preid az hīɖnz mutr ćarmz ẃn I wz in xtreṃti; bt nǎ I preid indd, plīdñ stedfstli n senli, fes t fes wɖ ɖ darcnis v God. Strenj nît! Strenjist in ɖs, ɖt so sn az dōn hd cm, I, hu hd tōct wɖ God, crept ǎt v ɖ hǎs lîc a rat līvñ its hîdñples – a crīćr scersli larjr, an infirịr animl, a ʈñ ɖt fr eni pasñ ẃim v ǎr mastrz mt b huntd n cild. Phps ɖe olso preid confidntli t God. Śrli, f w hv lrnt nʈñ els, ɖs wor hz tòt s piti – piti fr ɖoz witlis soulz ɖt sufr ǎr dmińn.

Ɖ mornñ wz brît n fîn, n ɖ īstn scî gloud pnc, n wz fretd wɖ litl goldn clǎdz. In ɖ rod ɖt runz fṛm ɖ top v Putni Hil t Wimbldn wz a numbr v pur vsṭjz v ɖ panictoṛnt ɖt mst hv pord Lundnẉd on ɖ Súnde nît aftr ɖ fîtñ bgan. Ɖr wz a litl tū-ẃīld cart inscrîbd wɖ ɖ nem v Toṃs Lób, Grīngrosr, Ny Mōldn, wɖ a smaśt ẃīl n an abandnd tin trunc; ɖr wz a strw hat trampld intu ɖ nǎ hardnd mud, n at ɖ top v Wst Hil a lot v blud-stend glas abt ɖ oṿtrnd wōtrtrof. Mî muvmnts wr lanḡd, mî planz v ɖ vegist. I hd an îdīa v gwñ t Leɖ̇hed, ɖo I ń ɖt ɖr I hd ɖ purist ćans v fîndñ mî wîf. Srtnli, unls deʈ hd oṿtecn ɖm sudnli, mî cuznz n ś wd hv fled ɖns; bt it sīmd t m I mt fînd or lrn ɖr ẃiɖr ɖ Suri ppl hd fled. I ń I wontd t fînd mî wîf, ɖt mî hart ect fr hr n ɖ wrld v men, bt I hd no clir îdīa hǎ ɖ fîndñ mt b dn. I wz olso śarpli awer nǎ v mî intns lonlinis. Fṛm ɖ cornr I wnt, undr cuvr v a ʈicit v triz n bśz, t ɖ éj v Wimbldn Comn, strećñ wîd n far.

Ɖt darc xpans wz lit in paćz bî yelo gors n brūm; ɖr wz no red wīd t b sìn, n az I prǎld, heztetñ, on ɖ vrj v ɖ opn, ɖ sún rouz, fludñ it ol wɖ lît n vîtaḷti. I cem upn a bizi sworm v litl frogz in a swompi ples amñ ɖ triz. I stopt t lc at ɖm, drw̃ a lesn fṛm ɖer stǎt rzolv t liv. N prezntli, trnñ sudnli, wɖ an od fīlñ v biyñ woćt, I bheld smʈñ crǎćñ amd a clump v bśz. I std rgardñ ɖs. I md a step twdz it, n it rouz p n bcem a man armd wɖ a cutḷs. I aproćt him slǒli. H std sîḷnt n mośnlis, rgardñ m.

Az I drù nirr I psivd h wz drest in cloɖz az dusti n filʈi az mî ǒn; h lct, indd, az ɖo h hd bn dragd ʈru a culṿt. Nirr, I dstnḡśt ɖ grīn slîm v dićz mixñ wɖ ɖ pel drab v draid cle n śîni, cǒli paćz. Hiz blac her fél ovr hiz îz, n hiz fes wz darc n drti n suncn, so ɖt at frst I dd nt recgnîz him. Ɖr wz a red cut acrs ɖ lowr part v hiz fes.

“Stop!” h craid, ẃn I wz wɖn ten yardz v him, n I stopt. Hiz vôs wz hōrs. “Ẃr d y cm fṛm?” h sd.

I ʈt, sveyñ him.

“I cm fṛm Mortlec,” I sd. “I wz berid nir ɖ pit ɖ Marśnz md abt ɖer silindr. I hv wrct mî we ǎt n iscept.”

“Ɖr z no fūd abt hir,” h sd. “Ɖs z mî cuntri. Ol ɖs hil dǎn t ɖ rivr, n bac t Clapm, n p t ɖ éj v ɖ comn. Ɖr z onli fūd fr wn. Ẃć we r y gwñ?”

I ansrd slǒli.

“I d’nt nǒ,” I sd. “I hv bn berid in ɖ ruinz v a hǎs ʈrtīn or fortīn dez. I d’nt nǒ ẃt hz hapnd.”

H lct at m dǎtf̣li, ɖen startd, n lct wɖ a ćenjd xpreśn.

“I’v no wś t stop abt hir,” sd I. “I ʈnc I śl g t Leɖ̇hed, fr mî wîf wz ɖr.”

H śot ǎt a pôntñ fngr.

“It z y,” sd h; “ɖ man fṛm Wǒcñ. N y wr’nt cild at Wêbrij?”

I recgnîzd him at ɖ sem momnt.

“Y r ɖ artiḷrimn hu cem intu mî gardn.”

“Gd luc!” h sd. “W r luci wnz! Fansi y!” H pt ǎt a hand, n I tc it. “I crōld p a dren,” h sd. “Bt ɖe dd’nt cil evrwn. N aftr ɖe wnt awe I got of twdz Wōltn acrs ɖ fīldz. Bt –  It’s nt sixtīn dez oltgɖr – n yr her z gre.” H lct ovr hiz śoldr sudnli. “Onli a rŭc,” h sd. “Wn gts t nǒ ɖt brdz hv śadoz ɖz dez. Ɖs z a bit opn. Let s crōl undr ɖoz bśz n tōc.”

“Hv y sìn eni Marśnz?” I sd. “Sins I crōld out –  ”

“Ɖ’v gn awe acrs Lundn,” h sd. “I ges ɖ’v got a bigr camp ɖr. V a nît, ol ovr ɖr, Hamstid we, ɖ scî z alîv wɖ ɖer lîts. It’s lîc a gret siti, n in ɖ gler y cn jst si ɖm muvñ. Bî dêlît y c’nt. Bt nirr – I hv’nt sìn ɖm – ” (h cǎntd on hiz fngrz) “fîv dez. Ɖen I sw a cupl acrs Hamrsmiʈ we cariyñ smʈñ big. N ɖ nît bfr last” – h stopt n spouc impresivli – “it wz jst a matr v lîts, bt it wz smʈñ p in ɖ er. I b’liv ɖ’v bilt a flayñmśīn, n r lrnñ t flî.”

I stopt, on handz n niz, fr w hd cm t ɖ bśz.

“Flî!”

“Yes,” h sd, “flî.”

I wnt on intu a litl bǎr, n sat dǎn.

“It z ol ovr wɖ hymaṇti,” I sd. “F ɖe cn d ɖt ɖe wl simpli g rnd ɖ wrld.”

H nodd.

“Ɖe wl. Bt – It wl rliv ʈñz ovr hir a bit. N bsdz –” H lct at m. “R’nt y saṭsfaid it z p wɖ hymaṇti? I am. W’r dǎn; w’r bìt.”

I stérd. Strenj az it me sīm, I hd nt arîvd at ɖs fact – a fact prf̣cli obvịs so sn az h spouc. I hd stl hld a veg hop; rɖr, I hd cept a lîfloñ habit v mînd. H rpitd hiz wrdz, “W’r bìt.” Ɖe carid abṣlut cnvix́n.

“It’s ol ovr,” h sd. “Ɖ’v lost wn – jst wn. N ɖ’v md ɖer ftñ gd n cripld ɖ gretist pǎr in ɖ wrld. Ɖ’v wōct ovr s. Ɖ deʈ v ɖt wn at Wêbrij wz an axidnt. N ɖz r onli paynirz. Ɖe cept on cmñ. Ɖz grīn starz – I’v sìn nn ɖz fîv or six dez, bt I’v no dǎt ɖ’r fōlñ smẃr evri nît. Nʈñ’z t b dn. W’r undr! W’r bìt!”

I md him no ansr. I sat stẹrñ bfr m, trayñ in ven t dvîz sm cǎnṭvelñ ʈt.

“Ɖs z’nt a wor,” sd ɖ artiḷrimn. “It nvr wz a wor, eni mor ɖn ɖr’z wor btwn man n ants.”

Sudnli I rcōld ɖ nît in ɖ obzrṿtri.

“Aftr ɖ tnʈ śot ɖe fîrd no mor – at līst, untl ɖ frst silindr cem.”

“Hǎ d y nǒ?” sd ɖ artiḷrimn. I xplend. H ʈt. “Smʈñ roñ wɖ ɖ gun,” h sd. “Bt ẃt f ɖr z? Ɖ’l gt it rît agn. N īvn f ɖr’z a dle, hǎ cn it oltr ɖ end? It’s jst men n ants. Ɖr’z ɖ ants bildz ɖer sitiz, liv ɖer lîvz, hv worz, reṿluśnz, untl ɖ men wont ɖm ǎt v ɖ we, n ɖen ɖe g ǎt v ɖ we. Ɖt’s ẃt w r nǎ – jst ants. Onli –”

“Yes,” I sd.

“W’r īṭbl ants.”

W sat lcñ at ć uɖr.

“N ẃt wl ɖe d wɖ s?” I sd.

“Ɖt’s ẃt I’v bn ʈncñ,” h sd; “ɖt’s ẃt I’v bn ʈncñ. Aftr Wêbrij I wnt sǎʈ – ʈncñ. I sw ẃt wz p. Most v ɖ ppl wr hard at it sqīlñ n xîtñ ɖmslvz. Bt I’m nt so fond v sqīlñ. I’v bn in sît v deʈ wns or twîs; I’m nt an orṇmntl soljr, n at ɖ bst n wrst, deʈ – it’s jst deʈ. N it’s ɖ man ɖt cīps on ʈncñ cmz ʈru. I sw evrwn tracñ awe sǎʈ. Sz I, ‘Fūd w’nt last ɖs we,’ n I trnd rît bac. I wnt fr ɖ Marśnz lîc a sparo gz fr man. Ol rnd” – h wevd a hand t ɖ hrîzn – “ɖ’r starvñ in hīps, boltñ, trédñ on ć uɖr…”

H sw mî fes, n hōltd ōcẉdli.

“No dǎt lots hu hd muni hv gn awe t Frans,” h sd. H sīmd t heẓtet ẃɖr t apoḷjîz, met mî îz, n wnt on: “Ɖr’z fūd ol abt hir. Cand ʈñz in śops; wînz, spirits, minṛlwōtrz; n ɖ wōtrmênz n drenz r emti. Wel, I wz telñ y ẃt I wz ʈncñ. ‘Hir’z intelijnt ʈñz,’ I sd, ‘n it sīmz ɖe wont s fr fūd. Frst, ɖ’l smaś s p – śips, mśīnz, gunz, sitiz, ol ɖ ordr n orġnîześn. Ol ɖt wl g. F w wr ɖ sîz v ants w mt pl ʈru. Bt w’r nt. It’s ol tù bulci t stop. Ɖt’s ɖ frst srtnti.’ Ê?”

I asntd.

“It z; I’v ʈt it ǎt. Vri wel, ɖen – nxt; at preznt w’r còt az w’r wontd. A Marśn hz onli t g a fy mîlz t gt a crǎd on ɖ run. N I sw wn, wn de, ǎt bî Wonzẉʈ, picñ hǎzz t pìsz n rǎtñ amñ ɖ recij. Bt ɖe w’nt cīp on dwñ ɖt. So sn az ɖ’v setld ol ǎr gunz n śips, n smaśt ǎr relwez, n dn ol ɖ ʈñz ɖe r dwñ ovr ɖr, ɖe wl bgin caćñ s sisṭmatic, picñ ɖ bst n storñ s in cejz n ʈñz. Ɖt’s ẃt ɖe wl start dwñ in a bit. Lord! Ɖe hv’nt bgun on s yt. D’nt y si ɖt?”

“Nt bgun!” I xclemd.

“Nt bgun. Ol ɖt’s hapnd so far z ʈru ǎr nt hvñ ɖ sns t cīp qayt – wuriyñ ɖm wɖ gunz n sć fūḷri. N luzñ ǎr hedz, n ruśñ of in crǎdz t ẃr ɖr wz’nt eni mor sefti ɖn ẃr w wr. Ɖe d’nt wont t boɖr s yt. Ɖ’r mcñ ɖer ʈñz – mcñ ol ɖ ʈñz ɖe cd’nt brñ wɖ ɖm, gtñ ʈñz redi fr ɖ rest v ɖer ppl. Vri lîcli ɖt’s ẃ ɖ silindrz hv stopt fr a bit, fr fir v hitñ ɖoz hu r hir. N instd v ǎr ruśñ abt blînd, on ɖ hǎl, or gtñ dîṇmît on ɖ ćans v bustñ ɖm p, w’v got t fix ǎrslvz p acordñ t ɖ ny stet v aferz. Ɖt’s hǎ I figr it ǎt. It z’nt qt acordñ t ẃt a man wonts fr hiz spīśīz, bt it’s abt ẃt ɖ facts pônt t. N ɖt’s ɖ prínsipl I actd upn. Sitiz, neśnz, siṿlîześn, progres – it’s ol ovr. Ɖt gem’z p. W’r bìt.”

“Bt f ɖt z so, ẃt z ɖr t liv fr?”

Ɖ artiḷrimn lct at m fr a momnt.

“Ɖr w’nt b eni mor blest conṣts fr a miłn yirz or so; ɖr w’nt b eni Royl Acaḍmi v Arts, n no nîs litl fīdz at resṭronts. F it’s aḿzmnt y’r aftr, I recn ɖ gem z p. F y’v got eni drw̃rūm manrz or a dslîc t ītñ piz wɖ a nîf or dropñ êćz, y’d betr ćuc ’m awe. Ɖe e’nt no frɖr ys.”

“Y mīn –”

“I mīn ɖt men lîc m r gwñ on livñ – fr ɖ sec v ɖ brīd. I tel y, I’m grim set on livñ. N f I’m nt mstecn, y’l śo ẃt insîdz y’v got, tù, bfr loñ. W r’nt gwñ t b xtrṃnetd. N I d’nt mīn t b còt îɖr, n temd n fatnd n bred lîc a ʈunḍrñ ox. Ug! Fansi ɖoz brǎn crīprz!”

“Y d’nt mīn t se –”

“I d. I’m gwñ on, undr ɖer fīt. I’v got it pland; I’v ʈt it ǎt. W men r bìt. W d’nt nǒ inuf. W’v got t lrn bfr w’v got a ćans. N w’v got t liv n cīp indipndnt ẃl w lrn. Si! Ɖt’s ẃt hz t b dn.”

I stérd, astoniśt, n strd pṛfǎndli bî ɖ man’z reẓluśn.

“Gret God!” craid I. “Bt y r a man indd!” N sudnli I gript hiz hand.

“Ê!” h sd, wɖ hiz îz śînñ. “I’v ʈt it ǎt, ê?”

“G on,” I sd.

“Wel, ɖoz hu mīn t iscep ɖer caćñ mst gt redi. I’m gtñ redi. Mînd y, it z’nt ol v s ɖt r md fr wîld bīsts; n ɖt’s ẃt it’s got t b. Ɖt’s ẃ I woćt y. I hd mî dǎts. Y’r slendr. I dd’nt nǒ ɖt it wz y, y si, or jst hǎ y’d bn berid. Ol ɖz – ɖ sort v ppl ɖt livd in ɖz hǎzz, n ol ɖoz dám litl clarcs ɖt yst t liv dǎn ɖt we – ɖ’d b no gd. Ɖe hv’nt eni spirit in ɖm – no prǎd drīmz n no prǎd lusts; n a man hu hz’nt wn or ɖ uɖr – Lord! Ẃt z h bt func n pricōśnz? Ɖe jst yst t sc̣dadl of t wrc – I’v sìn hundṛdz v ’m, bit v brecfst in hand, runñ wîld n śînñ t cać ɖer litl sīznticit tren, fr fir ɖ’d gt dsmist f ɖe dd’nt; wrcñ at bizṇsz ɖe wr afred t tec ɖ trubl t unḍstand; sc̣daḍlñ bac fr fir ɖe wd’nt b in tîm fr dinr; cīpñ indorz aftr dinr fr fir v ɖ bac strīts, n slīpñ wɖ ɖ wîvz ɖe marid, nt bcz ɖe wontd ɖm, bt bcz ɖe hd a bit v muni ɖt wd mc fr sefti in ɖer wn litl mizṛbl sc̣dadl ʈru ɖ wrld. Lîvz inśurd n a bit invstd fr fir v axidnts. N on Súndez – fir v ɖ hiraftr. Az f hel wz bilt fr rabits! Wel, ɖ Marśnz wl jst b a god-snd t ɖz. Nîs rūmi cejz, faṭnñ fūd, cerfl brīdñ, no wuri. Aftr a wīc or so ćesñ abt ɖ fīldz n landz on emti stuṃcs, ɖ’l cm n b còt ćirfl. Ɖ’l b qt glad aftr a bit. Ɖ’l wundr ẃt ppl dd bfr ɖr wr Marśnz t tec cer v ɖm. N ɖ barloufrz, n maśrz, n sñrz – I cn imajn ɖm. I cn imajn ɖm,” h sd, wɖ a sort v sombr gratif̣ceśn. “Ɖr’l b eni amǎnt v sntimnt n rlijn lūs amñ ɖm. Ɖr’z hundṛdz v ʈñz I sw wɖ mî îz ɖt I’v onli bgun t si clirli ɖz last fy dez. Ɖr’z lots wl tec ʈñz az ɖe r – fat n stypid; n lots wl b wurid bî a sort v fīlñ ɖt it’s ol roñ, n ɖt ɖe òt t b dwñ smʈñ. Nǎ ẃnvr ʈñz r so ɖt a lot v ppl fīl ɖe òt t b dwñ smʈñ, ɖ wìc, n ɖoz hu g wìc wɖ a lot v compḷcetd ʈncñ, olwz mc fr a sort v du-nʈ͘ñ rlijn, vri pays n s’pirịr, n sbmit t prṣkśn n ɖ wil v ɖ Lord. Vri lîcli y’v sìn ɖ sem ʈñ. It’s eṇji in a gel v func, n trnd clīn insd ǎt. Ɖz cejz wl b fl v sāmz n hímz n payti. N ɖoz v a les simpl sort wl wrc in a bit v – what z it? – iroṭsizm.”

H pōzd.

“Vri lîcli ɖz Marśnz wl mc pets v sm v ɖm; tren ɖm t d trics – hu nz? – gt snṭmntl ovr ɖ pet bô hu grù p n hd t b cild. N sm, mbi, ɖe wl tren t hunt s.”

“No,” I craid, “ɖt’s imposbl! No hymn biyñ –”

“Ẃt’s ɖ gd v gwñ on wɖ sć lîz?” sd ɖ artiḷrimn. “Ɖr’z men hu’d d it ćirfl. Ẃt nonsns t pritnd ɖr z’nt!”

N I s’cumd t hiz cnvix́n.

“F ɖe cm aftr m,” h sd; “Lord, f ɖe cm aftr m!” n sbsîdd intu a grim medteśn.

I sat contmpletñ ɖz ʈñz. I cd fînd nʈñ t brñ agnst ɖs man’z rīẓnñ. In ɖ dez bfr ɖ inveźn nwn wd hv qsćnd mî inṭlecćl s’pirioṛti t hiz – I, a pṛfest n recgnîzd raitr on fiḷsoficl ʈīmz, n h, a comn soljr; n yt h hd olrdi forḿletd a sićueśn ɖt I hd scersli riylîzd.

“Ẃt r y dwñ?” I sd prezntli. “Ẃt planz hv y md?”

H heztetd.

“Wel, it’s lîc ɖs,” h sd. “Ẃt hv w t d? W hv t invnt a sort v lîf ẃr men cn liv n brīd, n b sfiśntli s’kr t brñ ɖ ćildṛn p. Yes – wêt a bit, n I’l mc it clirr ẃt I ʈnc òt t b dn. Ɖ tem wnz wl g lîc ol tem bīsts; in a fy jeṇreśnz ɖ’l b big, bytifl, rić-bludid, stypid – rubiś! Ɖ risc z ɖt w hu cīp wîld wl g savij – djeṇret intu a sort v big, savij rat… Y si, hǎ I mīn t liv z unḍgrǎnd. I’v bn ʈncñ abt ɖ drenz. V cors ɖoz hu d’nt nǒ drenz ʈnc hoṛbl ʈñz; bt undr ɖs Lundn r mîlz n mîlz – hundṛdz v mîlz – n a fy dez ren n Lundn emti wl līv ɖm swīt n clīn. Ɖ mn drenz r big inuf n e’ri inuf fr enwn. Ɖen ɖr’z sélrz, vōlts, storz, fṛm ẃć boltñ pasjz me b md t ɖ drenz. N ɖ relwe-tunlz n subwez. Ê? Y bgin t si? N w form a band – ebl-bodid, clīn-mîndd men. W’r nt gwñ t pic p eni rubiś ɖt drifts in. Wìclñz g ǎt agn.”

“Az y mnt m t g?”

“Wel – I parlid, dd’nt I?”

“W w’nt qoṛl abt ɖt. G on.”

“Ɖoz hu stop obe ordrz. Ebl-bodid, clīn-mîndd wimin w wont olso – muɖrz n tīćrz. No lacdezicl lediz – no blastd rolñ îz. W c’nt hv eni wìc or sili. Lîf z riyl agn, n ɖ yslis n cumbrsm n misćiṿs hv t dî. Ɖe òt t dî. Ɖe òt t b wilñ t dî. It’s a sort v dsloylti, aftr ol, t liv n tent ɖ res. N ɖe c’nt b hapi. Morovr, dayñ’z nn so dredfl; it’s ɖ funcñ mcs it bad. N in ol ɖoz plesz w śl gaɖr. Ǎr district wl b Lundn. N w me īvn b ebl t cīp a woć, n run abt in ɖ opn ẃn ɖ Marśnz cīp awe. Ple cricit, phps. Ɖt’s hǎ w śl sev ɖ res. Ê? It’s a poṣbl ʈñ? Bt sevñ ɖ res z nʈñ in itslf. Az I se, ɖt’s onli biyñ rats. It’s sevñ ǎr nolij n adñ t it z ɖ ʈñ. Ɖr men lîc y cm in. Ɖr’z bcs, ɖr’z modlz. W mst mc gret sef plesz dǎn dīp, n gt ol ɖ bcs w cn; nt novlz n powtri swîps, bt îdīaz, sayns-bcs. Ɖt’s ẃr men lîc y cm in. W mst g t ɖ Britiś Ḿziym n pic ol ɖoz bcs ʈru. Ispeśli w mst cīp p ǎr sayns – lrn mor. W mst woć ɖz Marśnz. Sm v s mst g az spîz. Ẃn it’s ol wrcñ, phps I wl. Gt còt, I mīn. N ɖ gret ʈñ z, w mst līv ɖ Marśnz alon. W ms’nt īvn stìl. F w gt in ɖer we, w clir ǎt. W mst śo ɖm w mīn no harm. Yes, I nǒ. Bt ɖ’r intelijnt ʈñz, n ɖe w’nt hunt s dǎn f ɖe hv ol ɖe wont, n ʈnc w’r jst harmlis vrmin.”

Ɖ artiḷrimn pōzd n leid a brǎn hand upn mî arm.

“Aftr ol, it me nt b so mć w me hv t lrn bfr – Jst imajn ɖs: for or fîv v ɖer fîtñmśīnz sudnli startñ of – Hītrez rît n left, n nt a Marśn in ’m. Nt a Marśn in ’m, bt men – men hu hv lrnt ɖ we hǎ. It me b in mî tîm, īvn – ɖoz men. Fansi hvñ wn v ɖm luvli ʈñz, wɖ its Hītre wîd n fri! Fansi hvñ it in cntrol! Ẃt wd it matr f y smaśt t smiɖ̇rīnz at ɖ end v ɖ run, aftr a bust lîc ɖt? I recn ɖ Marśnz’l opn ɖer bytifl îz! C’nt y si ɖm, man? C’nt y si ɖm huriyñ, huriyñ – pufñ n blowñ n hūtñ t ɖer uɖr mcanicl aferz? Smʈñ ǎt v gir in evri ces. N swiś, bañ, ratl, swiś! Jst az ɖe r fumḅlñ ovr it, swiś cmz ɖ Hītre, n, bhold! man hz cm bac t hiz ǒn.”

Fr a ẃl ɖ imajiṇtiv dẹrñ v ɖ artiḷrimn, n ɖ ton v aśuṛns n curij h asymd, cmplitli doṃnetd mî mînd. I b’livd unheztetñli bʈ in hiz fōrcast v hymn dsṭni n in ɖ practicbiḷti v hiz astoṇśñ scīm, n ɖ rīdr hu ʈncs m ssptbl n fūliś mst contrast hiz pziśn, rīdñ steḍli wɖ ol hiz ʈts abt hiz subjict, n mîn, crǎćñ firf̣li in ɖ bśz n liṣnñ, dstractd bî aprihnśn. W tōct in ɖs manr ʈru ɖ rli mornñtîm, n lêtr crept ǎt v ɖ bśz, n, aftr scanñ ɖ scî fr Marśnz, hurid prisipittli t ɖ hǎs on Putni Hil ẃr h hd md hiz ler. It wz ɖ colsélr v ɖ ples, n ẃn I sw ɖ wrc h hd spent a wīc upn – it wz a buro scersli ten yardz loñ, ẃć h dzînd t rīć t ɖ mn dren on Putni Hil – I hd mî frst ñclñ v ɖ gulf btwn hiz drīmz n hiz pǎrz. Sć a houl I cd hv dug in a de. Bt I b’livd in him sfiśntli t wrc wɖ him ol ɖt mornñ untl past miḑe at hiz digñ. W hd a gardnbaro n śot ɖ rʈ w rmuvd agnst ɖ cićnrenj. W rfreśt ǎrslvz wɖ a tin v moctrtl sūp n wîn fṛm ɖ neḅrñ pantri. I faund a krịs rlif fṛm ɖ ecñ strenjnis v ɖ wrld in ɖs stedi lebr. Az w wrct, I trnd hiz project ovr in mî mînd, n prezntli objx́nz n dǎts bgan t arîz; bt I wrct ɖr ol ɖ mornñ, so glad wz I t fînd mslf wɖ a prṗs agn. Aftr wrcñ an aur I bgan t speklet on ɖ distns wn hd t g bfr ɖ cloeca wz rīćt, ɖ ćansz w hd v misñ it oltgɖr. Mî imījt trubl wz ẃ w śd dig ɖs loñ tunl, ẃn it wz poṣbl t gt intu ɖ dren at wns dǎn wn v ɖ manhoulz, n wrc bac t ɖ hǎs. It sīmd t m, tù, ɖt ɖ hǎs wz incnvińntli ćozn, n rqîrd a nīdlis leñʈ v tunl. N jst az I wz bginñ t fes ɖz ʈñz, ɖ artiḷrimn stopt digñ, n lct at m.

“W’r wrcñ wel,” h sd. H pt dǎn hiz sped. “Let s noc of a bit” h sd. “I ʈnc it’s tîm w rec̣nôtrd fṛm ɖ rūf v ɖ hǎs.”

I wz fr gwñ on, n aftr a litl hezteśn h rzymd hiz sped; n ɖen sudnli I wz struc bî a ʈt. I stopt, n so dd h at wns.

“Ẃ wr y wōcñ abt ɖ comn,” I sd, “instd v biyñ hir?”

“Tecñ ɖ er,” h sd. “I wz cmñ bac. It’s sefr bî nît.”

“Bt ɖ wrc?”

“Ǒ, wn c’nt olwz wrc,” h sd, n in a flaś I sw ɖ man plen. H heztetd, holdñ hiz sped. “W òt t rec̣nôtr nǎ,” h sd, “bcz f eni cm nir ɖe me hír ɖ spedz n drop upn s un’werz.”

I wz no longr dspozd t objct. W wnt tgɖr t ɖ rūf n std on a ladr pīpñ ǎt v ɖ rūfdor. No Marśnz wr t b sìn, n w vnćrd ǎt on ɖ tîlz, n slipt dǎn undr śltr v ɖ paṛpit.

Fṛm ɖs pziśn a śruḅri hid ɖ gretr porśn v Putni, bt w cd si ɖ rivr b’lo, a bubli mas v red wīd, n ɖ lo parts v Lamḅʈ fludd n red. Ɖ red crīpr swormd p ɖ triz abt ɖ old palis, n ɖer branćz strećt gōnt n ded, n set wɖ śrivld līvz, fṛm amd its clustrz. It wz strenj hǎ intîrli dpndnt bʈ ɖz ʈñz wr upn flowñ wōtr fr ɖer propgeśn. Abt s nɖr hd gend a ftñ; l’brṇmz, pnc mez, snǒbōlz, n triz v arbor-vitae, rouz ǎt v loṛlz n hîdrenjaz, grīn n briłnt intu ɖ súnlît. Bynd Cnzñtn dns smoc wz rîzñ, n ɖt n a blu hêz hid ɖ norʈẉd hilz.

Ɖ artiḷrimn bgan t tel m v ɖ sort v ppl hu stl rmend in Lundn.

“Wn nît last wīc,” h sd, “sm fūlz got ɖ ilectric lît in ordr, n ɖr wz ol Rījnt Strīt n ɖ Src̣s ablez, crǎdd wɖ pentd n ragid druncdz, men n wimin, dansñ n śǎtñ tl dōn. A man hu wz ɖr tld m. N az ɖ de cem ɖe bcem awer v a fîtñṃśīn standñ nir bî ɖ Lañm n lcñ dǎn at ɖm. Hevn nz hǎ loñ h hd bn ɖr. It mst hv gvn sm v ɖm a nasti trn. H cem dǎn ɖ rod twdz ɖm, n pict p nirli a hundṛd tù drunc or frîtnd t run awe.”

Gṛtesc glīm v a tîm no hisṭri wl evr fŭli dscrîb!

Fṛm ɖt, in ansr t mî qsćnz, h cem rnd t hiz grandios planz agn. H grù inʈyziastic. H tōct so eḷqntli v ɖ posbiḷti v capćrñ a fîtñṃśīn ɖt I mor ɖn haf b’livd in him agn. Bt nǎ ɖt I wz bginñ t unḍstand smʈñ v hiz qoḷti, I cd dvîn ɖ stres h leid on dwñ nʈñ prisipittli. N I notd ɖt nǎ ɖr wz no qsćn ɖt h prsṇli wz t capćr n fît ɖ gret mśīn.

Aftr a tîm w wnt dǎn t ɖ sélr. Nɖr v s sīmd dspozd t rzym digñ, n ẃn h sjstd a mīl, I wz nʈñ loɖ. H bcem sudnli vri jenṛs, n ẃn w hd ītn h wnt awe n rtrnd wɖ sm xḷnt sgarz. W lit ɖz, n hiz opṭmizm gloud. H wz inclînd t rgard mî cmñ az a gret oceźn.

“Ɖr’z sm śampen in ɖ sélr,” h sd.

“W cn dig betr on ɖs Tmz-sîd brgndi,” sd I.

“No,” sd h; “I am host tde. Śampen! Gret God! W’v a hevi inuf tasc bfr s! Let s tec a rest n gaɖr streñʈ ẃl w me. Lc at ɖz blistrd handz!”

N psywnt t ɖs îdīa v a hoḷde, h insistd upn pleyñ cardz aftr w hd ītn. H tòt m ycr, n aftr dvîdñ Lundn btwn s, I tecñ ɖ norɖn sîd n h ɖ suɖn, w pleid fr pariśpônts. Gṛtesc n fūliś az ɖs wl sīm t ɖ sobr rīdr, it z abṣlutli tru, n ẃt z mor rmarcbl, I faund ɖ cardgem n sevṛl uɖrz w pleid xtrimli inṭrestñ.

Strenj mînd v man! ɖt, wɖ ǎr spīśīz upn ɖ éj v xtrṃneśn or apōlñ degṛdeśn, wɖ no clir prospect bfr s bt ɖ ćans v a hoṛbl deʈ, w cd sit folowñ ɖ ćans v ɖs pentd pestbord, n pleyñ ɖ “jocr” wɖ vivid dlît. Aftwdz h tòt m pǒcr, n I bìt him at ʈri tuf ćésgemz. Ẃn darc cem w dsîdd t tec ɖ risc, n lit a lamp.

Aftr an intrmiṇbl strñ v gemz, w supt, n ɖ artiḷrimn finiśt ɖ śampen. W wnt on smocñ ɖ sgarz. H wz no longr ɖ eṇjetic rījeṇretr v hiz spīśīz I hd incǎntrd in ɖ mornñ. H wz stl opṭmistic, bt it wz a les cinetic, a mor ʈtfl opṭmizm. I rmembr h waund p wɖ mî hlʈ, pṛpozd in a spīć v smōl vrayti n cnsidṛbl inṭmitns. I tc a sgar, n wnt upsterz t lc at ɖ lîts v ẃć h hd spocn ɖt blezd so grīnli alñ ɖ Hîget hilz.

At frst I stérd unintelijntli acrs ɖ Lundn vali. Ɖ norɖn hilz wr śrǎdd in darcnis; ɖ fîrz nir Cnzñtn gloud redli, n nǎ n ɖen an orinj-red tuñ v flem flaśt p n vaniśt in ɖ dīp blu nît. Ol ɖ rest v Lundn wz blac. Ɖen, nirr, I psivd a strenj lît, a pel, vayḷt-prpl fḷresnt glo, qiṿrñ undr ɖ nîtbrīz. Fr a spes I cd nt unḍstand it, n ɖen I ń ɖt it mst b ɖ red wīd fṛm ẃć ɖs fent iredieśn pṛsidd. Wɖ ɖt rịlîześn mî dormnt sns v wundr, mî sns v ɖ pṛporśn v ʈñz, awouc agn. I glanst fṛm ɖt t Marz, red n clir, glowñ hî in ɖ wst, n ɖen gezd loñ n ŕṇstli at ɖ darcnis v Hamstid n Hîget.

I rmend a vri loñ tîm upn ɖ rūf, wunḍrñ at ɖ gṛtesc ćenjz v ɖ de. I rcōld mî mntl stets fṛm ɖ midnîtprer t ɖ fūliś cardpleyñ. I hd a vayḷnt rvulśn v fīlñ. I rmembr I fluñ awe ɖ sgar wɖ a srtn westfl simḅlizm. Mî foli cem t m wɖ glẹrñ xaɉreśn. I sīmd a tretr t mî wîf n t mî cnd; I wz fild wɖ rmors. I rzolvd t līv ɖs strenj undiṣplind drīmr v gret ʈñz t hiz drinc n gluṭni, n t g on intu Lundn. Ɖr, it sīmd t m, I hd ɖ bst ćans v lrnñ ẃt ɖ Marśnz n mî felomen wr dwñ. I wz stl upn ɖ rūf ẃn ɖ lêt mūn rouz.

___

ĆAPTR ET

DED LUNDN

A

ftr I hd partd fṛm ɖ artiḷrimn, I wnt dǎn ɖ hil, n bî ɖ Hî Strīt acrs ɖ brij t Fŭḷm. Ɖ red wīd wz tymulćs at ɖt tîm, n nirli ćoct ɖ brij rodwe; bt its frondz wr olrdi ẃîtnd in paćz bî ɖ spredñ dziz ɖt prezntli rmuvd it so swiftli.

At ɖ cornr v ɖ len ɖt runz t Putni Brij steśn I faund a man layñ. H wz az blac az a swīp wɖ ɖ blac dust, alîv, bt hlplisli n spīćlisli drunc. I cd gt nʈñ fṛm him bt crsz n fyrịs lunjz at mî hed. I ʈnc I śd hv steid bî him bt fr ɖ brūtl xpreśn v hiz fes.

Ɖr wz blac dust alñ ɖ rodwe fṛm ɖ brij onẉdz, n it grù ʈicr in Fŭḷm. Ɖ strīts wr hoṛbli qayt. I got fūd – sǎr, hard, n moldi, bt qt īṭbl – in a becr’z śop hir. Sm we twdz Wōḷm Grīn ɖ strīts bcem clir v pǎdr, n I pást a ẃît teris v hǎzz on fîr; ɖ nôz v ɖ brnñ wz an abṣlut rlif. Gwñ on twdz Bromtn, ɖ strīts wr qayt agn.

Hir I cem wns mor upn ɖ blac pǎdr in ɖ strīts n upn ded bodiz. I sw oltgɖr abt a duzn in ɖ leñʈ v ɖ Fŭḷm Rod. Ɖe hd bn ded mni dez, so ɖt I hurid qcli past ɖm. Ɖ blac pǎdr cuvrd ɖm ovr, n sofnd ɖer ǎtlînz. Wn or tū hd bn dstrbd bî dogz.

Ẃr ɖr wz no blac pǎdr, it wz krịsli lîc a Súnde in ɖ Siti, wɖ ɖ clozd śops, ɖ hǎzz loct p n ɖ blîndz drwn, ɖ dzrśn, n ɖ stilnis. In sm plesz plundrrz hd bn at wrc, bt rerli at uɖr ɖn ɖ pṛviźn n wîn śops. A juwlr’z windo hd bn brocn opn in wn ples, bt apaṛntli ɖ ʈīf hd bn dstrbd, n a numbr v gold ćenz n a woć le scatrd on ɖ pevmnt. I dd nt trubl t tuć ɖm. Farɖr on wz a tatrd wmn in a hīp on a dorstep; ɖ hand ɖt huñ ovr hr ni wz gaśt n bléd dǎn hr rusti brǎn dres, n a smaśt magnm v śampen formd a pūl acrs ɖ pevmnt. Ś sīmd aslip, bt ś wz ded.

Ɖ farɖr I peṇtretd intu Lundn, ɖ pṛfǎndr grù ɖ stilnis. Bt it wz nt so mć ɖ stilnis v deʈ – it wz ɖ stilnis v sspns, v xpcteśn. At eni tîm ɖ dstrux́n ɖt hd olrdi sinjd ɖ norʈ-wstn bordrz v ɖ mtroṗlis, n hd anayletd Īlñ n Cilbn, mt strîc amñ ɖz hǎzz n līv ɖm smocñ ruinz. It wz a siti cndemd n deṛlict…

In Sǎʈ Cnzñtn ɖ strīts wr clir v ded n v blac pǎdr. It wz nir Sǎʈ Cnzñtn ɖt I frst hŕd ɖ hǎlñ. It crept olmst imṗsptbli upn mî snsz. It wz a sobñ oltrneśn v tū nots, “Ŭla, ŭla, ŭla, ŭla,” cīpñ on ppćli. Ẃn I pást strīts ɖt ran norʈẉd it grù in volym, n hǎzz n bildñz sīmd t dedn n cut it of agn. It cem in a fl tîd dǎn Xbiśn Rod. I stopt, stẹrñ twdz Cnzñtn Gardnz, wunḍrñ at ɖs strenj, rmot weilñ. It wz az f ɖt mîti deẓt v hǎzz hd faund a vôs fr its fir n soḷtyd.

“Ŭla, ŭla, ŭla, ŭla,” weild ɖt sūṗhymn not – gret wevz v sǎnd swīpñ dǎn ɖ brōd, súnlit rodwe, btwn ɖ tōl bildñz on ć sîd. I trnd norʈẉdz, marṿlñ, twdz ɖ ayn gets v Haid Parc. I hd haf a mînd t brec intu ɖ Naćṛl Hisṭri Ḿziym n fînd mî we p t ɖ sumits v ɖ tǎrz, in ordr t si acrs ɖ parc. Bt I dsîdd t cīp t ɖ grǎnd, ẃr qc hîdñ wz poṣbl, n so wnt on p ɖ Xbiśn Rod. Ol ɖ larj manśnz on ć sîd v ɖ rod wr emti n stil, n mî ftsteps ecoud agnst ɖ sîdz v ɖ hǎzz. At ɖ top, nir ɖ parcget, I cem upn a strenj sît – a bus oṿtrnd, n ɖ scelitn v a hors pict clīn. I puzld ovr ɖs fr a tîm, n ɖen wnt on t ɖ brij ovr ɖ Srpntîn. Ɖ vôs grù strongr n strongr, ɖo I cd si nʈñ abv ɖ hǎstops on ɖ norʈ sîd v ɖ parc, sev a hêz v smoc t ɖ norʈ-wst.

“Ŭla, ŭla, ŭla, ŭla,” craid ɖ vôs, cmñ, az it sīmd t m, fṛm ɖ district abt Rījnt’s Parc. Ɖ deẓletñ crî wrct upn mî mînd. Ɖ mūd ɖt hd sstend m pást. Ɖ weilñ tc pześn v m. I faund I wz intnsli wiri, ftsor, n nǎ agn hungri n ʈrsti.

It wz olrdi past nūn. Ẃ wz I wonḍrñ alon in ɖs siti v ɖ ded? Ẃ wz I alon ẃn ol Lundn wz layñ in stet, n in its blac śrǎd? I flt intolṛbli lonli. Mî mînd ran on old frendz ɖt I hd fgotn fr yirz. I ʈt v ɖ pôznz in ɖ cemists’ śops, v ɖ lícrz ɖ wînmrćnts stord; I rcōld ɖ tū sodn crīćrz v dsper, hu so far az I ń, śerd ɖ siti wɖ mslf…

I cem intu Oxfd Strīt bî ɖ Marbl Arć, n hir agn wr blac pǎdr n sevṛl bodiz, n an īvl, omiṇs smel fṛm ɖ greitñz v ɖ sélrz v sm v ɖ hǎzz. I grù vri ʈrsti aftr ɖ hīt v mî loñ wōc. Wɖ infiṇt trubl I manijd t brec intu a publichǎs n gt fūd n drinc. I wz wiri aftr ītñ, n wnt intu ɖ parlr bhnd ɖ bar, n slept on a blac horsher sofa I faund ɖr.

I awouc t fînd ɖt dizṃl hǎlñ stl in mî irz, “Ŭla, ŭla, ŭla, ŭla.” It wz nǎ dusc, n aftr I hd rǎtd ǎt sm biscits n a ćīz in ɖ bar – ɖr wz a mìtsef, bt it cntend nʈñ bt maġts – I wondrd on ʈru ɖ sîḷnt reẓdnśl sqerz t Becr Strīt – Portmn Sqer z ɖ onli wn I cn nem – n so cem ǎt at last upn Rījnt’s Parc. N az I imrjd fṛm ɖ top v Becr Strīt, I sw far awe ovr ɖ triz in ɖ clirnis v ɖ súnset ɖ hŭd v ɖ Marśn jaynt fṛm ẃć ɖs hǎlñ pṛsidd. I wz nt teṛfaid. I cem upn him az f it wr a matr v cors. I woćt him fr sm tîm, bt h dd nt muv. H apird t b standñ n yelñ, fr no rīzn ɖt I cd dscuvr.

I traid t forḿlet a plan v ax́n. Ɖt ppećl sǎnd v “Ŭla, ŭla, ŭla, ŭla,” cnfyzd mî mînd. Phps I wz tù tîrd t b vri firfl. Srtnli I wz mor krịs t nǒ ɖ rīzn v ɖs mnotṇs crayñ ɖn afred. I trnd bac awe fṛm ɖ parc n struc intu Parc Rod, intndñ t scrt ɖ parc, wnt alñ undr ɖ śltr v ɖ teṛsz, n got a vy v ɖs steśnri, hǎlñ Marśn fṛm ɖ d’rex́n v St. Jon’z Wŭd. A cupl v hundṛd yardz ǎt v Becr Strīt I hŕd a ylpñ cōṛs, n sw, frst a dog wɖ a pìs v pytresnt red mìt in hiz jwz cmñ hedloñ twdz m, n ɖen a pac v starvñ mungṛlz in psyt v him. H md a wîd crv t avôd m, az ɖo h fird I mt pruv a freś cmpetitr. Az ɖ ylpñ daid awe dǎn ɖ sîḷnt rod, ɖ weilñ sǎnd v “Ŭla, ŭla, ŭla, ŭla,” ri’srtd itslf.

I cem upn ɖ rect hanḍlñṃśīn hafwe t St. Jon’z Wŭd steśn. At frst I ʈt a hǎs hd fōḷn acrs ɖ rod. It wz onli az I clambrd amñ ɖ ruinz ɖt I sw, wɖ a start, ɖs mcanicl Samsn layñ, wɖ its tnṭclz bnt n smaśt n twistd, amñ ɖ ruinz it hd md. Ɖ fōrpart wz śatrd. It sīmd az f it hd drivn blîndli stret at ɖ hǎs, n hd bn oṿẃlmd in its oṿʈro. It sīmd t m ɖen ɖt ɖs mt hv hapnd bî a hanḍlñṃśīn iscepñ fṛm ɖ gîdns v its Marśn. I cd nt clambr amñ ɖ ruinz t si it, n ɖ twîlît wz nǎ so far advanst ɖt ɖ blud wɖ ẃć its sīt wz smird, n ɖ nwd grisl v ɖ Marśn ɖt ɖ dogz hd left, wr inviẓbl t m.

Wunḍrñ stl mor at ol ɖt I hd sìn, I pśt on twdz Primroz Hil. Far awe, ʈru a gap in ɖ triz, I sw a secnd Marśn, az mośnlis az ɖ frst, standñ in ɖ parc twdz ɖ Zụlojicl Gardnz, n sîḷnt. A litl bynd ɖ ruinz abt ɖ smaśt hanḍlñṃśīn I cem upn ɖ red wīd agn, n faund ɖ Rījnt’s Cnal, a spunji mas v darc-red vejteśn.

Az I crost ɖ brij, ɖ sǎnd v “Ŭla, ŭla, ŭla, ŭla,” sīst. It wz, az it wr, cut of. Ɖ sîḷns cem lîc a ʈundrclap.

Ɖ dusci hǎzz abt m std fent n tōl n dim; ɖ triz twdz ɖ parc wr growñ blac. Ol abt m ɖ red wīd clambrd amñ ɖ ruinz, rîɖñ t gt abv m in ɖ dimnis. Nît, ɖ muɖr v fir n misṭri, wz cmñ upn m. Bt ẃl ɖt vôs sǎndd ɖ soḷtyd, ɖ deẓleśn, hd bn indyṛbl; bî vrću v it Lundn hd stl sīmd alîv, n ɖ sns v lîf abt m hd upheld m. Ɖen sudnli a ćenj, ɖ pasñ v smʈñ – I ń nt ẃt – n ɖen a stilnis ɖt cd b flt. Nʈñ bt ɖs gōnt qayt.

Lundn abt m gezd at m spectṛli. Ɖ windoz in ɖ ẃît hǎzz wr lîc ɖ î-socits v sculz. Abt m mî imaɉneśn faund a ʈǎznd nôzlis eṇmiz muvñ. Terr sizd m, a horr v mî tmeṛti. In frunt v m ɖ rod bcem pići-blac az ɖo it wz tard, n I sw a cntortd śep layñ acrs ɖ paʈwê. I cd nt brñ mslf t g on. I trnd dǎn St. Jon’z Wŭd Rod, n ran hedloñ fṛm ɖs unindyṛbl stilnis twdz Cilbn. I hid fṛm ɖ nît n ɖ sîḷns, untl loñ aftr midnît, in a cabmen’z śltr in Haro Rod. Bt bfr ɖ dōn mî curij rtrnd, n ẃl ɖ starz wr stl in ɖ scî I trnd wns mor twdz Rījnt’s Parc. I míst mî we amñ ɖ strīts, n prezntli sw dǎn a loñ aṿny, in ɖ haf-lît v ɖ rli dōn, ɖ crv v Primroz Hil. On ɖ sumit, tǎrñ p t ɖ fedñ starz, wz a ʈrd Marśn, irect n mośnlis lîc ɖ uɖrz.

An insen rzolv pzest m. I wd dî n end it. N I wd sev mslf īvn ɖ trubl v cilñ mslf. I marćt on reclisli twdz ɖs Tîtn, n ɖen, az I drù nirr n ɖ lît grù, I sw ɖt a multtyd v blac brdz wz src̣lñ n clusṭrñ abt ɖ hŭd. At ɖt mî hart gev a bǎnd, n I bgan runñ alñ ɖ rod.

I hurid ʈru ɖ red wīd ɖt ćoct St. Edṃnd’z Teris (I wêdd brest-hî acrs a toṛnt v wōtr ɖt wz ruśñ dǎn fṛm ɖ wōtrwrcs twdz ɖ Alḅt Rod), n imrjd upn ɖ gras bfr ɖ rîzñ v ɖ sún. Gret mǎndz hd bn hīpt abt ɖ crest v ɖ hil, mcñ a hyj ridǎt v it – it wz ɖ fînl n larjist ples ɖ Marśnz hd md – n fṛm bhnd ɖz hīps ɖr rouz a ʈin smoc agnst ɖ scî. Agnst ɖ scîlîn an īgr dog ran n dis’pird. Ɖ ʈt ɖt hd flaśt intu mî mînd grù riyl, grù creḍbl. I flt no fir, onli a wîld, tremḅlñ xlteśn, az I ran p ɖ hil twdz ɖ mośnlis monstr. Ǎt v ɖ hŭd huñ lanc średz v brǎn, at ẃć ɖ hungri brdz pect n tòr.

In anɖr momnt I hd scrambld p ɖ rʈn rampart n std upn its crest, n ɖ intirịr v ɖ ridǎt wz b’lo m. A mîti spes it wz, wɖ jîgantic mśīnz hir n ɖr wɖn it, hyj mǎndz v mtirịl n strenj śltrplesz. N scatrd abt it, sm in ɖer oṿtrnd worṃśīnz, sm in ɖ nǎ rijid hanḍlñṃśīnz, n a duzn v ɖm starc n sîḷnt n leid in a ro, wr ɖ Marśnz – ded! – slein bî ɖ pytṛfactiv n dziz bactiria agnst ẃć ɖer sistmz wr unpriperd; slein az ɖ red wīd wz biyñ slein; slein, aftr ol man’z dvîsz hd feld, bî ɖ humblist ʈñz ɖt God, in hiz wizdm, hz pt upn ɖs rʈ.

Fr so it hd cm abt, az indd I n mni men mt hv fsin hd nt terr n dzastr blîndd ǎr mîndz. Ɖz jrmz v dziz hv tecn tol v hymaṇti sins ɖ bginñ v ʈñz – tecn tol v ǎr prīhymn ansestrz sins lîf bgan hir. Bt bî vrću v ɖs naćṛl s’lex́n v ǎr cnd w hv dveḷpt rzistñpǎr; t no jrmz d w s’cum wɖt a strugl, n t mni – ɖoz ɖt cōz pytṛfax́n in ded matr, fr instns – our livñ fremz r oltgɖr iḿn. Bt ɖr r no bactiria in Marz, n d’recli ɖz invedrz arîvd, d’recli ɖe dranc n féd, ǎr mîcṛscopic alîz bgan t wrc ɖer oṿʈro. Olrdi ẃn I woćt ɖm ɖe wr irevcbli dūmd, dayñ n rotñ īvn az ɖe wnt t n fro. It wz inevitbl. Bî ɖ tol v a biłn deʈs man hz bòt hiz brʈrît v ɖ rʈ, n it z hiz agnst ol cmrz; it wd stl b hiz wr ɖ Marśnz ten tîmz az mîti az ɖe r. Fr nɖr d men liv nr dî in ven.

Hir n ɖr ɖe wr scatrd, nirli fifti oltgɖr, in ɖt gret gulf ɖe hd md, oṿtecn bî a deʈ ɖt mst hv sīmd t ɖm az incomprihnsbl az eni deʈ cd b. T m olso at ɖt tîm ɖs deʈ wz incomprihnsbl. Ol I ń wz ɖt ɖz ʈñz ɖt hd bn alîv n so teṛbl t men wr ded. Fr a momnt I b’livd ɖt ɖ dstrux́n v S’nac̣rib hd bn rpitd, ɖt God hd rpntd, ɖt ɖ Enjl v Deʈ hd slein ɖm in ɖ nît.

I std stẹrñ intu ɖ pit, n mî hart lîtnd glorịsli, īvn az ɖ rîzñ sún struc ɖ wrld t fîr abt m wɖ hiz rez. Ɖ pit wz stl in darcnis; ɖ mîti enjinz, so gret n wundrfl in ɖer pǎr n cmplex̣ti, so unrʈli in ɖer torćs formz, rouz wird n veg n strenj ǎt v ɖ śadoz twdz ɖ lît. A multtyd v dogz, I cd hír, fòt ovr ɖ bodiz ɖt le darcli in ɖ depʈ v ɖ pit, far b’lo m. Acrs ɖ pit on its farɖr lip, flat n vast n strenj, le ɖ gret flayñmśīn wɖ ẃć ɖe hd bn xpeṛmntñ upn ǎr densr atṃsfir ẃn dce n deʈ arestd ɖm. Deʈ hd cm nt a de tù sn. At ɖ sǎnd v a cw̃ oṿhed I lct p at ɖ hyj fîtñṃśīn ɖt wd fît no mor fr evr, at ɖ tatrd red średz v fleś ɖt dript dǎn upn ɖ oṿtrnd sīts on ɖ sumit v Primroz Hil.

I trnd n lct dǎn ɖ slǒp v ɖ hil t ẃr, inheloud nǎ in brdz, std ɖoz uɖr tū Marśnz ɖt I hd sìn oṿnît, jst az deʈ hd oṿtecn ɖm. Ɖ wn hd daid, īvn az it hd bn crayñ t its cmpańnz; phps it wz ɖ last t dî, n its vôs hd gn on ppćli untl ɖ fors v its mśīṇri wz xōstd. Ɖe glitrd nǎ, harmlis trîpodtǎrz v śînñ metl, in ɖ brîtnis v ɖ rîzñ sún.

Ol abt ɖ pit, n sevd az bî a miṛcl fṛm eṿlastñ dstrux́n, strećt ɖ gret Muɖr v Sitiz. Ɖoz hu hv onli sìn Lundn veild in hr sombr rǒbz v smoc cn scersli imajn ɖ necid clirnis n byti v ɖ sîḷnt wilḍnis v hǎzz.

Īstẉd, ovr ɖ blacnd ruinz v ɖ Alḅt Teris n ɖ splintrd spîr v ɖ ćrć, ɖ sún blezd daẓlñ in a clir scî, n hir n ɖr sm fasit in ɖ gret wilḍnis v rūfs còt ɖ lît n glerd wɖ a ẃît intnṣti.

Norʈẉd wr Cilbn n Hamstid, blu n crǎdd wɖ hǎzz; wstẉd ɖ gret siti wz dimd; n sǎʈẉd, bynd ɖ Marśnz, ɖ grīn wevz v Rījnt’s Parc, ɖ Lañm Hotel, ɖ dom v ɖ Alḅt Hōl, ɖ Impirịl Insttyt, n ɖ jaynt manśnz v ɖ Bromtn Rod cem ǎt clir n litl in ɖ súnrîz, ɖ jagid ruinz v Wsminstr rîzñ heẓli bynd. Far awe n blu wr ɖ Suri hilz, n ɖ tǎrz v ɖ Cristl Palis glitrd lîc tū silvr ródz. Ɖ dom v St. Pōl’s wz darc agnst ɖ súnrîz, n injrd, I sw fr ɖ frst tîm, bî a hyj gepñ caṿti on its wstn sîd.

N az I lct at ɖs wîd xpans v hǎzz n facṭriz n ćrćz, sîḷnt n abandnd; az I ʈt v ɖ multtydṇs hops n ef̣ts, ɖ ińmṛbl hosts v lîvz ɖt hd gn t bild ɖs hymn rīf, n v ɖ swift n ruʈlis dstrux́n ɖt hd huñ ovr it ol; ẃn I riylîzd ɖt ɖ śado hd bn rold bac, n ɖt men mt stl liv in ɖ strīts, n ɖs dir vast ded siti v mîn b wns mor alîv n pǎrfl, I flt a wev v imośn ɖt wz nir acin t tirz.

Ɖ torment wz ovr. Īvn ɖt de ɖ hīlñ wd bgin. Ɖ svîvrz v ɖ ppl scatrd ovr ɖ cuntri – līdrlis, lwlis, fūdlis, lîc śīp wɖt a śeṗd – ɖ ʈǎzndz hu hd fled bî sì, wd bgin t rtrn; ɖ puls v lîf, growñ strongr n strongr, wd bìt agn in ɖ emti strīts n por acrs ɖ vecnt sqerz. Ẃtvr dstrux́n wz dn, ɖ hand v ɖ dstroyr wz steid. Ol ɖ gōnt recs, ɖ blacnd scelitnz v hǎzz ɖt stérd so dizṃli at ɖ súnlit gras v ɖ hil, wd prezntli b ecowñ wɖ ɖ hamrz v ɖ rstorrz n rññ wɖ ɖ tapñ v ɖer trǎlz. At ɖ ʈt I xtndd mî handz twdz ɖ scî n bgan ʈancñ God. In a yir, ʈt I – in a yir. . .

Wɖ oṿẃlmñ fors cem ɖ ʈt v mslf, v mî wîf, n ɖ old lîf v hop n tndr hlpflnis ɖt hd sīst fr evr.

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ĆAPTR NÎN

 

RECIJ

N

 nǎ cmz ɖ strenjist ʈñ in mî stori. Yt, phps, it z nt oltgɖr strenj. I rmembr, clirli n coldli n vividli, ol ɖt I dd ɖt de untl ɖ tîm ɖt I std wīpñ n prezñ God upn ɖ sumit v Primroz Hil. N ɖen I fget.

V ɖ nxt ʈri dez I nǒ nʈñ. I hv lrnt sins ɖt, so far fṛm mî biyñ ɖ frst dscuvrr v ɖ Marśn oṿʈro, sevṛl sć wondrrz az mslf hd olrdi dscuvrd ɖs on ɖ prīvịs nît. Wn man – ɖ first – hd gn t St. Martin’z-l’Grand, n, ẃl I śltrd in ɖ cabmen’z hut, hd cntrîvd t teḷgraf t Paris. Ɖns ɖ jôfl nyz hd flaśt ol ovr ɖ wrld; a ʈǎznd sitiz, ćild bî gastli aprihnśnz, sudnli flaśt intu frantic iluṃneśnz; ɖe ń v it in Dublin, Edinbra, Manćestr, Brmñm, at ɖ tîm ẃn I std upn ɖ vrj v ɖ pit. Olrdi men, wīpñ wɖ jô, az I hv hŕd, śǎtñ n steyñ ɖer wrc t śec handz n śǎt, wr mcñ p trenz, īvn az nir az Crū, t dsnd upn Lundn. Ɖ ćrćbelz ɖt hd sīst a fortnît sins sudnli còt ɖ nyz, untl ol Ñgḷnd wz belrññ. Men on sîclz, līn-fest, uncmt, scorćt alñ evri cuntrilen śǎtñ v unhopt dlivṛns, śǎtñ t gōnt, stẹrñ figrz v dsper. N fr ɖ fūd! Acrs ɖ Ćanl, acrs ɖ Îriś Sì, acrs ɖ Atlantic, corn, bred, n mìt wr tẹrñ t ǎr rlif. Ol ɖ śipñ in ɖ wrld sīmd gwñ Lundnẉd in ɖoz dez. Bt v ol ɖs I hv no meṃri. I driftd – a dmntd man. I faund mslf in a hǎs v cîndli ppl, hu hd faund m on ɖ ʈrd de wonḍrñ, wīpñ, n revñ ʈru ɖ strīts v St. Jon’z Wŭd. Ɖe hv tld m sins ɖt I wz sññ sm insen dogṛl abt “Ɖ Last Man Left Alîv! Hrā! Ɖ Last Man Left Alîv!” Trubld az ɖe wr wɖ ɖer ǒn aferz, ɖz ppl, huz nem, mć az I wd lîc t xpres mî grattyd t ɖm, I me nt īvn gv hir, nvɖles cumbrd ɖmslvz wɖ m, śltrd m, n pṛtctd m fṛm mslf. Apaṛntli ɖe hd lrnt smʈñ v mî stori fṛm m jrñ ɖ dez v mî laps.

Vri jntli, ẃn mî mînd wz aśurd agn, dd ɖe brec t m ẃt ɖe hd lrnt v ɖ fet v Leɖ̇hed. Tū dez aftr I wz impriznd it hd bn dstroid, wɖ evri soul in it, bî a Marśn. H hd swept it ǎt v xistns, az it sīmd, wɖt eni provceśn, az a bô mt cruś an anthil, in ɖ mir wontņis v pǎr.

I wz a lonli man, n ɖe wr vri cnd t m. I wz a lonli man n a sad wn, n ɖe bòr wɖ m. I rmend wɖ ɖm for dez aftr mî rcuṿri. Ol ɖt tîm I flt a veg, a growñ crevñ t lc wns mor on ẃtvr rmend v ɖ litl lîf ɖt sīmd so hapi n brît in mî past. It wz a mir hoplis dzîr t fīst upn mî miẓri. Ɖe dswedd m. Ɖe dd ol ɖe cd t dvrt m fṛm ɖs morbidti. Bt at last I cd rzist ɖ impuls no longr, n, proṃsñ feʈf̣li t rtrn t ɖm, n partñ, az I wl cnfes, fṛm ɖz for-de frendz wɖ tirz, I wnt ǎt agn intu ɖ strīts ɖt hd letli bn so darc n strenj n emti.

Olrdi ɖe wr bizi wɖ rtrnñ ppl; in plesz īvn ɖr wr śops opn, n I sw a drincñfǎntn runñ wōtr.

I rmembr hǎ mocñli brît ɖ de sīmd az I wnt bac on mî meḷncli pilgṛmij t ɖ litl hǎs at Wǒcñ, hǎ bizi ɖ strīts n vivid ɖ muvñ lîf abt m. So mni ppl wr abrōd evrẃr, bizid in a ʈǎznd activtiz, ɖt it sīmd increḍbl ɖt eni gret pṛporśn v ɖ popyleśn cd hv bn slein. Bt ɖen I notist hǎ yelo wr ɖ scinz v ɖ ppl I met, hǎ śagi ɖ her v ɖ men, hǎ larj n brît ɖer îz, n ɖt evri uɖr man stl wòr hiz drti ragz. Ɖer fesz sīmd ol wɖ wn v tū xpreśnz – a līpñ xlteśn n eṇji or a grim reẓluśn. Sev fr ɖ xpreśn v ɖ fesz, Lundn sīmd a siti v tramps. Ɖ vstriz wr indiscrimiṇtli dstribytñ bred snt s bî ɖ Frenć guvnmnt. Ɖ ribz v ɖ fy horsz śoud dizṃli. Haġd speśl cunsṭblz wɖ ẃît bajz std at ɖ cornrz v evri strīt. I sw litl v ɖ misćif ròt bî ɖ Marśnz untl I rīćt Welñtn Strīt, n ɖr I sw ɖ red wīd clamḅrñ ovr ɖ butṛsz v Wōṭlu Brij.

At ɖ cornr v ɖ brij, tù, I sw wn v ɖ comn contrasts v ɖt gṛtesc tîm – a śīt v pepr flōntñ agnst a ʈicit v ɖ red wīd, trnsfixt bî a stic ɖt cept it in ples. It wz ɖ placard v ɖ frst nyzpepr t rzym pubḷceśn – ɖ Dêli Meil. I bòt a copi fr a blacnd śilñ I faund in mî pocit. Most v it wz in blanc, bt ɖ solitri cmpoztr hu dd ɖ ʈñ hd aḿzd himslf bî mcñ a gṛtesc scīm v advrtismnt sterio on ɖ bac pej. Ɖ matr h printd wz imośnl; ɖ nyz-orġnîześn hd nt az yt faund its we bac. I lrnt nʈñ freś xpt ɖt olrdi in wn wīc ɖ xaṃneśn v ɖ Marśn mec̣nizmz hd yīldd astoṇśñ rzults. Amñ uɖr ʈñz, ɖ articl aśurd m ẃt I dd nt b’liv at ɖ tîm, ɖt ɖ “Sīcrit v Flayñ,” wz dscuvrd. At Wōṭlu I faund ɖ fri trenz ɖt wr tecñ ppl t ɖer homz. Ɖ frst ruś wz olrdi ovr. Ɖr wr fy ppl in ɖ tren, n I wz in no mūd fr caźl convseśn. I got a cmpartmnt t mslf, n sat wɖ foldd armz, lcñ grêli at ɖ súnlit devsteśn ɖt floud past ɖ windoz. N jst ǎtsd ɖ trmiṇs ɖ tren joltd ovr temprri relz, n on îɖr sîd v ɖ relwe ɖ hǎzz wr blacnd ruinz. T Clapm Juñśn ɖ fes v Lundn wz grîmi wɖ pǎdr v ɖ Blac Smoc, in spît v tū dez v ʈundrstormz n ren, n at Clapm Juñśn ɖ lîn hd bn rect agn; ɖr wr hundṛdz v ǎt-v-wrc clarcs n śopṃn wrcñ sîd bî sîd wɖ ɖ custmri naviz, n w wr joltd ovr a hesti rleyñ.

Ol dǎn ɖ lîn fṛm ɖr ɖ aspect v ɖ cuntri wz gōnt n unfmiłr; Wimbldn ptiklrli hd sufrd. Wōltn, bî vrću v its unbrnd pînwŭdz, sīmd ɖ līst hrt v eni ples alñ ɖ lîn. Ɖ Wondl, ɖ Mol, evri litl strīm, wz a hīpt mas v red wīd, in apiṛns btwn bćr’z mìt n picld cabij. Ɖ Suri pînwŭdz wr tù drî, hvr, fr ɖ fstūnz v ɖ red clîmr. Bynd Wimbldn, wɖn sît v ɖ lîn, in srtn nrṣrigrǎndz, wr ɖ hīpt masz v rʈ abt ɖ sixʈ silindr. A numbr v ppl wr standñ abt it, n sm saprz wr bizi in ɖ mdst v it. Ovr it flōntd a Yńn Jac, flapñ ćirf̣li in ɖ mornñ brīz. Ɖ nrṣrigrǎndz wr evrẃr crimzn wɖ ɖ wīd, a wîd xpans v livid culr cut wɖ prpl śadoz, n vri penfl t ɖ î. Wn’z gêz wnt wɖ infiṇt rlif fṛm ɖ scorćt grez n suḷn redz v ɖ fōrgrǎnd t ɖ blu-grīn softnis v ɖ īstẉd hilz.

Ɖ lîn on ɖ Lundn sîd v Wǒcñ steśn wz stl unḍgwñ rper, so I dsndd at Bîflīt steśn n tc ɖ rod t Mêḅri, past ɖ ples ẃr I n ɖ artiḷrimn hd tōct t ɖ hsarz, n on bî ɖ spot ẃr ɖ Marśn hd apird t m in ɖ ʈundrstorm. Hir, muvd bî krioṣti, I trnd asd t fînd, amñ a tangl v red frondz, ɖ worpt n brocn dogcart wɖ ɖ ẃîtnd bonz v ɖ hors scatrd n nwd. Fr a tîm I std rgardñ ɖz vsṭjz…

Ɖen I rtrnd ʈru ɖ pînwŭd, nec-hî wɖ red wīd hir n ɖr, t fînd ɖ landlord v ɖ Spotd Dog hd olrdi faund berịl, n so cem hom past ɖ Colij Armz. A man standñ at an opn cotijdor grītd m bî nem az I pást.

I lct at mî hǎs wɖ a qc flaś v hop ɖt fedd imījtli. Ɖ dor hd bn forst; it wz unfast n wz oṗnñ slǒli az I aproćt.

It slamd agn. Ɖ crtnz v mî studi flutrd ǎt v ɖ opn windo fṛm ẃć I n ɖ artiḷrimn hd woćt ɖ dōn. Nwn hd clozd it sins. Ɖ smaśt bśz wr jst az I hd left ɖm nirli for wīcs ago. I stumbld intu ɖ hōl, n ɖ hǎs flt emti. Ɖ stercarpit wz rufld n dsculrd ẃr I hd crǎćt, sǒct t ɖ scin fṛm ɖ ʈundrstorm ɖ nît v ɖ ctastṛfi. Ǎr mudi ftsteps I sw stl wnt p ɖ sterz.

I foloud ɖm t mî studi, n faund layñ on mî raitñtebl stl, wɖ ɖ seḷnît peprweit upn it, ɖ śīt v wrc I hd left on ɖ afṭnun v ɖ oṗnñ v ɖ silindr. Fr a spes I std rīdñ ovr mî abandnd arğmnts. It wz a pepr on ɖ probbl dveḷpmnt v Moṛl Îdīaz wɖ ɖ dveḷpmnt v ɖ siṿlîzñproses; n ɖ last sntns wz ɖ oṗnñ v a prof̣si: “In abt tū hundṛd yirz,” I hd ritn, “w me xpct –” Ɖ sntns endd abrupli. I rmembrd mî in’biḷti t fix mî mînd ɖt mornñ, scersli a munʈ gn bî, n hǎ I hd brocn of t gt mî Dêli Cronicl fṛm ɖ nyzbô. I rmembrd hǎ I wnt dǎn t ɖ gardnget az h cem alñ, n hǎ I hd lisnd t hiz od stori v “Men fṛm Marz.”

I cem dǎn n wnt intu ɖ dînñrūm. Ɖr wr ɖ mutn n ɖ bred, bʈ far gn nǎ in dce, n a birbotl oṿtrnd, jst az I n ɖ artiḷrimn hd left ɖm. Mî hom wz dezḷt. I psivd ɖ foli v ɖ fent hop I hd ćeriśt so loñ. N ɖen a strenj ʈñ ocŕd. “It z no yz,” sd a vôs. “Ɖ hǎs z dzrtd. Nwn hz bn hir ɖz ten dez. D nt ste hir t torment yrslf. Nwn iscept bt y.”

I wz startld. Hd I spocn mî ʈt alǎd? I trnd, n ɖ Frenć windo wz opn bhnd m. I md a step t it, n std lcñ ǎt.

N ɖr, amezd n afred, īvn az I std amezd n afred, wr mî cuzn n mî wîf – mî wîf ẃît n tirlis. Ś gev a fent crî.

“I cem,” ś sd. “I ń – ń –”

Ś pt hr hand t hr ʈrot – sweid. I md a step fwd, n còt hr in mî armz.

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ĆAPTR TEN

 

Ɖ EṖLOG

I

 canot bt rgret, nǎ ɖt I am cncludñ mî stori, hǎ litl I am ebl t cntribyt t ɖ dscuśn v ɖ mni dbetbl qsćnz ẃć r stl unsetld. In wn rspct I śl srtnli pṛvoc criṭsizm. Mî ptiklr provins z spekḷtiv f’loṣfi. Mî nolij v cmpaṛtiv fizioḷji z cnfînd t a bc or tū, bt it sīmz t m ɖt Carvr’z sjsćnz az t ɖ rīzn v ɖ rapid deʈ v ɖ Marśnz z so probbl az t b rgardd olmst az a prūvn cncluźn. I hv asymd ɖt in ɖ bodi v mî naṛtiv.

At eni ret, in ol ɖ bodiz v ɖ Marśnz ɖt wr xamind aftr ɖ wor, no bactiria xpt ɖoz olrdi noun az t’restrịl spīśīz wr faund. Ɖt ɖe dd nt beri eni v ɖer ded, n ɖ reclis slōtr ɖe prṗtretd, pônt olso t an intîr ignṛns v ɖ pytṛfactiv proses. Bt probbl az ɖs sīmz, it z bî no mīnz a prūvn cncluźn.

Nɖr z ɖ compziśn v ɖ Blac Smoc noun, ẃć ɖ Marśnz yzd wɖ sć dedli ifct, n ɖ jeṇretr v ɖ Hītrez rmenz a puzl. Ɖ teṛbl dzastrz at ɖ Īlñ n Sǎʈ Cnzñtn l’boṛtriz hv disinclînd aṇlists fr frɖr invstgeśnz upn ɖ latr. Spectṛm’naḷsis v ɖ blac pǎdr pônts unmistecbli t ɖ prezns v an uņoun elimnt wɖ a briłnt grūp v ʈri lînz in ɖ grīn, n it z poṣbl ɖt it cmbînz wɖ argn t form a compǎnd ẃć acts at wns wɖ dedli ifct upn sm cnstitẏnt in ɖ blud. Bt sć unpruvn spekleśnz wl scersli b v inṭrest t ɖ jenṛl rīdr, t hūm ɖs stori z adrest. Nn v ɖ brǎn scum ɖt driftd dǎn ɖ Tmz aftr ɖ dstrux́n v Śeṗtn wz xamind at ɖ tîm, n nǎ nn z fʈcmñ.

Ɖ rzults v an aṇtomicl xaṃneśn v ɖ Marśnz, so far az ɖ prǎlñ dogz hd left sć an xaṃneśn poṣbl, I hv olrdi gvn. Bt evrwn z fmiłr wɖ ɖ magnifisnt n olmst cmplit spesimn in spirits at ɖ Naćṛl Hisṭri Ḿziym, n ɖ cǎntlis drw̃z ɖt hv bn md fṛm it; n bynd ɖt ɖ inṭrest v ɖer fizioḷji n strucćr z pyrli sạntific.

A qsćn v grevr n ynivrsl inṭrest z ɖ posbiḷti v anɖr atac fṛm ɖ Marśnz. I d nt ʈnc ɖt nirli inuf atnśn z biyñ gvn t ɖs aspect v ɖ matr. At preznt ɖ planit Marz z in cnjuñśn, bt wɖ evri rtrn t opziśn I, fr wn, antiṣpet a rnywl v ɖer advnćr. In eni ces, w śd b priperd. It sīmz t m ɖt it śd b poṣbl t dfîn ɖ pziśn v ɖ gun fṛm ẃć ɖ śots r dsćarjd, t cīp a sstend woć upn ɖs part v ɖ planit, n t antiṣpet ɖ arîvl v ɖ nxt atac.

In ɖt ces ɖ silindr mt b dstroid wɖ dîṇmît or artiḷri bfr it wz sfiśntli cūl fr ɖ Marśnz t imrj, or ɖe mt b bćrd bî mīnz v gunz so sn az ɖ scru opnd. It sīmz t m ɖt ɖe hv lost a vast advantij in ɖ fełr v ɖer frst s’prîz. Poṣbli ɖe si it in ɖ sem lît.

Lesñ hz advanst xḷnt rīznz fr s’pozñ ɖt ɖ Marśnz hv acćli s’xidd in ifctñ a landñ on ɖ planit Vīṇs. Sevn munʈs ago nǎ, Vīṇs n Marz wr in alînmnt wɖ ɖ sún; ɖt z t se, Marz wz in opziśn fṛm ɖ pônt v vy v an obzrvr on Vīṇs. Subsiqntli a pkłr lūmiṇs n sińụs marcñ apird on ɖ unilumind haf v ɖ inr planit, n olmst simlteńsli a fent darc marc v a similr sińụs caṛctr wz dtctd upn a foṭgraf v ɖ Marśn disc. Wn nīdz t si ɖ drw̃z v ɖz apiṛnsz in ordr t aprīśiet fŭli ɖer rmarcbl rzmbḷns in caṛctr.

At eni ret, ẃɖr w xpct anɖr inveźn or nt, ǎr vyz v ɖ hymn fyćr mst b gretli moḍfaid bî ɖz ivnts. W hv lrnt nǎ ɖt w canot rgard ɖs planit az biyñ fnst in n a s’kr abîdñples fr Man; w cn nvr antiṣpet ɖ unsìn gd or īvl ɖt me cm upn s sudnli ǎt v spes. It me b ɖt in ɖ larjr dzîn v ɖ ynivrs ɖs inveźn fṛm Marz z nt wɖt its ultiṃt beṇfit fr men; it hz robd s v ɖt srīn confidns in ɖ fyćr ẃć z ɖ most frūtfl sors v dec̣dns, ɖ gifts t hymn sayns it hz bròt r inorṃs, n it hz dn mć t pṛmot ɖ cnspśn v ɖ comnwìl v man-cnd. It me b ɖt acrs ɖ imnṣti v spes ɖ Marśnz hv woćt ɖ fet v ɖz paynirz v ɖerz n lrnt ɖer lesn, n ɖt on ɖ planit Vīṇs ɖe hv faund a s’krr setlmnt. B ɖt az it me, fr mni yirz yt ɖr wl srtnli b no rīlaxeśn v ɖ īgr scrūṭni v ɖ Marśn disc, n ɖoz fîri darts v ɖ scî, ɖ śūtñstarz, wl brñ wɖ ɖm az ɖe fōl an un’vôḍbl aprihnśn t ol ɖ sunz v men.

Ɖ brōḍnñ v men’z vyz ɖt hz rzultd cn scersli b xaɉretd. Bfr ɖ silindr fél ɖr wz a jenṛl psweźn ɖt ʈru ol ɖ dīp v spes no lîf xistd bynd ɖ peti srfis v ǎr mînyt sfir. Nǎ w si frɖr. F ɖ Marśnz cn rīć Vīṇs, ɖr z no rīzn t s’poz ɖt ɖ ʈñ z imposbl fr men, n ẃn ɖ slo cūlñ v ɖ sún mcs ɖs rʈ uninhabitbl, az at last it mst d, it me b ɖt ɖ ʈred v lîf ɖt hz bgun hir wl hv strīmd ǎt n còt ǎr sistr planit wɖn its tôlz.

Dim n wundrfl z ɖ viźn I hv cunjrd p in mî mînd v lîf spredñ slǒli fṛm ɖs litl sīdbed v ɖ solr sistm ʈrt ɖ inaniṃt vastnis v sîdirịl spes. Bt ɖt z a rmot drīm. It me b, on ɖ uɖr hand, ɖt ɖ dstrux́n v ɖ Marśnz z onli a rpriv. T ɖm, n nt t s, phps, z ɖ fyćr ordend.

I mst cnfes ɖ stres n denjr v ɖ tîm hv left an abîdñ sns v dǎt n inṣkṛti in mî mînd. I sit in mî studi raitñ bî lamplît, n sudnli I si agn ɖ hīlñ vali b’lo set wɖ rîɖñ flemz, n fīl ɖ hǎs bhnd n abt m emti n dezḷt. I g ǎt intu ɖ Bîflīt Rod, n viyclz pas m, a bćrbô in a cart, a cabfl v vizitrz, a wrcmn on a bîsicl, ćildṛn gwñ t scūl, n sudnli ɖe bcm veg n unriyl, n I huri agn wɖ ɖ artiḷrimn ʈru ɖ hot, brūdñ sîḷns. V a nît I si ɖ blac pǎdr darc̣nñ ɖ sîḷnt strīts, n ɖ cntortd bodiz śrǎdd in ɖt leyr; ɖe rîz upn m tatrd n dog-bitn. Ɖe jibr n gro firsr, pelr, uglịr, mad dstorśnz v hymaṇti at last, n I wec, cold n rećid, in ɖ darcnis v ɖ nît.

I g t Lundn n si ɖ bizi multtydz in Flīt Strīt n ɖ Strand, n it cmz acrs mî mînd ɖt ɖe r bt ɖ gosts v ɖ past, hōntñ ɖ strīts ɖt I hv sìn sîḷnt n rećid, gwñ t n fro, fantazmz in a ded siti, ɖ moc̣ri v lîf in a galvnîzd bodi. N strenj, tù, it z t stand on Primroz Hil, az I dd bt a de bfr raitñ ɖs last ćaptr, t si ɖ gret provins v hǎzz, dim n blu ʈru ɖ hêz v ɖ smoc n mist, vaṇśñ at last intu ɖ veg lowr scî, t si ɖ ppl wōcñ t n fro amñ ɖ flǎrbedz on ɖ hil, t si ɖ sîtsiyrz abt ɖ Marśn mśīn ɖt standz ɖr stl, t hír ɖ tymult v pleyñ ćildṛn, n t rcōl ɖ tîm ẃn I sw it ol brît n clir-cut, hard n sîḷnt, undr ɖ dōn v ɖt last gret de…

N strenjist v ol z it t hold mî wîf’s hand agn, n t ʈnc ɖt I hv cǎntd hr, n ɖt ś hz cǎntd m, amñ ɖ ded.

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