VI: Mr. Tod

It wz a brît mornñ in ɖ rli part v sumr; ɖ rivr hd rzymd its wóntd bancs n its acustmd pes, n a hot sún sīmd t b pŭlñ evrʈñ grīn n bŭśi n spîci p ǎt v ɖ rʈ twdz him, az f bî strñz. Ɖ Mol n ɖ Wōtŗat hd bn p sins dōn, vri bizi on matrz cnctd wɖ bots n ɖ oṗnñ v ɖ botñsīzn; pentñ n varṇśñ, mndñ padlz, rperñ cŭśnz, huntñ fr misñ bot-hcs, n so on; n wr finiśñ brecfst in ɖer litl parlr n īgrli dscusñ ɖer planz fr ɖ de, ẃn a hevi noc sǎndd at ɖ dor.

“Boɖr!” sd ɖ Rat, ol ovr eg. “Si hu it z, Mol, lîc a gd ćap, sins y’v finiśt.”

Ɖ Mol wnt t atnd ɖ sumnz, n ɖ Rat hŕd him utr a crî v s’prîz. Ɖen h fluñ ɖ parlr dor opn, n anǎnst wɖ mć importns, “Mr. Bajr!”

Ɖs wz a wundrfl ʈñ, indd, ɖt ɖ Bajr śd pe a forml cōl on ɖm, or indd on enbdi. H jenṛli hd t b còt, f y wontd him badli, az h slipt qaytli alñ a hejro v an rli mornñ or a lêt īvnñ, or els huntd p in hiz ǒn hǎs in ɖ midl v ɖ Wŭd, ẃć wz a sirịs unḍtecñ.

Ɖ Bajr stroud heṿli intu ɖ rūm, n std lcñ at ɖ tū animlz wɖ an xpreśn fl v sirịsnis. Ɖ Rat let hiz egspūn fōl on ɖ teblcloʈ, n sat opn-mǎɖd.

“Ɖ aur hz cm!” sd ɖ Bajr at last wɖ gret s’lemṇti.

“Ẃt aur?” asct ɖ Rat unīẓli, glansñ at ɖ cloc on ɖ mantlpìs.

“HUZ aur, y śd rɖr se,” rplaid ɖ Bajr. “Ẃ, Tod’z aur! Ɖ aur v Tod! I sd I wd tec him in hand az sn az ɖ wintr wz wel ovr, n I’m gwñ t tec him in hand tde!”

“Tod’z aur, v cors!” craid ɖ Mol dlîtidli. “Hre! I rmembr nǎ! W’L tīć him t b a snṣbl Tod!”

“Ɖs vri mornñ,” cntinyd ɖ Bajr, tecñ an armćer, “az I lrnt last nît fṛm a trustwrɖi sors, anɖr ny n xpśṇli pǎrfl motrcar wl arîv at Tod Hōl on apruvl or rtrn. At ɖs vri momnt, phps, Tod z bizi areyñ himslf in ɖoz snğlrli hidịs hbilimnts so dir t him, ẃć trnsform him fṛm a (cmpaṛtivli) gd-lcñ Tod intu an Objict ẃć ʈroz eni dīsnt-mîndd animl ɖt cmz acrs it intu a vayḷnt fit. W mst b p n dwñ, e’r it z tù lêt. Y tū animlz wl acumṗni m instntli t Tod Hōl, n ɖ wrc v rescy śl b acumpliśt.”

“Rît y r!” craid ɖ Rat, startñ p. “W’l rescy ɖ pur unhapi animl! W’l cnvrt him! H’l b ɖ most cnvrtd Tod ɖt evr wz bfr w’v dn wɖ him!”

Ɖe set of p ɖ rod on ɖer miśn v mrsi, Bajr līdñ ɖ we. Animlz ẃn in cumṗni wōc in a propr n snṣbl manr, in sngl fîl, instd v sprōlñ ol acrs ɖ rod n biyñ v no ys or s’port t ć uɖr in ces v sudn trubl or denjr.

Ɖe rīćt ɖ carijdrîv v Tod Hōl t fînd, az ɖ Bajr hd antiṣpetd, a śîni ny motrcar, v gret sîz, pentd a brît red (Tod’z feṿrit culr), standñ in frunt v ɖ hǎs. Az ɖe nird ɖ dor it wz fluñ opn, n Mr. Tod, areid in goglz, cap, geitrz, n inorṃs oṿcot, cem swaġrñ dǎn ɖ steps, drw̃ on hiz gōntḷtd gluvz.

“Hlo! cm on, y feloz!” h craid ćirf̣li on caćñ sît v ɖm. “Y’r jst in tîm t cm wɖ m fr a joli – t cm fr a joli – fr a – ’r – joli — ”

Hiz harti axnts fōltrd n fél awe az h notist ɖ strn unbndñ lc on ɖ cǎntinnsz v hiz sîḷnt frendz, n hiz invteśn rmend unfiniśt.

Ɖ Bajr stroud p ɖ steps. “Tec him insd,” h sd strnli t hiz cmpańnz. Ɖen, az Tod wz husld ʈru ɖ dor, struġlñ n pṛtstñ, h trnd t ɖ śofr in ćarj v ɖ ny motrcar.

“I’m afred y w’nt b wontd tde,” h sd. “Mr. Tod hz ćenjd hiz mînd. H wl nt rqîr ɖ car. Plīz unḍstand ɖt ɖs z fînl. Y nīd’nt wêt.” Ɖen h foloud ɖ uɖrz insd n śut ɖ dor.

“Nǎ ɖen!” h sd t ɖ Tod, ẃn ɖ for v ɖm std tgɖr in ɖ Hōl, “frst v ol, tec ɖoz r’dikyḷs ʈñz of!”

“Ś’nt!” rplaid Tod, wɖ gret spirit. “Ẃt z ɖ mīnñ v ɖs gros ǎtrej? I dmand an instnt xpḷneśn.”

“Tec ɖm of him, ɖen, y tū,” ordrd ɖ Bajr brīfli.

Ɖe hd t le Tod ǎt on ɖ flor, cicñ n cōlñ ol sorts v nemz, bfr ɖe cd gt t wrc proprli. Ɖen ɖ Rat sat on him, n ɖ Mol got hiz motrcloɖz of him bit bî bit, n ɖe std him p on hiz legz agn. A gd dīl v hiz blusṭrñ spirit sīmd t hv ivaṗretd wɖ ɖ rmuvl v hiz fîn paṇpli. Nǎ ɖt h wz mirli Tod, n no longr ɖ Terr v ɖ Hîwe, h gigld fībli n lct fṛm wn t ɖ uɖr apilñli, sīmñ qt t unḍstand ɖ sićueśn.

“Y ń it mst cm t ɖs, snr or lêtr, Tod,” ɖ Bajr xplend svirli.

Y’v disrigardd ol ɖ wornñz w’v gvn y, y’v gn on sqonḍrñ ɖ muni yr faɖr left y, n y’r gtñ s animlz a bad nem in ɖ district bî yr fyrịs drîvñ n yr smaśz n yr rǎz wɖ ɖ p’līs. Indipndns z ol vri wel, bt w animlz nvr alǎ ǎr frendz t mc fūlz v ɖmslvz bynd a srtn limit; n ɖt limit y’v rīćt. Nǎ, y’r a gd felo in mni rspcts, n I d’nt wont t b tù hard on y. I’l mc wn mor ef̣t t brñ y t rīzn. Y wl cm wɖ m intu ɖ smocñrūm, n ɖr y wl hír sm facts abt yrslf; n w’l si ẃɖr y cm ǎt v ɖt rūm ɖ sem Tod ɖt y wnt in.”

H tc Tod frmli bî ɖ arm, léd him intu ɖ smocñrūm, n clozd ɖ dor bhnd ɖm.

“ƉT’S no gd!” sd ɖ Rat cntmć̣sli. “TŌCÑ t Tod’l nvr kr him. H’l SE enʈñ.”

Ɖe md ɖmslvz cumf̣tbl in armćerz n wêtd peśntli. Ʈru ɖ clozd dor ɖe cd jst hír ɖ loñ cntinẏs dron v ɖ Bajr’z vôs, rîzñ n fōlñ in wevz v oṛtri; n prezntli ɖe notist ɖt ɖ srmn bgan t b puñćuetd at inṭvlz bî loñ-drōn sobz, evidntli pṛsidñ fṛm ɖ bŭzm v Tod, hu wz a soft-hartd n afx́ṇt felo, vri īẓli cnvrtd – fr ɖ tîm biyñ – t eni pônt v vy.

Aftr sm ʈri-qortrz v an aur ɖ dor opnd, n ɖ Bajr ri’pird, soḷmli līdñ bî ɖ pw a vri limp n djctd Tod. Hiz scin huñ baġli abt him, hiz legz wobld, n hiz ćīcs wr furoud bî ɖ tirz so plentifli cōld fʈ bî ɖ Bajr’z muvñ discors.

“Sit dǎn ɖr, Tod,” sd ɖ Bajr cîndli, pôntñ t a ćer. “Mî frendz,” h wnt on, “I am plizd t inform y ɖt Tod hz at last sìn ɖ err v hiz wez. H z trūli sori fr hiz msgîdd conduct in ɖ past, n h hz unḍtecn t gv p motrcarz intîrli n fr evr. I hv hiz soḷm promis t ɖt ifct.”

“Ɖt z vri gd nyz,” sd ɖ Mol grevli.

“Vri gd nyz indd,” obzrvd ɖ Rat dybịsli, “f onli – F onli — ”

H wz lcñ vri hard at Tod az h sd ɖs, n cd nt hlp ʈncñ h psivd smʈñ vegli rzmḅlñ a twncl in ɖt animl’z stl soṛfl î.

“Ɖr’z onli wn ʈñ mor t b dn,” cntinyd ɖ graṭfaid Bajr. “Tod, I wont y soḷmli t rpit, bfr yr frendz hir, ẃt y fŭli admitd t m in ɖ smocñrūm jst nǎ. Frst, y r sori fr ẃt y’v dn, n y si ɖ foli v it ol?”

Ɖr wz a loñ, loñ pōz. Tod lct despṛtli ɖs we n ɖt, ẃl ɖ uɖr animlz wêtd in grev sîḷns. At last h spouc.

“No!” h sd, a litl suḷnli, bt stǎtli; “I’m NT sori. N it wz’nt foli at ol! It wz simpli glorịs!”

“Ẃt?” craid ɖ Bajr, gretli scanḍlîzd. “Y bacslîdñ animl, dd’nt y tel m jst nǎ, in ɖr — ”

“Ǒ, yes, yes, in ƉR,” sd Tod impeśntli. “I’d hv sd enʈñ in ƉR. Y’r so eḷqnt, dir Bajr, n so muvñ, n so cnvinsñ, n pt ol yr pônts so frîtf̣li wel – y cn d ẃt y lîc wɖ m in ƉR, n y nǒ it. Bt I’v bn srćñ mî mînd sins, n gwñ ovr ʈñz in it, n I fînd ɖt I’m nt a bit sori or rpntnt riyli, so it’s no rʈli gd seyñ I am; nǎ, z it?”

“Ɖen y d’nt promis,” sd ɖ Bajr, “nvr t tuć a motrcar agn?”

“Srtnli nt!” rplaid Tod imfaticli. “On ɖ contrri, I feʈf̣li promis ɖt ɖ vri frst motrcar I si, pūp-pūp! of I g in it!”

“Tld y so, dd’nt I?” obzrvd ɖ Rat t ɖ Mol.

“Vri wel, ɖen,” sd ɖ Bajr frmli, rîzñ t hiz fīt. “Sins y w’nt yīld t psweźn, w’l trî ẃt fors cn d. I fird it wd cm t ɖs ol alñ. Y’v ofn asct s ʈri t cm n ste wɖ y, Tod, in ɖs hansm hǎs v yrz; wel, nǎ w’r gwñ t. Ẃn w’v cnvrtd y t a propr pônt v vy w me qit, bt nt bfr. Tec him upsterz, y tū, n loc him p in hiz bedrūm, ẃl w arenj matrz btwn ǎrslvz.”

“It’s fr yr ǒn gd, Todi, y nǒ,” sd ɖ Rat cîndli, az Tod, cicñ n struġlñ, wz hōld p ɖ sterz bî hiz tū feʈfl frendz. “Ʈnc ẃt fun w śl ol hv tgɖr, jst az w yst t, ẃn y’v qt got ovr ɖs – ɖs penfl atac v yrz!”

“W’l tec gret cer v evrʈñ fr y tl y’r wel, Tod,” sd ɖ Mol; “n w’l si yr muni z’nt westd, az it hz bn.”

“No mor v ɖoz rgretbl insidnts wɖ ɖ p’līs, Tod,” sd ɖ Rat, az ɖe ʈrust him intu hiz bedrūm.

“N no mor wīcs in hospitl, biyñ ordrd abt bî fīmel nrsz, Tod,” add ɖ Mol, trnñ ɖ ci on him.

Ɖe dsndd ɖ ster, Tod śǎtñ abys at ɖm ʈru ɖ cīhol; n ɖ ʈri frendz ɖen met in confṛns on ɖ sićueśn.

“It’s gwñ t b a tīdịs biznis,” sd ɖ Bajr, sayñ. “I’v nvr sìn Tod so dtrmind. Hvr, w wl si it ǎt. H mst nvr b left an instnt ungardd. W śl hv t tec it in trnz t b wɖ him, tl ɖ pôzn hz wrct itslf ǎt v hiz sistm.”

Ɖe arenjd woćz acordñli. Ć animl tc it in trnz t slīp in Tod’z rūm at nît, n ɖe dvîdd ɖ de p btwn ɖm. At frst Tod wz undǎtdli vri trayñ t hiz cerfl gardịnz. Ẃn hiz vayḷnt paṛxizmz pzest him h wd arenj bedrūm ćerz in rūd rzmbḷns v a motrcar n wd crǎć on ɖ fōrmost v ɖm, bnt fwd n stẹrñ fix̣dli ahd, mcñ uncuʈ n gastli nôzz, tl ɖ clîmax wz rīćt, ẃn, trnñ a cmplit suṃsōlt, h wd lî prostret amdst ɖ ruinz v ɖ ćerz, apaṛntli cmplitli saṭsfaid fr ɖ momnt. Az tîm pást, hvr, ɖz penfl sīźrz grù graɉli les frīqnt, n hiz frendz strov t dvrt hiz mînd intu freś ćanlz. Bt hiz inṭrest in uɖr matrz dd nt sīm t rvîv, n h grù apaṛntli lanḡd n dprest.

Wn fîn mornñ ɖ Rat, huz trn it wz t g on dyti, wnt upsterz t rliv Bajr, hūm h faund fiɉtñ t b of n streć hiz legz in a loñ rambl rnd hiz wŭd n dǎn hiz rʈs n buroz. “Tod’z stl in bed,” h tld ɖ Rat, ǎtsd ɖ dor. “C’nt gt mć ǎt v him, xpt, ‘Ǒ līv him alon, h wonts nʈñ, phps h’l b betr prezntli, it me pas of in tîm, d’nt b undyli añśs,’ n so on. Nǎ, y lc ǎt, Rat! Ẃn Tod’z qayt n sbmisiv n pleyñ at biyñ ɖ hiro v a Súnde-scūl prîz, ɖen h’z at hiz artf̣list. Ɖr’z śr t b smʈñ p. I nǒ him. Wel, nǎ, I mst b of.”

“Hǎ r y tde, old ćap?” inqîrd ɖ Rat ćirf̣li, az h aproćt Tod’z bedsîd.

H hd t wêt sm minits fr an ansr. At last a fībl vôs rplaid, “Ʈanc y so mć, dir Rati! So gd v y t inqîr! Bt frst tel m hǎ y r yrslf, n ɖ xḷnt Mol?”

“Ǒ, W’R ol rît,” rplaid ɖ Rat. “Mol,” h add incōśsli, “z gwñ ǎt fr a run rnd wɖ Bajr. Ɖ’l b ǎt tl lunćntîm, so y n I wl spend a pleznt mornñ tgɖr, n I’l d mî bst t aḿz y. Nǎ jump p, ɖr’z a gd felo, n d’nt lî mǒpñ ɖr on a fîn mornñ lîc ɖs!”

“Dir, cînd Rat,” mrmrd Tod, “hǎ litl y riylîz mî cndiśn, n hǎ vri far I am fṛm ‘jumpñ p’ nǎ – f evr! Bt d nt trubl abt m. I het biyñ a brdn t mî frendz, n I d nt xpct t b wn mć longr. Indd, I olmst hop nt.”

“Wel, I hop nt, tù,” sd ɖ Rat harṭli. “Y’v bn a fîn boɖr t s ol ɖs tîm, n I’m glad t hír it’s gwñ t stop. N in weɖr lîc ɖs, n ɖ botñsīzn jst bginñ! It’s tù bad v y, Tod! It z’nt ɖ trubl w mînd, bt y’r mcñ s mis sć an ōfl lot.”

“I’m afred it Z ɖ trubl y mînd, ɖo,” rplaid ɖ Tod lanḡdli. “I cn qt unḍstand it. It’s naćṛl inuf. Y’r tîrd v boɖ̇rñ abt m. I ms’nt asc y t d enʈñ frɖr. I’m a ńsns, I nǒ.”

“Y r, indd,” sd ɖ Rat. “Bt I tel y, I’d tec eni trubl on rʈ fr y, f onli y’d b a snṣbl animl.”

“F I ʈt ɖt, Rati,” mrmrd Tod, mor fībli ɖn evr, “ɖen I wd beg y – fr ɖ last tîm, probbli – t step rnd t ɖ vilij az qcli az poṣbl – īvn nǎ it me b tù lêt – n feć ɖ doctr. Bt d’nt y boɖr. It’s onli a trubl, n phps w me az wel let ʈñz tec ɖer cors.”

“Ẃ, ẃt d y wont a doctr fr?” inqîrd ɖ Rat, cmñ closr n xaṃnñ him. H srtnli le vri stil n flat, n hiz vôs wz wìcr n hiz manr mć ćenjd.

“Śrli y hv notist v lêt — ” mrmrd Tod. “Bt, no – ẃ śd y? Noṭsñ ʈñz z onli a trubl. Tmoro, indd, y me b seyñ t yrslf, “Ǒ, f onli I hd notist snr! F onli I hd dn smʈñ!” Bt no; it’s a trubl. Nvr mînd – fget ɖt I asct.”

“Lc hir, old man,” sd ɖ Rat, bginñ t gt rɖr alarmd, “v cors I’l feć a doctr t y, f y riyli ʈnc y wont him. Bt y cn hardli b bad inuf fr ɖt yt. Let’s tōc abt smʈñ els.”

“I fir, dir frend,” sd Tod, wɖ a sad smîl, “ɖt ‘tōc’ cn d litl in a ces lîc ɖs – or doctrz îɖr, fr ɖt matr; stl, wn mst grasp at ɖ slîtist strw. N, bî ɖ we – ẃl y r abt it – I HET t gv y adiśnl trubl, bt I hapn t rmembr ɖt y wl pas ɖ dor – wd y mînd at ɖ sem tîm ascñ ɖ loyr t step p? It wd b a cnvīńns t m, n ɖr r momnts – phps I śd se ɖr z A momnt – ẃn wn mst fes dis’griybl tascs, at ẃtvr cost t xōstd nećr!”

“A loyr! Ǒ, h mst b riyli bad!” ɖ afrîtd Rat sd t himslf, az h hurid fṛm ɖ rūm, nt fgetñ, hvr, t loc ɖ dor cerf̣li bhnd him.

Ǎtsd, h stopt t cnsidr. Ɖ uɖr tū wr far awe, n h hd nwn t cnsult.

“It’s bst t b on ɖ sef sîd,” h sd, on rflex́n. “I’v noun Tod fansi himslf frîtf̣li bad bfr, wɖt ɖ slîtist rīzn; bt I’v nvr hŕd him asc fr a loyr! F ɖr’z nʈñ riyli ɖ matr, ɖ doctr wl tel him h’z an old as, n ćir him p; n ɖt wl b smʈñ gend. I’d betr hymr him n g; it w’nt tec vri loñ.” So h ran of t ɖ vilij on hiz eṛnd v mrsi.

Ɖ Tod, hu hd hópt lîtli ǎt v bed az sn az h hŕd ɖ ci trnd in ɖ loc, woćt him īgrli fṛm ɖ windo tl h dis’pird dǎn ɖ carijdrîv. Ɖen, lafñ harṭli, h drest az qcli az poṣbl in ɖ smartist sūt h cd le handz on at ɖ momnt, fild hiz pocits wɖ caś ẃć h tc fṛm a smōl dror in ɖ dresñtebl, n nxt, nótñ ɖ śīts fṛm hiz bed tgɖr n tayñ wn end v ɖ impṛvîzd rop rnd ɖ sntṛl mułn v ɖ hansm Tydr windo ẃć formd sć a fīćr v hiz bedrūm, h scrambld ǎt, slid lîtli t ɖ grǎnd, n, tecñ ɖ oṗzit d’rex́n t ɖ Rat, marćt of lîthartdli, ẃiṣlñ a meri tyn.

It wz a glūmi lunćn fr Rat ẃn ɖ Bajr n ɖ Mol at leñʈ rtrnd, n h hd t fes ɖm at tebl wɖ hiz pitifl n uncnvinsñ stori. Ɖ Bajr’z cōstic, nt t se brūtl, rmarcs me b imajnd, n ɖrfr pást ovr; bt it wz penfl t ɖ Rat ɖt īvn ɖ Mol, ɖo h tc hiz frend’z sîd az far az poṣbl, cd nt hlp seyñ, “Y’v bn a bit v a dufr ɖs tîm, Rati! Tod, tù, v ol animlz!”

“H dd it ōf̣li wel,” sd ɖ crestfōḷn Rat.

“H dd Y ōf̣li wel!” rjônd ɖ Bajr hotli. “Hvr, tōcñ w’nt mnd matrz. H’z got clir awe fr ɖ tîm, ɖt’s srtn; n ɖ wrst v it z, h’l b so cnsitd wɖ ẃt h’l ʈnc z hiz clevrnis ɖt h me cmit eni foli. Wn cumf̣t z, w’r fri nǎ, n nīd’nt west eni mor v ǎr preśs tîm dwñ sentri-go. Bt w’d betr cntiny t slīp at Tod Hōl fr a ẃl longr. Tod me b bròt bac at eni momnt – on a strećr, or btwn tū p’līsṃn.”

So spouc ɖ Bajr, nt nwñ ẃt ɖ fyćr hld in stor, or hǎ mć wōtr, n v hǎ trbid a caṛctr, wz t run undr brijz bfr Tod śd sit at īz agn in hiz ansestṛl Hōl.

Mnẃl, Tod, ge n irisponsbl, wz wōcñ briscli alñ ɖ hîrod, sm mîlz fṛm hom. At frst h hd tecn bîpaʈz, n crost mni fīldz, n ćenjd hiz cors sevṛl tîmz, in ces v psyt; bt nǎ, fīlñ bî ɖs tîm sef fṛm rīcapćr, n ɖ sún smîlñ brîtli on him, n ol Nećr jônñ in a cōṛs v apruvl t ɖ soñ v slf-prêz ɖt hiz ǒn hart wz sññ t him, h olmst danst alñ ɖ rod in hiz saṭsfax́n n cnsit.

“Smart pìs v wrc ɖt!” h rmarct t himslf ćuc̣lñ. “Bren agnst brūt fors – n bren cem ǎt on ɖ top – az it’s baund t d. Pur old Rati! Mî! w’nt h cać it ẃn ɖ Bajr gts bac! A wrɖi felo, Rati, wɖ mni gd qoḷtz, bt vri litl intelijns n abṣlutli no edyceśn. I mst tec him in hand sm de, n si f I cn mc smʈñ v him.”

Fild fl v cnsitd ʈts sć az ɖz h stroud alñ, hiz hed in ɖ er, tl h rīćt a litl tǎn, ẃr ɖ sîn v “Ɖ Red Layn,” swññ acrs ɖ rod hafwe dǎn ɖ mn strīt, rmîndd him ɖt h hd nt brecfstd ɖt de, n ɖt h wz xidñli hungri aftr hiz loñ wōc. H marćt intu ɖ Ín, ordrd ɖ bst lunćn ɖt cd b pṛvîdd at so śort a notis, n sat dǎn t īt it in ɖ cofirūm.

H wz abt hafwe ʈru hiz mīl ẃn an onli tù fmiłr sǎnd, aproćñ dǎn ɖ strīt, md him start n fōl a-tremḅlñ ol ovr. Ɖ pūp-pūp! drù nirr n nirr, ɖ car cd b hŕd t trn intu ɖ ínyard n cm t a stop, n Tod hd t hold on t ɖ leg v ɖ tebl t cnsil hiz oṿmasṭrñ imośn. Prezntli ɖ parti entrd ɖ cofirūm, hungri, tōc̣tiv, n ge, vołbl on ɖer xpirịnsz v ɖ mornñ n ɖ merits v ɖ ćarịt ɖt hd bròt ɖm alñ so wel. Tod lisnd īgrli, ol irz, fr a tîm; at last h cd stand it no longr. H slipt ǎt v ɖ rūm qaytli, peid hiz bil at ɖ bar, n az sn az h got ǎtsd sōntrd rnd qaytli t ɖ ínyard. “Ɖr canot b eni harm,” h sd t himslf, “in mî onli jst LCÑ at it!”

Ɖ car std in ɖ midl v ɖ yard, qt un’tndd, ɖ steblhelps n uɖr hañrz-on biyñ ol at ɖer dinr. Tod wōct slǒli rnd it, inspctñ, criṭsîzñ, ḿzñ dīpli.

“I wundr,” h sd t himslf prezntli, “I wundr f ɖs sort v car STARTS īẓli?”

Nxt momnt, hardli nwñ hǎ it cem abt, h faund h hd hold v ɖ handl n wz trnñ it. Az ɖ fmiłr sǎnd brouc fʈ, ɖ old paśn sizd on Tod n cmplitli mastrd him, bodi n soul. Az f in a drīm h faund himslf, smhǎ, sītd in ɖ drîvr’z sīt; az f in a drīm, h pld ɖ līvr n swuñ ɖ car rnd ɖ yard n ǎt ʈru ɖ arćwe; n, az f in a drīm, ol sns v rît n roñ, ol fir v obvịs consiqnsz, sīmd temprṛli sspndd. H incrist hiz pes, n az ɖ car dvǎrd ɖ strīt n lept fʈ on ɖ hîrod ʈru ɖ opn cuntri, h wz onli conśs ɖt h wz Tod wns mor, Tod at hiz bst n hîist, Tod ɖ terr, ɖ traficqelr, ɖ Lord v ɖ lon trel, bfr hūm ol mst gv we or b smitn intu nʈñnis n eṿlastñ nît. H ćantd az h flù, n ɖ car rspondd wɖ sonṛs dron; ɖ mîlz wr ītn p undr him az h sped h ń nt ẃiɖr, flfilñ hiz instñts, livñ hiz aur, reclis v ẃt mt cm t him.


“T mî mînd,” obzrvd ɖ Ćermn v ɖ Benć v Maɉstrets ćirf̣li, “ɖ ONLI dificlti ɖt priznts itslf in ɖs uɖ̇wz vri clir ces z, hǎ w cn poṣbli mc it sfiśntli hot fr ɖ incoriɉbl rog n hardnd rufịn hūm w si cawrñ in ɖ doc bfr s. Let m si: h hz bn faund gilti, on ɖ clirist evidns, frst, v stìlñ a vałbl motrcar; secndli, v drîvñ t ɖ public denjr; n, ʈrdli, v gros imprtinns t ɖ rṛl p’līs. Mr. Clarc, wl y tel s, plīz, ẃt z ɖ vri stifist penlti w cn impoz fr ć v ɖz ofnsz? Wɖt, v cors, gvñ ɖ priznr ɖ beṇfit v eni dǎt, bcz ɖr z’nt eni.”

Ɖ Clarc scraćt hiz nǒz wɖ hiz pén. “Sm ppl wd cnsidr,” h obzrvd, “ɖt stìlñ ɖ motrcar wz ɖ wrst ofns; n so it z. Bt ćīcñ ɖ p’līs undǎtdli cariz ɖ svirist penlti; n so it òt. S’pozñ y wr t se twelv munʈs fr ɖ ʈeft, ẃć z mîld; n ʈri yirz fr ɖ fyrịs drîvñ, ẃć z līńnt; n fiftīn yirz fr ɖ ćīc, ẃć wz priti bad sort v ćīc, jujñ bî ẃt w’v hŕd fṛm ɖ witnisbox, īvn f y onli b’liv one-tnʈ part v ẃt y hŕd, n I nvr b’liv mor mslf – ɖoz figrz, f add tgɖr c’recli, tot p t nîntīn yirz — ”

“Frst-ret!” sd ɖ Ćermn.

“ – So y hd betr mc it a rǎnd twenti yirz n b on ɖ sef sîd,” cncludd ɖ Clarc.

“An xḷnt sjsćn!” sd ɖ Ćermn apruvñli. “Priznr! Pl yrslf tgɖr n trî n stand p stret. It’s gwñ t b twenti yirz fr y ɖs tîm. N mînd, f y apir bfr s agn, upn eni ćarj ẃtvr, w śl hv t dīl wɖ y vri sirịsli!”

Ɖen ɖ brūtl mińnz v ɖ lw fél upn ɖ haplis Tod; lodd him wɖ ćenz, n dragd him fṛm ɖ Cort Hǎs, śrīcñ, preyñ, pṛtstñ; acrs ɖ marcitples, ẃr ɖ plêfl popyḷs, olwz az svir upn dtctd crîm az ɖe r simṗʈetic n hlpfl ẃn wn z mirli “wontd,” aseld him wɖ jirz, caṛts, n popylr caćwrdz; past hūtñ scūlćildṛn, ɖer iṇsnt fesz lit p wɖ ɖ pleźr ɖe evr d’rîv fṛm ɖ sît v a jntlmn in dificltiz; acrs ɖ holo-sǎndñ drwbrij, b’lo ɖ spîci portculis, undr ɖ frǎnñ arćwe v ɖ grim old casl, huz enćnt tǎrz sōrd hî oṿhed; past gardrūmz fl v grinñ solɉri of dyti, past sntriz hu coft in a horid, sarcastic we, bcz ɖt z az mć az a sntri on hiz post der d t śo hiz cntmt n abhoṛns v crîm; p tîm-wòrn wîndñ sterz, past men-at-armz in cascit n corslit v stīl, dartñ ʈreṭnñ lcs ʈru ɖer viẓdz; acrs cortyardz, ẃr mastifs strend at ɖer līś n pwd ɖ er t gt at him; past enćnt wordrz, ɖer halḅdz lent agnst ɖ wōl, dozñ ovr a pasti n a flagn v brǎn el; on n on, past ɖ racćembr n ɖ ʈumscru-room, past ɖ trnñ ɖt léd t ɖ prîṿt scafld, tl ɖe rīćt ɖ dor v ɖ grimist dunjn ɖt le in ɖ hart v ɖ inrmost cīp. Ɖr at last ɖe pōzd, ẃr an enćnt jelr sat fnġrñ a bunć v mîti ciz.

“Odzbodicinz!” sd ɖ sarjnt v p’līs, tecñ of hiz helmit n wîpñ hiz fōrhed. “Rǎz ɖi, old lūn, n tec ovr fṛm s ɖs vîl Tod, a criminl v dīpist gilt n maćlis artflnis n rzors. Woć n word him wɖ ol ɖî scil; n marc ɖi wel, grêbird, śd ōt unṭword bfōl, ɖî old hed śl ansr fr hiz – n a murin on bʈ v ɖm!”

Ɖ jelr nodd grimli, leyñ hiz wiɖrd hand on ɖ śoldr v ɖ mizṛbl Tod. Ɖ rusti ci crīct in ɖ loc, ɖ gret dor clañd bhnd ɖm; n Tod wz a hlplis priznr in ɖ rmotist dunjn v ɖ bst-gardd cīp v ɖ stǎtist casl in ol ɖ leñʈ n bredʈ v Meri Ñgḷnd.