VII: Ɖ Pîpr at ɖ Gets ov Dōn

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Wilorén wz twiṭrñ hiz ʈin litl soñ, hidn himslf in ɖ darc slvij v ɖ rivrbanc. Ɖo it wz past ten o’cloc at nît, ɖ scî stl cluñ t n rtend sm linġrñ scrts v lît fṛm ɖ dpartd de; n ɖ suḷn hīts v ɖ torid afṭnun brouc p n rold awe at ɖ dsprsñ tuć v ɖ cūl fngrz v ɖ śort midsumrnît. Mol le strećt on ɖ banc, stl pantñ fṛm ɖ stres v ɖ firs de ɖt hd bn clǎdlis fṛm dōn t lêt súnset, n wêtd fr hiz frend t rtrn. H hd bn on ɖ rivr wɖ sm cmpańnz, līvñ ɖ Wōtŗat fri t cīp an ingejmnt v loñ standñ wɖ Otr; n h hd cm bac t fînd ɖ hǎs darc n dzrtd, n no sîn v Rat, hu wz dǎtlis cīpñ it p lêt wɖ hiz old comred. It wz stl tù hot t ʈnc v steyñ indorz, so h le on sm cūl doclīvz, n ʈt ovr ɖ past de n its dwñz, n hǎ vri gd ɖe ol hd bn.

Ɖ Rat’s lît ftfōl wz prezntli hŕd aproćñ ovr ɖ parćt gras. “Ǒ, ɖ blesid cūlnis!” h sd, n sat dǎn, gezñ ʈtf̣li intu ɖ rivr, sîḷnt n priokpaid.

“Y steid t supr, v cors?” sd ɖ Mol prezntli.

“Simpli hd t,” sd ɖ Rat. “Ɖe wd’nt hír v mî gwñ bfr. Y nǒ hǎ cînd ɖe olwz r. N ɖe md ʈñz az joli fr m az evr ɖe cd, rît p t ɖ momnt I left. Bt I flt a brūt ol ɖ tîm, az it wz clir t m ɖe wr vri unhapi, ɖo ɖe traid t hîd it. Mol, I’m afred ɖ’r in trubl. Litl Portli z misñ agn; n y nǒ ẃt a lot hiz faɖr ʈncs v him, ɖo h nvr sz mć abt it.”

“Ẃt, ɖt ćîld?” sd ɖ Mol lîtli. “Wel, s’poz h z; ẃ wuri abt it? H’z olwz streyñ of n gtñ lost, n trnñ p agn; h’z so advnćṛs. Bt no harm evr hapnz t him. Evrbdi hir’bts nz him n lîcs him, jst az ɖe d old Otr, n y me b śr sm animl or uɖr wl cm acrs him n brñ him bac agn ol rît. Ẃ, w’v faund him ǎrslvz, mîlz fṛm hom, n qt slf-pzest n ćirfl!”

“Yes; bt ɖs tîm it’s mor sirịs,” sd ɖ Rat grevli. “H’z bn misñ fr sm dez nǎ, n ɖ Otrz hv huntd evrẃr, hî n lo, wɖt fîndñ ɖ slîtist tres. N ɖ’v asct evri animl, tù, fr mîlz arnd, n nwn nz enʈñ abt him. Otr’z evidntli mor añśs ɖn h’l admit. I got ǎt v him ɖt yuñ Portli hz’nt lrnt t swim vri wel yt, n I cn si h’z ʈncñ v ɖ wir. Ɖr’z a lot v wōtr cmñ dǎn stl, cnsiḍrñ ɖ tîm v ɖ yir, n ɖ ples olwz hd a faṣneśn fr ɖ ćîld. N ɖen ɖr r – wel, traps n ʈñz – Y nǒ. Otr’z nt ɖ felo t b nrṿs abt eni sun v hiz bfr it’s tîm. N nǎ h Z nrṿs. Ẃn I left, h cem ǎt wɖ m – sd h wontd sm er, n tōct abt strećñ hiz legz. Bt I cd si it wz’nt ɖt, so I drù him ǎt n pumt him, n got it ol fṛm him at last. H wz gwñ t spend ɖ nît woćñ bî ɖ ford. Y nǒ ɖ ples ẃr ɖ old ford yst t b, in bî-gn dez bfr ɖe bilt ɖ brij?”

“I nǒ it wel,” sd ɖ Mol. “Bt ẃ śd Otr ćūz t woć ɖr?”

“Wel, it sīmz ɖt it wz ɖr h gev Portli hiz frst swimñlésn,” cntinyd ɖ Rat. “Fṛm ɖt śalo, graṿli spit nir ɖ banc. N it wz ɖr h yst t tīć him fiśñ, n ɖr yuñ Portli còt hiz frst fiś, v ẃć h wz so vri prǎd. Ɖ ćîld luvd ɖ spot, n Otr ʈncs ɖt f h cem wonḍrñ bac fṛm ẃrvr h z – f h Z enẃr bî ɖs tîm, pur litl ćap – h mt mc fr ɖ ford h wz so fond v; or f h cem acrs it h’d rmembr it wel, n stop ɖr n ple, phps. So Otr gz ɖr evri nît n woćz – on ɖ ćans, y nǒ, jst on ɖ ćans!”

Ɖe wr sîḷnt fr a tîm, bʈ ʈncñ v ɖ sem ʈñ – ɖ lonli, hart-sor animl, crǎćt bî ɖ ford, woćñ n wêtñ, ɖ loñ nît ʈru – on ɖ ćans.

“Wel, wel,” sd ɖ Rat prezntli, “I s’poz w òt t b ʈncñ abt trnñ in.” Bt h nvr ofrd t muv.

“Rat,” sd ɖ Mol, “I simpli c’nt g n trn in, n g t slīp, n D nʈñ, īvn ɖo ɖr dz’nt sīm t b enʈñ t b dn. W’l gt ɖ bot ǎt, n padl p strīm. Ɖ mūn wl b p in an aur or so, n ɖen w wl srć az wel az w cn – enhǎ, it wl b betr ɖn gwñ t bed n dwñ NƮÑ.”

“Jst ẃt I wz ʈncñ mslf,” sd ɖ Rat. “It’s nt ɖ sort v nît fr bed enhǎ; n dêbrec z nt so vri far of, n ɖen w me pic p sm nyz v him fṛm rli rîzrz az w g alñ.”

Ɖe got ɖ bot ǎt, n ɖ Rat tc ɖ scúlz, paḍlñ wɖ cōśn. Ǎt in midstrīm, ɖr wz a clir, naro trac ɖt fentli rflectd ɖ scî; bt ẃrvr śadoz fél on ɖ wōtr fṛm banc, bś, or tri, ɖe wr az solid t ol apiṛns az ɖ bancs ɖmslvz, n ɖ Mol hd t stir wɖ jujmnt acordñli. Darc n dzrtd az it wz, ɖ nît wz fl v smōl nôzz, soñ n ćatr n ruṣlñ, telñ v ɖ bizi litl popyleśn hu wr p n abt, playñ ɖer tredz n voceśnz ʈru ɖ nît tl súnśîn śd fōl on ɖm at last n snd ɖm of t ɖer wel-ŕnd rpoz. Ɖ wōtr’z ǒn nôzz, tù, wr mor apaṛnt ɖn bî de, its grġlñz n “clūps’ mor unxpctd n nir at hand; n constntli ɖe startd at ẃt sīmd a sudn clir cōl fṛm an acćl artikḷt vôs.

Ɖ lîn v ɖ hrîzn wz clir n hard agnst ɖ scî, n in wn ptiklr qortr it śoud blac agnst a silṿri clîmñ fosf̣resns ɖt grù n grù. At last, ovr ɖ rim v ɖ wêtñ rʈ ɖ mūn liftd wɖ slo maɉsti tl it swuñ clir v ɖ hrîzn n roud of, fri v murñz; n wns mor ɖe bgan t si srf̣sz – medoz wîd-spréd, n qayt gardnz, n ɖ rivr itslf fṛm banc t banc, ol softli dsclozd, ol wośt clīn v misṭri n terr, ol redịnt agn az bî de, bt wɖ a difṛns ɖt wz tṛmnḍs. Ɖer old hōnts grītd ɖm agn in uɖr remnt, az f ɖe hd slipt awe n pt on ɖs pyr ny apaṛl n cm qaytli bac, smîlñ az ɖe śîli wêtd t si f ɖe wd b rec̣gnîzd agn undr it.

Faṣnñ ɖer bot t a wilo, ɖ frendz landd in ɖs sîḷnt, silvr cñdm, n peśntli xplord ɖ hejz, ɖ holo triz, ɖ runlz n ɖer litl culṿts, ɖ dićz n drî wōtrwez. Imbarcñ agn n crosñ ovr, ɖe wrct ɖer we p ɖ strīm in ɖs manr, ẃl ɖ mūn, srīn n dtaćt in a clǎdlis scî, dd ẃt ś cd, ɖo so far of, t hlp ɖm in ɖer qst; tl hr aur cem n ś sanc rʈẉdz rluctntli, n left ɖm, n misṭri wns mor hld fīld n rivr.

Ɖen a ćenj bgan slǒli t dcler itslf. Ɖ hrîzn bcem clirr, fīld n tri cem mor intu sît, n smhǎ wɖ a difṛnt lc; ɖ misṭri bgan t drop awe fṛm ɖm. A brd pîpt sudnli, n wz stil; n a lît brīz sprañ p n set ɖ rìdz n blruśz ruṣlñ. Rat, hu wz in ɖ strn v ɖ bot, ẃl Mol scúld, sat p sudnli n lisnd wɖ a paśṇt intntnis. Mol, hu wɖ jntl strocs wz jst cīpñ ɖ bot muvñ ẃl h scand ɖ bancs wɖ cer, lct at him wɖ krioṣti.

“It’s gn!” said ɖ Rat, sncñ bac in hiz sīt agn. “So bytifl n strenj n ny. Sins it wz t end so sn, I olmst wś I hd nvr hŕd it. Fr it hz rǎzd a loññ in m ɖt z pen, n nʈñ sīmz wrʈẃl bt jst t hír ɖt sǎnd wns mor n g on liṣnñ t it fr evr. No! Ɖr it z agn!” h craid, alrt wns mor. Intranst, h wz sîḷnt fr a loñ spes, spelbaund.

“Nǎ it pasz on n I bgin t lūz it,” h sd prezntli. “Ǒ Mol! ɖ byti v it! Ɖ meri bubl n jô, ɖ ʈin, clir, hapi cōl v ɖ distnt pîpñ! Sć ḿzic I nvr dremt v, n ɖ cōl in it z strongr īvn ɖn ɖ ḿzic z swīt! Ro on, Mol, ro! Fr ɖ ḿzic n ɖ cōl mst b fr s.”

Ɖ Mol, gretli wunḍrñ, obeid. “I hír nʈñ mslf,” h sd, “bt ɖ wind pleyñ in ɖ rìdz n ruśz n osịrz.”

Ɖ Rat nvr ansrd, f indd h hŕd. Rapt, trnsportd, tremḅlñ, h wz pzest in ol hiz snsz bî ɖs ny dvîn ʈñ ɖt còt p hiz hlplis soul n swuñ n dandld it, a pǎrlis bt hapi inf̣nt in a stroñ sstenñ grasp.

In sîḷns Mol róud steḍli, n sn ɖe cem t a pônt ẃr ɖ rivr dvîdd, a loñ bacwōtr branćñ of t wn sîd. Wɖ a slît muvmnt v hiz hed Rat, hu hd loñ dropt ɖ rudrlînz, d’rectd ɖ rowr t tec ɖ bacwōtr. Ɖ crīpñ tîd v lît gend n gend, n nǎ ɖe cd si ɖ culr v ɖ flǎrz ɖt jmd ɖ wōtr’z éj.

“Clirr n nirr stl,” craid ɖ Rat joysli. “Nǎ y mst śrli hír it! Ā – at last – I si y d!”

Breʈlis n trnsfixt ɖ Mol stopt rowñ az ɖ liqid run v ɖt glad pîpñ brouc on him lîc a wev, còt him p, n pzest him utrli. H sw ɖ tirz on hiz comred’z ćīcs, n baud hiz hed n unḍstd. Fr a spes ɖe huñ ɖr, bruśt bî ɖ prpl lūștrîf ɖt frinjd ɖ banc; ɖen ɖ clir impirịs sumnz ɖt marćt hand-in-hand wɖ ɖ intox̣cetñ meḷdi impozd its wil on Mol, n mcanicli h bnt t hiz òrz agn. N ɖ lît grù steḍli strongr, bt no brdz sañ az ɖe wr wónt t d at ɖ aproć v dōn; n bt fr ɖ hevnli ḿzic ol wz marvḷsli stil.

On îɖr sîd v ɖm, az ɖe glîdd onẉdz, ɖ rić medogras sīmd ɖt mornñ v a freśnis n a grīņis unṣpasbl. Nvr hd ɖe notist ɖ rozz so vivid, ɖ wilohrb so rayṭs, ɖ medoswīt so odṛs n pvedñ. Ɖen ɖ mrmr v ɖ aproćñ wir bgan t hold ɖ er, n ɖe flt a conśsnis ɖt ɖe wr nirñ ɖ end, ẃtvr it mt b, ɖt śrli awetd ɖer xpdiśn.

A wîd haf-srcl v fom n glintñ lîts n śînñ śoldrz v grīn wōtr, ɖ gret wir clozd ɖ bacwōtr fṛm banc t banc, trubld ol ɖ qayt srfis wɖ twrlñ ediz n flotñ fomstrīcs, n dednd ol uɖr sǎndz wɖ its soḷm n suɖñ rumbl. In midmost v ɖ strīm, imbrest in ɖ wir’z śiṃrñ armspred, a smōl îḷnd le ancrd, frinjd clos wɖ wilo n silvr brć n ōldr. Rzrvd, śî, bt fl v sgnificns, it hid ẃtvr it mt hold bhnd a veil, cīpñ it tl ɖ aur śd cm, n, wɖ ɖ aur, ɖoz hu wr cōld n ćozn.

Slǒli, bt wɖ no dǎt or hezteśn ẃtvr, n in smʈñ v a soḷm xpctnsi, ɖ tū animlz pást ʈru ɖ brocn tymulćs wōtr n murd ɖer bot at ɖ flǎri marjin v ɖ îḷnd. In sîḷns ɖe landd, n pśt ʈru ɖ blosm n séntd hrbij n unḍgroʈ ɖt léd p t ɖ levl grǎnd, tl ɖe std on a litl lōn v a marvḷs grīn, set rnd wɖ Nećr’z ǒn orć̣dtriz – crabapl, wîld ćeri, n slou.

“Ɖs z ɖ ples v mî soñdrīm, ɖ ples ɖ ḿzic pleid t m,” ẃisprd ɖ Rat, az f in a trans. “Hir, in ɖs holi ples, hir f enẃr, śrli w śl fînd Him!”

Ɖen sudnli ɖ Mol flt a gret Ō fōl upn him, an ō ɖt trnd hiz muslz t wōtr, baud hiz hed, n rūtd hiz fīt t ɖ grǎnd. It wz no panic terr – indd h flt wundrf̣li at pīs n hapi – bt it wz an ō ɖt smout n hld him n, wɖt siyñ, h ń it cd onli mīn ɖt sm ōgust Prezns wz vri, vri nir. Wɖ dificlti h trnd t lc fr hiz frend n sw him at hiz sîd caud, stricn, n tremḅlñ vayḷntli. N stl ɖr wz utr sîḷns in ɖ popyḷs brd-hōntd branćz arnd ɖm; n stl ɖ lît grù n grù.

Phps h wd nvr hv derd t rêz hiz îz, bt ɖt, ɖo ɖ pîpñ wz nǎ huśt, ɖ cōl n ɖ sumnz sīmd stl dominnt n impirịs. H mt nt rfyz, wr Deʈ himslf wêtñ t strîc him instntli, wns h hd lct wɖ mortl î on ʈñz rîtli cept hidn. Tremḅlñ h obeid, n rezd hiz humbl hed; n ɖen, in ɖt utr clirnis v ɖ iminnt dōn, ẃl Nećr, fluśt wɖ fŭlnis v increḍbl culr, sīmd t hold hr breʈ fr ɖ ivnt, h lct in ɖ vri îz v ɖ Frend n Hlpr; sw ɖ bcwd swīp v ɖ crvd hornz, glīmñ in ɖ growñ dêlît; sw ɖ strn, hct nǒz btwn ɖ cîndli îz ɖt wr lcñ dǎn on ɖm hymṛsli, ẃl ɖ birdd mǎʈ brouc intu a hal-smîl at ɖ cornrz; sw ɖ riplñ muslz on ɖ arm ɖt le acrs ɖ brōd ćst, ɖ loñ supl hand stl holdñ ɖ panpîps onli jst fōḷn awe fṛm ɖ partd lips; sw ɖ splendid crvz v ɖ śagi limz dspozd in mjestic īz on ɖ sword; sw, last v ol, neṣlñ btwn hiz vri hūvz, slīpñ sǎndli in intîr pīs n cntntmnt, ɖ litl, rǎnd, poji, ćîldiś form v ɖ bebi-otr. Ol ɖs h sw, fr wn momnt breʈlis n intns, vivid on ɖ mornñscî; n stl, az h lct, h livd; n stl, az h livd, h wundrd.

“Rat!” h faund breʈ t ẃispr, śecñ. “R y afred?”

“Afred?” mrmrd ɖ Rat, hiz îz śînñ wɖ unutṛbl luv. “Afred! V HIM? Ǒ, nvr, nvr! N yt – n yt – Ǒ, Mol, I am afred!”

Ɖen ɖ tū animlz, crǎćñ t ɖ rʈ, baud ɖer hedz n dd wrśp.

Sudn n mgnifisnt, ɖ sún’z brōd goldn disc śoud itslf ovr ɖ hrîzn fesñ ɖm; n ɖ frst rez, śūtñ acrs ɖ levl wōtrmedoz, tc ɖ animlz fl in ɖ îz n dazld ɖm. Ẃn ɖe wr ebl t lc wns mor, ɖ Viźn hd vaniśt, n ɖ er wz fl v ɖ caṛl v brdz ɖt hêld ɖ dōn.

Az ɖe stérd blancli in dum miẓri dīṗnñ az ɖe slǒli riylîzd ol ɖe hd sìn n ol ɖe hd lost, a c’priśs litl brīz, dansñ p fṛm ɖ srfis v ɖ wōtr, tóst ɖ aspnz, śc ɖ dȳi rozz n blù lîtli n c’resñli in ɖer fesz; n wɖ its soft tuć cem instnt oblivịn. Fr ɖs z ɖ last bst gift ɖt ɖ cîndli demi-god z cerfl t bsto on ɖoz t hūm h hz rvild himslf in ɖer hlpñ: ɖ gift v fgetflnis. Lest ɖ ōfl rmembṛns śd rmen n gro, n oṿśado mrʈ n pleźr, n ɖ gret hōntñ meṃri śd spôl ol ɖ aftrlîvz v litl animlz hlpt ǎt v dificltiz, in ordr ɖt ɖe śd b hapi n lîthartd az bfr.

Mol rubd hiz îz n stérd at Rat, hu wz lcñ abt him in a puzld sort v we. “I beg yr pardn; ẃt dd y se, Rat?” h asct.

“I ʈnc I wz onli rmarcñ,” sd Rat slǒli, “ɖt ɖs wz ɖ rît sort v ples, n ɖt hir, f enẃr, w śd fînd him. N lc! Ẃ, ɖr h z, ɖ litl felo!” N wɖ a crî v dlît h ran twdz ɖ slumḅrñ Portli.

Bt Mol std stil a momnt, hld in ʈt. Az wn wecnd sudnli fṛm a bytifl drīm, hu struglz t rcōl it, n cn rcapćr nʈñ bt a dim sns v ɖ byti v it, ɖ byti! Tl ɖt, tù, fedz awe in its trn, n ɖ drīmr bitrli axpts ɖ hard, cold wecñ n ol its penltiz; so Mol, aftr struġlñ wɖ hiz meṃri fr a brīf spes, śc hiz hed sadli n foloud ɖ Rat.

Portli wouc p wɖ a joys sqīc, n rigld wɖ pleźr at ɖ sît v hiz faɖr’z frendz, hu hd pleid wɖ him so ofn in past dez. In a momnt, hvr, hiz fes grù blanc, n h fél t huntñ rnd in a srcl wɖ plīdñ ẃîn. Az a ćîld ɖt hz fōḷn haṗli aslip in its nrs’z armz, n wecs t fînd itslf alon n leid in a strenj ples, n srćz cornrz n cuḅdz, n runz fṛm rūm t rūm, dsper growñ sîḷntli in its hart, īvn so Portli srćt ɖ îḷnd n srćt, dogid n unwiriyñ, tl at last ɖ blac momnt cem fr gvñ it p, n sitñ dǎn n crayñ bitrli.

Ɖ Mol ran qcli t cumf̣t ɖ litl animl; bt Rat, linġrñ, lct loñ n dǎtf̣li at srtn hūfmarcs dīp in ɖ sword.

“Sm – gret – animl – hz bn hir,” h mrmrd slǒli n ʈtf̣li; n std ḿzñ, ḿzñ; hiz mînd strenjli strd.

“Cm alñ, Rat!” cōld ɖ Mol. “Ʈnc v pur Otr, wêtñ p ɖr bî ɖ ford!”

Portli hd sn bn cumf̣td bî ɖ promis v a trīt – a jōnt on ɖ rivr in Mr. Rat’s riyl bot; n ɖ tū animlz cnductd him t ɖ wōtr’z sîd, plest him s’krli btwn ɖm in ɖ botm v ɖ bot, n padld of dǎn ɖ bacwōtr. Ɖ sún wz fŭli p bî nǎ, n hot on ɖm, brdz sañ lusṭli n wɖt rstrent, n flǎrz smîld n nodd fṛm îɖr banc, bt smhǎ – so ʈt ɖ animlz – wɖ les v rićnis n blêz v culr ɖn ɖe sīmd t rmembr siyñ qt rīsntli smẃr – ɖe wundrd ẃr.

Ɖ mn rivr rīćt agn, ɖe trnd ɖ bot’s hed upstrīm, twdz ɖ pônt ẃr ɖe ń ɖer frend wz cīpñ hiz lonli vijil. Az ɖe drù nir ɖ fmiłr ford, ɖ Mol tc ɖ bot in t ɖ banc, n ɖe liftd Portli ǎt n set him on hiz legz on ɖ toupaʈ, gev him hiz marćñ-ordrz n a frendli férwel pat on ɖ bac, n śuvd ǎt intu mid-strīm. Ɖe woćt ɖ litl animl az h wodld alñ ɖ paʈ cntntidli n wɖ importns; woćt him tl ɖe sw hiz muzl sudnli lift n hiz wodl brec intu a clumzi ambl az h qcnd hiz pes wɖ śril ẃînz n riglz v recgniśn. Lcñ p ɖ rivr, ɖe cd si Otr start p, tns n rijid, fṛm ǎt v ɖ śaloz ẃr h crǎćt in dum peśns, n cd hír hiz amezd n joys barc az h bǎndd p ʈru ɖ osịrz on t ɖ paʈ. Ɖen ɖ Mol, wɖ a stroñ pl on wn òr, swuñ ɖ bot rnd n let ɖ fl strīm ber ɖm dǎn agn ẃiɖr it wd, ɖer qst nǎ haṗli endd.

“I fīl strenjli tîrd, Rat,” sd ɖ Mol, līnñ wiṛli ovr hiz òrz az ɖ bot driftd. “It’s biyñ p ol nît, y’l se, phps; bt ɖt’s nʈñ. W d az mć haf ɖ nîts v ɖ wīc, at ɖs tîm v ɖ yir. No; I fīl az f I hd bn ʈru smʈñ vri xîtñ n rɖr teṛbl, n it wz jst ovr; n yt nʈñ ptiklr hz hapnd.”

“Or smʈñ vri s’prîzñ n splendid n bytifl,” mrmrd ɖ Rat, līnñ bac n clozñ hiz îz. “I fīl jst az y d, Mol; simpli ded tîrd, ɖo nt bodi tîrd. It’s luci w’v got ɖ strīm wɖ s, t tec s hom. Z’nt it joli t fīl ɖ sún agn, sǒcñ intu wn’z bonz! N harc t ɖ wind pleyñ in ɖ rìdz!”

“It’s lîc ḿzic – far awe ḿzic,” sd ɖ Mol nodñ drǎẓli.

“So I wz ʈncñ,” mrmrd ɖ Rat, drīmfl n lanḡd. “Dansḿzic – ɖ liltñ sort ɖt runz on wɖt a stop – bt wɖ wrdz in it, tù – it pasz intu wrdz n ǎt v ɖm agn – I cać ɖm at inṭvlz – ɖen it z dansḿzic wns mor, n ɖen nʈñ bt ɖ rìdz’ soft ʈin ẃisṗrñ.”

“Y hír betr ɖn I,” sd ɖ Mol sadli. “I canot cać ɖ wrdz.”

“Let m trî n gv y ɖm,” sd ɖ Rat softli, hiz îz stl clozd. “Nǎ it z trnñ intu wrdz agn – fent bt clir – Lest ɖ ō śd dwel – N trn yr frolic t fret – Y śl lc on mî pǎr at ɖ hlpñ-aur – Bt ɖen y śl fget! Nǎ ɖ rìdz tec it p – fget, fget, ɖe sai, n it dîz awe in a rusl n a ẃispr. Ɖen ɖ vôs rtrnz –

“Lest limz b rednd n rent – I sprñ ɖ trap ɖt z set – Az I lūs ɖ sner y me glims m ɖr – Fr śrli y śl fget! Ro nirr, Mol, nirr t ɖ rìdz! It z hard t cać, n groz ć minit fentr.

“Hlpr n hīlr, I ćir – Smōl wefs in ɖ wŭdḷnd wet – Strez I fînd in it, wūndz I bînd in it – Bidñ ɖm ol fget! Nirr, Mol, nirr! No, it z no gd; ɖ soñ hz daid awe intu rìdtōc.”

“Bt ẃt d ɖ wrdz mīn?” asct ɖ wunḍrñ Mol.

“Ɖt I d nt nǒ,” sd ɖ Rat simpli. “I pást ɖm on t y az ɖe rīćt m. Ā! nǎ ɖe rtrn agn, n ɖs tîm fl n clir! Ɖs tîm, at last, it z ɖ riyl, ɖ unmistecbl ʈñ, simpl – paśṇt – prfict — ”

“Wel, let’s hv it, ɖen,” sd ɖ Mol, aftr h hd wêtd peśntli fr a fy minits, haf-dozñ in ɖ hot sún.

Bt no ansr cem. H lct, n unḍstd ɖ sîḷns. Wɖ a smîl v mć hapinis on hiz fes, n smʈñ v a liṣnñ lc stl linġrñ ɖr, ɖ wiri Rat wz fast aslip.