XII: Ɖ Rtrn ov Yḷsīz

Ẃn it bgan t gro darc, ɖ Rat, wɖ an er v xîtmnt n misṭri, sumnd ɖm bac intu ɖ parlr, std ć v ɖm p alñsd v hiz litl hīp, n pṛsidd t dres ɖm p fr ɖ cmñ xpdiśn. H wz vri rnist n ʈuṛgwñ abt it, n ɖ afer tc qt a loñ tîm. Frst, ɖr wz a blt t g rnd ć animl, n ɖen a sord t b stuc intu ć blt, n ɖen a cutḷs on ɖ uɖr sîd t baḷns it. Ɖen a per v pistlz, a p’līsmn’z trunćn, sevṛl sets v hancufs, sm banḍjz n sticñplastr, n a flasc n a sanwijces. Ɖ Bajr laft gd-hymrdli n sd, “Ol rît, Rati! It aḿzz y n it dz’nt hrt m. I’m gwñ t d ol I’v got t d wɖ ɖs hir stic.” Bt ɖ Rat onli sd, “PLĪZ, Bajr. Y nǒ I śd’nt lîc y t blem m aftwdz n se I hd fgotn ENƮÑ!”

Ẃn ol wz qt redi, ɖ Bajr tc a darc lantn in wn pw, graspt hiz gret stic wɖ ɖ uɖr, n sd, “Nǎ ɖen, folo m! Mol frst, ’cz I’m vri plizd wɖ him; Rat nxt; Tod last. N lc hir, Todi! D’nt y ćatr so mć az yźl, or y’l b snt bac, az śr az fet!”Ɖ Tod wz so añśs nt t b left ǎt ɖt h tc p ɖ infirịr pziśn asînd t him wɖt a mrmr, n ɖ animlz set of. Ɖ Bajr léd ɖm alñ bî ɖ rivr fr a litl we, n ɖen sudnli swuñ himslf ovr ɖ éj intu a houl in ɖ rivrbanc, a litl abv ɖ wōtr. Ɖ Mol n ɖ Rat foloud sîḷntli, swññ ɖmslvz s’xesf̣li intu ɖ houl az ɖe hd sìn ɖ Bajr d; bt ẃn it cem t Tod’z trn, v cors h manijd t slip n fōl intu ɖ wōtr wɖ a lǎd splaś n a sqīl v alarm. H wz hōld ǎt bî hiz frendz, rubd dǎn n rúñ ǎt hesṭli, cumf̣td, n set on hiz legz; bt ɖ Bajr wz sirịsli angri, n tld him ɖt ɖ vri nxt tîm h md a fūl v himslf h wd most srtnli b left bhnd.

So at last ɖe wr in ɖ sīcrit pasij, n ɖ cutñ-ǎt xpdiśn hd riyli bgun!

It wz cold, n darc, n damp, n lo, n naro, n pur Tod bgan t śivr, partli fṛm dred v ẃt mt b bfr him, partli bcz h wz wet ʈru. Ɖ lantn wz far ahd, n h cd nt hlp lagñ bhnd a litl in ɖ darcnis. Ɖen h hŕd ɖ Rat cōl ǎt wornñli, “CM on, Tod!” n a terr sizd him v biyñ left bhnd, alon in ɖ darcnis, n h “cem on” wɖ sć a ruś ɖt h upset ɖ Rat intu ɖ Mol n ɖ Mol intu ɖ Bajr, n fr a momnt ol wz cnfyźn. Ɖ Bajr ʈt ɖe wr biyñ atact fṛm bhnd, n, az ɖr wz no rūm t yz a stic or a cutḷs, drù a pistl, n wz on ɖ pônt v ptñ a bŭlit intu Tod. Ẃn h faund ǎt ẃt hd riyli hapnd h wz vri angri indd, n sd, “Nǎ ɖs tîm ɖt tîrsm Tod ŚL b left bhnd!”

Bt Tod ẃimprd, n ɖ uɖr tū promist ɖt ɖe wd b ansṛbl fr hiz gd conduct, n at last ɖ Bajr wz paṣfaid, n ɖ pṛseśn muvd on; onli ɖs tîm ɖ Rat bròt p ɖ rir, wɖ a frm grip on ɖ śoldr v Tod.

So ɖe gropt n śufld alñ, wɖ ɖer irz prict p n ɖer pwz on ɖer pistlz, tl at last ɖ Bajr sd, “W òt bî nǎ t b priti nirli undr ɖ Hōl.”

Ɖen sudnli ɖe hŕd, far awe az it mt b, n yt apaṛntli nirli ovr ɖer hedz, a cnfyzd mrmr v sǎnd, az f ppl wr śǎtñ n ćirñ n stampñ on ɖ flor n haṃrñ on teblz. Ɖ Tod’z nrṿs terrz ol rtrnd, bt ɖ Bajr onli rmarct plasidli, “Ɖe R gwñ it, ɖ Wīzlz!”

Ɖ pasij nǎ bgan t slǒp upwdz; ɖe gropt onẉd a litl frɖr, n ɖen ɖ nôz brouc ǎt agn, qt dstñt ɖs tîm, n vri clos abv ɖm. “Ū-re-ūre-ū-re-ūre!” ɖe hŕd, n ɖ stampñ v litl fīt on ɖ flor, n ɖ clincñ v glasz az litl fists pǎndd on ɖ tebl. “ẂT a tîm ɖ’r hvñ!” sd ɖ Bajr. “Cm on!” Ɖe hurid alñ ɖ pasij tl it cem t a fl stop, n ɖe faund ɖmslvz standñ undr ɖ trapdor ɖt léd p intu ɖ butlr’z pantri.

Sć a tṛmnḍs nôz wz gwñ on in ɖ banqtñhōl ɖt ɖr wz litl denjr v ɖer biyñ oṿhŕd. Ɖ Bajr sd, “Nǎ, bôz, ol tgɖr!” n ɖ for v ɖm pt ɖer śoldrz t ɖ trapdor n hīvd it bac. Hôstñ ć uɖr p, ɖe faund ɖmslvz standñ in ɖ pantri, wɖ onli a dor btwn ɖm n ɖ banqtñhōl, ẃr ɖer unconśs eṇmiz wr c’rǎzñ.

Ɖ nôz, az ɖe imrjd fṛm ɖ pasij, wz simpli def̣nñ. At last, az ɖ ćirñ n haṃrñ slǒli sbsîdd, a vôs cd b md ǎt seyñ, “Wel, I d nt pṛpoz t dten y mć longr” – (gret aplōz) – “bt bfr I rzym mî sīt” – (rnyd ćirñ) – “I śd lîc t se wn wrd abt ǎr cînd host, Mr. Tod. W ol nǒ Tod!” – (gret laftr) – “GD Tod, MODIST Tod, ONIST Tod!” (śrīcz v merimnt).

“Onli jst let m gt at him!” mutrd Tod, grîndñ hiz tīʈ.

“Hold hard a minit!” sd ɖ Bajr, rstrenñ him wɖ dificlti. “Gt redi, ol v y!”

“ – Let m sñ y a litl soñ,” wnt on ɖ vôs, “ẃć I hv cmpozd on ɖ subjict v Tod’ – (pṛloñd aplōz).

Ɖen ɖ Ćīf Wīzl – fr it wz h – bgan in a hî, sqīci vôs –

 

     “Tod h wnt a-pleẓ́rñ

     Gêli dǎn ɖ strīt – ”

 

Ɖ Bajr drù himslf p, tc a frm grip v hiz stic wɖ bʈ pwz, glanst rnd at hiz comredz, n craid –

“Ɖ aur z cm! Folo m!”

N fluñ ɖ dor opn wîd.

Mî!

Ẃt a sqīlñ n a sqīcñ n a scrīćñ fild ɖ er!

Wel mt ɖ teṛfaid wīzlz dîv undr ɖ teblz n sprñ madli p at ɖ windoz! Wel mt ɖ ferits ruś wîldli fr ɖ fîrples n gt hoplisli jamd in ɖ ćimni! Wel mt teblz n ćerz b upset, n glas n ćîna b snt craśñ on ɖ flor, in ɖ panic v ɖt teṛbl momnt ẃn ɖ for Hiroz stroud roʈf̣li intu ɖ rūm! Ɖ mîti Bajr, hiz ẃiscrz briṣlñ, hiz gret cujl ẃiṣlñ ʈru ɖ er; Mol, blac n grim, branḍśñ hiz stic n śǎtñ hiz ōfl worcrî, “A Mol! A Mol!” Rat; despṛt n dtrmind, hiz blt buljñ wɖ wepnz v evri ej n evri vrayti; Tod, frenzid wɖ xîtmnt n injrd prîd, swoḷn t twîs hiz ordnri sîz, līpñ intu ɖ er n imitñ Tod-ẃūps ɖt ćild ɖm t ɖ maro! “Tod h wnt a-pleẓ́rñ!” h yeld. “I’L pleźr ’m!” n h wnt stret fr ɖ Ćīf Wīzl. Ɖe wr bt for in ol, bt t ɖ panic-stricn wīzlz ɖ hōl sīmd fl v monstṛs animlz, gre, blac, brǎn n yelo, ẃūpñ n fluṛśñ inorṃs cujlz; n ɖe brouc n fled wɖ sqīlz v terr n dsme, ɖs we n ɖt, ʈru ɖ windoz, p ɖ ćimni, enẃr t gt ǎt v rīć v ɖoz teṛbl stics.

Ɖ afer wz sn ovr. P n dǎn, ɖ hol leñʈ v ɖ hōl, stroud ɖ for Frendz, ẃacñ wɖ ɖer stics at evri hed ɖt śoud itslf; n in fîv minits ɖ rūm wz clird. Ʈru ɖ brocn windoz ɖ śrīcz v teṛfaid wīzlz iscepñ acrs ɖ lōn wr bòrn fentli t ɖer irz; on ɖ flor le prostret sm duzn or so v ɖ eṇmi, on hūm ɖ Mol wz biẓli ingejd in fitñ hancufs. Ɖ Bajr, restñ fṛm hiz lebrz, lent on hiz stic n wîpt hiz onist brǎ.

“Mol,” h sd,” “y’r ɖ bst v feloz! Jst cut alñ ǎtsd n lc aftr ɖoz stot-sntriz v yrz, n si ẃt ɖ’r dwñ. I’v an îdīa ɖt, ʈancs t y, w ś’nt hv mć trubl fṛm ɖm tnît!”

Ɖ Mol vaniśt promtli ʈru a windo; n ɖ Bajr bád ɖ uɖr tū set a tebl on its legz agn, pic p nîvz n forcs n plets n glasz fṛm ɖ debri on ɖ flor, n si f ɖe cd fînd mtirịlz fr a supr. “I wont sm grub, I d,” h sd, in ɖt rɖr comn we h hd v spīcñ. “Str yr stumps, Tod, n lc lîvli! W’v got yr hǎs bac fr y, n y d’nt ofr s so mć az a sanwij.” Tod flt rɖr hrt ɖt ɖ Bajr dd’nt se pleznt ʈñz t him, az h hd t ɖ Mol, n tel him ẃt a fîn felo h wz, n hǎ splendidli h hd fòt; fr h wz rɖr ptiklrli plizd wɖ himslf n ɖ we h hd gn fr ɖ Ćīf Wīzl n snt him flayñ acrs ɖ tebl wɖ wn blo v hiz stic. Bt h busld abt, n so dd ɖ Rat, n sn ɖe faund sm ḡāva jeli in a glas diś, n a cold ćicn, a tuñ ɖt hd hardli bn tućt, sm trîfl, n qt a lot v lobstr saḷd; n in ɖ pantri ɖe cem upn a bascitfl v Frenć rolz n eni qontti v ćīz, butr, n seḷri. Ɖe wr jst abt t sit dǎn ẃn ɖ Mol clambrd in ʈru ɖ windo, ćuc̣lñ, wɖ an armfl v rîflz.

“It’s ol ovr,” h rportd. “Fṛm ẃt I cn mc ǎt, az sn az ɖ stots, hu wr vri nrṿs n jumpi olrdi, hŕd ɖ śrīcz n ɖ yelz n ɖ upror insd ɖ hōl, sm v ɖm ʈrù dǎn ɖer rîflz n fled. Ɖ uɖrz std fast fr a bit, bt ẃn ɖ wīzlz cem ruśñ ǎt upn ɖm ɖe ʈt ɖe wr btreid; n ɖ stots grapld wɖ ɖ wīzlz, n ɖ wīzlz fòt t gt awe, n ɖe resld n rigld n punćt ć uɖr, n rold ovr n ovr, tl most v ’m rold intu ɖ rivr! Ɖ’v ol dis’pird bî nǎ, wn we or anɖr; n I’v got ɖer rîflz. So ɖt’s ol rît!”

“Xḷnt n dzrvñ animl!” sd ɖ Bajr, hiz mǎʈ fl v ćicn n trîfl. “Nǎ, ɖr’z jst wn mor ʈñ I wont y t d, Mol, bfr y sit dǎn t yr supr alñ v s; n I wd’nt trubl y onli I nǒ I cn trust y t si a ʈñ dn, n I wś I cd se ɖ sem v evrwn I nǒ. I’d snd Rat, f h wz’nt a powt. I wont y t tec ɖoz feloz on ɖ flor ɖr upsterz wɖ y, n hv sm bedrūmz clīnd ǎt n tîdid p n md riyli cumf̣tbl. Si ɖt ɖe swīp UNDR ɖ bedz, n pt clīn śīts n pilocesz on, n trn dǎn wn cornr v ɖ bedcloɖz, jst az y nǒ it òt t b dn; n hv a can v hot wōtr, n clīn tǎlz, n freś cecs v sóp, pt in ć rūm. N ɖen y cn gv ɖm a licñ a-pìs, f it’s eni saṭsfax́n t y, n pt ɖm ǎt bî ɖ bac dor, n w ś’nt si eni mor v ƉM, I fansi. N ɖen cm alñ n hv sm v ɖs cold tuñ. It’s frst ret. I’m vri plizd wɖ y, Mol!”

Ɖ gd-nećrd Mol pict p a stic, formd hiz priznrz p in a lîn on ɖ flor, gev ɖm ɖ ordr “Qc marć!” n léd hiz sqod of t ɖ upr flor. Aftr a tîm, h apird agn, smîlñ, n sd ɖt evri rūm wz redi, n az clīn az a ny pin. “N I dd’nt hv t lic ɖm, îɖr,” h add. “I ʈt, on ɖ hol, ɖe hd hd licñ inuf fr wn nît, n ɖ wīzlz, ẃn I pt ɖ pônt t ɖm, qt agrìd wɖ m, n sd ɖe wd’nt ʈnc v truḅlñ m. Ɖe wr vri penitnt, n sd ɖe wr xtrimli sori fr ẃt ɖe hd dn, bt it wz ol ɖ fōlt v ɖ Ćīf Wīzl n ɖ stots, n f evr ɖe cd d enʈñ fr s at eni tîm t mc p, w hd onli got t mnśn it. So I gev ɖm a rol a-pìs, n let ɖm ǎt at ɖ bac, n of ɖe ran, az hard az ɖe cd!”

Ɖen ɖ Mol pld hiz ćer p t ɖ tebl, n pićt intu ɖ cold tuñ; n Tod, lîc ɖ jntlmn h wz, pt ol hiz jeḷsi fṛm him, n sd harṭli, “Ʈanc y cîndli, dir Mol, fr ol yr penz n trubl tnît, n ispeṣ́li fr yr clevrnis ɖs mornñ!” Ɖ Bajr wz plizd at ɖt, n sd, “Ɖr spouc mî brev Tod!” So ɖe finiśt ɖer supr in gret jô n cntntmnt, n prezntli rtîrd t rest btwn clīn śīts, sef in Tod’z ansestṛl hom, wún bac bî maćlis valr, consymet straṭji, n a propr hanḍlñ v stics.

Ɖ folowñ mornñ, Tod, hu hd oṿslept himslf az yźl, cem dǎn t brecfst dsgresf̣li lêt, n faund on ɖ tebl a srtn qontti v eg-ślz, sm fragmnts v cold n leɖ̇ri tost, a cofipot ʈri-forʈs emti, n riyli vri litl els; ẃć dd nt tnd t impruv hiz tmpr, cnsiḍrñ ɖt, aftr ol, it wz hiz ǒn hǎs. Ʈru ɖ Frenć windoz v ɖ brecfstrūm h cd si ɖ Mol n ɖ Wōtŗat sitñ in wicr-ćerz ǎt on ɖ lōn, evidntli telñ ć uɖr storiz; rorñ wɖ laftr n cicñ ɖer śort legz p in ɖ er. Ɖ Bajr, hu wz in an armćer n dīp in ɖ mornñpepr, mirli lct p n nodd ẃn Tod entrd ɖ rūm. Bt Tod ń hiz man, so h sat dǎn n md ɖ bst brecfst h cd, mirli obzrvñ t himslf ɖt h wd gt sqer wɖ ɖ uɖrz snr or lêtr. Ẃn h hd nirli finiśt, ɖ Bajr lct p n rmarct rɖr śortli: “I’m sori, Tod, bt I’m afred ɖr’z a hevi mornñ’z wrc in frunt v y. Y si, w riyli òt t hv a Banqit at wns, t seḷbret ɖs afer. It’s xpctd v y – in fact, it’s ɖ rūl.”

“Ǒ, ol rît!” sd ɖ Tod, reḍli. “Enʈñ t oblîj. Ɖo ẃ on rʈ y śd wont t hv a Banqit in ɖ mornñ I canot unḍstand. Bt y nǒ I d nt liv t plīz mslf, bt mirli t fînd ǎt ẃt mî frendz wont, n ɖen trî n arenj it fr ’m, y dir old Bajr!”

“D’nt pritnd t b stypidr ɖn y riyli r,” rplaid ɖ Bajr, crosli; “n d’nt ćucl n splutr in yr cofi ẃl y’r tōcñ; it’s nt manrz. Ẃt I mīn z, ɖ Banqit wl b at nît, v cors, bt ɖ invteśnz wl hv t b ritn n got of at wns, n y’v got t rait ’m. Nǎ, sit dǎn at ɖt tebl – ɖr’z stacs v letrpepr on it, wɖ ‘Tod Hōl’ at ɖ top in blu n gold – n rait invteśnz t ol ǎr frendz, n f y stic t it w śl gt ɖm ǎt bfr lunćn. N I’L ber a hand, tù; n tec mî śer v ɖ brdn. I’L ordr ɖ Banqit.”

“Ẃt!” craid Tod, dsmeid. “M stop indorz n rait a lot v rotn letrz on a joli mornñ lîc ɖs, ẃn I wont t g arnd mî proṗti, n set evrʈñ n evrbdi t rîts, n swagr abt n injô mslf! Srtnli nt! I’l b – I’l si y — Stop a minit, ɖo! Ẃ, v cors, dir Bajr! Ẃt z mî pleźr or cnvīńns cmperd wɖ ɖt v uɖrz! Y wś it dn, n it śl b dn. G, Bajr, ordr ɖ Banqit, ordr ẃt y lîc; ɖen jôn ǎr yuñ frendz ǎtsd in ɖer iṇsnt mrʈ, oblivịs v m n mî cerz n tôlz. I sacṛfîs ɖs fer mornñ on ɖ ōltr v dyti n frendśp!”

Ɖ Bajr lct at him vri sspiśsli, bt Tod’z franc, opn cǎntinns md it dificlt t sjst eni unwrɖi motiv in ɖs ćenj v attyd. H qitd ɖ rūm, acordñli, in ɖ d’rex́n v ɖ cićn, n az sn az ɖ dor hd clozd bhnd him, Tod hurid t ɖ raitñtebl. A fîn îdīa hd ocŕd t him ẃl h wz tōcñ. H WD rait ɖ invteśnz; n h wd tec cer t mnśn ɖ līdñ part h hd tecn in ɖ fît, n hǎ h hd leid ɖ Ćīf Wīzl flat; n h wd hint at hiz advnćrz, n ẃt a c’rir v trîumf h hd t tel abt; n on ɖ flîlīf h wd set ǎt a sort v a program v enttenmnt fr ɖ īvnñ – smʈñ lîc ɖs, az h scećt it ǎt in hiz hed: –

SPĪĆ. . . . BÎ TOD.

(Ɖr wl b uɖr spīćz bî TOD jrñ ɖ īvnñ.)

ADRES. . . BÎ TOD

S’NOPSIS – Ǎr Priznsistm – ɖ Wōtrwez v Old Ñgḷnd – Horsdīlñ, n hǎ t dīl – Proṗti, its rîts n its dytiz – Bac t ɖ Land – A Tipicl Ñgliś Sqîr.

SOÑ. . . . BÎ TOD. (Cmpozd bî himslf.) UƉR COMPZIŚNZ. BÎ TOD

wl b suñ in ɖ cors v ɖ īvnñ bî ɖ. . . CMPOZR.

Ɖ îdīa plizd him mîṭli, n h wrct vri hard n got ol ɖ letrz finiśt bî nūn, at ẃć aur it wz rportd t him ɖt ɖr wz a smōl n rɖr bdragld wīzl at ɖ dor, inqîrñ timidli ẃɖr h cd b v eni srvis t ɖ jntlṃn. Tod swagrd ǎt n faund it wz wn v ɖ priznrz v ɖ prīvịs īvnñ, vri rspctfl n añśs t plīz. H patd him on ɖ hed, śuvd ɖ bundl v invteśnz intu hiz pw, n tld him t cut alñ qc n dlivr ɖm az fast az h cd, n f h lîct t cm bac agn in ɖ īvnñ, phps ɖr mt b a śilñ fr him, or, agn, phps ɖr mt’nt; n ɖ pur wīzl sīmd riyli qt gretfl, n hurid of īgrli t d hiz miśn.

Ẃn ɖ uɖr animlz cem bac t lunćn, vri bôstṛs n brīzi aftr a mornñ on ɖ rivr, ɖ Mol, huz conśns hd bn pricñ him, lct dǎtf̣li at Tod, xpctñ t fînd him sulci or dprest. Instd, h wz so upiś n infletd ɖt ɖ Mol bgan t sspct smʈñ; ẃl ɖ Rat n ɖ Bajr xćenjd sgnificnt glansz.

Az sn az ɖ mīl wz ovr, Tod ʈrust hiz pwz dīp intu hiz trǎzrpocits, rmarct caẓ́li, “Wel, lc aftr yrslvz, y feloz! Asc fr enʈñ y wont!” n wz swaġrñ of in ɖ d’rex́n v ɖ gardn, ẃr h wontd t ʈnc ǎt an îdīa or tū fr hiz cmñ spīćz, ẃn ɖ Rat còt him bî ɖ arm.

Tod rɖr sspctd ẃt h wz aftr, n dd hiz bst t gt awe; bt ẃn ɖ Bajr tc him frmli bî ɖ uɖr arm h bgan t si ɖt ɖ gem wz p. Ɖ tū animlz cnductd him btwn ɖm intu ɖ smōl smocñrūm ɖt opnd ǎt v ɖ entṛnshōl, śut ɖ dor, n pt him intu a ćer. Ɖen ɖe bʈ std in frunt v him, ẃl Tod sat sîḷnt n rgardd ɖm wɖ mć sspiśn n il hymr.

“Nǎ, lc hir, Tod,” sd ɖ Rat. “It’s abt ɖs Banqit, n vri sori I am t hv t spīc t y lîc ɖs. Bt w wont y t unḍstand clirli, wns n fr ol, ɖt ɖr r gwñ t b no spīćz n no soñz. Trî n grasp ɖ fact ɖt on ɖs oceźn w’r nt arğwñ wɖ y; w’r jst telñ y.”

Tod sw ɖt h wz trapt. Ɖe unḍstd him, ɖe sw ʈru him, ɖe hd got ahd v him. Hiz pleznt drīm wz śatrd.

“M’nt I sñ ɖm jst wn LITL soñ?” h plīdd pitịsli.

“No, nt WN litl soñ,” rplaid ɖ Rat frmli, ɖo hiz hart bléd az h notist ɖ tremḅlñ lip v ɖ pur dis’pôntd Tod. “It’s no gd, Todi; y nǒ wel ɖt yr soñz r ol cnsit n bostñ n vaṇti; n yr spīćz r ol slf-prêz n – n – wel, n gros xaɉreśn n – n — ”

“N gas,” pt in ɖ Bajr, in hiz comn we.

“It’s fr yr ǒn gd, Todi,” wnt on ɖ Rat. “Y nǒ y MST trn ovr a ny līf snr or lêtr, n nǎ sīmz a splendid tîm t bgin; a sort v trnñpônt in yr c’rir. Plīz d’nt ʈnc ɖt seyñ ol ɖs dz’nt hrt m mor ɖn it hrts y.”

Tod rmend a loñ ẃl plunjd in ʈt. At last h rezd hiz hed, n ɖ tresz v stroñ imośn wr viẓbl on hiz fīćrz. “Y hv concrd, mî frendz,” h sd in brocn axnts. “It wz, t b śr, bt a smōl ʈñ ɖt I asct – mirli līv t blosm n xpand fr yt wn mor īvnñ, t let mslf g n hír ɖ tymulćs aplōz ɖt olwz sīmz t m – smhǎ – t brñ ǎt mî bst qoḷtz. Hvr, y r rît, I nǒ, n I am roñ. Hnsfʈ I wl b a vri difṛnt Tod. Mî frendz, y śl nvr hv oceźn t bluś fr m agn. Bt, Ǒ dir, Ǒ dir, ɖs z a hard wrld!”

N, presñ hiz hanc̣ćif t hiz fes, h left ɖ rūm, wɖ fōlṭrñ ftsteps.

“Bajr,” sd ɖ Rat, “I fīl lîc a brūt; I wundr ẃt Y fīl lîc?”

“Ǒ, I nǒ, I nǒ,” sd ɖ Bajr glūṃli. “Bt ɖ ʈñ hd t b dn. Ɖs gd felo hz got t liv hir, n hold hiz ǒn, n b rspctd. Wd y hv him a comn lafñstoc, moct n jird at bî stots n wīzlz?”

“V cors nt,” sd ɖ Rat. “N, tōcñ v wīzlz, it’s luci w cem upn ɖt litl wīzl, jst az h wz setñ ǎt wɖ Tod’z invteśnz. I sspctd smʈñ fṛm ẃt y tld m, n hd a lc at wn or tū; ɖe wr simpli dsgresfl. I conf̣scetd ɖ lot, n ɖ gd Mol z nǎ sitñ in ɖ blu būdwar, filñ p plen, simpl invteśn cardz.”

At last ɖ aur fr ɖ banqit bgan t drw nir, n Tod, hu on līvñ ɖ uɖrz hd rtîrd t hiz bedrūm, wz stl sitñ ɖr, meḷnc̣li n ʈtfl. Hiz brǎ restñ on hiz pw, h pondrd loñ n dīpli. Graɉli hiz cǎntinns clird, n h bgan t smîl loñ, slo smîlz. Ɖen h tc t giġlñ in a śî, slf-conśs manr. At last h got p, loct ɖ dor, drù ɖ crtnz acrs ɖ windoz, c’lectd ol ɖ ćerz in ɖ rūm n arenjd ɖm in a semicircle, n tc p hiz pziśn in frunt v ɖm, swelñ viẓbli. Ɖen h baud, coft twîs, n, letñ himslf g, wɖ upliftd vôs h sañ, t ɖ inrapćrd ōdịns ɖt hiz imaɉneśn so clirli sw.

TOD’Z LAST LITL SOÑ!

 

Ɖ Tod – cem – hom!

Ɖr wz panic in ɖ parlrz n hǎlñ in ɖ hōlz,

Ɖr wz crayñ in ɖ cǎśedz n śrīcñ in ɖ stōlz,

Ẃn ɖ Tod – cem – hom!

 

Ẃn ɖ Tod – cem – hom!

Ɖr wz smaśñ in v windo n craśñ in v dor,

Ɖr wz ćiviyñ v wīzlz ɖt fentd on ɖ flor,

Ẃn ɖ Tod – cem – hom!

 

Bañ! g ɖ drumz!

Ɖ trumpitrz r tūtñ n ɖ soljrz r s’lūtñ,

N ɖ cánn ɖe r śūtñ n ɖ motrcarz r hūtñ,

Az ɖ – Hiro – cmz!

 

Śǎt – Hu-re!

N let ć wn v ɖ crǎd trî n śǎt it vri lǎd,

In onr v an animl v hūm y’r justli prǎd,

Fr it’s Tod’z – gret – de!

 

H sañ ɖs vri lǎd, wɖ gret uñśn n xpreśn; n ẃn h hd dn, h sañ it ol ovr agn.

Ɖen h hīvd a dīp sai; a loñ, loñ, loñ sai.

Ɖen h dipt hiz herbruś in ɖ wōtrjug, partd hiz her in ɖ midl, n plastrd it dǎn vri stret n slīc on ć sîd v hiz fes; n, unlocñ ɖ dor, wnt qaytli dǎn ɖ sterz t grīt hiz gests, hu h ń mst b asmḅlñ in ɖ drw̃rūm.

Ol ɖ animlz ćird ẃn h entrd, n crǎdd rnd t cngrać̣let him n se nîs ʈñz abt hiz curij, n hiz clevrnis, n hiz fîtñ qoḷtz; bt Tod onli smîld fentli, n mrmrd, “Nt at ol!” Or, smtmz, fr a ćenj, “On ɖ contrri!” Otr, hu wz standñ on ɖ harʈrug, dscrîbñ t an admîrñ srcl v frendz xacli hǎ h wd hv manijd ʈñz hd h bn ɖr, cem fwd wɖ a śǎt, ʈrù hiz arm rnd Tod’z nec, n traid t tec him rnd ɖ rūm in trîumfl progres; bt Tod, in a mîld we, wz rɖr snubi t him, rmarcñ jntli, az h disingejd himslf, “Bajr’z wz ɖ mastrmînd; ɖ Mol n ɖ Wōtŗat bòr ɖ brunt v ɖ fîtñ; I mirli srvd in ɖ rancs n dd litl or nʈñ.” Ɖ animlz wr evidntli puzld n tecn abac bî ɖs unxpctd attyd v hiz; n Tod flt, az h muvd fṛm wn gest t ɖ uɖr, mcñ hiz modist rsponsz, ɖt h wz an objict v abzorbñ inṭrest t evrwn.

Ɖ Bajr hd ordrd evrʈñ v ɖ bst, n ɖ banqit wz a gret s’xes. Ɖr wz mć tōcñ n laftr n ćaf amñ ɖ animlz, bt ʈru it ol Tod, hu v cors wz in ɖ ćer, lct dǎn hiz nǒz n mrmrd pleznt nuʈñz t ɖ animlz on îɖr sîd v him. At inṭvlz h stoul a glans at ɖ Bajr n ɖ Rat, n olwz ẃn h lct ɖe wr stẹrñ at ć uɖr wɖ ɖer mǎɖz opn; n ɖs gev him ɖ gretist saṭsfax́n. Sm v ɖ yungr n lîvlịr animlz, az ɖ īvnñ wòr on, got ẃisṗrñ t ć uɖr ɖt ʈñz wr nt so aḿzñ az ɖe yst t b in ɖ gd old dez; n ɖr wr sm nocñz on ɖ tebl n crîz v “Tod! Spīć! Spīć fṛm Tod! Soñ! Mr. Tod’z soñ!” Bt Tod onli śc hiz hed jntli, rezd wn pw in mîld protest, n, bî presñ delic̣siz on hiz gests, bî topicl smōl-tōc, n bî rnist inqîriz aftr membrz v ɖer faṃliz nt yt old inuf t apir at sośl fuñśnz, manijd t cnve t ɖm ɖt ɖs dinr wz biyñ run on stricli cnvnśnl lînz.

H wz indd an oltrd Tod!


Aftr ɖs clîmax, ɖ for animlz cntinyd t līd ɖer livz, so rūdli brocn in upn bî sivl wor, in gret jô n cntntmnt, undistrbd bî frɖr rîzñz or inveźnz. Tod, aftr dy conslteśn wɖ hiz frendz, s’lectd a hansm gold ćen n locit set wɖ prlz, ẃć h dspaćt t ɖ jelr’z dōtr wɖ a letr ɖt īvn ɖ Bajr admitd t b modist, gretfl, n aprīṣ́tiv; n ɖ enjindrîvr, in hiz trn, wz proprli ʈanct n compnsetd fr ol hiz penz n trubl. Undr svir cmpulśn fṛm ɖ Bajr, īvn ɖ barj-wmn wz, wɖ sm trubl, sòt ǎt n ɖ valy v hr hors dscritli md gd t hr; ɖo Tod cict teṛbli at ɖs, holdñ himslf t b an instṛmnt v Fet, snt t puniś fat wimin wɖ motld armz hu cd’nt tel a riyl jntlmn ẃn ɖe sw wn. Ɖ amǎnt involvd, it wz tru, wz nt vri brdnsm, ɖ jipsi’z valyeśn biyñ admitd bî locl asesrz t b aproxiṃtli c’rect.

Smtmz, in ɖ cors v loñ sumr-īvnñz, ɖ frendz wd tec a strol tgɖr in ɖ Wîld Wŭd, nǎ s’xesf̣li temd so far az ɖe wr cnsrnd; n it wz plizñ t si hǎ rspctf̣li ɖe wr grītd bî ɖ inhabitnts, n hǎ ɖ muɖr-wīzlz wd brñ ɖer yuñ wnz t ɖ mǎɖz v ɖer houlz, n se, pôntñ, “Lc, bebi! Ɖr gz ɖ gret Mr. Tod! N ɖt’s ɖ gaḷnt Wōtŗat, a teṛbl fîtr, wōcñ alñ o’ him! N yondr cmz ɖ feṃs Mr. Mol, v hūm y so ofn hv hŕd yr faɖr tel!” Bt ẃn ɖer infnts wr frax́s n qt bynd cntrol, ɖe wd qayt ɖm bî telñ hǎ, f ɖe dd’nt huś ɖm n nt fret ɖm, ɖ teṛbl gre Bajr wd p n gt ɖm. Ɖs wz a bes lîbl on Bajr, hu, ɖo h cerd litl abt Ssayti, wz rɖr fond v ćildṛn; bt it nvr feld t hv its fl ifct.