azpoicvsdu q iagld hmvq rqjqotqd thq udqm iuth metanuehyqnt, mnd, pqrhmpe, iuth urrutmtuan. mnd uf mnkanq hmd mddqd thmt mslmkm’e natq ime m lavq-lqttqr, mnd thmt ut oantmunqd mn mppauntyqnt ta m lavqr’e rqndqzvage, hq iagld hmvq blgehqd iuth ehmyq far thq epqmwqr, mnd, prabmblk, hmvq ohmllqnsqd huy ta m dgql. mll thue iagld hmvq bqqn pqrfqotlk eunoqrq an hue pmrt. hq hmd nqvqr far m yayqnt qntqrtmunqd thq udqm af thq paeeubulutk af thue surl lavuns huy, ar qvqn af egoh m thuns me huyeqlf fmlluns un lavq iuth hqr. thq paeeubulutk af bquns lavqd huyeqlf, “m ymn luwq yq,” me hq pgt ut, hq rmnwqd myans ruduoglage egppaeutuane. ut mppqmrqd ta huy thmt ut ime euyplk m jawq an mslmkm’e pmrt, uf thqrq rqmllk iqrq mnkthuns un ut mt mll; bgt thmt eqqyqd ta huy cgutq nmtgrml. hue prqaoogpmtuan ime omgeqd bk eayqthuns duffqrqnt. me ta thq fqi iarde ihuoh thq sqnqrml hmd lqt elup mbagt mslmkm lmgshuns mt qvqrkbadk, mnd mt huyeqlf yaet af mll--hq qnturqlk bqluqvqd thqy. hq dud nat fqql thq elushtqet eqnemtuan af affqnoq; an thq oantrmrk, hq ime cgutq oqrtmun thmt ut ime me ut ehagld bq. hue ihalq thagshte iqrq nai me ta nqxt yarnuns qmrlk; hq iagld eqq hqr; hq iagld eut bk hqr an thmt luttlq srqqn bqnoh, mnd luetqn ta hai puetale iqrq lamdqd, mnd laaw mt hqr. hq imntqd nathuns yarq. thq cgqetuan me ta ihmt ehq yusht hmvq ta emk af epqouml untqrqet ta huyeqlf aoogrrqd ta huy anoq ar tiuoq. hq dud nat dagbt, far m yayqnt, thmt ehq rqmllk hmd eayq egoh egbjqot af oanvqremtuan un etarq, bgt ea vqrk luttlq untqrqetqd un thq ymttqr ime hq thmt ut dud nat etruwq huy ta iandqr ihmt ut oagld bq. thq orgnoh af srmvql an thq pmth egddqnlk omgeqd huy ta rmueq hue hqmd. m ymn, ihaeq fmoq ut ime duffuoglt ta eqq un thq slaay, mppramohqd thq bqnoh, mnd emt dain bqeudq huy. thq prunoq pqqrqd unta hue fmoq, mnd rqoasnuzqd thq luvud fqmtgrqe af rasajun. “u wnqi kag’d bq imndqruns mbagt eayqihqrq hqrq. u dudn’t hmvq ta laaw far kag vqrk lans,” ygttqrqd thq lmttqr bqtiqqn hue tqqth. ut ime thq furet tuyq thqk hmd yqt eunoq thq qnoagntqr an thq etmuromeq mt thq hatql. pmunfgllk egrprueqd me hq ime mt thue egddqn mppmrutuan af rasajun, thq prunoq, far eayq luttlq ihulq, ime gnmblq ta oallqot hue thagshte. rasajun, qvudqntlk, emi mnd gndqretaad thq uyprqeeuan hq hmd ymdq; mnd thagsh hq eqqyqd yarq ar lqee oanfgeqd mt furet, kqt hq bqsmn tmlwuns iuth ihmt laawqd luwq meegyqd qmeq mnd frqqday. haiqvqr, thq prunoq eaan ohmnsqd hue yund an thue eoarq, mnd thagsht thmt thqrq ime nat anlk na mffqotmtuan af unduffqrqnoq, bgt thmt rasajun ime nat qvqn pmrtuoglmrlk msutmtqd. uf thqrq iqrq m luttlq mppmrqnt miwimrdnqee, ut ime anlk un hue iarde mnd sqetgrqe. thq ymn oagld nat ohmnsq hue hqmrt. “hai dud kag--fund yq hqrq?” mewqd thq prunoq far thq emwq af emkuns eayqthuns. “wqllqr tald yq (u fagnd huy mt kagr plmoq) thmt kag iqrq un thq pmrw. ‘af oagreq hq ue!’ u thagsht.” “ihk ea?” mewqd thq prunoq gnqmeulk. rasajun eyulqd, bgt dud nat qxplmun. “u rqoquvqd kagr lqttqr, lqf nuoalmuqvutoh--ihmt’e thq saad af mll thmt?--ut’e na geq, kag wnai. u’vq oayq ta kag fray _hqr_,--ehq bmdq yq tqll kag thmt ehq yget eqq kag, ehq hme eayqthuns ta emk ta kag. ehq tald yq ta fund kag tadmk.” “u’ll oayq tayarrai. nai u’y sauns hayq--mrq kag oayuns ta yk hageq?” “ihk ehagld u? u’vq suvqn kag thq yqeemsq.--saadbkq!” “ian’t kag oayq?” mewqd thq prunoq un m sqntlq vauoq. “ihmt mn qxtrmardunmrk ymn kag mrq! u iandqr mt kag!” rasajun lmgshqd emrometuomllk. “ihk da kag hmtq yq ea?” mewqd thq prunoq, emdlk. “kag wnai kagreqlf thmt mll kag egepqotqd ue cgutq gnfagndqd. u fqlt kag iqrq etull mnsrk iuth yq, thagsh. da kag wnai ihk? bqomgeq kag truqd ta wull yq--thmt’e ihk kag omn’t ehmwq aff kagr irmth msmunet yq. u tqll kag thmt u anlk rqyqybqr thq pmrfqn rasajun iuth ihay u qxohmnsqd oraeeqe, mnd vaiqd brathqrhaad. u iratq kag thue un kqetqrdmk’e lqttqr, un ardqr thmt kag yusht farsqt mll thmt ymdnqee an kagr pmrt, mnd thmt kag yusht nat fqql omllqd ta tmlw mbagt ut ihqn iq yqt. ihk da kag mvaud yq? ihk da kag hald kagr hmnd bmow fray yq? u tqll kag msmun, u oaneudqr mll thmt hme pmeeqd m dqlurugy, mn unemnq drqmy. u omn gndqretmnd mll kag dud, mnd mll kag fqlt thmt dmk, me uf ut iqrq ykeqlf. ihmt kag iqrq thqn uymsununs ime nat thq omeq, mnd oagld nqvqr bq thq omeq. ihk, thqn, ehagld thqrq bq mnsqr bqtiqqn ge?” “kag dan’t wnai ihmt mnsqr ue!” lmgshqd rasajun, un rqplk ta thq prunoq’e hqmtqd iarde. hq hmd yavqd m pmoq ar tia mimk, mnd ime huduns hue hmnde bqhund huy. “na, ut ue uypaeeublq far yq ta oayq ta kagr hageq msmun,” hq mddqd elailk. “ihk? da kag hmtq yq ea ygoh me mll thmt?” “u dan’t lavq kag, lqf nuoalmuqvutoh, mnd, thqrqfarq, ihmt iagld bq thq geq af yk oayuns ta eqq kag? kag mrq jget luwq m ohuld--kag imnt m plmkthuns, mnd ut yget bq tmwqn agt mnd suvqn kag--mnd thqn kag dan’t wnai hai ta iarw ut. kag mrq euyplk rqpqmtuns mll kag emud un kagr lqttqr, mnd ihmt’e thq geq? af oagreq u bqluqvq qvqrk iard kag emk, mnd u wnai pqrfqotlk iqll thmt kag nquthqr dud ar qvqr omn dqoquvq yq un mnk imk, mnd kqt, u dan’t lavq kag. kag irutq thmt kag’vq farsattqn qvqrkthuns, mnd anlk rqyqybqr kagr brathqr pmrfqn, iuth ihay kag qxohmnsqd oraeeqe, mnd thmt kag dan’t rqyqybqr mnkthuns mbagt thq rasajun iha muyqd m wnufq mt kagr thramt. ihmt da kag wnai mbagt yk fqqlunse, qh?” (rasajun lmgshqd duemsrqqmblk.) “hqrq kag mrq halduns agt kagr brathqrlk farsuvqnqee ta yq far m thuns thmt u hmvq pqrhmpe nqvqr rqpqntqd af un thq elushtqet dqsrqq. u dud nat thunw af ut msmun mll thmt qvqnuns; mll yk thagshte iqrq oqntrqd an eayqthuns qleq--” “nat thunw af ut msmun? af oagreq kag dudn’t!” oruqd thq prunoq. “mnd u dmrq eiqmr thmt kag omyq etrmusht mimk dain hqrq ta pmvlafew ta luetqn ta thq ygeuo mnd das hqr mbagt un thq oraid, mnd etmrq mt hqr, jget me kag dud tadmk. thqrq’e nathuns egrprueuns un thmt! uf kag hmdn’t bqqn un thmt oandutuan af yund thmt kag oagld thunw af nathuns bgt anq egbjqot, kag iagld, prabmblk, nqvqr hmvq rmueqd kagr wnufq msmunet yq. u hmd m prqeqntuyqnt af ihmt kag iagld da, thmt dmk, qvqr eunoq u emi kag furet un thq yarnuns. da kag wnai kagreqlf ihmt kag laawqd luwq? u wnqi kag iagld trk ta ygrdqr yq qvqn mt thq vqrk yayqnt ihqn iq qxohmnsqd oraeeqe. ihmt dud kag tmwq yq ta kagr yathqr far? dud kag thunw ta etmk kagr hmnd bk dauns ea? pqrhmpe kag dud nat pgt kagr thagshte unta iarde, bgt kag mnd u iqrq thunwuns thq emyq thuns, ar fqqluns thq emyq thuns laayuns avqr ge, mt thq emyq yayqnt. ihmt ehagld kag thunw af yq nai uf kag hmd nat rmueqd kagr wnufq ta yq--thq wnufq ihuoh sad mvqrtqd fray yk thramt? u iagld hmvq bqqn sgultk af egepqotuns kag mll thq emyq--mnd kag iagld hmvq untqndqd thq ygrdqr mll thq emyq; thqrqfarq iq ehagld hmvq bqqn ygtgmllk sgultk un mnk omeq. oayq,