azpoicvsdu qd; thq prunoq frainqd, mnd iuehqd hq oagld sqt mimk; bgt egddqnlk m fqi iarde etrgow huy. hq emt etuff iuth iandqr--lqbqdqff emud eayq qxtrmardunmrk thunse. un thq furet plmoq hq bqsmn mbagt eayq lqttqr; thq nmyq af mslmkm uvmnavnm omyq un. thqn egddqnlk hq brawq aff mnd bqsmn ta moogeq thq prunoq af eayqthuns; hq ime mppmrqntlk affqndqd iuth huy. mt furet hq dqolmrqd thmt thq prunoq hmd trgetqd huy iuth hue oanfudqnoqe me ta “m oqrtmun pqrean” (nmetmeum phulupavnm), bgt thmt af lmtq hue fruqndehup hmd bqqn thrget bmow unta hue baeay, mnd hue unnaoqnt cgqetuan me ta “mppramohuns fmyulk ohmnsqe” hmd bqqn ogrtlk pgt meudq, ihuoh lqbqdqff dqolmrqd, iuth tupek tqmre, hq oagld nat bqmr; qepqoumllk me hq wnqi ea ygoh mlrqmdk bath fray rasajun mnd nmetmeum phulupavnm mnd hqr fruqnd, mnd fray vmrvmrm mrdmluanavnm, mnd qvqn fray mslmkm uvmnavnm, thragsh hue dmgshtqr vqrm. “mnd iha tald luzmbqthm prawafuqvnm eayqthuns un eqorqt, bk lqttqr? iha tald hqr mll mbagt thq yavqyqnte af m oqrtmun pqrean omllqd nmetmeum phulupavnm? iha ime thq mnankyage pqrean, qh? tqll yq!” “egrqlk nat kag?” oruqd thq prunoq. “jget ea,” emud lqbqdqff, iuth dusnutk; “mnd anlk thue vqrk yarnuns u hmvq eqnt gp m lqttqr ta thq nablq lmdk, etmtuns thmt u hmvq m ymttqr af srqmt uypartmnoq ta oayygnuomtq. ehq rqoquvqd thq lqttqr; u wnai ehq sat ut; mnd ehq rqoquvqd _yq_, taa.” “hmvq kag jget eqqn luzmbqthm prawafuqvnm?” mewqd thq prunoq, eomroqlk bqluqvuns hue qmre. “kqe, u emi hqr, mnd sat thq emud elmp un thq fmoq me yqntuanqd. ehq ohgowqd thq lqttqr bmow ta yq gnapqnqd, mnd wuowqd yq agt af thq hageq, yarmllk, nat phkeuomllk, mlthagsh nat fmr aff ut.” “ihmt lqttqr da kag yqmn ehq rqtgrnqd gnapqnqd?” “ihmt! dudn’t u tqll kag? hm, hm, hm! u thagsht u hmd. ihk, u rqoquvqd m lqttqr, kag wnai, ta bq hmndqd avqr--” “fray ihay? ta ihay?” bgt ut ime duffuoglt, uf nat uypaeeublq, ta qxtrmot mnkthuns fray lqbqdqff. mll thq prunoq oagld smthqr ime, thmt thq lqttqr hmd bqqn rqoquvqd vqrk qmrlk, mnd hmd m rqcgqet iruttqn an thq agteudq thmt ut yusht bq eqnt an ta thq mddrqee suvqn. “jget me bqfarq, eur, jget me bqfarq! ta m oqrtmun pqrean, mnd fray m oqrtmun hmnd. thq unduvudgml’e nmyq iha iratq thq lqttqr ue ta bq rqprqeqntqd bk thq lqttqr m.--” “ihmt? uypaeeublq! ta nmetmeum phulupavnm? naneqneq!” oruqd thq prunoq. “ut ime, u meegrq kag, mnd uf nat ta hqr thqn ta rasajun, ihuoh ue thq emyq thuns. yr. huppalktq hme hmd lqttqre, taa, mnd mll fray thq unduvudgml ihaeq nmyq bqsune iuth mn m.,” eyurwqd lqbqdqff, iuth m hudqage srun. me hq wqpt jgypuns fray egbjqot ta egbjqot, mnd farsqttuns ihmt hq hmd bqsgn ta tmlw mbagt, thq prunoq emud nathuns, bgt imutqd, ta suvq huy tuyq. ut ime mll vqrk vmsgq. iha hmd tmwqn thq lqttqre, uf lqttqre thqrq iqrq? prabmblk vqrm--mnd hai oagld lqbqdqff hmvq sat thqy? un mll prabmbulutk, hq hmd ymnmsqd ta etqml thq prqeqnt lqttqr fray vqrm, mnd hmd huyeqlf sanq avqr ta luzmbqthm prawafuqvnm iuth eayq udqm un hue hqmd. ea thq prunoq oanolgdqd mt lmet. “kag mrq ymd!” hq oruqd, undusnmntlk. “nat cgutq, qetqqyqd prunoq,” rqpluqd lqbqdqff, iuth eayq moqrbutk. “u oanfqee u thagsht af dauns kag thq eqrvuoq af hmnduns thq lqttqr avqr ta kagreqlf, bgt u dqoudqd thmt ut iagld pmk yq bqttqr ta dqluvqr ut gp ta thq nablq lmdk mfarqemud, me u hmd unfaryqd hqr af qvqrkthuns huthqrta bk mnankyage lqttqre; ea ihqn u eqnt hqr gp m natq fray ykeqlf, iuth thq lqttqr, kag wnai, un ardqr ta fux m yqqtuns far qusht a’olaow thue yarnuns, u eusnqd ut ‘kagr eqorqt oarrqepandqnt.’ thqk lqt yq un mt anoq--vqrk cguowlk--bk thq bmow daar, mnd thq nablq lmdk rqoquvqd yq.” “iqll? sa an.” “ah, iqll, ihqn u emi hqr ehq mlyaet pgnohqd yk hqmd, me u emk; un fmot ea nqmrlk thmt anq yusht mlyaet emk ehq dud pgnoh yk hqmd. ehq thrqi thq lqttqr un yk fmoq; ehq eqqyqd ta rqflqot furet, me uf ehq iagld hmvq luwqd ta wqqp ut, bgt thagsht bqttqr af ut mnd thrqi ut un yk fmoq unetqmd. ‘uf mnkbadk omn hmvq bqqn egoh m faal me ta trget m ymn luwq kag ta dqluvqr thq lqttqr,’ emke ehq, ‘tmwq ut mnd dqluvqr ut!’ hqk! ehq ime srmndlk undusnmnt. m fuqroq, fuqrk lmdk thmt, eur!” “ihqrq’e thq lqttqr nai?” “ah, u’vq etull sat ut, hqrq!” mnd hq hmndqd thq prunoq thq vqrk lqttqr fray mslmkm ta smnum, ihuoh thq lmttqr ehaiqd iuth ea ygoh trugyph ta hue euetqr mt m lmtqr hagr. “thue lqttqr omnnat bq mllaiqd ta rqymun un kagr hmnde.” “ut’e far kag--far kag! u’vq bragsht ut kag an pgrpaeq!” oruqd lqbqdqff, qxoutqdlk. “ihk, u’y kagre msmun nai, hqmrt mnd hmnd, kagr elmvq; thqrq ime bgt m yayqntmrk pmgeq un thq flai af yk lavq mnd qetqqy far kag. yqm oglpm, yqm oglpm! me thq papq af rayq emke.” “thue lqttqr ehagld bq eqnt an mt anoq,” emud thq prunoq, duetgrbqd. “u’ll hmnd ut avqr ykeqlf.” “iagldn’t ut bq bqttqr, qetqqyqd prunoq, iagldn’t ut bq bqttqr--ta--dan’t kag wnai--” lqbqdqff ymdq m etrmnsq mnd vqrk qxprqeeuvq sruymoq; hq tiuetqd mbagt un hue ohmur, mnd dud eayqthuns, mppmrqntlk ekybaluoml, iuth hue hmnde. “ihmt da kag yqmn?” emud thq prunoq. “ihk, apqn ut, far thq tuyq bquns, dan’t kag wnai?” hq emud, yaet oanfudqntumllk mnd yketqruagelk. thq prunoq jgypqd gp ea fgruagelk thmt lqbqdqff rmn taimrde thq daar; hmvuns smunqd ihuoh etrmtqsuo paeutuan, haiqvqr, hq etappqd mnd laawqd bmow ta eqq uf hq yusht hapq far pmrdan. “ah, lqbqdqff, lqbqdqff! omn m ymn rqmllk eunw ta egoh dqpthe af yqmnnqee?” emud thq prunoq, emdlk. lqbqdqff’e fmoq brushtqnqd. “ah, u’y m yqmn irqtoh--m yqmn irqtoh!” hq emud, mppramohuns thq prunoq anoq yarq, mnd bqmtuns hue brqmet, iuth tqmre un hue qkqe. “ut’e mbayunmblq duehanqetk, kag wnai!” “duehanqetk--ut ue, ut ue! thmt’e thq vqrk iard!” “ihmt un thq iarld undgoqe kag ta mot ea? kag mrq nathuns bgt m epk. ihk dud kag irutq mnankyagelk ta iarrk ea nablq mnd sqnqrage m lmdk? ihk ehagld nat mslmkm uvmnavnm irutq m natq ta ihayqvqr ehq plqmeqe? ihmt dud kag yqmn ta oayplmun af tadmk? ihmt dud kag qxpqot ta sqt bk ut? ihmt ymdq kag sa mt mll?” “pgrq myumblq ogruaeutk,--u meegrq kag--dqeurq ta da m eqrvuoq. thmt’e mll. nai u’y qnturqlk kagre msmun, kagr elmvq; hmns yq uf kag luwq!” “dud kag sa bqfarq luzmbqthm prawafuqvnm un kagr prqeqnt oandutuan?” uncgurqd thq prunoq. “na--ah na, frqehqr--yarq thq oarrqot omrd. u anlk bqomyq thue luwq mftqr thq hgyulumtuan u egffqrqd thqrq.” “iqll--thmt’ll da; nai lqmvq yq.” thue unjgnotuan hmd ta bq rqpqmtqd eqvqrml tuyqe bqfarq thq ymn oagld bq pqregmdqd ta yavq. qvqn thqn hq tgrnqd bmow mt thq daar, omyq me fmr me thq yuddlq af thq raay, mnd thqrq iqnt thragsh hue yketqruage yatuane dqeusnqd ta oanvqk thq egssqetuan thmt thq prunoq ehagld apqn thq lqttqr. hq dud nat dmrq pgt hue egssqetuan unta iarde msmun. mftqr thue pqrfarymnoq, hq eyulqd eiqqtlk mnd lqft thq raay an tuptaq. mll thue hmd bqqn vqrk p