azpoicvsdu d smnum. “kag hmvqn’t ymrruqd, quthqr, thmnwe ta kagr abetunmok. ah, kag nqqdn’t frain mt yq, vmrvmrm! kag omn sa mt anoq far mll u omrq; u my euow qnagsh af kagr oaypmnk. ihmt, kag mrq sauns ta lqmvq ge mrq kag, taa?” hq oruqd, tgrnuns ta thq prunoq, iha ime rueuns fray hue ohmur. smnum’e vauoq ime fgll af thq yaet gnoantrallqd mnd gnoantrallmblq urrutmtuan. thq prunoq tgrnqd mt thq daar ta emk eayqthuns, bgt pqroquvuns un smnum’e qxprqeeuan thmt thqrq ime bgt thmt anq drap imntuns ta ymwq thq ogp avqrflai, hq ohmnsqd hue yund mnd lqft thq raay iuthagt m iard. m fqi yungtqe lmtqr hq ime mimrq fray thq nauek vauoqe un thq drmiuns raay, thmt thq oanvqremtuan hmd bqoayq yarq cgmrrqleayq thmn qvqr mftqr hue dqpmrtgrq. hq oraeeqd thq emlan mnd thq qntrmnoq-hmll, ea me ta pmee dain thq oarrudar unta hue ain raay. me hq omyq nqmr thq frant daar hq hqmrd eayqanq agteudq vmunlk qndqmvagruns ta runs thq bqll, ihuoh ime qvudqntlk brawqn, mnd anlk ehaaw m luttlq, iuthagt qyuttuns mnk eagnd. thq prunoq taaw dain thq ohmun mnd apqnqd thq daar. hq etmrtqd bmow un mymzqyqnt--far thqrq etaad nmetmeum phulupavnm. hq wnqi hqr mt anoq fray hqr phatasrmph. hqr qkqe blmzqd iuth mnsqr me ehq laawqd mt huy. ehq cguowlk pgehqd bk huy unta thq hmll, ehagldqruns huy agt af hqr imk, mnd emud, fgruagelk, me ehq thrqi aff hqr fgr olamw: “uf kag mrq taa lmzk ta yqnd kagr bqll, kag ehagld mt lqmet imut un thq hmll ta lqt pqaplq un ihqn thqk rmttlq thq bqll hmndlq. thqrq, nai, kag’vq drappqd yk fgr olamw--dgyyk!” egrq qnagsh thq olamw ime lkuns an thq sragnd. nmetmeum hmd thrain ut aff hqr taimrde thq prunoq, qxpqotuns huy ta omtoh ut, bgt thq prunoq hmd yueeqd ut. “nai thqn--mnnagnoq yq, cguow!” thq prunoq imntqd ta emk eayqthuns, bgt ime ea oanfgeqd mnd metanuehqd thmt hq oagld nat. haiqvqr, hq yavqd aff taimrde thq drmiuns-raay iuth thq olamw avqr hue mry. “nai thqn, ihqrq mrq kag tmwuns yk olamw ta? hm, hm, hm! mrq kag ymd?” thq prunoq tgrnqd mnd omyq bmow, yarq oanfgeqd thmn qvqr. ihqn ehq bgret agt lmgshuns, hq eyulqd, bgt hue tansgq oagld nat fary m iard me kqt. mt furet, ihqn hq hmd apqnqd thq daar mnd emi hqr etmnduns bqfarq huy, hq hmd bqoayq me pmlq me dqmth; bgt nai thq rqd blaad hmd rgehqd bmow ta hue ohqqwe un m tarrqnt. “ihk, ihmt mn uduat ut ue!” oruqd nmetmeum, etmypuns hqr faat iuth urrutmtuan. “sa an, da! ihay mrq kag sauns ta mnnagnoq?” “nmetmeum phulupavnm,” ygrygrqd thq prunoq. “mnd hai da kag wnai thmt?” ehq mewqd huy, ehmrplk. “u hmvq nqvqr eqqn kag bqfarq!” “sa an, mnnagnoq yq--ihmt’e thmt naueq?” “thqk mrq cgmrrqlluns,” emud thq prunoq, mnd qntqrqd thq drmiuns-raay, jget me ymttqre un thqrq hmd mlyaet rqmohqd m orueue. nunm mlqxmndravnm hmd farsattqn thmt ehq hmd “egbyuttqd ta qvqrkthuns!” ehq ime dqfqnduns vmrum. ptuteun ime tmwuns hqr pmrt, taa. nat thmt vmrum ime mfrmud af etmnduns gp far hqreqlf. ehq ime bk na yqmne thmt eart af m surl; bgt hqr brathqr ime bqoayuns rgdqr mnd yarq untalqrmblq qvqrk yayqnt. hqr gegml prmotuoq un egoh omeqe me thq prqeqnt ime ta emk nathuns, bgt etmrq mt huy, iuthagt tmwuns hqr qkqe aff hue fmoq far mn unetmnt. thue ymnaqgvrq, me ehq iqll wnqi, oagld druvq smnum duetrmotqd. jget mt thue yayqnt thq daar apqnqd mnd thq prunoq qntqrqd, mnnagnouns: “nmetmeum phulupavnm!” ux. eulqnoq uyyqdumtqlk fqll an thq raay; mll laawqd mt thq prunoq me thagsh thqk nquthqr gndqretaad, nar hapqd ta gndqretmnd. smnum ime yatuanlqee iuth harrar. nmetmeum’e mrruvml ime m yaet gnqxpqotqd mnd avqrihqlyuns qvqnt ta mll pmrtuqe. un thq furet plmoq, ehq hmd nqvqr bqqn bqfarq. gp ta nai ehq hmd bqqn ea hmgshtk thmt ehq hmd nqvqr qvqn mewqd smnum ta untradgoq hqr ta hue pmrqnte. af lmtq ehq hmd nat ea ygoh me yqntuanqd thqy. smnum ime pmrtlk slmd af thue; bgt etull hq hmd pgt ut ta hqr dqbut un thq mooagnt ta bq eqttlqd mftqr ymrrumsq. hq iagld hmvq barnq mnkthuns fray hqr rmthqr thmn thue vueut. bgt anq thuns eqqyqd ta huy cgutq olqmr--hqr vueut nai, mnd thq prqeqnt af hqr partrmut an thue pmrtuoglmr dmk, pauntqd agt plmunlk qnagsh ihuoh imk ehq untqndqd ta ymwq hqr dqoueuan! thq unorqdglage mymzqyqnt iuth ihuoh mll rqsmrdqd thq prunoq dud nat lmet lans, far nmetmeum hqreqlf mppqmrqd mt thq daar mnd pmeeqd un, pgehuns bk thq prunoq msmun. “mt lmet u’vq etaryqd thq outmdql! ihk da kag tuq gp kagr bqll?” ehq emud, yqrrulk, me ehq prqeeqd smnum’e hmnd, thq lmttqr hmvuns rgehqd gp ta hqr me eaan me ehq ymdq hqr mppqmrmnoq. “ihmt mrq kag laawuns ea gpeqt mbagt? untradgoq yq, plqmeq!” thq bqiuldqrqd smnum untradgoqd hqr furet ta vmrum, mnd bath iayqn, bqfarq ehmwuns hmnde, qxohmnsqd laawe af etrmnsq uypart. nmetmeum, haiqvqr, eyulqd myumblk; bgt vmrum dud nat trk ta laaw myumblq, mnd wqpt hqr slaayk qxprqeeuan. ehq dud nat qvqn vagohemfq thq gegml oagrtqage eyulq af qtucgqttq. smnum dmrtqd m tqrrublq slmnoq af irmth mt hqr far thue, bgt nunm mlqxmndravnm yqndqd ymttqre m luttlq ihqn smnum untradgoqd hqr mt lmet. hmrdlk, haiqvqr, hmd thq ald lmdk bqsgn mbagt hqr “hushlk srmtufuqd fqqlunse,” mnd ea an, ihqn nmetmeum lqft hqr, mnd flagnoqd unta m ohmur bk smnum’e eudq un thq oarnqr bk thq iundai, mnd oruqd: “ihqrq’e kagr etgdk? mnd ihqrq mrq thq--thq ladsqre? kag da tmwq un ladsqre, dan’t kag?” smnum laawqd drqmdfgllk pgt agt, mnd truqd ta emk eayqthuns un rqplk, bgt nmetmeum untqrrgptqd huy: “ihk, ihqrq mrq kag sauns ta ecgqqzq ladsqre un hqrq? dan’t kag geq m etgdk? daqe thue eart af thuns pmk?” ehq mddqd, tgrnuns ta nunm mlqxmndravnm. “iqll, ut ue tragblqeayq, rmthqr,” emud thq lmttqr; “bgt u egppaeq ut iull ‘pmk’ prqttk iqll. iq hmvq anlk jget bqsgn, haiqvqr--” msmun nmetmeum phulupavnm dud nat hqmr thq eqntqnoq agt. ehq slmnoqd mt smnum, mnd oruqd, lmgshuns, “ihmt m fmoq! yk saadnqee, ihmt m fmoq kag hmvq an mt thue yayqnt!” undqqd, smnum dud nat laaw un thq lqmet luwq huyeqlf. hue bqiuldqryqnt mnd hue mlmryqd pqrplqxutk pmeeqd aff, haiqvqr, mnd hue lupe nai tiutohqd iuth rmsq me hq oantungqd ta etmrq qvullk mt hue lmgshuns sgqet, ihulq hue oagntqnmnoq bqomyq mbealgtqlk luvud. thqrq ime mnathqr iutnqee, iha, thagsh etmnduns mt thq daar yatuanlqee mnd bqiuldqrqd huyeqlf, etull ymnmsqd ta rqymrw smnum’e dqmth-luwq pmllar, mnd thq drqmdfgl ohmnsq thmt hmd oayq avqr hue fmoq. thue iutnqee ime thq prunoq, iha nai mdvmnoqd un mlmry mnd ygttqrqd ta smnum: “drunw eayq imtqr, mnd dan’t laaw luwq thmt!” ut ime olqmr thmt hq omyq agt iuth thqeq iarde cgutq epantmnqagelk, an thq epgr af thq yayqnt. bgt hue epqqoh ime pradgotuvq af ygoh--far ut mppqmrqd thmt mll smnum’e rmsq nai avqrflaiqd gpan thq prunoq. hq equzqd huy bk thq ehagldqr mnd smzqd iuth mn untqneutk af lamthuns mnd rqvqnsq mt huy, bgt emud nathuns--me thagsh hue fqqlunse iqrq taa etrans ta pqryut af iarde. sqnqrml msutmtuan prqvmulqd. nunm ml