Mentur Double Reader contents



For those new to this blog:

The main purpose of this blog is to promote “The Mentur Spelling System.” Mentur respells a large percentage of words so they will be easier to read. While the appearance is off-putting to present readers, future readers would not have that bias, and would find learning to read and spell much easier if this system—or one like it—was accepted.

This story is written in parallel text format so that it can be used to teach traditional spelling, much as second languages are taught when using a book printed in parallel text.

The reader may only be interested in reading the traditional version, in which case, he can just read  the one columnm, or go to:

The original story is in the public domain—in the US—but not necessarily in other countries.

I plan on posting one chapter a week.


Traditional Spelling Mentur

By Mark Twain

Chapter 3


By Mark Twain

Chaptur 3


The Stranger had seen everything, he had been everywhere, he knew everything, and he forgot nothing. What another must study, he learned at a glance; there were no difficulties for him. And he made things live before you when he told about them. He saw the world made; he saw Adam created; he saw Samson surge against the pillars and bring the temple down in ruins about him; he saw Caesar’s death; he told of the daily life in heaven; he had seen the damned writhing in the red waves of hell; and he made us see all these things, and it was as if we were on the spot and looking at them with our own eyes. And we felt them, too, but there was no sign that they were anything to him beyond mere entertainments. Those visions of hell, those poor babes and women and girls and lads and men shrieking and supplicating in anguish—why, we could hardly bear it, but he was as bland about it as if it had been so many imitation rats in an artificial fire.


Dhv straenjur had seen evrything, he had bin evrywher, he knoo evrything, and he forgot nvthing. Whot unvdhur mvst stvdy, he lvrnd at a glans; dher wvr no difikultyz for him. And he maed thingz liv bifoer yoo when he toeld ubout dhem. He sau dhv wvruld maed; he sau Adum kreaetud; he sau Samsun svrj ugenst dhv pilurz and bring dhv tempul doun in roounz ubout him; he sau Seezur’z deth; he toeld uv dhv daely lief in hevun; he had seen dhv dammd riedhing in dhv red waevz uv hel; and he maed vz see aul dheez thingz, and it wvz az if we wvr on dhv spot and lwking at dhem with our oen iez. And we felt dhem, too, bvt dher wvz no sien dhat dhae wvr enything to him beond mir enturtaenmunts. Dhoez vizhunz uv hel, dhoez por baebz and wimun and gvrulz and ladz and men shreeking and svplikaeting in anggwish—whie, we kwd hardly ber it, bvt he wvz az bland ubout it az if it had bin so meny imutaeshun rats in an artufishul fier.
And always when he was talking about men and women here on the earth and their doings—even their grandest and sublimest—we were secretly ashamed, for his manner showed that to him they and their doings were of paltry poor consequence; often you would think he was talking about flies, if you didn’t know. Once he even said, in so many words, that our people down here were quite interesting to him, notwithstanding they were so dull and ignorant and trivial and conceited, and so diseased and rickety, and such a shabby, poor, worthless lot all around. He said it in a quite matter-of-course way and without bitterness, just as a person might talk about bricks or manure or any other thing that was of no consequence and hadn’t feelings. I could see he meant no offense, but in my thoughts I set it down as not very good manners.


And aulwaez when he wvz taulking ubout men and wimun hir on dhe vrth and dheir doingz—eevun dheir grandust and subliemust—we wvr seekrutly ushaemd, for hiz manur shoed dhat to him dhae and dheir doingz wvr uv paultry por konsikwuns; ofun yoo wwd think he wvz taulking ubout fliez, if yoo didn’t knoe. Wvns he eevun sed, in so meny wvrdz, dhat our peepul doun hir wvr kwiet inturusting to him, notwithstanding dhae wvr so dvl and ignurunt and triveul and kunseetud, and so dizeezd and rikuty, and svch a shaby, por, wvrthlus lot aul uround. He sed it in a kwiet matur-uv-kors wae and without biturnus, jvst az a pvrsun miet taulk ubout briks or munoor or eny vdhur thing dhat wvz uv no konsikwuns and hadn’t feelingz. I kwd see he ment no ufens, bvt in mie thauts I set it doun az not very gwd manurz.
“Manners!” he said. “Why, it is merely the truth, and truth is good manners; manners are a fiction. The castle is done. Do you like it?”


“Manurz!” he sed. “Whie, it iz mirly dhv trooth, and trooth iz gwd manurz; manurz ar a fikshun. Dhv kasul iz dvn. Do yoo like it?”
Any one would have been obliged to like it. It was lovely to look at, it was so shapely and fine, and so cunningly perfect in all its particulars, even to the little flags waving from the turrets. Satan said we must put the artillery in place now, and station the halberdiers and display the cavalry. Our men and horses were a spectacle to see, they were so little like what they were intended for; for, of course, we had no art in making such things. Satan said they were the worst he had seen; and when he touched them and made them alive, it was just ridiculous the way they acted, on account of their legs not being of uniform lengths. They reeled and sprawled around as if they were drunk, and endangered everybody’s lives around them, and finally fell over and lay helpless and kicking. It made us all laugh, though it was a shameful thing to see. The guns were charged with dirt, to fire a salute, but they were so crooked and so badly made that they all burst when they went off, and killed some of the gunners and crippled the others. Satan said we would have a storm now, and an earthquake, if we liked, but we must stand off a piece, out of danger. We wanted to call the people away, too, but he said never mind them; they were of no consequence, and we could make more, some time or other, if we needed them.


Eny wvn wwd hav bin ubliejd to like it. It wvz luvvly to lwk at, it wvz so shaeply and fien, and so kvningly pvrfikt in aul its purtikyulurz, eevun to dhv litul flagz waeving frvm dhv tvruts. Saetun sed we mvst pwt dhe artilury in plaes nou, and staeshun dhv halburdirz and displae dhv kavulry. Our men and horsuz wvr a spektikul to see, dhae wvr so litul like whot dhae wvr intendud for; for, uv kors, we had no art in maeking svch thingz. Saetun sed dhae wvr dhv wvrst he had seen; and when he tvchd dhem and maed dhem uliev, it wvz jvst ridikyulus dhv wae dhae aktud, on ukount uv dheir legz not being uv uenuform lengths. Dhae reeld and sprauld uround az if dhae wvr drvnk, and endaenjurd evrybody’z lievz uround dhem, and fienuly fel oevur and lae helplus and kiking. It maed vs aul laf, dhoe it wvz a shaemful thing to see. Dhv gvnz wvr charjd with dvrt, to fier a suloot, bvt dhae wvr so krwkud and so badly maed dhat dhae aul bvrst when dhae went off, and kild svm uv dhv gvnurz and kripuld dhe vdhurz. Saetun sed we wwd hav a storm nou, and an vrthkwaek, if we liked, bvt we mvst stand off a pees, out uv daenjur. We wvntud to kaul dhv peepul uwae, too, bvt he sed nevur miend dhem; dhae wvr uv no konsikwuns, and we kwd maek mor, svm tiem or vdhur, if we needud dhem.
A small storm-cloud began to settle down black over the castle, and the miniature lightning and thunder began to play, and the ground to quiver, and the wind to pipe and wheeze, and the rain to fall, and all the people flocked into the castle for shelter. The cloud settled down blacker and blacker, and one could see the castle only dimly through it; the lightning blazed out flash upon flash and pierced the castle and set it on fire, and the flames shone out red and fierce through the cloud, and the people came flying out, shrieking, but Satan brushed them back, paying no attention to our begging and crying and imploring; and in the midst of the howling of the wind and volleying of the thunder the magazine blew up, the earthquake rent the ground wide, and the castle’s wreck and ruin tumbled into the chasm, which swallowed it from sight, and closed upon it, with all that innocent life, not one of the five hundred poor creatures escaping. Our hearts were broken; we could not keep from crying.


A smaul storm-kloud bigan to setul doun blak oevur dhv kasul, and dhv mineuchur lietning and thvndur bigan to plae, and dhv ground to kwivur, and dhv wind to piep and wheez, and dhv raen to faul, and aul dhv peepul flokd into dhv kasul for sheltur. Dhv kloud setuld doun blakur and blakur, and wvn kwd see dhv kasul oenly dimly throo it; dhv lietning blaezd out flash upon flash and pirsd dhv kasul and set it on fier, and dhv flaemz shoen out red and firs throo dhv kloud, and dhv peepul kaem flieing out, shreeking, bvt Saetun brvshd dhem bak, paeing no utenchun to our beging and krieing and imploring; and in dhv midst uv dhv houling uv dhv wind and volying uv dhv thvndur dhv maguzyn bloo vp, dhe vrthkwaek rent dhv ground wied, and dhv kasul’z rek and rooun tvmbuld into dhv kazum, which swoloed it frvm siet, and kloezd upon it, with aul dhat inusunt lief, not wvn uv dhv fiev hvndrud por kreechurz eskaeping. Our harts wvr broekun; we kwd not keep frvm krieing.
“Don’t cry,” Satan said; “they were of no value.”


“Doent krie,” Saetun sed; “dhae wvr uv no value.”
“But they are gone to hell!” “Bvt dhae ar gon to hel!”
“Oh, it is no matter; we can make plenty more.” “Oh, it iz no matur; we kan maek plenty mor.”
It was of no use to try to move him; evidently he was wholly without feelings, and could not understand. He was full of bubbling spirits, and as gay as if this were a wedding instead of a fiendish massacre. And he was bent on making us feel as he did, and of course his magic accomplished his desire. It was no trouble to him; he did whatever he pleased with us. In a little while we were dancing on that grave, and he was playing to us on a strange, sweet instrument which he took out of his pocket; and the music—but there is no music like that, unless perhaps in heaven, and that was where he brought it from, he said. It made one mad, for pleasure; and we could not take our eyes from him, and the looks that went out of our eyes came from our hearts, and their dumb speech was worship. He brought the dance from heaven, too, and the bliss of paradise was in it.


It wvz uv no ues to trie to moev him; evuduntly he wvz hoely without feelingz, and kwd not undurstand. He wvz fwl uv bvbuling spiruts, and az gae az if dhis wvr a weding instead uv a feendish masikur. And he wvz bent on maeking vs feel as he did, and uv kors hiz majik ukomplishd hiz dizier. It wvz no trvbul to him; he did whotevur he pleezd with vs. In a litul whiel we wvr dansing on dhat graev, and he wvz plaeing to vs on a staenj, sweet instrumunt which he twk out uv hiz pokut; and dhv muezik—bvt dher iz no muezik liek dhat, unles purhaps in hevun, and dhat wvz wher he braut it frvm, he sed. It maed wvn mad, for plezhur; and we kwd not taek our iez frvm him, and dhv lwks dhat went out uv our iez kaem frvm our harts, and dheir dvm speech wvz wvrshup. He braut dhv dans frvm hevun, too, and dhv blis uv parrudies wvz in it.
Presently he said he must go away on an errand. But we could not bear the thought of it, and clung to him, and pleaded with him to stay; and that pleased him, and he said so, and said he would not go yet, but would wait a little while and we would sit down and talk a few minutes longer; and he told us Satan was only his real name, and he was to be known by it to us alone, but he had chosen another one to be called by in the presence of others; just a common one, such as people have—Philip Traum.


Prezuntly he sed he mvst go uwae on an erund. Bvt we kwd not ber  dhv thaut uv it, and klvng to him, and pleedud with him to stae; and dhat pleezd him, and he sed so, and sed he wwd not go yet, bvt wwd waet a litul whiel and we wwd sit doun and taulk a fue minuts longgur; and he toeld vs Saetun wvz oenly hiz reel naem, and he wvz to be knoen by it to vs uloen, bvt he had choezun unvdhur wvn to be kauld by in dhv prezuns uv vdhurz; jvst a komun wvn, svch az peepul hav—Filup Traum.
It sounded so odd and mean for such a being! But it was his decision, and we said nothing; his decision was sufficient.


It soundud so od and meen for svch a being! Bvt it wvz hiz disizhun, and we sed nvthing; hiz disizhun wvz sufishunt.
We had seen wonders this day; and my thoughts began to run on the pleasure it would be to tell them when I got home, but he noticed those thoughts, and said:


We had seen wvndurz dhis dae; and mie thauts bigan to rvn on dhv plezhur it wwd be to tel dhem when I got hoem, bvt he noetusd dhoez thauts, and sed:
“No, all these matters are a secret among us four. I do not mind your trying to tell them, if you like, but I will protect your tongues, and nothing of the secret will escape from them.”


“No, aul dheez maturz ar a seekrut umvng vs faur. I do not miend yor trieing to tel dhem, if yoo like, bvt I wil prutekt yor tvngz, and nvthing uv dhv seekrut wil eskaep frvm dhem.”
It was a disappointment, but it couldn’t be helped, and it cost us a sigh or two. We talked pleasantly along, and he was always reading our thoughts and responding to them, and it seemed to me that this was the most wonderful of all the things he did, but he interrupted my musings and said:


It wvz a disupointmunt, bvt it kwdn’t be helpd, and it kost vs a sie or two. We taulkd plezuntly ulong, and he wvz aulwaez reeding our thauts and risponding to dhem, and it seemd to me dhat dhis wvz dhv moest wvndurful uv aul dhv thingz he did, bvt he inturvptud mie muezingz and sed:
“No, it would be wonderful for you, but it is not wonderful for me. I am not limited like you. I am not subject to human conditions. I can measure and understand your human weaknesses, for I have studied them; but I have none of them. My flesh is not real, although it would seem firm to your touch; my clothes are not real; I am a spirit. Father Peter is coming.” We looked around, but did not see any one. “He is not in sight yet, but you will see him presently.”


“No, it wwd be wvndurful for yoo, bvt it iz not wvndurful for me. I am not limutud like yoo. I am not svbjikt to huemun kundishunz. I kan mezhur and undurstand yor huemun weeknusuz, for I hav stvdyd dhem; bvt I hav nvn uv dhem. Mie flesh iz not reel, auldhoe it wwd seem fvrm to yor tvch; mie kloedhz ar not reel; I am a spirut. Fodhur Peetur iz kvming.” We lwkd uround, bvt did not see eny wvn. “He iz not in siet yet, bvt yoo wil see him prezuntly.”
“Do you know him, Satan?” “Do yoo knoe him, Saetun?”
“No.” “No.”
“Won’t you talk with him when he comes? He is not ignorant and dull, like us, and he would so like to talk with you. Will you?”


“Woent yoo taulk with him when he kvmz? He iz not ignurunt and dvl, like vs, and he wwd so like to taulk with yoo. Wil yoo?”
“Another time, yes, but not now. I must go on my errand after a little. There he is now; you can see him. Sit still, and don’t say anything.”


“Unvdhur tiem, yes, bvt not nou. I mvst go on mie erund aftur a litul. Dher he iz nou; yoo kan see him. Sit stil, and doent sae enything.”
We looked up and saw Father Peter approaching through the chestnuts. We three were sitting together in the grass, and Satan sat in front of us in the path. Father Peter came slowly along with his head down, thinking, and stopped within a couple of yards of us and took off his hat and got out his silk handkerchief, and stood there mopping his face and looking as if he were going to speak to us, but he didn’t. Presently he muttered, “I can’t think what brought me here; it seems as if I were in my study a minute ago—but I suppose I have been dreaming along for an hour and have come all this stretch without noticing; for I am not myself in these troubled days.” Then he went mumbling along to himself and walked straight through Satan, just as if nothing were there. It made us catch our breath to see it. We had the impulse to cry out, the way you nearly always do when a startling thing happens, but something mysteriously restrained us and we remained quiet, only breathing fast. Then the trees hid Father Peter after a little, and Satan said:


We lwkd vp and sau Fodhur Peetur uproeching throo dhv chestnuts. We three wvr siting tugedhur in dhv gras, and Saetun sat in frvnt uv vs in dhv path. Fodhur Peetur kaem sloely ulong with hiz hed doun, thinking, and stopd within a kvpul uv yardz uv vs and twk off hiz hat and got out hiz silk hankurchuf, and stwd dher moping hiz faes and lwking az if he wvr going to speek to vs, bvt he didn’t. Prezuntly he mvturd, “I kan’t think whot braut me hir; it seemz az if I wvr in mie stvdy a minut ugoe—bvt I supoez I hav bin dreeming ulong for an hour and hav kvm aul dhis strech without noetusing; for I am not mieself in dheez trvbuld daez.” Dhen he went mvmbuling ulong to himself and waulkd straet throo Saetun, jvst az if nvthing wvr dher. It maed vs kach our breth to see it. We had dhe impuls to krie out, dhv wae yoo nirly aulwaez do when a startuling thing hapunz, bvt svmthing mistireusly ristraend vs and we rimaend kwiut, oenly breedhing fast. Dhen dhv treez hid Fodhur Peetur aftur a litul, and Saetun sed:
“It is as I told you—I am only a spirit.”


“It iz az I toeld yoo—I am oenly a spirut.”
“Yes, one perceives it now,” said Nikolaus, “but we are not spirits. It is plain he did not see you, but were we invisible, too? He looked at us, but he didn’t seem to see us.”


“Yes, wvn purseevz it nou,” sed Nikulus, “bvt we ar not spiruts. It iz plaen he did not see yoo, bvt wvr we invizubul, too? He lwkd at vs, bvt he didn’t seem to see vs.”
“No, none of us was visible to him, for I wished it so.”


“No, nvn uv vs wvz vizubul to him, for I wishd it so.”
It seemed almost too good to be true, that we were actually seeing these romantic and wonderful things, and that it was not a dream. And there he sat, looking just like anybody—so natural and simple and charming, and chatting along again the same as ever, and—well, words cannot make you understand what we felt. It was an ecstasy; and an ecstasy is a thing that will not go into words; it feels like music, and one cannot tell about music so that another person can get the feeling of it. He was back in the old ages once more now, and making them live before us. He had seen so much, so much! It was just a wonder to look at him and try to think how it must seem to have such experience behind one.


It seemd aulmoest too gwd to be troo, dhat we wvr aktuuly seeing dheez roemantik and wvndurful thingz, and dhat it wvz not a dreem. And dher he sat, lwking jvst like enybody—so nachurul and simpul and charming, and chating ulong ugen dhv saem az evur, and—wel, wvrdz kanot maek yoo undurstand whot we felt. It wvz an ekstusy; and an ekstudy iz a thing dhat wil not go into wvrdz; it feelz liek muezik, and wvn kanot tel ubout muezik so dhat unvdhur pvrsun kan get dhv feeling uv it. He wvz bak in dhe oeld aejuz wvns mor nou, and maeking dhem liv bifoer vs. He had seen so mvch, so mvch! It wvz jvst a wvndur to lwk at him and trie to think hou it mvst seem to hav svch ekspireuns bihiend wvn.
But it made you seem sorrowfully trivial, and the creature of a day, and such a short and paltry day, too. And he didn’t say anything to raise up your drooping pride—no, not a word. He always spoke of men in the same old indifferent way—just as one speaks of bricks and manure-piles and such things; you could see that they were of no consequence to him, one way or the other. He didn’t mean to hurt us, you could see that; just as we don’t mean to insult a brick when we disparage it; a brick’s emotions are nothing to us; it never occurs to us to think whether it has any or not.


Bvt it maed yoo seem soroefuly triveul, and dhv kreechur uv a dae, and svch a short and paultry dae, too. And he didn’t sae enything to raez vp yor drooping pried—no, not a wvrd. He aulwaez spoek uv men in dhv saem oeld indifurunt wae—jvst az wvn speeks uv briks and munoor-pielz and svch thingz; yoo kwd see dhat dhae wvr uv no konsikwuns to him, wvn wae or dhe vdhur. He didn’t meen to hvrt vs, yoo kwd see dhat; jvst az we doent meen to insvlt a brik when we disparrij it; a brik’s imoeshunz ar nvthing to vs; it nevur ukvrz to vs to think whedhur it haz eny or not.
Once when he was bunching the most illustrious kings and conquerors and poets and prophets and pirates and beggars together—just a brick-pile—I was shamed into putting in a word for man, and asked him why he made so much difference between men and himself. He had to struggle with that a moment; he didn’t seem to understand how I could ask such a strange question. Then he said:


Wvns when he wvz bvnching dhv moest ilvstreus kingz and konkururz and pouts and profuts and pieruts and begurz tugedhur—jvst a brik-piel—I wvz shaemd into pwting in a wvrd for man, and askd him whie he maed so mvch difuruns bitween men and himself. He had to strvgul with dhat a moemunt; he didn’t seem to undurstand hou I kwd ask svch a straenj kweschun. Dhen he sed:
“The difference between man and me? The difference between a mortal and an immortal? between a cloud and a spirit?” He picked up a wood-louse that was creeping along a piece of bark: “What is the difference between Caesar and this?”


“Dhv difuruns bitween man and me? Dhv difuruns bitween a mortul and an imortul? bitween a kloud and a spirut?” He pikd vp a wwd-lous dhat wvz kreeping ulong a pees uv bark: “Whot iz dhv difuruns bitween Seezur and dhis?”
I said, “One cannot compare things which by their nature and by the interval between them are not comparable.”


I sed, “Wvn kanot kumper thingz which by dheir naechur and by dhe inturvul bitween dhem ar not kumperubul.”
“You have answered your own question,” he said. “I will expand it. Man is made of dirt—I saw him made. I am not made of dirt. Man is a museum of diseases, a home of impurities; he comes to-day and is gone to-morrow; he begins as dirt and departs as stench; I am of the aristocracy of the Imperishables. And man has the Moral Sense. You understand? He has the moral Sense. That would seem to be difference enough between us, all by itself.”


“Yoo hav ansurd yor oen kweschun,” he sed. “I wil ekspand it. Man iz maed uv dvrt—I sau him maed. I am not maed uv dvrt. Man iz a muezeum uv dizeezuz, a hoem uv impywrutyz; he kvmz tudae and iz gon tumoroe; he biginz az dvrt and diparts az stench; I am uv dhe arrustokrusy uv dhe Imperishubulz. And man haz dhv Morul Sens. Yoo undurstand? He haz dhv morul Sens. Dhat wwd seem to be difuruns invf bitween vs, aul by itself.”
He stopped there, as if that settled the matter. I was sorry, for at that time I had but a dim idea of what the Moral Sense was. I merely knew that we were proud of having it, and when he talked like that about it, it wounded me, and I felt as a girl feels who thinks her dearest finery is being admired and then overhears strangers making fun of it. For a while we were all silent, and I, for one, was depressed. Then Satan began to chat again, and soon he was sparkling along in such a cheerful and vivacious vein that my spirits rose once more. He told some very cunning things that put us in a gale of laughter; and when he was telling about the time that Samson tied the torches to the foxes’ tails and set them loose in the Philistines’ corn, and Samson sitting on the fence slapping his thighs and laughing, with the tears running down his cheeks, and lost his balance and fell off the fence, the memory of that picture got him to laughing, too, and we did have a most lovely and jolly time. By and by he said:


He stopd dher, az if dhat setuld dhv matur. I wvz sory, for at dhat tiem I had bvt a dim iedeu uv whot dhv Morul Sens wvz. I mirly knoo dhat we wvr proud uv having it, and when he taulkd like dhat ubout it, it woondud me, and I felt az a gvrul feelz hoo thinks hvr dirust fienury iz being udmierd and dhen oevurhirz straenjurz maeking fvn uv it. For a whiel we wvr aul sielunt, and I, for wvn, wvz dipresd. Dhen Saetun bigan to chat ugen, and soon he wvz sparkuling ulong in svch a chirful and vuvaeshus vaen dhat mie spiruts roez wvns mor. He toeld svm very kvning thingz dhat pwt vs in a gael uv laftur; and when he wvz teling ubout dhv tiem dhat Samsun tied dhv torchuz to dhv foks’z taelz and set dhem loos in dhv Filustyn’z korn, and Samsun siting on dhv fens slaping hiz thiez and lafing, with dhv tirz rvning doun hiz cheeks, and lost hiz baluns and fel off dhv fens, dhv memury uv dhat pikchur got him to lafing, too, and we did hav a moest luvvly and joly tiem. By and by he sed:
“I am going on my errand now.”


“I am going on mie erund nou.”
“Don’t!” we all said. “Don’t go; stay with us. You won’t come back.” “Doent!” we aul sed. “Doent go; stae with vs. Yoo woent kvm bak.”
“Yes, I will; I give you my word.”


“Yes, I wil; I giv yoo mie wvrd.”
“When? To-night? Say when.”


“When? Tuniet? Sae when.”
“It won’t be long. You will see.”


“It woent be long. Yoo wil see.”
“We like you.”


“We like yoo.”
“And I you. And as a proof of it I will show you something fine to see. Usually when I go I merely vanish; but now I will dissolve myself and let you see me do it.”


“And I yoo. And az proof uv it I wil shoe yoo svmthing fien to see. Uezuuly when I go I mirly vanish; bvt nou I wil dizaulv mieself and let yoo see me do it.”
He stood up, and it was quickly finished. He thinned away and thinned away until he was a soap-bubble, except that he kept his shape. You could see the bushes through him as clearly as you see things through a soap-bubble, and all over him played and flashed the delicate iridescent colors of the bubble, and along with them was that thing shaped like a window-sash which you always see on the globe of the bubble. You have seen a bubble strike the carpet and lightly bound along two or three times before it bursts. He did that. He sprang—touched the grass—bounded—floated along—touched again—and so on, and presently exploded—puff! and in his place was vacancy.


He stwd vp, and it wvz kwikly finishd. He thind uwae and thind uwae until he wvz a soep-bvbul, eksept dhat he kept hiz shaep. Yoo kwd see dhv bwshuz throo him az klirly az yoo see thingz throo a soep-bvbul, and aul oevur him plaed and flashd dhv delikut irudesunt kvlurz uv dhv bvbul, and ulong with dhem wvz dhat thing shaepd like a windoe-sash which yoo aulwaez see on dhv gloeb uv dhv bvbul. Yoo hav seen a bvbul striek dhv karput and lietly bound ulong two or three tiemz bifoer it bvrsts. He did dhat. He sprang—tvchd dhv gras—boundud—floetud ulong—tvchd ugen—and so on, and prezuntly eksploedud—pvf!” and in hiz plaes wvz vaekunsy.
It was a strange and beautiful thing to see. We did not say anything, but sat wondering and dreaming and blinking; and finally Seppi roused up and said, mournfully sighing:


It wvz a straenj and buetiful thing to see. We did not sae enything, bvt sat wvnduring and dreeming and blinking; and fienuly Sepy rouzd vp and sed, mornfuly sieing:
“I suppose none of it has happened.”


“I supoez nvn uv it haz hapund.”
Nikolaus sighed and said about the same.


Nikulus sied and sed ubout dhv saem.
I was miserable to hear them say it, for it was the same cold fear that was in my own mind. Then we saw poor old Father Peter wandering along back, with his head bent down, searching the ground. When he was pretty close to us he looked up and saw us, and said, “How long have you been here, boys?”


I wvz mizurubul to hir dhem sae it, for it wvz dhv saem koeld fir dhat wvz in mie oen miend. Dhen we sau por oeld Fodhur Peetur wonduring ulong bak, with hiz hed bent doun, svrching dhv ground. When he wvz prity kloes to vs he lwkd vp and sau vs, and sed, “Hou long hav yoo bin hir, boiz?”
“A little while, Father.”


“A litul whiel, Fodhur.”
“Then it is since I came by, and maybe you can help me. Did you come up by the path?”


“Dhen it iz sins I kaem by, and maeby yoo kan help me. Did yoo kvm vp by dhv path?”
“Yes, Father.”


“Yes, Fodhur.”
“That is good. I came the same way. I have lost my wallet. There wasn’t much in it, but a very little is much to me, for it was all I had. I suppose you haven’t seen anything of it?”


“Dhat iz gwd. I kaem dhv saem wae. I hav lost mie wolut. Dher wvzn’t mvch in it, bvt a very litul iz mvch to me, for it wvz aul I had. I supoez yoo havn’t seen enything uv it?”
“No, Father, but we will help you hunt.”


“No, Fodhur, bvt we wil hellp yoo hvnt.”
“It is what I was going to ask you. Why, here it is!”


“It iz whot I wvz going to ask yoo. Whie, hir it iz!”
We hadn’t noticed it; yet there it lay, right where Satan stood when he began to melt—if he did melt and it wasn’t a delusion. Father Peter picked it up and looked very much surprised.


We hadn’t noetusd it; yet dher it lae, riet wher Saetun stwd when he bigan to melt—if he did melt and it wvzn’t a diloozhun. Fodhur Peetur pikd it vp and lwkd very mvch surpriezd.
“It is mine,” he said, “but not the contents. This is fat; mine was flat; mine was light; this is heavy.” He opened it; it was stuffed as full as it could hold with gold coins. He let us gaze our fill; and of course we did gaze, for we had never seen so much money at one time before. All our mouths came open to say “Satan did it!” but nothing came out. There it was, you see—we couldn’t tell what Satan didn’t want told; he had said so himself.


“It iz mien,” he sed, “Bvt not dhv kontents. Dhis iz fat; mien wvz flat; mien wvz liet; dhis iz hevy.” He oepund it; it wvz stvfd az fwl az it kwd hoeld with goeld koinz. He let vs gaez our fil; and uv kors we did gaez, for we had nevur seen so mvch mvny at wvn tiem bifoer. Aul our mouths kaem oepun to sae “Saetun did it!” bvt nvthing kaem out. Dher it wvz, yoo see—we kwdn’t tel whot Saetun didn’t wvnt toeld; he had sed so himself.
“Boys, did you do this?”


“Boiz, did yoo do dhis?”
It made us laugh. And it made him laugh, too, as soon as he thought what a foolish question it was.


It maed vs laf. And it maed him laf, too, az soon az he thaut whot a foolish kweschun it wvz.
“Who has been here?”


“Hoo haz bin hir?”
Our mouths came open to answer, but stood so for a moment, because we couldn’t say “Nobody,” for it wouldn’t be true, and the right word didn’t seem to come; then I thought of the right one, and said it:


Our mouths kaem oepun to ansur, bvt stwd so for a moemunt, bikauz we kwdn’t sae “Nobody,” for it wwdn’t be troo, and dhv riet wvrd didn’t seem to kvm; dhen I thaut uv dhv riet wvn, and sed it:
“Not a human being.” “Not a huemun being.”
“That is so,” said the others, and let their mouths go shut.


“Dhat iz so,” sed dhe vdhurz, and let dheir mouths go shvt.
“It is not so,” said Father Peter, and looked at us very severely. “I came by here a while ago, and there was no one here, but that is nothing; some one has been here since. I don’t mean to say that the person didn’t pass here before you came, and I don’t mean to say you saw him, but some one did pass, that I know. On your honor—you saw no one?”


“It iz not so,” sed Fodhur Peetur, and lwkd at vs very suvirly. “I kaem by hir a whiel ugoe, and dher wvz no wvn hir, bvt dhat iz nvthing; svm wvn haz bin hir sins. I doent meen to sae dhat dhv pvrsun didn’t pas hir bifoer yoo kaem, and I doent meen to sae yoo sau him, bvt svm wvn did pas, dhat I knoe. On yor onur—yoo sau no wvn?”
“Not a human being.”


“Not a huemun being.”
“That is sufficient; I know you are telling me the truth.”


“Dhat iz sufishunt; I knoe yoo ar teling me dhv trooth.”
He began to count the money on the path, we on our knees eagerly helping to stack it in little piles.


He bigan to kount dhv mvny on dhv path, we on our neez eegurly helping to stak it in litul pielz.
“It’s eleven hundred ducats odd!” he said. “Oh dear! if it were only mine—and I need it so!” and his voice broke and his lips quivered.


“It’s ilevun hvndrud dvkuts od!” he sed. “Oh dir! if it wvr oenly mien—and I need it so!” and hiz vois broek and hiz lips kwivurd.
“It is yours, sir!” we all cried out at once, “every heller!”


“It iz yorz, svr!” we aul kried out at wvns, “evry helur!”
“No—it isn’t mine. Only four ducats are mine; the rest…!” He fell to dreaming, poor old soul, and caressing some of the coins in his hands, and forgot where he was, sitting there on his heels with his old gray head bare; it was pitiful to see. “No,” he said, waking up, “it isn’t mine. I can’t account for it. I think some enemy… it must be a trap.”


“No—it izn’t mien. Oenly faur dvkuts ar mien; dhv rest…!” He fel to dreeming, por oeld soel, and kuresing svm uv dhv koinz in hiz handz, and forgot wher he wvz, siting dher on hiz heelz with hiz oeld grae hed ber; it wvz pitiful to see. “No,” he sed, waeking vp, “it izn’t mien. I kan’t ukount for it. I think svm enumy… it mvst be a trap.”
Nikolaus said: “Father Peter, with the exception of the astrologer you haven’t a real enemy in the village—nor Marget, either. And not even a half-enemy that’s rich enough to chance eleven hundred ducats to do you a mean turn. I’ll ask you if that’s so or not?”


Nikulus sed: “Fodhur Peetur, with dhe eksepshun uv dhe ustrolujur yoo havn’t a reel enumy in dhv vilij—nor Margut, eedhur. And not eevun a haf-enumy dhat’s rich invf to chans ilevun hvndrud dvkuts to do yoo a meen tvrn. I’l ask yoo if dhat’s so or not?”
He couldn’t get around that argument, and it cheered him up. “But it isn’t mine, you see—it isn’t mine, in any case.”


He kwdn’t get uround dhat argyumunt, and it chird him vp. “Bvt it izn’t mien, yoo see—it izn’t mien, in eny kaes.”
He said it in a wistful way, like a person that wouldn’t be sorry, but glad, if anybody would contradict him.


He sed it in a wistful wae, like a pvrsun dhat wwdn’t be sory, bvt glad, if enybody wwd kontrudikt him.
“It is yours, Father Peter, and we are witness to it. Aren’t we, boys?”


“It iz yorz, Fodhur Peetur, and we ar witnus to it. Arn’t we boiz?”
“Yes, we are—and we’ll stand by it, too.” “Yes, we ar—and we’l stand by it, too.”
“Bless your hearts, you do almost persuade me; you do, indeed. If I had only a hundred-odd ducats of it! The house is mortgaged for it, and we’ve no home for our heads if we don’t pay to-morrow. And that four ducats is all we’ve got in the—”


“Bles yor harts, yoo do aulmoest purswaed me; yo do, indeed. If I had oenly a hvndrud-od dvkuts uv it! Dhv hous iz morgijd for it, and we’v no hoem for our hedz if we doent pae tumoroe. And dhat faur dvkuts iz aul we’v got in dhv—”
“It’s yours, every bit of it, and you’ve got to take it—we are bail that it’s all right. Aren’t we, Theodor? Aren’t we, Seppi?”


“It’s yorz, evry bit uv it, and yoo’v got to taek it—we ar bael dhat it’s aul riet. Arn’t we, Theudor? Arn’t we, Sepy?”
We two said yes, and Nikolaus stuffed the money back into the shabby old wallet and made the owner take it. So he said he would use two hundred of it, for his house was good enough security for that, and would put the rest at interest till the rightful owner came for it; and on our side we must sign a paper showing how he got the money—a paper to show to the villagers as proof that he had not got out of his troubles dishonestly.


We two sed yes, and Nikulus stvfd dhv mvny bak into dhv shaby oeld wolut and maed dhe oenur taek it. So he sed he wwd uez two hvndrud uv it, for hiz hous wvz gwd invf sikywruty for dhat, and wwd pwt dhv rest at inturust til dhv rietful oenur kaem for it; and on our sied we mvst sien a paepur shoeing hou he got dhv mvny—a paepur to shoe to dhv vilijurz az proof dhat he hat not got out uv hiz trvbulz disonustly.





About Paul Stought

This blog will only be about spelling reform and Mentur. I am a retired machinist. I have been studying spelling reform since about 2000. I decided Mentur is what I would like to see as a user-friendly spelling system for English. Spelling reformers in general have widely differing views on the subject.
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