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Graham Greene:

A zsr vge Peter Morton arra riadt fel, hogy odakint mr vilgosodik. Es dobolt az ablakon. Janur tdike volt. %tn&zett a msik gyra ' a k&t gy kzt asztalka volt, ra(ta az &((eli lm"a egy v)zt* sban llt. +ran is Morton m&g aludt, &s Peter, szem&t a testv&r&n tartva, visszafek,dt. Elsz*rakozott a gondolattal, hogy tula(donk&""en nmagt figyeli- ugyanaz a ha(, ugyanaz a szem"r, ugyanaz a sz( &s ugyanaz az ar . .e a gondolat semmiv& s"adt, &s agya visszat&rt ahhoz a val*sgos t&nyhez, amely ezt a mai na"ot (elents&ggel ruhzta fel. Janur tdike volt. /lig akarta elhinni, hogy mr egy &v telt el Mrs. 0enne' +al on legutols* gyermekzs1r(a *ta. +ran is hirtelen hanyatt +ordult, egyik kar(t tvetette az ar n, eltorlaszolta a sz(t. Peter sz)ve egyre hevesebben vert, de nem az rmtl, hanem a szorongst*l. +el,lt, &s tkiltott az asztalkn - ' 4breszt5 ' +ran is vlla megrzk*dott, klbe szor)tott keze belekaszlt a levegbe, de a szem&t nem nyitotta ki. Peter Morton 1gy &rezte- hirtelen az eg&sz szoba elst&t,l, mintha egy *risi madr sa"na le r(uk. 6(ra kiltott- ' 4breszt5 ' s a szobt ism&t ez,sts f&ny rasztotta el, &s 1(ra es "askolta az ablakokat. +ran is megdrzslte a szem&t- ' !e sz*ltl7 ' k&rdezte. ' :alami rosszat lmodtl ' mondta Peter. !a"asztalatb*l tudta, hogy amit az egyik,k gondol, az t,krk&"e a msik gondolatainak. .e volt az idsebb, ha sak n&hny "er el is, &s magabiztossgot mer)tett a f&nynek abb*l a rvid kz(t&kb*l, ami alatt testv&re m&g a f(dalommal &s a st&ts&ggel gy,rkztt; &s fel&bresztette benne az sztnt, *vni a msikat, aki annyi mindentl rettegett. ' /zt lmodtam, hogy meghaltam ' mondta +ran is. The End Of The Party Peter Morton woke with a start to fa e the first light. !hrough the window he ould see a bare bough dro""ing a ross a frame of silver. #ain ta""ed against the glass. $t was January the fifth. 0e looked a ross a table, on whi h a night' light had guttered into a "ool of water, at the other bed. +ran is Morton was still aslee", and Peter lay down again with his eyes on his brother. $t amused him to imagine that it was himself whom he wat hed, the same hair, the same eyes, the same li"s and line of heek. 2ut the thought soon "alled, and the mind went ba k to the fa t whi h lent the day im"ortan e. $t was the fifth of January. 0e ould hardly believe that a year had "assed sin e Mrs. 0enne'+al on had given her last hildren3s "arty. +ran is turned suddenly u"on his ba k and threw an arm a ross his fa e, blo king his mouth. Peter3s heart began to beat fast, not with "leasure now but with uneasiness. 0e sat u" and alled a ross the table, 89ake u".8 +ran is3s shoulders shook and he waved len hed fist in the air, but his eyes remained losed. !o Peter Morton the whole room seemed suddenly to darken, and he had the im"ression of a great bird swoo"ing. 0e ried again 89ake u",8 and on e more there was silver light and the tou h of rain on the windows. +ran is rubbed his eyes. 8.id you all out78 he asked. 8<ou are having a bad dream,8 Peter said with onfiden e. /lready e="erien e had taught him how far their minds refle ted ea h other. 2ut he was the elder, by a matter of minutes, and that brief e=tra interval of light, while his brother still struggled in "ain and darkness, had given him self'relian e and an instin t of "rote tion towards the other who was afraid of so many things. 8$ dreamed that $ was dead,8 +ran is said.

89hat was it like78 Peter asked with uriosity. ' Milyen volt7 ' k&rdezte Peter. ' >em eml&kszem ' felelte +ran is. ' Egy nagy madrr*l lmodtl. 8<ou dreamed of a big bird.8 8.id $78 +ran is a e"ted his brother3s knowledge without @uestion, and for a little ' !&nyleg7 the two lay silent in bed fa ing ea h other, the +ek,dtek az gyban egymssal szemkztsame green eyes, the same nose tilting at the ugyanaz a zld szem"r, ugyanaz a "isze orr, ti", the same firm li"s "arted, and the same ugyanaz a maka s sz(, az llnak ugyanaz a "remature modelling of the hin. !he fifth of korav&n vonala. Janur tdike, gondolta January. Peter thought again, his mind drifting Peter 1(ra; gondolatai lustn vndoroltak ide' idly from the image of akes to the "rizes oda a s,tem&nyek &s az elnyerhet d)(ak k&"ei whi h might be won. Egg'and's"oon ra es, kzt. ?skban futs, &lba dobs, b1(* ska. s"earing a""les in basins of water, blindman3s buff. ' 4n nem akarok elmenni ' mondta hirtelen +ran is. ' 2iztos Joy e is ott lesz ... meg Mabel 9arren. ' Mr a gondolatt*l is irt*zott, hogy ezek ketten ott lesznek a zs1ron. $dsebbek voltak nla- Joy e tizenn&gy &ves, Mabel 9arren tizenhrom. 0ossz1 o"f(uk ggsen libegett f&rfias (rsuk ,tem&re. 0ogy 8nk8, szinte "orig alzta +ran ist, amikor leeresztett "illik al*l g1nyosan n&zt&k, hogyan ,gyetlenkedik zskban futs kzben. 4s a m1lt &vben ... elfordult Petertl, ar a b)borvrs lett. ' Mi ba(7 ' k&rdezte Peter. ' A, semmi. >em &rzem (*l magam. Megfztam. >em mehetek )gy el a zs1rra. Peter nem &rtette. ' >agyon megfztl, +ran is7 ' 0a elmegyek a zs1rra, m&g (obban megfzom. !aln meg is halok. ' /kkor nem szabad el(nnd ' mondta Peter, k&szen arra, hogy egyetlen mondattal minden neh&zs&get megold(on, &s +ran isben a fesz,lts&g skkent, mindig k&szen, hogy mindent Peterre hagy(on. 0ls volt neki, de m&gsem fordult vissza testv&re fel&. /r n 8$ don3t want to go,8 +ran is said suddenly. 8$ su""ose Joy e will be there... Mabel 9arren.33 0ateful to him, the thought of a "arty shared with those two. !hey were older than he. Joy e was eleven and Mabel 9arren thirteen. !heir long "igtails swung su"er iliously to a mas uline stride. !heir se= humiliated him, as they wat hed him fumble with his egg, from under lowered s ornful lids. /nd last year... he turned his fa e away from Peter, his heeks s arlet. 89hat3s the matter78 Peter asked. 8Bh, nothing. $ don3t think $3m well. $3ve got a old7 $ oughtn3t to go to the "arty.8 Peter was "uzzled. 82ut, +ran is, is it a bad old78 8$t will be a bad old if $ go to the "arty. Perha"s $ shall die.8 8!hen you mustn3t go,8 Peter said with de ision, "re"ared to solve all diffi ulties with one "lain senten e, and +ran is let his nerves rela= in a deli ious relief, ready to leave everything to Peter. 2ut though he was grateful he did not turn his fa e towards his 8$ an t remember,8 +ran is said, and his eyes turned with relief to the silver of day, as he allowed the fragmentary memories to fade.

m&g ott &gett a r&gi, sz&gyenletes eml&k "e s&t(e- a m1lt &vben b1(* skt (tszottak az elst&t)tett hzban, &s torkaszakadtb*l sikoltozni kezdett, mikor Mabel 9arren hirtelen megfogta a kar(t. >em hallotta, hogy Mabel ott van a kzelben. / lnyok mr sak ilyenek. /z i"(,k sohasem nyikorog. C&"t,k alatt nem ny,sz)t a "adl*. 6gy osonnak, mint a ma ska, beh1zott karommal. Mikor a nrsz be(tt a forr* v)zzel, +ran is meg se mozdult, fek,dt, mindent Peterre b)zott. ' Eisasszony, k&rem, +ran is nths ' mondta Peter. / magas, szikr n k&t tr,lkzt vetett t a vizeskan s*kon, &s meg sem fordult. ' / mosdssal nem vrhatunk holna"ig. /dd neki kl sn az egyik zsebkenddet. ' .e kisasszony, k&rem, nem volna (obb, ha gyban maradna7 ' k&rdezte Peter. ' #eggel sz&"en elvissz,k s&tlni ' mondta a neveln. / sz&l ma(d kif1((a belle a ba ilusokat. >a ra(ta, felkelni, mind a ketten5 ' s azzal be sukta az a(t*t maga mgtt. ' Fa(nlom ' mondta Peter. ' M&rt nem maradsz gyban7 Ma(d sz*lok a mamnak, hogy nem &rzed (*l magad. ' .e +ran is nem lzadhatott fl a v&gzete ellen. 0a gyban marad, fel(nnek hozz, megko"ogtat(k a mellkast, lzm&rt dugnak a sz(ba, megn&zik a nyelv&t, &s felfedezik, hogy szimull. :al*ban rosszul &rezte magt, &mely)t ,ress&get &rzett a gyomrban, a sz)ve hevesen vert, de tudta, hogy az ok egyes' egyed,l a f&lelem- f&l a zs1rt*l, f&l, hogy egyed,l kell elb1(nia a st&tben, nem lesz mellette Peter, se az &((eli lm"a, hogy (*t&kony r&st ,ssn a st&ts&gen.

brother. 0is heeks still bore the badge of a shameful memory, of the game of hide'and' seek last year in the darkened house, and of how he had s reamed when Mabel 9arren "ut her hand suddenly u"on his arm. 0e had not heard her oming. Dirls where like that. !heir shoes never s@ueaked. >o boards whined under their tread. !hey slunk like ats on "added laws. 9hen the nurse ame in with hot water +ran is lay tran@uil, leaving everything to Peter. Peter said, 8>urse, +ran is has got a old.8 !he tall star hed woman laid the towels a ross the ans and said, without turning, 8!he washing won3t be ba k till tomorrow. <ou must lend him some of your handker hiefs.8 82ut, >urse,8 Peter asked, 8hadn3t he better stay in bed78 89e3ll take him for a good walk this morning,8 the nurse said. 89ind3ll blow away the germs. Det u" now both of you,8 and she losed the door behind her.

8$3m sorry,8 Peter said, and then, worried at the sight of a fa e reased again by misery and foreboding, 89hy don3t you (ust stay in bed7 $3ll tell mother you felt too ill to get u".8 2ut su h a rebellion against destiny was not in +ran is3s "ower. 2esides, if he stayed in bed they would ome u" and ta" his hest and "ut a thermometer in his mouth and look at his tongue, and they would dis over that he was malingering. $t was true that he felt ill, a si k em"ty sensation in his stoma h and a ra"idly beating heart, but he knew that the ause was only fear, fear of the "arty, fear of being made to hide by himself in the dark, un om"anioned by Peter and with no night' ' >em, felkelek ' mondta, ma(d hirtelen elszntsggal hozztette- ' .e nem megyek el light to make a blessed brea h. Mrs. 0enne'+al on zs1r(ra. /z &g sszes szent(eire esk,szm, hogy nem megyek. ' 8>o, $3ll get u",8 he said, and then with Most aztn minden biztosan rendben lesz, sudden des"eration, 82ut $ won3t go to Mrs. gondolta. $sten nem fog(a hagyni, hogy egy 0enne'+al on3s "arty. $ swear on the 2ible $ ilyen ,nne"&lyes esk,t megszeg(en. Gtat fog won3t.8 >ow surely all would be well, he mutatni neki. M&g itt ll eltte az eg&sz thought. Dod would not allow him to break so

d&leltt, st n&gy *rig az eg&sz d&lutn is. / fH m&g ro"og a ha(nali fagyt*l- nin s ok az aggodalomra. 2rmi trt&nhet. Megvghat(a magt, eltrhetik a lba, vagy val*ban komolyan megnthsodik. $sten ' )gy vagy 1gy ' biztosan elrendezi a dolgokat. /nnyira b)zott $stenben, hogy amikor reggeli kzben any(a )gy sz*lt- ' 0allom, megfztl, +ran is ' ma(dhogynem legyintett. ' 2iztosan tbbet hallottunk volna r*la ' tette hozz any(a s1fol*dva ', ha nem lenne ma d&lutn az a zs1r ' &s +ran is zavartan elmosolyodottel s,ggesztette, hogy mennyire nem ismeri az any(a. 2oldogsga bizonyra tovbb tart, ha a reggeli s&tra indul*ban nem tallkozik Joy e' szal. Eettesben voltak a kisasszonnyal, mert Peter a fskamrban volt m&g, egy ny1lketre et akart befe(ezni. 0a Peter ott van mellette, nem bnt(a annyira; a kisasszony Peter neveln(e is volt, de most 1gy tHntegyed,l neki fogadtk fel, mert, lm, m&g egy kzns&ges s&tra sem eresztik el egymagban. Joy e sak k&t &vvel idsebb nla, bezzeg egyed,l van. >agy l&"tekkel kzeledett fel&(,k, lobog* o"fokkal. D1nyosan +ran isre "illantott, &s kih)v*an )gy sz*lt a nrszhz- ' J* reggelt, kisasszony. Elhozza +ran ist a ma d&lutni zs1rra7 Mabel &s &n is ott lesz,nk. ' 4s mr ment is tovbb a hossz1 ,res 1ton Mabel 9arren&k hza fel&, ntudatosan, egyed,l, ggsen. ' Milyen helyes kislny ' mondta a kisasszony. .e +ran is hallgatott, &rezte, torkban dobog a sz)ve; rdbbent, milyen hamar itt lesz az a zs1r. $sten eddig a kisu((t sem mozd)totta &rte, a "er ek "edig r",lnek. >agyon gyorsan r",ltek, nem is volt id tervet kov solni a menek,l&sre, st m&g l&lekben sem tudott felk&sz,lni az el(vend meg"r*bltatsra. Mr'mr legyHrte a k&ts&gbees&s, mikor l&lekben tel(esen k&sz,letlen,l egyszeriben a k,szbn tallta magt, nagykabtban, a gall&r(a feltHrve, hogy *v(a a hideg sz&ltl. / kisasszony zseblm"(a rvid sv&nyt vgott a st&ts&gen t. Mgtt,k a kivilg)tott hall- egy szolgl*

solemn an oath. 0e would show him a way. !here was all the morning before him and all the afternoon until four o3 lo k. >o need to worry now when the grass was still ris" with the early frost. /nything might ha""en. 0e might ut himself or break his leg or really at h a bad old. Dod would manage somehow. 0e had su h onfiden e in Dod that when at breakfast his mother said, 8$ hear you have a old, +ran is,8 he made light of it. 89e should have heard more about it,8 his mother said with irony, 8if there was not a "arty this evening,8 and +ran is smiled uneasily, amazed and daunted by her ignoran e of him. 0is ha""iness would have lasted longer if, out for a walk that morning, he had not met Joy e. 0e was alone with his nurse, for Peter had leave to finish a rabbit'hut h in the woodshed. $f Peter had been there he would have ared less; the nurse was Peter3s nurse also, but now it was as though she were em"loyed only for his sake, be ause he ould not be trusted to go for a walk alone. Joy e was only two years older and she was by herself. Fhe ame striding towards them, "igtails fla""ing. Fhe glan ed s ornfully at +ran is and s"oke with ostentation to the nurse. 80ello, >urse. /re you bringing +ran is to the "arty this evening7 Mabel and $ are oming.8 /nd she was off again down the street in the dire tion of Mabel 9arren3s home, ons iously alone and self'suffi ient in the long em"ty road. 8Fu h a ni e girl,8 the nurse said. 2ut +ran is was silent, feeling again the (um"'(um" of his heart, realising how soon the hour of the "arty would arrive. Dod had done nothing for him, and the minutes flew. !hey flew too @ui kly to "lan any evasion, or even to "re"are his heart for the oming ordeal. Pani nearly over ame him when, all unready, he found himself standing on the door'ste", with oat' ollar turned u" against a old wind, and the nurse3s ele tri tor h making a short luminous trail through the darkness. 2ehind him were the lights of the hall and the sound of a servant laying the table for dinner, whi h his mother and father would

va sorhoz ter)tett, amit any(a &s a"(a egyed,l fognak elklteni. Mr'mr nem b)rt ellenllni a vgynak, hogy visszarohan(on a hzba, tudassa az any(val- nem megy el a zs1rra, nem mer elmenni. >em k&nyszer)thetik5 Mr' mr hallotta, amint kimond(a a v&gs sz*t, &s egyszer s mindenkorra lednti a tudatlansgnak azt a korlt(t, amely idig megakadlyozta a sz,leit abban, hogy az lelk&be belelssanak. ' +&lek elmenni. >em akarok elmenni. >em merek elmenni. Btt el kell b1(nom a st&tben, &s &n f&lek a st&tben. Fik)tani fogok, sik)tani, sik)tani5 ' Mr ltta any(a ar n a megdbben&st, &s nyomban a visszavg* felntt hHvs magabiztossgt. ' >e l&gy sa si. El kell menned. Elfogadtuk Mrs. 0enne'+al on megh)vst. ' .e nem k&nyszer)thetik5 !udta ezt ahogy ott to"orgott t&tovzva a k,szbn, m)g a kisasszony lbai mr sikorogva megindultak a "zsiton a ka"u fel&. Ma(d azt feleli- ' Mondd azt, hogy beteg vagyok. >em akarok elmenni. +&lek a st&tben. ' Mire az any(a- ' >e l&gy sa si. !udod, hogy nem kell f&lni a st&tben. ' .e tudta milyen hamis ez az &rvel&s; tudta, hogyan ok)tottk arra is, hogy a hallt*l nem kell f&lni, m&gis milyen rettegve ker,lt&k m&g a hall gondolatt is. .e nem k&nyszer)thetik, hogy elmen(en arra a zs1rra. ' Fik)tani fogok. Fik)tani fogok. ' Dyere, +ran is. ' / nrsz hang(t hallotta hirtelen a homlyosan foszforeszkl* "zsiton t, &s ltta, ahogy a zseblm"a srga f&nykre ft*l bokorig grd,l. ' Jvk 5 ' kiltotta k&ts&gbeesetten; nem tudta rsznni magt, hogy v&gs titkait feltr(a, &s tugor(a az any(a &s kzte h1z*d* szakad&kot; de m&g ott volt az utols* mened&k- taln ha Mrs. 0enne' +al onhoz folyamodik. Ezzel vigasztalgatta magt, ahogy ' a"r* ska ember ' megindult d&l egen a hallban a megtermett hlgy fel&. Fz)ve sszevissza kala"lt, de ura volt a hang(nak, amikor minden egyes sz*t agglyosan e(tve )gy sz*lt- ' J* est&t, Mrs. 0enne'+al on. >agyon megtisztelt, hogy megh)vott a zs1rra. ' /hogy fesz,lt ar t az asszony d1s keblei fel& emelte, &s udvarias, betanult mond*k(t elrebegte, olyan volt, mint egy aszott kis regember. 2r ikernek

eat alone. 0e was nearly over ome by a desire to run ba k into the house and all out to his mother that he would not go to the "arty, that he dared not go. !hey ould not make him go. 0e ould almost hear himself saying those final words, breaking down for ever, as he knew instin tively, the barrier of ignoran e that saved his mind from his "arents3 knowledge. 8$3m afraid of going. $ won3t go. $ daren3t go. !hey3ll make me hide in the dark, and $3m afraid of the dark. $3ll s ream and s ream and s ream.8 0e ould see the e="ression of amazement of his mother3s fa e, and then the old onfiden e of a grown'u"3s retort. 8.on3t be silly. <ou must go. 9e3ve a e"ted Mrs. 0enna'+al on3s invitation.8 2ut they ouldn3t make him go; hesitating on the doorste" while the nurse3s feet run hed a ross the frost' overed grass to the gate, he knew that. 0e would answer, 8<ou an say $3m ill. $ won3t go. $3m afraid of the dark.8 /nd his mother, 8.on3t be silly. <ou know there3s nothing to be afraid of in the dark.8 2ut he knew the falsity of that reasoning; he knew how they taught also that there was nothing to fear in death, and how fearfully they avoided the idea of it. 2ut they ouldn3t make him go to the "arty. 8$3ll s ream. $3ll s ream.8 8+ran is, ome along.8 0e heard the nurse3s voi e a ross the dimly "hos"hores ent lawn and saw the small yellow ir le of her tor h wheel from tree to shrub and ba k to tree again. 8$3m oming,8 he alled with des"air, leaving the lighted doorway of the house; he ouldn3t bring himself to lay bare his last se rets and end reserve between his mother and himself, for there was still in the last resort a further a""eal "ossible to Mrs. 0enne'+al on. 0e omforted himself with that, as he advan ed steadily a ross the hall, very small, towards her enormous bulk. 0is heart beat unevenly, but he had ontrol now over his voi e, as he said with meti ulous a ent, 8Dood evening, Mrs. 0enne'+al on. $t was very good of you to ask me to your "arty.8 9ith his strained fa e lifted towards the urve of her breasts, and his "olite set

sz,letett, sok szem"ontb*l m&gis egyetlen gyereknek &rezte magt. 0a Peterhez sz*lt, mintha a sa(t t,krk&"&hez sz*lt volna, olyan alakmshoz, akit a t,kr valami hib(a kiss& elvltoztatott, &s )gy nem az igazi hasonl*sgot, hanem a vgyk&"et adta visszailyen volna, ha megmagyarzhatatlan m*don nem f&lne a st&ttl, az idegen l&"tektl, a denev&rek szrny sa"sait*l a dereng kertekben. ' A, te b(os gyermek ' mondta Mrs. 0enne' +al on sz*rakozottan, s aztn, mintha egy f&szekal(a sirk&t terelne, behessegette a gyerekeket a mr k&sz "rogram ketre &bezskban futs, b&kaugrs, &lba dobs szere"elt a mulatsgok sorban, su"a olyan (t&k, amely sak megalztatst tartogatott +ran isnek. 4s a sHrH sz,netekben, amikor semmire sem k&nyszer)tett&k, &s egyed,l soroghatott a sarokban, amilyen messzire sak lehetett Mabel 9arren g1nyos tekintet&tl, akkor v&gre eltervezhette, hogyan (tssza ki a st&ts&g kzelg r&m&t. !udta- tea utnig nin s mitl f&lnie s am)g egy srga f&nyt* sban ,ldg&lt, amelyet Iolin 0enne' +al on sz,let&sna"i tort(nak t)z gyerty(a vetett, addig nem is gondolt a kzeled f&lelemre. Joy e magas hang(t hallotta az asztal v&g&rl- ' !ea utn b1(* skt (tszunk a st&tben. ' >em, nem ' mondta Peter, +ran is feld1lt ar t figyelve. ' >em, nem (tszunk. Minden &vben azt (tszunk 1gyis. ' .e bent van a mHsorban5 ' kiltotta Mabel 9arren. ' Ezzel a k&t szememmel lttam. Mrs. 0enne vlla fltt megn&ztem. Jt *rakor tea. >egyed hatt*l f&l hatig b1(* ska a st&tben. Ez mind benne van a mHsorban. Peter nem vitatkozott, mert ha Mrs. 0enne' +al on felvette a mHsorba a b1(* skt, mondhat brmit, nem vltoztathat ra(ta. M&g egy szeletet k&rt a sz,let&sna"i tortb*l, &s lassan kortyolta a te(t. !aln negyed*rval el lehetne tolni a (t&kot, legalbb maradna

s"ee h, he was like an old withered man. +or +ran is mi=ed very little with other hildren. /s a twin he was in many ways an only hild. !o address Peter was to s"eak to his own image in a mirror, an image a little altered by a flaw in the glass, so as to throw ba k less a likeness of what he was than of what he wished to be, what he would be without his unreasoning fear of darkness; footste"s of strangers, the flight of bats in dusk'filled gardens. 8Fweet hild,8 said Mrs. 0enne'+al on absent'mindedly, before, with a wave of her arms, as though the hildren were a flo k of hi kens, she whirled them into her set "rogramme of entertainments- egg'and's"oon ra es, three legged ra es, the s"earing of a""les, games whi h held for +ran is nothing worse than humiliation. /nd in the fre@uent intervals when nothing was re@uired of him and he ould stand alone in orners as far removed as "ossible from Mabel 9arren3s s ornful gaze, he was able to "lan how he might avoid the a""roa hing terror of the dark. 0e knew there was nothing to fear until after tea, and not until he was sitting down in a "ool of yellow radian e ast by the ten andles on Iolin 0enne'+al on3s birthday ake did he be ome fully ons ious of the imminen e of what he feared. !hrough the onfusion of his brain, now assailed suddenly by a dozen ontradi tory "lans, he heard Joy e3s high voi e down the table. 8/fter tea we are going to "lay hide'and'seek in the dark.8 8Bh, no,8 Peter said, wat hing +ran is3s troubled fa e with "ity and an im"erfe t understanding, 8don3t let3s. 9e "lay that every year.8 82ut it3s in the "rogramme,8 ried Mabel 9arren. 8$ saw it myself. $ looked over Mrs. 0enne'+al on3s shoulder. +ive o3 lo k, tea. / @uarter to si= to half'"ast, hide'and'si k in the dark. $t3s all written down in the "rogramme.8 Peter did not argue, for if hide'and'seek had been inserted in Mrs. 0enne'+al on3s "rogramme, nothing whi h he ould say would avert it. 0e asked for another "ie e of birthday ake and si""ed his tea slowly. Perha"s it might be "ossible to delay the game

m&g n&hny "er e +ran isnek, hogy kitall(on valamit, de ebben Peter is kudar ot vallott, mert a gyerekek, kettes&vel'hrmasval, mr keltek is fel az asztalt*l. Ez immr a harmadik kudar a volt, &s 1(ra ltta az *ris madarat, amint szrnyaival st&ts&gbe von(a testv&re ar t. .e rgtn szemrehnyst is tett magnak- hogy lehet ilyen szamr5, &s a felnttek ismers refr&n(&tl felbtorodva ' 8>em kell f&lni a st&tben58 ' megette a tort(t. / k&t testv&r utols*nak llt fel az asztalt*l, egy,tt mentek ki a hallba, hogy Mrs. 0enne'+al on t,relmetlen, rmesteri tekintet&vel tallkozzanak. ' 4s most b1(* skt (tszunk a st&tben ' mondta Mrs. 0enne'+al on.

for a @uarter of an hour, allow +ran is at least a few e=tra minutes to form a "lan, but even in that Peter failed, for hildren were already leaving the table in twos and threes. $t was his third failure, and again, the refle tion of an image in another3s mind, he saw a great bird darken his brother3s fa e with its wings. 2ut he u"braided himself silently for his folly, and finished his ake en ouraged by the memory of that adult refrain. 8!here3s nothing to fear in the dark.8 !he last to leave the table, the brothers ame together to the hall to meet the mustering and im"atient eyes of Mrs. 0enne' +al on. 8/nd now,8 she said, 8we will "lay hide'and' seek in the dark.8

Peter wat hed his brother and saw, as he had Peter a testv&r&t figyelte, &s ltta, hogy a(kait e="e ted, the li"s tighten. +ran is, he knew, sszeszor)t(a. !udta, hogy +ran is a zs1r had feared this moment from the beginning of ele(&tl fogva ettl a "illanatt*l reszketett, &s the "arty, had tried to meet it with ourage most, miutn letett mr minden menek,l&si and had abandoned the attem"t. 0e must have k)s&rletrl, meg"r*bl btran szemben&zni "rayed des"erately for unning to evade the vele. 2iztosan imdkozott is, hogy k&"es game, whi h was now wel omed with ries of legyen ravaszul kib1(ni a (t&k al*l, amelyet e= itement by all the other hildren. 8Bh, do most a tbbi gyerek ,dvrivalgssal ksznttt. let3s.8 89e must "i k sides.8 8$s any of the ' Eezd(,k mr5 ' Ei lesz a huny* &s ki lesz a house out of bounds78 89here shall home b1v*7 ' Mindenhol szabad7 ' 0ol lesz a hz7 be78 ' /zt hiszem, semmi &rtelme, hogy &n is (tsszam ' mondta +ran is Morton, &s Mrs. 0enne'+al onhoz l&"ett, merev tekintet&t a hlgy d1s kebl&re szgezve. ' / kisasszony ugyanis mind(rt itt lesz &rtem. ' / nrsz ma(d vr, +ran is ' felelte Mrs. 0enne'+al on, &s ta"solt, hogy maghoz h)v(a azt a n&hny gyereket, aki mris elindult a sz&les l&" sn az emeletre. ' /nyukd nem fog &rte megharagudni. +ran is ravaszsga idig ter(edt. Elbb m&g nem akarta elhinni, hogy ez a sz&"en eltervelt kifogs esetleg sdt mondhat. 4s azon a kim&rt hangon, amit a tbbi gyerek a bek&"zelts&ggel azonos)t, &s ez&rt utl ' nos, ezen a kim&rt hangon sak annyit tudott kinygni- ' 4n inkbb nem (tszom. ' %llt mozdulatlanul, elszntan, &s br f&lt, a szeme se rebbent. .e e f&lelem tudata vagy a f&lelem 8$ think,8 said +ran is Morton, a""roa hing Mrs. 0enne'+al on, his eyes fo used unwaveringly on her e=uberant breasts, 8it will be no use my "laying. My nurse will be alling for me very soon.8 8Bh, but your nurse an wait, +ran is,8 said Mrs. 0enne'+al on absent'mindedly, while she la""ed her hands together to summon to her side a few hildren who were already straying u" the wide stair ase to u""er floors. 8<our mother will never mind.8 !hat had been the limit of +ran is3s unning. 0e had refused to believe that so well' "re"ared an e= use ould fail. /ll that he ould say now, still in the "re ise tone whi h other hildren hated, thinking it a symbol of on eit, was, 8$ think $ had better not "lay.8 0e stood motionless, retaining, though afraid, unmoved features. 2ut the knowledge of his terror, or the refle tion of the terror itself,

t,krk&"e utat tallt testv&re agyig. 4s ebben a "illanatban Peter Morton legsz)vesebben felkiltott volna f&lelm&ben, hogy a sillog* f&nyek menten kialszanak, egyed,l hagy(k egy st&t szigeten, amelyet idegen l&"tek "uha hullmai mosnak ma(d kr,l. /ztn esz&be (utott, hogy nem f&l, hanem a testv&re. 0irtelen )gy sz*lt Mrs. 0enne'+al onhoz- ' E&rem sz&"en, szerintem az lenne a leg(obb, ha +ran is nem (tszana. 6gy f&l a st&tben. ' / lehet legrosszabbat mondta. 0at gyerek gy1(tott r k*rusban- ' /nymasszony katon(a, anymasszony katon(a5 ' !orz ar uk a sz&les na"raforg*k ,ress&g&vel fordult +ran is Morton fel&. +ran is nem is n&zett a testv&r&re, amikor )gy sz*lt- ' 0t "ersze hogy (tszom. >em f&lek, sak arra gondoltam... ' .e emberar 1 h*h&rai mr el is feledkeztek r*la. / gyerekek Mrs. 0enne'+al on kr,l tolongtak, &les hang(uk k&rd&sek &s (avaslatok megannyi ny)lvessz(&t z1d)totta a hziasszonyra. ' $gen, mindenhol. /z sszes lm"t elolt(uk. $gen, a szekr&nyben is elb1(hattok. /ddig maradhattok elb1(va, ameddig b)r(tok. 0z nem lesz. Peter nem ment oda kz&(,k, sz&gyellte, milyen ,gyetlen,l "r*blt testv&r&n seg)teni. /gya zugaiba lassan beszivrgott az &rz&s, hogy +ran is megveti az lovagiassgt. / gyerekek kz,l tbben felszaladtak az emeletre, &s a fldszinten kialudtak a lm"k. / st&ts&g denev&rszrnyakon tele"edett a l&" sfordul*ra. Msok a hall v&g&ben oltogattk a villanyt; a gyerekek a sillr sugrkz"ont(ban gyHltek ssze valamennyien, a denev&rek "edig kiter(esztett szrnyakkal ku"orogtak krs'kr,l, &s vrtk, hogy a sillr f&nyei is kialud(anak. ' !e meg +ran is vagytok a b1(*k ' mondta egy magas lny, s azzal st&t lett, &s a lba alatt a l&"tek susogst*l megremegett a sznyeg, mintha megannyi a"r* hideg sz&llk&s mozgatn. Ei'ki elindult a sarkok fel&.

rea hed his brother3s brain. +or the moment, Peter Morton ould have ried aloud with the fear of bright lights going out, leaving him alone in an island of dark surrounded by the gentle ta""ing of strange footste"s. !hen he remembered that the fear was not his own, but his brother3s. 0e said im"ulsively to Mrs. 0enne'+al on, 8Please, $ don3t think +ran is should "lay. !he dark makes him (um" so.8 !hey were the wrong words. Fi= hildren began to sing, 8Iowardy, owardy ustard,8 turning torturing fa es with the va an y of wide sunflowers towards +ran is Morton. 9ithout looking at his brother, +ran is said, 8Bf ourse. $ will "lay. $ am not afraid. $ only thought...8 2ut he was already forgotten by his human tormentors and was able in loneliness to ontem"late the a""roa h of the s"iritual, the more unbounded, torture. !he hildren s rambled round Mrs. 0enne'+al on, their shrill voi es "e king at her with @uestions and suggestions. 8<es, anywhere in the house. 9e will turn out all the light. <es, you an hide in the u"boards. <ou must stay hidden as long as you an. !here will be no home.8 Peter, too, stood a"art, ashamed of the lumsy manner in whi h he had tried to hel" his brother. >ow he ould feel, ree"ing in at the orners of his brain, all +ran is3s resentment of his ham"ioning. Feveral hildren ran u"stairs and the lights on the to" floor went out. !hen darkness ame down like the wings of a bat and settled on the K landing. Bthers began to "ut out the lights at the edge of the hall, till the hildren were all gathered in the entral radian e of the handelier while the bats s@uatted round on hooded wings and waited for that, too, to be e=tinguished. 8<ou and +ran is are on the hiding side,8 a tall girl said, and then the light was gone, and the ar"et wavered under his feet with the sibilan e of footfalls, like small old draughts, ree"ing away into orners. 89here3s +ran is8 he wondered. 8$f $ (oin him

' 0ol lehet +ran is7 ' k&rdezte magt*l. ' 0a vele voln&k nem f&lne 1gy ezektl a za(okt*l. 8Ezek a za(ok8 a snd burka- egy meglazult "adl*deszka nyikorgsa, egy szekr&nya(t* *vatos suk*dsa, a "olit1rozott fn v&gigh1zott u(( vinnyogsa.

he3ll less frightened of all these sounds.8 8!hese sounds8 were the asing of silen e. !he s@ueak of a loose board, the autious losing of a u"board door, the whine of a finger drawn along "olished wood. Peter stood in the entre of the dark deserted floor, not listening but waiting for the idea of his brother3s whereabouts to enter his brain. 2ut +ran is rou hed with fingers on his ears, eyes uselessly losed, mind numbed against im"ressions, and only a sense of strain ould ross the ga" of dark. !hen a voi e alled 8Ioming,8 and as though his brother3s self' "ossession had been shattered by the sudden ry, Peter Morton (um"ed with his fear. 2ut it was not his own fear. 9hat in is brother was a burning "ani , admitting no ideas e= e"t those whi h added to the flame, was him an altruisti emotion that left the reason unim"aired. 89here, if $ were +ran is should $ hide78 Fu h, roughly, was his thought. /nd be ause he was, if not +ran is himself at least a mirror to him, the answer was immediate. 82etween the oak book ase on the left of the study door and the leather settee.8 Peter Morton was unsur"rised by the swiftness of the res"onse. 2etween the twins there ould be no (argon of tele"athy. !hey had been together in the womb, and they ould not be "arted. Peter Morton ti"toed towards +ran is3s hiding "la e. B asionally Ka board rattled, and be ause he feared to be aught by one of the soft @uesters through the dark, he bent and untied his la es. / tag stru k the floor and the metalli sound set a host of autious feet moving in his dire tion. 2ut by that time he was in his sto kings and would have laughed inwardly at the "ursuit had not the noise of someone stumbling on his abandoned shoes made his heart tri" in the refle tion of another3s sur"rise. >o more boards revealed Peter Morton3s "rogress. Bn sto kinged feet he moved silently and unerringly towards his ob(e t. $nstin t told him that he was near the wall, and, e=tending a hand, he laid the fingers a ross his brother3s fa e. +ran is did not ry out, but the lea" of his

Peter llt a st&t, ,res "adl* kze"&n, nem hallgat*zott- vrta, hogy egyszerre sak r(((n, hol a testv&re. .e +ran is f,l&be dugott u((al, feleslegesen behunyt szemmel, a benyomsokra s,ket aggyal ku"orgott, &s sak a fesz,lts&g meg&rz&se hatolhatott t a st&ts&g szakad&kn. /ztn egy kilts - ' Jn5 ', &s mintha testv&re nuralma trt volna sz&t a hirtelen sikollyal. Peter Morton megborzongott a f&lelemtl. .e nem f&lt. +iv&re izz* k&ts&gbees&se helyett t emberbarti &rzelem (rta t, amely az &rtelmet &rintetlen,l hagyta. ' 0ova b1(tam volna &n +ran is hely&ben7 ' 4s ha sak a t,krk&"e volt is +ran isnek, a vlasz nem sokig k&sett- ' / dolgoz*szoba bal oldaln ll* tlgyfa knyvszekr&ny &s a br"amlag kz&. ' /z ikrek semmif&le tele"atikus zsargont nem ismernek. Egy,tt voltak az anyam&hben, &s senki soha nem szak)that(a el ket egymst*l.

Peter Morton lbu((hegyen +ran is b1v*helye fel& lo"akodott. Blykor'olykor megre sent egy "adl*, f&lt, hogy valamelyik ma skal&"tH huny* elfog(a; leha(olt, &s kioldotta a i"fHz(&t. / fHz v&ge ko""ant egyet a "adl*n, &s a f&mes hang seregnyi *vatos lbat ind)tott 1tnak Peter fel&. .e addigra harisnyban volt, &s a lelke m&ly&n mr ki is nevette az ,ldzket, m hirtelen valaki elbotlott rvn hagyott i"(&ben, &s a sz)ve 1(ra zakatolni kezdett. Most mr egyetlen "adl*deszka sem rulkodott Peter Morton 1t(r*l. 0arisnys lba sendben, t&vedhetetlen biztonsggal haladt &l"ont(a fel&. :alami azt s1gta neki, hogy ott van mr a fal mellett, kiny1(totta a kez&t, &s u((ai testv&re ar n ktttek ki. +ran is nem sikoltott fel, de sa(t

sz)vdobogsa elrulta Peternek, hogy mennyire f&l +ran is. ' >in s semmi ba( ' suttogta; v&gigta"ogatta a guggol* alakot, &s v&gre megtallta klbe szor)tott kez&t. ' Isak &n vagyok. $tt maradok melletted. ' 4s szorosan megmarkolta a msikat, &s hallgatta a suttogst, amely v)zes&sk&nt z1dult r(uk a szavai nyomn. Egy k&z &rintette meg a knyvszekr&nyt Peter fe(e mellett, &s tudta, hogy +ran is m&g most is f&l, hiba van mellette. Ez a f&lelem ' rem&lte ' taln mr kev&sb& heves, elviselhetbb, de nem szHnt meg, az biztos. !udta, hogy most a testv&re f&lelm&t &li t, nem a mag&t. >eki a st&ts&g "usztn a f&ny hinya volt; a ta"ogat*z* k&z "edig valamelyik ismers gyerek keze. !,relmesen vrta, hogy felfedezz&k ket. >em sz*lalt meg 1(ra, mert +ran isszel enn&l sokkal benss&gesebben, &rintkeztek. / fog*zkod* kezek 1t(n sebesebben kzlekedik a gondolat, mint amikor az a(kak kerek szavakk forml(k. !estv&re &rzelmeinek tel(es 1t(t &lhette v&gig, a hirtelen "nikt*l a vratlan ka" solaton t a f&lelem llhatatos l,ktet&s&ig, amely most szablyos sz)vver&sk&nt (rta t meg t. Peter Morton minden ere(&vel erre gondolt- ' $tt vagyok. >em kell f&lned. >emsokra felgy1(t(k a villanyt. /tt*l a soszogst*l, att*l a mozdulatt*l nin s mit f&lni. Isak Joy e az, sak Mabel 9arren. ' /z sszegrnyed alakot a biztonsg gondolataival bombzta, de tudta- a f&lelem nem szHnik. ' 0allod, most suttognak. Meguntk, hogy tovbb keressenek. >emsokra felgy1(t(k a villanyt. Mi fogunk gyzni. >e f&l(. Isak valaki a l&" sn. /zt hiszem, Mrs. 0enne'+al on. +igyel( sak. Eeresik a ka" sol*kat. ' Mozg* lbak a sznyegen, ta"ogat*z* kezek a falon, egy elh1zott f,ggny, srren kilin s, egy nyit*d* szekr&nya(t*. +e(,k felett a knyvszekr&nyben eldl egy knyv, valaki hozz&rt. ' Isak Joy e az, sak Mabel 9arren, sak Mrs. 0enne'+al on ' biztat* gondolatok res end*(a, mieltt a sillr, mint valami gy,ml sfa, hirtelen kivirgzik.

own heart revelled to Peter a "ro"ortion of +ran is3s terror. 8$t3s all right,8 he whis"ered, feeling down the s@uatting figure until he a"tured a len hed hand. 8$t3s only me. $3ll stay with you.8 /nd gras"ing the other tightly, he listened to the as ade of whis"ers his utteran e had aused to fall. / hand tou hed the book ase lose to Peter3s head and he was aware of how +ran is3s fear ontinued in s"ite of his "resen e. $t was less intense, more bearable, he ho"ed, but it remained. 0e knew that it was his brother3s fear and not his own that he e="erien ed. !he dark to him was only an absen e of light; the gro"ing hand that of a familiar hild. Patiently he waited to be found. 0e did not s"eak again, for between +ran is and himself tou h was the most intimate ommunion. 2y way of (oined hands thought ould flow more swiftly than li"s ould sha"e themselves round words. 0e ould e="erien e the whole "rogress of his brother3s emotion, from the lea" of "ani at the une="e ted onta t to the steady "ulse of fear, whi h now went on and on with the regularity of a heart' beat. Peter Morton thought with intensity, 8$ am here. <ou needn3t be afraid. !he lights will go on again soon. !hat rustle, that movement is nothing to fear. Bnly Joy e, only Mabel 9arren.8 0e bombarded the droo"ing form with thoughts of safety, but he was ons ious that the fear ontinued. 8!hey are beginning to whis"er together. !hey are tired of looking for us. !he lights will go on soon. 9e shall have won. .on3t be afraid. !hat was only someone on the stairs. $ believe it3s Mrs. 0enne'+al on. Cisten. !hey are feeling for the lights.8 +eet moving on a ar"et, hands brushing a wall, a urtain "ulled a"art, a li king handle, the o"ening of a u"board door. $n the ase above their heads a loose book shifted under a tou h. 8Bnly Joy e, only Mabel 9arren, only Mrs. 0enne'+al on,8 a res endo of reassuring thought before the handelier burst, like a fruit tree, into bloom.

/ gyerekek hang(a &lesen has)tott bele a !he voi es of the hildren rose shrilly into the f&nyess&gbe. 0ol van Peter7 ' Megn&zt&tek az radian e. 89here3s Peter78 80ave you looked emeleten7 ' 0ol van +ran is7 ' de eln&m)totta u"stairs78 89here is +ran is78 but they were

ket Mrs. 0enne'+al on sikoltsa. Pedig nem vette &szre elszr a mozdulatlan +ran is Mortont, aki testv&re kez&nek &rint&s&re sszeesett a fal mellett. Peter sak fogta az sszeszor)tott klt, szikkadt &s zavart f(dalommal. >em sak az&rt, mert a testv&re meghalt. +iatal volt m&g, hogy agya a maga tel(ess&g&ben felfog(a ezt a "arado=ont; ez&rt sak azt k&rdezte magt*l, homlyos nsa(nlattal a sz)v&ben, hogyan lehet, hogy testv&re l,ktet f&lelme nem szHnik most sem, amikor +ran is mr ott van, ahol ' mindig ezt hallotta ' nin s f&lelem, sem st&ts&g. Osztovits Levente fordtsa dugo@szepi.hu

silen ed again by Mrs. 0enne'+al on3s s ream. 2ut she was not the first to noti e +ran is Morton3s stillness, where he had olla"sed against the wall at the tou h of his brother3s hand. Peter ontinued to hold the len hed fingers in an arid and "uzzled grief. $t was not merely that his brother was dead. 0is brain, too young to realise the full "arado=, yet wondered with an obs ure self' "ity why it was that the "ulse of his brother3s fear went on and on, when +ran is was now where he had been always told there was no more terror and no more darkness. 1929