La Gifto de la Magio

Verkita de O. Henry    Tradukita de HeYafu

Un dolaro ay okdek-sep cendos. Yen cio. Ay siksdek cendos de ji esin cendmonio. Cendos konservata po un ay bi per trudado al la manjovendisto ay la legomisto ay la bucisto til la vangos brulredin pro la silenta supozo de avareco, kiu aludin tiel selfgarda negocado. Tri foyos Della nombrin ji. Un dolaro ay okdek-sep cendos. Ay la neksta tago venon Kristnasko.

Evidente nio esin farebla krom fali sur la kawco ay krii. Ay Della farin tio. Kio instigan la morala reflekto, ke vivo konsistan el sobos, snufos ay lafetos, ay cefan la snufos.

Dum la mastrino de la homo gradue transiran de la unu etapo al la biu, rigardez la homo. Kummebla apartmento ye $8 por weko. Ji ne esin egzakte begora priskribo, sed ji certe instigin al tiu wordo gardi self konter la mendikanto-trupo. 

En la vestiblo sube trovisin leter-kesto en kiu niu letero esin sendota, ay elektra butono per kiu nia huma fingro povin sonorizi. Al la apartmento apartenin kardo kum la nomo "Mistulo James Dillingham Young".

La "Dillingham" esin jetita al la vento dum antawa periodo de prospero kiam oni pagin al jia posendanto 30 $usona weke. Tamen nun, kiam la enveno xrinkin til 20 $usona, lu serioze pensin dislongizi til modesta ay nepretendema D. Sed kiam ayn mistulo James Dillingham Young venin home ay atingin sia supera apartmento, mistino James Dillingham Young, kiu yi yam konan kiel Della, kalin hi "Jim" ay forte brakumin hi. Tio ja esan entute tre guda.

Della finin plori ay prizorgin sia vangos per la pudro-cifono. Xi starin apud la fenestro ay enue trarigardin al griza kato, kiu lawpromenin griza barilo en griza poskorto. Morgo eson la Kristnaska tago, ay xi posedin nur $1,87 por aceti gifto por Jim. Dum monos xi sparin ciu ebla cendo, til tia rezulto. Bidek dolaros ciuweke ne sufican. Spendos esin mor granda ol xi antawkalkulin. Tiel okazan ciam. Nur $1,87 por aceti gifto por Jim. Xia Jim. Xi pasin multa felica horos planante io bona por hi. Io bona ay rara ay arjenta -- io kio preske valuon la honoro esi posedata de Jim.

Esin piero-vitro inter la fenestros de la cambro. Eble yi yam vidin piero-vitro en $8-apartmento. Tre disdika ay tre lerta humo povan, observante sia reflekto law rapide sekwenso de longituda strios, havizi al si tre akurata ideo pri sia aspekto. Della, kiu sveltan, yam mastrin tiu arto.

Xi sudene ekturnin si de la fenestro ay starin antaw la vitro. Xia okulos brilin, sed xia faso palisin dum bidek sekondos. Xi rapide pulin dawn sia hararo ay lasin ji fali til la fula longeco.

Nun, egzistin bi posedacos de la spozos James Dillingham Young pri kiu amba ege fierin. Un esin la golda kloketo de Jim, kiu heredisin de la patro ay de la avulo. La alia esin la hararo de Della. If la kingino de Xeba lojuz en la apartmento trans la aerxafto, Della iu tage lasuz sia hararo pendi de la fenestro por sekisi, nur por depreci la juwelos ay giftos de xia Majesto. If la Kingo Solomono esuz la pordisto, kum ciu sia trezuros amasizita en la kelo, Jim elprenuz sia kloketo je ciu preterpaso de tiu, nur por vidi hi elpluki la berdo pro envio.

Do nun la bela hararo de Della pendin cirkum xi, ondetante ay brilante kiel bruna kaskado. Ji atingin til sub la genuos ay farisin por xi preske kostumo. Ay tiam xi rapide ay diskalme religin ji. Un foyo xi momente hezitin dum minuto ay starin senmove dum un or bi larmos falin sur la kaduka reda tapico. 

Xi surprenin la antika bruna jako; xi surprenin la antika bruna hato. Kum jupo kirlisanta ay kum la brilo ankore en la okulos, xi elxwebin la pordo ay irin dawn la treparo al la strato. 

Kie xi haltin, la signo tekstin: "Madamo Sofronie. Harwaros cia." Della kurin un etajo ep ay ordizin si, gaspe. Madamo, larja, tro pala, frosta, tute ne aspektin Sofronie.

"Cu yi aceton mia hararo?" askin Della.

"Mi acetan hararo," dirin Madamo. "Forputez yia hato, ay mu rigardez ji."

La bruna kaskado falondin.

"Bidek dolaros," dirin Madamo, levante la amaso per lerta mano.

"Tuy donez la monio al mi," dirin Della.

Ha, la neksta bi horos pasin sur rozkolora flugilos. Forgesez la konfuza metafo. Xi trasercadin la vendeyos por la gifto por Jim.

Finfine xi trovin ji. Certe ji esin makita por Jim ay por niu alia. Ne troveblin alia simila en iu ayn vendeyo, xi ja konin tio, til botomo en ciu el ju. Ji esin platina ceno, forme simpla ay casta, prave klamante sia valuo nur per substanso ay ne per pompa ornamo - kiel ciu gudacos devan fari. Ji even fitin por La Kloketo. Ekvidante ji, xi tuy konin, ke ji devon aparteni al Jim. Ji similin hi. Kwieto ay valuo -- la priskribo konvenan por amba. Bidek-un dolaros lu forprenin de xi por ji, ay xi rapidin homwarde kum la 87 cendos. Kum tia ceno sur la kloketo, Jim raytin zorgi pri la horo inter kia ayn humos. Kiom ayn bela esin la kloketo, hi foye stilrigardin ji pro la disnova ledera rimeno, kiu hi usin insted ceno.

Kiam Della atingin homo, xia ebrio iomete cedin antaw prudento ay racio. Xi elizin sia kurla feros ay fayrizin la gaso ay eklaborin por ripari la damajo, kiu farin de disavareco lige kum amo. Yen ciam taskego, dera amikos -- mamuta tasko.

Pos kwardek minutos xia hedo kovrin kurlos, kiu mirinde similizin xi al fujinta lernanto. Xi rigardin sia reflekto en la spegelo longe, zorge ay kritike.

"If Jim ne mortizon mi," xi dirin al si, "antaw hi biufoye rigardon mi, hi diron, ke mi aspektan kiel korusino de Coney-Insulo. Sed kio mi povuz fari -- ho! kio mi povuz fari per un dolaro ay okdek-sep cendos?"

Je la sepu horo la kafo esin farita ay la kaldrono sidin sur la forno, warma ay preta por kuki la bovstekos.

Jim niam disfruin. Della foldin la ceno en la mano ay sidin sur la korno de la tablo apud la pordo, tra kiu hi ciam envenin. Tiam xi awdin hia treto sur la treparo, longe for sur la unu etajo, ay dum nura momento xi palisin. Xi kutimin diri iu silenta prejeto pri la most simpla ciutagacos, ay nun xi flustrin: "Dera Godo, mi petan, farizez hi pensi, ke mi ankore belan."

La pordo disfermisin, ay Jim enirin ay refermin ji. Hi aspektin disdike ay tre serioze. Disriculo, hi ajin nur bidek-bi -- ay esin carjita de familo! Hi nidin nova surtuto, ay mankin al hi gantos.

Jim haltin interne de la pordo, nemovebla kiel hundo eksmelinta koturno. Hia okulos esin fiksinta ce Della, ay en ju vidisin mieno, kiu xi ne povin kompreni, ay tio terurin xi. Ji esin ne kolero, nek surprizo, nek disaprobo, nek teruro, nek iu ayn el la sentos, kiu xi atendin. Hi simple fikse rigardin xi kum tiu stranga mieno sur la faso. 

Della riglin for la tablo ay irin al hi.

"Dera Jim," xi kriin, "ne rigardez mi tiel. Mi tondizin la hararo ay vendin ji car mi ne povuz travivi la Kristnasko, ne doninte al yi gifto. Ji rekreskon -- tio ne gravon al yi, cu? Mi devin fari ji. Mia hararo tre rapide kreskan. Direz 'Mera Kristnasko!' Jim, ay mu esez felica. Yi ne konan, kiel bona -- kiel bela, bona gifto mi havan por yi."

"Yi tondizin la hararo?" askin Jim, penege, kwaz hi ankore ne komprenin tio even pos la most disfacila mensa laboro.

"Tondizin ji ay vendin ji," dirin Della. "cu yi tamen ne egale aman mi? Mi restan mi sen hararo, cu ne?"

Jim koneme rigardin la cambro.

"Yi diran, ke yia hararo esan for?" hi dirin, kwaz idiotece.

"Ne sercez ji," dirin Della. "Ji esan vendita - vendita ay for. Dera, esan la kristnaska evo. Esez guda al mi, car mi vendin ji por yi. Eble la haros sur mia hedo esin kalkulebla," xi kontinuin kum sudena serioza dolco, "sed niu povuz kalkuli mia lovo por yi. Cu mi startin kuki la bovsteko, Jim?"

Jim simin rapide rewakisin. Hi brakumin sia Della. Dum dek sekondos, mu rigardez, kum diskreta studemo, iu negrava aco en alia direkto. Ok dolaros en weko, or miliono en yero - kio esan la difero? Matematikisto or sajoro proponuz al yi misa respondo. La Magio alportin valua giftos, sed tiu ne esin inter lu. Mu iluminon tiu disluma aserto pose. 

Jim elprenin pakaco el sia surtuta poketo ay jetin ji sur la tablo.

"Ne misez, dera," hi dirin, "pri mi. Mi ne supozan, ke ia ayn tondo or razo or xampuo izuz mi les multe ami mia derino. Sed if yi disvolvon tiu pakaco, yi eble vidon, kial yi komence tiom konfuzin mi."

Wayta ay lerta fingros xirin la fadeno ay papero. Ay tiam ekstasa joykrio; ay tiam, ho ve! rapida fema canjo al histeria larmos ay vekrios, kiu necesizin la tuya propono de ciu konsola kapablos de la mastro de la apartmento.

Car yen kuxin La Kombilos -- la kombilaro, por flanko ay poso, kiu Della yam delonge worxipin apud fenestro ce Broadway. Bela kombilos, el pura testudxelo, kum juwelita randos -- juste nuansizita por tiu bela, disaperinta hararo. Ju esin multe kosta kombilos, xi konin, ay xia koro simple sopirin ju sen even minima espero pri posedo. Ay nun, ju apartenin al xi, sed yam disaperin la kurlos, kiu la sopirata adornacos devuz adorni.

Sed xi tenin ju al sia brusto ay finfine povin levi la senbrila okulos ay lafeti ay diri: "Mia hararo tiom rapide kreskan, Jim!"

Ay tiam Della eksaltin kiel brogita kato ay ekkriin, "Ho, ho!"

Jim ankore ne vidin xia bela gifto. Xi entuze etendin ji al hi sur la manplato. La senbrila rica metalo simin flaxi kum reflekto de xia brila ay arda animo.

"Cu ji ne esan bela, Jim? Mi trasercin la tuta urbo por trovi ji. Ekde nun, yi devon kontroli la horo cent foyos tage. Donez al mi yia kloketo. Mi volan vidi, kia ju aspektan kume."

Ne obeante, Jim falin sur la kawco ay putin hia manos sub la nuko ay lafetin.

"Dera," dirin hi, "mu forputez mua kristnaska giftos ay kepez ju iamete. Juste nun, ju esan tro bona por usi. Mi vendin la kloketo por gayni la monio por aceti yia kombilos. Ay nun, bonvolez kuki la bovstekos." 

La magio, kiel yi konan, esin humos saja -- humos mirinde saja -- kiu alportin giftos al la Bebo en la manjeyo. Lu inventin la arto de doni Kristnaska giftos. Car lu sajin, lua giftos sendube esin saja, eble raytizante intercanjo okaze de bioblo. Ay yen mi lame rakontin al yi la neglora kroniko de bi fola yunoros en apartmento, kiu tute nesaja sakrifin un por la alia la most grava trezuros de sia domo. Sed, kiel fina diro al la nuntempe saja, esez dirite, ke el ciu giftantos tiu bi esin la most saja. El ciu donantos ay ricevantos, tia kiel lu esan la most saja. Cie lu esan la most saja. Lu esan la magio. 

 

The Gift of the Magi

by O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade.

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

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