Un om sta sur un ponte de ferovia en Alabama norde, regardante a en la acua rapida a ses metres a basa. La manos de la om es a retro de sua dorso, la polsos liada par un corda. Un corda plu spesa ensirca streta sua colo. Lo es fisada a un faxon forte supra sua testa, e la laxia estende a la nivel de sua jenos. Alga plances nonfisada cual es poneda sur la faxones suportante la reles de la ferovia furni un solo per el e sua esecutores – du soldatos comun de la armada de la Norde, dirijeda par un sarjento ci en sua vive sivil ia es cisa un visxerif. A un distante corta sur la mesma plataforma tempora on ave un ofisior en la uniforma de sua grado, armada. El es un capitan. Un vijilor a cada fini de la ponte sta con sua fusil en la posa nomida “la suporta”, per dise, vertical ante la spala sinistra, la martel sur la braso basa cual traversa reta la peto – un posa formal e nonatural, forsante un verticalia de la corpo. Lo no pare es la obliga de esta du omes ce los ta sabe lo cual aveni a la sentro de la ponte; mera los bloci la du finis de la plances per pede cual traversa lo.
A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man’s hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the sleepers supporting the metals of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners – two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff. At a short remove upon the same temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain. A sentinel at each end of the bridge stood with his rifle in the position known as “support,” that is to say, vertical in front of the left shoulder, the hammer resting on the forearm thrown straight across the chest – a formal and unnatural position, enforcing an erect carriage of the body. It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it.
Ultra un de la vijilores on vide no person; la ferovia cursi reta a en un foresta tra sento metres, de ala lo curvi e deveni ultra vista. Sin duta on ave un otra campa avansada a plu distante. La otra riva de la rio es tera noncovreda – un inclina gradal de cual sur sua culmina es un ensirca de troncos vertical con abris peti per fusiles, e un abri biselida tra cual un canon de laton protende, dominante la ponte. A la media de la inclina entre la ponte e la fortres on ave la oservores – un sola compania de soldatos de pede en linia, a “reposa de parada”, con la posteriores de sua fusiles sur la tera, la canos inclinante pico a retro sur la spalas destra, la manos crusada a ante. Un teninte sta a la destra de la linia, con la punto de sua spada sur la tera, sua mano sinistra reposante sur sua destra. Esetante la grupo de cuatro a la media de la ponte, no om move. La compania fasa la ponte, regardante stonin, sin move. La vijilores, fasante la rivas de la rio, ta pote es scultas per decora la ponte. La capitan sta con brasos crusada, silente, oservante la labora de sua suordinadas, ma fante no sinia. La mori es un ofisior alta per ci cuando el veni anunsiada, on debe reseta el con mostras formal de respeta, an par los ci conose el la plu bon. En la codigo de cortesia militar, silentia e fisia es formas de respeta.
Beyond one of the sentinels nobody was in sight; the railroad ran straight away into a forest for a hundred yards, then, curving, was lost to view. Doubtless there was an outpost farther along. The other bank of the stream was open ground – a gentle acclivity topped with a stockade of vertical tree trunks, loopholed for rifles, with a single embrasure through which protruded the muzzle of a brass cannon commanding the bridge. Midway of the slope between the bridge and fort were the spectators – a single company of infantry in line, at “parade rest,” the butts of the rifles on the ground, the barrels inclining slightly backward against the right shoulder, the hands crossed upon the stock. A lieutenant stood at the right of the line, the point of his sword upon the ground, his left hand resting upon his right. Excepting the group of four at the center of the bridge, not a man moved. The company faced the bridge, staring stonily, motionless. The sentinels, facing the banks of the stream, might have been statues to adorn the bridge. The captain stood with folded arms, silent, observing the work of his subordinates, but making no sign. Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.
La om ci es envolveda en es pendeda ave aparente sirca tredes-sinco anios. El es un sivil, si on ta pote judi par sua vestes, cual es acel de un senior de cultiveria. Sua cualias es bon – un nas reta, boca dur, fronte larga, de cual sua capeles longa e oscur es petenida a retro, cadente a retro de sua oreas a la colar de sua jacon robin bonajustada. El porta un mustax e un barba puntida, ma no pelo de jenas; sua oios es grande e oscur gris, e ave un espresa amable cual on ta espeta apena sur un de ci sua colo es en corda. Evidente esta es no asasinor vulga. La codigo-militar noprejudosa ave regulas per la pende de multe jeneros de persones, e seniores no es escluida.
The man who was engaged in being hanged was apparently about thirty-five years of age. He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit, which was that of a planter. His features were good – a straight nose, firm mouth, broad forehead, from which his long, dark hair was combed straight back, falling behind his ears to the collar of his well-fitting frock coat. He wore a mustache and pointed beard, but no whiskers; his eyes were large and dark gray, and had a kindly expression which one would hardly have expected in one whose neck was in the hemp. Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded.
Con ce la preparas es completida, la du soldatos comun fa un paso a lado, e cada retira la plance sur cual el ia sta. La sarjento turna a la capitan, saluta, e pone se mesma direta a retro de acel ofisior, ci en turno fa un paso a via. Esta moves lasa ce la condenada e la sarjento sta sur la du finis de la mesma plance, cual crusa tre de la faxones traversante de la ponte. La fini sur cual la sivil sta estende cuasi ma no tota a un faxon cuatro. Esta plance ia es teneda en loca par la pesa de la capitan; lo es aora teneda par acel de la sarjento. A cuando la capitan ta sinia, la sarjento ta fa un paso a lado, la plance ta apoia, e la condenada ta cade entre du faxones. A sua judi la scema recomenda se como simple e produosa. Sua fasa no ia es covreda e sua oios no bandida. El regarda tra un momento a sua suporta nonfirma, alora lasa ce sua regarda vaga a la acua jirante de la rio forte corsante su sua pedes. Un peso dansante de lenio flotante atrae sua interesa e sua oios segue lo longo la corente. Tan lenta lo pare move! Tan letarjiosa la rio flue!
The preparations being complete, the two private soldiers stepped aside and each drew away the plank upon which he had been standing. The sergeant turned to the captain, saluted and placed himself immediately behind that officer, who in turn moved apart one pace. These movements left the condemned man and the sergeant standing on the two ends of the same plank, which spanned three of the cross-ties of the bridge. The end upon which the civilian stood almost, but not quite, reached a fourth. This plank had been held in place by the weight of the captain; it was now held by that of the sergeant. At a signal from the former the latter would step aside, the plank would tilt and the condemned man go down between two ties. The arrangement commended itself to his judgment as simple and effective. His face had not been covered nor his eyes bandaged. He looked a moment at his “unsteadfast footing,” then let his gaze wander to the swirling water of the stream racing madly beneath his feet. A piece of dancing driftwood caught his attention and his eyes followed it down the current. How slowly it appeared to move! What a sluggish stream!
El clui sua oios per fisa sua pensas final sur sua sposa e enfantes. La acua, tocada a orosa par la lus prima, la nebletas covrente su la rivas a alga distante longo la flue de la rio, la fortres, la soldatos, la lenio flotante – tota de los ia distrae el. E aora el deveni consensa de un disturba nova. Colpante tra la pensa sur sua caras es un sono cual el no pote iniora e no pote comprende, un percute agu, distinguida, e metalin, como la colpa de un martel de forjor sur un inco; lo ave la mesma cualia campanin. El vole sabe lo cual lo es, e esce lo es nonmesurable distante o prosima – lo pare ambos. La recorsa de lo es periodal, ma tan lenta como la sonante de un campana funeral. El espeta cada colpa con nonpasientia e – el no sabe perce – ansia. La intervales de silentia crese plu longa; la retardas deveni dementinte. Con sua nonfrecuentia grandinte la sonas crese en fortia e agia. Los feri sua orea como la puxa de un cotel; el teme ce el ta xilia. Lo cual el oia es la tictaca de sua orolojeta.
He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children. The water, touched to gold by the early sun, the brooding mists under the banks at some distance down the stream, the fort, the soldiers, the piece of drift – all had distracted him. And now he became conscious of a new disturbance. Striking through the thought of his dear ones was a sound which he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the stroke of a blacksmith’s hammer upon the anvil; it had the same ringing quality. He wondered what it was, and whether immeasurably distant or near by – it seemed both. Its recurrence was regular, but as slow as the tolling of a death knell. He awaited each stroke with impatience and – he knew not why – apprehension. The intervals of silence grew progressively longer, the delays became maddening. With their greater infrequency the sounds increased in strength and sharpness. They hurt his ear like the thrust of a knife; he feared he would shriek. What he heard was the ticking of his watch.
El desclui sua oios e vide denova la acua su el. “Si me ta pote libri mea manos,” – el pensa – “me ta pote cisa desapone la laso e salta a en la rio. Par tufa, me ta pote evita la baletas, e par nada forte me ta pote ateni la riva, entra la foresta, e evade a mea casa. Mea casa, grasias a Dio, es ancora estra sua lineas; me sposa e petis es ancora ultra la avansa la plu distante de la invadores.”
He unclosed his eyes and saw again the water below him. “If I could free my hands,” he thought, “I might throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, reach the bank, take to the woods and get away home. My home, thank God, is as yet outside their lines; my wife and little ones are still beyond the invader’s farthest advance.”
En cuando esta pensas, cual on debe asi formi en parolas, entra flax la serebro de la maldestinada en loca de evolve de lo, la capitan inclina sua testa a la sarjento. La sarjento fa un paso a lado.
As these thoughts, which have here to be set down in words, were flashed into the doomed man’s brain rather than evolved from it the captain nodded to the sergeant. The sergeant stepped aside.