ï¿½k voltak az ï¿½rï¿½k – a rï¿½giek –, manapsï¿½g semmit nem tudunk.
ï¿½rom ezt negyvenedik ï¿½vem felï¿½, midï¿½n tï¿½bb mint hï¿½sz esztendeje aprï¿½ betï¿½kbï¿½l tengetemlengetem ï¿½letemet. ï¿½ltem. Szenvedtem. Sï¿½rtam. Sokat aludtam. Nï¿½ha boldognak kellett volna lennem egyegy ï¿½szies dï¿½lutï¿½non. (Magamban az ï¿½ramutatï¿½t figyeltem. Miï¿½rt ï¿½rï¿½ljek? ï¿½gyis estve lesz nemsokï¿½ra.)
Ezt a kï¿½nyvemet sem szeretem jobban, mint a tï¿½bbieket. Gyakran azt hiszem, hogy mï¿½r senkit ï¿½s semmit nem szeretek. Olykor ï¿½lmomban mindenfï¿½le figurï¿½kat lï¿½tok. Egyik utï¿½n sem nyï¿½jtom ki a karom. Nï¿½ha tizenï¿½t ï¿½v elï¿½tt megholt apï¿½m ellï¿½togat hozzï¿½m az ï¿½j csendjï¿½ben. Ilyenkor kisï¿½rt szemmel ï¿½bredek fel.
ï¿½s miutï¿½n senkit ï¿½s semmit nem szeretek mï¿½r, bizonyos nyugodt fï¿½lï¿½nnyel nï¿½zek vissza elmï¿½lt esztendï¿½kre, ï¿½sz hajakra, kï¿½nszenvedï¿½sekre, ï¿½rï¿½sokra.
Mennyit szerettem volna ï¿½rni, ami igaz!
Semmit nem ï¿½rtam, csak szï¿½nhazugsï¿½gokat.
Fanyar elï¿½gedetlensï¿½ggel nï¿½zek kï¿½nyvtï¿½rnyi kï¿½nyveimre, mint az ï¿½rvahï¿½zi igazgatï¿½ nï¿½vendï¿½keire. Sokan vannak. Egyiketmï¿½sikat vasï¿½rnapiasan megmosdattï¿½k, a cipï¿½je sem lyukas, ï¿½s talï¿½n elbolondï¿½t valahol egy ï¿½rtatlan szï¿½vet magï¿½nos dï¿½lutï¿½n.
Az igazi, az egyetlen, a legkedvesebb kï¿½nyvem azonban nem jelent meg nyomtatï¿½ mï¿½helyben. Amit magamban gondoltam, amit egyedï¿½lvalï¿½sï¿½gomban lï¿½ttam, amit gï¿½gï¿½s elvonultsï¿½gomban kinevettem vagy sajnï¿½ltam. Az emberek hiï¿½nyoznak a kï¿½nyveimbï¿½l, akiket mindenkinï¿½l jobban ismerek, ugyanezï¿½rt leï¿½rni nem merem ï¿½ket. Nï¿½ket, fï¿½rfiakat, gyermekeket: ï¿½n tudom. Mirï¿½l ï¿½lmodnak, mirï¿½l gondolkoznak? Mit cselekednek sajï¿½t akaratukbï¿½l, ï¿½s mit a vï¿½gzet szï¿½ndï¿½kï¿½bï¿½l, mint a kocsi, amely lejtï¿½s ï¿½ton elindul, ï¿½s beleszalad a cukrï¿½szda kirakatablakï¿½ba.
Ezï¿½rt gondolom, hogy ï¿½k, a rï¿½giek voltak az igazi ï¿½rï¿½k, akik az ï¿½n koromban mï¿½r rï¿½gen falura vonultak, korï¿½n keltek, alkonyattal nagy sï¿½tï¿½t tettek a kutyï¿½juk kï¿½sï¿½retï¿½ben, este a tï¿½z elï¿½tt elborongtak. ï¿½k, a rï¿½gi ï¿½rï¿½k ï¿½rtak igazsï¿½gokat, szï¿½psï¿½geket, jï¿½sï¿½gokat, mesï¿½ket. Fï¿½lrefordï¿½tottï¿½k a fejï¿½ket az ï¿½let kellemetlensï¿½geitï¿½l. Hallatlanul ï¿½nekel Manon Lescaut^{*} ï¿½s a hï¿½rom testï¿½r^{*} andalï¿½tï¿½an hazudik. Jï¿½zminvirï¿½gos Kisfaludy^{*} ï¿½s sï¿½rï¿½gï¿½rcsï¿½s Maupassant^{*}; a nï¿½ lovagja, Turgenyev^{*} ï¿½s a fï¿½leszï¿½ lord, aki romï¿½ncokat ï¿½nekel^{*}! ï¿½k tudtak ï¿½rni – mert hisz e korban a nyomtatï¿½ mï¿½helyek lassabban dolgoztak –, ï¿½rtï¿½k ï¿½letï¿½ket, ï¿½rzelmï¿½ket, ï¿½rï¿½mï¿½ket, szenvedï¿½sï¿½ket.
Ha ï¿½n leï¿½rnï¿½m, hogy mit ï¿½ltem ï¿½s ï¿½reztem ï¿½s kï¿½rï¿½lï¿½ttem ï¿½reztek: talï¿½n egy toronyba zï¿½rnï¿½nak.
Ezï¿½rt nem ï¿½r semmit az egï¿½sz irodalmam. Szerencsï¿½re, ï¿½gyis csak a betegek ï¿½s lï¿½btï¿½rï¿½ttek olvassï¿½k az ï¿½rï¿½k munkï¿½jï¿½t.
1916ban. Az ï¿½v elejï¿½n.
Krï¿½dy Gyula
…A kalamï¿½risban kiszï¿½radt a tinta, ï¿½s a gï¿½rbe lï¿½bï¿½ ï¿½rï¿½asztal, amelyen a nagyapï¿½m idejï¿½bï¿½l valï¿½ kalendï¿½rium mutatta a nap ï¿½s hold jï¿½rï¿½sï¿½t s a vï¿½sï¿½rokat, megtelt porral. A hï¿½mzett ï¿½rï¿½mappa – egy drï¿½ga nï¿½ ajï¿½ndï¿½ka, ï¿½s a bronzbagoly, a lï¿½dtollak ï¿½s a diï¿½sgyï¿½ri ï¿½rkusok^{*}, egy verseskï¿½nyv, felï¿½tve egy helyen, s ott szomorï¿½ vers hajlï¿½kony sorai ï¿½s a mindenfï¿½le ï¿½lmok, amelyek felrebbenni lï¿½tszanak, amint a poros kï¿½nyveket, iratcsomagokat megmozdï¿½tom helyï¿½kï¿½n, ï¿½lmatlan ï¿½jjelek gondolatai, hosszï¿½ ï¿½szi dï¿½lutï¿½nok lï¿½tomï¿½nyai, egy szomorï¿½ nap emlï¿½ke, aprï¿½ tollvonï¿½sokkal az ï¿½rï¿½mappa szï¿½lï¿½n megï¿½rï¿½kï¿½tve, csï¿½kï¿½k, szï¿½llï¿½ madarak, furcsa E betï¿½k ï¿½s szabï¿½lyos kis nï¿½gyszï¿½gek, amelyek akkoriban keltek ï¿½letre e tollhegy nyomï¿½n, midï¿½n vï¿½grendeletet fogalmaztam, a vas gyertyatartï¿½n vï¿½gigcsurgott az ezï¿½st pecsï¿½tviasz, ï¿½s egy szï¿½v ï¿½rï¿½kre bezï¿½rult.
Egy esztendï¿½ mï¿½lott el azï¿½ta, hogy az ï¿½rï¿½asztalomnï¿½l ï¿½ltem ï¿½s elbeszï¿½lï¿½st ï¿½rtam az ï¿½letkï¿½peknek. Macsodï¿½n! Ez volt a hï¿½sï¿½m neve, sï¿½rï¿½ szemï¿½ldï¿½ke ï¿½sszenï¿½tt homlokï¿½n. Mï¿½g a hï¿½lgyet Estellï¿½nak hï¿½vtï¿½k. Vachott Sï¿½ndor^{*} azt mondta a kï¿½vï¿½hï¿½zban, hogy nem a legsikerï¿½ltebb mï¿½veim kï¿½zï¿½l valï¿½ – pedig rï¿½lad zengett a bï¿½szke lant, ï¿½ boldog szerelem. A Csigï¿½ban, az egykori Vï¿½rï¿½smartyasztalnï¿½l, korunk ï¿½rï¿½i ï¿½larcot viselï¿½ orgyilkosai gonosz megjegyzï¿½sekkel kï¿½sï¿½rtï¿½k a novella megjelenï¿½sï¿½t. P. K. sillerborï¿½ba^{*}, szokï¿½s szerint, nagyokat harapott, de hatalmas sï¿½rga fogsorait dï¿½hï¿½s kuvasz mï¿½djï¿½ra csattogtatta az ï¿½n lï¿½bikrï¿½im felï¿½. „Egy kï¿½ltï¿½ nem zenghet mindig a boldogsï¿½grï¿½l – vï¿½lekedett –, csupï¿½n a kï¿½mï¿½nyseprï¿½k boldog emberek PestBudï¿½n. Lï¿½m, Petï¿½fi is amint megnï¿½sï¿½lt, vesztett kï¿½ltï¿½szetï¿½ben.” Mï¿½rfoki, az egykori sï¿½gï¿½ azt merï¿½szelte mondani, hogy Macsodï¿½n egy kï¿½zï¿½nsï¿½ges hï¿½lye, mert nem ugrott be a nyitva levï¿½ erkï¿½lyen. A boldogtalan Kuthy Lajos a mï¿½sik asztaltï¿½l bï¿½logatott fodros fejï¿½vel, amely bï¿½tran beillene a francia fodrï¿½sz kirakatï¿½ba, de ï¿½t nem szokï¿½s tudomï¿½sul venni. Mï¿½g ï¿½jfï¿½ltï¿½jban hosszï¿½, mï¿½ly lï¿½ptekkel az Aranykï¿½z utcï¿½ban ballagtam, magamban keserï¿½en bevallottam, hogy legutolsï¿½ mï¿½vemnek korï¿½ntsem volt olyan sikere, mint a rï¿½gebbieknek. Mï¿½rfoki a Falusi Estvï¿½t hetekig szavalva olvasta az ï¿½jsï¿½gbï¿½l, ï¿½s a Bï¿½natos Utazï¿½s csaknem megï¿½rjï¿½tette a fiatal ï¿½rï¿½i tï¿½rsasï¿½got. Ismeretlen gavallï¿½rok borultak a nyakamba a Vï¿½ci utcï¿½n, ï¿½s a hï¿½lgyek a szalonokban rï¿½lam beszï¿½lgettek. Ah, mennyi gï¿½lï¿½ns kalandot mulasztottam el a fï¿½vï¿½ros ï¿½rnï¿½i kï¿½rï¿½ben, akik a divatos ï¿½rï¿½kat honorï¿½lni szoktï¿½k! Nagy, ï¿½lveteg szemek tapadtak reï¿½m a pï¿½holysorbï¿½l, a szï¿½nhï¿½zban, a tï¿½ncteremben finom bï¿½kok repdestek felï¿½m drï¿½ga ajkakrï¿½l, titkos kï¿½zszorï¿½tï¿½soknak vagyok megï¿½rzï¿½je, s a vï¿½roserdï¿½ben nemegyszer sï¿½tï¿½lgattam a juharfï¿½k alatt, kart karba ï¿½ltve, kisasszonyokkal, akik az ï¿½rï¿½kat olvasni szoktï¿½k. Mindezt akkoriban szï¿½vesen elmulasztottam, mert szenvedï¿½lyem oly rabbï¿½ tett, hogy csupï¿½n az esett jï¿½l, amit ï¿½ parancsolt: Estella, az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½. S mily boldog voltam, ha vad fï¿½ltï¿½kenysï¿½gï¿½ben megtiltotta, hogy egyes kacï¿½r ï¿½rnï¿½kkel beszï¿½lgessek! A szï¿½vem kï¿½rï¿½l finom melegsï¿½g terjengett, midï¿½n az italtï¿½l azï¿½rt tiltott, mert a bor lï¿½ngra lobbantja vï¿½remet, ï¿½s a boros emberek feslett nï¿½k martalï¿½kai szoktak lenni! Mï¿½zsï¿½m volt, levegï¿½m volt alvï¿½som ï¿½s ï¿½brenlï¿½tem, mindenem ï¿½ volt. A kis fekete betï¿½ket neki ï¿½rtam, ï¿½s szalonjï¿½ban a Kï¿½zlï¿½ny mï¿½g a nyomdafestï¿½ktï¿½l frissen kerï¿½lt a rokokï¿½ asztalkï¿½ra. Fekete szemï¿½vel figyelmesen ment vï¿½gig a sorokon, kis kezï¿½n a rubintvï¿½re ï¿½s nyakï¿½n kï¿½kkï¿½vekbï¿½l rï¿½gi kis feszï¿½let, kis lï¿½ba keresztbe vetve, mint egy keleti asszonyï¿½, ï¿½s fekete hajï¿½ra lepke mï¿½djï¿½ra rï¿½ppent egyegy sugï¿½r a borongï¿½s ï¿½szi dï¿½lutï¿½nbï¿½l – szemben ï¿½ltem, kalapomat kezemben hintï¿½ztam, kï¿½penyegemet vï¿½llamrï¿½l leeresztettem, s a velencei tï¿½kï¿½rben megpillantva fodros fï¿½rteimet, eszembe jutott D. szï¿½nï¿½sz, a Don Cï¿½zï¿½rbï¿½l. Majd befejezvï¿½n az olvasï¿½st, felï¿½llott ï¿½s jobbrï¿½lbalrï¿½l megï¿½rintette arcomat ajkï¿½val, amelynï¿½l finomabb ï¿½s nemesebb nincs Szevillï¿½ban.
– Maga a legnagyobb ï¿½rï¿½ Pesten!
(Mily furcsa, hogy ma ezt leï¿½rom ï¿½s nem szï¿½gyellem magam!)
Ah! Elmï¿½lt szï¿½p hosszï¿½ estï¿½k! A fehï¿½r kï¿½lyhï¿½ban, mint egy Andersenmese, pittegettpattogott a tï¿½z, a lï¿½mpaernyï¿½n korcsolyï¿½zï¿½ ladyk^{*} szï¿½lltak, az ï¿½rï¿½nak hangja, mint a harangï¿½tï¿½s ï¿½jszaka egy ï¿½nï¿½met vï¿½roska felett, ï¿½s szï¿½p fehï¿½r kutya hevert a tigrisbï¿½rï¿½n: landsknechtet^{*} jï¿½tszottunk hï¿½rmasban: az aranymï¿½ves ï¿½rral. S gyakran zï¿½rva talï¿½ltam mï¿½r a „Csiga” vasajtajï¿½t, midï¿½n bï¿½csï¿½t vettem a barï¿½tsï¿½gos hï¿½ztï¿½l. Megmegï¿½llottam az utcï¿½n, ï¿½s hol egy dalt fï¿½tyï¿½ltem magamban, hol hangosan sï¿½hajtottam, mint a kï¿½ltï¿½knï¿½l olvastam. „Estella!” – kiï¿½ltottam fennhangon a nï¿½ptelen utcï¿½kon – ï¿½s csï¿½ppet sem bï¿½ntam, hogy a Kï¿½vï¿½forrï¿½snï¿½l ï¿½sszes ellensï¿½geimet egybegyï¿½lve lï¿½ttam a sï¿½rga fï¿½ggï¿½ny hasadï¿½kï¿½n ï¿½t, ï¿½s gï¿½nyos arcuk azt ï¿½zente, hogy e percben tï¿½n ï¿½ppen rï¿½lam ï¿½s a szï¿½p aranymï¿½vesnï¿½rï¿½l beszï¿½lgetnek. Egykor sï¿½rï¿½n tï¿½ltï¿½ttem az ï¿½jszakï¿½t a tekï¿½zï¿½asztal mellett, ï¿½s az ï¿½letkï¿½pek bankï¿½it elvitte a taljï¿½n mï¿½rki^{*} ï¿½gyes dobï¿½saival. Ellensï¿½geim bizonyosra vettï¿½k, hogy az aranymï¿½ves bolt kincsei nemsokï¿½ra az olasz zsï¿½kmï¿½nyï¿½ra kerï¿½lnek – hisz az ï¿½letben ez ï¿½gy szokott lenni. A gyanï¿½t is elkerï¿½lendï¿½, a Belvï¿½ros jï¿½tï¿½kboltjait kivettem szï¿½rakozï¿½saimbï¿½l, csupï¿½n egy orszï¿½gï¿½ti gyanï¿½s lebujban jï¿½tszadoztam nï¿½ha ï¿½jszaka, ahol senki sem tudta nevemet. Mindazonï¿½ltal nem sokï¿½ig maradt titokban, hogy ismï¿½t rï¿½gi szenvedï¿½lyemnek hï¿½dolok. ï¿½llandï¿½ vesztesï¿½geim anyagilag teljesen tï¿½nkrejuttattak. Vidï¿½m kedï¿½lyem, kï¿½ltï¿½i lendï¿½letem, amely a tï¿½rsasï¿½gban elmï¿½lï¿½zï¿½sra kï¿½sztette a nï¿½ket, elhagyogatott. Gyakran voltam szï¿½talan ï¿½s komor, midï¿½n is adï¿½ssï¿½gaimra, nem teljesï¿½tett kï¿½telezettsï¿½geimre gondoltam.
Estella elï¿½tt nem maradhatott titokban kedï¿½lyem vï¿½ltozï¿½sa. Egy dï¿½lutï¿½n magï¿½hoz hï¿½vatott a bizalmas ï¿½reg cselï¿½dje ï¿½tjï¿½n, akinek kï¿½szï¿½nhetï¿½, hogy csaknem mindennap lï¿½ttuk egymï¿½st, ï¿½s a kis szalonban, hol gyakran tï¿½rdepeltem lï¿½bï¿½nï¿½l, s egymï¿½snak ï¿½rï¿½k hï¿½sï¿½get fogadtunk, ahol nyitott ajtï¿½nï¿½l csï¿½kolï¿½ztunk fï¿½kevesztett szenvedï¿½lyï¿½nkben, ï¿½s a legelemibb ï¿½vatossï¿½grï¿½l is megfeledkezve ï¿½lveztï¿½k a szerelem ï¿½s kï¿½j adomï¿½nyait, Estella a homlokomra tette a kezï¿½t.
– Ma nem szerelmeskedï¿½nk, Kï¿½roly. Ne nyï¿½ljon hozzï¿½m. Komolyan akarok magï¿½val beszï¿½lni. ï¿½nnek gondjai vannak.
– Asszonyom! – feleltem. – Kï¿½vï¿½njon tï¿½lem bï¿½rmit, csak azt az egyet ne, hogy ï¿½nt bajaimmal, kellemetlensï¿½geimmel untassam. Szeressen! Az ï¿½let, a perc elrï¿½pï¿½l. Jï¿½jjï¿½n karjaimba.
Az asszony komolyan csï¿½vï¿½lta fejï¿½t.
– Nem tudom ï¿½nt lï¿½tni gondok kï¿½zepette. Bizonyos ï¿½sszeget megtakarï¿½tottam, amelyet ï¿½me rendelkezï¿½sï¿½re bocsï¿½tok. Ha igazï¿½n szeret, elfogadja ezt tï¿½lem.
A szekrï¿½nyhez lï¿½pett, amelyen pï¿½sztorok voltak lï¿½thatï¿½k a fï¿½nyes ajtï¿½n. Egy marokinbï¿½rbï¿½l^{*} valï¿½ rï¿½gi erszï¿½nyben finoman pengett az aranypï¿½nz. Kï¿½t karjï¿½val erï¿½sen ï¿½tï¿½lelt, mikï¿½zben mellï¿½nyem alï¿½, fodros ingembe csï¿½sztatta az erszï¿½nyt.
Vï¿½gtelen boldogsï¿½g fogott el.
Soha ilyen ï¿½rzï¿½srï¿½l fogalmam nem volt. Bï¿½szke ï¿½s megalï¿½zott voltam egyszerre. Dalolni ï¿½s sï¿½rni szerettem volna. Jï¿½vendï¿½ ï¿½letemet nyugodt folyï¿½sï¿½, tiszta, nagy folyï¿½nak lï¿½ttam, amely szinte boldog ï¿½hï¿½tattal fodrozik a tavaszi napsï¿½tï¿½s alatt. Gazdag vagyok, gazdag leszek mindig, hisz ezentï¿½l csak szomorkodnom kell, hogy drï¿½ga, imï¿½dott asszonyom segï¿½tsï¿½gemre legyen. Ez ï¿½rï¿½ban a vilï¿½g valamennyi fï¿½rfiï¿½t megvetettem. ï¿½n vagyok mind kï¿½zï¿½tt a legkï¿½lï¿½nb. Engem szeret legjobban egy asszony. A legokosabb, a legbï¿½lcsebb, a legszebb fï¿½rfi vagyok. Most mï¿½r beszï¿½lhet a rossznyelvï¿½ P. K. a „Csigï¿½ban”, amit akar. Ha eszembe jut, nem is leszek tï¿½bbet pï¿½nzï¿½rt ï¿½rï¿½ skribler^{*}.
Nagyon boldog ï¿½s szerelmes dï¿½lutï¿½nt tï¿½ltï¿½ttï¿½nk ezutï¿½n. Estella kï¿½nnyezett boldogsï¿½gï¿½ban, ï¿½s erkï¿½lyï¿½rï¿½l hosszan utï¿½nam nï¿½zett, midï¿½n elhagytam az Aranykï¿½z utcï¿½t. A fodrï¿½sznï¿½l csigï¿½kba fodorï¿½ttattam hajam, s elhatï¿½roztam, hogy estï¿½re a maszkabï¿½lat felkeresem, ahol tudomï¿½som szerint jï¿½l szoktak mulatni.
Szï¿½z darab csï¿½szï¿½ri arany volt az erszï¿½nykï¿½ben.
…A nagy Dunï¿½n sikongï¿½ ï¿½ji kï¿½sï¿½rteteket kergetett a szï¿½lvï¿½sz, mint Jï¿½sika Miklï¿½s Abafijï¿½ban^{*}, tï¿½lnan a budai hï¿½zak ï¿½s a rï¿½cvï¿½rosi torony csupï¿½n egyegy villï¿½mlï¿½snï¿½l mutatkoztak. Arrafelï¿½ kell lenni valahol az elhagyott gellï¿½rthegyi hï¿½znak, ahol nï¿½hanapjï¿½n talï¿½lkoztam hï¿½lgyemmel – amï¿½g nagyon szerettï¿½k egymï¿½st, ï¿½s a hegyoldali hï¿½zikï¿½, egykor tï¿½n lï¿½poros torony, nem volt elï¿½g magasan. Faragott kockakï¿½veken ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltï¿½nk, a romok kï¿½zï¿½tt gyï¿½kok leskelï¿½dtek, kï¿½z a kï¿½zben, s az egï¿½sz ï¿½let hasonlatos volt egy rï¿½gi nï¿½met fametszethez, amelyet egy szelï¿½d kï¿½ltï¿½ verseire csinï¿½ltak Nï¿½rnbergben. ï¿½ltalï¿½ban: ï¿½gy viseltem eddig elmï¿½lt ï¿½letemet, mintha valï¿½ban egy figura volnï¿½k csupï¿½n, egy csalï¿½di lap illusztrï¿½ciï¿½jï¿½n, a fï¿½rtï¿½s fejï¿½, gondolkozï¿½ tekintetï¿½ ifjï¿½ alakja, aki bal kezï¿½ben kï¿½nyvet, jobbjï¿½ban arï¿½ja kezï¿½t tartja; kï¿½rï¿½l lugas, asztalnï¿½l ï¿½regek pipï¿½lnak, idï¿½s nï¿½k ï¿½lï¿½hez unoka simul, ï¿½s a tï¿½volban egy kis falu melankolikus tornya. ï¿½s viharos ï¿½jszakï¿½kon is azï¿½rt sï¿½tï¿½lgattam a Duna partjï¿½n, mert szï¿½p fotografus pï¿½zokban lï¿½ttam magam: divatos bï¿½ kï¿½penyegembe belekapaszkodik a szï¿½l, hollï¿½fï¿½rteim lobognak sï¿½tï¿½t homlokomra hï¿½zott kalapom alatt, megmegï¿½llok ï¿½sszefont karral, mintha azt keresnï¿½m, hol legmï¿½lyebb a vï¿½z, – de ï¿½, az egyetlen, a kedves, az imï¿½dott hï¿½lgy nem rohan elï¿½ kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesett sikollyal a kapumï¿½lyedï¿½sbï¿½l, ahonnan idï¿½ig magï¿½nyos sï¿½tï¿½imat figyelte. Tï¿½ndï¿½ri ï¿½gyï¿½ban mï¿½lyen aludt, ï¿½s az aranymï¿½ves ï¿½r gondosan elreteszelte az ajtï¿½kat. (Amint most elmï¿½lt ï¿½letemre visszagondolok: sok esztendï¿½n ï¿½t, ï¿½gy lï¿½tom magam tennivenni az utcï¿½n, a tï¿½rsasï¿½gban, magï¿½nyos sï¿½tï¿½kon ï¿½s elhagyott szobï¿½mban: mintha mindig egyik vagy mï¿½sik nï¿½ figyelnï¿½ tetteimet egy lï¿½thatatlan ablakon ï¿½t. S mily boldog voltam, midï¿½n egykor az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½ – egy fï¿½ltï¿½kenysï¿½gi korszak alatt – valï¿½ban meglesetett egy nyugalmazott lovaggal, ï¿½s napjaimrï¿½l pontosan elszï¿½molt, midï¿½n ismï¿½t kibï¿½kï¿½ltï¿½nk. Ah, sosem lehet tudni, hogy a kedves hï¿½lgy mennyire hisz hazugsï¿½gainknak, vagy igaz ï¿½rzelmeinknek! A legokosabb dolog szerelmi ismeretsï¿½g alatt valï¿½ban megtenni azt estve, amit dï¿½lutï¿½n a nï¿½ lï¿½bainï¿½l ï¿½gï¿½rï¿½nk: sï¿½hajtani, a csillagba nï¿½zni, folyï¿½parton ï¿½lmodozni, a fï¿½rtï¿½ket hï¿½trasimï¿½tani, ï¿½s ï¿½brï¿½ndvilï¿½gba roggyantan ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lni a tï¿½z elï¿½tt, a karosszï¿½kben, holott minden ajtï¿½ be van zï¿½rva a hï¿½zban. Gondoljuk el, mily kiï¿½brï¿½ndï¿½tï¿½ lehet kedves hï¿½lgyï¿½nket mï¿½s fï¿½rfiï¿½ karjï¿½n megpillantani egy elhagyott utcï¿½cskï¿½ban, ahol tegnap mï¿½g mi jï¿½rtunk a nï¿½vel, ï¿½s ugyancsak engedelemï¿½rt kï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½gtï¿½nk a kar megfogï¿½sï¿½hoz! Gondolj drï¿½ga menyasszonyodra, barï¿½tom – ï¿½n minden kedvesemet arï¿½mnak neveztem, ï¿½s nem bï¿½ntam meg –, amint ablakï¿½ban azon ï¿½rï¿½gy alatt, hogy madï¿½rkï¿½it becï¿½zi a kalitban, jï¿½tszi szeme letï¿½ved egy utcï¿½n ï¿½csorgï¿½ ifjï¿½ra ï¿½s szï¿½p arcï¿½ra lassan rï¿½telepszik az ï¿½rdeklï¿½dï¿½s, hajï¿½t szï¿½rakozottan megigazï¿½tja, tï¿½tova pillantï¿½st vet a tï¿½kï¿½rbe, ï¿½lmodozï¿½ lesz, elmï¿½lï¿½zik, mert az elï¿½nyï¿½re szolgï¿½l, tï¿½n levï¿½lkï¿½t kap, levï¿½lkï¿½vel vï¿½laszol „igen holnap…” – ï¿½s te, barï¿½tom, mindezt egy lï¿½thatatlan helyrï¿½l megfigyeled: szï¿½ved ilyenkor valï¿½ban ï¿½rezheti a fï¿½jï¿½ hangulatot. Ezï¿½rt csak oly hï¿½ek legyï¿½nk, amennyi hï¿½sï¿½get magunk megkï¿½vetelï¿½nk. Ne fordï¿½tsd mindjï¿½rt oldalvï¿½st a fejed, ha budai templomban egy nagyszemï¿½ rï¿½c asszony tekintete rï¿½vetegen reï¿½d tapad. Igaz, nagyon nehï¿½z ellentï¿½llani a nï¿½k bujï¿½lkodï¿½ szemsugarainak, ï¿½s estve, mielï¿½tt elfï¿½jnï¿½d a gyertyï¿½t, ï¿½s kedvesedï¿½rt elmondanï¿½d a szokï¿½sos ï¿½ji imï¿½dsï¿½got, ellenï¿½llhatatlanul reï¿½gondolsz a rï¿½c asszonyra, sï¿½rï¿½ fekete hajï¿½ra, kreol nyakï¿½ra ï¿½s izmos lï¿½bï¿½ra, a budai hï¿½zra, ahovï¿½ dï¿½lutï¿½n be lehetne surranni, ismeretlen, idegen szobï¿½ban, ezer veszï¿½ly kï¿½zï¿½tt csï¿½kolï¿½zni, aztï¿½n esetleg kerï¿½tï¿½seken ï¿½t menekï¿½lni hï¿½zï¿½rzï¿½ ebek, felriadt szomszï¿½dok ï¿½s a hazatï¿½rï¿½ fï¿½rj puskagolyï¿½ja elï¿½l: ï¿½m csak mondd el ilyenkor gyorsan az imï¿½t szï¿½ved hï¿½lgyï¿½ï¿½rt, hisz a templom elï¿½tt soksok lï¿½hï¿½tï¿½ akaszkodï¿½ tekintete vï¿½rja ï¿½t is, pengï¿½ tisztek ï¿½s repkedï¿½ gavallï¿½rok… Tehï¿½t csupï¿½n akkor bï¿½lints igenlï¿½leg a rï¿½c asszony kï¿½rdï¿½ tekintetï¿½re, ha teljesen bizonyos vagy, hogy senki sem leselkedik a hï¿½tad mï¿½gï¿½tt.)
ï¿½s most kï¿½zelebb, kedvesem, szï¿½vem aranymï¿½vesnï¿½je, hadd mondom el, hogyan csaltalak meg egykoron, mikor legjobban szerettelek, ï¿½s csak olyan nï¿½ felï¿½ kï¿½ldtem tekintetemet az utcï¿½n vagy a tï¿½rsasï¿½gban, szï¿½nhï¿½zi pï¿½holysorban, vagy Dominique ï¿½rnï¿½l, a cukrï¿½sznï¿½l, akinek haja vagy keze, vagy egy mozdulata a kegyedï¿½hez hasonlï¿½tott.
A hï¿½lgyet, istenem, Florentinnek hï¿½vtï¿½k, ï¿½s a megismerkedï¿½sï¿½nk a vï¿½letlen mï¿½ve volt, mint a legtï¿½bbszï¿½r a vakeset indï¿½tï¿½ja a szerelmi bonyodalomnak. (Nyugodtan jï¿½rkï¿½lsz tavaszban vagy tï¿½lben, barï¿½tom, fï¿½ï¿½ri lovasok ï¿½getï¿½sï¿½ben gyï¿½nyï¿½rkï¿½dï¿½l a vï¿½roserdï¿½ben, minden falevï¿½lnek kï¿½lï¿½n jelentï¿½sï¿½get tulajdonï¿½tasz, ï¿½s a szï¿½l kedvedre fï¿½j dï¿½lnyugatrï¿½l; a szï¿½vedben egy drï¿½ga bizonyossï¿½g zsong, hogy a legszebb asszonynak vagy a szeretï¿½je Pesten, kï¿½nnyei ï¿½s hajï¿½nak jï¿½szagï¿½ fodrai, kezï¿½nek meleg ï¿½rintï¿½sei ï¿½s kis lï¿½bï¿½nak nyomï¿½sai mind a tied, tï¿½bbï¿½ nem kell arra gondolnod, hogy bï¿½s ï¿½lted nï¿½i mosollyal fï¿½lderï¿½tsed, barï¿½tnï¿½t szerezz elhagyott kalamï¿½risod^{*} szï¿½mï¿½ra, aki a tintï¿½sï¿½vegbï¿½l is ï¿½gy nï¿½zeget felï¿½d, mint a nagy mindensï¿½g a legkisebb vï¿½zcseppbï¿½l: ekkor jï¿½n a vï¿½letlen, e kï¿½ltï¿½ietlen ï¿½s sokszor kigï¿½nyolt segï¿½tï¿½tï¿½rs. Hermina kï¿½polnï¿½jï¿½ban hiï¿½ba eskï¿½dtï¿½l ï¿½rï¿½k hï¿½sï¿½get, rejtelmes ï¿½jjel, holdfï¿½nyben tett fogadalmak elfelejtï¿½dnek. Ah, csupa eskï¿½szegï¿½ jï¿½r kï¿½zï¿½ttï¿½nk!)
Florentin elï¿½kelï¿½ ï¿½s gazdag hï¿½lgy volt, fï¿½rje a nem rï¿½gen elmï¿½lt hadjï¿½ratban veszï¿½tï¿½ ï¿½letï¿½t, de tï¿½bb pï¿½ldï¿½nyban megmaradt az ï¿½don belvï¿½rosi hï¿½zban, ahol Florentin, anyja tï¿½rsasï¿½gï¿½ban, ï¿½letï¿½t tï¿½ltï¿½tte. Florentin ï¿½desanyja az elhunytat kï¿½pviselte. Fï¿½ltï¿½kenyen ï¿½rkï¿½dï¿½tt ï¿½zvegy leï¿½nyï¿½ra, ï¿½s sï¿½tï¿½irï¿½l, a cukrï¿½sznï¿½l valï¿½ mulatozï¿½sairï¿½l mindig pontosan megkï¿½rdezte.
Florentin jï¿½ gyermek volt, ï¿½s a szï¿½nhï¿½zbï¿½l, hol megismerkedï¿½sï¿½nk tï¿½rtï¿½nt, sietve haladt hazafelï¿½, komornï¿½ja kï¿½sï¿½retï¿½ben. Fï¿½lt azonkï¿½vï¿½l az arckï¿½pektï¿½l, amelyek az elesett hï¿½st a falakon ï¿½brï¿½zoltï¿½k. S midï¿½n eleinte nï¿½ha rï¿½mrï¿½m kezdett gondolni otthonï¿½ban, a hosszï¿½ dï¿½lutï¿½nokon, fï¿½rjï¿½nek egy nagy pipï¿½ja a csibuktartï¿½bï¿½l mindig lehetï¿½leg a lï¿½bï¿½ra esett. Ilyenkor gyorsan elsuhantak a reï¿½m valï¿½ gondolatai, mint alkonyati tï¿½ vizï¿½rï¿½l a megzavart vï¿½ndordarvak. ï¿½m a vadmadarak is visszatï¿½rnek, ha a csï¿½ndes ï¿½j leszï¿½llott, ï¿½s Florentin a szentkï¿½p alatt ï¿½gï¿½ mï¿½cses bizonytalan vilï¿½gossï¿½gï¿½nï¿½l, hol mï¿½r Gretchen is bï¿½nbe esett, hosszan ï¿½s melegen gondolt rï¿½m ï¿½gyï¿½ban. ï¿½n ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½ ablaka alatt csavarogtam, ï¿½s minden ok nï¿½lkï¿½l meg akartam halni.
Florentin addig gondolt magï¿½ban mindenfï¿½le kedves dolgokat, midï¿½n senki sem vigyï¿½zott reï¿½, mï¿½g elhatï¿½rozta, hogy enged odavetï¿½leg tett kï¿½rï¿½semnek. Elï¿½bb egy ï¿½lmos dï¿½lutï¿½nt a budai rï¿½c templomban tï¿½ltï¿½ttï¿½nk, majd a rï¿½gi katonai temetï¿½ sisakos fejfï¿½i kï¿½zï¿½tt bolyongtunk mï¿½skor, hol Hentzi vitï¿½zei nagyokat hallgatnak a fï¿½ben. Rozsdï¿½s sï¿½rkerï¿½tï¿½seknek tï¿½maszkodva vï¿½delmezte erï¿½nyï¿½t, becsï¿½letï¿½t, drï¿½ga nyugalmï¿½t Florentin, mï¿½g ï¿½n lehajtott fï¿½vel ï¿½llottam meg elï¿½tte, szï¿½rakozottan hallgattam, s az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½re gondoltam…
– ï¿½n nem vagyok olyan nï¿½, mint a tï¿½bbi…
– ï¿½n nem tudok lï¿½hï¿½n, kï¿½nnyelmï¿½en szeretni…
– ï¿½n komoly, csendes, szinte szomorï¿½ teremtï¿½s vagyok…
– Semmim sincs, csak a nyugalmam…
– Miï¿½rt akarja feldï¿½lni ï¿½letemet?
Csï¿½ndesen bï¿½longattam. Ah, hï¿½nyszor hallottam mï¿½r nï¿½k ajkï¿½rï¿½l az ehhez hasonlï¿½ szavakat.
– Szerencsï¿½tlennï¿½ tesz – sï¿½hajtotta, midï¿½n hozzï¿½m simult.
– Meghalok, ha elhagy, ï¿½gï¿½rem magï¿½nak, hogy meghalok – mondta alkonyattal, midï¿½n a katonafejfï¿½k olyan komoran ï¿½llongtak kï¿½rï¿½lï¿½ttï¿½nk, mint becsï¿½letben megï¿½szï¿½lt fï¿½rfiak, s nï¿½zik a szemï¿½k elï¿½tt lefolyt hitvï¿½nysï¿½got. Tï¿½n egy ï¿½reg generï¿½lis kï¿½zbe is szï¿½lott, de hangjï¿½t nem hallotta senki. Unottan bï¿½csï¿½ztam, ï¿½s a lï¿½vasï¿½ton a kocsis mellï¿½ ï¿½ltem, hogy tovï¿½bbï¿½ ne kompromittï¿½ljam^{*} Florentint. ï¿½ a kocsi belsejï¿½ben ï¿½lt ï¿½s nï¿½mï¿½n, hosszadalmasan nï¿½zett, mint a vï¿½gzetï¿½t.
Egy elhagyott utcï¿½cskï¿½ban elbï¿½csï¿½ztunk.
– Eddig nem is vettem ï¿½szre, hogy kicsinkï¿½t mï¿½r ï¿½szï¿½l a haja – mondta vï¿½gtelen gyï¿½ngï¿½dsï¿½ggel, ï¿½s szelï¿½den megsimogatta a fejem.
Sokï¿½ig nem akarta elengedni a kezemet. „– Ugye, nem hagy el? Ugye, szeretni fog mindig?” – csengett finom hangja, mintha egy kirï¿½lynï¿½ kï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½gne hï¿½hï¿½rï¿½nak.
Oly elï¿½kelï¿½ ï¿½s finom volt, mintha meleghï¿½zban neveltï¿½k volna. Ah, talï¿½n nem is tudta, hogy milyenek a fï¿½rfiak! S egyszer dï¿½lutï¿½n sokat beszï¿½lt az utazï¿½sairï¿½l, nagy Londonrï¿½l ï¿½s Skï¿½ciï¿½rï¿½l, ahol a vadï¿½szkï¿½rt ï¿½gy zeng, mint a Stuartok^{*} alatt, s ï¿½vszï¿½zados szokï¿½sok uralkodnak a falka kï¿½rï¿½l; dalos Nï¿½polyrï¿½l ï¿½s a Fï¿½ldkï¿½zitengerrï¿½l, amelyben nyï¿½ri ï¿½jjel a csillagokat akarta megszï¿½mlï¿½lni; postakocsin kelt ï¿½t a svï¿½jci hatï¿½ron, ï¿½s egy ï¿½tszï¿½li kolostorban azï¿½rt a fï¿½rfiï¿½rt imï¿½dkozott, akit majd a vï¿½gzet hozzï¿½kï¿½ld, hogy szeretettel ï¿½s gyï¿½ngï¿½dsï¿½ggel vegye kï¿½rï¿½l…
– Olyan a hangja, mint a gordonkï¿½ï¿½. S ezt nagyon szeretem – mondta, ï¿½s szemï¿½t lesï¿½tï¿½tte.
Ah, vï¿½gre eltï¿½nt alakja a sarkon, mintha egy kedves ï¿½lom lassan elszï¿½ll a reggeli madarak lï¿½rmï¿½jï¿½ra. Kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesetten futottam az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½hez, mert mï¿½r kï¿½t napja nem lï¿½ttam. Sï¿½rva szaladtam fel a lï¿½pcsï¿½kï¿½n, a lï¿½ba elï¿½ vetettem magam, de ï¿½ hidegen felï¿½llott a karosszï¿½kbï¿½l.
– Mï¿½r kï¿½sï¿½. A lovag pontosan jelentette a katonai temetï¿½ben tï¿½rtï¿½nt kalandjï¿½t. Utï¿½lom, megvetem.
El akart menni. A ruhï¿½jï¿½ba kapaszkodtam.
– Az a nï¿½ azt ï¿½gï¿½rte, hogy megï¿½li magï¿½t, ha elhagyom… Akkor minden jï¿½ lesz?
– Talï¿½n – felelt szerelmem, ï¿½s a szomszï¿½d szobï¿½ba ment.
Egy hï¿½t mï¿½lt el. Florentin mindennap ï¿½rt, ï¿½s ï¿½n nem vï¿½laszoltam. Reggel a Pesti Naplï¿½ban ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gok kï¿½zï¿½tt bï¿½ngï¿½sztem. Vï¿½gï¿½l virï¿½gokat kï¿½ldï¿½tt, amelyeket nem fogadtam el.
De egy napon mï¿½gis talï¿½lkoztunk, megsajnï¿½ltam, megesett a szï¿½vem vï¿½gtelen szerelmï¿½n. Elhatï¿½roztuk, hogy Bï¿½csbe szï¿½kï¿½nk a gï¿½zhajï¿½val, hogy egymï¿½snak ï¿½lhessï¿½nk az ismeretlen vï¿½rosban.
Az ï¿½jt az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½ ablaka alatt tï¿½ltï¿½ttem. Nagyon boldogtalan voltam. Magamban erï¿½sen sï¿½rtam. ï¿½s reggel, midï¿½n Florentinnal a bï¿½csi hajï¿½ra szï¿½llottunk, ahhoz lett volna kedvem, hogy a szï¿½ke folyï¿½ba ugorjak, mï¿½g tï¿½vol ï¿½s kï¿½zel, a hajï¿½ fedï¿½lzetï¿½n ï¿½s Florentin szemï¿½ben a tavasz ragyogott.
– Istenem – gondoltam magamban –, igaz, hogy nagy szamï¿½rsï¿½g, amit cselekszem, vï¿½gkï¿½ppen elveszï¿½tem egyetlen szerelmemet, az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½t. De hï¿½t nem lehet rossznak lenni ï¿½s kegyetlenkedni egy szerelmes asszonnyal.
Florentin a nï¿½szutasok tï¿½ndï¿½klï¿½ kedvï¿½vel ï¿½lldogï¿½lt mellettem, ï¿½s vï¿½gtelen boldog volt, mikor egy hal kidugta fejï¿½t a vï¿½zbï¿½l.
– Ezer forintot hoztam magammal az ï¿½tra – mondta kï¿½sï¿½bb. – Vajon elï¿½g lesz?
Felbiggyesztettem az ajkamat.
– Korï¿½bban is ideadhatta volna a pï¿½nzt – mormogtam. S arra gondoltam, hogy elkï¿½ldtem volna az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½nek. Tï¿½n kibï¿½kï¿½l vala.
Amannak olyan sï¿½rï¿½ fekete haja volt, mint a nï¿½gereknek, ï¿½s olyan illat ï¿½ramlott a testï¿½bï¿½l, mint a szï¿½na kï¿½zï¿½tt a nyï¿½ri dï¿½lutï¿½n – ez szï¿½ke volt, mint egy moszkvai szentkï¿½p, ï¿½s tiszta ï¿½s hï¿½vï¿½s, mint tï¿½len a hegyi folyï¿½k a vï¿½zmerï¿½tï¿½ lï¿½knï¿½l.
ï¿½s ï¿½n olyan szomorï¿½ lehettem, amilyen szomorï¿½ talï¿½n mï¿½g sohasem voltam ï¿½letemben. Elvesztem, gondoltam magamban, mint a cirkuszi mï¿½vï¿½sz, midï¿½n szï¿½dï¿½lni kezd a trapï¿½zon. A nï¿½k kezï¿½be kerï¿½ltem.
…Hï¿½napok ï¿½ta figyelem szobï¿½m ablakï¿½bï¿½l az alkonyati ï¿½g felhï¿½it s az ï¿½jszaka bï¿½s, kis szemeit, az elhalvï¿½nyulï¿½ ï¿½s feltï¿½nedezï¿½ kis csillagokat.
Miï¿½rt van az, hogy a felhï¿½knek mindennap mï¿½s alakjuk van, ï¿½s miï¿½rt ragyognak fel minden este a csillagok oly ifjan, frissen, mintha az ifjï¿½sï¿½g vizï¿½bï¿½l ittak volna?
Nincsen kï¿½t egyforma felhï¿½, sem egyforma csillag. A falevï¿½l ï¿½s virï¿½g sem egyforma. Mï¿½s a szï¿½l, ha dï¿½lrï¿½l jï¿½n ï¿½s mï¿½s, ha nyugat felï¿½l fï¿½j. Semmi sem egyforma a vilï¿½gmindensï¿½gben. ï¿½s ï¿½n, szegï¿½ny bolond, egy darabig azt akartam hinni, hogy egy nï¿½nek a szï¿½ve hasonlï¿½ az ï¿½n szï¿½vemhez; ugyanabban a mï¿½sodpercben ï¿½t bent a kis kalapï¿½cs, mint az ï¿½n ingfodraim alatt; ugyanolyan vï¿½rsejtek szaladnak szï¿½jjel az erekben, ï¿½s a gondolatok, ezek a furcsa felhï¿½k, egyalakï¿½ak az ï¿½n gondolatommal.
Az ï¿½n gondolatfelhï¿½im borï¿½s tï¿½j fï¿½lï¿½tt szï¿½lladoznak mostansï¿½g, mint fï¿½radt vï¿½ndormadarak a nagy sï¿½ksï¿½g felett az ï¿½szi alkonyatban.
Az ï¿½n kedvem egy vï¿½n ember kedve, aki prï¿½mjevesztett, macskabï¿½r bundï¿½cskï¿½jï¿½ban ï¿½sszegubbaszkodva ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½l az odvas jegenyetï¿½kï¿½n, ï¿½szi reggelen, mikor a derek ï¿½gy csillognak a fï¿½zï¿½s almafï¿½n a felkelï¿½ napban, mint a hamis nï¿½k szeme – ï¿½s vï¿½n emberke gï¿½rbe botocskï¿½jï¿½val mindenfï¿½le vonalakat hï¿½zogat a fï¿½ldre, mintha azon rï¿½gi szemekre gondolna, amelyek egykor Madridban egy erkï¿½lyrï¿½l, fekete legyezï¿½cske mï¿½gï¿½l reï¿½pillantgatï¿½nak.
Az ï¿½n ï¿½jszakï¿½m egy furcsa dï¿½ridï¿½, amelyet egy rï¿½gi vï¿½r alatt, a domboldalon, elhagyott temetï¿½ben tartanak az ï¿½jfï¿½li ï¿½ra felï¿½bredï¿½ halottai, vï¿½n borospincï¿½k beomlott falai alatt, szï¿½thullott hordï¿½dongï¿½k fï¿½lï¿½tt, a mï¿½cses lï¿½ngjï¿½tï¿½l bekormozott falmï¿½lyedï¿½sben ï¿½l egy sï¿½pos, ï¿½s mindig, mindig ugyanazt a nï¿½tï¿½t fï¿½jja; piros arcï¿½, fehï¿½r ï¿½stï¿½kï¿½, sï¿½rga csizmï¿½s lengyel vitï¿½zek rï¿½szegen dï¿½zsï¿½lnek, ï¿½s sarkantyï¿½t pengetnek.
Tehï¿½t abban az idï¿½ben, az Aranykï¿½z utcï¿½ban, a numerï¿½ 7ben lakvï¿½n, a felhï¿½ket, a szeleket ï¿½s a csillagokat nï¿½zegettem, tï¿½mï¿½rdek bort ittam a Zï¿½ld fiaskï¿½nï¿½l, hogy felejtsek ï¿½s mindig az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½re gondoltam, aki hï¿½tlenï¿½l elhagyott.
Kralovï¿½nyi, a szï¿½nhï¿½zi sï¿½gï¿½, aki a hangï¿½szokon kï¿½vï¿½l egyetlen barï¿½tom volt ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt, kis termete ï¿½s rossz tï¿½deje mellett is ï¿½gy ivott, mint egy lyuk, kockï¿½s nadrï¿½gjï¿½t ï¿½s rossz kabï¿½tjï¿½t ï¿½hajtotta mindig nekem ajï¿½ndï¿½kozni, mert vï¿½lemï¿½nye szerint, a ruhï¿½nak bï¿½vï¿½s ereje volt, benne szabadult meg a kï¿½nzï¿½ szenvedï¿½lytï¿½l, amely L. Rï¿½za^{*}, a nemzet ï¿½nnepelt mï¿½vï¿½sznï¿½je felï¿½ vonzotta, a sï¿½gï¿½lyukban gyakran eltï¿½vesztette a sort a szerelmi vallomï¿½sok miatt, amelyeket fojtott hangon elmondott ï¿½nagysï¿½gï¿½nak, midï¿½n az nï¿½mi szï¿½netet tartott a jï¿½tï¿½kban, ï¿½s Szigeti ï¿½r egyetlen szï¿½t sem kaphatott szerepï¿½bï¿½l. A nagy Rï¿½za nï¿½hï¿½nyszor a sï¿½gï¿½lyukba rï¿½gott, ï¿½s vï¿½lemï¿½nyem szerint, ez gyï¿½gyï¿½totta ki Kralovï¿½nyit vï¿½gzetes szenvedï¿½lyï¿½bï¿½l, nem pedig a kockï¿½s nadrï¿½g.
Itt a kis sï¿½gï¿½ sok tekintetben hasznomra volt. Hï¿½nyszor ï¿½ltem ï¿½rï¿½asztalom mellett, fï¿½lbenhagyott munkï¿½m fï¿½lï¿½tt, midï¿½n lï¿½bamat keresztbe vetettem, homlokomat kezembe hajtottam, mint a Childe Herold^{*} szerzï¿½jï¿½t ï¿½brï¿½zoltï¿½k az egykori acï¿½lmetszetek, ï¿½s szï¿½rke pantallï¿½m ï¿½s kï¿½nnyï¿½ fï¿½lcipï¿½m kï¿½zï¿½tt violaszï¿½nï¿½ harisnyï¿½mat bï¿½mï¿½szan bï¿½multam, mï¿½g egy kis csontos kï¿½z a vï¿½llamra nehezedett, ï¿½s egy sï¿½polï¿½ hang fï¿½lembe tï¿½rt: „jï¿½ lord, inkï¿½bb gyerï¿½nk a Fiaskï¿½hoz”; mï¿½skor, ha a loppal jï¿½vï¿½ elï¿½rzï¿½kenyï¿½lï¿½s a hangï¿½szok ï¿½reg tanyï¿½jï¿½rï¿½l sï¿½tï¿½lni vitt a Dunapartra, mint egykor Eugent Moszkvï¿½ban, hï¿½ bajtï¿½rs kï¿½sï¿½rte lï¿½pteim nyomï¿½t azokon a helyeken, ahol legmï¿½lyebb a folyam. A gesztenyefasorban, midï¿½n a vï¿½roserdï¿½ lombjai alï¿½ vitt bï¿½natom, mellettem ï¿½getett, mint egy kiskutya – s egyï¿½tt ï¿½lldogï¿½ltunk ï¿½jfï¿½lkor egy ablak s egy erkï¿½ly alatt, ahol mï¿½r tavasz cserepes virï¿½gai nyï¿½jtogattï¿½k szï¿½raikat a napocska felï¿½, ha ez dï¿½lutï¿½n bepillantott a Belvï¿½ros sï¿½tï¿½t utcï¿½ira.
– Elmï¿½ltak az aranjuezi^{*} szï¿½p napok – mondta barï¿½tom, mivel minden hasonlatï¿½t a szï¿½nï¿½szet kï¿½rï¿½bï¿½l vette.
Csendesen tovï¿½bb mentï¿½nk, mint a nï¿½ma szerzetesek Don Cï¿½zï¿½rban, kï¿½pzeletben vittï¿½k a gyertyaszï¿½lat halott tï¿½rsunk teteme fï¿½lï¿½tt, ï¿½s halkan sï¿½roltuk fapapucsainkkal a Vï¿½ci utca kï¿½vezetï¿½t. Kralovï¿½nyival mï¿½g sohasem beszï¿½lt senki emberi mï¿½don, a szï¿½nhï¿½zban ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt oly magasan hordozta orrï¿½t a „2ik ï¿½r” szemï¿½lyesï¿½tï¿½je Shakespeare szomorï¿½jï¿½tï¿½kï¿½ban, mint Viktï¿½ria csï¿½szï¿½rnï¿½ udvari szï¿½nï¿½sze, az aktorok^{*} napkï¿½zben is Hamlet bï¿½ kï¿½penyï¿½be burkoltï¿½k kirï¿½lyi vï¿½llukat a Griff szï¿½nahulladï¿½kos kapubejï¿½rata elï¿½tt, ï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½s kï¿½zben sï¿½rï¿½rt kï¿½ldï¿½zgettï¿½k a sï¿½gï¿½t, ï¿½s az ï¿½rï¿½k a Vï¿½rï¿½smarty pï¿½holya alatt ï¿½lldogï¿½ltak a nï¿½zï¿½tï¿½ren, bï¿½r Szï¿½chenyit mï¿½r utolï¿½rte mï¿½svilï¿½gi ï¿½tjï¿½ban a szï¿½nhï¿½zi estvï¿½k egykori nevezetes bï¿½rï¿½lï¿½ja… Az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½nek egy dragonyos^{*} csapta a szelet, fehï¿½r kï¿½penye gyakran surrant ki estï¿½nkï¿½nt az aranymï¿½vesï¿½k hï¿½zï¿½bï¿½l, ï¿½s a sarkantyï¿½inak pengï¿½se lassan tï¿½volodott az Aranykï¿½z utca nï¿½ma hï¿½zai alatt. A kis sï¿½gï¿½ nyakï¿½ba borultam, szï¿½vem mï¿½lyï¿½bï¿½l felzokogtam, ï¿½jjelente pisztolyaimat zsï¿½roztam, hogy gondolatban a dragonyos mellï¿½be kï¿½ldï¿½m az ï¿½lmot, a milï¿½nï¿½i hadjï¿½rat emlï¿½kï¿½rme alï¿½, vagy sajï¿½t homlokomnak irï¿½nyï¿½tottam a csï¿½vet, hogy szï¿½trepesztem azt egyetlen ujjmozdulattal, mint Teleki Lï¿½szlï¿½^{*} – ï¿½s a kis sï¿½gï¿½, drï¿½ga jï¿½ barï¿½tom, egy estï¿½n megindultan vette ï¿½lï¿½be szomorï¿½ fejem a bormï¿½rï¿½sben.
– Kutyaharapï¿½st szï¿½rï¿½vel – mondta az ï¿½nfelï¿½ldozï¿½s hangjï¿½n. – Holnap bemutatom neked Irmafyt. Irmafy a szï¿½nhï¿½z tagja volt, ï¿½s tavasz ï¿½ta egy fedï¿½l alatt ï¿½lt barï¿½tommal. Vidï¿½krï¿½l jï¿½tt, ismeretlenï¿½l ï¿½dï¿½ngï¿½tt a szï¿½nhï¿½z kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n, kerekre nyitott szemmel nï¿½zte a lï¿½vasutat, ï¿½s a kiragasztott szï¿½nlap alatt kï¿½nnyeset, nagyot sï¿½hajtott, mint a vidï¿½ki szï¿½nï¿½sznï¿½k szoktï¿½k a pesti szï¿½nhï¿½zak elï¿½csarnokï¿½ban. Egy mï¿½sodik Dï¿½rynï¿½^{*} volt szegï¿½nyke, ha tï¿½bbet foglalkoztak vele, mint amennyit megszokott a tï¿½rsasï¿½gban, ha csekï¿½lysï¿½gem vagy Kralovï¿½nyi mï¿½vï¿½sznï¿½nek vagy napsugï¿½rnak szï¿½lï¿½totta a Fiaskï¿½nï¿½l, ha kezem kezï¿½ben felejtettem, vagy arra cï¿½loztam, hogy nemsokï¿½ra szï¿½ndarabot ï¿½rok, amelyben nï¿½mi sikere lehet a sï¿½gï¿½ felesï¿½gï¿½nek: Irmafy kisasszony nyomban elbizakodott, kedves kis orra hegyesebb lett mindennapi alakjï¿½nï¿½l, mellecskï¿½jï¿½t kifeszï¿½tette, mint a fecske, bï¿½r szeme alï¿½zatosan csillogott mï¿½g, ï¿½s lï¿½bï¿½val, kezï¿½vel tett ï¿½rintï¿½sei a hï¿½ szerelem kifejezï¿½sei voltak: titkon mï¿½ris arra gondolt, hogy a Fï¿½y Andrï¿½s^{*} szeretï¿½je lesz, hintï¿½n viszik ï¿½t a Lï¿½nchï¿½don, Budï¿½ra, egy nyaralï¿½ kertjï¿½be, ahol piros nadrï¿½gos zenï¿½szek vonjï¿½k Lavotta^{*} dalait, a hï¿½zigazda fekete magyar ruhï¿½ban elhunyt kedvesï¿½t gyï¿½szolja, fia nï¿½vendï¿½k egy bï¿½csi katonaiskolï¿½ban, ï¿½s rï¿½vid ruhï¿½s kisleï¿½nykï¿½jï¿½nak gondos, szeretï¿½, mï¿½sodik anyï¿½ra van szï¿½ksï¿½ge, ki az elhunyt ï¿½desanyï¿½t pï¿½tolja… Vagy grï¿½fok jï¿½nnek a vï¿½ci vonattal Pï¿½rizsbï¿½l, akik majd karonfogva vezetik, a redoutbï¿½lon^{*}, ï¿½s franciï¿½ul beszï¿½lnek hozzï¿½. Vagy egy befolyï¿½sos szerkesztï¿½ lesz rabja szoknyafodrainak…
– Istvï¿½n fï¿½herceg igen jï¿½ barï¿½tom. Alkalommal majd bemutatlak neki – mondtam halkan, titkon Irmafynak, mikor a kis sï¿½gï¿½ elï¿½szï¿½r hozta magï¿½val a Fiaskï¿½ba.
Mï¿½snap kedvesem lett, ï¿½s csaknem egy hï¿½tig jï¿½rtunk boldog hï¿½rmasban tavaszi kirï¿½ndulï¿½sra a budai hegyek kï¿½zï¿½, a vï¿½roserdï¿½be, a gyï¿½nge ï¿½s hï¿½vï¿½s pï¿½zsitra teveszï¿½rt terï¿½tettï¿½nk, ï¿½s a legnagyobb boldogsï¿½gom volt kis lï¿½bï¿½rï¿½l leoldani a fï¿½lcipï¿½t.
Majdnem felejteni kezdtem mï¿½r Estellï¿½t, az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½t, a fehï¿½r kï¿½penyeges dragonyost, a kedves, jï¿½ aranymï¿½ves urat, midï¿½n az asszony egy napon megjelent lakï¿½somon, s visszakï¿½vetelte emlï¿½ktï¿½rgyait: szentsï¿½ges kis arckï¿½pï¿½t ï¿½s drï¿½ga ingï¿½t.
Sokï¿½ig sï¿½tï¿½ltunk ezutï¿½n a Dunaparton.
Alkonyat volt, messze egy hajï¿½t vontattak felfelï¿½, ï¿½s a hajï¿½sok oly egyhangï¿½an kiï¿½ltoztak, mint az Alibaba mesï¿½jï¿½ben az ï¿½szvï¿½rhajcsï¿½rok^{*}.
Szï¿½tlanul lï¿½pkedtï¿½nk egymï¿½s mellett, s a gondolatainkat prï¿½bï¿½ltuk ellesni.
– Estï¿½re eljï¿½het hozzï¿½nk vacsorï¿½zni! – mondta az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½, ï¿½s gyorsan elbï¿½csï¿½zott.
Termï¿½szetesen nem mentem el, mert Irmafyval volt talï¿½lkozï¿½som egy vï¿½rosszï¿½li fogadï¿½ban, hol a lï¿½vï¿½szek tekï¿½zni szoktak.
Reggel, felnyitvï¿½n szemem, az ï¿½gyam mellett az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½t lï¿½ttam tï¿½rdepelni, amint vigyï¿½zatosan simogatja a takarï¿½mat.
*
E kis naplï¿½jegyzet annyira megnyerte tetszï¿½semet, hogy kï¿½sï¿½rtï¿½sbe jï¿½ttem a Hajnalka ï¿½ltal szerkesztett Nï¿½k kï¿½nyvï¿½ben elbeszï¿½lï¿½s alakjï¿½n ismï¿½t elmondani.
„… Az Aranykï¿½z utcï¿½ban egy napon ï¿½ngyilkos fï¿½rfiï¿½ holttestï¿½t fedezte fel Sneider rendï¿½rsï¿½gi biztos. A numerï¿½ 7ben tï¿½rtï¿½nt az ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½g ï¿½jszaka – nagy vihar volt Pesten –, ï¿½s a hï¿½zmester a pisztolylï¿½vï¿½s dï¿½rejï¿½t csupï¿½n fï¿½lï¿½lomban hallotta. ï¿½jfï¿½l utï¿½n egy vagy kï¿½t ï¿½rï¿½t vertek a belvï¿½rosi templom ï¿½rï¿½i, midï¿½n K. Kï¿½roly, divatos elbeszï¿½lï¿½ ï¿½rï¿½nk Aranykï¿½z utcai lakï¿½sï¿½n ï¿½nkezï¿½leg vï¿½get vetett ï¿½letï¿½nek…” (Az egykorï¿½ hï¿½rlaptudï¿½sï¿½tï¿½sbï¿½l.) – ï¿½jjel, estve ï¿½s napkï¿½zben, midï¿½n a magï¿½nyt jï¿½barï¿½tnak vï¿½lasztottam: papirosszeletekre, amelyekre mï¿½skor gondolataimat szoktam felrï¿½vni, ilyenfï¿½le hï¿½rlapi kï¿½zlemï¿½nyeket fogalmaztam a sajï¿½t halï¿½lomrï¿½l.
Ah, ifjï¿½sï¿½g, amely csak tegnap szï¿½ktï¿½l el mellï¿½lem, hitek, rajongï¿½sok, rï¿½vid boldog dï¿½lutï¿½nok ï¿½s ï¿½lmodozï¿½sok a pamlagon, ï¿½rtelmetlen vallomï¿½sok sï¿½tï¿½k kï¿½zben vadgesztenyï¿½k alatt, egyszer: szï¿½kï¿½s, a Dunï¿½n, gï¿½zhajï¿½val Vï¿½cra, napfï¿½nyes tavaszi dï¿½lutï¿½n, a habok fodrai oly nyugodalmasan locsolgattï¿½k a gï¿½zhajï¿½ oldalï¿½t, mintha a vï¿½gtelensï¿½gig tartana utunk a szï¿½kevï¿½ny aranymï¿½vesnï¿½vel, a hegyek szinte megadï¿½ssal kï¿½zelegtek a folyam partjain, ï¿½s a falvak kora tavaszi napfï¿½nyben fï¿½rdï¿½ttek, ï¿½reg hajï¿½sok kipï¿½dï¿½rtï¿½k fehï¿½r bajuszukat, ï¿½s a gï¿½zhajï¿½, amely egykor Kossuth Lajost hozta Bï¿½csbï¿½l, olyan ï¿½nnepï¿½lyesen pï¿½fï¿½gï¿½tt, mint az orgona a koronï¿½zï¿½si templomban, midï¿½n felsï¿½ges kirï¿½lyunk fejï¿½re feltette a prï¿½mï¿½s a koronï¿½t – nï¿½gy ï¿½ra felï¿½ mindenfï¿½le szomorï¿½sï¿½gok jelentkeztek a partokon, kï¿½d ï¿½s elveszï¿½ napsugï¿½r, a folyam hï¿½tï¿½n az aranyszï¿½nï¿½ csipkï¿½k, a menyasszonyruha fodrai, az aranyos harisnyakï¿½tï¿½k ï¿½s piros szï¿½nï¿½ fï¿½lï¿½lmok a kedves nï¿½ szï¿½vï¿½re hajtott fejjel, midï¿½n szinte esztendï¿½k mï¿½ly alvï¿½sï¿½bï¿½l, egï¿½sz eddigi ï¿½letem bï¿½natos, hideg ï¿½s kï¿½dï¿½s hajnali misï¿½jï¿½bï¿½l felï¿½bredve kï¿½rdeztem, hogy mennyi ideig szenderegtem a meleg szï¿½v fï¿½lï¿½tt, a nï¿½ felelte „egy pillanatig, kedvesem”, ï¿½s az ï¿½lom mï¿½gis telve volt megfejthetetlenï¿½l szï¿½p kï¿½pekkel, piros bajuszï¿½ kisemberekkel, ï¿½s szï¿½n csilingelt valamerre, kis falvak tornyaiban lakodalmi harangozï¿½s, pajkos falusi fiï¿½k mï¿½sznak ï¿½t palï¿½nkokon, ï¿½s a vï¿½rï¿½s bajuszï¿½ kisember egyszerre csak rongyos vï¿½ndorlï¿½ eldobott fakï¿½ kabï¿½tjï¿½t veszegeti magï¿½ra, tavaszodik, fï¿½l az olvadï¿½stï¿½l – ï¿½s a kedves nï¿½ ajka szememre tapadt:
– ï¿½lmodj tovï¿½bb a hï¿½emberekkel. Magam is szundikï¿½ltam egy kicsit. Tedd a szï¿½vemre fejed.
Naplï¿½m, ï¿½letem torz tï¿½kï¿½rkï¿½pe, telve mindenfï¿½le ï¿½lmokkal, feljegyzï¿½sekkel, amelyeket manapsï¿½g – ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gom felï¿½ kï¿½zelegve – szinte meg sem ï¿½rtek. Dandy^{*} voltam a Vï¿½ci utcï¿½ban, ï¿½s a narancs magvait hordtam lila szï¿½nï¿½ mellï¿½nyem zsebï¿½ben, amely magvakat az ï¿½ szï¿½ja vï¿½lasztott el a gyï¿½mï¿½lcstï¿½l. Az ingem hï¿½mzï¿½se alatt amulett^{*} fï¿½ggï¿½tt nyakamban, amely az ï¿½ drï¿½ga keblï¿½n foglalt helyet egykor. S estve, mielï¿½tt alvï¿½sra hunytam volna szemem, az amulettet ajkamhoz szorï¿½tottam, s ï¿½gy ringatï¿½ztam ï¿½lomba tarka kï¿½pzetek szï¿½rnyain. Zsebkendï¿½je ï¿½s fehï¿½r inge, amely egykor mï¿½r testï¿½t ï¿½rintette, valamint a kis koszorï¿½, amely sï¿½tï¿½t hajzatï¿½bï¿½l volt fonva, imakï¿½nyvï¿½be prï¿½selt virï¿½gok, amelyek keblï¿½n illatoztak, ï¿½s a drï¿½ga mï¿½vï¿½ gyï¿½rï¿½, amely egy rï¿½gi Medici ujjï¿½rï¿½l az ï¿½ kï¿½zvetï¿½tï¿½sï¿½vel az ï¿½n kezemre kerï¿½lt – ï¿½s minden, amely kï¿½rï¿½lvett, anyï¿½m szomorï¿½ arckï¿½pe a falon, amelyre titkos lï¿½togatï¿½skor hosszï¿½, ï¿½ldï¿½ pillantï¿½st vetett, fegyvereim a kifeszï¿½tett leopï¿½rdbï¿½rï¿½n, tï¿½rï¿½k pisztoly, amellyel ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½got akartunk elkï¿½vetni ï¿½s az ï¿½titakarï¿½, amelybe ï¿½ hï¿½mezte nï¿½vbetï¿½imet: ï¿½veken ï¿½t azt szolgï¿½ltï¿½k, hogy az otthonlï¿½t ï¿½rï¿½iban csupï¿½n reï¿½ gondoljak. Aztï¿½n mï¿½gis elkï¿½vetkezett a nap, midï¿½n Estella, az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½ miatt ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gra tï¿½kï¿½ltem el magam.
Termï¿½szetesen: ismï¿½t jï¿½tszottam.
Egy hetykebajuszï¿½ frank ï¿½r ï¿½tï¿½ fel tanyï¿½jï¿½t a „Tï¿½rï¿½k Tsï¿½szï¿½r”nï¿½l, ahovï¿½ a szerb disznï¿½hajcsï¿½rok szoktak jï¿½rni. Nï¿½hï¿½nyszor meglehetï¿½s eredmï¿½nnyel kergettem a labdï¿½t a zï¿½ld mezï¿½n, ï¿½arany dukï¿½tok^{*} kerï¿½ltek birtokomba az Alsï¿½Duna mellï¿½ki orszï¿½gokbï¿½l, amelyekre az istenanya kï¿½pe volt verve. Az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½, aki minden bï¿½mat, bï¿½natomat ï¿½s ï¿½rï¿½mï¿½met megosztï¿½ velem – szinte szent ï¿½hï¿½tattal fï¿½ggesztvï¿½n barna szempillï¿½k alï¿½ rejtett szemgolyï¿½it napbarnï¿½tott arcomba, midï¿½n ï¿½ppen a legnagyobb hazugsï¿½g hagyta el szï¿½mat –, a nyert aranyakat mindig hosszï¿½ harisnyï¿½ba akarta szï¿½momra eldugni, amelyet a ruhï¿½sszekrï¿½ny kï¿½lï¿½n rejtett fiï¿½kjï¿½ban ï¿½rizne meg. – (Termï¿½szetesen a legmesszebbrï¿½l sem kï¿½rnyï¿½kezï¿½ a gondolat, hogy az aranyak kï¿½zï¿½gyessï¿½gem, illetï¿½leg jï¿½tï¿½kbeli szerencsï¿½m rï¿½vï¿½n jutottak erszï¿½nyembe, amelyet ingem alatt viseltem. Jï¿½l hajtanak az irodalmi agarak: mondogattam, Aigner Lajos^{*} mï¿½veimet felvette a Zï¿½ld kï¿½nyvtï¿½rba, s innen szï¿½rmaztak Mï¿½ria tallï¿½rjai.) Nagyon szerelmes lehettem az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½be, hogy nï¿½hï¿½ny darab aranyat olykor csakugyan gondjaira bï¿½ztam. Estella – bï¿½r igen vagyonos ï¿½rnï¿½ volt – gyermekes boldogsï¿½ggal csï¿½kolta meg a pï¿½nzeket, ï¿½s kï¿½nnybe borult szemmel mondogatta, hogy sorsa szerelmem rï¿½vï¿½n akkor is biztosï¿½tva volna, ha tï¿½rtï¿½netesen szegï¿½nynek szï¿½letik.
– Ugyebï¿½r, eltartanï¿½l engem? – mondta felcsattanï¿½ boldogsï¿½ggal. – Hisz a szeretï¿½d vagyok! A kitartott rongy kedvesed vagyok. Utca lï¿½nya, lovaskatonï¿½k csizmatalpa, szemï¿½tdombok virï¿½ga vagyok. De te eltartasz engem.
ï¿½gy ï¿½rvendezett a gazdag ï¿½s tiszteletre mï¿½ltï¿½ Estella aranyainak, amelyek szï¿½zadrï¿½szï¿½t sem tettï¿½k ki azon nagyobb ï¿½sszegnek, amellyel ï¿½ a nyï¿½r folyamï¿½n megajï¿½ndï¿½kozott. A titkos helyre dugott harisnyï¿½ba boldogboldogtalansï¿½ggal eregette ï¿½jabb aranyaimat, ï¿½s mï¿½r nem messzire volt a nap, midï¿½n az egybegyï¿½lt pï¿½nzï¿½sszegen tekintï¿½lyes sï¿½remlï¿½ket emeltet boldogult ï¿½desanyï¿½m sï¿½rja felett, a budai rï¿½gi temetï¿½ben.
A frank^{*} ï¿½r megjelenï¿½se aztï¿½n vï¿½gï¿½t vetette jï¿½tï¿½kszerencsï¿½mnek. Olyan bajusza volt, mint a muskï¿½tï¿½snak lehetett a Dumas regï¿½nyï¿½ben, ï¿½s nyugodt mosollyal ajkï¿½n ï¿½gy dobta a labdï¿½t, mint maga az ï¿½rdï¿½g. Addigi jï¿½lï¿½temnek egyszerre vï¿½ge volt, ï¿½jjelente gyilkossï¿½gra, rablï¿½sra gondoltam sï¿½tï¿½imban, a csendes pesti utcï¿½kon, midï¿½n fillï¿½r nï¿½lkï¿½l elhagytam a kï¿½vï¿½hï¿½zat, mï¿½snap francia fodrï¿½szomat sem tudtam fizetni, ï¿½s a „Sas”ban adï¿½s maradtam ebï¿½dem ï¿½rï¿½val. Champagne^{*} borï¿½t nem nyitottï¿½k ki vacsorï¿½mhoz, ï¿½s nefelejcseket sem kï¿½ldhettem mindennap imï¿½dott asszonyomnak. Az elï¿½kelï¿½ gavallï¿½rbï¿½l nyomorult koldus lett, aki teljesen pï¿½nztelenï¿½l ï¿½dï¿½ngï¿½tt a fï¿½vï¿½ros utcï¿½in.
Estella mï¿½r megrendelte a sï¿½rkï¿½vet egy hï¿½res szobrï¿½sznï¿½l, ï¿½s kï¿½rte, hogy egï¿½szï¿½tenï¿½m ki a harisnya tartalmï¿½t ï¿½jabb aranyakkal.
Egy estï¿½n, midï¿½n zï¿½logba vetett amulettemï¿½rt kapott ï¿½sszeg is elï¿½szott a „Tsï¿½szï¿½r”nï¿½l, csï¿½f, fergeteges idï¿½ fogadott az utcï¿½n, midï¿½n szokï¿½s szerint pï¿½nz nï¿½lkï¿½l lï¿½ptem ki az ï¿½jfï¿½li ï¿½rï¿½ban. Az utï¿½bbi idï¿½ben sohasem voltam ï¿½hes vagy szomjas. Most mindkï¿½t ï¿½rzï¿½s kï¿½nozott, holott vacsorï¿½ra meglehetï¿½s jï¿½ ï¿½tvï¿½ggyal fogyasztottam egy kakast a Csigerszkyfï¿½le pincï¿½ben. A borbï¿½lytï¿½nyï¿½rok zï¿½rï¿½gtek a szï¿½lben, mint Don Gunï¿½rosz verseiben ï¿½s kegyetlen hideg ï¿½ramlott a Duna felï¿½l. Ekkor eszembe jutott a harisnya, amelybe Estella aranyaimat eldugdosta. Egyszer vï¿½letlenï¿½l meglestem a titkos helyt a szekrï¿½nyben, hol a harisnya az aranymï¿½ves ï¿½r tudtï¿½n kï¿½vï¿½l lakott. S ah, mï¿½r sokszor leï¿½rtï¿½k a regï¿½nyekben a hasonlï¿½ lelkiï¿½llapotokat.
Az esï¿½csatornï¿½n felkï¿½sztam az aranymï¿½vesï¿½k erkï¿½lyï¿½re, mï¿½ly csend volt Pesten mindenfelï¿½. Az ablakot benyomtam ï¿½s a kulcsot megfordï¿½tottam. Szinte ï¿½nkï¿½vï¿½letben feszï¿½tettem fel zsebkï¿½semmel a rï¿½gi szekrï¿½ny ajtajï¿½t az ebï¿½dlï¿½ben, nï¿½hï¿½ny pillanat mï¿½lva birtokomban volt a harisnya. Aztï¿½n nyugodtan, lelkiismeretfurdalï¿½s nï¿½lkï¿½l siettem vissza a „Tï¿½rï¿½k Tsï¿½szï¿½r”ba, hol reggelig jï¿½tszottam.
Midï¿½n ï¿½gyamban felï¿½bredtem, az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½ ï¿½llott szobï¿½mban. Egyik kezï¿½ben az imakï¿½nyv – amint a vasï¿½rnapi misï¿½rï¿½l jï¿½tt –, a mï¿½sikban a megtalï¿½lt ï¿½res harisnya. Az arcï¿½n vï¿½gtelen bï¿½nat…
– Estella! – kiï¿½ltottam kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesve.
De ï¿½ csendesen eltï¿½vozott.
Gyï¿½nge gyï¿½ngyvirï¿½gillat maradt utï¿½na.
Emlï¿½ki, akirï¿½l mï¿½r egyszer ï¿½rtam valahol, egy napon megtudta, hogy egyik leï¿½nya, Estella nevï¿½, aki a Bakonyban, egy kis falucskï¿½ban nevelkedett anyjï¿½nï¿½l, tizenhat esztendï¿½s lett, ï¿½s apjï¿½val megismerkedni ï¿½hajt.
Emlï¿½ki romantikus ember volt, egy rï¿½gi szï¿½p korbï¿½l maradt Budapesten, borzas kï¿½csï¿½gkalapjï¿½ban ï¿½s fodros ingï¿½vel. A halï¿½ntï¿½ka fehï¿½r volt, mint decemberben a hegyoldal, ï¿½s arca, homloka, rï¿½gi szenvedï¿½lyes szeme hï¿½vï¿½s ï¿½s friss, mint a vï¿½n hï¿½d cï¿½lï¿½pei alatt vï¿½gott lï¿½k a hegyi patakon, ahovï¿½ alkonyattal vï¿½zmerï¿½tï¿½s cï¿½ljï¿½bï¿½l jï¿½rnak az asszonyok. Olvasï¿½s kï¿½zben fekete csonttal kerï¿½tett ï¿½veget tett a szemï¿½re, s arcï¿½nak kifejezï¿½se szinte megszentï¿½lt, elborongott, mintha sohasem hazudott volna egyetlen nï¿½nek sem ï¿½letï¿½ben. Kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½sen tiszta fehï¿½rnemï¿½t, rï¿½gimï¿½di kabï¿½tot hordott; a fï¿½le mellett kemï¿½nyen hï¿½trafï¿½sï¿½lte hajï¿½t, mint Festetics Taszilï¿½^{*}, ï¿½s vï¿½kony aranygombos sï¿½tapï¿½lcï¿½jï¿½ra sohasem tï¿½maszkodott teste sï¿½lyï¿½val. A kabï¿½tjï¿½ra nï¿½ha rezedavirï¿½got tï¿½zï¿½tt, ï¿½s arra gondolt, hogy vï¿½gï¿½l nï¿½ï¿½rt fog meghalni… tavaszi hajnalon, midï¿½n Szent Terï¿½z tornyï¿½ban megkondulnak a harangok, ï¿½s a Nagymezï¿½ utcai mulatï¿½helyekrï¿½l a tï¿½ncosnï¿½k ï¿½s ï¿½nekesnï¿½k a hajnali misï¿½re sietnek az ï¿½tvirrasztott ï¿½jszaka utï¿½n. Egykor sok idejï¿½t fecsï¿½relte el e nï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½tt; volt lovag ï¿½s volt bï¿½kezï¿½ vendï¿½g. Olykor, ha rosszul ment sora, hajnalban a virï¿½gï¿½rus asszony kosarï¿½t vitte szerelme utï¿½n; sorsa fordulï¿½sï¿½val az ï¿½jjeli ï¿½kszerï¿½sztï¿½l gyï¿½rï¿½ket vï¿½sï¿½rolt a virï¿½gï¿½rus leï¿½nyoknak. Ugyanezï¿½rt azt gondolta, hogy hajnalban hal meg, midï¿½n az ï¿½nek ï¿½s a zene mï¿½r elpihent, ï¿½s az ï¿½nekesnï¿½k rï¿½ï¿½rnek egy halott lï¿½togatï¿½sï¿½ra.
Kï¿½sï¿½bb komoly ember lett Emlï¿½ki, virzsinaszivarjï¿½t otthon szï¿½vta el hï¿½napos szobï¿½cskï¿½jï¿½ban, ï¿½s a fï¿½stbe bï¿½mulva, orosz regï¿½nyhï¿½s mï¿½djï¿½ra, vï¿½giggondolt ï¿½letï¿½n. S ekkor az jutott eszï¿½be, hogy falura megy meghalni, a vadfï¿½nek kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s jï¿½ illata van az elhagyott temetï¿½kben. A kï¿½tnï¿½l piros lï¿½bï¿½ leï¿½ny dalol, ï¿½s a patakban ingeket mosnak a menyecskï¿½k. Alkonyodik, a tï¿½li kï¿½d ï¿½sszekeveredik a falusi kï¿½mï¿½nyek fï¿½stjï¿½vel, ï¿½s a halï¿½l, mint egy nagy csizmï¿½s vï¿½n paraszt, bandukol a fagyos, sï¿½ros orszï¿½gï¿½ton… Nyomban elindult tehï¿½t, midï¿½n tudomï¿½sï¿½ra jutott, hogy Estella elï¿½rte tizenhatodik ï¿½letï¿½vï¿½t. Valamikor kï¿½tesztendï¿½s korï¿½ban lï¿½tta a gyermeket a bï¿½csi pï¿½lyaudvaron. Halott arcï¿½, fehï¿½r bï¿½rï¿½, alvï¿½ gyermek volt Estella az anyja karjï¿½ban, pirospettyes ruhï¿½cska volt rajta, mint a katicabogï¿½r szï¿½rnya.
…Estve volt, mikor a faluba megï¿½rkezett. A Bakony zï¿½gï¿½sï¿½t mï¿½r fï¿½lï¿½rï¿½ja hallotta, amint a szemï¿½lyvonat egyegy kis ï¿½llomï¿½son pihenï¿½t tartott. Valamikor utazott mï¿½r erre – a katicabogï¿½r anyjï¿½hoz –, francia illatszerrel dï¿½rzsï¿½lte akkor az arcï¿½t, kï¿½zitï¿½kï¿½rben hajï¿½t igazï¿½totta, a kesztyï¿½jï¿½t sokszor felhï¿½zta… A hï¿½lgy az ï¿½llomï¿½s vï¿½gï¿½n vï¿½rta, mantillkï¿½ban^{*}, barnï¿½s, harmatos ï¿½zszemï¿½t ijedten rï¿½szï¿½gezte, ï¿½s fï¿½lcipï¿½jï¿½n a csokor mint egy kis kutya figyelï¿½ fï¿½lei. Most ugyanazon a helyen Estella ï¿½llott.
– Az anyï¿½cskï¿½m beteges, ï¿½s az estve hï¿½vï¿½s – mondta Estella, midï¿½n fï¿½rfiasan megrï¿½zta apja kezï¿½t.
Emlï¿½ki bizonyos mï¿½labï¿½val kï¿½zeledett rï¿½gen lï¿½tott leï¿½nyï¿½hoz. (Francia regï¿½nyekben olvasott mï¿½r ilyesmit.) A homlokï¿½t akarta megcsï¿½kolni Estellï¿½nak, de kï¿½sï¿½bb a kezï¿½t vonta az ajkï¿½hoz. Csontos, hosszï¿½ ujjï¿½ keze volt a leï¿½nynak, mint egy apï¿½ca fejedelemasszonynak, aki ï¿½rï¿½kkï¿½ figyelmeztetï¿½leg emeli fel az ujjï¿½t. „Tï¿½lem valï¿½” – gondolta bï¿½skomolyan Emlï¿½ki. Hisz az asszonynak kis, gï¿½mbï¿½lyï¿½, madï¿½rfï¿½szektenyerï¿½ keze volt. Nagy, szenvedï¿½lyes barna szeme mintha ï¿½rï¿½kï¿½sen meglepetï¿½st ï¿½gï¿½rne. Az orrï¿½n nï¿½hï¿½ny falusi szeplï¿½cske, mint a nyï¿½rfaleveleken a ragya. A szï¿½jï¿½t csï¿½kra, imï¿½dsï¿½gra ï¿½s sï¿½rï¿½sra teremtette a termï¿½szet, nem pedig a cï¿½ltalan beszï¿½lgetï¿½sre. A haja barna ï¿½s kï¿½t szï¿½rba fonva; a homlokï¿½n nï¿½mi merengï¿½s, ï¿½lmodozï¿½s ï¿½s szomorï¿½sï¿½g, mint a gyermekek homlokï¿½n, akik az apa tï¿½vollï¿½tï¿½ben nï¿½nek fel.
A hï¿½rï¿½szkendï¿½je^{*} alï¿½l egy rï¿½gebbi fï¿½nykï¿½pet vett elï¿½ – amelyen Emlï¿½ki magyar ruhï¿½ban ï¿½llt a fotografus csï¿½ve elï¿½ –, lopva ï¿½sszehasonlï¿½totta az apjï¿½val.
Az erdï¿½szï¿½len vezetett ï¿½tjuk, egy keskeny ï¿½svï¿½nyen. Emlï¿½ki karonfogta a lï¿½nyï¿½t:
– ï¿½s nem fï¿½lsz a Bakonytï¿½l, hogy mindig zï¿½g?
– Mi itt falun semmitï¿½l sem fï¿½lï¿½nk. A kï¿½sï¿½rtetet ismerjï¿½k, a bagolyhuhogï¿½st megszoktuk, a kï¿½mï¿½nyben lakï¿½ ï¿½klï¿½ndï¿½zï¿½ ï¿½regembert kipï¿½rkï¿½ljï¿½k ï¿½szidï¿½ben, mielï¿½tt a fï¿½tï¿½st elkezdenï¿½k. Csupï¿½n a vadmacskï¿½kat nem szeretem.
Egyszerï¿½en, nyugodtan beszï¿½lt Estella, mintha tizenhat ï¿½v ï¿½ta ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt mindig az apjï¿½val sï¿½tï¿½lt volna az erdei ï¿½svï¿½nyen. A fï¿½le mellett egy hajszï¿½l mint egy hosszï¿½ vadfï¿½ lengett. A kendï¿½jï¿½nek – vagy a nyakï¿½nak – almaillata volt, mint tï¿½len a kamarï¿½knak. Hegyes orrï¿½, magas sarkï¿½ cipï¿½jï¿½ben hosszï¿½kat lï¿½pett; a cipï¿½ orra lï¿½pï¿½senkï¿½nt ï¿½gy tï¿½nt elï¿½ a fodros, fekete szoknya alï¿½l, mintha egyetlen szï¿½t sem akarna veszï¿½teni a tï¿½rsalgï¿½sbï¿½l.
– Tehï¿½t a vadmacskï¿½k – folytatta Emlï¿½ki. – ï¿½n mï¿½g sohasem lï¿½ttam vadmacskï¿½t.
– Valamivel nagyobb, mint a hï¿½zimacska. A feje ï¿½s a fï¿½le kifejlett, a szeme fï¿½lelmetes, ï¿½s ï¿½gy tud sï¿½rni, mint egy gyermek. Lï¿½tszï¿½lag cï¿½ltalanul futkosnak ki ï¿½s be a faodï¿½kba, holdas ï¿½jszakï¿½kon, de ha a vï¿½ndorlegï¿½ny megï¿½ll, a vï¿½llï¿½ra ugranak. Minden ï¿½jszaka egy vadmacska ï¿½l az ablak elï¿½, a korhadt ecetfï¿½ra. Zï¿½ld szemï¿½vel egï¿½sz ï¿½jszaka az ï¿½gyamba nï¿½z. Miutï¿½n sem ï¿½n, sem anyï¿½m fegyverrel nem tudunk bï¿½nni… Ezï¿½rt kï¿½rettï¿½nk.
– A vadmacska – sï¿½hajtott mï¿½g mindig regï¿½nyesen Emlï¿½ki. – Ha nem tï¿½vedek, az anyï¿½dat fiatal korï¿½ban vadmacskï¿½nak neveztem, mert gyakran ï¿½sszekarmolt. Vagy talï¿½n mï¿½s volt?
Estella erï¿½sen az apja karjï¿½ba kapaszkodott.
– Nem tudom, hogy szerete engem? – szï¿½lalt meg, ï¿½s nagy, fï¿½nylï¿½, harmatos szemï¿½vel, gyermekes bï¿½nattal az apjï¿½ra nï¿½zett. – ï¿½m, ha egy kicsit szeret, megszabadï¿½t a vadmacskï¿½tï¿½l. Nem alszom, ï¿½s arra gondolok, hogy Mï¿½tyï¿½s kirï¿½ly vadï¿½szkastï¿½lya mellett, az erdï¿½ben van egy feneketlen kï¿½t.
Emlï¿½ki megsimogatta a homlokï¿½t, mintha a mï¿½ltat hessegetnï¿½ el magï¿½tï¿½l. Elkomolyodott.
– Van fegyver a hï¿½znï¿½l?
– Egy rï¿½gi katonapuska, ï¿½s mindig tï¿½ltve.
A hï¿½zhoz ï¿½rtek, amely olyan volt, mint hï¿½sz esztendï¿½ elï¿½tt. A falusi hï¿½zak nemigen vï¿½ltoztatjï¿½k kï¿½lsejï¿½ket egykï¿½t emberï¿½ltï¿½ alatt. A kis ajtï¿½ ismerï¿½sen nyikorgott, mint egy megvï¿½nï¿½lt atyafi, a szomorï¿½fï¿½z ï¿½ga a fï¿½ldig ï¿½rt, ï¿½s a kï¿½mï¿½ny fï¿½lrebillentette a fejï¿½t, mint a karosszï¿½kben az ï¿½regemberek. ï¿½ fekete ruhï¿½ban volt, mint mindig, hosszï¿½ fï¿½zï¿½ben, ï¿½s kis kendï¿½t tartott a kezï¿½ben, mint azon az olajfestmï¿½nyen, amelyet leï¿½nykorï¿½ban festett rï¿½la egy vï¿½ndorpiktor. A szeme kï¿½rï¿½l pï¿½khï¿½lï¿½k, mint egy rï¿½gi ablakon, amelyet nem nyit ki senki. Az arcï¿½n a nyugalom, a gond ï¿½s az emlï¿½kezï¿½s, mint hï¿½rom jï¿½barï¿½tok ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lnek ï¿½szi dï¿½lutï¿½n a dï¿½rcsï¿½pte lugasban. A hangja csendes, mint az ï¿½szi szï¿½lben az erkï¿½lyen kopogï¿½ eperfa hangja.
ï¿½jjel Emlï¿½ki leï¿½nya ï¿½gya mellett ï¿½lt. Estella a kis pï¿½rnï¿½kat szerette, ï¿½s furfangos szalagokat fï¿½zï¿½tt belï¿½jï¿½k. A paplan sï¿½rga selymï¿½re hï¿½tï¿½gï¿½ korona volt pirossal hï¿½mezve; imï¿½dsï¿½goskï¿½nyv, viaszgyertya az ï¿½ji szekrï¿½nyen. A pohï¿½rban a vï¿½z hidegen csillogott.
– Hol van a vadmacska? – kï¿½rdezte Emlï¿½ki, aki huzamosabb ideje ï¿½lt egy foxterierlï¿½bï¿½ fotelben, ï¿½s a tï¿½rdï¿½n egy rï¿½gi Werndlfï¿½le katonafegyvert tartott.
– Legyen nyugodt, apï¿½m. Hisz mï¿½g ï¿½jfï¿½l sincs. Anyï¿½mmal nï¿½ha reggelig elbeszï¿½lgetï¿½nk e helyen. Tudja, mirï¿½l beszï¿½lgetï¿½nk?
– A vadmacskï¿½rï¿½l – mondta szï¿½rakozottan Emlï¿½ki, miutï¿½n a leï¿½nya kezï¿½t megsimogatta.
– Korï¿½ntsem. Magï¿½rï¿½l beszï¿½lgetï¿½nk.
Emlï¿½ki lehajtotta a fejï¿½t.
– Alig hihetï¿½.
Estella erï¿½sen fogta az apja kezï¿½t.
– Mindent tudok ï¿½nrï¿½l, apï¿½m. Tudom, hogy fiatalkorï¿½ban a nï¿½k nem hagytï¿½k rendes, becsï¿½letes ï¿½letet ï¿½lhetni. Nyugtalanï¿½tottï¿½k, csalogattï¿½k, mindenfï¿½lï¿½t hazudtak ï¿½nnek. Egybe nagyon szerelmes volt, s ezï¿½rt ï¿½vekig ivott, bï¿½nkï¿½dott, elhagyott vï¿½rosrï¿½szekben lehajtott fï¿½vel csavargott, a hidakrï¿½l hosszan a vï¿½zbe pillantott. Estï¿½nkï¿½nt mintha mindig lï¿½ttuk volna ï¿½nt, amint kibontott kï¿½penyegben, szemï¿½re hï¿½zott kalappal megy a hï¿½zak fala mellett Pesten. A szemï¿½ben csalï¿½dï¿½s, bï¿½nat. ï¿½, hogy szerettï¿½k volna ilyenkor megfogni a kezï¿½t, hazahozni. Szï¿½p nï¿½ volt?
– A legszebb, de mï¿½r elfelejtettem.
– Nos, ï¿½n majd beszï¿½lek magï¿½nak rï¿½la, ha bekï¿½szï¿½ntï¿½nek a tï¿½li napok, ï¿½s az erdï¿½n hï¿½ fï¿½d mindent. Csak a mi kï¿½lyhï¿½nkban piroslik egy parï¿½zs, mint az emlï¿½kezet.
Emlï¿½ki a sarokba ï¿½llï¿½totta a fegyvert. Megnï¿½zte az ï¿½rï¿½jï¿½t.
– ï¿½jfï¿½l.
– Mï¿½g nincs ï¿½jfï¿½l. Ha elhallgatunk, halljuk a falusi toronyban a harang kongï¿½sï¿½t. Mindig tizenegyet ver…
– Sokat szenvedtem. Nï¿½ktï¿½l. ï¿½lettï¿½l. ï¿½nmagamtï¿½l.
Estella felï¿½lt az ï¿½gyban.
– Adja ide a kezï¿½t, ï¿½s ï¿½gï¿½rje meg, hogy ezentï¿½l becsï¿½letes ember lesz.
Emlï¿½ki elnevette magï¿½t.
– Remï¿½lem, nem talï¿½lta ki az anyï¿½d, hogy tï¿½mlï¿½cben is ï¿½ltem?
– Mindig szerettï¿½k magï¿½t, mint egy tï¿½kozlï¿½ fiï¿½t. Tudtuk, hogy egyszer visszatï¿½r. Maradjon nï¿½lunk, velï¿½nk. ï¿½gï¿½rem, hogy anyï¿½m csendes lesz… ï¿½s egyszer majd fï¿½rjhez ad engem.
– Megprï¿½bï¿½ljuk… Itt minden a rï¿½gi, mint fiatalkoromban. Sokat nï¿½ztem innen az alkonyt, az ablakbï¿½l. De a vadmacskï¿½t nem lï¿½tom.
– ï¿½n a vadmacska, apï¿½m. Maga ï¿½lt a holdas ï¿½jjeleken az ablakom elï¿½tt, ï¿½s engem nï¿½zett. Igaz, hogy nï¿½zett, rï¿½m gondolt, szeretett? Hisz mindig magï¿½rï¿½l beszï¿½lgettï¿½nk.
Emlï¿½ki megsodorta a bajuszï¿½t, bï¿½r ez nem volt szokï¿½sa, rezignï¿½ltan^{*} nevetett, megsimogatta Estella hajï¿½t. – Vadmacska vagyok – dï¿½rmï¿½gte. – Tï¿½lire leï¿½ljï¿½k a malacot, akit este az udvaron lï¿½ttam.
Az ï¿½lmok, e drï¿½ga szï¿½lhï¿½mosok a falusi tï¿½li estï¿½ket ï¿½ppen ï¿½gy szeretik lï¿½togatni, mint a vï¿½rosi vizitszobï¿½k kï¿½lyhï¿½inak piroslï¿½ vasajtajï¿½t, amelyre nagy bajuszï¿½ kutyï¿½kat ï¿½s szï¿½lï¿½fï¿½rtï¿½ket alkotott a vasï¿½ntï¿½. Az ï¿½lmok mindig vï¿½mmentesen, szabadon kï¿½zlekedtek az orszï¿½gban, a kocsi, amely ï¿½ket ideoda szï¿½llï¿½totta, orgonavirï¿½gos kerï¿½ken gurult. ï¿½tkï¿½zben, a keresztutaknï¿½l vï¿½n mezei csï¿½szï¿½k ï¿½llongtak a holdfï¿½nyben a rozstï¿½bla szï¿½lï¿½n, ï¿½s hosszï¿½ botjaikkal mutattï¿½k az utat, merre vegye ï¿½tjï¿½t az ï¿½lomkocsi, amelyen minden feltalï¿½lhatï¿½ volt, mint egy nagy panorï¿½mï¿½ban. Faragott diï¿½fadeszka, amilyenbï¿½l rendes, meggondolt emberek a koporsï¿½jukat rendelik – a fï¿½rfiak ï¿½lmai, rï¿½zsaszï¿½nï¿½, pï¿½deres skatulyï¿½khoz hasonlatos szekrï¿½nykï¿½k ï¿½riztï¿½k a nï¿½k ï¿½lmait. Az elhagyott torony lakï¿½i: a baglyok fï¿½radhatatlanul vittï¿½k a hintï¿½t, faluban, vï¿½rosban kidobtak egyet drï¿½ga ajï¿½ndï¿½kaik kï¿½zï¿½l a hintï¿½ utasai – ï¿½zvegy Morvainï¿½ egy nyï¿½r vï¿½gi ï¿½jszakï¿½n illatszeres ï¿½vegecskï¿½t talï¿½lt az ablakï¿½ban a hervatag virï¿½gcserepek kï¿½zï¿½tt, az ï¿½vegre virï¿½gkosï¿½r volt rajzolva ï¿½s nefelejcskoszorï¿½, mint a szï¿½vekre a rï¿½gi fametszeteken. Amint a dugï¿½t kihï¿½zta a palack nyakï¿½bï¿½l, mindenfï¿½le bolondos illatokkal telt meg a hï¿½za.
Holott ez a bizonyos Morvainï¿½ azon ï¿½zvegy asszonysï¿½gok kï¿½zï¿½ tartozott, akiket szeretnek a fï¿½rfiak a halï¿½luk utï¿½ni idï¿½re elkï¿½pzelni. Mindig fekete ruhï¿½ban jï¿½rt, ï¿½s a rï¿½gi vï¿½roska barna hï¿½zai kï¿½zï¿½tt, amelyek olyanformï¿½n voltak egymï¿½s mellï¿½ ï¿½s egymï¿½sra halmozva, mint a dominï¿½kï¿½vek, gyï¿½szfï¿½tyola ellengett a visszhangos utcï¿½n, hogy az emberek a halottas szoba viaszgyertyï¿½inak fï¿½stjï¿½t ismï¿½t ï¿½reztï¿½k, ï¿½s a tï¿½volban a zenekar a halotti marsot jï¿½tszotta. Ah, mikor magas ablakï¿½bï¿½l kipillantott a piac hiï¿½bavalï¿½sï¿½gaira, ï¿½s a kï¿½mï¿½nyek a hï¿½ztetï¿½n szinte fï¿½loldalra dï¿½ltek, mint a tï¿½rtï¿½nelmi regï¿½nyekben! Az esï¿½csatorna bï¿½bï¿½natosan morgott, mint egy ï¿½regember, akinek a nï¿½k kiadtï¿½k az utat, ï¿½s kï¿½d lakott a rï¿½gi erkï¿½lyen, mintha rï¿½gen elhalt polgï¿½rnï¿½k tï¿½rnï¿½nek vissza alkonyattal, hogy Morvainï¿½t ï¿½zvegysï¿½gï¿½ben mulattassï¿½k mï¿½svilï¿½gi pletykï¿½ikkal. Termï¿½szetesen, madarat tartott nagy kalitkï¿½ban, amely oly komor ï¿½s sï¿½tï¿½t volt, mint egy kï¿½zï¿½pkori templom, ï¿½s halkan tettvett a hï¿½zï¿½ban, mint az ifjï¿½ csermely ï¿½l a vï¿½n fatï¿½nkï¿½k alatt. „Morvainï¿½ mosakodik” – mondtï¿½k a rï¿½gi vï¿½rosban, ï¿½s a vilï¿½goskï¿½k toronybï¿½l az ï¿½reg harangozï¿½ az ablakra lapulva leste, hogyan megy vï¿½gig Morvainï¿½ a szobï¿½jï¿½n, nï¿½ha nem is gyï¿½szfï¿½tyolban. A szomszï¿½dban egy ï¿½nkï¿½ntes tï¿½zoltï¿½ mindenfï¿½le lyukakat fï¿½rt a falba, mint vidï¿½ki fogadï¿½ban szokï¿½s, ï¿½s kï¿½sï¿½rtetiesen kopogott a kamara falï¿½n, a padlï¿½son egy remï¿½nytelen udvarlï¿½. Stï¿½lcze, az egyhï¿½zfi, mï¿½zsï¿½s ember lï¿½tï¿½re hajmeresztï¿½ bï¿½torsï¿½ggal kï¿½szott fel a villï¿½mhï¿½rï¿½tï¿½n, hogy az ï¿½zvegy nyitott ablakï¿½n bepillanthasson. A rï¿½szeges postamester ï¿½jjelenkint mindig kurjantott az ablak alatt. Kï¿½nn a dombon, a temetï¿½ben Morvai, az egykori takï¿½cs olyan nyugodtan nyï¿½jtï¿½zkodott, mint azok az ï¿½reg polgï¿½rok, akik tï¿½kï¿½jï¿½k utï¿½n ï¿½lnek. Szï¿½p, rendes, megkï¿½zelï¿½thetetlen ï¿½zvegyet hagyott hï¿½tra. Az ï¿½nkï¿½ntes tï¿½zoltï¿½ ï¿½rï¿½lt mï¿½djï¿½ra jï¿½rta a hï¿½ztetï¿½t.
Bizonyos vï¿½ndormuzsikus ï¿½rkezett a vï¿½rosba, hï¿½vtï¿½k Idemnek, ï¿½s kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s dalokat ï¿½nekelt a Postnï¿½l vagy a vï¿½ros vï¿½gï¿½n a Sï¿½lthalnï¿½l, ahova a parasztok tï¿½rnek be egy ital borra, valamint a verekedï¿½k tanyï¿½znak. Idem ravaszkï¿½s jï¿½rï¿½sï¿½, csendes mosolygï¿½sï¿½, se fiatal, se vï¿½n emberke volt, a madï¿½rtollas kalapja alatt fï¿½rkï¿½szï¿½leg jï¿½rt a szeme, mint azokï¿½ az emberekï¿½, akik vï¿½rosrï¿½l vï¿½rosra hajtanak az apostolok lovï¿½n, ï¿½s szeretnï¿½nek megï¿½lni az emberek kï¿½nnyelmï¿½sï¿½gï¿½bï¿½l. Kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l az elsï¿½ pillantï¿½sra meg tudja ï¿½llapï¿½tani, hogy kinek hï¿½ny tallï¿½r foglal helyet a zsebï¿½ben, ï¿½s a bï¿½natosokhoz, szerelmesekhez szï¿½z tolvajkulcsot hordott karikï¿½ra fï¿½zve.
A Postban akkoriban egynï¿½hï¿½ny remï¿½nytelen agglegï¿½ny ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt, aki Morvainï¿½ szerelmï¿½t hazudta estï¿½rï¿½l estï¿½re. Hogy mit mondott a kï¿½vï¿½natos ï¿½zvegy, ï¿½s csï¿½kja, mint meleg esï¿½… Hogy mint tï¿½rdepelt ï¿½s eskï¿½dï¿½tt. ï¿½s a tï¿½rde, a karja, a hangja. Olykor ï¿½jfï¿½l volt, mï¿½g telehazudtï¿½k egymï¿½s fejï¿½t az agglegï¿½nyek. Aztï¿½n meghatottan ballagtak el az ablak elï¿½tt, hol a fehï¿½r fï¿½ggï¿½ny oly mozdulatlanul fekï¿½dt, mint a szemfï¿½dï¿½l.
Idem termï¿½szetesen megbarï¿½tkozott az agglegï¿½nyekkel, „grï¿½f ï¿½rnak” szï¿½lï¿½totta a legidï¿½sebbet, a patikï¿½rust lovagnak nevezte, ï¿½s az adï¿½pï¿½nztï¿½rosnak kezet csï¿½kolt.
– Lengyelfï¿½ldï¿½n is ï¿½gy szokï¿½s – mondta, mikor tï¿½rdre borult ï¿½jfï¿½l felï¿½ a tï¿½rsasï¿½g elï¿½tt.
Estefelï¿½ mindig tï¿½relmetlenï¿½l vï¿½rtï¿½k az agglegï¿½nyek Idemet, kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s dalaival, furcsa kis hegedï¿½jï¿½vel ï¿½s szokatlan alï¿½zatossï¿½gï¿½val.
– Hazudni kellene valamit a hï¿½lgynek – vï¿½lekedett egy napon Idem, midï¿½n a patikus ï¿½s a pï¿½nztï¿½ros kardpï¿½rbajt vï¿½vtak a Post tï¿½nctermï¿½ben, ï¿½s utï¿½na bï¿½kelakomï¿½t tartottak.
Az agglegï¿½nyek bï¿½san lehorgasztottï¿½k a fejï¿½ket.
– Mi nem tudunk hazudni – mondta a legï¿½regebb.
Idem, aki mï¿½r a pï¿½rbaj rendezï¿½sï¿½nï¿½l is megmutatta ï¿½letrevalï¿½sï¿½gï¿½t, vï¿½grendeletet ï¿½ratott a mï¿½rkï¿½zï¿½kkel, ï¿½s a tï¿½nctermet gyantï¿½val hintette fel, lesï¿½tï¿½tte a szemï¿½t ï¿½s szerï¿½nyen mormogta:
– Ha a nemes urak talï¿½n csekï¿½lysï¿½gemet megbï¿½znï¿½k… Nï¿½hï¿½ny kitï¿½nï¿½, nï¿½knek valï¿½ hazugsï¿½got hallottam Varsï¿½ban, mikor az ottani udvari szï¿½nhï¿½z karnagya voltam.
A Postban ï¿½sszenï¿½ztek az urak, ï¿½s gondolkozï¿½s ï¿½rï¿½gye alatt fenï¿½kig kihajtottï¿½k a talpas poharakat. Idem odavetï¿½leg mondta a savanyï¿½vizes ï¿½vegnek:
– Vannak bizonyos szerelmi bï¿½jitalok. Rï¿½gente minden nï¿½t megitattak varï¿½zsszerrel, mert akkoriban makacskodtak a dï¿½mï¿½k.
Stï¿½lcze, az egyhï¿½zfi sï¿½tï¿½ten dï¿½rmï¿½gte:
– A tï¿½zoltï¿½t kellene eltenni lï¿½b alï¿½l.
– Rï¿½kerï¿½l a sor – felelte sokatmondï¿½ szemhunyorï¿½tï¿½ssal Idem. – Egy tï¿½szï¿½rï¿½s, ï¿½s a tï¿½zoltï¿½ halott.
Mï¿½snap ï¿½nnepi dï¿½szbe ï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½tt kï¿½t agglegï¿½ny, ï¿½s Idemet az ï¿½zvegyhez bemutatï¿½ra vittï¿½k. Morvainï¿½ szokï¿½s szerint imï¿½dkozott, ï¿½s sokï¿½ig vonakodott Idemet ï¿½szrevenni. A vï¿½ndormuzsikus szerï¿½nysï¿½ge ï¿½s alï¿½zatossï¿½ga vï¿½gre gyï¿½zedelmeskedett az asszonyi gï¿½gï¿½n, ï¿½s engedï¿½lyt kapott, hogy ebï¿½dre a hï¿½znï¿½l maradhasson.
Az agglegï¿½nyek kezï¿½ket dï¿½rzsï¿½lgettï¿½k, midï¿½n az ï¿½zvegy hï¿½zï¿½t elhagytï¿½k.
– Az ï¿½rdï¿½ngï¿½s fickï¿½ majd elbï¿½nik vele – mondottï¿½k egymï¿½snak.
Idem ezutï¿½n mï¿½r csak rï¿½vid idï¿½re jelent meg a Postnï¿½l, hogy nï¿½hï¿½ny hï¿½tralevï¿½ dalï¿½t az agglegï¿½nyeknek elï¿½nekelje. Az itallal mï¿½rsï¿½kelten bï¿½nt ï¿½s a tï¿½rdre borulï¿½st csaknem elfelejtette. Az agglegï¿½nyek ezen felhï¿½borodtak, ï¿½s a vï¿½ndormuzsikust kiï¿½ztï¿½k a vï¿½rosbï¿½l.
Mï¿½r tï¿½lre hajlott, az utakat magas hï¿½ borï¿½totta, mint az emlï¿½kezet kï¿½nnyei a sï¿½rok virï¿½gait, a fï¿½k lecsï¿½ngesztett gallyai, mint elhullajtott hajszï¿½lak a szï¿½lben. Idem a keresztï¿½tnï¿½l a kï¿½polna tï¿½vï¿½ben keresett ï¿½jjeli szï¿½llï¿½st. A hegedï¿½jï¿½t az ï¿½llï¿½hoz szorï¿½totta, ï¿½s enyhï¿½bbï¿½ prï¿½bï¿½lta varï¿½zsolni az estï¿½t.
– Vajon megfogannak hazugsï¿½gaim? – gondolta elrï¿½vedezve, mint a kï¿½rtyï¿½s visszagondol az ï¿½tdï¿½zsï¿½lt ï¿½jszakï¿½ra.
Mielï¿½tt az ï¿½j leszï¿½llott volna, Idem a csillagok ï¿½llï¿½sï¿½t figyelte.
– Most kï¿½pzeli magï¿½t kirï¿½lynï¿½nek az ï¿½zvegy – vï¿½lekedett a vï¿½ndorzenï¿½sz, miutï¿½n tegnap ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt ï¿½gy hazudta neki.
Midï¿½n a hold kibï¿½jt a rï¿½gi vï¿½ros hï¿½ztetï¿½i mï¿½gï¿½l, mint szï¿½kï¿½sben levï¿½ rab, Idem a kï¿½polna lï¿½pcsï¿½jï¿½re hajtotta a fejï¿½t.
– Most az jut eszï¿½be, hogy a szerelem minden a vilï¿½gon – szerelem nï¿½lkï¿½l egy lyukas pï¿½nzt nem ï¿½r az ï¿½let. Sï¿½rni, szeretni, valakire erï¿½sen rï¿½gondolni, a szï¿½vvel hï¿½zni, mint a mï¿½gnes, ï¿½s ï¿½rï¿½k hosszï¿½ig csï¿½kolï¿½zni. Kertekben sï¿½tï¿½lni, dalokat hallgatni messzirï¿½l, ï¿½s a hï¿½rsfa leveleit megolvasni a boldogsï¿½gtï¿½l… Megbolondulni az ï¿½lelï¿½stï¿½l, ï¿½s soha ki nem jï¿½zanodni! Neveket adni az ï¿½lettelen tï¿½rgyaknak. A kï¿½tï¿½tï¿½ket elkeresztelni, ï¿½s a ruhaszekrï¿½nyt Stï¿½lcze bï¿½csinak nevezni. ï¿½s jï¿½ szagï¿½t ï¿½rezni a kï¿½znek, a hajnak, a nyaknak ï¿½s a leheletnek. Vajon tudjae mï¿½g a leckï¿½t a hï¿½lgy?
A tï¿½volban szï¿½ncsï¿½rgï¿½s hallatszott, az ï¿½zvegyasszony hajtott a vï¿½ndormuzsikus utï¿½n.
A muzsikus az ï¿½t kï¿½zepï¿½re ï¿½llott.
– Gyere vissza, Idem – mondta az asszony –, mï¿½g azt szeretnï¿½m tï¿½led hallani, hogy milyen illata van reggel az ï¿½lomnak?
– Gyï¿½ngyvirï¿½g – felelt Idem, ï¿½s felkapaszkodott a szï¿½nra. – Lengyel kirï¿½lynï¿½k vï¿½rkertjï¿½ben termett gyï¿½ngyvirï¿½gillata van a reggeli ï¿½lomnak, aranyharang szï¿½l a misï¿½re, ï¿½s a bï¿½styï¿½rï¿½l kï¿½k folyï¿½kat lï¿½tni, fehï¿½r hollï¿½ ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½l a toronytetï¿½n ï¿½s ezï¿½st tollait hullatja.
Az ï¿½zvegy elgondolkozott.
– Furcsa, ezt sohasem mondta nekem senki.
Mint a pï¿½k, a rï¿½gi mesterember szï¿½vi a fonalat magï¿½nyos, kora ï¿½szi alkonyaton, elhagyott kerti hï¿½zak, egykor derï¿½s lugasok zugï¿½ban, ahovï¿½ legfeljebb sï¿½rni jï¿½r az emlï¿½kezet, Nagybotos Viola egyedï¿½l csavargott a bï¿½styasï¿½tï¿½nyon, ï¿½s legkedvesebb gondolata az volt, hogy vallï¿½st alapï¿½t a nï¿½k ellen, vagy ligï¿½t, megvï¿½delmezï¿½sï¿½re a szegï¿½ny fï¿½rfiaknak. Egyszerre hï¿½rom kedvese hagyta el.
Az ï¿½j egyesï¿½let tagjai kutyabï¿½rbï¿½l valï¿½ szï¿½jat viselnek jelvï¿½nyï¿½l a gomblyukban, hol egykor nefelejcs vagy gyï¿½ngyvirï¿½g illatozott, amilyen ï¿½ppen a hï¿½lgy szï¿½ne volt… Nï¿½hï¿½ny gyilkossï¿½g is tervbe volt vï¿½ve, ï¿½jjel a Dunï¿½n, csï¿½nakï¿½zï¿½s kï¿½zben bï¿½rzsï¿½kba varrjï¿½k a nï¿½t, ï¿½s a folyam medrï¿½be leeresztik, hogy sohase kerï¿½ljï¿½n napfï¿½nyre a tett. Mï¿½skor elhagyott vï¿½ros vï¿½gi hï¿½zakba hurcoltatnak el bizonyos nï¿½k, korbï¿½csot kapnak meztelen testï¿½kre, ï¿½s a kertben ï¿½lnyi mï¿½lysï¿½gï¿½ sï¿½rt ï¿½s az egylet sekrestyï¿½se.
Hï¿½rom fejfa ï¿½lldogï¿½l egymï¿½s mellett, hï¿½rom nï¿½i nï¿½v a fejfï¿½kon, ï¿½s az ï¿½jfï¿½l itt mozgalmas lesz, midï¿½n a halott nï¿½k, Nagybotos egykori kedvesei felï¿½brednek ï¿½s egymï¿½s hajï¿½ba ragadnak.
– Szegï¿½nykï¿½k! – sï¿½hajtott fel Nagybotos a bï¿½styasï¿½tï¿½nyon, mert mindegyik nï¿½rï¿½l tudott valamely meghatï¿½, szentimentï¿½lis vonï¿½st, ami a kivï¿½gzï¿½stï¿½l megmentse hï¿½lgyeit. Az egyiknek pï¿½ldï¿½ul a jï¿½rï¿½sa tï¿½ntï¿½rgï¿½, gyermekes lï¿½pï¿½sei, mï¿½siknak mï¿½labï¿½s fejtartï¿½sa, harmadiknak komoly, mï¿½lyen zengï¿½ hangja, mint a bï¿½nat muzsikï¿½ja, ï¿½gy ellï¿½gyï¿½totta Nagybotost, hogy mï¿½g a csalï¿½st is megbocsï¿½totta nekik. Egyiket mindig ï¿½gy lï¿½tta, hogy omnibusz^{*} utï¿½n fut, ï¿½s mily ï¿½gyetlen volt szegï¿½nyke. A mï¿½sikat magï¿½nyos szobï¿½ba kï¿½pzelte, ahol tenyerï¿½be ejtett ï¿½llal ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt ï¿½s maga elï¿½ mereng, mint az ï¿½zvegyasszony a temetï¿½ben. A harmadikat folyton panaszosan, bï¿½natosan hallotta szï¿½lani.
– Jaj – mondta magï¿½ban Nagybotos, ï¿½s az egyesï¿½let sekrestyï¿½se hivatalos dolog hiï¿½nyï¿½ban tï¿½tlenï¿½l lï¿½dï¿½rgï¿½tt a budai kocsmï¿½kban, egyetlen kivï¿½gzï¿½s sem fordult elï¿½ a vallï¿½salapï¿½tï¿½s ï¿½ta.
A sekrestyï¿½s rï¿½gebben betegï¿½polï¿½ volt egy elmebajos fiatalember mellett, akinek a piromï¿½nia^{*} volt egyik betegsï¿½ge. Borkovics, egy elzï¿½llï¿½tt szï¿½nï¿½sz, estï¿½nkï¿½nt azzal mulattatta betegï¿½t, hogy tï¿½zet rakott az ï¿½gya alï¿½. Egyszer Borkovics elkï¿½sett a kocsmï¿½ban, az elmebajos egyedï¿½l rakott tï¿½zet az ï¿½gya alatt, ï¿½s segï¿½tsï¿½g hï¿½jï¿½n szï¿½nnï¿½ ï¿½gett. Kï¿½sï¿½bb egy alkoholista fï¿½ldbirtokos mellett vï¿½gezte az ï¿½polï¿½si teendï¿½ket. Mindennap holtra itta magï¿½t, hogy a beteg az alkoholtï¿½l megriadjon. Egyszer azonban lumpolt^{*} Borkovics, ï¿½s szï¿½njï¿½zanon kerï¿½lt a beteg elï¿½. Szerelmes volt, nem bï¿½rt az ital vele. A fï¿½ldbirtokos visszaesett betegsï¿½gï¿½be, ï¿½s nemsokï¿½ra meggyulladt benne a pï¿½linka. A szï¿½nï¿½sznek tehï¿½t mindegy volt, hogy mifï¿½le foglalkozï¿½ssal tï¿½lti el szabad ï¿½rï¿½it. Miutï¿½n szerette az elmebetegeket, Nagybotost magï¿½ban csï¿½ndes ï¿½rï¿½ltnek nyilvï¿½nï¿½totta, ï¿½s elfoglalta ï¿½j ï¿½llï¿½sï¿½t. Fizetï¿½se volt ï¿½s kosztja egy asszonysï¿½gnï¿½l, bizonyos Markovicsnï¿½nï¿½l, aki azelï¿½tt, rï¿½gente Nagybotos kedvese volt, ï¿½s miutï¿½n visszavonult a leï¿½nykereskedelemtï¿½l, egy kï¿½polna kï¿½zelï¿½ben, ecetfï¿½s udvaron, rï¿½gi hï¿½zban lakott Budï¿½n, ahol a falakba szent ï¿½letï¿½ szerzetesek ï¿½s meggyilkolt kereskedï¿½k voltak temetve. S az ï¿½j liga hï¿½ve lett, miutï¿½n a nï¿½met ï¿½jsï¿½gban rossz hï¿½reket olvasott a nï¿½k mozgalmï¿½rï¿½l.
– Thaisz rendï¿½rkapitï¿½ny alatt bezzeg eltoloncoltï¿½k volna az ilyen nï¿½ket a vï¿½rosbï¿½l. Mï¿½g szavazni is akarnak! – mï¿½ltatlankodott az asszonysï¿½g, aki ï¿½gy gyï¿½lï¿½lte a szerelmet ï¿½s a nï¿½ket, mint ï¿½reg nyugdï¿½jas tanï¿½tï¿½k az iskolï¿½t.
Borkovics – Nagybotos pï¿½rtfogï¿½sa folytï¿½n – a budai hï¿½zban ebï¿½delt, ï¿½s a zsebe tele volt levelekkel, amelyeket nem lï¿½tezï¿½, elï¿½kelï¿½ szemï¿½lyek nevï¿½ben ï¿½nmagï¿½hoz intï¿½zett. Nagyon szeretett leveleket ï¿½rni ï¿½nmagï¿½hoz, amelyekben kedves Pï¿½ternek szï¿½lï¿½totta magï¿½t, holott Mihï¿½lynak hï¿½vtï¿½k. Az asszonysï¿½gnak ï¿½nnepï¿½lyesen felolvasta a leveleket, aztï¿½n sorszï¿½mot ï¿½rt a levï¿½l sarkï¿½ra, mint egy irodafï¿½nï¿½k.
– Az „ï¿½reg” ï¿½rï¿½lni fog a vï¿½ci pï¿½spï¿½k ï¿½ldï¿½sï¿½nak! – mondta egy napon, midï¿½n ismï¿½t levelet hamisï¿½tott, „ï¿½reg”nek Nagybotost nevezvï¿½n. ï¿½s hivatali kï¿½ltsï¿½gre elï¿½leget vett az asszonysï¿½gtï¿½l.
– Csak hï¿½mezze a zï¿½szlï¿½t, mama – mondta bï¿½csï¿½zï¿½snï¿½l –, nemsokï¿½ra megtartjuk a zï¿½szlï¿½szentelï¿½st.
Egy ï¿½szi napon, mikor mï¿½r a kï¿½lfï¿½ldi elï¿½kelï¿½sï¿½gek is bejelentettï¿½k hozzï¿½jï¿½rulï¿½sukat az ï¿½j ligï¿½hoz, Borkovics aggodalmas arccal dugta gallï¿½rjï¿½ba az asztalkendï¿½t a budai asszonysï¿½gnï¿½l.
– Az „ï¿½reg”nï¿½l nincs valami rendben – mondta, mikï¿½zben a levest kanalazta –, Szerafint a budai korzï¿½ra csalta, ï¿½s ï¿½rï¿½kig ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltek egy padon.
A komoly asszonysï¿½g, aki Nagybotos kedveseit hï¿½sz esztendï¿½ ï¿½ta szï¿½mon tartotta, leste, leplezte, ï¿½tonï¿½tfï¿½len gyalï¿½zta ï¿½s nï¿½vtelen levelekkel ï¿½ldï¿½zte, Szerafint ï¿½ppen ï¿½gy ismerte, mint a tï¿½bbi hï¿½lgyet. Szerafin a visszatï¿½rï¿½ nï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½ tartozott, aki hï¿½romesztendï¿½nkint felbukkant Nagybotos ï¿½letï¿½ben, kï¿½thï¿½rom hï¿½napig halï¿½lra kï¿½nozta a fï¿½rfit ï¿½ldï¿½zï¿½sï¿½vel ï¿½s fï¿½ltï¿½kenysï¿½gï¿½vel, aztï¿½n valami ï¿½rï¿½gy alatt ï¿½sszeveszett ï¿½s eltï¿½nt. Nagybotos egy darabig kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesetten kutatta a nï¿½ nyomait, aztï¿½n fogadalmat tett a tabï¿½ni templomban, hogy most mï¿½r ï¿½rï¿½k idï¿½re befejezte Szerafinnel valï¿½ ismeretsï¿½gï¿½t. Ilyen idï¿½kben jï¿½ szolgï¿½latot tett a budai asszonysï¿½g, akinek ï¿½lï¿½be lehetett hajtani a meggyï¿½tï¿½rt fï¿½t ï¿½s hallgatni a szï¿½p, hosszadalmas mesï¿½ket hï¿½tlen nï¿½krï¿½l ï¿½s a nemezisrï¿½l^{*}, amely ï¿½ket utolï¿½rte.
Csak nagy nehezen tudott megfelelï¿½ kalapot talï¿½lni a budai asszony a rï¿½gi dobozaiban, mert mï¿½r ï¿½vek ï¿½ta nem jï¿½rt el a hï¿½zbï¿½l. Aztï¿½n karonragadta Borkovicsot, ï¿½s megindult a Tï¿½rï¿½ksï¿½nc utcï¿½bï¿½l.
– A vï¿½rban szoktak dï¿½lutï¿½n sï¿½tï¿½lni – mondta a sekrestyï¿½s.
Valï¿½ban ott jï¿½rt Nagybotos egy nï¿½alak mellett, mint a hï¿½mgalamb libeg a templompï¿½rkï¿½nyon.
– Azelï¿½tt vï¿½rï¿½s volt a cudar – mondta a budai asszony. – Vajon mit csinï¿½lt, hogy lefogyott?
Tï¿½volrï¿½l lestï¿½k az andalgï¿½ pï¿½rt. A hï¿½lgy ï¿½lmodozva lï¿½pkedett, ï¿½s mï¿½lï¿½n oldalra hajtotta a fejï¿½t, mintha elï¿½szï¿½r sï¿½tï¿½lna a vï¿½rban dï¿½lutï¿½n. Nagybotos ï¿½letrehalï¿½lra hazudott, hogy szinte megnï¿½tt a fï¿½le. Aztï¿½n megï¿½llottak, ï¿½s hosszasan nï¿½ztï¿½k az alant elterï¿½lï¿½ vï¿½rosrï¿½szeket.
– Ez szerelem – mondta a kapu alatt, leshelyï¿½n a budai asszonysï¿½g. Borkovics fï¿½tyï¿½rï¿½szve nï¿½zegette vadonatï¿½j lï¿½bbelijï¿½t, mint aki mï¿½r ï¿½gyis megunta hivatalï¿½t, ï¿½s tï¿½zet rak az ï¿½gy alï¿½.
A hï¿½lgy vï¿½lla a fï¿½rfi vï¿½llï¿½hoz ï¿½rt, aztï¿½n titkon talï¿½lkoztak a kezek. Ismï¿½t elindultak halkan, boldogan, ï¿½nfeledten, mintha kï¿½rï¿½l a rï¿½gi templomokban a kï¿½zelgï¿½ koronï¿½zï¿½sra dï¿½szï¿½tenï¿½k az oltï¿½rokat.
–Van magï¿½nak tï¿½rvï¿½nyes felesï¿½ge, Borkovics? – kï¿½rdezte Markovicsnï¿½.
A sekrestyï¿½s vï¿½llat vont.
– Ahogy vesszï¿½k…
Az egykori okos asszonysï¿½g elpirult.
– Kï¿½r, mert magï¿½hoz fï¿½rjhez mentem volna.
A szï¿½nï¿½sz Nagybotos utï¿½n mutatott tï¿½redezett pï¿½lcï¿½jï¿½val.
– Nem hiszem, hogy beleegyezne az ï¿½reg. Fï¿½ltï¿½keny, ï¿½rdï¿½gien fï¿½ltï¿½keny…
– ï¿½, Szerafin, miï¿½ta maga elhagyott, mintha sï¿½talan volna minden eledelem ï¿½s fanyar a borom.
A barna asszony a vï¿½llï¿½t a fï¿½rfi mellï¿½hez nyomta.
– Majd megitatlak, majd megetetlek.
Markovicsnï¿½ ekkor mï¿½r a szerelmesek hï¿½ta mï¿½gï¿½tt ï¿½llt. Felemelte az esernyï¿½jï¿½t ï¿½s nï¿½hï¿½nyszor vï¿½gighï¿½zott Szerafinon, mint a polgï¿½rnï¿½k szoktak elbï¿½nni vetï¿½lytï¿½rsnï¿½ikkel.
– Nyomorult! – mondta. – Ez a szerelem? A hï¿½sï¿½g? Jï¿½jjï¿½n, titkï¿½r ï¿½r.
ï¿½divatï¿½ kalapjï¿½ban, kopott kï¿½penyegï¿½ben, amelyre bï¿½szke volt, mint egykor a bï¿½li belï¿½pï¿½jï¿½re, nyugodtan elsï¿½tï¿½lt a szï¿½nï¿½sz ï¿½r karjï¿½n.
Szerafin erre termï¿½szetesen ï¿½rï¿½kre elhagyta Nagybotost, ï¿½s a nï¿½k elleni liga^{*} ezutï¿½n nemsokï¿½ra megalakult Budï¿½n, az Arany Bï¿½kï¿½hoz cï¿½mzett vendï¿½glï¿½ben, ahol az egyletek szoktï¿½k cï¿½hlï¿½dï¿½ikat tartani. Borkovics nï¿½hï¿½ny ï¿½regurat szedett ï¿½ssze, akiket tï¿½rsaskocsin, amilyeneken a temetï¿½sekre szokï¿½s jï¿½rni, szï¿½llï¿½tott a helyszï¿½nï¿½re. De Nagybotos, az egylet alapï¿½tï¿½ja egy fa alatt ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt egy felvidï¿½ki vï¿½roskï¿½ban, ï¿½s azt szï¿½mï¿½tgatta, hogyan lehetne bemï¿½szni egy ablakon.
Vadludak szï¿½lltak a Duna felett ï¿½jszaka, ï¿½s a kiï¿½ltï¿½suk a magasbï¿½l a fï¿½ldre hallatszott, mintha vï¿½ndorlelkek utaznï¿½nak Budapest mellett, ï¿½s egymï¿½stï¿½l a vï¿½ros nevezetessï¿½geit tudakolnï¿½k. Megkï¿½rdezik, hogy mit csinï¿½l Pï¿½ter ï¿½s Pï¿½l; – emlï¿½keznek a nyï¿½ri hajï¿½ra ï¿½s a sï¿½tï¿½t hï¿½dra, amelyrï¿½l ï¿½ppen akkor vetette valaki magï¿½t a Dunï¿½ba, midï¿½n zenï¿½lve kï¿½zelgett a fehï¿½r hajï¿½… Gigï¿½, hangzik az ï¿½jben a kï¿½bor madarak kiï¿½ltï¿½sa, ï¿½szi ï¿½jszaka hervadt csï¿½ndje reszket a fehï¿½r fï¿½ggï¿½nyï¿½s ablak elï¿½tt, amely a magasban vilï¿½gï¿½t: egy asszony olvassa a rï¿½gi szerelmes leveleit. Vagy talï¿½n szerelem van ott, remegve bï¿½vik fï¿½rfia ï¿½lï¿½be a kedves, ï¿½s sï¿½hajtva hanyatlik le a feje; epedï¿½s, vï¿½gy, csï¿½knak csacska remegï¿½se, mï¿½zï¿½des szavak bugyborï¿½kolnak ï¿½s tajtï¿½kzanak az ï¿½radatban, szerelem ï¿½szi ï¿½jszakï¿½n, midï¿½n a hï¿½ztetï¿½ felett magasan a vadludak kiï¿½ltanak?
Egy erkï¿½lyen ajtï¿½ nyï¿½lott, ï¿½s az ï¿½jben, mint egy hï¿½fehï¿½r ï¿½lom, asszony alakja mutatkozott.
A vadludakat lesï¿½ lovag, bizonyos Pankotai, aki szokï¿½sos ï¿½jjeli csavargï¿½sï¿½t vï¿½gezte, ï¿½s azt szerette volna megtudni, hogy mi tï¿½rtï¿½nt a lefï¿½ggï¿½nyï¿½zï¿½tt ablakok mï¿½gï¿½tt, megdobbanï¿½ szï¿½vvel figyelt fel az ï¿½ji jelensï¿½gre. Mindig ï¿½gy kï¿½pzelte, ezt tervezte, emï¿½gy ï¿½brï¿½ndozta hevenyï¿½ben, hogy egy ï¿½jszakï¿½n majd megnyï¿½lik egy ablak, ï¿½s fehï¿½r kï¿½z virï¿½got ejt lï¿½ba elï¿½, mint a rï¿½gi Pï¿½rizsban a cï¿½ltalanul kï¿½borlï¿½ muskï¿½tï¿½s elï¿½, vagy Madridban a csukott erkï¿½lyek ï¿½s vasrï¿½csos ablakok vï¿½rosï¿½ban… Talï¿½n a rï¿½gi Pesten is elï¿½fordult, hogy nem mindig tudtak aludni a nï¿½k, a hold merï¿½legesen ï¿½llott, a Vï¿½ci utca felett, ï¿½s ï¿½lomtalan szemek a keskeny ablaknï¿½l Vï¿½rï¿½smartyt vï¿½rjï¿½k, amint ï¿½jfï¿½lkor a „Csigï¿½”bï¿½l hazafelï¿½ ballag, vagy Don Gunï¿½rosz hetyke sarkantyï¿½pengï¿½se hallatszik a padlï¿½n. Egy rï¿½gi pesti regï¿½ny szerint nemegyszer szï¿½llott le a magasbï¿½l fehï¿½r lepke mï¿½djï¿½ra egy levï¿½lke – hajdanï¿½ban keveset aludtak ï¿½s sokat unatkoztak Pesten az asszonyok. De most mï¿½r mindenki alszik. ï¿½vek ï¿½ta elhagyottak az erkï¿½lyek, Pankotai a nyolcvanas ï¿½vek ï¿½ta nem lï¿½tott hï¿½lgyet merengeni ï¿½jszaka, magas ablakï¿½nï¿½l, vagy a sï¿½rkï¿½nyfejes erkï¿½lyre dï¿½lve, tenyï¿½rbe hajtott ï¿½llal a holdba bï¿½mulni. Pedig csak azï¿½rt hordott fodros inget ï¿½s amulettet a nyakï¿½ban, hogy egyszer, megint, regï¿½nyeset mondhasson egy hï¿½lgynek, akivel vï¿½letlenï¿½l megismerkedik.
A Dunaparti utca elhagyott volt, tï¿½volban gurult egy kocsi, mint lassan szunnyadï¿½ lelkiismeret, a fehï¿½r ruhï¿½s hï¿½lgy az elsï¿½ emeleten ï¿½llott, Pankotai ï¿½rthetï¿½ hangon jï¿½estï¿½t mondott, ï¿½s kiegyenesedett a homï¿½lyban.
– Egy boldogtalan fï¿½rfi esedezik, ajï¿½ndï¿½kozza meg nagysï¿½god egy szï¿½val.
A dï¿½ma termï¿½szetesen nem felelt. Bizonyï¿½ra csodï¿½lkozott a vakmerï¿½sï¿½gen, hogy korukban, a bï¿½rhï¿½zak vï¿½rosï¿½ban, ï¿½jjel hangosan beszï¿½l valaki az ablak alatt. Talï¿½n a regï¿½nyek jutottak eszï¿½be, amelyekben hasonlï¿½ dolgokrï¿½l olvasott. Pankotai levette kalapjï¿½t, ï¿½s megismï¿½telte kï¿½rï¿½sï¿½t.
– Egyetlen szï¿½t, asszonyom, ï¿½s megmenti egy halï¿½lra ï¿½tï¿½lt fï¿½rfi ï¿½letï¿½t. Szeretem ï¿½nt.
A meglepï¿½ hazugsï¿½g majdnem mindig cï¿½lt talï¿½l a nï¿½knï¿½l; a hï¿½lgy a hajï¿½bï¿½l fehï¿½r virï¿½got vett ki, ï¿½s ajï¿½ndï¿½kozï¿½, nagylelkï¿½ mozdulattal az elsï¿½ emeletrï¿½l az utcï¿½ra eresztette a virï¿½got. Majd visszavonult, ï¿½s az ajtï¿½ lassï¿½ zï¿½rrenï¿½ssel bezï¿½rult mï¿½gï¿½tte. Pankotai a sarki lï¿½mpa alatt sokï¿½ig szagolgatta, nï¿½zegette a virï¿½got. Narancsvirï¿½g volt, ï¿½s Pankotai kï¿½pzelete szï¿½z ï¿½s szï¿½z lehetï¿½sï¿½get fï¿½zï¿½tt az ajï¿½ndï¿½khoz. Lehetsï¿½ges, hogy az ï¿½ji dï¿½ma menyasszony volt este, ï¿½s ï¿½jjel fï¿½rjï¿½vel ï¿½sszetï¿½zï¿½tt, szï¿½lei hï¿½zï¿½hoz visszamenekï¿½lt, ï¿½s az ï¿½jben elgondolkozott. Vagy unatkozï¿½ asszony, aki a maga kedvï¿½re, cicomï¿½zï¿½sï¿½ra ï¿½jjel a tï¿½kï¿½r elï¿½tt felï¿½lti menyasszonyi ruhï¿½jï¿½t, ï¿½s ï¿½gy vï¿½rja a kï¿½sï¿½rtetek ï¿½rï¿½jï¿½t, midï¿½n fï¿½rje visszatï¿½r a temetï¿½bï¿½l… Vagy talï¿½n gazdag ï¿½regï¿½r kedvese a hï¿½lgy, ï¿½s az ï¿½regï¿½rnak kedvtelï¿½se a menyasszonyi ruha, az ebï¿½dlï¿½ben harmatos ezï¿½stvedrek narancsvirï¿½ggal vannak koszorï¿½zva…
Pankotai (mint az utolsï¿½ ï¿½brï¿½ndozï¿½ ember a vï¿½rosban) nem nyugodott meg a talï¿½lgatï¿½soknï¿½l, kï¿½vetkezï¿½ ï¿½jszakï¿½n oly biztonsï¿½ggal foglalta el helyï¿½t az erkï¿½ly alatt, mintha ï¿½vek ï¿½ta ez volna a posztja, ahonnan remï¿½nytelenï¿½l szeret egy fehï¿½r fï¿½ggï¿½nyt.
Az ï¿½szi ï¿½jszakï¿½ban ismï¿½t kiï¿½ltottak a vadludak a Duna felett, amelynek kï¿½tfelï¿½ haladï¿½ vizï¿½t ï¿½tmutatï¿½ gyanï¿½nt kï¿½vetik. Gigï¿½, hangzott a rejtelmes nagy madarak kiï¿½ltï¿½sa, akik ï¿½letï¿½k nagy rï¿½szï¿½t vï¿½ndorlï¿½ssal tï¿½ltik, jï¿½nnek ï¿½s mennek, ï¿½szakrï¿½l dï¿½lre, mintha az volna lï¿½tjï¿½k cï¿½lja, hogy a magasban jï¿½rï¿½ szeleket megismerjï¿½k, vizek folyï¿½sï¿½ban gyï¿½nyï¿½rkï¿½djenek, ï¿½s a lehullï¿½ csillagport felszedjï¿½k tollaik kï¿½zï¿½, ï¿½s elvigyï¿½k mï¿½s tï¿½jakra, ahol a tï¿½bbi csillagok ragyognak, a dï¿½liek vagy az ï¿½szakiak… Pankotai a magasbï¿½l hangzï¿½ kiï¿½ltozï¿½sra a kalapjï¿½val kezdett integetni.
– Hallgassatok, ne zavarjï¿½tok ï¿½lmï¿½t a legdrï¿½gï¿½bbnak…
De mï¿½r nyï¿½lott az erkï¿½lyajtï¿½, a hï¿½lgy felï¿½bredt, ï¿½s kilï¿½pett fehï¿½r ruhï¿½jï¿½ban. A szï¿½rke ï¿½gboltozat felï¿½ fordï¿½totta arcï¿½t, ï¿½s Pankotai ï¿½gy lï¿½tta, hogy kitï¿½rja kï¿½t karjï¿½t.
– Itt vagyok ismï¿½t, hogy ï¿½lma fï¿½lï¿½tt virrasszak – jelentkezett Pankotai az utcï¿½rï¿½l. – Ismï¿½t szerencsï¿½tlen vagyok, mert egy napig nem lï¿½thattam. Kï¿½rem, ne hagyjon el…
A dï¿½ma mozdulatlanul ï¿½llott a magasban. Pankotai ï¿½rezte, hogy valamely gyï¿½ngï¿½d simogatï¿½s ï¿½ri az arcï¿½t, mint egy mï¿½svilï¿½grï¿½l kï¿½ldï¿½tt csï¿½k. Egy fodros, pelyhes tollacska hullott le a magasbï¿½l, vadlï¿½d gyï¿½nge tolla, ï¿½s az ajtï¿½ halkan becsukï¿½dott az erkï¿½lyen.
Pankotai a vadlï¿½dtollal a kezï¿½ben hosszï¿½ ideig ï¿½csorgott a sarki lï¿½mpï¿½s alatt. Vajon a hï¿½lgy kï¿½ldemï¿½nye ez, vagy a vï¿½ndormadarakï¿½? A tollat levï¿½ltï¿½skï¿½jï¿½ba zï¿½rta, ï¿½s elgondolkozva, lehajtott fejjel bandukolt hazafelï¿½. Otthon – egy szegï¿½ny kis hï¿½zban, amilyenben a makkdisznï¿½ lakhatik – gyertya mellett leveleket ï¿½rt, amelyeket reggelre ï¿½sszetï¿½pett. Mit ï¿½rhatna a Dunaparti hï¿½lgynek, hogy az elhiggye szavait? Hiszen mï¿½g az arcï¿½t sem lï¿½tta, a nevï¿½t sem tudja, csupï¿½n azï¿½rt volt szerelmes, mert egy nï¿½ ï¿½szi ï¿½jszakï¿½n fehï¿½r ruhï¿½ban kilï¿½p az erkï¿½lyre… „Ha szoknyakergetï¿½ volnï¿½k, gondolta magï¿½ban, holnap dï¿½lutï¿½n vizitet tennï¿½k a hï¿½zban, hamis nï¿½vjegyet bekï¿½ldenï¿½k, ï¿½s megkï¿½rnï¿½m a hï¿½lgy kezï¿½t… Ha kalandor volnï¿½k, folytatta gondolatait, narancsvirï¿½gokat kï¿½ldenï¿½k neki mindennap; megtudnï¿½m a kalaposnï¿½ja cï¿½mï¿½t, ï¿½s a legszebb kalapokat vitetnï¿½m lakï¿½sï¿½ra… Ha hamisjï¿½tï¿½kos volnï¿½k, pï¿½nzï¿½rt megfogadnï¿½m a legï¿½gyesebb ï¿½gyvï¿½det Pesten, ï¿½s megbï¿½znï¿½m ï¿½gyem lebonyolï¿½tï¿½sï¿½val.” A tollat ï¿½s a virï¿½got a pï¿½rnï¿½ja alï¿½ rejtette, ï¿½s olyanokat ï¿½lmodozott, hogy szï¿½vdobogva ugrott ki reggel az ï¿½gybï¿½l.
Mï¿½g nï¿½hï¿½ny ï¿½jszakï¿½t tï¿½ltï¿½tt Pankotai az ismeretlen nï¿½ erkï¿½lye alatt. A fehï¿½r ruhï¿½s ï¿½lom mindig megjelent, amikor az ï¿½jfï¿½li vadludak gï¿½gogï¿½sa felhangzott a Margit hï¿½d kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n. Megï¿½llott az erkï¿½lyen, ï¿½s vï¿½gyakozva a magasba nï¿½zett, mintha atyja vagy vï¿½legï¿½nye utazna a ludakkal az ï¿½jszakï¿½ban. Amï¿½g hallhatta a vadludak rejtelmes, vï¿½ziï¿½s hangjï¿½t a magassï¿½gbï¿½l, az erkï¿½lyen ï¿½llott ï¿½s karjï¿½t kitï¿½rta. Mintha elvarï¿½zsolt vadlï¿½d lett volna egy budapesti bï¿½rhï¿½z elsï¿½ emeletï¿½n, ï¿½s a madarak vï¿½ndorlï¿½sa idejï¿½n a szï¿½ve szakad meg, hogy nem utazhatik dï¿½l felï¿½ testvï¿½reivel. El a kï¿½zelgï¿½ ï¿½szi kï¿½d, sï¿½rdogï¿½lï¿½ fellegek, kulcslyukon bebujkï¿½lï¿½ nedves szelek, a kï¿½lyha elï¿½tt tï¿½ltï¿½tt szomorï¿½ estï¿½k, kormos dï¿½lelï¿½ttï¿½k elï¿½l, midï¿½n a Dunï¿½n a hajï¿½k ï¿½gy tï¿½lkï¿½lnek, mint eltï¿½vedt kï¿½sï¿½rtetek, akik ï¿½jszaka nem tudtak hazatalï¿½lni.
El a fï¿½gefï¿½s, narancsvirï¿½gos dï¿½lre, ahol kï¿½kek a tengerek, ï¿½s az afrikai partokon fehï¿½r lï¿½tuszok ï¿½sznak a hajï¿½ elï¿½… ï¿½s egy szalagdarab, egy fï¿½tyolfoszlï¿½ny, egy leheletnyi csipke mindig lerepï¿½lt a magasbï¿½l Pankotaihoz, aki ï¿½jszakï¿½nkï¿½nt egyï¿½tt vï¿½rta vele a vï¿½ndorlï¿½ vadludakat.
De egy ï¿½jszakï¿½n tï¿½bbï¿½ nem hangzott fel a vadmadarak nyers kiï¿½ltï¿½sa a Duna fï¿½lï¿½tt.
Sokï¿½ig ï¿½lldogï¿½ltak: Pankotai a Dunaparti utcï¿½n, a fehï¿½r ruhï¿½s nï¿½ az erkï¿½lyen… ï¿½s mï¿½r elszomorodtak mindketten a vï¿½rakozï¿½sban, midï¿½n nagy messzisï¿½gbï¿½l, szinte a mï¿½svilï¿½grï¿½l, felhangzott egyetlen kiï¿½ltï¿½sa a bï¿½csï¿½zï¿½ madï¿½rnak. Az utolsï¿½ vadlï¿½d repï¿½lt el Budapest fï¿½lï¿½tt. Most mï¿½r visszavonhatatlanul itt van a szomorï¿½ ï¿½sz.
Pankotai lï¿½bï¿½hoz egy papï¿½rszelet hullott. Vï¿½kony leheletbetï¿½k mondtï¿½k:
– Isten vele.
Az erkï¿½lyajtï¿½ nem nyï¿½lott ki ï¿½jszaka, ï¿½s Pankotai is mind ritkï¿½bban foglalta el cï¿½ltalan helyï¿½t az utcï¿½n. Hï¿½napok multï¿½n, midï¿½n lecsillapodott a szenvedï¿½lye, szomorï¿½sï¿½ga, a hï¿½zba ment tudakozï¿½dni, anï¿½lkï¿½l, hogy a hangja remegett volna: megtudta, hogy az erkï¿½ly mï¿½gï¿½tt egy mellbeteg kisasszony lakott, aki nem mehetett a vilï¿½ghï¿½borï¿½ miatt Egyiptomba, ï¿½s azï¿½ta a temetï¿½ben nyugszik.
Bï¿½csï¿½ volt, nyï¿½ron, viaszgyertyaszagï¿½ ï¿½jszakï¿½n, sohasem lï¿½tott koldusok ï¿½nekeltek az orszï¿½gï¿½ton, akik a bï¿½csï¿½ kedvï¿½ï¿½rt ï¿½ltï¿½znek rongyokba, falusi asszonyok ï¿½s leï¿½nyok aludtak a domboldalban, a barï¿½ttemplom kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n, mint fï¿½ldre lapult, fehï¿½r virï¿½gos bokrok az esï¿½ben, kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s illat szï¿½llt fel az alvï¿½ nï¿½k sokasï¿½gï¿½bï¿½l, mintha az ï¿½lmoknak parfï¿½mje volna, egyikmï¿½sik asszony nyitott szemmel ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt a szï¿½leken, virrasztï¿½ falusi nï¿½ mï¿½djï¿½ra, fï¿½l szemmel is tudott aludni, pedig hajnal ï¿½ta jï¿½ttek, gyalog, mezï¿½tlï¿½b a zarï¿½ndokhelyre. A sï¿½tï¿½tbï¿½l egy ï¿½rfï¿½le jï¿½tt elï¿½ – a kocsmï¿½ban ivott eddig, ahol cigï¿½nyok muzsikï¿½ltak –, ï¿½jfï¿½lre jï¿½rt az idï¿½, a fï¿½kon tï¿½l, a mezï¿½kï¿½n ï¿½s a vasï¿½ti tï¿½ltï¿½sen a hold kis szamarait hajtotta elï¿½re – az ï¿½rfï¿½le az ï¿½bren levï¿½ parasztasszony mellï¿½ telepedett a fï¿½re, ï¿½s vï¿½rosi szokï¿½s szerint megdicsï¿½rte az asszony szï¿½psï¿½gï¿½t.
– Maga miï¿½rt jï¿½tt bï¿½csï¿½ra? – kï¿½rdezte az ï¿½rfï¿½le. – Tï¿½n megï¿½lte az urï¿½t vagy a gyerekï¿½t?
A falusi asszonynak ï¿½gï¿½ fekete szeme volt, de az most aludt, csak setï¿½ten villant, mint ï¿½jjel a tï¿½ hullï¿½ma. Gondolkozott, hogy feleljene? Az ï¿½rfï¿½le borosnak lï¿½tszott, ï¿½s egy ezï¿½stforintost csï¿½sztatott az asszony kezï¿½be.
– Adok mï¿½g tï¿½bbet is. Velem bizalommal beszï¿½lhet. ï¿½n is bï¿½csï¿½ra jï¿½ttem. Azt mondjï¿½k, csodatï¿½vï¿½ hely ez. Ha a legvï¿½nebb barï¿½t feloldoz bï¿½neim alï¿½l, minden jï¿½ra fordul.
Az asszony a ruhï¿½jï¿½ba rejtette a forintot.
– Az a barï¿½t, akit az ï¿½r gondol, tavaly meghalt. Elszï¿½lï¿½totta ï¿½t a Mï¿½ria. A mennyek orszï¿½gï¿½ban is szï¿½ksï¿½g van a jï¿½ gyï¿½ntatï¿½papra. Az ï¿½regnek bizony nem lehetett hazudni. Olyan hangja volt, mint az ï¿½les kï¿½s. „Igazat mondj, leï¿½nyom!” – kiï¿½ltotta, ï¿½s mindenki elmondta legtitkosabb cselekedetï¿½t. Bï¿½r mï¿½g ï¿½lne az ï¿½reg!
– Hï¿½t most hogyan megy a bï¿½nbocsï¿½nat? – firtatta az ï¿½rfï¿½le. – Ha mï¿½r idejï¿½ttem, szeretnï¿½k megtisztulni a malaszt fï¿½rdï¿½jï¿½ben.
– Nagy bï¿½ne van? – kï¿½rdezte a falusi asszony, ï¿½s elgondolkozva az ajkï¿½ra tette a kezï¿½t.
Az ï¿½rfï¿½le papï¿½rszivart keresett elï¿½ a mellï¿½nyï¿½bï¿½l, ï¿½s gyufï¿½nï¿½l meggyï¿½jtotta. A gyï¿½jtï¿½ lï¿½ngja megvilï¿½gï¿½totta barna kis bajuszï¿½t, egyenes orrï¿½t, fiatalos arcï¿½t; a szeme kissï¿½ hï¿½lyogos volt, mint aki tï¿½bbet ivott a kelletï¿½nï¿½l. A fï¿½sttel egyï¿½tt borszag jï¿½tt a szï¿½jï¿½bï¿½l.
– Van mï¿½r maga negyvenesztendï¿½s?
– Mï¿½g nem egï¿½szen, de tudok kï¿½rtyï¿½t vetni, hideglelï¿½st gyï¿½gyï¿½tani. A lï¿½nyoknak ï¿½n vagyok az orvosa. Sokat tudnï¿½k beszï¿½lni, de a hallgatï¿½s a kenyerem. Pedig ï¿½risorbï¿½l vagyok. Az apï¿½m tanï¿½tï¿½ volt, de mï¿½g karonï¿½lï¿½ koromban meggyulladt benne a pï¿½linka. Azt tanï¿½csolnï¿½m az ï¿½rnak irï¿½ntam valï¿½ jï¿½sï¿½gï¿½ï¿½rt, hogy ne igyon pï¿½linkï¿½t. A parasztnak hiï¿½ba beszï¿½lek. Hï¿½t most mï¿½r mondja el, hogy mit keres e szent helyen?
Az ï¿½rfï¿½le sï¿½hajtott, megcsï¿½vï¿½lta a fejï¿½t.
– Nem elï¿½g ï¿½reg maga, lelkem, hogy nekem tanï¿½csot tudna adni. Egy vï¿½n ï¿½nekes koldust szeretnï¿½k megkï¿½rdezni, a legvï¿½nebbet, aki mï¿½r bejï¿½rta az ï¿½sszes bï¿½csï¿½jï¿½rï¿½ helyeket, aludt a templomokban, mikor a sekrestyï¿½s bezï¿½rta az ajtï¿½t, ï¿½s a kï¿½pekrï¿½l leszï¿½llottak a szent emberek ï¿½s szent asszonyok, ï¿½s a vï¿½n koldus kihallgatta beszï¿½lgetï¿½sï¿½ket. Mert van ï¿½m olyan ï¿½reg koldus – kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½sen a vak –, aki mï¿½r hï¿½rom orszï¿½got bejï¿½rt, ï¿½s mindenre figyelt, ami kï¿½rï¿½lï¿½tte tï¿½rtï¿½nik.
Az asszony megnyï¿½lazta a szï¿½ja szï¿½lï¿½t, ï¿½s a setï¿½tben figyelmesen, merï¿½en nï¿½zett a beszï¿½lgetï¿½ arcï¿½ra.
– Ugyan micsoda bï¿½ne lehet magï¿½nak? Mï¿½g fiatalnak lï¿½tszik, a hangjï¿½nak nincsen odva, mert a foga megvan. Mit akar azokkal a rï¿½szeges, vï¿½n koldusokkal, akik, ha dolguk nincsen, az ï¿½tszï¿½li kocsmï¿½k kï¿½rï¿½l henteregnek. Jobban tudom ï¿½n, hogy magï¿½nak mi baja van. Megverte valaki szemmel vagy szï¿½jjal. Vagy a hajï¿½bï¿½l ï¿½tette. Urak csak akkor jï¿½rnak bï¿½csï¿½ra, ha a halott felesï¿½gï¿½k, vagy az eleven, valï¿½sï¿½gos kedvesï¿½k nem hagyja megnyugodni. Ugye, rossz ï¿½lma szokott lenni? Lidï¿½rces ï¿½lma szokott lenni?
Az ï¿½rfï¿½le mï¿½g egy forintost csï¿½sztatott az asszony kezï¿½be.
– Hï¿½t mï¿½r csak elmondom magï¿½nak, hogy ezen a helyen, ezen a bï¿½csï¿½jï¿½rï¿½ napon, ï¿½jszaka itt kï¿½szï¿½ltam az asszonyok, leï¿½nyok kï¿½rï¿½l – kï¿½t ï¿½v elï¿½tt. A vasï¿½ti tï¿½ltï¿½s felett akkor is holdsugï¿½r jï¿½rt, ï¿½s az ï¿½g aljï¿½n rongyolï¿½dï¿½ felhï¿½kben azok a kis fehï¿½r gyermekek hemperegtek, akikï¿½rt itt imï¿½dkoznak a magtalan asszonyok. Egy Mï¿½tra alji falubï¿½l valï¿½ volt a templomi zï¿½szlï¿½, amelynek vezetï¿½se alatt a bï¿½csï¿½sok idejï¿½ttek. Oldalvï¿½st gyï¿½kï¿½nyes kocsik ï¿½llottak meg porlepett rï¿½gi hintï¿½k, amelyeken az ï¿½rinï¿½pek jï¿½ttek, ï¿½berlasztingcipï¿½s^{*}, fehï¿½r harisnyï¿½s, kï¿½vï¿½r falusi asszonyok szï¿½lldostak le a magas kocsikrï¿½l, fehï¿½r kendï¿½vel befï¿½dï¿½tt kosarakat helyeztek a fï¿½re, a nyï¿½ri szï¿½l kibontotta a hajukat, ï¿½s zï¿½ld ï¿½vegben a bort a fï¿½ldbe ï¿½stï¿½k. Kolbï¿½sz, cipï¿½, meg rozmaringszaga volt a dombnak az ï¿½kolostor mï¿½gï¿½tt, amelynek sï¿½tï¿½t ablakï¿½ban a barï¿½tok mï¿½r korï¿½n eloltottï¿½k a vilï¿½gossï¿½got, mert hajnalban kezdï¿½dik a gyï¿½nï¿½s. Nï¿½hï¿½ny kimustrï¿½lt, ï¿½reg fï¿½rfiember szï¿½vta pipï¿½jï¿½t az ï¿½tszï¿½li csï¿½rda szï¿½lï¿½levelei alatt. Estve volt, ï¿½s a dombon ï¿½gy ï¿½gtek a gyertyï¿½cskï¿½k, mint az ï¿½g csillagaival kacï¿½rkodï¿½ falusi lï¿½nyok szemei. Vadï¿½szni jï¿½rtam akkor ezen a tï¿½jon, fiatal ï¿½s egï¿½szsï¿½ges voltam, mï¿½g azt hittem, hogy minden nï¿½ hajï¿½nak mï¿½s illata van, ï¿½s olyan nï¿½i szemet kerestem, amely majd jï¿½l, mï¿½lyen belï¿½m tekint egyszer. Vajon milyen lesz ez a szem, a szï¿½j, ï¿½s a hangja milyen? Csakugyan szï¿½lï¿½fï¿½rtï¿½k a nï¿½k, akikrï¿½l mindenkinek szabad csï¿½pni egy szemet? Egyiknek mï¿½sforma a vï¿½lla, mint a mï¿½siknak?
A kocsiktï¿½l egy kisasszony elindult, ï¿½s az erdï¿½szï¿½len a csodatï¿½vï¿½fa alatt letï¿½rdepelt.
Falusi kisasszony volt, fehï¿½r ruhï¿½ban ï¿½s fehï¿½r cipï¿½ben, a derekï¿½n sï¿½rga ï¿½v selyembï¿½l, amelyen a gavallï¿½rok keze szokott helyet foglalni a tï¿½ncban. A haja is sï¿½rga volt, mint a bï¿½za, ï¿½s ï¿½gy vilï¿½gï¿½tott a setï¿½tben, mint a felvidï¿½ki falvak vï¿½gï¿½n az ï¿½rï¿½kmï¿½cses a szent kï¿½polnï¿½jï¿½ban. Vajon miï¿½rt imï¿½dkozott? A hï¿½ta mï¿½gï¿½tt megcsï¿½koltam, az arcï¿½t csendesen visszafordï¿½totta, ï¿½s fï¿½lelem nï¿½lkï¿½l nï¿½zett a szemembe. Mondtam, hogy eltï¿½vedt herceg vagyok, felesï¿½get keresek ezen a vidï¿½ken, ï¿½s mï¿½g sok mindent hazudtam, amint az erdei ï¿½ton sï¿½tï¿½lgattunk. ï¿½ nem fï¿½lt, a keze nem remegett az enyï¿½mben. „Hogy hï¿½vnak?” „Setï¿½tke” – felelt. „Furcsa” – mondtam. „Mert szï¿½ke vagyok” – mondta egyszerï¿½en.
Semmi kifogï¿½som nem lehetett ellene. Minden szavamat elhitte, hï¿½lï¿½san mosolygott bï¿½kjaimra, kï¿½rï¿½semre megcsï¿½kolta a homlokomat, majd a szï¿½jam.
– Honnan jï¿½ttï¿½l, te, fï¿½ldre szï¿½llott angyal? – kï¿½rdeztem ï¿½s derekï¿½t ï¿½tï¿½leltem.
– Setï¿½tke vagyok. A setï¿½tben majd akkor is eszedbe jutok, ha mï¿½r tï¿½bbï¿½ nem lï¿½tsz.
A nyakï¿½nak olyan szaga volt, mint reggel az eperfa levelï¿½nek, a kezï¿½nek az ï¿½rintï¿½se, mint a fï¿½lemï¿½le fï¿½szkï¿½nek puhasï¿½ga, a szï¿½jï¿½nak lehelete nyï¿½r orgonabokrai kï¿½zï¿½tt ï¿½rezhetï¿½, ahovï¿½ csï¿½kolï¿½zni jï¿½rnak a gyermekek. Kis keble volt, mint az ï¿½lombeli pï¿½rna, amelyen ï¿½lmodunk nï¿½krï¿½l, kirï¿½lysï¿½gokrï¿½l, elmï¿½lt fiatalkorunkrï¿½l, ï¿½regkorunk sï¿½rga aranyairï¿½l, amelyeket tudatlan leï¿½nykï¿½k kezï¿½be csï¿½sztatunk majd, ï¿½s a mï¿½hesrï¿½l, hol a szundikï¿½lï¿½ agg feje kï¿½rï¿½l fiatal menyecskï¿½k felhï¿½zott ruhï¿½val tï¿½ncolnak.
– Legalï¿½bb lesz mit meggyï¿½nni a barï¿½tnak – mondta egyszerï¿½en, termï¿½szetesen, romlottsï¿½g vagy szomorï¿½sï¿½g nï¿½lkï¿½l. ï¿½s miutï¿½n megï¿½gï¿½rte, hogy ï¿½rï¿½kkï¿½ szeretni fog, soha el nem felejt, s esztendï¿½nkï¿½nt eljï¿½n a bï¿½csï¿½ra, a szent helyre, hogy reï¿½m gondoljon, midï¿½n a hold sï¿½rga szamarait hajtja a folyï¿½ felï¿½ az alvï¿½ mezï¿½kï¿½n – elvï¿½ltunk. Mï¿½g egyszer megnï¿½ztem a kezï¿½t, a nyakï¿½t, a szemï¿½t, ï¿½s kï¿½rtem, ismï¿½telje nevï¿½t, hogy el ne felejtsem.
– Setï¿½tke vagyok, akit csak ï¿½jjel, estve lï¿½tnak a fï¿½rfiak, ï¿½s mï¿½skor soha ï¿½szre nem vesznek. Csak nï¿½zz a holdba, ï¿½s nyomban eszedbe jutok. Csak hajtsd le a fejed, mikor egyedï¿½l vagy, ï¿½s azt fogod hinni, hogy friss sarjï¿½val megrakott szekï¿½r megy ablakod alatt, rozmaringszaga lesz a pipï¿½d fï¿½stjï¿½nek, ï¿½s a falevelek kï¿½zï¿½tt bujkï¿½lï¿½ kismadï¿½r kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s zï¿½rejï¿½t hallod.
– Hï¿½t ï¿½n Setï¿½tkï¿½t keresem, jï¿½ asszony. Tudna nekem tanï¿½csot adni, hogyan talï¿½lhatnï¿½m meg ï¿½t a bï¿½csï¿½sok kï¿½zï¿½tt?
A jï¿½ asszony kinyï¿½jtotta a tenyerï¿½t, mire az ezï¿½st csï¿½rgï¿½tt, ï¿½gy beszï¿½lt:
– Minden ï¿½rfï¿½le bolond. Az apï¿½mrï¿½l hallottam, hogy a postï¿½skisasszony rï¿½gi cipï¿½jï¿½t tartogatta az iskolai fiï¿½kjï¿½ban. Maga meg egy nevet hallott, amit nem tud elfelejteni: Setï¿½tke! Sok Setï¿½tke van a bï¿½csï¿½kon, mert a lï¿½nyok nem gondolkoznak az eszï¿½kkel. Amikor a nap a torony felett ï¿½ll, rï¿½gï¿½s kanca viszi a kocsit. De estï¿½re, hold feljï¿½ttï¿½vel az ï¿½tszï¿½li fï¿½k elkezdik mondani hazugsï¿½gaikat. Az elhagyott hidak alatt kidugjï¿½k lï¿½bukat az ï¿½ngyilkosok a folyï¿½bï¿½l, ï¿½s nevetve hempereg az orszï¿½gï¿½t melletti rï¿½ten a menyasszony. Hogy az ï¿½n istenem bocsï¿½sson meg nekik. Setï¿½tke lesz minden lï¿½nybï¿½l, hajnal elï¿½tt, gyï¿½nï¿½s elï¿½tt. A csizmadia is azï¿½rt alszik a hï¿½z elï¿½tt a padkï¿½n, hogy legalï¿½bb az ablakokra vigyï¿½zzon. A kertek alï¿½ ï¿½gysem lï¿½t az emberi szem. Hï¿½t Setï¿½tkï¿½nek hï¿½vtï¿½k a galambomat?
A jï¿½ asszony elment, mint egy lomha ï¿½rnyï¿½k, Setï¿½tkï¿½t megkeresni. ï¿½vatosan lï¿½pegetett az alvï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½tt. A hold ezalatt elhajtotta szamarait a virï¿½gos mezï¿½krï¿½l, ï¿½s a fekete tï¿½csï¿½k elkezdte nï¿½tï¿½jï¿½t. Az eperfï¿½k ï¿½s nyï¿½rfï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½l leereszkedett egyegy bujdosï¿½ ï¿½rnyï¿½k, megzï¿½rrentve a leveleket, mintha ï¿½ji sï¿½tï¿½ra indulna egy halk kï¿½sï¿½rtet. Az alvï¿½ bï¿½csï¿½sok felett az ï¿½lmok ï¿½s a viaszgyertyï¿½k illata szï¿½lldosott. Egy elï¿½relï¿½tï¿½ lï¿½batlan vï¿½n koldus bï¿½ka mï¿½djï¿½ra kï¿½szott elï¿½re az orszï¿½gï¿½ton a templomajtï¿½ kï¿½zelï¿½be. A porban girbegurba ï¿½rï¿½s maradt csï¿½szï¿½ teste utï¿½n, mint egy ï¿½lettï¿½rtï¿½net, amelyet senki sem fog elolvasni, s reggelre eltapossï¿½k a nyomokat.
– Setï¿½tke ott imï¿½dkozik a csodatevï¿½ fï¿½nï¿½l – suttogta a visszatï¿½rï¿½ asszony. – A kï¿½t szememmel lï¿½ttam. Vakuljak meg, ha nem igaz. ï¿½rikisasszony, fehï¿½r cipï¿½je van. Szï¿½ke a haja, ï¿½s a nyaka, mint a galambï¿½, Istenemre mondom, szerencsï¿½je van az ï¿½rnak.
A vadï¿½sz talpra ï¿½llott, ï¿½s boldogan elindult a csodatï¿½vï¿½ fa irï¿½nyï¿½ba, az erdï¿½szï¿½lre.
A lï¿½batlan koldus a templomajtï¿½hoz ï¿½rt, elï¿½kï¿½szï¿½tette olvasï¿½jï¿½t, kalapjï¿½t a fï¿½ldre helyezte ï¿½s fejï¿½t a salï¿½tromos falnak dï¿½ntve, mï¿½g szunyï¿½kï¿½lt hajnalig. Csak Setï¿½tke volt ï¿½bren, aki ï¿½jjelente eszï¿½be szokott jutni a fï¿½rfiaknak. ï¿½s a csodatï¿½vï¿½ fï¿½nï¿½l buzgï¿½n imï¿½dkozott.
A tornyon nappal csï¿½kï¿½k ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltek, de estvï¿½re, midï¿½n a hold megjelent a torony mï¿½gï¿½tt, a rovï¿½tkï¿½k ï¿½s kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s cifrasï¿½gok a torony oldalï¿½n lï¿½thatï¿½k lettek, erre ment fel az ï¿½regasszonyok lelke az ï¿½gbe, a torony kï¿½rnyï¿½ke megï¿½lï¿½nkï¿½lt, szagos hï¿½rsfï¿½k alatt a templom falï¿½ba ï¿½pï¿½tett kriptï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½tt, kï¿½keresztek, kongï¿½ sï¿½rvermek ï¿½s rï¿½gen elfelejtett halottak sï¿½rkï¿½vei fï¿½lï¿½tt a vï¿½roska ifjï¿½ nï¿½pe szï¿½rakozott. A rï¿½gi polgï¿½r halottaiban lapos kï¿½ alï¿½ temetkezett, amint ezt a kirï¿½lyoktï¿½l ï¿½s pï¿½spï¿½kï¿½ktï¿½l tanulta, hogy minï¿½l tï¿½bb lï¿½b – a koldusokï¿½, a nyomorï¿½kokï¿½, a gyilkosokï¿½ ï¿½s bukott nï¿½szemï¿½lyekï¿½ is – tapodjon felette a templom kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n is. S a legbï¿½szkï¿½bb polgï¿½r volt valamikor a vï¿½rosban, aki csak nevï¿½nek kezdï¿½betï¿½it ï¿½s halï¿½la esztendï¿½jï¿½nek szï¿½mï¿½t vï¿½sette a kï¿½be. A hï¿½rsfï¿½k a rï¿½gi kï¿½kfestï¿½k ï¿½s vï¿½szonkereskedï¿½k csontjaibï¿½l jï¿½szagï¿½ virï¿½got szï¿½vtak tavaszkor, pajkos diï¿½kok a behorpadt verembï¿½l kigï¿½rdï¿½tettek egy megsï¿½rgult koponyï¿½t, ï¿½s a mogorva csontot illetlenï¿½l taszigï¿½ltï¿½k sarkukkal. Kï¿½be vï¿½sett angyalok ï¿½s nagyszakï¿½llï¿½ zarï¿½ndokok tï¿½rdepeltek mï¿½shol a falba ï¿½pï¿½tett kripta falï¿½n, s ahol szabad volt a mï¿½rvï¿½ny: verset, vagy ï¿½zenetet firkantott a diï¿½k a kedvesï¿½nek. A szentek mezï¿½telen lï¿½bï¿½nï¿½l rï¿½gi tavaszi estï¿½k dï¿½tumai voltak feljegyezve.
Nappal zï¿½rva voltak a kapuk ï¿½s az ablakok a vï¿½rosban. A sï¿½tï¿½t kapuboltozatok alï¿½l sohasem hallatszott az ï¿½letnek jele. A fï¿½ggï¿½nyï¿½k le voltak eresztve a vasrostï¿½lyok mï¿½gï¿½tt, mintha kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s ï¿½lomba merï¿½lt volna a vï¿½ros. Mï¿½g a hï¿½zfalak meszelï¿½sï¿½t is ï¿½szrevï¿½tlenï¿½l vï¿½geztï¿½k el tavasszal a szolgï¿½lï¿½k. Nï¿½ha meghajlott vï¿½llï¿½, ï¿½reg polgï¿½r barangolt az utcï¿½n, ï¿½s ha megnyï¿½lt egy kapu, oly hï¿½vï¿½ssï¿½g ï¿½ramlott a fï¿½lhomï¿½lybï¿½l, hogy az embernek elment a kedve az ï¿½lettï¿½l. Mit csinï¿½ltak napkï¿½zben a hï¿½zakban? Senki sem tudja. A legtï¿½bb idï¿½s polgï¿½r mï¿½r ï¿½letï¿½ben megvette a maga ï¿½s hï¿½znï¿½pe koporsï¿½jï¿½t, s a lakatlan emeleti szobï¿½ban felï¿½llï¿½tottï¿½k az ijesztï¿½ szekrï¿½nyeket. Bizonyosan a halotti ruhï¿½kat varrogattï¿½k a nï¿½k. A keskeny utca magassï¿½gï¿½ban, egy sï¿½tï¿½t kapubolt felett volt egy fehï¿½r fï¿½ggï¿½nyï¿½ ablak, ahol lï¿½tni lehetett Eszterfi Eszter bodros barna hajï¿½t. De csak egyetlen helyrï¿½l, egy kï¿½szentnek az ï¿½lï¿½bï¿½l, amely nem messzire, egy utcasarkon mogorvï¿½n meghï¿½zï¿½dott. Egy szakï¿½llas, bajuszos diï¿½k, bizonyos Idem – a szerzetesek latin neveket adtak a tanulï¿½knak – a kï¿½szentre kapaszkodva, ï¿½rï¿½k hosszï¿½ig tï¿½relmesen leste a gyï¿½ngï¿½d hajfodroknak a megjelenï¿½sï¿½t ï¿½s eltï¿½nï¿½sï¿½t a fehï¿½r fï¿½ggï¿½ny mï¿½gï¿½tt. Nagy tï¿½vedï¿½s, hogy csak a szï¿½ke nï¿½k lehetnek gyï¿½ngï¿½d lengï¿½sï¿½ek, ï¿½ttetszï¿½k, ï¿½vegfestmï¿½nyek vagy felfelszï¿½llongï¿½ fï¿½stkarikï¿½k. A barna nï¿½cske, ha megfelelï¿½ az alakja ï¿½s ï¿½brï¿½ndos a fejtartï¿½sa, a homlokï¿½t elï¿½reszegezi, a tekintete nyugodt ï¿½s sem jobbra, sem balra nem kancsalï¿½t: csaknem oly gyengï¿½d magatartï¿½sï¿½ lehet, mint a szï¿½ke angyalok, akiket testvï¿½rï¿½nek vagy leï¿½nyï¿½nak kï¿½pzel a fï¿½rfi. Eszterfi kisasszony azon ï¿½jszakï¿½n szï¿½letett, midï¿½n a lengyel kirï¿½lyok rï¿½gi templomï¿½t kivilï¿½gï¿½tjï¿½k, nagy hï¿½ szakad a hegyekrï¿½l, ï¿½s ï¿½jtatos emberek mennek a sï¿½tï¿½t vï¿½roskï¿½bï¿½l a fï¿½nylï¿½ templomajtï¿½ felï¿½. A kisleï¿½ny az ï¿½jfï¿½li misï¿½n, az oltï¿½r lï¿½pcsï¿½jï¿½n szï¿½letett, amely oltï¿½r felett a nï¿½zï¿½retbeli Mï¿½ria fiatal zsidï¿½leï¿½nykï¿½nt jelent meg a vï¿½ndorpiktor kï¿½dï¿½s kï¿½pzelmï¿½ben. Halkan, szemï¿½rmesen ï¿½llong Mï¿½ria a kï¿½pen, ï¿½s sï¿½tï¿½tkï¿½k haja van, mint a felhï¿½ szï¿½ne.
Estve megnyï¿½ltak a kapuk az elï¿½tkozott nappal utï¿½n, ï¿½s a fiatal leï¿½nyok karonfogï¿½zva a templom kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n megjelentek. Mintha valami rï¿½gi babonï¿½s felfogï¿½s engedï¿½lyezte volna a kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s esti ï¿½rï¿½t a vï¿½roskï¿½ban. Tï¿½n valamikor egy ï¿½reg herceg rendelkezett ï¿½gy, aki estï¿½nkint szemlï¿½t tartott a nï¿½k felett, mikor mï¿½g ï¿½reg hercegek voltak. A hold mereven ï¿½llott a torony mï¿½gï¿½tt, mintha arra vï¿½rakozna, hogy valaki elï¿½szï¿½lï¿½tja, adja elï¿½ mondanivalï¿½jï¿½t, a sï¿½rokon kongtak a lï¿½pï¿½sek, ï¿½s lï¿½mpï¿½ssal kezï¿½ben nyitott be a torony ajtajï¿½n a harangozï¿½. Eszterfi Eszter ilyenkor fogadta a szakï¿½llas diï¿½k kï¿½szï¿½nï¿½sï¿½t a hï¿½rsfï¿½k alatt, ahol kï¿½nnyï¿½ kendï¿½ben a vï¿½llï¿½n megjelent, mintha csak vï¿½letlenï¿½l jï¿½rna errefelï¿½. A barï¿½tnï¿½je, egy nevetï¿½ arcï¿½ lengyel kisasszony, aki ellenï¿½llhatatlanul kacagott azon is, hogy szerda van, erï¿½sen kapaszkodott Eszter karjï¿½ba, midï¿½n Idem ï¿½szrevï¿½tlenï¿½l hozzï¿½ja csatlakozott.
Bizonyï¿½ra nem tudnï¿½m leï¿½rni, hogy mirï¿½l beszï¿½lgettek mindig – csak a szerelemrï¿½l nem, mert arrï¿½l nem szokï¿½s ï¿½reg tornyok, ï¿½tszï¿½len heverï¿½ koponyï¿½k tï¿½rsasï¿½gï¿½ban. Vagy talï¿½n mindig arrï¿½l beszï¿½lgettek, csak a lengyel kisasszony nem ï¿½rtette, hogy folyton kacagott?
– Mivel tï¿½ltï¿½tte a napot? – kï¿½rdï¿½ rajongva a diï¿½k.
– Megboldogult nagyszï¿½leimï¿½rt imï¿½dkoztam – felelte komolyan Eszterfi Eszter.
A lengyel kisasszony ï¿½gy kacagott, hogy a kï¿½nnyei csorogtak. (A kï¿½zvï¿½lemï¿½ny szerint egykor fekete kï¿½vï¿½r asszony leend e hï¿½lgybï¿½l, aki verni fogja az urï¿½t, ï¿½s sohasem kacag, csak idegen fï¿½rfiak ï¿½lcein.)
Egy estve Eszter a vï¿½llï¿½n keresztï¿½l a holdba nï¿½zett, ï¿½s barï¿½tnï¿½je nagy mulatsï¿½gï¿½ra a kï¿½vetkezï¿½ket mondta:
– A jï¿½snï¿½ azt mondta anyï¿½mnak – mikor mï¿½g a vilï¿½gon sem voltam –, hogy ebben az esztendï¿½ben elveszï¿½t engem. Hï¿½res jï¿½snï¿½ volt, messzi fï¿½ldrï¿½l gyalog ï¿½s tengelyen lï¿½togattï¿½k ï¿½t az emberek. A lublï¿½i esperesnek is jï¿½solt, ï¿½s rï¿½gi tï¿½zvï¿½szeket elï¿½re tudott. Tizenï¿½t esztendï¿½s koromban meghalok, szï¿½lt a jï¿½snï¿½.
Idem a bajuszï¿½t csavargatta.
– Eljï¿½vï¿½k magï¿½hoz, mikor meghalt. Egyï¿½tt tï¿½ltjï¿½k az elsï¿½ ï¿½jszakï¿½t.
– Az emeleti szobï¿½ban fognak ravatalra tenni, ï¿½gszï¿½nkï¿½k koporsï¿½ban, ï¿½s atlasz^{*} fï¿½lcipï¿½ lesz a lï¿½bamon. Stolniczkynï¿½ fog felettem virrasztani, de ï¿½jfï¿½lre elalszik a mï¿½zespï¿½linkï¿½tï¿½l. Akkor jï¿½jjï¿½n, Idem. S megcsï¿½kolhat, amire oly rï¿½gen kï¿½r.
– Eljï¿½vï¿½k.
– Mï¿½r mindent elintï¿½ztï¿½nk az anyï¿½mmal, aki gyermekkorom ï¿½ta csak kï¿½nnybe borult szemmel nï¿½zett mindig reï¿½m. Miï¿½rt sï¿½rsz, szegï¿½ny? – kï¿½rdeztem mindig. De ï¿½ nem felelt, csak a csodatï¿½vï¿½ templomokba hordott, varï¿½zsvizekben fï¿½rï¿½sztï¿½tt. Az apï¿½m, a megboldogult, rossz ember volt, s ezï¿½rt kell meghalnom fiatalon. A halotti ruhï¿½mat kezdtï¿½k varrni ez esztendï¿½ben, ï¿½s most mï¿½r tudom, miï¿½rt sï¿½rt mindig az anyï¿½m.
Idem levette a kalapjï¿½t, de mï¿½g csak hï¿½szesztendï¿½s volt, ï¿½s semmi kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½sebb jelentï¿½sï¿½get nem tulajdonï¿½tott a meghalï¿½snak. A kolostor, ahol nevelkedett, telve volt halott szerzetesekkel, akik a falba, a folyosï¿½ba, a pï¿½dimentumba^{*}, az udvar vï¿½n fenyï¿½fï¿½i alï¿½ temettettï¿½k magukat, ï¿½s csontkezï¿½ket kidugtï¿½k a vakolat alï¿½l.
– Vajon az ï¿½gbe jut a lelkem, ahogyan a vallï¿½sban tanultuk? – kï¿½rdezte Eszterfi Eszter.
Idem bï¿½lintgatott.
– Annak nagyon ï¿½rï¿½lï¿½k, hogy szï¿½p halotti ruhï¿½m lesz – folytatta Eszter elmerengve. – A gyertyï¿½kat is megvettï¿½k tavaly. Egy nagy gyertyï¿½t vettï¿½nk, amilyen hï¿½svï¿½tkor ï¿½g a viaszbï¿½rï¿½ny felett a barï¿½toknï¿½l. ï¿½s atlaszcipï¿½cskï¿½men szalag, amilyenben a lï¿½nyok az elsï¿½ bï¿½lba mennek. Tehï¿½t jï¿½jjï¿½n el, Idem, ï¿½s nï¿½zze meg.
Nï¿½hï¿½ny nap mï¿½lva a lengyel kisasszony egyedï¿½l sï¿½tï¿½lt tavaszi estï¿½n a torony kï¿½rï¿½l. Idem egy rï¿½gi Lubomirskinek a sarkantyï¿½s hadicsizmï¿½jï¿½t ï¿½sogatta a gyepen, a nevetï¿½s kisasszony szï¿½ja szï¿½le mï¿½kos volt az imï¿½nt fogyasztott sï¿½temï¿½nytï¿½l.
– Eszterke dï¿½lutï¿½n meghalt – mondta, ï¿½s fekete szeme alattomos jï¿½kedvvel tapadt a diï¿½kra.
Idem abbahagyta a csizmaï¿½sï¿½st, ï¿½s a tenyerï¿½be tï¿½masztotta az ï¿½llï¿½t.
A hold ï¿½s a magï¿½nossï¿½gban, emberektï¿½l tï¿½vol ï¿½ldegï¿½lï¿½ kï¿½mï¿½nyek ï¿½s cserï¿½ptetï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½tt, amelyeket a padlï¿½sablakbï¿½l mindig azzal a gondolattal vizsgï¿½ltam, vajon nem hagyta itt nyomï¿½t valamely szellem, kï¿½sï¿½rtet, amely ï¿½jszaka utazott a vï¿½ros felett, ï¿½s a tetï¿½ ormï¿½n megpihent, Idem mezï¿½tlï¿½b leereszkedett az ablakon, amelyet csak a fï¿½ggï¿½ny vï¿½delmezett.
A koporsï¿½ valï¿½ban a szoba kï¿½zepï¿½n ï¿½llott, ï¿½s Eszterfi kisasszony ï¿½sszefont kï¿½zzel szunnyadt.
A sarokban hangosan horkolt a virrasztï¿½ asszonysï¿½g, ï¿½s mintha a horkolï¿½s ï¿½s a gyertyalï¿½ngok kï¿½zï¿½tt valamely ï¿½sszefï¿½ggï¿½s volna, a lï¿½ngok nï¿½ha hosszï¿½ra nyï¿½ltak, majd megrebbentek, mintha a magasban egy jï¿½ghideg kezet talï¿½ltak volna.
Idem nem fï¿½lt a halottï¿½l. Ilyennek kï¿½pzelte, ilyennek vï¿½rta. Koszorï¿½cskï¿½ba kï¿½tï¿½tt hajï¿½t tï¿½bbszï¿½r elkï¿½pzelte, ï¿½s Eszterfi kisasszony nï¿½hï¿½nyszor mï¿½r elï¿½re lehunyta a szemï¿½t, milyen lesz halottaiban. („A huncutkï¿½t vajon kisï¿½tie Stolniczkynï¿½?” – kï¿½rdezgette a lengyel kisasszony.)
A bolthajtï¿½sos szobï¿½ban a falon megï¿½llï¿½tottï¿½k a kakukkos ï¿½rï¿½t. Hï¿½romnegyed nï¿½gyre halt meg Eszter, lï¿½tta a diï¿½k.
A koporsï¿½ mï¿½g a pï¿½dimentumon fekï¿½dt, a kecskelï¿½bak, amelyekre a ravatalt helyeztï¿½k, a sarokban ï¿½llongtak, viaszgyertya szagï¿½ terï¿½tï¿½ ï¿½s lï¿½ncos fï¿½stï¿½lï¿½ elkï¿½szï¿½tve. Idem leguggolt a koporsï¿½ mellï¿½, ï¿½s az ujjï¿½val megprï¿½bï¿½lta a leï¿½ny szï¿½vï¿½t kitapogatni. Csï¿½ndes hï¿½vessï¿½g ï¿½ramlott az ujjaiba. Megsimogatta az ï¿½llï¿½t, amelyet fehï¿½r kendï¿½vel kï¿½tï¿½ttek fel, ï¿½s az ï¿½tlï¿½tszï¿½ kezï¿½bï¿½l csï¿½ndesen, vigyï¿½zatosan kivonta a rï¿½zsafï¿½zï¿½rt, s az inge alï¿½ dugta.
– Nini, az atlaszcipï¿½cske – mormogta Idem, ï¿½s jï¿½lesett neki, hogy igazat mondott a kisasszony. Valï¿½ban, a cipï¿½ talpa mï¿½g nem ï¿½rintette a fï¿½ldet. Hï¿½fehï¿½r volt az, mint a szalag, amely bokï¿½n felï¿½l volt a fehï¿½r harisnyï¿½s lï¿½bra kï¿½tve. ï¿½s szï¿½les, fehï¿½r, aprï¿½ kï¿½k virï¿½gokkal behintett szoknyï¿½ja, mint a lengyel dï¿½mï¿½kï¿½, akik nyaranta a vï¿½ros hatï¿½rï¿½ban a fï¿½rdï¿½helyen tï¿½ncolnak, mï¿½g a terjedelmes karnagy a sï¿½rï¿½scsizmï¿½t rejtegeti a szï¿½k alatt, s mindennap eljï¿½tssza ï¿½rdï¿½g Rï¿½bertbï¿½l^{*} a nyitï¿½nyt.
A barna leï¿½nyfï¿½cske nyugodtan, ï¿½ntudatosan fekï¿½dt a kis pï¿½rnï¿½n, mintha tudta volna a halott, hogy Idem tï¿½rdepel a koporsï¿½ mellett, ï¿½s azon gondolkozik, hogy megcsï¿½koljae a leï¿½nyt? Majd mï¿½st hatï¿½rozott. Gyï¿½ngï¿½den derï¿½kon ï¿½lelte Eszterfi kisasszonyt, kiemelte a koporsï¿½bï¿½l, ï¿½s a halottat karjaiban tartva, nï¿½hï¿½nyszor vï¿½gigsï¿½tï¿½lt a szobï¿½n.
– Menyasszonyom – mormogta komolyan, meggyï¿½zï¿½dï¿½ssel. – Most megmondhatom neked, hogy nagyon szerettelek, hogy majd megbolondultam ï¿½rted, ï¿½s szï¿½ndï¿½komban volt, hogy egyszer elragadlak, ï¿½tviszlek a hatï¿½ron, ï¿½s beï¿½llok valamely vï¿½ndorszï¿½ntï¿½rsulathoz, mert tehetsï¿½gem van a szï¿½nï¿½szethez. Mondd, elhiszed, hogy szeretlek? Kit ï¿½ljek meg ï¿½rted? Leugorjak az ablakbï¿½l az ï¿½les mï¿½lysï¿½gbe? Vagy a folyï¿½ba, ahol ï¿½rvï¿½nylik az ï¿½r?
A karjaiban fel ï¿½s alï¿½ hordta a leï¿½nykï¿½t, mï¿½g a horkolï¿½s megï¿½llott a sarokban, ï¿½s valaki „Jï¿½zusMï¿½riï¿½t” kiï¿½ltott. Az asszonyvisï¿½tï¿½sra Idem a koporsï¿½ba fektette Eszterfi kisasszonyt, ï¿½s kiugrott az ablakon. Sï¿½ntikï¿½lva, nyï¿½gve ment tovï¿½bb a sikï¿½torban.
S ezï¿½rt mï¿½snap kï¿½lï¿½nbï¿½zï¿½ akadï¿½lyok merï¿½ltek fel a halott Eszterfi kisasszony eltemetï¿½se kï¿½rï¿½l. A mï¿½kos szï¿½jï¿½ lengyel kisasszonynak eljï¿½rt a szï¿½ja. Idemet bï¿½rtï¿½nbe zï¿½rtï¿½k, ï¿½s Esztert csak harmadnap, pï¿½spï¿½ki engedelemmel temettï¿½k el a rï¿½gi temetï¿½be, de rosszhï¿½rï¿½ leï¿½nykï¿½nt emlegettï¿½k mï¿½g ï¿½regkorukban is a lakosok.
Elkï¿½vetkezik az idï¿½, midï¿½n csodï¿½lkozunk azon, hogy egykor mily bolondok, boldogok voltunk, hogy szeretni tudtunk, hogy kedvï¿½nk volt az ï¿½lethez… Ah, hisz az a legcsodï¿½latosabb, hogy ï¿½lï¿½nk! Midï¿½n mï¿½r minden elmï¿½lott mellï¿½lï¿½nk, ami egykor kellemes, drï¿½ga, tï¿½nemï¿½nyes volt. Elmï¿½lt a szerelem, az ifjï¿½sï¿½g, a tï¿½lcsapongï¿½ fantï¿½zia ï¿½s a mï¿½ly egyenletes ï¿½lom. Mï¿½s ï¿½ze van a kenyï¿½rnek ï¿½s a tengeri rï¿½knak. A fï¿½lkelï¿½ nap mï¿½s gondolatokat ï¿½breszt bennï¿½nk, mint tï¿½z esztendï¿½vel ezelï¿½tt. A ritkulï¿½ fï¿½k mï¿½gï¿½tt egy mï¿½s hold leskelï¿½dik. A kocsi zï¿½rgï¿½sï¿½ben, midï¿½n utazunk, tï¿½bbï¿½ nem jï¿½nnek velï¿½nk a tarka ï¿½rnyak, a jï¿½kedvï¿½ ï¿½titï¿½rsak, a nï¿½tï¿½zï¿½ vï¿½ndorlegï¿½ny, az ï¿½reg, jï¿½lelkï¿½ fogadï¿½s, idegen vï¿½rosok friss, tiszteletre mï¿½ltï¿½ asszonyai ï¿½s hegyoldalban feltï¿½nedezï¿½ tiszta, kis rï¿½gi vï¿½rosok, amelyekrï¿½l egykor azt gondoltuk, hogy itt volna jï¿½ ï¿½letï¿½nket tï¿½lteni. Ah, hovï¿½ lett szï¿½vï¿½nkbï¿½l a lï¿½thatatlan kis hegedï¿½s, aki fï¿½radhatatlanul vonta a maga nï¿½tï¿½jï¿½t?… Valahol elveszï¿½tettï¿½k ï¿½t, mint farsangi dï¿½ridï¿½rï¿½l hazafelï¿½ kocogï¿½ vï¿½n kontrï¿½s^{*} elhagyja hangszerï¿½t a hajnali kï¿½dben. A muzsikï¿½st egy percre – vagy egy esztendï¿½re – kivettï¿½k kabï¿½tunk alï¿½l, figyelmesen egy sarokba elhelyeztï¿½k, miutï¿½n megintettï¿½k, hogy csï¿½ndesen viselkedjï¿½k, ne zavarja az alvï¿½ asszony ï¿½lmï¿½t. Az asszonyi ï¿½lom, a hazugsï¿½g, a bï¿½bï¿½j a kacï¿½rsï¿½g szï¿½nes lepkï¿½je felï¿½ boldogan emeltï¿½k homlokunkat. Ide szï¿½llj, szï¿½p pillangï¿½, a szememre, az eszemre, a lelkemre, az emlï¿½kezetemre. .. Jï¿½jj, asszonyhazugsï¿½g, drï¿½ga tï¿½nemï¿½ny, aranyat vï¿½rzï¿½ napszï¿½llati felhï¿½, kï¿½bult zeneszï¿½ma amorettes^{*} muzsikï¿½lï¿½ ï¿½rï¿½nak, sï¿½rga selyemfï¿½ggï¿½nyï¿½kï¿½n ï¿½tszï¿½rï¿½dï¿½ hajnalcsillag sugï¿½ra, boldogan epedett ï¿½ngyilkos halï¿½l ï¿½s virï¿½ggal beï¿½ltetett, nï¿½i kï¿½nnyel ï¿½ntï¿½zï¿½tt, regï¿½nyes, magï¿½nyos sï¿½rhalom az erdï¿½szï¿½len… Jï¿½jj, ï¿½lettudatlansï¿½g, vak boldogsï¿½g ï¿½s mï¿½lyen szunnyadï¿½ lelkiismeret: bï¿½nï¿½s szerelem. A lepke zizegve leereszkedett, mialatt a kis hegedï¿½st a sarokbï¿½l elemelte valaki. Nï¿½ha fantasztikus ï¿½jszakï¿½kon mï¿½g hallatszott nagyon messzirï¿½l a hegedï¿½szï¿½, elhagyott, nï¿½ma kertekben, magï¿½nosan ï¿½llï¿½ hï¿½zakban, olykor a fï¿½ld alatt, behorpadt sï¿½rokban hï¿½zatta valaki a halhatatlan nï¿½tï¿½t. Aztï¿½n mindig messzebbre vittï¿½k a hegedï¿½t, az elhagyott hï¿½zak mï¿½gï¿½tt hiï¿½ba leskelï¿½dtï¿½nk, hogy az ï¿½rï¿½mpiros ablak felnyï¿½ljon, s odabentrï¿½l kiszï¿½lljon nï¿½hï¿½ny taktus a rï¿½gi zenï¿½bï¿½l a hideg ï¿½jbe, az eltemetett szeretï¿½ sï¿½rja elnï¿½mult… S mind ritkï¿½bban jï¿½n velï¿½nk szembe az ï¿½ton egyegy arc, amelynek vonï¿½saiban hasonlatossï¿½got talï¿½lhatunk a rï¿½gmï¿½lt archoz, szemï¿½ben fï¿½nyt, amely egykor megigï¿½zett, ï¿½s lï¿½pï¿½sï¿½ben zenï¿½t, amelyet a kis karnagy hajnali ï¿½lomhoz jï¿½tszadozott. Nemde, csodï¿½latos, hogy ï¿½lï¿½nk?
E hosszï¿½ beszï¿½det egyedï¿½l mondta, vagy gondolta egy ï¿½szï¿½lï¿½ ï¿½r egy padon a Csï¿½szï¿½rfï¿½rdï¿½ udvarï¿½ban, mikï¿½zben dï¿½li zenï¿½t jï¿½tszott a bosnyï¿½k zenekar a fehï¿½r asztalok kï¿½zï¿½tt, a kis pavilonban, ï¿½s a nagy fï¿½k ï¿½sszehajladoztak a felszï¿½lben. Mï¿½r szeptember volt, s reggelenkint a Dunï¿½rï¿½l jï¿½vï¿½ friss fuvalom halott atyafiakat talï¿½lt a zï¿½ld levelek kï¿½zï¿½tt, akik bizonyï¿½ra ï¿½lmukban haltak meg az ï¿½jszaka. A vidï¿½ki urak ï¿½s asszonysï¿½gok, akik a nyarat itt tï¿½ltï¿½ttï¿½k, hazafelï¿½ kï¿½szï¿½lï¿½dtek, ï¿½s mindig hosszasabb pillantï¿½st vetettek az ï¿½don, piros szï¿½nyeges fogadï¿½ra, a cukrï¿½szboltra ï¿½s a salï¿½tromos falakra. Ah, mily gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½ hely volt ez nyï¿½ron, midï¿½n a rï¿½gi fï¿½rdï¿½ a szï¿½talan katolikus papokkal ï¿½s ï¿½reg inasokkal a zï¿½gï¿½, sistergï¿½ Budapest kï¿½zelï¿½ben ï¿½gy helyezkedett el, mint egy hatvanas ï¿½vekbeli emlï¿½ny a nagyanyï¿½nk szalonasztalï¿½n, parasztbï¿½natos tekintetï¿½ Arany vï¿½rja az ï¿½pirosba kï¿½tï¿½tt kï¿½nyv felnyitï¿½sï¿½t a selyempapiros mï¿½gï¿½tt, szomorkï¿½s Tompa^{*} a virï¿½gokrï¿½l ï¿½rt regï¿½t, ï¿½s ojtott drï¿½ga ï¿½rzï¿½st a kis kertjï¿½kben kertï¿½szkedï¿½ papleï¿½nyok szï¿½vï¿½be: e rï¿½gi padokon, a nagy fï¿½k alatt ï¿½ket olvastï¿½k a kisasszonyok. A bosnyï¿½k^{*} zenekar ï¿½ppen egy Chopinmazurt^{*} jï¿½tszott.
A sï¿½tï¿½nyon hosszï¿½ kï¿½penyeges hï¿½lgyalak kï¿½zelgett, kalapja, cipï¿½je ï¿½s fï¿½tyola, bï¿½, virï¿½gos szoknyï¿½ja ï¿½s kis legyezï¿½je, a kï¿½ltemï¿½nyes kï¿½nyvecske, amit kezï¿½ben tartott: – valamely rï¿½gen olvasott regï¿½ny lapjaibï¿½l lï¿½p elï¿½. Szerelmes Ivï¿½n – a deres ï¿½r neve – szalonkabï¿½tjï¿½ban felï¿½llott jobb kezï¿½vel leemelte vadï¿½szkalapjï¿½t, ï¿½s a szï¿½vï¿½hez ï¿½rintette kezï¿½t. Nevetni lehetett volna e jeleneten, ha az idï¿½tï¿½l ï¿½s szenvedï¿½stï¿½l megviselt arcon, a szï¿½gletekbe futï¿½ rï¿½ncokon ï¿½s a jï¿½sï¿½gos, tiszta ï¿½letet feltï¿½telezï¿½, bï¿½natos tekinteten – amilyen azoknak a fï¿½rfiaknak a tekintete, akik legelsï¿½ fiatalsï¿½gukban remï¿½nytelenï¿½l ï¿½s ï¿½rï¿½kï¿½letre beleszerettek valamely hï¿½lgybe – nevetni lehetne.
– Ivï¿½n! – kiï¿½ltott fel fï¿½tyola alatt, szinte megcsuklï¿½, anyï¿½skodï¿½ hangon a hervatag nï¿½, mintha egy rï¿½gi szï¿½ndarabot jï¿½tszana ï¿½jra, nyugalomba vonult drï¿½mai szï¿½nï¿½sznï¿½, aki megveti az ï¿½j divat hazugsï¿½gait.
– Ivï¿½n, mi lett magï¿½bï¿½l?
– Asszonyom, bocsï¿½sson meg, hogy merï¿½szeltem ï¿½letjelt adni – annyi esztendï¿½ utï¿½n… Elï¿½rehaladt korom, betegsï¿½gem ï¿½s az alkalom, hogy ismï¿½t a fï¿½vï¿½rosban lehetek, csupï¿½n a Duna vï¿½laszt el egymï¿½stï¿½l, rï¿½gi emlï¿½kek esti lï¿½togatï¿½sa e helyen, ahol egykor ï¿½nnel oly boldog voltam, e rï¿½gi fï¿½k, amelyek alatt sï¿½tï¿½ltunk, a kert, ahol a vï¿½ndormadarak szï¿½llï¿½sï¿½t nï¿½ztï¿½k egyszer ï¿½sszel, ï¿½s ï¿½n arrï¿½l beszï¿½lt egy alkonyattal, hogy kedves ï¿½rï¿½ja, Fï¿½y Andrï¿½s, akinek azï¿½ta minden munkï¿½jï¿½t megszereztem: ez volt az oka, hogy merï¿½szeltem levelet ï¿½rni, mielï¿½tt elhagynï¿½m a fï¿½vï¿½rost, hogy soha tï¿½bbï¿½ ide vissza ne tï¿½rjek.
– ï¿½n, Ivï¿½n, emlï¿½kezett az ï¿½n csacskasï¿½gaimra? – kï¿½rdezte meglepetten a delnï¿½.
– Nem csacskasï¿½gok voltak azok, hanem felejthetetlen, drï¿½ga percek, amelyekkel engem ï¿½rï¿½kre lekï¿½telezett.
– Kedves – felelt bizonyos meghatottsï¿½ggal az asszony. – Sajnos, ï¿½n fehï¿½r hollï¿½ a fï¿½rfiak kï¿½zï¿½tt, Ivï¿½n. Rï¿½gen nem divat mï¿½r olyan kedves szavakat mondani a hï¿½lgyeknek, mint amilyeneket ï¿½n mond. A rï¿½gi gavallï¿½rok valï¿½ban mï¿½sok voltak, mint a maiak.
– Egy rï¿½gebbi kor gyermeke vagyok, asszonyom, ï¿½s ï¿½letmï¿½dom, csï¿½ndes falusi remetesï¿½gem, hosszï¿½, magï¿½nyos estï¿½im hozzï¿½jï¿½rultak, hogy megmaradjak olyannak, amilyen fiatalkoromban voltam a Csï¿½szï¿½r fï¿½rdï¿½i platï¿½nok alatt. Szent ï¿½s szegï¿½ny poï¿½tï¿½k voltak a barï¿½taim… Ha emlï¿½kszik, magam is hozzï¿½fogtam egy hosszï¿½ kï¿½ltï¿½i beszï¿½lyhez, az akkor divatos Anyegin^{*} nyomï¿½n, mint Reviczky^{*} elkezdte volt ï¿½rni a Szeptembert, amely sajnos, csak tï¿½redï¿½keiben maradt meg. Gï¿½spï¿½r Imre^{*} volt a barï¿½tom, ï¿½s Benedek Aladï¿½r^{*} hetilapjï¿½ban a rejtvï¿½nyrovatot szerkesztettem. Szentsï¿½ges, szï¿½p ifjï¿½sï¿½g. Balï¿½zs Sï¿½ndort^{*} szï¿½vï¿½nkkel ï¿½s elmï¿½nkkel egyformï¿½n imï¿½dtuk.
– Ah, emlï¿½kszem e rï¿½gi tï¿½ncosokra, akiket kegyed egykor a Csï¿½szï¿½r fï¿½rdï¿½i bï¿½lokon nekem bemutatott. Erdï¿½lyi Gyula^{*} hetyke Pest megyei csï¿½rdï¿½sa felejthetetlen. Vajon ï¿½lnek mï¿½g ï¿½k, ï¿½s szoktake tï¿½ncolni? – kï¿½rdezte a hï¿½lgy, ï¿½s sï¿½rï¿½ fï¿½tyolï¿½t megigazï¿½totta arcï¿½n.
– Emlï¿½kszik a kï¿½pre, asszonyom, amelyet Barabï¿½s^{*} festett? A lobogï¿½ hajï¿½ kï¿½ltï¿½re, aki kis lugasban tï¿½rdepel, ï¿½s hï¿½lgye ï¿½lï¿½be hajtja fejï¿½t? Emlï¿½kszik a magyaros szabï¿½sï¿½ ruhï¿½zatokra, a csizmï¿½ra ï¿½s a kï¿½ltï¿½ kezï¿½ben a papiroslapra, amelyrï¿½l Petï¿½fi Szeptember vï¿½gï¿½n cï¿½mï¿½ versï¿½nek elsï¿½ sora volt olvashatï¿½? Ez olajnyomat nï¿½pszerï¿½ volt, sï¿½rï¿½n feltalï¿½lhatï¿½ volt a honleï¿½nyok szalonjaiban. Nos, ilyen tï¿½rdeplï¿½ kï¿½ltï¿½k voltunk mi mindannyian abban az idï¿½ben, midï¿½n szï¿½vesen vette nagysï¿½god, ha estï¿½nkint ablakai alatt sï¿½tï¿½ltam.
A delnï¿½ hirtelen felkacagott:
– Bolondsï¿½g – kiï¿½ltotta –, de most mï¿½r ugye bevallhatom, hogy nem egyedï¿½l volt, kedves Szerelmes Ivï¿½n, aki az ablakaim alatt sï¿½tï¿½lt…
Az idï¿½s fï¿½rfiï¿½ meglepetten, zavarodottan mosolygott:
– Miï¿½rt mondja ezt, asszonyom?
– Hisz mï¿½r ï¿½regek vagyunk mind a ketten, Ivï¿½n. Nem szabad komolyan venni azt, ami elmï¿½lt. Szï¿½p volt, drï¿½ga, gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½ tï¿½ndï¿½rï¿½lom volt az ifjï¿½sï¿½g. De elmï¿½lt, mint egy mï¿½morï¿½tï¿½ farsangi tï¿½ncestï¿½ly a rï¿½gi redutban^{*}, vagy egy kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s, emlï¿½kezetes operai elï¿½adï¿½s a rï¿½gi Nemzetiben, mikor Erkeltï¿½l^{*} vagy Donizettitï¿½l^{*} jï¿½tszottak. A pï¿½holyom hï¿½tterï¿½ben valaki megcsï¿½kolta a meztelen nyakam. Talï¿½n ï¿½n…
– ï¿½n nem bï¿½torkodtam – felelt Ivï¿½n.
– Nos, mindegy. Mï¿½g sï¿½plï¿½dï¿½sok jï¿½rtak Pesten a belvï¿½rosi udvarokba, ï¿½s ebï¿½d utï¿½n, a pamlagon kï¿½nnyï¿½ ï¿½lomba ringatott a fï¿½llï¿½bï¿½ katona verklizï¿½se^{*}. Kirï¿½l ï¿½lmodtam? Mï¿½r elfelejtettem. De ï¿½nrï¿½l is. Lï¿½vasï¿½t jï¿½rt ï¿½t a budai hegyek kï¿½zï¿½, ï¿½s a hosszï¿½ zï¿½ld kocsikon nyitva voltak az ablakok. Furcsa, hogy csaknem minden barï¿½tja a Vï¿½rosmajor erdï¿½be hï¿½vott talï¿½lkozï¿½ra, mint akï¿½r kegyed, jï¿½ Ivï¿½n. Talï¿½n elï¿½rult?
– Asszonyom.
– Kï¿½sï¿½bb sokan elï¿½rultak. Hisz szï¿½nï¿½sznï¿½ voltam – sï¿½hajtott a delnï¿½. – Nem becsï¿½ltï¿½k meg a jï¿½sï¿½gomat, odaadï¿½somat, gyï¿½ngï¿½dsï¿½gemet. Mily nevetsï¿½ges volt, hogy a fï¿½rfiak mindig virï¿½got tï¿½ztek ilyenkor gomblyukukba! Mindegyik szenvedett, sï¿½rt, eskï¿½dï¿½tt, Istenem! Mï¿½r legtï¿½bbszï¿½r elï¿½re tudtam, hogy e mondatot hogyan kezdik. ï¿½s csak arra vigyï¿½ztam, hogy idï¿½ elï¿½tt ne jussanak az ï¿½dvhï¿½z.
– Sajï¿½tsï¿½gos – mormogta Ivï¿½n, ï¿½s fï¿½zï¿½san begombolta a szalonkabï¿½tjï¿½t.
– Nem – felelt az asszony ellï¿½gyulva. – ï¿½n mindig kivï¿½tel volt. ï¿½nre ï¿½gy gondoltam, mint vasï¿½rnap dï¿½lutï¿½ni, svï¿½bhegyi kirï¿½ndulï¿½sra, midï¿½n vï¿½ratlanul vihar lepett meg az erdï¿½ben, gondoltam az elefï¿½ntcsont feszï¿½letre, amely ï¿½gyam felett fï¿½gg. ï¿½n mindig szelï¿½den, megadï¿½ssal, tï¿½tovï¿½zï¿½s nï¿½lkï¿½l nï¿½zett felï¿½m a tï¿½volsï¿½gbï¿½l. Hosszï¿½ ï¿½vekig, ha szomorï¿½ voltam, vagy betegsï¿½g kerï¿½lgetett, ï¿½rni akartam ï¿½nnek, jï¿½jjï¿½n ï¿½s vegyen el felesï¿½gï¿½l. Ma is csodï¿½lkozom, hogy nem mentem fï¿½rjhez ï¿½nhï¿½z.
– ï¿½n is – mormogta a foga kï¿½zï¿½tt Ivï¿½n.
– Talï¿½n megbï¿½ntottam? – kï¿½rdezte az asszony, ï¿½s megï¿½rintette Ivï¿½n vï¿½llï¿½t. – Bocsï¿½sson meg. Locsogok, mint fiatalkoromban.
Ivï¿½n hosszabb ideig nï¿½zett a fï¿½ldre, ï¿½s ï¿½reg arca sajï¿½tsï¿½gosan elszomorodott.
– Miï¿½rt mondta, hogy mï¿½st is szeretett?… Mi, rï¿½gimï¿½di fï¿½rfiak olyan balgatag, vï¿½n gyermekek vagyunk, hogy azt hisszï¿½k, szerelmï¿½nkkel ï¿½rï¿½kre boldoggï¿½ teszï¿½nk egy nï¿½t. Kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s, hogy ï¿½n megeskï¿½dtem volna a nagysï¿½god hï¿½sï¿½gï¿½re! Valahogy mindig ï¿½gy gondoltam, hogy ï¿½l valahol egy asszony, mint a rï¿½gi regï¿½nyekben, aki mindig reï¿½m emlï¿½kezik. Elï¿½brï¿½ndozik a szï¿½p napokon, a vissza nem tï¿½rï¿½ perceken, a csï¿½kon, a szerelmen, az ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gig folytatott boldogsï¿½gon. ï¿½s azt gondoltam magamban, hogy egyszer majd visszatï¿½rek, ï¿½s megismï¿½teljï¿½k a mï¿½ltat, ha mï¿½skï¿½ppen nem, vï¿½gigolvassuk az aranymetszï¿½sï¿½ naplï¿½t, amelyet tudomï¿½som szerint asszonyom naprï¿½l napra ï¿½rt…
– Azt nem – felelt ijedten az asszony. – Hisz tudja, hogy szerettem.
A visszhangos udvarban elhangzott a zene, mint az ï¿½rï¿½m vagy fï¿½jdalom felkap utazï¿½kocsijï¿½ra, ï¿½s bï¿½ kï¿½penyegï¿½be burkolï¿½zva, nï¿½ma utazï¿½ mï¿½djï¿½ra megy ï¿½j tï¿½jak felï¿½.
A szentimentï¿½lis^{*} ï¿½regï¿½r mï¿½snap elutazott a vï¿½rosbï¿½l.
Fiatalkoromban sokat kï¿½boroltam kï¿½lï¿½nbï¿½zï¿½ kis vï¿½rosokban, hovï¿½ cï¿½ltalanul, terv nï¿½lkï¿½l, szinte vï¿½letlenï¿½l ï¿½rkeztem, anï¿½lkï¿½l, hogy szï¿½mot adni tudnï¿½k arrï¿½l, hogy miï¿½rt utaztam. A vasï¿½ti menetrend elrongyosodott a kezemben; szerettem azokat a vï¿½rosokat, ahovï¿½ dï¿½ltï¿½jban ï¿½rkezett a vonat, ï¿½s a pï¿½lyahï¿½ztï¿½l hosszï¿½ sï¿½tï¿½val lehetett megkï¿½zelï¿½tem a vï¿½rost, frissen csapolt sï¿½rnek a szenzï¿½ciï¿½ja a sï¿½rhï¿½z kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n, vï¿½gigbandukolni a korzï¿½n, ï¿½s ismeretlen nï¿½k szemï¿½be nï¿½zni, megï¿½llani tavasszal nyitott, virï¿½gcserepes ablakok alatt, ahol valaki zongorï¿½zik vagy ï¿½nekel… De kedveltem az alkonyati ï¿½rï¿½t is, kï¿½sï¿½ dï¿½lutï¿½n ï¿½rkezve kis vï¿½rosokba, midï¿½n furcsa mantillokban^{*}, fedetlen fï¿½vel, vagy vï¿½llra vetett kendï¿½ben egymï¿½shoz lï¿½togatï¿½ba jï¿½rnak a vï¿½roska hï¿½lgyei, az utcï¿½n furcsï¿½n kopognak a lï¿½pï¿½sek, halk, kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s zenï¿½jï¿½ nï¿½i hangok hallatszanak a homï¿½lybï¿½l, a kis boltokbï¿½l szinte rejtelmesen jï¿½n ki a petrï¿½leumlï¿½mpï¿½sok fï¿½nye, ï¿½s valahol mï¿½r javï¿½ban kugliznak a pï¿½nzï¿½gyi hivatalnokok. Szerettem ismeretlen kis fogadï¿½kban ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lni, amely a Vaddisznï¿½nak vagy a Fehï¿½rlï¿½nak volt cï¿½mezve, a fogadï¿½ssal elbeszï¿½lgetni a helybeli dolgokrï¿½l, meglesni a leereszkedï¿½ ï¿½jszakï¿½t egy rï¿½gi bï¿½stya alï¿½l vagy az elhagyott kis sï¿½tatï¿½rrï¿½l, ahol a kï¿½zelgï¿½ ï¿½sz illata lengett a falevelek alatt. ï¿½s hï¿½nyszor hallgattam idegen, sohasem lï¿½tott emberek ï¿½lettï¿½rtï¿½netï¿½t ï¿½jjel a vï¿½rï¿½teremben vagy ï¿½lmatlan ï¿½tban a vasï¿½ti kupï¿½ban!
Egyszer egy fiatal fï¿½rfi mesï¿½lte valahol, valamerre, talï¿½n egy ï¿½tszï¿½li fogadï¿½ban a kï¿½vetkezï¿½ tï¿½rtï¿½netet.
Mï¿½g hï¿½szesztendï¿½s sem volt, amikor megismerkedett egy nï¿½vel, aki tï¿½z esztendï¿½vel idï¿½sebb volt nï¿½la. Szï¿½mï¿½tï¿½, tapasztalt, prï¿½bï¿½lt hï¿½lgy volt, aki mï¿½r egypï¿½r fï¿½rfiï¿½ sï¿½rhantjï¿½t ï¿½polta; se szï¿½p, se kedves, se gazdag, Borostyï¿½n (ï¿½gy hï¿½vtï¿½k) ï¿½rï¿½lt mï¿½djï¿½ra beleszeretett, amint a tapasztalatlan, jï¿½szï¿½vï¿½ fiatal fï¿½rfiak beleesnek valamely szï¿½mï¿½tï¿½ hï¿½lgy tenyerï¿½be. A hï¿½lgy, miutï¿½n a vï¿½rosban mï¿½r elï¿½ggï¿½ ismertï¿½k, fï¿½rjhez ï¿½hajtott menni. Borostyï¿½n minden kï¿½vet megmozgatott, futott, szaladgï¿½lt, kï¿½nyï¿½rgï¿½tt, amï¿½g az engedï¿½ly megï¿½rkezett, hogy a hï¿½lgyet nï¿½ï¿½l veheti szï¿½lei akarata ellenï¿½re. A hosszï¿½ harcban elfï¿½radt, elfï¿½sult Borostyï¿½n keserï¿½sï¿½get ï¿½rzett magï¿½ban, mikor elkï¿½vetkezett a nap, hï¿½lgyï¿½t oltï¿½r elï¿½ vezetni. Sï¿½padt volt, betegnek ï¿½rezte magï¿½t, ijedten tapogatta kongï¿½ zsebeit – mennyi borravalï¿½t szokï¿½s adni a sekrestyï¿½snek, hol ebï¿½delnek dï¿½lben ï¿½s mit csinï¿½lnak holnap? De behunyta a szemï¿½t, mert igen jï¿½szï¿½vï¿½ ï¿½s tapasztalatlan fickï¿½ volt, kissï¿½ ijedten, de bizonyos elszï¿½ntsï¿½ggal kï¿½vette menyasszonyï¿½t az oltï¿½rhoz. „Milyen szamï¿½r, mily rettenetes szamï¿½r vagyok!” – gondolta magï¿½ban a szertartï¿½s alatt egyfolytï¿½ban, ï¿½s egyï¿½b nem jutott eszï¿½be.
Egy hï¿½t leforgï¿½sa alatt Borostyï¿½n megismerkedett hitvese lelki tulajdonaival, boszorkï¿½ny anyjï¿½val, gonosz tulajdonsï¿½gokkal, amelyek felforraltï¿½k a vï¿½rï¿½t, indulatos szï¿½ rï¿½ppent el ajkï¿½rï¿½l, mire hitvese anyja segï¿½tsï¿½gï¿½vel kidobta a hï¿½zbï¿½l. Borostyï¿½n Fï¿½lix tï¿½likabï¿½t, pï¿½nz, lelki nyugalom nï¿½lkï¿½l a havas utcï¿½n talï¿½lta magï¿½t. Megfenyegette ï¿½klï¿½vel az ablakokat, aztï¿½n elindult cï¿½ltalanul a vilï¿½gnak, mint a nï¿½pmesï¿½k hï¿½sei.
– Nehezen ment eleinte a dolog – mondta Borostyï¿½n –, sokszor sï¿½rtam dï¿½hï¿½mben, keserï¿½sï¿½gemben, mikor egyedï¿½l voltam. Bujkï¿½ltam az emberek elï¿½l, kiskocsmï¿½kban ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltem a vï¿½ros vï¿½gein, ï¿½s mindig valamely csodï¿½ra vï¿½rtam, amely megszabadï¿½t kï¿½nzï¿½ szenvedï¿½seimtï¿½l. Nyitott szemmel, vilï¿½gosan lï¿½ttam, hogy megcsaltak, mint egy vidï¿½ki parasztot a rï¿½gi Kerepesi ï¿½ti boltosok. ï¿½s nem tudtam belenyugodni megcsalatï¿½somba. ï¿½jjelenkint, midï¿½n a vï¿½ros elcsendesedett, elsï¿½tï¿½ltam a jï¿½l ismert ablakok alatt. A kezem ï¿½kï¿½lbe volt szorulva, de a szï¿½vem mondhatatlanul sajgott. A falhoz ï¿½tï¿½gettem a fejem. „Te ostoba, te bï¿½rgyï¿½, te lï¿½gyszï¿½vï¿½, te jellemtelen gazember!” – mondogattam fogcsikorgatva a havas utcï¿½n, ahol gondosan elsimï¿½tottam lï¿½bam nyomï¿½t a hï¿½ban, nehogy meglï¿½ssa valaki. Majd megï¿½lltam, ï¿½s forrï¿½ kï¿½nnyek folytak vï¿½gig arcomon, tï¿½n a szï¿½vem kellï¿½s kï¿½zepï¿½bï¿½l jï¿½ttek e kï¿½nnyek, ï¿½gy ï¿½gettek. Olykor, nagyon messzirï¿½l megfordult bennem a gondolat, mint egy csillapï¿½tï¿½ orvossï¿½g, hogy nem kell vï¿½gleg kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesni; mï¿½g mindig nyitva ï¿½ll elï¿½ttem egy ï¿½t, amelyre lï¿½pve megszabadulok testileg is fï¿½jdalmas gyï¿½trï¿½dï¿½seimtï¿½l. Igaz, hogy erre az ï¿½tra csak egyszer lehet menni, ï¿½s visszatï¿½rï¿½s nincs. Az ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½g gondolata halovï¿½nyan, szinte egy messzirï¿½l hangzï¿½ ï¿½nek ritmusï¿½val kelt ï¿½letre a szï¿½vemben. Fï¿½radtan, fï¿½lï¿½lomban foglalkoztam mï¿½r a mï¿½dozatokkal is. A folyï¿½… Leugrani egy toronybï¿½l… Vasï¿½ti sï¿½nekre fekï¿½dve bevï¿½rni az ï¿½jjeli vonatot… A pisztoly bizonytalan, de kï¿½nnyï¿½ megoldï¿½s. A zsebkendï¿½met a nyakamra csavarintottam, ï¿½s prï¿½bï¿½lgattam, hogyan megy az akasztï¿½s. Jï¿½fï¿½le mï¿½reghez nehï¿½z hozzï¿½jutni…
Miï¿½rt, miï¿½rt? Sokï¿½ig nem tudtam, hogy miï¿½rt akarok meghalni, mint egy ostoba kï¿½lyï¿½k. A bosszï¿½sï¿½g megcsalatottsï¿½gom felett vagy a szï¿½gyen hontalansï¿½gom miatt? Tï¿½n most derï¿½l ki, hogy mennyire szerettem azt a hitvï¿½ny nï¿½t, hogy mï¿½r ï¿½lni sem tudok tï¿½bbï¿½ nï¿½lkï¿½le?
Nem tudom, sohasem tudhatom meg, hogy mi okozta ezt a rettenetes zï¿½rzavart bennem. Sokï¿½ig, hï¿½napokig tartott ez az ï¿½llapot. Fï¿½lï¿½rï¿½lten, lerongyolï¿½dva csavarogtam a kï¿½lsï¿½ kocsmï¿½kban, szakï¿½llam nï¿½tt, ï¿½s az arcom oly fehï¿½r lett, mint a kï¿½sï¿½rtetï¿½. Csodï¿½lkozom, hogy a rendï¿½rï¿½k el nem fogtak ï¿½jjelenkï¿½nt. Csodï¿½lkozom, hogy senki sem jï¿½tt segï¿½tsï¿½gemre. Igaz, hogy fï¿½ligmeddig idegen voltam a vï¿½rosban, de ï¿½n bizonyï¿½ra nem tudnï¿½k oly rï¿½szvï¿½tlen lenni a szerencsï¿½tlenek irï¿½nt, mint ahogy az emberek cselekedtek velem. Barï¿½tom, de mï¿½g csak ismerï¿½sï¿½m sem volt tï¿½bbï¿½. Mintha a hazug szï¿½jï¿½ nï¿½ az egï¿½sz vï¿½ros lakossï¿½gï¿½t ellenem uszï¿½totta volna, mintha valamennyi fï¿½rfi a vï¿½rosban neki adna igazat, elfordultak, ha meglï¿½ttak, idï¿½vel az ï¿½henhalï¿½s veszedelme fenyegetett… Sok ï¿½v mï¿½lva megtudtam, hogy a nï¿½ azt hï¿½resztelte el a vï¿½rosban, hogy ï¿½jnek idejï¿½n anyjostï¿½l egyï¿½tt megï¿½lni akartam ï¿½ket. Ma is csodï¿½lkozom, hogy nem akadt egyetlen jï¿½ravalï¿½ fï¿½rfi a lakossï¿½gban, aki azt mondta volna, hogy helyesen cselekszem, ha a gyilkossï¿½got elkï¿½vetem. A nyomorban, a szenvedï¿½sben, az ï¿½hezï¿½sben mind vilï¿½gosabban tï¿½nt fel elï¿½ttem helyzetem. Az a nï¿½ fï¿½rjes ï¿½llapotï¿½ szemï¿½ly akart lenni, ï¿½s nyilvï¿½n ezï¿½rt kellett felï¿½ldoznom fiatal, ï¿½rtatlan ï¿½letemet. A nï¿½ sohasem szeretett, bï¿½r ezt eleget mondta. ï¿½s hogy nevetgï¿½lnek most a hï¿½zban, amely egykor a legbarï¿½tsï¿½gosabb, legkedvesebb hï¿½znak tï¿½nt fel elï¿½ttem. Hï¿½napok vagy ï¿½vek mï¿½ltak el? Mï¿½g mindig lï¿½ttam a meghitt ablakfï¿½lkï¿½t, hol ï¿½rï¿½kig ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt ï¿½lemben.
Lï¿½kereskedï¿½k jï¿½ttek a vï¿½roskï¿½ba. Nagy csizmï¿½jï¿½, hangos, ravasz tekintetï¿½ fï¿½rfiak, akik a bugyellï¿½rist^{*} ï¿½gy elrejtettï¿½k ruhï¿½zatukban, hogy azt senki fel nem fedezhette. A zsebkï¿½st marokra szorï¿½tottï¿½k, amikor kenyeret szeltek, ï¿½s a borbï¿½ly oly erï¿½sen borotvï¿½lta ï¿½ket, hogy a vï¿½rï¿½k kiserkedt. Felfogadtak, magukkal vittek, a hatï¿½ron tï¿½l mentï¿½nk, lovakat vettï¿½nk, ï¿½s lassanlassan ï¿½szrevettem magamat, hogy hangosan beszï¿½lek, ï¿½j csizmï¿½ra vï¿½sik a fogam, ï¿½ppen ï¿½gy barï¿½tkozom a kocsmï¿½rosokkal, mintha mindig kï¿½zï¿½jï¿½k tartoztam volna. Csak a nï¿½szemï¿½lyeket nem vettem ï¿½lembe, akï¿½rmint kedveskedtek is kï¿½rï¿½lï¿½ttem.
– Csï¿½pd meg, Ferkï¿½! – mondogattï¿½k a gazdï¿½im a kocsmï¿½rosnï¿½kra, szolgï¿½lï¿½kra mutatva. De a Ferkï¿½ csak fanyarul a vï¿½llï¿½t vonogatta. Nagyon megutï¿½ltam a nï¿½ket.
A szerencse kedvezett a vï¿½sï¿½rokon. Magam is meglepï¿½dtem, mikor nï¿½hï¿½ny ezer forint gyï¿½lt ï¿½ssze rï¿½vid idï¿½ alatt a bugyellï¿½risomban, amelyet most mï¿½r ï¿½n is tudtam megfelelï¿½ rejtï¿½lyeskedï¿½ssel gondozni. A bankï¿½kat, a zsï¿½rosakat, aggï¿½dï¿½ figyelemmel szï¿½mon tartottam, ï¿½zleteken tï¿½rtem a fejem, ï¿½s bizonyos megelï¿½gedï¿½ssel nï¿½zegettem a csizmï¿½m orrï¿½t az ï¿½tszï¿½li fogadï¿½kban.
A lï¿½vï¿½sï¿½rnak darab idï¿½re vï¿½ge szakadt, a kereskedï¿½k elszï¿½ledtek otthonaikba, egyedï¿½l maradtam. Hovï¿½ menjek?
A vonaton jegyet vï¿½ltottam, mintegy megszokï¿½sbï¿½l, abba a vï¿½rosba, ahol az asszony lakott, mintha vï¿½rna ott valaki. Megint tï¿½l volt, jï¿½gcsapok csï¿½ngtek le az ereszekrï¿½l, ï¿½s a toronynak hï¿½bundï¿½ja volt: csakhogy most jï¿½ meleg ruhï¿½m volt, csizmï¿½m, sapkï¿½m, pï¿½nzem… „Ejnye, mit csinï¿½l az az asszony, miï¿½ta nem lï¿½ttam?” – gondoltam magamban. – Az ï¿½rdï¿½g haragszik rï¿½, asszonyra nem lehet haragudni – mondtï¿½k a kupecek.
Tï¿½kre elï¿½tt ï¿½lt, hajï¿½t rendezgette, furcsï¿½n, kancsalï¿½tva rï¿½m nevetett.
– Magï¿½t vï¿½rtam, Fï¿½lix. Remï¿½lem, hozott a vï¿½sï¿½rrï¿½l valamit. Vï¿½sï¿½rfiï¿½t.
Az ï¿½szvesztï¿½ mosolygï¿½sa, a hangja, a vï¿½lla, a kï¿½t kis keze talï¿½n szebb volt, mint valaha.
– Hoztam magï¿½nak pï¿½nzt – mondtam, ï¿½s szï¿½gyenkezve adtam ï¿½t vagyonkï¿½mat, amelyet akkor nagyon keveselltem.
– Kï¿½szï¿½nï¿½m – szï¿½lt, ï¿½s megsimogatta a fejem.
Azï¿½ta sem simogatta senki a fejem, miï¿½ta ï¿½ simogatott.
ï¿½s nï¿½hï¿½ny boldog hï¿½t kï¿½vetkezett ezutï¿½n. A vï¿½roskï¿½ban gï¿½nyosan nevetgï¿½ltek a nï¿½k, a fï¿½rfiak, mikor vele karonfogva meglï¿½ttak, nem jï¿½rtunk tehï¿½t sehovï¿½, otthon ï¿½ltï¿½nk, az ablakmï¿½lyedï¿½sben.
Mï¿½g egy reggel rï¿½m fï¿½rmedt:
– Mï¿½rt nem viszi mï¿½r el az ï¿½rdï¿½g? – kï¿½rdezte. –Takarodjï¿½k ki a hï¿½zambï¿½l.
Felkeltem, csendesen felï¿½ltï¿½ztem, ï¿½s lassan kï¿½szï¿½lï¿½dtem, hogy valamely rettenetes dolgot fogok mondani, mielï¿½tt az ajtï¿½t bezï¿½rnï¿½m magam utï¿½n. Aztï¿½n nem tudtam semmit sem szï¿½lni, csak lehajtott fejjel bandukoltam a vï¿½rosvï¿½gi fogadï¿½ba, ahol egykor bujdostam. ï¿½jjel ï¿½jra sï¿½tï¿½k az ablakok alatt, ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gi tervek, elfojtott kï¿½nnyek a torkomban… Szerencsï¿½re, egy hï¿½t mï¿½lva jï¿½ttek a lï¿½kereskedï¿½k, ï¿½s ï¿½tra keltï¿½nk lï¿½vï¿½sï¿½rlï¿½s cï¿½ljï¿½bï¿½l.
Fï¿½lix elhallgatott.
A mutatï¿½ujjï¿½val a kifrï¿½ccsent borbï¿½l egy nï¿½i nevet mï¿½zolt a zï¿½ld asztalra, nagy, szï¿½mjegyhez hasonlï¿½ betï¿½kkel.
– Most harminckï¿½t ï¿½ves vagyok. ï¿½jra hozzï¿½ megyek. Talï¿½n tizedszer… Istenem, mi lesz ennek a vï¿½ge? Kï¿½lï¿½nben a kupecnï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½tt sok a hasonlï¿½ termï¿½szetï¿½ asszony. Mï¿½snak is van baja a felesï¿½gï¿½vel.
Legyintett, s elkomorodott.
– Most mï¿½r egï¿½sz ï¿½letemben lovakat fogok venni ï¿½s eladni. Amï¿½g ï¿½lek, pedig sokï¿½ ï¿½lek. Tï¿½n ï¿½tszï¿½z ï¿½vig… Mindig lovakat. Nem lehet segï¿½teni rajtam.
Mizenkei huzamosabb ideig abbï¿½l tengette ï¿½letï¿½t Pesten, hogy ï¿½reg hï¿½lgyeknek tanï¿½csot adott, kihallgatta aprï¿½cseprï¿½ bajaikat, orvost szerzett, aprï¿½hirdetï¿½st tett kï¿½zzï¿½ cselï¿½dvï¿½ltozï¿½s idejï¿½n, vagy ha a kedvenc kutya elkï¿½borolt a hï¿½ztï¿½l, figyelemmel kï¿½sï¿½rte a brï¿½nni lottï¿½t, ï¿½s a sorsjegyek szï¿½mait noteszï¿½be ï¿½rta, leveleket ï¿½rt mesterembereknek, telefonï¿½lt a gï¿½zgyï¿½rnak, az ï¿½rï¿½t nï¿½ha maga is meg tudta javï¿½tani, ï¿½s legazemberezte a hï¿½zmestert. Mizenkei akkoriban mï¿½r fï¿½l lï¿½bbal nyugalomba vonult, ï¿½s mindig a nï¿½k kï¿½rï¿½l ï¿½lï¿½skï¿½dï¿½tt, tï¿½ncosnï¿½k utï¿½n vitte a tï¿½nccipï¿½ket, szï¿½nï¿½sznï¿½k ï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½i elï¿½tt ï¿½lï¿½lkodott, a fï¿½vï¿½rosban mï¿½g ismeretlen vidï¿½ki leï¿½nyokat pï¿½rtfogï¿½sba vett, megrendelï¿½ket szerzett a szabï¿½nï¿½knek, ï¿½reg fï¿½pincï¿½rekkel titokban tegezï¿½dï¿½tt, segï¿½tett eladni a tavalyi fï¿½cï¿½nt, ï¿½s szemet hunyt, ha vendï¿½gsï¿½gben nagyobb ï¿½sszegï¿½ volt a szï¿½mla. Minden virï¿½gï¿½rus leï¿½nyt ï¿½s zongorï¿½st pï¿½rtfogolt. A fiï¿½keresek^{*} messzirï¿½l kï¿½szï¿½ntek neki, ha tï¿½rsasï¿½gban volt. Nyï¿½ri ï¿½jjel, hajnal felï¿½ az Andrï¿½ssy ï¿½ton ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt egy padon, ï¿½s a liget mulatï¿½helyeirï¿½l hazatï¿½rï¿½ nï¿½ket kikï¿½rdezte a mulatï¿½ fï¿½rfiakrï¿½l, elfogyasztott italokrï¿½l, szerelmeikrï¿½l, mindent szeretett tudni, ami az ï¿½jszakai ï¿½letre vonatkozott, olykor ï¿½tonï¿½llï¿½ mï¿½djï¿½ra, sï¿½tapï¿½lcï¿½val a fiï¿½ker lovai elï¿½ ï¿½llott, ha odabent a kocsiban pï¿½nzes ismerï¿½sï¿½t felfedezte. Kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½sen szerette lesni a rï¿½c^{*} milliomost, ha kï¿½mei hï¿½rï¿½l adtï¿½k jelenlï¿½tï¿½t a fï¿½vï¿½rosban. Mizenkei ilyenkor teljes biztonsï¿½ggal nï¿½zte meg ï¿½rï¿½jï¿½t az Andrï¿½ssy ï¿½ti padon, ï¿½s a liget felett mutatkozï¿½ tï¿½ndï¿½klï¿½ hajnali felhï¿½k alatt csupï¿½n a rï¿½c pejlovait vï¿½rta. A rï¿½c hajnalban mï¿½r rï¿½szeg volt, ï¿½s szï¿½tlanul engedelmeskedett Mizenkei parancsï¿½nak. Kivette tï¿½rcï¿½jï¿½t ï¿½s ï¿½tnyï¿½jtotta a kï¿½lcsï¿½nt. Mizenkei meglehetï¿½s izgatottsï¿½ggal tette el a pï¿½nzt, de kï¿½sï¿½bb nyugodt hangon rendelkezett a bï¿½rkocsissal:
– Vigye haza ezt a sertï¿½st!
Azonkï¿½vï¿½l nagyon szeretett alvï¿½ ismerï¿½sei zsebï¿½ben kutatni, ha azok a mulatsï¿½g hevï¿½ben elszundikï¿½ltak, a nï¿½knek csak azï¿½rt csï¿½kolta meg a fï¿½lï¿½t, hogy megprï¿½bï¿½lja, vajon a gyï¿½mï¿½nt fï¿½lbevalï¿½nak milyen szerkezetï¿½ a zï¿½rja, minden ï¿½j nï¿½tï¿½t tudott, bï¿½s baritonon dalolt, mindenkit megvetett, kicsï¿½folt, rï¿½galmazott, olyan jellemtelen volt, mint egy cigï¿½nyszï¿½nï¿½sz Szalonikiben, olyan bï¿½lcs volt, mint egy vï¿½n remete, aki fagyï¿½kï¿½ren ï¿½l az erdï¿½ben, ï¿½s olyan szerelmes volt, mint egy borbï¿½lylegï¿½ny vagy egy kï¿½ltï¿½. Tï¿½len kï¿½rtyaasztalok kï¿½rï¿½l ï¿½lï¿½lkodott, csalï¿½di titkokat kifï¿½rkï¿½szett, hamis jï¿½tï¿½kosokat zsarolt, a hitelezï¿½ivel kï¿½sre ment, a szabï¿½ja a testi erï¿½ fensï¿½bbsï¿½gï¿½nï¿½l fogva varrt ï¿½j ruhï¿½t, a beteges kï¿½vï¿½st megfenyegette, hogy elcsï¿½bï¿½ttatja kï¿½vï¿½natos felesï¿½gï¿½t, ï¿½jjelente a hï¿½zak fala mellett csendesen ballagott hazafelï¿½ – sohasem tudta senki, hol lakik –, ï¿½s arra gondolt, hogy reggelre ï¿½ngyilkos lesz. Azonban ï¿½ppen ï¿½gy megvetette a halï¿½lt, mint az ï¿½letet. Szerette a hï¿½vï¿½s szobï¿½t, ahol pï¿½rï¿½re vetkï¿½zve lehet cigarettï¿½zni nyï¿½ri dï¿½lutï¿½n, szerette azokat az embereket, akiket nem ismert, kik nappal ï¿½lnek ï¿½s dolgoznak csalï¿½dï¿½rt, becsï¿½letï¿½rt, tisztessï¿½gï¿½rt, szerette azokat a nï¿½ket, akikrï¿½l mi rosszat sem mondhatott, ï¿½s a harmadï¿½vi divatban ï¿½s ï¿½cska cipï¿½ben jï¿½rtak, gyermekeket neveltek, ï¿½s rongyos pongyolï¿½ban ï¿½ltek odahaza. Minden ï¿½jjel torkig itta magï¿½t a barï¿½tai jï¿½voltï¿½bï¿½l a legfinomabb italokkal, holott undorodott a francia pezsgï¿½tï¿½l, kï¿½nnyï¿½ kerti bort szeretett volna inni szolyvai vï¿½zzel, ï¿½s csak nï¿½hï¿½ny pohï¿½rkï¿½val, falusi hï¿½z csendes verandï¿½jï¿½n. Ha olykor pï¿½nzhez jutott, lakï¿½helyï¿½tï¿½l messzi esï¿½ jï¿½zsefvï¿½rosi kocsmï¿½kba ment, ahol azt szerette, ha rendes embernek vï¿½lik, aki a maga hï¿½rom decije utï¿½n ï¿½jfï¿½l elï¿½tt lefekszik. Bï¿½sï¿½gesen politizï¿½lt a polgï¿½rokkal, a kucsï¿½berrel^{*} jï¿½tszott, olcsï¿½ szivart szï¿½vott, ï¿½s a vï¿½rosi ï¿½pï¿½tkezï¿½st megvitatta; sajnos, ezek a majï¿½lisok^{*} mind ritkï¿½bbak lettek a Mizenkei ï¿½letï¿½ben, mind tï¿½bb idï¿½t kellett tï¿½ltenie az ï¿½jjeli mulatï¿½helyek kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n, hogy a nehï¿½z viszonyok kï¿½zï¿½tt megï¿½lhessen. Reggel szeretett volna borotvï¿½lkozni ï¿½s csak vasï¿½rnapokon, mint a falusi emberek, ï¿½s minden este borbï¿½lyhoz kellett mennie! A cigï¿½nyzenï¿½t mï¿½r annyira utï¿½lta, hogy ï¿½nmagï¿½ra haragudott a zenï¿½szek jï¿½tï¿½ka miatt. ï¿½tvenï¿½ves volt, ï¿½s magas sarkï¿½ fï¿½lcipï¿½t hordott, festette a bajuszï¿½t, a hajï¿½t, fï¿½nyesï¿½tette a kï¿½rmï¿½t, drï¿½ga cigarettï¿½t szï¿½vott, holott szinte fizikai fï¿½jdalmat okozott neki a kï¿½lnivï¿½z szaga.
A mulatï¿½hely virï¿½gï¿½rus asszonya, a hervadt kamï¿½liï¿½hoz hasonlatos Diana, egy hajnalon – mï¿½g az elrobogï¿½ kocsik zï¿½rgï¿½sï¿½t hallgattï¿½k az elï¿½rvult tï¿½ncteremben – ï¿½gy szï¿½lt Mizenkeihez:
– Jï¿½zsi bï¿½csi, jï¿½jjï¿½n el holnap dï¿½lutï¿½n hozzï¿½m, maga okos ember, ï¿½s tanï¿½csï¿½ra volna szï¿½ksï¿½gem.
Diana fekete selyem hï¿½ziruhï¿½ban, ï¿½s megilletï¿½dve fogadta a vendï¿½get, aki ekkorï¿½ig csupï¿½n futï¿½ szerelem cï¿½ljï¿½bï¿½l jelent meg a lï¿½nyos hï¿½zaknï¿½l. Diana szobï¿½ja polgï¿½ri egyszerï¿½sï¿½ggel volt bï¿½torozva, az ï¿½gy felett az Anya kï¿½pe, a falon szenteltvï¿½ztartï¿½, benne a virï¿½gvasï¿½rnaprï¿½l itt maradt faï¿½g, sï¿½rga vidï¿½ki fotogrï¿½fiï¿½krï¿½l nï¿½zegettek alï¿½ furcsa emberek, ï¿½divatï¿½ asszonyok, a hï¿½mzett terï¿½tï¿½vel bevont dï¿½vï¿½ny felï¿½l, zï¿½ld kalitjï¿½ban olykor kendermagot ropogtatott egy nï¿½ma kis madï¿½r, ï¿½s midï¿½n Diana a ruhaszekrï¿½nyt kinyitotta, hogy onnan leveleket vegyen elï¿½, falusi illat ï¿½ramlott a fiï¿½kokbï¿½l.
(Mï¿½g egy ï¿½reg, feketï¿½re szï¿½vott tajtï¿½kpipï¿½t fedezett fel Mizenkei, amilyennek tï¿½rsasï¿½gï¿½ban falusi emberek nï¿½ha hosszï¿½ ï¿½letet tï¿½ltenek. „Az apï¿½mï¿½ volt, egyetlen emlï¿½kem” – mondta Diana, ï¿½s kivette a pipï¿½t Mizenkei kezï¿½bï¿½l.)
– Tehï¿½t mirï¿½l van szï¿½? – kï¿½rdezte Mizenkei, letelepedve egy magas hï¿½tï¿½ szï¿½kbe. – Tudod, hogy nem szeretek mindenfï¿½le ringyrongy nï¿½i dolgokï¿½rt fï¿½lkelni nappal!
Diana megindultan helyeselt:
– Hisz ï¿½ppen azï¿½rt fordultam Jï¿½zsi bï¿½csihoz. Tudom, hogy komoly ember. A hï¿½gom, a tanï¿½tï¿½nï¿½, fï¿½rjhez fog menni.
Mizenkei, mint a legtï¿½bb nyugodt ember, pï¿½r pillanatig nem szï¿½lt egy hangot sem. A tanï¿½tï¿½nï¿½ volt az a bizonyos, aki kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l tï¿½z esztendï¿½ ï¿½ta elfoglalta azt a helyet Mizenkei szï¿½vï¿½ben, ahol az a kamarï¿½cska van, amely az akasztott gyilkosoknï¿½l is ï¿½rintetlen ï¿½s szent hely maradt. Ez a kis kamra kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l a vilï¿½grajï¿½vetel alkalmï¿½val kï¿½pzï¿½dik az emberi szï¿½vben, ï¿½s talï¿½n azï¿½rt van, hogy a halï¿½l ï¿½rï¿½jï¿½ban, a haldoklï¿½s fï¿½radt perceiben vigaszt, megnyugvï¿½st, a gondolatoknak erdei tisztï¿½sï¿½t nyï¿½jtsa a bï¿½csï¿½zï¿½nak. Mizenkei olykor tï¿½len, midï¿½n kï¿½sï¿½n vilï¿½gosodik –, a nagy havazï¿½sban messzirï¿½l kï¿½vette a tanï¿½tï¿½nï¿½t, midï¿½n az iskolï¿½ba ment.
Egyszer szerencsï¿½je volt: lesegï¿½thette az omnibuszrï¿½l. S ekkor zï¿½ld harisnya volt a tanï¿½tï¿½nï¿½ lï¿½bï¿½n. Mizenkei szï¿½vï¿½ben ettï¿½l a reggeltï¿½l fogva ï¿½rï¿½kkï¿½ zï¿½ld harisnyï¿½ban jï¿½rt a tanï¿½tï¿½nï¿½. A harisnya olykor vilï¿½goszï¿½ld volt, mint a mï¿½ly erdï¿½ben futï¿½ patak, mï¿½skor sï¿½tï¿½tzï¿½ld, mint a rï¿½tek alkonyati szï¿½lben. Formï¿½s, ï¿½de, bizonyosan nagyon tiszta lï¿½bra simult a harisnya. Ah, ha egyszer megcsï¿½kolhatta volna Mizenkei a szorgalmas kis kezet, amely bizonyï¿½ra szï¿½p, kerek betï¿½ket vetett a fekete tï¿½blï¿½ra annyi fizetï¿½sï¿½rt, amennyiï¿½rt egy rï¿½szeg tï¿½ncosnï¿½nek virï¿½got szoktak venni, hogy az nevetve kidobja a kocsi ablakï¿½n, hazafelï¿½ menet. Talï¿½n a zï¿½ld harisnyï¿½s nï¿½ volt az oka, hogy Mizenkei rendes, derï¿½k ember szeretett volna lenni. Egy kis, szegï¿½ny tanï¿½tï¿½nï¿½ olcsï¿½ harisnyï¿½ja gyakran szinte kï¿½nnyekre fakasztotta a vï¿½n betyï¿½rt, kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½sen, ha valamely bï¿½nt kï¿½vetett el ismï¿½t… Kï¿½r, hogy sohasem beszï¿½lt bï¿½vebben a tanï¿½tï¿½nï¿½vel!
– Nos, itt van a vï¿½legï¿½ny arckï¿½pe, itt vannak levelei – szï¿½lott Diana. – ï¿½n tudom, hogy Jï¿½zsi bï¿½csi sohasem adnï¿½ beleegyezï¿½sï¿½t, hogy Margarï¿½ta rossz hï¿½zassï¿½got kï¿½ssï¿½n.
Mizenkei mï¿½g mindig nï¿½mï¿½n csï¿½vï¿½lta a fejï¿½t. Istenem, legutoljï¿½ra – egy ï¿½vvel ezelï¿½tt – olyan volt, mint egy kis fecske, mikor az omnibuszon lï¿½tta. Fekete fï¿½tyolka az arcï¿½n ï¿½s olcsï¿½ kesztyï¿½ a kezï¿½n. A cipï¿½je bizony nem volt a legfinomabb, ï¿½s fekete szoknyï¿½ja kissï¿½ fï¿½nyes, mert gyakran ï¿½l a katedrï¿½n. Mily jï¿½ volna gyermeknek lenni, ï¿½s a padsorban helyet foglalni!
Kï¿½sï¿½bb az ablakhoz ment Mizenkei, nem szerette, hogy Diana oly ï¿½llhatatosan fï¿½ggeszti arcï¿½ra tekintetï¿½t. Fekete keretes szemï¿½veget vett elï¿½, ï¿½s figyelmesen, meggondolva olvasta a postatiszt leveleit. Midï¿½n az utolsï¿½ levelet visszatette a borï¿½tï¿½kba, komolyan, meggyï¿½zï¿½dï¿½ssel bï¿½lintott:
– ï¿½gy vï¿½lem, a postï¿½s rendes ember.
– Tehï¿½t hozzï¿½adhatjuk Margarï¿½tï¿½t? – kï¿½rdezte mï¿½g mindig kï¿½tsï¿½geskedve Diana.
– Inkï¿½bb, mint valami szï¿½nï¿½szhez, vagy zongorï¿½shoz – felelt mï¿½ltatlankodva Mizenkei.
Diana mindkï¿½t kezï¿½vel megfogta Mizenkei kezï¿½t:
– Kï¿½szï¿½nï¿½m, Jï¿½zsi bï¿½csi. Mi, a csalï¿½dunk, a barï¿½tnï¿½im ï¿½s a komolyabb nï¿½k ï¿½jszaka mind tudtuk, hogy Jï¿½zsi bï¿½csi ï¿½rdeklï¿½dik a hï¿½gom irï¿½nt. (Mizenkei legyintett.) Elhatï¿½roztuk, hogy megkï¿½rdezzï¿½k, beleegyezï¿½sï¿½t kï¿½rjï¿½k a hï¿½zassï¿½ghoz.
– Csak adjï¿½tok a postï¿½shoz. ï¿½gy lï¿½tom, derï¿½k fiï¿½ – szï¿½lt lemondï¿½ssal Mizenkei.
ï¿½s ettï¿½l az esemï¿½nytï¿½l kezdve Mizenkei Jï¿½zsefnek erï¿½sen megnï¿½vekedett a tekintï¿½lye azon nï¿½k kï¿½rï¿½ben, akik bï¿½r ï¿½jjeli foglalkozï¿½st ï¿½znek, erkï¿½lcseikben tisztessï¿½gesek. A virï¿½gï¿½rus asszonyok, a nï¿½k, akiknï¿½l a tï¿½ncosnï¿½k kvï¿½rtï¿½lyban^{*} laknak, a szabï¿½nï¿½k, akik a ruhï¿½kat varrjï¿½k, sï¿½t maguk a mulatï¿½helyek gazdï¿½i bizonyos rï¿½szvï¿½ttel nï¿½ztï¿½k a vï¿½rtanï¿½ Mizenkeit. Ezentï¿½l mindig megkï¿½rdeztï¿½k vï¿½lemï¿½nyï¿½t a fontosabb dolgok felï¿½l, tanï¿½csait ï¿½rï¿½mmel fogadtï¿½k. Mintha egyetlen tettï¿½vel, lemondï¿½sï¿½val a zï¿½ld harisnyï¿½s nï¿½rï¿½l, megvezekelt volna ï¿½lete minden bï¿½nï¿½ï¿½rt.
Egyszer egy felvidï¿½ki vï¿½rosba ï¿½rkeztem, a tornyokban szinte versenyezve szï¿½lottak a harangok, az utcï¿½kon jï¿½szagï¿½ falombokbï¿½l ï¿½s virï¿½gokbï¿½l oltï¿½rok voltak emelve, tï¿½mjï¿½nfï¿½st ï¿½s rozmaringillat szï¿½lldosott a levegï¿½ben, mezei virï¿½gok, hosszï¿½ szï¿½rï¿½ fï¿½vek ï¿½s frissen vï¿½gott gallyak a mezï¿½k ï¿½s rï¿½tek szagï¿½t hoztï¿½k a vï¿½rosba. Csupï¿½n egyetlen helyen ï¿½tï¿½ meg egyï¿½b szag az utazï¿½ orrï¿½t. Egy nagyon rï¿½gi fï¿½ldszintes bolthajtï¿½sos hï¿½z ï¿½llott egy utcï¿½ban, ï¿½s plï¿½hbï¿½l vert sï¿½rï¿½spoharat nyï¿½jtott elï¿½re a kï¿½z a kapu alatt. Egyï¿½b kocsmajelvï¿½ny is hiï¿½nyzott a hï¿½zrï¿½l. Dï¿½lutï¿½n tehï¿½t itt megtelepedtem, miutï¿½n szinte elfï¿½radtam a harangzï¿½gï¿½sban, a piros ruhï¿½s ministrï¿½nsfiï¿½k ï¿½nekï¿½ben, a papok fehï¿½r ruhï¿½jï¿½nak lï¿½tï¿½sï¿½ban ï¿½s az utcï¿½kon emelt oltï¿½rokhoz vï¿½ndorlï¿½ tï¿½meg zï¿½mmï¿½gï¿½sï¿½ben. A fï¿½rfiak fedetlen feje felett, mint az ï¿½rnyï¿½k szï¿½llott a gyertyï¿½k ï¿½s a tï¿½mjï¿½nek fï¿½stje, nagy cï¿½hzï¿½szlï¿½kat cipeltek lassï¿½ mï¿½ltï¿½sï¿½ggal, mintha valamely eleven, ï¿½lï¿½ szemï¿½lyisï¿½get vinnï¿½nek zï¿½kkenï¿½s ï¿½s fï¿½radtsï¿½g nï¿½lkï¿½l, a fiatal nï¿½k fejï¿½t fehï¿½r virï¿½gok ï¿½kesï¿½tettï¿½k, ï¿½s szinte lï¿½thatï¿½ volt buzgï¿½ imï¿½dsï¿½guk, amint szï¿½jukat elhagyta, ï¿½s halovï¿½nykï¿½k buborï¿½k alakjï¿½ban rï¿½ppent felfelï¿½ a napfï¿½nyes levegï¿½ben. Valahol ï¿½llandï¿½an szï¿½lt egy ï¿½reg orgona, mint egy vï¿½gtelen sï¿½p bï¿½gï¿½sa a tï¿½volban, ï¿½s lï¿½thatatlan kis hegedï¿½k jï¿½tszottak cincogï¿½ nï¿½tï¿½kat, amint a virï¿½g ï¿½s kalï¿½szszagï¿½ menet egyik utcï¿½bï¿½l a mï¿½sikba fordult. A hegyen olykor elpukkant a mozsï¿½r, ï¿½s ilyenkor mindenki a lï¿½porfï¿½stï¿½t ï¿½s felvillanï¿½ tï¿½zet nï¿½zte, ï¿½nnep volt a vï¿½rosban.
A rï¿½gi kis sï¿½rhï¿½zban azonban oly csendessï¿½g honolt, mintha egy mï¿½sik vï¿½rosba valï¿½k volnï¿½nak a fekete tornyok, aluszï¿½kony barna bï¿½styï¿½k ï¿½s visszhangos fedett hidak, amelyekben ï¿½gy kopogott a lï¿½pï¿½s, mintha az ï¿½t innen a mï¿½svilï¿½gra vezetne, a gyï¿½ngï¿½n beszï¿½rï¿½dï¿½ vilï¿½gossï¿½gban rï¿½gi szentek ï¿½s fï¿½urak ï¿½letnagysï¿½gï¿½, fï¿½ba festett kï¿½pei ï¿½rkï¿½dtek a hï¿½d belsejï¿½ben, egy piros bajuszï¿½ kirï¿½ly a hï¿½d kï¿½zepï¿½n egy kalï¿½cskï¿½pï¿½ ï¿½s hosszï¿½ orrï¿½ asszonysï¿½got tï¿½rdepeltet a lï¿½bainï¿½l. Egy bocskoros ï¿½regember lï¿½hï¿½ton ment vï¿½gig a hï¿½don. A messzesï¿½gben a fekete tornyok harangjai ï¿½gy viaskodtak egymï¿½ssal a magassï¿½gban, mintha fehï¿½r sï¿½lymok harcolnï¿½nak a ragyogï¿½, felhï¿½zetlen ï¿½gboltozat alatt.
A gazda talï¿½n a zï¿½szlï¿½t vitte valamerre, huzamos ideig ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltem a kï¿½tszerï¿½, nyirkos udvarban, bï¿½doggal fedett asztal mellett, a szomszï¿½d hï¿½z salï¿½tromos falï¿½n egy fehï¿½r fï¿½ggï¿½nnyel fedett ablakocska volt, amelyrï¿½l kï¿½sï¿½bb megtudtam, hogy a vï¿½rosi nï¿½k leshelye, ahonnan fï¿½rjeiket vagy vï¿½legï¿½nyeiket a sï¿½rhï¿½zban valï¿½ mulatozï¿½s alatt figyelni szoktï¿½k. Egy mellbeteg^{*} varrï¿½nï¿½ lakott az ablak mï¿½gï¿½tt, ï¿½s szegï¿½ny bizonyï¿½ra sokat hervadt azï¿½rt, hogy a nï¿½k ï¿½gy szeretik a fï¿½rfiakat, hogy a kocsmï¿½ba is utï¿½nuk mennek. Kï¿½sï¿½bb rï¿½gi polgï¿½rï¿½rsï¿½gbeli fegyvereket vettem szemï¿½gyre a falon, egy szï¿½rke egï¿½r szaladt keresztï¿½l a szobï¿½n, ï¿½s ezutï¿½n nemsokï¿½ra kinyï¿½lott az ajtï¿½, ï¿½s egy fiatal nï¿½ hangja szinte forrï¿½svï¿½z ï¿½s az erdei gyï¿½ngyvirï¿½g illatï¿½val szï¿½llott fel a rï¿½gi sï¿½rï¿½shordï¿½k, korhadt dongï¿½k ï¿½s kimustrï¿½lt, vï¿½n borospalackok levegï¿½jï¿½ben.
– Mit parancsol az urasï¿½g?
ï¿½de, gyermeteg ï¿½s mï¿½gis ï¿½ntudatos leï¿½nyka ï¿½llott a kï¿½szï¿½bï¿½n. Az egyik fï¿½lcipï¿½cskï¿½jï¿½n nemsokï¿½ra kibomlik a csokor, ha idejï¿½ben meg nem kï¿½ti a szalagot. A bal kezï¿½n kï¿½kkï¿½ves, nefelejcs alakï¿½ gyï¿½rï¿½cske volt, ï¿½s az ï¿½lla alatt bï¿½borszï¿½nï¿½ nyakkendï¿½. A fehï¿½r zubbonyka bizonyï¿½ra nem elï¿½szï¿½r volt mosï¿½sban, oly ï¿½de volt, mint egy tavaszi vasï¿½rnap reggel, ï¿½s a rï¿½vid kockï¿½s szoknyï¿½cska alatt gyï¿½ngï¿½den domborodï¿½ lï¿½bak mutatkoztak. A haja borzas volt, ï¿½s a barna szï¿½lak kï¿½zï¿½tt szinte a napsugï¿½r ï¿½rzett, amelyet az ï¿½nnepi vï¿½rosbï¿½l hozott a sï¿½tï¿½t kocsmahelyisï¿½gbe. Az arcï¿½n hï¿½rom vagy nï¿½gy szeplï¿½cske, mint egy drï¿½ga kis meleg fï¿½szek a gyï¿½ngï¿½den meghajolï¿½ orr szomszï¿½dsï¿½gï¿½ban, hogy a magï¿½nyos utazï¿½ nyomban arra gondoljon, hogy mily jï¿½ volna kï¿½t vï¿½rmes ajkï¿½t az orr tï¿½vï¿½be, a szeplï¿½cskï¿½k felï¿½ helyezni.
A kisasszony sï¿½rrel kï¿½nï¿½lt, ï¿½s biztatï¿½somra bevallotta, hogy Margotnak hï¿½vjï¿½k.
– Nem Margitnak, sem Margarï¿½tï¿½nak – mondta meglehetï¿½s komolysï¿½ggal –, hanem Margotnak, mint a nagymamï¿½mat.
Bizonyï¿½ra ilyenek voltak azok a kocsmï¿½roslï¿½nyok, akik miatt egykor a kï¿½zï¿½pkori kereskedï¿½ utazï¿½sï¿½t megszakï¿½tva, hetekig ï¿½dï¿½ngï¿½tt a vï¿½rosban. Ez a felvidï¿½ki vï¿½ros az ï¿½szaki nagy orszï¿½gï¿½t mentï¿½n fekszik, ï¿½s kï¿½nnyen lehetsï¿½ges, hogy hï¿½romnï¿½gyszï¿½z esztendï¿½ elï¿½tt mï¿½r itt jï¿½rt Margot a rï¿½gi sï¿½rhï¿½zban, ï¿½s ugyancsak helyemen ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltem ï¿½n. Mintha egy messzi szï¿½zadokban elrï¿½ppent, eltï¿½nt jelenet tï¿½rne vissza, mint egy csomï¿½ kï¿½d, amely egykor a rï¿½gi hï¿½z kï¿½mï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½l elszï¿½kï¿½tt, ï¿½s hosszï¿½ ideig a felhï¿½k felett bolyongott, mï¿½g egyszerre a szï¿½l ï¿½jra visszahajtotta a tetï¿½re ï¿½s a szobï¿½ba ereszkedett.
Igen, ï¿½n itt ï¿½ltem mï¿½r valaha, valamikor… ï¿½s ha figyelmesen a lï¿½bomra pillantok, nagy, orszï¿½gjï¿½rï¿½ zsoldoscsizmï¿½kat talï¿½lhatok ott, a mellemen fehï¿½r csipkenyakkendï¿½ fodra ï¿½s a sï¿½vegem mellett bizonyï¿½ra kï¿½kcsï¿½ka szï¿½rnya.
A Margot kis fï¿½lcipï¿½i helyett is csakhamar papucsok keletkeznek, ï¿½s eddig semmitmondï¿½ barna szemï¿½ben kis, nyakba valï¿½ keresztek, rï¿½zsafï¿½zï¿½rek ï¿½s a kehely felett repkedï¿½ szent ostya kï¿½pe tï¿½krï¿½zï¿½dik, mint a kï¿½zï¿½pkori nï¿½k tekintetï¿½ben mindig a gyï¿½ntatï¿½atyï¿½ra vetett pillantï¿½st vï¿½lem lï¿½tni.
ï¿½n messzirï¿½l jï¿½vï¿½k, a harmincï¿½ves hï¿½borï¿½bï¿½l tï¿½n, bizonyï¿½ra van egy mï¿½ly kardvï¿½gï¿½s is valahol az arcomon.
A kocsmï¿½rosleï¿½ny e percig elandalodva, merengve ï¿½s kezï¿½re hajtott fejjel hallgatta mesï¿½imet a messzi idegen vï¿½rosokrï¿½l ï¿½s csodï¿½krï¿½l. Akkor hirtelen meghaltunk mind a ketten, ï¿½s most, hï¿½romszï¿½z esztendï¿½ mï¿½lva, ugyanazon a helyen ï¿½jra felï¿½bredï¿½nk. Hogy is volt az utolsï¿½ mondat, amely elhangzott:
– Kï¿½lnben a dï¿½m olyan magas, hogy adventben^{*} erre jï¿½nnek le az angyalok az ï¿½gbï¿½l.
Az elgondolkozï¿½ leï¿½ny szeme ï¿½rtelmesen csillan, mint a folyï¿½ tï¿½krï¿½n a hirtelen tï¿½madï¿½ ï¿½s elmï¿½lï¿½ fï¿½nyfolt. Mintha elfï¿½radt volna az egyik karja a feje tartï¿½sï¿½ban, ï¿½s most vï¿½ltoztatva helyzetï¿½n, a bal karjï¿½t ï¿½s tenyerï¿½t helyezï¿½ alï¿½, ï¿½gy szï¿½lal meg:
– A mï¿½lt hï¿½ten jï¿½rt itt egy lengyel kereskedï¿½. Madridbï¿½l jï¿½tt.
– Szï¿½p vï¿½ros, voltam benne – felelek. – Az ottani kirï¿½lynak igen jï¿½ aranypï¿½nzei vannak. Valami vï¿½rat kellett elfoglalni. S egy fekete szemï¿½ asszony egy dalra tanï¿½tott egy estve. Sajnos, a dalt mï¿½r elfelejtettem, kï¿½lï¿½nben elfï¿½jnï¿½m neked, te gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½sï¿½g.
A leï¿½ny dorombolt.
– ï¿½s az asszonyt, ugye, nem felejtetted el? Az asszonyokat nem szokï¿½s elfelejteni.
– Dehogyisnem! – kiï¿½ltottam, ï¿½s nagyot hï¿½ztam a kancsï¿½bï¿½l. – Elï¿½bb felejtï¿½dik el az asszony, azutï¿½n a dal. Nem tart az olyan sokï¿½ig, hogy lyukat ï¿½rzï¿½nk a bivalybï¿½r alatt, mintha elveszï¿½tettï¿½nk volna valamit, egy gombot vagy egy ereklyï¿½t, amely a pestistï¿½l megvï¿½d. Csak egy darabig hajtom le a fejem, ï¿½s ï¿½rzem a madridi ï¿½jnek vadalmavirï¿½g illatï¿½t. Egyegy pillanatra felbukkan az erkï¿½ly ï¿½s az ablak, ï¿½jjeli pï¿½rbajok kardcsï¿½rgï¿½se ï¿½s az asszony meleg lehelete, mint messzirï¿½l jï¿½tt jï¿½ szï¿½l, elhï¿½zï¿½dik a fï¿½lem mellett, mint hadjï¿½ratban, ï¿½jjeli lovaglï¿½skor elalszom a nyeregben, ï¿½s egy zï¿½kkenï¿½skor ï¿½lmosan kï¿½rï¿½lnï¿½zek az elvonulï¿½ tï¿½jon. Ittott egy templomtornyot lï¿½tok, amelynek ï¿½vei alatt ï¿½rï¿½k hï¿½sï¿½get eskï¿½dtem ennek vagy amannak. Amott egy sï¿½tï¿½t bï¿½stya, ahol raboskodtam hamispï¿½nzverï¿½sï¿½rt. Itt egy kopï¿½r rï¿½t: csata volt, ï¿½s a vï¿½rem folyt. Miï¿½rt is felejtettem el a madridi asszonyt ï¿½s dalï¿½t, amint ï¿½tkeltï¿½nk a spanyol hatï¿½ron? Mert azt gondoltam, hogy azï¿½ta ï¿½j hadak jï¿½ttek a fï¿½vï¿½rosba, ï¿½s ï¿½ egy mï¿½sik katonï¿½t hï¿½vott erkï¿½lye alï¿½… Mindent el lehet felejteni, gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½sï¿½gem, csak azt a nï¿½t nem, aki nem lett a miï¿½nk.
– Milyen furcsï¿½k a fï¿½rfiak. ï¿½n nem tudom elfelejteni a kereskedï¿½t, aki nï¿½lunk jï¿½rt. Vï¿½rï¿½sesbarna szakï¿½lla volt, hosszï¿½, hullï¿½mos haja ï¿½s kï¿½k szeme, mintha ï¿½vegbï¿½l lett volna. Tï¿½mï¿½rdek drï¿½ga selyem ï¿½s arannyal szï¿½tt brokï¿½t volt a kocsijï¿½n – szï¿½lt a hï¿½lgy, ï¿½s olyan kï¿½nnyedï¿½n sï¿½hajtott, mint a magï¿½nyos madï¿½r egyet fï¿½ttyent az erdï¿½ben.
– De tï¿½ged igazï¿½n szeretlek, ï¿½s soha el nem felejtelek – mondtam, ï¿½s felemelkedtem a helyemrï¿½l.
(Furcsa volt, hogy nem zï¿½rgï¿½tt a sarkantyï¿½m, ï¿½s a nehï¿½znek lï¿½tszï¿½ csizmï¿½t sem ï¿½reztem.)
A leï¿½ny felemelte szentsï¿½ges kï¿½t szemï¿½t.
– Soha? – kï¿½rdezte.
A szï¿½vemre hajtotta a fejï¿½t.
– Dobog – mondta csï¿½ndes ï¿½rvendezï¿½ssel.
Ezutï¿½n nemsokï¿½ra hazajï¿½tt a rï¿½gi sï¿½rhï¿½z ï¿½reg gazdï¿½ja, a leï¿½ny kisurrant a szobï¿½bï¿½l, ï¿½s a tagbaszakadt ï¿½regember vastag krï¿½tï¿½val ï¿½rta ï¿½ssze a szï¿½mokat. Tovï¿½bb utaztam a felvidï¿½ki vï¿½roskï¿½bï¿½l, amely szinte halï¿½lra fï¿½radt az ï¿½nnepnapon. ï¿½jjel egy vasï¿½ti kocsiban, egyedï¿½l, messzire, hirtelen hangosan mondtam:
– Margot.
Kis nefelejcsek voltak a szoknyï¿½jï¿½n, koszorï¿½cskï¿½k, mintha valamely rï¿½gi imakï¿½nyv lapjai kï¿½zï¿½l vettï¿½k volna a mintï¿½t, ï¿½s a fï¿½lcipï¿½je szalagokkal volt a bokï¿½jï¿½hoz erï¿½sï¿½tve, mint azokon a lï¿½bakon, amelyek kï¿½pzeletï¿½nkben a tï¿½nczenï¿½t kï¿½vetik, midï¿½n estefelï¿½ keringï¿½t jï¿½tszik valaki a zongorï¿½n, ï¿½s kis velencei tï¿½kre volt, amelyben mindig csodï¿½lkozva nï¿½zte hervadt, liliomszï¿½nï¿½ arcï¿½t ï¿½s melankolikus, sï¿½tï¿½t szemï¿½t, amely egyszerï¿½en, ï¿½szintï¿½n, hazugsï¿½gok nï¿½lkï¿½l, szinte remï¿½nytelenï¿½l nï¿½zegetett Nagybotos Violï¿½ra, mint a kï¿½ltemï¿½nyek, amelyeket falusi magï¿½nyï¿½ban ï¿½rogat az egykori testï¿½r a csï¿½szï¿½rnï¿½hoz. Termï¿½szetesen oly finom volt, mint ï¿½csipkï¿½vel dï¿½szï¿½tett legyezï¿½je, ï¿½s a tï¿½rde alatt halovï¿½ny rï¿½zsaszï¿½nï¿½ csokor fogta fehï¿½r harisnyï¿½jï¿½t, amelyet Nagybotosnak egyszer alkalma volt lï¿½tni – kis csermelyt ugrottak sï¿½tï¿½lï¿½s kï¿½zben –, a nyakï¿½n a hajzat oly szelï¿½den simult kontya alï¿½, mint a szent nï¿½k kï¿½pein lï¿½thatï¿½. Talï¿½n fï¿½ligmeddig szï¿½ke volt, mint a sokat szenvedett fï¿½rfiak kï¿½pzeletï¿½ben az egyetlen ï¿½s ismeretlen nï¿½i ideï¿½l jelentkezik, enyhï¿½n, elmosï¿½dottan, alig tapinthatï¿½ alakban, csupï¿½n elgondolï¿½sban a testiessï¿½g, inkï¿½bb az ï¿½hï¿½tott, drï¿½ga nï¿½i hang, szï¿½n ï¿½s lï¿½lek formï¿½jï¿½ban, mint szerelmi csalï¿½dï¿½s utï¿½n, fï¿½lï¿½lomban, olykor egyet sï¿½hajtva ï¿½s a pï¿½rnï¿½t ï¿½tï¿½lelve kï¿½pzelik a fï¿½rfiak azokat a nï¿½ket, akik nem csaltï¿½k volna meg ï¿½ket… Blankï¿½nak hï¿½vtï¿½k, ï¿½s mï¿½r harmincesztendï¿½s volt.
Mintha egy fï¿½lig rombadï¿½lt vï¿½r toronyablakï¿½ban ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt volna, a sokat prï¿½bï¿½lt falakat enyhï¿½n fï¿½di be a repkï¿½ny, mint az elhagyott sï¿½rokat a borongï¿½ emlï¿½kezï¿½s, a vï¿½r alatt csillogï¿½ ï¿½s rongyos lovagcsapat vonul el, talï¿½n ï¿½ppen a Szentfï¿½ldrï¿½l jï¿½nnek a daliï¿½k, ï¿½s a fï¿½jï¿½szï¿½vï¿½ fï¿½rfiak megmegï¿½llnak a toronyablak alatt, hogy az ï¿½lombeli nï¿½ kï¿½rpï¿½tolja ï¿½s megvigasztalja ï¿½ket azokï¿½rt a nï¿½kï¿½rt, akik hosszï¿½ utazï¿½suk alatt kï¿½st vertek a szï¿½vï¿½kbe, miutï¿½n az ï¿½jszaka mï¿½mora, ï¿½s a szerelem elmï¿½lott; kondor feketï¿½kï¿½rt, mï¿½ly szemï¿½ barnï¿½kï¿½rt ï¿½s fehï¿½r nyakï¿½akï¿½rt, akiknek kï¿½vï¿½rkï¿½s ï¿½lla alatt a megvillanï¿½ test szinte bolonddï¿½ teszi az ï¿½lï¿½fï¿½t is.
Blanka abban az idï¿½ben, mikor tï¿½rtï¿½netï¿½nk jï¿½tszik, csaknem azï¿½rt lakott a fï¿½vï¿½rosban, hogy meggyï¿½gyï¿½tsa azokat a fï¿½rfiakat, akik elï¿½gett agyvelï¿½, szï¿½tmarcangolt szï¿½v, kï¿½z ï¿½s lï¿½b nï¿½lkï¿½l, majdnem a fï¿½ldï¿½n csï¿½szva, mint a vï¿½sï¿½rbeli nyomorï¿½kok, mï¿½s nï¿½k ï¿½ltal az ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gig hajszolva, ï¿½lom ï¿½s remï¿½ny nï¿½lkï¿½l csavarogtak Pesten, akik komolyan vettï¿½k az eskï¿½t a kï¿½polnï¿½ban, vagy a magï¿½ny ï¿½des illattï¿½rjï¿½ban, a drï¿½ga csï¿½kot, a kï¿½bï¿½tï¿½ bï¿½nt ï¿½s estvï¿½li sï¿½tï¿½t a nyï¿½rfasorban, midï¿½n a nï¿½k ï¿½gy tapadnak a fï¿½rfivï¿½llhoz, mint a fecskefï¿½szek nï¿½stï¿½nye hï¿½mjï¿½hez.
Nagybotos, miutï¿½n hosszï¿½ ï¿½jjeleken ï¿½t nem tett egyebet, mint tï¿½ltï¿½tt bort, pisztolyt ï¿½s bï¿½natot, csaknem sirï¿½nkozva fordult be Blanka hï¿½zï¿½ba.
– Vï¿½geredmï¿½nyesen: mindig csak magï¿½t szerettem, fejedelemnï¿½ – mondta, miutï¿½n jï¿½szagï¿½, kis cipï¿½ikkel homlokon rï¿½gtï¿½k a nï¿½k.
Blanka ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt a Szilvafa cï¿½mï¿½ teï¿½zï¿½helyisï¿½g igazgatï¿½nï¿½je volt. A falakat vastag szï¿½nyegek borï¿½tottï¿½k; ï¿½letunt zenï¿½szek halkan Schubertdalokat^{*} hegedï¿½ltek, ï¿½s orosz szamovï¿½rban fï¿½ztï¿½k a teï¿½t nï¿½hï¿½ny belvï¿½rosi ï¿½regï¿½r rï¿½szï¿½re, akik ï¿½lmatlansï¿½guk miatt a helyisï¿½get felkerestï¿½k. Nï¿½hï¿½ny rï¿½gi, fï¿½ligmeddig nyugalomba vonult hï¿½lgyismerï¿½s ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt a szalonban, akik az ï¿½reg grï¿½fokat mï¿½g fiatalkorukbï¿½l ismertï¿½k, mintha egy csalï¿½dhoz tartozï¿½k volnï¿½nak valamennyien. A pincï¿½r, aki felszolgï¿½lt, egykor nï¿½pdalï¿½nekes volt a Flï¿½rateremben, ï¿½s kï¿½zkedveltsï¿½gnek ï¿½rvendett a maga idejï¿½ben a hï¿½lgyek kï¿½rï¿½ben, a kapuban egy nyugalmazott fiï¿½keres teljesï¿½tette a portï¿½si teendï¿½ket, miutï¿½n lovai a rossz gazdasï¿½gi viszonyok folytï¿½n felfordultak, ï¿½s midï¿½n az ï¿½ra ï¿½jfï¿½lt ï¿½tï¿½tt, az ï¿½regurak felkeltek helyï¿½krï¿½l, a hï¿½lgyek fï¿½lretettï¿½k kï¿½zimunkï¿½ikat, Hrabecsnï¿½, a komika, beszï¿½ntette elbeszï¿½lï¿½seit, amelyeket az ï¿½regurak fiatal ï¿½lmï¿½nyeirï¿½l ezeregyï¿½jszakai kedvvel mesï¿½lt estï¿½nkint a Szilvafï¿½ban, ï¿½s Hrabecset, a jï¿½gszï¿½rke karmestert, a Kis cica cï¿½mï¿½ operett egykor ï¿½nnepelt szerzï¿½jï¿½t, leszï¿½lï¿½totta a pï¿½diumrï¿½l. Az ï¿½reg grï¿½fok kocsijaikhoz totyogtak, ï¿½s a belvï¿½ros szï¿½k utcï¿½in eltï¿½nedeztek a kocsilï¿½mpï¿½k. Blanka csï¿½kos kendï¿½t vett a vï¿½llï¿½ra, az ï¿½zleti kï¿½nyvet a fiï¿½kba zï¿½rta, ï¿½s meleg, dorombolï¿½ hangon fordult Nagybotoshoz.
– Nos, miï¿½rt akar ismï¿½t vï¿½get vetni ï¿½letï¿½nek, kedves barï¿½tom?
Nagybotos nemigen szokott igazat mondani a nï¿½knek – ï¿½vakodott mindig, hogy a gondolatait elï¿½rulja –, Blanka azonban rï¿½gi szerelme volt. Tizenï¿½t ï¿½ve remï¿½nytelenï¿½l, bï¿½natosan, vï¿½gzetszerï¿½en szerette Nagybotost, mint aki valamely gyï¿½gyï¿½thatatlan testi hibï¿½val jï¿½tt a vilï¿½gra, amely fogyatkozï¿½sï¿½t lassan megszokja, mint a fï¿½lszemï¿½ek a bajt. Nagybotos kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l bizonyos volt arrï¿½l, hogy Blanka lefekvï¿½s elï¿½tt mindig ï¿½rte imï¿½dkozik, ï¿½s nappal futï¿½ sï¿½haj hagyja el ajkait, mint a lehelet pï¿½rï¿½ja eloszlik az ablakï¿½vegrï¿½l. Talï¿½n mï¿½g egy ï¿½jjeli zenï¿½szhez is fï¿½rjhez ment volna, ha Nagybotos ezt parancsolja.
– Megint azt gondolja magï¿½ban egy nï¿½, hogy ï¿½n vagyok az ismeretlen pesti hulla, akit a Tisza menti faluban a folyï¿½bï¿½l a hatï¿½sï¿½gok kifogtak. Talï¿½n mï¿½r idegeskedik is, hogy mï¿½g ï¿½letben vagyok – felelt Nagybotos, ï¿½s megsimogatta a kendï¿½t Blanka vï¿½llï¿½n.
– Mit tett? Megcsalta?
Nagybotos, mint tï¿½redelmes bï¿½nï¿½s, csaknem elszï¿½lta magï¿½t:
– Azt hiszem, hogy most mï¿½r minden rendben lesz. Van egy nï¿½, aki felejthetetlenï¿½l szeret ï¿½s boldogï¿½t… Hallgassa csak azt mondta, hogy mï¿½r ï¿½jjelnappal rï¿½m gondol. Milyen finom volt a keze, a nyaka, a lï¿½ba; ha akarta, sï¿½rtam, ha akarta, nevettem. Olyanokat cselekedtem, mint egy jogï¿½sz. ï¿½jjelizenï¿½ket rendeztem az ablaka alatt.
Blanka a nefelejcskoszorï¿½cskï¿½kat simogatta a szoknyï¿½jï¿½n.
– Szegï¿½ny barï¿½tom, hï¿½nyszor tanï¿½tottam, hogy a nï¿½knek nagyobb szï¿½ksï¿½gï¿½k van a fï¿½rfiak szerelmï¿½re, mint megfordï¿½tva. Minden nï¿½nek kezet kellene csï¿½kolni, ha egy fï¿½rfi arra ï¿½rdemesï¿½ti, hogy megszï¿½lï¿½tja. Tudja maga, hogy mily hitvï¿½nyak a nï¿½k? Kihallgatï¿½s nï¿½lkï¿½l ki lehet vï¿½gezni minden nï¿½t, aki harmincadik ï¿½vï¿½t betï¿½ltï¿½tte. Annyit vï¿½tkezett ez idï¿½ alatt a fï¿½rfiak ellen.
Nagybotos jï¿½ï¿½zï¿½en bï¿½longatott:
– Maga az egyetlen derï¿½k teremtï¿½s, Blanka.
A hervadt lï¿½gyan, szomorï¿½an mosolygott:
– ï¿½n nem sokat szï¿½mï¿½tok, mert ï¿½n kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l rendbe jï¿½ttem az ï¿½lettel. Vï¿½gyaim, remï¿½nyeim tï¿½bbï¿½ nincsenek. Mint egy vï¿½n madï¿½r, ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lek a fa tetejï¿½n, ï¿½s csupï¿½n annak ï¿½rï¿½lï¿½k, hogy mï¿½sok mï¿½g ï¿½rï¿½lni tudnak az ï¿½letnek, szerelemnek.
– Tudja, mi vagyok ï¿½n? Egy elhervadt menyasszonyi csokor, amelyet a nagymama sï¿½rjï¿½ra elvisznek az unokï¿½k. Magï¿½nyos szobï¿½ban porlepte tï¿½kï¿½r, az ajtï¿½t senki sem nyitja ki, mert a hï¿½zigazda elbujdosott. Rï¿½gi asszonyarckï¿½p elhagyott hï¿½zban, ï¿½s dï¿½lutï¿½nonkint senki sem nï¿½zi az arckï¿½pet elmerengve, elgondolkozva. Szï¿½p ï¿½don bï¿½liruha vagyok, amely a padlï¿½son vï¿½rja, amï¿½g a hï¿½znï¿½pet ï¿½rverezik, aki egykor viselte, a temetï¿½be kï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½tt.
Nagybotos a leï¿½ny vï¿½llï¿½ra hajtotta a fejï¿½t, ï¿½s odavetï¿½leg megsimogatta az arcï¿½t, mint vï¿½n, hï¿½ lovat megsimogatnak.
– Nagyon szerette? – kï¿½rdezte szï¿½rakozott hangon ï¿½s lehunyt szemmel.
– Tï¿½ged szeretlek – felelt sima nyelvvel Nagybotos.
Blanka csendesen, bï¿½natosan mosolygott. Amint beszï¿½lt, a szeme lassan kï¿½nnybe lï¿½badt:
– Milyen jï¿½ nekem, hogy a nï¿½k oly hï¿½tlenek, mint a reggeli harmatok. Nyomtalanul elillannak az ï¿½letekbï¿½l, ï¿½s olyankor egy darabig rï¿½m kerï¿½l a sor. Most majd nekem fogod hazudni mindazt, amit amannak mondtï¿½l volna, ha mï¿½g megvolna. Amï¿½g jï¿½n egy ï¿½j nï¿½, aki bolonddï¿½ tesz.
– Eskï¿½szï¿½m – felelte Nagybotos, tï¿½rdre ereszkedett, az arcï¿½t a leï¿½ny ruhï¿½jï¿½ba temette ï¿½s titkon, lopva azt gondolta, hogy a mï¿½sik, a hï¿½tlen hï¿½lgy elï¿½tt tï¿½rdepel.
Blanka ezt igen jï¿½l tudta, de azï¿½rt megadï¿½ssal, szelï¿½den simogatta Nagybotos fejï¿½t.
– Holnap, ha szï¿½p idï¿½ lesz, kirï¿½ndulunk a hegyek kï¿½zï¿½. A fï¿½re ï¿½lï¿½nk, sashegyi bort iszunk, ï¿½s rï¿½gi, nï¿½met dalokat ï¿½nekelï¿½nk – mondta lelkesen Nagybotos.
– ï¿½n szebbet ï¿½gï¿½rek ï¿½nnek – mondta Blanka. – Hï¿½zat veszï¿½nk falun, nagy kertet ï¿½s hï¿½vï¿½s, mï¿½ly szobï¿½kat, rï¿½gi cselï¿½deket ï¿½s egy pï¿½r lovat. Sohasem hagyjuk el egymï¿½st, reggel arra ï¿½bredek, hogy ï¿½n megcsï¿½kol, este megfogjuk egymï¿½s kezï¿½t, ï¿½gy alszunk. A hï¿½ztetï¿½n gï¿½lya fï¿½szkel, ï¿½s Bundï¿½snak hï¿½vjï¿½k a hï¿½zï¿½rzï¿½t. Ha netï¿½n a hï¿½tlen nï¿½ holnapig nem ï¿½rna levelet…
– Ha nem ï¿½rna! Akkor meghalnï¿½k – gondolta magï¿½ban Nagybotos, ï¿½s mï¿½g Blanka kezï¿½t arcï¿½hoz szorï¿½totta, szinte ï¿½rï¿½mteli hangon folytatta:
– Holnap vadï¿½szcsizmï¿½t varratok.
Bizonyosan vï¿½rja mï¿½r otthon egy levï¿½l a drï¿½ga kï¿½ztï¿½l, hisz Blanka mondta, aki ismeri a nï¿½ket.
Sokï¿½ig ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltek egymï¿½s mellett hallgatagon, elgondolkozva, vï¿½gï¿½l Blanka felemelkedett helyï¿½rï¿½l.
– Kï¿½sï¿½ van – mormogta. – Tegyï¿½k el magunkat holnapra. Mondd, ugye azt akarod, hogy beszï¿½ljek az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½vel, akiï¿½rt majd meghalsz?
Nagybotos lehajtotta fejï¿½t.
– Igen.
– Majd felï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½m cselï¿½dasszonynak, ï¿½s besuhanok hozzï¿½, amikor egyedï¿½l van otthon.
Sok ï¿½vvel ezelï¿½tt lakott Pesten egy fuvolï¿½s, aki bï¿½bï¿½jt, augusztusi csillagport, ï¿½rett szilvafï¿½k ï¿½s oktï¿½beri Jï¿½noshegyi szï¿½lï¿½venyigï¿½k illatï¿½t, karï¿½csonyfa szagï¿½t, hï¿½svï¿½ti tojï¿½s ï¿½zï¿½t ï¿½s boldogtalan kï¿½ltï¿½k magï¿½nyos epekedï¿½sï¿½t fuvolï¿½zta az asszonyok fï¿½lï¿½be. Igazi nevï¿½n Schneidernek hï¿½vtï¿½k, ï¿½s egy budai kocsmï¿½rosnak volt a fia. ï¿½m otthon nem ï¿½zlett neki a bor, sohasem volt kedve fuvolï¿½zni, csak nï¿½hanapjï¿½n, ha kehes lett, ment titokban haza, a padlï¿½son aludt, a tï¿½li almï¿½k ï¿½s a plï¿½bï¿½noskï¿½rtï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½tt, a szelelï¿½lyuknï¿½l a rï¿½gi „Vasï¿½rnapi Ujsï¿½g” megsï¿½rgult kï¿½teteit forgatta, de csak az „Egyveleg” cï¿½mï¿½ rovat furcsasï¿½gain, cigï¿½ny s zsidï¿½ adomï¿½in ï¿½dï¿½lt, ï¿½s a szolgï¿½lï¿½ a kï¿½tï¿½nye alatt vitte hozzï¿½ az ennivalï¿½t. Pesten Szï¿½nfinek nevezte magï¿½t, mint ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt szokï¿½sban volt a nevek magyarosï¿½tï¿½sa; a Hatvani utcai kï¿½vï¿½hï¿½z ablakï¿½nï¿½l ï¿½lt, ï¿½s ha jï¿½l ment dolga, a biliï¿½rdasztalon mï¿½rkï¿½zï¿½sre hï¿½vta fel a sï¿½nta nï¿½szabï¿½t, aki ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt a legveszedelmesebb sipista^{*} volt a Belvï¿½rosban. A Flï¿½ratermekben grï¿½f ï¿½rnak neveztï¿½k, ï¿½s ï¿½jszakï¿½nkint megkopogtatta az ablakokat a vï¿½rosban, ahol mï¿½g vilï¿½gossï¿½g ï¿½gett. Egy halott mellett virrasztï¿½ asszony egyszer vï¿½zzel leï¿½ntï¿½tte az emeletrï¿½l.
Voltak napok Szï¿½nfi ï¿½letï¿½ben, mikor megunta vï¿½rni a bordï¿½piros szï¿½nï¿½ kï¿½vï¿½hï¿½zban az orleansi herceget, akit mindenki vï¿½rt Pesten, miï¿½ta egyszer a pï¿½pos markï¿½rrel itt egy biliï¿½rdjï¿½tszmï¿½t csinï¿½lt –, ilyenkor elgondolkozott nï¿½i ismeretsï¿½gein, eszï¿½be jutott, hogy ezï¿½ta tï¿½n el is hagytï¿½k mï¿½r a nï¿½k, mï¿½st szeretnek, szï¿½vesen ï¿½s ï¿½lmodozva hajtjï¿½k fï¿½loldalra a fejï¿½ket az ï¿½j hazugsï¿½gok hallï¿½sï¿½ra, ï¿½s mï¿½snak ajï¿½ndï¿½kozzï¿½k tï¿½n emlï¿½kbe a cipï¿½jï¿½ket: Szï¿½nfi ilyenkor keservesen kï¿½romkodott, ï¿½s fejï¿½be nyomta nyï¿½lszï¿½r kalapjï¿½t, hogy hï¿½lgyei megvizsgï¿½lï¿½sï¿½ra induljon. Az Aranykï¿½z utcai ï¿½kszerï¿½sznï¿½ az orgonaillatot szerette a fodrosmellï¿½ ingen. Szent ï¿½s jï¿½ asszony volt, mindig vï¿½llfï¿½zï¿½ volt rajta, mintha ï¿½rï¿½kkï¿½ a fuvolï¿½st vï¿½rnï¿½ dï¿½lutï¿½nonkï¿½nt, s a szobaleï¿½ny abban a minutumban^{*} beeresztette Szï¿½nfit a szalonba. Az asztalkï¿½n kï¿½znï¿½l volt a kï¿½ltemï¿½nyes kï¿½nyv, amelyet az ï¿½brï¿½ndos fehï¿½r kezek meglepetï¿½ssel eresztenek le, midï¿½n a szalonban a kï¿½zsmirfï¿½ggï¿½ny szï¿½tvï¿½lik, ï¿½s a bal lï¿½b gyorsan csï¿½szott a jobb comb alï¿½ a kanapï¿½n, amint ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt divat volna ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lni Pesten, dï¿½lutï¿½n, a polgï¿½ri hï¿½zak szalonjaiban. A formï¿½s cipï¿½cske, mint hï¿½sï¿½ges kis kutya figyelt a szoknya hï¿½mzï¿½sei kï¿½zï¿½l, ï¿½s a dï¿½s, vizes fï¿½sï¿½vel hï¿½tra ï¿½s hï¿½tulrï¿½l felï¿½lre fï¿½sï¿½lt jï¿½szagï¿½ hajban meg kellett igazï¿½tani a tï¿½rï¿½k ï¿½kkï¿½ves hajtï¿½t. Ez volt Estella, az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½. Mindig tudott egy ï¿½brï¿½ndos kï¿½ltemï¿½nyt, amelyet aznap olvasott; halk nevetï¿½ssel kï¿½rdezï¿½skï¿½dï¿½tt Szï¿½nfi ï¿½r ismeretsï¿½gï¿½nek kï¿½rï¿½hez tartozï¿½ tï¿½bbi ï¿½rhï¿½lgyekrï¿½l.
– ï¿½s barï¿½tnï¿½m, Olga, aki orosz hercegnï¿½nek kï¿½pzeli magï¿½t, ï¿½s harisnyakï¿½tï¿½jï¿½re egy Puskinsor van arannyal hï¿½mezve?
– Meghalt szegï¿½ny – felelt rï¿½szvï¿½tteljesen Szï¿½nfi.
– Meghalt – ismï¿½telte Estella, ï¿½s bal lï¿½bï¿½t lassan leeresztette a dï¿½vï¿½nyrï¿½l, hogy a selyemszoknya csendesen zizegett, mint a hï¿½esï¿½s a magï¿½nyos hï¿½ztetï¿½k felett.
– Csupï¿½n ï¿½nt imï¿½dom, hï¿½lgyem. Engedje meg, hogy tovï¿½bb is sï¿½tï¿½lhassak az ablakai alatt, amï¿½g kegyed Morfeusz^{*} karjai kï¿½zï¿½tt…
Szï¿½nfi legyintett, nem fejezte be sohasem a megkezdett mondatot, mint a halï¿½lraï¿½tï¿½lt a siralomhï¿½zban, akinek beszï¿½lgetï¿½s kï¿½zben hirtelen eszï¿½be jut, hogy kï¿½zeleg a kivï¿½gzï¿½s ï¿½rï¿½ja.
– ï¿½gy bï¿½nnak velem, mint egy gyermekkel – duzzogott elmenetel kï¿½zben. A nyï¿½lszï¿½r kalapot szemï¿½re hï¿½zta, mert szeretett a nï¿½ktï¿½l szemrehï¿½nyï¿½ssal elvï¿½lni, mï¿½g az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½ remï¿½nytelenï¿½l tette le a kï¿½ltemï¿½nyes kï¿½nyvet kezï¿½bï¿½l, mï¿½s vendï¿½get nem vï¿½rt dï¿½lutï¿½n, tejszï¿½nes kï¿½vï¿½t hozatott fel a cukrï¿½sztï¿½l ï¿½s egy almï¿½t vï¿½lasztott ki a szekrï¿½ny tetejï¿½rï¿½l.
Szï¿½nfi – ha ï¿½ppen mï¿½djï¿½ban volt – a bï¿½rkocsist mï¿½r Buda felï¿½ hajszolta, ahol a jezsuitalï¿½pcsï¿½nï¿½l egy ï¿½don kï¿½lsejï¿½ hï¿½zban (itt talï¿½n maga Jï¿½sika Miklï¿½s, a rï¿½gi hï¿½zak finom szakï¿½rtï¿½je, lakott valamikor) Mï¿½ria asszony ï¿½lt egy oltï¿½rterï¿½tï¿½ hï¿½mzï¿½se mellett, ï¿½s a szobï¿½ban olyan szag volt, mint egy kï¿½nyvtï¿½rban, vagy antikkereskedï¿½ boltjï¿½ban. ï¿½ volt, az egyetlen, a legkedvesebb, a legszerï¿½nyebb ï¿½s legï¿½nzetlenebb, Mï¿½ria, aki semmi egyebet nem akart az ï¿½lettï¿½l, mint hetenkint egyszer lï¿½tni Szï¿½nfi urat, hogy az elmondja neki hazugsï¿½gait – tï¿½z esztendï¿½ ï¿½ta ugyanazokat. Mintha egy csillogï¿½ nagyvilï¿½gi, idegen, de csï¿½bï¿½tï¿½ parfï¿½mï¿½s virï¿½g, egy aranyszegï¿½lyes meghï¿½vï¿½ a kï¿½vetsï¿½g bï¿½ljï¿½ra, ï¿½tijegy a Pï¿½rizsba nyargalï¿½ futï¿½rvonatra, csï¿½bos, havannaillatos, a fehï¿½r mellï¿½nyzsebbï¿½l csak aranypï¿½nzzel fizetï¿½ nagyvilï¿½g lï¿½pett volna be Szï¿½nfi ï¿½rral a budai hï¿½zba. ï¿½ volt a rezignï¿½lt, langyos gavallï¿½r, aki midï¿½n egyedï¿½l van, bizonyï¿½ra szï¿½rakozottan fï¿½tyï¿½l egy kï¿½dï¿½s romï¿½ncot Griegtï¿½l^{*}; ï¿½ volt az utazï¿½kï¿½penyeges, szomorï¿½ arcï¿½, barkï¿½s fiatalember, aki Milï¿½nï¿½ ï¿½s Bologna kï¿½zï¿½tt egy francia kï¿½nyvet olvas, mï¿½g otthon, hazï¿½jï¿½ban, hosszï¿½ lï¿½ptekkel mï¿½regeti a hervadï¿½ grï¿½fkisasszony az avart… Mï¿½ria fï¿½lretette az oltï¿½rterï¿½tï¿½t, ï¿½sszekulcsolta kezï¿½t, tï¿½gra nyitott szemmel nï¿½zett Szï¿½nfire, mï¿½g az szokï¿½s szerint elkeseredve legyintett, a nyï¿½lszï¿½r kalapot felkapta.
– Tï¿½vedï¿½s, hogy ï¿½lek – mormogta, ï¿½s Mï¿½ria kezï¿½t hosszan megcsï¿½kolta, mint a haldoklï¿½k, miutï¿½n a szomszï¿½d utcï¿½ban hangzik mï¿½r elmenï¿½ lelkï¿½sz lï¿½pï¿½se ï¿½s a ministrï¿½nsfiï¿½ csengettyï¿½je.
Szï¿½nfi teli tï¿½dï¿½vel szï¿½vta magï¿½ba a tï¿½li dï¿½lutï¿½n napsugarï¿½t, miutï¿½n a sï¿½rboltszerï¿½ hï¿½zbï¿½l kilï¿½pett, ï¿½s az oroszlï¿½n fejï¿½t megsimogatta a kapun.
– Itt lehettem volna temetï¿½igazgatï¿½ – gondolta magï¿½ban.
Mï¿½g Mï¿½ria, hogy vezekeljen az imï¿½nti beszï¿½lgetï¿½sï¿½rt, a hï¿½z hï¿½tulsï¿½ szobï¿½iba ment, ï¿½s megmosta kisgyermekei kezï¿½t ï¿½s lï¿½bï¿½t.
Ha mï¿½g nem szï¿½llott le a budai rï¿½szeken az alkonyat, Szï¿½nfi felkereste M. M.nï¿½t, aki a pontossï¿½got szerette, holott a fuvolï¿½s rendszerint napok mï¿½lva ment el a talï¿½lkozï¿½ra; N. N.nï¿½t, aki ï¿½gy kedvelte a pikï¿½ns adomï¿½kat, mint valami ï¿½reg grï¿½fnï¿½, ï¿½s gazdï¿½lkodï¿½ asszony lï¿½tï¿½re felpofozta a kocsisait; B. V.t, aki zenï¿½lt ï¿½s ï¿½nekelt mï¿½g akkor is, midï¿½n Szï¿½nfi ï¿½r mï¿½r rï¿½gen megszï¿½kï¿½tt a hï¿½tulsï¿½ ajtï¿½n; egy fekete kisasszonyt a Vï¿½zivï¿½rosban, aki noteszï¿½be ï¿½rta, ha Szï¿½nfi ï¿½r valamit megï¿½gï¿½rt, volt aztï¿½n nevetï¿½s, midï¿½n a notesz elï¿½kerï¿½lt; Mumut, aki dï¿½lelï¿½tt a handlï¿½nak^{*} fï¿½rje hï¿½trahagyott nadrï¿½gjait, dï¿½lutï¿½n a szerkesztï¿½knek verseit eladogatta, szemtelen volt, mint egy fï¿½lreismert ï¿½rï¿½ hï¿½trahagyott ï¿½zvegye, ï¿½s ha Szï¿½nfi jï¿½l megfogalmazta a levelet a miniszterelnï¿½khï¿½z, amelyben ï¿½llami segï¿½ly kï¿½retik, nem fukarkodott a csï¿½kkal ï¿½s elismerï¿½ssel; majd sikerï¿½lt egy fiatal hï¿½lgy bizalmï¿½t megnyerni, akit szï¿½lei mindenï¿½ron fï¿½rjhez akartak adni, ï¿½s a vï¿½legï¿½nyek, jegyesek, kï¿½rï¿½k eltï¿½volï¿½tï¿½sï¿½t a fiatal hï¿½lgy kï¿½rï¿½sï¿½re Szï¿½nfi ï¿½r mindig magï¿½ra vï¿½llalta; a Vï¿½n Fejsze kocsmï¿½rosnï¿½jï¿½nak tanï¿½csokat adott az ï¿½zlet vezetï¿½sï¿½rï¿½l, ï¿½s a vendï¿½gek szekatï¿½rï¿½jï¿½t fï¿½bï¿½lintï¿½ssal meghallgatta; kï¿½tszer nagyon megcsï¿½kolta a Kronprinzkï¿½vï¿½hï¿½z felï¿½rï¿½nï¿½jï¿½nek szï¿½jï¿½t, mielï¿½tt Budï¿½t elhagyta volna, miutï¿½n Gizella hajdanï¿½ban kedvese volt. Izgatottan, a hosszadalmas kï¿½rtyï¿½zï¿½sok utï¿½n kï¿½vetkezï¿½ lï¿½zzal, nï¿½mi ï¿½nmegvetï¿½ssel hï¿½zï¿½dott meg a bï¿½rkocsi sarkï¿½ban, amï¿½g az a Lï¿½nchï¿½don ï¿½tgurult. De ha egy formï¿½sabb nï¿½ ment a gyalogjï¿½rï¿½n, kihajolt a hintï¿½ ablakï¿½n, ï¿½s bolond mï¿½djï¿½ra csï¿½kot dobott a hï¿½lgy lï¿½bï¿½nak, fï¿½tyolï¿½nak, kalapjï¿½nak, fï¿½ldig ï¿½rï¿½ kï¿½penyegï¿½nek, amilyent ï¿½ viselt telente – akinek a nevï¿½t sem merte kimondani.
Ez a nï¿½vtelen nï¿½ Pesten lakott, ï¿½s minden bizonnyal szerette Szï¿½nfi urat, hisz ennek az ï¿½vnek folyamï¿½n tï¿½bbszï¿½r tanï¿½jelï¿½t adta. ï¿½rnï¿½ volt, finom, jï¿½hï¿½rï¿½, divatos, ï¿½s a hangja, mint a gerlï¿½ï¿½. A szeme… a haja… a kï¿½pe… ï¿½s a lï¿½ba.
Elsï¿½rni lehetne mindezt a Duna kï¿½zepï¿½n egy szentendrei hullï¿½nak, akivel Szï¿½nfi ï¿½r egyï¿½tt folytatja ï¿½tjï¿½t Mohï¿½cs felï¿½.
Bï¿½r szabad bejï¿½rï¿½sa lett volna a hï¿½lgyhï¿½z – nevezzï¿½k ï¿½t X. asszonynak –, Szï¿½nfi ï¿½r valï¿½ban az ablakok alatt sï¿½tï¿½lt, mint a salamancai egyetem^{*} hallgatï¿½i vagy az ï¿½reg, fogatlan lovagok, akiket a jï¿½tï¿½khï¿½zbï¿½l egy garas nï¿½lkï¿½l az utcï¿½ra vetettek. Megï¿½llott a sarkon, felsï¿½hajtott, boldogan sï¿½rt egy rï¿½gi kapualjban, mert ott mindig sï¿½rni szokott, elgondolta a hï¿½lgynek – X. asszonynak – csodï¿½latos szavait, amelyeket ez ï¿½letben hozzï¿½ intï¿½zett, mint Szent Gyï¿½rgyhï¿½z viszi az orgonaï¿½gat a dï¿½s vï¿½rï¿½rnï¿½; elkï¿½pzelte szerelmes kis kezï¿½nek a tapintï¿½sï¿½t, amely mï¿½g Schneiderfï¿½le nyakï¿½t nem karolta; eltorzult arccal gondolt kis lï¿½ba nyomï¿½ra a parti fï¿½vï¿½nyen, a dunai kiï¿½ntï¿½sek tï¿½jï¿½n, furcsa nevetï¿½sï¿½re ï¿½s kï¿½t szemï¿½re, amely kancsi csï¿½bï¿½tï¿½ssal, mint ï¿½jjel a kirï¿½lynï¿½ kincseslï¿½dï¿½jï¿½nak ï¿½kszere a szegï¿½ny lovag elï¿½tt, mindent ï¿½gï¿½rt ï¿½s szeretett. Az ablak felnyï¿½lott, ï¿½s a drï¿½ga kï¿½z valï¿½sï¿½gban megjelent:
– Gyere – intett Szï¿½nfi egyetlen szerelme.
A fuvolï¿½s lehajtotta fejï¿½t, szï¿½raz kortyot nyelt:
– Nem – mondta. – Mert nagyon szeretlek. Mert fï¿½lek tï¿½led. Mert nem bï¿½rnï¿½k veled, mint Mumuval, akinek nï¿½ha azt mondom, hogy felrï¿½gom. ï¿½rï¿½kkï¿½ szeretlek, mindig reï¿½d gondolok, te mï¿½kony fekete fï¿½stje a kalï¿½z pipï¿½jï¿½ban. Elvesznï¿½k, ha egyszer megï¿½lelnï¿½l, belehalnï¿½k, ha egyszer ismï¿½t elhagynï¿½l. Fï¿½lek tï¿½led, ï¿½s a mï¿½svilï¿½gig szeretlek.
X. asszony bï¿½natosan nï¿½zett az esti ï¿½rï¿½kban ablakï¿½bï¿½l Szï¿½nfire.
Hol tanulta, hol gondolta, tï¿½kre elï¿½tt hï¿½nyszor prï¿½bï¿½lta a bï¿½natos, megsï¿½rtett, szï¿½vszomorï¿½tï¿½ tekintetet, amellyel a fuvolï¿½sra nï¿½zett?
Igazï¿½n sï¿½padt volt az arca a fï¿½jdalomtï¿½l, vagy ezt is tudta hamisï¿½tani?
Igazï¿½n ï¿½lmodott gyermek mï¿½djï¿½ra ï¿½jjelente a fuvolï¿½srï¿½l?
ï¿½s ha eszï¿½be jutott Szï¿½nfi ï¿½r, valï¿½ban elgondolkozï¿½, elmerengï¿½ lett a szeme, ha egyedï¿½l volt?
A fuvolï¿½s nem mert ily dolgokon gondolkozni, de viszont legyinteni sem tudott, mint a tï¿½bbi nï¿½ismerï¿½sï¿½knï¿½l.
Megbabonï¿½zva, mereven ï¿½llott helyï¿½n, ï¿½s azt remï¿½lte, hogy percek mï¿½ltï¿½n meghal. Fuvolï¿½zni jï¿½tt ide, az ablak alï¿½, ï¿½s a szï¿½ve kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesetten elszorult.
Kivette a hangszert zsebï¿½bï¿½l, ï¿½s tï¿½rdï¿½n kettï¿½tï¿½rte.
A nyï¿½lszï¿½r kalapot komolyan a homlokï¿½ba vonta, ï¿½s hosszï¿½ lï¿½pï¿½sekkel, hï¿½trafont kï¿½zzel ment hazafelï¿½, hogy nï¿½hï¿½ny napig a plï¿½bï¿½noskï¿½rtï¿½ket szagolgassa a szï¿½lei hï¿½z padlï¿½sï¿½n.
– Jaj de szeretem – remegett fel benne a hang, mikï¿½zben a vï¿½n cselï¿½dtï¿½l a gyermekei utï¿½n tudakozï¿½dott, ï¿½s pï¿½rkï¿½lt halat rendelt vacsorï¿½ra.
A kï¿½t karjï¿½t ï¿½sszekulcsolta a fejï¿½n, mint a szerelem bolondjai…
– Ha a biliï¿½rdos szabï¿½ vagy az orleansi herceg keresnï¿½nek, nem vagyok itthon – szï¿½lt a rï¿½gi cselï¿½dasszonyhoz.
Az ablakbï¿½l csupï¿½n hï¿½ztetï¿½ket lï¿½tott, mert egy hotel hatodik emeletï¿½n lakott, remete mï¿½djï¿½ra, csendben, az ajtaja ritkï¿½n nyï¿½lott ki, holott azelï¿½tt szerette az ï¿½letet ï¿½s a lï¿½rmï¿½t, a szï¿½nhï¿½zat ï¿½s az ï¿½gynevezett mulatsï¿½gokat. Mï¿½g nem volt negyvenesztendï¿½s, midï¿½n rï¿½eszmï¿½lt arra, hogy legjobb egyedï¿½l lenni, mint a sok ï¿½rï¿½mben ï¿½s bï¿½natban rï¿½szt vett fï¿½rfiak tï¿½bbnyire megismerik a tï¿½rsasï¿½gos ï¿½let ï¿½rtï¿½ktelensï¿½gï¿½t, a kettesben valï¿½ ï¿½letmï¿½d kï¿½nyelmetlensï¿½gï¿½t, a nï¿½k lelketlensï¿½gï¿½t, furcsa jï¿½sï¿½gï¿½t ï¿½s csï¿½f ï¿½nzï¿½sï¿½t. A nï¿½k mindig csak azt cselekszik, ami nekik jï¿½lesik, ï¿½s sohasem ï¿½ldozzï¿½k fel a hangulatukat a fï¿½rfiak kedvï¿½ï¿½rt – gondolta magï¿½ban Emlï¿½ki, e tï¿½rtï¿½net hï¿½se, midï¿½n a kï¿½lï¿½nbï¿½zï¿½ havas hï¿½zfedeleket nï¿½zegette. A kï¿½mï¿½nyek alakja a tï¿½li alkonyatban valami ï¿½pï¿½tï¿½szeti furcsasï¿½gnï¿½l fogva vasï¿½ti ï¿½llomï¿½sokra emlï¿½keztette ï¿½t, amint egymï¿½s utï¿½n kï¿½vetkeznek a tetï¿½kï¿½n, bakterhï¿½zak, ï¿½llomï¿½sï¿½pï¿½letek, a gï¿½zï¿½s fekete fï¿½stje az oldalukon: Emlï¿½ki valamikor jï¿½rt az ï¿½llomï¿½sokon, utazï¿½plï¿½ddel^{*} a karjï¿½n vï¿½rt vonatokra, nï¿½kre, szivarfï¿½stszagï¿½ ï¿½jjeli zï¿½rt fiï¿½kerekre szï¿½llott, ï¿½s ismeretlen hï¿½zak kï¿½zï¿½tt, sohasem lï¿½tott utcï¿½kon dï¿½cï¿½gï¿½tt ï¿½jfï¿½lkor, a hï¿½ vilï¿½gï¿½tott a templom tornyï¿½rï¿½l, ï¿½s a piros pï¿½rï¿½s kocsmaajtï¿½ ï¿½vegï¿½n ï¿½t muzsika hangzott, ï¿½lmos hotelszolgï¿½k vezettï¿½k szobï¿½jï¿½ba, csattogï¿½ papucsban a kï¿½vel kirakott emeleti folyosï¿½n, hï¿½jatekintetï¿½, gonoszkodï¿½ lï¿½pï¿½sï¿½ szobaasszonyok vontatott lï¿½pï¿½ssel hoztï¿½k a mosdï¿½vizet, hideg volt, az ï¿½gyon tï¿½n dï¿½lutï¿½n halt meg egy vidï¿½ki bï¿½rlï¿½ szï¿½lï¿½tï¿½s folytï¿½n, ï¿½s a kï¿½lyhï¿½ban hamisï¿½tott okiratokat ï¿½gettek el, a gyertyatartï¿½ lï¿½tott vï¿½sï¿½ri szerelmet, vagy kupecek ï¿½lomtalansï¿½gï¿½t, akik rossz vï¿½sï¿½r utï¿½n reggelig forgolï¿½dtak az ï¿½gyon…
Emlï¿½ki, aki fiatalkorï¿½ban sokat kï¿½borolt vidï¿½ken, ï¿½s csaknem minden vï¿½rosban volt egy nï¿½ismerï¿½se, akihez szerelemmel kï¿½zeledett, a majï¿½lisokon tï¿½bbet tï¿½ncolt, mint illett volna, a torokon ï¿½s ezï¿½stlakodalmakon a fï¿½rfiak kedvence volt, gyermekek keresztapja volt, ï¿½s fiatal hajadonokat adott fï¿½rjhez: ha kinyitotta ablakï¿½t, negyvenï¿½ves korï¿½ban, a kï¿½mï¿½nyek keserï¿½ fï¿½stjï¿½ben a vidï¿½ki sï¿½rhï¿½zak fanyar ï¿½zï¿½t ï¿½rezte, a fï¿½bï¿½l ï¿½pï¿½tett szï¿½nkï¿½r deszkï¿½jï¿½n zï¿½ld papirosra van kinyomatva a Szï¿½p Helï¿½na szï¿½nlapja, ï¿½s a Hï¿½rsfï¿½ban, a kuglizï¿½ban a szï¿½nï¿½szek ï¿½s szï¿½nï¿½sznï¿½k dobï¿½ljï¿½k a golyï¿½kat… S egyszer eszï¿½be jutott, hogy mi tï¿½rtï¿½nt Mellï¿½ki Ida kisasszonnyal, aki szubrett volt X.ben, Lï¿½vï¿½szi Gyï¿½rgy szï¿½nigazgatï¿½ tï¿½rsulatï¿½nï¿½l – bï¿½r Emlï¿½ki barï¿½tunk ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt egy ï¿½rzelmes ï¿½s vï¿½rï¿½sszï¿½ke kereskedï¿½nï¿½be volt szerelmes, aki sohasem ï¿½lt a bolti pï¿½nztï¿½rban, mï¿½g Emlï¿½ki a vï¿½rosban tartï¿½zkodott. Francia divatlapokat forgatott, ï¿½s ebï¿½d utï¿½n felvette ï¿½j pongyolï¿½jï¿½t, a zongorï¿½hoz ï¿½lt, a cselï¿½dsï¿½g fehï¿½r kï¿½tï¿½nyt kï¿½tï¿½tt, bort hï¿½tï¿½ttek be, ï¿½s Emlï¿½ki verseskï¿½nyvei a szalonasztalkï¿½n elfoglaltï¿½k helyï¿½ket. Persze, rï¿½gen tï¿½rtï¿½nt mindez, majdnem a hatvanas ï¿½vekben, mikor Emlï¿½ki nevezetes kï¿½ltï¿½ volt.
Emlï¿½ki negyvenesztendï¿½s korï¿½ban ï¿½lldogï¿½lt az ablakï¿½nï¿½l a hï¿½ztetï¿½k felett, ï¿½s a havas mezï¿½kï¿½n, amelyeket az egï¿½sz gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½ vilï¿½gbï¿½l itt meglï¿½thatott, mindenfï¿½le lï¿½bnyomokat vett ï¿½szre, mintha az elmï¿½lt ï¿½jszaka erre jï¿½rtak volna ï¿½lmai, apja ï¿½s anyja, akikkel mindig ï¿½lmodott; az ï¿½regï¿½r kifent deres bajusszal, hetyke magyar ruhï¿½ban, mint a rï¿½gebbi magyarok, akikrï¿½l a temetï¿½sig nem hihette el senki, hogy egyszer valï¿½ban meghalnak, ï¿½s az ï¿½desanyja egy csomï¿½ kulcsot tartott a kezï¿½ben ï¿½lmï¿½ban, mintha azon tï¿½prengene, hogy mely zï¿½rakat nyitjï¿½k a kulcsok, amit pedig ï¿½letï¿½ben biztosan tudott; ï¿½s egy reggelen a megszokott lï¿½bnyomok kï¿½zï¿½tt megtalï¿½lta Mellï¿½ki Ida szubrettszï¿½nï¿½sznï¿½^{*} lï¿½bnyomï¿½t is, mert tï¿½rtï¿½netesen vele ï¿½lmodott ï¿½jszaka. A pï¿½rnï¿½jï¿½n szï¿½nhï¿½zi festï¿½knek a szagï¿½t ï¿½rezte, ï¿½s hattyï¿½prï¿½mes kabï¿½t fekï¿½dt a takarï¿½jï¿½n; a fali tï¿½kï¿½rbe – mintha ï¿½bren volna – koronkï¿½nt ï¿½tment Mellï¿½ki Ida alakja, egyszer fï¿½tyolos kalapjï¿½ban, amint a tï¿½li hï¿½esï¿½sben sietett az esti vidï¿½ki vï¿½ros utcï¿½jï¿½n a szï¿½nhï¿½z felï¿½, mï¿½skor trikï¿½nadrï¿½gban, kis lakktopï¿½nban, rizsporozott hajï¿½ban rï¿½zsa, ï¿½s galambmellï¿½bï¿½l dudorï¿½szï¿½ hangok kelnek szï¿½rnyra… Az ï¿½jiszekrï¿½nyen a gyertya lï¿½ngja, egyenesen, mint a halottak fejï¿½nï¿½l, hol semmi sem zavarja a mozdulatlansï¿½gukat, a tï¿½kï¿½rbe bï¿½mult. Emlï¿½ki ï¿½lmï¿½ban lï¿½tta a pï¿½rnï¿½n a sajï¿½t fejï¿½t, amint az a pï¿½rnï¿½n fekszik, mï¿½g az ï¿½ji kï¿½sï¿½rtï¿½i ki ï¿½s bejï¿½rnak kis szobï¿½jï¿½ba. Alkonyattal, midï¿½n vï¿½gignï¿½zett a havas nï¿½gyszï¿½geken ablaka alatt, valï¿½ban egy harmadik lï¿½bnyomot fedezett fel. Mintha selyem tï¿½nccipï¿½ben jï¿½rt volna valaki a havon, ï¿½s fodros szoknyï¿½jï¿½t, dideregve felemelte, amint tovasietett.
Az ujjï¿½val az ablakï¿½veg pï¿½rï¿½zatï¿½ra ï¿½rta:
– Mellï¿½ki k. a.
S ettï¿½l a naptï¿½l fogva gyakran gondolt a kisasszonyra.
Mindnyï¿½jan tudjuk, hogy vannak babonï¿½s dolgok a vilï¿½gon, amelyeknek ï¿½rtelmï¿½t megfejteni nem lehet. ï¿½gy: a mï¿½lt szï¿½zadban nï¿½pszerï¿½ ï¿½s negyvenï¿½ves korï¿½ban mï¿½r remeteï¿½letet ï¿½ldegï¿½lï¿½ Emlï¿½ki nevï¿½ kï¿½ltï¿½, aki olykor borzas kï¿½csï¿½gkalapban suhant ki a szï¿½llodï¿½bï¿½l, ï¿½s fï¿½jdalmas mosollyal nï¿½zett szï¿½t a vilï¿½gban, a kï¿½nyvkereskedï¿½k kirakatainï¿½l elfordï¿½totta a fejï¿½t, ï¿½s a Mï¿½zeum kï¿½rï¿½tra mindig szï¿½vesen ment, ahol egy antikvï¿½rius boltjï¿½ban a „Repkï¿½ny” egy megsï¿½rgult pï¿½ldï¿½nya kaphatï¿½ volt, az ï¿½jsï¿½gban, az idegenek nï¿½vsorï¿½ban Pï¿½lmay Ilka^{*} nevï¿½t kereste, vï¿½n barï¿½tait csak azï¿½rt kerï¿½lte el, mert mindig azt mondtï¿½k neki, hogy ï¿½rï¿½kifjï¿½ lï¿½tï¿½re megï¿½regedett: Emlï¿½ki egy napon levelet kapott, hogy gyermeke ï¿½l, ï¿½s Y.ban, egy vidï¿½ki vï¿½ros szï¿½nhï¿½zï¿½ban drï¿½mai szï¿½ndarabban fellï¿½p. Ida kuszï¿½lt ï¿½s rendetlen sorokkal ï¿½rt, mint fiatalkorï¿½ban megszokta, midï¿½n a fï¿½rfiak napokig, talï¿½n hetekig hordoztï¿½k levelï¿½t a szï¿½vï¿½k felett, amï¿½g vï¿½gkï¿½ppen kiï¿½lveztï¿½k a kacskaringï¿½s szavakat. Emlï¿½ki a gyorsforralï¿½n teï¿½t fï¿½zï¿½tt, amint a regï¿½nyekben olvasta, papucsot hï¿½zott, ï¿½s a hatodik emeleten sokï¿½ig elmerengett a mï¿½lton.
Y.ban a Huszï¿½rhoz volt cï¿½mezve a vendï¿½glï¿½, ahol mulatï¿½ tï¿½rsasï¿½g nï¿½lkï¿½l is bevï¿½rtï¿½k a szï¿½nï¿½szeket, a fï¿½kapitï¿½ny vezette karonfogva Mellï¿½ki Klï¿½ra kisasszonyt az ï¿½tterembe, hamiskï¿½rtyï¿½s kï¿½pï¿½ apaszï¿½nï¿½sz ï¿½s a pesti hintï¿½slegï¿½nyekre emlï¿½keztetï¿½ magaviseletï¿½ ifjï¿½ szï¿½nï¿½szek kï¿½vetkeztek a sorban, akik csakhamar kï¿½rtyajï¿½tï¿½kot kezdtek egymï¿½s kï¿½zï¿½tt. Egy vidï¿½ki, ï¿½szes hajï¿½ jï¿½rï¿½sbï¿½rï¿½, aki meglehetï¿½s szomorï¿½sï¿½ggal fogyasztotta parï¿½di vizï¿½t, a fekete kabï¿½tba ï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½tt ï¿½reg sï¿½gï¿½, anya ï¿½s leï¿½nya, valamint Emlï¿½ki maradtak a Huszï¿½rban a fehï¿½rasztalnï¿½l, ï¿½s rï¿½gi idï¿½k mï¿½djï¿½ra sok savanyï¿½ bort ittak, a kucsï¿½bernï¿½l szerencsï¿½t prï¿½bï¿½ltak. A jï¿½rï¿½sbï¿½rï¿½ nï¿½ha kimondott egy nevet, de senki sem emlï¿½kezett a nï¿½vre az asztalnï¿½l, csak Mellï¿½ki Ida bï¿½lintott kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s meghatottsï¿½ggal. A szï¿½rnyas kabï¿½tos sï¿½gï¿½ komoran ï¿½lt helyï¿½n, mint akit nem nagyon ï¿½rdekel a tï¿½rsasï¿½g, ï¿½s kulcsos ï¿½rï¿½jï¿½ba tï¿½bbszï¿½r ï¿½gy nï¿½zett bele, mintha abban valaki lakna, akivel magï¿½nyossï¿½gï¿½ban beszï¿½lgetni szokott. Az ifjï¿½ szï¿½nï¿½sznï¿½ lemondï¿½, bï¿½natos mosollyal, mintha valamely elmaradt meglepetï¿½s miatt szomorkodna, ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt helyï¿½n. Emlï¿½ki a kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s helyzet folytï¿½n elï¿½bb vï¿½g, gï¿½nyos megfigyelï¿½ volt, kï¿½sï¿½bb nyugtalan ï¿½s igazsï¿½gtalan helyzetbe kerï¿½lt fï¿½rfiï¿½ mï¿½djï¿½ra az ajtï¿½ra nï¿½zegetett ï¿½s elszï¿½kni kï¿½szï¿½lt, csak azt nem tudta, hogy vane a hï¿½lgyeknï¿½l elegendï¿½ pï¿½nz a szï¿½mlï¿½juk kifizetï¿½sï¿½re.
Mellï¿½ki Ida asszony nï¿½hï¿½ny dalt ï¿½nekelt, amelyre mindnyï¿½jan emlï¿½keztek a tï¿½rsasï¿½gban. A Suhanc, a Denevï¿½r… Sï¿½rï¿½n havazik a vidï¿½ki kisvï¿½ros felett, ï¿½s narancsillata van a szï¿½nhï¿½zi ï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½nek. Furcsa fï¿½sï¿½k, eldobï¿½lt fehï¿½rnemï¿½ek, vaksi tï¿½krï¿½k ï¿½s kegyetlen lï¿½ghuzam valamerrï¿½l… A karnagy boros ï¿½llapotban ï¿½talussza a felvonï¿½skï¿½zï¿½ket, ï¿½s a lï¿½mpï¿½sok bï¿½gyadtan fï¿½nylenek a szï¿½npad elï¿½tt, mintha fï¿½lï¿½lomban tï¿½rtï¿½nne minden… A dobos fehï¿½r mellï¿½nyben ï¿½l a zenekarban, ï¿½s ï¿½nnepï¿½lyes riadï¿½t ver, midï¿½n Mellï¿½ki asszony a szï¿½npadra lï¿½p.
– Elmegyek, ï¿½s megï¿½lï¿½m magam, ha ez lesz az ï¿½n sorsom is – szï¿½lalt meg Mellï¿½ki Ida lï¿½nya a jï¿½rï¿½sbï¿½rï¿½ elbeszï¿½lï¿½se kï¿½zben.
Felï¿½llt, kirohant az ajtï¿½n, a kis, tï¿½skebajuszï¿½ sï¿½gï¿½ havas vï¿½llal ï¿½s kipirosodott arccal hï¿½zta vissza a folyï¿½ partjï¿½rï¿½l. Egy nagy pohï¿½r borral jutalmazta meg magï¿½t. Az ifjabbik Mellï¿½ki hï¿½lgy az asztalra kï¿½nyï¿½kï¿½lt, ï¿½s elszï¿½nt, hideg tekintettel mï¿½regette a tï¿½rsasï¿½got.
– Gyermekem, ilyen a szï¿½nï¿½szet – mondta a kis sï¿½gï¿½ az asztal vï¿½gï¿½rï¿½l, ï¿½s papirossal megragasztott egy tï¿½rï¿½tt szivart.
A jï¿½rï¿½sbï¿½rï¿½ az idï¿½sebb Mellï¿½kivel egy Athanï¿½z nevï¿½ kï¿½zï¿½s ismerï¿½sï¿½krï¿½l beszï¿½lt. Emlï¿½ki, aki sohasem szerette az erï¿½szakos dolgokat, elmï¿½lï¿½zva ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt. „Reggel elmegyek a vï¿½rosbï¿½l”, gondolta magï¿½ban.
A kis sï¿½gï¿½ ï¿½szrevï¿½tlenï¿½l leitta magï¿½t, sorban csï¿½kolï¿½zni kezdett a tï¿½rsasï¿½ggal, Mellï¿½kinï¿½ elï¿½tt letï¿½rdepelt, Klï¿½rï¿½t karonfogva vezette a biliï¿½rdasztal kï¿½rï¿½l.
– Rï¿½gente ilyenkor csï¿½jï¿½t ittunk a gyermekï¿½nk egï¿½szsï¿½gï¿½re – mondta Emlï¿½kinek, s megveregette a vï¿½llï¿½t. – A gyermekï¿½nk egï¿½szsï¿½gï¿½re.
– ï¿½gy van – szï¿½lt meggyï¿½zï¿½dï¿½ssel a jï¿½rï¿½sbï¿½rï¿½.
Jï¿½val elmï¿½lt ï¿½jfï¿½l, mire a tï¿½rsasï¿½g hazafelï¿½ indult. Mellï¿½ki asszony hosszan megcsï¿½kolta Emlï¿½kit.
– Ugye, szï¿½p a lï¿½nyom? – kï¿½rdezte.
A kisasszony bï¿½kolt, mint a tï¿½nciskolï¿½ban szokï¿½s. A gï¿½rï¿½gkatolikus templom mï¿½gï¿½tt elmaradt Emlï¿½ki a jï¿½rï¿½sbï¿½rï¿½tï¿½l ï¿½s a sï¿½gï¿½tï¿½l. Hajnalig nï¿½hï¿½nyszor elsï¿½tï¿½lt a havas ï¿½jben a Mellï¿½ki hï¿½lgyek fï¿½ldszintes ablaka alatt. Anya ï¿½s leï¿½nya indulatosan beszï¿½lgettek a kï¿½kvirï¿½gos fï¿½ggï¿½nyï¿½k mï¿½gï¿½tt.
– Vï¿½n szamarak – kiï¿½ltotta egyszer hangosan Mellï¿½ki Klï¿½ra, midï¿½n Emlï¿½ki meghatottsï¿½gï¿½ban mï¿½r csaknem megkopogtatta az ablakot.
Ezutï¿½n bï¿½sï¿½ges hï¿½esï¿½s kezdï¿½dï¿½tt az alvï¿½ kisvï¿½ros felett, ï¿½s Emlï¿½ki a nyakï¿½ba hï¿½zta fejï¿½t, amint a hajnali vonathoz bandukolt.
Beleznainï¿½ – az ifjabbik – a Nemzeti Szï¿½nhï¿½zbï¿½l elï¿½adï¿½s utï¿½n, tï¿½li estvï¿½n, vizes januï¿½riusban, kocsijï¿½n a vï¿½roserdï¿½be vitette magï¿½t. A Lï¿½vï¿½lde tï¿½ren megï¿½llï¿½totta a rozoga fiï¿½kert, a bï¿½rkocsisnak egy aranyat vetett, ï¿½s elindult gyalog, magï¿½nyosan az ï¿½jszakai kï¿½ddel, hï¿½val, sï¿½tï¿½tsï¿½ggel fedett vï¿½roserdï¿½ felï¿½. A fiï¿½keres levett kalappal nï¿½zett a hermelinkï¿½penyeges dï¿½ma utï¿½n, majd lovai kï¿½zï¿½ csapott, hogy a Kï¿½k macskï¿½nï¿½l rï¿½szt vehessen a tï¿½ncban. Beleznainï¿½ – az ifjabbik – egyedï¿½l, lassï¿½ lï¿½ptekkel ment a vï¿½roserdï¿½ben a bokï¿½ig ï¿½rï¿½ vizes hï¿½ban, a fï¿½krï¿½l a nedves hï¿½ gyï¿½mï¿½ntcsattal megtï¿½zï¿½tt hajï¿½ra omlott, strucctollas legyezï¿½je szinte holtan csï¿½ngï¿½tt le karjï¿½rï¿½l, uszï¿½lyos ruhï¿½jï¿½t fï¿½radtan emelte. Nem lï¿½tott, nem hallott, csak ment elï¿½re a sï¿½tï¿½tsï¿½gben, s vï¿½gzetï¿½t kereste. Mï¿½r eltï¿½nt a lï¿½vï¿½hï¿½z elï¿½tti lï¿½mpï¿½s a sï¿½rï¿½ faderekak kï¿½zï¿½tt, mintha a ruhï¿½juk alï¿½ dugtï¿½k volna a nï¿½nemï¿½ gesztenyefï¿½k az ï¿½jszakï¿½ban jï¿½tszadozï¿½ kis fï¿½nyessï¿½get, talï¿½lt ï¿½kszert; a magassï¿½gban ï¿½sz fejï¿½ vï¿½nek, zordon tï¿½li fellegek utaztak a felszï¿½lben, a hold, mint egy utcï¿½ra tett beteg csecsemï¿½ a jï¿½szï¿½vï¿½ hercegnï¿½rï¿½l, fï¿½nyrï¿½l, ifjï¿½sï¿½grï¿½l, hï¿½rsfï¿½k illatï¿½rï¿½l ï¿½lmodott betegï¿½gyï¿½n, egy mellbetegszï¿½nï¿½ felhï¿½ mï¿½gï¿½tt; a francia regï¿½nyekben, amelyeket nyugodt, ï¿½res ï¿½s kï¿½zï¿½mbï¿½s szï¿½vvel szokï¿½s olvasni esï¿½s dï¿½lutï¿½n a pamlagon, a rï¿½zsaszï¿½nï¿½ gyertyï¿½kat korï¿½n meggyï¿½jtja a szolga, a francia regï¿½nyekben ilyen idï¿½jï¿½rï¿½s mellett tï¿½rtï¿½nnek a gyilkossï¿½gok a sorompï¿½ kï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½n… Beleznainï¿½ – az ifjabbik – e tï¿½len nem olvasott egyetlen regï¿½nyt sem – Aigner kï¿½nyvï¿½rus kï¿½ldemï¿½nyei fï¿½lvï¿½gatlanul maradtak; Beleznainï¿½ a hosszï¿½ tï¿½len – mï¿½r oktï¿½berben leesett a hï¿½ – mindig csak egy fï¿½rfira gondolt.
E tï¿½len Beleznainï¿½ sï¿½tï¿½t hajï¿½ban egy fehï¿½r fï¿½rt keletkezett, bal oldalon, a szï¿½v oldalï¿½n, mintha csak annak a szerelemnek a tiszteletï¿½re szï¿½letett volna, amelyet a Beleznainï¿½ korï¿½ban lï¿½vï¿½ nï¿½k dï¿½delgetve neveznek utolsï¿½ szerelemnek, mint a legkisebbik gyermekï¿½ket szeretik – ezenkï¿½vï¿½l a fia e tï¿½len nyerte el a hadnagyi rangot a Nï¿½dorhuszï¿½roknï¿½l^{*}. Kï¿½nnyen elkï¿½pzelhetï¿½, hogy Beleznainï¿½ szerelmï¿½rï¿½l legbensï¿½bb barï¿½tnï¿½i sem tudtak. Hogyan lehetne tovï¿½bb is emelt fï¿½vel jï¿½rkï¿½lni a vï¿½rosban, ï¿½s a vï¿½degyleti bï¿½lon, a Redutban az emelvï¿½nyen ï¿½lni? Ah, a Beleznainï¿½ korï¿½ban a nï¿½k vigyï¿½znak hï¿½rnevï¿½kre, jobban, mint ï¿½kszereikre. Kï¿½t gyermeket nevelt fï¿½l, mint madï¿½r a fiï¿½kï¿½it. Jobb karjï¿½n hordozta a fiï¿½t, a balon a leï¿½nykï¿½t. Sok esztendï¿½ mï¿½lott el, hogy a Beleznainï¿½ pï¿½holya ï¿½resen ï¿½sï¿½tott a Nemzeti Szï¿½nhï¿½zban; nem lï¿½tta ï¿½t a gellï¿½rthegyi bï¿½csï¿½, sem az ï¿½llathecc. Beleznainï¿½ gyermekeit nevelte, ï¿½s a kï¿½pes divatlap rejtvï¿½nyeit leï¿½nykï¿½jï¿½val egyï¿½tt fejtette meg. Ugyanezï¿½rt, midï¿½n vï¿½gre vï¿½ratlanul feltï¿½nt szentkï¿½p arca – a spanyol kï¿½polnï¿½kbï¿½l – merengï¿½, kissï¿½ nyugtalan, hosszï¿½ elgondolkozï¿½sbï¿½l idegessï¿½gbe ï¿½gï¿½ tekintete, mintha az jutott volna hirtelen eszï¿½be, hogy odahaza a kislï¿½ny legurult a lï¿½pcsï¿½n – kisded finom alakja, amely a pï¿½holyban drï¿½ga selymek ï¿½s nemes prï¿½mek kï¿½zï¿½tt, csaknem csodatevï¿½ï¿½n tiszta ï¿½letï¿½, rï¿½gi ï¿½rnï¿½k illatï¿½t lehelï¿½ ï¿½kszereiben kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s lï¿½gysï¿½ggal, szelï¿½d megadï¿½ssal elhelyezkedett, mintha a finom figurï¿½t ama thï¿½atre parï¿½^{*} alkalmï¿½bï¿½l komponï¿½lta volna a rï¿½zkarcolï¿½ mï¿½vï¿½re, midï¿½n az orosz hercegnï¿½ fï¿½rjhez ment Budï¿½ra, ï¿½s a bï¿½csi szï¿½nï¿½szek hajï¿½n jï¿½ttek le a Dunï¿½n, hogy ott dï¿½szelï¿½adï¿½st tartsanak –: a pesti tï¿½rsasï¿½g, divathï¿½lgyek ï¿½s delfik, szemï¿½veges idï¿½s ï¿½rnï¿½k ï¿½s nyugodalmas tï¿½blabï¿½rï¿½k, Degrï¿½ Alajos^{*} ï¿½s a ragyogï¿½ Kuthy Lajos^{*}, egyszï¿½val Pest a negyvenes ï¿½vekben rajongï¿½ szerelemre gyulladt a vï¿½ratlan, csodï¿½latos Beleznainï¿½ irï¿½nt, akinek finom lï¿½nye, lï¿½gy kï¿½zmozdulattal szinte mï¿½g a Zrï¿½nyi sarkantyï¿½pengï¿½ses jurï¿½tusdorbï¿½zolï¿½sait^{*} is elhallgatta, a zenekar mellett. Az elsï¿½ sorban ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lï¿½ Elefï¿½nthy ï¿½r, pesti lion^{*}, teknï¿½ccsontjï¿½bï¿½l kï¿½szï¿½lt pï¿½lcï¿½jï¿½val ritkï¿½bban kopogtatta meg ezutï¿½n a dobos hï¿½tï¿½t, hogy a pianï¿½kat az ï¿½stdob pufogtatï¿½sï¿½val fï¿½szerezze, a hï¿½lgyek à la grêce^{*} fï¿½sï¿½ltettï¿½k a hajukat a Kishï¿½d utcai fodrï¿½sszal – Beleznainï¿½ hajviselete ï¿½s a bï¿½, lengï¿½, aprï¿½ virï¿½gokkal dï¿½szï¿½tett szoknya hamarï¿½bb divatos lett, mint a nyï¿½jas olvasï¿½ e sorokkal vï¿½gez! Az akkori kï¿½zlï¿½nyï¿½kben fï¿½lbukkantak versek a divatos kï¿½ltï¿½k tollï¿½bï¿½l, amelyek egy fekete hajï¿½, fï¿½ldre szï¿½llott sugï¿½rhoz, elevennï¿½ vï¿½lott gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½sï¿½ghez voltak intï¿½zve, Frankenburg^{*} egy budai disznï¿½toron kikottyantotta, hogy a kï¿½ltemï¿½nyeket Beleznainï¿½hoz ï¿½rjï¿½k a poï¿½tï¿½k, ï¿½s K. L. divatos beszï¿½lyï¿½rï¿½ ï¿½s arszlï¿½n^{*} (bï¿½r e kifejezï¿½s kï¿½sï¿½bbi, ï¿½s Petï¿½fi tollï¿½t dicsï¿½ri), ï¿½lomporral megmï¿½rgezte magï¿½t lakï¿½sï¿½n, hogy olthatatlan szenvedï¿½lyï¿½t csillapï¿½tsa.
Beleznainï¿½, keresztnevï¿½n Hermina (egy szent hï¿½lgy tiszteletï¿½re), nem lï¿½tszott tudomï¿½sul venni a feltï¿½nï¿½st, amelyet megjelenï¿½sï¿½vel az akkori Pesten elï¿½idï¿½zett. Szerï¿½nyen bï¿½kolt, mint kislï¿½ny korï¿½ban divat volt a bï¿½csi Szentszï¿½vzï¿½rdï¿½ban, halkan beszï¿½lt (ah, a divatos nï¿½k ezutï¿½n ï¿½vekig valï¿½ban mï¿½r csak legyezï¿½nyelven beszï¿½ltek), csendesen lï¿½pett, ï¿½s fontossï¿½got nem tulajdonï¿½tott annak, hogy Elefï¿½nthy ï¿½r a polgï¿½ri zenekart ablakai alï¿½ rendelte vasï¿½rnapi dï¿½lutï¿½nokon. Csak halkan, ï¿½szrevï¿½tlenï¿½l ï¿½lni, szinte meg sem lï¿½tni a csï¿½nya embereket, tï¿½bbet beszï¿½lgetni gyermekeivel ï¿½s a tavasz virï¿½gaival, mint a barï¿½tnï¿½ivel: ez volt Hermina ï¿½lete. Hogy a fehï¿½rnemï¿½ek a szekrï¿½nyekben mind rendben legyenek, a hervadï¿½ virï¿½gcserepeket frissekkel cserï¿½lje ki a vï¿½rosi kertï¿½sz a vaskosaras ablakokban, a dal halkan, elmosï¿½dottan hangozzï¿½k a spinï¿½ten^{*}, a padlï¿½ mindig frissen legyen sï¿½rolva a hï¿½zï¿½ban, mï¿½g az ï¿½gy alatt ï¿½s a szobasarkokban is, az imakï¿½nyv mellett mindig akadjon egy jï¿½ kï¿½nyv a hï¿½znï¿½l, amely elmulattat, megvigasztal, ï¿½szrevï¿½tlenï¿½l fï¿½lderï¿½t, mint a fekete szï¿½npadi fï¿½ggï¿½ny mï¿½gï¿½tt a hï¿½ttï¿½rben, a szï¿½ndarab vï¿½geztï¿½vel, kis kunyhï¿½ elï¿½tt, rokka mellett lï¿½thatï¿½ az ï¿½lï¿½kï¿½p, mely az ï¿½ldï¿½zï¿½tt szerelmesek tovï¿½bbi sorsï¿½t ï¿½brï¿½zolja: ï¿½gy ï¿½lt Hermina, a legdivatosabb hï¿½lgy Pesten, a negyvenes ï¿½vekben, midï¿½n a fï¿½rfiak ugyan amulettet viseltek a szï¿½vï¿½k fï¿½lï¿½tt, de szï¿½vesen felcserï¿½lik vala a hï¿½lgyeiktï¿½l kapott emlï¿½ktï¿½rgyat egy szalagcsokorral a Beleznainï¿½ ruhï¿½jï¿½rï¿½l. – Szalagcsokor azonban senkinek sem volt birtokï¿½ban a vï¿½rosban.
ï¿½s most, e bï¿½nattal teli tï¿½li ï¿½jszakï¿½n hovï¿½ jut Hermina a vï¿½roserdï¿½ben, ahol a fï¿½k setï¿½tek, fenyegetï¿½k, ï¿½s az ï¿½jszaka folytatja rejtï¿½lyes ï¿½letï¿½t, amelyet nem szabad meglesni emberi szemnek?
Hovï¿½ bolyong kï¿½nnyï¿½ cipï¿½jï¿½ben a hï¿½lï¿½ben, ï¿½lmukban kï¿½nnyezï¿½ fï¿½k alatt – a kinyï¿½lï¿½ ï¿½gakrï¿½l nem ï¿½ti meg fejï¿½t akasztott ember lï¿½bï¿½ban, ï¿½s egy megfagyott varjï¿½ nem fordul le a fatetï¿½rï¿½l, hogy vï¿½llï¿½ra hulljon?
Merre jï¿½r magï¿½nyosan, felzokogï¿½ szï¿½vvel, tï¿½pett kendï¿½vel, vï¿½rig megalï¿½zottan, ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gig elkeseredve?
ï¿½les fï¿½tty hangzott fï¿½l a bokrok kï¿½zï¿½tt, ï¿½s egy rongyos, fï¿½lkarï¿½ fï¿½rfi lassan az ï¿½tra lï¿½pkedett, amelyen Beleznainï¿½ a vï¿½ros felï¿½l menekï¿½lt. Vastag bot volt a csavargï¿½ kezï¿½ben, a kï¿½penyege, mint kï¿½sza varjï¿½fï¿½szek, a nyakï¿½ban.
– Megï¿½llj! – mondta tï¿½li fagytï¿½l rekedt hangon az ï¿½tonï¿½llï¿½.
Beleznainï¿½ halï¿½lra vï¿½ltan szorï¿½totta a kï¿½t kezï¿½t szï¿½vï¿½re.
– ï¿½ljï¿½n meg, csak ne bï¿½ntson, mert ï¿½n egy szerencsï¿½tlen nï¿½ vagyok – rebegte.
A csavargï¿½ kï¿½zelebb lï¿½pkedett, ï¿½s szemï¿½gyre vette az asszonyt. A gyï¿½mï¿½ntcsatot nyugodtan kivette a hajï¿½bï¿½l – a hold egy siralmas, sovï¿½ny jegenye gallyai kï¿½zï¿½ bï¿½jt –, a hermelines szï¿½nhï¿½zi belï¿½pï¿½t tï¿½bbszï¿½r megsimogatta, megforgatta.
– Hogy kerï¿½lsz ide, te ï¿½ri asszonyszemï¿½ly? – kï¿½rdezte szï¿½razon.
Beleznainï¿½ – bï¿½r sohasem markolt teljes erï¿½vel a hï¿½rfa hï¿½rjai kï¿½zï¿½ –, asszony volt, fï¿½lismervï¿½n a veszï¿½lyt, fï¿½lï¿½ledtek benne az ï¿½si nï¿½i ï¿½sztï¿½nï¿½k.
– Szerelmes voltam… szerelmes vagyok, ï¿½s nem tudom, hogy kibe. Egy kirï¿½lyba vagy egy korhelybe. Valami ï¿½zï¿½tt ma ï¿½jszaka, mintha jï¿½gzajlï¿½s volna a szï¿½vemben.
A csavargï¿½ figyelmesen hallgatott, bï¿½lintott:
– Szï¿½pen tudtok beszï¿½lni, ti dï¿½mï¿½k – mormogta, majd a hold csalï¿½kony vilï¿½gï¿½tï¿½sï¿½nï¿½l szemï¿½gyre vette a gyï¿½mï¿½ntcsatot.
– Nagyon drï¿½ga – dï¿½rmï¿½gte rosszkedvï¿½en –, levï¿½gjï¿½k ï¿½rte a mï¿½sik kezemet is. Nincs pï¿½nzed? – kï¿½rdezte, s a csatot visszaadta az asszonynak.
– Egy aranyam volt, s azt… egy szegï¿½ny embernek adtam az ï¿½ton.
– Szegï¿½ny ember – szerencsï¿½s fickï¿½ –, morgott a csavargï¿½. – Hadd nï¿½zzelek, te dï¿½ma.
Beleznainï¿½ ï¿½lla alï¿½ szorï¿½totta a kezï¿½t, mintha rï¿½gi egï¿½rkalitka rozsdï¿½s drï¿½tjai kaparï¿½sztak volna Hermina nyaka kï¿½rï¿½l. De az asszony fagyott mosollyal nï¿½zett a csavargï¿½ torzonborz arcï¿½ra.
– Eh, te is szï¿½p vagy… Majdnem olyan szï¿½p vagy, mint akiï¿½rt elï¿½szï¿½r loptam.
– ï¿½s ï¿½n is szeretem a vad, kegyetlen fï¿½rfiakat – felelt az ï¿½letveszï¿½lyben mosolygï¿½ Hermina. – Szeretnï¿½m, ha valaki lopna ï¿½rtem. Gyï¿½lï¿½lï¿½m a fï¿½rfiakat, hogy mindig csak szï¿½p szavakkal, kï¿½rmï¿½nfont hazugsï¿½gokkal, ostoba bï¿½kokkal akarnak meghï¿½dï¿½tani, ï¿½s egyik sem megy el rabolni a kedvemï¿½rt.
A csavargï¿½ hï¿½mmï¿½gï¿½tt:
– Hogy hazudtok!
– ï¿½n nem hazudok, ï¿½n azï¿½rt jï¿½ttem ma ï¿½jszaka a vï¿½roserdï¿½be, hogy valakin bosszï¿½t ï¿½lljak.
– Persze, egy fï¿½rfin.
Az asszony ï¿½sszetette a kï¿½t kezï¿½t:
– Jï¿½jj velem… Elï¿½g rongyos vagy, elï¿½g piszkos vagy, vad vagy, gyilkos, tolvaj… Jï¿½jj velem; a hï¿½zamban megterï¿½tve minden a vacsorï¿½hoz. Egy fï¿½rfinak kellett volna velem tï¿½lteni a mai estï¿½jï¿½t, ï¿½s valamerre mï¿½shol kergeti a kï¿½nnyï¿½ ï¿½lvet. Jï¿½jj, hï¿½zam a vï¿½roserdï¿½ szï¿½lï¿½n, ï¿½s megeskï¿½szï¿½m, hogy nem lesz bï¿½ntï¿½dï¿½sod. Tï¿½ged kereslek, te rongyos, ï¿½jszaka fia, talï¿½n mï¿½g vï¿½res a kezed tegnaprï¿½l?
Beleznainï¿½ a csavargï¿½ fï¿½lkarjï¿½ba kapaszkodott, de az megvetett lï¿½bbal ï¿½llott.
– Kelepce – felelte rï¿½viden. – Itt maradunk az erdï¿½n, ahova nem mer belï¿½pni az ï¿½rkatona.
– Higgyï¿½l nekem – kï¿½nyï¿½rgï¿½tt Hermina. – Vï¿½dekezhetnï¿½k ellened, ï¿½les tï¿½rt hordok magamnï¿½l, ï¿½s szï¿½ven szï¿½rhatnï¿½lak, mielï¿½tt bï¿½ntanï¿½l.
– A tï¿½rt mindenesetre add ide – felelt a csavargï¿½, ï¿½s kivonta karjï¿½t az asszony kezï¿½bï¿½l.
Beleznainï¿½ a keblï¿½be nyï¿½lt. Rï¿½gi mï¿½vï¿½, ruganyos kis penge volt ott elrejtve, amelyet a sajï¿½t szï¿½vï¿½be akart dï¿½fni a vï¿½roserdï¿½ mï¿½lyï¿½ben.
– ï¿½s most menjï¿½nk, mert a vï¿½rosban a tornyok ï¿½jfï¿½lt kongatnak – kï¿½nyï¿½rgï¿½tt az asszony. – Hideg ï¿½s fï¿½lelmetes az erdï¿½. S mily szï¿½rnyï¿½ volna talï¿½lkozni valakivel, akinek kï¿½t karja van.
Beleznainï¿½ elï¿½relï¿½pkedett az ï¿½ton, ï¿½s amint a nedves hï¿½ban lï¿½tta szemben jï¿½nni lï¿½bnyomait – mindegyik egy kï¿½nnynek, fï¿½jdalmas percnek, kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesett zokogï¿½snak a sï¿½rja –, dideregni kezdett, hogy a fogai vacogtak. De az ï¿½letï¿½rï¿½m fï¿½lï¿½bredt benne, s emï¿½gy mulattatta a haramiï¿½t:
– ï¿½n rendes, jï¿½ravalï¿½ nï¿½ voltam a mai napig. Ma azonban elvesztem. Hallgasd meg tï¿½rtï¿½netemet, te jï¿½ ember, aki bizonyosan nagyon szerettï¿½l ï¿½s szenvedtï¿½l mï¿½r ï¿½leted folyamï¿½n. Kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l kï¿½t esztendeje vï¿½letlenï¿½l megismerkedtem egy fï¿½rfival. Pï¿½holyban, szï¿½nhï¿½zban, ï¿½ri tï¿½rsasï¿½gban nï¿½kem bemutattï¿½k, s ï¿½ ekkor rï¿½m nï¿½zett, hosszasan, furcsï¿½n, tï¿½gra nyitott szemmel, hogy azt ï¿½reztem, ï¿½gy mï¿½g nem nï¿½zett rï¿½m senki, de ez a fï¿½rfi se nï¿½zhetett ilyenformï¿½n mï¿½s nï¿½re. ï¿½gy csak egyszer lehet nï¿½zni az ï¿½letben, amikor a szemsugï¿½r mindent elmond egyszerre… Elmondja a mï¿½ltat, hogy mï¿½r valaha valahol egy rï¿½gi ï¿½letben, elmï¿½lt szï¿½zadban talï¿½lkoztunk egymï¿½ssal… a szemek mint kedves ismerï¿½sï¿½k kapcsolï¿½dnak ï¿½ssze, ï¿½s a kezek szorï¿½tï¿½sï¿½ban azt ï¿½rezni, hogy az ï¿½ feje mï¿½r pihent egyszer a keblemen… Elmondja a tekintet a bï¿½s jelent, midï¿½n egymï¿½st elkerï¿½lve, idegenï¿½l ï¿½lï¿½nk, holott az volna a hivatï¿½sunk, hogy mindig egymï¿½s mellett ï¿½ljï¿½nk, hallgassunk, vagy mosolyogjunk… ï¿½s beszï¿½l a remï¿½nyteljes szï¿½p jï¿½vï¿½rï¿½l, midï¿½n egy napon feltï¿½nik a tavaszi nap a vï¿½roserdï¿½ lombjai mï¿½gï¿½tt, a leveleken, mint kis lelkek csï¿½nakï¿½znak piros vitorlï¿½val a csillogï¿½ harmatcseppek, jï¿½szagï¿½ levegï¿½ sompolyog ki a fï¿½k alï¿½l, hogy nagyon nagyot lï¿½legzik belï¿½le a kebel, ï¿½s a szï¿½v egyszerre ï¿½j tempï¿½ban kezd dobogni, a pulzus mï¿½skï¿½ppen ver, a gondolat szï¿½rnyalï¿½sa magas tornyok felett lebegï¿½ madarak kï¿½nnyedsï¿½ge, a szem lezï¿½rul, mintha bï¿½s mezï¿½rï¿½l egyszerre homokos ï¿½tra, mï¿½ly erdï¿½be gurult volna a kocsi.
– Mï¿½r lï¿½tni a lï¿½mpï¿½st a Lï¿½vï¿½lde tï¿½ren – vï¿½lekedett a csavargï¿½.
– Aztï¿½n kï¿½t ï¿½vig nï¿½ha vï¿½ltottunk egy szï¿½t. ï¿½ megmegï¿½llt a pï¿½holyom alatt, kï¿½szï¿½nt, szï¿½p beszï¿½lyeket ï¿½rt rï¿½lam a kï¿½zlï¿½nyï¿½kbe, s ï¿½n mindig reï¿½ gondoltam, kï¿½vï¿½ntam, vï¿½rtam, szerelmes voltam, ï¿½s a nevï¿½t hangosan mondtam, mikor egyedï¿½l voltam. Sï¿½rtam, a pï¿½rnï¿½imat ï¿½lelgettem, nyitott szemmel fekï¿½dtem ï¿½gyamban, hajnalban azt ï¿½lmodtam, hogy az ï¿½gyam szï¿½lï¿½n ï¿½l, s a kezemet simogatja. Tegnap dï¿½lutï¿½n vï¿½gre azt gondoltam, hogy elkï¿½vetkezett a nap, amikor egymï¿½sï¿½ leszï¿½nk. Nem tudom, hogy jutott eszembe ez a bolond gondolat. Valami csalhatatlanul mondta bennem: ma… ma estve… mint ahogy az ï¿½ra tiktakol a falon. A menyasszonyi fehï¿½rnemï¿½met ï¿½ltï¿½ttem magamra, amely az eskï¿½vï¿½m ï¿½ta nem volt rajtam. Az anyï¿½m varrta az inget, ï¿½n hï¿½meztem, kis virï¿½gokat horgoltam a szï¿½lï¿½re, s a szï¿½vem fï¿½lï¿½ a nevem… A szï¿½nhï¿½zban szï¿½pen jï¿½tszottak, s minden percben vï¿½rtam, hogy ï¿½ belï¿½p pï¿½holyomba. De nem jï¿½tt. Egy lï¿½ha ficsï¿½r a mï¿½sodik felvonï¿½s utï¿½n megï¿½llott pï¿½holyom elï¿½tt, s jelenti, hogy a Kï¿½kmacskï¿½nï¿½l nagy ï¿½larcosbï¿½l tartatik… Lajos az ï¿½larcosbï¿½lra ment, gondoltam magamban. Pedig nem is ï¿½smerem Lajost, ï¿½s mindezt hazudtam.
A lï¿½vï¿½hï¿½z kï¿½zelï¿½be ï¿½rtek. Az ï¿½rkatona, talï¿½n elï¿½szï¿½r ï¿½letï¿½ben ï¿½bren volt, ï¿½s a hï¿½z elï¿½tt ï¿½llott fegyverï¿½vel.
– Katona! – kiï¿½ltott teli torokbï¿½l, rï¿½mï¿½lt sikollyal Beleznainï¿½.
Az ï¿½lmok: vï¿½rcseppek. Annyi ï¿½lmunk van, ahï¿½ny csepp vï¿½rï¿½nk. Reggelenkint mindig fï¿½radtabban nï¿½zï¿½nk a tï¿½krï¿½nkbe. Karikï¿½k, rï¿½ncok, fehï¿½r foltok tï¿½madnak arcunkon, onnan elfolyt a vï¿½rï¿½nk. Rosszat ï¿½lmodtunk ï¿½jszaka – ï¿½gy szï¿½lt hozzï¿½m Miskolczinï¿½, az ï¿½lomfejtï¿½ asszony, aki a nyolcvanas ï¿½vekben a Belvï¿½rosban lakott egy rï¿½gi pesti hï¿½z emeletï¿½n, kalapï¿½cs volt az ajtï¿½n, ï¿½s ecetfa ï¿½llott az udvaron, amely alatt a sï¿½plï¿½da nï¿½ha megszï¿½lalt, vak ï¿½nekesek a fa derekï¿½nak vetettï¿½k hï¿½tukat vï¿½ndorï¿½tjukban, kacskaringï¿½s vaskorlï¿½t vï¿½dte a folyosï¿½t, amely ittott elkopott a kï¿½nyï¿½kï¿½ktï¿½l, amelyek reï¿½ tï¿½maszkodtak, a grï¿½nitlï¿½pcsï¿½n vï¿½lyï¿½t ï¿½stak az emberi lï¿½bak, amelyek itt fï¿½l ï¿½s le mendegï¿½ltek…
A hï¿½zat nemrï¿½gen lebontottï¿½k, ï¿½s a lakï¿½s falï¿½ban (ahol Miskolczinï¿½ vï¿½gtelen cï¿½rnaszï¿½lat fï¿½zï¿½tt a tï¿½ piciny fokï¿½ba), egy emberi holttest maradvï¿½nyait talï¿½ltï¿½k. A holttest ï¿½lï¿½ ï¿½llapotban volt befalazva, mintha valaki karonfogva vezette volna a fï¿½lkï¿½ig, ï¿½s ott hellyel megkï¿½nï¿½lta. A nï¿½ma kï¿½mï¿½ves rakni kezdte a tï¿½glï¿½kat. Mï¿½r derï¿½kig ï¿½rt a fal, a kezek mï¿½g kinyï¿½lhattak, hogy megfogjï¿½k a kï¿½mï¿½ves kezï¿½t. „Megï¿½llj, mï¿½g ï¿½lek, hadd gyï¿½nyï¿½rkï¿½dï¿½m a szï¿½p vilï¿½gban…” De a kï¿½mï¿½ves kï¿½rlelhetetlenï¿½l emelte a falat, hiï¿½ba panaszkodott, kï¿½nyï¿½rgï¿½tt odabent a holttest. Vï¿½gï¿½l csak a homlokï¿½bï¿½l maradt valami. Miskolczinï¿½ kï¿½zelebb hï¿½zta a karosszï¿½kï¿½t, hogy a befalazott hallja az ï¿½lmokat, amelyeket lï¿½togatï¿½i elmondanak. ï¿½s a legenda szerint a falba ï¿½pï¿½tett halott felelgetett az ï¿½lmok rejtï¿½lyes kï¿½rdï¿½seire, ï¿½ szolgï¿½lt a megfejtï¿½sekkel, mert odaï¿½t volt a mï¿½svilï¿½gon, ï¿½s mï¿½r mindent tudott – ï¿½letet, ï¿½lmot, halï¿½lt. Miskolczinï¿½ csak a tï¿½ fokï¿½t kereste, ï¿½s a falban lakï¿½ szerezte meg neki a mindennapi kenyeret.
A hï¿½zon sï¿½rkï¿½nyfej volt, elï¿½renyï¿½lt a homlokzaton, mintha az utcai ï¿½letet figyelnï¿½ vagy az erkï¿½lyeken a szerelmeseket, akik mindig ugyanazt mondtï¿½k egymï¿½snak, nemzedï¿½krï¿½l nemzedï¿½kre, a kï¿½mï¿½nyek mï¿½gï¿½tt feltï¿½nedezï¿½ holdat meglepetten nï¿½ztï¿½k egykor az anyï¿½k, nagyanyï¿½k ï¿½s leï¿½nyaik, a hï¿½ztetï¿½n varjak ï¿½s csï¿½kï¿½k tollï¿½szkodtak, amelyeket estï¿½nkï¿½nt szï¿½tzavart Miskolczinï¿½ a Belvï¿½rosban, mintha az ï¿½lmokat kï¿½ldenï¿½ szï¿½jjel az elsï¿½tï¿½tedï¿½ lakï¿½sokba. Az ï¿½reg polgï¿½rok ï¿½gyï¿½ra nesztelenï¿½l rebbentek a baglyok, a varjak ï¿½s a csï¿½kï¿½k a magasban keringtek, amï¿½g egyenkint leszï¿½lldostak, megtalï¿½lvï¿½n helyï¿½ket a belvï¿½rosi hï¿½zakban. Az ï¿½lmot magukkal hoztï¿½k, de el is vittï¿½k.
Estï¿½nkint a varjakkal ï¿½s csï¿½kï¿½kkal kelt ï¿½tra a fï¿½vï¿½nyes Dunaparton a dï¿½lï¿½ngï¿½zï¿½ homokember, amelyet a jï¿½tszi szï¿½l ï¿½pï¿½tett napkï¿½zben… Jï¿½tt a homokember is a vï¿½ros felï¿½, ï¿½s puha, nehï¿½z tenyerï¿½t reï¿½nyomkodta a szemekre, a homlokokra. A vï¿½n esï¿½csatornï¿½kon mint furcsa kis tï¿½rpï¿½k mï¿½szkï¿½ltak fï¿½l az ï¿½lmok a hï¿½zakba, fï¿½lkï¿½sztak a harmadik emeletre is, ï¿½s a nyitott ablakokon behempergï¿½ztek.
Fï¿½nn ï¿½lmodott a gazda, a kapunï¿½l kutyï¿½ja, csak Miskolczinï¿½ volt ï¿½bren a vï¿½rosban, ï¿½s a falban a holttest. Ha szï¿½l zï¿½gott a Belvï¿½ros fï¿½lï¿½tt, megcsï¿½rrentek a hï¿½ztetï¿½n a szï¿½lmutatï¿½k, a padlï¿½sokon a rï¿½gi lï¿½dï¿½kbï¿½l kijï¿½ttek a peres iratok, a falba ï¿½pï¿½tett holttest panaszkodott, nyï¿½szï¿½rgï¿½tt, hidegnek vï¿½lte sï¿½rjï¿½t, ï¿½s tï¿½n ï¿½tkozta Miskolczinï¿½t, hogy bï¿½rtï¿½nï¿½bï¿½l ki nem ereszti.
Ki volt a holttest, amï¿½g ï¿½lt?
Asszony volt, ï¿½s ezï¿½rt nagyon kï¿½vï¿½ncsi volt. Kï¿½vï¿½ncsi volt hï¿½tlen kedvese ï¿½lmï¿½ra, amelyet az ï¿½lomfejtï¿½ asszonynak elmondand. Ezï¿½rt falaztatta magï¿½t az ï¿½lomfejtï¿½ asszony hï¿½zï¿½ba.
Ma mï¿½r csak a keresztnevï¿½t tudjuk: Florentinnek hï¿½vtï¿½k, mint azon fehï¿½r, ï¿½ttetszï¿½ szï¿½vetet, amelyben a majï¿½lisokon tï¿½ncolnak a lï¿½nyok. Florentinruhï¿½ban mentek a gellï¿½rthegyi bï¿½csï¿½ra a boszorkï¿½nyok, amï¿½g fiatalok voltak.
Florentin ama rï¿½gi aranymï¿½ves csalï¿½dbï¿½l szï¿½rmazott, ahol az asszonyok sohasem viseltek ï¿½kszert, mert nem tudtï¿½k annak becsï¿½t. Az ï¿½kszer ï¿½zleti portï¿½ka volt a hï¿½znï¿½l, amely a hï¿½tulsï¿½ mï¿½helyekben csinï¿½lï¿½dott ï¿½reg legï¿½nyek ï¿½ltal, elkalapï¿½lgattak egy nï¿½sfï¿½n^{*} vagy egy szelencï¿½n^{*}, ï¿½s papirosba csomagoltï¿½k, mint a kï¿½ses az elkï¿½szï¿½lt beretvï¿½t. Aztï¿½n jï¿½ttek szomjas szemï¿½ asszonyok, akik megnedvesedett ajakkal megkï¿½vï¿½ntï¿½k az ï¿½kszereket, amelyeket hideg kï¿½zzel csomagolt ki elï¿½ttï¿½k az aranymï¿½ves. ï¿½s minï¿½l tï¿½bben kï¿½vï¿½ntï¿½k meg a rubintokat, aranyakat, annï¿½l inkï¿½bb emelkedett ï¿½rtï¿½kï¿½k. Az aranymï¿½ves a vï¿½sï¿½rlï¿½k tekintetï¿½bï¿½l ï¿½llapï¿½totta meg tï¿½rgyainak ï¿½rï¿½t.
Az aranymï¿½vesï¿½k asszonyai gyermekkoruk ï¿½ta, asztalnï¿½l, hï¿½lï¿½szobï¿½ban, hosszï¿½, ï¿½lmos dï¿½lutï¿½nokon hallottï¿½k ï¿½s lï¿½ttï¿½k az ï¿½zletet az arannyal ï¿½s ezï¿½sttel. A bolt hï¿½tulsï¿½ rï¿½szï¿½ben keleti kendï¿½jï¿½kbe burkolï¿½zva, tunyï¿½n ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltek, lusta, lassï¿½ mozdulatï¿½ak lettek, mint ï¿½ltalï¿½ban a kereskedï¿½k felesï¿½gei, ahovï¿½ nem ostornyï¿½lï¿½rt meg kocsikenï¿½csï¿½rt jï¿½rnak a vevï¿½k, hanem finom portï¿½kï¿½ï¿½rt. Az ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lï¿½s ï¿½s a henyï¿½lï¿½s fï¿½lï¿½bresztette az asszonyok fantï¿½ziï¿½it… Florentin a bolt hï¿½tsï¿½ rï¿½szï¿½ben meghï¿½zï¿½dva, vï¿½g nï¿½lkï¿½li dï¿½lutï¿½nokon kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½seket gondolt magï¿½ban.
Az Aranykï¿½z utca fï¿½lï¿½tt ï¿½szi esï¿½ hullott, ï¿½s a boltajtï¿½ elï¿½tt csak nï¿½ha ment el valaki, akinek dolga volt a vï¿½rosban.
„Hovï¿½ megy, mï¿½rt megy?” – kï¿½rdezte magï¿½ban Florentin.
Tï¿½li lepkï¿½k imbolyogtak a tetï¿½k fï¿½lï¿½tt, a kocsiknak hangja tompï¿½bb lett a friss hï¿½esï¿½sben, prï¿½mek ï¿½s bundagallï¿½rok kï¿½zï¿½tt suhantak tova az arcok az aranymï¿½ves bolt elï¿½tt.
„Miï¿½rt nem maradnak otthon e hideg tï¿½li napon?” – gondolta Florentin. – „Mindenki szerelmes a vï¿½rosban? Csak a szerelmesek jï¿½rnak nyughatatlanul?
ï¿½ mï¿½g sohasem volt szerelmes, ugyanezï¿½rt nagyon kï¿½vï¿½ncsi volt a szerelmesekre. Nï¿½ha, midï¿½n az ï¿½reg legï¿½ny kiballagott a mï¿½helybe, az ablakï¿½veghez nyomta arcï¿½t, ï¿½s a jï¿½rï¿½kelï¿½k tekintetï¿½bï¿½l, arcï¿½bï¿½l, mozdulataibï¿½l szerette volna megï¿½llapï¿½tani, hogy szerelmes az illetï¿½. Kï¿½lï¿½nben csak a fï¿½rfiak szerelme ï¿½rdekelte – a nï¿½krï¿½l rossz vï¿½lemï¿½nye volt, nem hitte el nekik, hogy szerelmesek tudnak lenni –, a fï¿½rfiak, akik bï¿½szkï¿½n ï¿½s emelt homlokkal mendegï¿½ltek itt az Aranykï¿½z utcï¿½ban, a vï¿½llak megfeszï¿½lnek, a lï¿½pï¿½sek hatï¿½rozottan dobbannak, mï¿½g az esernyï¿½k is a kezekben fï¿½rfiak, nem beszï¿½lve a legï¿½regebb polgï¿½rok sï¿½tabotjairï¿½l.
Milyen lehet a fï¿½rfiak szerelme?
(Az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½k sohasem voltak szerelmesek. Csendesen, rendesen fï¿½rjhez mentek, ï¿½s ha vï¿½letlenï¿½l kï¿½ltemï¿½nyes kï¿½nyv kerï¿½lt a kezï¿½kbe az ï¿½let folyamï¿½n, csodï¿½lkoztak az ottan fï¿½ltalï¿½lhatï¿½ szavakon. „Mint az ï¿½kszerek a szavak” – gondoltï¿½k.)
Florentin arra volt kï¿½vï¿½ncsi, hogy e bï¿½szke homlokok csakugyan meghajolnak a nï¿½k elï¿½tt, a tï¿½rdek valï¿½ban ï¿½rintik a pï¿½dimentumot, a gï¿½ndï¿½rï¿½tett szakï¿½llak ï¿½s bajuszok, ï¿½brï¿½ndos hajviseletek, aranygombos kï¿½k kabï¿½tok, fehï¿½r pantallï¿½k, nagy cilinderek^{*}: hogyan viselkednek, amikor gazdï¿½juk szerelmes? Igaz volna, hogy szerelemben sï¿½rnak, kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesnek, megï¿½rï¿½lnek, ï¿½ngyilkosok lesznek a fï¿½rfiak? Igaz, hogy mindig csak egy nï¿½re gondolnak, ï¿½rte imï¿½dkoznak, az arckï¿½pek elï¿½tt estve letï¿½rdepelnek, s a kezï¿½ket ï¿½sszeteszik, mint a gyermekek?
„Ah, szeretnï¿½k egy szerelmes fï¿½rfit ismerni” – sï¿½hajtott nï¿½ha indiai kendï¿½jï¿½ben az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½, a bolt hï¿½tulsï¿½ rï¿½szï¿½ben, ahol a rubintok ï¿½s a gyï¿½mï¿½ntok aludtak vaslï¿½dï¿½ban, mint egykor eljï¿½vendï¿½ szï¿½p asszonyszemek. (A lï¿½lek mï¿½g a nagy vizeken csï¿½nakï¿½zik egy kis falevï¿½len, de szeme mï¿½r az aranymï¿½ves boltban van.) ï¿½s a vaslï¿½da mellett Florentin, mint egy keleti ï¿½lom.
A Duna felï¿½l jï¿½vï¿½ vï¿½zhordï¿½ kocsik szamarai virï¿½gos gallyat kaptak a legï¿½nyï¿½ktï¿½l, a rï¿½gi hï¿½zakon, ittott kinyitottak egy ablakot, a boltajtï¿½n az ï¿½kszerek hï¿½vï¿½ssï¿½gï¿½be, a gyï¿½mï¿½ntok jeges tava kï¿½zï¿½ egy eltï¿½vedt tavaszi szellï¿½ lejtett… A harangok csengï¿½se tisztï¿½n hallatszott dï¿½lutï¿½nonkï¿½nt.
Egy kï¿½ltï¿½ jï¿½tt be a kï¿½szï¿½bï¿½n, ï¿½s kï¿½kkï¿½ves gyï¿½rï¿½cskï¿½t vï¿½sï¿½rolt. Kï¿½zmï¿½r ï¿½rnak hï¿½vtï¿½k, ï¿½s a divatlapban mï¿½r megjelent arckï¿½pe. Magas homlokï¿½, ï¿½brï¿½ndos szemï¿½, kopott kï¿½penyeges fï¿½rfiï¿½ volt, bor ï¿½s pipaszaga volt a szakï¿½llï¿½nak, az ujja tintï¿½s, ï¿½s rongyos, ï¿½cska kï¿½nyvek kandikï¿½ltak ki a zsebï¿½bï¿½l: ilyenek voltak a kï¿½ltï¿½k a Belvï¿½rosban, de mï¿½g sohasem lï¿½ptek be az aranymï¿½ves boltba.
Florentin a nagykendï¿½jï¿½t maga utï¿½n hï¿½zta, amint elï¿½re jï¿½tt:
– Szerelmes? – kï¿½rdezte a kï¿½ltï¿½t, ï¿½s tï¿½gra nyitotta a szemï¿½t.
Kï¿½zmï¿½rfi halovï¿½ny arca csendesen megszï¿½nesedett:
– Valï¿½ban egy kisleï¿½nynak vï¿½sï¿½rolom a gyï¿½rï¿½t.
– Szerelmes? – kï¿½rdezte ismï¿½telten Florentin, ï¿½s maga is csodï¿½lkozott azon, hogy a hangja remeg. – ï¿½n az, aki le szokott tï¿½rdepelni, otthon, egyedï¿½l, egy nï¿½i nevet hangosan mondani, szomorkodni, vigadni, levelet hordani a szï¿½ve fï¿½lï¿½tt, sajï¿½t kezï¿½leg tï¿½pni virï¿½got a vï¿½roserdï¿½ben…
Kï¿½zmï¿½rfi bï¿½san forgatta kezï¿½ben a gyï¿½rï¿½cskï¿½t.
– Ha e gyï¿½rï¿½cske a szerelem jele, akkor szerelmes vagyok.
Florentin megfogta a kï¿½ltï¿½ kezï¿½t, a szemï¿½be nï¿½zett, a homlokï¿½t megï¿½rintette a kezï¿½vel ï¿½s a kabï¿½tjï¿½t megtapogatta.
– Milyen furcsa – mormogta. – Szerelmes!
Kï¿½zmï¿½rfi bocsï¿½natkï¿½rï¿½leg nï¿½zett az asszony nagy, titokzatos szemï¿½be.
– Csak szegï¿½ny kï¿½ltï¿½ vagyok, nem vehetek drï¿½gï¿½bb ajï¿½ndï¿½kot. A szerkesztï¿½ kï¿½t forintot fizet egy versï¿½rt, pedig hï¿½rneves poï¿½ta vagyok. De az ï¿½lmaim szï¿½pek. Azt ï¿½lmodhatom, amit akarok.
– Szerelmes – kiï¿½ltott fel ï¿½nfeledten az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½. – Milyen boldog ï¿½n, ï¿½n sohasem ï¿½lmodom.
Megrï¿½zta a kï¿½ltï¿½ kezï¿½t.
– Szeretnï¿½k ï¿½lmodni, mint ï¿½n. Mondja, mit kell tennem, hogy ï¿½lmodjak?
A kï¿½ltï¿½ nemigen volt ahhoz szokva, hogy elï¿½kelï¿½, gazdag asszonysï¿½g ennyi szï¿½t vesztegessen vele, mint egy rï¿½gi cselï¿½ddel vagy csepï¿½rï¿½gï¿½val, aki az udvaron tï¿½ncol, ï¿½sszeszedte tehï¿½t tudomï¿½nyï¿½t, ï¿½s Miskolczinï¿½t, az ï¿½lomfejtï¿½ asszonysï¿½got melegen ajï¿½nlotta.
– ï¿½ ï¿½rt Pesten az ï¿½lmokhoz, ï¿½s a legjobb szabï¿½nï¿½ Kirsner Tï¿½ni mostanï¿½ban.
Kï¿½zmï¿½rfi emï¿½gy fitogtatvï¿½n nagyvilï¿½gi ismereteit, eltï¿½vozott az aranymï¿½ves boltbï¿½l.
Florentin, mint egy elrï¿½pï¿½lï¿½ hattyï¿½t, nï¿½zte a kï¿½ltï¿½t…
Mondjï¿½k, hogy az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½ e naptï¿½l fogva leghï¿½sï¿½gesebb lï¿½togatï¿½ja lett Miskolczinï¿½nak, a hï¿½res ï¿½lomfejtï¿½ asszonynak.
Hogy az asszonyt foglalkozï¿½sï¿½ban ne zavarja, a falba kis fï¿½lkï¿½t ï¿½pï¿½tett, ï¿½s a falban elrejtï¿½zve hallgatta a lï¿½togatï¿½k elï¿½adï¿½sait kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s ï¿½lmaikrï¿½l. Talï¿½n itt tï¿½ltï¿½tte volna egï¿½sz ï¿½letï¿½t a rejtelmes hï¿½zban, mï¿½sok boldog ï¿½s boldogtalan ï¿½lmait hallgatva, elrejtï¿½zve, a falba bï¿½jva, de egy napon Kï¿½zmï¿½rfi ï¿½r jelentkezik a mindentudï¿½ asszonynï¿½l.
Kï¿½zmï¿½rfi egy idï¿½ ï¿½ta nagy vï¿½zzel ï¿½lmodott, a nagy vï¿½zen kis fekete kacsï¿½kkal… Csizmï¿½ban jï¿½rt, mert tï¿½l volt.
– Valaki meghal, aki az urasï¿½got nagyon szereti – jelentette ki Miskolczinï¿½.
A kï¿½ltï¿½ fejcsï¿½vï¿½lva tï¿½vozott.
Estefelï¿½, midï¿½n az ï¿½lomfejtï¿½ asszony befejezte napi munkï¿½jï¿½t, a falba ï¿½pï¿½tett hallgatï¿½zï¿½fï¿½lkï¿½ben holtan talï¿½lta Florentint, az aranymï¿½vesnï¿½t. Csendesen, hangtalanul meghalt, mint egy madï¿½r az erdï¿½n, amely vï¿½gigï¿½lte kimï¿½rt tavaszait ï¿½s teleit. Florentin fekete hajï¿½ban fehï¿½r szï¿½lak voltak, mintha rizsporoztï¿½k volna. Az arcï¿½n kis madï¿½rlï¿½b alakï¿½ rï¿½ncok. „Elment a vï¿½re az ï¿½lmokkal” – mondta magï¿½ban Miskolczinï¿½, bï¿½r nem hitt a babonï¿½kban. Zavaros idï¿½k voltak akkor Pesten, a rendï¿½rsï¿½g szigorï¿½ volt, az ï¿½lomfejtï¿½ asszony tehï¿½t eltitkolta a halï¿½lesetet. Nï¿½hï¿½ny darab tï¿½glï¿½val vï¿½gleg beï¿½pï¿½tette a fï¿½lkï¿½t a falba, ï¿½s tovï¿½bb folytatta mestersï¿½gï¿½t.
A legtï¿½ncosabb ï¿½letben is elï¿½fordulnak esztendï¿½k, hï¿½napok, midï¿½n a szï¿½v ï¿½s a kedv elcsendesedik, hogy az ï¿½ra ketyegï¿½sï¿½t hallani a mellï¿½nyzsebben.
Az ajtï¿½ mï¿½g fï¿½lig betï¿½ve, a farsangi ï¿½jbe kihallatszik a dï¿½vaj muzsika, a nagybï¿½gï¿½ helyeslï¿½leg mormog, mint egy romlott ï¿½regember, a hï¿½ztetï¿½kï¿½n a hï¿½ ï¿½gy vilï¿½gï¿½t, mint az alsï¿½szoknyï¿½k fodra, pirosat lehelnek a fï¿½lrevonult pï¿½rok az erkï¿½ly fagyos ablakï¿½ra – de a bï¿½li vendï¿½g mï¿½r beburkolï¿½zik egï¿½rszagï¿½ nagy bundï¿½jï¿½ba a szï¿½non, mint a vï¿½grehajtï¿½, midï¿½n falusi kï¿½rï¿½tra indul, a szï¿½v alig hallhatï¿½lag dobog, ï¿½s a magassï¿½gbï¿½l hideg, tï¿½li halï¿½lra emlï¿½keztetï¿½ csï¿½kok hullanak az arcra kï¿½sza hï¿½pelyhek alakjï¿½ban, mint megï¿½regedett, rï¿½gi szeretï¿½k tï¿½volbï¿½l kï¿½ldï¿½tt ï¿½zenetei. Nagybotos, e kis beszï¿½ly hï¿½se, elfï¿½radtan, fï¿½sultan utazott falura a nagyvï¿½rosbï¿½l. (Fiatalabb ï¿½veiben ily hangulat hatï¿½sa alatt fogadta meg az ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½got – mï¿½snap reggel, a borotvï¿½lkozï¿½tï¿½kï¿½r elï¿½tt –, ekkor jutott csak eszï¿½be, hogy a legszebb nï¿½k meleg vassal gï¿½ndï¿½rï¿½tik andalï¿½tï¿½ hajfï¿½rteiket a fï¿½l ï¿½s a nyak tï¿½jï¿½kï¿½n, csupï¿½n ilyenkor gondolt arra, fï¿½lig megfagyottan, mint egy ï¿½szi verï¿½b a fï¿½n, gunnyasztott ablakok alatt, amelyek mï¿½gï¿½tt nï¿½k csï¿½kolï¿½ztak. ï¿½regebb lï¿½vï¿½n, most mï¿½r csak annyi energiï¿½ja volt, hogy egy bizonyos hï¿½dra gondolt, amelyet ï¿½tkï¿½zben valahol elï¿½r, s a hï¿½d leszakadhat, ha ï¿½ppen ï¿½gy akarja.)
A francia cipï¿½sarkok mï¿½g tovï¿½bb lejtenek a tï¿½nczene ï¿½temeire, a nï¿½k arca sokat ï¿½gï¿½rï¿½en pirul, ï¿½s hajuk leng, mint az ï¿½rvalï¿½nyhaj^{*}, valaki erre jï¿½het, hogy leszakï¿½tsa: Nagybotos mï¿½r falura vonult, elsï¿½nek, hogy utolsï¿½ ne legyen a tï¿½rsasï¿½gban, akit a kï¿½k kï¿½tï¿½nyes legï¿½nyek legurï¿½tanak a lï¿½pcsï¿½n. Falun angyalokkal ismerkedett meg. Angyalkï¿½val ï¿½s a mamï¿½jï¿½val. Egy rï¿½gi urasï¿½gi hï¿½zban – „Le comte de Turgenyev”^{*} regï¿½nyeibï¿½l volt ez kimetszve – kettecskï¿½n ï¿½ltek, mint az ï¿½zike lï¿½pked a tehï¿½n mellett az erdï¿½n. Nagybotos – tï¿½l volt – mindenfï¿½le kï¿½rtyakunsztokra tanï¿½totta ï¿½ket, kemï¿½ny papirosbï¿½l figurï¿½kat vï¿½gtak ki, ï¿½s Miklï¿½s napjï¿½n bï¿½bszï¿½nhï¿½zat jï¿½tszottak, elszavalta a Kakasï¿½lï¿½n cï¿½mï¿½ monolï¿½got, ï¿½s mï¿½g Angyalka a zongorï¿½hoz ï¿½lt, a mamï¿½nak a legï¿½jabb tï¿½nclï¿½pï¿½seket megmutatta, amelyeket a tï¿½likertben egy nï¿½gertï¿½l tanult. Majd szï¿½nkï¿½zni mentek, ï¿½s a falun tï¿½l Angyalka ï¿½tvette a kocsistï¿½l a gyeplï¿½t, ï¿½s a tï¿½li tï¿½jon csengetve repï¿½lt a szï¿½n, mintha vï¿½g karï¿½csonyi estï¿½re igyekeznï¿½nek egy barï¿½tsï¿½gos hï¿½zhoz. ï¿½jï¿½v tï¿½jï¿½n Nagybotos segï¿½dkezett a gazdasï¿½gi szï¿½madï¿½soknï¿½l – valahol egy csontkeretes pï¿½paszemet talï¿½lt a hï¿½znï¿½l, ï¿½s midï¿½n ezt homlokï¿½ra tolta, ï¿½reg ispï¿½n, Mï¿½rtonfalvi bï¿½csi ï¿½gy megijedt, mintha a harminc ï¿½v elï¿½tt elkï¿½vetett postarablï¿½srï¿½l faggatnï¿½ Nagybotos. A jï¿½szagï¿½ ï¿½s kedves befï¿½tteket a pï¿½kosztos^{*} cselï¿½dek miatt egy kï¿½nyvbe ï¿½rta, ï¿½s estï¿½nkint arrï¿½l beszï¿½lt a hï¿½lgyeknek, hogy amint kitavaszodik, egy szï¿½ltï¿½l hajtott vï¿½zmerï¿½tï¿½ szerkezetet kell felï¿½llï¿½tani a vetemï¿½nyek kï¿½zï¿½tt. Ezenkï¿½zben ï¿½zvegy Majornokinï¿½, szï¿½letett Fehï¿½r Krisztina ï¿½s leï¿½nya, Angyalka, oly alaposan beleszerettek Nagybotosba, hogy a csï¿½ndes lelkï¿½ fï¿½rfiï¿½, aki pedig mï¿½r csupï¿½n a jï¿½ cselekedeteknek kï¿½vï¿½nt ï¿½lni ï¿½s beteg parasztokat gyï¿½gyï¿½tani, ijedten jï¿½rkï¿½lt a befagyott folyï¿½ partjï¿½n… „Ahovï¿½ mï¿½g betettem a lï¿½bam, ott bajt csinï¿½ltam. Milyen szerencsï¿½tlen vagyok!” – gondolta magï¿½ban. ï¿½s a tï¿½jat kï¿½mlelte, mintha azt szï¿½mï¿½tgatnï¿½, hogy merre fog elmenekï¿½lni.
A faluban egy csï¿½rdï¿½snï¿½ volt. Gï¿½ndï¿½r hajï¿½ ï¿½s piros arcï¿½, mint a megelevenedett nï¿½pdal. Piros hï¿½rï¿½szkendï¿½jï¿½bï¿½l nï¿½ha fï¿½rkï¿½szve nï¿½zte Nagybotost, amint az ï¿½ton elhaladt. Egyszer – falusi honorï¿½ciorokkal^{*} serezett Nagybotos a fogadï¿½ban – hï¿½tulrï¿½l megï¿½rintette a nyakï¿½t.
– Mint a vadkacsa farka – mondta a hajï¿½ra.
Nagybotosnak nï¿½ha eszï¿½be jutott ez a megjegyzï¿½s. Midï¿½n a hï¿½lgyek mï¿½r kï¿½lï¿½n imï¿½dsï¿½got fogalmaztak, amelyet estï¿½nkint elmondtak Nagybotosï¿½rt, ï¿½s Mï¿½rtonfalvi bï¿½csi sem merï¿½szelte hangosan szidni a zsidï¿½kat az udvar kï¿½zepï¿½n (hï¿½tha van egy rokona Nagybotosnak, aki ezï¿½rt megharagudna), az asszonycselï¿½dek kezet csï¿½koltak, ï¿½s dï¿½delgetve megsimogattï¿½k a csizmaszï¿½rï¿½t – Nagybotos elhatï¿½rozta, hogy elkezdi az ï¿½j ï¿½letet. Nï¿½hï¿½nyszor hirtelen felnï¿½zett a fogadï¿½ ablakï¿½ra, midï¿½n a kocsmï¿½rosnï¿½ ott magï¿½ban dï¿½dolgatott, majd egy estve, midï¿½n a kutyï¿½k a vastagon omlï¿½ havat ï¿½sszetï¿½vesztettï¿½k a vï¿½ndorlegï¿½nnyel, Nagybotos hï¿½tulrï¿½l a csï¿½rdï¿½ba kerï¿½lt, cigï¿½nyokï¿½rt kï¿½ldï¿½tt, akik egymï¿½s hï¿½tï¿½n jï¿½ttek a mï¿½ly hï¿½ban, a csï¿½rdï¿½snï¿½t maga mellï¿½ ï¿½ltette:
– Nagyon hasonlï¿½t valakihez, akit egyetlenszer, igazï¿½n szerettem – kezdte falusi gavallï¿½r mï¿½djï¿½ra a szï¿½ptevï¿½st.
A csï¿½rdï¿½snï¿½ szï¿½rakozottan ingatta szï¿½kï¿½sbarna fejï¿½t.
– Tï¿½n azt is Jucinak hï¿½vtï¿½k? Az urasï¿½g is ï¿½gy hazudik, mint a tï¿½bbi fï¿½rfiember.
(De tï¿½bbï¿½ ezt mï¿½r nem mondotta ezen az ï¿½jszakï¿½n. Nagybotos derekasan kitett magï¿½ï¿½rt. ï¿½jfï¿½l felï¿½ az asszony beleegyezett, hogy megszï¿½knek, ï¿½s elmondta, hogy a Sajï¿½parton – ahol szï¿½letett – mindig kisgyermekeket lï¿½tott a vï¿½zben leï¿½nykorï¿½ban. ï¿½s most nincsen gyermeke. Nagybotos is kijelentette, hogy tï¿½bbï¿½ nem jï¿½r az elhalt menyasszonya sï¿½rjï¿½hoz, legfeljebb egyszer Jucival egyï¿½tt lï¿½togatjï¿½k meg a halottat.)
Mï¿½snap, midï¿½n az ï¿½nnepnapi ebï¿½dre ballagott Nagybotos Angyalkï¿½ï¿½khoz (Juci sï¿½padtan, kisï¿½rt szemmel ï¿½llott az ablaknï¿½l: „megvert az uram” – sï¿½hajtotta –) az ebï¿½dlï¿½ben Angyalkï¿½t talï¿½lta. Karcsï¿½, hosszï¿½ lï¿½bszï¿½rï¿½, barna lï¿½ny volt Angyalka. Azt remï¿½lte, hogy Nagybotos majd megtanï¿½tja lovagolni. ï¿½s egyï¿½tt ï¿½getnek a nyï¿½rfasorban, mint ez a Tavaszi hullï¿½mokban^{*} olvashatï¿½. Sï¿½tï¿½t szeme komoly szemrehï¿½nyï¿½ssal tekintett a fï¿½rfiï¿½ra.
– Ugyebï¿½r, tudod, hogy a vilï¿½gon csak tï¿½ged szeretlek egyedï¿½l? – kï¿½rdezte, ï¿½s a fï¿½rfi vï¿½llï¿½ra helyezte a tenyerï¿½t.
– Gyermek vagy mï¿½g…
– Maholnap tizennyolc ï¿½ves vagyok. Komoly nï¿½ voltam mindig. ï¿½s most is komolyan akarok veled beszï¿½lni. Tudod, hogy az anyï¿½m egï¿½sz ï¿½jjel nem hunyta le a szemï¿½t, kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesetten sï¿½rt?…
– Szegï¿½nyke.
– Ha mï¿½g egyszer beteszed a lï¿½bad ahhoz a nï¿½mberhez, ahol az ï¿½jjel voltï¿½l, velem gyï¿½lik meg a bajod.
Az ï¿½zvegy ï¿½gyban maradt, ï¿½s csak a fï¿½lig nyitott ajtï¿½n ï¿½t vett rï¿½szt a vidï¿½m, hangos tï¿½rsalgï¿½sban, amely az asztal felett keletkezett. (Nagybotos bankï¿½csinï¿½lï¿½ prï¿½st keresett Mï¿½rtonfalvi ï¿½ron, ï¿½s az ï¿½reg ispï¿½n^{*} makacsul vï¿½dekezett.) Ebï¿½d utï¿½n Nagybotos hosszï¿½ ideig szï¿½tlanul ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt a beteg mellett, mï¿½g Angyalka az ispï¿½nnal kï¿½rtyï¿½zott ï¿½s hangosan csapkodta a kï¿½rtyï¿½kat. Alkonyattal a folyï¿½partra ment, ï¿½s azon gondolkozott, hogyan juthatna el a legkï¿½zelebbi vasï¿½tï¿½llomï¿½sra. Gyors, kï¿½nnyï¿½ lï¿½ptek hangzottak fel a fagyos havon. Hosszï¿½ bundï¿½ban, muszka sapkï¿½ban, mint egy regï¿½nyhï¿½snï¿½ a hï¿½z felï¿½l Angyalka sietett.
– Tudom, hogy azt tervezted most magadban, hogy elhagysz minket. Az anyï¿½m a temetï¿½be kerï¿½lne. Magamrï¿½l nem beszï¿½lek, fiatal ï¿½s erï¿½s vagyok. Te nem fogsz elmenni.
– Gyermekem.
– Elhatï¿½roztuk, hogy nï¿½hï¿½ny hetet Budapesten tï¿½ltï¿½nk. Az anyï¿½m ugyanis azt gondolja, hogy itt hiï¿½nyzik neked a fï¿½vï¿½rosi ï¿½let lï¿½rmï¿½ja, zajgï¿½sa. Majd szï¿½nhï¿½zba megyï¿½nk veled. Ha akarod, bï¿½lba is jï¿½rok a kedvedï¿½rt. De otthon is maradhatunk a szï¿½llodï¿½ban.
Nagybotos a falu vï¿½gï¿½n lakott egy rï¿½gi kerti hï¿½zban, ï¿½s az ablakï¿½bï¿½l varjakra szokott lï¿½vï¿½ldï¿½zni. Ezen az estï¿½n valaki hï¿½romszor is megzï¿½rgette az ablakot. Majd egy forrï¿½, gï¿½mbï¿½lyded asszonytenyï¿½r oly sokï¿½ig nyugodott az ablakï¿½vegen, hogy bï¿½vï¿½l leolvadt a zï¿½zmara. Nagybotos a sï¿½tï¿½tben hallgatva ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt. Midï¿½n kï¿½sï¿½bb az ablakhoz ment, mï¿½r csak egy asszonylï¿½b nyomai lï¿½tszottak a kerti ï¿½ton, a havon.
– Arra ment el a szabadsï¿½gom – gondolta magï¿½ban.
A holdfï¿½nyben messzire lï¿½tszottak a lï¿½bnyomok. Mintha a vï¿½gtelensï¿½gbe mentek volna… Tï¿½l a dombokon ï¿½s hatï¿½rokon… Valaki elment erre, aki ide akart jï¿½nni, meleg szï¿½vet, puha tenyeret ï¿½s ï¿½brï¿½ndos kis jï¿½tï¿½kot hozott a kï¿½pzeletï¿½ben, amelyben, mint egy kis szï¿½nhï¿½zban, Nagybotos jeladï¿½sï¿½ra mï¿½r jï¿½tszani kezdett a zenekar. A kï¿½rpit azonban nem ment fel. Valaki egy falusi hï¿½ztetï¿½ alatt, kï¿½dmï¿½nszagï¿½ tï¿½lben narancsfï¿½kkal ï¿½lmodott, ï¿½s kinyï¿½jtotta a kezï¿½t a drï¿½ga gyï¿½mï¿½lcs utï¿½n.
Nagybotos meghatottan nï¿½zte az eltï¿½volodott lï¿½bnyomokat. Egy falusi nï¿½i cipï¿½ – nyomai magos sarokkal ellï¿½tva, mint a nagyravï¿½gyï¿½s, ï¿½s gombocskï¿½kkal, mint a cifra ï¿½let utï¿½ni kï¿½vï¿½nsï¿½g – mendegï¿½lt ï¿½t a kerten.
– Bizonyosan rï¿½zsa van a harisnyakï¿½tï¿½jï¿½n – gondolta magï¿½ban Nagybotos.
Jucit reggel a vï¿½zmerï¿½tï¿½lï¿½knï¿½l kifogtï¿½k. Csak hï¿½szï¿½ves volt – mondtï¿½k a falusiak.
Angyalka megcsï¿½kolta Nagybotos homlokï¿½t.
– Derï¿½k ember vagy. Jï¿½l viselted magad. Most mï¿½r akï¿½r megtakarï¿½thatjuk a pesti utazï¿½st.
Ismerï¿½sï¿½nk ï¿½s hï¿½sï¿½nk, Nagybotos Viola – aki fiatalkorï¿½ban dobos szeretett volna lenni egy dalcsarnokban egy tï¿½ncosnï¿½ kedvï¿½ï¿½rt, vagy orgonista egy vallï¿½sos hercegnï¿½nï¿½l, felolvasï¿½ ï¿½brï¿½ndos grï¿½fnï¿½nï¿½l, vagy nï¿½k lovagja, kezï¿½ben vï¿½vï¿½tï¿½rrel a bolthajtï¿½sos lovagteremben, vagy fï¿½stï¿½lgï¿½ csï¿½vï¿½ pisztollyal ï¿½lldogï¿½lni a nyï¿½rfaerdï¿½ szï¿½lï¿½n a bajvï¿½vï¿½s utï¿½n – oldalszakï¿½llt nï¿½vesztett, kï¿½rtï¿½kalapot viselt hï¿½tkï¿½znapokon is, ï¿½s egy polgï¿½ri asztaltï¿½rsasï¿½gban a bor szï¿½nï¿½t vizsgaszemmel nï¿½zegette, ï¿½s a nï¿½k ruhï¿½zkodï¿½sï¿½t kï¿½zlegyintï¿½ssel vagy dï¿½rmï¿½gve elï¿½tï¿½lte.
A vï¿½ros vï¿½gï¿½n lakott, ï¿½s az ï¿½gy szï¿½lï¿½n ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lve elolvasta a hï¿½rlapban a legï¿½jabb ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gokat ï¿½s a hajfestï¿½szerek hirdetï¿½seit.
A hï¿½zisapkï¿½ja, a papucsa elrongyolï¿½dott, mostanï¿½ban nem hï¿½meztek ï¿½jat. A nï¿½k erkï¿½lcstelensï¿½ge felett gondolkozott, ï¿½s bï¿½szke tartï¿½sï¿½, gï¿½gï¿½s jï¿½rï¿½sï¿½, ifjï¿½ nï¿½k utï¿½n morgott: „Megï¿½llj, mï¿½g lï¿½tlak, amint Szent Terï¿½z templomï¿½nï¿½l a kereszt alatt ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lsz!” Kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½sebben, fï¿½jdalmasabban, ï¿½letrehalï¿½lra egyetlen nï¿½ sem csalta meg Nagybotos Violï¿½t, hogy miatta nï¿½gyï¿½lï¿½letet fogadjon; az ï¿½let eliramlik, ï¿½s a legszebb bï¿½rï¿½nï¿½k is megvï¿½nï¿½lnek, mire a gavallï¿½rok csizmï¿½jï¿½t a padlï¿½sra helyezik – gondolta magï¿½ban Nagybotos, ha nagyon szomorï¿½ volt; ï¿½mbï¿½tor egy kancsal szemï¿½, fodros hajï¿½ ï¿½s nagyszï¿½jï¿½ nï¿½ utï¿½n ï¿½vekig felsï¿½hajtott, ha magï¿½nyosan sï¿½tï¿½lt a Gellï¿½rthegyen… A nï¿½tï¿½l eltï¿½vozott, ï¿½s a hï¿½lgy az emeletrï¿½l utï¿½na rï¿½gott, mikï¿½zben lï¿½bï¿½rï¿½l a fï¿½lcipï¿½cske elrepï¿½lt. Alant Nagybotos reptï¿½ben elkapta a cipï¿½cskï¿½t, az inge alï¿½ dugta, udvariasan megemelte a kalapjï¿½t, ï¿½s a hï¿½lgy kiï¿½ltozï¿½sï¿½t figyelmen kï¿½vï¿½l hagyva csendesen elkocogott a hï¿½zbï¿½l, ahol minden kilincs, ajtï¿½fï¿½lfa jï¿½l ismerte, ï¿½s a sokgyerekï¿½ hï¿½zmester keresztapï¿½nak kï¿½rte fel. Tï¿½li estï¿½ken, mikor verseket olvasott, vagy vï¿½grendeletï¿½t fogalmazta, a tï¿½kï¿½rbe nï¿½zett, ï¿½s legyintett kezï¿½vel, veszekedett az ï¿½bresztï¿½ï¿½rï¿½jï¿½val, rï¿½gi levelekbï¿½l fidibuszt^{*} gyï¿½rtott, mert terve volt, hogy pipï¿½zni fog: midï¿½n tehï¿½t elhagyott agglegï¿½nynek ï¿½rezte magï¿½t, elï¿½vette a fï¿½lcipï¿½t, ï¿½s az asztalra helyezte, mikï¿½zben a teï¿½t kavargatta. Az ï¿½let eliramlik. Tavaszra kifejlï¿½dï¿½tt betegsï¿½ge, a cipï¿½t ï¿½llandï¿½an a zsebï¿½ben hordozta.
– Eddig olyanokat mondtam a nï¿½knek, melyeket nem ï¿½rtettek meg. Kï¿½nnyï¿½ volt a mennyorszï¿½grï¿½l vagy a tï¿½lvilï¿½gi ï¿½letrï¿½l hazudozni, hisz fiatal voltam – gondolta magï¿½ban Nagybotos. – Most azonban mï¿½r megkï¿½vetelik a nï¿½k, hogy ï¿½rthetï¿½ ï¿½s ï¿½rtelmes dolgokkal mulattassam ï¿½ket. Megprï¿½bï¿½lkozom a Hamupipï¿½ke mesï¿½jï¿½vel, amelyet szobalï¿½ny, hercegnï¿½ egyformï¿½n megï¿½rt.
Nagybotos Viola a cipï¿½cske orrï¿½t vagy sarkï¿½t megmutatta a kï¿½vï¿½ncsi nï¿½knek, regï¿½ket mondott a lï¿½brï¿½l, amelyre a cipï¿½ rï¿½illik. A nï¿½k mosolyogtak, elgondolkoztak, ï¿½s nem egynek kerekedett kedve a cipï¿½ megprï¿½bï¿½lï¿½sï¿½hoz. Nagybotos azonban valamely kifogï¿½ssal elodï¿½zta a dolgot, ï¿½s tovï¿½bb vï¿½ndorolgatott Pesten ï¿½s Budï¿½n a cipï¿½cskï¿½vel. A Vï¿½ci utcï¿½ban vagy a budai korzï¿½n szemï¿½gyre vette a nï¿½ket, vajon melyikï¿½ lesz a cipï¿½? A szï¿½nhï¿½zi elï¿½adï¿½soknï¿½l ï¿½sszefont karral ï¿½s rï¿½ncos homlokkal ï¿½llongott a hï¿½ttï¿½rben. A rï¿½zsaszï¿½nï¿½ nï¿½k lekacagtak a pï¿½holybï¿½l, mintha a rizsport rï¿½ztï¿½k volna a vï¿½llukrï¿½l.
– Itt van a cipï¿½, Nagybotos? – kï¿½rdeztï¿½k, ï¿½s kï¿½vï¿½ncsian piroslott a szï¿½juk.
Templomokban ï¿½llt komoran a szenteltvï¿½ztartï¿½ mellett, s mikï¿½zben a nï¿½k keresztet vetettek, kivette a cipï¿½t, ï¿½s szemï¿½vel mï¿½reteket vett a hï¿½lgyek lï¿½bï¿½rï¿½l. ï¿½s a szï¿½llodï¿½ban, hol az idegenek unatkozva nï¿½zik a szï¿½nhï¿½zak mï¿½sorï¿½t, ï¿½sï¿½tanak, ï¿½s a nï¿½k unatkozva gondolnak arra, hogy e vï¿½rosban sem talï¿½ljï¿½k szï¿½vï¿½k ï¿½rï¿½kkï¿½ vï¿½rt lovagjï¿½t, Nagybotos elï¿½vette a cipï¿½t, ï¿½s maga mellï¿½ ï¿½ltette a szï¿½kre. Megsimogatta, mint egy ï¿½lebet, beszï¿½lt hozzï¿½, felkï¿½szï¿½ntï¿½tte, ï¿½s a nï¿½k ï¿½sszenevettek.
Ilyenformï¿½n bizonyos hï¿½rneve tï¿½madt a cipï¿½nek, Nagybotos Viola cipï¿½jï¿½nek… „Hol van ez a bolond ember?” – kï¿½rdezte egyszer X. hercegnï¿½ a nagyoperï¿½ban, ï¿½s midï¿½n megmutattï¿½k Nagybotost, a szï¿½nhï¿½zi lï¿½tcsï¿½vet felï¿½je irï¿½nyï¿½totta ï¿½s ottfelejtette.
Nagybotos Viola szent, komoly ï¿½s meggyï¿½zï¿½dï¿½ses fï¿½rfiï¿½ mï¿½djï¿½ra senkinek sem hï¿½zta a lï¿½bï¿½ra a cipï¿½t.
– Hadd lï¿½ssï¿½k, hogy kemï¿½ny diï¿½ vagyok – mondogatta, midï¿½n odahaza magï¿½ban beszï¿½lgetett. – Majd megtanï¿½tom ï¿½n a dologtalan, unatkozï¿½ nï¿½ket kesztyï¿½be dudï¿½lni.
Ezalatt lakott Budï¿½n, a kertek felï¿½ egy fï¿½lszemï¿½ ember, aki olyan ripacsos volt, mint egy gï¿½lyarab, fogcsikorgatva fogadta a szomszï¿½dok kï¿½szï¿½ntï¿½sï¿½t. „Jï¿½ reggelt!” – felelt, ï¿½s kï¿½spenge villant fel a fï¿½l szemï¿½ben. Mindennap elharapta a borostyï¿½n szivarszipkï¿½t, haragban volt a harangozï¿½val, mert a toronyï¿½ra miatt egyszer lekï¿½sett a vonatrï¿½l, a kocsikat hï¿½tulrï¿½l elkapta ï¿½s megï¿½llï¿½totta. Foglalkozï¿½sa a hajï¿½skapitï¿½nysï¿½g volt. A dï¿½li Dunï¿½ra jï¿½rt, ï¿½s a hï¿½zï¿½ban egy fï¿½lemilï¿½t tartott bezï¿½rva. Szï¿½rke, jelentï¿½ktelen, boglyas asszonyka volt, nevezetessï¿½gï¿½t csupï¿½n fï¿½rjï¿½nek kï¿½szï¿½nhette, aki gyermekfej nagysï¿½gï¿½ lakatot rakott a kapura elutazï¿½sakor. A fï¿½lemile az ablakrostï¿½ly mï¿½gï¿½tt ï¿½llott, ï¿½s bï¿½san fï¿½tyï¿½rï¿½szett, mï¿½g a vadember dï¿½ngï¿½ lï¿½ptekkel ment el a Duna felï¿½. Az asszonyka ezutï¿½n befï¿½ttet ï¿½s sï¿½temï¿½nyt evett, tï¿½tlenï¿½l gunnyasztott az emeleten, ï¿½s Rï¿½corszï¿½gra gondolt, ahonnan a tï¿½li hajï¿½zï¿½si szï¿½net beï¿½llta elï¿½tt egyszer Budï¿½ra hozta a vadember. Nem eskï¿½dï¿½tt meg vele, mert a vadember nem akart nevetsï¿½gessï¿½ vï¿½lni a pajtï¿½sai elï¿½tt, ha a fï¿½lemile egyszer megcsalja. (Nagybotos rï¿½gebbi idï¿½ben mindenfï¿½le komï¿½diï¿½zï¿½sokat rendezett az ablak alatt. A kalapjï¿½t a feje tetejï¿½re ï¿½llï¿½totta, csaknem bukfencet hï¿½nyt, amï¿½g a vasrostï¿½lyos ablakbï¿½l a papï¿½rszelet leszï¿½llott, rajta e nï¿½v: Fatime. – ï¿½m a tï¿½l korï¿½n beï¿½llott, a hajï¿½sok hazajï¿½ttek az Aldunï¿½rï¿½l, ï¿½s ï¿½gy Nagybotos jobbnak lï¿½tta, ha nem mutatkozik egy darabig Budï¿½n.) Ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt mï¿½g korai ï¿½sz volt, csak a harangï¿½tï¿½s elmï¿½lï¿½zï¿½sa jelezte, amint szï¿½llongott a hï¿½ztetï¿½k felett, hogy az ï¿½sz vï¿½ndor mï¿½r lï¿½ncon vezeti a vï¿½ros felï¿½ a haragos, dï¿½hï¿½s ebet, amilyen a tï¿½l volt hajdanï¿½ban. Nagybotos hosszï¿½ lï¿½ptekkel, mint egy csavargï¿½ szï¿½nï¿½sz, aki estï¿½re mï¿½g jï¿½tszani akar a tï¿½voli falu kocsmï¿½jï¿½ban, indult el Buda felï¿½, ï¿½s bï¿½r ï¿½tkï¿½zben rï¿½c pappal^{*} talï¿½lkozott, megï¿½llï¿½s nï¿½lkï¿½l ment a kertek alï¿½, szï¿½rakozottan fï¿½tyï¿½rï¿½szni kezdett, a kockakï¿½vekre nï¿½zett, mintha elveszï¿½tett volna itt valamit, megnï¿½zte a tavalyi fï¿½kat, ï¿½s nï¿½hï¿½ny perc mï¿½lott el, amï¿½g a fï¿½lemile fï¿½tyï¿½lgetni kezdett odafent.
(Ismerik a fï¿½tyï¿½rï¿½szï¿½ nï¿½ket? Nï¿½melyik igen ï¿½gyesen tudja a dolgï¿½t. Olyik hï¿½dï¿½tani akar e mï¿½dszerrel, mï¿½sik jï¿½kedvï¿½ben fï¿½tyï¿½lget, a harmadik szomorï¿½ elgondolkozï¿½sï¿½ban… Fï¿½tyï¿½lgetnek, ï¿½s a fï¿½rfi rajtakapja magï¿½t, hogy figyelni kezd e nï¿½i furfangossï¿½gra.)
Nagybotos kï¿½szï¿½nt, hajlongott, levette kalapjï¿½t, hogy Fatime kï¿½tsï¿½gtelenï¿½l felismerje, aztï¿½n mikor a szomorï¿½, boglyas asszonyka elmosolyodott, Nagybotos Viola elï¿½vette a mellï¿½nye alï¿½l a cipï¿½cskï¿½t ï¿½s felmutatta. Fekete selyemcipï¿½ volt ez, arannyal mindenfï¿½le furcsasï¿½gok voltak belehï¿½mezve, talï¿½n napkeleti imï¿½dsï¿½gok. ï¿½s a szalagja fehï¿½r volt, mint halott menyasszony homloka, mï¿½g sarka magas ï¿½s kihï¿½vï¿½, mint az olyan nï¿½kï¿½, akik mindenfï¿½le rejtï¿½lyes utakon mendegï¿½lnek cipï¿½jï¿½kben. Lï¿½pcsï¿½kï¿½n mennek fel a francia sarkok, ï¿½s mï¿½g nem tudjï¿½k, hogy mikï¿½nt tï¿½rnek vissza. Kertekben, bï¿½ltermekben jï¿½rnak. Ha egyszer a cipï¿½k megszï¿½lalnï¿½nak, hogy merre jï¿½rtak ï¿½rnï¿½jï¿½kkel!
Fatime termï¿½szetesen nyomban ï¿½rdeklï¿½dï¿½tt a dolog irï¿½nt, ï¿½s dï¿½lutï¿½nra a kert mï¿½gï¿½ rendelte Nagybotost, ahol prï¿½bï¿½t lehet tartani.
A hegyek mï¿½r aluszï¿½konyan ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltek kï¿½zel ï¿½s tï¿½vol, mint a beborozott piros ï¿½regember ï¿½lmï¿½ban.
A kerï¿½tï¿½s itt vaslï¿½cekbï¿½l volt ï¿½sszerï¿½va, kandi tekintet ittott behatolt rajta, valamint kifï¿½rt a rï¿½sen egy kis nï¿½i lï¿½b is.
Nagybotos gondosan kï¿½rï¿½lnï¿½zett, aztï¿½n lassan letï¿½rdepelt a kerï¿½tï¿½s mï¿½gï¿½tt, hï¿½romszor megkopogtatta a vaslï¿½ceket, mire Fatime kidugta a lï¿½bï¿½t. Termï¿½szetesen cipï¿½ ï¿½s harisnya nï¿½lkï¿½l volt a lï¿½ba, hogy kicsiny ï¿½s formï¿½s legyen, hogy Nagybotos odakï¿½nn meg ne bï¿½nja fï¿½radozï¿½sï¿½t… ï¿½s a cipï¿½ kï¿½nnyedï¿½n a nï¿½ lï¿½bï¿½ra siklott, Nagybotos gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½sï¿½gï¿½re.
A hï¿½z felï¿½l kiï¿½ltï¿½s hallatszott, mire Viola gyorsan lehï¿½zta a cipï¿½t, zsebï¿½be rejtette, ï¿½s kï¿½t ï¿½klï¿½t mellï¿½re szorï¿½tva, szabï¿½lyszerï¿½en szï¿½kï¿½tt egy negyed mï¿½rfï¿½ldet.
Nï¿½hï¿½ny nap mï¿½ltï¿½n ismï¿½t keresgï¿½lni valï¿½ja akadt a Vï¿½rosmajorban. Lehajtott fï¿½vel bandukolt, mintha semmi sem ï¿½rdekelnï¿½ a vilï¿½gon, midï¿½n a feje fï¿½lï¿½tt fï¿½tyï¿½rï¿½szni kezdett a fï¿½lemile. Nagybotos csodï¿½lkozott, felnï¿½zett, aztï¿½n ï¿½rï¿½mteljesen kï¿½szï¿½nt. Fatime a kert felï¿½ intett, mire Viola sietve fordult be a mellï¿½kutcï¿½ba. Komolyan dobogott a szï¿½ve, megmegï¿½llott, fejï¿½t csï¿½vï¿½lta, mintha mï¿½g sohasem lett volna szerelmes ï¿½letï¿½ben. A fï¿½k mï¿½r ismertï¿½k a kï¿½rnyï¿½ken, ï¿½s egy kerti kapu csaknem kï¿½szï¿½ntï¿½tte.
Az ï¿½rok felett a hidacska nyikorgott lï¿½ptei alatt, a hosszï¿½ szï¿½rï¿½ vadfï¿½vek kitï¿½rtek az ï¿½tjï¿½bï¿½l, s az egerï¿½szï¿½ sï¿½rga macska nem futott el.
A kopogï¿½s megtï¿½rtï¿½nt.
Fatime kidugta a lï¿½bï¿½t, ï¿½s egy papirosszelet volt a lï¿½bujjai kï¿½zï¿½tt.
– Adja nekem a cipï¿½t.
Nagybotos nyomban vï¿½laszolt:
– Ha jï¿½l viseli magï¿½t, elhozom a pï¿½rjï¿½t.
Fatime ekkor olyan jï¿½l viselte magï¿½t, hogy kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l negyedï¿½rï¿½ig hagyta Nagybotos kezï¿½ben lï¿½bï¿½t. ï¿½s Viola ï¿½gy csï¿½vï¿½lta a fejï¿½t, mikor hazafelï¿½ ment, hogy a rendï¿½r utï¿½nanï¿½zett a hï¿½don. „Elszï¿½ktetem”, dï¿½rmï¿½gï¿½tt magï¿½ban Nagybotos.
Egy napon, mï¿½r a hegyeknek torzonborz szakï¿½lluk nï¿½tt, amint a vadfï¿½vek megritkultak arculatukon: Fatime nem jelentkezett a kopogï¿½sra.
Nagybotos kï¿½sï¿½bb a cipï¿½cske sarkï¿½val verdeste a vaslï¿½ceket, ï¿½s nem ï¿½rtette Fatime tï¿½volmaradï¿½sï¿½t. Dï¿½rï¿½mbï¿½lt, fï¿½tyï¿½rï¿½szett, kopogott, mï¿½g egyszerre dï¿½hï¿½s kutyaugatï¿½s hallatszott a hï¿½z felï¿½l, vagy tï¿½n a vadember kï¿½romkodott…
A mï¿½rfï¿½ldet versenytempï¿½ban futotta Nagybotos, ï¿½s midï¿½n a Lï¿½nchï¿½don levette a kalapjï¿½t, hogy kimelegedett homlokï¿½t megfï¿½rï¿½ssze a szï¿½lben, szomorï¿½an lï¿½tta, hogy az aldunai hajï¿½k immï¿½r ott ï¿½llnak tï¿½li ï¿½llomï¿½sukon, a budai oldalon.
– Legalï¿½bb tudom elï¿½re, hogy miï¿½rt fogok szomorkodni a tï¿½len! – gondolta magï¿½ban Nagybotos, ï¿½s a cipï¿½cskï¿½t a hï¿½drï¿½l a Dunï¿½ba vetette. Sokï¿½ig, midï¿½n mï¿½r nem is lï¿½tta a hullï¿½mokkal kï¿½zdï¿½ cipï¿½t, ï¿½lldogï¿½lt a hï¿½don. A minapi rendï¿½r felismerte, ï¿½s komoly arccal megï¿½rintette a vï¿½llï¿½t.
Az asszonyok nevï¿½t, akik ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt szerettï¿½k Nagybotos Violï¿½t, rï¿½gi ismerï¿½sï¿½nket, papirosszeletre ï¿½rta, amelynek hï¿½tulsï¿½ lapjï¿½n egy belvï¿½rosi ï¿½rï¿½s kï¿½nï¿½lta toronyï¿½rï¿½it, elï¿½lrï¿½l pedig Izidor, az Almafa fï¿½pincï¿½re szokta ellenï¿½rizhetetlen szï¿½mjegyeit vetni. Nyï¿½r volt akkor, ï¿½s Nagybotos egyetlen barï¿½t ï¿½s tï¿½masztï¿½k nï¿½lkï¿½l csavargott az idegen vï¿½rosban. Rï¿½gi szokï¿½sa szerint ismï¿½t csak nï¿½ismeretsï¿½get kï¿½tï¿½tt, mindig csak nï¿½kkel beszï¿½lt, szerelemrï¿½l, ruhï¿½rï¿½l, szï¿½nhï¿½zrï¿½l, nï¿½ha politikï¿½rï¿½l, de leginkï¿½bb mï¿½gis szerelemrï¿½l, amely a divaton kï¿½vï¿½l az asszonyokat ï¿½rdekli. „Szegï¿½ny nï¿½k” – gondolta nï¿½ha magï¿½ban, ha szabad ï¿½rï¿½ja volt, ï¿½s a sï¿½tï¿½t Almafï¿½ban meghï¿½zï¿½dott lï¿½mpagyï¿½jtï¿½s elï¿½tt: ilyenkor is vï¿½rta valahol, valamerre egy nï¿½, de miutï¿½n a randevï¿½ nem volt pozitï¿½v^{*} megï¿½llapï¿½tva, Nagybotos Viola bï¿½torsï¿½got vett, hogy egyï¿½b szenvedï¿½lyï¿½nek hï¿½doljon, az ivï¿½snak ï¿½s a dohï¿½nyzï¿½snak. „Legalï¿½bb senki sem nevet ki a hï¿½tam mï¿½gï¿½tt, ha kihï¿½ztam innen a lï¿½bam” – mondta a bolthajtï¿½sos falaknak. Izidortï¿½l, akivel nï¿½ha szï¿½ba ï¿½llott, az ï¿½zletrï¿½l tudakozï¿½dott, ï¿½s egy esernyï¿½szemï¿½ ï¿½regï¿½rrï¿½l, aki korï¿½n dï¿½lutï¿½n beï¿½lt a sï¿½rhï¿½zba, ï¿½jsï¿½gjï¿½t ï¿½sszehajtogatta, sï¿½rï¿½t fenï¿½kig kiitta, penecilussal^{*} csengetett, amelyet a mellï¿½nyzsebï¿½bï¿½l vett elï¿½, a rï¿½gi kï¿½pet bï¿½multa a falon.
– Vajon meg szokott halni az ilyen ï¿½reg tï¿½rzsvendï¿½g? – kï¿½rdezte Nagybotos.
– Soha – felelte meggyï¿½zï¿½dï¿½ssel Izidor.
De vajon miï¿½rt is halt volna meg az ï¿½rtatlan ï¿½reg, aki lï¿½thatï¿½lag ï¿½lvezte a sï¿½r ï¿½s pï¿½rkï¿½lt szagï¿½t, a sarokasztal mellett egy homï¿½lyos ablak ï¿½rnyï¿½kï¿½t ï¿½rizte, ï¿½s a fogason a kalapja hosszï¿½ tartï¿½zkodï¿½sra helyezkedett el.
– Vajon elmenne az ï¿½reg a Gellï¿½rthegyre, ha egy nï¿½ hï¿½vnï¿½? – gondolta magï¿½ban Nagybotos az Almafï¿½ban, ahol teljes biztonsï¿½gban ï¿½rezte magï¿½t valamennyi nï¿½ismeretsï¿½gï¿½tï¿½l, mert e helyet gondosan eltitkolta. Itt merï¿½szelt nï¿½ha trï¿½fï¿½san gondolni a nï¿½kre, voltak percei az italfogyasztï¿½snï¿½l, hogy nem vette komolyan a nï¿½ket, a szerelmeket, a furcsa tragï¿½diï¿½kat, szenvedï¿½lyeket, kï¿½nnyeket… Holott azelï¿½tt mindig egyï¿½tt sï¿½rt elhagyott szeretï¿½ivel.
Akkoriban tizenegy hï¿½lgyismerï¿½se volt Nagybotos Violï¿½nak a vï¿½rosban, tizenegy nï¿½, akik nem ismertï¿½k egymï¿½st, ï¿½s lï¿½tszï¿½lag mindegyik elhitte, hogy Viola halï¿½losan szerelmes. Ennyi szeretï¿½je mï¿½g sohasem volt egyszerre, tavaly csak hat volt, mï¿½gis szï¿½kni kellett a vï¿½rosbï¿½l, mert vï¿½gï¿½l ï¿½sszezavarta a hazugsï¿½gokat, ï¿½gï¿½reteket, keresztneveket, ï¿½lmï¿½ban kibeszï¿½lte ï¿½ket, a zsebei tele voltak mindenfï¿½le babonï¿½s tï¿½rgyakkal, amelyekkel a nï¿½k megajï¿½ndï¿½koztï¿½k, koszorï¿½ba font hajak, pï¿½nzdarabok, fï¿½tyolok, kesztyï¿½k, falevelek… Vï¿½gï¿½l kiï¿½rï¿½tette zsebeit ï¿½jjel a Dunaparton, egy halk ï¿½jszakï¿½n, ï¿½s elkullogott a vï¿½rosbï¿½l.
Tizenegy asszony meg leï¿½ny!… Amint nevï¿½ket egymï¿½s mellï¿½ ï¿½rta, szinte megrettent. Hol ï¿½s merre szedte ï¿½ssze ï¿½ket? Nï¿½ha azt hitte, hogy mind egyformï¿½k, mï¿½skor ismï¿½t megï¿½llapï¿½totta, hogy mindnek van valami kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s szeszï¿½lye, boldogsï¿½ga, hiï¿½sï¿½ga vagy rï¿½geszmï¿½je, amelynek felhasznï¿½lï¿½sï¿½ra annak idejï¿½n a kï¿½zelï¿½kbe fï¿½rkï¿½zï¿½tt Nagybotos. Amint az Almafï¿½nï¿½l visszagondolt hï¿½dï¿½tï¿½saira, ï¿½gy ï¿½rezte, hogy nem is hï¿½dï¿½tott, kï¿½nnyen, gyorsan, szinte sablonos hazugsï¿½gok ï¿½rï¿½n engedtek hï¿½lgyei a rohamnak. A bï¿½kok, a virï¿½gok, a titkos kï¿½zszorï¿½tï¿½sok, lengï¿½ szavak, ï¿½rzelmes pillantï¿½sok megtettï¿½k a magukï¿½t. Csak a legderekabb kï¿½zï¿½ttï¿½k egy szelï¿½d, jï¿½szï¿½vï¿½ ï¿½s tapasztalatlan, szï¿½kï¿½s hajï¿½ ï¿½s megadï¿½, bï¿½natos szemï¿½, mondta nï¿½mi fï¿½lelemmel „maga ï¿½gy bï¿½nik velem, mint egy tapasztalt nï¿½csï¿½bï¿½tï¿½, pedig ï¿½n erre nem szolgï¿½ltattam okot”.
Ezt a szï¿½kï¿½s ï¿½s szï¿½p ruhï¿½jï¿½ hï¿½lgy mondta, mintha egy rï¿½gi emlï¿½kkï¿½nyvbï¿½l olvasnï¿½ a sorokat. Nagybotos gyorsan a hï¿½lgy finom cipï¿½jï¿½re, divatos kalapjï¿½ra, fehï¿½rnemï¿½jï¿½re terelte a beszï¿½det, kï¿½vï¿½ncsisï¿½got szï¿½nlelt vidï¿½ken kï¿½szï¿½lt menyasszonyi kelengyï¿½k irï¿½nt, amelynek vï¿½szna a nagymamï¿½k szekrï¿½nyï¿½ben pihent, csodï¿½lkozott monogramokon, ï¿½s nem ï¿½rtette, hogy lehet a cipï¿½szalagot ï¿½gy megkï¿½tni, hogy az soha fel ne bomoljon.
(„Szegï¿½nyke – gondolta magï¿½ban Nagybotos –, vajon jï¿½l alszike ï¿½jszaka?”)
A feketï¿½knek divatszï¿½nt ajï¿½nlott, a kezï¿½ket az ajkï¿½hoz emelte, majd homlokï¿½hoz ï¿½rintette, mintha mindig ï¿½ldï¿½sukat vï¿½rnï¿½. Nevetett a nevetï¿½kkel ï¿½s szomorkodott a szomorï¿½akkal. Azt tapasztalta, hogy az ellentmondï¿½s a nï¿½k kï¿½rï¿½ben ï¿½gyetlensï¿½g; helyeselni, sï¿½t magasztalni ï¿½s dicsï¿½rni kell ï¿½sszes bolondsï¿½gaikat, gyakran hangoztatni, hogy kilencven percent jï¿½ az asszonyok kï¿½zï¿½tt, majdnem angyal, szï¿½vnemessï¿½g, honleï¿½nyi lelkesedï¿½s, szegï¿½nyek irï¿½nti rï¿½szvï¿½t, ï¿½s a betegek megvigasztalï¿½sa a nï¿½k teendï¿½je. Nagybotos pedig ekkor mï¿½r meglehetï¿½s ï¿½reg lovag volt – szerette magï¿½t ï¿½letrehalï¿½lra rï¿½sï¿½zni a nï¿½kre.
Kï¿½rï¿½lbelï¿½l nyolcvan nï¿½ ï¿½lt Magyarorszï¿½gon, akiknek kezï¿½be helyezte sorsï¿½t. „Maholnap dolgozni fognak ï¿½rtem a nï¿½k, ha mï¿½r nagyon ï¿½reg leszek” – gondolta magï¿½ban, mikor a legkï¿½lï¿½nbï¿½zï¿½bb csalï¿½doknï¿½l ebï¿½delt, vacsorï¿½lt, pulykï¿½t evett, ï¿½s mï¿½r majdnem elfogadta egy hï¿½lgy ajï¿½nlatï¿½t, hogy lï¿½pjen hï¿½zassï¿½gra… Szerettï¿½k a nï¿½k, ha Nagybotos ï¿½sszeï¿½rta adï¿½ssï¿½gait, jï¿½vedelmeit, vï¿½rhatï¿½ ï¿½rï¿½ksï¿½geit, ï¿½s komoly, ï¿½nnepï¿½lyes arccal ï¿½sszehajtottï¿½k az iratot, hogy ï¿½k majd rendet teremtenek a zï¿½rzavarban. Zsebkendï¿½it sohasem engedte parfï¿½mï¿½zni, hisz dï¿½lutï¿½n ï¿½s este mï¿½sfelï¿½ volt dolga, ï¿½s bizonyos, hogy a nï¿½k nyomban megismerik az idegen, ellensï¿½ges illatot. Valamint a nyakon ejtett csï¿½koknak sem volt barï¿½tja, ï¿½s az elï¿½szobï¿½k tï¿½krï¿½ben mindig megnï¿½zte, hogy nem maradte nï¿½i hajszï¿½l a kabï¿½tjï¿½n. A leveleket, amelyeket nï¿½k ï¿½rtak, nyomban elï¿½gette, ï¿½s a hamvakat a szï¿½lbe szï¿½rta. A komoly nï¿½k elï¿½tt mindig arra hivatkozott, hogy egï¿½sz nap dolgozik, tudomï¿½nyosan bï¿½vï¿½rkodik, ï¿½lete nagy munkï¿½jï¿½n tï¿½ri a fejï¿½t; a beteges, elvï¿½nï¿½lï¿½ asszonyoknak azt mondta, hogy reggeltï¿½l estig sportot ï¿½z, a kelï¿½ napsugï¿½rral lovagol a ligetben, dï¿½lelï¿½ttjï¿½t a teniszpï¿½lyï¿½n tï¿½lti, majd ï¿½szik ï¿½s csï¿½nakï¿½zik, hogy estï¿½re a vï¿½vï¿½teremben talï¿½lkozzï¿½k a klub tagjaival; az okos ï¿½s vï¿½gkedï¿½lyï¿½ nï¿½knek ï¿½szintï¿½n bevallotta, hogy naphosszat henyï¿½l, ï¿½jjel kï¿½borol, mint a kandï¿½rok a hï¿½ztetï¿½n, dohï¿½nyzik, jï¿½tszik, iszik, elveszett ember, az adï¿½sok bï¿½rtï¿½nï¿½ben fog meghalni; mï¿½g a hiszï¿½keny, kedves, tiszta szï¿½vï¿½ nï¿½k rï¿½szï¿½re vï¿½grendeletet ï¿½rt, mindennap hagyomï¿½nyozott nekik valamit, visszavett, ï¿½jra adott, nagy pecsï¿½teket ï¿½tï¿½tt a vï¿½grendeletekre, ï¿½s kï¿½rte, hogy sï¿½rjï¿½t ne hagyjï¿½k gondozatlanul… Legtï¿½bb baja termï¿½szetesen azokkal a nï¿½kkel volt, akik megkï¿½veteltï¿½k, hogy szoknyï¿½jukon ï¿½ljï¿½n, verseket mondjon, kï¿½nyveket felolvasson, gyomrï¿½ra vigyï¿½zzon, paprikï¿½t ne egyen, keveset igyon, ï¿½s „hï¿½nyadik a szivar?” – kï¿½rdeztï¿½k, midï¿½n a legelsï¿½re rï¿½gyï¿½jtott. Viszont e nï¿½kkel eszkomotï¿½ri^{*} ï¿½gyessï¿½ggel hitette el, hogy rumot mï¿½g ï¿½letï¿½ben nem ivott, tejet ï¿½s kï¿½vï¿½t szokott vacsorï¿½zni, ï¿½jfï¿½l elï¿½tt lefekszik, ï¿½s hajnalban Plutarkhoszt^{*} olvassa. „ï¿½, bï¿½r vï¿½gleg rendes ember lehetnï¿½k!” – sï¿½hajtotta, midï¿½n ï¿½jjelenkint ki ï¿½s bemï¿½szkï¿½lt ablakokon, a szobalï¿½nynak ï¿½s ï¿½rnï¿½jï¿½nek egy napon eskï¿½dï¿½tt hï¿½sï¿½get, drï¿½tkerï¿½tï¿½seken ugrott ï¿½t, ï¿½s legfï¿½bb gondja volt, hogy a mï¿½rges hï¿½zï¿½rzï¿½ ebekkel barï¿½tsï¿½got tartson fenn. „ï¿½, bï¿½r ne volna mï¿½r egyï¿½b tennivalï¿½m, mint a kemence tï¿½zï¿½t nï¿½zni” – mondta ï¿½lmodozva, ï¿½s egy cirkuszmï¿½vï¿½sznï¿½ rï¿½szï¿½re elhordta a hï¿½zbï¿½l az asszonyok finom harisnyï¿½it.
Tizenegy asszony ï¿½s leï¿½ny fï¿½ltï¿½keny szeme elï¿½l jï¿½ volt megbï¿½jni alkonyattal az Almafï¿½nï¿½l, habï¿½r Marianka hï¿½rom lï¿½pï¿½srï¿½l megï¿½rezte a kocsmaszagot, Paulina undorodott a dohï¿½nyszagï¿½ bajusztï¿½l, ï¿½s Ilona a kezï¿½n, a kï¿½rmï¿½n ï¿½szrevette, hogy kockï¿½zott vagy kï¿½rtyï¿½zott.
„Elkergetnek a vï¿½rosbï¿½l” – gondolta magï¿½ban, midï¿½n ismeretlen nï¿½k karjï¿½ba kapaszkodott, mert Jozefï¿½nak olyan ï¿½les szaglï¿½sa volt, hogy megï¿½rezte az idegen szoknyï¿½k szagï¿½t, Fancsett a szemï¿½bï¿½l kiolvasta, hogy beszï¿½lte nï¿½kkel, mï¿½g Margarï¿½ta gï¿½nyosan dugta el kezï¿½t elï¿½le. „Pfuj, mï¿½r megint kit csï¿½kolt meg?”
„Megmï¿½rgeznek elï¿½bbutï¿½bb” – gondolta ismï¿½t, midï¿½n kï¿½lï¿½nbï¿½zï¿½ ideigï¿½rï¿½ig tartï¿½ szerelmi ï¿½gyeit lebonyolï¿½totta, ï¿½s ezalatt nï¿½gyï¿½t helyen vï¿½rtï¿½k egyszerre a vï¿½rosban. Adï¿½lnak olyan ujjai voltak, mint az acï¿½l, s tï¿½bbszï¿½r megï¿½gï¿½rte, hogy megfojtja Nagybotost, ha megcsalja. Egyszer mï¿½r a torkï¿½ra szorï¿½totta a kezï¿½t, ï¿½s Nagybotos csaknem elï¿½jult. Rï¿½za ï¿½llandï¿½an tï¿½ltï¿½tt pisztolyt tartott a fehï¿½rnemï¿½s szekrï¿½nyï¿½ben. ï¿½s „kis Ilonka” oly hidegvï¿½rrel elvï¿½gja a nyakï¿½t, mint egy csirkï¿½ï¿½t, ha ï¿½lmï¿½ban idegen asszonynevet mond.
„Elï¿½tkoznak, megbabonï¿½znak, ellenem imï¿½dkoznak ï¿½s felbï¿½szï¿½tik ellenem a fï¿½rfiakat, vï¿½resre veretnek ï¿½s bï¿½rtï¿½nbe zï¿½ratnak” – gondolta, mikor estve az utcï¿½n valamely csinos nï¿½ utï¿½n futott, csak attï¿½l rettegett, hogy egyik szeretï¿½je rejtï¿½zik a fï¿½tyol alatt, mint Boris, aki gyakran ï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½tt fï¿½rfiruhï¿½ba, hogy Nagybotost kikï¿½mlelje, vagy pedig Agï¿½tha, aki estve velencei, rojtos kendï¿½t borï¿½tott a fejï¿½re, s arra vette ï¿½tjï¿½t, amerre Nagybotosnak jï¿½nni kell. Ilona idegen nï¿½k nevï¿½ben esedezett telefon, ï¿½s kï¿½ldï¿½nc ï¿½tjï¿½n szerelmi bï¿½jitalt kï¿½ldï¿½tt vidï¿½krï¿½l, ï¿½s mï¿½g Nagybotos mï¿½lyen elaludt, a nevï¿½t a mellï¿½re tetovï¿½lta. Ugyancsak vigyï¿½zni kellett, hogy Nagybotos elkerï¿½lje a csapdï¿½kat.
Tizenegy vagy tizenkï¿½t asszony volt, akire Nagybotos fï¿½lï¿½nk ï¿½s szent szerelemmel gondolt. Mï¿½r nem is tudta teljes bizonyossï¿½ggal. Csak a kï¿½telessï¿½geit ismerte, s a leggyï¿½ngï¿½debb nï¿½nek is ï¿½gy engedelmeskedett, mint a fï¿½rfias, energikus hï¿½lgyeknek. Jobbrabalra rendeltï¿½k a vï¿½rosba, utazï¿½saikra elkï¿½sï¿½rtettï¿½k magukat, a templom elï¿½tt vï¿½rakoztattï¿½k, ï¿½s a cukrï¿½szdï¿½kban leï¿½ltettï¿½k, hogy estig vï¿½rjon; nï¿½orvosok elï¿½szobï¿½iban, divattermekben ï¿½s a korzï¿½n, a fï¿½rdï¿½hely platï¿½njai alatt, a szemkï¿½zti hï¿½z kapualjï¿½ban, ï¿½jjel, kis ï¿½llomï¿½sokon, dunai hajï¿½kon, a Normafï¿½nï¿½l ï¿½s a budai kioszkban vï¿½rt Nagybotos – mindig vï¿½rt asszonyra, leï¿½nyra, estve megismerte a lï¿½pï¿½seik hangjï¿½t, a sï¿½tï¿½tben a hangjukat ï¿½s a szï¿½lben lengï¿½ kalaptollukat.
Vï¿½rt.
Hï¿½napok, csaknem esztendï¿½k mï¿½ltak el. A tizenegy nï¿½ hï¿½sï¿½gesen kitartott Nagybotos mellett.
– Vajon, ha meghalnï¿½k? – kï¿½rdezte egyszer magï¿½ban, vagy az ï¿½reg tï¿½rzsvendï¿½gtï¿½l az Almafï¿½nï¿½l.
S az ï¿½tlet ï¿½rï¿½mï¿½re tï¿½bbet ivott a szokï¿½sosnï¿½l, ï¿½jjel bï¿½csï¿½leveleket ï¿½rt, tizenegyet egyformï¿½t, szomorï¿½t, megbï¿½nï¿½t, termï¿½szetesen mindegyiket biztosï¿½totta, hogy ï¿½rte hal meg, ï¿½s hajnalban eldobta kalapjï¿½t a Lï¿½nchï¿½don.
Ezutï¿½n kï¿½t napig nem mutatkozott Nagybotos Viola az utcï¿½n. Elbï¿½jt, elzï¿½rkï¿½zott. Harmadnapra megunta a magï¿½nyt, ï¿½s felkereste a legderekasabbat, legjobbat nï¿½ismerï¿½sei kï¿½zï¿½l, aranyszï¿½vï¿½ Klï¿½rit.
– Bocsï¿½ss meg, trï¿½fï¿½ltam, nem haltam meg.
Aranyszï¿½vï¿½ Klï¿½ri kisï¿½rt szemmel, de nyugodtan mï¿½rte vï¿½gig Nagybotost:
– Sajnï¿½lom, mï¿½r kï¿½sï¿½, mï¿½r megsirattalak, elbï¿½csï¿½ztam tï¿½led, elfelejtettelek.
Nagybotos megcsï¿½vï¿½lta fejï¿½t.
– Hisz ï¿½lek.
– Nekem meghaltï¿½l. Kedves, drï¿½ga halottam vagy. Engedd, hogy halï¿½lod ï¿½vfordulï¿½jï¿½n ï¿½rted imï¿½dkozzam, fekete ruhï¿½t ï¿½ltsek, ï¿½s kicsit sï¿½rdogï¿½ljak a kanapï¿½ sarkï¿½ban. Ne fosszï¿½l meg ettï¿½l a fï¿½jdalmas ï¿½rï¿½mtï¿½l.
A halottaibï¿½l visszatï¿½rt Nagybotos nem tehetett egyebet, mint tovï¿½bb ment.
A „komoly asszonyok” a levegï¿½be nï¿½ztek, mikor meglï¿½ttï¿½k.
– Ostobasï¿½got csinï¿½lt – mondtï¿½k, s elfordultak.
Az indulatosabb hï¿½lgyek rï¿½viden vï¿½geztek. Kinyitottï¿½k az ajtï¿½t:
– Gazember, elszï¿½kï¿½tt?
A vï¿½g ï¿½s bolondos asszonykï¿½k hangosan felkacagtak, amikor Nagybotost ismï¿½t megpillantottï¿½k.
– Ejnye, talï¿½n fele sem igaz annak a sok rï¿½galomnak, amit halï¿½la alkalmï¿½bï¿½l beszï¿½ltek szerte a vï¿½rosban?
Nagybotos keservesen meglakolt, nagy prï¿½bï¿½ra tette a nï¿½ket. A visszatï¿½rt halottal senki sem ï¿½llott tï¿½bbï¿½ szï¿½ba. Elsirattï¿½k, elfelejtettï¿½k, elraktï¿½k kedves emlï¿½kek kï¿½zï¿½. Aztï¿½n Nagybotos nï¿½lkï¿½l folyt tovï¿½bb ï¿½letï¿½k a tizenegy asszonyoknak.
– Ne jï¿½jj vissza a mï¿½svilï¿½grï¿½l! – ï¿½rta fel az ajtï¿½fejfï¿½ra Nagybotos, ahovï¿½ a babonï¿½s betï¿½ket szokta ï¿½rni.
Egyszer rï¿½gen hï¿½rsfï¿½k alatt mentem ï¿½szidï¿½ben, bï¿½styasï¿½tï¿½nynak neveztï¿½k a helyet, az enyhe dï¿½lutï¿½ni szï¿½l ï¿½jra jï¿½tszadozott a lehullott levelekkel, mint a gondolat, amely az elmï¿½lt ifjï¿½sï¿½got kï¿½rï¿½lborongja: valami koppant a kalapomon. Megnï¿½ztem. Egy vï¿½rcsepp hullott reï¿½.
A vï¿½rcsepp Rozï¿½lit jelentette; tudtam, hogy a kï¿½rnyï¿½ken lakik valahol. Egy Anjoukorabeli hï¿½z erkï¿½lyï¿½n ï¿½llott – a hagyomï¿½ny szerint Rï¿½bert Kï¿½roly^{*} dugdosta itt szeretï¿½it, a hegyben fï¿½ld alatti ï¿½t vezetett idï¿½ig, ï¿½s a kapitï¿½nyok kï¿½csagtollas fï¿½vegï¿½ket megemeltï¿½k az erkï¿½ly alatt –, az ï¿½sz felhï¿½it nï¿½zte, s arra gondolt, hogy az utolsï¿½ szerelem is bï¿½csï¿½zï¿½ban van. Rï¿½gi hï¿½napok ï¿½ta ï¿½lldogï¿½lt az erkï¿½lyen, a hï¿½rsfï¿½k virï¿½goztak, hervadtak, mint a szentimentï¿½lis regï¿½nyekben. A bï¿½nat vï¿½gre megtalï¿½lta ï¿½tjï¿½t, mint a sziklï¿½ba zï¿½rt vï¿½z, ï¿½s Rozï¿½li szï¿½vï¿½bï¿½l cseppenkint hullott a vï¿½r: akit vï¿½rt, az nem jï¿½tt el.
Pedig estï¿½nkint a kï¿½rtya mindig megmutatta. (Mennyi kï¿½rtyï¿½t vetnek Budï¿½n!) Az ollï¿½ a hegyï¿½vel megï¿½llott a padlï¿½ban. Tarka szarkï¿½k jï¿½ttek a Vï¿½rmezï¿½ tï¿½jï¿½kï¿½rï¿½l, ï¿½s a fï¿½kra ï¿½ltek. Egy ï¿½reg dajka naphosszat mesï¿½lte az elï¿½tkozott kastï¿½ly tï¿½rtï¿½netï¿½t, ahol a szï¿½l nyugtalanï¿½tï¿½an zï¿½gott, de holdas ï¿½jfeleken felhangzott a lovag ropogï¿½ lï¿½pï¿½se. Mikor Rozï¿½li azt szerette volna megtudni, hogy mi lakozik odabï¿½vï¿½l a fï¿½rfiakban. Elmondtï¿½k mesï¿½iket, ï¿½lmaikat, vï¿½gyï¿½dï¿½saikat. Rajongï¿½sukat hallgatni: mily tï¿½nemï¿½nyes ï¿½jfï¿½l volt! S hangjuk, midï¿½n fuvolï¿½zott, ï¿½s a tekintetï¿½k csaknem kï¿½nnybe lï¿½badt! Jï¿½ttek, jï¿½ttek az elï¿½tkozott kastï¿½lyba, ï¿½s a szï¿½p szavakat, mondanivalï¿½kat elhoztï¿½k, mint kincseiket. Aztï¿½n elmentek. Rozï¿½li mindig hosszasabb pillantï¿½st vetett a kerti kapu mï¿½gï¿½tt eltï¿½nï¿½ lovagokra. Mï¿½g a kï¿½penyege lï¿½tszott, aztï¿½n csak a toll a sï¿½vege mellett, majd sï¿½tï¿½tsï¿½g lett a helyen, ahol elï¿½bb mï¿½g a lovag szeme vilï¿½gï¿½tott. A kapuig is elkï¿½sï¿½rte ï¿½ket, az ï¿½tra ï¿½llott, hogy tovï¿½bb lï¿½thassa lengï¿½ kabï¿½tjukat. Szinte megrezzent, sï¿½rva fakadt, ha valamelyik megtartotta ï¿½gï¿½retï¿½t ï¿½s visszatï¿½rt… Vajon ki fï¿½tyï¿½rï¿½szi Lohengrin nï¿½szindulï¿½jï¿½t^{*} az elï¿½tkozott kastï¿½ly kï¿½rï¿½l?
Az utolsï¿½ lovag – a legkedvesebb – mï¿½g csak fï¿½lig mondta el a mesï¿½t, az ujjhegyï¿½t csï¿½kolta meg csupï¿½n, ï¿½s ï¿½brï¿½ndos szeme a Rozï¿½li cipï¿½jï¿½ig ï¿½rt (amelyrï¿½l mindig sok mondanivalï¿½juk volt a fï¿½rfiaknak), a szalagokig, amelyek a bokï¿½n bokrï¿½tï¿½ba voltak kï¿½tve, ï¿½s a cipï¿½sarkï¿½ig, amelynek nyomï¿½t sok lovag viselte a szï¿½ve felett, az eleven hï¿½son. Mennyifelï¿½ jï¿½r egy nï¿½nek a lï¿½ba, mily rengeteg utakat vï¿½geznek a cipï¿½k, a gyï¿½nge bokï¿½k mennyit fï¿½radoznak, kï¿½vï¿½natosan mutatkoznak, a sarkok mily kï¿½lï¿½nbï¿½zï¿½ talajokat ï¿½rintenek! A homokban, a tenger fï¿½venyï¿½ben, a puha erdei ï¿½ton, bï¿½li terem parkettjï¿½n, sï¿½ros mellï¿½kutakon az elï¿½vï¿½rosban, vasï¿½ti tï¿½ltï¿½s mentï¿½n ï¿½s hintï¿½ szï¿½nyegï¿½n jï¿½rnak a lï¿½bak. Kï¿½r, hogy a nyugalmazott nï¿½i cipï¿½k nem tudnak beszï¿½lni. (ï¿½jjel, a hotel folyosï¿½jï¿½n megkï¿½rdezi ï¿½ket a bï¿½rszolga: honnan jï¿½ttek, hovï¿½ mentek? A hajnali vonat elviszi ï¿½ket.)
– A lï¿½bamat imï¿½dtï¿½k – mondta Rozï¿½li, midï¿½n budai ï¿½reg asszonysï¿½gok uzsonnï¿½ra meglï¿½togattï¿½k. – Hevertek elï¿½tte, sï¿½rtak, eskï¿½dï¿½ztek. Furcsa, hogy a lï¿½bam nem vï¿½ltozott.
– A kezeim csodï¿½latï¿½val sem tudtak eltelni. Vajon hovï¿½ lettek a kesztyï¿½im, amelyeket a kor divatja szerint ellopkodtak a fï¿½rfiak? Valahol egy nyugalmazott tiszt ï¿½r ï¿½l a kï¿½lyha elï¿½tt, ï¿½s karosszï¿½kï¿½ben a kesztyï¿½imet nï¿½zegeti – mondta estefelï¿½.
– A hajtï¿½im ï¿½s a harisnyakï¿½tï¿½im, bï¿½lakon elveszï¿½tett kiskendï¿½im, elajï¿½ndï¿½kozott barna hajszï¿½laim, vajon merre vettï¿½k ï¿½tjukat? Hovï¿½, merre hordtï¿½k el a fï¿½rfiak a papucsaimat, szalagjaimat, csipkï¿½imet? Mï¿½r javï¿½ban ï¿½szï¿½lt a hajam, ï¿½s fï¿½rfiak mï¿½g mindig azï¿½rt kï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½gtek, hogy kis koszorï¿½t fonjak a hajambï¿½l, amelyet a szï¿½vï¿½k fï¿½lï¿½tt viselhessenek – szï¿½lt ï¿½jszaka felï¿½, midï¿½n a budai barï¿½tnï¿½k mind az ajtï¿½ban ï¿½lltak ï¿½s bï¿½csï¿½zva bï¿½longattak. „A hajak… a harisnyakï¿½tï¿½k… a gombostï¿½k…” ismï¿½teltï¿½k.
– ï¿½s most mindennap egy csepp vï¿½r hull ki a szï¿½vembï¿½l… Ez is csak ï¿½rtï¿½k van, akik nem jï¿½ttek vissza – mondï¿½ Rozï¿½li, eltakarva az arcï¿½t, mert attï¿½l fï¿½lt, hogy a barï¿½tnï¿½k nem lï¿½tjï¿½k ï¿½t elï¿½g szï¿½pnek e pillanatban.
A barï¿½tnï¿½k a setï¿½tes budai utcï¿½kon, ahol a szï¿½l mindig ï¿½gy lebeg, mint az ï¿½regasszonyok viklerje^{*}, ï¿½sszedugtï¿½k a fejï¿½ket, ï¿½s azon tanakodtak, hogy Rozï¿½li vï¿½rï¿½nek hullï¿½sï¿½t meg kell gyï¿½gyï¿½tani. Kï¿½lï¿½nbï¿½zï¿½ terveket eszeltek ki – a fantï¿½zia Budï¿½n is fantï¿½zia! – a legfiatalabb arra vï¿½llalkozott, hogy elcsï¿½bï¿½tja Pestrï¿½l Budï¿½ra az utolsï¿½ lovagot, aki mondanivalï¿½jï¿½t nem fejezte be (vï¿½rï¿½sesszï¿½ke, nagy hajï¿½, hervadt asszony volt, aki nagyokat nevetett, ï¿½s bizonyosan tudta, hogy a fï¿½rfiak szeretnï¿½k meghï¿½dï¿½tani), az ï¿½reg asszonysï¿½gok ellenben a templomot ajï¿½nlottï¿½k. Rozï¿½lit besoroztï¿½k maguk kï¿½zï¿½, ï¿½s vasï¿½rnap ï¿½nnepï¿½lyesen a Fï¿½ utcai templomba vezettï¿½k, mintha eskï¿½vï¿½re kï¿½sï¿½rnï¿½k. Rozï¿½li kï¿½nnyes szemmel nï¿½zett barï¿½tnï¿½i arcï¿½ba, izgatott ï¿½s ï¿½nnepï¿½lyes volt, a barï¿½tnï¿½k csendesen lï¿½pkedtek kï¿½rï¿½lï¿½tte, mintha temetï¿½sre kï¿½sï¿½rnï¿½k.
A templomban valï¿½ban megkï¿½nnyebbï¿½lt Rozï¿½li. ï¿½j ï¿½s ï¿½rdekes volt neki a bï¿½nat, a remï¿½nytelen bï¿½nat; hisz idï¿½ig, rï¿½gi kedveseiï¿½rt kï¿½nyï¿½rgï¿½tt, titokban mï¿½r tanulta az ï¿½j imï¿½dsï¿½got, amelyet az ï¿½jï¿½rt fog mondani. Mindig feltï¿½telesen imï¿½dkozott… ha visszajï¿½n… ha jï¿½l viseli magï¿½t… ha hï¿½sï¿½ges lesz hozzï¿½m… „akkor segï¿½tsd meg, Mï¿½ria”.
Mï¿½ria szelï¿½den nï¿½zett le az oltï¿½rkï¿½prï¿½l. Ah, ki ismernï¿½ az asszonyokat, ha ï¿½ nem ismernï¿½?
„Ha virï¿½got hoz… ha bocsï¿½natot kï¿½r… ha megeskï¿½szik elhunyt nï¿½vï¿½rkï¿½jï¿½re… ha csalfasï¿½g ï¿½s hazugsï¿½g nï¿½lkï¿½l elmondja, hol jï¿½rt azï¿½ta, kit szeretett, kik szerettï¿½k…, … ha megfogadja, hogy tï¿½bbï¿½ sohasem hagy el”: ï¿½gy hangzottak hajdan az imï¿½k, ï¿½s a lovagnak ugyancsak kellett tudni a tennivalï¿½jï¿½t, hogy Rozï¿½li az ï¿½sszes feltï¿½teleket elhagyja imï¿½jï¿½bï¿½l, amelyet rokonï¿½hoz, testvï¿½rï¿½hez, leghï¿½bb barï¿½tnï¿½jï¿½hez, Mï¿½riï¿½hoz intï¿½zett. Rozï¿½li rï¿½gi lovagjai fï¿½ltek is ez idï¿½ tï¿½jt. Messzirï¿½l levettï¿½k kalapjukat a templomok elï¿½tt. Odabent Mï¿½ria figyel, ï¿½s Rozï¿½li pï¿½rtjï¿½n van. A kockï¿½zï¿½k, a szoknyï¿½sok, a korhelyek, a hazugok ï¿½s a tï¿½bbi fajtï¿½jï¿½ fï¿½rfiak nem merï¿½szeltek szembe szï¿½llni az ï¿½gi hatalmassï¿½ggal. „Csak addig lesz szerencsï¿½d, amï¿½g hozzï¿½m hï¿½sï¿½ges vagy” – mondogatta Rozï¿½li, gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½ ï¿½letï¿½n ï¿½t, ï¿½s a lovagok Szent Gyï¿½rgyï¿½t^{*} vagy Kristï¿½fot^{*} fï¿½lve, cserbenhagytï¿½k.
ï¿½s mert ismï¿½t a templomban ï¿½lt Rozï¿½li, rï¿½gi pï¿½rtfogï¿½nï¿½je megbocsï¿½totta a sok hazug ï¿½sszekï¿½ttetï¿½st, amit a fï¿½rfiaknak fenyegetï¿½skï¿½ppen mondott, gyï¿½ngï¿½den tekintett alï¿½ az oltï¿½rkï¿½prï¿½l.
Rozï¿½li sokï¿½ig nem merte felvetni a szemï¿½t. Ah, hisz annyiszor elï¿½rulta a Legdrï¿½gï¿½bb Asszonyt! Oly gyakran ï¿½ldott meg nevï¿½ben vallï¿½sos fï¿½rfiakat, hogy a Szï¿½z valï¿½ban megharagudhatott reï¿½.
De kï¿½sï¿½bb szï¿½vï¿½be nï¿½zett, majd a tekintetï¿½t kï¿½rï¿½ljï¿½ratta a templomban. Csupï¿½n egy nagyon ï¿½reg, vï¿½rï¿½sbor arcszï¿½nï¿½ ï¿½r ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt leghï¿½tul. ï¿½s a szï¿½ve ï¿½gy szï¿½lt:
– Szï¿½l van ï¿½s hideg van. Mï¿½ria, Anyï¿½nk, kï¿½ldjï¿½l valakit, akit ï¿½gy szerethessek, mint egykor ï¿½t szerettem, akinek nevï¿½t meg nem mondhatom… Akit mindig visszavï¿½rok. Kï¿½ldd ï¿½rtem, hogy megsimogassam, hogy mindent elmondhassak neki, amit mindig ï¿½rzek, mindig gondolok, de mï¿½g senkinek sem mondtam el ï¿½letemben. Mindig csak a fï¿½rfiakat hagytam beszï¿½lni. ï¿½n sohasem mondtam meg nekik, hogy igazï¿½n mit ï¿½lmodtam. Kï¿½ldj valakit, aki meghallgasson, megbocsï¿½sson nekem. A kezemet megfogja, ï¿½s szomorï¿½an, hosszan meghallgasson.
– Szeptember! – ketyegett a toronyban az ï¿½ra.
– Akinek vï¿½gre elmondhatom, hogy mit gondoltam, amï¿½g fiatal voltam… Hogy mit ï¿½lmodtam, ï¿½s a szï¿½vemben mi tï¿½rtï¿½nt!… Kï¿½ldj nekem valakit.
A Szï¿½z halkan intett.
Az Anjouhï¿½z erkï¿½lyï¿½n egy kis fecske ï¿½lt, villï¿½sfarkï¿½ fecske, aki ï¿½sszel nem tudott elutazni a tï¿½bbivel. Engedte, hogy megfogja szï¿½rnyait Rozï¿½li, kis hï¿½zat rakatott neki, piros nadrï¿½got ï¿½s zï¿½ld sapkï¿½t varrt szï¿½mï¿½ra. ï¿½s a fecske mindvï¿½gig tï¿½relmesen meghallgatta Rozï¿½li mondanivalï¿½it.
Az ï¿½rï¿½k ezentï¿½l csendesebben ï¿½tï¿½ttek Budï¿½n. Rozï¿½li nem hallott meg minden ï¿½raï¿½tï¿½st. A fecske ï¿½nekelt ezalatt.
Mï¿½g egyszer ï¿½s utoljï¿½ra szeretett Rozï¿½li, holott minden alkalommal azt hitte, hogy elï¿½szï¿½r ï¿½s utoljï¿½ra szeret. Igazi nï¿½ volt, imakï¿½nyvi fejezetekkel ï¿½s temetï¿½i sï¿½rkï¿½vek felirataival volt tele a szï¿½ve. A szï¿½v halottait boldogan, bï¿½san szï¿½mon tartotta, mintha az idï¿½ben eltï¿½volodva, valamennyi kedvese egyben gyermeke lett volna, halott, mosolygï¿½s arccal kï¿½sï¿½rtï¿½s, inges kis gyermeke.
Az utolsï¿½ szerelem termï¿½szetesen boldogabb az elsï¿½nï¿½l. Boldogabb, bolondabb, fï¿½jdalmasabb, kï¿½tsï¿½gbeejtï¿½bb, ï¿½s ï¿½ a levegï¿½, a tï¿½kï¿½r, a rugalmassï¿½ga a lï¿½baknak, vï¿½llaknak, hangulatoknak. ï¿½ a kï¿½nnyï¿½, lenge jï¿½rï¿½s, ï¿½ az egyetlen jï¿½l ï¿½llï¿½ kalap. Az utolsï¿½ szerelem az ï¿½lom, amelyet az ï¿½tkarolt pï¿½rnï¿½n remegve, fï¿½lve ï¿½lmodnak a nï¿½k. Lepke, amely rizsporos szï¿½rnyait a homlokomon pihenteti. Ah, ne ketyegjen hangosan az ï¿½ra sem. Maradj, kedves lepke. A tornyok valahol messze ï¿½jfï¿½lt kongatnak, halottak sï¿½tï¿½lnak el az ablak alatt, a szomszï¿½d szobï¿½ban ropog a padlï¿½ valakinek a lï¿½ptei alatt – de nincs addig semmi baj, amï¿½g a lepke a homlokomon ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½l. Rozï¿½li reggelenkint sokï¿½ig ï¿½s elgondolkozva nï¿½zte kï¿½zitï¿½krï¿½ben a lepke helyï¿½t homlokï¿½n. Az ezï¿½stï¿½s hajszï¿½lak egyenkint megszï¿½laltak a halï¿½ntï¿½kï¿½n, kondor fekete hajï¿½ban. Mindegyik szerette volna elmondani tï¿½rtï¿½netï¿½t – utazï¿½sï¿½t a nagy sivatagrï¿½l idï¿½ig, a szï¿½l vagy madï¿½r hï¿½tï¿½n, a tengerek felett rï¿½pkï¿½dnek az ï¿½sz hajak viharzï¿½ ï¿½jszakï¿½kon, ï¿½s ï¿½tjukat az ï¿½g nï¿½gy tï¿½ja felï¿½ vettï¿½k. De Rozï¿½li most nem volt kï¿½vï¿½ncsi 19** mï¿½jus havï¿½ra, amikor a halï¿½ntï¿½kï¿½n balrï¿½l a szï¿½v oldalï¿½n, az elsï¿½ ï¿½sz hajszï¿½lakat felfedezte. Heten voltak.
– Hï¿½t fiam volt – mondta Rozï¿½li megnyugodva. (A jobb oldalon jelentkezï¿½ fehï¿½r hajszï¿½lak a leï¿½nyokat jelentettï¿½k.)
Egy ï¿½jjel idegen vï¿½rosba ï¿½lmodta magï¿½t Rozï¿½li, ï¿½s harmonikï¿½zott valaki az ablaka alatt. Reggel eltï¿½nï¿½dve ï¿½lt az ï¿½gya szï¿½lï¿½n.
– Csak Bï¿½cs lehet ez az idegen, ï¿½lombeli vï¿½ros. Sohasem voltam Bï¿½csben. Odamegyï¿½nk Mï¿½riï¿½val.
Mï¿½riï¿½ (egy lusta, henyï¿½lï¿½ fï¿½rfiï¿½, aki ï¿½letï¿½t egy kï¿½nyelmes kanapï¿½n tï¿½ltï¿½tte, ï¿½s rï¿½gi halott kï¿½ltï¿½kbï¿½l tanult udvarolni, szï¿½p szavakat mondani, hazudni) helyeselte a tervet.
– Miutï¿½n veszï¿½lyes dolog volna egyï¿½tt elutaznunk, ï¿½n majd Kelenfï¿½ldï¿½n vagy Gyï¿½rben szï¿½llok fel a bï¿½csi vonatra.
Mï¿½snap, midï¿½n Rozï¿½li elutazott, Mï¿½riï¿½ a mï¿½sik oldalï¿½ra fordult, mï¿½g egy verset aludt, talï¿½n mï¿½r el is felejtette az asszonyt.
Rozï¿½li tehï¿½t egyedï¿½l, magï¿½nyosan ï¿½rkezett Bï¿½csbe. Szï¿½vfï¿½jdalmai Kelenfï¿½ldnï¿½l, boldog remï¿½nykedï¿½se Gyï¿½r alatt, vï¿½gï¿½l csï¿½ggedt, ï¿½letunt hangulata az orszï¿½ghatï¿½rnï¿½l egy egï¿½sz ï¿½letre sok volt. Szegï¿½ny nï¿½k azonban kibï¿½rjï¿½k a legnagyobb fï¿½jdalmakat, mï¿½g sï¿½rni sem tudott, csak bï¿½vï¿½lrï¿½l morajlott benne egy tompa gondolat, mint az erdï¿½ben a vï¿½zesï¿½st hallani: „ï¿½ngyilkos leszek Bï¿½csben”. (Az ï¿½ton fiatal fï¿½rfi ï¿½lt vele szemben a vasï¿½ti kocsiban, tapasztalatlan kï¿½k szeme volt, ï¿½s a szivartï¿½rcï¿½jï¿½n ezï¿½st szarvasfej volt. Szerelmes szavakat mondott, vï¿½gï¿½l megkï¿½rdezte, hol fogad szï¿½llï¿½st Rozï¿½li. Az asszony elmosolyodott, ï¿½s a Grand Hotel cï¿½mï¿½t mondta, holott elï¿½re elhatï¿½rozott dolog volt, hogy Mï¿½riï¿½val a kï¿½lvï¿½rosban, a Borznï¿½l szï¿½llnak meg.) „ï¿½ngyilkos leszek Bï¿½csben” – zï¿½gott a tarpataki vï¿½zesï¿½s valahol az asszony emlï¿½kei kï¿½zï¿½tt. Erdï¿½n ment, lï¿½gy talajon siklott a lï¿½ba, O. B. volt belï¿½ szerelmes, ï¿½s kis francia napernyï¿½je volt azon a nyï¿½ron, mikor a vï¿½zesï¿½st hallotta. Most ï¿½jra fï¿½lï¿½be morajlott… A Borzban, mikor megszï¿½llott ï¿½s kï¿½rï¿½lnï¿½zett, ï¿½gy vï¿½ltoztatta elhatï¿½rozï¿½sï¿½t: „Talï¿½n, ha ï¿½jjel itt meggyilkolnï¿½nak… Az volna a legjobb.”
A sï¿½tï¿½t, kis elï¿½vï¿½rosi fogadï¿½ban a portï¿½s megcsodï¿½lta finom ruhï¿½jï¿½t, pompï¿½s ï¿½tibï¿½rï¿½ndjï¿½t, a legszebb szobï¿½t megnyitottï¿½k, ahol elï¿½kelï¿½ tï¿½ncosnï¿½ mï¿½rget ivott a mï¿½lt hï¿½ten. A szomszï¿½dban egy tï¿½nkrement marhakereskedï¿½ lakott, aki egï¿½sz ï¿½jjel sï¿½tï¿½lt fel ï¿½s alï¿½, a Borzban mindenki vï¿½rta a pisztoly dï¿½rrenï¿½sï¿½t, ï¿½lmos szobalï¿½nyok a kulcslyukra szorï¿½tottï¿½k a fï¿½lï¿½ket. A kereskedï¿½ csak jï¿½rt fel ï¿½s alï¿½, mï¿½g nem kï¿½szï¿½lt el magï¿½val. A fï¿½ldszinten verekedï¿½s volt egy nï¿½ miatt. A portï¿½s kivetette a nï¿½t. A fï¿½rfiak egy darabig morogtak a bajuszuk alatt, vï¿½gï¿½l egyenkint eltï¿½voztak. A numero 8ban nï¿½szutasok voltak, ï¿½s az ï¿½reg szï¿½llodï¿½s meg fia dï¿½lutï¿½n ï¿½ta leskelï¿½dtek az ajtï¿½ elï¿½tt. Rozï¿½li minderrï¿½l nem tudott semmit. Az ï¿½gyban fekï¿½dt, a tapï¿½ta kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s formï¿½jï¿½ rï¿½zsï¿½ira fï¿½ggesztette a szemï¿½t, ï¿½s a halï¿½lt vï¿½rta. Kï¿½nn felhï¿½szakadï¿½s keletkezett, ï¿½s az ablakon ezer ujj kopogott – a halottak kezei, akik eljï¿½ttek az utolsï¿½ ï¿½jszakï¿½n, hogy bï¿½csï¿½t vegyenek Rï¿½zï¿½litï¿½l.
Rozï¿½li mindeddig jï¿½ravalï¿½, derï¿½k asszony volt, semmi jï¿½rtassï¿½ga nem volt a szerelmi ï¿½ngyilkossï¿½gban, mï¿½g sohasem ugrott vï¿½zbe, mï¿½rget sem ï¿½vott, vï¿½grendeletet sem ï¿½rt. Mozdulatlanul fekï¿½dt, a lï¿½legzetï¿½t visszafojtotta, hogy hallja a kï¿½zelgï¿½ halï¿½l nesztelen lï¿½pteit. A rï¿½zsï¿½k mozogni kezdtek a falon – ï¿½sztak, ï¿½sztak egy lï¿½thatatlan nagy folyï¿½n jobbrï¿½l balra, mintha az ï¿½let ï¿½szna el messzire.
E halï¿½losan komoly, szomorï¿½ percekben Rozï¿½linak egy bizonyos szag jutott az eszï¿½be, amelyet a lï¿½pcsï¿½n ï¿½rzett orra, amidï¿½n a szï¿½llodï¿½ba megï¿½rkezett. Pï¿½rkï¿½lt hal szaga volt – gyermekkorï¿½ban a Tisza mellett evett a halbï¿½l, ï¿½s ï¿½ze most ï¿½nyï¿½t csiklandozta. Csengetett tehï¿½t, ï¿½s pï¿½rkï¿½lt halat hozatott. – ï¿½s egy ï¿½veg pezsgï¿½t is – mondta, ï¿½s szï¿½razon, nyugodtan nï¿½zett a szobalï¿½nyra, mint aki minden este pezsgï¿½t iszik.
A hal nagyon is jï¿½ volt, zsidï¿½s, fï¿½szeres; – szombat van faluhelyen, ï¿½s a zsidï¿½lï¿½nyok az ï¿½j ruhï¿½jukban sï¿½tï¿½lnak az akï¿½cok alatt, a perkï¿½lruhï¿½nak hï¿½vï¿½s, nyolcassal felï¿½ntï¿½tt vidï¿½ki boltiszaga van… ï¿½j szalag van a fï¿½lcipï¿½ben, ï¿½s egy kis nyakbavalï¿½ lï¿½ncot nï¿½zegetnek a lï¿½nyok, gondolta Rozï¿½li az elsï¿½ pohï¿½r pezsgï¿½ utï¿½n, amelyet gyorsan lehajtott.
„A pï¿½nzem legyen a szegï¿½ny menekï¿½ltekï¿½” – ï¿½rta egy darab papirosra, mert eszï¿½be jutott, hogy nï¿½hï¿½ny ezer koronï¿½t hozott magï¿½val az ï¿½tra. (A megtakarï¿½tott pï¿½nzecskï¿½jï¿½t.)
Ezutï¿½n ï¿½jra ivott, a tapï¿½ta rï¿½zsï¿½i mind nagyobbak lettek, a lï¿½mpa lejjebb ereszkedett, a szoba hï¿½tterï¿½ben a Sajï¿½ folydogï¿½lt, kislï¿½nyok lï¿½pkedtek ki a falbï¿½l, rï¿½vid szoknyï¿½s falusi lï¿½nykï¿½k, ï¿½s ï¿½nekelni kezdtek. Rozï¿½li dï¿½dolgatott az ï¿½gyban, mintha valaki mï¿½s, egy halott ï¿½nekelt volna:

A pezsgï¿½ elfogyott, Rozï¿½li ï¿½nekelve temette a fejï¿½t a pï¿½rnï¿½ba, ï¿½s reggel a szobalï¿½ny kopogtatï¿½sï¿½ra betegen, fï¿½radtan ï¿½bredt, mintha mï¿½svilï¿½grï¿½l tï¿½rt volna vissza.
„A pï¿½nzem…” – olvasta a cï¿½dulï¿½n az ï¿½gya mellett. Bï¿½gyadtan, betegen, testbenlï¿½lekben ï¿½sszetï¿½rve ï¿½ltï¿½zkï¿½dï¿½tt. Kï¿½nn napsugï¿½r, ï¿½sz. Elindult a portï¿½s ï¿½tbaigazï¿½tï¿½sa nyomï¿½n a belvï¿½ros felï¿½.
ï¿½s ment, mendegï¿½lt reggeltï¿½l estig, nem gondolkozott, nem nï¿½zett sem jobbra, sem balra, ment, aprï¿½ lï¿½bai fï¿½radhatatlanul vittï¿½k, a delet nem vette ï¿½szre, ï¿½s Mï¿½riï¿½ sem jutott eszï¿½be.
Egy rendï¿½r udvariasan, de szigorï¿½an a keblï¿½re mutatott. Rozï¿½li a keblï¿½hez kapott. A pï¿½nze volt ott, nagy bankjegyek, amelyek fï¿½lig kicsï¿½sztak a ruhï¿½ja alï¿½l. Az elsï¿½ lï¿½mpï¿½st felgyï¿½jtottï¿½k a szï¿½csbolton. Rozï¿½li belï¿½pett a boltba, ï¿½s rï¿½mutatott egy szï¿½rmï¿½re:
– Hogy ez?
A boltos ï¿½sszerï¿½ncolta a homlokï¿½t:
– Nï¿½gyezer korona – mondta.
Rozï¿½li kivette a pï¿½nzt, fizetett, ï¿½s este elutazott Bï¿½csbï¿½l.
Egyszer, sokï¿½ra, midï¿½n nyugodtan ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lt hï¿½rsfï¿½k alatt, ï¿½s szï¿½les orrï¿½, kï¿½nyelmes cipï¿½ volt a lï¿½bï¿½n, ï¿½s mï¿½r azï¿½rt sem haragudott, ha ï¿½reg gavallï¿½rok ï¿½gy emlï¿½keztek, hogy fiatalkorï¿½ban aranyszï¿½nï¿½ volt a haja, holott barna volt, tehï¿½t hervadt leveleket tartott a kezï¿½ben, ï¿½s halkan ï¿½gy beszï¿½lt:
– Bï¿½csben jï¿½rvï¿½n, csodaszï¿½p prï¿½met lï¿½ttam egyszer a Kï¿½rntnerstrassï¿½n. Igen drï¿½ga volt, de pï¿½rjï¿½t azï¿½ta sem leltem. Sokï¿½ig haboztam, alkudtam, szï¿½mï¿½tgattam, de a prï¿½m gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½ volt. Nem tudtam ellenï¿½llni, megvettem a leï¿½nyomnak. Csincsilla volt a prï¿½m neve, ï¿½s abban az esztendï¿½ben nagyon drï¿½ga volt a prï¿½m.
Rozï¿½li az ï¿½szï¿½lï¿½ erdei ï¿½ton csendesen lï¿½pegetett, mint barï¿½tnï¿½jï¿½nek dï¿½lelï¿½tt mï¿½r megï¿½rta.
Ez a barï¿½tnï¿½ vidï¿½ken lakott, falun, de kï¿½lfï¿½ldrï¿½l hozatta az illatszereit, ï¿½s Pestre nï¿½ha ellï¿½togatott, hogy a hajï¿½t „pï¿½rizsi szï¿½kï¿½re” festesse. Kï¿½lï¿½nben tï¿½li hajnalokon felkelt a nagymosï¿½shoz, tejjel kereskedett, ï¿½s az urï¿½t gyakran masszï¿½rozta, amint egy pesti szanatï¿½riumban tanulta. Azonban naplï¿½t irt, amelynek ez volt a cï¿½me „Bï¿½nbï¿½nï¿½ Magdolna kï¿½nnyei”, ï¿½s hetenkint kï¿½tszer hosszï¿½ leveleket vï¿½ltott Rozï¿½lival, amelyekben kï¿½pzelt kalandjait, sugï¿½rzï¿½ vï¿½gyakozï¿½sait, ï¿½jszakï¿½it, olvasmï¿½nyait, kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s ï¿½rzï¿½seit megï¿½rta. Kï¿½t ï¿½rtatlan, nagyon tisztessï¿½ges asszony levelezï¿½se volt ez. ï¿½s mï¿½gis mindig arrï¿½l ï¿½rtak egymï¿½snak, hogy mily jï¿½ volna mï¿½r egyszer bolondul, boldogtalanul, sï¿½rva szerelmesnek lenni, komolyan virrasztani egy csalfa fï¿½rfi miatt, ï¿½s nï¿½ha vï¿½resre harapni egy szï¿½jat…
Rozï¿½li a hosszï¿½, nehezen mï¿½lï¿½ dï¿½lelï¿½ttï¿½t – a zugligeti talï¿½lkozï¿½s napjï¿½n – azzal tï¿½ltï¿½tte, hogy a vidï¿½ki barï¿½tnï¿½nek beszï¿½molt Artï¿½rrï¿½l. Bizonyos, asszonyos diadalmassï¿½g is volt az angol levï¿½lpapirosra ï¿½rva… A hosszï¿½ vï¿½gyakozï¿½snak vï¿½ge, eljï¿½tt, akit vï¿½rt – a barï¿½tnï¿½ epedhet tovï¿½bb… de majd egyszer mï¿½gis bemutatja Artï¿½rt. „Kï¿½vï¿½ncsi vagyok, vajon reï¿½d is olyan hatï¿½sï¿½ lesz mï¿½lysï¿½ges, szinte az egï¿½sz eddigi ï¿½letet ï¿½tnï¿½zï¿½ tekintete – mintha kisleï¿½ny korom ï¿½ta kï¿½sï¿½rt volna lï¿½thatatlanul a fï¿½rfiszempï¿½r?” – ï¿½rta Rozï¿½li. – „ï¿½s most ï¿½tra kelek, drï¿½gï¿½m, ï¿½dvï¿½ssï¿½gem vagy vesztem helyï¿½re, az erdei ï¿½tra, ahol megbeszï¿½lï¿½sï¿½nk szerint talï¿½lkozunk. Imï¿½dkozzï¿½l ï¿½rtem, barï¿½tnï¿½m!”
Rozï¿½li, amint az ernyï¿½jï¿½t kezï¿½ben vitte, magï¿½ban azt remï¿½lte, hogy valaki lesi, figyeli ï¿½t az erdï¿½bï¿½l. Talï¿½n ï¿½ppen Artï¿½r?… Ugyanezï¿½rt igyekezett csinos, grandiï¿½zus^{*} ï¿½s regï¿½nyes kï¿½lsï¿½t mutatni. A fejï¿½t ï¿½brï¿½ndozva fï¿½loldalra hajtotta, ï¿½s a tekintete mï¿½lï¿½zva szegï¿½dï¿½tt a bokrokra ï¿½s fï¿½kra. Holott bï¿½vï¿½lrï¿½l ï¿½sszerezzent, ha egy levï¿½l lefordult a fï¿½rï¿½l. Harmincnï¿½gy esztendï¿½s volt ekkor, s elï¿½szï¿½r szerelmes…
Milyen volt Rozï¿½li harmincnï¿½gy esztendï¿½s korï¿½ban? A tapasztalt, idï¿½sebb fï¿½rfiak ismerik csak ï¿½t – aki miatt meg kell bocsï¿½tani a nï¿½knek. ï¿½ volt az, akiï¿½rt azt mondjï¿½k a keserves ï¿½reg urak a kï¿½lyha mellett „nagylelkï¿½ek voltak hozzï¿½m a nï¿½k, sohasem bï¿½ntottak”. Rozï¿½li volt az a jï¿½szï¿½vï¿½, nemesï¿½rzï¿½sï¿½, gyï¿½ngï¿½dillatï¿½ asszony, akiï¿½rt vï¿½nember korunkban rï¿½szvï¿½ttel ï¿½s gyengï¿½dsï¿½ggel nï¿½zzï¿½k a szegï¿½ny nï¿½ket, megï¿½rtjï¿½k szenvedï¿½seiket, bajaikat, gondjaikat, szegï¿½nysï¿½gï¿½ket… Rozï¿½li miatt lehet elhinni, hogy vannak nï¿½k, akik magï¿½nyukban sï¿½rdogï¿½lnak; a sï¿½rï¿½s kï¿½zepï¿½n tï¿½prengve megï¿½llnak; a gyermekek ruhï¿½jï¿½t foltozzï¿½k, ï¿½s hï¿½romszor is megolvassï¿½k kis erszï¿½nyï¿½kben a pï¿½nzt, mielï¿½tt kiadnï¿½k. Rozï¿½li volt, aki elhitette a fï¿½rfiakkal, hogy vannak hï¿½sï¿½ges nï¿½k a vilï¿½gon, akik majd egykor betegsï¿½gï¿½nkben nem imï¿½dkozva, nem gyï¿½lï¿½lkï¿½dve ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lnek ï¿½gyunknak szï¿½lï¿½n. ï¿½s ha meghaltunk, nem adja el nyomban elnyï¿½tt csizmï¿½inkat az ï¿½szeresnek, sokï¿½ig ï¿½llnak a lï¿½btyï¿½k a szoba sarkï¿½ban, ï¿½s egy asszony eljï¿½r a sï¿½runkhoz, hogy mï¿½lï¿½zï¿½, borongï¿½ tekintettel, szeretï¿½ kï¿½zzel gyomlï¿½ljon a nï¿½vï¿½nyek kï¿½zï¿½tt.
Ilyen volt Rozï¿½li: termï¿½szetesen barna, mint a tiszta ï¿½letï¿½ nï¿½k komoly, szorgalmas, csï¿½ndes barnasï¿½ga – kï¿½thï¿½rom ï¿½szï¿½lï¿½ hajszï¿½l a halï¿½ntï¿½kï¿½n –, halk mosoly keskeny ajkï¿½n, mintha gyermeksereg kacagï¿½sï¿½t hallgatnï¿½ a szï¿½vï¿½bï¿½l – az ajka felett leheletnyi ï¿½rnyï¿½k, mintha pajkos, lï¿½rmï¿½s fiï¿½testvï¿½reivel egyï¿½tt tanulta volna a latint leï¿½nykorï¿½ban a fï¿½ggï¿½lï¿½mpa alatt –, az ï¿½lla kissï¿½ elï¿½renyomult, mintha sokat tartanï¿½ tenyerï¿½ben, az asztalra kï¿½nyï¿½kï¿½lve, hï¿½ztartï¿½si szï¿½mlï¿½i fï¿½lï¿½ hajolva – csak az orra volt kï¿½vï¿½ncsi, nyugtalan nï¿½k orra, amely sohasem ï¿½rzett illatszereket ï¿½hï¿½t, ï¿½s a homlokï¿½n valamely kï¿½lï¿½nï¿½s fï¿½nyfolt, mintha egy nagy kertben jï¿½rna, lï¿½bujjhegyen, ï¿½hï¿½tatosan, figyelmesen, s valakit, valamit keres… Kis lï¿½ba volt, de bokï¿½n felï¿½l telt, mint a tisztessï¿½ges asszonyok lï¿½ba, amelyeket vï¿½letlenï¿½l szoktunk lï¿½tni. A keze? Kicsi, dolgos, tenyï¿½rben szï¿½les… Ah, mily kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesï¿½s lehet, midï¿½n e kis kezek fï¿½jdalmasan kapaszkodnak egy fï¿½rfi kabï¿½tjï¿½ba! Kï¿½zï¿½pmagas volt, ï¿½s bï¿½ szoknyï¿½ja lengett, mint a nï¿½kï¿½, akiket csendes dï¿½lutï¿½n magunk elï¿½ kï¿½pzelï¿½nk, midï¿½n a falon megszï¿½lal a zenï¿½lï¿½ï¿½ra. A cipï¿½je olyan nyomot hagyott a sï¿½taï¿½ton, hogy bizonyosan megï¿½ll majd egy magï¿½nyos fï¿½rfiï¿½ e lï¿½bnyom felett, a franciasarok mï¿½lyedï¿½sï¿½hez hozzï¿½kï¿½pzeli a nï¿½ lï¿½bï¿½t, alakjï¿½t, szemï¿½t ï¿½s hajï¿½t… Reggelre harmat gyï¿½lekezik ï¿½ssze a lï¿½bnyomban, ï¿½s kismadarak ï¿½s lepkï¿½k onnan isznak.
Artï¿½r, mint ezt rï¿½gente gyakorolta, hirtelenï¿½l, meglepetï¿½sszerï¿½en lï¿½pett elï¿½ egy faderï¿½k mï¿½gï¿½l. Levette a kalapjï¿½t ï¿½s megcsï¿½kolta az asszony kezï¿½t azon a helyen, hol a kesztyï¿½bï¿½l a tenyï¿½r rï¿½zsaszï¿½ne pirul, mint az ifjak ï¿½lma a nï¿½k testï¿½rï¿½l.
– Beszï¿½ljen nekem gyermekkorï¿½rï¿½l – kezdte Artï¿½r, ï¿½s kï¿½nnyedï¿½n felsï¿½hajtott. (ï¿½, hï¿½nyszor szï¿½lï¿½totta fel erre a nï¿½ket.)
Rozï¿½li engedelmesen mosolygott, mint a jï¿½ravalï¿½ nï¿½k a fiaik kï¿½rï¿½sï¿½n…
– Rï¿½gen volt… Egy faluban, a Hernï¿½d mellett laktunk, ï¿½s ï¿½n ï¿½ngyilkos akartam lenni. Piros ruhï¿½m volt ï¿½s kis lakktopï¿½nom, amely szorï¿½totta a lï¿½bom. Azï¿½ta se ï¿½reztem olyan fï¿½jdalmat, mint a szï¿½k cipï¿½ben. A folyï¿½ messzire volt hï¿½zunktï¿½l, mint egy gyermekkori ï¿½lom. De elmentem odï¿½ig ï¿½s felkapaszkodtam a hï¿½dra. Ott ï¿½lltam a hï¿½d karjï¿½n, piros ruhï¿½cskï¿½mban, ï¿½s a folyï¿½ oly gyorsan futott alattam, mint a vonat ablaka elï¿½tt a fï¿½k. Mentek, mentek a hullï¿½mok, ï¿½rvï¿½nyek, mintha sietï¿½s ï¿½tjukban nem volna idejï¿½k arra, hogy reï¿½m vï¿½rakozzanak. Elsiettek a szemem elï¿½l, mintha nem akart volna egyik sem az ï¿½lï¿½be venni. Ah, ï¿½nï¿½rtem nem nyï¿½jtogatta a folyï¿½bï¿½l karjait senki… Egy ï¿½regï¿½r jï¿½tt arra, ï¿½s hazavezetett. Tizennï¿½gy esztendï¿½s voltam akkor. ï¿½s meghalni akartam, mert az anyï¿½m idegenek elï¿½tt megpirongatott.
– ï¿½s mï¿½sodszor?
Halk, megbocsï¿½tï¿½ mosoly suhant el az asszony ajkï¿½n:
– Mï¿½sodszor… Tegnap vagy tegnapelï¿½tt tï¿½rtï¿½nt, miutï¿½n magï¿½val megismerkedtem, Artï¿½r. Este volt, ï¿½s magï¿½nyosan ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½ltem, s termï¿½szetesen ï¿½nre gondoltam. Lï¿½ttam szomorï¿½sï¿½gomat, megcsalatottsï¿½gomat, tï¿½rstalan bï¿½natomat – amely akkor szegï¿½dik mellï¿½m, amikor ï¿½n majd elhï¿½gy. Elhï¿½gy engem is, miutï¿½n megunt, mint ï¿½ltalï¿½ban a fakï¿½pnï¿½l szokï¿½s hagyni a nï¿½ket… A fï¿½jdalom ekkor oly magï¿½nyos, mint a szï¿½l a temetï¿½ felett. Kinek, hogyan panaszoljam el, hogy szenvedek egy fï¿½rfiï¿½ miatt, aki nem fï¿½rjem, nem jegyesem? Kinek a vï¿½llï¿½n sï¿½rhatnï¿½m ki bï¿½natomat, boldogtalan, feldï¿½lt, ï¿½sszetï¿½rt ï¿½letemï¿½rt kinek tegyek szemrehï¿½nyï¿½st? Bizonyos, hogy nagyon boldogtalan leszek, midï¿½n meghallgatom ï¿½nt. Hï¿½vni fogom, ï¿½s ï¿½n nem jï¿½n, ï¿½rni fogok, ï¿½s tï¿½bbï¿½ sohasem vï¿½laszol. Vï¿½rni, remï¿½lni fogom a helyeken, ahol megfordultunk egyï¿½tt – a sï¿½tautakon, hol egykor boldogan, karonfogva sï¿½tï¿½ltunk –, a kerti lugasban ï¿½s a szï¿½nhï¿½z pï¿½holyï¿½ban – az ablakom alatt ï¿½s az erkï¿½lyen, ahovï¿½ elï¿½szï¿½r felkï¿½szï¿½nt. (Azt a hï¿½ziruhï¿½mat szerettem legjobban azï¿½ta, mely akkor rajtam volt.) Annyi lesz csupï¿½n ï¿½letboldogsï¿½gom, ha valahol hallom a nevï¿½t emlï¿½teni… Az utcï¿½n a kereskedï¿½k cï¿½mtï¿½blï¿½in fogom keresni keresztnevï¿½t. Sajnos, kevï¿½s boltost hï¿½vnak Pesten Artï¿½rnak.
– Angliï¿½ban a lordokat ï¿½s a beszï¿½lyhï¿½sï¿½ket nevezik ï¿½gy – szï¿½lt unottan a gavallï¿½r.
– Tehï¿½t majdnem mindent meggondoltam – folytatta bocsï¿½natkï¿½rï¿½ mosollyal Rozï¿½li. – Azt hittem, hogy okos nï¿½ vagyok, mindig tiszta voltam, ï¿½s magam is tapasztaltam, hogy a karomnak virï¿½gillata volt, anï¿½lkï¿½l, hogy bï¿½rmely szert hasznï¿½lnï¿½k. Nagyon rï¿½gen nem hiszem mï¿½r, hogy ï¿½lmatlanul ï¿½ldï¿½gï¿½lek az erkï¿½lyen, ï¿½s a tï¿½volban kopogï¿½ lï¿½pï¿½sekre hallgatok. ï¿½s most meglepett a szerelem, az oktalan, a sï¿½rï¿½s, a fï¿½jdalmas szerelem… Vajon nem volnae jobb elï¿½bb meghalni, mint bevï¿½rni a tï¿½rhetetlen vï¿½get? Vï¿½gigmenni szenvedï¿½seken, amelyekre okot szolgï¿½ltatok, hogy most itt vagyok, hogy mindig magï¿½ra gondolok, hogy elhagy, ï¿½s ï¿½n nem fogom elfelejteni… Hisz olyan asszony vagyok, aki elï¿½szï¿½r szeret.
– Mind ezt mondjï¿½tok – dï¿½rmï¿½gte Artï¿½r.
– Kis pisztolyom van, ï¿½s a szï¿½vemben erï¿½s elhatï¿½rozï¿½s. Meghalok, ma, estve, mielï¿½tt a hold feljï¿½nne a tornyok mï¿½gï¿½tt, hogy telehazudozza ï¿½brï¿½nddal, halk dallal a szï¿½vemet… Meghalok, hogy senki se tudja az okï¿½t, miï¿½rt haltam meg.
– Szegï¿½nyke – monda Artï¿½r, ï¿½s megsimogatta az asszony hajï¿½t.
– Mikor mï¿½r minden rendben volt, akkor eszembe jutott, hogy vidï¿½ki barï¿½tnï¿½mnek levelet ï¿½rok. ï¿½vek ï¿½ta megï¿½rjuk egymï¿½snak a gondolatainkat… ï¿½s amint ï¿½rtam, ï¿½rogattam a fï¿½jdalmas levelet, ï¿½s mind vilï¿½gosabbï¿½ tettem barï¿½tnï¿½m elï¿½tt helyzetemet, amelybï¿½l csak az ï¿½ngyilkos halï¿½l menthet meg: lassan ï¿½gy ï¿½reztem, hogy megkï¿½nnyebbï¿½lï¿½k. Hisz ennek a levï¿½lnek elkï¿½ldï¿½sï¿½re rï¿½ï¿½rek majd akkor is, ha valï¿½ban szenvedek, sï¿½rok, kï¿½tsï¿½gbeesek. Takarï¿½kpï¿½nztï¿½ramban, fiï¿½komban elhelyeztem a levelet. ï¿½s most nyugodtan nï¿½zek a szenvedï¿½sek elï¿½. Van egy kï¿½sz, alapos ï¿½s hosszadalmas magyarï¿½zatom halï¿½lomhoz, biztos bank ï¿½rizete alatt. Rï¿½ï¿½rek szenvedni, boldogtalannak lenni. A levï¿½l majd mindent megmond a kellï¿½ idï¿½ben. ï¿½s most rajta, Artï¿½r, tegyen szerencsï¿½tlennï¿½.
ï¿½lete Rozï¿½linak – egy sï¿½hajtï¿½s volt. Egy kï¿½nnyes, ï¿½szies sï¿½haj, midï¿½n a napsugï¿½r kï¿½peskï¿½nyvekbï¿½l valï¿½, ï¿½regemberhez, rï¿½zsehordï¿½ vï¿½nasszonyhoz hasonlatos formï¿½jï¿½ fï¿½kat vilï¿½gï¿½t meg a kertben, de dï¿½lutï¿½n a csï¿½rgï¿½, zizegï¿½ levelekkel a nagy hï¿½rs alatt kis szï¿½rke macskï¿½k jï¿½tszadoznak. A fatetï¿½n pï¿½pista varjï¿½ hintï¿½zik, a dombvidï¿½ken, a tï¿½volban mï¿½r kï¿½d lakik, de a hï¿½zban mï¿½g pontosan zongorï¿½zik valaki dï¿½lutï¿½n nï¿½gytï¿½l ï¿½tig. Kossuth fiatalkori tollas kalapos arckï¿½pe ï¿½s Leveleki (R. elsï¿½ fï¿½rje) szï¿½rke pantallï¿½ban, fodorï¿½tott hajjal, nagy, trombitakï¿½zelï¿½kben figyel alï¿½ a falrï¿½l a hï¿½lgy ï¿½brï¿½ndozï¿½sï¿½ra.
Rozï¿½li az oktï¿½bert szerette, mert oktï¿½berben szï¿½letett, ï¿½s rï¿½gi terve volt, hogy oktï¿½berben fog meghalni. Minden oktï¿½bert ï¿½gy vï¿½rt mï¿½r ï¿½vtizedek ï¿½ta, hogy ekkor vï¿½ge lesz a szerelemnek, szï¿½rke galamb nem tï¿½ved az ablakï¿½ra, ï¿½lla nem viszket – ami fï¿½rfivendï¿½get jelent a hï¿½znï¿½l, ï¿½s bal szeme sem jelzi elï¿½re az ï¿½rï¿½met; oktï¿½ber lesz, mindennek vï¿½ge – dalnak, remï¿½nynek, hosszï¿½ hazugsï¿½gnak… A szerelem elszï¿½kik a hï¿½ztï¿½l, mint a fï¿½st a kï¿½mï¿½nyen.
– Ha legalï¿½bb Alicenak hï¿½vnï¿½nak – gondolta magï¿½ban, mint vidï¿½ki barï¿½tnï¿½jï¿½t, aki harmadszor ment fï¿½rjhez szent, bolond szerelemmel egy jï¿½ravalï¿½ fiatalemberhez –, az Aliceoknak szerencsï¿½jï¿½k van. ï¿½m Rozï¿½li nï¿½vvel mï¿½r harmincï¿½ves koromban ï¿½regnek ï¿½reztem magam.
Nï¿½ha a jï¿½ravalï¿½ asszonyok is gondolnak bolondokat. Mert a nï¿½k ï¿½ltalï¿½ban szeretnek olyan dolgokon gondolkozni a tï¿½kï¿½r elï¿½tt, ï¿½rï¿½kig, dï¿½lutï¿½nokig, csendesen leereszkedï¿½ estvï¿½ig, amit a fï¿½rfiak sohasem ï¿½rthetnek meg. A szï¿½jukrï¿½l egyszer valaki azt mondta, hogy az nagy, de formï¿½s, mintha nevetï¿½sre vagy fï¿½tyï¿½lï¿½sre volna teremtve. Tï¿½z ï¿½v mï¿½lva is fï¿½tyï¿½lnek nï¿½ha a nï¿½k a tï¿½kï¿½r elï¿½tt. – Kleopï¿½traorruk ï¿½s ï¿½rzï¿½ki hajuk, mï¿½lyen nï¿½zï¿½, ï¿½rdeklï¿½dï¿½ tekintetï¿½k ï¿½s keresztbe vetett lï¿½buk: csodï¿½latos, mondtï¿½k egykor az udvarlï¿½k a tï¿½rsasestï¿½lyen. Sok ï¿½vek mï¿½lva is megprï¿½bï¿½ljï¿½k az ï¿½lï¿½st a tï¿½kï¿½r elï¿½tt, mint egykor ï¿½ltek, midï¿½n egy fï¿½rfiszem pihent vï¿½llukon. Rozï¿½li sohasem felejtette el, hogy egykor – egy estï¿½n – oly hï¿½dï¿½tï¿½ ï¿½s pompï¿½s volt, mintha ï¿½lete legszebb ï¿½lmï¿½nye elï¿½tt volna. Melegsï¿½g, ifjï¿½sï¿½g, rugalmassï¿½g volt a testï¿½ben; a szï¿½ve a torkï¿½ban dobogott; attï¿½l fï¿½lt, hogy hangosan ï¿½nekelni kezd – egy fï¿½rfi ï¿½lt a baljï¿½n, aki gyï¿½nyï¿½rï¿½eket hazudott. Olivï¿½rnek hï¿½vtï¿½k, mint a Scottfï¿½le^{*} regï¿½nyekben a hï¿½sï¿½ket. Az estï¿½ly – mint akï¿½r a nagyvilï¿½gban – jï¿½val ï¿½jfï¿½l utï¿½n ï¿½rt vï¿½get. Olivï¿½r a kï¿½zfogï¿½snï¿½l a szï¿½vï¿½hez ï¿½rintette Rozï¿½li kezï¿½t, hosszan, ï¿½lmodozva nï¿½zett – aztï¿½n csak tï¿½z ï¿½v mï¿½lva jï¿½tt vissza, amidï¿½n Rozï¿½li mï¿½r falura kï¿½ltï¿½zï¿½tt, ï¿½szidï¿½ben szï¿½rakozottan morzsolgatta tenyerï¿½ben a virï¿½gok elszï¿½radt leveleit, „holnap nagymosï¿½s lesz”: jutott eszï¿½be, ha Kleopï¿½traorrï¿½t nï¿½zte a tï¿½kï¿½rben; „Alice boldog lehet, pedig nagy bestia volt, holott ï¿½n mindig jï¿½ voltam”: gondolta, ha a felhï¿½ket nï¿½zegetve elï¿½brï¿½ndozott; „nemsokï¿½ra meghalok”, vï¿½lte, midï¿½n a falusi hï¿½z mï¿½gï¿½tt, a folyï¿½parton hosszï¿½ lï¿½ptekkel ment vï¿½gig, mint egykor a regï¿½nyekben olvasta. Mï¿½g Olivï¿½r egy napon sï¿½rga kupecnadrï¿½gban ï¿½s sarkantyï¿½s csizmï¿½ban vï¿½gigment a falun. Az ifjï¿½, aki egykor nï¿½k bolondï¿½tï¿½sï¿½bï¿½l ï¿½ldegï¿½lt Pesten, polgï¿½rcsalï¿½doknï¿½l a vacsorï¿½t dicsï¿½rte, vidï¿½ken a hï¿½zigazda borï¿½t, gazdag nï¿½peknï¿½l az asszony ruhï¿½jï¿½t, jï¿½embereknï¿½l a gyermekek szï¿½psï¿½gï¿½t: fï¿½rfikorï¿½ra szï¿½les vï¿½llakhoz, terjedelmes hï¿½thoz, ï¿½s mï¿½ly dï¿½rgï¿½ hanghoz jutott. Tyï¿½kï¿½szattal foglalkozott a szomszï¿½dos faluban, lovaglï¿½ostor volt a kezï¿½ben, ï¿½s egy gazdag parasztasszonyt vett felesï¿½gï¿½l.
– Olivï¿½r – sï¿½hajtotta Rozï¿½li, ï¿½s nyugtalankodva kereste a fï¿½rfi szemï¿½ben a rï¿½gi ï¿½lmodozï¿½st. A sï¿½tï¿½t szemek kï¿½zï¿½mbï¿½sen, ebï¿½d utï¿½ni fï¿½radtsï¿½ggal nï¿½ztek Rozï¿½lira. ï¿½s csak hosszas gondolkozï¿½s utï¿½n jutott eszï¿½be Olivï¿½rnek, hogy a folyï¿½parton, a fï¿½vï¿½nyen fejcsï¿½vï¿½lva ï¿½lljon meg az asszony cipï¿½jï¿½nek nyoma felett.
– Kis meleg fï¿½szek, madï¿½rka fï¿½szke – mondta lassan, meggondoltan Rozï¿½linak, mikï¿½zben lovaglï¿½ostorï¿½val a lï¿½bnyomra mutatott.
Az asszony gyengï¿½den elpirult, mint visszanï¿½zï¿½ naptï¿½l a tï¿½voli felhï¿½k: tï¿½z ï¿½v ï¿½ta nem szï¿½lt hozzï¿½ ily hangon senki.
A tyï¿½kï¿½sznak tï¿½bbszï¿½r dolga volt a faluban, elhatï¿½roztï¿½k, hogy Olivï¿½r a kerti hï¿½zban fog megszï¿½llni, ï¿½s ha Olivï¿½r tï¿½vol volt, Rozï¿½li a tï¿½kï¿½r elï¿½tt ï¿½lt, ï¿½s halkan kedves szavakat sugdosott kï¿½pmï¿½sï¿½nak.
Egy ï¿½jszakï¿½n – kï¿½nt oktï¿½ber esï¿½je sï¿½rdogï¿½lt, mint ï¿½reg ï¿½zvegyasszony –, Olivï¿½r a kerti hï¿½zban elnyï¿½jtotta sarkantyï¿½s lï¿½bait, karja lehanyatlott Rozï¿½li vï¿½llï¿½rï¿½l, szï¿½vï¿½hez kapott, ï¿½s sï¿½rtï¿½s fejï¿½vel az asszony ï¿½lï¿½be bukott. Rozï¿½li a halott ember terhï¿½tï¿½l nem tudott megszabadulni. Gï¿½rcsï¿½sen fogta ï¿½t Olivï¿½r halï¿½lï¿½ban, mintha mohï¿½ vï¿½dekezï¿½st nï¿½la keresett volna a halï¿½l elï¿½l. Rozï¿½li segï¿½tsï¿½gï¿½rt kiï¿½ltott, ï¿½s egy ï¿½reg parasztasszony segï¿½tsï¿½gï¿½vel megszabadult a halottï¿½l, kinyï¿½jtï¿½ztattï¿½k a tyï¿½kï¿½szt, ï¿½s ï¿½jszaka, kï¿½sï¿½bb kocsira ï¿½ltettï¿½k, hogy a halottat hazavigyï¿½k falujï¿½ba, ï¿½reg felesï¿½gï¿½nek.
Ah, hogy sï¿½rt az ï¿½j a kis homokfutï¿½ kocsi kï¿½rï¿½l! Mintha az asszonyok, akik egykor az ifjï¿½ Olivï¿½rt szerettï¿½k, megfakulva, gyï¿½szruhï¿½ban lebegnï¿½nek a felhï¿½k kï¿½zï¿½tt, a setï¿½tsï¿½gben, ï¿½s kï¿½nnyeiket a halottvivï¿½ kocsira bocsï¿½tanï¿½k.
Az ï¿½reg parasztasszony hajtott, Rozï¿½li a halottat tï¿½mogatta. Hosszï¿½ volt az ï¿½t, mint az emlï¿½kezet. De a halott tyï¿½kï¿½sz tï¿½relmesen viselkedett. Jobbrabalra lï¿½gatta a fejï¿½t, mintha aludna hazafelï¿½, kï¿½vetvï¿½lasztï¿½s utï¿½n. Rozï¿½li nï¿½ha egy kedveskedï¿½ szï¿½t sï¿½gott a fï¿½lï¿½be.
– Mï¿½gis az enyï¿½m voltï¿½l, mï¿½gis engem szerettï¿½l – mondta a halottnak. – Pedig azt hittem, hogy ï¿½rï¿½kre elloptak tï¿½lem az asszonyok.
A halmokon fehï¿½r lepedï¿½s kï¿½sï¿½rtetek mentek hazafelï¿½ az oktï¿½beri ï¿½jszakï¿½n, hajnalodott. Rï¿½gi falusi hï¿½z ablakï¿½n zï¿½rgettek, hï¿½zsï¿½rtos vï¿½nasszony dugta ki fejkï¿½tï¿½s fejï¿½t, nem csodï¿½lkozott a halï¿½leseten, csak kijelentette, hogy ï¿½ nem ereszti hï¿½zï¿½ba a hï¿½zassï¿½gtï¿½rï¿½t.
A halott Olivï¿½r megtette az utat mï¿½sodszor, visszafelï¿½. Fuvarosok jï¿½ttek, akik kï¿½szï¿½ntï¿½ttï¿½k a halott tyï¿½kï¿½szt. A hatï¿½rcsï¿½rdï¿½ban mï¿½r ï¿½bren volt a festett kocsmalï¿½ny, ï¿½s pohï¿½r pï¿½linkï¿½ï¿½rt sietett be a hï¿½zba, midï¿½n a tyï¿½kï¿½sz kocsijï¿½t ï¿½szrevette.
– Szerelem – gondolta megfï¿½zva Rozï¿½li. – Ez is szerelem volt?
ï¿½s gyorsabb hajtï¿½sra nï¿½gatta az ï¿½regasszonyt.
Mire reggel lett, az ï¿½jszaka kï¿½borlï¿½, ï¿½zott, sï¿½ros holttest ismï¿½t a kerti hï¿½zban fekï¿½dt a kanapï¿½n. Mintha vï¿½sï¿½rosokkal, tï¿½ncolï¿½ kupecekkel dorbï¿½zolt volna reggelig, az ï¿½sszeszorï¿½tott ujjai kï¿½zï¿½tt egy piros szalag volt. A Rozï¿½li hajï¿½bï¿½l valï¿½ szalag, de lehetett volna egy kocsmalï¿½nyï¿½ is.
A kï¿½t gyertya nyugtalankodva vilï¿½gï¿½tott, mint veszekedï¿½ kï¿½rtyï¿½sok asztalï¿½n, szï¿½l jï¿½rt keresztï¿½l a hï¿½zon. Dï¿½lfelï¿½ sarkig kivï¿½gï¿½dott az ajtï¿½. Olivï¿½r ï¿½reg felesï¿½ge jelent meg a kï¿½szï¿½bï¿½n. Mintha megbï¿½nta volna ï¿½jjeli magatartï¿½sï¿½t.
Rozï¿½li lehajtott fï¿½vel fogadta a tï¿½rvï¿½nyes asszonyt, megfogta a kezï¿½t ï¿½s a halottra mutatott:
– Asszony, tï¿½rsnï¿½m, ï¿½ a mi halottunk.
– Az enyï¿½m nem – felelt ridegen a falusi asszonysï¿½g. – Tegyen vele, amit akar. Hanem: a pï¿½nzzel ide. Az embernï¿½l pï¿½nz volt, mikor hazulrï¿½l elindult. Hol van a pï¿½nz?
Rozï¿½li megcsï¿½vï¿½lta a fejï¿½t.
– ï¿½n nem tudok rï¿½la – felelt.
A falusi asszonysï¿½g a halotthoz lï¿½pkedett, durvï¿½n, haragosan vetkï¿½ztette. Az ing alatt megtalï¿½lta a bugyellï¿½rist, megnyï¿½lazta az ujjï¿½t, mï¿½g a bankï¿½kat olvasta, aztï¿½n kï¿½szï¿½nï¿½s nï¿½lkï¿½l eltï¿½vozott.
Rozï¿½li eltemette utolsï¿½ kedvesï¿½t. Fejfï¿½t ï¿½llï¿½tott neki, ï¿½s a fejfï¿½ra felvï¿½sette a maga nevï¿½t is… Itt fog aludni egykor ï¿½, Olivï¿½r mellett. Az ï¿½vszï¿½mot majd bevï¿½si a sï¿½rï¿½sï¿½. Tï¿½bb mondanivalï¿½m mï¿½r nincs a boldog, boldogtalan Rozï¿½lirï¿½l.