Useless Stuffs

In: Social Issues

Submitted By liqr88
Words 122296
Pages 490
#1

굵지 않은 비가 보슬보슬 내리는 밤 길, 두 남자가 큰 나무 아래에 비를 피해 서있었다.

하지만 잎이 반쯤 저버린 가을나무였기에 비를 피하는 데는 별 효력은 없었다. 이미 마을에서

상당히 떨어져 돌아가는 것도 여의치 않았다. 나무 아래에 있던 두 남자 중 한명은 사대부가의

양반인 듯 연청색 도포에 커다란 갓을 쓰고 있었고 다른 한 남자는 양반을 호위하는 무사인 듯

상투를 틀지 않은 긴 머리를 허리까지 드리우고, 등과 허리에 두개의 긴 환도(還刀)를 차고

있었다. 양반이 하늘을 보며 조용하게 말했다.

“운아. 쉬이 그칠 비가 아닌 듯 싶구나. 보슬비라 가벼이 여겼더니, 아무래도 내 고집으로

또 너를 곤혹케 만들었나 보구나.”

무사는 아무 말 없이 눈을 감은 채 고개를 숙이고 주위의 모든 움직임을 읽고 있었다.

먼 곳을 보던 양반이 무언가를 발견하고 반갑게 말했다.

“아! 저기 산자락에 집이 한 채 보인다. 잠시 비를 피해 가자꾸나.”

양반은 말을 끝내고 뒤도 돌아보지 않고 무언가에 홀린 듯 빠른 걸음으로 산자락을 오르기

시작했다. 무사는 미처 만류하지 못하고 주위를 경계하며 뒤따랐다. 가까이 다가가 선 집은

허리 높이의 돌담이 둘러진 작고 깔끔한 초가집이었지만, 이상하게도 대문만큼은 높고

대문처마까지 있었다. 양반이 작은 목소리로 말했다.

“운아. 주인을 청하거라.”

하지만 무사는 말 대신 눈을 들어 대문처마 위로 솟은 솟대를 올려다 볼 뿐이었다.

무사의 눈길을 따라 양반도 눈길을 두었다.

“저것이 무엇이냐.”

“솟대이옵니다. 여긴 무당이 사는 집입니다. 드시면 아니 되옵니다.”

무사의 차분하지만 강경한 목소리에 양반은 더 이상 집 안으로 들어가려는 시도를 하지 못했다.

하지만 무사는 피곤하고 추운 기색이 만연한 양반의 모습을 어찌 할 수 없어 더욱 고개만

숙일 수밖에 없었다. 이때 안에서 사람의 기척이 느껴져 무사의 오른 손은 재빨리 왼쪽 허리에

찬 환도의 칼자루를 잡았다. 대문 안쪽에서 터덜거리는 발소리가 가까워지더니 이윽고 바로

대문 앞에서 멈췄다. 무사의 손에 힘이 들어갔다. 대문 안쪽에 멈춰 선 자에게서 검의 기운이

느껴졌기 때문이었다. 무사의 목소리가 대문을 가르고 들어갔다.

“누구냐!”

“어이가 없습니다. 객이 누구냐고 묻는 경우가 어디 있습니까? 그 물음은 이쪽의 것이

아닙니까?”

퉁명스러운 여인의 목소리였다. 무사가 다시 입을 열었다.

“여인이 어찌 검을 지녔는가?”

“놀랍습니다. 어찌 보지도 않고 제가 검을 가진 것을 아십니까? 역시······. 앗! 이런 말을 하려는

것이 아니라, 흠! 우리 아가씨가 안으로 드시라는 말씀을 올리라고 하였습니다.”

“어찌 검을 지녔는가!”

다시 다잡아 묻는 무사에게 여인이 투박한 답을 던졌다.

“이런 외진 곳에 여인 둘만 살고 있습니다. 그러니 검이라도 지니고 있어야 하지 않습니까.

별 시덥잖은 질문을 하십니다. 그나저나 안 들어오실 겁니까?”

양반이 무사를 힐끔 보고 말했다.

“잠시 이러고 있다가 갈 것이니 개념치 마라.”

들어가고 싶었지만 버티고 선 무사 때문에 우기지 못하는 마음이 목소리에 담겨져 있었다.

그리고 마치 당연히 나올 말이었다는 듯이 안에서 준비되어 있던 말을 던졌다.

“우리 아가씨가 객께서 천한 집이라 드시지 않을 것이니 이렇게 여쭈라고 하였습니다.

천한 집 방안의 따뜻한 아랫목과 천한 집 대문처마 아래가 무에 그리 다른지.”

양반의 얼굴에 호기심 어린 미소가 일었다. 이미 머리 위에 대문처마를 이고 있는 상황이었기에

아가씨란 여인이 여쭈라고 한…...

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