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1. As various aids to recovery were removed from him and he began to speak more, it was observed that his relationship to language was unusual. He mouthed. Not only did he clench his fists with the effort of speaking, he squinted. It seemed that a word was an object, a material object, round and smooth sometimes, a golf-ball of a thing that he could just about manage to get through his mouth, though it deformed his face in the passage. Some words were jagged and these became awful passages of pain and struggle that made the other children laugh. Patience and silence seemed the greater part of his nature. Bit by bit he learnt to control the anguish of speaking until the golf-balls and jagged stones, the toads and jewels passed through his mouth with not much more than the normal effort. (W.G1.)

2. As the women unfolded the convolutions of their stories together he felt more and more like a kitten tangling up in a ball of wool it had never intended to unravel in the first place; or a sultan faced with not one but two Scheherezades, both intent on impacting a thousand stories into the single night. (An.C.)

3. "Is anything wrong?" asked the tall well-muscled manager with menacing inscrutability, arriving to ensure that nothing in his restaurant ever would go amiss. A second contender for the world karate championship glided noiselessly up alongside in formidable allegiance. (Js.H.)

4. As Prew listened the mobile face before him melted to a battle-blackened skull as though a flamethrower had passed over it, kissed it lightly, and moved on. The skull talked on to him about his health. (J.)

5. Scobie turned up James Street past the Secretariat. With its long balconies it has always reminded him of a hospital. For fifteen years he had watched the arrival of a succession of patients; periodically, at the end of eighteen months certain patients were sent home, yellow and nervy and others took their place - Colonial Secretaries, Secretaries of Agriculture, Treasurers and Directors of Public Works. He watched their temperature charts every one - the first outbreak of unreasonable temper, the drink too many, the sudden attack for principle after a year of acquiescence. The black clerks carried their bedside manner like doctors down the corridors; cheerful and respectful they put up with any insult. The patient was always right. (Gr.Gr.)

6. Her voice. It was as if he became a prisoner of her voice, her cavernous, sombre voice, a voice made for shouting about the tempest, her voice of a celestial fishwife. Musical as it strangely was, yet not a voice for singing with; it comprised discords, her scale contained twelve tones. Her voice, with its warped, homely, Cockney vowels and random aspirates. Her dark, rusty, dipping, swooping voice, imperious as a siren's. (An.C.)

7. In a very few minutes an ambulance came, the team was told all the nothing that was known about the child and he was driven away, the ambulance bell ringing, unnecessarily. (W.G1.)

8. This area took Matty and absorbed him. He received pocket money. He slept in a long attic. He ate well. He wore a thick dark-grey suit and grey overalls. He carried things. He became the Boy. (W.G1.)

9. We have all seen those swinging gates which, when their swing is considerable, go to and fro without locking. When the swing has declined, however, the latch suddenly drops to its place, the gate is held and after a short rattle the motion is all over. We have to explain an effect something like that. When the two atoms meet, the repulsions of their electron shells usually cause them to recoil; but if the motion is small and the atoms spend a longer time in each other's neighbourhood, there is time for something to happen in the internal arrangements of both atoms, like the drop of the latch-gate into its socket, and the atoms are held. (W.Br.)

10. We marched on, fifteen miles a day, till we came to the maze of canals and streams which lead the Euphrates into the Babylonian cornfields. The bridges are built high for the floods of winter. Sometimes the ricefields spread their tassled lakes, off which the morning sun would glance to blind us. Then one noon, when the glare had shifted, we saw ahead the great black walls of Babylon, stretched on the low horizon against the heavy sky. Not that its walls were near; it was their height that let us see them. When at last we passed between the wheatfields yellowing for the second harvest, which fringed the moat, and stood below, it was like being under mountain cliffs. One could see the bricks and bitumen; yet it seemed impossible this could be the work of human hands. Seventy-five feet stand the walls of Babylon; more than thirty thick; and each side of the square they form measure fifteen miles. We saw no sign of the royal army; there was room for it all to encamp within, some twenty thousand foot and fifty thousand horse.

The walls have a hundred gates of solid bronze. We went in by the Royal Way, lined with banners and standards, with Magi holding fire-altars, ith trumpeters and praise-singers, with satraps and commanders. Further on was the army; the walls of Babylon enclose a whole countryside. All its parks can grow grain in case of siege; it is watered from the Euphrates. An impregnable city.

The King entered in his chariot. He made a fine figure, overtopping by half a head his charioteer, shining in white and purple. The Babylonians roared their acclamation, as he drove off with a tram of lords and satraps to show himself to the army. (M.R.)

11. You know, a lot of trouble has been caused by memoirs. Indiscreet revelations, that sort of thing. People who have been close as an oyster all their lives seem positively to relish causing trouble when they themselves will be comfortably dead. It gives them a kind of malicious glee. (Ch.)

12. "Call Elizabeth Cluppins," said Sergeant Buzfuz. The nearest usher called for Elizabeth Tuppins, another one, at a little distance of, demanded Elizabeth Jupkins; and a third rushed in a breathless state into Ring Street and screamed for Elizabeth Muffins till he was hoarse. (D.)

13. "You're the last person I wanted to see. The sight of you dries up all my plans and hopes. I wish I were back at war still, because it's easier to fight you than to live with you. War's a pleasure do you hear me? -War's a pleasure compared to what faces us now: trying to build up a peacetime with you in the middle of it."

"I'm not going to be a part of any peacetime of yours. I'm going a long way from here and make my own world that's fit for a man to live in. Where a man can be free, and have a chance, and do what he wants to do in his own way," Henry said.

"Henry, let's try again."

"Try what? Living here? Speaking polite down to all the old men like you? Standing like sheep at the street corner until - the red light turns to green? Being a good boy and a good sheep, like all the stinking ideas you get out of your books? Oh, no! I'll make a world, and I'll show you." (Th.W.)

14. I began to think how little I had saved, how long a time it took to save at all, how short a time I might have at my age to live, and how she would be left to the rough mercies of the world. (D.)

15. She was sitting down with the "Good Earth" in front of her. She put it aside the moment she made her decision, got up and went to the closet where perched on things that looked like huge wooden collar-buttons. She took two hats, tried on both of them, and went back to the closet and took out a third, which she kept on. Gloves, purse, cigarette extinguished, and she was ready to go. (J.O'H.)

16. "How long have you known him? What's he like?" "Since Christmas. He's from Seattle and he spent Christmas with friends of mine in Greenwich is how I happened to meet him. I sat next to him at dinner the night after Christmas, and he was the quiet type, 1 thought. He looked to be the quiet type. So I found out what he did and I began talking about gastroenterostomies and stuff and he just sat there and nodded all the time I was talking. You know, when I was going to be a nurse a year before last. Finally I said something to him. I asked him if by any chance he was listening to what 1 was saying, or bored, or what? "No, not bored," he said. "Just cockeyed." And he was. Cockeyed. It seems so long ago and so hard to believe we were ever strangers like that, but that's how I met him, or my first conversation with him. Actually he's very good. His family have loads of money from the lumber business and I've never seen anything like the way he spends money. But only when it doesn't interfere with his work at P. and S. He has a Packard that he keeps in Greenwich and hardly ever uses except when he comes to see me. He was a marvellous basket-ball player at Dartmouth and two weeks ago when he came up to our house he hadn't had a golf stick in his hands since last summer and he went out and shot an eighty-seven. He's very homely, but he has this dry sense of humor that at first you don't quite know whether he's even listening to you, but the things he says. Sometimes I think - oh, not really, but a stranger overhearing him might suggest sending him to an alienist." (J.O'H.)

17. My appointment with the Charters Electrical Company wasn't until afternoon, so I spent the morning wandering round the town. There was a lot of dirty snow and slush about, and the sky was grey and sagging with another load of the stuff, but the morning was fine enough for a walk. Gretley in daylight provided no surprise It was one of those English towns that seem to have been built simply to make money for people who don't even condescend to live in them. (P.)

18. This constant succession of glasses produced considerable effect upon Mr. Pickwick; his countenance beamed with the most sunny smiles, laughter played around his lips, and good-humoured merriment twinkled in his eyes. Yielding by degrees to the influence of the exciting liquid rendered more so by the heat, Mr. Pickwick expressed a strong desire to recollect a song which he had heard in his infancy, and the attempt proving abortive, sought to stimulate his memory with more glasses of punch, which appeared to have quite a contrary effect; for, from forgetting the words of the song, he began to forget how to articulate any words at all; and finally, after rising to his legs to address the company in an eloquent speech, he fell into the barrow, and fast asleep, simultaneously. (D.)


19. Mr. Topper turned from the tree and wormed himself into the automobile. And the observer, had he been endowed with cattish curiosity would have noted by the laborings of Topper's body that he had not long been familiar with the driving seat of an automobile. Once in, he relaxed, then, collecting his scattered members, arranged his feet and hands as Mark had patiently instructed him. (Th.S.)

20. It was a marvellous day in late August, and Wimsey's soul purred within him as he pushed the car along. The road from Kirkcudbright to Newton-Stuart is of a varied loveliness hard to surpass, and with the sky full of bright sun and rolling cloud-banks, hedges filled with flowers, a well-made road, a lively engine and a prospect of a good corpse at the end of it, Lord Peter's cup of happiness was full. He was a man who loved simple pleasures.

He passed through Gatehouse, waving a cheerful hand to the proprietor of Antworth Hotel, climbed up beneath the grim blackness of Cardoness Castle, drank in for the thousandth time the strange Japanese beauty of Mossyard Farm, set like a red jewel under its tufted trees on the blue sea's rim, and the Italian loveliness of Kirkdale, with its fringe of thin and twisted trees and the blue coast gleaming across the way. (D.S.)

21. The two transports had sneaked up from the South in the first graying flush of dawn, their cumbersome mass cutting smoothly through the water whose still greater mass bore them silently, themselves as gray as the dawn which camouflaged them. Now, in the fresh early morning of a lovely tropic day they lay quietly at anchor in the channel, nearer to the one island than to the other which was only a cloud on the horizon. To their crews, this was a routine mission and one they knew well: that of delivering fresh reinforcement troops. But to the men who comprised the cargo of infantry this trip was neither routine nor known and was composed of a mixture of dense anxiety and tense excitement. (J.)

22. I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighbourhoods. For instance, there is a brown-stone in the East Seventies where, during the early years of the war, I had my first New York apartment. It was one room crowded with attic furniture, a sofa and fat chairs upholstered in that itchy, particular red velvet that one associates with hot days on a train. The walls were stucco, and a color rather like tobacco-spit. Everywhere, in the bathroom too, there v/ere prints of Roman rains freckled, brown with age. The single window looked out on the fire escape. Even so, my spirits heightened whenever I felt in my pocket the key to this apartment; with all its gloom, it was still a place of my own, the first, and my books were there, and jars of pencils to sharpen, everything I needed, so I felt, to become the writer I wanted to be. (T.C.)

23. On the fateful morning of his fortieth birthday, in a room full of butterflies, the zamindar Mirza Saeed Akhtar watched over his sleeping wife, and felt his heart fill up to the bursting-point with love. He had awoken early for once, rising before dawn with a bad dream souring his mouth, his recurring dream of the end of the world, in which the catastrophe was invariably his fault. He had been reading Nietzsche the night before - "the pitiless end of that small, overextended species called Man" - and had fallen asleep with the book resting face downwards on his chest. Waking to the rustle of butterfly wings in the cool, shadowy bedroom, he was angry with himself for being so foolish in his choice of bedside reading matter. He was, however, wide awake now. Getting up quietly, he slipped his feet into chappals and strolled idly along the verandas of the great mansion, still in darkness on account of their lowered blinds, and the butterflies bobbed like courtiers at his back. In the far distance, someone was playing a flute. Mirza Saeed drew up the chick blinds and fastened their cords. The gardens were deep in mist, through which the butterfly clouds were swirling, one mist intersecting another. This remote region had always been renowned for its lepidoptera, for these miraculous squadrons that filled the air by day and night, butterflies with the gift of chameleons, whose wings changed colour as they settled on vermilion (lowers, ochre curtains, obsidian goblets or amber finger-rings. In the amindar's mansion, and also in the nearby village, the miracle of the butterflies had become so familiar as to seem mundane, but in fact they had only returned nineteen years ago, as the servant women would recall. They had been the familiar spirits, or so the legend ran, of a local saint, the holy woman known only as Bibiji, who had lived to the age of two hundred and forty-two and whose grave, until its location was forgotten, had the property of curing impotence and warts. Since the death of Bibiji one hundred and twenty years ago the butterflies had vanished into the same realm of the legendary as Bibiji herself, so that when they came back exactly one hundred and one years after their departure it looked, at first, like an omen of some imminent, wonderful thing. After Bibiji's death - it should quickly be said - the village had continued to prosper, the potato crops remained plentiful, but there had been a gap in many hearts, even though the villagers of the present had no memory of the time of the old saint. So the return of the butterflies lifted many spirits, but when the expected wonders failed to materialize the locals sank back, little by little, into the insufficiency of the day-today. The name of the zamindar's mansion, Peristan, may have had its origins in the magical creatures' fairy wings, and the village's name, Titlipur, certainly did. But names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit. The human inhabitants of Titlipur, and its butterfly hordes, moved amongst one another with a kind of mutual disdain. The villagers and the zamindar's family had long ago abandoned the attempt to exclude the butterflies from their homes, so that now whenever a trunk was opened, a batch of wings would fly out of it like Pandora's imps, changing colour as they rose; there were butterflies under the closed lids of the thunderboxes in the toilets of Peristan, and inside every wardrobe... (S.R.)

24. They were dusty and Rawlins was unshaven and they smelled of horses and sweat and woodsmoke. Some men sitting in chairs at the back of the store looked up when they entered and then went on talking.

They stood at the meatcase. The woman came from the counter and walked behind the case and took down an apron and pulled a chain that turned on the overhead lightbulb.

You do look like some kind of desperado, John Grady said.

You dont look like no choir director, said Rawlins.

The woman tied the apron behind her and turned to regard them above the white enameled top of the meatcase. What'll you boys have? she said.

They bought baloney and cheese and a loaf of bread and a jar of mayonnaise. They bought a box of crackers and a dozen tins of vienna sausage. They bought a dozen packets of koolaid and a slab end of bacon and some tins of beans and they bought a five pound bag of cornmeal and a bottle of hotsauce. The woman wrapped the meat and cheese separate and she wet a pencil with her tongue and totted up the purchases and then put everything together in a number four grocery bag.

Where you boys from? she said.

From up around San Angelo.

You all ride them horses down here?

Yes mam.

Well I'll declare, she said.

When they woke in the morning they were in plain view of a small adobe house. A woman had come out of the house and slung a pan of dishwater into the yard. She looked at them and went back in again. They'd hung their saddles over a fence to dry and while they were getting them a man came out and stood watching them. They saddled the horses and led them out to the road and mounted up and turned south.

Wonder what all they're doin back home? Rawlins said.

John Grady leaned and spat. Well, he said, probably they're havin the biggest time in the world. Probably struck oil. I'd say they're in town about now pickin out their new cars and all.

Shit, said Rawlins.

They rode.

You ever get ill at ease? said Rawlins.

About what?

I dont know. About anything. Just ill at ease.

Sometimes. If you're someplace you aint supposed to be I guess you'd be ill at ease. Should be anyways.

Well suppose you were ill at ease and didnt know why. Would that mean that you might be someplace you wasnt supposed to be and didnt know it?

What the hell's wrong with you?

I dont know. Nothin. I believe I'll sing.

He did. He sang: Will you miss me, will you miss me. Will you miss me when I'm gone

You know that Del Rio radio station? he said.

Yeah, I know it.

I've heard it told that at night you can take a fencewire in your teeth and pick it up. Dont even need a radio.

You believe that?

I dont know.

You ever tried it?

Yeah. One time.

They rode on. Rawlins sang. What the hell is a flowery boundary tree? he said.

You got me, cousin.

They passed under a high limestone bluff where a creek ran down and they crossed a broad gravel wash. Upstream were potholes from the recent rains where a pair of herons stood footed to their long shadows. One rose and flew, one stood. An hour later they crossed the Pecos River, putting the horses into the ford, the water swift and clear and partly salt running over the limestone bedrock and the horses studying the water before them and placing their feet with great care on the broad traprock plates and eyeing the shapes of trailing moss in the rips below the ford where they flared and twisted electric green in the morning light. Rawlins leaned from the saddle and wet his hand in the river and tasted it. It's gypwater, he said. (C.M.)

25. He leaned his elbows on the porch ledge and stood looking down through the screens at the familiar scene of the barracks square laid out below with the tiers of porches dark in the faces of the three-story concrete barracks fronting on the square. He was feeling a half-sheepish affection for his vantage point that he was leaving.

Below him under the blows of the February Hawaiian sun the quadrangle gasped defencelessly, like an exhausted fighter. Through the heat haze the thin midmorning film of the parched red dust came up a muted orchestra of sounds: the clanking of steel-wheeled carts bouncing over brick, the slappings of oiled leather sling-straps, the shuffling beat of shoesoles, the hoarse expletive of irritated noncoms. (J.)

26. Around noon the last shivering wedding guest arrived at the farmhouse: then for all the miles around nothing moved on the gale-haunted moors - neither carriage, wagon, nor human figure. The road wound emptily over the low hills. The gray day turned still colder, and invisible clouds of air began to stir slowly in great icy swaths, as if signalling some convulsive change beyond the sky. From across the downs came the boom of surf against the island cliffs. Within an hour the sea wind rose to a steady moan, and then within the next hour rose still more to become a screaming ocean of air.

Ribbons of shouted laughter and music - wild waltzes and reels streamed thinly from the house, but all the wedding sounds were engulfed, drowned and then lost in the steady roar of the gale. Finally, at three o'clock, spits of snow became a steady swirl of white that obscured the landscape more thoroughly than any fog that had ever rolled in from the sea. (M.W.)

27. There was an area east of the Isle of Dogs in London which was an unusual mixture even for those surroundings. Among the walled-off rectangles of water, the warehouses, railway lines and travelling cranes, were two streets of mean houses with two pubs and two shops among them. The bulks of tramp steamers hung over the houses where there had been as many languages spoken as families that lived there. But just now not much was being said, for the whole area had been evacuated officially and even a ship that was hit and set on fire had few spectators near it. There was a kind of tent in the sky over London, which was composed of the faint white beams of searchlights, with barrage balloons dotted here and there. The barrage balloons were all that the searchlights discovered in the sky, and the bombs came down, it seemed, mysteriously out of emptiness. They fell round the great fire.

The men at the edge of the fire could only watch it burn, out of control. The drone of the bombers was dying away. The five-mile-high tent of chalky lights had disappeared, been struck all at once, but the light of the great fire was bright as ever, brighter perhaps. Now the pink aura of it had spread. Saffron and ochre turned to blood-colour. The shivering of the white heart of the fire had quickened beyond the capacity of the eye to analyse it into an outrageous glare. High above the glare and visible now for the first time between two pillars of lighted smoke was the steely and untouched round of the full moon - the lover's, hunter's, poet's moon; and now - an ancient and severe goddess credited with a new function and a new title - the bomber's moon. She was Artemis of the bombers, more pitiless than ever before. (W.G1.)

28. There is no month in the whole year, in which nature wears a more beautiful appearance than in the month of August; Spring has many beauties, and May is a fresh and blooming month: but the charms of this time of year are enhanced by their contrast with the winter season. August has no such advantage. It comes when we remember nothing but clear skies, green fields, and sweet-smelling flowers - when the recollection of snow, and ice. and bleak winds, has faded from our minds as completely as they have disappeared from the earth - and yet what a pleasant time it is. Orchards and cornfields ring with the hum of labour; trees bend beneath the thick clusters of rich fruit which bow their branches to the ground; and the corn, piled in graceful sheaves, or waving in every light breath that sweeps above it, as if it wooed the sickle, tinges the landscape with a golden hue. A mellow softness appears to hang over the whole earth; the influence of the season seems to extend itself to the very wagon, whose slow motion across the wellreaped field is perceptible only to the eye, but strikes with no harsh sound upon the ear. (D.)

29. They say you never hear the one that hits you. That is true of bullets because if you hear them they are already past. I heard the last shell that hit this hotel. Heard it start from the battery, then come with a whistling incoming roar like a subway train, to crash against a cornice and shower the room with broken glass and plaster. And while the glass still tinkled down and you listened for the next one to start, you realized that now finally you were back in Madrid.

Madrid is quiet now. Aragon is the active front. There is little fighting around Madrid except mining and countermining, trench raiding, trench mortar strafing and sniping in the stalemate of constant siege warfare going on in Carabanchel, Usera and University City. The cities are shelled very little. Some days there is no shelling and the weather is beautiful and the streets crowded. Shops full of clothing, jewelry stores, camera shops, picture dealers, antiquarians are all open and cafes and bars are crowded. Beer is scarce and whisky is almost unobtainable. The store windows are full of Spanish imitations of all cordials, whiskys, vermouths. These are not recommended for internal use though I am employing something called Milords Ecosses Whisky on my face after shaving. It swarts a little but feels very hygienic. I believe it would be a possible cure for athlete's foot, but one must be very careful not to spill it on one's clothes because it eats wool.

The crowds are cheerful and the sandbagged-fronted cinemas are crowded every afternoon. The nearer one gets to the front, the more cheerful and optimistic the people are. At the front itself optimism reaches such a point that, very much against my good judgement, I was induced to go swimming in a small river forming No Man's Land on the Guenca. The river was a fast flowing stream, very chilly and completely dominated by the Fascist positions, which made me even chiller. I became so chilly at the idea of swimming in the river at all under the circumstances that when I actually entered the water it felt rather pleasant. But it felt even pleasanter to get out of the water and behind a tree. At this moment a Government officer, who was a member of the optimistic swimming parry shot a watersnake with his pistol, hitting it on the third shot. This brought a reprimand from another not so completely optimistic officer member who asked what he wanted to do with that shooting, get the machineguns turned on us? We shot no more snakes that day but I saw three trout in the stream which would weigh over four pound apiece. Heavy old deep-sided ones that rolled up to take the grasshoppers I threw them, making swirls in the water as deep as though you had dropped a paving stone into the stream. All along the stream where no road ever led until the war you could see trout, small ones in the shallows and the bigger kind in the pools and in the shadows of the bank. It is a river worth fighting for, but just a little cold for swimming.

At this moment a shell has just alighted on a house up the street from the hotel where I am typing this. A little boy is crying in the street. A Militiaman has picked him and is comforting him. There is no one killed in our street and the people who started to run slowed down and grin nervously. The one who never started to run at all looks at the others in a very superior way, and the town we are living in now is called Madrid. (H.)

30. And then he remembered that he did not love Gloria. He could not love a common thief. She was a common thief, too. You could see that in her face. There was something in her face, some unconventional thing along with the rest of her beauty, her mouth and eyes and nose -somewhere around the eyes, perhaps, or was it the mouth? - she did not have the conventional look. Emily, yes, Emily had it. He could look at Emily dispassionately, impersonally, as though he did not know her - objectively? wasn't it called? He could look at her and see how much she looked like dozens of girls who had been born and brought up as she had been. You saw them at the theatres, at the best cabarets and speakeasies, at the good clubs on Long Island - and then you saw the same girls, the same women, dressed the same, differing only in the accent of their speech, at clubs in other cities, at horse shows and football games and dances, at Junior League conventions. Emily, he decided after eighteen years of marriage, was a type. And he knew why she was a type, or he knew the thing that made the difference in the look of a girl like Gloria. Gloria led a certain kind of life, a sordid life; drinking and sleeping with men and God knows what all, and had seen more of "life" than Emily ever possibly would see. Whereas Emily had been brought up a certain way, always accustomed to money and the good ways of spending it. In other words, all her life Emily had been looking at nice things, nice houses, cars, pictures, grounds, clothes, people. Things that were easy to look at, and people that were easy to look at: with healthy complexions and good teeth, people who had had pasturized milk to drink and proper food all their lives from the time they were infants; people who lived in houses that were kept clean, and painted when paint was needed, who took care of their minds, were taken care of: and they got the look that Emily and girls-women like her had. Whereas Gloria -well, take for instance the people she was with the night he saw her two nights ago, the first night he went out with her. The man that liked to eat, for instance. Where did he come from? He might have come from the Ghetto. Ligget happened to know that there were places in the slums where eighty families would use the same outside toilet. A little thing, but imagine what it must look like! Imagine having spent your formative years living like, well, somewhat the way you lived in the Army. Imagine what effect that would have on your mind. And of course a thing like that didn't only affect your mind: it showed in your face, absolutely. Not that it was so obvious in Gloria's case. She had good teeth and a good complexion and a healthy body but there was something wrong somewhere. She had not gone to the very best schools, for instance. A little thing perhaps, but important. Her family - he didn't know anything about them; just that she lived with her mother and her mother's brother. Maybe she was a bastard. That was possible. She could be a bastard. That can happen in this country. Maybe her mother was never married. Sure, that could happen in this country. He never heard of it except among poor people and Gloria's family were not poor. But why couldn't it happen in this country? The first time he and Emily ever stayed together they took a chance on having children, and in those days people didn't know as much about not getting caught as they do today. Gloria was even older than Ruth so maybe her mother had done just what Emily had done, with no luck. Maybe Gloria's father was killed in a railroad accident or something, intending to marry Gloria's mother, but on the night he first stayed with her, maybe on his way home he was killed by an automobile or a hold-up man, or something. It could happen. There was a fellow in New Haven that was very mysterious about his family. His mother was on the stage, and nothing was ever said about his father. Liggett wished now that he had known the fellow better. Now he couldn't remember the fellow's name, but some of the fellows in Liggett's crowd had wondered about this What's-His-Name. He drew for the "Record". An artist. Well, bastards were always talented people. Some of the most famous men in history were bastards. Not bastards in any derogatory sense of the word, but love children. (How awful to be a love child. It'd be better to be a bastard. If I were a bastard I'd rather be called a bastard than a love child.) Now Gloria, she drew or painted. She was interested in art. And she certainly knew a lot of funny people. She knew that bunch of kids from New Haven, young Billy and those kids. But anybody could meet them, and anybody could meet Gloria. God damn it! That was the worst of it! Anybody could meet Gloria. He thought that all through dinner, looking at his wife, his two daughters, seeing in their faces the thing he had been thinking about: a proper upbringing and looking at nice things and what it does to your face. He saw them, and he thought of Gloria, and that anybody could meet Gloria, and anybody, somebody she picked up in a speakeasy somewhere, probably was with her now, this minute. "I don't think I'll wait for dessert," he said. (J.O'H.)

31. But by the time he had said that, Matty was rapt, gazing at the glass on the three other walls. It was all mirror, even the backs of the doors, and it was not just plain mirrors, it distorted so that Matty saw himself half a dozen times, pulled out sideways and squashed down from above; and Mr. Hanrahan was the shape of a sofa.

"Ha," said Mr. Hanrahan. "You're admiring my bits of glass I see. Isn't that a good idea for a daily mortification of sinful pride? Mrs. Hanrahan! Where are you?"

Mrs. Hanrahan appeared as if materialized, for what with the window and the mirrors a door opening here or there was little more than a watery conflux of light. She was thinner than Matty, shorter than Mr. Hanrahan and had an air of having been used up. "What is it, Mr. Hanrahan?" "Here he is, I've found him!" "Oh the poor man with his mended face!"

"I'll teach them, the awesome frivolity of it, wanting a man about the place! Girls! Come here, the lot of you!"

Then there was a watery conflux in various parts of the wall, some darkness and here and there a dazzle of light.

"My seven girls," cried Mr. Hanrahan, counting them busily. "You wanted a man about the place, did you? Too many females were there? Not a young man for a mile! I'll teach you! Here's the new man about the place! Take a good look at him!"

The girls had formed into a semicircle. There were the twins Francesca and Teresa, hardly out of the cradle, but pretty. Matty instinctively held his hand so that they should not be frightened by his left side which they could see. There was Bridget, rather taller and pretty and peering short-sightedly, and there was Bernadette who was taller and prettier and wholly nubile, and there was Cecilia who was shorter and just as pretty and nubiler if anything, and there was Gabriel Jane, turner-of-heads-in-the-street, and there was the firstborn, dressed for a barbecue, Mary Michael: and whoever looked on Mary Michael was lost. (W.G1.)

32. Never had there been so full an assembly, for mysteriously united in spite of all their differences, they had taken arms against a common peril. Like cattle when a dog comes into the field, they stood head to head and shoulder to shoulder, prepared to ran upon and trample the invader to death. They had come, too, no doubt, to get some notion of what sort of presents they would ultimately be expected to give; for though the question of wedding gifts was usually graduated in this way - "What are you givin'? Nicholas is givin' spoons!" - so very much depended on the bridegroom. If he were sleek, well-brushed, prosperous-looking, it was more necessary to give him nice things; he would expect them. In the end each gave exactly what was right and proper, by a species of family adjustement arrived at as prices are arrived at on the Stock

Exchange - the exact niceties being regulated at Timothy's commodious, red-brick residence in Bayswater, overlooking the Park, where dwelt Aunts Ann, Juley and Hester.

The uneasiness of the Forsyte family has been justified by the simple mention of the hat. How impossible and wrong would it have been for any family, with the regard for appearances which should ever characterize the great upper-middle class to feel otherwise than uneasy!

The author of the uneasiness stood talking to June by the further door; his curly hair had a rumpled appearance as though he found what was going on around him unusual. He had an air, too, of having a joke all to himself.

George, speaking aside to his brother Eustace, said: "looks as if he might make a bolt of it - the dashing Buccaneer!" This "very singular-looking man", as Mrs. Small afterwards called him, was of medium height and strong build with a pale, brown face, a dust coloured moustache, very prominent cheekbones, and hollow cheeks. His forehead sloped back towards the crown of his head, and bulged out in bumps over the eyes, like forehead seen in the lion-house at the Zoo. He had cherry-coloured eyes, disconcertingly inattentive at times. Old Jolyon's coachman, after driving June and Bosinney to the theatre, had remarked to the bulter:

"I dunno what to make of 'im. Looks to me for all the world like an - 'alf-tame leopard."

And every now and then a Forsyte would come up, sidle round, and take a look at him. June stood in front, fending off this idle curiosity - a little bit of a thing, as somebody once said, "all hair and spirit", with fearless blue eyes, a firm jaw, and a bright colour, whose face and body seemed too slender for her crown of red-gold hair.

A tall woman, with a beautiful figure, which some member of the family had once compared to a heathen goddess, stood looking at these with a shadowy smile. Her hands, gloved in French grey, were crossed one over the other, her grave, charming face held to one side, and the eyes of all men near were fastened on it. Her figure swayed, so balanced that the very air seemed to set it moving. There was warmth, but little colour, in her cheeks; her large, dark eyes were soft. But it was at her lips - asking a question, giving an answer, with that shadowy smile - that men looked; they were sensitive lips, sensuous and sweet, and through them seemed to come warmth and perfume of a flower.

The engaged couple thus scrutinized were unconscious of this passive goddess. (G.)

33. Tom told them of another famous escaped slavewoman. "She named Harriet Tubman. Ain't no tellin' how many times she come back South an' led out different whole bunches o' folks like us to freedom up Nawth on sump'n dey's callin' de "Unnergroun' Rairoad". Fac', she done it so much dey claims by now white folks got out forty thousand dollars' worth o' rewards to' her, alive or dead."

"Lawd have mercy, wouldn't o' thought white folks pay dat much to catch no nigger in de worl'! " said Sister Sarah.

He told them that in a far-distant state called California, two white men were said to have been building a sawmill when they discovered an unbelievable wealth of gold in the ground, and thousands of people were said to be rushing in in wagons, on mules, even afoot to reach the place where it was claimed that gold could be dug up by the shovelful.

He said finally that in the North great debates on the subject of slavery were being held between two white men named Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.

"Which one 'em for de niggers?" asked Gran' mammy Kizzy. "Well, soun' like de Massa Lincoln, leas'ways de bes' I can tell," said Tom.

"Well, praise de Lawd an' give 'im stren'th" said Kizzy.

Sucking his teeth, Chicken George got up patting his ample belly and turned to Tom. "Looka here, boy, why'n't you'n me stretch our legs, walk off some dat meal?"

"Yassuh, Pappy," Tom almost stammered, scarcely able to conceal his amazement and trying to act casual.

The women, who were no less startled, exchanged quizzical, significant glances when Chicken George and Tom set off together down the road. Sister Sarah exclaimed softly, "Lawd, y'all realize dat boy done growed nigh as his daddy!" James and Lewis stared after their father and older brother nearly sick with envy, but they knew better than to invite themselves along. But the two younger girls, L'il Kizzy and Mary, couldn't resist leaping up and happily starting to hop-skip along eight or ten steps behind them.

Without even looking back at them, Chicken George ordered, "Git on back younder an' he'p y'all's mammy wid dem dishes."

"Aw, Pappy," they whined in unison.

"Git, done to!' you."

Half turning around, his eyes loving his little sisters, Tom chided them gently, "Ain't y'all hear Pappy? We see you later on."

With the girls' complaining sounds behind them, they walked on in silence for a little way and Chicken George spoke almost gruffly. "Looka here, reckon you know I ain't meant no harm jes'teasin' you a l'il at dinner."

"Aw, nawsuh," Tom said, privately astounded at what amounted to an apology from his father. "I knowed you was jes' teasin'."

Grunting, Chicken George said, "What say we head on down an' look in on dem chickens? See what keepin' dat nocount L'il George down dere so long. All I knows, he mighta cooked an' et up some dem chickens fo' his Thankagivin' by now."

Tom laughed. "L'il George mean well. Pappy. He jes' a l'il slow. Hå done tol' me he jes' don' love dem birds like you does." Tom paused, then decided to venture his accompanying thought. "I 'speck nobody in de worl' loves dem birds like you does."

But Chicken George agreed readily enough. "Nobody in dis family, anyways. I done tried 'em all 'ceptin 'you. Seem like all de res' my boys willin' to spend dey lives draggin' from one end ofafiel' to de other, lookin' up a mule' butt'." He considered for a moment. "Yo' blacksmithin', wouldn't 'zackly call dat no high livin' neither - nothin' like gamecoclin' - but leas' ways it's a man's work."

Tom wondered if his father ever seriously respected anything excepting fighting chickens. He felt deeply grateful that somehow he had escaped into the solid, stable trade of blacksmithing. But he expressed his thoughts in an oblique way. "Don't see nothin' wrong wid farmin', Pappy. If some folks wasn't farming, 'speck nobody wouldn't be eatin'. I jes' took to blacksmithin' same as you wid gamecoclin', 'cause I loves it, an' de Lawd gimme a knack fo' it. Jes' ever'body don' love de same things."

"Well, leas' you an' me got sense to make money doin' what we likes," said Chicken George. (Al.H.)

34. It was a flaking three-storey house in the ancient part of the city, a century old if it was a day, but like all houses it had been given a thin fireproof plastic sheath many years ago, and this preservative shell seemed to be the only thing holding it in the sky.

"Here we are."

The engine slammed to a stop. Beatty, Stoneman and Black ran up the sidewalk, suddenly odious and fat in the plump fireproof slickers. Montag followed.

They crashed the front door and grabbed at a woman, though she was not running, she was not trying to escape. She was only standing, weaving from side to side, her eyes fixed upon a nothingness in the wall as if they had struck her a terrible blow upon the head. Her tongue was moving in her mouth, and her eyes seemed to be trying to remember something.

Next thing they were up in musty blackness, swinging silver hatchets at doors that were, after all, unlocked, tumbling through like boys all rollic and shout. "Hey!" A fountain of books sprang down upon Montag as he climbed shuddering up the sheer stair-well. How inconvenient! Always before it had been like snuffing a candle. The police went first and adhesive-taped the victim's mouth and bandaged him off into their glittering beetle cars, so when you arrived you found an empty house. You weren't hurting anyone, you were hurting only things! And since things really couldn't be hurt, since things felt nothing, and things don't scream and cry out, there was nothing to tease your conscience later. You were simply cleaning up. Janitorial work, essentially. Everything to its proper place. Quick with the kerosene! Who's got a match?

But now, tonight, someone had slipped. This woman was spoiling the ritual. The men were making too much noise, laughing, joking to cover her terrible accusing silence below. She made the empty rooms roar with accusation and shake down a fine dust of guilt that was sucked in their nostrils as they plunged about. It was neither cricket nor correct. Montag felt an immense irritation. She shouldn't be here, on top of everything!

Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face. A book alighted, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering. In the dim, wavering light, a page hung open and it was like a snowy feather, the words delicately painted thereon. In all the rush and fervour, Montag had only an instant to read a line, but it blazed in his mind for the next minute as if stamped there with fiery steel, "Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine." He dropped the book. Immediately, another fell into his arms.

"Montag, up here!"

Montag's hand closed like a mouth, crashed the book with wild devotion, with an insanity of mindlessness to his chest. The men above were hurling shovelfuls of magazines into the dusty air. They fell like slaughtered birds and the woman stood below, like a small girl, among the bodies.

Montag had done nothing. His hand had done it all, his hand, with a brain of its own, with a conscience and a curiosity in each trembling finger, had turned thief. Now, it plunged the book back under his arm, pressed it tight to sweating armpit, rushed out empty, with a magician's flourish! Look here! Innocent! Look!

He gazed, shaken, at that white hand. He held it way out, as if he were far-sighted. He held it close, as if he were blind.


He jerked about.

"Don't stand there, idiot!"

The books lay like great mounds of fishes left to dry. The men danced and slipped and fell over them. Titles glittered their golden eyes falling, gone.


They pumped the cold fluid from the numbered 451 tanks strapped to their shoulders. They coated each book, they pumped rooms full of it.

They hurried downstairs, Montag staggered after them in the kerosene fumes.

"Come on, woman!"

The woman knelt among the books, touching the drenched leather and cardboard, reading the gilt titles with her fingers while her eyes accused Montag.

"You can't ever have my books," she said.

"You know the law," said Beatty. "Where's your common sense? None of those books agree with each other. You've been locked up here for years with a regular damned Tower of Babel. Snap out of it. The people in those books never lived. Come on now!"

She shook her head.

"The whole house is going up," said Beatty.

The men walked clumsily to the door. They glanced back at Montag, who stood near the woman.

"You're not leaving her here?" he protested.

"She won't come."

"Force her, then!"

Beatty raised his hand in which was concealed the igniter. "We're due back at the house. Besides, these fanatics always try suicide; the pattern's familiar."

Montag placed his hand on the woman's elbow. "You can come with me."

"No," she said. "Thank you, anyway."

"I'm counting to ten," said Beatty. "One. Two."

"Please," said Montag.

"Go on," said the woman.

"Three. Four."

"Here." Montag pulled at the woman.

The woman replied quietly. "I want to stay here."

"Five. Six."

"You can stop counting," she said. She opened the fingers of one hand slightly and in the palm of the hand was a single slender object.

An ordinary kitchen match.

The sight of it rushed the men out and down away from the house. Captain Beatty, keeping his dignity, backed slowly through the front door, his pink face burnt and shiny from a thousand fires and night excitements. God, thought Montag, how true! Always at night the alarm comes. Never by day! Is it because the fire is prettier by night? More spectacle, a better show? The pink face of Beatty now showed the faintest panic in the door. The woman's hand twitched on the single matchstick. The fumes of kerosene bloomed up about her. Montag felt the hidden book pound like a heart against his chest. (R.Br.)

Date: 2015-01-12; view: 2060

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