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.)