Peggotty darned away at a stocking as long as she could see, and then sat with it drawn on her left hand like a glove, and her needle in her right, ready to take another stitch whenever there was a blaze. I cannot conceive whose stockings they can have been that Peggotty was always darning, or where such an unfailing supply of stockings in want of darning can have come from. From my earliest infancy she seems to have been always employed in that class of needlework, and never by any chance in any other.
Three: Spring's Awakening
"Really? And why, pray?"
Silence ensued, and I was considering how I could best disengage my shoulder from his hand, and go away, when he said:
Mrs. Phancey said that motels had no defense against this sort of attack. Everything was screwed down that could be screwed down, and marked with the name of the motel. The only hope was to smell the marauders when they registered and then either turn them away or sit up all night with a shotgun. In cities, motels had other problems-prostitutes who set up shop, murderers who left corpses in the shower, and occasional holdups for the money in the cash register. But I was not to worry. Just call for Jed if I smelled trouble. He could act real tough and he had a gun. And, with this cold comfort, I was left to ponder on the darker side of the motel industry.
'Does he keep a school?' I asked.
I scrambled off the bed and went and put my arms round him. His body was cold. I hugged him to me and kissed him. "Don't be silly, James! If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have got into all this mess. And where would I be now if it wasn't for you? I'd not only have been a dead duck, but a roasted one too, hours ago. The trouble with you is you haven't had enough sleep. And you're cold. Come into bed with me. I'll keep you warm." I got up and pulled him to his feet.
'I ask an inestimable price for it, Miss Larkins.'
When I was twelve there came the vacancy at Winchester College which I was destined to fill. My two elder brothers had gone there, and the younger had been taken away, being already supposed to have lost his chance of New College. It had been one of the great ambitions of my father’s life that his three sons, who lived to go to Winchester, should all become fellows of New College. But that suffering man was never destined to have an ambition gratified. We all lost the prize which he struggled with infinite labour to put within our reach. My eldest brother all but achieved it, and afterwards went to Oxford, taking three exhibitions from the school, though he lost the great glory of a Wykamist. He has since made himself well known to the public as a writer in connection with all Italian subjects. He is still living as I now write. But my other brother died early.
The state of your health, the state of the weather, the wonders of nature - these are things that rarely occupy the average man's mind until he reaches the middle thirties. It is only on the threshold of middle-age that you don't take them all for granted, just part of an unremarkable background to more urgent, more interesting things.
I had, however, received ￡20. Alas! alas! years were to roll by before I should earn by my pen another shilling. And, indeed, I was well aware that I had not earned that; but that the money had been “talked out of” the worthy publisher by the earnestness of my brother, who made the bargain for me. I have known very much of publishers and have been surprised by much in their mode of business — by the apparent lavishness and by the apparent hardness to authors in the same men — but by nothing so much as by the ease with which they can occasionally be persuaded to throw away small sums of money. If you will only make the payment future instead of present, you may generally twist a few pounds in your own or your client’s favour. “You might as well promise her ￡20. This day six months will do very well.” The publisher, though he knows that the money will never come back to him, thinks it worth his while to rid himself of your importunity at so cheap a price.
"Yes, that's a stopper all right." Scaramanga turned towards the counter. "Hey, cool cat. Couple of Red Stripes, if you're in business again." He turned back and the blank eyes looked hard at Bond. "What's your next job?"
Bond left the answer to Drax. He was glad of the diversion. It could not have been better timed. Drax had cut the blue cards to him. He married the two halves and put the pack just in front of him, near the edge of the table.
The three peoples of Britain, the English, the Scotch, and the Welsh, had long ago ceased to count politically in the world. Enslaved first by Germany and then by Russia, they had adapted themselves to their servile condition. Nevertheless they retained a precious memory not only of their ancient national splendour but also of that humane and liberal spirit for which, in spite of heinous faults, they had once been famous. Whenever in any part of the world a stand was made for freedom and individual integrity the three British peoples, and often the Irish too, were ready to cause trouble for their masters. Rumour soon told them that the new Tibetan state was not the Gilbert and Sullivan fantasy which Russian propaganda reported. Presently the secret emissaries of Tibet were at work in London and the North-west. The gospel spread. But the British, imperfectly schooled in the life of the spirit, never clearly grasped it. Only the political aspect of it was fully intelligible to them. Politically they were still gifted with a certain tact, forbearance, and inventiveness; and they were not incapable of making a bold stand against tyranny. But this was not enough. To break the mechanized power of the foreign dictatorship they needed to have, as a whole people, that outstanding fortitude and integrity which are possible only to those who have endured a long and intelligent discipline under the light. The British rebellion failed because the spirit behind it was confused and uncertain, and therefore incapable of that fantastic and universal heroism which alone can triumph over odds that are obviously impossible. The young Russian air-police quickly obliterated the few towns which the rebels were able to seize.
Leiter, groaned, more in anger with himself than from the pain. "There was blood all over the place." The voice was a halting whisper between clenched teeth. "His shirt was soaked in it. Eyes closed. Thought if he wasn't cold he'd go with the others on the bridge." He smiled faintly. "How did you dig the River Kwai stunt? Go off all right?"