`In love with me?'
And then …?
Vigil was building his own mini Tarahumara world. Until he could wrap up his commitments anddecamp to the Copper Canyons, he would do his best to re-create the Copper Canyons in Colorado.
The local correspondent of the Daily Gleaner reported that Major Smythe had been killed by an octopus, but the paper translated this into "found drowned" so as not to frighten away the tourists.
One hour remained before the time fixed for the Baptism, when the young man鈥擝abu G. he may be called鈥攃ame in, troubled and pale. His Mother had somehow divined his intention, and was doing her utmost to prevent its being carried out. She flung a brick at the head of one Christian Native, who had had a hand in influencing the young Muhammadan; she raved and beat her breast; she cursed and tore her hair; she declared to her son that if he became a Christian she would die.
The train gave a jerk and moved slowly out into the sunshine. At the end of the corridor the communicating door slammed. There was no sound of steps, but suddenly the red and gold face was mirrored in the window.
Her own views of every question, and her correction of everything that was said to which she was opposed, Miss Dartle insinuated in the same way: sometimes, I could not conceal from myself, with great power, though in contradiction even of Steerforth. An instance happened before dinner was done. Mrs. Steerforth speaking to me about my intention of going down into Suffolk, I said at hazard how glad I should be, if Steerforth would only go there with me; and explaining to him that I was going to see my old nurse, and Mr. Peggotty's family, I reminded him of the boatman whom he had seen at school.
`And supposing, my dear, you were not in love. Then would love-making with a man still give you pleasure?'
I got away from Agnes and her father, somehow, with an indifferent show of being very manly, and took my seat upon the box of the London coach. I was so softened and forgiving, going through the town, that I had half a mind to nod to my old enemy the butcher, and throw him five shillings to drink. But he looked such a very obdurate butcher as he stood scraping the great block in the shop, and moreover, his appearance was so little improved by the loss of a front tooth which I had knocked out, that I thought it best to make no advances.
She shrugged her shoulders. "Then the place got busted by the gangs." She paused and drank the rest of her Martini. "And I lit out on my own. The usual jobs a girl takes. Then I found my way to Reno. They've got a School of Dealing there and I signed on and worked like hell at it. Took the full course. Majored in craps, roulette and blackjack. You can earn good money dealing. Two hundred a week. The men like to have girls dealing, and it gives the women confidence. They think you'll be kind to them. Sisters under the skin kind of. The men dealers frighten them. But don't get the idea it's fun. It reads better than it lives."
He got up from his chair and picked up his coat. He put on the coat and at the same time put on his mind. He had been dozing in his bunk. Now he had to go up on the bridge. He walked through into the connecting office and resisted the impulse to ruffle up the inviting nape of Mary Goodnight's golden neck.
Bond took one of the inch strips of plastic out of his pocket and showed it to her. 'I knew you were somewhere close to me. Instinct, I suppose. [Cad!] I learned a thing or two in the Army. You can get out of these sort of doors by slipping this in the door crack in front of the lock and pushing. It slips the latch. Here, take this, I've got another. But hide it away. And promise not to tell anyone.'
Critics, if they ever trouble themselves with these pages, will, of course, say that in what I have now said I have ignored altogether the one great evil of rapid production — namely, that of inferior work. And of course if the work was inferior because of the too great rapidity of production, the critics would be right. Giving to the subject the best of my critical abilities, and judging of my own work as nearly as possible as I would that of another, I believe that the work which has been done quickest has been done the best. I have composed better stories — that is, have created better plots — than those of The Small House at Allington and Can You Forgive Her? and I have portrayed two or three better characters than are to be found in the pages of either of them; but taking these books all through, I do not think that I have ever done better work. Nor would these have been improved by any effort in the art of story telling, had each of these been the isolated labour of a couple of years. How short is the time devoted to the manipulation of a plot can be known only to those who have written plays and novels; I may say also, how very little time the brain is able to devote to such wearing work. There are usually some hours of agonising doubt, almost of despair — so at least it has been with me — or perhaps some days. And then, with nothing settled in my brain as to the final development of events, with no capability of settling anything, but with a most distinct conception of some character or characters, I have rushed at the work as a rider rushes at a fence which he does not see. Sometimes I have encountered what, in hunting language, we call a cropper. I had such a fall in two novels of mine, of which I have already spoken — The Bertrams and Castle Richmond. I shall have to speak of other such troubles. But these failures have not arisen from over-hurried work. When my work has been quicker done — and it has sometimes been done very quickly — the rapidity has been achieved by hot pressure, not in the conception, but in the telling of the story. Instead of writing eight pages a day, I have written sixteen; instead of working five days a week, I have worked seven. I have trebled my usual average, and have done so in circumstances which have enabled me to give up all my thoughts for the time to the book I have been writing. This has generally been done at some quiet spot among the mountains — where there has been no society, no hunting, no whist, no ordinary household duties. And I am sure that the work so done has had in it the best truth and the highest spirit that I have been able to produce. At such times I have been able to imbue myself thoroughly with the characters I have had in hand. I have wandered alone among the rocks and woods, crying at their grief, laughing at their absurdities, and thoroughly enjoying their joy. I have been impregnated with my own creations till it has been my only excitement to sit with the pen in my hand, and drive my team before me at as quick a pace as I could make them travel.
An Eastsider for the past seven years, he names Elaine's as his favorite local restaurant because "the food is good, and there's a simplicity about the place the attracts me."
The man stopped talking. He raised his head and gazed up at the moon. He politely lifted his shining top hat. Then he replaced it, tucked his umbrella under one arm and sharply clapped his hands. Then walking, as if to a business appointment, calmly, purposefully, he took the few steps to the edge of the bubbling fumarole, stepped carefully over the warning stones and went on walking. He sank slowly in the glutinous grey slime and not a sound escaped his lips until, as the tremendous heat reached his groin, he uttered one rasping 'Arrghh!' and the gold in his teeth showed as his head arched back in the rictus of death. Then he was gone and only the top hat remained, tossing on a small fountain of mud that spat intermittently into the air. Then the hat slowly crumpled with the heat and disappeared, and a great belch was uttered from the belly of the fumarole and a horrible stench of cooking meat overcame the pervading stink of sulphur and reached Bond's nostrils.
As if in comment, the conveyor-belt stopped with a jerk.
Part Two: Them Seven: "Come into My Parlor..."