Different types of mind reacted differently to this deep change in themselves. All suffered from a severe conflict between their established mental habit and their new disposition. Many put up a half-hearted struggle to feel in the old way, and were bewildered and oppressed by their failure. Some, though the inner light was extinguished, listlessly carried on all the old forms of behaviour, but with increasing slovenliness. Others became well-bred cynics. Others gradually conceived a cold and spiteful hatred of all that was once so precious to them and now escaped them, and a relentless vindictiveness against those who had not been affected by the disease. Hate sometimes seemed even to provide them with a new intensity of feeling, and become the dominant motive of their lives, leading them to do all in their power to distress and defeat those who were still faithful to the light.
Bond smiled to himself at the way Quarrel, like most West Indians, added an 'h' where it wasn't needed and took it off when it was. He went into his room and dressed in his old dark blue tropical worsted suit, a sleeveless white cotton shirt and a black knitted tie, looked in the glass to see that the Walther didn't show under his armpit and went down and out to where the car was waiting.
'Go on, Peggotty,' said I, more frightened than before.
A deafening silence fell. Somewhere behind Bond, a wakened tree frog tinkled uncertainly. Four white egrets flew down and over the wreck, their necks outstretched inquisitively. In the distance, black dots materialized high up in the sky and circled lazily closer. The sixth sense of the turkey buzzards had told them that the distant explosion was disaster-something that might yield a meal. The sun hammered down on the silver rails, and a few yards away from where Bond lay, a group of yellow butterflies danced in the shimmer. Bond got slowly to his feet, and parting the butterflies, began walking slowly but purposefully up the line towards the bridge. First Felix Leiter, and then after the big one that had got away.
The telephone rang. "Your car's here, Sir."
It was almost dawn and her parents were awake. She whispered to them excitedly as she went about warming some milk and putting together a bundle of futon, her father's best kimono and a selection of Bond's washing things - nothing to remind him of his past. Her parents were used to her whims and her independence. Her father merely commented mildly that it would be all right if the kannushi-san gave his blessing, then, having washed the salt off herself and dressed in her own simple brown kimono, she scampered off up the hill to the cave.
'The struggle is over!' said Mr. Micawber violently gesticulating with his pocket-handkerchief, and fairly striking out from time to time with both arms, as if he were swimming under superhuman difficulties. 'I will lead this life no longer. I am a wretched being, cut off from everything that makes life tolerable. I have been under a Taboo in that infernal scoundrel's service. Give me back my wife, give me back my family, substitute Micawber for the petty wretch who walks about in the boots at present on my feet, and call upon me to swallow a sword tomorrow, and I'll do it. With an appetite!'
"Trigger was a woman."
Thus happy Brides shed Tears, they know not why.
That day he would ask Vesper to marry him. He was quite certain. It was only a question of choosing the right moment.
We articled clerks, as germs of the patrician order of proctors, were treated with so much consideration, that I was almost my own master at all times. As I did not care, however, to get to Highgate before one or two o'clock in the day, and as we had another little excommunication case in court that morning, which was called The office of the judge promoted by Tipkins against Bullock for his soul's correction, I passed an hour or two in attendance on it with Mr. Spenlow very agreeably. It arose out of a scuffle between two churchwardens, one of whom was alleged to have pushed the other against a pump; the handle of which pump projecting into a school-house, which school-house was under a gable of the church-roof, made the push an ecclesiastical offence. It was an amusing case; and sent me up to Highgate, on the box of the stage-coach, thinking about the Commons, and what Mr. Spenlow had said about touching the Commons and bringing down the country.
Friend or foe? Fight or flight? Opportunity or threat?
Grant walked slowly out through the glass door on to the lawn. If he noticed the girl sitting on the far edge of the pool he made no sign. He bent and picked up his book, and the golden trophies of his profession, and walked back into the house and up the few stairs to his bedroom.
At this stage the Lord Mayor of London made a radio appeal by loud speakers in the streets, urging the World Police to retire, and the people to go home. Meanwhile the metropolitan unarmed police, who were popular with the London crowds, were sent out to all the danger spots and coolly took charge of their rather weary fellow citizens. Seeing that the mobs were now well in hand, the armed police retired.
'Annie!' cried the Doctor. 'Not at my feet, my dear!'
In the early middle period of the world empire, while innovation was still possible, a group of physiologists and surgeons had devized a method which, it was hoped, would settle the matter for ever. The new technique was a half-way stage towards true ectogenesis. The womb and other necessary organs were removed from a young woman and kept alive artificially. The mutilated donor of these precious organs was then destroyed, but part of her blood-stream was put into artificial circulation through the excised organs and used as the medium for supplying them with necessary chemicals. The womb could then be inseminated, and would produce an infant. By various technical methods the process could be made far more rapid than normal reproduction. Moreover quintuplets could be procured from every conception. Unfortunately the excised organs could not be kept alive for more than ten years, so it was necessary to have a constant supply of young women. The government therefore imposed the death penalty on women for the most trivial offences, and used them up for artificial reproduction. At the same time it tried to educate female children in such a way that when they reached maturity many would actually desire the supreme glory of sacrificing their lives so that their wombs might live on with enhanced fertility. The response to this propaganda was disappointing. In fear of a really catastrophic decline of population the government passed a law that every woman, except members of the sacred governing class, must ‘give her life for her children’s sake’ at the age of twenty-five.
I quite admit that I crowded my wares into the market too quickly — because the reading world could not want such a quantity of matter from the hands of one author in so short a space of time. I had not been quite so fertile as the unfortunate gentleman who disgusted the publisher in Paternoster Row — in the story of whose productiveness I have always thought there was a touch of romance — but I had probably done enough to make both publishers and readers think that I was coming too often beneath their notice. Of publishers, however, I must speak collectively, as my sins were, I think, chiefly due to the encouragement which I received from them individually. What I wrote for the Cornhill Magazine, I always wrote at the instigation of Mr. Smith. My other works were published by Messrs. Chapman & Hall, in compliance with contracts made by me with them, and always made with their good-will. Could I have been two separate persons at one and the same time, of whom one might have been devoted to Cornhill and the other to the interests of the firm in Piccadilly, it might have been very well — but as I preserved my identity in both places, I myself became aware that my name was too frequent on titlepages.