'Very good,' said Steerforth. 'You'll be glad to spend another shilling or so, in almond cakes, I dare say?'
He sat very still, looking down at his body and remembering what it said about scorpionfish stings in the book he had borrowed from the Institute and had never returned-Dangerous Marine Animals, an American publication. He delicately touched and then prodded the white area around the punctures. Yes, the skin had gone totally numb, and now a pulse of pain began to throb beneath it. Very soon this would become a shooting pain. Then the pain would begin to lance all over his body and become so intense that he would throw himself on the sand, screaming and thrashing about, to rid himself of it. He would vomit and foam at the mouth, and then delirium and convulsions would take over until he lost consciousness. Then, inevitably in his case, there would ensue cardiac failure and death. According to the book the whole cycle would be complete in about a quarter of an hour-that was all he had left-fifteen minutes of hideous agony! There were cures, of course-procaine, antibiotics and antihistamines-if his weak heart would stand them. But they had to be near at hand. Even if he could climb the steps up to the house, and supposing Dr. Cahusac had these modern drugs, the doctor couldn't possibly get to Wavelets in under an hour.
Louis staggered along behind, determined to see the hunt through to the end. He was bitterlyregretting his choice of heavy bush boots; the Bushmen traditionally wore light, giraffe-skinmoccasins, and now had on thin, flimsy sneakers that let their feet cool on the fly. Louis felt theway the kudu looked; he watched it weave drunkenly … its front knees buckled, straightened … itrecovered and bounded away … then crashed to the ground.
'And what does she say, requiring consideration?'
I automatically did as I was told, and again his gun roared. The thin man let out a curse and set me free, but at the same time there came a splintering crash from behind me and I whirled round. At the same time as he had fired, Sluggsy had hurled the television set over his head at James Bond, and it had crashed into his face, knocking him off balance.
mingled with dried shrimps
Being a little embarrassed at first, and feeling much too young to preside, I made Steerforth take the head of the table when dinner was announced, and seated myself opposite to him. Everything was very good; we did not spare the wine; and he exerted himself so brilliantly to make the thing pass off well, that there was no pause in our festivity. I was not quite such good company during dinner as I could have wished to be, for my chair was opposite the door, and my attention was distracted by observing that the handy young man went out of the room very often, and that his shadow always presented itself, immediately afterwards, on the wall of the entry, with a bottle at its mouth. The 'young gal' likewise occasioned me some uneasiness: not so much by neglecting to wash the plates, as by breaking them. For being of an inquisitive disposition, and unable to confine herself (as her positive instructions were) to the pantry, she was constantly peering in at us, and constantly imagining herself detected; in which belief, she several times retired upon the plates (with which she had carefully paved the floor), and did a great deal of destruction.
I was petrified. This, I confess, I had never expected. My first impulse was to run away. ‘My father will look round,’ I thought, ‘and I am lost . . . ’ but a strange feeling — a feeling stronger than curiosity, stronger than jealousy, stronger even than fear — held me there. I began to watch; I strained my ears to listen. It seemed as though my father were insisting on something. Zina?da would not consent. I seem to see her face now — mournful, serious, lovely, and with an inexpressible impress of devotion, grief, love, and a sort of despair — I can find no other word for it. She uttered monosyllables, not raising her eyes, simply smiling — submissively, but without yielding. By that smile alone, I should have known my Zina?da of old days. My father shrugged his shoulders, and straightened his hat on his head, which was always a sign of impatience with him. . . . Then I caught the words: ‘Vous devez vous séparer de cette . . . ’ Zina?da sat up, and stretched out her arm. . . . Suddenly, before my very eyes, the impossible happened. My father suddenly lifted the whip, with which he had been switching the dust off his coat, and I heard a sharp blow on that arm, bare to the elbow. I could scarcely restrain myself from crying out; while Zina?da shuddered, looked without a word at my father, and slowly raising her arm to her lips, kissed the streak of red upon it. My father flung away the whip, and running quickly up the steps, dashed into the house. . . . Zina?da turned round, and with outstretched arms and downcast head, she too moved away from the window.