Three Quotations

(December 29th to Jan 4th)


1. 'I don't mind the trouble so much, though that was bad enough; but what I resent is this showing up in print. It wll stick to me like a burr all through my service... It's too bad of you ...

'I don't know ... have you ever been stuck with a horse ?'
This is from "Pig" in Plain Tales from the Hills.

Pinecoffin, a civil servant, had sold a horse to Nafferton, which turned out to be badly behaved, a very poor bargain. Nafferton gets his revenge by bombarding Pinecoffin for information about pigs, giving him an interrninable amount of work, and making him a laughing stock among his colleagues.


2. 'You hit hard ... His own people think he's mad.'

'You don't say so ? I'll show you some of his letters tonight at dinner.
This is from "The Village that voted the Earth was Flat" in A Diversity of Creatures.

Sir Thomas Ingell, an MP and local magistrate, has had up a group of motorists for speeding, fined them, and - what was worse - ridiculed them in court. They take their revenge by making him and his village a national laughing stock. When Sir Thomas, in a fury, assaults one of them, they sue him, and then publicly withdraw the charge, implying that Sir Thomas is unhinged.


3. '...Look at her from here and tell us how many spots you count now'.

'None ... They're all gone. My God ! Everything's gone !'.

'Quite right ... here's .. your own kind Dr Frole to see you safe home.'
This is from "Beauty Spots" in Limits and Renewals.

A wealthy father and son, the Gravells, have settled in the country, seeking peace after testing times in the war. An unpleasant neighbour, a Major, makes it his business to harry them, spread false rumours about them, and generally make a nuisance of himself. They get their revenge by painting their giant pig in lurid colours, letting him see it, and swiftly washing it white again. When he brings other neighbours to see the latest outrage committed by the Gravells, there is no sign of any lurid colours, and everyone thinks the Major mad.