Quotes Vortex


… he answered, and I have never seen a man foam at the mouth before. ‘If you don’t stop, I shall come into your house—in this car—and drive upstairs and—kill you!’


This is from “The Vortex”,  in A Diversity of Creatures.

The storyteller encounters Mr Lingnam, a talkative  theorist ofi Empire, who holds forth  endlessly about elaborate  schemes for bringing  British territories together to meet future challenges.

Out on a drive with friends. they  approach a village, crowded with people, where on a hot summer’s day there are various festivities going on. With Mr Lingnam at the wheel, they   knock a delivery boy off his bicycle. He had been carrying four boxes of bees, which swarm out into the village, stinging everyone in their path. Chaos ensues, and  Mr Lingnam e takes refuge, a bedraggled and much-stung figure, in a  pond.

He  is made to take the blame for everything, and pay for the wrecked bicycle, which he wrecks anew. All desire for further negotiation or discussion has left him.