quotes_feb28_2010.htm

(Feb 28th to March 6th)



Format: Triple

‘Get a purchase on her,’ I shouted, and he spun round, lapping that good copper wire about him. I opened the garden gate politely, and he passed out, spinning his own cocoon. Still the bell came up, hand over hand, and still the wire held fast. He was in the middle of the road now, whirling like an impaled cockchafer, and shouting madly for his wife and family. There he met with the ambulance, the bell within the house gave one last peal, and bounded from the far end of the hall to the inner side of the hall-door, where it stayed fast.

  

This is from “Brugglesmith” in Many Inventions.

The narrator has spent a lively night with a drunken companion, who—after various discreditable and embarrassing adventures—he has wheeled home to Brook Green Hammersmith (Brugglesmith) strapped into a hand-ambulance. At the house there is no sign of the wife of Brugglesmith, but he seizes the bell pull, and pulls it clean out into the road. In revenge, the narrator alerts the police, leaves his tormentor strapped to the ambulance, and passes on into the dawn.


They drifted under the great twelve-inch pinned timbers of the footbridge towards the bench, and, I gathered, the time was very near at hand. The stuff was getting in its work. Blue, white, and blue again, rolled over the navvy’s face in waves, till all settled to one rich clay-bank yellow and—that fell which fell.

I thought of the blowing-up of Hell Gate; of the geysers in the Yellowstone Park; of Jonah and his whale; but the lively original, as I watched it foreshortened from above, exceeded all these things.

   

This is from “My Sunday at Home” in The Day’s Work.

A train has stopped at a remote country station, where—thinking he has been poisoned—a doctor administers a powerful emetic to a large navvy. The results are explosive, the navvy casts all before him, wrecks part of the station, and attacks the squire. The narrator watches events with splendid detachment from the bridge, before retiring in gales of laughter to the local pub for ham and eggs.


Mrs. Bellamy opened the window and spoke. It appears she had only charged for damage to the bicycle, not for the entire machine which Mr. Lingnam was ruthlessly gleaning, spoke by spoke, from the highway and cramming into the slack of the hood. At last 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!’

She stopped; he stopped. Holford took the wheel, and we got away.

   

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

The narrator has driven into a village on a busy Saturday afternoon. A tiresomely wordy companion, Mr Lingnam, obsessed with imperial theories. has taken the wheel of the car, and crashes into a messenger boy on a bicycle, who is carrying boxes of bees. The bees swarm out, and sting everyone in their path, creating chaos in the village, and forcing Mr Lingnam to take refuge in the pond. He is told by the lady whose bees they are that he must pay for the bicycle, and in a rage he destroys it with the car. Here she is upbraiding him further, driving him to even greater fury.

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