(Sept 1st to 6th)

Format: Triple

‘…This road isn’t used much by motors’… She bored through a mass of crackling brushwood, and emerged into an upward-sloping fern glade, fenced with woods so virgin, so untouched, that William Rufus might have ridden off as we entered. We climbed out of the violet-purple shadows toward the upland where the last of the day lingered…


This is from “Steam Tactics” in Traffics and Discoveries. A local constable has tried to arrest the writer and his companions for speeding as they drive their steam car through the Sussex countryside. In revenge they entice him on board, drive him to a remote part of the county, and maroon him on a distant estate full of frightening wild animals.

…While we waited outside, the fat man on the grey horse rode up and entered into loud talk with his brother magistrates… ‘It falls away from my lodge gates, dead straight, three quarters of a mile. I’d defy anyone to resist it. We rooked seventy pounds out of ’em last month. No car can resist the temptation’…


This is from “The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat” in A Diversity of Creatures.
The narrator and his friends, out for a drive, have been caught in a speed trap, and the local magistrate not only fines them, but ridicules them in court. The rest of the tale tells how they get their revenge, by making him and his village a national laughing stock.

…The boy looked up, saw that the car was like to squeeze him against the bridge wall, flung himself off his machine and across the narrow pavement into the nearest house. He slammed the door at the precise moment when the car, all brakes set, bunted the abandoned bicycle, shattering three of the bonnet-boxes and jerking the fourth over the unscreened dashboard…


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

As the narrator and his friends drive into a busy village on a hot summer’s day, they crash into a boy on a bicycle, spilling the boxes he is carrying across the bridge. Their contents, four excited swarms of bees, escape into the village, stinging everyone in their path.