quotes_sep5_2010.htm

(September 5th to 11th)



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‘…I made haste, the river aiding me, but ere I had touched the shoal, the pulse of the stream beat, as it were, within me and around, and, behold, the shoal was gone, and I rode high on the crest of a wave that ran from bank to bank…the rain came and lashed the water white, and I heard no more save the roar of the waters below and the roar of the rain above…’

  

This is from “In Flood Time” in Soldiers Three.

An old man tells a tale of his youth and strength, when he braved the Great Flood on the Barhwi River to meet his love. He finds his enemy drowned by the rushing waters.


The valley was so choked with fog that one could scarcely see a cow’s length across a field. Every blade, twig, bracken-frond, and hoof-print carried water, and the air was filled with the noise of rushing ditches and field-drains, all delivering to the brook below. A week’s November rain on water-logged land had gorged her to full flood, and she proclaimed it aloud.

   

This is from “Friendly Brook” in A Diversity of Creatures.

Two men are cutting back an ancient hedge, in November rains, in a field that is drained by a brook in spate. They remember how the brook had been a good friend to a neighbour of theirs, in drowning a blackmailer. Ever since, he had felt he owed the brook something…


…There was not so much a roar as the purposeful drive of a tide across a jagged reef, which put down every other sound for twenty minutes. A wide sheet of water hurried up to the little terrace on which the house stood, pushed round every corner, rose again and stretched, as it were, yawning beneath the moonlight, joined other sheets waiting for them in unsuspected hollows, and lay out all in one. A puff of wind followed…

   

This is from “My Son’s Wife” in A Diversity of Creatures.

Franklin Midmore, Hampstead aesthete turned Sussex squire, is facing the forces of nature with a vengeance on a wild stormy night. But the flood brings him and his love together.

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