The Man Who Didn’t Fly/Margot Bennett
He had a disease of the liver that prevented him from working at anything but the study of racing forms.
She sat beside him, indicating by twitches of nostril and eyebrow how complete was her dissociation from her husband and his stupidity.
Most of her conversations with him left her in a confusion of tenderness and disapproval.
She was sixteen, not at all shy in her assumption that she had the solution to all human problems; and she added to this common adolescent feature a frightening competence. She could light a fire with one match and mend broken fuses.
She didn’t see this as going down with the flag flying: it was more like struggling to live underwater in a sunken ship.
He certainly deserved a good dinner, Hester thought, but it was a pity that good dinners involved cutting up so many things into such small pieces.
Talking to him was like discussing the scenery with a fish or bird.
She wasn’t particularly nervous, but she didn’t want to be given morning tea by gunmen.
“Reading poetry at this time in the morning!” she exclaimed in wonder. “You’re a bit nuts, aren’t you?”
The only talent Father has with money is losing it. You must have noticed.
I don’t know why you want to write poetry anyway, even if it was good. There are lots of things that pay better and you don’t have to know anything. You could be an M.P. or editor or something.
Harry, as usual, was failing to be inconspicuous.
Hester smiled as though her face was being worked by electricity, while she wondered if real people ever said By Jove.
“Don’t you own a car at all?” Moira asked in a voice of horrified sympathy, as though she had discovered he had no legs.
Distrust was in the air all around him, but monstrous suspicions are difficult to voice to the person mostrously suspected.
It was impossible for her to believe that a man who liked Bach could be a criminal.
She wondered when she was going to scream.
So long as you do it politely in the English manner, you’ll be able to admire yourself at the end of it.
Prudence was left alone to contemplate the endless horrors of a day in which no one would help her to tango.
I suppose I’m callous, she added with a certain satisfaction, her mind already racing ahead to the time when she would move, heard-hearted, disdainful, mysterious, through a wondering world.
People take up these things as a way of passing the time, or explaining the universe, two things we’re all concerned with, in our own way.
Then he drew back again and smiled with the maximum of unfriendliness.