Close Quarters by William Golding, Ronald Blythe

By William Golding, Ronald Blythe

The second one quantity of William Golding's Sea Trilogy

In a wasteland of warmth, stillness and sea mists, a ball is hung on a boat becalmed midway to Australia. during this surreal, fête-like surroundings the passengers dance and flirt, whereas underneath them thickets of weed like eco-friendly hair unfold over the hull. The sequel to Rites of Passage, shut Quarters, the second one quantity in Golding's acclaimed sea trilogy, is imbued together with his striking feel of threat. Half-mad with worry, with drink, with love and opium, everybody in this leaky, unsound hulk is 'going to pieces'. And in a nightmarish climax the very planks appear to twist themselves alive because the send starts off to return aside on the seams.

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Six men got in and there was still room for more. They hauled in a fat, rosy-cheeked woman. She was dressed in red cotton, in a pointed, beaded headdress and thick leather shoes; she was cracking nuts and laughing. The crowd round them was laughing too and indeed, how could they help laughing? That wretched nag was to drag all the cartload of them at a gallop! Two young fellows in the cart were just getting whips ready to help Mikolka. With the cry of "now," the mare tugged with all her might, but far from galloping, could scarcely move forward; she struggled with her legs, gasping and shrinking from the blows of the three whips which were showered upon her like hail.

Kill . . " he sobbed, but his voice broke and the words came in shrieks from his panting chest. "They are drunk. . They are brutal . . " said his father. He put his arms round his father but he felt choked, choked. He tried to draw a breath, to cry out--and woke up. He waked up, gasping for breath, his hair soaked with perspiration, and stood up in terror. "Thank God, that was only a dream," he said, sitting down under a tree and drawing deep breaths. "But what is it? Is it some fever coming on?

The old witch fixed the time for me to come herself. It's out of my way. And where the devil she can have got to, I can't make out. " "Hm. . Damn it all! . We might ask. . " And he once more tugged at the door-handle. "Damn it all. " cried the young man suddenly. " "That shows it's not locked, but fastened with the hook! " "Why, don't you see? That proves that one of them is at home. If they were all out, they would have locked the door from the outside with the key and not with the hook from inside.

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