Books
Dorothy L.Sayers

Clouds of Witness

    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    Parker would in all likelihood have done so; he was paid to detect and do nothing else, and neither his natural gifts nor his education (at Barrow-in-Furness Grammar School) prompted him to stray into side-tracks at the beck of an ill-regulated imagination. But to Lord Peter the world presented itself as an entertaining labyrinth of side-issues. He was a respectable scholar in five or six languages, a musician of some skill and more understanding, something of an expert in toxicology, a collector of rare editions, an entertaining man-about-town, and a common sensationalist. He had been seen at half-past twelve on a Sunday morning walking in Hyde Park in a top-hat and frock-coat, reading the News of the World. His passion for the unexplored led him to hunt up obscure pamphlets in the British Museum, to unravel the emotional history of income-tax collectors, and to find out where his own drains led to
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    This seemed a case of the pot lecturing the kettle on cleanliness
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    The reason for this was apparent as one came to the bottom of the valley, for only a few yards on the left began the stretch of rough, reedy tussocks, with slobbering black bog between them, in which anything heavier than a water-wagtail would speedily suffer change to a succession of little bubbles. Wimsey stooped for an empty sardine-tin which lay, horridly battered, at his feet, and slung it idly into the quag. It struck the surface with a noise like a wet kiss, and vanished instantly. With that instinct which prompts one, when depressed, to wallow in every circumstance of gloom, Peter leaned sadly upon the hurdles and abandoned himself to a variety of shallow considerations upon (1) The vanity of human wishes; (2) Mutability; (3) First love; (4) The decay of idealism; (5) The aftermath of the Great war; (6) Birth-control; and (7) The fallacy of free-will.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    But to Lord Peter the world presented itself as an entertaining labyrinth of side-issues.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    Not to-day—not to-day, Peter. I’m going mad, I think.” (“Sensation fiction again,” thought Peter.)
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    Behind Riddlesdale Lodge the moor stretched starkly away and upward. The heather was brown and wet, and the little streams had no colour in them. It was six o’clock, but there was no sunset. Only a paleness had moved behind the thick sky from east to west all day.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    “Trouble?” she said. “Why, you silly old Peter, of course I’m in trouble. Don’t you know they’ve killed my man and put my brother in prison? Isn’t that enough to be in trouble about?” She laughed, and Peter suddenly thought, “She’s talking like somebody in a blood-and-thunder novel.”
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    Whether, like the heroine of Northanger Abbey, he expected to find anything gruesome inside was not apparent. It is certain that, like her, he beheld nothing more startling than certain sheets and counterpanes neatly folded at the bottom.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    if Peter chose to stay smoking cigarettes in his pyjamas while his only brother was undergoing public humiliation, that was only what might be expected. Peter took after his mother. How that eccentric strain had got into the family her grace could not imagine, for the Dowager came of a good Hampshire family; there must have been some foreign blood somewhere.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    The Dowager Duchess, indeed, was there—she had promptly hastened to her son’s side and was living heroically in furnished lodgings, but the younger Duchess thought her mother-in-law more energetic than dignified. There was no knowing what she might do if left to herself. She might even give an interview to a newspaper reporter.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    “She’s used soap,” said Mr. Bunter, benzening away resolutely. “Can she boil water in her bedroom?”

    “Now, whatever should she do that for, Mr. Bunter?” exclaimed Ellen, amazed. “You don’t think she keeps a kettle? I bring up her morning tea. Ladyships don’t want to boil water.”
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    was, in fact, thirty-eight, and a bachelor, and was celebrated for his rhetoric and his suave but pitiless dissection of hostile witnesses. The breeding of canaries was his unexpected hobby, and besides their song he could appreciate no music but revue airs. He answered Wimsey’s greeting in his beautiful, resonant, and exquisitely controlled voice. Tragic irony, cutting contempt, or a savage indignation were the emotions by which Sir Impey Biggs swayed court and jury; he prosecuted murders of the innocent, defended in actions for criminal libel, and, moving others, was himself as stone.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    “Was he a gentleman?”

    Mrs. Hardraw hesitated, and Mr. Parker mentally classed the stranger as “Not quite quite.”
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    “Did you ever read The Lay of the Last Minstrel?”

    “I learnt a good deal of it at school,” said Parker. “Why?”

    “Because there was a goblin page-boy in it,” said Lord Peter, “who was always yelling ‘Found! Found! Found!’ at the most unnecessary moments. I always thought him a terrible nuisance, but now I know how he felt. See here.”
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    HITHERTO,” SAID LORD PETER, as they picked their painful way through the little wood on the trail of Gent’s No. 10’s, “I have always maintained that those obliging criminals who strew their tracks with little articles of personal adornment—here he is, on a squashed fungus—were an invention of detective fiction for the benefit of the author.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    “I say, I don’t think the human frame is very thoughtfully constructed for this sleuth-hound business. If one could go on all-fours, or had eyes in one’s knees, it would be a lot more practical.”

    “There are many difficulties inherent in a teleological view of creation,” said Parker placidly.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    Lord Peter gazed down sadly. Muffled in an overcoat and a thick grey scarf, he looked, with his long, narrow face, like a melancholy adjutant stork.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    To-day he shows me all the bloody footprints—it’s all right, Helen, that’s not swearin’, that’s an adjective of quality.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    The departure of the church-going element had induced a more humanitarian atmosphere.
    Саша Устюжанинаhas quoted2 months ago
    She was a long-necked, long-backed woman, who disciplined her hair and her children.
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