By William Golding, Ronald Blythe
The second one quantity of William Golding's Sea Trilogy
In a desert 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 along with his striking experience of risk. Half-mad with worry, with drink, with love and opium, all people 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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Ho, landlord! ” The messenger was glad enough to sit down along with the others who were there, for his limbs were weary and the ale was good. ” The messenger was a chatty soul and loved a bit of gossip dearly; beside the pot of ale warmed his heart; so that, settling himself in an easy corner of the inn bench, while the host leaned upon the doorway and the hostess stood with her hands beneath her apron, he unfolded his budget of news with great comfort. He told all from the very first: how Robin Hood had slain the forester, and how he had hidden in the greenwood to escape the law; how that he lived therein, all against the law, God wot, slaying his Majesty’s deer and levying toll on fat abbot, knight, and esquire, so that none dared travel even on the broad Watling Street or the Fosse Way for fear of him; how that the Sheriff, Heaven save his worship, who paid him, the messenger, sixpence every Saturday night, of good broad money stamped with the King’s head, beside ale at Michaelmas and a fat goose at Christmas-tide, had a mind to serve the king’s warrant upon this same rogue, though little would he mind either warrant of king or sheriff, for he was far from being a law-abiding man.
Never did the Knights of Arthur’s Round Table meet in a stouter fight than did these two. In a moment Robin stepped quickly upon the bridge where the stranger stood; first he made a feint, and then delivered a blow at the stranger’s head that, had it met its mark, would have tumbled him speedily into the water; but the stranger turned the blow right deftly, and in return gave one as stout, which Robin also turned as the stranger had done. So they stood, each in his place, neither moving a finger’s breadth back, for one good hour, and many blows were given and received by each in that time, till here and there were sore bones and bumps, yet neither thought of crying “Enough,” or seemed likely to fall from off the bridge.
What is it? —you clap the leaves of this book together and ’tis gone, and you are ready for every-day life, with no harm done. And now I lift the curtain that hangs between here and No-man’s-land. Will you come with me, sweet Reader? I thank you. Give me your hand. PROLOGUE Giving an account of Robin Hood and his adventure with the King’s foresters. Also telling how his Band gathered around him; and of the merry adventure that gained him his good right-hand man, the famous Little John. IN merry England in the time of old, when good King Henry the Second ruled the land, there lived within the green glades of Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham Town, a famous outlaw whose name was Robin Hood.