Saturday, April 27, 2013

Excerpt of the Week

Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright: chapter 11

    "'I wonder if Cuffy'll think we've changed,' said Rush, rather taking to the idea.
    'I doubt it,' Willy said. 'Look about the same to me, all of you. Course, Oliver's lost a tooth. And maybe you're a mite thinner, Rush -'
    'It's the meals I've been getting,' Rush sighed. 'No, but I mean in our characters.' 
    'Oh, characters,' Willy said. 'Well, time'll tell, time'll tell. When you're a kid your character's kinda quick an' easy, bendin' this way, that way, changin' itself overnight. 'Tain't set yet. When you're old it's set, all right, and there ain't nothin' to be done. You got it like you got the shape of your bones. Maybe you've lost all your hair, and then maybe you mighta lost your nerve. Maybe you're farsighted when you look at the paper, and kinda nearsighted when you look at the truth -" 
    'Maybe you have flat feet, or a flat sense of humor,' interrupted Rush. 'Maybe hardening of the arteries, or hardening of the heart. And then you could have either a false set of teeth or a false set of values, or both. Gee, I could keep this up for hours. Willy, you should have been a preacher. That was quite a sermon.'
    'Aw, quit,' Willy said. 'Remember, you ain't got no character at all yet. It's still growin', bendin' this way an' that ay. Nothin' but a little jellyfish still.'
    'Jellyfish! Listen, I've got a strong character! Why listen, I -'
    'Nothin' but a jellyfish,' repeated Willy peacefully. 'All of you. Just a lot of little jellyfish.' 
    'Some jellyfish sting, don't forget,' said Rush.  

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