The Innocent Moon (A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, Book 9)
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Phillip Maddison emerges from the war feeling overwhelmed by the powers of destruction. He resumes his old life but feels unsettled and, seeking solace, pursues a series of adventures with young women. Then he meets Barley, whose freshness and openness seem to offer something different.
against disappointment. I told you so. But the handwriting on the envelope was familiar; and with a start he saw that the postmark was Chelmsford. “Thank you, thank you, Gubby dear! One of my great friends in the war! I wonder what he says?” “I’m sure I be very plaized vor bring you good noos, zur.” The postman, wearing peaked blue cap and leaning on his red bicycle, lingered to hear more. “Ha, Denis Sisley has read my book and likes it! He says, ‘It has started well a career I foresaw in
the band’s starting, and I’m having the first dance with Brian Talbot. What were you going to say?” “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” It was half-past nine; the band struck up The Merry Widow waltz. Standing against the wall, he watched Sir Claude, in whose home the dance was being held, leading his wife to the centre of the floor, while the other couples waited. He recognised the scarred pugilist face, seemingly a little too large for the slight but sturdy figure dressed in red claw-hammer tail-coat
used to be like that once,” he said, with a short laugh. “It was very sporting of you to ask an unknown quantity, or rather quality, down here. Where shall it be? I’m with you, old lad!” June 7. I am in the West Country, light of foot and purse. Jack and I have walked many miles. So much have I seen; so much thought. How can one write while the sun glints in the dusty lanes, soaks into the sea, directs the winds and the clouds? June 11. Jack O’Donovan has gone home, and I am remorseful that I
with a leap,” said Willie. They watched it racing down into the arena beyond, where the chalk sides of the quarry were sheer. “Come on!” cried Broughton, as the hare rushed all ways in fear, trying to leap up the precipitous sides, but always falling back. Broughton and Quick closed in on it, while the animal’s efforts grew more frenzied. Suddenly Willie yelled, “Why don’t you bloody idiots leave it alone?” Quick, who was advancing with outspread hands, looked round as though startled. Just
deeply of the air before going back to put on his trench-coat and continue writing; to break off in the middle of a sentence in order to begin the more easily on the morrow. Nearly four thousand words! He re-read what he had written, lying half across the table, and was delighted with the scenes. Had he written that? And that? But it was not good to read back to himself immediately after writing. It absorbed nervous power: rigid discipline was to be the foundation of the new life. He looked at