Almost at once sound broke back on the scene. Someone was hollering for a water-line, cursing the gods and Hades and the slowness of the foot-soldier, and Alwin breathed again, knowing that the business would be taken care of.
I followed the line of his arm and marked, not merely the doorway, but that the elegant quilting on his silver sleeve was stitched in gold thread—real gold thread: my blood tingled with the closeness of the magical element.
...it had been a new and curious thing, even a little alarming—her eye dropped to the mauled side of his face and something quivered a little in her middle—but at the time it had been only a fresh excitement. Now she was conscious of Sophia sitting far off from her, and never quite coming back.
Her lips pursed and spread in a straight, mirthless smile of contemplation. “Right into Commander Herro’s thigh-bone. Rummy luck!” She sniffed and looked round the battery. “Where did the baby go?”
But in the forefront of her mind she was thinking vividly about Number Eight and the sickening quickness with which it must have whirled round on its handlers. Like a feral pup that goes back to its kind when it is old. She stepped into the stairhead and shivered her way down the cold passage. In a quick, conversational way, she added, Good God! How easily it might have killed someone, too.
"You did not reckon on Golightly. No one ever reckons on Golightly: that is what I love about him."
"The end of gods and giants himself!"
Out of courtesy Raymond extended his hand, and [she] deftly slipped her long, freckled hand into his—the fingers squeezed with remarkable power before detaching.
“Good morning.” The green eyes flashed daggers.
And in one of those odd little moments in which the details of things seem to stand clear and seem vitally important, Alwin noticed also that the man wore a shoulder-pauldron—like any other pauldron, save that it was stamped in tiny relief with the pattern of the planta prunellier, and he knew at once who the man was.
“Only once or twice!” mazed Avery. “And with such woods as these to prompt! I tell you what: Amaranth is plain-set, and we have no close woods like these to lure us in. It is old, well-mannered country down in Hol-land.”
I am pretty well grateful that you are taking the brunt of their fire from me, he considered a little exasperatedly, but there is no call to go making a Sabine of her!
Eleud began to writhe in his grip like Tam Lin.
But it was the figure on the creature’s back which interested him most, and he, too, lifted his head a little, eyes hooded, to examine the superb being perched tailor-fashion on the narrow flat saddle. It was helmed in a round, ribbed cap of metal, with a thick brow and a mesh of silver coins lowered over the neck and swept up round to cover the wearer’s face to the bridge of the nose. Only the eyes showed through, a calculated dark amber rimmed in black, couched between the silver-coin veil and two glossy red antlers, split into two tines at each end, which sprouted from the helm’s brow. Beneath her headdress—it was a woman’s pair of eyes, he noted—she wore a curious fusion of masculine and feminine garb, robed in a silken gown printed over in golds and reds and rusts, and wrapped close about the waist by a long scarf of vibrant cinnabar-colour. From amidst the belt hung a very beautiful and notably serviceable sword, and beneath the billowing folds of the gown were tucked a pair of trouser’d legs, plumed in loose linen and tied tightly into the mouths of a pair of buckskin boots.
This drawing was good—superb, even—but it was not an accurate depiction of the original work. Small things had been twisted, and twisted so horribly that even though the master had painted a pagan picture, the result of this imitation was truly blasphemous.
She laughed gaily and prattled with him toward the door, leaving Raymond and Avery alone in the hallway. His hands free, and put into his own pockets, Avery lounged abbreviatedly to Raymond’s side, eyes narrowed as he watched the young lady taking the shepherd off under her wing. When they were out of earshot, and the steward had shut the door, he turned to Raymond and asked,
“Do you still think Geoffrey is having an affair with Illia Mara?”