"No, I'll twist his head off for treating a de la Mare like that. But what were you thinking, Bruin, teasing him like that? Damn!"
A bridle path branched off up the hillside, disappearing into the woods; the causeway bore across the head of the slope and ducked down again through the descending elms, barred by the quiet morning light, flecked by the noiseless shadows of birds. Of a human’s passing there was no sign.
Now it was the time for her to face him, and she did, swinging round on one heel and leaning back against the lip of the table. As she tossed up her head in that characteristic way of hers, vaunting silently over the dirt under her feet, he looked through her defensive glamours and saw her for a moment clearly, devoid of gilt shine. He saw her eyes were hollow, and that she was profoundly tired.
“It is rare for me to find people that I like. I could count on my hands, I think, the number of people I am truly fond of, and have fingers to spare for the stem of a wine glass. But when I do find them,” she explained—gently, he noticed, having come to realize how softly she thrust the knife home in people whom she favoured—“I am loath to let them slip again.”
Again Eleud shrugged. “I guess until then I didn’t really believe Geoffrey would do it. And I hadn’t told, either. It didn’t seem fair. And then—” the belying, noncommittal shoulders. “I guess—what you did—it made a difference.”
The short, burnt grasses of the slopes looked like ivory, and the road was a ribbon of silver poured out in the sun.
“I understand,” I said slowly, “that it is ignoble to be a bastard.” I met his gaze again. “But I also believe that we make our own nobility.”
A grim smile cracked his features. “An idealist,” he said, as if to himself. And I think he spoke it with compassion.
"The heart of man is proud, it runneth like a stag through the forests of the mountains. The Lord shall bend the bow, and I shall be his arrow, and the heart of this man will know the judgment of humiliation."
“Shield!” I yelled. “Shield! shield! shield!”—and I sprinted in agony through blood and muck toward the place where I had seen Marius go down.
Through the gloom, a shaft of serendipitous earth-light filtered down, illuminating the heraldic tapestry hung above the hearth. The alabaster sea-unicorn seemed to glow with a beatific light. I stood in the midst of the great room and stared struck at it. Its scaled tail coiled tightly downward, spiralling in a nautilus pattern reminiscent of the pilgrim's winding trek to heaven; and on its head, the golden crown, spired and majestic, as though it wore Jerusalem on it brow.