Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

Her eyes nearly staring out of her head, Amanda whispered, "Shut up for goodness sake. Did you hear? Did you hear? That was German, that bit about donner and blitzkrieg - it means, oh, something or other. And the other one - did you hear him? It's a nest of spies, Nazi spies -"
Elizabeth swallowed once or twice, then croaked out, "Let's go back to our boat," and started to run. She looked neither to right nor to left until she reached the shore, then, panting with terror, she crawled underneath the dinghy. Her heart was beating so loudly she simply did not hear the approaching footsteps - heard nothing until the little boat creaked under the arrival of a heavy weight, and then her heart stopped beating altogether.
"Tut," Amanda clicked her tongue angrily and drummed her heels against the boat, "Where is the ass?"
A muffled and sepulchral voice form the depths answered, "You're practically sitting on me."
Amanda lifted the boat.
"Come in, do," said Elizabeth hospitably.
"Lily-livered knave," Amanda stormed. "What's the good of that? If they've heard us the first thing they'll look for is a boat, if they don't see us on the road, they'll tip this up and we'll be caught like rats."
"Let's go then," said Elizabeth, beginning to crawl rapidly away.
"Come here, poltroon," said Amanda, dragging her back by one pigtail. "We must have a plan."
"I have a plan," said Elizabeth, "I'm going home."

From the short story AMANDA'S SPIES, published in the Collins' Girls' Annual 1941. This was Jane Shaw's first of many short stories that would be published over the next twenty-two years in a variety of annuals. Her last published short story was Jumble Sale in 1963.