Friday, August 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

Susan felt her brain reel. The Robber! The Bank Robber!
Afterwards, she never knew what rubbish she muttered, half under her breath - absolute rot about the lure of gold and the vanity of riches - while she wondered desperately what to do. The little fat man was looking decidedly uncomfortable - he half rose from his chair - what could she do - she tore at the shawl and flung it over his head, meantime yelling, "Help! Help! Midge! Bill! Help! HELP!" at the pitch of her lungs.
Uttering strange muffled shrieks, the little man pawed at the folds of the shawl. Susan dived for his legs and brought him down with a most efficient rugby tackle. Midge and Bill, colliding in the opening, stumbled into the tent.
"Sit on his head," yelled Susan, hanging grimly onto the legs of the Bank Robber as he kicked and struggled.
Midge looked at the writhing mass on the ground in horror. "Susie!" she cried. "Have you gone mad? What are you doing?
Susan panted, "It's the Bank Robber... I've caught him... But I wish you would... sit on his head.... I can't hold on... much longer... Sit on his head-"
Midge wasn't at all sure where the man's head was, nor did she fancy sitting on it. She gingerly leant across the flying legs and arms and pulled at the tartan shawl. The mild face of the little man, wispy hair on end, glasses gone, gazed at her in indignation, like an infuriated sheep. Midge put her hand to her head. "Susan!" she whispered. "What have you done?"
There was a rush of feet outside and the Minister and Lady Alison, followed by a number of interested onlookers, crowded into the opening.
The little man looked round him in a daze; Lady Alison gazed at him in horror. "Mr. Carlisle!" she exclaimed.
There was a horrid silence. Susan, her head still wrapped up in the black veil, turned and gazed at the little man too. She said in a shock whisper, "Not Mr. Rock Carlisle!"
The little man began to crawl about on his hands and knees. Lady Alison said, "But my dear Mr. Carlisle, what are you doing grovelling there?"

From the short story SUSAN AND THE SPAE WIFE, published in 1960. When the real spae wife (fortune teller), Mirren, has to go home to attend to a family emergency, Susan sits in for her, with inevitable disastrous consequences.