Close Quarters

Close Quarters

William Golding, Ronald Blythe

Language: English

Pages: 165

ISBN: B01N40KMQA

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Close Quarters

William Golding, Ronald Blythe

Language: English

Pages: 165

ISBN: B01N40KMQA

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The second volume of William Golding's Sea Trilogy

In a wilderness of heat, stillness and sea mists, a ball is held on a ship becalmed halfway to Australia. In this surreal, fête-like atmosphere the passengers dance and flirt, while beneath them thickets of weed like green hair spread over the hull. The sequel to Rites of Passage, Close Quarters, the second volume in Golding's acclaimed sea trilogy, is imbued with his extraordinary sense of menace. Half-mad with fear, with drink, with love and opium, everyone on this leaky, unsound hulk is 'going to pieces'. And in a nightmarish climax the very planks seem to twist themselves alive as the ship begins to come apart at the seams.

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sufficient for the ordeal of our rejoicing! I tried once more to realize the fact—a turning point in history, one of the world’s great occasions, we stood on a watershed and so on—but it was no use. My head became the arena of confused images and thoughts. A full shot garland such as the one I had crouched by on the gundeck seemed emblem of all the millions of tons of old iron lying about in corners of the civilized world—now never to be used, rusting cannon which would do for rubbing posts,

beside me, a new thing in life, a new knowledge, means of it, awareness; and she I swear again was in the same way aware of me. The voices growled on in the stateroom but we were in a silver bubble of our own. A bubble! I passed those blessed hours like a spendthrift heir who thinks that money grows on trees and he need do nothing but bid his man of business wave a wand to make guineas fall instead of leaves. How I squandered those two hours which should rather have been divided into one

company at least. I would wish to fill in the background to our dialogue with all the scenery of a tropic night—stars, an inky sea streaked and spotted with phosphorescence, but alas! Chance had wasted all that beauty in using it as a kind of backdrop for the trifling with Miss Brocklebank of which I was now ashamed and which I now felt, ridiculous as it must appear, had soiled me! I felt in need of a tub so that, did she but know, this young and delicate creature would not endure the merest

(13) Later still I came to myself with something of a headache and a foul taste in my mouth. Wheeler was still in my cabin but standing up. I muttered at him but he did not go. I sat up and found that I could deal more or less with the movement of the ship. “I think, Wheeler, you had better explain yourself. But not now. Hot water, if you please. Get me out a clean shirt—what are you waiting for?” He licked his lips. The ship lurched in a daunting interruption to the relentless movement of the

girl—malleable—and with no prospects but what lay in marriage! I started to my feet. It was an infatuation! Nothing more! There was, however, and before I had abandoned and forgotten this lamentable episode, one person who might throw light on the situation. I went quickly to the waist. The clouds had lifted and Mr Benét’s new course meant that the ship was labouring indeed but more regularly. The horizon was dense blue and clipped all round in little curves as by a pair of nail scissors. Mr

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