Riding The Slopes Quotes

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He didn't act old, even though he was forty-four and riding the downward slope.
Richard Levangie (Secrets of the Hotel Maisonneuve)
There are very few of us who remember the day, the moment, when our childhood ends. For most of us, the sun sets on our innocence gradually, sliding down over the western horizon like a toboggan run down over a long, steep slope. We are never really conscious of the moment we reach the bottom of the slope; we just know that one day we wake up and the toboggan ride is over.
Jennifer Wixson
That ride was perhaps the most wonderful thing that happened to them in Narnia. Have you ever had a gallop on a horse? Think of that; and then take away the heavy noise of the hoofs and the jingle of the bit and imagine instead the almost noiseless padding of the great paws. Then imagine instead of the black or grey or chestnut back of the horse the soft roughness of golden fur, and the mane flying back in the wind. And then imagine you are going about twice as fast as the fastest racehorse. But this is a mount that doesn't need to be guided and never grows tired. He rushes on and on, never missing his footing, never hesitating, threading his way with perfect skill between tree trunks, jumping over bush and briar and the smaller streams, wading the larger, swimming the largest of all. And you are riding not on a road nor in a park nor even on the downs, but right across Narnia, in spring, down solemn avenues of beech and across sunny glades of oak, through wild orchards of snow-white cherry trees, past roaring waterfalls and mossy rocks and echoing caverns, up windy slopes alight with gorse bushes, and across the shoulders of heathery mountains and along giddy ridges and down, down, down again into wild valleys and out into acres of blue flowers.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
[Bus ride through The Strand]: A puff of wind (in spite of the heat, there was quite a wind) blew a thin black veil over the sun and over the Strand. The faces faded; the omnibuses suddenly lost their glow. For although the clouds were of mountainous white so that one could fancy hacking hard chips off with a hatchet, with broad golden slopes, lawns of celestial pleasure gardens, on their flanks, and had all the appearance of settled habitations assembled for the conference of gods above the world, there was a perpetual movement among them. Signs were interchanged, when, as if to fulfil some scheme arranged already, now a summit dwindled, now a whole block of pyramidal size which had kept its station inalterably advanced into the midst or gravely led the procession to fresh anchorage. Fixed though they seemed at their posts, at rest in perfect unanimity, nothing could be fresher, freer, more sensitive superficially than the snow-white or gold-kindled surface; to change, to go, to dismantle the solemn assemblage was immediately possible; and in spite of the grave fixity, the accumulated robustness and solidity, now they struck light to the earth, now darkness. Calmly and competently, Elizabeth Dalloway mounted the Westminster omnibus.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
Hey, Large,” Gabe says, flicking me with his towel. “Where you been all day?” “I’ve been around.” I look over at Peter, but he won’t meet my eyes. “I saw you guys on the slopes.” Darrell says, “Then why didn’t you holler at us? I wanted to show off my ollies for you.” Teasingly I say, “Well, I called Peter’s name, but I guess he didn’t hear me.” Peter finally looks me in the eyes. “Nope. I didn’t hear you.” His voice is cold and indifferent and so un-Peterlike, the smile fades from my face. Gabe and Darrell exchange looks like oooh and Gabe says to Peter, “We’re gonna head out to the hot tub,” and they trot off. Peter and I are left standing in the lobby, neither of us saying anything. I finally ask, “Are you mad at me or something?” “Why would I be mad?” And then it’s back to quiet again. I say, “You know, you’re the one who talked me into coming on this trip. The least you could do is talk to me.” “The least you could do was sit next to me on the bus!” he bursts out. My mouth hangs open. “Are you really that mad that I didn’t sit next to you on the bus?” Peter lets out an impatient breath of air. “Lara Jean, when you’re dating someone, there are just…certain things you do, okay? Like sit next to each other on a school trip. That’s pretty much expected.” “I just don’t see what the big deal is,” I say. How can he be this mad over such a tiny thing? “Forget it.” He turns like he’s going to leave, and I grab his sweatshirt sleeve. I don’t want to be in a fight with him; I just want it to be fun and light the way it always is with us. I want him to at least still be my friend. Especially now that we’re at the end. I say, “Come on, don’t be mad. I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal. I swear I’ll sit next to you on the way home, okay?” He purses his lips. “But do you get why I was pissed?” I nod back. “Mm-hmm.” “All right then, you should know that you missed out on mocha sugar donuts.” My mouth falls open. “How’d you get those? I thought the shop didn’t open that early!” “I went out and got them last night specifically for the bus ride,” Peter says. “For you and me.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
Just one more, before we get on with our writing,’ said the teacher, turning to a large, friendly-looking boy with cropped hair and large ears. ‘Scott’s from America, Mr Phinn. All the way from Tennessee. Come along then, Scott, what was your accident?’ ‘Well, I guess the worst accident I had was when I was riding my bike on the sidewalk – ’ ‘We call it “pavement” over here, Scott,’ interrupted the teacher. ‘Oh yeah, pavement, and I came to this slope. I was pedalling so fast I just could not stop. I put on my brakes but I carried on skidding and sliding until I hit one of those great white things in the middle of the road – ’ ‘Bollards,’ said the teacher. ‘Straight up, miss,’ said the boy. ‘I really did.
Gervase Phinn (Up and Down in the Dales (The Dales #4))
When Sebastian, cearly delighted to be treated like one of the guys, didn't move, Alex bared his teeth. "Depeche-toi!" Sebastian depeched. Alex turned back, all Cheshire cat smile. "No," I said. "No what?" "No,you are not going to teach me all the cool words so I can go to Chamonix and be conversational." "Good." He leaned in so I could see the faint dusting of freckles on his nose and smell spearmint gum. "Chamonix is so 1990s. Everyone who is anyone goes to Courchevel these days." I turned on my heel and started to walk off. "Jeez. Ella." He loped after me. "What if your problem? Conversational, my ass. Talking to you is like dancing around a fire in paper shoes." I stopped. "What is that supposed to mean?" "It's an expression my Ukranian babushka likes. I'll explain it at our first turtoring session." I scowled at his shirt. This one had what looked like a guy riding a dolphin instead of the ubiquitos alligator or polo player. "There isn't going to be a tutoring session." "Winslow seems to think otherwise." "Wouldn't be the first thing she's wrong about," I muttered. He gave an impressive sigh. The dolphin lurched, but the little guy on it held tight. "You don't want to fail French, do you? That would be a serious admission of weakness from an Italian girl." I almost smiled. Instead, I announced. "Fuhgeddaboudit. I'll buy a 'Teach Your Poodle French in Ten Easy Lessons' online. Problem solved, and Winslow will never be the wiser." "Yeah. Good luck with that. So how's this Friday? I don't have practice." When I shook my head, he demanded, " What is it? I'm a good tutor. Ask Sebastian. I was just teaching him how to tell the obnoxious French dudes on the slopes that they suck.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
This time he asks his audience to join him in a mental exercise. As Boyd states, Imagine that you are on a ski slope with other skiers [. . .]. Imagine that you are in Florida riding in an outboard motorboat, maybe even towing water-skiers. Imagine that you are riding a bicycle on a nice spring day. Imagine that you are a parent taking your son to a department store and that you notice he is fascinated by the toy tractors or tanks with rubber caterpillar treads’.38 Now imagine that you pull the ski’s off but you are still on the ski slope. Imagine also that you remove the outboard motor from the motor boat, and you are not longer in Florida. And from the bicycle you remove the handle- bar and discard the rest of the bike. Finally, you take off the rubber treads from the toy tractor or tanks. This leaves only the following separate pieces: skis, outboard motor, handlebars and rubber treads. However, he challenges his audience, what emerges when you pull all this together?39 SNOWMOBILE
Frans P.B. Osinga (Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd (Strategy and History))
I got back into my car and followed the trucks; at the end of the road, the Polizei unloaded the women and children, who rejoined the men arriving on foot. A number of Jews, as they walked, were singing religious songs; few tried to run away; the ones who did were soon stopped by the cordon or shot down. From the top, you could hear the gun bursts clearly, and the women especially were starting to panic. But there was nothing they could do. The condemned were divided into little groups and a noncom sitting at a table counted them; then our Askaris took them and led them over the brink of the ravine. After each volley, another group left, it went very quickly. I walked around the ravine by the west to join the other officers, who had taken up positions above the north slope. From there, the ravine stretched out in front of me: it must have been some fifty meters wide and maybe thirty meters deep, and went on for several kilometers; the little stream at the bottom ran into the Syrets, which gave its name to the neighborhood. Boards had been placed over this stream so the Jews and their shooters could cross easily; beyond, scattered pretty much everywhere on the bare sides of the ravine, the little white clusters were multiplying. The Ukrainian “packers” dragged their charges to these piles and forced them to lie down over them or next to them; the men from the firing squad then advanced and passed along the rows of people lying down almost naked, shooting each one with a submachine bullet in the neck; there were three firing squads in all. Between the executions some officers inspected the bodies and finished them off with a pistol. To one side, on a hill overlooking the scene, stood groups of officers from the SS and the Wehrmacht. Jeckeln was there with his entourage, flanked by Dr. Rasch; I also recognized some high-ranking officers of the Sixth Army. I saw Thomas, who noticed me but didn’t return my greeting. On the other side, the little groups tumbled down the flank of the ravine and joined the clusters of bodies that stretched farther and farther out. The cold was becoming biting, but some rum was being passed around, and I drank a little. Blobel emerged suddenly from a car on our side of the ravine, he must have driven around it; he was drinking from a little flask and shouting, complaining that things weren’t going fast enough. But the pace of the operations had been stepped up as much as possible. The shooters were relieved every hour, and those who weren’t shooting supplied them with rum and reloaded the clips. The officers weren’t talking much; some were trying to hide their distress. The Ortskommandantur had set up a field kitchen, and a military pastor was preparing some tea to warm up the Orpos and the members of the Sonderkommando. At lunchtime, the superior officers returned to the city, but the subalterns stayed to eat with the men. Since the executions had to continue without pause, the canteen had been set up farther down, in a hollow from which you couldn’t see the ravine. The Group was responsible for the food supplies; when the cases were broken open, the men, seeing rations of blood pudding, started raging and shouting violently. Häfner, who had just spent an hour administering deathshots, was yelling and throwing the open cans onto the ground: “What the hell is this shit?” Behind me, a Waffen-SS was noisily vomiting. I myself was livid, the sight of the pudding made my stomach turn. I went up to Hartl, the Group’s Verwaltungsführer, and asked him how he could have done that. But Hartl, standing there in his ridiculously wide riding breeches, remained indifferent. Then I shouted at him that it was a disgrace: “In this situation, we can do without such food!
Jonathan Littell (The Kindly Ones)
we neared Liverpool’s Lime Street station, we passed through a culvert with walls that appeared to rise up at least thirty feet, high enough to block out the sun. They were as smooth as Navajo sandstone. This had been bored out in 1836 and had been in continuous use ever since, the conductor told me. “All the more impressive,” he said, “when you consider it was all done by Irish navvies working with wheelbarrows and picks.” I couldn’t place his accent and asked if he himself was Irish, but he gave me a disapproving look and told me he was a native of Liverpool. He had been talking about the ragged class of nineteenth-century laborers, usually illiterate farmhands, known as “navvies”—hard-drinking and risk-taking men who were hired in gangs to smash the right-of-way in a direct line from station to station. Many of them had experienced digging canals and were known by the euphemism “navigators.” They wore the diminutive “navvy” as a term of pride. Polite society shunned them, but these magnificent railways would have been impossible without their contributions of sweat and blood. Their primary task was cleaving the hillsides so that tracks could be laid on a level plain for the weak locomotive engines of the day. Teams of navvies known as “butty gangs” blasted a route with gunpowder and then hauled the dirt out with the same kind of harness that so many children were then using in the coal mines: a man at the back of a full wheelbarrow would buckle a thick belt around his waist, then attach that to a rope dangling from the top of the slope and allow himself to be pulled up by a horse. This was how the Lime Street approach had been dug out, and it was dangerous. One 1827 fatality happened as “the poor fellow was in the act of undermining a heavy head of clay, fourteen or fifteen feet high, when the mass fell upon him and literally crushed his bowels out of his body,” as a Liverpool paper told it. The navvies wrecked old England along with themselves, erecting a bizarre new kingdom of tracks. In a passage from his 1848 novel Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens gives a snapshot of the scene outside London: Everywhere
Tom Zoellner (Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World-from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief)
FALL, SIERRA NEVADA This morning the hermit thrush was absent at breakfast, His place was taken by a family of chickadees; At noon a flock of humming birds passed south, Whirling in the wind up over the saddle between Ritter and Banner, following the migration lane Of the Sierra crest southward to Guatemala. All day cloud shadows have moved over the face of the mountain, The shadow of a golden eagle weaving between them Over the face of the glacier. At sunset the half-moon rides on the bent back of the Scorpion, The Great Bear kneels on the mountain. Ten degrees below the moon Venus sets in the haze arising from the Great Valley. Jupiter, in opposition to the sun, rises in the alpenglow Between the burnt peaks. The ventriloquial belling Of an owl mingles with the bells of the waterfall. Now there is distant thunder on the east wind. The east face of the mountain above me Is lit with far off lightnings and the sky Above the pass blazes momentarily like an aurora. It is storming in the White Mountains, On the arid fourteen-thousand-foot peaks; Rain is falling on the narrow gray ranges And dark sedge meadows and white salt flats of Nevada. Just before moonset a small dense cumulus cloud, Gleaming like a grape cluster of metal, Moves over the Sierra crest and grows down the westward slope. Frost, the color and quality of the cloud, Lies over all the marsh below my campsite. The wiry clumps of dwarfed whitebark pines Are smoky and indistinct in the moonlight, Only their shadows are really visible. The lake is immobile and holds the stars And the peaks deep in itself without a quiver. In the shallows the geometrical tendrils of ice Spread their wonderful mathematics in silence. All night the eyes of deer shine for an instant As they cross the radius of my firelight. In the morning the trail will look like a sheep driveway, All the tracks will point down to the lower canyon. “Thus,” says Tyndall, “the concerns of this little place Are changed and fashioned by the obliquity of the earth’s axis, The chain of dependence which runs through creation, And links the roll of a planet alike with the interests Of marmots and of men.
Kenneth Rexroth (Collected Shorter Poems)
I woke up as the first light began to bring an orange glow to the tops of the whispering pines (and sky) above me at 5:43 but lay still to avoid waking Hope for another half-hour. She had suffered through a tough and mostly sleepless night, and I wanted to give her every second I could as the next week promised to be very stressful for her (and me), and that was if everything went according to plan. At a few minutes after six, she either sensed the growing light or my wakefulness and shifted to give me a wet kiss. We both moved down towards the slit in the bottom of my Hennessy hammock and dropped out and down onto the pine needles to explore the morning. Both of us went a ways into the woods to take care of early morning elimination, and we met back by the hammock to discuss breakfast. I shook out some Tyler kibble (a modified GORP recipe) for me and an equal amount of Hope’s kibble for her. As soon as we had scarfed down the basic snack, we picked our way down the sloping shore to the water’s edge, jumped down into the warm water (relative to the cool morning air at any rate) for a swim as the sun came up, lighting the tips of the tallest pines on the opposite shore. Hope and I were bandit camping (a term that I had learned soon after arriving in this part of the world, and enjoyed the feel of), avoiding the established campsites that ringed Follensby Clear Pond. We found our home for the last seventeen days (riding the cooling August nights from the full moon on the ninth to what would be a new moon tonight) near a sandy swimming spot. From there, we worked our way up (and inland) fifty feet back from the water to a flat spot where some long-ago hunter had built/burned a fire pit. We used the pit to cook some of our meals (despite the illegality of the closeness to the water and the fire pit cooking outside an approved campsite … they call it ‘bandit camping’ for a reason). My canoe was far enough up the shore and into the brush to be invisible even if you knew to look for it, and nobody did/would/had. After we had rung a full measure of enjoyment out of our quiet morning swim, I grabbed the stringer I had anchored to the sandy bottom the previous afternoon after fishing, pulled the two lake trout off, killed them as quickly/painlessly/neatly as I could manage, handed one to Hope, and navigated back up the hill to our campsite. I started one of the burners on my Coleman stove (not wanting to signal our position too much, as the ranger for this area liked morning paddles, and although we had something of an understanding, I didn’t want to put him in an uncomfortable position … we had, after all, been camping far too long in a spot too close to the water). Once I had gutted/buttered/spiced the fish, I put my foil-wrapped trout over the flame (flipping and moving it every minute or so, according to the sound/smell of the cooking fish); Hope ate hers raw, as is her preference. It was a perfect morning … just me and my dog, seemingly alone in the world, doing exactly what we wanted to be doing.
Jamie Sheffield (Between the Carries)
The Amazon forest exhales a Lake Tahoe every five days. Many mornings you can see mist columns twisting up from the canopy as if from fairy campfires. This vapor coalesces into “flying rivers” that ride equatorial winds to the west, while at ground level the rivers flow down an extremely subtle slope eastward toward the Atlantic.
John W. Reid (Ever Green: Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet)
Getting It Right" Your ankles make me want to party, want to sit and beg and roll over under a pair of riding boots with your ankles hidden inside, sweating beneath the black tooled leather; they make me wish it was my birthday so I could blow out their candles, have them hung over my shoulders like two bags full of money. Your ankles are two monster-truck engines but smaller and lighter and sexier than a saucer with warm milk licking the outside edge; they make me want to sing, make me want to take them home and feed them pasta, I want to punish them for being bad and then hold them all night long and say I’m sorry, sugar, darling, it will never happen again, not in a million years. Your thighs make me quiet. Make me want to be hurled into the air like a cannonball and pulled down again like someone being pulled into a van. Your thighs are two boats burned out of redwood trees. I want to go sailing. Your thighs, the long breath of them under the blue denim of your high-end jeans, could starve me to death, could make me cry and cry. Your ass is a shopping mall at Christmas, a holy place, a hill I fell in love with once when I was falling in love with hills. Your ass is a string quartet, the northern lights tucked tightly into bed between a high-count-of-cotton sheets. Your back is the back of a river full of fish; I have my tackle and tackle box. You only have to say the word. Your back, a letter I have been writing for fifteen years, a smooth stone, a moan someone makes when his hair is pulled, your back like a warm tongue at rest, a tongue with a tab of acid on top; your spine is an alphabet, a ladder of celestial proportions. I am navigating the North and South of it. Your armpits are beehives, they make me want to spin wool, want to pour a glass of whiskey, your armpits dripping their honey, their heat, their inexhaustible love-making dark. I am bright yellow for them. I am always thinking about them, resting at your side or high in the air when I’m pulling off your shirt. Your arms of blue and ice with the blood running to make them believe in God. Your shoulders make me want to raise an arm and burn down the Capitol. They sing to each other underneath your turquoise slope-neck blouse. Each is a separate bowl of rice steaming and covered in soy sauce. Your neck is a skyscraper of erotic adult videos, a swan and a ballet and a throaty elevator made of light. Your neck is a scrim of wet silk that guides the dead into the hours of Heaven. It makes me want to die, your mouth, which is the mouth of everything worth saying. It’s abalone and coral reef. Your mouth, which opens like the legs of astronauts who disconnect their safety lines and ride their stars into the billion and one voting districts of the Milky Way. Darling, you’re my President; I want to get this right! Matthew Dickman, The New Yorker: Poems | August 29, 2011 Issue
Matthew Dickman
When I was ten we moved seven miles outside the city, out past the Christmas-tree farms and the hiking trails of Spencer Butte Park to a house in the woods. It sat on nearly five acres of land, where flocks of wild turkeys roamed picking for insects in the grass and my dad could drive his riding mower in the nude if he wanted to, shielded by thousands of ponderosa pines, no neighbors for miles. Out back, there was a clearing where my mother grew rhododendrons and kept the lawn kempt. Beyond it the land gave way to sloping hills of stiff grass and red clay. There was a man-made pond filled with muddy water and soft silt, and salamanders and frogs to chase after, catch, and release. Blackberry bramble grew wild and in the early summer, during the burning season, my father would take to it with a large pair of gardening shears and clear new pathways between the trees to form a circuit he could round on his dirt bike. Once a month he’d ignite the burn piles he’d gathered, letting me squeeze the lighter fluid onto their bases, and we’d admire his handiwork as the six-foot bonfires went up in flames.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
A Piece of Heaven Just For You by Maisie Aletha Smikle Just for you I will climb To the mountain peak Just for you I will dive in the ocean deep For you My love The valley is never too wide I will tread plateaus and plains And ride camels on their reins Just for you My beloved Just for you I will swim and thread rivers and seas Paddle through the frosty snow and icy breeze Just for you My darling I will do triathlons around the circumference of the globe Trek rocky grounds And slippery slopes Just for you My darling I will zipline from the north pole to the south pole I will swing from the treetops And parachute from the backdrop Just for you My darling Just for you I will sing And cook a pot of stew Just for you my love I will climb the stairs of heaven To reach the clouds And bring back a piece of heaven Just for you my beloved
Maisie Aletha Smikle
TO GO TO NSUKKA was to finally see Obinze’s home, a bungalow resting in a compound filled with flowers. Ifemelu imagined him growing up, riding his bicycle down the sloping street, returning home from primary school with his bag and water bottle. Still, Nsukka disoriented her. She thought it too slow, the dust too red, the people too satisfied with the smallness of their lives. But she would come to love it, a hesitant love at first.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
In the years since Terry [v. Ohio], stops, interrogations, and searches of ordinary people driving down the street, walking home from the bus stop, or riding the train, have become commonplace - at least for people of color. As [Justice] Douglas suspected, the Court in Terry had begun its slide down a very slippery slope. Today it is no longer necessary for the police to have any reason to believe that people are engaged in criminal activity or actually dangerous to stop and search them. As long as you give 'consent,' the police can stop, interrogate, and search you for any reason or no reason at all.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Do you think the stars stare back at us? I asked... "Oh, I think they watch us with rapt attention," Blue said. "Especially during the day, when we ignore them, when our eyes can't see past the blue. It's quite the partnership, you know. We put on a show for each other. We're both spectacles." As he spoke, I stretched out on my back, hands clasped behind my head, admiring his profile. The slope of his nose. The curve of his lips. The set of his jaw. Then I turned my gaze to the endless stars above us, and the constellations I knew by name. They were all there, shining the same as they do over two hundred years in the future. They traveled with me, my companions on this journey. Orion was driving, Cassiopeia was riding shotgun, and I was in the backseat singing 'Stardust' and 'Orion is Arising' and 'Catch a Falling Star.
M.G. Buehrlen (The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare, #2))
Suddenly, as I watched the powerful dynamics of the ocean, I saw a young boy and his sister trying to make their way around the front of the superstructure. Like me, they wanted to get a better view. It was just then that an exceptionally large wave struck, bringing the water crashing over the anchor windlass and the foredeck. The force swept the children off their feet and towards the railing. My first thought was that they were about to be carried overboard, into this unforgiving ocean. Fortunately, they managed to hold fast onto the lower rung of the railing, as the bulk of the water washed over the side or ended up in the scuppers. As the ship started to lift itself from the ocean’s grip, I ran across the foredeck and grabbed both children with one arm. Feeling the ship begin its slide into another trough, I grabbed hold of a stanchion with my free hand. Once more, the vessel shuddered and lifted, trying to break free of the raging ocean. In this wild roller coaster ride, we were all soaked in the cold salt water that flooded around us, but I managed to hold fast. It seemed like an eternity that I lay there trying to prevent the three of us from being washed over the side. Braced against the fishplate, my leg steadied us until the next convulsion lifted us high above the ocean again. At the right moment, we all got up and ran. Slipping and sliding we ran down the sloping deck to the relative safety of the leeward side. The Deck Officer on the Bridge, who had the watch, saw what had happened and recommended me for a “Life Saving award.” I didn’t think that I deserved an award for what I had done, but nevertheless I received one on our return voyage. And when the crew learned what had happened, I was promoted in their estimation from a greenhorn kid, to one of them.
Hank Bracker
Tell me where you got your information,” he said. “Azmus. Our old spy.” My lips were numb, and I started to shiver. Hugging my arms against my stomach, I said, “My reasons were partly stupid and partly well-meaning, but I sent him to find out what the Marquise was after. She wrote me during winter--but you knew about that.” He nodded. “And you even tried to warn me, though at the time I saw it as a threat, because--well, because.” I felt too sick inside to go on about that. Drawing a shaky breath, I said, “And again. At her party, when she took me into the conservatory. She tried again to get me to join her. Said I hadn’t kept my vows to Papa. So I summoned Azmus to help me find out what to do. The right thing. I know I can’t prove it,” I finished lamely. He pulled absently at the fingers of one glove, then looked down at it, and straightened it again. Unnecessary movements from him were so rare, I wondered if he too was fighting for clear thought. He lifted his gaze to me. “And now? You were riding to the border?” “No,” I said. “To Orbanith.” Again he showed surprise. “It’s the other thing that Azmus found out,” I said quickly. “I sent him to tell you as soon as I learned--but there’s no way for you to know that’s true. I realize it. Still, I did. I have to go because I know how to reach the Hill Folk.” “The Hill Folk?” “Yes,” I said, leaning forward. “The kinthus. The Merindars have it stowed in wagons, and they’re going to burn it up-slope. Carried on the winds, it can kill Hill Folk over a full day’s ride, all at once. That’s how they’re paying Denlieff, with our woods, not with money at all. They’re breaking our Covenant! I have to warn the Hill Folk!” “Orbanith. Why there, why this road?” “Mora and the servants told me this was the fastest way to Orbanith.” “Why did you not go north to Tlanth where you know the Hill Folk?” I shook my head impatiently. “You don’t know them. You can’t know them. They don’t have names, or if they do, they don’t tell them to us. They seem to be aware of each other’s concerns, for if you see one, then suddenly others will appear, all silent. And if they act, it’s at once. Some of the old songs say that they walk in one another’s dreams, which I think is a poetic way of saying they can speak mind to mind. I don’t know. I must get to the mountains to warn them, and the mountains that source the Piaum River are the closest to Remalna-city.” “And no one else knows of this?” he asked gently. I shook my head slowly, unable to remove my gaze from his faze. “Azmus discovered it by accident. Rode two days to reach me. I did send him…” There was no point in saying it again. Either he believed me, and--I swallowed painfully--I’d given him no particular reason to, or he didn’t. Begging, pleading, arguing, ranting--none of them would make any difference, except to make a horrible situation worse. I should have made amends from the beginning, and now it was too late. He took a deep breath. I couldn’t breathe, I just stared at him, waiting, feeling sweat trickle beneath my already soggy clothing. Then he smiled a little. “Brace up. We’re not about to embark on a duel to the death over the dishes.” He paused, then said lightly, “Though most of our encounters until very recently have been unenviable exchanges, you have never lied to me. Eat. We’ll leave before the next time-change, and part ways at the crossroads.” No “You’ve never lied before.” No “If I can trust you.’” No warnings or hedgings. He took all the responsibility--and the risk--himself. I didn’t know why, and to thank him for believing me would just embarrass us both. So I said nothing, but my eyes prickled. I looked down at my lap and busied myself with smoothing out my mud-gritty, wet gloves.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
You know what I’m gonna do? A lot of obscene and illegal stuff, I’d wager. He said, I’m gonna fix this Lincoln up and drive it back to Leechfield. My senior year ride. No more Mama’s Torino. Like you will, I said. Like I won’t. My brain was starting to melt and soften again around an old image of Daddy from childhood. How he’d come home at dawn in his denim shirt, and I’d be the only one up, peering out the back drapes till he walked across the patio. Lots of times, he’d come in and lie on his stomach on the bare boards of our yet-to-be-carpeted floor, and I’d walk barefoot along his spine. I’d have to hold on to the bookcase to keep from sliding off the sloping muscles of his back, but I’d work my toes under his scapular bones, and he’d ask, You feel my wings growing under there, Pokey? And I’d allege that I did. He claimed it always helped him get to sleep in the daylight. It was maybe the only time I felt like a contributor to the household, somehow useful in our small economy.
Mary Karr (Lit)
Maizy saw her chance and ran. A shout and another blast of gunfire sent Maizy running straight down the grassy slope for Rylan. Her eyes locked with his and she saw horror. She thought he’d seen her, but she could tell he’d been out here riding herd and seen the grizzly. A thud from behind told her the bear was off the ledge. Another growl seemed to blow hot breath on the back of Maizy’s neck. Or maybe that was just the hair on the back of her neck standing up in pure terror.
Mary Connealy (Spitfire Sweetheart (Four Weddings and a Kiss))
One wonders what would have happened to a band of Mexicans riding into Missouri on horses stolen from the Missourians, showing by their manner that they were contemptuous of the Missourians, fraternizing with the native enemies of the settlers, renaming the rivers, insisting on choosing their own course through the territory, and, as they went, gathering the natural wealth of the country. In the end this tolerance of invasion lost the magnificent empire of the Pacific slope. Jedediah Smith had opened the gate, and Mexico was never able to close it.
Maurice Sullivan, Biographer of Jedediah Smith
His grandmother found him at a playground near the river, fallen in the dust with his shoulder against the slope of a teeter-totter, the other end riderless, suspended. He saw her trudging up the hill. She looked twice her usual size in her winter coat, and frightening.
Richard Gleaves (Sleepy Hollow: Rise Headless and Ride (Jason Crane, #1))
NEXT TIME LEW got up into the embattled altitudes of the San Juans, he noticed out on the trail that besides the usual strikebreaking vigilantes there were now cavalry units of the Colorado National Guard, in uniform, out ranging the slopes and creeksides. He had thought to obtain, through one of the least trustworthy of his contacts in the Mine Owners Association, a safe-passage document, which he kept in a leather billfold along with his detective licenses. More than once he ran into ragged groups of miners, some with deeply bruised or swelling faces, coatless, hatless, shoeless, being herded toward some borderline by mounted troopers. Or the Captain said some borderline. Lew wondered what he should be doing. This was wrong in so many ways, and bombings might help but would not begin to fix it. It wasn’t long before one day he found himself surrounded—one minute aspen-filtered shadows, the next a band of Ku Klux Klan night-riders, and here it was still daytime. Seeing these sheet-sporting vigilantes out in the sunlight, their attire displaying all sorts of laundering deficiencies, including cigar burns, food spills, piss blotches, and shit streaks, Lew found, you’d say, a certain de-emphasis of the sinister, pointy hoods or not. “Howdy, fellers!” he called out, friendly enough. “Don’t look like no nigger,” commented one. “Too tall for a miner,” said another. “Heeled, too. Think I saw him on a poster someplace.” “What do we do? Shoot him? Hang him?” “Nail his dick to a stump, and, and then, set him on fahr,” eagerly accompanied by a quantity of drool visibly soaking the speaker’s hood. “You all are doing a fine job of security here,” Lew beamed, riding through them easy as a herd of sheep, “and I’ll be sure to pass that along to Buck Wells when next I see him.” The name of the mine manager and cavalry commander at Telluride worked its magic. “Don’t forget my name!” hollered the drooler, “Clovis Yutts!” “Shh! Clovis, you hamhead, you ain’t supposed to tell em your name.” What in Creation could be going on up here, Lew couldn’t figure. He had a distinct, sleep-wrecking impression that he ought to just be getting his backside to the trackside, head on down to Denver, and not come up here again till it was all over. Whatever it was. It sure ‘s hell looked like war, and that must be what was keeping him here, he calculated, that possibility. Something like wanting to find out which side he was on without all these doubts. . . .
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
Below the Tyne River in County Durham, the land slopes from west to east toward the sea, and from south to north into the Tyne Valley. Gravity would move a wagonload of coal down to the water, with a horse led along to haul the unloaded wagon back uphill. Flanges on the wagon wheels held the wagons on track so that they effectively steered themselves. On longer slopes, Galloway reports, a wheeled platform attached to the coal wagon conveyed the horse downhill, “thus making the cart carry the horse”—putting the cart before the horse, that is. Horses adjusted quickly to the arrangement, he noticed, and seemed to enjoy the ride.43
Richard Rhodes (Energy: A Human History)
Sensing reprieve, grasping for it with eager disbelief, she lifted her lashes in confusion to see the same emotion reflected in his cobalt eyes. He began to tremble, as if the lance weighed a thousand pounds. And suddenly she knew that as much as he longed to murder her, a part of him couldn’t, wouldn’t throw the lance. It made no sense. She could see nothing but hatred written on his chiseled face. He had surely killed hundreds of times and would kill again. Slowly he lowered his arm and stared at her as if she had bested him in some way. Then, so quickly she couldn’t be sure she saw it, pain flashed across his face. “So you’re sweet?” His smile dripped ice. “We shall see, woman, we shall see.” He said “woman” as if he were spitting bile and slid his lance arrow to her chin. She had heard of women being disfigured by Indians and expected him to slash her as he outlined her mouth and the slope of her nose. Breathless fear brought moisture to her brow. Black spots danced, blurring her vision. She blinked and forced herself to focus on him. Laughter twinkled in his eyes. She realized that since he had decided not to kill her, he was, for some reason she couldn’t imagine, playing a hideous game, terrifying her to test her mettle. She caught hold of his lance and shoved it aside, lifting her head in defiance. Chuckling low in his chest, he leaned over his thigh, making a fist in her hair. His grip brought tears to her eyes. As he turned her face to study her, he said, “You have more courage than you have strength, Yellow Hair. It is not wise to fight when you cannot win.” Looking up at his carved features and the arrogant set of his mouth, she longed for the strength to jerk him off his horse. He wasn’t just taunting her, he was challenging her, mocking her. “You will yield. Look at me and know the face of your master. Remember it well.” Riding high on humiliation, Loretta forgot Amy, Aunt Rachel, everything. An image of her mother’s face flashed before her. Never, as long as she had life in her body, would she yield to him. She worked her parched mouth and spat. Nothing came out, but the message rang clear. “Nei mah-heepicut!” Releasing her, he struck her lightly on the arm. Wheeling his horse, he glanced toward the windows of the house and thumped his chest with a broad fist. “I claim her!
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Thank you for bringing me home. My heart will sing a song of friendship when I think of you, Hunter--for always into the horizon.” He gestured toward the stallion. “You will take him. He is strong and swift. He will carry you back to Comanche land, eh?” “Oh, no! I couldn’t. He’s yours!” “He walks a new way now. You are his good friend.” Tears sprang to her eyes. “I will never return to Comancheria, Hunter. Please, keep your horse.” “You keep. He is my gift to you, Blue Eyes.” Words eluded Loretta. Before she thought it through, she rose on her tiptoes and pressed her lips against his in what she intended to be a quick kiss of farewell. Hunter had heard of this strange tosi tivo custom called kissing. The thought of two people pressing their open mouths together had always disgusted him. Loretta was a different matter, however. Before she could pull away, he captured her face between his hands and tipped her head back to nibble lightly at her mouth. To learn the taste of her. And to remember. As inexpert as he was, when his mouth touched hers, a wave of heat zigzagged through him, pooling like fire low in his belly. Her lips were soft and full, as sweet as warm penende, honey. She gasped, and when she did, he dipped his tongue past her teeth to taste her moistness, which was even sweeter and made him think of other sweet places he would like to taste. Hunter at last understood why the tosi tivo liked kissing. She clutched his wrists and leaned away from him. He drew back and smiled, his palms still framing her face. Her large eyes shone as blue as the sky above them, startled and wary, just as they had so many times those first few days. She was like his mother’s beadwork, beautiful on the outside, a confusing tangle on the inside. Would he never understand her? “Good-bye, Hunter.” Reluctantly he released her and watched her lead the horse down the hill. At the base of the slope she turned and looked back. Their gazes met and held. Then she turned toward home and broke into a trot, the horse trailing behind her. Hunter shook his head. Only a White Eyes would walk when she had a perfectly good horse to ride.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Good-bye, Hunter.” Reluctantly he released her and watched her lead the horse down the hill. At the base of the slope she turned and looked back. Their gazes met and held. Then she turned toward home and broke into a trot, the horse trailing behind her. Hunter shook his head. Only a White Eyes would walk when she had a perfectly good horse to ride.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Misadventure   As I turned my bike round a corner, a loud screeching sound was heard down the country lane. Kim tumbled down the rutty slope when he lost balance riding over a mound. His bicycle had fallen into a ditch when one of the tires bounced downhill, disappearing into a ravine.               Our numero uno instructor came to his rescue. Apart from some minor scratches and bruises, Kim was able to hobble about when he balanced on the Caucasian.               Jules bid us to ride ahead, to solicit assistance from the first aid division while he waited with Kim for the ambulance. We did as told. I couldn’t help but wonder if this mishap had been instigated on purpose, or whether it was Mother Nature’s way to shepherd the closeted gays together. I didn’t have long to wait before the truth was revealed.
Young (Turpitude (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 4))
The residence sat toward the back of the property, which sloped up across a masterfully landscaped yard shaded with maple and spruce trees, dotted with stone sculptures—fountains, birdbaths, angels—and not a leaf to be seen on the pockets of lush green grass. An engine turned over near the house. Letty stepped off the drive and crawled into a thicket of mountain laurel as a boxy Mercedes G-Class rolled past. Through the branches and tinted glass, she glimpsed Chase at the wheel, a young boy in a booster in the backseat. The car ride over had only intensified her nausea, and as the diesel engine faded away, she put her finger down her throat and retched in the leaves. She felt instantly better. Weaker. Less drunk. But better.
Blake Crouch (Good Behavior)
Once, just west of Framingham on the Worcester Turnpike or Route 9 in Massachusetts, I caught a ride in a truck that had worn brakes. The driver, a jolly red-nosed individual with a white beard who could have passed as Santa Claus, suggested that I might want to get out considering the situation regarding the truck’s brakes. Not wanting to turn down a ride in the middle of the night, I rode it out with the driver. Going uphill was all right, but coming down was decidedly hairy. The driver knew what he was doing and used his engine to slow himself down, but he had to depend on his emergency brake if he wanted to, or had to, stop. At one traffic light, which was on a downhill slope, he couldn’t bring his rig to a stop and just blew through the intersection, horn blowing, weaving past the cross traffic. I hung on enjoying the excitement as the driver narrated his moves, as if he was telling a story. I watched and listened to him, too caught up in this wild ride to get concerned about the danger. There were a number of downgrades where he totally lost control of our speed, but fortunately the upgrade would slow us down again. He relied on his loud air horn, which sounded even louder in the dark of night. Fun was fun and eventually we got to Worcester, where I was glad to get off in one piece. I hope that he got his load to where it was going, but I knew that the farther west on Route 9 he went, the more mountainous the terrain would become and I didn’t want any part of that. Besides, this was where I needed to get off. My next leg would take me through Sturbridge and then on to Connecticut. .
Hank Bracker
It’s the most beautiful day I can imagine. The sky is perfectly blue, the winds that threatened the heli not visible to the naked eye. The mountains stretch endless around us. We’re more or less below the tree line, down by the drainage basin for one of the area’s sparkling-clear rivers. Snow-shrouded pines cluster in snowy bowls and are scattered sparser over the slopes. The powder is waist deep after the last few days’ snowfall, soft as down and white as confetti.
Harper Dallas (Ride (The Wild Sequence, #1))
Those fearful noises are loudly re-echoed by all the other men, who strain themselves so vigorously at the oars, that the boat, flying forwards, almost keeps way with the wave, on the back of which it is the object of the steersman to keep her. As she is swept impetuously towards the bar, a person seated in the boat can distinctly feel the sea under him gradually rising under a sheer wave, and lifting the boat up—and up—and up, in a manner exceedingly startling. At length the ridge, near the summit of which the boat is placed, begins to curl, and its edge just breaks into a line of white fringe along the upper edge of the perpendicular face presented to the shore, towards which it is advancing with vast rapidity. The grand object of the boatmen now appears to consist in maintaining their position, not on the very crown of the wave, but a little further to seaward, down the slope, so as to ride upon its shoulders, as it were.
Basil Hall (The Lieutenant and Commander Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from Fragments of Voyages and Travels)
We’re chaos riding a slippery slope into hell, and if we’re not careful, we’ll both get burnt to a crisp.
J.L. Beck (Hating You (Blackthorn Elite #1))