Time In The Saddle Quotes

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And let’s face it people, no one is ever honest with you about child birth. Not even your mother.       “It’s a pain you forget all about once you have that sweet little baby in your arms.”     Bullshit.   I CALL BULLSHIT.   Any friend, cousin, or nosey-ass stranger in the grocery store that tells you it’s not that bad is a lying sack of shit.   Your vagina is roughly the size of the girth of a penis.   It has to stretch and open andturn into a giant bat cave so the life-sucking human you’ve been growing for nine months can angrily claw its way out.   Who in their right mind would do that willingly?   You’re just walking along one day and think to yourself, “You know, I think it’s time I turn my vagina into an Arby’s Beef and Cheddar (minus the cheddar) and saddle myself down for a minimum of eighteen years to someone who will suck the soul and the will to live right out of my body so I’m a shell of the person I used to be and can’t get laid even if I pay for it.
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
WE do try to eat," Raoul called back to her [Kel]. I go all faint if I don't get fed regularly. Only think of the disgrace to the King's Own if I fell from the saddle." "But there was that time in Fanwood," a voice behind them said. "That wedding in Tameran," added the blonde Sergeant Osbern, riding a horse-length behind Kel. "Don't forget when what's-his-name, with the army, retired," yelled a third. "Silence, insubordinate curs!" cried Raoul. "Do not sully my new squire's ears with your profane tales!" "Even if they're TRUE?" That was Dom. It seemed Neal wasn't the only family member versed in irony.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
The way I see it, every time a man gets up in the morning he starts his life over. Sure, the bills are there to pay, and the job is there to do, but you don't have to stay in a pattern. You can always start over, saddle a fresh horse and take another trail.
Louis L'Amour (The Proving Trail)
This time of year, I live and breathe the beach. My cheeks feel raw with the wind throwing sand against them. My thighs sting from the friction of the saddle. My arms ache from holding up two thousand pounds of horse. I have forgotten what it is like to be warm and what a full night’s sleep feels like and what my name sounds like spoken instead of shouted across yards of sand. I am so, so alive.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
Does it matter?" Halt asked. Horace shrugged. "Not really, I suppose. I just wondered why you'd gone to the kitchen and why you took the trouble to remain unseen. Were you hiding from Master Chubb yourself? And Will just turned up by coincidence?" "And why would I be hiding from Master Chubb in his own kitchen?" Halt challenged. Again. Horace shrugged innocently. "Well,there was a tray of freshly made pies airing on the windowsill, wasn't there? And you're quite fond of pies, aren't you, Halt?" Halt drew himself up very straight in the saddle. "Are you accusing me of sneaking into that kitchen to steal the pies for myself? Is that it?" His voice and body language simply reeked of injured dignity. "Of course not, Halt!" Horace hurried to assure him, and Halt's stiff-shouldered form relaxed a little. "I just thought I'd give you the opportunity to confess," Horace added. This time, Malcolm couldn't conceal his sudden explosion of laughter. Halt gave them both a withering glance. "You know, Horace," he said at length, "you used to be a most agreeable young man. Whatever happened to you?" Horace turned a wide grin on him. "I've spent too much time around you, I suppose," he said. And Halt had to admit that was probably true.
John Flanagan (Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice, #9))
You're not built for riding, either," Horace added. "I'd say more saddle sore than homesick." Svenal sighed ruefully, shifting his buttocks for the twentieth time to find a more comfortable spot. "It's true," he said. "I've been discovering parts of my backside I never knew existed.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
You’re not . . . normal, Clara. You try to pretend you are. But you’re not. You talked to a grizzly bear, and it obeyed you. Birds follow you like a Disney cartoon, or haven’t you noticed? And for a while after you came back from Idaho Falls, Wendy thought you were on the run from someone or something. You’re good at everything you try. You ride a horse like you were born in the saddle, you ski perfect parallel turns your first time on the hill, you apparently speak fluent French and Korean and who knows what else. Yesterday I noticed that your eyebrows kind of glitter in the sun. And there’s something about the way you move, something that’s beyond graceful, something that’s beyond human, even. It’s like you’re . . . something else.
Cynthia Hand (Unearthly (Unearthly, #1))
If one person tells you you're a horse , they are crazy. If three people tell you you're a horse, There's conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you're a horse,it's time to buy a saddle
Jack Rosenblum
We froze. Neither of us moving, simply staring at each other, wondering if the other was going to move first. "You are," he whispered, "uncommonly stirring." He closed his eyes then, as if he had to in order to break the bond between us, then lifted me to the saddle and stared at the ground as he guided my feet into the stirrups.
Lisa Tawn Bergren (Waterfall (River of Time, #1))
He did not recognize the guards standing watch at the gates he had once protected so proudly, the gates he had ridden through not even a year ago with an assassin newly freed from Endovier, her chains tied to his saddle. Now she led him in chains through those gates, an assassin one last time.
Sarah J. Maas
A therapist once said to me, “If you face the choice between feeling guilt and resentment, choose the guilt every time.” It is wisdom I have passed on to many others since. If a refusal saddles you with guilt, while consent leaves resentment in its wake, opt for the guilt. Resentment is soul suicide. Negative thinking allows us to gaze unflinchingly on our own behalf at what does not work. We have seen in study after study that compulsive positive thinkers are more likely to develop disease and less likely to survive. Genuine positive thinking — or, more deeply, positive being — empowers us to know that we have nothing to fear from truth. “Health is not just a matter of thinking happy thoughts,” writes the molecular researcher Candace Pert. “Sometimes the biggest impetus to healing can come from jump-starting the immune system with a burst of long-suppressed anger.” Anger, or the healthy experience of it, is one of the seven A’s of healing. Each of the seven A’s addresses one of the embedded visceral beliefs that predispose to illness and undermine healing.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty.... Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
Everett Ruess
I learned a long time ago...admire a big horse, saddle a small one.
L.J. Martin (Cooking Wild & Wonderful)
The bad psychological material is not a sin but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, that is very important. Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God's eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing does dome tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God's eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend. It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say, of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man's choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. Most of the man's psychological makeup is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Bashere shrugged, grinning brhind his grey-streaked moustaches, "When I first slept in a saddle, Muad Cheade was Marshal-General. The man was as mad as a hare in spring thaw. Twice every day he searched his bodyservant for poison, and he drank nothing but vinegar and water which he claimed was sovereign against the poison the fellow fed him, but he ate everything the man prepared for as long as I knew him. Once he had a grove of oaks chopped down because they were looking at him. And then insisted they be given decent funerals; he gave the oration. Do you have any idea how long it takes to dig graves for twenty-three oak trees?" "Why didn't somebody do something? His Family?" "Those not as mad as him, or madder, were afraid to look at him sideways. Tenobia's father wouldn't have let anyone touch Cheade anyway. He might have been insane, but he could outgeneral anyone I ever saw. He never lost a battle. He never even came close to losing.
Robert Jordan (Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, #6))
Lay down these words Before your mind like rocks. placed solid, by hands In choice of place, set Before the body of the mind in space and time: Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall riprap of things: Cobble of milky way. straying planets, These poems, people, lost ponies with Dragging saddles -- and rocky sure-foot trails. The worlds like an endless four-dimensional Game of Go. ants and pebbles In the thin loam, each rock a word a creek-washed stone Granite: ingrained with torment of fire and weight Crystal and sediment linked hot all change, in thoughts, As well as things.
Gary Snyder
God (Nature, in my view) makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil. He fores one soil to yield the products of another, one tree to bear another's fruit. He confuses and confounds time, place, and natural conditions. He mutilates his dog, his horse, and his slave. He destroys and defaces all things; he loves all that is deformed and monstrous; he will have nothing as nature made it, not even himself, who must learn his paces like a saddle-horse, and be shaped to his master's taste like the trees in his garden.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Might as well,” she spit. “You know what it feels like, being friends with you guys? Do you have any idea how it sounds when you talk about how crappy this town is and how you’d rather die than end up saddled with a baby, living in a trailer park, broke as hell? Every time you say that, you’re describing my life. A life I’m actually okay with—I’m sure as hell a lot happier than either of you.
Heather Demetrios (I'll Meet You There)
I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
In the month and a half since the Earl of Hargate’s fourth son had arrived in Egypt, he had broken twenty-three separate laws and been jailed nine times. For what Mr. Carsington had cost the (England) consulate in fines and bribes, Mr. Salt (His Majesty's consul general) might have dismantled and shipped to England one of the smaller temples on the island of Philae. He now knew exactly why Lord Hargate had sent his twenty-nine-year-old offspring to Egypt. It was not, as his lordship had written, “to assist the consul general in his services on behalf of the nation.” It was to saddle someone else with the responsibility and expense.
Loretta Chase (Mr. Impossible (Carsington Brothers, #2))
I would not choose to live in any age but my own; advances in medicine alone, and the consequent survival of children with access to these benefits, should preclude any temptation to trade for the past. But we cannot understand history if we saddle the past with pejorative categories based on our bad habits for dividing continua into compartments of increasing worth towards the present. These errors apply to the vast paleontological history of life, as much as to the temporally trivial chronicle of human beings. I cringe every time I read that this failed business, or that defeated team, has become a dinosaur is succumbing to progress. Dinosaur should be a term of praise, not opprobrium. Dinosaurs reigned for more than 100 million years and died through no fault of their own; Homo sapiens is nowhere near a million years old, and has limited prospects, entirely self-imposed, for extended geological longevity.
Stephen Jay Gould
I circled the site before I came in. If there's anyone within five kilometers, I'll eat my quiver." Halt regarded him, eyebrow arched once more. "Anyone?" "Anyone other than Crowley," Will amended, making a dismissive gesture. "I saw him watching me from that hide he always uses about two kilometers out. I assumed he'd be back in here by now." Halt cleared his throat loudly. "Oh, you saw him, did you?" he said. "I imagine he'll be overjoyed to hear that." Secretly, he was pleased with his former pupil. In spite of his curiosity and obvious excitement, he hadn't forgotten to take the precautions that had been drilled into him. THat augured well for what lay ahead, Halt thought, a sudden grimness settling onto his manner. Will didn't notice the momentary change of mood. He was loosening Tug saddle girth. As he spoke, his voice was muffled against the horses's flank. "he's becoming too much a creature of habit," he said. "he's used that hide for the last three Gatherings. It's time he tried something new. Everyone must be onto it by now." Rangers constantly competed with each other to see before being seen and each year's Gathering was a time of heightened competition. Halt nodded thoughtfully. Crowley had constructed teh virtually invisible observation post some four years previously. Alone among the younger Rangers, Will had tumbled to it after one year. Halt had never mentioned to him that he was the only one who knew of Crowley's hide. The concealed post was the Ranger Commandant's pride and joy. "Well, perhaps not everyone," he said. Will emerged from behind his horse, grinning at the thought of the head of the Ranger Corps thinking he had remained hidden from sight as he watched Will's approach. "All the same, perhaps he's getting a bit long in the tooth to be skulking around hiding in the bushes, don't you think?" he said cheerfully. Halt considered the question for a moment. "Long in the tooth? Well, that's one opinion. Mind you, his silent movement skills are still as good as ever," he said meaningfully. The grin on Will's face slowly faded. He resisted the temptation to look over his shoulder. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" he asked Halt. THe older Ranger nodded. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" Will continued and Halt nodded once more. "Is he...close enough to have heard what I said?" Will finally managed to ask, fearin teh worst. This time, Halt didn't have to answer. "Oh, good grief no," came a familiar voice from behind him. "he's so old and decrepit these days he's as deaf as a post." Will's shoulders sagged and he turned to see the sandy-haired Commandant standing a few meters away. The younger man's eyes dropped. "Hullo, Crowley," he said, then mumbled, "Ahhh...I'm sorry about that." Crowley glared at teh young Ranger for a few more seconds, then he couldn't help teh grin breaking out on his face. "No harm done," he said, adding with a small note of triumph, "It's not often these days I amange to get the better of one of you young ones." Secretly, he was impressed at teh news that Will had spotted his hiding place. Only the sarpest eyes could have picked it. Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more, and despite what Will believed, he was still an absolute master of camouflage and unseen movement.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
I just learned two things there at that college, Mr. Ford, that was ever of any use to me. One was that I couldn’t do any worse than the people that were in the saddle, so maybe I’d better try pulling ’em down and riding myself. The other was a definition I got out of the agronomy book, and I reckon it was even more important than the first. It did more to revise my thinking, if I’d really done any thinking up until that time. Before that I’d seen everything in black and white, good and bad. But after I was set straight I saw that the name you put to a thing depended on where you stood and where it stood. And…and here’s the definition, right out of the agronomy books: ‘A weed is a plant out of place.’ Let me repeat that. ‘A weed is a plant out of place.’ I find a hollyhock in my cornfield, and it’s a weed. I find it in my yard, and it’s a flower.
Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me)
the universe expands forever in every direction for all of time, taking on the shape of a saddle, in which initially parallel lines diverge.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
Things don't go away. They become you. There is no end, as T.S. Eliot somewhere says, but addition: the trailing consequence of further days and hours. No freedom from the past, or from the future. But we keep making our way, as we have to. We're all pretty much able to deal even with the worst that life can fire at us, if we simply admit that it is very difficult. I think that's the whole of the answer. We make our way, and effort and time give us cushion and dignity. And as we age, we're riding higher in the saddle, seeing more terrain.
Darin Strauss (Half a Life)
It happens all too often - people regret that their language and culture are being lost but at the same time decide not to saddle their own children with the chore of preserving them.
Andrew Dalby (Language in Danger: The Loss of Linguistic Diversity and the Threat to Our Future)
I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities.
Everett Ruess
Weave for the mighty chestnut A tributary crown Of autumn leaves, the brightest then When autumn leaves are brown Hang up his bridle on the wall, His saddle on the tree, Till time shall bring some racing king Worthy to wear as he!
William Nack (Secretariat: The Making of a Champion)
Should a professor of accounting or chemistry be fired for using up class time to sound off about homelessness or the war in Iraq? Yes! There is no high moral principle that prevents it. What prevents it are tenure rules that have saddled so many colleges with so many self-indulgent prima donnas who seem to think that they are philosopher kings, when in fact they are often grossly ignorant or misinformed outside the narrow confines of their particular specialty.
Thomas Sowell
Back at home, after some prodding from Tereza, he admitted that he had been jealous watching her dance with a colleague of his. "You mean you were really jealous?" she asked him ten times or more, incredulously, as though someone had just informed her she had been awarded a Nobel Peace prize. Then she put her arm around his waist and began dancing across the room. The step she used was not the one she had shown off in the bar. It was more like a village polka, a wild romp that sent her legs flying in the air and her torso bounding all over the room, with Tomas in tow. Before long, unfortunately, she bagan to be jealous herself, and Tomas saw her jealously not as a Nobel Prize, but as a burden, a burden he would be saddled with until not long before his death.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
It would stay with him always as everything you ever did stayed with you, every horse you ever saddled, every morning he awoke with Maria Luisa beside him, and every slap of the paten on fresh paper, every time he had thrown open the shutters in the Betancort house, and his captain dying under his hands, always there like a tangle of telegraph wires in the brain where no dispatch was ever lost, what an odd thing, an odd thing.
Paulette Jiles (News of the World)
I know you were just trying to help. But I passed the point of help a long time ago. Look, I know about your people and customs, and I know you were raised inside a cage. The last thing you need is to be saddled with a man who can barely walk. Why don’t you just go and get your own place and live? I’ll be happy to put you on all my accounts. You’ll never want for anything. (Adron) I can’t do that. (Livia) Why not? (Adron) Because I love you. (Livia)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (In Other Worlds (The League: Nemesis Rising #3.5, Were-Hunter #0.5, The League: Nemesis Legacy #2))
He was saddled with the equally serious military – indeed, also civilian – handicap of chronic inability to be obsequious to superiors in rank, particularly when he found them uncongenial.
Anthony Powell (The Kindly Ones (A Dance to the Music of Time, #6))
Almost everyone stopped when he did, but Enaila and Jalani exchanged glances and kept on right past him toward the garden. He raised his voice a fraction and hardened it considerably more. “The Maidens here will come with me. Anyone who wants to put on a dress and discuss matchmaking can stay behind.” .................................. Bashere motioned, and one of the younger Saldaeans loped ahead in that rolling stride of a man more used to a saddle. “A man must know when to retreat from a woman,” Bashere said to the air, “but a wise man knows that sometimes he must stand and face her.” “Young men,” Bael said indulgently. “A young man chases shadows and runs from moonlight, and in the end he stabs himself in the foot with his own spear.” Some of the other Aiel chuckled, Maidens and Knife Hands alike. The older ones did. Irritated, Rand looked over his shoulder again. “Neither of you would look well in a dress.” Surprisingly, the Maidens and Knife Hands laughed again, more loudly. Maybe he was getting a grip on Aiel humor.
Robert Jordan (Lord of Chaos (The Wheel of Time, #6))
To Poetry" Don’t desert me just because I stayed up last night watching The Lost Weekend. I know I’ve spent too much time praising your naked body to strangers and gossiping about lovers you betrayed. I’ve stalked you in foreign cities and followed your far-flung movements, pretending I could describe you. Forgive me for getting jacked on coffee and obsessing over your features year after jittery year. I’m sorry for handing you a line and typing you on a screen, but don’t let me suffer in silence. Does anyone still invoke the Muse, string a wooden lyre for Apollo, or try to saddle up Pegasus? Winged horse, heavenly god or goddess, indifferent entity, secret code, stored magic, pleasance and half wonder, hell, I have loved you my entire life without even knowing what you are or how—please help me—to find you.
Edward Hirsch
It’s time to ask why [the United States] is the only country in the world where we permit our children to be saddled with tens — sometimes hundreds — of thousands of dollars of debt before they begin to earn a penny.
F.H. Buckley
I can’t sleep,” he says so quietly that only I can hear. “I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep.” “Nor I.” “You neither?” “No.” “Truly?” “Yes.” He sighs a deep sigh, as if he is relieved. “Is this love then?” “I suppose so.” “I can’t eat.” “No.” “I can’t think of anything but you. I can’t go on another moment like this; I can’t ride out into battle like this. I am as foolish as a boy. I am mad for you, like a boy. I cannot be without you; I will not be without you. Whatever it costs me.” I can feel my color rising like heat in my cheeks, and for the first time in days I can feel myself smile. “I can’t think of anything but you,” I whisper. “Nothing. I thought I was sick.” The ring like a crown is heavy in my pocket, my headdress is pulling at my hair; but I stand without awareness, seeing nothing but him, feeling nothing but his warm breath on my cheek and scenting the smell of his horse, the leather of his saddle, and the smell of him: spices, rosewater, sweat. “I am mad for you,” he says. I feel my smile turn up my lips as I look into his face at last. “And I for you,” I say quietly. “Truly.
Philippa Gregory
I thought you'd be gone by now." Velkan "Hardly, I have to much to do." Esperetta "Such as?" Velkan "Apologize to you." Esperetta "Why would you do that?" Velkan "Because I'm stupid and pigheaded. Judgmental. Unforgiving. Mistrustful--you can stop me at anytime, you know?" Esperetta "Why should i? You're on quite a roll. Besides, you missed the worst flaw." Velkan "And that is?" Esperetta "Hotheaded." Velkan "I learned that one from you." Esperetta "How so?" Velkan "Remember that time you threw your boots into the fire because you had trouble getting them off?" "I never did that." Velkan "Yes, you did. You also gave your favorite saddle to the stable master because it scratched your leg as you dismounted and told him he could have it but, personally, you'd burn it, too." Esperetta
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Bites (Dark-Hunter #22.5; Hellchaser, #0.5; Dream-Hunter, #0.5; Were-Hunter, #3.5))
The view from my window was of a sloping green field, dotted with a few muddy sheep; the same lush, safe, soggy world that nearly fifteen years earlier was all Lulu, Damien, and I had ever known. Until Dad had said, "We're going to Botswana." I felt profoundly homesick, for the first time in my life. Knowing I'd be back, I'd never minded leaving before. There was the comforting thought of returning.
Robyn Scott (Twenty Chickens for a Saddle)
I spend a lot of time on my own thinking betwixt me and the saddle and I ain’t come up with much but I did come up with this—the difference between man and beast is we’re able to imagine the future and they’re not. But what makes us no better than em is we cain’t predict it.
Paul Lynch (Red Sky in Morning)
He settled into his saddle, then reluctantly looked my way again. “Jafir de Aldrid,” he answered. “And I am—” “I know who you are. You’re Morrighan.” He galloped off. It was another four years before I saw him again, and the whole of that time, I wondered how he knew my name.
Mary E. Pearson (Morrighan (The Remnant Chronicles, #0.5))
If there is something, though, if there is...well, I believe in the things I love...the feel of a good horse under me, the blue along those mountains over yonder, the firm, confident feel of a good gunbutt in my hand, the way the red gold of your hair looks against your throat. The creak of a saddle in the hot sun and the long riding, the way you feel when you come to the top of a ridge and look down across miles and miles of land you have never seen, or maybe no man has ever seen. I believe in the pleasant sound of running water, the way the leaves turn red in the fall. I believe in the smell of autumn leaves burning, and the crackle of a burning log. Sort of sounds like it was chuckling over the memories of a time when it was a tree. I like the sound of rain on a roof, and the look of a fire in a fireplace, and the embers of a campfire and coffee in the morning. I believe in the solid, hearty, healthy feel of a of a fist landing, the feel of a girl in my arms, warm and close. Those are the things that matter.
Louis L'Amour (Westward the Tide)
You’re a member of the collective! You’re a member of the collective!’ That’s right. But only while he’s alive. When the time comes for him to die, we release him from the collective. He may be a member, but he has to die alone. It’s only he who is saddled with the tumor, not the whole collective.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Cancer Ward)
An old man emerged from the ditch, a creature Of mud and wild autumn winds capering Like a hare across a bouldered field, across And through the stillness of time unhinged That sprawls patient and unexpected in the Place where battle lies spent, unmoving and Never again moving bodies strewn and Death-twisted like lost languages tracking Contorted glyphs on a barrow door, and he read well the aftermath, the disarticulated script Rent and dissolute the pillars of self toppled Like termite towers all spilled out round his Dancing feet, and he shouted in gleeful Revelation the truth he'd found, in these Red-fleshed pronouncements - “There is peace!” He shrieked. “There is peace!” and it was No difficult thing, where I sat in the saddle Above salt-rimed horseflesh to lift my crossbow Aim and loose the quarrel, skewering the madman To his proclamation. “Now,” said I, in the Silence that followed, “Now, there is peace.
Steven Erikson (Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5))
I put a saddle on my salad, and I rode my horseradish to Rhode Island, where I was just in time to be late. I think I left my time zone change in my Arizona iced tea, so all I have to offer you to drink is water that’s been redirected from the Colorado River through a series of pipes and political litigation.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
I am leaving this tower and returning home. When I speak with family, and comments are always the same, 'Won't you be glad to get back to the real world?' This is my question after two weeks of time, only two weeks, spent with prairie dogs, 'What is real?' What is real? These prairie dogs and the lives they live and have adapted to in grassland communities over time, deep time? What is real? A gravel pit adjacent to one of the last remaining protected prairie dog colonies in the world? A corral where cowboys in an honest day's work saddle up horses with prairie dogs under hoof for visitors to ride in Bryce Canyon National Park? What is real? Two planes slamming into the World Trade Center and the wake of fear that has never stopped in this endless war of terror? What is real? Forgiveness or revenge and the mounting deaths of thousands of human beings as America wages war in Afghanistan and Iraq? What is real? Steve's recurrence of lymphoma? A closet full of shoes? Making love? Making money? Making right with the world with the smallest of unseen gestures? How do we wish to live And with whom? What is real to me are these prairie dogs facing the sun each morning and evening in the midst of man-made chaos. What is real to me are the consequences of cruelty. What is real to me are the concentric circles of compassion and its capacity to bring about change. What is real to me is the power of our awareness when we are focused on something beyond ourselves. It is a shaft of light shining in a dark corner. Our ability to shift our perceptions and seek creative alternatives to the conundrums of modernity is in direct proportion to our empathy. Can we imagine, witness, and ultimately feel the suffering of another.
Terry Tempest Williams
What the Addict is seeking (though he doesn’t know it) is the ultimate and continuous “orgasm,” the ultimate and continuous “high.” This is why he rides from village to village and from adventure to adventure. This is why he goes from one woman to another. Each time his woman confronts him with her mortality, her finitude, her weakness and limitations, hence shattering his dream of this time finding the orgasm without end—in other words, when the excitement of the illusion of perfect union with her (with the world, with God) becomes tarnished—he saddles his horse and rides out looking for renewal of his ecstasy. He needs his “fix” of masculine joy. He really does. He just doesn’t know where to look for it. He ends by looking for his “spirituality” in a line of cocaine. Psychologists talk about the problems that stem from a man’s possession by the Addict as “boundary issues.” For the man possessed by the Addict, there are no boundaries. As we’ve said, the Lover does not want to be limited. And, when we are possessed by him, we cannot stand to be limited.
Robert L. Moore (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine)
Goods and chattel. The words from the leather book came into my head. We were like the gold leaf mirror and the horse saddle. Not full-fledge people. I didn’t believe this, never had believed it a day of my life, but if you listen to white folks long enough, some sad, beat-down part of you starts to wonder. All that pride about what we were worth left me then. For the first time, I felt the hurt and shame of just being who I was. After a while, I went down to the cellar. When mauma saw my raw eyes, she said, “Ain’t nobody can write down in a book what you worth.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings)
No," Foyle roared. "Let them hear this. Let them hear everything." "You're insane, man. You've handed a loaded gun to children." "Stop treating them like children and they'll stop behaving like children. Who the hell are you to play monitor?" "What are you talking about?" "Stop treating them like children. Explain the loaded gun to them. Bring it all out into the open." Foyle laughed savagely. "I've ended the last star-chamber conference in the world. I've blown that last secret wide open. No more secrets from now on.... No more telling the children what's best for them to know.... Let 'em all grow up. It's about time." "Christ, he is insane." "Am I? I've handed life and death back to the people who do the living and the dying. The common man's been whipped and led long enough by driven men like us.... Compulsive men... Tiger men who can't help lashing the world before them. We're all tigers, the three of us, but who the hell are we to make decisions for the world just because we're compulsive? Let the world make its own choice between life and death. Why should we be saddled with the responsibility?" "We're not saddled," Y'ang-Yeovil said quietly. "We're driven. We're forced to seize responsibility that the average man shirks." "Then let him stop shirking it. Let him stop tossing his duty and guilt onto the shoulders of the first freak who comes along grabbing at it. Are we to be scapegoats for the world forever?" "Damn you!" Dagenham raged. "Don't you realize that you can't trust people? They don't know enough for their own good." "Then let them learn or die. We're all in this together. Let's live together or die together." "D'you want to die in their ignorance? You've got to figure out how to get those slugs back without blowing everything wide open." "No. I believe in them. I was one of them before I turned tiger. They can all turn uncommon if they're kicked awake like I was.
Alfred Bester (The Stars My Destination)
We got to the moment when I wake up from being "mostly dead" and say: "I'll beat you both apart! I'll take you both together!", Fezzik cups my mouth with his hand, and answers his own question to Inigo as to how long it might be before Miracle Max's pill begins to take effect by stating: "I guess not very long." As soon as he delivered that line, there issued forth from Andre' one of the most monumental farts any of us had ever heard. Now I suppose you wouldn't expect a man of Andre's proportions to pass gas quietly or unobtrusively, but this particular one was truly epic, a veritable symphony of gastric distress that roared for more than several seconds and shook the very foundations of the wood and plaster set were now grabbing on to out of sheer fear. It was long enough and loud enough that every member of the crew had time to stop what they were doing and take notice. All I can say is that it was a wind that could have held up in comparison to the one Slim Pickens emitted int eh campfire scene in Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles, widely acknowledged as the champion of all cinematic farts. Except of course, this one wasn't in the script.
Cary Elwes (As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride)
Nothing is a masterpiece - a real masterpiece - till it's about two hundred years old. A picture is like a tree or a church, you've got to let it grow into a masterpiece. Same with a poem or a new religion. They begin as a lot of funny words. Nobody knows whether they're all nonsense or a gift from heaven. And the only people who think anything of 'em are a lot of cranks or crackpots, or poor devils who don't know enough to know anything. Look at Christianity. Just a lot of floating seeds to start with, all sorts of seeds. It was a long time before one of them grew into a tree big enough to kill the rest and keep the rain off. And it's only when the tree has been cut into planks and built into a house and the house has got pretty old and about fifty generations of ordinary lumpheads who don't know a work of art from a public convenience, have been knocking nails in the kitchen beams to hang hams on, and screwing hooks in the walls for whips and guns and photographs and calendars and measuring the children on the window frames and chopping out a new cupboard under the stairs to keep the cheese and murdering their wives in the back room and burying them under the cellar flags, that it begins even to feel like a religion. And when the whole place is full of dry rot and ghosts and old bones and the shelves are breaking down with old wormy books that no one could read if they tried, and the attic floors are bulging through the servants' ceilings with old trunks and top-boots and gasoliers and dressmaker's dummies and ball frocks and dolls-houses and pony saddles and blunderbusses and parrot cages and uniforms and love letters and jugs without handles and bridal pots decorated with forget-me-nots and a piece out at the bottom, that it grows into a real old faith, a masterpiece which people can really get something out of, each for himself. And then, of course, everybody keeps on saying that it ought to be pulled down at once, because it's an insanitary nuisance.
Joyce Cary (The Horse's Mouth)
We cleave our way through the mountains until the interstate dips into a wide basin brimming with blue sky, broken by dusty roads and rocky saddles strung out along the southern horizon. This is our first real glimpse of the famous big-sky country to come, and I couldn't care less. For all its grandeur, the landscape does not move me. And why should it? The sky may be big, it may be blue and limitless and full of promise, but it's also really far away. Really, it's just an illusion. I've been wasting my time. We've all been wasting our time. What good is all this grandeur if it's impermanent, what good all of this promise if it's only fleeting? Who wants to live in a world where suffering is the only thing that lasts, a place where every single thing that ever meant the world to you can be stripped away in an instant? And it will be stripped away, so don't fool yourself. If you're lucky, your life will erode slowly with the ruinous effects of time or recede like the glaciers that carved this land, and you will be left alone to sift through the detritus. If you are unlucky, your world will be snatched out from beneath you like a rug, and you'll be left with nowhere to stand and nothing to stand on. Either way, you're screwed. So why bother? Why grunt and sweat and weep your way through the myriad obstacles, why love, dream, care, when you're only inviting disaster? I'm done answering the call of whippoorwills, the call of smiling faces and fireplaces and cozy rooms. You won't find me building any more nests among the rose blooms. Too many thorns.
Jonathan Evison (The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving)
The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him on the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk but the third time someone calls you a horse, well then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle.
Schlomo, from Lucky Number Slevin
As soon as I entered the house, my wife took me in her arms, and kissed me; at which, having not been used to the touch of that odious animal for so many years, I fell into a swoon for almost an hour. At the time I am writing, it is five years since my last return to England. During the first year, I could not endure my wife or children in my presence; the very smell of them was intolerable; much less could I suffer them to eat in the same room. To this hour they dare not presume to touch my bread, or drink out of the same cup, neither was I ever able to let one of them take me by the hand. The first money I laid out was to buy two young stone-horses, which I keep in a good stable; and next to them, the groom is my greatest favourite, for I feel my spirits revived by the smell he contracts in the stable. My horses understand me tolerably well; I converse with them at least four hours every day. They are strangers to bridle or saddle; they live in great amity with me and friendship to each other.
Jonathan Swift (Guilliver's Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World)
The way I see it, every time a man gets up in the morning he starts his life over, Sure, the bills are there to pay, and the job is there to do, but you don't have to stay in a pattern. You can always start over, saddle a fresh horse and take another trail. ~Kearney McRaven
Louis L'Amour (The Proving Trail)
What a trio we are: wolf, dragon and . . .” Ronan bit back the word. Shifter. He sat straighter in the saddle, raising one hand in farewell as his mount broke through the last of the boundary mists. “May the gods favor us this time, my friend. Pray Mairi Sinclair is the one.
Maeve Greyson (My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts, #3))
The symptoms syphilis engendered worsened over time. In addition to the unsightly skin ulcers that pockmarked the body in the later stages of the disease, many victims endured paralysis, blindness, dementia, and “saddle nose,” a grotesque deformity that occurs when the bridge of the nose caves into the face. (Syphilis was so common that “no nose clubs” sprang up all over London. One newspaper reported that “an eccentric gentleman, having taken a fancy to see a large party of noseless persons, invited every one thus afflicted, whom he met in the streets, to dine on a certain day at a tavern, where he formed them into a brotherhood.” The man, who assumed the alias of Mr. Crampton for these clandestine parties, entertained his noseless friends every month for a year until his death, at which time the group “unhappily dissolved.”)
Lindsey Fitzharris (The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine)
Rooster here has missed Ned a few times himself, horse and all,' said the captain. 'I reckon his is on his way now to missing him again.' Rooster was holding a bottle with a little whiskey in it. He said, 'You keep on thinking that.' He drained off the whiskey in about three swallows and tapped the cork back in and tossed the bottle up in the air. He pulled his revolver and fired at it twice and missed. The bottle fell and rolled and Rooster shot at it two or three more times and broke it on the ground. He got out his sack of cartridges and reloaded his pistol. He said, 'The Chinaman is running them cheap shells in on me again.' LaBoeuf said, 'I thought maybe the sun was in your eyes. That is to say, your eye.' Rooster swung the cylinder back in his revolver and said, 'Eyes, is it? I'll show you eyes!' He jerked the sack of corn dodgers free from his saddle baggage. He got one of the dodgers out and flung it in the air and fired at it and missed. Then he flung another one up and he hit it. The corn dodger exploded. He was pleased with himself and he got a fresh bottle of whiskey from his baggage and treated himself to a drink. LaBoeuf pulled one of his revolvers and got two dodgers out of the sack and tossed them both up. He fired very rapidly but he only hit one. Captain Finch tried it with two and missed both of them. Then he tried with one and made a successful shot. Rooster shot at two and hit one. They drank whiskey and used up about sixty corn dodgers like that. None of them ever hit two at one throw with a revolver but Captain Finch finally did it with his Winchester repeating rifle, with somebody else throwing. It was entertaining for a while but there was nothing educational about it. I grew more and more impatient with them. I said, 'Come on, I have had my bait of this. I am ready to go. Shooting cornbread out here on this prairie is not taking us anywhere.' By then Rooster was using his rifle and the captain was throwing for him. 'Chunk high and not so far out this time,' said he.
Charles Portis (True Grit)
Abraxos hurtled in, wings spread as he made one pass and then a second, the canyon appearing too fast below. By the time he finished the second glide, almost close enough to touch that bloodstained leathery hide, Manon understood. He couldn’t stop Keelie—she was too heavy and he too small. Yet they could save Petrah. He’d seen Asterin make that jump, too. She had to get the unconscious witch out of the saddle. Abraxos roared at Keelie, and Manon could have sworn that he was speaking some alien language, bellowing some command, as Keelie made one final stand for her rider and leveled out flat. A landing platform. My Keelie, Petrah had said. Had smiled as she said it. Manon told herself it was for an alliance. Told herself it was for show. But all she could see was the unconditional love in that dying wyvern’s eyes as she unbuckled her harness, stood from the saddle, and leapt off Abraxos.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Laos is saddled with the distinction of one superlative: it is the most heavily bombed country on earth. During the nine-year secret war against the Communists, during the Vietnam War, the U. S. dropped 6,300,000 tons of bombs on Indochina, about 1/3 of which fell on Laos. It was the heaviest aerial bombardment in the history of warfare. During the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. rained more bombs on Laos than were dropped on Nazi Germany during World War II -- three times the tonnage dropped during the Korean War -- the equivalent of a plane load of bombs every 8 minutes around the clock for 9 years.
Sy Montgomery (Search for the Golden Moon Bear: Science and Adventure in Southeast Asia)
Occasionally the poster pictures a pair of cyclists; and then one grasps the fact how much superior for purposes of flirtation is the modern bicycle to the old-fashioned parlour or the played-out garden gate. He and she mount their bicycles, being careful, of course, that such are of the right make. After that they have nothing to think about but the old sweet tale. Down shady lanes, through busy towns on market days, merrily roll the wheels of the “Bermondsey Company’s Bottom Bracket Britain’s Best,” or of the “Camberwell Company’s Jointless Eureka.” They need no pedalling; they require no guiding. Give them their heads, and tell them what time you want to get home, and that is all they ask. While Edwin leans from his saddle to whisper the dear old nothings in Angelina’s ear, while Angelina’s face, to hide its blushes, is turned towards the horizon at the back, the magic bicycles pursue their even course.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men on the Bummel (Three Men #2))
That same nagging question comes to me at night: Am I or am I not hallucinating all this? Also, I have this urge to order a synthy about saddling giant rats. I keep seeing bridles, bits, sleek fur. Regret for a lost age of confusion in a time of such complete tranquility? Truly, the human soul is impossible to fathom.
Anonymous
As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty.... Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
Everett Ruess (Wilderness Journals of Everett Ruess)
Now I know why you have always desired to see Andilain at this time of year. The sweet fragrance of the trees blossoming remind me of the soft skin at your neck. If we should ever travel here I will insist on taking a carriage. You know how I detest riding horses and after two days my backside would be grateful if I never beheld a saddle again.
Jaime Buckley (Hobin Luckyfeller's Fieldguide: Demoni Vankil)
As soon as he delivered that line, there issued forth from André one of the most monumental farts any of us had ever heard. Now, I suppose you wouldn’t expect a man of André’s proportions to pass gas quietly or unobtrusively, but this particular one was truly epic, a veritable symphony of gastric distress that roared for more than several seconds and shook the very foundations of the wood and plaster set we were now grabbing on to out of sheer fear. It was long enough and loud enough that every member of the crew had time to stop what they were doing and take notice. All I can say is that it was a wind that could have held up in comparison to the one Slim Pickens emitted in the campfire scene in Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles, widely acknowledged as the champion of all cinematic farts.
Cary Elwes (As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride)
It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
He turned the cylinder of the Colt and listened to the small, clear clicks it made. The grip was wood, the barrel cool and blue; the holster had kept a faint smell of saddle soap. He slipped the gun back in its holster, put the gun belt around his waist and felt the gun’s solid weight against his hip. When he walked out into the lots to catch his horse, he felt grown and complete for the first time in his life.
Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove)
What's your name?" I asked as he mounted his horse. "You are nothing!" he answered, as if he'd heard a different question from my lips. He settled into his saddle, then reluctantly looked my way again. "Jafir de Aldrid," he answered. "And I am --" "I know who you are. "You're Morrighan." He galloped off. It was another four years before I saw him again, and the whole of that time, I wondered how he knew my name.
Mary E. Pearson (Morrighan (The Remnant Chronicles, #0.5))
In Tibet, we have a traditional image, the windhorse, which represents a balanced relationship between the wind and the mind. The horse represents wind and movement. On its saddle rides a precious jewel. That jewel is our mind. A jewel is a stone that is clear and reflects light. There is a solid, earthly element to it. You can pick it up in your hand, and at the same time you can see through it. These qualities represent the mind: it is both tangible and translucent. The mind is capable of the highest wisdom. It can experience love and compassion, as well as anger. It can understand history, philosophy, and mathematics—and also remember what’s on the grocery list. The mind is truly like a wish-fulfilling jewel. With an untrained mind, the thought process is said to be like a wild and blind horse: erratic and out of control. We experience the mind as moving all the time—suddenly darting off, thinking about one thing and another, being happy, being sad. If we haven’t trained our mind, the wild horse takes us wherever it wants to go. It’s not carrying a jewel on its back—it’s carrying an impaired rider. The horse itself is crazy, so it is quite a bizarre scene. By observing our own mind in meditation, we can see this dynamic at work. Especially in the beginning stages of meditation, we find it extremely challenging to control our mind. Even if we wish to control it, we have very little power to do so, like the infirm rider. We want to focus on the breathing, but the mind keeps darting off unexpectedly. That is the wild horse. The process of meditation is taming the horse so that it is in our control, while making the mind an expert rider.
Sakyong Mipham (Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind)
Bilbo and Frodo overcome the objections of the Baggins side of themselves in order to embrace the Quests that await them. Sometimes we have the same struggles as they do. The Took in us wants to pursue dreams, and the Baggins part wants to stay safe and conventional. Too often we heed the negative thinking that convinces us that we do not have the time, money, energy, or opportunity to make our desires come true. We think we have too many other obligations blocking our way. Sometimes we also saddle ourselves with the false guilt that tells us it is not right to do anything for ourselves, especially if we have a family to take care of first. We must not abandon our true responsibilities, of course, but would it not be better if we could fulfill them in a way that fed our soul and not just our pocketbook and got us excited about going to work rather than dreading the drudgery?
Anne Marie Gazzolo (Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings)
You must give yourself enough time to get better.” “How much time will that take?” he asked bitterly. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “But you have a lifetime.” A caustic laugh broke from him. “That’s too damned long.” “I understand that you feel responsible for what happened to Mark. But you’ve already been forgiven for whatever you think your sins are. You have,” she insisted as he shook his head. “Love forgives all things. And so many people--” She stopped as she felt his entire body jerk. “What did you say?” she heard him whisper. Beatrix realized the mistake she had just made. Her arms fell away from him. The blood began to roar in her ears, her heart thumping so madly she felt faint. Without thinking, she scrambled away from him, off the bed, to the center of the room. Breathing in frantic bursts, Beatrix turned to face him. Christopher was staring at her, his eyes gleaming with a strange, mad light. “I knew it,” he whispered. She wondered if he might try to kill her. She decided not to wait to find out. Fear gave her the speed of a terrified hare. She bolted before he could catch her, tearing to the door, flinging it open, and scampering to the grand staircase. Her boots made absurdly loud thuds on the stairs as she leaped downward. Christopher followed her to the threshold, bellowing her name. Beatrix didn’t pause for a second, knowing he was going to pursue her as soon as he donned his clothes. Mrs. Clocker stood near the entrance hall, looking worried and astonished. “Miss Hathaway? What--” “I think he’ll come out of his room now,” Beatrix said rapidly, jumping down the last of the stairs. “It’s time for me to be going.” “Did he…are you…” “If he asks for his horse to be saddled,” Beatrix said breathlessly, “please have it done slowly.” “Yes, but--” Good-bye.” And Beatrix raced from the house as if demons were at her heels.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Elizabeth smiled warmly. "For you I will allow it, Mr. Trask. How is your wife, sir? Still putting up with you, or has she finally come to her senses and run away?" Trask laughed, slapping his knee. "I see married life has not tamed that wit of yours, Miss Elizabeth! Well done! Your poor hus- band, to be saddled with such a wench!" Lizzy assumed a mournful face. "Yes, it is a tragic affair. It is merely a matter of time ere a cell at Bedlam will be his home.
Sharon Lathan (Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley (Darcy Saga #2))
Simply having an understanding up front about what we were really trying to achieve and what our boundaries were kept us from wasting each other’s time, saddling each other with burdensome requests, and distracting each other from the things that were essential to us. As a result, we were each able to make our highest level of contribution on the project – and we got along famously, despite our differences, throughout the process. With practice, enforcing your limits will become easier and easier.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
1 I don't believe in omens or fear Forebodings. I flee from neither slander Nor from poison. Death does not exist. Everyone's immortal. Everything is too. No point in fearing death at seventeen, Or seventy. There's only here and now, and light; Neither death, nor darkness, exists. We're all already on the seashore; I'm one of those who'll be hauling in the nets When a shoal of immortality swims by. 2 If you live in a house - the house will not fall. I'll summon any of the centuries, Then enter one and build a house in it. That's why your children and your wives Sit with me at one table, - The same for ancestor and grandson: The future is being accomplished now, If I raise my hand a little, All five beams of light will stay with you. Each day I used my collar bones For shoring up the past, as though with timber, I measured time with geodetic chains And marched across it, as though it were the Urals. 3 I tailored the age to fit me. We walked to the south, raising dust above the steppe; The tall weeds fumed; the grasshopper danced, Touching its antenna to the horse-shoes - and it prophesied, Threatening me with destruction, like a monk. I strapped my fate to the saddle; And even now, in these coming times, I stand up in the stirrups like a child. I'm satisfied with deathlessness, For my blood to flow from age to age. Yet for a corner whose warmth I could rely on I'd willingly have given all my life, Whenever her flying needle Tugged me, like a thread, around the globe.
Arseny Tarkovsky (Life, Life: Selected Poems)
As I hurried along I was thinking how great it was to earn real money I don't have to ask my parents for. At last! I've worked out that I could probably handle as many as four dogs at a time. If I take them out just on school days I could earn 200 euros a week for five hours' work and have the weekends free to shop and spend it. It's going to be brilliant.I should have asked Stephanie what kind of dog it was. I eyeballed a Great Dane warily, my face about level with its. Bloody hell it was huge. Size of a pony. Wasn't sure whether I was expected to walk it or stick a saddle on its back and ride the thing.
Liz Rettig (My Rocky Romance Diary (Diaries of Kelly Ann, #4))
Romance Sonambulo" Green, how I want you green. Green wind. Green branches. The ship out on the sea and the horse on the mountain. With the shade around her waist she dreams on her balcony, green flesh, her hair green, with eyes of cold silver. Green, how I want you green. Under the gypsy moon, all things are watching her and she cannot see them. Green, how I want you green. Big hoarfrost stars come with the fish of shadow that opens the road of dawn. The fig tree rubs its wind with the sandpaper of its branches, and the forest, cunning cat, bristles its brittle fibers. But who will come? And from where? She is still on her balcony green flesh, her hair green, dreaming in the bitter sea. —My friend, I want to trade my horse for her house, my saddle for her mirror, my knife for her blanket. My friend, I come bleeding from the gates of Cabra. —If it were possible, my boy, I’d help you fix that trade. But now I am not I, nor is my house now my house. —My friend, I want to die decently in my bed. Of iron, if that’s possible, with blankets of fine chambray. Don’t you see the wound I have from my chest up to my throat? —Your white shirt has grown thirsty dark brown roses. Your blood oozes and flees a round the corners of your sash. But now I am not I, nor is my house now my house. —Let me climb up, at least, up to the high balconies; Let me climb up! Let me, up to the green balconies. Railings of the moon through which the water rumbles. Now the two friends climb up, up to the high balconies. Leaving a trail of blood. Leaving a trail of teardrops. Tin bell vines were trembling on the roofs. A thousand crystal tambourines struck at the dawn light. Green, how I want you green, green wind, green branches. The two friends climbed up. The stiff wind left in their mouths, a strange taste of bile, of mint, and of basil My friend, where is she—tell me— where is your bitter girl? How many times she waited for you! How many times would she wait for you, cool face, black hair, on this green balcony! Over the mouth of the cistern the gypsy girl was swinging, green flesh, her hair green, with eyes of cold silver. An icicle of moon holds her up above the water. The night became intimate like a little plaza. Drunken “Guardias Civiles” were pounding on the door. Green, how I want you green. Green wind. Green branches. The ship out on the sea. And the horse on the mountain.
Federico García Lorca (The Selected Poems)
Ronan shifted in the saddle, wishing for the thousandth time his heritage had been different. What would life have been like if he hadna been cursed whilst still in the womb? A great deal shorter. His bitter laugh misted in the cooling air of the early evening wood. Born in A.D. 900, the curse had accompanied him through three centuries searching for the one prophesied to set him free... The royal line would die out until the day the young wolf cub discovered how to shift into the form of a man and find the woman possessing three specific qualities: lightness of step, a soothing touch, and sight for the unseen.
Maeve Greyson (My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts, #3))
There was nothing wrong with being able to handle things herself. Nothing wrong with wanting to.And she did appreciate Brian's help. And she didn't need caffeine. "I like caffeine," she grumbled. "I enjoy it, and that's entirely different from needing it.Entirely.I could give it up anytime I wanted, and I'd barely miss it." Annoyed,she snagged the soft drink she'd left on a shelf and guzzled. All right,so maybe she would miss it. But only beause she liked the taste. It wasn't like a craving or an addiction or... She couldn't say why Brian popped into her head just then.She was certain if he'd seen her staring in a kind of horror at a soft drink bottle, he'd have been amused.It was debatable what his reaction would be if he'd realized she wasn't actually seeing the bottle, but his face. No,that wasn't a need, either, she thought quickly. She did not need Brian Donnelly. It was attraction.Affection-a cautious kind of affection.He was a man who interested her, and whom she admired in many ways. But it wasn't as if she needed... "Oh God." It had to be overreaction, she decided, and set the bottle aside as carefully as she would have a container of nitro. What she was going through was something as simple as overromanticizing an affair. That would be natural enough, she told herself, particularly sice this was her first. She didn't want to be in love with him. She began wielding the pitchfork vigorously now, as if to sweat out a fever.She didn't choose to be in love with him. That was even more important.When her hands trembled she ignored them and worked harder still. By the time her mother joined her, Keeley had herself under control enough to casually ask Adelia to work in the office while she exervised Sam. Keeley Grant had never run from a problem in her life,and she wasn't about to start now.She saddled her mount,then rode off to clear her head before she dealt with the problem at hand.
Nora Roberts (Irish Hearts (Irish Hearts #1 & 2))
It is the sheer weight of the robot that makes us feel we are living in a ‘wooden world’. We can see for example that the moment Ouspensky or Ward returned from the mystical realm of perfect freedom and found themselves ‘back in the body’ they once again found themselves saddled with all their boring old habits and worries and neuroses, all their old sense of identity built up from the reactions of other people, and above all the dreary old heaviness, as if consciousness has turned into a leaden weight. This is the sensation that made the romantics feel that life is a kind of hell — or at the very least, purgatory. Yet we know enough about the robot to know that this feeling is as untrustworthy as the depression induced by a hangover. The trouble with living ‘on the robot’ is that he is a dead weight. He takes over only when our energies are low. So when I do something robotically I get no feedback of sudden delight. This in turn makes me feel that it was not worth doing. ‘Stan’ reacts by failing to send up energy and ‘Ollie’ experiences a sinking feeling. Living becomes even more robotic and the vicious circle effect is reinforced. Beyond a certain point we feel as if we are cut off from reality by a kind of glass wall: suddenly it seems self-evident that there is nothing new under the sun, that all human effort is vanity, that man is a useless passion and that life is a horrible joke devised by some demonic creator. This is the state I have decribed as ‘upside-downness’, the tendency to allow negative emotional judgements to usurp the place of objective rational judgements. Moreover this depressing state masquerades as the ‘voice of experience’, since it seems obvious that you ‘know’ more about an experience when you’ve had it a hundred times. This is the real cause of death in most human beings: they mistake the vicious circle effects of ‘upside-downness’ for the wisdom of age, and give up the struggle.
Colin Wilson (Beyond the Occult: Twenty Years' Research into the Paranormal)
Dear Fiona, When’s the last time you got laid? You don’t remember, do you? Same here. Being sick will really put a damper on your love life, if you know what I mean. I really miss having fun with a hot guy. I’m sure you do too, right? Well, it’s about time to get back on the saddle. Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to go on Tinder or Craigslist or anything like that. I already have someone picked out for you. Remember that hot guy who works at the tattoo shop across from the bar? Yeah, that guy. I’m not asking you to fall in love with him, but get laid for fuck’s sake. Next to it is a smiley face emoji. Have fun and be safe! Love always, Kia
Penny Wylder (Dirty Promise)
Over the years I have occasionally lost my way during times of tribulation. Even though I knew I had found something that works, I quit doing it. Instead of the new man calling the shots the old man was forcing his will. I learned that times of fasting were required to deliver me from unbelief when the old man wouldn’t get out of the saddle. I discovered that fasting is the meat tenderizer of the flesh. In combination with praying in the Holy Ghost, fasting can defeat whatever resistance the flesh might muster up. Praying in the Holy Ghost restores divine order by knocking the old man off the horse and restoring the prince to his rightful place in the saddle.
Frank Hanks (Training Wheels: God's Methods for training His children to be miracle workers)
What are you smiling about?" Rider asked. Willow glanced at him and flushed. "That must have been some daydream you were having." If you only knew, Willow thought. "Come on, Freckles, it's time you get back to the ranch. I have work to do." His big work-roughened hand swallowed hers as he helped her to her feet. Against her will, her body responded to its warmth. She snatched her hand away, garnering a searching expression in his dark brown eyes. She quickly excused her reaction with a flirty smile. "I promised not to touch you, remember?" "Yes,but I dont't recall promising not to touch you." He wiggled his brows in a comical imitation of an evil villain in a bad play. She laughed and shook her head. "Help me mount Sugar before I decide to wipe that grin off your face." "And how do you propose to do that?" he asked, retrieving the horses and returning to he side. He bent down, cupped his hands, and boosted her into the mare's saddle. "You weren't planning on slapping my face again, I hope," he said, reaching for Sultan's reins. "Oh,no, nothing like that." She batted her lashes coquettishly, the affect intensified by the naughty twinkle in her eyes. "You better stop looking at me like that, or I'll have to follow Sultan's example and break down your door tonight." "I don't think Juan would be too happy about making me two new doors. It wasn't easy explaining what happened to the first one!
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
What are ye doing, lass?” His voice was so soft and close in the darkness, it made her shiver. She forgot all about the hard floor. “I always imagined that once I got married, I’d finally know what it was like to spend the night in a man’s arms. Will you hold me, so I can feel what that’s like? I won’t ask for more than that. Just hold me.” He rolled to face her and touched her cheek. “Ah, lass,” he sighed. “How can I deny you when you ask so sweetly? If ’tis holding ye want, holding you shall get. But the floor is no place for you and your bairn. Up in the bed with you.” “It’s no place for a married man, either,” she said, smiling at her small victory. He sighed again, a sound heavy with sentiment she could only guess at. She climbed under the blankets and held them up for him, but he was taking his sweet time. “Are you coming?” “Aye, lass. Just donning my plaid.” She bit back a huff of frustration. She determined to enjoy what little affection he would give her and didn’t want to push her luck by asking for more. Her hormones would have to learn patience; this was going to be a painfully slow seduction. When Darcy slipped into bed, bare-chested, but wrapped in layers of wool from the waist down, she cuddled into his open arms. All her frustration drained away as he gathered her in and the heat of his chest turned her into a melty puddle of contentment. She nestled her nose into the tuft of hair between his mounded pectorals and inhaled his scent of saddle leather and faint, masculine musk. Beneath her closed eyelids, her eyes rolled back in her head with bliss.
Jessi Gage (Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes Book 1))
Vegetarians.” Cookie muttered something under his breath. “I ain’t cooking no tofu. I’ll quit first.” “Fine by me. You cook what you like. I just wanted you to know.” “Vegetarians.” Cookie washed his hands, then attacked the lettuce. Frank walked into the kitchen. “Everything’s all set, boss. Tents, saddles, supplies. Cookie’s wagon is loaded, except for the fresh stuff. We have a schedule set up. You’ll get a delivery every afternoon.” Zane nodded. “You get a look at the folks?” His second in command did his best to keep his expression neutral, but Zane saw the corner of Frank’s mouth twitch. “You mean the fact that you’ve got to deal with Maya’s mouth, some old ladies and a couple of kids?” Cookie picked up a lethal-looking knife, then reached for several tomatoes. “You left out the good part, Zane. Tell him about the damn nut eaters.” When Frank looked confused, Zane shrugged. “Vegetarians.” This time Frank’s entire mouth jerked, but he controlled his humor. “Sounds interesting.” “Tits are interesting, boy,” Cookie growled. “Vegetarians are just plain stupid. If people want to eat leaves and grubs, then they should go live in the forest. Root around with those ugly truffle pigs and get away from my table.” “What time is supper?” Zane asked. Cookie snarled something under his breath, then walked to the back door and stuck his head out. “Billy, you got that there barbecue ready yet, boy?” “Yes, sir. Coals are hot and gray. You wanted them gray, didn’t you, Cookie?” “What color gray?” There was a pause. “Sort of medium.” “Huh.” Cookie closed the back door and grinned at Zane. “I screw with him because he makes it so easy.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
.....I'm certain I asked for a cowboy one December past-- For I wanted the excitement of pioneers to last; I ached to sing with a fiddle, speak with a drawl and twang; I surely requested John Wayne to be part of my gang. Of course I dreamed of a cowboy in those Yuletides of yore-- For I wanted that ace, that corral fighter, that scout roar; I ached for the authentic frontier hero of the West; I surely requested the sacred battleground's finest. I did pray Santa'd give me a cowboy some time ago-- For I wanted a legend in denim wrangler for beau; I ached to be rounded up safely by my saddled knight; I surely requested I be prospected, mined, settled right... -----excerpted from the poem 'A Cowboy For Christmas' in the book FROM GUAM TO CROWN CITY CORONADO (THANKS TO HERMANN, MISSOURI): A JOURNEY IN POESY, by Mariecor Ruediger
Mariecor Ruediger
This determination that nurturing should become exclusively a concern of women served to signify to both sexes that neither nurture nor womanhood was very important. But the assignment to women of a kind of work that was thought both onerous and trivial was only the beginning of their exploitation. As the persons exclusively in charge of the tasks of nurture, women often came into sole charge of the household budget; they became family purchasing agents. The time of the household barterer was past. Kitchens were now run on a cash economy. Women had become customers, a fact not long wasted on the salesmen, who saw that in these women they had customers of a new and most promising kind. The modern housewife was isolated from her husband, from her school-age children, and from other women. She was saddled with work from which much of the skill, hence much of the dignity, had been withdrawn, and which she herself was less and less able to consider important. She did not know what her husband did at work, or after work, and she knew that her life was passing in his regardlessness and in his absence. Such a woman was ripe for a sales talk: this was the great commercial insight of modern times. Such a woman must be told — or subtly made to understand — that she must not be a drudge, that she must not let her work affect her looks, that she must not become “unattractive,” that she must always be fresh, cheerful, young, shapely, and pretty. All her sexual and mortal fears would thus be given voice, and she would be made to reach for money. What was implied was always the question that a certain bank finally asked outright in a billboard advertisement: “Is your husband losing interest?
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)
It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags and with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workmen. Every shop and cafe had an inscription saying that it had been collectivized; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said 'Señor' or 'Don' or even 'Usted'; everyone called everyone else 'Comrade' or 'Thou', and said 'Salud!' instead of 'Buenos días'. Tipping had been forbidden by law since the time of Primo de Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotel manager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars, they had all been commandeered, and the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. Down the Ramblas, the wide central artery of the town where crowds of people streamed constantly to and from, the loud-speakers were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night. And it was the aspect of the crowds that was the queerest thing of all. In outward appearance it was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically ceased to exist. Except for a small number of women and foreigners there were no 'well-dressed' people at all. Practically everyone wore rough working-class clothes, or blue overalls or some variant of militia uniform. All this was queer and moving. There was much in this that I did not understand, in some ways I did not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for...so far as one could judge the people were contented and hopeful. There was no unemployment, and the price of living was still extremely low; you saw very few conspicuously destitute people, and no beggars except the gypsies. Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom. Human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
I can’t sleep,” he says so quietly that only I can hear. “I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep.” “Nor I.” “You neither?” “No.” “Truly?” “Yes.” He sighs a deep sigh, as if he is relieved. “Is this love then?” “I suppose so.” “I can’t eat.” “No.” “I can’t think of anything but you. I can’t go on another moment like this; I can’t ride out into battle like this. I am as foolish as a boy. I am mad for you, like a boy. I cannot be without you; I will not be without you. Whatever it costs me.” I can feel my color rising like heat in my cheeks, and for the first time in days I can feel myself smile. “I can’t think of anything but you,” I whisper. “Nothing. I thought I was sick.” The ring like a crown is heavy in my pocket, my headdress is pulling at my hair; but I stand without awareness, seeing nothing but him, feeling nothing but his warm breath on my cheek and scenting the smell of his horse, the leather of his saddle, and the smell of him: spices, rosewater, sweat. “I am mad for you,” he says. I feel my smile turn up my lips as I look into his face at last. “And I for you,” I say quietly. “Truly.” “Well then, marry me.” “What?” “Marry me. There is nothing else for it.” I give a nervous little laugh. “You are joking with me.” “I mean it. I think I will die if I don’t have you. Will you marry me?” “Yes,” I breathe. “Tomorrow morning, I will ride in early. Marry me tomorrow morning at your little chapel. I will bring my chaplain, you bring witnesses. Choose someone you can trust. It will have to be a secret for a while. Do you want to?” “Yes.” For the first time he smiles, a warm beam that spreads across his fair broad face. “Good God, I could take you in my arms right now,” he says. “Tomorrow,” I whisper. “At nine in the morning,” he says.
Philippa Gregory (The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2))
Brian Doyle about the Irish custom of “taking to the bed.” He says “In Irish culture, taking to the bed with a gray heart is not considered especially odd. People did and do it for understandable reasons—ill health, or the black dog, or, most horrifyingly, to die during An Gorta Mor, the great hunger, when whole families took to their beds to slowly starve…And in our time: I know a woman who took to her bed for a week after September eleventh, and people who have taken to their beds for days on end to recover from shattered love affairs, the death of a child, a physical injury that heals far faster than the psychic wound gaping under it. I’ve done it myself twice, once as a youth and once as a man, to think through a troubled time in my marriage. Something about the rectangularity of the bed, perhaps, or supinity, or silence, or timelessness; for when you are in bed but not asleep there is no time, as lovers and insomniacs know. Yet, anxious, heartsick, we take to the bed, saddled by despair and dissonance and disease, riddled by muddledness and madness, rattled by malaise and misadventure, and in the ancient culture of my forbears this was not so unusual….For from the bed we came and to it we shall return, and our nightly voyages there are nutritious and restorative, and we have taken to our beds for a thousand other reasons, loved and argued and eater and seethed there, and sang and sobbed and suckled, and burned with fevers and visions and lust, and huddled and howled and curled and prayed. As children we all, every one of us, pretended the bed was a boat; so now, when we are so patently and persistently and daily at sea, why not seek a ship? p. 119-20 Brian Doyle in The Wet Engine: Exploring the Mad Wild Miracle of the Heart, p. 90-91
Brian Doyle (The Wet Engine: Exploring Mad Wild Miracle of Heart)
To anyone who had been there since the beginning it probably seemed even in December or January that the revolutionary period was ending; but when one came straight from England the aspect of Barcelona was something startling and overwhelming. It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties; almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workman. Every shop and cafe had an inscription saying that it had been collectivised; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said 'Sen~or' or 'Don' ort even 'Usted'; everyone called everyone else 'Comrade' or 'Thou', and said 'Salud!' instead of 'Buenos dias'. Tipping had been forbidden by law since the time of Primo de Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotel manager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars, they had all been commandeered, and the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. Down the Ramblas, the wide central artery of the town where crowds of people streamed constantly to and fro, the loud-speakers were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night. And it was the aspect of the crowds that was the queerest thing of all. In outward appearance it was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically ceased to exist. Except for a small number of women and foreigners there were no 'well-dressed' people at all. Practically everyone wore rough working-class clothes, or blue overalls or some variant of militia uniform. All this was queer and moving. There was much in this that I did not understand, in some ways I did not not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for. Also, I believed that things were as they appeared, that this was really a workers' State and that the entire bourgeoisie had either fled, been killed or voluntarily come over to the workers' side; I did not realise that great numbers of well-to-do bourgeois were simply lying low and disguising themselves as proletarians for the time being.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
Just make sure it’s Sia this time though, yeah?” AK prompted. Viking rolled his eyes. “They have the same fucking hair, okay?” “What you talking about?” Cowboy asked, mounting his Chopper. “This fucker.” AK pointed at Vike and started laughing. “Got fucked up on bourbon at Styx’s wedding and walked up to Sia at the bar. Started whispering in her ear and stroking her hair, tried to rub his cock against her back.” “Just trying to show her the goods,” Vike mumbled. A wave of jealousy took hold of me as I imagined Vike touching Sia. She’d sat with me and Cowboy at most of that wedding. I hadn’t seen Vike go near her. She hadn’t stayed out long, choosing to go back to her brother’s cabin with Lilah— “Only it wasn’t Sia, was it, Vike?” A red blush coated Vike’s cheeks. It was the only time I’d ever seen the fucker embarrassed. He stood off his saddle, and admitted, “Look, her and Ky look real fucking identical from the back, okay?” AK and Cowboy burst out laughing,
Tillie Cole (Crux Untamed (Hades Hangmen, #6))
There’s no use in talking about the plan, because of course nothing went the way it was supposed to. Even the passage of time was horribly distorted. At first the ride to the hill seemed endless, with me sneaking looks at my brother, who was increasingly unsteady in his saddle. The Marquis insisted on riding in front of us the last little distance, where we saw a row of four horse riders waiting--the outer two bearing banners, dripping from the rain, but the flags’ green and gold still brilliant, and the inner two riders brawny and cruel faced and very much at ease, wearing the plumed helms of command. “I just wanted to see if you traitors would dare to face me,” Galdran said, his caustic voice making me feel sick inside. Sick--and angry. The Marquis bowed low over his horse’s withers, every line of his body indicative of irony. Galdran’s face flushed dark purple. “I confess,” Shevraeth drawled, “we had a small wager on whether you would have the courage to face us.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
And now there’s another thing you got to learn,” said the Ape. “I hear some of you are saying I’m an Ape. Well, I’m not. I’m a Man. If I look like an Ape, that’s because I’m so very old: hundreds and hundreds of years old. And it’s because I’m so old that I’m so wise. And it’s because I’m so wise that I’m the only one Aslan is ever going to speak to. He can’t be bothered talking to a lot of stupid animals. He’ll tell me what you’ve got to do, and I’ll tell the rest of you. And take my advice, and see you do it in double quick time, for he doesn’t mean to stand any nonsense.” There was dead silence except for the noise of a very young badger crying and its mother trying to make it keep quiet. “And now here’s another thing,” the Ape went on, fitting a fresh nut into its cheek, “I hear some of the horses are saying, Let’s hurry up and get this job of carting timber over as quickly as we can, and then we’ll be free again. Well, you can get that idea out of your heads at once. And not only the Horses either. Everybody who can work is going to be made to work in future. Aslan has it all settled with the King of Calormen—The Tisroc, as our dark faced friends the Calormenes call him. All you Horses and Bulls and Donkeys are to be sent down into Calormen to work for your living—pulling and carrying the way horses and such-like do in other countries. And all you digging animals like Moles and Rabbits and Dwarfs are going down to work in The Tisroc’s mines. And—” “No, no, no,” howled the Beasts. “It can’t be true. Aslan would never sell us into slavery to the King of Calormen.” “None of that! Hold your noise!” said the Ape with a snarl. “Who said anything about slavery? You won’t be slaves. You’ll be paid—very good wages too. That is to say, your pay will be paid into Aslan’s treasury and he will use it all for everybody’s good.” Then he glanced, and almost winked, at the chief Calormene. The Calormene bowed and replied, in the pompous Calormene way: “Most sapient Mouthpiece of Aslan, The Tisroc (may-he-live-forever) is wholly of one mind with your lordship in this judicious plan.” “There! You see!” said the Ape. “It’s all arranged. And all for your own good. We’ll be able, with the money you earn, to make Narnia a country worth living in. There’ll be oranges and bananas pouring in—and roads and big cities and schools and offices and whips and muzzles and saddles and cages and kennels and prisons—Oh, everything.” “But we don’t want all those things,” said an old Bear. “We want to be free. And we want to hear Aslan speak himself.” “Now don’t you start arguing,” said the Ape, “for it’s a thing I won’t stand. I’m a Man: you’re only a fat, stupid old Bear. What do you know about freedom? You think freedom means doing what you like. Well, you’re wrong. That isn’t true freedom. True freedom means doing what I tell you.” “H-n-n-h,” grunted the Bear and scratched its head; it found this sort of thing hard to understand.
C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
Lan leaned against his saddle with apparent casualness, but one hand rested ostentatiously on the long hilt of his sword. There was an air about him of a metal spring, compressed, waiting. Rand hurriedly copied the Warder’s pose—at least insofar as putting his hand on his sword. He did not think he could achieve that deadly-seeming slouch. They’d probably laugh if I tried. Perrin eased his axe in its leather loop and planted his feet deliberately. Mat put a hand to his quiver, though Rand was not sure what condition his bowstring was in after being out in all this damp. Thom Merrilin stepped forward grandly and held up one empty hand, turning it slowly. Suddenly he gestured with a flourish, and a dagger twirled between his fingers. The hilt slapped into his palm, and, abruptly nonchalant, he began trimming his fingernails. A low, delighted laugh floated from Moiraine. Egwene clapped as if watching a performance at Festival, then stopped and looked abashed, though her mouth twitched with a smile just the same.
Robert Jordan (The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1))
A handsome prince fights a terrible, beautiful dragon and slays him then carries the head home strapped to his saddle. The lesson is obvious. When one is a monster, one does well to beware knights in shining armor. A good lesson for Eleanor." Zach heard the meaning behind Søren's words. "Nora is not a monster. She's not perfect obviously. But she's a good person, and to call her a monster is ridiculous." "You know her that well, do you?" Soren asked, turning to face him full-on. "Before tonight she scared you, didn't she? Her fearlessness, her brazeness, I'm sure it's terrifying at first. Foreign to those who lead proverbial life of quiet desperation as I imagine you do. She scared you with the sheer force of her life and being. But now you look around and think her courage is merely a byproduct of her damage. You imagine I abused her, changed her. And you would save her, as Wesley imagines he can? You would be her knight in shining armor? Yes, before you feared her and now you pity her. I assure you, Zachary, you were right the first time.
Tiffany Reisz (The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1))
ONCE, a youth went to see a wise man, and said to him: “I have come seeking advice, for I am tormented by feelings of worthlessness and no longer wish to live. Everyone tells me that I am a failure and a fool. I beg you, Master, help me!” The wise man glanced at the youth, and answered hurriedly: “Forgive me, but I am very busy right now and cannot help you. There is one urgent matter in particular which I need to attend to...”—and here he stopped, for a moment, thinking, then added: “But if you agree to help me, I will happily return the favor.” “Of...of course, Master!” muttered the youth, noting bitterly that yet again his concerns had been dismissed as unimportant. “Good,” said the wise man, and took off a small ring with a beautiful gem from his finger. “Take my horse and go to the market square! I urgently need to sell this ring in order to pay off a debt. Try to get a decent price for it, and do not settle for anything less than one gold coin! Go right now, and come back as quick as you can!” The youth took the ring and galloped off. When he arrived at the market square, he showed it to the various traders, who at first examined it with close interest. But no sooner had they heard that it would sell only in exchange for gold than they completely lost interest. Some of the traders laughed openly at the boy; others simply turned away. Only one aged merchant was decent enough to explain to him that a gold coin was too high a price to pay for such a ring, and that he was more likely to be offered only copper, or at best, possibly silver. When he heard these words, the youth became very upset, for he remembered the old man’s instruction not to accept anything less than gold. Having already gone through the whole market looking for a buyer among hundreds of people, he saddled the horse and set off. Feeling thoroughly depressed by his failure, he returned to see the wise man. “Master, I was unable to carry out your request,” he said. “At best I would have been able to get a couple of silver coins, but you told me not to agree to anything less than gold! But they told me that this ring is not worth that much.” “That’s a very important point, my boy!” the wise man responded. “Before trying to sell a ring, it would not be a bad idea to establish how valuable it really is! And who can do that better than a jeweler? Ride over to him and find out what his price is. Only do not sell it to him, regardless of what he offers you! Instead, come back to me straightaway.” The young man once more leapt up on to the horse and set off to see the jeweler. The latter examined the ring through a magnifying glass for a long time, then weighed it on a set of tiny scales. Finally, he turned to the youth and said: “Tell your master that right now I cannot give him more than 58 gold coins for it. But if he gives me some time, I will buy the ring for 70.” “70 gold coins?!” exclaimed the youth. He laughed, thanked the jeweler and rushed back at full speed to the wise man. When the latter heard the story from the now animated youth, he told him: “Remember, my boy, that you are like this ring. Precious, and unique! And only a real expert can appreciate your true value. So why are you wasting your time wandering through the market and heeding the opinion of any old fool?
William Mougayar (The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology)
I found Bran in the courtyard below. Two fresh, mettlesome horses awaited us, and Bran had a bag at his belt. Shevraeth himself was there to bid us farewell--a courtesy I could have done without. Impatient to be gone, I stayed silent as he and my brother exchanged some last words. Then, at last, Shevraeth stepped back. “Do you remember the route?” Bran nodded. “Well enough. My thanks again--” He looked over at me, then sighed. “Another time, I trust.” I realized then that he actually liked the Marquis--that in some wise (as much as a Court decoration and an honest man ill trained in the niceties of high society could) they had become friends. Shevraeth turned to me, bowed. There was no irony visible in face or manner as he wished me a safe journey. I felt my face go hot as I gritted out a stilted “Thank you.” Then I turned in my saddle and my horse spun about. Branaric was with me in a moment, and side-by-side we rode out. And in silence we began our journey. The horses seemed to want speed, which gladdened my heart. I turned my back on the terraced city with its thundering fall; faced west and home.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
At the same time, surveillance will change the very nature of insurance. Insurance is an industry, traditionally, that draws on the majority of the community to respond to the needs of an unfortunate minority. In the villages we lived in centuries ago, families, religious groups, and neighbors helped look after each other when fire, accident, or illness struck. In the market economy, we outsource this care to insurance companies, which keep a portion of the money for themselves and call it profit. As insurance companies learn more about us, they’ll be able to pinpoint those who appear to be the riskiest customers and then either drive their rates to the stratosphere or, where legal, deny them coverage. This is a far cry from insurance’s original purpose, which is to help society balance its risk. In a targeted world, we no longer pay the average. Instead, we’re saddled with anticipated costs. Instead of smoothing out life’s bumps, insurance companies will demand payment for those bumps in advance. This undermines the point of insurance, and the hits will fall especially hard on those who can least afford them.
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
What if Mike pitches a fit at the reception? What if he causes a scene? Did I pack enough shoes for the honeymoon? What if I don’t like living in the country? Am I supposed to plant a garden? I don’t know how to saddle a horse. What if I feel out of place? I never learned how to square dance. Is it do-si-do or allemande left? Wait…is it square dancing? Or two-stepping? I don’t even know the dances. I don’t belong out there. What if I want to get a job? There IS no job. Does J know I’m getting married today? Does Collin? Does Kev? What if I pass out during the ceremony? I’ve seen it on America’s Funniest Home Videos dozens of times. Someone always passes out. What if the food’s cold when we get to the reception? Wait…it’s supposed to be cold. Wait…some of it is, some of it isn’t. What if I’m not what Marlboro Man’s looking for? What if my face flakes off as I’m saying “I do”? What if my dress gets caught inside my panty hose? I’m so shaky all of a sudden. My hands feel so wet and clammy… I’ve never had a panic attack before. But as I would soon find out, there’s a first time for everything. Oh, Ree…don’t do this now.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Relax.” He held her gaze with his heated one. “Our bodies are made to do this, strange as it seems. And no matter what you’ve been told, it’s the most natural ting in the world.” “It doesn’t feel natural.” “That’s because you’re resisting it.” He nuzzled her cheek, then whispered, “Don’t fight it. Let go. I promise I won’t hurt you any more than necessary.” “That’s not terribly reassuring,” she said as he pushed farther inside her. With a strangled laugh, he pressed his mouth to her ear. “Shall I tell you a joke to keep your mind off it?” She arched one eyebrow. “A naughty one, I suppose.” “Of course.” When he eased deeper into her, she stiffened, unable to prevent it. It was too strange-having him inside her, so thick, so unwieldy. “A-all right.” “An old man asked his daughter what sort of plant she thought grew the fastest. She said, ‘A saddle pommel.’ ‘How so?’ he asked. ‘Because,’ she said, ‘when I was riding behind the footman and I was afraid of falling off, he told me to reach around his waist to grab the pommel. It was no bigger than a finger when I grabbed it, but by the time we reached home it was as big around as my wrist!
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
Ronan was waiting for her beyond the estate’s guarded gate. From the looks of things, he had been waiting for some time. His horse was nosing brown grass as Ronan sat on a nearby boulder, throwing pebbles at the general’s stone wall. When he saw Kestrel ride through the gate on Javelin, he flung his handful of rocks to the path. He remained sitting, elbows propped on his bended knees as he stared at her, his face pinched and white. He said, “I have half a mind to tear you down from your horse.” “You got my message, then.” “And rode instantly here, where guards told me that the lady of the house gave strict orders not to let anyone--even me--inside.” His eyes raked over her, taking in the black fighting clothes. “I didn’t believe it. I still don’t believe it. After you vanished last night, everyone at the party was talking about the challenge, yet I was sure it was just a rumor started by Irex because of whatever has caused that ill will between you. Kestrel, how could you expose yourself like this?” Her hands tightened around the reins. She thought about how, when she let go, her palms would smell like leather and sweat. She concentrated on imagining that scent. This was easier than paying heed to the sick feeling swimming inside her. She knew what Ronan was going to say. She tried to deflect it. She tried to talk about the duel itself, which seemed straightforward next to her reasons for it. Lightly, she said, “No one seems to believe that I might win.” Ronan vaulted off the rock and strode toward her horse. He seized the saddle’s pommel. “You’ll get what you want. But what do you want? Whom do you want?” “Ronan.” Kestrel swallowed. “Think about what you are saying.” “Only what everyone has been saying. That Lady Kestrel has a lover.” “That’s not true.” “He is her shadow, skulking behind her, listening, watching.” “He isn’t,” Kestrel tried to say, and was horrified to hear her voice falter. She felt a stinging in her eyes. “He has a girl.” “Why do you even know that? So what if he does? It doesn’t matter. Not in the eyes of society.” Kestrel’s feelings were like banners in a storm, snapping at their ties. They tangled and wound around her. She focused, and when she spoke, she made her words disdainful. “He is a slave.” “He is a man, as I am.” Kestrel slipped from her saddle, stood face-to-face with Ronan, and lied. “He is nothing to me.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Think of the many articles one can find every year in the Wall Street Journal describing some entrepreneur or businessman as being a "pioneer" or a "maverick" or a "cowboy." Think of the many times these ambitious modern men are described as "staking their claim" or boldly pushing themselves "beyond the frontier" or even "riding into the sunset." We still use this nineteenth-century lexicon to describe our boldest citizens, but it's really a code now, because these guys aren't actually pioneers; they are talented computer programmers, biogenetic researchers, politicians, or media monguls making a big splash in a fast modern economy. But when Eustace Conway talks about staking a claim, the guy is literally staking a goddamn claim. Other frontier expressions that the rest of us use as metaphors, Eustace uses literally. He does sit tall in the saddle; he does keep his powder dry; he is carving out a homestead. When he talks about reining in horses or calling off the dogs or mending fences, you can be sure that there are real horses, real dogs or real fences in the picture. And when Eustace goes in for the kill, he's not talking about a hostile takeover of a rival company; he's talking about really killing something.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
Around this time, if not before, Forrest instructed Morgan to drop the lawsuits he had instituted, saying he did not wish to leave Willie a legacy of legal warfare. He described himself as “broken in health and spirit,” having “not long to live.” His life, he reflected, had “been a battle from the start … a fight to achieve a livelihood for those dependent upon me in my younger days, and an independence for myself when I grew up to manhood, as well as in the terrible turmoil of the Civil War. I have seen too much of violence, and I want to close my days at peace with all the world, as I am now at peace with my Maker.” Probably on this same trip to Middle Tennessee, he visited a onetime Confederate colonel Sevier who now was a professor at the University of the South at Sewanee. Sevier’s son, then aged seven, remembered long afterward that the talk among his elders centered on the war and that Forrest appeared bored by the discussion. To escape it, he repeatedly went outside and spoke with the children. Informed that the seven-year-old had yet to learn to ride a horse, he called for one, along with a bridle and saddle, and several times, with great patience, reviewed the correct way to approach, bridle, saddle, mount, and sit the animal.
Jack Hurst (Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography)
A soldier’s hand grasped for me, but Amar pulled me away. Arrows zoomed past, but each time one came near, he would whirl me out of the way. Amar never shouted. He didn’t even speak. He moved fluidly, dodging javelins, always a few steps behind me, a living shield. His hood never budged and revealed nothing more than the bottom half of his face. The doors began to open, creaking like broken bones. Blinding light spilled into the room. I squinted against the brightness, but my feet never stopped. Hot, dry air filled my lungs and left them aching. The second I slowed, I felt a cool hand on my wrist-- “My mount is this way,” said Amar, pulling me away from the road. I was too out of breath to protest as his hands circled my waist and lifted me onto the richly outfitted saddle of a water buffalo. The moment I found my grip, Amar leapt onto the animal’s back and, with a sharp whistle, sent dust flying around us. The water buffalo charged through the jungle. Sounds bled one into the other--crashing iron to thundering hooves, gurgling fountains to colliding branches. At first, I sat still, not wanting to disturb a thing in case this was a death-dream, some final taunt of escape. But then I saw the jungle arcing above me. My nose filled with the musk of damp, alive things. The numb evanesced. I was free.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
They had very little grub and they usually run out of that and lived on straight beef; they had only three or four horses to the man, mostly with sore backs, because the old time saddle ate both ways, the horse's back and the cowboy's pistol pocket; they had no tents, no tarps, and damn few slickers. They never kicked, because those boys was raised under just the same conditions as there was on the trail―corn meal and bacon for grub, dirt floors in the houses, and no luxuries. They used to brag they could go any place a cow could and stand anything a horse could. It was their life. In person the cowboys were mostly medium-sized men, as a heavy man was hard on horses, quick and wiry, and as a rule very good natured; in fact it did not pay to be anything else. In character there like never was or will be again. They were intensely loyal to the outfit they were working for and would fight to the death for it. They would follow their wagon boss through hell and never complain. I have seen them ride into camp after two days and nights on herd, lay down on their saddle blankets in the rain, and sleep like dead men, then get up laughing and joking about some good time they had had in Ogallala or Dodge City. Living that kind of a life, they were bound to be wild and brave. In fact there was only two things the old-time cowpuncher was afraid of, a decent woman and being set afoot.
E.C. "Teddy Blue" Abbott
The boy shows talent. The overheard words still rankled. Boy! At twenty-four! He’d like to see that banker do a man’s work around a ranch. He’d have blisters on those smooth hands inside of two hours. Not to mention how he’d feel after a long day in the saddle. Elizabeth wouldn’t be happy with Livingston. He knew it. True, the man had money, a large house, and a purebred pedigree—all the things she probably wanted in a man. But it wouldn’t be enough. He had instincts about her in the same way he knew horses—what they needed, how to touch them. In the last week, there’d been times when she’d thawed and shown her feelings. He’d bet anything a special woman lurked beneath her proper Boston exterior. With Livingston, that woman would never emerge. He straightened and ground a fist into his palm. He couldn’t step back and let Livingston waltz away with her. It wouldn’t be right. He’d have to change. Force himself past his shyness. Force himself to open up. Nick wasn’t sure how he’d do it. Aside from what he’d learned from Miz Carter, he’d not had any training in proper society manners. Now, he’d seen for himself how different things were in the East. But something in Elizabeth had touched him, something that went beyond social barriers, and he knew she’d sensed it too. He might not have much wealth to offer, but there were other things he could do to make her happy, and he’d love her with all his heart.
Debra Holland (Wild Montana Sky (Montana Sky, #1))
Arrange for supplies to be delivered every day. You’ll have to write up a schedule for the men. Have Cookie plan a menu this afternoon.” Frank’s eyes widened. He looked as if someone had just run over his favorite dog. “Boss, you’re not taking Cookie with you.” It was more of a plea than a question. “No one else can cook for shit. What am I supposed to feed them?” “But without Cookie, one of the boys will have to cook for those of us left behind.” “There’s enough stuff frozen to get everyone through a week.” “Ah, jeez.” Frank’s shoulders slumped. “Why’d you have to take Cookie with you?” Zane ignored the question. Frank knew he was stuck on the ranch. With Zane gone, Frank would be in charge. “I’ll have the two-way radios with me. With the new tower in place, you’ll be able to reach me any time.” Frank was still grumbling about losing the ranch cook for a week. “Want to trade?” Zane asked flatly. His foreman pressed his lips together. They both knew taking ten novice riders out on a fake cattle drive through wilderness was nothing short of five kinds of hell. June weather was usually good, but there was always the possibility of a freak snowstorm, a sizable flash flood, spooked cattle, bears, runaway horses, snakebite and saddle sores. Frank slapped him on the back. “You have a fine time out there, boss. The boys and I will keep things running back here.” “Somehow I knew you were going to say that.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
Wondering how I would make it through a hand-to-hand duel, I glanced around--and just then I saw one of Galdran’s equerries fall from his saddle, his banner-spear spinning through the air toward me. Instinctively my free hand reached up and I caught the spear by the shaft. Ignoring the sting in my hand, I jammed my sword into its sheath and started whirling the spear round and round, making the banner snap and stream as my prancing, sidling horse circled round my brother. Horses turned their heads and backed away; no one was able to edge up and get in a good blow at Bran, who swayed in his saddle, his bad arm hanging limp. The warriors fell back, and no one swung at me. Dimly I became aware of an ugly, harsh voice shouting over the crash and thuds of battle. Keeping the banner whirling, I guided my horse with my knees and risked a glance back over my shoulder--and looked straight into Galdran’s rage-darkened face. He said something, spittle flying from his mouth, as he pointed straight at me. A moment later a flicker of movement on my immediate left caused me to glance round. Shevraeth was there, next to me. “Fall back,” he ordered, his voice sharp. “No. Got to protect Bran--” There was no time for more. The Marquis was beset by furious attackers as the King shouted orders from a short distance away. Then more riders appeared from somewhere, and for a moment everything was too chaotic to follow. I found myself suddenly on the edge of the battle; there were too many fighters on both sides between my brother and me. Too many fighters in the liveries of the Baron and the King. Despair burned through me, cold as winter ice. We were losing. Then my horse plunged aside, I shifted in the saddle, and I found myself face-to-face with Galdran. He glared at me with hatred; I had this sudden, strange feeling that if we had both been small children facing each other in a village squabble he would have screamed at me, It’s all your fault! His lips drew back from his teeth. “You, I will kill myself,” he snarled, and he raised his great, flat-bladed sword. I cast away the flimsy spear and drew my sword just a scarce moment before Galdran struck. The first blow nearly knocked me out off the horse. I parried it--just barely--pain shooting up my arm into my back. My arm was numb, so I used both hands to raise my blade against the expected next blow. But as Galdran’s sword came down toward my head, it was met by a ringing strike that sent sparks arcing through the air. I looked--saw the Marquis, hair flying, horse dancing, circling round Galdran and forcing his attention away. Then the two were fighting desperately, the King falling back. I watched in fascination until two of the King’s guards rode to Galdran’s aid, and Shevraeth was suddenly fighting against three. It seemed that the Marquis was going to lose, and I realized I couldn’t watch. Remembering my brother I forced my mount round so I could ride to his aid. But when I spotted him in the chaos of lunging horses and crashing weapons, he was staring past my shoulder, his eyes distended. “Meliara!” he yelled, trying to ride toward me. I turned my head, saw the Marquis now fighting against three guards; and once again the King was coming directly at me, sword swinging in a blur. I flung my sword at him and ducked. A blow caught me painfully across the back of my helm, and darkness rushed up to swallow me.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The huge, drafty building echoed with the clanks and thuds and shouts of mock battle. Khesot walked slowly up and back, his mild brown eyes narrowed, considering, as he watched us work. “Get that shield arm up,” he said to a tough old stonemason. “Remember you will likely be fighting mounted warriors, and I very much fear that most of us will be afoot. The mounted fighter has the advantage; therefore you must unhorse your opponent before you can hope to win…” We had spent days affixing shiny metal bits to our shields to reflect sunlight at the horses and cause them to rear. We had also practiced slicing saddle belts, hooking spears or swords around legs and heaving warriors out of the saddle. And we learned other methods of unhorsing warriors, such as tying fine-woven twine between two trees at just the right height so that the riders would be knocked off their horses. Khesot turned around, then frowned at two young men who had assumed the old dueling stance and were slashing away at one another with merry abandon, their swords ringing. “Charic! Justav! What do you think you are doing?” The men stopped, Charic looking shamefaced. “Thought we’d refine a little, in case we take on one o’ them aristos--“ “Many of whom are trained in swordplay from the time they begin to walk,” Khesot cut in, his manner still mild; but now both young men had red faces. “By the very best sword masters their wealthy parents can hire. It would take them precisely as long as it amused them to cut you to ribbons. Do not engage their officers in a duel, no matter how stupid you might think them. Two of you, moving as I told you, can knock them off balance…” He went on to lecture the two, who listened soberly. Several others gathered around to listen as well.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Of course, in the end a sense of mutual understanding isn’t enough. After all, talk is cheap; like any value, empathy must be acted upon. When I was a community organizer back in the eighties, I would often challenge neighborhood leaders by asking them where they put their time, energy, and money. Those are the true tests of what we value, I’d tell them, regardless of what we like to tell ourselves. If we aren’t willing to pay a price for our values, if we aren’t willing to make some sacrifices in order to realize them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all. By these standards at least, it sometimes appears that Americans today value nothing so much as being rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained. We say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt. We say we believe in equal opportunity but then stand idle while millions of American children languish in poverty. We insist that we value family, but then structure our economy and organize our lives so as to ensure that our families get less and less of our time. And yet a part of us knows better. We hang on to our values, even if they seem at times tarnished and worn; even if, as a nation and in our own lives, we have betrayed them more often than we care to remember. What else is there to guide us? Those values are our inheritance, what makes us who we are as a people. And although we recognize that they are subject to challenge, can be poked and prodded and debunked and turned inside out by intellectuals and cultural critics, they have proven to be both surprisingly durable and surprisingly constant across classes, and races, and faiths, and generations. We can make claims on their behalf, so long as we understand that our values must be tested against fact and experience, so long as we recall that they demand deeds and not just words. To do otherwise would be to relinquish our best selves.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
Now, did you really mean that about not wanting to do this the rest of your life?” he asked. That familiar, playful grin appeared in the corner of his mouth. I blinked a couple of times and took a deep breath, smiling back at him and reassuring him with my eyes that no, I hadn’t meant it, but I did hate his horse. Then I took a deep breath, stood up, and dusted off my Anne Klein straight-leg jeans. “Hey, we don’t have to do this now,” Marlboro Man said, standing back up. “I’ll just do it later.” “No, I’m fine,” I answered, walking back toward my horse with newfound resolve. I took another deep breath and climbed back on the horse. As Marlboro Man and I rode back toward the thicket of trees, I suddenly understood: if I was going to marry this man, if I was going to live on this isolated ranch, if I was going to survive without cappuccino and takeout food…I sure wasn’t going to let this horse beat me. I’d have to toughen up and face things. As we rode, it became even more clear. I’d have to apply this same courage to all areas of my life--not just the practical, day-in and day-out activities of ranch life, but also the reality of my parents’ marital collapse and any other problems that would arise in the coming years. Suddenly, running off and getting married no longer seemed like the romantic adventures I was trying to convince myself it would be. Suddenly I realized that if I did that, if I ran away and said “I do” in some dark, hidden corner of the world, I’d never be able to handle the rigors and stresses of country life. And that wouldn’t be fair to Marlboro Man…or myself. As we started moving, I noticed that Marlboro Man was riding at my pace. “The horses need to be shod,” he said, grinning. “They didn’t need to trot today anyway.” I glanced in his direction. “So we’ll just go slow and easy,” he continued. I looked toward the thicket of trees and took a deep, calming breath, grabbing on to the saddle horn so firmly my knuckles turned pasty white.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Too anxious to sit still, she stood in the stirrups to stretch her legs, then moved her bottom back and forth in the saddle until she found a comfortable spot to settle. She dallied her reins loosely around the saddle horn and reached up to unbutton the top two buttons of her blouse, then leaned over and shook the cotton cloth back and forth to cool herself. Her Stetson hat came off next. She settled it on the saddle horn, so what little breeze there was could reach the sweat on her nape. “What the hell kind of strip show are you putting on?” Bay nearly fell out of the saddle at Owen’s angry outburst. She jerked upright, knocking her hat off the horn and onto the ground. Her horse saw the shadow when it fell, figured it for a dangerous, horse-eating jackrabbit, and shied violently toward Owen’s mount. His horse took exception to being bumped and kicked out with both hooves, striking Bay’s horse in the rump, which grabbed for the reins, but they fell loose from the horn, and she was helpless to restrain her mount when he began to run helter-skelter down the canyon, sunfishing and crowhopping. Bay was thrown up onto her mount’s neck, where she held on for dear life. She heard Owen galloping behind her and knew it was only a matter of time before he caught up to her. But a narrow passage was coming up, and there wasn’t room for both her and her horse. She was going to be scraped off. Unless she jumped first. From her precious perch, Bay stared down at the rocky soil racing past her nose and thought of all the movies she’d seen where cowboys leaped from their horses and got up and walked away. Surely it couldn’t be that difficult. In a moment, when they reached that narrow passage, the choice was going to be taken from her. Bay closed her eyes and launched herself as far as she could from her horse’s flashing hooves. And landed like a sack of wet cement. She skidded for maybe two feet along the rocky bed of the canyon. On her face. And her right hip. And her left hand. When she stopped, she lay there stunned for a moment, then gave a shaky laugh. “Oh, that was not at all like it is in the movies.
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
That's all well and good,but my concern is for Willow. I think she's beginning to realize that she both needs and wants the respect and companionship of the women in this town. And frankly, a man with your reputation can only hurt her. Not that I think you'd deliberately cause her harm. I don't. But the girl already has several black marks against her and your attentions could very well add to her problems.Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you?" Rider plowed his fingers through his jet hair. "Yes, you'd like me to stay clear of her. I understand,but I'm afraid I can't do that. Look, I know it's asking a lot,but you'll have to trust me where Willow Vaughn is concerned. I promise you that she'll come to no harm from me." "Trust,Mr. Sinclair,is something to be earned." "I know,and I hope you'll give me time to earn yours. But if you want me to pack up and find another place to stay, I'll understand." She considered that a moment. "No," she finally answered. "It would serve no purpose. This town has become a haven for every outlaw in the country and if every boarding house and hotel in Tombstone emptied out the disreputables, they'd soon go broke. I doubt I'll be held accountable for housing one more. Besides, at least this way,I can keep an eye on you." Rider smiled and stood, politely helping her to her feet. "Thanks. And by the way, for what it's worth, I'm not an outlaw." "If I truly believed you were, young man, you'd know it." "I'm very sorry for any trouble I might have caused you, Mrs. Brigham. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to change my clothes and saddle the horses." Rider walked to the parlor doors, glancing back over his shoulder as Miriam added, "You've asked me to trust you,Mr. Sinclair. Don't disappoint me or I guarantee you'll be sorry. I may be a woman, and not a young one at that, but I still have a few good tricks up my sleeve. If Willow suffers so much as a broken fingernail on your account, you'll have me to answer to." Rider inclined his head and opened the door to leave. "I'll do my best, ma'am, but much depends on the young lady." Knowing he'd already said more than he should, he turned and left.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
Our horses plunged up the trail. “Go on…Go!” Bran jerked one hand toward the mountains, then swayed in his saddle. Another arrow sang overhead. “I won’t leave you,” I snapped. “Go. Our people…Carry on the fight.” “Bran--” In answer he yanked the reins on his terrified horse, which lunged toward mine. Gritting his teeth, he leaned out and whipped the ends of his reins across the mare’s shoulder. “Go!” My mount panicked, leaped forward. My neck snapped back. I clutched to the horse’s mane with all my strength. The last glimpse I had of Bran was of his white face and his anxious eyes watching me as he and his mount fell back. And then I was on my own. For a time the mare raced straight up the trail while the only thought I could hold in my mind was, A trap? A trap? And then the image, seen endlessly, of Bran being shot. Then a scrap of memory floated up before my inner eye. Again I saw the elegant Renselaeus dining room, heard the Marquis’s refined drawling voice: My people are taking and holding the Vesingrui fortress on your border. For now they are wearing the green uniform… A trap. Cold fury washed through me. They have betrayed us. It was then that I recovered enough presence of mind to realize that I was in my home territory at last, and I could leave the trail anytime. The horse had recovered from the panic and was trotting. So I recaptured the reins, leading the horse across the side of the mountain toward the thickest, oldest part of the local forest. It didn’t take me long to lose the pursuit, and then I turned my tired mare north, permitting her to slow as I thought everything through. It made perfect sense, after all. Bran and I were certainly an inconvenience, especially since we’d refused to ally. For a moment guilt tweaked at my thoughts--if it hadn’t been for me, we’d both be alive and well in their capital. And in their hands, I told myself. If they could cold-bloodedly plan this kind of treachery, wasn’t this sort of end waiting for us anyway? And now Bran is dead. Branaric, my fun-loving, trusting brother, the one who pleaded with me to give them a fair chance. Who wanted to be their friend. All my emotions narrowed to one arrow of intent: revenge.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
There’s no use in talking about the plan, because of course nothing went the way it was supposed to. Even the passage of time was horribly distorted. At first the ride to the hill seemed endless, with me sneaking looks at my brother, who was increasingly unsteady in his saddle. The Marquis insisted on riding in front of us the last little distance, where we saw a row of four horse riders waiting--the outer two bearing banners, dripping from the rain, but the flags’ green and gold still brilliant, and the inner two riders brawny and cruel faced and very much at ease, wearing the plumed helms of command. “I just wanted to see if you traitors would dare to face me,” Galdran said, his caustic voice making me feel sick inside. Sick--and angry. The Marquis bowed low over his horse’s withers, every line of his body indicative of irony. Galdran’s face flushed dark purple. “I confess,” Shevraeth drawled, “we had a small wager on whether you would have the courage to face us.” “Kill them!” Galdran roared. And that’s the moment when time changed and everything happened at once. At the edge of my vision I saw arrows fly, but none reached us. A weird humming vibrated through my skull; at first I thought it was just me, then I realized all the war horses, despite their training, were in a panic. For a few short, desperate breaths, all my attention was spent calming my own mount. Galdran’s reared, and he shouted orders at his equerries as he fought to keep his seat. The two banner-bearing warriors flipped up the ends of their poles, flicked away some kind of binding, and aimed sharp steel points at the Marquis as they charged. All around me was chaos--the hiss and clang of steel weapons being drawn, the nickering of horses, grunts and shouts and yells. “To me! To me!” That was Bran’s cry. Four Renselaeus warriors came to his aid. I kneed my mount forward and brandished my weapon, trying to edge up on Bran’s weak side. Horseback fighting was something we’d drilled in rarely, for this was not mountain-type warfare. I met the blade of one of Bran’s attackers, and shock rang up my arm. Thoughts chased through my brain; except for those few days with Nessaren’s riding, I hadn’t practiced for weeks, and now I was going to feel it.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The air grew colder and thinner as they rode through the mountain passes.  The sun was high and bright, but Martise wrapped her shawl tightly around her and pressed against Silhara’s back.  Gnat kept a steady pace, breathing harder in the thin air.  Unlike him, the mountain ponies suffered no effects from the rising elevation and clipped ahead at a swift pace.  Patches of snow spilled from embankments onto the rutted paths.  A brisk wind moaned a soft dirge as it whipped through the towering evergreens cloaking the mountainside. Silhara called a sudden halt.  Martise peered around his arm, expecting to see some obstacle in their path.  The way was clear, with only the Kurmans watching them curiously. “What’s wrong?” “You’re quaking hard enough to make my teeth rattle.”  He moved his leg back and untied one of the packs strapped to the saddle.  “Get down.” She slid off Gnat’s back.  Silhara followed and pulled one of their blankets from the packet.  “Here.  Wrap this around you.” She had only pulled the blanket over her shoulders when he picked her up and tossed her onto Gnat’s back once more, this time in the front of the flat saddle.  She clutched the horse’s mane with one hand and held on to her blanket with the other.  Silhara vaulted up behind her, scooted her back against him and took up the reins. “Better,” he said and whistled to the waiting Kurmans he was ready. Martise couldn’t agree more.  The blanket’s warmth and Silhara’s body heat soaked through her clothing and into her bones.  She leaned into his chest.  “This is nice.” An amused rumble vibrated near her ear.  “So glad you approve.”  His hand slipped under the blanket, wandered over her belly and cupped her breast.  Martise sucked in a breath as his fingers teased her nipple through her shawl and tunic.  The heat surrounding her turned scorching.  “I agree,” he murmured in her ear.  “This is nice.” He stopped his teasing when she squirmed hard enough in the saddle to nearly unseat them both, but left his hand on her breast, content to just hold her.  Martise was ready to toss off the blanket and her shawl.  Silhara’s touch had left her with a throbbing ache between her thighs.  She smiled a little at the feel of him hard against her back.  She wasn’t the only one affected by his teasing.
Grace Draven (Master of Crows (Master of Crows, #1))
Then, on a left-hand curve 2.8 kilometres from the finish line, Marco delivers another cutting acceleration. Tonkov is immediately out of the saddle. The gap reaches two lengths. Tonkov fights his way back and is on Marco’s wheel when Marco, who is still standing on the pedals, accelerates again. Suddenly Tonkov is no longer there. Afterwards Tonkov would say he could no longer feel his hands and feet. ‘I had to stop. I lost his slipstream. I couldn’t go on.’ Marco told Romano Cenni he could taste blood. His performance on Montecampione was close to self-mutilation. Seven hundred metres from the finish line, the TV camera on the inside of the final right-hand bend, looking down the hill, picks Marco up over two hundred metres from the line and follows him for fifty metres, a fifteen-second close-up, grainy, pallid in the late-afternoon light. A car and motorbike, diffused and ghostlike, pass between the camera and Marco, emerging out of the gloom. The image cuts to another camera, tight on him as he swings round into the finishing straight, a five-second flash before the live, wide shot of the stage finish: Marco, framed between ecstatic fans on either side, and the finish-line scaffolding adorned with race sponsors‘ logos; largest, and centrally, the Gazzetta dello Sport, surrounded by branding for iced tea, shower gel, telephone services. Then we see it again in the super-slow-motion replay; the five seconds between the moment Marco appeared in the closing straight and the moment he crossed the finish line are extruded to fifteen strung-out seconds. The image frames his head and little else, revealing details invisible in real time and at standard resolution: a drop of sweat that falls from his chin as he makes the bend, the gaping jaw and crumpled forehead and lines beneath the eyes that deepen as Marco wrings still more speed from the mountain. As he rides towards victory in the Giro d‘Italia, Marco pushes himself so deeply into the pain of physical exertion that the gaucheness he has always shown before the camera dissolves, and — this must be the instant he crosses the line — he begins to rise out of his agony. The torso lifts to vertical, the arms spread out into a crucifix position, the eyelids descend, and Marco‘s face, altered by the darkness he has seen in his apnoea, lifts towards the light.
Matt Rendell
The emphasis was on “soft.” No matter what else happened, the wranglers were to stay soft while riding the horses. Soft hands, soft seat, and soft legs. There was to be absolutely no hitting, kicking, slapping, or yelling at any time for any reason. The penalty for doing such things was to be placed on a two-day suspension. A second offense would lead to termination. Neither penalty was ever needed. At times it wasn’t easy to stay quiet with the horses because so many of them had been “used up” over the years, dulled to any form of cue. However, we remained consistent in our focus and the horses responded. The wranglers were instructed to ride the horses with the softest cues possible, often using nothing more than a light squeeze to get forward movement and a shift of weight in the saddle, along with light pressure on the reins, for a stop. They were also instructed to look for, find, and then release their cues at the slightest try from the horse—something they all became very adept at doing. With everyone riding in the same manner from one day to the next, all the horses began to respond within a few weeks. Before we knew it, all of our horses, including the very old ones that had been in the program for years and years, became responsive to the lightest of cues. We’d taught our horses to be responsive to these light cues, but a question remained. How could we keep them that way, particularly with the hundreds of different people who would be riding each horse over the summer? The answer was simple. Everyone needed to remain consistent. So, instead of expecting our horses to respond to the conflicting cues that each new rider was bound to give, we taught each rider how to communicate with our horses. Each week when a new batch of guests arrived at the ranch, we held an orientation in the riding arena. During this orientation, we explained how our horses were trained and what was expected of them as a rider of one of our horses. We gave them a demonstration in the saddle of proper seat and hand position, so they could keep their balance. We showed them the cues for walk, stop, trot, lope, and turn, using a horse right out of the string. Once we had demonstrated how our horses worked, we got everyone on horseback in the arena and helped them to practice giving the cues, allowing the horse to respond, and releasing the cues so that the horse would remain responsive. Of note is the fact that after
Mark Rashid (Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership)
Areli kicked her dragon upwards and followed Aquilina and Fides through the lanterns and rock, out into clean mountain air. Aquilina had picked only the two, whom she said were hands down the greatest riders on the team, to ride with her. Areli didn’t know how to respond to that, except to turn red and cover her mouth with surprise. And now she was flying, not in an arena, but in free air, a privilege given to only the best professional riders. They flew over the city. The buildings looked like small blocks and the carriages looked like gold-colored ants roaming about. The sweep of the cool air was refreshing against Areli’s face. They flew over the trees leading to Emperor Abhiraja’s forest, which looked like nothing but a tossed salad from their view. And then they were over Emperor Abhiraja’s trees. Back at the boarding facility, before they left, Aquilina told them there was only one rule if they were to ride with her . . . keep up. Aquilina veered down towards the trees. Fides took after her and Areli followed. Areli sat hard into her seat and pulled the reins to her right. She leaned her leg into Kaia’s left shoulder and held on tight to the saddle horn. Kaia leaned her body and they knifed through the air. Areli shifted her legs and hands, chasing after Fides and Aquilina. They slipped through a tiny gap in the tops of the massive trees. Areli saw the red of Fidelja’s dragon ahead of her, and then it disappeared. She saw shades of brown and green coming up fast. Areli pulled on the reins, keeping her hands light, and sunk into the seat, leveling off their descent into the forest. She immediately started kicking Kaia forward as she saw Fides dragon’s tail wrap past a tree. Areli commanded Kaia in a way she never had before. Using every skill she ever learned, she cued Kaia right, then left, then into a roll to get through two narrowly placed trees, and then up, always following the blur of red in front of her. They came out above the trees again and then they swooped back down. This time it was into the Columns of Abhi. They curved around the large rock structures like a knife full of butter caressing a freshly baked roll. Areli didn’t think she could feel this exhilarated. But there was something utterly breathtaking about flying without walls, without spectators or trainers. This was true freedom, according to Areli. Freedom from homework, freedom from fears, freedom from worries. This was the place where she could be . . . just to be.
Jeffrey Johnson (The Column Racer (Column Racer, #1))
The Prince and Princess. Savona. Tamara. Bran and Nee. Elenet. Good people and bad, silly and smart, they would all be helpless victims. I’d left my sword in the saddle sheath, but I could still try. My heart crashed like a three-wheeled cart on a stone road. I must try, I thought, as I stepped forward. “Meliara,” Vidanric said quickly. He didn’t look at me, but kept his narrowed gaze on Flauvic. “Don’t. He knows how to use that knife.” Flauvic’s smile widened. “Observant of you,” he murmured, saluting with the blade. “I worked so hard to foster the image of the scholarly recluse. When did you figure out that my mother’s plans served as my diversion?” “As I was walking in here,” Vidanric replied just as politely. “Recent events having precluded the luxury of time for reflection.” Flauvic looked pleased; any lesser villain would have smirked. He turned to me and, with a mockingly courteous gesture, said, “I fault no one for ambition. If you wish, you may gracefully exit now and save yourself some regrettably painful experience. I like you. Your ignorance is refreshing, and your passions amusing. For a time we could keep each other company.” I opened my mouth, trying to find an insult cosmic enough to express my rejection, but I realized just in time that resistance would only encourage him. He would enjoy my being angry and helpless, and I knew then what he would not enjoy. “Unfortunately,” I said, striving to mimic Vidanric’s most annoying Court drawl, “I find you boring.” His face didn’t change, but I swear I saw just a little color on those flawless cheeks. Then he dismissed me from his attention and faced Vidanric again. “Well? There is much to be done, and very soon your militia leaders will be here clamoring for orders. We’ll need to begin as we mean to go on, which means you must be the one to convince them of the exchange of kings.” He smiled--a cruel, cold, gloating smile. Flauvic was thoroughly enjoying it all. He obviously liked playing with his victims--which gave me a nasty little hint of what being his companion would be like. My eyes burned with hot tears. Not for my own defeat, for that merely concerned myself. Not even for the unfairness. I wept in anger and grief for the terrible decision that Vidanric faced alone, with which I could not help. Either he consigned all the Court to death and tried to fight against a sorcerer, or he consigned the remainder of the kingdom to what would surely be a governance more dreadful than even Galdran’s had been.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
The archaeologist attached to the Bayard Dominick’s Marquesan team had reported in 1925 that the Marquesas offered “few opportunities for archaeological research.” But in 1956, a new expedition set out to reexamine the possibilities in these islands at the eastern edge of the Polynesian Triangle. An energetic Columbia University graduate student named Robert Suggs was sent ahead to reconnoiter, and he quickly discovered that the previous generation had gotten it all wrong. Everywhere he looked, he saw archaeological potential. “We were seldom out of sight of some relic of the ancient Marquesan culture,” he writes. “Through all the valleys were scattered clusters of ruined house platforms. . . . Overgrown with weeds, half tumbled down beneath the weight of toppled trees and the pressure of the inexorable palm roots, these ancient village sites were sources of stone axes, carved stone pestles, skulls, and other sundry curios.” There were ceremonial plazas “hundreds of feet long” and, high on the cliffs above the deep valleys, “burial caves containing the remains of the population of centuries past.” The coup de grâce came when Suggs and his guide followed up on a report of a large number of “pig bones” in the dunes at a place called Ha‘atuatua. This windswept expanse of scrub and sand lies on the exposed eastern corner of Nuku Hiva. A decade earlier, in 1946, a tidal wave had cut away part of the beach, and since then bones and other artifacts had been washing out of the dunes. Not knowing quite what to expect, Suggs and his guide rode over on horseback. When they came out of the “hibiscus tangle” at the back of the beach and “caught sight of the debris washing down the slope,” he writes, “I nearly fell out of the saddle.” The bones that were scattered all along the slope and on the beach below were not pig bones but human bones! Ribs, vertebrae, thigh bones, bits of skull vault, and innumerable hand and foot bones were everywhere. At the edge of the bank a bleached female skull rested upside down, almost entirely exposed. Where the bank had been cut away, a dark horizontal band about two feet thick could be seen between layers of clean white sand. Embedded in this band were bits of charcoal and saucers of ash, fragments of pearl shell, stone and coral tools, and large fitted stones that appeared to be part of a buried pavement. They had discovered the remains of an entire village, complete with postholes, cooking pits, courtyards, and burials. The time was too short to explore the site fully, but the very next year, Suggs and his wife returned to examine it. There
Christina Thompson (Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia)
Of course, no china--however intricate and inviting--was as seductive as my fiancé, my future husband, who continued to eat me alive with one glance from his icy-blue eyes. Who greeted me not at the door of his house when I arrived almost every night of the week, but at my car. Who welcomed me not with a pat on the arm or even a hug but with an all-enveloping, all-encompassing embrace. Whose good-night kisses began the moment I arrived, not hours later when it was time to go home. We were already playing house, what with my almost daily trips to the ranch and our five o’clock suppers and our lazy movie nights on his thirty-year-old leather couch, the same one his parents had bought when they were a newly married couple. We’d already watched enough movies together to last a lifetime. Giant with James Dean, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Reservoir Dogs, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, All Quiet on the Western Front, and, more than a handful of times, Gone With the Wind. I was continually surprised by the assortment of movies Marlboro Man loved to watch--his taste was surprisingly eclectic--and I loved discovering more and more about him through the VHS collection in his living room. He actually owned The Philadelphia Story. With Marlboro Man, surprises lurked around every corner. We were already a married couple--well, except for the whole “sleepover thing” and the fact that we hadn’t actually gotten hitched yet. We stayed in, like any married couple over the age of sixty, and continued to get to know everything about each other completely outside the realm of parties, dates, and gatherings. All of that was way too far away, anyway--a minimum hour-and-a-half drive to the nearest big city--and besides that, Marlboro Man was a fish out of water in a busy, crowded bar. As for me, I’d been there, done that--a thousand and one times. Going out and panting the town red was unnecessary and completely out of context for the kind of life we’d be building together. This was what we brought each other, I realized. He showed me a slower pace, and permission to be comfortable in the absence of exciting plans on the horizon. I gave him, I realized, something different. Different from the girls he’d dated before--girls who actually knew a thing or two about country life. Different from his mom, who’d also grown up on a ranch. Different from all of his female cousins, who knew how to saddle and ride and who were born with their boots on. As the youngest son in a family of three boys, maybe he looked forward to experiencing life with someone who’d see the country with fresh eyes. Someone who’d appreciate how miraculously countercultural, how strange and set apart it all really is. Someone who couldn’t ride to save her life. Who didn’t know north from south, or east from west. If that defined his criteria for a life partner, I was definitely the woman for the job.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Marcus released the countess as if he had been burned. His first reaction was a piercing relief that Lillian was still alive. However, the relief was followed immediately by the awareness that she was far from safe. In light of St. Vincent’s need of a fortune, it made perfect sense for him to abduct Lillian. Marcus turned from his mother, never wanting to look at her again, unable to bring himself to speak to her. His gaze locked with Simon Hunt’s. Predictably, Hunt was already making rapid calculations. “He’ll take her to Gretna Green, of course,” Hunt murmured, “and they’ll have to travel east to the main road in Hertfordshire. He won’t risk traveling the back ways and getting mired in mud, or having the wheels damaged from broken road. From Hertfordshire it will be approximately forty-five hours to Scotland… and at a speed of ten miles per hour, with occasional stops for fresh relay horses…” “You’ll never overtake them,” the countess cried with a cackling laugh. “I told you I would have my way, Westcliff!” “Oh, shut up, you evil hag!” cried Daisy Bowman impatiently from the doorway, her eyes huge in her pale face. “Lord Westcliff, shall I run to the stables and tell them to saddle a horse?” “Two horses,” Simon Hunt said resolutely. “I’m going with him.” “Which ones—” “Ebony and Yasmin,” Marcus replied. They were his best Arabians, bred for speed over long distance. They were not as lightning-fast as thoroughbreds, but they would endure a punishing pace for hours, traveling at least three times as fast as St. Vincent’s coach. Daisy disappeared in a flash, and Marcus turned to his sister. “See that the countess is gone by the time I return,” he said curtly. “Pack whatever she needs, and get her off the estate.” “Where do you wish me to send her?” Livia asked, pale but composed. “I don’t give a damn, so long as she knows not to return.” Realizing that she was being banished, and most likely exiled, the countess rose from her chair. “I will not be disposed of in this manner! I won’t have it, my lord!” “And tell the countess,” Marcus said to Livia, “that if the slightest harm comes to Miss Bowman, she had better pray that I never find her.” Marcus strode from the room, shoving through a small crowd that had gathered in the hallway. Simon Hunt followed, pausing only to murmur briefly to Annabelle and press a kiss to her forehead. She stared after him with an anxious frown, biting her lip to keep from calling after him. After a lengthy pause, the countess was heard to mutter, “It matters not what becomes of me. I am content in the knowledge that I have prevented him from befouling the family lineage.” Livia turned to give her mother a half-pitying, half-contemptuous glance. “Marcus never fails,” she said softly. “Most of his childhood was spent learning to overcome impossible odds. And now that Marcus has finally found someone worth fighting for… do you really think he would let anything stop him?
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Why hadn’t he told me? Because I’d called him a liar and untrustworthy, and had made it plain I wasn’t going to change my opinion, no matter what. Then why hadn’t he told my brother, who did trust him? That I couldn’t answer. And in a sense it didn’t matter. What did matter was that I had been wrong about Shevraeth. I had been so wrong I had nearly gotten a lot of people killed for no reason. Just thinking it made me grit my teeth, and in a way it felt almost as bad as cleaning the fester from my wounded foot. Which was right, because I had to clean out from my mind the fester caused by anger and hatred. I remembered suddenly that horrible day in Galdran’s dungeon when the Marquis had come to me himself and offered me a choice between death and surrender. “It might buy you time,” he’d said. At that moment I’d seen surrender as dishonor, and it had taken courage to refuse. He’d seen that and had acknowledged it in many different ways, including his words two days before about my being a heroine. Generous words, meant to brace me up. What I saw now was the grim courage it had taken to act his part in Galdran’s Court, all the time planning to change things with the least amount of damage to innocent people. And when Branaric and I had come crashing into his plans, he’d included us as much as he could in his net of safety. My subsequent brushes with death were, I saw miserably now, my own fault. I had to respect what he’d done. He’d come to respect us for our ideals, that much was clear. What he might think of me personally… Suddenly I felt an overwhelming desire to be home. I wanted badly to clean out our castle, and replant Mama’s garden, and walk in the sunny glades, and think, and read, and learn. I no longer wanted to face the world in ignorance, wearing castoff clothing and old horse blankets. But first there was something I had to do. I slipped out the door; paused, listening. From Branaric’s room came the sound of slow, deep breathing. I stepped inside the room Shevraeth had been using, saw a half-folded map on the table, a neat pile of papers, a pen and inkwell, and a folded pair of gloves. Pulling out the wallet from my clothes, I opened it and extracted Debegri’s letter. This I laid on the table beside the papers. Then I knelt down and picked up the pen. Finding a blank sheet of paper, I wrote in slow, careful letters: You’ll probably need this to convince Galdran’s old allies. Then I retreated to my room, pulled the borrowed tunic over my head, bound up my ratty braid, settled the overlarge hat onto my head, and slipped out the door. At the end of the little hall was another door, which opened onto a clearing. Under a dilapidated roof waited a string of fine horses, and a few Renselaeus stable hands sat about. When they saw me, they sprang to their feet. “My lady?” One bowed. “I should like a ride,” I said, my heart thumping. But they didn’t argue, or refuse, or send someone to warn someone else. Working together, in a trice they had a fine, fresh mare saddled and ready. And in another trice I was on her back and riding out, on my way home.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
You okay?” Marlboro Man called out. I didn’t answer. I just kept on walking, determined to get the hell out of Dodge. It took him about five seconds to catch up with me; I wasn’t a very fast walker. “Hey,” he said, grabbing me around the waist and whipping me around so I was facing him. “Aww, it’s okay. It happens.” I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted him to let go of me and I wanted to keep on walking. I wanted to walk back down the hillside, start my car, and get out of there. I didn’t know where I’d go, I just knew I wanted to go. I wanted away from all of it--riding horses, saddles, reins, bridles--I didn’t want it anymore. I hated everything on that ranch. It was all stupid, dumb…and stupid. Wriggling loose of his consoling embrace, I squealed, “I seriously can’t do this!” My hands trembled wildly and my voice quivered. The tip of my nose began to sting, and tears welled up in my eyes. It wasn’t like me to display such hysteria in the presence of a man. But being driven to the brink of death had brought me to this place. I felt like a wild animal. I was powerless to restrain myself. “I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life!” I cried. I turned to leave again but decided instead to give up, choosing to sit down on the ground and slump over in defeat. It was all so humiliating--not just my rigid, freakish riding style or my near collision with the ground, but also my crazy, emotional reaction after the fact. This wasn’t me. I was a strong, confident woman, for Lord’s sake; I don’t slump on the ground in the middle of a pasture and cry. What was I doing in a pasture, anyway? Knowing my luck, I was probably sitting on a pile of manure. But I couldn’t even walk anymore; my knees were even trembling by now, and I’d lost all feeling in my fingertips. My heart pounded in my cheeks. If Marlboro Man had any sense, he would have taken the horses and gotten the hell out of there, leaving me, the hysterical female, sobbing on the ground by myself. She’s obviously in the throes of some hormonal fit, he probably thought. There’s nothing you can say to her when she gets like this. I don’t have time for this crap. She’s just gonna have to learn to deal with it if she’s going to marry me. But he didn’t get the hell out of there. He didn’t leave me sobbing on the ground by myself. Instead he joined me on the grass, sitting beside me and putting his hand on my leg, reassuring me that this kind of thing happens, and there wasn’t anything I did wrong, even though he was probably lying. “Now, did you really mean that about not wanting to do this the rest of your life?” he asked. That familiar, playful grin appeared in the corner of his mouth. I blinked a couple of times and took a deep breath, smiling back at him and reassuring him with my eyes that no, I hadn’t meant it, but I did hate his horse. Then I took a deep breath, stood up, and dusted off my Anne Klein straight-leg jeans. “Hey, we don’t have to do this now,” Marlboro Man said, standing back up. “I’ll just do it later.” “No, I’m fine,” I answered, walking back toward my horse with newfound resolve.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Now, tell me everything.” He chuckled and leaned against the door. “That’s a comprehensive command! Where to begin?” “With Galdran. How did he die?” “Vidanric. Sword,” Bran said, waving his index finger in a parry-and-thrust. “Just after Galdran tried to brain you from the back. Neatest work I’ve ever seen. He promised to introduce me to his old sword master when we get to Athanarel.” “’We’? You and the Marquis?” “We can discuss it when we meet for supper, soon’s he gets back. Life! I don’t think he’s sat down since we returned yestereve. I’m tied here by the heels, healer’s orders, but there’ll be enough for us all to do soon.” I opened my mouth to say that I did not want to go to Athanarel, but I could almost hear his rallying tone--and the fact, bitterly faced but true, that part of my image as the ignorant little sister guaranteed that Bran seldom took me seriously. So I shook my head instead. “Tell me more.” “Well, that’s the main of it, in truth. They were all pretty disgusted--both sides, I think--when Galdran went after you. He didn’t even have the courage to face me, and I was weavin’ on my horse like a one-legged rooster. One o’ his bully boys knocked me clean out of the saddle just after Galdran hit you. Anyway, Vidanric went after the King, quick and cool as ice, and the others went after Debegri--but he nearly got away. I say ‘nearly’ because it was one of his own people got him squarely in the back with an arrow--what’s more, that one didn’t sprout. Now, if that ain’t justice, I don’t know what is!” He touched his shoulder. “What? Arrow? Sprout? Was that somehow related to that strange humming just as everything started--or did I imagine that?” “Not unless we all did.” Bran looked sober for a moment. “Magic. The Hill Folk were right there, watching and spell casting! First time I ever heard of them interfering in one of our human brangles, but they did. Those arrows from Galdran’s archers all sprouted leaves soon’s they left the bow, and they fell to the ground, and curse me if they didn’t start takin’ root. Soon’s the archers saw that, they threw away their bows and panicked. Weirdest thing I ever saw. That hilltop will be all forest by winter, or I’m a lapdog.” “Whoosh,” I said, sitting down. He then remembered the cloth under his arm and tossed it into my lap. I held up yet another tunic that was shapeless and outsized, but I was glad to see it was plain, thick, and well made. “Found that in someone’s kit. Knew you hated wearing these.” Bran indicated his own tunic, another of the Renselaeus ones. Thinking of appearing yet again as a ridiculous figure in ill-fitting, borrowed clothing, I tried to summon a smile. “Thanks.” He touched his shoulder with tentative fingers, then winced. “I’ll lie down until Vidanric gets back. Then, mind, we’re all to plan together, and soon’s we’re done here, we ride for Athanarel--all three of us.” “Why all three of us?” “There’s work that needs doing,” Branaric said, serious again. “What can I possibly do besides serve as a figure of fun for the Court to laugh at again? I don’t know anything--besides how to lose a war; and I don’t think anyone is requiring that particular bit of knowledge.” I tried to sound reasonable, but even I could hear the bitterness in my own voice.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
When it was done and he took the mess away to bury, I lay back and breathed deeply, doing my best to settle my boiling stomach. “All right,” he said, “that’s that. Now it’s time to go, if we’re to reach Lumm by green-change.” He whistled, and the dapple-gray trotted obediently up, head tossing. I realized I ought to have been more observant about chances for escape, and I wondered if there were any chance of taking him by surprise now. First to see if I could even stand. As he went about the chore of resaddling the horse, I eased myself to my feet. I took my time at it, too, not just because my ankle was still protesting its recent rebandaging; I wanted to seem as decrepit as possible. My head felt weirdly light when I made it to my feet, and I had to hang on to a branch of the oak--my foot simply wouldn’t take any weight. As soon as I tried it, my middle turned to water and I groped for the branch again. Which meant if I did try anything, it was going to have to be within reach of the horse. I watched for a moment as he lashed down the saddlebags then rammed the rapier into the saddle sheath. There was already that knife at his belt. This did not look promising, I thought, remembering all the lessons on close fighting that Khesot had drilled into us. If your opponent is better armed and has the longer reach, then surprise is your only ally. And then you’d better hope he’s half asleep. Well, the fellow had to be tired if he’d sat up all night, I thought, looking around for any kind of weapon. The branch he’d handed me to hang on to was still lying at my feet. I stooped--cautiously--and snatched it up. Dropping one end, I discovered that it made a serviceable cane, and with its aid I hobbled my way a few paces, watching carefully for any rocks or roots that might trip me. Then a step in the grass made me look up. The Marquis was right in front of me, and he was a lot taller than he looked seated across a campfire. In one hand were the horse’s reins, and he held the other hand out in an offer to boost me up. I noticed again that his palm was crossed with calluses, indicating years of swordwork. I grimaced, reluctantly surrendering my image of the Court-bred fop who never lifted anything heavier than a fork. “Ready?” His voice was the same as always--or almost the same. I tipped my head back to look at his face, instantly suspicious. Despite his compressed lips he was clearly on the verge of laughter. For a moment I longed, with all my heart, to swing my stick right at his head. My fingers gripped…and his palm turned, just slightly; but I knew a block readying when I saw one. The strong possibility that anything I attempted would lead directly to an ignominious defeat did not improve my mood at all, but I dropped the stick and wiped my hand down the side of my rumpled tunic. Vowing I’d see that smile wiped off his cursed face, I said shortly, “Let’s get it over with.” He put his hands on my waist and boosted me up onto the horse--and I couldn’t help but notice it didn’t take all that much effort. All right, defeat so far, I thought as I winced and gritted my way through arranging my leg much as it had been on the previous ride. All I have to do is catch him in a single unwary moment…He mounted behind me and we started off, while I indulged myself with the image of grabbing that stick and conking him right across his smiling face.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I hadn’t noticed, through all my inner torture and turmoil, that Marlboro Man and the horses had been walking closer to me. Before I knew it, Marlboro Man’s right arm was wrapped around my waist while his other hand held the reins of the two horses. In another instant, he pulled me toward him in a tight grip and leaned in for a sweet, tender kiss--a kiss he seemed to savor even after our lips parted. “Good morning,” he said sweetly, grinning that magical grin. My knees went weak. I wasn’t sure if it was the kiss itself…or the dread of riding. We mounted our horses and began walking slowly up the hillside. When we reached the top, Marlboro Man pointed across a vast prairie. “See that thicket of trees over there?” he said. “That’s where we’re headed.” Almost immediately, he gave his horse a kick and began to trot across the flat plain. With no prompting from me at all, my horse followed suit. I braced myself, becoming stiff and rigid and resigning myself to looking like a freak in front of my love and also to at least a week of being too sore to move. I held on to the saddle, the reins, and my life as my horse took off in the same direction as Marlboro Man’s. Not two minutes into our ride, my horse slightly faltered after stepping in a shallow hole. Having no experience with this kind of thing, I reacted, shrieking loudly and pulling wildly on my reins, simultaneously stiffening my body further. The combination didn’t suit my horse, who decided, understandably, that he pretty much didn’t want me on his back anymore. He began to buck, and my life flashed before my eyes--for the first time, I was deathly afraid of horses. I held on for dear life as the huge creature underneath me bounced and reared, but my body caught air, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d go flying. In the distance, I heard Marlboro Man’s voice. “Pull up on the reins! Pull up! Pull up!” My body acted immediately--it was used to responding instantly to that voice, after all--and I pulled up tightly on the horse’s reins. This forced its head to an upright position, which made bucking virtually impossible for the horse. Problem was, I pulled up too tightly and quickly, and the horse reared up. I leaned forward and hugged the saddle, praying I wouldn’t fall off backward and sustain a massive head injury. I liked my head. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to it. By the time the horse’s front legs hit the ground, my left leg was dangling out of its stirrup, even as all my dignity was dangling by a thread. Using my balletic agility, I quickly hopped off the horse, tripping and stumbling away the second my feet hit the ground. Instinctively, I began hurriedly walking away--from the horse, from the ranch, from the burning. I didn’t know where I was going--back to L.A., I figured, or maybe I’d go through with Chicago after all. I didn’t care; I just knew I had to keep walking. In the meantime, Marlboro Man had arrived at the scene and quickly calmed my horse, who by now was eating a leisurely morning snack of dead winter grass that had yet to be burned. The nag. “You okay?” Marlboro Man called out. I didn’t answer. I just kept on walking, determined to get the hell out of Dodge. It took him about five seconds to catch up with me; I wasn’t a very fast walker. “Hey,” he said, grabbing me around the waist and whipping me around so I was facing him. “Aww, it’s okay. It happens.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The first time Christina and Lachlan Meet ...Christina wasn't about to stop fighting—not until she took her last breath. Boring down with her heels, she thrashed. "Get off me, ye brute." She would hold her son in her arms this day if it was the last thing she did. And by the shift of the crushing weight on her chest, she only had moments before her life's breath completely whooshed from her lungs. The very thought of dying whilst her son was still held captive infused her with strength. With a jab, she slammed the heel of her hand across the man's chin. He flew from her body like a sack of grain. Praises be, had the Lord granted her with superhuman strength? Blinking, Christina sat up. No, no. Her strike hadn't rescued her from the pillager. A champion had. A behemoth of a man pummeled the pikeman's face with his fists. "Never. Ever." His fists moved so fast they blurred. "Harm. A. Woman!" Bloodied and battered, the varlet dropped to the dirt. A swordsman attacked her savior from behind. "Watch out," she cried, but before the words left her lips the warrior spun to his feet. Flinging his arm backward, he grabbed his assailant's wrist, stopped the sword midair and flipped the cur onto his back. Onward, he fought a rush of English attackers with his bare hands, without armor. Not even William Wallace himself had been so talented. This warrior moved like a cat, anticipating his opponent's moves before they happened. Five enemy soldiers lay on their backs. "Quickly," the man shouted, running toward her, his feet bare. No sooner had she rolled to her knees than his powerful arms clamped around her. The wind whipped beneath her feet. He planted her bum in the saddle. "Behind!" Christina screamed, every muscle in her body clenching taut. Throwing back an elbow, the man smacked an enemy soldier in the face resulting in a sickening crack. She picked up her reins and dug in her heels. "Whoa!" The big man latched onto the skirt of her saddle and hopped behind her, making her pony's rear end dip. But the frightened galloway didn't need coaxing. He galloped away from the fight like a deer running from a fox. Christina peered around her shoulder at the mass of fighting men behind them. "My son!" "Do you see him?" the man asked in the strangest accent she'd ever heard. She tried to turn back, but the man's steely chest stopped her. "They took him." "Who?" "The English, of course." The more they talked, the further from the border the galloway took them. "Huh?" the man mumbled behind her like he'd been struck in the head by a hammer. Everyone for miles knew the Scots and the English were to exchange a prisoner that day. The champion's big palm slipped around her waist and held on—it didn't hurt like he was digging in his fingers, but he pressed firm against her. The sensation of such a powerful hand on her body was unnerving. It had been eons since any man had touched her, at least gently. The truth? Aside from the brutish attack moments ago, Christina's life had been nothing but chaste. White foam leached from the pony's neck and he took in thunderous snorts. He wouldn't be able to keep this pace much longer. Christina steered him through a copse of trees and up the crag where just that morning she'd stood with King Robert and Sir Boyd before they'd led the Scottish battalion into the valley. There, she could gain a good vantage point and try to determine where the backstabbing English were heading with Andrew this time. At the crest of the outcropping, she pulled the horse to a halt. "The pony cannot keep going at this pace." The man's eyebrows slanted inward and he gave her a quizzical stare. Good Lord, his tempest-blue eyes pierced straight through her soul. "Are you speaking English?
Amy Jarecki (The Time Traveler's Christmas (Guardian of Scotland, #3))
Weave for the mighty chestnut A tributary crown Of autumn leaves, the brightest then When autumn leaves are brown Hang up his bridle on the wall, His saddle on the tree, Till time shall bring some racing king Worthy to wear as he!
Charles Hatton Secretariat
Goods and chattel. The words from the leather book came into my head. We were like the gold leaf mirror and the horse saddle. Not full-fledged people. I didn't believe this, never had believed it a day of my life, but if you listen to white folks long enough, some sad, beat-down part of you starts to wonder. All that pride about what we were worth left me then. For the first time, I felt the hurt and shame of just being who I was. After a while, I went down to the cellar. When mauma saw my raw eyes, she said, "Ain't nobody can write down in a book what you worth.
Sue Monk Kidd
I led my portion of the rearguard across the open ground to the right of the prince’s battalion, and surged into the first company of Castilian reinforcements as they tried to arrange into a defensive line. They were well-equipped foot with steel helms and leather jacks, glaives and axes, but demoralised and unwilling to stand against a charge of heavy horse. I skewered a serjeant in the front rank with my lance and rode over him as the men behind him scattered, yelling in fear and hurling their banners away as they ran. If all the Castilians had behaved in such a manner, we would have had an easy time of it, but now Enrique flung his household knights into the fray. It had started to rain heavily, sheets of water blown by strong winds across the battlefield, and a phalanx of Castilian lancers on destriers came plunging out of the murk, smashing into the front rank of my division. A lance shattered against my cuisse, almost knocking me from the saddle, but I kept my seat and slashed at the knight with my broadsword as he hurtled past, chopping an iron leaf from the chaplet encircling his basinet, but doing no other damage. My men held together under the Castilian charge, and soon there was a fine swirling mêlée in progress. I was surrounded by visored helms and glittering blades, men yelling and horses screaming, and glimpsed my standard bearer ahead of me, shouting and fending off two Castilians with the butt of his lance. Another Englishman rode in to help him, throwing his arms around one of the Castilians and heaving him out of the saddle with sheer brute strength, and then a fresh wave of steel and horseflesh, thrown up by the violent, shifting eddies of battle, closed over them and shut off my view. I couldn’t bear to lose my banner again, and charged into the mass of fighting men, clearing a path with the sword’s edge. A mace or similar hammered against my back-plate, sending bolts of agony shooting up my spine, and my foot slipped out of the stirrup as I leaned drunkenly in the saddle, black spots reeling before my eyes.
David Pilling (The Half-Hanged Man (The Half-Hanged Man, #1-3))
But she learned in two hours what most girls of her age would only have learned in two weeks, for she was without fear, and after each tumble she was up again, dizzy and bruised yet laughing, and back in the saddle almost before Sir Benjamin had time to draw rein.
Elizabeth Goudge (The Little White Horse)
This here is Miz Nellie Ward," Dane started. "Until about an hour ago, she was the owner of one of the finest brothels in Dodge City.” He smiled at the woman and continued. “The place burned to the ground and all her girls left to work for another house.” “What the hell is this about, Marshal?” Mindy said. “If you think I’m going to work for Nellie you’re crazy.” She nodded at the woman. “No offense, Nellie. It’s just that I ain’t got a hankering for spending my time flat on my back. That about killed my mama.” “None taken,” Nellie said, her lips twitching. “Although that’s not why Nellie is here, missy, you might not be so quick to dismiss a job,” the marshal said. “Stuart stopped me on the way over here so I could tell you to turn in your dress, cause you’ve been fired.” “Well, hell. Ain’t that like a man? Takes the mayor’s side in this, without even hearing what really happened.” “Forget it, girl. What I have to say to you—” his eyes swept over the other three women behind bars. “All of you—is I have a proposal.” He paused, making sure he had all their attention. “Nellie’s place burned down, and she has nowhere to go. All of you are a burr under my saddle. I can’t have women in my jail, but none of you have a job or a place to stay.” He took off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair. “So, this is the deal. There’s a wagon train right now at Fort Dodge from Independence that’s headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico territory. Now I happen to know there are plenty of men down that way looking for wives.” One of the women gasped. “Marshal, surely you’re not suggesting . . .” “Yes, ma’am I am suggesting. You gals will either get on that wagon train with Nellie here as your chaperone or wait until the circuit judge comes around when he sobers up. He’ll be so blasted hung over, he’s liable to send y’all off to the state prison.” “That’s outrageous. You can’t force us to marry strangers.” Another young, pretty girl clutched the cell bars, her knuckles white. “No, ma’am, you’re probably right. I can’t do that. But what I can do is leave you sitting here until old Judge Bailey makes his appearance. Sometimes we don’t see him for six months.” “I’m willing.” The girl curled up on her cot said, her voice barely above a whisper. From Prisoners of Love: Nellie, A Christmas to Remember
Callie Hutton
By these standards at least, it sometimes appears that Americans today value nothing so much as being rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained. We say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt. We say we believe in equal opportunity but then stand idle while millions of American children languish in poverty. We insist that we value family, but then structure our economy and organize our lives so as to ensure that our families get less and less of our time.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
However, when it’s time to get back in the saddle after resting, it’s as though your arse were shouting, ‘Help! Murder!
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, #2))
gratified her; it was only right that her food should fear her. If ever she should fear it, she would know it was her time to die. A league farther upstream, the Varden were packed against the Jiet River like a herd of red deer against the edge of a cliff. The Varden had arrived at the crossing yesterday, and since then, perhaps a third of the men-who-were-friends and the Urgals-who-were-friends and the horses-she-must-not-eat had forded the river. The army moved so slowly, she sometimes wondered how humans ever had time to do anything other than travel, considering how short their lives were. It would be much more convenient if they could fly, she thought, and wondered why they did not choose to. Flying was so easy, it never ceased to puzzle her why any creature would remain earthbound. Even Eragon retained his attachment to the soft-hard-ground, when she knew he could join her in the sky at any time merely by uttering a few words in the ancient language. But then, she did not always understand the actions of those who tottered about on two legs, whether they had round ears, pointed ears, or horns or were so short she could squash them under her feet. A flicker of movement to the northeast caught her attention, and she angled toward it, curious. She saw a line of five-and-forty weary horses trudging toward the Varden. Most of the horses were rider-less; therefore, it did not occur to her until another half hour had elapsed and she could make out the faces of the men in the saddles that the group might be Roran’s returning from their raid. She wondered what had happened to so
Christopher Paolini (Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle, #3))
To get leather, each department procured its quota of hides, made contracts with the tanners, obtained hands for them by exemptions from the army, got transportation over the railroads for the hides and for supplies. To the varied functions of this bureau was finally added that of assisting the tanners to procure the necessary supplies for the tanneries. A fishery, even, was established on Cape Fear River to get oil for mechanical purposes, and at the same time food for the workmen. In cavalry equipments the main thing was to get a good saddle which would not hurt the back of the horse. For this purpose various patterns were tried, and reasonable success was obtained. One of the most difficult wants to supply in this branch of the service was the horseshoe for cavalry and artillery. The want of iron and of skilled labor was strongly felt. Every wayside blacksmith-shop accessible, especially those in and near the theatre of operations, was employed. These, again, had to be supplied with material, and the employees exempted from service.
Jefferson Davis (The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government)
It is said by several authorities that on being in the saddle he declared, “This day I conquer or die.” Nothing was more unlike him. Months before in England he had used such words to Wratislaw, and assuredly they did not go beyond the truth. But, arrived at the point of action, it is more probable that he made some considerate inquiry about his horse’s forage or his man’s rations.
Winston S. Churchill (Marlborough: His Life and Times (Marlborough: His Life and Times Series Book 2))
A pretty face can be hard to see past. Be careful, though. All faces change with time. It’s a good heart you want to be saddled with.” Not
Rachel Fordham (The Hope of Azure Springs)
The din of artillery and musketry was deafening at this time, and I did not hear the words that passed between the two generals. But my eyes were upon Hancock’s striking figure - I thought him the most striking man I ever saw on horseback, and magnificent in the flush and excitement of battle - when he uttered an exclamation and I saw that he was reeling in the saddle. 2
James A. Hessler (Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg: A Guide to the Most Famous Attack in American History)
I found a hospital on the Sudley road, back of the field of battle, at which Colonel Jones, of the Fourth Alabama, had been, which was in charge of a surgeon of a Rhode Island regiment, whose name was Harris, I think. I asked him if he had what he wanted for the men under his care, and he told me he would like to have some morphine, of which his supply was short. I directed a young surgeon of our cavalry, who rode up at the time, to furnish the morphine, which he did, from a pair of medical saddle-pockets which he had. Dr. Harris told me that he knew that their troops had had a great deal of coffee and sugar mixed, ready for boiling, of which a good deal had been left at different points near the field, and asked if there would be any objection to his sending out and gathering some of it for the use of the wounded under his charge, as it would be of much service to them. I gave him the permission to get not only that, but anything else that would tend to the comfort of his patients. There did not come within my observation any instance of harsh or unkind treatment of the enemy's wounded; nor did I see any indication of a spirit to extend such treatment to them. The stories which were afterward told before the Committee on the Conduct of the War (appointed by the Federal Congress), in regard to 'rebel atrocities,' were very grossly exaggerated, or manufactured from the whole cloth....
Jefferson Davis (The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government)
So, here they were, face to face with the Son of God! When they had first seen him in the throne room, he had been nearly indistinguishable from the Father. In a manner that defied explanation and description, both he and the entity who had leaned upon the back of the Father’s throne had been one with God himself. Now, outside the throne room, the Son was clearly his own person, yet his majesty and the wonder he evoked were not diminished. He was unsurpassably beautiful. Tall and graceful, he sat upon his fabulous steed with a dignity that emanated pure power. His snow white hair hung to his saddle-back in thick waves, two intricate braids caught back at the temples to form a tiara entwined with gold. Despite his snowy hair, his face, while containing all the eons of heaven, seemed ageless, eternally youthful. His clothing, while utterly elegant, was simple and straightforward. A gown of blazing white was topped by a sleeveless coat of sky blue, and draping all was a cloak of deep, dark scarlet, its ample hood spread out across his shoulders. Everything was trimmed with gold and silver braid, gleaming gems of many colors peeking here and there from the folds. His horse’s tack was fabulous, all of embossed gold and cushioned wood, carved with dazzling intricacy. But, they had only a moment to take all of this in, before the prince saluted them with an outstretched arm. “Good day, friends,” he hailed them. “We meet again.” Gabriel’s heart lurched. He would have returned the salutation, but his voice failed him. Supporting one another, the four archangels were determined not to fall down. But, it was no use. They simply had no strength to stay upright. Besides, they were overcome with the desire to worship this mighty prince. Slumping to the ground, even the most self-assured of them, Lucifer, was brought to his knees. Again, the seraph flew over them, this time raising them to their feet without laying a hand on them. A swift flick of his fingers, and they were upright, once again. By the time they had regained their composure, the prince had dismounted and was walking toward one root of the mammoth tree. “Follow me,” he said, waving them forward. “It is time for us to have a talk.” Michael was the first to comply. Gabriel followed, with Raphael and Uriel close behind, all of them tingling from head to toe.
Ellen Gunderson Traylor (Gabriel - The War in Heaven, Book I (Gabriel - God's Hero))
Mark slept at once; she used to tease him about the sleep of the righteous as night after night he was snoring almost as soon as his head hit the pillow while she would lie awake, worrying about the day gone by and the day to come, Anna and Petra, the parish and, from time to time, the people who had come to her with their problems from another world and another time. And now, as she lay beside him, she couldn’t get the vision of the horse rearing above her out of her head, the man in the saddle, leaning forward, dragging the horse’s head sideways so it would avoid hitting her with its hooves. He wore no head covering, she realised now as she pictured him behind her closing eyes, his hair blowing across his face, dressed in dark clothes, a cloak of some kind streaming behind him, caught at the shoulder with a round silver disc.
Barbara Erskine (The Dream Weavers)
You win some, you lose some. You try and sometimes fail. You grind, grin, and win. You love and remember loss. Everyday is a new day. Every moment another chance. Every road a new sight. All that matters is that you keep going. Stay as present as you can. Spend your time well. Choose your emotions as much as you can. But above all, choose love as much as you can. Forgive sincerely. Laugh fully. Hug closely. Kiss deeply. Leave nothing unsaid. Look straight into stars and sunsets and tears. Hold on. Hold each other. Hold close to all that matters to your heart. To dreams and smiles and people. The rodeo is life. You’re the rider. Saddle up, ride hard, and hold on tight. But whatever you do. Just keep on riding.
Drue Grit
Thinking takes time. Feeling . . . not so much. Feeling is instant. It's reaction. But thinking? Thinking is hard work. Feeling doesn't take any work at all. I'm not saying it's wrong. Not saying it's right either. It just is. How I feel . . . I can't trust that, not right away, because how I feel today may not be how I feel tomorrow. Most people don't want to think through things. It's a whole lot easier not to. But time in the saddle gives a man lots of time to think.
Amy Harmon (Where the Lost Wander)
All those nights when it had simply been the two of them, out in the field, running, jumping, throwing, catching. No judges or fans. Wallace was not a spurned breed or a do that no one wanted; Roo was not a man saddled with debts and marital trouble. They were similar in their single-minded determination and tireless drive, and that effort led them to a state in which there was no thinking, no trying, no worrying – they simply were. Man and dog locked together in pursuit of a single goal. Doing, being, sharing. That, thought Roo, was the definition of a lot of things: success, happiness, life.
Jim Gorant (Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls-- One Flying Disc at a Time)
If you are married to a person who has (or might have) ADHD, you might feel ignored and lonely in your relationship. Your spouse never seems to follow up on what he agrees to do—so much so that you may feel as if you really have another child in your home instead of an adult. You feel you’re forced to remind him all the time to do things. You nag, and you’ve started to dislike the person you’ve become. The two of you either fight often or have virtually nothing to say to each other that either of you finds meaningful. You are frustrated that your spouse seems to be able to focus intently on things that interest him, but never on you. Perhaps worst of all, you feel intense stress from not knowing whether you can rely on him and feeling saddled with almost all of the responsibilities of the household, while your spouse gets to “have all the fun.
Melissa Orlov (The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps)
I gave it a last tap, tried all the screws again, put one more drop of oil on the quartz rod, and sat myself in the saddle. I suppose a suicide who holds a pistol to his skull feels much the same wonder at what will come next as I felt then.
H.G. Wells (The Time Machine)
When people’s judgments deviate from a normative model, as they so often do, we have a puzzle to solve. Sometimes the disparity reveals a genuine irrationality: the human brain cannot cope with the complexity of a problem, or it is saddled with a bug that cussedly drives it to the wrong answer time and again. But in many cases there is a method to people’s madness. A problem may have been presented to them in a deceptive format, and when it is translated into a mind-friendlier guise, they solve it. Or the normative model may itself be correct only in a particular environment, and people accurately sense that they are not in that one, so the model doesn’t apply. Or the model may be designed to bring about a certain goal, and, for better or worse, people are after a different one. In the chapters to come, we will see examples of all these extenuating circumstances. The penultimate chapter will lay out how some of today’s florid outbursts of irrationality may be understood as the rational pursuit of goals other than an objective understanding of the world.
Steven Pinker (Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters)
Once upon a time, the dragons used to mock her because these spikes prevented her from bearing a saddle. Now, with her being bonded to the famous descendant of the great Asian leopard cat, they apparently all respected her.
Chris Behrsin (A Cat's Guide to Saving the Kingdom (Dragoncat #3))
Lawrence was on Ghazala, whose calf had recently died and left her in great grief. Abdulla the Robber, riding next to Lawrence, carried the calf’s dried pelt behind his saddle. Ghazala in the middle of the singing began to tread uneasily, remembering her grief, and stopped, gently moaning. Abdulla leaped off his camel and spread the pelt before her. She stopped crying and sniffed at it three or four times, then whimpering went on again. This happened several times that day but in the end she forgot her grief.
Robert Graves (Lawrence and the Arabs)
Now I am standing, yet I feel so woozy and woosy. My belly cramps in knots, worse than when I am on my period. I stumble to the bathroom bumping into everything down the hallway, the bathroom is by my mom and dad’s bedroom, I am holding my mouth. My legs trembling over what I have done, certainly, I’m going to throw up or shut myself, or both… I didn’t even think about closing the door when I got there or turn on the light… I barfed in the scarp can while side-saddling one leg on either of the toilets, as it runs coming out of me from both ends at the same time. I reached for the sink after I thought it was all over and brushed my teeth and then shower to wash off. My shower is way too hot and there’s thick steam everywhere, fogging up the mirror, drops are budding upon the tiles. I hear voices in the hallway, but the water rushing down on me, and it feels wonderful, it’s falling so hard on my head and body I can’t make them out, yet I'm sure if the mother says nasty things to me, dad. I stop the water flow overhead. I hear dad looking in at me saying: ‘Get out of the shower, and get going, your friend is out there waiting for you. I said- What? Oh my god, close the door dad, and don’t look at me. Yet he did not remember to close the door all the way. I step out of the shower stall dripping wet, I blot the remainder off with a towel, and there is no time for makeup or doing my hair. Jenny, early I thought… it has to be a miracle. I feel there is like an electric current running through my body, coming deep inside me when I look up and see my little sis looking up at me, saying- ‘Are you okay?’ Her fingers brushed against my lower back skin, as I was staring at her without expression on my face. My eyes widen in the phenomenon, yet I hide no idea why it was in such utter shock to me. She is always sneaking up on me. Yet you would think I saw a ghost by the look within my unconscious feeling eyes. I look into my hand mirrors, pulling it off the countertop, and- I see that my irises are surrounded by a jade green- a glowing circle of light, let me know that I have made it… the powers at be are letting me have my do-overs. My eye was always green but never like this, they're so alluring now, almost like glowing the light of the other universe above, letting me know that I am echoing the final days of my life.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Dreaming of you Play with Me)
The last time I came down from the enchanted saddle, my human sadness was so great that I swore never to again. The ride, however, continues on in me. I converse, I clean the house, I smile, but I know that the ride is within me.
Clarice Lispector (The Passion According to G.H.)
Nicholas was yanking our chain. Everybody knows there were no schools in dinosaur times. Besides, it would be hard to ride a dinosaur. They don’t even make saddles for them. Dr. Nicholas would have had to ride the dinosaur bareback.
Dan Gutman (Dr. Nicholas Is Ridiculous! (My Weirder School #8))
Riding a motorcycle is velocity as poetry. The fine balance between elegant agility and fatal fall is a kind of truth, and like all truth, it carries a heartbeat with it into the sky. Eternal moments in the saddle escape the stuttering flow of time, and space, and purpose. Coursing on those wheels, on that river of air, in that flight of freed spirit there’s no attachment, no fear, no joy, no hatred, no love, and no malice: the nearest thing, for some violent men, for this violent man, to a state of grace.
Gregory David Roberts (The Mountain Shadow)
nearly forty hours in the saddle, changing horses five times,
Theodore Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography)
Why, my child, should I desert you? Why should I not share your labour and the burden you have been saddled with because of the hatred of my name? Should I be frightened by being accused? Or cower in fear as if it were something unprecedented? This is hardly the first time wisdom has been threatened with danger by the forces of evil.
Boethius (Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy;)
The trembly fellow sighed and said, “I’m all out of whack. I’m going uptown and see my doctor.” Mr. Flood snorted again. “Oh, shut up,” he said. “Damn your doctor! I tell you what you do. You get right out of here and go over to Libby’s oyster house and tell the man you want to eat some of his big oysters. Don’t sit down. Stand up at that fine marble bar they got over there, where you can watch the man knife them open. And tell him you intend to drink the oyster liquor; he’ll knife them on the cup shell, so the liquor won’t spill. And be sure you get the big ones. Get them so big you’ll have to rear back to swallow, the size that most restaurants use for fries and stews; God forgive them, they don’t know any better. Ask for Robbins Islands, Mattitucks, Cape Cods, or Saddle Rocks. And don’t put any of that red sauce on them, that cocktail sauce, that mess, that gurry. Ask the man for half a lemon, poke it a time or two to free the juice, and squeeze it over the oysters. And the first one he knifes, pick it up and smell it, the way you’d smell a rose, or a shot of brandy. That briny, seaweedy fragrance will clear your head; it’ll make your blood run faster. And don’t just eat six; take your time and eat a dozen, eat two dozen, eat three dozen, eat four dozen. And then leave the man a generous tip and go buy yourself a fifty-cent cigar and put your hat on the side of your head and take a walk down to Bowling Green. Look at the sky! Isn’t it blue? And look at the girls a-tap-tap-tapping past on their pretty little feet! Aren’t they just the finest girls you ever saw, the bounciest, the rumpiest, the laughingest? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for even thinking about spending good money on a damned doctor? And along about here, you better be careful. You’re apt to feel so bucked-up you’ll slap strangers on the back, or kick a window in, or fight a cop, or jump on the tailboard of a truck and steal a ride.
Joseph Mitchell (Old Mr Flood)
He had not actually been hurled to the earth, but by the time Alex had scrambled awkwardly into the saddle the horse was left in no doubt as to who was in charge. It was not Alex.
Martin Dukes (Worm Winds of Zanzibar)
The muscles of Sue’s legs tensed, and the saddle lurched. One of the little girls screamed. And then the Tyrannosaur came down from the leap that had carried her over the besieged Wardens. Sue landed with one clawed foot on the street, and the other came down squarely on the Caddy’s hood, like a falcon descending upon a rabbit. There was an enormous sound of shrieking metal and breaking glass, and the saddle lurched wildly again. I leaned over to see what had happened. The car’s hood and engine block had been compacted into a two-foot-thick section of twisted metal. Even as I looked, Sue leaned over the car in a curiously birdlike movement, opened her enormous jaws, and ripped the roof off. Inside was Li Xian, dressed in a black shirt and trousers. The ghoul’s forehead had a nasty gash in it, and green-black blood had sheeted over one side of his face. His eyes were blank and a little vague, and I figured he’d clipped his head on the steering wheel or window when Sue brought his sliding car to an abrupt halt. Li Xian shook his head and then started to scramble out of the car. Sue roared again, and the sound must have terrified Li Xian, because all of his limbs jerked in spasm and he fell on his face to the street. Sue leaned down again, her jaws gaping, but the ghoul rolled under the car to get away from them. So Sue kicked the car, and sent it tumbling end over end three or four times down the street. The ghoul let out a scream and stared up at Sue in naked terror, covering his head with his arms. Sue ate him. Snap. Gulp. No more ghoul. “What’s with that?” Butters screamed, his voice high and frightened. “Just covering his head with his arms? Didn’t he see the lawyer in the movie?” “Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them,” I replied, turning Sue around. “Hang on!” I rode the dinosaur into the stream of zombies following in the Wardens’ wake and let her go to town. Sue chomped and stomped and smacked zombies fifty feet through the air with swinging blows of her snout. Her tail batted one particularly vile-looking zombie into the brick wall of the nearest building, and the zombie hit so hard and so squishily that it just stuck to the wall like a refrigerator magnet, arms and legs spread in a sprawl.
Anonymous
As her eyes adjusted to the dark, she peered over the edge of the bed at her husband. When he rolled to one side and then the other and finally settled for lying on his back, she arched an eyebrow. “Comfortable?” He made that Scottish harrumph sound. “Come on up here,” she said, patting the bed. “I promise to keep my hands to myself.” He made no response. Fine. Be that way. She scooted out of bed and unabashedly stretched out alongside her tall Highlander. The burgundy kilt did nothing to disguise the hardness of the floor, and her hip protested when she turned on her side to face him. “What are ye doing, lass?” His voice was so soft and close in the darkness, it made her shiver. She forgot all about the hard floor. “I always imagined that once I got married, I’d finally know what it was like to spend the night in a man’s arms. Will you hold me, so I can feel what that’s like? I won’t ask for more than that. Just hold me.” He rolled to face her and touched her cheek. “Ah, lass,” he sighed. “How can I deny you when you ask so sweetly? If ’tis holding ye want, holding you shall get. But the floor is no place for you and your bairn. Up in the bed with you.” “It’s no place for a married man, either,” she said, smiling at her small victory. He sighed again, a sound heavy with sentiment she could only guess at. She climbed under the blankets and held them up for him, but he was taking his sweet time. “Are you coming?” “Aye, lass. Just donning my plaid.” She bit back a huff of frustration. She determined to enjoy what little affection he would give her and didn’t want to push her luck by asking for more. Her hormones would have to learn patience; this was going to be a painfully slow seduction. When Darcy slipped into bed, bare-chested, but wrapped in layers of wool from the waist down, she cuddled into his open arms. All her frustration drained away as he gathered her in and the heat of his chest turned her into a melty puddle of contentment. She nestled her nose into the tuft of hair between his mounded pectorals and inhaled his scent of saddle leather and faint, masculine musk. Beneath her closed eyelids, her eyes rolled back in her head with bliss.
Jessi Gage (Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes Book 1))
Eyes on me,” I told Gabe just as he’d instructed me many times. I pushed inside him once his seductive brown eyes were on me. “Jesus, Gabe,” I said when his tight heat enveloped me. I was once again worried that my inexperience would show when I lasted a whole two seconds in the saddle so to speak. Hotter than his ass’s grip on my cock was the look in his eyes. Gabe
Aimee Nicole Walker (Dyed and Gone to Heaven (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries, #3))
After months of patient hint-dropping and carrot-dangling, today was the day he would finally break through Tori’s resolve and convince her to take their partnership from strictly business to something more. He’d been aching for that something more for over a year now, but every time he’d broached the subject, she’d made it clear she had no interest in pursuing a romantic relationship with any man. He supposed he should take comfort in the fact that it wasn’t him she objected to but his gender as a whole. It still didn’t sit well, though. It wasn’t fair of her to paint him with the same brush that she painted every other trouser-wearing yahoo who crossed her path. Especially the one who had put her off men in the first place. Ben had no idea who the scoundrel was or what he had done, but he didn’t doubt the man’s existence. She’d never spoken of a husband, and always introduced herself as Miss Adams, not Mrs., so he figured whoever had fathered Lewis had probably not seen fit to put a ring on her finger first. And he’d remembered the terror in her eyes when they’d first met. He’d once worked with a horse that had that same look, who’d spooked every time he’d tried to get close. That gelding would kick and bite and run every chance it got. Turned out, its previous owner had taken pleasure in applying his spurs and whip. It took months to earn that roan’s trust—months where he’d endured bites and kicks, months of letting the animal run away without forcing his cooperation—but in the end, the roan came around and became the best saddle horse Ben had ever owned. Tori had suffered at a man’s hands—of that Ben was certain. But now that she’d had months to get used him, to stop spooking every time he spoke to her or walked into her store, it was time she ceased viewing him through the lens of her past and saw him as his own man—strengths, flaws, and everything in between. Well, maybe not the flaws. Not all of them anyway. He wanted to recommend himself to her as a potential husband, not scare her off for good. “If
Karen Witemeyer (Worth the Wait (Ladies of Harper’s Station, #1.5))
trained and ready to fight. “I now have a really intensive faith in the First Division. They are 1,000 percent better than they were…. They are young but are hard and fit. Please remember that I am thinking of you and Sonny all the time.” He swung a leg over the side of the Reina del Pacifico and with a gymnast’s grace scrambled down the net to the waiting boat below.   Chaos awaited him on the beaches near Arzew. An unanticipated westerly set had pushed the transports and landing craft off course. Dozens of confused coxswains tacked up and down the coast in the dark, looking for the right beaches. Most of the soldiers carried more than 100 pounds of equipment; one likened himself to a medieval knight in armor who had to be winched into the saddle. Once ashore, feeling the effect of weeks aboard ship with a poor diet and little exercise, they staggered into the dunes, shedding gas capes, goggles, wool undershirts, and grenades. Landing craft stranded by an ebb tide so jammed the beaches that bulldozers had to push them off, ruining their propellers and rudders. The flat-bottomed oil tankers that were supposed to haul light tanks onto the beach instead ran aground 300 feet from shore; engineers spent hours building a causeway through the surf.
Rick Atkinson (An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943)
We’re all pretty much able to deal even with the worst that life can fire at us, if we simply admit that it is very difficult. I think that’s the whole of the answer. We make our way, and effort and time give us cushion and dignity. And as we age, we’re riding higher in the saddle, seeing more terrain. So it’s an epiphany after all. You have it in your hand the whole time.
Darin Strauss (Half a Life: A Memoir)
Fire knew this was her cue to dismount and give her hand to Welkley, but when she moved, a spasm of pain radiated outward from the small of her back. She caught her breath, gritted her teeth, pulled her leg over her saddle and tipped, leaving it to Brigan’s instincts to keep her from landing on her backside before the king’s first steward. He caught her coolly and propped her on her feet, his face impassive, as if it were routine for her to launch herself at him every time she dismounted; and scowled at the white marble floor while she presented her hand to Welkley.
Kristin Cashore (Fire)
Being saddled with a job that pays well but is slowly killing you inside? So that by the time you are 40, you are nursing a paunch and are thoroughly bored of life? You reach a point where life starts to look like an endless and passionless march towards death. And as if that’s not enough, you are also raising the next generation of emotionless souls. All our drinking, smoking, drugs and our mid-life crises are cries for help from this colorless existence. Life is essentially about finding some joy, some beauty and some absolution. Because humankind, by its very nature, is a potentiality, a work in progress.
Brian Tracy (What You Seek Is Seeking You)
Sitting up in the saddle, with Daryn and the guys watching me, I was feeling pretty big-time, but my first instinct was to play everything down. Just a regular morning, tearing around a fjord on my gigantic fiery steed. It didn’t work. I felt a grin coming on and I couldn’t hold it back for anything. I knew I looked amazing up there, with my armor and horse. All burning. I mean, how often did you see that? “What’s up, guys?” I said, and reached down to pat Riot’s neck. I heard someone snicker, and I peered at them. “What?” Marcus scratched his jaw. I could tell he was trying not to smile. “Your horse, man. It’s the way he moves.” “It’s called knee action,” Daryn said. “Riot’s is quite high,” Jode added. He frowned and pressed his lips together, but I could hear him sputtering. “It’s cool, G,” Bas said. “He sort of … prances. Reminds me of those Irish river dancers. You know, the ones that—” He couldn’t even finish. He started howling. Suddenly they were falling all over themselves. “It’s ’cause he’s so big, you idiots,” I said. “He’s like a tank. And look at all this mud. He has to have permanent four-wheel drive.” I shut myself up, because I was only making it worse. Riot and I had to just wait it out. But I didn’t really care. I knew we were the best.
Veronica Rossi (Riders (Riders, #1))
The woman sat up in the saddle, looked straight ahead, and began reciting a litany of steps. “I use a slightly increased pushing pressure with my lower leg and seat bone on the same side,” the woman said. “I sit slightly heavier on the inside seat bone, with my inside leg just behind the girth. Doing that should push the hindquarters forward and sideways at the same time.” “Okay. . . ” I started. “I apply that aid at the moment when the inside hind leg is lifted off the ground to start a forward-sideways step,” she continued. “I also put my outside leg in a guarding position behind the girth, blocking her from moving her quarters too far sideways and maintaining the forward movement at the same time.” “I see.” “My inside leg drives, while the outside leg controls.” She hesitated for a second, as if trying to remember the rest. “I guide the forehand along the wall with the outside rein. By supporting with the outside leg, I should be able to keep her from rushing away from the inside leg. The supporting outside rein prevents any falling out over the outside shoulder.” I waited this time to see if there was more. There was. “Ultimately, I’m trying to get her to be flexed away from the direction we are moving and her forehand guided in a shallow turn to align with the hindquarters.” She finally turned and looked back down at me. “Her inside legs should pass and cross in front of her outside legs.” She smiled. “Okay.” I nodded. “And how are you both doing with all of that?” “Not very well.” “Fair enough.” I nodded again. “So let’s try something a little different.
Mark Rashid (A Journey to Softness: In Search of Feel and Connection with the Horse)
They’re supposed to help look for the king.” Merdigen shrugged. “Why the urgency to find the king? You have a queen, after all.” Merdigen’s priorities tended to be rather skewed at times. “I need some fresh air,” Alton said. “Sure, sure, leave me alone. Me and my beard.” Alton shook his head. Just before he stepped through the tower wall to the outside world, he heard Merdigen mutter, “I wish I could go out and have some fresh air.” The weather was fine, so Alton saddled up Night Hawk for a ride down to the main encampment at the breach. Hawk tossed his head and pranced, and Alton was assailed by guilt that he did not pay his horse nearly enough attention. • • • At the main encampment he examined the cracks around the breach, made measurements, and recorded his findings in his logbook. He took reports from the officers on duty there. They kept watch over the breach and
Kristen Britain (Firebrand (Green Rider))
Probably just someone on their way into Tucson, like us. We’d better check it out, though.” The Southerner pulled his Winchester 73 from its sheath and laid it across his waist in the saddle. He’d killed a few men when he’d had to. There was always the possibility that a brother, son, or friend would seek retribution, even though the fights had been fair, the gunplay defensive, their fate deserved. He’d also riled a few lazy, drunk, or dishonest men who’d worked under him at various ranches by giving them their pay and telling them to move on. The Southerner knew that distance and the passage of time were irrelevant where vengeance was concerned. The man who’d sent the telegram asking for his help was proof of that.
Bobby Underwood (Whisper Valley: A Wild Country Western)
Travis talked of what they could do with their day, as if his mother would be there for all of it, including dinner and a game of glowing Frisbee in the dusk. He suggested names for the pony, spoke about saddling it for the first time as if Jane would see him take his inaugural ride days from now. She let him talk, joined him in the pony naming, because he knew that for all their talk, she would be leaving; this was only heartfelt wishing, while there was still time to wish away the day that must be and hope to conjure in its place the day that ought to be.
Dean Koontz (The Silent Corner (Jane Hawk, #1))
In addition to saddling many young people with massive debt for decades, studies have shown that a college education really doesn’t guarantee success. And does a college degree guarantee high performance on the job? Not necessarily. Times are changing fast. While Internet giant Google looks at good grades in specific technical skills for positions requiring them, a 2014 New York Times article detailing an interview with Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations, notes that college degrees aren’t as important as they once were. Bock states that “When you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people.” He noted in a 2013 New York Times article that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time”—on certain teams comprising as much as 14 percent.
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
Cade?" He twisted in his saddle and looked at her questioningly. "What did you mean when you said we were married?" "You accepted my horse, didn't you?" He nodded at the huge gray she rode even now. "You invited me into your house and brought me a dowry of two mustangs. My father approved. That is all that is necessary." His satisfied tone raised her anger. "You know that isn't all that is necessary!" Cade shrugged and walked his mount through a particularly narrow strip between trees. "We can go to town and sign the alcalde's book, if you like. There are no priests. I would take you to San Antonio and a church, but your rebels are probably already there trying to blow holes in the city with their cannon. What more would you have me do?" "You could have at least asked me," Lily answered spitefully. He was too close to truth for comfort. Marriages were a haphazard thing in this country. She would have preferred San Antonio, but after taking Goliad, the rebels were undoubtedly marching to the next city. She didn't want a church that much. But she would have liked to have been asked and to have had her father and son present. She didn't feel in the least married. "If I'm married, what is my name? Mrs. Cade?" He tilted his head as if to consider the notion. "Probably not. It might be easiest if you call yourself Senora de Suela. That's my grandfather's name." "Do you have an Indian name?" "Just my birth name. I did not stay with the tribe long enough to give myself an adult name. My father is Lipan and does not have a family name." "What is your birth name?" They had reached the grassy plain, and Cade could turn and watch her now. Lily supposed the flicker in his eyes could be called amusement. She had never seen him laugh, and rarely did he smile, but she was beginning to understand some of his expressions. Or lack of them. "My father called me something that translates roughly as 'Mighty Quiver.' I never asked him what he was thinking about at the time. My mother called me Luis Philippe, after her father. Do you prefer either of those?" A grin quirked Lily's mouth. Mighty Quiver. She could just imagine a screaming baby boy being called that. She suspected his father had a sense of humor even if Cade did not. He was definitely not a Luis Philippe. She shook her head in reply. "Where does Cade come from?" "The Spanish word for music, cadenza. They thought they insulted me, but they were unaware of the other poor names I had to choose from." Lily didn't want to ask who "they" were or why they would wish to insult him for his love of music. She knew absolutely nothing about this man. "Cade suits you," she answered decisively. "And de Suela?" He lifted his eyebrows questioningly. "Or shall I give myself an adult name now? No one will know the difference." Lily considered this briefly, then shook her head. "I think that is your decision." "De Suela is an old and respected name. I will stay with it, then." Lily de Suela. Considering the state of current affairs, a Mexican name wasn't any better than an Indian one, but she wasn't even certain that either belonged to her. Lily supposed if a child came of their night together, she would be glad of a name for it, but she couldn't reconcile herself to the position of wife just yet. She was just now learning to be herself again. She
Patricia Rice (Texas Lily (Too Hard to Handle, #1))
Time to go, I think," Gareth said breezily. "But first, let's see if Charlotte's inherited the de Montforte horsiness." "The what?" asked Chilcot. "You know. Horsiness. I want to see what Crusader thinks of her."  Still carrying Charlotte, he walked to his horse and held the baby up to the animal's soft, velvet nose. The big hunter arched his neck and blew softly, his ears and eyes on the baby. Charlotte shrieked at each tickling breath, kicking her feet in excitement. Grinning, Gareth lifted the child high and placed her in the saddle, where she sat smiling down at them like a tiny princess, safe within the cradle of his sure, strong grip. "No!" Juliet cried, alarmed. She ran forward. "Don't worry, I've got her," her husband said easily, his big hands firmly around Charlotte's waist. "Take her down now!  She's too little!" "She's a de Montforte, Juliet. All de Montfortes are horse-mad; it's in the blood." But Juliet pushed him aside and pulled the baby down even as everyone stared at her in dismay. Immediately, Charlotte screwed up her face and started crying. Not just crying. Screaming — fit to blow the glass out of the surrounding buildings. Cokeham
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
If she has her way ... Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her ... He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking. Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him ... Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice ... Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work ...
Jill Shalvis (The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2))
I suppose you’re wondering where I’ve been,” Caleb said, sounding damnably pleased with himself as he climbed down from the gelding’s back. “I wasn’t wondering any such thing.” Lily’s arms were folded, and her chin was thrust out. She couldn’t help noticing that Caleb wasn’t wearing his uniform—he had on dark trousers and a cotton shirt. On his head in place of the tasseled campaign hat was a slouchy leather one. Although he wasn’t wearing a holster and pistol, there was a rifle in the scabbard on his saddle. Caleb grinned as he reached up for his saddlebags. “That being the case, you probably wouldn’t be interested in the presents I brought you.” Lily took a reluctant step nearer. “Presents?” He slung the bulging saddlebags over one sturdy shoulder and gave a long-suffering sigh. “You won’t want to see them, of course.” Lily bit her lower lip. “That would depend,” she said. Caleb laughed. “On what?” There was no helping it; Lily had to smile. “On what they are, silly.” He tossed the saddlebags to Lily, and they nearly knocked her over. “Go ahead, sodbuster. Have a look.” Feeling self-conscious, Lily opened the flap of one saddlebag and peeked inside. It was bulging with fragrant, tangy oranges, and Lily’s mouth watered at the prospect of such a treat. In the other saddlebag she found two dime novels, Wilhelmina and the Wild Indians and Evelyn and the Mountain Man, along with a bar of chocolate and two pretty tortoiseshell combs for her hair. “I don’t know what to say,” Lily whispered. She’d never received so many wonderful presents at one time in her life. “Except for thank you, of course.” Caleb kissed her forehead. “Am I back in your good graces now?” Lily looked up at him, clutching the saddlebags to her chest. “That depends on whether or not you’ve decided to marry me.” His jawline tightened, and for one terrible moment Lily was afraid he meant to take back the oranges and the books and the chocolate and the combs. “I’ve decided,” he answered. His voice was so cold that Lily didn’t need to ask what that decision was. She flung the saddlebags with their cherished contents back into his arms, whirled on one heel, and strode back to the garden plot, where she began hoeing again with a vengeance.
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
I hope you do too!     Hi, my name is Abbie and this diary is all about me and my very first pony, Sparkle who is a beautiful 13 hand Palomino. She is the best first pony anyone could wish for and we’ve had so many great adventures together. Luckily, I live on a rural property with lots of land and also other neighborhood girls to ride with. We have our very own “Saddle Club” and it’s such a great way to grow up. I have many fun times to share with you and if you’re anywhere near as horse mad as me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading this book. Now, from the beginning…
Katrina Kahler (Julia Jones' Diary / Horse Mad Girl / Diary of an Almost Cool Girl / Diary of Mr TDH)
Jostling in the saddle against an iron shirt of mail wasn't half as romantic as the books made it out to be.
Amy Jarecki (Rise of a Legend (Guardian of Scotland #1))
He urged the horse a little faster and when he was within her hearing, he whistled. The piercing sound cut through the air and Vanni turned her mount toward him. She took one look at him, turned and kicked Chico’s flank, taking off. “Goddammit!” he swore. So, this was how it would be—not easy. He was going to have to take off the gloves. He risked being thrown by giving Liberty a snap with the end of his rein. The stallion reared. Paul hung on, then leaned low in the saddle while Liberty closed the space between them. By God, he was going to catch her, make her listen, get through to her. There was no one within shouting distance to distract them. For once in his life, he was going to finish! Even if he had to cover Vanessa’s mouth with his hand! It only took him a few minutes to catch up to her, thanks to Liberty, the champion of the stable. Pulling alongside Vanni he reached out over her hands and grabbed her reins, pulling Chico to a stop. The expression she turned on him was fierce. “What?” she demanded. “Listen to me!” he retorted. “Make it quick!” “Fine. Here’s quick. I love you. I’ve always loved you.I loved you before Matt saw you, but I didn’t have hisguts and I hung back. I’ve regretted that forever. Now I have—” “A baby coming,” she interrupted, lifting her chin. “Listen! I don’t know much about being a father! Just what I watched when I was growing up! And you know what I saw? I saw my parents with their arms around each other all the time! I saw them look at each other with all kinds of emotions—love and trust and commitment and—Vanni, here’s the ugly truth—if I made a baby, I’m not angry about that. It wasn’t on purpose, but I’m not angry. I’ll do my damn best, and I’m real sorry that I’m not in love with the baby’s mother. I’ll still take care of them—and not just by writing a check. I’ll be involved—take care of the child like a real father, support the mother the best I can. What that child is not going to see is his parents looking at each other like they’ve made a terrible mistake. I want him to see his dad with his arms around his wife and—” “Did you try?” she asked. “Did you give the woman who’s got your baby in her a chance?” “Is that what you want for her? She’s a decent person, Vanessa—she didn’t get pregnant on purpose. You want her stuck with a man who’s got another woman on his mind? I didn’t want this to happen to her—I’m not sticking her with half a husband! She deserves a chance to find someone who can give her the real thing.” “But she loves you. She does, doesn’t she? She wanted to get married.” “Vanessa, she’s scared and alone. It’s what comes to mind. She’ll be all right when she realizes I’m not going to let her down. And I’m not going to—” “All this because you couldn’t open your mouth and say how you felt, what you wanted,” she said hotly. “I wanted so little from you—just a word or gesture—some hint that you had feelings for me. Instead, you took your wounded little heart to another woman and—” She stopped her tirade as she saw his eyes narrow and his frown deepen. He glared at her for a long moment, then he jumped off the stallion, her mount’s reins still in his hands. He led the horses the short distance to the river’s edge, to a bank of trees. “What are you doing?” she asked, hanging on to the pommel. He secured the horses at a fallen tree, then reached up to her, grabbed her around the waist and pulled her none too gently out of the saddle. He whirled her around and pressed her up against a tree, holding her wrists over her head and pinioning her there with the whole length of his body. His face was close to hers. “You never opened your mouth, either,” he said. She was stunned speechless. She couldn’t remember a time Paul had ever behaved like this—aggressive, commanding. He leaned closer. “Open it now,” he demanded of her just before he covered her mouth with his.
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
ahead. He urged the horse a little faster and when he was within her hearing, he whistled. The piercing sound cut through the air and Vanni turned her mount toward him. She took one look at him, turned and kicked Chico’s flank, taking off. “Goddammit!” he swore. So, this was how it would be—not easy. He was going to have to take off the gloves. He risked being thrown by giving Liberty a snap with the end of his rein. The stallion reared. Paul hung on, then leaned low in the saddle while Liberty closed the space between them. By God, he was going to catch her, make her listen, get through to her. There was no one within shouting distance to distract them. For once in his life, he was going to finish! Even if he had to cover Vanessa’s mouth with his hand! It only took him a few minutes to catch up to her, thanks to Liberty, the champion of the stable. Pulling alongside Vanni he reached out over her hands and grabbed her reins, pulling Chico to a stop. The expression she turned on him was fierce. “What?” she demanded. “Listen to me!” he retorted. “Make it quick!” “Fine. Here’s quick. I love you. I’ve always loved you.I loved you before Matt saw you, but I didn’t have hisguts and I hung back. I’ve regretted that forever. Now I have—” “A baby coming,” she interrupted, lifting her chin. “Listen! I don’t know much about being a father! Just what I watched when I was growing up! And you know what I saw? I saw my parents with their arms around each other all the time! I saw them look at each other with all kinds of emotions—love and trust and commitment and—Vanni, here’s the ugly truth—if I made a baby, I’m not angry about that. It wasn’t on purpose, but I’m not angry. I’ll do my damn best, and I’m real sorry that I’m not in love with the baby’s mother. I’ll still take care of them—and not just by writing a check. I’ll be involved—take care of the child like a real father, support the mother the best I can. What that child is not going to see is his parents looking at each other like they’ve made a terrible mistake. I want him to see his dad with his arms around his wife and—” “Did you try?” she asked. “Did you give the woman who’s got your baby in her a chance?” “Is that what you want for her? She’s a decent person, Vanessa—she didn’t get pregnant on purpose. You want her stuck with a man who’s got another woman on his mind? I didn’t want this to happen to her—I’m not sticking her with half a husband! She deserves a chance to find someone who can give her the real thing.” “But she loves you. She does, doesn’t she? She wanted to get married.” “Vanessa, she’s scared and alone. It’s what comes to mind. She’ll be all right when she realizes I’m not going to let her down. And I’m not going to—” “All this because you couldn’t open your mouth and say how you felt, what you wanted,” she said hotly. “I wanted so little from you—just a word or gesture—some hint that you had feelings for me. Instead, you took your wounded little heart to another woman and—” She stopped her tirade as she saw his eyes narrow and his frown deepen. He glared at her for a long moment, then he jumped off the stallion, her mount’s reins still in his hands. He led the horses the short distance to the river’s edge, to a bank of trees. “What are you doing?” she asked, hanging on to the pommel. He secured the horses at a fallen tree, then reached up to her, grabbed her around the waist and pulled her none too gently out of the saddle. He whirled her around and pressed her up against a tree, holding her wrists over her head and pinioning her there with the whole length of his body. His face was close to hers. “You never opened your mouth, either,” he said. She was stunned speechless. She couldn’t remember a time Paul had ever behaved like this—aggressive, commanding. He leaned closer. “Open it now,” he demanded of her just before he covered her mouth with his.
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
You have anything with you? Like a gun?” he asked Shelby. “What for?” “Bear. They’re still out. Fishing.” “Oh, I have some repellent. Plus, I’m really fast.” “Yeah.” He grinned. “I saw that the last time you were here. I’m not. I’m just hoping I can stay in the saddle.” He went to his truck and pulled his Remington .338 rifle out of the rack. “I’ll feel a little better if I don’t have to rely on you to protect me.” “Ninny,” she said, smiling. “That’s pretty, but way more gun than you need.” “It makes me feel manly,” he said. By
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
Will you be traveling to London for the Season?” Sir Lester was asking Lady Rose. A footman had arrived with the tea and refreshments. Rose poured each of them a cup, and Iain declined cream or sugar. She turned her attention back to Sir Lester. “My mother wishes to go to London, but she isn’t well right now. I do not think it is possible.” “When she recovers, perhaps?” The baronet was clearly wanting Lady Rose to return to the city. “Have you no wish to join the gatherings? Even with your condition, I would think that you would prefer being amid the social circles and the other young ladies.” Rose shook her head, wincing slightly. “I would rather not face society just yet. I am certain you can understand this.” “Of course. But . . . if I may be so bold, does this mean that you have parted company with Lord Burkham?” Iain’s curiosity was piqued. He leaned forward, wanting to know more about Lady Rose’s intended. “No,” she answered. “I have reason to believe that he will offer for me, eventually.” The baronet sighed. “Lady Rose, any number of men would be glad to marry you. That is, if it is your wish.” The smile on his face suggested that he wanted to be one of them. “I do not think I shall marry for some time.” Her voice was calm, but beneath it, Iain detected an air of frustration. “Lady Rose, do not let one man’s folly dissuade you from enjoying the Season,” Sir Lester reassured her. “Were I to have the honor of accompanying you to a soiree, rest assured, I would have no desire to leave your side.” She sent him a weary smile. “You are very kind, sir.” It was doubtful that kindness had anything to do with it. The baronet was besotted with her and made no secret of that fact. But Lady Rose was not finished. “The truth is, I do not wish to return to London until I can walk again. And I do not know how long it will take.” “Oh.” Sir Lester appeared startled by this revelation, but then he brightened. “Then you will be here, in Yorkshire. I would be glad to assist you in any way that I can.” Though it was none of his affair, Iain didn’t miss the look of discomfort on Rose’s face. He wiped his hands upon a linen napkin and rose to his feet. “I must thank you for your hospitality, Sir Lester. But I should be taking Lady Rose home again before it rains.” “I could drive both of you back in my coach,” the baronet suggested. “It would be no trouble at all.” “No, thank you. I enjoy riding.” Rose dismissed the idea and added, “Lord Ashton was good enough to escort me here, so I will be fine. But if you would send word to your groom to prepare our horses, it would be greatly appreciated.” She sent him a nod, and with that, Iain lifted her into his arms. It gave him a slight satisfaction to note the discomfited expression upon the baronet’s face. “It will . . . take some time for my groom to saddle your horses,” the baronet said. “Would you rather wait a little longer, perhaps?” Lady Rose flushed, but she shook her head. “Thank you, but I really should be going. By the time Lord Ashton brings me outside, I will only need to wait a few minutes.” Iain
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
At one end of the room was a group of young teens busy with swordplay, and at the other a swarm of children circled round on ancient carved horses mounted on cart wheels or played at stick-and-ball. I wandered toward my friends and was soon hailed by Renna, who offered me a bout. Time passed swiftly and agreeably. I finished my last engagement with one of Nee’s cousins and was just beginning to feel the result of sustained effort in my arm and back when a practice blade thwacked my shoulder. I spun around, and gaped. Shevraeth stood there smiling. At his elbow my brother grinned, and next to him, Savona watched with appreciation apparent in his dark eyes. “Come, Lady Meliara,” the Marquis said. “Let’s see how much you’ve learned since you took on Galdran.” “I didn’t take on Galdran,” I protested, feeling hot and cold at once. “I don’t know what you’d call it, then, Mel.” Bran leaned on his sword, still grinning. “Looked like you went have-at-’im to me.” “I was just trying to defend you,” I said, and the others all laughed. “And a fat lot of good it did, too,” I added when they stopped. “He knocked me right out of the saddle!” “Hit you from behind,” Shevraeth said. “Apparently he was afraid to confront so formidable a foe face-to-face.” They laughed again, but I knew it was not at me so much as at the hated King Galdran. Before I could speak again, Shevraeth raised his point and said, “Come now. Blade up.” I sighed. “I’ve already been made into cheese by Derec, there, and Renna, and Lornav, but if you think I merit another defeat…” Again they laughed, and Savona and my brother squared off as Shevraeth and I saluted. My bout with the Marquis was much like the others. Even more than usual I was hopelessly outclassed, but I stuck grimly to my place, refusing to back up, and took hit after hit, though my parrying was steadily improving. Of course I lost, but at least it wasn’t so easy a loss as I’d had when I first began to attend practice--and he didn’t insult me with obvious handicaps, such as never allowing his point to hit me. Bran and Savona finished a moment later, and Bran was just suggesting we exchange partners when the bells for third-gold rang, causing a general outcry. Some would stay, but most, I realized, were retreating to their various domiciles to bathe and dress for open Court.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
I closed my eyes again - the sun felt so good against my face - and I continued to eat the ice cream. This time I imagined my white Cadillac was my faithful white horse, Storm. He had a fancy black leather saddle with silver studs and matching reins. I was dressed in all black except for my white hat, which was on at a slight angle, letting it be known I wasn’t an hombre to be trifled with. My silver spurs jingled-jangled the tune from the ice cream truck as I walked because they had been blessed by a Yaqui shaman. The tune cast a spell of fear into the hearts of banditos and love into the hearts of senoritas. A silver plated six-shooter was on my hip in a black tooled holster with notches on its mother of pearl handle from desperados who had to be taken out. The desperados gave me no choice, mostly drug lords from Mexican cartels. The villages along the border celebrated their demise once a year with a big fiesta. Mariachi singers sang my praises with lyrics about the gringo with green eyes who couldn’t be killed.
Robert Hobkirk (Tommy in the Wilderness (Tommy Trilogy Book 2))
Wilhelm!” he called again. “Show yourself!” Wilhelm and a pair of his guards rounded the keep at a run. He reigned in Gil’s horse. “Where is she? Where is my wife?” “Right behind me. What happened, man? Are ye wounded?” Malina came running around the keep with Constance. Relief surged through him to see her blessedly unharmed, though her face was drawn with concern. She was worrit for him. He flew from the saddle and dashed to her. His ripped thigh protested, but he didn’t falter in his steps. Pain was nothing compared to the need to hold his sweet wife in his arms. Sweeping her up, he pinned her to his chest. Their hearts reached for each other with every beat. She clung to him as fiercely as he clung to her, and some of the horror of the last hour lifted from him. “Christ, lass, I thought…I thought—” He buried his face in her hair. She smelled of herbs and flowers, and underneath was her own scent of sugared custard. She wore a lovely kirtle of sapphire blue and an apron smudged with dirt as if she’d been doing chores in the garden. Her hair flowed like silk through his fingers as he ran his hand over her head and face, assuring himself she was hale, all except for the purple marks around her left eye from Hamish’s hand. Passing over her cheeks, his fingers came away wet with her tears. “Dinna weep, Malina mine. All is well.” “You’re hurt,” she cried. “Let me see. There’s so much blood.” “What happened?” Wilhelm demanded. “How much of the blood is yours?” Constance asked. He ignored all but Malina. “I’m all right, lass. I’m all right. Just a few scrapes.” He permitted himself a relieved breath as her face smoothed somewhat, but he refused to let her go. He couldn’t even bring himself to lower her feet to the ground. With Malina in his arms, he was whole. She wasn’t only his to love and protect; she was part of him. Realization struck him with blinding force. “I canna let ye go back,” he said. “I willna. You are mine, and I willna send you away to your time.” The tightness in his chest unfurled. Malina’s eyes widened with shock. Her rose-petal lips parted to say somat, but he silenced her with a kiss. He couldn’t help himself. Let her hate him for a time. He would find a way to earn her love and forgiveness. He’d earn them every day for the rest of his life.
Jessi Gage (Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes Book 1))
She’s ready to come back to the living.” But my daughter was wrong. I wasn’t. I liked living in the dream world of Morpheus, believing I was safe, knowing that in real time, tragedy cannot be undone. Tragedy was a bucking horse. Sometimes you were able to stay in the saddle and ride it out–sometimes not.
Abigail Keam (Death by Drowning (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries #2))
This is Storm, and there’s nothing mysterious at all about me riding him at night, even if the good folk of Tarrytown have taken to making up tales about me and my nightly rides.” He patted Storm again. “Storm, if you must know, hasn’t tolerated sunlight well for the past couple of years. His eyes have turned sensitive to the light, but I didn’t want him to grow old before his time, which is why we ride when it’s dark.” A rather warm and mushy feeling began traveling through Lucetta, a feeling that had her knees going a tad weak, until she remembered she was talking to a man who’d yet to explain why he’d been wearing an eye patch when she’d first met him, or why questionable jewelry and a bloody sword had been stashed in his fireplace. Add in the fact that there was now a suit of armor meandering around, scaring unsuspecting guests in the middle of the night, and she had no business allowing her knees to go all wobbly. “. . . and since you have managed to track me down, would you care to join us as we continue on with our nightly adventure?” “Adventure . . . ? What kind of adventure?” she asked slowly. Bram leaned down and placed his mouth directly next to her ear, his closeness sending a chill, and one she didn’t think was from the cold air, down her spine. “We’ll just have to make that up as we go.” A thread of disappointment stole over her as he straightened, moved to Storm’s side, and then swung up into the saddle. “What type of adventure sounds fun to you?” he asked. “I’m not certain what you’re asking.” He gave a sad shake of his head. “Oh dear, you’ve forgotten how to have fun, haven’t you.” Annoyance was swift. “Of course I haven’t.” “Prove it.” Not one to back down from a challenge, Lucetta smiled. “Very well, off the top of my head, I believe it would be great fun to visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and . . . walk amongst the gravestones.” Smiling, Bram sent her an approving sort of nod. “Very good, Miss Plum, you’re obviously a lady after my own heart, although I will admit I didn’t take you for the type who’d enjoy places that embrace a rather gothic nature.” “Or morbid, one might say,” she added. Nodding
Jen Turano (Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own, #3))
God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil. He forces one soil to yield the products of another, one tree to bear another's fruit. He confuses and confounds time, places, and natural conditions. He mutilates his dog, his horses, and his slaves. He destroys and defaces all things; he loves all that is deformed and monstrous; he will have nothing as nature made it, not even man himself, who must learn his paces like a saddle-horse, and be shaped to his master's taste like the trees in his garden.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
By Lawrence Van Alstyne December 24, 1863 As tomorrow is Christmas we went out and made such purchases of good things as our purses would allow, and these we turned over to George and Henry for safe keeping and for cooking on the morrow. After that we went across the street to see what was in a tent that had lately been put up there. We found it a sort of show. There was a big snake in a showcase filled with cheap looking jewelry, each piece having a number attached to it. Also, a dice cup and dice. For $1.00 one could throw once, and any number of spots that came up would entitle the thrower to the piece of jewelry with a corresponding number on it. Just as it had all been explained to us, a greenhorn-looking chap came in and, after the thing had been explained to him, said he was always unlucky with dice, but if one of us would throw for him he would risk a dollar just to see how the game worked. Gorton is such an accommodating fellow I expected he would offer to make the throw for him, but as he said nothing, I took the cup and threw seventeen. The proprietor said it was a very lucky number, and he would give the winner $12 in cash or the fine pin that had the seventeen on it. The fellow took the cash, like a sensible man. I thought there was a chance to make my fortune and was going right in to break the bank, when Gorton, who was wiser than I, took me to one side and told me not to be a fool; that the greenhorn was one of the gang, and that the money I won for him was already his own. Others had come by this time and I soon saw he was right, and I kept out. We watched the game a while, and then went back to Camp Dudley and to bed. Christmas, and I forgot to hang up my stocking. After getting something to eat, we took stock of our eatables and of our pocket books, and found we could afford a few things we lacked. Gorton said he would invite his horse jockey friend, James Buchanan, not the ex-President, but a little bit of a man who rode the races for a living. So taking Tony with me I went up to a nearby market and bought some oysters and some steak. This with what we had on hand made us a feast such as we had often wished for in vain. Buchanan came, with his saddle in his coat pocket, for he was due at the track in the afternoon. George and Henry outdid themselves in cooking, and we certainly had a feast. There was not much style about it, but it was satisfying. We had overestimated our capacity, and had enough left for the cooks and drummer boys. Buchanan went to the races, Gorton and I went to sleep, and so passed my second Christmas in Dixie. At night the regiment came back, hungry as wolves. The officers mostly went out for a supper, but Gorton and I had little use for supper. We had just begun to feel comfortable. The regiment had no adventures and saw no enemy. They stopped at Baton Rouge and gave the 128th a surprise. Found them well and hearty, and had a real good visit. I was dreadfully sorry I had missed that treat. I would rather have missed my Christmas dinner. They report that Colonel Smith and Adjutant Wilkinson have resigned to go into the cotton and sugar speculation. The 128th is having a free and easy time, and according to what I am told, discipline is rather slack. But the stuff is in them, and if called on every man will be found ready for duty. The loose discipline comes of having nothing to do. I don’t blame them for having their fun while they can, for there is no telling when they will have the other thing. From Diary of an Enlisted Man by Lawrence Van Alstyne. New Haven, Conn., 1910.
Philip Van Doren Stern (The Civil War Christmas Album)
Will you allow Gray to re-Master you, Jack?” Name the time, date, place, and I’d be there, saddle thrown over shoulder, cowboy hat on, naked, willing to ride the rough until he stopped bucking through exhaustion, but for all of the smart-ass answers I could have used, “Please,” was the only breathed reply I managed.
Jack L. Pyke (Antidote (Don't..., #2))
I weave through LA's famous Farmers Market, which is really more of an outdoor food court, and now I'm a few minutes late. And the place is packed and there's still the uncertainty about where to meet when I look down and realize I'm wearing yellow pants. Yellow pants. Really? Sometimes I don't know what I'm thinking. They're rolled at the cuff and paired with a navy polo and it looks like maybe I just yacht my yacht, and I'm certain to come off as an asshole. I thin about canceling, or at least delaying so I can go home and change, but the effort that would require is unappealing, and this date is mostly for distraction. And when I round the last stall--someone selling enormous eggplants, more round than oblong, I see him, casually leaning against a wall, and something inside my body says there you are. 'There you are.' I don't understand them, these words, because they seem too deep and too soulful to attach to the Farmers Market, this Starbucks or that, a frozen yogurt place, or confusion over where to meet a stranger. They're straining to define a feeling of stunning comfort that drips over me, as if a water balloon burst over my head on the hottest of summer days. My knees don't buckle, my heart doesn't skip, but I'm awash in the warmth of a valium-like hug. Except I haven't taken a Valium. Not since the night of Lily's death. Yet here is this warm hug that makes me feel safe with this person, this Byron the maybe-poet, and I want it to stop. This--whatever this feeling is--can't be a real feeling, this can't be a tangible connection. This is just a man leaning against a stall that sells giant eggplants. But I no longer have time to worry about what this feeling is, whether I should or shouldn't be her, or should or should't be wearing yellow pants, because there are only maybe three perfect seconds where I see him and he has yet to spot me. Three perfect seconds to enjoy the calm that has so long eluded me. 'There you are.' And then he casually lifts his head and turns my way and uses one foot to push himself off the wall he is leaning agains. We lock eyes and he smiles with recognition and there's a disarming kindness to his face and suddenly I'm standing in front of him. 'There you are.' It comes out of my mouth before I can stop it and it's all I can do to steer the words in a more playfully casual direction so he isn't saddled with the importance I've placed on them. I think it comes off okay, but, as I know from my time at sea, sometimes big ships turn slowly. Byron chuckles and gives a little pump of his fist. 'YES! IT'S! ALL! HAPPENING! FOR! US!' I want to stop in my tracks, but I'm already leaning in for a hug, and he comes the rest of the way, and the warm embrace of seeing him standing there is now an actual embrace, and it is no less sincere. He must feel me gripping him tightly, because he asks, 'Is everything okay?' No. 'Yes, everything is great, it's just...' I play it back in my head what he said, the way in which he said it, and the enthusiasm which only a month had gone silent. 'You reminded me of someone is all.' 'Hopefully in a good way.' I smile but it takes just a minute to speak. 'In the best possible way.' I don't break the hug first, but maybe at the same time, this is a step. jenny will be proud. I look in his eyes, which I expect to be brown like Lily's but instead are deep blue like the waters lapping calmly against the outboard sides of 'Fishful Thinking.' 'Is frozen yogurt okay?' 'Frozen yogurt is perfect.
Steven Rowley (Lily and the Octopus)
Having saddled yourself with laws that you *assume* will be broken, you've never found anything to do that makes better sense than punishing people for doing exactly what you expected them to do in the first place. For ten thousand years you've been making and multiplying laws that you fully expect to be broken, until now I suppose you must have literally millions of them, many of them broken millions of times a day.[...]The very officials that you elect to uphold the laws break them. And at the same time your pillars of society somehow find it possible to become indignant over the fact that some people have little respect for the law.
Daniel Quinn
It was during the years at Hope End that Elizabeth Barrett was first attacked by serious illness. ‘At fifteen,’ she says in her autobiographical letter, already quoted in part, ‘I nearly died;’ and this may be connected with a statement by Mrs. Richmond Ritchie, to the effect that ‘one day, when Elizabeth was about fifteen, the young girl, impatient for her ride, tried to saddle her pony alone, in a field, and fell with the saddle upon her, in some way injuring her spine so seriously that she was for years upon her back.’ The latter part of this statement cannot indeed be quite accurate; for her period of long confinement to a sick-room was of later date, and began, according to her own statement, from a different cause. Mr. R. Barrett Browning states that the injury to the spine was not discovered for some time, but was afterwards attributed, not to a fall, but to a strain whilst tightening her pony’s girths. No doubt this injury contributed towards the general weakness of health to which she was always subject.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Complete Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
Their fond Uncle Martin looked anything but gratified, but managed to control his feelings until he found himself out of earshot of his sister. He then declared that if Louisa imagined that he meant to waste his time in amusing her children she would find herself very much mistaken. ‘Good God, Martin, are you mad?’ demanded Gervase. ‘You will take those brats for rides as soon as they have swallowed their breakfasts, if Theo and I have to tie you to the saddle! Did you not hear Louisa say that she could not tear them from us until they had been granted this indulgence?
Georgette Heyer (The Quiet Gentleman)
DURING THE RIDE back up to Telluride, among tablelands and cañons and red-rock debris, past the stone farmhouses and fruit orchards and Mormon spreads of the McElmo, below ruins haunted by an ancient people whose name no one knew, circular towers and cliffside towns abandoned centuries ago for reasons no one would speak of, Reef was able finally to think it through. If Webb had always been the Kieselguhr Kid, well, shouldn’t somebody ought to carry on the family business—you might say, become the Kid? It might’ve been the lack of sleep, the sheer relief of getting clear of Jeshimon, but Reef began to feel some new presence inside him, growing, inflating—gravid with what it seemed he must become, he found excuses to leave the trail now and then and set off a stick or two from the case of dynamite he had stolen from the stone powder-house at some mine. Each explosion was like the text of another sermon, preached in the voice of the thunder by some faceless but unrelenting desert prophesier who was coming more and more to ride herd on his thoughts. Now and then he creaked around in the saddle, as if seeking agreement or clarification from Webb’s blank eyes or the rictus of what would soon be a skull’s mouth. “Just getting cranked up,” he told Webb. “Expressing myself.” Back in Jeshimon he had thought that he could not bear this, but with each explosion, each night in his bedroll with the damaged and redolent corpse carefully unroped and laid on the ground beside him, he found it was easier, something he looked forward to all the alkaline day, more talk than he’d ever had with Webb alive, whistled over by the ghosts of Aztlán, entering a passage of austerity and discipline, as if undergoing down here in the world Webb’s change of status wherever he was now. . . . He had brought with him a dime novel, one of the Chums of Chance series, The Chums of Chance at the Ends of the Earth, and for a while each night he sat in the firelight and read to himself but soon found he was reading out loud to his father’s corpse, like a bedtime story, something to ease Webb’s passage into the dreamland of his death. Reef had had the book for years. He’d come across it, already dog-eared, scribbled in, torn and stained from a number of sources, including blood, while languishing in the county lockup at Socorro, New Mexico, on a charge of running a game of chance without a license. The cover showed an athletic young man (it seemed to be the fearless Lindsay Noseworth) hanging off a ballast line of an ascending airship of futuristic design, trading shots with a bestially rendered gang of Eskimos below. Reef began to read, and soon, whatever “soon” meant, became aware that he was reading in the dark, lights-out having occurred sometime, near as he could tell, between the North Cape and Franz Josef Land. As soon as he noticed the absence of light, of course, he could no longer see to read and, reluctantly, having marked his place, turned in for the night without considering any of this too odd. For the next couple of days he enjoyed a sort of dual existence, both in Socorro and at the Pole. Cellmates came and went, the Sheriff looked in from time to time, perplexed.
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
I can’t explain why, but a whiskey sour is a drink for a man whose mother made him practice piano a lot when he was a kid. A man who drinks whiskey sours also probably throws a baseball like a girl—limp wristed. A man who drinks whiskey sours and then eats that silly little cherry they put in the bottom probably has a cat or a poodle for a pet. In other words, I wouldn’t go on a camping trip with a man who drinks whiskey sours. Scotch drinkers are aggressive. They order like they’re Charles Bronson trying to have a quick shot before returning to the subway to kill a few punks and thugs. “What’ll you have, sir?” asks the bartender. “Cutty. Water. Rocks. Twist,” growls the Scotch drinker. I think maybe Scotch drinkers wear their underwear too tight. You have to watch people who drink vodka or gin. “Anybody who drinks see-through whiskey,” an old philosopher once said, “will get crazy.” Indeed. Vodka and gin drinkers are the type who leave the house to get a loaf of bread, drop by the bar for just one, and return home six weeks later. With the bread. I wouldn’t go on a camping trip with anyone who drinks vodka or gin, either. They’re the types who would invite snakes, raccoons and bears over for cocktails and then wind up getting into an argument about tree frogs. Bourbon drinkers never grow up. Eight out of ten started drinking bourbon with Coke in school and still have a pair of saddle oxfords in the closet. Bourbon drinkers don’t think they’ve had a good time unless they get sick and pass out under a coffee table. Then there are the white wine drinkers. Never get involved in any way with them. They either want to get married, sell you a piece of real estate or redecorate your house.
Lewis Grizzard (Shoot Low, Boys - They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies)
I’ll ride Zeke,” said Aunt Lou, starting to walk to the barn. “No,” said Papa, going after her and taking her hand. “I’ll saddle up Molly.” “I’ll go with you,” said Grandfather. “This time we’ll take a quiet and slow ride around the slough. If that’s possible for you,” he called after Aunt Lou. “Boppa,” said Jack to Grandfather. He held out his arms. “All right, all right. A short ride,” said Grandfather. Grandfather, Papa, and Aunt Lou went to the paddock to bring in the horses. Jack followed Grandfather, walking just behind him, his arms behind his back like Grandfather’s. “Little Boppa and big Boppa,” said Caleb, making Mama laugh.
Patricia MacLachlan (Grandfather's Dance (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #5))
Their romance was interminable, on again and off for seven years as one thing after another disrupted their lives. The disruptions were standard serial fare—Stephen’s self-pity, jealousy, spite, and the ever-present fickle nature of soap opera males. In 1943, Stephen ran off to California with Maude Kellogg. At another point, he was partly cured of his paralysis in an amazing operation, but lost his legs again in an accident. Enough was enough. In the sixth year, listeners began clamoring for a marriage, and writers Don Becker and Carl Bixby (identified as “Beckby” in Time, with no distinction as to who was speaking) yielded to the crowd. Chichi and Stephen were married, and almost immediately Beckby realized this was a mistake. Alone, Chichi had been the most exciting of daytime heroines. Saddled now with a whiny husband and then a child, she was hamstrung. Beckby did the obvious: “We had the baby die of pneumonia after Stephen had taken him out in the rain, and then we killed him off with a heart attack. For two weeks afterward we kept Chichi off the air in the interests of good taste, and that was that.” Stephen was never mentioned again.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)