The Snippets Project

October 2001

Half the time, if you really want to know the
truth, when I'm horsing around with a girl, I
have a helluva lot of trouble just finding
what I'm looking for, for God's sake, if you
know what I mean. Take this girl that I just
missed having sexual intercourse with, that I
told you about. It took me about an hour to
get her goddam brassičre off. By the time I
did get it off, she was just about ready to
spit in my eye.

[J.D. Salinger,The Catcher In The Rye,1951,locate]
A woman can always beat a man to the state of
nudity if she puts her mind to it, and here
were two women evidently doing so. Despite
earrings and necklaces, Joyce and Diana were
embracing nacked beside the bed while I was
still working urgently on my second shoe.

[Kingsley Amis,The Green Man,1969,locate]
Francesca started to giggle and put her hand
to her breast. She produced a little wash-
leather bag which was strung on a cord around
her neck and emptied it. Two more diamonds
joined those on the table and there were also
four emeralds.
I looked at both of them and said, "You damned
thieves; you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
The jewels were supposed to stay in Italy."
I grinned and produced my five diamonds and we
all sat there laughing like maniacs.

[Desmond Bagley,The Golden Keel,1963,locate]
I walked up to the stage, developing a limp en
route, fought back a huge desire to slug the
Vice President, waited for the admiring throng
to simmer down, and gave 'em the business. My
previous dramatic experience had been limited
to one performance as The Dormouse in Alice in
, as rendered by Miss Mowery's
Kindergarten, but it stood me in good stead.

[Roger Hall,You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger,1957]
East of this area, around Bogotį, is the
Chibcha or Muisca country, and this again
has its own style, which has the least
claim of all to artistic merit (Ill. 230).

[G.H.S. Bushnell,Ancient Arts of the Americas,1965]
The print was hanging by a wire placed high,
and Candy had to reach. She couldn't quite
get it at first, and for a moment she was
standing there, lithe and lovely, stretching
upward, standing on the tiptoes of one foot,
the other out like a ballet-dancer's. As she
strained higher, she felt the sinews of her
calf rounding firmly and the edge of her
flannel shirt lifting gently above her waist
and upward across her bare back, while the
muscles of her darling little buttocks
tightened and thrust out taut beneath the
jeans. 'Oh, I shouldn't!' she thought, making
another last effort to reach the print, 'what if
he thinks I'm... well, it's my fault, darn it!'

[Maxwell Kenton (Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg),Candy,1958,locate]
They were everywhere. A shoulder blade, a thigh
bone, part of a skull, ribs, four or five connected
vertebrae, part of a foot, a lower jaw.
Jim Chee was a modern man built upon traditional
Navajo. This was simply too much death. Too many
ghosts disturbed. He backed away from the
excavation, flashlight still on, careful no
longer. He wanted only to be away from here.

[Tony Hillerman,A Thief of Time,1989,locate]
This is it, this is it, this is it! Hap thought
in giddy exhilaration. Ah, this is wonderful!
His face felt stiff from the blasting wind and
his mouth was stretched in a grin he could not
have wiped off to save him. He was deaf to all
sounds save that of the roaring engine in front
of him. His father beside him was stiffly grinning
too; the rear-view mirror was empty. That's the
last we'll see of Lennie and the gang, Hap thought
triumphantly, until we get to Glenwood!

[Don Stanford,The Red Car,1954,locate]
Aravis immediately began, sitting quite still
and using a rather different tone and style
from her usual one. For in Calormen, story-
telling (whether the stories are true or made
up) is a thing you're taught, just as English
boys and girls are taught essay-writing. The
difference is that people want to hear the
stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who
wanted to read the essays.

[C.S. Lewis,The Horse and his Boy,1954,locate]
My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private
investigator, licensed by the state of
California. I'm thirty-two years old, twice
divorced, no kids. The day before yesterday
I killed someone and the fact weights
heavily on my mind.

[Sue Grafton,"A" is for Alibi,1982,locate]
But we would have made a fortune if our
ships could have taken the teas direct
to England. And he cursed the British
Navigation Acts that forbade any but
British ships to bring goods into English
ports. Goddam them, they own the world.

[James Clavell,Tai-Pan,1966,locate]
An arrow sang through the air, like a huge
hornet; it struck old Appleyard between the
shoulder-blades, and pierced him clean
through, and he fell forward on his face
among the cabbages.

[Robert Louis Stevenson,The Black Arrow,1883,locate]
She located a storage chamber, and they
settled down to wait. "Now," she said,
putting her arms about him and kissing him.
She was fully as soft and sensual as any
live woman. But she froze in midkiss.

[Piers Anthony,Blue Adept,1981,locate]
The Fayu normally lived as single families,
scattered through the swamp and coming
together once or twice a year to negotiate
exchanges of brides. Doug's visit coincided
with such a gathering, of a few dozen Fayu.
To us, a few dozen people constitute a small
ordinary gathering, but to the Fayu it was a
rare frightening event.

[Jared Diamond,Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies,1997,locate]
Poirot did not answer me for a moment, but
at last he said: "I did not deceive you,
mon ami. At most, I permitted you to deceive

[Agatha Christie,The Mysterious Affair at Styles,1920,locate]
'Enter, my lords. If I speak truth the
goat-skin with the stones will lie upon
the floor; and if there is truth as to
whether it is death to enter here, that
will ye learn afterwards.'

[H. Rider Haggard,King Solomon's Mines,1885,locate]
With the government stressing physical
fitness the way it has, the current craze
for the ladies is the exercise club. They
go there for workouts, massages, and
hot-fudge sundaes in the snack bar. My
wife goes with her girl friend Millie
Berman. You have to see these girls. They
run around in black leotards--they look
like a Sherman tank in mourning.

[Alan King and Jack Shurman,Help! I'm a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery,1964,locate]
"Today... has been the greatest tragedy in
American history. More Americans have died
in the past twenty-four hours than in all
the wars we have fought as a nation... Some
kind of virulent and deadly disease
appeared last night in towns and villages
in Colorado, along the foothills of the
Rocky Mountains. It appears to be so
contagious that people catch it if they
come anywhere near a person who has the
disease, or who has died from it. The
disease appears to travel alive in the air
for an hour or so, so that anyone downwind of
a person with the disease will also catch it."

[William C. Heine,The Last Canadian,1974]
Duncan's breathing was even faster now, and
droplets of cold sweat dotted his brow and
the backs of his hands, even in the icy
cold of the crypt. As the boy and Morgan
watched, the features of the body beneath
Duncan's hands began to waver, flicker, blur
before their eyes. Duncan finally gasped and
stiffened slightly, and in the same instant,
the features of the corpse stabilized into
Brion's familiar face.

[Katherine Kurtz,Deryni Rising,1970,locate]
The girl could sing! That caress of her voice
could touch your every nerve; it woke old
sorrows; it made you remember pain and pity
and compassion. She sang with the abandon of
Mistinguette, the smouldering carelessness of
Meller, dropping words as contemptuously as
ashes flicked off a cigarette. But in billing
her as an American singer they were stark mad.
Hers were the love songs of old Paris, whose
rhythms suggest brooding as much as love. They
suggest bruises and the gutter; cellars,
ecstasy, and the cold rain. Grief cries out in
the cunning violins and the sudden break of
the husky voice. Grief jabs the heart like a
dull knife, just failing to pierce.

[John Dickson Carr,The Corpse in the Waxworks,1932,locate]
Bond was directly behind the girl, his eyes
fixed on the box clasp and safety chain at
the back of her neck. It was clearly visible,
and as he was pushed even closer, hemmed in
by the crowd, Bond caught the smell of the
girl's scent - Mille de Patou, he thought:
the limited edition, and the most expensive
scent on the market.

[John Gardner,Licence Renewed,1981,locate]
'Dr Colin,' he said. 'Are you stopping here?'
'The boat goes no farther,' the man answered,
as if that were indeed the only explanation.

[Graham Greene,A Burnt-Out Case,1960,locate]
'But why he leave she?' Eddoes asked.
'To be a man, among we men.'

[V.S. Naipaul,Miguel Street,1959,locate]
The bronze dragon settled awkwardly onto his
hind legs, his wings working to keep him
balanced. Carefully he set the girl on her
feet and carefully he formed a cage around
her with his huge talons. She stood motionless
within that circle, her face turned toward the
wedge-shaped head that swayed above her.

[Anne McCaffrey,Dragonflight,1968,locate]
She tossed the gun into her suitcase and
laughed. It sounded like a genuine laugh
with real amusement in it. "Sorry," she said.
"You sitting there with your legs crossed
and a hole in your head and me trying to
explain how I shot you to defend my honor--
the picture make me a little lightheaded.

[Raymond Chandler,Playback,1958,locate]
I turned, fear gushing out of my mouth in
silver, panic closing my throat, the scream
kept in and choking me. The green canoe was
far above me, sunlight radiating around it,
a beacon, safety.

[Margaret Atwood,Surfacing,1972,locate]
There was kindness. I and certain others, an
old man and one with a bad cough, were
recognized as being the least resistant to
the cold, and each night we were at the
center of the group, the entity of twenty-
five, where it was warmest. We did not
struggle for the warm place, we were simply
in it each night. It is a terrible thing,
this kindness that human beings do not lose.
Terrible, because when we are finally naked
in the dark and cold, it is all we have. We
who are so rich, so full of strength, we end
up with that small change. We have nothing
else to give.

[Ursula K. Le Guin,The Left Hand of Darkness,1969,locate]
One man who did not forget was New York City
Fire Chief Edward Croker. Only the previous
November, when fire in a Newark, N.J., factory
building took 23 lives, the chief made this
public statement: "New York may have a fire as
deadly as the one in Newark any time... There
are buildings in New York where the danger is
every bit as great... What we should have is
an ordinance requiring fire escapes on every
building used for manufacturing purposes. Take,
for instance, some of the large loft buildings
below Twenty-third Street. The employees go up
to their work in the elevators and many do not
even know where the stairs are

[Avram Davidson,Crimes & Chaos: A Rain of Burning Girls,1961,locate]
As he went by unheard on the turf the woman,
still alone with her thoughts, suddenly moved.
She unclasped her long hands from above her
knees, stretched her limbs and body with
feline grace, then slowly raised her head and
extended her arms with open curving fingers,
as if to gather to her all the glory and
overwhelming sanity of the morning... So he saw
for an instant as he passed, and he did not turn.

[E.C. Bentley,Trent's Last Case,1913,locate]
From somewhere in the garden, not very far
away, there had come the sound of a snail-
shell cracking underfoot. He stayed his hand
in its movement over the wall and stood quite
still. The stone was harsh and cold, and
unfriendly to his fingers. And as he stood
there the moon rolled itself free of the
cloud with a liesurely movement and a great
lake of light poured over the wall and
flooded the garden. He felt impaled by the
light, and completely naked for the dragging
split second before his limbs obeyed him and
he was on his knees beside Little, with
asparagus fern tickling his neck.

[John Trench,Docken Dead,1953]
I sought, and soon discovered, the three
head-stones on the slope next the moor:
the middle one grey, and half buried in
heath: Edgar Linton's only harmonised by
the turf and moss creeping up its foot:
Heathcliff's still bare.

[Emily Brontė,Wuthering Heights,1847,locate]