|1. …He leaned forward, but his eye was caught by the setting sun. It had come down to the top of Cherry Clack Hill, and the light poured in between the tree trunks so that you could see red and gold and black deep into the heart of Far Wood ..in his armour (he) shone as though he had been afire. 'Wait,' he said, lifting a hand, and the sunlight jinked on his glass bracelet. 'Wait! I pray to Mithras!'. He rose and stretched his arms westward, with deep, splendid-sounding words…||
This is from "A Centurion of the Thirtieth" in Puck of Pook's Hill.
Through the magic of Puck, the children have been able to meet a succession of people who had known their valley in centuries past, 'though It shall have happened three thousand year'.
Here Parnesius, a Centurion of the Thirtieth Legion, tells how he marched north with his first command up to the Great Wall, which divided Roman Britain from the wild Picts and Scots.
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|2. ...The old farmhouse, weather-tiled to the ground, took almost the colour of a blood-red ruby in the afternoon light. The pigeons pecked at the mortar in the chimney-stacks; the bees that had lived under the tiles since it was built filled the hot August air with their booming; and the smell of the box-tree by the dairy window mixed with the smell of earth after rain, bread after baking, and a tickle of wood-smoke. The farmer's wife came to the door, baby on arm, shaded her brows against the sun, stooped to pluck a sprig of rosemary, and turned down the orchard...||
This is from "Hal o' the Draft" in Puck of Pook's Hill. |
After a rainy afternoon, the sun has come out, and the children and their companions have walked out through the grass to the knoll where Little Lindens stands, on the Bateman's estate.
It expresses Rudyard Kipling's deep love of the sights and sounds and smells of the home place where he had settled in the English countryside.
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|3. …'They stole down our alley, they tapped secretly at our door, they took off their rags, they arrayed themselves, and they talked to my father at the wine. All over the world the heathen fought each other. They brought news of these wars … There can be no war without gold, and we jews know how the earth's gold moves with the seasons and the crops, and the winds: circling and looping and rising away like a river - a wonderful underground river…'||
This is from "The Treasure and the Law" in Puck of Pook's Hill.
Kadmiel, a Jewish financier of the thirteenth century, tells how the Jews in olden times exerted their quiet influence over the world's affairs. He goes on to tell how he prevented King John from borrowing the money to resist his Barons, and - in effect - forced him to sign Magna Carta, the Great Charter which guaranteed the access of all to justice.