And then an event did occur,

Ξ December 5th, 2006 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

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And then an event did occur, to Emily, of considerable importance. She suddenly realised who she was. There is little reason that one can see why it should not have happened to her five years earlier, or even five years later; and none, why it should have come this particular afternoon. She had been playing house in a nook right in the bows, behind the windlass (on which she had hung a devil's-claw as a door knocker); and tiring of it was walking rather aimlessly aft, thinking vaguely about some bees and a fairy queen, when it suddenly flashed into her mind that she was she. She stopped dead, and began looking over all of her person which came within the range of her eyes. She could not see much, except a fore-shortened view of the front of her frock, and her hands when she lifted them for inspection; but it was enough for her to form a rough idea of the little body she suddenly realised was hers.
She began to laugh, rather mockingly. "Well!" she thought, in effect: "Fancy you, of all people, going and getting caught like this! -- You can't get out of it now, not for a very long time: you'll have to go through with being a child, and growing up, and getting old, before you'll be quit of this mad prank!"
Determined to avoid any interruption of this highly important occasion, she began to climb the ratlines, on her way to her favourite perch at the masthead. Each time she moved an arm or a leg in this simple action, however, it struck her with fresh amazement to find them obeying her so readily. Memory told her, of course, that they had always done so before: but before she had never realised how surprising this was.
Once settled on her perch, she began examining the skin of her hands with the utmost care: for it was hers. She slipped a shoulder out of the top of her frock; and having peeped in to make sure she really was continuous under her clothes, she shrugged it up to touch her cheek. The contact of her face and the warm bare hollow of her shoulder gave her a comfortable thrill, as if it were was the caress of some kind friend. But whether her feeling came to her through her cheek or her shoulder, which was the caresser and which the caressed, that no analysis could tell her. Once fully convinced of this astonishing fact, that she was now Emily Bass-Thornton (why she inserted the "now" she did not know, for she certainly imagined no transmigrational nonsense of having been anyone else before), she began seriously to reckon its implications.

-- R. Hughes : A High Wind in Jamaica.

Joann├Ęs Ceyrat


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