Ellis Peters. Theodosia Barber had been planning to spend her summer vacation in Europe in any case, so what could be simpler than persuading her travel companions to make a minor detour to the scene of the crime? The Piper on the Mountain is the 5th book in the Felse Investigations, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order. The Man Who Wasnt Satisfied. The Man Who Thumbed a Lift.
The Man Who Kept the Score. The Man on the Skyline. The Man in the Chapel. The Man Who Wasnt in Charge. The Men Who Came to the Rescue.
The Man Who Reappeared. No, indeed!
FALSE VISITS TO HEAVEN & HELL - TODD BURPO, BILL WIESE, DON PIPER
First, one word! When I had precise their number, names, and styles, and fully knew Over whom my supervision thenceforth must extend,—why, then—. We conjecture in the dark, Guess at random,—still, for sake of fair play—what if for a freak, In a fit of absence,—such things have been! Look into the case, at least!
Yet he spared me! You eleven!
Whosoever, all or each, To the disadvantage of the man who spared me, utters speech —To his face, behind his back,—that speaker has to do with me: Me who promise, if positions change, and mine the chance should be, Not to imitate your friend and waive advantage! Reprieval I procured, at any rate. Why prate Longer? Fear I naturally look for—unless, of all men alive, I am forced to make exception when I come to Robert Clive.
Since at Arcot, Plassy, elsewhere, he and death—the whole world knows— Came to somewhat closer quarters.
Cracking the Insidious Code Part II: A Closer Look at John Piper’s Doctrine
Had we come to blows, Clive and I, you had not wondered—up he sprang so, out he rapped Such a round of oaths—no matter! You—at Plassy? Yours the faculty to nick Instantaneously occasion when your foe, if lightning-quick, —At his mercy, at his malice,—has you, through some stupid inch Undefended in your bulwark? Then, look here! Suppose the man, Checking his advance, his weapon still extended, not a span Distant from my temple,—curse him! Keep your life, calumniator! Go, and thank your own bad aim Which permits me to forgive you! How should I have borne me, please? This, and only this, remained— [Pg 57] Pick his weapon up and use it on myself.
Then I abate —No, by not one jot nor tittle,—of your act my estimate. Fear—I wish I could detect there: courage fronts me, plain enough— Call it desperation, madness—never mind! Many years in foreign climes Rub some marks away—not all, though! Oh, he made no answer, re-absorbed into his cloud.
They went when his tribe was mulct, ten thousand camels the due, Blood-value paid perforce for a murder done of old. Do the ten steeds run a race of glory? Such sickness admits no cure. The Pearl is a prize apart. Long parley may last too long. Your camels—go gaze on them! Her fetlock is foam-splashed too. Myself am the richer still. A year goes by: lo, back to the tent again rides Duhl. Why should I speak of sale? Be the mare your simple gift!
Cracking the Insidious Code: Part 2
Be God the rewarder, since [Pg 62] God pays debts seven for one: who squanders on Him shows thrift. It is life against life: what good avails to the life-bereft? Another year, and—hist! What craft is it Duhl designs? Is he generous like Spring dew? Account the fault to me who chaffered with such an one! He has killed, to feast chance comers, the creature he rode: nay, more— For a couple of singing-girls his robe has he torn in two: I will beg!
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Yet I nowise gained by the tale of my wife and son. Fair dealing I tried, then guile, And now I resort to force. He said we must live or die: Let him die, then,—let me live! Be bold—but not too rash! I have found me a peeping-place: breast, bury your breathing while I explore for myself!
Treasures from the Hoard: The Piper on the Mountain (Ellis Peters)
Now, breathe! He deceived me not, the spy! What then? The Pearl is the Pearl: once mount her we both escape. He has set the tent-door wide, has buckled the girth, has clipped The headstall away from the wrist he leaves thrice bound as before, He springs on the Pearl, is launched on the desert like bolt from bow.
She is near now, nose by tail—they are neck by croup—joy! Sing me a hero! Quench my thirst Of soul, ye bards! Sir Olaf and his bard—! You too without your host have reckoned! Help, you the standers-by! Over the balustrade has bounced A mere instinctive dog, and pounced Plumb on the prize. Good dog!
What, off again? All right! Now, did you ever?
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What a pretty tale you told me Once upon a time —Said you found it somewhere scold me! Was it prose or was it rhyme, Greek or Latin? Greek, you said, While your shoulder propped my head. Yes, a bard, sir, famed of yore, Went where suchlike used to go, Singing for a prize, you know. There stood he, while deep attention Held the judges round, —Judges able, I should mention, To detect the slightest sound Sung or played amiss: such ears Had old judges, it appears!
When, a mischief! Were they seven Strings the lyre possessed? Oh, and afterwards eleven, Thank you! Well, sir,—who had guessed Such ill luck in store? All was lost, then!