“If Peter was nine, and a new boy came to St. Norbert’s Home for Wayward Boys who said he was ten, why, then, Peter would declare himself eleven. Also, he could spit the farthest. That made him the undisputed leader.”
“Black Stache had no love for the Queen, no love for women of any sort, except for his ma. He had a real soft spot for his ma, and was truly sorry for the time he’d marooned her.”
“If Black Stache laughed, you laughed. If he snarled, you snarled. If he breathed in your direction, you ran for cover.”
“Nobody understands how hard it is, being a captain.”
“He felt a momentary pang of regret that he had not spent more time with his beloved wife. But it passed when he remembered that the reason he’d gone to sea in the first place was that he had never really liked his beloved wife.”
“My name—or the English version of my name—is Fighting Prawn.”
“Fighting Prawn?” said Alf.
“Does my name amuse you, Englishman?” said Fighting Prawn.
“No,” said Alf, his grin evaporating.
“If I may ask,” said Fighting Prawn, “what is your name?”
“Alf,” said Alf.
“Alf,” repeated Fighting Prawn. He said something to the other Mollusk’s, which included “Alf.” They roared with laughter. Fighting Prawn turned back to Alf.
“In our language,” he said, “Alf means squid poop.”
“He could even think about how fast he was thinking about things.”
“Who are you?” he said. “And why are you shouting?”
“I’m your first officer, sir,” said Slank. “Mr. Slank. I’m just relaying your orders to the crew.”
“Ah,” said Pembridge.
“The aft binnacle has been cast off, sir,” said Slank.
“The what?” said Pembridge.
“The aft binnacle,” said Slank. “As you ordered.”
“I did?” said Pembridge, squinting suspiciously. “When?”
“Just now, sir,” said Slank.
Pembridge blinked at Slank.
“Who are you, again?” he said.
“You first officer, sir,” said Slank.
Pembridge blinked again.
“My head hurts,” he said.
“Perhaps the captain would like to go to his cabin,” said Slank.
“You don’t tell me was to do,” said Pembridge. “I’m the captain.”
“Yes, sir,” said Slank.
“I’m going to my cabin,” said Pembridge.”
“But if I hadn't shoved you off the boat back there,you'd be lost at sea now,wouldn't you? We'd all be lost! So thanks to me you're all standing on land."
(Pirates, its a good thing they're idiots)”
“Sir,” James asked, “what are we going to do?”
“We’re going to look for water,” said Alf.
“And food?” said Tubby Ted.
“Water first,” said Alf. “We can go days without food.”
“We can what?” Tubby Ted shouted.”
“He was distracted by a giggle, and turned to see a rare sight: a girl.”
“Seriously? You won’t help me?”
“Help yourself get killed? No, I won’t.”
“You might have mentioned this to me Molly,” said Leonard. “The fact that there are hostile natives on the island.”
“I forgot,” said Molly.
“You forgot?” said Leonard.
“There’s been a lot happening,” said Molly.”
“His body rigid with terror as he waited for the savages to something horrible to him—bash his head with clubs, or stab him with spears, or…
…or tap him on the shoulder.”
“Alf pondered his next move. On the one hand, the savages seemed to be responding reasonably well to “How.” On the other hand they really weren’t making much progress.
At least they’re not eating us, he thought.
Ten seconds went by, then twenty, as Alf looked at the older savage, and the older savage looked at Alf. Finally, out of sheer nervousness, and unable to think of what else to do, Alf raised his right hand again. But this time, just as Alf began to speak, the savage rotated his spear from the vertical to the horizontal, pointing it toward Alf’s chest. Alf stopped in mid “How,” staring at the sharp pink spear tip, inches from his heart.
And the savage spoke.
Poking his spear tip against Alf’s chest, he said: “Can we move this conversation along, old chap? I’m getting frightfully tired of “How.”
“The Mollusks—generous hosts when they weren’t trying to kill you.”
“Why don’t you lift the end?” said Alf.
“It’s me back, Alf,” complained Mack. “You know how it troubles me.”
“No more than mine troubles me,” said Alf.
“But I said it first,” said Mack.”
“A secret society within a secret society.”
“When the cow jerks away, it’ll yank the door open.”
“But what’s going to make the cow jerk away?” asked Little Richard.
“You’re going to milk it,” said Slank.
“But I don’t know how to milk a cow!” said Little Richard.
“There were letters on the bottom, letters he'd seen before, on the ship that had carried him from London, the ship that had broken up on the reef that guarded the island. The letters said: NEVER LAND.
Peter looked at it. And then he looked around him--at the lagoon; at the rock where the mermaids (Mermaids!) lounged; at the palm-fringed beach; at the tinkling fairy flitting over his head; at his new friends the Mollusks; at the jungle-covered, pirate-infested mountains looming over it all.
Then he looked at the board again, and he laughed out loud.
'That's exactly where I am,' he said.”
“Land!” shouted Thomas.
“Is there food?” asked Tubby Ted.”
“Leonard Aster thanked Fighting Prawn and the Mollusk tribe for their hospitality.
“You mean,” said Fighting Prawn, “for not killing you?”
“Yes,” said Leonard. “It was very gracious of you.”
“Do you,” said Leonard, “I mean, does you tribe, shake hands?”
“No,” said Fighting Prawn. “We kiss on the lips.”
“Oh,” said Leonard, looking very alarmed.”
“Cyrus Pembridge, the Never Land’s captain, was widely regarded as the most incompetent man to comman a ship since the formation of water.
“Who in the name of common sense would put to sea on that ship with that man in charge?” wondered Mack.
“Well,” Alf answered, “we are.”
“True,” Mack said.”
“Can we move this conversation along, I'm getting frightfully tired of 'hoa'.”
“You and Teacher,” said Molly.
“Yes,” said Peter. “She’s very clever. You’ll like her.”
“I’m sure,” said Molly.”
“She wanted to cry, but she did not want Peter to see her cry, and she especially did not want Teacher, with her flowing hair, to see her cry.”
“Stache’s attack was perfectly timed, thanks to his veteran-pirate grasp tactics—and a big piece if luck.”
“There was nowhere to sit except the bunk, which was covered with rotting food, and a wooden stool, upon which sat a large fur-covered lump—an old cheese, perhaps, or a dead cat.”
“That is the Wasp, yes. But it was captured by Black Stache, and he’s coming for this ship now.”
“And how do you know that?” asked Slank. “Did a seagull tell you?” This brought chuckles from the crew.
Something like that, thought Peter.”
“How can you be afraid of women?”
“Those ain’t normal women.”
“For your penance, say two Hail Marys, three our Fathers, and," he added, with a chuckle, "say a special prayer for the Dodgers.”
“I'm a moldy moldy man
I'm moldy thru and thru
I'm a moldy moldy man
You would not think it true
I'm moldy til my eyeballs
I'm moldy til my toe
I will not dance I shyballs
I'm such a humble Joe.”
“That wasn’t blood. It was love. It pours out of you when you lose faith.”
“I began to notice that when I was tired or anxious, there were certain sentences I would say in my head that lead me to a very familiar place. The journey to this place would often start with me walking around disturbed, feeling as if there was something deep inside that I needed to put into words but couldn't quite capture. I felt the "something" as an anxiety, a loneliness, and a need for connection with someone. If no connection came, I would start to say things like, "Life really stinks. Why is it always so hard? It's never going to change." If no one noticed that I was struggling and asked me what was wrong, I found my sentences shifting again to a more cynical level, "Who cares? Life really is a joke." Surprisingly, I noticed by the time I was saying these last sentences, I was feeling better. The anxiety had greatly diminished.
My "comforter", my abiding place, was cynicism and rebellion. From this abiding place, I would feel free to use some soul - cocaine - a violence video with maybe a little sexual titillation thrown in, perhaps having a little more alcohol with a meal than I might normally drink - things that would allow me to feel better for just a little while. I had always thought of these things as just bad habits. I began to see that they were much more; they were spiritual abiding places that were my comforters and friends in a very spiritual way; literally, other lovers.”
“I was such a foolish girl - girls are foolish, Mr. Satterthwaite. They are so sure of themselves, so convinced they know best. People write and talk a lot of a ‘woman’s instinct.’ I don’t believe, Mr.Satterthwaite, that there is any such thing. There doesn’t seem to be anything that warns girls against a certain type of man. Nothing in themselves, I mean. Their parents warn them, but that’s no good - one doesn’t believe. It seems dreadful to say so, but there is something attractive to a girl in being told anyone is a bad man. She thinks at once that her love will reform him.”
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