Friday, April 26, 2013
They were all perfectly well behaved except that madcap Sambo. He was off and up over a little hillock before you could say knife. We thought Dotty had lost him forever. But of course we had armed ourselves with a spare bit of chocolate left over from yesterday. Dotty put down such a huge lump that even Sambo couldn't resist it. He came over a hummock, his nose twitching with delight, and ate himself practically into a stupor. He was no trouble, Dotty said, on the way home.
From A GIRL WITH IDEAS, Chapter 4, King Arthur Lived Here.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Gabrielle wasn't much interested in smugglers when she heard about the night's activities the next morning; anything in which she wasn't directly concerned had very little interest for her. But because the Bird-watcher had obviously taken a fancy to Charlotte, she said maliciously, "I don't know whether he's a smuggler or not, but the Bird-watcher is certainly bogus."
From SUSAN MUDDLES THROUGH, Chapter 6, Investigating Cap'n Dan.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
By this time they had circled round Tugela Road, along Congo Road, and were about to come down Orange Road to Nile Road. A very ragged native boy leading a pony was leaving the road to go across the koppie when Susan rushed at him, barking loudly.
"Susan! Bad dog! Come here!" called Belinda.
Mike rushed up and seized Susan's collar. "It's all right," he assured the native boy, between barks, restraining Susan with difficulty, "she - isn't - savage - really - she only - looks - savage!"
From VENTURE TO SOUTH AFRICA, Chapter 8, Enter Stella. Susan, of course, is not Susan Lyle, but the Eliots' Airedale. Both Susans were created around the same time, in the early 1950s. Although only published in 1960, Venture to South Africa was actually written soon after Jane Shaw and her family moved to Johannesburg in 1952. Lutterworth bought it in 1953 but never published it. Her editor at Nelson Publishers purchased the manuscript in the late 1950s and made sure that it was put into book form.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A pretty woman, chattering Italian with an English accent, accompanied by a young girl and a small boy, all chattering, asked, "Where is Susan Lyle?" The small boy was fidgeting with pens and register on the desk all the time that they chattered and finally knocked over a bottle of ink, so the reception clerk had the greatest pleasure in telling the whole chattering crew that no one of that name was staying in the hotel.
From WHERE IS SUSAN?, Prologue. The crooked desk clerk throws the Gascoignes out of the Hotel Soldati.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
But for this night only, as Madame said when they sat down to dinner, they would speak English, although from to-morrow she dared them to let her hear a word of it, for how furious their dear parents would be if they returned to Scotland with their French no better than when they came!
From BRETON ADVENTURE, Chapter 1, They Arrive. Poor Madame at this point does not know that no matter how long they spend in France or Switzerland, none of Jane Shaw's characters would ever become fluent in French. Only Charlotte Carmichael, who went to study art in Perugia, would learn a foreign language, being forced to gain a little fluency in Italian.
Friday, April 12, 2013
|The heading and first illustration from the last of the Susan short stories, Susan and the Spae-Wife, published in the Collins' Annual in 1960. This story is set on Arran just after Susan Muddles Through, following the departure of the Gascoignes after their two-week sojourn on the island. But if Susan is hoping for peace and quiet after the Ghastly family have left, she is in for a shock. The post office is held up and the fair is to be visited by the famous writer, Mr. Rock Carlisle. For further information about this short story, click here. Click on the picture for a much larger view.|
The school reports really started it all: Susan's and Midge's were uniformly poor, but in French they both reached new depths. Aunt Lucy read them with gloom. "'Midge is lazy and inattentive...' really, Midge!"
"Susan's is worse." Midge produced the diversion hopefully.
"It worked. Aunt Lucy turned to Susan's report.
"'Susan is apparently too occupied with other things to bother about French. A very bad term's work,'" Aunt Lucy read out.
"Sarcastic old pig," said Susan. "Just because I had to do my maths prep during French once or twice-"
From SUSAN'S KIND HEART, Chapter 1, Haunted Château. I often wonder why Susan and Midge's parents spent so much money on private school fees for them, when they obviously learn next to nothing, and then "punish" them by sending them to France for the summer!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
However, it was a nice, mild June evening, the girls were in no particular hurry to reach home as they would immediately be forced by their mothers to do a lot of boring home-work when they got there, so they strolled on to the next bus-stop. Fay, of course, was right; they were mid-way between stops when the bus sailed past, and the argument started again at the next stop.
From Crooks Limited, the 1962 short story featuring Ricky, Julie and Fay, of Crooks Tour fame.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Penny became even more gloomy. Honestly, she thought, life was too awful. Here she was, happily spending the Easter Holidays with Laura and John, doing nobody any harm, when suddenly this ghastly Talents Contest loomed up. Talents! What talents had she, she would like to know? Everybody knew that she was absolutely hopeless at everything - not like Jill, who was jolly good at everything, though a year younger. "I don't know what I'll do," she said. "I haven't any talents-"
"Well, we all know that, bird-brain," said Jill, "but I expect we'll be able to think of something that even you can do."
From FOURPENNY FAIR, Chapter 1, Fourpenny Fund. Penny has a trying time with Jill's insults.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
"Where shall I begin?" I said.
"Begin at the beginning," said my sister Clarissa, who can be rather nippy at times.
"But what is the beginning?" asked Tish. "Is it when we found the boy lying dead in the ditch?"
"Only he wasn't dead," muttered Thomas. (This seemed to be a disappointment that he wasn't going to forget in a hurry).
From WILLOW GREEN MYSTERY, Chapter 1, Boy in the Ditch.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
The Moochers, having finished their packing, had permission to go down and say good-bye to the Pengellys, or to Mrs. Pengelly, rather, for they would see Mr. Pengelly later when he helped to convey bus-loads of Pendragons to the station. Mrs. Pengelly, true to form, had made them each a saffron cake to take home for Christmas.
"That's a real Cornish cake, a 'zaaffern caake'," she said. "I promised Jan I'd make you a Cornish cake. We'll miss you popping in, but you'll soon be back. Do you remember the first time you came - you didn't like Pendragon much then, did you?"
"Oh, we were potty," said Fiona.
From THE MOOCHERS, Chapter 11, The House Shield.
Friday, April 5, 2013
The hotel-keeper, a jolly little round man, wearing braces embroidered with edelweiss, gave them a tremendous welcome. He talked very fast, inaccurate English, and told them of the many amenities Rosenberg had to offer - the river and the small lake and mountains, so many, so high mountains, why, look there, face to face with them was the mountain called the Eiger, that terrible north wall of the Eiger which for many years no one had climbed, he had a book of cut-outs from the newspapers telling of the many times that men had not climbed it.
From CROOKS TOUR, Chapter 3, Crook in the Hotel.