Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First and last sentences

Spider Webs by Margaret Millar (1986)

"All rise. Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the county of Santa Felicia, is now in session, Judge George Hazeltine presiding."
Last: Tyler walked into the courtroom for the last time. The gun in his pocket felt smooth as silk and warm from his flesh.

A Dark Corner by Celia Dale (1971)

First: It took Mrs Didcot some time to get to the front door, partly because, as usual, she had the radio on and did not at first hear the bell, partly because, when she did, she thought it was children playing tricks again, and partly because her legs were bad and it was difficult for her to move at all, especially between the crowded furniture of the kitchen.
Last: She rocked him. "Don't be scared. Don't be scared, Errol sweetheart. The innocent don't have nothing to fear."

The Green Ripper by John D. MacDonald (1979)

Meyer came aboard The Busted Flush on a dark, wet, windy Friday afternoon in early December. I had not seen him in nearly two months.
Last: No need for words. Her eyes were wishing me luck and long life. I had outwitted monsters.

Matilda, My Darling by Nigel Krauth (1983)

First: Hammond Niall lit the gas-lamp and checked his watch. He removed his coat and tie, and his collar. He straightened his braces. Then he turned to the wall of the office where the two steel rings hung down.
Last: "You're a good old bastard, Pastor," one of the crowd said, and Pastor Frank knew it to be the closest any minister was likely to get to the drawing of a witness of conversion from amongst these artless men.

Dancers in Mourning by Margery Allingham (1937)

First: When Mr William Faraday sat down to write his memoirs at fifty-eight years of blameless inactivity, he found the work of inscribing the history of his life almost as tedious as living it had been and so, possessing a natural invention coupled with a gift for locating the easier path, he began to prevaricate a little upon the second page, working up to downright lying on the sixth and subsequent folios.
Last: In the midst of it he looked up. The crooked smile was on his lips and, surprisingly, his black eyes had tears in them. "How could I, old boy?" he said.

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (1952)

I'd finished my pie and was having a second cup of coffee when I saw him. The midnight freight had come in a few minutes before, and he was peering in one end of the restaurant window, the end nearest the depot, shading his eyes with his hand and blinking against the light.
Last: Yeah, I reckon that's all unless our kind gets another chance in the Next Place. Our kind. Us people. All of us that started the game with a crooked cue, that wanted so much and got so little, that meant so good and did so bad. All us folks... All of us.

Crime of Silence by Patricia Carlon (1965)

First: Winton said, "Kiley? I don't remember..." then as the staccato speech cut across his own words his body tightened, his voice growing crisper and colder as he broke in himself. "The Galaxy? I don't give interviews to the press."
Last: He didn't see them, or hear their cries. He was intent only on the woman with flame-red hair who awaited his coming.

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (2002)

Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing to you is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before.
Last: How very long we've been together, and how very much we've lived through, and still I don't know your name! But now it's time to let me go.

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