Artifacts that recognize the designers' ability to think and document their ideas, notes for future concepts that may someday evolve into products, presented here along with essays, captions and the biographies of the designers.
The perfect companion to the acclaimed “The Hand of the Architect” book and APP (also available in the APP Store). These works were gathered by FAI (Italian National Trust) into an exhibition called The Hand of The Designer and subsequently auctioned to raise funds for its restoring and keeping activities.
The selection includes works from Ross Lovegrove, Enzo Mari, Marco Acerbis, Cini Boeri, Mario Botta, Aldo Cibic, Alberto Meda, Alessandro Mendini, Matteo Thun, Micheal Graves, Martì Guixè Lovegrove, Ora-Ïto, Karim Rashid and many more.
All the images are retina display compatible and can be enlarged (for easier viewing of the smallest details, styles and methods) and shared, becoming a great source of inspiration and study.
For each App sold, Moleskine will make a donation to FAI.
More than 100 internationally renowned architects (featuring names such as Felipe Assadi, Mario Botta, Massimiliano Fuksas, Michael Graves, Vittorio Gregotti, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Renzo Piano) answered this question with 378 sketches and drawings, showing that every project always begins by hand.
And showing also a part of the process itself, which often remains hidden in archives, All the works were gathered together by FAI (Italian National Trust) into an exhibition called The Hand of The Architect, with the aim of raising funds to restore Villa Necchi (a masterpiece of Italian rationalism, designed by Piero Portaluppi in 1930’s, which was recently featured in the 2009 movie ‘I Am Love’) to its original splendour.
Moleskine follows up the worldwide success of the book-catalogue with an app presenting all the sketches and drawings, along with essays, captions and the biographies of the architects. All the images can be enlarged (for easier viewing of the smallest details, styles and methods) and shared, becoming a great source of inspiration and study.
For each App sold, Moleskine will make a donation to FAI.
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Unlike other note-taking apps, Handy Note features a lot of customization options. You are also free to choose from its wide range of build in templates. There are templates for diaries, business, academics, etc. You can even create a personal notebook planner. Plus, you can create unlimited pages.
Quick View and Preview Widget:
Are you too lazy to flip the pages? Well, you don’t really have to. With this app, you can simply take a quick glance of your notes via Quick View. You can also browser notebooks page by page on your Android desktop without open Handy Note.
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Mr. Macy was born in Detroit, 1877; graduated from Harvard in 1899; did editorial service on the Youth’s Companion and the Boston Herald; and nowadays lives pensively in Greenwich Village, writing a good deal for The Freeman and The Literary Review. Perhaps, if you were wandering on Fourth Street, east of Sixth Avenue, you might see him treading thoughtfully along, with a wide sombrero hat, and always troubled by an iron-gray forelock that droops over his brow. You would know, as soon as you saw him, that he is a man greatly lovable. I like to think of him as I first saw him, some years ago, in front of the bright hearth of the charming St. Botolph Club in Boston, where he was usually the center of an animated group of nocturnal philosophers.
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“Eh?” questioned the count, turning toward his young wife. “What is it that is magnificent?” and the count bent his eyes in various directions in quest of the object of her admiration.
“Oh, nothing at all, my dear,” replied the countess, a slight flush momentarily coloring her already pink cheek. “I was but recalling with admiration those stupendous skyscrapers, as they call them, of New York,” and the fair countess settled herself more comfortably in her steamer chair, and resumed the magazine which “nothing at all” had caused her to let fall upon her lap.
Her husband again buried himself in his book, but not without a mild wonderment that three days out from New York his countess should suddenly have realized an admiration for the very buildings she had but recently characterized as horrid.
Presently the count put down his book. “It is very tiresome, Olga,” he said. “I think that I shall hunt up some others who may be equally bored, and see if we cannot find enough for a game of cards.”
“You are not very gallant, my husband,” replied the young woman, smiling, “but as I am equally bored I can forgive you. Go and play at your tiresome old cards, then, if you will.”
When he had gone she let her eyes wander slyly to the figure of a tall young man stretched lazily in a chair not far distant.
“MAGNIFIQUE!” she breathed once more.
The Countess Olga de Coude was twenty. Her husband forty. She was a very faithful and loyal wife, but as she had had nothing whatever to do with the selection of a husband, it is not at all unlikely that she was not wildly and passionately in love with the one that fate and her titled Russian father had selected for her. However, simply because she was surprised into a tiny exclamation of approval at sight of a splendid young stranger it must not be inferred therefrom that her thoughts were in any way disloyal to her spouse. She merely admired, as she might have admired a particularly fine specimen of any species. Furthermore, the young man was unquestionably good to look at.
As her furtive glance rested upon his profile he rose to leave the deck. The Countess de Coude beckoned to a passing steward. “Who is that gentleman?” she asked.
“He is booked, madam, as Monsieur Tarzan, of Africa,” replied the steward.
“Rather a large estate,” thought the girl, but now her interest was still further aroused.
As Tarzan walked slowly toward the smoking-room he came unexpectedly upon two men whispering excitedly just without. He would have vouchsafed them not even a passing thought but for the strangely guilty glance that one of them shot in his direction. They reminded Tarzan of melodramatic villains he had seen at the theaters in Paris. Both were very dark, and this, in connection with the shrugs and stealthy glances that accompanied their palpable intriguing, lent still greater force to the similarity.
Tarzan entered the smoking-room, and sought a chair a little apart from the others who were there. He felt in no mood for conversation, and as he sipped his absinth he let his mind run rather sorrowfully over the past few weeks of his life. Time and again he had wondered if he had acted wisely in renouncing his birthright to a man to whom he owed nothing. It is true that he liked Clayton, but—ah, but that was not the question. It was not for William Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke, that he had denied his birth. It was for the woman whom both he and Clayton had loved, and whom a strange freak of fate had given to Clayton instead of to him.
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Just to have seen him there, lolling upon the swaying bough of the jungle-forest giant, his brown skin mottled by the brilliant equatorial sunlight which percolated through the leafy canopy of green above him, his clean-limbed body relaxed in graceful ease, his shapely head partly turned in contemplative absorption and his intelligent, gray eyes dreamily devouring the object of their devotion, you would have thought him the reincarnation of some demigod of old.
You would not have guessed that in infancy he had suckled at the breast of a hideous, hairy she-ape, nor that in all his conscious past since his parents had passed away in the little cabin by the landlocked harbor at the jungle’s verge, he had known no other associates than the sullen bulls and the snarling cows of the tribe of Kerchak, the great ape.
Nor, could you have read the thoughts which passed through that active, healthy brain, the longings and desires and aspirations which the sight of Teeka inspired, would you have been any more inclined to give credence to the reality of the origin of the ape-man. For, from his thoughts alone, you could never have gleaned the truth—that he had been born to a gentle English lady or that his sire had been an English nobleman of time-honored lineage.
Lost to Tarzan of the Apes was the truth of his origin. That he was John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, with a seat in the House of Lords, he did not know, nor, knowing, would have understood.
Yes, Teeka was indeed beautiful!
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Of course they lived at 14 [their house number on their street], and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner.
The way Mr. Darling won her was this: the many gentlemen who had been boys when she was a girl discovered simultaneously that they loved her, and they all ran to her house to propose to her except Mr. Darling, who took a cab and nipped in first, and so he got her. He got all of her, except the innermost box and the kiss. He never knew about the box, and in time he gave up trying for the kiss. Wendy thought Napoleon could have got it, but I can picture him trying, and then going off in a passion, slamming the door.
Mr. Darling used to boast to Wendy that her mother not only loved him but respected him. He was one of those deep ones who know about stocks and shares. Of course no one really knows, but he quite seemed to know, and he often said stocks were up and shares were down in a way that would have made any woman respect him.
Mrs. Darling was married in white, and at first she kept the books perfectly, almost gleefully, as if it were a game, not so much as a Brussels sprout was missing; but by and by whole cauliflowers dropped out, and instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. She drew them when she should have been totting up. They were Mrs. Darling’s guesses.
Wendy came first, then John, then Michael.
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One frightfully hot morning, when she was about nine years old, she awakened feeling very cross, and she became crosser still when she saw that the servant who stood by her bedside was not her Ayah.
“Why did you come?” she said to the strange woman. “I will not let you stay. Send my Ayah to me.”
The woman looked frightened, but she only stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.
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These customers were either very young men, who hung about the window for a time before slipping in suddenly; or men of a more mature age, but looking generally as if they were not in funds. Some of that last kind had the collars of their overcoats turned right up to their moustaches, and traces of mud on the bottom of their nether garments, which had the appearance of being much worn and not very valuable. And the legs inside them did not, as a general rule, seem of much account either. With their hands plunged deep in the side pockets of their coats, they dodged in sideways, one shoulder first, as if afraid to start the bell going.
The bell, hung on the door by means of a curved ribbon of steel, was difficult to circumvent. It was hopelessly cracked; but of an evening, at the slightest provocation, it clattered behind the customer with impudent virulence.
It clattered; and at that signal, through the dusty glass door behind the painted deal counter, Mr Verloc would issue hastily from the parlour at the back. His eyes were naturally heavy; he had an air of having wallowed, fully dressed, all day on an unmade bed. Another man would have felt such an appearance a distinct disadvantage. In a commercial transaction of the retail order much depends on the seller’s engaging and amiable aspect. But Mr Verloc knew his business, and remained undisturbed by any sort of æsthetic doubt about his appearance. With a firm, steady-eyed impudence, which seemed to hold back the threat of some abominable menace, he would proceed to sell over the counter some object looking obviously and scandalously not worth the money which passed in the transaction: a small cardboard box with apparently nothing inside, for instance, or one of those carefully closed yellow flimsy envelopes, or a soiled volume in paper covers with a promising title. Now and then it happened that one of the faded, yellow dancing girls would get sold to an amateur, as though she had been alive and young.
Sometimes it was Mrs Verloc who would appear at the call of the cracked bell. Winnie Verloc was a young woman with a full bust, in a tight bodice, and with broad hips. Her hair was very tidy. Steady-eyed like her husband, she preserved an air of unfathomable indifference behind the rampart of the counter. Then the customer of comparatively tender years would get suddenly disconcerted at having to deal with a woman, and with rage in his heart would proffer a request for a bottle of marking ink, retail value sixpence (price in Verloc’s shop one-and-sixpence), which, once outside, he would drop stealthily into the gutter.
The wondering populace might have supposed that the gentleman had taken leave of his senses–for surely no one of his mature years and serious responsibilities would have risked so much if he had been sane–had it not been plain to them that he was in desperate distress. His head was bare; his swarthy cheeks were shining with perspiration; his eyes rolled with fright; and his fat hands were clasped about the waist of the boy in the saddle with the convulsive grip of a man clinging for dear life. The face of the boy was, on the contrary, beaming with delight. His lips were parted in a wide smile; his blue eyes were dancing; and his mop of tow-coloured hair waved joyously in the breeze that the motion of the vehicle created.
The street filled, and soon there was a mingled crowd pouring in full cry behind the bicycle. There were young fellows in black coats and spotless collars–the well-to-do Peruvian is something of a dandy; men in white ducks and Panama hats; ladies in mantillas; Indians in bright-coloured ponchos; rough-clad muleteers; bare-legged Indian children. The rider waved his hand and grinned at a stripling who ran, pen in hand, from an office, to see the cause of the uproar, and smilingly watched the bicycle as it bowled along over the cobbles of the plaza, with much clamorous outcry from the hooter, finally coming to rest before a large house there. The perspiring passenger having descended from his uneasy perch, the rider dismounted and offered his arm as a support to the magistrate, whose legs, cramped by their unwonted strain, moved very stiffly as he approached his door.
Young Tim O’Hagan and his motor-bicycle had been for some time the talk of San Rosario. Tim was sixteen, but he was called “Young Tim” to distinguish him from his father, and also, perhaps, in the spirit of kindly tolerance with which elders sometimes regard their high-spirited juniors. Young Tim had always been what his father’s English friends called a “pickle,” and old Biddy Flanagan, the family maidservant, a “broth of a boy.” As a small boy he had been in frequent scrapes, and a cause of bewilderment and trouble to the grave householders of the town. More than once they had politely complained to Mr. O’Hagan of his escapades: scrambling over their roofs, hunting for lost balls in their gardens without much regard for their carefully tended flower-beds, and engaging in many other nimble exercises which are natural enough to an English–or Irish–boy, but are rare with the less active Latins. Thrashings and admonitions were equally ineffective; he would promise not to repeat a certain offence, and keep his word, but only to break out in a new direction. Mr. O’Hagan at last despaired of further correction, and yielded to his wife’s advice, to leave Tim to the sobering hand of time.
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“We have not cared to live in the place ourselves,” said Lord Canterville, “since my grandaunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, was frightened into a fit, from which she never really recovered, by two skeleton hands being placed on her shoulders as she was dressing for dinner, and I feel bound to tell you, Mr. Otis, that the ghost has been seen by several living members of my family, as well as by the rector of the parish, the Rev. Augustus Dampier, who is a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. After the unfortunate accident to the Duchess, none of our younger servants would stay with us, and Lady Canterville often got very little sleep at night, in consequence of the mysterious noises that came from the corridor and the library.”
“My Lord,” answered the Minister, “I will take the furniture and the ghost at a valuation. I have come from a modern country, where we have everything that money can buy; and with all our spry young fellows painting the Old World red, and carrying off your best actors and prima-donnas, I reckon that if there were such a thing as a ghost in Europe, we’d have it at home in a very short time in one of our public museums, or on the road as a show.”
“I fear that the ghost exists,” said Lord Canterville, smiling, “though it may have resisted the overtures of your enterprising impresarios. It has been well known for three centuries, since 1584 in fact, and always makes its appearance before the death of any member of our family.”
“Well, so does the family doctor for that matter, Lord Canterville. But there is no such thing, sir, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy.”
“You are certainly very natural in America,” answered Lord Canterville, who did not quite understand Mr. Otis’s last observation, “and if you don’t mind a ghost in the house, it is all right. Only you must remember I warned you.”
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“There are four children,” said the bakeshop woman to her husband the next day, “and their mother is dead. They must have some money, for the girl paid for the bread with a dollar bill.”
“Make them pay for everything they get,” growled the baker, who was a hard man. “The father is nearly dead with drink now, and soon they will be only beggars.”
This happened sooner than he thought. The next day the oldest boy and girl came to ask the bakeshop woman to come over. Their father was dead.
She went over willingly enough, for someone had to go. But it was clear that she did not expect to be bothered with four strange children, with the bakery on her hands and two children of her own.
“Haven’t you any other folks?” she asked the children.
“We have a grandfather in Greenfield,” spoke up the youngest child before his sister could clap her hand over his mouth.
“Hush, Benny,” she said anxiously.
This made the bakeshop woman suspicious. “What’s the matter with your grandfather?” she asked.
“He doesn’t like us,” replied the oldest boy reluctantly. “He didn’t want my father to marry my mother, and if he found us he would treat us cruelly.”
“Did you ever see him?”
“Jess has. Once she saw him.”
“Well, did he treat you cruelly?” asked the woman, turning upon Jess.
“Oh, he didn’t see me,” replied Jess. “He was just passing through our—where we used to live—and my father pointed him out to me.”
“Where did you use to live?” went on the questioner. But none of the children could be made to tell.
“We will get along all right alone, won’t we, Henry?” declared Jess.
“Indeed we will!” said Henry.
“I will stay in the house with you tonight,” said the woman at last, “and tomorrow we will see what can be done.”
The four children went to bed in the kitchen, and gave the visitor the only other bed in the house. They knew that she did not at once go to bed, but sat by the window in the dark. Suddenly they heard her talking to her husband through the open window.
“They must go to their grandfather, that’s certain,” Jess heard her say.
“Of course,” agreed her husband. “Tomorrow we will make them tell us what his name is.”
Soon after that Jess and Henry heard her snoring heavily. They sat up in the dark.
“Mustn’t we surely run away?” whispered Jess in Henry’s ear.
“Yes!” whispered Henry. “Take only what we need most. We must be far off before morning, or they will catch us.”
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Mother did not spend all her time in paying dull calls to dull ladies, and sitting dully at home waiting for dull ladies to pay calls to her. She was almost always there, ready to play with the children, and read to them, and help them to do their home-lessons. Besides this she used to write stories for them while they were at school, and read them aloud after tea, and she always made up funny pieces of poetry for their birthdays and for other great occasions, such as the christening of the new kittens, or the refurnishing of the doll’s house, or the time when they were getting over the mumps.
These three lucky children always had everything they needed: pretty clothes, good fires, a lovely nursery with heaps of toys, and a Mother Goose wall-paper. They had a kind and merry nursemaid, and a dog who was called James, and who was their very own. They also had a Father who was just perfect—never cross, never unjust, and always ready for a game—at least, if at any time he was NOT ready, he always had an excellent reason for it, and explained the reason to the children so interestingly and funnily that they felt sure he couldn’t help himself.
You will think that they ought to have been very happy. And so they were, but they did not know HOW happy till the pretty life in the Red Villa was over and done with, and they had to live a very different life indeed.
The dreadful change came quite suddenly.
Peter had a birthday—his tenth. Among his other presents was a model engine more perfect than you could ever have dreamed of. The other presents were full of charm, but the Engine was fuller of charm than any of the others were.
Its charm lasted in its full perfection for exactly three days. Then, owing either to Peter’s inexperience or Phyllis’s good intentions, which had been rather pressing, or to some other cause, the Engine suddenly went off with a bang. James was so frightened that he went out and did not come back all day. All the Noah’s Ark people who were in the tender were broken to bits, but nothing else was hurt except the poor little engine and the feelings of Peter. The others said he cried over it—but of course boys of ten do not cry, however terrible the tragedies may be which darken their lot. He said that his eyes were red because he had a cold. This turned out to be true, though Peter did not know it was when he said it, the next day he had to go to bed and stay there. Mother began to be afraid that he might be sickening for measles, when suddenly he sat up in bed and said:
“I hate gruel—I hate barley water—I hate bread and milk. I want to get up and have something REAL to eat.”
“What would you like?” Mother asked.
“A pigeon-pie,” said Peter, eagerly, “a large pigeon-pie. A very large one.”
So Mother asked the Cook to make a large pigeon-pie. The pie was made. And when the pie was made, it was cooked. And when it was cooked, Peter ate some of it. After that his cold was better. Mother made a piece of poetry to amuse him while the pie was being made. It began by saying what an unfortunate but worthy boy Peter was, then it went on:
Not since that other March night in 1866, when I had stood without that Arizona cave in which my still and lifeless body lay wrapped in the similitude of earthly death had I felt the irresistible attraction of the god of my profession.
With arms outstretched toward the red eye of the great star I stood praying for a return of that strange power which twice had drawn me through the immensity of space, praying as I had prayed on a thousand nights before during the long ten years that I had waited and hoped.
Suddenly a qualm of nausea swept over me, my senses swam, my knees gave beneath me and I pitched headlong to the ground upon the very verge of the dizzy bluff.
Instantly my brain cleared and there swept back across the threshold of my memory the vivid picture of the horrors of that ghostly Arizona cave; again, as on that far-gone night, my muscles refused to respond to my will and again, as though even here upon the banks of the placid Hudson, I could hear the awful moans and rustling of the fearsome thing which had lurked and threatened me from the dark recesses of the cave, I made the same mighty and superhuman effort to break the bonds of the strange anaesthesia which held me, and again came the sharp click as of the sudden parting of a taut wire, and I stood naked and free beside the staring, lifeless thing that had so recently pulsed with the warm, red life-blood of John Carter.
With scarcely a parting glance I turned my eyes again toward Mars, lifted my hands toward his lurid rays, and waited.
Nor did I have long to wait; for scarce had I turned ere I shot with the rapidity of thought into the awful void before me. There was the same instant of unthinkable cold and utter darkness that I had experienced twenty years before, and then I opened my eyes in another world, beneath the burning rays of a hot sun, which beat through a tiny opening in the dome of the mighty forest in which I lay.
The scene that met my eyes was so un-Martian that my heart sprang to my throat as the sudden fear swept through me that I had been aimlessly tossed upon some strange planet by a cruel fate.
Why not? What guide had I through the trackless waste of interplanetary space? What assurance that I might not as well be hurtled to some far-distant star of another solar system, as to Mars?
I lay upon a close-cropped sward of red grasslike vegetation, and about me stretched a grove of strange and beautiful trees, covered with huge and gorgeous blossoms and filled with brilliant, voiceless birds. I call them birds since they were winged, but mortal eye ne’er rested on such odd, unearthly shapes.
The vegetation was similar to that which covers the lawns of the red Martians of the great waterways, but the trees and birds were unlike anything that I had ever seen upon Mars, and then through the further trees I could see that most un-Martian of all sights—an open sea, its blue waters shimmering beneath the brazen sun.
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She was tall, full-bosomed and large-limbed, with compact shoulders. Her whole figure reflected an unusual strength, without detracting from the femininity of her appearance. She was all woman, in spite of her bearing and her garments. The latter were incongruous, in view of her present environs. Instead of a skirt she wore short, wide-legged silk breeches, which ceased a hand’s breadth short of her knees, and were upheld by a wide silken sash worn as a girdle. Flaring-topped boots of soft leather came almost to her knees, and a low-necked, wide-collared, wide-sleeved silk shirt completed her costume. On one shapely hip she wore a straight double-edged sword, and on the other a long dirk. Her unruly golden hair, cut square at her shoulders, was confined by a band of crimson satin.
Against the background of somber, primitive forest she posed with an unconscious picturesqueness, bizarre and out of place. She should have been posed against a background of sea-clouds, painted masts and wheeling gulls. There was the color of the sea in her wide eyes. And that was as it should have been, because this was Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, whose deeds are celebrated in song and ballad wherever seafarers gather.
She strove to pierce the sullen green roof of the arched branches and see the sky which presumably lay about it, but presently gave it up with a muttered oath.
Leaving her horse tied she strode off toward the east, glancing back toward the pool from time to time in order to fix her route in her mind. The silence of the forest depressed her. No birds sang in the lofty boughs, nor did any rustling in the bushes indicate the presence of any small animals. For leagues she had traveled in a realm of brooding stillness, broken only by the sounds of her own flight.
She had slaked her thirst at the pool, but she felt the gnawings of hunger and began looking about for some of the fruit on which she had sustained herself since exhausting the food she had brought in her saddle-bags.
‘Your Majesty!’ It was a low, vibrant cry, half in relief and half in fear. The girl sprang to his side, then hesitated as if abashed.
‘You bleed,’ she said. ‘You have been hurt!’
He brushed aside the implication with an impatient hand.
‘Scratches that wouldn’t hurt a baby. Your skewer came in handy, though. But for it Tarascus’ monkey would be cracking my shin-bones for the marrow right now. But what now?’
‘Follow me,’ she whispered. ‘I will lead you outside the city wall. I have a horse concealed there.’
She turned to lead the way down the corridor, but he laid a heavy hand on her naked shoulder.
‘Walk beside me,’ he instructed her softly, passing his massive arm about her lithe waist. ‘You’ve played me fair so far, and I’m inclined to believe in you; but I’ve lived this long only because I’ve trusted no one too far, man or woman. So! Now if you play me false you won’t live to enjoy the jest.’
She did not flinch at sight of the reddened poniard or the contact of his hard muscles about her supple body.
‘Cut me down without mercy if I play you false,’ she answered. ‘The very feel of your arm about me, even in menace, is as the fulfillment of a dream.’
The vaulted corridor ended at a door, which she opened. Outside lay another black man, a giant in turban and silk loin-cloth, with a curved sword lying on the flags near his hand. He did not move.
‘I drugged his wine,’ she whispered, swerving to avoid the recumbent figure. ‘He is the last, and outer, guard of the pits. None ever escaped from them before, and none has ever wished to seek them; so only these black men guard them. Only these of all the servants knew it was King Conan that Xaltotun brought a prisoner in his chariot. I was watching, sleepless, from an upper casement that opened into the court, while the other girls slept; for I knew that a battle was being fought, or had been fought, in the west, and I feared for you….
Since Joanna, my ex, had already lined up her own holiday excursion (Amy the spy claimed it was with some divorced Tishman VP), she hadn’t bothered inventing the usual roadblocks. Clear sailing. We’d open the house down in St. Croix and spend a month getting reacquainted. Work on the tan and some postgraduate snorkeling, a strategic move while I still enjoyed a small sliver of her attention, before a certain “totally terrific” skateboard virtuoso finally got around to noticing her. Only a couple of jobs needed finishing, but they’d be wrapped up with weeks to spare.
That night, in truth, had its moments of nostalgia. The destination was Sotheby’s auction house, a place where Matthew Walton was greeted by name at the cashier’s window. Home away from home for obsessive collectors. I leaned back
against the vinyl seat of the Checker, letting the rhythm of the streetlight halos glimmer past, and reflected on all those happy nights I’d made the trek with Joanna. She’d had no real interest in my collecting hobby, Japanese samurai swords and armor, but she was always a decent sport about it. Besides, she had her own passions. While I was agonizing over long blades and short blades, she’d sneak off and browse for something French and nineteenth century and expensive. Fact is, I’d usually plan ahead and have something of my own on the block just to pay for that little sketch, or print, she suddenly had to have. Out of habit I’d even shipped up a couple of mistakes for the auction this evening (a hand axe and a lacquered-metal face guard).
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Meantime, I was not idle. Every transparent substance that bore the remotest resemblance to a lens I eagerly seized upon, and employed in vain attempts to realize that instrument the theory of whose construction I as yet only vaguely comprehended. All panes of glass containing those oblate spheroidal knots familiarly known as “bull’s-eyes” were ruthlessly destroyed in the hope of obtaining lenses of marvelous power. I even went so far as to extract the crystalline humor from the eyes of fishes and animals, and endeavored to press it into the microscopic service. I plead guilty to having stolen the glasses from my Aunt Agatha’s spectacles, with a dim idea of grinding them into lenses of wondrous magnifying properties—in which attempt it is scarcely necessary to say that I totally failed.
At last the promised instrument came. It was of that order known as Field’s simple microscope, and had cost perhaps about fifteen dollars. As far as educational purposes went, a better apparatus could not have been selected. Accompanying it was a small treatise on the microscope—its history, uses, and discoveries. I comprehended then for the first time the “Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.” The dull veil of ordinary existence that hung across the world seemed suddenly to roll away, and to lay bare a land of enchantments. I felt toward my companions as the seer might feel toward the ordinary masses of men. I held conversations with nature in a tongue which they could not understand. I was in daily communication with living wonders such as they never imagined in their wildest visions, I penetrated beyond the external portal of things, and roamed through the sanctuaries. Where they beheld only a drop of rain slowly rolling down the window-glass, I saw a universe of beings animated with all the passions common to physical life, and convulsing their minute sphere with struggles as fierce and protracted as those of men. In the common spots of mould, which my mother, good housekeeper that she was, fiercely scooped away from her jam-pots, there abode for me, under the name of mildew, enchanted gardens, filled with dells and avenues of the densest foliage and most astonishing verdure, while from the fantastic boughs of these microscopic forests hung strange fruits glittering with green and silver and gold.
We are now in the Broad Walk, and it is as much bigger than the other walks as your father is bigger than you. David wondered if it began little, and grew and grew, until it was quite grown up, and whether the other walks are its babies, and he drew a picture, which diverted him very much, of the Broad Walk giving a tiny walk an airing in a perambulator. In the Broad Walk you meet all the people who are worth knowing, and there is usually a grown-up with them to prevent them going on the damp grass, and to make them stand disgraced at the corner of a seat if they have been mad-dog or Mary-Annish. To be Mary-Annish is to behave like a girl, whimpering because nurse won’t carry you, or simpering with your thumb in your mouth, and it is a hateful quality; but to be mad-dog is to kick out at everything, and there is some satisfaction in that.
If I were to point out all the notable places as we pass up the Broad Walk, it would be time to turn back before we reach them, and I simply wave my stick at Cecco Hewlett’s Tree, that memorable spot where a boy called Cecco lost his penny, and, looking for it, found twopence. There has been a good deal of excavation going on there ever since. Farther up the walk is the little wooden house in which Marmaduke Perry hid. There is no more awful story of the Gardens than this of Marmaduke Perry, who had been Mary-Annish three days in succession, and was sentenced to appear in the Broad Walk dressed in his sister’s clothes. He hid in the little wooden house, and refused to emerge until they brought him knickerbockers with pockets.
You now try to go to the Round Pond, but nurses hate it, because they are not really manly, and they make you look the other way, at the Big Penny and the Baby’s Palace. She was the most celebrated baby of the Gardens, and lived in the palace all alone, with ever so many dolls, so people rang the bell, and up she got out of her bed, though it was past six o’clock, and she lighted a candle and opened the door in her nighty, and then they all cried with great rejoicings, ‘Hail, Queen of England!’ What puzzled David most was how she knew where the matches were kept. The Big Penny is a statue about her.
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