Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Howard Pyle & Chapter 1

I received Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire for Christmas, and I have been reading snatches of it at night before I go to bed (along with Lewis's Dawn Treader). Last night I finished out the prologue, which has a Little John-Robin Hood scene eerily similar to the 1938 Warner Bros. rendition. I hadn't remember this, but it was pretty funny to read. As an example:

"My head hums like a swarm of bees." - 1938

"By this and by that, my head hummeth like a hive of bees on a hot June day." - Howard Pyle

Also, Pyle's describes Little John as "whistling" at one point, which as all Robin Hood fans should know, he does so in 1938. I must say, though: Pyle's Little John has a bigger temper!

And now, a sneak peak into Gervais's book...I think this excerpt is all before I started resorting to "to be" verbs, but maybe not. Anyhow, it's rough so try to ignore them if you're OYAN born and bred.
The man spat the word between tangled gray whiskers, careful not to make eye contact with me. Instead, he looked at something just beyond my head.
I licked my lips, shielding my face against the setting sun with one hand. “Locksley,” I said again.
His gaze withdrew even further, eyes darting.
“Look, you’re going that direction, aren’t you?” I asked.
“Yes...” He rubbed the reins in his hand. “Got any money?”
“No,” I lied. Not for wagon rides anyway.
“Then forget it. I wouldn’t go within a mile of that place.” He tugged his hood closer about his ears and snapped his old mare. She lurched off, the empty wagon clattering over the frozen road.
I watched him go, anger a welcome warmth in the coming darkness. The chill wind snagged again at my hood, blowing it off. I yanked it back over my hair and hunched my shoulders.
I’ve gotten this far. I can make it the rest of the way.
I felt my way forward, more used to the slippery potholes and treacherous ruts than any person had a right to be. A dark shadow crept across my down-turned vision, and I looked up.
A church with a small bell tower glared at me across its shriveled lawn, as if it wanted to blame me for the boards nailed across the door.
I found myself fancying what kind of animals would have burrowed in there somehow, seeking warmth from the cruel winter winds. I stopped, wondering if I could somehow break in. I could reach Locksley tomorrow easily enough, and wouldn’t have to worry about coming after dark and having half a dozen arrows pointed my way.
“How long will you be gone?”
“I don’t know, several months. I’ll be back before it gets too cold.”

The conversation echoed in my mind. Who knew it could get so cold in November? I forced my feet forward again, giving one last glance to the silent bell tower.
England was so quiet without her bells.

1 comment:

storygirl308 said...

Very intriguing scene. Honestly, I can't wait to read the whole book. :)

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