The Lime Twig: A Novel (New Directions Paperbook)
An English horse race, the Golden Bowl at Aldington, provides the background for John Hawkes' exciting novel, The Lime Twig, which tells of an ingenious plot to steal and race a horse under a false name.
But it would be unfair to the reader to reveal what happens when a gang of professional crooks gets wind of the scheme and moves to muscle in on this bettors' dream of a long-odds situation. Worked out with all the meticulous detail, terror, and suspense of a nightmare, the tale is, on one level, comparable to a Graham Greene thriller; on another, it explores a group of people, their relationships fears, and loves. For as Leslie A. Fiedler says in his introduction, "John Hawkes.. . makes terror rather than love the center of his work, knowing all the while, of course, that there can be no terror without the hope for love and love's defeat . . . ."
short sea cliffs, for the moonlit coast and desolate windy promontories into which the batteries had once been built. At 3 A.M. her navigator discovering the cliffs, fixing location by sighting a flat tin helmet nailed to a stump on the tallest cliff’s windy lip, and the Artemis would approach the shore, and all of them—boy, girl, lonely woman—would have a glimpse of ten miles of coast with an iron fleet half-sunk in the mud, a moonlit vision of windlasses, torpedo tubes, skein of rusted masts
Wimble, through woodland all night long. All of it for Michael’s sake: the station, the sign at the end of the village, the cart with the single suitcase on it, the lantern swinging beyond the unfamiliar spout, the great shadows of this countryside. It was a lonely transport, there was a loose pin under her clothes. And in this world of carriage seats, vibrations, windows rattling, she stared at the other passenger, at the woman who had called something out to her in Dreary Station and followed
your kind of luck, our kind of luck. Can’t you see? God, what a thirst I’ve got!” And ignoring her: “Buy a ticket,” the man said again, and the wheels squeaked for a moment. “God,” the woman continued, and looked once at the sky, “they ought to shoot that Islam. Say,” talking not to the prostrate man but to Banks, “you didn’t bet on Islam, did you, mister? You’d know better, you would. He’s broke my heart, that Islam. Say,” he could feel a quickening of thought, a change in her eyes, “you
“Here, I’ll give you a quid,” said a fat woman who was watching four or five chocolates melt in the palm of her hand. The clay under his feet had grown hard with the spittle and rain, the sun, the endless weight of their bodies. It gave off an odor—of shoe leather, shredded tobacco, sweat. The sun was shining off their flesh. He moved his sundial’s shadow again and peered at his teeth marks in the cheese; it made a dry bulb in his mouth and only the girl’s remark about thirst had caught his
of steel. Despite the cold light of his chest she knew beforehand that his fingers would be hot, and his fingers were hot when, back turned to Monica, he stooped and reached—her own eyes were to the side and up and she saw the shining links like fish scales, and pressed to them the triangular black shape of the pistol —and began to cut. Once she saw his face, and it was the angel’s whiteness except for a broken place at the comer of his mouth which set her trembling. She waited and felt triumph