Thursday, 15 April 2010

That ain’t how people die

As I scrambled up I saw she was writhing in the dust; her scarf and helmet were gone, she was kicking and clawing at her body, and her face was twisted and working in agony, with her hair half across it. It was hideous, and I could only crouch there, gazing horrified. Oh, if it were a novel I could tell you that I ran to her, and cradled her head against me and kissed her, while she looked up at me with a serene smile and murmured something before she closed her eyes, as lovely in death as she’d been in life – but that ain’t how people die, not even the Rani of Jhansi. She arched up once more, still tearing at herself, and then she flopped over, face down, and I knew she was a goner.

Flashman in the Great Game, pp.315-6, Pan edition, 4th printing, 1979.

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