Tuesday, 8 November 2011

An imposing old file

 From all I’d heard in the past three days, I’d formed a picture of John Brown as a towering figure with flowing white locks, glaring like a fakir and brandishing an Excelsior banner in one fist and a smoking Colt in t’other; what I saw was an elderly man, spare and bony in an old black suit, like a rather seedy farmer come to town for market. He had a long aquiline nose, large ears, and deep-set eyes under heavy brows. An imposing old file, you’d have said, but nothing out of the ordinary — until you met the gaze of those eyes, clear bright grey and steady as a rock. Gunfighter’s eyes, was my first thought, but they weren’t cold; you knew they could twinkle or blaze (and I was to see ’em do both), but what I remember most was their level certainty. No one was ever going to make this man drop his gaze, or talk him out of anything.

Flashman and the Angel of the Lord, pp.206-07, Harper Collins, 1995.

Tags: , , .

No comments: