Book//mark - The Mountain Lion | Jean Stafford, 1947

 The Mountain Lion, 1947                                                                Robert Giroux, Jean Stafford. Bronx Zoo, 1947 


"Once out in the bright green meadows of the valley he thought he would be safe from
the thoughts that swarmed about him like a dream of reptiles."

"And so, always at hand, would be Molly who could ruin him, blow up his world if she chose.
He knew, but for no reason he could name, that she would do nothing so long as they were
here, but in that bare wasteland where they were to live under the shadow of the trinity of
fat men, he must guard himself against her weapon."

“He whirled round and round in his rapid love; it pricked him on the breastbone like a needle.
He wanted to be shut up in a small space to think about it. He wanted to grab it and eat it
 like an apple so that nobody else could have it.” 

"The smoke from Winifred's cigarette went straight up
and then opened out into a horn like a blue lily." 

"There was a silence. Studebaker and Falcon had calmed down now and were cropping
side by side in the middle of the meadow. It was not really silent; there was a steady
undercurrent of the noises of the land, bu they were so closely woven together than
only a sudden sound, like the short singing of a meadowlark, made you realize that
everywhere there was a humming and a rustling. And, then, the separate sound,
the song or a splashing in the river, was like a bright daub on a dun fabric."

"It was the first time in his life that he had ever shown temper in the presence of
anyone but his immediate family, and it gave him a feeling of lunatic power."

"He has literally beat a rivet of hatred into my heart by a remark he passed on the train today"

"But the mountains wore peril conspicuously on their horny faces."

" [Molly] returned her cup to the tea wagon and said, “If you will pardon me,
this is the pause in the day’s occupation which is known as the children’s hour.”

"Ralph's childhood and his sister's expired at that moment of the train's entrance into
the surcharged valley. It was a paradox, for now they would be going into a tunnel
with no end, now that they had heard the devil speak."

"Tell me all the dirty words you know."

"He could not hear what they said, but he could imagine the shape of their mouths
and the kind of thing they would be repeating over and over again in that strange
belief all grown-ups seemed to have that no one heard the first time."

"They saw the mountain lion standing still with her head up, facing them, her long tail twitching.
 She was honey-colored all over save for her face which was darker, a sort of yellow -brown.
They had a perfect view of her, for the mesa there was bare of anything and the sun
 illuminated her so clearly that it was as if they saw her close up. She allowed them to
look at her for only a few seconds and then she bounded across the place where the
columbines grew in summer and disappeared among the trees."


 Jean Stafford, The Mountain Lion, 1947


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