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wiki quote: The Wars is a 1977 novel by Timothy Findley that tells the story of a young Canadian officer in World War I. Nineteen-year-old Robert Ross tries to escape both his grief over his sister's death and the social norms of oppressive Victorian upper-class society by enlisting in the Great War. He is quickly drawn into the madness of war and commits "a last desperate act to declare his commitment to life in the midst of death." Years later, a historian tries to piece together how he came to commit this act, using a mixture of styles and sources.
not my scan, but I've improved a dark pdf
Making love to his pillows. Jesus. She fell. It was Sunday. Robert wasn't there. 6: She died on the Monday, never regaining consciousness. Mrs Ross wore a large, black hat. Robert wore an armband. People who only knew them from a distance saw them walking down the street and thought they must have lost someone they loved in the war. Mister and Mrs Ross fell silent. They loved their children -all of them. Still, they were prepared for this. Children like Rowena weren't expected to live. The miracle was that she had lived so long as she had.
Lady Juliet has her back to you. "Just one moment," she says, without turning, and you wait with your briefcase and tape recorder in your hands in the middle of the rug. There are freesia on the mantelpiece in a plain white vase. Something in Latin being sung across the road comes to a conclusion and finally Lady Juliet turns to you and says: "I know you'll forgive me. I can't resist the Mass. " She smiles and moves to the other end of the room by the fire, where she lights a cigarette and throws back her head in order to see you through the sunlight.
Robert waited- holding his breath- thinking they were going to be buried alive. But the heaving stopped at last and it appeared that whatever was going to collapse had done so. At least for the moment. The bird shook its feathers. The rabbit turned with its eyes shut tight and huddled in the corner of its cage facing Robert. The hedgehog lay on its side in a ball. Robert said: "Captain Rodwell? " "Yes? " "Where are you? " 126 "I'm on top of you. " "Can you move? " "No. The other bunk is lying on top of me and I think it's full of earth.
Twenty-six times on top of supper! Surely he is mad! " But Tom Ross said: "nolet him. This is what he wants to do. " In the end- by the 24th lap- the porch was crowded with all the Rosses - Bimbo the dog- Eena the maid and Charles the gardener -cheering. People even came out onto their lawns along the street and waved and called out "Keep on going! "- "Don't give up! "- and "That's the spirit, Robert!! ! " 48 Then Robert fainted. Just at the end of the 25th lap. Fainted and was down with jaundice. His father got him through it.
No, Harris said: he wasn't afraid at all. His mother had died when he was three. He'd grown up eating alone 117 with his father at a twelve-foot table with a candle in the centre between them. Burning and silent. When he died, Robert took his gloves with the bitten fingers and the long blue scarf he'd wound around his neck. " (The Mass intrudes at this point - "Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison. " Then Lady juliet concludes. ) "The last scene of this ties them all together: Robert - Harris - Barbara- Taffler- even Jamie, I suppose.