. . . But suddenly I want to quote everything I read.
(Not putting the book up this time, since it's only a green box anyway.)
"Sleep did not come so easily in Newgate.. Barabbas stank and he knew it. Matters have come to a terrible pass when the stench and toxicity of one's own perspiration are enough to make one nauseous. "
"Ignoring a legion of forbidding notices and signs and heaving themselves over innumerable gates and fences, they eventually clambered down beside the river. Moon wrinkled his nose at the omnipresent smell of decay, treading as carefully as he could along the bank as the filth and muck of the Thames oozed over his shoes.
'Mud,'Cribb said, sounding just as he had on London Bridge . . . 'Glorious mud -- . . .
'We've passed through the city's bowels. Now we walk the span of her intestine.'
'A century from now all this will be torn down, this testament to industry, toil and sweat. In its place great temples are built, monuments to wealth, avarice and power.'"
Page 137 of 353
(The clue for me, to remember what this is about: giant ugly head just unearthed from strata so deep that London hadn't even existed. )
and then . . .
Moon returns to his hotel, where he runs into an old acquaintance.
"'What are you doing here?'
'I've tracked you down,' Speight said proudly.
Moon blinked, still not entirely certain that this exchange was really happening. 'What can I do for you?'
'To be honest . . .money. . . I've had nowhere to doss down. Things are difficult. You were always so kind to me --'
Moon cut him off, reached into his pocket and passed the man a pound note. 'Here, spend it wisely.'
'Actually,' Speight admitted, 'I'll only spend it on drink.'
Moon pushed past him and clambered up the steps to his hotel. 'Frankly, Mr. Speight, just at the moment, I'd happily join you.'
'Something the matter?' Speight seemed genuinely concerned.
'Have you ever had everything you ever believed in ruined in a few hours?'
'Can't say I have, sir, no.'
'Have you ever seen all logic and reason dissolve before your eyes?'
'Again, sir -- I'd have to say no.'
'Have you ever been thrust into the most acute existential crisis by the sheer impossibility of the truth?'
The beggar gave Moon an embarrassed look. 'P'raps you'd better have a lie-down, sir. Thanks again for the cash.'
With a heavy sigh, the conjuror stepped inside."