Beginning CLOCKWORK PRINCE: More Reasons to Love Cassandra Clare

Because she made Will Herondale, a character in The Infernal Devices trilogy.

Quotes fall so trippingly from Will’s tongue. She particularly loves when Jessamine is present, for the two Shadowhunters are constantly squabbling:

They go at it again on pp. 30 -31 of Clockwork Prince (She finished Clockwork Angel in the wee hours this morning)

. . . Jessamine shot Will a poisonous look. “If you think I don’t have the experience to help, then why is she here?” She indicated Tessa. “I don’t mean to be rude, but do you think she can tell a binding spell from a summoning one?” She looked at Tessa. “Well, can you? And for that matter, Will, you pay so little attention at lessons, can you tell a binding spell from a souffl√© recipe?”

Will leaned back in his chair and said dreamily, “I am but mad north-northwest; when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”

“Jessamine, Tessa has kindly offered to help, and we need all the eyes we can get right now,” said Jem severely. “Will, don’t quote Hamlet. Henry . . . ” he cleared his throat. “HENRY.”

SPOILER ALERT

For all her faults, Jessamine is pretty fierce. She never abandoned Tessa during the climactic fight to defend the Institute from the clockwork automatons who invaded it at the end of Clockwork Angel. And this in spite of the fact that her parasol was demolished, ruined beyond repair, lol.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mark Twain: Disquisition on Railroad Coffee

At 62, Mark Twain undertook a journey to follow the equator. He called his book — what else?– Following the Equator.

At this point in his narrative, he’s been to Fiji, Molokai, Australia, etc (Wonder why he skipped the Asian countries?) got very very sick, then resumed his journey by train through Australia. He got a tall tale from a fellow traveler (Of course — what is travel if not a series of encounters with tall tales told by strangers one meets in the course of a trip?)

Last weekend, self was in Lake Louise, and it was almost completely iced over. As soon as she got back to Banff, she started reading Robert Falcon Scott’s diary of his disastrous South Pole expedition. The poor man led a team to the Pole, but days away they already saw signs that they had been beaten to it by another team: there were sledge marks in the snow, small cairns, and far off, the Norwegian flag. 1 and 1/2 miles from the Pole they came across a compact tent with a note inside listing the names of five Norwegians and the date: 16 December 1911.

On the way back, all of Scott’s party perished in a blizzard.

Having now gotten completely off-tangent, self has to pull herself back by the nose to Mark Twain’s disquisition on coffee:

Twain experiences his own frustrations during his Australian train journey:¬† “We saw birds, but not a kangaroo, not an emu, not an ornithorhyncus, not a lecturer, not a native.”

He did, however, encounter something called “sheep-dip,” which he describes as follows:

It is a stuff like tar, and is dabbed onto places where a shearer clips a piece out of the sheep. It bars out the flies, and has healing properties, and a nip to it which makes the sheep skip like the cattle on a thousand hills. It is not good to eat. That is, it is not good to eat except when mixed with railroad coffee. It improves railroad coffee. Without it railroad coffee is too vague. But with it, it is quite assertive and enthusiastic. By itself, railroad coffee is too passive; but sheep-dip makes it wake up and get down to business. I wonder where they get railroad coffee?

Just for fun, self looked up “sheep dip” on Urban Dictionary and got this.

The next chapter, Chapter XV, begins with this quote from Twain’s novel Pudd’nhead Wilson:

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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