‘One Bird, In All That’

Wild Ink

It was painful to him to hear birdsong in the canopy and not know the names of the birds.



‘I was just – just seeing that you were still there, Clissold. Follow more closely. It would not do to be separated.’


It was as though a migratory bird, a swallow or tern, were blinded by smoke or cloud to the stars by which it steered its course. No: it was as though the stars were there to be seen, but they were not the right stars – they were the stars of a different sky, a different heaven. In any case the bird would be lost.

Leo Szellenger, with a swipe of his stick, at last broke free of the smothering foliage and stumbled out into a clearing, a triangle of low-growing weed that ended in a ragged precipice and a steep, rock-strewn fifty-yard descent to the…

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