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“All that hooey! The trance and the white cocks and the brazier and the pentagrams and the voodoo and the reversed crucifix – all that was for the crudely superstitious. And the famous “box” was a bit of hooey for the contemporary-minded. We don’t believe in spirits and witches and spells nowadays, but we’re a gullible lot when it comes to “rays” and “waves” and psychological phenomena. That box, I bet, is nothing but a nice little assembly of electrical show-off, coloured bulbs and humming valves. Because we live in daily fear of radio fall out and strontium 90 and all the rest of it, we’re amenable to suggestion along the line of scientific talk. The whole set-up at the Pale Horse was bogus!”

-Christie, The Pale Horse, 210-211.

literature, quote

All life is dangerous. We forget that,we who have been reared in one of the small pockets of civilization. For that is all that civilization really is, Easterbrook. Small pockets of men here and there  who have gathered together for mutual protection and  who thereby are able to outwit and control Nature. They have beaten the jungle – but that victory is only temporary. At any moment, the jungle will once more take command. Proud cities that were, are now mere mounds of earth, overgrown with rank vegetation, and the poor hovels of men who just manage to keep alive, no more. Life is always dangerous – never forget that. in the end, perhaps, not only great natural forces, but the work of our own hands may destroy it. We are very near to that happening at this moment…”

-Christie, The Pale Horse, 182.