The sheep shuffled themselves into a tighter pack in the field beyond. Her feet skidded on ice, scuffed on stones; trees stood bare against the starry sky, the pale shape of an owl swept overhead. She climbed up as high as the drovers’ road; she stopped there, on the crossroads, on the edge of everything she had ever known. The hillside stood wide and empty, and it seemed that there was nothing but the stars and nightbirds.
- Jo Baker, Longbourn
Sarah took her orders, and went to gather up the needful equipment: her blacklead, vinegar, the jar of cold tea leaves, her rags and broom; at times like this, you just gritted your teeth and got on with it. She carried her basket upstairs, and, with Polly, got down on her knees to roll up the Turkey-carpet up. She swept out and blackleaded the grate, and then between them she and Polly dragged the carpet down the stairs.
...lifting them to smell them, tracing the seals with a rough fingertip. They flitted wherever they liked, these letters. They darted back and forth across the countryside like birds.
He sat on his bed, still in shirtsleeves, with a blanket over his shoulders, and a book of Scottish maps on his lap. This way of rendering the hard facts of landscape was new to him: the little upward flicks of the pen for mountainsides, the tiny clustered trees for woodland, the blue patches of lochs. He wanted maps of other places, he wanted maps of places he had been, he wanted to follow routes across terrain that his feet had trodden.
She rubbed the mist from the window and looked out. Low sun now, after all the rain. The light was golden: it caught on the damp flagstones and made them brilliant.
She climbed a stile, and sank down in the lee of a hedge. There was wood sorrel growing on the bank, and harebells, and there were cowslips nodding in the meadow grass at her feet, and a young cow ambled over, head swinging low, considering her with a bulging eye. It blinked its long lashes, and licked its nose with a rasping sticky tongue.