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229 pages, Paperback
First published February 6, 1939
p. 27: We forget that there is no joy except in human relations. If I summon up those memories that have left with me an enduring savor, if I draw up the balance sheet of the hours in my life that have truly counted, surely I find only those that no wealth could have procured me. True riches cannot be bought.
p. 40: I remembered the death of a man. He was a gardener, and he was speaking on his deathbed: “You know, I used to sweat sometimes when I was digging. My rheumatism would pull at my leg, and I would damn myself for a slave. And now, do you know, I’d like to spade and spade. It’s beautiful work. A man is free when he is using a spade. And besides, who is going to prune my trees when I am gone?”
[Describing his airplane, and the minds of those who designed it] p. 42: If anything, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.
The sergeant went on. “I asked the captain for leave to go to Tunis, seeing my cousin is there and all. He said…”
“What did the captain say, sergeant?”
“Said: ‘World’s full of cousins.’ Said: ‘Dakar’s nearer’ and sent me there.”
“Pretty girl, your cousin?”
“In Tunis? You bet! Blonde, she is.”
“No, I mean at Dakar.”
Sergeant, we could have hugged you for the wistful disappointed voice in which you answered, “She was a nigger.”