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The Disorderly Knights (The Lymond Chronicles, #3) The Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett
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“I would give you my soul in a blackberry pie; and a knife to cut it with.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Today,’ said Lymond, ‘if you must know, I don’t like living at all. But that’s just immaturity boggling at the sad face of failure. Tomorrow I’ll be bright as a bedbug again.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Jerott, for God’s sake! Are you doing this for a wager?’ said Lymond, his patience gone at last. ‘What does anyone want out of life? What kind of freak do you suppose I am? I miss books and good verse and decent talk. I miss women, to speak to, not to rape; and children, and men creating things instead of destroying them. And from the time I wake until the time I find I can’t go to sleep there is the void—the bloody void where there was no music today and none yesterday and no prospect of any tomorrow, or tomorrow, or next God-damned year.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Man is a being of varied, manifold and inconstant nature. And woman, by God, is a match for him.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“What’s wrong? Has Francis been rude? Then you must try to overlook it. I know you wouldn’t think so, but he is thoroughly upset by Tom Erskine’s death; and when Francis is troubled he doesn’t show it, he just goes and makes life wretched for somebody.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“And the English army, wheeling, started south at a gallop over the hill pass into Ettrick, followed by twenty men and eight hundred sheep in steel helmets.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“So small a spirit, to lodge such sorrows as mankind has brought you. Live … live.… Wait for me, new, frightened soul. And though the world should reel to a puny death, and the wolves are appointed our godfathers, I will not fail you, ever.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Depose him,’ said Will Scott, astonished.

‘The Grand Master’s holy office terminates with his life.’

‘And can nobody think of an answer to that?’ said Will Scott.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Philippa Somerville, standing back a little, did not withdraw her arm. In her white face, a shadow of motherly irritation appeared. ‘Has no one here any sense? Be quiet and sit down. The world will look after itself for a night, without your hand on the rim.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“He regards boredom, I observe, as the One and Mighty Enemy of his soul. And will succeed in conquering it, I am sure—if he survives the experience.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“And if there’s no trouble, you’ll make it,’ offered Will Scott, his eyes bright, his cheeks red. ‘No. At the moment,’ affirmed Lymond grimly, ‘I am having truck with nothing less than total calamity.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Once, long ago, Francis Crawford had reduced her to terror and, the episode over, she had suffered to find that for Kate, apparently, no reason suggested itself against making that same Francis Crawford her friend. He was not Philippa’s friend. She had made that clear, and, to be fair, he had respected it. He had even, when you thought of it, curtailed his visits to Kate, although Kate’s studied lack of comment on this served only to make Philippa angrier. He had been nasty at Boghall. He had hit her at Liddel Keep. He had stopped her going anywhere for weeks. He had saved her life. That was indisputable. He had been effective over poor Trotty Luckup, while she had been pretty rude, and he hadn’t forced himself on her; and he had made her warm with his cloak. He had gone to Liddel Keep expressly to warn her, and when she had been pig-headed about leaving (Kate was right) he had done the only thing possible to make her. And then he had come to Flaw Valleys for nothing but to make sure of her safety, and he had been so tired that Kate had cried after he had gone. And then it had suddenly struck her, firmly and deeply in her shamefully flat chest, so that her heart thumped and her eyes filled with tears, that maybe she was wrong. Put together everything you knew of Francis Crawford. Put together what you had heard at Boghall and at Midculter, what you had seen at Flaw Valleys, and it all added up to one enormous, soul-crushing entity. She had been wrong. She did not understand him; she had never met anyone like him; she was only beginning to glimpse what Kate, poor maligned Kate, must have seen all these years under the talk. But the fact remained that he had gone out of his way to protect her, and she had put his life in jeopardy in return.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Lymond said quietly, ‘You had good reason to hate me. I always understood that. I don’t know why you should think differently now, but take care. Don’t build up another false image. I may be the picturesque sufferer now, but when I have the whip-hold, I shall behave quite as crudely, or worse. I have no pretty faults. Only, sometimes, a purpose.’ He paused, and said, ‘Est conformis precedenti. I owe the Somervilles rather a lot already.’ Philippa’s unwinking brown gaze flickered shiftily at the Latin and then steadied.

'I should have told you before. You don’t mind?’

‘If you had told me before, you might not have decided to have me for a friend. I don’t mind,’ said Francis Crawford and told, for once, the bare truth.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“I’ve wed his two empty boots.’ ‘That you havena,’ said Janet, Lady of Buccleuch, lowering her voice not at all in the presence of two hundred twittering Scott relations as they gazed after their vanishing husbands. ‘They aye remember their boots. It’s their empty nightgowns that get fair monotonous.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“My dear, my dear,’ said Kate, but to herself. ‘I would give you my soul in a blackberry pie; and a knife to cut it with.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“The war between England and Scotland was in its eighth year and there had been no raid for ten days: it had seemed possible to get married in peace.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“A Scott, having got his bride pregnant, was apt to file her as completed business for eight months at a time.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Philippa Somerville was annoyed. To her friends the Nixons, who owned Liddel Keep, and with whom Kate had deposited her for one night, she had given an accurate description of Sir William Scott of Kincurd, his height, his skill, his status, and his general suitability as an escort for Philippa Somerville from Liddesdale to Midculter Castle. And the said William Scott had not turned up. She fumed all the morning of that fine first day of May, and by afternoon was driven to revealing her general dissatisfaction with Scotland, the boring nature of Joleta, her extreme dislike of one of the Crawfords and the variable and unreliable nature of the said William Scott. She agreed that the Dowager Lady Culter was adorable, and Mariotta nice, and that she liked the baby.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Lymond said softly, ‘That is the only thing you may not say to me. . . . Kate, superb Kate: I will not be mothered.’

‘Mothered!’ Kate’s small, undistinguished face was black with annoyance. ‘I would sooner mother a vampire. I am merely trying to point out what your browbeaten theorists at St Mary’s ought surely to have mentioned in passing. Health is a weapon of war. Unless you obtain adequate rest, first your judgement will go, and then every other qualification you may have to command, and either way, the forces of light will have a field-day in the end.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Two mornings later, entering her daughter’s room, Kate was struck by the flatness of the bed, and then by the sight of a folded paper laid dead centre of the untenanted pillow. Unfolded, it proved to be a witty and delightfully-written apology from her daughter for upsetting the household, coupled with the information that, having some business of vital importance to transact north of the Border in the immediate future, she had taken the liberty of leaving for a few days without permission, as she just knew that Kate would make a fuss and stop her. She would be back directly with some heather, and Kate was not to worry and not to speak to any strange men. She had, Philippa concluded, taken Cheese-wame Henderson with her: thus becoming the only known fugitive to persuade her bodyguard to run away, too. It was a typical Somerville letter, and in other circumstances Kate no doubt would have been charmed by the spelling alone. As it was, she roused the neighbourhood for ten miles around, and there was no able-bodied Englishman within reach of Flaw Valleys who slept in his own bed that night or the next.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Lion-hearted; her tremors braced with virtue, Philippa trotted on.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“What does anyone want out of life? What kind of freak do you suppose I am? I miss books and good verse and decent talk. I miss women, to speak to, not to rape; and children, and men creating things instead of destroying them. And from the time I wake until the time I find I can’t go to sleep there is the void—the bloody void where there was no music today and none yesterday and no prospect of any tomorrow, or tomorrow, or next God-damned year.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“It won’t be long,’ said Philippa cheerfully, her mother’s ring in her voice. ‘You know what Bess says. There’s nothing in this world a drop of aqua-vitæ in a sheep’s bladder won’t cure. Stop the Somervilles with a knife! It needs artillery.’ And she blew her nose hard.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“To save our friends’ nerves, I suggest we meet on a plane of brutal courtesy. It need not interfere with our mutual distrust.”
-Francis Crawford of Lymond”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“And at thirty-eight a brilliant exponent of arms and a knight of the great fighting and religious Order of St John, the Chevalier de Villegagnon had absolutely no use for common sense himself, but respected it in the laity.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Though whether the mass murder of strangers for one’s principles ranks higher in virtue than attacking one’s neighbours for the hell of it is a point I’m glad I don’t have to settle.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Moving forward quietly to Jerott’s side, Adam Blacklock had heard. ‘Don’t you understand? The authorities are afraid of them both,’ he said gently. ‘Why do you supose this cordon is here, which only an unarmed girl was allowed to pass through? Lymond, loyal to Scotland, might be a threat to French power greater than even Gabriel, one of these days—Philippa!’ And a wordless shout, like a cry at a cockfight, rose among the stone pillars and sank muffled into the old, dusty banners above the choir roof. For Philippa Somerville, who believed in action when words were not enough, had leaned over and snatched the knife from Lymond’s left hand.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“I hope the string and clapper arrangement he calls a mind has been permanently put out of action.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“Only common mortals like the Somervilles have good old rotten hates, dear,’ said her mother. ‘Sir Graham manages to love everybody and wouldn’t know what you’re talking about. Have a bun.’

‘He doesn’t love the Turks,’ said Philippa. ‘He kills them.’

‘That isn’t hate,’ said Kate Somerville. ‘That’s simply hoeing among one’s principles to keep them healthy and neat. I’m sure he would tell you he bears them no personal grudge; and they think they’re going to Paradise anyway, so it does everyone good.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights
“When Philippa had first demanded his help in eluding Kate and travelling to St Mary’s, he had indignantly refused. He was there now because he had discovered, to his astonishment, that she was desperate, and perfectly capable of going without him. Why she had got it into her young head she must see this man Crawford, Cheese-wame didn’t know. But after pointing out bitterly that (a) he would lose his job; (b) the rogues in the Debatable would kill them, (c) that she would catch her death of cold and (d) that Kate would never speak to either of them again, he went, his belt filled with knives and her belongings as well as his own in the two saddlebags behind his powerful thighs, while Philippa rode sedately beside him on her smaller horse, green with excitement, with her father’s pistol tied to her waist like a ship’s log and banging against her thin knees.”
Dorothy Dunnett, The Disorderly Knights

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