He cleared his throat, preparing the way for words, but as had happened more than once, decided at the last minute not to say anything. There is no knowing if it was from a wish to irritate her with silence or simply the result of contented laziness, or perhaps an unconscious fear of dealing a final blow to something he wanted to preserve.
Jons Allanbridge, who found this reaction from his native city somewhat galling, proceeded to get straight into a row with the man and the exchange became sufficiently heated for the passengers packed below to come up to see what was going on. Because they were who they were, and in a foreign land, they came up fully armed and expecting trouble.Sometimes you'll see nothing but blue skies; sometimes you'll see the muck in the mud piles along the road. And you'll accuse the man carrying the mirror in his basket of being immoral! His mirror reflects muck, so you'll accuse the mirror, too! Why not also accuse the highway where the muck is piled, or, more strongly still, the street inspector who leaves water wallowing in the roads, so the mud piles can come into being.
The steady clang of iron on stone sounded to Will like the remorseless proclamation of a funeral bell. He felt the vibrations run through his Spanish leather boots, up his black-clad legs and into the pit of his stomach as he crouched on Paul's Walk in the dark belly of the cathedral. His stomach responded with a queasy sensation that only added to his feeling that the world was out of kilter.
"A caged bird reserves to herself, by the good will of her gaoler, her material liberty. The joy of the fowler would surely be greater if he knew that he had captured a soul – but that can never be known, can it? How can one penetrate the mysteries of metempsychosis, to assure oneself that the quarry is animated by some divine breath?"
He found he couldn't answer her. What if he did think that the length of a person's grief was a measure of their love? He was as troubled by the simple fact of her asking that question as by his own inability to answer.