Death, & Edward Short
I’m currently finishing Quintin Hogg’s “The Door Wherein I Went” which started off horribly but actually got quite good. He’s funny. Much funnier than expected.
But my mind got a little distracted yesterday when a copy of Edward Short’s “I Knew My Place” arrived. Disappointingly, the blurb says the book is only about the first ten years of his life. Not particularly useful when you’re trying to assess someone’s time in political office.
Unperturbed I flicked open the book and glanced at the first thing I saw, which just so happened to be this:
A few minutes later I breasted the hill myself and found him lying in an enormous pool of blood, his head and the upper part of his body pulverized by the wheel which had passed over him. The unfortunate driver was quite unaware of what had happened and I was alone with the mangled body of my friend. Cars were few and far between in those days. The nearest house was only a quarter of a mile away but I could not leave him though I was sure he was dead. Scarcely knowing what I was doing, my heart going sixty to the dozen, I extricated his body from the grotesquely twisted bicycle. Some dreadful contortion one of the hand grips had penetrated his mouth and was visible through his cheek.
I straightened his body as gently as I could, loosened his shirt and tried, without hope, to find a faint heart beat. But there was nothing -only death, silence, destruction, blood. I sat on the grass verge holding his hand – in retrospect a silly thing to do.”
It was fifteen minutes before a car helped Short and took the body of Eddie down to the village. About fifteen minutes after that Short was violently sick and then he cried and cried. He wrote: