unearths some literary gems.
Catriona McPherson tidbits:
"Alec Osborne is a dear friend who can speak nonsense like a drunken parrot." [from McPherson's A Deadly Measure of Brimstone]
It is more usually the case that Alec’s thoughts and mine march in step, or at least stagger along in a three-legged race together.
“Alec, I’m more sure than I’ve ever been about anything that . . . Well, actually I’m not sure what I’m sure of but I am sure.”
[And now we know what the opposite of losing one's marbles is, as the narrator verifies that a character has not, as feared, lost hers.]
Mary Aitken looked to me like a woman who had all her marbles organised in order of size and weight, cross-referenced for colour, and spinning in time as she juggled them one-handed and kept the other hand free.
"Debunked? Where do you get these words? Do you have to pay a subscription?"
"You'll find," I said, trying to sound withering, "that debunking comes from Oscar Wilde. When they find out that Algy's dying friend isn't dying."
"That would be de-Bunburying," said Alec.
The Scott Monument—erected in honour of Sir Walter specifically and not, as I had long believed, to the general and misspelled glory of the Scots race—was a kind of airy turret in High Victorian Gothic style, not attached to anything but just rising up out of the grass as though some ecclesiastical architect had lavished all of his attention on the decorative touches but forgotten to build the cathedral itself.
[The narrator also describes some of the jewelry she inherited from her grandmother as "wilfully ugly."]