unearths some literary gems.
From stories by Phyllis Bentley:
[Unintentionally Airborne Eyewear dept. I note that where Lord Emsworth's pince-nez seem to fly off his face through a sort of cartoonish pathetic fallacy (cf. American Cornball on the "hat take"), this author gives a sort of physics-driven accounting for the phenomenon. (Now I'm envisioning a Rube Goldberg contraption wherein step 37 involves unfurling a poster that astonishes a pince-nez-wearing personage who is seated there for this purpose; the flying pince-nez then land someplace so as to trigger step 38.)]
Astonishment so distorted the little novelist's features that her old-fashioned pince-nez slipped off her nose; they flew through the air on the end of their chain and came to rest with a click against the large black button on her bosom.
[A rhetorical question that the protagonist wants to answer--but doesn't.]
"Words, words, words!" said he. "Who was it said that the use of words is to conceal thought?"
Miss Phipps longed to inform him, but she did not dare.
The Vicar...pronouncing solemn and beautiful sentences...turned and led the cortège toward the altar.
[I like the generic reference to "beautiful sentences." Sort of like asking a pianist to "play something--anything."]
[Bonus (Fail x2): You can imagine my delight when, in the course of one story, the protagonists referred to an earlier "case of the ubiquitous mannequin." There were additional references, culiminating in a hypothetical "mannequin parade"--a phrase that, alas, burst the bubble in the same instant that it overjoyed me: because, of course, this made it clear that these were "mannequins" merely in the sense of living models. And then, a second disappointment followed when a glance at a list of all stories in this series (not all of which were included in the compilation I read) showed that the tale about the mannequins was a "real" one and not, as I'd initially hoped, a nonexistent story-we'll-never-hear à la Doyle's Giant Rat of Sumatra. (:v>]