Fiction Passages

Passage 1

Tunstall hamlet at that period, in the reign of old King Henry VI, wore much the same appearance as it wears to-day. A score or so of houses, heavily framed with oak, stood scattered in a long green valley ascending from the river. At the foot, the road crossed a bridge, and mounting on the other side, disappeared into the fringes of the forest on its way to the Moat House, and further forth to Holywood Abbey. Half-way up the village, the church stood among yews. On every side the slopes were crowned and the view bounded by the green elms and greening oak-trees of the forest.

Passage 2

Upon the first discovery of the corpse, it was not supposed that the murderer would be able to elude, for more than a very brief period, the inquisition which was immediately set on foot. It was not until the expiration of a week that it was deemed necessary to offer a reward; and even then this reward was limited to a thousand francs. In the mean time the investigation proceeded with vigor, if not always with judgment, and numerous individuals were examined to no purpose; while, owing to the continual absence of all clue to the mystery, the popular excitement greatly increased.

Passage 3

Odin was mortal, like all the Norse gods. He was the god of poetry, wisdom, magic, learning, and war. He could travel through all the nine worlds, and every day his pet ravens, Hugin and Muginn (Thought and Memory) flew over the Earth, then returned to the hall of the gods and reported to Odin on all they saw.

On his own travels, Odin arrived at the Well of Wisdom and sacrificed one of his eyes to drink from it, for wisdom was what he prized above all things and what he attempted to give to humanity. One-eyed Odin traveled the Earth in disguise, wearing a broad-brimmed hat that hid his missing eye, and learning all he could. Sitting on his throne in the Hall of Slain Warriors, he sometimes awakened the wisest of the dead in order to question them and trade cunning riddles with them.

Passage 4

There was a sound of heavy feet in the kitchen. Alexandra went to the door and beckoned to her brothers, two strapping boys of seventeen and nineteen. They came in and stood at the foot of the bed. Their father looked at them searchingly, though it was too dark to see their faces; they were just the same boys, he told himself, he had not been mistaken in them. The square head and heavy shoulders belonged to Oscar, the elder. The younger boy was quicker, but vacillating.

"Boys," said the father wearily, "I want you to keep the land together and to be guided by your sister. I have talked to her since I have been sick, and she knows all my wishes. I want no quarrels among my children, and so long as there is one house there must be one head. Alexandra is the oldest, and she knows my wishes. She will do the best she can. If she makes mistakes, she will not make so many as I have made."

Passage 5

I can give no adequate description of the horrors of the night which followed… We were buried in the bowels of a huge snow-clad peak. Thousands of feet above us the fresh air rushed over the white snow, but no sound of it reached us. We were separated by a long tunnel and five feet of rock even from the awful chamber of the Dead; and the dead make no noise. The crashing of all the artillery of earth and heaven could not have come to our ears in our living tomb. We were cut off from every echo of the world—we were as men already dead.

Source: Fiction Passages
Passage 1: By Robert Louis Stevenson, Gutenberg.org, Public Domain
Passage 2: By Edgar Allan Poe, Gutenberg.org, Public Domain
Passage 3: Retold by Exploros from Norse mythology, CC BY-SA 4.0
Passage 4: By Willa Cather, Wikisource, Public Domain
Passage 5: By H. Rider Haggard, Wikisource, Public Domain

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