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It tells us a great deal about Ramsay's preparedness for the role that is being thrust on him. Craig cannot be said to find Ramsay, in spite of the fact that he is a senior officer tracking down a cadet who is out of bounds. Instead Ramsay finds Craig, sensing his presence in the forest with an almost animal instinct. In the military manoeuvres that are to follow, this instinct will acquire a high moral value because of its usefulness, its peculiar adaptability to circumstances of conflict and warfare: He could not be sure, afterwards, whether he had heard some small sound of movement down to his right.

The Alien Sky, m, 2 The scene is not melodramatic because it issues out of a fatally plausible conjunction of two people at a stage in their lives when they feel driven to hurt and be revenged on a world that has humiliated them. So when MacKendrick enters her, she makes an animal response. He is driven to impotence and she dismisses him with scorn. He claims she was thinking of Dwight. She attributes her refusal to be possessed to her habit of withholding herself. And it is a fact that she withholds the truth about herself from Tom Gower on a physical level, as well as on the level ofher 'genetic' identity: 'There's always been part of me he hasn't knowingly possessed ...

Then the centre will 'go back into myself so that I might be alone in the forest and move in my own safety towards an end or a beginning of my own making'. The emphasis on what is 'my own', and the powerful regressive direction of these sentiments, suggest a feeling of intense privacy which is the reverse of the complete anonymity, the subjection of the self to the pattern, that being a warrior must entail. It is a g8 Paul Scott: Images rif India state of mind explored more fully, but equally bafflingly, I think, in the portrait of Brian Saxby in The Chinese Love Pavilion.

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