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Waken, Lords and Ladies Gay

Waken, Lords and Ladies Gay: Selected Stories of Desmond Pacey

Edited and With an Introduction by FRANK M. TIERNEY
Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 117
  • Book Info
    Waken, Lords and Ladies Gay
    Book Description:

    From the Canadian Short Story Library, twelve stories from Desmond Pacey, a major figure in Canadian Literature and criticism. The twelve stories are typical of Pacey's story-telling technique and what emerges from them is a distinctive, even powerful optimism, charity, tolerance and deep understanding of human nature. The sombre side of life is honestly portrayed and juxtaposed against the importance of love as a unifying force. These stories, presented in a simple straightforward manner, reveal man as he is: fragile, vulnerable, capable of crude, selfish and irrational behaviour, subject to defeat and despair; but also, heroic, enlightened, capable of strength, wisdom, hope and joy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7766-0892-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 3-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-8)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 9-16)

    Desmond Pacey’s reputation as a major figure in Canadian Literature has been long established. He is an outstanding scholar, a leader in University education and a significant creative artist. His worksFrederick Philip Grove(1945),Creative Writing in Canada(1952), andTen Canadian Poets(1957), to mention only a few, have had leadership impact on Canadian scholarship. Gratitude for his contribution is evidenced by the many honours he has received. Among them was his election to the Royal Society of Canada in 1955; he won the Lorne Pierce Medal in 1972.

    His leadership has been significant at the University of...

  4. Waken, Lords and Ladies Gay
    (pp. 17-28)

    Miss Breakspear, as her name suggests, was stern and strict, but she didn’t look nearly as tough as she was. Even to my eight year-old eyes she seemed tiny, fragile, and delicate. She can’t have been more than five feet two inches tall, her weight was probably about seven stones or ninety-eight pounds at most, and she wore dark grey or dark brown “costumes” that came down almost to her ankles. Her face was almost a dead white and was thickly wrinkled, and it contrasted strongly with her bright red hair. Looking back, I know the hair must have been...

  5. The Picnic
    (pp. 29-36)

    I started the car and began to back out of the driveway. As usual, I had to tell the kids to sit down in the back seat so that I could see if there was anything coming. As it was, I just stopped in time to miss a delivery truck which was speeding up the street.

    Within five minutes we were out of the city and scudding along the river road. What a day for our first picnic of the season, for our very first picnic since moving to this new district! The sky was a soft blue dotted here...

  6. The Boat
    (pp. 37-44)

    The boy Gerald pushed back his plate across the brown oilcloth, nearly upsetting his empty milk glass.

    His aunt glared at him with cold grey eyes. “Watch yourself!” she said in her thin, edgy voice.

    His uncle looked up from his dish at the end of the table. “What’s he up to now?”

    “Nearly broke another glass. We’ll soon have none left.”

    His uncle grunted and went on eating his rice pudding in large spoonfuls.

    The boy caught the eye of the hired man across the table, and a slight smile passed between them. The aunt noticed the smile and...

  7. That Day in the Bush
    (pp. 45-50)

    He awoke with the feeling that this day was to be somehow special. He found it hard to account for the feeling, however. It was New Year’s Eve, but that was not an occasion of which they took much notice on the farm. There would be no party that night, and he and his parents would probably go to bed as usual well before midnight. Still, the feeling persisted.

    He dressed quickly in his overalls, workshirt and sweater, and went downstairs. His father had already lit the kitchen stove and the boy sat close to it as he put on...

  8. When She Comes Over
    (pp. 51-56)

    He had waited for her all Fall and Winter, and now in a month she would be coming over. It was time he was looking for a flat. It would be so good to get away from the dreary set of rooms at the boarding-house of the Misses York, and into a home of their own. All alone with Elizabeth! What a life that would be!

    So on a bright May afternoon he skipped his usual mission to the University Library and visited a real estate agent off Market Square. Armed with a short list of vacant, unfurnished flats, he...

  9. On the Roman Road
    (pp. 57-64)

    When the message came, in the middle of Saturday morning in April, Henry could at first feel nothing — there was only a terrible kind of blankness, as if all the rhythms of life had stopped. The rest of the day loomed ahead dully, a desert stretch of time that must somehow be traversed.

    And then he thought of the Roman road. Bill, his fifteen year old son, had been saying for weeks that the family must go out there — the boy had discovered it on a Scout hike, had found the abandoned road exciting and wanted the family to share...

  10. The Test
    (pp. 65-74)

    Another disappointing summer. They had had such high hopes in the spring — and then, on threshing day, four hundred and fifty bushels! None of the neighbours did much better, but they had reserves from other years. The Beldings’ bins had been absolutely empty — for the last week or two before the threshing they had had to throw sheaves to the hens — and now they were less than half full.

    The only thing to do was to keep going. They would have to feed those four hundred pullets anyway, and since they didn’t have enough grain of their own they would...

  11. The Mirror
    (pp. 75-80)

    It was a rush to get everything ready for the party, but by eight-thirty the baby was quiet and the living-room tidy. While Elizabeth was putting the finishing touches to her make-up in the bedroom, Bill straightened his hair and tie at the long mirror in the downstairs hall It was not a bad-looking face, he decided, at least not in this light.

    The bell rang. It was Kate Hall. She bounced in, and danced a little circular pirouette which unwound her fur jacket into his waiting hands.

    She flopped into the big green easy chair by the fireplace, clasped...

  12. The Trespasser
    (pp. 81-86)

    He walked quickly along the road towards the entrance of the rectory, checking his new watch every few seconds to make sure that he would arrive on time, but when he came to the big white wooden gate he had a moment of terror, and stopped with his hand on the heavy iron latch.

    Beyond the gate was a world of which he knew little, though for weeks he had dreamed of it. He had dreamed of it as a paradise which he would never be allowed to enter, and now that he was about to open the gate he...

  13. Aunt Polly
    (pp. 87-94)

    What her real name was I am not sure, for among the family she was always known simply as Aunt Polly. I think that she had been christened Mary Ann, but it is not important. Aunt Polly was the right name for her, for it expressed as no other name could her homely good nature.

    Her home in the little Midland town of Collingham was a tiny brick cottage situated on an obscure back street among similar houses of the aged poor. For Aunt Polly belonged to the poor branch of the family, was the sister of my grandmother, and...

  14. The Ghost of Reddleman Lane
    (pp. 95-100)

    I heard of the ghost of Reddleman Lane before I even reached the village of Girton. But I didn’t expect that I should ever see it.

    I had gone to England for the summer to visit my grandmother. As I was only twelve at the time, my mother was with me. We were riding in an ancient taxi which was taking us from the station in Collingham to the village where Grandmother lived. It was dark, the rain was beating against the windows of the car, and I was feeling pleasantly drowsy. Suddenly the taxi driver turned his huge red...

  15. The Lost Girl
    (pp. 101-108)

    It was a bright, hot Sunday in early August, and the crowds had come to this beach from all over the island. Three big buses had brought a contingent of sea-cadets and their band. Sleek new cars had swished in from the cities and towns, and old battered trucks had rattled in from remote villages and farms. Their occupants had poured out to join the tourists who were spending a week or a month in the tents, trailers, cabins, and hotels which clustered around the beach.

    There were people everywhere. Even the paths along the top of the red sandstone...

  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 109-116)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 117-118)