Quotes by Evangeline Walton

"Also another time she had wakened in dead of night, thinking that something touched her, and when she looked she saw that a black scaly tail, tufted with flame at the end, like a fiend's, had switched across her and lay there burning the covers. And when she turned shrieking, to see what manner of thing lay beside her in the bed, she was at first reassured by sight of her husband's face, then saw, to her horror, that horns had risen, black and pointed, from his forehead. After that she screamed again and remembered nothing until Joseph was shaking her awake, and there were neither horns nor tail to be seen. Nor were the bedclothes scorched."
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"Are these black cats like the hare?"

"No. They're smaller; they only want me to play with them. Fly away with them to a place on the other side of the moon. There's a garden there, all silvery-gold, and the cats and hares dance and jump round and round. They can jump so much farther than they can on earth; it's like flying, and they love it so. Sometimes I've felt as if I'd like to dance and jump through the air too, they looked so happy, and I've thought maybe if I did I wouldn't be afraid any more, but when I look they're all dancing round a Figure that sits still in the middle of the garden. A big black Figure with a hood on. And It hasn't got any face. Its face is so awful that It keeps it covered. And then I get so terribly afraid. And everything stops."

"And you see all that in the picture?"

"I don't know." She hesitated again. "I think it's partly dreams. After I've thought they were at the windows - the cats and the big hare. They sit there and watch, you see, after I've gone to sleep. But they don't come often. I don't usually know what's there."

She came closer and whispered, her blue eyes earnest and weird, "I don't think it's an animal hare. I think it's Aunt Sarai's hare, that maybe it came from hell. It isn't swearing to say that word just as the name of a place, is it? That's why people used to be so scared of witches' black cats, isn't it, because they thought they weren't earth-cats, they were from the devil? Mother says there isn't any hell or any witches. But Aunt Sarai was a witch; that's why she can come back. I think they've all been witches here; the house is mad because mother wouldn't be; that's why it wants me now."

Carew said, "It was all dreams, Betty. There is no hell. There is no garden on the other side of the moon. It's a dead world, full of volcanic craters, with no air for anything to grow in or breathe. A hare frightened you and, being nervous, you've had nightmares about it - pictures that fear paints on your mind just as an artist would on canvas, with paints and brushes.

"Every dream is now a movie we make for ourselves in our sleep..."
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"Outside the drizzling rain had begun again. It pattered around the house, and on the roofs and eaves, like a million, tiny, stealthy feet: softly, as though the night were teeming with a host of minute, dark beings."
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"Death is the one friend who never fails any man."
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"Five actors playing allotted parts on a set stage; and now he, for whom no part had been written, had walked onto the stage unexpectedly, because one of the players had turned rebel, as she had once before. He threw everything out of focus, and them into a fever. The heat and intensity of these flying questions was enough to make a man with even partially trained clairvoyant faculties feel as if he sat in a room filled with flashing fireflies.

He took warning and withdrew himself to a cold inner isolation, as he knew how to do, even while laughing and talking with surface ease. It would not do to let his mind become clouded with emotion; or open any door of his imagination. But the impressions that came across that safer inner distance did not make his companions seem less dramatic, more normal: they were still out of focus. Something about the picture was distorted, even to a clear vision. The sense of evil was as strong as ever although the lurking Presence seemed to have retreated into a far background.

He saw presently what the distortion was.

Their modern figures were somehow incongruous in the old house, not at home. Like actors who had somehow got onto the wrong stage, onto sets with which their voices and costumes clashed. Interlopers. Or else-actors of an old school dressed up in an unbecoming masquerade.

Witch House was an old house. Not old as other houses are old, that remain beds of the continuous stream of life, of marriages and births and deaths, of children crying and children laughing, where the past is only part of the pattern, root of the present and the future. Joseph de Quincy, dead nearly a quarter of a thousand years, was still its master: he had been strong, so strong that no later personality could dim or efface him here where he had set his seal.

"He left his evil here when he could no longer stay himself," Carew thought. "As a man with diphtheria leaves germs on the things he has handled, the bed he has lain in. Thoughts are tangible things; on their own plane they breed like germs and, unlike germs, they do not die. He may have forgotten; he may even walk the earth in other flesh, but what he has left here lives."

As probably it had been meant to do. For the man whose malignance, swollen with the contributions of the centuries, still ensouled these walls would not have cared to build a house or found a family except as a means to an end. Witch House was set like a mold, steeped in ritual atmosphere as a temple.

Dangerous business, for who could say that such a temple would not find a god? There are low, non-human beings that coalesce with and feed on such leftover forces: lair in them."
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Books by Evangeline Walton

  • Witch House
  • 108 ratings
  • February 12th 1979 by Del Rey

    (first published 1945)

  • She Walks in Darkness
  • 91 ratings
  • September 1st 2013 by Tachyon Publications

    (first published January 1st 2013)

Evangeline Walton
  • Evangeline Walton

  • Date of birth: November 24, 1907
  • Died: March 11, 1996
  • Born: in Indianapolis, Indiana, The United States.

  • Description: Evangeline Walton was the pen name of Evangeline Wilna Ensley, an American author of fantasy fiction. She remains popular in North America and Europe because of her “ability to humanize historical and mythological subjects with eloquence, humor and compassion”.

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