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Alabama Designer Billy Reid Wins Prestigious CFDA Fashion Award

Posted: Nov 18, 2010

Vogue magazine has announced that Alabama clothing designer Billy Reid has received the 2010 CFDA Fashion Fund award. The award, now in its 7th year, was presented at the annual CFDA awards gala in New York City on November 16. The winner of this prestigious award receives $300,000 for his/her business plus a one-year mentorship with a leading industry professional to help provide a sustainable path to success. (photo of Billy Reid)

This award was created by Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to mentor emerging American design talent. In addition to designer Billy Reid, the two runners-up for the award were jewelry designer Eddie Borgo and fashion designer Prabal Gurung. Both will receive $100,000 and mentorship. Those in the winners' circle were also presented with specially commissioned bronze awards created by Rachel Feinstein.

The award dinner was presided over by key speakers Karl Lagerfeld and Carey Mulligan and drew such fashion icons such as Alexa Chung, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Anna Paquin, Christina Ricci, Leighton Meester, Chanel Iman, a legion of world famous designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, and last year's Fashion Fund winner, Sophie Theallet.

In an interview with Billy Reid, Vogue Daily asked Reid why he chose to live in Alabama rather than in New York City, the traditional home of high fashion.

Reid replied, "Well, we’re actually here in New York quite a bit, so I consider myself a part-time New Yorker. But you know my wife is from Alabama, so for a while, before we even started with this whole thing, we decided we were going to live and raise our family there. So we really have the best of both worlds. We come to New York every month for a week, but we have a great home back in Alabama. "

Recently, Reid moved his corporate headquarters from Dallas, Texas, to downtown Florence, Alabama. Previously, he operated a flagship store in an historical home, Pickett Place, a few blocks from the center of downtown. Along with designer Natalie "Alabama" Chanin and a number of other area artists, Reid has been active in promoting the arts and commerce in the Shoals.
 

----Penne J. Laubenthal
Related Links
     Billy Reid Moves Corporate Headquarters to Florence, Alabama

     Billy Reid: A Touch of Southern Style In NYC

     More Southern Success Stories in Florence, Alabama

     Alabama Adventure Weekend

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Rumours of great-horses had reached our district though none had been seen there. My father was already uneasy in his mind at what he had heard of them, nor was the fact that Angus was the importer of them a commendation; conse?quently, it may have been with some prejudice that he went to inspect them.UGG Boots Clearance His doubts were confirmed at once. The moment he set eyes on the huge creatures standing twenty-six hands at the shoulder, he knew they were wrong. He turned his back on them with disgust, and went straight to the inspector's house with a demand that they should be destroyed as Offences.UGG Boots Clearance 'You're out of order this time,' the inspector told him cheer?fully, glad that for once his position was incontestable.' They're Government-approved, so they are beyond my jurisdiction, anyway.' 'I don't believe it,' my father told him. 'God never made horses the size of these. The Government can't have approved them.' 'But they have,' said the inspector. 'What's more,' he added with satisfaction, 'Angus tells me that knowing the neighbour?hood so well he has got attested pedigrees for them.' 'Any government that could pass creatures like that is cor?rupt and immoral,' my father announced.Ugg boots clearance 'Possibly,' admitted the inspector, 'but it's still the Govern?ment.' My father glared at him.UGG Boots Clearance 'It's easy to see why some people would approve them,' he said. ' One of those brutes could do the work of two, maybe three, ordinary horses — and for less than double the feed of one. There's a good profit there, a good incentive to get them passed — Ugg boots clearancebut that doesn't mean that they're right. I say a horse like that is not one of God's creatures — and if it isn't His, then it's an Offence, and should be destroyed as such.'Clearance UGGS 'The official approval states that the breed was produced simply by mating for size, in the normal way. And I'd defy you to find any characteristic that's identifiably wrong with them, anyway,' the inspector told him.Ugg boots clearance ' Somebody would say that when he saw how profitable they could be. There's a word for that kind of thinking,' my father replied. The inspector shrugged. 'It does not follow that they are right,' my father persisted. 'A horse that size is not right — you know that unofficially, as well as I do, and there's no getting away from it. Once we allow things that we know are not right, there's no telling where it will end. A god-fearing community doesn't have to deny its faith just because there's been pressure brought to bear in a government licensing office. There are plenty of us here who know how God intended his creatures to be, even if the Government doesn't.' The inspector smiled. 'As with the Dakers' cat?' he sug?gested. My father glared at him again. The affair of the Dakers' cat rankled.

gongsi028 says...

My mother saw to it that the big room was kept very clean and tidy. The floor was composed of pieces of brick and stone and artificial stone cleverly fitted together. The furniture was whitely-scrubbed UGG Boots Clearancetables and stools, with a few chairs. The walls were whitewashed. Several burnished pans, too big to go in the cupboards, hung against them. The nearest approach to decoration was a number of wooden panels with sayings, mostly from Repentances, artistically burnt into them.UGG Boots Clearance The one on the left of the fireplace read: ONLY THE IMAGE OF GOD IS MAN. The one on the right: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD. On the opposite wall two more said: BLESSED IS THE NORM, and IN PURITY OUR SALVATION. The largest was the one on the back wall, hung to face the door which led to the yard. It reminded everyone who came in: WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT!UGG Boots Clearance Frequent references to these texts had made me familiar with the words long before I was able to read, in fact I am not sure that they did not give me my first reading lessons. I knew them by heart, just as I knew others elsewhere in the house, which said things like: THE NORM IS THE WILL OF GOD, and, REPRODUCTION IS THE ONLY HOLY PRODUCTION and, THE DEVIL IS THE FATHER OF DEVIATION, and a number of others about Offences and Blasphemies.Clearance UGGS Many of them were still obscure to me; others I had learnt something about. Offences, for instance. That was because the occurrence of an Offence was sometimes quite an impressive occasion. Usually the first sign that one had happened was that my father came into the house in a bad temper. Then, in the evening, he would call us all together, including everyone who worked on the farm. We would all kneel while he pro?claimed our repentance and led prayers for forgiveness. The next morning we would all be up before daylight and gather in the yard. As the sun rose we would sing a hymn while my father ceremonially slaughtered the two-headed calf, four-legged chicken, or whatever other kind of Offence it happened to be. Sometimes it would be a much queerer thing than those. . . . Nor were Offences limited to the livestock. Sometimes there would be some stalks of corn, or some vegetables, that my father produced and cast on the kitchen table in anger and shame. If it were merely a matter of a few rows of vegetables, they just came out and were destroyed. But if a whole field had gone wrong we would wait for good weather, and then set fire to it, singing hymns while it burnt. I used to find that a very fine sight.Ugg boots clearance It was because my father was a careful and pious man with a keen eye for an Offence that we used to have more slaughterings and burnings than anyone else: but any sugges?tion that we were more afflicted with Offences than other people hurt and angered him. He had no wish at all to throw good money away, he pointed out. If our neighbours were as Ugg boots clearanceconscientious as ourselves, he had no doubt that their liquida?tions would far outnumber ours: unfortunately there were certain persons with elastic principles. So I learnt quite early to know what Offences were. They were things which did not look right — that is to say, did not look like their parents, or parent-plants. Usually there was only some small thing wrong, but however much or little was wrong it was an Offence, and if it happened among people it was a Blasphemy — at least, that was the technical term, though commonly both kinds were called Deviations.Ugg boots clearance Nevertheless, the question of Offences was not always as simple as one might think, and when there was disagreement the district's inspector could be sent for. My father, however, seldom called in the inspector, he preferred to be on the safe side and liquidate anything doubtful. There were people who disapproved of his meticulousness, saying that the local Devia?tion-rate, which had shown a steady overall improvement and now stood at half what it had been in my grandfather's time, would have been better still, but for my father. All the same, the Waknuk district had a great name for Purity.

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She shook her head, and told me that there was no such placeUGG Boots Clearance — not now. But, perhaps, she suggested, I could somehow be dreaming about times long ago. Dreams were funny things, and there was no accounting for them; so it might be that what I was seeing was a bit of the world as it had been once upon a time — the wonderful world that the Old People had lived in; as it had been before God sent Tribulation. But after that she went on to warn me very seriously not to mention it to anyone else; other people, as far as she knew, did not have such pictures in their heads, either sleeping or waking, so it would be unwise to mention them.UGG Boots Clearance That was good advice, and luckily I had the sense to take it. People in our district had a very sharp eye for the odd, or the unusual, so that even my left-handedness caused slight disap?proval. So, at that time, and for some years afterwards, I did not mention it to anyone — indeed, I almost forgot about it, for as I grew older the dream came less frequently, and then very rarely.UGG Boots Clearance But the advice stuck. Without it I might have mentioned the curious understanding I had with my cousin Rosalind, and that would certainly have led us both into very grave trouble — if anyone had happened to believe me. Neither I nor she, I think, paid much attention to it at that time: we simply had the habit of caution. I certainly did not feel unusual. I was a normal little boy, growing up in a normal way, taking the ways of the world about me for granted. And I kept on like that until the day I met Sophie. Even then, the difference was not immediate. It is hind-sight that enables me to fix that as the day when my first small doubts started to germinate. That day I had gone off by myself, as I often did. I was, I suppose, nearly ten years old. My next sister, Sarah, was five years older, and the gap meant that I played a great deal alone. I had made my way down the cart-track to the south, along the borders of several fields until I came to the high bank, and then along the top of the bank for quite a way.Clearance UGGS The bank was no puzzle to me then: it was far too big for me to think of as a thing that men could have built, nor had it ever occurred to me to connect it with the wondrous doings of the Old People whom I sometimes heard about. It was simply the bank, coming round in a wide curve, and then running straight as an arrow towards the distant hills; just a part of the world, and no more to be wondered at than the river, the sky, or the hills themselves.Ugg boots clearance I had often gone along the top of it, but seldom explored on the farther side. For some reason I regarded the country there as foreign — not so much hostile, as outside my territory. But there was a place I had discovered where the rain, in running down the far side of the bank, had worn a sandy gully. If one sat in the start of that and gave a good push off, one could go swishing down at a fine speed, and finally fly a few feet through the air to land in a pile of soft sand at the bottom.Ugg boots clearance I must have been there half a dozen times before, and there had never been anyone about, but on this occasion, when I was picking myself up after my third descent and preparing for a fourth, a voice said: ' Hullo!' I looked round. At first I could not tell where it came from; then a shaking of the top twigs in a bunch of bushes caught my eye. The branches parted, and a face looked out at me. It was a small face, sunburned, and clustered about by dark curls. The expression was somewhat serious, but the eyes sparkled. We regarded one another for a moment, then: 'Hallo,' I responded.Ugg boots clearance She hesitated, then pushed the bushes farther apart. I saw a girl a little shorter than I was, and perhaps a little younger. She wore reddish-brown dungarees with a yellow shirt. The cross stitched to the front of the dungarees was of a darker brown material. Her hair was tied on either side of her head with yellow ribbons. She stood still for a few seconds as though uncertain about leaving the security of the bushes, then curi?osity got the better of her caution, and she stepped out.

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Sophie couldn't go to school, of course. She would have been found out very quickly, even with a false certificate; and her parents, though they taught her to read and write, did not have any books, so that it wasn't much good to her. That was why we talked — at least I talked — a lot on our expeditions, trying to tell her what I was learning from my own reading books. The world, I was able to tell her, was generally thought to be a pretty big place, and probUGG Boots Clearanceably round. The civilized part of it — of which Waknuk was only a small district — was called Labrador. This was thought to be the Old People's name for it, though that was not very certain. Round most of Labrador there was a great deal of water called the sea, which was im?portant on account of fish. Nobody that I knew, except Uncle Axel, had actually seen this sea because it was a long way off, but if you were to go three hundred miles or so east, north, or north-west you would come to it sooner or later. But south-west or south, you wouldn't; you'd get to the Fringes and then the Badlands, which would kill you.UGG Boots Clearance It was said, too, though nobody was sure, that in the time of the Old People Labrador had been a cold land, so cold that no one could live there for long, so they had used it then only for growing trees and doing their mysterious mining in. But that had been a long, long time ago. A thousand years? — two thou?sand years? — even more, perhaps? People guessed, but nobody really knew. There was no telling how many generations of people had passed their lives like savages between the coming of Ugg boots clearanceTribulation and the start of recorded history. Only Nicholson's Repentances had come out of the wilderness of barbarism, and that only because it had lain for, perhaps, several centuries sealed in a stone coffer before it was Ugg boots clearancediscovered. And only the Bible had survived from the time of the Old People them?selves. Except for what these two books told, the past, further back than three recorded centuries, was a long oblivion. Out of that blankness stretched a few strands of legend, badly frayed in their passage through successive minds. It was this long line of tongues that had given us the name Labrador, for it was unmentioned in either the Bible or Repentances, and they may have been right about the cold, although there were only two cold months in the year now — Tribulation could account for that, it could account for almost anything....UGG Boots Clearance For a long time it had been disputed whether any parts of the world other than Labrador and the big island of Newf were populated at all. They were thought to be all Badlands which had suffered the full weight of Tribulation, but it had been found that there were some stretches of Fringes country in places. These were grossly deviational and quite godless, of course, and incapable of being civilized at present, but if the Badland borders there were withdrawing as ours were, it might one day be possible to colonize them.Clearance UGGS Altogether, not much seemed to be known about the world, but at least it was a more interesting subject than Ethics which an old man taught to a class of us on Sunday Ugg boots clearanceafternoons. Ethics was why you should, and shouldn't, do things. Most of the don'ts were the same as my father's, but some of the reasons were different, so it was confusing.

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About a year previously it had somehow come to his know?ledge that Ben Dakers' wife housed a tailless cat. He investi?gated, and when he had collected evidence that it had not simply lost its tail in some way, UGG Boots Clearancebut had never possessed one, he condemned it, and, in his capacity as a magistrate, ordered the inspector to make out a warrant for its destruction as an Offence. The inspector had done so, with reluctance, whereupon Dakers promptly entered an appeal. Such shilly-shallying in an obvious case outraged my father's principles, and he personally attended to the demise of the Dakers' cat while the matter was still sub judice. His position, when a notification subsequently arrived stating that there was a recognized breed of tailless cats with a well-authenticated history, was awkward, and somewhat expensive. It had been with very bad grace that he had chosen to make a public apology rather than resign his magistracy.UGG Boots Clearance 'This,' he told the inspector sharply, 'is an altogether more important affair.' 'Listen,' said the inspector patiently. 'The type is approved. This particular pair has confirmatory sanction. If that's not good enough for you, go ahead and shoot them yourself — and see what happens to you.' 'It is your moral duty to issue an order against these so-called horses,' my father insisted. The inspector was suddenly tired of it.UGG Boots Clearance ' It's part of my official duty to protect them from harm by fools and bigots,' he snapped. My father did not actually hit the inspector, but it must have been a near thing. He went on Ugg boots clearanceboiling with rage for several days and the next Sunday we were treated to a searing address on the toleration of Mutants which sullied the Purity of our community. He called for a general boycott of the owner of the Offences, speculated upon immorality in high places, hinted that some there might be expected to have a fellow-feeling for Mutants, and wound up with a peroration in which a certain official was scathed as an unprincipled hireling of unprin?cipled masters and the local representative of the Forces of Evil.Clearance UGGS Though the inspector had no such convenient pulpit for reply, certain trenchant remarks of his on persecution, con?tempt of authority, bigotry, religious mania, the law of slander, and the probable effects of direct action in opposition to Government sanction achieved a wide circulation.Ugg boots clearance It was very likely the last point that kept my father from doing more than talk. He had had plenty of trouble over the Dakers' cat which was of no value at all: but the great-horses were costly creatures; besides, Angus would not be one to waive any possible penalty. . . .Ugg boots clearance So there was a degree of frustration about that made home a good place to get away from as much as possible. Now that the countryside had settled down again and was not full of unexpected people, Sophie's parents would let her go out on rambles once more, and I slipped away over there when I could get away unnoticed.

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Rumours of great-horses had reached our district though none had been seen there. My father was already uneasy in his mind at what he had heard of them, nor was the fact that Angus was the importer of them a commendation; conse?quently, it may have been with some prejudice that he went to inspect them.UGG Boots Clearance His doubts were confirmed at once. The moment he set eyes on the huge creatures standing twenty-six hands at the shoulder, he knew they were wrong. He turned his back on them with disgust, and went straight to the inspector's house with a demand that they should be destroyed as Offences.UGG Boots Clearance 'You're out of order this time,' the inspector told him cheer?fully, glad that for once his position was incontestable.' They're Government-approved, so they are beyond my jurisdiction, anyway.' 'I don't believe it,' my father told him. 'God never made horses the size of these. The Government can't have approved them.' 'But they have,' said the inspector. 'What's more,' he added with satisfaction, 'Angus tells me that knowing the neighbour?hood so well he has got attested pedigrees for them.' 'Any government that could pass creatures like that is cor?rupt and immoral,' my father announced.Ugg boots clearance 'Possibly,' admitted the inspector, 'but it's still the Govern?ment.' My father glared at him.UGG Boots Clearance 'It's easy to see why some people would approve them,' he said. ' One of those brutes could do the work of two, maybe three, ordinary horses — and for less than double the feed of one. There's a good profit there, a good incentive to get them passed — Ugg boots clearancebut that doesn't mean that they're right. I say a horse like that is not one of God's creatures — and if it isn't His, then it's an Offence, and should be destroyed as such.'Clearance UGGS 'The official approval states that the breed was produced simply by mating for size, in the normal way. And I'd defy you to find any characteristic that's identifiably wrong with them, anyway,' the inspector told him.Ugg boots clearance ' Somebody would say that when he saw how profitable they could be. There's a word for that kind of thinking,' my father replied. The inspector shrugged. 'It does not follow that they are right,' my father persisted. 'A horse that size is not right — you know that unofficially, as well as I do, and there's no getting away from it. Once we allow things that we know are not right, there's no telling where it will end. A god-fearing community doesn't have to deny its faith just because there's been pressure brought to bear in a government licensing office. There are plenty of us here who know how God intended his creatures to be, even if the Government doesn't.' The inspector smiled. 'As with the Dakers' cat?' he sug?gested. My father glared at him again. The affair of the Dakers' cat rankled.

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One of the escort cut the rope which held the prisoner's arms. He dismounted, and I was able to see then what was wrong with him. He stood some eighteen inches taller than anyone else, but not because he was a big man. If his legs had been right, he would have stood no taller than my father's five-feet-ten; but they were not: they were monstrously long and thin, and his arms were long and thin, too. It made him look half-man, half-spider. . . .UGG Boots Clearance His escort gave him food and a pot of beer. He sat down on a bench, and his bony knees stuck up to seem almost level with his shoulders. He looked round the yard, noticing everything as he munched his bread and cheese. In the course of his inspection he perceived me again. He beckoned. I hung back, pretending not to see. He beckoned again. I became ashamed of being afraid of him. I went closer, and then a little closer still, but keeping warily out of range, I judged, of those spidery arms.UGG Boots Clearance 'What's your name, boy?' he asked. 'David,' I told him. 'David Strorm.' He nodded, as if that were satisfactory. ' The man at the door, with his arm in a sling, that would be your father, Joseph Strorm?' 'Yes,' I told him.UGG Boots Clearance Again he nodded. He looked round the house and the out?buildings. ' This place, then, would be Waknuk?' he asked. 'Yes,' I said again. I don't know whether he would have asked more, for at that point somebody told me to clear off. A little later they all re?mounted, and soon they moved away, the spidery man with his arms tied together once more. I watched them ride off in the Kentak direction, glad to see them go. My first encounter with someone from the Fringes had not, after all, been exciting; but it had been unpleasantly disturbing.Clearance UGGS I heard later that both the captured Fringes men managed to escape that same night. I can't remember who told me, but I am perfectly certain it was not my father. I never once heard him refer to that day, and I never had the courage to ask him about it. ...Ugg boots clearance Then scarcely, it seemed, had we settled down after the in?vasion and got the men back to catching up with the farm work, than my father was in the middle of a new row with my half-uncle, Angus Morton.Ugg boots clearance Differences of temperament and outlook had kept them in?termittently at war with one another for years. My father had been heard to sum up his opinion by declaring that if Angus had any principles they were of such infinite width as to be a menace to the rectitude of the Ugg boots clearanceneighbourhood; to which Angus was reputed to have replied that Joseph Strorm was a flinty-souled pedant, and bigoted well beyond reason. It was not, therefore, difficult for a row to blow up, and the latest one occurred over Angus' acquisition of a pair of great-horses.

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It was exciting for a boy. With the Fringes people little more than seven miles away, our yard at Waknuk had become one of the rallying points. My father, who had had an arrow through his arm early in the campaign, was helping to organize the new volunteers into squads. For several days there was a great bustling and coming and going as men were registered and sorted, and finally rode off with a fine air of determination, and the women of the household waving handkerchiefs at them.UGG Boots Clearance When they had all departed, and our workers, too, the place seemed quite uncannily quiet for a day. Then there came a single rider, dashing back. He paused long enough to tell us that there had been a big battle and the Fringes people, with some of their leaders taken prisoner, were running away as fast as they could, then he galloped on with his good news. That same afternoon a small troop of horsemen came riding into the yard, with two of the captured Fringes leaders in the middle of them.UGG Boots Clearance I dropped what I was doing, and ran across to see. It was a bit disappointing at first sight. The tales about the Fringes had led me to expect creatures with two heads, or fur all over, or half a dozen arms and legs. Instead, they seemed at first glance to be just two ordinary men with beards - though unusually dirty, and with very ragged clothes. One of them was a short man with fair hair which was tufted as though he had trimmed it with a knife. But when I looked at the other I had a shock which brought me up dumbfounded, and staring at him. I was so Ugg boots clearancejolted I just went on staring at him, for, put him in decent clothes, tidy up his beard, and he'd be the image of my father. . . .UGG Boots Clearance As he sat his horse, looking round, he noticed me; casually at first, in passing, then his gaze switched back and he stared hard at me. A strange look that I did not understand at all came into his eyes. . . .Clearance UGGS He opened his mouth as if to speak, but at that moment people came out of the house — my father, with his arm still in a sling, among them — to see what was going on. I saw my father pause on the step and survey the group of horsemen, then he, too, noticed the man in the middle of them. For a moment he stood staring, just as I had done — then all his colour drained away, and his face went blotchy grey.Ugg boots clearance I looked quickly at the other man. He was sitting absolutely rigid on his horse. The expression on his face made something clutch suddenly in my chest. I had never seen hatred naked before, the lines cut deep, the eyes glittering, the teeth sud?denly looking like a savage animal's. It struck me with a slap, a horrid revelation of something hitherto unknown, and hideous; it stamped itself on my mind so that I never forgot it....Ugg boots clearance Then my father, still looking as though he were ill, put out his good hand to steady himself against the door-post, and turned back into the house.

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' Like trying to forget how to talk, or how to hear, perhaps?' he suggested. ' Rather like that — only different,' I admitted.UGG Boots Clearance He nodded, and thought again. 'You hear the words inside your head?' he asked. 'Well, not exactly "hear", and not exactly "see",' I told him. ' There are — well, sort of shapes — and if you use words you make them clearer so that they're easier to understand.' 'But you don't have to use words — not say them out loud as you were doing just now?' ' Oh, no — it just helps to make it clearer sometimes.'UGG Boots Clearance ' It also helps to make things a lot more dangerous, for both of you. I want you to make another promise — that you'll never do it out loud any more.' 'All right, Uncle Axel,' I agreed again.UGG Boots Clearance 'You'll understand when you're older how important it is,' he told me, and then he went on to insist that I should get Rosalind to make the same promises. I did not tell him any?thing about the others because he seemed so worried already, but I decided I'd get them to promise, too. At the end he put out his hand again, and once more we swore secrecy very solemnly.Clearance UGGS I put the matter to Rosalind and the others the same evening. It crystallized a feeling that was in all of us. I don't suppose that there was a single one of us who had not at some time made a slip or two and brought upon himself, or herself, an odd, suspicious look. A few of these looks had been warnings enough to each; it was such looks,Ugg boots clearance not comprehended, but clear enough as signs of disapproval just below the verge of suspicion, that had kept us out of trouble. There had been no acknowledged, co-operative policy among us. It was simply as individuals that we had all taken the same self-protective, secretive course. But now, out of Uncle Axel's anxious insis?tence on my promise, the feeling of a threat was strengthened. It was still shapeless to us, but it was more real. Furthermore, in trying to convey Uncle Axel's seriousness to them I must have stirred up an uneasiness that was in all their minds, for there was no dissent. They made the promise willingly; eagerly, in fact, as though it was a burden they were relieved to share. It was our first act as a group; it made us a group by its formal admission of our responsibilities towards one another. It changed our lives by marking our first step in cor?porate self-preservation, though we understood little of that at the time. What seemed most important just then was the feeling of sharing . . Ugg boots clearance. Then, almost on top of that personal event came another which was of general concern; an invasion in force from the Fringes.Ugg boots clearance As usual there was no detailed plan to deal with it. As near as anyone came to organization was the appointment of head?quarters in the different sectors. Upon an alarm it was the duty of all able-bodied men in the district to rally at their local head?quarters, when a course of action would be decided according to the location and extent of the trouble. As a method of dealing with small raids it had proved good enough, but that was all it was intended for. As a result, when the Fringes people found leaders who could promote an organized invasion there had been no adequately organized system of defence to delay them. They were able to push forward on a broad front, mopping up little bands of our militia here and there, and looting as they liked, and meeting nothing to delay them seriously until they were twenty-five miles or more into civilized parts. By that time we had our forces in somewhat better order, and neighbouring districts had pulled themselves together to head off a further widening, and harry the flanks. Our men were better armed, too. Quite a lot of them had guns, whereas the Fringes people had only a few that they had stolen, and depended chiefly on bows, knives, and spears. Nevertheless, the width of their advance made them difficult to deal with. They were better woodsmen and cleverer at hiding themselves than proper human beings, so that they were able to press on another fifteen miles before we could contain them and bring them to battle.

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I just shook my head. He limped closer, and sat down beside me, chewing on a stalk of grass from the rick.UGG Boots Clearance 'Feeling lonely?' he inquired. 'No,' I told him. He frowned a bit again. 'Wouldn't it be more fun to do your chattering with some of the other kids?' he suggested. ' More interesting than just sitting and talking to yourself?' I hesitated, and then because he was Uncle Axel and my best friend among the grown-ups, I said:UGG Boots Clearance 'But I was.' 'Was what?' he asked, puzzled. 'Talking to one of them,' I told him. He frowned, and went on looking puzzled. 'Who?' ' Rosalind,' I told him. He paused a bit, looking at me harder. ' H'm — I didn't see her around,' he remarked.UGG Boots Clearance ' Oh, she isn't here. She's at home — at least, she's near home, in a little secret tree-house her brothers built in the spinney,' I explained. ' It's a favourite place of hers.' He was not able to understand what I meant at first. He kept on talking as though it were a make-believe game; but after I had tried for some time to explain he sat quiet, watching my face as I talked, and presently his expression became very serious. After I'd stopped he said nothing for a minute or two, then he asked:Clearance UGGS ' This isn't play-stuff — it's the real truth you're telling me, Davie boy?' And he looked at me hard and steadily as he spoke. 'Yes, Uncle Axel, of course,' I assured him. 'And you never told anyone else — nobody at all?' ' No. It's a secret,' I told him, and he looked relieved. He threw away the remains of his grass-stalk, and pulled another out of the rick. After he had thoughtfully bitten a few pieces off that and spat them out he looked directly at me again. ' Davie,' he said, ' I want you to make me a promise.' 'Yes, Uncle Axel?'Ugg boots clearance ' It's this,' he said, speaking very seriously. ' I want you to keep it secret. I want you to promise that you will never, never tell anyone else what you have just told me — never. It's very important: later on you'll understand better how important it is. You mustn't do anything that would even let anyone guess about it. Will you promise me that?'Ugg boots clearance His gravity impressed me greatly. I had never known him to speak with so much intensity. It made me aware, when I gave my promise, that I was vowing something more important than I could understand. He kept his eyes on mine as I spoke, and then nodded, satisfied that I meant it. We shook hands on the agreement. Then he said: ' It would be best if you could forget it altogether.'Ugg boots clearance I thought that over, and then shook my head. 'I don't think I could, Uncle Axel. Not really. I mean, it just is. It'd be like trying to forget —' I broke off, unable to express what I wanted to.

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Lord, we have sinned in omission. We beg Thy forgiveness that we have not better instructed this child in Thy laws ...' The prayer seemed to go booming on for a long time. After the 'Amen' there was a pause, until my father said:UGG Boots Clearance 'Now go to your room, and pray. Pray, you wretched boy for a forgiveness you do not deserve, but which God, in His mercy, may yet grant you. I will come to you later.' In the night, when the anguish which had followed my father's visit was somewhat abated, I lay awake, puzzling. I had had no idea of wishing for a third hand, but even if I had . . .? If it was such a terrible thing just to think of having three hands, what would happen if one really had them — or anything else wrong; such as, for instance, an extra toe —?UGG Boots Clearance And when at last I fell asleep I had a dream. We were all gathered in the yard, just as we had been at the last Purification. Then it had been a little hairless calf that stood waiting, blinking stupidly at the knife in my father's hand; this time it was a little girl, Sophie, standing barefooted and trying uselessly to hide the whole long row of toes that everyone could see on each foot. We all stood looking at her, and waiting. Presently she started to run from one UGG Boots Clearanceperson to another, imploring them to help her, but none of them moved, and none of their faces had any expression. My father started to walk towards her, the knife shining in his hand. Sophie grew frantic; she flitted from one unmoving person to another, tears running down her face. My father, stern, implacable, kept on coming nearer; still no one would move to help her. My father came closer still, with long arms outspread to prevent her bolting as he cornered her.Clearance UGGS He caught her, and dragged her back to the middle of the yard. The sun's edge began to show above the horizon, and everyone started to sing a hymn. My father held Sophie with one arm just as he had held the struggling calf. He raised his other hand high, and as he swept it down the knife flashed in the light of the rising sun, just as it had flashed when he cut the calf's throat....Ugg boots clearance If John and Mary Wender had been there when I woke up struggling and crying, and then lay in the dark trying to convince myself that the terrible picture was nothing more than a dream, they would, I think, have felt quite a lot easier in their minds. 4 This was a time when I passed out of a placid period into one where things kept on happening. There wasn't much reason about it; that is to say, only a few of the things were connected with one another: it was more as if an active cycle had set in, just as a spell of different weather might come along.Ugg boots clearance My meeting with Sophie was, I suppose, the first incident; the next was that Uncle Axel found out about me and my half-cousin, Rosalind Morton. He — and it was lucky it was he, and no one else — happened to come upon me when I was talking to her. It must have been a self-preserving instinct which had made us keep the thing to ourselves, for we'd no active feeling of danger - I had so little, in fact, that when Uncle Axel found me sitting behind a rick chatting apparently to myself, I made very little effort to dissemble. He may have been there a minute or more before I became aware of somebody just round the corner of my eye, and turned to see who it was.Ugg boots clearance My Uncle Axel was a tall man, neither thin nor fat, but sturdy, and with a seasoned look to him. I used to think when I watched him at work that his weathered hands and forearms had some sort of kinship with the polished wood of the helves they used. He was standing in his customary way, with much of his weight upon the thick stick he used because his leg had been wrongly set when it was broken at sea. His bushy eye?brows, a little touched with grey, were drawn closer by a half-frown, but the lines on his tanned face were half-amused as he regarded me. 'Well, Davie boy, and who would you be chattering away so hard to? Is it fairies, or gnomes, or only the rabbits?' he asked.

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But I think he UGG Boots Clearancecould have been reassured had he known of an incident at my home about a month after I met Sophie. I had run a splinter into my hand and when I pulled it out it bled a lot. I went to the kitchen with it only to find everybody too busy getting supper to be bothered with me, so I rummaged a strip out of the rag-drawer for myself. I tried clumsily for a minute or two to tie it, then my mother noticed. She made tchk-tchk noises of disapproval and insisted on it being washed. Then she wound the strip on neatly, grumbling that of course I had to go and do it just when she was busy. I said I was sorry, and added:UGG Boots Clearance 'I could have managed it all right by myself if I'd had another hand.' My voice must have carried, for silence fell on the whole room like a clap. My mother froze. I looked round the room at the sudden quiet. Mary, standing with a pie in her hands, two of the farm men waiting for their meal, my father about to take his seat at the head of the table, and the others; they were all staring at me. I caught my father's expression just as it was turning from amazement to anger. Alarmed, but uncomprehending, I watched his mouth tighten, his jaw come forward, his brows press together over his still incredulous eyes. He demanded:UGG Boots Clearance 'What was that you said, boy?' I knew the tone. I tried to think in a desperate hurry how I had offended this time. I stumbled and stuttered.Clearance UGGS ' I — I s-aid I couldn't manage to tie this for myself,' I told him. His eyes had become less incredulous, more accusing. 'And you wished you had a third hand!' 'No, father. I only said if I had another hand ...' '. . . you would be able to tie it. If that was not a wish, what was it?'Ugg boots clearance ' I only meant if,' I protested. I was alarmed, and too con?fused to explain that I had only happened to use one way of expressing a difficulty which might have been put in several ways. I was aware that the rest had stopped gaping at me, and were now looking apprehensively at my father. His expression was grim. 'You — my own son — were calling upon the Devil to give you another hand!' he accused me. ' But I wasn't. I only —' 'Be quiet, boy. Everyone in this room heard you. You'll certainly make it no better by lying.' 'But —' 'Were you, or were you not, expressing dissatisfaction with the form of the body God gave you — the form in His own image?'Ugg boots clearance ' I just said if I —' 'You blasphemed, boy. You found fault with the Norm. Everybody here heard you. What have you to say to that? You know what the Norm is?' I gave up protesting. I knew well enough that my father in his present mood would not try to understand. I muttered, parrot-like: '"The Norm is the Image of God".'Ugg boots clearance 'You do know — and yet, knowing this, you deliberately wished yourself a Mutant. That is a terrible thing, an out?rageous thing. You, my son, committing blasphemy, and before his parents!' In his sternest pulpit voice, he added: 'What is a Mutant?' '"A thing accursed in the sight of God and man",' I mumbled. 'And that is what you wished to be! What have you to say?' With a heart-sunk certainty that it would be useless to say anything, I kept my lips shut and my eyes lowered. 'Down on your knees!' he commanded. 'Kneel and pray!' The others all knelt, too. My father's voice rose:

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I hung about, watching the horses being unharnessed and turned out. Presently the bell on the gable-end UGG Boots Clearancetolled a couple of times. Doors opened, and people came into the yard, making for the kitchen. I went along with them. The warning: WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT! faced me as I went in, but it was much too familiar to stir a thought. What interested me ex?clusively at the moment was the smell of food.UGG Boots Clearance 3 I usually went over to see Sophie once or twice a week after that. What schooling we had — which was a matter of half a dozen children being taught to read and write and do some sums by one or another of several old women — took place in the mornings. It was not difficult at the midday meal to slip away from the table early and disappear until everyone would think someone else had found a job for me.UGG Boots Clearance When her ankle was quite recovered she was able to show me the favourite corners of her territory. One day I took her over our side of the big bank to see the steam-engine. There wasn't another steam-engine within a hundred miles, and we were very proud of it. Corky, who looked after it, was not about, but the doors at the end of its shed were open, letting out the sound of a rhythmic groaning, creaking, and puffing. We ventured on to the threshold and peered into the gloom inside. It was fascinating to watch the big timbers moving up and down with wheezing noises while up in the shadows of the roof a huge cross-beam rocked slowly backwards and forwards, with a pause at the end of each tilt as though it were summoning up energy for the next effort. Fascinating — but, after a time, monotonous.Clearance UGGS Ten minutes of it were enough, and we withdrew to climb to the top of the wood-pile beside the shed. We sat there with the whole heap quivering beneath us as the engine chugged ponderously on. 'My Uncle Axel says the Old People must have had much better engines than this,' I told her. 'My father says that if one-quarter of the things they say about the Old People are true, they must have been magicians: not real people, at all,' Sophie countered. ' But they were wonderful,' I insisted.Ugg boots clearance ' Too wonderful to be true, he says,' she told me. ' Doesn't he think they were able to fly, like people say?' I asked. ' No. That's silly. If they could've, we'd be able to.'Ugg boots clearance ' But there are lots of things they could do that we are learn?ing to do again,' I protested. ' Not flying.' She shook her head. ' Things can either fly, or they can't, and we can't,' she said. I thought of telling her about my dream of the city and the things flying over it, but after all, a dream isn't much evidence of anything, so I let it pass. Presently we climbed down, leaving the engine to its panting and creaking, and made our way over to her home.Ugg boots clearance John Wender, her father, was back from one of his trips. A sound of hammering came from the outside shed where he was stretching skins on frames, and the whole place smelt of his operations. Sophie rushed to him and flung her arms round his neck. He straightened up, holding her against him with one arm. 'Hullo, Chicky,' he said. He greeted me more gravely. We had an unspoken under?standing that we were on a man to man basis. It had always been like that. When he first saw me he had looked at me in a way that had scared me and made me afraid to speak in his presence. Gradually, however, that had changed. We became friends. He showed me and told me a lot of interesting things — all the same I would look up sometimes to find him watching me uneasily. And no wonder. Only some years later could I appreciate how badly troubled he must have been when he came home to find Sophie had sprained her ankle, and that it had been David Strorm, the son of Joseph Strorm, of all people, who had seen her foot. He must, I think, have been greatly tempted by the thought that a dead boy could break no promise. . . . Perhaps Mrs Wender saved me. . . .

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For all the good the petitions did, they might never have been sent. Indeed, with no one able to tell, over a stretch of five or six hundred miles, where the next attack would come, it is difficult to see what UGG Boots Clearancepractical help could have been given. What the Government did do, from its comfortable situation far, far to the east, was to express sympathy in encouraging phrases, and suggest the formation of a local militia: a sug?gestion which, as all able-bodied males had as a matter of course been members of a kind of unofficial militia since frontier days, was felt to amount to disregard of the situation.UGG Boots Clearance As far as the Waknuk district was concerned the threat from the Fringes was more of a nuisance than a menace. The deepest raid had come no nearer than ten miles, but every now and then there were emergencies, and seemingly more every year, which called the men away, and brought all the farm work to a stop. The interruptions were expensive and wasteful; more?over, they always brought anxiety if the trouble was near our sector: nobody could be sure that they might not come farther one time.. ..UGG Boots Clearance Mostly, however, we led a comfortable, settled, industrious existence. Our household was extensive. There were my father and mother, my two sisters, and my Uncle Axel to make the family, but also there were the kitchen girls and dairymaids, some of whom were married to the farm men, and their chil?dren, and, of course, the men themselves, so when we were all gathered for the meal at the end of the day's work there were over twenty of us; and when we assembled for prayers there were still more because the men from the adjoining cottages came in with their wives and children.Clearance UGGS Uncle Axel was not a real relative. He had married one of my mother's sisters, Elizabeth. He was a sailor then, and she had gone East with him and died in Rigo while he was on the voyage that had left him a cripple. He was a useful all-round man, though slow in getting about because of his leg, so my father let him live with us: he was also my best friend. My mother came of a family of five girls and two boys. Four of the girls were full sisters; the youngest girl and the two boys were half-sister and half-brothers to the rest. Hannah, the eldest, had been sent away by her husband, and nobody had heard of her since. Emily, my mother, was next in age. Then came Harriet who was married to a man with a big farm at Kentak, almost fifteen miles away. Then Elizabeth, who had married Uncle Axel. Where my half-aunt Lilian and my half-uncle Thomas were I did not know, but my half-uncle, Angus Morton, owned the farm next to us, and a mile or more of our boundaries ran together, which annoyed my father who could scarcely agree with half-uncle Angus about anything. His daughter, Rosalind, was, of course, my cousin.Ugg boots clearance Although Waknuk itself was the biggest farm in the district, most of them were organized along the same lines, and all of them growing larger, for with the improving stability-rate there was the incentive to extend; every year felling of trees and clearing went on to make new fields. The woods and spurs of forest were being nibbled away until the countryside was beginning to look like the old, long-cultivated land in the east.Ugg boots clearance It was said that nowadays even people in Rigo knew where Waknuk was without looking it up on the map.Ugg boots clearance I lived, in fact, on the most prosperous farm in a prospering district. At the age of ten, however, I had little appreciation of that. My impression was of an uncomfortably industrious place where there always seemed to be more jobs than people, unless one was careful, so on this particular evening I contrived to lie low until routine sounds told me that it was near enough to the mealtime for me to show myself safely.

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Ours was UGG Boots Clearanceno longer a frontier region. Hard work and sacrifice had produced a stability of stock and crops which could be envied even by some communities to the east of us. You could now go some thirty miles to the south or south-west before you came to Wild Country — that is to say parts where the chance of breeding true was less than fifty per cent. After that, everything grew more erratic across a belt which was ten miles wide in some places and up to twenty in others, until you came to the mysterious Fringes where nothing was dependable, and where, to quote my father, 'the Devil struts his wide estates, and the laws of God are mocked.' Fringes country, too, was said to be variable in depth, and beyond it lay the Badlands about which nobody knew anything.UGG Boots Clearance Usually anybody who went into the Badlands died there, and the one or two men who had come back from them did not last long.UGG Boots Clearance It was not the Badlands, but the Fringes that gave us trouble from time to time. The people of the Fringes — at least, one calls them people, because although they were really Devia?tions they often looked quite like ordinary human people, if nothing had gone too much wrong with them — these people, then, had very little where they lived in their border country, so they came out into civilized parts to steal grain and livestock and clothes and tools and weapons, too, if they could; and sometimes they carried off children.Clearance UGGS Occasional small raids used to happen two or three times a year, and nobody took much notice of them as a rule — except the people who got raided, of course. Usually they had time to get away and lost only their stock. Then everybody would contribute a little in kind, or in money, to help them set up again. But as time went on and the frontier was pushed back there were more Fringes people trying to live on less country.Ugg boots clearance Some years they got very hungry, and after a time it was no longer just a matter of a dozen or so making a quick raid and then running back into Fringes country; they came instead in large, organized bands and did a lot of damage.Ugg boots clearance In my father's childhood mothers used to quieten and awe troublesome infants by threatening: 'Be good now, or I'll fetch Old Maggie from the Fringes to you. She's got four eyes to watch you with, and four ears to hear you with, and four arms to smack you with. So you be careful.' Or Hairy Jack was another ominous figure who might be called in '... and he'll take you off to his cave in the Fringes where all his family lives. They're all hairy, too, with long tails; and they eat a little boy each for breakfast every morning, and a little girl each for supper every Ugg boots clearanceevening.' Nowadays, however, it was not only small children who lived in nervous awareness of the Fringes people not so far away. Their existence had become a danger?ous nuisance and their depredations the cause of many repre?sentations to the Government in Rigo.

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My mother saw to it that the big room was kept very clean and tidy. The floor was composed of pieces of brick and stone and artificial stone cleverly fitted together. The furniture was whitely-scrubbed UGG Boots Clearancetables and stools, with a few chairs. The walls were whitewashed. Several burnished pans, too big to go in the cupboards, hung against them. The nearest approach to decoration was a number of wooden panels with sayings, mostly from Repentances, artistically burnt into them.UGG Boots Clearance The one on the left of the fireplace read: ONLY THE IMAGE OF GOD IS MAN. The one on the right: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD. On the opposite wall two more said: BLESSED IS THE NORM, and IN PURITY OUR SALVATION. The largest was the one on the back wall, hung to face the door which led to the yard. It reminded everyone who came in: WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT!UGG Boots Clearance Frequent references to these texts had made me familiar with the words long before I was able to read, in fact I am not sure that they did not give me my first reading lessons. I knew them by heart, just as I knew others elsewhere in the house, which said things like: THE NORM IS THE WILL OF GOD, and, REPRODUCTION IS THE ONLY HOLY PRODUCTION and, THE DEVIL IS THE FATHER OF DEVIATION, and a number of others about Offences and Blasphemies.Clearance UGGS Many of them were still obscure to me; others I had learnt something about. Offences, for instance. That was because the occurrence of an Offence was sometimes quite an impressive occasion. Usually the first sign that one had happened was that my father came into the house in a bad temper. Then, in the evening, he would call us all together, including everyone who worked on the farm. We would all kneel while he pro?claimed our repentance and led prayers for forgiveness. The next morning we would all be up before daylight and gather in the yard. As the sun rose we would sing a hymn while my father ceremonially slaughtered the two-headed calf, four-legged chicken, or whatever other kind of Offence it happened to be. Sometimes it would be a much queerer thing than those. . . . Nor were Offences limited to the livestock. Sometimes there would be some stalks of corn, or some vegetables, that my father produced and cast on the kitchen table in anger and shame. If it were merely a matter of a few rows of vegetables, they just came out and were destroyed. But if a whole field had gone wrong we would wait for good weather, and then set fire to it, singing hymns while it burnt. I used to find that a very fine sight.Ugg boots clearance It was because my father was a careful and pious man with a keen eye for an Offence that we used to have more slaughterings and burnings than anyone else: but any sugges?tion that we were more afflicted with Offences than other people hurt and angered him. He had no wish at all to throw good money away, he pointed out. If our neighbours were as Ugg boots clearanceconscientious as ourselves, he had no doubt that their liquida?tions would far outnumber ours: unfortunately there were certain persons with elastic principles. So I learnt quite early to know what Offences were. They were things which did not look right — that is to say, did not look like their parents, or parent-plants. Usually there was only some small thing wrong, but however much or little was wrong it was an Offence, and if it happened among people it was a Blasphemy — at least, that was the technical term, though commonly both kinds were called Deviations.Ugg boots clearance Nevertheless, the question of Offences was not always as simple as one might think, and when there was disagreement the district's inspector could be sent for. My father, however, seldom called in the inspector, he preferred to be on the safe side and liquidate anything doubtful. There were people who disapproved of his meticulousness, saying that the local Devia?tion-rate, which had shown a steady overall improvement and now stood at half what it had been in my grandfather's time, would have been better still, but for my father. All the same, the Waknuk district had a great name for Purity.

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Soon after he had started the house he went off on a journey and brought back a bride. She was shy, pretty in the pink and golden way, and twenty-five years younger than himself. She moved, I have been told, like a lovely colt when she thought herself unwatched; as timorously as a rabbit when she felt her husband's eye upon her. All her UGG Boots Clearanceanswers, poor thing, were dusty. She did not find that a marriage service generated love; she did not enable her husband to recapture his youth through hers; nor could she compensate for that by running his home in the manner of an experienced housekeeper.UGG Boots Clearance Elias was not a man to let shortcomings pass unremarked. In a few seasons he straitened the coltishness with admoni?tions, faded the pink and gold with preaching, and produced a sad, grey wraith of wifehood who died, unprotesting, a year after her second son was born. Grandfather Elias had never a moment's doubt of the proper pattern for his heir. My father's faith was bred into his bones, his principles were his sinews, and both responded to a mind richly stored with examples from the Bible, and from Nicholson's Repentances. In faith father and son were at one; the difference between them was only in approach; the evangelical flash did not appear in my lather s eye; his virtue was inure legalistic.UGG Boots Clearance Joseph Strorm, my father, did not marry until Elias was dead, and when he did he was not a man to repeat his father's mistake. My mother's views harmonized with his own. She had a strong sense of duty, and never doubted where it lay.Clearance UGGS Our district, and, consequently, our house as the first there, was called Waknuk because of a tradition that there had been a place of that name there, or thereabouts, long, long ago, in the time of the Old People. The tradition was, as usual, vague, but certainly there had been some buildings of some kind, for the remnants and foundations had remained until they were taken for new buildings. There was also the long bank, running away until it reached the hills and the huge scar that must have been made by the Old People when, in their superhuman fashion, they had cut away half a mountain in order to find something or other that interested them. The place may have been called Waknuk then; anyway, Waknuk it had become; an orderly, law-abiding, God-respecting community of some hundred scattered holdings, large and small.Ugg boots clearance My father was a man of local consequence. When, at the age of sixteen, he had made his first public appearance by giving a Sunday address in the church his father had built, there had still been fewer than sixty families in the district. But as more land was cleared for farming and more people came to settle, he was not submerged by them. He was still the largest land?owner, he still continued to preach frequently on Sundays and to explain with practical clarity the laws and views held in heaven upon a variety of matters and practices, and, upon the Ugg boots clearanceappointed days, he administered the laws temporal, as a magi?strate. For the rest of the time he saw to it that he, and all within his control, continued to set a high example to the district. Within the house, life centred, as was the local custom, upon the large living-room which was also the kitchen. As the house was the largest and best in Waknuk, so was the room. The great fireplace there was an object of pride — not vain pride, of course; more a matter of being conscious of having given worthy treatment to the excellent materials that the Lord had Ugg boots clearanceprovided: a kind of testament, really. The hearth was solid stone blocks. The whole chimney was built of bricks and had never been known to catch fire. The area about its point of emergence was covered with the only tiles in the district, so that the thatch which covered the rest of the roof had never caught fire, either.

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Not until I had reached the bank and was making my home?ward way along the top of it did the monotonous Sunday pre?cepts join up with reality. Then they did it with a click that was almost audible. The Definition of Man recited itself in my head: '. . . and each leg shall be jointed twice and have one foot, and each foot five toes, and each toe shall end with a flat nail....' And UGG Boots Clearanceso on, until finally: 'And any creature that shall seem to be human, but is not formed thus is not human. It is neither man nor woman. It is a blasphemy against the true Image of God, and hateful in the sight of God.'UGG Boots Clearance I was abruptly perturbed — and considerably puzzled, too. A blasphemy was, as had been impressed upon me often enough, a frightful thing. Yet there was nothing frightful about Sophie. She was simply an ordinary little girl — if a great deal more sensible and braver than most. Yet, according to the Definition . . .UGG Boots Clearance Clearly there must be a mistake somewhere. Surely having one very small toe extra — well, two very small toes, because I supposed there would be one to match on the other foot — surely that couldn't be enough to make her 'hateful in the sight of God . . .'? The ways of the world were very puzzling. . . . 2 I reached home by my usual method. At a point where the woods had lapped up the side of the bank and grown across it I scrambled down on to a narrow, little-used track. From there on I was watchful, and kept my hand on my knife. I was supposed to keep out of the woods, for it did occasionally — though very rarely — happen that large creatures penetrated as far into civilized parts as Waknuk, and there was just a chance that one might encounter some kind of wild dog or cat. How?ever, and as usual, the only creatures I heard were small ones, hurriedly making off.Clearance UGGS After a mile or so I reached cultivated land, with the house in sight across three or four fields. I worked along the fringe of the woods, observing carefully from cover, then crossed all but the last field in the shadows of the hedges, and paused to prospect again. There was no one in sight but old Jacob slowly shovelling muck in the yard. When his back was safely turned I cut swiftly across the bit of open ground, climbed in through a window, and made my way cautiously to my own room.Ugg boots clearance Our house is not easy to describe. Since my grandfather, Elias Strorm, built the first part of it, over fifty years earlier, it had grown new rooms and extensions at various times. By now it rambled off on one side into stock-sheds, stores, stables, and barns, and on the other into wash-houses, dairies, cheese-rooms, farm-hands' rooms, and so on until it three-quarters enclosed a large, beaten-earth yard which lay to leeward of the main house and had a midden for its central feature.Ugg boots clearance Like all the houses of the district, it was constructed on a frame of solid, roughly-dressed timbers, but, since it was the oldest house there, most of the spaces in the outer walls had been filled in with bricks and stones from the ruins of some of the Old People's buildings, and plastered wattle was used only for the internal walls.Ugg boots clearance My grandfather, in the aspect he wore when presented to me by my father, appeared to have been a man of somewhat tediously unrelieved virtue. It was only later that I pieced to?gether a portrait that was more credible, if less creditable. Elias Strorm came from the East, somewhere near the sea. Why he came is not quite clear. He himself maintained that it was the ungodly ways of the East which drove him to search for a less sophisticated, stauncher-minded region; though I have heard it suggested that there came a point when his native parts refused to tolerate him any longer. Whatever the cause, it persuaded him to Waknuk — then undeveloped, almost frontier country — with all his worldly goods in a train of six wagons, at the age of forty-five. He was a husky man, a dominating man, and a man fierce for rectitude. He had eyes that could flash with evangelical fire beneath bushy brows. Respect for God was frequently on his lips, and fear of the devil constantly in his heart, and it seems to have been hard to say which inspired him the more.

gongsi028 says...

Afterwards, Mrs Wender told me to wait where I was while she carried her upstairs. She returned in a few minutes, and sat down beside me. She took my hand in hers and looked at me seriously for some moments. I could feel her anxiety strongly; though quite why she should be so worried was not, at first, clear to me. I was surprised by her, for there had been no sign before that she could think in that way. I thought back to her, trying to reassure her and show her that she need not be anxious about me, but the thought didn't reach her. She went on looking at me with her eyes shining, much as Sophie's had when she was trying not to cry. Her own UGG Boots Clearancethoughts were all worry and shapelessness as she kept looking at me. I tried again, but still couldn't reach them. Then she nodded slowly, and said in words: 'You're a good boy, David. You were very kind to Sophie. I want to thank you for that.'UGG Boots Clearance I felt awkward, and looked at my shoes. I couldn't remember anyone saying before that I was a good boy. I knew no form of response designed to meet such an event. 'You like Sophie, don't you?' she went on, still looking at me.UGG Boots Clearance 'Yes,' I told her. And I added: 'I think she's awfully brave, too. It must have hurt a lot.' 'Will you keep a secret — an important secret — for her sake?' she asked. 'Yes — of course,' I agreed, but a little uncertain in my tone for not realizing what the secret was. ' You — you saw her foot?' she said, looking steadily into my face. ' Her — toes?' I nodded. 'Yes,' I said again. 'Well, that is the secret, David. Nobody else must know about that. You are the only person who does, except her father and me. Nobody else must know. Nobody at all — not ever.' 'No,' I agreed, and nodded seriously again.Clearance UGGS There was a pause — at least, her voice paused, but her thoughts went on, as if ' nobody' and ' not ever' were making desolate, unhappy echoes there. Then that changed, and she became tense and fierce and afraid inside. It was no good think?ing back to her, so I tried clumsily to emphasize in words that I had meant what I said. ' Never — not anybody at all,' I assured her earnestly.Ugg boots clearance ' It's very, very important,' she insisted. ' How can I explain to you?' But she didn't really need to explain. Her urgent, tight-strung feeling of the importance was very plain. Her words were far less potent. She said: 'If anyone were to find out, they'd — they'd be terribly un?kind to her. We've got to see that that never happens.' It was as if the anxious feeling had turned into something hard, like an iron rod. 'Because she has six toes?' I asked.Ugg boots clearance 'Yes. That's what nobody but us must ever know. It must be a secret between us,' she repeated, driving it home. 'You'll promise, David?' 'I'll promise. I can swear, if you like,' I offered. 'The promise is enough,' she told me.Ugg boots clearance It was so heavy a promise that I was quite resolved to keep it completely — even from my cousin, Rosalind. Though, un?derneath, I was puzzled by its evident importance. It seemed a very small toe to cause such a degree of anxiety. But there was often a great deal of grown-up fuss that seemed dispro?portionate to causes. So I held on to the main point — the need for secrecy. Sophie's mother kept on looking at me with a sad but un?seeing expression until I became uncomfortable. She noticed when I fidgeted, and smiled. It was a kind smile. 'All right, then,' she said. 'We'll keep it secret, and never talk about it again?' 'Yes,' I agreed. On the way down the path from the door, I turned round. ' May I come and see Sophie again soon?' I asked. She hesitated, giving the question some thought, then she said: ' Very well — but only if you are sure you can come without anyone knowing,' she agreed.

gongsi028 says...

My mother saw to it that the big room was kept very clean and tidy. The floor was composed of pieces of brick and stone and artificial stone cleverly fitted together. The furniture was whitely-scrubbed tables and stools, with a few chairs. The walls were whitewashed. Several burnished pans, too big to go in the cupboards, hung against them. The nearest approach to decoration was a number of wooden panels with sayings, mostly from Repentances, artistically burnt into them. The one on the left of the fireplace read: ONLY THE IMAGE OF GOD IS MAN. The one on the right:UGG Boots Clearance KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD. On the opposite wall two more said: BLESSED IS THE NORM, and IN PURITY OUR SALVATION. The largest was the one on the back wall, hung to face the door which led to the yard. It reminded everyone who came in: WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT!UGG Boots Clearance Frequent references to these texts had made me familiar with the words long before I was able to read, in fact I am not sure that they did not give me my first reading lessons. I knew them by heart, just as I knew others elsewhere in the house, which said things like: THE NORM IS THE WILL OF GOD, and, REPRODUCTION IS THE ONLY HOLY PRODUCTION and, THE DEVIL IS THE FATHER OF DEVIATION, and a number of others about Offences and Blasphemies.UGG Boots Clearance Many of them were still obscure to me; others I had learnt something about. Offences, for instance. That was because the occurrence of an Offence was sometimes quite an impressive occasion. Usually the first sign that one had happened was that my father came into the house in a bad temper. Then, in the evening, he would call us all together, including everyone who worked on the farm. We would all kneel while he pro?claimed our repentance and led prayers for forgiveness. The next morning we would all be up before daylight and gather in the yard. As the sun rose we would sing a hymn while my father ceremonially slaughtered the two-headed calf, four-legged chicken, or whatever other kind of Offence it happened to be. Sometimes it would be a much queerer thing than those. . . .Clearance UGGS Nor were Offences limited to the livestock. Sometimes there would be some stalks of corn, or some vegetables, that my father produced and cast on the kitchen table in anger and shame. If it were merely a matter of a few rows of vegetables, they just came out and were destroyed. But if a whole field had gone wrong we would wait for good weather, and then set fire to it, singing hymns while it burnt. I used to find that a very fine sight. It was because my father was a careful and pious man with a keen eye for an Offence that we used to have more slaughterings and burnings than anyone else: but any sugges?tion that we were more afflicted with Offences than other people hurt and angered him. He had no wish at all to throw good money away, he pointed out. If our neighbours were as conscientious as ourselves, he had no doubt that their liquida?tions would far outnumber ours: unfortunately there were certain persons with elastic principles.Ugg boots clearance So I learnt quite early to know what Offences were. They were things which did not look right — that is to say, did not look like their parents, or parent-plants. Usually there was only some small thing wrong, but however much or little was wrong it was an Offence, and if it happened among people it was a Blasphemy — at least, that was the technical term, though commonly both kinds were called Deviations. Nevertheless, the question of Offences was not always as simple as one might think, and when there was disagreement the district's inspector could be sent for. My father, however, seldom called in the inspector, he preferred to be on the safe side and liquidate anything doubtful. There were people who disapproved of his meticulousness, saying that the local Devia?tion-rate, which had shown a steady overall improvement and now stood at half what it had been in my grandfather's time, would have been better still, but for my father. All the same, the Waknuk district had a great name for Purity. Ours was no longer a frontier region. Hard work and sacrifice had produced a stability of stock and crops which could be envied even by some communities to the east of us. You could now go some thirty miles to the south or south-west before you came to Wild Country — that is to say parts where the chance of breeding true was less than fifty per cent. After that, everything grew more erratic across a belt which was ten miles wide in some places and up to twenty in others, until you came to the mysterious Fringes where nothing was dependable, and where, to quote my father, 'the Devil struts his wide estates, and the laws of God are mocked.' Fringes country, too, was said to be variable in depth, and beyond it lay the Badlands about which nobody knew anything. Usually anybody who went into the Badlands died there, and the one or two men who had come back from them did not last long.

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That was not to be, however. Once again, his mother's career had interfered with his own life. It was not the first time Robert had wished he were not the son of a politician.UGG Boots Clearance He watched the stars, sparkling in bright strokes that followed the meeting of two Galactic spiral arms. Perhaps if I had known more adversity in my life, I might be better prepared for what's to come. Better able to accept disappointment.UGG Boots Clearance It wasn't just that he was the son of the Planetary Coordinator, with all of the advantages that came with status. It went beyond that. All through childhood he had noticed that where other boys had stumbled and suffered growing pains, he UGGS Clearance had always somehow had the knack of moving gracefully. Where most had groped their way in awkwardness and embarrassment toward adolescence and sexuality, he had slipped into pleasure and popularity with all the comfort and ease of putting on an old shoe. His mother-and his starfarer father, whenever Sam Tennace sojourned on Garth-had always emphasized that Ugg boots clearance he should watch the interactions of his peers, not simply let things happen and accept them as inevitable. And indeed, he began to see how, in every age group, there were a few like him-for whom growing up was easier somehow. They stepped lightly through the morass of adolescence while everyone else Ugg boots clearance slogged, overjoyed to find an occasional patch of solid ground. And it seemed many of those lucky ones accepted their happy fate as if it were some sign of divine election. The same was true of the most popular girls. They had no empathy, no compassion for more normal kids. In Robert's case, he had never sought a reputation as a playboy. But one had come, over time, almost against his will. In his heart a secret fear had started to grow: a superstitition that he had confided in nobody. Did the universe balance all things? Did it take away to compensate for whatever it gave? The Cult of Ifni was supposed to be a starfarer's joke. And yet sometimes things seemed so contrived! It was silly to suppose that trials only hardened men, automatically making them wise. He knew many who were stupid, arrogant, and mean, in spite of having suffered. Still ... Like many humans, he sometimes envied the handsome, flexible, self-sufficient Tymbrimi. A young race by Galactic standards, they were nevertheless old and galaxy-wise compared with Mankind. Humanity had discovered sanity, peace, and a science of mind only a generation before Contact. There were still plenty of kinks to be worked out of Terragens society. The Tymbrimi, in comparison, seemed to know themselves so well. Is that the basic reason why I am attracted to Athaclena? Symbolically she is the elder, the more knowledgeable one. It gives me an opportunity to be awkward and stumble, and enjoy the role. It was all so confusing, and Robert wasn't even certain of his own feelings. He was having fun up here in the mountains with Athaclena, and that made him ashamed. He resented his mother bitterly for sending him, and felt guilty about that as well. Oh, if only I'd been allowed to fight! Combat, at least, was straightforward and easy to understand. It was ancient, honorable, simple. Robert looked up quickly. The're, among the stars, a pinpoint had flared up to momentary brilliance. As he watched, two more sudden brightnesses burst forth, then another. The sharp, glowing sparks lasted long enough for him to note their positions. The pattern was too regular to be an accident. . . twenty degree intervals above the equator, from the Sphinx all the way across to the'Batman, where the red planet Tloona shone in the middle of the ancient hero's belt. So, it has come. The destruction of the synchronous satellite network had been expected, but it was startling actually to witness it. Of course this meant actual landings would not be long delayed. Robert felt a heaviness and hoped that not too many of his human and chim friends had died. I never found out if I had what it takes when things really counted. Now maybe I never will. He was resolved about one thing. He would do the job he had been assigned-escorting a noncombatant alien into the mountains and supposed safety. There was one duty he had to perform tonight, while Athaclena slept. As silently as he could, Robert returned to their backpacks. He pulled the radio set from his lower left pouch and began disassembling it in the dark. He was halfway finished when another sudden brightening made him look up at the eastern sky. A bolide streaked flame across the glittering starfield, leaving glowing embers in its wake. Something was entering fast, burning as it penetrated the atmosphere. The debris of war. Robert stood up and watched the manmade meteor lay a fiery trail across the sky. It disappeared behind a range of hills not more than twenty kilometers away. Perhaps much closer. "God keep you," he whispered to the warriors whose ship it must have been. He had no fear of blessing his enemies, for it was clear which side needed help tonight, and would for a long time to come. 11 Galactics The Suzerain of Propriety moved about the bridge of the flagship in short skips and hops, enjoying the pleasure of pacing while Gubru and Kwackoo soldiery ducked out of the way. It might be a long time before the Gubru high priest would enjoy such freedom of movement again. After the occupation force landed, the Suzerain would not be able to set foot on the "ground" for many miktaars. Not until propriety was assured and consolidation complete could it touch the soil of the planet that lay just ahead of the advancing armada. The other two leaders of the invasion force-the Suzerain of Beam and Talon and the Suzerain of Cost and Caution- did not have to operate under such restrictions. That was all right. The military and the bureaucracy had their own functions. But to the Suzerain of Propriety was given the task of overseeing Appropriateness of Behavior for the Gubru expedition. And to do that the priest would have to remain perched. Far across the command bridge, the Suzerain of Cost and Caution could be heard complaining. There had been unexpected losses in the furious little fight the humans had put up. Every ship put out of commission hurt the Gubru cause in these dangerous times. Foolish, short-sighted carping, the Suzerain of Propriety thought. The physical damage done by the humans' resistance had been far less significant than the ethical and legal harm. Because the brief fight had been so sharp and effective, it could not simply be ignored. It would have to be credited. The Earth wolflings had recorded, in action, their opposition to the arrival of Gubru might. Unexpectedly, they had done it with meticulous attention to the Protocols of War. They may be more than mere clever beasts - More than beasts - Perhaps they and their clients should be studied - Studied - zzooon That gesture of resistance by the tiny Earthling flotilla meant that the Suzerain would have to remain perched for at least the initial part of the occupation. It would have to find an excuse, now, the sort of casus belli that would let the Gubru proclaim to the Five Galaxies that the Earthlings' lease on Garth was null and void.

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