Friday, March 12, 2010

Now THAT'S a first sentence!™

If you were to look for the little island of Tanah Msa on the map, you would find it right on he equator, a bit to the west of Sumatra; but if on board the ship Kandong Bandoeng you were to ask Captain J. van Toch what is this Tanah Masa before which he has just dropped anchor, he would curse for a while, and then tell you that it is the dirtiest hole in all the Straits, even worse than Tanah Bala and at least as damned as Pini, or Banjak; that the only—I beg your pardon—man who lives there—not counting, of course, those lousy Bataks—is a drunken commercial agent, a cross between a Cuban and a Portuguese, and a bigger thief, heathen, and swine than a pure Cuban and a pure white man put together; and if there is anything damned in this world, then it is the damned life on this damned Tanah Masa, sir. —Karel Capek, War With the Newts

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