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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:05:14
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Lord Asriel came away from the telescope and stood up, hand shading his eyes. In hundreds, and then thousands, and tens of thousands, until half that part of the sky was darkened, the minute figures flew and flew and kept on coming. Lord Asriel had seen the billion-strong flocks of blue starlings that wheeled at sunset around the palace of the Emperor K'ang-Po, but he had never seen so vast a multitude in all his life. The flying beings gathered themselves and then streamed away slowly, slowly, to the north and the south.

She had taken it with her for two reasons. One was sentimental: her grandfather had given it to her, and she had used it a lot as a schoolgirl. The other was that when Lyra had first found her way to Mary's laboratory, she had asked: "What's that?" and pointed to the poster on the door that showed the symbols from the I Ching; and shortly afterward, in her spectacular reading of the computer, Lyra had learned (she claimed) that Dust had many other ways of speaking to human beings, and one of them was the method from China that used those symbols.

The figures outside nodded, one or two of them gave little bows, and they stood aside respectfully as Will and Lyra walked into the warmth and light. The man closed the door behind them and hooked a wire over a nail to keep it shut.

"Listen," said Lyra, "please listen. We came here, me and my friends, because we got to find a boy called Roger. He en't been here long, just a few weeks, so he won't know very many people, but if you know where he is..."

"But then later on Mrs. Coulter caught me and I was in a trance, and I was dreaming and I dreamed of that, and I dreamed of you. And I remembered the gyptian boat mother, Ma Costa, you remember, it was their boat we got on board of, in Jericho, with Simon and Hugh and them...”

"He led us here because this world is empty. Empty of conscious life, that is. We are not colonialists, Mrs. Coulter. We haven't come to conquer, but to build."

"And because there was a threat, I saved her from it. Three times now I've stepped in to pluck her out of danger. First, when the Oblation Board began its work: I went to Jordan College and I took her to live with me, in London, where I could keep her safe from the Board... or so I hoped. But she ran away.


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