Reading progress update: I've read 414 out of 502 pages.

Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers

Another scene I absolutely love - Peter instructing Harriet in self-defence:

 

“Try throttling me for a change, and I’ll show you.”

 

“Did I say this field was soft?” said Harriet, when her feet had been ignominiously hooked from under her. She rubbed herself resentfully.

 

“Just let me do it to you, that’s all.”

 

And this time, whether by skill or favour, she did contrive to bring him off his balance, so that he only saved himself from sprawling by a complicated twist suggestive of an eel on a hook.

 

“We’d better stop now,” said Peter, when he had instructed her in the removal of the thug who leaps from in front, the thug who dives in from behind, and the more sophisticated thug who starts operations with a silk scarf.

“You’ll feel tomorrow as if you’d been playing football.”

 

“I think I shall have a sore throat.”

 

“I’m sorry. Did I let my animal nature get the better of me? That’s the worst of these rough sports.”

 

“It would be a good bit rougher if it was done in earnest. I shouldn’t care to meet you in a narrow lane on a dark night, and I only hope the Poison-Pen hasn’t been making a study of the subject. Peter, you don’t seriously think—”

 

“I avoid serious thought like the plague. But I assure you I haven’t been knocking you about for the fun of it.”

 

“I believe you. No gentleman could throttle a lady more impersonally.”

 

“Thank you for the testimonial. Cigarette?”