Philip Pullman Jacqueline Wilson
What the authors say
Philip Pullman
On receive a schedule from David Fickling...
Many thanks for these dates. They march down the page in a
deadly rhythm like a drum banged by the timekeeper in the
stern of the galley while the overseer strides between the rows of
slaves, flicking the whip here and there. I shall bind my trembling
fingers to the oar and bend my breaking back and try not to fall
behind the rhythm of the drum - try above all not to be found by the
the whip. Where is the ship going? None of us down here can tell. Is the
captain steering us towards a fair sea and a prosperous voyage, or on
to the spray covered rocks? We shall never know until the final
seconds. When will the voyage end? For us, only when
we fall dead over the oar. Then a quick heave
over the side, and we sleep forever
with the fishes.