Lesley Beake Quotes

10 of the best book quotes from Lesley Beake
“Johnny dragged on for a few more day, but every day seemed emptier, more pointless. He could see no end to it; no reward at the end of the long and tiring time. His mind was strolling already.”
This account of life on the streets of Cape Town. His seven older brothers have all left home, and now there’s just Johnny, Ma and her bullying second husband.
So Johnny begins the life of a stroller - begging on the street, sleeping where he can.
“Strolling’s”, he paused, looking for the right word, ‘like free. Yes, man, freedom’s what it’s all about. I been going now for years. My folks don’t mind. One less mouth, my Dad always says.”
“For a few moments Abel watched Johnny. Then he stood up, stretching. ‘Well, like I said three weeks ago, it’s time.’ Again he looked at Johnny, crafty this time. ‘Anyhow, I’m going. You stay if you’re chicken. ’
“Abel passed Johnny half a sandwich, generously, because Abel was hungry too, but he thought he would have good at home tonight. Johnny might not have any.”
“Why hadn’t he had a chance, Johnny wondered bitterly. Other men came from the farms. Other men had some schooling. What was so different about Nelson?”
“Johnny lay with his eyes closed. Ma didn’t understand. Maybe she though he was lazy. Maybe she couldn’t feel the need that he had, the need to learn. He’d been to school for years now and he’d tried, he really had, but there were many children and no enough teachers; not enough books.”
“Johnny had jumped the trains before, but not often, so he was scared. Not bad scared, like when your mouth goes dry, but good scared when your stomach bundles itself into a little corner of you, and your heart beats a lot faster than usual.”
“Five o’clock came and flock of laughing girls from the clothing factory came surging through the gardens. A small doubt had been growing in Johnny’s mind for the last hour. What was he going to do if he didn’t find Abel and the other children?”

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