‘Wealth is a small thing, tiny like a grain of sand. It seems large only to those who do not possess it. You talk of my palace. It is not mine. I built it, I live within it. Yet one day I will die and the palace will have another owner. Then he will die. And so it goes on. A man owns nothing but his life. He holds items briefly in his hand. If they are made of metal or stone they will surely outlive him and be owned by someone else for a short time. If they are cloth he will – with luck – outlive them. Look around you, at the trees and the hills. According to law, they are mine. You think the trees care that they are mine? Or the hills? The same hills were bathed in sunlight when my earliest ancestor walked the earth. The same hills that will still be covered in grass when the last man turns to dust.’

Waylander, to Keeva Taliana, Hero in the Shadows


‘I know Shane’s a film, darlin’. But somebody wrote it, didn’t they? And whoever he was, he knew. He bloody knew! He knew broken bones wasn’t so special. Somebody gives that to ya. But they’ll mend. But when they make you eat shit, they’re taking somethin’ away. And you don’t never get it back.’

Bimbo Jardine, to Sue Cater, White Knight Black Swan


‘I am reminded of the rather lovely story of the woman who died. She had attended church every day of her life, but had never done a single kind deed for anyone. She went to Heaven. When she arrived an angel led her down a street of mansions, further down a street of fine houses, on to a series of terraced dwellings and finally to a shanty shack at the edge of an old wasteground. “Here is your home,” he said. “But this is terrible,” she told him. “I know,” he replied, “but it was all we could build with the material you sent up.”‘

Reverend Richard Kilbey, to Joseph Evans, White Knight Black Swan