A basket of quail burst open in the bazaar. They did not try to escape but spread out slowly like spilt honey. This is the second time, in comparatively few days, when we have watched Mr Durrell at play with a gerund he seems to have been attracted to, an image of the passive state as active, in his use of the time-extracting verb, to spread. It's almost clumsy, to be bringing this up, because his way with it struck me before, and here again, as exquisite. Who can wish to be the one to admire a gesture so natural that its citation is only the highest threat to pleasure?
I am not sure that it's even possible to say, spilt honey,without turning heads at the spectacle in anxious wonder. I do not care to tamper with the last Saturday commute, acknowledging how still the stain of vacancy extends. But, very well: supposing this simile to be a touchstone of his style, it certainly helps to explain to me why Durrell's imagery does not fade. If I have not done my part to share this wonder, possibly I can give warning in his well spilt words. He loved this act of language. And, Alexandrines.