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-- Discussion of Chapter 10

"The lousiest instalment you've told", said Bunny sourly.
"We saved your lives anyway", said Betty.
There was a bitter laugh from the boys.
"For one thing", said David, "no girl can ride a mobike. Secondly, no girl could hit anything with a gat. Thirdly, elephants don't attack like that. Fourthly, I'd rather die than have my life saved by a mere girl."
"Be just, David", I said. "Remember the women who saved men -- Grace Darling, Joan of Arc, Nurse Cavell, and -- and -- er --"
"You don't know any more", said David, "and women in history don't count. You never see women who can fight and shoot in the 'tec mags., anyway. And look at the chaps that do things. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin. All men. Girls are no use."
"Bump David off in the next chapter", said Evelyn earnestly. "It would be nice if all the boys were killed in the story and only the girls left."
"What about me and Pyecraft?" I asked.
"You could die, but Pyecraft can't die", she said.
"Why not Pyecraft?"
" 'Cos he's a millionaire, and if he dies you'll never be able to tell us another story about him and airships and things."
"Other great writers have killed off their heroes and brought them back to life again", I said.
"Conan Doyle brought back Sherlock Holmes, and Cutcliffe Hyne, Captain Kettle."
"I agree", said Robert, "that it is unwise to kill your hero, but, after all, Pyecraft isn't the hero of this yarn, is he?"
"Who is then?" I asked.
Robert smiled in a very superior way.
"You tell him, Michael", he said to his henchman.
"I'm not quite sure", said Michael, and tried to avoid Robert's glare. "I think we are all heroes, Spike and Fritz and us, but Neill is always the coward. Why do you always make yourself the coward, Neill?"
"Possibly", I said slowly -- "possibly because when I do show myself in my true colours, you'll all come down with an awful bump."

On to Chapter 11

Discussion of chapter 10 of 'The Last Man Alive' by A. S. Neill. This page is protected by copyright.