Gorse, driving slowly to nowhere in particular in the middle of England, thought of himself as very much the master of himself and of his car. But he was the deluded victim of both – particularly of his car.
In this attitude toward his car, though, he was not making an error in any way peculiar to himself. It was one shared by the owners of multitudes upon multitudes of other cars which he met or which overtook him on his way.
For it was just about at this period that these vehicles, so strongly resembling beetles if seen from the air, finally took complete control of the country, the countryside, the villages, the roads, the towns and the entire lives of the human beings who dwelt or moved therein.
Gorse was, one might say on that sunny February afternoon, driving unconsciously not into the middle of England – but into the middle of the hideous Land of Coleoptera (the rather sinister name for beetles used by serious students of insects.)
Excerpt from: Patrick Hamilton, Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse (1953)
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