One of the servants had reported that Daisy had been sneaking around the house at night, deliberately tripping all the traps to keep the mice from being killed. "Is this true, daughter?" Thomas Bowman had rumbled, his gaze filled with ire as he stared at Daisy. "It could be," she had allowed. "But there is another explanation." "And what is that?" Bowman had asked sourly. Her tone turned congratulatory. "I think we are hosting the most intelligent mice in New York!
Bowman turned his back on her and began to search the place methodically and exhaustively. When one searches any place, be it a gypsy caravan or a baronial mansion, methodically and exhaustively, one has to wreck it completely in the process.So, in a orderly and systematic fashion, Bowman set about reducing Czerda's caravan to a total ruin.
As Marcus considered various ways to open the subject of Daisy, Swift surprised him with a blunt statement. "My lord, there is something I would like to discuss with you." Marcus adopted a pleasantly encouraging expression. "Very well." "It turns out that Miss Bowman and I have reached an... understanding. After considering the logical advantages on both sides, I have made a sensible and pragmatic decision that we should""" "How long have you been in love with her?" Marcus interrupted, inwardly amused. Swift let out a tense sigh. "Years," he admitted.
Bowman was aware of some changes in his behavior patterns; it would have been absurd to expect anything else in the circumstances. He could no longer tolerate silence; except when he was sleeping, or talking over the circuit to Earth, he kept the ship's sound system running at almost painful loudness. / At first, needing the companionship of the human voice, he had listened to classical plays-especially the works of Shaw, Ibsen, and Shakespeare-or poetry readings from Discovery's enormous library of recorded sounds. The problems they dealt with, however, seemed so remote, or so easily resolved with a little common sense, that after a while he lost patience with them. / So he switched to opera-usually in Italian or German, so that he was not distracted even by the minimal intellectual content that most operas contained. This phase lasted for two weeks before he realized that the sound of all these superbly trained voices was only exacerbating his loneliness. But what finally ended this cycle was Verdi's Requiem Mass, which he had never heard performed on Earth. The "Dies Irae, " roaring with ominous appropriateness through the empty ship, left him completely shattered; and when the trumpets of Doomsday echoed from the heavens, he could endure no more. / Thereafter, he played only instrumental music. He started with the romantic composers, but shed them one by one as their emotional outpourings became too oppressive. Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, lasted a few weeks, Beethoven rather longer. He finally found peace, as so many others had done, in the abstract architecture of Bach, occasionally ornamented with Mozart. / And so Discovery drove on toward Saturn, as often as not pulsating with the cool music of the harpsichord, the frozen thoughts of a brain that had been dust for twice a hundred years.
Arthur C. Clarke