Whenever, during the summer, he took a party of students abroad under his genial wing, catastrophic event attended him. As he sat sipping his vermouth and introducing himself to tourists at the Flore or the Deux Magots, the boys and girls under his guidance were being robbed, eloping to Italy, losing their passports, slipping off to Monte Carlo, seeking out an abortionist, deciding to turn queer, cabling the decision to their parents, while he took out his watch and wondered why they were late in meeting him for the expedition to Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
-- Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy, which is on the Anthony Burgess list of Top 99 novels. Every sentence in this book is a gem. It is a short book, but I keep rereading sentences over and over because they are so wonderful.
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