I'm thoroughly enjoying Mattie Ross - she is a unique, engaging and forthright character. This book is just full of life:
"I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces? Some preachers will say, well, that is superstitious “claptrap.” My answer is this: Preacher, go to your Bible and read Luke 8: 26-33"
"He said, “The killer has flown to the Territory and is now on the scout there.” “This is what I heard.” “He will find plenty of his own stamp there,” said he. “Birds of a feather. It is a sink of crime. Not a day goes by but there comes some new report of a farmer bludgeoned, a wife outraged, or a blameless traveler set upon and cut down in a sanguinary ambuscade. The civilizing arts of commerce do not flourish there.”
Sanguinary ambuscade? I wish people still talked like that...
29% - This exchange between Mattie & LeBoeuf (LaBeef) made me laugh out loud. Mattie is a pistol.
“I suppose that is you.
Well, if in four months I could not find Tom Chaney with a mark on his face like banished Cain I would not undertake to advise others how to do it.”
“A saucy manner does not go down with me.”
“I will not be bullied.”
He stood up and said, “Earlier tonight I gave some thought to stealing a kiss from you, though you are very young, and sick and unattractive to boot, but now I am of a mind to give you five or six good licks with my belt.”
“One would be as unpleasant as the other,” I replied. “Put a hand on me and you will answer for it. You are from Texas and ignorant of our ways but the good people of Arkansas do not go easy on men who abuse women and children.”
Saucy is an understatement. She's a pistol.
“You do not think much of me, do you, Cogburn?” (LaBoeuf)
“I don’t think about you at all when your mouth is closed.” (Cogburn)
There's also a section of direct and cross-examination of Rooster Cogburn towards the beginning of the book that is delightful, and could potentially be used as part of a law school class on trial practice it's so well done.