By Gene Wolfe
L’Épée du licteur (titre unique : The Sword of the Lictor) est un roman de Gene Wolfe publié en 1982. Il reçoit le prix Locus du meilleur roman de fable en 1983. Il est le troisième tome d'une pentalogie intitulée Le Livre du moment soleil de Teur ou Le Livre du nouveau soleil selon les éditeurs.
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Extra info for L'épée du licteur (Le Livre du Nouveau Soleil, Livre 3)
I rasped. ” He followed me, almost mechanically, into the dining room. “Take some whiskey,” I said, pouring out a stiff dose. He drank it. Then abruptly he sat down before the table, put his head on his arms, and began to sob and weep like a little boy, in a perfect passion of emotion, while I, with a curious forgetfulness of my own recent despair, stood beside him, wondering. What horrors had this military man seen to break him so? It was a long time before he could steady his nerves to answer my questions, and then he answered perplexingly and brokenly.
It was only later I realised that those I had passed were dead and that indeed the infection of the dead plague was spreading far quicker than even the mad journalist had predicted. From Ripley until I came through Pyrford I was in the valley of the Wey, and the red glare was hidden from me. As I ascended the little hill beyond Pyrford Church the glare came into view again, and the trees about me shivered with the first intimation of the storm that was upon me. Then I heard midnight pealing out from Pyrford Church behind me, and then came the silhouette of Maybury Hill, with its treetops and roofs black and sharp against the red.
His yellow teeth snapped at me as I pressed an arm under his chin to keep his mouth at bay. I felt his hands clawing upon the shoulders of my coat as I forced the pistol up and pressed it to his forehead. I squeezed the trigger and the gun bucked in my hand, discharging its brand of death into his skull. His blood sprayed onto me. I leaped to my feet, brushing it off with panicked hands. I ran back to my transportation and prepared to flee, fearing where there was one of the dead there would be others, but then abruptly my attention was arrested by something that was moving rapidly down the opposite slope of Maybury Hill.