But before death (nobody spoke of such things, yet everybody knew of them) there was the routine of confession that had to be gone through: the grovelling on the floor and screaming for mercy, the crack of broken bones, the smashed teeth, and bloody clots of hair.
I saw them gradually worn down, whimpering, grovelling, weeping — and in the end it was not with pain or fear, only with penitence.
He felt the smash of truncheons on his elbows and iron-shod boots on his shins; he saw himself grovelling on the floor, screaming for mercy through broken teeth.
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She wasn’t content just to win. She wanted to see me grovel.
Hoping for mercy, she dropped to the floor and groveled.