It was dark below, but an even, glowing light still remained in the diner, as in a small pool left behind by a receding tide.
The things she had endured had now receded into some outer fog, like pain that still exists, but has no power to hurt.
Then it did not matter to him any longer, it all receded into some outer distance, leaving only the thought that he was willing to bear anything-leaving him in a state which was both tension and peace-because he lay in bed, his face pressed to the pillow, thinking of Dagny, of her slender, sensitive body stretched beside him, trembling under the touch of his fingers.
Then the black mass barring the road in the distance took shape, it was not mere darkness and it did not recede as he came closer-it was a mob squirming at the main gate, trying to storm the mills.
The men backed out in silence and went on backing toward the exit door, then stopped uncertainly, one after another, at random points of the garret, as if abandoned by a receding tide.
There was a cold wind outside, tightening his overcoat about him like an embrace, there was the great, fresh sweep of country stretching at the foot of the hill, and the clear, receding sky of twilight.
The needles on the dials kept coming close to the red marks, then receding: the machine was calculated to inflict the maximum intensity of pain without damaging the body of the victim.
The towns were like scattered puddles, left behind by a receding tide, still holding some precious drops of electricity, but drying out in a desert of rations, quotas, controls and power-conservation rules.
He was aware-with an abnormal clarity-of the place, the woman’s name, and everything it implied, but all of it had receded into some outer ring and had become a pressure that left him alone in the center, as the ring’s meaning and essence-and his only reality was the desire to have this woman, now, here, on top of the flatcar in the open sun-to have her before a word was spoken between them, as the first act of their meeting, because it would say everything and because they had earned…
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Her unhappy childhood memories receded as she grew older.