Quotation by Vladimir Nabokov

This way could not serve to reach the peak, so Martin began to climb straight up the face of the rocks. Occasionally some root or moss patch at which he clutched detached itself from the stone, and feverishly he would seek a support with his foot, or else it was his foothold that gave, and he would be left hanging by his hands and have to pull himself painfully up. The peak was almost within reach when he suddenly slipped and started to slither down, clutching at shrublets of rough flowers; he lost his grip, felt a burning pain as his knee scraped against the rock, attempted to embrace the steepness that was gliding up and past him—and abruptly salvation bumped against his soles.
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