Young women should not go alone on dark nights, even in Oxfordshire. But any prowling maniac would have had more than his work cut out if he had accosted Anathema Device. She was a witch, after all. And precisely because she was a witch, and therefore sensible, she put little faith in protective amulets and spells; she saved it all for the foot-long bread knife which she kept in her belt.
It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.
He didn’t say ‘That’s weird.’ He wouldn’t have said ‘That’s weird’ if a flock of sheep had cycled past playing violins. It wasn’t the sort of thing a responsible engineer said.