It's too hot to go to the beach, so here is an excuse to browse about bookshelves and libraries to find the 41 novels represented in this story by their concluding sentences. Each sentence is complete and none has been altered in any way. You have almost a month to ferret them out and perhaps go on to read or reread a whole book or two. Six winners will be chosen.

SO WE BEAT on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. I been there before. And now notwithstanding all the Fatigues, and all the Miseries we have both gone thro', we are both in good Heart and Health; my husband remained there sometime after me to settle our Affairs, and at first I had intended to go back to him, but at his desire I alter'd that Resolution, and he is come over to England also, where we resolve to spend the Remainder of our Years in sincere Penitence, for the wicked Lives we have lived. Now everybody --

I would have set out for London immediately after receiving this piece of intelligence, but my dear angel had been qualmish of late, and begins to grow remarkable round in the waist, so that I cannot leave her in such an interesting situation, which I hope will produce something to crown my felicity. Perhaps, so she liked to think, his career was biding its time, again like Grant's in Galena; his latest note was post-marked from Hornell, New York, which is some distance from Geneva and a very small town; in any case he is almost certainly in that section of the country, in one town or another. His father and grandfather could probably no more understand his state of mind than they could understand Chinese, but those who knew him intimately do not know that they wish him greatly different from what he actually is. There had been some luck about it, I admit, but after all he is indebted for most of his good fortune to his own good qualities.

I lingered round them, under that benigned sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth. He feels it himself, and says often that he is "preparing to leave all this; preparing to leave . . . " while he waves his hand sadly at his butterflies. "Terminal." The small company, minus Russell, entered the yellow, unprepossessing door and disappeared. But the boy had already swung the door open and put his lips to his hand before the other could give himself a name. He died the same day that the oldest oak on his native hills was blown down.

As soon as they had the strength they arose, joined hands again, and went on. A hundred miles down the road. And oh! when they two, who have never joined hands on this earth, go to meet John and Alice -- which God grant may be at one and the same time -- what weeping there will be among God's poor. "I don't believe that," he answered. She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously. For there she was. But taking a glance at the others of her late company of actors, she compresses her lips. Perceiving her husband to rise, and carefully collect the papers in a bundle, before he left the room, Cecilia made no further remark at the time, nor was the subject ever revived between them.

She walked him away with her, however, as if she had given him now the key to patience. She saw in the rainbow the earth's new architecture, the old, brittle corruption of houses and factories swept away, the world built up in a living fabric of Truth, fitting to the over-arching heaven.

A COCK and a BULL, said Yorick -- And one of the best of its kind, I ever heard. His grave face was unchanged, and his sun-browned hands lay palms upward as though in sleep. That is just how Richard looks, as he lies there silent in his bed -- striving to image her on his brain. He could feel his heart beating against the pine needle floor of the forest. He was the only person caught in the collapse, and afterward, most of his work was recovered too, and it is still spoken of, when it is noted, with high regard, though seldom played. When I look at it my chagrin at the loss of the letters becomes almost intolerable.

We walked toward the faintly humming, glowing town quickly. I don't hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I don't. I don't! I don't hate it! I don't hate it! Yet, as he stood for the last time by the angels of his father's porch, it seemed as if the Square already was far and lost; or, I should say, he was like a man who stands upon a hill above the town he has left, yet does not say "The town is near," but turns his eyes upon the distant soaring ranges. "Hang loose," he says, and pulling down his mask, trots back behind home plate.

AND THUS, pursuers and pursued flew on over an endless sea. "Seems like a lifetime." Some day it may seem worthwhile to take up the story of the younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they turned out to be; therefore it will be wisest not to reveal any of that part of their lives at present. Something further may follow of this masquerade.

In your rocking chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel. The aromatic leaves are useful in cookery, and you can cure your cat with the berries.

Don Stoddard is coordinator for academic programs and institutional approval, the Division of Academic Affairs, Maryland State Board for Higher Education.

The following authors contributed one sentence or more to the story:

Horatio Alger Jr., John Barth, Emily Bronte , Anthony Burgess, Samuel Butler, George Washington Cable, Joseph Conrad, James Fenimore Cooper, Robert Coover, Daniel Defoe, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Gaddis, Graham Greene, Thomas Hardy, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, P.F. Kluge, D.H. Lawrence, Carson McCullers, Herman Melville, George Meredith, Thomas Pynchon, Tobias Smollett, John Steinbeck, Laurence Sterne, Mark Twain, Thomas Wolfe, Virginia Woolf.

Number your answers 1 to 41, and list author and titles beside the appropriate number. Mail entries to Summer Bonus Book Bag, Book World, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071. Up to three people may collaborate on one entry. Six winning entries will be chosen -- the first six correct entries drawn at random. Employes of The Washington Post Company and their families are not eligible to enter. Entries must be received by September 9 at 5.00 p.m. The winners' names and cities of residence will be announced in the September 20 Book World. A Washington Post Book World book bag and a copy of a recent novel will be sent to each winner.