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On the other hand, I love Raymond Chandler - Elf M. Sternberg
On the other hand, I love Raymond Chandler
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler remains one of my favorite books. I dipped into it last night (story idea, kinda twisted, probably nothing to see the light of day) when I recalled this wonderful piece of dialog. Philip Marlowe has accepted a contract from wealthy oilman, General Sternwood, to do a little digging. He has just left the general's office and encounters the butler, who invites Marlowe to talk to the General's daughter, who, according to the General, "has the morals of a cat":
"Miss Sterwood would like to see you before you leave, sir. And in the matter of money the General has instructed me to give you a check for whatever seems desirable."
     "Instructed you how?"
     He looked puzzled, then he smiled. "Ah, I see, sir. You are, of course, a detective. By the way he rang his bell."
     "You write his checks?"
     "I have that privilege."
     "That ought to save you from a pauper's grave. No money now, thanks. What does Miss Sternwood want to see me about?"
     His blue eyes gave me a smooth level look. "She has a misconception of the purpose of your visit, sir."
     "Who told her anything about my visit?"
     "Her windows command the greenhouse. She saw us go in. I was obliged to tell her who you were."
     "I don't like that," I said.
     His blue eyes frosted. "Are you attempting to tell me my duties, sir?"
     "No. But I'm having a lot of fun trying to guess what they are."
Damn, nobody can write like that anymore.

Current Mood: amused amused

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ewhac From: ewhac Date: September 4th, 2007 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
His blue eyes frosted.

Wonderful choice of verb.

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