“It was one thing to use computers as a tool, quite another to let them do your thinking for you.”
“Being a victim is more palatable than having to recognize the intrinsic contradictions of one's own governing philosophy.”
“It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly.”
“In the Soviet Union every worker is a government worker, and they have a saying: As long as the bosses pretend to pay us, we will pretend to work.”
“Danger confronted properly is not something a man must fear.”
“One thing about flying that he never got used to was that no matter how awful the weather was on the ground, if you flew high enough you could always find the sun.”
“The Good of the People was a laudable enough goal, but in denying a man’s soul, an enduring part of his being, Marxism stripped away the foundation of human dignity and individual value. It also cast aside the objective measure of justice and ethics which, he decided, was the principal legacy of religion to civilized life.”
“We wait. No sense spooking him. We let him come in nice and close while we do our famous imitation of a hole in the water,”
“One of the compensations for wearing a uniform and earning less money than an equally talented man can make in the real world is the off chance of being killed.”
“The only people Ryan needed to impress were those who knew him; he cared little for the rest.”
“one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly.” The president smiled. “Well, they’ve had enough time to play this game. I hope my belated reaction will not disappoint them.” “No, sir. Alex must have half expected you to kick him out the door.” “The thought’s occurred to me more than once. His diplomatic charm has always been lost on me. That’s the one thing about the Russians—they remind me so much of the mafia chieftains I used to prosecute. The same smattering of culture and good manners, and the same absence of morality.” The president shook his head. He was talking like a hawk again. “Stay close, Jeff. I have George Farmer coming in here in a few minutes, but I want you around when our friend comes back.” Pelt walked back to his office pondering the president’s remark. It was, he admitted to himself, crudely accurate. The most wounding insult to an educated Russian was to be”
“The Good of the People was a laudable enough goal, but in denying a man’s soul, an enduring part of his being, Marxism stripped away the foundation of human dignity and individual value.”
“that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly.”
“Yes,’ Smirnov answered, ‘he was on a nuclear-powered submarine.”
“Each of a hundred ships, built by the same men at the same yard to the same plans, will have her own special characteristics--most of them bad, really, but after her crew becomes accustomed to them they are spoken of affectionately, particularly in retrospect.”
“audience, not interrupting once, only darting a few disbelieving looks at him. ‘God Almighty,’ Painter said when Ryan finished. Davenport just stared poker-faced as he contemplated the possibility of examining a Soviet missile sub from the inside. Jack decided he’d be a formidable opponent over cards. Painter went on, ‘Do you really believe this?’ ‘Yes, sir, I do.’ Ryan poured himself another cup of coffee. He would have preferred a beer to go with his corned beef. It hadn’t been bad at all, and good kosher corned beef was something he’d been unable to find in London. Painter leaned back and looked at Davenport. ‘Charlie, you tell Greer to teach this lad a few lessons – like how a bureaucrat ain’t supposed to stick his neck this far out on the block. Don’t you think this is a little far-fetched?’ ‘Josh, Ryan here’s the guy who did the report last June on Soviet missile-sub patrol patterns.’ ‘Oh? That was a nice piece of work. It confirmed something I’ve been saying for two or three years.’ Painter rose and walked to the corner to look out at the stormy sea. ‘So, what are we supposed to do about all this?”
“A wise man knows his limitations.’ And a bold one seizes opportunities.”
“The Good of the People was a laudable enough goal, but in denying a man's soul, an enduring part of his being, Marxism stripped away the foundation of human dignity and individual value.”
“When I think of the causes for which people more commonly give up their lives-nationalism, religion, ethnicity-it seems to me that a thirty-five pound bag of rocks and the lost world it represents, is not such a bad thing to die for.”
“Who’s that?” he exclaimed. “She’s the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen! Why is she so sad? Oh, my whiskers, is she bleeding too? What on earth is wrong with your Twolegs? Why don’t they take better care of you?”
“The saint is a good Welshwoman, and knows her countrymen. We are not quick in respect to rank or riches, we do not doff and bow and scrape when any man flaunts himself before us. We are blunt and familiar even in praise. What we value we value in the heart, and”
“I like fixing things," he said as he worked. "The world is always breaking, here and there, this way and that. Fix a bit of it, and I feel like I'm helping.”
“I want to be married,” I blurted. “I want you to marry me.”
And so my entire carefully constructed speech was thrown out the window. My grandmother’s antique ring was in a box in the dresser—nowhere near me—and my plan to kneel and do everything right just evaporated.
In the circle of my arms, Chloe grew very still. “What did you just say?”
I had completely botched the plan, but it was too late to turn back now.
“I know we have only been together for a little over a year,” I explained, quickly. “Maybe it’s too soon? I understand if it’s too soon. It’s just that how you feel about the way we kiss? I feel that way about everything we do together. I love it. I love to be inside you, I love working with you, I love watching you work, I love fighting with you, and I love just sitting on the couch and laughing with you. I’m lost when I’m not with you, Chloe. I can’t think of anything, or anyone, who is more important to me, every second. And so for me, that means we’re already sort of married in my head. I guess I wanted to make it official somehow. Maybe I sound like an idiot?” I looked over at her, feeling my heart try to jackhammer its way up my throat. “I never expected to feel this way about someone.”
She stared at me, eyes wide and lips parted as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. I stood and ran over to the dresser, pulling the box from the drawer and carrying it over to her. When I opened the box and let her see my grandmother’s antique diamond and sapphire ring, she clapped a hand over her mouth.
“I want to be married,” I said again. Her silence was unnerving, and fuck, I’d completely botched this with my rambling nonsense. “Married to you, I mean.”
Her eyes filled with tears and she held them, unblinking. “You. Are such. An ass.”
Well, that was unexpected. I knew it might be too soon, but an ass? Really? I narrowed my eyes. “A simple ‘It’s too soon’ would have sufficed, Chloe. Jesus. I lay my heart out on the—”
She pushed off the bed and ran over to one of her bags, rummaging through it and pulling out a small blue fabric bag. She carried it back to me with the ribbon hooked over her long index finger, and dangled the bag in my face.
I ask her to marry me and she brings me a souvenir from New York? What the fuck is that? “What the fuck is that?” I asked.
“You tell me, genius.”
“Don’t get smart with me, Mills. It’s a bag. For all I know you have a granola bar, or your tampons, in there.”
“It’s a ring, dummy. For you.”
My heart was pounding so hard and fast I half wondered if this was what a heart attack felt like. “A ring for me?”
She pulled a small box out of the bag and showed it to me. It was smooth platinum, with a line of coarse titanium running through the middle.
“You were going to propose to me?” I asked, still completely confused. “Do women even do that?”
She punched me, hard, in the arm. “Yes, you chauvinist. And you totally stole my thunder.”
“So, is that a yes?” I asked, my bewilderment deepening. “You’ll marry me?”
“You tell me!” she yelled, but she was smiling.
“Technically you haven’t asked yet.”
“Goddamnit, Bennett! You haven’t, either!”
“Will you marry me?” I asked, laughing.
“Will you marry me?”
With a growl, I took the box and dropped it on the floor, flipping her onto her back.”
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