“The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.”
“Nora: "How do you feel?"
Nick: "Terrible. I must've gone to bed sober.”
“She grinned at me. 'You got types?'
'Only you darling - lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.”
“The people who lie the most are nearly always the clumsiest at it, and they're easier to fool with lies than most people, too. You'd think they'd be on the look-out for lies, but they seem to be the very ones that will believe almost anything at all.”
“Nick: "Don't you think maybe a drink would help you to sleep?"
Nora: "No, thanks."
Nick: "Maybe it would if I took one.”
“...I guess I can put two and two together."
"Sometimes the answer's four," I said, "and sometimes it's twenty-two...”
“I'll give you your Christmas present now if you'll give me mine."
I shook my head. "At breakfast."
"But it's Christmas now."
"Whatever you're giving me," she said, "I hope I don't like it."
"You'll have to keep them anyway, because the man at the Aquarium said he positively wouldn't take them back. He said they'd already bitten the tails off the...”
“Listen, darling, tomorrow I'll buy you a whole lot of detective stories, but don't worry your pretty little head over mysteries tonight.”
“How about a drop of something to cut the phlegm?
Why don't you stay sober today?
We didn't come to New York to stay sober.”
“She stared at him dully and said: “I don’t like crooks, and even if I did, I wouldn’t like crooks that are stool-pigeons, and if I liked crooks that are stool-pigeons, I still wouldn’t like you.” She turned to the outer door.”
“Men came in and dragged us apart. It took us five minutes to bring Nora to. She sat up holding her cheek and looked around the room until she saw Morelli, nippers on one wrist, standing between two detectives. Morelli's face was a mess: the coppers had worked him over a little just for the fun of it. Nora glared at me. "You damned fool," she said, "you didn't have to knock me cold. I knew you'd take him, but I wanted to see it."
One of the coppers laughed. "Jesus," he said admiringly, "there's a woman with hair on her chest.”
“I said: "All right, talk, but do you mind putting the gun away? My wife doesn't care, but I'm pregnant and I don't want the child to be born with...”
“He opened the door wider. "He's waiting." He gave me what was probably meant to be a significant wink, but a corner of his mouth moved more than his eye did and the result was a fairly startling face.”
“Don't be so damned patronizing. Your performance so far has been a little less than dazzling."
"I didn't mean no harm," I said and kissed her. "That a new dress?"
"Ah! Changing the subject, you coward.”
“We found a table. Nora said: "She's pretty."
"If you like them like that."
She grinned at me. "You got types?"
"Only you, darling - lanky brunettes with wicked jaws."
"And how about the red-head you wandered off with at Quinns' last night?"
"That's silly," I said. "She just wanted to show me some French etchings.”
“But besides, I haven't the time, I'm too busy trying to see that you don't lose any of the money I married you for.”
“Dorothy's coming up. I think she's tight."
"That's great." I picked up my bathrobe. "I was afraid I was going to have to get some sleep."
She was bending over looking for her slippers. "Don't be such an old fluff. You can sleep all day." She found her slippers and stood up in them. "Is she really as afraid of her mother as she says?"
"If she's got any sense. Mimi's poison."
Nora screwed up her dark eyes at me and asked slowly: "What are you holding out on me?"
"Oh, dear," I said, " I was hoping I wouldn't have to tell you. Dorothy is really my daughter. I didn't know what I was doing, Nora. It was spring in Venice and I was so young and there was a moon over the..."
"Be funny. Don't you want something to eat?”
“You like Nick a lot, don't you, Nora?" Dorothy asked.
"He's an old Greek fool, but I'm used to him."
"Charles isn't a Greek name."
"It's Charalambides," I explained. "When the old man came over, the mugg that put him through Ellis Island said Charalambides was too long...too much trouble to write... and whittled it down to Charles. It was all right with the old man; they could have called him X so they let him in.”
“...It's probably polite to pretend you don't see people coming out of pawnshops, anyhow.”
“...What do you do with all your money?"
"Me and the French hoard gold.”
“She laughed. "All right, all right. Still want to leave for San Francisco tomorrow?"
Not unless you're in a hurry. Let's stick around awhile. This excitement has put us behind in our drinking.”
“How do you feel?" "Terrible. I must've gone to bed sober.”
“Quinn came over to refill his glass. He looked towards the bedroom door. "Where'd you find the little blonde?"
"Used to bounce it on my knee."
"Which knew?" he asked. "Could I touch it?”
“But besides I haven’t the time: I’m too busy trying to see that you don’t lose any of the money I married you for.” I kissed her.”
“I said: "You don't want to pick a fight with me, Mimi."
She looked at me as if she were going to say I love you, and asked: "Is that a threat?”
“My side felt a lot better when Nora called me at noon the next day. "My nice policeman wants to see you," she said. "How do you feel?"
"Terrible. I must've gone to bed sober." I pushed Asta out of the way and got up.”
“Gilbert put down the magazine he was looking at and politely said he hoped I was recovering from my injury. I said I was.
"I've never been hurt, really hurt," he went on, "that I can remember. I've tried hurting myself, of course, but that's not the same thing. It just made me uncomfortable and irritable and sweat a lot."
"That's pretty much the same thing," I said.”
“Nora was eating a piece of cold duck with one hand and working on a jig-saw puzzle with the other when I got home.
"I thought you'd gone to live with her," she said. "You used to be a detective: find me a brownish piece shaped something like a snail with a long neck."
"Piece of duck or puzzle?...”
“Dorothy wants to talk to you. Don't ask her to eat with us."
When Nora returned from the telephone she had a look in her eye. "Now what's up?" I asked.
"Nothing. Just 'how are you' and all that."
I said: "if you're lying to the old man, God'll punish you.”
“Oh, hasn't he told you? The ones before. None of them last, you see. That's the whole point.”
“I’m beside myself with joy. I was worried you were going to ask me another one of your unequal grand questions.’ ‘Why not? I like your unequal grand answers!”
“When a man invents an image that he wants to propagate, that he may even want to substitute for himself, he starts by experimenting, making mistakes, sketching out freaks and other non-viable monsters that he has to tear up unless they disintegrate of their own accord. But the operative image is the one that's left after the person dies or withdraws from the world, as in the case of Socrates, Christ, Saladin, Saint-Just and so on. They succeeded in projecting an image around themselves and into the future. It doesn't matter whether or not the image corresponds to what they were really like: they managed to wrest a powerful image from that reality.”
“This is listening as a martial art, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person. Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do. Once”
“the darkest desire of humankind—to hold absolute power, to control, to command obedience, to eliminate all voices of disagreement and dissent—had found its full expression.”
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