joi, 5 iulie 2012

[...] it didn't seem to affect her any more than water affects Boulder Dam [...]

"I bet you looked like a dream," I said.
"You're not getting a little tight, are you?"
"I've been known to be soberer."
She put her head back and went off into a peal of laughter. I have only known four women in my life who could do that and still look beautiful. She was one of them.
"Newton is okey," I said. "His type don't run with hoodlums. That's just guessing, though. How about the footman?"
She thought and remembered, then shook her head. "He didn't see me."
"Anybody ask you to wear the jade?"
Her eyes instantly got more guarded. "You're not fooling me a damn bit," she said.
She reached for my glass to refill it. I let her have it, even though it still had an inch to go. I studied the lovely lines of her neck.
When she had filled the glasses and we were playing with them again I said, "Let's get the record straight and then I'll tell you something. Describe the evening."
She looked at her wrist watch, drawing a full length sleeve back to do it. "I ought to be --"
"Let him wait."
Her eyes flashed at that. I liked them that way. "There's such a thing as being just a little too frank," she said.
"Not in my business. Describe the evening. Or have me thrown out on my ear. One or the other. Make your lovely mind up."
"You'd better sit over here beside me."
"I've been thinking that a long time," I said. "Ever since you crossed your legs, to be exact."
She pulled her dress down. "These damn things are always up around your neck."
I sat beside her on the yellow leather chesterfield. "Aren't you a pretty fast worker?" she asked quietly.
I didn't answer her.
"Do you do much of this sort of thing?" she asked with a sidelong look.
"Practically none. I'm a Tibetan monk, in my spare time."
"Only you don't have any spare time."
"Let's focus," I said. "Let's get what's left of our minds-- or mine -- on the problem. How much are you going to pay me?"
"Oh, that's the problem. I thought you were going to get my necklace back. Or try to."
"I have to work in my own way. This way." I took a long drink and it nearly stood me on my head. I swallowed a little air.
"And investigate a murder," I said.
"That has nothing to do with it. I mean that's a police affair, isn't it?"
"Yeah -- only the poor guy paid me a hundred bucks to take care of him -- and I didn't. Makes me feel guilty. Makes we want to cry.
Shall I cry?"
"Have a drink." She poured us some more Scotch. It didn't seem to affect her any more than water affects Boulder Dam.

Raymond Chandler, "Farewell, My Lovely"


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