Thursday, September 2, 2010

"It was hard to take him seriously, but the gun helped." More wit and wisdom from Lew Archer

From The Underground Man (1971):

He gave me the tricky look of a half-smart man who had never learned the limits of his own intelligence.
She wasn't the sort of woman you confessed human weakness to.
"It was a shallow grave, ma'am. Girls can do about anything boys can do when they set their minds to it."
I could smell her sun-tan oil, and I felt as if everybody but me was paired off like the animals in the ark.
It was hard to take him seriously, but the gun helped.
His body moved heavily and dolefully, as if it was weighted down by a kind of despair which hadn't yet reached his consciousness.
Her grief still clung to her body like a perfume. She was one of those women whose feminine quality persisted through any kind of emotional weather.
The flesh of his face hung in folds like a bloodhound's dewlaps and made his smile a strange and complex thing.
"He went for women the way some men go deer-hunting -- pitting his skills, you know?"
She had a big friendly body which looked as if it didn't quite know what to do with itself, even after years of practice.
The night was running down like a transplanted heart.
The hot breath of vengeance was growing cold in my nostrils as I grew older.

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