Wanna play a game?
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"The man smiled a little and said, "I'm going to make a speech." He cleared his throat and cocked his head. "The agreements of human society embrace not only protection against murder, but thousands of other things, and it is certainly true that in America the whites have excluded the blacks from some of the benefits of those agreements."
"A man condemning the income tax because of the annoyance it gives him or the expense in puts him to is merely a dog baring its teeth, and he forfeits the privileges of civilized discourse. But it is permissible to criticize it on other and impersonal grounds. A Government, like an individual, spends money for any or all of three reasons: because it needs to, because it wants to, or simply because it has it to spend. The last is much the shabbiest."
I had to bat my brains for the title, but I remember Archie's opening quote - 'It's bleak, sir. If that means what I think it means. Bleak!'
But I forget myself, and must apologise: I have forfeited the privilege of civilised discourse.
"I suppose it was badly phrased, but husbands who try to go on steering when the car is upside down in the ditch always aggravate me."
Edited to remove excess punctuation!
Another clue: it is a novel, and not a novella.
AG - I don't give up that easily, though I like getting more clues. The Mother Hunt
Another clue. Hm. A smorgasbord for Archie ;) (The novel is probably not one of the more oft-read titles, but I enjoyed it!)
She wasn't much of a wife. Your phrase. Granting that no woman is much of a wife, did she have distinctive flaws?
He shut his syes for a long moment, opened them, and said. "She's dead."
And now I can't remember the book where Wolfe mentions he was once married (he had to 'skedaddle' from her, didn't he? The Black Mountain?)
You are correct in that it
is Wolfe speaking to a client
whose wife is dead.
I never thought that he was married to the woman who bathed his temples in a cool liquid infused with poison.
But, no, it's not The Black Mountain.
It was a shorter story, one in a collection of three.
And it all started with haberdashery.
Had to check that spelling!
I've been exploring my books, Eeny, Meeny, Murder Mo from Homicide Trinity? I don't know if it's about haberdashery, but the first few paragraphs involve a dilemma about one of Wolfe's neckties which had me giggling.
I didn't remember that there had been one about one of Wolfe's neckties!
Shall I say what it is?
Then you do one.
Don't want to stop the game.
Let's see if etrainer, AG, cogitno will weigh in as to whether or not we should move on. In the mean time...one more hint?