Sunday, February 27, 2005


Attributed in its entirety to:
Neal Stephenson
The System of the World,
Vol. III of The Baroque Cycle

"Against those windows he made a perfect Fopp-silhouette, like something snipped out of black paper by an ingenious miniaturist on the Pont-Neuf. From the high-styled ringlets of this periwig down to the bows on his shoes, back up the curves of his well-muscled calves and the perfectly cut skirts of his coat, traveled the eyes of Jack. He wore a scabbard and a small-sword, and Jack thought of flattening him with a swing of the mighty chain, and snatching the weapon. But this would boot him nothing and so to think of it was idle. Jack snapped out of this hyper-violent reverie, and tried to make conversation.
. . .
"'All right, " said Jack, "I knew we'd get around to this, and I am ready for it. You are a tedious and obvious bloke, Mr. White. So I need only ask myself, what's the most tedious and obvious plan that a man could devise? Why, to have me done away with. Not much of a threat, as one month from to-day, I've an appointment with Mr. Jack Ketch at Tyburn Cross; and there is no way you could murder me here that could be worse than how he'll carry it off there. So you are powerless to issue threats. You must, therefore, offer inducements.'"

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