Thursday Quotables – The Dain Curse

THE DAIN CURSE (Dashiell Hammett) - Everything about the Leggett diamond heist indicated to the Continental Op that it was an inside job. Gabrielle Dain-Leggett has enough secrets to fill a closet, and when she disappears shortly after the robbery, she becomes the Op's prime suspect. He doesn't imagine what the future has in store for him

The Dain Curse (Dashiell Hammett)I asked him if he knew Eric Collinson. He said he did; there was nothing to know about him except that he was engaged to Gabrielle Leggett, that his father was the lumber Collinson, and that Eric was Princeton, stocks and bonds, and hard-ball, a nice boy.

‘Maybe,’ I said, ‘but he liked me.’

‘Isn’t that like a sleuth?’ Fitzstephan shook his head, grinning. ‘You must have had the wrong fellow – somebody impersonating him. The Chevalier Bayard doesn’t lie, and, besides, lying requires imagination. You’ve – oh, wait! Was a woman involved in your question?’

I nodded.

‘You’re correct, then,’ Fitzstephan assured. ‘I apologize. The Chevalier Bayard always lies when a woman is involved, even if it’s unnecessary  and put her through a lot of trouble. It’s one of the convention of Bayardism, something  to do with guarding her honor or the like. Who was the woman?’

‘Gabrielle Leggett,’ I said, and told him all I knew about the Leggetts, the diamond and the dead man in the Golden Gate Avenue. Disappointment deepened in his face while I talked.

‘That’s trivial, dull,’ he complained when I was finished. ‘I’ve been thinking of Leggett in terms of Dumas, and you bring me a piece of gimcrackery out of O. Henry. You’ve let me down, you and your shabby diamond.’

THE DANE CURSE by Dashiell Hammett - A very peculiar #noir detective story Click To Tweet

quotation-marks4Because I’m writing the Twenties and because I like mysteries, I of course wind up reading Dashiell Hammett. I can’t say that something clicked with him, which is kind of a shame, but there are things I do like about him. Definitely his style, which is essential in the extreme, but very effective, really natural-sounding and loaded with era lingo, which is certainly a bonus for me.

I also like his ability to create peculiar characters. Fitzstephan is sure one of these. A novelist with a sharp mind and an egocentric personality, a sharp wit… and a few secrets. He was the most fascinating in the book. I enjoyed all the episodes where he appears.

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THE DAIN CURSE (Dashiell Hammett) - Everything about the Leggett diamond heist indicated to the Continental Op that it was an inside job. Gabrielle Dain-Leggett has enough secrets to fill a closet, and when she disappears shortly after the robbery, she becomes the Op's prime suspect. He doesn't imagine what the future has in store for him

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About the Author

jazzfeathers
I was born, raised and I still live near Verona (Italy), though I worked for a time in Dublin. I started writing fantasy stories as a kid. Today I’m a bookseller who reads fantasy, history, mythology, anthropology and lots of speculative fiction. Somehow, all of this has found its way into my own dieselpunk stories.

2 Comments on "Thursday Quotables – The Dain Curse"

  1. A long one, but still a good one:)
    Follow my blog if you don’t mind http://booksoverall.blogspot.com

    • Ah, you know. Sometimes a sentence is a good quote, like your ones, soemtimes you go for a differeetn mood. Here, I’m trying to give an impression of Fitzshephan character and I needed a few words 🙂

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