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: As soon as I heard that girl's voice, I knew the devil was around.
: Cicero warns us that the more laws a country has, the less justice there will be.
: I carry this fat to insulate my feelings.
: Money and morals are barely on speaking terms.
: You are disheveled. Archie
: Also dislumbered. Also disgruntled.
: You say, "stop him." I take it you mean, compel the FBI to stop annoying you? Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: Yes. Nero Wolfe
: How? Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: I don't know. Nero Wolfe
: Nor do I. No, madam. You invited it, and you have it. Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: [trying to goad Wolfe
] I thought you were afraid of nobody and nothing. Nero Wolfe
] I can dodge folly without backing into fear.
Mrs. Rachel Bruner
] Is there anything you can't do? Nero Wolfe
: Yes, madame, there is. I couldn't put sense into a fool's brain if I tried.
Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: Do I need to tell you who I am? Nero Wolfe
: Mr. Goodwin named you, and I read newspapers. Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: I know you do. I know a great deal about you. That's why I'm here. I want you to do something perhaps no other man alive could do. You read books too? Have you read one entitled "The F.B.I. Nobody Knows?" Nero Wolfe
: Yes. Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: Did it impress you? Nero Wolfe
] Yes. Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: Favorably? Nero Wolfe
: Yes. Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: My goodness, you're curt. Nero Wolfe
: I answered your questions, madam. Mrs. Rachel Bruner
: I know you did. I can be curt, too.
: Pay no attention, Fritz! We still have plenty of ham left? Fritz Brenner
: Yes, sir! Nero Wolfe
] Nero Wolfe
: Sandwiches for us, for the guests in the front room...
] Nero Wolfe
: but not for the police! The police shall receive no sandwiches!
: I nearly cracked my head using my brains.
: The police shall receive NO SANDWICHES!
Frank Erskine Sr.
: What opinions have you formed about it? Nero Wolfe
: Opinions from experts cost money, Mr. Erskine.
: I resent your tone, your diction, your manners, and your methods.
: Of all the species, man is the only species who knows in advance what will kill him... his insatiable curiosity.
: [addressing the suspects
] To get rid of the baby, she enlisted the help of a friend - a man. Let's call him X. Manuel Upton
] Make it Z. X is overworked.
: It is nonsense to suspect me. Nero Wolfe
: Nothing is nonsense concerning the vagaries of human conduct.
: Nothing corrupts a man so deeply as writing a book.
] I fully expect you to lie! A fool could solve a case if everyone told the truth!
: All I want is a talk with you people. May I sit down? Mr. Joseph Pitcairn
, Donald Pitcairn
, Sybil Pitcairn
: No! Nero Wolfe
: I must overrule you.
: [after he has fallen while tangled in brush
] It was as if a serpent had entangled my legs! Archie Goodwin
: Get up. Get up. GET UP! Nero Wolfe
: Did you see that? Did you witness that? Saul? Saul Panzer
: Yeah, I saw it, Mr. Wolfe. He went for 'ya.
: [demanding to know about the Van Gogh painting on the wall
] I'm the inquisator, Miss Hart, not you! Where did you get that piece? Alice Hart
: That's none of yer business! Nero Wolfe
] It most certainly is not, but I will tell you that there will be no limit to my impertinence with you!
: By 8 o'clock Wolfe had put away three orders of chili con carne at a little dump in Harlem, where a guy named Dixie knew how to make it. Nero Wolfe
: Chili is one of the great peasant foods. It is one of the few contributions America has to world cuisine. Eaten with corn bread, sweet onion, sour cream, it contains all five of the elements deemed essential by the sages of the Orient: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter. It begins...
: Did Leonard Ashe say anything else to you?
[pause as Wolfe is contemplating his answer
] D.A. Mandelbaum
: Mr. Wolfe? Nero Wolfe
: I would like to be sure I understand the question. Do you mean, what he said that day, or on a later occasion? D.A. Mandelbaum
: That day, of course. But... what other occasion? Nero Wolfe
: Are you asking me? D.A. Mandelbaum
: In your deposition, you swore you hadn't met Leonard Ashe before or after July 13th. Nero Wolfe
: That was true then. We met again. D.A. Mandelbaum
: When? Nero Wolfe
: In this building at half past eight this morning. D.A. Mandelbaum
: You met and spoke with the defendant in this building at half past eight this morning, today? Nero Wolfe
: His wife arranged to see him, and she allowed me to accompany her. D.A. Mandelbaum
: Was Mr. Donovan, the defense counsel, present? Nero Wolfe
: No,sir. Jimmy Donovan
: Your Honor, I would like to state for the record that I knew nothing of this. D.A. Mandelbaum
: Don't you know that it's a misdemeanor for a witness for the state to speak with a defendant charged with a felony? Nero Wolfe
: We didn't discuss my testimony. D.A. Mandelbaum
: What did you discuss? Nero Wolfe
: Matters which I thought would be of interest to him. D.A. Mandelbaum
: What exactly did you say, Mr. Wolfe? Archie Goodwin
: *narrating* The fat son of a gun had put it over. Having asking him directly, Mandelbaum couldn't possibly keep Wolfe's theories from the jury unless Jimmy Donovan was a sap. Judge Corbett
: Do you wish to withdraw the question, Mr. Mandelbaum? D.A. Mandelbaum
: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I'm absolutely fascinated, you didn't discuss your testimony, what did you discuss?
: I have nothing to lie about. Nero Wolfe
: Phooey! Everybody has something to lie about!
: A woman who is not a fool is dangerous.
: I have been in this company 62 years. In 1933, when I was made Vice-President by Nathan Eads, he promised me that one day I would be given a substantial share in the corporation. In 1942 he died, and when his will was read, I found he had broken his promise to me, and so I decided to kill his daughter Priscilla. She was 15 years old. I decided to strangle her. Viola Duday
] Bernie! Sarah Jaffee
] My God! Nero Wolfe
: I even worked out the details - where to find a rope, how to employ it, what to do with afterward, and I practiced... I practiced by strangling myself. Nero Wolfe
: [coughs while Wolfe nods in understanding
] But that was ten years ago, and in the end, I finally came to my senses. I didn't kill her then and... Oh, what's the point? I'm too old, my children are grown, and I have everything I need. Nero Wolfe
] Oh, perhaps you should have strangled yourself.
: So what happens today? Mr. Rowcliff took advantage of the absence of Mr. Goodwin whom he fears and petulantly envies and entered my house by force. Lieutenant Rowcliff
: That's a lie! I rang - ! Nero Wolfe
: SHUT UP! Nero Wolfe
] He was ass enough to think I would speak with him. Naturally, I ordered him out. And when I persisted in my refusal, I turned to leave... Nero Wolfe
] ... and he put a hand on me! He then took me into custody, under warrant, conducted me out of my home, and in a rickety old police car, with a headstrong and paroxysmal driver, brought me to this building. I had assumed charitably that it was some major misapprehension that had driven Mr. Rowcliff to this frenzied zeal. But I learned from you, Mr. Bowen, that it was merely a fit of nincompoopery! That you - you think that I have a client. That I know something you don't know and would like to and that you can bully it out of me. Well, you can't! I haven't got it! But you are correct in assuming that I have a client, I do. Lieutenant Rowcliff
: I knew it! Nero Wolfe
: As you may know, Mr. Goodwin is not indifferent to those attributes of young women which constitute the chief reliance of our race in our gallant struggle against the menace of the insects. He is also... especially vulnerable to young women who have a knack for stimulating his love of chivalry and adventure. Priscilla Eads was such a woman. Within hours of her eviction by him at my behest, she was brutally murdered. He then bounded out of my house, like a man obsessed, after telling me he was going single-handedly after the murderer. It was... pathetic. But also, thoroughly admirable. And your callous and churlish treatment of him leave me with no alternative: I am at his service. Lieutenant Rowcliff
: You mean Archie Goodwin is your client? District Attorney T. Bowen
: All that rigamarole was leading up to that? Archie Goodwin
: [kicks door open
] I'm hungry. I had a soda fountain lunch. I could eat a porcupine with quills on it. Let's go home.
[Wolfe and Goodwin walk to the door. Wolfe taps Archie on the shoulder. They stop and turn around
] Nero Wolfe
: [to Rowcliff and Bowen
] A paradise for puerility!
: Archie, don't try to think. You'll injure yourself.
: If Orrie killed that woman, we are not obliged to thwart the agents of justice. If he didn't kill her, I have an obligation I can't ignore. You know I have no affection for him. The question is, is he capable of murder? Did he kill this woman? Fred. You have known Orrie longer than I have. What do you say? Fred Durkin
: Jesus. Archie Goodwin
: Oh, that's helpful. Did he kill her? Fred Durkin
: I say he didn't. Nero Wolfe
: Is that your considered opinion? Fred Durkin
: To be honest, no. Orrie has always done whatever he felt like with women, and they've let him. So if this Isabel Kerr got in his way, really blocked it... Well, I don't know. I mean I think I know. He didn't. Nero Wolfe
: That's hardly decisive. Saul? Saul Panzer
: No. Nero Wolfe
: Is that an opinion, or a gesture? Saul Panzer
: A conclusion. Make it fifty to one. I'm not saying I'm superior to Archie. He's just not conceited enough to see it. Nero Wolfe
: Pfui. That is flummery. Saul Panzer
: No, sir. Say he did plan to kill her. That means when he planned the break-in with Archie on Friday night, he was setting Archie up to find the body. There's no way that he would deliberately arrange to sit facing him and frame a deal like that. Archie Goodwin
: All right, cross it off. Let's say he went there Saturday morning, no matter why. And she stung him. And he flipped. Saul Panzer
: And he killed her. Okay. He goes back to his tailing job. Mr. Wolfe, did Archie get any phone calls yesterday? Nero Wolfe
: No. Saul Panzer
: Yeah. That's what settles it. Archie Goodwin
: Good. Wonderful. Explain. Saul Panzer
: What is Orrie's worst fault? Archie Goodwin
: He pushes. Saul Panzer
: Exactly. And you called him. If he had killed her he wouldn't wait for you to call, he would have pushed. He would have called you. Damn it, he's not some stranger that we have to guess about; we know him like a book. Mr. Wolfe, if you want to use me, it's on me, expenses included. I have no more affection for Orrie than you have, but I would want to back up my vote. Fred Durkin
: Me too. I voted no. Archie Goodwin
: The trouble is, I'm personally involved. But I would hate to embarrass Saul, so I guess I'll have to switch and vote no, too. Nero Wolfe
: Grrrhhh. Archie Goodwin
] It was hard to take. The idea of working for nothing.
: Fat coward! Nero Wolfe
: I hired this man, not out of cowardice but conceit. I am insufferably conceited. Should I be killed, I doubted that the murderer would ever be caught.
Mrs. Rachael Bruner
: I'd heard that Nero Wolfe wasn't afraid of anything. Nero Wolfe
: One can retreat from folly without backing into fear.
: A modern satyr is part man, part pig, part jack-ass. He hasn't even the charm of the roguish; he doesn't lean gracefully against a tree with flute in hand. The only quality he has preserved from his Attic ancestors is his lust, and he gratifies it in the dark corners of other men's beds or hotel rooms, not in the shade of an olive tree on a sunny hillside. The preposterous bower of carnality you have described is a sorry makeshift, but at least Mr. Yeager tried. A pig and a jack-ass yes, but the flute strain was in him too, as it once was in me, in my youth. No doubt he deserved to die, but I would welcome a sufficient inducement to expose his killer.
: [gleefully to the murderer
] This is not the trap. The trap has already been sprung and you are caught in it. My rancor is appeased. Inspector Cramer
: [impatiently, taking the prisoner away
] That's enough of that! I didn't agree to let you preach all night!
: Nothing is as pitiable as a man afraid of a woman. Is he guiless?
: How are you? Nero Wolfe
: I am the way I always am before lunch - hungry!
: Christmas - an excuse for wretched excess aptly symbolized by an elephantine elf who delivers gifts to the whole world in one night.
: [to Police Captain Jasper Colvin
] I resent your tone, your diction, your manner and your methods!