Why does he call you spider?""It’s a little out of date, actually. When I first met Engels — when I first fell in with that whole crowd, in fact — I would sit with a book in my lap, or something else that I wasn’t really paying attention to, so that I could pretend to be doing something else while I listened to the arguments. One evening someone said something particularly indefensible. And I’d got so comfortable that I objected out loud.”James was smiling, too, his head a little to one side as if he were watching the past as I described it.“In the awful silence that followed — no, don’t laugh, it really was awful at the time — Engels said, “I believe our spider has finished her web. Think before you speak, my friends. Fools are her lawful prey.”“Sitting in corners, observing everything, catching everything, and never letting it get away.” James shook his head, still smiling. “You must be the only woman on the face of the earth who understands that that’s a compliment.