All right, you. Stand straight. Pull your belly in. Pull your chin in. Keep your shoulders back. Hold your head level. Look straight front. Turn left. Turn right. Face front again and hold your hands out. Palms up. Palms down. Pull your sleeves back. No visible scars. Hair dark brown, some gray. Eyes brown. Height six feet, one half inch. Weight about one ninety. Name Philip Marlowe. Occupation private detective. Well, well, nice to see you, Marlowe. That’s all. Next man.” Much obliged, Captain. Thanks for the time. You forgot to have me open my mouth. I have some nice inlays and one very high-class porcelain jacket crown. Eighty-seven dollars worth of porcelain jacket crown. You forgot to look inside my nose too, Captain. A lot of scar tissue in there for you. Septum operation and was that guy a butcher! Two hours of it in those days. I hear they do it in twenty minutes now. I got it playing football, Captain, a slight miscalculation in an attempt to block a punt. I blocked the guy’s foot instead—after he kicked the ball. Fifteen yards penalty, and that’s about how much stiff bloody tape they pulled out of my nose an inch at a time the day after the operation. I’m not bragging, Captain. I’m just telling you. It’s the little things that count.
Era como alguien que uno encuentra en un barco y llega a conocer muy bien aunque, al mismo tiempo, no lo conozca en absoluto. Se había ido de la misma forma que el pasajero que se despide en el muelle diciendo "nos veremos pronto, viejo", y uno sabe que jamás se volverán a ver. Y si es que se vuelven a ver, él será una persona completamente diferente, sólo otro rotario en su coche. "¿Cómo andan los negocio? ¡Oh!, no están mal. Tiene buen aspecto. Lo mismo usted. Aumenté mucho de peso. ¿Acaso todos no aumentamos? ¿Se acuerda de aquel viaje en el Granconia (¡o el nombre que tuviera!). ¡Oh!, claro, hermoso viaje, ¿no?"Al diablo si fue un hermoso viaje. Estabas mordalmente aburrido. Sólo comenzaste a hablar con aquel tipo porque no había nadie interesante a tu alrededor.
We live in what is called a democracy, rule by the majority of the people. A fine ideal if it could be made to work. The people elect, but the party machines nominate, and the party machines to be effective must spend a great deal of money. Somebody has to give it to them, and that somebody, whether it be an individual, a financial group, a trade union or what have you, expects some consideration in return. What I and people of my kind expect is to be allowed to live our lives in decent privacy. I own newspapers, but I don’t like them. I regard them as a constant menace to whatever privacy we have left. Their constant yelping about a free press means, with a few honorable exceptions, freedom to peddle scandal, crime, sex, sensationalism, hate, innuendo, and the political and financial uses of propaganda. A newspaper is a business out to make money through advertising revenue. That is predicated on its circulation and you know what the circulation depends on.