Quotations:Where There's a Will

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by Rex Stout (1940)
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  1. Page references for quotations submitted by Goodwingrad follow the 1992 Bantam Books Crime Line edition (The Rex Stout Library); the novel is 236 pages long in that edition.

chapter 1, page 2 [1]

He [Wolfe] might be eccentric enough to find pleasure in a personal and intimate test of the operations of the New Deal WPA, but if I had my way about it the only meaning WPA would ever have for yours truly would be Wolfe Pays Archie.   


Archie Goodwin ib., page 3

[...] They are thinking of prosecuting her [May Hawthorne] under the anti-trust law for her monopoly on brain cells. [...]


ib., page 6

She looked hot, peevish, beautiful and overwhelming. When she thanked me for her chair I decided to marry her as soon as I could save up enough to buy a new pair of shoes.  


Archie Goodwin in chapter 3, page 36

  “He [Wolfe] never goes to see anybody. He dislikes motion. He passed a law making it a criminal offense for his feet to remove him from his house except on rare occasions, and never on business. He hires me to run around inviting people to come to see him.”  


ib., page 38

“I advise you not to see Nero Wolfe. I’m being disloyal, of course, but I’m naturally treacherous anyhow, and besides, I don’t like the way they’re ganging up on you. I felt that way already, even before I saw you, but now...” I waved a hand.

“Now treachery is sweet.”

“It could be.”  


chapter 3, page 43

Down on the sidewalk I discovered that she [Naomi Karn] was nice to walk with. [...] she let it be a partnership instead of a game of tag. Most girls, walking along a busy sidewalk with you, are either clingers, divers, or laggers, and I don’t know which is worst.  

chapter 6, page 82

I kept on going, up two flights of stairs, to my own room. There, after finishing the milk, I undraped my form, shaved my legs and removed my eyelashes, and dropped languorously into the arms of the sandman.  

Fred Durkin & Archie Goodwin in chapter 7, page 88

  “[...] He’s a giraffe. I damn near ran my legs off. The damn fool walked clear to 8th Street!”

“We’ll warn him not to do that again. How you must have suffered. Skip things like that. I can’t bear it.”

“Go spit up a rope. [...]”  


Archie Goodwin to Fred Durkin ib., page 90

  “A new era has begun. The earth has turned around and started the other way. Mr. Wolfe has left home in a taxicab to work on a case.”  


ib., page 91

The butler who opened the door had distinguished ancestry oozing from every pore. I said:

“Good morning, Jeeves. I’m Lord Goodwin. If Mr. Nero Wolfe got here alive, he’s expecting me. A big fat man. Is he here?”  


chapter 8, page 107

When she came in and pressed her hands to her temples like the heroine at the end of the second act, I had decided that the wedding was off, but it wasn’t as easy as that. Something that went out from her made you forget she was a professional who knew how to get a million people to pay four-forty at the box office to watch her work. I would have died for her on the spot if I hadn’t been busy taking notes.  


chapter 9, page 111

  “By Jiminy,” I said, with the whine that I knew set his [Wolfe's] teeth on edge, “you sure are grilling them. Talk about ruthless. It gives me nervous prostration just to see them suffer. And squirm under your merciless thrusts. Lovin’ babe! I don’t think I saw you in better form –”

“Archie! Shut up!”  


ib., page 113

  He [Wolfe] lifted the covers from the servers with a sanguine hope and a stern misgiving fighting for the mastery in his expression. When no steam came out he looked so disconcerted I could have wept.


ib., page 119

  “It’s a funny thing and a sad thing,” I observed, “that the purer our motives are, the worse insults we get. [...]”  


chapter 10, page 125

  I said in an undertone, “We’re being stalked. Engage in earnest whispered conversation, mumble umble, diddie riggie...”  


ib., page 129

In the bathroom down the hall I surveyed the devastation in the mirror. My lovely smooth skin was a sight. “Occupational hazard,” I said bitterly. “To hell with it. I’m going to get a job as an executive.”


chapter 13, page 162

I had no idea what he was going to do with the two minutes, but normal people aren’t supposed to understand what geniuses are up to.


Archie Goodwin in chapter 14, page 183

[...] There are two kinds of detectives that work on homicides. One kind hastens to the scene of a murder. The other kind hastens away from it. [...]”  


Archie Goodwin & Inspector Cramer in chapter 17, page 211f

[...] Nothing you say to him [Wolfe] will hurt my feelings any. I intend to resign. He’s being crafty and mysterious again, an I’m fed up with it. You know? People phoning in by the dozen, and I mustn’t listen because I can’t keep my face straight. Phooey. What I am, I’m a helot. A damn flunky. How’s chances for a job on the force?”

“Shut up.”  


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