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March 10, 2015

On the way downtown I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches.


Outside, the bright gardens had a haunted look, as though small wild eyes were watching me from behind the bushes, as though the sunshine itself had a mysterious something in its light.
I got into my car and drove off down the hill. What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now. Far more a part of it than Rusty Regan was. But the old man didn't have to be. He could lie quiet in his canopied bed, with his bloodless hands folded on the sheet, waiting. His heart was a brief, uncertain murmur. His thoughts were as gray as ashes. And in a little while he too, like Rusty Regan, would be sleeping the big sleep. On the way downtown I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn't do me any good. All they did was make me think of Silver-Wig, and I never saw her again. - - Chandler, The Big Sleep/32

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 10, 2015 7:31 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

I'm old enough that the "big sleep" talk touches a nerve.

Posted by: chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2015 7:20 AM

The last lines of the novel. It was an excellent work, even though it sort of lost the plot halfway through and one murder was... forgotten (who killed the chauffeur?) In the end you didn't even care because it was about the telling and the events, not the mystery after all.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2015 8:45 AM

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