Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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When this conscience business starts, ain’t no telling where it’ll stop – “All the King’s Men” – Robert Penn Warren 

June 26th, 2012 · No Comments · Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Quotes

“I have endorsed Callahan,” the Judge said. He didn’t flicker.

“I maybe could give you the dirt,” the Boss said speculatively. “Callahan’s been playing round for a long time, and he who touches pitch shall be defiled, and little boys just will walk barefoot in the cow pasture.” He looked up at Judge Irwin’s face, squinting, studying it, cocking his own head to one side.”

The grandfather’s clock in the corner of the room, I suddenly realised, wasn’t getting any younger. It would drop out a rick, and the tick would land inside my head like a rock dropped in a well, and he ripples would circle out and stop, and the tick would sink down the dark. For a piece of time which was not long or short, and might not even ben time, there wouldn’t be anything. Then the tock would drop down the well, and the ripples would circle out and finish.

The Boss quit studying Judge Irwin’s face, which didn’t show anything. He let himself sink back in the chair, shrugged his shoulders, and lifted the glass up for a drink. Then he said, “Suit yourself, Judge. But you know, there’s another way to play it. Maybe somebody might give Callahan a little shovelful on somebody else and Callahan might grow a conscience all of a sudden and repudiate his endorser. You know, when this conscience business starts, ain’t no telling where it’ll stop, and when you start digging-“

“I’ll thank you, sir-“ Judge Irwin took a step toward the big chair, and his face wasn’t the color of calf’s liver now – it was long past that and streaked white back from the base of the jutting nose – “I’ll thank you, sir, to get out of that chair and get out of this house!”

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