SNOW WHITE had another glass of healthy orange juice. "From now on I deny myself to them. These delights. I maintain an esthetic distance. No more do I trip girlishly to their bed in the night, or after lunch, or in the misty mid-morning. Not that I ever did. It was always my whim which governed those gregarious encounters summed up so well by Livy in the phrase, vae victis. I congratulate myself on that score at least. And no more will I chop their onions, boil their fettucini, or marinate their flank steak. No more will I trudge about the house pursuing stain. No more will I fold their lingerie in neat bundles and stuff it away in the highboy. I am not even going to speak to them, now, except through third parties, or if I have something special to announce -- a new nuance of my mood, a new vagary, a new extravagant caprice. I don't know what such a policy will win me. I am not even sure I wish to implement it. It seems small and mean-spirited. I have conflicting ideas. But the main theme that runs through my brain is that what is, is insufficient. Where did that sulky notion come from? From the rental library, doubtless. Perhaps the seven men should have left me in the forest. To perish there, when all the roots and berries and rabbits and robins had been exhausted. If I had perished then, I would not be thinking now. It is true that there is a future in which I shall inevitably perish. There is that. Thinking terminates. One shall not always be leaning on one's elbow in the bed at a quarter to four in the morning, wondering if the Japanese are happier than their piglike Western contemporaries. Another orange juice, with a little vodka in it this time." "I HAVE killed this whole bottle of Chablis wine by myself," Dan said. "And that other bottle of Chablis too -- that one under the bed. And that other bottle of Chablis too -- the one with the brown candle stuck in the mouth of it. And I am not afraid. Not of what may come, not of what has been. Now I will light that long cigar, that cigar that stretches from Mont St. Michel and Chartres, to under the volcano. What is merely fashionable will fade away, and what is merely new will fade away, but what will not fade away, is the way I feel: analogies break down, regimes break down, but the way I feel remains. I feel abandoned. After a hard day tending the vats, and washing the buildings, one wants to come home and find a leg of mutton on the table, in a rich gravy with little pearly onions studded in it, and perhaps a small pot of Irish potatoes somewhere about. Instead I come home to this nothingness. Now she sits in her room reading Dissent and admiring her figure in the mirror. She still loves us, in a way, but it isn't enough. It is a failure of leadership, I feel. We have been left sucking the mop again. True leadership would make her love us fiercely and excitingly, as in the old days. True leadership would find a way out of this hairy imbroglio. I am tired of Bill's halting explanations, promises. If he doesn't want to lead, then let us vote. That is all I have to say, except one more thing: when one has been bending over a hot vat all day, one doesn't want to come home and hear a lot of hump from a cow-hearted leader whose leadership buttons have fallen off -- some fellow who spends the dreamy days eating cabbage and watching ships, while you are at work. Work, with its charts, its lines of authority, its air of importance." "THE refusal of emotion produces nervousness," Bill said dipping into the barrel of decadent absinthe. "Remember that. You are tense as a wire-walker, Hubert. If it is still possible to heave a sigh you should heave it. If it is still possible to rip out a groan you should rip it out. If it is still possible to smite the brow with anguished forefinger then you should let that forefinger fall. And there are expostulations and entreaties that meet the case to be found in old books, look them up. This concatenation of outward and visible signs may I say may detonate an inward invisible subjective correlative, booming in the deeps of the gut like an Alka-Seltzer to produce tranquillity. I say may. And you others there, lounging about with expressions of steely unconcern, you are just like Hubert. The disease is the same and the remedy is the same. As for me, I am out of it. I have copted out if you want to put it that way. After a life rich in emotional defeats, I have looked around for other modes of misery, other roads to destruction. Now I limit myself to listening to what people say, and thinking what pamby it is, what they say. My nourishment is refined from the ongoing circus of the mind in motion. Give me the odd linguistic trip, stutter and fall, and I will be content. Actually, when you get right down to it, I should be the monk, and Paul the leader here." "We have entertained the notion," Hubert said. "THEY can treat me like a rube if they wish," Clem said holding tightly to the two hundred bottles of Lone Star at the Alamo Chili House. "I suppose I am a rubish hayseed in some sense, full of down-home notions that contradict the more sophisticated notions of my colleagues. But I notice that it is to me they come when it is a question of grits or chitlings or fried catfish. Of course these questions do not arise very often. I have not had a whiff of fried catfish these twelve years! How many nights have I trudged home with my face fixed for fried catfish, only to find that we were having fried calimaretti or some other Eastern dish. Not that I would put down those tender rings of squid deep-fried in olive oil. I even like the squarish can the olive oil comes in, emblazoned with green-and-gold devices, flowery emblemature out of the nineteenth century. It makes my mouth water just to look at it, that can. But why am I talking to myself about cans? Cans are not what is troubling me. What is troubling me is the quality of life in our great country, America. It seems to me to be deprived. I don't mean that the deprived people are deprived, although they are, clearly, but that even the fat are deprived. I suppose one could say that they are all humpheads and let it go at that. I am worried by the fact that no one responded to Snow White's hair initiative. Even though I am at the same time relieved. But it suggests that Americans will not or cannot see themselves as princely. Even Paul, that most princely of our contemporaries, did not respond appropriately. Of course it may be that princely is not a good thing to be. And of course there is our long democratic tradition which is anti-aristocratic. Egalitarianism precludes princeliness. And yet our people are not equal in any sense. They are either. . . The poorest of them are slaves as surely as if they were chained to gigantic wooden oars. The richest of them have the faces of cold effete homosexuals. And those in the middle are wonderfully confused. Redistribute the money. That will not ameliorate everything, but it will ameliorate some things. Redistribute the money. This can be achieved in only one way. By making the rich happier. New lovers. New lovers who will make their lives exciting and 'rich' in a way that. . . We must pass a law that all marriages of people with more than enough money are dissolved as of tomorrow. We will free all these poor moneyed people and let them out to play. The quid pro quo is their money. Then we take the money and --" EDWARD was blowing his mind, under the boardwalk. "Well my mind is blown now. Nine mantras and three bottles of insect repellent, under the boardwalk. I shall certainly be sick tomorrow. But it is worth it to have a blown mind. To stop being a filthy bourgeois for a space, even a short space. To gain access to everything in a new way. Under the boardwalk. Those cream Corfam shoes clumping overhead. I understand them now, for the first time. Not their molecular structure, in which I am not particularly interested, but their sacredness. Their centrality. They are the center of everything, those shoes. They are it. I know that, now. Too bad it is not worth knowing. Too bad it is not true. It is not even temporarily true. Well, that must mean that my mind is not fully blown. That harsh critique. More insect repellent!" IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE 19TH CENTURY THAT RUSSIA PRODUCED A LITERATURE WORTHY OF BECOMING PART OF THE WORLD'S CULTURAL HERITAGE. PUSHKIN DISPLAYED VERBAL FACILITY. GOGOL WAS A REFORMER. AS A STYLIST DOSTOEVSKY HAD MANY SHORTCOMINGS. TOLSTOY. . . IN her chamber Snow White removed her coat, and then her shirt, and then her slip, and then her bra. The bare breasts remained. Standing by the window Snow White regarded her bare breasts, by pointing her head down. "Well, what is there to think about them? Usually I don't think about them at all, but think, rather, about common occurrences, like going to the bowling alley or seeing, in the sky, the wingspread of a gigantic jet aircraft. But recent events, or lack of events, have provoked in me a crisis of confidence. But let us take stock. These breasts, my own, still stand delicately away from the trunk, as they are supposed to do. And the trunk itself is not unappealing. In fact trunk is a rather mean word for the main part of this assemblage of felicities. The cream-of-wheat belly! The stunning arse, in the rococo mirror! And then the especially good legs, including the important knees. I have nothing but praise for this delicious assortment! But my curly mind has problems distinct from although related to those of my scrumptious body. The curious physicality of my existence here on Earth is related to both parts of the mind-body problem, the mind part and the body part. Although I secretly know that my body is my mind. The way it acts sometimes, spontaneously and scandalously hurling itself into the arms of bad situations, with never a care for who is watching or real values. No wonder we who are twenty-two don't trust anybody over twelve. That is where you find people who know the score, under twelve. I think I will go out and speak to some eleven-year-olds, now, to refresh myself. Now or soon." Snow White regarded her nice-looking breasts. "Not the best I've ever seen. But not the worst." BOBBLE was one of the boys who was there. He had a hair style that, I don't know, some of you may not like, and there were other things wrong with him too. I had thought that in terms of mettle he would glister like a fire escape. Whereas in fact he was a sack of timidities. That much was clear. But we had sent for him so we had to talk to him. "All right lad this is what we want with you. Your mission is this: to go out into the world and pull down all those election posters. We have decided to stop voting, so pull down the posters. Let's get all those ugly faces off our streets and out of our elective offices. We are not going to vote any more, no matter how often they come around with their sound trucks and statesmanlike gestures. Pull down the sound trucks. Pull down the outstretched arms. To hell with the whole business. Voting has turned out to be a damned impertinence. They never do what we want them to do anyhow. And when they do what we don't want them to do, they don't do it well. To hell with them. We are going to save up all our votes for the next twenty years and spend them all at one time. Maybe by that day there will be some Rabelaisian figure worth spending them on. And so, raw youth, with your tentative air, go out and work our will on the physical world. We are going to go whole hog on this program, to a certain extent, and you are our chosen instrument. We are not particularly proud of you, but you exist, in some rough way, and that is enough, for our purposes. You are sub-attractive, Bobble, and so are your peers there, but here is the money, and there is the task. Get going." UNDER the tree, Paul stood looking through the window at Snow White, with her bare breasts. "God Almighty," Paul said to himself. "It's a good thing it occurred to me to stand under this tree and look through this window. It's a good thing I am on leave from the monastery. It's a good thing I had my reading glasses in my upper robe pocket." Paul read the message written on Snow White's unwrapped breasts. "She is just like one of those dancers one sees from time to time on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and in selected areas of other cities. In the smaller cities the dancers are sometimes forced by the police to put on more garb. But without garb, these girls bring joy, with their movements, lack of movements. . . Dancing is diverting if you are watching, and also if you are dancing yourself. But how can you 'dance yourself'? Is 'self-dancing' the answer? I was fond of stick dancing at one time. There was some joy in that. But then a man came and said I was using the wrong kind of stick. He was a stick-dancing critic, he said, and no one used that kind of stick any more. The stick of choice, he said, was more brutal than the one I was using, or less brutal, I forget which. Brutalism had something to do with it. I said, fuck off, buddy, leave me alone with my old stick, the stick of my youth. He fucked off, then. But I became dissatisfied with that stick, subjected as it had been for the first time to the scrutiny of a first-rate intelligence. I sublet the stick. And that is why I have become everything I have become since, including what I now am, a voyeur." Paul looked again at the upper part of Snow White. "Looking through this window is sweet. The sweetest thing that has happened to me in all my days. Sweet, sweet." Paul savored the sweetness of human communication, through the window. PAUL HAS NEVER BEFORE REALLY SEEN SNOW WHITE AS A WOMAN. HOGO pushed Paul away from the bloody tree. "You are a slime sir, looking through that open window at that apparently naked girl there, the most beautiful and attractive I have ever seen, in all my life. You are a dishonor to the robes you wear. That you stand here without shame gazing at that incredible beauty, at her snowy buttocks and so forth, at that natural majesty I perceive so well, through the window, is endlessly reprehensible, in our society. I have seen some vileness in my time, but your action in spying upon this beautiful unknown beauty, whom I already love with all my heart until the end of time, is the most vile thing that the mind of man ever broached. I am going to set a rat chewing at your anus, false monk, for if there is anything this world affords, it is punishment." "You have a good line, fellow," Paul said coolly. "Perhaps next you would care to make a few remarks about unearned pessimism as original sin." "It is true that I am generally in favor of earned pessimism, Paul," Hogo said. "And I have earned mine. Yet at the same time I seem to feel a new vigor, optimism and hope, simply through the medium of pouring my eyes through this window." "It is strong medicine, this," Paul said, and they put their arms around each other's shoulders to look some more, but Hogo was thinking about how he could get rid of Paul, once and for all, permanently. HOGO began to make a plan. It was to be a large plan, a plan as big as a map. Make no small plans, as Pott has said. The object of the plan was to get inside the house when no one was there. No one but Snow White. Hogo played Polish music on his player. Then he stuck pins in his plan marking points of entry and points of ejection. Pins of red, blue, violet, green, yellow, black and white bespattered the plan. The plan oozed out over the floor of the living room into the dining room. Then it ran into the kitchen, bedroom and hall. Plant life from the bursting nature outside came to regard the plan. A green finger of plant life lay down on top of the plan. Jane entered trailing a shopping cart filled with shopping. "What is all this paper on the floor?" Hogo lay atop the plan, and atop the plant life, attempting to conceal them. "It's nothing. Some work I brought home from the office." "Why then are you making those swimming motions on top of it?" "I was taking a nap." "It doesn't look like a nap to me." Hogo regarded Jane. He noticed that she had her graceful cello shape, still. "This cello-shaped girl still has some life in her," Hogo reflected. "Why don't I spend more time looking at her and drinking in her seasoned beauty." But then he thought of the viola da gamba-shaped Snow White. "Why is it that we always require 'more,' " Hogo wondered. "Why is it that we can never be satisfied. It is almost as if we were designed that way. As if that were part of the cosmic design." Hogo gathered up the plan and packed it away in the special planning humidor, constructed especially to keep the plan fresh and exciting. "Maybe I should make cigar wrappers of this plan, to conceal it from its enemies. The cigars to be smoked in a particular order, and in the clouds of smoke arising, the first faint dim blue outlines of the plan. I wonder what the chemistry and physics of that would be." Hogo regarded the packed plan, in its humidor. "It seems to have weak spots. The possibility of resistance from those within." Hogo imagined the resistance leader in his black turtleneck sweater. "I'll wager I never get into that house clandestinely, the resistance will be so stiff. For people who have a treasure, guard it with their lives. What a wonk I am, planning-wise! I will have to think up a new abnegation to punish myself for thinking up a plan this poor -- playing the accordion, possibly." "What are you thinking about?" Jane asked holding tensely to the handle of the shopping cart. "Playing the accordion," Hogo said. THERE was no place for our anger and frustration to go, then, so we went out and hit a dog. It was a big dog, so it was all right. It was fair. The gargantuan iron dog nineteen feet high commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the invention of meat. . . "Have a care," Kevin said. It was a brisk day, more brisk than some of the others we've had. The girls were wrapping their heads in cloths again, bright-colored cotton going around the top and the back part and tied at the bottom of the back part, where the sweet neck begins. A few derelicts and bums were lying around in front of the house, staining the sidewalk pretty well. Bill looked tired. I gave his face some additional looks. Then some other people came up and said they were actors. "What sort of actors?" "Do you mean good or bad?" "I didn't mean that but what is the answer?" "Bad, I'm afraid," the chief actor said, and we turned away. That wasn't what we'd wanted to hear. Everything was complex and netlike. The stain was still there filtering through the water supply and the pipes and carried in suitcases too. The old waiters brown suit had ponyskin lapels. That was depressing. Hogo has announced that Paul is standing in the middle of his, Hogo's, Lebensraum. That has an ominous sound. I don't like the sound of that at all. We had a few more Laughing Marys and radishes. Hogo was sharpening his kris. The whirling grindstone ground the steel. There was a noise, you know it perhaps. Hogo tested the kris against his thumb. A red drop of blood. The kris was functioning correctly. After Hogo finished sharpening his kris he began sharpening his bolo. Then he sharpened his parang and his machete and his dirk. "I like to keep everything sharp." THE President looked out of his window again. It was another night like that night we described previously and he was looking out of the same window. The Dow-Jones index was still falling. The folk were still in tatters. The President turned his mind for a millisecond to us, here. "Great balls of river mud," the President said. "Is nothing going to go right?" I don't blame him for feeling that way. Everything is falling apart. A lot of things are happening. "I love her, Jane," Hogo said. "Whoever she is, she is mine, and I am hers, virtually if not actually, forever. I feel I have to tell you this, because after all I do owe you something for having been the butt of my unpleasantness for so long. For these years." "The poet must be reassured and threatened," Henry said. "In the same way, Bill must be brought to justice for his bungling. This latest bit is the last straw absolutely. I see the trial as a kind of analysis really, more a therapeutic than a judicial procedure. We must discover the reason, for what he did. When he threw those two six-packs of Miller High Life through the windscreen of that blue Volkswagen --" Paul inspected Snow White's window from his underground installation. "A lucky hit! the idea of installing this underground installation not far from the house. Now I can keep her under constant surveillance, through this system of mirrors and trained dogs. One of my trained dogs is even now investigating that overly handsome delivery boy from the meat market, who lingered far too long at the door. I should have a complete report by first light. My God but I had to spend a lot of money on their training. An estimated two thousand dollars per dog. Well, one assumes that it is money well spent. If I undertook this project with undertrained dogs, there is a good chance that everything would go glimmering. Now at least I can rely on the dog aspect of things." Snow White was in the kitchen, scoring the meat. "Oh why does fate give us alternatives to annoy and frustrate ourselves with? Why for instance do I have the option of going out of the house, through the window, and sleeping with Paul in his pit? Luckily that alternative is not a very attractive one. Paul's princeliness has somehow fallen away, and the naked Paul, without his aura, is just another complacent bourgeois. And I thought I saw, over his shoulder, a dark and vilely compelling figure not known to me, as I looked out of my window, in the mirror. Who is that? Compared to that unknown figure, the figure of Paul is about as attractive as a mustard plaster. I would never go to his pit, now. Still, as a possible move, it clutters up the board, obscuring perhaps a more exciting one." "NOW I have been left sucking the mop again," Jane blurted out in the rare-poison room of her mother's magnificent duplex apartment on a tree-lined street in a desirable location. "I have been left sucking the mop in a big way. Hogo de Bergerac no longer holds me in the highest esteem. His highest esteem has shifted to another, and now he holds her in it, and I am alone with my malice at last. Face to face with it. For the first time in my history, I have no lover to temper my malice with healing balsam-scented older love. Now there is nothing but malice." Jane regarded the floor-to-ceiling Early American spice racks with their neatly labeled jars of various sorts of bane including dayshade, scumlock, hyoscine, azote, hurtwort and milkleg. "Now I must witch someone, for that is my role, and to flee one's role, as Gimbal tells us, is in the final analysis bootless. But the question is, what form shall my malice take, on this occasion? This braw February day? Something in the area of interpersonal relations would be interesting. Whose interpersonal relations shall I poison, with the tasteful savagery of my abundant imagination and talent for concoction? I think I will go around to Snow White's house, where she cohabits with the seven men in a mocksome travesty of approved behavior, and see what is stirring there. If something is stirring, perhaps I can arrange a sleep for it -- in the corner of a churchyard, for example." "BILL will you begin. By telling the court in your own words how you first conceived and then supported this chimera, the illusion of your potential greatness. By means of which you have managed to assume the leadership and retain it, despite tons of evidence of total incompetence, the most recent instance being your hurlment of two six-packs of Miller High Life, in a brown-paper bag, through the windscreen of a blue Volkswagen operated by I. Fondue and H. Maeght. Two utter and absolute strangers, so far as we know." "Strangers to you perhaps. But not to me." "Well strangers is not the immediate question. Will you respond to the immediate question. How did you first conceive and then sustain --" "The conception I have explained more or less. I wanted to make, of my life, a powerful statement etc. etc. How this wrinkle was first planted in my sensorium I know not. But I can tell you how it is sustained." "How." "I tell myself things." "What." "Bill you are the greatest. Bill you did that very nicely. Bill there is something about you. Bill you have style. Bill you are macho.""But despite this blizzard of self-gratulation --" "A fear remained." "A fear of?" "The black horse." "Who is this black horse." "I have not yet met it. It was described to me." "By?" "Fondue and Maeght." "Those two who were at the controls of the Volkswagen when you hurled the brown-paper bag." "That is correct." "You cherished then for these two, Fondue and Maeght, a hate." "More of a miff, your worship." "Of what standing, in the time dimension, is this miff?" "Matter of let's see sixteen years I would say." "The miff had its genesis in mentionment to you by them of the great black horse." "That is correct." "How old were you exactly. At that time." "Twelve years." "Something said to you about a horse sixteen years ago triggered, then, the hurlment." "That is correct." "Let us make sure we understand the circumstances of the hurlment. Can you disbosom yourself very briefly of the event as seen from your point of view." "It was about four o'clock in the afternoon." "What is your authority." "The cathouse clock." "Proceed." "I was on my way from the coin-operated laundry to the Door Store." "With what in view." "I had in mind the purchasement of a slab of massif oak, 48" by 60", and a set of carved Byzantine legs, for the construction of a cocktail table, to support cocktails." "Could you describe the relation of the High Life to the project, construction of cocktail table." "I had in mind engorgement of the High Life whilst sanding, screwing, gluing and so forth." "And what had you in mind further. The court is interested in the array or disarray of your mind." "I had in mind the making of a burgoo, for my supper. Snow White as you know being reluctant in these days to --" "As we know. There was, then, in the brown-paper bag, material --" "There was in the brown-paper bag, along with the High Life, a flatfish." "The flatfish perished in the hurlment we take it." "The flatfish had perished some time previously. Murthered on the altar of commerce, according to the best information available." "Proceed." "I then apprehended, at the corner of Eleventh and Meat, the blue Volkswagen containing Fondue and Maeght." "You descried them through the windscreen." "That is correct." "The windscreen was in motion?" "The entire vehicle." "Making what speed." "It was effecting a stop." "You were crossing in front of it." "That is correct." "What then." "I recognized at the controls, Fondue and Maeght." "This after the slipping away of sixteen years." "The impression was indelible." "What then." "I lifted my eyes." "To heaven?" "To the cathouse clock. It registered hard upon four." "What then." "The hurlment." "You hurled said bag through said windscreen." "Yes." "And?" "The windscreen shattered. Ha ha." "Did the court hear you aright. Did you say ha ha." "Ha ha." "Outburst will be dealt with. You have been warned. Let us continue. The windscreen glass was then imploded upon the passengers." "Ha ha." "Cutaneous injurement resulted in facial areas a b c and d." "That is correct. Ha ha." "Fondue sustained a woundment in the vicinity of the inner canthus." "That is correct." "Could you locate that for the court." "The junction of the upper and lower lids, on the inside." " 'Inside' meaning, we assume, the most noseward part." "Exactly." "A hair from which, the ball itself would have been compromised." "Fatally." "You then danced a jig on --" "Objection!" "And what might the objection be?" "Our client, your honesties, did not dance a jig. A certain shufflement of the feet might have been observed, product of a perfectly plausible nervous tension, such as all are subject to on special occasions, weddings, births, deaths, etc. But nothing that, in all charity, might be described as a gigue, with its connotations of gaiety, carefreeness --" "He was observed dancing a jig by Shield 333, midst the broken glass and blood." "Could we have Shield 333." "Shield 333 to the stand! "Come along, fellow, come along. Do you swear to tell the truth, or some of it, or most of it, so long as we both may live?" "I do." "Now then, Shield 333, you are Shield 333?" "I are." "It was you who was officiating at the corner of Eleventh and Meat, on the night of January sixteenth?" "It were." "And your mission?" "Prevention of enmanglement of school-children by galloping pantechnicons." "And the weather?" "There was you might say a mizzle. I was wearing me plastic cap cover." "Did you observe that man over there, known as 'Bill,' dancing a jig midst the blood and glass, after the hurlment?" "Well now, I'm nae sae gud on th' dances, yer amplitude. I'm not sure it were a jig. Coulda been a jag. Coulda been what do they call it, th' lap. Hae coulda been lappin'. I'm nae dancer meself. Hem from the Tenth Precinct. Th' Tenth don't dance." "Thank you, Shield 333, for this inconclusive evidence of the worst sort. You may step down. Now, 'Bill,' to return to your entanglement of former times with Fondue and Maeght, in what relation to you did they stand, in those times." "They stood to me in the relation, scoutmasters." "They were your scoutmasters. Entrusted with your schoolment in certain dimensions of lore." "Yes. The duty of the scoutmasters was to reveal the scoutmysteries." "And what was the nature of the latter?" "The scoutmysteries included such things as the mystique of rope, the mistake of one animal for another, and the miseries of the open air." "Yes. Now, was this matter of the great black horse included under the rubric, scoutmysteries." "No. It was in the nature of a threat, a punishment. I had infracted a rule." "What rule?" "A rule of thumb having to do with pots. You were supposed to scour the pots with mud, to clean them. I used Ajax." "That was a scoutmystery, how to scour a pot with mud?" "Indeed." "The infraction was then, resistance to scoutmysteries?" "Stated in the most general terms, that would be it." "And what was the response of Fondue and Maeght." "They told me that there was a great black horse, and that it had in mind, eating me." "They did?" "It would come by night, they said. I lay awake waiting." "Did it present itself? The horse?" "No. But I awaited it. I await it still." "One more question: is it true that you allowed the fires under the vats to go out, on the night of January sixteenth, while pursuing this private vendetta?" "It is true." "Vatricide. That crime of crimes. Well it doesn't look good for you, Bill. It doesn't look at all good for you."