“And what about her? I mean, I know we’ve got him, but what about her?” asked Maugham. “Isn’t she too clever and too important to touch?”
Steinthal looked at him as if trying to search his friend’s mind for sincerity, or the lack thereof.
“I thought you would have known better by now,” he said.
“Know better than what?” said Maugham.
Steinthal bent over and picked up something from the ground, pocketed it, then turned back to Maugham.
“Everyone thinks they are too big to touch. Everyone thinks they are too tough to touch. Everyone thinks they are too clever to touch. Everyone thinks they are too important to touch,” he replied. “No one ever is.”
“Are you sure about that?” said Maugham.
“Absolutely certain,” said Steinthal.
“Because some people are awful hard to get at,” countered Maugham.
Steinthal narrowed his eyes.
“If you know what you’re doing then no…
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