1 response

  1. peephole
    January 29, 2013

    A few NW fan reviewers have taken Goldsborough to task for the imply/infer horror, BUT a very sharp reader caught Nero Wolfe himself making the same error — one of the reasons for which Wolfe would burn up a dictionary several books later, in “Gambit” — in “The Rubber Band” (Chapter 16)!

    Having once tried one of Goldsborough’s Nero Wolfe pastiches, I wouldn’t try another, including the “prequel.” But as far as imply/infer goes, one might say that given this extraordinary discovery, it’s canon. :-)

    “I know of only six people living who might help you in pursuing that inquiry. One of them is the murderer, another is an old man on a farm in Nebraska, and the other four are in this room. And, questioning one of them, what do you do? You put on an exhibition of your cunning at cross-examination in an effort to infer that she has tried to blackmail Lord Clivers, though he has had various opportunities to make such an accusation and has not done so. Again, you aim the weapon of your cunning, not at your own ignorance, but directly at Miss Fox, when you pounce on the larceny charge, though that accusation has been dismissed by the man who made it.”


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