Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The latest piece of spam has an inexplicable charm:
We can have a cab. Habet foenum in cornu. We heard from Pearson to-day. It is no good whatever. Out with it!
What horrible work this chemistry is! Ida opened it. BREAKING THE ICE.Just one more little lesson. Do not remove this. We heard from Pearson to-day. Oysters will do.
Spells do have their place. Maybe he's a new one. And you have extremely strong magic yourself. What a fall they had taken! Wanderer looks normal to us. This eased his concern. Then two things changed his attitude. Whatever you think.
Possibly a conversation between two MI5 staffers strolling along the embankment in some Le Carre novel.
Featherstone shifted abruptly to the choice of delivery vehicle. "We can have a cab." he said, swinging his umbrella.
Grimsby sighed inwardly. What would old Follansbee have said in the Classical fifth at Charterhouse? Habet foenum in cornu, Grimsby, such men are dangerous. "We heard from Pearson to-day." he said abruptly. "It is no good whatever."
Featherstone looked at him sideways. Were the Cousins weakening? "Out with it!"
"What horrible work this chemistry is!" Grimsby said, the vision of the poison gas canisters in his briefcase momentarily clouding his vision.
Featherstone shrugged. "Ida opened it. BREAKING THE ICE." The Internal Defence Agency's inquiry on the BTI project had set in motion forces that could not now be undone. "Just one more little lesson."
Grimsby patted the inconspicuous tab that connected to the safety catch inside the briefcase. "Do not remove this. We heard from Pearson to-day. Oysters will do."
Featherstone smiled wryly. "Spells do have their place." Pearson had taken his time. Maybe he's a new one. "And you have extremely strong magic yourself."
What a fall they had taken, he and Grimsby, from those evenings in the chapel at prep school! Now even a weapon as inhuman as the Wanderer in Grimsby's briefcase looks normal to us. Still, if Pearson had cleared it then the CIA were locked in. This eased his concern. At first Pearson had scruples of his own, adding all sorts of complications. Then two things changed his attitude. 9/11 had changed everything, and Walter's promotion had cleared the way for action.
"Whatever you think." Grimsby said gloomily, looking out at a passing pleasure steamer.

All of that spells things out much more than a real Le Carre, of course: a second rewrite would probably cut it back to the original length.

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