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CHAT: Strange Powers

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, February 27, 2003, 12:18
Apologies for the self-indulgent crosspost.

I finally nailed down the correct text of the Strange Powers quotation
I've been mangling all these years.  Kudos to for reprinting
Cordwainer Smith's _Norstrilia_.

The Lord Redlady leaped to the middle of his own floor.  He was no
prancing Earthman putting on a show.  He was the old Instrumentality itself,
surviving with raw weapons and raw brains.  In his hand he held a
*something* which none of them could see clearly.

"Murder," he said, "will be done this moment if anybody moves.  I will
commit it.  I will, people.  Move, and try me.  And if I do commit murder,
I will arrest myself, hold a trial, and acquit myself.  I have strange
powers, people.  Don't make me use them.  Don't even make me show them."
The shimmering thing in his hand disappeared.

John Cowan     
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all.  There
are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language
that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful.
        --_The Hobbit_