The Private Detective
Chinatown, Hawaii 1942

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not mean himself, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is a hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be a man of honor-by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is such that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks-that is, with crude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for the sham, and a contempt for pettiness. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world, he lives in…if there were enough like him, the world would be a safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in. R. Chandler
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