Re: RARA-AVIS: Ooops, forgot about Spade.

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 22 Apr 2002

I find it interesting that we have had this discussion of the ending of The Maltese Falcon without a single spoiler alert (or complaint about its absence). I guess we believe everyone has read it. I doubt that (I know there are a number of "assumed reads" I haven't read), so let me say:


"Gutman turned the bird upside-down and scraped an edge of the base with his knife. Black enamel came off in tiny curls, exposing blackened metal beneath. Gutman's knife-blade bit into the metal, turning back a thin curved shaving. The inside of the shaving, and the narrow plane its removal had left, had the soft grey sheen of lead."

I doubt porcelain would have provided the right heft to stand in for the true rara avis.


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