Purple Prose

from the introduction to “Everyman His Own Detective” by George Antheil

SUPPOSE that one fine morning in the spring of 1936 you had been sitting in your club reading all about the Titterton murder in Beekman Place, New York City.
And let us further suppose that after a quarter hour had passed you suddenly jumped up, and exclaimed:
“By Jove! The murderer is of medium height, has pop-eyes, thin hair which is probably slightly curly, and in addition, he has a slightly receding chin. Moreover he has previously been arrested for a major theft of some sort, probably an automobile.”*
Now wouldn’t that have been something! But don’t worry. You need not be envious of this past self of yours that might have been. Miraculous as the above diagnosis might seem, you can, with a little practice, become a glandular detective of really magnificent proportions.

—-
* An almost exact description of the Titterton murderer!

 

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