Ace Up My Sleeve by James Hadley Chase

By James Hadley Chase

While 3 very diverse humans come jointly, all out for a similar factor and ready to visit any lengths to get it, the stakes usually are excessive. yet, for a filthy rich middle-aged lady, a world attorney and a tender American, video games of bluff and counter-bluff speedy become a perilous and lethal conflict. because the motion hots up, Chase weaves a fast-moving tale of blackmail, intrigue and extortion with a hair-raising climax.

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At each of their advances the women utter a brief cry. When they halt, their voices have long modulations. They move after the fashion of kangaroos, legs together which they bend to make their leap. Sometimes they spin on themselves like tops, heads in arms. It is during this movement that they exhale a perfume of arum lily verbena which spreads instantly through the surrounding space. The perfume differs according to the speed of their rotation. It disintegrates passing through various tonalities.

Or else a reading aloud of some passage takes place. It may also happen that the reading occurs without any audience, save for a fly that bothers the reader by settling on her temple. Sometimes Philomfcle Sarte sings squatting on her heels, swaying her bust forwards and backwards rocking from right to left. Should she cease singing she falls forward, face to the ground, or sideways, her cheek striking the ground, her legs folding like a gun-dog’s. Then she sings on without a break. When her eyes close from fatigue two of the women carry her to a bed or else on to the grass in the sun and she falls asleep there.

The icy cirque where they stand reflects all the sun’s rays. The waves of light seem to detach themselves from the ground, to rise like flames, to quiver, to turn from red to orange-yellow or from pink to violet. It is like a volcanic crater that bums ready to overwhelm them. Drunk, the women say they are drunk. Great fields of scarlet poppies have been trampled underfoot. Their heads, their tom petals hang loosely or lie in confusion on the ground. Not a drop of dew is visible on the flowers. The women dance.

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