Thursday, 8 March 2012

No half-measures

      One of the lessons I'd impress on young chaps is this: if you want to pull a bluff, do it with your might, no half-measures. However unlikely the ploy, if your neck is brazen enough, it's odds on you'll get away with it. Take the time I was caught in flagrante in a Calcutta hotel by an outraged husband and sold him on the idea I was a doctor sounding her chest, or the occasion when they found me climbing through Jefferson Davis's skylight and I pretended to be a workman come to fix his lightning-rod. A moment's guilty hesitation and I'd have been done for; indignant astonishment at being interfered with saw me through.

Flashman and the Tiger, p.115, Harper Collins, paperback edition 2000.

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