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Professor Moriarty: The Hound Of The D’urbervilles by Kim Newman

Professor Moriarty: The Hound Of The D’urbervilles by Kim Newman

Author:Kim Newman [Newman, Kim]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780857686015
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 2011-09-22T23:00:00+00:00


VII

Recall my remarks re. nuisance value attendant on one little murder carried out in the service of a trade union?

Ask anyone who knows us (and is still in a position to talk) and you’ll be told we are a mercenary concern. We kill anyone, of whatever political stripe or social standing. For a price. It’s not true that money is all that interests us. The thrill of the chase is involved. If nothing else is on, I’d cheerfully pot someone or steal something just to keep my hand in.

Moriarty claims pure intellectual interest in the problem at hand, and can be inveigled into an enterprise if it strikes him as out of the ordinary. He feels pepper in the blood too, in the planning if not the execution. The moment of clear thrill which burns cold – as a perfect shot brings down a tiger or an archduke – is the closest I can get to the fireworks which go off in the Prof’s brain when his reptile head stops oscillating... and he suddenly knows how an impossible trick can be brought off.

We have no cause but ourselves. We have no politics. We have no religion. I believe in Sensation. Moriarty believes in Sums. That’s about as deep as it needs run.

It was an irritant when the misconception set in that we were in sympathy with the working man. That inconvenience was as nothing beside the notion that fellows with names like Moriarty or Moran must support Irish Independence.

From time to time – usually when an American millionaire who’d never set foot on the isle of his ancestors for fear of being robbed by long-lost cousins decided to fund the Struggle – one or other of the many branches of Fenianism secured our temporary services. If Desmond Mountmain weren’t so all-fired certain he could handle his own bombmaking, he might have been buried in one piece. It takes a more precise touch to blow the door off a strongroom than the medals off a chief constable. Dynamiters on our books have names like ‘Steady Hands’ Crenshaw, not ‘Shaky’ Brannigan.

As a rule, Irish petitioners were much more trouble than they were worth.

Over the years, half a dozen proud rebels had tried to enlist us on the never-never in fantastic schemes of insurrection. You could separate the confidence men from the real patriots because simple crooks venture sensible-sounding endeavours like stealing cases of rifles from the Woolwich Arsenal. Genuine Irish revolutionaries run to crackpottery like deploying an especially made submarine warship to overthrow British rule in Canada. We decided against throwing in with that and you can look up how well it turned out. [9] Canada is still in the Empire last I paid attention, though I’ve no idea why. The place has nothing worth shooting (unless you count Inuit and Sasquatch which, at that, I might) and boasts 50,000 trees to every woman.

When a bold Fenian’s proposal of an alliance – with our end of it providing the funds – is rejected, he acts exactly like a music hall mick refused credit for drink.



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