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Opening Words

November 29, 2009


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Listen - this isn't a darned bit of good. You'll never understand me, but I'll try once more and then we'll give it up. Listen. When a man's partner is killed he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. Then it happens we were in the detective business Well, when one of your organization gets killed it's bad business to let the killer get away with it. It's bad all around - bad for that one organization, bad for every detective everywhere. Third, I'm a detective and expecting me to run criminals down and then let them go free is like asking a dog to catch a rabbit and let it go. It can be done, all right, and sometimes is done, but it's not the natural thing.

Sam Spade, in "The Maltese Falcon", by Dashiel Hammett.

[These were the opening words for the service with the sermon Good Guys. We have four auxiliary pages for that service, in this order:
Opening words (above);
Responsive Reading, inspired by the hymn "Comfort Me";
Children's Story, an abridged version of Leviticus 11, verses 9-22 and Mark 7, verses 18-23;
Meditation, a reading about good, evil and easy.]

This is one of a series of homilies I wrote for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County, in Modesto, California, from 2003 - 2014.

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