Associating his name with death! You must be joking! I had never seen him anything but joyful, mocking, biting, quick, paradoxical, ignorant of rest, always ready for action. Sul-lenness, depression, nostalgia, and moral su? ering were for-eign to him and only provoked his taunts.
He gladly presented himself as the holder of secret knowledge about the hidden depths of current events, the interpreter of the era, and the maneuvers of occult powers. Certainly, someone as well-versed in the truth of things as you could not overlook this knowledge. You shared with the decipherer those hidden truths that eluded the common folk. He didn’t need to say them aloud; a mere wink suﬃ ced. Immediately, a silent complicity, a camaraderie of connois-seurs, was established between him and you. If you pretend-ed not to understand, he would raise his eyebrows, unable to believe his ears, disappointed, and would become caustic.
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