How Sharper than a Child’s Tooth

“Don’t you know Jacob speaks with a forked tongue? Here is a man,” he exclaimed, angry and sarcastic, “who must say everything twice.”

“But he’s so soft-spoken, so polite,” she protested. “So gentle with his words.”

“And why shouldn’t he be? It’s not from malice that he lies, and twists the world to his amusement. No! For mockery alone will he lead you astray, and all innocently, laughing and grinning all the while, until you come to founder, and ruin, and then all apologies and solicitation will he be.”

“You don’t know him! You just think, because he’s –“

“I’ve seen him before, and his type, and I know–“

“His type, his type! What do you know? Do you know what you sound like? Do you?”

“What? Tell me. What do I sound like?”

“You sound like–“

“You’d better not say what I think you’re–“

“You sound like a jealous old man! Are you afraid you’ll be alone and unloved? Do you worry that you’ll die here in this house with your books and your cat and they won’t find you for years? You’ll have only yourself to blame!”