Don’t Touch Me, Night Thread



The Maltese Falcon is an excellent film with Humphrey Bogart, but I like the book by Dashiell Hammett even better. Part of that love comes from the brilliant final scene, which the movie infuriatingly omits. That scene is included below. If you enjoyed the movie, read this to see how it should have ended.


Effie Perine put down her newspaper and jumped out of Spade’s chair when
he came into the office at a little after nine o’clock Monday morning.

He said: “Morning, angel.”

“Is that—what the papers have—right?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am.” He dropped his hat on the desk and sat down. His face was
pasty in color, but its lines were strong and cheerful and his eyes,
though still somewhat red-veined, were clear.

The girl’s brown eyes were peculiarly enlarged and there was a queer
twist to her mouth. She stood beside him, staring down at him.

He raised his head, grinned, and said mockingly: “So much for your
woman’s intuition.”

Her voice was queer as the expression on her face. “You did that, Sam,
to her?”

He nodded. “Your Sam’s a detective.” He looked sharply at her. He put
his arm around her waist, his hand on her hip. “She did kill Miles,
angel,” he said gently, “offhand, like that.” He snapped the fingers of
his other hand.

She escaped from his arm as if it had hurt her. “Don’t, please, don’t
touch me,” she said brokenly. “I know—I know you’re right. You’re
right. But don’t touch me now—not now.”

Spade’s face became pale as his collar.

The corridor-door’s knob rattled. Effie Perine turned quickly and went
into the outer office, shutting the door behind her. When she came in
again she shut it behind her.

She said in a small flat voice: “Iva is here.”

Spade, looking down at his desk, nodded almost imperceptibly. “Yes,” he
said, and shivered. “Well, send her in.”