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wit amongst torture

one of my favorite exchanges in Brust's latest novel Jhegaala:

"I have been asked to get information from you. You will tell me what I want to know. How much screaming you do before you give the information is up to you."

I cleared my throat, wondering if I could talk. "You could just ask. I've been known to be cooperative."

"Oh, I'll try that first. But if I don't like the answers I get, I will hurt you. I will cause you pain. If that doesn't work, then let me remind you that you have ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, two ears, and various other bits and pieces that can be treated individually. Also remember that I don't much care what condition you're in when I'm done."

"If you're trying to scare me," I said, "it's working."

"I can do a great deal more than scare you."

Where do they get this stuff? "Um, if I thought all you could do was scare me, you couldn't scare me, if you see what I mean."

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