When Spade finally found him in Spokane, the life he had made for himself in the new place was exactly the same as the one he had left behind. The man explained that ever since the day he was almost hit by a beam as he was walking near a building site, he had been acutely aware of the fact that all men were under a death sentence, and that he himself lived only because fate, or fortune, had so far spared him. He had resolved to readjust his existence to this new awareness, and so he had broken loose from his old life to start a new one afresh. The curse frames the narrative as it frames Gabrielle up as the villain. In other words, superstition feeds the plot, and it is to this first feature of the plot as function, iteration, that I will now turn. Erratic behaviors, feedback loops 5The tripartite structure of the narrative ties in with iteration, even if at first sight the subplots read as three independent, self-sufficient, autonomous stories.

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The Dain Curse

His mother belonged to an old Maryland family, whose name in French was De Chiel. He had an older sister, Aronia, and a younger brother, Richard, Jr. He left school when he was 13 years old and held several jobs before working for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. He served as an operative for Pinkerton from to February , with time off to serve in World War I. He claimed that while with the Pinkertons, he was sent to Butte, Montana , during the union strikes, though some researchers doubt this really happened. He was afflicted during that time with the Spanish flu and later contracted tuberculosis. Dolan rented a home in San Francisco , where Hammett would visit on weekends.


Dashiell Hammett





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