Capt. Segura: The engineer does not belong to the torturable class.
Beatrice: Are there class distinctions in torture?
Capt. Segura: Some people expect to be tortured. Others are outraged by it. One never tortures except by mutual agreement.
Beatrice: Who agrees?
Capt. Segura: Usually the poor. In your welfare state you have social security, therefore you have no poor. Consequently there you are untorturable.
Prime Minster Count Rupert Mountjoy: We must declare war on the United States.
Benter: But we can never win such a war!
Prime Minster Count Rupert Mountjoy: Of course not, but we could win the peace. I’ve given this a lot of thought gentlemen and I’m perfectly positive that I am right. You must remember, the Americans are a very strange people. Whereas other countries rarely forgive anything, the Americans forgive anything. There isn’t a more profitable undertaking for any country than to declare war on the United States and to be defeated.
Major Surov: Anything goes when people meet for the last time.
Diana Ashmore: What do you mean?
Major Surov: Go to any railway station – that’s what I mean. You’ll see people doing things they’d never do, ordinarily. They kiss, they cry, they wave. That’s the sickness of our time: people waving… Nobody waves back.
Valentine ‘Snakeskin’ Xavier: You know, Lady, there’s people bought and sold in this world like carcasses of hogs. . .in butcher shops. You might think that there’s. . .there’s many. . .many kinds of people in this world. But there’s only two kinds: The buyers and the ones that get bought. [beat] No, there’s another kind.
Lady Torrance: What kind?
Valentine ‘Snakeskin’ Xavier: It’s a kind that don’t belong no place at all. There’s a kind of bird that don’t have any legs so it can’t alight on nothing. So it has to spend its whole life on its wings in the air. I seen one, once. It died and fell to earth. And its body was light blue colored. And it was just as tiny as your little finger. And it was so light in the palm of your hand that it didn’t weigh more than a feather. And its wings spread out that wide. And you could see right through them. That’s why the hawks don’t catch them. . .because they don’t see ’em. They don’t see ’em way up in that high blue sky near the sun.
Lady Torrance: What about in gray weather?
Valentine ‘Snakeskin’ Xavier: They fly so high, in gray weather, the hawks, they’d get dizzy. See, these little birds don’t have no legs at all so they have to live their whole lives on the wing. And they sleep on the wind. That’s what they do, they just. . . they just spread their wings out and go to sleep on the wind. And they only alight on this earth but one time. . .it’s when they die.
Judd: To the perfect crime!
Artie: Crime?! Oh, my wealthy fraternity brothers. Sixty-seven dollars! And a secondhand typewriter. I told you to leave it alone. No, you were so scared, you froze to it.
Judd: It was the first time, Artie. The next time, it’ll be all right.
Artie: If there is a next time. When we made the deal, you said you could take orders. You said you wanted me to command you.
Judd: I do. As long as you keep your part of the agreement.