Tree Farm Books





CARMEL OFFIE

     His years of scrambling in behalf of Bullitt and others as a royal dwarf afflicted Offie as he approached forty with an impatient air of permanent fatigue. His features were enlarging: a colleague describes him as "one of the ugliest men I've ever known, short and knobbly, with a long, swollen-looking face and a head made up mostly of lumps." Under heavy brows a kind of uncertain glare was wont to shine for an instant in Carmel's sticky Mediterranean eyes: his ardent, transitory please-love-me look. One sensed him contending with the very expression on his face at times: the way his teeth thrust forward each time he parted those extraordinarily fleshy lips, which Offie had attempted to relieve by cultivating a trim, inky-looking chevron of a grenadier's moustache. A five-o'clock shadow never deserted his pugnacious chin, his long demanding jaw. Offie's wire-like hair was starting to thin; time was already limited; this was his breakthrough moment. [p. 236]

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