And, of course, DuQuesne does keep his promise--and also does escape from the ship eventually, and, of course, without injuring the vessel or any member of the party.[Seaton:] "I've heard that your word is good."
[DuQuesne]: "It has never been broken."
[Seaton:] "Will you give your word to act as one of the party, for the good of us all, if we don't iron you?"
[DuQuesne]: "Yes—until we get back to the earth. Provided, of course, that I reserve the right to escape at any time between now and then if I wish to and can do so without injuring the vessel or any member of the party in any way."
I wish I had some kind of guide to 1930s colloquial speech; his dialogue is quite different from that of other naturalistic authors of the day, but perhaps he was just catching a different style or social group. This little bit of dialog caught my eye:
Wentworth and Flexner's slang dictionary only gives one meaning for gay, "homosexual." Obviously it doesn't mean that, and just as obviously it doesn't mean "happily excited" or "keenly alive and exuberant" or "brightly colored.""Sit down, Miss Vaneman. Let them fight it out. Perkins has his orders to lay off you—you lay off him. I'm not taking any chances of getting you hurt, that's one reason I wanted you armed. If he gets gay, shoot him; otherwise, hands off completely."
Inspired by that, I'm now reading Isaac Asimov's novel Nemesis, which I'd missed. And I'm also nibbling at Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked?: A Funeral Director Reflects on 30 Years of Serving the Living and the Deceased, by Robert D. Webster, but don't know if I'll finish it. It's nowhere near as good as Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach.