""My lord,"" said the cardinal, ""if the cup were mine, I have a fancy that I would give it to you, with my blessing and my best wishes; but when you ask me to sell it to you, it is as though you asked your queen to sell you the Kohinoor. She dare not, if she could. She could not, if she dare. Both the diamond and the cup were, doubtless, stolen. The diamond was taken in this century; the cup was looted so long ago that no one knows. A sad attribute of crime is that time softens it. There is a mental statute of limitations that converts possession into ownership.
Воспроизведено в оригинальной авторской орфографии издания 1920 года (издательство "New York : Scribner").