“Her face was wan, taut, and fearful over tight-clasped hands. “I haven’t lived a good life,” she cried. “I’ve been bad – worse than you could know – but I’m not all bad. Look at me, Mr. Spade. You know I’m not all bad, don’t you? You can see that, can’t you? Then can’t you trust me a little? Oh, I’m so alone and afraid, and I’ve got nobody to help me if you won’t help me. I know I’ve no right to ask you to trust me if I won’t trust you. I do trust you, but I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you now. Later I will, when I can. I’m afraid, Mr. Spade. I’m afraid of trusting you. I don’t mean that. I do trust you, but – I trusted Floyd and – I’ve nobody else, nobody else, Mr. Spade. You can help me. You’ve said you can help me”
Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. p.27 Orion, 2005
Hammet’s persistent use of repetition combined with the general depiction of women in this novel so far emphasizes their appearance as fragile and meek creatures in need of men to function.