1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 42.
3. Find the first full sentence.
4. Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
Old Elihu was in bed as before, but now a black automatic pistol lay on the covers close to one of his pink hands.
As soon as I appeared he took his head off the pillows, sat upright and barked at me: "Have you got as much guts as you've got gall?"
His face was an unhealthy dark red. The film was gone from his eyes. They were hard and hot.
I let his question wait while I looked at the corpse on the floor between door and bed.
A short thick-set man in brown lay on his back with dead eyes staring at the ceiling from under the visor of a gray cap.
Dashiell Hammett. Red Harvest. New York: Vintage Books (1992). Originally published by Knopf in 1929.