The Maltese Falcon

“Five thousand dollars is,” he said for the third time, “a lot of money.”

She lifted her shoulders and hands and let them fall in a gesture that accepted defeat. “It is,” she agreed in a small dull voice. “It is far more than I could ever offer you, if I must bid for your loyalty.”

Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. 1930. Vintage, 1989. pg 57

Here, Brigid speaks of loyalty as if it is a commodity, in the sale of which the highest bidder wins. It is almost certain that if Brigid was fortunate enough, she would have purchased Spade’s loyalty. But if loyalty can be bought and sold so easily, and need not be gained through one’s actions, is it really wise to trust anyone in this novel?