A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window

Ianira

New Member
Spanish - Spain
Hello everyone:
The quote "A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window" is from the novel Farewell, my lovely by Raymond Chandler. The context of the sentence is this one:

"She reached into her bag and slid a photograph across the desk, a five-by-three glazed still.
It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window. She was wearing street clothes that looked black and white, and a hat to match and she was a little haughty, but not too much. Whatever you needed, wherever you happened to be--she had it. About thirty years old.
I poured a fast drink and burned my throat getting it down. 'Take it away,' I said. 'I'll start jumping.'"

The blonde they are talking about has been previously described as "ravishing". I understand that the remark that she would make "a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window" is a way to emphasize that she was really beautiful, because a bishop is a man who in theory would have no sexual interest in women, but I don't seem to get the thing about the kicking of a hole in a stained glass window. Yes, stained glass windows are in churches, but why to kick a hole? Why a hole? Why with a kick? Does it mean that he simply would break the glass window? I feel there's something I'm missing or not understanding.
 
  • AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Chandler was looking for some extreme and unexpected behavior he could attribute to a bishop. Like bishops, stained glass windows are found in cathedrals, so if a bishop was going to kick a hole in something valuable, a stained glass window seemed like a suitable candidate.
     
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