How would you interpret the remark made by Nixon?
MR. RAVENNER (the counsel): Is it true that in that same place, several extreme acts of espionage and violence were committed, all directly linked with the Secret Police of Joseph Stalin?
MR. SHEPHERD (the witness): Yes. Committed against us.
MR. RAVENNER: You say you have no head for politics, so try to focus your powers, if you will, on one simple question. From that headquarters, did you come here on a program of overthrowing the United States government, however poorly you may have understood it? I want to hear one word, sir. Yes, or no.
MR. SHEPHERD: No.
MR. RAVENNER:: For what purpose, then, did you come to the United States?
MR. SHEPHERD: (Pause.) Yes or no?
MR. RAVENNER: You may elaborate in this instance.
MR. SHEPHERD: I came to deliver paintings to museums in New York City.
MR. NIXON: Well, that’s some delivery job if he’s still here after ten years. Even Sears Roebuck doesn’t generally take that long.
(Laughter in the gallery.)How would you interpret the remark made by Nixon?
1# How would you interpret the first sentence “that’s some delivery job if he’s still here after ten years”?
2# How would you interpret the second sentence? Did Nixon joke that Sears Roebuck (a department store ?) always took long time to deliver the goods to the customers?
Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.