"When all was done that could be done, Devereaux and his senior ministers refreshed themselves with champagne, cold meats, and jellied fruits and listened properly to my master’s story. And what a story it was. What an outrageous yarn he told. Even I, with my long experience of human duplicity, was flabbergasted by the whoppers that boy came up with. To be frank, he did have a lot of things to hide: his own theft of the Amulet, for example, and my little encounter with Sholto Pinn. But a lot of his fibs were quite unnecessary. I had to sit quietly on his shoulder and hear myself referred to as a 'minor imp' (five times), a 'sort of foliot' (twice), and even (once) as a 'homunculus.' I ask you—how insulting is that?"
The Amulet of Samarkand
"Djinni," he said, "answer me a question." The sand whirled faster. "I know the secrets of the earth and the mysteries of the air; I know the key to the minds of women." (Patently all lies, especially the last bit.) "What do you wish? Speak." "What is essence?" The sand halted in midair. "Eh?"
"In the end, I agreed to her request, and since she is my guest and I have sworn it before great Ra himself, it is a sacred vow. Consequently, much against my better judgment, I am going to give you your just reward." There was a pause while Faquarl and I took in the implications of this, ran through the subtleties and nuances of the words, and continued to look up at the magician with expressions of watchful doubt. (We were old hands, you see, well aware of the latent ambiguities in even the most blandly reassuring sentence. Dismissing us sounded good, naturally, but it needed clarification; and as for getting our "just reward,"... in the mouth of someone like Khaba, that phrase was almost an overt threat.)
The Ring of Solomon