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But that was then and this is now. The thing's coming unwound on me, and I can see just enough to get myself tangled up if I don't watch Harvey.

From a short story by Daeshiell Hammett (Assistant Murderer)

What does 'watch Harvey' mean?

It doesn't seem to be an idiom, but Harvey is not a character in this story.

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Okay I googled a bit. There is a Movie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042546/) from 1950. The Author of your short story lived until 1961. But I cannot get a date for your short story (There is a book The Assistant Murderer 40+ pages as short story huh?). Some say it is from 1945 some say it was released some later. When Harvey really isn't any character than I strongly believe it is the movie. Maybe the movie was shown/released earlier or the book came out later or he released newer versions of that book with some newer text. It is hard to say because documentation about dates and such wasn't that good.

  • That movie was a play in 1944, and won a Pulitzer Prize, so it would have been known even before the movie was made. – Davo Feb 17 '17 at 12:23
  • @Davo thanks for some further investigation. My try was just a toss for the op. – Tom-Oliver Heidel Feb 17 '17 at 14:26
  • The short story was written in 1926. Thus it may not have anything to do with the movie you mentioned. – Jay Lee Feb 18 '17 at 1:20
  • @Jay Lee may I ask where you got the short dtory from? – Tom-Oliver Heidel Feb 18 '17 at 4:11
  • It's from (manybooks.net) – Jay Lee Feb 18 '17 at 4:14

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