Irwin: I could dispute that with you.

Dakin: Over a drink? Or whatever?

Irwin does his best to make his points succinctly and convincingly, to stay within the formal rules of debate and not get distracted. He does so because he cherishes his intellectual independence, and he's damned if he'll let Dakin drag him off-topic when he's got a chance of winning an argument for once. He has to admit, though, that he's not doing very well. Dakin knows a thousand little rhetorical tricks that Irwin certainly never taught him; he's absolutely unscrupulous when there's something that he wants; and, much as it pains Irwin to admit, he can be very, very persuasive.