She had a little basket-trifle hanging at her side, with keys in it; and she looked as staid and as discreet a housekeeper as the old house could have. She listened to her father as he told her about me, with a pleasant face; and when he had concluded, proposed to my aunt that we should go upstairs and see my room. We all went together, she before us: and a glorious old room it was, with more oak beams, and diamond panes; and the broad balustrade going all the way up to it.
It was easy and natural during the heat of 1861 to characterise as traitors the men who went with their States to fight against the flag of their country. Looking at the matter now, forty-seven years later, we are better able to estimate the character and the integrity of the motives by which they were actuated. We do not need to-day to use the term traitors for men like Lee and Johnston. It was not at all unnatural that with their understanding of the government of the States in which they had been born, and with their belief that these States had a right to take action for themselves, they should have decided that their obligation lay to the State rather than to what they had persisted in thinking of not as a nation but as a mere confederation. We may rather believe that Lee was as honest in his way as Thomas and Farragut in theirs, but the view that the United States is a nation has been maintained through the loyal services of the men who held with Thomas and with Farragut.
"I like to have a good look at the people we employ, Mr Bond." The voice was sharp and pitched high.
There is always an agent cycliste at the dangerous crossroads where Le Touquet's quiet N38 meets the oily turbulence of the major Nl. Yes, certainly he had seen the Rolls. One could not fail to remark it. A real aristocrat of a car. To the right, monsieur, towards Abbeville. He will be an hour ahead, but with that bolide of yours…!
"My God!" he said when he had figured out the thousands of men who had come to the front, from these so-called Indian territories, to maintain the existence of the nation, "If we in the South had known that you had turned those Indian territories into great States, we never should have gone into this war." The incident throws a light upon the state of mind of men in the South, even of well educated men in the South, at the outbreak of the War. They might, of course, have known by statistics that great States had grown up in the North-west, representing a population of millions and able themselves to put into the field armies to be counted by the thousand. They might have realised that these great States of the North-west were vitally concerned with the necessity of keeping the Mississippi open for their trade from its source to the Gulf of Mexico. They might have known that those States, largely settled from New England, were absolutely opposed to slavery. This knowledge was within their reach but they had not realised the facts of the case. It was their feeling that in the coming contest they would have to do only with New England and the Middle States and they felt that they were strong enough to hold their own against this group of opponents. That feeling would have been justified. The South could never have been overcome and the existence of the nation could never have been maintained if it had not been for the loyal co-operation and the magnificent resources of men and of national wealth that were contributed to the cause by the States of the North-west. In 1880, I had occasion, in talking to the two thousand students of the University of Minnesota, to recall the utterance of the old planter. The students of that magnificent University, placed in a beautiful city of two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, found it difficult on their part to realise, amidst their laughter at the ignorance of the old planter, just what the relations of the South had been before the War to the new free communities of the North-west.
He gathered up the letters thoughtfully, smoothing them with his hand; put them into their little bundle; and placed it tenderly in his breast again. The face was gone from the door. I still saw the snow drifting in; but nothing else was there.
"She was a blonde. She was the girl who carried the cello in that orchestra. Probably had her gun in the cello case. The orchestra was to cover up the shooting."
Hitherto there had been two possible ventures open to the human race. One was the romantic scientist’s ideal of developing communication between the planetary systems, so as to create a galaxy-wide community of intelligent worlds. The other, which assumed that man’s proper business must always be with man, was the classical aim of the intensive development of man’s present home and culture.
I HAVE TOLD how, after the victory of the will for the light, there followed a period of explosive progress which gradually gave place to a much longer phase of Utopian stability. This phase, in which material civilization changed only in minor ways, must have lasted for many centuries. In the cultural life of the race also, though minor experiments and advances were constantly being made, no revolutionary changes occurred. The best minds of the race were busy exploring the new vistas which had been opened up for intellect and feeling by the founding of the new order. Of these cultural achievements naturally I can say no more than that achievement did occur. In the earlier part of this phase the new cultural ventures were not, I think, beyond the range of our contemporary human intelligence, but we have not the necessary background of experience to comprehend them. As well might a resuscitated ancient Egyptian understand modern science. Suffice it that throughout this period the growing point of culture kept shifting from one field to another. At one time it lay in pure science, at another in the application of science to industry or eugenics, at another in one or other of the arts, or in philosophy, or in the minutiae of concrete personal relations, or in religious feeling. Cultural leadership would pass now to one people or one social class, now to another.
The decline of world-population had started long ago after the period of rapid increase which took place in the early phase of industrialization. It was due partly to the widespread use of efficient contraceptive methods, partly to anxiety about economic insecurity, partly to a vague sense of the futility and falsity of civilization. In the rather tired Utopia of North America, where the decline was first seriously felt, insecurity cannot have been a cause, for prosperity was universal. But disillusionment about a curiously aimless Utopia was a serious factor in American life. The early totalitarian states had always feared decline of population, and had done their utmost to check it, but without much success. The newer totalitarian states, the Russian and Chinese Empires, and the World Empire in its early phase, had attacked the problem with characteristic ruthlessness.
I had taken one day to do the first two hundred miles. I took nearly two weeks to cover the next two hundred and fifty. There was no mystery about it. Once over the American border, I began to wander around the Adirondacks as if I was on a late summer holiday. I won't go into details since this is not a travelogue, but there was hardly an old fort, museum, waterfall, cave, or high mountain I didn't visit-not to mention the dreadful "Storylands," "Adventure Towns," and mock "Indian Reservations" that got my dollar. I just went on a kind of sightseeing splurge that was part genuine curiosity but mostly wanting to put off the day when I would have to leave these lakes and rivers and forests and hurry on south to the harsh Eldollarado of the superhighways, the hot-dog stands, and the ribboning lights of neon.
Q Branch had put together this smart-looking bag, ripping out the careful handiwork of Swaine and Adeney to pack fifty rounds of .25 ammunition, in two flat rows, between the leather and the lining of the spine. In each of the innocent sides there was a flat throwing knife, built by Wilkinsons, the sword makers, and the tops of their handles were concealed cleverly by the stitching at the corners. Despite Bond's efforts to laugh them out of it, Q's craftsmen had insisted on building a hidden compartment into the handle of the case, which, by pressure at a certain point, would deliver a cyanide death-pill into the palm of his hand. (Directly he had taken delivery of the case, Bond had washed this pill down the lavatory.) More important was the thick tube of Palmolive shaving cream in the otherwise guileless sponge-bag. The whole top of this unscrewed to reveal the silencer for the Beretta, packed in cotton wool. In case hard cash was needed, the lid of the attaché case contained fifty golden sovereigns. These could be poured out by slipping sideways one ridge of welting.
Bond shoved the gun into his waistband and wrenched one of his two portholes wide open. He thrust his shoulders through, relieved to find that there was at least an inch to spare. He craned down. Two dimly lit circles directly below him. How far? About eight feet. The night was still dead calm. No wind, and he was on the dark side of the ship. Would he be spotted from the flying bridge? Would one of their portholes be open?
"Well, everybody's standing back of course. Nothing but Germans in the place. About a dozen of them. There's the body on the floor and the chap with the gun looking down at him. Then suddenly he stands to attention and sticks his left arm up in the air. 'Eil!' he shouts like the silly bastards used to do during the war. Then he puts the end of the gun in his mouth. Next thing," the man made a grimace, "he's all over my ruddy ceiling."
Le Chiffre's hands were clasped in front of him, his two cards three or four inches away. With his right hand he picked up the two cards and turned them face upwards on the table with a faint snap.