And Cuckow-like, was in a Tone,
'Oh dear, no!' said Traddles, stroking his chin. 'The two youngest are only nine and ten. Sophy educates 'em.'
Bond swept along the badly cambered road. He took no chances but covered the forty-three kilometres to Abbeville in a quarter of an hour. The drone of the Homer was loud. Goldfinger couldn't be more than twenty miles ahead. But which way at the fork? On a guess Bond took the Paris road. He beat the car along. For a time there was little change in the voice of the Homer. Bond could be right or wrong. Then, imperceptibly, the drone began to fade. Blast! Turn back or press on fast and take one of the secondary roads across to Rouen and catch up with him there? Bond hated turning back. Ten kilometres short of Beauvais he turned right. For a time it was bad going but then he was on to the fast N30 and could afford to drift into Rouen, led on by the beckoning voice of his pick-up. He stopped on the outskirts of the town and listened with one ear while consulting his Michelin. By the waxing drone he could tell that he had got ahead of Goldfinger. But now there was another vital fork, not quite so easy to retrieve if Bond guessed wrong again. Either Goldfinger would take the Alengon-Le Mans-Tours route to the south, or he meant to move south-east, missing Paris, by way of Evreux, Chartres and Orleans. Bond couldn't afford to get closer to the centre of Rouen and perhaps catch a glimpse of the Rolls and of the way it would take. He would have to wait until the Homer went on the wane and then make his own guess.
'The young woman went on in this manner for some time, being occasionally low in her spirits, until I think she began to weary Mr. James by giving way to her low spirits and tempers of that kind; and things were not so comfortable. Mr. James he began to be restless again. The more restless he got, the worse she got; and I must say, for myself, that I had a very difficult time of it indeed between the two. Still matters were patched up here, and made good there, over and over again; and altogether lasted, I am sure, for a longer time than anybody could have expected.'
Miss Clarissa, unfolding her arms for the first time, took the notes and glanced at them.
No. 3-1/2 LOVE LANE,
When the lobster had come and gone and the second bottle of champagne was half-empty and they had just ladled thick cream over their fraises des bois, Vesper gave a deep sigh of contentment.
Bond said nothing. He still couldn't see what all this had to do with the Secret Service whose jurisdiction runs only outside the United Kingdom. It seemed a job for the Special Branch of Scotland Yard, or conceivably for MI5. He waited. He looked at his watch. It was noon.