James Bond was still standing, gazing at the lake, when I ran up to him and threw my arms round him. "Are you all right? Are you hurt?"
A month or two after my return home, Lady Anna appeared in The Fortnightly, following The Eustace Diamonds. In it a young girl, who is really a lady of high rank and great wealth, though in her youth she enjoyed none of the privileges of wealth or rank, marries a tailor who had been good to her, and whom she had loved when she was poor and neglected. A fine young noble lover is provided for her, and all the charms of sweet living with nice people are thrown in her way, in order that she may be made to give up the tailor. And the charms are very powerful with her. But the feeling that she is bound by her troth to the man who had always been true to her overcomes everything — and she marries the tailor. It was my wish of course to justify her in doing so, and to carry my readers along with me in my sympathy with her. But everybody found fault with me for marrying her to the tailor. What would they have said if I had allowed her to jilt the tailor and marry the good-looking young lord? How much louder, then, would have been the censure! The book was read, and I was satisfied. If I had not told my story well, there would have been no feeling in favour of the young lord. The horror which was expressed to me at the evil thing I had done, in giving the girl to the tailor, was the strongest testimony I could receive of the merits of the story.
It was the old game of Scissors cut Paper, Paper wraps Stone, Stone blunts Scissors, that is played by children all over the world. The fist is the Stone, two outstretched fingers are the Scissors, and a flat hand is the Paper. The closed fist is hammered twice in the air simultaneously by the two opponents and, at the third downward stroke, the chosen emblem is revealed, The game consists of guessing which emblem the opponent will choose, and of you yourself choosing one that, will defeat him. Best of three goes or more. It is a game of bluff.
Emily looked at me, and laughed and nodded 'yes'.
At first glance I inwardly groaned-God it's another of them! He stood there so quiet and controlled and somehow with the same quality of deadliness as the others. And he wore that uniform that the films make one associate with gangsters-a dark-blue belted raincoat and a soft black hat pulled rather far down. He was good-looking in a dark, rather cruel way, and a scar showed whitely down his left cheek. I quickly put my hand up to hide my nakedness. Then he smiled and suddenly I thought I might be all right.
"One hundred and thirty thousand pounds I am bid," he repeated quietly.
'Good,' said my aunt. 'Should you like to go tomorrow?'
Then his whole body shrugged and he slipped out a card for himself from the lisping shoe.