"Of course," continued Bond, lost in his story, "all this made the City wonder what the hell was going on. The commodity brokers kept on coming across the name of Drax. Whatever they wanted Drax had got it and was holding out for a much higher price than they were prepared to pay. He operated from Tangier-free port, no taxes, no currency restrictions. By 1950 he was a multi-millionaire. Then he came back to England and started spending it. He simply threw it about. Best houses, best cars, best women. Boxes at the Opera, at Goodwood. Prize-winning Jersey herds. Prize-winning carnations. Prize-winning-two-year-olds. Two yachts; money for the Walker Cup team; ?100,000 for the Flood Disaster Fund; Coronation Ball for Nurses at the Albert Hall-there wasn't a week when he wasn't hitting the headlines with some splash or other. And all the time he went on getting richer and the people simply loved it. It was the Arabian Nights. It lit up their lives. If a wounded soldier from Liverpool could get there in five years, why shouldn't they or their sons? It sounded almost as easy as winning a gigantic football pool.
'You have your baggage check? Will you follow me, please? And first your passport. This way.'
Bond, following M. out of the room, missed Basildon's reply.
Instead it was rather like being inside a very large tidy cigar-box. The floor and ceiling were of highly polished cedar that gave out a cigar-box smell and the walls were panelled with wide split bamboo. The light came from a dozen candles in a fine silver chandelier that hung from the centre of the ceiling. High up in the walls there were three square windows through which Bond could see the dark blue sky and the stars. There were several pieces of good nineteenth-century furniture. Under the chandelier a table was laid for two with expensive-looking old-fashioned silver and glass.
Greatly encouraged, and further stimulated by half a bottle of Mouton Rothschild '53 and a glass of ten-year-old Calvados with his three cups of coifee, he went cheerfully up the thronged steps of the Casino with the absolute certitude that this was going to be a night to remember.
“Do not ask me, Edmund! do not ask me!” was all she was able to say. Edmund was confounded; for, strange as were all the circumstances, there was, at the moment, an unguarded tenderness in her voice and manner, which seemed to convey almost conclusive evidence of attachment to himself. Yet, was it not Henry who had caused her emotion? Edmund had observed the deep interest with which they had conversed; he had seen Henry take her hand, the hand he now held; and he dropped it at the recollection.
"Okay, sweetheart. So you won't give, so I take for myself. I reckon you've earned yourself a rough night. Get me?" He pinched me viciously so that I cried out. Sluggsy laughed delightedly. "That's right. Sing, baby! Might as well get into the practice."
The girl said, 'What's that noise?'
Tiger looked at him hopefully.