To my Muse.
They were herded through the open door and along a stone-flagged passage to the narrow entrance hall at the front of the house. The house smelled as Bond had imagined it would musty and fragrant and summery. There were white-panelled doors. Oddjob knocked on one of them.
"No. You all right?" Captain Sender's pale eyes were bright with the fever that comes in battle. They also, Bond noticed, held a sharp glint of accusation.
Writing to Miss Minnie Dixie on July 21, 1893, she asked: 鈥楬ave you heard that I have a new nephew, Mr. Lefroy? He is Irish, of Huguenot descent.... He is a gifted man, and a devoted Missionary.鈥 Mr. Lefroy, belonging to the Cambridge Delhi Mission, which is in connection with the S.P.G., has been mentioned in an earlier letter as arguing for over five successive hours with Muhammadans in a mosque. This was probably the latest of her numerous Indian 鈥榓doptions.鈥橖br> The first impression of the man from the West did nothing to contradict the expectation of something weird, rough, and uncultivated. The long, ungainly figure upon which hung clothes that, while new for this trip, were evidently the work of an unskilful tailor; the large feet, the clumsy hands of which, at the outset, at least, the orator seemed to be unduly conscious; the long, gaunt head capped by a shock of hair that seemed not to have been thoroughly brushed out, made a picture which did not fit in with New York's conception of a finished statesman. The first utterance of the voice was not pleasant to the ear, the tone being harsh and the key too high. As the speech progressed, however, the speaker seemed to get into control of himself; the voice gained a natural and impressive modulation, the gestures were dignified and appropriate, and the hearers came under the influence of the earnest look from the deeply-set eyes and of the absolute integrity of purpose and of devotion to principle which were behind the thought and the words of the speaker. In place of a "wild and woolly" talk, illumined by more or less incongruous anecdotes; in place of a high-strung exhortation of general principles or of a fierce protest against Southern arrogance, the New Yorkers had presented to them a calm but forcible series of well-reasoned considerations upon which their action as citizens was to be based. It was evident that the man from the West understood thoroughly the constitutional history of the country; he had mastered the issues that had grown up about the slavery question; he knew thoroughly, and was prepared to respect, the rights of his political opponents; he knew with equal thoroughness the rights of the men whose views he was helping to shape and he insisted that there should be no wavering or weakening in regard to the enforcement of those rights; he made it clear that the continued existence of the nation depended upon having these issues equitably adjusted and he held that the equitable adjustment meant the restriction of slavery within its present boundaries. He maintained that such restrictions were just and necessary as well for the sake of fairness to the blacks as for the final welfare of the whites. He insisted that the voters in the present States in the union had upon them the largest possible measure of responsibility in so controlling the great domain of the Republic that the States of the future, the States in which their children and their grandchildren were to grow up as citizens, must be preserved in full liberty, must be protected against any invasion of an institution which represented barbarity. He maintained that such a contention could interfere in no way with the due recognition of the legitimate property rights of the present owners of slaves. He pointed out to the New Englander of the anti-slavery group that the restriction of slavery meant its early extermination. He insisted that war for the purpose of exterminating slavery from existing slave territory could not be justified. He was prepared, for the purpose of defending against slavery the national territory that was still free, to take the risk of the war which the South threatened because he believed that only through such defence could the existence of the nation be maintained; and he believed, further, that the maintenance of the great Republic was essential, not only for the interests of its own citizens, but for the interests of free government throughout the world. He spoke with full sympathy of the difficulties and problems resting upon the South, and he insisted that the matters at issue could be adjusted only with a fair recognition of these difficulties. Aggression from either side of Mason and Dixon's Line must be withstood.
Bond, reflecting on all this, decided that he was going to enjoy his evening. He had only played at Blades a dozen times in his life, and on the last occasion he had burnt his fingers badly in a high poker game, but the prospect of some expensive bridge and of the swing of a few, to him, not unimportant hundred pounds made his muscles taut with anticipation.
There came a time when the Reich was seriously divided over the question of succession to the semi-divine post of Fuhrer. (The original Fuhrer, of course, was by now a mythical figure in the past, and the empire was sprinkled with gigantic monuments to his memory.) Suddenly the Norwegians, seizing the opportunity afforded by dissension in the German aristocracy, set in action a long-prepared system of conspiracy. They seized the tidal generators and military centres, and declared Norway’s independence. They also issued a call to all freedom-loving peoples to rise against their tyrants. The Norwegians themselves were in a very strong position. Not only did they control the Reich’s main source of power, but also a large part of the mercantile marine and Imperial Navy. The huge sea-plane force was also mainly on their side. Though at first the rebellion seemed a forlorn hope, it soon spread to Britain and Northern France. Insurrection then broke out in Switzerland, Austria, and southern Germany. The decisive factors were the revived passion for freedom and for human kindness, and also the new, extremely efficient and marvellously light accumulator, which enabled not only ships but planes to be driven electrically. The new accumulator had been secretly invented in Norway and secretly manufactured in large quantities in Spitsbergen. Even before the insurrection many ships and planes had been secretly fitted with it. After the outbreak of war a great fleet of electric planes, far more agile than the old petrol planes, soon broke the nerve of the imperial force. Within a few weeks the rebels were completely victorious.
iii. The Forwards
The man on the ground flashed back a B and a C. He stuck the fourth torch into the ground and moved away, shielding his eyes against the coming whirl of dust. Above him the pitch of the rotor blades flattened imperceptibly and the helicopter settled smoothly into the space between the four torches. The clatter of the engine stopped with a final cough, the tail rotor spun briefly in neutral, and the main rotor blades completed a few awkward revolutions and then drooped to a halt.