'Hm. Interesting breeding. Now then. Time for lunch. I told Hammond we weren't to be disturbed.' M got up and pressed the bell by the fire-place. "Fraid we've got to go through the turkey and plum pudding routine. Mrs Hammond's been brooding over her pots and pans for weeks. Damned sentimental rubbish.'
"That's the hell of a stake," said Basildon. "We once had a thousand-pound side-bet on a game of bridge. But that was in the rubber boom before the 'fourteen-eighteen war. Hope nobody's going to get hurt." He meant it. Very high stakes in a private game generally led to trouble. He walked round and stood between M. and Drax.
I found that I still had my pants crushed in my hand. I put them in my bag. The open bag made me think of my appearance. I stopped under a streetlight and took out my mirror. I looked dreadful. My face was so white it was almost green, and my eyes belonged to a hunted animal. My hair stuck up at the back where it had been rumpled by the floor, and my mouth was smeared by Derek's kisses. I shuddered. "Filthy little swine!" How right! All of me felt unclean, degraded, sinful. What would happen to us? Would the man check on the addresses and put the police on us? Someone would certainly remember us from today or from other Saturdays. Someone would remember the number of Derek's car, some little boy who collected car numbers. There was always some Nosy Parker at the scene of a crime. Crime? Yes, of course it was, one of the worst in puritan England-sex, nakedness, indecent exposure. I imagined what the manager must have seen when Derek got up from me. Ugh! I shivered with disgust. But now Derek would be waiting for me. My hands had automatically been tidying my face. I gave it a last look. It was the best I could do. I hurried on up the street and turned down Windsor Hill, hugging the wall, expecting people to turn and point. "There she goes!" "That's her!" "Filthy little swine!"
Bond thought angrily, that's a fine way to talk up here. Just because I'm new and they think no one's listening.
'It didn't come to a end there,' said Mr. Barkis, nodding confidentially. 'It was all right.'
Bond said, 'By the way, Monsieur Maurice. Who is the lady who has just driven up in the white Lancia? She is staying here?'
It was a foolscap memo sheet. The writing, with a ball point, was neat, careful, legible, undistinguished. It said:
'Come! Let us be the best friends in the world!' said the gentleman, laughing. 'Shake hands!'