'Ain't you?' asked William.
"It's a wonderful machine," said the Professor. "She'll fly all right if nobody interferes with her. Drax has done a sound job. Wonderful organizer. That's a brilliant team he put together. And they'll do anything for him. We've got a lot to thank him for."
James Bond's last shot had been an inner left. Not good enough. He took another glance at the yellow and blue wind flags. They were streaming across range from the east rather more stiffly than when he had begun his shoot half an hour before, and he set two clicks more to the right on the wind gauge and traversed the cross-wires on the sniperscope back to the point of aim. Then he settled himself, put his trigger finger gently inside the guard and onto the curve of the trigger, shallowed his breathing, and very, very softly squeezed.
“The Vicar of Bullhampton”—“Sir Harry Hotspur”—“An Editor’s Tales”—“Caesar”
Rachel Ray underwent a fate which no other novel of mine has encountered. Some years before this a periodical called Good Words had been established under the editorship of my friend Dr. Norman Macleod, a well-known Presbyterian pastor in Glasgow. In 1863 he asked me to write a novel for his magazine, explaining to me that his principles did not teach him to confine his matter to religious subjects, and paying me the compliment of saying that he would feel himself quite safe in my hands. In reply I told him I thought he was wrong in his choice; that though he might wish to give a novel to the readers of Good Words, a novel from me would hardly be what he wanted, and that I could not undertake to write either with any specially religious tendency, or in any fashion different from that which was usual to me. As worldly and — if any one thought me wicked — as wicked as I had heretofore been, I must still be, should I write for Good Words. He persisted in his request, and I came to terms as to a story for the periodical. I wrote it and sent it to him, and shortly afterwards received it back — a considerable portion having been printed — with an intimation that it would not do. A letter more full of wailing and repentance no man ever wrote. It was, he said, all his own fault. He should have taken my advice. He should have known better. But the story, such as it was, he could not give to his readers in the pages of Good Words. Would I forgive him? Any pecuniary loss to which his decision might subject me the owner of the publication would willingly make good. There was some loss — or rather would have been — and that money I exacted, feeling that the fault had in truth been with the editor. There is the tale now to speak for itself. It is not brilliant nor in any way very excellent; but it certainly is not very wicked. There is some dancing in one of the early chapters, described, no doubt, with that approval of the amusement which I have always entertained; and it was this to which my friend demurred. It is more true of novels than perhaps of anything else, that one man’s food is another man’s poison.
There was a packet of Gauloises on the table and a lighter. Le Chiffre lit a cigarette and swallowed a mouthful of coffee from the glass. Then he picked up the cane carpet-beater and, resting the handle comfortably on his knee, allowed the flat trefoil base to lie on the floor directly under Bond's chair.
The eye in the mottled brown sack was still watching him carefully from the hole in the coral, but now the tip of a single small tentacle wavered hesitatingly an inch or two out of the shadows and quested vaguely with its pink suckers uppermost. Dexter Smythe smiled with satisfaction. Given time-perhaps one more month on top of the two during which he had been chumming the octopus-and he would have tamed the darling. But he wasn't going to have that month. Should he take a chance today and reach down and offer his hand, instead of the expected lump of raw meat on the end of his spear, to the tentacle? Shake it by the hand, so to speak? No, Pussy, he thought. I can't quite trust you yet. Almost certainly other tentacles would whip out of the hole and up his arm. He only needed to be dragged down less than two feet for the cork valve on his mask to automatically close, and he would be suffocated inside it or, if he tore it off, drowned. He might get in a quick lucky jab with his spear, but it would take more than that to kill Pussy. No. Perhaps later in the day. It would be rather like playing Russian roulette, and at about the same five-to-one odds. It might be a quick, a whimsical, way out of his troubles! But not now. It would leave the interesting question unsolved. And he had promised that nice Professor Bengry at the Institute.... Dexter Smythe swam leisurely off toward the reef, his eyes questing for one shape only, the squat, sinister wedge of a scorpionfish, or, as Bengry would put it, Scorpaena plumieri.
It's a wet, stormy night on the West Side; rain is pelting down without mercy, and the wind is whipping along the edge of the park like a tornado in a canyon. A taxi pulls up in front of the Century Building at 25 Central Park West, and at the same moment a man in uniform emerges from the building holding an umbrella to escort the woman passenger to safety. Anyone watching the scene would hardly guess that the doorman is 75 years old. But his age is not the only remarkable thing about George Singer.