20 Men Pantoufles
“Just look at the architecture,” Dr. Hartmann explained. Blueprint your feet, and you’ll find amarvel that engineers have been trying to match for centuries. Your foot’s centerpiece is the arch,the greatest weight-bearing design ever created. The beauty of any arch is the way it gets strongerunder stress; the harder you push down, the tighter its parts mesh. No stonemason worth his trowelwould ever stick a support under an arch; push up from underneath, and you weaken the wholestructure. Buttressing the foot’s arch from all sides is a high-tensile web of twenty-six bones,thirty-three joints, twelve rubbery tendons, and eighteen muscles, all stretching and flexing like anearthquake-resistant suspension bridge.
'To be sure; of course,' said Miss Murdstone.
Now he could hear the rasping whine of the eight cylinders. He leaned over to the left and jerked a laconic thumb forwards, waving the Maserati past.
After the defeat of the democracies it seemed that the cause of freedom had been lost for ever. The Russians, whose initial revolutionary passion had long since been corrupted by the constant danger of attack and a consequent reversion to nationalism, now sacrificed all their hard-won social achievements for a desperate defence against the attempt of the German ruling class to dominate the planet. China, after her victory over Japan, had split on the rock of class strife. Between the Communist North and the Capitalist South there was no harmony. North America became a swarm of ‘independent’ states which Germany controlled almost as easily as the Latin South. India, freed from British rule, maintained a precarious unity in face of the German danger.
I said, 'Near London,' which was all I knew.
The preparations, however, had gone on in pursuance of former orders, and every thing was found ready.
Having uttered which, with great distinctness, she begged the favour of being shown to her room, which became to me from that time forth a place of awe and dread, wherein the two black boxes were never seen open or known to be left unlocked, and where (for I peeped in once or twice when she was out) numerous little steel fetters and rivets, with which Miss Murdstone embellished herself when she was dressed, generally hung upon the looking-glass in formidable array.
In keeping Peggotty company, and doing all I could for her (little enough at the utmost), I was as grateful, I rejoice to think, as even now I could wish myself to have been. But I am afraid I had a supreme satisfaction, of a personal and professional nature, in taking charge of Mr. Barkis's will, and expounding its contents.
I did not know what to think. Neither did my aunt; who must have walked, at various times, a hundred miles in her uncertainty. What was strangest of all was, that the only real relief which seemed to make its way into the secret region of this domestic unhappiness, made its way there in the person of Mr. Dick.
Barbara. What shall we do now?
Well, it took just ten minutes to break my heart and about another six months to mend it. Accounts of other people's aches and pains are uninteresting because they are so similar to everybody else's, so I won't go into details. I didn't even tell Susan. As I saw it, I'd behaved like a tramp, from the very first evening, and I'd been treated like a tramp. In this tight little world of England, I was a Canadian, and therefore a foreigner, an outsider-fair game. The fact that I hadn't seen it happening to me was more fool me. Born yesterday! Better get wise, or you'll go on being hurt! But beneath this open-eyed, chin-up rationalization, the girl in me whimpered and cringed, and for a time I cried at night and went down on my knees to the Holy Mother I had forsaken and prayed that She would give Derek back to me. But of course She wouldn't, and my pride forbade me to plead with him or to follow up my curt little note of acknowledgment to his letter and the return of the champagne to Fortnum's. The endless summer had ended. All that was left were some poignant Ink Spot memories, and the imprint of the nightmare in the cinema in Windsor, the marks of which I knew I would bear all my life.
Jill Masterton had said that Goldfinger had been relaxed, indifferent over his defeat. He had told the girl to tell Bond that he would be over in England in a week's time and would like to have that game of golf at Sandwich. Nothing else - no threats, no curses. He had said he would expect the girl back by the next train. Jill had told Bond she would go. Bond had argued with her. But she was not frightened of Goldfinger. What could he do to her? And it was a good job.
"Why not," Bond walked across to her bed. As he passed her he put his arm round her waist and took her with him. He examined the bells. He pressed the one marked 'Room Service'. He said, "What about the others? Let's have the full treatment"
i. Economic Decline
James Bond turned his head slowly. Dusk had crept into the big room and all he could see was a pale, tall outline. The man was carrying a suitcase. He put it down on the floor and came forward. He must have been wearing rubber-soled shoes for his feet made no sound. Tiffy moved nervously behind the counter and a switch clicked. Half a dozen low-voltage bulbs came to life in rusty brackets around the walls.
'We were very happy,' said my mother. 'Mr. Copperfield was only too good to me.'