It was easy. Crack on his bald skull. ?15,000 in the safe. And then away and out of the country, Tangier-where you could do anything, buy anything, fix anything, Columbite.
I got up and ran to James Bond. He was kneeling down in the grass with one hand to his head. As I came up he took the hand away, looked at it, and swore. There was a big gash just below the hairline. I didn't say anything but ran to the nearest window of the lobby building and smashed it in with the butt of my gun. A burst of heat came out at me, but no flames, and, just below, almost within reach, was the table the gangsters had used, and on it, among some smoldering remains of the roof, the first-aid kit. James Bond shouted something, but I was already over the sill. I held my breath against the fumes, grabbed the box, and scrambled out again, my eyes stinging with the smoke.
At the same time, he knew, deep down, that love from Mary Goodnight, or from any other woman, was not enough for him. It would be like taking "a room with a view." For James Bond, the same view would always pall.
Mr. Hendriks looked past Bond's right ear at nothing. The pressure of the silence built up. Mr. Hendriks shifted his weight from one foot to the other and finally broke down. His eyes shifted and looked thoughtfully at Bond. "And you. You are from London, isn't it?" "Yes. Do you know it?" "I have been there, yes." "Where do you usually stay?" There was hesitation. "With friends." "That must be convenient." "Pliss?"
'Mr Bond.' Goldfinger's voice held an ounce of urgency. 'Is this really necessary? Just tell me the truth. Who are you? Who sent you here? What do you know? Then it will be so easy. You shall both have a pill. There will be no pain. It will be like taking a sleeping draught. Otherwise it will be so messy - so messy and distressing. And are you being fair to the girl? Is this the behaviour of an English gentleman?'
'Mr. Wickfield's at home, ma'am,' said Uriah Heep, 'if you'll please to walk in there' - pointing with his long hand to the room he meant.
'All right, sir.' The Chief of Staff pressed a switch leant towards the intercom on his desk.
The Rasta quickly pushed up the lever and the speed of the train gathered back to twenty miles an hour. He shrugged. He glanced at Bond. He licked his lips wetly. "Dere's white trash across de line. Guess mebbe it's some frien' of de boss."
The grey eyes looked back at him thoughtfully. M took the pipe out of his mouth. "How long have you been back from that holiday in France?"
I said shortly, "Oh, that was only a joke about the motel soap. He said it was too strongly scented."
Behind her there was an explosion. Something hit her on the ankle. She looked down. It was the lock of the door.
The big man chuckled. He led them down towards the sea and placed them at a quiet table under a palm tree that grew out of the base of the restaurant building. "Drinks gemmun?"
"They did, or rather they thought they had. When I left you and went along to my cabin, I reckoned that if anything was going to happen to you they would get rid of me first. So I rigged up a dummy in my bed. A good one. I've done it before, and I've got the trick. You mustn't only have something that looks like a body in the bed. You can do that with pillows and towels and bedding. You must also have something that looks like hair on the pillow. I did that with handfuls of pine needles, just enough to make a dark clump on the pillow with the sheets drawn up to it-very artistic. Then I hung my shirt over the back of a chair beside the bed- another useful prop that conveys the idea that the man belonging to the shirt is inside the bed-and I left the oil-lamp burning low, close to the bed to help their marksmanship-if any. I put amateurish wedges under the door and propped a chair-back under the door handle to show a natural sense of precaution. Then I took my bag round to the back and waited in the trees." James Bond gave a sour laugh. "They gave me an hour and then they came so softly that I didn't hear a thing. Then there was the bang of the door being forced and a series of quick clonks-they were using a silencer-and then the whole interior of the cabin went bright with the thermite. I thought I had been very clever, but it turned out I very nearly wasn't clever enough. It took me almost five minutes to work my way up to your cabin through the trees. I wasn't worried. I thought it would take them all that to get into your cabin and I was ready to break out in the open if I heard your gun. But sometime this evening, probably when Sluggsy was making the cabin inspection you told me about, he had pickaxed a hole in the wall behind your clothes cupboard, leaving only the plaster-board lining to be cut through with a sharp knife. He may or may not have put the stone loosely back. I don't know. Anyway, he didn't need to. There was no occasion for either of us to go into the carport of Number 8, and no reason to. If you had been here alone, they would have seen to it that you kept away from there. Anyway, the first thing I knew was seeing the light of the thermite from your cabin. Then I ran like hell, dodging across the open backs of the carports as I heard them coming back down the line, opening the doors of the cabins and tossing bombs in and then carefully shutting the doors to make it look tidy."
'Not bad. Not bad at all. But you've missed out the joker in the pack. Man I'd never thought of until the Governor brought up his name. He's the richest of the lot. Man called Goldfinger. Auric Goldfinger.'
"We've got what are known as interior lines of defense-if we consider the cars as the objective. I'm going to stick around here and let them come at me. It's they who want to get us and get away. Let 'em try. Time's against them." He looked at his watch. "It's nearly three. How long before first light around here?"
The nattily dressed Preminger, a tall, large man whose distinguished features and totally bald head give the opposite impression of his slow movement and somewhat frail appearance, revealed that the film's African scenes had to be shot in Kenya rather than South Africa "because they said they must see what I am shooting, and if they don't like it, they will confiscate it. They said, 'People in bed you can't shoot.' Then I went to Kenya, where there is a black government, and they didn't even ask for the script. They said I could have anything I want."