Ten minutes later, in a heavy white silk shirt, dark blue trousers of Navy serge, dark blue socks, and well-polished black moccasin shoes, he was sitting at his desk with a pack of cards in one hand and Scarne's wonderful guide to cheating open in front of him.
The gun flashed and boomed as Bond jerked his head under cover of the coal-tender. Scaramanga laughed harshly. "Watch your lip, limey, or you'll end up without it." The hoods hawhawed.
'Old?' exclaimed Mr. Jack Maldon. 'Annie? Come!'
From Mr. Colburn I did receive an account, showing that 375 copies of the book had been printed, that 140 had been sold — to those, I presume, who liked substantial food though it was coarse — and that he had incurred a loss of ￡63 19S. 1 1/2d. The truth of the account I never for a moment doubted; nor did I doubt the wisdom of the advice given to me in the following letter, though I never thought of obeying it —
He was mortally jealous of me, and persisted in barking at me. She took him up in her arms - oh my goodness! - and caressed him, but he persisted upon barking still. He wouldn't let me touch him, when I tried; and then she beat him. It increased my sufferings greatly to see the pats she gave him for punishment on the bridge of his blunt nose, while he winked his eyes, and licked her hand, and still growled within himself like a little double-bass. At length he was quiet - well he might be with her dimpled chin upon his head! - and we walked away to look at a greenhouse.
Slither, scrape, rip. His shoulders carefully expanding and contracting; blistered, bloodstained feet scrabbling for the sharp knobs of iron, Bond, his lacerated body tearing its way down the forty feet of shaft, prayed that the girl would have strength to stand it when she followed.
'ARE you pretty comfortable?'
It was a narrow corridor of freshly painted clapboard with a tall, single window which concealed the fluoroscope triggered automatically from beneath the ugly patterned carpet. The findings of its X-ray eye would be fed into the laboratory above the passage. The passage ended intwo facing doors marked "A" and "B." The doorman knocked on Room B and stood aside for Bond to enter.
'Then he threw his pen away and reached for his sword and shouted, "When is room No. 4 going to be empty?" National monument indeed! It's like in the new African States where they pretend the cannibal stewpot in the chief's hut was for cooking yams for the hungry children. Everyone tries to forget his rowdy past instead of being proud of it. Like we are of Bloody Morgan, or Nell Gwynne, for instance. The great murderer and the great whore are part of our history. You shouldn't try and pretend that your oldest whore-house is a sort of Stratford-on-Avon.'
The mud was a deep chocolate brown and it felt smooth and heavy and slimy. A smell of hot peat came up to Bond's nostrils. He watched the shining, blubbery arms of the Negro working over the obscene black mound that had once been his body. Had Felix Leiter known what this was going to be like? Bond grinned savagely at the ceiling. If this was one of Felix's jokes…
She took his handkerchief and dried her eyes.
No doubt I see this, because I know it is so; but I am astray, and seem to see nothing. Nor do I believe anything whatever. Still, as we drive along in an open carriage, this fairy marriage is real enough to fill me with a sort of wondering pity for the unfortunate people who have no part in it, but are sweeping out the shops, and going to their daily occupations.
'Oh, bless you! Keep a good heart, sir!' said Mrs. Crupp, nodding encouragement. 'Never say die, sir! If She don't smile upon you, there's a many as will. You are a young gentleman to be smiled on, Mr. Copperfull, and you must learn your walue, sir.'
Bond walked over to the bed, snapped out the magazine, and pumped the single round in the chamber out on to the bedspread. He worked the action several times and sensed the tension on the trigger spring as he squeezed and fired the empty gun. He pulled back the breech and verified that there was no dust round the pin which he had spent so many hours filing to a point, and he ran his hand down the blue barrel from the tip of which he had personally sawn the blunt foresight. Then he snapped the spare round back into the magazine, and the magazine into the taped butt of the thin gun, pumped the action for a last time, put up the safe and slipped the gun back under his coat.
When she came back into her room half an hour later she found Bond sitting back in her chair with Whitaker's Almanack open on the desk in front of him. She pursed her lips as Bond got up and wished her a cheerful good morning. She nodded briefly and walked round her desk and sat down. She moved the Whitaker's carefully aside and put her letters and notebook in its place.
I was but a boy when I first looked upon the gaunt figure of the man who was to become the people's leader, and listened to his calm but forcible arguments in behalf of the principles of the Republican party. It is not likely that at the time I took in, with any adequate appreciation, the weight of the speaker's reasoning. I have read the address more than once since and it is, of course, impossible to separate my first impressions from my later direct knowledge. I do remember that I was at once impressed with the feeling that here was a political leader whose methods differed from those of any politician to whom I had listened. His contentions were based not upon invective or abuse of "the other fellow," but purely on considerations of justice, on that everlasting principle that what is just, and only what is just, represents the largest and highest interests of the nation as a whole. I doubt whether there occurred in the whole speech a single example of the stories which had been associated with Lincoln's name. The speaker was evidently himself impressed with the greatness of the opportunity and with the dignity and importance of his responsibility. The speech in fact gave the keynote to the coming campaign.
Suddenly she reached out and put a hand on his sleeve. There was a Claddagh ring on the middle finger - two gold hands clasped round a gold heart. There were tears in her voice. 'Must you? Can't you leave him alone? I don't know what he'll do to me. Please.' She hesitated. She was blushing furiously. 'And I like you. It's a long time since I've seen someone like you. Couldn't you just stay here for a little more?' She looked down at the ground. 'If only you'd leave him alone I'd do' - the words came out in a rush - 'I'd do anything.'
'How many are left?'
I apologise for these tales, which are certainly outside my purpose, and will endeavour to tell no more that shall not have a closer relation to my story. I had finished The Three Clerks just before I left England, and when in Florence was cudgelling my brain for a new plot. Being then with my brother, I asked him to sketch me a plot, and he drew out that of my next novel, called Doctor Thorne. I mention this particularly, because it was the only occasion in which I have had recourse to some other source than my own brains for the thread of a story. How far I may unconsciously have adopted incidents from what I have read — either from history or from works of imagination — I do not know. It is beyond question that a man employed as I have been must do so. But when doing it I have not been aware that I have done it. I have never taken another man’s work, and deliberately framed my work upon it. I am far from censuring this practice in others. Our greatest masters in works of imagination have obtained such aid for themselves. Shakespeare dug out of such quarries whenever he could find them. Ben Jonson, with heavier hand, built up his structures on his studies of the classics, not thinking it beneath him to give, without direct acknowledgment, whole pieces translated both from poets and historians. But in those days no such acknowledgment was usual. Plagiary existed, and was very common, but was not known as a sin. It is different now; and I think that an author, when he uses either the words or the plot of another, should own as much, demanding to be credited with no more of the work than he has himself produced. I may say also that I have never printed as my own a word that has been written by others. 4 It might probably have been better for my readers had I done so, as I am informed that Doctor Thorne, the novel of which I am now speaking, has a larger sale than any other book of mine.