Chapter 2 The Modern Age
"Too frightened," said the middle-aged florid man who was playing with Drax. "No bid." He picked up his cigar from the brass ashtray and put it carefully into the middle of his mouth.
'I'm one of the masters at Salem House,' he said.
The helicopter rocked. There was a flash of silver and a Dassault Mirage with Swiss markings flashed by not a hundred yards away, turned, leaving a trail of black vapour from the slow-burning of its fuel at this low altitude, and headed straight back at them, swerving off to port only at the last moment. The helicopter gave another lurch. The pilot spoke angrily into his mouthpiece. 'Federal Air Control. This is FL-BGS. For further information contact International Red Cross at Geneva. 1 am just a pilot. I am not a "rond de cuir" a chairborne flyer. If you have lost the papers, that is not my fault. I repeat, check with Geneva. And, in the meantime, kindly call off the whole of the Swiss Air Force which is at present trying to make my passengers air-sick.' The voice came back, but now more faintly, because of the mountains. 'Who are your passengers?' The pilot played his trump card. 'Representatives of the world's press. They have been listening to all this nonsense coming from the home of the famous International Red Cross. I wish you happy reading of your newspapers at breakfast-time tomorrow, gentlemen. And now, a little peace, yes? And please record in your log-books that I am not, repeat, not, the Soviet Air Force invading Switzerland.'
'He lays in five and twen-ty foot of ground, if he lays in a fraction,' said Mr. Omer, pleasantly. 'It was either his request or her direction, I forget which.'
Bond smiled at the authority in her voice. He could just make out her silhouette in the dusk. Her head looked sleeker. He wondered what her hair looked like when it was combed and dry. What would she be like when she was wearing clean clothes over that beautiful golden body? He could see her coming into a room or across the lawn at Beau Desert. She would be a beautiful, ravishing, Ugly Duckling. Why had she never had the broken nose mended? It was an easy operation. Then she would be the most beautiful girl in Jamaica.