And then Drax had his idea.
Tiger picked his teeth reminiscently. 'No higher than a Black Belt of the Seventh Dan. I never graduated to a Red Belt, which is from the Eighth to the Eleventh Dan. To do so would have meant abandoning all other forms of activity. And with what object? To be promoted to the Twelfth and final Dan on my death? In exchange for spending the whole of my life tumbling about in the Kodokan Academy in Tokyo? No thank you. That is the ambition of a lunatic.' He smiled. 'No sake! No beautiful girls! Worse still, probably no opportunity in a whole lifetime to exercise my art in anger, to tackle a robber or murderer with a gun, and get the better of him. In the higher realms of judo, you are nothing but a mixture between a monk and a ballet dancer. Not for me!'
I am thus one of the very few examples, in this country, of one who has, not thrown off religious belief, but never had it: I grew up in a negative state with regard to it. I looked upon the modern exactly as I did upon the ancient religion, as something which in no way concerned me. It did not seem to me more strange that English people should believe what I did not, than that the men I read of in Herodotus should have done so. History had made the variety of opinions among mankind a fact familiar to me, and this was but a prolongation of that fact. This point in my early education had, however, incidentally One bad consequence deserving notice. In giving me an opinion contrary to that of the world, my father thought it necessary to give it as one which could not prudently be avowed to the world. This lesson of keeping my thoughts to myself, at that early age, was attended with some moral disadvantages; though my limited intercourse with strangers, especially such as were likely to speak to me on religion, prevented me from being placed in the alternative of avowal or hypocrisy. I remember two occasions in my boyhood, on which I felt myself in this alternative, and in both cases I avowed my disbelief and defended it. My opponents were boys, considerably older than myself: one of them I certainly staggered at the time, but the subject was never renewed between us: the other who was surprised, and somewhat shocked, did his best to convince me for some time, without effect.
'Of course, Tiger. My country has not been occupied for many centuries. The imposition of a new culture on an old one is something we have not suffered. I cannot imagine my reactions in the same circumstances. Much the same as yours, I expect. Please go on with your story.' Bond reached for the sake flask. It stood in a jar of warm water being heated over a slow flame from a charcoal burner. He filled his glass and drank. Tiger Tanaka rocked two or three times on his buttocks and the sides of his feet. He resumed.
THE scene in the big gambling room had changed. It was much quieter. The orchestra had gone, and so had the droves of women, and there were only a few players at the tables. There were two or three 'shills' at the roulette, attractive girls in smart evening dresses who had been given fifty dollars with which to warm up the dead tables, and there was a very drunk man clinging on to the high surrounding wall of one of the crap tables and shouting exhortations to the dice.
'On that understanding,' said my aunt, 'though it doesn't lessen the real obligation, I shall be very glad to leave him.'
Thirty-five miles, half an hour, to go! Coffee and doughnuts were brought round by the nurses, and (Goldfinger thought of everything) for those whose nerves needed it, two grains of dexedrine. The nurses were pale, silent. There were no jokes, no smart remarks. The train was electric with tension.
He laughed and reached out and hugged me to him. "If you sleep on the floor, I'll sleep on the floor too. But it seems rather a waste of a fine double bed. Let's say Number 3." He stopped and looked at me, pretending to be polite. "Or would you rather have Number 2?"
And then in front of him there was the spidery arm of the gantry folded back against the wall and Bond's hand was at the lever and the arm was slowly stretching down and out towards the square hairline on the glittering skin of the rocket that was the door of the gyro chamber.