Again the big head came slowly down and up again. Now there were traces of sweat on the high, unlined forehead.
‘Feb. 6, 1866.
Should he dramatically throw himself on the mercy of the court? Suddenly Major Smythe saw himself in the dock-a splendid, upright figure, in the fine bemedaled blue and scarlet of the ceremonial uniform that was the traditional rig for courtmartial. (Had the moths got into the japanned box in the spare room at Wavelets? Had the damp? Luna would have to look to it.) A day in the sunshine, if the weather held. A good brushing. With the help of his corset, he could surely still get his forty-inch waist into the thirty-four-inch trousers Gieves had made for him twenty, thirty, years ago. And, down on the floor of the court, at Chatham probably, the Prisoners' Friend, some staunch fellow, at least of colonel's rank in deference to his own seniority, would be pleading his cause. And there was always the possibility of appeal to a higher court. Why, the whole affair might become a cause cйlиbre... he would sell his story to the papers, write a book....
The ma?tre d'h?tel bowed.
The other serious conflict which troubled the early World State did not come to a head until a couple of centuries after the solution of the American trouble. This was a new kind of class war, a worldwide struggle between the bureaucracy and the mass of ordinary citizens.
'You spoke to me, miss,' he replied. 'I beg your pardon. But it is my service to obey.'
‘But the day was clear, and it was easy to give the bergs a wide berth. Every one’s spirits rose. There was nothing but enjoyment of the beautiful scene, admiration at the strange sights before us. The sun at length sank; but a few icebergs loomed in the distance, and I had an idea that we had almost come to the end of the ice-tract. We had delightful music in the saloon, and all appeared cheerfulness and peace. Even when my attention was directed to strange dark objects on the ocean, which I could see through the round saloon window, no thought of danger came into my mind.
That fall, a photo appeared in UltraRunning magazine. It shows Jenn finishing a 30-mile racesomewhere in the backwoods of Virginia. There’s nothing amazing about her performance (thirdplace), or her getup (basic black shorts, basic black sports bra), or even the camera work (dimly lit,crudely cropped). Jenn isn’t battling a rival to the bitter end, or striding across a mountaintop withthe steel-jawed majesty of a Nike model, or gasping toward glory with a grimace of heartbreakingdetermination. All she’s doing is … running. Running, and smiling.
Derek's last term came to an end, and we had exchanged four letters each. His first one had begun "Dearest" and ended with "love and kisses," and I had compromised with "Dear" and "love." His were mostly about how many runs he had made, and mine were about the dances I had been to and the cinemas and plays I had seen. He was going to spend the summer at his home, and he was very excited about a second-hand MG his parents were going to give him, and would I come out with him in it? Susan was surprised when I said that I wouldn't be coming up to Scotland and that I wanted to stay on in the flat, at any rate for the time being. I hadn't told her the truth about Derek, and because I always got up earlier than she, she didn't know about his letters. It wasn't like me to be secretive, but I treasured my "love-affair," as I described it to myself, and it seemed to be so fragile and probably full of disappointments that I thought even to talk about it might bring it bad luck. For all I knew, I might be just one in a whole row of Derek's girls. He was so attractive and grand, at any rate at school, that I imagined a long queue of "Mayfair" sisters, all in organdy and all with titles, at his beck and call. So I simply said that I wanted to look around for a job and perhaps I would come up later, and in due course Susan went north and a fifth letter came from Derek saying would I come down next Saturday on the twelve-o'clock from Paddington, and he would meet me with the car at Windsor station?
'I would love a glass of vodka,' she said simply, and went back to her study of the menu.
Mariko was looking into the wall mirror and fiddling with her hair and eyebrows. Bond said, 'Mariko. Out I'
This state of my thoughts and feelings made the fact of my reading Wordsworth for the first time (in the autumn of 1828), an important event in my life. I took up the collection of his poems from curiosity, with no expectation of mental relief from it, though I had before resorted to poetry with that hope. In the worst period of my depression, I had read through the whole of Byron (then new to me), to try whether a poet, whose peculiar department was supposed to be that of the intenser feelings, could rouse any feeling in me. As might be expected, I got no good from this reading, but the reverse. The poet's state of mind was too like my own. His was the lament of a man who had worn out all pleasures, and who seemed to think that life, to all who possess the good things of it, must necessarily be the vapid, uninteresting thing which I found it. His Harold and Manfred had the same burthen on them which I had; and I was not in a frame of mind to derive any comfort from the vehement sensual passion of his Giaours, or the sullenness of his Laras. But while Byron was exactly what did not suit my condition, Wordsworth was exactly what did. I had looked into the Excursion two or three years before, and found little in it; and I should probably have found as little, had I read it at this time. But the miscellaneous poems, in the two-volume edition of 1815 (to which little of value was added in the latter part of the author's life), proved to be the precise thing for my mental wants at that particular juncture.
Chapter 8 Precarious Advance
On the one side was the sluggish reptilian will for ease and sleep and death, rising sometimes to active hate and destructiveness; on the other side the still blindfold and blundering will for the lucid and coherent spirit. Each generation, it seemed, set out with courage and hope, and with some real aptitude for the life of love and wisdom, but also with the fatal human frailty, and in circumstances hostile to the generous development of the spirit. Each in turn, in the upshot of innumerable solitary ephemeral struggles, sank into middle age, disillusioned or fanatical, inert or obsessively greedy for personal power.
Normally the Cordon Jaune would have proved a most excellent investment and it is possible that Le Chiffre was motivated more by a desire to increase his union funds than by the hope of lining his own pocket by speculating with his employers' money. However that may be, it is clear that he could have found many investments more savoury than prostitution, if he had not been tempted by the byproduct of unlimited women for his personal use.
Behind Bond there sounded a series of soft clicks. Kerim held forward his walking-stick. As Bond had supposed, it was a gun, a rifle, with a skeleton butt which was also a twist breech. The squat bulge of a silencer had taken the place of the rubber tip.
'Oh, it's only Mathis,' she said. 'He says would I come to the entrance hall. He's got a message for you. Perhaps he's not in evening clothes or something. I won't be a minute. Then perhaps we could go home.'