“Did your ladyship ever happen to see him at the Laird of Moorland’s?” enquired Mr. Graham, who had now got to the sofa on which Lady Morven lolled; “the laird, you know, is very short, and very fat, and you never saw such a figure as Sir Archibald makes in his clothes!”
'No. Leave it in, would you.'
'For the Church?' said I, still pondering, between whiles, on Uriah Heep.
???And live by Methods of our own,
Derek squeezed me excitedly. "Don't you worry. I'll show you."
'No, Bondo-san. It is not as simple as that. He persuades, or rather entices people to kill themselves.' Tiger paused, the wide expanse of his brow furrowed. 'No, that also is not being just. Let us just say that he provides an easy and attractive opportunity - a resort - for people to do away with themselves. His present tally, in just under six months, is something over five hundred Japanese.'
There was a moment of dead silence in the crowded Smoking Room. It was quickly followed by a buzz of comment. There had been no question. It was obvious that the man would take the High Field. The weather was perfect. The Queen must be doing at least thirty knots. Did he know something? Had he bribed someone on the bridge? Was a storm coming up? Was a bearing running hot?
Lord Arandale summoned Edmund by a look, and presented him to Sir Archibald, saying, “This gentleman, Sir Archibald, can talk to you on your favourite subject, of naval affairs, better than most people.” Edmund now joined the group, and while taking a part in the very incoherent conversation that was going on, observed, with much compassion, that the fire which awakened animation from time to time, called into the eye of the evidently unfortunate being before him, varied from wild to gloomy, and from gloomy to wild, but never once expressed pleasure; indeed it was when he attempted to smile that the light was wildest: and how instantaneously, how darkly did the cloud that thus had opened but for a moment, close again!
Bond thought, God, what an evening! But he smiled with all the warmth he could summon. 'But of course. I would love to do that. But I am booked on the first morning night from Le Touquet tomorrow morning. Will you be responsible for her from then?'
Which is, at best, but half true Happiness.
I HOISTED myself up onto the drainboard of the sink just beside him so that he could talk to me quietly- and so that I could be near to him. I refused another cigarette, and he lit one and gazed for a long minute into the mirror, watching the two gangsters. I looked too. The two men just stared back with a passive, indifferent hostility that seeped steadily across the room like poison gas. I didn't much like their indifference and their watchfulness. It seemed so powerful, so implacable, as if the odds were on their side and they had all the time in the world. But this James Bond didn't seem worried. He just seemed to be weighing them up, like a chess player. There was a certitude of power, of superiority, in his eyes that worried me. He hadn't seen these men in action. He couldn't possibly know what they were capable of, how at any moment they might just blaze away with their guns, blowing our heads off like coconuts in a circus sideshow, and then toss our bodies in the lake with stones to keep them down. But then James Bond began talking, and I forgot my nightmares and just watched his face and listened.
Drax's eyes blazed momentarily. "A Kraut. Yes, I am indeed a Reichsdeutscher"-the mouth beneath the red moustache savoured the fine word-"and even England will soon agree that ,they have been licked by just one single German. And then perhaps they'll stop calling us Krauts-BY ORDER!" The words were yelled out and the whole of Prussian militarism was in the parade-ground bellow.
Bond grinned apologetically. "Not as odd as all that, sir," he said. "I've known very rich people cheat themselves at Patience. But it just didn't fit in with my picture of Drax. Bit of an anti-climax."
TO THE SAME.
'At least take some assistance,' I returned, 'until you have tried.'
All those I think who have lived as literary men — working daily as literary labourers — will agree with me that three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write. But then he should so have trained himself that he shall be able to work continuously during those three hours — so have tutored his mind that it shall not be necessary for him to sit nibbling his pen, and gazing at the wall before him, till he shall have found the words with which he wants to express his ideas. It had at this time become my custom — and it still is my custom, though of late I have become a little lenient to myself — to write with my watch before me, and to require from myself 250 words every quarter of an hour. I have found that the 250 words have been forthcoming as regularly as my watch went. But my three hours were not devoted entirely to writing. I always began my task by reading the work of the day before, an operation which would take me half an hour, and which consisted chiefly in weighing with my ear the sound of the words and phrases. I would strongly recommend this practice to all tyros in writing. That their work should be read after it has been written is a matter of course — that it should be read twice at least before it goes to the printers, I take to be a matter of course. But by reading what he has last written, just before he recommences his task, the writer will catch the tone and spirit of what he is then saying, and will avoid the fault of seeming to be unlike himself. This division of time allowed me to produce over ten pages of an ordinary novel volume a day, and if kept up through ten months, would have given as its results three novels of three volumes each in the year — the precise amount which so greatly acerbated the publisher in Paternoster Row, and which must at any rate be felt to be quite as much as the novel-readers of the world can want from the hands of one man.