The Chief of Staff paused. He knew he wasn't getting through. As soon as he had begun, M. had swivelled his chair sideways and had remained, occasionally sucking at an unlighted pipe, gazing moodily out through the window at the jagged skyline of London. Obstinately, the Chief of Staff concluded, "Do you think you could leave this one to me, sir? I can get hold of Sir James Molony in no time and have 007 put into The Park for observation and treatment. It'll all be done very gently. V.I.P. handling and so on. I can say you've been called to the Cabinet or something. Security says 007's looking a bit thin. Build him up. Convalescence and all that. That can be the excuse. If he cuts up rough, we can always give him some dope. He's a good friend of mine. He won't hold it against us. He obviously needs to be got back in the groove-if we can do it, that is."
Still, we have to remember that spending hours in frontof a screen, typing into cyberspace, is a poor substitute forthe full spectrum of experience offered by face-to-face timewith another person. You might well meet someone in a chatroom who interests you romantically, but would you agreeto marry before meeting a few times in person?
Irma Bunt appeared in the mirror over the bar. 'Ah, Sair Hilary.' She inspected his face. 'But yes, you are already getting a little of the sunburn, isn't it? Come! Let us go and sit down. I see poor Miss Ruby over there all by herself.'
'Pleasure, indeed!' replied my aunt. 'A mighty pleasure for the poor Baby to fix her simple faith upon any dog of a fellow, certain to ill-use her in some way or other. What did she propose to herself, I should like to know! She had had one husband. She had seen David Copperfield out of the world, who was always running after wax dolls from his cradle. She had got a baby - oh, there were a pair of babies when she gave birth to this child sitting here, that Friday night! - and what more did she want?'
I could not conceal from myself that I had done this, though for a reason very different from her supposition.
"IT IS COMMON PRACTICE TO INQUIRE OF PROPOSED RECIPIENT WHETHER HE ACCEPTS THIS HIGH HONOUR BEFORE HER MAJESTY PUTS HER SEAL UPON IT STOP WRITTEN LETTER SHOULD FOLLOW YOUR CABLED CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE PARAGRAPH THIS AWARD NATURALLY HAS MY SUPPORT AND ENTIRE APPROVAL AND EYE SEND YOU MY PERSONAL CONGRATULATIONS ENDIT MAILED-FIST."
Yes, it was as he had guessed. A narrow rocky track, made by the feet of the workers, led down the other side and round the bulge of the cliff.