The girl's voice became suddenly alert. "I'm afraid Commander Ross is away from Jamaica. Is there anything I can do?" There was a pause. "What name did you say?"
Bill Tanner had been writing furiously to keep up with M. He looked up from his scratchpad, bewildered. "But aren't you going to make any charges, sir? After all, treason and attempted murder ... I mean, not even a court martial?"
The moon shone whitely down the moist river of cobbles. Bond kept his mouth shut and breathed through his nose. He put his feet down one after the other, flat-footedly, and with his knees bent, as if he was walking down a snow-slope. He thought of his bed in the hotel and of the comfortable cushions of the car under the sweetly smelling lime trees, and he wondered how many more kinds of dreadful stench he was going to run into during his present assignment.
They received and steadied the machine as it rested on the ground, and then, on beholding what were its contents, set up loud laughter, accompanied by huzzas. The stranger looked fiercely at them, which seemed a little to check their mirth. Julia, instead of closing her eyes or fainting, was for the moment roused by despair, to a peculiarly vivid reception of surrounding impressions. And strange were the sights that met her gaze. The most fearfully gloomy vaults spread on every side; their low roofs, sustained by immense pillars of shining jet. The flooring, the walls, the roofing, every where of the same material. Long low aisles or passages, branching of in various directions, some lost in total darkness; in others, the view terminated by a far perspective, dimly illuminated, and filled with moving shadowy forms, the black countenances invisible through the obscurity, while the numberless eyes, that seemed scintillations from the unearthly lights the place afforded, were scattered over the gloomy region, like stars in the dark vault of midnight. To complete the wild effect of the whole scene, these terrific beings were all busily employed excavating on every side, as if to increase the dimensions of their infernal realm.
One autumn morning I was with my mother in the front garden, when Mr. Murdstone - I knew him by that name now - came by, on horseback. He reined up his horse to salute my mother, and said he was going to Lowestoft to see some friends who were there with a yacht, and merrily proposed to take me on the saddle before him if I would like the ride.
Bond knelt down on one knee and went carefully through every pocket of Krebs's neat grey pinstripe suit, laying the disappointingly meagre contents on the carpet beside the body. There was no pocketbook and no papers. The only objects of interest were a bunch of skeleton keys, a spring knife with a well-sharpened stiletto blade, and an obscene little truss-shaped black leather cosh. Bond pocketed these and then went to his bedside table and fetched the untouched bottle of Vichy water.
Bond was definite. "I just can't see Strangways flying off the handle like that, sir. I daresay he was having an affair with the girl, though I wouldn't have thought he was a man to mix business with pleasure. But the Service was his whole life. He'd never have let it down. I can see him handing in his papers, and the girl doing the same, and then going off with her after you'd sent out reliefs. But I don't believe it was in him to leave us in the air like this. And from what you say of the girl, I'd say it would be much the same with her. Chief Officers WRNS don't go out of their senses."