M. gazed into space for perhaps five minutes. Then he reached for his pen and, in green ink, scrawled the word Action? followed by the italic, authoritative M.
This was very pleasant, and so was the letter from Smith & Elder offering me ￡1000 for the copyright of a three-volume novel, to come out in the new magazine — on condition that the first portion of it should be in their hands by December 12th. There was much in all this that astonished me — in the first place the price, which was more than double what I had yet received, and nearly double that which I was about to receive from Messrs. Chapman & Hall. Then there was the suddenness of the call. It was already the end of October, and a portion of the work was required to be in the printer’s hands within six weeks. Castle Richmond was indeed half written, but that was sold to Chapman. And it had already been a principle with me in my art, that no part of a novel should be published till the entire story was completed. I knew, from what I read from month to month, that this hurried publication of incompleted work was frequently, I might perhaps say always, adopted by the leading novelists of the day. That such has been the case, is proved by the fact that Dickens, Thackeray, and Mrs. Gaskell died with unfinished novels, of which portions had been already published. I had not yet entered upon the system of publishing novels in parts, and therefore had never been tempted. But I was aware that an artist should keep in his hand the power of fitting the beginning of his work to the end. No doubt it is his first duty to fit the end to the beginning, and he will endeavour to do so. But he should still keep in his hands the power of remedying any defect in this respect.
'Banco,' said Bond, pushing out a wad of notes.
"I might be able to tell if I watched," said Bond.
Bond cursed silently. The memory of his eggs Benedict the night before was intolerably sweet. What new monstrosity was this? he asked.
As the rattle of the car's exhaust diminished down the road, Vesper sank back into her corner. Her face was pale.