"Wait." The thick whisper coming through the cracked lips sounded strange to him. Perhaps she hadn't understood. "Wait," he said again, and his mind started exploring his body to see what was left of it. He could feel his feet and his hands. He could move his head from side to side. He could see the bars of moonlight on the floor. He had been able to hear her. It ought to be all right, but he just didn't want to move. His will-power had gone. He just wanted to sleep. Or even to die. Anything to lessen the pain that was in him and all over him, stabbing, hammering, grinding him-and to kill the memory of the four boots thudding into him, and the grunts coming from the two hooded figures.
By tacit agreement they edged away from the moment of warmth. Bond told her of his discovery of Krebs and of the scene in his bedroom.
"Looks as if we'll get that gold after all," he said finally. "There's been some talk of the Hague Court, but Ashenheim's a fine lawyer."* (* This refers to Bond's previous assignment, described in Live and Let Die, by the same author.)
"Tzigane is one of my favorite ballets, because it was the first one that Balanchine choreographed for me after I returned to the company in 1974."
The action takes place in Dublin in 1920. "It was during the time of what they euphemistically call 'the Troubles,'" explains Malachy in his broad, breezy irish accent. We're sitting in his Westside living room. The walls are so loaded down with books that they seem ready to collapse. "The English brought in a bunch of gangsters from their prisons, called the Black and Tans. They were paid an extraordinary amount of money to go over and pacify the country. They could do anything they pleased. You could be tortured, raped and robbed."
James Bond stitched a personal assistant smile on his face and walked up to the bar. Perhaps because he was an Englishman, there was a round of handshaking. The red-coated barman asked him what he would have, and he said, "Some pink gin. Plenty of bitters. Beefeater's." There was desultory talk about the relative merits of gins. Everyone else seemed to be drinking champagne except Mr. Hendriks, who stood away from the group and nursed a Schweppes Bitter Lemon. Bond moved among the men. He made small talk about their flight, the weather in the States, the beauties of Jamaica. He wanted to fit the voices to the names. He gravitated towards Mr. Hendriks. "Seems we're the only two Europeans here. Gather you're from Holland. Often passed through. Never stayed there long. Beautiful country."
Bond also burned the telegram.
The next door, obviously the entrance to one of the public rooms, had a simple latch to it. Bond bent and put his eye to the keyhole. Another dimly lit interior. No sound! He eased up the latch, inched the door ajar, and then open, and went through. It was a second vast chamber, but this time one of baronial splendour - the main reception room, Bond guessed, where Blofeld would receive visitors. Between tall red curtains, edged with gold, fine set-pieces of armour and weapons hung on the white plaster walls, and there was much heavy antique furniture arranged in conventional groupings on a vast central carpet in royal blue. The rest of the floor was of highly polished boards, which reflected back the lights from two great oil lanterns that hung from the high, timbered roof, similar to that of the entrance hall, but here with the main beams decorated in a zigzag motif of dark red. Bond, looking for places of concealment, chose the widely spaced curtains and, slipping softly from one refuge to the next, reached the small door at the end of the chamber that would, he guessed, lead to the private apartments.