'Well, if you bring your children up on that sort of stuff, you can't expect them not to venerate the act of suicide.'
Now a great blaze of light showed coming up the railway line, and, before it was hidden by the cable station, Bond identified an express and could just hear the thudding of its electro-diesels. By God, it would just about be passing the cable station as he wanted to get across the track! Could he make it - take a run at the low embankment and clear it and the lines before the train got there? It was his only hope! Bond dug in with his sticks to get on extra speed. Hell! A man had got out of the black car and was crouching, aiming at him. Bond jinked and jinked again as fire bloomed from the man's hand. But now Bond was on top of him. He thrust hard with the rapier point of a ski-stick and felt it go through clothing. The man gave a scream and went down. The guide, now only yards behind, yelled something. The great yellow eye of the diesel glared down the tracks, and Bond caught a sideways glimpse of a huge red snow-fan below the headlight that was fountaining the new snow to right and left of the engine in two white wings. Now! He flashed across the parking place, heading straight at the mound of the embankment and, as he hit, dug both his sticks in to get his skis off the ground, and hurled himself forward into the air. There was a brief glimpse of steel rails below, a tremendous thudding in his ears, and a ferocious blast, only yards away, from the train's siren. Then he crashed on to the icy road, tried to stop, failed, and fetched up in an almighty skid against the hard snow wall on the other side. As he did so, there came a terrible scream from behind him, a loud splintering of wood, and the screech of the train's brakes being applied.
I said shortly, "Oh, that was only a joke about the motel soap. He said it was too strongly scented."
Chapter 3 Mankind at the Cross Roads
With less Devotion than e'er Sexton pray'd,
I came to in the shower of my cabin. I was lying naked on the tiles, the tattered, filthy remains of my pretty clothes beside me. Sluggsy, chewing at a wooden toothpick, leaned up against the wall with his hand on the cold tap. His eyes were glistening slits. He turned off the water and I somehow got to my knees. 1 knew I was going to be sick. I didn't care. I was a tamed, whimpering animal ready to die. I retched.
‘I shall put your hair in a locket and wear it round my neck,’ she said, while the tears still glittered in her eyes. ‘That will be some small consolation to you, perhaps . . . and now good-bye.’
George continues to do the night shift as he always has — "I'd rather work nights. There's more money at nights. And you don't have the bosses around. … At night people are more in a free spirit."
Bond shook hands. "That was what I was thinking. Goodbye, sir."
Always thou go'st thy proper Course,
鈥楾here are some things in Indian life which would strike you as curious. For instance, I have five glass doors to my bedroom. One alone is never opened ... but through all the others people, especially my Ayah, come in; and she never knocks.... Folk can walk in from the outside of the house through two of my glass doors. It is a very public sort of living, but it is Indian fashion. The great thing is to let in abundance of air; and where air comes in other things come in too. I have, however, 鈥渃hick鈥 blinds to my outer doors; these are made of thin split bamboos; and if I let them down, no one can see in. Of course they would not keep out my dear little Ayah; she can always pop in by lifting the chicks. She is the only one who really laughs at my bad Urdu.... My Munshi laughs a little, but not in the same way. He is gentle and pleasing.鈥橖/p>
The second point was that none of the faces in the photographs bore a moustache. Despite Drax's explanations, this fact raised a second tiny question mark in Bond's mind.
Bond turned sideways to his secretary and, as he talked, looked out across the bare trees in Regent's Park, remembering every minute of the last three days - the sharp, empty smell of the air and the snow, the dark green pools of Blofeld's eyes, the crunch as the edge of his left hand, still bruised, thudded down across the offered neck of the guard. And then all the rest until Tracy, whom, without mention of romance, he left in his report on her way to the Vier Jahres-zeiten in Munich. Then the report was finished and the muted clack of Mary's typewriter came from behind the closed door. He would ring Tracy up that night when he got back to his flat. He could already hear her laughing voice at the other end of the wire. The nightmare in the plane was forgotten. Now there was only the happy, secret looking-forward to the days to come. Bond lost himself in his plans -how to get the days off, how to get the necessary papers, where to have the service in Scotland. Then he pulled himself together, picked up the photostat containing the girls'
And once when you look death in the face.'
I have now, I believe, mentioned all the books which had any considerable effect on my early mental development. From this point I began to carry on my intellectual cultivation by writing still more than by reading. In the summer of 1822 I wrote my first argumentative essay. I remember very little about it, except that it was an attack on what I regarded as the aristocratic prejudice, that the rich were, or were likely to be, superior in moral qualities to the poor. My performance was entirely argumentative, without any of the declamation which the subject would admit of, and might be expected to suggest to a young writer. In that department however I was, and remained, very inapt. Dry argument was the only thing I could manage, or willingly attempted; though passively I was very susceptible to the effect of all composition, whether in the form of poetry or oratory, which appealed to the feelings on any basis of reason. My father, who knew nothing of this essay until it was finished, was well satisfied, and as I learnt from others, even pleased with it; but, perhaps from a desire to promote the exercise of other mental faculties than the purely logical, he advised me to make my next exercise in composition one of the oratorical kind: on which suggestion, availing myself of my familiarity with Greek history and ideas and with the Athenian orators, I wrote two speeches, one an accusation, the other a defence of Pericles, on a supposed impeachment for not marching out to fight the Lacedaemonians on their invasion of Attica. After this I continued to write papers on subjects often very much beyond my capacity, but with great benefit both from the exercise itself, and from the discussions which it led to with my father. I had now also begun to converse, on general subjects, with the instructed men with whom I came in contact: and the opportunities of such contact naturally became more numerous. The two friends of my father from whom I derived most, and with whom I most associated, were Mr Grote and Mr John Austin. The acquaintance of both with my father was recent, but had ripened rapidly into intimacy. Mr Grote was introduced to my father by Mr Ricardo, I think in 1819, (being then about twenty-five years old), and sought assiduously his society and conversation. Already a highly instructed man, he was yet, by the side of my father, a tyro on the great subjects of human opinion; but he rapidly seized on my father's best ideas; and in the department of political opinion he made himself known as early as 1820, by a pamphlet in defence of Radical Reform, in reply to a celebrated article by Sir James Mackintosh, then lately published in the Edinburgh Review. Mr Grote's father, the banker, was, I believe, a thorough Tory, and his mother intensely Evangelical; so that for his liberal opinions he was in no way indebted to home influences. But, unlike most persons who have the prospect of being rich by inheritance, he had, though actively engaged in the business of banking, devoted a great portion of time to philosophic studies; and his intimacy with my father did much to decide the character of the next stage in his mental progress. Him I often visited, and my conversations with him on political, moral, and philosophical subjects gave me, in addition to much valuable instruction, all the pleasure and benefit of sympathetic communion with a man of the high intellectual and moral eminence which his life and writings have since manifested to the world.
"And ten," said the auctioneer. The man spoke into his telephone and nodded. "And twenty."