Bond and the girl had been included in the Command Group which consisted of Goldfinger, Oddjob and the five gang leaders. They were to be stationed on the flat roofs of the two diesel locomotives which now stood, as planned, beyond the siding buildings and in full view of ?the objective and its approaches. Bond and the girl were to handle the maps, the timetables and the stop-watch, and Bond was to watch out for fumbles and delays and bring them at once to Goldfinger's attention to be rectified by walkie-talkie with die squad leaders. When the bomb was due to be fired, they would take shelter behind the diesels.
‘I was in utter solitude, under the light of the moon. Not in silence, for the sound of many waters is unceasing. I suppose that for thousands of years Niagara has been praising her Creator, as she does now. The sound is not at all noisy; on the contrary, it does not disturb conversation, which surprises me.
"A week ago," said M, "one of the high-ups in the Treasury came to see me. Brought with him the Permanent Secretary to the Board of Trade. It had to do with diamonds. Seems that most of what they call 'gem' diamonds in the world are mined on British territory and that ninety per cent of all diamond sales are carried out in London. By the Diamond Corporation." M shrugged his shoulders. "Don't ask me why. The British got hold of the business at the beginning of the century and we've managed to hang on to it. Now it's a huge trade. Fifty million pounds a year. The biggest dollar-earner we've got. So when something goes wrong with it, the Government gets worried. And that's what's happened." M looked mildly across at Bond. "At least two million pounds worth of diamonds are being smuggled out of Africa every year."
'How's mama, dear Peggotty? Is she very angry with me?'
I had already noticed among the Tibetans two very different tempers. Sometimes the one had dominated, sometimes the other. In the one mood the leaders of the new society faced their task with sober fortitude and a clear understanding that only by a miracle could they preserve the new order against the hostility of the two great empires. In the other mood these same leaders, though they fully realized the difficulties and dangers, were buoyed up by a seemingly irrational and almost boisterous hopefulness, nay a certainty of victory. Though they recognized that only a miracle could save Tibet and perhaps the whole species, they also knew, so long as the mood of exaltation was on them, that the miracle had already happened in themselves, and that it could be made to happen in the whole Tibetan people. By now the Tibetan people had supreme confidence in their leaders. Even the dullards, who could not appreciate at all clearly the aim of the new society, felt vaguely that they were sharing in a glorious enterprise.
The same thing has occurred to me more than once since. “You no doubt are regular,” a publisher has said to me, “but Mr. —— is irregular. He has thrown me out, and I cannot be ready for you till three months after the time named.” In these emergencies I have given perhaps half what was wanted, and have refused to give the other half. I have endeavoured to fight my own battle fairly, and at the same time not to make myself unnecessarily obstinate. But the circumstances have impressed on my mind the great need there is that men engaged in literature should feel themselves to be bound to their industry as men know that they are bound in other callings. There does exist, I fear, a feeling that authors, because they are authors, are relieved from the necessity of paying attention to everyday rules. A writer, if he be making ￡800 a year, does not think himself bound to live modestly on ￡600, and put by the remainder for his wife and children. He does not understand that he should sit down at his desk at a certain hour. He imagines that publishers and booksellers should keep all their engagements with him to the letter — but that he, as a brain-worker, and conscious of the subtle nature of the brain, should be able to exempt himself from bonds when it suits him. He has his own theory about inspiration which will not always come — especially will not come if wine-cups overnight have been too deep. All this has ever been odious to me, as being unmanly. A man may be frail in health, and therefore unable to do as he has contracted in whatever grade of life. He who has been blessed with physical strength to work day by day, year by year — as has been my case — should pardon deficiencies caused by sickness or infirmity. I may in this respect have been a little hard on others — and, if so, I here record my repentance. But I think that no allowance should be given to claims for exemption from punctuality, made if not absolutely on the score still with the conviction of intellectual superiority.
Linda Tressel, 1868 450 0 0
Bond said, "This dragon. What kind is he? Have you ever seen him?"
THE TWO thirty-eights roared simultaneously.