Six times he has received an advance to write his autobiography, and six times he has returned the money because of the enormity of the task. The life of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is too rich and varied to be condensed into a one-volume narrative.
Some said Caballo Blanco was a fugitive; others heard he was a boxer who’d run off to punishhimself after beating a man to death in the ring. No one knew his name, or age, or where he wasfrom. He was like some Old West gunslinger whose only traces were tall tales and a whiff ofcigarillo smoke. Descriptions and sightings were all over the map; villagers who lived impossibledistances apart swore they’d seen him traveling on foot on the same day and described him on ascale that swung wildly from “funny and simpático” to “freaky and gigantic.”
The morning had been an endless series of conferences round the model of Piz Gloria and its buildings that had been put up in the night. New faces came, received their orders in a torrent of dialect, and disappeared - rough, murderous faces, bandits' faces, but all bearing one common expression, devotion to their Capu. Bond was vastly impressed by the authority and incisiveness of Marc-Ange as he dealt with each problem, each contingency, from the obtaining of a helicopter down to the pensions that would be paid to the families of the dead. Marc-Ange hadn't liked the helicopter business. He had explained to Bond, 'You see, my friend, there is only one source for this machine, the OAS, the French secret army of the right wing. It happens that they are under an obligation to me, a heavy one, and that is the way I would have it. I do not like being mixed up in politics. I like the country where I operate to be orderly, peaceful. I do not like revolutions. They make chaos everywhere. Today, I never know when an operation of my own is not going to be interfered with by some damned emergency concerning Algerian terrorists, the rounding up of some nest of these blasted OAS. And road blocks! House to house searches! They are the bane of my existence. My men can hardly move without falling over a nest of flics or SDT spies -that, as I'm sure you know, is the latest of the French Secret Services. They are getting as bad as the Russians with their constant changes of initials. It is the Section Defense Terri toire. It comes under the Ministry of the Interior and I am finding it most troublesome and difficult to penetrate. Not like the good old Deuxieme. It makes life for the peace-loving very difficult. But I naturally have my men in the OAS and I happen to know that the OAS has a military helicopter, stolen from the French Army, hidden away at a chateau on the Rhine not fat from Strasbourg. The chвteau belongs to some crazy fascist count. He is one of those Frenchmen who cannot live without conspiring against something. So now he has put all his money and property behind this General Salan. His chateau is remote. He poses as an inventor. His farm people are not surprised that there is some kind of flying machine kept in an isolated barn with mechanics to tend it - OAS mechanics, bien entendu. And now, early this morning, I have spoken on my radio to the right man and I have the machine on loan for twenty-four hours with the best pilot in their secret air force. He is already on his way to the place to make his preparations, fuel, and so on. But it is unfortunate. Before, these people were in my debt. Now I am in theirs.' He shrugged. 'What matter? I will soon have them under my thumb again. Half the police and Customs officers in France are Corsicans. It is an important laissez-passer for the union Corse. You understand?'
When I was twelve there came the vacancy at Winchester College which I was destined to fill. My two elder brothers had gone there, and the younger had been taken away, being already supposed to have lost his chance of New College. It had been one of the great ambitions of my father’s life that his three sons, who lived to go to Winchester, should all become fellows of New College. But that suffering man was never destined to have an ambition gratified. We all lost the prize which he struggled with infinite labour to put within our reach. My eldest brother all but achieved it, and afterwards went to Oxford, taking three exhibitions from the school, though he lost the great glory of a Wykamist. He has since made himself well known to the public as a writer in connection with all Italian subjects. He is still living as I now write. But my other brother died early.
It was fifty yards of shallow water to the lair of the octopus in the coral cranny, and Major Smythe, screaming all the while into his mask, crawling mostly on his knees, somehow made it. As he came to the last approach and the water became deeper, he had to get to his feet, and the pain made him jiggle to and fro, as if he were a puppet manipulated by strings. Then he was there, and with a supreme effort of will, he held himself steady as he dipped his head down to let some water into his mask and clear the mist of his screams from the glass. Then, blood pouring from his bitten lower lip, he bent carefully down to look into Octopussy's house. Yes! The brown mass was still there. It was stirring excitedly. Why? Major Smythe saw the dark strings of his blood curling lazily down through the water. Of course! The darling was tasting his blood. A shaft of pain hit Major Smythe and sent him reeling. He heard himself babbling deliriously into his mask. Pull yourself together, Dexter, old boy! You've got to give Pussy her lunch! He steadied himself, and holding the spear well down the shaft, lowered the fish down toward the writhing hole.
But the main defence against invasion, though not against attack from the air, was a device recently invented by geneticists and biochemists in one of the great reformed Lamasseries. The character of this invention shows how strangely science was developing under the influence of will for the light. Some miles in front of the fortifications the new defences formed a belt about two miles wide and completely surrounding Tibetan territory, save for the exits and entrances of rivers. Throughout this belt the ground was impregnated to a depth of several feet with a micro-organism which had been artificially bred from a natural virus. It had a strange property. Though in one stage of’ its life-cycle this ultra-microscopic object remained deep underground in chemical reaction with certain products of vegetable decomposition, in another stage it gradually percolated towards the surface and finally drifted off into the air, to reproduce and take part in other chemical reactions before settling once more on the ground and sinking into the subsoil. In the air this virus formed an ultra-microscopic dust which would inevitably be inhaled by all animals in the infected area. From the respiratory organs it travelled to the brain. It had a startling effect on the higher brain centres. It produced a complete but temporary loss of memory and of nearly all acquired skills. Even those habits that were most long-established and familiar were seriously disturbed. Speech and walking became infantile, perception largely meaningless. Intelligence remained; but, shorn of all its acquired experience, it was like the intelligence of a bright and ignorant child. But the most striking aspect of the virus was that its influence could be almost completely resisted by minds of high intelligence and integrity that had undergone a thorough spiritual discipline. Many Tibetans, therefore, could cross the defence belt in safety so long as they kept their minds occupied with meditation, while on the journey and resisted the oppressive drowsiness which was the first symptom of disintegration.
Amidst the diminishing crescendo of echoes, Bond stood in the centre of the room, his legs braced with the last effort and the breath rasping in his throat. Slowly he lifted one bruised hand and ran it through his dripping hair.
“It is my son!” said the murderer.
"So you're one of those old-fashioned men who like sleeping with women. Why haven't you ever married?"
“It’s not him,” Billy protested. “It’s this place.”