Looking for further clues, Bond noticed that Drax was sweating rather freely. Despite the occasional growl of thunder outside it was a cool evening, and yet Drax was constantly mopping his face and neck with a huge bandana handkerchief. He smoked incessantly, stubbing out the cork-tipped Virginia cigarettes after a dozen lungfuls of smoke and almost immediately lighting another from a box of fifty in his coat pocket. His big hands, their backs thickly covered with reddish hair, were always on the move, fiddling with his cards, handling the cigarette lighter that stood beside a plain flat silver cigarette-case in front of him, twisting a lock of hair on the side of his head, using the handkerchief on his face and neck. Occasionally he put a finger greedily to his mouth and worried a nail. Even at a distance Bond could see that every finger-nail was bitten down to the quick.
There was a buzz of conversation round the table and several more people drifted up and stood watching. Bond felt the curious eyes on him, but he only looked across the table into the eyes of the pit-boss. They were as hostile as an adder's, and yet somehow scared.
'- Will have a thing done, I will have it done,' repeated the man with the wooden leg.
I never take aspirins or any other pills. These, after carefully reading the instructions, I had taken from the little first-aid kit my practical mind had told me to include in my scrap of luggage. I was anyway exhausted, beat to the wide, and the pills, to me as strong as morphia, soon sent me off into a delicious half-sleep in which there was no danger but only the dark, exciting face and the new-found knowledge that there really did exist such men. Soppier even than that, I remembered the first touch of his hand holding the lighter and thought carefully about each kiss separately, and then, but only after vaguely remembering the gun and slipping my hand under the pillow to make sure it was there, I went happily to sleep.
God in Heaven! thought Bond feebly. Now this! Won't anybody leave me alone? He fell asleep.
'What were you doing for Lady Mithers?' asked Steerforth.
It was perhaps five minutes later that Major Smythe felt a curious numbness more or less in the region of his solar plexus. He looked casually down, and his whole body stiffened with horror and disbelief. A patch of his skin, about the size of a cricket ball, had turned white under his tan, and, in the center of the patch, there were three punctures, one below the other, topped by little beads of blood. Automatically, Major Smythe wiped away the blood. The holes were only the size of pinpricks. Major Smythe remembered the rising flight of the scorpionfish, and he said aloud, with awe in his voice, but without animosity, "You got me, you bastard! By God, you got me!"
Oddjob glanced incuriously at him and reached for the steward's bell. Bond heard the pretty ding-dong back in the pantry. There was the rustle of a skirt beside him. He looked up. It was Pussy Galore, trim and fresh in the blue uniform of a stewardess! She said, 'Hi, Handsome.' She gave him the deep, searching look he remembered so well from when? From centuries ago, in another life.