'Money passed, sir. White, probably a fiver. Foulks must have dropped that ball down his trouser leg.'
The text of this biography and the words of each valued volume in the little "library" were absorbed into the memory of the reader. It was his practice when going into the field for work, to take with him written-out paragraphs from the book that he had at the moment in mind and to repeat these paragraphs between the various chores or between the wood-chopping until every page was committed by heart. Paper was scarce and dear and for the boy unattainable. He used for his copying bits of board shaved smooth with his jack-knife. This material had the advantage that when the task of one day had been mastered, a little labour with the jack-knife prepared the surface of the board for the work of the next day. As I read this incident in Lincoln's boyhood, I was reminded of an experience of my own in Louisiana. It happened frequently during the campaign of 1863 that our supplies were cut off through the capture of our waggon trains by that active Confederate commander, General Taylor. More than once, we were short of provisions, and, in one instance, a supply of stationery for which the adjutants of the brigade had been waiting, was carried off to serve the needs of our opponents. We tore down a convenient and unnecessary shed and utilised from the roof the shingles, the clean portions of which made an admirable substitute for paper. For some days, the morning reports of the brigade were filed on shingles.
There was a sandy bar at the river mouth and a long deep stagnant pool. They could either get wet or strip. Bond said to the girl, "Honey, we can't be shy on this trip. We'll keep our shirts on because of the sun. Wear what's sensible and walk behind us." Without waiting for her reply the two men took off their trousers. Quarrel rolled them and packed them in the knapsack with the provisions and Bond's gun. They waded into the pool, Quarrel in front, then Bond, then the girl. The water came up to Bond's waist. A big silver fish leaped out of the pool and fell back with a splash. There were arrows on the surface where others fled out of their way. "Tarpon," commented Quarrel.
'No, Copperfield,' says he, gravely, 'that's not a dog. That's a boy. My instructions are, Copperfield, to put this placard on your back. I am sorry to make such a beginning with you, but I must do it.' With that he took me down, and tied the placard, which was neatly constructed for the purpose, on my shoulders like a knapsack; and wherever I went, afterwards, I had the consolation of carrying it.
It was always very quiet on the ninth floor. As Bond turned to the left outside the lift and walked along the softly carpeted corridor to the green baize door that led to the offices of M. and his personal staff, the only sound he heard was a thin high-pitched whine that was so faint that you almost had to listen for it.
I always start these events with very lofty goals,like I’m going to do something special. And after apointof body deterioration, the goals get evaluated down tobasically where I am now—where thebest I can hope for isto avoid throwing up on my shoes.
"Good God, no." Bond let go the arm he was holding. "Let her go." He felt angry with himself for having hurt the girl and still failed. But he had learned something. Whoever was behind her held his people by a steel chain.
'You won't believe it, but he's a Britisher. Domiciled in Nassau. You'd think he'd be a Jew from the name, but he doesn't look it. We're restricted at the Floridiana. Wouldn't have got in if he had been. Nassavian passport. Age forty-two. Unmarried. Profession, broker. Got all this from his passport. Had me a peek via the house detective when I started to play with him.'