He laughed. "How?"
He turned. "See you at this '21' place of yours," he said. He wanted to say more, to find an excuse to stay with her, with this lonely girl who played the gramophone and gazed at herself in the mirror.
Bond stood within earshot of the desk and fitted the names to the men. In general appearance they were all much of a muchness. Dark-faced, clean-shaven, around five feet six, hard-eyed above thinly smiling mouths, curt of speech to the manager. They all held firmly on to their briefcases when the bellboys tried to add them to the luggage on the rubber-tired barrows. They dispersed to their rooms along the west wing. Bond took out his list and added hatcheck notations to each one except Hendriks, who was clearly etched in Bond's memory. Gengerella became "Italian origin, mean, pursed mouth"; Rotkopf, "Thick neck, totally bald, Jew"; Binion, "bat ears, scar down left cheek, limp"; Garfinkel, "the toughest, bad teeth, gun under right armpit"; and finally, Paradise, "Showman type, cocky, false smile, diamond ring."
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An hour later, James Bond slipped out of bed without waking her, dressed by the light of the promenade lights filtering between the curtains, and went back to his room.
V.W.Z., the Verband Westdeutscher Zeitungen, was an independent news agency financed by a cooperative of West German newspapers rather on the lines of Reuter's. Kurt Rainer was its first representative in London and when I met him he was on the lookout for an English Number Two to read the papers and weeklies for items of German interest while he did the high-level diplomatic stuff and covered outside assignments. He took me out to dinner that night, to Schmidt's in Charlotte Street, and was rather charmingly serious about the importance of his job and how much it might mean for Anglo-German relationships. He was a powerfully built, outdoor type of young man whose bright fair hair and candid blue eyes made him look younger than his thirty years. He told me that he came from Augsburg, near Munich, and that he was an only child of parents who were both doctors and had both been rescued from a concentration camp by the Americans. They had been informed on and arrested for listening to the Allied radio and for preventing young Kurt from joining the Hitler Youth Movement. He had been educated at Munich High School and at the University, and had then gone into journalism, graduating to Die Welt, the leading West German newspaper, from which he had been chosen for this London job because of his good English. He asked me what I did, and the next day I went round to his two-room office in Chancery Lane and showed him some of my work. With typical thoroughness he had already checked up on me through friends at the Press Club, and a week later I found myself installed in the room next to his with the P.A./Reuter and the Exchange Telegraph tickers chattering beside my desk. My salary was wonderful-thirty pounds a week- and I soon got to love the work, particularly operating the Telex with our Zentrale in Hamburg, and the twice-daily rush to catch the morning and evening deadlines of the German papers. My lack of German was only a slight handicap, for, apart from Kurt's copy, which he put over by telephone, all my stuff went over the Telex in English and was translated at the other end, and the Telex operators in Hamburg had enough English to chatter with me when I was on the machine. It was rather a mechanical job, but you had to be quick and accurate and it was fun judging the success or failure of what I sent by the German cuttings that came in a few days later. Soon Kurt had enough confidence to leave me alone in charge of the office, and there were exciting little emergencies I had to handle by myself with the thrill of knowing that twenty editors in Germany were depending on me to be fast and right. It all seemed so much more important and responsible than the parochial trivialities of the Clarion, and I enjoyed the authority of Kurt's directions and decisions, combined with the constant smell of urgency that goes with news agency work.
It appeared to me that the gentleman in spectacles backed his Twenty Eight against Mr. Creakle's Twenty Seven, for each of them took his own man in hand.
My own peculiar idiosyncrasy in the matter forbids me to do so. I do acknowledge that Mrs. Gamp, Micawber, Pecksniff, and others have become household words in every house, as though they were human beings; but to my judgment they are not human beings, nor are any of the characters human which Dickens has portrayed. It has been the peculiarity and the marvel of this man’s power, that he has invested, his puppets with a charm that has enabled him to dispense with human nature. There is a drollery about them, in my estimation, very much below the humour of Thackeray, but which has reached the intellect of all; while Thackeray’s humour has escaped the intellect of many. Nor is the pathos of Dickens human. It is stagey and melodramatic. But it is so expressed that it touches every heart a little. There is no real life in Smike. His misery, his idiotcy, his devotion for Nicholas, his love for Kate, are all overdone and incompatible with each other. But still the reader sheds a tear. Every reader can find a tear for Smike. Dickens’s novels are like Boucicault’s plays. He has known how to draw his lines broadly, so that all should see the colour.
the greatest hits of the '50s and '60s, and sure enough, here they are —
The waiter came with the bill and their hands separated. But now there was all the time in the world and no need for reassurance from words or contact, and the girl laughed happily up into Bond's face as the waiter drew out the table and they walked towards the door.