Mr Goldfinger said with precision, 'The exact figure will be nearer fifteen billion. For convenience I referred only to the amounts I thought it would be possible for us to carry away.'
Major Townsend had been pruned with this very secret top question. He had been given the answer, more or less as Bond had put it. This was the clincher. This had to be James Bond. "Well, we're getting on fine. Now, it only remains to find out where you've come from and where you've been all these months and I won't keep you any longer."
Robert Lincoln (writing to me in July, 1908) says:
But the trip is at the present moment of importance to my subject, as having enabled me to write that which, on the whole, I regard as the best book that has come from my pen. It is short, and, I think I may venture to say, amusing, useful, and true. As soon as I had learned from the secretary at the General Post Office that this journey would be required, I proposed the book to Messrs. Chapman & Hall, demanding ￡250 for a single volume. The contract was made without any difficulty, and when I returned home the work was complete in my desk. I began it on board the ship in which I left Kingston, Jamaica, for Cuba — and from week to week I carried it on as I went. From Cuba I made my way to St. Thomas, and through the island down to Demerara, then back to St. Thomas — which is the starting-point for all places in that part of the globe — to Santa Martha, Carthagena, Aspinwall, over the Isthmus to Panama, up the Pacific to a little harbour on the coast of Costa Rica, thence across Central America, through Costa Rica, and down the Nicaragua river to the Mosquito coast, and after that home by Bermuda and New York. Should any one want further details of the voyage, are they not written in my book? The fact memorable to me now is that I never made a single note while writing or preparing it. Preparation, indeed, there was none. The descriptions and opinions came hot on to the paper from their causes. I will not say that this is the best way of writing a book intended to give accurate information. But it is the best way of producing to the eye of the reader, and to his ear, that which the eye of the writer has seen and his ear heard. There are two kinds of confidence which a reader may have in his author — which two kinds the reader who wishes to use his reading well should carefully discriminate. There is a confidence in facts and a confidence in vision. The one man tells you accurately what has been. The other suggests to you what may, or perhaps what must have been, or what ought to have been. The former require simple faith. The latter calls upon you to judge for yourself, and form your own conclusions. The former does not intend to be prescient, nor the latter accurate. Research is the weapon used by the former; observation by the latter. Either may be false — wilfully false; as also may either be steadfastly true. As to that, the reader must judge for himself. But the man who writes currente calamo, who works with a rapidity which will not admit of accuracy, may be as true, and in one sense as trustworthy, as he who bases every word upon a rock of facts. I have written very much as I have, travelled about; and though I have been very inaccurate, I have always written the exact truth as I saw it — and I have, I think, drawn my pictures correctly.
Tibet surrendered; and, under the shock of this recognition of defeat, practically the whole population succumbed to the virus.. Those who retained their sanity strove in vain to protect the hosts of their childish compatriots from coming to hurt; but these, unable to cope with ordinary situations, were killed off in thousands. Their decaying bodies littered the plains and added to the pestilence. The sane were helpless, and their numbers constantly decreased. Meanwhile surrender had not brought peace. The victors dared not enter the conquered country, lest they should succumb to the virus. They therefore continued their efforts to exterminate the Tibetan people from the air. In this policy in due season they succeeded. For a few years the Himalayan remnant miserably survived, but in the end these last servants of the spirit were discovered by the Russian airmen. Henceforth their high valleys and gorges were systematically bombed until all trace of habitation had vanished.
Charles. You have put me into a shiver. I cannot half believe, nor a quarter comprehend you.
Shaggy was calling Ann a witch. They looked closely to see if he was serious, decided he wasn’t,and started laughing. This guy was going to be a kick.