Take a large Barn-door Cock, and all his Bones break;
James Bond choked back the sickness that rose from his stomach into the back of his throat. He staggered to his feet, keeping low. He reached up for the accelerator lever and pushed it upwards. A pitched battle with the train at a standstill would put the odds even more against him. He hardly felt the pain in his shoulder. He edged round the right-band side of the tender. Four guns boomed. He flung his head back under cover. Now the hoods were shooting, but wildly because of the interference of the surrey top. But Bond had had time to see one glorious sight. In the brake van, Scaramanga had slid from his throne and was down on his knees, his head moving to and fro like a wounded animal. Where in hell had Bond hit him? And now what? How was he going to deal with the four hoods, just as badly obscured from him as he was from them?
'Have a blow at it,' said the old woman, coaxingly. 'Do!'
The truth of the matter was that Dexter Smythe had arrived at the frontier of the death wish. The origins of this state of mind were many and not all that complex. He was irretrievably tied to Jamaica, and tropical sloth had gradually riddled him so that, while outwardly he appeared a piece of fairly solid hardwood, inside the varnished surface, the termites of sloth, self-indulgence, guilt over an ancient sin, and general disgust with himself had eroded his once hard core into dust. Since the death of Mary two years before, he had loved no one. (He wasn't even sure that he had really loved her, but he knew that, every hour of the day, he missed her love of him and her gay, untidy, chiding, and often irritating presence.) And though he ate their canapйs and drank their martinis, he had nothing but contempt for the international riffraff with whom he consorted on the North Shore. He could perhaps have made friends with the more solid elements-the gentleman-farmers inland, the plantation owners on the coast, the professional men, the politicians-but that would mean regaining some serious purpose in life which his sloth, his spiritual accidie, prevented, and cutting down on the bottle, which he was definitely unwilling to do. So Major Smythe was bored, bored to death, and, but for one factor in his life, he would long ago have swallowed the bottle of barbiturates he had easily acquired from a local doctor. The lifeline that kept him clinging to the edge of the cliff was a tenuous one. Heavy drinkers veer toward an exaggeration of their basic temperaments, the classic four-sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic. The sanguine drunk goes gay to the point of hysteria and idiocy; the phlegmatic sinks into a morass of sullen gloom; the choleric is the fighting drunk of the cartoonists who spends much of his life in prison for smashing people and things; and the melancholic succumbs to self-pity, mawkishness, and tears. Major Smythe was a melancholic who had slid into a drooling fantasy woven around the birds and insects and fish that inhabited the five acres of Wavelets (the name he had given his small villa was symptomatic), its beach, and the coral reef beyond. The fish were his particular favorites. He referred to them as "people," and since reef fish stick to their territories as closely as do most small birds, he knew them all, after two years, intimately, "loved" them, and believed that they loved him in return.
It was two or three hours past midnight when I got home. I found my aunt, in our house, sitting up for me.
The first law for a secret agent is to get his geography right, his means of access and exit, and assure his communications with the outside world. James Bond was uncomfortably aware that for the past hour he had been driving into limbo, and that his nearest contact was a girl in a brothel thirty miles away. The situation was not reassuring.
'I am certain of it. I have only to tell her so, and she is sure to come.'
Take Three Bottles from Spain, and one from France,