"Your bug was bugged. Seems you're a bit accident-prone these days, Scaramanga. You hired the wrong security men. Both your managers were from the C.I.A. The tape'll be on the way to Washington by now. That's got the murder of Ross on it too. See what I mean? You've got it coming from every which way."
'Oh, dear, yes, Master Copperfield,' he proceeded, in a soft voice, most remarkably contrasting with the action of his thumb, which did not diminish its hard pressure in the least degree, 'there's no doubt of it. There would have been loss, disgrace, I don't know what at all. Mr. Wickfield knows it. I am the umble instrument of umbly serving him, and he puts me on an eminence I hardly could have hoped to reach. How thankful should I be!' With his face turned towards me, as he finished, but without looking at me, he took his crooked thumb off the spot where he had planted it, and slowly and thoughtfully scraped his lank jaw with it, as if he were shaving himself.
'Do you think it did Edward harm, Clara?' asked Mr. Murdstone, gravely.
Of Wilkie Collins it is impossible for a true critic not to speak with admiration, because he has excelled all his contemporaries in a certain most difficult branch of his art; but as it is a branch which I have not myself at all cultivated, it is not unnatural that his work should be very much lost upon me individually. When I sit down to write a novel I do not at all know, and I do not very much care, how it is to end. Wilkie Collins seems so to construct his that he not only, before writing, plans everything on, down to the minutest detail, from the beginning to the end; but then plots it all back again, to see that there is no piece of necessary dove-tailing which does not dove-tail with absolute accuracy. The construction is most minute and most wonderful. But I can never lose the taste of the construction. The author seems always to be warning me to remember that something happened at exactly half-past two o’clock on Tuesday morning; or that a woman disappeared from the road just fifteen yards beyond the fourth mile-stone. One is constrained by mysteries and hemmed in by difficulties, knowing, however, that the mysteries will be made clear, and the difficulties overcome at the end of the third volume. Such work gives me no pleasure. I am, however, quite prepared to acknowledge that the want of pleasure comes from fault of my intellect.
Bond took off his coat and tie, put two sticks of chewing gum in his mouth, and donned the hood. The lights were switched off by Captain Sender, and Bond lay along the bed, got his eye to the eyepiece of the sniperscope, and gently lifted the bottom edge of the curtain back and over his shoulders.
Bond held her to him. He said anxiously, "Are you hurt, Honey?"
I am, said she, Daughter to a worthy Country Gentleman, of an ancient Family and large Possessions; who lived suitable to the Rank and Station in which Heaven had plac'd him. He and my Mother were esteemed by Persons of all Ranks, as indeed they deserv'd; for they were beneficent to every body; Neighbours, Relations, Servants, Poor and Rich, all had a Share in their Generosity, Kindness, or Charity. Their Tenants gather'd Estates under them; Their Servants gain'd wherewith to become Masters in their Old Age; Their Table and Cellar were always free and open to the Freeholders, and Tradesmen, who came to pay their Respects to them; Their Park and Gardens were at the Service of any of the neighbouring Gentry, that were not Masters of such Conveniencies: Their Persons were amiable, and their Discourse agreeable and entertaining. Thus they pass'd their Days in Plenty and Honour, 'till their unhappy Off-spring gave a new Byass to their Bowl of Life, which had hitherto rolled on with such Evenness, as testified the steady Hand of those that gave the Cast . My Brother being grown to Years of Maturity, listed himself in all the Lewdness of the Age; by which he contracted so many and such gross Infirmities, that a thorough Recovery of his Health is despaired of.
Very well, I thanked him, as I hoped he had been too.
'A mixed fiddlestick,' returned my aunt. 'You claim to have one plain motive in all you do yourself. You don't suppose, I hope, that you are the only plain dealer in the world?'