XII THE THING
Recognizing incongruent behavior is another survivalinstinct. If you're on vacation and you're approached60by a complete stranger who grins at you while herubs his hands briskly together, licks his lips andsays, "Good morning, how would you like to invest inthe world's best time-share deal," the chances are you'llbe on your guard. A quick congruence check is instinctiveand is another reason why first impressions areparamount.
There was a faint luminosity ahead. Bond approached it carefully, his senses questing in front of him like antennae. It grew brighter. It was the glint of light against the end of the lateral shaft. He went on until his head touched the metal. He twisted over on his back. Straight above him, at the top of fifty yards or so of vertical shaft, was a steady glimmer. It was like looking up a long gun barrel. Bond inched round the square bend and stood upright. So he was supposed to climb straight up this shining tube of metal without a foothold! Was it possible? Bond expanded his shoulders. Yes, they gripped the sides. His feet could also get a temporary purchase, though they would slip except where the ridges at the joints gave him an ounce of upward leverage. Bond shrugged his shoulders and kicked off his shoes. It was no good arguing. He would just have to try.
"Sho, cap'n. Ah kin do dat ting."
"I know, corporal. I wanted to see how fast I could take it. I'm not blaming the weapon. It's a hell of a fine job. Please tell the armorer so from me. Now I'd better get moving. You're finding your own way back to London, aren't you?"
He seemed very much amused, and laughed as heartily as it was in his nature to laugh. After some scraping of his chin with his hand, he went on to say, with his eyes cast downward - still scraping, very slowly:
As they went slowly down the hill, Bond talked softly to the girl, briefing her. 'You're my girl friend. I brought you out from England. Seem surprised and interested by our little adventure. We're in a tough spot. Don't try any tricks.' Bond jerked back his head. 'This man's a killer.'
Before the Tarahumara run long, they get strong. And if I wanted to stay healthy, Eric warned me,I’d better do likewise. So instead of stretching before a run, I got right to work. Lunges, pushups,jump squats, crunches; Eric had me powering through a half hour of raw strength drills every otherday, with nearly all of them on a fitness ball to sharpen my balance and fire those supportiveancillary muscles. As soon as I finished, it was off to the hills. “There’s no sleepwalking your wayup a hill,” Eric pointed out. Long climbs were an exercise in shock and awe, forcing me to focuson form and shift gears like a Tour de France cyclist. “Hills are speedwork in disguise,” FrankShorter used to say.