Which teach the Motion of the Heart,
'No, sir, by about a hundred miles. We can only make the coast north of there.'
I have sometimes regretted the deed, so great was my delight in writing about Mrs. Proudie, so thorough was my knowledge of all the shades of her character. It was not only that she was a tyrant, a bully, a would-be priestess, a very vulgar woman, and one who would send headlong to the nethermost pit all who disagreed with her; but that at the same time she was conscientious, by no means a hypocrite, really believing in the brimstone which she threatened, and anxious to save the souls around her from its horrors. And as her tyranny increased so did the bitterness of the moments of her repentance increase, in that she knew herself to be a tyrant — till that bitterness killed her. Since her time others have grown up equally dear to me — Lady Glencora and her husband, for instance; but I have never dissevered myself from Mrs. Proudie, and still live much in company with her ghost.
What was it all about? Bond didn't know or care. The pain in his head was his whole universe. Punctured by a bullet, the balloon was fast losing height. Below, the softly swelling sea offered a bed. Bond let go with hands and feet and plummeted down towards peace, towards the rippling feathers of some childhood dream of softness and escape from pain.
In the warm blue dusk Royale-les-Eaux was once again orderly and peaceful.
'No,' said Mr. Creakle. 'He knows better. He knows me. Let him keep away. I say let him keep away,' said Mr. Creakle, striking his hand upon the table, and looking at Mrs. Creakle, 'for he knows me. Now you have begun to know me too, my young friend, and you may go. Take him away.'
He had seen it all. The grotesque flight of the red car as it turned over and over, the flying figure of the driver, his arms and legs spreadeagled as he soared out of the driving seat, and the final thunder as the car hurdled the hedge upside down and crashed into the field.
Now there was a distant shimmer away to the right and a hint of low buildings rising like a mirage in the early morning ground mist. They slowly defined themselves as hangars with a squat control tower. Godman Field! The soft pounding howl of the train slackened. Some trim modern villas, part of a new housing development, slid by. They seemed to be unoccupied. Now, on the left, there was the black ribbon of Brandenburg Station Road. Bond craned. The gleaming modern sprawl of Fort Knox looked almost soft in the light mist. Above its jagged outline the air was dear as crystal -not a trace of smoke, no breakfasts cooking! The train slowed to a canter. On Station Road there had been a bad motor accident. Two cars seemed to have met head on. The body of a man sprawled half out of a smashed door. The other car lay on its back like a dead beetle. Bond's heart pounded. The main signal box came and went. Over the levers something white was draped. It was a man's shirt.
What they didn't know was that she worried herself almost to death when they were in danger and that she loved them equally; but that she had no intention of becoming emotionally involved with any man who might be dead next week. And it was true that an appointment in the Secret Service was a form of peonage. If you were a woman there wasn't much of you left for other relationships. It was easier for the men. They had an excuse for fragmentary affairs. For them marriage and children and a home were out of the question if they were to be of any use 'in the field' as it was cosily termed. But, for the women, an affair outside the Service automatically made you a 'security risk' and in the last analysis you had a choice of resignation from the Service and a normal life, or of perpetual concubinage to your King and Country.
Whilst o'er their Heads a Pair of Turtles coo,
Bond bowed. He said, 'Please convey to his reverence that I am most grateful for his intercession on my behalf. I would be most honoured to have a place to lay my head in the home of Suzuki-san. My needs are very modest and I greatly enjoy the Japanese way of life. I would be most pleased to row the family boat or help the household in any other way.' He added, sotto voce, 'Tiger, I may need these people's help when the time comes. Particularly the girl's. How much can I tell her?'
Bond turned and looked at her carefully for the first time. Yes, she was somehow a new woman, radiating health and a kind of inner glow.- The tumbled fair hair glittered with vitality and the half-open, beautiful lips seemed always to be on the verge of a smile.
But she preyed upon our minds dreadfully. We felt our inexperience, and were unable to help ourselves. We should have been at her mercy, if she had had any; but she was a remorseless woman, and had none. She was the cause of our first little quarrel.
Had it been Thee, my dearest Boy,
Louis staggered along behind, determined to see the hunt through to the end. He was bitterlyregretting his choice of heavy bush boots; the Bushmen traditionally wore light, giraffe-skinmoccasins, and now had on thin, flimsy sneakers that let their feet cool on the fly. Louis felt theway the kudu looked; he watched it weave drunkenly … its front knees buckled, straightened … itrecovered and bounded away … then crashed to the ground.
Our hero, on his pillow, instead of seeking rest from the hopes and fears, the distracting anxieties of the day, commenced again, in fancy, the busy scene. The undisguised admiration of the Marquis for Julia had awakened new terrors; his addresses would be approved of by all her friends. Edmund shuddered to think of the consequences to which such approval might ultimately lead; yet imagination would go forward, devising new tortures, till he leaped from his bed, threw open his window, and strove to force his thoughts into some other channel.