Scaramanga frowned angrily. "I'm not paying you a grand to get the wrong ideas. Or any ideas for that matter."
In a word, I never saw anybody so thoroughly jovial as Mr. Micawber was, down to the very last moment of the evening, when I took a hearty farewell of himself and his amiable wife. Consequently, I was not prepared, at seven o'clock next morning, to receive the following communication, dated half past nine in the evening; a quarter of an hour after I had left him: -
The rest of the building, whose outlines Bond had seen the night before, came into view. It was an undistinguished but powerfully built one-storey affair made of local granite blocks, with a flat cement roof from which, at the far end, protruded a small, professional-looking radio mast which, Bond assumed, had given the pilot his landing instructions on the previous night and which would also serve as the ears and mouth of Blofeld. The building was on the very edge of the plateau and below the final peak of Piz Gloria, but out of avalanche danger. Beneath it the mountain sloped sharply away until it disappeared over a cliff. Far below again was the tree line and the Bernina valley leading up to Pontresina, the glint of a railway track and the tiny caterpillar of a long goods train of the Rhдtische Bahn, on its way, presumably, over the Bernina Pass into Italy.
In February, 1865, with the fall of Fort Fisher and the capture of Wilmington, the control of the coast of the Confederacy became complete. The Southerners and their friends in Great Britain and the Bahamas (a group of friends whose sympathies for the cause were very much enhanced by the opportunity of making large profits out of their friendly relations) had shown during the years of the War exceptional ingenuity, daring, and persistence in carrying on the blockade-running. The ports of the British West Indies were very handy, and, particularly during the stormy months of the winter, it was hardly practicable to maintain an absolutely assured barrier of blockades along a line of coast aggregating about two thousand miles. The profits on a single voyage on the cotton taken out and on the stores brought back were sufficient to make good the loss of both vessel and cargo in three disastrous trips. The blockade-runners, Southerners and Englishmen, took their lives in their hands and they fairly earned all the returns that came to them. I happened to have early experience of the result of the fall of Fort Fisher and of the final closing of the last inlet for British goods. I was at the time in prison in Danville, Virginia. I was one of the few men in the prison (the group comprised about a dozen) who had been fortunate enough to retain a tooth-brush. We wore our tooth-brushes fastened into the front button-holes of our blouses, partly possibly from ostentation, but chiefly for the purpose of keeping them from being stolen. I was struck by receiving an offer one morning from the lieutenant of the prison guard of 0 for my tooth-brush. The "dollars" meant of course Confederate dollars and I doubtless hardly realised from the scanty information that leaked into the prison how low down in February, 1865, Confederate currency had depreciated. But still it was a large sum and the tooth-brush had been in use for a number of months. It then leaked out from a word dropped by the lieutenant that no more English tooth-brushes could get into the Confederacy and those of us who had been studying possibilities on the coast realised that Fort Fisher must have fallen.
鈥楧ec. 15, 1886.鈥擱udely treated. Man with unpleasant face and blemished eye shook the charpai (bedstead) on which I was seated four times, to make me get off. Went to second place; people noisy. A man asked me to read of Christ, and I began. Was asked to go to more open place. Went,鈥攆ound open place was the outside of the village. Had to go off.
"Doesn't worry me," said Bond dryly. "You weren't one of the girls."
42 A VERY IMPORTANT FABERGЙ TERRESTRIAL GLOBE. A sphere carved from an extraordinarily large piece of Siberian emerald matrix weighing approximately one thousand three hundred carats and of a superb color and vivid translucence, represents a terrestrial globe supported upon an elaborate rocaille scroll mount finely chased in quatre-couleur gold and set with a profusion of rose-diamonds and small emeralds of intense color, to form a table-clock.
ii. Difficulties with the Bureaucrats
"No, thanks," said M. with a thin smile. "Just had one."