The Vicar of Bullhampton was written in 1868 for publication in Once a Week, a periodical then belonging to Messrs. Bradbury & Evans. It was not to come out till 1869, and I, as was my wont had made my terms long previously to the proposed date. I had made my terms and written my story and sent it to the publisher long before it was wanted; and so far my mind was at rest. The date fixed was the first of July, which date had been named in accordance with the exigencies of the editor of the periodical. An author who writes for these publications is bound to suit himself to these exigencies, and can generally do so without personal loss or inconvenience, if he will only take time by the forelock. With all the pages that I have written for magazines I have never been a day late, nor have I ever caused inconvenience by sending less or more matter than I had stipulated to supply. But I have sometimes found myself compelled to suffer by the irregularity of others. I have endeavoured to console myself by reflecting that such must ever be the fate of virtue. The industrious must feed the idle. The honest and simple will always be the prey of the cunning and fraudulent. The punctual, who keep none waiting for them, are doomed to wait perpetually for the unpunctual. But these earthly sufferers know that they are making their way heavenwards — and their oppressors their way elsewards. If the former reflection does not suffice for consolation, the deficiency is made up by the second. I was terribly aggrieved on the matter of the publication of my new Vicar, and had to think very much of the ultimate rewards of punctuality and its opposite. About the end of March, 1869, I got a dolorous letter from the editor. All the Once a Week people were in a terrible trouble. They had bought the right of translating one of Victor Hugo’s modern novels, L’Homme Qui Rit; they bad fixed a date, relying on positive pledges from the French publishers; and now the great French author had postponed his work from week to week and from month to month, and it had so come to pass that the Frenchman’s grinning hero would have to appear exactly at the same time as my clergyman. Was it not quite apparent to me, the editor asked, that Once a Week could not hold the two? Would I allow my clergyman to make his appearance in the Gentleman’s Magazine instead?
'I wonder you can bear,' I returned, 'to see her so seldom.'
Leiter promised to say nothing about the ringer. Shy Smile must win the race but be disqualified. This could be achieved if, in the final sprint, the jockey interfered with the running of the horse closest to him so that it could be shown that he had prevented this other horse from being the winner. Then there would be an objection, which had to be upheld. It would be easy for Bell, at the last corner before the run in, to do this in such a way that he could argue to his employers that it had just been a bit of over-keen riding, that another horse had crowded him over to the left, that his horse had stumbled. There was no conceivable reason why he should not wish to win (Pissaro had promised him an extra 00 if he did) and it was just one of those strokes of bad luck that happen in racing. And Leiter would now give Tingaling 00 and there would be another 0o"for him if he did what he was told.
"Oh, that!" his voice was contemptuous. "We got away with it, didn't we? Come on. Be a sport!"
And has entered into the King鈥檚 Palace.鈥濃€
"I'll have the call traced and let you know," said Vallance. "And I'll have Trinity House ask the South Goodwins and the Coastguards if they can helpr. Anything else?"
'Forgive me, Mr Bond, and I appreciate your gesture.' Goldfinger's face showed his approval. 'But Oddjob doesn't know his own strength - particularly when he is keyed up. And those hands are like machine-tools. He could have crushed your hand to pulp without meaning to. Now then,' Oddjob had dressed and was standing respectfully at attention, 'you did well, Oddjob. I'm glad to see you are in training. Here' - Goldfinger took the cat from under his arm and tossed it to the Korean who caught it eagerly-'I am tired of seeing this animal around. You may have it for dinner.' The Korean's eyes gleamed. 'And tell them in the kitchen that we will have our own dinner at once.'
The oval mouth between the white pages seemed to gape wider. In a second the dark tunnel would switch out the moonlight on the pages and the blue tongue would lick out for him.
For minutes the sleek grey river foamed by outside the alcove until at last the numbers thinned and only a trickle of sick or wounded rats came limping and probing their way down the tunnel floor.
As rapport develops between Mark and Tanya in the32finger poised gently on her cheek, close to her ear, Tanyaleans toward Mark; her pupils dilate slightly as her shouldersbecome softer and more relaxed. Mark too leans forwardon his elbows, smiling as Tanya smiles, nodding asshe nods. She sips her water; he finds himself doing thesame ...
'Does that not say anything to you? Or this:
'That's a cheat,' said Bond severely. 'You agreed that if I won it would be a real kiss on the mouth. At the very least,' he added.
"Be glad if you would." The driver turned to Bond. "This is it, bud. Let's get the bags out."
"Anything else we can help over?"
Bond felt that he was being watched, but it was only the blank gaze of two of the passengers he had put down as American businessmen. Their eyes shifted casually away, and one of them, a man with a young face but prematurely white hair, said something to the other and they both got up, picked up their Stetsons, which, although it was summer, were encased in waterproof covers, and walked over to the bar. Bond heard them order double brandies and water, and the second man, who was pale and fat, took a bottle of pills out of his pocket and swallowed one down with his brandy. Dramamine, guessed Bond. The man would be a bad traveller.
I have sometimes wished to see during my lifetime a combined republication of those tales which are occupied with the fictitious county of Barsetshire. These would be The Warden, Barchester Towers, Doctor Thorne, Framley Parsonage, and The Last Chronicle of Barset. But I have hitherto failed. The copyrights are in the hands of four different persons, including myself, and with one of the four I have not been able to prevail to act in concert with the others. 10