* * *
M. turned from studying their neighbours behind him. "Why were you so cryptic about drinking champagne?"
'You may think what you like,' said I, still in a towering rage. 'If it is not true, so much the worthier you.'
Major Smythe was wearing nothing but a pair of old khaki shorts and sandals. He said, "All right, Luna. Put him in the living room and say I won't be a moment." And he went round the back way into his bedroom and put on a white bush shirt and trousers and brushed his hair. Government House! Now what the hell?
Bond explained briefly what had happened up to the moment of Le Chiffre's death, omitting all but the most essential details. It cost him an effort and he was glad when it was done. Casting his mind back to the scene awoke the whole nightmare and the sweat began to pour off his forehead and a deep throb of pain started up in his body.
James Bond was where I had left him, and, to keep him there, Sluggsy now kept up a steady stream of single shots that flicked every few seconds at the angle of the wall toward which the thin man was worming his way. Perhaps James Bond guessed the significance of this steady fire. He may have known that it was meant to pin him down, because now he began moving along to the left, toward the burning half of the building. And now he was running, bent low, out across the browned grass and through the billowing smoke and sparks toward the charred, flickering ruins of the left-hand line of cabins. I caught a brief glimpse of him diving through one of the carports at around Number 15, and then he was gone, presumably into the trees at the back to work his way up and take Sluggsy in the rear.
It couldn't be!
'Mine's Bond - James Bond.'
Bond held his breath. If they came round the lake to his side, one tremendous shove and the armoured man would be floundering in the water! But could the piranhas get at him through chinks in the armour? Unlikely! And how would he, Bond, get away? No, that wouldn't be the answer.
The wedges! Bond felt for them in the pocket of his coat. He slipped off the bunk and knelt and forced them hard under the two doors. Then he settled himself again and switched off the reading light behind his head.
“Everyone thinks they know how to run, but it’s really as nuanced as any other activity,” Eric toldme. “Ask most people and they’ll say, ‘People just run the way they run.’ That’s ridiculous. Doeseveryone just swim the way they swim?” For every other sport, lessons are fundamental; you don’tgo out and start slashing away with a golf club or sliding down a mountain on skis until someonetakes you through the steps and teaches you proper form. If not, inefficiency is guaranteed andinjury is inevitable.
I scrambled off the bed and went and put my arms round him. His body was cold. I hugged him to me and kissed him. "Don't be silly, James! If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have got into all this mess. And where would I be now if it wasn't for you? I'd not only have been a dead duck, but a roasted one too, hours ago. The trouble with you is you haven't had enough sleep. And you're cold. Come into bed with me. I'll keep you warm." I got up and pulled him to his feet.
'Is Mr. Barkis at home, ma'am?' I said, feigning to speak roughly to her.
Marc-Ange's expression was rueful. 'Now you are being sarcastic. But believe me, my friend, drastic measures were necessary. I knew they were.' He reached to the top drawer of his desk, took out a sheet of writing-paper and passed it over to Bond. 'And now, if you read that, you will agree with me. That letter was handed in to the concierge of the Splendide at 4.30 this afternoon for posting to me in Marseilles, when Teresa went out and you followed her. You suspected something? You also feared for her? Read it, please.'
From the winter of 1821, when I first read Bentham, and especially from the commencement of the Westminster Review, I had what might truly be called an object in life; to be a reformer of the world. My conception of my own happiness was entirely identified with this object. The personal sympathies I wished for were those of fellow labourers in this enterprise. I endeavoured to pick up as many flowers as I could by the way; but as a serious and permanent personal satisfaction to rest upon, my whole reliance was placed on this; and I was accustomed to felicitate myself on the certainty of a happy life which I enjoyed, through placing my happiness in something durable and distant, in which some progress might be always making, while it could never be exhausted by complete attainment. This did very well for several years, during which the general improvement going on in the world and the idea of myself as engaged with others in struggling to promote it, seemed enough to fill up an interesting and animated existence. But the time came when I awakened from this as from a dream. It was in the autumn of 1826. I was in a dull state of nerves, such as everybody is occasionally liable to; unsusceptible to enjoyment or pleasurable excitement; one of those moods when what is pleasure at other times, becomes insipid or indifferent; the state, I should think, in which converts to Methodism usually are, when smitten by their first "conviction of sin." In this frame of mind it occurred to me to put the question directly to myself: "Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?" And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, "No!" At this my heart sank within me: the whole foundation on which my life was constructed fell down. All my happiness was to have been found in the continual pursuit of this end. The end had ceased to charm, and how could there ever again be any interest in the means? I seemed to have nothing left to live for.
'I say! Peggotty! She can't live by herself, you know.'