For long the Tibetans remained in good heart, sending constant radio encouragement to the tormented servants of the light throughout the world. But the bombing increased. The whole strength of the two empires was concentrated on the destruction of the heroic nomads. According to a current jest Tibet had bombs instead of raindrops. The enemy air forces succeeded in infecting the reservoirs with disease-germs. Disease spread like fire through the population. Prolonged freedom from infection had deprived it of the normal powers of resistance. Meanwhile the pure pacifists, and also the secret believers in the synthetic faith which was propagated from the empires, were urging the government to surrender. From the point of view of the ‘fifth-columnists’ peace was indeed earnestly to be desired; for the gradual impregnation of the whole land with the virus of defence was already reducing them to imbeciles. Many whose faith in the light had been strong were now so physically enfeebled by the strains of war that even they could no longer resist the virus. It soon became evident that in time the great mass of the population would succumb.
White-woolly Kombe bean, Gaboon arrow poison (Stropanthus hispidus): woody climber, 6 ft. Toxic principle: strophan-thin, incine. Asthenic. W. Africa.
'Beg your pardon, sir?'
Bond smiled. He went up to her and took her face in both his hands and kissed her on the lips. He said, 'You are very beautiful and kind, Kissy. Today we will not take the boat out because I must have some rest. Lead me up to the High Place from which I can take a good look at this castle and I will tell you what I can. I was going to anyway, for I shall need your help. Afterwards, I would like to visit the Six Guardians. They interest me - as an anthropologist.'
At six o'clock Bond went down to the bar and had a large vodka and tonic with a slice of lemon peel. The bar was empty save for a group of American Air Force officers from Mansion. They were drinking whisky and water and talking baseball. Bond wondered if they had spent the day toting a hydrogen bomb round the skies over Kent, over the four little dots in the dunes that had been his match with Goldfinger. He thought wryly, Not too much of that whisky, cousins, paid for his drink, and left.
Quarrel dug into his hip pocket for a cigarette. He made a fuss about lighting it. He blew a cloud of smoke through his nostrils and watched it whip out of the window. He said, "Cap'n, Ah tink yo'se plumb crazy to trespass hon dat island." Quarrel had wound himself up. He paused. There was no comment. He looked sideways at the quiet profile. He said more quietly, in an embarrassed voice, "Jess one ting, cap'n. Ah have some folks back in da Caymans. Would yo consider takin' hout a life hinsurance hon me afore we sail?"
Bond was dumbfounded. A great surge of excitement ran through him. What in hell was all this about? He said, 'I'm terribly sorry, sir. I thought I'd been letting the side down lately.'
She stood up and took her hand away from her mouth. She was tall, perhaps five feet ten, and her arms and legs looked firm as if she might be a swimmer. Her breasts thrust against the black silk of the brassiere.