Bond smiled. 'I wouldn't think of it. For once I'll run away if someone starts any shooting.'
"But there's nothing left of it. It's, a ruin in the middle of the cane fields."
'And I have been sitting here,' said Steerforth, glancing round the room, 'thinking that all the people we found so glad on the night of our coming down, might - to judge from the present wasted air of the place - be dispersed, or dead, or come to I don't know what harm. David, I wish to God I had had a judicious father these last twenty years!'
The applause which greeted this unbridled exhibition of lasciviousness died quickly and respectfully. The powerful, chunky man in the black yukata, sitting directly across the low red lacquer table from Bond, had taken the Dunhill filter holder from between his golden teeth and had laid it beside his ashtray. 'Bondo-san,' said Tiger Tanaka, Head of the Japanese Secret Service, 'I will now challenge you to this ridiculous game, and I promise you in advance that you will not win.' The big, creased brown face that Bond had come to know so well in the past month split expansively. The wide smile closed the almond eyes to slits - slits that glittered. Bond knew that smile. It wasn't a smile. It was a mask with a golden hole in it.
James Bond followed her, holding his breath against the searing impact of the Arctic, oxygenless air. There were one or two men standing around dressed like ski guides. They looked at Bond with curiosity, but there was no greeting. Bond went on across the hard-trodden snow in the wake of the woman, the extra man following with his suitcase. He heard the engine stutter and roar, and a blizzard of snow particles stung the right side of his face. Then the iron grasshopper rose into the air and rattled off into the dusk.
"Impossible to say. Wartski's will certainly bid very high. But of course they wouldn't be prepared to tell anyone just how high-either on their own account for stock, so to speak, or acting on behalf of a customer. Much would depend on how high they are forced up by an underbidder. Anyway, not less than ?100,000 I'd say."
Know what you want.
`Fine,' said Bond easily. What had there been in those few words that had set his spine tingling? Was it the note of authority in Nash's voice? The idea came to Bond that Nash might have gone mad. Perhaps it was madness in the room, and not danger, that Bond could smell. His instincts about this man had been right. It would be a question of somehow getting rid of him at the next station. Where had they got to? When would the frontier come?
Lacking that insight and that will, the states of the world in the age of balanced light and darkness bore very heavily on their citizens and on one another. For national safety men’s actions were increasingly controlled by the state, their minds increasingly moulded to the formal pattern that the state required of them. All men were disciplined and standardized. Everyone had an official place and task in the huge common work of defence and attack. Anyone who protested or was lukewarm must be destroyed. The state was always in danger, and every nerve was constantly at strain. And because each state carefully sowed treason among the citizens of other states, no man could trust his neighbour. Husbands and wives suspected one another. Children proudly informed against their parents. Under the strain even of peace-time life, all minds were damaged. Lunacy spread like a plague. The most sane, though in their own view their judgment was unwarped, were in fact fear-tortured neurotics. And so the race, as a whole, teased by its obscure vision of the spirit, its frail loyalty to love and reason, surrendered itself in the main to its baser nature.