Sister Rose finished writing and said, "There, that's done. Thank you so much, Mr Bryce, and I do hope you both enjoy your stay."
Station WOKO (they might have dreamed up a grander call-sign!) in Albany, the capital of New York State and about fifty miles due south of where I was, announced that it was six o'clock. The weather report that followed included a storm warning with gale-force winds. The storm was moving down from the north and would hit Albany around eight p.m. That meant that I would be having a noisy night. I didn't mind. Storms don't frighten me, and although the nearest living soul, as far as I knew, was ten miles away up the not very good secondary road to Lake George, the thought of the pines that would soon be thrashing outside, the thunder and lightning and rain, made me already feel snug and warm and protected in anticipation. And alone! But above all alone! "Loneliness becomes a lover, solitude a darling sin." Where had I read that? Who had written it? It was so exactly the way I felt, the way that, as a child, I had always felt until I had forced myself to "get into the swim," "be one of the crowd"-a good sort, on the ball, hep. And what a hash I had made of "togetherness"! I shrugged the memory of failure away. Everyone doesn't have to live in a heap. Painters, writers, musicians are lonely people. So are statesmen and admirals and generals. But then, I added to be fair, so are criminals and lunatics. Let's just say, not to be too flattering, that true Individuals are lonely. It's not a virtue-the reverse, if anything. One ought to share and communicate if one is to be a useful member of the tribe. The fact that I was so much happier when I was alone was surely the sign of a faulty, a neurotic character. I had said this so often to myself in the past five years that now, that evening, I just shrugged my shoulders and, hugging my solitude to me, walked across the big lobby to the door and went out to have a last look at the evening.
Part 2 first impressions
The helicopter was moving slowly towards him, not more than a hundred feet from the ground, the big rotor blades idling. It looked like a huge, badly-constructed insect. To the man on the ground it seemed, as usual, to be making too much noise.
To BOND'S unspeakable relief, they put up that night at the smartest hotel in Kyoto, the Miyako. The comfortable bed, air-conditioning and Western-style lavatory on which one could actually sit were out of this world. Better still, Tiger said that unfortunately he had to dine with the Chief of Police of the prefecture and Bond ordered a pint of Jack Daniels and a double portion of-eggs Benedict to be brought up to his room. Then, from a belated sense of duty, he watched 'The Seven Detectives', a famous Japanese television series, failed to spot the villain, and went to bed and slept for twelve hours.
'There's half a pint of ale for you. Will you have it now?'
It would be five minutes at least before the Mercedes could turn and get after them. The girl was going like hell, but there was traffic on the road - tinkling sleighs full of fur-wrapped merrymakers on their way back to Pontresina, an occasional car, its snow-chains rattling. She drove on her brakes and her horn, the same triple wind-horn that sounded the high discord Bond remembered so well. Bond said, 'You're an angel, Tracy. But take it easy. We don't want to end up in the ditch.'
And 'tis Heav'ns Kindness, that it should be so;
"Three hundred and fifty," said the fat man.
Horror nodded. "Thought I smelled it. Who cares? We ain't done nuthin' wrong."
Bond noisily locked it and took up his place again. Mr. Hendriks said, "I have one most important message for our chairman. It is from a sure source. There is a man that is called James Bond that is looking for him in this territory. This is a man who is from the British Secret Service. I have no informations or descriptions of this man, but it seems that he is highly rated by my superiors. Mr. Scaramanga, have you heard of this man?"
Two hours and ten cigarettes later he had worked through all of them and had discovered two points of general interest. First, that every one of the fifty men appeared to have led a blameless life without a breath of political or criminal odium. This seemed so unlikely that he decided to refer every single dossier back to Station D for a thorough recheck at the first opportunity.
Among these, by far the principal was the incomparable friend of whom I have already spoken. At this period she lived mostly with one young daughter, in a quiet part of the country, and only occasionally in town, with her first husband, Mr Taylor. I visited her equally in both places; and was greatly indebted to the strength of character which enabled her to disregard the false interpretations liable to be put on the frequency of my visits to her while living generally apart from Mr Taylor, and on our occasionally travelling together, though in all other respects our conduct during those years gave not the slightest ground for any other supposition than the true one, that our relation to each other at that time was one of strong affection and confidential intimacy only. For though we did not consider the ordinances of society binding on a subject so entirely personal, we did feel bound that our conduct should be such as in no degree to bring discredit on her husband, nor therefore on herself.
Smile over four furlongs at 5.30. I'd like to see who's around when they're doing that. The owner's given as Pissaro. One of the directors of the Tiara happens to be called that. He's another one with a joke name. 'Lame-brain' Pissaro. Used to be in charge of their dope racket. Ran the stuff over the Mexican border and then broke it down and parcelled it out to middlemen on the coast. The FBI got on to him and he did a term in San Quentin. Then he came out and Spang gave him the job at the Tiara in exchange for the rap he'd carried. And now he's a racehorse owner like the Vanderbilts. Nice going. I'll be interested to see what sort of shape he's in these days. He was almost a main-liner in the days he was dealing in coke. They gave him the cure in San Q, but it's left him a bit soft in the head. Hence the 'Lame-brain'. Then there's the jock, 'Tingaling' Bell. Good rider but not above this sort of caper if the money's right and he's in the clear. I want to have a word with Tingaling if I can get him alone. I've got a little proposition for him. The trainer's another hoodlum-name of Budd, 'Rosy' Budd. They all sound pretty funny, these names. But you don't want to be taken in by it. He's from Kentucky, so he knows all about horses. He's been in trouble all over the South, what they call a 'little habitch' as opposed to a 'big habitch'-habitual criminal. Larceny, mugging, rape-nothing big. Enough to give him quite a bulky packet in police records. But for the last few years he's been running straight, if you care to call it that, as trainer for Spang."
* * *
'Good?' said Em'ly. 'If I was ever to be a lady, I'd give him a sky-blue coat with diamond buttons, nankeen trousers, a red velvet waistcoat, a cocked hat, a large gold watch, a silver pipe, and a box of money.'