James Bond took his usual place across the desk from M. A storm of memories whirled through his consciousness like badly cut film on a projector that had gone crazy. Bond closed his mind to the storm. He must concentrate on what he had to say, and do, and on nothing else.
James Bond came back. He didn't say a word. The first thing he did was to get me a glass of water. The prosaic action, the first thing a parent does when the child has nightmares, brought back the room and its familiar shapes from the black and red cave of the ghosts and the guns. Then he fetched a bath towel and put a chair under the smashed window and climbed on it and draped the towel over the window.
Somehow, as I wrote to Agnes on a fine evening by my open window, and the remembrance of her clear calm eyes and gentle face came stealing over me, it shed such a peaceful influence upon the hurry and agitation in which I had been living lately, and of which my very happiness partook in some degree, that it soothed me into tears. I remember that I sat resting my head upon my hand, when the letter was half done, cherishing a general fancy as if Agnes were one of the elements of my natural home. As if, in the retirement of the house made almost sacred to me by her presence, Dora and I must be happier than anywhere. As if, in love, joy, sorrow, hope, or disappointment; in all emotions; my heart turned naturally there, and found its refuge and best friend.
James Bond was not a gourmet. In England he lived on grilled soles, oeufs cocotte and cold roast beef with potato salad. But when travelling abroad, generally by himself, meals were a welcome break in the day, something to look forward to, something to break the tension of fast driving, with its risks taken or avoided, the narrow squeaks, the permanent background of concern for the fitness of his machine. In fact, at this moment, after covering the long stretch from the Italian frontier at Ventimiglia in a comfortable three days (God knew there was no reason to hurry back to Head quartets!), he was fed to the teeth with the sucker-traps for gourmandizing tourists. The 'Hostelleries', the 'Vieilles Auberges', the 'Relais Fleuris' - he had had the lot. He had had their 'Bonnes Tables', and their 'Fines Bouteilles'. He had had their 'Spйcialites du Chef - generally a rich sauce of cream and wine and a few button mushrooms concealing poor quality meat or fish. He had had the whole lip-smacking ritual of winemanship and foodmanship and, incidentally, he had had quite enough of the Bisodol that went with it!
'No, damn it. He's in Italy now. At least I think he is. That was the way he went. How did vou get on? It looked fine from down below.'
More than half the concerts, appropriately enough, will take place on the West Side, in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. And just as appropriately, this year's festival will be dedicated to a Westsider whose life has been an inspiration to millions of people, not only for the great music he has created, but for a heart as large as the Grand Canyon. To call him merely a giant of jazz could be an understatement, because they don't come any bigger than Lionel Hampton.
Bond carefully pulled on his ninja suit of black cotton. It was comfortable enough and would give warmth in the water. He left the head-shroud hanging down his back and pushed the goggles that belonged to Kissy's father up his forehead. The small floating pack he was to tow behind him rode jauntily in the waters of the creek, and he tied its string firmly to his right wrist so that he would always know it was there.
Bond thought, this girl has always had to fend for herself, but only against nature. She knows the world of animals and insects and fishes and she's got the better of it. But it's been a small world, bounded by the sun and the moon and the seasons. She doesn't know the big world of the smoke-filled room, of the bullion broker's parlour, of the corridors and waiting-rooms of government offices, of careful meetings on park seats-she doesn't know about the struggle for big power and big money by the big men. She doesn't know that she's been swept out of her rock pool into the dirty waters.
Bond cautiously raised his head. The bay was serene, the beach unmarked. All was as before except for the stench of cordite and the sour smell of blasted rock. Bond pulled the girl to her feet. There were tear streaks down her face. She looked at him aghast. She said solemnly, "That was horrible. What did they do it for? We might have been killed."