The scorpionfish inhabits most of the southern waters of the world, and the rascasse that is the foundation of bouillabaisse belongs to the family. The West Indian variety runs up to only about twelve inches long and perhaps a pound ha weight. It is by far the ugliest fish in the sea, as if nature were giving warning. It is a mottled brownish gray with a heavy wedge-shaped shaggy head. It has fleshy pendulous "eyebrows" that droop over angry red eyes and a coloration and broken silhouette that are perfect camouflage on the reef. Though a small fish, its heavily toothed mouth is so wide that it can swallow whole most of the smaller reef fishes, but its supreme weapon lies in its erectile dorsal fins, the first few of which, acting on contact like hypodermic needles, are fed by poison glands containing enough dotoxin to kill a man if they merely graze him in a vulnerable spot-in an artery, for instance, or over the heart or in the groin. It constitutes the only real danger to the reef swimmer, far more dangerous than the barracuda or the shark, because, supreme in its confidence in its camouflage and armory, it flees before nothing except the very close approach of a foot or actual contact. Then it flits only a few yards, on wide and bizarrely striped pectorals, and settles again watchfully either on the sand, where it looks like a lump of overgrown coral, or among the rocks and seaweed where it virtually disappears. And Major Smythe was determined to find one and spear it and give it to his octopus to see if it would take it or spurn it-to see if one of the ocean's great predators would recognize the deadliness of another, know of its poison. Would the octopus consume the belly and leave the spines? Would it eat the lot? And if so, would it suffer from the poison? These were the questions Bengry at the Institute wanted answered, and today, since it was going to be the beginning of the end of Major Smythe's life at Wavelets-and though it might mean the end of his darling Octopussy-Major Smythe had decided to find out the answers and leave one tiny memorial to his now futile life in some dusty corner of the Institute's marine biological files.
While I was in Egypt, I finished Doctor Thorne, and on the following day began The Bertrams. I was moved now by a determination to excel, if not in quality, at any rate in quantity. An ignoble ambition for an author, my readers will no doubt say. But not, I think, altogether ignoble, if an author can bring himself to look at his work as does any other workman. This had become my task, this was the furrow in which my plough was set, this was the thing the doing of which had fallen into my hands, and I was minded to work at it with a will. It is not on my conscience that I have ever scamped my work. My novels, whether good or bad, have been as good as I could make them. Had I taken three months of idleness between each they would have been no better. Feeling convinced of that, I finished Doctor Thorne on one day, and began The Bertrams on the next.
It was an adequate ball which went bouncing on between Ruby and Violet, and Bond kept it in play while their food came and proved delicious. Poulet Gloria was spatchcocked, with a mustard-and-cream sauce. The girls fell silent over their dishes, consuming them with polite but concentrated greed. There was a similar pause in the chatter at the other tables. Bond made conversation about the decor of the room and this gave him a chance to have a good look at the waiters. There were twelve of them in sight. It was not difficult to sum them up as three Corsicans, three Germans, three vaguely Balkan faces, Turks, Bulgars, or Yugoslavs, and three obvious Slavs. There would probably be three Frenchmen in the kitchen. Was this the old pattern of SPECTRE? The well-tried communist-cell pattern of three men from each of the great gangster and secret-service organizations in Europe? Were the three Slavs ex-Smersh men? The whole lot of them looked tough enough, had that quiet smell of the pro. The man at the airport was one of them. Bond recognized others as the reception steward and the man who had come to his room about the table. He heard the girls calling them Fritz, Joseph, Ivan, Achmed. And some of them were ski guides during the day. Well, it was a nice little set-up if Bond was right.
November 11, 1848.
On the Follies of Human-Life.
For the Tarahumara, that’s just daily life. The Tarahumara step into the unknown every time theyleave the cave, because they never know how fast they’ll have to sprint after a rabbit, how muchfirewood they’ll have to haul home, how tricky the climbing will be during a winter storm. Thefirst challenge they face as kids is surviving on the edge of a cliff; their first and lifelong way toplay is the ball game, which is nothing if not an exercise in uncertainty. You can’t drive a woodenball over a jumble of rocks unless you’re ready to lunge, lope, backpedal, sprint, and leap in andout of ditches.
'Yes, sir. I remained behind on purpose to see the boat completed.'
Bond laughed. The torrent of powerful swear-words had started its ceaseless flow the day before at the airport - Haneda, 'the field of wings'. It had taken Bond nearly an hour to extract his single suitcase from the customs area, and he had emerged fuming into the central hall only to be jostled and pushed aside by an excited crowd of young Japanese bearing paper banners that said 'International Laundry Convention'. Bond was exhausted from his flight. He let out one single four-letter expletive. 2020-08-13 07:15:16