I offer you all my heartfelt thanks. You are livingproof that other people are our greatest resource.
'Stop!' he growled to me; and wiped his hot face with his hand. 'Mother, hold your noise. Well! Let 'em have that deed. Go and fetch it!'
Now,, as they motored quietly down the Van Wyck Expressway, Bond was feeling vaguely dissatisfied. He didn't like leaving ragged ends to a case. None of the big gangsters had been put in the bag and he had failed in the two tasks he had been given, to get Goldfinger and get Goldfinger's bullion. It was nothing but a miracle that Operation Grand Slam had been broken. It had been two days before the Beechcraft had been serviced and the cleaner who found the note had got to Pinkerton's only half an hour before Leiter was due to go off to the Coast on a big racing scandal. But then Leiter had really got cracking - to his chief, then to the FBI and the Pentagon. The FBI's knowledge of Bond's record, plus contact with M through the Central Intelligence Agency, had been enough to get the whole case up to the President within an hour. After that it had just been a case of building up the gigantic bluff in which all the inhabitants of Fort Knox had participated in one way or another. The two 'Japanese' had been taken easily enough and it was confirmed by Chemical Warfare that the three pints of GB carried as gin in their briefcases would have been enough to slay the entire population of Fort Knox. The two men had been quickly and forcibly grilled into explaining the form of the all clear cable to Goldfinger. The cable had been sent. Then the Army had declared emergency. Road and rail and air blocks had turned back all traffic to the Fort Knox area with the exception of the gangster convoys which had not been hindered. The rest was play-acting right down to the pink froth and the squalling babies which it was thought would add nice touches of verisimilitude.
The Out-side pinguid, overlay'd with Skin;
"The last hour was nervous work. There was going to be a lot of gunfire and probably a lot of death, and no one likes the prospect of those things, even if they don't expect to be hit. I had a couple of guns, heavy ones that really stop people, and at ten to twelve I took up my position to the right of the door in an angle of solid masonry and got ready just in case Uhlmann or one of the hoodlums managed to bust through the Mounties across the passage. To tell you the truth, as the minutes went by and I could imagine the killer car coming down the street and the men piling out and running softly up the stairs, I wished 1 had accepted the Mounties' offer that one of their men should share this vigil, as they called it, with me. But it would have been a five-hour tкte-а-tкte and, apart from not knowing what we would talk about during all that time, I've always had a preference for operating alone. It's just the way I'm made. Well, the minutes and the seconds ticked by, and then, bang on time, at five minutes to midnight, I heard a rush of rubber soles on the stairs and then all hell broke loose."
Scaramanga was lying stretched out, his back supported by a clump of sprawling mangrove roots. His hat and his high stock had gone, and the whole of the right-hand side of his suit was black with blood upon which insects crawled and feasted. But the eyes in the controlled face were still very much alive. They swept the clearing at regular intervals, questing. Scaramanga's hands rested on the roots beside him. There was no sign of a gun.
The chief range officer handed Bond a record of his shoot-two sighting shots and then ten rounds at each hundred yards up to five hundred. "Damned good firing with this visibility. You ought to come back next year and have a bash at the Queen's Prize. It's open to all comers nowadays-British Commonwealth, that is."
Six inches at a time, Bond's body began to worm up the shaft-expand shoulders to grip the sides, lift feet, lock knees, force the feet outwards against the metal and, as the feet slipped downwards with his weight, contract shoulders and raise them a few inches higher. Do it again, and again and again and again. Stop at each tiny bulge where the sections joined and use the millimetre of extra support to get some breath and measure the next lap. Otherwise don't look up, think only of the inches of metal that have to be conquered one by one. Don't worry about the glimmer of light that never grows brighter or nearer. Don't worry about losing your grip and falling to smash your ankles at the bottom of the shaft. Don't worry about cramp. Don't worry about your screaming muscles or the swelling bruises on your shoulders and the sides of your feet. Just take the silver inches as they come, one by one, and conquer them.
'You oughtn't to say such things of the dead.'
The hunchback moved slowly round the desk and over to where Bond was standing. He walked round-Bond, making a show of examining him minutely from head to foot, and then he came and stood close in front of Bond and looked up into his face. Bond looked impassively back into a pair of china eyes that were so empty and motionless that they might have been hired from a taxidermist. Bond had the feeling that he was being subjected to some sort of test. Casually he looked back at the hunchback, noting the big ears with rather exaggerated lobes, the dry red lips of the big half-open mouth, the almost complete absence of a neck, and the short powerful arms in the expensive yellow silk shirt, cut to make room for the barrel-like chest and its sharp hump. 2020-08-13 07:19:22