I sat looking at Peggotty for some time, in a reverie on this supposititious case: whether, if she were employed to lose me like the boy in the fairy tale, I should be able to track my way home again by the buttons she would shed.
`Oh, well,' said Bond reluctantly. `You'd better take mine. Come on in.'
Again, as my aunt looked quite convinced, I endeavoured to look quite convinced also.
When Bond had left him after a quarter of an hour's hard talking, each man knew that he had acquired an ally. Vallance had seized up Bond and knew that Gala Brand would get all Bond's help and whatever protection she needed. He also respected Bond's professional approach to the assignment and his absence of departmental rivalry with the Special Branch. As for Bond, he was full of admiration for what he had learned about Vallance's agent, and he felt that he was no longer naked and that he had Vallance and the whole of Vallance's department behind him.
'Then I tell you what, Steerforth. I think I will go down and see my old nurse. It is not that I can do her any good, or render her any real service; but she is so attached to me that my visit will have as much effect on her, as if I could do both. She will take it so kindly that it will be a comfort and support to her. It is no great effort to make, I am sure, for such a friend as she has been to me. Wouldn't you go a day's journey, if you were in my place?'
Bond got to the wire and hung, crucified. For fifteen minutes he stayed like that, his body occasionally racked with vomiting, until he felt strong enough to turn his head and see where he was. Blearily his eyes took in the towering cliffs above him and the narrow vee of softly breathing water. The place was in deep grey shadow, cut off from the dawn by the mountain, but out at sea there was the pearly iridescence of first light that meant that for the rest of the world the day was dawning. Here it was dark and gloomy and brooding.
She whirled round, her hand at her mouth. She took it down. "Oh, it's you!" She smiled at him. "I thought you'd never wake up. I've been to look at you several times. I'd made up my mind to wake you at five. It's half-past four and I'm hungry. Can you get us something to eat?"
Mrs. Heep, with a prodigious sniff, resumed her knitting.
Between Grant and Lincoln there came to be perfect sympathy of thought and action. The men had in their nature (though not in their mental equipment) much in common. Grant carries his army through the spring of 1864, across the much fought over territory, marching and fighting from day to day towards the south-west. The effort is always to outflank Lee's right, getting in between him and his base at Richmond, but after each fight, Lee's army always bars the way. Marching out of the Wilderness after seven days' fierce struggle, Grant still finds the line of grey blocking his path to Richmond. The army of the Potomac had been marching and fighting without break for weeks. There had been but little sleep, and the food in the trains was often far out of the reach of the men in the fighting line. Men and officers were alike exhausted. While advantages had been gained at one point or another along the line, and while it was certain that the opposing army had also suffered severely, there had been no conclusive successes to inspirit the troops with the feeling that they were to seize victory out of the campaign.
Raising his great hands until they touched his chin, he rubbed them softly, and softly chuckled; looking as like a malevolent baboon, I thought, as anything human could look.
Number Two of Secret Service Station WB was a lean, tense man in his early forties. He wore the uniform of his profession-well-cut, well-used, lightweight tweeds in a dark green herringbone, a soft white silk shirt, and an old school tie (in his case Wykehamist). At the sight of the tie, and while they exchanged conventional greetings in the small musty lobby of the apartment, Bond's spirits, already low, sank another degree. He knew the type-backbone of the civil service... overcrammed and underloved at Winchester... a good second in P.P.E. at Oxford... the war, staff jobs he would have done meticulously-perhaps an O.B.E.... Allied Control Commission in Germany where he had been recruited into the I Branch.... And thence-because he was the ideal staff man and A-one with Security, and because he thought he would find life, drama, romance-the things he had never had-into the Secret Service. A sober, careful man had been needed to chaperone Bond on this ugly business. Captain Paul Sender, late of the Welsh Guards, had been the obvious choice. He had bought it. Now, like a good Wykehamist, he concealed his distaste for the job beneath careful, trite conversation as he showed Bond the layout of the apartment and the arrangements that had been made for the executioner's preparedness and, to a modest extent, his comfort. 2020-08-13 07:16:52