Drax was shocked. "Has he indeed?" he said. He bashed his cigarette out in the ashtray and killed the glowing fragments one by one. "So much for Krebs," he said, without looking up.
"Hold it, Sir Hugo. Just like that, please. Arm in the air." The bulbs flashed and the bank of cameras whirred and clicked for the last time and Drax turned and walked the few yards towards the dome, almost, it seemed to Bond, looking him straight in the eye through the grating above the door of the site.
'Oh, you know, deuce take it,' said this gentleman, looking round the board with an imbecile smile, 'we can't forego Blood, you know. We must have Blood, you know. Some young fellows, you know, may be a little behind their station, perhaps, in point of education and behaviour, and may go a little wrong, you know, and get themselves and other people into a variety of fixes - and all that - but deuce take it, it's delightful to reflect that they've got Blood in 'em! Myself, I'd rather at any time be knocked down by a man who had got Blood in him, than I'd be picked up by a man who hadn't!'
'I hardly ever take breakfast, sir,' he replied, with his head thrown back in an easy-chair. 'I find it bores me.'
Bond was next to her. Now he sat back and suggested that the girls should have a game among themselves. He turned to Fraulein Bunt. ' By the way, if I can find the time, it crossed my mind that it might be fun to go down in the cable car and pay a visit to the valley. I gathered from talk among the crowds today that St Moritz is the other side of the valley. I've never been there. I'd love to see it.'
They turned and walked up the beach to the headland. After a minute she said in a controlled voice, "Oh, there's stacks of food about. Sea urchins mostly. And there are wild bananas and things. I eat and sleep for two days before I come out here. I don't need anything."
Bond dropped his gun. So much for the Smith & Wesson. The Beretta would have been just as good against this thing. The girl whimpered. Bond squeezed her hand. "Stick it, Honey," he said. "We'll get out of this somehow." Bond sneered at himself for the lie.
Bond thought: That would happen today! The Loire is dressed for just that - chasing that girl until you run her to ground at lunch-time, the contact at the empty restaurant by the river, out in the garden under the vine trellis. The friture and the ice-cold Vouvray, the cautious sniffing at each other and then the two cars motoring on in convoy until that evening, well down to the south, there would be the place they had agreed on at lunch - olive trees, crickets singing in the indigo dusk, the discovery that they liked each other and that their destinations could wait. Then, next day ('No, not tonight. I don't know you well enough, and besides I'm tired') they would leave her car in the hotel garage and go off in his at a tangent, slowly, knowing there was no hurry for anything, driving to the west, away from the big roads. What was that place he had always wanted to go to, simply because of the name? Yes, Entre Deux Seins, a village near Les Baux. Perhaps there wasn't even an inn there. Well, then they would go on to Les Baux itself, at the Bouches du Rhone on the edge of the Camargue. There they would take adjoining rooms (not a double room, it would be too early for that) in the fabulous Baumaniere, the only hotel-restaurant in France with Michelin's supreme accolade. They would eat the gratin de langouste and perhaps, because it was traditional on such a night, drink champagne. And then..
'My dear Copperfield!' returned Mr. Micawber, after some uneasy evolutions on his stool, 'allow me to offer a remark! I am here, in a capacity of confidence. I am here, in a position of trust. The discussion of some topics, even with Mrs. Micawber herself (so long the partner of my various vicissitudes, and a woman of a remarkable lucidity of intellect), is, I am led to consider, incompatible with the functions now devolving on me. I would therefore take the liberty of suggesting that in our friendly intercourse - which I trust will never be disturbed! - we draw a line. On one side of this line,' said Mr. Micawber, representing it on the desk with the office ruler, 'is the whole range of the human intellect, with a trifling exception; on the other, IS that exception; that is to say, the affairs of Messrs Wickfield and Heep, with all belonging and appertaining thereunto. I trust I give no offence to the companion of my youth, in submitting this proposition to his cooler judgement?'
'All, Agnes?' said I.
The sharp crack of a heavy-calibre pistol and the phut as the bullet hit the snow beside him pulled him together. He jinked sideways and glanced quickly up to the right, where the shot had come from. The gun blazed again. A man on skis was coming fast after him. One of the guides! Of course! He would have taken the Red Run. Had the other followed Bond on the Black? Bond hoped so, gave a deep sigh of anger, and put on all the speed he could, crouching low and jinking occasionally to spoil the man's aim. The single shots kept on coming. It was going to be a narrow shave who got to the end of the run first!
These were the thoughts which mingled with the dry heavy dejection of the melancholy winter of 1826-7. During this time I was not incapable of my usual occupations. I went on with them mechanically, by the mere force of habit. I had been so drilled in a certain sort of mental exercise, that I could still carry it on when all the spirit had gone out of it. I even composed and spoke several speeches at the debating society, how, or with what degree of success, I know not. Of four years continual speaking at that society, this is the only year of which I remember next to nothing. Two lines of Coleridge, in whom alone of all writers I have found a true description of what I felt, were often in my thoughts, not at this time (for I had never read them), but in a later period of the same mental malady: 2020-08-07 08:32:48