|求生之路2私服问题|何健禧|The News

'All right.' Colonel Smithers now talked in the soft, tired voice of an overworked man in the service of his Government. It was the voice of the specialist in a particular line of law enforcement. It said that he knew most things connected with that line and that he could make a good guess at all the rest. Bond knew the voice well, the voice of the first-class Civil Servant. Despite his prosiness, Bond was beginning to take to Colonel Smithers. 'All right. Supposing you have a bar of gold in your pocket about the size of a couple of packets of Players. Weight about five and a quarter pounds. Never mind for the moment where you got it from - stole it or inherited it or something. That'll be twenty-four carat -what we call a thousand fine. Now, the law says you have to sell that to the Bank of England at the controlled price of twelve pounds ten per ounce. That would make it worth around the thousand pounds. But you're greedy. You've got a friend going to India or perhaps you're on good terms with an airline pilot or a steward on the Far East run. All you have to do is cut your bar into thin sheets or plates-you'd soon find someone to do this for you - and sew the plates -they'd be smaller than playing cards - into a cotton belt, and pay your friend a commission to wear it. You could easily afford a hundred pounds for the job. Your friend flies off to Bombay and goes to the first bullion dealer in the bazaar. He will be given one thousand seven hundred pounds for your five-pound bar and you're a richer man than you might have been. Mark you,' Colonel Smithers waved his pipe airily,'that's only seventy per cent profit. Just after the war you could have got three hundred per cent. If you'd done only half a dozen little operations like that every year you'd be able to retire by now.'

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Bond kept away from the carpet and hugged the shadows of the walls. He guessed that he was now on the main floor and that somewhere straight ahead was his quarry. He was well inside the citadel. So far so good!

I HAVE TOLD how, after the victory of the will for the light, there followed a period of explosive progress which gradually gave place to a much longer phase of Utopian stability. This phase, in which material civilization changed only in minor ways, must have lasted for many centuries. In the cultural life of the race also, though minor experiments and advances were constantly being made, no revolutionary changes occurred. The best minds of the race were busy exploring the new vistas which had been opened up for intellect and feeling by the founding of the new order. Of these cultural achievements naturally I can say no more than that achievement did occur. In the earlier part of this phase the new cultural ventures were not, I think, beyond the range of our contemporary human intelligence, but we have not the necessary background of experience to comprehend them. As well might a resuscitated ancient Egyptian understand modern science. Suffice it that throughout this period the growing point of culture kept shifting from one field to another. At one time it lay in pure science, at another in the application of science to industry or eugenics, at another in one or other of the arts, or in philosophy, or in the minutiae of concrete personal relations, or in religious feeling. Cultural leadership would pass now to one people or one social class, now to another.On these things he spent all his money and it was his ambition to have as little as possible in his banking account when he was killed, as, when he was depressed, he knew he would be, before the statutory age of forty-five. When the time came I went down to canvass, and spent, I think, the most wretched fortnight of my manhood. In the first place, I was subject to a bitter tyranny from grinding vulgar tyrants. They were doing what they could, or said that they were doing so, to secure me a seat in Parliament, and I was to be in their hands, at any rate, the period of my candidature. On one day both of us, Mr. Maxwell and I, wanted to go out hunting. We proposed to ourselves but the one holiday during this period of intense labour; but I was assured, as was he also, by a publican who was working for us, that if we committed such a crime he and all Beverley would desert us. From morning to evening every day I was taken round the lanes and by-ways of that uninteresting town, canvassing every voter, exposed to the rain, up to my knees in slush, and utterly unable to assume that air of triumphant joy with which a jolly, successful candidate should he invested. At night, every night I had to speak somewhere — which was bad; and to listen to the speaking of others — which was much worse. When, on one Sunday, I proposed to go to the Minster Church, I was told that was quite useless, as the Church party were all certain to support Sir Henry! “Indeed,” said the publican, my tyrant, “he goes there in a kind of official profession, and you had better not allow yourself to be seen in the same place.” So I stayed away and omitted my prayers. No Church of England church in Beverley would on such an occasion have welcomed a Liberal candidate. I felt myself to be a kind of pariah in the borough, to whom was opposed all that was pretty, and all that was nice, and all that was — ostensibly — good. Could he have saved Campbell? Well, he could have had a desperate shot at it. 'Oh, yes. I know this man. Perfectly respectable chap. We used to work for the same export firm, Universal, in London. You look in pretty bad shape, old boy. What the devil happened?' But it was just as well he hadn't tried. As cover, solid cover, Universal was 'brule' with the pros. It had been in use too long. All the secret services in the world had penetrated it by now. Obviously Blofeld knew all about it. Any effort to save Campbell would simply have tied Bond in with him. There had been no alternative except to throw him to the wolves. If Campbell had a chance to get his wits back before they really started on him, he would know that Bond was there for some purpose, that his disavowal by Bond was desperately important to Bond, to the Service. How long would he have the strength to cover for Bond, retrieve his recognition of Bond? At most a few hours. But how many hours? That was the vital question. That and how long the storm would last. Bond couldn't possibly get away in this stuff. If it stopped, there might be a chance, a damned slim one, but better than the alternatives, of which, if and when Campbell talked, there was only one - death, probably a screaming death. "Say Doc, what is it the full moon does to you?"

ii. Decline of Population