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'Theer's the very locker that you used to sit on, 'long with Em'ly!' said Mr. Peggotty, in a whisper. 'I'm a-going to carry it away with me, last of all. And heer's your old little bedroom, see, Mas'r Davy! A'most as bleak tonight, as 'art could wish!'

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN 'IF YOU TOUCH ME THERE…'

I have from the first felt sure that the writer, when he sits down to commence his novel, should do so, not because he has to tell a story, but because he has a story to tell. The novelist’s first novel will generally have sprung from the right cause. Some series of events, or some development of character, will have presented itself to his imagination — and this he feels so strongly that he thinks he can present his picture in strong and agreeable language to others. He sits down and tells his story because he has a story to tell; as you, my friend, when you have heard something which has at once tickled your fancy or moved your pathos, will hurry to tell it to the first person you meet. But when that first novel has been received graciously by the public and has made for itself a success, then the writer naturally feeling that the writing of novels is within his grasp, looks about for something to tell in another. He cudgels his brains, not always successfully, and sits down to write, not because he has something which he burns to tell, but because be feels it to be incumbent on him to be telling something. As you, my friend, if you are very successful in the telling of that first story, will become ambitious of further storytelling, and will look out for anecdotes — in the narration of which you will not improbably sometimes distress your audience.(1) My duties in the Service, until some twelve months ago, have been connected with the Double-O Section and you, Sir, have been kind enough, from time to time, to express your satisfaction with my performance of those duties, which I, for my part, have enjoyed. To my chagrin, [Bond had been pleased with this fine word] however, on the successful completion of Operation 'Thunderball', I received personal instructions from you to concentrate all my efforts, without a terminal date, [another felicitous phrase!] on the pursuit of Ernst Stavro Blofeld and on his apprehension, together with any members of SPECTRE -otherwise 'The Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Revenge and Extortion' - if that organization had been re-created since its destruction at the climax of Operation "Thunderball'. At last war came. I have told how, in the theme of darkness it resulted in the destruction of man’s most promising society. In the theme of light the issue was far otherwise. Not only had the empires been effectively undermined by the missionaries, so that rebellions were frequent; more important was the fact that the servants of the light in all countries, and specially in Tibet, were armed with an inner certainty of victory. As in the darker theme, the Tibetan frontier was defended by microbes which reduced the invaders to infantilism. But whereas in the dark theme the respite thus secured was used merely for strengthening the defence, in the theme of the triumphing light it was turned into an opportunity for attack. Against all probability, the small but highly trained and highly mechanized Tibetan army, supported by its small but well-appointed air force, pushed forward into the imperial territory of Kashmir. There it attacked before the Russians had had time to recover from the effects of the microbe, and it gained a surprising victory. The Russian imperialists hastily concentrated vast new armies and air forces upon the invaders; but owing to a combination of inefficiency, corruption, and above all half-heartedness and positive disloyalty the imperial armies put up a feeble resistance, and were presently retreating in disorder, closely pursued by the Tibetans, and constantly attacked by the natives themselves. Organized revolt had of course broken out in Kashmir, and the imperialists’ defeat ensured its success. The whole of this mountainous land was soon freed. A temporary government was set up by the Kashmiri servants of the light, and the new state formed a close alliance with Tibet. 'Is that your boy, sister-in-law?' Janet ventured to suggest that my aunt might be disturbing herself unnecessarily, and that she believed the donkey in question was then engaged in the sand-and-gravel line of business, and was not available for purposes of trespass. But my aunt wouldn't hear of it.

The gun in the pilot's hand stammered three times. The smuggler said "Oh" in an obsequious voice. He pitched backwards into the dust and gave one heave and lay still.

'This here little Em'ly of ours,' said Mr. Peggotty, 'has been, in our house, what I suppose (I'm a ignorant man, but that's my belief) no one but a little bright-eyed creetur can be in a house. She ain't my child; I never had one; but I couldn't love her more. You understand! I couldn't do it!'

She came up with him and at once went down on one knee and began picking up the live shells and stowing them in the knapsack.