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There was a moment's silence.

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My God, what a hell-cat, thought Bond. Beside him, Kerim's breath hissed tensely through his teeth.

The first hand was on his ribs. Almost without taking aim, Bond's knife-hand slashed down and across. He felt the blade bite into the puddingy flesh and then the knife was almost torn from his grip as the wounded tentacle whipped back into the water. For a moment the sea boiled around him. Now the other hand let go the wire and slapped across his stomach. The pointed hand stuck like a leech, all the power of the suckers furiously applied. Bond screamed as the suckers bit into his flesh. He slashed madly, again and again. God, his stomach was being torn out! The wire shook with the struggle. Below him the water boiled and foamed. He would have to give in. One more stab, this time into the back of the hand. It worked! The hand jerked free and snaked down and away leaving twenty red circles, edged with blood, across his skin.iv. Preparation for a Great Task 'Why, what do you mean?' said the tinker, looking so sternly at me, that I almost feared he saw the money in my pocket. Chapter 3 The Red Roses laundry van watched the front door shut behind James Bond and then moved off at a sedate speed to its garage not far from Scotland Yard while the process of developing the Canonflex film went on in its interior.

He reached under the low table and then seemed to think better of it and moved his hand to the glass of sake, picked it up and poured it down his throat without a swallow.

He looked up from the pillow-book and laughed. 'Kissy, where in God's name did you get this?'

Miss Threadgold's Astor House was, like most of these very English establishments, in the Sunningdale area-a large Victorian stockbrokery kind of place, whose upper floors had been divided up with plasterboard to make bedrooms for twenty-five pairs of girls. Being a "foreigner," I was teamed up with the other foreigner, a dusky Lebanese millionairess with huge tufts of mouse-colored hair in her armpits, and an equal passion for chocolate fudge and an Egyptian film star called Ben Said, whose gleaming photograph-gleaming teeth, mustache, eyes, and hair-was soon to be torn up and flushed down the lavatory by the three senior girls of Rose Dormitory, of which we were both members. Actually I was saved by the Lebanese. She was so dreadful, petulant, smelly, and obsessed with her money that most of the school took pity on me and went out of their way to be kind. But there were many others who didn't, and I was made to suffer agonies for my accent, my table manners, which were considered uncouth, my total lack of savoir-faire, and, in general, for being a Canadian. I was also, I see now, much too sensitive and quicktempered. I just wouldn't take the bullying and teasing, and when I had roughed up two or three of my tormentors, others got together with them and set upon me in bed one night and punched and pinched and soaked me with water until I burst into tears and promised 1 wouldn't "fight like an elk" any more. After that, I gradually settled down, made an armistice with the place, and morosely set about learning to be a "lady."

'No.' The one word was cool, definite. The girl put her hands behind her back and waited.