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And if you're free to choose any one you please, whynot choose a Really Useful Attitude?

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As Bond followed the uniformed page boy across the worn black and white marble floor of the hall and up the wide staircase with its fine mahogany balustrade, he remembered the story of how, at one election, nine blackballs had been found in the box when there were only eight members of the committee present. Brevett, who had handed the box from member to member, was said to have confessed to the Chairman that he was so afraid the candidate would be elected that he had put in a blackball himself. No one had objected. The committee would rather have lost its chairman than the porter whose family had held the same post at Blades for a hundred years.

My mother, however, did the best she could for me, and soon reported that Mr. Newby, of Mortimer Street, was to publish the book. It was to be printed at his expense, and he was to give me half the profits. Half the profits! Many a young author expects much from such an undertaking. I can, with truth, declare that I expected nothing. And I got nothing. Nor did I expect fame, or even acknowledgment. I was sure that the book would fail, and it did fail most absolutely. I never heard of a person reading it in those days. If there was any notice taken of it by any critic of the day, I did not see it. I never asked any questions about it, or wrote a single letter on the subject to the publisher. I have Mr. Newby’s agreement with me, in duplicate, and one or two preliminary notes; but beyond that I did not have a word from Mr. Newby. I am sure that he did not wrong me in that he paid me nothing. It is probable that he did not sell fifty copies of the work — but of what he did sell he gave me no account. He expected her to smile. She said: 'Yes, isn't it,' in a rather brittle voice. She seemed to be listening carefully to the music. One elbow rested on the table and her hand supported her chin, but on the back of her hand and not on the palm, and Bond noticed that her knuckles showed white as if her fist was tightly clenched.

A Unique Object of Vertu by Carl Fabergй

'That's quite all right.' Bond felt there was something fishy in this. He couldn't put his finger on what it was.

Then he leant back with his arms curled forward on the table in front of him like the arms of a wrestler seeking a hold at the opening of a bout of ju-jitsu.

What was this? wondered Bond. A gathering of beautiful ogresses? Or was this a day off from some rigorous diet? He felt completely clueless, out of his depth. Well, he would just go on digging. He turned to Ruby. 'You see what I mean about surnames. Fraulein Bunt may even have distant claim to an English title. Now what's yours, for instance? I'll see what I can make of it.'