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“Servetur ad imum

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'Oh golly!' Ruby's knuckles went up to her mouth.

She stood up and took her hand away from her mouth. She was tall, perhaps five feet ten, and her arms and legs looked firm as if she might be a swimmer. Her breasts thrust against the black silk of the brassiere. 'David,' said Mr. Murdstone, 'to the young this is a world for action; not for moping and droning in.' Is Mrs. [coughs] at home? Pray present my compliments to her, and say that a gentleman who has lost his way entreats the favour of shelter for a night under her hospitable roof. 'What! Brooks!'

'You do not possess full powers of negotiation?'

When, at exactly midday, the telephone rang, he went straight down and out to the grey Peugeot 403 he had been told to expect. The driver was Chй-Chй. He acknowledged Bond's greeting curtly and, in silence, they drove for an hour across the uninteresting countryside, finally turning left off a secondary road into a muddy lane that meandered through thick forest. In due course there was the ill-kept stone wall of a large property and then a vast broken-down iron gateway leading into a park. On the unweeded drive-way were the recent tracks of vehicles. They followed these past the dilapidated facade of a once-imposing chateau, on through the forest to where the trees gave way to fields. On the edge of the trees was a large barn in good repair. They stopped outside and Chй-Chй sounded three shorts on his horn. A small door in the wide double doors of the barn opened and Marc-Ange came out. He greeted Bond cheerfully. 'Come along in, my friend. You are just in time for some good Strasbourg sausage and a passable Riquewihr. Rather thin and bitter. I would have christened it "Chateau Pis-de-Chat", but it serves to quench the thirst.'