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|传奇私服大杀四方中变|西尔维娅·侯克斯|The News

5 The Capu

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Outside the apartment house, a nondescript young man was tinkering with the engine of a black Opel Kapitan. He didn't take his head out from under the bonnet when Bond passed close by him and went up to the door and pressed the bell.

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.鈥業 am engaged in a matrimonial affair. B., Mera Bhatija鈥檚 Christian servant, having just been rejected by one woman, solicits, through my Ayah, my good offices to find him a wife. He bears a first-rate character, and would make an excellent husband, but he has the single disadvantage of having only one leg. I know that Mera Bhatija wishes B. to have a nice wife; so鈥攁fter consultation with one who knows the Orphanage maidens well, and has an[325] excellent judgment,鈥擨 have fixed on a jolly, good-tempered girl, ... able to cook and scrub, and have written a note to the Lady Superintendent, requesting her permission for B. to pay court to C. C. is to be told of the lameness, etc., and then if she too be willing, B. will be allowed to have an interview with her. This interview decides the affair. Both parties have a negative voice; both must be pleased; and if so鈥攖he banns are published! This is the compromise between European and Oriental ways of arranging marriages. I think that Mera Bhatija takes a lively interest in the matter; and if the marriage comes off, we should both like to have the wedding at Batala. The people here ought to have the opportunity of seeing a Christian wedding.鈥橖/strong> He took a hot bath and used half a bottle of iodine on the cuts and bruises he could reach. Then he got into bed and turned out the light. His body hurt and he was exhausted. Bond cautiously raised his head. The bay was serene, the beach unmarked. All was as before except for the stench of cordite and the sour smell of blasted rock. Bond pulled the girl to her feet. There were tear streaks down her face. She looked at him aghast. She said solemnly, "That was horrible. What did they do it for? We might have been killed."

"My God," said Bond slowly. Then, with awe in his voice. "There's something better than that. Give me a hand," and he bent down and gritted his teeth against the pain and started pushing.

Bond was non-committal. 'Can't tell yet. I probably won't be coming down this afternoon. Say I got bored watching -gone into the town.' He paused. 'But if my idea's right, don't be surprised at what may happen. If Goldfinger starts to behave oddly, just sit quiet and watch. I'm not promising anything. I think I've got him, but I may be wrong.'

When Harry Heathcote was over, I returned with a full heart to Lady Glencora and her husband. I had never yet drawn the completed picture of such a statesman as my imagination had conceived. The personages with whose names my pages had been familiar, and perhaps even the minds of some of my readers — the Brocks, De Terriers, Monks, Greshams, and Daubeneys — had been more or less portraits, not of living men, but of living political characters. The strong-minded, thick-skinned, useful, ordinary member, either of the Government or of the Opposition, had been very easy to describe, and had required no imagination to conceive. The character reproduces itself from generation to generation; and as it does so, becomes shorn in a wonderful way of those little touches of humanity which would be destructive of its purposes. Now and again there comes a burst of human nature, as in the quarrel between Burke and Fox; but, as a rule, the men submit themselves to be shaped and fashioned, and to be formed into tools, which are used either for building up or pulling down, and can generally bear to be changed from this box into the other, without, at any rate, the appearance of much personal suffering. Four-and-twenty gentlemen will amalgamate themselves into one whole, and work for one purpose, having each of them to set aside his own idiosyncrasy, and to endure the close personal contact of men who must often be personally disagreeable, having been thoroughly taught that in no other way can they serve either their country or their own ambition. These are the men who are publicly useful, and whom the necessities of the age supply — as to whom I have never ceased to wonder that stones of such strong calibre should be so quickly worn down to the shape and smoothness of rounded pebbles.

Bond said, 'Well, if we're being miked, all this'll make sweet reading for Mr Tanaka tomorrow morning.'