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“No,” Caballo said. “They could still be in bed. We’ve got to hit it if we’re going to dodge theafternoon heat.”

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An hour later they were sitting in blessed chairs with a drink-tray between them. The lights of Yokohama glowed a deep orange along the horizon, and a slight smell of the harbour and the sea came in through the wide-open partition leading on to the garden. Tiger's house was designed, enchantingly, as is even the meanest Japanese salary-man's house, to establish the thinnest possible dividing line between the inhabitant and nature. The three other partitions in the square room were also fully slid back, revealing a bedroom, a small study and a passage.

THE union CORSE! Now at least some of the mystery was explained. Bond looked across the desk into the brown eyes that were now shrewdly watching his reactions while his mind flicked through the file that bore the innocent title, "The union Corse', more deadly and perhaps even older than the unione Siciliano, the Mafia. He knew that it controlled most organized crime throughout metropolitan France and her colonies - protection rackets, smuggling, prostitution and the suppression of rival gangs. Only a few months ago a certain Rossi had been shot dead in a bar in Nice. A year before that, a Jean Giudicelli had been liquidated after several previous attempts had failed. Both these men had been known pretenders to the throne of Capu - the ebullient, cheerful man who now sat so peacefully across the table from Bond. Then there was this mysterious business of Rommel's treasure, supposed to be hidden beneath the sea somewhere off Bastia. In 1948 a Czech diver called Fleigh, who had been in the Abwehr, and had got on the track of it, was warned off by the union and then vanished off the face of the earth. Quite recently the body of a young French diver, Andre Mattei, was found riddled with bullets by the roadside near Bastia. He had foolishly boasted in the local bars that he knew the whereabouts of the treasure and had come to dive for it. Did Marc-Ange know the secret of this treasure? Had he been responsible for the killing of these two divers? The little village of Calenzana in the Balagne boasted of having produced more gangsters than any other village in Corsica and of being in consequence one of the most prosperous. The local mayor had held office for fifty-six years - the longest reigning mayor in France. Marc-Ange would surely be a son of that little community, know the secrets of that famous mayor, know, for instance, of that big American gangster who had just returned to discreet retirement in the village after a highly profitable career in the States.

“The young man has been a most unhappy, and, it would appear innocent victim of the moral turpitude of others;” observed a gentleman who had not before spoken, and whose black silk apron proclaimed him a dignitary of the church. “The story affords a striking, practical revelation of the will of Him, who has ordained that misery shall be the fruit of vice;” he added, addressing a younger person on whose arm he leaned.

There the gleaming rocket stood, beautiful, innocent, like a new toy for Cyclops.

‘How you look at me!’ she said slowly, and she held up a threatening finger.