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He sat very still, looking down at his body and remembering what it said about scorpionfish stings in the book he had borrowed from the Institute and had never returned-Dangerous Marine Animals, an American publication. He delicately touched and then prodded the white area around the punctures. Yes, the skin had gone totally numb, and now a pulse of pain began to throb beneath it. Very soon this would become a shooting pain. Then the pain would begin to lance all over his body and become so intense that he would throw himself on the sand, screaming and thrashing about, to rid himself of it. He would vomit and foam at the mouth, and then delirium and convulsions would take over until he lost consciousness. Then, inevitably in his case, there would ensue cardiac failure and death. According to the book the whole cycle would be complete in about a quarter of an hour-that was all he had left-fifteen minutes of hideous agony! There were cures, of course-procaine, antibiotics and antihistamines-if his weak heart would stand them. But they had to be near at hand. Even if he could climb the steps up to the house, and supposing Dr. Cahusac had these modern drugs, the doctor couldn't possibly get to Wavelets in under an hour.

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We were at the height of our enjoyment, and were all busily engaged, in our several departments, endeavouring to bring the last batch of slices to a state of perfection that should crown the feast, when I was aware of a strange presence in the room, and my eyes encountered those of the staid Littimer, standing hat in hand before me.

Nor did it seem to me to be possible that I should ever become a good speaker. I had no special gifts that way, and had not studied the art early enough in life to overcome natural difficulties. I had found that, with infinite labour, I could learn a few sentences by heart, and deliver them, monotonously indeed, but clearly. Or, again, if there were something special to be said, I could say it in a commonplace fashion — but always as though I were in a hurry, and with the fear before me of being thought to be prolix. But I had no power of combining, as a public speaker should always do, that which I had studied with that which occurred to me at the moment. It must be all lesson — which I found to be best; or else all impromptu — which was very bad, indeed, unless I had something special on my mind. I was thus aware that I could do no good by going into Parliament — that the time for it, if there could have been a time, had gone by. But still I had an almost insane desire to sit there, and be able to assure myself that my uncle’s scorn had not been deserved. His life has twice been touched by deep personal tragedy in recent years. An automobile accident in 1969 took the lives of his two eldest sons, and cancer claimed his wife Helen in 1974. A man who loves the company of other people, Carey enjoys such simple pleasures as cooking with friends and singing with his children. 'Commissions of investigation have visited the doctor. They have been most courteously treated. The doctor has begged that something shall be done to protect him from these trespassers. He complains that they interfere with his work, break off precious boughs and pick valuable plants. He shows himself as entirely cooperative with any measures that can be suggested short of abandoning this project, which is so dear to his heart and so much appreciated by trie Japanese specialists in botany and so forth. He has made a further most generous offer. He is constructing a research department - to be manned by workers of his own choice, mark you -to extract the poisons from his shrubs and plants and give the essences free to an appropriate medical research centre. You will have noted that many of these poisons are valuable medicines in a diluted form.' Nazi Party, the PLO, and the Black Panthers approach me from four

‘Many joyful returns of this day to you, dearest Laura, and may each find you better and happier than the last. I send you a little piece of velvet, which you may find useful, for I do not think you will value a present only for the money it costs; and I dare say you will agree with me that a trifle from an affectionate friend is often more valuable than great gifts from those who love you not.

And so it was with the castle of Doctor Shatterhand - a small nail-studded door, arched and weather-beaten. Its hinges and lock were cracked and rusty, but a new padlock and chain had been stapled into the woodwork and the stone frame. No moonlight filtered down to this corner of what must once have been a moat, but was now grassed over. Bond felt carefully with his fingers. Yes! The chain and lock would yield to the file and jemmy in his conjurer's pockets. Would there be bolts on the inner side? Probably not, or the padlock would not have been thought necessary. Bond softly retraced his steps across the gravel, stepping meticulously in his previous footmarks. That door would be his target for tomorrow!

Leiter left some money on the check and they went out and, while the Studillac throbbed along the winding road towards Troy, Bond settled himself down with Jimmy Cannon's tough prose. As he read, the Saratoga of the Jersey Lily's day vanished into the dusty, sweet past and the twentieth century looked out at him from the piece of newsprint and bared its teeth in a sneer.

Bond laughed, relieved. 'Let's join up and make a peninsula,' he said. 'Now, directly we've finished the strawberries.'