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“They seemed to move with the ground,” said one awestruck spectator. “Kind of like a cloud, or afog moving across the mountains.”

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We did not stay there, after dinner, but came upstairs into the drawing-room again: in one snug corner of which, Agnes set glasses for her father, and a decanter of port wine. I thought he would have missed its usual flavour, if it had been put there for him by any other hands.Now there was extra traffic in the street below the windows. The woman's orchestra came trooping down the pavement toward the entrance. Twenty laughing, talking girls carrying their instruments-violin and wind instrument cases, satchels with their scores-and four of them with the drums. A gay, happy little crocodile. Bond was reflecting that some people still seemed to find life fun in the Soviet Sector, when his glasses picked out and stayed on the girl carrying the cello. Bond's masticating jaws stopped still, and then reflectively went on with their chewing as he twisted the screw to depress the sniperscope and keep her in its center. I observed all day that Mr. Murdstone was graver and steadier than the two gentlemen. They were very gay and careless. They joked freely with one another, but seldom with him. It appeared to me that he was more clever and cold than they were, and that they regarded him with something of my own feeling. I remarked that, once or twice when Mr. Quinion was talking, he looked at Mr. Murdstone sideways, as if to make sure of his not being displeased; and that once when Mr. Passnidge (the other gentleman) was in high spirits, he trod upon his foot, and gave him a secret caution with his eyes, to observe Mr. Murdstone, who was sitting stern and silent. Nor do I recollect that Mr. Murdstone laughed at all that day, except at the Sheffield joke - and that, by the by, was his own. A hand caught Bond round the mouth and yanked him backwards. On his way to the ground he smelled carbolic soap and nicotine. He felt a boot thud into the back of his neck. As he whirled over sideways in the grass he expected to feel the searing flame of a knife. But the men, and there were three of them, were after Kerim, and as Bond scrambled to one knee he saw the squat black figures pile down on the crouching man, who gave one lash upwards with his useless gun and then went down under them.

“HEY YA!” Jenn shouted back, and boogied in to get herself a drink. She butt-grinded with thegroom, downed a beer, and fended off the guys who assumed that the wobbling, half-dressed hottiewho magically appeared at 3 a.m. was their personal party favor. Jenn eventually meandered on,finally winding up in the lobby.

Bond estimated that he had penetrated two hundred yards into the swamp when he heard the single, controlled cough.