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At the present period, however, this influence was only one among many which were helping to shape the character of my future development: and even after it became, I may truly say, the presiding principle of my mental progress, it did not alter the path, but only made me move forward more boldly, and, at the same time, more cautiously, in the same course. The only actual revolution which has ever taken place in my modes of thinking, was already complete. My new tendencies had to be confirmed in some respects, moderated in others: but the only substantial changes of opinion that were yet to come, related to politics, and consisted, on one hand, in a greater approximation, so far as regards the ultimate prospects of humanity, to a qualified Socialism, and on the other, a shifting of my political ideal from pure democracy, as commonly understood by its partizans, to the modified form of it, which is set forth in my "Considerations on Representative Government."

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And so began our regular and delicious routine. The first day he met me on the platform. We were rather shy, but he was so excited about his car that he quickly hurried me out to see it. It was wonderful-black with red leather upholstery and red wire wheels and all sorts of racing gimmicks like a strap round the hood and an out-size filler cap on the gas tank, and the badge of the B.R.D.C. We climbed in, and I tied Derek's colored silk handkerchief round my hair, and the exhaust made a wonderful sexy noise as we accelerated across the High Street lights and turned up along the river. That day he took me as far as Bray, to show off the car, and we tore through the lanes, with Derek doing quite unnecessary racing changes on the flattest curves. Sitting so near the ground, even at fifty, one felt as if one was doing at least a hundred, and to begin with I clutched onto the safety grip on the dashboard and hoped for the best. But Derek was a good driver, and I soon got confidence in him and controlled my trembles. He took me to a fearfully smart place, the Hotel de Paris, and we had smoked salmon, which cost extra, and roast chicken and ice cream, and then he hired an electric canoe from the boathouse next door, and we chugged sedately upriver and under Maidenhead Bridge and found a little backwater, just this side of Cookham Lock, where Derek rammed the canoe far in under the branches. He had brought a portable gramophone with him, and I scrambled down to his end of the canoe and we sat and later lay side by side and listened to the records and watched a small bird hopping about in the network of branches over our heads. It was a beautiful drowsy afternoon, and we kissed but didn't go any further, and I felt reassured that Derek didn't after all think I was "easy." Later the midges came and we nearly upset the canoe trying to get it out of the creek backward, but then we were going fast downriver with the current and there were a lot of other boats with couples and families in them, but I was quite certain we looked the gayest and handsomest of everyone. We drove back and went down to Eton and had scrambled eggs and coffee in a place called The Thatched House that Derek knew about, and then he suggested we should go to the cinema.I know I do not exaggerate, unconsciously and unintentionally, the scantiness of my resources or the difficulties of my life. I know that if a shilling were given me by Mr. Quinion at any time, I spent it in a dinner or a tea. I know that I worked, from morning until night, with common men and boys, a shabby child. I know that I lounged about the streets, insufficiently and unsatisfactorily fed. I know that, but for the mercy of God, I might easily have been, for any care that was taken of me, a little robber or a little vagabond. Five: A Bird With a Wing Down They came to the end of the corridor. Irma Bunt knocked on the facing door.

Doctor No paused. He lifted his arms an inch and dropped them again resignedly in his lap. "Mister Bond, I said that there was not a cloud in the sky during all these fourteen years. But one was there, all the time, below the horizon. And do you know what it was? It was a bird, a ridiculous bird called a roseate spoonbill! I will not weary you with the details, Mister Bond. You are already aware of some of the circumstances. The two wardens, miles away in the middle of the lake, were provisioned by launch from Cuba. They sent out their reports by the launch. Occasionally, ornithologists from America came by the launch and spent some days at the camp. I did not mind. The area is out of bounds to my men. The wardens were not allowed near my compounds. There was no contact. From the first I made it clear to the Audubon Society that I would not meet their representatives. And then what happens? One day, out of a clear sky, I get a letter by the monthly boat. The roseate spoonbills have become one of the bird wonders of the world. The Society gives me formal notification that they intend to build a hotel on their leasehold, near the river up which you came. Bird lovers from all over the world will come to observe the birds. Films will be taken. Crab Key, they told me in their flattering, persuasive letter, would become famous.

Chapter 2 A Really Useless Attitude

"Sufficiently." Bond squatted down on his heels. He held his gun loosely, aiming somewhere halfway between the two of them. "Now then, let's talk. Afraid you haven't got too much time, Scaramanga. This is the end of the road. You've killed too many of my friends. I have the licence to kill you and I am going to kill you. But I'll make it quick. Not like Margesson. Remember him? You put a shot through both of his knees and both of his elbows. Then you made him crawl and kiss your boots. You were foolish enough to boast about it to your friends in Cuba. It got back to us. As a matter of interest, how many men have you killed in your life?"

Bond followed Goldfinger over to where the caddie stood on a small plateau of higher ground. He was pointing down. Bond bent and inspected the ball. Yes, an almost new Dun-lop One and in an astonishingly good lie. It was miraculous -more than miraculous. Bond stared hard from Goldfinger to his caddie. 'Must have had the hell of a lucky kick,' he said mildly.