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Chapter 1 Natural Rapport

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Bond glanced at his watch. "Only a minute more," he said to Gala. "God, I'd like to get my hands on Drax. Here," he reached for the cake of soap and gouged some pieces off it. "Stuff this in your ears when the time comes. The noise is going to be terrific, I don't know about the heat. It won't last long and the steel walls may stand up to it."

'Apparently they were part of a pool held in France for this sort of job - saboteurs, thugs, and so on - and Mathis's friends are already trying to round up the rest. They were to get two million francs for killing you and the agent who briefed them told them there was absolutely no chance of being caught if they followed his instructions exactly.'Bond shushed her. He picked up his gun and put it back under his pillow and led her across the room and into the bathroom. He turned on the light and as a precaution, the shower, and, simultaneously with her gasp, remembered he was naked. He said, "Sorry, Goodnight," and reached for a towel and wound it round his waist and sat down on the edge of the bath. He gestured to the girl to sit down on the lavatory seat and said, with icy control, "What in hell are you doing here, Mary?" The door clanged shut beneath them followed by the click of the lock and, preceded by the five guards, the figure of Drax appeared below striding masterfully towards the group of officials, the slip of lying figures in his hand. The train howled on through the night. Bond sat and watched the hurrying moonlit landscape and concentrated on keeping awake. One of the guys in the capes smiled and put out his hand. Suddenly, Fisher shoved his bodybetween them.

It was while I was engaged on Barchester Towers that I adopted a system of writing which, for some years afterwards, I found to be very serviceable to me. My time was greatly occupied in travelling, and the nature of my travelling was now changed. I could not any longer do it on horseback. Railroads afforded me my means of conveyance, and I found that I passed in railway-carriages very many hours of my existence. Like others, I used to read — though Carlyle has since told me that a man when travelling should not read, but “sit still and label his thoughts.” But if I intended to make a profitable business out of my writing, and, at the same time, to do my best for the Post Office, I must turn these hours to more account than I could do even by reading. I made for myself therefore a little tablet, and found after a few days’ exercise that I could write as quickly in a railway-carriage as I could at my desk. I worked with a pencil, and what I wrote my wife copied afterwards. In this way was composed the greater part of Barchester Towers and of the novel which succeeded it, and much also of others subsequent to them. My only objection to the practice came from the appearance of literary ostentation, to which I felt myself to be subject when going to work before four or five fellow-passengers. But I got used to it, as I had done to the amazement of the west country farmers’ wives when asking them after their letters.

“In the first place, madam,” continued the Doctor, in answer to Lady D.’s list of questions, “though there certainly was a marriage broken off at the altar, there was no rivalship whatever, nor the slightest foundation for such[155] a rumour. The catastrophe, indeed, was much hastened, and almost all the wild reports which have gone abroad, produced by Captain Ormond’s unfortunate passion for the young lady who afterwards proved to be his sister; and with whom he had at first become acquainted during her residence at some finishing boarding-school. So violent, indeed, was the attachment which subsisted between these young persons; strengthened, as it was, by long indulgence; for they had been secretly engaged for years, it seems; that nothing could prevent the marriage, but confession on the part of the mother. This she delayed till the last moment; in fact, till her son and daughter stood together at the altar! Then it was that rushing past them with screams like those of a maniac, and with such velocity that indeed, though every one looked round to discover whence the sounds came, (for I happened to be present, madam,) no one[156] saw her till she stood beside the officiating clergyman; when, laying one hand on his lips and spreading the other over his open book, after remaining speechless from want of breath for a few moments, during which the wonder of the beholders was very great, she shrieked aloud, in accents that rang through the whole church, that they were brother and sister! nay, that they were twins! that she herself was their mother; their wretched, sinful mother; and that the late Lord Fitz-Ullin was their father.

James Bond smiled for the first time. It was a thin smile which didn't light up his eyes. He said, "That's very kind of nun. Would you tell him I'm afraid I shan't be free."

This is one of the most powerful exercises we do in myseminars, but even without supervision you can turn itinto a force to be reckoned with!