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No. 3-1/2 LOVE LANE,

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By the time Bond had taken in these details, he had come to within fifty yards of the two men. He was reflecting on the ranges of various types of weapon and the possibilities of cover when an extraordinary and terrible scene was enacted.

"I know," commented Bond sourly. "Free luncheon vouchers every second Friday. Key to M.'s personal lavatory. New suit to replace the one that's somehow got full of holes." But he kept his eyes fixed on the flitting fingers, infected by Mary Goodnight's excitement. What in hell was she getting so steamed up about? And all on his behalf! He examined her with approval. Perched there, immaculate in her white tussore shirt and tight beige skirt, one neat foot curled round the other in concentration, the golden face under the shortish fair hair incandescent with pleasure, she was, thought Bond, a girl to have around always. As a secretary? As what? Mary Goodnight turned, her eyes shining, and the question went, as it had gone for weeks, without an answer. Before Saratoga closed down hitch-hikers were thrown into the can by a constabulary that banked its pay checks and lived off the tips of murderers and panderers. Impoverishment was a serious violation of the law in Saratoga. Drunks, who got loaded at the bars of dice joints, were also considered menaces when they tapped out. Bond had turned. The huge man in the rumpled grey suit thrust out a hand as big as a small ham. 'Glad to meet you. I'm Henderson. As you were the only pommy on the plane, I guess you're Bond. Here. Give me that bag. Got a car outside and the sooner we get away from this blankety blank madhouse the better.' "Listen, Bond," said Tiffany Case, "it'd take more than Crab-meat Ravigotte to get me into bed with a man. In any event, since it's your check, I'm going to have caviar, and what you English call 'cutlets', and some pink champagne. I don't often date a good-looking Englishman and the dinner's going to live up to the occasion." Suddenly she leant towards him and reached out a hand and put it over his. "Sorry," she said abruptly. "I didn't mean that about the check. The dinner's on me. But I did mean it about the occasion."

'All right, Mister Bond. But I am so sure of my facts that I am now going to kill you with my own hands and dispose of your body without more ado. On reflection, I would rather do it myself than have it done slowly by the guards. You have been a thorn in my flesh for too long. The account I have to settle with you is a personal one. Have you ever heard the Japanese expression "kirisute gomen"?'

"This time of year, everybody wants to be reviewed. The tragedy is that dancers do wait until the spring, and then they give their one-shot concert that they have been preparing all year, and it's on the same night that 17 other dancers are giving theirs. I think it's suicidal. … We have three dance critics at the Times — Jack Anderson and Jennifer Dunning besides myself — and in the spring, all three of us are working every day, and we still can't keep up."

TO MISS 鈥楲EILA鈥 HAMILTON.

Later, as Bond was finishing his first straight whisky 'on the rocks' and was contemplating the paté de foie gras and cold langouste which the waiter had just laid out for him, the telephone rang.