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I fancied that I knew that the opposition to an international copyright was by no means an American feeling, but was confined to the bosoms of a few interested Americans. All that I did and heard in reference to the subject on this further visit — and having a certain authority from the British Secretary of State with me I could hear and do something — altogether confirmed me in this view. I have no doubt that if I could poll American readers, or American senators — or even American representatives, if the polling could be unbiassed — or American booksellers, 13 that an assent to an international copyright would be the result. The state of things as it is is crushing to American authors, as the publishers will not pay them a liberal scale, knowing that they can supply their customers with modern English literature without paying for it. The English amount of production so much exceeds the American, that the rate at which the former can be published rules the market. it is equally injurious to American booksellers — except to two or three of the greatest houses. No small man can now acquire the exclusive right of printing and selling an English book. If such a one attempt it, the work is printed instantly by one of the leviathans — who alone are the gainers. The argument of course is, that the American readers are the gainers — that as they can get for nothing the use of certain property, they would be cutting their own throats were they to pass a law debarring themselves from the power of such appropriation. In this argument all idea of honesty is thrown to the winds. It is not that they do not approve of a system of copyright — as many great men have disapproved — for their own law of copyright is as stringent as is ours. A bold assertion is made that they like to appropriate the goods of other people; and that, as in this case, they can do so with impunity, they will continue to do so. But the argument, as far as I have been able to judge, comes not from the people, but from the bookselling leviathans, and from those politicians whom the leviathans are able to attach to their interests. The ordinary American purchaser is not much affected by slight variations in price. He is at any rate too high-hearted to be affected by the prospect of such variation. It is the man who wants to make money, not he who fears that he may be called upon to spend it, who controls such matters as this in the United States. It is the large speculator who becomes powerful in the lobbies of the House, and understands how wise it may be to incur a great expenditure either in the creation of a great business, or in protecting that which he has created from competition. Nothing was done in 1868 — and nothing has been done since (up to 1876). A Royal Commission on the law of copyright is now about to sit in this country, of which I have consented to be a member; and the question must then be handled, though nothing done by a Royal Commission here can effect American legislators. But I do believe that if the measure be consistently and judiciously urged, the enemies to it in the States will gradually be overcome. Some years since we had some quasi private meetings, under the presidency of Lord Stanhope, in Mr. John Murray’s dining-room, on the subject of international copyright. At one of these I discussed this matter of American international copyright with Charles Dickens, who strongly declared his conviction that nothing would induce an American to give up the power he possesses of pirating British literature. But he was a man who, seeing clearly what was before him, would not realise the possibility of shifting views. Because in this matter the American decision had been, according to his thinking, dishonest, therefore no other than dishonest decision was to be expected from Americans. Against that idea I protested, and now protest. American dishonesty is rampant; but it is rampant only among a few. It is the great misfortune of the community that those few have been able to dominate so large a portion of the population among which all men can vote, but so few can understand for what they are voting.

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The two men kept their torches levelled like guns on the rear ranks until, after a good quarter of an hour's climb, they reached their destination.

Part 1 People powerAlthough Maas claims that his own life has never been in imminent danger, he was touched by deep personal tragedy in 1975 when his wife, a highly talented writer/producer named Audrey Gellen, was killed in an automobile accident. Their only child, John Michael, is a skilled pianist. Leiter leant over the end of the bed. He wore his most quizzical smile. He said, "Well, I'll be goddamned, James. That was the neatest wrapup job I've ever lied my head off at. Everything clean as a whistle, and we've even collected a piece of lettuce." There was a hum of excitement and a fluttering of catalogs. Mr. Snowman wiped his forehead with a white silk handkerchief. He turned to Bond. "Now I'm afraid you are more or less on your own. I've got to pay attention to the bidding and anyway for some unknown reason it's considered bad form to look over one's shoulder to see who's bidding against you-if you're in the trade that's to say-so I'll only be able to spot him if he's somewhere up front here, and I'm afraid that's unlikely. Pretty well all dealers, but you can stare around as much as you like. What you've got to do is to watch Peter Wilson's eyes and then try and see who he's looking at, or who's looking at him. If you can spot the man, which may be quite difficult, note any movement he makes, even the very smallest. Whatever the man does-scratching his head, pulling at the lobe of his ear or whatever, will be a code he's arranged with Peter Wilson. I'm afraid he won't do anything obvious like raising his catalog. Do you get me? And don't forget that he may make absolutely no movement at all until right at the end when he's pushed me as far as he thinks I'll go, then he'll want to sign off. Mark you," Mr. Snowman smiled, "when we get to the last lap I'll put plenty of heat on him and try and make him show his hand. That's assuming of course that we are the only two bidders left in." He looked enigmatic. "And I think you can take it that we shall be." `Le conducteur, Monsieur. There has been an accident. Your friend Kerim Bey.'

Kerim bent down to the rubber eyepieces. Bond saw him stiffen. Kerim said urgently. `The door's opening. Quick. Take over. Here she comes.'

Over by the window was an incongruous-looking throne-like chair in carved oak with a red velvet seat, a low table on which stood an empty water carafe and two glasses, and a light arm-chair with a round cane seat and no cushion.

Bond nodded.

Le Chiffre seized Bond's ears and harshly twisted them. Then he leant forward and slapped his cheeks hard several times. Bond's head rolled from side to side with each blow. Slowly his breathing became deeper. An animal groan came from his lolling mouth.