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That number was an agreeable surprise to most of us. The average of the articles was of much better quality than had been expected. The literary and artistic department had rested chiefly on Mr Bingham, a barrister (subsequently a Police Magistrate), who had been for some years a frequenter of Bentham, was a friend of both the Austins, and had adopted with great ardour Mr Bentham's philosophical opinions. Partly from accident, there were in the first number as many as five articles by Bingham; and we were extremely pleased with them. I well remember the mixed feeling I myself had about the Review; the joy at finding, what we did not at all expect, that it was sufficiently good to be capable of being made a creditable organ of those who held the opinions it professed; and extreme vexation, since it was so good on the whole, at what we thought the blemishes of it. When, however, in addition to our generally favourable opinion of it, we learned that it had an extraordinarily large sale for a first number, and found that the appearance of a Radical review, with pretensions equal to those of the established organs of parties, had excited much attention, there could be no room for hesitation, and we all became eager in doing everything we could to strengthen and improve it.

The psychologist urged that the two governments should secretly select and train the future prophets of this faith, and launch them out as spontaneous religious enthusiasts throughout the two empires. It would be well that these agitators should be critical of the existing imperial governments, condemning them as but feeble embodiments of the truth. Indeed these state-aided revolutionaries should be encouraged to demand a new regime. Let them go so far as to incur persecution by the existing governments. Some of them would then have to be sacrificed, but the survivors must be heavily financed to rouse a revolutionary fervour among the populace, the object of which would be not the milk-sop liberal-socialist Utopia achieved by Tibet but the fulfilment of the potentialities of the existing order. Only when the true divine state had been established would the virtue of absolute acquiescence be possible. Bond's champagne had come and was standing beside him in its silver bucket. There was a glass goblet three-quarters full beside it on the side table. Bond picked it up and drained it, as if to give himself Dutch courage. Then he filled it again. An accidental circumstance cemented the intimacy between Steerforth and me, in a manner that inspired me with great pride and satisfaction, though it sometimes led to inconvenience. It happened on one occasion, when he was doing me the honour of talking to me in the playground, that I hazarded the observation that something or somebody - I forget what now - was like something or somebody in Peregrine Pickle. He said nothing at the time; but when I was going to bed at night, asked me if I had got that book? Serov, a Hero of the Soviet union and a veteran of the famous predecessors of the M.G.B.-the Cheka, the Ogpu, the N.K.V.D. and the M.V.D.-was in every respect a bigger man than Beria. He had been directly behind the mass executions of the 1930s when a million died, he had been metteur en scène of most of the great Moscow show trials, he had organized the bloody genocide in the Central Caucasus in February 1944, and it was he who had inspired the mass deportations from the Baltic States and the kidnapping of the German atom and other scientists who had given Russia her great technical leap forward after the war.

Bond finished his coffee and went out into the hall and up to his bedroom. It was obvious that it had been searched again. He shrugged his shoulders. There was only the leather case. Its contents would show nothing except that he had come equipped with the tools of his trade.

'Your friend,' said Dora. 'It isn't any business of his. What a stupid he must be!'

'Should be all right. He won a bit of a victory at the FO this morning and he's not got anyone for the next half an hour.' She smiled encouragingly at Head of S whom she liked for himself and for the importance of his section.