Bond smiled a thin smile. He could imagine the golden gun being produced and twirled round the finger and stuck back in the waistband. He got up and moved his chair away from the door and poured champagne into the useful glass and leant against the buffet and studied the latest handout from the Jamaica Tourist Board.
The click of Scaramanga’s passkey sounded in the lock. Scaramanga looked at Bond from the doorway. He ran a finger along the small moustache. “Okay, fellow. I guess that’s enough of the house champagne. Cut along to the manager and tell him Mr. Ruby Rotkopf’ll be checking out tonight. I’ll fix the details. And say a major fuse blew during the meeting and I’m going to seal off this room and find out why we’re having so much bad workmanship around the place. Okay? Then drinks and dinner and bring on the dancing girls. Got the picture?”
James Bond said that he had. He weaved slightly as he went to the lobby door and unlocked it. E.& O.E. (errors and omissions excepted) as the financial prospectuses say, he thought that he had indeed now “got the picture.” And it was an exceptionally clear print in black and white without fuzz.
10 Belly-Lick, etc.
In the back office, James Bond went quickly over the highlights of the meeting. Nick Nicholson and Felix Leiter agreed they had enough on the tape, supported by Bond, to send Scaramanga to the chair. That night, one of them would do some snooping while the body of Rotkopf was being disposed of and try and get enough evidence to have Garfinkel and, better still, Hendriks indicted as accessories. But they didn’t at all like the outlook for James Bond. Felix commanded him, “Now don’t you move an inch without that old equalizer of yours. We don’t want to have to read that obituary of yours in The Times all over again. All that crap about what a great guy you are nearly made me throw up when I saw it picked up in our papers. I damn nearly fired off a piece to the Trib putting the record straight.”
Bond laughed. He said, “You’re a fine friend, Felix.
When I think of all the trouble I’ve been to to set you a good example all these years.” He went off to his room, swallowed two heavy slugs of bourbon, had a cold shower, and lay on his bed and looked at the ceiling until it was 8:30 and time for dinner. The meal was less stuffy than luncheon. Everyone seemed satisfied with the way the business of the day had gone, and all except Scaramanga and Mr. Hendriks had obviously had plenty to drink. Bond found himself excluded from the happy talk. Eyes avoided his and replies to his attempts at conversation were monosyllabic. He was bad news. He had been dealt the death card by the boss. He was certainly not a man to be pally with.
Dinner-the conventional “expensive” dinner of a cruise ship-was as predictable as such things usually are. The waiters brought on the desiccated smoked salmon with a thimbleful of small-grained black caviar, fillets of some unnamed native fish (possibly silk fish) in a cream sauce, a “poulet supreme” (a badly roasted broiler with a thick gravy), and the bombe surprise. And while the meal moved sluggishly on, the dining-room was being turned into a “tropical jungle” with the help of potted plants, piles of oranges and coconuts, and an occasional stem of bananas -this was a backdrop for the calypso band, which, in wine-red and gold-frilled shirts assembled in due course and began playing “Linstead Market” too loud. The tune closed. An acceptable but heavily clad girl appeared and began singing “Belly-Lick” with the printable words. She wore a false pineapple as a headdress. Bond saw a “cruise ship” evening stretching ahead. He decided that he was either too old or too young for the worst torture of all, boredom, and got up and went to the head of the table. He said to Scaramanga, “I’ve got a headache. I’m going to bed.”
Scaramanga looked up at him under lizard eyelids. “No. If you figure the evening’s not going so good, make it go better. That’s what you’re being paid for. You act as if you know Jamaica. Okay. Get those people off the pad.”
It was many years since James Bond had accepted a dare. He felt the eyes of The Group on him. What he had drunk had made him careless-perhaps wanting to show off, like the man at the party who insists on playing the drums. Stupidly, he wanted to assert his personality over this bunch of tough guys who rated him insignificant. He didn’t stop to think that it was bad tactics, that he would be better off being the ineffectual limey. He said, “All right, Mr. Scaramanga. Give me a hundred dollar bill and your gun.”
Scaramanga didn’t move. He looked up at Bond with surprise and controlled uncertainty. Louie Paradise shouted thickly, “C’mon, Pistol! Let’s see some action! Maybe the guy can produce.”
Scaramanga reached 杭州油压毛推 for his hip pocket, took out his billfold, and thumbed out a bill. Next he slowly reached to his waistband and took out his gun. The subdued light from the spot on the girl glowed on its gold. He laid the two objects on the table side by side. James Bond, his back to the cabaret, picked up the gun and hefted it. He thumbed back the hammer and twirled the cylinder with a flash of his hands to verify that it was loaded. Then he suddenly whirled, dropped on his knee so that his aim would be above the shadowy musicians in the background, and, his arm at full length, let fly. The explosion was deafening in the confined space. The music died. There was a tense silence. The remains of the false pineapple hit something in the dark background with a soft thud. The girl stood under the spot and put her hands up to her face and slowly 杭州足疗店哪个好 folded to the dance floor like something graceful out of Swan Lake. The maitre d’hotel came running from among the shadows.
As chatter broke out among The Group, James Bond picked up the hundred dollar bill and walked out into the spotlight. He bent down and lifted the girl up bv her arm. He pushed the bill down into her cleavage. He said, “That was a fine act we did together, sweetheart. Don’t worry. You were in no danger. I aimed for the top half of the pineanple. Now run off and get ready for your next turn.” He turned her round and gave her a sharp pat in the behind. She gave him a horrified glance and scurried off into the shadows.
Bond strolled on and came up with the band. “Who’s in charge here? Who’s in command of. the show?”
The guitarist, a tall, gaunt Negro, got slowly to his feet. The whites of his eyes showed, 杭州三通夜网 He squinted at the golden gun in Bond’s hand. He said uncertainly, as if signing his own death warrant, “Me, sah.”
“What’s your name?”
“Kong Tiger, sah.”
“All right then, King. Now listen to me. This isn’t a Salvation Army fork supper. Mr. Scaramanga’s friends want some action. And they want it hot. I’ll be sending plenty of rum over to loosen things up. Smoke weed if you like. We’re private here. No one’s going to tell on you. And get that pretty girl back, but with only half the clothes on, and tell her to come up close and sing. “Belly-Lick” very clearly with the blue words. And, by the end of the show, she and the other girls have got to end up stripped. Understand? Now get cracking, or the evening’ll fold and there’ll be no tips at the end. Okay? Then let’s go.”
There was nervous laughter and whispered exhortation to King 杭州按摩价格 Tiger from the six-piece combo. King Tiger grinned broadly. “Okay, captain, sah. We was just holding off until the party got warmed up a little. He turned to his men. “Give ’em Iron Bar, but hot. And I’ll go get some steam up with Daisy and her friends.” He strode to the service exit and the band crashed into its stride.
Bond walked back and laid the pistol down in front of Scaramanga, who gave Bond a long, inquisitive look and slid it back into his waistband. He said flatly, “We must have a shooting match one of these days, mister. How about it? Twenty paces and no wounding?”
“Thanks,” said Bond, “but my mother wouldn’t approve. Would you have some rum sent over to the band? These people can’t play dry.” He went back to his seat. He was hardly noticed. The five men, or rather four of them, because Hendriks sat impassively 杭州洗浴按摩特服 through the whole evening, were straining their ears to catch the lewd words of the Fanny Hill version of “Iron Bar” that were coming across clearly from the soloist. Four girls, plump, busty little animals wearing nothing but white sequined G-strings, ran out on to the floor, and advancing towards the audience, did an enthusiastic belly dance that brought sweat to the temples of Louie Paradise and Hal Garfinkel. The number ended amidst applause, the girls ran off, and the lights were dowsed, leaving only the circular spot in the
middle of the floor.
The drummer, on his calypso box, began a hasty beat like a quickened pulse. The service door opened and shut, and a curious object was wheeled into the circle of light. It was a huge hand, perhaps six feet tall at its highest point, upholstered in black leather. It stood, half open 杭州龙凤论坛富阳 on its broad base, with the thumb and fingers outstretched as if ready to catch something. The drummer hastened his beat. The service door sighed. A glistening figure slipped through, and after pausing in the darkness, moved into the pool of light round the hand with a strutting jerk of belly and limbs. There was Chinese blood in her, and her body, totally naked and shining with palm oil, was almost white against the black hand. As she jerked round the hand she caressed its outstretched fingers with her hands and arms and then, with well-acted swooning motions, climbed into the palm of the hand and proceeded to perform languorous, but explicit and ingenious, acts of passion with each of the fingers in turn. The scene, the black hand, now shining with her oil and seeming to clutch at the squirming white body, was of an incredible 杭州足丝会所怎么样 lewdness, and Bond, himself aroused, noticed that even Scaramanga was watching with rapt attention, his eyes narrow slits. The drummer had now worked up to his crescendo. The girl, in well-simulated ecstasy, mounted the thumb, slowly expired upon it, and then, with a last grind of her rump, slid down it and vanished through the exit. The act was over. The lights came on and everyone, including the band, applauded loudly. The men came out of their separate animal trances. Scaramanga clapped his hand for the bandleader, took a note out of his case, and said something to him under his breath. The chieftain, Bond suspected, had chosen his bride for the night!
After this inspired piece of sexual dumb crambo, the rest of the carbaret was an anticlimax. One of the girls, only after her G-string had been slashed off with a cutlass 杭州丝袜兼职 by the bandleader, was able to squirm under a bamboo pole balanced just eighteen inches off the floor on the top of two beer bottles. The first girl, the one who had acted as an unwitting pineapple tree to Bond’s William Tell act, came on and combined an acceptable strip-tease with a rendering of “Belly-Lick” that got the audience straining its ears again, and then the whole team, less the Chinese beauty, came up to the audience and invited them to dance. Scaramanga and Hendriks refused with adequate politeness and Bond stood the two left-out girls glasses of champagne and learned that their names were Mabel and Pearl while he watched the four others being almost bent in half by the bearlike embraces of the four sweating hoods as they clumsily cha-cha’d round the room to the now riotous music of the half-drunk band. The climax to what could certainly class as an orgy was clearly in sight. Bond told his two girls that he must go to the men’s room and slipped away when Scaramanga was looking elsewhere, but, as he went, he noted that Hendriks’ gaze, as cool as if he had been watching an indifferent film, was firmly on him as he made his escape.
When Bond got to his room, it was midnight. His windows had been closed and the air-conditioning turned on. He switched it off and opened the windows halfway and then, with heartfelt relief, took a shower and went to bed. He worried for a while about having shown off with the gun, but it was an act of folly which he couldn’t undo, and he soon went to sleep to dream of three black-cloaked men dragging a shapeless bundle through dappled moonlight towards dark waters that were dotted with glinting red eyes. The gnashing white teeth and the crackling bones resolved themselves into a persistent scrabbling noise that brought him suddenly awake. He looked at the luminous dial of his watch. It said 3:30. The scrabbling became a quiet tapping from behind the curtains. James Bond slid quietly out of bed, took his gun from under his pillow, and crept softly along the wall to the edge of the curtains. He pulled them aside with one swift motion. The golden hair shone almost silver in the moonlight. Mary Goodnight whispered urgently, “Quick, James! Help me in!”
Bond cursed softly to himself. What the hell? He laid his gun down on the carpet and reached for her outstretched hands and half-dragged, half-pulled her over the sill. At the last moment, her heel caught in the frame and the window banged shut with a noise like a pistol shot. Bond cursed again, softly and fluently, under his breath. Mary Goodnight whispered penitently, “I’m terribly sorry, James.”
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?”
Her voice was desperate. “I had to come. I had to find you somehow. I got on to you through the girl at that, er, dreadful place. I left the car in the trees down the drive and just sniffed about. There were lights on in some of the rooms and I listened and, er”-she blushed crimson-“I gathered you couldn’t be in any of them and then I saw the open window, and I just somehow knew you would be the only one to sleep with his window open. So I just had to take the chance.”
“Well, we’ve got to get you out of here as quick as we can. Anyway, what’s the trouble?”
“A Most Immediate in Triple-X came over this evening. I mean yesterday evening. It was to be passed to you at all costs. H.Q. thinks you’re in Havana. It said that one of the K.G.B. top men who goes under the name of Hendriks is in the area and that he’s known to be visiting this hotel. You’re to keep away from him. They know from A Delicate But Sure Source”-Bond smiled at the old euphemism for cypher-breaking-“that among his other jobs is to find you and, er, well, kill you. So I put two and two together, and, what with you being in this corner of the island and the questions you asked me, I guessed that you might be already on his track but that you might be walking into an ambush, sort of. Not knowing, I mean, that while you were after him, he was after you.”
She put out a tentative hand, as if for reassurance that she had done the right thing. Bond took it and patted it absent-mindedly while his mind chewed on this new complication. He said, “The man’s here all right. So’s a gunman called Scaramanga. You might as well know, Mary, that Scaramanga killed Ross. In Trinidad.” She put her hand up to her mouth. “You can report it as a fact, from me. If I can get you out of here, that is. As for Hendriks, he’s here all right, but he doesn’t seem to have identified me for certain. Did H.Q. say whether he was given a description of me?”
“You were simply described as ‘the notorious secret agent, James Bond.’ But this doesn’t seem to have meant much to Hendriks because he asked for particulars. That was two days ago. He may get them cabled or telephoned here at any minute. You do see why I had to come, James?”
“Yes, of course. And thanks, Mary. Now, I’ve got to get you out of that window, and then you must just make your own way. Don’t worry about me. I think I can handle the situation all right. Besides, I’ve got help.” He told her about Felix Leiter and Nicholson. “You just tell H.Q. you’ve delivered the message and that I’m here and about the two C.I.A. men. H.Q. can get the C.I.A. angles from Washington direct. Okay?” He got to his feet.
She stood up beside him and looked up at him. “But you will take care?”
“Sure, sure.” He patted her shoulder. He turned off the shower and opened the bathroom door. “Now, come on. We must pray for a stroke of luck.”
A silken voice from the darkness at the end of the bed said, “Well, the Holy Man just ain’t running for you today, mister, Step forward both of you. Hands clasped behind the neck.”
11 Ballcock, and Other, Trouble
Scaramanga walked to the door and turned the lights on He was naked save for his shorts and the holster below his left arm. The golden gun remained trained on Bond as he moved.
Bond looked at him incredulously, then to the carpet inside the door. The wedges were still there, undisturbed. He could not possibly have got through the window unaided. Then he saw that his clothes cupboard stood open and that light showed through into the next room. It was the simplest of secret doors-just the whole of the back of the cupboard, impossible to detect from Bond’s side of the wall and, on the other, probably, in appearance, a locked communicating door.
Scaramanga came back into the centre of the room and stood looking at them both. His mouth and eyes sneered. He said, “I didn’t see this piece of tail in the lineup. Where you been keeping it, buster? And why d’you have to hide it away in the bathroom? Like doing it under the shower?”
Bond said, “We’re engaged to be married. She works in the British High Commissioner’s Office in Kingston. Cypher clerk. She found out where I was staying from that place you and I met. She came out to tell me that my mother’s in the hospital in London. Had a bad fall. Her name’s Mary Goodnight. What’s wrong with that? And what do you mean coming busting into my room in the middle of the night waving a gun about? And kindly keep your foul tongue to yourself.”
Bond was pleased with his bluster and decided to take the next step towards Mary Goodnight’s freedom. He dropped his hands to his sides and turned to the girl. “Put your hands down, Mary. Mr. Scaramanga must have thought there were burglars about when he heard that window bang. Now, I’ll get some clothes on and take you out to your car. You’ve got a long drive back to Kingston. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather stay here for the rest of the night? I’m sure Mr. Scaramanga could find us a spare room.” He turned back to Mr. Scaramanga. “It’s all right, Mr. Scaramanga, I’ll pay for it.”
Mary Goodnight chipped in. She had dropped her hands. She picked up her small bag from the bed where she had thrown it, opened it and began busying herself with her hair in a fussy, feminine way. She chattered, falling in well with Bond’s bland piece of very British “Now-look-here-my-man-manship.”
“No, honestly, darling, I really think I’d better go. I’d be in terrible trouble if I was late at the office, and the Prime Minister, Sir Alexander Bustamante, you know will have his eightieth birthday, well he’s coming to lunch, and you know His Excellency always likes me to do the flowers and arrange the place cards and as a matter of fact”-she turned charmingly towards Mr. Scaramanga-“it’s quite a day for me. The party was going to make up thirteen, so His Excellency has asked me to be the fourteenth. Isn’t that marvellous? But heaven knows what I’m going to look like after tonight. The roads really are terrible in parts, aren’t they, Mr.-er-Scramble. But there it is. And I do apologize for causing all this disturbance and keeping you from your beauty sleep.”
She went towards him like the Queen Mother opening a bazaar, her hand outstretched. “Now you run along off back to bed again, and my fiance” (Thank God she hadn’t said James! The girl was inspired!) “will see me safely off the premises. Goodbye, Mr., er. . . .”