Charles. Leave me, leave me, all alone in a churchyard. Ladies, ladies, for pity’s sake....
'How's mama, dear Peggotty? Is she very angry with me?'
`He does?' Kerim searched Bond's face to see if he was telling the truth. He laughed delightedly. `In that case I will not let The Crab have my body yet.' He looked at his watch. `Come, James,' he said. `It is good that you reminded me of my duty. We will have coffee in the office. There is not much time to waste. Every day at 2.30 the Russians have their council of war. Today you and I will do them the honour of being present at their deliberations.'
'Yes, indeed.' Bond smiled with equal politeness. 'Useful chap to have around."
Even now Bond could hear the quick silver poem of the level-crossing bells, the wail of the big windhorn out front and the quiet outside clamour at the stations when they lay and waited for the sensual gallop of the wheels to begin again.
Now there were only four cards that could beat Bond and only one, the five, that could equal him. Bond's heart thumped. The man scrabbled at the shoe, snatched out the card, faced it. A nine, the nine of diamonds! The curse of Scotland! The best!