"Humph," said a voice at Bond's elbow. He looked up. It was Basildon. His game had finished and he had strolled over to see what was happening on this separate battlefield.
Bond hunted for clues. "Would it really be so valuable to him, this place? What do you suppose it's worth?"The mosaics were purchased, and Gotterimo, after receiving considerable charitable donations, dismissed; while Mrs. Montgomery’s agitation of spirits was, at length, in some degree composed, by Mr. Jackson’s reminding her that the necklace must have been parted with many years ago, by those of whom she thought; and that, its having since passed into the hands of a knot of swindlers, was by no means a remarkable circumstance.
When, at around two-thirty that afternoon, James Bond had gone in through the double padded doors and had sat down opposite the turned-away profile on the other side of the big desk, he had sensed trouble. There was no greeting. M.'s head was sunk into his stiff turned-down collar in a Churchillian pose of gloomy reflection, and there was a droop of bitterness at the corner of his lips. He swiveled his chair around to face Bond, gave him an appraising glance as if, Bond thought, to see that his tie was straight and his hair properly brushed, and then began speaking, fast, biting off his sentences as if he wanted to be rid of what he was saying, and of Bond, as quickly as possible.The two men walked to the door. Bond heard the creak of the laundry basket.
These were the active servants of darkness, and increasingly the rulers of the planet. Of many psychological types and all social classes, they had at least one thing in common. All were frustrated spirits. Many were innately of low-grade sensibility, incapable of appreciating any values but physical gratification, personal dominance, and sadistic passion. These were frustrated in that civilization had hitherto restrained them from the only kind of self-expression that they could conceive. Many more were innately normal, but they had been permanently warped in infancy through untoward relations with their elders. Some, though their homes had been fairly wholesome, had been damaged by their schools. Others had suffered distortion in youth or early maturity through economic failure or the lethal sense that society was against them. All alike, though in differing manners, had been forced by the disease of their society to regress into primitive behaviour. The whole population, of course, suffered in some degree from the prevailing social neurosis, but these active servants of darkness had suffered excessively. In them neurosis bred the positive will for darkness, the satanic will. In them, for one reason or another, the natural impulse of spiritual growth had been thwarted and turned into a perverse craving for power, for destruction, for cruelty. These unhappy souls did indeed experience in the act of cruelty a kind of ecstasy of release and self-expression, which all too easily they mistook for an ecstasy of illumination.
* According to family tradition, this lot was formerly the property of Mrs. Fitzherbert (1756-1837) whose marriage to The Prince of Wales afterwards Geo. IV was definitely established when in 1905 a sealed packet deposited at Coutts Bank in 1833 and opened by Royal permission disclosed the marriage certificate and other conclusive proofs.
Now it had come! Now she was hearing the hollowness in the ether that meant London was coming in. Mary Trueblood glanced at her watch. Six-thirty. Panic! But now, at last, there were the footsteps in the hall. Thank God! In a second he would come in. She must protect him! Desperately she decided to take a chance and keep the circuit open.'Well, well, ma'am,' said the Doctor cheerfully, 'I am not bigoted to my plans, and I can overturn them myself. I can substitute some other plans. If Mr. Jack Maldon comes home on account of ill health, he must not be allowed to go back, and we must endeavour to make some more suitable and fortunate provision for him in this country.'
Bond said amiably, 'I may be able to. I got us out of our graves.'
Janet looked a little surprised to see me lying stiffly on the sofa (I was afraid to move lest it should be displeasing to my aunt), but went on her errand. My aunt, with her hands behind her, walked up and down the room, until the gentleman who had squinted at me from the upper window came in laughing.He winked. Bond noticed that he had turned the volume on to full and that the red light indicating the long waveband was illuminated, though the set was still silent.