Bond was impressed. Goldfinger had, in three minutes flat, got the meeting on his side. Now everyone was looking towards Goldfinger with profound attention. Even Miss Pussy Galore's eyes were rapt. Bond knew nothing about the Golden Poppy Distributors or the Happy Landings Agency, but they must have run like clockwork from the expressions on their former customers' faces. Now everyone was hanging on Goldfinger's words as if he was Einstein.
I heard all kinds of things about the school and all belonging to it. I heard that Mr. Creakle had not preferred his claim to being a Tartar without reason; that he was the sternest and most severe of masters; that he laid about him, right and left, every day of his life, charging in among the boys like a trooper, and slashing away, unmercifully. That he knew nothing himself, but the art of slashing, being more ignorant (J. Steerforth said) than the lowest boy in the school; that he had been, a good many years ago, a small hop-dealer in the Borough, and had taken to the schooling business after being bankrupt in hops, and making away with Mrs. Creakle's money. With a good deal more of that sort, which I wondered how they knew.
Bond smiled. He took the girl's hand off his arm and squeezed it. 'Sorry. I'm being paid to do this job and I must do it. Anyway' - his voice went flat - 'I want to do it. It's time someone cut Mr Goldfinger down to size. Ready?'
Farther on, she tugged urgently at his sleeve. "Look," she whispered. She pointed forward to a big clump of bushes beside which the tracks ran. They were leafless and blackened. In the centre there showed the charred remains of birds' nests. "He breathed on them," she said excitedly.
'But of course all this needs a lot of working on. Where do you come from in England? Where were you born?'