Sluggsy came back to the counter. He said angrily, "You've got a big keister giving me that crap. Cheap little hustler! I'll give you something to make you tired." Suddenly there was an obscene little black leather cosh in his hand. He brought it down with a dull whack on the counter. It left a deep dent in the formica. He began to move stealthily round the edge of the counter, humming to himself, his eyes holding mine. I backed up into the far corner. This was going to be my last gesture. Somehow I must hurt him back before I went under. My hand felt for the open cutlery drawer and suddenly I dipped in and flung, all in one motion. His duck wasn't quick enough, and the silver spray of knives and forks burst round his head. He put a hand up to his face and backed away, cursing. I hurled some more and then some more, but they only clattered inoffensively round his hunched head. Now the thin man was moving fast across the room. I grabbed the carving knife and made a dash for Sluggsy, but he saw me coming and dodged behind a table. Unhurriedly, Horror took off his coat and wrapped it round his left arm; then they both picked up chairs and, holding the legs out like bulls' horns, they charged me from both sides. I made one ineffectual slash at an arm, and then the knife was knocked out of my hand and all I could do was to get back behind the counter.
The other man stifled a giggle. Why did he giggle? "Sure, that's right, Mr. Thomson." He giggled again.
Mrs. Jud. I cannot com—pre—hend—I—— [The girls half lead, half push her out.]
'Now your grandparents?'
James Bond wiped his ear and the bottom of the glass with his handkerchief. It was almost unbearable. He had heard his own death sentence pronounced, the involvement of the K.G.B. with Scaramanga and the Caribbean spelled out, and such minor dividends as sabotage of the bauxite industry, massive drug smuggling into the States, and gambling politics thrown in. It was a majestic haul in area Intelligence. He had the ball! Could he live to touch down with it? God, for a drink! He put his ear back to the hot base of the glass.
'Can I?' said the old woman. 'Yes can I, sure!'