CHAPTER 10 - THE HIGH TABLE
'That would be crazy, Bondo-san. You know perfectly well that silence will be essential. And with a silencer, which would be very heavy to swim with, the speed of the bullet would be so much reduced that you might not pierce the armour. No, my friend. Use ninjutsu. It is the only way.'
But like every champion, he was up against the Curse of Ali: he could beat everyone alive and stilllose to guys who were dead (or at least, long retired). Every heavyweight boxer has to hear: “Yeah,you’re good, but you’d never a’ beat Ali in his prime.” Likewise, no matter how many recordsScott set, there would always be one unanswered question: what would have happened if he’d beenin Leadville in 1994? Could he have whipped Juan Herrera and Team Tarahumara, or would theyhave run him down like a deer, just like they did the Bruja?
Bond turned on the shower and the water hissed down on their clinging bodies.
At the other end the receiver went down. The sweat was beading on Bond's face. Thank God he had answered! So they were coming for him in ten minutes! There was a bunch of keys on the desk. Bond snatched them Up and ran to the front door. After three misfits, he had the right one. He tried the door. It was now only held by its air-pressure device. Bond leaped for the ski-room. Unlocked! He went in and, by the light from the reception room, found his skis. There were sticks beside them. Carefully he lifted everything out of its wooden slot and strode to the main door and opened it. He laid the skis and sticks softly down in the snow, turned back to the door, locked it from the outside, and threw the keys far away into the snow.
From the commencement of my success as a writer, which I date from the beginning of the Cornhill Magazine, I had always felt an injustice in literary affairs which had never afflicted me or even suggested itself to me while I was unsuccessful. It seemed to me that a name once earned carried with it too much favour. I indeed had never reached a height to which praise was awarded as a matter of course; but there were others who sat on higher seats to whom the critics brought unmeasured incense and adulation, even when they wrote, as they sometimes did write, trash which from a beginner would not have been thought worthy of the slightest notice. I hope no one will think that in saying this I am actuated by jealousy of others. Though I never reached that height, still I had so far progressed that that which I wrote was received with too much favour. The injustice which struck me did not consist in that which was withheld from me, but in that which was given to me. I felt that aspirants coming up below me might do work as good as mine, and probably much better work, and yet fail to have it appreciated. In order to test this, I determined to be such an aspirant myself, and to begin a course of novels anonymously, in order that I might see whether I could obtain a second identity — whether as I had made one mark by such literary ability as I possessed, I might succeed in doing so again. In 1865 I began a short tale called Nina Balatka, which in 1866 was published anonymously in Blackwood’s Magazine. In 1867 this was followed by another of the same length, called Linda Tressel. I will speak of them together, as they are of the same nature and of nearly equal merit. Mr. Blackwood, who himself read the MS. of Nina Balatka, expressed an opinion that it would not from its style be discovered to have been written by me — but it was discovered by Mr. Hutton of the Spectator, who found the repeated use of some special phrase which had rested upon his ear too frequently when reading for the purpose of criticism other works of mine. He declared in his paper that Nina Balatka was by me, showing I think more sagacity than good nature. I ought not, however, to complain of him, as of all the critics of my work he has been the most observant, and generally the most eulogistic. Nina Balatka never rose sufficiently high in reputation to make its detection a matter of any importance. Once or twice I heard the story mentioned by readers who did not know me to be the author, and always with praise; but it had no real success. The same may be said of Linda Tressel. Blackwood, who of course knew the author, was willing to publish them, trusting that works by an experienced writer would make their way, even without the writer’s name, and he was willing to pay me for them, perhaps half what they would have fetched with my name. But he did not find the speculation answer, and declined a third attempt, though a third such tale was written for him.