At first I hoped that the cloud would pass away of itself; but it did not. A night's sleep, the sovereign remedy for the smaller vexations of life, had no effect on it. I awoke to a renewed consciousness of the woful fact. I carried it with me into all companies, into all occupations. Hardly anything had power to cause me even a few minutes oblivion of it. For some months the cloud seemed to grow thicker and thicker. The lines in Coleridge's "Dejection" — I was not then acquainted with them — exactly describe my case:
'That night. I have never seen her since. I went back, after parting from you, to speak to her, but she was gone. I was unwilling to mention her to you then, and I am now; but she is the person of whom I speak, and with whom I think we should communicate. Do you understand?'
'I can't, upon my life. There's nothing I should like better, but I must remain with these two fellows. We are all three off together tomorrow morning.'
'Phut.' Something whipped into the ground beside him and there was a pinpoint flash from the cabin.
Where dwell the radiant Seraphim;
'I espouse any enterprise that will increase my stock of gold. I invest, I smuggle, I steal.' Goldfinger made a small gesture of the hands, opening the palms persuasively. 'If you will follow the simile, regard history as a train speeding along through time. Birds and animals are disturbed by the noise and tumult of the train's passage, they fly away from it or run fearfully or cower, thinking they hide. I am like the hawk that follows the train - you have no doubt seen them doing this, in Greece for instance - ready to pounce on anything that may be flushed by the train's passage, by the passage of history. To give you a simple example: the progress of history produces a man who invents penicillin. At die same time, history creates a world war. Many people are dying or afraid of dying. Penicillin will save them. Through bribery at certain military establishments on the Continent, I obtain stocks of penicillin. I water these down with some harmless powder or liquid and sell them at immense profit to those who crave the stuff. You see what I mean, Mr Bond? You have to wait for the prey, watch it carefully and then pounce. But, as I say, I do not search out such enterprises. I afiow the train of history to flush them towards me.'
"So I am overruled, gentlemen. Well, then," the voice was avuncular, telling the children that just this once… "I accept your verdict. Colonial Secretary, will you please call upon the commanding officer of HMS Narvik and explain the position. In strict confidence, of course. Brigadier, I leave the military arrangements in your hands. Superintendent, you will know what to do." The Governor rose. He inclined his head regally in the direction of Bond. "And it only remains to express my appreciation to Commander-er-Bond, for his part in this affair. I shall not fail to mention your assistance, Commander, to the Secretary of State."