When we started from Liverpool, in May, 1871, Ralph the Heir was running through the St. Paul’s. This was the novel of which Charles Reade afterwards took the plot and made on it a play. I have always thought it to be one of the worst novels I have written, and almost to have justified that dictum that a novelist after fifty should not write love-stories. It was in part a political novel; and that part which appertains to politics, and which recounts the electioneering experiences of the candidates at Percycross, is well enough. Percycross and Beverley were, of course, one and the same place. Neefit, the breeches-maker, and his daughter, are also good in their way — and Moggs, the daughter’s lover, who was not only lover, but also one of the candidates at Percycross as well. But the main thread of the story — that which tells of the doings of the young gentlemen and young ladies — the heroes and the heroines — is not good. Ralph the heir has not much life about him; while Ralph who is not the heir, but is intended to be the real hero, has none. The same may be said of the young ladies — of whom one, she who was meant to be the chief, has passed utterly out of my mind, without leaving a trace of remembrance behind.
"Just going to have another look. I've rather taken to that tall blonde with the cello," Bond said to Sender. "Didn't notice her," said Sender, uninterested. He went into the kitchen. Tea, guessed Bond. Or perhaps Horlick's. Bond donned his cowl, went back to his firing position, and depressed the sniperscope to the doorway of the Haus der Ministerien. Yes, there they went, not so gay and laughing now. Tired perhaps. And now here she came, less lively, but still with that beautiful careless stride. Bond watched the blown golden hair and the fawn raincoat until it had vanished into the indigo dusk up the Wilhelmstrasse. Where did she live? In some miserable flaked room in the suburbs? Or in one of the privileged apartments in the hideous lavatory-tiled Stalinallee?
鈥業 felt that I was doing all in proper Oriental style. The parents listened; we talked over the advantages of the union; and M. and his wife were to give me their reply on the following day.
"Oh, being an insurance assessor. On a valuable property like this. Must be worth half a million dollars, I'd say. By the way, are either of you bonded?"