فصل 12

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فصل 12

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER twelve

Las Vegas

Bond came out of the airport building at Las Vegas.

A voice said, ‘Are you going to the Tiara?’

Bond turned and saw a short, heavy man with large, brown eyes. ‘Yes,’ said Bond.

‘OK, let’s go.’

Bond followed him to his car. It was a taxi. He threw his suitcase onto the back seat and climbed in after it. They drove out of the airport.

‘I’m Ernie Cureo,’ said the driver. ‘I’m a friend of Felix Leiter. He told me to look after you. Are you staying long?’

‘Maybe for a few days,’ said Bond.

After driving for some time, the wide road went on through lines of coloured lights and signs until they were in downtown Las Vegas. The sun was uncomfortably hot.

‘We’re coming into the famous Strip, now,’ said Cureo, after a minute or two. ‘Here are all the big hotels and casinos. That’s The Flamingo, and that’s The Sands. And here’s The Desert Inn and The Sahara. Over there is The Thunderbird, and across the road is The Tiara.’

He slowed down and stopped outside the Spang hotel.

‘I guess you know all about Mr Spang,’ said Cureo.

‘I know a little,’ said Bond. ‘You can tell me the rest another time.’

‘OK,’ said Cureo. ‘I am sure you’ll be safe on your first night.’

Bond had lunch next to The Tiara’s big swimming pool, then went to his room. It was very comfortable, with expensive furniture, a radio and a television.

He slept for four hours.

During this time, a secret wire-recorder under the table next to the bed recorded complete silence. When Bond woke up, it was seven o’clock. The wire-recorder heard him phone the hotel desk.

‘I want to speak to Miss Tiffany Case…’ A pause, then, ‘All right, please tell her that Mr James Bond called.’

The recorder heard him move about the room. It heard the noise of the shower. And, at 7.30 pm, it heard the noise of the key in the lock when he went out and shut the door. Half an hour later, the recorder heard a knock on the door. A man wearing a waiter’s uniform came into the room with a bowl of fruit. There was a note with it: From the Hotel Manager

The man walked quickly to the table by the bed and removed the wire from the recorder. He put a new wire in the machine. Then he put the fruit on the table and went out and closed the door.

For several hours after that, the wire-recorder heard nothing.

Bond sat in the Tiara bar and slowly drank a martini.

‘Has Mr Spang been in tonight?’ he asked the barman.

‘I haven’t seen him,’ said the barman. ‘He usually comes in about eleven o’clock.’

Bond walked across to the blackjack tables. He stopped at the centre table - the table where he was going to sit at ten o’clock. It was now 8.30. Eight players sat round the table, opposite the dealer. The dealer was about forty years old. He dealt two cards into the eight numbered spaces on the table in front of the bets. The bets were mostly five or ten silver dollars, or counters worth twenty dollars. Nobody spoke. The waitresses moved around in the space inside the circle of tables. From this space, two tough-looking men with guns at their waists watched the tables and players carefully.

Bond watched the game for a short time, then walked to The Opal Room restaurant. He sat at a corner table and ordered a steak and a martini. Then he ate his dinner and thought about the rest of the evening. He was becoming bored with this job. And he did not like taking orders from a cheap gangster, or trying to please Mr Spang.

Just before ten o’clock, he walked into the Casino.

‘There are two ways of doing this job,’ he thought. ‘Sit and wait for something to happen, or make something happen.’

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