فصل 10

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فصل 10

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER TEN

The Meeting of the Gangsters

Goldfinger spoke quietly. ‘Welcome, gentlemen,’ he said. ‘My name is Mr. Gold. In each of the parcels on the table in front of you, you will find a gold bar. Each bar is worth $15,000. Please accept these as gifts from me. While we are waiting for Miss Pussy Galore, let me introduce you to my secretaries, Mr. Bond and Miss Masterton. Mr. Bond, on your right is Mr. Jed Midnight.’

Mr. Midnight was a heavy man with a red face and large, intelligent eyes. He was wearing a light blue suit, a white silk shirt with pictures of green palm trees on it, and a large gold watch.

‘Next to Mr. Midnight is Mr. Billy Ring from Chicago,’ said Goldfinger.

Billy Ring was about forty years old and had a face that was both ugly and evil. Someone had cut off his lower lip so that his mouth always had a wide, horrible smile.

‘Beside Mr. Ring is Mr. Helmut Springer from Detroit,’ Goldfinger said.

Helmut Springer’s eyes were like cold pieces of pale blue glass. He didn’t seem very interested in Bond.

Goldfinger turned towards a big strong man with dark hair and a big nose. ‘Welcome, Mr. Solo of the Unione Siciliano,’ he said, nodding at the fourth gang leader. Bond looked with interest at Mr. Solo - the head of the Mafia in America. Mr. Solo was wearing large glasses and cleaning his fingernails with a knife.

‘And Mr. Jack Strap from Las Vegas,’ said Goldfinger, looking at the fifth man.

Jack Strap was about fifty years old and had frightening, cruel eyes. He was wearing a suit of shiny material and he was smoking a large cigar.

The door opened and a tall slim woman in a black suit came in. This was Miss Pussy Galore. Bond liked the look of her. She was about thirty and was very good-looking, with pale skin and short dark hair. Her beautiful eyes were a very unusual dark violet colour. She walked slowly down the room to the table and sat down beside Mr. Strap.

‘Good afternoon, Miss Galore,’ said Goldfinger. ‘The agenda is in front of you, together with a fifteen-thousand-dollar gold bar.’

Miss Galore opened her parcel.

‘Is this real gold?’ she asked suspiciously. She had a low, attractive voice.

‘It’s real,’ replied Goldfinger. ‘And now,’ he continued, ‘I’ll tell you why I’ve invited you all here this afternoon. I’ve made a great amount of money - about sixty million dollars - in the last twenty years. I’ve made this money in many different ways. Some projects have been legal, many have been illegal. But none of my projects have failed. You are the best criminals in America. I want you to work with me on the most valuable project I’ve ever organized - Project Grand Slam. For one week’s work, you will each get one billion dollars.’

Everybody round the table was silent.

‘That’s a lot of money,’ said Jed Midnight at last. ‘How much will you get?’

‘Five billion dollars,’ replied Goldfinger.

‘Eleven billion dollars in total,’ said Helmut Springer. ‘There are only three depositories in the United States where such large amounts of money are kept. Are we going to rob one of these depositories? And if so, which one?’

‘Fort Knox in Kentucky,’ replied Goldfinger.

‘That’s impossible!’ said Jed Midnight.

‘No,’ said Goldfinger. ‘Fort Knox is just like a huge bank. It’s bigger and it has better protection than other banks. But it’s not impossible to break into it. You just need a good plan.’

‘But there are a lot of troops guarding Fort Knox,’ said Billy Ring. ‘And these soldiers have a large number of weapons. How can we get past them?’

‘You’re right, Mr. Ring,’ said Goldfinger. ‘About 60,000 people live in Fort Knox, including approximately 20,000 armed troops. Now listen to my plan.’

Goldfinger walked to the blackboard and pulled down a map of Fort Knox that was fixed above it. He pointed to the left hand corner of the map - to the Bullion Depository.

‘As you see,’ he said, pointing to the map, ‘this is wherethe bullion is kept. There is a railway line running through Fort Knox. The track comes from Louisville, 35 miles to the north. Near the Bullion Depository, there are some railway sidings. The bullion from the capital - Washington - is sent to Fort Knox. Sometimes the gold goes by rail, and sometimes it is taken by trucks along this main road - the Dixie Highway. Any questions?’

There were none. Goldfinger turned back to the blackboard and pulled down a second map. This was a plan of the Gold Vault.

‘Inside this vault,’ said Goldfinger, ‘about fifteen billion dollars’ worth of gold bars are kept. Now I’ll tell you how we can break into the vault and steal them.’ Everybody was silent, listening.

‘Each of you will have to arrange how you are going to get your share of the gold away from Fort Knox,’ continued Goldfinger. ‘Each of you will have to use your own trucks and drivers. I’ll be taking my share away by train.

‘Now,’ Goldfinger went on, ‘how do we get into Fort Knox? My plan is to put a drug in the town’s water supply. This will make everyone in the area - soldiers and civilians -fall asleep for three days. While they are asleep, we’ll steal the gold from the vault.’

‘But how do we put the drug in the water supply?’ asked Jed Midnight.

‘Two of my staff have been invited to visit Fort Knox. They’ll meet the Chief Engineer who controls the water supply,’ Goldfinger replied. ‘My staff are pretending to be engineers from a Japanese company which is planning to use the same water system in Tokyo. My men will take the drug to the meeting. When the engineer isn’t looking, they’ll put it into Fort Knox’s water supply.’

‘That’s very clever,’ said Mr. Jack Strap, looking at Goldfinger and smiling. ‘How do we get into the town?’

‘We’ll travel on a special train from New York,’ replied Goldfinger. ‘There will be about one hundred of us. We’ll be dressed as workers in an emergency team which has come to help the people of the town. The ladies in Miss Pussy Galore’s gang will be dressed as nurses.

‘When the train reaches Louisville, 35 miles from the Depository,’ Goldfinger went on, ‘my assistant and I will enter the train driver’s compartment. We’ll get rid of the train driver and I’ll drive the train through Fort Knox to the sidings near the Bullion Depository. By this time, your trucks should be arriving too. Bodies of the sleeping people will be everywhere, but we’ll take no notice of them. We’ll place the trucks round the vault and go inside.’

‘But how do we get inside the vault?’ asked Mr. Solo. ‘The door to the Gold Vault is extremely strong and it weighs 20 tons.’

Goldfinger bent down and took a large heavy box from beneath the table. He carried it carefully and placed it on the table in front of the gangsters.

‘There is only one weapon that is powerful enough to open the Gold Vault,’ he said. ‘I got this from a military base in Germany. It’s an atomic bomb.’

The faces of all the people round the table went pale with fear. Bond was shocked too. Goldfinger was a master criminal who didn’t care about the lives of anyone.

‘Don’t worry,’ said Goldfinger. ‘The bomb is safe at the moment. It won’t explode here. It’s not activated yet.’

‘What about - er - fallout, when the bomb explodes at the vault?’ asked Billy Ring nervously.

‘There will be very little fallout,’ said Goldfinger carelessly. ‘After the bomb explodes, we will give protection suits to the men who enter the building. These suits will protect them from any fallout.’

‘What about the sleeping people?’ asked Mr. Solo. ‘We’ll move as many people as possible to a safe place before the bomb explodes,’ said Goldfinger.

Bond didn’t believe that Goldfinger would move the sleeping people. Bond suspected that the drug in the water supply would kill the people, not make them fall asleep. Goldfinger was only interested in stealing the gold. He wasn’t interested in saving people’s lives.

‘Now if there are no more questions,’ said Goldfinger, ‘I want to know if you’ll work with me on this project. Mr. Midnight? Yes? Or no?’

‘Mr. Gold,’ said Jed Midnight, ‘you’re the greatest criminal that I’ve ever met. I’ll be delighted to work with you.’

‘Thank you, Mr. Midnight. And you, Mr. Ring?’

‘A billion dollars is a lot of money,’ said Billy Ring. ‘Yes, my gang and I will work with you.’

‘Good,’ said Goldfinger. ‘Mr. Solo?’

‘Yes,’ replied Mr. Solo. ‘I’m with you.’

Goldfinger looked at Jack Strap. ‘Are you with us, Mr. Strap?’ he asked.

‘Yes, me and my men will work with you,’ replied the gangster from Las Vegas.

‘Thank you,’ said Goldfinger. ‘And you, Miss Galore?’

‘Yes,’ said Pussy Galore. ‘My girls and I need the money. We’ll work with you.’

‘Excellent,’ said Goldfinger. ‘And what about you, Mr. Springer?’

Mr. Springer stood up slowly and looked round the table.

‘Mr. Gold,’ he said, ‘I’m afraid that the Purple Gang of Detroit won’t work on this project. Good afternoon, gentlemen and madam.’

As Springer turned and walked towards the door, Bond saw Goldfinger’s hand move under the table. He pressed the bell. Bond guessed that Goldfinger was signalling to Oddjob.

‘How about a drink?’ said Mr. Midnight.

Everybody got up and walked over to the table where the drink and food were prepared. Bond poured champagne into glasses for himself, Pussy Galore and Tilly Masterton.

‘Goldfinger has been very clever in this meeting,’ thought Bond. ‘He’s persuaded almost all of the gang leaders to join his project.’

Suddenly, the door opened and one of Goldfinger’s Korean staff walked in. He went up to Goldfinger and whispered something to him. Goldfinger looked serious.

‘Gentlemen and madam,’ he said sadly. ‘I have received some terrible news. Mr. Helmut Springer has had an accident. He fell down the stairs as he was leaving the building. He died at once.’

Everybody in the room stared at Goldfinger.

Goldfinger had signalled to Oddjob because the boss of the Purple Gang would not work on Project Grand Slam. Goldfinger had given Oddjob a secret order to kill Mr. Springer. Bond was sure of this. Goldfinger was a murderer and he would kill anyone who didn’t agree with him. And soon he was going to murder 60,000 people in Fort Knox too.

After the gang leaders left, Bond spoke to Goldfinger.

‘Goldfinger, you’ll never succeed with this crazy plan. You’ll never be able to get the gold out of Fort Knox. So 60,000 people will die for nothing.’

‘Mr. Bond,’ said Goldfinger, ‘I have planned everything very carefully. I need these gang leaders and their people for the robbery, but I don’t care what happens to them after that. A Soviet ship will be waiting for me. I’ll take my gold to the ship by train. I’ll take the gold out of America to the Soviet Union.’

‘So Goldfinger is planning a huge robbery with these gang leaders,’ thought Bond. ‘But the gangsters don’t realize thathe’s working for an enemy like SMERSH. They think that he’s just an ordinary criminal like themselves.’

Perhaps some of the gangsters would be caught or killed. Bond and Tilly would probably die too. But Goldfinger would not care. Goldfinger’s Korean and German staff would sail to the USSR in the ship with their boss.

It was a terrible, perfect plan. And there was only one man who could stop Goldfinger. That man was Agent 007 -James Bond. But how could Bond stop him?

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