فصل 03

مجموعه: جیمز باند / کتاب: انگشت طلائی / فصل 3

فصل 03

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER THREE

The Richest Man in Britain

It was a week later and Bond was back in the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service in London. He was thinking about Jill Masterton.

It had been a wonderful trip in the train to New York. Bond and the girl had eaten the sandwiches and drunk the champagne. Then they had made love in the narrow bed of their private compartment.

Bond had asked Jill about Goldfinger. He’d wanted to know if Goldfinger had been angry after the card game. Jill told Bond how Goldfinger had behaved. Goldfinger hadn’t shown his feelings at all. In fact, the millionaire had given Jill a message for Bond. He’d said that he would be returning to Britain in a week’s time and he wanted to play a game of golf with Bond at the Royal St Marks Golf Club.

When they arrived in New York, Jill had told Bond that she was returning to Goldfinger. Bond had tried to stop her. He was worried that Goldfinger might hurt her.

But Jill wasn’t frightened of Goldfinger. And she didn’t want to lose her job. Goldfinger paid her well.

Bond had given Jill the $10,000 that he’d got as his payment from Mr. Du Pont. Then he’d kissed her once, hard on the lips, and had walked away. They hadn’t been in love with each other, but they had had a wonderful time together.

A red phone on the desk in front of Bond rang. This was the phone that Bond’s boss, M, used to call him. Bond picked it up.

‘Come up to my office, 007,’ M’s voice said. ‘Yes, sir.’ Bond went up to the top floor of the building. He knocked on the door of M’s office and went in. M was sitting at his desk, reading some papers.

‘Sit down, 007,’ M said. ‘Last night, I had dinner with the Governor of the Bank of England. He told me that the Bank has a serious problem with gold smuggling. The people at the Bank are sure that someone is taking large amounts of gold out of Britain illegally. Do you know anything about gold?’

‘Not much, sir.’

‘Do you know who are the richest men in this country?’

‘Well,’ said Bond, ‘there are some very rich businessmen. Some bankers are very rich too, and so are some members of the Royal Family.’

‘Yes,’ said M. ‘But there’s one man who is richer than anybody else. He’s called Goldfinger - Auric Goldfinger.’

Bond started to laugh. ‘What’s so funny?’

‘Sorry, sir. But I met him last week.’ Bond replied. And he told M the whole story of his meeting with Goldfinger.

‘Well, 007,’ said M when Bond had finished speaking, ‘the people at the Bank of England suspect that Goldfinger is a gold smuggler, and they want to catch him.’

He stopped speaking for a few seconds, then continued. ‘I’ve arranged for you to meet a man called Colonel Smithers at four o’clock this afternoon. He’s the head of the Bank of England’s research department. He’ll tell you more about the Bank’s problem with Goldfinger. ‘Colonel Smithers was a quiet, serious-looking man who wore glasses. But when he started to talk about gold, he became very interesting. He lived, thought and dreamt about gold. He told Bond about the history of gold and its value. He said that each country has its own supply of gold. He also told Bond that there is yellow gold, red gold and white gold.

‘My job, Mr. Bond, is to check if gold is being smuggled out of Britain. When I find out that someone is smuggling, I inform the CID Gold Squad. We try to get the gold back and arrest the smugglers. But gold attracts the biggest, cleverest criminals and it’s difficult to catch them.’

‘Can you give me an example of how gold is smuggled?’ asked Bond.

‘Yes. Imagine that you have a small bar of gold in your pocket. In this country, the price of gold bullion is controlled by the Bank of England. It’s illegal to sell gold for a higher price. But if you smuggle your gold bar out of Britain to a country like India and sell it there, you can get a lot more money for it.’

‘Why is gold worth more in India?’ asked Bond.

‘India needs gold to make jewellery,’ replied Colonel Smithers. ‘It doesn’t have enough gold of its own.’

‘So what is the Bank of England’s particular problem?’ said Bond.

‘Our problem is a man called Auric Goldfinger,’ said Colonel Smithers. ‘He came to Britain from Riga, in the Soviet Union, in 1937. He was a jeweller and a goldsmith. He bought lots of small jewellers’ shops here in Britain and gave them his name, “Goldfinger”. Then he started selling cheap jewellery and buying old gold.

‘Goldfinger became very rich,’ the colonel went on. ‘After the war, he bought a house at Reculver, near the River Thames, and built a small factory there. He employed German and Korean workers in this factory. Then he bought a large cargo ship and an old Rolls- Royce Silver Ghost car. He also has a factory in Switzerland.

‘Every year, Goldfinger made one trip to India in his cargo ship and a few trips in his car to Switzerland,’ said Colonel Smithers. ‘But one year, there was a terrible storm and his ship was wrecked. The ship was destroyed on some rocks. The company which collected the pieces of the wrecked ship found a strange kind of powder inside parts of the ship. When scientists examined the powder, they found out that it was gold.

‘We were sure that Goldfinger had been smuggling gold out of Britain to India in his ship,’ Colonel Smithers continued. ‘But we couldn’t prove anything. Goldfinger does everything legally. He has plenty of money in his bank account and he always pays his taxes to the Government.

‘I’ve been investigating Mr. Goldfinger for five years and I’ve discovered that he’s the richest man in Britain. All his wealth is in the form of gold bars. He has twenty million pounds’ worth of gold bars in the vaults of banks in Zurich, Nassau, Panama and New York.

‘I went to Nassau and examined some of his gold bars in the bank there,’ said the colonel. ‘And I discovered something very interesting. Goldfinger’s gold bars have no official marks on them. The bars were not produced by the Royal Mint.’

‘So where have the bars come from?’ asked Bond.

‘Goldfinger has produced his gold bars himself,’ Colonel Smithers replied. ‘He has melted down old gold from his shops, smuggled it out of Britain, and made it into new gold bars. Each of his bars has the mark of a tiny letter “Z” on the metal.

‘But the gold in his bars doesn’t belong to Goldfinger,’ said Colonel Smithers. It belongs to the Bank of England. And Britain needs that gold back as soon as possible. We need your help, Mr. Bond. We want you to catch Goldfinger.’

M had told Bond to report back to him at six o’clock. After Bond had told his boss about his meeting with Colonel Smithers, M thought for a few minutes.

‘Do you have any ideas about how we can get close to Goldfinger?’ he asked.

‘Well, I got a message that he’d like to play golf with me,’ replied Bond. ‘I could talk to him during the game. I could make up a story. I could pretend that I’m bored working for Universal Export. Perhaps he’ll offer me a job.’

‘All right,’ said M. ‘Now listen, 007. There’s something else that Colonel Smithers didn’t tell you. I also know what Goldfinger’s own gold bars look like. I saw a bar today. It was found in the office of one of SMERSH’s agents in Tangiers. The bar had Goldfinger’s letter “Z” on it.

‘The Secret Intelligence Service has found nineteen of these gold bars,’ M went on. ‘Each bar had been kept by a SMERSH agent. I think that SMERSH trained Goldfinger as a spy before he left the Soviet Union, and now he works for them. I believe that he’s a banker for SMERSH - he looks after their money and increases their wealth. If I’m correct, then Goldfinger is one of SMERSH’s best men.’

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