فصل 07

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فصل 07

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Chase Begins

A nine o’clock the next morning, Bond phoned the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service in London.

‘Goldfinger is leaving Britain today,’ he told them. ‘He’s going to Europe. He’s flying from Ferryfield Airport, but I don’t know when. He’s taking his Rolls-Royce. I want to follow him and put a Homer transmitting device in his car.’

A few minutes later, the SIS called Bond. They said that Goldfinger was booked on a flight to Le Touquet in France. The flight was leaving at midday.

Bond paid his hotel bill and left Ramsgate. He drove to Ferryfield Airport and got there at about eleven o’clock. The SIS had already phoned the Customs officers at the airport. They had asked the Customs officers to help Bond. Bond parked his car where Goldfinger would not see it, and waited.

At quarter to twelve, Goldfinger and Oddjob arrived in the Rolls- Royce Silver Ghost. They got onto the plane and the Customs officers took Goldfinger’s car into the Customs area. There was only one other car there - a small, pale grey Triumph sports car. Bond took the Homer transmitting device out of his pocket and fixed it into the compartment of Goldfinger’s car where tools are kept. Then the Customsofficers drove the Rolls-Royce onto the plane.

Bond’s Aston Martin had a special receiver which would pick up signals from the Homer. It could pick up signals from a distance of up to 100 miles. Bond would be able to follow Goldfinger without Goldfinger seeing him.

Bond took the 2 p.m. flight to Le Touquet. As soon as he left the airport at Le Touquet, he switched on the receiver in his car. It picked up the signal from the Homer in Goldfinger’s car and started to make a low humming sound. Bond followed the sound made by the Homer. Goldfinger was moving through France in a southeasterly direction.

Goldfinger drove all afternoon and Bond followed. As it became dark, they reached the old town of Orleans. Suddenly Bond saw another car in front of his car. It was a small, pale grey Triumph sports car. Bond passed it and saw Goldfinger’s car Allead. He slowed down. He didn’t want Goldfinger to know that he was being followed.

That night, Goldfinger stayed at a very expensive hotel, while Bond stayed in a small hotel near the railway station.

At six o’clock the next morning, Bond was ready and waiting in his car outside Goldfinger’s hotel. At half-past eight, Goldfinger and Oddjob came out of the hotel and got into the Rolls-Royce. They drove off and Bond followed.

Bond was enjoying himself. He was driving along by the River Loire. It was early summer and the French countryside was very beautiful.

Suddenly, a small Triumph sports car drove past. It was the same car that he’d passed the evening before, in Orleans. He could see the driver - a pretty girl wearing a pink scarf over her dark hair.

Bond looked at the girl with interest. He loved pretty girls, and it was a perfect day for romance. He wished that he could drive after her and catch up with her. But this was no time for love. He was on a mission. His job was to follow Goldfinger.

Then Bond realized that he’d seen that Triumph before. It had been at Ferryfield Airport, and also in Orleans. Was this a coincidence? Or was the girl following Goldfinger too? Bond would have to get rid of her. The job of following Goldfinger was already difficult. And Bond didn’t want this girl to make things more difficult.

Bond drove on, following the strong clear signal from the Homer. Suddenly, as he drove over the top of a hill, Bond saw that the Rolls-Royce had stopped by the side of the road. The car was about half a mile Allead of him. Bond stopped too and took a small pair of binoculars out of a compartment in the Aston Martin. He saw Goldfinger sitting beside a small bridge that crossed a river. He was eating a sandwich.

Goldfinger finished eating and got up. Bond saw him place something carefully on the ground, close to the stone wall of the bridge. Then Goldfinger got back into the Rolls-Royce and drove off. Bond drove quickly down to the bridge and searched the ground beside it.

Next to the stone wall of the bridge, hidden under some grass, there was something hard and heavy. Bond pulled a gold bar out of the grass. Had Goldfinger put the bar there for one of the SMERSH agents to collect? Well, Bond would make sure that they wouldn’t find it. He carried the bar back to the Aston Martin and put it in the secret compartment under the passenger seat.

Bond drove off quickly and caught up with the Rolls-Royce before it reached the next town, Macon. The road divided at Macon. The right turning led to Lyons in France. The left turning led to Geneva in Switzerland. Which way was Goldfinger going?

The Rolls-Royce took the left turning. Suddenly, Bond looked in his driving mirror and saw the little grey Triumph immediately behind him. He’d been so busy following the Rolls- Royce that he’d forgotten the girl. Bond was angry. Now he must make sure that she couldn’t follow any further. This was a perfect opportunity to get her car off the road. Bond pressed down hard on his brakes and his car stopped at once. The Triumph crashed straight into the back of the Aston Martin. Bond’s car wasn’t damaged but the radiator of the Triumph was badly smashed.

The girl got out of her car. She was extremely angry.

‘You stupid idiot! Why did you do that?’ she shouted. ‘I can’t drive my car now.’

‘I’m terribly sorry,’ said Bond politely. ‘I’ll pay for the damage. And I’ll pay for your hotel this evening. I’m sure that your car can be repaired by tomorrow morning.’

‘No,’ said the girl in a cool, angry voice. ‘I can’t stay here in Macon. I’ve got an important meeting in Geneva. I have to get there this evening. Will you take me in your car, please?’

Bond looked at the girl. She was very beautiful, with dark blue eyes and black hair. Why was she chasing Goldfinger?

‘All right,’ he said. ‘I’ll be happy to take you to Geneva. Go and get your things.’

The girl went to her car and took out a small suitcase and a bag of golf clubs.

‘What’s your name?’ Bond asked. ‘And which hotel are you staying at?’

‘The Hotel des Bergues. And my name is Soames - Miss Tilly Soames.’

A few minutes later, they were on their way to Geneva. Bond could still hear the signal from the Homer, but the low humming sound wasn’t loud.

‘The Rolls-Royce must be about fifty miles Allead,’ he thought. The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was standing in the middle of the courtyard. As Bond watched, the door of the house opened and Goldfinger came out with four men. To Bond’s surprise, they began to take parts off the car. They took the doors off the car and they removed the armour-plating from inside the door panels.

Suddenly, Oddjob appeared in the doorway of the house. He made a sign to Goldfinger and Goldfinger went inside. It was time for Bond to leave. He looked around for the last time, then went back quietly through the trees to his car.

Bond took the gold bar that he’d found under the bridge to the British SIS agent in Geneva. He asked the agent to send the bar to M in London.

‘Do you know anything about Enterprises Auric at Coppet?’ Bond asked the agent.

‘Enterprises Auric makes metal furniture,’ replied the agent. ‘It’s very good quality. The company makes seats for the planes of a big Indian airline - Mecca Airlines.’

Suddenly Bond understood everything about Goldfinger’s business. The smuggling operation had been like a puzzle with a piece missing. But now Bond had got the missing piece of information. Now he knew how the gold was being smuggled out of Britain and sold in India. Goldfinger was using his Rolls-Royce to smuggle it.

Goldfinger had bought the Rolls-Royce because it was special. It had been made with heavy armour-plating in its doors.

Bond remembered what he’d seen at Reculver. He’d seen the metal plates being fixed on the car at Goldfinger’s factory. Then he’d seen the armour-plating taken off again, at Goldfinger’s factory at Coppet. But the armour-plating on the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost wasn’t ordinary metal. It was gold -white gold!

He glanced at the girl in the passenger seat. ‘How long are you going to stay in Geneva?’ he asked.

‘I don’t know. I’m playing in the Swiss Open Golf Championship for Women.’

Bond was sure that the girl wasn’t telling him all of the truth. And she didn’t talk very much to him for the rest of the journey.

They drove over the mountains and crossed the border from France into Switzerland. When they reached Geneva, Bond stopped at the Hotel des Bergues. He gave the girl some money and he apologized again for the damage to her car.

She got out of the Aston Martin, thanked him coldly and walked into the hotel.

Now Bond had to catch up with Goldfinger again. The sound from the Homer had got much louder. He drove fast through Geneva and saw the yellow Rolls-Royce just before they arrived at a small village called Coppet. The car was turning in through big iron gates in a high wall. A sign on the wall said: ENTERPRISES AURIC.

Bond drove past the gates and took the next turning off the road. A narrow lane led up into some woods. Bond stopped the Aston Martin and turned off the engine. He took the binoculars, got out of the car, and walked silently through the trees. When he came to a very large tree, he hid behind it and looked through his binoculars. From this position, Bond could see down to the buildings of Enterprises Auric.

Below him, there was a large courtyard. Around the sides of the courtyard there was an old house and some workshops. At the corner of one of the workshops, there was a tall thin chimney with a square piece of metal on the top. The piece of metal was turning round and round. It looked like a kind of radar scanner. Goldfinger drove his car to Switzerland twice a year. Before he left Britain, his workmen at his factory in Reculver took the armour-plating out of the car’s doors. They replaced the ordinary metal panels with panels of white gold. The white gold was the same colour as the armour-plating. So Customs officials at the airport never suspected that the car’s doors were really made of white gold.

Then Goldfinger drove the Rolls-Royce to his factory in Switzerland. At his factory at Coppet, workmen removed the white gold panels from Goldfinger’s car and replaced them with ordinary armour- plating again. The panels of white gold were melted in the blast furnaces at Coppet and made into seats for Mecca Airlines’ planes. Then the Mecca planes were flown to India. In India, the seats were taken out of the planes and replaced with ordinary metal seats. In this way, the gold was smuggled into India where it was sold. Goldfinger was making a lot of money for SMERSH. It was a very clever operation!

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