فصل 09

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فصل 09

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PART THREE: ENEMY ACTION

CHAPTER NINE

Project Grand Slam

When Bond became conscious again and opened his eyes, a powerful bright light was shining above him. He tried to move but he couldn’t. He was lying on a metal table and his hands and feet were tied to it.

‘Now we can begin,’ he heard Goldfinger’s voice say.

Bond turned his head to the left and saw Goldfinger sitting in a chair. There was a control panel on a small table beside him. Tilly was sitting on the other side of the table. Her hands and feet were tied to a chair. There was a shocked expression on her pale, beautiful face.

Bond turned his head to the right. Oddjob was standing a few feet away. The Korean was wearing his bowler hat but he’d taken off his jacket and shirt. The light shone on the powerful muscles of his arms and chest.

Bond lifted his head and looked round the room. They were in one of the factory rooms. Then he looked down at the table where he was lying. It had a long, narrow slot down the centre, and at the end, he saw the sharp teeth of a large circular saw.

‘Mr. Bond,’ said Goldfinger. ‘I know that you and this girl are my enemies. I’ve given the girl drugs to make her talk. She has told me that she came here to kill me. Perhaps you came here to kill me too. Now tell me the truth. Talk!’

Goldfinger pressed a button on the control panel and a high, whistling sound came from the circular saw. The sharp blade was spinning round as the saw began to move forward very slowly towards Bond. The blade would continue along the narrow slot in the centre of the table and up between Bond’s legs. It was going to kill him slowly by cutting his body into two pieces.

‘Now, Mr. Bond,’ said Goldfinger. ‘Tell me everything that you know about my business, and you’ll die quickly. The girl will die quickly also. If you talk, I’ll give each of you a drug and there will be no pain. If you don’t talk, you’ll die slowly and in great pain, and the girl will watch. Then I’ll give her to Oddjob. So what do you want to do?’

‘Don’t be a fool, Goldfinger,’ said Bond. ‘I told my employers at Universal Export where I was going and why. Universal is very powerful and they’ll send the police here to find us.’

‘I’m afraid that you don’t understand, Mr. Bond,’ said Goldfinger, smiling. ‘If the police come here, none of my staff will talk to them. Now tell me the truth. Who are you? Who sent you here? What do you know? The saw is now moving towards your body at about one inch every minute.’

Bond was silent.

‘Oddjob,’ Goldfinger said to his servant, ‘Mr. Bond needs some help to make him talk. Persuade him to talk.’

The servant stepped towards the table. The high whistling sound of the saw was getting louder as it got nearer to Bond’s body. Then Oddjob’s powerful fingers began to press and strike Bond’s body again and again and again. The pain was terrible.

Bond wanted to die - die quickly. After many minutes, Oddjob stopped hitting him.

‘Goldfinger,’ said Bond slowly, in a weak voice. ‘I’ll make a bargain with you. The girl and I will work for you. OK?’

‘And I must wait for you to kill me one day?’ said Goldfinger. ‘No, thank you, Mr. Bond.’

Bond decided that it was time to stop talking. He could feel the movement of the spinning saw between his legs. He closed his eyes and tried to scream, but he couldn’t. Then he tried to stop breathing.

‘Die!’ he told himself angrily. ‘Die!’

Bond dreamt that he was flying through darkness.

‘I must have died and I’m on my way to heaven,’ he thought. Then he heard a voice say:

‘This is your captain speaking. We will be landing soon. Please fasten your seatbelts. Thank you.’

If Bond was on a plane, where was it going? He couldn’t understand what had happened. He tried to think but he was extremely tired. He couldn’t move. Then he fell unconscious again.

When he woke up, he was lying on a bed in a bright, white room. It looked like the health department of an airport. Tilly was lying next to him on another bed.

A door opened and two men entered the room. The first man was a doctor. He was dressed in a white coat and he was carrying a medical bag. The other man was … Goldfinger! The two men stopped between Bond and Tilly’s beds.

‘Doctor, they’re looking much better,’ said Goldfinger, in a gentle voice. ‘They’re both members of my staff and they’ve been working too hard. They’ve both had nervous breakdowns. Their minds and their bodies are exhausted. They’ve been very ill. So I’m taking them to the best private hospital in America.’

‘Doctor,’ said Bond, ‘there’s nothing wrong with me or this girl. Neither of us has ever worked for Goldfinger. He tied us up, tortured us and gave us drugs. Please believe me.’ Bond’s voice was slow and weak. He couldn’t lift his head from the bed. The doctor looked worried and turned to Goldfinger. Goldfinger shook his head slowly.

‘I’m very sad to see a man so sick in his mind,’ he said. ‘You’ll be all right, James,’ he said kindly, smiling at Bond.

‘Don’t worry. We’ll look after you. The doctor will give you a drug to help you to sleep.’

Goldfinger turned towards the doctor and spoke gently, ‘Please help him, doctor.’

‘Yes, of course,’ said the doctor and he took a needle on a syringe out of his bag. A moment later, Bond felt the sharp needle go into his arm. He opened his mouth and tried to scream. Then he fell unconscious again.

The next time that Bond woke up, he was lying on a bed in a grey room with no windows. He was feeling very hungry and thirsty. When had he last eaten any food? Two - three days ago? Bond sat up slowly. He was dressed in his underwear but where were the rest of his clothes? He put his feet down on the floor and tried to stand.

The only furniture in the room was a bed, a table and a chair. Bond’s clothes were lying under the bed. His shoes were there too.

Bond checked inside the heel of one of them. Good! The knife was still hidden in its secret compartment.

There were two doors in the room. One was locked and the other led into a bathroom. Bond went into the bathroom and saw a third door. He opened it and saw Tilly Masterton lying on a bed in another room. She was sleeping peacefully.

Bond went into the bathroom. He shaved and had a shower. Then he went back into his room and put on his clothes and shoes. Suddenly, the locked door opened and Oddjob came in.

‘Oddjob, I’m hungry,’ said Bond at once. ‘Bring me something to eat. And tell Goldfinger that I want to talk to him.’

Oddjob looked at Bond angrily. Then he left the room and locked the door. A few minutes later, another Korean servant arrived with a tray of food. Bond ate hungrily. It was an excellent meal.The door opened again and Goldfinger came in. He was holding a small gun and it was pointed at Bond.

‘Mr. Bond, don’t try to attack me,’ said Goldfinger. ‘If you do, I’ll shoot you. I was going to kill you in Switzerland. But you said something that saved your life. You wanted to make a bargain with me. You said that you and Miss Masterton would work for me, if I let you live. By coincidence, I’m just about to start a big project and I need more staff. So I didn’t kill you. I drugged both of you and I collected your things from the Hotel des Bergues. Then I brought you here to New York.’

‘What work do you want us to do?’ asked Bond.

‘Mr. Bond, I love gold,’ said Goldfinger, his eyes shining with pleasure. ‘I love the colour, the smell and the feel of gold. I own about twenty million pounds’ worth of gold. It’s all here in New York. And I’ll do anything to get more gold. Now I’m about to start the biggest project of my life. It’s a robbery - a huge robbery. The project will need a lot of preparation and paperwork. You and Miss Masterton will work for me. You’ll be my secretaries. When the project is finished, I will pay you both with gold.’

‘What are you going to do?’ asked Bond.

‘I am going to steal fifteen billion dollars’ worth of gold bullion. That’s approximately half the supply of gold in the world. Our project, Mr. Bond, will be to rob the Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.’

‘Fort Knox!’ said Bond. ‘But that’s impossible. It has more guards than any other place in the United States. How can two men and a girl rob it?’

‘I’ll have help from one hundred other people - men and women from the six most powerful gangs in America. I’ve invited the six bosses of these gangsters to a meeting here at half-past two this afternoon. I’ll answer all your questions then.’

Goldfinger went out and shut the door. Bond walked through into Tilly’s room. Tilly had woken up and was putting her shoes on. She didn’t look very pleased to see Bond. He told her about Goldfinger’s plan to rob Fort Knox, and that Goldfinger wanted them to be his secretaries. Then he knocked on the door for Oddjob and ordered some breakfast for Tilly. When Oddjob came back with the food, he was carrying a typewriter, some paper and a page of instructions. The instructions were to Bond from Goldfinger.

Prepare ten copies of this agenda.

AGENDA for a meeting with

HELMUT M. SPRINGER: The Purple Gang, Detroit

JED MIDNIGHT: The Shadow Syndicate, Miami and Havana

BILLY RING: The Machine, Chicago

JACK STRAP: The Spangled Mob, Las Vegas

MR. SOLO: Unione Siciliano

Miss PUSSY GALORE: The Cement Mixers, Harlem and New York City

Chairman of the meeting: MR. GOLD

Mr. Gold’s secretaries: J.BOND AND TILLY MASTERTON

For a project to be called GRAND SLAM.

Bond sat down at the typewriter and made ten copies of the agenda. He finished typing them by two o’clock and at twenty-past two, Oddjob came to fetch Bond and Tilly. They followed him along a passage and into the meeting room.

Goldfinger sat with his back to the window. A large round table was in front of him. There were nine comfortable chairs round the table, and in front of six of the chairs were pens, notepads and small white parcels. On one of the walls of the room there was a large blackboard. Below this, there was a long table with bottles of champagne and dishes of caviar on it. Goldfinger told Tilly to sit in the chair on his left, and he told Bond to sit in the chair on his right. Bond handed him the copies of the agenda.

‘Miss Masterton, you will take notes at this meeting,’ ordered Goldfinger. ‘Mr. Bond, you will watch the people at the meeting very carefully. If you think that any of these people won’t work with me, you must mark a cross against his or her name on the agenda.’

‘Who is Miss Pussy Galore?’ asked Bond.

‘She’s the only woman who runs a gang in America. She’s the leader of a gang of women. I shall need some women for my project.’

A bell rang softly under the table. The door at the end of the room opened and five men came in. They walked to the table and sat down silently.

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