فصل 15

مجموعه: جیمز باند / کتاب: زندگی کن و اجازه بده بمیرند / فصل 15

فصل 15

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Jamaica

Bond drove towards Tampa and stopped at a bar for a drink.

He used the washroom to clean himself. The bandages on his left hand were dirty and his finger was very painful. He was very tired, but he got back into the car and drove towards the airport. He stopped at the first hotel that looked open and awake. It was two o’clock in the morning, and he went straight to bed.

He woke up at midday and walked down the road to a cafe for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Then he went back to his room and wrote a report for the FBI at Tampa. He said nothing in the report about the gold in the poisonous fish tanks - this would be Bond’s secret. He did not want Mr Big to know he had seen the coins.

Later, he drove to the airport and left Leiter’s car outside for the FBI to collect. Before he got on the plane, he telephoned the hospital in St Petersburg. Leiter was no better, but no worse.

Bond noticed an FBI agent watching him at the airport. He was certain that the agent was there to make sure that Bond got on the plane. They would be glad to see the last of him. Wherever he had gone in America, he had left dead bodies.

The plane for Jamaica left at five o’clock. The sun was low in the sky as the plane flew round over Tampa Bay and then flew east. Soon they were over Miami. After an early dinner, the plane stopped at Nassau before flying on across Cuba and finally to Jamaica.

When Bond arrived at Palisadoes Airport, Strangways, the Chief Secret Service Agent for the Caribbean, was there to meet him. He was good-looking, thirty-five years old and wore a black patch over one eye. It was nearly eleven o’clock, and the night was quiet and hot. The two men spoke very little until they were sitting outside Strangways’s attractive white house. Then the Caribbean agent told Bond about the Jamaican part of the case.

‘There have always been stories about Bloody Morgan’s treasure on the Isle of Surprise,’ he explained. ‘It’s a small island in the centre of Shark Bay, where Morgan used to keep his ships. They say that when he left here for the last time in 1683, he hid his treasure somewhere in Jamaica. When he died, the secret of the treasure’s hiding place on the island died with him.

‘For two hundred years, treasure hunters found nothing. Then, six months ago, a New York company bought the island, and a few weeks later the Secatur came into Shark Bay. The men on the boat started to cut steps into the rocks up to the top of the island. Then they built several simple, small buildings there. They said that they had come to collect shells and catch tropical fish for the Ourobouros company. They bought large numbers of fish, shells and coral from the Shark Bay fishermen. Then for a week there were explosions on the island, and the men on the boat told people that they were making a large fish tank in the ground.

‘The Secatur visited every two weeks to collect the fish, shells and coral. Fishermen were warned to stay away from the island. One fisherman swam across there at night, planning to search for the treasure. He didn’t come back and his body was never found. After that, nobody went near the island again. They were too frightened.

‘It was about that time that I got interested,’ Strangways continued. ‘I sent a report to London and they discovered that the island belonged to Mr Big. This was about three months ago. I was told to find out what was really happening there, so I arranged for the island to be watched day and night. Nothing suspicious happened, so I got two good swimmers to make an underwater visit to the island. They didn’t return, and their bodies appeared in different parts of the bay the next day. Or what the sharks had left of the bodies. Terrible. You can imagine how I felt about it.’

‘Where is the Secatur now?’ asked Bond.

‘In Cuba,’ said Strangways. ‘It will be here in a week, the CIA tells me.’

‘How many journeys has the boat made?’ asked Bond.

‘About twenty,’ said Strangways.

Bond took a moment to think. So Mr Big had already taken around a million pounds in gold out of the island.

‘I’ve got you a house at Beau Desert. You can see the island from there,’ Strangways told Bond. ‘I’ve got you a car and a good man to work with you. His name’s Quarrel and he’s the best fisherman and swimmer in the Caribbean. You should rest for a week, until the Secatur comes in, then you’re going to have to get onto the island. I’ll be in Kingston, reporting to London and Washington. They’ll want to know everything we do. Is there anything else I can do for you?’

‘Yes…’ said Bond. ‘I need a frogman suit with a compressed air bottle , a good underwater harpoon gun and an underwater torch, and all the information you can get me about sharks. Oh yes, and a limpet mine.’

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