فصل 16

مجموعه: جیمز باند / کتاب: زندگی کن و اجازه بده بمیرند / فصل 16

فصل 16

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Bond Gets Ready

After breakfast the next morning, Strangways introduced Quarrel to Bond.

‘Good morning, Captain,’ Quarrel said. He was a man of the sea, and ‘captain’ was the highest title he knew.

Bond liked him. After they had discussed their plans, the two men left in the little car Quarrel had brought with him. Strangways went to get the things that Bond needed for the job ahead.

By half past ten, they were travelling down the little road that went to Shark Bay. The bay was C-shaped, and in the centre was the Isle of Surprise. Quarrel pointed towards the little buildings on the top of the island. There were trees all around them, and Bond looked at them carefully through Quarrel’s binoculars. He looked at the place in the bay where the Secatur would anchor when it arrived. Then Quarrel pointed to Beau Desert, in the middle of the western side of the ‘C’.

‘That’s where we’ll work from,’ he said.

They drove back onto the main coast road and stopped for lunch on the other side of the wide bay. Then they drove to the western end of the island to the most beautiful beach Bond had ever seen. There was white sand reaching down to the sea and small fishermen’s cottages with palm trees all around them.

This was where they were going to stay for the week before going to Beau Desert. Bond went for a swim while Quarrel went into the cottage and made it comfortable.

Later, when the stars and the moon shone down, the sound of the sea died to a whisper. There was the short silence between the two great winds of Jamaica, then the palm trees began to whisper again.

‘The “Undertaker’s Wind”,’ Quarrel told Bond. ‘It blows the bad air out of the island at night, from six until six. Then every morning the “Doctor’s Wind” comes and blows the sweet air in from the sea. Well, that’s what we call them in Jamaica.’ He grinned at Bond. ‘I guess you and the Undertaker’s Wind have got the same job, Captain.’

Bond laughed.

The next day Bond began his training. Every morning before breakfast, he swam a mile up the beach and then ran back along the sand. At about nine o’clock, he and Quarrel would go out in a canoe. The single sail took them fast through the water, up the coast to Bloody Bay and Orange Bay. Here they pulled the canoe up onto the beach and then went underwater hunting. Bond used a mask and an old harpoon gun.

‘Fish don’t usually attack a man,’ Quarrel told him. ‘Except the barracuda - a big, dangerous fish with very sharp teeth.’

By the end of the week, Bond could swim two miles without feeling tired. His hand was completely better and he was sunburnt.

Quarrel was pleased with him. ‘You’re ready for Surprise, Captain,’ he said.

In the evening of the eighth day, they came back to the cottage to find Strangways waiting for them. He had good news for them. Felix Leiter had lost an arm and a leg, but he would not die.

‘He says that he’s sorry not to be with you,’ Strangways told Bond. ‘Also, the Secatur sails tomorrow for Surprise and should be here before dark. Mr Big is on board. Oh, and a girl called Solitaire is with him. Do you know anything about her?’

‘Not much,’ Bond said. ‘But I’d like to get her away from him. She’s not one of his team.’

He went outside and looked up at the stars. There was a lot to think about and a lot to do. Discovering the secret of the treasure, killing a dangerous criminal - and rescuing Solitaire.

After dinner Strangways gave Bond several books about sharks and dangerous fish and then left the cottage. At six the next morning, Bond and Quarrel left for Beau Desert. They were there by ten thirty. There was a path between the trees that went down to the little beach house. From inside the house, Bond looked across at the island. The top half was hidden by trees, but the cliff looked grey and dangerous in the half- shadow made by the hot sun.

After lunch, Bond looked at the things that had come from London. Strangways had sent them on from Kingston. Bond put on the black frogman’s suit. It fitted him perfectly. He checked the air bottle, the harpoon gun, dagger and torch. Finally, there was the heavy limpet mine with some fuses. These were in a box with the word DANGER printed on top of it.

At five o’clock, Strangways arrived with news of the Secatur.

‘They’ve come through Port Maria and will be here soon,’ he said. ‘Mr Big has a passport in the name of Gallia. The girl’s passport is in the name of Simone Latrelle. There are more than a hundred empty fish tanks on board.’

‘I’ll go to the island tomorrow night,’ Bond told him.

Quarrel came in from outside. ‘The Secatur is coming in through the coral reef now, Captain.’

They went a little nearer to the water’s edge and looked at the boat through binoculars. It was a good-looking yacht, about seventy foot long, black and grey and built for speed. On the island, three men came running down the cliff steps to the jetty. They caught the ropes which were thrown from the boat as it dropped its anchor into the deep water. Mr Big stepped onto the jetty, then started to climb the steps. Two men were carrying a stretcher and they followed Mr Big up the steps. There was a woman’s body tied to the stretcher. Bond could see Solitaire’s black hair through his binoculars.

Then twelve men made a line up the steps and handed the empty fish tanks up one after another. Quarrel counted a hundred and twenty tanks. After this, tanks half filled with water and sand were carefully passed down to the boat - one every five minutes.

‘They’re putting things on the boat already!’ Strangways said. ‘That’s unusual. Maybe they’re all leaving the island in the morning. This could be the last trip.’

Bond and Strangways walked back up through the trees, leaving Quarrel to watch the yacht. They sat down in the living room and Strangways got himself a glass of whisky. Bond stared out of the window, thinking.

It was six o’clock. The moon was already in the sky, and the Undertaker’s Wind blew softly through the palm trees. He had travelled two thousand miles for this, but suddenly he hated and feared the sea, and everything in it. And in a few hours, he would walk alone under that black sheet of water.

Quarrel came in soon after. ‘They’re working with lights now, Captain,’ he said. ‘A tank every five minutes. I guess that’ll be ten hours work. They’ll finish at about four in the morning, but won’t sail before six. It would be too dangerous to leave earlier. It needs to be light for them to find their way through the coral reef.’

‘I’ll start at ten o’clock tonight,’ said Bond. ‘I’ll go from the rocks at the left of the beach. Can you get us some dinner and then get the things I need out onto the beach?’

Quarrel left the room, and Bond turned to Strangways. ‘Now, tell me what they usually do when they’re ready to sail,’ he said. ‘How long does it take them to get away from the island? If it’s the last trip, they’ll leave with extra men.’

Listening carefully to Strangways, Bond suddenly felt strong again and his fear disappeared. They talked for the next three hours.

At ten o’clock, Bond was on the beach and dressed in his black frogman’s suit. Quarrel and Strangways watched him go slowly into the sea and vanish under the water.

‘Go safely,’ said Quarrel quietly.

Then he and Strangways moved back through the bright moonlight and the shadows to the house to wait for Bond’s return.

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