فصل 02

مجموعه: جیمز باند / کتاب: مردی با اسلحه طلائی / فصل 2

فصل 02

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chapter two

The Attack

Bill Tanner, the Chief of Staff at the Secret Service, stood in front of M’s desk. ‘I really don’t think you should see him on your own, sir,’ he repeated firmly. ‘There’s no doubt that it’s James - we’ve matched the fingerprints. But I don’t like the feel of this at all. Why has he got new clothes? And why did he check into The Ritz and phone our main reception desk? He could have just phoned me on my personal number or come straight here to see you. It seems like a typical KGB brainwashing job to me.’

M looked up at Bill Tanner’s tired, worried face and smiled. ‘Thank you,’ he said quietly, ‘but I need to talk to 007 myself. When I sent him to Japan I had no idea that what should have been a peaceful job was going to end so badly. Or that 007 would go missing for a year. He’s quite right. It was I who sent him on the mission and he has every right to report back to me personally. I’ll see him, but I want you to wait in the next room and listen in to the conversation. And don’t worry about his gun - I can use the new safety device.’ M pointed up at a thin line on the ceiling. ‘Are you sure that the glass wall will come down quickly enough when I press the button?’ he asked.

‘Yes, sir,’ said the Chief of Staff nervously. ‘We’ve tested it and it works all right. But…’

A light started to flash on M’s intercom. ‘That must mean Bond is here,’ said M. ‘Tell him to come straight in, please.’

‘Yes, sir,’ Bill Tanner replied. Then he left the room and closed the door behind him.

James Bond was standing outside M’s office. He was smiling strangely at Miss Moneypenny, who was sitting behind her desk and looking very upset, clearly confused by his odd behaviour. Then he turned and greeted the Chief of Staff flatly: ‘Hello, Bill.’

‘Hello, James,’ responded Bill. ‘Long time no see. M is ready for you now, so let’s talk when you come out.’

‘That will be fine,’ said Bond slowly. Then he went into M’s office.

Bill walked quickly into the office next to M’s and shut the door. He pressed a button on his desk. There was a small click, and then the sound of M’s voice came into the room over a loud speaker. The Chief of Staff listened to what was being said in the next room. ‘Hello, James. It’s wonderful to see you again. Sit down and tell me all about it,’ said M.

James Bond sat down in front of M. Bond knew this chair and had sat in it and talked to M many times before. Suddenly, lots of different, confused memories came quickly into his head. Bond tried not to think about them. He knew that he must think only about what he needed to say and do.

‘I’m afraid I still can’t remember very much, sir,’ he said. ‘I was hit on the head while I was doing that job in Japan. I was badly hurt and I lost my memory. To begin with I couldn’t even remember who or where I was. The Russian police found me some months later in Vladivostok. I’ve no idea how I got there. The police passed me on to the KGB and when they checked my fingerprints they got very excited. For weeks they asked me question after question. I couldn’t remember much but I told them what I could.’

‘You told them what you could?’ repeated M slowly. ‘Was that a good idea?’

‘They were very nice to me,’ Bond replied. ‘So I wanted to help them. Then I was taken to a hospital in Leningrad. While I was there specialist brain doctors came to look at my head. And other people came to talk to me about the political situation and that sort of thing. They explained to me how the East and West need to work together, for world peace. I hadn’t thought about it in that way before and I think they are right.’ He looked confidently across the table at M. ‘However, you probably don’t understand. You’re always making war against someone. And you’ve been using me as a weapon to do that for you. But not anymore - that’s finished.’

‘You say the Russians want peace,’ began M angrily. ‘Then why do they need the KGB? At the last estimate, the KGB had about one hundred thousand men and women “making war”, as you call it, against other countries. And did they tell you that they killed two of our agents in Munich last month?’

‘Oh yes, sir,’ Bond said in a patient voice. ‘They have to protect themselves from the secret services of the West. But if you close down the British Secret Service, they won’t need the KGB.’

‘I don’t believe that for one minute,’ replied M shortly. ‘Anyway, if the Russians are such good people, then why didn’t you stay in their country?’

‘We thought that it was more important for me to come back and fight for peace here, sir,’ explained Bond. M noticed his use of the word ‘we’. Just then Bond’s right hand started to move slowly towards the pocket of his coat. M knew now that Bond was planning to kill him. He pushed his chair back from the desk and put his fingers on a button under the left arm of his chair.

Bond’s face was white and he looked uncomfortable. He was staring at M and began to speak in a hard, forceful voice. ‘We want to remove the people who are responsible for this war,’ he said. ‘And you are the first person on the list.’

Bond pulled his hand out of his coat pocket. He was holding a gun and was starting to point it towards M. M quickly pressed the button on the arm of his chair. With a loud rush of air, a large sheet of thick, bulletproof glass dropped down in front of him from the ceiling. At the same moment brown, liquid poison came from the gun and splashed onto the glass wall that now separated the two men.

Almost instantly Bill Tanner and another man came running into the room and threw themselves on James Bond. As they caught him his head fell forwards and his eyes closed. ‘It’s cyanide! said Bill. ‘He must have breathed some of the fumes in. We must all get out of here.’ The men pulled Bond quickly from the room and M followed them.

‘Don’t tell anyone about this,’ M said to the Chief of Staff a few minutes later. ‘I’ll call Sir James Molony at the Park Hospital and tell him what has happened. Take 007 down there - they’ll know how to treat him. You heard Bond say what happened to him: he was hurt and as a result he lost his memory and then the KGB got him. They brainwashed him. All right? That’s all.’

Bill Tanner was busy writing everything down in his notebook. But now he looked up. ‘Don’t you want to press any charges, sir? He tried to kill you,’ he said.

‘Certainly not,’ answered M. ‘007 is a sick man and doesn’t know what he’s doing. Sir James knows about brainwashing and will know what to do. If the KGB has the nerve to use one of my best men to attack me, then I have the nerve to send him back to attack them. 007 was a good agent once and I’m sure he’ll be a good agent again. After lunch, please give me the information we have on Scaramanga. When 007 is ready, that will be his next mission.’

‘Scaramanga!’ the shocked Chief of Staff cried. ‘But 007 wouldn’t be able to kill him! No one can kill Scaramanga!’

‘For what he tried to do here this morning,’ said M coldly, ‘007 would have to spend twenty years or more in prison. I don’t want that. It would be better for him to die on a mission. It will be a test. If he can kill Scaramanga, then we can forget the past. That’s my final decision.’

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