11 THE SOFT LIFE The blubbery arms of the soft life had Bond round the neck and they were slowly strangling him. He was a man of war and when, for a long period, there was no war, his spirit went into a decline. In his particular line of business, peace had reigned for nearly a year. And peace was killing him.
Note: We dont meet protagonist until here, a third of the way through the book. Brilliant device.
‘Yon man that’s always coming. Six times he’s been here pestering me since June. After what I said to him the first time about the sinful thing, you’d think he’d give up trying to sell us one. By hire purchase, too, if you please!’ ‘Persistent chaps these salesmen.’ Bond put down his paper and reached for the coffee pot. ‘I gave him a right piece of my mind last night. Disturbing folk at their supper. Asked him if he’d got any papers—anything to show who he was.’ ‘I expect that fixed him.’ Bond filled his large coffee cup to the brim with black coffee. ‘Not a bit...
Note: Details about Bond's personal life. Housekeeper, security issues.
Bond commented: ‘The public agent often does better than the man who has to spend a lot of time and energy keeping under cover.’ ‘So she sent Kerim the note. Now she wants to know if he can help her.’ M paused and sucked thoughtfully at his pipe.
Note: Note interplay between Bond and M.
At the end of the long warehouse was a raised platform enclosed by a balustrade. On it half a dozen young men and girls sat on high stools and wrote busily in fat, old-fashioned ledgers. It was like a Dickensian counting-house and Bond noticed that each high desk had a battered abacus beside the inkpot. Not one of the clerks looked up as Bond walked between them, but a tall, swarthy man with a lean face and unexpected blue eyes came forward from the furthest desk and took delivery of him from the watchman. He smiled warmly at Bond, showing a set of extremely white teeth, and led him to the back...
Note: Note Fleming's carefuls descriptions, atmosphere.