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They strolled over through the shadows cast by the full moon. Both had their hands on their guns. It was three o’clock in the morning, but there were several people about and the courtyard of the Casino was still lined with motorcars.
The short walk was uneventful.
At the hotel, Leiter insisted on accompanying Bond to his room. It was as Bond had left it six hours before.
‘No reception committee,’ observed Leiter, ‘but I wouldn’t put it past them to try a last throw. Do you think I ought to stay up and keep you two company?’
‘You get your sleep,’ said Bond. ‘Don’t worry about us. They won’t be interested in me without the money and I’ve got an idea for looking after that. Thanks for all you’ve done. I hope we get on a job again one day.’
‘Suits me,’ said Leiter, ‘so long as you can draw a nine when it’s needed – and bring Vesper along with you,’ he added dryly. He went out and closed the door.
Bond turned back to the friendliness of his room.
After the crowded arena of the big table and the nervous strain of the three hours’ play, he was glad to be alone for a moment and be welcomed by his pyjamas on the bed and his hairbrushes on the dressing-table. He went into the bathroom and dashed cold water over his face and gargled with a sharp mouthwash. He felt the bruises on the back of his head and on his right shoulder. He reflected cheerfully how narrowly he had twice that day escaped being murdered. Would he have to sit up all that night and wait for them to come again, or was Le Chiffre even now on his way to Le Havre or Bordeaux to pick up a boat for some corner of the world where he could escape the eyes and the guns of SMERSH?
Bond shrugged his shoulders. Sufficient unto that day had been its evil. He gazed for a moment into the mirror and wondered about Vesper’s morals. He wanted her cold and arrogant body. He wanted to see 长沙桑拿洗浴 tears and desire in her remote blue eyes and to take the ropes of her black hair in his hands and bend her long body back under his. Bond’s eyes narrowed and his face in the mirror looked back at him with hunger.
He turned away and took out his pocket the cheque for forty million francs. He folded this very small. Then he opened the door and looked up and down the corridor. He left the door wide open and with his ears cocked for footsteps or the sound of the lift, he set to work with a small screwdriver.
Five minutes later he gave a last-minute survey to his handiwork, put some fresh cigarettes in his case, closed and locked the door and went off down the corridor and across the hall and out into the moonlight.
CHAPTER 14 – ‘LA VIE EN ROSE?’
The entrance to the Roi Galant was a seven-foot golden picture-frame which had once,长沙桑拿SPA perhaps, enclosed the vast portrait of a noble European. It was in a discreet corner of the ‘kitchen’ – the public roulette and boule room, where several tables were still busy. As Bond took Vesper’s arm and led her over the gilded step, he fought back a hankering to borrow some money from the caisse and plaster maximums over the nearest table. But he knew that this would be a brash and cheap gesture pour épater la bourgeoisie. Whether he won or lost, it would be a kick in the teeth to the luck which had been given him.
The night-club was small and dark, lit only by candles in gilded candelabra whose warm light was repeated in wall mirrors set in more gold picture-frames. The walls were covered in dark red satin and the chairs and banquettes in matching red plush. In the far corner, a trio, consisting of a piano, an electric 长沙桑拿最好的场子 guitar and drums, was playing ‘La Vie en Rose’ with muted sweetness. Seduction dripped on the quietly throbbing air. It seemed to Bond that every couple must be touching with passion under the tables.
They were given a corner table near the door. Bond ordered a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and scrambled eggs and bacon.
They sat for a time listening to the music and then Bond turned to Vesper: ‘It’s wonderful sitting here with you and knowing the job’s finished. It’s a lovely end to the day – the prize-giving.’
He expected her to smile. She said: ‘Yes, isn’t it,’ in a rather brittle voice. She seemed to be listening carefully to the music. One elbow rested on the table and her hand supported her chin, but on the back of her hand and not on the palm, and Bond noticed that her knuckles showed white as if her fist was tightly 长沙桑拿论坛 clenched.
Between the thumb and first two fingers of her right hand she held one of Bond’s cigarettes, as an artist holds a crayon, and though she smoked with composure, she tapped the cigarette occasionally into an ash-try when the cigarette had no ash.
Bond noticed these small things because he felt intensely aware of her and because he wanted to draw her into his own feeling of warmth and relaxed sensuality. But he accepted her reserve. He thought it came from a desire to protect herself from him, or else it was her reaction to his coolness to her earlier in the evening, his deliberate coolness, which he knew had been taken as a rebuff.
He was patient. He drank champagne and talked a little about the happenings of the day and about the personalities of Mathis and Leiter and about the possible consequences for Le Chiffre. He was 长沙桑拿最好最高端 discreet and he only talked about the aspects of the case on which she must have been briefed by London.
She answered perfunctorily. She said that, of course, they had picked out the two gunmen, but had thought nothing of it when the man with the stick had gone to stand behind Bond’s chair. They could not believe that anything would be attempted in the Casino itself. Directly Bond and Leiter had left to walk over to the hotel, she had telephoned Paris and told M’s representative of the result of the game. She had had to speak guardedly and the agent had rung off without comment. She had been told to do this whatever the result. M had asked for the information to be passed on to him personally at any time of the day or night.
This was all she said. She sipped at her champagne and rarely glanced at Bond. She didn’t smile. Bond felt 长沙桑拿攻略 frustrated. He drank a lot of champagne and ordered another bottle. The scrambled eggs came and they ate in silence.
At four o’clock Bond was about to call for the bill when the ma?tre d’h?tel appeared at their table and inquired for Miss Lynd. He handed her a note which she took and read hastily.
‘Oh, it’s only Mathis,’ she said. ‘He says would I come to the entrance hall. He’s got a message for you. Perhaps he’s not in evening clothes or something. I won’t be a minute. Then perhaps we could go home.’
She gave him a strained smile. ‘I’m afraid I don’t feel very good company this evening. It’s been rather

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a nerve-racking day. I’m so sorry.’
Bond made a perfunctory reply and rose, pushing back the table. ‘I’ll get the bill,’ he said, and watched her take the few steps to the entrance.
He sat down and lit a cigarette. He felt flat. He suddenly realized that he was tired. The stuffiness of the room hit him as it had hit him in the Casino in the early hours of the previous day. He called for the bill and took a last mouthful of champagne. It tasted bitter, as the first glass too many always does. He would have liked to have seen Mathis’s cheerful face and heard his news, perhaps even a word of congratulation.
Suddenly the note to Vesper seemed odd to him. It was not the way Mathis would do things. He would have asked them both to join him at the bar of the Casino or he would have joined them in the night-club, whatever his clothes.

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They would have laughed together and Mathis would have been excited. He had much to tell Bond, more than Bond had to tell him. The arrest of the Bulgarian, who had probably talked some more; the chase after the man with the stick; Le Chiffre’s movements when he left the Casino.
Bond shook himself. He hastily paid the bill, not waiting for the change. He pushed back his table and walked quickly through the entrance without acknowledging the good-nights of the ma?tre d’h?tel and the doorman.
He hurried through the gaming-room and looked carefully up and down the long entrance hall. He cursed and quickened his step. There were only one or two officials and two or three men and women in evening clothes getting their things at the vestiaire.
No Vesper. No Mathis.
He was almost running. He got to the entrance and looked along the steps to left and right down and amongst the few remaining cars.
The commissionaire came towards him.
‘A taxi, monsieur?’
Bond waved him aside and started down the steps, his eyes staring into the shadows, the night air cold on his sweating temples.
He was half-way down when he heard a faint cry, then the slam of a door way to the right. With a harsh growl and stutter from the exhaust a beetle-browed Citro?n shot out of the shadows into the light of the moon, its front wheel drive dry-skidding through the loose pebbles of the forecourt.