Say good-bye to it, Bond.

So here we are. Bond has been captured by Le Chiffre and his henchmen. He is taken to the villa. Fleming paints the word picture of the room in which Bond is taken, describing it as “sparsely furnished in cheap French art nouveau style. It’s clearly Fleming and not Bond making these observations, as Bond has other things on his mind. Such as what the villains have in mind for him.

He doesn’t have long to wait. He is told to strip naked, and after a brief, puny show of resistance, he does as he is told. Le Chiffre orders the round cane seat cut out of a chair in the room and Bond is securely strapped to the chair. Le Chiffre is seated opposite him, sipping coffee, but holding a carpet beater in his hand.

He looked Bond carefully, almost caressingly, in the eyes. Then his wrists sprang suddenly upwards on his knee.

The result was startling.

Bond’s whole body arched in an involuntary spasm. His face contracted in a soundless scream and his lips drew right away from his teeth. At the same time his head flew back with a jerk showing the taut sinews of his neck. For an instant, muscles stood out in knots all over his body and his toes and fingers clenched until they were quite white. Then his body sagged and perspiration started to bead all over his body. He uttered a deep groan.

How do you feel reading that? Again, this is not the James Bond of the Roger Moore movies that perhaps you grew up watching. This is the kind of stuff that had critics accusing Fleming of sadism. I rather doubt this scene will appear in the upcoming movie Casino Royale, but who knows? (Edit: It did.)

Once Bond’s body has calmed somewhat and his eyes open, Le Chiffre begins the interrogation to find out where Bond has stashed the cashier’s cheque from the casino. The game seems ages ago. He addresses Bond as “My dear boy” in a very condescending tone. He tells him the game of “Red Indians” is over, and that

You are not equipped my dear boy, to play games with adults and it was very foolish of your nanny in London to have sent you out here with your spade and bucket.

This taunt may only serve to steel Bond’s determination, which is perhaps what Le Chiffre wants, as he appears to be enjoying this moment very much. He asks Bond directly where the money is and Bond glares at him. Le Chiffre employs the carpet beater again and again, informing Bond that “There is no one to stage a last-minute rescue”. Bond focuses on what he knows about torture, that the beginning is the worst, and hoping to black out. He remembers something.

He had been told by colleagues who had survived torture by the Germans and the Japanese that towards the end there came a wonderful period of warmth and languor leading into a sort of sexual twilight where pain turned to the pleasure and where hatred and fear of the torturers turned to a masochistic infatuation.

Sadism, anyone? Bond doesn’t get to that point however, because Le Chiffre knows enough to pause and allow for Bond to slightly recover before the next assault. Bond is informed that his room has been searched and though they find many interesting things in “childish hiding places”, they did not find the cheque. So the torture goes on. Finally Bond asks for a drink so he can speak and has coffee poured into him. He weakly attempts to dissuade Le Chiffre by saying the money will be traced to him. Le Chiffre cheerfully explains how they have that all covered, and the beating continues. He even suggests that he is curious to see how long a man can stand this treatment. Finally he angrily beats at Bond until he passes out. Time goes by. When Bond comes to, Le Chiffre says that the beating is over. Bond has not given him the information he requires. He reaches toward the knife on the table, and the chapter ends with chilling words.

“Say good-bye to it, Bond.”

The crawling of the skin…

We’re now into chapter 15. Bond’s worst fears have come true. Vesper has fallen into a trap, gotten herself captured and jeopardized the operation. Bond leaps into his car, and heads along the shore road in the direction in which he thinks that the captors (Le Chiffre & Company) must’ve taken here. While driving, Bond is boiling at Vesper.

These blithering women who thought they could do a man’s work. Why the hell couldn’t they stay at home and mind their pots and pans and stick to their frocks and gossip and leave men’s work to the men.

We are in 1953 after all. Bond knows what the situation is. Vesper is being held ransom for the cheque for 40 million francs. Bond is determined not to pay. He’ll chase them down, shoot it out, but will never give. He rapidly gains ground on the car, a Citroen.

(pictured) However, it appears this is part of the plan. The Citroen, driving by Le Chiffre, sudden drops out of its trunk “a small carpet of glinting steel spikes”. Bond’s tires are chewed up instantly and he loses control of the car. He crashes into a ditch alongside the road and loses consciousness. Le Chiffre’s men come and cut him out of the car and bind him securely. They toss him onto floor of the backseat of the Citroen. Bond realizes that he’s in trouble. He muses that while the wreck of his car will likely be found quickly, that it will take hours to trace it back to him. Again, a reminder that we’re in the 1950’s here. Today a car can almost be traced right when it is found with the technology and equipment in use.

Bond is not alone in the back seat of the car. Vesper is there, though it might be tough to recognize her under the circumstances.

His first reaction was that of scorn. Damn fool girl getting herself trussed up like a chicken, having her skirt pulled over her head as if the whole of this business was some kind of dormitory rag. But then he felt sorry for her. Her naked legs looked so childlike and defenceless.

Bond tries to softly call to her, but is backhanded over the heart by the thin man, and is doubled over in pain. He realizes he is utterly under their control. The car moves along and Bond encounters a new sensation — fear. When they arrive at their destination…Le Chiffre’s villa, Bond attempts to weakly strike back at his captors and is easily rebuffed. He again realizes how “utterly and absolutely in their power” he is.

Casino Royale for Bond 21?

OK, I need to start posting in here again.

I’ll start with a simple entry.

Search on for Next Bond to Star in ‘Casino Royale’

New Bond Gets ‘Royale’ Treatment

The latter article says:

The 21st James Bond film has a title: “Casino Royale,” which also was the title of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, published in 1953.

The novel was adapted into a 1954 television show and Columbia Pictures’ unofficial 1967 spy spoof “Casino Royale,” which starred Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and David Niven. In 1999, MGM acquired the title and rights in a settlement with Columbia’s Sony Pictures parent. MGM is now in the process of being acquired by a Sony-led investor group.

Martin Campbell, who directed the 1995 Bond film “GoldenEye,” is on board to return to the helm. No decision has been made yet regarding casting for the role of James Bond, which has been played since “GoldenEye” by Pierce Brosnan.

If the movie is even somewhat faithful to the story we’ve been analyzing here, it will be a great movie! Of course, they will be adding plenty of gratuitous machine gun sequences, but hopefully the overall plot of the novel will be preserved.

I hope to have another installment of the Casino Royale novel on here soon…