Live and Let Die Chapter 8
Bond has been “cleared” by Solitaire, but Mr Big isn’t done with him. After instructing “Blabbermouth” via intercom to hurt Leiter “considerably”, he turns his attention to Bond.
Bond curses him and Mr Big then says that they must leave him something to remember them by. He asks him which finger he uses the least, and then answers the question for him. The little finger of his left hand. He then instructs Tee-Hee to break that finger. Tee-Hee does this simply by taking Bond’s little finger and bending it back until it breaks. Bond faints at the pain. While he is unconscious, Mr Big takes his gun and removes the bullets. They wake Bond up and give his gun back to him. Mr Big then launches into a grandiose speech telling Bond why he has spared his life.
Basically, Mr Big has gone as far as he can in his profession and is now bored. He has fallen “prey to what the early Christians called “accidie”. (A religious dictionary defines that term as “Accidie is analogous to sloth as one of the seven deadly sins”) He’s more interested in the “artistic” side of things. He likes to carry out his operations with a flair.
Because the nature of my operations demands it and because I admire the self-negation of the anonymous artist. If you will allow the conceit, I see myself sometimes as one of those great Egyptian fresco painters who devoted their lives to producing masterpieces in the tombs of kings, knowing that no living eye would ever see them.’ The great eyes closed for a moment. ‘However, let us return to the particular. The reason, Mister Bond, why I have not killed you this morning is because it would give me no aesthetic pleasure to blow a hole in your stomach.’
He casually admits that it would be a nuisance, nothing more than that, should Leiter and Bond disappear or be killed and people start coming around asking questions. He says that this is a warning, and that Bond is to return to England and Leiter to transfer to another assignment tomorrow. He then dismisses Bond, ordering Tee-Hee to take him “into Central Park and throw him in the ornamental water”. Tee-Hee grabs him roughly and ushers him out the door. Bond’s mind is plotting how to take him out. He gets his chance by pretending to stumble a little and then hitting him in the groin. He then takes his empty gun and clubs him over the head and kicks him over the stairwell.
As Bond goes down the stairs, he passes what must be Mr Big’s communication centre. He wishes he could make a quick raid, but with a bad hand and not knowing how many men are in the room, he can’t take the chance. He takes Tee-Hee’s gun from his “dead or dying” body and reaches the garage door, hearing the running engine inside. He has the advantage of surprise on the two men inside, and manages to take them both out with Tee-Hee’s gun and get in the car and get out of there. Once out, he has no idea where he’s going.
He wildly drives until he comes to the intersection of Park Avenue and 116th street. He keeps going, turning off just before what would become the Trump Towers at 60th street. He then ditches the car and gets a cab to take him to the St Regis. There, he gets a message from Leiter to call him at once. He’s relieved that this means they’re both alive.
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