Live and Let Die Chapter 23
James Bond has completed his mission, saved the girl and gotten a little bruised up in the process. The time period immediately after Quarrel brought them in from the bay, Bond took charge and made sure that Solitaire was looked after.
Bond had half carried Solitaire across the lawn and into the bathroom. He had filled the bath full of warm water. Without her knowing what was happening he had soaped and washed her whole body and her hair. When he had cleaned away all the salt and coral slime he helped her out, dried her and put merthiolate on the coral cuts that striped her back and thighs. Then he gave her a sleeping draught and put her naked between the sheets in his own bed. He kissed her. Before he had finished closing the jalousies she was asleep.
Once that is done, it is Bond’s turn to be looked after, and almost bathed in merthiolate – an antiseptic. As you might expect, his body is raw and bleeding, and there is a chunk missing from his shoulder. He is taken to the hospital, where his wounds are dressed and bandaged properly.
There are other messes to clean up. It is a small island, and word travels quickly that something has happened at the Isle of Surprise. The press needs to be placated with a statement. Divers are in the water after the treasure. Reports have to be sent to M and to Washington. A signal comes from M to Bond.
PRESUME YOU HAVE FILED CLAIM TO TREASURE IN YOUR NAME BEHALF UNIVERSAL EXPORT STOP PROCEED IMMEDIATELY WITH SALVAGE STOP HAVE ENGAGED COUNSEL TO PRESS OUR RIGHTS WITH TREASURY AND COLONIAL OFFICE STOP MEANWHILE VERY WELL DONE STOP FORTNIGHT’S PASSIONATE LEAVE GRANTED ENDIT
Strangways wryly comments about M’s top concern being the gold. They talk a little bit about it, and then Bond goes outside to think and enjoy the sunshine. He reflects on the mission and the dangers he faced, and now the prize before him. Bond and Solitaire are spending two weeks to the house on the beach where Bond trained for the swim. Quarrel will come as well, to cook and look after them. Bond teases Solitaire that she will have to take good care of him because he can’t make love with only one arm. The novel Live and Let Die concludes thusly:
There was open sensuality in Solitaire’s eyes as she looked up at him. She smiled innocently. ‘What about my back?’ she said.
This brings us to the end of Live and Let Die, the second James Bond novel by Ian Fleming. We’ll be starting up with Moonraker next, and welcome your input and suggestions as to what you would like to see on this page.