‘Years ago I said that if I were not too old to learn a new language I should probably—after sweet Fanny had departed—have gone out as a Missionary. This year the question came to my mind, Am I really unable to learn a new language? I find that I can learn, and the only real objection to my going is taken away. Yes, sweet Laura, the only real objection; for I can leave you rich in the devoted love of your children. Thank God, you are not lonely; and circumstances might easily arise to make it undesirable that I should make a third or fourth lady in—perhaps—a Curate’s dear little home.
Now that the new world order was firmly established the main concern of the World Government was the detailed organization of human affairs so as to secure that future generations should have the best possible conditions. In the economic field the aim was to strike such a balance between producer’s goods and consumer’s goods that, though present conditions should be as favourable as was necessary for physical and mental health, future conditions should be far better. This involved a great deal of research and bold planning by the World Economic Development Commission. At the same time the World Health Ministry was able to organize a well-co-ordinated attack on disease, and to secure that the rising generation should be more healthy than their predecessors.
The sake came. The pretty waitress knelt on the tatami and served them both. Tiger had been thoughtful. He had ordered tumblers. Bond swallowed his at one gulp. Tiger said, 'The grossness of your drinking habits fits well with your future identity.'
I was to go home next night; not by the mail, but by the heavy night-coach, which was called the Farmer, and was principally used by country-people travelling short intermediate distances upon the road. We had no story-telling that evening, and Traddles insisted on lending me his pillow. I don't know what good he thought it would do me, for I had one of my own: but it was all he had to lend, poor fellow, except a sheet of letter-paper full of skeletons; and that he gave me at parting, as a soother of my sorrows and a contribution to my peace of mind.
"I'm always interested in a hundred thousand dollars. I'll have to get in touch with my growers. They have their plantations in the Maroon country. That's in the centre of the island. This is going to take time. I can give you a quotation in about two weeks-a hundredweight of the stuff f.o.b. the Pedro Cays. Okay?"
Bond took the girl's hand and they followed the motherly bustling figure down a hundred yards of lofty corridor in the same style as the reception room but lit at frequent intervals by discreetly expensive wall-brackets.
"Let's see it." Scaramanga held out a demanding hand.