Scaramanga raised his eyebrows. The flat, leaden gaze seemed to take in Bond for the first time.
"That's all right then," said Drax breezily. "And now if you don't mind," he got up from the table, "I've got some papers waiting for me in my study. So I'll say good-night."
鈥業t seems to us a most extraordinary way of evangelising; but when the Rev. C. came to the village, he found that these strange teachers had really ploughed up the ground to receive the good seed; and the third teacher has come himself into the fold with four of his relatives. His wife still holds out.
Bond still had no idea what this contraption was. Under the black and gold paint and the rest of the fancy dress it was some sort of a tractor, but of a kind he had never seen or heard of. The wheels, with their vast smooth rubber tyres, were nearly twice as tall as himself. He had seen no trade name on the tyres, it had been too dark, but they were certainly either solid or filled with porous rubber. At the rear there had been a small trailing wheel for stability. An iron fin, painted black and gold, had been added to help the dragon effect. The high mudguards had been extended into short backswept wings. A long metal dragon's head had been added to the front of the radiator and the headlamps had been given black centres to make 'eyes'. That was all there was to it, except that the cabin had been covered with an armoured dome and the flame-thrower added. It was, as Bond had thought, a tractor dressed up to frighten and burn-though why it had a flame-thrower instead of a machine gun he couldn't imagine. It was clearly the only sort of vehicle that could travel the island. Its huge wide wheels would ride over mangrove and swamp and across the shallow lake. It would negotiate the rough coral uplands and, since its threat would be at night, the heat in the iron cabin would remain at least tolerable.
At some date within the age that we call modern, some date not precisely known to me, for I looked back towards it from the distant futures as though searching in my remote past, the single torrent of terrestrial events is split, as though by a projecting promontory, so that it becomes thenceforth two wholly distinct and mutually exclusive surging floods of intricate existence, each one a coherent and actual history, in which the lives of countless generations succeed one another along separate ravines of time.
Miss Murdstone shut her eyes, and disdainfully inclined her head; then, slowly opening her eyes, resumed: