A murmur of voices had been audible on the outside, and, at the moment of our entrance, a clapping of hands: which latter noise, I was surprised to see, proceeded from the generally disconsolate Mrs. Gummidge. But Mrs. Gummidge was not the only person there who was unusually excited. Mr. Peggotty, his face lighted up with uncommon satisfaction, and laughing with all his might, held his rough arms wide open, as if for little Em'ly to run into them; Ham, with a mixed expression in his face of admiration, exultation, and a lumbering sort of bashfulness that sat upon him very well, held little Em'ly by the hand, as if he were presenting her to Mr. Peggotty; little Em'ly herself, blushing and shy, but delighted with Mr. Peggotty's delight, as her joyous eyes expressed, was stopped by our entrance (for she saw us first) in the very act of springing from Ham to nestle in Mr. Peggotty's embrace. In the first glimpse we had of them all, and at the moment of our passing from the dark cold night into the warm light room, this was the way in which they were all employed: Mrs. Gummidge in the background, clapping her hands like a madwoman.
"Fourteen thousand I am bid. And fifteen. Fifteen thousand." The hammer came down. "Yours, sir."
Bond let out his breath in a quiet hiss between his clenched teeth. Then, mechanically, he straightened things out again, put up the remains of the fence, lifted the arrow, and put it back facing to the right. Then he wiped his sweating hands down the side of his trousers and walked .unsteadily down the road and round the next corner.
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Bond ran to the corner of the balustrade to which the mooring line was attached. He tested it. It was taut as a wire! From somewhere behind him there came a great clamour in the castle. Had the woman woken up? Holding on to the straining rope, he climbed on to the railing, cut a foothold for himself in the cotton banner and, grasping the mooring rope with his right hand, chopped downwards below him with Blofeld's sword and threw himself into space.
Talking starts with the stomach muscles. Bond's wounds were beginning to ache. He smiled, not showing the pain. Leiter was due to leave that afternoon. Bond didn't want to say goodbye to him.. Bond treasured his men friends and Felix Leiter was a great slice of his past. He said, "Scaramanga was quite a guy. He should have been taken alive. Maybe Tiffy really did put the hex on him with Mother Edna. They don't come like that often."
The weather held. The forecast from Kingston radio was good. The nights were as black as sin. The two men got in their stores. Bond fitted himself out with cheap black canvas jeans and a dark blue shirt and rope-soled shoes.