'Jizo is the god who protects children. He is, I think, a Buddhist god. On the other side of the island, on the foreshore, there are five statues. The sixth has been mostly washed away. They are rather frightening to see. They squat there in a line. They have rough bodies of stone and round stones for heads and they wear white shirts that are changed by the people every month. They were put there centuries ago by our ancestors. They sit on the line of low tide, and as the tide comes up it covers them completely and they keep watch under the surface of the sea and protect us, the Ama, because we are known as "The Children of the Sea". At the beginning of every June, when the sea is warm after the winter and the diving begins, every person on the island forms into a procession and we go to the Six Guardians and sing to them to make them happy and favourable towards us.'
Agnes was one of Mr. Dick's friends, very soon; and in often coming to the house, he made acquaintance with Uriah. The friendship between himself and me increased continually, and it was maintained on this odd footing: that, while Mr. Dick came professedly to look after me as my guardian, he always consulted me in any little matter of doubt that arose, and invariably guided himself by my advice; not only having a high respect for my native sagacity, but considering that I inherited a good deal from my aunt.
The croupier's spatula reached almost apologetically across the table. There was not a man at the table who did not believe Bond was defeated.
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Drax waved towards the dense mathematical tables and columns of compass readings which filled the right-hand side of the map. "Wind velocities, atmospheric pressure, ready-reckoner for the gyro settings," he said. "All worked out using the rocket's velocity and range as constants. We get the weather every day from the Air Ministry and readings from the upper atmosphere every time the RAF jet can get up there. When he's at maximum altitude he releases helium balloons that can get up still further. The earth's atmosphere reaches about fifty miles up. After twenty there's hardly any density to affect the Moonraker. It'll coast up almost in a vacuum. Getting through the first twenty miles is the problem. The gravity pull's another worry. Walter can explain all those things if you're interested. There'll be continuous weather reports during the last few hours on Friday. And we'll set the gryos just before the take-off. For the time being, Miss Brand gets together the data every morning and keeps a table of gyro settings in case they're wanted."
Almost as soon as Bond had come to this conclusion, the black, bowler-hatted figure of Oddjob appeared at the back door of the house and made some sort of a noise at Gold-finger. With a word to the foreman, Goldfinger went indoors and left the workmen to it.
This little episode on the fringe of the Russian Empire was of no general significance. The focus of interest was always Tibet itself. The two imperial powers had, of course tried to frustrate the Tibetan revolution, but at first each had regarded the strange commotion on ‘the Roof of the World’ as a comic side-show. Each had been concerned to gain a diplomatic victory over its rival in the Tibetan no-man’s-land rather than to preserve the old Tibetan régime. But when the revolution was actually accomplished, the Russian and Chinese oligarchs began to be alarmed. And when it became evident that the insignificant Tibetan state was fomenting the subversive forces beyond its frontiers and planning a world-wide revolution, both the imperial governments began to take serious action. The campaign of terrorism which each undertook within its own frontiers was not as successful as had been hoped. The progressive minority, disciplined by Tibetan leaders, showed fanatical courage. Moreover each imperial government at first made the mistake of fostering the subversive movement in its rival’s territory. Not till matters had become very grave was this policy abandoned by a tacit agreement between the two great powers to postpone all action against one another till the epidemic of sedition had been crushed. Even so, neither could trust the other not to use the crushing of the Tibetan experiment as a pretext for annexing the country. Whenever one of the two powers threatened invasion if Tibetan propaganda did not cease, the government at Lhasa was able to count on diplomatic or even military intervention by the other.
“None whatever,” replied an elderly naval officer, dryly.