Sunday, August 09, 2009

James Bond Daily: What Those Dirty Commies Really Want

A conversation between 007 and his "elderly Scotswoman" cleaning lady, from pp.96-97 of From Russia with Love:
'Yon man was here again last night about the Televeesion.'

'What man was that?' Bond looked among the headlines.

'Yon man that's always coming. Six times he's been here pestering me since June. After what I said to him the first time about the sinful thing, you'd think he'd give up trying to sell us one. By hire purchase, too, if you please!'

'Persistent chaps these salesmen.' Bond put down his paper and reached for the coffee pot.

'I gave him a right piece of my mind last night. Disturbing folk at their supper. Asked him if he'd got any papers -- anything to show who he was.'

'I expect that fixed him.' Bond filled his large coffee cup to the brim with black coffee.

'Not a bit of it. Flourished his union card. Said he had every right to earn his living. Electricians Union it was too. They're the Communist one, aren't they-s?'

'Yes, that's right.' said Bond vaguely. His mind sharpened. Was it possible They could be keeping an eye on him? He took a sip of the coffee and put the cup down. 'Exactly what did this man say, May?' he asked, keeping his voice indifferent, but looking up at her.

'He said he's selling Televeesion sets on commission in his spare time. And are we sure we don't want one. He says we're one of the only folk in the square that haven't got one. Sees there isn't one of those aerial things on the house, I dare say. He's always asking if you're at home so that he can have a word with you about it. Fancy his cheek! I'm surprised he hasn't thought to catch you coming in or going out. He's always asking if I'm expecting you home. Naturally I don't tell him anything about your movements. Respectable, quiet-spoken body, if he wasn't so persistent.'

Could be, though Bond. There are many ways of checking up whether the owner's at home or away. A servant's appearance and reactions -- a glance through the open door. 'Well, you're wasting your time because he's away,' would be the obvious reception if the flat was empty. Should he tell the Security Section? Bond shrugged his shoulders irritably. What the hell. There was probably nothing in it. Why would They be interested in him? And, if there were something in it, Security was quite capable of making him change his flat.

'I expect you've frightened him away this time.' Bond smiled up at may. 'I should think you've heard the last of him.'
Communist infestation or good old-fashioned capitalist entrepreneurial spirit? You decide...
Listening to: Josh Ritter - California
via FoxyTunes

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