James Bond was briefly married in 1962, to Teresa, only daughter of Marc-Ange Draco, of Marseilles. The marriage ended in tragic circumstances that were reported in the Press at the time. There was no issue of the marriage and James Bond leaves, so far as I am aware, no relative living.

M. G. writes:

I was happy and proud to serve Commander Bond in a close capacity during the past three years at the Ministry of Defence. If indeed our fears for him are justified, may I suggest these simple words for his epitaph? Many of the junior staff here feel they represent his philosophy: I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.'

22

SPARROWS' TEARS

WHEN Kissy saw the figure, black-winged in its kimono, crash down into the sea, she sensed that it was her man, and she covered the two hundred yards from the base of the wall as fast as she had ever swum in her life. The tremendous impact with the water had at first knocked all the wind out of Bond, but the will to live, so nearly extinguished by the searing pain in his head, was revived by the new but recognizable enemy of the sea and, when Kissy got to him, he was struggling to free himself from the kimono.

At first he thought she was Blofeld and tried to strike out at her.

'It's Kissy,' she said urgently, 'Kissy Suzuki! Don't you remember?'

He didn't. He had no recollection of anything in the world but the face of his enemy and of the desperate urge to smash it. But his strength was going and finally, cursing feebly, he allowed her to manhandle him out of the kimono and paid heed to the voice that pleaded with him.

'Now follow me, Taro-san. When you get tired I will pull you with me. We are all trained in such rescue work.'

But, when she started off, Bond didn't follow her. Instead he swam feebly round and round like a wounded animal, in ever-increasing circles. She almost wept. What had happened to him? What had they done to him at the Castle of Death? Finally she stopped him and talked softly to him and he docilely allowed her to put her arms under his armpits and, with his head cradled between her breasts, she set off with the traditional backward leg-stroke.

It was an amazing swim for a girl - half a mile with currents to contend with and only the moon and an occasional glance over her shoulder to give her a bearing, but she achieved it and finally hauled Bond out of the water in her little cove and collapsed on the flat stones beside him.

She was awoken by a groan from Bond. He had been quietly sick and now sat with his head in his hands, looking blankly out to sea with the glazed eyes of a sleepwalker. When Kissy put an arm round his shoulders, he turned vaguely towards her. 'Who are you? How did I get here? What is this place?' He examined her more carefully. 'You're very pretty.'

Kissy looked at him keenly. She said, and a sudden plan of great glory blazed across her mind, 'You cannot remember anything? You do not remember who you are and where you came from?'

Bond passed a hand across his forehead, squeezed his eyes. 'Nothing,' he said wearily. 'Nothing except a man's face. I think he was dead. I think he was a bad man. What is your name? You must tell me everything.'

'My name is Kissy Suzuki and you are my lover. Your name is Taro Todoroki. We live on this island and go fishing together. It is a very good life. But can you walk a little? I must take you to where you live and get you some food and a doctor to see you. You have a terrible wound on the side of your head and there is a cut on your ribs. You must have fallen while you were climbing the cliffs after seagulls' eggs.' She stood up and held out her hands.

Bond took them and staggered to his feet. She held him by the hand and gently guided him along the path towards the Suzuki house. But she passed it and went on and up to the grove of dwarf maples and camellia bushes. She led him behind the Shinto shrine and into the cave. It was large and the earth floor was dry. She said, 'This is where you live. I live here with you. I had put away our bed things. I will go and fetch them and some food. Now lie down, my beloved, and rest and I will look after you. You are ill, but the doctor will make you well again.'

Bond did as he was told and was instantly asleep, the pain-free side of his head cradled on his arm.

Kissy ran off down the mountain, her heart singing. There was much to be done, much to be arranged, but now she had got her man back she was desperately determined to keep him.

It was almost dawn and her parents were awake. She whispered to them excitedly as she went about warming some milk and putting together a bundle of futon, her father's best kimono and a selection of Bond's washing things - nothing to remind him of his past. Her parents were used to her whims and her independence. Her father merely commented mildly that it would be all right if the kannushi-san gave his blessing, then, having washed the salt off herself and dressed in her own simple brown kimono, she scampered off up the hill to the cave.

Later, the Shinto priest received her gravely. He almost seemed to be expecting her. He held up his hand and spoke to the kneeling figure. 'Kissy-chan, I know what I know. The spawn of the devil is dead. So is his wife. The Castle of Death has been totally destroyed. These things were brought about as the Six Guardians foretold, by the man from across the sea. Where is he now?'

'In the cave behind the shrine, kannushi-san. He is gravely wounded. I love him. I wish to keep him and care for him. He remembers nothing of the past. I wish it to remain so, so that we may marry and he may become a son of Kuro for all time.'

'That will not be possible, my daughter. In due course he will recover and go off across the world to where he came from. And there will be official inquiries for him, from Fukuoka, perhaps even from Tokyo, for he is surely a man of renown in his own country.'

'But kannushi-san, if you so instruct the elders of Kuro, they will show these people shiran-kao, they will say they know nothing, that this man Todoroki left, swimming for the mainland, and has not been heard of since. Then the people will go away. All I want to do is to care for him and keep him for myself as long as I can. If the day comes when he wishes to leave, I will not hinder him. I will help him. He was happy here fishing with me and my David-bird. He told me so. When he recovers, I will see that he continues to be happy.

Should not Kuro cherish and honour this hero who was brought to us by the gods? Would not the Six Guardians wish to keep him for a while? And have I not earned some small token for my humble efforts to help Todoroki-san and save his life?'

The priest sat silent for a while with his eyes closed. Then he looked down at the pleading face at his feet. He smiled. 'I will do what is possible, Kissy-chan. And now bring the doctor to me and then take him up to the cave so that he can tend this man's wounds. Then I will speak to the elders. But for many weeks you-must be very discreet and the gaijin must not show himself. When all is quiet again, he may move back into the house of your parents and allow himself to be seen.'

The doctor knelt beside Bond in the cave and spread out on the ground a large map of the human head with the sections marked with figures and ideograms. His gentle fingers probed Bond's wounds for signs of fracture, while Kissy knelt beside him and held one of Bond's sweating hands in both of hers. The doctor bent forward and, lifting the eyelids one by one, gazed deeply into the glazed eyes through a large reading-glass. On his instructions, Kissy ran for boiling water, and the doctor proceeded to clean the cut made by the bullet across the terrible swelling of the first wound caused by Bond's crash into the oubliette. Then he tapped sulpha dust into the wound and bound up the head neatly and expertly, put surgical plaster over the cut across the ribs and stood up and took Kissy outside the cave. 'He will live,' he said, 'but it may be months, even years before he regains his memory. It is particularly the temporal lobe of his brain, where the memory is stored, that has been damaged. For this, much education will be necessary. You will endeavour all the time to remind him about past things and places. Then isolated facts that he will recognize will turn into chains of association. He should undoubtedly be taken to Fukuoka for an X-ray, but I think there is no fracture and in any case the kannushi-san has ordained that he is to remain under your care and his presence on the island to be kept secret. I shall of course observe the instructions of the honourable kannushi-san and only visit him by different routes and at night. But there is much you will have to attend to for he must not be moved in any way for at least a week. Now listen carefully,' said the doctor, and gave her minute instructions which covered every aspect of feeding and nursing and left her to carry them out.

And so the days ran into weeks and the police came again and again from Fukuoka, and the official called Tanaka came from Tokyo and later a huge man who said he was from Australia arrived and he was the most difficult of all for Kissy to shake off. But the face of shiran-kao remained of stone and the island of Kuro kept its secret. James Bond's body gradually mended and Kissy took him out for walks at night. They also went for an occasional swim in the cove, where they played with David and she told him all the history of the Ama and of Kuro and expertly parried all his questions about the world outside the island.

Winter came, and the Ama had to stay ashore and turn their hands to mending nets and boats and working on the smallholdings on the mountain side, and Bond came back into the house and made himself useful with carpentry and odd jobs and with learning Japanese from Kissy. The glazed look went from his eyes, but they remained remote and faraway and every night he was puzzled by dreams of a quite different world of white people and big cities and half-remembered faces. But Kissy assured him that these were just nightmares such as she had, and that they had no meaning, and gradually Bond came to accept the little stone-and-wood house and the endless horizon of sea as his finite world. Kissy was careful to keep him away from the south coast of the island, and dreaded the day when fishing would begin again at the end of May and he would see the great black wall across the straits and memory might come flooding back.

The doctor was surprised by Bond's lack of progress and resigned himself to the conclusion that Bond's amnesia was total, but soon there was no cause for further visits because Bond's physical health and his apparently complete satisfaction with his lot showed that in every other respect he was totally recovered.

But there was one thing that greatly distressed Kissy. From the first night in the cave she had shared Bond's futon and, when he was well and back in the house, she waited every night for him to make love to her. But, while he kissed her occasionally and often held her hand, his body seemed totally unaware of her however much she pressed herself against him and even caressed him with her hands. Had the wound made him impotent? She consulted the doctor, but he said there could be no connexion, although it was just possible that he had forgotten how to perform the act of love.

So one day Kissy Suzuki announced that she was going to take the weekly mailboat to Fukuoka to do some shopping and, in the big city, she found her way to the local sex-shop, called The Happy Shop, that is a feature of all self-respecting Japanese towns, and told her problem to the wicked-looking old greybeard behind the innocent counter containing nothing more viciously alluring than tonics and contraceptives. He asked her if she possessed five thousand yen, which is a lot of money, and when she said she did, he locked the street door and invited her to the back of the shop.

The sex merchant bent down and pulled out from beneath a bench what looked like a small wired rabbit-hutch. He put this on the bench and Kissy saw that it contained four large toads on a bed of moss. Next he produced a metal contraption that had the appearance of a hot-plate with a small wire cage in the middle. He carefully lifted out one of the toads and placed it inside the cage so that it squatted on the metal surface. Then he hauled a large car battery on to the bench, put it alongside the 'hot-plate' and attached wires from one to the other. Then he spoke some encouraging endearments to the toad and stood back.




readonlinefreebook.com Copyright 2016 - 2022