Instead of using his key to the private entrance at the end of the corridor M. turned right, through Miss Money-penny's door. She was sitting in her usual place, typing away at the usual routine correspondence. She got to her feet.
“What's this dreadful stink, Miss Moneypenny?” “I don't know what it's called, sir. Head of Security brought along a squad from Chemical Warfare at the War Office. He says your office is all right to use again but to keep the windows open for a while. So I've turned on the heating. Chief of Staff isn't back from lunch yet, but he told me to tell you that everything you wanted done is under way. Sir James is operating until four but will expect your call after that. Here's the file you wanted, sir.”
M. took the brown folder with the red Top Secret star in its top right-hand corner. “How's 007? Did he come round all right?”
Miss Moneypenny's face was expressionless. “I gather so, sir. The M.O. gave him a sedative of some kind, and he was taken off on a stretcher during the lunch hours. He was covered up. They took him down in the service lift to the garage. I haven't had any inquiries.”
“Good. Well, bring me in the signals, would you. There's been a lot of tune wasted today on all these domestic excitements.” Carrying the brown folder, M. went through the door into his office. Miss Moneypenny brought in the signals and stood dutifully beside him while he went through them, occasionally dictating a comment or a query. She looked down at the bowed, iron-grey head with the bald patch polished for years by a succession of naval caps and wondered, as she had wondered so often over the past ten years, whether she loved or hated this man. One thing was certain. She respected him more than any man she had known or had read of.
M. handed her the file. “Thank you. Now just give me a quarter of an hour, and then I'll see whoever wants me. The call to Sir James has priority of course.”
M. opened the brown folder, reached for his pipe and began absent-mindedly filling it as he glanced through the list of subsidiary files to see if there was any other docket he immediately needed. Then he set a match to his pipe and settled back in his chair and read:
FRANCISCO (PACO) “PISTOLS”
And underneath, in lower-case type:
Free-lance assassin mainly under K.G.B. control through D.S.S., Havana, Cuba, but often as an independent operator for other organizations, in the Caribbean and Central American states. Has caused widespread damage, particularly to the S.S., but also to C.I.A. and other friendly services, by murder and scientific maiming since 1959, the year when Castro came to power and which seems also to have been the trigger for Scaramanga's operations. Is widely feared and admired in said territory throughout which he appears, despite police precautions, to have complete freedom of access. Has thus become something of a local myth and is known in his “territory” as The Man with the Golden Gun--a reference to his main weapon which is a gold-plated, long-barrelled, single-action Colt .45. He uses special bullets with a heavy, soft (24 ct.) gold core jacketed with silver and cross-cut at the tip, on the dum-dum principle, for maximum wounding effect. Himself loads and artifices this ammunition. Is responsible for the death of 267 (British Guiana), 398 (Trinidad), 943 (Jamaica), and 768 and 742 (Havana), and for the maiming and subsequent retirement from the S.S. of 098, Area Inspection Officer, by bullet wounds in both knees. (See above references in Central Records for Scaramanga's victims in Martinique, Haiti, and Panama.)
DESCRIPTION: Age about 35. Height 6 ft. 3 in. Slim and fit. Eyes, light brown. Hair reddish in a crew cut. Long sideburns. Gaunt, sombre face with thin pencil moustache, brownish. Ears very flat to the head. Ambidextrous. Hands very large and powerful and immaculately manicured. Distinguishing marks: a third nipple about two inches below his left breast. (N.B. In Voodoo and allied local cults this is considered a sign of invulnerability and great sexual prowess.) Is an insatiable but indiscriminate womanizer who invariably has sexual intercourse shortly before a killing in the belief that it improves his “eye.” (N.B. A belief shared by many professional lawn tennis players, golfers, gun and rifle marksmen, and others.)
ORIGINS: A relative of the Catalan family of circus managers of the same name with whom he spent his youth. Self-educated. At the age of 16 (after the incident described below under MOTIVATION) emigrated illegally to the United States where he lived a life of petty crime on the fringes of the gangs until he graduated as a full-time gunman for The Spangled Mob in Nevada with the cover of pitboy in the casino of the Tiara Hotel in Las Vegas where in fact he acted as executioner of cheats and other transgressors within and outside The Mob. In 1958 was forced to flee the States as the result of a famous duel against his opposite number for the Detroit Purple Gang, a certain Ramon “The Rod” Rodriguez, which took place by moonlight on the third green of the Thunderbird golf course at Las Vegas. (Scaramanga got two bullets into the heart of his opponent before the latter had fired a shot. Distance 20 paces.) Believed to have been compensated by The Mob with $100,000. Travelled the whole Caribbean area investing fugitive funds for various Las Vegas interests and later, as his reputation for keen and successful dealing in real estate and plantations became consolidated, for Trujillo of the Dominican Republic and Batista of Cuba. In 1959 settled in Havana and, seeing the way the wind blew, while remaining ostensibly a Batista man, began working undercover for the Castro party, and after the revolution, obtained an influential post as foreign “enforcer” for the D.S.S. In this capacity, on behalf, that is, of the Cuban secret police, he undertook the assassinations mentioned above.
PASSPORT: Various, including Cuban diplomatic.
DISGUISES: None. They are not necessary. The myth surrounding this man, the equivalent, let us say, of that surrounding the most famous film star, and the fact that he has no police record, have hitherto given him complete freedom of movement and indemnity from interference in “his” territory. In most of the islands and mainland republics which constitute this territory, he has groups of admirers (e.g., the Rastafari in Jamaica) and commands powerful pressure groups who give him protection and succour when called upon to do so. Moreover, as the ostensible purchaser, and usually the legal front, for the “hot money” properties mentioned above, he has legitimate access, frequently supported by his diplomatic status, to any part of his territory.
RESOURCES: Considerable but of unknown extent. Travels on various credit cards of the Diners' Club variety. Has a numbered account with the Union des Banques de Credit, Zurich, and appears to have no difficulty in obtaining foreign currency from the slim resources of Cuba when he needs it.
MOTIVATION: (Comment by C.C.). . . .
M. refilled and relit his pipe, which had died. What had gone before was routine information which added nothing to his basic knowledge of the man. What followed would be of more interest. “C.C.” covered the identity of a former Regius Professor of History at Oxford who lived a-- to M.--pampered existence at Headquarters in a small and--in M.'s opinion--overcomfortable office. In between --again in M.'s opinion--overluxurious and overlong meals at the Garrick Club, he wandered, at his ease, into Headquarters, examined such files as the present one, asked questions and had signals of inquiry sent, and then delivered his judgment. But M., for all his prejudices against the man, his haircut, the casualness of his clothes, what he knew of his way of life, and the apparently haphazard processes of his ratiocination, appreciated the sharpness of the mind, the knowledge of the world, that C.C. brought to his task, and, so often, the accuracy of his judgments. In short, M. always enjoyed what C.C. had to say, and he now picked up the file again with relish.
I am interested in this man [wrote C.C.] and I have caused, inquiries to be made on a somewhat wider front than usual, since it is not common to be confronted with a secret agent who it at once so much of a public figure and yet appears to be infinitely successful in the difficult and dangerous field of his choice--that of being, in common parlance, “a gun for hire.” I think I may have found the origin of this partiality for killing his fellow men in cold blood, men against whom he has no personal animosity but merely the reflected animosity of his employers, in the following bizarre anecdote from his youth. In the travelling circus of his father, Enrico Scaramanga, the boy had several roles. He was a most spectacular trick shot, he was a stand-in strong man in the acrobatic troop, often taking the place of the usual artiste as bottom man in the “human pyramid” act, and he was the mahout, in gorgeous turban, Indian robes, etc., who rode the leading elephant in a troupe of three. This elephant, by the name of Max, was a male, and it is a peculiarity of the male elephant, which I have learned with much interest and verified with eminent zoologists, that, at intervals during the year, they go “on heat” sexually. During these pe-. nods, a mucous deposit forms behind the animal's ears and this needs to be scraped off since otherwise it causes the elephant intense irritation. Max developed this symptom during a visit of the circus to Trieste, but, through an oversight, the condition was not noticed and given the necessary treatment. The big top of the circus had been erected on the outskirts of the town adjacent to the coastal railway line and, on the night which was, in my opinion, to determine the future way of life of the young Scaramanga, Max went berserk, threw the youth, and, screaming horrifically, trampled his way through the auditorium, causing many casualties, and charged off across the fairground and onto the railway line, down which (a frightening spectacle under the full moon which, as newspaper cuttings record, was shining on that night) he galloped at full speed. The local carabinieri were alerted and set off in pursuit by car along the main road that flanks the railway line. In due course they caught up with the unfortunate monster, which, his frenzy expired, stood peacefully facing back the way he had come. Not realizing that the elephant, if approached by his handler, could now be led peacefully back to his stall, the police opened rapid fire and bullets from their carbines and revolvers wounded the animal superficially in many places. Infuriated afresh, the miserable beast, now pursued by the police car from which the hail of fire continued, charged off again along the railway line. On arrival at the fairground, the elephant seemed to recognize his home, the big top, and, turning off the railway line, lumbered back through the fleeing spectators to the centre of the deserted arena, and there, weakened by loss of blood, pathetically continued with his interrupted act. Trumpeting dreadfully in his agony, the mortally wounded Max endeavoured again and again to raise himself and stand upon one leg. Meanwhile the young Scaramanga, now armed with his pistols, tried to throw a lariat over the animal's head while calling out the “elephant talk” with which he usually controlled him. Max seems to have recognized the youth and--it must have been a truly pitiful sight--lowered his trunk to allow the youth to be hoisted to his usual seat behind the elephant's head. But at this moment the police burst into the sawdust ring, and their captain, approaching very close, emptied his revolver into the elephant's right eye at a range of a few feet, upon which Max fell dying to the ground. Upon this, the young Scaramanga who, according to the press, had a deep devotion for his charge, drew one of his pistols and shot the policeman through the heart, and fled off into the crowd of bystanders pursued by the other policemen who could not fire because of the throng of people. He made good his escape, found his way south to Naples, and thence, as noted above, stowed away to America.