الكاتب: Kingsley Amis
James Bond stood at the middle tees of the eighteenth on the Sunningdale New Course, enjoying the tranquil normality of a sunny English afternoon in early September. The Old Course, he considered, with its clumps of majestic oak and pine, was charmingly landscaped, but something in his nature responded to the austerity of the New: more lightly wooded, open to the sky, patches of heather and thin scrub on the sandy soil – and, less subjectively, a more testing series of holes. Bond was feeling mildly pleased with himself for having taken no more than a four at the notoriously tricky dogleg sixth, where a touch of slice in the drive was likely to land you in a devilish morass of bushes and marshy hummocks. He had managed a clear two hundred and fifty yards straight down the middle, a shot that had demanded every ounce of effort without (blessed relief) the slightest complaint from the area where, last summer, Scaramanga's Derringer slug had torn through his abdomen.<br> Near by, waiting for the four ahead of them to move on to the green, was Bond's opponent and incidentally his best friend in the Secret Service: Bill Tanner, M's Chief of Staff. Noticing the deep lines of strain round Tanner's eyes, his almost alarming pallor, Bond had taken the opportunity of an unusually quiet morning at Headquarters to talk him into a trip down to this sleepy corner of Surrey. They had lunched first at Scott's in Coventry Street, beginning with a dozen each of the new season's Whitstable oysters and going on to cold silverside of beef and potato salad, accompanied by a wellchilled bottle of Anjou rosé. Not perhaps the ideal prelude to a round of golf, even a little selfindulgent. But Bond had recently heard that the whole north side of the street was doomed to demolition, and counted every meal taken in those severe but comfortable panelled rooms as a tiny victory over the new, hateful London of steel-and-glass matchbox architecture, flyovers and underpasses, and the endless hysterical clamour of pneumatic drills.