Bond’s experience told him that few of the Asiatic races were courageous gamblers, even the much-vaunted Chinese being inclined to lose heart if the going was bad. But the Maharajah would probably stay in the game and stand some heavy losses if they were gradual. The table was filling up and the cards were spread face down being stirred and mixed slowly in what is known as the ‘croupiers’ shuffle’, supposedly the shuffle which is most effective and least susceptible to cheating. Bond walked up to his room, which again showed no sign of trespass, threw off his clothes, took a long hot bath followed by an ice-cold shower and lay down on his bed. He had to plan the attendant roles of Mathis, Leiter, and the girl and visualize the reactions of the enemy in various contingencies. He closed his eyes and his thoughts pursued his imagination through a series of carefully constructed scenes as if he was watching the tumbling chips of coloured glass in a kaleidoscope. By the time Leiter had swallowed another whisky and Bond had told him about the Muntzes and his short reconnaissance trip down the coast that morning, it was seven-thirty, and they decided to stroll over to their hotel together. Before leaving the Casino, Bond deposited his total capital of twenty-four million at the caisse, keeping only a few notes of ten mille as pocket money. He was tall with a thin bony frame and his lightweight, tan-coloured suit hung loosely from his shoulders like the clothes of Frank Sinatra. His movements and speech were slow, but one had the feeling that there was plenty of speed and strength in him and that he would be a tough and cruel fighter. As he sat hunched over the table, he seemed to have some of the jack-knife quality of a falcon. There was this impression also in his face, in the sharpness of his chin and cheekbones and the wide wry mouth. His grey eyes had a feline slant which was increased by his habit of screwing them up against the smoke of the Chesterfields which he tapped out of the pack in a chain. The permanent wrinkles which this habit had etched at the corners gave the impression that he smiled more with his eyes than with his mouth. A mop of straw-coloured hair lent his face a boyish look which closer examination contradicted. When Mathis came in, a respectable business-man carrying a large square parcel by its leather handle, Bond smiled broadly and would have greeted him with warmth if Mathis had not frowned and held up his free hand after carefully closing the door. M knew all this already, knew the odds at baccarat as well as Bond. That was his job–knowing the odds at everything, and knowing men, his own and the opposition’s. Bond wished he had kept quiet about his misgivings. In brief, Le Chiffre plans, we believe, to follow the example of most other desperate till-robbers and make good the deficit in his accounts by gambling. So are the various illicit traffics in drugs, or rare medicines, such as aureo- and streptomycin and cortisone. No race-tracks could carry the sort of stakes he will have to play and, if he wins, he would more likely be killed than paid off. For these occasional services he received twenty pounds a month paid into his account with the Royal Bank of Canada by a fictitious relative in England. Le Chiffre was still playing and still, apparently, winning. There was an untidy pile of flecked hundred-mille plaques in front of him. In the shadow of his thick left arm there nestled a discreet stack of the big yellow ones worth half a million francs each.
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The doctor looked at Bond for a moment and then turned brusquely to Mathis. There was a sharp ‘phut’, no louder than a bubble of air escaping from a tube of toothpaste. No other noise at all, and suddenly Le Chiffre had grown another eye, a third eye on a level with the other two, right where the thick nose started to jut out below the forehead. It was a small black eye, without eyelashes or eyebrows. Somewhere outside a bird began to sing and there were other small noises from the awakening countryside. The bands of sunlight were stronger and the sweat on Le Chiffre’s face glistened brightly. Bond saw Le Chiffre’s hand open obediently and the knife fall with a clatter to the floor. It was extraordinary to hear the third voice. The hour’s ritual had only demanded a duologue against the horrible noise of the torture. Then suddenly he was half-way back to consciousness. He could hear the dead silence after the one quiet word from the doorway. He could see Le Chiffre’s head slowly come up and the expression of blank astonishment, of innocent amazement, slowly give way to fear. Le Chiffre took a glass of coffee and poured some into Bond’s mouth and threw the rest in his face. Le Chiffre seized Bond’s ears and harshly twisted them. Then he leant forward and slapped his cheeks hard several times. Bond’s head rolled from side to side with each blow. So that was the score, thought Bond, with a final sinking of the heart. The ‘unknown destination’ would be under the ground or under the sea, or perhaps, more simply, under the crashed Bentley. Well, if he had to die anyway, he might as well try it the hard way. He had no hope that Mathis or Leiter would get to him in time, but at least there was a chance that they would catch up with Le Chiffre before he could get away. It was a choice of evils, but the longer Le Chiffre continued the torture the more likely he would be revenged. ‘Unfortunately you lost and this upset you so much that you decided to leave Royale immediately for an unknown destination. Like the gentleman you are, you very kindly gave me a note explaining the circumstances so that I would have no difficulty in cashing your cheque.
- While it is clear that they are open-minded about the benefits that could potentially emerge from this, they are exercising a certain level of caution in their approach and will be willing to make changes accordingly.
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- The day was still beautiful, but by now the sun was very hot and the plane-trees, spaced about twenty feet apart on the grass verge between the pavement and the broad tarmac, gave a cool shade.
- He had been told by this contact that nothing he would be asked to send would arouse the suspicion of the Jamaican post office.
He reflected that he would have a bath when he got in and he absent-mindedly picked up his trunks and started walking back along the beach. It was only when he reached his pyjama-coat and bent to pick it up that he realized he was still naked. Without bothering about the trunks, he slipped on the light coat and walked on to the hotel. He took off his bathing-trunks and looked down at his body. There were only a few traces left of his injuries. He shrugged his shoulders and lay down with his limbs spread out in a star and gazed up at the empty blue sky and thought of Vesper. Her hands came up and rested on his forearms. He stepped right up against her and his arms dropped round her waist. Her head went back and her mouth opened beneath his. Madame Versoix had been interrupted in the middle of preparing dinner. She wore an apron and held a wooden spoon in one hand. She was younger than her husband, chubby and handsome and warm-eyed. Instinctively Bond guessed that they had no children and that they gave their thwarted affection to their friends and some regular customers, and probably to some pets. He thought that their life was probably something of a struggle and that the inn must be very lonely in winter-time with the big seas and the noise of the wind in the pines. It was three weeks from the day when he had been on the edge of death, and now it was July and the hot summer shimmered down the coast and out to sea. Then he could go for a short walk, then for a long drive. And then the afternoon came when the doctor appeared on a flying visit from Paris and pronounced him well again. His clothes were brought round by Vesper, farewells were exchanged with the nurses, and a hired car drove them away. In the dull room and the boredom of his treatment her presence was each day an oasis of pleasure, something to look forward to. In their talk there was nothing but companionship with a distant undertone of passion. In the background there was the unspoken zest of the promise which, in due course and in their own time, would be met. Over all there brooded the shadow of his injuries and the tantalus of their slow healing. The Le Chiffre affair was never mentioned between them. She occasionally told Bond amusing stories of Head of S’s office. She had apparently transferred there from the WRNS. And he told her of some of his adventures in the Service.
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However, its games collection is quite lacking in some areas. There are no live casino games, nor does the casino offer any instant win games, scratch card or any other type of game. As for table games, there is a handful of them you can play, though there’s room for lots more games in this category to be added. There’s also a noticeable lack of blackjack and roulette games – these two are very often the most common table games found at online casinos, so to have neither one available at the casino is quite unexpected. Online gambling includes casinos, poker, and sports betting through the internet and is increasingly becoming the new face of the gambling industry. The online casino market is expected to register phenomenal growth over the next four years to 2024. Though estimates vary considerably about the current size of the global casino business, according to the leading market research company IBIS World, global casinos and the online gambling industry registered a massive turnover of $268 bn in 2019. It employed over 1.5 million people in 5,186 businesses worldwide.
‘ The Chief of Staff turned to M’s private secretary who shared the room with him. If the decision is unfavourable, the only alternative would be to place our information and our recommendations in the hands of the Deuxième Bureau or of our American colleagues of the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington. Both of these organizations would doubtless be delighted to take over the scheme. The risks are obvious and the possible loss to the Secret funds is high, but other operations on which large sums have been hazarded have had fewer chances of success, often for a smaller objective. Normally the Cordon Jaune would have proved a most excellent investment and it is possible that Le Chiffre was motivated more by a desire to increase his union funds than by the hope of lining his own pocket by speculating with his employers’ money. However that may be, it is clear that he could have found many investments more savoury than prostitution, if he had not been tempted by the byproduct of unlimited women for his personal use. Briefly, it seems that Le Chiffre is on the brink of a financial crisis. Certain straws in the wind were noticed by some discreet sales of jewellery, the disposal of a villa at Antibes, and a general tendency to check the loose spending which has always been a feature of his way of life. Further inquiries were made with the help of our friends of the Deuxième Bureau and a curious story has come to light. Doing all this, inspecting these minute burglar-alarms, did not make him feel foolish or self-conscious. He was a secret agent, and still alive thanks to his exact attention to the detail of his profession. Routine precautions were to him no more unreasonable than they would be to a deep-sea diver or a test pilot, or to any man earning danger-money. Next he examined a faint trace of talcum powder on the inner rim of the porcelain handle of the clothes cupboard. He went into the bathroom, lifted the cover of the lavatory cistern and verified the level of the water against a small scratch on the copper ball-cock. He took his key and said good night and turned to the stairs, shaking his head at the liftman. Bond knew what an obliging danger-signal a lift could be. He didn’t expect anyone to be moving on the first floor, but he preferred to be prudent.
Holding a three and giving nine is one of the moot situations at the game. The odds are so nearly divided between to draw or not to draw. Since his nine could only be equalled by the banker drawing a six, he would normally have shown his count if it had been a friendly game. The game had been interrupted for at least ten minutes, a delay unheard of in a respectable casino, but now the cards were waiting for him in the shoe. He felt his heart lift at the prospect of what was to come. The light from the broad satin-lined shades which had seemed so welcoming now seemed to take the colour out of his hand as he glanced at the cards. Like snow in sunshine his capital had melted. With the covetous deliberation of the winning gambler, Le Chiffre was tapping a light tattoo on the table with his right hand. Bond looked across into the eyes of murky basalt. There was a little gasp of envy from the table and the players to the left of Bond exchanged rueful glances at their failure to accept the two million franc bet. ‘Neuf à la banque,’ quietly said the croupier. Le Chiffre’s two cards followed them with a faint rattle which comes from the canister at the beginning of each session before the discards have made a cushion over the metal floor of their oubliette. He gave it a short deliberate slap to settle the cards, the first of which showed its semicircular pale pink tongue through the slanting aluminium mouth of the shoe. Then, with a thick white fore-finger he pressed gently on the pink tongue and slipped out the first card six inches or a foot towards the Greek on his right hand. Then he slipped out a card for himself, then another for the Greek, then one more for himself. With the same economy of movement, he cut the thick slab of cards which the croupier had placed on the table squarely between his blunt relaxed hands. Then, as the croupier fitted the six packs with one swift exact motion into the metal and wooden shoe, Le Chiffre said something quietly to him. Bond was relieved to be on his own again and to be able to clear his mind of everything but the task on hand. He stood at the caisse and took his twenty-four million francs against the receipt which had been given him that afternoon. He divided the notes into equal packets and put half the sum into his right-hand coat pocket and the other half into the left. Then he strolled slowly across the room between the thronged tables until he came to the top of the room where the broad baccarat table waited behind the brass rail. The fashionable part of the restaurant was beside the wide crescent of window built out like the broad stern of a ship over the hotel gardens, but Bond had chosen a table in one of the mirrored alcoves at the back of the great room. These had survived from the Edwardian days and they were secluded and gay in white and gilt, with the red silk-shaded table and wall lights of the late Empire. The Casino was repainted in its original white and gilt and the rooms decorated in the palest grey with wine-red carpets and curtains. Vast Chandeliers were suspended from the ceilings. The gardens were spruced and the fountains played again and the two main hotels, the Splendide and the Hermitage, were prinked and furbished and restaffed. They must have been on to you for several days before you arrived. She is from somewhere in Central Europe, perhaps a Czech. There are disused chimneys behind these electric fires. Just here,’ he pointed a few inches above the panel fire, ‘is suspended a very powerful radio pick-up. The wires run up the chimney to behind the Muntzes’ electric fire where there is an amplifier. In their room is a wire-recorder and a pair of earphones on which the Muntzes listen in turn. That is why Madame Muntz has the grippe and takes all her meals in bed and why Monsieur Muntz has to be constantly at her side instead of enjoying the sunshine and the gambling of this delightful resort. While some states have already enacted such laws and allowed online gambling in their respective jurisdiction, more states are expected to follow suit though some states are lukewarm in their response. As of now, three states offer legal casino gaming facilities — Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, while online poker facilities are legal in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
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- He glanced at the bottles and was surprised to see that one contained nembutal sleeping-pills.
- In a louder, prouder voice the chef de partie took up the cry, hoping to draw big money away from the neighbouring chemin-de-fer tables.
- As they walked across to the Splendide, they saw that a team of workmen was already busy at the scene of the explosion.
- For these occasional services he received twenty pounds a month paid into his account with the Royal Bank of Canada by a fictitious relative in England.
Bond heard the Peugeot start up and soon the noise of its exhaust had disappeared in the direction of the road to Royale. Directly they sat down, he apologized gaily for having startled her at the telephone booth and then he dismissed the subject and went on to describe what he had seen on his walk. But Vesper was distrait and commented only in monosyllables. She toyed with her food and she avoided Bond’s eyes and gazed past him with an air of preoccupation. After a breakfast which was an effort for both of them, Vesper said she had a headache and would stay in her room out of the sun. Bond took a book and walked for miles down the beach. By the time he returned he had argued to himself that they would be able to sort the problem out over lunch. Several times Bond tried to break down the dreadful walls of mistrust. Again and again he brought up the subject of the telephone call, but she obstinately bolstered up her story with embellishments which Bond knew she had thought out afterwards. She even accused Bond of thinking she had another lover. It was only a question of choosing the right moment. When after a full minute he came to the surface in a froth of spray, he was disappointed. For a time he swam and drifted and then when the sun seemed hot enough, he came in to the beach and lay on his back and revelled in the body which the night had given back to him. Then he got quietly out of bed and in his pyjama-coat he crept past Vesper’s door and out of the house to the beach. He reached up and held it there and they stayed motionless for a moment. She bent down and lightly brushed his hair with her lips. Then she was gone and a few seconds later the light came on in her room. Bond thought with dismay that she must be going into a vin triste. ‘Don’t look so worried.’ She leaned forward and put her hand over his. Anyway, my island feels very close to your island tonight.’ She took a sip of champagne. ‘All I need until tomorrow and the next day and the next. You don’t know much about me for the matter of that.’ He poured out more champagne. He glanced at the bottles and was surprised to see that one contained nembutal sleeping-pills. Perhaps her nerves had been more shaken by the events at the villa than he had imagined. Naked, Bond lay and tried to push away the conclusions he read in the sky. He turned his head and looked down the beach and saw that the shadows of the headland were almost reaching for him. He walked along the waterline on the hard golden sand until he was out of sight of the inn. Then he threw off his pyjama-coat and took a short run and a quick flat dive into the small waves. The beach shelved quickly and he kept underwater as long as he could, swimming with powerful strokes and feeling the soft coolness all over him. Then he surfaced and brushed the hair out of his eyes. It was nearly seven and the sun had lost much of its heat. Before long it would sink beneath the further arm of the bay, but now it was straight in his eyes and he turned on his back and swam away from it so that he could keep it with him as long as possible. Bond looked down at his hands and saw they were still trembling. She leant over and kissed him on the corner of the mouth, then she brushed the black comma of hair back from his damp forehead. He came and sat beside her and they looked at each other with lingering tenderness as the tide of passion ebbed in their veins. Monsieur Versoix was a middle-aged man with one arm. The other he had lost fighting with the Free French in Madagascar. He was a friend of the chief of police of Royale and it was the Commissaire who had suggested the place to Vesper and had spoken to the proprietor on the telephone.
- Vesper, looking incredibly indecent in the early light of day, was pushed in after him with a torrent of lewd French from the man whom Bond knew to himself as ‘the Corsican’.
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- The battery of bad teeth under the black moustache gaped vacantly back at him.
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