Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles.’ He laughed. ‘But don’t let me down and become human yourself. We would lose such a wonderful machine.

Damn you,” said Bond. “You…”

She put her hand over his mouth.

“‘Allumeuse’ is the nice word for it,

You see,’ he said, still looking down at his bandages, ‘when one’s young, it seems very easy to distinguish between right and wrong, but as one gets older it becomes more difficult. At school it’s easy to pick out one’s own villains and heroes and one grows up wanting to be a hero and kill the villains.’ He looked obstinately at Mathis.

All concierges are venal. It is not their fault. They are trained to regard all hotel guests except maharajahs as potential cheats and thieves. They have as much concern for your comfort or well-being as crocodiles.

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