You Only Live Twice (James Bond #12)

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26.05.2019

The descent continued for some time. When it stopped, the guard opened the door and Bond stepped out and stood stock still. He was standing on the platform of an underground station! There it all was: the red and green signals over the two yawning tunnels, the conventional white tiles on the walls and the curved roof – even an empty cigarette kiosk let into the wall beside him! A man had come out of this. He now said in good English, ‘Please to follow me, Commander,’ and led the way through an arch marked ‘Exit’. But here all the floor space of the hall that would one day lead to the moving stairways was occupied by trim prefabricated offices on both sides of a wide corridor. Bond was led into the first of these which revealed itself as a waiting-room and outer office. A male secretary rose from his typewriter, bowed and went through a communicating door. He immediately reappeared, bowed again and held the door open. ‘Please to come this way, Commander.’

Bond went through and the door was softly closed behind him. The big square figure that Dikko had described to him came forward across the handsome red carpet and held out a hand that was hard and dry. ‘My dear Commander. Good morning. It is a great pleasure to meet you.’ The wide, gold-toothed smile signalled welcome. The eyes glittered between long dark lashes that were almost feminine. ‘Come and sit down. How do you like my offices? Rather different from your own Chief’s, no doubt. But the new underground will take another ten years to complete and there is little office space in Tokyo. It crossed my mind to make use of this disused station. It is quiet. It is private. It is also cool. I shall be sorry when the trains are required to run and we shall have to move out.’

Bond took the proffered chair across the empty desk from Tanaka. ‘It’s a brilliant idea. And I enjoyed the Folkways above our heads. Are there really so many people in the world interested in Folkways?’

Tiger Tanaka shrugged. ‘What does it matter? The literature is given away free. I have never asked the Director who reads it. Americans, I expect, and Germans. Perhaps some Swiss. The serious-minded can always be found for such stuff. It is an expensive conceit, of course. But fortunately the expense is not carried by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with whom I am concerned. Down here, we have to count our pennies. I suppose it is the same with your own budget.’

Bond assumed that this man would know the published facts of the Secret Service Vote. He said, ‘Under ten million pounds a year doesn’t go far when there is the whole world to cover.’

The teeth glistened under the neon strip lighting. ‘At least for the last ten years you have saved money by closing down your activities in this part of the world.’

‘Yes. We rely on the CIA to do our work here for us. They are most efficient and helpful.’

‘As much so under McCone as under Dulles?’

The old fox! ‘Nearly so. Nowadays they are even more inclined to regard the Pacific as their own back garden.’

‘From which you wish to borrow the mowing machine. Without them knowing.’ Tiger’s smile was even more tigerish.

Bond had to laugh. The wily devil had certainly been putting two and two together. When Bond laughed, Tiger also laughed, but carefully. Bond said, ‘We had a man called Captain Cook and various others who discovered much of this garden. Australia and New Zealand are two very great countries. You must admit that our interest in this half of the world is perfectly legitimate.’

‘My dear Commander. You were lucky that we struck at Pearl Harbour rather than at Australia. Can you doubt that we would have occupied that country and New Zealand if we had done otherwise? These are big and important land spaces, insufficiently developed. You could not have defended them. The Americans would not have. If our policy had been different, we would now own half the British Commonwealth. Personally, I have never understood the strategy behind Pearl Harbour. Did we wish to conquer America? The supply lines were too long. But Australia and New Zealand were ripe for the plucking.’ He pushed forward a large box of cigarettes. ‘Do you smoke? These are Shinsei. It is an acceptable brand.’

James Bond was running out of his Morland specials. He would soon have to start on the local stuff. He also had to collect his thoughts. This was rather like being involved in a Summit meeting between the United Kingdom and Japan. He felt way out of his depth. He took a cigarette and lit it. It burned rapidly with something of the effect of a slow-burning firework. It had a vague taste of American blends, but it was good and sharp on the palate and lungs like 90 proof spirits. He let the smoke out in a quiet hiss and smiled. ‘Mr Tanaka, • these are matters for political historians. I am concerned with much lower matters. And matters concerning the future rather than the past.’

‘I quite understand, Commander.’ Tiger Tanaka was obviously displeased that his game of generalities had been dodged by Bond. ‘But we have a saying “Speak of next year and the devil laughs”. The future is inscrutable. But tell me, what are your impressions of Japan? You have been enjoying yourself?’

‘I imagine that one always enjoys oneself with Dikko Henderson.’

‘Yes, he is a man who lives as if he were going to die tomorrow. This is a correct way to live. He is a good friend of mine. I greatly enjoy his company. We have certain tastes in common.’

Bond said ironically, ‘Folkways?’

‘Exactly.’

‘He has a great affection for you. I do not know him well, but I suspect that he is a lonely man. It is an unfortunate combination to be both lonely and intelligent. Wouldn’t it be a good thing for him to marry a Japanese girl and settle down? Couldn’t you find him one?’ Bond was pleased that the conversation had descended to personalities. He sensed that he was on the right track. At least on a better track than this talk about power politics. But there would come a bad moment when he would have to get down to business. He didn’t care for the prospect.

As if he had sensed this, Tiger Tanaka said, ‘I have arranged for our friend to meet many Japanese girls. The result in every case has been negative, or, at the best, fleeting. But tell me, Commander. We have not met here to discuss Mr Henderson’s private life. In what respect can I be of service to you? Is it the lawn mower?’

Bond smiled. ‘It is. The manufacturers’ trade mark for this particular implement is MAGIC 44.’

‘Ah yes. A most valuable implement of many uses. I can understand that your country would wish to have the services of this implement. A case in point is an example of its capabilities which came into my hands only this morning.’ Tiger Tanaka opened a drawer in his desk and extracted a file. It was a pale green file stamped in a square box with the word GOKUHI in black Japanese and Roman characters. Bond assumed this to be the equivalent of Top Secret. He put this to Mr Tanaka who confirmed it. Mr Tanaka opened the file and extracted two sheets of yellow paper. Bond could see that one was covered with Japanese ideograms and that the other had perhaps fifty lines of typewriting. Mr Tanaka slipped the typewritten one across the desk. He said, ‘May I beg you on oath not to reveal to anyone what you are about to read?’

‘If you insist, Mr Tanaka.’

‘I am afraid I must, Commander.’

‘So be it.’ Bond drew the sheet of paper towards him. The text was in English. This is what it said:

TO ALL STATIONS OF GRADE TWO AND ABOVE. TO BE DECIPHERED BY ADDRESSEE PERSONALLY AND THEN DESTROYED. WHEN DESTRUCTION HAS BEEN EFFECTED CONFIRM BY THE CODE WORD QUOTE SATURN UNQUOTE. TEXT BEGINS : IN AMPLIFICATION OF NUMBER ONES PUBLISHED SPEECH TO THE SUPREME SOVIET ON SEPTEMBER FIRST THIS CONFIRMS THAT WE ARE IN POSSESSION OF THE TWO HUNDRED MEGATON WEAPON AND THAT A TEST FIRING WILL TAKE PLACE ON SEPTEMBER TWENTIETH AT HIGH ALTITUDE IN THE NOVAYA ZEMLYA AREA STOP CONSIDERABLE FALLOUT CAN BE EXPECTED AND PUBLIC OUTCRY CAN BE ANTICIPATED IN THE ARCTIC, NORTH PACIFIC AND ALASKAN AREAS STOP THIS SHOULD BE COUNTERED AND WILL BE COUNTERED FROM MOSCOW BY REFERENCE TO THE MORE RECENT TESTS BY AMERICA AND TO NUMBER ONES REPEATED DEMANDS FOR AN END TO TESTS OF NUCLEAR FISSION WEAPONS OF OFFENCE WHICH HAVE SUCCESSIVELY BEEN REBUFFED STOP FOR INFORMATION THE DELIVERY OF ONE SUCH WEAPON BY ICBM ON LONDON WOULD DESTROY ALL LIFE AND PROPERTY SOUTH OF A LINE DRAWN BETWEEN NEWCASTLE AND CARLISLE STOP IT FOLLOWS THAT A SECOND MISSILE DROPPED IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF ABERDEEN WOULD INEVITABLY RESULT IN THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF BRITAIN AND ALL IRELAND STOP THIS FACT WILL SHORTLY BE EMPLOYED BY NUMBER ONE AS THE TEETH IN A DIPLOMATIC DEMARCHE DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE THE REMOVAL OF ALL AMERICAN BASES AND OFFENSIVE WEAPONS FROM BRITAIN AND THE NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT OF BRITAIN ITSELF STOP THIS WILL TEST TO THE UTTERMOST AND PROBABLY DESTROY THE ANGLO HYPHEN AMERICAN ALLIANCE SINCE IT CAN BE ASSUMED THAT AMERICA WILL NOT RISK A NUCLEAR WAR INVOLVING HER TERRITORY FOR THE SAKE OF RESCUING A NOW MORE OR LESS VALUELESS ALLY DASH AN ALLY NOW OPENLY REGARDED IN WASHINGTON AS OF LITTLE MORE ACCOUNT THAN BELGIUM OR ITALY STOP IF THIS DIPLOMATIC DEMARCHE COMMA WHICH MUST OF COURSE BE CATEGORIZED AS CARRYING SOME DEGREE OF RISK COMMA IS SUCCESSFUL IT FOLLOWS THAT SIMILAR DEMARCHES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN IN EUROPE AND LATER IN THE PACIFIC AREA COMMA INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES BEING SINGLED OUT ONE BY ONE FOR TERRORIZATION AND DEMORALIZATION STOP THE FINAL FRUITS OF THIS GRAND STRATAGEM IF SUCCESSFUL WILL GUARANTEE THE SECURITY OF THE USSR FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE AND ULTIMATELY RESULT IN PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE WITH AMERICA STOP PEACEFUL INTENT OF THE USSR WILL THEREFORE BE EMPHASIZED THROUGHOUT BY NUMBER ONE AND BY ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES STOP THIS LINE OF REASONING YOU WILL ALSO FOLLOW SHOULD YOUR STATION BE AT ANY TIME INVOLVED OR AFFECTED STOP INFORMATIVELY ALL SOVIET CITIZENS WORKING IN BRITAIN WILL BE WITHDRAWN FROM THAT COUNTRY ONE WEEK BEFORE THE INITIAL DEMARCHE STOP NO EXPLANATION WILL BE GIVEN BUT A CONSIDERABLE AND DESIRABLE HEIGHTENING OF TENSION WILL THUS BE ACHIEVED STOP THE SAME PROCEDURE WHICH CAN BE CATEGORIZED AS A SOFTENING UP OF THE TARGET COUNTRY WILL BE FOLLOWED IN THE SECONDARY DEMARCHES REFERRED TO ABOVE STOP FOR THE TIME BEING YOU SHOULD TAKE NO PRECAUTIONARY STEPS ON YOUR STATION EXCEPT TO PREPARE YOUR MIND IN TOTAL SECRECY FOR THE EVENTUALITY THAT YOUR STATION MAY BECOME INVOLVED AT SOME LATER DATE AND THAT EVACUATION OF YOUR STAFF AND THE BURNING OF ARCHIVES WILL BECOME MANDATORY ON RECEIPT OF THE CODE WORD QUOTE LIGHTNING UNQUOTE ADDRESSED TO YOU PERSONALLY OVER CIRCUIT FORTY HYPHEN FOUR STOP END OF TEXT SIGNED CENTRAL.

James Bond pushed the document away from him as if he feared contamination from it. He let out his breath in a quiet hiss. He reached for the box of Shinsei and lit one, drawing the harsh smoke deep down into his lungs. He raised his eyes to Mr Tanaka’s, which were regarding him with polite interest. ‘I suppose Number One is Khrushchev?’

‘That is correct, and the meaning of stations grade two and above is consulates general and embassies. It is interesting material, is it not?’

‘It is a mistake that you are keeping this material from us. We have a treaty of friendship and a trade treaty with you. Do you not regard the withholding of this vital information as a dishonourable act?’

‘Honour is a very serious word in Japan, Commander. Would it not be even more dishonourable to break our word to our good American friends? They have several times assured me and my government that any information of vital importance to our other friends and allies will be passed on to them in such a way as not to divulge the source. I have no evidence that they are not pursuing this routine.’

‘You know as well as I do, Mr Tanaka, that rewriting and doctoring to conceal the source reduces this type of material to a grade no higher than secret reports from countless other “delicate and reliable” sources. The nature of this particular source, the fact that one is reading the very words of the enemy, is at least fifty per cent of the value of the information this message contains. No doubt Washington will pass on a garbled version of this message to London. I hope they already have. But you realize that it might be in their interests to keep quiet about this terrible threat that hangs over England? At the same time, it is in England’s interest to use every hour in devising some counter to this plan. One small step, which at once comes to mind, is preparations for the internment of all Soviet citizens in Britain at the first sign of the evacuation measures mentioned in the message.’