Bond book appearance: James Bond, the Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
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Noilly Prat (French pronunciation: [nwa.ji pʁat]) is a brand of vermouth from France. "White" Noilly Prat is the archetype of dry, straw-coloured French vermouth. Noilly Prat now makes Red and Ambre vermouths as well, introduced in the 1960s and 1980s, but they are less widely known. Noilly Prat Dry is 18% alcohol by volume. The Noilly Prat company is based in Marseillan, in the Hérault département of southern France, and is a subsidiary of Bacardi-Martini. Joseph Noilly, a herbalist, developed the first formula in 1813. (wikipedia)
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"The girl turned her head away. 'We are not married.' She felt it necessary to qualify the statement, ' Those are not my children'
Bond tried to appear embarassed, and fumbled the photograph back on the shelf. 'I'm sorry - er, when do you expect him back?
'Soon. I do not know exactly. He works at the Cairo Museum. He is often late. Can I offer you a drink?
Bond knew that she was lying and followed her out on to the balcony. Night had dropped swiftly and imperceptibly but it was still warm, Bond breathed the spicy air into his lungs and stepped to the edge of the wrought-iron balustrade. Somewhere, someone was playing a piano. How incongruous it sounded in this Arab night. He looked down and saw light gleaming from a conservatory that jutted out from one of the ground-floor flats. There, unmistakably, was the silhouette of a grand piano. A figure swayed towards it.
'Noilly Prat and tonic,' he said, hoping that the French influence would prevail sufficiently to make this delicious long drink available. 'With a squeeze of lime if you have it.' The girl disappeared and he made up a story about her and Fekkesh. It was something on the lines of The Blue Angel and it explained why he had left his wife and the children to live with an overlush trollop. What it did not explain was how he could have anything to do with the mythical tracking system. Bond watched the million twinkling lights and the domes of the illuminated mosques and felt the acid juice of worry eating into his stomach. Out there in the big, dark, greedy city, things were happening. People were laughing, crying, making love, making deals. He, James Bond of the British Secret Service, was doing nothing. Standing on a balcony waiting to be brought a drink by someone who might have no more importance in the total scheme of things than one of those damn lights. Bond hated to feel powerless, and at the moment he was playing in a game he did not understand against people he could not see. The situation made him angry and he vowed that when the girl returned he would get some hard facts out of her. By force if necessary.
Christopher Wood: "James Bond, the Spy Who Loved Me" (1977)
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