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DOCTOR DELL - a James Bond story by Dean Kilbride.

 

Part One - The Lazy Life

 

James Bond had never been the one for long periods of televsion-watching. He

often found that he could not sit still, and that he had to get up, stretch,

move around and then do something else to ease the mind-numbing

repetitiveness of the screen, with all those bad American situation comedies

pouring off of the scren like the New Bubonic Plague. Bond would then mix

himself a De Bry's coffee, with little milk and sugar, drink it slowly, then

revert back to the television, or perhaps an Ambler. He couldn't do it all

in one long sitting. However, this was an instance when Bond was not

himself. Tired, hungover, in slippers and in his terrycloth robe, Bond was

sprawled backwards on his old couch and was gazing, like a three-hour-old

cadaver, at his television set. It had only been purchased two years ago,

due to pressure from his Scottish housekeeper, and it had rarely been used

since. Only during periods of extreme boredom would he stoop as low as to

watching the Nec. Damned Jap imports, Bond thought.

 He finally decided to snap out of it, and did so with a bang. He kicked off

the slippers, sprung off of the couch, dropped to the carpet, and completed

twenty long, slow, torture-like push-ups, giving his muscles no rest. Once

done, he then flipped over onto his back, completed leg-lifts (with

straights legs and arms at his sides) until his abdomen started screeching

in pain like a parrot. He then lunged to his bare feet, completed twenty

two-touches, then went through fifteen long minutes of arm and chest

exercises until he was dizzy and feeling nauseous. It was his usual morning

routine, but he had skipped it for some reason for the past three days. He

assumed he was just getting sloppy. Bond scuffed into his bathroom, ran a

scalding hot shower, then bathed beneath it. He then slammed the fawcett

onto "cold", and gritted his teeth as the freezing wave of water pounded

down on him. He then turned off the water, dressed in a baby blue sea-island

cotton shirt and navy trousers and black cotton socks, and moved out into

the kitchen. he was feeling better now. He'd been in a rut of laziness, and

disciplining himself was the only way to repair it. He sat down with the

newspaper, fresh from the press, and folded it open to the sports section to

check the progress of the Liverpool soccer team.

 The telephone rang and cracked the pleasing silence.

 Bond sighed, stood, then walked over to the telephone. He answered it

bluntly, with a, 'Yes?'

 'James, this is Bill. M wants something done for her this morning.'

 'Tell her to stuff off. I'm having a good morning. She can get another

hound to do her dirty work.'

 'Listen, it'll be fun. All you have to do is put powder in some guy's

boots.'

 Bond was amused and surprised. What the hell was he talking about? Bond

continued listening, despite having made up that he wasn't going to do what

Bill Tanner told him.

 'What the hell do you mean?' he asked, pulling a seat from the table and

sitting down.

 'You remember that plastic surgeon? Dr Dell? The one who operated on those

two vagrant hoboes for free?'

 'No,' Bond lied. he wasn't going to make life easy for Tanner.

 'Of course you do. Said they were ugly and paid for surgery.'

 'It rings a bell now,' Bond said. He set about brewing a coffee.

 'It's a long story, but M is convinced, after a bit of investigating on

behalf of out men in Florence...'

 'Italy?' Boned asked, rudely interrupting.

 'Naturally. She thinks that Dell is a terrorist planning something in

London. Some attack.'

 'So? What does she want me to do? Put some washing powder in his

moccassins?'

 'No. Thannin salts. Causes hair to fall out. Yucky sort of stuff, I'll

admit.'

 'What will that achieve? is this some kind of cock-and-bull story to rile

me...'

 'No, it's serious. We have to discredit Dell. Can't assassinate him, no no

no. Illegal. The Italians are willing to protect him. After all, he's from

Italy. He's taken up a job in London to get into the inner sanctum of the

high-class social scene. What will that achieve, you ask? If he can get

there, he can get most anywhere. Who knows, he might leave a nice Parker at

a table at a dinner. Thermite in the barrel, fuse inthe cap. Might leave his

coat in the coat-room during a party. Might have a thermite in the pocket,

or lining, or such. It's the perfect way to get access, to become a surgeon

like that. Popular guy. Easy way of planting, that's for sure.'

 'So you plan to stop him by making his hair fall out?'

 'Of course. It's called discredit, James. Impression of impotence, perhaps.

What then?'

 'He'll retire off to Florence, without any pride. Easy as that. Salts are

in your mail-box. In a paper envelope. He's at a charity brunch in

Piccadilly. Address for the brunch and invitation in a second envelope in

your box. Get the salts into his boots, or his beard somehow, and then

leave. have fun, too.'

 'Sure, Bill. I have to earn my pay somehow, don't I?'

 Bond hung up, drank his coffee, then set about retrieving the envelopes

from his tin letter box.

Part Two - The Rough and Tumble Life

 

James Bond took the large battelship-grey Bentley into the crowded car-park

behind the elegant TOPSOFF convention hall. He applied the brakes beneath a

wide oak tree, was amused by the acronym of the organisation (The Old

Plastic Surgeons Of Fairmont Fort, Fairmont Fort being the building in which

the convention hall was housed), and felt the slim Walther PPK in the

Berns-Martin beneath his left armpit. Bond exited the car, pausing only to

straighten his bow tie in the rear-view mirror, and walked over the gravel

park to the entrance of Fairmont Fort. He brandished the elegant invitation

to the young "bouncer", who permitted him to enter. Bond was pleased.

 The convention hall of TOPSOFF was extremely elegant, with a long wooden

dining table adorned with bowls of succulent food. Crisp red velvet curtains

were draped over the cream and gold wallpaper, despite the lack of any

windows. There were nine crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and

shining grey marble slabs underfoot. Elderly men and women milled around,

drinking champagne and talking. All were well-dressed, like Bond. Bond had a

plan of action to get the salts into Dell's boots, but first he needed to

find him. Bond obtained a disappointing Australian red wine - an Eaglehawk

'98, and circled the TOPSOFF hall. He soon discovered Doctor Dell, whom he

had seen on television after the hobo incident, with his Castro-like beard

and thick web of white hair on his scalp. He was talking and laughing with

an elderly couple, and was drinking white wine. The glass was nearly empty.

Good for Bond. Very good. It would help.

 Bond decided that his plan could escalate fairly quickly, so he dropped the

Walther, unseen, into a pot-plant against the wall. He left it stuck there

in the tiny branches, screened by the foliage. Bond then approached Dell,

and pushed him roughly by the shoulder. Dell stumbled and almost dropped his

glass.

 'Do you think you're funny?' Jones asked, shoving Dell again.

 'What?' he replied, his Italian accent bristling.

 'You. Doing that to those hoboes. Do you think I enjoyed that?'

 'Well, I don't know who you are! I was just helping...' Dell looked angry.

 'Helping hoboes who are too lazy to get up off their asses and work? What

about me, you fool?'

 'Well, if you were among the unfortunate...'

 'Don't give me that bull, Dell. You shouldn't discriminate.' Bond shoved

him again, and he stumbled severly.

 'Get the hell out of here! Who do you think you are, attacking me? Who are

you?'

 'Bond. James Bond. And you owe me a Goddamned free surgery.'

 'Well, that scar you have looks pretty bad. How'd you get it? Sleeping on

your bed of nails?'

 Good, Bond thought. Dell was being belligerent. Bond splashed the Eaglehawk

onto Dell's white shirt. Dell was aghast, and shoved Bond back.

 'All right, all right,' Bond said, waving his hands. He set down the drink.

'We'll settle it man-to-man.'

 Dell looked around. Everybody in the TOPSOFF room was looking at the two

fighting men now. They were amused. Dell didn't seem to care. The white wine

was making him braver than he really was, and perhaps less embarrassed that

he might have normally been. That was all a part of Bond's master plan.

 'What? You mean fight? All right then, little English prat.' Dell rolled up

his sleeves.

 'Empty the contents of your pockets, first. Then remove your shoes. We

can't have any kicking.'

 Dell was surprised, but nevertheless, he placed his feminine gold

wristwatch, wallet and a tooth-pick on the floor next to them. He then

removed his shoes and placed them neatly on the ground. Bond emptied his

pockets and then stooped to remove his shoes. As he bent down, he slid the

enevlope unnoticed from his trousers, emptied the thannin salt into Dell's

shoes, then pocketed the thannin again and removed his own shoes and set

them down. They then circled each other in stockinged feet, ready for

battle. Bond had no second thoughts about defeating the old man. It would be

simple. His job was done, anyhow. Bond realised that he could just leave and

the job would be done, but he wanted a chance to beat the stuffing out of a

terrorist. Bond gritted his teeth and pranced forward.

 Dell lunged at Bond and swung a punch. Bond blocked the blow, squatted

down, then lashed out with both fists to Dell's groin. Dell groaned, dropped

to the marble, rolled, then scrambled to his feet again. He launched a kick

at Bond. Bond grabbed the man's foot, then swung him into one of the tables.

He crashed into the leg of the table and sprawled, face-down, on the floor.

Dell crawled up again, thirsty for blood. He threw himself at Bond again,

but Bond squatted yet again. Dell flew over Bond's head and landed painfully

on the ground, yet again. Bond then reached over to Dell mouth, pinched

Dell's tongue, then punched Dell's jaw shut. Dell bit down, hard, on his

tongue. He shriked and rolled away. Bond had won. Bond retrieved his items

and laced his shoes up tight.

 He did not see Dell again that morning, but he did notice a lot of matted

white hair floating in the chicken soup.

 

Fin. 

 





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