007 Food: Vodka martinis, caviar, cutlets accompanied by asparagus with mousseline sauce, pink champagne and creme de mentheDecember 20, 2020
Food: Vodka martinis, caviar, cutlets accompanied by asparagus with mousseline sauce, pink champagne and creme de menthe
“I’m not going to sleep with you,” said Tiffany Case in a matter-of-fact voice, “so don’t waste your money getting me tight. But I’ll have another and probably another one after that. I just don’t want to drink your Vodka Martinis under false pretences.”
Bond laughed. He gave the order and turned back to her. “We haven’t ordered dinner yet,” he said. “I was going to suggest shellfish and hock. That might have changed your mind. The combination’s supposed to have quite an effect.”
“Listen, Bond,” said Tiffany Case, “it’d take more than Crabmeat Ravigotte to get me into bed with a man. In any event, since it’s your check, I’m going to have caviar, and what you English call ‘cutlets’, and some pink champagne. I don’t often date a good-looking Englishman and the dinner’s going to live up to the occasion.” Suddenly she leant towards him and reached out a hand and put it over his. “Sorry,” she said abruptly. “I didn’t mean that about the check. The dinner’s on me. But I did mean it about the occasion.”
Bond smiled into her eyes, “Don’t be a goose, Tiffany,” he said, using her name for the first time. “I’ve been longing for this evening. And I’m going to have just the same as you. And I’ve got plenty of money for the check. Mr Tree tossed me double or quits for five hundred dollars this morning, and I won.”
At the mention of Shady Tree, the girl’s manner changed. “That ought to cover it,” she said toughly. “Just. You know what they say about this joint? ‘All you can eat for only three hundred bucks.'”
The waiter brought the Martinis, shaken and not stirred, as Bond had stipulated, and some slivers of lemon peel in a wine glass. Bond twisted two of them and let them sink to the bottom of his drink. He picked up his glass and looked at the girl over the rim. “We haven’t drunk to the success of a mission,” he said…”
“And then the waiter came with the caviar, and suddenly the noise of the restaurant burst into the warm, silent room-within-a-room which they had built for themselves, and the spell was broken.
“What am I doing tomorrow?” repeated Tiffany Case in the voice one puts on in front of waiters. “Why, I’m going to sashay off to Las Vegas. Taking the 20th Century to Chicago and then the Superchief to Los Angeles. It’s a long way round, but I’ve had enough flying for a few days. What about you?”
The waiter had gone. For a while they ate their caviar in silence. There was no need to answer the question immediately. Bond suddenly felt they had all the time in the world. They both knew the answer to the big question. For the answers to small ones there was no hurry.
Bond sat back. The wine waiter brought the champagne and Bond tasted it. It was ice cold and seemed to have a faint taste of strawberries. It was delicious.
“I’m going up to Saratoga,” he said. “I’m to back a horse that’s to make me some money.”
“I suppose it’s a fix,” said Tiffany Case sourly. She drank some of the champagne. Her mood had changed again. She shrugged her shoulders. “You seem to have made quite a hit with Shady this morning,” she said indifferently. “He wants to put you to work for the mob.”
Bond looked down into the pink pool of champagne. He could feel the fog of treachery creeping up between him and this girl he liked. He closed his mind to it. He must get on with tricking her.
“That’s fine,” he said easily. “I’d like that. But who is ‘The Mob’?” He busied himself with lighting a cigarette, conjuring up the professional to keep the human quiet…”
“They were interrupted by the arrival of the cutlets, accompanied by asparagus with mousseline sauce, and by one of the famous Kriendler brothers who have owned ’21’ ever since it was the best speak-easy in New York.
“Hullo, Miss Tiffany,” he said. “Long time no see. How are things out at Vegas?”
“Hello, Mac.” The girl smiled up at him. “Tiara’s going along okay.” She glanced round the packed room. “Seems your little hot dog stand ain’t doing too badly.”
“Can’t complain,” said the tall young man. “Too much expense-account aristocracy. Never enough pretty girls around. You ought to come in more often.” He smiled at Bond. “Everything all right?”
“Couldn’t be better.”
“Come again.” He snapped a finger at the wine waiter. “Sam, ask my friends what they’d like to have with their coffee.” And, with a final smile which embraced them both, he moved to another table.
Tiffany ordered a Stinger made with white crème de menthe and Bond ordered the same.
When the liqueurs and the coffee came, Bond took up the conversation where they had left it. “But Tiffany,” he said. “This diamond racket looks easy enough. Why shouldn’t we just go on doing it together? Two or three trips a year will get us good money, and that won’t be often enough to make Immigration or customs ask any awkward questions.”
Ian Fleming: “Diamonds Are Forever” (1956)
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