Bond book: Never Send Flowers (1993)
Place and location in the book: First, Grindelwald, Switzerland
Actual place and location: First, Grindelwald, Switzerland
What happens here in the book: Bond and Bond girl Flicka von Grüsse go to investigate the place where Laura March’s dead body was found
Visited by 007 Travelers: 2014
“The police presence was obvious. Two cars and a police van blocked the little road to the chair lift, and a large sign, in three languages-German, French and English-proclaimed that the chair lift up the mountain, to the First area with its great view of the Grindelwald Basin, was closed until further notice. The entrance was also blocked off with yellow crime scene tape.”
“Fredericka rode up the chair lift with Inspector Ponsin, while Bond drew the heavy Bodo Lempke who certainly carried enough weight to tip the double set of chairs slightly. It was a beautiful, short ride up the slope during which Lempke remained silent except to remark on the cause of death.
`You were told of the tetrodoxin, yes?” `Yes.” Fight innocuousness with blandness.
`Exotic, no?” `Very.” `Very exotic?” `Exceptionally.” `So.” At the First viewing point, several policemen, uniformed and plainclothes, were doing what Bond presumed to be yet another careful search of the area which was marked off with more crime scene tape. A small group of men and women stood beside the long, log hut which was the restaurant.
They looked dejected, as well they might: with the chair lift closed, their usual business would have dried to a trickle of probably discontented policemen looking for they knew not what.
The air was fresh and clear, while the view from this vantage point was almost other worldly. Bond had his own reasons to feel overawed by mountains. For him, their grandeur an overworked word when people described the peaks and rocky graphs of the world’s high places was tempered with respect. His parents had died on a mountain and, since childhood, while he was often moved by the beauty of the crags, bluffs and jagged outcrops of stone reaching towards the sky, he was also aware of the dangers they represented. To him they were like wanton beautiful women beckoning sirens waiting to be conquered, yet perilous, requiring deference and care, like so many of God’s great wonders.
In spite of the warm sun, he shivered slightly, turning to see that Fredericka had come from the chair lift to stand close beside him.
She had said he would feel something strange and frightening in this place, and she had been right. Sites of sudden death, or evil, often gave off signals of fear, just as old places houses, stone circles, ancient churches seemed to hold good or evil vibrations trapped in walls like inerasable recordings. Fredericka’s eyes gave him an I-told-you-so look, and Bodo Lempke coughed loudly.
`I show you where the body was found, yes?
“Lempke turned and pointed up the smooth green slope, towards a small outcrop of rock.
“Lempke gave them his fast humourless smile.
`Come, he said, with a conspiratorial wink.
He led the way up the rise to a small clump of bushes, also corralled by crime scene tape. At the base of the bushes was a shallow hole, around two feet square and a foot or so deep. `Maybe he planned to come back for his stuff, but we got here first. I have it in my car.
`You have what in your car?” from Fredericka.
`Everything he needed except for the weapon, of course, and the other personal items he took down on the following day.” `Such as?” `You don’t believe me? You think I’m oaf of detective. Come, I will even buy you lunch at one of my favourite restaurants here. Captain Bond, you accompany the pretty lady, I’ll follow. Meet you at the bottom, I have to get these flatfooted policemen out of here. They want to open up the chair lift this afternoon so that the crowds can come up and admire the mountain view.” And gawp at the place where a lady got herself killed.” `What is gawp?” Bodo kept his mouth open, waiting for the reply.
`A lower-class British term for stare. Like gawping at me with your mouth open.” `So. Good, I learn something new. Gawp. Is a good word.” `You don’t like him much, do you?” Fredericka asked as they sat, swaying down on the chair lift.”
John Gardner: “Never Send Flowers”
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