A for Apple and C for Charlie
A few observations from this chapter. Bond had not worked under the order of the Station A (U.S.) since the war. You have to assume that this is the Japanese Cipher job. But strangely we also find out that at this point in his career Bond had yet to work under the orders of of the Caribbean station. Didn’t Casino Royale tell us that Bond had worked in Jamaica on a previous mission?
And ‘Q’ for... ?
‘Take some leave,’ he [M] had said, ‘Plenty of leave. Then get some new skin grafted over the back of the hand. “Q” will put you on to the best man and fix a date. ...’
Who was Fleming referring to as ‘Q’? Are we talking about Major Boothroyd? There is no evidence I’ve seen in the books that link Boothroyd and ‘Q’. Is ‘Q’ even a person in the books, or does ‘Q’ refer to Q-Branch? ‘Q’ is spelled out in quotes while M is not; there is a difference. Future Fleming novels never mention ‘Q’, but do mention Q-Branch. I’m of the opinion that when M mentions ‘Q’ that we are talking about Q-Branch, not a specific person.
...except when they’ve drunk to much.
This paragraph has to be the one the most racist statements that ever emerges from James Bond’s mouth. Interesting that the sentence speaking of negroes changes from the UK’s ‘Pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought except when they’ve drunk to much.’ to ‘Pretty law-abiding chaps, on the whole, I should have thought.’ in the old US version. Still a racist comment but very toned down.
Bloody Morgan, the pirate
For me the pirate treasure aspect of this novel has always been the hardest to swallow. It just doesn’t seem to fit in with how I see James Bond. I’ll admit that it is more original than the drug smuggling that the plot became in two of the movies based on this book, but it just feels we’re trying to force Treasure Island into a spy story. Pirate treasure just doesn’t feel right to me.