and on work & play...from Moonraker
It was only two or three times a year that an assignment came along requiring his particular abilities. For the rest of the year he had the duties of an easy-going senior civil servant – elastic office hours from around ten to six; lunch, generally in the canteen; evenings spent playing cards in the company of a few close friends, or at Crockford’s; or making love, with rather cold passion, to one of three similarly disposed married women; week-ends playing golf for high stakes at one of the clubs near London.
He took no holidays, but was generally given a fortnight’s leave at the end of each assignment – in addition to any sick leave that might be necessary. He earned £1,500 a year, the salary of a Principal Officer in the Civil Service, and he had a thousand a year free of tax of his own. When he was on a job he could spend as much as he liked, so for the other months of the year he could live very well on his £2,000 a year net.
He had a small but comfortable flat off Kings Road, an elderly Scottish housekeeper – a treasure called May – and a 1930 4 ½ litre Bentley coupe, supercharged, which he kept expertly tuned so that he could do a hundred when he wanted to.
On these things he spent all his money and it was his ambition to have as little as possible in his banking account when he was killed, as, when he was depressed he knew he would be, before the statutory age of forty-five.