1. "No Laughing Matter"

    By Jim on 2004-04-21

    Jacques StewartOn April 5, 2004, Ian Fleming Publications announced a new series of ‘Young James Bond” novels featuring the super spy as a 13-year-old solving mysteries aside his fellow classmates at Eton. Now CBn’s own Jacques Stewart gives fans this exclusive look at what we may expect from a pint-sized 007.

    With apologies to Ian Fleming. But then I’m not the only one who should be apologising, am I?

    Original material from Casino Royale copyright Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.

    As they deciphered the maze of purple crayon which covered the double holepunched menu, Bond beckoned to the dinner lady. He turned to his companion.

    “Have you decided?”

    “I would love a glass of Nesquik,” she said simply, and went back to her study of the menu.

    “A small carafe of Nesquik, banana, very cold,” ordered Bond. He said to her abruptly: “I can’t drink the health of your new frock without knowing your Christian name.”

    “Mistral,” she said. “Mistral Fotheringham-Tush.”

    Bond gave her a look of inquiry.

    “It’s rather a bore always having to explain, but I was born in the evening, on a very stormy evening according to mumsy and dadsy. Apparently they wanted to remember it.” She smiled. “Some people like it, others don’t. I’m just used to it.”

    “I think it’s a corking name,” said Bond, feeling a little funny. An idea struck him. “Can I borrow it?” He explained about the special fizzy pop he had invented and his search for a name for it. “The Fotheringham-Tush,” he said. “It sounds perfect and it’s very appropriate to the violet hour when my super-duper fizzy pop will now be drunk all over the world. Can I have it?”

    “So long as I can try one first,” she promised. “It sounds a drink to be proud of.”
    “We’ll have one together when all this is finished,” said Bond, his voice going haywire. “Win or lose. Two straws, mind; girls have germs and are rotten. And now have you decided what you would like to have for tuck? Please be expensive,” he added as he sensed her hesitation, ” ’cause I’ve been saving up my meal coupons something rotten.”

    “I’d made two choices,” she laughed, “and either would have been delicious, but behaving like a real proper adult with forks and everything occasionally is a wonderful treat and if you’re sure … well, I’d like to start with alphabetty spaghetti and then have a plain grilled fishfinger with pommes McCain. And then I’d like to have tangerine jelly with a lot of condensed milk. Is it very shameless to be so certain and so expensive?” She smiled at him and his willy went odd.

    “It’s a virtue, and anyway it’s only a good plain wholesome meal.” He turned to the dinner lady, “…and bring plenty of ketchup.”

    “The trouble always is,” he explained to Mistral, “not how to get enough alphabetty spaghetti, but how to get enough ketchup with it.”

    “Now,” he turned back to the menu, “I myself will accompany Miss…er..Tral…er… with the alphabetty spaghetti, but then I would like a very small barbeque meat-like grill patty, underdone, with sauce brown and no frickin’ broccoli, hate it hate it hate it. While Miss … er… is enjoying the jelly, I will have a big bowl of chocolate ice-cream. Not strawberry, because that’s what strange uncles eat. Do you approve?”

    The dinner lady bowed.

    “My compliments young Master James and young missy. Mr Benjamin,” she turned to the large silly golliwog man who operated the tea urn and repeated the two dinners for his benefit. Because he was stupid.

    “Parfait,” said Benjamin in an odd and, to Bond’s mind, suspicious way.

    “If you agree,” said Bond, “I would prefer to drink blackcurrant cordial with you tonight. It is a cheerful toothrot and suits the occasion – I hope,” he added, a strange fishy liquid leaking down his inner thigh.

    “Yes I would like blackcurrant,” she said.

    With his finger up his nose, Bond turned to Benjamin. “The C-Vit?”

    “A fine cordial, mass’er,” said the funny fellow with the sooty head. “But if mass’er will permit,” he pointed with his pencil – the nerve of these people – “the Ribena Light toothkind is without equal.”

    Bond smiled. “So be it,” he said.

    “That is not a well known brand,” Bond explained to his companion, “but it is probably the finest blackcurrant in Surrey.” He grinned suddenly at the touch of pretension in his remark. He stopped grinning when he thought she was looking at his braces.

    “You must forgive me,” he said. “I take a ridiculous pleasure in what I eat and drink. It comes partly from the other swines in the dorm having pinched all my tuck, the stinkers.”

    Mistral smiled at him.

    “I like it,” she said. “I like doing everything fully, getting the most out of everything one does. I think that’s the way to live. But it does sound rather schoolgirlish when one says it,” she added, apologetically.

    The little carafe of Nesquik had arrived in its bowl of crushed ice and Bond filled their glasses.

    “Show us yer tits.”

    “For a shilling.”

    Lawks! thought Bond. He shouldn’t have bought that copy of Biggles Kills the Nignogs from Small-Fawcett jnr. But it was such a good story… “Sixpence to touch your gym knickers?”