Casino Royale | Study Guide

Ian Fleming

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Casino Royale | Chapter 25 : "Black-Patch" | Summary



James Bond returns to the inn, where he immediately spots Vesper Lynd coming out of the phone booth. Surprised to see him, she insists she had called Mathis for help in borrowing a dress. She babbles nervously and squirms out of Bond's grip when he tries to put his arm around her. She keeps "patching up the edifice of her deceit" so much Bond wants to "spank her and tell her to relax and tell the truth."

Bond tries to gloss over the situation at lunch, but Vesper will barely speak to him. Then she suddenly goes pale, and her fork falls to the floor. She's staring at the only other diner at the inn, a man wearing a black eyepatch. Bond thinks he's just a businessman traveling for work, but Vesper is convinced it's the man who followed their car a few days before. After Vesper claims a headache and returns to her room, Bond goes outside and takes a close look at the man's black Peugeot. Nothing seems suspicious, but he notes the license plate number anyway.

The man departs a short time later, and Bond asks the innkeeper if he is a frequent guest. The innkeeper says the man is a stranger. Bond then tells the innkeeper he needs to pay for Vesper's early-morning phone call. The innkeeper tells him Vesper called a number in the "Invalides" area of Paris, but there was no answer.


When Monsieur Versoix mentions the Invalides phone number, he's referring to the Hôtel Royal des Invalides, an enormous building once used to house France's homeless and disabled veterans. Les Invalides, as it is commonly called, has served a variety of purposes over the years, including providing office space for the French Ministry of Defence and foreign ministries, as well as being the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte.

This tidbit of information about the phone number Vesper called tells Bond she is trying to reach someone working in government. Whose government, Bond can't be certain, but he can easily rule out Mathis as the recipient of Vesper's phone call. There is no doubt in his mind Vesper is lying to him.

As soon as he realizes Vesper is hiding something, Bond scraps his idea of proposing. In an occupation where he has learned to trust no one, he had been relieved to find someone on whom he could rely. However, Bond is already hesitant to yoke himself to a woman, so any inkling of duplicity on Vesper's part is enough to make him reconsider their life together. His need for absolute trust in a relationship outweighs any feelings of love or sexual attraction.

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