Casino Royale | Study Guide

Ian Fleming

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Casino Royale | Chapter 26 : "Sleep Well, My Darling" | Summary

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Summary

The man with the black eyepatch returns to the inn two days later. Bond has done some checking with Mathis, who discovered the black Peugeot was rented two weeks ago under the name Adolph Gettler. As corroborated by the innkeeper, Gettler works in the watch industry. Vesper doesn't seem to believe this story, and when she sees the man at lunch she hurries to her room. Bond follows as soon as he's done eating. He insists she tell him what's going on. When she doesn't, he tells her he had planned on proposing before all the lies started. She cries upon hearing this, then asks for a little time before telling him the truth. Tearfully she concludes, "Darling, I'm trying to do what's best for us ... but it's terrible."

That night Vesper seems as happy as she was a few days ago. Bond mentions the conversation they need to have, and she promises she'll tell him about it in the morning. "Forget it now. It's all past." With tears in her eyes, she gets drunk on champagne and they make love for hours. She finally sends him back to his own room after taking a long, hard look at him. They exchange endearments, and Bond "walk[s] to his room with a full heart."

Analysis

Vesper is not OK. Her wild mood swings suggest she is wrestling with a terrible secret, but one that didn't bother her until the man with the black eyepatch first made an appearance. She obviously feels threatened by him, but Bond thinks she's overreacting. Instead of acknowledging and validating Vesper's fears, he pretends they don't exist. Because of Vesper's gender, Bond believes that she, like other women, must be overly emotional and unable to cope with stress, so he doesn't put much stock in her despair. Even though Vesper works for British intelligence, Bond views her as a lover, not a coworker experienced at dealing with suspicious situations. Had Mathis come to Bond with concerns about a mysterious male stranger, Bond certainly would have listened and taken action beyond trying to open the trunk of the man's car.

The tension between Bond and Vesper disappears during their final lovemaking session because Vesper has come to a decision about what she must do. Bond interprets this as a fresh start between the two of them, and for the first time he feels a genuine intimacy with her. He even allows himself to fall asleep in her arms. This time it is Vesper's decision he go back to his room, not Bond's. He goes without complaint, believing her promise she will tell him the whole story tomorrow and their romance will once more be on solid ground. His parting words—"Sleep well, my darling"—will take on a dire significance by the following morning.

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