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Risico

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"Risico"
The Death Peddlers
Author: Ian Fleming
Publication date: 1960
Published in: For Your Eyes Only
Alternate title: "The Death Peddlers"
Collected in: For Your Eyes Only
Publication order
Previous: Next:
"For Your Eyes Only" "The Living Daylights"

"Risico" is a short story written by Ian Fleming featuring his fictional secret agent James Bond, first published in 1960. It was included in the 1960 short story collection For Your Eyes Only.

PoltEdit

M is irritated that he must send Bond on a non-departmental mission. The Prime Minister himself had to convince M that drug smuggling is a big enough problem to send his best agent into danger. M explains that large quantities of heroin are being smuggled into Britain through Italy. Bond's assignment is to go to Italy, track down the drug smuggling ring, and stop them. The American anti-drug agency works with a man named Kristatos, a smuggler who feeds them information. A man by the name of Kristatos is Bond's contact. Bond has up to two hundred thousand pounds to spend to stop the smuggling.

Bond meets Kristatos in a restaurant in Rome. Kristatos tells Bond that the man behind the operation is Enrico Colombo, whose restaurant they are in; what Bond has not noticed is that Colombo has arranged to eavesdrop on their conversation. Kristatos wants Bond to promise to kill Colombo; Bond only says that he'll kill him if he has to, and agrees to pay Kristatos for the information. As Bond leaves the restaurant, he picks up Lisl Baum, Colombo's mistress who had a staged argument with him in the restaurant to trap Bond. Bond asks her about drug smuggling as they share a cab, posing as an author looking to do research, and she agrees to tell him about Colombo's operations if he'll meet her on a mostly-deserted beach on the Lido.

The next day Bond spots Lisl's umbrella in the distance. He walks up the sand and finds her with the top of her bathing suit down. She quickly pulls up the bikini top and chides Bond for being early. Bond begins asking Lisl questions, but Lisl seems reluctant to answer and glances at Bond's watch. Bond looks at the watch himself and then glances over his shoulder where he sees three men coming up the beach towards him.

Bond runs from the three approaching men, trying to judge the distance. Two men take a shortcut to cut him off, ignoring the danger signs on the area they're running through. Bond sees some fishermen in the distance, and he thinks he's safe. Then, an explosion comes from where two of his pursuers are running. One of the men is dead and the other disabled by the minefield he entered.

He wakes up aboard Colombo's yacht, where Colombo explains that Kristatos is the drug kingpin Bond wants; like most confidential informants, he's just manipulating the authorities to wipe out his rival, Colombo, who does not deal in narcotics and knows too much about Kristatos's operations. Bond believes Colombo and agrees to accompany him in a raid on Kristatos's warehouse, where there will be proof of his opium smuggling.

The raid results in a big shootout between the rival gangs, in which Bond plays the key role in shooting their way forward. When Bond feels like the warehouse, which is indeed full of opium, feels too much like a trap, he waves off Colombo's men and goes around, where he finds Kristatos in the back, waiting to blow it. He shoots at Kristatos, misses, Kristatos blows the warehouse, and as Kristatos drives off in his getaway car, Bond manages to shoot him just before he's out of range.

Colombo then explains that Kristatos was working for the Soviets, trying to weaken Britain by getting their youth hooked on drugs. He then gives Bond a hotel room key where Lisl is waiting for him.

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