From “Octopussy and The Living Daylights” the fourteenth and final James Bond book written by Ian Fleming. The book is a collection of these 2 short stories published in June 1966. This story is the latter.
James Bond is assigned to safeguard British agent 272 in his crossing into West Berlin by eliminating a top KGB assassin code named “Trigger” who has been dispatched to kill him. Bond takes up a position on the edge of the border. In a hotel overlooking the no man’s land of broken, brightly lit ground that 272 will have to cross, he sees a female orchestra arrive for rehearsal and leave, taking particular notice of a beautiful blonde cellist. Once 272 starts to cross the border, Bond sees Trigger get in position to kill him and realizes that it is the beautiful blonde cellist. He adjusts his aim at the last moment and shoots her rifle instead of her, allowing 272 to reach safety.
Afterward, Bond admits to his spotter that he did not try for a kill shot only because Trigger had been a woman. He muses that even though 272 is safe, the mission will be considered a failure because he did not kill Trigger. He hopes that M will fire him for it.
Read by Damian Lewis