- "As I say, I've never told anyone. Your father knew some of it. And I don't know why I'm telling you, James, except, perhaps, to say - don't ever be a spy."
- ― Max to James after telling him the story of his capture.
As a boy in Scotland, Max won several prizes for shooting at the local fair. He and his older brother Andrew Bond would often fish the rivers near Glencoe. As he grew up, however, he discovered a passion for art and studied in Germany for awhile, but nothing ever came of it.
In the Great War of 1912, Max served as a footsoldier until he took a bullet to the knee in France. There he was recruited as a spy for being a fluent German speaker on account of his earlier travels there. He served many missions which put him into several unusual situations, such as having to be smuggled in the hull of a ship. At one point in his career, Max was found out and kidnapped by German soldiers in the middle of the night. They kept him in an old castle and tortured him for information. He had no information of military importance, but still feared revealing his contacts and friends. The Germans would sometimes send him to a bathroom, where he slowly picked off the plaster from the walls until one night he kicked through the insulation and into a room full of water pumps. He broke some pipes and made for the fifth floor window, and escaped by sliding down a drainpipe which broke and left him to fall twenty feet into the snow. The fall broke his leg, but he had caused enough commotion in the castle for there to be no guards on the grounds. He limped into a boat filled with turnips and hid there until he realized he was likely to be discovered and fled into some surrounding wilderness where he lived little better than an animal until he was found by German deserters who nursed him back to health and smuggled him over the mountains into Switzerland. His injury resulted in Max's permanent limp.
As a young man, Max purchased a plot of land with two cottages and a cowshed, and converted them into one house. James's earliest memory of Max, was of him at the height of his health taking James to the British Empire Exhibition in 1925. At some point in his healthier days, he raced his Bamford and Martin at Brooklands against Tim Birkin. He never came close to winning.
After developing lung cancer, it became harder for the existing housekeepers to look after Max, and so his sister Charmian Bond came up from England to stay with him. She stayed most of the year, and as Max's condition worsened, she sent for their nephew James to come up for his Easter Break. Max was glad to have the boy's company, and after showing him to his room, he took James out to his small dock where he taught the boy about his favorite pastime: fishing. They didn't catch anything, and after reflecting on how his cigarette habit had likely not improved his lung condition, and how he had started smoking during the war, he revealed to James his history as a spy, though he almost forgot that James was there as he unloaded a portion of his secret history. Over dinner James asked about Alfie Kelley, a missing boy that Max had been fond of for their shared love of fishing. Max suspected that he might have gone to try and fish the forbidden Loch Silverfin on the land of Lord Randolph Hellebore, whom Max distrusted for his incredibly tight security.
The next day, Max opted to entertain his nephew in another way: going for a drive. Max showed James to his garage, where he kept his 1.5 liter Bamford and Martin Sidevalve, short chassis tourer. They drove to a local fuel station, while Max explained some of the rudiments of driving, and after pulling onto a dirt road, he offered to teach James to drive. With a bit of difficulty, James eventually got the hang of it and drove around behind Max's house. They continued to practice driving over the next few weeks, and one night, he asked his nephew what he might like to do with his life. James revealed that he was considering becoming a spy, which resulted in Max telling the story of his capture. James was astounded, and asked Max to spend more time teaching him to fish. Max decided to take James's advice, and lit one last cigarette before giving James his gunmetal lighter, a folding knife, and some other camping supplies for his trip the next day.
Max died the day after James left at around four in the morning. His final word was "James". He willed his car to his nephew, and was buried with his beloved fishing pole and the plaster soldier James had won for him at the fair. He was mourned by a sizable crowd of friends.