PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Sunday, October 24
Expecting me to be tied up with the race all day, Bumble took off in the morning to reconnect with a friend here, but it turned out that I was actually free. At least it wasn't my ineptitude that caused us to crash out in the first half hour of the race, but a Belgian who spun off in front of us.
Pete was fed up, and said he was taking the first plane out of Athens, so I headed for the Parthenon which I hadn't seen since student days. As I was tearing myself away from the place, met an interesting couple who'd also retired early, and spent their time traveling around the world.
They gushed about a fabulous family restaurant, and vaguely invited me to join them. With my stomach somewhere on mid-Atlantic time, and entranced by their descriptions, went along gladly, and ate a genuinely memorable meal.
As we were walking back in the direction of our hotels, a motorbike suddenly tore out of an alley, and would have killed me, had it not been for a passerby who was walking just behind us. He threw me to the ground, and the cyclist drove away at speed.
Burt and Belinda were even more shaken up than I was. For me, it was second crash of the day, and happened too quickly for me to grasp the seriousness of it all. Bert made their apologies and hailed a taxi, Belinda, who'd been standing right by me, in bad shape.
The fellow who saved my life suggested we go for a drink - for his nerves if not mine - and I found out that he was a sales engineer named Brad Capo. He told me he was going skiing tomorrow in the mountains bordering Albania.
Like Belinda's description of the restaurant, he made the place sound like heaven, and I wrote down all the details of the place, saying he might see me there. Can't wait to tell Eileen about my idea for going skiing.
Monday, October 25
When she got back to the hotel, Eileen was bubbling over from her visit, and we really were like Bumble and Polo with one of our crazy teenage campaigns, eager to share the day's adventures.
We went out shopping for some skiing things, and Bumble insisted on buying me a camel hair coat as her thanks for the trip to Greece.
When I think of the crowds and chaos we used to experience when going for a weekend of skiing in Colorado or Idaho, Vasilitsa is truly remarkable. So peaceful and unspoiled. Like Shangri La.
It was a long drive to get here, but worth it. After the car dropped us off, we went for a walk, and when back at the hotel, I inquired if Brad had checked in, and learning that he'd just arrived, called his room to see if he'd join us for a drink to meet Eileen.
We were in a mellow mood, and looked forward to it, but after only one brandy, Eileen said she was feeling the jet lag, and got up to leave, so I did too.
In her room she surprised me with a series of very intense questions about Brad - where did I know him from, how long, and how he had also come to be here - etc.
The happy look was gone from her eyes, which were now full of concern. I reminded her about getting the tip after the motor bike incident, and she said that she hadn't realized it was from someone who would also be here.
When I asked her why she was so worried, she replied, “just a feeling,” but indicated it was not a good one. Reassured her that, if he bothered her for some reason, we didn't have to hang out with Brad, so we left it at that.
Tuesday, October 26
We fulfilled Eileen's first wish in the morning, and enjoyed a sleigh ride, snuggled under massive quilts and rugs, then had lunch in a little taverna.
She's returned to the happy Bumble again, the freedom and thrill of the downhill run magnifying the renewed sparkle in her eyes. The facilities here are few, but just enough.
By the end of the day we were exhausted and decided to have dinner at the hotel. Brad joined us, uninvited, but as far as I was concerned, always welcome, and Eileen remained quiet though pleasant.
Wednesday , October 27
Though he was sitting with other guests when we walked into the dining room for breakfast, I could see that Eileen was more disconcerted than ever by Brad Capo.
We'd planned on a little tobogganing in the morning, and she was even hesitant about that. After only a few runs, Bumble suggested we go back to the hotel, then admitted she was completely spooked by Brad, and really couldn't stay any longer.
I was dazzled. This had seemed like the perfect place to aid her recovery, but it was turning out to have the completely opposite effect. So I made arrangements for us to fly back to California tomorrow, and we had dinner in my room.
Thursday, October 28
Was just paying Eileen's bill when Brad came up. Telling him that Eileen was having a reoccurrence of a chronic illness, I said that we were leaving in an hour.
He seemed greatly distressed, and so sorry that I was missing the skiing, but when I told him I'd come back, a big grin crossed his face.
It was one of the last genuine smiles I'd see for many hours, as the desk clerk then interrupted us, and told me there was a phone call from Athens.
It was the d'Angleterre with a message from Marcella, informing me that Gerald Pierce had had a heart attack while driving, and been killed in the resulting crash.
I asked them to send her the message that I was on my way, and to give my condolences to Kate, Molly and their mother.
Among all the other disappointments, the trip back was haunted by the regret that our time together hadn't produced the late re-blossoming of the love we shared for 16 years of our lives.
Friday, October 29
Eileen and I went to the Pierce mansion at 9, and found Alice in an apparently sedated state, and Molly needing to be. She was in hysterical tears the whole time we were there, and practically clawing at me, saying over and over how grateful she was that I'd come.
We then went to Kate's, and the door was answered by the tall blond guy I'd seen her with in the hotel lobby. He went in to her room, and came out, saying that Kate wanted to see me.
Eileen stayed back talking with him, and I entered this room of few memories, never understanding why Kate walked away from the beautiful, palatial apartment she owns, and moved into this ordinary rented place after I left.
Her hair was unattractively pulled back in a bun at the nape of her neck, and she had a large black hat in her hand. When I walked in, she put it down and came towards me.
I was amazed - almost alarmed - at how immune I felt, my prevailing emotion for her being only sympathy and compassion over the bereavement.
Put my arms around her in a fatherly sort of way, but her return embrace had a kind of desperation about it, and she held me close for minutes, then said that she should finish getting ready.
Having expressed my condolences, I turned to go, but she entreated me to stay a moment, and asked me how long I'd be in San Francisco. When I explained I was flying back to Greece tomorrow, she asked me plaintively if I could call her this evening.
How could I say no? She wrote down a number on the back of her business card, and we walked out into the living room.
I introduced the two women, each well knowing of the other's enormous significance in my life, and then Eileen and I went to my hotel.
Headed for the bar, needing a drink, but Eileen said I should stick to coffee, and then suggested that it was probably better that I went to the funeral alone, believing it inappropriate to bring another woman to the funeral of my fiancée's father.
I asked Bumble if she found out who the blond guy was, and she responded with surprise that I didn't know him. He was the husband of Kate's cousin in Florida, guest lecturing at USF for the fall semester.
When I got to the church, there were many people milling around outside, and It suddenly struck me that a lot of the individuals around me would probably be at my own funeral in a matter of months.
It was a chance to say goodbye, and the grave circumstances allowed me to express feelings I couldn't at an ordinary time.
Just as I was going inside with Pete and June, felt a tap on my shoulder, and it was Ben du Pre. In a humble sort of way, as if he wasn't the boss of the firm, but my assistant, wondered if I might be able to come by and see him during the week.
When I responded that I was flying to Greece tomorrow, he asked if I might come by when it was convenient, and said he'd send me the airline tickets.
Miss Smith was waiting for Eileen at the Phoenix airport. Before we kissed goodbye, Bumble took my right hand as she had in Kansas, and looked at my palm seriously. Then nodded and smiled as she placed her index finger across it. “Long life,” she declared confidently.
Bumble had always been “different,” and even when we were children I'd thought of her as some kind of sprite. Suppose I still do, and believing her, I experienced a brief moment of joy.
We promised to try again another time, but after we kissed, for the first time, I saw what Nicole had described as the look of despair in Eileen's eyes. Maybe meaning we might never get that second chance now.
Remembering the comfort of Kate's embrace, I reached out to hold Eileen close, but felt no consolation.
After getting back to San Francisco, rang Phoenix to make sure she was OK, and Bumble said that the trip had been wonderful, apologizing for letting her fears ruin our time together.
Now I must make that call to Kate.
en route to Athens
Saturday, October 30
Back on a flight for Greece, my psyche like a stick of salt water taffy, having been pulled in a thousand directions during the last 48 hours. But it has been an important time, and I need to put down all that happened since last night.
When I rang her, Katie asked me if we could meet, but didn't want me to come to Molly's where she'd taken refuge from “all the people,” which included her family.
So she came to my hotel. But when I invited her over to the sofa, Kate insisted that she wouldn't stay long, and remained standing by the door, apologizing for ending as we had with only a letter and phone call.
She explained that it wouldn't have been possible to retain her determination had we been together, then bent her head, and said that all such resolve had disintegrated when I'd held her today.
Kate maintained that the only life for me was as a free wanderer, but then whispered that there could be no one else as long as I was alive, and took my hands, just looking at them for a long while, her face obscured by that large black hat.
But it soon became apparent that she was weeping soundlessly. When I brought out my handkerchief to touch her tears away, she looked up - suddenly old, drawn, and drained of her beauty and freshness.
In that moment I fell in love with her all over again.
But, caught off guard, suddenly revealed, I couldn't miss the glance she'd managed to hide from me all this while, and for the second time in a few hours I saw that look of despair in a woman's eyes.
I moved to hold her, but Kate turned away, and reached for the doorknob. I actually had to put my foot against the door to keep her from going out.
Removing the intrusive hat and undoing the unappealing bun, I kissed her forehead, and then said softly into her ear that if we really were one soul that death couldn't part, then we should stop trying to separate in life.
After a very long embrace, I asked if anyone was waiting for her. She answered that the doctor had given both her mother and sister a strong sedative, and the maid was informed to tell anyone that Kate was unavailable but doing OK.
As far as plans beyond tonight, she'd arranged to be away from the gallery for the next week, and had decided to go to the house in Palm Springs.
I told her I had an even better idea, certain that the beautiful and serene atmosphere of my grandmother's house would be a help. Though I hadn't really thought beyond the night, I felt sure that Katie would find some solace in this most special refuge I know.
But once we got there, it seemed that everything we wanted to speak about only caused pain, so we were mostly silent, the late October Pacific alive with crashing waves below us. We stood watching them until it got too cold, and bit by bit, found our way back to one another.
After putting away the groceries, I found one of Kate's nightgowns in a drawer, and got her to bed. She'd been like a zombie, following me around, just standing until I moved along myself.
Then I made a pot of hot chocolate with a substantial component of brandy, and brought it in to her on the little burner. How fascinated and excited I had always been as a boy when Granny would bring me chocolate kept hot under the candle flame.
After finishing the chocolate I asked Kate if she wanted me to get in bed with her, and she gave a wan nod. I held her, and with my face buried in her ocean of beautiful hair, we both fell asleep very quickly.
Some time in the night we both woke, each aware the other wasn't asleep, and instead of speaking about her father, Kate began trying to explain the necessity to break off our relationship.
She said the time after I left for New Guinea was something she'd never be able to talk about, but the worst thing when she found herself falling apart in April was the ever-present question “why” ….
Something that grew into a dreadful obsession until she learned the reason for my sudden departure …. Then came the time wishing to be together again just once more, and when it happened, of course, it wasn't enough ….
When the wish was fulfilled again and again as we secretly resumed our relationship in a grab-the moment sort of way, she avoided considering the consequences.
That we were able to experience the joy of the Bahamas and Seychelles trip had brought her untold happiness …. knowing that I wanted to be with her …. the sense almost immediately followed by the awareness that I NEEDED to be with her …. and realization that I was about to dismantle the mechanism which had enabled me to live with the intolerable.
She could sense it even before we left Paradise Island.
I admitted that her instincts had been absolutely correct, and had she come with me to India, I would probably have returned to San Francisco with her afterwards - to stay.
Kate said that she couldn't let that happen to me, as much as she might have wanted it herself, and had sent the letter. “What else could I do?” she asked in a faint voice.
I told her the things which Nicole wouldn't give me the opportunity to say - that in what felt like the hundred years I'd lived since April, many of the original ideas that propelled me had been jettisoned.
I still hoped to try and squeeze all possible diversity into what time lay ahead, but knew now there were many ways of doing that, and no longer needed - or wanted - to lead a solitary existence all the time.
Kate turned to me then, anguish in her voice, and said how much she wished that I'd never have found out …. We'd have been married in May, and knowing real happiness, spending the months traveling together, not requiring artifice for survival.
“So do I” was all I could reply. It said everything I feel and have denied to myself up to this moment. Then I took the engagement ring from her right hand, and placed it back on her left.
Whether it works or not, we've come up with a compromise that will enable us to be together while I continue to “wander free” as Kate calls it.
For now, we'll have a week in Greece where she'll be able to grieve in peace while we try to build some kind of new life and relationship for the time ahead.
Asleep with her head against my shoulder now, I know that this is what I want. What I wanted from the moment I saw her running out the entrance of the gallery that first day.
Sunday, October 31
There were few people at the Parthenon this morning, and in the very middle, I held Kate as she broke down over the memory of coming here as a small child with her parents, the things her father had explained about the place, and how the kernel was planted that became the rest of Kate's life in art.
Monday, November 1
We ran into Brad just as we walked into the hotel, and Kate had no reaction like Eileen's, but went straight to bed after we arrived, and even slept through dinner.
Went for a walk in the afternoon, and tried to piece together everything that has happened since going to see Gene Mason in September.
While my thought processes felt clogged on the plane, the beautiful air that lulled Kate into such a sound sleep has opened windows in my mind. My principal task right now is to tend to her needs, and help Katie over this tragic time.
Had a light snack while Brad ate his dinner in the hotel restaurant, and ordered a cold meal that Katie and I could share when she wakes up. But I am already starting to nibble at it.
Tuesday, November 2
We spent the whole day indoors by the fire talking - mostly about Kate's father - her years of memories, her feelings that Alice's affair had brought on his heart condition - along with Molly always being a trial to him since childhood.
The conversation naturally came around to my own father's passing when I was 17, and the empty space that was never filled. At first, a little by Pete who was only two years older, but seemed like a grown-up brother - to me like such a sophisticate at the time ….
Well, he still does …. From the city, so knowledgeable about everything, and on the Stanford varsity football team. Then my mentor became the very man whose class Pete recommended to me. But there was never again anyone like Dad, and I still miss him in so many ways.
Afterwards I took Kate out to a dark, romantic taverna for dinner, and my stoic, never weepy Katie shed tears on and off through the whole meal. I felt so close to her, closer than ever.
Wednesday , November 3
Kate seemed much stronger today, but felt that she didn't have the equilibrium for skiing at the moment, or the inclination either, so we went for a sleigh ride, and that was perfect - for both of us.
Walking for a while in the snow after lunch, we went into a taverna, drinking more than either of us were used to.
I felt the most overwhelming compulsion to tell Kate about Nicole, and was only able to fight it off out of consideration for the delicate state of her emotions following her father's passing.
Ran into Brad when we came back, and he announced that he was leaving early tomorrow, so we all had dinner together. As always, he was stimulating company, full of interesting tidbits on Balkan history, and kept us fascinated until late.
Thursday, November 4
We went out on some easy slopes this morning, and the air and exercise seemed to stabilize Katie even more, so after lunch we repeated the procedure.
I asked her if she wanted to continue keeping our relationship a secret, and she answered, “as long as possible,” because it's like living in a private world for two, the fact that virtually no one knows about us, but I insisted that she wear the ring on her engagement finger when we were together.
Friday, November 5
Every day Kate's freshness is returning to her. We spent all morning and afternoon skiing. Such a shame that we have to fly back tomorrow, but Katie feels that she's neglected her family, and I'm holding a summons from Ben Du Pre, and must get the meeting over with.
We've promised ourselves to try and get another week of snow together before …. the end of the season - and at a time when she is in better form, and able to take some enjoyment from the sports.
Yet I know, from next month onwards, I will be living in a twilight zone where there are no automatic tomorrows or later ons. At least nine months, he said ….
If Kate were not bereaved, I'd have called this a beautiful day. Perhaps it was, more than I think. Instead of alone with her grief in Palm Springs, she has been surrounded by all the love I feel for her.
en route to San Francisco
Saturday, November 6
As I was paying our bill at the desk this morning, a phone call came in from the US Embassy in Athens, asking me to report there urgently.
Worried that we might miss our flight, but the matter didn't take very long. It seems that Brad Capo was arrested in ALBANIA for spying. The CIA guy at the embassy says that he's not an American agent, and gave me a letter passed on by the Swiss authorities during the night.
It was a request from Brad, asking me to act as his counsel on capital charges. They're making all arrangements through the Swiss. I implied that I would, but really hadn't made up my mind, and wanted to know what Kate thought.
We discussed it driving to the airport, and she agreed that it seemed the right thing to do, especially if the Embassy encouraged it, adding that, if nothing else, it would represent a unique experience being able to enter this mysterious country.
Still, she wondered whether I saw danger in the enterprise. “You like danger,” she said, a little wickedly, and I knew that I couldn't defend myself on that one.
The journal breaks from FLIGHT FROM TIRANA to cover Paul's trip to San Francisco, and the The Dark Beyond the Door
"diary, resuming in next column on November 11.
JOURNAL CONTINUED IN
NEXT COLUMN (AFTER PICTURES)
Paul explains how he met Brad Capo
Paul is told that he's wanted to work on a case in Albania
Gradec stresses his loyalty
Zabian says Capo will have a fair trial and be executed
There is immediate hostility between Paul and Corbett
Gradec says he'd like to meet privately with Paul
Corbett introduces his wife
Paul tells Linda that Capo is not a spy
Linda supplies political information
Gradec supplies more political background
Brad Capo is dragged from a van to the Ministry
Linda says she knows a route out of Albania
Capo removes a bug from under the table
Capo admits to being a spy for the US
Capo says to find the microfilm and disappear
Linda explains the route out of Albania
Corbett moves to shut the radio off
Linda begs her husband not to leave
Paul corners the man who's been following him
Kerpantos advises Paul to get the microfilm
Kerpantos shows Paul his finding device
The Colonel follows Paul's progress
Corbett was hiding in the back seat
Corbet says he would do anything but kill for his wife
Linda becomes desperate
Paul suggests tying Linda's hands
They try to make a getaway
boat manages to leave shore
Thursday - Sunday, November 11 - 14
The situation in Albania was much as I'd expected - extraordinarily authoritarian, under the appearance of martial law with uniforms everywhere, a country more like pre-war Europe or earlier.
Very few modern conveniences that would be commonplace in the West, many signs of World War II damage unrepaired, people pretty scared.
While that may have been the genuine picture, nearly everything else I was treated to was a lie - well beyond the anticipated deceit.
After a lot of rigmarole with the security commandant - who made it clear that Brad would be executed, no matter what sort of case was offered - I was introduced to his local lawyer, and then the man I was to stay with, US Army defector Dave Corbett.
The Sergeant and his wife lived relatively comfortably, had a house with phone and spare room, along with a car, luxuries available to few in the country.
Dave Corbett appeared to be on the personal staff of Colonel Zabian, and was just short of rude in all his dealings with me. On the other hand, his wife was the opposite cup of tea - very friendly and chatty, making it clear how much she longed to be back in the US.
Amazingly, Linda also filled me in with many details about Brad's case, including obviously confidential information regarding a government official who was supposed to have passed military secrets to him - all done with studied innocence. It was definitely a matter of Good Cop / Bad Cop.
I considered the reasons for Linda's “briefing,” and stored the possibilities in my head. Things were already turning out not to be straight forward - but then, I hardly expected them to be.
Got together with Brad's local counsel, and he supplied some more background on the politician Linda had mentioned. While we were speaking at an outdoor café, we witnessed Brad - clearly beaten - being taken from a vehicle to a government building.
Tried all day to get to see him, but no luck, and spent any time left, attempting to familiarize myself with the city. Late that night, when I got back to the Corbetts, Linda made it clear that she wanted to escape the country, and entreated me to help her, saying she knew a route out.
The next day I was allowed to see Brad. He had several curves to throw. First, he claimed that he was guilty (though the CIA guy in Athens had firmly denied Brad was US intelligence).Second, he said that I was in danger of being arrested as a spy, and needed to get out of the country secretly that very night.
Third, he explained the reason he summoned me to Albania was so I could step in for him to courier to the US some microfilm of plans for intercontinental ballistic sites the Chinese are going to build in Albania.
Trying to retain Brad's complex directions for locating the capsule in a bombed-out street, I consulted with Linda about the route she'd mentioned for escaping the country.
Let it be noted that, up to this point, Bumble's extremely adverse reaction to Brad was never once raised in the mind of Paul Bryan, and while I mistrusted so many things, I never thought to question his genuineness.
With her husband going to the security ministry for an overnight assignment, and needing the car for our getaway, Linda pleaded that she was sick, and with the least bit of encouragement, Corbett left the machine to us, and got a state vehicle to pick him up.
Having sensed someone following me earlier, I went out for a walk, and made the man's acquaintance, one George Kerpantos - who did an instant job of convincing me that he was a naturalized American citizen working for US Intelligence.
In short, he informed me that Brad Capo was a Communist agent, and the entire plot - from the start - had been organized to set me up on spying charges - the Albanian politician and I being the dupes.
The government would get rid of him forever, and I'd be used as a trade for a spy who'd recently been caught in America.
Even that “chance encounter” when Brad had “saved my life” had been accomplished with the collusion of a trick cyclist, Burt and Belinda also agents.
The material Brad told me to pick up in a back street would be used against me, Linda Corbett being at the center of the plot, luring me to a location where I'd be caught.
Suddenly Bumble's reaction started buzzing in my head. I'd thought she was being paranoid - or that her aversion to Brad was just a hangover from the bad times she'd experienced in Berlin.
But no, it was her sensitivity to people like him. During her marriage, she'd come to “break out” in a reaction every time she met one of her husband's espionage colleagues or opponents.
Kerpantos advised me to get out of the country through the Swiss Embassy the next day, but I told him that Brad had insisted I get out the same night - after picking up the (incriminating) microfilm.
With an ability to move back and forth across the border legally, Kerpantos set up a method to leave the microfilm with him, and showed me a way of altering the route Linda had given me.
It was all very ify, but the only game in town. Linda seemed ready to snap when I got back to her place later than expected.
At the US Embassy in Greece, Paul is shown photos of Brad Capo by American agents. He says that he met the man in Athens when a motorbike came out of an alley, and would have run into him had Capo, a stranger at the time, not knocked him out of harm's way.
Paul adds that Capo had reservations to go skiing near the Albanian border, and that Paul joined him there for a few days.
The agents tell him that Capo is being held in Albania for espionage, and has written a letter to Paul, asking him to go there and act as his counsel.
They show him the letter, explaining that this is a common practice in Eastern Europe.
Paul says that he doesn't want to defend a guilty man, but is told categorically that Capo is in no way associated with US Intelligence.
Arrangements are made through the Swiss Embassy for Paul's travel to Albania, and he is briefed for the trip.
On arrival in Tirana Paul presents his credentials to Colonel Zabian who tells him to report daily to his aide, and not to leave the city without written permission.
He also introduces Paul to the Albanian lawyer Peter Gradec who is to defend Capo. Gradec immediately points to his loyalty to the government, saying that he has been assigned the case only because of his fluency in English.
Colonel Zabian says that Paul is to be housed with an American host.
The man will also act as guide an interpreter, someone the colonel calls a refugee from American imperialism.
Paul says that he remembers the case of Sergeant Dave Corbett who defected when having to face a court martial for black marketeering.
The colonel calls this a distortion, and says that Paul is welcome to be on the case so that there will be no such distortions when Brad Capo is tried, convicted and executed. He then leaves the room to Corbett, Paul and Gradec.
Corbett says that he cleared Paul's luggage through customs, and has it in his car, then feeling that he needs to comment on the uncomfortable situation, adds that he doesn't like the setup any more than Paul does, and suggests that if Paul wants to change it, he should ask the authorities.
Paul counters by asking why Corbett doesn't tell them he doesn't like it himself. then intimates that Corbett wouldn't be allowed to, and with great irony, congratulates him on his escape from American imperialism.
Outside, Gradec suggests getting together with Paul who wonders why, since the lawyer's message was clear when he noted why he is on the case.
Gradec replies that he is not brave, but is a good attorney who sometimes forgets he's not brave when trying a case.
Paul apologizes, and offers to meet the lawyer next day.
Gradec suggests that they meet alone at a café, and they part on amicable terms.
Corbett drives Paul to the home he shares with his wife Linda who is listening to the American Armed Forces radio station when they come in.
After introducing his wife and showing Paul where his room is, Corbett looks crossly at Linda - who says that she was only listening to the music - and shuts off the radio.
She runs out of the room, shouting that she wants to hear music - and voices - in her own language.
When Paul goes into his room, Linda is there, offering to bring fresh water. Paul opens his suitcase, and takes out a photo. When Linda returns with the water, she asks if it's the spy he is defending.
“He's no spy,” Paul tells her, and asks her what she knows about the case. Linda says that police and soldiers are searching the building and area where Capo was arrested, adding that whatever information he had must have come from Lazlo Maymet. Paul recognizes the name, and looks through his notes.
Maymet was a leader of the country's postwar revolution, now Under Secretary in Albania's Department of Defense. Paul says that if Capo is supposed to have bought secrets from Maymet, then the politician should be arrested too. Linda tells Paul that she overheard in one of her husband's phone calls that Maymet had been arrested, but the news wasn't released yet, then stops herself, and says that she shouldn't have said anything. “You never said it,” Paul replies. Linda says she's pleased to have talked to Paul, and is just leaving to start dinner when her husband calls her sharply.
The next day Paul meets Gradec in an outdoor café, and asks him about Lazlo Maymet, hearing that, though a hero of the revolution, the man is sometimes in, sometimes out, but never holds a top position, possibly because he opposes Albania's close contact with China.
Gradec says that many people idolize Maymet, and others just agree with him, so Paul surmises that the government is afraid of him, and therefore plans to prove he gave military secrets to the Americans in order to silence him permanently.
Just then, there is a commotion with sirens and government vehicles. Two men are pulled out of a van by soldiers, and rushed into an official building. One is Brad Capo, looking as if he's been beaten.
When Paul returns to the Corbetts around 1 am, the radio is playing, and turning it off,he accidentally wakes Linda who is sleeping on the sofa since Paul is using her room. He asks her why she doesn't go back to the US, and she answers that the Albanians won't let her leave.
Linda then asks Paul if he'd take her out of the country, but he says he wishes he could, but wouldn't be able to if the Albanians forbid it. She tells him that she knows a way of going by sea to Italy, but just hasn't the courage to try. Before going to his room, Paul tells Linda again how sorry he is that he can't help her.
The following day Paul is allowed to visit Brad Capo in his cell. They exchange greetings, and Paul asks Capo what happened.
Their conversation is being recorded, and Brad places his wristwatch over the bug under a table to drown out their voices, so he can speak to Paul without being overheard.
Capo's first words in private are to tell Paul to get out of Albania that very night. Paul says that he doesn't want to leave Capo with the unfair trial and sentence that can be expected.
When Paul asks if Capo knows that he's being used to discredit a member of the regime, the prisoner says he's aware of the Maymet situation.
But Capo then drops a bombshell when he admits to being guilty of the espionage charges against him, a member of the US Intelligence team.
Paul points out that the men at the American Embassy said Capo wasn't, but the self-proclaimed spy says it needed to be kept a secret before Paul's arrival in Tirana, and that even his wife and children don't know. He declares that there is nothing Paul can do to save him, and Paul responds that there must be some way to get him out of the prison. Capo repeats that it's hopeless.
“Then, why did you send for me?” Paul asks. Capo explains that the reason was that they needed a courier to get out some microfilm of the documents and plans he got from Maymet, adding that, lacking intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Chinese are building sites in Albania to launch nuclear weapons. Capo gives Paul the complex directions for finding the microfilm inside a small steel cap. Paul says that he has questions about all this, but Capo tells him to disappear as soon as he has the microfilm, and not risk using his passport. Before he can say more, they are interrupted and Paul is ordered to leave.
With the idea of following Capo's instructions, Paul gets help from Linda who gives him a map with the places marked to get him out of the country by the route she knows. But he needs a car to take them the long distance involved.
Hearing Corbett at the door, they disperse, and Paul turns on the radio playing music on the American station. Corbett tells him to shut it off or change the station, but Paul insists that he wants to keep this one on to keep in touch with what's going on in America.
“I don't,” replies Corbett, reaching for the radio, but Paul stops him, asking, “why not? Because you'll choke in guilt?” Corbett tells him to let go, and not try and start something with him.
The tension is broken by the phone ringing, and Paul shuts off the radio, mumbling about the call possibly being from Corbett's leader.
It is indeed Colonel Zabian asking him to come in, and Corbett is heard saying that he anticipates that the assignment may keep him out all night.
Linda appeals to her husband not to go, saying that she is sick, and he's known that since this morning.
Paul suggests Corbett leaves his car so that he can take her to a doctor if necessary, and before hanging up, Corbett tells Colonel Zabian that he's having car trouble, and needs to be picked up.
He leaves again, and after telling Linda to get her things together, Paul consults the map and then goes out. observing a man who's been shadowing him since his arrival in the country.
Trapped by Paul in a alley, the man identifies himself as George Kerpantos, an agent of the US government. He says that Brad Capo arranged the chance meeting in Athens with Paul by hiring a trick cyclist, and that Capo is an agent working for China and Albania. The plan is not to try Capo for espionage, but rather prominent lawyer Paul Bryan, and then trade him for one of their own spies who was arrested in New York. Paul gets into Kerpantos' car, and they drive away to talk in private. Colonel Zabian is meanwhile outlining the plan to follow Paul's journey to the sea at checkpoints along the road.
Kerpantos tells Paul that he should go to the Swiss Embassy tomorrow, but Paul says that Capo told him to leave tonight, and to pick up the microfilm first. Though Paul now feels certain that the documents can only be junk, Kerpantos says they may be worth picking up because they'll also represent the evidence used to convict Maymet, and the Albanian authorities don't expect Paul to get away with them.
Kerpantos says Paul should transfer the microfilm to him, as he can easily cross the border and guarantee delivery to the Americans.
He adds that the Albanians will be expecting Paul to pick up the documents, but Kerpantos would be arrested, were he to attempt retrieving them.
When he asks Paul about the escape plan, Paul says that everything has been provided for him, now aware that Linda has been setting him up.
Kerpantos gives Paul instructions for transferring the microfilm, listens to the escape plan, and studies the map to see how he can help.
Linda is upset when Paul gets back later than expected, and as soon as they leave in her husband's car, Corbett reports it to Colonel Zabian and a Chinese general as they follow Paul's progress to pick up the microfilm and escape.
Some while after passing their first check point, Paul consults his map, and diverges from the assigned route to one given by Kerpantos. Linda notices the detour with great anxiety, and calls out to her husband who has been hiding in the back of the car.
He had gotten in the car while Paul was picking up the microfilm, and acknowledges that Paul is on to their plan. “Make him turn back,” Linda pleads, but he is aware that, at the speed Paul is driving on a dangerous road, they'd all be killed if he tried something.
Then Corbett adds, “I'm not sure I want him to turn back.” She tries to stop Paul herself, and screams, “I'm sick! What are you trying to do to me?” They swerve dangerously, but Corbett eventually manages to subdue his wife.
Paul wonders why Linda is so determined, and her husband says that she's a dope addict whose supply has been cut off until the operation is successful. She denies this, and says that her husband is the addict, but Corbett shows Paul her arm.
“I knew you would do something like this,” she says miserably, but Corbett replies, “I didn't even know I would do it myself. I love you, Linda. Enough to steal for you, enough to follow you here, just because they promised to keep you well supplied. But I don't love you enough to kill for you.”
Linda moans in pain, and says she knows that her husband has a gun he could use, but Corbett says that he's sick himself, sick of what the Albanians are doing to her and what she's doing to herself.
Back in his office Colonel Zabian takes note that Paul hasn't yet passed the second check point, and in the car, Linda is raving in pain, trying to get them to stop at a doctor's office, saying that no one had ever made her go so long without a fix. She says she only needs enough to get through the night, and will start fresh in the morning.
Corbett encourages his wife to think about how wonderful it will be when she is well again - like when they were first married, but Linda opens the door, and tries to throw herself out, her husband just managing to grab her as the car veers dangerously. Paul suggests that Linda's hands should be tied at this point, and Corbett asks Paul if he knows where he's going. Paul tells him that he only has a rough idea, and that he's supposed to steal a boat and sail to Corfu. Corbett replies that it's only three kilometres, and asks, if he helps Paul to get the boat, what kind of sentence could he expect in an American court.
“It will be rough,” Paul tells him, but adds that his help tonight and the reasons he left will be taken into consideration. Corbett then asks if Paul would consider defending a defector, and Paul replies, “why not? I almost defended an Albanian agent.”
Noting that they still haven't passed the check point, Colonel Zabian puts out a general alarm for the Corbett car
When they get to the sea, Paul opens the hood of the car to get a lead to start the boat, and tells Corbett to take his wife on board.
He's still trying to get it started when the police arrive, and begin shooting at the three. During the gun fight Corbett manages to hold them off just long enough for Paul to get the boat started, but Linda is shot dead and they make their getaway for Greece in a halo of bullets.
Notes & Comments: Depend on an intricate spy thriller with numerous plot twists to provide an episode which works extremely well.
Jo Swerling Jr
Director of Photography
William Margulies A.S.C.
Howard E. Johnson
Hilton A. Green
John Clarke Bowman
John McCartey &
James M. Walters
Earl Crain Sr.
Color by Technicolor
Editorial Dept. Head
Assistant to Executive Producer
LINKS TO OTHER EPISODE
PAGES (IN DIARY ORDER)
However, when we started off, and I diverted to the bombed-out street, spending a half hour looking for the cache, she was extremely casual. Not a murmur from her about the diversion.
But when I slipped off onto a side road halfway to the port of departure she'd given me, Linda became intensely agitated, begging and crying for me to go back, then calling out to her husband.
Corbett had apparently hidden in the back when I was looking for the microfilm. He could see that I was on to them, and surprised me by suddenly changing to a cooperative tone.
Linda, however, was screaming for her husband to stop me, and get me back on the prescribed route, but I had really put my foot on the pedal, and he knew - even if she didn't - that we'd all be killed if he tried anything.
She did, however, and it was, to say the least, a precarious moment. Thank you, Pete, for all you taught me!
Corbett then said that his wife was a drug addict in need of a fix, and cut off from her supply by the Albanian authorities until I had been captured. Linda countered that it was her husband who was addicted, but he showed me her arm.
She was clearly in a very bad way, and Corbett's words of kindness and hope were useless to ease her pain. She entreated me to stop at a doctor's, then tried to throw herself out of the car, and that was another close call.
Corbett was now focusing on what his fate might be if he escaped Albania, and said that he would help me get out if I would defend him in a Court-martial.
We had bigger things on our hands within minutes as, almost as soon as we reached the sea, government troops arrived, and we barely had time to commandeer a boat and get Linda into it, before being bombarded with shots, one of which hit Corbett in the knee, and a second that killed Linda instantly while I was trying to hot wire the boat.
Using Corbett's gun I fired back, and hit two of the soldiers, maybe killing both. I will never know.
We got away, but the badly holed boat capsized about a mile off Corfu. While Corbett and I managed to cling on as the tide brought us to shore, he wasn't able to hold on to Linda's body, and the boat eventually sank.
I couldn't find him at that point, but though the sea was rough, made it to land, and found a house not too far from the beach.
The owners phoned around for neighbors to make up a search party, and they found Corbett alive, somehow washed up on the shore.
An ambulance took us to the local hospital, and when our soggy documents were inspected, Corbett was taken into US military custody, and moved to a base hospital. My own path was smoothed as if they'd been waiting for me. Kerpantos, no doubt.
Trying to make contact with Corbett all day here in Athens, but no luck with the military, so have asked the embassy people to pass onto the Army my wish to represent him as a civilian.
When I rang Kate to let her know what had happened, she said that she needed to see me urgently. The Will? It was, and she needed more than Nick's support at the moment. So she's coming here since I might be in Greece for another week.
Had to call Bumble too, and she was cooler about the whole thing than I'd expected. Sorry that she hadn't revealed more to me about why she didn't trust Brad.
The adrenalin from last night is starting to fade now, so I think it's about time to sink into one of the d'Angleterre's welcoming beds.
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