Chronology of Events
Saturday - Sunday, May 8 - 9
Warmly received by the Bradleys, and I found myself becoming deeply touched by their hospitality. Maybe something I needed after the past two weeks - no FIVE.
Despite Kate's friendship with Violet Bradley, never really moved in their circles, but they made me feel one of the family. Fortunately, Violet was in Hawaii, and there was no mention of Kate. Much questioning about my new peripatetic life, however, with special interest in the racing aspect. I think June just likes talking about Pete.
Ever generous and practical, on the drive to her parents' complex, she suggested that I might find it handy to keep a room in her Paris apartment as a kind of base, adding that I could also avail of the concierge services of the building to handle my mail and messages, as Pete did.
She smiled shyly (this girl can turn from businesslike to demure in a second), admitting that she'd had a crush on him since she was 13 (and he 24). but had finally taken matters into her own hands when an 18-year-old Stanford sophomore. Pete is the one man for her, and she is apparently biding her time until he realizes that she is the one woman for him. Meanwhile, what a lot of competition!
It's been great here, and have taken the time to unwind in the good company. Had a most interesting talk about California history with Rachel Pike, a VERY high-powered business woman. Steel-trap mind, but also very spontaneous. She was just visiting for the day, and then took off, but not before inviting me to “pop over” to her private island on Monday.
It sounds like the kind of company Kate would be at home with. I had a sudden inspiration to ring her, but held back. Have written to her frequently without response. What can I expect? Ringing her would be an ordeal for both of us. I'm sure it would be impossible to talk to her for ten minutes, and not let her know, and above everything, I have to keep the news from her.
June Bradley brings Paul to her parents' lavish home at Palm Beach. He meets Rachel Pike, and she invites him to stay on her private island
Blossom Island - en route to Paris
Monday - Tuesday, May 10 - 11
Rang Marcella when I got to Tampa. She said that the firm wanted me to come back and finish up some work on an estate that I could do faster and better than anyone else. The letter was sitting on her desk to post. Told her to mail everything that had come in to June's apartment in Paris, and gave her Rachel's number for an emergency. Going home is something that I want to think long and hard about.
Didn't really know what to expect on Rachel's island, but had picked up some clothes in Palm Beach before meeting June, so hoped I'd be ready for anything short of tails.
My wardrobe did prepare me clotheswise, but I'd never have been ready for my fellow guests - an assortment of Senators, movie stars, foreign diplomats and top men from major US companies. About 40 people in all, and yet Rachel's helicopter picked me up at Tampa airport as if I were important too.
There were also a few “ordinary” individuals there, and having just come from the Bradleys via New Guinea, I managed to hold my own with anyone who bothered to speak with me.
And that even included Rachel Pike! It was all a bit much, and such a contrast to the days spent in the jungle and middle America that, attempting to adjust, I actually went for long periods without the omnipresent realization of my impending fate.
Rachel's warm parting to “drop in anytime” included the invitation to stay in the company suite (she probably keeps half the hotel reserved) at the Tampa Hilton.
And now I can fill waking hours of this flight, considering what Pete might have on offer.
Paul attends a lavish house party at the home of businesswoman Rachel Pike on her private island.
Wednesday, May 12
After checking into The Ritz, I went across the street to Chanel, and bought a few little presents for Kate.
Pete swaggered into the Ritz bar with an attaché case, looking like the lawyer he never became as well as the man who picked up a first-place trophy in Sweden the previous weekend, his perpetual grin twice as wide as usual.
Full of jokes, he took out some papers, and said pointedly that, of course, his lawyer would have to look over all this, then handed me the documents setting out the details of a racing partnership. He saw me glance at the top line describing the investment required, and asked if I had that to spend for the first year covered by the agreement. I started mentally subtracting what I thought I needed to live on from my net worth, and nodded - filled simultaneously with a terrible sinking sensation of being wiped out financially along with an exhilarating thrill of being part of something so exciting.
It would mean immediately selling my share in the firm, my San Francisco house, and probably the plane and yacht too.
Pete then handed me another envelope of maps and charts to study, and told me we were going rallying tomorrow, and that I would be his navigator. I told him about June's offer, and he suggested that we go over to her apartment.
He greeted the manager and introduced me, but went in with his own key to show me around. There were several doors off the main room, and he pointed to one, saying that might suit me. It was a complete suite with lots of room to store things, and a separate entrance to the hall of the building. I could see the practicality of it immediately - especially the privacy angle.
We went back down, and the manager gave me a set of keys, and said that they would be glad to keep mail and forward messages for me. I then went back to the Ritz to study the material for tomorrow's race, but kept looking again and again at Pete's team proposal.
Had intended a brief nap, but was still asleep when he rang at 8, saying I should meet him downstairs. Along with his date Sibyline - who handles public relations for a tire company - was her delightful friend Monique who charmed me with her developing English. With the race the next morning, we made it an early night, and I was happy to think that I already had two friends in Paris.
Paul flies to France and meets Pete Gaffney, who presents him with a proposal for a racing partnership & takes him to an apartment in Paris that he can use as a European base.
Thursday, May 13
Woke early, and decided to move my things over to MY PARIS APARTMENT. Kept repeating the phrase in my mind, and it gave me a real sense of happiness, entering my own door with my own key.
Went back to the Ritz to wait for Pete who showed up promptly at nine in his rally car. On the way to Rouen, he quizzed me up on the maps and material from yesterday, and offered more instruction about navigating. This race was just for fun, and would be a good opportunity to see how we gelled together in a car.
I'd navigated for Pete years ago, when we were in college, but that bore no resemblance to the way he took curves and manipulated the gear box today. It was terrifying at times, but he kept assuring me that he was taking it easy. The fact that we came in 20th even though he was the best driver there rather proved his statement.
Since we're off to Berlin tomorrow morning to test his car for the AVUS race, we only stayed a while at the post-racing festivities, and drove back around 8, not yet having had a chance to talk about how I performed.
Know that I have to really think long and hard about whether I want to get involved racing inside of the car - or whether I could ever be good enough. Pete said little on the way back, then when he left me off at the apartment, gave that extra-broad grin and told me that I'd actually done brilliantly.
Feeling on top of the world - a little more certain about the racing, and very happy to have a home once more, never having dreamed I could feel so content ever again.
Paul navigates for Pete in a rally north of Paris.
Friday, May 14
We got an early-morning flight, and checked into the Kempinski. This city has the tingle of being an island in a Soviet sea, with a resulting sense of intrigue and danger. But all that went out of my head when we went to the AVUS to have a look at the car Pete will drive here on Sunday.
As I watched him handle the Mastin, I saw what made him such a top racer, and got a kind of cocky sense of pride that he was not just my friend, but also my client - and maybe shortly, his team partner.
After a few circuits, he got out of the car, and asked if I'd like to take a spin. I suggested that one might want a couple months' training, but he gave me a few tips, saying that I'd shown good reflexes with the rally vehicle yesterday, and should be able to handle this machine.
I was hooked for life. Of course, I drove timidly - and badly, barely controlling the car even though I only drove in a straight line most of the way. But still, I felt that with some tutelage along with feeling and understanding for the machine, driving a race car might be something I could aspire to ….. though I noticed my hand visibly shaking when I got out. And I even felt hesitant to do that, my legs like jelly.
Pointing out that my participation in a car like that one would probably never be more than financial, Pete finally asked what my lawyer thought of the business proposal. “He approves,” I told him, and felt like I'd just bought the Brooklyn Bridge.
Stayed on and watched Pete drive, and stood looking over his shoulder in the garage, trying to soak up as much as I could. At lunch Pete spent most of his time writing up notes, then turned to me and asked if I'd be able to join him in Italy on the 12th and 13th for the testing in Trieste he'd mentioned in Monaco.
It is really going to happen!
Knowing he'll be in deep discussion with the team the rest of the day, and not wanting to be in the way any more than I'd already been, I decided to come back to the hotel, and then explore Berlin a little.
And if this hadn't already been one of the red-letter days of my life, there - just walking down the sidewalk - I saw the girl I'd been in love with for 15 years. It was Eileen Hunsley!
But this woman - who was surely Eileen's double - and spoke English too - completely denied knowing me.
Paul gets a chance to drive a genuine racing car at a Berlin track.
Paul sees his childhood sweetheart Eileen on a Berlin street, but she refuses to acknowledge him.
Saturday - Sunday, May 15 - 16
Yesterday, I felt sure that driving a Mastin race car was the most incredible thing that could happen to me in Berlin, but the events which have unfolded subsequently have been surreal.
My dear, sweet, darling and ever-beloved Eileen rang late at night, and for some strange reason, seemed uncertain that it was I on the phone. Found out more - but not very much more - about why she was acting so strangely as the night unfolded.
Her husband had died recently, but I couldn't tell whether or not she felt bereaved, the way she spoke about him. I'd met George Henderson briefly about five years ago at a wedding in Almeria, and he'd seemed quite odd - so unsuitable for the fit-for-any-society girl Eileen had always been.
But now she was so changed ….. so haunted and in pain. The closeness I'd always felt to her was somehow magnified into a kindred bond as we both carried an awful burden which we couldn't share.
But when we danced, the clouds of today seemed to disappear, and I was the Stanford undergraduate interrupting my education to fight for my country, so sure I'd be back soon to marry my childhood sweetheart. Maybe her going away to Europe, and virtually disappearing for years was the reason why I never did settle down with anyone else until Kate came along.
Eileen seemed to be genuinely going through some bizarre kind of nightmare, and told me, “the girl next door is a spy,” then denied it, but declared that her husband had been an agent and a killer.
After going to a nightclub she took me to a garden - her secret place - and pointed out swans that lived for a hundred years. Then she fell asleep on my shoulder, and I came as close to wiping away 15 years as a human can get, so many times had we been like that together.
But the illusion dissolved immediately when she woke in the morning, and cut me to the core by her open suspicion that I was taking advantage of our wonderful relationship to use her in some devious manner.
I tried to counter her objections in a kind way, attempting to understand that only a horrific strain could make her believe such a thing. In fact, I almost told her about the prognosis.
We parted then, and after taking a shower at the hotel, I found a guy from the CIA in the living room of my suite. No fancy introductions or apologies, he came right out and asked me to spy on Eileen. Laying on the pressure thick and fast, he even made reference to my illness, probably having searched the hotel room and found a letter from my doctor. I kept refusing, so he took me to a place where people were escaping from East Berlin to virtually say that I was not only a traitor to my country if I didn't help, but to freedom-loving people everywhere.
Since all this guy Mike Allen really wanted to know was why Eileen was in Berlin - or even just whether her husband was really dead or not, I finally agreed to pursue a line of conversation with her. Allen said that unless they knew for sure, they'd have to discard all her husband's information and contacts as corrupted.
Hoping to see her in the evening, I got a wide-eyed reaction from Pete when I told him about being with Eileen the night before, but that was the limit of our contact on race day. Tried to put the sorry mess out of my head, and enjoy the thrilling insider's view of Pete's race, only to see him spin out when holding second place four laps from the finish.
He nodded to me neutrally as he returned to his crew, but was gone before I could get anywhere near him. When I got back to the Kempinski, he'd already checked out.
Eileen met me in the evening, and showed great interest and sympathy in Pete's race, and I was happy to see her spirits lighten a bit. Even did a little conjuring type trick to remove a listening device from our table to reassure her. That seemed to make her more trusting, and then, there was a fight in the restaurant, and Eileen got a drink spilled on her suit. She got up to clean it, but never came back.
I was sure that she'd been kidnapped, but the CIA guy knew nothing about it, and I just had to come back to the Kempinski and wait, trying now to cobble together the events of the past 24 hours.
Eileen rings Paul, and they go dancing late at night, then stay in a park together until dawn. Deeply troubled by some dark secret she can't reveal, Eileen feels unable to trust Paul. Appearing tortured by the burden she is carrying, Eileen implies that she's being followed by multiple intelligence forces, her late husband having been a spy.
Paul is contacted by a man from the CIA who pressures him endlessly into getting information from Eileen. They want to find out whether her husband is dead or alive. If the latter, they must consider all his information and contacts corrupted. Paul finally agrees to help only indirectly, but the operation is thwarted when Eileen suddenly disappears from a restaurant.
Berlin - Paris
Monday - Tuesday , May 17 - 18
Eileen's ordeal is over, but it has been a chilling experience.
Out of my mind all day Monday, but she finally rang in the evening, somehow having found out that I knew Mike Allen, blasting out a terrible string of accusations at me, saying that I was disgusting, and the lowest form of life. I felt bad enough cooperating with the CIA, but listening to these words from my dearest Eileen was as horrific as hearing the diagnosis.
Worse, I feared for her life, so got the CIA people to try and find her, and prevent a suicide. Despite all the time and changes in Eileen, I feel that I still know her so well, and was sure that's what she had in mind.
While they were checking the pharmacies where she might get sleeping pills, I went to the swan garden, and found her there. She threatened me with a gun, but I knew, no matter what she believed, Eileen could never harm me, and I went and took it out of her hand.
She said I was the person that struck the final blow that killed her, and that they had removed my soul by getting me to come to Berlin and betray her. I couldn't bear her to think that, and told Eileen how the diagnosis had changed the course of my life, and that my visit to Berlin was only to watch Pete race.
I explained how the CIA saw our accidental meeting on the street … that they put all kinds of pressure on me and that I rejected them again and again, then only agreed to find out if her husband was alive or not. She was sure he was not, but the KGB threatened her life, and to confound Western intelligence agencies, forced her to wait around Berlin to leave everything in doubt.
My poor Eileen was disgusted by what she perceived to be her cowardice and betrayal, but simply couldn't believe that her country could protect her if she went to them. No wonder she was at the end of her rope - and I appeared to be the one who cut it.
What I didn't know was that I'd been followed. Just after Eileen's revelation, Mike Allen slipped out of the bushes, and promised to put her on the first plane home. I can only hope that I really did save her, and as she went away, promised to stay in touch.
My first thought on leaving the park was to get out of Berlin as fast as possible. I've made up my mind to go back to San Francisco for the little estate wrap up. And I have to see the partners in person anyway, to let them know I'm leaving permanently, and selling my share of the firm. But first, to steady myself, I'm going back to my cocoon of an apartment in Paris.
I know now that I have to see Kate. Maybe my own mind is stabilized enough to tell her. But every time I think some breakthrough has been made, I seem to be tumbling down that rabbit hole again.
How that steady hum I knew life to be has altered to an erratic screech by the new course I've chosen. The highs I'd felt only two days ago have been wiped away by Eileen's misery - and now, all I feel is darkness - and a dread of going back to San Francisco.
Tried walking around Paris to clear my mind, but it didn't help.
19 - 25 June 1965 (Reunion with Kate - Savage Season, part 1)
Eileen rings Paul, having been made aware by the KGB who are threatening her, that Paul has been in contact with the CIA. She condemns Paul, and he alerts the CIA that she may kill herself.
Going back to the garden, Paul encounters Eileen - with a gun she points at him. After gently taking it away from her, she admits that the KGB said they'd kill her if she didn't remain in Berlin as if waiting for her husband. Their plot fails when the CIA step from the shadows, having followed Paul to the garden and overheard Eileen's confession.
They say they will protect her and take her to the US. Paul goes back to Paris, having made up his mind to take a small assignment from his law firm - and to tell them he is selling his share of the practice (to invest in the racing team).