When Paul observes that a good friend has been drinking heavily, he questions her husband (Peter Graves), who has no idea what the cause is.
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Chronology of Events
Sunday, November 7
Had expected Marcella to pick us up since the flight had been paid for by the firm, but was amazed to see Ben du Pre's chauffeur hailing me, the man himself in the back seat of the limo. He greeted Kate warmly, and gave me an approving look, the fact we were together probably giving him encouragement.
But he spent plenty of time on small talk - asking me about the skiing trip, commenting on GB's successes, and throwing in lots of tempting legal gossip, not to mention a string of cultural references directed at Katie.
Then he asked if we were going to the Padres game, and I knew he had more inside information than I could imagine. Well, maybe Marcella said something.
As the limo reached the city streets, his tone changed to business, and he came straight out and said that he wanted me back in the firm. Losing a “front-line” partner of my “profile” had hit everyone hard from the top down.
He handed me a folder, and said I'd find the terms “exceedingly generous,” but realized that I would want to look them over, and with the set speech done, put his hand on my shoulder and said, with a sincerity that was unquestionable, “we miss you, Paul …. I miss you.”
Then before I could say anything, the car stopped, and the chauffeur was letting him out at the Russ Building. When Kate was dropped off at her home, I handed her the folder Ben had given me, telling her to see what they were offering.
Insisting she wasn't up to attending the game, but just wanted to take a bath and a nap, Kate promised to have a look at the terms and report back, and we agreed to talk about it later.
Then I was brought to the Fairmont, and taken up to what must have been the best suite in the house. Just coming out of the shower when Katie rang, saying that I would never believe what was in the folder.
“Sit down first,” she said, and then started rattling off the terms. Even sitting, I needed to be picked up from the floor. Never thought the firm could afford a package like that.
It really was too much to be just turned down flat without some courteous and well-thought-out response, and I was glad I hadn't. They were offering me my share in the practice back at no cost with a colossal bonus for re-joining and salary to match.
Though that could start from now, I wasn't required to return until April - negotiable to a later date if necesary, and then casework as I wished to take it. Plus apartment, car and heap of other fringe benefits.
Considering what they were requiring of me, the whole thing looked like one giant fringe benefit.
After I changed, the chauffeur drove me to Padres stadium for the full VIP treatment. Big hug from Ellen and Jim, and a seat in the owner's box to watch an exciting victory for Jim's club.
His move from the firm seems to have done him good, and Ellen and Jim appeared as happy as ever - until dinner. Katie had begged off on the grounds of fatigue, so I went to the Carlson's on my own, and was horrified to see Ellen drinking like a fish.
Jim says he has no idea why, and the dangerous pattern has been going on for some while. Have to go see her tomorrow morning, and get to the bottom of this. Ellen has been as close a friend as Jim, and I can't let her kill herself this way.
Having been wide awake until a minute ago, I am throwing myself right into bed.
On Paul's return to San Francisco, the head of his former law firm makes him a generous offer to return.
Paul then attends a football game with the owner of the club, Jim Carlson, who was also a senior partner in the firm.
At dinner in the Carlson's home, it becomes evident that Jim's wife Ellen is quickly becoming a serious alcoholic.
Monday, November 8
Went to the Carlson's penthouse to have breakfast with Ellen, and she was already drinking. I was incensed with the stupidity of it, but lots of questioning finally brought out the reason - which was even more idiotic.
How could my sharp-as-a-tack friend have turned into what Pete and I call a Miss Logicless? Jim is apparently feeding cash sums to some unknown person, and Ellen is sure that it's a woman.
I never saw a man more devoted to his wife, and know she's crazy, but have promised to have a look around, and see what I come up with. The worst is that she's sworn me to secrecy, not allowing me to discuss this with Jim.
After having lunch with Katie I sought out the Carlson accountant, but just missed him, so followed him to a bar, and asked about the cashier's checks.
He seemed to know nothing, but said he'd just got one issued. When Jim and I met for a drink I got lucky, and saw him posting something in the building mail slot. When I nipped into the mail room was able to get the P.O. box number which I'll check out tomorrow.
Kate's making a meal here at her place, and I decided to forsake the suite tonight. She's arguing for me to take the HSD offer up, and I feel that would be unethical.
Knowing how much I want to give Pete the chance to get back into Formula 1 next season, she keeps pointing out that I could use the HSD money for the team.
No doubt, the debating chamber will open immediately after dinner, if not before. I'll certainly have to give Ben some response at the meeting he's set up tomorrow afternoon.
Paul visits Ellen, and learns that she's started drinking out of fear that her husband has another woman. Her suspicions are based on nothing more than the fact that Jim is making secret monthly payments to someone.
Paul sets out to disprove her theory by consulting the family accountant, but gets nowhere.
His only break is learning that the accountant mailed Jim one of the checks the previous day, and Paul sees Jim posting an envelope, presuming it must be the check.
He then discovers the adressee by a ruse with the building mail room attendant
Tuesday, November 9
Waited at the post office to see if anyone would pick up the envelope, and it was good I showed up early, as a girl did at 9:30. Followed her to her apartment, but it turned out that the check was actually destined for a neighbor - a world-wise man named Kowel, about two-and-a-half feet tall.
He knows his way around common law, and I felt that he was not all bad - maybe not the blackmailer he appears to be, so I appealed to him on Ellen's behalf, saying that Jim Carlson's wife was destroying herself in a belief that the money was going to keep a mistress.
However, Kowell refused to budge as far as revealing the true destination of the checks. His accommodations certainly don't indicate that he's living on the money, so I still can't be certain he isn't just passing the funds on to another party.
One thing caught my eye that might have been nothing, but a sixth sense said it could be significant. There was a picture of Mike Ramsey, Jim's star and savior of the team on Kowal's wall. Probably on a lot of San Francisco walls, but just maybe, I thought …. so went to the training grounds to apply a few pin pricks, and may have gotten lucky a second day.
At precisely 4 pm, I walked into Ben du Pre's office, and despite all the wrangling with Kate, still not sure what I was going to say, figuring my best start was with a question - why.
Ben was forthright, and reminded me that HSD had lost three senior partners this year, and this was not good for the firm. It was as simple a matter as appearances, and he had to get one of us back at all costs.
He hoped the fact that I was his first target would be obvious to me, saying that if he had a son who had gone away, the package is what he'd offer to get him to think about coming back.
He talked about my father being a partner in the firm when I was young, and how Ben had looked on me as the son he never had. I was genuinely shocked, almost suspicious of the revelation.
Told him I was overwhelmed with his generosity and sentiments, and begged that I might give him an answer at the end of the year. “Fair enough,” he replied, and I found myself walking out the door.
Had Kate over to the suite for a quick dinner, and then went to the Carlsons. All the important players were assembled - Jim, Ellen and Mike.
I challenged Jim, and found out that he didn't know that the man named Peters he was sending money to was really a dwarf named Kowel.
It turned out that Kowel is Mike Ramsey's father, and has been receiving the monthly “fees” for “verbal approval” of underage Mike's playing contract.
The only important thing - not another woman. And the Carlsons are off to a second honeymoon in Antibes.
Despite their negative start, Jim - who had never met Kowell - showed a definite interest in making the man a part of the club.
Mike, on the other hand, remained embarrassed and confused about this father he never knew, but I hope, just might make the break and like Jim, become acquainted with him.
When I got back to the Fairmont there was a message from the American Embassy in Athens, saying that arrangements had been made on a Swissair flight from Zurich to Albania.
Rang Katie with the news, and we decided to spend the night at Granny's.
Paul waits in a post office for the envelope to be picked up, and then follows a woman back to her apartment.
She is not the adressee, and worries that she might be in trouble, and directs Paul to her neighbor, for whom she picked up the mail.
While the check is addressed to a man named Peters, the person is named Kowel. He throws a lot of legal terminology at Paul, who is still not sure whether the money is meant for Kowel or not.
Appealing on Ellen's behalf doesn't move the man, and Paul goes away not much wiser, but suspects that there might be a connection with the star of Jim's team, Mike Ramsey, and goes to see the young athlete at practice.
Mentioning the name of the possible blackmailer to Mike proves an irritant, and Paul pursues the matter with Jim in the evening.
It turns out that Kowel is Mike's father, and Jim needed his approval to sign the player, since he was under age. For his verbal agreement, Jim has been paying Kowel the large sum every month, believing this is something he must keep hidden from his wife.
Jim and Kowel speak on the phone, and the club owner expresses a wish to put the man on the club payroll in an official way, then he tells Ellen that they're going away on a romantic trip together.
Mike Ramsey has only met his father once, at a young age, when he was horrified to learn that the man was a dwarf. Paul manages to persuade the player to become acquainted with his father.
Wednesday , November 10
Kate took the morning off, and we spent it as precious time, now at the end of this interlude that's gotten us back to where we ought to be. I can't believe how two people who care so much for one another could cause the amount of pain we're each responsible for.
All the knowledge I thought I'd built up about individuals caught up in extraordinary circumstances, and yet I never realized that Kate or I could behave in such a thoughtless and irrational way when life threw a thunderbolt at us.
Am concerned not to be at the reading of her father's Will on Friday, but have asked Nick Pendleton to represent me. He's the best estate man in the firm.
Paul leaves for Europe to take up the
assignment as counsel for Brad Capo, who is facing spying charges in Albania.
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.
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.
15 - 25 November 1965 ("A Rage for Justice")
Housed with an American Army defector, Paul is treated very hospitably by the man's wife, who makes it clear to Paul that she would like to return to the US, even telling him that she knows a special route out.
When Paul gets a chance to confer with Brad Capo, the prisoner claims that he is an American agent, and wants Paul to take some microfilm out of the country - and leave that very night without crossing the border officially.
It is all part of a plot to entrap Paul with the microfilm, and arrest him for spying, the couple also playing a part.
But Paul meets a man who is a real US agent, and with the knowledge he provides, finds an alternate route which diverges from the one the wife has shown him.
Because his progress is being watched by security officials, Paul doesn't get far before they've discovered his change of plans.
Though the defector joins forces with Paul, the boat they steal is shot full of holes and the wife is killed before they even leave Albania, but they manage to make it to Corfu.