By Adam Hall (Elleston Trevor)

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He leaned forward slightly with the phone still to his ear and took them from me. I'd already shown them to the guard at the desk outside but I couldn't refuse. He studied them, taking his time. 'Clive Gage,' he said into the telephone. ' He waited, occupying himself by gazing at my papers, turning them to the light with his eyes narrowing slightly: I think he was simply trying to frighten me, but he did it well. Please tell me what is happening . The prime minister had a reputation for phoning people before they could phone her.

I tried to remember the conversation we'd had on the bridge in Moscow, and whether he'd always paused like this. ' 'Perfectly clear. ' I'd decreased the risk as far as I could. This was a post office but it wasn't in Obolenskij prospekt: it was in Bockova ulica, and if anyone else were on the line and sent out a van they'd draw blank at the other place. ' A long pause but I'd expected that. ' I just said I'd complained and the KGB had denied everything. ' 'I mean did they ... ' The silence drew out, but I wasn't worried now.

Let's put it this way. If I can get anything big, it goes in to my paper first. Then yours. ' 'Honey chil', when I send them this one they're going to put me back on the payroll so fast it'll look like sleight of hand. ' She looked down at her drink. ' 'I didn't even notice. Okay, Clive, it's going to hit my page first, before yours. ' 'Okay. Like I said, there's someone I know, in Moscow. I can't tell you who he is because he'd scalp me. But he's got a theory too, and if he's right it puts him way ahead of the game.

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