By Lawrence Block
Evan Tanner ran head-first right into a piece of shrapnel in Korea, and now he cannot sleep. Ever. that are an asset for a devoted linguist, time period paper forger, thief, misplaced reason fanatic . . . secret agent. Tanner takes on jobs for a covert intelligence association so mystery that even those that paintings for it don't know who they're operating for. Now his anonymous manager wishes him to sneak in the back of the Iron Curtain, hurricane an impregnable citadel in Prague (alone!), and rescue an outdated Slovak who is obtained a urgent date with a hangman's noose. the difficulty is the prisoner is an unrepentant Nazi who makes Goering appear like Mister Rogers. Tanner hates Nazis. If he is stuck (which is probably going) the U.S. will deny that they be aware of him. And Tanner could be carried out. After being tortured, without doubt. All in all, there are numerous first-class explanation why Tanner may still refuse this project. So, obviously, he says certain.
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Ophelia’s madness and its sexual overtones, seen in this light…” And the telephone rang. I answered it. A young man said, “Mr. Tanner? My name is Jeff Lind. ” “I’m enrolled at Columbia. ” “Huh? ” “No one from Columbia has a tap on my phone. ” “All right,” he said. I asked if he had my address. He said he did, and that he would see me at noon. I finished up Diane Blumberg’s term paper, put it in an envelope, and went downstairs to mail it to her. I picked up my own mail on the way back and carted it upstairs.
You’ll excuse this morning’s dramatics,” he said. ” “Is my apartment really bugged? ” “Either the CIA or the FBI. Quite possibly both. The Agency boys know you worked for us. They’re always hungry to find out something about us. ” He shook his head sadly. ” “They don’t know of your connection with us. I’m not entirely sure whether or not they know of our existence, as far as that goes. ” “Well, you are a member of a startling number of unusual organizations, Tanner. ” He sipped tentatively at his drink.
He filled our glasses. ” “Ten days ago…” “Yes. Ten days ago, agents of the Czechoslovak secret police kidnapped Kotacek from his home in Lisbon and spirited him away. The day before yesterday they landed him in Prague and tucked him into a prison cell. In approximately three weeks he will be brought to public trial, charged with collaboration with the enemy, complicity in the murder of several hundred thousand Slovakian Jews and Gypsies, and a variety of more specific war crimes. ” “I think not, Tanner.
The Canceled Czech by Lawrence Block