He seems like an avuncular old buffer but his heart is made from solid bands of laminated polycarbonate.
Let’s call him “Z”.
Bock, he murmured, over a glass of rather good Madeira, I realise you had that incident in the Balkans not too long ago, but …
I could see something was coming.
You see, old chap — “Z” was obviously uncomfortable — here’s the thing …
I gestured to the maÃƒ®tre d’hÃƒ´tel. Noch zwei, bitte.
“Z” was struggling. It’s Disparager. Fact is, old bean, we’ve lost him.
Lost? I dropped my small cigar and sat upright in my wicker chair.
Dammit, me boy, muttered “Z”, He’s gone.
The silent waiter laid two more drinks between us.
“Z” reached inside his jacket and produced a photograph.
This man might be able to help us.
I looked at him doubtfully. You know very well I’ve finished.
Take it, Bock, he urged. Go to the Baltic. For God’s sake, bring back Disparager.
And? I said.
Whatever you ask, “Z” breathed as he studied his Madeira swirling in the evening’s warmth.
I might be missing for a while.