8.4 The Vienna Cafe

The Danube waters stroked the tender senses of the street-side passers-by and cafe patrons. Sigmund said the study on the fear of horses and their penises would be called ‘Little Hans’.  Max told him and Alfred he was grateful for the diagnosis of his son’s neurosis. It would help others, though he had misgivings.

“Thank you for introducing me to Vienna, Mr. Goschen. I have been to Berlin, you know. Munich too.  You will enjoy your new post in Berlin though we’ll be sad to lose you!”

Sigmund rolled his eyes towards the next table. “Analyse,” he whispered.

“I’m too hung over to do a spot reading,” said Alfred.

Max laughed.

“Alright, alright. The Hungarian is self-explaining: an extrovert, dominant ego, he’s unrestrained.”

Sigmund agreed. “Too keen to assert himself; definite infantile inadequacy.”

“What can we tell of the older man?” whispered Max.

Goschen told Trebitsch he’d written to the Crown Prince, and in course mentioned his love of the violin.

“Zeitung! Paper!”

Alfred waved the street seller off.

Trebitsch slapped his table twice. “Wonderful news, you can practice together!”

Adolf was sat behind Alfred, alone. He took a paper and set it on top of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals. Heavy drinking and waltzing the night before had not shifted his gloom. It was less a storm cloud than a sensation of intense burning: his mother was dying.

“A diplomat and a musician,” said Alfred. “Not the man’s father, but a potential substitute?”

“Adolph!”

Adolf raised his head: same name, not him. It was one small black bearded foreigner welcoming another, clattering behind table.  Something turned in Adolf’s stomach and he fought the sweat breaking out. He flapped through Deutsche Zeitung to the news of Mahler’s departure from the Viennese opera. Good riddance to the Jew.

“I would like to meet the Crown Prince, if you would mention me to him,” said Trebitsch. “Yes, I am a hundred per cent certain you will miss Vienna’s theatres and waltzes as shall I!”

Adolf wondered how the old man could be putting up with the noisy one? Did he have some hold over him? And the other Jews beside them! Where the new arrivals Jews too? Deutsche Zeitung is full of tales of those oligarch’s plots.

The newcomers were speaking in Russian. “So yes, Adolph, my trip to London was reasonable enough.”

“You mentioned wishing to set up a magazine, Leon. I would like to be involved.”

“You know Mr. Goschen, I have trodden the boards myself, at the Budapest School of Drama…”

Adolf seethed. It was only months since he was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts.

“…and the Academy of Fine Arts!” said Trebitsch.

Adolf glared at the grinning buffoon. “SETTLE DOWN,” he said, the smell of beer and carrots thick on his breath.

Trebitsch grunted and returned his attention to Goschen. “Of course there are a lot of anti-semites here in Vienna, but they will learn.”

The Russians heard this and cast scornful eyes on the sick-looking loner. Leon said, “I do not want to interfere with your studies…medicine?” asked Leon.

“I hope to add psycho-analysis next term. However, I can find the time,” said Adolph.

“I thank you Mr. Goschen, and the British embassy staff, for the kindness you have shown me in my most important mission!”

“Very well,” said Leon. “I am thinking of a paper aimed at the Russian worker, considering social democracy: Truth.”

Adolph repeated the title. “Pravda.

“You never know who you might meet here!” boasted Trebitsch.

The smell of a sickly fart drifted across the tables and they looked at the sour loner, noses turned up.

“Say Leon,” whispered Adolph. “I think that’s Alfred Adler over there!”

“Who?”

“He lectures at the university. Yes, it is, and Sigmund Freud and Max Graf with him.”

“I am in love with Vienna, I think I might stay a while, and in Berlin,” said Trebitsch.

“Shush a moment Leon, so we can hear what they’re saying,” said Adolph.

The other Adolf got to his feet, nearly tipping his table. He barked at the three groups around him. “NOISE, EVERYWHERE! JEW NOISE! WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE QUIET? I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF…”

His stomach shunted and churned. Then, his bowels exploded. Faeces rained down his camel trouser legs. Goschen, Freud and Adler instinctively scraped their chairs back. In shock and silence, the stench permeated the cafe front. It burned Adolf’s nose hair and tonsils, pulling on the fever of too much drink the night before. Then the man’s mouth widened and spewed soured carrot and potato soup upon the pavement. He sank to the ground until he was done. Then his lips widened too much and another vomit fall crashed. He scowled  at them, chin dripping.

Trebitsch led Goschen away. As he passed by the far table, he looked at Leon whose dropped jaw mirrored his own. Then, slowly, each mouth curled into a smile, and Trebitsch, began a giggling fit. The psychoanalysts had joined them and they were laughing too. Adolf swore and waved his arm about, then disappeared quickly inside.

“Yes, there is much work ahead of us,” said Sigmund.

The various parties settled up and scattered.

 

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.

8.3 Banking in Bucharest

On that August morning, Trebtisch was in no great hurry to reach the embassy on Bucharest’s Jules Michet. The British ambassadors were a tight group despite their geographical dispersal. Gripped by paranoia that Sir Bertie had somehow tainted their attitudes of British ambassadors, he thought long on bailing out of his appointment with Conyngham Greene. He wandered the halls of the Drama in the University of Bucharest, and in and out of the Religious Studies department. He found the library, closed, and let out a loud snort.

“You could try the Romanian Academy Library. I am going there myself if you need a guide.”

Trebitsch understood the Romanian tongue well enough. He thanked the student, Dumitri , and explained he was a visiting professor. Investment banking, he said; good enough for his brother, Vilmos. As they walked along Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu, Dumitri talked about his Geology degree. Dumitri’s interest lay in breakthroughs in drilling technology, particularly the new Parker-Rotary machines. After graduation, his expertise might be called to the un-tapped Balkan oil fields. At Calea Victoriei, they parted ways with fond farewells.

The Academy Library was busier than expected. Trebitsch was quickly bored and confused. Talking about books, he thought, was more inspiring than reading them. As he walked back along the boulevard, he thought of all the data he’d shored up. How it was set against his future so even time’s erosion could not devalue it. He walked by a street performer, five balls in the air, catalysed into one remarkable flowing performance. A sturdy temperance preacher converted words, from hundreds of thousands of years before Romanian language existed, with relevancy. Two men on a bench stared at the preacher a moment and returned to their clutch of documents. The researcher saw something in the type which the secretary brought his weight upon. By the time Trebitsch reached Jules Michet he was unafraid.

Conyngham Greene had a receding hairline, skull face and a walrus moustache covering swollen cheeks. Trebitsch went to work immediately on him. Greene was, he said, still bright enough to understand the progressive nature of Rowntree’s enterprise: his contribution would be among the great and good. The diplomat’s eye moved as if peep-holing from some painting and he got up and went to exactly where the requested books sat.

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.

8.2 Sir Bertie

Pleasure cruisers in the rippling Seine float under the Eiffel Tower. The people walk under her, and the hansom cabs drive out to Rue du Faubourg and Le-Saint Honore with cremerie moderne and beurre fromages in the cool afternoon air. Inside the embassy at number 35, the air was hot. Sir Francis Bertie seethed from his office to the foyer. Strutting like a peacock, his shoes gripped the carpet as the bull he’d been nicknamed after. Ahead, Trebitsch Lincoln was shouting down Berite’s aides; Trebitsch Lincoln!

“I need all the official publications dealing with land law, listed holdings and…”

“Our position has not changed,” said Inglis.

“What is going on here?” howled Bertie. “You again?”

“… inheritance, employment, topography and transport,” said Trebitsch

“These books are worth two thousand francs,” said Lister.

“He seems to think Christmas has come,” said Sir Bertie.

“That is their sale value. The books will be redundant to us when it is done!”

“The turkey is early,” Bertie told Inglis, and the two of them laughed.

“We have done what we can. Try the library,” said Lister.

“The books must be at our side for constant referral. All you have to do is ask the French government for them.”

“Oh, now he tells me how to do my job!” said Bertie. “Are you quite serious?”

“Brussels gifted us twice as many,” said Trebitsch.

Bertie roared. “If the Belgians put their heads in the fire would you expect us to shoot ourselves in the head?”

“You were instructed to help me by The Foreign Office, and the Prime Minister’s own private secretary. “

“Mr. Ponsonby would not condone this impertinence,” said Inglis.

“Get out,” said Bertie, waving his arms madly.. “Get him out before I knock him out and throw him onto the streets myself.”

“We must obtain these books,” said Trebitsch. He spun towards the door, but looked back to the diplomats.  “I will invoke help from the highest quarters. You have been warned!”

 

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.

8.1 Land and Labour

  1. Geographical and Physical Description

In Rowntree’s office, the June 10th 1906 copy of The Times reports the dancing Folies Bergere, of Paris, moving to Broadway, and the advent of colour photography.

“Your family are settled in York?” asks Rowntree.

“Ah yes, good access by train! The boys prefer your confectionery over Terry’s too!”

“Do call on your M.P. or myself if you have any problems.”

Trebitsch cocked his head forward. “That is the outline?”

“Of Land and Labour, our six point map. Belgium‘s constitution, here, to establish context. “

  1. Industrial

“Then we can talk about it as a country of small holdings, “said Rowntree.

“How do you go about writing your books?”

“With one like this we read vivaciously. We record our facts, as you are doing for me. As in processing cocoa, some are key ingredients. We are making use of experienced, relevant educators, and from there, find routes of our own.  Each writer types around a different finger-print. “

  1. Agricultural

“There is never one right answer to anything, however we write each working day until we are done. No editing,” said Rowntree. “Our crop will survive if we tend to it with notes. Hard facts and textual breadth: then we harvest, clean and arrange it.”

Rowntree took a sip of his tea. Trebitsch lifted and raised his.

“Yes,” said Trebitsch. “This will be appreciated after the book is marketed through various sellers and societies,”

  1. Factors influencing Agricultural and Industrial Prosperity

“That reminds me,” said Rowntree. “The Foreign Office were contacted by Mr. Funch in Copenhagen. Apparently you are to return some texts?”

“I’m afraid they are in Brussels. I shall make that first order upon my return. ”

“It was good of Funch to share his resources. Not like Sir Bertie, eh? Ho, ho. Say, is something the matter? Have you been over-working?”

  1. The Standard of Life

“I am enjoying my work. I had quite a time in Bern seeing the bridges that expand the city. Sir Bonham has offered me a tour of her medieval structures.”

“If you want to be an author yourself, you should also spend time in prayer and meditation. See your family and friends are healthy. You surely miss them. Spend time with Margaret and the boys.”

“On that matter, beg my pardon; please could you I ask a small loan of you? Certain expenses are being processed… “

Rowntree nodded and took out his pocket-book. “I won’t see you penniless. £100 will get you clear?”

“Thank you for your generosity. It will be repaid from the heart, sir.”

Rowntree drank some tea.

  1. Conclusions

“I may write well,” said Trebitsch, “but will I find readers?”

“We hope the audience will read, and buy: but hold the book in conversation; perhaps they’ll write their own books from it. First, from our stationary position with simple tools, we must give them one key conversation from a hundred. “

“Yes, yes ,” said Trebitsch. “They must read.”

“The distillation of days spent at a library, or a lucky ten minutes. We must make our travel alive for them. Chaucer and Shakespeare’s words outlived them. Can we aspire to God’s greatness also?”

Trebitsch thought.

 

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.

7.3 Assumed Command

At the Foreign Office, Fitzmaurice was at the Foreign Secretary’s calendar. On the other side of the desk, Tyrrell, reading the morning mail.  Suddenly, Tyrrell threw himself back into the chair and cried out, “Dear God!”

“Hmm?” asked Fitzmaurice. “Something for Sir Grey?”

Tyrrell flapped the letter from above his head and flapped it some more at Fitzmaurice.

“This was hand-delivered by Rowntree’s man: the Hungarian! ‘I will take the liberty of calling upon you tomorrow, Saturday, for letters of introduction to our Ambassadors or Ministers in Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Stuttgart and in other places in the German Empire where we have accredited representatives.’”

“He’s got a hope. Wait, didn’t we already provide those letters?”

“He says it’s for Rowntree Snr., for the purposes of ‘temperance and social reform’.  ‘Hoping that you will have the letters ready dah-de-dah… as I have to leave London tomorrow evening.’”

“Heavens! Probably best we don’t inform Sir Grey of this,” said Fitzmaurice.

 

Berlin, 1906

Mid-October and Trebitsch sat on the platform at Cöpenick waiting for the 2:30. Eleven Prussian soldiers disembarked. They were commanded by Wilhelm Voigt, an old, large man with flaking moustache and puffy face.

Three months earlier, Trebitsch met Voigt by chance outside Cafe Adlon. They were sat at adjacent tables, each un-bothered by Adlons’ extension. Trebitsch had his coat off and sleeves rolled up, leaned back on his chair admiring the view of the Brandenburg Gate. Voigt, similarly casual, said this was why he served on so many tours: so he could come home to this sight. A spirit of peace and unity its six Athenian columns enlarged the street and the sun split through them. Trebitsch said he hoped he could take a walk through it before the sun set but only the Royal family could, according to Captain Voigt, as he introduced himself. He guarded there under Ludendorff once. At that moment a waiter arrived and Trebitsch cheekily ordered coffee for both of them.  He told Voigt he was researching Germany’s land holdings, transport and employment. With Voigt’s knowledge would he object to some questions?  Not at all, he’d heard the British ambassador was a good man. Frank Lascelles, said Trebitsch. Voigt said Lascelles curbed the Emperor’s worst notions, amid the clanging of steel on steel. The waiter apologised and set their coffees down. Voigt looked at the scaffolding and said half of Berlin was building hotels. Trebitsch mentioned the Fürstenhof, Voigt: the Excelsior. They would open one at the Alex, the Alexanderplatz, after the station was built. Trebitsch understood Germany had the best railway networks. Voigt firmly agreed. They had trains out to Ruhr, Hamburg and Bremen. Then there was the Simplon Railway Tunnel connecting Switzerland and Italy. A German engineer didn’t Trebitsch know?

Trebitsch was confused upon seeing Voigt at the station. He was angry too, a mind full with humiliation. Unusually for Trebitsch, he found himself rooted to the spot as the soldiers and their Captain walked past.

In July, under lime trees Voigt ordered more coffee. The air was thick with it, and the smell of apfelstrudel, and from the nearby embassies, status. Trebitsch said Mr. Rowntree was interested in employment and the steel industry. Had Trebitsch been out to the Krupp factory in Essen. No, but he planned to and recalled reading the factory had its own railway line and over sixty buildings. Voigt said  it was practically a city. They even had their own police and fire services. They discussed Berlin’s growing population, around two million. They praised Bismarck’s welfare state, where those unlucky enough to be out of work would be looked after. It was the first of its kind in the world and Trebitsch responded saying his employer hoped Britain would follow. Voigt thought this sensible. The unemployed, he said, “could not make anything of themselves in a down-ward cycle: no passport, no work, no home.” Voigt saw the change at home, Cöpenick, a town fifteen miles away. Trebitsch saw it in on a map in Lascelles’ office were the River Spree and Dahme met. Voigt noted the summers were warmer in the city, buildings stored a lot of heat. Trebitsch excused himself to go to the rest room and behind him, Voigt called the nearby waiter for more coffee.

As he pissed he thought about the afternoon, how he and the Captain had got on very well. They complimented one another, like two parts in a performance. After drying his hands, he felt his passport in his trouser pocket and thought to leave it in his coat. Then he thought of taking Voigt into his company. It was about time he had his own research assistant.

Inside the Adlon Trebitsch drew suspicious stares. Outside there was no Voigt. Two five goldmark notes rested on the table but Trebitsch’s jacket was laid on the ground. His temper rose. He lifted it, found his wallet underneath.  He thumbed through it. There were fifty marks missing, but the rest, a hundred or so remained.

“Where is he?” said Trebitsch.

The waitress with coffee looked at him.

“Where is the Captain?”

“That wasn’t a Captain; that was the shoe-maker.”

The waitress had just arrived on shift. She recognised Voigt, who had spent half his life in gaol, hadn’t served a day in his life, she said. Whenever Trebitsch looked at his fob watch in the months ahead he cursed Voigt, cursed he’d fallen victim to a con man.

On the platform, Trebitsch watched as Voigt’s sergeant barked at the police. In a daze, he boarded the train. In the weeks ahead Vossische Zeitung speculated, reported how a petty crook had procured a Captain’s uniform. At barracks he enlisted the services of men taught never to question a superior officer. Trebitsch smiled as he read how ‘The Captain’ had imprisoned Mayor Lahengrans and gotten away with four thousand marks. Whenever he walked by Brandenburg Gate, he felt great stirrings of pride.

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.

7.2 Bull Or Bear

In June, he journeyed four hundred miles to Bern, Switzerland. He’d arrived late and found himself at a bar in front of the River Aare where warm gusts filled the air. Under the awnings, he watched couples walk hand in hand, then find shelter under the rain. It made him queasy as it splashed down, like all of Bern’s water-falls were in his belly. The sky was darkening when a man took up the empty chair beside him and lit up a cigarette. Trebitsch felt his eyes upon him.

“What are you: bull or bear?”

Trebitsch took a gulp of his wine. He eyed the drunk: broad, fair hair, a rough-looking fellow. Trebitsch thought and decided to indulge the fool.

“I met the bull. Francis Bertie, Paris Consulate. Never a more ignorant man have I met.”

“He was a bull?” the stranger drawled.

“The Bull.” said Trebitsch. “That’s how he’s known. He refused to give me my books! Despite orders from the British government themselves!”

Trebitsch stank quite badly of Merlot himself.

“He sounds like an ice eater,” said the man.

“What?”

“Ice eater. It’s the hot wind coming off those mountains; the rain shadow wind. Your Bertie, like a warm fart off an icy soul.”

“Ah, yes, I see.”

“There’s a myth about a girl, Chinook-Wind, who married Glacier. She moved to the river to be with him. But it was not warm, you know, and she pined for her home by the sea. Well her many brothers came for her, came as snowflakes and they fought with Glacier and over-powered him.” he said.

“You are Canadian?” asked Trebitsch.

“Irish-Canadian.”

“Where?”

“Some Dublin, some British Columbia, mostly Alberta,” he said and pronounced, “I am the bear.”

He had rolled another cigarette and stuck it in his mouth with show. “Corona Corealis,” he got out as it lit in a flare.

Then he looked up to the stars and pointed. “There’s my brothers: Ursa Major, hard at plough. The Finns say that’s where they go, Jupiter’s mistress and her son.”

“Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south,” said Trebitsch. “Job, chapter nine, verse nine.”

“Oh, ho, God is it? I thought you were a little Jewish bear cub,” said the stranger, and he roared with laughter.

“Maybe I am the matador,” said Trebitsch loudly, and more roaring followed.

“Oh, that’s good, that’s good. Now, look. Are you looking?”

Trebitsch followed the calloused yellow finger again.

“I see him: Taurus.”

“That’s Zeus, in disguise. He’s full of his self, thrusting up,” and the drunk punched several times in the air, “but he’ll wear himself out. You see his eye…or is it arse? Who can tell? Anyway, that’s the marker.”

“The bull market,” said Trebitsch.

“The marker! The marker! Are you not listening? You…lead him right to the pit.”

“Yes,” said Trebitsch. “Yes! I shall use my assets.”

“ASSES!” proclaimed the drunk, and slammed his tankard down on the table, before promptly falling asleep, under rolling cigarette.

 

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.

7.1 Favoured Attache

The Foreign Office  London, 20 March 1906

Trebitsch Lincoln left his signature on the visitor’s book and looked over the pristine chequered floor. John Sinclair was tall and well turned out, black hair in a wild side parting and with a magnificent brush of whiskers.

“Mr. Lincoln, glad to meet you, come this way. ” said Sinclair. A thin man with a cautious brow emerged from a room behind them. Sinclair turned his head. “Mr. Ponsonby!”

“Hello, John. William and I just finished. He’ll see you right will John,” Ponsonby told Trebitsch. “The PM’s favourite! Good day!”

“Good day!”

“Good day,” said Trebitsch and they walked. “My, you are very important!” he said.

Sinclair laughed.

“Mr. Ponsonby works closely with the Prime Minister?”

“He’s his private secretary.”

Sinclair stopped by one of many doors, let Trebitsch into an office furnished in leather green and oak brown.

“Take a seat. Now, Mr. Rowntree and yourself are doing important work so I want to make sure you get off to a good start.”

“Yes, I am highly committed to investigating opportunities for social justice here and in Europe on Mr. Rowntree’s –”

He was cut short by a knock. Tyrell entered: moving as officer class, tidy dark hair and a postage stamp moustache.  Sinclair rose and gestured.

“Secretary, may I present Mr. Trebitsch Lincoln. He’s undertaking the land survey for Mr. Rowntree. Mr. Tyrell is Private Secretary to Edward Grey.”

“It is an honour. I look forward to bringing my expertise to help the Foreign Office,” said Trebitsch.

Sinclair had deep concerning  eyes. “How may we help you today, Mr. Lincoln?”

“Well, Mr. Rowntree’s survey requires a broad collection of geographical information from a number of European offices. I am to begin in Brussels and see about establishing a research base there.”

“We can furnish you with a letter of introduction to the ambassador. That’s — —” said Tyrrell.

“Most grateful! Would it be too much trouble to have an introduction for the consulates in Berne and Paris also? I mean to call on them over the summer.”

Sinclair’s prominent cheekbones rose as he smiled. “Not at all. I’ll have Fitzmaurice type them up.”

“May I collect these today?”

“We could get the Brussels letter today,” said Tyrell. “It sounds like we should also send dispatches to the embassies and let them know you are coming.”

“Excellent. Thank you genuinely! Genuinely sincerely!”

 

Brussels

Trebitsch sat in the embassy foyer by potted plants and photographs of diplomatic handshakes. Nicolas Hotermans looked up from the appointments book and smiled reassuringly. A door opened.

“Edmund Phipps, ex-Consul General. The new man, Hardinge, well it’s his first day. Hotermans tells me you were quite insistent on being seen.”

“It is imperative I’m furnished with the information today. The Prime Minister intends this study to be vast: from Paris to Romania and beyond.”

“I see. Very well, come this way. Hardinge was stationed in Romania. You’ll have a lot to talk about later. Maybe I can help you in the meantime. How well do you know Belgium?”

Phipps opened the door to a long tabled room were a map of Belgium took up most of the wall.

“Not well enough,” said Trebitsch.

Trebitsch’s eyes dived in, while Phipps went for a guide stick parked underneath. Phipps was a gaunt man with sparkling eyes, his jaw was surrounded by beard.

“Three regions: That’s us in the middle, and above the largely agricultural Flemish region: Flanders to the right here by the French…”

Trebitsch was there immediately, following the stick through patches of green in Bruges by the Iron Rhine rail-road

“…over to Antwerp, very busy with industry…”

The blue lined canals of Antwerp: the North Sea port with boats packed tight off the jetties and cruise ships like giants in the sky. Anyone who was someone would be there, magnates of zinc mines and factories making shoes and cigars.

“Antwerp is a major processing centre for diamond, brick and printed matter.”

Oh yes, all very useful. Its yellow roads haemorrhaged through thicker green and he followed Phipps’ pointer out towards Germany’s grey border line.

“Below us is the Walloonia region. First off, Liege, several hours away…”

He could see it: the spires over the lake, the rapid water and reed islands; the mills, bridges and waterfalls…

“…where Brussels has acquired coal and pig iron exports…”

Trebitsch followed the guide along the slivering River Meuse.

“To Namur. Remarkable views, houses from hill to hill.”

The city built into a rock.

“A hundred kilometres down the way, Luxembourg. The Belgians have a strong railway system that should service…”

Trebitsch was already on that train, through winding countryside were sheep wool was stripped, through green desert to Red Lands’ rich iron ore. He’d conquer the thick forests and brave the Pasarelle viaduct over precipitous cliffs. He’d arrive in the Cercle Municipal for cross-border trade deals with Germans over glasses of Moselle.

“You’re Hungarian, aren’t you?”

Phipps’ question shook him from his daze.

“Originally, though I have travelled.”

“Yes, I was stationed in Budapest. Coyngham Greene’s there now; good fellow.”

Trebitsch thanked Phipps for his time, and said goodbye to Hotermans on the way. Then he was out onto Auderghem Avenue. He’d meant to return to Au Wavre McQuain Hotel. The row of foreign embassies waving flags slowed him, there, by the Cafe de la Speranza. Towering porticos; window verandas; chequered dividers: a sense that only the finest would be dining there.

 

This week’s ones late. I’ve been preparing research, rare books. While I’m burrowed in Trinity library, I’ll be auto-posting. We’ll return to dailies for the next few weeks, as the format suits. I’ll be at the DECAF event on Sunday, the Dublin Eight Comics Art Festival, a real down-in-the-grassroots harbinger of future creative storytelling. Here’s a link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1413512145403983/

<i><a href=”https://andy-luke.com/category/book/ignacz-the-watch-thief-book/”><strong>Ignacz The Watch Thief is a weekly appearing part-work</strong></a>. To donate go to <strong><a href=”http://patreon.com/andyluke”>patreon.com/andyluke</a></strong&gt; and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.</i>