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.