"But if anything goes wrong, Ill be held responsible. Youve got my
brother in jail and hell be punished. What justice is that?" Biermeier smiled, came over to him and put an arm around his
shoulder. "Go, Rosenharte. See what the woman has to say. We believe
theres much she can tell us."
He paused. "Look, whats the problem? You
give her dinner, win her affections as only you know how, and bring her
back to us. Take her to bed, Rosenharte. Make her yours again." Rosenharte let out a bitter laugh, momentarily recalling the
"love tutorials of the Stasi spy school. "Make her yours again! Youre still living
in the fifties, Colonel."
"You know what I mean. You were one of us before the Firm decided your talents
lay elsewhere. You did this for a living. You, above anyone, know what to do
with this woman. I dont have to remind you that you have an obligation to
the state equal to that of a serving officer." Rosenharte lit a Marlboro and inwardly grimaced. He hated the way
the Stasi called themselves the Firm in imitation of the way the CIA used
the word Company. "Then youll keep to our agreement and allow my
brother Konrad and his family to go free if I meet her?" Biermeier didnt respond.
"You will release them?" Rosenharte persisted.
The colonel turned and permitted himself a nod a deniable nod.
"Thats a yes?"
Biermeier closed his eyes and nodded again.
"I dont want your people following me. Pier Four is deserted and very
exposed. I went there earlier. Shell spot anyone on my tail."
"Thats doubtless why she chose it. No, we wont follow you. Were
relying on you to bring her to us. Its all on your shoulders."
There was a gentle knock at the door. Biermeier opened it to a young
officer carrying a plastic bag. "This is Schaub. He will show you how to
operate the listening device. Weve got better equipment since you were
in the service. Youll be impressed how small it is."
Rosenharte sat down on the bed heavily. "You expect me to seduce this
woman wired up to Normannenstrasse?"
"Ill be the only one listening. Anyway, when it comes to that part of
the evening you go to the bathroom and take it off. Its the conversation
before that interests me, not your lovemaking, Rosenharte."
Schaub tested the microphone and transmitter, then Rosenharte
removed his shirt and submitted with mild protests as Schaub toweled
the perspiration from his skin and taped the equipment to his chest and
"Some part of you must feel pride," Biermeier told him. "After all,
youre going back into harness for the state."
"Nothing could be further from the truth, said Rosenharte. "I was
never any good at this kind of work."
The colonel exhaled impatiently. "Ah well, of course now you count
yourself a member of the intelligentsia. You speak fancily and affect an
air of superiority, but remember, I know the man behind the facade. I
read your file. What was it one of your many girlfriends said? A clever,
Schaub smirked then got up and left.
"You mean she didnt mention my lovable sense of humour?" said Rosenharte.
"My skills as a cook, my steadfastness, my sobriety, my modesty . . ."
Biermeier shook his head disdainfully.
"Well," said Rosenharte, "at least Im a clever bastard who knows
himself. How many of us can say that, Colonel?"
Biermeier shook his head and sat down.
"Id like a shower before I meet her." God, he was talking as if she was
actually going to be there.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...