Excerpt of Brandenburg Gate by Henry Porter
(Page 9 of 9)
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Jay set off in the direction of the Grand Canal while Harland turned
from the sea and headed for an old insurance building near the Carabinieri
headquarters, where Ludovico Prelli was running the Italian
surveillance operation as a personal favor to Harland.
On reaching the building he passed a security check at the door and
leapt up the echoing stairway to the first floor, where two men inspected
his diplomatic passport. He was directed through a wide passage that
was filled with some of Prellis team of watchers. From within Prellis
office, a little way along the passage, Harland heard the low, humorous
growl of Alan Griswald, his CIA counterpart in Berlin, who had excused
himself from a family holiday in Venice to be in Trieste for the next
"Hey there," said Harland." What news from the Rialto?"
"Nothing, cept I doted on your very absence, Bobby," replied Griswald.
"Its good to have you here. Thanks for coming."
"It was wonderful but I couldnt look at another Tintoretto ceiling."
"Has Ludo filled you in on what just happened in the Old Port?"
Harland shook Prellis hand and gave him the wallet. "He was a Pole
named Grycko. A shoe salesman. Does that mean anything to you?" Griswald
shook his head." What did he die of?"
"Heart attack, maybe. He had a lot of saliva around his mouth.
Maybe poison was
involved, but my man tried to give him the kiss of life and he seems to be
okay. Anyway, we'll have the post-mortem results by tomorrow. Right, Ludo?"
"No, by this evening, I think," said the Italian.
Harland sat down. "What did the police think of Rosenharte? What was his mood
like when they took him back to the hotel?"
The Italian pressed his fingertips together and looked thoughtful.
"The police say they thought that he did not want to show what he was
thinking. He was shocked but he controlled himself, like you English."
He smiled at Harland.
Harland nodded, picked up the straw hat, which had been retrieved
from Molo IV, and examined the inside rim. "I wonder who the hell he
was," he said.
Excerpted from The Brandenberg Gate, (c) 2006 Henry Porter. Reproduced with permission of Grove Atlantic. All rights reserved.