I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, til we have built Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.” - William Blake
“This is a business meeting, Kim,” Anthony announced as they climbed the stairs to the flat he shared with Guy.
“So we’re being watched.”
“I believe so, yes.” If anything, his manner became more guarded after he opened the door. The watchers must have them in range, Kim thought.
“Would you care for a drink?” Kim declined. “Please take a drink.”
So he did - that little word, “please”, said all was not right. Anthony drank a full glass of straight gin.
“At his club. He has promised not to come home early.”
“It is serious, then.”
“Very serious. Do you remember that our friends took some pictures of you?”
“For blackmail, yes. In Vienna.”
“They do not trust you.”
“I divorced Litzi, lied to her, went to Spain, became the fascists’ favourite reporter - what more can I do?” Kim asked in exasperation.
“Spain is the problem. It seems you enjoyed the company of several ladies.”
“I had to do something more than just the Nazi bitch. God, I would have burst otherwise!”
“Yes, well, certain pictures in the possession of our friends are unlikely to embarrass you if they became public. I have been asked to assist in the procurement of a
“Certain pictures? All they’ve got is me standing in front of a door with a bunch of flowers.”
“I have been told that those are not the trouble.”
“There are others?” Anthony stared at his empty glass in silence. “Litzi?”
“I don’t know,” he replied sharply. “It all feels terribly tawdry, I know. I thought perhaps Henry had found a kinship with Mr Givens. ‘Make sure it’s disgusting’, he ordered. So here I am, playing the role of that wretched waiter.”
“I never said a word about what happened to Guy,” Kim insisted.
“I know. I did. To Otto. It must be in the file now.”
“What have we joined?”
“What would you do for communism in Britain?”
“Anything. You know that.”
“Then your task today is to make love to me while someone across the street photographs us.” He downed another glass of gin.
“The whole idea is disgusting. I need another drink.” It was freely given.
“I don’t derive any pleasure from the thought.”
“I didn’t think you would. That’s why it’s disgusting. Guy tried to seduce me already, and I know that was not under orders.”
“You did not tell our friends, I trust.”
Kim could not bear to look at Anthony. “Of course not. I love Guy. You’re one to talk.”
“I love Guy. I will do anything to protect him. I would give my life for him. That is why I told Otto. Anything that goes around Cambridge will be told to Moscow. Better it come from me than from rumour. I trusted Otto. Don’t tell me you did not.”
Kim sighed. “Of course I did. Otto was one of us. His replacement doesn’t understand.”
“Henry is whom you wish to put on the highest rungs of the ladder - a man without education but with a great desire for revenge.”
“Must we talk politics now?”
“Would you rather we h