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The Interrogation of Klaus Fuchs


Chapter 1 - sample


'Film? No sir. Try Harlowes, just along.'

He left the shop, went along and tried Harlowes.

'Sorry sir.'

He came out, pausing on the pavement to check his watch before turning from the row of shops and crossing the square. A minute later another man entered Harlowes, approached the counter and showed his card. 'That fellow just in here. Steel-rimmed spectacles.'

The elderly assistant read the card and then looked up, curious. 'Foreign chap.'

'Yes. What was he looking for?'


'A particular type?'

'Cine-film. Colour. We don't stock it.'

'Anything else he wanted?'


'Has he been in here before?'

'Don't think so, no. Couldn't swear to it.'

The man went out and crossed into the square.

A gentleman in a tweed jacket with an umbrella on his arm stood by the steps. 'East on the Strand, south side,' said the gentleman quietly, and the other said, 'Get up to Paddington,' and continued on his way without stopping. At the far side of the square he climbed into a waiting taxi.

'East on the Strand,' he told the driver.

The driver glanced in the mirror. 'Seven not coming?'


The taxi drew out, turned in to the Strand.

After a hundred yards the driver lifted his chin. Among the pedestrians, the fellow in the steel-rimmed spectacles.

'Go on past,’ said the Watcher. ‘Get ahead of Eight then let me down. Park over at the Aldwych. I'll stay on Ramsay.'

Fifty yards on, the first Watcher - Six - got down from the taxi.

Ramsay soon disappeared into Shell Mex House. And then the Watchers waited. The driver and Eight waited in the taxi, parked at the Aldwych. Across the Strand from Shell Mex House, in the window of a Lyons tea shop, Six worked on a crossword and watched the Shell Mex door.

At four o'clock, Ramsay came out of Shell Mex House followed by Piper. The pair looked along the Strand, flagged down a taxi. Six exited the tea shop, crossed over to the Aldwych and climbed in.

'Paddington?' said the driver.

'Probably. I’ve sent Seven up there already. Keep on them.'

They followed the other taxi up the Kingsway. Kingsway, Oxford Street. Oxford Street, Edgware Road. Praed Street. Paddington Station.

Ramsay and Piper got down.

From the following taxi, Eight got down. The taxi moved ahead fifty yards, and when it stopped again Six got down and entered the station. Near the platforms Seven was already waiting, an umbrella on his arm and a ticket in his hand, scanning the departure board. Eight stopped at the tobacconist to buy cigarettes.

Then Seven went onto the platform, walked along beside the waiting train. Behind him Ramsay and Piper came onto the platform, boarded at the rear of the second carriage. Now Seven boarded at the front of the same carriage, saw them go into compartment D. He entered compartment C and sat down. He took the Financial Times from beneath his arm and opened it.

After ten minutes the train departed.

West Drayton, Slough, Maidenhead, Reading.

Seven looked up occasionally from his paper and out into the corridor. But no-one left compartment D. The grey clouds hung heavy over the flat fields of Berkshire. The burnt stubble was now a carpet of sodden ash awaiting the plough. From elm and beech the last of the coppered leaves had fallen.

'Didcot. Next stop, Didcot.'

As the train drew in, Ramsay and Piper emerged from compartment D into the corridor. Seven folded his paper, came out from compartment C and shuffled ahead of the other passengers to the door. After alighting he crossed the platform to the noticeboard and leaned forward to study the timetable. Ramsay and Piper passed behind him. A fellow came out to meet them.

'They called me from Shell Mex,' the fellow said as he greeted them, 'said you'd be on this one.' The man said he had a car waiting. He said he'd run them straight back to Harwell. The two men followed the fellow out through the station, heads bowed, talking about atoms.

Seven waited a minute then he went and bought another ticket. He crossed over the lines, dropped the Financial Times in the bin, and sat down to wait for the next train back to London.

  © Grant Sutherland