Friday, June 6, 2014

All That I Am: Anna Funder

Context:  Bizarre fiction by Anna Funder.

pp 359-361

The action had been discussed in Berlin and London.  It would have been simplest to shoot them of course, as they had Lessing and Rudi.  There was no need to kidnap Dora because they had her source already.  She just needed silencing.  But a shooting in Bloomsbury would have upset the English and the English were upset enough.  Also, she had contacts in high places.  So shooting was ruled out, and they would need five men, two on each woman and one to give the order.

They'd approached Wolf in a bakery, when he was buying his morning rolls.  He'd looked at them as if at the sudden incarnation of all his fears.  They escorted him to a seat in Russell Square to discuss a proposition.  It was hardly much to ask, they said: lend them some keys, write a letter, barely at all.  Wolf stammered something about it not being possible; at the inevitable inquest his relationship with Dora would become known and his wife would find out.  Then they mentioned his daughter, in Denmark, how convenient it was for her that she could walk to school.  They spoke of other relatives in Germany who were still free; they terrified him with what might, in certain as yet undefined circumstances, happen to them.  When he worried about having to imitate her handwriting they knew they had him.  They were in a position, they said, to ensure that Scotlan Yard would hand the note over to the German embassy for translation and graphology.  It would be 'taken care of'.  Wolf came up with the idea of using shorthand himself, as an extra protection.