Ten days later, Richard Cote came back through the looking glass.
The Dickster was blasted and spacey from jet lag when he arrived at my house just past 5:30 p.m. He had just flown four hours from Moscow to Paris, eight hours from Paris to Washington, and had all but lost his voice to laryngitis.
He begged for a glass of milk, then another.
We sat in my sunroom.
An awestruck Cote was in his glory, if out of his depth.
"I just had the most exhilarating ten days of my life!" he erupted.
Edward Howard had introduced Cote to George Blake; they had lunched at a Moscow restaurant called Tren Mos Bistro.
The British traitor Blake wanted Cote's help to write his own book (a sequel to an earlier memoir), so the Dickster intended to get back to Russia as soon as humanly possible.
"Moscow has no logic," he rasped. "At least not our logic. It has a logic all its own. You're not in control in Moscow. Moscow is in control of you. Everywhere you go, the answer is no. I call them nyet-nyuks."
"Slow down," I said. "Let's start from the beginning."
Cote rubbed his Adam’s apple. "I asked Howard the entire laundry list of questions the FBI and CIA would dearly like to ask him, if only they could,” he said. “I'll send you fifty pages of interview transcripts.”
So rather than talk substance, we'd talk color and gossip, and do this over pizza and white wine at nearby Melio's.