Sunday, June 01, 2014

Small talk between spies in 1956, from the memoir Undercover by E. Howard Hunt

There came a night when both Samoilov and I were guests at a diplomatic affair and found ourselves standing next to each other. He offered me a Russian cigarette, which I declined. Nervously lighting one and puffing it, he seemed to be searching for a conversational subject when he suddenly blurted, 'You are a friend of the Chernikovs.'
  'I am?'
  'Yes. You knew them in Shanghai.'
  Shanghai, I thought. Who? Then I remembered Valentin and Marusha. My memory might have been faulty, but not the KGB files. Pleasantly I asked, 'How are they?'
  'Fine, fine,' Samoilov said. 'They have three fine children now.'
  'Is he still with Tass?'
  'No, oh, no. He is now a diplomat.' He smiled almost mockingly. 'Like ourselves.'

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