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Телефонный разговорник

Additional Telephone Conversations
Дополнительные телефонные разговоры

Request for a Discreet Assistance

MALLINSON: Mallinson.
CARON: Mr. Anthony Mallinson?
MALLINSON: Speaking.
CARON: My name is Inspector Lucien Caron, of the French Suret e Nationale.(1) I am ringing on behalf of Commissaire Claude Lebel. (The voice, speaking good but strongly accented English, was coming over clearly. Obviously line traffic at that hour was light.)
MALLINSON: Yes.
CARON: I believe you know Commissaire Lebel, perhaps, Mr. Mallinson.
MALLINSON: Yes, I know Commissaire Lebel. What's it about?
CARON: There is a matter of very considerable emergency, which also requires a great degree of discretion, that has cropped up. I am assisting Commissaire Lebel on the case. It is a most unusual case. The Commissaire would like to place a person-to-person call to you this morning at nine o'clock. Could you please be present to take the call?
MALLINSON: Is that a routine inquiry between cooperating police forces?
CARON: No, Mr. Mallinson, it is not. It is a question of personal request by the Commissaire to you for a little discreet assistance. It may be there is nothing that affects Scotland Yard in the matter that has come up. Most probably so. If that is the case, it would be better if there were no formal request placed. Mallinson thought it over. He was by nature a cautious man and had no wish to be involved in clandestine inquiries from a foreign police force. If a crime had been committed, or a criminal had fled to Britain, that was another matter. In that case why the secrecy? Then he remembered a case years ago where he had been sent out to find and bring back the daughter of a Cabinet Minister who had gone astray with a handsome young devil. The girl had been a minor so charges of removal the child from parental authority could have been brought. But the Minister wanted the whole thing done without a murmur reaching the Press. The Italian Police had been very helpful when the couple was found at Verona playing Romeo and Juliet. All right, so Lebel wanted a bit of help.
MALLINSON: All right, I'll take the call. Nine o'clock.
CARON: Thank you so much, Mr. Mallinson.
MALLINSON: Goodnight.

  1. the French Suret e Nationale - французская сыскная полиция
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