THE SAMOVAR AFFAIR
Alexander Waverly tried to light his pipe for the third time in as many minutes. As with both previous attempts, the sacred ritual was interrupted by the annoying beep that signaled an incoming telex.
“Blast. Is it too much to ask for a moment of world peace to allow me to light my pipe?” He blew out the match and began to read, muttering to himself as he scanned the coded message. His eyebrows rose and fell, rose and fell.
Never a good sign, those eyebrows, Napoleon Solo thought to himself. While he waited for the fate of the world to be decided yet again, he rose from the conference table, and poured himself a cup of much-needed coffee, wishing there were a way to jury-rig an intravenous drip. As meetings went, this was going to be a long one.( Read more... )