“I wrote these down last night,” he said. “I thought it would save time.”
Peters took the notes and read them slowly and carefully. He seemed impressed.
“Good,” he said, “very good.”
“Then I remember best a thing called Rolling Stone. I got a couple of trips out of it. One to Copenhagen and one to Helsinki. Just dumping money at banks.”
“Ten thousand dollars in Copenhagen, forty thousand D-marks in Helsinki”
Peters put down his pencil.
“Who for?” he asked.
“God knows. We work Rolling Stone on a system of deposit accounts. The Service gave me a phony British passport; I went to the Royal Scandinavian Bank in Copenhagen and the National Bank of Finland in Helsinki, deposited the money and drew a passbook on a joint account–for me in my alias and for someone else–the agent I suppose in his alias. I gave the banks a sample of the coholder’s signature, I’d got that from Head Office. Later, the agent was given the passbook and a false passport which he showed at the bank when he drew the money. All I knew was the alias.” He heard himself talking and it all sounded so ludicrously improbable.
‘Was this procedure common?”
“No. It was a special payment. It had a subscription list.”
“It had a code name known to very few people.”
“What was the code name?”
“I told you–Rolling Stone. The operation covered irregular payments often thousand dollars in different currencies and in different capitals.”
“Always in capital towns?”
“Far as I know. I remember reading in the file that there had been other Rolling Stone payments before I came to the Section, but in those cases Banking Section got the local Resident to do it.”
“These other payments that took place before you came: where were they made?”
“One in Oslo. I can’t remember where the other was.”
“Was the alias of the agent always the same?”
“No. That was an added security precaution. I heard later we pinched the whole technique from the Russians. It was the most elaborate payment scheme I’d met. In the same way I used a different alias and of course a different passport for each trip.” That would please him, help him to fill in the gaps.
“These faked passports the agent was given so that he could draw the money: did you know anything about them–how they were made out and dispatched?”
“No. Oh, except that they had to have visas in them for the country where the money was deposited. And entry stamps.”
“Yes. I assumed the passports were never used at the border–only presented at the bank for identification purposes. The agent must have traveled on his own passport, quite legally entered the country where the bank was situated, then used the faked passport at the bank. That was my guess.”
“Do you know of a reason why earlier payments were made by the Residents, and later payments by someone traveling out from London?”
“I know the reason., I asked the women in Banking Section, Thursday and Friday. Control was anxious that–”
“_Control?_ Do you mean to say Control himself was running the case?”
“Yes, he was running it. He was afraid the Resident might be recognized at the bank. So he used a postman: me.”
“When did you make your journeys?”
“Copenhagen on the fifteenth of June. I flew back the same night. Helsinki at the end of September. I stayed two nights there, flew back around the twentyeighth. I had a bit of fun in Helsinki.” He grinned but Peters took no notice.
“And the other payments–when were they made?”
“I can’t remember. Sorry.”
“But one was definitely in Oslo?”
“Yes, in Oslo.”
“How much time separated the first two payments, the payments made by the Residents?”
“I don’t know. Not long, I think. Maybe a month. A bit more perhaps.”
“Was it your impression that the agent had been operating for some time before the first payment was made? Did the file show that?”
“No idea. The ifie simply covered actual payments. First payment early fifty-nine. There was no other date on it. That is the principle that operates where you have a limited subscription. Different files handle different bits of a single case. Only someone with the master file would be able to put it all together.”