Collier froze, dumbfounded by what he had just heard. His mind shot-off in several directions in search of possible reasons, but each possibility traveled to a dead-end. Slowly, he faced Stewart Menzies. He hoped his expression said far more than any garbled words that might have tumbled out of his mouth.
Stewart gestured for him to regain his seat. Reluctantly, Collier complied.
“There are few things tougher in life, Sandy, than what I’m about to ask you to do.” He slid the buff envelope closer to Collier.
“I know nothing about banking, Stewart. Certainly not at the level you just discussed.”
“It’s not that, Sandy.”
“Then what is it?” Collier asked, puzzled.
“During our conversation you may recall my mentioning a German spy, code name Otto.”
“So? The last I heard spy catching was the job of MI-6. Not me. I catch a different kind of bad guy,” Collier chortled. “Get to it, Stewart, and stop beating about the bush.”
Menzies glanced at his watch with what appeared to be a troubled expression. “Hmm. I must excuse myself again. Sorry about this. Lost track of time. It shouldn’t take too long. While I’m gone, I want you to examine the contents of that envelope.”
Collier laid his hand on it but did not draw it closer.
“I’ll be gone twenty-minutes, give or take. Again, I’m sorry, Sandy, for the interruption.” Quickly, he gathered several folders from his desk drawer and placed them in his satchel. “Make yourself comfortable.” He motioned toward the couch and then left.
Collier’s fingers tapped on the manila envelope until his curiosity got the better of him. Picking it up, he retired to the couch and unwound the string fastened around the button on the enve...