Ian and Debby are ready for evening of enchantment at a French diplomatic affair …. if Juliette can keep the guys from embarrassing themselves! When a line of Russian limousines pulls up in front of the French officers club, the evening veers toward the bizarre. Ian thinks this may turn into the best night of his life. Until a bit of news sends his heart racing!
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I attended more than a few formal affairs in Berlin, though never one exactly like I describe here. While US/USSR relations at the time were not especially tense, speaking to a Soviet officer would have looked very odd. I encountered Russian soldiers at Four Powers functions from time to time, but I never approached one. My superiors were not as blase about Russian language ability as Colonel Spitz in this chapter. Those of us fluent in Russian were encouraged not to advertise the fact.
The French officers club on the Wannsee was an enchanted palace to my young eyes. I first tasted snails there, and I first danced formally to a string quartet under sparkling chandeliers. I just had to set this chapter there, even though the French play no part in the story. I think you may agree that the setting works, especially after the next chapter, but I’ll stay mum about that for now.
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