The Phone Call
They invited to sit in a room that appeared much the same as the one in Rio. This one was on the second floor.
A man in a rumpled suit and wrinkled dress shirt opened the door and walked in.
“My name is Evans,” he said and handed Rich his credentials to examine.
Rich gave them a quick look and handed them back.
“So, Larsen, what is it you want,” Evans said.
“I want the use of a phone,” Rich said.
“Is it a call that has to do with your assignment?” Evans said.
“No,” Rich said. “It’s personal.”
“Than you should us a public phone,” Evans said.
“I want to call a friend,” Rich said, “and I figured it would be easier to contact him from here. I don’t want to take the chances of my whereabouts being traced.”
“I’m sorry,” Evans said, “we can’t authorize private calls.”
“Yes you can,” Rich said. “You do it all the time. I don’t know how much you know about me, but I’m putting my ass on the line for nothing more than keeping some subversives busy. I’m bait, pretty expendable bait. I get nothing out of this, nothing. Anytime you get an itch to talk to some skirt back in the States you get a little authorization and do it. I’m doing you guys a favor. Why not let me have five minutes with an old buddy.”
Evans nodded toward the phone. “Wait for the phone to ring. It will be in about five or ten minutes. Give the operator the information to reach your friend and follow the instructions.”
“Thank you, sir,” Rich said. “By the way, have you ever been to Buenos Aires?”
“Yes,” Evans said.
“Do you know the name of a good hotel, that’s out of the way?” Rich said.
“The Rosada,” Evans said.
“Thanks, again,” Rich said.
Evans left the room.
A few minutes later the phone rang.
“Who do you wish to contact and what is the number?” a female operator said.
“Dennis Hudson,” Rich said and gave the number.
“Hang up and we will call you as soon as his phone rings in,” the operator said.
In fifteen minutes the phone rang. Rich picked it up. He heard a phone ringing on the other end.
“Hello, this is Dennis.”
“Dennis, are you alone?” Rich said.
“Yes,” Dennis said. “Is this Rich?”
“Yes,” Rich said.
“Are you okay,” Dennis said.
“I’m quite good,” Rich said.
“Are you in town?” Dennis said.
“No,” Rich said. “Are you and Peggy still married?”
“No,” Dennis said. “I haven’t seen here since you left. I came home one day and everything that belonged to her was gone and a month later I sighed divorce papers. It is as if she was never a part of my life.”
“I’m sorry,” Rich said, “you know what I mean.”
“Yeah,” Dennis said. “So why the call?”
“Dennis,” Rich said. “this may sound crazy, but how soon can you be in Buenos Aires?”
“This may sound even crazier,” Dennis said, “but I can be packed and ready to go in and hour.”
“There is no way I can be there in a day,” Rich said, “but go the Rosada Hotel, get a room, and I’ll contact you there.”
“What’s this all about, anyway?” Dennis said.
“Just two friends getting together,” Rich said.
“Where can I reach you if there is some sort of delay?” Dennis said.
“There is no way, but leave a message at the Rosada,” Rich said. “Hopefully we’ll see each other in two or three days.”
“Yes,” Dennis said. “That would be grand.”
“See you then,” Rich said and hung up.
Rich left the room. Evans leaned against the wall on the hallway smoking a cigarette. Rich thanked him and was led to the lobby. He called for a cab and went back to the marina.
Rich stayed the night at the marina in Montevideo and sailed early the next morning.