'Have no fear. It is totally respectable.'
James Bond had always found Berlin a glum, inimical city, varnished on the Western side with a brittle veneer of gimcrack polish rather like the chromium trim on American motorcars. He walked to the Kurfьrstendamm and sat in the Cafй Marquardt and drank an espresso and moodily watched the obedient queues of pedestrians waiting for the Go sign on the traffic lights while the shiny stream of cars went through their dangerous quadrille at the busy intersection. It was cold outside and the sharp wind from the Russian steppes whipped at the girls' skirts and at the waterproofs of the impatient hurrying men, each with the inevitable briefcase tucked under his arm. The infrared wall heaters in the cafe glared redly down and gave a spurious glow to the faces of the cafe squatters, consuming their traditional "one cup of coffee and ten glasses of water," reading the free newspapers and periodicals in their wooden racks, earnestly bending over business documents. Bond, closing his mind to the evening, debated with himself about ways to spend the afternoon. It finally came down to a choice between a visit to that respectable-looking brownstone house in the Clausewitzstrasse known to all concierges and taxi drivers and a trip to the Wannsee and a strenuous walk in the Grunewald. Virtue triumphed. Bond paid for his coffee and went out into the cold and took a taxi to the Zoo Station.
The desert glare had scrunched his eyes into a permanent squint, leaving his face capable of onlytwo expressions: skepticism or amusement. No matter what I said for the rest of the night, I couldnever tell if he thought I was hilarious or full of shit. When Caballo turns his attention on you, helocks in hard; he listens as attentively as a hunter tracking game, seeming to get as much from thewarbles of your voice from the meaning of your words. Oddly, though, he still has anabominableearforaccents(as) —after more than a decade in Mexico, his Spanish clanged so badly itsounded as if he were sounding it out from phonics cards.
He pulled on a shirt and trousers and with a set cold face he walked down and shut himself in the telephone booth.
“The rending of the heart’s last cord

September, 1883.