Friends, Russians, countrymen
He ran into him on his way to meet Napoleon, who was waiting in the car down in the garage. The tall Englishman was coming out of the elevator.
“Illya, my old mucker! Good to see you again. You haven’t changed a bit. How are you?”
“Very well, thank you,” Illya replied coolly. “How are you, Mark?”
“Extremely well, and raring to go.” Mark said, and continued, chattily, “I heard you were here, of course. Never would have thought we’d end up on the same side, eh?”
That all-too familiar, breezy bonhomie of the privately-educated English male, speaking in the cut-glass accents of the upper-classes, with their implicit put-down of lesser mortals – or serfs, in his case. His old mucker, indeed. He knew what that odd expression meant now. A place at Cambridge didn’t make you equal, they made sure of that.
“No,” he replied. “It must be strange to find that even Russians take any kind of moral view of the world.”
“I didn’t mean...” said Mark awkwardly, “don’t be like that, Illya … you know how it was at Cambridge… Secret Service recruiters and all that.”
“Yes. I do know.”
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