General Trinh is delivering papers

  by: Walter Guest

However there was a necessity to nurse him along and check his work. He sent out orders to other contacts to verify certain points in the story and to gather more information.

With that taken care of Rudmetkyn dismissed the matter from his mind. He went on to other things with the sure knowledge that when this matter was again called to his attention, a great deal of work would have been done on his behalf. This was what gave him the most satisfaction. He enjoyed the feeling that problems were moving to their solutions without his attention, whether he was awake or sleeping. Ant ht more “problems” he had working at any given time, the more satisfaction he felt.

He was of average height for a Russian, which was probable an inch or two shorter than the average American. His body was built wide and gave the impression of great strength even though he was in his mid-fifties. His facial features, like many Russians, were distinctly Asiatic. That was a legacy of hundreds of years of Mongol occupation. Although his hair was graying, his eyebrows were still jet black. They were bushy and nearly joined above his nose. He displayed no other facial hair.

His features were coarse and seldom showed any emotion. Men tended to mistrust him on the basis of his looks. Rudmetkyn was aware of that. He was also aware that his most persuasive tool was his voice. It was low and mellifluous. He could modulate it to convey unlimited confidence ant trust to the listener. That was the main reason he preferred to do as much work as he could over the telephone.

His villa outside Moscow was not large. It was one story with eight rooms. High government functionaries who lived around him had much larger homes. There were no trees or brush growing on his grounds. The land was surrounded by a wall and a fence, both were electrified. The outer perimeter was a stone wall topped by barbed wire. Five meters inside that was an all wire fence. The area between the fences was heavily mined.

There was only one way into the grounds. The driveway was covered by a guardhouse and gate outside the outer fence and another inside the inner fence. The guard houses were large. The elite troops assigned to him lived in them. Patrols were constantly on the move on the grounds and outside the perimeter. A powerful man cannot help but make enemies.

Rudmetkyn had never been married, as far as anyone knew. His living quarters took up only three rooms in the villa. Two of the three rooms were bedrooms. Two of his assistants lived with him in the villa. Each had a separate bedroom. A local woman came early in the morning and left in the early evening. She did the cooking and housekeeping. That was the extent of his staff.

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