Continued from Part III.
“Paul and I used to talk regularly, did you know that?” said von Shiff, easing himself from her grasp and standing up straighter. “He told me things to gain your trust in the event of his death. I know about the beach hut. I know that you met him in Paris. I know the joke about the sparrows. I know you had a pink model biplane when you were six years old.”
Carla stood back, shocked.
“A desperate man will say anything,” said von Shiff. “But how else would I know these things?”
“Paul was not a traitor,” said Carla.
“Correct. He was a clear-headed man. So we talked and we made a deal. The same deal I wish to make with you, Agent Dittrich.”
“You poisoned him,” she said, no longer sure of her conviction. “You killed him.”
“He poisoned himself. I believe he is not dead. An elaborate ruse to escape the gaze of his superiors. Or maybe they killed him themselves.”
“It’s not true,” said Carla. “It’s absurd.”
“Have you seen the body?” asked von Shiff. “How far do you really trust Greer?”
The elevator shook, whined, then began to move again. Carla backed into a corner, awash with confusion. She needed to get out, to think, to search. To find Paul.
“You loved him,” said von Shiff. “I can see that. Now climb back up on top of the elevator before we reach the ground floor and Mr. Mitchell decides to shoot you.”
“Where is Paul?” she said.
“When he is ready,” said von Shiff, “I will find you.”