Chapter 9 – Part 3

“I thought they decided they couldn’t trade dope out of Saigon.”

“They can’t. That load wasn’t dope. DB scored a load of M-16s from somewhere in the delta. He paid cash for them. Now he’s on pins and needles waiting for his money from the sale. It’s supposed to come from an Australian bank but they have other irons in the fire. That’s what the pallet of bags is.”

“What’s in the bags? Must be valuable.”

“Surplus sugar from the Coca Cola bottling plant in Vientiane.”

“They’re buying sugar from Vientiane, you mean Laos?”

“The very same.”

“Wasn’t that Shackley’s previous post before he took over Saigon from Lansdale?”

“I’m curious to know who told you that.”

I thought for a moment. I was sure it was Miss Yen who had told me that when I first told her about meeting Halftrack. It occurred to me that it might not be good for Halftrack to know what Miss Yen knew and what she didn’t.

“I thought that was common knowledge.”

“No. That sort of information doesn’t normally go outside the Agency. The Company doesn’t issue press releases on personnel matters like transfers, except from Washington.”

“Then, I guess it must have been Co. Suel when he told me about doing this favor for Shackley. Though I don’t remember specifically. I did notice that he has a lot of folk art in his office that doesn’t seem Vietnamese.”

“Suel is certainly well enough connected to know that and he was in Saigon when Shackley arrived.”

“Why do you ask who told me? Is it a big secret?”

“It’s better that word doesn’t get around as to who is doing what, even who works for the Agency.”

“Like you?”

“I don’t work for the agency. I’m a staff sergeant in the 9th infantry.”

“Yeah, like my uncle used to claim he only came to Saigon to keep his flight pay current.”

“You mean Col. Borgman, when he was stationed in Hawaii?”

I was stunned. How could he know that? I hadn’t told anybody that I even had an uncle, much less his name…………….. except Miss Yen once cautioned me that the people I was dealing with didn’t have uncles in intelligence and shouldn’t know I did either. I didn’t remember telling her I even had an uncle in the Air Force.

“How could you know that?”

“Same way you found out where Shackley came from. Perhaps a little birdie or a big birdie? Oh, and Lansdale wasn’t the previous station chief.”

“According to my uncle he was. Had an office in the embassy and stayed ‘till Shackley showed up. That other guy, Jorgensen, was just a place holder according to him. Lansdale was the muscle.

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