The voice was heavily accented, most probably Russian. It sounded distorted, as if coming from a great distance.
Definitely not from the Bronx.
“Yes, speaking,” he answered calmly, trying hard to hide his anxiety.
“The deal is off, Herr Sturm,” the voice said.
“Pardon me, I didn’t hear you,” he replied.
“Herr Sturm, the deal is off. Do you hear me now? Herr Sturm, Polf—whatever your name may be—the deal is
off. No money, no dollars, no rubbles, nada. Goodbye forever, Herr Polf. Go home Herr Polf. Go home. That’s my
advice to you. Until it is too late for you. Good night and never call back.”
“I would like to speak to Sokolov,” he shouted into the receiver, trying to argue the inevitable.