Richard Ober was one



who are they?

Cathy read MEMO at her desk. Lester Krup watched behind granny glasses, briefcase on his lap.

“You know this is fake,” she said, clearing the panic from her throat.

“I suspect.”

“The checks are real. We thought they came from some rich liberal who wanted to stay anonymous.”

She looked into MEMO, saw nested cubicles, flourescent lights, men in suits, an office door - Deputy Director of Plans on a brass plate. She saw money, and for some reason, boats.

“You see how the main text differs from the top and bottom.”

She held it to the light. “Less flakes.”

“I’m hoping somebody fucked up, put the message on stationary he wasn’t supposed to. I called a man in the Agency. He went nuts when I mentioned SOG and Ober. But he’s clever.”

So are you, thought Cathy, for not naming that person. And if I say, Yes I’ve heard about SOG from several sources now, what will you think. And are you one of them?

“What makes you think we’re not CIA agents?”

“Yeah, uh huh.” Krup seemed a cross between a grad student and an Eastern European apparatchik. “First was when I called, you didn’t hesitate about the checks. And Bev vouches for you, adores you actually. You know how there are people you have a pre-shadow of suspicion about, then after something happens you say, Oh yeah I should have known? I never felt that about Jimmy. When this arrived, I visualized him staying at my place. If he was wrong, he would have left something behind, a negative aura. I meditated actually. I saw him.”


“He was in the bay window. He was—” Krup wheeled his hand, seeking the word, shrugged. “—sympatico. Is there anything you can tell me? That would help.”

“Mind if I make a copy? Jimmy’s out of town. I’ll call you.”

“I do think it’s a snitch jacket.”

She watched him to the elevator. Who are they in these agencies, bureaus, staffs, corridors, offices, with their wiretaps, teletypes, teeny tiny tape recorders, telephoto lenses, xerox machines, unmarked cars, electric gizmos. Is Krup one? They know who we are and we don’t know who they are. J. Edgar Hoover, that’s the only name I know. Somebody Helms. And they know us all.