Being afraid of investigators, avoiding the sociable life, Under an English pseudonym "Mister John Lancaster Peck," Always in leather gloves - so not to leave any footprints - A non-Soviet looking man lived in the Soviet hotel. John Lancaster all by himself, preeminently every night, Always cracked something which hid the red-object glass. And then in a normal society something appeared in black color, What we all value and admire, something of which we are very proud. The club on a street Nagorny became a public toilet. Our native central market became a dirty warehouse. The main department store became a little hut, and itís indecent to remember what became of Theater of Arts. But to work without assistants could be sad and could be boring. The enemy thought that, what a smart jerk-wrote a fictitious check, And somewhere in the restaurant our Soviet citizen Yepiffan Was accidently knocked down by a non-Soviet looking man. Yeppifan looked very greedy, cunning, clever, and quite skillful: He knew no limits in women, parties, alcohol, good life. So, you see, Johnís assistant was a find for a super agent, It could happen to anyone, if heís drunk and soft at heart. So, hereís a first mission: "At three fifteen, near the bath-house, Maybe earlier, maybe later a taxi cab will stop. You have to get in, tie up the driver, outsmart a simple thief, And then about this incident we will hear from BBC. And also: "Wear fresh clothes, and at the exhibit at the Arena, A tall man with a suitcase will approach you then and say: "Would you like to have some cherries?" You will answer: "Of course." Heíll give you a box with explosives, you will bring that to me. "And for that, my drunk comrade," John used to say to Yeppifan - "There will be money, a house in Chicago, many pretty girls and cars." The enemy didnít suspect the one to whom he said that. Ours was a secret Soviet major, and a very happy family man. Yes, with those things heís a master, that bumbling John Lancaster! But the famed mister Peck really learned his lesson here: Now he is completely harmless, had his hair cut in prison, While in the Soviet hotel lives a very peaceful Greek.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991