The steamer, Sestri Levante, stood high above the dock side, and the watery sleet, carried on the wind blustering down from the Black Sea, had drenched even the small shelter deck. In the after well the Turkish stevedores, with sacking tied around their shoulders, were still loading cargo.
Graham saw the steward carry his suit-case through a door marked PASSEGGIERI, and turned aside to see if the two men who had shaken hands with him at the foot of the gangway were still there. They had not come aboard lest the uniform of one of them should draw attention to him. Now they were walking across the crane lines towards the warehouses and the dock gates beyond. As they reached the shelter of the first shed they looked back. He raised his left arm and saw an answering wave. They walked on out of sight.
For a moment he stood there shivering and staring out of the mist that shrouded the domes and towers of Stambul. Behind the rumble and clatter of the winches, the Turkish foreman was shouting plaintively in bad Italian to one of the ship’s officers. Graham remembered that he had been told to go to his cabin and stay there until the ship sailed. He followed the steward through the door.
The man was waiting for him at the head of a short flight of stairs. There was no sign of any of the nine other passengers.
“Da queste parte.”
Canaletto: Entrance To The Grand Canal, Venice (upper);
The River Thames (middle); Self-Portrait (lower).
Text: Eric Ambler, Journey Into Fear, 1940