the man in the mustard coloured suit

Lydia Stahl was a secret agent who worked for Soviet Military Intelligence in New York and Paris.

Lydia Lunch (not Lydia Stahl) found here

She was born Lydia Chkalov in the south of Russia, married a landed baron in the Crimea, divorced him in Constantinople, took her degree of master of arts at Colombia and her doctor of law at the Sorbonne, was a polyglot who spoke English, French, German, Russian, some Finnish, and a few of the little Russian dialects, and had prepared a thesis in Confucuian culture from original sources. 

Confucius found here

In general, her spy work sounded like a dull post graduate course in French land and sea armament figures and French economic policy. As part of her lighter spy work, she also had a lover, Professor Louis Martin, code expert for the French Ministry of the Marine. He decoded in several languages, was a tall white faced, red haired, middle aged scholar whose chief complaint during the seventeen months he was in jail before being tried for espionage and acquitted on a technicality, was that the French jail contained no dictionary in Sanskrit.

French spy found here

Professor Martin lived for five years in a modest Left Bank Paris Hotel. For a man who was a spy, or even for a man who was not, the professor’s clothes were extraordinary: he affected a Wild West sombrero and vivid mustard coloured suits which made him noticeable to the whole neighbourhood, including the corner policeman. Although he supposedly spoke eight living languages, in all those five years he seldom said a word to anyone in the hotel.

image found here

Though working for the Russian government, Lydia was sold out to the French government by a Finnish counterspy working for the Germans.

image found here

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 7:54 am  Comments (46)  
Tags: , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

46 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The man in the mustard suit has a jolly nice bulge. Why are the handsome men are hung like mosquitoes, and the ugly ones are donkeys in the pants?


    P.S. I’m ugly.

    • That’s David Bowie!!!!

      • Not the most flattering picture of David Bowie, though.

      • No, it isn’t flattering at all.

  2. The first pic is great. I like a little light bondage. Most of the bondage stuff I’ve come across is too violent for me. The women look like they’re in pain. That’s not sexy!

    • Do you like Lydia Lunch UB?

      • Sadly, I am not familiar with her work. Don’t know how I avoided it all these years.

  3. Spy work – all fun and games (i.e. hide and seek) until someone gets caught!
    My (unilingual) mind is still reeling from the number of languages Lydia had mastered.)

    • Mine too. I wish I had more of an aptitude for languages

  4. Lord, my life is boring. With a little tweakage of brain chemistry, I, too, could live something worth being sold out for.

    These posts make me strangely happy. There’s still hope.

  5. Yikes Lydia Lunch. There is someone who I haven’t thought about in years.

    I like the idea of subcontracting spies!

    • Who would you subcontract to Jams?

  6. first, i never did care for the germans.

    that whole nazi thing just left a bad taste in my mouth.

    second, i never did care for the germans.

    their language sounds like someone constantly spitting.

    • slightly more melodic than Dutch though

  7. There’s something deeply exciting about the name Lydia Chkalov.

    • Trust you to notice that

  8. The most annoying thing about spy work is that you can’t shoot them, because if you do, then the other side will shoot your spies when they’re captured. So everyone has to play nice and get away with whatever they can get away with, and try always not to shoot the person who’s trying to destroy your country. Sigh.

    • i didn’t realise what the rules were

  9. Good thing Bowie went to the Ziggy STardust look. He looked less creepy once he made the switch.

    • Yes it’s a very odd photo

  10. I have a BIG problem with that last picture. “Crush the Germans with your mind”, fine. But can’t you do it on the ground, instead of flying a fighter plane in combat? Talk about distracted driving!

    • I like the expression on the pilot’s face

      • And the fact that he’s making crushing motions with his hand.

        I think they had to have him in a plane for that picture. If he’d been doing the same pose sitting in a chair, he would have looked ridiculous.

  11. Spying on France….easy! They commit adultery, eat cheese, and surrender in 60 days. Unfortunately, they also beat us at Football AND Rugby!

    • was that a sporting comment Affer?

  12. Suddenly inspired to rewrite my thesis – on Confucianism.

    • Good luck with that Mitzi

  13. The annoying thing is most of the spies I’ve sent to France have never returned, something to do with the food or the women mayhap. What’s a monarch to do?

    The King

    • Just avoid a fit of tossing your dairy about, my liege, lest we all see a Monarch’s butter fly.

      • Some of the wenches like that kind of thing though, and I do have to ‘look after’ my people.

        The King

  14. david bowie still looks good to me, even covered in mustard… hmmm…

    • i’d prefer him covered in chocolate sauce and cream

  15. Other than my unbelievably strong fear of being murdered, I always thought I’d be a fabulous secret agent.

  16. Damn! I could have lent the guy my Sanskrit dictionary! Too late.

  17. Where can I sign up for Spy School??

    • Perhaps you could start by calling the CIA

  18. They always seem to be arresting some Cuban man or women for spying here in Miami, Florida. It all seems quite absurd. What possible information about national security could they discover here? The latest recipe for unique rum and Coke or for preparing red snapper?

  19. Where do you get this stuff?


  20. Just Give Me More Ziggy…

    Just wanted to thank you for your comment on my recent post, which, apparently someone found the writer of to be an intriguer of his country… as at precisely 9 A.M. the following day, Yesterday morning some program hop – scotched over my Max Security system, and shut my “Windows” ,

    so I had no chance of reconfiguring the hard drive obliteration bug they sent me…Imagine that… seems it just doesn’t pay to chide the “Um Hum ” department…as this is my 3rd new computer this year….But, after all my frustrations…imagine my elation’s… I’m back on line…only to find that this last post… was my 2nd most popular viewed … Ever!!! Bless You

  21. That must’ve been fun whilst it lasted!

  22. Oops!

  23. I’ve been spying on the neighbours for years. But the 16 languages I speak fluently aren’t much help to me. Or the mustard-coloured suit. The telescopic lens is much more useful.

  24. After a week of working on this thing..i THINK i’m back online…Young Dumb and full of American… Well, Okay, scratch the young part.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: