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)  
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