Edge of Eternity, p.1Part #3 of The Century series by Ken Follett
ALSO BY KEN FOLLETT
The Modigliani Scandal Paper Money
Eye of the Needle Triple
The Key to Rebecca The Man from St. Petersburg On Wings of Eagles Lie Down with Lions The Pillars of the Earth Night over Water A Dangerous Fortune A Place Called Freedom The Third Twin The Hammer of Eden Code to Zero Jackdaws
Hornet Flight Whiteout
World Without End Fall of Giants Winter of the World
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All quotations from the words of Martin Luther King Jr. are reprinted by arrangement with the heirs to the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr., c/o Writers House, as agent for the proprietor, New York, New York, and are copyright (c) 1963, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., copyright (c) renewed 1991 and 1996, Coretta Scott King.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Follett, Ken.
Edge of eternity / Ken Follett.
pages cm--(Century trilogy; book three) ISBN 978-0-69816057-6
1. World politics--1945-1989--Fiction. 2. Political fiction. I. Title.
PR6056.O45E46 2014 823'.914--dc23 2014005306
Family tree illustrations by Dave Hopkins Map copyright (c) by David Atkinson, Hand Made Maps Ltd.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Also by Ken Follett
Cast of Characters
The Families at the Beginning of EDGE OF ETERNITY
PART ONE: WALL (1961)
PART TWO: BUG (1961-1962)
PART THREE: ISLAND (1962)
PART FOUR: GUN (1963)
PART FIVE: SONG (1963-1967)
PART SIX: FLOWER (1968)
PART SEVEN: TAPE (1972-1974)
PART EIGHT: YARD (1976-1983)
PART NINE: BOMB (1984-1987)
PART TEN: WALL (1988-1989)
EPILOGUE (November 4, 2008)
To all the freedom fighters,
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Ursula "Beep" Dewar, his sister Woody Dewar, his father
Bella Dewar, his mother PESHKOV-JAKES FAMILY
Jacky Jakes, his mother
Greg Peshkov, his father
Lev Peshkov, his grandfather Marga, his grandmother MARQUAND FAMILY
Percy Marquand, her father Babe Lee, her mother
Tim Tedder, semiretired
Joseph Hugo, FBI
Larry Mawhinney, Pentagon
Nelly Fordham, old flame of Greg Peshkov Dennis Wilson, aide to Bobby Kennedy Skip Dickerson, aide to Lyndon Johnson Leopold "Lee" Montgomery, reporter Herb Gould, television journalist on This Day
Suzy Cannon, gossip reporter Frank Lindeman, television network owner REAL HISTORICAL CHARACTERS
John F. Kennedy, thirty-fifth U.S. president Jackie, his wife
Bobby Kennedy, his brother Dave Powers, assistant to President Kennedy Pierre Salinger, President Kennedy's press officer Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Lyndon B. Johnson, thirty-sixth U.S. president Richard Nixon, thirty-seventh U.S. president Jimmy Carter, thirty-ninth U.S. president Ronald Reagan, fortieth U.S. president George H. W. Bush, forty-first U.S. president British
Evie Williams, his sister
Daisy Williams, his mother Lloyd Williams, M.P., his father Eth Leckwith, Dave's grandmother MURRAY FAMILY
Anna Murray, his sister
Eva Murray, his mother MUSICIANS IN THE GUARDSMEN AND PLUM NELLIE
Lenny, Dave Williams's cousin Lew, drummer
Buzz, bass player
Geoffrey, lead guitarist OTHERS
Earl Fitzherbert, called Fitz Sam Cakebread, friend of Jasper Murray Byron Chesterfield (real name Brian Chesnowitz), music agent Hank Remington (real name Harry Riley), pop star Eric Chapman, record company executive German
Carla Franck, Rebecca's adoptive mother Werner Franck, Rebecca's adoptive father Walli Franck, son of Carla Lili Franck, daughter of Werner and Carla Maud von Ulrich, nee Fitzherbert, Carla's mother Hans Hoffmann, Rebecca's husband OTHERS
Bernd Held, schoolteacher Karolin Koontz, folksinger Odo Vossler, clergyman REAL HISTORICAL PEOPLE
Walter Ulbricht, first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party (Communist) Er
Stanislaw "Staz" Pawlak, army officer Lidka, girlfriend of Cam Dewar Danuta Gorski, Solidarity activist REAL HISTORICAL PEOPLE
Anna Walentynowicz, crane driver Lech Walesa, leader of the trade union Solidarity General Jaruzelski, prime minister Russian
Tanya Dvorkin, journalist Dimka Dvorkin, Kremlin aide, Tanya's twin brother Anya Dvorkin, their mother Grigori Peshkov, their grandfather Katerina Peshkov, their grandmother Vladimir, always called Volodya, their uncle Zoya, Volodya's wife
Nina, Dimka's girlfriend
Daniil Antonov, features editor at TASS
Pyotr Opotkin, features editor in chief Vasili Yenkov, dissident
Natalya Smotrov, official in the Foreign Ministry Nik Smotrov, Natalya's husband Yevgeny Filipov, aide to Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky Vera Pletner, Dimka's secretary Valentin, Dimka's friend
Marshal Mikhail Pushnoy REAL HISTORICAL CHARACTERS
Nikita Sergeyevitch Khrushchev, first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Andrei Gromyko, foreign minister under Khrushchev Rodion Malinovsky, defense minister under Khrushchev Alexei Kosygin, chairman of the Council of Ministers Leonid Brezhnev, Khrushchev's successor Yuri Andropov, successor to Brezhnev Konstantin Chernenko, successor to Andropov Mikhail Gorbachev, successor to Chernenko Other Nations
Paz Oliva, Cuban general Frederik Biro, Hungarian politician Enok Andersen, Danish accountant
Rebecca Hoffmann was summoned by the secret police on a rainy Monday in 1961.
It began as an ordinary morning. Her husband drove her to work in his tan Trabant 500. The graceful old streets of central Berlin still had gaps from wartime bombing, except where new concrete buildings stood up like ill-matched false teeth. Hans was thinking about his job as he drove. "The courts serve the judges, the lawyers, the police, the government--everyone except the victims of crime," he said. "This is to be expected in Western capitalist countries, but under Communism the courts ought surely to serve the people. My colleagues don't seem to realize that." Hans worked for the Ministry of Justice.
"We've been married almost a year, and I've known you for two, but I've never met one of your colleagues," Rebecca said.
"They would bore you," he said immediately. "They're all lawyers."
"Any women among them?"
"No. Not in my section, anyway." Hans's job was administration: appointing judges, scheduling trials, managing courthouses.
"I'd like to meet them, all the same."
Hans was a strong man who had learned to rein himself in. Watching him, Rebecca saw in his eyes a familiar flash of anger at her insistence. He controlled it by an effort of will. "I'll arrange something," he said. "Perhaps we'll all go to a bar one evening."
Hans had been the first man Rebecca met who matched up to her father. He was confident and authoritative, but he always listened to her. He had a good job--not many people had a car of their own in East Germany--and men who worked in the government were usually hard-line Communists, but Hans, surprisingly, shared Rebecca's political skepticism. Like her father he was tall, handsome, and well dressed. He was the man she had been waiting for.
Only once during their courtship had she doubted him, briefly. They had been in a minor car crash. It had been wholly the fault of the other driver, who had come out of a side street without stopping. Such things happened every day, but Hans had been mad with rage. Although the damage to the two cars was minimal, he had called the police, shown them his Ministry of Justice identity card, and had the other driver arrested for dangerous driving and taken off to jail.
Afterward he had apologized to Rebecca for losing his temper. She had been scared by his vindictiveness, and had come close to ending their relationship. But he had explained that he had not been his normal self, due to pressure at work, and she had believed him. Her faith had been justified: he had never done such a thing again.
When they had been dating for a year, and sleeping together most weekends for six months, Rebecca wondered why he did not ask her to marry him. They were not kids: she had then been twenty-eight, he thirty-three. So she had proposed to him. He had been startled, but said yes.
Now he pulled up outside her school. It was a modern building, and well equipped: the Communists were serious about education. Outside the gates, five or six older boys were standing under a tree, smoking cigarettes. Ignoring their stares, Rebecca kissed Hans on the lips. Then she got out.
The boys greeted her politely, but she felt their yearning adolescent eyes on her figure as she splashed through the puddles in the school yard.
Rebecca came from a political family. Her grandfather had been a Social Democrat member of the Reichstag, the national parliament, until Hitler came to power. Her mother had been a city councilor, also for the Social Democrats, during East Berlin's brief postwar period of democracy. But East Germany was a Communist tyranny now, and Rebecca saw no point in engaging in politics. So she channeled her idealism into teaching, and hoped that the next generation would be less dogmatic, more compassionate, smarter.
In the staff room she checked the emergency timetable on the notice board. Most of her classes were doubled today, two groups of pupils crammed into one room. Her subject was Russian, but she also had to teach an English class. She did not speak English, though she had picked up a smattering from her British grandmother, Maud, still feisty at seventy.
This was the second time Rebecca had been asked to teach an English class, and she began to think about a text. The first time, she had used a leaflet handed out to American soldiers, telling them how to get on with Germans: the pupils had found it hilarious, and they had learned a lot too. Today perhaps she would write on the blackboard the words of a song they knew, such as "The Twist"--played all the time on American Forces Network radio--and get them to translate it into German. It would not be a conventional lesson, but it was the best she could do.
The school was desperately short of teachers because half the staff had emigrated to West Germany, where salaries were three hundred marks a month higher and people were free. The story was the same in most schools in East Germany. And it was not just teachers. Doctors could double their earnings by moving west. Rebecca's mother, Carla, was head of nursing at a large East Berlin hospital, and she was tearing her hair out at the scarcity of both nurses and doctors. The story was the same in industry and even the armed forces. It was a national crisis.
As Rebecca was scribbling the lyrics of "The Twist" in a notebook, trying to remember the line about "my little sis," the deputy head came into the staff room. Bernd Held was probably Rebecca's best friend outside her family. He was a slim, dark-haired man of forty, with a livid scar across his forehead where a shard of flying shrapnel had struck him while he was defending the Seelow Heights in the last days of the war. He taught physics, but he shared Rebecca's interest in Russian literature, and they ate their lunchtime sandwiches together a couple of times a week. "Listen, everybody," Bernd said. "Bad news, I'm afraid. Anselm has left us."
There was a murmur of surprise. Anselm Weber was the head teacher. He was a loyal Communist--heads had to be. But it seemed his principles had been overcome by the appeal of West German prosperity and liberty.
Bernd went on: "I will be taking his place until a new head can be appointed." Rebecca and every other teacher in the school knew that Bernd himself should have got the job, if ability had been what counted; but Bernd was ruled out because he would not join the Socialist Unity Party, the SED--the Communist Party in all but name.
For the same reason, Rebecca would never be a head teacher. Anselm had pleaded with her to join the party, but it was out of the question. For her it would be like checking herself into a lunatic asylum and pretending all the other inmates were sane.
As Bernd deta
Before the first lesson she glanced into her pigeonhole, but it was empty. The mail had not yet arrived. Perhaps the postman had gone to West Germany, too.
The letter that would turn her life upside down was still on its way.
She taught her first class, discussing the Russian poem "The Bronze Horseman" with a large group seventeen and eighteen years old. This was a lesson she had given every year since she started teaching. As always, she guided the pupils to the orthodox Soviet analysis, explaining that the conflict between personal interest and public duty was resolved, by Pushkin, in favor of the public.
At lunchtime she took her sandwich to the head's office and sat down across the big desk from Bernd. She looked at the shelf of cheap pottery busts: Marx, Lenin, and East German Communist leader Walter Ulbricht. Bernd followed her gaze and smiled. "Anselm is a sly one," he said. "For years he pretended to be a true believer, and now--zoom, he's off."
"Aren't you tempted to leave?" Rebecca asked Bernd. "You're divorced, no children--you have no ties."
He looked around, as if wondering whether someone might be listening; then he shrugged. "I've thought about it--who hasn't?" he said. "How about you? Your father works in West Berlin anyway, doesn't he?"
"Yes. He has a factory making television sets. But my mother is determined to stay in the East. She says we must solve our problems, not run away from them."
"I've met her. She's a tiger."
"That's the truth. And the house we live in has been in her family for generations."
"What about your husband?"
"He's dedicated to his job."
"So I don't have to worry about losing you. Good."
Rebecca said: "Bernd--" Then she hesitated.
"Spit it out."
"Can I ask you a personal question?"
"You left your wife because she was having an affair."
Bernd stiffened, but he answered: "That's right."
"How did you find out?"
Bernd winced, as if at a sudden pain.
"Do you mind me asking?" Rebecca said anxiously. "Is it too personal?"
"I don't mind telling you," he said. "I confronted her, and she admitted it."
"But what made you suspicious?"
"A lot of little things--"
Rebecca interrupted him. "The phone rings, you pick it up, there's a silence for a few seconds, then the person at the other end hangs up."
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