Can you send stuff out from Nepal by air, John?’‘Ooh! No. No. I can’t do anything like that. No. No. No. Now, I know a man. He knows a man who might know.’‘How much would it cost?’‘Well, money is the thing, and they always do things for a fair and honest price, I promise you.’‘What’s a fair price, John?’‘You will tell me, I’m quite sure.’‘What will you want out of it, John?’‘If I help you do business, I’m sure you will give me a drink.’‘A drink?’‘Yes. If a man does something for you, you give him a drink. Please, if everything goes well, give me a drink.’‘Can you check that the quality will be all right?’‘I only smoke Tom Thumb, but I know a man who has a knife.’I took this as a yes.‘Can you make it smell-proof?’‘Not if God made it smell.’‘Do you know a man who can?’‘No. But if you do, let him come and do it, or give me instructions.’‘How much can they send?’‘I should think it depends on when you want to do it by.’‘Well, John, the Americans will want to do a ton as soon as possible.’‘Now I was in America once, and the thing is that Americans will always want more, and there is no end to their madness. Lovely people, for sure, but you have to keep them in line. When my visa ran out, the Immigration asked me why I wanted to extend it, and I said it was because I hadn’t run out of money. He stamped it and said, “Have a nice day.” So, if the Americans ask for a ton tomorrow, say you will do half a ton when Wales win the Triple Crown. That will deal with their madness, and everyone can get on with their lives. It saves all that tidding.’‘Tidding?’‘Talking Imaginary Deals.’Accurately conveying the contents of my conversation with Old John to Ernie wasn’t easy. I told Ernie hashish could be exported from Nepal for about the same price as Robert Crimball charged in Bangkok, but 500 kilos was the most they could do at one time, and someone would have to be sent out to ensure the consignment was smell-proof. Ernie sent his right-hand man, Tom Sunde, with money, instructions, and smell-proof know-how. Tom came to London first before going to Kathmandu to meet Old John. He had been authorised by Ernie to keep nothing from me regarding the intricacies of the New York scam.