A Matter of Honour (or is it?)


A Matter of Honour

Let me summarise the main conflict of the story:

In late 19th centure, Russia (still ruled by Tsar then) needed money while US was interested in purchasing Alaska but the former wasn't keen on losing the land. So someone on the US side proposed what he thought was a brilliant idea: Russia can redeem the land in 99 years by paying 99 times of the the purchase price (paid by US) i.e, a total of $712.8 million in gold bullion.

Of course in 1966, that redemption amount was considered cheap. Power of inflation. Russia easily came up with the required gold bullion.

Russia needed to present the original signed agreement in order to redeem the land. The problem was that it was hidden within a national icon: something that only very select few people on both sides know about. This icon was, indirectly, bequeathed to a British guy. Coming from a rather poor family, this guy, in fulfilling his father's last wish to take care of his mother, wanted to auction off at Sotheby, for a potential price of 10 thousand pounds.

For obvious reasons, US wanted to prevent Russia from getting hold of this icon.

If you're Russia, what will you do? I thought that one simple thing to do is to talk to this British guy, telling him that the icon is Russia's national treasure (they did this but way too late) and then offers him more than 10 thousand pounds to purchase it. This should work because this guy wanted to do the honourable thing (due to what happened to his father and also due to his father's last wish). Even if Russia wasn't aware of this "code of honour", they knew about him wanting to auction it off. They knew his background. Not only that, they could also provide him an official document that would clear his father's name (again, they did this but way too late).

Instead, Russia sent their ruthless KGB agent who killed the British's girlfriend, a taxi driver (he forced the girl into the taxi because he thought the icon was in the bag she was carrying) and a British Air Force pilot who was helping the protagonist. This agent also killed other people but nothing to do with the pursuant of the icon.

Why? Why??? This is so stupid.
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