Chapter 20 Summary

On the drive to work, Glass chastises Leonard for his handling of the entertainment of an upcoming event being planned at the warehouse to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the project. Leonard had hired a bagpipe player using the full entertainment budget and Glass is certain that the workers will find the performance boring and dreary—particularly since it is a Scottish tradition, not English, German, or American. As Glass raves, Leonard can only half listen because he knows that when they arrive at the warehouse, the guards will want to inspect the contents of the suitcases. Sure enough, when they arrive, the guards look in his trunk and ask to view what’s inside the suitcases. They haul the heavy bags into the booth and unzip them. Glass can tell that the immaculately wrapped packages are not recording equipment, and Leonard is desperate to halt the proceedings. He stops the guards and takes Glass aside, telling him of the level 4 clearance MacNamee has given him. He insists that the contents are for MacNamee only and should not be seen by the guards. Glass stops the guards and has them call MacNamee’s office. When MacNamee hears that Leonard has something special for his eyes only, he does just what Leonard expects: he has his own men pick up the bags and take them down deep into the tunnel to await his inspection.

Leonard is relieved in the moment, but knows his plan will soon unravel. He takes a bus from the warehouse and eventually travels into East Berlin. He goes to a shady bar, where he is soon greeted by a sleazy man named Hans. Hans eventually reveals himself to be a man who has connections to buy and sell things. Leonard does not want the money, but insists he has government secrets to sell. When Hans talks to his connections, Leonard is offered two hundred marks in exchange for telling the Russians about the wiretapping project. Leonard leaves, disgusted with himself, and refuses to take any of the money from Hans. When he arrives home, he gets a phone call from Glass indicating that the Russians broke through the vertical hole to the wiretap. The warehouse team retreated to the part of the tunnel that marked the East/West border. Leonard pretends to be surprised about the events, but is genuinely shocked when Glass mentions the timing of the discovery. The Russians broke through right around the time Leonard was meeting with Hans, but Leonard cannot reconcile that impossibility without revealing what he did.