The interview ends in violence, or attempted violence, on Martins' part at any rate. He is offended by the image that Calloway paints of his friend Lime. Who can blame him? He has had a rough day and, to top it all, is told that his old friend, the 'best friend I ever had' was a crook, a murderer even, 'about the worst racketeer who ever made a dirty living in this city' [14].

Martins makes a promise to Calloway, or 'Callaghan' as he insists on calling him: 'When I've finished with you - you'll leave Vienna, you'll look so silly.' The idea is seemingly ridiculous, a fantasy out of one of the 'cheap novelettes' he writes. Paine, Calloway's right-hand man, comments 'I like a good Western' [15].

And so, the Western begins, outlaw versus sheriff, good versus bad. Martins needs money to stay in Vienna. God is on the side of good and sends his angel, Crabbit, a British officer from 'C.R.S. of G.H.Q., you know... Cultural Re-education Section.' Crabbit hears from Paine that Martins is a writer and asks him to give a lecture on the 'contemporary novel', a subject upon which Graham Greene would no doubt have something to say. Martins is a little less well qualified in this area but accepts for other reasons. He has no money and would be forced to leave Vienna the following day unless he is able to get hold of some. He takes the opportunity but it is obvious that he is driven by other motives than the chance to lecture on the contemporary novel:

'Ever heard of a book of mine called the Lone Rider of Santa Fe? ... The lone rider has his best friend shot unlawfully by a sheriff. The story is how this lone rider hunted that sheriff down ... 'I'm gunning just the same way for your Colonel Callaghan' [16]

The hunt starts with Baron von Kurtz, one of the mourners at the graveside and a friend of Harry Lime, who rings Martins at his hotel and arranges to meet him. How Kurtz knew where Martins was staying is not explained. He evidently followed him or had him followed. Such is the normal level of underground activity that haunts Vienna during this period.

Martins meets Kurtz, a character who would inspire little trust in most men. In the book, Martins describes his first impressions:

'What I disliked about him at first sight was his toupee. It was one of those obvious toupees - flat and yellow with the hair cut straight at the back and not fitting close. There must be something phoney about a man who won't accept baldness gracefully. He had one of these faces too where the lines have been put in carefully, like a make-up, in the right places - to express charm, whimsicality, lines at the corners of the eyes. He was made up to appeal to romantic schoolgirls.' (32)

There is, as always, more material in the book than in the script but in the latter is the distilled essence of the Kurtz character. He is obsequious, complimenting Martins on The Lone Rider of Santa Fe, a book that he has evidently never read and, given the circumstances, might do well to read. His clothes, his accent, his general demeanour might pass for those of an Austrian aristocrat fallen on hard times but it is too self-consciously styled to be convincing. In the stage directions, Greene notes that, 'His English accent is really too good. A man ought not to speak a foreign language so well.' This sums up Kurtz and his façade in a typically Greene way.

Martins can be seen adopting the character of his Lone Rider: He is purposeful and direct. There is necessarily an element of romanticism in his new role but it is certainly not akin to that of a schoolgirl. It is of no surprise that he does not exactly warm to Kurtz. In sharp contrast with Kurtz, he is not pretentious. This is particularly clear when they first meet:

'KURTZ: It's wonderful how you keep up the tension

MARTINS: Tension?

KURTZ: Suspense. At the end of every chapter, you are left guessing... what he'll be up to next.

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