The slip of paper was literally burning a hole in his pocket, since following Phuong’s lead at the Star Coffee shop he’d tried to remain calm and speak as if nothing had changed. I guess it was the look in Phuong’s eyes that told him to be careful and to keep whatever was on the slip of paper concealed.
Excusing himself to go to the toilet, he nonchalantly walked in and quickly checked the stalls to make sure he was by himself, although this wasn’t enough as it was common practice for the government to have hidden camera’s and listening devices set up in toilets especially where westerns congregated.
As he unbuckled his pants and squatted he withdrew the slip from his trouser pocket and holding it in his hand kept the angle low, but noted there was a telephone number scrawled in Phuong’s neat handwriting.
As he exited he notice that Phuong wasn’t in his seat, but rather standing out front. Joining him Phuong motioned for him to follow as they made their way along Hàng Bè Street toward Hoan Kiếm Lake, which they sometimes like to walk around after coffee at the Star.
Walking in silence until they were well away from the coffee shop and immersed in the chaos that is Hanoi at this hour of the day. Bill drew even with Phuong and asked whose number was on the paper. “It is the one you seek” said Phuong.
Bill was still a little confused with the entire cloak and dagger charade, but Phuong was stony faced as he stopped and turned to Bill. “Do not trifle with Hanoi Rose, she is dangerous”.
Who's Hanoi Rose Bill asked inquiringly?