I never knew the old Vienna before the war with its Strauss music, its glamour and its easy charm. Constantinople suited me better. I really got to know it in the classic period of the black market. We'd run anything if people wanted it enough - mmm - had the money to pay. Of course a situation like that does tempt amateurs. But, well, you know, they can't stay the course like a professional.
Now the city, it's divided into four zones, you know, each occupied by a power, the American, the British, the Russian and the French. But the centre of the city, that's international, policed by an international patrol, one member of each of the four powers. Wonderful. What a hope they had, all strangers to the place, and none of them could speak the same language, except a sort of smattering of German. Good fellows on the whole, did their best you know.
Vienna doesn't really look any worse than a lot of other European cities, bombed about a bit.
Oh, I was going to tell you, wait, I was going to tell you about Holly Martins, an American. Came all the way to visit a friend of his. The name was Lime. Harry Lime. Now Martins was broke and Lime had offered him some sort, I don't know, some sort of a job. Anyway, there he was, poor chap, happy as a lark and without a cent...