International: Of Mortal Ills

Amid nervous rumors of an impending Russian invasion of their neighbor, Norway, the Finns sent a fateful mission to Moscow last week. Its purpose: "discussion" of the military pact Stalin wants to conclude with Finland.

As the envoys were preparing for departure, orders came from Moscow to pack full evening dress and decorations. That created a crisis: only the Communist Minister of the Interior Yrjö Leino had thought of taking frakkipuku (tails) on a mission that would probably mean Finland's doom. When the delegates finally climbed into a chocolate-brown sleeper at Helsinki station, a small man in the crowd cried: "It's just...

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