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Theodorus Franciscus Lombert does not look much like a power in international affairs. Born at The Hague, this meek-looking, ne'er-do-well son of a tailor spent much of his young manhood pleading in court, but the courts were primarily interested in his connections with a series of shady charities. Nonetheless, all things being possible, his neighbors at The Hague pricked up their ears in interest when Theodorus told them—in strictest confidence—of the great position he held. He was, it seems, no mere tailor's son at all, but "President Robert," the supreme head of a worldwide underground organization called the Conseil Consulaire Secret Diplomatique, a group so powerful that it could stop or start world wars at will.

Winnie and Nottie. The President never made it quite clear just what C.C.S.D. was up to, but he left no doubt in his neighbors' minds that war with Russia was touch & go, and that their only safety for the future lay in joining his ranks. As an added inducement, he let fall almost casually the names of some who had already consented to serve in his presidential Cabinet: Sir Winston Churchill as Minister of War, Britains Lord Nottingham as Foreign Secretary ("Winnie" and "Nottie" to the President) and International Bank President Eugene Black as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Dazed by this array of great names and convinced that all would be lost anyway if the Russians got them, an impressive number of Robert's listeners pledged homes and savings to join his cause. At a small but moving ceremony in a Belgian convent at Ronse (The Netherlands was not yet ready for C.C.S.D., explained Robert), the members, all fitted out in bright new uniforms, reaffirmed their brilliantly caparisoned President in his great office. The walls were tastefully banked with flowers purportedly sent by "Winnie" and "Nottie," and President Robert was proud indeed as he displayed a letter of congratulations in French, which he said came "from the Pope."

Soon afterward, assuring his people that the World Bank's Black would pay them a cool 10% on all loans, the President pocketed the money and slipped off to Antwerp to buy a $60,000 yacht. Re-christened the President Robert, the vessel was stocked with 1,068 bottles of vintage liquors, some 200,000 cigarettes, a supply of fine cigars and other necessities for gracious living on a long voyage. Then, on July 18, 1951, loaded with its complement of happy internationalists, each equipped with passport and currency bearing the signature of President Robert, it set sail, ostensibly to found a new nation in Africa.

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