The day was going to be a good one, and Napoleon Solo felt confident in thinking so. Everything was pointing to an experience he would be able to tell his grandchildren about someday. Well, assuming that there would be grandchildren…
His bags were packed and the plane tickets were in his breast pocket. All that was left to do before leaving headquarters was to report in to Mr. Waverly concerning the arrangements Illya would be handling. It wasn't everyday that an UNCLE agent was chosen to accompany the Secret Service on a presidential assignment.
Napoleon had met President Kennedy only briefly during a visit to Washington D.C. a few months previous. With only a spare minute for the appreciative agent, Mr. Kennedy had been gracious and amiable, not surprising given his reputation. Napoleon had immediately liked the man and was flattered when the invitation came to join the presidential party in Dallas in order to discuss UNCLE involvement for some future projects.
This morning was the beginning of a great day, and Napoleon's only regret was that Illya Kuryakin, his new partner, would be left behind. Their mutual admiration for this president had helped close the cultural and political gaps between the American and Soviet agents, but the omission had been accepted by Illya with a grace that was characteristic of the modest young Russian. It was not difficult for him to understand why he was not invited.
"So, Illya, would you like a souvenir or an autograph? I imagine the President would be more than happy to sign something, perhaps a copy of Profiles In Courage."
Illya shook his head, not really understanding why Americans liked to collect autographs. He could see no purpose in it.
"Thank you, but no. I am happy for you to have this opportunity Napoleon. He is your president, and this is a great honor for you. Go, and enjoy this moment. I am fine… really."
Napoleon accepted that, believing that Illya would harbor no ill will towards President Kennedy or his staff. It was, after all, a matter of security ultimately.
"Okay then. I'll be off, and … I'll see you tomorrow. I understand it's going to be beautiful in Dallas today."
With that the two partners said goodbye, each man intent on his next step in the day's agenda. Illya had reports to write and a meeting with Mr. Waverly. Napoleon would be in the air within the hour and in Dallas by one o'clock, Central Time. That would leave just enough time to meet up with the Kennedy entourage at the Dallas Trade mart for a luncheon that would follow a much publicized motorcade through the city.
After checking in briefly with Mr. Waverly, the optimistic American headed for La Guardia. As Napoleon settled himself for the short flight to Dallas, he wondered with anticipation at what the day would bring.