From the Archives: Snowblind (1977)

in Culture

By Robert Sabbag

Brown Gold Coffee, imported and packaged by the Andes Coffee Corporation of Palisades Park, New Jersey, is, as its label points out, “100% Colombian.” A unique blend of Medellin Excelso and the Armenia Excelso coffee beans, the label adds, it is “worth its taste in gold.” Cocaine, on the other hand, a blend of coca leaf alkaloids and neutral crystals, very often 100 percent Colombian, is worth approximately its exact weight in gold—and that is before it crosses the border. The mathematics of this coincidence appealed to Zachary Swan, who over his morning coffee was scanning the travel pages of The New York Times.

“Perfect,” he said.

“Find what you were looking for?” Alice asked.

“Avianca Airlines is offering a ten-day excursion. Santa Marta, Barranquilia and Cartagena. Leaves from New York. It even names the hotels.”

“Lucky you.”

Alice, at this point, was the only person in whom Swan had confided. But to assure the success of this, his most Byzantine move.

Swan would need the help of at least two others. He would use Davis on the New York end and Canadian Jack in Cartagena. He would contact them later. What he needed now was an office. He needed an office, a telephone number, a few jars of coffee, a handful of printed material and a lot of luck. He moved fast.

The office was a small one near Lüchow’s restaurant on 14th Street. He rented it on a month-to-month basis. Into it he moved an old desk, a new filing cabinet, a swivel chair and a coffee percolator. While he waited for a telephone, he worked on getting the printed material he needed. This was not hard. As a former packaging executive (in essence a printing salesman) he had very little trouble coming by the …

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Author: High Times / High Times

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