Cryptogram has, sandwiched between its main narratives set in the middle of the 21st century and the middle of the 13th, six short stories. They take place in different times and places, but their purpose is to cast an oblique light over the two men and the woman who are the central characters of the book. This is one of the six.
It’s the middle of the 21st century. Stephen, Suzanna and Rokas are in the polotti hall, and Stephen is hustling..