In his letters it is clear that Gilbert Bagnani was making a concerted effort to meet the ambassadors, or Ministers as they were then called, of Italy, France and Britain. Among Gilbert’s letters of introduction which he had brought with him from Italy was one to the Italian air attaché but then Gilbert wrote “I only wanted him in order to know [Ambassador Montagna] and now I know him.” Similarly, the “Count de Billy is the [French] minister. He was at the Carapanos the other evening, but I didn’t realize it. Next time I will ask to be introduced.” “I do wish I could meet [First Secretary at the British Embassy, Shirley Clifford] Atchley and [the British Military Attaché] Colonel Nairn out later.” “Col. Nairn simply returned my card; he evidently does not want to be bothered by foreign boys! But not very encouraging to leave the other on [British Ambassador, Sir Francis] Lindley.”
The question, of course, is Why? It is apparent from Gilbert’s letters that he was an eager social climber. This effort was not random, however, but focussed on the leading spokesmen for their countries in Greece. Within two years Gilbert would be asked by Italy to act as a spy in Greece but at 21 years of age, he would seem too young when he first arrived in Greece. The best explanation at this stage seems to be that his natural curiosity and intellect prompted his interest in such highly placed statesmen. Within six weeks of his arrival in Greece, he had developed a remarkably clear insight into the dire predicament Greece was in.
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