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Schillings has been retained by Rusal, along with a London public relations company called Financial Dynamics, and a Hong Kong company of the same type called Kreab Gavin Anderson.

For reporters investigating the relationship between Rusal and Alfa-Inform, and the Moscow events of last month, now in the hands of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), a call to Rusal spokesman Vera Kurochkina, leads to action by Rod Christie-Miller, Jon Simmons and Joshua Goldman-Brown. Christie-Miller is a lawyer at Schillings; Simmons and Goldman-Brown are from Financial Dynamics and Kreab. The PR men concentrate their fire on Helmer’s reputation, and misleading claims about newspapers working on the story; Christie-Miller threatens the reporters into promising to report nothing.

Here’s how to recognize them if they come tapping in your vicinity:

Kurochkina Christie-Miller Simmons Goldman-Brown

In the children’s fiction, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, the agent who delivers the Black Spot summonses, makes one tap too many:

“Him they had deserted, whether in sheer panic or out of revenge for his ill words and blows I know not; but there he remained behind, tapping up and down the road in a frenzy, and groping and calling for his comrades. Finally he took a wrong turn and ran a few steps past me, towards the hamlet, crying, “Johnny, Black Dog, Dirk,” and other names, “you won’t leave old Pew, mates–not old Pew!”

Just then the noise of horses topped the rise, and four or five riders came in sight in the moonlight and swept at full gallop down the slope.

At this Pew saw his error, turned with a scream, and ran straight for the ditch, into which he rolled. But he was on his feet again in a second and made another dash, now utterly bewildered, right under the nearest of the coming horses.

The rider tried to save him, but in vain. Down went Pew with a cry that rang high into the night; and the four hoofs trampled and spurned him and passed by. He fell on his side, then gently collapsed upon his face and moved no more.”

Before Stevenson consigns Pew to his misfortune, he reports him as blaming his predicament on not having been more efficient, when he had the chance at violence: “it’s that boy. I wish I had put his eyes out!” They were almost Pew’s last words.

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