This fascinating book contains probably the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published, the book became official required reading for persons entering the British Secret Service.
During World War I, Maugham enlisted with an ambulance unit, but was soon shifted to the Intelligence Department. Although these stories were based on the author's own experiences as a British agent during the war, he emphasized that they were written purely as entertainment, at which, indeed, Ashenden succeeds. Maugham's clarity of style, the perfection of his form, the subtlety of his thought, veiled thinly behind a worldly cynicism, has made him an international figure.
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When the night - porter fetched me and I went into her room I asked where His
Highness was and she cried with all her strength : no , no . ' She could talk then ?
' ' Yes , after a fashion , but the thing that surprised me was that she spoke in ...
Though it was a warm night and the room was stuffy his hands and feet were icy .
What a nuisance it was , he reflected irritably , to have an imagination that
conjured up pictures of things that you didn ' t in the least want to see ! From his ...
Poor white trash , but women . ' They sallied forth . The Mexican proposed that
they should walk and in that quarter , at that hour , there would have been little
chance of finding a cab ; but the sky was starry . It was a summer night and the air