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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He took a bunch of keys out of his pocket , tried one or two and at last hit upon the
right one . The suitcase was filled with clothes . * Cheap clothes , ' said the
Mexican contemptuously as he took them out . “ My own principle is that it ' s
Ashenden put on his hat and took his dispatch - case in his hand . They went
downstairs . In the hall the porter was sleeping soundly on a mattress on the floor
. As they passed the desk , walking softly in order not to wake him , Ashenden ...
When the train started Anastasia Alexandrovna said she felt dizzy , so she took
off her hat and leaned her head on Ashenden ' s shoulder . He put his arm round
her waist . · ' Keep quite still , won ' t you ? ' she said . When they got on to the ...