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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The waiting - room was empty , but Ashenden and the Hairless Mexican went to
sit in the most retired part of it . ' I still have an hour before my train goes . I ' ll just
see what this cable ' s about . ' He took it out of his pocket and from the dispatch ...
Ashenden gave the postcard to an agent who was waiting to take it to Pontarlier
and then made his way along the crowded train to his sleeping - car . It was bright
and sunny , though cold , next morning when they reached their destination .
I suppose they ' re holding him in the waiting - room . ' Ashenden was out of
breath when they reached the pier . He burst into the waiting - room . A group of
men , talking at the top of their voices and gesticulating wildly , were clustered
round a ...