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Double Traitor

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By: (1866-1946)

The setting is the years prior to the outbreak of World War I. It is a time when Germany is outwardly preparing for war but Britain continues to believe it is invincible and that no one would challenge her. A vast German spy network flourishes in England, often in plain view. The main character is Francis Norgate, an aspiring British diplomat who falls in disfavor with his superiors for defending a woman while stationed in Berlin. The resulting scandal causes Norgate to be recalled. On the way home, he meets a German gentleman, Selingman, who claims to be a crockery salesman. But, Selingman is not what he appears to be. Disillusioned by the English government, Norgate allows himself to be recruited by Selingman.

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The woman leaned across the table towards her companion.

"My friend," she said, "when we first met I am ashamed, considering that I dine alone with you to night, to reflect how short a time ago you spoke of your removal here from Paris very much as though it were a veritable exile. I told you then that there might be surprises in store for you. This restaurant, for instance! We both know our Paris, yet do we lack anything here which you find at the Ritz or Giro's?"

The young man looked around him appraisingly. The two were dining at one of the newest and most fashionable restaurants in Berlin. The room itself, although a little sombre by reason of its oak panelling, was relieved from absolute gloom by the lightness and elegance of its furniture and appointments, the profusion of flowers, and the soft grey carpet, so thickly piled that every sound was deadened. The delicate strains of music came from an invisible orchestra concealed behind a canopy of palms. The head waiters had the correct clerical air, half complacent, half dignified... Continue reading book >>

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