Spy Killer (Mystery & Suspense Short Stories Collection)
L. Ron Hubbard
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Falsely accused and under the gun, Reid jumps ship and vanishes into Shanghai —only to get caught in a web of intrigue, betrayal, and murder. In a world where nothing is what it seems and everything is for sale, he’s soon out of his depth, drawn into a spy game in which the winner takes all . . . and the loser takes a knife to the back.
Will Reid live up to his reputation as the Spy Killer? He’ll have to learn the rules fast, because with players like sexy Russian agent Varinka Savischna in the hunt, the game is about to turn as seductive as it is sinister.
As a young man, Hubbard visited pre-Communist China three times, where his closest friend headed up British intelligence. In a land where communists, nationalists, war lords and foreign adventurers schemed for control, Hubbard gained a unique insight into the intelligence operations and spy-craft in the region—a knowledge that informs stories like Spy Killer.
“Vividly written, super-fast-paced.” —Ellery Queen
They met no troops, only dull-faced Chinese and Mongols who were interested only in minding their own business in this bandit-ridden, war-torn land. Kurt’s nerves were on edge, but Varinka did not seem to mind. The tight tape about his head made his eyes smart, but that could not be helped. When dusk came at last he was very glad to stop. “We are almost there,” said Varinka. “Here at the right there is an old, deserted monastery. See it? ” Kurt did. The crumpled ruin looked desolate in the twilight, sprawling up a hillside.
He died for it, that’s all. Lin Wang is a devil. ” Kurt agreed with her there. Once again he saw the horrible nightmare of the man’s scaly face, the dirt-grimed wrinkles, the limply hanging and clattering hands, the hunched back. But the mention of Lin Wang brought something else to him. Lin Wang held liberty in his shaking hands. Lin Wang had sent Kurt Reid to Kalgan to kill one named Takeki the Courageous, who was also known as Varinka Savischna. “You are very thoughtful,” said Varinka. “What is wrong?
But mind you, now, you can’t quote me. Anything is liable to happen. ” “Thanks,” said Jackson gratefully. The consul went back to the youth at the key. “Tell them it’s got to be here by Saturday, Billy. Not a day later. Though how they’ll get it here, only God himself can tell. ” He looked out through the office door into the outside passageway where a hundred and more Americans tried to take it calmly. The floor of the consulate was shaking as though a procession of huge trucks rumbled deafeningly by.
Rising Sun: Japan; the characters that make up Japan’s name mean “the sun’s origin,” which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the “Land of the Rising Sun. ” It is also the military flag of Japan and was used as the ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army until the end of World War II. sampan: any of various small boats of the Far East, as one propelled by a single oar over the stern and provided with a roofing of mats. sayo: (Japanese) yes; indeed; that’s right.
The bars were bent into hooks at the top to discourage anyone from climbing out. Next he saw a long snakelike thing which made him jump. He touched it in the darkness and found that it was a rope. Puzzled and holding his breath, he stood up. A scraping sound came from the top of the bars, and presently Kurt saw a man outlined against the sky. Slowly the man began to descend. Until it was too late, Kurt thought that Varinka had located him and was about to engineer his escape. He stood by until the hazily seen Chinese was firmly on the floor.