Epitaph for a Spy
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
When Josef Vadassy arrives at the Hotel de la Reserve at the end of his Riviera holiday, he is simply looking forward to a few more days of relaxation before returning to Paris. But in St. Gatien, on the eve of World War II, everyone is suspect–the American brother and sister, the expatriate Brits, and the German gentleman traveling under at least one assumed name. When the film he drops off at the chemist reveals photographs he has not taken, Vadassy finds himself the object of intense suspicion. The result is anything but the rest he had been hoping for.
it. In the war?” “I was too young.” “Ah, yes, you would be. Difficult for us old stagers to realize now that the war’s all ancient history. Went right through from fourteen to eighteen myself. Just got my battalion in time for the March offensive in eighteen. Got put out of action a week later. Just my luck. Reverted to second-in-command and invalided out. Never had anything to do with your lot, though. Heard the Austrians are damned good soldiers.” This did not seem to call for a reply on my
anything to report?” “Yes.” “Telephone Toulon Ville eighty-three, fifty-five and ask for Monsieur Beghin.” “Very well.” He hung up. Evidently the Commissaires responsibility ended with seeing that I remained in St. Gatien. I asked for Toulon Ville 83–55. My request produced a curious effect. Within less than a minute I was connected. Another few seconds and I was speaking to Beghin. His voice squeaked irritably over the wire. “Who gave you this number?” “The Commissaire.” “Have you
“No others?” “No.” “You are a photographer, Monsieur Vadassy?” It was the Commissaire again. “An amateur—yes.” “How many cameras do you possess?” “One.” This was fantastic. “What make is it?” “A Zeiss Contax.” He opened a drawer in his desk. “Is this it?” I recognized my camera. “It is,” I said angrily; “and I should like to know what right you have to remove my belongings from my room. You will please give it back to me.” I stretched out my hand for it. The Commissaire put the
each one is lighted differently, that in each one the shadows are massed in different ways. The fact that the object photographed in every case is a lizard is unimportant. The differences lie in the way each is lighted and composed. Anyway, if I like to take a hundred shots of lizards in the sun I don’t see that it is any business of yours.” “That is a very ingenious explanation, Vadassy. Very ingenious. Now I will tell you what I think. My idea is that you were not in the least interested in
make a bad detective.” “I sincerely hope so,” I retorted coldly. He grunted. Beghin chuckled again. “Be careful, Henri. Monsieur has a forked tongue in his head and he is still angry with the police.” He turned to the driver. “Stop at the poste at Ollioules.” A few minutes later we entered the town in question and pulled up outside a small building in the square. A uniformed agent was waiting at the door. He walked over, saluted, and leaned through the window of the car. “Monsieur Beghin?”