The note that I found slipped between the pages of my book (Agatha’s ‘They Do It With Mirrors’) gave me the terse message:
‘We are no further from the truth. 87a.’
I disposed of this slip of paper in the time-honoured way – I ate it – then set to thinking upon this latest ‘lack of’ development.
We had been passing messages this way for all of two months. I, receiving a thin strand of rice-paper with short missives; my counterpart having the benefit of my replies and questions in a similar form, attached to various items or concealed at random points where we knew each other to be. These destinations had been set up by the number/letter arrangement on the end of the message – ’87a’ meant I was to be at Henri’s Wednesday at 14:45. We had a series of locations, days and times that we had conceived as our drop-off codes; anytime we had a feeling that the code had been *infiltrated* we would use one of our ‘curtail’ keywords. We rarely met. The system in its simple way worked – though at the moment there seemed that there was little of anything for anybody to infiltrate.