When we left our phrase-book story yesterday, the authorities were closing in on Tom’s little covert espionage ring but John needs to sneak away for a while to confirm where Tom and Jan are hiding. To keep his cover story intact he needs to justify the trip to Mary:
Mary: Do you know if you’re going to go away on business next week, John?
John: Well, I may. But why do you want to know?
Mary: I tell you in a moment but first tell me when you’re going and how long you’ll be away.
On his return, he’s obviously implicated the Harrises as sheltering our trainee spies. Action is swift:
Helen: Have you heard about the burglary, Mary?
Mary: The burglary?
Helen: Yes. You know the Harrises don’t you? Well, their house was burgled last night and lots of valuable things were stolen.
Helen: Somebody noticed a big car standing outside the Harrises’ house.
Mary: There’s nothing suspicious about that.
Helen: Ah, but you see, it was in the middle of the night and the car had its lights turned off.
But now a scapegoat is needed. Fortunately, to blame the whole thing on those pesky kids, all wired on decadent Jazz records, is the work of a moment:
Mr B: Have you heard anything new about that burglary? Have the police found any clues?
Mrs B: Didn’t you know John? The thieves have been caught and nearly all the stolen things recovered.
Mr B: Really? Sounds almost too good to be true. For once the police have done a good job.
Mrs B: Yes, and you know: It was all done by teenagers.
Mr B: I see. So there’s a gang of teenage thieves operating in our part of the town is there? I suppose we’ll have to keep my cigarettes and Jane’s jazz records locked up.
Tom and Jan, needless to say are never mentioned again.