(Thanks for Lillian Hammacott for her suggestions.)


Double Bluff




Pat. Cave


John had found it easy enough to bring a wet suit and a small envelope bearing an Australian address into work with him that morning, the envelope he had left in a locker in the staff locker room and the wet suit hanging in full view in the divers changing room before reporting for duty in the kitchen.  It was a well-known fact that both agents of the People’s Republic and United States frequented this unique underwater restaurant built on the seabed of the Australian Ocean. Members of Seaview’s crew were also known to occasionally visit the famous venue.  Crane had been seen here only a few days before and John had noticed the way the younger waitresses had fought among themselves for the privilege of serving him.


Now it was mid-day and several of the waitresses were highly amused at the thought that the distinctive yellow wet suit they had seen hanging belonged to their hero, Lee Crane.  The wetsuit had only been a clue, a great big obvious clue as to who had been there recently.  Too obvious to be believed, too high profile?  Or maybe just a clever double bluff?  It was the envelope that really mattered, however, and as the restaurant filled up John watched the customers carefully as he waited on tables.  People didn’t really look at waiters and in their turn waiters were not supposed to hear customers’ conversations.  Nelson, however, was more perceptive than that and on learning that John’s brother worked at the Institute he had turned to John for help.


Quietly he went about his normal duties and at the end of his shift returned to check the lockers to find that the envelope had been taken.  Seaview’s blueprints or at least, what purported to be Seaview’s blueprints had gone.  The bait had been taken, whether or not the Republic believed in the authenticity of what they had ‘stolen’ would be proved very soon … just about the time they tried to copy that new ‘weapon’ …