The Trouble with Gary

-which is how I knew she was our contact.

“I’m terribly sorry,” I said, “My name is Tim Chalmers-Smith.” (it wasn’t; I’d had six active identities that year, including Gary Malice, rhythm guitarist of The Destroyed, and Jennifer Gostelow. I’d rather not talk about that one, other than I was still getting funny looks from builders in Chelsea and couldn’t buy trousers that fitted). “This is my mother, Elaine,” (she wasn’t, she was my liaison with Central), “and my sister, Chloë” (no).

“Oh,” she said, “I think I know your Aunt Millie.” That was level 1 clearance complete.
“From Berkhamsted?”
“Yes.” Level 2- but I had no time. I needed to see if she was cleared for Situation Reindeer Turquoise information.

“Are you going all the way into town?” I saw her eyes widen momentarily as she processed how important this was, but she was a professional, like me.
“Yes, I’ve some towels to pick up from Selfridges.”

Bingo. This was where it would start to get interesting…

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