The Colonel ask Ashenden a good many questions and then suggested that he had particular qualifications for the Secret Service. Ashenden knew several European languages and the fact that he was a writer provided excellent cover: on the pretext that he was writing a book he could, without attracting attention, visit any neutral country.
It was while they were discussing this point that the Colonel said,"You know you might get material that would be very useful to you in your work. I'll tell you an incident that occurred only recently. Very dramatic. A foreign government minister went down to a Mediterranean resort to fecover from a cold and he had some very important documents with him that he kept in a despatchcase.
"A day or two after he arrived, he picked up a blonde at some restaurant or other, and he got very friendly with her. He took her back to his hotel, and when he came to himself in the morning the lady and the despatch-case had disappeared. They had one or two drinks up in his room and his theory is that when his back was turned the woman slipped a drug in his glass."
"Do you mean to say that happened the other day?"said Ashenden wearily.
"The week before last."
"Impossible,"cried Ashenden."Why, we've been putting that incident on the stage for sixty years, we've written it in a thousand novels. Do you mean to say that life has only just caught up with us?"
"Well, I can vouch for the truth of the story."said the Colonel,"And believe me, the government concerned has been put to no end of trouble by the loss of the documents."
"Well sir, if you can't do better than that in the Secret Service,"sighed Ashenden,"that I'm afraid that as a source of inspiration to the writer of fiction, it's washout."
1. How did the Colonel suggest that Ashenden's being a writer would relate to his work as a spy?
a. It would make travelling abroad more possible.
b. It would make it easier for him to meet people.
c. It would enable him to avoid arousing suspicion.
d. It would enable him to use the languages he knew.
2. The reason for the Minister's trip was ________.
a. to fetch some documents
b. to get over an illness
c. to meet a spy
d. to deliver some papers
3. According to the Colonel the incident happened ________.
a. a few days before
b. a few weeks before
c. two weeks before
d. sixty years before
4. Ashenden cried 'Impossible' after hearing the Colonel's story because he thought ________.
a. it could not possibly happen
b. it was too embarrassing
c. it was too close to fiction
d. it was too recent
5. The effect of the loss of documents on the foreign government was that ________.
a. it put an end to one source of trouble
b. it caused them a lot of inconvenience
c. they merely denied it had happened
d. they refused to believe it