Sunday, 3 December 2017

Spy pen



He switched off the radio, walked naked to the drawing room, snatched up the receiver, said "Yes?" and heard a ping, then nothing. He pressed his lips together as a warning to himself not to speak. He was praying. ... Then he heard it: three short taps of coin or a nail-file on the drum of the mouthpiece: Prague procedures. Casting round for something metal, he saw his fountain pen on the writing table and managed to seize it without relinquishing the phone. He tapped once in return: I am reading you. Two more taps, then three again. Stay where you are, said the message. I have information for you. With his pen he gave four taps to the mouthpiece and heard two in reply before the caller rang off.

John le Carre, A Perfect Spy, 1986.