e-mail inadvertently intercepted (despite deliberate anti-ECH69^Y encoding) by the Echelon Network, and leaked to French and American Intelligence:
10 March 2001
Yes, everything is going wonderfully to plan! BUT - I am longing to see you. Soon, soon I hope! I can't bear to be alone much longer! Sitting on the beach, I am as riddled as the tide ...
Your book has done so well - especially on the internet. And the press not for a moment thinking it is a fake! Who could have thought we would have been so successful, so soon! Not only have we both made a mint - which we justly deserve - (having kept those venal Tories in power for so long!) - but have we not pulled off the greatest Disinformation coup in the history of British Intelligence? If not, of every Intelligence outfit the world has ever known? Our dreams, for our true retirement, can now be fulfilled! I have found a perfect house overlooking the sea ... four acres of land ... huge huge cedars that scrape the sky like those of Lebanon! (Those were the days!)
The news is startling. Sister T keeps me informed. Everyone has fallen for the whole thing! I am told by GQ17 that already at least half of the countries we are dealing with are now absolutely convinced that MI6 is out of control, a complete bunch of idiots, about to be exposed for fraud, corruption, incompetence - to say nothing of a few mis-judged assassinations - by further memoirs/confessions of so-called maverick loose cannons! Disillusioned former agents! Living in style 'elsewhere'!
There's talk though of Schlieman (the irony of it!), who is a real fiction-writer, of actually writing his own Memoirs which will be the TRUTH! And nothing BUT! Nothing to do with our Disinformation Project. We must keep an eye on him in case he blows the whole story, inadvertently - or if he finds out what we have all really been up to! In which case (being a romantic fetishistic sado-masochistic Marxist!) - he will be only too pleased to cause as much of a mess as possible!
Anyway. Good news. Data is just in, so I am told, that the Bulgarians have fallen for the scam, lock, stock and three smoking barrels! They believed all your stuff about the Russians and have bumped off the three guys we could never lay a finger on! Apparently they worked for microtofs.com, in Moscow!
Why did we never think of looking there? One other guy in Japan who works for universace.com, has been exposed - became lax and careless - another for anazone.com (ana means arse in Japanese!) has been exposed and is being eliminated - or should I say, disempowered!! At least not disembowelled Mishima-fashion!
My novel? Coming along very well. I am having much more fun with it than my Memoirs. Alas! As you foretold - you wise old sod - you knew, didn't you! All that literary stuff you read at Cambridge, while you were trying to stay straight and be an intellectual (a good-looking one, I do admit!) - under the influence of that worstwhile Michael Schlieman, that old debauched Casanova and rogue, recently forced to retire with serious heart problems I hear, poor devil - ever since his affair with that Algerian eco-terrorist, that we had shot - ! - he just fell apart, physically and mentally.
Yes, as you said - my narrative is indeed becoming something of a romance novel. Rather than a Poirot thriller. Not quite Mills and Boon - and, alas, not quite Jane Austen or Emile Brontë, either! Oddly enough it's coming out a bit French! A touch of Françoise Sagan maybe! Every day I recall our holiday in Antibes! Pierrot le Fou! When you first came up with the Switzerland scam! Our night in the jail there in Lugano, overlooking the moonlit lake, so romantic through the bars ... you reading me the Moonstone ... 20p from Oxfam - such fun! Yes, I miss the hand-cuffs!!!
Must go ... family calling.
You know I will love you forever, you old fool! And yes, I agree. Keep tracks on Schlieman, if you can. Still digging his loose women, no doubt, his dancing girls, still endlessly, endlessly hunting for his Helen of Troy! What a bore he was, rattling on about his books!
My love ... je t'aime terriblement ... S.