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#20: The mysterious John Smyth

From the deck of the small steamer, Ms. Jane Temble anxiously watched the thin line of clouds dotting the horizon. The Captain had promised fair weather—a sentiment seconded by her escort, Mr. Johnathan Smyth. Smyth, the man who'd come to her aid shortly after being set adrift by her abductors, had turned out very handy indeed.

A former Yard officer, he was capable, affable, and all around British. Ms. Temble was sorely ashamed for having fainted in front of the handsome gentleman (though, as it turned out, she had indeed been recently drugged by her captors and so her pride suffered no permanent damage.) It was Smyth who nursed her back to health, procured for the lady a change of clean and proper garments, and supervised the sending of the telegram that so confused Newberry upon its receipt. It was also Smyth who gained passage back to England from—as it turned out—Constantinople.

Why Constantinople? Ms. Temble had no idea. And so could give no good answer to Mr. Smyth's questions, as she still considered herself “on the job” for MDOPFGIASA which made everything about her “classified” until she herself figured out why she'd been dragged halfway across the world, only to be set loose at the first opportunity.

The kidnapping was planned—her abductors had known her name—and had clearly cost the orchestrator a pretty penny. But Ms Temble had no enemies, and so she had to assume her abduction had something to do with her work at the Yard. Which made her encounter with Mr. Smyth rather suspicious.

And so round and round went Ms Temble's thoughts, creating a veritable maelstrom of worry. Perhaps said worry would stir the winds and hasten their return to England and answers. In the meantime, she would simply watch her back and try to figure out precisely where this Mr. Smyth fit into the larger game being played.