My Adventures as a Spy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 85 pages of information about My Adventures as a Spy.

His system he then proceeded to demonstrate, which was to spit into the water.  This certainly attracted a run of fish, and then he said that if only he had a worm he could catch any number.

I eventually got rid of him by sending him to procure such, and while he was away I made myself scarce and clambered over the ridge to another valley.


Spying brings with it a constant wearing strain of nerves and mind, seeing that it involves certain death for a false step in war or imprisonment in peace.  The Government promises to give no help whatever to its servant if caught.  He is warned to keep no notes, to confide in no one, to use disguises where necessary, and to shift for himself entirely.

[Illustration:  The matter of disguise is not so much one of theatrical make-up as of being able to secure a totally different character in voice and mannerisms, and especially of gait in walking and appearance from behind.  A man may effect a wonderful disguise in front, yet be instantly recognised by a keen eye from behind.  This is a point which is frequently forgotten by beginners, and yet is one of the most important.  The first and third figures show an effective make-up in front, but the second figure, a back-view, shows how easily the man may be recognised by a person behind him.  The fourth and fifth sketches show, by means of dotted lines, how the “back-view” can be altered by change of clothing and gait.]

The matter of disguise is not so much one of a theatrical make-up—­although this is undoubtedly a useful art—­as of being able to assume a totally different character, change of voice and mannerisms, especially of gait in walking and appearance from behind.

This point is so often forgotten by beginners, and yet it is one of the most important.

I was at one time watched by a detective who one day was a soldierly-looking fellow and the next an invalid with a patch over his eye.  I could not believe it was the same man until I watched him from behind and saw him walking, when at once his individuality was apparent.

For mannerisms, a spy has by practice to be able to show an impediment in his speech one day, whereas the next a wiggle of an eyelid or a snuffling at the nose will make him appear a totally different being.

For a quick change, it is wonderful what difference is made by merely altering your hat and necktie.  It is usual for a person addressing another to take note of his necktie, and probably of his hat, if of nothing else, and thus it is often useful to carry a necktie and a cap of totally different hue from that which you are wearing, ready to change immediately in order to escape recognition a few minutes later.

[Illustration:  This illustration shows how the writer was able to disguise himself at very short notice when he observed that he was recognised on a railway station.  The first sketch shows him as he entered a waiting-room shortly after his suspicions were aroused.  The second depicts him on his exit a few minutes later.  The disguise, simple though it may seem, was entirely successful.]

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My Adventures as a Spy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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