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“That we do.” “Perhaps that was one of mine.” “Perhaps it was.” “Are you telling me, Andrew, that you can’t tell me what you do because of my politics?” “I’m telling you that I need to be very careful with what I tell you, old chap, because of your politics. In fact, I’m taking quite a risk just by meeting with you.” “So I should be flattered.” “You should be.” “Then I am. I’m sincerely flattered. Now, tell me: What can I do for you?” “Same old Winterbotham,” Taylor said. “Too impatient for his own good.” “Same old Taylor,” Winterbotham answered. “Too fond of games for the sake of games.” “We’re living in a new age now, Harry. We’re fighting a new kind of war. Games are what we do.” Winterbotham waited for elaboration. “We’re always looking for qualified men,” Taylor said, “to help us win the games we play.” “What sort of games, exactly?” “Ah!” Taylor smacked his hands together. “That’s the rub, isn’t it? The nature of the game is the game. I can’t tell you anything without telling you everything. And I can’t tell you everything, old chap, until I’m satisfied that you’re on our side—completely.” Winterbotham drained the mug in his hand. “My time may be worthless these days,” he said, “but it’s all the time I have. You know whose side I’m on, Andrew. Get to the point.” “You don’t understand, Harry. If I tell you what we’re up to, here, then there’s no turning back. Either you’re with us or you’re not. And if you’re not …” He hesitated, looking at the fire. “If I’m not?” “If I choose to bring you into this and it doesn’t work out, you could not be

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A Gathering of Spies - Excerpt  

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