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What was that supposed to mean? It was a new kind of war, all right, but as far as Winterbotham could see, the newness was a result of technology. Hitler’s armies had rolled over France in short order thanks to the force of their tanks; the Japanese had devastated Pearl Harbor with their airpower from half a world away; but nowhere along the line were games being played that bore the slightest resemblance to chess. Brute force was the rule of the day. What else? What else could he have that Taylor would think made him valuable? His pipe was empty. He repacked it, tamped it down, and lit it. The library was heavy with the stillness of early morning. There wasn’t so much as an air-raid siren to distract him … and he still couldn’t figure it out. I’m taking quite a risk just by meeting with you. That was understandable. Winterbotham had become the enemy when he hadn’t been paying attention. His arguments for peace had made him a villain in his own country. So why would Taylor risk his peers’ disapproval by making contact? Why him? Because of Ruth, he thought suddenly. He’s hoping I’ll feel guilty enough about Ruth to want to throw myself into harm’s way. The thought enraged him, not least because it smacked of truth. It wasn’t his fault that Ruth had demanded to go to Poland, of course; he had tried to dissuade her. But perhaps he hadn’t tried hard enough. Perhaps … “Nonsense,” he said aloud. Perhaps, perhaps not. In any case, it still didn’t explain things. There were better chess players than Winterbotham; there were men with better politics than Winterbotham; and there was no shortage of men who had lost loved ones in the war and would be hungry for revenge. He sighed. He couldn’t sleep, but he was tired … so tired. It was 1943, and the war raged on. The war would keep raging on, regardless of his participation, for the foreseeable future. Things didn’t look as bleak as they had looked a few months before, that was true, but the outcome of the conflict was still far from certain. Hitler’s Wehrmacht had overreached in Russia, caught unawares by the devastating winter, and had suffered losses. There was no way to know how bad these losses had been,

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