Tom gave a last, narrow-eyed frown at the letter’s signature — a false name, since no “Henry Fagot” resided with the French Ambassador, Monsieur de Castelnau at Salisbury Court. But then, the whole matter was a rigmarole: a mysterious informant writing his letters in bad French, and hiding them in an Italian fencing-master’s hat. Almost too fanciful to be true — and yet…
This was the third time, since returning from France late in May, that Tom had been summoned to the wood-panelled study, and set to read this fellow Fagot’s papers, and then made to unpick their meaning under his great cousin’s Sphinx-like scrutiny.
Tom took a good deep breath and straightened away from the windowsill. “So the French Ambassador’s servants are smuggling in Catholic books, but that is more an embarrassment than anything else,” he said — slow and considering. “Either this Henry Fagot is not very good at telling what is important, or he has a grudge against the Ambassador’s butler and cook…”