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The Foreign Hand Tie
written by "Barberis"
...ly improbable as that had happened than admit that the device had done what Colonel Spaulding was quite certain it had done. Within three hours, Davenport had three possible explanations of what had happened, each of which required at least four unlikely things to happen coincidentally. Colonel Spaulding stalked back to his office in a state of angry disgust. Just because the thing was foreign to Davenport's notions, he had effectively tied his own hands—and Colonel Spaulding's, too. "Where's Lenny Poe?" he asked the WAC sergeant. "I want to talk to him." She shook her head. "I don't know, sir. Lieutenant Fesner called in half an hour ago. Mr. Poe has eluded them again." Colonel Spaulding gazed silently at the ceiling for a long moment. Then: "Sergeant Nugget, take a letter. To the President of the United States, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. "Dear Sir. Consider this my resignation. I have had so much experience with jackasses lately that I have decided to change my name to Hackenbush and become a veterinarian. Yours truly, et cetera. Got that?" "Yes, sir," said the sergeant. "Burn it. When Fumblefingers Fesner and his boys find Lenny Poe again, I want to know immediately." He stalked on into his office. Raphael Poe was beginning to feel distinctly uncomfortable. Establishing a close rapport with another mind can be a distinct disadvantage at times. A spy is supposed to get information without giving any; a swapping of information is not at all to his advantage. It was impossible to keep his mind a perfect blank. What he had to do was keep his strongest surface thoughts entirely on innocuous things. The trouble with that was that it made it extremely difficult to think about some way to get out of the jam he was in. Thinking on two levels at once, while not impossible, required a nicety of control that made wire-walking over Niagara look easy. The thing to do was to make the surfa...

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