Lights come up on Ladoux ‘s offiice at the Duxieme Bureau. Ladoux is busy reading through files when a clerk enters and hands him a wireless message.
Clerk: We have just received a message from Von Kalle in Madrid concerning Mata Hari.
Ladoux: Ah … at last. ( Reads the message out loud. ) H21 will arrange through Dutch Consul in Paris for another credit transfer to be sent to her servant a Mrs Anna Lintjens. Karl Von Kramer to be informed of transfer. H21 received the sum of three thousand five hundred pasetas from myself on this day the 28th of December 1916 in return for information on the landing of French spies behind German lines. Arrangement also in place to forward final payment to Paris as H21 is planning to return within the week. (Ladoux looks over his glasses at the clerk) I have her. This is the proof I’ve been waiting for. Get me Monsieur Bouchardon immediately. Well what are you waiting for? No time to waste. ( Clerk exits.) Let’s see what our esteemed military magistrate makes of this! Bouchardon will most certainly clip her wings. This little bird shall never fly from us again. ( Pours himself a glass of cognac from the decanter on his desk and savours the thought of making an example of her. )
( Denvignes arrives in Ladoux office quite out of breath.)
Denvignes: Forgive me captain…. I have just at this moment …. arrived from … Madrid. ( Ladoux does not respond. ) Mata Hari has spent the night with Hans Von Kalle…. The military attache for German intelligence. ( Still Ladoux does not respond.) Of this I am certain.
Ladoux: ( Smiles.) Thank you but we have already been informed of madame’s activities.
Denvignes: But how is this possible? I was the only one privy to …
Ladoux: I’m afraid you have been preceeded by a wire. It would seem she has implicated herself and Von Kalle felt it his duty to inform us personally. A devious man but one to be admired. It his thanks to him that she is all tangled up in our little web. Anything you have for us now will unfortunately be considered old information and of very small value. Very much like the somewhat second hand tid bits imparted by our little canary. Unbeknownst to her of course. ( Smirks ) I certainly apologise if this has caused you any inconvenience.
(Denvignes turns on his heel and exits just as Bouchardon enters. )
Bouchardon: I hear you have something of great importance to discuss with me Monsieur Ladoux.
Ladoux: We have a double agent in our midst. Her demise will put all of France in our debt.
Bouchardon: A woman eh? Of whom do we speak?
Ladoux: All in good time your honour. First there is a small matter of payment. What is a top spycatcher worth these days? (Rises from his desk and comes round to Bouchardon. ) Let us plan our strategy away from the formal constraints of the office hmmm? ( They exit. )
© (‘ Eye of The Dawn’ ) By Renee Dallow
Hybiscus Bloom : 22/5/2013