Spies Three

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen is behind his desk in the spies office when Hugh enters.

Hugh Morning Control.

Stephen Oh. Hello Tony. Come in.

Hugh Thank you, I will come in, just for the now.

Stephen I expect you've heard the news?

Hugh Well everything is in quite an uproar. You know what rumours are.

Stephen Yes, it's terrible isn't it, how they spread? I don't know. I sometimes think that if I believed every rumour I heard I'd be believing some things that aren't true at all.

Hugh T. Slight pause.

Stephen Anyway, you'll have to forgive me if I yawn a bit during today, what with one thing and another I didn't get too much sleep last night.

Hugh Poor you, you must be exhausted, or very tired at least, or is that wrong?

Stephen No. I am tired, that's quite right.

Hugh So perhaps you might tell me exactly what happened, Control, unless you're too tired.

Stephen No, I'd be happy to fill you in, that way you won't have to rely on departmental rumours, will you?

Hugh No. And that would be a great convenience.

Stephen Well, we picked up Costain last night.

Hugh I gathered as much from the rumours, but I wasn't sure whether it was absolutely true, so it's good to have it confirmed from you.

Stephen I can imagine. He came very quietly, I think he had guessed that we suspected him of being a traitor for some time now.

Hugh Which we had, hadn't we?

Stephen Yes. When was it we first came to suspect him?

Hugh Hoo, well I can't remember exactly, but it was certainly some time ago.

Stephen Before last spring, I should think.

Hugh Around there definitely. certainly no later than the fourteenth of May, because that's my birthday and I remember saying that catching Costain and putting his out of harm's way would be the best Christmas present anyone could ever have.

Stephen I remember you saying those exact words, Tony.

Hugh But any old way, you managed to arrest him then?

Stephen Yes. He was taken to the ninth floor and I had the job of interrogating him.

Hugh That's never a pleasant task is it?

Stephen It's one of the things I least enjoy having to do as a matter of fact Tony. It's very difficult when someone doesn't want to tell you things and you have to think up ways of making them tell you.

Hugh Yes, that can call on all your know-how, can't it?

Stephen Costain I'm afraid really didn't want to tell us anything. But I thought it would be much better if he did because if he's been working for the Russians for the last twenty years it's quite important that we know everything that he's been up to.

Hugh That way we know which of our secrets have been given away and which ones are safe.

Stephen That's exactly right.

Hugh Is the Minister pleased that we've caught him at last?

Stephen Well, while on the one hand Tony, he's delighted that Costain is behind bars, on the other hand he's extremely anxious to avoid any publicity. And on the other hand he's ...

Hugh You've got three hands there, Control.

Stephen Whoops, I wasn't counting very carefully, was I? Well, let's say he's also rather cross that we allowed a Soviet agent within our own ranks to go undetected for so long.

Hugh A mixed reception then?

Stephen I think that's a fair way of describing it, yes. So all in all it's been a pretty tiring forty-eight hours. Well, forty-four to be more accurate. But it seems like forty-eight, I can tell you. Well, forty-six or seven at least.

Hugh Tell you what, Control - if you're feeling that tired, do you think a cup of coffee might perk you up?

Stephen Oh I say, Tony, that's ever such a super thought. I'd just love one.

Hugh Coming right up.

Stephen You're a lifesaver, Tony and that's a fact.

Hugh And I tell you what, Control ...

Stephen Mm?

Hugh I'm going to make it a good and strong one.

Stephen Doh!

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