Friday, December 09, 2005

The perfect spy

Overheard this yesterday, from the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, and immediately added it to my Christmas list. ("If I get you that," said my dad on the phone later, "I can read it, too.")
"Some in your Lordships' House will recall Colonel Bailey's book Mission to Tashkent. Bailey, Britain's principal agent on the Northwest Frontier in 1914, became, because of his mastery of Muslim dialects and of disguise, in the aftermath of the 1918 war, the senior staff officer from the Indian Government attached to the White Russians in central Asia. Bailey, who died peacefully in his own bed in Norfolk in the 1960s, achieved his professional apogee by attaching himself to the Bolshevik NKVD murder squad, whose only duty was to hunt down and destroy the notorious British spy, Colonel Bailey."

—[Official Report, 8/12/05; col. 781.]—

There's a good review of the book, too, at Almaty or Bust!

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