We hope all our Florida members are hanging tough and staying safe on this turbulent weekend.
Meanwhile, Part Nine of our latest Tale for Our Time explores the psychology of urban terrorists in the citadels of the west - as conjured by Joseph Conrad in his 1907 novel The Secret Agent. In tonight's episode we discover that the principal suspect in the Greenwich Park bombing is what we would now call a "known wolf" - known to the police, that is. As Chief Inspector Heat explains to his Assistant Commissioner:
'I went into his shop one evening, told him who I was, and reminded him of our first meeting. He didn't as much as twitch an eyebrow. He said that he was married and settled now, and that all he wanted was not to be interfered in his little business. I took it upon myself to promise him that, as long as he didn't go in for anything obviously outrageous, he would be left alone by the police...
'He would not be much good to anybody but myself. One has got to know a good deal beforehand to make use of a man like that. I can understand the sort of hint he can give. And when I want a hint he can generally furnish it to me.'
The Chief Inspector lost himself suddenly in a discreet reflective mood; and the Assistant Commissioner repressed a smile at the fleeting thought that the reputation of Chief Inspector Heat might possibly have been made in a great part by the Secret Agent Verloc.
'In a more general way of being of use, all our men of the Special Crimes section on duty at Charing Cross and Victoria have orders to take careful notice of anybody they may see with him. He meets the new arrivals frequently, and afterwards keeps track of them. He seems to have been told off for that sort of duty. When I want an address in a hurry, I can always get it from him.'
So the "known wolf" was very cooperative - until today's bombing. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Nine of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
If you've yet to hear any of our first Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. Membership is available now - and, if you sign up, you'll be all set for Part Ten of The Secret Agent this time tomorrow. And don't forget our new Gift Membership.