All the rifle-clubs in England could not stop one German battalion, because the German battalion is trained and disciplined in the art of war, ...
Author: William Le Queux
Publisher: Library of Alexandria
But if the new plans for our naval base at Rosyth have already been secured by Germany, I don't see what we can do, I remarked. "What's the use of closing the stable-door after the horse has been stolen?" "That's just what we generally do in England, my dear old Jack," replied my friend. "We still think, as in the days of Wellington, that one Englishman is worth ten foreigners. But remember the Boer War, and what our shameful ignorance cost us in men and money. Now, as I explained last night in London, the original plans of Rosyth leaked out some time ago, and were actually published in certain Continental papers. In consequence of this, fresh plans have been prepared and adopted by the Lords of the Admiralty. It is one of these which Reitmeyer informs my father is already in German hands." "But is not Reitmeyer a German himself?" I asked. "He's a naturalised Englishman," replied my friend Ray Raymond, drawing hard at his pipe as he stretched himself lazily before the fire of the inn-parlour. "It was he who gave the guv'nor a good deal of the information upon which he based those questions he asked in the House." "The Government refused to admit that German spies are at work in England," I said. "Yes, Jack. That's just why I'm down here on the Firth of Forth—in order to accomplish the task I've set myself, namely, to prove that German secret agents are at this moment actively at work amongst us. I intend to furnish proof of the guv'nor's statements, and by exposing the methods of these inquisitive gentry, compel the Government to introduce fresh legislation in order that the authorities may be able to deal with them. At present spies may work their will in England, and the law is powerless to prevent them." I was standing with my back to the fire facing my friend, who, a barrister like myself, shared with me a set of rather dismal chambers in New Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, though he had never had occasion to practise, as I unfortunately had. As he sat, his long, thin legs outstretched towards the fire, he presented the appearance of the typical athletic young Englishman, aged about thirty, clean-shaven, clean-limbed, with an intelligent and slightly aquiline face, a pair of merry grey eyes, and light brown hair closely cropped. He was an all-round good fellow, even though his life had been cast in pleasant places. Eldest son of Sir Archibald Raymond, Bart., the well-known Cardiff coal-owner who sat for East Carmarthen, he had been with me at Balliol, we had read together, and though he now shared those dingy London chambers, he resided in a prettily furnished flat in Bruton Street, while I lived in rooms round in Guilford Street, Bloomsbury, in my lonely bachelordom. He had been adopted as candidate for West Rutland at the next election, and his party predicted of him great things. But the long-wished-for General Election was still afar off, therefore, with commendable patriotism, he had taken up the burning question of German spies in England, which had been so lightly pooh-poohed by both the Prime Minister and the Minister for War. His intention was, if possible, to checkmate their activity, and at the same time reveal to the public the fool's paradise in which we are living now that "the Day"—as they call it in Germany—is fast approaching—the day of the invasion of Great Britain.