The blond American calling himself Campion left Amanda Allingham with a promise that he would return shortly. He hiked rapidly toward the famous local landmark Bletchley Park, thinking as he jogged along, That girl is wonderful, but I can’t encourage her romantically anymore. I may be married! I may be in a line of work that would make a marriage impossible due to the risks I must take. I already have the vague impression that Churchill himself is counting on me to do something at this Park.
Soon, he saw the huge old estate with its tall gates and stately gables. There were no sign of guards or even activity that he could detect. That fence is electrified. I see the wiring. I could deactivate it easily enough, but why not just pole-vault over it? he decided.
He did so and approached the manor. Ancient England at its aristocratic best or worse had governed for centuries from homes like this, and he knew in some way the old manor was still vital to the security and well-being of the British people. He inched closer to the window nearby, only to be set upon by the gang he had encountered twice before.
Bullyboy wrenched back his neck with brutal hands while the other three or four (he couldn’t tell as yet) tried to hold him down. “We trailed ya, sunny boy!” sneered Bullyboy. “You was so deep in thought that we slipped up on you. We don’t need no fancy jumping to get in. We’re on staff for his nibs!”
Campion fought them off and circled warily. These louts were no danger to him, but they were yet another delay from the work he needed to do. He kicked out and caught a new one in the head. A swift jab dropped the ever dirty Swithin.
He flipped the heavy Bullyboy over his shoulder into two others and then connected with fast martial arts moves that left them stunned. As he caught his breath, he heard a sharp whizzing sound. He flung himself down as a dart barely missed his head. He rolled to bushy cover and waited.
Three weird figures came out of the house, looking like images from a nightmare. One was bald and almost palpably brilliant. He was also evil; this was equally clear. A second figure was pale, bald on front, and almost deathly thin. The third was the strangest. He wore a fancy purple suit and tailcoat; he also had no face, or at least in the dim light it looked that way. He actually wore a white false face that mocked the propriety of the estate with the sheer oddness of the look. He carried a thick cane that had obviously been the source of the lethal dart.
Campion heard them address each other. “Moriarity, I fear the Amerikaner has returned,” said the man in purple.
The evil bald man nodded. “Evidently so, Man with the Cane, but what do you detect, Professor Gaunt?”
The man with partially balding head pointed to the shrubs. “He is behind that bush! We have the man we seek. He returned after escaping, as I swore he would do!”
The grinning Moriarity said, “Come out, Mr. Sloane. We know you are there!”
Sloane! Terry Sloane! The name appeared in his mind. That’s my name, but is it my only one? he mused in confusion.
Terry Sloane knew he was detected, so he came out with his hands raised.
“Excellent!” said the smiling Moriarity. “I knew you were intelligent when you beat Professor Gaunt in his effort to take over your mind. None of the other gifted minds assembled here to crack the Enigma and other Nazi codes were able to resist him. You not only resisted his efforts to control you, but you even fought your way to freedom!”
Gaunt frowned. “Bah! He merely caught me off-guard!”
The masked Man with the Cane spoke in his harsh guttural German accent. “You failed to master his brilliant mind, admit it. Still, we have him back, eh? He and the rest shall remain here and report only the false data we supply them to their military leaders. No one shall know the Enigma code breakers were in turn broken by us, eh?”
Terry’s mind reeled. The Bletchley Park manor was used for Allied think-tankers as a base from which to decode Nazi messages via the Enigma machine. He had been asked to help them. He had arrived and found all of them under the control of Professor Gaunt, the employee of the Axis agent known as the Man with the Cane. He had resisted, escaped, and been left with amnesia.
Even now, his mind was becoming clearer. The probe by the telepathic Gaunt outside the estate had broken down the amnesia. He was not just Terry Sloane. Although he had concealed it from these thugs, he was also Mister Terrific. He walked within the lush manor while the three leaders followed.
“Leave Bullyboy and his thugs outside,” said Gaunt. “They little suspect they are serving the Axis powers. They merely think they are doing security for the very British Professor Moriarity!”
Moriarity smiled coldly. “I was among the first experts asked to work here. I quickly smuggled in Gaunt, and together we took control of the experts and offered to sell them to the Man with the Cane. He refused and proposed we keep them here and feed false data to the Allies.”
Terry Sloane knew the false data could lead to a crippling of Allied efforts that Churchill feared. He had been sent to decode the messages and investigate the code breakers for reliability. Now he knew all. He just had to stop them. Enough was enough.
Terry allowed them to place him in a chair. He sat there and wondered what to do. Could he resist a second mind-control attempt by Professor Gaunt? If so, he could trick them all, but if he failed to resist, he would be a pawn of the three madmen.
He steeled himself as they circled him. As before, Gaunt positioned himself in front and stared down at him with intense, almost glowing eyes. “Now, Mr. Sloane, we shall try once more,” he intoned. “Surrender your will to me. Relax. Do not fight. All will be well for you if you obey!”
The Man with the Cane watched with no visible expression upon his masked face. Moriarity looked the very picture of his infamous ancestor, who had battled Sherlock Holmes before. The genius maths master-turned-Nazi was a deadly force in his own right.
Sloane thought of Amanda. He knew now that he had no other real romantic attachment — he was close to Wanda Wilson in a platonic way — but he also wondered if the bright girl could fit into his life of peril.
That answer came as glass shattered on the far side of the room. Amanda stood outside with Paul and Brad as they hurled stones through the window. Terry heard a crash and saw stones fly into the glass window across the room. The three men rushed to investigate.
“Bah! Without the local mob for security, we must do everything!” said Moriarity.
Terry saw his chance and took it. He smashed the chair over Moriarity’s bald pate and jumped high in the air to swing across the room on the tinkling chandelier. He dropped one on Professor Gaunt’s back and used a swift jab to a pressure point to knock him cold. “Can’t use those hypnotic eyes if I stay behind you!” he said as he shoved the stunned villain down.
He saw the Man with the Cane usher Amanda, Paul, and Brad into the room. “These brats broke the window–” he began as he gasped at the sight of his allies beaten.
Amanda cheered, and the boys yelled a warning, “Look out!”
Terry ducked a dart fired from the cane by the masked Nazi. “You can’t stop an American with a corny prop like that!” he laughed.
He faced the Man with the Cane in the silent manor house. “I fought Superman! I find you to be no challenge!” he said.
“You lost as well, I believe! Cowardly terrorists always lose when brave people fight for ideas and their nation!” he declared.
“The girl! I will shoot her down where she stands if you do not surrender!” said the Nazi.
Amanda stood firm and said, “Don’t let him stop you!”
Terry knew his timing was crucial, so he acted. Just as he had in the pub, he tossed one of the darts that had missed him back at the cane-waving masked man. The projectile blocked the cane’s opening perfectly, and Terry was on the Nazi before he could react. He slugged him and ripped off the mask.
“Amazing! The mask looks just like your real face — features artificial and distorted!” he said.
The Man with the Cane (actually without the cane, to be exact) said, “Yes! My face was ruined in a battle with another American hero — Tex Thompson. I owe him much for my pain.” He wrestled free of Sloane and ran for the door.
Terry smiled as he gave chase. Now it all seemed so natural to him. He had done this kind of thing before. He tackled the Axis agent with the same form and skill he had displayed years before as an Olympian. He said, “Tragedy is not something that has to turn a man against society. You could have chosen to work within the society which rejected you to bring about changes that would have aided all.”
He slammed the Nazi’s head against the floor and stood back up. “With Gaunt beaten, I can restore the minds of the other experts and crack the enigma code. I’ve had a few ideas regarding it since I first got here. I don’t think Prime Minister Churchill has to worry about the Park anymore, thanks largely to you three!” he said as he took Amanda’s hand and clapped the boys on the back.
“Your name is Terry Sloane, like the Olympian?” asked Amanda.
“Exactly like the Olympian. Amanda, I want you to know that I think the world of you. You have so much potential. So much spunk, spirit, courage, and beauty. I have to go back to the States, but I want to help your family. I have a foundation that offers scholarships to those who show promise. Let me finance a college education for you. I can offer you friendship, but I don’t want to mislead you. Romance is not possible. I’m simply too old.”
Amanda teared up, but embraced him. “That would be wonderful! Our money troubles have been so pressing,” she gushed.
As he led her out and prepared to turn the criminals in to the police, she smiled. As for romance, Mr. Sloane, I’ll win you yet! I’ll be older soon enough. We’ll see if I don’t get you yet, she thought merrily.
Terry Sloane did crack the Nazi code, and this fact kept secret through the war years allowed the Allied cause to feed the Axis false dates and to react to true data in a manner that was vital to the war effort.
If questioned years later about his work in breaking the Enigma code, Terry would always smile and modestly say, “Codes are a hobby of mine.”