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From: Peter Cash <cash@rsn.hp.com>
Subject: (urth) Marsch as spy?
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 15:57:51 

adam louis stephanides <astephan@students.uiuc.edu> wrote:

> 1) Pretending to be an abo impersonating an Earthman would hardly free him
> from suspicion of being a spy.  There's no reason why such an impersonator
> couldn't also be carrying out a mission from the Annese government.  In
> fact, given the Ste.Croix regime's paranoia, Marsch's being an Annese
> visiting Ste. Croix in the guise of an Earthman would probably be regarded
> as tantamount in itself to being a spy.

Of course. That's why Marsch only activates the second cover when he has
good reason to think his first one is blown (when the authorities arrest
him and accuse him of being an Annese spy). Marsch is using the
time-honored tactic of "confessing" to a lesser crime (murder) to draw
suspicion from his true activities (spying). No, I don't think that
Marsch believed this pretense would get him off, but he was still
presumably acting out of loyalty to his employers. 

> 2) How do you account for the three years Marsch spends in the wilderness
> (or at any rate on St. Anne) after he has supposedly established his
> secondary cover story of being an abo?  His mission on Ste. Croix must not
> have been very urgent.

Perhaps he was going to advanced spy school. Or maybe waiting for the
right time. 

> The first problem can be gotten round if we assume that Marsch is a spy
> *from Earth*, and that his concern is not to avoid being arrested, but to
> avoid having it realized that he is acting for Earth.  Then the pretense
> of being an Annese would be a red herring designed to pander to the Ste.
> Croix authorities' preconceptions and lead them down a false trail.  This
> might also explain his three years on St. Anne: he's spying for Earth
> there.  I still don't like this theory, but I think it works better than
> your original proposal.  And I have to admit that I can't quite dismiss it
> out of hand, because of the little mysteries surrounding Marsch that

Ah, but then there's alga's green eyes, which can only be found on
Annese! Still, it's an interesting theory...at least you agree that it's
not entirely out of the question that Herr Marsch is a spy of some sort!

> This theory can be disposed of more easily, on two grounds:

It's weak, I agree, and your reasons are good. Still, Wolfe never shows
us the actual crime, and this fires the Sergeant's febrile imagination

Furthermore, isn't it odd that the St. Croix authorities not only accuse
Marsch of being a spy, but also of murdering Maitre? After all, they've
already convicted Number 5 for the same crime. Is there perhaps some
reason for thinking that the two were acting in collusion? 

Bringing you the best in deviant thinking,
Sgt. Rock

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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