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Spies

Volume IX, Number 1 | winter 2016

Miscellany

Walter Kirke, British deputy head of military intelligence in France, noted in his diary in October 1915 that the chief (“C”) of the Secret Intelligence Service had come upon a solution for how to send secret messages: “Heard from C that the best invisible ink is semen,” Kirke wrote. The substance, it turned out, was hard to detect by the common revealing method of iodine vapor. The chief’s name: Mansfield Cumming.

Secrets are rarely betrayed or discovered according to any program our fear has sketched out.

- George Eliot, 1860

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