The Man Who Escaped Story Edward Coke

the man who escaped English course
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Episode 1

Edward Coke used to be an army officer, but he is in prison now. Every day is exactly the same for him.
It is winter now and all the other men get up at six, when it is still cold and dark. They have breakfast at six thirty. Work begins at seven thirty. Some of the men work in the prison factory, where they make mailbags, but Coke often works in the fields outside.
The men have lunch at twelve. Lunch lasts an hour and then the men go back to work again. Dinner is at six. Coke usually goes to the prison library after dinner and reads until 9.30. The lights go out at ten. The day is long, hard, and boring and every man has a lot of time to think. They usually think about why they are there. Coke does. He always thinks about two men.
One of the men is called Eric Masters. He used to be an army officer, just like Coke. Coke knows that Masters has a lot of money now. The second man's name is Hugo. That is all Coke knows about him. Masters knows where and who Hugo is, but Coke doesn't.
Every night Coke lies in bed and thinks about Eric Masters and Hugo. There is another thing he thinks about, too. Escaping. He wants to escape and find Masters, and then the other man. Coke is in prison for something he did not do.

 Episode 2

It is six o'clock on a very cold winter evening. All over England people are sitting down in their living-rooms and are watching the news on television or are listening to it on the radio. There is one very important piece of news this evening. It is this:
"In the West of England this evening, hundreds of policemen are looking for a man who escaped from Princeville Prison early this morning. The man's name is Edward Coke. He is 30 years old, six feet tall, and has black hair and blue eyes. He is wearing a dark blue prison uniform. The police do not think he can stay free very long. It is only a few degrees above zero and it is snowing."
The radio is on in an expensive pub in Soho, in the centre of London. Most of the people there are not very interested in the news programme, but one man is. His name is Eric Masters. He is about 45 and is wearing very expensive clothes. He is looking very afraid of something. There is another man standing next to him at the bar. Masters is asking him a question.
"Did they say the man's name was Coke?"
"Yes, that's right, Coke... Edward Coke. Why? Do you know him?"
"Do you know him?"
"No... no.... I don't know him... I ... I just wanted to know the man's name, that's all."
In another part of London, a young detective is standing in the office of his chief at Scotland Yard. The young detective's name is Richard Baxter.
"You knew Coke, didn't you, Baxter?'
"Yes, sir. I arrested him four years ago."
Baxter's chief is nodding his head. "Yes, I know that, Baxter. That's why I'm giving you this order, now. Find Coke again! You must find him immediately!"

Episode 3

It is 6.30 in the evening now, and the wind is still blowing. It is getting colder. About ten miles away from Princeville Prison a man is hiding in a field. The wind is cutting through his thin prison uniform like a knife.
A dog is barking somewhere in the distance. Is it a police dog perhaps? The man in the field does not know. There is only one idea in his mind at the moment: he must find food and some warm clothes, but where?
Two hundred miles away in London, Baxter's train is standing at platform 9 in Paddington Station. Baxter is sitting in a comfortable compartment. There is another man opposite him. Baxter doesn't know the man but he can see he wants to talk. The man is holding a newspaper in his hands.
"I see someone escaped from Princeville Prison this morning."
"Oh, really?"
"Yes... Would you like to read about it? It's all here in the paper."
"No, thank you."
The train is leaving the station now. Baxter is looking out of the window. He can see a thousand bright lights in the windows of pubs, cafes, houses and flats. Everywhere people are sitting down to warm meals and hot cups of tea. The world looks warm and comfortable. The man opposite Baxter is still talking.
"The paper says the man was a spy... he gave important military secrets away. I hope the police catch him!"
"Yes, so do I."

 Episode 4

NOTE: From this point onwards, there is a synopsis at the beginning of every unit. The synopsis tells in a few words what happened in the last episode.
The story is also told in the past tense from now on.
Synopsis: A young detective, Richard Baxter, arrested Coke four years ago. Coke escaped from prison because he wanted to find two men, Rick Masters and someone called "Hugo". That was all Coke knew about the second man. He knew Masters when they were officers in the army. Baxter, the detective, left London on the same day Coke escaped. His job was to catch Coke again.
Baxter got on the train at 5 o'clock. An hour later, at 6, he was asleep in the warm train compartment. Coke was still in his hiding-place in a field, 100 miles away. The winter evening got darker and colder. The wind cut through Coke's thin uniform like a knife. Coke was hungry and tired, and his arms and legs were so cold that he could hardly feel them. He knew he had to find food, warm clothing, and a warm place somewhere. "I have to make a move! I can't just stay in this field and die of the cold!" he thought.
Coke got up and began to walk. "Where am I? Which direction am I walking in? Am I going back towards the prison?" he asked himself. A few minutes later, the moon came out and Coke could see better. He stopped and looked around. Suddenly he saw a small light not far away. "What can it be? It can't be a car. It isn't moving! It must be a house!" he said to himself and began to walk towards it. The light got larger. It was a house! He could see the form of the roof in the darkness.
Ten minutes later, he was outside the house. He stopped and listened. "Strange!" he thought. "I can't hear anything, not even a radio or a television, but there must be someone in there! There's a light on." Just at that moment, a thought struck him.
"This is probably the only house around for miles! The police know I'm probably around here somewhere; and if they're anywhere, they're in that house, waiting for me!"
Coke didn't move. The wind became colder. His feet and hands felt like ice in the snow. "I have to take the chance! I have to! This is the only place I can find warm clothes and food!" he thought.

Episode 5

Synopsis: Coke escaped from prison and hid in a field. It was very cold and he knew that he had to find warm clothes and food somewhere. He saw a house in the country, isolated and far away from the nearest town. He stood outside the house before going in. He could not understand why there was no noise coming from it, not even the sound of a radio or television.
Coke listened for several seconds but he could not hear anything at all. And yet there was smoke coming from the chimney and there was a light on in the front room! "Why is it so quiet? Is it a trap? Are the police waiting for me in there?" he asked himself. He went to the front door and pushed it. To his surprise it was open! He went in very quietly. In the front room there was a fire burning in the fireplace. The room was clean, small and very warm. There was very little furniture in it---only a couch and a table in front of the fire and two old-fashioned chairs. There were also some photographs on the shelf above the fire. They were yellow and old. There were also a few of the same young man and also a woman in old-fashioned wedding-clothes.
Suddenly Coke froze. There was someone else in the room. He knew it. He could feel it! He turned around quickly and, at the same time, put his hand in his pocket. There was a small knife there. He saw an old woman. She had a covered dish in her hands and there was a delicious smell of meat and vegetables coming from it. She didn't look afraid. She didn't look even surprised.
"I'm sorry," she said, and put the dish down on the table. Coke could hardly believe his ears. Here he was, a stranger in her house and yet she said she was sorry!
"I'm sorry," she said again. "I didn't hear you. Did you knock? I'm deaf, you see."
 She pointed to her ear, shook her head and said "deaf" a second time. "People often come to the door and knock, but I don't hear them. I'm glad you came in."
Coke stared at her for a second and then finally found his voice, "I ... I'm sorry I just stepped in."
He looked down at his clothes. His prison uniform was so dirty that it was impossible to tell what kind of uniform it was. Then he suddenly had an idea.
"I'm a mechanic from a garage in town. I came to repair a lorry somewhere out here but the road was icy. I had an accident. I ... I fell off my motorbike."
He had to say this several times before she finally understood him. When she did, she gave him some hot water and soap and afterwards some food. The only thing he needed now was a change of clothes!

Episode 6

Synopsis: After Coke escaped, he hid in a field all day. Then, when it got dark, he went into a small house in the country. There was an old deaf lady in the house. She gave him food. The young detective who arrested Coke four years ago, Baxter, left London by train. Scotland Yard's orders were: "Find Coke immediately!"
It was a cold and miserable night. Only a few miles from the house Coke was in, two policemen in a small village station could hear the wind outside. One of them was a sergeant. The other was much younger.
"I wonder how Mrs Bentley is?" the sergeant asked.
"Mrs Bentley? Oh, you mean that old lady whose husband died a few years ago?"
"That's right. She's deaf, you know, so she never listens to the radio or watches television. In fact, she doesn't even read the papers."
"Oh?" the young policeman said. He wondered why the sergeant wanted to tell him all this. Then he found out.
"Why don't you go out to her place and see if she's all right?"
"Who? Me? On a night like this?"
"It's not far. Besides, you've got your bike, haven't you?"
Baxter got off the train at a small station. There was a detective waiting for him on the platform. He shook Baxter's hand. "My name's Halls, Tom Halls. Scotland Yard phoned us and told us to meet you here. There's a car waiting."
Baxter wasted very little time on social formalities.
"Coke escaped more than 24 hours ago. I want to catch him before another 24 hours are up."
Halls looked at Baxter for a few seconds before he answered.
"A lot of us wonder why Scotland Yard is so interested in this fellow Coke. He isn't the first one to escape. Another man did only about six months ago, but Scotland Yard didn't send anyone to help us then." Baxter was already half-way to the car before he said anything.
"Coke isn't an ordinary prisoner. He's very special. Let's get going!"
The young policeman was angry. He was on the road now. The wind was cold and blew snow into his face. "That stupid sergeant!" he thought. "We must be one the last stations in England that still uses bikes, and he sends me out on a night like this!"
He had to get off the bike and push it up a hill. It was the last hill between the station and the old lady's house. When he got to the top of it he could see the house down below, at the bottom of the hill. Just as he looked down at it, he saw a light go on in one of the rooms upstairs. "Stupid! That's what it is, sending me out on a night like this!" the policeman said again. Then he got on his bike and began to go down the hill very fast, towards the house.

Episode 7

Synopsis: Coke found food in a small house in the country. Baxter arrived at a small station. Another detective met him there and asked Baxter why Scotland Yard was so interested in Coke. A sergeant in a police station not far from the house Coke was in sent a young policeman to the house to tell the old lady in it about Coke.
"You know, your clothes are in a terrible state," the old lady said after the meal. You ruined them when you had the accident!"
"That's all right. They're just my work-clothes," Coke answered.
"My husband was just about your size. A little heavier perhaps. All his clothes are upstairs. They're no good to him. He died two years ago." She pointed up to the room above them.
"Why don't you see if any of his clothes fit you? You can bring them back tomorrow."
"Nobody can be this lucky!" Coke thought to himself. He went upstairs and turned the light on. It was clear that the old lady was almost in another world. She trusted everybody. He found a heavy jacket, a woolen shirt and some trousers hanging in the room.
"What do you know about Coke?" Baxter asked Halls. They were in the car now. "Very little, I'm afraid. In fact, I don't think I know anything about him at all. Wasn't he the fellow who was in that spy case about four years ago?"
"Yes, that's right. Coke always said it wasn't him ... that it was someone else."
"That's what they all say. But what's so special about him?"
"Coke was in Army Intelligence. He knew important secrets. We could never understand why he sold them. There wasn't a real motive. Some said he did it for money. We couldn't prove it, but if he was a spy, he still knows much. We could never find out who he sold the secrets to. That's why we have to catch him before he makes contact with any of his old friends!"
Coke put the clothes on as quickly as he could. They were old and shabby, but at least they were warm. When he came downstairs, the old lady was still in front of the fire. She smiled when she looked at him. "You know, you look just like my husband in those clothes, when he was much younger, of course."
"I can't thank you enough. It's very kind of you to do all this for me." The old lady didn't seem to hear him.
"Just like my husband," she said again. Just then, there was a knock on the door.

 Episode 8

Synopsis: After Coke escaped from prison, he found a small house several miles away from the nearest village. The old lady in the house gave him food and clothes. She was deaf. A policeman came out to her house to tell her to look out for Coke.
The deaf old lady didn't hear the knock, but Coke did. His heart began to pound wildly. Whoever it was obviously knew there was someone inside because there was light on and smoke coming from the chimney. He had to decide what to do, and quickly.
"There's someone at the door," he said loudly, but the old lady did not understand.
"There's someone at the door," he said again, this time even more loudly than before. She went out of the room and Coke quickly stepped back into the shadows of the front room.
The old lady opened the front door. Coke could see her quite clearly, but nothing else. He listened carefully.
"Hello, Mrs Bentley. I'm from the village police station. The sergeant sent me. I've got something to tell you."
Then Coke saw the policeman very clearly. Coke looked around quickly. There was a poker lying in the fireplace. He almost went to get it and then stopped.
"No!" he thought. "That's too dangerous. They already think I'm a spy. Whatever I have to do I can do just as well with my fists." He stepped back and waited. The old lady and the policeman came through the door into the sitting-room. Coke was still behind the door, so the policeman could not see him.
"Good evening officer. Can I help you?" Coke said very loudly and clearly. The policeman turned around the looked at Coke. He was very surprised. Then Coke hit him as hard as he could in the stomach and he fell to the floor heavily. The old lady screamed. The policeman tried to get up, but fell back weakly. Coke ran out of the room.
The phone rang about five minutes later at the local police headquarters. Halls answered it.
"What? Coke? Where? When?"
Baxter stood up as soon as he heard Coke's name. He quickly put his hat and coat on. Halls listened carefully to the voice on the other end and quickly made a few notes.
Then he put the phone down and turned to Baxter.
"Well, we know where Coke is now. A policeman almost caught him only five minutes ago."
"What do you mean, 'he almost caught him'? Did he catch him or didn't he?"
"No, he got away. He stole the policeman's bike."

 Episode 9
Synopsis: Coke found food and clothes in a cottage several miles away from the nearest village. However, a policeman came to tell the old lady in the cottage to watch out for Coke. Coke knocked the policeman down and stole his bike.
Baxter got into the car first. Halls was right behind him. "You drive. You know the area better than I do," Baxter said. They raced out of the town and into the dark countryside.
"It's ridiculous," Halls said. "Does he really think he's going to get away from us on a bike?"
"Coke isn't a fool," Baxter answered. "He probably doesn't realize we already know what happened in the old lady's house."
"You mean he doesn't know that even village policemen have small two-way radios these days?"
"That's right. He probably thinks it's going to take that policeman at least half an hour to get to the nearest phone. He thinks he can get pretty far in that time."
Ten minutes later, about three miles from the old lady's house, Baxter suddenly saw someone on the dark road ahead.
"Look! There!" he shouted. "There's someone on a bike! And look! He's going to get off!"
Halls saw the man quite clearly, but only for a second. As soon as the man saw they were in a police car, he dropped his bike and ran into the trees at the side of the road.
"That's Coke!" Baxter shouted. "He isn't going to get away this time!" Baxter jumped out of the car even before Halls stopped it, and ran after Coke. Halls jumped our, too. He didn't even switch off the headlights.
All Coke's training as a soldier helped him now. Baxter was just behind him when Coke suddenly turned. Baxter tried to grab him but almost lost his balance. Then Coke hit him on the chin as hard as he could. Baxter fell to the ground heavily. At that moment, Halls jumped on Coke from behind but Coke threw him over his back and against a tree, and then ran back towards the ground again. There was a terrible pain in his ribs. Coke saw the police car very clearly. The headlights were still on, and one of the doors was open. Coke jumped in.
It took Baxter several seconds to realize where he was. At first, all he could feel was a terrible pain in his jaw. Then he heard the sound of a car engine starting. He looked up and saw Halls pointing to it. Suddenly Baxter realized everything. Halls tried to run after the car but it was too late. Coke was gone and so was their car!

 Episode 10

Synopsis: When Coke saw Halls in a police car, he jumped off his bike and ran into the trees at the side of the road. Baxter and Halls ran after him. Coke managed to get away from both of them and to steal their car.
Coke drove for about twenty minutes. He felt nervous in the police car but he knew it was his only chance.
"I wonder how that policeman managed to contact police-headquarters so quickly?" He asked himself. Then he remembered a newspaper article about the new pocket radios all policemen had. They were small things which they put in their pockets.
"Of course! That's it!" he thought. Then he wondered if detectives like Halls and Baxter also had them. He knew they probably did not, because they already had radios in their cars. Suddenly, however, something on the road ahead interrupted his thoughts. Two police cars were there, side by side, blocking the road. Nothing could get by them!
The two policemen at the roadblock were bored. It was a lonely spot between two hills and there was very little traffic.
"Could you give me a light, Tom?" one of them said. It was his tenth cigarette that night. Just then, they both looked up and saw a car coming towards them.
"It's a police car," the other one said. "Perhaps they're bringing us some hot coffee, or something to eat."
They both watched the car as it came closer. It was a long, straight road and the car was still a good distance away.
"Isn't it going to stop?"
"It doesn't look like it."
"Shall we stop it? Our orders are to stop every car."
Just then, they heard the two-tone sound of the horn. It was obvious that whoever was in the car was in a great hurry.
The two policemen hesitated for a second. Then one of them turned to the other, "Would you move the car out of the way, Bob, or shall I?
"But our orders were to ..."
"Look! That's a police car, can't you see? You don't think Coke's going to come through here in a police car, do you?"
The other policeman got into the car and moved it back a few inches; the gap was just wide enough for another car to get through now.
"Aren't you going to move back some more?" the other shouted.
Before he could do so. Coke shot through the narrow gap and raced down the road in the direction of London.

Episode 11
Synopsis: Halls and Baxter tried to catch Coke when they saw him on a road in the countryside late at night. Coke, however, got away from them and stole their car. He also got through a police roadblock.
"How much farther is it to the nearest village?" Baxter asked.
He and Halls were in the middle of the countryside. The night was very dark and there was no traffic on the roads. They could not see a house or even a public phone box anywhere.
"It must be on the other side of that hill," Halls answered.
"I hope so! We've been walking for twenty minutes now! When we started, you said it was only ten minutes away!" Baxter said angrily. He was tired and his jaw hurt. He could already imagine the Chief Inspector's comments at their next interview. The Chief Inspector was a very sarcastic man. "Well, Baxter, perhaps you would explain all this to me. It seems you had a car when you saw Coke and that he had it after he saw you. Very interesting. How shall we explain all this to the papers? Shall we say something like 'The police are always ready to help?'"
Coke turned off the main road. He wanted to get rid of the police car as soon as possible. The army often used the area for maneuvers and Coke remembered it from the days when he was a soldier. He knew there was a village down a side road. Just before he got to it, he stopped and left the car in a field. Then he walked into the village itself. He wanted something and he was sure he could find it here.
In his apartment in London, a well-dressed man named Eric Masters turned on the radio and listened. The news was still bad. Coke was still free, the announcer said. Masters looked very frightened. He turned off the radio suddenly and picked up the phone.
In a village almost 200 miles away, Coke found what he wanted.
"People in villages like this always trust their neighbours. How lucky!" he thought when he saw the motorbike.
It was in a garage at the edge of the village. The garage was not even locked and there was a leather motorcycle suit on a nail. There was also a pair of gloves and a helmet. Everyone in the village was asleep. Coke worked silently. He pushed the bike down the road. When he was far enough away from the village be started the engine. It roared loudly. He got on the motorbike and raced towards London.

Episode 12

Synopsis: Coke knew it was dangerous to stay in the police car, so he stole a motorbike from a small village.
Eric Masters had the face of a man who lived comfortably and ate well. It was the face of a man who usually did not worry about the future. All this was gone now. He was very worried indeed when he picked up the phone and dialed nervously. At first, nobody answered at the other end. The phone rang at least twelve times but Masters did not hang up. Finally a sleepy voice answered angrily, "Who is it? What the devil do you want at this hour?"
It was a man's voice, and it was educated and smooth, but it had a cruel, cold edge.
"Is that you, Hugo? This is Eric," Masters said quickly.
The man at the other end became even angrier.
"And why are you ringing at this hour? I've been in bed for an hour!"
"But, haven't you heard the news, Hugo? Coke's still free!"
"Of course I've heard. So have my friends," the man answered coldly.
"I can't sleep. I've been thinking about Coke all evening!"
"Perhaps you'd better take a sleeping pill!"
Masters almost screamed the next question into the phone. "What are you going to do, Hugo? What are you going to do?'
The man at the other end answered just as coldly and as calmly as before. "Do? We're going to kill Coke! That's what we're going to do. That is, if he is stupid enough to come to London!"
The motorbike was fast but the roads were icy. Coke drove dangerously. He knew he had to. He had very little time.
"I'd better keep to the side roads," he thought, but he didn't because the main road was much faster, and he had very little time. A police car went by in the opposite direction. He began to feel a little safer. Then, around 2 o'clock in the morning, he suddenly saw lights in his mirror. They were the headlights of another police car, and this time it was just behind him. It came closer and closer and then suddenly speeded up. For several seconds, Coke and the car raced along side by side. Coke looked up. The two policemen in the car were looking at him but they could not see his face clearly. He was wearing a helmet and goggles. Coke raised his hand and waved casually. The driver was already looking at the road again, but the other still had his eyes on Coke. Then, the car speeded up again. In a few seconds it was far ahead of them. Coke raced towards London. He knew exactly where he wanted to go

Episode 13

Synopsis: Masters, a man who knew Coke before Coke went to prison, phoned a man called Hugo. Masters was terribly worried. For some reason, he was very afraid of Coke.
Coke reached London just before 6. The huge city was just beginning to wake up but the streets were still dark. He drove to a block of small flats not far from the river in the southeast. There was a light on in one of the ground floor flats. It was shining in the kitchen. He went to the window and tapped softly. He was still standing at the window when the back door opened. When he looked up, a woman was standing there. He hesitated when he saw her and almost went back into the shadows again, but she looked at him calmly. "Come in, Ted. I've been expecting you," she said very softly. He walked towards her and stood in the open doorway. 
 "I haven't got any right to ask for your help," he said after a pause.
"But there's nobody else you can go to, is there? You'd better come in," she answered calmly.
Baxter caught a very early train to London. When he got to Scotland Yard, the Chief Inspector was waiting for him. When Baxter went into his office, he was sitting at his desk and looking at a photograph. The Inspector looked at Baxter quickly, then back at the photo. "Perhaps it was a good thing you didn't catch Coke after all, " he said suddenly. Baxter stared at him in surprise.
"What do you mean, sir? I don't understand."
"I have a picture here of a man who knew Coke in the army. He was also a witness at Coke's trial. I've been interested in the man for some time now. Perhaps we'll be able to find out more about him now that Coke's free," the Inspector said, and gave Baxter the photograph.
"This is the man. Watch him. Follow him everywhere!"
Baxter looked at the man in the photo carefully. It was Eric Masters.
"You really shouldn't help me, Kate. It's against the law," Coke said. He and the young woman were sitting in her kitchen. He was eating breakfast hungrily. Kate did not say anything.
"I mean, everybody thinks I'm a spy," he went on.
"But I don't think so," she finally said. Coke finished his breakfast silently. Then he said, "You were the only person who ever believed I was innocent. That's why I came to you. Who else will help me?"
"Help you to do what, Ted?" Kate asked.
"Help me to find the real spies," he answered slowly.

Episode 14
Synopsis: (Note: The synopsis now uses all tenses previously introduced) Baxter caught the train back to London early this morning. He is now in the Chief Inspector's office. The Chief Inspector has just told him to follow Masters everywhere. Meanwhile, Coke is hiding in Kate's flat.
Kate was what the Americans call "a cool character"; nothing seemed to surprise her very much. She seemed ready for anything. Perhaps this was because she was an actress. She played small parts in films and on television. Her life was full of surprises. Just then she was not working at all. Perhaps that was why she did not hesitate even for a second when Coke said he wanted her help to find the real spies.
"All right," she said. "I'll help you and I'll start right now. Wait here!"
"What do you mean? Where are you going?" Coke asked.
"You'll find out when I come back. I'll have to get some things now!"
Before Coke could ask her anything more, she was gone.
Not very far away, Baxter was still sitting in the Chief Inspector's Office. He was still looking at Master's photograph. He looked up. "What's so interesting about him? Why do you want me to follow him?" he asked.
"A few days ago, quite by accident we learned a few things about him. Coke might ... notice I say 'might' ... be innocent after all. It's only a possibility. We want to see what Masters does if Coke contacts him," the Chief Inspector answered. Baxter was even more surprised now.
"I don't understand, sir? What do you think Masters might do?" he said.
"Masters might try to kill him if he's really afraid of him."
"But surely that's dangerous, sir. I mean, if Coke is innocent, Masters might kill him ... and if he isn't innocent, we're letting him go free. After all, Coke might kill Masters, or someone else!"
The Chief Inspector looked very serious.
"That's a chance we'll have to take, Baxter!" he said.
Time passed by slowly for Coke that morning and afternoon. He slept a bit but then got up and walked about the flat nervously. It was evening before Kate came back. The winter sun was just setting when she came through the door. She was carrying a large bundle and a lot of other things.
"Where have you been? You've been gone for hours!" he said.
"Yes, I've been busy. Here. Try these things on," she answered. She unwrapped the bundle quickly and showed him a suit, shoes and a shirt. There was also a coat with an expensive fur collar, the sort millionaires wear in films. Coke put the clothes on unwillingly. "I'll have to change my appearance more than this!" he said.
"Of course you will," she answered. "And I've got just the things you'll need!"

 Episode 15

Synopsis: Kate has come back to the flat with some clothes for Coke and other things. The Chief Inspector has told Baxter that Coke might be innocent.
First Kate dyed Coke's hair grey. Then she used some theatrical makeup to give him a much older face. Finally she put a pair of dark glasses on him, thrust a white walking-stick into his hand and led him firmly to a full-length mirror. Coke was surprised at how strong her grip was. He was even more surprised when he saw himself. An old man stared back at him.
"And now," Kate said, "You'll have to do far more than simply look like an old blind man. You'll have to walk, talk and act like one, too!" For the next hour she taught him exactly how to do that.
"You learn fast. We can go now," she finally said.
"What do you mean 'we'? You can't come with me. It might be dangerous," he objected. Kate was already putting her coat on. Her answer was simple. "If you want my help, you'll have to take me with you. Besides, things are just beginning to get interesting!"
They were walking towards a taxi-rank. There were usually several taxis parked there, waiting for customers.
"We must look an odd couple, you and I," Coke remarked.
"Don't worry about that. We look so odd that nobody will guess who you are. Now just tell me where we're going!"
"To a pub in Soho called 'The Great Rider'. Masters used to go there a lot," Coke answered.
"You mean you think he's one of the spies?"
"I don't know, but he didn't tell the truth at the trial. Why else would he lie?" Coke said. Just then they got to the taxi-rank. There were not any taxis there. "We'll have to take a bus. Just remember that you're an old, blind man. I'll help you get on and get off!" Kate said.
They got to Soho half an hour later. The streets were brightly-lit. There were people, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and strip-tease clubs everywhere. There was a man in front of one of the clubs. Whenever someone passed by he said: "The best show in London. Twenty beautiful girls. Step right in!" He began to say that when he saw Coke but as soon as he noticed Coke's dark glasses and white walking-stick, he closed his mouth again. They walked on until Coke suddenly gripped Kate's arm very hard. "This is the place. Take me in!" he said. There were two doors. One was marked 'Public Bar' and the other 'Saloon Bar'. "Which one?" she asked.
"The Saloon Bar!" he whispered. They went into the crowded, noisy, smoke-filled room. Several people stared at them curiously when they came in.

Episode 16

Synopsis: Kate has made Coke up to look like an old blind man. They have just gone to a pub in Soho. Coke thinks he might find Masters there.
Kate led Coke to a table and then went to the bar to get their drinks.
"I've been here before. I was here last week," she said when he came back. Coke was not listening.
"Masters isn't here," he said.
"Surely you didn't expect to walk in and find him, just like that?"
"No, I suppose not."
Time dragged. They sat there for over an hour. More people came in, but Masters was not among them. It was getting towards closing time when the barman came to their table.
 "May I have your empty glasses?" he asked politely.
Coke touched him on his sleeve. "Does a man named Eric Masters ever come in here?" he asked. He did not notice the man standing at the bar who stared at him in the mirror when he mentioned Masters' name.
The barman thought for a second. "There's a man named Eric who comes in here a lot. He's a military type. Is that who you mean?" he asked. Coke tried to sound casual when he asked his next question.
"Has he been in here today?" The barman nodded. "Yes," he answered. "He was in this afternoon." "I don't suppose you know where I can find him now?" Coke asked. "I'm afraid not. All I know about him is that he has an antique shop somewhere near Red Lion Square," he answered.
"Wasn't that a bit dangerous?" Kate asked after the barman left.
"Yes, it was. But I haven't got much time. I've got to find Masters before the police find me," he answered.
"I still don't understand why you can't simply find his address in the telephone book!"
"I've already looked. I went through the phone book in your flat. Masters might have a phone but his number isn't there."
The barman was shouting "Last orders, please" when Coke and Kate left. Kate led him through the crowded, bright streets. Most of the pubs were closing. It was 11.00, but the clubs and restaurants were still busy. When they got to Shaftesbury Avenue, Kate called a taxi. Neither she nor Coke noticed the man who was so close behind them in the crowd that he heard Kate say "Red Lion Square, please" to the driver. They did not see him get into a cab and follow them, either.

Episode 17

Synopsis: Coke has just found out that Masters owns an antique shop somewhere near Red Lion Square. He and Kate have gone there in a taxi. They do not know they are being followed.
"Would you mind driving round the Square once?" Kate asked the driver. Red Lion Square was deserted. There were a number of dark side streets around it.
"It's obviously not on the Square itself," Coke said.
They got out of the taxi, paid the driver and started exploring.
There were antique shops on several of the side streets but they all either had names like "Connoisseur's Corner" which told them nothing about who owned the shop, or other names like "Richards", and "Harvey Keen". Masters' name was not among them.
Half an hour later they were still looking. Kate kept glancing over her shoulder. She had the uncomfortable feeling that someone was following them but she could not see anybody.
"I don't like wandering round the dark streets at this hour," she said. "Someone's bound to notice us!" she went on. "I don't like doing it, either, but what else can we do? We can't stop looking now. It might be our last chance," Coke answered.
Suddenly something in the window of a shop across the road caught his eye. The street was very dark but the thing gleamed. It reflected the light of a passing car. They crossed the street. The thing was an old military sabre and it was in a window marked "Antique Weapons and Military Antiques." There were old pistols, helmets and other swords in the window. Coke became excited. "This must be it!" he said. Kate lit a match so that they could see a bit better. There was no name on the window but there was a phone number on the door. Coke copied it down.
It was around midnight when the phone rang in Eric Masters' flat. The voice on the other end was hard and cold.
"This is Hugo," it said. "Why didn't you come to the Green Rider?"
"I'm sorry, Hugo. I ... I don't enjoy going there any more. Not since Coke escaped. I ... I thought it might be dangerous." Masters was nervous. He became even more so when he heard what Hugo had to say. "There was an old blind man in the pub. He had a young woman with him. He asked about you and then went to your shop." Masters blinked in surprise. His voice cracked slightly. "But I don't know anybody like that. What did they want?"
"How do I know, you fool? Just watch out for them, that's all!" Hugo said furiously and hung up. Masters slept very badly that night.

 Episode 18

Synopsis: Hugo has told Masters an old blind man and a girl have been looking for him. Coke and Kate have found what they think is Master's antique weapon shop.
Coke did not sleep very well that night, either. He lay awake thinking. He was on Kate's sofa in the sitting-room. Slowly, however, he formed a plan in his mind. He fell asleep around three in the morning.
When he woke up, Kate was already in the kitchen making breakfast. "What are you going to do now?" she asked while they were eating. Coke did not answer immediately. He stared into his coffee. He knew he had to make one thing clear to her. "Have you thought what'll happen to you if the police find me here?" he suddenly asked. Kate looked at him coolly. "We've been over this before, haven't we? Now answer my question," she answered.
"But they'll send you to prison if they learn you've helped me!"
"I'll worry about that if and when it happens."
"All right, I'll tell you. But I warn you, if anything goes wrong, you might get hurt, badly hurt!" he told her.
"Go on. I'm listening."
"We're going to try to get Masters to come here. That is, if the owner of that shop is Masters."
"Get him to come here? How?"
Coke began to explain the plan in his mind.
Eric Masters was cleaning an antique pistol when the phone rang in his shop. He heard a young woman's voice at the other end. "I believe you buy and sell antique weapons," she said.
"Yes, that's right. I'm particularly interested in old firearms."
"My father is, too. He has a number of 17th-century pistols and he wants to sell some of them. Would you be interested?"
"Certainly. If you bring them to my shop, I'll look at them and give you a price."
"Well, unfortunately my father's blind. It's very difficult for him to get about. Would you mind coming to our place?" the woman answered.
Masters managed to answer calmly.
"Well... er ... my assistant is out to lunch. I'll come over when he comes back. Is that all right?" He noted down the address she gave him and hung up. His hands were trembling slightly. "These must be the people Hugo told me about," he thought. He reached into a drawer and took out a pistol. This one was not an antique. It was a small, black, nasty-looking automatic.
Episode 19

Synopsis: Kate has asked Masters to come to her flat. She has told him that her father has some antique pistols he wants to sell. Masters is suspicious and has decided to take a small automatic pistol with him.
Masters rang Hugo just before he left his shop.
"You told me about an old blind man and a woman ... well, they've just phoned. They want me to go to their place and look at some antique pistols," he said nervously.
"Well, what do you want me to do about it?" Hugo asked sarcastically. "You have a pistol, haven't you?" he added.
Masters could not understand why Hugo was so casual about it. He got into his white Jaguar and drove off.
"Perhaps the old man really does want me to look at his pistols," he thought. He patted the pistol in his pocket. It made him feel safer.
He felt even safer when Kate opened the door. She was slim, almost delicate-looking. "Good afternoon," he said. "I'm Eric Masters. You rang my shop earlier." She smiled. "I hope I haven't put you to any trouble. However, I'm sure you'll decide we haven't made you come all this way for nothing, " she said pleasantly, and led him into the sitting-room. Masters glanced suspiciously at the old, blind man sitting on the sofa. At first he seemed harmless enough, but there was something familiar about the man's face that made Masters look more carefully at him.
 "I'll go and get the pistols," Kate said. Masters stayed where he was, where he could see everything and where nobody could come in behind him. The old, blind man did not move. He simply sat there, his hands folded on his white walking-stick, his eyes behind the dark glasses staring blindly in front of him.
"Are you a collector, too?" Masters asked. The old man simply nodded. The woman came out of the bedroom with a large black case. "They're all in here," she said. "If you come over here, to the table, we can look at them. My father doesn't really want anyone else to have them, but I'm afraid we have no choice. It's a question of money."
Masters kept his eyes fastened on the old man's face as he walked towards the table. He was halfway there when the old man raised his face slightly. The sudden movement made Masters stop. The more he looked at that face, the more suspicious he became. Suddenly it dawned on him. He stared at both of them. They were both waiting expectantly for him to come nearer. It was the old man's nose and lips that made Masters think of Coke. He reached his pistol.

Episode 20
Synopsis: Masters has come to Kate's flat. He has just looked at Coke carefully and realized who he is. He has pulled out an automatic pistol.
When Masters pulled out the automatic, Kate was standing between him and Coke. She could see that he was almost hysterical and was probably going to shoot.
"It's you, Coke!" he burst out and came nearer. Kate was standing in his way now and he put out his hand to push her away.
Coke could hardly believe his eyes. One moment Masters was pointing a pistol at him and the next he was lying on the floor, gasping for breath. Kate had thrown him over her shoulder. "I once played a policewoman in a film and I had to learn some judo," she said rather casually and looked down at Masters. Coke did not simply stare in surprise; he gaped at her. Then he picked up the automatic that Masters had dropped and gaped again.
Masters groaned. He, too, could hardly believe what had happened. It all seemed incredible. He shook his head. He decided that it was probably all a nightmare, a horrible dream. He was sure that he was going to wake up at any moment, safe in his own bed. He blinked his eyes several times, hoping that Kate and Coke were somehow going to disappear. He blinked again, but when he opened his eyes, they were still there.
"And now that you're here, perhaps you wouldn't mind answering some questions," Coke said. Masters groaned again.
"Questions? What questions?" he mumbled. He was still in a daze.
"I want you to tell me everything that happened that evening you sent me to Epping Forest," Coke said in a low voice. Masters now realized that it was not a dream. For a moment he thought he was going to be sick.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Masters answered.
"I think you do," Coke said.
"You can't make me tell you anything!" Masters waited to see what Coke was going to do next. He could not take his eyes off the automatic in Coke's hands.
"I'll give you five seconds to begin answering my questions. Then I'll shoot," was all Coke said.
"You couldn't shoot me like that, in cold blood!"
"Couldn't I?" Coke answered, and pulled back the safety-catch. The pistol was now ready to fire. Then he began counting.

 Episode 21

Synopsis: Kate has thrown Masters over her shoulder. Coke has grabbed his pistol and has told Masters he will kill him if he does not answer his questions. Coke is going to count up to five before he shoots.
"But I know nothing!" Masters protested. Coke had already raised the pistol and simply said, "One!" Masters said nothing.
"Two!" Coke brought the pistol nearer.
"You can't frighten me!" Masters shouted.
"Three!" Masters saw Coke had already taken aim.
"How can I tell you something I don't know?" Masters demanded.
"Four!" Masters watched Coke's finger beginning to press the trigger.
"All right, all right, I'll tell you anything you want, but for God's sake, put that pistol down!" Masters gasped.
Coke's mind went back to the time, five years earlier, when both he and Masters had been officers in the same Army Intelligence unit. Masters had been Coke's superior. Several important military secrets had disappeared and they were both trying to find out who had taken them.
One evening, Coke had gone, on Masters' orders, to a lonely place in Epping Forest. Masters had told him he would meet a possible informer there. While he was waiting, three men had grabbed him from behind. They had poured whisky all over him and down his throat and then hit him over the head.
When he came to, he was back in his car, but it had crashed into a tree. The police had already arrived. It appeared that Coke had got drunk and lost control of his car. The police had found several files marked "Top Secret" in his car. Coke swore he had never seen them before. The police also found Coke had apparently deposited more than £2,000 in his bank account a few weeks before. Coke had known nothing of the money. The bank said the cheques had arrived by post, drawn on a Swiss bank, with Coke's countersignature. Nobody believed Coke's story. It appeared he had sold secrets for money and was going to do so again the night he had crashed. Masters denied he had ever told Coke to go to Epping Forest. This is what Coke wanted to ask questions about now.

Episode 22

Synopsis: Masters has agreed to tell Coke everything.
For a moment Coke wanted to pull the trigger. He had never killed anyone in cold blood, but he found it difficult not to hate Masters. Because of him, he had lost four years of his freedom. Because of him everybody thought he was a spy. Somehow, Coke got a grip on himself. Perhaps it was because he knew Masters was his only chance to prove he was innocent, and he knew if he killed him, he would lose that chance.
"Let's start at the beginning ... when you sent me to Epping Forest that night," Coke said in a flat, cold voice.
"That was Hugo's idea. I had nothing to do with it."
"And who is Hugo?" Coke demanded.
"He sells government secrets to any foreign country that's interested. He made me give him information. I didn't want to!"
"Made you? How did he make you? " Coke asked.
Masters stared down at the floor for several seconds before he answered.
"He knew things about me. He said he would tell the police about them if I didn't help him."
 "What sort of things?" Again, Masters hesitated before answering.
"What does it matter? The sort of things that would ruin any man if the police or anyone else found out about them."
There were only a few more things Coke wanted to know now. "Why did you involve me in all this?"
"The police suspected someone. We wanted to make them think you were the spy. We knew they would if they found your dead body in a car after a crash with all sorts of secrets in it."
"My dead body?"
"Hugo thought the crash would kill you," Masters said.
"A pity it didn't. You'd still be safe if I were dead!"
Masters swallowed and stared at the floor.
"And why aren't you still in the army? You'd be a lot more useful to Hugo if you were," Coke went on.
"It became too dangerous. Anyway, he still uses me."
"How?" Coke asked.
"We hide microfilms of secret documents in the antique weapons I send abroad. The people we send them to pose as foreign collectors."
Coke had one last question. It was the most important. "Where's Hugo now? Take me to him!"

Episode 23

Synopsis: Masters has told Coke that Hugo had planned what had happened to Coke in Epping Forest. He thought Coke would be killed in the crash and that the police would think he was the spy when they found the documents in his car. Coke wanted Masters to take him to Hugo.
Masters told Coke that Hugo owned a large garage in the North of London. Cars that had been damaged were taken there to be repaired. It was also where the secret documents Hugo sold were kept before they were micro-filmed and sent abroad.
They got into Masters' white Jaguar and drove there. Coke sat in front with Masters. Kate sat behind. It was almost evening when they got to the garage. It was at the end of a street and was surrounded by shops and small houses. They parked at the end of the street. People were beginning to close their shops and go home. The garage stayed open till six. Coke sat and watched the lights go off. When the last one had been turned off and the garage was completely dark, Coke turned to Masters again.
"Now tell me exactly where the documents are kept before they're sent off," he said.
At first Masters did not answer. He had become a little braver again. Coke pressed the pistol into his stomach.
"Because of you, I've been kept in prison for four years. Because of you, my life has been ruined. I'll kill you here and now if you don't answer!"
Masters looked at the pistol and went pale.
"They're kept in Hugo's office, in an ordinary file in his desk," he answered. "And the microfilms?" Coke demanded. "They're kept there, too."
"Do you know if any documents have been sent off recently?"
"Some were sent last week. I know. I sent them myself, " Masters said. "And will there be any there now, waiting to be sent off?" Again Masters hesitated. Coke pressed the pistol even harder into his stomach. "I don't know. There might be. Hugo told me he was going to give me some soon," he said.
Coke gave Kate the pistol. She was still sitting behind Masters. "Keep him here until I get back," he said.
"But what are you going to do?" she asked.
"Break into that garage if I can. Perhaps I can find proof that Hugo sells these things. If I do, I'll phone the police."
"But what if you don't? What if you're seen and caught before you can find anything at all?" Kate asked. But Coke had already started walking toward the dark garage. In the dark winter evening, it looked very much like a prison.

 Episode 24

Synopsis: Coke has gone to Hugo's garage. He has told Kate he is going to try to find proof that Hugo is a spy.
Once, a long time ago, someone had told him that an Army training was useful in many ways. Coke knew now that that was true. There was a drainpipe at the back of the garage that led to the roof, and Coke managed to climb up it. He had often done such things in the army.
There was a window in the roof, or a sky-light, as it is called. It was closed but not locked. Coke managed to get it open and then peered down into the dark garage below. There was a lorry parked almost directly underneath. He jumped down onto it. It was completely dark inside the garage itself.
"Masters told me the secrets were kept in the office, but where's the office?" he wondered. Suddenly he heard a sound behind him, and realized he was not alone in the garage.
Before he could turn around, someone grabbed him from behind and someone else shone a powerful light into his eyes. He was blinded. Then, there was an explosion of pain in his head. He realized, just before he lost consciousness, that what had happened in Epping Forest was happening to him all over again.
When he came to again, he was lying on the floor of the garage. It was at least an hour later. He heard loud voices. When he opened his eyes, he saw Kate tied to a chair. Four men were standing above him. One of them was Masters, looking pale and frightened. He was listening to a short blond man. Coke knew it must be Hugo himself. Hugo was shouting.
"I told you you were a fool ... and idiot! Do you believe me now?" he demanded. Masters tried to say something but could not.
Hugo slapped him across the face.
"I asked you if you believed me now?" he shouted.
"But ... but Hugo. Pl ... please listen to me!" Masters stammered. "I told you someone had phoned me and had asked me to look at some pistols! I told you it was an old, blind man but you said there was nothing to worry about!" Masters said.
"No, I didn't. I asked you what you wanted me to do about it, you idiot!" Hugo roared. Suddenly, one of the other men interrupted.
"What did you say we were going to do with the girl and Coke?" he asked.
"I said we were going to kill them! And I said we were going to do the job properly this time!" Hugo answered.

Episode 25

Synopsis: When Coke broke in, Hugo and two other men seized him and knocked him out. That was at least an hour ago.
Hugo saw that Coke had come to. Coke tried to get up but his hands were tied. His head hurt terribly. Hugo looked at him like a shark inspecting his dinner.
"We would never have become suspicious if you hadn't used Masters' white Jaguar," he said. "When we saw it parked halfway up the road, we decided to wait and see what would happen. Then, after we got you, we went out and got your girl friend," he continued.
Coke knew he would never have made such a stupid mistake if he had not been so tired. He had not slept properly for days. He looked at Kate. "I'd never have got you into all this if I hadn't asked you for help," he said to her. He was trapped. It seemed there was nothing he could do and nobody who could help him. Hugo took out a revolver. "You'd never have bothered us again if I'd used this four years ago," he said. He came closer to Coke and aimed the revolver carefully at his head.
Suddenly there was a terrible crash as three policemen broke down the side door of the garage. Hugo turned around and gaped. "No, Hugo. Look up here!" a voice roared from the sky-light above. Suddenly everybody stopped. Nobody made a move. Then Baxter dropped through the sky-light, which was still open, and onto the lorry and finally to the ground. Three more policemen followed him. Baxter walked over to Hugo.
"Your revolver, please," he said simply.
"I was only protecting my property," Hugo answered. "This man broke in. That girl helped him. Send him back to prison!" Baxter listened and smiled. "Certainly, but only after you've given me that revolver," he replied. Hugo handed it to him silently.
The policemen around Baxter and at the door suddenly moved forward and seized Hugo, Masters and the three men.
"We've followed you everywhere for days; that's why we're here now," Baxter told Masters. Then he turned to Hugo and said, "And I've been up there for half an hour. I've heard everything you've said. Also, I think you'd have phoned us an hour ago, when Coke first broke in, if you'd only wanted to protect your property!"
Before Hugo could protest, he and the others were led away. Baxter helped Coke to his feet. "What we know now already proves you were innocent," he said. Then he untied Coke's hands. Coke was a free man again.