“Stewart Menzies sends his regards,” Captain Hall said.
Collier had worked with him in the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) during the late stages of World War One and knew that Stewart Menzies prided high intelligence and did not suffer fools lightly.
“He’s now a Lieutenant Colonel, I’ve been told,” he asked. She nodded. “Your accent, American?”
“Born and bred in Baltimore, Maryland,” she replied.
“You’ve traveled quite the distance, Captain Hall.”
“You don’t know the half of it, Inspector. I won’t bore you with the details.”
“Please, do.” He motioned for her to sit. “My inquisitive nature, or what some may call snoopiness, encourages you. Do you have family here?”
“None. My closest friends have become my family.”
“Well? What brought you to England?”
“Happenstance. I really don’t know how else to describe it. And, what I thought at the time a cruel twist of fate.”
“Excuse me, Inspector,” Sergeant Snowden interjected from the doorway, “but I’d bet the captain would like a good ‘cup of joe.”
“I haven’t had a good cup in a while,” she chortled. “It would be welcome, very welcome, Sergeant. Are you sure you’re up to it? The English aren’t known for great coffee.”
The sergeant chuckled. “My mother’s side of the family live just outside Cincinnati and twice a year they send me a case of Eight O’Clock coffee. I understand it’s quite popular in the United States...