Many have read the books of Jane Smith, but few know that the themes of espionage and betrayal that are prevalent in her books are based on real-life experiences. In real life, Jane Smith is Marsh Wainwright, director of the CIA and ex-spy on the Soviets. She is eminently qualified to write on the theme of espionage.
Her desire to write can be traced back to her childhood days in Marco Polo, Kansas, when writing down her thoughts. She didn't speak much because when she did, the pragmatic people condemned her as a pretentious youth who wanted to do nothing more than get out of town. As she grew older, she realized that the provincial attitude of the townspeople would smother her. However, she still retains her Kansas roots with a house in Harper's Corner, which is about ten miles from Marco Polo.
Many of the characters in her novels are like many people in Washington, but Marsha is prudent enough not to name names. She doesn't say because she doesn't want to provoke anybody into opposing her.
However, she did confess to one person. Jacob Harver, the profane corporal in charge of the CIA's Eastern Europe Command, is in real life the late Gen. Richard A. Johnson. Johnson had a habit of using cuss words and Marsha just imitated his voice when writing Harver's speech.
Another one that is guessable is Martin Fox. She didn't tell us this one, but when we guessed right, she said, "You got it." Martin Fox is Nicholas Martin, her predecessor as the director of the CIA.
We asked Marsha if her duties as CIA director precluded her from writing novels. She said no, that she had a new book out entitled The Formula of Truth. The book starts with Nicole Larson, the protagonist of the story, in a jam. She is in Russia; they have just found out that she's a spy; she has to get out. Once she's out, Harver sends her home to face Fox.
Fox gives her a royal chewing out and then assigns her to guard Dr. Louise Kidman, who is a professor at USC. She teaches chemistry and has just invented a potent truth serum. Larson is to guard Dr. Kidman's formula with her life, along with Dr. Kidman.
There is one problem with this arrangement. Nicole Larson is a very down-to-earth sort of person; Dr. Kidman is a ponderous sort who made some very profound statements on chemistry that had won her a Nobel Prize. This drives Nicole nuts, because she's used to action, not words.
But a friendship begins to form. Nicole begins to understand chemistry and Dr. Kidman begins to understand the CIA. Nicole also begins to realize how rarely a prodigious mind such as Dr. Kidman's mind comes along.
But Marsha wouldn't tell us how this story ends, except for the fact that Fox dies at the end of the book and thanks to Dr. Kidman's support, Nicole becomes the director of the CIA. But Marsha said not to worry, Nicole Larson just can't get away from her spying roots. "More books will be coming. My agent wants me to stay prolific."
It was a good season for deer hunting, Jake thought as he shoved the ammunition into his gun. The rains had come early and so plants were growing in great profusion. The deer had proliferated so much that deer season opened a week early.
He wanted to protract this experience. His father had not been happy about his new gun and Jake knew a lecture was coming. His father hated his prodigal decisions and this gun would be the last straw.
But he yanked his thoughts away from that. He was deer hunting! It was the first time he'd gone by himself.
He crept through the bushes in his army fatigues. Suddenly, he saw a deer in the proximity of his hiding spot.
He raised his gun slowly. The laser sight centered on the deer. He tried to settle his nervousness. Slowly, now, pull back the trigger...
BANG! He had pulled back too fast. The deer ran unhurt into the woods. Jake let out a string of profanity. He was frustrated that the deer had gotten away.
He stood there a few moments and then continued through the bushes. He thought of his Uncle Jeb who had died that year. Uncle Jeb used to take him hunting. Jeb had been almost like a father to him, teaching him about life while they were hunting.
"Don't provoke any animal," Uncle Jeb had told him. "If a bear wants your deer, let him have it. Your gun is nothing against an enraged animal."
Uncle Jeb had also been very pragmatic. One time his gun had jammed and the deer had gotten away. "You can't get them all, " he said, later.
Jake was knocked out of all his thoughts when a deer came in proximity of where he was standing. But for some reason, he couldn't shoot this deer. This deer had a fawn. He lowered his gun. The fawn precluded any chance he had to kill this deer. It was an unwritten rule that you don't kill mothers with fawns. Uncle Jeb had told him that, too.
Uncle Jeb had been a prudent hunter. He killed no deer for just sport. His family all liked venison. "It isn't good to kill animals and leave them to die."
Jake leaned against the tree. Now that he thought about it, he had a good predecessor in his Uncle Jeb. Maybe someday he could teach his son or nephew how to hunt.
He hadn't thought of the proliferation of hunters in the woods when he dressed in his camoflauge uniform this morning. As Jake thought of the profundity of Uncle Jeb's thoughts, he made a slight movement. A "newbie" to the hunt mistook him for a deer and shot.
Unfortunately for Jake, the shot was perfect. Something slammed into his head with a big burst of light and then there was darkness. The newbie had used a Destroyer bullet -- one of the most potent in the business.
The new hunter walked over to get his deer and was horrified to see that he shot another hunter. Let's just say he never went hunting again.
Notes from ten years later: I remember writing this in math class the period before. I was morbid at times, I don't know how my English teachers managed to put up with me in high school. The thing that makes me laugh is that I either didn't have much clue about military ranks, or I wrote Corporal instead of Colonel. it's sorta funny, so I left it.