Note: Lots of folks think that Number Six of “The Prisoner” and John Drake of Patrick McGoohan‘s earlier series “Danger Man“, aka “Secret Agent”, were one and the same. For the record I’m one of those. So, here we have a tale of Number Six in his formative stage. Slowly getting fed up with the system. Slowly reaching that point of resignation.
He sat at the bar, sipping his beer. He could drink it and smile if need be but he never would understand how anyone could enjoy it chilled. He’d spent so much time working with the Brits that anything other than room temperature seemed something rather disgraceful. The music from the jukebox in the far corner caught his attention. That new song by Johnny Rivers. He liked it. It reminded him of … Well, it reminded him.
The man slid onto the stool next to his. By way of greeting he simply said, “Drake.”
“Nigel.” Nigel was ordering a whiskey and as the bartender retreated to the shelves to fetch his drink he asked, “Nigel, how’ve you been keeping? Why am I here and who is Dorthea Farmer?”
“In order … I’ve been quite well, thank you. Because you’re the most suited for this mission. The daughter of an industrialist currently residing in Nigeria.” And the bartender set his drink down in front of him.
“So I’m going to Nigeria?” He queried.
“No, you’re going to Quebec. Its her father who is in Nigeria. Miss Farmer lives with a roommate, a Miss Amanda Fallin, on the outskirts of Montreal. Miss Farmer works as bank teller. She’s very independent of her father. Her roommate works at the same bank, got her the job actually. Miss Fallin is the niece of Georgio Rannesin. Every thing else you need to know, along with your train ticket, is here,” and he passed him an envelope.
“Rannesin. Interesting.” It was all he said as Nigel left.
“Be seeing you, Drake.”
The train lumbered along, the rails clacking. The steady beat was a sleep inducer. He had gone over the information Nigel had given him, committed it to memory, destroyed it. All of the current evidence pointed in one direction. Amanda Fallin was a communist sympathizer, an operative for the other side. Fallin, working with her uncle Georgio Rannesin, would use the life of Dorthea Farmer as a means to force her father to make several bad business decisions. Michael Farmer, for his part, would be loosing money to a certain group of business people. A very neat form of blackmail and a clean way to obtain ransom money. Simply transfer funds from one bank to another, from the looser in the business deals to the winners. Ingenious. All Drake had to do was take Miss Farmer to a safe place while exposing Miss Fallin. The safe place would be easy enough. Forcing Fallin to tip her hand so that the Canadian Intelligence Bureau could take her into legal custody was another subject, a problem he hoped to be able to play by ear. Once he had looked over the situation he felt certain he’d be able to trust his sixth sense.
“Certainly, sir,” the Bank Guard pointed towards a hall at the opposite end of a long line of tellers. “New accounts would be the third door to the left.”
“I’m obliged,” he smiled as he walked towards the hall. As he passed the tellers he saw both Miss Farmer and Miss Fallin, recognizing them from the now disposed of photos supplied by Nigel.
“Good morning, sir. May I help you” A very plump, middle-aged woman with horn rimmed glasses looked up, smiling, from her desk.
“Yes, please. I’d like to open an account.”
As he sat there, the two of them filling out the required bank forms, he asked simple and polite questions about the bank and its services. And the woman, eager to share with a new customer, gave him much more information than she realized.
End of Part 1