The Infernal Device & Others: A Professor Moriarty Omnibus
plan backfires?"
     
                  "If he is caught," Moriarty said, "or if the Okhrana itself is otherwise implicated ..."
     
                  "At the least, a terrible revulsion of feeling in Great Britain against Russia," Zyverbine said. "At the most—war!"
     
                  Zyverbine sat motionless for almost a minute, his head resting in the palm of his hand. Moriarty made no effort to prompt him. At last Zyverbine spoke. "Who is to say what this madman Trepoff is planning? The destruction of a British battleship, the murder of a member of the Royal Family, blowing up Parliament, mass murder in the streets of London ... All are equally possible. And if he is apprehended and traced to the Okhrana—"
     
                  "I understand," Moriarty said.
     
                  "You must also understand that the Tsar, my master, is a great friend of Great Britain and your Queen."
     
                  "Three wars in the past sixty years," Moriarty reminded Zyverbine.
     
                  "His father." Zyverbine shrugged. "Besides, they were mere differences of opinion. But they have created a climate where England distrusts Russia. One little mistake—"
     
                  "The mistaken blowing up of one battleship," Moriarty suggested.
     
                  "Exactly! And so Trepoff must be stopped. "
     
                  " Can't you recall him?" Moriarty asked.
     
                  "The Belye Krystall is a secret organization within a secret organization," Zyverbine said. "They are fanatical in their beliefs and actions. Even the Tsar himself could not order Trepoff to stop. He believes that he acts for the greater good of the state and expects no reward beyond the successful completion of his task. In fact, he would gladly sacrifice his life to accomplish his objective. Such men are infinitely dangerous."
     
                  "Have you considered informing Scotland Yard or the British Secret Service?"
     
                  "And tell them what?" Zyverbine demanded. "That a representative of the Russian Secret Police is planning to commit a violent crime against an unknown objective and we'd be obliged if they stopped him? First of all, it would make us look like fools; and second of all if they didn't catch him, they would always suspect that we had planned it that way. No. This way, if he isn't stopped, there is always the chance that he'll get away with it—and we'll have to settle for that."
     
                  Moriarty rubbed his slender hands together. "I must confess that I find the problem an intriguing one," he said. "You want me to discover one man, whom you cannot describe, out of the population of Great Britain, before he commits an unknown crime of magnificent proportions." He thought for a minute. "I suppose he speaks fluent English?"
     
                  "Like a native."
     
                  "Good, good," Moriarty said. "An intriguing problem, indeed. You must tell me what is known of this man and his methods. I assume something is known."
     
                  "We have an extensive dossier on Trepoff and the Belye Krystall," Zyverbine said. "Of course, much of it is guesswork, rumor, unconfirmed reports, gross exaggeration, and deliberately misleading facts planted by sympathizers."
     
                  "Better and better," Moriarty said. "This case will give free rein to the processes of logic—the one touchstone by which one can infallibly separate truth from fiction. I think I can promise you that, given sufficient time before he attempts this outrage—and I do not need much time—Trepoff will be apprehended."
     
                  "Then you will work for us?" Zyverbine asked.
     
                  "I shall."
     
                  "You see a way to

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