Skip to content

ellens’ stories

A comment from Ellen, illustrated.

I am having a cocktail at my favorite bar. While sipping a manhattan, a handsome man (Clive?) sidles up beside me and says that he has noticed me before and would like to give me a book of poetry and inscribes his favorite verse.


I pick up the book, peruse it, I realize that I am happily married to the love of my life. As I leave the bar, I pitch the book of poetry in a rubbish bin.

woman at bar.jpg

Ellen watching Clive on the sidle


Perhaps this is what happened to the second book of poetry: Jessica tries to offer SM a book of poetry while they are sitting on the steps of the Crippled Children’s Home sharing a pasty and a hit from her hip flask.

SM is a famous ballet star and used to fans’ efforts to ingratiate themselves. After she has left the scene, he sashays over to a parked car and tosses the book in. He secretly has an unrequited crush on Vladimir the stage hand and her offer is out of the question.


Vlad, exiting the prop room

Meanwhile, Al, the loving husband and stalwart mechanic, remembers the days when he was a secret spy and envy of the other soldiers in the barracks. Young pretty nurses flirting outrageously as he guides them through sedition. He has only to look at the book of poetry on his credenza and feel a perverse flush of derring do, marveling that his wife has never asked him of its origin.

derring do.jpg

Al, feeling the flush

Thanks Ellen, you’re a champion.

woman at bar.jpg

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    True, the mirror cannot lie. If the SM had taken a liking to Jessica, I guess that Vladimir would have been putin on a brave face?

    March 17, 2017
  2. ellen #

    Omigosh! That’s me. Where did you get my picture? Happy St. Pat’s. I’m going out to my favorite watering hole with a truckload of these here Rubaiyats, hoping to ensnare some willing Clive in a dangerous liaison (batting my eyelashes). At my age, it becomes a numbers game. Want to make a little poetry, big boy?

    March 17, 2017
    • Settle down Ellen, it’s the rugby season, my weekends are booked.

      March 18, 2017
  3. ellen #

    See how hard it is to give these things away. Tell Clive I’ll throw in the decoder.

    March 19, 2017
  4. ellen #

    Perhaps that was the purpose of the whole operation…..rounding up all the purveyors of the code…. so that the code wasn’t out there and could be solved by posterity. Al kept the poetry book because he also had the code.

    March 19, 2017
    • ellen #

      According to Derek’s chronology….. 1949 July 27th, Sydney detectives find and interview Alf Boxall.
      1949 July 27th, police send the code to a Navy cracker.
      1948 (sic) July 28th, Boxall’s wife shows a Sydney reporter their copy of the Rubaiyat.

      Chapman Pincher quoted….”It remains of interest that when, in 1948, evidence of Soviet penetration of the Australian Department of External Affairs led to serious security concerns in Washington and London, MI5 sent Roger Hollis to Canberra, as its authority on protective security and on communism, to help investigate the problem and set up what became ASIO. It was MI5 Director General Percy Sillitoe who instructed Hollis to undertake this work. Hollis, as Christopher Andrew phrases it, provided “detailed advice on the charter, organization and senior personnel of ASIO”. 
      Pincher then observes that up to 1948 the KGB traffic to and from Canberra had used a code system that had been deciphered, “but shortly after Hollis had returned to Britain in 1948, it was changed and decipherment was never possible again”. As Christopher Andrew himself records, Hollis urged that none of the dominions undertake their own study of the Soviet intelligence service, since that would be “redundant” and could be left to London. Hollis was closely involved with Canberra’s efforts to trace spies revealed by Venona, but arranged that Canberra would not embark on any new line of enquiry without first checking with MI5. How very useful for Moscow, if Hollis was Stalin’s man in MI5.”

      Alf Boxall and the code that got away.

      March 20, 2017
  5. Clive #

    And I take it that none of the dominions questioned why they couldn’t search themselves for spies etc? You would have thought that at least someone in a dominions government would have been suspicious of Hollis wanting any/all information to go through a single channel i.e. London. What a neat arrangement Hollis made with the dominions, no questions asked. Red Square must have echoed to the laughter of the Soviets as they fell down laughing.

    March 20, 2017
  6. ellen #

    Let’s not forget the first Rubaiyat death….George Marshall. Did he stumble into Roger Hollis’ perfidy at the Price Exchange and wind up in a mental hospital?

    March 22, 2017
  7. ellen #

    Let’s play What If. What if “1948 (sic) July 28th, Boxall’s wife shows a Sydney reporter their copy of the Rubaiyat.” isn’t a typo on Derek’s site? What if Alf’s wife got jealous and asked a Sydney reporter what the book of poems could be? Then events led to Nov. 1948. I’m surprised a college professor would let a mistake like that go by the board.

    March 23, 2017
  8. Clive #

    I would loved to have been a fly on the wall in Alf’s house, when he arrived home after the police interview-what did Susie ask him, I wonder? More importantly, what was Alf’s reply?

    March 23, 2017
    • Even so, Clive, a man wonders if Alf knew they were coming … if both he and Jessica played by the rules, she would have been expecting the police to knock on her own door at some time.

      March 23, 2017
  9. Clive #

    Seems that Jessica passed the buck by naming Alf to the police, when they drew a blank with Alf, why didn’t they re-visit Jessica? Or, did they and, it was all kept under wraps? As Ellen noted, George Marshall died with a copy of the Rubaiyat, Alf had a copy & the SM had a piece of paper from another Rubaiyat. It can’t be a coincidence, surely, that the same titled book ties all these individuals together? I realize it was a popular book at that time but, where is “Gone With The Wind”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” etc.

    March 24, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s