How does overt become covert?
Some think the torn slip and the book it was removed from were a covert means of recognition between two parties on a secret mission who otherwise had no knowledge of what the other looked like – had never met before – knew each other not.
Two strangers on a train. That sort of thing.
Not likely they would meet in privacy to initiate such a secret transaction, like a hotel room, because until they recognised each other there would be no trust, so a nominated place would have to do – somewhere public – in full view.
Not likely they would go through the slip and book recognition procedure in public view, like on a bench in a park – somebody may notice. ‘Spies were everywhere’ said the Honourable Feltus, so many of them infested the cities in the late forties they were called sparrows.
Covert Recognition Tradecraft entails one party having to wear, carry or say something that instantly tells the other party that he or she is the one they are looking for. Not two strangers fluffing around on a park bench trying to fit a very small square of paper into a hole on the back page of a very small book. Who would hope to go through that type of secret procedure in public and not be noticed?
Which leaves two questions.
Was the TS slip found in the dead man’s pocket evidence of his suicide?
Or was it put there by somebody else so as to look like a suicide?