By Sidney Reilly

In September 1925, Sidney Reilly journeyed around the Russian frontier on a challenge to overthrow the Bolsheviks and fix the Czar. He vanished with no hint. The situations surrounding his loss of life stay a mystery.

This vintage autobiography finds the interesting adventures and exploits of the fellow extensively credited as being the unique twentieth-century super-spy, proposal for Ian Fleming's James Bond.

Sidney Reilly, the so-called Ace of Spies, was once a womanizing British undercover agent who claimed to be Irish yet used to be in reality Russian. provided the army pass for his bold operations, he met his demise in Russia in 1925 after a sting operation by way of the Soviet mystery Service.

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And thus I came back to Petrograd. I had already worked out a plan of campaign. The first thing I did when I had billeted myself was to get into touch with some of the members of my old Petrograd set, whom I thought might be of service. I had to proceed with caution. Some might be fled, others dead, others under suspicion. It was not even impossible that some, despairing of the future, might have joined the Bolsheviks. However, as it happened, my lucky star was in the ascendant. The man on whose assistance I set more store than on that of all my other potential allies was immediately procurable.

Some of its work is done by provocateurs, men who deliberately foment counter-revolutionary plots, and when they have engineered a conspiracy, which is just about to burst into open flame, betray it to their masters. The streets run with blood, and one more counter-revolutionary plot is discovered and avenged. In the foul cells of the Butyrsky at Moscow sit scores of the wretched victims of the Tcheka. The ‘investigators’ employ every diabolical device, every ghastly torture ever invented by the fiendish ingenuity of man to wring from them a confession or a betrayal.

These interesting young ladies had a regular visitor, whom they knew as Sidney Georgevitch, officially described as Relinsky of the Tcheka-Criminel. What more natural than that the young artistes should be visited by a close friend of theirs, Mlle Friede, also of the Arts Theatre? The young ladies were apparently very much attached and the visits were of daily occurrence. Mlle Friede would bring her portfolio with her, and no doubt the young ladies met for the purpose of practising triolets together under the guidance of the music master.

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