TODAY'S SUBJECT:  Security malfeasance and Shapiro

You know, for an ultrasensitive operation, there are a lot of folks in the Bureau rather well-informed about the Schrenk situation and the people handling it.

First, you've got O'Rourke coming into the Caff and talking about Shapiro to Jessop and Wallis, and then shutting up when Q asks after him:  "I heard [O'Rourke] quite clearly. 'They've lost Shapiro,' he told them, and I saw Jessop going slowly white, and in a couple of seconds he got up and went out, bumping into a table on his way and not noticing." [01:76]

But that's not all.  When Q goes into Signals with Tilson, to field the expected call from Croder, Q is surprised that Croder's calling from Geneva, remarking that Croder's in Rome.  Now, how on earth would Quiller have that kind of detailed information about the whereabouts of the Chief of Base Directorate (supposedly on leave)?

Finally, there's this interesting bit of briefing legerdemain pulled by Croder.  Trying to persuade Q to go out to get Shapiro to go back, Croder asks, "You wouldn't consider him expendable?"  Unfortunately, that is exactly what Croder *does* consider him.  In other words, at the point of sending Q out, Croder knows that the likelihood of persuading Shapiro to come back is almost nil, given the maneuvers he's gone through to get posted to Moscow (it's revealed at 17:142-143 not only that the Bureau'd received reports that the whole Hannover abduction was faked, but that he'd been passing himself off as an official representative of British intelligence).  However, this information is kept not only from Q, but from *Bracken* ("I wasn't told of this until today..." [17:142]).

Deep, dark waters indeed.  And figure this in:  what does O'Rourke mean when he says, "They've lost Shapiro," to Jessop and Wallis, and why does Jessop's face turn white and why does he immediately leave the Caff?  What does O'Rourke mean by "they" and by "lost"?  And given the general air of chattiness that suffuses the Bureau, why don't O'Rourke and Jessop answer Q when he asks about Shapiro?  Is it that Bureau staffers like O'Rourke, Jessop and Wallis are more informed?  Or is perhaps that Q is the only person who *does not* know what is really going on?