The Coldfall Sanction
Captain William Henry Hall
Ex-Director of Foreign Intelligence - Presumed deceased.
Captain William Henry Hall’s once slender physique has over the years begun to thicken as he spends more and more of his time either in his dimly lit office, or at The Korea Club where he sits, usually alone, sipping brandy, smoking a fine cigar and reading several newspapers. And yet, he looks remarkably fit for a man who has turned 74 – and is officially dead.
Captain William Henry Hall was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Committee in 1882, and became Director of Naval Intelligence in 1887 when the Naval Intelligence Department was formed. Office reports stated that Captain Hall had served the crown with distinction and the whole of the Royal Navy was saddened at the news of his sudden death. As the new year turned to 1895, Captain Hall fell violently ill during a short train excursion, wherein, days later he was pronounced dead.
His death was a shock as he appeared to all, including his son, William Reginald Hall, to have been suffering from no known medical conditions, and in particular, he had only visited his doctor days before.
In 1914, Captain Hall’s son, Sir William Reginald Hall, became Director of Naval Intelligence.
A week ago, Sir Reginald Hall, received a memorandum from an intelligence analyst, one Lieutenant Bradley McFarlane, in which the young Lieutenant reported finding a misfiled classified document. The document in question, the Lieutenant reported, seemed to be not only misfiled but misclassified, Eyes Only, seeing as how it was nothing more than a routine interdepartmental report concerning the death for a former Chief of the Secret Service Bureau. It would appear that a Peter Hawkins, who, still active with the SSB, and yet for reasons to be ascertained, maintained a solicitors office in Exeter, had died of gout.
Upon further research, the memorandum also listed what Lieutenant McFarlane considered to be several odd coincidences. The first being that Peter Hawkins of Exeter had died the same day as Sir Hall’s father. The second, McFarland’s research had uncovered a request for the reimbursement of funds for the leasing and setting up a solicitor’s office in Hampstead, for a Peter Hawkins Esq. And lastly, Peter Hawkins Esq, in Hampstead, was the same age as not only the Exeter Peter Hawkins, but, Sir Hall’s father as well.
Lieutenant Bradley McFarlane has since been reported by his fiancée as a Missing Persons.