Just as the story seems to be going beyond humour into somewhere dark and embarrassing as Wormold’s fabrications are discovered by his secret service secretary Beatrice things take a bizarre twist. The phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ takes on a new meaning as characters that come from the mind of the vacuum cleaner salesman’s head begin to populate the city.
Bullet points between pages 60 – 126
* Life starts to improve for Wormold as he starts to send back fictitious reports and draws sketches of military weaponry based on sketches of vacuum cleaner parts and draws expenses for sub agents that don’t exist
* Back in London Hawthorne starts to suspect that something is wrong when he looks at the sketches but everyone else is falling for it and so the next stage is to send out a secretary and a radio operator
* The secretary arrives on Milly’s seventeenth birthday and starts to revolutionise the life of Wormold and insists on meeting his agents, something he tries to avoid at all costs, plus she encourages him to steer clear of Dr Hasselbacher
* Things seem to be coming to a head when Beatrice the secretary is on the brink of guessing that the pilot Raul, who Wormold has asked to do a flyover of military installations, is a fiction that will conveniently die
* Then they discover that Raul has been murdered in a set-up accident on the way to the airport, that the agent Wormold claimed was working for him has been shot at by the police and all of a sudden the world of make believe is becoming real
More of this cracking story tomorrow…