In this book Colonel F.M. Bailey, the last true player of the Great Game, tells of the perilous game of cat-and-mouse, lasting sixteen months, which he played with the Bolshevik secret police, the dreaded Cheka.
'one of the best books about secret intelligence work ever written' Peter Hopkirk
. Colonel F. M. Bailey, whose extraordinary adventures are told here, was long accused by Moscow of being a British master-spy sent in 1918 to overthrow the Bolsheviks in Central Asia. As a result, he enjoyed many years after his death an almost legendary reputation there - that of half-hero, half-villain. In this remarkable book he tells of the perilous game of cat-and-mouse, lasting sixteen months, which he played with the Bolshevik secret police, the dreaded Cheka. At one point, using a false identity, he actually joined the ranks of the latter, who unsuspectingly sent him to Bokhara to arrest himself. Told with almost breathtaking understatement, Bailey's narrative - set in a region once more back in the headlines - reads like vintage Buchan.
Frederick Bailey was a British explorer and secret agent, considered by many to be the last true player in the Great Game. In 1904, as a Tibetan-speaking subaltern, he had ridden into the forbidden city of Lhasa as a member of a team to investigate reports of a Russian presence there. Later, his travels in Tibet and China earned him the highly prized gold explorer's medal of the Royal Geographical Society. Between 1905 and 1909 he served as a British Trade Agent
- really a cover for political intelligence work - at Gyantse in southern Tibet. Later he accompanied a British punitive expedition into northern Assam as its intelligence officer, and was awarded the coveted MacGregor Medal for explorations contributing to the defence of India. During the First
World War he was posted as an intelligence officer to Shushtar in Persia, and in 1918 returned to India to undertake the secret mission into Central Asia which is the subject of this book.