Chapter 6 Summary

The Assistant Commissioner is shocked and startled to hear Heat mention Michaelis in connection with the bombing; he has a connection with Michaelis and has known him for some time through a friend of his wife’s. This friend of his wife’s is an elderly, distinguished society woman known for her parties.

At one of these parties, the Assistant Commissioner actually meets Michaelis and finds him a pompous, harmless saint who might have revolutionary ideas but who is hardly capable of carrying out murder in service of such ideas. The society woman has been a great friend to the Assistant Commissioner and his wife; he fears that if Michaelis is arrested under his direction, then the society woman would never forgive him.

The Assistant Commissioner presses Heat on his belief that Michaelis is connected to the bombing and should be arrested. Heat concedes that that it is unlikely that Michaelis is involved in the plot, but he wants to take the opportunity to put away someone Heat believes should not be free in the first place. Michaelis’s prison sentence for a plot some years in the past that left a policeman dead has been commuted, much to the chagrin of Heat and other police officers who believe he should serve out his full sentence.

Heat has more information to contribute to the investigation. He explains to the Assistant Commissioner how the piece of dark blue velvet he extracted from the remains of the bomber has an address on it—the address of the shop run by Mr. Verloc.

Heat knows of Verloc because he once heard from a French associate that Verloc was an Embassy spy. He then describes meeting Verloc some years ago when Verloc reported a plot to assassinate a visiting foreign dignitary. Since then Verloc has served as a contact for Heat, and therefore he doubts that Verloc is involved in the plot given the fact that he is a spy.

Because Heat knows Verloc, and because he can account for the whereabouts of all the other revolutionaries in London, Heat is convinced that Michaelis must be the man who has the most to do with the bombing. The Assistant Commissioner is disturbed that Heat is going to go after Michaelis, but there is little else he can do to stop him. Finally the two men leave the police department.