WOULD YOU BELIEVE . . .
That this is Max Smart’s most mixed-up, mangled mission ever? And just for good measure, how about a frantic fiasco . . . a bombastic bungle . . . or a chilly silly?
You’d better believe it, for in this outlandish spy adventure, Max is at his muddle-minded best—or worst—whichever way you want to look at it.
As THE SPY WHO WENT OUT TO THE COLD, Max keeps getting into hot water on just about every page. But when the heat’s on, Max just relies on his icy nerves and plays it cool. Only Max would try to reach the North Pole via Africa and not think it strange. 99 doesn’t think it’s strange, either. She just thinks Max is strange. And you know something—she’s right.
But that’s what makes Max the hard-headed, harebrained hero he is—and that’s also what makes THE SPY WHO WENT OUT TO THE COLD the most hilarious, hard-to-believe case in the secret files of CONTROL.
by William Johnston
Sorry Chief . . .
Get Smart Once Again!
Max Smart and the Perilous Pellets
Missed It By That Much!
And Loving it!
Max Smart - The Spy Who Went Out to the Cold
Max Smart Loses Control
Max Smart and the Ghastly Ghost Affair
© 1968 TALENT ASSOCIATES—PARAMOUNT LTD.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THE RIGHT
TO REPRODUCE IN WHOLE OR IN PART
IN ANY FORM
PUBLISHED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN CANADA
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER
A TEMPO BOOKS
TEMPO BOOKS EDITION, 1968
FIRST PRINTING, April 1968
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
, Agent 86 for Control, leaned back in his beach chair, sighed contentedly, and addressed the attractive young woman who was seated in the other beach chair near him.
“This is the life, 99,” Max said. “No hired killers, no mad scientists, no abominable monsters. Just sand and sea and sun—and you and I alone.”
“Alone, Max?” 99 looked around. “I’d guess that there are approximately ten thousand other people here at the beach with us.”
“I’m so relaxed, I didn’t even notice,” Max said. “That shows how much I needed this vacation, 99. Back at headquarters, even when I was really alone, I thought I was surrounded by a pack of assassins. See the difference?”
99 shook her head. “Not exactly, Max.”
“The difference is, 99, when I’m on duty, I’m the potential victim of every hired killer, mad scientist and abominable monster I meet. But here, I’m Mr. Nobody. I’ll bet not one soul on this beach knows that I’m Max Smart, Control’s top secret agent. Nobody even notices me.”
“Max—are you blind? Every person who has walked by, so far, has stopped and stared at you.”
Max frowned uneasily. “I
sort of notice that, 99. Do you suppose somebody has guessed who I am and passed the word?”
“I doubt it, Max. I rather think it’s because you’re the only man on the beach who’s wearing swimming trunks and one brown-and-white oxford.”
“That’s my shoe-phone, 99. I promised the Chief I’d—”
Max’s shoe jangled, interrupting him.
“Max—we’re on vacation,” 99 said, almost tearfully. “Don’t answer it.”
“But, 99, it’s the Chief. And he knows I’m wearing my shoe. I promised him I would—in case an emergency came up. If I don’t answer, he’ll just keep ringing.”
“Let him!” 99 said angrily.
“99, I’m going to look pret-ty silly diving off the high board with my shoe ringing.” He shuddered. “And in the shower—”
“All right, Max,” 99 groaned. “Answer it.”
Max reached down and removed his shoe and put it to his ear.
Agent 86 here. Is that you, Chief?
Max . . . are you alone?
It depends on how you look at it, Chief. If you count the other ten thousand people on the beach, the answer is no. But if you consider that, until today, I’ve been the potential victim of every hired killer, mad—
Max, nevermind. What I mean is, can we be overheard?
I doubt that they can hear you, Chief. But they’re probably getting a word or two of what I say.
They? Who, Max?
This crowd that’s gathered to watch me talk into my shoe.
Who’d stare at a telephone? Somebody must have guessed who you are, Maxie, and passed the word.
That’s what I was telling—
Max, there’s no time for chit-chat. With that crowd around, I can’t discuss what I called you about over the phone, so I want you and 99 to return to headquarters immediately. I know you’re going to remind me that you’re on vacation. But I have a crisis on my hands, so I’m not even going to listen. I’m going to hang up now, Max. I’ll expect you and 99 to get here as soon as you possibly can.
(There was a click and the line went dead)
“What did he say, Max?” 99 asked, as Max hung up his shoe.
“He said ‘click.’ ” Max replied.
Forty-five minutes later, Max and 99 reached headquarters. Three minutes after that, they entered the Chief’s office. He was seated at his desk, in low-voiced conversation with a visitor, a small, dumpy, middle-aged man who looked as if he had lost something—himself.
“Oh, sorry,” Max said. “We didn’t know you had company, Chief. We’ll be back in about two weeks—with pay.”
“Max, forget about the vacation,” the Chief commanded, rising and ushering Max and 99 into his office. He introduced them to the dumpy little man who was seated beside his desk. “Max . . . 99 . . . this is Professor Wormser von BOOM.”
“You don’t have to shout, Chief,” Max admonished.
“As a matter of fact, I do,” the Chief replied. “That’s how his last name is pronounced—BOOM!”
“You can call me Wormy,” the little man smiled. “All my friends do. Unless, of course, they’re trying to sneak up on me and scare the wits out of me. Then they call me von BOOM!”
“Can we get down to business?” the Chief said crossly.
Professor von BOOM got up and headed toward the door.
“No, no!” the Chief said, stopping him and escorting him back to the chair. “What did I say, Professor? What was the word?”
“I heard ‘business,’ ” von BOOM replied. “That’s my cue to go to Wall Street and buy some stocks.”
“All right . . . just forget I said it,” the Chief pleaded. “I won’t mention that word again.”
“Chief . . . I don’t understand,” 99 said puzzledly.
“It’s perfectly clear to me,” Max said. “Wormy is a little dotty.”
it,” the Chief said gruffly. “The fact is, like all professors, Professor von BOOM is . . . well, a bit absent-minded.”
“Right,” von BOOM nodded. “I was sharp as a whistle until I got promoted to professor. Then—” He snapped his fingers. “Just like that, I couldn’t remember which way was up.” He scowled. “Which way
Max raised a finger.
“Yes, what is your question?” Professor von BOOM asked.
“Professor, we’re not in class,” the Chief said. “Max was simply showing you which way is up.” He turned to Max and 99. “That gives you a general idea how absent-minded he is,” he said.
“That’s nothing,” the professor said. “You should have seen me before I got cured.”
“He took a memory-improving course,” the Chief explained.
“I did?” von BOOM said, surprised. “I don’t recall that.”
“Did it help?” 99 asked.
“I can’t remember that, either,” von BOOM replied.
“In a way, it helped,” the Chief said, speaking for the professor. “He learned to respond to key words. For instance, as you saw, when I said ‘business,’ he started out to buy stocks. If I had said ‘tip,’ he would have—Professor!”
Von BOOM was headed for the door again. The Chief caught him and led him back.
“I see,” Max said. “He was going out to turn over a canoe—right?”
“A canoe, Max?”
“That’s what the word suggests to me—tipping over in a canoe.”
“No, Max,” the Chief said. “It suggests waiter to him. He was going out to a restaurant to eat. As you can imagine, while you’re with the Professor, you’ll have to be very careful of what you say. The wrong word and . . . Well, you could lose him very easily.”
“Could I get a list of the key words, Chief?” Max said.
“There is no list, Max. The Professor committed them all to memory.”
“I see. And then he—”
“—forgot them,” the Chief nodded.
“Chief, you said, ‘while you’re with the Professor,’ ” 99 said. “What did you mean by that?”
“That’s the mission, 99,” the Chief replied, seating himself at his desk again.
Max stared at him, narrow-eyed. “Chief, do you mean to say that the fate of the entire civilized world somehow depends on Wormy here?” He closed his eyes in horror. “We’re in even worse shape than I thought.”
“Not the entire civilized world this time, Max,” the Chief replied. “Only our space program.”
“Oh,” Max responded, relieved. “Well, in that case, Chief, are you sure you want to use me on the mission? Wouldn’t some agent with lower seniority be more appropriate? I sort of think of myself as an entire-civilized-world-man. Sending an entire-civilized-world-man out on a mere space-program mission is a little like sending a bull fighter into the ring to do battle with a pussy cat. You’re wasting a lot of talent.”
“I’m sorry, Max, but you and 99 are the only agents who are available. Everyone else is on vacation.”
“Oh. Well . . . in that case . . .”
“Now, here’s the problem,” the Chief went on. “Professor von BOOM is developing a very lightweight rocket fuel. He—”
lightweight?” Max asked.