Working as a courier, delivering mail and small packets with a guaranteed same day or next morning deliver, Royle had a job that suited him well. He liked to travel because it gave him lots of time to sit and read, and he had quite a talent as a linguist.
Royle's only problem was his willingness to do little jobs on the side while he was travelling all over Europe – for his assassin friend Robert Parker, for H.A.L. Carson of the Secret Intelligence Service and for more or less anyone who approached him with what seemed like a safe and vastly overpaid proposition.
Only a man born without a conscience could lead Royle's type of life and remain untroubled by constant police attention as Detective Inspector Rostov of his local police force sought to bring Royle to book for suspected past crimes. Only Johnny Royle could go serenely on his way while current and past members of the Secret Intelligence Service used him in their manoeuvrings against one another. Only a man who lived this moment without worrying about what the next would bring could get himself into as much trouble as Royle.