Ausable is different from other secret agents in more ways than one. He has a small room in the musty corridor of a gloomy French hotel. It was on the sixth and top floor and it was scarcely the setting for a romantic adventure. He was extremely fat. In spite of living in Paris for over twenty years, he spoke French and German with difficulty and had an American accent. Instead of getting messages passed secretly to him by beautiful girls, he got only a routine telephony call making an appointment. In these ways, he. was different from the conventional notion of a secret agent. He dealt with Max by inventing some stories and convincing Max to act on them so that he could get rid of him permanently.