The escaping new crew of the Duchessa sail out to meet the waiting HMS Violet, whereupon the vessel is surrendered into British custody and the spies are ordered to surrender themselves as well. Fortunately, the pirates make their getaway, as Kalu and March-Phillips bid each other a fond farewell. Despite being caught red-handed giving the green light to an illegal operation, Churchill and M’s efforts have ultimately been successful, stopping the U-boat scourge and allowing the US to send support ships to England, meaning that they barely escape being reprimanded or worse.

Not so lucky are the operatives themselves, who have been thrown in jail for their heroics. Yet all is not lost or forgotten: one day soon after the dust has settled, the full complement of spies are brought into a room in the prison where they’re met by M, Fleming, and Churchill himself. When asked what will be done with them, the Prime Minister simply responds: “From now on, they work for me.” With that, a series of coverings is removed from a table set in front of the prisoners, revealing a banquet fit for a king. March-Phillips eyes his compatriots, seeing if they’re ready to partake in such a feast in a manner most unbecoming of him; that is to say, gentlemanly.

As a series of epilogue title cards reveal the rest of each spy’s history subsequent to Operation Postmaster, it’s clear how much influence these real-life figures had on not just the actual war and history, but on pop culture as well. It’s in large part because of them that the entire subgenre of spy fiction, particularly in England, became so fashionable about a decade and change following WWII. Through that, we can see how the gentleman (or ungentlemanly) spy led to the rogue cop, the modern-day action hero, and beyond. And to think, all it took was a huge dash of courage and a little shifting of their manners aside. Even the most prim and proper person certainly can’t argue with results like that.



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