By Poul Anderson
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He can be left where he will soon be found. " Rax hunched forward. "Let me make the proposition quite specific," it continued. "If Wayland turns out to be worthless, you simply report to Ammon as ordered. When it is safe, you seek me and tell me the details. I want especially to know as much about Flandry as you can extract from him. For example, has he anything more in mind concerning this mission than earning his bribe? You see, my organization may well have uses of its own for a buyable Navy officer.
Right. How'd you like to turn a profit before you leave? " He rubbed his hands. " "Depends," Flandry said. If he'd been investigated as thoroughly as it appeared, there was no use in pretending he had private financial resources, or that he didn't require them if he was to advance his career as far as he hoped. " "Sure, sure. I wouldn't ask you to do anything against His Majesty. I'm a citizen myself, right? " Ammon giggled. "Right! Right! You're a sharp one, Dominic. Handsome, too," he added exploringly.
She wondered, then lost her thought in her concentration on the words. "Investigation revealed Ammon's people had come upon something in the course of excavating in this vicinity. Its nature is known just to him and a few trusted confidants. We suspect that others who saw were paid to undergo memory erasure anent the matter, except for one presumably stubborn person whose corpse was found in Mother Chickenfoot's Lane. " "Well," Djana said, "he--" "Pure coincidence is implausible," Rax declared, "especially when he could ill afford you on a junior lieutenant's pay.
A Circus of Hells by Poul Anderson