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Smith: Listen, I'm going to tell you something which is not very healthy to know, but now that they have followed me here, you are in it as much as I am. Have you ever heard of the Thirty-Nine Steps?
Hannay: No, what's that - a pub?
Smith: Never mind. But what you are laughing at just now is true. These men will stick at nothing. I am the only person who can stop them. If they are not stopped, it is only a matter of days, perhaps hours, before the secret is out of the country.
Hannay: Well, why don't you phone the police or something?
Smith: 'Cause they wouldn't believe me any more than you did. And if they did, how long do you think it would take to get them going. These men act quickly. You don't know how clever their chief is. He has a dozen names, and he can look like a hundred people, but one thing he cannot disguise - this: part of his little finger is missing - so if ever you should meet a man with no top joint there, be very careful, my friend.
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