Synopsis for “Assault on an Angry Sea”
In a Marseilles park, Black Jack Tarr and Clive Reston watch Shang-Chi meditate. Sir Denis Nayland Smith returns from the “local office” with a new mission: he, Tarr, and Shang-Chi will return to London via the Ile de France, an ocean liner, while Reston and Doctor Petrie will fly back. Shang-Chi thinks, “I assumed we would return to New York. In my concentration, then, I have … missed something.” On their way to the docks, Smith explains that one of their agents has some documents that must reach London. They have passed through several hands, so he has no idea who has them now. He does know that several foreign powers want the documents.
At the dock, Shang-Chi helps a blind woman carry her luggage aboard. Smith checks in with the captain, who doesn’t like the “special considerations” he has to extend to their party and having to bump “less worthy” passengers. At dinner that evening, Shang-Chi sees the blind woman and mentions that she seemed interested in their conversation with the captain. Smith suggests inviting her to their table. She introduces herself as Therese Beswick. Shang-Chi, listening to her guarded conversation with Smith, thinks, “In cryptic phrases, each seems to toy with the other.”
A yell comes from the deck. Shang-Chi stops three men from throwing another overboard. To rescue the victim, though, he has to let the others escape. The captain wants to arrest Shang-Chi, Smith, and Tarr for creating a disturbance. The victim says that Shang-Chi saved him and that his attackers wanted some documents. Back inside, they find Beswick missing. A waiter says that hooded goons took her.
Next morning, Beswick is still missing. A storm rises. While looking for Beswick, Shang-Chi is attacked by crew members. He, Smith, and Tarr find the captain dead, stabbed repeatedly by a dagger. The lone conscious “crew” member says that the real crew is “held captive … ten kilometers outside Marseilles.” Shang-Chi goes to look for Beswick, while the storm rises.
At the earlier victim’s cabin, Shang-Chi finds four hooded goons trying to get the documents. He defeats three of them. The fourth escapes to the deck. Blocking her dagger attack, he pulls off her hood and finds Beswick. She attacks again. He ducks. She goes over the rail. He throws a life ring to her.
Everyone gathers around Smith on deck. He explains that the original victim is not the agent; that he is the agent; that he hid the documents in the life ring, so they are now illegible; that they were meaningless and served only as bait in a trap. Shang-Chi walks away and thinks, “In my concentration, then, I have … missed something. The storm continues.”