Evans Tries an O-Level

by

Colin Dexter

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The Assistant Secretary Character Analysis

The supposed Assistant Secretary of the Examinations Board has “a special responsibility for modern languages.” He calls the Governor midway through Evans’s German exam to explain that the exam sheet has a few typographical errors, but that “some fool” in the Examinations Board office forgot to include the correction slip in the sealed exam envelope that McLeery received. In actuality, the Assistant Secretary is one of Evans’s cronies who is helping with his intricate escape plan. The purpose of his call to the Governor is twofold: most obviously, the so-called corrections he provides for the exam are actually a veiled way of telling Evans which hotel to flee to after breaking out of prison (the Golden Lion). However, he also crucially—and casually—finds out from the Governor exactly what time Evans’s two-hour exam started. This information allows him to know when to make the fake phone call to Jackson and Stephens three minutes before the end of Evans’s exam so that the criminal can douse himself with blood without being supervised.

The Assistant Secretary Quotes in Evans Tries an O-Level

The Evans Tries an O-Level quotes below are all either spoken by The Assistant Secretary or refer to The Assistant Secretary . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Intelligence and Deception Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the National Council of Education Research and Training edition of Evans Tries an O-Level published in 2015.
Evans Tries an O-Level Quotes

Was this the sort of thing the Governor had feared? Was the phone call a fake? Some signal? Some secret message…? But he could check on that immediately. He dialed the number of the Examinations Board, but heard only the staccato bleeps of a line engaged. But then the line was engaged, wasn’t it? Yes. Not very intelligent, that…

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Assistant Secretary Character Timeline in Evans Tries an O-Level

The timeline below shows where the character The Assistant Secretary appears in Evans Tries an O-Level. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Evans Tries an O-Level
Instinct, Paranoia, and Pride Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
At 9:40 A.M., the Governor receives a call from the Examinations Board. The “ Assistant Secretary with a special responsibility for modern languages” asks what time the exam began and explains... (full context)