The Prisoner Blinks

The Very Reverend Collins watched the tape of the Somewhat Reverend Falbadly with dismay. Fallbadly had something in his eyes. Although he was making a faltering statement for the cameras, it was hard to concentrate on his words. The prisoner’s eye blinking was too distracting.

Give that guy some eyewash, for Christ sake! What’s wrong with the kidnappers? Have they no mercy?

Collins was disturbed by the whole thing. That Falbadly was forcibly taken by Islamic kidnappers. That he was paraded around and used to make a statement of support for his captors. That he appeared to be bruised and poorly treated. Reverend Falbadly looked tired and thin. Something needed to be done.

And what about the blinking?

Collins had a thought. The captain of a vessel seized by North Korea, back in the last century, was used in a similar way. In the tapes, the captain made statements on behalf of his captors—and he blinked like crazy. Just like Falbadly.

It had been a message. In Morse code. That was it!

Collins called an old friend, a friend who knew Morse code, to watch the tape.

“Well?” said Collins. “What is he trying to tell us?”

The friend answers.

“I don’t get it. He says ‘Send money. I love money. Oh, and kill the gays.’ “