The 39 Clues Wiki
The 39 Clues Wiki

Spymasters is a book in the The Cahill Files series, written by Clifford Riley. It was released on May 1, 2013. It contains three stories previously only published as eBooks (The Submarine Job, The Redcoat ChaseThe Houdini Escape) in one volume.

Back Cover[]

In 1814, redcoats burned the White House to the ground. In 1889, Harry Houdini discovered a trick that would save his life. In 1955, the U.S. launched the world's first nuclear submarine. And one family pulled the strings behind the scenes at each of these events: the Cahills -- the most powerful family the world has ever known. Now the Cahills have opened their vault and dangerous secrets are pouring out. This book contains three of them -- three stories that will change history as we know it forever. Flee alongside a young Cahill as Washington burns, unlock Houdini's magic, and stow away with young Fiske Cahill on a desperate mission that could cost him his life.

Venture into the vault if you dare, but don't say we didn't warn you.


The Redcoat Chase[]

Maryland, 1814

It follows Frederick Warren's life during American and British wars for two years. In his home, Frederick makes a prank by switching sugar with salt, then he got busted. His punishment: working in the barn. Suddenly, his parents come to him and tell everything about the Cahills and the Vespers, then leave. Meanwhile, in the President's House, Dolley Madison is frantically looking for a map, a map leading to Gideon's ring, while her messengers try to escort her to safety. Outside, Chief Cyrus Ramsay was on the run with General V - the leader of the British troops whose face is marked with a V. Chief Ramsay is heading to the Presidential House.

That night, there is a wounded soldier who comes into Frederick's private apartments. He is dying, and he needed to talk to the innkeepers, who are Frederick's parents. Frederick says that they are away, and he can help. He is asked to deliver a message to the Presidential House, otherwise the Vespers would win. "Map.. Gideon's ring. Find it. The color of old age. The roots of our Father." He says, and then, "God bless you, young Madrigal." and passes away. It is Ramsey, and Frederick knew General V is hunting him down. The boy hides the soldier's body in the barn with the help of his servant Amos. Then, Frederick goes to deliver the message.

He managed to get into the drawing room (facing troubles along the way). He is looking for the president, but the president is nowhere to be found. He only meets with the First Lady Dolley Madison, who is left behind with a gardener as a watcher. Frederick finally delivers the message to her. Now, they both pack and take a glimpse of a portrait of George Washington. Silver is the color of old age, and Father means the father of the nation. The map could be the painting. Both him and Dolley pull out the painting, but General V comes. The twosome get bounded in the basement. Soon, General V comes to them and tells the painting has no map. They are going to help General V in forced way. When the general is away, Dolley and Frederick escape through the back window. Dolley makes it, but Frederick does not. General V catches him before he left. The map is tossed to Dolley, and she runs. Frederick makes General V believe that the map is on the ax used to cut the frame of the painting before. As the general is satisfied, the house will be burned... along with Frederick!

Card 453

General V.

The British burn the house. Frederick tried to find the map in the silver room if there is still time. There is a secret hatch leading him to find a hatbox containing a silver urn. He finally finds the map inside the urn. He made his way out of the burning President House, and watches it being engulfed with flames and falls asleep.

Upon waking up in the morning, General V comes back to Frederick again. Frederick makes it to the river and swims to his escape. He makes all his way to the camp, to meet Dolley Madison and his parents. The mission to retrieve the map and protect it from the Vesper is a success.

Much later, on a mission to retrieve Gideon's Ring, Frederick Warren leads the work.

The Houdini Escape[]

New York City, 1891

The story follows Janus famous escapologist, Harry Houdini. That night, he is performing his magic trick in cards with the tale of the four kings, but it all goes wrong. Before, the queen of hearts is asked to be kept by a boy, but when asked to reveal it, the card is gone. The audience mutter about wasting their money to a hack. Actually, Harry has made a mistake: he picked the wrong boy. Thaddeus, the ringmaster, comes to him, angry. If Harry makes another failure, then he is off the job. Then, Harry leaves for Manhattan. When he arrives home, Harry is shocked to found his house ransacked. His parents talks about Harry's job, which upsets about making living from magic. With this, Harry intends not to do magic anymore, instead working in a necktie factory.

Things gets worse when Harry works in the necktie factory. He cuts in the wrong angle and he loses the job. He goes back home and he sees three men entering the house and talk to his father. Harry eavesdrops on the conversation: His father owes the men money. After the men exit the house, Harry decides to trail them. The trail ends the men talked to Chief Officer McKane. A fight ensues, and Harry tries to hide, but later, he gets busted. The three men grabs him and sail on the Hudson River to drown Harry. They tie him up with rope, then drop him in the water. He wiggles and he released the rope that bounds him. He remains silent until the three men are gone.

His father is mad, and then without thinking, he mentions the Vespers, resulting in him telling everything: life is not easy in Hungary, especially for Jews. He wants to go to America, but when the paper came through, he still did not have money for the passage. Therefore, his father loaned the money from the Vespers to buy the ticket, then left money for Harry, his mother and siblings to catch up later. Everything is explained. Harry has to do something. He has to remain hidden until Zoltan and his henchmen (the Vespers) return to Europe. Harry promises he will do anything to take care of the family.

That day, during his performance, he sees Zoltan and his henchmen are among the audiences. So he came up with a plan. The trick is to provide all the audience a card, put the lamp on the middle, turn it off, then shake the tent and run for his life. It is not even a trick; it is a way to escape. On the run, the Vespers catch up with him. Zoltan is surprised to find Harry Houdini still alive. So, they make a deal. One task to help the Vespers, or Harry's beloved family will be harmed. With no other choice but to consent, Harry chooses to help. The first plan is the observation. He, along with his best friend Jacob, will get inside and view possible routes and exits, and of course the target. After that, Harry parts away with Jacob, and heads for rendezvous with the Vespers for the mission.

The heist is on. Bjorn stuffs in Harry inside a package in order to make it look like a delivery. Harry is remain silence until everyone is out, so when they are out, he gets out of the package and makes his way to the target. He replaces the real Terra-cotta jar with the fake one in Greek and Roman arts. The real has some markings on the base (it could be a map). While escaping the building, he gets spotted by a guard, but fortunately, he escapes. Later, he makes his way to the docks. Harry hands over the jar to Zoltan, but Zoltan has something in mind again. He wants Harry to join the Vespers. Once Harry on the boat, Zoltan is drowning him again (since he already sent a telegram to V-1 that Harry is drowned, and he cannot tell lies). This time with chains, the drowning will supposedly be fatal. Once he is underwater, he uses his famous talent to escape and hides, causing the Vespers to claim him dead. When the Vespers have gone, Harry is safe. He meets with Jacob at the pier. It seems it is not Harry alone doing the trick. Jacob managed to switch the urns and take blackmail money from the Vespers while Harry made a distraction. Everything has come to a good end.

Harry decides to become a magician after all, and together with Jacob, they entertain Coney Island with stunning magic they use from the blackmail money.

The Submarine Job[]

Connecticut, 1955

It all started when Fiske Cahill got bullied by Eric Landry and his gang, shoving his head into a toilet. Outside, when Fiske is going home from campus, the secretary delivers him a telegram from Grace. Once realizing that Grace is in danger, Fiske decides to leave immediately. The headmaster isn't available, so Fiske goes to his dorm to think of some way to escape. But in reality, the secretary is a Vesper, and she's lying about the headmaster's meeting. Fiske escapes through his dorm room and uses someone's bicycle to make his way to the airport. The secretary is waiting in the middle of the road, persuading him not to go, but Fiske gets away from her. At the airport with Pete, he blasts off into the air.

At the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C, Fiske meets up with Grace. She has a very risky plan for Fiske: keep the ring safe for a few days and send it to a safe place, while being disguised as the grandson of Admiral King on the USS Nautilus, a nuclear submarine. After he's safe in San Juan, he should wait for Grace to give the ring back to her. At first, Fiske rejects the plan, but he's the only hope, so he accepts. On May 10, 1955, Fiske boards the submarine with Lieutenant Herman Oppowitz who will be his seafarer during the trip. Fiske places his things in his suite.

He has a new friend, George Carmel, and works in the torpedo room with Ralph Kane. Later on, the sub moves, and Fiske begins his life on the submarine. That night, his bunk is ransacked. He knows someone is after him. The ring is hidden in Fiske's suit. Second casualties, when Fiske and Ralph find trouble in the torpedo room, the light goes out. Fiske is on the stairs, so he has to stay. Ralph uses it as an opportunity to attack him as Ralph was the one who locked the door. When Oppowitz goes in, he asks what happened. Fiske said Ralph attacked him, but Ralph said he was protecting himself. Oppowitz believes Kane to be a good man. The next thing you know, George Carmel is attacked. George stated Kane attacked him, for being close to Fiske. So, Kane is asked to head for the XO's office for futher questioning.

The news about Kane's act spreads among the sailors. The trip to Puerto Rico almost ends, and Fiske wants to see Oppowitz. By the time he reaches the officer's bunker, the officer is already dead, electrocuted. He is scared, tell the news to the commander and George. Then, Fiske goes to confront Ralph. Now, he thinks Ralph is a Vesper, and he told Oppowitz is dead. But, Ralph has no idea about that. Someone who should be in MIT or Harvard, but instead choose to work in the sub, is a Vesper. And that's.... George. He confronts Fiske and Ralph. Fiske and George go on the chase. Later on, Ralph ran on Fiske. He said he was accused of hitting George, so that will make Fiske believe Ralph is a Vesper. The chase back then make the reactor unstable, and the boat might blow up. Soon, there's news that the reactor is stable. Fiske tells Ralph that he is in the sub because he is hiding, and he wants to get off the sub before George kills him and takes the ring.

Ralph helps Fiske to escape, but George was there. Another shocking truth: Ralph is a Vesper. After much confusion, Ralph makes George and Fiske get tossed out of the sub. Fiske survives, but George doesn't. He accomplishes the mission, but still feels sorry about Lieutenant Oppowitz's death.

Soon after, Fiske goes back to school. He receives a package from Ralph Kane: a pin for serving the Navy and a letter from himself. Ralph wasn't a Vesper after all.