Issue Number: 4798

Shield Of Truth

Buried under rock and sand in the North African Desert lay the Shield Of Truth. Made of bronze, highly polished, it revealed the truth about any man who looked into its mirror surface.

Hidden for over two thousand years, it was found by two British pilots who had staggered mile after mile across the merciless sands. When they stared at their reflections in it, one saw his bravery dissolve into fear…and the other saw his fear change to bravery.


Our eponymous “Shield Of Truth” is an example of what film director Alfred Hitchcock famously called a “MacGuffin” – a plot device: something that motivates a character or propels a story forward. Here, though, it plays second fiddle to the characters themselves, and rightly so.

However, in my opinion, the most interesting character here isn’t one of the leads (although they’re all great) – he’s a rather eccentric French Foreign Legionnaire called Jules, who seemingly appears out of nowhere. He reminds me of Ben Gunn from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic swashbuckling tale Treasure Island and is every bit as memorable.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

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