In A Fierce Wind, Freddie lived on the Isle of Guernsey and worked with Captain Philippe d’Auvergne, Senior Officer of Gunboats on the Isle of Jersey. D’Auvergne's network was known as La Correspondance. Working for Evan Nepean, Undersecretary of the Home Office and, after 1794, Undersecretary of War, d’Auvergne landed his agents (including Freddie) on the coast of France in small boats, often at night and in places seldom visited by Republican patrols.
Routes into the interior were arranged and lined with safe houses and trusted locals. Other agents were given more stationary assignments in key places like Brest and St. Malo from which they observed the docks and the comings and goings of ships and provisions. Chouan agents sometimes used trusted local inhabitants to carry messages throughout the region, while others left packages hidden in rocks by the sea to be collected by d’Auvergne’s boats.
Messages were often written in code or in special inks to try and ensure that their contents would not be revealed should they be intercepted. Each intelligence agency had its own ciphers and ink compositions. Some used codes from music the agents of La Correspondance sometimes used vocabulary borrowed from music, botany, clock making, cooking or tailoring.