The Abdication of Francis-Joseph
First published as Part 8 of Underground History in Pearson's (UK&US), Feb 1904. Story 8 of 12 contained in the collection
V is hired by the Russian State Minister Witte to travel to Vienna to convince Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria to hire V to find out what the intentions of Russia are concerning Austria all to head off actions by the Russian War Minister who is plotting to attack Austria-Hungary at the earliest opportunity. According to Witte, this is at the request of the Tsar who lacks the gumption to stop the hawkish nobles in his own empire.