We hope our Sunshine State readers are holding up during the battering from Hurricane Irma, and that you'll join us for some Florida-themed programming later tonight. Tomorrow, Monday, I'll be hosting another audio edition of our Clubland Q&A, taking questions from Mark Steyn Club members live around the planet from 4pm US Eastern/1pm Pacific, which is 9pm in the British Isles, 10pm in Europe, 11pm in the Middle East, something ungodly for our members in Singapore and Honkers (for which apologies) and a slightly more civilized hour of Tuesday morning in Australia and the Pacific. I hope you'll be able to join us - on the anniversary of Benghazi and of 9/11, both of which may prompt some questions from members.
Meanwhile, here's Part Ten of our current Tale for Our Time - Joseph Conrad's protean novel of urban terrorism, The Secret Agent. In tonight's episode, the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard goes to see the cabinet minister to whom he reports, Her Britannic Majesty's Home Secretary:
He stood on the hearthrug in big, roomy boots, and uttered no word of greeting.
'I would like to know if this is the beginning of another dynamite campaign,' he asked at once in a deep, very smooth voice. 'Don't go into details. I have no time for that.'
The Assistant Commissioner's figure before this big and rustic Presence had the frail slenderness of a reed addressing an oak. And indeed the unbroken record of that man's descent surpassed in the number of centuries the age of the oldest oak in the country.
'No. As far as one can be positive about anything I can assure you that it is not.'
'Yes. But your idea of assurances over there,' said the great man, with a contemptuous wave of his hand towards a window giving on the broad thoroughfare, 'seems to consist mainly in making the Secretary of State look a fool. I have been told positively in this very room less than a month ago that nothing of the sort was even possible.'
As we'll hear, "Don't go into details. I have no time for that" is something of a catchphrase for Sir Ethelred.
If you've yet to hear any of our first three Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. Or, if you need a special gift for someone, why not give your loved one a Gift Membership and start him or her off with these three cracking yarns? And don't forget to join us tomorrow for another installment of this Joseph Conrad classic.