Welcome to Part Three of my serialization of The Prisoner of Zenda, the latest in our series of audio adventures, Tales for Our Time.
This story of "three months in the life of an English gentleman", as its author called it, was published by Anthony Hope in 1894, and has never been out of print. In tonight's episode the game is afoot:
Old Sapt, who seemed as fresh as a daisy, had lit his pipe and was puffing hard at it.
'If he's not crowned today,' said he, 'I'll lay a crown he's never crowned.'
'But heavens, why?'
'The whole nation's there to meet him; half the army—ay, and Black Michael at the head. Shall we send word that the King's drunk?'
'That he's ill,' said I, in correction.
'Ill!' echoed Sapt, with a scornful laugh. 'They know his illnesses too well. He's been "ill" before!'
What do you do when you've booked the cathedral and the hussars and the dukes of the realm? And all you're lacking is a king...
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Three of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Parts One and Two can be found here - and if you've only joined in recent days and missed our earlier serials, Conan Doyle's The Tragedy of the Korosko, H G Wells' The Time Machine and Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, you can find them here. Founding Member Stephen Kaine complains:
Ahem. I was just wondering. Uh. Um. No pressure. I know you are a very busy man, but is it possible to post the entire book all at once? When the closing music starts for each segment, I start swearing and my wife doesn't appreciate it.
Er, no. There's too much instant gratification in our age, and here at SteynOnline we're committed to reducing gratification of any kind to barely detectable levels. So you'll have to come back tomorrow night. Re the swearing: for Tales of Our Time, we recommend period profanity - "I say, dash it, you blighter!", etc. That'll do the trick.
We have fun in The Mark Steyn Club, and in return the Club helps support all our content - whether in print, audio or video, and keep it out there in the world for everyone. In return, membership confers a few benefits (aside from Tales for Our Time):
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books and other items;
~The opportunity to take part in our Clubland Q&A sessions;
~Transcript and audio versions of The Mark Steyn Show and our other video content;
~My new quarterly newsletter The Clubbable Steyn;
~Our new series of video poetry;
~Advance booking for my live appearances around the world;
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest;
~and the opportunity to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the globe.