Time for Part Seven of my serialization of The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. In tonight's episode Rudolf Rassendyll, playing the King of Ruritania, comes face to face with the man who knows his secret, his "brother" and the man who covets his throne, Black Michael:
'Brother,' I said, 'if I had known you were here, you should not have waited a moment before I asked the princess to permit me to bring you to her.'
He thanked me, but coldly. The man had many qualities, but he could not hide his feelings. A mere stranger could have seen that he hated me, and hated worse to see me with Princess Flavia; yet I am persuaded that he tried to conceal both feelings, and, further, that he tried to persuade me that he believed I was verily the King. I did not know, of course; but, unless the King were an impostor, at once cleverer and more audacious than I (and I began to think something of myself in that role), Michael could not believe that. And, if he didn't, how he must have loathed paying me deference, and hearing my 'Michael' and my 'Flavia!'
'Your hand is hurt, sire,' he observed, with concern.
'Yes, I was playing a game with a mongrel dog' (I meant to stir him), 'and you know, brother, such have uncertain tempers.'
He smiled sourly, and his dark eyes rested on me for a moment.
Thank you for all your comments about our Tales for Our Time. P Gao writes:
All these audio stories, and listening to this one, evoke the movie scene of A Christmas Story - the boy Ralphie and his little brother rushing to the radio and lying on the floor, propped on elbows in front of the big old radio contraption to catch the next episode of Little Orphan Annie, a brilliant film nostalgic appeal to what audiences were close to, but actually hadn't experienced. Our generation had television so the picture was presented with the story - usually a thin and black and white miss of what one had imagined the characters and the scenes to be. This is a fascinating retro-classic presentation and concept. Bravo!
Well, as the old line has it, the pictures are better on the radio. We try to live up to that.