It was a busy weekend at SteynOnline - including my thoughts on an early Quentin Tarantino/Harvey Weinstein collaboration, Pulp Fiction, and on the 40th anniversary of the death of Bing Crosby. If you were preoccupied elsewhere, we hope you'll check out one or other of those pieces. We'll kick off the new week with the eleventh episode of our current Tale for Our Time - Anthony Hope's stirring adventure and romance, premised on the most audacious impersonation in literature. In tonight's episode, Rudolf Rassendyll sets off across the dark moat at Zenda to try to locate the King's cell:
Though the night was wild, the day had been warm and bright, and the water was not cold. I struck out, and began to swim round the great walls which frowned above me. I could see only three yards ahead; I had then good hopes of not being seen, as I crept along close under the damp, moss-grown masonry. There were lights from the new part of the Castle on the other side, and now and again I heard laughter and merry shouts. I fancied I recognized young Rupert Hentzau's ringing tones, and pictured him flushed with wine. Recalling my thoughts to the business in hand, I rested a moment. If Johann's description were right, I must be near the window now... I was about to approach it, when I saw something else, and my heart stood still. The nose of a boat protruded beyond the pipe on the other side; and listening intently, I heard a slight shuffleâ€”as of a man shifting his position. Who was the man who guarded Michael's invention? Was he awake or was he asleep? I felt if my knife were ready, and trod water...
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Part Eleven of The Prisoner of Zenda simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here. Founding Member Fran Lavery is enjoying it:
You're living up to it, Mark Steyn! No worries there! I close my eyes and I plug in my headset and I'm right there in Ruritania.
When you can forget the muddled-up world we live in for twenty minutes or so each night when the head settles into the pillow, that's something special.
Thank you, Fran. It's a simple double-act - Anthony Hope's words and your imagination - but we hope it still works.
If you've yet to hear any of our Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. For more details, see here - and don't forget our new Gift Membership. Please join me tomorrow evening for Part Twelve.