I'll be keeping my midweek date with Tucker Carlson on Fox News a little later this evening - live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Hope you'll consider tuning in.
Meanwhile, here's the 13th episode of our current Tale for Our Time - Anthony Hope's stirring story of a game English tourist stepping in to save the throne of Ruritania. In tonight's episode, at the start of a long night of intrigue in the Castle at Zenda, Rupert of Hentzau pays a visit to Antoinette de Mauban's bedroom:
I saw that he was about to lay his hand on her again, when there was a noise of a door in the room opening, and a harsh voice cried:
'What are you doing here, sir?'
Rupert turned his back to the window, bowed low, and said, in his loud, merry tones: 'Apologizing for your absence, sir. Could I leave the lady alone?'
The newcomer must be Black Michael. I saw him directly, as he advanced towards the window. He caught young Rupert by the arm.
'The moat would hold more than the King!' said he, with a significant gesture.
'Does your Highness threaten me?' asked Rupert.
'A threat is more warning than most men get from me.'
'Yet,' observed Rupert, 'Rudolf Rassendyll has been much threatened, and yet lives!'
'Am I in fault because my servants bungle?' asked Michael scornfully.
'Your Highness has run no risk of bungling!' sneered Rupert.
It was telling the duke that he shirked danger as plain as ever I have heard a man told. Black Michael had self-control. I dare say he scowledâ€”it was a great regret to me that I could not see their faces betterâ€”but his voice was even and calm, as he answered:
'Enough, enough! We mustn't quarrel, Rupert.'
Easier said than done. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Part 13 of The Prisoner of Zenda simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here. First Day Founding Member George Pereira writes:
Is Black Michael, sailor turned mutineer turned pirate, who marooned Lord and Lady Greystoke off the coast of Africa, the same Black Michael, albeit older, in the Prisoner of Zenda?
I would think it unlikely, but we may pitch Paramount one of those synergistic-universe sequels, Tarzan Meets Rupert of Hentzau.
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 14 - and I'll see you on the telly in a little while.