Welcome to Part Six of our latest audio entertainment in our series Tales for Our Time: This enduring thriller was published in 1915 and became an instant classic, The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. Mark Steyn Club member Irena Rosychuk writes:
I'm really enjoying this one! It's really quite a scary story as Mark reads it: though I listen in bed I haven't fallen asleep once.
Thank you for that, Irena - although the credit belongs not to the reader but to the author, and the switcheroos he pulls. In tonight's episode, Richard Hannay believes himself to have found refuge from his pursuers:
Within was a pleasant room, glass on one side, and on the other a mass of books. More books showed in an inner room. On the floor, instead of tables, stood cases such as you see in a museum, filled with coins and queer stone implements.
There was a knee-hole desk in the middle, and seated at it, with some papers and open volumes before him, was the benevolent old gentleman. His face was round and shiny, like Mr Pickwick's, big glasses were stuck on the end of his nose, and the top of his head was as bright and bare as a glass bottle. He never moved when I entered, but raised his placid eyebrows and waited on me to speak.
It was not an easy job, with about five minutes to spare, to tell a stranger who I was and what I wanted, and to win his aid. I did not attempt it. There was something about the eye of the man before me, something so keen and knowledgeable, that I could not find a word. I simply stared at him and stuttered.
'You seem in a hurry, my friend,' he said slowly.
I nodded towards the window. It gave a prospect across the moor through a gap in the plantation, and revealed certain figures half a mile off straggling through the heather.
'Ah, I see,' he said, and took up a pair of field-glasses through which he patiently scrutinized the figures.
If you prefer me in vision, I'll be back with Tucker Carlson tomorrow evening, coast to coast across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Hope you'll tune in. And, of course, an hour or so before that we'll be right here with Part Seven of The Thirty-Nine Steps.
If you're minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you're more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we've covered Conan Doyle, H G Wells, Dickens, Conrad, Kipling, Gogol, Jack London, Anthony Hope and Scott Fitzgerald), we've introduced a special Mark Steyn Club Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club and then choose a welcome gift for them - either a book or CD, personally autographed by yours truly. You'll find more details here. Oh, and don't forget, over at the Steyn store, our Steynamite Special Offers on books, CDs, and much more.