I'll be swinging by "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in a little while, live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. While I'm on the makeup slab and having my hairpiece vacuumed, here's the eleventh episode of our current Tale for Our Time - John Buchan's classic thriller of Great Power intrigue and Islamic insurrection, Greenmantle. This one is proving especially popular with Mark Steyn Club members. David Elstrom writes:
The Tales for Our Time reading of The 39 Steps was so good I read it and the other Hannay adventures, including Greenmantle. This reading of Greenmantle is excellent, as usual.
Thank you, David. Marc Swerdloff is also enjoying it:
I second that feeling of enthusiasm from Babs. I have been enjoying this adventure so much I haven't had time to send my thanks. And yes that was a particularly creepy drawing room of Stumm. I haven't been that creepy vulnerable since reading The Silence of the Lambs. When the heroine is snooping around the home of Hannibal the Cannibal, my soul cried out through the pages, leave ASAP!
We have not seen the last of von Stumm. In tonight's episode, Richard Hannay and Peter Pienaar find themselves cornered on the streets of Constantinople:
It took me a moment or two to realize that we were attacked. Every man has one special funk in the back of his head, and mine was to be the quarry of an angry crowd. I hated the thought of it—the mess, the blind struggle, the sense of unleashed passions different from those of any single blackguard. It was a dark world to me, and I don't like darkness. But in my nightmares I had never imagined anything just like this. The narrow, fetid street, with the icy winds fanning the filth, the unknown tongue, the hoarse savage murmur, and my utter ignorance as to what it might all be about, made me cold in the pit of my stomach...
There were shouts from the crowd—'Alleman' and a word 'Khafiyeh' constantly repeated. I didn't know what it meant at the time, but now I know that they were after us because we were Boches and spies. There was no love lost between the Constantinople scum and their new masters. It seemed an ironical end for Peter and me to be done in because we were Boches. And done in we should be. I had heard of the East as a good place for people to disappear in; there were no inquisitive newspapers or incorruptible police.
If you've yet to hear any of our Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club and enjoy our nightly audio adventures every evening twenty minutes before lowering your lamp - or hoard the episodes and binge-listen at the weekend or on a long car journey. For more details on that and other benefits to Steyn Club membership, see here - and don't forget our special Gift Membership. Please join me on the telly with Tucker in an hour or so - and right here tomorrow evening for another episode of Greenmantle.