Welcome to Episode Twelve of our nightly audio adventure, Greenmantle - written by John Buchan in 1916 and a thrilling tale of international intrigue ...and Islam. In tonight's episode, Sandy Arbuthnot explains to Richard Hannay what's going on - which sounds oddly familiar:
There's a great stirring in Islam, something moving on the face of the waters. They make no secret of it. Those religious revivals come in cycles, and one was due about now. And they are quite clear about the details. A seer has arisen of the blood of the Prophet, who will restore the Khalifate to its old glories and Islam to its old purity. His sayings are everywhere in the Moslem world. All the orthodox believers have them by heart. That is why they are enduring grinding poverty and preposterous taxation, and that is why their young men are rolling up to the armies and dying without complaint in Gallipoli and Transcaucasia. They believe they are on the eve of a great deliverance.
Buchan based Sandy Arbuthnot on Aubrey Herbert, brother of the famous Earl of Carnarvon who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb and grandfather of my old Spectator comrade Auberon Waugh. Sir Aubrey was twice offered the throne of Albania, but wisely declined. In his later incarnations, Sandy also has a dash of another old friend of Buchan's - T E Lawrence (of Arabia). At any rate, in this episode, he turns up in the proverbial nick of. If you're a member of The Mark Steyn Club you can hear Part Twelve of our serialization of Greenmantle simply by clicking here and logging-in. All previous episodes can be found here.
I was very touched by this note from first-weekend Founding Member Fran Lavery:
Mark, you outdid yourself with the reading of most all earlier works in the Tales for Our Time series, but I have to commend you on one superb effort you made for this one. The various accents are pretty darn convincing and the music just perfectly situates the listener in the place and time of Hannay's adventures...
It's really sublime being read aloud to, something I missed as a youngster. It's a very cool thing you're doing here for your club members. I hope tens of thousands more people get on board with the Mark Steyn Club and take advantage of all the entertaining, inspiring and enlightening offerings.
I had to smile at the little promotion I heard run on Rush's show Friday: If you want to keep up with Mark Steyn go to Steynonline.com. Even then it's hard to keep up with you, but definitely worth the enrollment to test oneself. Many thanks for all that you do in and outside of the club to give life that extra charge we often need to jump out of bed and start the day all over again. You have the style we all love.
Thank you so much for that, Fran. Tales for Our Time is a big part of what we do here, and I'm glad it's found an audience.
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