Welcome to the penultimate episode of John Buchan's thriller of German machinations and Islamic revival - Greenmantle. In tonight's installment of this Tale for Our Time, it's February 1916, and Richard Hannay and his comrades find themselves in a tight spot with a femme more fatale than they'd expected:
'Make no mistake, Madam; that folly is over. I will tear this sacred garment into a thousand pieces and scatter them on the wind. The people wait today for the revelation, but none will come. You may kill us if you can, but we have at least crushed a lie and done service to our country.'
I would not have taken my eyes from her face for a king's ransom. I have written that she was a queen, and of that there is no manner of doubt. She had the soul of a conqueror, for not a flicker of weakness or disappointment marred her air. Only pride and the stateliest resolution looked out of her eyes.
'I said I came to offer terms. I will still offer them, though they are other than I thought. For the fat American, I will send him home safely to his own country. I do not make war on such as he. He is Germany's foe, not mine. You,' she said, turning fiercely on me, 'I will hang before dusk.'
Never in my life had I been so pleased. I had got my revenge at last. This woman had singled me out above the others as the object of her wrath, and I almost loved her for it.
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