It's not just Black Friday but also SteynOnline's sixteenth birthday. It was at Thanksgiving 2002 that yours truly first hung our modest shingle out on the Internet, so we're combining anniversary observances and Black Friday with sixteen per cent off all my books and CDs and our Steynamite Christmas specials at the Steyn Store. Prowl around, see what you dig, fill your shopping basket, and we'll apply the sixteen per cent discount at checkout.
We also have a Black Friday sale on tickets for the first ever Dennis Miller/Mark Steyn tour dates. Book your tickets between now and Monday using the promo code HOLIDAYS and you'll get fifteen per cent off.
And, while we're in plug mode, if you've a pal who's a fan of classic fiction, we've added a Christmas bonus to our Mark Steyn Club gift membership. More details on that below.
We're very proud that this website now offers more free content - in print, audio and video - than at any time in our sixteen-year history. But we also provide some premium content especially for our Mark Steyn Club members, and I'm delighted to say Tales for Our Time has become one of our most popular features over the last eighteen months.
So welcome to Part Fifteen of The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy ...and the action is rattling along. In tonight's episode, they seek him here, they seek him there, but Marguerite is forced to confront the possibility that all this time the Pimpernel may have been far closer to hand than she ever expected:
With the ring tightly clutched in her hand, she had run out of the room, down the stairs, and out into the garden, where, in complete seclusion, alone with the flowers, and the river and the birds, she could look again at the ring, and study that device more closely.
Stupidly, senselessly, now, sitting beneath the shade of an overhanging sycamore, she was looking at the plain gold shield, with the star-shaped little flower engraved upon it.
Bah! It was ridiculous! she was dreaming! her nerves were overwrought, and she saw signs and mysteries in the most trivial coincidences. Had not everybody about town recently made a point of affecting the device of that mysterious and heroic Scarlet Pimpernel?
Did not she herself wear it embroidered on her gowns? set in gems and enamel in her hair? What was there strange in the fact that Sir Percy should have chosen to use the device as a seal-ring? He might easily have done that . . . yes . . . quite easily . . . and . . . besides . . . what connection could there be between her exquisite dandy of a husband, with his fine clothes and refined, lazy ways, and the daring plotter who rescued French victims from beneath the very eyes of the leaders of a bloodthirsty revolution?
What connection indeed? As I mentioned at the start of our tale, the Scarlet Pimpernel is the first of those daring heroes who conceals his true identity by posing as the essence of unheroic passivity by day, and in his footsteps Lamont Cranston (The Shadow), Bruce Wayne (The Batman) and meek mild-mannered Clark Kent (Superman) would follow. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Part Fifteen of The Scarlet Pimpernel simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
If you've a friend who's a fan of classic fiction and you want to give him or her a Christmas present with a difference, we hope you'll consider a one-year gift membership in The Mark Steyn Club. This holiday season it comes with a special personalized Christmas card from yours truly and a handsomely-engraved gift-boxed USB stick with three of our most popular Tales for Our Time for your pal or relative to listen to in the car or perambulating through the wilderness or almost anywhere else. That would be The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Time Machine and The Thirty-Nine Steps. And, of course, once they're members, they'll have full access to our back catalogue of audio adventures and video poems - Conrad and Conan Doyle, Kipling and Kafka, and all the rest. For more details, see here.
Our nightly audio adventure goes on, so do join me back here tomorrow for The Scarlet Pimpernel Part Sixteen.