Welcome to the penultimate episode of our current Tale for Our Time - Erskine Childers' 1903 novel of sailing and spying, The Riddle of the Sands. Thank you for all your comments on this latest caper. "Doc", a Steyn Club member from Idaho, writes:
Greenmantle and this book were highly recommended by Wretchard (Richard Fernandez) of the Belmont Club. I have read them on his advice but your reading of them makes me listen to the words and I've gotten a lot more detail than I did speed reading them. Thank you for this service.
Thank you, Doc. An audio book is like a stage or film adaptation or any other interpretative form - not always congenial to those who first met these characters on the page and have their own ideas about how they sound and act. So that's very kind of you - and, if you haven't already, I hope you'll check out my serialization of The Thirty-Nine Steps, in which John Buchan introduced the world to Richard Hannay. It's one of over two dozen yarns in almost every genre - sci-fi, thriller, historical romance - in our growing archive of Tales for Our Time, now conveniently collected in an easy-access Netflix-style home page that lets you pick them out according to whatever tickles your fancy of an evening. So far listeners seem to like it.
In tonight's not quite concluding episode of The Riddle of the Sands, Carruthers' blood is up, Davies' rather less so:
'How soon can you get under way?' I asked.
'Sunrise about seven, first dawn about five. Where are we bound?'
'Holland, or England.'
'Are they invading it now?' said Davies, calmly.
'No, only rehearsing!' I laughed, wildly.
'Then we can wait.'
But even a rehearsal for invasion imposes urgency - as we'll find out in Part Thirty of The Riddle of the Sands. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read this penultimate installment simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
If you'd like to join Doc in The Mark Steyn Club, you'll find more details here - and don't forget our special Gift Membership. Please join me tomorrow evening for the concluding episode of The Riddle of the Sands.