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- KurzbeschreibungLoosely based on the author's own experiences, The Riddle of the Sands takes readers back to the early days of the twentieth century, when Britain shared a tense rivalry with the Kaiser's Germany. Tempted by the idea of duck shooting, Carruthers is lured by his friend Davies into a yachting expedition in the Baltic, only to discover that the itinerary involves more than killing fowl. Soon they're on a wild journey of intrigue, meeting danger at every turn, and ultimately unraveling Germany's secret plans to invade England. Tautly written and full of unexpected twists, this is a timeless work of espionage fiction.
- AutorErskine Childers
- VerlagPenguin Books Ltd
- Seiten352 Seiten
- Gewicht234 g
- LeseprobeCHAPTER 1<br>The Letter<br>I have read of men who, when forced by their calling to live for long periods in utter solitude-save for a few black faces-have made it a rule to dress regularly for dinner in order to maintain their self-respect and prevent a relapse into barbarism. It was in some such spirit, with an added touch of self-consciousness, that, at seven o'clock in the evening of 23rd September in a recent year, I was making my evening toilet in my chambers in Pall Mall. I thought the date and the place justified the parallel; to my advantage even; for the obscure Burmese administrator might well be a man of blunted sensibilities and coarse fibre, and at least he is alone with nature, while I-well, a young man of condition and fashion, who knows the right people, belongs to the right clubs, has a safe, possibly a brilliant, future in the Foreign Office-may be excused for a sense of complacent martyrdom, when, with his keen appreciation of the social calendar, he is doomed to the outer solitude of London in September. I say "martyrdom," but in fact the case was infinitely worse. For to feel oneself a martyr, as everybody knows, is a pleasurable thing, and the true tragedy of my position was that I had passed that stage. I had enjoyed what sweets it had to offer in ever dwindling degree since the middle of August, when ties were still fresh and sympathy abundant. I had been conscious that I was missed at Morven Lodge party. Lady Ashleigh herself had said so in the kindest possible manner, when she wrote to acknowledge the letter in which I explained, with an effectively austere reserve of language, that circumstances compelled me to remain at my office. "We know how busy you must be just now," she wrote, "and I do hope you won't overwork; we shall all miss you very much." Friend after friend "got away" to sport and fresh air, with promises to write and chaffing condolences, and as each deserted the sinking ship, I took a grim delight in my misery, positively almost enjoying the first week or two after my world had been finally dissipated to the four bracing winds of heaven. I began to take a spurious interest in the remaining five millions, and wrote several clever letters in a vein of cheap satire, indirectly suggesting the pathos of my position, but indicating that I was broad-minded enough to find intellectual entertainment in the scenes, persons, and habits of London in the dead season. I even did rational things at the instigation of others. For, though I should have liked total isolation best, I, of course, found that there was a sediment of unfortunates like myself, who, unlike me, viewed the situation in a most prosaic light. There were river excursions, and so on, after office-hours
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