Greenmantle - John Buchan - Страница 1 из 349


GREENMANTLE
by
JOHN BUCHAN
To
Caroline Grosvenor
During the past year, in the intervals of an active life, I have amused
myself with constructing this tale. It has been scribbled in every
kind of odd place and moment--in England and abroad, during long
journeys, in half-hours between graver tasks; and it bears, I fear, the
mark of its gipsy begetting. But it has amused me to write, and I
shall be well repaid if it amuses you--and a few others--to read.
Let no man or woman call its events improbable. The war has driven
that word from our vocabulary, and melodrama has become the prosiest
realism. Things unimagined before happen daily to our friends by sea
and land. The one chance in a thousand is habitually taken, and as
often as not succeeds. Coincidence, like some new Briareus, stretches
a hundred long arms hourly across the earth. Some day, when the full
history is written--sober history with ample documents--the poor
romancer will give up business and fall to reading Miss Austen in a
hermitage.
The characters of the tale, if you think hard, you will recall. Sandy
you know well. That great spirit was last heard of at Basra, where he
occupies the post that once was Harry Bullivant's. Richard Hannay is
where he longed to be, commanding his battalion on the ugliest bit of
front in the West. Mr John S. Blenkiron, full of honour and wholly
cured of dyspepsia, has returned to the States, after vainly
endeavouring to take Peter with him. As for Peter, he has attained the


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