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39 Steps - John Buchan

39 Steps - John Buchan

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Published by ML24601

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Published by: ML24601 on May 13, 2011
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08/31/2013

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The Thirty-Nine Steps
John Buchan
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The Thirty-Nine Steps
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184TOTHOMAS ARTHUR NELSON(LOTHIAN AND BORDER HORSE)My Dear Tommy,You and I have long cherished an affection for thatelemental type of tale which Americans call the ‘dimenovel’ and which we know as the ‘shocker’ - the romancewhere the incidents defy the probabilities, and march justinside the borders of the possible. During an illness lastwinter I exhausted my store of those aids to cheerfulness,and was driven to write one for myself. This little volumeis the result, and I should like to put your name on it inmemory of our long friendship, in the days when thewildest fictions are so much less improbable than thefacts.J.B.
 
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CHAPTER ONEThe Man Who Died
I returned from the City about three o’clock on thatMay afternoon pretty well disgusted with life. I had beenthree months in the Old Country, and was fed up with it.If anyone had told me a year ago that I would have beenfeeling like that I should have laughed at him; but therewas the fact. The weather made me liverish, the talk of the ordinary Englishman made me sick, I couldn’t getenough exercise, and the amusements of London seemedas flat as soda- water that has been standing in the sun.‘Richard Hannay,’ I kept telling myself, ‘you have gotinto the wrong ditch, my friend, and you had better climbout.’ It made me bite my lips to think of the plans I hadbeen building up those last years in Bulawayo. I had gotmy pile - not one of the big ones, but good enough for me;and I had figured out all kinds of ways of enjoyingmyself. My father had brought me out from Scotland atthe age of six, and I had never been home since; so
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