The Czar's Spy PDF ePub eBook

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The Czar's Spy free pdf Excerpt from The Czar's Spy: The Mystery of a Silent Love "There was a mysterious affair last night, signore." "Oh!" I exclaimed. "Anything that interests us?" "Yes, signore," replied the tall, thin Italian consular-clerk, speaking with a strong accent. "An English steam yacht ran aground on the Meloria about ten miles out, and was discovered by a fishing-boat who brought the news to harbour. The Admiral sent out two torpedo-boats, which managed after a lot of difficulty to bring in the yacht safely, but the Captain of the Port has a suspicion that the crew were trying to make away with the vessel." "To lose her, you mean?" The faithful Francesco, whose English had mostly been acquired from seafaring men, and was not the choicest vocabulary, nodded- and. true Tuscan that he was, placed his finger upon his closed lips, indicative of silence. "Sounds curious," I remarked. "Since the Consul went away on leave things seem to have been humming - two stabbing affrays, eight drunken seamen locked up, a mutiny on a tramp-steamer, and now a yacht being cast away - a fairly decent list! And yet some stay-at-home people complain that British Consuls are only paid to be ornamental! They should spend a week here, at Leghorn, and they'd soon alter their opinion." "Yes, they would, signore," responded the thin-faced old fellow with a grin, as he twisted his fierce grev moustache. Francesco Carducci was a well-known character in Leghorn- interpreter to the Consulate, and keeper of a sailors' home, an honest, good-hearted, easy-going fellow, who for twenty years had occupied the same position under half a dozen different Consuls. At that moment, however, there came from the outer office a long-drawn moan. "Hulloa, what's that?" I inquired, startled. "Only a mad stoker off the Oleander, signore. The captain has brought him for you to see. They want to send him back to his friends at Newcastle." "Oh, a case of madness!" I exclaimed. "Better get Doctor Ridolfi to see him. I'm not an expert on mental diseases." My old friend Frank Hutcheson, His Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul at the port of Leghorn, was away on leave in England, his duties being relegated to young Bertram Cavendish, the pro-Consul. The latter, however, had gone down with a bad touch of malaria which he had picked up in the deadly Maremma, and I, as the only other Englishman in Leghorn, had been asked by the Consul-General in Florence to act as pro-Consul until Hutcheson's return. It was mid-July, and the weather was blazing in that glaring, sun-blanched Mediterranean town. If you know Leghorn, you probably know the Consulate with its black and yellow escutcheon outside, a large, handsome suite of huge, airy offices facing the cathedral, and overlooking the principal piazza, which is as big as Trafalgar Square, and much more picturesque. The legend painted upon the door: "Office hours, 10 to 3," and the green persiennes closed against the scorching sun give one the idea of an easy appointment, but such is certainly not the case, for a Consul's life at a port of discharge must necessarily be a very active one, and his duties never-ending. Carducci had left me to the correspondence for half an hour or so, and I confess I was in no mood to write replies in that stifling heat, therefore I sat at the Consul's big table smoking a cigarette and stretched lazily in my friend's chair, resolving to escape to the cool of England as soon as he returned early in the following week. Italy is all very well for nine months in the year, but Leghorn is no place for the Englishman in mid-July. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

About William Le Queux

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Details Book

Author : William Le Queux
Publisher : Lushena Books
Data Published : 11 September 2015
ISBN : 1631829327
EAN : 9781631829321
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 360 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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