narrate the story of our fortunes to my philosophic friend of the divan, the great Godall, now hearing me with inward joy. Come, is it a bargain? Will you, indeed, both promise to welcome every chance that offers, to plunge boldly into every opening, and, keeping the eye wary and the head composed, to study and piece together all that happens? Come, promise: let me open to you the doors of the great profession of intrigue.'
'It is not much in my way,' said Challoner, 'but, since you make a point of it, amen.'
'I don't mind promising,' said Desborough, 'but nothing will happen to me.'
'O faithless ones!' cried Somerset. 'But at least I have your promises; and Godall, I perceive, is transported with delight.'
'I promise myself at least much pleasure from your various narratives,' said the salesman, with the customary calm polish of his manner.
'And now, gentlemen,' concluded Somerset, 'let us separate. I hasten to put myself in fortune's way. Hark how, in this quiet corner, London roars l
Three broke, unemployed, English gentlemen speculate on becoming detectives and agree to each pursue the next adventure they come across. The novel follows each fellow's subsequent misfortune. The first adventure gives the impression the book is something of a mystery/thriller, but each man runs into the same group of people (anarchists) and the coincidences turn the story into a sort of Keystone Kops farce.
I was disappointed that the book was not a grim life-and-death story, but it was amusing in parts.