When some whim of fate brought together such ill-assorted people as Major Desmond Okewood, Maurice Strangwise, Arthur Mackwayte, his daughter Barbara and Nur-el-Din at a London music-hall, there were woven the meshes of a complicated intrigue which the reader will sit up o' nights to unravel. What the Star of Poland had to do with an intrigue that involved the Secret Service of France and Germany, and what personal motives, not admitted to himself, prevented Desmond Okewood from obeying to the letter his Chief's instructions, are problems which will not abide a deferred solution.
uncharted wilds. He looked as hard as nails, and the woman murmured to herself, as she went on with her note, "On leave from the front."
Presently, the man stirred, stretched himself and finally sat up. Then he started, sprang to his feet, and strode easily across the vestibule to the reception desk. An officer was standing there in a worn uniform, a very shabby kit-bag by his side, a dirty old Burberry over his arm.
"Okewood!" said the young man and touched the other on the shoulder, "isn't it Desmond Okewood? By Jove, I am glad to see you!"
The new-comer turned quickly.
"Why, hullo," he said, "if it isn't Maurice Strangwise! But, good heavens, man, surely I saw your name in the casualty list... missing, wasn't it?"
"Yep!" replied the other smiling, "that's so! It's a long story and it'll keep! But tell me about yourself... this," he kicked the kit-bag with the toe of his boot, "looks like a little leave! Just in from France?"
He smiled again, baring his firm, white
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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