A Boot That Tells No Tales

The voyage of the Dulcibella continues in our latest Tale for Our TimeThe Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers, a tale of sailing and subterfuge in the years before the Great War. Richard Tomlinson, a First Week Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from South Carolina, writes:

Thank you so much for this tale. I had heard of The Riddle of the Sands but never read (or heard it read!) before. I am particularly enjoying the illustrations and the maps you have been providing with each episode.

Thank you, Richard. This one creeps up on you, and the maps do help. In tonight’s episode, Carruthers, having been surprised by an assailant, is wondering whether he’s cut out for this espionage business:

Limping back, I decided that I had made a very poor beginning as an active adventurer. I had gained nothing, and lost a great deal of breath and skin, and did not even know for certain where I was. The yacht’s light was extinguished, and, even with Wangeroog Lighthouse to guide me, I found it no easy matter to find her. She had no anchor out, if the tide rose. And how was Davies to find her? After much feeble circling I took to lying flat at intervals in the hopes of seeing her silhouetted against the starry sky.

Nor is his one clue terribly helpful:

The strange boot lay at the foot of the ladder, but it told no tales when I examined it.

If you’re a member of The Mark Steyn Club you can hear Part Fourteen of our serialization of The Riddle of the Sands simply by clicking here and logging-in. All previous episodes can be found here – so you can choose whether to listen each night twenty minutes before you lower your lamp, or save them up for a weekend binge-listen.

Here’s the chart Carruthers and Davies pore over – the Eastern (and German) Frisian Islands:

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To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here – and don’t forget our special Gift Membership. Please join me tomorrow for Part Fifteen of The Riddle of the Sands.