The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service

By Erskine Childers; David Trotter | Go to book overview

find it again, and, as the lesser of two evils, blew my whistle, softly at first, then louder. The bray of a foghorn sounded right behind me. I whistled again and then ran for my life, the horn sounding at intervals. In three or four minutes I was on the beach and in the dinghy.


CHAPTER XXIII
A Change of Tactics

We pushed off without a word, and paddled out of sight of the beach. A voice was approaching, hailing us. 'Hail back,' whispered Davies; 'pretend we're a galliot.'

'Ho-a,' I shouted, 'where am I?'

'Off Memmert,' came back. 'Where are you bound?'

'Delfzyl,' whispered Davies.

'Delf-zyl,' I bawled.

A sentence ending with 'anchor' was returned.

'The flood's tearing east,' whispered Davies; 'sit still.'

We heard no more, and, after a few minutes' drifting, 'What luck?' said Davies.

'One or two clues, and an invitation to supper.'

The clues I left till later; the invitation was the thing, and I explained its urgency.

'How will they get back?' said Davies; 'if the fog lasts the steamer's sure to be late.'

'We can count on nothing,' I answered. 'There was some little steamboat off the depot, and the fog may lift. Which is our quickest way?'

'At this tide, a bee-line to Norderney by compass; we shall have water over all the banks.'

He had all his preparations made, the lamp lit in advance, the compass in position, and we started at once; he at the bow-oar, where he had better control over the boat's nose; lamp and compass on the floor between us. Twilight thickened into darkness--a choking, pasty

-196-

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The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford World's Classics ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on the Text xix
  • Select Bibliography xx
  • A Chronology of Robert Erskine Childers xxi
  • Preface to the Present Edition 2
  • Preface to the Original Edition 3
  • Note 5
  • Chapter I the Letter 11
  • Chapter II the Dulcibella 17
  • Chapter III Davies 28
  • Chapter IV Retrospect 36
  • Chapter IV Retrospect 43
  • Chapter IV Retrospect 50
  • Chapter IV Retrospect 56
  • Chapter VIII the Theory 67
  • Chapter IX I Sign Articles 77
  • Chapter X His Chance 85
  • Chapter XI the Pathfinders 92
  • Chapter XII My Initiation 99
  • Chapter XII My Initiation 108
  • Chapter XIV the First Night in the Islands 113
  • Chapter XV Bensersiel 120
  • Chapter XVI Commander Von Brüning 126
  • Chapter XVI Commander Von Brüning 138
  • Chapter XVIII Imperial Escort 148
  • Chapter XIX the Rubicon 153
  • Chapter XX the Little Drab Book 164
  • Chapter XX the Little Drab Book 173
  • Chapter XXII the Quartette 186
  • Chapter XXIII a Change of Tactics 196
  • Chapter XXIII a Change of Tactics 207
  • Chapter XXIII a Change of Tactics 220
  • Chapter XVII the Seven Siels 230
  • Chapter XXVII the Luck of the Stowaway 240
  • Chapter XXVII the Luck of the Stowaway 252
  • Epilogue by the Editor 260
  • Explanatory Notes 269
  • Nautical Glossary 275
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