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Sydney Horler

The Dark Night

Hodder and Stoughton 1953
Wrapper Artist: Annoyingly, Uncredited

The Dark Night by Sydney Horler

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Sample from The Dark Night by Sydney Horler
THE Chief of Y.z, the man without a name, took his pipe out of his mouth, and looked hard at his visitor. "The woman Cantry was seen about with was said to be very attractive; are you proof against attractive women, March?" he asked. The speaker's voice mingled sardonic jesting with gravity, and Justin March replied in the same vein. "What you mean, I take it, sir," he said, "is that she's a beautiful bitch?" "Well, roughly," replied the Intelligence Chief, lighting his pipe, and blowing out a cloud of pungent smoke. "I don't want to boast, sir," continued the man known throughout most of Europe and America as "The Ace", "but I make a speciality of beautiful bitches." "You do, eh?" The Ace met the keen scrutiny unflinchingly. "Yes, sir. There's one special one I've been searching for for years." "Very well, then; but you have been warned," added the other, disregarding the personal postscript. "I think it is only fair to say, however, that this woman is rather out of the ordinary run of 'beautiful bitches'; something quite exceptional, in fact." "Which is one reason, I suppose, why Gerald Cantry committed suicide?" was the clipped comment. The dry-mannered, tight-lipped man who "ran" his Department of British Intelligence with a brilliant efficiency that was only matched by the kindly consideration he showed his staff whenever possible (when it was not possible, as frequently happened, he became a grim taskmaster, who daren't stop to reflect too long on the orders he was sometimes obliged to give), nodded.

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