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Leslie Charteris

The Saint and the Fiction Makers

Hodder & Stoughton 1969
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Like a monstrous silver manta ray, the giant hovercraft moved over the marshy plain. Fleeing ahead of it across the treeless flat-land, Charles Lake's jeep seemed in comparison no larger than a darting minnow. The chase was as unequal in other factors as in size. Lake had no true road to follow, only a pair of pitted ruts which at intervals almost disappeared entirely or were submerged in mud and water. His only real chance of escape had been to drive out of sight of the hovercraft before its crew had noticed he was gone. Now that they were in pursuit, he could see no hope of outdistancing or evading them. His jeep's speed was reduced by holes and bogs, while the hovercraft roared effortlessly along on its cushion of air two feet above the ground. Propelled at an unvarying seventy miles an hour, it would overtake Lake within a minute.

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