The Dark Crusader
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A classic tale of espionage, secret missions and exotic locations which out-Bonds Bond, from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.
Eight job advertisements.
Eight jobs. Eight specialists in modern technology required.
Eight scientists to fill them.
Applicants to be married, with no children, and prepared to travel. Highly persuasive salaries.
One criminal mastermind.
Eight positions filled. Eight scientists - and their wives - disappear. Completely.
One secret agent to stop him.
Advertisment no.9. Sydney, Australia. Fuel specialist required. Looks like a job for John Bentall…
magazines.’ ‘Maybe it’s an Anglo-American project.’ ‘I still don’t understand why they should try to cripple you,’ she said doubtfully. ‘But maybe one or either of your suggestions goes some way towards an answer.’ ‘Maybe. I really don’t know. But I’ll have the answer tonight. I’ll find it inside that mine.’ ‘Are you – are you really crazy?’ she said quietly. ‘You’re not fit to go anywhere.’ ‘It’s only a short walk. I’ll manage. There’s nothing wrong with my legs.’ ‘I’m coming with you.’
still fresh, and I guessed that that explained the upward slant of the tunnel – it was being kept deliberately near the rising slope of the mountainside to facilitate the driving of vertical ventilation shafts. I must have been at least halfway across to the western side of the island by then and it wasn’t very hard to guess that it wouldn’t be long before the tunnel floor levelled out and started to descend. It wasn’t. The stretch of level floor, when I came to it, didn’t extend more than a
tunnel wall, hands hanging by my side, and drew in great deep lungfuls of the pure fresh air. I felt weak, but put it down to my damaged arm and the foul air inside that tomb, the brief and violent episode on the other side of that door had left me curiously unaffected, or so I thought until I felt the pain in my cheek muscles and jaw and realized that my lips were strained back in involuntary imitation of the death’s-head grin of the man I had just killed. It took a conscious effort of will to
tapped. ‘Vardu –’ ‘Lat. and long.?’ the operator cut in. He was sending so fast that I could hardly pick it up. ‘Uncertain.’ ‘What ship?’ ‘No ship. Island of Vardu –’ Again he overrode my transmission. ‘Island?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Get off the air, you damn fool, and stay off it. This is a distress frequency.’ With that the transmission ended abruptly. I could have kicked that damned transmitter all the way into the lagoon. I could have done the same with the duty operator on the Novair County. I
fury. He kept asking for you but we told him you were unconscious. He said he would shoot Miss Hopeman if you didn’t come out, so I told him you were dying.’ ‘That would cheer him up,’ I said drearily. ‘It seemed to,’ Griffiths admitted. ‘Then he went away. Perhaps he took his men with him. We don’t know.’ ‘Yes,’ Fleck said heavily. ‘And the first man to stick his head out the entrance gets it blown off.’ Time passed. The light at the mouth of the tunnel steadily brightened through all the