Princess Zara

Princess Zara
Catalog # SKU1869
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Ross Beeckman
 
$15.95
Quantity

Description

Princess Zara

By
Ross Beeckman

A TGS Reprint to keep quality fiction works available for the public. Ross Beeckman's books were some of the best historical fiction love stories written during his era.

The Theme

Two shall be born the whole wide world apart;
And speak in different tongues, and have no thought
Each of the other's being, and no heed;
And these o'er unknown seas to unknown lands
Shall cross, escaping wreck, defying death,
And all unconsciously shape every act
And lend each wandering step to this one end,-
That, one day, out of darkness, they shall meet
And read life's meaning in each other's eyes.

Excerpt

The Princess' Oriental Garden

In order better to carry out the plans I had made it was necessary that I should depart from the palace and I secured apartments in a respectable but quiet section of the city, where I established myself under the name of Dubravnik; and it was generally understood by those who came in contact with me that I was a pardoned exile who had been permitted to return under stipulated conditions, as such men are sometimes, though rarely, allowed to do. In the mean time I had gathered around me several certain individuals whom I had known and employed in the past, and whom I knew from experience that I could trust; and there was not one Russian among them. The Russian may be trusted always wherever his heart is involved and his political conscience is at rest, but never unless those forces are working in sympathy with the employment of his hands and head.

I sent to Paris for Michael O'Malley whose long residence there had outwardly transformed him from an Irishman to a Frenchman, and who for convenience spelled his name Malet, thus retaining the sound without the substance. He opened a cafè, which because of its excellence speedily became the resort of the higher officers of the Russian army stationed at St. Petersburg. Every one of the waiters in his establishment were spies in his employ brought with him from Paris, and not one of them knew of my existence. Thus they did their work in the dark, but they did it well. Another Irishman, Tom Coyle, who looked like a Russian, established a cab stand on the English plan, and he had a small army of men under him who worked in the same way as Malet's servants. A Frenchman and his wife-their names were St. Cyr-ran a high class intelligence office, and furnished valets, maids, cooks, coachmen, etc., for the best families at the Russian capitol.

I had one assistant who taught singing to the nobility, and another who was a master at arms and gave lessons in the science of handling all kinds of weapons. In the less pretentious quarters of the city I had proprietors of fourth rate cafès on my list; also loungers, loafers, seeming drunkards, laborers. But more important than these I succeeded in securing for one of my best men-an American-the management of the city Messenger Service; and one by one he contrived to replace the messengers by others of his own selection, until many of them were unknowingly members of my staff. Unknowingly, mind you, for therein existed much of the secret of my power. My workers did not know what they did. Canfield really did great work for me while he held that position, and I must not neglect to give him credit for it.

O'Malley, Coyle, the St. Cyrs and Canfield were really therefore the several component parts of my immediate staff and those five were the only persons among all my hundreds of workers who knew Dubravnik to be their chief; and it is a perfectly safe statement to say that in all St. Petersburg, nay in all the world at that time, there were but nine persons living who had the least knowledge or even suspicion of my business; the nine were the czar, Prince Michael, the five already named, myself and Morèt now in solitary confinement although in a comfortably appointed room in one of the prisons.

It is well that I should say a word or two in reference to these assistants of mine, in passing.

O'Malley was an Irishman of the finest type of bluff and honest manhood. I have known him and tried him through many a difficulty where his sterling qualities of character, his rugged honesty of purpose, his unfailing loyalty and devotion to me and his uncanny qualities as an investigator had endeared him to me both professionally and personally beyond the expression of mere words to describe it. I knew that I could rely upon him absolutely in all emergencies and that he was utterly fearless in the face of any danger that might present itself. By opening the cafè described, patronized by the elite of the Russian capital he merely followed out a plan long before undertaken in Paris for a like purpose and through the workings of his waiters and other employees he possessed sources of information and facilities for investigation unprecedented in their far reaching possibilities.

There is many a whispered word and undertoned conversation carried on at a supper table over the coffee or a bottle of wine which finds its way into the ears of servitors and O'Malley's duties consisted not alone in piecing together after they were supplied to him these scraps of conversation, but in having his workers spy upon certain personages when they appeared at the cafè and so anticipate secrets which they might have to unfold. Even he had lesser men in authority under him and many of those who were almost directly under his employ believed that they were allied to the regular secret police and did not know of their employer's official capacity.

Tom Coyle, a huge rough bearded Irishman who in outward appearance might have passed anywhere for a Russian, was not less efficient or less loved and trusted by me than O'Malley. As a proprietor of a cab stand every driver was a minion of his and served him precisely as O'Malley's waiters did their chief; and it may readily be determined that the power thus exerted for making reports, for knowing the distinction and the engagements of certain individuals was far reaching indeed. Coyle also had served me in the execution of many delicate missions of the past and I could depend upon him almost as absolutely as I could upon myself.

The two St. Cyrs, husband and wife, were equally important factors in my work; indeed they provided the most far reaching assistance I had, for if you will stop to consider a moment and will realize how absolutely at the mercy of house servants the ordinary citizen is compelled to be, you will understand how an employment agency operated for the purposes of espionage can discover and reveal secrets which otherwise might never find their way outside the family circle. There is no written document, no locked bureau drawer, no hidden pocket, no secret hiding place into which the prying eyes and fingers of maid or valet, house maid and general servitor cannot penetrate. These people did their work for the St. Cyrs and reported to them, knowing nothing whatever of why they made those reports or to whom they ultimately found their way.


Softcover, 8¼" x 5¼, 220+ pages
Perfect-Bound

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