was a cold night and I was very hungry. Turnbull still had my
coat, and my watch and Scudder's note-book were in a pocket of
it. My money was in my trousers' pocket.
lay down in some long grass but could not sleep.
I thought about
all the people who had helped me. And I decided that I had been
a very lucky man.
was my chief problem. I closed my eyes and saw thick pieces of
meat on a white plate. I remembered all the meals that I had
eaten in London. I used to refuse fruit
dinner! Now I would give five pounds for an apple.
morning I slept a little but woke again about six o'clock. I sat
up and looked down into the valley. I lay back immediately in
were searching the long grass below and they were only a quarter
of a mile away.
crawled a few yards and hid behind a rock. There I noticed a
crack that ran to the top of the hill. I crawled into this crack
and began to climb. When I reached the top, I raised my head
again. My enemies were still searching the long grass.
rolled over the hill-top to the other side. No one could see me
there, so I ran for half a mile. Then I climbed to the top again
and stood up straight. The men saw me at once and moved towards
me. I ran back over the hill-top and returned to my first place.
My enemies were now going the wrong way, and I felt safer.
best plan was to go to the north, and I chose my path carefully.
Soon a wide valley lay between me and my
But when they discovered their mistake, they turned back
quickly. I saw them suddenly above the hill-top, and they began
to shout at me. I noticed then that they were not my real
enemies. Two of them were policemen.
has reported me,' I thought, 'and now they're looking for the
men ran down and began to climb my side of the valley. The
policemen ran across the hill-tops to the north. I felt afraid
now because these men knew the country. I had strong legs and
plenty of breath but did not know the best paths.
left my hill-top and ran down towards a river. A road ran beside
the river, and I noticed a gate at the side of the road. I
jumped over the gate and ran across a field. The path led
through a group of trees where I stopped and looked back. The
police were half a mile behind me.
crossed a low wall beyond the trees and stood in a farmyard. The
farmhouse was about fifty yards away.
was a glass building at the side of the house, and an old
gentleman was sitting at a desk inside. He looked at me as I
walked towards the building.
room was full of books and cases which contained old stone tools
and broken pots. I saw several boxes of old coins. Books and
papers covered the old gentleman's desk.
was a, kind old man with a round face and a bald head. And he
was wearing a pair of large spectacles. When I went in, he did
not move or speak.
could not say a word either. I looked at him and noticed his
eyes. They were small and bright and very clear. His bald head
was shining like a glass bottle.
he said slowly, 'You are in a hurry, my friend.'
pointed across the farmyard and the field. Some figures were
climbing over the gate beside the road.
they're policemen,' he said, 'and you're running away from them.
Well, we can talk about it later. I don't want the police to
come in here. If you go into the next
you'll see two doors. Go through the doorway on the left side
and shut it behind you. You'll be quite safe in there.'
he picked up a pen and went on with his work.
obeyed him at once. I went into the next room and through the
left-hand doorway. It was very dark inside, and there was only
one window which was high up in the wall.
was safe from the police in that room but I was not very happy.
Indeed, I felt suspicious. Everything was so easy that I began
to wonder. 'Why did that old fellow help me?' I asked myself.
'I've never seen him before, and he didn't ask me any
I was waiting, I thought about food again. I made plans for my
breakfast., and it was very exciting. I would have bacon and
eggs. The old man could not refuse to give me that. I could eat
a pound of bacon and a dozen eggs. I was thinking about this
meal when the door opened.
man who was standing outside made a sign to me. And I followed
him to the old gentleman's room.
the police gone?' I asked.
They asked me if you had come here. But I didn't tell them
anything important. This is a lucky morning for you, Mr. Richard
spoke quietly and seemed very young now. I was watching him all
the time. He closed his eyes but they were only half shut, like
a bird's eyes. And I suddenly remembered what Scudder had told
me. 'If you see his eyes, Hannay,' he had said, 'you'll never
this man Scudder's worst enemy? And was I now in the enemy's
house? I would kill the old man if these thoughts were true.
guessed my plan and smiled. Then his eyes moved to the door
behind me. I turned and saw two men with guns in their hands.
knew my name but he had never seen me before. And this was my
are you talking about?' I asked. 'My name isn't Richard Hannay.
it? But of course you have other names. We won't quarrel about a
name.' He was still smiling at me.
thought of another plan quickly. I had no coat and my clothes
were still very dirty. They were quite a good disguise for me,
so I began to tell a story.
did you save me from the police?' I asked. 'I didn't want to
steal that money. It has caused me so much trouble that you can
have it.' And I took four sovereigns from my pocket and threw
them on the old man's desk.
it,' I said, 'and let me go.'
no, Mr. Hannay, I won't let you go. You know too much for me to
allow that. You're acting very well but you can't deceive me.'
wondered if he was sure about me. For a moment I saw a little
doubt in his eyes.
don't want to deceive you,' I said. 'Why don't you believe me? I
stole that money because I was hungry. The two men left the car
and went away after the accident. I climbed down the bank and
found the money on the floor of the car. The police have been
hunting me since then, and I'm very tired.'
old man was clearly in doubt now. He was still suspicious of me,
but we had never met before. And that made him careful.
me your adventures,' he said. 'What happened to you yesterday?'
can't. I haven't eaten anything for two days. Give me a meal
first, and then I'll tell you everything.'
made a sign to one of the men who brought me some cold bacon and
a glass of milk. Suddenly, while I was eating, the old man spoke
to me in German. It was a trick of course, so I did not look up
or answer him.
I had finished, I began my story again. I had come from Leith
and was going to visit my brother in Wigtown. I was not
travelling by train because I had only a little money.
On my way I saw an accident. A car ran off the road and fell
into a little valley.
man had jumped out of the car before it fell. And then another
man appeared. They talked for a few moments and then went away
together. I went down to the car. It was completely destroyed,
but I found the four sovereigns on the floor. I put the money in
my pocket and ran away.
went into a shop in the nearest village and tried to buy some
food. I offered a sovereign to the shop-keeper. She was
suspicious and called the police. I escaped, but the policeman
tore my coat completely off.
I cried , 'they can have the money back. A poor man hasn't got a
a good story, Hannay,' the old man said. 'But I don't believe
it.' Then he sat back in his chair and began to rub his right
the truth,' I shouted. 'My name is Ainslie, not Hannay. Those
policemen knew me and were shouting my
name from the hill-top.'
looked at the bright eyes and the bald head in front of me. I
knew that his doubts were growing. He had never seen my face. It
was different from my photographs. And my clothes were very old
have to stay here,' he said at last. 'If you aren't Richard
Hannay, you'll be quite safe. But if you are Hannay, I'll kill
you myself. I'll soon discover the truth.'
rang a bell and another man came in.
the car,' he said. 'There'll be three for dinner.'
looked at me carefully again, and there was something quite
terrible in his eyes. They were cold and cruel, like the bright
eyes of a snake. I could not look away from them. They made me
weak, like a child, and I wanted to crawl to him. He was
Scudder's worst enemy. But I would have served him if he had
was rubbing his right ear again. Then he spoke in German to one
of the men. And when I heard his words, my strange thoughts left
put this fellow in the store-room and don't let him escape.
Remember that.,' he said.
store-room was very dark, but the two men did not come inside
with me. They sat down outside where I could hear them talking.
I felt around the walls of the room and touched several boxes
and barrels. Then I sat down on one of the boxes to think about
old man and his friends would soon return and recognize me. They
would remember the roadman because I was still wearing
Turnbull's clothes. I could guess their questions: why were the
police looking for a roadman? Why was he found twenty miles away
from his job? They would remember Marmaduke Jopley too, I
thought, and probably Sir Harry. I could not continue to deceive
these foreign enemies and I would be alone with them here. My
chances of escape were not very great.
I grew angry and hated these German spies in Britain. I would
not sit in this dark place and do nothing. I had to attack
them or try to escape.
got up and walked around the room again. The boxes and barrels
were too strong for me to open, but then I reached a cupboard in
the wall. It was probably locked because I could not open it.
But there was a crack in the door. I pushed my fingers through
the crack and then pulled hard. The door of the cupboard broke
were some strange things inside. The first things I found were
half a dozen electric lamps. They were in good condition too,
and I shone a light around the cupboard.
were bottles and small boxes and some dusty yellow bags. I found
a box of detonators which were complete with long fuses. I took
out the detonators and fuses and laid them carefully on the
floor. At the back of the cupboard I found a strong box. At
first I thought that it was locked. But it opened quite easily,
and it was full of sticks of dynamite.
could destroy the house with this dynamite. I had often used it
in Rhodesia and I knew its power. It could very easily destroy
me too! This was clearly a chance of escape, and it would
probably be my only chance. So I decided to take it.
found a crack in the floor near the doorway. I pushed a stick of
dynamite into the crack and fixed a detonator and fuse to it.
Then I moved one of the boxes until it stood over the crack.
sat down near the cupboard and lit the fuse. I watched the fire
as it moved along the fuse. The two men were still talking
quietly outside the door ...
there was a terrible noise, and great heat and light rushed up
from the floor. They hung for a moment in the air, and then
clouds of dust took their place. Thick yellow smoke filled the
room, and at first I could not see anything. But there was light
in the room now. A great hole had appeared in the wall, and I
ran towards it. The air outside was also full of smoke and dust,
and I could hear the sound of voices.
climbed through the hole and ran forward. I was in the farmyard
at the back of the house. About thirty yards away there was a
high stone bird-house. The building had no doors or windows but
there were many little holes for the birds. And the roof seemed
I could reach that roof, I should be safe. They would not look
for me up there, I thought.
ran through the smoke to the back of the bird-house. Then I
began to climb. It was hard work, and I went up very slowly. But
at last I reached the top and lay down behind a low wall.
dust and smoke had made me sick, and I felt very tired. But I
was safe up there and soon I fell asleep.
probably slept for several hours. When I woke up, the afternoon
sun was very strong. I could hear men's voices again and the
sound of a motor-car. I raised myself a little and looked over
or five men were walking across the farmyard to the house. The
old man was with them and he was clearly very angry. He pointed
across the fields and said something in German to the servants.
The thin dark fellow was there and the fat one too.
lay on the roof of the bird-house all the afternoon. I was very
thirsty. There was a little river beside the farm and I could
hear the sound of water. I felt the money in my pocket. I would
have given forty pounds for a glass of water if I had had the
men drove away in the car. A little later another man rode to
the east on a horse. The search was beginning, but they were all
going the wrong way!
sat up on the roof and looked around. At first I saw nothing
specially inter esting but then I noticed a large circle of
trees. These trees were half a mile from the house, and there
was a flat green field inside the circle.
must be an airfield,' I thought. 'It's a wonderful place for a
would deceive anyone who did not know the place. A small plane
could land there and no one would see it. The field was
completely hidden from the ground. Anybody would think that the
plane had flown over the hill. No one would guess that it had
landed among the trees.
I noticed a thin blue line far away to the south. It was the
sea. So our enemies had this secret airfield in Scotland, and
they could watch our ships every day. The thought made me very
made me nervous too. If the plane came back, the pilot would
easily see me. But I could do nothing until it was dark.
lay and waited on the roof of the bird-house. About six o'clock
a man came out through the hole in the store-room. He walked
slowly towards the bird-house, and I felt quite afraid for a
moment. But then we both heard the plane at the same time. The
fellow turned immediately and went back into the store-room.
plane did not fly over the house, and I was glad about that it
flew around the trees once and then landed. Some lights shone
for a moment or two, and ten minutes later I heard voices. After
that everything was quiet, and it began to grow dark.
waited until nine o'clock perhaps. Then I climbed down from the
roof and reached the ground safely. I crawled away from the
bird-house on my hands and knees.
went first to the little river where I lay and drank the cool
water. Then I began to run. I wanted to get as far away as
possible from that terrible house.