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Old 07-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
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Oppenheim, E. Phillips: Envoy Extraordinary. V1. 20 Jul 2012

ccEdward Phillips Oppenheim (October 22, 1866 – February 3, 1946), was an English novelist, in his lifetime a major and successful writer of genre fiction including thrillers .A best-selling author of novels, short stories, magazine articles, translations, and plays, Oppenheim published over 150 books. He is considered one of the originators of the thriller genre, his novels also range from spy thrillers to romance, but all have an undertone of intrigue.

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Through the windy darkness of the late winter evening, along a muddy country lane which was little better than a cart track with a high hedge on one side and a wood on the other, a man, half shuffling, half running, was making such progress as was possible over the sodden, slippery surface. What appearance he might have presented when he had started upon his wild expedition it was impossible to say, for he was covered now with mud from head to foot, a driving rain beating in his face. His dark coat was soaked, his collar and tie simply pulp. He was hatless and his black hair, streaked with grey, was plastered about his face. He ran not as an athlete but with long uneven strides, and he was evidently completely out of condition for such an exploit. He was breathing heavily. The drops of sweat were mingled with the rain which was pouring down his cheeks. He seemed unable to keep a straight course and he blundered from one side of the narrow way to the other, scratching his face against the hedge only to recoil and slip about in the low wire-protected ditch on the other side. His physical strength was already exhausted but he continued to stumble on as though inspired with some desperate sense of urgency. The only parts of him which seemed still alive were his eyes, and in their fixed stare there was all the dogged fear of a man seeking to escape from something worse than death.
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