The Angry Mountain
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Great Britain's leading adventure novelist. FINANCIAL TIMES "The crew came in and went through to the cockpit. The connecting door slid to. I sat there waiting. I could feel the draught from the open door of the fuselage blowing on my back. Would they never close it? The suspense was frightful...This was just the sort of cat-and-mouse game they loved." Dick Farrell is a man haunted by his wartime memories of torture and fear - a time better forgotten. But past and present merge when a trip to Eastern Europe embroils him in the twilight world of the industrial spy. Farrell becomes a reluctant player in a lethal game as the hunt shifts from Czechoslavakia to southern Italy. And there, beneath the blazing summit of Vesuvius in full eruption, he comes face to face with the living ghosts of his past.
turning. Then my hand, which was touching the woodwork of the door, was pressed back as the door was opened. I grasped the heavy torch, raising it ready to strike out. But before I could hit him the man was past me and moving towards the bed. I slipped out into the passage then, the sound of my movement lost in the deep pile of the carpet. A faint red glow showed through an unshuttered window at the far end of the corridor. I reached the dark shaft of the stairs and hesitated. The villa was all
again, endlessly, “Mamma mia! Mamma mia!” as though that in itself would keep the ash at bay. The little girl I’d seen when we arrived clung to her skirts, her eyes enormous in her white, frightened face. The bulbs in the chandelier glowed into life, flickered and then brightened. We stood blinking at each other in the sudden brilliance. Sansevino was almost unrecognisable, he was so caked in ash. The air was thick with dust. A white film covered everything. We might have been in a building that
Hilda who answered for me. “That’s not true,” she told him. “It is true,” he answered. “If he hadn’t been so scared—if he’d done what we asked him in Milan—” “He’s done everything a man could do. He’s been—” “Have it your own way.” He shrugged his shoulders. He looked at me and suddenly laughed. “It’s just as it was before. You’ve trapped the two of us.” “How do you mean—the two of you?” I asked. “Walter Shirer and myself.” I stared at him. “Please—get on. All of you. I wish to go back to
that, splints and bandages, and then he was pulling the blankets up and rinsing his hands in the bowl. “He will be all right now,” he said, wiping his hands on the towel. “Would you be good enough to give me a drink, please, Mr. Hacket?” Hacket passed him a stiff cognac. I became conscious again of Zina playing and realised she had been playing all the time. Sansevino gulped noisily at the liquor. “You see, I have not lost my touch.” He was smiling at me. There was no double meaning intended.
war. Everything was familiar, ordinary. I climbed to the cockpit and sat down in the pilot’s seat. A helmet hung over the control column, trailing its inter-com plug-in wire. I felt as though if I put it on I could talk to my navigator and the wireless operator. Hilda had climbed into the second pilot’s seat. Reece, who had followed us, said, “I’ll let you know when we’re all set.” I ran my hand over the controls, thrust at the rudder with my feet, testing the weight of it against my dummy leg.