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Greenmantle - John Buchan

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Caroline Grosvenor

During the past year, in the intervals of an active life, I have 
amused myself with constructing this tale.  It has been scribbled in 
every kind of odd place and moment - in England and abroad, during 
long journeys, in half-hours between graver tasks; and it bears, I 
fear, the mark of its gipsy begetting.  But it has amused me to write, 
and I shall be well repaid if it amuses you - and a few others - to read.

Let no man or woman call its events improbable.  The war has 
driven that word from our vocabulary, and melodrama has become the 
prosiest realism.  Things unimagined before happen daily to our friends 
by sea and land.  The one chance in a thousand is habitually taken, 
and as often as not succeeds.  Coincidence, like some new Briareus, 
stretches a hundred long arms hourly across the earth.  Some day, when 
the full history is written - sober history with ample documents - the 
poor romancer will give up business and fall to reading Miss Austen 
in a hermitage.
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