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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

An Envoy Of Deliverance

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"Tell Lord Alanmere from me that I now accept the terms he has offered as President of the Anglo-Saxon Federation, first, because at all hazards I would see Britain delivered from her enemies; and, secondly, because I have chosen rather to be an English gentleman without a crown, than to wear a crown which after all would only be gift from my conquerors."

Edward VII. spoke with visible emotion, but with a dignity which even Mazanoff, little and all as he respected the name of king, felt himself compelled to recognise and respect. He took the letter with a bow that was more one of reverence than of courtesy, and as he put it into his breast-pocket of his coat he said--

"The President will receive your Majesty's reply with as genuine pleasure and satisfaction as I shall give it to him. Though I am a Russian without a drop of English blood in my veins, I have always looked upon the British race as the real bulwark of freedom, and I rejoice that the King of England has not permitted either tradition or personal feeling to stand in the way of the last triumph of the Anglo-Saxon race.

"As long as the English language is spoken your Majesty's name will be held in greater honour for this sacrifice which you make to-day, than will that of any other English king for the greatest triumph of arms ever achieved in the history of your country.

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"I must now take my leave, for I must be in New York to-morrow night. I have your word that I shall not be watched or followed after I leave here. Hold the city for six days more at all costs, and on the seventh at the latest the siege shall be raised and the enemies of Britain destroyed in their own entrenchments."

So saying, the envoy of the Federation bowed once more to the King and the astonished members of his Council, and was escorted to the door.

Once in the street he strode away rapidly through Parliament Street and the Strand, then up Drury Lane, until he reached the door of a mean-looking house in a squalid court and entering this with a latch-key, disappeared.

Three hours later a Russian soldier of the line, wearing an almost imperceptible knot of red ribbon in one of the buttonholes of his tunic, passed through the Russian lines on Hampstead Heath unchallenged by the sentries, and made his way northward to Northaw Wood, which he reached soon after nightfall.

Within half an hour the Ithuriel rose from the midst of a thick clump of trees like a grey shadow rising into the night and darted southward and upward at such a speed that the keenest eyes must soon have lost sight of her from the earth.

She passed over the beleaguered city at a height of nearly ten thousand feet, and then swept sharply round to the eastward. She stopped immediately over the lights of Sheerness, and descended to within a thousand feet of the dock, in which could be seen the detachment of the French submarine vessels lying waiting to be sent on their next errand of destruction.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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