John Buchan

About this book

Greenmantle is the second of five novels by John Buchan featuring the character Richard Hannay. It was first published in 1916 by Hodder & Stoughton, London. It is one of two Hannay novels set during the First World War, the other being Mr Standfast (1919); Hannay's first and best-known adventure, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), is set in the period immediately preceding the war.

Contents (23)

To Caroline Grosvenor
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CHAPTER I. A Mission is Proposed
CHAPTER II. The Gathering of the Missionaries
CHAPTER III. Peter Pienaar
CHAPTER IV. Adventures of Two Dutchmen on the Loose
CHAPTER V. Further Adventures of the Same
CHAPTER VI. The Indiscretions of the Same
CHAPTER VII. Christmastide
CHAPTER VIII. The Essen Barges
CHAPTER IX. The Return of the Straggler
CHAPTER X. The Garden-House of Suliman the Red
CHAPTER XI. The Companions of the Rosy Hours
CHAPTER XII. Four Missionaries See Light in their Mission
CHAPTER XIII. I Move in Good Society
CHAPTER XIV. The Lady of the Mantilla
CHAPTER XV. An Embarrassed Toilet
CHAPTER XVI. The Battered Caravanserai
CHAPTER XVII. Trouble by The Waters of Babylon
CHAPTER XVIII. Sparrows on the Housetops
CHAPTER XIX. Greenmantle
CHAPTER XX. Peter Pienaar Goes to the Wars
CHAPTER XXI. The Little Hill
CHAPTER XXII. The Guns of the North

To 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.

The characters of the tale, if you think hard, you will recall. Sandy you know well. That great spirit was last heard of at Basra, where he occupies the post that once was Harry Bullivant’s. Richard Hannay is where he longed to be, commanding his battalion on the ugliest bit of front in the West. Mr John S. Blenkiron, full of honour and wholly cured of dyspepsia, has returned to the States, after vainly endeavouring to take Peter with him. As for Peter, he has attained the height of his ambition. He has shaved his beard and joined the Flying Corps.