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The Thirty-Nine Steps

By John Buchan All Rights Reserved ©

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Chapter 1

TO

THOMAS ARTHUR NELSON

(LOTHIAN AND BORDER HORSE)

My Dear Tommy,

You and I have long cherished an affection for that elemental type of tale which Americans call the 'dime novel' and which we know as the 'shocker' — the romance where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible. During an illness last winter I exhausted my store of those aids to cheerfulness, and was driven to write one for myself. This little volume is the result, and I should like to put your name on it in memory of our long friendship, in the days when the wildest fictions are so much less improbable than the facts.

J.B.

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