The Thirty-Nine Steps
Richard Hannay: the main character who has to prevent a war between
Russia and Germany
Paddock: the servant of Hannay
Franklin P. Scudder: a man who asks Hannay to help him to prevent the war
Jopley: an old enemy of Hannay because he sets people off.
Sir Walter: a friend of Scudder who also prevents the war.
Richard Hannay is reading the newspaper, as he does every evening. After his reading in his club he returns to his house. Hannay is a little sick of life because he thinks his life is boring. He really looks for adventure but can’t find it. When he puts his key into the door a man was standing besides him. He acts very strange and secret. But Hannay let’s him in. Then the man tells Hannay a strange story. He tells Hannay that there’s an underground movement is going on against the government. That underground movement wanted to cause a quarrel between Russia and Germany, the man who wrecked there plans (Constantine Karolides) would soon be killed. And that would cause the quarrel. They had to prevent it……. After he told all this to Hannay. He said that he knows too much and that the underground movement knows that. That’s why they try to kill him. He contained a dead body and dressed it in his clothes, after this he disappeared, to let that movement think that he was already dead. And it worked, but not for long: when Richard comes back from a dinner the next day, he found Scudder with a knife in his chest on the ground………. He had to carry out his work. Someway he has to tell the government all this. At this time Hannay makes a clever move, he realized that the movement already knows him, and when he got out the door they would kill him. So he asked the milkman to change clothes and to stay here for 10 minutes. In that 10 minutes, he went to the station, get his clothes of and Paddock called the police. He has three jobs now, first to keep alive, second to prevent the police found him, and last to prevent Constantine to be murdered. Hannay has arrived in Galloway by train. He starts to walk north. After a long walk he reaches a building where a man is smoking a pipe outside. He asked if that was an inn, and it happened to be the inn of the man smoking. The man asked Hannay to come in. Hannay told the man the story and the man believes it. It was good that Hannay told it to the landlord, because a car with two men stopped that day for him. It was the underground. The innkeeper hides Hannay and Hannay escapes with the car of those men. When he’s driving he notice a sound of a helicopter, he drove the car into the bushes to prevent the helicopter seeing him. He jumped out the car and ran, the car falls in a deep stream and he hung in a tree. A young policeman helped him out (that man didn’t knew Hannay was suspect of killing Scudder) so he asked Hannay to his house. Hannay tells everything to the policeman. That policeman promises to tell everything to the government. He thanks the policeman and borrowed a bike from him and drove. A long time later he sees a car coming with his enemies that wanted to kill him. He went to a roadman and promises to do his work if he lend him his clothes. When the car came they stopped and didn’t caught Hannay. His trick worked. He completed the road and walked away. Then he met Jopley, he told him he was Hannay and Jopley was very afraid of that murderer. So he let Hannay take his car and Hannay putted on his clothes. They traveled a couple of miles and after that ride Hannay gave back the car. He walked to a house in the moor, the men invited him in. But that men were his enemies!!!!!!!!! So they caught him, but Hannay found some explosives and blew op the door. He hided himself at the roof and went of during the night. The next they a fisherman invited him to his house. Hannay doesn’t know why but he took his chance and accepts the invitation. He took a bath and put on some new clothes. The fisherman told that he was Sir Walter, a friend of Scudder. Scudder wrote him a letter, which told him that Hannay was Scudder’s friend. He also told Hannay that he went to the police with that letter and that Hannay was no longer wanted by the police. They talked about what to do next and then the telephone ringed. It was a bad call, Constantine Karolides was murdered…….. That murder was going to cause trouble in Europe. Hannay went to bed and Winston called his Chief to speak to the First Lord and the Secretary of War, they were going to send general Royer. Sir Walter had a meeting with all the ministers. Hannay sat down in the hall waiting, then the First Lord came out. He recognized him, but how was that possible? He hadn’t seen him before? He called Lord Alloa at home, but he already was a sleep for an hour. Then he ran into the room and told them. They believed him, that man who acted if he was lord Alloa was there to get information what they were going to do against the war. He was an enemy. The ministers and Hannay talked about Scudder notebook, it was a book where Scudder wrote all his important notes. Hannay was using that book the entire story. There was some strange sentence in that book what made them thinking: Thirty-nine steps, I counted them. High tide 10.17 p.m. Hannay talked about that sentence and they figured out that they had to find a place where high tide was at 10.17. Bradgate was the place, Hannay got an idea, thirty-nine had to be the number of steps in the stairs. So he and twenty other men went to Bradgate to check the stairs, they found one with thirty-nine steps and Hannay looked at the house at the head of the stairs. Two men were playing tennis in the garden, he was a little confused of his theory because everything about these men was normal. The time was running out, it was nine o’clock, they had an hour and 17 minutes to find out. Then Hannay decided to ring the bell from the house. The maid let him in. When he saw the man, he said that they were arrested. But the man didn’t believe it, they acted very normal like everyone else would do when they heard they were arrested. So Hannay was confused again. Unfortunately he recognized the actor that played lord Alloa at the meeting. Then the man quick surrounded the house and came in. One man was trying to get away but at last they got every criminal. After seven weeks as the entire world knew it. There was a war, Hannay joined the New Army. But he thinks he had done the best job before the war begun……………………
Something about the author
John Buchan was born in Perth in Scotland in 1875. His father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland and the year following his birth the family moved to Fife. They later moved to the Gorbals in Glasgow and it is here that Johnreceived his education, attending Hutcheson's Grammar School and then the University of Glasgow and Brasenose College, Oxford. Called to the bar in 1901 Buchan's first job was as private secretary to Lord Milner, a post which took him to South Africa. Returning to London in 1903, he became a director of Nelson's the publishers. In 1907 he married Susan Grosvenor, a union which proved to be an extremely happy one. During the First World War Buchan was a newspaper correspondent in France, an intelligence officer and then Director of Information. In 1927 Buchan was elected Conservative MP for the Scottish Universities and in 1935 on being made the fifteenth Governor-General of Canada was created 1st Baron Tweedsmuir. An extremely well-liked and respected man, his death in 1940 evoked a great deal of sorrow. John Buchan's first real success as an author came in 1910 with Prester John, a fast-moving adventure story set in South Africa. This was followed by a series of popular stories with recurring heroes like Richard Hannay, Dickson McCunn, Edward Leithen and Sandy Arbuthnot.
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