THE MAN WHO LOST HIS WAY
First Published in February 1960 (although the book is actually dated 1959) -192 pages
Republished in paperback by Norman Wright in March 2004 - 188 pages
Noel Marsden gets lost whilst driving in Scotland and then runs out of petrol. Calling at an isolated house, called Glenstalach Lodge, for help, Marsden is surprised to be shot at, then captured by a woman wielding a shotgun. Here he is interrogated and discovers that the person holding him is called Alexia Laurentz. Her father is Baron Friedrich Laurentz and he was an important diplomat in Europe and now he is writing his memoirs. They are Hungarians and together with their two old married servants, Frantz and Klara, they are under siege in their house. They have been hiding from hostile East European agents, who have now discovered their location, hence Alexia holding Marsden at gun point. It was two of these foreign agents who shot at Marsden. Marsden discovers that his car has been sabotaged and he resolves to help Alexia and the others. Marsden is an ex-army Captain and knows a thing or two about fighting. The leader of the enemy agents is a man called Rukoff. Marsden goes to recover his kit and cigarettes from his car and finds that his suitcase in now in the enemy's car. Taking advantage of an opportunity, Marsden steals the car and drives to the nearest village to stock up on supplies. Here he has a confrontation with Rukoff. Returning to the area of the house under siege, Marsden parks near a hut in the surrounding wilds and makes his way back to the house on foot. The next day, Frantz goes back to the hut and car to help carry in the supplies and is confronted by a Russian called Forisz. Marsden is following Frantz and when Forisz goes to shoot Marsden, Frantz shoots him dead. Searching the body, they find cyanide and realise that Forisz was going to poison their water supply. It appears that the enemy agents will stop at nothing to stop Baron Laurentz revealing what he knows. Rukoff arranges for Marsden's car to be repaired to replace the car that Marsden stole from them, but Marsden manages to get that car off them as well. Both cars are then moved to the house under siege. Rukoff soon gets another car. Marsden convinces Alexia to get her father to entrust his hand-written memoirs to him so that he can take them to a bank. Marsden wants to get them duplicated so that their eggs are not all in one basket. Marsden drives to Inverness but encounters trouble on the way. He is able to dodge his pursuer and get the important papers to a bank, although he is wounded on the way. On his return to the house, Marsden is cut off and force to cross rough land. Here he narrowly avoids getting trapped in a bog although one of his pursuers is not so lucky. Rukoff leaves his own colleague to die a horrible death in the bog. Marsden finds out that Rukoff is staying in a caravan near the village and goes to see him. Here Marsden meets a diplomat who he believes is Rukoff's boss. Marsden gives them both some things to think about. Returning to the house, Marsden finds there has been a further attack and Franz has been wounded. Marsden meets with the Baron and tells him that he has fallen in love with his daughter. As August 12th approaches, Marsden thinks that that will be the date of a major attack as it is the start of the shooting season, the so called "glorious twelfth". Nobody will pay attention to large amounts of shooting on that date, so Marsden gets ready to do battle. Marsden reveals his feelings to Alexia and she confesses that she feels the same. On the morning of the 12th, the attack comes and there is a major shoot out. Marsden has called up support and four of his old army buddies arrive to help win the day. The following day, there is a big surprise in store for Marsden but it enables him to take action to end the matter once and for all. Suffice to say that the resolution of the story is not what one expects.
The Man Who Lost His Way
Subtitle - none
Publication Details - originally published by MacDonald