It is 1758 and Lieutenant Clutterbuck, a tough but ebullient soldier, once stationed in the Scilly Isles, hosts a raucous party. During the high-spirited night-time revelry, a young boy appears. He tells the tale of Adam and Cullen Mayle, former acquaintances of Lieutenant Clutterbuck. This father and son duo turn out to be renowned for their thievery. But their days of stealing seem over when Cullen gets caught and disappears after mysterious men are seen watching the Mayles house. Who are the watchers? And what happened to Cullen Mayle?
Author biography:A.E.W. Mason Alfred Edward Wooley Mason was born in 1865. He was educated at Dulwich College before going up to Oxford University. Once his formal education was completed, Mason went on to become an actor, which had been an ambition since schooldays.
He began his writing career with historical fiction, but then moved into the arena of politics, becoming a Liberal Member of Parliament for Coventry in 1906. However, his love of writing stayed with him and Mason further developed his repertoire and style to incorporate detective fiction, introducing one of the earliest fictional detectives, Inspector Hanaud, the Gallic counterpart to Sherlock Holmes. His detective fiction contains material clues and spontaneity.
Throughout the course of his life Mason produced over thirty titles. The most enduring work is The Four Feathers which is the most filmed work of any writer in the 20th century, with seven versions in all. There have also been many other films and plays based on his novels, including the Hanaud series.
A.E.W. Mason died in 1948.