A Matter of Honour by Jeffrey Archer

By Jeffrey Archer

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Sample text

Romanov's chief researcher, Professor Oleg Kon-stantinov, having studied the professor's notes and the other researchers' contributions, had underlined his own conclusion in red ink. " Romanov instructed the professor and his twenty-four researchers to turn their talents to the Royal House of Hesse in the hope of tracing what had then happened to the Tsar's icon. Within ten days, they possessed between them more information about the Grand Duke and his family than any professor at any university had managed to gather in a lifetime.

The two files he had asked for were awaiting him. He sat down and began to pore over Valchek's file. " Comrade Romanov lay flat on his back, his left arm behind his head and his opponent's right over his throat preparing for a double knee-thrust. The coach executed it perfectly and Romanov groaned as he hit the floor with a thud. An attendant came rushing over to them and bent down to whisper in the coach's ear. The coach reluctantly released his pupil who rose slowly as if in a daze, bowed to the coach and then in one movement of right arm and left leg took the legs from under him and left him flat on the gymnasium floor before making his way quickly to the off-the-hook phone in the office.

He took the envelope from his inside pocket and extracted the first paragraph of Goering's letter. Then he put the envelope back in his pocket, took out a little notebook and waited expectantly. He felt like a cub reporter. She read the paragraph over two or three times, then seemed to hesitate. " "Not exactly," she replied, still concentrating on the words in front of her. " Adam breathed a sigh of relief. She repeated each sentence slowly, first in German and then in English as if wanting to feel the meaning as well as just translating the words.

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